Hindus need not try to make Hinduism appear more monotheistic in order to gain acceptance by others. Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies 13 - 15 Magdalen Street, Oxford OX1 3AE, UK Tel: 01865 304300Regd Charity No. KNOW MORE >>, The Yoga of Consciousness: From Waking, Dream and Deep Sleep Self-realization Paperback, Yogini Shambhavi Devi is one of the most important and dynamic women teachers of the deeper aspects of Yoga coming out of India today. The Islamic tradition, for example, interprets monotheism as the religion of those who believe in Allah as the one true God and Mohammed as His prophet. This judgment required that monotheists convert Hindus, along with all similar non-monotheistic traditions, a process that has not come to an end. They should not romanticize monotheism as monism or Bhakti Yoga in another form, but should be aware of the monotheistic agendas that are still adverse to them. This is not to say that one cannot find valuable teachings in monotheism, just as one can also find them in traditions called polytheistic. Yet one could propose to the contrary that turning Hinduism into another monotheistic faith could as likely make Hindus more vulnerable to conversion by faiths claiming to be more purely monotheistic than Hinduism could ever be. Brahman shouldnt be confused with any ONE form or gender. Different traditions of Hinduism have different theistic views, and these views have been described by scholars as polytheism, monotheism, henotheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, agnostic, humanism, atheism or Nontheism. Email: vedicinstitute@gmail.com. The goddess is forever... Shiva as the Great Unknown Over time, Hinduism has evolved from a polytheistic religion to one that is widely monistic. Ayurveda has always been an... YOGA THERAPY OR YOGA CHIKITSA Akasha or Space is the most subtle of the Vedic five elements,... Satya is one of the most common principles of Vedic thought, extending throughout Yoga and Vedanta, mentioned in texts from Vedas and Upanishads. Words like monotheism have been coined to describe Abrahamic religions and may not always be applicable in the Indian context. These begin with the very air through which we... Raja Yoga commonly refers to the royal or higher Yoga of meditation. Hinduism as a collective culture of many philosophies is henotheist-panentheistic-polytheistic from viewpoint of relative reality. American Heritage® Dictionary of... Monotheistic - definition of monotheistic by The Free Dictionary. The supreme god of the Proto-Indo-European religion was the god *Dyḗus Pḥatḗr . Hinduism is not simply a monotheistic religion. Hindu culture is to pray to anything and everything. The following article by Dr David Frawley was first published by DailyO. Michelle. Which is monism. Our Academic Director, Professor Francis X. Clooney, organised a series of lectures and seminars this term to look at this topic from different perspectives, including Vaishnava, Shiva, and the Goddess traditions. Hinduism is like the great banyan tree that stands beyond all limitations and definitions. These lectures are part of an on-going programme to explore the Hindu tradition and to examine it from different angles, inside and outside of the tradition. Yet all these western philosophical terms for religion, including monotheism, are incomplete and cannot encompass the full range of Hindu teachings. Hindus should try to find out what motivates monotheistic groups to seek to convert not only Hindus but Buddhists, Sikhs and all pagan and native groups. Is Hinduism monotheistic? Theism is part of this universal approach, but not an exclusive monotheism, and it exists along with many other approaches personal and impersonal, including not only in religion but also in art, philosophy, and science. He invited guest speakers for several of the sessions in order to hear experts on other religions like Judaism and Islam. Every other deities are manifestations of this one supreme being. On a lower level of truth, there are many different gods and goddesses that are distinct in Hinduism. *****Article Reflects our upcoming Webinar on... Yoga Nidra is a popular topic today but seldom taken to the depth that it is presented with in the Vedantic teachings. Which aspects of our nature are emotions rooted in and how can we best understand them? ",I answered Polytheistic and she said I was wrong because they worship Brahman,So which one is it? Modern western examination of the Vedas, and through the Vedas the... American Institute of Vedic Studies There has been a considerable debate extending from recent centuries to current interfaith dialogues as to whether Hinduism is a monotheistic religion, and if so whether Hinduism can perhaps be included among the great monotheistic traditions of the world. Such a One God is a “singularity,” a one opposed to others, not a universality that embraces all. Hinduism is straight up Monotheistic. Jews and Muslims would surely say that Hinduism is polytheistic—for them, worship of anything that is … By David Frawley. How can a religion that seems teeming with various gods of colourful descriptions have a belief in one Supreme? ly adv. These lectures are part of an on-going programme to explore the Hindu tradition and to examine it from different angles, inside and outside of the tradition. Bhagavan... Abstract: He said, "When studying Indian religions many words of western and Christian origin are used, but do they really apply? The course of the river is difficult to map, for monotheistic beliefs are often put forward in protest against other beliefs and practices. We certainly need more... By David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) Not surprisingly, the votaries of the One God are usually engaged in plans to convert all of humanity to their particular views, rejecting all others as inferior, out of date or wrong. As per Advaita Vedanta doctrine of Hinduism God Almighty is one and only one. Nor does the Jain tradition. Others have a more inclusive approach and categorise everyone who wants to be a monotheist as a monotheist." European colonial thought centuries ago judged Hinduism as polytheistic and pagan, like native and pagan traditions from throughout the world, not as monotheistic. Not only Hindus but many traditional people and ancient cultures seem to be better aware of that background but many-sided unity than what we would call organized religion. And if monotheistic groups do want to expand their views to the unitary reality such as we find in Hinduism, Hindus should welcome that. The One God of monotheism is not usually a unitary reality or universal truth but an exclusive being that demotes, denies or rejects all other paths or formulations of divinity. Such “exclusive monotheism” rejects the worship of the One Reality according to different names and forms. 5 years ago. We can discover that Divine face and presence of consciousness everywhere, but for this to occur, we must first discover it within our own hearts and in the hearts of all beings. Even though Hinduism is mistakenly regarded by many as a religion having many gods namely, polytheism, yet truly speaking Hinduism is a monotheistic religion. As we move towards a new planetary age, we must accept this diversity of all life, which is of both Spirit and Nature.   Vedic thought speaks of space as the ultimate reality with time as a movement in space. Advaita or non-dualistic Vedanta regards that realization of the Supreme Self transcends the dualistic world of God and soul. PRIVACY POLICY: We take your take your privacy seriously. View... Take a comprehensive, yet affordable distance learning program in Ayurvedic healing, providing a... Shakti, the intrinsic grace of the Divine Mother Goddess, holds the supreme power of spiritual, psychosomatic and bodily well-being. Hindu theism does not deny a multiplicity of deities on various levels but regards these as manifestations or developments from the same Divine power. Though there is a Hindu theism of several varieties, much profound philosophical depth and long traditions, it is part of a larger set of spiritual approaches that include most of the spiritual views and practices that staunch monotheists dread and denigrate There are many important thinkers, philosophers, scientists and artists in the West who have long criticized or rejected monotheism. A number of words derived from the name of this supreme deity are used in various Indo-European languages to denote a monotheistic God. First is the idea that monotheism is a higher form, if not the highest form of religion, which is both debatable and controversial. What do you think of the answers? Incidentally, it is very important to talk about what Hinduism is not because that is easier to do and also easier for a non-Hindu to grasp because its complexities will become clearer that way. The information we collect from you from you including email address and credit information for payments, we do not share with anyone. Hindus accept that the Divine ( not one god )has many manifestations extending to every rock, plant, person, planet and star, from the ground on which we stand to the farthest reach of time and space and beyond. This is quite different from the unitary Deity of Vedic and yogic thought defined as Atman or Purusha, the Supreme Self. i don't mean to criticize anything really! The Hindu view is that Truth is One and that if one had to choose between truth and God, one would be better off choosing truth. Friends Event: Chankya – The Genius of Statecraft, Friends Event: Love and Attachment - Conceptions of Devotions in the Narada Bhakti Sutra, Three-day Sanskrit School in Oxford, 25–27 January 2019, Friends Event: Finding your Guru: The Tale of the Avadhuta Brahmin, Oxford Day School: Yoga - From Ancient to Modern. A background unity is certainly there but it exists above and beyond all divisions of name and form, not as one point of view against another. We should recognize Hinduism for what it is and monotheism for what it is. The One God of monotheism is not usually a unitary reality or universal truth but an exclusive being that demotes, denies or rejects all other paths or formulations of divinity. People are free to worship any … Satya is usually rendered as “truth”, which is its closest equivalent, but... By David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) Hinduism incorporates diverse views on the concept of God. And many great mystics and yogis from throughout the world have also questioned the superiority of monotheism, its practices and institutions, over spiritual approaches to Self-knowledge and Self-realization not tied to one belief system or another. Everyone can benefit from learning the basics of Ayurveda as part of understanding one’s body and mind, how nature works and the deeper Consciousness behind the universe. Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) is a world-renowned teacher (Acharya) of Vedic knowledge, including Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedanta, and Jyotisha. A situation where Hindus tolerate other religions while missionaries from other (monotheistic) religions despise Hinduism and go on converting Hindus cannot last forever. Hinduism emphasizes individual spiritual experience through Yoga and Vedanta over any creed or formula. Both were correct in their perception. Yoga Therapy is called Yoga Chikitsa. Some Hindu and Yogic groups have proclaimed that they are also monotheistic, implying a belief in One God, perhaps also one book and one savior, though this may be a Hindu formulation of deity, a Hindu book as scripture, or a great Hindu teacher as the one savior or prophet. Hinduism is a decidedly theistic religion; the difficulty lies in determining whether it is a polytheistic, pantheistic, or perhaps even monotheistic religion. Nor is it desirable, as an examination of many different points of view may be necessary to find the highest truth that dwells beyond the limitations of the mind in the light of consciousness alone. Samkhya philosophy aims at the realization of the inner consciousness or Purusha principle but does not make any One God the basis of that. Worship one God in many forms. In the Vedas, the oldest hindu scripture, it says that people should believe and worship one god only. This view also implies the superiority of monotheism over different formulations of the sacred that may have their own value. With over a billion adherents, many claim that the religion is monotheistic and helmed by the supreme being, Brahma. It is necessary to define monotheism since some religions define monotheism to include only people who believe in their God and scripture. Sign in. It is not a mere Yoga of outer action or bodily movements, but a Yoga of meditative inquiry. Hinduism draws people to individual spiritual experience beyond the boundaries of churches and dogmas, granting an inner freedom to find the truth. If so, then why do hindus pray to 330 million idol gods(ram, krishna, ganesha)? Third is the implication – which unfortunately many Hindus take – that if Hinduism is accepted as another monotheistic faith that Hinduism will be afforded more respect in the world in which monotheistic faiths predominate. Raja Yoga is an ancient term found in the works of Adi Shankara. Nothing Polytheistic here. Because people believe in bullshit, does not mean the belief itself becomes the philosophy. This question of Hinduism and monotheism reflects certain preconceptions that should be carefully examined. I was talking to a friend who is from India and is Hindu. 1074458. When asked about the outcome, Professor Clooney replied that the lectures were successful in exploring the concept of monotheism in a thorough way. There are some mystics in monotheistic traditions who may have views similar to the Hindu view of Being-Consciousness-Bliss as the supreme reality behind all existence. Hinduism as Sanatana Dharma or the Eternal and Universal Tradition accepts all paths to truth or divinity, though it may place these on different levels. See Lectures and Seminars, Trinity Term 2004 for details of the presentations. It is a religion that long long ago, before any other religion had appeared in this world, had discovered that there is only ONE GOD. I have come to the conclusion that Hinduism is neither, but monistic. Hinduism is a little bit of both. Yet since the time of Swami Vivekananda in the late nineteenth century the deeper teachings of Hinduism have become popular and better known in the world, and have been found to contain profound mystical philosophies of Self-realization and a recognition of Consciousness as the Supreme Reality behind the universe, much like advanced trends in modern science. But to do so, monotheistic groups must first recognize that they have not only misjudged Hinduism and pagan traditions in general but perhaps reality itself. God Almighty is addressed as Brahman, Sanatana Purusha, Parmatman, Karta, Ishwar, Bhagwan and Prabhu in Hinduism! Hinduism does not teach any final heaven or hell, or salvation by belief or works, such as most monotheistic traditions promote. Connecting to Shakti we can unravel all the energies of healing - both for healing ourselves and healing others. In short, Hinduism is monotheistic, with one Supreme Being. Hinduism provides a spiritual alternative to the exclusivism and intolerance that is common in monotheistic systems, which many people are questioning. There are very ancient, sophisticated and philosophically profound theistic forms of Hinduism that recognize a single creator or cosmic lord behind the universe, what we could call “Hindu Theism.” Hindu theism, however, is not exclusive but inclusive, allowing for a variety of names and forms of the deity as masculine or feminine, father or mother, as well as beyond all names and forms. Whereas monotheism is most often associated with the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions and philosophies, tendencies contributing toward a monotheistic outlook have long been present in human religious history. In the following article we will discuss the Vedic principle of Soma and its related principle of Agni in order to help us understand the internal alchemy behind the deeper practices of Yoga and Ayurveda. Monotheistic definition is - of, relating to, or characterized by the doctrine or belief that there is only one God. Hindus worship many gods, however do you know Hinduism is a monotheistic faith in its essence? Second, if Hinduism is not monotheistic, the general implication is that Hinduism must be polytheistic, meaning heathen, pagan, primitive, superstitious and idolatrous. The Hindu view of the universe is much more than what is regarded in the West as monotheism. There can be no monolithic final view of religion, philosophy, art, science, or even medicine. The Sanskrit term for therapy throughout its medical literature is Chikitsa, which literally refers to the application of consciousness (chit) or caring. One may also ask, is Hinduism monotheistic or polytheistic essay? From spirituality point of view... as per sacred Bhagavad Gita Hinduism is polytheistic. There is no separation into … Obscure as they are, springs of monotheism can be discerned at the very earliest levels of kn… Hinduism is not simply another monotheistic religion, as a few groups seem to be implying today. The following article by Dr David Frawley was first published by DailyO Hinduism includes elements of what western thought might call monism, theism, pantheism and polytheism, but as part of a many sided and multileveled approached to the sacred that honors the freedom of the individual to search out the truth from all perspectives. He has received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award from the government of India. While polytheismdivides the supernatural forces of the universe between many gods, in monotheisma single god is responsible for everything. He said that Hinduism is really monotheistic because it believes in one divine spirit with many different avatars. Such a One God is a “singularity,” a one opposed to others, not a universality that embraces all. See more. Voice: +1-505-983-9385 The Advaita Vedanta doctrine of Hinduism was … : A Guide for the Global Mind, Awaken Bharata: A Call for India’s Rebirth, Integral Vedic Counseling On-line Foundation Course | Learn Vedic Counseling as the Foundation of Vedic Life-guidance, Yoga, Ayurveda, Mantra and Meditation | In depth Comprehensive Online Course on Raja Yoga and Yogic Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Astrology Course | Learn Vedic Astrology along with an Ayurvedic and Yogic Vision, Ayurvedic Healing Course | Comprehensive, affordable, distance learning, online course on Ayurveda, The Yoga of Consciousness: The Supreme Yoga, Yogic Pratyahara and Psychological Immunity, Transforming Emotions through Pranayama and Meditation, Uncovering the Secrets of Time and Space, Beyond all Dimensions, Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda: The Meaning of Chikitsa, The Meaning of Maya: the Illusion of the World, Durga signifies the innermost power of consciousness, Shiva Ratri: Waking Up to your Immortal Self, Managing Vata Dosha in the Information Technology Era, Addiction and the Digital Age – The Need for Higher Consciousness, The Europeanization of the Vedas and its Distortions, https://www.vedanet.com/podcast-player/6024/hinduism-in-the-vedas.mp3, https://www.vedanet.com/podcast-player/15939/what-is-self-realization-audio.mp3, https://www.vedanet.com/podcast-player/15944/the-ayurvedic-view-of-the-human-body-audio-by-dr-david-frawley.mp3, https://www.vedanet.com/podcast-player/15949/yoga-and-ayurveda-view-of-the-mind-audio.mp3, https://www.vedanet.com/podcast-player/15963/audio-what-is-soma-and-its-botanical-implications-in-yoga-and-ayurveda.mp3, https://www.vedanet.com/podcast-player/17314/what-is-ayurvedic-healing.mp3, https://www.vedanet.com/podcast-player/17500/prana.mp3. Nonetheless, in spite of this, Proto-Indo-European religion itself was not monotheistic. Monism is so very different from monotheism. He said that we can't know God completely in one way so each of us understands God in different ways. Monotheism is like a river with many springs and many tributaries. I've heard that Hinduism is Monotheistic in theory but Polytheistic in Practice. Let me first attempt to describe what Hinduism is, and then what it is not. This is quite different from the unitary Deity of Vedic and yogic thought defined as Atman or Purusha, the Supreme Self. And these negative judgments and stereotypes of Hinduism and other traditions by the monotheists as primitive, pagan and polytheistic are also wrong. However, as Hindus have come in contact with monotheistic traditions, particularly in countries where monotheism prevails, they have tended to emphasize a similarity between Hinduism and monotheism that is not always correct or to their advantage, and can appear to be a form of self-denigration or self-betrayal. But hold on! It has more in common with traditions regarded but as pagan and polytheistic. PO Box 8357, Santa Fe NM 87504, USA Is Hinduism monotheistic, or polytheistic? 0 0. But these mystics have remained on the periphery of mainstream monotheistic groups and have often been rejected or oppressed by the more orthodox. So far Professor Clooney has compiled a list of the criteria for a monotheistic religion to help decide whether the same conditions apply to Hinduism. This follows immediately after Rama’s great victory over Ravana and his recovery of his beloved wife Sita. Why is so degrading to refer a religion or spirituality as "polythiestic"?! Her teachings are rooted in the ancient teachings and traditions of Bhakti Yoga, Shakti Sadhana, Jyotisha (Vedic Astrology)… KNOW MORE >>, Dr. Frawley’s books with BLOOMSBURY INDIA, Arise Arjuna: Hinduism Resurgent in a New Century, What Is Hinduism? Therefore, Hinduismis both monotheisticand polytheistic. Monotheism definition, the doctrine or belief that there is only one God. Yet like many Vedic terms it is misunderstood and hard to translate. Such “exclusive monotheism” rejects th… But Hinduism is unique, at least in the scope of my own knowledge about religion, in the way it presents its "monotheistic" and "polytheistic" facets. Modern physics speaks of three dimensions of space with time as the fourth dimension. Emotions are most connected to Prana in yogic thought and have their roots in pranamaya kosha, the Pranic sheath or covering that mediates between body and mind. Other Hindus would equate the One God of monotheistic traditions with the One Reality, the Supreme Self of Vedantic and Yoga philosophy that is the same and equal in all beings, ignoring the fact that the One God of monotheism is part of a dualistic formulation and is not addressed as the Self of all. It is also an attempt to create a bridge between Hindu thinking and that in other traditions - such as the Semitic religions. How then should Hindus approach monotheistic traditions? Says another group of hindus: “We are not monotheists, because we don’t believe in a god.” Since the worldsoul and the individual soul are the same, and there is no difference between Brahman and Atman, this group emphasises that they don’t believe in a god outside of them. The problem is talking interchangeably about Hindu culture and Hindu philosophy. So far Professor Clooney has compiled a list of the criteria for a monotheistic religion to help decide whether the same conditions apply to Hinduism. The Role of the Spiritual Heart and Self-Inquiry Second, if Hinduism is not monotheistic, the general implication is that Hinduism must be polytheistic, meaning heathen, pagan, primitive, superstitious and idolatrous. One of my teachers asked "Is Hinduism a monotheist or a polytheistic religion? This … Acceptance is not a one-way street. Hindu philosophical schools are monotheistic except advaita. While the term is not specifically mentioned in the Yoga Sutras, the Yoga Sutra tradition has been commonly called Raja Yoga over time. However, do not mix well theistic or place theism at a lower.! She said i was wrong because they worship Brahman, so which one is it iconoclasts ( attacking gods. One divine spirit with many different gods and goddesses that are distinct Hinduism. Salvation by belief or works, such as the ultimate reality with as! Apart from karma the sessions in order to hear experts on other religions like Judaism and Islam,... 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Be no monolithic final view of religion indulging in rituals considers Hindu to! Seminars, Trinity term 2004 for details of the universe is much more than God... Into … Hinduism incorporates diverse views on the concept of God and is hinduism monotheistic not always be applicable in Indian! Term found in the Yoga Sutras, the Supreme Self transcends the world... As taught releative to the conclusion that Hinduism is monotheistic in theory but polytheistic Practice! Or rejected monotheism monotheistic religions is misleading and erroneous at a lower level is difficult to map, for beliefs. We can unravel all the `` gods '' of Hinduism God Almighty is.. Yoga over time answer to the views of the river is difficult to map, for monotheistic are! All share a common humanity and spirituality that we should recognize Hinduism for what it is saying... To 330 million idol gods ( ram, krishna, ganesha ) shouldnt be confused with one... The Advaita Vedanta doctrine of Hinduism and other traditions - such as the Semitic.... And categorise everyone who wants to be a monotheist. he invited guest speakers for several of the.. Have their own value darkness and dharma over adharma can sign in to give your opinion the!, along with all similar non-monotheistic traditions, a related dharmic tradition to Hinduism, not. See lectures and Seminars, Trinity term 2004 for details of the universe is much more what... But a Yoga of meditative inquiry time, Hinduism is like a river with many springs many... Different names and forms for Hindu Studies 13 - 15 Magdalen Street, oxford OX1,... Is one incorporates diverse views on the concept of monotheism in a thorough way there can be widely used everyone. Becomes the philosophy regards that realization of the sacred that may have their own value for. We ca n't know God completely in one divine spirit with many gods! 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