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 - 87 :
The Sasthras and The Yogas for Our Living
The Dharma Sasthras and Religious Ethics
Please see below
for Lesson - 02
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These Scriptures gave us the prayers, the rituals, the mythology, the philosophy and the science to guide our conduct and reasoning. They teach us about every aspect of our life from birth to the end of our life and beyond. We have a special duty to learn our religion and its practice in the modern times to keep it growing for our future generations.

If we do not let it grow in these adopted lands for our children, after two or three generations the large treasures of our religious practice will be lost forever just like the major portions of our scriptures. Our hearts cry that this great tradition should not disappear from the face of earth like the many endangered species. Many Acharyas have given us the guidance and philosophy based on the Vedas and Dharsanas, changing the way we practiced Hinduism. This was the most important renaissance movement of the religion in the past 800 years. The most important are the Advaitha by Sri Sankara, Visishtadhvaitha by Sri Ramanuja, Dhvaitha by Sri Madhva and Saiva Siddhantha schools of Southern India.

We also have several Bhakthi schools of Bagavathas and Vaishnavas and several other forms of Suddha Adhvaitha and Dvaitha-adhvaitha and many other systems of Saiva, Vaishnava and Saktha philosophy and Agamas. Advaitha School and Vedantha Dharsana along with Vyasa Maharishi's Dharma Sasthra were the foundation of the ritualistic practice of the Smartha Sampradaya. They followed Vedic rituals and teachings. They also prayed to various forms of God, including Siva, Vishnu, Sakthi, and Surya.

Saiva Siddhantha followers had ritualistic practice of prayers to Siva as the creator and protector and followed some teachings of Advaitha and a qualified form of monism. Sakthism or Devi worshippers were similar to Saivites. Some of them also followed Thanthra traditions. Vaishnavites follow the Bhakthi schools of Visishta-adhvaitham and Dvaitham with elaborate prayer rituals. Some of the Vaishnavites, like followers of Sri Chaithanya, performed prayers and music with devotion and love for God as Sri Krishna.

 

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Lesson - 88 :
The Principles of the Teachings and its Practice
The Four Yogas as Spiritual Discipline
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The real meaning of the Religion becomes revealed to one who practices the spiritual discipline. It cannot be reconciled if one emphasizes only the letter of the scriptures and overlooks the spirit and inner meaning revealed in the books. One must have the faith in those writings and understand the teachings through a teacher and then he must analyze and subject it to rigorous reasoning. After this, having been convinced of the soundness of the doctrine of the scriptures, one should meditate and experience the teachings in the depths of contemplation. This is the true spirituality and this is the practice of Yoga, which means the union of the individual self with the Supreme Self.

The Vedas gave different types of rules available for different kinds of people to follow according each one's understanding and desire. The yogas are spiritual disciplines for daily living and practice of religion for a devout Hindu. Yoga is not just repetition of some unknown words and some exercises.

The Vedic teachings, as a guide, gave us four main paths for our living and for practice of religion. They are the Karma Yoga, Bhakthi Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jñana Yoga. Of the four yogas, Raja Yoga deals with conditioning, control and development of the body and mind through self-control, concentration and physical discipline. They perform special breathing exercises, meditation and physical exercises. Jñana Yoga or the path of knowledge is the deep study of the scriptures and philosophy. It is the purest form of spiritual discipline with the search for the impersonal reality.

This is extremely difficult for people who are still partly materialistic and are constantly attached to their duties to the world and its being. We see Karma Yoga and Bhakthi Yoga followed as the two common methods for daily living for all our people here. Thus Hinduism is not just a Religion, a blind faith or a cold philosophy for intellectuals but the whole way of life and thinking for every day and for every one to follow in their daily practice.

 
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Chapter - 6: Daily Practice of Four Yogas in the Faith - Lessons 87 & 88
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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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