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Thread: Need help for a fresh start

  1. #1

    Need help for a fresh start

    I've begun to feel like I have no idea what I am even doing or why I even call myself a Hindu but maybe I should start this off with a little introduction.

    I was born in a Christian family and until I was the age of 15 considered Christ as God and accepted the bible as the only means I had of any salvation. At that time I was basically a kid still with no real idea about anything I just only knew that if I had any problem I should pray. But after I turned 15 my father tragically died and the loss devastated me. I prayed and prayed for some understanding of what had happened to my father and myself and why, so I was in a dark depression and cried most of the time but still praying and asking WHY. So eventually I saw a movie about Buddhism and I had never seen something quite like it. It was with Keanu Reeves and he played the part of the Buddha. The movie really touched me and the questions I'd begun asking after losing my father were shed light on. The movie talked about reincarnation, karma, meditation, all aspects of eastern spirituality but from a Buddhist perspective of course, Hinduism wasn't until later on after I matured a little. So then after seeing this movie I quickly learned about Buddhism and desperately searched for answers, it was a critical turning point in my life. After a while I'd learned the 4 noble truths and I began to practice Buddhism. I learned meditation for the first time, I practiced Vipassana and Metta. For years I simply practiced and read sutras and I had some quite eye opening experiences. All this was done on my own and I kept it a secret for quite some time, it was years. After some years of study and meditation I had a samadhi experience. It happened to me twice and I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment, it was quite a reward but neither time did it truly last. Each time it came and went after several days so then I knew without a doubt that meditation was a real practice and anyone could do it.

    After a while though I wondered about God again and I began to feel like there was something left unfulfilled, like Buddhism just wasn't doing it for me. I kept trying to reach samadhi again and I couldn't, things felt more difficult and I prayed some more. Eventually I began to wonder about Hinduism, finally it had dawned on me that there was more to learn and the possibility of a deeper more fulfilling spiritual practice had come into view. The idea of practicing meditation with a light on God was possible. I met more and more people who were into yoga and a few people who even talked about Hinduism. I met a devotee of Lord Shiva, very inspiring gentlemen and my desire to learn about Hinduism started. I just felt like Buddhism had given me a foundation of meditation, I knew there was a degree of commitment and determination involved in gaining anything out of spiritual practice but Buddhism left me feeling a bit empty. As quickly as it had taken away the sorrow I had after my dad dying and given me a couple short samadhis it had just as quickly left me feeling bare and kind of worthless. So I was very enthusiastic about learning Hinduism. I felt like it could save me, give me back my worth but yet still offering the gift of meditation, the samadhi.

    So I began to read Hindu books without even looking back I just kept meditating but I relied on God more as I learned about Hindu Dharma. I've talked to so many people at this point, all saying of the glories of Hinduism and yoga. I've read into many books and prayed and some prayers have been answered, I've learned so much but still I feel a sense of no direction. No one has yet laid out a clear path. All the books say different things and all the ones I talked to are so diverse, one of them is a devotee of Lord Shiva, one of them is a a devotee of Lord Krishna. Some say bhakti is the best path and still some of them say other things. There are so many writers and teachers offering information I feel information overload. All this stuff I have read and I don't know what to do.

    So I'm asking for help. How do I be a devotee of Lord Shiva and simply excel at learning and growing as a Hindu. I don't even know what I'm asking and I feel like such an idiot. I've read all this stuff and I feel so out of touch with the basic essential truth of Hinduism. I've totally missed the point and I just don't know what to do. There must be I'm doing wrong. I hope someone can make sense of all this and somehow relate. It feels like I'm retarded like I'm honestly having it hard and it's depressing. None of my Hindu friends are gurus and I hate bugging people with all my questions so I've hardly asked any. All my goals seem so out of reach. Please someone help me at least begin to understand what it means to really be a Hindu. This forum has all kinds of very enlightened and intelligent people. I'm looking for someone to help me build a foundation of relevance on my path. Please help I am totally lost I do not know even where to start. I must seem so dumb but there has to be some God lovers out there willing to help. If you have read this I thank you for your patience and your time, if you feel like I have wasted your time I'm so sorry please forgive me. I've just been at this for a while and still feel like I'm on the outside looking in.

    Last edited by satay; 20 September 2017 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    July 2010
    The Holy Land - India
    Rep Power

    Re: Need help for a fresh start


    Hope you are well. Thank you for the detailed introduction and welcome to the forum.

    In the words of H. G. Wells, “When the mind grapples with a great and intricate problem, it makes its advances step by step, with but little realization of the gains it has made, until suddenly, with an effect of abrupt illumination, it realizes its victory."

    When we are new to a concept/philosophy/theology, we want to learn everything about it, catalog it all neatly and give the whole thing OUR perspective. Hindu scriptures/theology is so vast that one could spend his/her lifetime reading without spending a single day practicing it and therefore get nothing out of it. So, ease up on reading.

    Follow a simple regimen on a regular basis - meditation, singing/listening to bhajans, aarti. You will make your advances on the path of spirituality step by step. Don't always assume that you will be rewarded for every effort, every good thing done. Where I am today is the result of my cumulative 'karma', not just what I did 5 minutes back or what I did yesterday.

    When we immerse ourselves in spiritual thoughts, the Divine resides in our subconscious mind. So, when we are busy with our everyday mundane activities under the backdrop of a divine consciousness, we don't feel the highs and lows of accomplishments/failures. That keeps the mind calm and focused on the tasks rather than on the results thereof.

    Letting your mind be pulled in a million different directions by reading all kinds of trash is a recipe for failure. Knowing the basics and practicing them elevates us. So, give your books a rest, follow a simple routine of connecting yourself to the Divine and go about your daily business. Don't expect to replicate Buddha. If it is meant to be, it will happen, else you will remain an ordinary devotee, just like the rest of us - trying and practicing at our own levels without ever seeing a flash, a blinding light. Eliminate expectations, expectation of a certain union with the divine because YOU want it to happen. Focus on the practice and not on what becomes of it. Bhakti is the ONLY way to it!

    Last edited by Believer; 24 September 2017 at 04:01 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: Need help for a fresh start


    Sometimes to much thought is a hindrance, so try and think less, not get caught in the mind, its easier said then done. As you have had some experience, understanding and practice in Buddhism, Gautama Buddha says very often that trying to become or not become something just brings dukkha, unease, suffering.

    Its good that you have read a lot, and it will all go into the chitta or storehouse memory and then come back often in newer fresher and more profound ways, but whats important is the quality of consciousness and depth of realization, its good to have a break, let things settle, see the gap and space and then that knowledge will gradually mature, so give yourself time, the Buddha said that patience is the supreme austerity, join the queue, many of us are in that queue and just waiting patiently for the ultimate experience that will come in its own time.

    Its also natural to get confused sometimes, so dont see that as a burden or negative, its just part of the path, it will pass, dont cling to much to it and own it, let it give its message and then be open to whats next. No matter how deep and profound the written word is its mostly realized with a calm, centered and clear mind, so maybe see what helps you to feel calm, clear and centered and skillfully work towards that state, if the mind was calm, clear and open it doesn't matter what label you want to give yourself, because you will be free from those thoughts and enjoying calm, clear and receptive states, if were heading and workings towards the essence of what Hinduism, Buddhism says then these labels wont really matter, what we seek is the experience and teachings and practices that have been preserved in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, so dont always think of becoming a Hindu, a Buddhist or a Shaivite, but rather learn more what these traditions are pointing to,and then the connection and truer identity will naturally come. If you cant get calm, open and receptive states , dont fret, things pass, all mind states come and go and are under the laws of time, try to naturalize the mind and work towards equanimity.

    If you have had a genuine Samadhi experience then your subconscious will be effected and changes will happen, the transformation is already taking place, but to mature will take time, and your perceptions will change and you will grow into a new form of awareness. So give things time, relax, take it easy and dont think to much and just carry on with the same intensity but in more mature and skillful ways.
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 24 September 2017 at 02:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    December 2007
    Rep Power

    Re: Need help for a fresh start

    Dear Bharava8,

    So I'm asking for help. How do I be a devotee of Lord Shiva and simply excel at learning and growing as a Hindu.
    I am breaking your question into these sub-questions and their answers :

    1. How to be a devotee : Love God with all your heart. But before you can do that you must know who and what is God, right ? Unlike what is taught in Abrahimic religions, God in Hindu Dharma is not a being separate from its creation. The creator is the essence of the creation ... there is nothing in this universe which is devoid of that essence. So, there is no need to go to anywhere to find God and love Him. See Him alone in all forms, all names, all activities. Love Him in all His creations. Love God within you ... trying looking within during meditation, cut yourself all from all worldly disturbances and just feel His Omnipresence. You cannot be a true devotee unless you can sacrifice everything for the love of God. Please mark the word, "Can" ... it is not "shall". So, detachment from worldly pleasures, achievements, egoistic feelings, wealth, carnal pleasures etc. is the way to true devotion. If detachment is required then there must be equal amount of attachment to something ? Yes. Attach yourself in helping people, animals, trees, flowers and the whole universe with whatever capacity you have to help them happy, help them grow and help them free from their problems --- develop compassion towards one and all.

    2. How to become devotee of Shiva ? - Do whatever is stated above with Lord Shiva's form in mind. BTW, Lord Shiva is worshiped as Infinite, without form and attributeless Brahman and also as one of the trinity in Devloka. Choose what suits you. Remember, God becomes what you think of him.

    3. Simply excel at learning and growing as Hindu - Just tell yourself that you are a Hindu to the core. Know about Hindu festivals, vrats (fasting days/occasions) and celebrate and perform pooja and fasting as required, believe in Laws of Karma (what you reap is what you sow). Be regular to any Hindu group/temple. It is not necessary that the Hindus must be Indians. Choose any Hindu group that suits you.
    Be good to others. See good in others. Believe in this Mantra :

    Sarve bhavantu sukhinah,
    Sarve bhavantu nirAmayAh |
    Sarve bdrAni pashyantu,
    Na Kshchid dukhbhavbhavet ||

    Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih !

    ==> May all be happy ! May all be healthy ! May we see good in all ! May no one suffer from any pangs of sufferings ! Let there be peace all over, let there be peace, let there be peace !!

    and finally, keep reading, visiting this forum, discussing and practising everything about Hindu Dharma.

    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  5. #5

    Re: Need help for a fresh start

    Thanks you guys for the replies, it really helps to read through what you've said, very encouraging, thanks.

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