Scriptures gave us the prayers, the rituals, the mythology, the
philosophy and the science to guide our conduct and reasoning. They
teach us about every aspect of our life from birth to the end of
our life and beyond. We have a special duty to learn our religion
and its practice in the modern times to keep it growing for our
we do not let it grow in these adopted lands for our children, after
two or three generations the large treasures of our religious practice
will be lost forever just like the major portions of our scriptures.
Our hearts cry that this great tradition should not disappear from
the face of earth like the many endangered species. Many Acharyas
have given us the guidance and philosophy based on the Vedas and
Dharsanas, changing the way we practiced Hinduism. This was the
most important renaissance movement of the religion in the past
800 years. The most important are the Advaitha by Sri Sankara, Visishtadhvaitha
by Sri Ramanuja, Dhvaitha by Sri Madhva and Saiva Siddhantha schools
of Southern India.
We also have several Bhakthi schools of Bagavathas and Vaishnavas
and several other forms of Suddha Adhvaitha and Dvaitha-adhvaitha
and many other systems of Saiva, Vaishnava and Saktha philosophy
and Agamas. Advaitha School and Vedantha Dharsana along with Vyasa
Maharishi's Dharma Sasthra were the foundation of the ritualistic
practice of the Smartha Sampradaya. They followed Vedic rituals
and teachings. They also prayed to various forms of God, including
Siva, Vishnu, Sakthi, and Surya.
Siddhantha followers had ritualistic practice of prayers to Siva
as the creator and protector and followed some teachings of Advaitha
and a qualified form of monism. Sakthism
or Devi worshippers were similar to Saivites. Some of them also
followed Thanthra traditions. Vaishnavites follow the Bhakthi schools
of Visishta-adhvaitham and Dvaitham with elaborate prayer rituals.
Some of the Vaishnavites, like followers of Sri Chaithanya, performed
prayers and music with devotion and love for God as Sri Krishna.