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RELIGION

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The History Of Hinduism

Ancient History of Hinduism

Hinduism is as old as time itself. The sound "OM" was the first syllable that came out at the creation of the universe, now thought to be the Big Bang, though this inflationary theory of Big Bang does not go in line with the Hindu cyclic theory of Kalpas and Maha Kalpas. The history/timeline of Hinduism would be a very interesting topic. As one researches more and more, more and more things keep coming. There are accounts of species that would go in line with Darwinism in that during the era of Lord Rama there were a whole species of ape humanoids and one fo their leaders was Hanuman, the greatest devotee of Lord Rama. Yes, there are many sources that indicate many of the historic milestones seen by Hinduism, but is there a recorded history available As we see Hinduism is knowledge and experience supported religion, the ancestors have well thought of the need to record some of the important moments in the history. This history is given to us in the form of puranas and itihasas. The word purana means old and itihasa means history. They refer to events that are very many thousands years old.


The history told in these puranas and itihasas has the information as to who were the key people lived in various points of time - especially the sages and the kings and remarkable achievements by them if any. These texts apart from providing the mere information also serve as the source that inspires people about the heroes of the past. They narrate the good and evil of the past so that people could take forward the contours of positive growth and keep away from the errors.


The puranas are eighteen in count. There are also an equal number of sub puranas. (upa-puranas). They talk of the happenings of very ancient time. These typically in terms of many yugas (multi thousands years), chaturyugas (four such yugas is one chaturyuga), manvantara and kalpa.


Timeline


Krathi

1

2

2

30

60

60

2.5

24

7

4

2

6

100

10

432

2

3

4

10

1000

1 Kalpa

Krathi

Truti

Truti

Luv

Kshana

Vipal

Pal

Ghadi

Hora

Divas

Sapath

Mas

Rutu

Varsh

Shatabda

Sahasrabda

Yug

Yug

Yug

Yug

Mahayug

Kalpa

34,000th of a second

300th of a second

1 Luv

1 Kshana

1 Vipal

1 Pal

1 Ghadi (24 minutes)

1 Hora (1 hour)

1 Divas(1 day)

1 Sapath(1 week)

1 Mas (1 month)

1 Rutu (1 season)

1 Varsh (1 year)

1 Shatabda ( 1 Century)

1 Sahasrabda

1 Yug (kaliyug)

1 Dwaparyug

1 Tretayug

1 Krutayug

1 Mahayug(4,320,000) years

1 Kalpa

4.32 billion years.

It would be quite involved task and at times impossible to assign a fixed date for these happenings. puranas came through various sources and were compiled by sage vedavyasa. The importance that is given to the history and these puranas in Hinduism is obvious by the fact that some part of the puranas is read out as part of the daily worship in the temples along with the vedas. The knowledge of this ancient past was spread mainly through the word of mouth through the channels called pauranikas. So apart from the original theme, many later day insertions also could be found in them.

Itihaas are the narration of incidents at two moments in this chaturyuga. There are two in number. One is Ramayana written by vAlmIki and the other is Mahabharata written by vedavyAsa. Of these Ramayana narrates the story of the earlier time (tretAyuga) and Mahabharata the incidents of later time (dvAparayuga). (The currently running yuga is kaliyuga). Though they talk elaborately about a war each, the precursor to the war and the scenario after that, they give account of the previous kings who ruled and their deeds. The later epic mahabharata tells the post war history upto the start of the current yuga - kali. How scientifically are these data captured ? Hindus, who are well known for their astronomy through olden times, have marked the celestial positions of the planets as a way of presenting the time. By decoding these one could get the period.


Modern History of Hinduism


The recent periods of Hinduism (after 1st century ACE) though did not have a single consolidated documented history. However, the histories of many of the glorious personalities were well written. There are numerous such biographies that talk about the social, political setup during those periods. Apart from these the kings had the inscriptions made on stones and copper plates (epigraphs) that briefly tell about any special event like construction of temples etc that happened during the reign of a king. These clearly mention the year in which the event happened. Given the robustness of these materials they stand well for very many centuries. So these serve as the historic evidences and help determining the dates of other contemporaries using the references mentioned in them.


The 2nd millennium was a very challenging period when the land in which Hinduism was glittering gloriously, that India was attacked by the Muslim invaders. (The European take over subsequently was a boon and a bane in that time period.) Much of the well-matured culture was put into shambles and much of the glory forgotten. The vibrant open discipline, which was highly advanced spiritually and philosophically in the peaceful past had to defend itself against the continuous wave of attacks. As this period was really too long many of the Hindus on the forefront had to shelve the knowledge ocean of the past and just pick some simple abstracts out of them to survive as Hindus even in the hostile environment.


At the end of the 2nd millennium efforts started to collect the records of the glorious past of Hinduism whatever were remaining. These form the basis of the modern history of Hinduism.


The sanatana dharma (eternal discipline) through its journey has seen at one point a religion that was spread throughout the world to get confined to the land of Indian subcontinent and even there it had glorious as well as troublesome periods. The Supreme bless now for the benefit of the humanity that the great truths of this dharma becomes available in its pure form to all the seekers throughout the world.

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FORUM

Written by HCUK Webmaster on . Posted in Uncategorised

Let us talk of conversion as per Sanatan Dharma.

LINGODHAR DIKSHA is the process to enter in the fold of Shaivism. Proper rituals are prescribed as per chapter 21st and 22nd of Tantraloka. This is also covered in chapter 17th of Tantrasara, which is summary of this elaborate text.

Tantraloka is the most fascinating work on Indology and a comprehensive document on Hindu spirituality, consisting of thirty seven chapters. It contains the various aspects of Indian religious philosophy, the detailed rituals covering most of the subtle processes and secret rituals along with their basis. Various branches of Indian spiritual philosophy, including aesthetics, like music, dance, etc. have been beautifully expounded.

-Virendra Qazi

I agree with the article entirely. It is time people should realise that Hindus must covert as well. Particularly when our misguided girls are being converted to marry their so-called lovers from other religions. Girls should be asked to convert others to Hinduism instead of them converting to others. This will be one way to stop Hindus converting because other religions would never agree to convert and then our girls would realize that what is the importance of ones own religion.

-Suraj Sehgal

Even today there are politicians in Bharat who are opnely canvassing for a Muslim chief minister in a state in Bharat. Soon after independence a Muslim in Kolkata said "Haste Haste lia he Pakistan, ladte ladte lenge Hindustan."

Population of Hindus in Bharat is in decline, where as of other faiths is is sharp increase. What other choice do we have to preserve what little is left of Bharat?

-Chuni Chavda

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q 1: Is Hinduism a religion or is it a Wa y of Life?

Neither. Hinduism is a term coined by Western people applied to a group of people who believe in Santana Dharma (eternal code of righteousness). It is a spiritual philosophy with clearly enunciated tenets (comparable to the Ten Commandments for the Christians). I have heard some Hindus claim that Hindu dharma is far too complex, and ambiguous on many issues. In saying that, these commentators are simply stating ignorance of their scriptures. Sanatana dharma came into being in Bhaaratvarsha, now referred to as India. However, over the years, some followers of dharma have evolved and established different practices while retaining the basic tenets of dharma. These are the many religions that took birth in India. Examples are Shaivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism, Arya Samaj, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and many other smaller subgroups. A spiritual philosophy that has given birth to many religions is thus more than a religion. This philosophy is unique in that there is no dogma, nor the practice of prescription or proscription by any organised hierarchy. Although belief in the Supreme Brahman, The Unknowable, is one of the fundamental tenets, agnostics and atheists have always been accepted so long as they practice dharma. So, belief in, and practice of, dharma is fundamental to being a Hindu.

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HCUK Operations

Written by HCUK Webmaster on . Posted in Uncategorised

Why we need Hindu Council UK

A central organisation is needed to represent all Hindu associations, temples, missions and other interested groups in dealing with federal, state and local governments. This will provide all associations greater strength and enable effective action in all matters relating to any unjustifiable or inappropriate treatment by the authorities.

There are a large number of Hindu/Indian associations or societies in UK, eg in NSW itself there are more than 150 such associations having membership from as few as 5-10 to 200-300. It makes it very difficult to get recognition from the Government, both Federal and State and other external bodies. An umbrella organisation like the Hindu Council of UK can represent the collective interests of all Hindus living in UK.

All other religious groups have such Councils to represent their religious groups' interests.
Similar councils have been established and operating effectively in the U.K. and elsewhere.

 

Operation

The Council will not interfere in the internal affairs of member associations.

  1. Each UK's State will have a sub-branch of the Council. One or two delegates from each State shall be nominated by the local associations to represent the State.
  2. The central body will coordinate the activities of all its State branches, which will be represented in the overall national body. The national body will directly interact with the Federal government departments and officials.
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Objectives

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The Hindu Council of UK. (HCUK) is an umbrella organisation representing the interest of all Hindus living in UK, irrespective of their caste or country of origin.

The following are some of the objectives of HCUK:

 

  1. To articulate issues that concern Hindus at the local, state and national levels in United Kingdom.
  2. To negotiate with the government at all levels or other organisations/associations in matters related to Hindu culture and religion.
  3. To organise functions, festivals etc promoting Hindu culture and religion to foster cooperation among participating organisations.
  4. To act as a non-political, non-sectarian, non-profit organisation to promote legitimate social, cultural, educational and religious needs of Hindus in United Kingdom.
  5. To support the establishment of any charitable institution for the benefit of Hindus and the overall community.
  6. To function as an information source for schools, general community concerning Hindu philosophy, culture and religion.
  7. To print and publish books, leaflets etc to promote the activities of the Hindu Council.
  8. To arrange seminars, conventions, conferences etc to promote better understanding of Hindu culture and religion.
  9. To help members of the Hindu community against inappropriate or unjustifiable treatment in matters of issuance of visas for priests, dignitaries and speakers for conferences etc.
  10. Represent the Hindu community at official functions such as Diamond Jubilee, Prince William Wedding etc., celebrations.
  11. Assist in dealing with the media, written and visual, in regard to possible problems such as the publication or broadcasting of material offensive to the Hindu community.
  12. To present a unified Hindu viewpoint on various current social issues relevant to the United Kingdom multicultural society at conferences and in submissions to government institutions.
  13. To organise conferences, symposia etc nationally and overseas and to represent such meetings on behalf of local associations.
  14. To publicise the existence of the council by advising the media, local councils and state and federal governments. 
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Profile

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The Vision

Hindu Council UK was founded in 1994 for all Hindus domiciled in the United Kingdom, combining all the Hindu faith denominations, whilst representing various Hindu communities and Hindus from different parts of the world settled in the United Kingdom. It’s main purpose was to give the UK Hindus an effective voice on policy matters with the Government of the day whilst enhancing mutual understanding among the major faiths predominant in the UK. Hindu Council UK is itself a non-partisan faith organisation.

Our Work

The work that the Hindu Council UK undertakes falls into two separate but connected categories, viz: the interfaith commitment through the Inter Faith Network of the UK and the review of policies affecting Hindus through a consultation process with the Government of the day.

There are various dialogues among different faiths that occur continuously throughout the year by way of

  • Leaders of all major faiths meet centrally at the Inter Faith Network regularly throughout the year, and
  • Local level inter-dialogue meetings are held throughout the country to promote mutual understanding for a harmonious co-existence.

 

Government Consultation

Along with other major faith councils, Hindu Council UK is invited to consult on Government policy from time to time . The consultation processes take place in agreement with the Inter Faith Network and Hindu Council UK input and feedback from a Hindu point of view. Various Government departments are involved, particularly the Home Office and Department of Trade and Industry. In addition Hindu Council UK is represented at other government related bodies like the Commission for Racial Equality and the new Single Equality Board.

Affiliates

Hindu Council UK represents an amalgamation of various Hindu denominations in the UK through their temple bodies and cultural organisations. In addition community, youth and women organisations are represented.

The Executive

Hindu Council UK’s Executive is comprised as follows:

  • Board of Directors / Trustees
  • General Secretary
  • Executive Chairs and Officers
  • Executive Members

 

 

Non Executive Roles

 

      • Supreme Counsel
      • Committee Representative
        In the main the Executive is comprised of representatives from temples and organisations but individual members who wish to volunteer their services are encouraged to co-opt into roles matched to their skills.

 

      Supreme Counsel is comprised of senior people retiring from the Executive, and Committee Representatives are from various Temples and Cultural Organisations.

 

Communications

Communication is considered to be of the utmost importance and Hindu Council UK’s policy is not to limit itself to its member organisations but to reach every Hindu interested in community service so as to encourage input on legislative and policy matters at the widest scale possible.

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Hindu Council UK | Ram Mandir 22 KING STREET, SOUTHALL, MIDDLESEX UB2 4DA

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: +44 7956 655 792  Fax: +44 (0) 121 544 2257   Company No. 3364710.  Charity No. 1067682
Hindu Council UK is a national network of Hindu Temple bodies and cultural Organisations coordinating all different schools of Hindu theology within the UK

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