Hinduism and other religions
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There has been some debate on historical connections between Christianity and Indian religion, although this has focused on Buddhism and Christianity (via Greco-Buddhism) more than on Hinduism proper. While it is well known that a number of Indian sages visited Constantinople in Classical Antiquity, claims of significant influence in either direction failed to gain wide acceptance. The study of Jesus Christ in comparative mythology has pointed to Krishna in particular. "Krishnology" is a term coined to express theological parallels between Krishnaism and the dogmas of Christology in Christianity. There is some pseudo-scholarly literature postulating that Jesus travelled to India ither before or after surviving his crucifixion, beginning with Nicolas Notovitch's La vie Inconnue du Jesus Christ (1894) and Jesus in India (1899, 1908, see Roza Bal, Jesus in Ahmadiyya Islam) and revived in 1980s esotericism (Holger Kersten 1981, 1983). Notovitch later confessed to having fabricated the evidence.
While the entire Christianity is based on one saint - Jesus Christ & one Holy Bible, Hinduism is not based on any one personality or one book. Hinduism is a research based faith having multiple disciplines and research scriptures on spirituality. Vedas , Upanishad , Gita to name a few.
One of Hinduism's greatest contribution to the world is its philosophy of Yoga , which results in improvement in Physical and Spiritual life of Human Beings
There also exist notable similarities in Christian and Hindu theology, most notably in that both religions present a trinitarian view of God. The Holy Trinity of Christianity, consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is sometimes seen as roughly analogous to the Trimurti of Hinduism, whose members -- Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva -- are seen as the three principal manifestations of Brahman, or Godhead. In Hinduism (also in Jainism and Sikhism), the concept of moksha is akin to that of Buddhism's nirvana, as well as Christianity's doctrine of salvation.
Swami Tripurari states:
... in theory the sinners of the world are the beneficiaries of Christ’s sacrifice, but it is God the father for whose pleasure Christ underwent the crucifixion, even when the father’s joy in this scenario lies in the salvation of sinners. Christ represents the intermediary between God and humanity, and his life aptly illustrates the fact that it is sacrifice by which we come to meet our maker. Thus in Christ the Divine teaches us “the way” more than he does the goal. The Christ conception represents “the way” in the sense that the way is sacrifice, out of which love arises. The Krishna conception represents that for which we not only should, but must sacrifice, compelled by the Godhead’s irresistible attributes, etc. depicted therein.
Apart from the Goa Inquisition, there is no history of forced conversion of Hindus to Christianity. The declaration Nostra Aetate officially established inter-religious dialogue between Catholics and Hindus. It has promoted common values between religions. There are over 17.3 million Catholics in India, which represents less than 2% of the total population and is the largest Christian Church within India. (See also: Dalit theology.
Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity differ on fundamental beliefs on heaven, hell and reincarnation, to name a few. From the Hindu perspective, heaven (Sanskrit svarga) and hell (naraka) are temporary places, where every soul has to live, either for the good deeds done or for their sins committed. After a soul suffers its due punishment in hell, or after a soul has enjoyed enough in the heaven, it again enters the life-death cycle. There is no concept of 'permanent' hell. "Karma" cycle takes over. Permanent heaven or bliss is " Moksha".
However, there also exist significant similarities in Christian and Hindu theology, most notably in that both religions present a trinitarian view of God. The Holy Trinity of Christianity, consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is sometimes seen as roughly analogous to the Trimurti of Hinduism, whose members—Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva—are seen as the three principal manifestations of Brahman, or Godhead. Others may consider Brahma to be more similar to the demiurge of Christian gnosticism, in that he (at least initially) wrongly thought himself as the "Creator" and also as the highest or even the only god. In this case, the Hindu version of the Trinity could more accurately be seen as Vishnu (Father), Sankarshan or Shiva (Holy spirit), and Bhahma (Son; anologous to Christ). However there is a Parabrahma i.e. ultimate creator who has created this thrimurthi also.This view is further supported by the perceived intimate connection, or even identity (at least for a time in early and Eastern Christianity) between the feminine Sophia (wisdom) and the gender-neutral Holy Spirit (or, the Virgin Mary in Western Christianity). Sophia is also sometimes seen to represent the Image of God present in the human soul, which is saved from its fallen state by Christ the Logos—in which case there would be a strong similarity between Sophia and Sita in the Ramayana, who is saved by Hanuman (an incarnation of Shiva) from the demon king Ravana to be reunited with her husband Rama, representing God. In either case, Hindu or Christian, a trinity is generally not seen as polytheistic, but rather as representing three mysteriously distinct aspects of one personal God, or Ishvara.
In Hinduism (also in Jainism and Sikhism), the concept of moksha is akin to that of Buddhism's nirvana, as well as Christianity's doctrine of salvation. Most other religions of the world do not have such conceptions, except for that of fana' al-fana, or the experience of Wahdat-ul-Wujood in the Sufi aspect of Islam, and possibly some other examples.
Christian-Hindu relations are a mixed affair. On one hand, Hinduism's natural tendency has been to recognize the divine basis of various other religions, and to revere their founders and saintly practitioners. On the other hand, aggressive proselytism on the part of some Christian groups have led to incidents of anti-Christian rhetoric, often fueled by Hindu nationalist political parties. In Western countries, Vedanta has influenced some Christian thinkers, while others in the anti-cult movement have reacted against the activities of immigrant gurus and their followers. (See also: Pierre Johanns, Abhishiktananda, Bede Griffiths, Dalit theology.)
Hindu – Islamic relations began when Islamic influence first came to be found in the Indian subcontinent during the early 7th century. Hinduism and Islam are two of the world’s three largest religions. Hinduism is the socio-religious way of life of the Hindu people of the Indian subcontinent, their diaspora, and some other regions which had Hindu influence in the ancient and medieval times. Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion in which the supreme deity is Allah (Arabic: الله "the God": see God in Islam), the last Islamic prophet being Muhammad ibn Abdullah, whom Muslims believe delivered the Islamic scripture, the Qur'an. Hinduism mostly shares common terms with the dhārmic religions, including Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Islam shares common terms with the Abrahamic religions–those religions claiming descent from the prophet Abraham–being, from oldest to youngest, Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
The Qur'an is the primary Islamic scripture. Muslims believe it to be the verbatim, uncreated word of Allah. Second to this in religious authority, and whence many practices of Islam derive, especially for Sunnis, are the Sunni six major collections of hadīth, which are traditional records of the sayings and acts of Muhammad. The scriptures of Hinduism are the Shrutis (the four Vedas, which comprise the original Vedic Hymns, or Samhitas, and three tiers of commentaries upon the Samhitas, namely the Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads); these are considered authentic, authoritative divine revelation. Furthermore, Hinduism is also based on the Smritis (including the Rāmāyana, the Bhagavad Gītā [part of the Mahabharata cycle], and the Purānas), which are considered to be of secondary authority and of human creation. The below article briefly describes some of the many differences and some similarities between Hinduism and Islam.
Ayyavazhi and Hinduism]] are two belief systems in India. Though Ayyavazhi continues to officially exist within Hinduism and is considered by some observers to be a Hindu denomination, members of the religion claim that it is independent. The most notable distinction from Hindu are the Ayyavazhi religion's concepts of good, evil and dharma.
Hindus view Vedas, Gita, and other texts from the Shastra as canonical scriptures, instead of the Akilam. The Ayyavazhi believe that the Hindu scriptures were once canonical, but now have lost their Substance because of the advent of Akilam. Kaliyan bought the Vedas as a Boon and so all the previous religious books including Agamas and Puranas lost their Substances, leaving Akilattirattu Ammanai as the only book of perfection. Several dubious claims state that the present day Vedas are not accepted by Ayyavazhi as books of Perfection, because there is a quote in Akilam about Venneesan "Avan pilathaal vedamondruntakki" (He created a Veda of his own intention). All previous religious texts have lost their Substance in the vision of Ayyavazhi at the very moment Kaliyan came to the world.
Though Ayyavazhi has many differences from popular Hinduism, it has many beliefs and practices in common. As Hinduism is really a tree of many branches, Ayyavazhi is closest to Smartism and its Advaita beliefs in thought.
Hinduism is recognized in the Bahá'í Faith as one of nine known religions and its scriptures are regarded as predicting the coming of Bahá'u'lláh (Kalki avatar). Krishna is included in the succession of Manifestations of God. The authenticity of the Hindu scriptures is seen as uncertain.
- Indology, Indomania, and Orientalism by Douglas T. McGetchin (Jan 1, 2010) Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ISBN 083864208X page 133 "Faced with this cross-examination, Notovich confessed to fabricating his evidence."
- Tripurari, Swami, Christ, Krishna, Caitanya, The Harmonist, May 31, 2009.
- Klostermaier, Klaus K. (2007). A Survey of Hinduism. (3. ed. ed.). Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press. pp. 46–49. ISBN 0-7914-7082-2.
- "Ayyavazhi Religion" (Web page). religious-information.com. SBI. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- Smith, Peter (2000). "Indian religions". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 195. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.