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 201.07
A Study of the Various Customs and Rules of Daily Prayer Worship
Teachings in Hindu Scriptures for the Rituals at Home and at the Temples
-~ Level - 2 ~
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Lesson - 101 :
One God We Pray in Many Forms as Our Choice
Are These Forms Incarnations or Super-Humans!
Please see below
for Lesson - 02
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Teachings in the Scriptures for Rituals at Home and Services at the Temple

Many historians and modern day religious researchers are quick to "prove" that these "gods" were ordinary people who were living in this society in ancient times and were popular by their social service. They were remembered through monuments, marker stones and statues in Temples, with prayers being offered to them as "Gods". They often quote other Religious and Mythological stories and historical events to support their theory. Do they really represent God Himself or just a fiction?

The Puranas with various manifestations of God through the ages may appear as mere fictional stories to a Tamasika person with ignorance and limited knowledge. The Rajasika persons with their avidya or false knowledge consider them as ordinary people with super human powers who have been elevated with fame to the levels of Divine.

The Knowledgeable Satthvika person with true understanding of the teachings realizes that the various Deities described are truly manifestation of the Divine. He only knows that God Himself takes these forms from time to time as His incarnations to protect the pious, to destroy the evil and to save the world from calamity and what is told in "Mythology" is true and factual narration of historical events.

The concept of Avathara is explained in all the Agamas, Ithihasas and Puranas. Avathara or Divine Manifestation is the descent of God on earth for the ascent of man, with the establishment of rule and spiritual discipline. The Bhagavathas followed Panchrathra Agamas, with prayers to God as Vasudeva. It greatly emphasized the doctrine of Avathara and popularized the immortal texts of Harivamsa, Vishnu Purana and Bhagavatha Purana. They were based on God's Grace to erring humanity.

Similarly, Saiva Agamas and Sakthi Agamas gave rise to the several Puranas and the many manifestations of God. Worship of Deities in these Avatharas and studying their texts helps to get high spiritual attainment and God-realization.

Swami Sivananda says: "Worship the Avatharas at all times with all your heart and all your mind. Glorify Him in your heart and keep Him ever in your Thoughts. He will soon reveal Himself to you and you will feel His presence. This will lead on to attaining immortality and eternal bliss."

 

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Lesson - 102 :
Faith, Philosophy and the Supreme Truth
Different Paths of Faith and Tradition of Our Community
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Faith is what we believe in and it may vary from person to person and from region to region and among various sections of each religion. It is like our mother. Our faith is precious for each one of us. Even if someone else's is claimed to be looking much better, we will rather have our own, as it cannot be replaced. People should not compare what we believe in, from one to another. As we all live in Glass castles, throwing stones at each other is of no use.

Every one believes in a Supreme Truth as the Ultimate and the Omnipotent. Some give it a form and some do not. Some do not take the trouble of describing It. We pray to forms of figures and statues, to the Sun and the stars, to wooden or stone structures and walls, some of us pray to books and to empty space and some others "pray to nature." It is just a representation of our faith like the flag of a country. Some pray to the Teacher who brought the message rather than to the Divine who gave it. For many, the messenger has become more important than the message.

Often, the faith as established by a messenger, "though in good faith," was spread through force by many ruling clans in many countries mainly to create a kingdom for themselves rather than to spread the message. Often the same technique has been used by some dictators with non-religious political ideologies to conquer other nations and establish their rule. All religions teach the same faith but may show different paths to reach that goal. However, it is this faith that keeps the communities together, though it is often the same faith that has divided the communities in the past centuries.

Each one thinks that their path is correct and the paths of others are wrong. All these faiths of both East and West may show different paths but the goal is the same. In Hinduism itself there are many paths. These are like the islands surrounded by the water where the ocean is our avidhya. Once we remove this ocean of ignorance, we will get the full realization that after all, these "islands" are connected to each other as a single land mass. It is our ignorance that leads us to the calamity preventing us from reaching the goal.

 
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You know your Goal. There are Many paths to travel to reach your Goal or Target space.
 
However, if you do not follow the correct path, like your travel, you may not reach your destination.
 
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Chapter - 7: Rituals, Prayers, Practices and Problems - Lessons 101 & 102
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Lessons: ~: 097 & 098 :-: 099 & 100 :-: 101 & 102 :-: 103 & 104 :-: 105 & 106 :-: 107 & 108 :~:
 
 
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