00
 
00
 
0
 
-
-
-
o
 
Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
o
o
Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
o
o
o
-HR 201.02
Some of the Basic Aspects of Hindu Religious Beliefs and Practice
A Short Note on the Evolution of the Faith, its Spirit and the Culture
-~ Level - 2 ~
o
 
\  
0
 
\
-
Lesson - 29 :
Spirituality, Religious Practices and Beliefs of Hindus
History, Mythology, Story, Faith and Rituals
Please see below
for Lesson - 30
--
 
   

 

 

Mythology, in most world religions, is a set of stories of ancient times with supernatural incidents explaining the Powers of God and the acts of the devil or the consequences of abnormal human behavior. Mythology is a simple way to keep the illiterate public in a mass ignorance within a complete hold of the priests and their teachings, to have them follow the religion with a blind faith without questioning.

In Hinduism, however, mythological stories describe the religious philosophy in simple terms to the common man with simplicity so that he will follow those teachings. These Hindu mythologies give vivid descriptions of events often bordering factual historical and biographical data and fictional stories of fantasy and imagination to discuss and project a philosophical thought and truth. For those who believe in them as biography and fact as well as those who read them as a story of fantasy, it gives an easy explanation of the ultimate Truth and a moral teaching.

Rituals are a set of simple or complicated acts of prayer routines and recitations, with fire, water and other means, that helps to keep the faith in the teachings and to gain Divine blessings. Hinduism is unique in giving a very detailed and lengthy description of every ritual to several forms of Divine Incarnations, whom the Vedas ask us to pray to please them and improve ourselves.

The 'Brahmana' portions of the Vedas give detailed accounts of these Yaj˝a or rituals. These rituals are elaborate, used as a vehicle to carry the philosophy and the mythology is to explain the principles in the form of stories to the common man. The daily rituals sometimes appear different for different people and different community and areas as modified by several years of cultural separation, isolation as well as mixing of other cultures. Based on the customs and social habits of people belonging to various clans, many rituals grew from time to time. Often most Vedic rituals and Agamic practice remained very similar in most Hindu families, in most areas.

 
\ \  
\ \  
-
Lesson - 30 :
Rituals, Duties, Reincarnation and Liberation
Beliefs in Dharma, Karma and Rebirths
--
 
\ \  

Every Hindu believes in Dharma, which are a set of divine rules for every one to follow and live by these rules as established by the Vedas. These laws existed even before the creation of this universe, very much like the earth's gravity, and like all the movements of the planets and stars and the properties of all matters existed before the scientists 'invented' and discovered them. The duties a person needs to perform to the society due to his birth, his Guna, Asrama and Varna is called "Svadharma".

Every Hindu believes in Karma, or Deeds and Action as prescribed by the Divine, for each individual and their effects on the Soul of each one. The Karma of activity of a person in this birth as well as his previous births and also the effects of his ancestors have an effect on the Soul in this birth and in future births; their own life and their children and also on the ultimate liberation of the Soul. All persons by their birth, are created to perform certain Karma that they are expected to complete as their duty, before Liberation. Every Hindu believes that they should perform these Karma without looking for its effects and "fruits" of these actions. They should perform the actions and duty as an offering to God. This is called Karma Yoga.

Every Hindu believes in One God, and its many forms and manifestations. Every Hindu believes in Reincarnation of the Soul who is born in this world again and again, to purify it self. They believe in the indestructibility of the Soul of the individual (Jeevatma); in reincarnation and in rebirth. They believe that the Soul is clothed by the layers of 'Upadhis' and attachment.

They believe in the Soul traveling in an endless cycle of birth and death going between our world, Ancestral World and the world of celestial beings or Heaven (Devaloka). Their aim and purpose are to perform certain Karma and live according to the Svadharma so that they can attain liberation and 'Moksha'. They believe that the ultimate aim of the Jeevatma is to get liberated from this cycle of rebirth, towards a union with God, the Great Soul (Paramatma) of which each individual Soul (Jeevatma) is a part.

 
\ \  
  \  
 
 
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah, Sarve santu niramayah
Sarve bhadrani pashyantu, Makashchit dukha mapnyat.
.
Oh Lord, May all be happy, May all be free from misery,
May all realize goodness and may all be free pain.
 
0    
\
o
 
Chapter - 2 :- The Essentials of the Hindu Traditions - Lessons 29 & 30
o
 
 
0
Go to Lessons: - :~: 17 & 18 :~: 19 & 20 :~: 21 & 22 :~: 23 & 24 :~: 25 & 26 :~: 27 & 28 :~: 29 & 30 :~: 31 & 32 :
 
 
o
 

00