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HINDUS, I have some serious questions...?

I am interested in learning a little more about your theology. It is my understanding that Hinduism is actually a monotheistic religion that believes there is one God (Supreme Being Brahman) who has three forms (kind of like a trinity) which are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma is pure spirit but Vishnu and Shiva have different incarnations or "avatars" which are often mistakenly called "gods" and "goddesses" by Westerners. So Krishna is not actually a different god but an incarnation of one of the forms of God. Is this correct? Also I know that there are female deities, are these also incarnations of God? How can they be female if Vishnu and Shiva are male? Or is gender arbitrary in your theology?

One more topic, that is puja. I have seen that Hindus make offerings to images of these avatars, put flower garlands around pictures and burn incense to statues, etc. I am wondering if in your religion, do you actually worship the image (believe the statue is god) or believe the avatar resides in the image and are thus not worshipping the image itself, but the being that dwells in it, or do you only venerate the image as a remembrance of the one it depicts? I am Catholic and am familiar with veneration of icons as opposed to worship. In my religion we do not actually worship the image but practice veneration.

I have a lot of respect for your faith and I am not in any way trying to be insulting or funny. It's just that in most "world religion" books they completely miss the point and misrepresent ideas because the authors are not religious themselves and do not understand religion, so I never get these minor distinctions clarified!

10 Answers

  • Favourite answer

    Lots of questions! hinduism, the supreme god, the only god is explianed by "aum" and the sign of aum. It has such a perculiar design because nothing on earth is of that design hence that indirectly says that god is completely undefinable to us as we do not have the right eyes and words to describe him.

    Om has no gender. It is just best described by a cosmic energy.

    Then to simplify stuff... we divide the om in female and male. As tehy are the two ways in life. This means that we are all same. male, female are both manifestaions of same god.

    The male part is described by the trinity. The brahma, vishnu, mahesh. This is not trinity per say. If I were to explain, brahma is the creater, mahesh(shiva) the destroyer, vishnu is the one said to take care of the earth(simplifying).

    And the female part by parvati(shakti-power), saraswati(godess of education) and lakshmi(godess of wealth)

    The shiva is incomplete without parvati. That is to say that without the females life is immpossible.male is incomplete. Parvati is shakti(power) and what is possible without power?

    Female dieties are also incarnations of god..why can't they be? God does not have a gender.. there are many instances in which shiva incarnated into a female. For example, in one such story, shiva incarnated into a female and then with the mating of his with an incarnation of vishnu, shiva gave birth to ayappa, a god worshipped in south india. It makes no difference which gender you are. Bodies do not mean anything. Soul matters. And the soul in all of us is same. we are all connected. All of us are nothing but om. All of us. This worls is all a mirage, maya- some people(like buddha and many Indians) realised this and this awakened them.

    There is also an instance of ardha-nareshvara, here this image is signified by bonding of shiva and parvati. one side is depicted by shiva and another by parvati. In one body.

    You are wondering how can that be? But gods do not have a gender.. gods do not hav sex. So why not? :)

    These are all meant to simply things. to teach us truth in simle matters. Our gender does not matter, that is what this says.

    These are just images, maifestations of the actual aum or om(it has many names). For example, shiva is said to have three eyes.. this means that he can see things that we as humans can't see. it is his inner eye..he can see through stuff. similarly, everything else in gods has a meaning. The number of hands has a meaning too.

    Now these mainfestations of god,(even shiva) have many incarnations..for example, shree krishna is an incarnation of vishnu, but vishnu is a manifestation of shree krishna is om too. But, he came to earth and guided us through the holy bhagvat geeta.

    Yes, we worship idols and do many rites and stuff. For example, during yagnas,(sort of pujas) we pray to panchtatvas- fire, sky, earth,water, air. We also wordhip god in many forms and stuff. For example, I am a devotee of Lord Krishna. I know Om is all that matters...but I am still devoted to krishna. Similatly, some people are devoted to Hanuman,some to ram, some pray to Durga, some to goes on.

    All these gods(used to calling them have different fables. For example, krishna was a very naughty child. He used to help everybody, yes but he used to always steal(yes,steal) butter and milk products from his mother. She would store them high so he won't be able to reach it, but he wud still get to it and finish the

    Like that, Hanuman is said to be the sun of Sun god. He knew how to fly...he was very powerful but he above all was a devotee of Shri ram(incarnation of vishnu) who has other fables..

    So, yes we worship idols. Not per say. the philosophy doesn't say so. But we do. And I see nothing wrong with it. What is wrong with idol worshipping? I do not understand why ppl make such an issue out of it. I love krishnaji.. I know about om, When i pray to a idol of saraswati, or durga or shiva or anybody, I am praying to om only. I am praying to the supreme god only. so what does it matter? I do not see how idol worshipping matters. This is not like the greek gods..those were silly.Or maybe the book I read about them made them seem silly as it was written by an orthodox cristian. But they seemed to be having sex! (Zius specially) God doesn't have sex. how can god have sex? these are meant to teach us stuff. teach us how to live life. U chose a person and u try to be like them. u try to devote urself to him/her. Easier to do than to pray to glob of enregy u can't describe. Easier to meditate. and meditation is a big part of hinduism!


    Oops..too long. But I hope I got the stuff cleared. any other prob,i can help! :) I am not a guru..but I try to help.

    take care..

    jai shree krishna!


    Hinduism basically teaches u to be a gud person. It does not talk about a particular man being prophet or god or son of god or somethings- it is basically a collected idea. Lots of peopl reched the same conclusion. We know krishna gave us the geeta. somebody else the vedas..ramayana was written by valmiki and so on..they were all directed by god but presented to us thruogh different means. True, there is a suff about all religions leading to same thing-like ppl wanting to go to a montain top-there are different ways of reaching the top. But ppl do not understand one thing-not everybody wishes to reach the same mountain's top. They all have different ideas. I do not believe in any abrahemic religion. For simple reason- they promote hatred.t hey all say tha non-cristians, non-muslims will rot in hell. that proves them wrong for me. Morover, there idea of god is also very childish. i don't know, but I do not understand why they think god is so egoistic as to actually kill atheists. God doesn't ened us to pray.But ppl forget all this. I am not against them, but I just believe I am lucky I do not belong to those religions-buddhism, jainism, all Indian religions are good and human and nice. Had I belonged to Islam or cristianiny, perhaps I wudn't have beleived in gpd at all..

    I am saying this cause a lot of ppl think like mystic. they ebleive in all religions being equal and then they covnert to other religions when they marry non-hindus cause they are asked and then these religions say only that religion is true and do sillys tuff basically. And I hate that. Makes me angry that ppl don't realise a simple fact like that.

    Mystic is deluded. Many ppl beleive tht hinduism is that.It is in a way. it teaches u to respect other religion..but only the good things of other religions..It is written in Vedas that u shud follow ur parent but if ur parent is silly, following him/her is wrong! U shud know better! Got that? take the best of all worlds, but that is possible only in hinduism. other religions tend to talk like their religions are writtenonstone. They frighten me.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hinduism Can actually be termed as a way of life instead of a religion.

    This way of life was recently changed to a religion. Hinduism is based on a series of good values and morals. All hindus are taught to see god in everything. We see the Supreme creator in earth, fire, wind etc.

    We worship god through the idols. We have given god may forms and different people worship different gods, but actually all of us worship the supreme being.

    I was taught all of these by my elders and teachers.

    Putting garlands, burning incense, offering flowers are just different ways of showing our devotion.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hinduism believes that all gods (not just the Trimurti [Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva]) are aspects of the same over-arching Godhead (Brahman). The goal of Hinduism is to become one with this Godhead and thereby escape the cycle of reincarnation.

    Generally speaking, female divinities represent the power (shakti) of their respective divine husbands. It doesn't matter, however, what god the worshipper chooses to worship, as they all represent the same Godhead.

    A sacred image is infused with the power of the god it represents and is thus sacred. The image, however, is not the god/dess him/herself. It just represents him/her.

    EDIT: Brahma is the creator, not the destroyer. Shiva is the destroyer.

    EDIT 2: Krishna is just one of the avatars of Vishnu, but he is worshipped by Hindus as a god, as is Krishna's consort Radha.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not Hindu. At school we learnt that they are all just different representations of the supreme being (brahman), and like they reflect his personality? brahma- the destroyer, vishnu- the preserver etc.

    Gender isn't really important, and it's hard to distinguish. They might look male but could be female and vice versa.

    They worship the being, and what they represent? Like what I was saying erliar.

    Hope I helped.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There is one God, only One God accepted in Hinduism. Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Lord. For the purposes of creation , He accepts a form known as Sadashiva.

    God has three types of energies,or shakti, "swarup shakti", "jeeva shakti" and maya shakti.

    The shakti of God is considered to be like feminine principle.

    So all the jeevas (living beings) are essentially feminine in their natural constitution.

    The only one who owns all the energies is called Vishnu or Krishna (the origin of all origins). Krishna means one who attracts all.

    It is difficult to explain such esoteric principles in short. Many Hindus follow different paths, some consider Shiva as the Supreme and some even consider Shakti as the Supreme!

    I would advise you to follow the following link, it is one of the best ones you can find on Hinduism.

    Source(s): spiritual practice.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Krishna - Krishna is not at all a god, but he is a human who is incarnation or avatar of Vishnu. Most of the stories which tells us about the incarnation has always has a start point... but it fails to tell us the end.. If I'm wrong please correct me, even I don't know what happened to Krishna's life.

    Still many of them(Hindus) don't worship Idols - this is because they know that god is one and single. But, we cannot stop other's from doing this as it's their belief.

    You are so right about the authors they do not understand the religion.

    What I can say you is please stop breaking your head to get clarified on these matters it is endless......

    Source(s): myself
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  • Ruth
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Caste was a later addition to the major vedic varnas (labour/skill divisions).Actually, hindus are classified by the deities they worship - vishnu, siva and sakthi(goddess). n fact, Hare krishnas follow the brahmin practices, and called as vaishnavas as they worship Vishnu. It is your choice of your philosophy and deity than any caste.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ok I will explain as I know how, please forgive me if i didnt satisfy you

    1) Being a hindu or following hinduism is not about calling yourself one or having the ego of being one

    2) Hinduism places importance on other religions opinion to feed where knowledge stands, so its important to respect every other religion the same as hinduism, not in any way smaller then hinduism

    3) All those you see in hindu scriptures is a tool for your mind to receive OM,NIRVANA,OMKAR,AMEEN,CHRISTCONCIOUSNESS, COSMIC CONCIOUSNESS

    4) You are to question everything, all the scriptures in hinduism is not set in stone, even some phrases from the gita says that,

    5) Dont follow what hinduism says, even the religion says its a tool for you to know it, there is a saying in it, every river ends up at the same sea, so keep yourself open towards everything within nature, that includes science, ALLAH, Jesus, Buddha etc

    Im called a hindu in the outside world, but I know I am not and even Hinduism asks me to be this way

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  • 1 decade ago

    Dear Joan read Ramakrishna Kathamritha by Mahendranath Guptha............. will get all answers

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think Vishnu has come 2000 years ago and was crucified. You know Him.

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