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Thread: Book Help - Open Interview

  1. #1

    Book Help - Open Interview

    Hi All,

    I believe that I made an introductory post not too long ago, but if not, I apologize. To reitirate (or explain for the first time), I am writing a book about religion, and I am including testimonies and interviews of people from all walks of life, explaining their backgrounds and beliefs. A few of you have been very helpful, and I'd like to expand this discussion to include more of you in order to properly represent your faith. I would sincerely appreciate it if any of you could answer any or all of the following. If you have any questions or comments for me, please let me know. I thank you in advance for your help.

    What prompted your religious quest (upbringing, your own intuition)?

    How did you learn about the Hindu faith, and were there ever any doubts about its validity?

    What have the differences been, if applicable, between being a Hindu child, and adult, in regards to faith (other than depth of knowledge and thought)?

    If you have had doubts, how have you managed to overcome them, and if you haven't had doubts (or even if you have), what are your feelings in regards to members of your religious community who have had their share of doubts?

    How has your faith impacted your life and/or lifestyle?

    Do you have non-Hindu friends, and if so, do you talk about your beliefs with them? What is the nature of these conversations, and do they usually stay friendly, or do they typically turn hostile?

    How would you tell an atheist, or anyone not of the Hindu faith, that they need to join your religious community? In other words, why is the Hindu faith correct (or the truth)?

    Mark

  2. #2

    Re: Book Help - Open Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Hi All,

    How would you tell an atheist, or anyone not of the Hindu faith, that they need to join your religious community? In other words, why is the Hindu faith correct (or the truth)?

    Mark
    Hi Mark,
    Just to answer the last question, we Hindus generally don't tell other people that 'they need to join our faith in order to progress spiritually. ' We definitely feel happy if someone woth all his/her heart accepts our way of life and the lofty teachings of thousands of years. For us, our faith is obviously 'the correct way'. Otherwise we won't be following it . However, we believe, THE TRUTH 'Brahman' (say it as God)is absolute, and people can reach it by their own way, even atheists may reach there. And there are number of ways to reach there.

    Just answered this question to point main difference in Hinduism and many other faiths.
    Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of the action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction.

  3. #3
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    Re: Book Help - Open Interview

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté
    Quote Originally Posted by reflections View Post
    Hi Mark,
    Just to answer the last question, we Hindus generally don't tell other people that 'they need to join our faith in order to progress spiritually. ' We definitely feel happy if someone woth all his/her heart accepts our way of life and the lofty teachings of thousands of years. .
    Nicely said reflections,

    Kṛṣṇa said it this way in the Bhāgavad gītā
    śreyān sva-dharmo viguṇaḥ
    para-dharmāt svanuṣṭ hitāt |
    sva-dharne nidhanaṁ sreyaḥ
    para dharmo bhayāvahaḥ ||

    Because one can perform it, one's own dharma, (though) of lesser merit, is better then the dharma of another.
    Better is death in one's own dharma; the dharma of another brings danger¹.

    The key word here is dharma¹ धर्म. Many have given this an assigment of ~duty~ Which in my humble opinion needs to be expanded.
    This dharma is rooted in dhṛ धृ - that which upholds, or holds in balance, to keep up or preserve. As mentioned some say its duty, and some extend it to encompass religiosity. Here are a few ways dharma has been viewed via the shastra's:
    • varṇa āśrama dharma - ones specific dharm/duty for various stages of life, bramachara, householder, sanyas, etc.
    • sanātana dharma - the eternal dharm of upholding all of creation
    • āpad dharma - dharm prescribed at time of adversity
    • yuga dharma - the dharm fundamental to the 4 yugas, (sat, treta, dvapa, kali)
    • sādhāraṇa dharma - general obligations of the social individual to uphold within society
    There is also the notion that dharma is a specific quality ( viśeṣa-guna) that belongs to the SELF. Others on HDF have also talked of dharma as the dharma chakra pravartana or the setting in motion of the wheel of law.

    Yet if we look at this from a stage of duty, there is a simple, yet elegant way to consider this dharma as one's stewardship. What do I mean by stewardship ? It's a sense of personal responsibility for taking care of something. It's a common sense view that humans are responsible for the world. It's based the practical view that the world is an extension of ones-self.

    Hence how then can one person take on the dharma of another successfully?

    praṇām

    references and words
    • I have chosen the translation offered by Mahaṛṣi Mahesh Yogī that I find most insightful and accurate.
    • dharma धर्म - here are some of the definitons:
      that which is established or firm , steadfast decree , statute , ordinance , law virtue , morality , religion , religious merit , good works rightly , justly , according to the nature of anything.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  4. #4

    Re: Book Help - Open Interview

    Hello Mark, as promised:

    What prompted your religious quest (upbringing, your own intuition)?
    My parents are religious Hindus. I did not bother about religion in teen age. There was no particular incidence to start my quest. I just felt curious about God and religions and my 'dharma'

    How did you learn about the Hindu faith, and were there ever any doubts about its validity?
    I have been through Agnostic sort of phase, Vedanata i.e. Upanishads and Gita helped me a lot to bring me back on track. I have also read about many other faiths. I don't say they are wrong. I choose to be a Hindu because of the indepence of thoughts which my faith give (If I am sincere enough, I can even disagree with Vedvyasa or Sri Adi Shankara; A muslim can never disagree with Prophet Muhammed), the rich diversity in its practices, the divine symbolism it offers.


    What have the differences been, if applicable, between being a Hindu child, and adult, in regards to faith (other than depth of knowledge and thought)?
    I will think over it.

    If you have had doubts, how have you managed to overcome them?
    My religion give me independece to doubt and then find truth in my own way. Our scripture starts with 'Athato Brahma Jigyasa' means 'Let us enquire about Absolute'. Our scriptures start with doubts and ends with faith. Gita starts with doubts by Arjuna and answers by Krishna. Upanishads contain famous dialogues between scholar Gargi and Sage Yagyavalka where in he solves her doubts. May of my doubts have been solved, sometimes by scripture, sometimes by discussion,sometimes life teaches a lesson. Many doubts are still there.


    And if you haven't had doubts (or even if you have), what are your feelings in regards to members of your religious community who have had their share of doubts?
    Doubts mean that individual is thinking, contemplating. Someday, those doubts will be answered and the seeker will be happy. If I can be helpful in solving someof the doubts, I will be honoured. I have great respect for that individual that he or she has started own purusit to search the truth.


    How has your faith impacted your life and/or lifestyle?
    On an external level: I am a vegetarian. celeberating festivals makes me happy. On ocassion, I wear traditional clothes and visit temple and perform worship etc. So that is a Hindu lifestyle.

    On a more deeper level: I feel connected to all people and every creature in the universe as we all are part of the Absolute, it makes me more compassionate. I try (not successful) to be equipoised in happiness and distress thinking it as a Karma taking results.

    And I hope one day, I will be able to realise that 'I am not this body, I am conciousness and a part of Absolute.'

    Do you have non-Hindu friends, and if so, do you talk about your beliefs with them? What is the nature of these conversations, and do they usually stay friendly, or do they typically turn hostile?

    Obviously, I have Non Hindu friends. I personally don't initiate religious discussion without being asked. Sometimes, it comes up naturally. Most of the people I know are friendly and I have exchanged good info with Jains, Muslims, Christians etc. Sometimes, the opposite person does not know anything except corrupt info regarding caste system, sutee etc. It is still OK, I can clear the misconceptions. But, once I had encounter with an evangelist, his aim was just to demonize my religion and prove it wrong. He told me 'you are worshipping satan etc. ' so the discussion did turn hostile.

    How would you tell an atheist, or anyone not of the Hindu faith, that they need to join your religious community? In other words, why is the Hindu faith correct (or the truth)?
    If they are doing their 'Dharma'(Yajvan ji already explained it), they don't need to convert. If they are missing their 'Dharma', conversion won't help them. If they think Hinduism is right path, I will welcome them with open heart. No particular faith is 'the Truth'. Faiths are just way to express, search 'THE TRUTH' which finally can never be fully described or expressed.

    Note: This is my personal view and this is how I understand Dharma. My fellow Sah-dharmi might have different opinions.

    Regards,
    reflections
    Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of the action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction.

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