HINDU SALVATION CONCEPTS
SALVATION in Hinduism is a very systemized process.
HINDUISM STATES, SALVATION IS FOR ALL. NOBODY IS DENIED SALVA-TION. Even if one does not believe in God, the atheist and agnostic can attain salvation. ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A HINDU TO HAVE SALVATION....In Hinduism SALVATION is known as SELF-REALIZATION, since in Hindu salvation, realizing the fact that he is not the perishable body, but indeed the immortal soul [Atman] within which is indeed the God.
That is the reason why, I firmly believe that every one on earth should give more importance to SPIRITUALITY and less importance to religious dogmas. We have to do things that will elevate us spiritually. We have to slowly eradicate negative thoughts and pump ourselves with positive thoughts. Eventually we have to even eradicate "positive thoughts" and attain "thought-less state". We have to raise our vibrations to higher levels so that we can deal with day to day problems in a very constructive manner. Slowly and steadily we will reach there. That is what Hindu salvation process is all about.
Salvation is a very natural process. The best among us will achieve that by ONE LIFE. The worst among us will achieve that by MANY LIVES. The Hindu Salvation process, like Newton's laws of action is mathematical and predict-able.
Hindu salvation is based on THEORY OF REINCARNATION, a hotly debated topic in theological circles. FUNDAMENTALIST Christianity, for example disallows the very idea of reincarnation. Yet many Christian organizations such as Christian Science, Unity, Unitarian etc accept Reincarna-tion. Many respected philosophers and metaphysicians, most notably, Banarjee of India and Edgar Caysee of the USA have presented us with the most convincing treatise on reincarnation. Though not yet scientifically verified, the THEORY OF REINCARNATION provides us with a paradigm by which most of the problems in the world can be explained in a logical manner.
There are many differences between the Hindu concept of Salvation and the Christian concept of salvation. But unless one knows the fundamentals of both religions, comparisons will be futile.
1. Hinduism believes in ATMAN, the IMMORTAL INDIVIDUAL SOUL Christianity does not believe in IMMORTAL INDIVIDUAL SOUL. There is no word IMMORTAL SOUL in the entire 66 books of the Holy Bible.
2. Hinduism looks at the ATMAN as the MIRROR IMAGE OF GOD. Christianity does not look at the soul like that.
3. In Hinduism, SALVATION IS THE PROCESS OF MERGING OF THE IMMORTAL INDIVIDUAL SOUL [ ATMAN ] WITH THE DIVINE SOUL, GOD [ PARAMATHMAN ]
In Christianity, SALVATION IS THE PROCESS OF THE INDIVIDU-AL SOUL REACHING HEAVEN AND STAYING CLOSE TO GOD.
4. In Hindu Salvation, THE INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY OF SOUL IS LOST AFTER SALVATION. In Christianity, THE INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY OF SOUL IS KEPT after Salvation.
5. In Hinduism, Salvation can be attained by the path of devotion [Bhakti Yoga], path of Knowledge [Jnana Yoga], the path of unattached and unmotivated actions [karma Yoga] and by meditation and Pranayama [Raja yoga].
By comparison, as the fundamentalist Christianity states,
a---- SALVA-TION CAN BE ATTAINED ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD, BY ACCEPT-ING JESUS CHRIST AS THE LORD AND SAVIOR;
b---SALVATION IS A PRESENT FROM GOD TO MAN....
c---MAN CAN NEVER ATTAIN SALVATION BY WORKS ALONE.
Once again HINDUISM STATES THAT SALVATION IS FOR ALL. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ETERNAL DAMNATION. THE BEST AMONG US ATTAIN SALVATION BY ONE LIFE AND WORST AMONG US ATTAIN SALVATION BY MANY LIVES...
WHAT IS HINDU SALVATION?
Hindu Salvation is known as SELF-REALIZATION. In Hindu salvation process a person is realizing that he/she is indeed the ATMAN [ the immortal soul within] and not the perishable BODY. In Hindu salvation, a person is merging with the PARAMATHMAN [ or God]. The process of Hindu salvation is exactly like a pinch of salt trying to find the bottom of the ocean. The moment the pinch of salt touches the surface of the ocean, it becomes the part and parcel of the ocean...Hindu scriptures state that people can attain self realization through four methods A. JANANA YOGA; B-KARMA YOGA; C-BHAKTI YOGA; D-RAJA YOGA.
WHAT IS BRAHMAN?
In Hinduism, God is known as BRAHMAN or PARAMATHMAN. PARAMATHMAN or PARAMA _ ATHMAN or ABSOLUTE SOUL. Brahman means ONE WITHOUT A SECOND. Hindu scriptures say that BRAHMAN OR PARAMATHMAN ALONE IS REAL. EVERYTHING ELSE IS UNREAL OR MAYA OR ILLUSION.
WHAT IS AUM?
AUM or OM is the WORD OF HINDUISM. It is the vibratory aspect of Brahman. All Hindu prayers starts and ends with the word AUM. All creation came out of Aum.
WHAT IS ATMAN?
Hinduism believes that there is AN IMMORTAL SOUL within the body of every person and every creature. In fact there is nothing without an ATMAN. This belief in IMMORTAL SOUL is unique to Hinduism. Neither Buddhism nor Christianity believes in IMMORTAL SOUL. ATMAN is a mirror image of PARMATHMAN.
ARE YOU STATING THAT "PARAMATHMAN" AND "ATMAN" ARE ONE AND THE SAME?
Yes, they are actually one and the same. The individual soul within the body, known as ATMAN or JIVATHMAN is bound by karmas. When ATMAN breaks lose of the KARMIC DEBT then it becomes one with PARAMATHMAN. THAT PROCESS BY WHICH ATMAN BECOMES ONE WITH PARAMATHMAN IS KNOWN AS SALVATION.
To give you an approximate picture, I should say that the electricity within your computer is ATMAN and the network electricity is PARAMATHMAN.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM IN ATMAN MERGING WITH PARMATHMAN OR TO ATTAIN SALVATION?
KARMAS [actions and thoughts].....The Atman of each of us are bound by karmas and those karmas make us to forget the fact that WE ARE INDEED ATMAN AND NOT THE MATERIAL BODY.....THAT FEELING IS KNOWN AS MAYA OR ILLUSION.....We are constantly living in an illusionary world, until we attain salvation.
WHAT HAPPENS TO US WHEN WE DIE?
According to Hinduism, the body alone dies, the immortal soul or ATMAN never dies. But the path the soul takes is decided upon the collective karmas [actions] done by the body in life. SO ACTIONS OF THE FORMER BODY DOES DIE WITH THE BODY..SOUL CONTINUES THIS JOURNEY BY REPEATED REINCAR- NATIONS UNTIL SOUL HAS NO KARMIC DEBT ATTACHED TO IT.
WHAT DOES ADVAIDA MEANS?
ADVAIDA means ONE. ADVAIDA means NOT TWO. DVAIDA in Hinduism means TWO. ADVAIDA states that THERE IS ONLY ONE AND TWO. THAT ONE, WHICH CANNOT BE DEFINED IS BRAHMAN _ the undefinable God of Hinduism. That God expresses ITSELF in many forms in many ways. That is why Hindus have abso-lutely no problem in worshiping thousand of gods, since they believe that ALL THOSE GODS ARE MANY MANIFESTATIONS OF ONE AND ONLY GOD BRAHMAN.
IF THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, WHAT ARE YOU AND I?
Well as per Hindu scriptures, the REAL "I", behind you and I, is the ATMAN _ or the IMMORTAL INNER SOUL, which is a mirror image of BRAHMAN or GOD.
THEN WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Well, once again, our problem is the IGNORANCE OF THE TRUE NATURE OF OURSELVES. Instead of realizing that you and I are IMMORTAL SOUL ATMAN, we foolishly believe that WE ARE THE PERISHABLE BODY.
WHAT WE HAVE TO DO?
We have to some how break the CYCLES OF ILLUSION [MAYA] THAT WE ARE THE BODY AND COME TO THE SELF_REALIZATION THAT WE ARE THE INNER SOUL WITHIN THE BODY.
HOW WE WILL DO THAT??
Hinduism talks about four distinct methods of SELF_ REALIZATION. You are at liberty to choose any one of them or combination of all the four methods. Those methods are
1. BHAKTI YOGA _ PATH OF DEVOTION
2. KARMA YOGA _ PATH OF SELF_LESS ACTION
3. JNANA YOGA _ PATH OF KNOWLEDGE4. RAJA YOGA _ PATH OF BREATH CONTROL, PRANAYAMA ETC
You can also mix up all those methods and practice in your life.
IF I WORSHIP CHRIST, WILL I BE FOLLOWING BHAKTI YOGA?
Of course, you do. If you surrender yourself 100% to the deity of Jesus Christ, you will be following Bhakti Yoga or the Yoga or path of devotion. There is absolutely no need for you to change your religion. God is present every where in many forms. The GOD THAT IS PRESENT IN THE CHRIS-TIAN CHURCHES, BUDDHIST VIHARS, MOSLEM MOSQUES, JEWISH SYNAGOGUES IS THE SAME GOD THAT IS PRESENT IN HINDU TEM-PLES......ONE GOD BUT MANY FORMS.
WHO STARTED IT???
Actually ADVAIDA philosophy was started by sage VEDA VYASA. But it was developed and propagated by ADI SANKARA of South India. Sankara's Adavaita was criticized by Vaishnavate Vallabha as KEVALA ADVAIDA [ merely monism ], since Sankara only recognizes Brahman, without stating anything about ATMAN or individual soul.
VALLABHA taught SUDDHA ADVAITA meaning pure monism, ac-cording to which Brahman allows Atman to have a separate individuality. VISISHT_ADVAIDA or ADVAITA WITH ATTRIBUTES was taught by RAMANUJAM which makes human soul as a dis-tinct entity. NIMBARKA taught DVAITA ADVAITA according to which the soul is a reality distinct from Brahman but dependent on Brahman. Chaitanya taught BHEDABHEDA meaning different, yet not different. Chaitanya said the difference between Brahman and Ataman is the difference from fire and its sparks. They are essentially one and the same