I am a fan of Rami Sivan the jewish born Hindu philosopher, but I am a die hard fan of Velukkudi Krishnan, the spriritual guru of India. Below are a list of questions on hinduism posted on Quora with answers from the jewish Srivaishnava along with answers of my own gleaned from the lectures of Velukkudi Krishnan. This will give a broad idea about Hinduism practiced by a Srivaishnava in India and abroad
|Rami Sivan (ರಾಮಿ ಸಿವನ್)||ವೆಲುಕ್ಕುಡಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣನ್ Velukkudi Krishnan|
What are some ways to worship Hindu Gods without rituals?
There is no transaction or communication between 2 parties without ritual
Even formal greeting, nodding, shaking hands etc. are ALL forms of ritual. Ritual pervades our lives and all business meetings are conducted according to ritual protocols.
Hindu ritual is a form of communication with the Divine.
So any form of worship involves a type of ritual - be it making offerings, burning incense, bowing and prostrating.
If you wish to worship the Hindu Gods without material objects and formalities then the higher form is reciting Stotras - or hymns - either in Sanskrit or your own language, or singing songs or playing music. If this is too difficult then you can simply recite the mantra of the deity 108 times, if this too is hard then you can simply sit and meditate upon the deity.
|Thiru: Something called Manasika (or mind worship) does not require any rituals. You can be in bathroom taking bath, or sleeping idly without brushing teeth, you may be travelling in a vehicle- still you can worship got without any rituals. There is the moola mantra or dwayam or charama shlokam you can recite or just chant internally- which is what ISKCON people call 'Mantra Japam'|
| What is there to do in the Spiritual realm, after attaining Moksha? Can I play cricket and watch movies or is it just endless boredom?
Good question - so conclusion - Moksha is not for you - you can continue to take rebirth in Samsaara and freely and happily continue with those activities which you enjoy.
The only requirement is that you practice and enjoy according to Dharmic principles - be happy and free, and ensure that others too are happy and free like yourself.
| How do Hindus reconcile contradicting verses in ancient texts like the Vedas, Upanishads and Gita?|
A very good question.
Hinduism has a whole science of exegesis - or the prescribed methodology of unpacking and understanding scriptural texts called Meemaamsa.
The most important feature of Shastra is known as VIDHI or the injunction or directive to do a certain thing. So whenever we read any text, the question we need to ask is – what am I being directed to do? Everything else depends on this.
So according to the rules of Mimamsa when encountering a contradiction in injunction (vidhi), one has three options to resolve the contradiction-
vikalpa (option) – choose one of the two directive on offer and go with that.
baadha (annulment) – the one injunction cancels the other - so follow neither.
Samuccaya (orderly co-ordination) – so blend the two together and work out a way to resolve the predicament.
So for example, one injunction may direct and encourage one to live the householders life (grihastha) and another to renounce the householders’ life and become a wandering monk (sanyaasi).
So going with first option one can make a personal choice to either get married or renounce.
Going with the second option do neither - remain a bachelor.
Applying the third option you get married and have a family and then when you retire, you renounce and become a monk.
Another example of the application of samuccaya (ಸಮುಚ್ಚಯ) is prescribed in the Gita - remain in the householder estate but renounce attachment to works - niṣkāma karma yoga - in this way both directives are merged and blended
| Brahman can be thought of as that which grows, and causes other things to grow. But if Brahman is Unchanging, then why is it growing? |
Brahman does not grow or change it is space-time-consciousness, it is that in which everything has its being.
Can one be a good Hindu without believing in any ancient scripture?|
Good believer= believing in scripture: is not a Hindu concept - it is an Abrahamic one.
A good Hindu is not one defined by a belief in any scripture ancient or modern. In fact very few Hindus even read let alone believe in scriptures.
The function of the Hindu scriptures is to teach about metaphysics and morality (Dharma). None of which has to be blindly believed. The reader has to apply critical thinking, questioning and argument to confirm and validate its veracity.
A good Hindu is one who actually puts into practice the teachings of the scriptures. Apastamba in his Dharmasutra sums up what is the optimum common for everyone.
Everyone should abstain from:–
1. anger (krodhah ಕ್ರೊಧಃ )
2. over-excitement (harsah -ಹರ್ಷಃ)
3. rage [rosah ರೋಷಃ]
4. greed (lobhah ಲೊಭಃ)
5. perplexity (mohah ಮೊಹಃ)
6. hypocrisy (dambhah ಡಂಭಃ)
7. malice (drohah ದ್ರೊಹಃ)
8. falsehood (mrsodyam ಮೃಷೋದ್ಯಂ)
9. gluttony (anatyasah)
10. acusation/ slander (parivada)
11. envy (avasuya)
12. selfish desire (kama)
13. concealed rage (manyu)
14. failure to maintain self-control (anatmya)
15. Lack of focus (ayoga)
And then one should assiduously cultivate the following qualities and virtues:–
1. speaking the truth
2. sharing resources (samvibhagas)
4. rectitude and honesty (aarjavam)
5. noble conduct (aaryam)
9. friendliness to all creatures
10. benevolence (anrsamsam)
11. contentment (tustih)
- there is agreement that these [moral virtues] apply to all castes and orders of life. By practicing them accordingly, attains the ultimate good in life. (Apastamba 1:23:6)
What do Hindu scriptures refer to Hinduism as?|
Hinduism is not homogenous or monolithic it is a confederation - an internally pluralistic system that allows for diverse approaches and interpretations of reality for persons with different bents of mind.
There are many schools of thought within Hinduism and the commonality is called DHARMA.
Other synonyms for Hinduism are sanaatana DHARMA, VAIDIKA DHARMA or VARnaashRAMA DHARMA.
And each and every school of philosophy within the collective of Hinduism call themselves by different names:-
Vaisnavas, saivas, saaktas, Taantrikas, aagamikas, Meemaamsakas, Saankhyas, Vedaantins, Pauraaṇikas, Vaidikas etc. etc.
We are basically a fellowship of seekers with no name - the name HINDOO” is a colonial administrative category we have adopted for convenience.
|Born in South Africa, Barmitvah in Israel and pancha samskaram by Varada Yatiraja Jiyar of Sriperumbudur||Born in India, No barmitvah, only Samashrayanam through doddayachar family of Sholingur|