Quote Of the Day
“Desire can be eradicated from the roots by firmly imbibing the four attributes of: Jnan, Atmanishtha, Vairagya, Dharma and the full fledged devotion to God.” ― Swami Vivekananda
Who is the founder of Hinduism?No body in particular. It is the research output of countless learned men called Rishis who were Christ like masters, through centuries.
Who is a Hindu?Hinduism is the third largest world religion with about 900 million Hindus worldwide. In 2001 there were about about 800 million Hindus in the world. There are more than 800,000 Hindus in the U.S., about 160,000 in Canada and 559,000 Hindus in the UK, most of whom came originally from Gujurat and Punjab in India and Nepal.
The religion dates back over 4,000 years.
Hinduism is made up of a variety of different religious beliefs and practices which originated near the river Indus in India. The name 'Hindu' comes from the word Indus.
I believe anyone who search after truth is a Hindu. There is One and only God and One Truth. The very first book of Hindus named Rig Veda proclaim, "Ekam Sat, Viprah Bahudha Vadanti". (There is only one truth, only men describe it in different ways). So a Jew or a Christian or a Moslem who is in search after truth is automatically a Hindu.
What Attracts One to Hinduism?The concepts of utmost freedom of thoughts and actions. That's what attracts many to Hinduism. Hinduism never forbids any one to question its fundamentals. On one side, in Hinduism, you may come across people worshiping pests like rats, and still on other side you will come across concepts parallel to Quantum Physics and Neil's Bohr Theory of nuclear structure and reactions. On one side Advaita (There is only one) philosophy is discussed and promoted, still on other side Dvaita (Two – duality) philosophy is discussed and promoted. Hinduism never ever banished any one, since he or she wrote a wrong scripture or did not observe a particular ritual.
There was never a Salman Rushdie (author of Satanic Verses) in Hinduism and never will be there one. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, even atheists can call themselves as Hindus. That is very true. In fact the Charvaka philosophy or Nastika philosophy, (existed during the Vedic period) founded by Charvaka rejected the existence of God and considered religion as an aberration. Voltaire in Essay on Tolerance wrote: "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it." Hinduism is the symbol of what Voltaire wrote.
When did Hinduism Take Birth?Nobody knows. If you go by Hindu mythological stories, Hinduism is trillions of years old. If you go by Max Muller, the German philosopher, it is at least 8000 to 9000 years old. Hinduism might have started as Dravidian civilization and later merged with Aryan civilization. Of course, David Frawley has written a wonderful book, explaining that Aryan Invasion of India never happened and it is a myth.
However studying the relics of Mohenjadaro and Harappa excavations, I conclude, relics of the Indus civilization shows merging of many cultures and concepts. The Indus Valley was home to the largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. Harappa and Mohenjodaro were cities in the Indus Valley civilization that flourished around 2,500 B.C. in the western part of South Asia. The roots of Hinduism can be traced to this civilization. The language spoken here is believed to be from Dravidian family, which includes Tamil.
Hinduism has the strange capability to absorb and grow from all quarters and that is why in it you can see relics of all other civilizations like Egyptian, Celtic, Mayan, Greek, Roman etc. To me it does not matter the exact date it was born, since nobody can prove or disprove the exact date. I am more concerned about what it has to give to the world.
What was the original name of Hinduism?Sanatana Dharma or Righteousness Forever was the original name of Hinduism. It was Persians who invaded India during 6th century B.C. who gave the name Hinduism meaning the religion of people living near the Indus river. In Persian the letter H and S are pronounced almost the same so they mistook the word Sindhu (Sanskrit name for Indus) to H and then started calling Hindus and Hinduism.
What is the language in which the Hindu scriptures were written?Sanskrit older than Hebrew and Latin. The first words in English language came from Sanskrit. The word mother came from Sanskrit word mata and father came from Sanskrit word pita as per the PBS video "The Story of English". Believe it or not the word geometry came from a Sanskrit word named Gyaamiti meaning 'measuring the earth'. The word trigonometry came from the word Trikonamiti meaning 'measuring triangular forms'. Sanskrit, which literally means "cultured or refined" was the classical language of India and is the oldest and the most systematic language in the world. Forbes Magazine, (July, 1987) wrote: "Sanskrit is the mother of all the European languages and is the most suitable language for the computer software."
How was Hinduism Started?According to Hindu scriptures it started as Shruti – that which is heard. The great seers of ancient times called Rishis who had perfected themselves have heard in their hearts, eternal truths and they taught those truths to disciples by telepathy and later they wrote them in books. Vedas and Upanishads are known as Shruti literature rest is called Smriti – that which is remembered – literature.
All Hindu scriptures were considered as revealed truths of God. In fact Hindu scriptures say that all Hindu Scriptures were written by God. According Christian theologians Holy Bible is considered to be Holy Spirit inspired book. According to Mimamsa school of thought, all Shruti literature existed all through eternity in the form of sounds. Therefore those sounds of words of Vedas and Upanishads are very important to Hindus.