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Everything posted by sporkubus

  1. Says who? Hinduism is a pretty dumb term, actually. It was used by non-Hindus to lump together a whole variety of religions that had only geography in common. However, the use of the term today is any religious belief or worship that has its foundation in the Vedas. I don't see any reason why it is bad to use the term in that sense, since they do have many things in common. No, not all sects of Hinduism are the same, but so what? That variety is, in my opinion, a very good thing.
  2. Oops. I replied before you changed your post. Oh well. I also forgot to mention: why should I believe that Krishna is Eternal and Unchangeable? Krishna was born and died. According to some Puranas, Shiva was never born and will never die; Shiva is Ishvara. Why should I believe 1) that Krishna is Ishvara, and 2) that Krishna's personality is above the nameless Brahman without form? Seems pretty ridiculous that something with form and name could transcend the Nameless and Formless that the Upanishads describe as the highest.
  3. No, only Brahman is Eternal and Unchangeable: the transcendent, unnameable Brahman that is beyond form. In the sense that I am One with Brahman, I am eternal and unchangeable; but my mind, body, and ego do not even exist.
  4. Interesting, since many Muslims use these supposedly small differences to justify branding other Muslims heretics and killing them, and many Muslims use hadith to decide what the Qur'an actually says when verses are in conflict with each other. The religion of the Vedas is immense and offers many, many paths to God. God is too huge, too transcendent and vast to be contained in one tiny book or one man's belief system. Even many Vaishnavas would say "It's okay for someone to worship Shiva in this life, because that will lead them to Vishnu/Krishna in their next life." It is all part of the same progression, the same religion.
  5. I don't really want to get into a big argument about this, but I always understood the Gita this way: Krishna is speaking of himself as Brahman; we don't necessarilly have to worship Krishna as long as we are devoted to Brahman in the purest essence we can imagine. The actual form we worship doesn't matter but the intention and understanding behind the worship does. The upanishads say that Brahman is the highest of the high and they also say that Brahman is without name or form, so why can only Krishna be Ishvara?
  6. Oookay, I know many guys named Jesus... it is a very common hispanic name.
  7. Might be true... but then again, might not be. All Hindus believe in the Vedas as the revealed Word of God (I think) and they share a common tradition of scripture and culture that springs from Vedic culture. Shiites and Sunnis have different scripture and beliefs but they are all still Muslims because of the Qur'an, right? The Vedas just seem to allow for a large area of freedom in worship and belief.
  8. I don't want to sound dramatic or weird, but since I started reading Loving Ganesha, I feel as though I am falling in love with Him. I feel as though all this time when I pray it has been Him calling me to pray, and every time I am frustrated it is He that guides me back to understanding and calm. But at the same time I am afraid to start worshipping Him... consciously I see no difference between Ganesha and Shiva (I have read that in some scripture Shiva told people to worship Ganesha, and I have also read that Ganesha is the mind of Shiva in material form), I am also not sure whether it is okay to stop trying to worship Shiva for now and give into my desire to worship compassionate Ganesha. I also was wondering if it is okay to do puja without doing it perfectly... for instance I cannot find kumkum anywhere, so is it okay to not offer this? Should I just imagine myself offering it when that part of the puja comes or should I cut that part of the puja out completely? Thanks again for all your help, everyone!!
  9. So do you believe we should trust entirely in the scriptures?
  10. I have read that the caste system started out as a way of explaining duty. The duties of a priest are different from those of a merchant, etc. But then it became too strictly adhered to and Brahmins became an "elite" class that owned a lot of land and wealth, and they began oppressing the shudras. I've often wondered if the caste system was really such a bad thing. Every society automatically has a class system of some sort - today it is based mostly on wealth since we live in an increasingly global capitalist society, in other societies it can be based on power, birth, race, or whatever. Are any of these good? If the caste system was not bound strictly to birth, it might not be such a bad idea, since it would lay out the duties of every man's profession and a man who is simply a great craftsman and didn't have time to devote his full energy to religion would know what to do in that situation, and so on. I don't think it matters today though, since a capitalist society will always base its classes on wealth.
  11. I don't think it is just Hindus that do this, nor do all Hindus necessarilly do this. Hindus may get caught up in cultural dogma and superstition just like anyone else and be unable to progress spiritually for those or other reasons. All spiritual traditions have a fantastic mystical tradition, and many of these mystics throughout time have said that experience of divinity is beyond all belief. St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa (Christianity), Rabia'h and Rumi (Islam) are just a few of these from spiritual traditions that are often not thought of as being compatible with that idea.
  12. All I can find is Ganesha puja, but I will try to do this until I find Shiva puja... perhaps Ganesha will help me
  13. Thanks to all for your answers. I will check himalayanacademy again more carefully. krishnadas, thanks for your understanding. God bless and keep you all.
  14. I have visited and read much of the info on this site. I also own one of their books. But I haven't found any specific information on worship, just general rules like "do puja, japa and temple worship regularly."
  15. I always wondered the same thing. I think it mostly the smell factor, and also according to Ayurveda these are supposedly "exciting" foods and a yogi has to be calm (that's just a guess though). Anyway, I don't really think it's such a big deal. I make a lot of dishes with garlic and onions, but I brush my teeth, gargle and floss after every meal so I only taste it while eating. Plus I know for a fact that many "gurus" and devotees drink caffeinated substances like tea, which are definitely more energizing than garlic and onions.
  16. Before anyone reads this, please note that I am not interested in ISKCON, nor do I care what Krishna said in the Srimad Bhagavatam, etc. I have visited an ISKCON temple, I have read Bhagavad Gita As It Is and heard many an audio lecture of Prabhupada, and I do not care for such a religion. I wish you all luck on your path but I do not want to hear your comments. Thank you. Now to my trouble... I have been studying Hinduism and Advaita Vedanta for a few years now. I find Advaita to be the most comprehensively true system of philosophy I have ever seen and believe it is true. I also feel from the bottom of my heart that God speaks to me as Siva, that God is Siva as far as I can ever understand him, and my studies in Saivism have only strengthened this assumption. However I am faced with many conflicts that I don't know how to solve. First of all, I do not know how to go about worshipping Siva. I pray daily and practice bhakti yoga as taught by Swami Vivekananda because it is the most thorough description I can find that makes sense, but I am a weak human being and sometimes feel that I need to be reminded of God's presence when lust and anger start to grow in me. Japa and puja appear wonderful solutions but I have no guru to give me a mantra and I don't know how to do puja, nor do I know where I can go to get supplies for one. The only Hindu temple nearby only offers Siva worship services when I am at work in the evenings. I have become so desperate for a formal worship that I began to go to Church again, but I just feel dishonest and disconnected there. I can't begin to imagine how someone could help with these problems but I ask these questions anyway in the hope that Siva will see my effort and need and shed some light on this overgrown path of mine. Thanks in advance and God bless all of you.
  17. I apologize if my post about Islam sounded more angry and accusatory than it was meant to. I am not ignorant of the violent nature of Islam and its many other negative aspects, nor was I attempting to refute such negativity through my post. What upsets me about the discussions of Islam on this forum is that this is a forum about Hinduism, and it seems 80% of the posts are Vishnu vs. Shiva and the other 20% are "Islam has to go" posts. This, to me, is ultra-ironic: that Hindus themselves are re-enacting the war between Sunnis and Shi'ites right here, while criticizing the violent pig-headedness of their Muslim neighbors. I just think it would be a good idea for us all to take a moment and analyze the negative aspects of our own tradition, rather than playing the shout-down game: "My tradition has problems, but I'm not even going to think about them because yours are much much worse."
  18. do not forget the negative experience so many Westerners have had with Hinduism - Sai Baba and numerous other "gurus," the New Age movement, and the picture so many have of ignorant farmers worshipping their cows and drinking their urine. I'm not saying Islam is perfect or even good, but you should perhaps not throw stones from a glass house.
  19. this is true... but I am speaking about us as limited, non-Realized human beings. When we know God completely, we lose all barriers and distinctions, so of course we would no longer have need of such relationships. Until then...
  20. Dear all, I came to this forum a few months ago excited to see a true Hindu discussion board with lots of differing opinions and exciting debates going on. It only took me a short time to become saddened by the tone of many of the posts, especially the "my God is real and yours is not" ones. My faith was even shaken a little to watch people argue over things that I had imagined Hinduism was free of. Today I was in a grocery store in my town with my aunt and niece. All of the sudden my little niece of only four years ran up to me in tears. I hugged her and asked "What's wrong?" and she told me "Mommy is missing!" So I told her "Don't worry, we'll find auntie." She looked at me like I was crazy and started crying even louder, "I DON'T WANT AUNTIE, I WANT MOMMY!" So I hugged her again and said "That's right, let's go find mommy." A minute later we found her and I called her "Auntie" and once again my little niece started crying "That's not AUNTIE, it's MOMMY!" For me, believe it or not, this was an extremely profound experience, because it put everything that is argued about on this forum into perspective. A human being is really such a massive thing - made up of a thousand different parts, an entire physical, mental, and emotional past - a brain, a body, and a soul. No matter how hard we try, there is no way any of us could ever completely and totally understand another person in every aspect of their life. We can hardly understand ourselves in this form, so how could we presume to know another person perfectly? We know other people through our relationships to them. This is both a limiting and liberating feature. Although we consciously know our mother is also the wife and lover of our father, the sister of our aunts and uncles, the daughter of her parents, a friend to her best friend, we still think of her as "mother" and whatever else she is in our lives. Can you imagine trying to accept your mother, right this moment, as your lover, and toss away all of your pre-conceived notions of her as mother? Yuck! I definitely couldn't. Are we wrong, then, for accepting our mother as our mother and not as our lover? Is either wrong? Are we wrong for not knowing our mother completely, from the inside out, and altering our behavior toward her accordingly? The archetypes of the gods - Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Kali, Durga, the Father of Christianity and Allah of the Muslims - are real people, in the same way as my "mother" is a real person. However, God is no more just Shiva or Vishnu as my mother is just a "mother." If people are so vast and complex that we could not even come close to understanding one person entirely in a lifetime, presuming to know God completely, from the inside out, is a zillion times more ridiculous. If my mother does not become offended when I call her "mother", then certainly God would not become offended that I call Him Shiva. I would not pretend to know my mother the same way her sister does, or my father does, except that we both love her. I think this is the most important aspect of that relationship, love. I think the same also applies to religion. Whether I know God as my brother, my father, or my mother - as the Destroyer, the Creator, or the Preserver - all that matters is my devotion or love for Him in that relationship. In the end, God is no more just Shiva than my mother is just Mother, but I will continue to call her that without shame, and the same goes for Shiva.
  21. "also note that islam ideology and xianity are against hinduism dharma. they both want to kill hinduism totally from everywhere." My family are Roman Catholic and I have Muslim friends. All of them support me and think my study of Vedanta and spiritual exploration are an amazing thing - even my brother who is becoming a Jesuit priest. Please don't make ridiculous general comments like that.
  22. He who sees no difference between Us three (Brahma, Rudra and Myself)-who are identical in essence and the very selves of all living beings-attains peace, O Daksa. ** If we aren't supposed to see a difference between them, then wouldn't arguing about who is "greater" be making a HUGE mistake?
  23. Obviously we can't take the whole Mahabharata or Ramayana to be true. There is mention of things like the world being carried on the backs of four elephants, and that is not true for certain, so to believe in what *could* be true but is unlikely doesn't make much sense either.
  24. actually they offend both shiva and vishnu sayng that they are not absolute reality but beyond them there's brahman. This is much worse than saying that one is subordinated to another.. +++++Nope. Even in Bhagavad-Gita Krishna talks about the supreme reality that even the Devas wish to glimpse.
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