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Thread: Neo-Hinduism?

  1. #1

    Neo-Hinduism?

    Namaste to all.

    I'm reading the book, "Philosophy of Divine Love," by Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharah. Imagine my surprise when I read the following:

    "O Arjuna, first surrender to the Lord, then you shall attain His grace. It is through His grace that you can attain Supreme peace and the Divine Abode."

    "O Uddhava, abandon all mundane affairs and come to Me alone for shelter, because I am the Supreme Soul, the Soul of all souls. You can fearlessly be liberated from material bondage."

    "It is only through complete surrender that one can attain grace and be liberated from the bondage of Maya. All this scriptural evidence implies that we must surrender to God."

    This one really got me.

    "O Arjuna, abandon all thoughts of religion and irreligion, and come to Me alone for shelter. It is then, that I, who am a judge to all, will cease to judge in your case, and will instead pardon your innumerable past sins of countless past lives, through My grace."

    "It is impossible to manage both attachment to the world and devotion to God simultaneously, because the mind can only be attached to one area at a time."

    I'm sorry, but I see Christianity couched in Indian fashion in this book. Do you see that as well? This is from a temple book that is available for sale at this Temple in Austin, Texas.

    Dhanyavaad and galeh yuvo

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    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Vannakkam deafAncient: I believe you have good insight, and are capable of reading between the lines. This is a good example.

    We are just so vast ... there are so many varieties of Hinduism, that came from so many origins that's it is really hard to tell some days who is traditional, who is more influenced by Abrahamism, etc. But if your hert and gut are telling you something, then it's most likely correct.

    Best wishes.

    Aum namasivaya

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    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Namaste,

    Sometimes I feel like the Hindu gurus who cater mostly to Westerners translate the scriptures in their broken, imperfect English and their Western handlers take what they think they heard from their guru and add to it a layer of their Abrahamic thoughts which they held before meeting the guru, and present that as the official translations. The OP's offerings are an example of such phenomenon and are the worst translations that I have ever seen. But if the 'Divine Love' folks are happy with it, more power to them.

    Pranam.

  4. #4

    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Namaste to all,

    That is what I am afraid of. I was afraid that I interpreted the correct sources of these quotes. I knew something wasn't right when the "preacher" stated that we did not need to study the scriptures like BG, Rāmāyaṇa, Upaniṣads, and that the most important thing was devotion, or Bhakti, because of "the times we live in." I think she couldn't be more wrong. It IS critical that one reads these scriptures to understand what caused SD to be put in writing, and how it changed over the centuries, especially in regards to shruti and smṛti, and where it is today in face of westernization. I don't think she has any idea what happened... I asked her about samādhi, and she waved it out of the conversation by saying, "So what? That is not important..." She sounded like a Christian in Indian garb. I've just been around Christians too long not to see it. See, Bhakti in monotheistic SD (I know there are other forms, but focusing on this particular form in this thread) means devotion to a Personal God, known as Iṣṭa-devatā. This, as you know, I will not do because it doesn't fit my worldview.

  5. #5

    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Namaste,

    I would like advice on another book, "The Ten Principal Upanishads," by Shree Purohit Swami and W.B.Yeats, where one reads:

    "If he meditates on the syllable A alone he is soon born again on this earth. If he has chanted the Rig-Weda, he is born among men, a great, austere, self-controlled, God-fearing man."

    Is that another "neo-ism" I've caught? The "god-fearing" ran up a flag. I would like to know the general feel of the book, if you happen to know the position of these two authors in the grand scheme of the east-west dialog.

    Dhanyavād

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    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by deafAncient View Post
    Namaste to all.

    I'm reading the book, "Philosophy of Divine Love," by Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharah. Imagine my surprise when I read the following:

    "O Arjuna, first surrender to the Lord, then you shall attain His grace. It is through His grace that you can attain Supreme peace and the Divine Abode."

    "O Uddhava, abandon all mundane affairs and come to Me alone for shelter, because I am the Supreme Soul, the Soul of all souls. You can fearlessly be liberated from material bondage."

    "It is only through complete surrender that one can attain grace and be liberated from the bondage of Maya. All this scriptural evidence implies that we must surrender to God."

    This one really got me.

    "O Arjuna, abandon all thoughts of religion and irreligion, and come to Me alone for shelter. It is then, that I, who am a judge to all, will cease to judge in your case, and will instead pardon your innumerable past sins of countless past lives, through My grace."

    "It is impossible to manage both attachment to the world and devotion to God simultaneously, because the mind can only be attached to one area at a time."

    I'm sorry, but I see Christianity couched in Indian fashion in this book. Do you see that as well? This is from a temple book that is available for sale at this Temple in Austin, Texas.

    Dhanyavaad and galeh yuvo
    Namaste,

    The fourth quote does look like a Christianized reading of Bhagavad Gītā 18.66. However, most of the above examples are distinctly Hindu and refer to precise Sanskrit concepts.

    The Hindu concepts of grace or divine favor/kindness/help (Skt. prasāda, anugraha) and taking refuge or self-surrender (Skt. prapatti, vyapāśrayaḥ, śaraṇāgati), which appears as "surrender" above, are common to many bhakti (devotion) traditions, both Vaiṣṇava (Viṣṇu devotee) and Śaiva (Śiva devotee), and have been part of Sanātana Dharma for millennia (see for example Bhagavad Gītā 18.56, 66, among many other texts). The Sanskrit concepts to which they refer do not actually correspond to concepts in that Western religion. Generally speaking, to receive grace in the Hindu sense you have to be anugrāhya or "fit to be favored" through the practice of spiritual disciplines in most bhakti traditions. (However, there are exceptions to this and these are illustrated by examples in the Sanskrit texts.) The specifics of taking refuge vary from tradition to tradition. In the Śrī Vaiṣṇava tradition, prapatti has six components and begins with the resolve to practice divinely approved acts and to refrain from divinely opposed acts. Taking refuge as a path to liberation open to all has been traced to dozens of Hindu texts from many different periods. Scholar S.M. Srinivasa Chari explores the long history and extensive textual basis for this concept in great detail in the book Vaiṣṇavism: Its Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Discipline.

    Even that great teacher of Advaita, Śrī Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, occasionally wrote of grace and taking refuge. In verse 3 of his Vivekacūḍāmaṇi (translated by Svāmī Turīyānanda) he wrote, "Only through God's grace [anugraha-grace, favor, kindness, help] may we obtain those three rarest advantages--human birth, the longing for liberation, and discipleship to an illumined teacher." In his commentary on Bhagavad Gītā 18.56 (translated by Svāmī Gambhīrānanda of the Advaita Ashrama), after having identified the section as addressing the path of bhakti, he explained the meaning as, "one to whom I am the refuge, to whom I, Vāsudeva the Lord, am the refuge, i.e. one who has totally surrendered himself to Me; even he, āpnoti, attains; the śāśvatam, eternal; avyayam, immutable; padam, State of Viṣṇu; mat-prasādāt, through My, i.e. God's, grace." In his commentary on B.G. 9.32, he explains that anyone, male or female, regardless of their class, may "yānti, reach, go to; the parām, highest; gatim, Goal; vyapāśritiya, by taking shelter; mām, under Me--by accepting Me as their refuge." (ibid.)

    In sum, certain Hindu terms may look like they originated elsewhere at first glance, but they're meant to be understood in a Hindu context.

    praṇām
    Last edited by anucarh; 04 March 2015 at 04:52 AM. Reason: to italicize two words I meant to italicize
    śrīmate nārāyaṇāya namaḥ

  7. #7

    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Namaste to all,

    That is what I am afraid of. I was afraid that I interpreted the correct sources of these quotes. I knew something wasn't right when the "preacher" stated that we did not need to study the scriptures like BG, Rāmāyaṇa, Upaniṣads, and that the most important thing was devotion, or Bhakti, because of "the times we live in." I think she couldn't be more wrong. It IS critical that one reads these scriptures to understand what caused SD to be put in writing, and how it changed over the centuries, especially in regards to shruti and smṛti, and where it is today in face of westernization. I don't think she has any idea what happened... I asked her about samādhi, and she waved it out of the conversation by saying, "So what? That is not important..." She sounded like a Christian in Indian garb. I've just been around Christians too long not to see it. See, Bhakti in monotheistic SD (I know there are other forms, but focusing on this particular form in this thread) means devotion to a Personal God, known as Iṣṭa-devatā. This, as you know, I will not do because it doesn't fit my worldview.
    Namaste deafAncient,

    [Warning, these are personal views from a polytheist perspective, not meant to challenge anyone's beliefs, let no one take offence of them]

    I think you are making the mistake of wanting to see Hinduism as one. There is no one Hinduism, but many many traditions. What the women says may be perfectly in line with her own tradition, and there is no overruling perspective to judge it as wrong. There are some traditions that are more dominantly present than others, but that rather is a flaw than a virtue. Creating tons of scriptures to prove ones own viewpoints does not make it any more valid either, except for ones own followers.

    So, it is really you who is confusing Hinduism with Christianity with its central doctrine created by emperors to make it function as a state ideology. Christianity says there is only one path, Hinduism offers endless paths, and they do not need to be in accordance with each other.

    Your perception of Christianity too seems very coloured by the American state of affairs. Christianity is almost devoid of devotion. In the US however recently new churches came up that call themselves 'charismatic'. What they see as devotion is an over the top mass hysteria created in churches to turn people into a blind group animals. It has nothing to do with real devotion, which is simply the individual daily practice of pure love that has nothing to do with beliefs.

    Protestantism historically rejected both bhakti/devotion and Dharma (right action), but founded itself on 'sola scriptura', following scripture alone. That is where they get the crazy idea, you can behave like a loveless monster and still end up in heaven by the 'grace of God'. In Hinduism Dharma and Bhakti are always part of the equation too.

    In Catholicism devotion is only allowed as a way to bind the masses, but is officially rejected. Even though Catholicism floats on Maria worship, it is frowned upon by the priesthood. A few years ago an arch-bishop was interviewed and he was asked about Maria devotion. He started to laugh and said: Oh, that is off course all nonsense. The interviewer was shocked. How can you say that? The arch-bishop said: Well that is the official position of the Catholic church. God is so distant he can only be known through scripture. People only kid themselves that he listens to them.

    Because the church does not really like people relating to God directly. That way they do not need them as middle man. The priesthood make a comfortable business on telling people what to do. That is why you can only be a saint if you are long dead, and by approval of the church of course. During life the church will convict you if you even dare to suggest you have contact with God. For that reason they trialled and murdered the great heroine Jeanne D'Arc/ Joan of Arc who freed France from the English. Later they turned her into a Saint because she was so popular. Religion is a trillion dollar business.

    In the US there is historically a free market of religion and great competition, so the churches developed emotional appeal as a more appealing way to sell their goods (The took that from the African American churches). And it is all over the top, which is something of a hallmark for things American, as Americans tend to feel that bigger is better. But this kind of Christianity is more like a McDonalds variation on the original theme. I am amazed with the utter bullshit they come up with again and again, and how easy big numbers of people swallow it. (Extreme example, another) Of course in this climate Hindu movements tend to follow suit to be competitive. Lets not defend the myth that commercialism is absent in Hinduism. It has all the shades one might expect.

    You seem to have a personal dislike of devotion, but your association of it is based on American Christian extremes. Devotion simply is the practice of Love. Vivekananda wrote a beautiful little book on Bhakti you might want to read. Remarkable because Vivekananda is a very down to earth jnana kind of a guy with a superior intellect, not at all an outwardly emotional figure. He had a hard time accepting Ramakrishna as a teacher, who had extraordinary patience with him, seeing his great qualities. That is what makes a superb teacher, not modelling others to ones own ideas, but bringing the best out of others respecting their own nature.

    Reading your post, I think bhakti does not agree very much with your personal nature. That makes sense as being deaf, creates a distance with things around you. The eyes are the most distant organ. Direct touch is the most direct. In between is hearing which helps us overcome the distance between the two. Hearing connects us. Love also is connection.

    The more people live in the visual perception, the more they live in rational thinking. Such people are attracted to scripture and like a rational view of religion. But for your personally, it might actually be more rewarding to fill the holes than to extend what is already overdeveloped. Your thinking is already very clear. But emotion seems to be more of challenge. Try to see that emotion is not only the hysteric lashes, those are only the extremes. It is also the much finer intuition that guides superior thinking. It is also Love, compassion, happiness, pleasure that warm our existence. If you reject emotion, that only means that you never developed it sufficiently. It is intellectuals who have the biggest problem with handling emotions. Rational thought is not very subtle, and rather coercive.

    We are all different and we have to find a path that is according to our personal Dharma. There is no one good path for all. No McDonalds meal for all, no Coca Cola drink for the masses, no theory for all. It is a personal journey different for all. Best to find something that resonates deep within, and not to rationalize our choice.

    As to this woman, I do not think it is what she says that one may want to reject, but rather the way that she says it. One may want to avoid people that do not leave room for other views. When we are confronted with authority that does not allow us room for personal views and expression, this surely is not Dharmic. But I also recognize that some people first have a need to be disciplined as they can not discipline themselves yet. In this phase it can be very useful. But that slavish behaviour will catapult us into higher realms seems to me an illusion shared by master and slave.
    Last edited by Avyaydya; 04 March 2015 at 10:16 PM.

  8. #8

    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Namaste to all,

    I was away for cataract surgery on Thursday, and am recovering at home, resting my eye a lot through the day.

    Avyaydya, It is not that I see one path for SD. What I am saying is that I am looking for a path that best fits me. I know that SD has many paths to take. It IS that preacher who's made the mistake of assuming that Bhakti is the only form of worship or being (even the Jagad Guru said that in his book) for people in America without even knowing anything about where people are in different paths. She made the mistake that a Sanātana ought not to make, to assume that what works for one person will work for all others, just because of the "age" we live in. The Kali Yuga argument for Bhakti worship being the only valid path is JUST like Christianity being the only valid religion or path for salvation in the final days on earth. Read through this paragraph twice.

    I know that there are different forms of Christianity in terms that you describe, like the hysterical extremist videos that you point to, but also what appears to be more sensible ways (if you want to call it that) of devotion, like "You need to make right with the lord and love everyone as soon as you can," or "The bible is meant to teach lessons in life and is not meant to be taken literally." I'm referring to the majority of Christians I know who fall in that third category, and they tend to keep to themselves a lot more when it comes to sharing their beliefs in public.

    You may be right about the definition of devotion from your perspective. My idea of devotion is currently mostly inside the church, when one prays to god/lord to ask for success for a ball game, for her father's survival of invasive surgery, for a return of rains and asking what her community did to suffer no rain for 18 months, etc, singing hymns, attending bible school on Sundays, and partly outside the church, like saying "God bless you," "Bless your heart!" "I will pray for you," saying grace at the dinner table, or praying for the safety or success of someone in thoughts. Proselytization is also a form of devotion for Christians. This is what I mean by devotion.

    What you posted as videos, we in our part of the country consider as "cults." Dangerous ones at that, because it is ripe for brainwashing and abuse of all kinds, especially sexual, physical, and child abuse.

    You are correct about emotion. Fortunately, I have a heightened sense of emotion in spite of my writings because it wasn't until I was a almost teenager until I STARTED to learn to control my emotions better. I was getting into fights every other day. I would get angry in the class room when I felt a particular lesson in English didn't make sense and would fight the teacher in challenging the wisdom of some particular grammar rules that had seemingly random exceptions to the rules. I've cried after school because I wanted to go home and play outside instead of fighting with my teacher over things I really, really struggled with in my learning. I was hell on two feet because of my frustration at communications and because I wasn't aware of the rules of social norms of the day, which was to be reserved and a good child, and staying out of trouble. I did not know what was acceptable or not, because of my deafness being mistaken by mental professionals until I was seven and a half years old to be mild retardation, so they let me get away with things I wouldn't have gotten away with. I was halfway between a civilized child and a feral child they would find in the woods as a teenager, too wild to tame and educate to the same extent in the classroom. It took me a long time to stop fighting people trying to help me with emotional control. To this day, I can let down all control and go overboard when I am offended deeply. I've gotten better about that.

    I don't know how to describe it, but when I see colors, I get different feelings as a way of "naming" the colors. Some people automatically say in their heads orange, red, yellow. With me, it's a different mode of information processing, in that when I look at colors, especially rich, strong colors, there is this "thing" I experience. It's not happy, sad, funny, that sort of thing. I don't know how to explain it, but that's how I recall colors. This and the previous paragraphs shows that I'm not entirely logical with little emotion.

    You can say that the reason I am not a Christian is because it doesn't speak to me. It is alien to me. Tell me, what does the following mean? I have refused to participate in Christian rituals, like the time when I visited my aunt's family and went to their church upon immediate arrival in the area from Texas (1300 miles one way in my Jeep). Yet, when I went to visit one of the BAPS mandirs in Houston in the summer of 2013, without knowing ANYONE there, this person held a plate of flames (don't know what it's called), and I watched what the person was doing, putting hands somewhat close to the flames and bringing forth something to the person's head two or more times and saying something before the carrier went to the next person. I did it. I copied the behaviors and said in Galeh Yuvo what I had to say at the time. No embarrassment, no self-consciousness, even though I was one of maybe two or three white people in a group of 30 devotees or more. If I went to a Christian church, even one where no one has seen me before, and I am white like the vast majority of the congregation, I would feel embarrassment.

    I will check out the book of Bhakti Yoga to see what it says. Maybe I need to alter my perception of just what Bhakti means.

    Anucarh, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter. I will be looking more into this.

    Now, to close my scratchy eye for a moment.

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    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Namaste deaf/Ancient,

    Quote Originally Posted by deafAncient View Post
    You can say that the reason I am not a Christian is because it doesn't speak to me. It is alien to me. Tell me, what does the following mean? I have refused to participate in Christian rituals, like the time when I visited my aunt's family and went to their church upon immediate arrival in the area from Texas (1300 miles one way in my Jeep). Yet, when I went to visit one of the BAPS mandirs in Houston in the summer of 2013, without knowing ANYONE there, this person held a plate of flames (don't know what it's called), and I watched what the person was doing, putting hands somewhat close to the flames and bringing forth something to the person's head two or more times and saying something before the carrier went to the next person. I did it. I copied the behaviors and said in Galeh Yuvo what I had to say at the time. No embarrassment, no self-consciousness, even though I was one of maybe two or three white people in a group of 30 devotees or more. If I went to a Christian church, even one where no one has seen me before, and I am white like the vast majority of the congregation, I would feel embarrassment.
    I understand your feeling, I've had similar experience in many, many different Churches and religious systems over the years. It went beyond embarrassment, and unfamiliarity - which itself should have been bizarre considering my childhood in this life was spent in these Churches - but it was flat out empty. It was a farce, a pantomime, I felt absolutely nothing and couldn't see or experience what all these people around me professed to see and feel themselves. It was like watching a particularly badly acted and scripted play, albeit on lovely sets. It's not that I didn't know with a certainty that God existed, and not that I didn't have my own experiences of the Divine and knowledge that seemed to come from nowhere and didn't match at all what people were trying to teach me... God simply did not speak to me there, or in any other 'organized' religious gathering.

    There was a time I had a lot of anger at Abrahamic faiths, particularly Christianity. When I was very young I had arguments with catechism teachers and pastors the way you speak of at school, I empathize so much with your description. And until I did find the beginnings of my own path, if someone said I wasn't a Christian simply because it "Didn't speak to me", I would bristle. It felt dismissive, invalidating of my experience and the struggle I went through. But looking back on it now, that really is exactly what it was - perspective being what it is. It's true, I couldn't feel anything. I could also say I was born with a pre-programmed set of beliefs and a sensitivity to a certain frequency of energy not readily available to me in the culture I was born to. I could say I was never a Christian or Abrahamic. I could say I remembered a previous life and my belief system then, and I still believed it. These would all be equally true representations, and I have said them as well. But speaking for myself, I understand now that the Supreme Lord is Absolute, it isn't a different Supreme that is worshiped by each religious system. In fact I seem to reach a new understanding and joy in that every so often...

    To your other point - Christian ideas in some Hindu systems... I believe it's definitely possible, particularly here in the US. There's a sect I was directed to here at one point that seems to be so influenced, but that's my own perception and perhaps I'm wrong. It also seems to me to be the case that there are simply some Hindu sects that have some ideas I find similar to Abrahamic thoughts and so I just don't tend to "feel" them - but perhaps this is my own poor understanding of poorly translated concepts which have no direct translation into English. It's a complex puzzle. I just go where I feel things make most immediate and easy sense to me.

    edit: SO, I'm editing this kind of heavily because I just finished a few more threads and I just realized I misunderstood your problem. I believe I get it now though. Silly of me, I don't know why I didn't see it till now. Interesting. I suppose the best thing would be to reply to the thread that helped me understand, so that's what I'll go do.

    ~Pranam
    Last edited by Aanandinii; 08 March 2015 at 01:18 AM.
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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    Re: Neo-Hinduism?

    Vannakkam: I don't think the line (between orthodox and neo) is ever completely clear. All we can do is follow our hearts, or intuition.

    Aum Namasivaya

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