Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
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-HR 201.08
The Decline of the Society over the years and the time for Renaissance
The Problems and the Challenges for the Faith, for the Society and its Culture
-~ Level - 2 ~
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Lesson - E 09 :
Influence of Western Faith on Hindu Society
Changes in the Tradition, Culture and Philosophy
Please see below
for Lesson - 02
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Influx of traders and refugees from the West carrying the Christian and Islamic faith along with their preachers and armies attracted some attention of some illiterate people and those in the periphery of the social structure, while the invading armies destroyed all the symbols of the local faiths. Onslaught of Judeo-Christian culture was well countered by the revival of devotional Bhakthi Yoga and Visishta-adhvaitha theory of Sri Ramanuja which modified the principles of Non-dualism.

Turkish invasion, Persian influx, Zoroastrian refugees and Moghul rule bringing the Islamic and Parsi beliefs lead to the appearance of Sri Madhva and other leaders with Dhvaitha philosophy of Dualism and later by Sufiism, Kabir Panthis and Sikhism. Thus, the onslaught of varying faiths that often came with political power, occasionally by large influx of refugees and preachers could not make any inroads in Hindu religious thoughts due to its flexibility.

There were divisions of followers of Siva, Vishnu and Sakthi and those who followed the rituals of Veda as the ultimate in the practice of Hinduism. There was fight among these groups along these lines. There was also division of the community horizontally through a caste system as a result of these invasions of alien thoughts and struggle for survival.

Later with independence struggle against alien rules and a new renaissance, unification of various segments of society has been taking place. During the 400 years of invasion and occupation and later rule by the Islamic kings of Turkey, Persia and Mogul kingdom in many areas all over India, their rule led to a decline of Hindu faith along with destruction of the Temples and also the very fabric of Hindu culture in some areas. Some cultural traditions and the dress and language also got the Islamic influence. Later 200 years of British rule brought the Western influence of the language, tradition and culture.

 
 

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Lesson - E 10 :
Hindu Philosophy Answers Western Faith
Is He all Immanent or all Transcendent or Both or Neither?
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The influence of Christianity and Islam led to the conflicting questions of the Transcendental and Immanent nature of God as we worship. Is He part of us and can we reach His level or is He to be worshipped with devotion to reach His feet only? Many leaders like Swami Vivekananda, Arabindo, Ramana Maharishi and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan analyzed and gave us the answer. Most modern day leaders insisted on the Vedantha Philosophy of Adhvaitha, though they accepted the devotional worship of Bhakthi schools.

The greatest Philosopher of this century, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, past President of India, explains the true nature of the Supreme God and the human Spirit very well. "The Divine is both in us and out of us. God is neither completely transcendent nor completely immanent. He is divine darkness as well as 'unencompassed light.' The philosophers with their passion for unity emphasize the immanent aspect, that there is no barrier dividing man from the real. Those who emphasize the Transcendence of the Supreme to the human insist on the specifically religious consciousness, of communion with a higher than ourselves with whom it is impossible for the individual to get assimilated." [This is seen both in Eastern and Western Faiths]

"There cannot be a fundamental contradiction between the philosophical idea of God as an all-embracing spirit and the devotional idea of a personal God who arouses in us the specifically religious emotion. The personal conception develops the aspect of spiritual experience in which it may be regarded as fulfilling the human needs. God is represented as possessing the qualities we lack. Justice, love and holiness are the highest qualities we know and we imagine God as possessing them, though these qualities exist in God in a different sense from their existence in us. The difference between the Supreme as spirit and Supreme as person is one of standpoint and not of essence, between God as He is and as he seems to us."

 
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Chapter - 8: Epilogue - Decline of a Culture and a Time for Renaissance - Lessons E 09 & E 10
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Lessons:~: E01 & E02 :-: E03 & E04 :-: E05 & E06 :-: E07 & E08 :-: E09 & E10 :-: E11 & E12 :~:
 
 
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