The Bhagavad Gita

Dear readers of World Religion Weekly,

As opposed to many of the other texts, which were more of epic stories, this text was far more instructional. It really has more specifics on the “rules” of being a Hindu and far less plot. A dialogue between Arjuna, a legendary warrior, and Krsna, the supreme god. Arjuna has doubts about going into battle and asks many questions about the nature of the universe and divinity, and Krona explains that it is his duty to fight and answers these questions.

For me, this book really cleared up the whole concept of Hinduism as a monotheistic religion. The copy that I read was heavily annotated by the founder of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Honestly, without this annotation, the book would have been several hundred pages shorter. This annotation actually cleared up how these “rules” should be implemented in this day and age, so I would recommend reading a similarly annotated copy. However, one should always remember that these annotations are the beliefs of a person, however well-educated and holy. If you disagree with someone’s interpretation, remember that your issue is with that individual interpretation and not the entire religion. A few passages rankled me, but, on the whole, this book’s message was very uplifting and universal.

The state of Krsna Consciousness was heavily promoted. This basically means that  you keep God (Krsna) in your mind constantly and do things, not for yourself or anyone else, but for God. Your exact relationship with God is a personal decision (examples: lovers, friends, parent and child, master and servant). However, individuals should seek out a personal, loving relationship with God. Does this sound familiar? Yes, Hinduism actually really reminds me of Christianity. Moreover, the annotations accept the prophets of other religions (including Jesus) as incarnations of Krsna, in the form which was most relevant to the other location. Of course, Krsna Consciousness is the quickest and best way to attain the best afterlife (Krsnaloka, the home of Krsna), but other religions can result in the afterlife that they deem best (example: Buddhists may be absorbed by the impersonal Brahman and devotees of demigods may attain the homes of those demigods).

I really recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand how being Hindu affects your life (WARNING: there are many different interpretations of Hinduism, just like every religion, so please don’t assume that all Hindus adhere to all of these rules or believe all of these things).

Thanks for reading,

Audrey Cole

The Mahabharata

This is one of the holy books which I read. It is a fascinating epic, which I describe far more fully here. There are eighteen books of it (I only read book one: The Beginning). The sixteenth book is the most important. It is called the Bhagavad Gita. It really reminds me of the Bible.

Others

There are MANY other Hindu holy texts. I only included the ones which were listed as holy books on the website I checked earlier.

The Vedas

Dear Readers of World Religion Weekly,

These are the main texts of Hinduism which contain hymns, incantations, and rituals from ancient India. They consist of: the Rig-Veda, the Sama-Veda, the Yajur Veda, and the Atharva Veda. They consist of prayers addressed to the Hindu gods. It is amazing because these are one of the few Holy scripts that are addressed from mankind to the divine, instead of from the divine to mankind.

Thanks for reading,

Audrey Cole