Features of hinduism

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Features of Hinduism
Unique features of Hinduism

We have the rare privilege of being born as human beings and we desire to live happily in this world Pain and sorrow, trials and tribulations, these provide the incentive to think about the course of our lives, about the causes of our griefs, and the way to overcome them. Our present troubles are the effect of some cause, near or remote. This ultimate cause of our suffering must be spotted out and destroyed. All other remedies will be only temporary and palliative. If the root cause is not tackled, the suffering is bound to recur, if not in the same form, in some other manner.

Great religious leaders directed their attention to its discovery and each of them offered a solution, which, he felt, was the best to eradicate it. The Buddha was oppressed by the sufferings he found all around him He sought out various teachers; but none of the methods suggested by them appealed to him. Finally, he sat in meditation under the Bodhi tree and enlightenment dawned on him He formulated his theory of illusion (soonya vaadam). He felt that the only way to remain unaffected by any trouble is to realise that everything in the world is an illusion, and, in that realisation, to remain unaffected by pain as well as pleasure.

Christianity did not correlate sin and sufferings as cause and effect. According to it, all men are sinners, and can expiate their sins only by believing in Christ. It also averred that the present is the only life vouchsafed to us, and salvation is a case of now or never. There is no future or past life according to that religion. It is the same with Islam also. Belief in Christ or Prophet Mohammed, as the case may be is the only way to go to heaven. According to both these religions, the unbelievers went to hell. As these two religions did not believe in another birth after the present one, the entire emphasis in their teachings was on going to heaven after death.

Hinduism, on the other hand, postulates a series of births, and proclaims that the sorrows and sufferings of each life, like its joys, are the result of our karmas (deeds) in our past lives. Consequently the Hindus do not speak of eternal damnation, as the Christians and Muslims do. The Buddha too believed in karmas and cycle of births because he was the product of the Vedic tradition.

The logical consequence of the assertion that only those who believed in Christ or in Prophet Mohammed, as the case may be, will go to heaven, is that those who were born in the world before the advent of Christ or Prophet did not attain salvation. This position cannot be accepted. Moreover, these two religions did not give a rational explanation for present sufferings or provide a remedy for them. The Hindu theory of karma and cycle of births and deaths alone offered a satisfactory explanation. Each person has "earned" the sorrows of his present life, as he has "earned" its joys, by his karmas in a previous life, and can "earn" happiness in his present and future lives, by the performance of good karmas.

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