is guided by the teachings of the Vedas, also believed to be the
Revealed words by the Divine Powers. The Vedas are said to be older
than the creation of the Universe and were given to the Ancient
Sages by God as their intuition during their meditation. The Great
Seers and Rishis of ancient times recited these Vedas, obtained
by their meditative powers, as the teachings of God. These teaching
are very ancient and were memorized and recited by generations of
Sages, Teachers and their disciples until they were written down
as texts and codified as the Four Vedas by Sage Vyasa.
is further explained by subsequent texts written by Seers and religious
leaders based on these Vedas. Hinduism is also guided by these Upa-Vedas,
Vedangas, Upanishads, Ithihasas and Puranas, which contain the prayers,
Philosophy, rituals and mythology, all in one, to suit everyone's
cultural and mental development. While the learned person reads
about the qualities of the all-powerful Brahman, the illiterate
one is taught the same principle by mythological stories and simple
forms of prayers to His manifestations.
philosophy of Hinduism, as Divine revelations, is for all times,
as old as creation and as modern as tomorrow. The Vedas have given
us the rituals in various forms as a ladder to raise our faith and
understanding. The Agamas and Puranas give us the incarnations and
manifestations of 'God' in popular forms to condition our thoughts
to the faith.
allows and accepts varying forms of worship with a tremendous tolerance
of other religious faiths and beliefs. Though one may not agree
that the other paths are better or perfect, every one is allowed
to follow his own path. Often a devotee is urged to study all the
paths and variations to fully understand his own faith.
Nikhilananda says: "In the course of Hinduism's development,
whenever religion erred by emphasizing on rituals or dogma as the
only means to the highest goal, a sound rational philosophy put
it on the right path. Whenever intellect claimed the role of the
sole path finder, Religion showed the futility of mere discursive
reasoning and stressed the importance of worship as a discipline
for communion with the Ultimate Reality."