Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
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-HR 201.06
An Applied Method of Practice of the Agamas and the Vedas
The Right Path for a Pious and Peaceful Way of Life with True Happiness
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Lesson - 85 :
The Practice of Hinduism as in Scriptures
Vedhantha, a Philosophy in Practice
Please see below
for Lesson - 86
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The daily practice of the religion is given to us in the Upasana and Karma kanda portions of the Vedas, which describe most of the rituals and prayers and their principles in daily practice. The knowledge portion of Vedic teachings which is the philosophy is found in the "Veda-antha" or the end part of the four Vedas, which are the Upanishads. "Vedantha Dharsana" or "Uttara Mimamsa Dharsana" is the Philosophy based on Upanishads developed by Sage Vyasa.

Most of the daily worship rituals for the masses are also described in the Agamas and later texts called Smrithis. This great tradition and teachings are given to us by our forefathers and great saints and sages who have given treatises on every aspect of Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Sociology and Astronomy. This knowledge came to us in the Vedas many centuries before they were 'rediscovered' in the Western world.

The practice of the Vedic rituals is given to us in the Samhitha and Manthra portions of the four Vedas. Later the six Dharsanas explained the teachings. The logical and analytical approach is given in the Nyaya by Gauthama Rishi and Vaiseshika by Kanada Rishi. The control of mind, thought and action is explained in Sankhya by Sage Kapila and Yoga by Sage Pathañjali.

The ritualistic practice is given to us in Poorva Mimamsa by Sage Jaimini. We get the prayers with philosophy in Vedhantha or Uttara Mimamsa by Sage Vyasa. The Poorva Mimamsa Dharsana did not accept a major place for the Supreme God as bestower of all our life and happiness. They stressed only Vedic rituals to natural forces and Vedic Deities blindly. They prescribed the Vedic rituals to get all the effects by themselves. It does not deal with problems of ultimate reality and its relation to the soul and matter.

This was also rejected by the people and was later modified by Prabhakara and Kumarila to make it more acceptable. All these dharsanas are not contradictory but complementary to each other. One can not get the full meaning and benefit of any one Dharsana without an understanding of the others.

 

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Lesson - 86 :
The Vedas, the Dharsanas and the Yogas in Practice
The Daily Practice of Rituals and Dharma
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Even though these explained the same teachings of the Vedas, each one of the schools explained them with a different meaning and approach. Thus our daily practice of the Religion is based on the teachings and guidance of all these six Dharsanas. Vedantha Dharsana or Uttara Mimamsa is the most popular now in our daily practice though some parts of Nyaya and Poorva Mimamsa as modified later are also used along with Vedantha for daily ritualistic practice and worship of Deities in various forms.

Yoga is very popular as a spiritual discipline and a part of meditation and physical exercise and conditioning. All Hindus follow these scriptures according to their choice and family traditions. Dharma Sasthras are written based on these Dharsanas, especially the Vedantha Dharsana by Vyasa. Later, many Acharyas have written explanatory notes.

Normal practice of Hindus in their daily life is guided by Purushartha, the four basic desires, which are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Of these, the first three belong to the realm of worldly value and the fourth being the supreme value. Thus Hinduism is not all renunciation, suffering and self denial for the benefit of an unknown future in this world or a future birth. It promotes all worldly pleasures and simple desires for individual material benefit, but only for the true happiness and prosperity of the whole world.

The suppression of legitimate desires often leads to unhealthy state of the body and mind and delays the attainment of liberation, the ultimate goal. Dharma is the righteousness in living and is the basis of both individual progress and social welfare. Dharma is of three kinds, which are Physical, Verbal and Mental. It is by actions of the body like good deeds, charity and selfless service to all; by what we speak like soft, affectionate and kind words; by thoughts like kindness, detachment and reverence.

 
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Chapter - 6: Daily Practice of Four Yogas in the Faith - Lessons 85 & 86
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Lessons: ~: 81 & 82 :-: 83 & 84 :-: 85 & 86 :-: 87 & 88 :-: 89 & 90 :-: 91 & 92 :-: 93 & 94 :-: 95 & 96 :~:
 
 
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