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The Sage Nabooru

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  1. I am a white American convert to Hinduism, and I've been to the temple in my city. The times I've gone the priest I've dealt with has been very kind and nice, and the people also were very accommodating and pleased to see me there. Now some of my spiritual friends went without me, and they had a bad experience. They are very respectful people who behaved completely to standards in the temple, there to worship God. But when they asked one of the priests (not the one I deal with) to take their offerings and perform prasadam, he only reluctantly did so, and kept silent (saying no prayers) throughout with a stony face. He did not do this with the Indian people who also asked for prasadam. Just goes to show that just because you know scriptures and memorized prayers doesn't always mean you're in touch with God.
  2. I'm reading through this and finding it confusing. Only the devas are mentioned mostly, although Vishnu is mentioned a couple of times in a small role. Also the Soma has a great place - what was that? How come this oldest of scriptures has seemingly so little to do with modern practice and beliefs?
  3. I've been having an odd experience lately. I'm not a Shaivite, but sometimes I chant "Om Nama Shivaya" and every time I do, I have a period of deep confusion and perplexion waiting for me. Once I did it and for days afterward I had the strong urge to become a Catholic! Only after I said Catholic prayers did it go away! Is Shiva playing some kind of game with me suddenly? I always had thoughtfulness after chanting to Shiva before, but nothing like this.
  4. Actually cows get pretty upset if they're not milked, they get pain in their udders and start bellowing.
  5. I heard a rather graphic explanation of it: Would you kill and eat your mother or father? They are your own flesh and blood. In the same sense, animals are flesh and blood as well. Would you destroy them just as heartlessly?
  6. Here in the US, I would say it is pretty much a common assumption that you either must believe in science or religion, you cannot believe in both; religion and science must be antagonistic to each other. But I know of many religious Hindu scientists. How do you think this is so? In America scientists regularly assure us we have no use of religion, in fact it's harmful, that they can explain everything we are, believe, and do with science. How is it in India? How do you think Hinduism and science get along so well? I do not like to think I am some material automaton, controlled by my brain chemicals!
  7. Kali Upasaka, how else can I find out the name? Should I send you a private message for it?
  8. This is very true. In the US Hindus, the white ones at least, tend to form "societies" based around an understanding of philosophy as well as God. In fact I think in a lot of cases it's the philosophy that's more important to God to them, people will identify as a "Vedantist" rather than a Hindu, and have little knowledge of God, but know a lot of technical terms. I will be more than happy to visit a Kali temple but there are none nearby.
  9. I agree with honoring Lord Shiva, although I am not a Saivite whenever I am confused about anything, I chant "Om Namah Shivaya". Shiva destroys illusions so that a path is made clear to me. Now admittedly, sometimes that path is uncomfortable and I try to avoid it - that is what illusions are all about. Om Eim Hrim Klim Chamundayei Vicche Namaha. This is a Chamundi mantra that encourages confidence and self-worth. It means "Om and salutations to She who is radiant with power and wisdom."
  10. Thank you for your help. I am in the US where Hindu temples are few and far between, but there is one nearby. However it is entirely Indian in composition and I've never heard of any other person joining. We also have a Vedanta society, but I've found that they tend to focus solely on Advaita as legitimate Vedanta. I find that Ramanuja's teachings make more sense to me.
  11. No, the only way is through meditation and devotion to God, herbs play a minor role. Do not allow the seductive allure of siddhis to distract you from true knowledge of God.
  12. I had planned to go to my local temple for settling a time for my namakarana on Saturday, but now I am getting cold feet. I am feeling upset to find out that many Hindus hold that conversion cannot take place in their religion and also that in many temples only South Asian Hindus are even permitted to enter, and the priests enforce this policy, whether the entrants claim to be Hindu or not. To me this feels like Muslims forbidding non-Muslims entry into Mecca because it will somehow "dirty" it. Also some Hindus claiming that while God is universal "their" gods are special to them only. I know many white Hindus have and do exist, such as George Harrison and many in the scientific and philosophical fields. Personally my interest really took off as a result of my passion for archaeology, which introduced me to ancient India. Actually it was the result of many factors at play but archaeology as my chosen field did play a role, especially the controversy over the Aryan invasion theory. Also I do not want to "stand out". It is sad to say but racialism is still prevalent in our society and one term I hear used about white Hindus is "wannabes". I may not have been born and raised in India, and may have more liberal social mores as a result (although I do not drink or smoke, nor cheaply give away my body) - would this make me ineligible as a Hindu, especially as an unmarried and self-determined woman who does not feel called to be married? All I know is that Durga has done more for me than anyone else, merely by chanting in her name I turned from a scared child into an adult. (That doesn't mean I still don't occasionally get nervous, as can be seen!) I try every day to bow before her and Krishna, and Lakshmi, and Ganesh, and meditate on their forms, which always brings a smile to my lips. They (realizing their Oneness) have granted me freedom in a way I did not know before. When I was a little girl I could not admire the saints of different religions - even different denominations - without that sinking drummed-in belief that despite their holiness they were all burning in hell for not putting the right words into their creed. Now I can see the true universalism in faith. Do I have to undergo a namakarana? I know that even if I were rejected by the community I would still throw myself before God. BTW, I realize namakarana is typically bestowed on infants, but on some research it seems to be also accepted as the means of accepting Hindu converts, if they are accepted.
  13. Indeed, this is little different from when the Protestant Christians condemn the Catholic Christians for "following the wrong leader" (the Pope), while forgetting that they worship the same God. Hindus worship the same God, we simply approach God differently on an individual level and it is God's will that we choose the path in which we can relate best to God. Whether that is Advaita, Dvaita, Vishishadvaita, Dvaitadvaita, or whatever school we choose, they are all correct because they all lead us to the same place which is nearness to God. I think what happens after moksha is between us and God depending on what we prefer and that God in God's mercy and compassion will allow us that.
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