Category Archives: other religions

Strange Web Searches


WordPress tells you the searches that people have made to find your blog. Some of these are quite interesting, because they are very telling about what people are looking for. This can help to see whether people are getting the answers they want. Some are just funny! I thought I would look at a few of them. I have not capitalised the searches, most people use lower case on google. yahoo, etc.

Common search strings that I think I address

These have links to the pages which I believe answer them.

Common search strings that I don’t address

Fundamentalism, and the rock so heavy that God cannot lift it


I have been thinking about fundamentalists’ claims that everyone apart from “true Christians” will go to hell and be eternally tortured. They often try to reconcile this with a good, merciful and loving God by saying “it is written, it is the Law, and God cannot disobey the Law”. Unlike Christianity Hinduism does not have a definitive book. There are the Vedas of course, but these are more works of praise to God than Law or rules, and these are supplemented by agamas from each school. Christians, like Hindus, believe that God is omnipotent. It seems to me that if God writes the Bible as a definitive book that he must follow from that point until eternity then this is limiting his omnipotence. Metaphorically speaking God has created a rock so heavy that he can’t lift it; the Bible.

That is fair enough, but if God creates this rock which is so heavy that even he cannot lift it so that it will crush most of humanity forever then this cannot be an all-loving and good God. The God who would do this is not the God that I worship.

Aum Shivarpanamastu

Hindu Yamas and Niyamas and the Ten Commandments


Some time ago I wrote about the similarities between Hinduism and Mystic Judaism.I thought that it might be interesting to look at the similarities and differences between Judaism’s ten commandments and the Hindu yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances). I made a diagram, which is not very easy to publish on WordPress. The best I can do is make a pdf version available and insert an image. You will have to click on the image to see the whole thing, and possibly zoom in :

yama-commandments

I have used solid lines where there is a direct connection or even equivalence, and dotted lines where there is some sort of relation. Continue reading

Review – The Spiral Staircase (Karen Armstrong)


The Spiral Staircase

The Spiral Staircase

The Spiral Staircase, by Karen Armstrong is an autobiography of her life, detailing how she left a Catholic convent and her life afterwards. This is written from a highly introspective point of view and gives an insight into how Karen lost and eventually regained her faith but in a different form.

The accounts of her life in the convent are rather sad. The regime obviously did not suit her and she was forced to follow the various rituals blindly. In addition to this Karen suffered from epilepsy, which had a physical cause and was later successfully treated with medication. Unfortunately the nuns of her religious order did not recognise this, and put what they assumed to be “fainting spells” down to attention seeking.

As a Hindu it is interesting to look at whether the same kind of failure could happen if someone entered the Hindu monastic life. Continue reading

The Cycle of the Universe, Science and Hinduism Agree


I have written previously about how it is almost ironic that Christian Fundamentalists go out of their way to distort science to make it fit their creation story, whereas science tends to agree with the Hindu view of the Universe. This is  despite Hinduism not predicting a correspondence between Maya and spiritual truths, which Christian Fundamentalists see as essential.

I read an interesting article in New Scientist “Did our cosmos exist before the big bang?“, which shows that the latest advances in quantum loop cosmology predict an endless series of universes, a new one being created after the destruction of the previous. Again science confirms what Hinduism predicts, while the Abrahamic 6,000 year old Universe is now discounted by all serious main-stream scientists.

Muslims, friends of Hindus


In the west you sometimes hear of Hindus and Sikhs being attacked by racist gangs who “thought they were Muslims”, and blamed them for terrorist activities. It is very easy to see that this is unfair, they are blamed for something that they did not do. Look at things a little further, however, and you will realise that exactly the same thing is true for the majority of Muslims. They get blamed for the terrorist activities of a minority.

I have read a number of blogs where many Hindus have expressed a feeling of being let down and of shame when a minority of Hindus took violent and indiscriminate revenge on Christians in Orissa after the killing of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati in Orissa. They feel that this contradicts the tradition of peace and tolerance in Hinduism. I certainly feel this way. This feeling must be what many Muslims feel when atrocities are carried out in the name of Islam.

It is unfortunate that there are Muslim extremists and terrorists and these do cause a great deal of harm. These are the ones who get reported on the news all the time. The majority of Muslims though, like the majority in any religion, want to get on with their own lives and live peacefully with their neighbours. This has been illustrated by a number of posts on an Orkut thread “Hindu – Muslim Unity“. I think it is important to circulate this kind of information. This helps us keep reports of violent Muslims in perspective, and hopefully give encouragement to Muslim moderates. That is why I have decided to post a little about some of these events here. Reported news includes links to an article about Muslims who decided not to celebrate Eid after 130 Hindus were killed in a temple stampede:

Expressing their grief on the incident, Jodhpur Muslim youth have also decided that they won’t celebrate Eid on October 2 and will prefer to mourn the death of those killed in the stampede. Continue reading

Did my posts miss the mark?


Can't See the Wood for the trees?

Can't see the wood for the trees?

I have recently written two posts that were intended mainly to show non-Hindus what the Hindu religion is like, and convey the world’s reactions to Hindus. I have had some very positive comments and some that make me think that some people are not reading them the way that I intended. I am therefore writing a brief explanation of each post.

The If Christianity were like Hinduism Post

This post was intended to convey the Hindu attitude of inclusivity. I also wanted to show that there is a long history of inclusivity and tolerance, that Hinduism has never been hostile to those of other faiths just because of their beliefs. Continue reading

If Christianity were like Hinduism, the downside


This post is a follow on from the previous post If Christianity were like Hinduism. It will make more sense if you read that post first.

If Christianity were like Hinduism people would criticise protestants for the pronouncements of the Pope. They would criticise Catholics for the practices of the early Mormons and Mormons for the beliefs of the ancient Mithras cult.

If Christianity were like Hinduism peope would point to the Nazis as an example of Christian culture. Some would say that the cross should be banned, because Hitler gave out iron crosses. They would look at gang violence in inner cities and say “that’s what happens when you have Christianity”.

If Christianity were like Hinduism people would say that they knew about Christianity because they had read about Rasputin. They would ask you how a religion could claim that it was good to sin because then you could be forgiven, because forgiveness was divine. Continue reading

If Christianity were like Hinduism


If Christianity were like Hinduism there would have been no Inquisition. The Cathars would have been accepted as non-Orthodox Christians and not exterminated. People would have been free to publish books saying that the earth went round the sun. The response to Heretics would be to argue against them rather than execute them.  Even the extreme who reversed the rules of faith and held black mass would only be fought with words.

If Christianity were like Hinduism then everyone would accept that Mormons and Jehovas Witnesses  were fellow Christians. The response to Waco would have been what had made someone’s Christian belief go so wrong, not to deny that they were Christians.

If Christianity were like Hinduism then Christians would see continuity with the Jewish faith, Kabbalists and Jews would be seen as traditional and mystic branches of the religion. Christians would acknowledge the link with Mithras and with Greep philosophy and feel pride in their long heritage and how their faith evolved.

If Christianity were like Hinduism and Islam were like the beliefs that sprung from Hinduism, then the only conflicts with Muslims would be over land and politics. Religion would be a healing rather than a dividing factor. The biggest religious disagreement would be that some Christians would say they were an unorthodox branch of Christianity whereas they would prefer to think of themselves as a separate religion.

If Christians were like Hindus they would celebrate the different faiths in the world, not demonise them. They would hold their faith firm but take interest in other beliefs. They would be concerned about their own spiritual progress, rather than thinking that they were saved and it was a done deal.  They would offer their teachings to those who wanted to learn, but not force them on those who took no interest.

Have Christians misunderstood Jesus?


Many Christians are extremely insulting about Hinduism and other religions. They call us ignorant, dumb, followers of Satan and mock our beliefs and practices. They tell converts that they should not associate with non-Christians, and sometimes even incite violence, trickery, deception, and destruction of shrines. You only have to look at some of the comments by Christians on this blog to see the degrees of hatred. These Christians honestly believe that this is what their religion teaches.

In contrast, many Hindus believe that Jesus was a guru, and that his teachings do not incite this type of behaviour. I have looked at the teachings of Jesus and I have come to the conclusion that many Christians have misunderstood the real meaning of the teachings of Jesus. In short, what the many missionaries teach is not in accord with the true teachings of Jesus.

Jesus as a Guru

If Jesus is seen as a guru, and the gospels as the teachings of Jesus become clear. When Jesus says to Thomas In John 14:6-7

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.

This is an explanation of the Guru student relationship. Many gurus would say the same thing to their students, but this would not exclude the possibility of other gurus. Many sayings that are taken as instructions to be exclusive and divisive by the Christian Right are in reality simply instructions to keep firm to the guru-shishya relationship.

Jesus’s words on Other Faiths

From the way that many modern Christians behave you would expect Jesus to be full of condemnation, insults, and irreverence for the Roman and Greek gods. In fact, Jesus never said anything negative about these beliefs. Having queried this on a Christian board someone eventually came up with two passages from Jesus: Continue reading

A Christian tries to convert me using false Hindu Scriptures


I have recently received a number of scraps on my orcut profile from a Christian who seems to want to convert me. To do so he has posted inaccurate information. Now from his reaction I think that he was not aware that the information he was using was anything but genuine. I think there is a good chance that he had been conned himself. The person concerned keeps his scrapbook private, so I cannot see who else he is communicating with. I suspect he has been passing the same information to other non-Christians. I have written down the information that he passed  in the hope that any other non-Christians who are told the same will be able to quickly see that it is not genuine.

Evidence based on the Bhavishya Purana

The following verse appears to predict Jesus Christ. There are also many other verses predicting Jesus. Continue reading

Can a Westerner convert to Hinduism?


This post is really a summary of points made in various other posts. I have put it together becaus this is a question I often see asked in various forums. Also, it has been a while since I published anything, as I have been rather busy recently. This is also a question to which you will see several different answers, and I think it is useful to put them together in one post.

Some people say “No”.

There are a few people who say that you should never convert; whatever religion you are born into should be yours for life. I think that this is incorrect, if you have a strong feeling towards a religion and you feel that the religion you are born into is not for you then follow the path that you feel guided on. Hindus believe that people can be guided by gurus that are not physically present (see my post “Books, Leaves and Gurus“). If you are convinced that a path is right for you, and have seen signs that it is right then don’t worry about this argument. This argument also does not take into account people brought up with patently wrong beliefs; should the children that survived the Waco seige continue to follow the teachings of David Koresh?

I have had nothing but support from Hindus I have met, I have only read this point of view on a few blogs. I would not worry about conversion being opposed. As mentioned later there are many Hindu schools that openly accept conversion and have a process of accepting new membes.

Some say that “Hindu” does not refer to a Religion.

Some people may quibble that Hindu refers to origin (People beyond the river Indus) rather than belief. Continue reading