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10 Questions and Answers People Ask About Hinduism

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1) Why Does Hinduism Have so Many Gods?
All Hindus, generally believe in one Supreme God who created the universe. He is all-pervasive. He created many Gods, to be His assistants, who were highly advanced spiritual beings.

All Hindus worship the One supreme God, called by various names, depending on their value and they revere a number of angelic beings, whom they call Gods. The central figure is Lord Siva, who is worshiped as the Supreme Being by Saivites and many other Hindus. Supported by him are other great spiritual beings, known as Gods; and Lord Ganesha is one among them.

Hindu Gods

2) Do Hindus Believe Reincarnation?
Yes, Hindus believe that the soul is immortal and takes rebirth time and time again. Through this process, we gain experience, learn lessons and evolve spiritually; and finally we graduate from physical birth.

Each soul experience many diverse lives through reincarnation. Reincarnation is called punarjanmam in Sanskrit, wherein after the death of the physical body, the soul takes on another physical body, and is repeatedly born again and again. Here, a soul, represented by the ray of light, is shown in seven successive lives. Hindus believe that reincarnation is a purposeful maturing process, which is governed by the law of karma.

3) What is Karma?
Karma is the universal principle of the Law of cause and effect. Whatever actions we do, both good and bad, return to us at some specific time in the future, which enable us to learn from life’s lessons and become better people.

Here is one of the best examples of karma. You can’t give anything away, because that generosity will return to you, with interest. For example, a person happily gives clothing to a poor youth. Later on, he receives an unexpected gift from a neighbour, because the karma of his good action brings its natural reward. By wisely following the ways of Karma, we tread the path of dharma.

4) Why do Hindus Worship the Cow?
Hindus do not worship cows, but they respect, honour and adore the cow. Cow gives us more than she takes, and hence by honouring this gentle animal, we honour all creatures.

For Hindus, cows are the finest example of divinity in all forms of life. Cows are respected, they are garlanded and their horns are painted and decorated. They are offered fresh grass. In India, the cow is respected, revered and protected as a symbol of wealth, strength, abundance, selfless giving and a full Earthly life.

5) Are Hindus Idol Worshippers?
Hindus do not regard an idol made of a stone or metal as God. They worship God through the image. They invoke the presence of God from the Supreme, unseen worlds, into the image that enables communication with Him and receive His blessings.

A devotee looks within and beyond the image of dancing Siva to see God in His spiritual body of light. Dressed in traditional Hindu costume, the man performs his daily puja in his home shrine, chanting sacred Sanskrit mantras, offering fruit, water, flowers, incense and light. He worships sincerely, praying to God to send blessings through the enshrined image.

6) Are Hindus Forbidden to eat meat?
Hinduism teaches vegetarianism as the best way to live, which will result in minimum of troubles to other creatures. However, in the present world, there are both vegetarians and non-vegetarians among the Hindus.

Merchants in the market sell varieties of fruits, vegetables, grains, spices and sweets, a grand combination of food that great cooks artistically combine in the most splendid cuisine of nature. Hindus are aware of the complete reasons against eating meat, and many of them refrain entirely. With such a delicious and healthy diet, the need to consume flesh does not arise.

7) Do Hindus Have a Bible?
Hindus do not have Bible. The Veda is their Sacred Book. Veda means “wisdom” and it consists of four ancient Holy Scriptures, which all Hindus admire as the revealed words of God.

The Vedas are revealed scriptures, which means, they were delivered by God through enlightened sages, called rishis. This divine transmission took place as Lord Siva conferred the four books of the Veda to four rishis. The sacred knowledge, which was conveyed orally for most of history, was finally inscribed in Sanskrit on palm leaves to share and preserve further.

8) Why do Many Hindus Wear a Dot Near The Middle of Their Head?
Karma is the universal principle of the Law of cause and effect. Whatever actions we do, both good and bad, return to us at some specific time in the future, which enable us to learn from life’s lessons and become better people.

It is a universal human practice to decorate the face and body with colourful paints. Mostly, it is a cultural practice expressing one’s beliefs and identity. The dot on the forehead signifies the mystical vision beyond the five senses. It is a humble daily act that a woman politely applies a red bindi to her sister’s forehead.

9) Are the Gods of Hinduism Really Married?
It is a fact that in the traditional stories of Hindus, God is often portrayed with a spouse. However, analysing it on a deeper philosophical level, it can be found that the Supreme Being and the Hindu Gods are neither male nor female and hence are not married.

Hindus have the unique concept of God as Ardhanarishvara. It literally means “half-male half-female God”. Siva manifested as male on the right side and Shakti as female on the left. This Divine concept as our male-female God replaces the mythological notion of marriage of a God and Goddess, and proclaims that God and His energy are one.

10) What About Caste and Untouchability?
Caste refers to the traditional division of the people of Indian Society based on their occupation. The lowest class in the bottom level, considered as untouchables, suffer from discrimination. It is illegal in India to abuse or insult anyone on the basis of caste.

Representatives of the four castes are: worker, businessman, king and priest. These are natural divisions that exist in all nations as universal existence, in the form of labour unions, business class, armies and police forces, and religious class.

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