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Pundit Page

This page is designed for the answering of questions you might have about Hinduism or Christianity, or the relationship between these two world views.  View Translations in Telugu.

To search already posted Q&A, type in a word or phrase here:
 


On-Line Pundits

- Dayal V.
- Wyatt Robertson
- Weda Charya
- Jnana Brumha
- Gerhard Wohlberg
- Ren Shengli
- Robin Nelson

Click here to Ask the Pundits 


Q: Why cruel things happening in world?
A: I will answer your two questions together as a composite of one question.
The first question you ask is a common question men ask. Suffering and cruelty bring much pain to us. I cannot give you an...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: I'm a Christian who believes in Lord Jesus Christ & has his prayers answered. So I have no doubt about the fact that God listens to our prayers. However, there's one question that's bothered me for long. I personally know people who are of different faiths & they all pretty much had their prayers answered when they prayed to their respective "gods". I've been with them in their time of need & I've seen how they got out of whatever difficulties they were going through. So my question is: do these other gods my friends believe in answer prayer too? If no, then who has delivered them from their difficulties. Clearly, whatever they had been through needed some sort of divine help to get them out of there.
A: Great question. I think there are several parts to a good answer to this question.

A person may genuinely be convinced that their God/god has given them an answer, and yet they can be wrong. <...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Please refer to Scientific Proof of Reincarnation by Dr. Ian Stevenson's Life Work. I have also heard of other stories like this. Should people believe these stories are facts and not concocted stories?
A: I am familiar with the book you speak of. The title of the book is “Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation.” The title even makes it clear that this is not a scientific study in the sense of a pro...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Was the Soma drink a type of herbal hallucinogen that created only temporary and fleating states of ecstasy and astonishing visuals, but when the consumer of soma came down from his "high", he was left to again cope with the troubles and realities of the 3D material world and thus requiring regular soma consumption in order to "maintain" his magical states of existence?
A: Soma was a plant that was pressed and the juice (a sweet brown liquid) was strained, and then usually mixed with milk and beer and offered to the gods. It was consumed by the priests and had an intox...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: I wondered if you could help me understand better about the Hindu tradition of comparing a couples birthdates, birth times, names, etc., in order to determine if the couple would be a suitable match? I would like to know, how is this exactly done? And how accurate is the outcome? I would appreciate any insight into this matter you can offer..?
A: Good question.
The seeking for auspicious dates and matches is certainly a common thing in Hinduism. Worldwide it is actually a very confused situation. There are at least 7 major astrology syst...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: Once I asked a Hindu if he can remember his past life (previous life). In response, he asked me to tell the details what I did just 2 days before...and I could not give all the detailed information. Then the Hindu friend replied to me that if I was unable to give the details of just the past two days, how he can give the details of his past life. Can you comment on that?
A: Certainly your friend is right in that the farther an event recedes from the present, the more difficult it is to remember what happened. No one would deny this in any way. Yet this argument applied...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Please discuss the formation of Jainism and why did it never become as successful as Hinduism or Buddhism?
A: Jainism came about during the sixth century B.C., a time when many new religions and newer versions of older religions were forming. In many cases, it was a matter of taking a stand against a rigid an...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: You are claiming that the belief in reincarnation and the caste system are integral to Hinduism; reincarnation is linked to karma and is an integral part of Hinduism - But the caste system was never integral as it was not based on birth; it was a social structure based on profession, but unfortunately with great help from Christian missionaries and the British imperialist rulers, the social structure was embedded in the law during the British Raj, and even today we see this falsification continued by you
A: I must say that I am somewhat happy to see this controversy develop because it indicates to me that many Hindu people are attempting to distance themselves from the traditional view of the caste syste...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: It seems that religions have been responsible for so much bloodshed and war. Why? It does not seem that religions are ready to face persons of other faiths. How can religions do this when all human life is the same? Is the principle of non-violence not applicable to everyone?
A: You are right about men using God’s name as reason to kill others. Sometimes this has been done by people who have hi-jacked the religious system for their own purposes, and sometimes it has been done...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: Is the practice of yoga sin for a Christian? What about the practice of "Christian Yoga"? Is it a form of deception leading to new age beliefs?
A: The entire question you have asked hinges on the meaning and use of the word “yoga”—in what way it is being employed. If one takes yoga as it was originally practiced and meant to be practiced and si...Full Answer

- Stewart Redi

Q: Question: I read your response to the comparison of Jainism and Hinduism and it was very helpful. Maybe I don’t really understand many of the complexities of both (I am more familiar with Hinduism), so my question is: If Jains do not accept a "Creator God" and neither does Buddhism," how are they different. It seems they have similar beginning stories, both believe in reincarnation, both strongly support laity not reaching enlightenment (Theraveda as you said), both believe in Karma, both believe in non-violence. Both do not believe or actively worship the hindu gods. So where and how are they different in theology?
A: This is a really good question because it highlights how easy it is for people to substantiate the apparent claim that all religions are ultimately the same. One can take a number of beliefs and pract...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wolhberg

Q: Qs: - Is the existence of Yahweh acknowledged, or mentioned, in any Hindu religious document, corpus, tradition, etc.? Ans: - From what I can remember, yahwah is one of the names of mithraa in the vedas. Like the 33 devaas, there are 33 angels in jewish scriptures. It has been noted that indra(king of gods; god of lightning) is worshipped a lot in the ancient times; under different names like Mithra (who is god of heavens in vedas), Zeus and Ju-Piter(derived from dyaus pitr, a deva of vedas). So it might be possible that yahwah came to be from Vedas. Is the Hindu right about the origin of Yahweh? Does the name Yahweh have any connection with names of Hindu gods?
A: Interesting questions. Unfortunately, there are some very uniformed and speculative ideas that need to be addressed within your question.
Yahweh is the unique name given to the God who revealed Hi...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is it true that the written laws of Moses were stolen from Akenaton's monotheism? I was reading an article where it was written that Judaism was not the first monotheistic religion; rather the conception was STOLEN from the monotheism of Akenaton. Is it true that the monotheism Judaism represents was already in existence before prior to Judaism? Is it ture that most of the hymns recorded in Psalms sound & mean exactly the same as the hymns dedicated to Aten, the sun god.
A: It is true that Akhenaton, whose wife Nefertiti is even more famous than him, believed in a single God. However, the deity he worshipped was the Aten, or the sun disc. He was Amenhotep IV and changed ...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Recently I was watching an Islamic video where a man is arguing about the Lord's incarnation saying that God is the creator, and to solve/know a problem he does not need to become a human being...would you please comment on this matter.
A: This is actually a very good question. Dr. N*** is right that God can know about a problem and how to solve it since he is powerful and all-knowing and the Creator. However, the problem that man has ...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: Have you read Gene Matlock’s book, “Jesus and Moses are Buried in India”? What do you think of his book? Does he make a case for the connection of Jews and Indians?
A: A brief critique of Gene Matlock’s “Jesus and Moses are Buried in India…” follows.
The title itself is a claim quite contrary to history and facts presented in other historical works. His preface ...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: Why should one convert to Christianity to know GOD ? God will be in your heart if you can treat other persons like you. Helping some body is far better than prayers. Why you want Jesus to pray for you ? As I heard in Christian prayers ? It is your deeds which make you bad or Good. Let people believe in the faith they believe and just educate them with the human values.
A: Krishnaraj,
I agree with part of what you have said. You have mentioned the “golden rule: “If you can treat others like yourself.” You also said that “Helping somebody is better than prayers.” T...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: What is the real origin of Hinduism? What can you say about the Aryan invasion- migration theory?
A: The simplest way to look at the origin of Hinduism is simply to say “Hinduism is the belief of the people who live in the Indus valley region.” This is the easiest thing, and the truest way to look a...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: What is the difference between mythology and the accounts in the bible? Is it that mythology creates a story and the Bible is simply telling what happened no exagerration - just plain events?
A: You have identified an important difference between Christianity and other world views. The Bible insists that the accounts within it are historical and real. Other world views that include myths do...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Why do Hindus not know of the sacrifice of animals in the Vedas? Could you please send to me references int he Rig Veda and others that say we can sacrifice animals?
A: The horse sacrifice is a well-known ritual from the Rig Veda—though this has pretty much ceased to be practiced altogether. There is also mention of the sacrifice of a goat. In the Yajur Veda there i...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Sir, Why don't people in general accept the sacrifice of Jesus as the fulfillment of the Vedic law?
A: KDV Prasad,
The Vedas do demonstrate there is a need for some kind of sacrifice—either to appease the gods, to feed the gods (Rig 1.127.8), or to obtain their favor (Rig 1.107.1).
The requireme...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: Punditji- Please tell me what is the basic meaning of Yoga and how it came into being and who was the founder of Yoga.Is it pertaining to a Hindu god? Why is a particular posture called Surya Namaskar?
A: This is a delightful question because it allows us to take account of the great amount of diversity that constitutes Hinduism. You begin by asking for the basic meaning of "yoga," and — in all candor ...Full Answer

- Herhard Wohlberg

Q: : I have found a claim that Vaishnavism predates Christianity & that some of the Christian thoughts might have been borrowed from it. As I read, it seems to assert that Vaishnavism existed before Christianity came to India & that it wasn't an off-shoot of Christianity as it was previously thought by some. The Heliodorus Column [or pillar], dated some 113 BC, is said to have two inscriptions referring to the existence of Vaishnavism before Christianity came to India. I'm detailing below what I read: - The 1st column reads: "This Garuda-column of Vasudeva (Visnu), the god of gods, was erected here by Heliodorus, a worshipper of Vishnu, the son of Dion, and an inhabitant of Taxila, who came as Greek ambassador from the Great King Antialkidas to King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Savior, then reigning prosperously in the fourteenth year of his kingship" The 2nd column reads: "Three immortal precepts (footsteps)..when practiced lead to heaven-self restraint, charity, conscientiousness." From the inscriptions it is seems clear Heliodorus was influenced by Vedic principles that he could be considered to be a Vaisnava, a follower or worshipper of Visnu. Professor Kunja Govinda Goswami of Calcutta University concludes that Heliodorus " was well acquainted with the texts dealing with the Bhagavat [Vaisnava] religion." (6) It is also interesting to note that the Heliodorus column has other historical merits. Around the turn of the century, a number of Indologists (Weber, Macnicol, and others) had noted " points of similarity' between the Vaisnava philosophy of unalloyed devotion and Christian doctrine. They had argued that Vaishnavism (worship of Visnu and Krsna) must have been an offshoot of Christianity, and cited the similarity between stories about Krsna and about Christ to further support their claim.(9) But the discovery of the inscription on the Heliodorus column laid their speculations to rest. Here was conclusive archaeological proof that the Vaisnava tradition antedated Christianity by at least two hundred years. Therefore, it could be said in other words that the similar doctrines in Christianity might have very well been borrowed from Vaishnavism. While it might be true that Vaishnavism existed before Christian era, does the Heliodorus pillar in anyway debunk the claim that Vaishnavism borrowed from Christianity & strengthen the claim that Christians might have borrowed [or at least that Christians weren't the first ones to preach about a Personal God who sacrificed for humanity]?
A: There are several assumptions that seem to be a part of this question which are simply unsustainable.
The first is the assumption that there are “points of similarity” in philosophy between Vaishn...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: Dear Sir, as we know that in God's sight no one is righteous. But still we find in the Bible that many servants of God were righteous before God like Job and many more....would you please explain how come it’s possible or what the Bible wants us to say about their righteous. Thanks
A: This is a fine question. You are right to see that there is not one righteous. Romans 3:11 says, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is on one who understands; there is no one who seeks...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: I have this question on the Hindusium, There is only one God everybody knows in and around the world, How the hindu people beleive that there in many gods and Godesses. I understand this way, The Father,Son Jesus Christ and the Holy sprit is name as Shiva,Brahma,Vishnu according the Hindu Dharma.
A: If ever there was a question whose answer depended on whom you ask, you certainly found it. Not only are there many traditions and variations within the religions, there are any number of personal co...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: Is it true that just because hinduism is the oldest religion and possess the oldest scriptures (rig vedha) in the world, it has to be the the ultimate truth to know God and God is revealing himself to us through this scriptures?
A: There are several issues within the question you have asked. One is “What is the oldest scripture text in the world?” Within this question there are several hidden questions. By oldest, do we mean ...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: If a child is born defective, why would God be so cruel to allow such a thing? Isnt it because of past karma, a child is born defective or poor? If the answer is yes, then isn't re-birth a fact?
A: That there are inequalities of some kind cannot be denied. Being born with a defect may have its share of troubles, but it also has it many blessings. I have several friends who were born with troubl...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Do you have any information about the god Shiva? Is Shiva still important in modern Hinduism?
A: Shiva’s roots reach back to the earliest forms of Vedic Hinduism, in which he was known as Rudra, the mountain god-- often vengeful, always mischievous, and sometimes just plain malevolent. As the Hi...Full Answer

- Ren Shengli

Q: Is there a concept of salvation by grace in Hinduism. Specifically I've heard of some thing akin to the Christian faith's concept of grace. Is there anything to this?
A: I have heard of assertions that there is a concept of grace in Hinduism. Some translations of the Vedas even use the word “grace” (e.g. Griffith). The idea of grace must first be carefully explain...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: What do Sikhs and Muslims have in Common?
A: Sikhism was begun 300 years ago in Punjab, now a state in northwestern India and eastern Pakistan, by Nanak, a man whose father was a Hindu. The conflict between their faiths led him to seek another, ...Full Answer

- Ren Shengli and Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: I have been researching the origins of the reincarnation theory in the Vedas, particularly the Rig Veda (the oldest) and found little or nothing thus far. How is this possible when reincarnation seems such a corner stone in the faith today?
A: It is no wonder that you have been searching for some time. Your search results so far are correct. There are indeed no references to reincarnation in the Rig Veda. Or for that matter in the other ...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: I have heard that the Veda's are older than the Old Testament of the Bible and include stories similar to Noah and the flood, Abraham offering Isaac and being stopped by God among others and that the Hebrews had incorporated these stories into their scriptures. Is it true that the Veda’s teach that there is one God, who is the creator of the world?
A: The questions you have asked contain several things that are very often asked of Karma to Grace. For this reason we are taking extra time to give you an answer and also to post this on the FAQ page....Full Answer

- Gerhad Wohlberg and Wyatt Robertson

Q: I am wondering what is the difference or similarity between Hinduism and Sikhism in understanding of god.
A: Let’s face something important right from the start: Talking about God is always a precarious exercise. After all, in trying to do so, we finite humans are attempting to express some truths concernin...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wolhberg

Q: Question: Is it true that the Vedas do not have animal sacrifices and are vegetarian?
A: No. Animal sacrifice is very clear in the Vedas as a part of the rituals. The Rig Veda has several very clear references to animal sacrifices. In a reference to the sacrifice of a goat it says (1....Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: What is the relationship between Atman and Brahman?
A: As with many parts of Hindu belief, there is broad variety in the way this point has been construed. However, it may be generally said that the relationship of Atman to Brahman is most significant in...Full Answer

- Ren Shengli

Q: What is the difference between Hinduism and Sikhism?
A: Sikhism and Hinduism have a lot of traits in common, not the least of which is the fact that Sikhism, like Hinduism, is a religion firmly at home in an Indian cultural setting. Sikhism arose in the P...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: What is the Hindu concept of time?
A: There are two distinct yet inseparable parts of any belief system’s “concept of time.”
The first is “time” and the second is “history.” The difference is subtle and a little tricky, b...Full Answer

- Ren Shengli

Q: Is there really a God? Isn’t the idea of God something people invented so they could use it to dominate other people?
A: Let there be no doubt about it: Religion has always been used by the powerful to oppress the weak, and it will probably continue to do so in the future. It is just too efficient a tool that someone w...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: Question: Does the theory of evolution support reincarnation? Are the Hindu creation myths consistent with evolution? Is evolution true?
A: Introduction
This question evokes the need for a brief overview of the status of the theory of evolution in the present times. The broadest contrast between evolution and the Hindu view of creati...Full Answer

- J. Brumha

Q: (Summarized) I seem to see Jesus as a young Rabbi obsessed with the Temple's corruption in Jerusalem, and the iniquity of neighboring tribes , i.e. "The Dogs of Canaan", or the wicked Jezebel. There are passages that describe Jesus as displaying anger towards queen Jezebel and condemning her children to hell or commanding his disciples to bring those from another tribe before him and to slay them. Is this really the true inflamed young man Jesus? I would find the title of ‘Savior’ or ‘Christ’ being bestowed upon such a willful passionate Hebrew youth, somewhat too lofty. I think the idea of Jesus as a savior was written in later on and that Jesus was simply a passionate young philosopher who was against the corruption of the day. What do you think?
A: This is a fascinating question! Jesus was indeed very upset with the practices of the temple in Jerusalem. He was very passionate about the corruption and sins of the day. In the New Testament, rec...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: What do you call the mark or gem on the foreheads of Indian women and how are they related to Hinduism?
A: The bindi is a type of beauty mark that Indian women wear on their foreheads. It has somewhat evolved from the colored marking that is put on the forehead called a tilak that can proclaim one’s spiri...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: I would like to know in detail about the great Hindu flood account.
A: The myth of the flood in Hinduism goes as follows:

“When Manu was washing his hands one morning, a small fish came into his hands along with the water. The fish begged protection from Many s...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Could you give me the reference to the statement, "The kingdom of heaven is within you" in the Gospel?
A: The reference for this verse is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 17, verse 21. In the context of this verse, the Pharisees (Jewish religious leaders) are asking Jesus when the kingdom of God wou...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: I recite the Gayatri mantra. Recently I found an article which says for meditation the Gaytari is too long of a mantra and one should choose a simple one. If Gaytari is a powerful mantra why should not it be recited during meditation?
A: Let me explain briefly about the Gayatri mantra before answering this specific question. The Gayatri Mantra is part of the typical initiation of an upper caste boy. In this initiation rite he will rec...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: I am confused if I should see an ayurvedic practitioner. Specifically I am also wondering about reflexology--can you help me understand what reflexology is?
A: This is a common issue that many people want to understand as it involves the very important aspect of our health and comfort. And there is lot of confusion that can bring some frustration. Ayurved...Full Answer

- Robin Nelson

Q: Hindus believe that Buddhan is one of the Avatars of Vishnu. Do you know what story or place this is at in the sacred writings?
A: The avatars of Vishnu are varied in their descriptions and numbers. It is traditional now to number the Avatars at 10, with Buddha being one of these. However, the Puranas puts different numbers at ...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is God the source of evil? Did he create evil? What About Isaiah 45:7?
A: It is useful to try to gauge if a person is asking a genuine question and is open to listening to an answer, or if their question is actually a point of attack in the disguise of a question. This are...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: What does meditation mean? And how does this work with the view of the self?
A: The Buddhist worldview sees attachment as the source of suffering and the real issue to resolve. Part of this attachment is the very idea of the self as being real. “Selfish” to the Buddhist is to b...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is casteism or untouchability a logical outworking of reincarnation? Where did this idea of reincarnation in Hinduism first come up from?
A: A very good question! The answer is a clear and definite “Yes!” Reincarnation is not an original Vedic idea, yet the idea of caste is somewhat present. This basic concept is in the Rig Veda (X, 190...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Does Hindu Scriptures allow to make images of Bhagwan or God? If yes then please give some references from Hindu Scriptures.
A: This is a truly amazing question. On the surface it seems so easy to answer. Yes, of course, Hinduism is a religion replete with many images, both in temples and in homes, and so, obviously, Hindu s...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: Question: What are the causes that led to the formation of Jainism? What are the major practices and beliefs?
A: This is a pretty broad question, one that could easily take a whole book to answer, so I'm afraid I will have to give you a somewhat limited answer. Jainism was a part of a widespread movement in the...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: Why do Christians believe that their religion is the only true faith of the living God? Aren't there other ways to God other than Christianity? Did Jesus Christ claim that he is the only way to God?
A: Christians believe that Jesus is the only way foremost because this is what Jesus taught. It is not something they came up with as an idea. It is not that Christians belief their own ideas about Go...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Question: How the concept of Heaven and Hell compares in Hinduism v/s Christianity?
A:
This is an interesting question because a lot of Westerners do not realize that there even is such a thing as heaven and hell in South Asian religions. In the so-called Western religions (Judaism...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wolhberg

Q: Is the belief of Sikhs that Guru Nanak has had contact with God, who then gave him instructions, or guidelines of the Granth sahib? If so, and he did meet with or communicated with god, then shouldn't Sikhism be stated as God’s true religion? And as such all other religions are false. But if Sikhism allows for practicing other religion, then it must be that the books or scriptures of the other religion are also from god. But this is clearly not true, since the books do not say the same thing or describe the relationship with god in the same way. Please clarify this for me.
A: Guru Nanak was born to a Hindu father. He was reared as a Sant Hindu —someone who was a unique brand of Hindu who disparaged the caste system and believed in looking beyond religious differences to ...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Are Krishna and Christ the same?
A: This is a good question. It is one that is often assumed by many—that Krishna and Christ are the same. It is also a question that is asked by many people, so I will give a lengthier answer to try t...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is it right or wrong to worship an image of God?
A: The answer to this will depend on which world view you are asking the question of. In Hinduism, the use of an idol is ‘put up with’ as needed by some people in order to visualize God. Most intellec...Full Answer

- Rupa Patha and Wyatt Robertson

Q: Hinduism is a religion where there is no encouragement for religious conversions as does Christianity and Islam. Why it so with the other two religions? Isn't Abraham the same as Lord Brahma and Sarah as Devi Sarawati? Isn't it that it seems a copyright with tailormade changes for Chritianity?
A: You are right in that Hinduism does not encourage conversion. Yet, this is not because Hinduism does not believe that being a Hindu is important. In fact, Hinduism makes the same basic assumption a...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is the Trinity of Christianity and Hinduism the same? Or is the Trinity of Christianity and the Trimurti of Hinduism just a conicidence?
A: You are right to observe that there is an apparent similarity in the number three being related to both Christianity in the Trinity and to Hinduism in the Trimurti. Your question is a fine one and o...Full Answer

- Wyatt

Q: What is Samkhya-Yoga and does it agree with Hinduism?
A: This is an excellent question that gets into the Metaphysical concepts of Hinduism and some of its varying schools (six major schools). It can be difficult to discuss these things in a simple way as...Full Answer

- Dayal V.

Q: What is the Difference in the Idea of Karma between Hinduism and Buddhism?
A: As is usually the case in identifying differences, we have to begin with similarities. First of all, there is no question that karma is a crucial idea for both religions. In Buddhism as well as in ...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: I have heard that one must be born a Hindu, and that one may not "convert" to Hinduism in the same way that one may convert to Christianity. Raja yoga and hatha yoga, which are both Hindu traditions that point to liberation are contemporarily practiced by Westerners. Is it, according to Hindu philosophy, futile for a Westerner to practice yoga in the hopes of attaining samadhi? Can samadhi only be reached by Hindus?
A: Let’s put it this way: Hinduism is not a “membership” kind of religion. In other words, in contrast to other religious organizations, one cannot simply point to a universal initiation ceremon...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: Many teachers of the Advaita Vedanta branch of Hinduism teach that all human beings have the capacity to realize their true nature, which is oneness with God and feel that Christ's teachings reflect his identity and oneness with God. As a Hindu for the past 17 years, I am currently struggling with trying to break free from the concept of pantheistic monism and the Eastern goal of attaining "oneness with God" (similar to Christian "Quietism"). The passage, "Be still and know that I am God" has also been used by many Hindus to advocate meditation techniques for the purpose of realizing one's inner Divinity. In this view, Christ died on the cross simply to show His obedience to God, not for any other reason. And Christ rose from the dead because all Avatars have power over death and over the elements, not just Christ. I am wondering if you can provide scriptural references which clarify this issue, as I long to understand the true meaning of Christ's life and teachings.
A: The key to correctly understanding the teachings of Jesus is to look up the passages that are cited. I have often heard New Age and Vedantic teachers cite the Bible with a completely different meanin...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is there any born again concept ( to get the eternal life ) in Vedas ( Hinduism ) as it mentioned in the Bible?
A: Your question is an example of how both Hinduism and Christ have the same words with some overlap and yet differences. Both Christians and Hindus claim to be born again. The meaning of what it is to...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Are Prajapati in the Vedas and God the Father in the Old Testament the same?
A: This is a really interesting question, and not one that can be answered easily. In rough, general terms, they are definitely alike: both are designated as the creator of the universe. Prajap...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: What are the similarities between karma in the Gita and Christianity?
A: In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is instructing Arjuna about his concern whether he should go to war or not and possibly end up killing Bhishma and Drona and others of his own relatives. Krishna says Ar...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Will the experience of being at one with God be totally impersonal ? What I'm trying to ask is if there is any trace of my soul that will forever belong to me which will allow me to experience my oneness with God, or will I just be God?
A: You have put your finger on a very important question! The answer to it is a part of the nature of God and the nature of man--so it reaches deep within the world view of a person. Hinduism and Chris...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Aren’t all religions the same?
A: No question about it: it is very popular today to assert that all religions are really the same at heart. They seem to put us in touch with a higher power (usually called “God”) and they provide us w...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: “What is the Hindu concept of God's judgment to mankind?”
A: This is a really interesting question because in a way it asks about a concept in Hinduism that is not really at home in Hinduism. Usually when we think of God’s judgment on humankind, we picture a ...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: I have a friend who claims to be a Christian, but practices Yoga. What is it about Yoga that might be contrary to Christian principles and teaching?
A: ‘Yoga’ means “union” from the Sanskrit root word yuj meaning to join or combine. In the West, it is often proclaimed as merely a health benefit or an exercise regimen. This is often advertised as a...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is Hindusim and Islam the same?
A: In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 by a radical Islamic group, many Americans have become suspicious of both Islam as a religion and of the ethnic people f...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: What I am wondering is ... what is the Hindu equivalent of the 10 commandments? I mean, what code, book or document do Hindus refer to, when they are deciding that such and such is a wrong or right moral action? Thanks
A: There is no equivalent set of laws for Hindus (e.g. the 10 absolutes for all Hindus). Though there are many codes and obligations, indeed thousands of them in Hinduism, there is not one clear deli...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is there a Devil in Hinduism and what is the devil in Hinduism?
A: Once again we have a question here that highlights the difference between Hinduism and Christianity. Or, actually, the difference is more generally between Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Bu...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: How does the Hindu concept of the Trinity differ from that of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity ?
A: Hinduism has a trinity—Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva—and Christianity has a trinity— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Different names, same idea, right? Well, not quite. Though we should be aware of the ...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: Why are people converting to christianity in India? Why can't they instead accept two faiths at a time? The theory of George Harrison converting to Hinduism and Mahatma Gandhi's love for christianity confuses me.
A: Surely every religion has some positive things to offer. We find the principle of ahimsa, or not harming any living being in Indian religions, Christianity teaches love for one’s neighbor, from Isla...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: How many Hindus are there in the world?
A: Patrick Johnston is one of the best sources on statistics. He has written a book and updated it for some time on the countries of the world, their politics, their religions, and many other aspects of...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: Is there historical evidence for Hinduism?
A: Let me begin to respond to that question by raising a counter-question. Is there historical evidence for the claim that 2+2=4, or for the idea that it is better to tell the truth than to lie? For t...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: Is it possible for a person (particularly a Christian) to convert to Hinduism and if so, how do they go about doing it?
A: Is this possible? From the teachings of Jesus and the Bible it is definitely a possibility! An interesting question is, “Is it possible for someone who does not believe in Jesus or who does not want ...Full Answer

- Wyatt Robertson

Q: What is the Difference between Hinduism and Buddhism?
A: To the outsider, it may often appear that there is no real difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, particularly if one takes into account only the more philosophical, monistic form of Hinduism. Bot...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: How are Buddhism and Hinduism the same, and how do they differ--specifically in relationship to the four noble truths of Buddhism?
A: The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and Vedantic Hinduism

Let me begin by defining the terms before expanding on the concepts and addressing this very intriguing question. The four noble truths...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

Q: WHAT IS THE HINDU CONCEPT OF CREATION?
A: From the Hindu body of literature there are several accounts which allude to creation 1) Rg Veda alludes to immortal Purusa who is divided and parts of him becomes the physical universe, living and n...Full Answer

- Dayal V.

Q: Is there a savior in Hinduism? If so, how did he get to be such?
A: My first reaction to this question is to say, sure, there is not just one savior in Hinduism, but there are more saviors than one might ever imagine. Of course, the question is, what might the word ...Full Answer

- Gerhard Wohlberg

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