Born into a Hindu home, I grew up in India where religion was everywhere, like the air we breathed it permeated everything. Yet, I was never taught what it meant to be a Hindu. I suppose that’s because no one ever paused to ponder over it. Besides, where would one really begin? Hinduism is as vast as it is multi-faceted.
On occasion, I visited the temples but I was never very religious. I am still not. So here’s a disclaimer – THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS BLOG. I don’t care for any form of organized religion. Not even Hinduism when it is presented to me like that.
I am simply trying to explore an ancient culture that has carried on unbroken for at least 5000 years. I am trying to understand the many traditions, core beliefs, and ideas that we now term as ‘Hindu’ religion. And one which I find immensely fascinating.
When I started, I was merely hoping to delve deeper into the many colorful myths and legends, which I so love, in the hope of finding answers to very basic questions. What makes a Hindu? Why the many million gods and goddesses? What do the festivals and rituals stand for? The quest has led me down a wonderful path of discovery. The Amar Chitra Katha comics of my childhood have led to the Gita, the Upanishads, and even the Vedas. In their readings, I have encountered an ancient wisdom so profound, so modern and so liberal that it fits right into the 21st Century.
Here I found an idea of God that goes beyond form and name to encompass all of the manifest universe and beyond. An idea of God that defies definition. Simply a Cosmic Consciousness which our human minds call God. The Creation Hymn talks of how even the Gods came after Creation!
The underlying theme of the Vedanta Philosophy is non-dualism. The idea that we are all one. We all part of the Cosmic Consciousness. Tat Twm Asi, You are that proclaim the Vedas. What could be more profound? All the wise Seers were seekers. They did not care about God. They wanted to know the Ultimate Reality, whatever that was.
And yet, they celebrated and worshiped all that was human and divine with a pantheon of gods and goddesses.
This blog holds a torch to that spirit. I hope through various posts I can introduce or re-introduce to you this ancient religion or school of thought, by demystifying it a bit and simplifying it a lot. So that you can find your own Truth
Thank you and Namaste!