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Thread: Interview Request

  1. #1

    Interview Request

    Hello everybody,
    I am currently enrolled in a World Religions course through University. I am working on my final paper and one of the requirements is for me to contact someone of the religion I am studying to interview them about their beliefs and practices. One of the the religions I am writing about is Hinduism in regards to immortality and meditative processes. I am particularly interested on the ability to achieve immortality and what it means for you as well as the meditative practices (yoga in particular) used within Hinduism and if you use them as well. If there is someone here that is willing to answer these questions for me I would really appreciate it.

    1. What does immortality mean in Hinduism (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?
    2. How do individuals reach immortality (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?
    3. What kind of meditative practices are used within Hinduism (according to the ancient belief and how you practice it)?
    4. Where did the meditative practices originate from (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Interview Request

    Hello Keyskenz:

    1. What does immortality mean in Hinduism (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?

    In Hinduism, "we" are not the body. The body is made up of unconscious prakriti/material cause. What provides life to the body is the atman/purusha. The essence of purusha is consciousness. Purusha is neither created nor destroyed. It is beginningless and eternal - thus it is immortal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krishna to Arjuna in BG 13:19
    You must understand that both Prakriti and Purusha are without beginning.
    2. How do individuals reach immortality (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?

    There are many views on this. All views however agree that our bondage at present is due to avidya or ignorance. Advaitins hold that in essence we are already liberated. Removal of the false notion/ignorance/avidya can be accomplished by Jnana/knowledge/viveka/discrimination between self and non-self.

    More theistic schools of Hinduism believe in bhakti/devotion. The way to come out of the cycle of births and deaths is to immerse oneself fully in devotional service of the Lord [usually conceived as Shiva/Vishnu/Shakti, etc.]

    The grace of the Lord lifts the devotee and breaks the shackles of bondage.

    3. What kind of meditative practices are used within Hinduism (according to the ancient belief and how you practice it)?

    AFAIK, meditative practices derive are modifications of Yoga.

    4. Where did the meditative practices originate from (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?

    The philosophical foundations of Yoga originate from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Patanjali did not originate Yoga. He compiled the pre-existing practices in concise form in the Yoga Sutras. These meditational practices are believed to be beginningless.

    Shaivites believe that the greatest Yogi is Shiva himself.

    Hope this has helped.

  3. #3

    Re: Interview Request

    Thank you for your response. This is perfect and helps a lot.

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    Re: Interview Request

    Quote Originally Posted by KeysKenz View Post
    Hello everybody,
    I am currently enrolled in a World Religions course through University. I am working on my final paper and one of the requirements is for me to contact someone of the religion I am studying to interview them about their beliefs and practices. One of the the religions I am writing about is Hinduism in regards to immortality and meditative processes. I am particularly interested on the ability to achieve immortality and what it means for you as well as the meditative practices (yoga in particular) used within Hinduism and if you use them as well. If there is someone here that is willing to answer these questions for me I would really appreciate it.

    1. What does immortality mean in Hinduism (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?
    2. How do individuals reach immortality (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?
    3. What kind of meditative practices are used within Hinduism (according to the ancient belief and how you practice it)?
    4. Where did the meditative practices originate from (according to the ancient belief and how you perceive it)?

    Thank you!
    Vannakkam: In my view, there is no such thing as 'Hindus believe". There is, however, "some Hindus believe" or many Hindus believe" . We are a vast and diverse lot philosophically. So no one person can really do justice to the questions, although scholars might be able to do better than some, provided their scholarly studies involved a wide range of all the sects within Hinduism.

    Having said that, I'll tell you what I believe.

    1) God is the only thing that is immortal. The soul is not immortal, other than in the sense that it is part of God. But in the sense of individuality, or an individual soul, it is not immortal. It came from Siva, and goes back to Siva, as water in water.

    2) Union with Siva (immortality as explained in 1) is reached as a natural result of hard work and sadhana (religious study in every way, but mostly mystically through meditation), the soul's ridding itself of karma, anava, and maya. This happens to every single soul, without exception.

    3) Many, but in it's truest sense an extremely concentrated state of mind within the mind itself, where you are only aware of awareness itself, far beyond intellect, and reached through intense concentration in stillness, and silence.

    4. The rishis of old reached these conclusions from self-discovery, so they originated from God Siva himself just as a natural part of His Eternal Dance.

    Aum Namasivaya

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