What is Hinduism?
Hinduism is less a religion, and more a way of life. It doesn’t have a founder or a hierarchy, just plenty of scriptures. Hindus believe there is only one God and one truth, which can be described in many ways.
Attractions of Hinduism
There is no dogma is Hinduism. It allows freedom of actions and thoughts. On one hand, you have some Hindus worshipping rats, while on the other side there are concepts akin to quantum physics. Mahatma Gandhi once wrote that even atheists can brand themselves as Hindus.
Hinduism was originally known as sanatana dharma, which means eternal righteousness. The term Hindu arose from the fact that Persian invaders named the natives after the Indus river. Sanskrit, the original language of Hinduism, is older than Latin and Hebrew.
Hindu scriptures were at first spread orally. The vedas are the oldest Hindu sacred books. They state that the one goal of earthly life is to attain self-realization. The upanishads tell us that only Brahman exists. We are all reflections of Brahman. So, we are in fact God, which reflects the Biblical saying that man is made in the image of God.
Valmiki wrote the story of Rama known as Ramayana. This epic reveals the nature of an ideal Hindu life. The Mahabharata is another great epic. It consists of sermons, discourses, stories, dialogues and episodes. It also contains the Bhagavad Gita or the song celestial, which even today is a beacon of light, guiding many through the changing tides of life.
This tome contains the essence of all the vedas. It tells us the various means to self-realization. The Gita can provide answers to any problem, a human can face. But, it never dictates. Instead, the pros and cons of various thoughts and actions are discussed thoroughly.
Oppenheimer and the Gita
Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atom bomb, admired the Bhagavad Gita. He even quoted from this tome after creating the much feared weapon. He said the atom bomb reminded him of Lord Krishna’s words in the Gita, “I am death devourer of all”.