Ayurveda (Sanskrit: Āyurveda, "life-knowledge") or Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional Hindu medicine native to the Indian subcontinent. Contemporary practices derived from Ayurvedic traditions are a type of alternative medicine. Ayurveda is a discipline of the upaveda or "auxiliary knowledge" in Vedic tradition. The origins of Ayurveda are also found in the Atharvaveda, which contains 114 hymns and incantations described as magical cures for disease. Ayurvedic practices include the use of herbal medicines, mineral or metal supplementation, surgical techniques, application of oil by massages, etc. - Adapted from wikipedia.org
Respect for Wisdom
Respect for Knowledge and Wisdom is inherent in Hindu tradition.
Sri Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge and Wisdom, revered by all Hindus.
The instrument you see in her hand is called Veena –the original instrument of India. It has a very deep sound.
When human beings come back, Hindus call it reincarnation. When God comes back in a human form occasionally, to teach us all a lesson, Hindus call it avatar. In keeping with the Varna System, the three of the greatest teachers in Hinduism, were not from the Teacher (called Brahmin) class.
Avatars of Vishnu
Sri Ram is the seventh avatar, Sri Krishna is the eighth avatar and Lord Buddha, considered a reformer, the ninth avatar.
Sri Ram is a very important deity to all Hindus. Ram they consider the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. Ram means a source of infinite pleasure! We are all looking for it! Whenever they hear the word “Ram”, a sense of calm and absolute peace, absolute serenity, comes over them. Ram also signifies the triumph of good over evil. His wife Sita was abducted – one may ask how God’s wife can be abducted? Well when God in a human form is here on earth, they are subject to all human conditions – after all they are here to teach us a lesson – like an allegory of journeys that all souls must make. Anyway, his wife was abducted and his heart was broken. He had a disciple, Hanuman, the monkey king who had a monkey army. Sri Hanuman helped Sri Ram rescue his wife who was abducted. Sri Ram was everything that’s good and noble – an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal husband and an ideal ruler. All Hindus celebrate Sri Ram’s birthday in a grand style.
Sri Krishna is another very important deity to all Hindus, considered as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Sri Krishna is the one who gave a discourse, Bhagavad-Gita, that is one of the most sacred scriptures in Hinduism.
Lord Buddha: born as Siddharth Gautama in a Hindu king family nearly 600 years before Christ. Led reforms, such as elimination of animal sacrifices in temples. A non-theist: never denied God nor acknowledged God. His message: “I do not care to know your various theories about God. Do good and be good, and this will take you to freedom and whatever truth there is.”
Prime Minister of India
Being an evolving religion, the modern Hindu society has recognized the irrelevance of the caste system discussed in the previous slide, and actively discourages any form of discrimination based on caste, and it has been made illegal in India after its Independence in 1947.
As an example, the present Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, elected by an overwhelming majority, comes from a Hindu sub-caste.
Kumari Mayavati, from a very low caste, was elected as the Chief Minister of the largest state in India (Uttar Pradesh) that, if it were to be a country, will be the fifth largest in the world after China, the rest of India, the United States, and Russia!
“Prime Minister Modi's historic election clearly reflects the desire of many Indians for economic growth that is inclusive, good government that serves citizens, and education that delivers the skills Indians seek...His remarkable life story - from tea seller to prime minister - is a reflection of the determination of the Indian people to succeed.” -President Barack Obama
July 2015: Indian Rocket Puts Five UK Satellites in Orbit.
It is thought to be the largest number of wholly British-built spacecraft to go up on a single launch. The quintet includes three satellites to image the Earth and support disaster monitoring and relief, and two to test technologies that could be used on future spacecraft. The Indian space agency's PSLV rocket lifted off from Sriharikota. - bbc.com
India’s Mars Mission:
India's space program succeeded at the first attempt where others have failed - by sending an operational mission to Mars. It is the cheapest. Cost around $70m. Gravity, the movie, had a budget of around $100m.
India is the fourth country to reach mars after USSR, USA and European Union. India is the first country to complete mission in first attempt.
Probe has a methane detector.
All the technology and resources used in the mission used were all in house, no aid was taken from foreign country. Big achievement.
Hinduism and Modern India
Hinduism has never been an obstacle to scientific developments and modern discoveries.
Hindu Practices in Larger American Culture
Hindu and other traditions like Christianity have many similarities. One example is “OM”.
Hindu mantras often begin or end with OM, the sonic form of Brahman. It is not a sectarian sound – indeed, Hindus hear this sacred syllable in Judeo-Christian “Amen” and Muslim “Amin.”
Another example is Sri Krishna, the God incarnate to Hindus and what Lord Jesus Christ said:
“Be in the world but not of the world.” Both also are quoted as saying, “He who perceives Me everywhere and beholds everything in Me, never loses sight of Me, nor do I ever lose sight of him”.
The over 2.5 million Hindus living in America have impacted and contributed - thousands of yoga studios, meditation centers, vegetarian restaurants, Ayurvedic health spas, like Aveda.
Millions of Americans believe in reincarnation. Increasingly, more Americans are choosing to be cremated, similar to Hindus, however not due to the influence of Hinduism.
Discussion Question: What are the ecological, communal, and spiritual ramifications of cremation?
Hindu Practices and Beliefs in the Larger American Culture
- Yoga Studios
- Belief in Reincarnation
Belief of U.S. general public in Yoga and Reincarnation:
- Yoga: 23%
- Spiritual Energy: 26%
- Reincarnation: 24%
- Astrology: 25%