The Faith of Hindus

The Faith of Hindus
Hinduism is the most ancient religious faith, culture and traditional way of life of a civilization that has existed for over 20,000 years all over India and adjoining areas of Asia. Hinduism is not a true Religion in the real sense of the term but more a way of life or a "Dharma" - to live a life of purity with simplicity with a sense of Natural Justice.

It does not have any one founder, and it does not have one sourcebook like a Bible or a Koran to which controversies can be referred for resolution. Consequently, it does not require its adherents to accept any one idea like a dogma imposed on everyone. It does not accept any dogmas or dictatorial religious guidance. It encourages everyone to think, analyze, question and accept the faith with true knowledge and intuition.

Since Hindu scriptures include not just books relating to spirituality but also secular pursuits like science, medicine, astronomy, and engineering, it defies classification as a religion. In fact, one can almost identify Hinduism with a flourishing civilization and a culture.

Evidence that Hinduism must have existed even circa 10000 B.C. is available: The importance attached to the river Saraswati and the numerous references to it in the Rigveda (interestingly, Ganga appears only twice) indicate that the Rigveda was being composed well before 6500 B.C. The first vernal equinox recorded in the Rigveda is that of the star Ashwini, which is now known to have occurred around 10,000 B.C.

The technological sophistication required to even anticipate such concepts is unlikely to have been acquired by a nomadic people. The faith existed both on the East and the West of this Indus valley. The Aryan invasion theory having been completely discredited, it cannot be assumed that Hinduism was the nomadic faith of invaders belonging to a Central Asian race called Aryans. The Sanskrit word Aryan is a word of honorable address, not the racial reference invented by European scholars and put to perverse use by the Nazis.

Unless otherwise specified, Aryan will be used in this document as a word of honorable address. Within this culture, there were several variations in the groups, some following narration of recitations and rituals and others joining together in a common place for congregational worship and for marker stones and symbols.

Various groups of people like hunters, farmers and other nomadic groups followed it all over this area. It was seen with slight variations within each group. It is said that there were several forms of faith existing in early history, which was organized into one faith by King Vaivasvatha Manu [about 8600 BCE]. This evolved into the Sanatana Dharma or the modern-day Hindu Religion of Vedas, Agamas, Sãstras, and rituals as one great faith and practice.

By: Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.

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