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Thread: Hinduism happened. New, developing awareness, returning, discovering.

  1. #1
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    Hinduism happened. New, developing awareness, returning, discovering.

    Nameste HDF

    Not sure if the titles sums it up really. I'm a bit "mind blown". Very new, and a touch nervous so this might turn out to be a terrible ramble of a post. For that I apologise in advance (been British in japan too long, apologising for everything is a bad habit). I also know that this is not my blog, but at the same time I just want to get these thoughts out of my head and connect with people.

    This is quite new and difficult for me. Well, not difficult. Different, or perhaps non-usual would be more appropriate. The writing of these words is the difficult bit. I want them to be correct, and reflect who I am and where I am right now. But I don't want to waste people's time, so I'll plough on.

    I have followed a path from a (white) Christian upbringing into quite a staunchly atheist world view and onward to the doorstep of Hinduism. I discovered Taoism many years ago (early 20s) which certainly played a role in justifying certain laid-back and passive "life choices" I made at that time. But that, like many other things "didn't quite click". Nothing ever clicked. Buddhism whilst certainly appropriate for some people did not (or does not) gel for me either.

    Then recently, and I would have to say within the last month, I had a "lightbulb" moment. I can't place how or when, but Hinduism happened. I don't want to say discovered, or converted, or adopted. Nothing really quite fits. This is why I am dancing round the issue like an idiot. It's like it Hinduism has been sat there quietly waiting for me to work something out. I started reading around the edges about definitions, ideas, concepts, "things" within Sanatana Dharma. And these things I was reading echoed with me. I'm sitting there going "oh my god (not literally), I think that too."

    At which point Hinduism turns round and says: "oh hello, what kept you so long? Finally worked it out have you? Good good, there's more over there it might keep you busy for a while. I can wait, I've got time."

    So I searched, and read, and read more. Then I grabbed a nice podcast/mp3 of the Bhagavad-Gita which I listened to. That in itself was incredibly informative as it managed to put a lot of what I had seen here and other places into a context and form that made sense. Well, it made more sense than divorced lists and bullet points on websites had up to that point.

    I am Hindu. That might not sit that well with some people, but I can't help that. I have tried writing this post a number of times, and it is a little odd in some ways. I don't want to sound out of turn and I know that there are many delicate issues in the world, but it feels like I am coming out. Like I said, a once staunch atheist who would laugh and mock and joke about religion suddenly finds himself listening to the conversations of Krishna and Arjuna and in there is peace. Like a sanctuary that was there all along and I never noticed. Another version of me would laugh at myself, but right now I'm okay with that because that's not who I am.

    With that out of the way, I can maybe try and find my way through this very deep and rich tapestry. There is a lot to do, many questions that need answering. The only problem is the very limited "real life" resources I have around me, apart from the internet. Even now, I re-read what I have written and I am picking philosophical holes in all the choices I have made in trying to communicate who I am and what has happened. I'm getting there.

    EDIT: I reflected and panicked a little about how this post might sound after I posted it. My main concern being that it might come across as a bit tourist/grab-bag approach which is isn't (hey everyone! I did ABC a month ago now XYZ!). I also sound somewhat flippant at times but this is generally a personality trait and not me being dismissive toward people, cultures, approaches, anything. Bit of a defence thing I think. There is more to this than what I chose to post. And I realise and appreciate that I have only just begun to engage with this side of myself and Sanatana Dharma.
    Last edited by cyril; 16 March 2017 at 05:13 AM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
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    Re: Hinduism happened. New, developing awareness, returning, discovering.

    Hari Om!

    Please, no apologies or clarification needed. Many can relate, myself included. In the biggest sense, Welcome! Your journey has just begun.

    Hinduism, in my opinion, is probably the most broad of all "religions", encompassing schools of belief, sects, gurus, and a host of other markers that make it profoundly different from anything else you are ever likely to encounter. This is to your benefit quite simply because you will always find that you are accepted for your beliefs and that there is a place for them. Please check out the resources on the forums for suggested readings for beginners. There is an exhaustive list and much will be to your liking. Avail yourself.

    Have shared here previously that from an early age, as you say, things "didn't quite click" when it came to religion. Was eventually in the place you are in today and having found this generous forum was a profound part of making progress along the path. Trust you'll find the same.

    Please do ask questions. Read. Read a lot here as there is a lot of wisdom and some very learned members to guide you along. You'll see that it can't all be learned through a book, that Hinduism must be practiced, lived, encountered. If the internet is truly your only social tool, please do avail yourself to as much satsang (video or live discourses) as possible.

    Question for you if one many be so bold - With your understanding of/practicing of Buddhism, do you have any meditative experience? A practice?

    All the best to you.

    Om

  3. #3
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    Re: Hinduism happened. New, developing awareness, returning, discovering.

    Namaste

    Thank you for replying. It is great that whilst there is a wealth of information (a lot of it overwhelming to be honest!), you still invite newer members to question and query. I am currently going back over the Bhagavad Gita simply because it is great listening whilst I run. It is easy to miss things. The structure is fascinating (from a literary perspective). The story is great, a real tense personal moment for Arjuna. Internal and external, but it appears from things I have read I am not the first to notice this!

    The next stage is to find some solid English Language translations. The Living Gita (Swami Satchidananda) sounds/looks appropriate. I want to find an accessible English translation of the 18 major Puranas too. Non-English will have to wait, I have enough trouble with my own language as it is!!

    Apart from that I am attempting to live a more spiritual existence. I made some kumkuma on Holika Dahan. Getting my home puja materials together (Tumeric, lemon juice and baking soda. Totally surprised by that. No need for mineral lime and I already had it in the cupboard).

    Baby steps, little things. Getting informed, introducing practices. Speaking of which, coming to your Buddhism question and meditation. The thing I found with Buddhism was that it was approached from a philosophical/critical position. All very nice, but a bit divorced from proceedings really. And it was difficult to engage with it "at that stage in my life". I must qualify it that way. It was interesting but not a shoe that fitted. Now, meditation (I am being a bit circular in getting to this!): One thing I have taken away from Taoism and buddhism is meditation in motion. Being a runner the two go together. Run, breathe, clear the mind. Except now, when I am not listening to music or the Bhagavad Gita I find I can chant the Maha Mantra. I do it internally at the moment as I lose my breathing if I externalise it and it throws my rhythm off. Something to work on maybe? All that then leads me down a rabbit hole that ends with bookmarks pointing to meditation and bharatanatyam.

    I'm just absorbing what I can in a mindful manner. But it's a bit all over the place! Fascinating, motivating, many things all at once.

    Right now my priorities are finding, learning and understanding the key texts/concepts, applying them mindfully. And I am all on my own with this at the moment so your invitation to come together online with others is very welcome.

    Thank you!

    Oh! One more thing. There is an ISKCON temple in my city. "In general" how open are ISKCON to followers of different paths? Could I go and chat with them do you think? Or is it a case of "depends on the community that is there"?
    Last edited by cyril; 17 March 2017 at 07:52 AM. Reason: clarification

  4. #4
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    Re: Hinduism happened. New, developing awareness, returning, discovering.

    Namaste,

    No apologies needed/required/expected. We all passed through many stages to get to where we are today. So, the thing to do is to look forward and not dwell too much on the past.

    Pranam.

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