Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Essence of Being a Hindu

Group 3 [Age 12-15 yrs]
Tannavee KumarFremont, CA

The Essence of Being a Hindu

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “…I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.”  Hinduism is a religion that follows an idea, but does not require its followers to abide to any strict rules.  To be a Hindu does not mean to do a pilgrimage, or sing hymns, have pooja daily, or to even go to the temple all the time.  To be a Hindu, means to believe in the ultimate truth.  “Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known.”
In Hinduism, we are reminded again and again about where we once came from and where we are now.  This is both figurative and literal.  We must realize that the point in life we are in right now is from our past karma, but we are also reminded that we all came from one big force, and have reincarnated thousands and thousands of times to be standing where we are right now. 
We are constantly reminded that we determine our destiny.  Hinduism is not an excuse to leave all our problems to God.  The choices we make drive our destiny.  The situation we are in the present is all from our own doing.  Even when we are in the depths of despair, Hinduism is a religion that often puts an emphasis on redemption.  There is not a necessity of being locked up in Hell for all of eternity.  Whether it takes some people a million lives or only three, we always have a place to fall back on. 
As a human being we constantly chase a bountiful amount of happiness.  We can be closely resembled to cars; we run very well when we have just been “fueled up” with happiness, but as soon as we “run out” we need another dose.  To seek the happiness our soul desires we have to “face the truth”, which is, to reach the greater goal we wish to achieve, we must sacrifice the smaller pleasures in life.   
Sacrificing things does not mean that you must move out of your mansion and live in a forest and meditate for the rest of your life.  Giving back to a greater good, in the way of time or money is considered a service.  Anything that is done with the thought of mind that whatever you are currently doing is not for yourself but for others is also a service.  But often the biggest service of all is the one that you can do for yourself and that is losing all attachment towards materialistic things, but this one is probably by far the most difficult. 
When people think of themselves, they often think that they are the body.  But we are not the body, we are the soul.  From the time we are born to the time we are using a cane, our bodies change but the essence of who we are remains the same.  To be a Hindu means to think about something outside of the materialistic world, this includes us.  To be a Hindu does not mean that you should read the Bhagavad Gita daily, it means to have the values it portrays.  To be a Hindu is not to just believe in a religion, it means that you follow a way of living.    

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