It’s a myth that the Major Religions are basically the same
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Hinduism:The concept of God in the Hindu world

The question is “How does the Hindu world view God?” Well, that is a good question.

In my study of Hinduism while writing my book, I ran across something that stuck in my mind, …and it stayed there, …and it was true: “If at the end of your study you think you have a clear understanding of Hindu teachings, you probably do not.”

A common word for God in Sanskrit (a literary language since the 3rd century) is Brahma, or Brahman. But, let’s not forget that Hinduism has literally hundreds, or thousands, or god and goddesses.

As I wrote in my book, “the basic Hindu view of God is impersonal. …utterly beyond all possibility of conception. In Spinoza’s formulation, God’s nature resembles our words about as much as the Dog Star resembles a Dog; the most that can be said for these words is that they are pointers — our minds do better when they move in their direction than in the opposite. God lies on the further side of being as we understand it.”

The Upanisads represent the evolution of thought in Hinduism, the teachings of the sages, and were composed between 800 — 200 BC. The Svetasvatara Upanisad, by way of example, explores these questions: “What is the source of the universe? What is ultimate reality? Where do we come from ? By what power do we live? What is that, which being known, illuminates everything else?” So, through the natural evolution of thought, Brahman began to be viewed as the universal power.

But, Brahman became increasingly abstract and difficult to grasp. Brahman was called the “thread” that strings together all creatures. Brahman is in everything (”ultimate reality” as one text described), and Brahman is spirit.  Because Brahman is spirit, It cannot be perceived, at least not by ordinary means.

While Brahman is ultimate reality, Brahman is unknown and unknowable. So, the many gods and goddesses are, therefore, the many different expressions of the one reality, Brahman. The true meaning of the many god/goddesses in Hinduism, which gets lost in human understanding of images/icons being worshiped as idols, are ways to enrich the understanding of the the divine, while guarding against confusing image and reality.

That’s the reason why these images/icons are made not to be human — they are simultaneously human and nonhuman to remind people that the gods are not like us, cannot be reduced to finite status. Example: multiple arms indicate the great power of a god; many heads suggest a god’s universal knowledge. While hard for Westerners to understand, each of these helps give shape to the unseen, and allow Hindus to glimpse some aspect of the divine.

Hindus do not worship to all gods equally, or even attempt to do so. While they can have more than several gods/goddesses, they usually have a personal deity of choice. It is not uncommon for family members, or a congregation type group, to be devoted to different gods/goddesses.

To the Hindu ways of thinking, as I continue to study, the ultimate reality is “so far beyond our imagining, so complex and so rich in potential, that a single image, or even a mere handful of images, is not sufficient.”

So, one can readily see that the God known as Brahma is neither viewed nor understood in the same manner as the the religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. This subject was, needless to say, one of my curiosities (see link ), and the reason why I wrote the special report, The Case For The Existence Of God (see link

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Blog Contents
      What is Lent?
      Holy Week
      This is Christmas
Other Religions:
      Religion in Southeast Asia
      The Concept of God in the Hindu World
      Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus
      Religious Allegiance vs Belief & Faith
      This is Yom Kippur
      This is Rosh Hashanah
Islam, Shiite:
     This is Ashura
     This is Ramadan
      Religions are Forms of Superstition
      How America Sees God
      Hearing with Different Ears
Text of Religions:
      This is the Bible, on One Page
      The Da Vinci Code versus the Bible
Houses of Worship:
      Brick and Mortar

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