Hindus acknowledge that, at the most fundamental level, God is the One without a second — the absolute, formless, and only Reality known as Brahman, the Supreme, Universal Soul. This blog post is third in the series “Vedas For Dummies” describing the structure of the Vedas. Ganapati, also known as Ganesha, is Shiva’s first son. Bhagavad Gita for Dummies – A book Every Human should Read! In my 200-hour teacher training at Pure Yoga NYC , he would always talk about these parties that he went to on Thursdays where he chanted and played the harmonium. Brahman alone Is. Your chart holds the key to understanding who you are on a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual body level. It is entering into the study of Brahman. The oldest is the Rig- Veda, composed of more than a thousand hymns and organized into ten mandalas or books. But most of all, Lord Krishna’s promise to humanity that he will manifest himself and descend to earth whenever dharma declines has sustained Hindu belief in the Supreme Being over thousands of years. He earned his path to deification by performing feats of strength, devotion, and courage while helping Rama (an avatar of Vishnu) in countless exciting incidents. The earliest of the Hindu scriptures, the Rig Veda, was composed well before 6500 B.C., and the roots of the faith can be traced as far back as 10,000 B.C. It is the exploration of nature and its laws. The vaishyas specialize in trade and commerce in order to procure goods and services so that the society as a whole can lead a life of plenty. And belief in the authority of the Vedas (sacred scriptures) serves, to a large extent, as the very definition of a Hindu, even though how the Vedas are interpreted may vary greatly. They are the original scriptures of Hindu teachings, containing spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of life. They are particularly relevant for the development of Yajurveda. Explores the history and teachings of the Vedas, Brahmans, and Upanishads Offers insight into the modern daily practice of Hinduism around the world Continuing the Dummies tradition of making the world's religions engaging and accessible to everyone, Hinduism For Dummies is your hands-on, friendly guide to this fascinating religion. Surya (or Soorya) is a golden warrior arriving on a chariot pulled by seven white horses. Indra wields a thunderbolt and is a protector and provider of rain. Most of the people who claim that the Vedas endorse or recommend meat eating either use third-party tools to interpret the ancient texts, something like “Vedas for Dummies” or they refer to translations done by snake-oil-selling type scholars. Rig Veda means a Veda of praise. Considering how inexpensive Bhagavad Gita for Dummies is I would say it is worth the price. The Vedas are Hindu scriptures that contain revelations received by ancient saints and sages. This Veda has several verses (hymns). Yet a common thread among all these variations is belief in a Supreme Being and adherence to certain concepts such as Truth, dharma, and karma. Sentences in the Vedas sometimes present an unclear meaning which creates doubts rather than resolve them. 3. The Vedas are a large body of texts containing hymns, poems, and ceremonial formulas originating in Ancient India. As sruti (revealed texts), the Vedas are regarded as the absolute authority for religious knowledge and a test of Hindu orthodoxy (both Jains and Buddhists reject the Vedas). Upa-ni-shad means ‘sit down close’. Astrology Vedic Science for Dummies 6th September 2019 by admin 0 India, the land of Rishi Munis is the birthplace of Vedic Science. Here are some of the key beliefs shared among Hindus: Hindus pursue knowledge and understanding of the Truth: the very essence of the universe and the only Reality. Go ahead and read it. Avatars are savior forms of a god that descend to earth to intervene whenever help is needed to restore dharma (moral order) and peace. The Vedas are the holy books of the Hindus, much revered for being the fount of all knowledge. Continuing the Dummies tradition of making the world's religions engaging and accessible to everyone, Hinduism For Dummies is your hands-on, friendly guide to this fascinating religion. They are considered to be revelations or heard ones (sruti) and therefore, inviolable. Rig Veda is the first Veda of the four Vedas. The kind of body the soul inhabits next is determined by karma (actions accumulated in previous lives). Anyone who makes dharma central to one’s life strives to do the right thing, according to one’s duty and abilities, at all times. Hindus offer prayer to Saraswati before beginning any intellectual pursuit, and Hindu students are encouraged to offer prayers to her during the school/college term and especially before and during examinations. Less visible than nature gods that preside over elements (such as fire and rain), Vishnu is the pervader — the divine essence that pervades the universe. Hinduism is not an organized religion and has no single, systematic approach to teaching its value system. Vishnu is the second member of the Hindu Trinity. Moksha is liberation: the soul’s release from the cycle of death and rebirth. However, the Vedas do so to make us think, come to our own decisions, which indeed is the only way to fundamentally teach us anything. They are the ‘forest’ or ‘wilderness’ sections which form the final parts of Brahmanas. Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune, wealth, and well-being. Srauta Sutras are the structural descriptions of the Srauta ritual. He is portrayed as an ideal son, brother, husband, and king and as a strict adherent to dharma. Just be prepared for the choppy, often incoherent, English. The most oft-mentioned are Indra, Agni, Soma, and Varuna. For example, Hindus believe there is only one Supreme Being, Brahman; they pursue knowledge of Truth and Reality; they strive for moral order and right action; and they promote tolerance. Yet Hindu religion is also polytheistic: populated with myriad gods and goddesses who personify aspects of the one true God, allowing individuals an infinite number of ways to worship based on family tradition, community and regional practices, and other considerations. Paradoxically though, Upanishads became the most famous part of the Vedas. The Vedas (/ ˈ v eɪ d ə z, ˈ v iː-/; Sanskrit: वेदः vedaḥ, "knowledge") are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India.Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.. These sutras were orally composed, but their transmission was not confined to recitation and chant but were practised by application (prayoga) in the rituals. It is the science which raises man above the plane of worldliness. Here are just some of the many Hindu gods and goddesses: Brahma is the first member of the Hindu Trinity and is “the Creator” because he periodically creates everything in the universe. He is usually worshipped in the form of an avatar (see below). Forests are places where powerful mantras or ideas may originate. Saraswati is the consort of Brahma the Creator and is worshipped as the goddess of learning, wisdom, speech, and music. Several paths can lead to this realization and unity: the path of duty, the path of knowledge, and the path of devotion (unconditional surrender to God). Interpreting Vedas is a highly complex activity. These hymns praise a number of gods. As the consort of Vishnu, she plays a role in every incarnation. Brahman has no form and no limits; it is Reality and Truth. Understanding the concept of dharma helps you understand the Hindu faith. Bhakti for Dummies: What You Need to Know About The "Hare Krishnas." Yajur-Veda “Knowledge of the Sacrificial formulas”, for liturgy. Explores the history and teachings of the Vedas, Brahmans, and Upanishads Offers insight into the modern daily practice of Hinduism around the world Continuing the Dummies tradition of making the world's religions engaging and accessible to everyone, Hinduism For Dummies is your hands-on, friendly guide to this fascinating religion. Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, tasked with destroying the universe in order to prepare for its renewal at the end of each cycle of time. Bullies in the Workplace and My Experiences as a Victim, Living Without a Smartphone for Three Months. The Vedas, Divine Knowledge. Everyone should strive to achieve dharma. There is another book called "Bhagavad Gita for Beginners: The Song of God in Simplified Prose by Edward Viljoen that is much better that I would recommend. Your Vedic birth chart is a unique karmic map that shares the wisdom of life—past, present, and future. It is the rational method of meditating on the Supreme Absolute, the Eternal, the Infinite. The shudras do manual labor such as tilling the land, working in the fields, and raising cattle and crops. Lord Ganapati, who has an elephant head, occupies a very special place in the hearts of Hindus because they consider him the Remover of Obstacles. There are four Vedas: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda. Author: The Upanishads are not one book – the term Upanishad is used to group together lots of different texts (known as sruti, or heard) on the nature of human reality, and the path to freedom (moksha). The concept of schools was created by Yajurvedins and the other three Vedas followed it, not by creating compositions (as mentioned in earlier post Rig and Sama Veda existed before Yajur Veda) but by assigning them a place. Dharma can be described as right conduct, righteousness, moral law, and duty. In Yajur Veda, the Aranyakas are attached to the Brahmanas while in Rig Veda they are transmitted as separate compositions. For a long time they passed down the texts of the Veda by reciting them. 2. The associated functions include, Defending the country from external aggression or internal strife, Specializing in the science of arms, ammunition, strategies, and tactics of warfare. Hindus identify Krishna as the teacher of the sacred scripture called the Bhagavad Gita and as the friend and mentor of prince Arjuna in the epic the Mahabharata. The Vedas are considered the earliest literary record of Indo-Aryan civilization and the most sacred books of India. Vishnu is an important, somewhat mysterious god. For his devotees, Krishna is a delight, full of playful pranks. As was discussed in the earlier post, White Yajurveda separates its Brahmanas from the mantras unlike Black Yajurveda where they are mixed. I was first introduced to Bhakti by one of my first yoga teachers, Yogi Charu . The Vedas are Hindu scriptures that contain revelations received by ancient saints and sages. The literal meaning of the word avatar is “descent,” and it’s usually understood to mean divine descent. Before reading this post get an overview of the Vedas by reading my earlier post: Vedas For Dummies — Introduction. The Veda are the most sacred scriptures of Hinduism. If one Hindu god’s name is known and recognized throughout the world, it is Krishna. The Vedas The most sacred scriptures of Hinduism are the Vedas ("Books of Knowledge"), a collection of texts written in Sanskrit from about 1200 BCE to 100 CE. In practice, this caste came to include everyone not belonging to the other three castes, except for the untouchables: people performing the most menial labor, such as sweeping streets and tanning leather. The actual Sanskrit term used for philosophy/ theology is Darshana which simply means “a view of the Truth”. These aspects of the religion introduce some of the complexities that are fascinating to study. Vishnu is worshipped in many forms and in several avatars (incarnations). Nor do Hindus have a simple set of rules to follow like the Ten Commandments. There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Vedas describe a number of deities, most of whom are personified forces of nature. Brahman is the universe and everything in it. home; the practice; the people; services; clients; careers; contact; blog A Few Key Figures in the History of Atheism. Indra is the chief deity and the god of war and rain, the greatest concerns of the people at that time. Explores the history and teachings of the Vedas, Brahmans, and Upanishads; Offers insight into the modern daily practice of Hinduism around the world; Continuing the Dummies tradition of making the world's religions engaging and accessible to everyone, Hinduism For Dummies is your hands-on, friendly guide to this fascinating religion. The Upanishads are known as ‘Vedanta’, the final chapters of the Vedas. (She is Sita, wife of Rama; Rukmini, wife of Krishna; and Dharani, wife of Parashu Rama, another avatar of Vishnu.). The first sruti writings are the most sacred and are considered the infallible words of divinity – the four Vedas, a body of ancient hymns and chants written in Sanskrit. It refers to the continuous recitation of the initial and main part of each of the Vedas. They also embody the most ancient ritual and spiritual traditions of the world. The Vedas are called Vidyas which means ways of knowledge or perception (a term cognate with Latin video!). Aham Brahmasmi - "I" am God, meaning man himself is God. They form the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism. Most Hindu households have a picture or statue of this godhead, and it’s not uncommon to see small replicas of Ganapati hanging from rearview mirrors of cars and trucks! According to the Vedas, Truth is One, but the wise express it in a variety of ways. The process of movement of the atman from one body to another is known as transmigration. I start with explaining the terminology and a summary is provided in the Table towards the end of the post. Actions of the soul while residing in a body require that it reap the consequences of those actions in the next life — the same soul in a different body. This is different from the first column of the table listed below, as the first column includes all the accretions as enumerated in the other columns. Hindus believe in Brahman as the one true God who is formless, limitless, all-inclusive, and eternal. The Human (Arjuna) had lot of Questions to Supreme God (Krishna) and he got answers from God for all those. They are the ‘prose’ sections but were originally composed orally. This blog post is third in the series “Vedas For Dummies” describing the structure of the Vedas. This video gives a brief introduction to these mystic texts. (Revised Edition - August 2015) This Book explains Bhagavad Gita (Sacred Text) given by Supreme God as Summary in English. The associated “job description” includes, Serving as a gatekeeper of knowledge of Brahman, Providing intellectual advice to governing bodies, Offering priestly services and religious leadership, Grappling with fundamental questions of life, The requisite talents for kshatriyas are physical prowess, courage, splendor, firmness, dexterity, stalwartness in battle, generosity, and lordliness. Note that the creation of a group called untouchables was a manmade perversion of the caste concept set forth in Hindu scripture — a perversion fought by modern Indian leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi. Unfortunately, no single English word adequately covers its meaning. Sama-Veda “Knowledge of the Melodies”, for chanting. (W. H. Allen and Co., London, 1849). Thus Hinduism is a pantheistic religion: It equates God with the universe. Explores the history and teachings of the Vedas, Brahmans, and Upanishads; Offers insight into the modern daily practice of Hinduism around the world. The Hindu religion originated in India thousands of years ago. The essence of the whole Vedas lies in these two statements. Please, please, please do not grab a copy of a 200-page (or even 500-page) English “translation” of the Vedas or Upanishads, and think that you will gain any knowledge. Everyone should strive to achieve dharma. H. H. Wilson was the first to make a translation of the Rig Veda into English, published in six volumes during the period 1850–88. The goal of the individual soul is moksha. It does not mean that they are for ascetics only. Why Pain and Suffering Are Necessary if You Want to Feel Happy. The basic Vedic texts are the Samhita “Collections” of the four Vedas: 1. Agni holds a special place in Hindu fire ritual to this day as the sacrificer (the priest who performs the ceremony); the sacrifice (the ritual fire and the offerings made into it); and the witness to all rites. Metaphorically, it is considered as the ratha (driving vehicle) of the system. It occurs when the soul unites with Brahman by realizing its true nature. Hanuman, the monkey king and devoted servant. In ancient India, such a system was inspired by Hindu scriptures and implemented as a way to create a society in which all essential functions were addressed and all people assumed vital roles based on their abilities. Veda itself means knowledge, deriving from the Sanskrit root ‘vid’ meaning to know, to see or to cognize. Yet, while Durga is terrifying to her adversaries, she is full of compassion and love for her devotees. Brahman is not an abstract concept; it is a real entity that encompasses everything (seen and unseen) in the universe. The Vedas are the ultimate authority. To people raised in other faiths, Hinduism may seem very complex, but the core beliefs of Hinduism are actually quite simple to understand. The Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism. The ancient sacred texts of Hinduism are called the Veda, which means “knowledge.” Hindus composed these texts in what is now India over hundreds of years, beginning in about 1500 bce. Vedanta is the culmination of the Vedas. Hindus believe that the Vedas are without beginning and without end; when everything else in the universe is destroyed (at the end of a cycle of time), the Vedas remain. Rig-Veda “Knowledge of the Hymns of Praise”, for recitation. The Upanishads are full of stories of students looking for teachers. No One is Exempt: JUPITER ASCENDING Five Years Later. Eventually they wrote the texts down. No specific qualities are prescribed in the Hindu scriptures for this and the next caste. Jagat Mithyam Brahma Sathya - Creation is illusory. (The word periodically here refers to the Hindu belief that time is cyclical; everything in the universe — except for Brahman and certain Hindu scriptures — is created, maintained for a certain amount of time, and then destroyed in order to be renewed in ideal form again.). Explores the history and teachings of the Vedas, Brahmans, and Upanishads Offers insight into the modern daily practice of Hinduism around the world Continuing the Dummies tradition of making the world's religions engaging and accessible to everyone, Hinduism For Dummies is your hands-on, friendly guide to this fascinating religion. Hidden within them are a number of secrets which are yet to be fully deciphered and understood. Centuries later, the classification was dubbed the caste system. This Veda is also the oldest Hindu holy book. All societies have some sort of social class system in which people are classified based on education, culture, and income levels. The chief subdivisions of the Vedas are the schools or branches (sakha). Müller published the most studied edition of the Rig Veda Samhita and Padapatha in 6 volumes Muller, Max, ed. Shiva’s destructive power is regenerative: It’s the necessary step that makes renewal possible. There is a multi-layered structure to the Vedas. Before reading this post get an overview … Explores the history and teachings of the Vedas, Brahmans, and Upanishads Offers insight into the modern daily practice of Hinduism around the world Continuing the Dummies tradition of making the world's religions engaging and accessible to everyone, Hinduism for Dummies is your hands-on, friendly guide to this fascinating religion. Modern vaishyas are primarily traders and entrepreneurs. The Vedas are the sacred texts of Hinduism and constitute the core of its principles, beliefs, practices and philosophy. They are called secret teachings as they were transmitted through a one-to-one relationship with the guru (teacher). as the Veda which is considered to be transcendent, impersonal, free from bias and therefore authoritative. While the caste system in practice became seriously flawed, its concept was based on this ideal division: The ideal brahmin has qualities of serenity, self-restraint, purity, forgiveness, uprightness, knowledge, realization, and belief in God. Rama is one of the most beloved Hindu gods and is the hero of the Hindu epic called the Ramayana. Wilson's version was based on the commentary of . Hindus believe that the Vedas are without beginning and without end; when everything else in the universe is destroyed (at the end of a cycle of time), the Vedas remain. Durga Devi is a powerful, even frightening goddess who fights fiercely in order to restore dharma (moral order). The writers were poets, and not always from higher caste. The term vedameans wisdom. Two of Vishnu’s ten avatars are Rama and Krishna. Hanuman is featured in the great Hindu epic the Ramayana. He maintains the order and harmony of the universe, which is periodically created by Brahma and periodically destroyed by Shiva to prepare for the next creation. Learn more about Hindu funeral customs. They constitute its most foundational work, which every Hindu tradition and sect claims as its source. The following are the reasons given generally for not being able to correctly understand the Vedas: 1). Indra, the King of Heaven and lord of the gods. Explores the history and teachings of the Vedas, Brahmans, and Upanishads Offers insight into the modern daily practice of Hinduism around the world Continuing the Dummies tradition of making the world's religions engaging and accessible to everyone, Hinduism For Dummies is your hands-on, friendly guide to this fascinating religion. Millions of Hindus derive satisfaction from reading and recalling Rama’s trials and tribulations as a young prince who was exiled from his kingdom for 14 years. The Vedas are four, Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. 4. Local, regional, caste, and community-driven practices influence the interpretation and practice of beliefs throughout the Hindu world. A Hindu believes that the individual soul (atman) is neither created nor destroyed; it has been, it is, and it will be. Many Westerners also know that Hindus worship a variety of gods and goddesses who personify aspects of Brahman; take pilgrimages to holy sites; celebrate festivals throughout the year; and believe that time is cyclical. The Vedas we might say are the Vidyas or videos of the sages shown on the inner screen of the meditative mind. 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