Cultural Intelligence:

World Cultures

Hinduism

Eternal Values for Modern Life

By: Vadim Kotelnikov personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov and Anastasia Bibikova

" India preserves the knowledge that preserves the World." ~ Sri Aurobindo

Five Basic Elements of Nature

  • Earth functions as the root, ground, or source within each phenomenon, solidity.

  • Water entails flow, continuity, penetration.

  • Fire entails life, heat, activity, clarity in the mind

  • Air depicting change, movement, maturity, life supporting.

  • Space intelligence, communication, formlessness, and creative potential.

 

 

Bhagavad Gita Quotes

  • Action.  Action is greater than inaction. Perform therefore thy task in life. Even the life of the body could not be if there were no action.

  • Altruism.  That one I love who is incapable of ill will, and returns love for hatred. Living beyond the reach of I and mind, and of pain and pleasure, full of mercy, contented, self-controlled, with all his heart and all his mind given to Me with such a one I am in love.

  • Beliefs. Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

  • Detachment. Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.

  • Disarray.  The disunited mind is far from wise; how can it meditate? How be at peace? When you know no peace, how can you know joy?

  • Doubts.  Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any
    happiness in store for him who always doubts.

  • Failure.  On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear.

  • Love. Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt you shall be united with me, Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart.

  • Meditation.  When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.

  • Purity.  No work stains a man who is pure, who is in harmony, who is master of his life, whose soul is one with the soul of all.

  • Restlessness.  The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice.

  • Self-Mastery.  Those who have conquered themselves...live in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise and blame...To such people a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same... Because they are impartial, they rise to great heights... More

Integral Yoga

Values of the Indian Philosophy for Today's Life

  1. Focus on keeping it simple

  2. Capacity to provide multiple choices in pursuit of the ultimate goal

  3. Viewing each individual as having high potential for excellent performance

Wonderful India

Bhagavad Gita

Indian Proverbs

Gain the Highest through Knowledge

Rama

Integral Yoga

Sri Aurobindo

Osho

"Stray Birds" by Rabindranath Tagore

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What Is Hinduism

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the World. Hindu believe that their religion is without beginning or end and is a continuous process even preceding the existence of the Earth and the many other worlds beyond. The greatness of Hinduism is at once its complexity and its simplicity. Many ancient cultures in Asia have been greatly influenced by the Hindu cultural ethos.

The word Hindu is of geographic origin and was derived from the name originally settled on the River Sindhu. It was corrupted by foreign visitors to the word 'Hindu', and the faith of the Hindus was given the name ' Hinduism'. Scholars however call this the Brahmanical faith, for to attain the Brahman or the Universe Soul is the ultimate aim of all Hindu thought.4

Hinduism is also called Sanatana Dharma or the Eternal Religion as it possesses great qualities of catholicity of outlook and free thinking. Even an atheist is not precluded from being a Hindu and neither hell nor doomsday is envisioned for the agnostic. Hinduism is also tremendously tolerant of other religious faiths and beliefs. It allows a Hindu to worship is a church, mosque, or gurdwara as freely as he does in a temple.

Hinduism is not just a religion but a way of life. It permeates totally the life of every Hindu from the moment of his or her birth, be he or she a believer or non-believer, a scholar or an illiterate.

"Hinduism is a rare faith with few "do's" and "don'ts" postulated, but one which has many signposts showing the different spiritual paths available to different types of people," says Shakunthala Jagannathan.4 "It accepts the reality that there are varying intellectual and spiritual levels in each one of us and all cannot therefore take the same path, although the goal may be the same. Hinduism therefore offers different approaches to persons of different aptitudes, depending on whether he be a philosopher or a poet, a mystic or a man of action, an intellectual or a simple man of faith. This is a unique feature of the religion as it permits the greatest of freedom of worship and insists that each person must be guided by his or her own individual spiritual experience. It does not accept dictatorship in religious guidance."

Man is God-potential

Indian philosophy has viewed each individual as trying to realize his identity. Rama,   a combination of the Divine in the human and the human in the Divine, is the supreme example of how people should conduct themselves in the world, how a country should be governed, how the integrity and morality of human beings should be protected. High-minded actions, ideal qualities, and sacred thoughts are basic foundations of his character. "Rama is immanent in the entire cosmos. Rama is present everywhere. Hence you have to love all, serve all.," said Shri Sathya Sai Baba.3

"Indian philosophy has always encouraged people to raise themselves above day-to-day trappings of life, seek meaning with factors which go beyond the usual and connect purpose of life with a super-ordinate meaning."1

The 4 Stages of Life in Hinduism

The Wheel of Life: Eastern vs. Western View

In Hinduism, human life is believed to comprise four stages. These are called "ashramas". Ashram means "a place of spiritual shelter." Every man should ideally go through each of these stages:

1. Student (The First Ashrama "Brahmacharya")

2. Householder (The Second Ashrama "Grihastha")

3. Hermit (The Third Ashrama "Vanaprastha")

4. Wandering Ascetic (The Fourth Ashrama "Sannyasa")

 

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gītā (Song of God), also more simply known as Gita, is a Sanatana Dharma or Hindu scripture produced from the colloquy given by Sri Krishna to Arjuna during the Kurukshetra War. Its philosophies and insights are intended to reach beyond the scope of religion and to humanity as a whole .

The Bhagavad Gita is revered as sacred by the majority of Hindu traditions, and especially so by followers of Krishna. It is at times referred to as the "manual for mankind" and has been highly praised by not only Indians but also by Western great thinkers.

The Bhagavad Gita is considered among the most important texts in the history of literature and philosophy. It comprises exactly 700 verses, and is a part of the Mahabharata. The verses, using the range and style of Sanskrit meter (chandas) with similes and metaphors, are very poetic; hence the title, which translates to "the Song of the Divine One", of Bhagavan in the form of Krishna.

The teacher of the Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna, who is revered by Hindus as a manifestation of God (Parabrahman) Himself, and is referred to within as Bhagavan, the Divine One.

The context of the Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and the Pandava prince Arjuna taking place on the battlefield before the start of the Kurukshetra War. Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma about fighting his own cousins, Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince, and elaborates on different Yogic and Vedantic philosophies, with examples and analogies. This has led to the Gita often being described as a concise guide to Hindu theology and also as a practical, self-contained guide to life. During the discourse, Lord Krishna reveals His identity as the Supreme Being Himself (Svayam Bhagavan), blessing Arjuna with an awe-inspiring vision of His divine universal form.

The Bhagavad Gita is also called Gītopaniṣad, implying its having the status of an Upanishad, i.e. a Vedantic scripture. As it is taken to represent a summary of the Upanishadic teachings, it is also called "the Upanishad of the Upanishads". Another title is mokṣaśāstra, or "Scripture of Liberation"... More

 

 

References:

  1. "Management with a Difference", Dr. G.P. Gupta, Sri Aurobindo Society

  2. "The True Essense of Rama", Girish Bhandari

  3. "The Rama Principle", Shri Sathya Sai Baba

  4. Hinduism: An Introduction, Shakunthala Jagannathan

  5. The Four Ages of Man The 4 Stages of Life in Hinduism, Subhamoy Das

  6. The Four Ashrams

  7. Hinduism about One Goal, Different Paths