Tag Archives: spirituality

Himalayan Academy Master Course, Initial Impressions

The Himalayan Academy master Course Books

The Himalayan Academy master Course Books

I previously wrote that after completing the Chinmaya International Foundation’s “Foundation Level” e-vedanta course”, I was not going to continue with their advanced course but take the Himalayan Academy’s Master Course. I thought it might be useful to give some first impressions of the course, though I have been following it for just over two weeks, so it is a very early impression. I have not even completed my first self-assessment yet!

I ordered the books and the self-assessment PDFs, which are sent via email. When I ordered the books I had thought that they seemed rather expensive, but when they arrived the size, weight and sheer quality Continue reading

False mountain tops, fell walking and spiritual progress



If you have ever gone walking in hills and mountains you have probably come across false mountain tops. You are walking along happily, and the summit is in sight. You feel you are doing very well, people have told you that this is a two hour climb, yet you are almost there after a little more than an hour and a quarter. You push on at a brisk pace, realizing that before long you will reach the top, then it will be easier going.

Just as you almost reach the top, you see that it isn’t the top at all. It is just a ridge, or the slope of the hill flattens out slightly. The actual peak is still a considerable distance off. You look at your map and realise that you should have seen this coming. You are actually not even half way up. Rather than doing well you realise that you are slower than most people. You are probably feeling rather tired, disappointed, disheartened and rather silly. At this point some people would give up, I have been in a group where it has happened. Having thought a point was the top they reach it and feel they can go no further. When I was an inexperienced walker I used to reach these points, sit down in exhaustion, look at the map and try to work out where I really am and where I need to head, and when ready and rested continue. When I was a teenager I remember doing this three times on one mountain, each time convinced that I had reached the summit!

As a more experienced walker I can often see potential false-tops from contour lines on the map. If I am nearing what appears to be a summit I am prepared for it not to be, and continue at a steady pace.

The same thing can happen to us in spiritual progress. We can think we are doing very well, only to realise that we are are not doing nearly as well as we thought. This has happened to me recently, and made me realise that I am not nearly as experienced spiritually as I am as a fell walker!

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Keep your axe sharp

Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job to a timber merchant,and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Carry on that way!”.

Very motivated with the boss’s words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could bring only 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but could bring 10 trees only. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees. “I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought.

He went to the boss and apologized,saying that he could not understand what was going on. “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked. “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut more trees for you.

This traditional story teaches us a lesson in Hinduism. Keeping our axe sharp means maintaining the basics; purity, truthfulness (satyam) and non-harm (ahimsa) together with regular devotion (bhakti). Sometimes we can get carried away with learning new things and forget the basics.  Spiritual knowledge without the backing of a pure heart and devotion to God will not get us anywhere, we need to keep our axes sharp.

Aum Namah Shivaya

Why Hinduism is the "Eternal way", the true religion.

Hinduism is more correctly referred to as sanatana dharma, which can be translated as the eternal way or the eternal law.  In this post I hope to demonstrate that Hinduism can claim to be the eternal way, a claim that other religions cannot make. I will also show why Hinduism is the true religion.

First of all I need to define what I mean by the true religion. I do not define true religion to mean the only path, or means to spiritual realisation (moksha, enlightenment or heaven). By that definition Hinduism is not “the true religion”, there is no one true religion in that sense, people can reach enlightenment on other paths. What I mean by true religion is that Hinduism gives the clearest path, with methods and instructions for finding God,  and that all that is valid in other religions can be found in Hinduism.

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Pascal's wager and Hinduism (are all religions of equal value?)

Pascal’s Wager is an argument used by the philosopher Blaise Pascal to justify the belief in God. Pascal argues that (following the beliefs of Christianity) :

  • If God exists and you believe in God you will go to heaven.
  • If God exists and you do not believe in God you will go to hell.
  • If God does not exist you will not go to heaven or hell whatever you believe.

Based on the above points, Pascal argued that it was better to believe in God, because not to do so risked going to hell, whereas belief in God carried no risks. A variation of this can be and has been used by Christians to convert members of other faiths, particularly those from non-exclusive faiths, such as Hinduism.

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Many faces of a man

“Do you know who the most important person in town”, said Andrew, “It is the policeman. Without him we would not be safe, and traders would move away. He is the most important person in town.

Maria thought about this and replied. “What you say is true, but what is really important about this town? People miles away come and see it because of our famous author. Without him nobody would have heard of this place any further away than the next village.”

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Analysis of "Christian Conversion" text.

Someone was kind enough to give me a link to a text which is intended persuade people to covert from Hinduism to Christianity. It is interesting to see how full of holes and untruths this text is. I will show truth from the “conversion site” as indented italic coloured text, whereas my responses are full width and black. The text starts:

Question: “I am a Hindu, why should I consider becoming a Christian?”

Well, that is a very good question. I have provided many reasons why people should be interested in Hinduism in “What Hinduism has to Offer“. I will be interested to see what possible reason there could be to convert from Hinduism to Christianity.

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