Wednesday, February 13, 2013

That is the reason today, majority of the Hindu scholars they say that the word Hinduism is a misnomer.

Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru: - The word Hindu can be earliest traced to a source a tantrik in 8th century and it was used initially to describe the people, it was never used to describe religion. (The discovery of India” on page -74 and -75) 

According to Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru Its connection with religion is of late occurrence. The word Hinduism is derived from the word Hindu.

The word Hinduism was first used by the English writers in the 19th century to describe the multiplicity of faiths of the people of India.

In Encyclopaedia Britannica it says: - The word Hinduism was first used by the British writers in the year 1830 to describe the multiplicity of the faiths of the people of India excluding the converted Christians. (Volume -20, Reference -581)

That is the reason today, majority of the Hindu scholars they say that the word Hinduism is a misnomer.

Santana Dharma was pure Vedic religion prior to the existence of the present day Hinduism.  Hinduism is not pure Vedic religion; it is a  hotchpotch mixture of many ideologies adopted by other ideologies, cultures and traditions.  

As one goes deeper in annals of the history  he becomes aware of the fact that, the so called present Hinduism has adopted many things from Buddhism, religion of Abraham, Jainism and Islam.    If one goes deeper enough he will become aware everything is mixed up and messed up in time.

As one goes deeper into the annals of the religious history one becomes aware of the fact that, the Hinduism as it is known today has nothing to do with the Vedic religion or Sanatana Dharma. The Puranas and present Hindu rituals and worships are meant for the ordinary folk of illiterate and ignorant people. Hinduism has no link with the ancient culture of Vedic Religion Sanatana Dharma, which is the most ancient religion. 

It is a well-known fact that, the Vedic people not only did not call themselves Hindus but also did not possess the essential characteristics of the Hinduism of today. However, in order to legitimize the antiquity of Hinduism, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswathi founder of Arya Samaj (1824-1883) insisted on ‘Going back to the Vedas’. Hinduism is too simplistic and it neglects many doctrinal and practical differences between the Vedic religion and modern Hinduism. Modern Hinduism has drifted miles away from the Vedic faith so that the two seem to be two distinct faiths. When we carefully examine the two faiths, it is not difficult to discover that there is no noticeable continuity of Hinduism from the religion of the Vedas. In other words, the distinctive characteristics of Hinduism of today cannot be traced in the Vedic literature. Besides, although the Vedas are revered as sacred texts, there are many people in India who do not know what ‘belief in the Vedas’ means. In most cases, the acquaintance of the Hindus with the Vedas is limited to the few hymns that are recited in temples and household liturgies.

Hinduism as it is known and practiced today has nothing to do with the Vedas. Rather, Hinduism is entirely based on the Agamas. ‘Going back to the Vedas’ in order to realize the present day Hinduism is not the Vedic religion or Sanatana Dharma.  

The Agamas are theological treatises and practical manuals of divine worship. The Agamas include the Tantras, Mantras and Yantras. These are treatises explaining the external worship of God, in idols, temples, etc. All the Agamas treat of (i)Jnana or Knowledge, (ii) Yoga or Concentration, (iii) Kriya or Esoteric Ritual and (iv) Charya or Exoteric Worship. They also give elaborate details about ontology and cosmology, liberation, devotion, meditation, philosophy of Mantras, mystic diagrams, charms and spells, temple-building, image-making, domestic observances, social rules, public festivals, etc.

Hinduism is almost entirely based on the Agamas and has nothing to do with the Vedas. The Vedic religion began to decay after the war of the Mahabharata and has today almost died out. The greater part of the Srauta karma is entirely gone; only a few elementary rites such as Agni adhana, a much simplified Vajpayee, Garuda cayana and Somayaga are sporadically performed by a handful of people.

The Agama is technically the name and the Vedas was well understood in ancient days, when the Agamic cults were the rivals of the Vaidika cults; but as the two have now become amalgamated for several centuries, the distinction between them is not realised by the moderns, all the more so as the theory is now prevalent that the Agamas are ultimately derived from the Vedas and do but contain amplifications of the Vedic teachings or rather adaptations of them to suit the modern age.

The Agamic methods of worship being entirely fire-less and not being accompanied by the recitation of Vedic mantras must have been developed from the Dasyu rites. The Dasyu rites certainly prevailed throughout India, in the south and in the north, before the rise of Vedic rites.

Now with regard to the rites, the Vaidika rites are fire rites. For each rite a fire has to be lighted and intensified into a flame and on the flame the oblations have to be poured. The Agamika rites are fire-less; the oblations have to be merely exhibited to the object of worship (icon) and then taken away. In the former the oblations are consumed by the gods, because it is thrown into the fire; in the latter the worshipper loses nothing of his offerings because the God can take up only the subtle and unseen parts, so the worshipper consumes it himself and distributes it to his relations and friends.

Divisions of the Agamas: - The Agamas are divided into three sections: the Vaishnava, the Saiva and the Sakta. The three chief sects of Hinduism, viz., Vaishnavism, Saivism and Saktism, base their doctrines and dogmas on their respective Agamas. The Vaishnava Agamas or Pancharatra Agamas glorify God as Vishnu. The Saiva Agamas glorify God as Siva and have given rise to an important school of philosophy known as Saiva-Siddhanta, which prevails in South India.  The Sakta Agamas or Tantras glorify God as the Mother of the Universe, under one of the many names of Devi.

The Agamas do not derive their authority from the Vedas, but are not antagonistic to them. They are all non- Vedic in spirit and character. They are regarded as sacred by the priest-craft who indulge in non-Vedic ship and practices. 

Vedic religion or Santana Dharma has nothing to do with the Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana too. There are myths in Hinduism, but those myths are contained in the Agamas. The Agamas have their own myths about the gods, and do not rely on the Puranic myths at all. Agamic myths are different from Puranic myths on the same stories. For instance the birth of Lord Ganesha, where it is stated that Lord Shiva and Uma took the form of elephants and created Ganesha out of love, which is entirely different from the Puranic and Mahabharata version.

Most people in the west also in India find it hard to digest the historical truth, but rather keep parroting that the Vedas and Upanishads are the source and pinnacle of Hinduism because they are unaware of the fact that, the Hinduism has nothing to do with the Vedic religion and Santana Dharma.
The erroneous, but the prevalent popular notion is that the Agamas ultimately derived from the Vedas or are an amplification of it. This is usually said to find comfort.  But the fact is the Agamas preceded the Vedas. It does not derive from the Vedas nor does it amplify anything from the Vedas. The agamas have its own philosophy.

Hinduism, consisting of Saivism, Vaishnavism and Saktism, comprising practically 98% of the Hindu believers, whether they know it or not, abide by the philosophy of the agamas, and not that of the Upanishads.

Where does that leave the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata, Bhagavad-Gita, and Ramayana? At best as unrelated supplemental readings. These supplementary texts have nothing to do with the temples, festivals, sacraments or the philosophy, which is the core of the religious and spiritual life of the Hindu. Along with it, all of its teachings and philosophy, including Varna.  For there is no varna in the Agamas!

It is better to hold the view that the Agamas, and the Vedas with its related texts the Upanishads, puranas, Itihasas and commentaries, were two parallel and independent streams with much conformity and similarity, and except that the Veda stream was eventually replaced completely by the Agama stream.  What exists today is the Agama tradition, with the Veda tradition only in name.

"From geographical information in the Rig Veda, the Vedic Period (1500-500 BC) was confined to the northwest. The hymns composed by Vedic mystics of the northwest (Saptha Sindhva) tell that the Vedic peoples worshipped non-Brahminical Gods such as Indra, Varuna, Mitra. They ate beef, elected their chiefs, drank liquor, considered the Punjab Rivers to be sacred, and refer to people living to the south in the gangetic region as 'Dasyas'!

None of the gangetic Brahminical gods such as Sri, Ram, Sri, Krishna, Sri, Vishnu, Sri, Brahma are mentioned in the Rig-Vedic hyms nor do they appear in connected Aryan Avestan texts and Hittite tablets.

Avestan terms for soldiers ('rathaestar') and citizens ('vastriyo') are similar to Vedic-derived terms (kshatriyas, vasihyas) but the Avestan term for priest ('athravan') is not even close to 'Brahmanas'.

 Moreover, central Gangetic religious texts like the Mahabharata and Varna Ashram Dharma of Manu call the Vedic Aryans in Saptha Sindhva 'mlechas', 'sudras' and 'vratyas'; 'forbid Brahmins' from even visiting the northwest country ('Vahika-desa'); and depict dark Dravidian Gods like Krishna fighting and defeating Vedic Aryan gods like Indra (Mahabharata). Similarly, the Rig Veda contains taboos and injunctions against the 'dasya-varta' region to the south of Saptha Sindhva and praises Indra, the god of thunderbolt for victories over 'dasya-purahs' (dasya cities). 

"Both early RigVedic and gangetic Puranic sources clearly point to ethnic, cultural and religious differences and a 'clash of civilizations and nations' at the ganga indicating that the Vedic people and culture of the northwest did not accept the gangetic priests, their gods, Shastras, religion, culture and Brahminical caste ideology. The eastern gangetic heartland is not only historically a separate region, but geographically resides over 1500 miles to the southeast of the Saptha Sindhva country. Uptil the advent of Mohammed Ghori in the 13th century, the northwest was politically unified with south Asia only 92 years under the Mauryas (out of 27 centuries) since the start of Saptha Sindhva’s Vedic period (1500 BC). 

"A few Vedic tribes from Saptha Sindhva broke Rig Vedic norms and migrated southward. These numerically outnumbered groups expanding into the trans-gangetic region near the end of the Vedic period (8-6th century BC) tried to use the indigenous Dravidian priesthood to entrench themselves as the new ruling order. Within a few generations of acquiring control over the foreign Gangasthan, the minority Vedic tribes were usurped by the indigenous 'borrowed' priesthood; their Aryan religion, gods and customs mostly deposed and supplanted with indigenous gangetic gods and mythologies; and their new social order (varna or colour based) replaced with the pre-existing profession (jati) based Brahminical caste system ('chatur-varna' ). Through religious manipulation and intrigue, the Vedic in-comers to Gangasthan were usurped and made to surrender their political rule and soon pigeon-holed into becoming the loyal obedient councillors of their 'superior' dravidic Brahmanas."

The Agama is technically the name and the Vedas was well understood in ancient days, when the Agamika cults were the rivals of the Vaidika cults, but as the two have now become amalgamated for several centuries, the distinction between them is not realized by the moderns, all the more so as the theory is now prevalent that the Agamas are ultimately derived from the Vedas and do but contain Amplifications of the Vedic teachings or rather adaptations of them to suit the modern age.

Hinduism is not Santana Dharma or Vedic religion.  Hinduism is not a religion. Rather it is a group of religions found within India that share common beliefs while still remaining very different. Many may even argue that it is not a religion but more a way of life. The term "Hinduism" was not developed by the practitioners, but by groups outside of the religions as a means for labelling the entire Indian people.

The Religion of the Veda knows no idols
Max Müller says: - "The religion of the Veda knows no idols; the worship of idols in India is a secondary formation, a degradation of the more primitive worship of ideal gods."

Therefore, there was no individual god or temples and worships in Vedic religion, which existed prior to Buddhism.  Thus, the individualized gods and temples must have been built later on, when the worships of idol were introduced.  Thus, the Vedic religion which existed in the past was free from idol and nature worship and idol worshiping rituals. 

Thus, the present day’s worship of individual gods, created things, nature and human are against Vedic teachings, and it looks like it has been fabricated and introduced by priest craft. Since it, has passed on from one generation to the next it is hard for the people to believe the truth of their own religion, because they have sentimentally and emotionally involved in it and  they refuse to accept anything else other than their inherited beliefs. 
It is impossible to find and realize the truth via religion and scriptural study. Even Upanishads conform this. 

No one is taken pains to know the facts about their own inherited religion; because people have been inherited them, from their ancestors and they think it is blasphemy even to hear anything against their inherited religion and belief. Once one gets involved with the religious class it is the end of the pursuit of truth.

The culmination.....of the Gnana.... 'It is by knowing Brahman that (one) becomes immortal here, there is no other path for going (realizing God)'. The culmination of the Agama way is Bhakti. The worship of the Gods is but a copy of the methods of the worship of men - chiefly gurus and kings which is barred by the Vedas.

Prior to Sri, Sankara in the 8th century there was no Advaita in Santana Dharma.  Santana Dharma or Vedic religion has no founders whereas Advaita and qualified Advaita and Dwita are identified with their founders.   All of them have non-Vedic rituals barred by the Vedas.    The dualism came only in 12 th century. The orthodox Advaita and Dwita area adulterated add- ons . Both Advaita and Dwita schools based on Vedas and they condemn each other with Upanishads and Puranic citations and try to prove they are right and others are wrong.

The religion including orthodox Advaita is nothing to do with the ultimate truth or Brahman because they worship idols, human worship, and symbol worship and indulge in non-Vedic ritual barred by Vedas.  

The Buddhist scriptures were completely distorted by the time of Sage Sri, Sankara. Sage Sri, Sankara had to criticize the Buddhist literature prevailing then as the Buddhists themselves were confused as to what Shunyata is. Vasubandhu and his disciple Dignaga (the latter lived about a couple of centuries before Sage Sri, Sankara) could not retain the original teachings of Lord Buddha.

At first Vasubandhu did not agree with his half-brother Asanga and wrote one book on the Abhidharma and later on he went to the side of Asanga and wrote a second book, where? he opposed his own earlier views on Abhidharma. Sage Sri, Sankara? had to criticise the Buddhist knowledge? and literature of his time as he wanted to bring to us back the Pure Vedantic knowledge through his work on the Prasthanatraya.. That is why there is a reference to the writing of Dharmakirti in Sutrabashya.

There is another aspect that in: - Vishnu Purana also says that Lord Buddha created confusion. In Sarnath he first taught about the Moral code which is basic. He talked about Anatma. Then? two decades later he taught the concept of Shunyata and? the tenets of the Mahayana Buddhism.? In spite of Nagrjuna's telling that Shunyata is not Nihilism and that Parajanaparamita also mentioning about the Shunyata after one leaves? the five? skandhas, there are and there will always be people who will go on calling Buddha's philosophy as Nihilism. About the origin of the? Tantric Buddhism also? there are controversies.

Hindus hold Lord Buddha being an Avatara of Lord Vishnu. It seems that in many Buddha viharas, probably more in Sri Lanka, there are statues of Lord Vishnu, which are looked at reverentially. by the Buddhists. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa also says that there is no doubt about Lord Buddha being an Avatara of Lord Vishnu. Swami Vivekananda tells us about him very superlatively. Dr. Radhakrishnan says that he was a reformer of Hinduism. Personally I worship him as the Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

The religion, yoga and scriptures are for the ignorant masses, who wholly accept the material world as it presents itself. Wisdom is for those who have begun to realize that things are not what they seem.

Each sect concocts a God to suit its own purposes.  Such concocted Gods have no value in pursuit of truth.  The man himself suggests that there must be a God. It is an auto-suggestion. 

Prayers and sacrifices belong to a premature stage of development. However when no answers come to prayers, struggle for existence presses man, and doubt arises again.  Faith in religion weakens as the man pays more attention to the facts of life and this world. 

Reason is the common ground for whole humanity in the modern age, whereas the appeal to scriptural relations reaches only the sects.  Those who argue that truth is only in their religion are vain logicians, depending on mere ideas, speculations and imaginations. 

Truth is bitter pill. It becomes very difficult for the seeker to accept it at first; because of his inherited conditioning. Gradually he will be able to grasp it as he moves on.

The illusion is present only in ignorance where, 'I' and you are separate entity. In truth, there is neither 'I' nor you, nor, the illusion. Therefore there is no teaching, no teacher, and no student in reality.

Truth pursuit is a very personal journey. The seeker has to verify minutely on his own, “what is truth”, and “what is not truth”, before accepting anything as truth. The illusion exists as reality, only on the base of the ego, which is he false self within the false experience.

For Gnani, who is aware of the fact that the self is not physical but self is consciousness, there is no illusion, even though; he is in the midst of illusion, because he is fully aware of the fact that, all the three states are consciousness.  Therefore he is conscious of consciousness in the midst of the illusion.  

 The language of the duality, invented by the within the duality, for use in the dualistic world, when used to describe non-duality, produces these apparent contradictions, because there no apparatus in non-duality, because noting exist other than the soul, which is in the form of consciousness. 

Non duality is the state of oneness of existence and there is no scope for anything like non-existence in the realm of non-dual truth. 

These are my personal views in pursuit of truth and it is mere sharing my views with the fellow seekers and is not intended to offend any body's religious and theoretical beliefs.

The self-knowledge has to be acquired by realizing the self is not physical but self is the soul, which is in the form of consciousness. . Self-knowledge is the highest form of knowledge. However, this knowledge is not comprehensible for everyone because of their egocentric outlook. .

 Knowledge is like a path and truth is the ultimate destination. Truth is one; knowledge varies from person to person according to their ability to comprehend. This does not make a person with lower knowledge "untruthful". He or She knows as much He or She can comprehend.

That is why Swami Vivekananda:-

The masses in India cry to sixty million gods, and still die like dogs. Where are these gods?

 Knowing this, stand up and fight! Not one step back that is the idea. ... Fight it out, whatever comes. Let the stars move from the sphere! Let the whole world stand against us! Death means only a change of garment. What of it? Thus, fight! You gain nothing by becoming cowards. ... Taking a step backward, you do not avoid any misfortune. You have cried to all the gods in the world. Has misery ceased? The masses in India cry to sixty million gods, and still die like dogs. Where are these gods? ... The gods come to help you when you have succeeded. So what is the use? Die game. ... This bending the knee to superstitions, this selling yourself to your own mind does not befit you, my soul. You are infinite, deathless, birthless. Because you are infinite spirit, it does not befit you to be a slave. ... Arise! Awake! Stand up and fight! Die if you must. There is none to help you. You are the entire world. Who can help you? 
Swami Vivekananda 
(Delivered In San Francisco, on May 28, 1900) -The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 1/Lectures And Discourses/The Gita II

 As indicated in ISH Upanishads: - By worshiping gods and goddesses you will go after death to the world of gods and goddesses. But will that help you? The time you spend there is wasted, because if you were not there you could have spent that time moving forward towards Self-knowledge, which is your goal. In the world of gods and goddesses you cannot do that, and thus you go deeper and deeper into darkness.

It clearly indicates that:-If the human goal is to acquire Self-Knowledge then why one has to indulge in rituals and glorifying the conceptual gods, goddesses and gurus to go in to deeper darkness. Instead   spend that time moving forward towards Self-knowledge, which is one’s prime goal.  

Since it is eternal and infinite, it comprises the only truth. The goal of Vedic religion, through the various yogas, is to realize that the consciousness (Atman) is actually nothing but Brahman.

The Vedic pantheon of gods is said, in the Vedas and Upanishads, to be only higher manifestations of Brahman. For this reason, "ekam sat" -All is one, and all is Brahman.

Thus, the goal is to realize Atman (consciousness).  If Atman (consciousness) is nothing, but Brahman and by realizing Atman (consciousness) as Brahman (ultimate truth) is truth realization or Self-Realization , then there is no need to follow the religion, study scriptures or glorifying gods or  gurus and  follow the path of doubts and confusion by losing oneself in the labyrinths of philosophy, when there is an easier path.  By mentally tracing the source of the mind from where it rises and subsides one becomes aware of the fallacy of the mind, which rises as waking or dream and subsides as deep sleep.  The mind raises form consciousness and subsides as consciousness.