We have difficulty in explaning the religion of HINDU, due

to the innumerable customs, concepts and beliefs that have

been absorbed, as well as, the numerous branch-off religions

that have come from HINDU. We will endevor to qualify our

comments due to this vast base of thought that Hindu is

comprised of.

The earliest form of Hindu can be referred to as pre-Vedic

and began about 3,000 years ago. Very little is known of the

Indians who lived in the pre-Vedic period in the Indus valley

of Northern India or the Dravidians of the Indian Peninsula.

By the time of Abraham, these people had developed a

civilization resembling the Mesopotamians. Their polytheistic

religion, a sort of proto-Hinduism, was in some ways a form

of witchcraft. The pre-Vedic Hindus especially worshipped a

MOTHER GODDESS and a horned god in the posture of a yogi.

They offered sacrifices to the various gods, but did not

maintain any temples.

The VEDIC period began around B.C. 1500, when a central

Asian people called the Aryans invaded Northern India and

eventually took over the Southern Indian area. These

light-skinned conquerors imposed their Vedic civilization and

religion on the Indians. Vedic religion differed greatly from

the Dravidian religion - the Aryans worshiped the powers of

nature rather than images. The most important of their gods

were INDRA, a god of the atomsphere and stars, VARUNA, a sky

god, and AGNI, the god of fire. There were many, many other

gods, one of which was SOMA, the god of the soma plant.

The Aryans developed an elaborate system of sacrifices

which later led to the formation of a priesthood (the

Brahmins). They also absorbed the Dravidian gods and concepts

into their religion, and this assimilation resulted in a

complicated array of gods and goddesses.

The Vedic period was followed by the Upanishadic period,

about B.C. 600. During this time Hindism began dividing, into

the popular religion of the masses and a more philosophical

religion. The Upanishads were sacred books which

reinterpreted the Vedic religion and boiled all gods down

into a single principle or absolute universal soul. This

monistic or pantheistic viewpoint held that the universe is

God, and God is the universe. The impersonal universal soul

was called Brahman, and this form of Hinduism was called


During the Upanishadic period, the Hindu concept of

salvation shifted from an emphasis on fulfillment and on life

to an emphasis on release and escape from life. Life on earth

began to be viewed quite pessimistically as the doctrines of


The law of karma was a moral law of cause and effect,

which COULD NOT BE VIOLATED! It was called "the law of the

deed" and one could build either good or evil karma depending

on his or her deeds.

The doctrine of SAMASARA - transmigration-taught that all

life goes through and endless succession of rebirths. EVERY

living thing is on the wheel of life, and each new rebirth

depends upon the karma built up in its past lives. Salvation

is defined as the "breaking away from this wheel" could be

achieved by philosophical speculation on the words of the

sages and by meditation. Release and liberation from the

wheel of life (moksha or mukti) would finally come when one

realized his individual soul (the ATMAN) was identical with

the universal soul (Brahman).

Hinduism was now so philosophical in theory and so corrupt

and legalistic in practice that reform movements arose within

it. Two of the most known were BUDDHISM and JAINISM. Another

reform was a movement back to the worship of a supreme

personal God. Not that Hinduism became monotheistic;

polytheism was never really eliminated. Instead, a TRIAD of

Hindu gods was often used to represent the impersonal and

absolute Brahman (neuter). Brahma (The masculine form of the

word Brahman) was regarded as the Creator, VISHNU as the

Preserver, and SHIVA as the Destroyer.

Many Hindus (referred to as VAISHNAVITES) chose to worship

the god VISHNU and his 10 incarnations. These incarnations,

called AVATARS, or dsecendants of God to earth to save the

world from grave perils were a fish, an amphibian, a boar, a

man-lion, a dwarf, PARASURAMA, RAMA, KRISHNA, BUDDHA and

KALKIN, who is YET TO COME... The seventh and eighth

incarnations of VISHNU, RAMA and KRISHNA, are the most

important and are worshiped more than VISHNU himself.

Other Hindus (referred to as SHAIVITES) worship the god

SHIVA and his wife, who is variously represented as DURGA,

KALI, SATI, PARVATI, and best known as DEVA. Many of these

representations are sinsiter and blood-thirsty. Among the

KALI worshipers is a cult known as the SHAKTI, which

encourages such immoral practices as temple prostitution.

After the time of Christ, philosophical Hinduism was

dominated by VEDANTIC thought. The VEDANTA, a philosophical

hindu book based on the earlier Upanishads, teaches that man

needs liberation, Individuals go through stages of wanting

pleasure and worldly success. If they mature, their desires

may turn to self-renunciation and moral duty (DHARAMA). But

the deepest need, whether people recognize it or not, is for

liberation (MOKSHA).

MOKSHA occurs when a person extends his being (SAT),

awareness (CHIT), and bliss (ANANDA) to an infinite level.

Since Brahman, the impersonal absolute, is inifite being,

awareness, and bliss, the only way a man can obtain MOKSHA is

to come to the realization that his hidden self (ATMAN) is

actually the same as Brahman. TAT TWAM ASI (used in TM) means

"Thou Art That" is the term for coming to this realization.

Salvation is achieved by detachment from the finite self and

attachement to reality as a whole. This is called NIRVANA or

"State of Passionless Peace."

AS there are MANY teachings as to HOW one reaches this

state, we will not delve into them. It is sufficient to

comment that Hinduism created the CASTE system. Originally

there were but four caste - Brahmins (Priest), Kshatriyas

(warriors or rulers), Vaisyas (Craftsmen, farmers,artisans),

and Sudras (Servants). Below these were the "uncaste" or

"untouchables." Today, there are now over 3,000 subcastes

that have been created.


In philosophical Hinduism, God is generally an IT, not a

person as in the Bible.

In popular Hinduism, there are great multitudes of gods (3

Million by one count!) and goddesses. This is polytheistic

and idolatrous according to God's Word.

Popular Hinduism abounds in immoral practices,

superstitions, fear and occultism. Demon worship and

possession are also integral to Popular Hinuism.

The caste system is rigid, unjust and cruel. There were

very few attempts to reform this system UNTIL Christianity

was introduced and began to influence Hinduism.

There is no recognition of sin and moral guilt. Sin is an

illusion. In an ultimate sense, man is God. He is therefore

not separated from God by his sin, as the Bible teaches so

clearly, and human experience confirms so deeply.

Hinduism is a system of works. Forgiveness of sins does

not fit into the picture of KARMA (Law of cause and effect).

Each person has many lives in which to achieve 'salvation'.

There is a slow, evolving process toward the highest level.


Hinduism denies the exclusive claims of Christ and

despises the Christian teaching that Christ is the ONLY way

to God.

When we REALLY look at this religion, we will come to a


as Hinduism! Mormonism, JW, The WAY, etc all have similar

heresies and false teachings that LOCK a follower into a

system that keeps the follower from the saving knowledge of


The 'toleration' of faiths in America has given rise to

the practice by many young people into forms of Hinduism and

its derivatives, such as TM. Hinuism claims to be tolerant of

all faiths and believes that "all faiths have truth" and can

be assimilated into Hinduism.

Christianity is the ONLY faith and religion that offers a

REAL solution to the problem of SIN. ONLY the vicarious work

of JESUS the CHRIST adequately copes with man's sinfulness.

Hinduism, Christian Science and others only COVER UP sin as

being an "illusion."

It is imperative that Christians DEFINE THEIR TERMS,

because our terminolgy has TOTALLY different meanings to a

HINDU. Salvation and other terms just do not mean the same to

a Hindu as the mean to a Christian. Explain your meanings in

clear, concise words to avoid this problem. In fact, this is

the best way to talk to anyone who does not KNOW CHRIST as

personal Lord and SAVIOUR!

One other area to witness to is the area of AUTHORITY. Ask

a Hindu what AUTHORITY he represents (basis of teaching,

etc). The normal response will be for him to allude to the

many Christian sects, but the Bible is CONSISTANT and

harmonious in its picture of God's plan of salvation. The

Hindu works all contradict one another at some point or



Bring them to Christ. Show them RELEASE and FREEDOM from

their SINS through the FORGIVENESS of their sins from the

payment of JESUS CHRIST on the CROSS AT CALVARY. To this end,

we pray.

Computers For Christ - SYSOP 3/25/82

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