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Hindu Mythology and Indian Terminology / Civilisations
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photos do not prove he claimed Imamat. he may have, I don't know but these photos are not evidence of Imamat claim, at the most, they can be seen as evidence of unnatural or presumptuous behavior.

As I said this should not be debated in this thread.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 18995

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivaathervedi wrote:
Good job, correct farman. But did you noticed that MSMS has given reason why some one can't get 'NOOR NU PANI'. Also question arises, Is Noor something drinkable liquid?
NOOR NA PIYALA CHHANDHITI HURA(N) DEKHO AAEI RE.
It is not physical liquid but it is something that 'quenches' the spiritual thirst and intoxicates the person drinking it as indicated in the verses of Bhram Prakaash below.

chale tratt jahaa(n) premkee dhaaraa, pivat prem hovat matvaalaa9

When there is such a flow of love, the drinker becomes drunk with love. He becomes "mast"(like mast fakir).
Var: Where the stream of love bursts roaring forth, those who drink it become intoxicated.

chhakee kar bakeeyaa anbhaya baanee, dur paho(n)chekee yehee neeshaanee.....................................................10

"Chhakee" means drunk or divinely intoxicated. "Chhakee" gets so drunk with love that he fearlessly recites his experience. This is a sign that he has reached far. In other words he has made progress.
Var: In wild intoxication, utterances come pouring forth without reserve. This is the mark of having reached far.
[In the present time the Imaam has discouraged people to articulate this experience.]

http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/31376
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RAKSHA BANDHAN

Raksha Bandhan simply Rakhi or "Rakhri", is a Hindu festival and is also a secular festival which celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. The festival is also popularly used to celebrate any brother-sister relationship between men and women who are relatives or biologically unrelated.The festival is also celebrated by many communities as a secular festival including ISMAILI COMMUNITY in India. This secular aspect is observed among all people, irrespective of their religion. On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother's wrist. This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her. The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu calendar, typically falls in the month of August.

Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means "the tie or knot of protection". The word Raksha means protection, whilst Bandhan is the verb to tie. It is an ancient Hindu festival that ritually celebrates the love and duty between brothers and their sisters. The sister performs a Rakhi ceremony, then prays to express her love and her wish for the well being of her brother; in return, the brother ritually pledges to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances. It is one of the several occasions in which family ties are affirmed in India.

Days or weeks before Raksha Bandhan, women shop for Rakhi, the ceremonial thread to tie around her brother's (or brother-like friend's) wrist. Some women make their own Rakhi. A Rakhi may be a simple thread, woven and colorful; or a Rakhi may be intricate with amulets and decoration on top of it. Sometimes, a Rakhi may be a fancy wrist watch or men's wrist accessory in the form of bracelet or jewelry. Rakhi in the form of a colorful woven thread is most common. Typically the brother(s) too shop for gifts for the sister, ahead of Raksha Bandhan. The gift from the brother can be a simple thoughtful token of love, and may be more elaborate.

The scriptures, epics of Hinduism is peppered with stories of Rakhi and Raksha Bandhan. Some of these include:

King Bali and Goddess Laxmi;
According to this legend, credited to Hindu scriptures Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana, after Vishnu won the three worlds from the demon King Bali, he was asked by Bali that Vishnu live in his palace, a request Vishnu granted. Vishnu's wife, Goddess Lakshmi did not like the palace or his new found friendship with Bali, and preferred that her husband and she return to Vaikuntha. So she went to Bali, tied a Rakhi and made him a brother. Bali asked her what gift she desired. Lakshmi asked that Vishnu be freed from the request that he live in Bali's palace. Bali consented, as well accepted her as his sister.

Santoshi Ma;
Ganesh had two sons, Shubh and Labh. On Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh's sister visited and tied a Rakhi on Ganesh's wrist. The two boys become frustrated that they have no sister to celebrate Raksha Bandhan with. They ask their father Ganesh for a sister, but to no avail. Finally, saint Narada appears who persuades Ganesh that a daughter will enrich him as well as his sons. Ganesh agreed, and created a daughter named Santoshi Ma by divine flames that emerged from Ganesh's wives, Ruddhi (Amazing) and Siddhi (Perfection). Thereafter, Shubh Labh (literally "Holy Profit") had a sister named Santoshi Ma (literally "Goddess of Satisfaction"), who loved and protected each other.

Krishna and Draupadi;
Krishna considered Draupadi his friend. When Krishna cut his finger while beheading Shishupal, Draupadi immediately tore off a piece of her sari and bandaged his cut. Krishna said that with this loving act, she wrapped him in debt and he would repay each “thread” when the time arrives. Indeed, whenever Draupadi needed Krishna’s protection she fervently prayed for his help, he came to the rescue and gave her unlimited cloth. This is one of the stories of the origin of the Raksha Bandhan festival. In the epic Mahabharat, Draupadi tied a Rakhi to Krishna, while Kunti tied her Rakhi to her grandson Abhimanyu, before the great war.

Yama and the Yamuna;
According to another legend, Yama, the god of Death had not visited his sister Yamuna for 12 years. Yamuna, the goddess of Yamuna river, was sad and consulted Ganga, the goddess of Ganga river. Ganga reminded Yama of his sister, upon which Yama visits her. Yamuna was overjoyed to see her brother, and prepared a bounty of food for Yama. The god Yama was delighted, and asked Yamuna what she wanted for gift. She wished that he, her brother should return and see her again soon. Yama was moved by his sister's love, agreed and to be able to see her again, made river Yamuna immortal. This legend is the basis for a Raksha Bandhan-like festival called Bhai Duj in some parts of India, which also celebrates brother-sister love, but near Diwali.

Accordingly, some Muslims in India view it a secular, multicultural festival, including the Ismaili community. Raksha bandhan has been adopted by the Christian community who view it as a festival of historical and social importance, and is also traditionally observed as a secular festival by Sikhs, which involves the tying of the rakhi and giving of gifts. The secular aspect of the festival concentrates on the female tying a Rakhi on a male who in turn gives a gift. The religious features of aarti and applying the tilak are not observed.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

9 MYTHS ABOUT HINDUISM
By Moni Basu


Hinduism is the world’s oldest living religion and the third largest behind Christianity and Islam with more than 1 billion followers. Some argue that Hinduism is more a way of life than religion. It has no common creed or church. Nor is it based on the teachings of a founder or holy book.

And it remains a mystery for many.

Myth No. 1: There are 330 million Hindu gods.

Reality: There is one supreme God that cannot be fully known or understood.
Hindus are encouraged to relate to God in the way that suits them best, like worshipping many deities who are believed to be manifestations of God. The trimurti or three main deities are Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. That’s why Hinduism is often thought of as polytheistic.

But there’s debate on the proper terminology for Hinduism. Some call it a monistic religion, derived from the belief that everything in the universe is part of one substance or nature. Some, including Shukla, say Hindusim is henotheistic, which is the worship of one god without denying the existence of other gods. Others, say it is monotheistic.

Myth No. 2: Hindus are idol worshippers.

Reality: Hindus worship a reminder of God.

No Hindu will say he or she is worshipping an idol. Instead, Hindus believe a physical representation of God in the form of an idol helps them focus on an aspect of prayer or meditation. For instance, a person who has just opened up a new business may worship Ganesh, the elephant god who represents success.

Myth No. 3: Hindus worship cows.

Reality: Hindus do not pray to cows but they do regard all creation and all life as sacred.

Hindus believe every living thing has a soul. It is true, however, that cows hold a special place in Hindu society. That’s why Hindus refrain from eating beef. Cows are seen as gentle, maternal figures that are providers of milk and other forms of sustenance. They are honored for their value.

Myth No. 4: All Hindus are vegetarians.

Reality: A majority of Hindus eat meat.

But about 30 percent do not. That stems from a fundamental belief in ahimsa, the principle of non violence. Since all living things are manifestations of God, violence against them is considered contrary to the natural balance of the universe.

Myth No. 5: Hinduism supports a discriminatory caste system.

Reality: Caste discrimination is rooted not in religion but culture.

Caste was an ancient system of occupational class delineated in Hindu texts that over the years developed into a rigid social hierarchy. The lowest castes, or untouchables, were marginalized and faced persecution. But many modern Hindus have argued that caste-based discrimination is not intrinsic to Hinduism and should not be thought of as religiously sanctioned.

Myth No. 6: Women are subservient in Hinduism.

Reality: Not because of religion.

Actually, one attribute that differentiates Hinduism from say, Christianity or Islam, is that it recognizes forms of god as feminine. Hindus revere Shakti, or the personification of God's energy through a female figure.

Some of the most commonly worshipped goddesses are Parvati, a primary form of Shakti; Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom; and Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity.

Women in India may not be equal with men but again, that is not because of religion but culture and people using religion to keep women down.

“I don’t think there is a basis to disregard women in our religion,” Shukla says. “The Vedas (scripture) don’t give those instructions.”

Myth No. 7: Hindu women wearing ‘red dots’ on their foreheads are married.

Reality: Sometimes.

A red dot was once a symbol of marriage for Hindu women. Today, the dot, or bindi, is largely decorative. Girls and women married and single wear bindis of all colors as fashion statements. A tilak, also a mark on the forehead, has religious significance. It's generally made with sandalwood paste, ashes or red turmeric and can be in the form of lines or a dot.

Myth No. 8: The Bhagavad Gita is like the Bible.

Reality: There is not one central, authoritative book in Hinduism.

But Hinduism is rich in scripture with a vast collection of ancient religious writings. Hindus believe god revealed truths to wise men who passed them on for thousands of years through a rich oral tradition. The scriptures include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas and the Bhagavad Gita, or Song of God.

Part of the epic tale, Mahabharata, the 700-verse Gita is the world’s longest poem and takes the form of a dialog on a battlefield between a prince, Arjuna, and Krishna. It captures the core beliefs of Hinduism but not all Hindus read the Gita.

Myth No. 9: Karma is fatalistic.

Reality: Everyone has the ability to choose life’s actions.

This is the theory behind karma: for every action a person sets in motion, there is a corresponding reaction. Hindus believe they have to face the consequences of past actions. Each person creates his or her destiny with deeds. The ultimate goal is to have karma that will free a soul and gain moksha, or liberation from the cycle of rebirth.
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nuseri



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya Ali Madad.
My question is Islam a faith or a religion?
Both has different meanings,no doubt co relation is there.
What has MHI said about it in Farman or speeches?
Understanding of basics is important for a compulsive blogger.
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shivaathervedi



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the words MA'RAJ and LAILATUL QADAR used in ginans apart from Kalam e Mowla? If yes in which ginans/parts.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivaathervedi wrote:
Are the words MA'RAJ and LAILATUL QADAR used in ginans apart from Kalam e Mowla? If yes in which ginans/parts.
Go to the thread below. They are mentioned there!

Prophet Muhammad and al-Miraj
http://www.ismaili.net/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=2122&start=0
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
shivaathervedi wrote:
Are the words MA'RAJ and LAILATUL QADAR used in ginans apart from Kalam e Mowla? If yes in which ginans/parts.
Go to the thread below. They are mentioned there!

Prophet Muhammad and al-Miraj
http://www.ismaili.net/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=2122&start=0



Thanks for thread. There is mention of Ma'raj once in Mon Samjhaani but no where I found about Lailatul Qadar. Are the words Ma'raj and Lailatul Qadar mentioned by Pir Sadardin or Pir Hasan Kabiruddin in ginans?
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivaathervedi wrote:
Thanks for thread. There is mention of Ma'raj once in Mon Samjhaani but no where I found about Lailatul Qadar. Are the words Ma'raj and Lailatul Qadar mentioned by Pir Sadardin or Pir Hasan Kabiruddin in ginans?
I did a search for the word 'Meraj' and got 2 Ginans by Sayyed Imam Shah:

Kaljug god andhaare upanaa http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/3631

Eji Jikare jaago Meraj maango,
nit nit gat maanhe aavo - ho Dev hari 24

Momin Chetamni http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/30625

102) Eji Nabi Mohammed ne shahe maeraj te raviaa
Tyan dithi te kudrat aapar
Tare farman aaviyo Ali janab thi
Tame chinta ma karo lagaar Cheto....

102. When Prophet was called on (experienced) Meraj, he saw many wonderful
things and Hazrat Ali made a Farman to him not to worry.

And as you said, it is mentioned in man samjamni 3 times:

177
8 Meraaj darvaajaa kholi jonaa
9 Andar ohi Allaah kun jaano

184
6 Meraaj ku jab Rasoolallaah gaeaa
7 Tab raahaa me ek vaaghaj mileaa

185
10 Allaah ki bujraki baddi laie
11 Ham Meraaj me hajoor raeaa

I think that the terms Meraj and Lail tul Qadr are rarely mentioned in the Ginans because they are shariati-type of concepts which are known to the other Muslims and can give an illusion that they occur rarely when in fact in our tradition the Meraj can happen all the time. A devote Ismaili can experience the presence of the Imam all the time as per verse of Ashaj:

Aashaajee Paanch-mee baaree dasond-nee kaheeyen
te sahu thee mottee jaanno jee
te maanhe tame raho husheeyaar
to rahesho Gur-Nar ne saath.............Haree anant..256

Oh Lord The fifth gateway is created by observance of the tithe
know it as the biggest one
Remain intelligent and alert in this aspect
then you will constantly be with the Shah-Pir
Haree You are eternal...
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
Posts: 1110

PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
shivaathervedi wrote:
Thanks for thread. There is mention of Ma'raj once in Mon Samjhaani but no where I found about Lailatul Qadar. Are the words Ma'raj and Lailatul Qadar mentioned by Pir Sadardin or Pir Hasan Kabiruddin in ginans?
I did a search for the word 'Meraj' and got 2 Ginans by Sayyed Imam Shah:

Kaljug god andhaare upanaa http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/3631

Eji Jikare jaago Meraj maango,
nit nit gat maanhe aavo - ho Dev hari 24

Momin Chetamni http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/30625

102) Eji Nabi Mohammed ne shahe maeraj te raviaa
Tyan dithi te kudrat aapar



Tare farman aaviyo Ali janab thi
Tame chinta ma karo lagaar Cheto....

102. When Prophet was called on (experienced) Meraj, he saw many wonderful
things and Hazrat Ali made a Farman to him not to worry.

And as you said, it is mentioned in man samjamni 3 times:

177
8 Meraaj darvaajaa kholi jonaa
9 Andar ohi Allaah kun jaano

184
6 Meraaj ku jab Rasoolallaah gaeaa
7 Tab raahaa me ek vaaghaj mileaa

185
10 Allaah ki bujraki baddi laie
11 Ham Meraaj me hajoor raeaa

I think that the terms Meraj and Lail tul Qadr are rarely mentioned in the Ginans because they are shariati-type of concepts which are known to the other Muslims and can give an illusion that they occur rarely when in fact in our tradition the Meraj can happen all the time. A devote Ismaili can experience the presence of the Imam all the time as per verse of Ashaj:

Aashaajee Paanch-mee baaree dasond-nee kaheeyen
te sahu thee mottee jaanno jee
te maanhe tame raho husheeyaar
to rahesho Gur-Nar ne saath.............Haree anant..256

Oh Lord The fifth gateway is created by observance of the tithe
know it as the biggest one
Remain intelligent and alert in this aspect
then you will constantly be with the Shah-Pir
Haree You are eternal...



Thanks for input. I am also searching these phrases in ginans.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 01 Feb 2016
Posts: 1110

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atman:

Atman means 'eternal self'. The atman refers to the real self beyond ego or false self. It is often referred to as 'spirit' or 'soul' and indicates our true self or essence which underlies our existence.

There are many interesting perspectives on the self in Hinduism ranging from the self as eternal servant of God to the self as being identified with God. The understanding of the self as eternal supports the idea of reincarnation in that the same eternal being can inhabit temporary bodies.

The idea of atman entails the idea of the self as a spiritual rather than material being and thus there is a strong dimension of Hinduism which emphases detachment from the material world and promotes practices such as asceticism. Thus it could be said that in this world, a spiritual being, the atman, has a human experience rather than a human being having a spiritual experience.



Dharma:

Dharma is an important term in Indian religions. In Hinduism it means 'duty', 'virtue', 'morality', even 'religion' and it refers to the power which upholds the universe and society. Hindus generally believe that dharma was revealed in the Vedas although a more common word there for 'universal law' or 'righteousness' is rita. Dharma is the power that maintains society, it makes the grass grow, the sun shine, and makes us moral people or rather gives humans the opportunity to act virtuously.

But acting virtuously does not mean precisely the same for everyone; different people have different obligations and duties according to their age, gender, and social position. Dharma is universal but it is also particular and operates within concrete circumstances. Each person therefore has their own dharma known as sva-dharma. What is correct for a woman might not be for a man or what is correct for an adult might not be for a child.

Correct action in accordance with dharma is also understood as service to humanity and to God. The idea of what has become known as sanatana dharma can be traced back to the puranas - texts of antiquity. Those who adhere to this idea of one's eternal dharma or constitution, claim that it transcends other mundane dharmas - that it is the para dharma, the ultimate dharma of the self. It is often associated with bhakti movements, who link an attitude of eternal service to a personal deity.



Varna:

An important idea that developed in classical Hinduism is that dharma refers especially to a person's responsibility regarding class (varna) and stage of life (ashrama). This is called varnashrama-dharma. In Hindu history the highest class, the Brahmins, adhered to this doctrine. The class system is a model or ideal of social order that first occurs in the oldest Hindu text, the Rig Veda and the present-day caste (jati) system may be rooted in this. The four classes are:

Brahmans or Brahmins - the intellectuals and the priestly class who perform religious rituals
Kshatriya (nobles or warriors) - who traditionally had power
Vaishyas (commoners or merchants) - ordinary people who produce, farm, trade and earn a living
Shudras (workers) - who traditionally served the higher classes, including labourers, artists, musicians, and clerks
People in the top three classes are known as 'twice born' because they have been born from the womb and secondly through initiation in which boys receive a sacred thread as a symbol of their high status. Although usually considered an initiation for males it must be noted that there are examples of exceptions to this rule, where females receive this initiation.

The twice born traditionally could go through four stages of life or ashramas. The ashrama system is as follows:

Brahmacarya - 'celibate student' stage in which males learned the Veda
grihastha - 'householder' in which the twice born male can experience the human purposes (purushartha) of responsibility, wealth, and sexual pleasure
Vanaprastha - 'hermit' or 'wilderness dweller' in which the twice born male retires from life in the world to take up pilgrimage and religious observances along with his wife
Samnyasa - 'renunciation' in which the twice born gives up the world, takes on a saffron robe or, in some sects, goes naked, with a bowl and a staff to seek moksha (liberation) or develop devotion
Correct action in accordance with dharma is also understood as service to humanity and to God. The idea of what has become known as sanatana dharma can be traced back to the puranas. Those who adhere to this idea, addressing one’s eternal dharma or constitution, claim that it transcends other mundane dharmas – that it is the para dharma, the ultimate dharma. It is often associated with bhakti movements, who propose that we are all eternal servants of a personal Deity, thus advocating each act, word, and deed to be acts of devotion. In the 19th Century the concept of sanatana dharma was used by some groups to advocate a unified view of Hinduism.

Karma and Samsara:

Karma is a Sanskrit word whose literal meaning is 'action'. It refers to the law that every action has an equal reaction either immediately or at some point in the future. Good or virtuous actions, actions in harmony with dharma, will have good reactions or responses and bad actions, actions against dharma, will have the opposite effect.

In Hinduism karma operates not only in this lifetime but across lifetimes: the results of an action might only be experienced after the present life in a new life.

Hindus believe that human beings can create good or bad consequences for their actions and might reap the rewards of action in this life, in a future human rebirth or reap the rewards of action in a heavenly or hell realm in which the self is reborn for a period of time.

This process of reincarnation is called samsara, a continuous cycle in which the soul is reborn over and over again according to the law of action and reaction. At death many Hindus believe the soul is carried by a subtle body into a new physical body which can be a human or non-human form (an animal or divine being). The goal of liberation (moksha) is to make us free from this cycle of action and reaction, and from rebirth.

Purushartha:

Hinduism developed a doctrine that life has different goals according to a person's stage of life and position. These goals became codified in the 'goals of a person' or 'human goals', the purusharthas, especially in sacred texts about dharma called 'dharma shastras' of which the 'Laws of Manu' is the most famous. In these texts three goals of life are expressed, namely virtuous living or dharma, profit or worldly success, and pleasure, especially sexual pleasure as a married householder and more broadly aesthetic pleasure. A fourth goal of liberation (moksha) was added at a later date. The purusharthas express an understanding of human nature, that people have different desires and purposes which are all legitimate in their context.

Over the centuries there has been discussion about which goal was most important. Towards the end of the Mahabharata (Shantiparvan 12.167) there is a discussion about the relative importance of the three goals of dharma, profit and pleasure between the Pandava brothers and the wise sage Vidura. Vidura claims that dharma is most important because through it the sages enter the absolute reality, on dharma the universe rests, and through dharma wealth is acquired. One of the brothers, Arjuna, disagrees, claiming that dharma and pleasure rest on profit. Another brother, Bhima, argues for pleasure or desire being the most important goal, as only through desire have the sages attained liberation. This discussion recognises the complexity and varied nature of human purposes and meanings in life.

Brahman and God:

Brahman is a Sanskrit word which refers to a transcendent power beyond the universe. As such, it is sometimes translated as 'God' although the two concepts are not identical. Brahman is the power which upholds and supports everything. According to some Hindus this power is identified with the self (atman) while others regard it as distinct from the self. Most Hindus agree that Brahman pervades everything although they do not worship Brahman. Some Hindus regard a particular deity or deities as manifestations of Brahman.

God:

Most Hindus believe in God but what this means varies in different traditions. The Sanskrit words Bhagavan and Ishvara mean 'Lord' or 'God' and indicate an absolute reality who creates, sustains and destroys the universe over and over again. It is too simplistic to define Hinduism as belief in many gods or 'polytheism'. Most Hindus believe in a Supreme God, whose qualities and forms are represented by the multitude of deities which emanate from him. God, being unlimited, can have unlimited forms and expressions.

God can be approached in a number of ways and a devoted person can relate to God as a majestic king, as a parent figure, as a friend, as a child, as a beautiful woman, or even as a ferocious Goddess. Each person can relate to God in a particular form, the ishta devata or desired form of God. Thus, one person might be drawn towards Shiva, another towards Krishna, and another towards Kali. Many Hindus believe that all the different deities are aspects of a single, transcendent power.

In the history of Hinduism, God is conceptualised in different ways, as an all knowing and all pervading spirit, as the creator and force within all beings, their 'inner controller' (antaryamin) and as wholly transcendent. There are two main ideas about Bhagavan or Ishvara:

Bhagavan is an impersonal energy. Ultimately God is beyond language and anything that can be said about God cannot capture the reality. Followers of the Advaita Vedanta tradition (based on the teachings of Adi Shankara) maintain that the soul and God are ultimately identical and liberation is achieved once this has been realised. This teaching is called non-dualism or advaita because it claims there is no distinction between the soul and the ultimate reality.
Bhagavan is a person. God can be understood as a supreme person with qualities of love and compassion towards creatures. On this theistic view the soul remains distinct from the Lord even in liberation. The supreme Lord expresses himself through the many gods and goddesses. The theologian Ramanuja (also in the wider Vedanta tradition as Shankara) makes a distinction between the essence of God and his energies. We can know the energies of God but not his essence. Devotion (bhakti) is the best way to understand God in this teaching.
For convenience Hindus are often classified into the three most popular Hindu denominations, called paramparas in Sanskrit. These paramparas are defined by their attraction to a particular form of God (called ishta or devata):

Vaishnavas focus on Vishnu and his incarnations (avatara, avatars). The Vaishanavas believe that God incarnates into the world in different forms such as Krishna and Rama in order to restore dharma. This is considered to be the most popular Hindu denomination.
Shaivas focus on Shiva, particularly in his form of the linga although other forms such as the dancing Shiva are also worshipped. The Shaiva Siddhanta tradition believes that Shiva performs five acts of creation, maintenance, destruction, concealing himself, revealing himself through grace.
Shaktas focus on the Goddess in her gentle forms such as Lakshmi, Parvati, and Sarasvati, or in her ferocious forms such as Durga and Kali.


Guru:

The terms guru and acharya refer to a teacher or master of a tradition. The basic meaning is of a teacher who teaches through example and conveys knowledge and wisdom to his disciples. The disciple in turn might become a teacher and so the lineage continues through the generations. One story that captures the spirit of the teacher is that a mother asks the teacher to stop her son eating sugar for he eats too much of it. The master tells her to come back in a week. She returns and he tells the child to do as his mother says and the child obeys. Asked by the mother why he delayed for a week, he replied 'a week ago I had not stopped eating sugar!'

Gurus are generally very highly revered and can become the focus of devotion (bhakti) in some traditions. A fundamentally important teaching is that spiritual understanding is conveyed from teacher to disciple through a lineage and when one guru passes away he or she is usually replaced by a successor. One guru could have more than one successor which leads to a multiplication of traditions.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFTER 31 pages of mostly cut and paste by shivaathervedi, this section is closed. If more posting on Ismailism, [This is ismaili.net, not hindu.net) find the appropriate section. Thanks you.
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