Hinduism simplified for today's generation

Archive for the ‘Questions’ Category

Why are idols of Hindu Gods immersed in water?

The act of immersion of an idol of God is to symbolize the cycle of life coming to an end with the body becoming one with nature again. The idol of God is hence to be made of mud so that it dissolves in water. With the commercialization of religious festivGanesha floating on water like garbageals the intent and significance of rituals and worship of God have been lost. Huge idols of God are erected for fanfare and show. The material used to erect such huge structures is synthetic and the paints are toxic. When these idols are immersed at the sea or lakes, they hardly dissolve. Their substances pollute the water and in-turn impact the people living around these areas. Money is collected and spent in millions for such nonsense. The general pubic with their ignorance and weak philosophy are easily influenced by the people who want to make money out of religion. The weak philosophy is a result of negligence and lost discipline of reading and understanding Vedas and Shashtras and questioning the philosophy and teachings to get a deeper understanding of ones own religion. The fact is that these ancient books teach more than religion. They teach a way of life that is harmonious with nature and enables one to realize their true potential their Dharma. So, the next time someone asks you why are idols of God immersed you can tell them the true significance and advice them against participating and contributing to the commercialization of religion.

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Do Hindus worship the cow and is cow killing a sin?

Hindus worship the cow because it gives selflessly. It’s milk is converted to butter, ghee and many other nutritious things. Cow is such a loving and humble animal. But note that Cows are not the only animal considered God or sacred. In Hinduism everyone has God within them. All of us are sacred and that is why we also say Namaste to each other, i.e. I bow to the divinity within you. It is a misconception among outsiders observing Hinduism that only Cows are sacred and considered God. Hinduism believes that God resides within all of us humans, animals, plants etc. and that all should get equal rights and respect.

One of the virtues prescribed and practiced by Hindus is non-violence (ahimsa). Killing anything for pleasure or without a purpose is unethical. The term “non-violence” is usually misunderstood. For example killing the enemy in war is acceptable, because the person is killing with the intention of saving ones nation and is doing their duty as a soldier or warrior. The Bhagavad Gita is the perfect scripture to understand this analogy. I won’t dwell into explaining it because this can take volumes of material and the mind unfit for deeper understanding will never understand this concept. The bottom line is that killing for one’s sense pleasure or indiscriminately is a heinous act whether animal or human and will incur disastrous karma to be penalised in this life or another.

Why do Hindus worship idols?

I am going to start with the most popular question that gets asked by Christians and Muslims to their Hindu brothers and sisters. Worshiping idols is no different from a Christian visiting a Church or a Muslim visiting a Mosque. Hinduism believes in the formless omnipresent and omniscient God. The idols are only instruments to communicate with the all engulfing Holy Spirit. I will use the analogy of a telephone. We use a telephone to phone someone. We talk to that particular person through the telephone. The telephone is just the medium to talk. Similarly the idol is a medium to have communion with the all engulfing Holy Spirit. Once the mind is spiritually evolved by discipline and by God’s grace there is no longer the need for idols or images. One starts seeing divinity in everything and everyone and merges the soul with the all engulfing Holy Spirit.