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Hinduism Simplified - Index





Hindu Books > Introduction And References > Hinduism Simplified

Cover

Hinduism Simplified
For youths growing up in the western environment

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Foreword

With great pleasure I have gone through the booklet entitled Hinduism Simplified prepared by Sri Gangadhar Choudhary. This booklet is intended to convey the basics of Hinduism to the children of Hindu parents in this country.

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About Author - Shri Gangadhar Choudhary

485, Rams Way, NW Tucker, GA 30084-2058
Tel : 770-925 8294
Email : gangadharc@yahoo.com

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Introduction

This Hinduism Simplified is intended for youths who are being brought up in a western environment away from the mainstream of the Hindu culture. The need to present the concept of Hinduism in this easy-to-understand form developed from the author's experience of teaching the basics of Hinduism to such youths.

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Preface To Second Edition

This expanded version of Hinduism Simplified is presented in response to the suggestions from the readers, both youths and adults. Besides some minor changes more details on the questions of the scriptures.

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Q #1. Mom, can you tell me about the Hindu religion ...

Yes, dear, that's a very good question. First of all, let me start with some basics. Hinduism is not a religion in the strict sense of the word. It is recommendation for living a disciplined, pure and blissful life needed for God realization.

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Q #2. Mom can you please tell me more about the Vedas and dharma ...

The Vedas are the original scriptures of Hinduism on which entire Hindu way of life is based. The ethical way of living as suggested in the Vedas is called dharma. Dharma is God's divine law for discipline and proper development of human beings.

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Q #3. Could You Tell Me Some More About Reincarnation ...

Yes my child. The word reincarnation literally means coming again into physical body. According to our scriptures, a soul passes into a body at birth and migrates into another body at death.

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Q #4. Mom, what does the "Om" sound and sign mean ? ...

"Om" is the most sacred syllable often spoken during the practice of any Hindu rites. It is a holy character of the Sanskrit language, the language of God. The character is a composite of three different letters of the Sanskrit alphabet.

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Q #5. I know Amen is used a lot in other religions ...

No, they both have different meanings. Amen is spoken to assert faith at the end of a religious proclamation.

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Q #6. Why do Hindus have so many gods and goddesses ...

Actually, Hindus believe in only one formless and all-pervading, all-existing, and all-blissful God. That formless God, however, can best be realized by concentrating on various forms of ideal personalities as recorded in the scriptures.

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Q #7. Who are some of these gods and goddesses ?

Most of the gods and goddesses that are worshipped are either incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, and his wife Goddess Lakshmi or other deities.

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Q #8. Mom, can you tell me about the scriptures in Hindusim ?

Unlike other religions Hinduism is not based on any one sacred writing. Instead it has many sacred books which support the basic thoughts of the Vedas.

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Q #9. Mom, would you please tell me about the sacred books which you have just mentioned ...

The Ramayana relates the life story of Ramchandra, the ideal man who is also considered a famous God by Hindus. He was the oldest of the four sons of king Dasharath of Ayodhya -Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna.

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Q #10. Mom, can you tell me about divine incarnations in Hinduism ?

Yes, dear. We believe that whenever there is decline in religious activity on earth Lord Vishnu appears in order to save the human race from an unrighteous way of life, to destroy evils, and to show people a path of dharma (the right duty).

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Q #11. How is the caste system related to Hinduism ?

My child, this is one of the most commonly asked questions about Hinduism. The caste system was an important part of the Hindu way of life. During the Vedic age a social classification system called Varnashrama was devised so that the human race could have a smooth and ordered life in society.

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Q #12. Mom, please tell me about the Hindu calendar. How is it different ...

Most fasts and festivals in Hinduism are based on the lunar calendar year. According to this, one lunar year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each. Each month is divided into two halves of 15 days, dark and bright.

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Q #13. Mom, can you tell me something about the Hindu festivals and fasts ?

Most fasts and festivals in Hinduism are based on the lunar calendar year. According to this, one lunar year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each. Each month is divided into two halves of 15 days, dark and bright.

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Q #14. Can you please tell me something about the stages of life in Hinduism ?

Yes, Hindus believe that spiritual development in one's life can be achieved by passing through four equal stages during a life span of 108 years. Each stage is called ashrama, and spans 27 years.

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Q #15. Mom, can you please tell me something about Yoga? People often talk about Yoga exercises ...

Yes, they are correct. Hindus seek enlightenment through Yoga. Yoga is a vast system of seeking spirituality in life by controlling body and mind. The word itself means "union with God."

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Q #16. Mom, sometimes you talk about sacred rites and ceremonies. Are those related to our religion ?

Very much so. A Hindu way of living is wrapped around various holy rites called Sanskar for obtaining spiritual nourishment, peace of mind and the ultimate goal of liberation, moksha.

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Q #17. Mom, I often hear about vegetarian and non vegetarian foods in Hindu homes ...

As I mentioned earlier, our scriptures show us ways to obtain a sound body and mind in order to lead a proper way of life. Proper intake of food is necessary for this purpose.

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Q #18. Mom, you have given me a broad description of Hinduism. Can you please tell me ...

Yes. I have told you various aspects of the Hindu way of life. Now I'll repeat the major points and add a few more important facts. First of all, I emphasize that Hinduism is a religion of freedom.

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Gods And Goddesses

Hindu Gods like Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva And Goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi, Parvati/Uma, Durga/Kali, Ganesha/Ganapati, Kartikeya, Hanumana, Venketeshwara, Rama, Krishna, Satyanarayana etc.,

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Summary

A one page of summary of Hindu beliefs and disciplines as Hinduism Simplified is attached at the end of the booklet for a quick reference.

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Copyright © by Hindu Books Universe All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2003-02-28 (8099 reads)

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