Page 1 of 8 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 75

Thread: Non-Religious Hindus

  1. #1
    Join Date
    June 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    125
    Rep Power
    107

    Non-Religious Hindus

    Namaste,

    I wonder how many folks in the forum consider themselves Hindus, but not religious. I count myself amongst those.

    I think of Hinduism as having a religious sense and a more philosphical sense. The latter being more loose, holding to similar concepts as the religion, but the rules turn into possiblities, but not the only choice. I like to think of the story of the berries that were tasted by the bhakti before being offered to Rama. The spirit of devotion is central for me and the variation of expression feels honest. My daughter always brought me pictures and stones and flowers. My son would do tasks for me. Both provided the same, in their own wonderfully unique ways.

    I don't want to get into a debate on semantics (however if others want to...)...I'm just interested the sense that folks have of themselves (if they do) as non-religious Hindus. Thank you!

    Om shanti om

  2. #2
    Join Date
    June 2011
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,674
    Rep Power
    1689

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    Namaste Amala.

    Interesting observation and question. I count myself in your camp as a "non-religious" Hindu. I may get lambasted for this (would it be the first time? ), but we all have our beliefs, which is the beauty of Sanatana Dharma.

    Forgive the length and pontification of this "essay".

    I do not do puja, and as often as not I do not pray at my altar, offer incense, light the lights and wave them. I am struggling with a lot of the ritualism, and I'll use a strong word: "silliness" and superstition I am coming across in my journey as a new Hindu. For example, I've read the stories of Ekadasi fasts... I cannot believe that if one does not observe the fast, Lord Vishnu will turn those grains of rice into worms in your stomach. I don't know who comes up with such silliness.

    I have pictures of deities all over the house, with candles near them to illuminate them, and yes to offer light and perhaps attract the deity(ies), not only to my altar. I was told not to offer light or incense at any place other than at the altar. But why shouldn't They pervade the entire house, or why should the whole house be off-limits to Them? Why shouldn't the whole house be a shrine to Them?

    I say the Mahamantra, the Gayatri Mantra, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra, and shlokas as well as other prayers often, even sitting at my desk at work. I have images of Sri Sri Radha Krishna, Tridevi and Shiva, Parvati Ganesha Family on my desk (drives a busybody I work with nuts because I won't tell her what they are). I have a playlist of bhajans in my iPod and computer I listen to often; they are very uplifting.

    I'm becoming a bit of a spiritual hybrid. Yes, Srimati Radha's and Lord Krishna's image is set higher and in the center of my altar, surrounded by Lord Rama's and Srimati Sita's images; Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati; Lord Hanuman; Lord Narasimhadeva; Lord Ganesha; Maa Saraswati; Lord Vishnu and Mahalakshmi.

    Though I identify as Vaishnava, with Lord Vishnu/Krishna as my Ishta-devata, I have a special love for Lord Shiva also. I think I deviate from most Vaishnavas who regard Lord Shiva as "the greatest devotee of Vishnu": I'm no theologian, but I see the relationship between Them more complex than that. I lean towards this description:

    Quote:
    One and the same

    Sivananda states: "Shiva and Vishnu are one and the same entity. They are essentially one and the same. They are the names given to the different aspects of the all-pervading Supreme Soul or the Absolute. Sivasya hridayam vishnur-vishnoscha hridayam sivahVishnu is the heart of Siva and likewise Siva is the heart of Vishnu."

    Harihara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    I think it's great for any devout follower of any religion to perform the rituals with devotion and fervor, and I'll support and defend that fervor. But worship and religiousness is different for different people. Personally I think ritual gets in the way of a one-to-one connection with God... just my view.

    I have not yet been to temple, and I don't know that I really want to go, except at a time when I would be alone to meditate and pray. I don't want to be part of the temple community. Unfortunately the local temple is using a temporary building that looks nothing like a Hindu temple (I've seen the pictures). I don't feel I could meditate or "commune" properly under fluorescent lighting.

    For me, the line in my sig. says it all: "Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend." Bhagavad Gita 18.65

    And I do always think of Him; if I see flowers or I think of flowers I say in my mind something like "O my Lord, how I wish I could hand these flowers to You!" or I think "what do You want me to do [in this situation]; what is right?"

    After all is said and done, am I Hindu? Maybe, maybe not. But I believe I am... just a little "odd".
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 2010
    Location
    tadvishno paramam padam
    Age
    36
    Posts
    2,168
    Rep Power
    2543

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    It is often from a comparison to the abrahamic religions that Hindus start developping an aversion to the word religion. This makes as much sense as someone who didn't like one or two movies, develops an aversion to movies in general, but goes to another one he does like and says, "I am not watching a movie, I am only watching recorded images on a screen".
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 01 February 2012 at 02:00 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    Hello Amala,
    I think I am one of those folk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amala View Post
    Namaste,

    I wonder how many folks in the forum consider themselves Hindus, but not religious. I count myself amongst those.

    Om shanti om

  5. #5
    Join Date
    September 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    68
    Posts
    7,191
    Rep Power
    5033

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    Vannakkam:

    I think how religious you are or aren't falls into the comparison realm. Its kind of like saying, "How tall are you?" Standing beside a very short person, a 5'6' person is tall. But beside some NBA center, the same guy is downright short.

    In the end, who really cares? It's too complicated.

    Aum Namasivaya

  6. #6

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    I think it is necessary to follow a sect/tradition/religion even within Hinduism. One can be eclectic in their approach and may identify with multiple sects, but spirituality without any sampradaya may not work - this is the general opinion, and I think it is based on experience over time.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    69
    Posts
    7,705
    Rep Power
    218

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    I look at is slightly differently... since the word and the power of the word (śakti-vāc) is of great import to me, I look to its definition.


    What is at the root of religion - this word is extremely telling:
    It comes from the Latin word religãre which means "to tie fast" or to bind, relig(āre) to tie, fasten + ligāre to bind, tie.
    But to tie or bind to what ? To the source of Creation - to the Supreme (anuttara).


    Hence from this view I am 'all in' (snāta ) regarding religion.

    praām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  8. #8

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    For Moksha you need a pure, focussed mind. Going to temples, Japa, prayer, puja, pilgrimages can help one cultivate such a mind. So religious practice has a value. In the beginning you may do those to get Artha, Kama. But with time one realizes Artha, Kama is not the end all. Also as a Hindu there are duties whcih includes religious duties. Ofcourse one can become a Sanyasi in which case one need not do duties but who will say Sanyasis are not religious?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    June 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    125
    Rep Power
    107

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    Namaste TouchedbytheLord,

    I love the "essay" and didn't take it in any way as pontification. I love the personal touch you give your devotional expression. Do you feel that's what dharma is in part integrity?

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    So that makes 3 of us! Namaste Josh!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    July 2010
    Location
    The Holy Land - India
    Posts
    2,824
    Rep Power
    5430

    Re: Non-Religious Hindus

    Namaste,

    I just go about living my life the best way I know how to. A person of my caliber is long way from 'Moksha' or any of the other 'higher states' that learned people use complex words to define. There is no rush on my part and there is no chance of my entering the Krishnaloka any time soon. The line is long and I am at the end of it. If and when it happens, it happens. Why be obsessed with this thought and constantly torture yourself about it. Many people either fall asleep or their minds wander off in the temple during puja, but they aspire to enter 'heaven' so that they can do puja 24/7. The convoluted, theological discussions put me to sleep. The purpose/challenge is to awaken your consciousness. Constantly reading and memorizing scriptures without practicing their import is akin to a drunk doing bar hopping. The only difference is that the drunk knows he is drunk, whereas a person pretending to be a 'seeker' does not know that he is drunk with this desire to attain something. Just be yourself and live the best way you can. We should not be obsessed about the fruits of our actions. I am on His time table. He is not obligated to take me in out of turn, just because I read some books about Him, or perform some rituals on a daily basis to "please" Him.

    Whereas some people are gifted to memorize the scriptures, and I admire them greatly; I am incapable of doing that. Others may evaluate everything through the sterile lens of science and discard a lot as being of non-divine nature; I feel fortunate not to have moved in that direction. Religion is very complex and sometimes there is selective pick and choose, but the basic tenets have to be accepted and protected, to belong to it. Our perspective about it constantly changes as we advance through life and experience different stages. For some the attachment increases with age, and others diverge and find their own paths. Whatever acceptance one has of it, finding peace of mind is essential for attachment to divinity. To that end, observing every ritual and doing daily puja may bring one closer to the desired goal. Others may find solace in bhakti and service. It is all so personal and yet so defined.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 02 February 2012 at 05:02 AM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 68
    Last Post: 10 April 2012, 12:36 PM
  2. khalsa rejects
    By GURSIKH in forum Sikhism
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 26 March 2012, 03:28 PM
  3. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 18 March 2012, 10:38 PM
  4. Replies: 22
    Last Post: 23 October 2011, 02:54 PM
  5. QuickRef: Science of the ancient Hindus
    By saidevo in forum Mera Bharat Mahan
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 14 July 2011, 08:59 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •