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Jagdish

Found Peace in the East

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I have hesitated to join in some of the discussions because the list seems to me to be an either or concept. Either one is a Christian or one is nothing. However since it is an American list that is to be expected. I found what I refer to as "spiritual liberation" via of Hinduism.  I even changed my name to match it. (not a mandatory requirement) but I wanted to divorce myself from my former title. So many of the questions I had have been answered via of karma and other Dharmac concepts.

 

People oft  ask the seemingly eternal question of "why does God let X happen?". Too me it can be answered with karma. I won't go into the depths of karma here because I don't wish to be accused of trying to convert anyone. The entire dharmic system of circular time and no forever Hell seems so sensible compared to the brutal oppressive nature of being perfect as my father in Heaven is perfect. (Matt 5:48). The law of karma has done more to make me think of my actions than all of the promises of Hell.

 

No Hinduism is not perfect no is any organization with humans at the helm, but it makes me happy and provides me with room to question, doubt and explore the infinite  possibilities of the universe. One can be a Hindu and an atheist and not feel shame or guilt about it.

 

have been told my Gods are idols and that my religion is a "false" one but I treasure it, it is very real to me and unlike Christianity it makes sense and has logic in it's principles. I would like to participate more but as I said I don't want to be known as a peddler of another religion. Like all of the people here are "all grown up" and have absolutely no spiritual needs but I am still a child who believes in fantasy.

Christianity is like a cafe where there is only one item on the menu and you must eat it and like it or starve. Hinduism (to me) is like a buffet with all sorts of delicious combinations and you may dine however you wish. You are not force fed anything.

 

Grossly oversimplified we believe  in a universal soul or God called Brahman who takes on many forms and we are welcome to worship  as gods or goddesses in our own right, if at all. Most of us believe in reincarnation - a belief that the soul is eternal and lives many lifetimes, in one body after another.

 

I have a few dear friends who are atheist but who live the dharmic way of life.

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Welcome to Ex-C!  Glad you found something that works for you.   :)

 

We do have a sub-forum that you'll probably find interesting.   Click on:

Browse

Forums

Ex-Christian Spirituality (near the bottom of the list)

 This area is for those who have left Christianity for another form

 of theism or spirituality (Deism, Paganism, Wicca, Great Spirit, The Force, Buddhism, etc.).

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Well, hello.

 

               I have no real knowledge of Hinduism. More attracted to the teachings of the Buddha, which seem to be a kind of reaction against hindu schools. Now, the problem is how you view truth. You say that one can be both a Hindu and an atheist. Depending on your definitions, that could be true, but it does sound absurd. Atheism usually means one does not accept any supernatural entitites to exist and veers into the direction of materialism. Hinduism seems to have  plethora of deities and deity worship. So , it really depends. Maybe you are referring to a very materialistic school of Hinduism which sees all religious forms merely as symbols as stories, with no material truth to them, as in well Shiva is just a symbol for goodness, and we read those myths as one reads Shakespeare of Lord of the Rings, very good literature.  Probably there would a lot of yogis who would refute your claim. And Hinduism, from what I gather is not a religion, per say, like Christianity, more like a number of loosely tied different schools of thought with no clear central structure, like some of the Abrahamic religions. 

             Just a word of caution. Indian practices, from yoga to festivals, to the food even, is very potent in its ability to stimulate the psyche and the body. As with all such practices, care is necessary as the human mind becomes very suggestible in those states. In the West there, for example, numerous examples of yoga cults. I recommend reading about Daniel Shaw and Siddha Yoga , plus the cult made by a guy named Cohen, i forgot hist other name but you can search Cohen yoga cult on the internet.

              Just because it feels good at first, does not mean you should not critically examine through and through. It is my intuition that when one elevates wellbeing over truth, he ends up losing both.

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5 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

Well, hello.

 

             Just a word of caution. Indian practices, from yoga to festivals, to the food even, is very potent in its ability to stimulate the psyche and the body. As with all such practices, care is necessary as the human mind becomes very suggestible in those states. In the West there, for example, numerous examples of yoga cults. I recommend reading about Daniel Shaw and Siddha Yoga , plus the cult made by a guy named Cohen, i forgot hist other name but you can search Cohen yoga cult on the internet.

              Just because it feels good at first, does not mean you should not critically examine through and through. It is my intuition that when one elevates wellbeing over truth, he ends up losing both.

Thank you for your response.  I have been Hindu for seven years now and I by no means claim to "know it all" as they say. I started investigating it as a result of yoga, which I was taking in a gym. I wanted to know more about it, and in the course of doing so I kept finding info on Hinduism. (Prior to that, I thought yoga came from Buddhism) I was surprised to learn that it came (as did Buddhism) from Hinduism.

 

I am familiar with some of the yoga cults which are (IMHO) exploiters of the eastern culture, much like some of the Christian mega churches and other fraudulent endeavors of any religion designed to extract money from the unsuspecting. 

 

After seven years, the initial "feel good" to which you refer is long gone. I have found things with which I disagree as well as things which help me better understand the world around me. I have critically examined the philosophy and honestly don't believe I have "lost" anything but then due to brain chemistry and other factors of which I am not thoroughly knowledgeable I am very comfortable with my belief and realize that not all people have the same chemical composition as I and that we will never have a meeting of minds on the matter.

 

Briefly, regarding can a Hindu be an atheist: first of all Hinduism is not a religion in the sense that Christianity is, but an entire way of life. Therefore one can live the life without incorporating God/deities.  This is a small snippet of Hindu atheism: (OK I got some assistance from Wikipedia)

                           

arguments against the idea of an eternal, self-caused, creator God:[24]

  • If the existence of karma is assumed, the proposition of God as a moral governor of the universe is unnecessary. For, if God enforces the consequences of actions then she/he can do so without karma. If however, God is assumed to be within the law of karma, then karma itself would be the giver of consequences and there would be no need of a God.
  • Even if karma is denied, God still cannot be the enforcer of consequences. Because the motives of an enforcer God would be either egoistic or altruistic. Now, God's motives cannot be assumed to be altruistic because an altruistic God would not create a world so full of suffering. If his motives are assumed to be egoistic, then God must be thought to have desire, as agency or authority cannot be established in the absence of desire. However, assuming that God has desire would contradict God's eternal freedom which necessitates no compulsion in actions. Moreover, desire, according to Samkhya, is an attribute of prakriti and cannot be thought to grow in God. The testimony of the Vedas, according to Samkhya, also confirms this notion.
  • Despite arguments to the contrary, if God is still assumed to contain unfulfilled desires, this would cause him/her to suffer pain and other similar human experiences. Such a worldly God would be no better than Samkhya's notion of higher self.
  • Furthermore, there is no proof of the existence of God. He is not the object of perception, there exists no general proposition that can prove him by inference and the testimony of the Vedas speak of prakriti as the origin of the world, not God.
  • Therefore, Samkhya maintained not only that the various cosmological, ontological and teleological arguments could not prove God, but that God as normally understood—an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent creator who is free from suffering—cannot exist.                                                                                                                                                                 

                During my journey I have researched many religions and schools of spiritual thought. For me personally atheism is just not me.

Thank you for your response

Jags

 

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Well

24 minutes ago, Jagdish said:

 

Briefly, regarding can a Hindu be an atheist: first of all Hinduism is not a religion in the sense that Christianity is, but an entire way of life. Therefore one can live the life without incorporating God/deities.  This is a small snippet of Hindu atheism: (OK I got some assistance from Wikipedia)

                           

                                                                           

                During my journey I have researched many religions and schools of spiritual thought. For me personally atheism is just not me.

Thank you for your response

Jags

 

Well, I come from a backgound in Eastern Orthodoxy, which, if you know about it, shares a lot in style with eastern religions. An entire way of life is what Christianity is described to be, at least in the Orthodox sense. This what religions usually are, ways of life.

 

And western atheism is not a religion , not a school of thought, but just one statement. Not being convinced of the existence of certain kind of entities. That is basically it. Of course, a lot of atheists seem to be also humanists and naturalists/materialist, but that is a different aspect. 

 

Mimamsa philosophers believed that the revelation of the Vedas was sacred, authorless (apaurusheyatva) and infallible, and that it was essential to preserve the sanctity of the Vedic ritual to maintain dharma (cosmic order).[16][17]:52–53 As a consequence of the belief in sanctity of the ritual, Mimamsas rejected the notion of God in any form

 

This what what also in that article about Hindu atheism. That just seems like a weird form of extreme Bible fundamentalism. I think no western atheist  would ever adhere to those kind of ideas. So the atheism they had was a different form than modern Western atheism. That is why I said one must first show their definitions about what atheist and Hindu means. 

 

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On 9/7/2019 at 11:20 AM, buffettphan said:

Welcome to Ex-C!  Glad you found something that works for you.   :)

 

We do have a sub-forum that you'll probably find interesting.   Click on:

Browse

Forums

Ex-Christian Spirituality (near the bottom of the list)

 This area is for those who have left Christianity for another form

 of theism or spirituality (Deism, Paganism, Wicca, Great Spirit, The Force, Buddhism, etc.).

I found it. Thanks much

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2 hours ago, Myrkhoos said:

Well

Well, I come from a backgound in Eastern Orthodoxy, which, if you know about it, shares a lot in style with eastern religions. An entire way of life is what Christianity is described to be, at least in the Orthodox sense. This what religions usually are, ways of life.

I know a little about it and attended some services. My background is RC and I figured EO might be the path I sought., but alas no. (OK in case you see me on another post my background is actually RC and Baptist. Just saying so I don't appear to contradict myself. In addition I also see quite a few similarities between RC mass and puja. 

 

Am also aware that Christianity is a way of life but the Hindu concept is different and to me, more fully entrenched. It encompasses diet, and daily puja and other forms of devotion. IMHO Christian way of life simply means maybe daily prayer and Bible study.  Treating people kind as in how would Jesus treat them etc etc.

 

Clearly their seem to be different concepts of what atheism is and I guess I will learn more about it as I read more on this list. All I know is that I feel so good inside when I go into a temple or respect animals as in not eating them. So way of life and atheism seemingly have different meanings depending on the speaker. 

3 hours ago, Myrkhoos said:

This what what also in that article about Hindu atheism. That just seems like a weird form of extreme Bible fundamentalism. I think no western atheist  would ever adhere to those kind of ideas. So the atheism they had was a different form than modern Western atheism. That is why I said one must first show their definitions about what atheist and Hindu means. 

 

It gets "complicated somewhat if it has no standard meaning then how do we discuss it. I NOT trying to be coy or a smart a$$ just trying to understand

 

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Well, again, christian orthodoxy, especially monasticism, covers every aspect of life, from diet , with its fasting scheledule, all year round services, the sacraments from baptism, as in birth to confession to the eucharist to prayer to views about every facet of life. The type of christianity you described is a very lax type of christianity, which of course you will see a lot of the time, but it is not what it is in is more strict forms. I mean christian orthodoxy has teachings about thought watching and never ending prayer with layers and levels in its mystical levels. As I said, it really does cover every aspect of life from the intellect to the body. And it does have a very rich tradition in devotion, from spectacular services and chanting in great cathedrals to inner silent prayer in hermits in caves. I mean git to give it the credit fir what it is. I do not deny that hindu concepts are different, but the christian life is all encompassing. One of the reasons it is so hard to leave. And the orthodox do say that the RC and esoecially the protestants have strayed from this understanding. A monk priest from Mt Athos said orthodox theology is ascetic theology, about the real union in experience with the divine energies. He also deplored the highly lax and secularized form christianity even Orthodoxy is in today. 

 

Standard definition of modern atheism would be lack of beliefs in certain entities, usually called supernatural. As such any belief that the Vedas were not authored by humans would be rejected. And the materialistic schools of thought and individuals in India who rejected the Vedas, rituals and relied on just natural explanation would no be, in my opinion, even called hindu, or maybe only in the cultural sense.

    I mean do you believe Shiva exists as a spiritual being? Be it just a manifestation of Brahman? Or do you regard him as a symbol? Do you pray to him/ worship him? 

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I've heard it said that a third of Hindus are atheists but it is always hard to get accurate numbers when even how the question is worded can change the response. Two people can be talking about the same cosmic energy, one terms it god while the other refuses to use that word. Both share the same belief but would answer religious questions differently. 

 

I dated a Hindu girl for several years and her family seemed to be cultural Hindus only. They learnt the history, dances, attended the festivals and temple services but it all came from a place of belonging to the group, tradition and love of their culture. They didn't appear to hold any belief that the rituals would supernaturally effect the world or that the writings were divinely inspired but her uncle did have a cult like love of Sai Baba, with a shrine setup to a photo of the man. 

I know it has been found 20-25% of Christians are only in the church because they have to be (especially the younger generation who have no choice), because of tradition or to be part of the group. If this is true across the board of all religions then there are already more atheists than religious in the world. 

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15 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

Well, again, christian orthodoxy, especially monasticism, covers every aspect of life, from diet , with its fasting scheledule, all year round services, the sacraments from baptism, as in birth to confession to the eucharist to prayer to views about every facet of life. The type of christianity you described is a very lax type of christianity, which of course you will see a lot of the time, but it is not what it is in is more strict forms. I mean christian orthodoxy has teachings about thought watching and never ending prayer with layers and levels in its mystical levels. As I said, it really does cover every aspect of life from the intellect to the body. And it does have a very rich tradition in devotion, from spectacular services and chanting in great cathedrals to inner silent prayer in hermits in caves. I mean git to give it the credit fir what it is. I do not deny that hindu concepts are different, but the christian life is all encompassing. One of the reasons it is so hard to leave. And the orthodox do say that the RC and esoecially the protestants have strayed from this understanding. A monk priest from Mt Athos said orthodox theology is ascetic theology, about the real union in experience with the divine energies. He also deplored the highly lax and secularized form christianity even Orthodoxy is in today. 

 

Standard definition of modern atheism would be lack of beliefs in certain entities, usually called supernatural. As such any belief that the Vedas were not authored by humans would be rejected. And the materialistic schools of thought and individuals in India who rejected the Vedas, rituals and relied on just natural explanation would no be, in my opinion, even called hindu, or maybe only in the cultural sense.

    I mean do you believe Shiva exists as a spiritual being? Be it just a manifestation of Brahman? Or do you regard him as a symbol? Do you pray to him/ worship him? 

I agree with what you state in the first paragraph. You tend to write more detailed that I do. Where I wrote etc, you gave specific examples of way of life. I could have named all of those celebrations too but it just seemed to be excessive.  The Catholic church itself has laxed from the way from how I grew up. I grew up pre-Vatican 2 and remember well the entire way of living. Many former holy days of obligation are now optional days.

 

If a modern day atheist rejects all belief in the supernatural, then, to me that is a generalized definition that would suit a "Christian atheist" as well as a Hindu one.

 

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Wertbag said:

I've heard it said that a third of Hindus are atheists but it is always hard to get accurate numbers when even how the question is worded can change the response. Two people can be talking about the same cosmic energy, one terms it god while the other refuses to use that word. Both share the same belief but would answer religious questions differently. 

 

I dated a Hindu girl for several years and her family seemed to be cultural Hindus only. They learnt the history, dances, attended the festivals and temple services but it all came from a place of belonging to the group, tradition and love of their culture. They didn't appear to hold any belief that the rituals would supernaturally effect the world or that the writings were divinely inspired but her uncle did have a cult like love of Sai Baba, with a shrine setup to a photo of the man. 

I know it has been found 20-25% of Christians are only in the church because they have to be (especially the younger generation who have no choice), because of tradition or to be part of the group. If this is true across the board of all religions then there are already more atheists than religious in the world. 

Agree. Have been wrestling with that one on another project where we are trying to pose questions to get the most accurate answers possible.

 

Then since I am a non ethnic Hindu the ones I meet are mostly devout and believe in the spiritual, as do I. I suppose your girl friend's experience are like those of some xtains who celebrate Christmas, and Easter, attend baptisms and weddings and other special events, but who do not entirely embrace the belief 100 percent.  In fact, I attend xtain churches on occasion for those same reasons. I just attend with wide open eyes and am free from the shackles that once bounded me such as guilt for doubts.

 

Your statement regarding the young people who are in church because they have to be are the me of yesteryear. Mom made church mandatory. Which of course made it all the harder to leave and all the harder to not feel guilty about doing so.

 

Your last sentence causes me to ask are are already more atheists than religious in the world or are there more who find some area between xtains and "nothing"/black or white, pass or fail.

 

Thanks for your response

Jags

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