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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Vedas

Bhagavad Gita: It is the most important holy book of the Hindus. The theme of the book is stated almost at the beginning of the book, when Arjuna, the disciple asks Lord Krishna to tell him how he can recognize a man who knows truth; that is how he can identify one who is illuminated. Krishna replies in effect, “A man who is not affected by achievement or failure, which is free of emotions such as anger, fear, pride, vanity, jealousy, hate; a man who has disciplined his mind-he is wise; he is illuminated.”

Ramayana: Another book which is loved by the Hindus is the Ramayana. It is the life history of Lord Rama, Hindu god next in importance to Lord Krishna. This book is an inspiration to the Hindus who wish to follow the path of devotion to elders, parents, and the maharishis and poets etc.

Vedas are the most ancient and sacred of Hindu scriptures. They are four canonical collections: Rig Veda, containing a thousand hymns, the Yajur Veda, rich in hymns and prayers, the Sama Veda, a book of revelations and chants and the religious services, and the Atharvana Veda replete with incantations. Veda means spiritual wisdom and the Vedas are so rich in knowledge that historians refer to the time in which they were formulated as the Vedic period, which was about 1500 BC.

Hinduism and Reincarnation

This is the third great truth of the Hindu religion. It means “recurring life.” It means that the soul of man-the atman or life essence-is ever on a round of births and rebirths. If a man dies, shall he live again? The Hindu answer is “Yes definitely. He will live again on this earth to work out his destiny and to reap the reward of his previous acts.” The theory of reincarnation explains the variety of personalities we find in the world, the striking gap between the rich and the poor, between the good and the bad, between the wise and not-so-wise. It explains all these seeming inequalities. It provides a solution to the perplexing puzzle of why one person dies young; another old. It explains the phenomenon of a genius. The doctrine of reincarnation prepares the Hindu for an eventual union with God in a state of immortal bliss. This union is the aim and purpose of life and in birth after birth the soul of the man has a chance to merge into the soul of God.

Hinduism and Karma

In the west Christians usually translate Karma as destiny or fate. They say that Karma is something to do with “good breaks” or “bad breaks” or with things that just seem to happen. To the Hindu, however, Karma is a law-an immutable law. A man is what he does, in respect of his fortune and his place in life because of Karma or deed. The Karma fixes the consequences of one’s acts. It cannot be tempered with or destroyed. Karma, strictly speaking, is neither good nor bad. It simply is. We make it. Our past deeds or acts make it. We are it. Karma is the heart of the principle “whatever a man sows that he will also reap.”

Three basic truths in Hindu religion

1. The law of identification, which can be stated in the old and oft-repeated Sanskrit phrase: Tat Twam Asi, (Sanskrit word) which is to say: “Thou art Thou” (Sanskrit word) or “God and I are one” or “He who is yonder, yonder person, I am he”.
2. In Hindus, the soul is everlasting in a sense that can hardly be grasped by other religions. The fact that it survives the body is no mystery, no miracle, for it existed before the body was formed. “Never have I not been” says Lord Krishna to Arjun, his disciple. “Never have thou not been and never shall the time come when thou shall not be.”

The soul, according to Hindus, Is the Atman(Sanskrit word) or the only true self. Everything else is illusion or Maya. The soul alone is real. A western Christian mystic Mister Ekhart, who was profoundly impressed by Hinduism, explained the law of identification by saying that the eye with which we see God is the same eye with which He sees us.
3. Every religious practice of a true Hindu is directed toward the realization of his oneness with God. To know oneness is to know God. To live as though the real “I” is eternal and indestructible is to live God. To discover that everything outside this reality is Maya is to discover God. To grasp the full meaning of this oneness is to realize the essence of Hinduism. This assumption on the part of a Hindu goes far beyond the customary Christian belief that our lives are a reflection of God’s life, or that we are the sons and daughters of God, or that God lives in us. To the Hindu the true self in each one of us is Atman(Sanskrit word). It is “tat twam asi” (Sanskrit words) and as the believing Hindu speaks the words flow out to the eternal God. A Hindu claims that an answer comes to him which says, “This and only this is truth.”

Hinduism – The Religion of the Philosophers

In India religion is a part of life for every Hindu. Marcus Bach, an American researcher, says; “Scratch a Hindu and you will find a philosopher. If you listen you will hear the ways and wonders of the Gods from Indians. If you look you will find a shrine in every village, and the telltale signs of worship in nearly every home. This is Hinduism, the faith about a billion people who not only believe that they will live again but are convinced they have lived before.”
The doctrine of the wheel of life is one of the principal characteristics of Hinduism. Whereas other religions believe that man’s life is a three-act play-birth, death and immortality- Hindus think in terms of an endless drama: birth, death and rebirth, death and rebirth, death and rebirth… They believe that the soul has always existed and will continue to exist until it is merged with God, who is the Soul of Universe.

Human Thinking

Thinking can be characterized in terms of knowledge, skill, intention, performance and achievements of the individual. Language and thought are the basic vehicles of problem solving which initially and ultimately would depend on the individual himself, the information available to him, his competence to use that information, his intention or desire to achieve a particular goal, and the kind of activities he engages en route the goal.
Early experimental psychologists attempted to identify the fundamental building blocks of thought. Just as it is possible to understand a substance in terms of molecular structure, a molecule in terms of its atoms, or atoms in terms of its elementary particles, it should be possible to understand its behavior in terms of its fundamental components and some forms of associations among them. The analysis of the structure of thought has led psychologists in several different directions.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Personality Theories – Psychoanalysis

Formulated by Sigmund Freud, this theory had such originality, depth, and complexity that its impact on western culture was deeply felt for seventy years. Freud’s conclusion about personality is being id, ego and superego. The id seeks only finding pleasure and to avoid pain. Since id operates in an undisciplined and immature way and cannot make rational decisions, the ego develops to guide these impulses and functions in accordance with the reality principle. A very important function of the ego is the satisfaction of the needs of the id but in a proper time, mode and place sequence. Besides governing the id and its impulses, ego must also control and direct the impulses of superego which consists of the conscience and the ego ideal. Freud believed that the energy for all motivation and the energy for the working together of the three components of personality-id, ego and superego, derives from instinctual energy of the id. The id energy is divided into other life instincts or death instincts. In Freud’s view personality develops and grows as a result of a variety of processes, stresses and experiences, such as maturation, deprivation, conflict and anxiety.