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A glimpse into the Hindu World view

 

 
Bakti Marga 
(Devotion)
Jnana Marga 
(Enlightenment)
Karma Marga 
(Duty)
Modern Hindu View

 

Margas (Ways)

The devotee in this patch is seeking for god’s mercy to escape the unending cycle of karma and reincarnation (Samsara)

Surrender to deities (gods and goddesses) is achieved by worship of idols and gurus.

Worship, either at temples or homes entail the chanting of Slokas (praise in Sanskrit). In temples, offering coconuts, fruits and food to the idols is considered a form of worship.

The key motto: ‘Surrender’ to god

Jnana is Knowledge. In this approach, a person is seeking self knowledge (the realization that ‘i am’ part of ‘I AM’). When a person is able to live this out, they are considered enlightened.

Yoga or/and various forms of meditation is prescribed.

 

Besides the practice of yoga or meditation, study of philosophy is encouraged

 

The key motto: ‘Realize’ your divinity

 

New Age, Meditation, Yoga

The karma yogi is generally conscious of all their activities. They attempt to detach themselves, so that they are not impacted adversely by the result of their action.

 

Misery comes through attachment, not through work. Work is worship, Duty is Devotion

 

 

The key motto: ‘Do’ your duty

 

Buddhism, Jainism

All paths lead to God, like all rivers in the end reach the ocean, so choose any path that works for you.

 

Various paths are like the spokes of the wheel, they end up in the hub

 

 

“All Religions are True but Imperfect”

– Gandhi’s Message of Jesus Christ (p 16)

 

"Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose the path that suits him best."

- Swami Vivekananda

 

The key motto: Any path is Ok

 

GOD
The gods, goddesses and gurus are considered to be superior than normal humans and are worshipped. Their stories can be typically found in

Puranas (ancient stories)

 

These gods and goddesses are typically worshiped in the form of idols that are placed in various temples and in homes.

 

We are part of God. We are the (small) ‘i am’ and God is the ‘I AM’. When illusion (Maya) is dispelled we will realize that we are part of the ‘I AM’

 

Many modern day Gurus from this path claim that they are god and suggest that all of us can be gods too.

 

Rationale: We are divine, but have not realized that because we are trapped in illusion (Maya).

 

God’s significance is played down. There is a lot more focus on detachment (removing cravings). You are responsible for your destiny.

 

" All power is within you, you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak... You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of any one. All power is there. Stand up and express the divinity with you... Arise, awake, sleep no more. With each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe in this, that power will be manifested.”

 

- Swami Vivekananda

All gods and goddesses are various manifestations of the one supernatural being.

 

Salvation
The word used to describe salvation here isMukti or Moksha (liberation).

 

Achieving liberation from the endless cycle ofSamsara (birth, death, rebirth)

 

The word used to describe salvation here is Samadhi(Oneness with the ultimate reality – I AM).

 

This is to be achieved by liberation from Maya(Illusion). 

The word used to describe salvation here is Nirvana (Annihilation).

 

Since people following this path don’t give much importance to the after life, they generally believe that this is their only life.

Salvation is the crowning moment that is believed to occur at the point of death in this life or several lifetimes later (reincarnation)

 

 

Many Hindu friends might not have any assurance that they will receive salvation after death (in the current lifetime)

 

Peace (Santhi)
Absence of problems, restfulness Feeling of being in harmony with the universe Not being perturbed by the response of others or any result at all. Rather, just content in performing ones duties. Absence of internal conflicts or absence of stress

 

Prayer
Time spent in performing rituals, recitingSlokas (praise in Sanskrit) The term is not generally used. However, some may use the term prayer to describe meditation, especially when they are chanting the same Mantra repeatedly.  The term is not used. However, some consider work as prayer Time spent in performing rituals
Morality (Dharma)
There is general fear of god; as a result devotees try their best to lead an upright life. Generally interested in tolerance (harmony) and less focus on morality Performing ones duty is considered sacred and the moral responsibility of the individual Extremely sensitive to the moral implications of actions. However, it is relative morality (their uprightness compared to the general population’s uprightness)