In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
As they delineate between Heaven and Hell, the cardinal doctrines of a religion are to be clearly expressed; they are not to be left to the function of interpretation(s).
Hinduism teaches karma–an equal and opposite reaction to one’s deeds–and reincarnation–rebirth into any of the kingdoms of creatures and plants according to his deeds; though this belief is disputed. No one seems to know the origin of karma and reincarnation.
Hindus are also divided as to whether Rama, Krishna, and Hanuman are God(s) or not, whether the emancipated soul returns to repeat the cycle of births and deaths or not; whether God incarnates Himself or not; and whether the soul reincarnates in different kingdoms of animals/plants or not.
Gods: Hindus believe in 330 million gods1. The consequence of more than one God is illustrated by Rajagopalachari:
“Viswaamitra was a king who attained sainthood through terrible austerities. He had long ago exhibited his spiritual powers by starting to create another Brahma and a rival universe: he had gone as far as the creation of new constellations, but was prevailed upon to stop by the entreaties of the alarmed gods.”2
Imagine a dozen disgruntled/ambitious gods creating their own “rival” universes. How eloquently Allāh calls us to reason in the Qur’an: (1) If there were other gods with Allāh, the idolaters with the help of these other gods would have been able to seek a way to the Lord of the Throne–(Qur’an 17:42). (2) If there were other gods besides Allāh governing the heavens and the earth wouldn’t there be confusion in them–(21:22). (3) If there were other gods with Allāh, each would have taken away what he created, and some of them would have seek to dominate others–(23:91).
If there was more than one God it would be expected of the other Gods to send their own prophets to contradict Allāh.
The five most prominent Gods of Hinduism are Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver), Shiva (Vanquisher), Krishna, and Rama.
Brahma: His wife is Sarasvati, a “goddess” whom He “created from his body.” According to one story Brahma “was born of an egg that developed from cosmic waters full of creative elements,” wrote Anoop Chandola, whereas another story says that He “was produced on a lotus that grew out of Vishnu’s navel”3.
“Brahma is found guilty of cohabiting with his own daughter. It is for that reason that he is deprived of being worshipped”4.
Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty notes:
“Brahma desired his daughter and took the form of a stag to pursue her as a doe. The Brahmins called him to shame, and Rudra shot him with an arrow. The deer’s head came away from Brahma’s body and became a constellation in the sky. But then Gayatri and Sarasvati [the wives of Brahma] had no husband. They performed tapas for Siva, and he agreed to revive their husband, giving Brahma the four heads of Nandin and others of his hosts. Brahma arose and praised Siva.” (Siva The Erotic Ascetic, p. 126).
Vishnu/Visnu: was “a minor solar deity in the Rgveda, who later became one of the most important and popular divinities of Hinduism.”5 (God grows in status). “Visnu is punished for seducing the wife of Jalandhara”6.
While part of Hinduism teaches that God took several forms as humans, and as animals–Boar, Fish, Tortoise, Man-Lion–one party argues that God does not incarnate, “because it is said in the Yajur Veda, “He is un-born.”…He is pure, is never born and never takes on a human form”7. (Seems avatara was mistranslated incarnation instead of representation, as a prophet is a representative of God).
Vishnu is said to have taken the form of the Fish to save “Manu (the first Man), the sages and the Veda from the great flood”8. (The Bible and the Qur’an says that Noah built an Ark, in which he and righteous members, and animals took refuge. The Qur’an 25:37 shows that this flood was restricted to Noah’s people only. And Maurice Bucaille has pointed out in his book The Bible The Qur’an and Science that this flood was not a glo-bal phenomenon9).
Vishnu took the form of the “Boar (Varaha), who killed Hiran-yaksha, and rescued Earth from the cosmic ocean into which the demon had thrown her”10. (It may be asked, what was the demon standing on when he threw the earth?)
As the Dwarf, Vishnu is said to have, in two strides, “covers earth, air and sky”11. (The diameter of the earth is approximately 8,000 miles long. Unless the Divine Dwarf is taller than earthling’s approximately three feet, it would take more than two strides to cover earth, air and sky. If this was a figurative expression, Vishnu would not have needed to incarnate)
Vishnu came as Rama, the “hero of the Ramayana, who killed the demon Ravana of Lanka (Ceylon)”12. (But, both the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are, as noted further on, “mythological works of Hinduism”).
In the story of the Bhagavad Gita (which is a part of the larger epic, the Mahabharata), Vishnu is said to have come as Krishna who was the “charioteer of Arjuna.” But as noted the Mahabharata (which consists of the Bhagavad Gita) is said to be “mythological.” It does not seem reasonable that God would take form to engage in a “mythological” discussion with Arjuna.
Shiva/Siva: Shiva is known as Mahadeo (an incarnate of Shi-va). Shiva’s linga” (sex organ [female, yoni]) was “cursed” by the sages because of his “dangerous sexuality”13 (linga-worship is prevalent in Hinduism). Shiva is said to have two sons, the “six-headed” Skanda and the elephant-headed Ganesh.
Hamlyn notes: “The Vedas revile worshippers of the phallus, whereas the worship of Shiva in the form of a stone linga has long been wide-spread,” and that “For the great majority of peasants the most important deity is not Vishnu or Shiva, but the village goddess (gramadevata), often called Earth Goddess or Mother, significantly always feminine”14.
(It is doubtful the Vedas would “revile worshippers of the phallus” if such worship was of Divine inspiration; especially considering that Shiva is part of the Triune Godhead–Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva could not be attributes of God: Attributes of God do not have wives and children, nor do they grow in stature, as Vishnu is said to have grown from a “minor solar deity” to “one of the most important and popular divinities”).
Ram/Rama, Krishna/Krsna: Rama is said to be the son of King Dasrat and Queen Kausiliya. He is said to have two sons, Lava and Kusa. Rama drowned, swimming bhow Sagar (turbulent river). The story of Rama is told in the Ramayana, which “is not history or biography. It is a part of Hindu mythology”15.
Krishna’s parents are said to be Vasudeva and Devaki. Krishna “had many grandchildren.”
“The story of Krishna is a composite of elements added to the main stock at different times and from different sources…. Krishna first appears as hero and slayer of Kamsa” who had ordered “a slaughter of the innocents at Krishna’s birth”16.
Krishna, mistaken for “a deer,” was shot/killed by a hunter.
Krishna “had illicit relations with Radha, wife of his maternal uncle, in addition to a number of milk-maids, although he had a large number of wives” which are said to be “sixteen thousand one hundred and eight and his children numbered one hundred and eighty thousand”17.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati wrote: (The Bhagavad-Gita) “Being opposed to the Veda, it cannot be held to be an authority. ….Krishna could never be God”18.
(Since the Ramayana is “mythology,” what is the true account of Rama? Since the Mahabharata, which comprises the Bhagavad-Gita, is “mythological,” what is the actual teaching of Krishna? For details on Krishna, see Ency. Brit.; 15th.Ed. Vol. V. Art. Krsna; and Vol. VIII, Art. Radha. For Rama, see Vol. VIII, Art. Rama).
Anoop Chandola explains: “The Vedas included several major gods and goddesses some of whom must have been culture hero-es….As the tradition of honoring culture heroes continued, in due course new heroes were added, two of them most important: Rama and Krishna”19.
Ganesh/Ganese/Ganesa: The elephant-headed son of Parvati and Shiva (also known as Mahadeo). There are various stories about the birth of Ganesh. One of which is that he was born from the rubbings of Parvati’s body. Ganesh, placed as guard, while Parvati took a bath, tried to prevent Mahadeo (not knowing they were related) from entering. Enraged, Mahadeo drew his sword and decapitated Ganesh. Alarmed, Parvati informed Mahadeo that Ganesh was his son. Whereupon, Mahadeo decapitated a baby-elephant and fitted the head onto Ganesh.
Their other son, Skanda, was born when Parvati “spits upon the earth”20.
Hanuman: “the monkey-god who helped Rama” “was a historic person who was afterwards deified,” wrote Swami Dayananda. (Light of Truth, p. 24).
Sarasvati: wife of Brahma. Goddess of “art, music and letters.”
Laksmi: the wife of Vishnu represents “prosperity.”
Gauri: known also as Sati, Parvati, and Durga, has “thousands of names and forms. She is also the “consort” of Shiva. In her calm state she is known as Gauri “the white goddess,” and in her “aggressive” form is known as Kali “the black goddess.” She is also known as Uma, “who produces, sustains, and dissolves the universe”21.
(That Uma is the one “who produces, sustains, and dissolves the universe” seems to contradict the view that Brahma is the Creator and Vishnu is Preserver; and also contradict the Vedanta’s view that the universe is “self-creating, self-dissolving, self-manifesting,” as Jawaharlal Nehru wrote: “the Vedanta was not only spiritual but rational and in harmony with scientific investigations of external nature. ‘This universe has not been created by any extra-cosmic God, nor is it the work of any outside genius. It is self-creating, self-dissolving, self-manifesting, One Infinite Existence, the Brahma.’”The Discovery Of India, p. 337. Emphasis added).
The sacred Books of Hindus are the Vedas –Rg/Rig, Atharva, Yajur, and Sama– Mahabharata, which comprises the Bhagavad-Gita, which notes the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield in the war between the Pandavas and the Duryodhanas –Ramayana– the story of Ram/Rama– and Puranas.
It is noted that “The great mythological works of Hinduism are the Epics, namely the Mahabharata…..and the Ramayana….and the compendia of creation myths, king lists, legends and religious doctrines called Puranas”22. Rajagopalachari wrote in his Ramayana: “The Ramayana is not history or biography. It is a part of Hindu mythology”) (p. 8).
(The Ramayana, the story about Ram/Rama, being “mythology,” Diwali –the festival of light grounded in the Ramayana– would also be a myth).
The Rgveda was “composed” by “bard priest;” and “By about 1000 BC this body of chanted poetry had apparently grown to unmanageable proportions, and the best of the poems were formed into an anthology called Rgveda, which was then canonized. …The Vedic literature was oral and not written down until very much later, the first reference to a written Vedic text being in the 10th century AD”23.
Abdul Haq Vidyarthi notes in his book Muhammad in World Scriptures, Vol; 1:
“No scripture, writing or book has got so many people to its credit who learn it by heart, as the Holy Qur’an has. Religious scriptures underwent vicissitudes and had dark ages upon them, that their very contents and their exist-ence became suspected. It was in this obscurity that the Vedas grew from one into four, and then from four to as many as 1131, there is a verse in Maha Bhashya which explains that there are one hundred and one shoots of Yajur-veda, one thousand of Sama-veda, twenty-one kinds of Rigveda and nine of Atharva-veda.
In these days we can see a dozen vedas published, in fact, which throws light on their vicissitudes.
The Masorah and Septuagint versions of the old Testament, the different authorized editions of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the apocryphal literature believed as part of inspired scriptures by some sects and rejected by others, the different versions of apocryphal Gospels, prove the credibility of the fact that no religious scripture was kept intact or properly maintained or committed to memory in the life-time of the prophet to whom it was revealed.” (pp. 314-315).
If our fate was written in the stars/moon –astrology– it would be pointless for God to send prophets and Scriptures and incarnate Himself to guide us. Swami Dayananda Saraswati wrote: (Hin-dus) “should regard Astrology–which treats of the influence of stars and constellations on the destinies of man, of auspicious-ness and non-auspiciousness of time, of horoscopes, etc.–as a fraud, and never learn or teach any books on this subject.” (Light of Truth, p. 73).
Karma and reincarnation
Karma and reincarnation are not clearly expressed in the Veda:
“The origin and the development of the belief in the transmigration of souls are very obscure…This doctrine of samsara (reincarnation) is attributed to the sage Uddalaka Aruni, who is said to have learned it from a Ksatriya chief. In the same text, the doctrine of karma (works)…also occurs for the first time, attributed to Yajnavalkya. Both doctrines appear to have been new and strange ones, circulating among small groups of ascetics who were disinclined to make them public”24.
Anoop Chandola states: “Through contact, the Aryans and non -Aryans began to modify and integrate each other’s pathways. In the context of religion, for example, the Austro-Asiatics may have contributed the belief in each life passing to another life. This belief later, in the form of reincarnation, became a major element in the Upanishads.”25 If reincarnation was Divine bequeath26 it could not be speculated to have been “contributed” by the “Austro-Asiatics.”
In believing that his suffering is the result of his actions in a past life, man “is thus induced to reconcile himself to social cruelty, exploitation and oppression,” wrote V.M. Tarkunde. (Radical Humanism, p. 69).
Also, whereas in earlier times India’s “intellectual inquiry and philosophical development” was “comparable” to the Greeks, as V.M. Tarkunde notes:
“By the 8th century A.D., however, the school of thought which came to prevail in the country was the other-worldly Vedant philosophy. It regarded physical existence to be an illusion, the human body to be the prison-house of the soul, and escape from the cycle of births and deaths to be the highest human ideal. Self-denial, abstinence, celibacy, desirelessness and meditation became the highest virtues. The best spirits being thus preoccupied in other-worldly pursuits, the rest of the society came easily under the domination of ambitious princes and self-seeking priests. The theory of Karma, which says that our sufferings in the present life are the result of the sins committed by us in our previous lives, recon-ciled the poor to their miserable lot and consolidated the prevailing caste system and the barbaric custom of un-touchability.” (Ibid., pp. 10-11).
It is incredible that only Africans and Hindus and Bangladeshis seem to have the worst karma, considering that these are the nations/people that suffers the most of famine, flood, and pover-ty; even though they engage in little or no war or aggression or oppression or exploitation of others; and are probably more reli-gious.
If suffering is the result of bad karma, no attempt should be made to alleviate the miserable conditions of the sufferers and the poor–those who try to improve the lot of the poor and the suffering would be working against karma. If their conditions can be improved, karma is meaningless –seeing that it can be subverted/defeated. If karma can be annulled, man can change the natural law of God. If man can change the natural law of God, man would be greater than God. But man could never be greater than God.
Also the need for higher education would be pointless. (Perhaps lower caste Hindus should be schooled to see how many are poor or illiterate because of karma).
The Higher Taste (published by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) states: “killing an animal interrupts its progressive evolution through the species.”(p. 44)
It could not be that “killing an animal interrupts its progressive evolution through the species” seeing that karma “operates im-partially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve,” and “and insures that those who cause violence and suffering to other living beings must themselves experience equivalent violence and suffering –immediately or in the future.” (Ibid. p. 38). By killing this animal karma was “awarding” it exactly what it deserved –its manner and time of death were dictated by karma.
In his commentary to Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 16:1-3, Swami Prabhupada says (on p. 745) in explaining Ahimsa:
“Ahimsa means not arresting the progressive life of any living entity….If a particular animal is killed, then his progress is checked. If an animal is staying in a particu-lar body for so many days or so many years and is un-timely killed, then he has to come back again in that form of life to complete the remaining days in order to be promoted to another species of life.”
But there could not be “untimely” killings seeing that karma is “awarding us exactly what we deserve.”
(The belief that karma “operates impartially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve,” seems to imply that karma is an entity separate from, and operates independent of, God. Also, such a belief seems to con-tradict the Veda, which teaches forgiveness).
The Higher Taste states that “karma insures that those who cause violence and suffering to other living beings must them-selves experience equivalent violence and suffering–immediately or in the future.” (p.38).
According to this teaching the millions of Jews and Gypsies that Hitler killed or caused to suffer were only being repaid for what they had done to him or to other(s) in a past life.
Since a person at the time of his/her death becomes what he/she remembers, as the Gita (8:6) teaches, then if at the time of his death a mass murderer was stormed by remorse and thought about Krishna he must now be in Krsnaloka. Or he may have thought about Jesus and is now sitting “on the right hand of God”–(Mark 16:19). (This is not cynicism. Based on their beliefs Hindus must be receptive to such a possibility).
The invaders of India who committed atrocities against Hindus are not to be blamed because they were only fulfilling karma which “insures that those who cause violence and suffering to other living beings must themselves experience equivalent violence and suffering –immediately or in the future.”
(It is not reasonable that the thousands of women and young girls that were raped in the “ethnic cleansing” of Bosnia were rapists who were now being repaid for raping others in a past life. Women who are gang-raped must have raped several others on a single occasion, to be gang-raped now).
Page 70 of The Higher Taste states that those who kill animals “will have to take an animal form and somehow or other be killed by the same type of animal we have killed.” (Italics/ emphasis added).
So Rama will have to take an animal form and be killed by the buck and boar he and his brother, Laksmana, killed and ate in the forest, as the Ramayana says.
But if a couple of poachers were to kill the last remaining elephant which would make the elephant extinct –much like dinosaurs– they could not be killed by the “same type” of animal (seeing that it would be extinct). Thus, the poachers might live forever.
(If karma (or God) was to make sure that a couple of elephants were in existence to repay these poachers, and if these poachers should leave Africa and live in Alaska, then when they die and take on these animal forms (say as mice) to be killed by the elephants, someone would have to take these mice to Africa or bring the elephants to Alaska so they could kill the mice, and these elephants would have to know which mice to kill. But elephants are scared of mice!
If karma should dictate that a soul inhabits a body that becomes extinct soon after the soul inhabits the body, karma would have to reassign the soul to another body or this soul might be left to wander forever without a body. But karma could not reassign this soul because karma “operates impartially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve,” as THT says).
The Gita 8:6 says: “Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail.”
Swami Prabhupada explains:
“A person who at the end of his life quits his body thinking of Krsna attains the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord…..Maharaja Bharata, although a great person-ality, thought of a deer at the end of his life, and so in his next life he was transferred into the body of a deer.”
Thus, a saintly person can attain “the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord” or end up as a scavenger; a wicked person can also attain “the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord”; a person may also end up as a dinosaur, vegetable or a toy; or become a mythical creature, such as Pegasus, or Cyclops, which he has seen in a book or the movies; or may even become extinct animals, depending on what he/she “thought of” “at the end of his life.” One may even become an automobile if it is the last thing “thought of” at the time of an accident, (death).
This teaching of the Gita (8:6) that one becomes what he “thought” of at the time of his death seems to contradict the doctrine of karma where an individual’s next life is determined by his actions in his present life.
(It is interesting to note that the Swami says on Gita 8:6 that Maharaja Bharata “Although as a deer he remembered his past activities,” but in his purport to Gita 4:5 the Swami says, “a living entity forgets everything due to his change of body”). (Emphasis added).
To return as humans in the next life one has to have good karma (do good works) in the present life. Since karma “operates impartially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve,” and “insures that those who cause violence and suffering to other living beings must themselves experience equivalent violence and suffering–immediately or in the future,” as The Higher Taste says; how then are some people born with such defects as blindness, deafness, paralysis, Down’s syndrome–what “violence and suffering” have they committed against others so that karma should operate “impartially and unerringly” against them?
(Surely, they had to be pure in their past life to return as humans, and should not have defects–they could not have given defects to anyone for karma to subject them to defects. People who are euthanized must have been practitioners of euthanasia in a past life. A woman who has had multiple abortions must herself have been aborted several times in a past life; and so must be the doctor who performs abortions).
Page 40 of The Higher Taste says that in animals “their intelli-gence and emotions are less developed,” the animal is “stringent-ly controlled by his natural instincts,” and are “compelled by bodily demands to follow rigid behavioral patterns.” And Hinduism teaches, as Anoop Chandola states that Lord Vishnu’s avatars (incarnates) include “Fish,” “Tortoise,” “Boar,” and “Man-Lion” (The Way To True Worship, p. 32).
As the intelligence and emotions of animals are “less develop-ed,” and they are controlled by “natural instincts” and follow “rigid behavioral patterns,” it does not seem reasonable that Lord Vishnu could have accomplished his purpose as these animals; nor would he have been able to return to Godhead status from these animal states; because on incarnating himself as these animals, his intelligence would have been “less developed” and he would have been controlled by “natural instincts” and would have had to follow “rigid behavioral patterns,” as THT says.
(If to incarnate Himself as man, God took birth through woman; to incarnate Himself as animals and fish God must take birth through animals and fish, which means that God was in the egg of a “Fish” and a “Tortoise”, and in the wombs of a “Boar” and a woman–“Lion”[?]).
Hinduism teaches, as Swami Prabhupada notes (in his Purport to Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, 2:17): “This soul is described as one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size.”
As the soul may occupy a form according to its karma, assuming that there is an individual in North America whose karma dictates that his soul must reborn at the bottom and work its way up again to human form, i.e. from tree to bird to fish to rhino to camel to…then
after spending his life as an apple tree in B.C. and waiting for it to die or be hewn; and if karma then dic-tates that he should be a ghost shark, the soul – this “one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size” particle–must now chart its way to the Atlantic and navigate down thousands of feet of water to the ocean floor to unite with this fish; then to the forest of South America into the egg of a harpy eagle; then over mountains and oceans, probably battling storms and hurricanes, to Africa to seek out a rhino and inhabit her; then over to Arabia to implant into a camel,…and finally, if it is the will of karma, back to North America or Eu-rope to become a blue-eyed blonde; (or to the Amazon jungle to be an Arawak Indian). (Since some trees, such as the redwood, live thousands of years then the soul is ‘trapped’ for a longer period as plants than as humans and other creatures). (This is not conducive to reason).
It is not reasonable that man’s soul is relegated to a lower form of life as a result of bad karma. If the soul does not remember its past life, it would be of no consequence to it what form it is made to inhabit. It would have no regrets, seeing that remorse comes through reflection on the past. But if it is conscious of its past life, it would, in all likelihood, strive not to sin.
Unless Gods are not subject to karma: regarding the hunter that killed Krishna, Krishna must have killed this hunter in a past life for this hunter to kill him; or Krishna would have to be reincarnated in order to kill this hunter, according to karma. And Rawan must have killed Rama in a past life so that Rama should have killed him; or Rawan would have to reincarnate to kill Rama, according to karma.
In the case of Cain and Abel, the very first humans in creation, as there was no prior killings for Cain to kill Abel, Abel would need to be reincarnated to kill Cain. He would have to be reincarnated before Cain died or was killed by another. If Cain had killed others, Cain would have to be reborn several times for each of his victims to repay him, according to karma. And depending when and where Cain (or his victims) was reborn they would have to be informed about their duty to kill Cain and track him down. Each would have to be born in the same period that Cain was given birth. As Cain would have been returned as a sub-human for killing Abel, then Abel would have to wait until Cain had gone through the various rung of the karmic ladder–from plant to beast, etc; as Hinduism teaches–till he was reincarnated as man. (Abel may still be trying to find Cain).
And in the case where a person is a mass murderer, or where one was killed by a gang, one would almost forever be undergoing rebirths only to be killed or to kill those who killed him in this past life.
If karma returns a person as a human, which must be the result of righteous living in a past life, that person should not die as a babe or youth; but there are thousands who die when yet a baby or a youth. Or are still-born.
Whereas in earlier times India’s “intellectual inquiry and philosophical development” was “comparable” to the Greeks, as V.M. Tarkunde notes:
“By the 8th century A.D., however, the school of thought which came to prevail in the country was the other-worldly Vedant philosophy. It regarded physical exist-ence to be an illusion, the human body to be the prison-house of the soul, and escape from the cycle of births and deaths to be the highest human ideal. Self-denial, abstinence, celibacy, desirelessness and meditation became the highest virtues. The best spirits being thus preoccupied in other-worldly pursuits, the rest of the society came easily under the domination of ambitious princes and self-seeking priests. The theory of Karma, which says that our sufferings in the present life are the result of the sins committed by us in our previous lives, recon-ciled the poor to their miserable lot and consolidated the prevailing caste system and the barbaric custom of untouchability.” (Radical Humanism, pp. 10-11).
Karma –law of action and equal reaction– is for science. Along with his right to retaliate, man is endowed with reason and to be merciful and forgiving. The God Who gives to all human action an equal and opposite reaction is devoid of mercy: there is no room in Him for forgiveness. If karma/reincarnation were Divine truths, trying to improve the conditions of the unfortunate –which is the “reaction” to their bad karma– would be to work against karma; if such works are successful man would have subverted karma.
Hindus are divided on the state of the reincarnated soul. “The Vedas explain that the soul…may inhabit any of 8,400,000 general species of material bodies…the primitive microbes and amoe-bas…the aquatic, plant, insect, reptile, bird, and animal species, and culminating in human beings and demi-gods”27; but the sage Uddalaka Aruni taught his son: “Whatever these creatures are here, whether a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge, or a gnat, or a mosquito, that they become again and again”28 (they do not reincarnate into other kingdoms). If souls reincarnate the animals, birds, fish, vegetables one eats could be his parents, relative, etc. If karma and reincarnation were Divine expressions, it would be expected that there should be no difference between the various schools of Hinduism, as to the type of creatures into which one is reincarnated.
That souls do not transmigrate from one creature to another is evident from the fact that man can clone creatures and humans. Karma can not dictate that a soul enter a clone –which is a duplicate of a being– the being would be alive and still has its soul.
Swami Dayananda wrote: (the soul) “Guided by God it enters the body of some living creature with air, water, food, drink or through any one of the openings of the body. Having entered it, it gradually reaches the reproductive element, and thereby establishes itself in the womb, and is thus invested with a body and eventually born. It is clothed with a male or a female body.”29
Thus, according to the Swami, in being reincarnated the souls of the Hindu Gods were in the wombs of their mothers waiting to be fertilized.
If more than one soul is to be reincarnated as egg-laying creatures these would have many souls nesting in the clusters in their wombs. A woman who has multiple births would have up to eight souls taking residency in her womb. If the soul enters the womb “through any one of the openings of the body,” how does the soul enter a seed when it has to be reincarnated as a tree, and in the case of a seedless plant?
If the soul sits in the woman’s “womb” where does it sit in the man? his testicles? eunuchs have no testicles. If the soul enters a barren or menopausal woman it might sit in her womb till the woman dies).
The Swami states: “He (God) caused the soul to enter the body and He Himself entered the soul thereafter.”30 Thus, since the soul is incarnated as dogs, rats, cats, and pigs, God eats all the things these animals eat, and dwells in the same conditions as these animals dwell (?)
We occasionally read of an individual recalling about having had an experience in a distant place and/or of a past time. While this is an extraordinary phenomenon, it is no proof of reincarna-tion. (Everyone should remember his/her past life if reincarna-tion was a reality). If a person who recalls event(s) from a past era must be deemed to have lived in that time, then those people who foretell the future must be deemed to have lived in the future. While we read of people claiming to have had an experience of a past life, we do not, however, hear of anyone relating having had an experience of life in the future (i.e. of heaven). There must be many that were in heaven, for as Swami Prabhupada explained the Gita 8:3:
“In the process of sacrifice, the living entity makes specific sacrifices to attain specific heavenly planets and consequently reaches them. When the merit of sacrifice is exhausted, the living entity descends to earth in the form of rain….”
Thus, with the many monsoons and hurricanes plus the regular rainfalls per year there must be hundreds of billions who were on “heavenly planets.” However, we are yet to hear of a report of anyone relating his/ her account of heaven.
If souls are reincarnated as various creatures they must remem-ber their past lives and be master linguists–in both human and animal speech–having experienced lives as these creatures; and the souls must remember their past lives seeing that God is inside the soul, and God is Omniscient. In fact, every one or nearly everyone should be a master linguist. But there are no such known individuals–in the nearly two billion years since the Veda is said to have been revealed, there should be legions; surely with such talents one would come forth to be known.
If the soul does not remember its past life then a person who relates an experience of a past time cannot attribute such an experience to reincarnation.
The souls as animals can be said to be at no disadvantage, nor as a means of punishment for a past life of evil. An animal is suited to its kingdom. A worm, dog, cat, cockroach, etc; must be just as comfortable and happy in its state and surroundings as man (generally) is in his. In fact, the souls, in some cases, are worse off in the form of man than they are in the form of animals if we take into account the miseries man suffers at the hands of his fellow man–enslavement, torture, eviction; discrimination, as in the caste system. Consider how some dogs and cats are treated regally, pampered, well nourished, and may even inherit their master’s will.
(These dogs and cats could not have been humans relegated to animals, so as to be pampered in reward for pampering animals in a past life. Because, according to karma, those who do good go to a higher form of life, not to a lower form. In the physical sphere, man, by virtue of his ability to reason, is the highest form of life. If sub-humans had wisdom bees and hornets, by virtue of their size, sting and flight might be ruling the world –forcing man to constantly wear armor. And apes, that have hands as man, would be designing sky-scrapers and bullet trains and powering space-crafts and ocean liners).
Souls do not come from any external place to join with the fetus. The limbs and soul are latent in the life-germ much like the parts and fragrance of a plant are latent in its seed–(Qur’an 23:12-14). As the fragrance of the flower, though a different medium, manifests from the seed likewise the soul, though a different medium, manifests from the cell according to the laws inscribed by Allāh, God.
Hindus are divided as to the status of the soul after its emancipation from the cycle of deaths and births. Whereas Swami Dayananda is of the view that “The emancipated soul….is again born into this world;” it is said that “All other writers teach and all the world believes that the Emancipation is that condition from which no soul returns to this world and becomes subject to births and deaths”31.
(As noted, Swami Dayananda quotes the Mundak Upani-shad, III, 2, 6, as saying that the soul, after enjoying its emancipation, “is again born into this world.” But this teaching is not of the Vedas. If there was such a teaching in the Vedas (and moreover a clear teaching) it is rea-sonable that the Swami would have used it for his quote, rather than using the Mundak Upanishad. Also whereas the Mundak says that the soul, after its emancipation “is again born into this world,” it is said that “All other writers teach and all the world believes that the Emancipation is that condition from which no soul returns to this world and becomes subject to births and deaths.” However the Swami disagrees with this view, and gave arguments to support the Mundak Upanishad. But the Swami’s submission is irrelevant. If the Vedas were clear on this issue–and it is expected that cardinal doctrines of a religion be clearly expressed and not left to the function of interpretation–it is hardly likely that there would be an opposing view). (Italics/emphasis added).
Hinduism teaches the belief of moksa or “Liberation” of the soul from the cycle of deaths and births.
If the universe is “self-creating, self-dissolving, self-manifest-ing,” there is no God in control of it, and if the soul is “unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval,” it is not reasonable that our actions (karma) can generate a force which can trap the soul in a cycle of deaths and births.
If the soul can ‘liberate’ itself then this means that the soul has personality/character, it is not reasonable that this independent soul having a choice would elect to inhabit sub-human bodies and, from a human standpoint, to dwell in lowly conditions.
If the universe is “self-creating, self-dissolving, self-manifest-ing” and if the soul is “unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval,” we would have three independent sources –matter, soul, and God.
Unless the soul is a willing participant or is held captive by God, it is doubtful that this independent soul would allow ano-ther to dictate to it as to what is good and what is bad. God sub-jecting this “conscious” independent soul into bondage is the same as man taking man into slavery–an injustice. God, whether we call him Eli, Ishwar, or Allah is not unjust.
(God taking this soul into bondage is not the same as a king ruling his subjects. The king receives treasures from his subjects, but God does not. The king can be slain and overthrown by his subjects but God cannot be slain or overthrown by the souls. The subjects can be slain but the soul cannot be slain. If God gives the souls punishment in judgment through karma, man is keeping Him busy with their cloning, grafting of new plants, and crossbreeding of new animals, for Him to assign errant souls into. And the forest fires that ravage North America and elsewhere, the souls that inhabit this multitude of trees, were their term of karmic reaction expired for them to be razed or did they suffer premature death?
If our works (karma) can generate a force that could ‘trap’ the soul into a cycle of rebirths, there is no need to sing praises to God in order to achieve heavenly bliss. In fact there would be no need for belief in God. All that would be required to attain ‘liberation’ and heavenly bliss is to avoid harm to others.
“Liberation” (moksa) of the soul is “attainable only by a male of twice-born genus who has followed the sacrificial code through the three life stages of student, householder, and forest dweller”–(Ency; Brit; 15th Ed; Vol. 3, p. 988).
Hinduism also teaches the existence of “hell”:
“The friends have sung in unison, the prudent wish
to sacrifice: Down sink the unintelligent.”
(“Down sink: narake, into hell, says Sayana.)”
(Ralph T. H. Griffith, Hymns Of The RgVeda,
Book IX. Hymn LXIV. Verse 21,
note # 21, Vol. 2, pp. 338, 339).
“The demoniac person…they become too strongly attached to sense enjoyment and fall down into hell”–(Bhagavad-Gita, 16: 16). And Arjuna says to Lord Krishna that he heard “that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell”–(Ibid. 1:43).
If humans were reincarnated into forms according to their good or bad deeds (karma), it would seem needless to have a “hell.”
This hell could not be a rebirth into a lower class of animal. As noted above, the souls as animals can be said to be at no disadvantage, nor as a means of punishment for a past life of evil. An animal is suited to its kingdom. A worm, dog, cat, cockroach, etc; must be just as comfortable and happy in its state and surroundings as man (generally) is in his. In fact, the souls, in some cases, are worse off in the form of man than they are in the form of animals if we take into account the miseries man suffers at the hands of his fellow man –enslavement, torture, eviction; discrimination, as in the caste system. Consider how some dogs and cats are treated regally, pampered, well nourished, and may even inherit their master’s will.
Hindu heaven: As explained by Swami Dayananda one Divine day is 4,320,000,000 years; and the period of the Grand Dissolution of the universe, which is known as the “duration of Emancipation” of the soul, is said to be “3,11,040,000,000,000 years;”32 and he quotes the Mundak Upanishad, III, 2, 6, as saying that the soul, after enjoying its emancipation “is again born into this world.”33 And that:
“The emancipated soul roams about in the Infinite All-pervading God as it desires, sees all nature through pure knowledge, meets other emancipated souls, sees all the laws of nature in operation, goes about in all the worlds visible and invisible, sees all objects that it comes across, the more its knowledge increases the happier it feels. Being altogether pure, the soul acquires perfect knowledge of all hidden things in the state of Emancipation. This extreme bliss alone is called Heaven (swarga).”34
Imagine this soul–this “one ten thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size,”35–‘roaming’ the vast galaxies for some 3.11 trillion years, and meeting other souls.
As noted, the length of the soul’s “duration of Emancipation” is “3,11,040,000,000,000 years.” So, this eternal soul, being of the same “essence” as God, as the Swami wrote, after spending perhaps one billion years–about quarter the Divine day–dwelling in and feeding on refuse, and other lowly conditions–this soul now “roams about” freely in heaven for more than 3.11 trillion years, where it “acquires perfect knowledge of all hidden things” (only to forget it afterwards), and eventually returns to earth to spend 4.32 billion years, perhaps some as sub-humans, to again ‘roam’ in heaven for another 3.11 trillion years, receiving the same knowledge, and forgetting. Repeating this cycle again and again and… Ad infinitum.36
In the Gita 10:28, Krishna declares, “among cows I am the surabhi.” And Swami Prabhupada explains: “In Krsnaloka in the spiritual sky there are cows which can be milked at any time, and they give as much milk as one likes. Of course such cows do not exist in this material world, but there is mention of them in Krsnaloka. The Lord keeps many such cows, which are called surabhi. It is stated that the Lord is engaged in herding the surabhi cows.”
If man should live to be a million years, it is doubtful that he would tire of a life of affluence and would deem it “infinite misery;” when in fact his rat race in this world is, without doubt, driven by his desire for a life of ease and luxury.
(A survey should be carried out to determine how many individuals would prefer the Hindu heaven –to be with Krishna “herding the surabhi cows;” and to roam the heavens for 3.11 trillion years, gathering knowledge, and forgetting it– and to return to earth, possibly as sub-humans, for some four billion years dwelling in sub-human conditions; and how many Hindus, affluent and destitute, would prefer a life in the Hindu heaven instead of life in the Muslim paradise –of splendorous Gardens, fine garments and fruits, and magnificent companions for eternity).
Hinduism regards Woman as being of lower birth: the Bhagavad Gita teaches, as Krishna says: “…those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth–women, vaisyas [merchants]….” –(Gita 9:32).
According to “the laws given by Manu in his Dharma Shastra”:
“…In childhood, must a female be dependent on her father, in youth on her husband, her lord (husband) being dead, on her sons. A woman must never seek independence.””
Manu says: “Though the husband be cruel and untrue to his wife, this does not free her from her obligations to him. Though unobservant of approved usages, or enamoured of another woman, or devoid of good qualities, yet a husband must constantly be revered as a god by a virtuous wife. Although the wife must honour her husband as a god, and remain a widow after his death, the husband, seven years after marriage, if there be no son, may supersede her by another wife. A wife who speaks unkindly may be put aside without delay. If a wife drinks, shows hatred to her lord, is mischievous, or wastes his property, she may at any time be superseded by another wife.”
The wife is forbidden certain worship: “No sacrifice is allowed to women apart from their husbands, no religious rite, no fasting. As far as only as a wife honors her husband, so far she is exalted in heaven. A faithful wife who wishes to attain in heaven the mansion of her husband must do nothing unkind to him, be he living or dead.”
She is required to incinerate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre: “It is proper for a woman, after her hus-band’s death to burn herself in the fire with his corpse; every woman who thus burns herself shall remain in paradise with her husband 35,000,000 years by destiny;” ”Dying with her husband, she sanctifies her maternal and paternal ancestors, and the ancestors of him to whom she gave her virginity.” Also, “Confidence must not be placed in women.” “If one trusts a woman, without doubt he must wander about the street as a beggar.”
“Manu debarred women from reading or listening to the Vedas.” And “after being seven years old, the sooner a girl is married, the better.”37
Like Islam, Hinduism also allows polygamy. King Dasrat had three wives, Kausiliya, Sumitra, and Kaikeya. Krishna had more than one wife: Krishna “married the princess Rukmini and took other wives as well.”38
Hinduism allows polyandry–Draupadi had five Pandava brothers as husbands at one time.
Hinduism also allows Niyoga –contract marriages– in which a childless widow/widower can have temporary marriages with up to “eleven” spouses, one after the other, for raising children; and in a marriage where the husband is sterile or the wife suffers from a chronic disease; and also “If a man be not able to control his passions while his wife and she is pregnant, he may contract Niyoga with (a widow) and beget offspring on her.”39
(Niyoga “is the temporary union of a person with an-other of the opposite sex”, under certain circumstances, for the purpose of producing children.–(Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, p. 731)
Except in the case where the marriage has not been consummated, remarriage is not permitted so long as “the other party is alive.” However, “remarriage is absolutely prohibited in the case of a twice-born man or woman (i.e., one belonging to a Brahman, Kshatriya or Vaishya Class) who has had sexual intercourse with his or her consort”, says the Swami. (And he numerates four reasons, and states): “For these reasons, remarriage, polygamy and polyandry are prohibited in the case of the twice-born.”–(LOT, pp. 129, 130. Italics/emphasis added). Which means that “polygamy and polyandry” are allowed for those who are not “twice-born”.
Swami Dayananda quotes the Rig Veda as saying:
“O thou who art fit to procreate and art strong, do thou raise upon the married wife or upon these widows, with whom thou hast contracted Niyoga, good children, and make them happy. Do thou beget with on thy married wife ten children, and consider her the eleventh (member of thy family). O woman! Let ten children be raised on thee by the married husband or thy husbands by Niyoga and do thou consider thy husband as the eleventh (mem-ber of thy family.”–(Rig Veda X, 85, 48). (LOT, pp. 131-132).
“A man may also contract Niyoga with eleven women (one after the other), just as a woman may enter into the relation of Niyoga with eleven men (one after the other)”, the Swami wrote, citing the Rig Veda, X, 85, 45: “…..take unto thyself the eleventh husband by Niyoga.”–(LOT, p. 136).
Niyoga “can be entered into even in the lifetime of the husband (or of the wife)”, according to the Swami. And he quotes the Rig Veda: “When a man is incapable of producing children, let him address his wife as follows: –O Thou that art desirous of getting children do not expect me to raise off-spring upon thee. Do thou, therefore, seek another husband.” The woman seeking to contract Niyoga, should, however, continue to serve her husband by marriage; similarly when a woman on account of some chronic disease is rendered incapable of bearing children, let her address the following words to her husband. “My Lord! Do not expect me to bear any children. Do thou, therefore, contract Niyoga with a widow.” (LOT, p. 137). (This arrangement would seem to have the potential for breaking up a marriage, or engender adultery, should either the husband/wife find that one of the men/women of Niyoga to be more fulfilling than his or her spouse).
Niyoga may be entered into by a husband while his wife “is pregnant”, as the Swami states: “If a man be not able to control his passions while his wife and she is pregnant, he may contract Niyoga with (a widow) and beget offspring on her, but let him never misconduct himself with a prostitute or commit adultery.”–(LOT, p. 140). (And if the husband cannot equal his wife’s passion, or if he suffers from some prolonged emasculating ailment and she cannot control her passions, the wife should also be able to supplement the husband’s affections, by contracting Niyoga with a widower. Like, as stated above, this relation would seem to have the potential of being a home-wrecker or encourage adultery).
Children born of the Niyoga relation belongs to the person for whose benefit Niyoga was contracted: “O widow!….if thou contractest Niyoga for the benefit of thy second husband….the child resulting from this union shall belong to him.; but if thou enterest into the relation of Niyoga for thy benefit, the child shall be thine”–(Rig Veda, 18, 8)(LOT, p. 135). (But this would be denying the children the love and nurturing of one parent).
Allah God tells us to hold fast to family ties.
“Niyoga lasts only so long as two or four children are not born according as it has been contracted for the benefit of one of the parties, or of both. They should not approach each other after this. In this way ten children may be produced by successive Niyogas. Sexual con-gress after this is regarded as proceeding from lust. Hence, those who resort to it are degraded (from their Class). Even if married people cohabit with each other after they have produced ten children, they are considered lustful and held in great contempt, because marriage and Niyoga are entered into for the object of getting children but not for the gratification of passions like animals,” the Swami wrote. (LOT, p. 137). (So if a man of 25 and a woman of 16 produces ten children by the ages of 55 and 46, respectively, then these fairly young and active man and woman are to go through the rest of their lives suppressing their natural masculine and feminine needs. God should not have instilled in them this passion then).
But Allah God tells us that He has created man and woman and has put love and affection between them, to be shared for as long as they live (or are capable).
According to Hinduism’s “rules of sexual intercourse” there are, in a month, “ten nights out of which it is best to choose one for sexual intercourse,” states the Swami. And “there should be no sexual intercourse till the return” of the wife’s period, “or, in case of pregnancy for one year,” he says. This rule of abstinence from conju-gal relations also applies in the case of Niyoga, where the parties “should declare before an assembly of their male and female relations that they enter into the relation of Niyoga for begetting children, they will have sexual congress for generating a new life once a month, in case conception takes place they will not co-habit for one year. If they should go against that declaration they should be considered as sinners and should be liable to punishment by the State and the Society,” the Swami wrote. (LOT, pp. 21, 133, resp). (Whereas a celibate can control the mating impulses, an individual having experienced this act, even though he may have practiced celibacy for most of his life, would likely find it difficult to refrain from it for a year. Perhaps even stressful. This may lead to illicit relations).
In Islam, marriage is for life. If spouses are not fulfill-ing to the other, they are allowed to end the marriage).
The unchaste Hindu woman is subjected to a ritual: “A woman who has been unchaste should worship Siva in his calm aspect, Siva who is Kama. Then she should summon a Brahmin and give herself to him, thinking, ‘This is Kama who has come for the sake of sexual pleasure.’ And whatever the Brahmin wishes, the sensuous woman should do. For thirteen months she should honour in this way any Brahmin who comes to the house for the sake of sexual pleasures, and there is no immorality in this for noble ladies or prostitutes.”
“The Brahmin guest represents Śiva/Kāma, who purifies the woman whom he seduces, for extreme sexual licence may rem-ove sexual stigma, just as extreme tapas (austerity) does.”40
And for the Hindu wife and husband guilty of “misconduct”: “Should a wife out of her family pride desert her husband and misconduct herself, let the king condemn her to be devoured by dogs before all men and women. Similarly should a husband forsake his wife and misconduct himself with other women, let the king cause that sinner to be burnt alive publicly on a red hot iron-bed.”41
According to Anoop Chandola, “The Dravidians are conjectured to have added such aspects as yoga, puja (“honor” or “worship,” especially image worship), vegetarianism, and several deities including Shiva and Mother Goddess Uma.”42
Rajagopalachari points out that “it has always been the rule in India to permit any food legitimately obtained and consecrated as a sacrifice.”43 “The eating of beef, previously countenanced, is later absolutely prohibited. In the Mahabharata there are references to beef or veal being offered to honoured guests,”44 states Jawaharlal Nehru. Sheldon Pollock points out that “Rama and Laksmana killed many animals…and ate them.”45 Swami Prabhupada notes that “animal killing in a sacrifice is recom-mended in the Vedic literature.”46 And Swami Dayananda wrote: “The Aryas should neither themselves kill such useful animals as cows, nor let others do the same (as cows give milk and calves) ….“Therefore, it is that the Aryas have always regarded the cow as the most useful animal.”47
Hinduism’s vegetarianism is more economy than theology.
Krishna’s saying: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it”–(Gita 9:26), does not mean that only vegetarian offerings are accepted. It is not the worth of the gift that is taken into consideration, but one’s motive, as defined by the words “with love and devotion.” Even simple inexpensive offerings are acceptable, as long as it is offered “with love and devotion.”
Krishna instructs the yogi to “lay kusa grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin”–(Gita 6:11-12). The yogi cannot get “deerskin” if animal is not to be killed. It is an abomination to skin a dead animal; and the yogi would have to find a dead deer (and even a recent dead one).
The Rgveda says of the Maruts, who are noted as “deified mortals,” that “Deerskins are on their shoulders.”48 It is strange “deified mortals” would garland themselves in “Deerskins” if killing animals were forbidden.
Describing an arrow “made of a piece of a deer’s horn and attached to the shaft with leather strings,” as Griffith explains, the Rgveda states: “Her tooth a deer, dressed in an eagle’s feather, bound with cow-hide, launched forth, She flieth onward.”49 Unless this deer was killed or dead it would be cruel to cut off its “horn.” Surely the cow would have to be killed (or be dead) to get its skin to make leather to “bound” the arrow. To buy leather would be condoning others killing cows.
The ideal situation could not be “vegetarianism” seeing that God had “respect” for Abel’s animal offering and “had not respect” for Cain’s “fruit” offering”–(Genesis 4:1-5); and when He gave instructions all over the place, from Genesis to Deutoronomy–from Noah to Moses– to utilize the meat of animals. Animals are allowed as food–(Genesis 9:3); as proof of innocence of murder, in which (they) “shall strike off the heifer’s neck there in the valley”–(Deut. 21:1-9); and as an offering to God–(Lev. 1:2).
Condemning the eating of meat, which eating of meat is recommended by God, is unGodly. In fact when Noah, after the Flood, “offered burnt offerings” “of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl” “the Lord smelled a SWEET SAVOUR”–(Genesis 8:20-21).
Hinduism has a four-tiered caste system. This caste system is rooted in the Veda and the Bhagavad-Gita.
The Rig Veda says:
“When they divided Purusa how many
portions did they make?
What do they call his mouth, his arms?
What do they call his thighs and feet?
The Brahman was his mouth,
of both his arms was the Rajanya made.
His thighs became the Vaisya,
from his feet the Sudra was produced.”
(X. XC. 11-12. Vol. 2, p. 559).50
According to the Bhagavad-Gita:” Brahmans, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes”–(Bhagavad-Gita, As It Is, 18:41-44).
Whereas Brahmans and ksatriyas are considered the higher women, vaisyas, and sudras are said to be of the lower castes or “lower births”: Krishna says:
“those who take shelter in Me, though they be
of lower birth –women, vaisyas [merchants]
and sudras [workers]–can attain
the supreme destination.”
(Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, 9:32).
Whereas a person can increase intellectually or regress regardless of the mental status of his/her parents, if these division of castes were one of merit and not of class, women could not be categorized as being of “lower birth,” as the Gita teaches.
V. M. Tarkunde states: “The theory of Karma, which says that our sufferings in the present life are the result of the sins com-mitted by us in our previous lives, reconciled the poor to their miserable lot and consolidated the prevailing caste system and the barbaric custom of untouchability.” (Radical Humanism, pp. 10-11).
Origin of Hinduism
Swami Prabhupada wrote that Buddha is “the incarnation of Krsna.”51 But A. H. Vidyarthi notes that Buddha “discarded the doctrine of incarnation to which a man and an animal is believed to be as God,” and he “disbelieved in the unreasonable teachings of the Vedas as well as in their Divine Origin.”52
If Krishna is God, whether Krishna came as Buddha (or any other) he should not ‘discard’ his “doctrine of incarnation,” which is not only a fundamental doctrine, but he would be ‘discarding’ his own doctrine. He should not ‘disbelieve’ the “Divine Origin” of the Vedas, he would be disbelieving in himself; for as he says, that he is the “compiler of Vedanta” and the “knower of the Vedas.” (See the following text.)
Krishna says in the Gita, (9:17, 15:15 respectively): “I am also the Rg, the Sama and the Yajur Vedas.” “By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” And in his book The Way To True Worship, (p. 1), Anoop Chandola wrote: “The first recorded book of the Hindus is the Rig Veda. In it, “being” or sat is said to have its beginning in non-being or asat. More than a thousand years later, the Bhagavad Gita challenged this view, holding that there is no “non-being” state of being.”
If Krishna is the Rg Veda and “the knower of the Vedas” and the “compiler of Vedanta”, as he declared, he should not have “challenged” the teaching of the Rg Veda more than a thousand years later in the Bhagavad Gita. He is clearly challenging himself.
Regarding the teachings of Hinduism. Lin Yutang notes:
“The Sankhya philosophers believed that the world consists of two principles, souls and the material world, the Prakriti, or Nature, while the Vedanta philosophers believed in one all-comprising unity. Out of such debates in the forest grew these books.”
“…the final consummation of Vedic philosophy is to be found in Bhagavad-Gita, written perhaps two centuries later, when an ardent devotion to a personal God took the place of these barren speculations. According to Buddhist records, there were as many as sixty-three con-fusing schools of philosophy at the time of Buddha (563-483 B.C.), which explained Buddha’s revolt at their fu-tile reasonings and ritualism.”53
Jawaharlal Nehru wrote:
“The early Vedic Aryans….paid little attention to the soul. In a vague way they believed in some kind of existence after death. Gradually the conception of God grows: there are the Olympian type of gods, and then monotheism, and later, rather mixed with it, the concept-ion of monism.”
That “foreign elements” brought their customs into India. And:
“Many of these customs were unlike those of the Aryans, and so a curious mixture of opposing ideas and customs is observable….Gradually the absorption of the earlier indigenous elements as well as of new-comers was taking place, and the Vedic religion was being modified accordingly. It was beginning to take that allinclusive form which led to modern Hinduism.”54
Britannica explains: “Hinduism has developed slowly from the synthesis of sacrificial cults brought into India by the Aryan invaders of about 1500 BC with the religions of the various indi-genous peoples they conquered;” its “religious belief, custom, and practice has been influenced by Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, the tribal religions of Central Asian nomads, and perhaps even Chinese Taoism.”55
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din points out:
“India was the home of rank idolatry. But to-day, the worship of the stone is back number there. “The Brah-mins and the Aryas, the two prominent off-shoots of Hinduism in India, hate idolatry and break images. Brahma’s creed, the earlier of the two, was started by Raja Ram Mohan Rai, who received his monotheistic inspirations from the Qur-’an, as he admits himself in his writings. Arya Samaj did the same. Even the staunch advocates of stone-worship now seek apologies for it. They take pains to make it quite plain that “they are not polytheists in reality.” They worship One God, but to concentrate their mind on the Great Unseen and Un-known they need something perceivable; hence the image (Why not concentrate on the written name of God instead; or best yet come to Islam). What influence else than Islam can claim the credit for this wonderful change in Hindu theology? There was nothing in the Vedas –the Hindu Bible– a Book of Element-worship, as it at present stands –to inspire faith in One God. Traditional Christianity –the so-called historic– herself benighted in such matters, could not guide others to these lofty ideas. To-day, the worship of more than one god is on the wane and Muslim monotheism hailed everywhere.”56
1. Murtahin Billah Fazlie, Hinduism and Islam, A Comparative Study, p. 226.
2. Ramayana, p.19.
3. Anoop Chandola, The Way To True Worship, p. 39.
4. Murtahin Billah Fazlie, Hinduism and Islam, A Comparative Study, pp. 23-24.
5. Ency. Brit; 15th ed; Vol; 8, p. 910).
6. Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Siva The Erotic Ascetic, p. 274.
7. Light Of Truth, p. 219).
8. Hamlyn, Man and his Gods, encyclopedia of the world’s religions; Third Impression 1974; pub; The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited; p. 183.
9. Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Qur’an And Science, p. 34
10. Hamlyn, Man and his Gods, encyclopedia of the world’s religions, p. 183.
I1. Ibid; p. 183.
12. Ibid; p. 183.
13. Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Siva, The Erotic Ascetic, p. 257.
14. Hamlyn, Man and his Gods encyclopedia of the world’s religions, p. 175.
15. C. Gopalachari, C., Ramayana, p. 8.
16. Hamlyn, Man and his Gods, encyclopedia of the world’s religions, p. 184.
17. Murtahin Billah Fazlie, Hinduism and Islam, A Comparative Study, p. 23. Fazlie quotes Ambedkar, Riddle of Rama and Krishna, (1988), p. 25.
18. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, pp. 219.
19. The Way To True Worship, p. 9. Italics/emphasis added).
20. Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Siva The Erotic Ascetic, p. 271.
21. Anoop Chandola, The Way To True Worship, p. 23.
22. Hamlyn, Man and his Gods, encyclopedia of the world’s religions, p. 178.
23. Ency. Brit.15th Ed. Vol, 17, p. 151.
24. Ency. Brit; 15th Ed; Vol. 8, p. 911. Underlines added.
25. Chandola, Anoop, The Way To True Worship, p. 8.
26. On Hindus’ inheritance. India is yet to regain her highly coveted Kohinoor –the Taj Mahal of diamonds– illuminating Regal heads in Britain. Perhaps now that India has Super-Muscles and commands world allegiance she may yet out-wrestle the not-so-Great Britain in the arena of diplomacy and public conscience –or perhaps Her Majesty would take the grand and noble step into the High Chair of pride and dignity as befits Royal Office and voluntary gift it to the sirdars– and take home to the forbearing Indians their sparkling heritage. The Maharanis will be joyed.
27. The Higher Taste, Pub. International Society for Krishna Consciousness, (1995), pp. 38, 39.
28. Lin Yutang, Wisdom of India, p. 30. (Ital;/Emp; added).
29. Swami D, Saraswati, Light Of Truth, p. 300.
30. Ibid; p. 227.
31. Ibid; p. 285. Italics/emphasis added.
32. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, pp. 141, 285, respectively.
33. Ibid; p. 285.
34. Ibid; p.301.
35. Swami Prabhupada, commentary on Bhagavad-Gita, As It Is, 2:17.
36.As noted under “Soul,”Swami Dayananda quotes the Mundak Upanishad as saying that the soul, after enjoying its emancipation “is again born into this world.” But this teaching is not of the Vedas. If there was such a teaching in the Vedas it is reasonable that the Swami would have used it for his quote, rather than using the Mundak Upanishad. Also whereas the Mundak says that the soul, after its emancipation “is again born into this world,” it is said that “All other writers teach and all the world believes that the Emancipation is that condition from which no soul returns to this world and becomes subject to births and deaths.” However the Swami disagrees with this view, and gave arguments to support the Mundak Upanishad. But the Swami’s submission is irrelevant. If the Vedas were clear on this issue –and it is expected that cardinal doctrines of a religion be clearly expressed and not left to the function of interpretation– it is hardly likely that there would be an opposing view).
37. Murtahin Billah Fazlie, Hinduism and Islam, A Comparative Study, pp. 192-197. Materials in italics quoted by Fazlie from W. J. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology, New Delhi, reprint, 1992. Modern Hinduism, London, reprint, 1975.
38. Ency. Brit. 15th Edn. Vol. V, p. 922; Art. Krsna.
39. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, pp. 133-138, 140.
40. This ritual cited in Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Śiva The Erotic Ascetic, p. 256.
41. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, p. 199.
42. Anoop Chandola, The Way To True Worship, p. 8. Italics/emphasis added.
43. C, Rajagopalachari, Ramayana, p. 90.
44. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India, p. 108.
45. Sheldon I. Pollock The Ramayana Of Valmiki, Vol. II, p. 190. (Also p. 183).
46. Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Cf. 18:3.
Since the Rig Veda is said to be Divine Revelation, it would be a contradiction to condemn animal-killing when animal-killing is enjoined in the Rig Veda. Since Rama is said to be God/an incarnate of God, and as Rama ate meat, and as Hinduism allows the eating of meat, it would be a contradiction to claim vegetarianism as the teaching of Hinduism. Also, since Rama is an incarnate of Vishnu, and since Rama ate meat, then by extension Vishnu also ate meat. And as Vishnu came also as animals, unless Vishnu fasted he must have eaten what these animals ate (?)
47. Swami D, Saraswati, Light Of Truth, pp. 321-322.
48. Ralph T. H. Griffith, Hymns of the RgVeda, Book I, hymn CLXVI, verse 10, Vol, 1, p. 245.
49. Ibid. Book VI, hymn LXXV, verse 11, Vol, 1, p. 693.
50. Ibid; Book X, hymn XC, verses 11-12, Vol. 2, p. 559.
51. Cf. Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 4:7.
52. Abdul Haque Vidyarthi, Muhammad in World Scriptures, Vol. 1, p. 296.
53. Wisdom of India, pp. 24, 25.
54. The Discovery of India, pp. 79, 106-107. (Italics/emphasis, added).
55. Ency. Brit. 15th Edn. Vol. V, p. 52; Art. Hinduism. history of,
56. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Open Letters To The Bishops Of Salisbury & London, pp. 17-18.