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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Understanding Hinduism

Understanding Hinduism
Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 6 PM

Notes:

1. Finding the truth is one's own responsibility - I have added two postes, posted at world Muslim Congress group - they are: by Mohammad Irtaza and Alan Border. We are dealing with religion here and if anything is grossly wrong, it is your duty to inform and correct me, you can post your comment at the bottom. We are committed to do the right thing and present the beauty and wisdom of each religion.

2. I am pleased to invite articles on "Understanding Hinduism" - limit 600 words. My Dallas Hindu scholar friends will pick the three best pieces and have them read by the writer or their friend at the upcoming workshop on Sunday, February 25th in Dallas. Deadline -February 15th, they will be included in a small booklet published for distribution that evening. To be fair to all - keep the limit to 600 words. No more but at least over 400 words - and kindly send to this email address: FoundationforPluralism@gmail.com


The Foundation for Pluralism has taken the initiative to present all religions in its programs. The goal is to bring people of different faiths together and provide a platform for them to share about their beliefs, their systems and rituals, while expanding the knowledge zone of each group.

We hope at least 10% of the attendees would walk out with an open mind and an open heart towards their fellow beings. It is difficult to shed the prejudices, but once we do, there is genuine freedom (Mukti, Moksha, Salvation, Nirvana.) in it.

Understanding Hinduism: Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 6 PM

Everything you wanted to know about Hinduism, you can learn about it in this workshop. As with all faiths, misunderstandings, myths and mis-information are part of Hinduism as well. Learn about the Caste System it's origins and applicability today. Learn about the diversity within the faith. The event is at Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Road, Addison, TX 75001. You MUST RSVP to: ConfirmAttendance@gmail.com

I urge you to bring your Non-Hindu friends with you. All of us are in it together, and we have to create a better world. Bring your copy of the Vedas, Bhagvad Gita, Ramayana, Manu's and other books.
Sharia Workshop - conducted on Sunday, January 7th - Partial report
Holocaust Remembrance- Event Postponed from Jan 28th details at: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Holocaustday.asp

Wisdom of Religion - all the beautiful religions

The Foundation for Pluralism is committed to promoting understanding between people's of different affiliations. This is a continuation of our Radio Program that we ran every day of the week for two years, and on the weekends for 8 years. Please look up for the programs at the PROGRAM section of this Website. The goal is to bring people of different faiths together and provide a platform for them to share about their beliefs, their systems and rituals, while expanding the comfort zone of each group.

You can Help!

We welcome you to be a sponsor for each event or any given event, your responsibility would include paying for the facility, refreshments and soft drinks to about 150 attendees.

Response to Suggestions:

Several topics have been suggested by our readers, and all of them are good, and are worth discussing and learning and will be taken up. By the way, every one thinks their topic is the one to be talked about and I agree with them. We just have to que them.

Caste System is the one of the most misunderstood aspects of Hinduism. I hope you’d agree with it. All of us need to learn so we can truly understand its range and depth from the scholars in Hinduism. Karigar, we are so open to learning that we will have one of your experts be on the panel, if that takes away any misunderstanding one may have.

When we put Sharia as the topic to learn about Islam – The same question was asked by Muslims around, Why Sharia? The answer remains the same.

No matter what topic you pick, the questions will be the same and answer would be the same. If you have 40 hours a week to listen to all the topics, we can do a weeklong seminar… no one has the time. We can only chew one item at a time and ... just a few people at a time.

One of the things all of us need to work on is “ Not to assume and ascribe ill-intent to any step that any one takes to understand an issue”.

Essay does not ask for anything in specific, it simply calls for every one’s understanding of Hinduism. During the program our scholars will be addressing any question including Caste system or other questions that may come up in the 30 minutes time we have as a part of the program.

To do full justice - we need a whole day. How many will come? We just have to learn to be precise.
Mike Ghouse

Comments posted by Mohamed Irtaza:

[1:1] In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

[40:78] We have sent messengers before you - some of them we mentioned to you, and some we did not mention to you. No messenger can produce any miracle without GOD's authorization. Once GOD's judgment is issued, the truth dominates, and the falsifiers are exposed and humiliated.

"O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone." [Rig Veda 8:1:1]

Peace be upon you,

The Vedas, collectively refers to a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that are associated with the Vedic civilization and are considered by adherents of Hinduism to be revealed knowledge. The word Veda means Knowledge and is cognate with the word "wit" in English (as well as "vision" through Latin). The word "Veda" is derived from the root 'vid'-- to know-- in Sanskrit. Many Hindus believe the Vedas existed since the beginning of creation.

The texts of the Vedas have several references to specific patterns in the ancient flows of the Ganges River, which coincide with the sites of its ancient (but now dried) tributaries. Many historians regard the Vedas as the oldest surviving text of humanity. The newest parts of the Vedas are estimated to date back to around 500 BCE. The oldest text (RigVeda) found is now dated to around 1,500 BCE, but most Indologists agree that a long oral tradition possibly existed before it was written down.

They represent the oldest stratum of Indian Literature and according to modern scholars are written in forms of a language which evolved into Sanskrit. They consider the use of Vedic Sanskrit for the language of the texts an anachronism, although it is generally accepted.

[Quran 16:36] We have sent a messenger to every community, saying, "You shall worship GOD, and avoid idolatry." Subsequently, some were guided by GOD, while others were committed to straying. Roam the earth and note the consequences for the rejectors.

[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

[40:78] We have sent messengers before you - some of them we mentioned to you, and some we did not mention to you. No messenger can produce any miracle without GOD's authorization. Once GOD's judgment is issued, the truth dominates, and the falsifiers are exposed and humiliated.

Nowhere in all the four Vedas there is written anything that could go to show that there are more gods than one. On the other hand, it is clearly said in many places that there is only one God. Whatsoever or whosoever possesses useful and brilliant qualities is called a devata, as the earth for instance; but it is nowhere said that it is God or is the object of adoration.

CONCEPT OF ONE GOD:

[Quran 6:103] No visions can encompass Him, but He encompasses all visions. He is the Compassionate, the Cognizant.

"The Formless Supreme Spirit that pervades the universe can have no material representation, likeness or image." (Yajur Veda 32:3.)

"He is bodiless and pure." [Yajur Veda 40:8]

"The Great Ruler of the Universe, Who is Self-existent, All-pervading, Holy, eternal and Formless, has been eternally instructing His subjects - immortal souls - in all kinds of knowledge for their good through the Veda." [YAJUR VEDA 5O; 8].

"May, O Great God, Wises of the wise, through Thy grace, my mind - which like the hub of a wheel into which all the spokes are inserted, is the repository of the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, The Sama Veda and also the Atharva Veda, the mind in which Omniscient, Omnipresent conscious Being - the Witness of all - makes Himself known - be freed from all ignorance and be endowed with the love of knowledge." [YAJUR VEDA 34: 5]

"By One Supreme Ruler is this universe pervaded, even every world in the whole circle of nature, He is the true God. Know Him, O man! and covet not unjustly the wealth of any creature existing. Renounce all that is unjust and enjoy pure delight - true spiritual happiness - by the practice of justice and righteousness which is another name for true religion.[YAJUR VEDA 40:1]

"I, O men, lived before the whole universe came into being, I am Lord of all, I am the eternal cause of the whole creation. I am the source and giver of all wealth. Let all men look up to me alone as children do to their parents. I have appointed different foods and drinks for all creatures to give them sustenance so that they may live in happiness." [RIG VEDA 10: 48, 5].

" I am God Almighty, I am the Light of the world like the sun. Neither defeat, nor death, can ever approach me. I am the controller of the universe, know me alone as the Creator of all. Strive ye diligently for the acquisition of power and wealth such ( as true knowledge). Ask ye of me. May ye never lose my friendship. I give true knowledge, which is real wealth, unto men who are truthful. I am the revealer of Vedas which declare my true nature. It is through the Vedas that I advance the knowledge of all. I am the prompter of the good and true. I reward those who devote themselves to the good of humanity. I am the cause, I am the support of all that exists in this universe. May ye never turn away from me. May ye never accept another God in my place, nor worship him." [RIG VEDA, 10:48, 5.]

"God, O men, existed in the beginning of the Creation. He is the Creator, Support and Sustainer of the sun and other luminous worlds, He was the Lord of the past Creation. He is the Lord of the present. He will be the Lord of the unborn universe. He created the whole world, and he sustains it. He is Eternal Bliss. May ye all praise and adore Him as we do." [YAJUR VEDA, 13:4]

"That Supreme Being overspreads all. He is entirely spirit, All-energy, All-powerful, Pure, Perfect, Omniscient, Inward Controller of all, Ruler of All, Eternal and Self-existent. He has from all eternity been teaching uncreated immortal human souls, the true knowledge of things through the revelation of the Veda - His eternal knowledge." [YAJUR VEDA, 40:8]

"He is never embodied, is never born, is never liable to division and is free from nervous or arterial systems, never commits a sin , is never subject to pain, grief and ignorance and the like." [YAJUR VEDA, 40:8]

CONCEPT OF WORSHIP ONE GOD:


[Quran 6:162] Say, "My Contact Prayers (Salat), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to GOD alone, the Lord of the universe.

"O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone." [Rig Veda 8:1:1]

"Endow us, O Lord, who art All-glorious, through thy mercy, at this very instant with that wisdom which the wise, the learned, and yogis pray for." [YAJUR VEDA32: 14.]

"Thou art Light, be merciful and shed that light into my heart. Thou art Infinite energy, through Thy grace endow me with unfailing energy. Thou are Infinite strength, endow me with strength. Thou art Infinite power, endow me with great power. Thou art wrathful with the wicked, make me also wrathful. Thou art moved neither by slander, nor by praise. Thou art forbearing towards those who offend against Thee, make me also forbearing." [YAJUR VEDA 20: 9].

"May, O Ocean of Mercy, through thy grace my mind - the mind that in the wakeful state travels long distances, and, possesses brilliant qualities, which self-same mind - light of the senses - in sleep attains to the state of profound slumber and in dreams wanders over different places - always entertain pure thoughts for the good of the self as well as for that of all other living beings. May it never desire to injure any one." [YAJUR VEDA 34:1.]

"May, O Omniscient God, my mind - which is the source of all activity and which, thereby, enables men of learning, piety and courage to perform acts of great public good and heroic deeds on the field of battle and other occasions, which possess wonderful powers and admirable qualities and rules the senses - harbour only righteous desires and completely renounce sin and vice." [YAJUR VEDA 34: 2.]

"May, O lord, my mind - the mind which is the repository of the highest form of knowledge, is the faculty for consciousness and judgement, is the light of the senses, and is immortal, the mind without which a man is powerless to do even the most insignificant thing - aspire for purity and shun wickedness." [YAJUR VEDA 34: 3].

"May, O Lord of the Universe, my mind - the mind which is the medium through which all yogis acquire knowledge of the past, the present and the future which becomes the means of the union of the immortal human soul with the Supreme Spirit and thereby makes it cognizant of the three periods of time (past, present and the future), the mind which is capable of conscious exertion and is closely united with the five sense, the faculty of discernment and the soul, and is the means of the advancement of that great Yajna called yoga - be endowed with true knowledge and yoga and thereby be freed from all kinds of pain and ignorance." [YAJUR VEDA 43: 4.]

"May, O Great God, Wises of the wise, through Thy grace, my mind - which like the hub of a wheel into which all the spokes are inserted, is the repository of the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, The Sama Veda and also the Atharva Veda, the mind in which Omniscient, Omnipresent conscious Being - the Witness of all - makes Himself known - be freed from all ignorance and be endowed with the love of knowledge." [YAJUR VEDA 34: 5]

"May, O Lord, the Controller of the Universe, my mind - which is like a driver who can swing the horses around in all directions, sways men hither and thither, is seated in the heart, possessed of great activity and extreme energy - restrain all the senses from treading the path of wickedness and always direct them in the path of righteousness. Mayestt, Thou O Lord, of Thy kindness grant me this prayer."[ YAJUR VEDA 34: 6.]

"Lead us, O Bestower of all happiness, Omniscient, Supreme Spirit, into the path of rectitude and thereby inspireus withh all kinds of knowledge and wisdom, rid us of all that is false and sinful in our conduct, and make us pure. To ths end, we in all humility repeatedly praise and adore Thee." [YAJUR VEDA 40: 16].

"Mayest not, Thou, O Punisher of the wicked, destroy our young ones, nor our old ones, foetuses, mothers, and fathers, nor those who are dear to us, nor our relations, nor our bodies. Direct us to that path by following which we may not be liable to punishment by Thy Law." [YAJUR VEDA 16: ]

CONCEPT AGAINST IDOL WORSHIP:

[Quran 4:116] GOD does not forgive idol worship (if maintained until death), and He forgives lesser offenses for whomever He wills. Anyone who idolizes any idol beside GOD has strayed far astray.

" They are enveloped in darkness, in other words, are steeped in ignorance and sunk in the greatest depths of misery who worship the uncreated, eternal prakrti -- the material cause of the world -- in place of the All-pervading God, but those who worship visible things born of the prakrti, such as the earth, trees, bodies (human and the like) in place of God are enveloped in still greater darkness, in other words, they are extremely foolish, fall into an awful hell of pain and sorrow, and suffer terribly for a long time" [Yajur Veda 40:9.]

" I am God Almighty, I am the Light of the world like the sun. Neither defeat, nor death, can ever approach me. I am the controller of the universe, know me alone as the Creator of all. Strive ye diligently for the acquisition of power and wealth such ( as true knowledge). Ask ye of me. May ye never lose my friendship. I give true knowledge, which is real wealth, unto men who are truthful. I am the revealer of Vedas which declare my true nature. It is through the Vedas that I advance the knowledge of all. I am the prompter of the good and true. I reward those who devote themselves to the good of humanity. I am the cause, I am the support of all that exists in this universe. May ye never turn away from me. May ye never accept another God in my place, nor worship him." [RIG VEDA, 10:48, 5.]

CONCEPT OF DISBELIEVERS:

[Quran 43:40] Can you make the deaf hear; can you make the blind see, or those who are far astray?

"There maybe someone who sees the words and yet indeed does not see them; may be another one who hears these words but indeed does not hear them." [Rig Veda 10:71:4]

"They are atheists and of weak intellect, and continually remain sunk in the depths of misery and pain who do not believe in, know, and commune with Him, who is Resplendent, All-glorious, All-Holy, All-knowledge, sustainer of the sun, the earth and other planets, Who pervades all like ether, is the Lord of all and is above all devatas. It is by the knowledge and contemplation of God alone that all men attain true happiness." [RIG VEDA: I, 164, 39].

All the scriptures revealed to mankind from God advocate one and the same religion. This religion God calls Submission to God Alone (in Arabic, Islam). God decreed laws and different rites for each of us. God puts us to the test through the revelations. We all should compete in rightoeousness.

[Quran 22:67] For each congregation, we have decreed a set of rites that they must uphold. Therefore, they should not dispute with you. You shall continue to invite everyone to your Lord. Most assuredly, you are on the right path.


[Quran 5:48] "Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD's revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny - all of you - then He will inform you of everything you had disputed."

Sadly, majority of people on earth compete in unrighteousness in the name of man made religions! They adopt man made teaching instead of God's teaching. Majority of Hindus idolize devatas, deities, saints, gurus, priests, etc.beside God. Majority of Christians idolize Jesus, Mary, pope, priests, saints, etc. beside God. And, majority of Muslims idolize Mohammad, Ali, saint, messenger, peer, mullah, imam, etc. beside God!

[Quran 3:64] "Say, "O followers of the scripture, let us come to a logical agreement between us and you: that we shall not worship except GOD; that we never set up any idols besides Him, nor set up any human beings as lords beside GOD." If they turn away, say, "Bear witness that we are submitters."

[Quran 2:62] "Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve."

[Quran 13:16] "Say, "Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth?" Say, "GOD." Say, "Why then do you set up besides Him masters who do not possess any power to benefit or harm even themselves?" Say, "Is the blind the same as the seer? Is darkness the same as the light?" Have they found idols besides GOD who created creations similar to His creations, to the point of not distinguishing the two creations? Say, "GOD is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Supreme."

[Quran 12:103 - 106] "Most people, no matter what you do, will not believe. You are not asking them for any money; you simply deliver this reminder for all the people. So many proofs in the heavens and the earth are given to them, but they pass by them, heedlessly! The majority of those who believe in GOD do not do so without committing idol worship."

"Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe".[Quran 1:2]

May God guide all of us,

M. Irtaza

Ref:
1. http://www.asitis.com/
2. www.aryasamajjamnagar.org/
3. http://www.handago.com/
4. http://sanatan.intnet.mu//
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/
6. Quran - translated by Dr. Rashad Khalifa

http://www.masjidtucson.org/quran/frames/index.html

Ala Border wrote:


Ram’s Period Of Life
http://ourdialogue.com/answers/articles.php?action=show&showarticle=503

Question
Hindus claim that Ram, whom they consider as one of their main deities, lived in the period 2500-1900 BC. Some people maintain that Ram is a fictitious figure who lived only in people’s imagination. Could you please enlighten us about this and also mention which prophets lived at that Bronze Age.

Answer
Our policy is not to mention anything about other religions except what we have been told by God in the Qur’an, or by the Prophet, peace be upon him, in a Hadith. We then give the Islamic point of view, which may be at variance with the beliefs of the followers of those religions. But this is only to explain the Islamic point of view, not to discuss the other religion concerned. When we are not told anything about a certain faith, we do not discuss it, simply because we have no means of establishing the truth about the beliefs of the followers of that religion.


As far as Hinduism is concerned, no reference is made to it in our main sources. Hence, we do not discuss it in this paper. We do not know when or where Ram lived, and what was his history. But we know that Ram is not a God, because there is no deity other than God Almighty. We also know that God sent prophets and messengers to all nations. He has told us about some of these and He chose not to tell us about others. We do not go beyond that.


As for the prophets who lived at a particular time, you will find that Islamic accounts of earlier prophets do not give dates, because dates are not important for the purposes for which these accounts are given. We know, for example, that Moses had a tough encounter with Pharaoh, but we cannot identify with any certainty the Pharaoh who opposed Moses. Some people suggest that Moses lived around 4,000 years ago, but this is an approximate date, which could err by a couple of centuries, or more, either way. There is no way for us to know.

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