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Sphere on Spiral Stairs
  • Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them.

  • Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.

  • Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.

  • Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.

Francis Bacon


A few features of Hinduism


Pantheistic Religion

It is said that the foundations of Hinduism are the eternal and supersensuous truths discovered by ancient Indian sages. Hinduism has no known founder and we do not know anything about those sages who discovered these truths. These revealed Divine Truths are called the Vedas. Being the revealed scriptures, they are considered the most authentic. There are scriptures supplementing and explaining the truths contained in the Vedas. According to the teachings of the Vedas, God is the One without a second — the absolute, formless, and only Reality. God is referred to as Brahman, the Supreme Universal Soul. Brahman has no form and no limits; it is Reality and Truth.

Hinduism is thus a pantheistic religion.


Names and the Vahanas

The Hindu gods and goddesses are also referred to with thousands of other names. When thousand names are recited, it is called ‘Sahasranama’. When One hundred and eight names are recited, it is ‘Ashtotara shatam’.

Since everything in the universe is created by the one infinite Brahman, it is believed that divinity is in all living creatures, including animals. As a result, deities are associated with a particular animal or bird that acts as a vehicle to transport the gods and goddesses wherever they need to go. The gods and goddesses have thus their individual vehicles which are referred to as ‘Vahanas’


Polytheistic Religion

It is said in the Vedas that by His mere will, Brahman manifests Himself as this universe. Hence, creation, preservation and destruction of this world are the three aspects of God. These three basic aspects of God are represented by the Trinity called as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There are also other deities in Hinduism to personify the various other endless powers and aspects of God. These are the gods and goddesses of Hinduism. There are myriads of gods and goddesses. The religion allows individuals an infinite number of ways to worship these gods and goddesses based on family tradition, community and regional practices, and other considerations.

Thus, Hindu religion is also polytheistic.


Puranas and the Puja

The deeper truths of the Vedas and the scriptures are difficult to comprehend. Therefore, in order to present them in an interesting and easily understandable manner, the sages of India created a special type of literature, called the Puranas. In the Puranas, the scriptural teachings have been presented through stories and parables.

A pooja is a form of worship of gods and goddesses where they are invoked and symbolically offered the hospitalities. Recitation of the various names of that particular god or goddess is a part of a pooja. Various dishes are prepared and offered symbolically to them. There are special types of dishes offered to them. Modakam is a form of dish specially offered to Ganesha. A pooja can be elaborate or simple depending upon one’s own capacity, time and other factors.

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