Continued from How I became a Hindu – part two which follows How I became a Hindu – part one.
Nataraja, Shiva the cosmic dancer.
One day, when surfing the Internet I came across a Nataraja, the image of Shiva as the cosmic dancer on eBay. Almost on impulse I purchased it. I found myself impelled to read up on the symbolism. The symbolism of the dance of creation, preservation and destruction struck a chord with me and immediately felt right.
I found that whenever I passed the Nataraja I could see that this image represented God, and I felt compelled to thank God for all that exists.
I live near to a Hindu temple, and I decided to visit. At first I was very nervous about just turning up, but I was made very welcome and the Pandit explained many things to me. I also bought and studied many books on Hinduism, as I knew that I had been called to this path. One of the books I bought was “How to become a Hindu”, which is published by the Himalayan Academy and available online. Continue reading
Last week I completed the Chinmaya International Foundation’s “Foundation Level” e-vedanta course. The course consists of 12 monthly lessons. At the end of each month there is a set of questions, and these are sent to the acharya at CIF for marking. The course is quite challenging, as in addition to the lessons a sādhana, or discipline is recommended. At a cost of $100 for a whole year of study it is excellent value – at the time I registered this was £50.
The course was very informative, describing the basics of Hindu Vedantic philosophy. It has enabled me to understand many terms and discussions and the discipline of regular spiritual practice has helped me advance spiritually. The only minor criticism of the course material is that sanskrit words are not shown in IAST or an equivalent, or in Devanāgarī. This means that I don’t know how to pronounce some of the terms I learned, and it led to me being confused by thinking that mālā (prayer beads) and mala (impurity) were two meanings of the same word!
Though I would recommend the course as an introduction to Hinduism and Vedanta, I will not be taking the advanced course. There are several reasons for this. Continue reading
I have recently started studying the Chinmaya Mission e-vedanta foundation course. I hope this course will help spiritual development and to enable me to become closer to God.
Recently I received two angry posts from someone claiming to be an Indian Christian. I thought that just in case someone believed the comments in his letters I should analyse them and show the false information and gaps in the logic. I got around to posting an analysis of the first message, and intended to do the same for the second message. The Chinmaya course has made me consider my relationship with the world and motivations. I realised that while it could be the right thing to post an analysis like the first one, it would only be right if done through love. The action should be filled with concern that the post might misguide people, together with a loving concern for the misguided poster, and hope that he can step away from the path of hate.