Talk:Hinduism/Archive 24

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Requested move

At the moment the article is named as if Vedic Religion is an alternative to Hinduism. However, "Vedic religion is seen not as an alternative to Hinduism, but as its earliest extant form." ("JSTOR: Philosophy East and West, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Apr., 1984 ), pp. 234-236". ). That is is the main reason for the move. Wikidās ॐ 05:46, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

(Copied from WP:RM by User:JPG-GR) oppose, bogus suggestion per article talkpage. dab (𒁳) 16:46, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

(Copied from Talk:Historical Vedic religion#Requested move by User:Wikidas)

DBachmann: "Vedic" in popular Hindu usage means "cool" ?

DBachmann, is the air around Zurich warming up too fast, or are you on psychedelic substances ? Indian_Air_Force (IAF) (talk) 08:25, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Jan Gonda, until his death in 1997, was for many decades the acknowledged doyen of European Indology and a prolific writer on many aspects of Hinduism. He contributed two volumes on Hinduism for a comprehensive series on ``The Religions of Mankind. His major divisions are as follows:

I. Veda and Older Hinduism

1. Vedic (and Brahmanic) Hinduism

2. Epic (and Puranic) Hinduism

II. Younger Hinduism

"Hinduism: A Short History". Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
Based on that Dab is clearly overheated, and should get to the lake more often:-) Wikidās ॐ 11:06, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
So far two in favor of move to Vedic Hinduism. --Wikidās ॐ 11:14, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Another example of delibrate defamatory propaganda against hinduism

The Grihastha Dharma recognize four goals known as the puruṣhārthas. They are:

kāma: Sensual pleasure and enjoyment Artha: Material prosperity and success Dharma: Correct action, in accordance with one's particular duty and scriptural laws Moksha: Liberation from the cycle of samsara[45][46]

Please pay attention first to the order in which it is written. It is trying to imply that The first goal of life of a Hindu is to indulge in Sensual pleasure and enjoyment and second is to get Material prosperity and success.

Besides the meaning of kama is out of context. Calling Kama "Sensual pleasure and enjoyment" as well as putting it on the top of the list amounts to inducing a false meaning Please look at [1] for the correct definition as follows. "The householder strives to fulfill the four purusharthas, "human goals" of righteousness, wealth, pleasure and liberation. While taking care of one's own family is most central, it is only part of this dharma's expectations. " Sindhian (talk) 18:33, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

So are you planning to change it or what? We are all waiting for the actual "editing time". Wikidās ॐ 00:13, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

wow. can you say "paranoia". What strikes me in the passage quoted is primarily that it needs formatting, and that someone didn't know how to spell puruṣārtha. The listing order was perfectly justified, viz., in increasing importance, and directly referenced to a quotable source. As it turns out, the Mahabharata (12.161) listing order is dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa -- mokṣa being named last because it is the highest goal, the parama-puruṣārtha. We can, of course, adopt this order, forcing us, like the Bilimoria (2007) reference, to say that the list gives "highest, lowest, and intermediate importance". Not exactly reader-friendly, but there you are. You would have been most welcome to silently amend the order, cite the relevant literature, and correct the spellings, in an edit such as this. Such would have established you as a useful and knowledgeable editor. Instead, you opt for making political noise about "defamation", citing some page you googled on That's so much easier than actually researching stuff, isn't it? And it gives you a warm feeling of being a Defender of the Faith against the infidel "defamers" of Hinduism, isn't that great. dab (𒁳) 11:01, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

First I must ask you to stop resorting to Ad hominem. I will put a warning on your talk page because you are calling me a “Paranoid zealot” which is clearly not acceptable. I am a serious contributor to this site as much as you are. And you should stop name calling and defaming other editors and focus on the topic.
Coming to your superficial observations of Formatting and Spelling. Spelling for Sanskrit words have not been standardized yet so it is not a big deal. But I can let you change the spellings and formatting as you feel right.
Now coming to the important point of ‘Purusartha’,
1. It is your own interpretation and claim that “The listing order was perfectly justified, viz., in increasing importance” You don’t have a reference to prove that these objectives are indeed listed in increasing importance order. Do you? Therefore the whole claim is a fallacy of necessity
2. Therefore based on you interpretation ‘Kama’ (which according to you is interpreted as: "Sensual pleasure and enjoyment") is a more important objective than “Dharma’. No Hindu scholar or a religious leader has ever said that. In fact the statement is not supported by the general theme of Hindu texts which always put Dharma as the most important objective of a person.
3. Therefore the right interpretation is that Dharma is the most primary objective and Moksa is the concluding objective, Kama and Artha being the intermediate objectives neccesary to support the family and live a happy life.
4. The interpretation I have provided is supported by at least following references.
a. [2]
b. [3]
c. One of the greatest Hindu scholars Swami Dayanand Saraswati explains Purusartha’as following “Dharma occupies the first place in the four categories of human goals, because the pursuit of security, artha, and pleasures, kama, need to be governed by ethical standards. Artha, striving for security, comes second, because it is the foremost desire of everyone. Everyone is obedient under the doctor's scalpel precisely because everyone wants to live. Granted life, one then wants to be happy, to pursue pleasures, kama. I want to live and live happily; and both pursuits, the struggle for security and the search for pleasure, must be governed by ethics. The last category is the goal of liberation, moksa, ranked last because it becomes a direct pursuit only when one has realized the limitations inherent in the first three pursuits.[4]
Now the question is whose interpretation should we believe in, yours or the scholars and teachers of hinduism. Therefore you are trying to push your opinion and not a fact which is against wikipedias policy of NPOV. Sindhian (talk) 14:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
what is your point? I just stated that your preferred listing order is arguable, I was just asking you to try and not turn a trifle into a vitriolic wikidrama. You will observe that my sample edit of what you should have done instead of embarking on a hostile rant does give your proposed listing order, so I don't quite see what you want. --dab (𒁳) 15:41, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I am surprised that you still are refusing to see the point that you have been proven wrong. Your arguement has no creditable references and is an delibrate attempt to discredit Hinduism. Sindhian (talk) 17:42, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa is a correct listing. Translation smells like OR, needs proper source that is acceptable to hindu sensitivity. I propose - wealth (artha), pleasure (kama), and spiritual liberation (moksha). Dictionary of world philosophy - Page 152 A. Pablo Iannone Wikidās ॐ 13:49, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Wikidas, I propose the following definition "dharma, Righteous conduct; artha, acquisition of wealth; kama, satisfaction of material desires; and moksa, liberation from material existence. Sindhian (talk) 14:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
The very section heading looks like ad hominem. I see Sindhian has 'warned' Dab -- I draw people's attention to this [5]. Doug Weller (talk) 15:33, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
You really don't understand what ad hominem is Sindhian (talk) 17:42, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I see. In the light of this, I suppose the proper course of action would be banning Sindhian's account under WP:DISRUPT. Investing time and good faith in talking sense to this user is clearly a waste of time. It is difficult enough to deal with bona fide religionists who actually do make an effort to respect policy (such as Wikidas). No need to make this more difficult by pampering trolls. --dab (𒁳) 15:46, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

the translations "righteousness", eros, ethikos and "liberation" are taken directly from the source cited, whch is both academic and by an Indian author. Please note that "citing sources" means that the claims made should actually be drawn from the source cited. You can't cite a source, and then "propose definitions" of your own. If you want to discuss these terms in detail, do it at the dedicated article. Regarding ad hominem, "Sindhian", I was commenting on your on-wiki behaviour, I have no interest in judging your personality. Just try to behave constructively, and we'll get along fine. Continue your present vein of WP:WL/WP:DRAMA and you will elicit the corresponding reactions. Wikidas, you seem to labour under the misapprehension that Wikipedia is interested in being "acceptable to Hindu senstivities". It isn't. It is exclusively interested in properly reflecting academic mainstream. See also Talk:Muhammad/images and Talk:Muhammad/FAQ. All points made there apply to Hinduism and every other religion just as much as to Islam. --dab (𒁳) 15:34, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Please don't threaten me. I am not doing anything wrong. I am also not appealing on the basis of Hindu sensibilities. I demand an unbiased and NPOV article on Hinduism. As I proved above you were pushing an unverified claim which discrediting the Hinduism Sindhian (talk) 17:42, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
While i do not dispute dabs admin function, I would prefer if it was not mixed up with editing function to make it clear. "Sindhian" has some point, maybe not well expressed and/or perceived - we need to look for sources for that section that are NPOV or contrast a few views on the issue, as there are

many. Wikidās ॐ 16:29, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I am not using any "admin functions" here. I am telling Sindhian that he is far out of line, as he could be told by any bona fide editor. The admin part simply involves clicking the "block" button, and I'll leave that to others. The fact remains that with his current behaviour, Sindhian has no business being here. Let him find some discussino forum to spill his vitriol istead. We are trying to write an encyclopedia here. Sindhian has no case, at all. Wikidias, while I do not doubt that you are editing in good faith, and are slowly coming to terms with the basics of Wikipedia policy, you would do well to take a step back and edit articles with which you have no emotional involvement. I am doing the same: I have no interest in Hinduism other than of a purely academic/encyclopedic nature. --dab (𒁳) 19:13, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I saw your Edit on 'Dating the Bible'. You seem to write very favorably on Christianity and at the same time seem to have a grudge against hinduism? What is the secret there ? ;-) Sindhian (talk) 00:08, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Typology Section

Thanks for enabling the edit previlages. I have made only a few changes although I feel a lot can be changed. Because I want to be able to manage the discussion.

I also object to the typology section it says " It is normally handed down in oral tradition and an emotional element plays a considerable role it." The reference to this sction is again an insignificant western scholar. This is a ridiculous commentry on a great religion by a Western scholar who does not seem to understand Hinduism well. Sindhian (talk) 07:37, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

This sentence can be reworded It was normally handed down in oral tradition before the written tradition of the Vedas". Wikidās ॐ 13:31, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

petty piety

Wikidas, with edits such as this, you are doing no-one a favour, least of all Hinduism, or the image of Hindu editors on Wikipedia. We state that Hinduism originated in India because after years of zealots pestering the article, we want to be really up front that Hinduism is absolutely native, indigenous to India. Get it? Not imported by Aryan invaders, but perfectly native to sacred Indian soil. But trust that right after we make such concessions, another Hindu zealot comes along and finds yet another way to find fault with the phrasing, because, hey, in spite of being absolutely indigenous it is, of course, western infidel propaganda to imply that Hinduism has ever "originated" at all, being eternal. I hope you will understand that it is perfectly impossible to make any progress in terms of encyclopedicity if we have to quibble over such childish paranoia at every corner. dab (𒁳) 11:15, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree. It may be worth noting that many Hindus believe it to be eternal, with appropriate references, but this is a belief rather than an encyclopaedic fact. -- Q Chris (talk) 11:23, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Originate is a bad word if you state that religion has no founder and you do not know when exactly to pin point the start of it. Its not 'originated', rather belongs to and from Wikidās ॐ 13:29, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know. You can say potatoes originated in the Americas and modern Wheat in Mesopotamia without knowing exactly when and by who. I don't have a strong opinion either way, changing it would be OK with me too. "From" is OK, but "belongs to" -- well certainly the centre of mass and spiritual home is in India but to an extent it also belongs to Nepal, Indonesia, and followers in many other countries. -- Q Chris (talk) 14:01, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
1. Vedas are full of references to Indian rivers therefore they were developed in India. 2.Even if we agree to controvercial Aryan Invasion, vedas are historically dated after the aryan invasion that is after the so called Aryans reached India. 3. Some of you are saying that Hinduism is a post vedism religion which means it originated in India. So where is the problem. Sindhian (talk) 15:29, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Let see... centered on ... Wikidās ॐ 14:12, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I could certainly go with that. -- Q Chris (talk) 14:32, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
"centered on India"? That doesn't even mean anything. Hinduism is the religious mainstream native to India. Sheesh, we have enough good references here, this is getting as bad as Talk:India in terms of quibbling for the sake of quibbling. Don't you guys have any article you actually want to improve? --dab (𒁳) 19:08, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't see a reason why we want to change that unless there is a strong reference which proves otherwise. Sindhian (talk) 15:29, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Why are objectionable controversial sentences being included

We were supposed to discuss and improve this article. I see a some users pushing their POV's and statements which are not backed by good references. This is serious violation of Wikipedias NPOV. Followig are the Controvercial and biased sentenses which are being pushed without proper justification or a proper reference.

  • Hinduism is a family of religions, a vast and heterogenous religious tradition without a common leader, a common center or a common body of teachings.

Why is this statement required, Christianity has sects which don't have a common leader, simi;larly muslims don't have a common leader so do noy buddhists. Hinduism has a common body of teaching in Vedas, Upanishids and Gita. What do you mean by common center. Hindus have common places of pilgrimage.

  • The term Hinduism is used as an umbrella designation for all traditions that declare allegiance to the Vedas.

There is no declaration of allegiance but belief and reverance

  • Early forms of Vedic religion are seen, not as an alternative to Hinduism but as its earliest form, and there is little justification for the divisions found in much western scholarly writing between Vedism, Brahmanism, and Hinduism.[5][6] The Historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India is at its roots.[7][8]

The refutation for this sentence was given. But why it should be included is not discussed.

  • Hinduism has often been stated to be the "oldest religious tradition" among the world's major religious groups,[9][10], and as the "oldest living major tradition".[11][12][13]

Unnecessary prefixes to the sentence. reduces the quality.

  • Other major scriptures include the Tantras, the sectarian Agamas, the Purāṇas, and the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. The Bhagavad Gītā, a treatise from the Mahābhārata, spoken by Krishna, is sometimes called a summary of the spiritual teachings of the Vedas.[15]

again re-introduced without reason Sindhian (talk) 16:22, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Hinduism has often...

This was a direct quote from the source. I accept that author had to rewrite this first chapter:-) mainly because some people objected... but its the source. Find a better decent source then talk. "that declare" can be changed to "aligned".

Early forms of Vedic religion are seen, not as an alternative to Hinduism but as its earliest form, and there is little justification for the divisions found in much western scholarly writing between Vedism, Brahmanism, and Hinduism.[5][6] The Historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India is at its roots.[7][8]

Do you understand what is stated? It states that Hinduism has the early stage. Are you suggesting that there were not stages to any Religion (even in Islam there are stages and developments and schisms.)

Other major scriptures include the Tantras, the sectarian Agamas, the Purāṇas, and the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. The Bhagavad Gītā, a treatise from the Mahābhārata, spoken by Krishna, is sometimes called a summary of the spiritual teachings of the Vedas.

Lets omit the Tantras and Agamas - there is no reason to have in the lead. Wikidās ॐ 20:08, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with your point about omitting the Tantras and Agamas. They don't hold the status that the other text mentioned do. GizzaDiscuss © 12:42, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Qualms with Introduction

"[without] a common center or a common body of teachings." This doesn't seem right at all! The Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, the adherence to concepts of dharma, the quest for moksha, the means of attaining such things through some form of yoga... terminologies shared by vastly different groups (like 'brahman', 'sadhu', 'sanyaas,' 'rishi', etc. etc. etc.). How has this been allowed into the article, particularly without a citation? And even with one person claiming such a thing, it would be a minority opinion... I would agree if the statement were that there is no 'leader' or titular head, there was no founder, and differences in metaphysics, ethics, and theologies of various sects are extremely vast, but there are common centers and cores, otherwise it would be retarded to call the whole thing a common 'family'!!!! This should be corrected by a regular member or I'll take it upon myself (with citations and in accordance with Wiki guidelines)... I will of course hold off in deference to the necessary discussions that will ensue. -- (talk) 09:18, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Remove - I take the above as a call for vote! I hadn't read that before. The common centre I suppose is correct (there is no one place like Jerusalem or Mecca) but the common body of teaching is definitely suspect. I suppose that this could be a point of view for people who see Buddhism and Jainism as nāstika schools of Hinduism. Even so this is clearly a debatable position. I don't know how many Hindus hold this viewpoint but unless a citation can be found showing that it is a vast minority then I would say that this should be removed from the header section. -- Q Chris (talk) 09:34, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Done. There is no contention on this point as its contradicting the whole other text if teachings are taken to mean texts. Wikidās ॐ 10:21, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Wikidas' campaign has rendered the lead an absolutely unacceptable, near-unreadable, cherry-picked mess. I have reverted to the last version that was halfway sane. dab (𒁳) 20:56, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I am sure its only because you say so.. Wikidās ॐ 20:59, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Criticism Section

All other religion pages seem to have at least some form of section dedicated to criticism. But this page doesnt. Can we have some criticism on the page please, because right now it reads like an advert for the religion :). Some useful critique would come from actual historical records, the use of metaphors that obscure true meanings and evidence contrary to the concept of atman (soul). Just a bit of balance needed I think since some people will read it and take it all as fact, rather than mythology / philosophy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:37, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Most or major religions sources are written by loyal followers or academics who are subscribing to the tradition. Sources on hinduism are not and majority of professors teaching Hinduism in the West are not Hindus, while the same can not be said about Islam or Christianity or Judaism. Bearing this in mind, there could be a criticism section, but present criticism that is embedded in all other sections should be then removed and placed there. Any other views? Wikidās ॐ 14:05, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
There should indeed be a criticism section just as it should be on every opinion let alone religions. However, we can only discuss notable criticism of Hinduism and it so happens and most of it pertains to Hindu social practices, not its philosophy. I don't know where it went but this article had a criticism section for a long time before it was deleted. Most of the areas that we should cover are in Criticism of Hinduism, which would be a good starting point. The most notable criticisms are probably the caste system, certain social practices against women such as Dowry, Widow remarriage and Sati and Hindutva (Hindu nationalism).
As for the rest of the article, I don't think it presents the relgion as "fact." In general at least (there may be the odd exception which will need fixing) much of the information is presented as what Hindus believe. Having a quick glance, I see the article scattered with phrases like "According to the Upanishads/Puranas" and "Devotees believe that" so perhaps you can provide an example of where belief is disguised as "fact" in the text. Also remember that within the criticism section we can add a bit of counter-criticism and mention that some Hindu gurus have denounced the caste system etc. GizzaDiscuss © 08:51, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Removed Typology

Typology section is not accurate. There are no such types of hinduism. Reference provided for the section is based on a book which is focussed on 'emotion' in religions and therefore the author classifies or differentiates Hinduism according to that context. As a result typology as suggested by the reference is not generic in nature and is stated in narrow context. I am sure there are no other refernces which support this typology of hinduism. I suggest we remove this and replace with something more reliable. Sindhian (talk) 06:34, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

the division as it stands is referenced, but that's of course only one possible approach. I agree the section needs improvements, but we do need such a broad overview at the beginning in order to embark on such a notoriously wide topic. --dab (𒁳) 11:45, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I have added this section, to demonstrate that one of the ways of looking at Vedism is a form of Vedic Hinduism. There are number of typologies of HInduism or views on Hinduism or Hinduisms, and to arrive at NPOV other opinions on it should be expressed, such as 'there is no such a thing' = possible view with attribution as well (sources? Sindian) --Wikidās ॐ 14:31, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

References section

The references section attracts dubious sectarian literature. It needs some critical review. The game is to slap a footnote on some rather pedestrian statement, citing your favourite author, and then list that author under "References". I have created a "Literature" section for monographs discussing "Hinduism" in context. For the "References" section, we need to make sure to only list works that are actually relevant as references to specific statements made in the article body. --dab (𒁳) 08:29, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I've scanned the references cited, removing clearly gratuitous, undue or dubious items. This still needs work though. Highly dubious literature is cited side by side with serious publications, without giving the reader any hint as to which is which. Let's also try to pay attention to future additions of dubious "references". --dab (𒁳) 08:53, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Etymology - A pespective

I would suggest adding the following to the article.

Some argue that the term in itself is an attempt to give one term to "that many-sided and all-enfolding culture which we in the West have chosen to call Hinduism" Jan Gonda, Visnuism and Sivaism, Munshiram Manoharlal. 1996, ISBN 812150287X p. 1. cited by Welbon, G.R. (Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 43, No. 1, 98+100. Mar., 1975.). "Love of God According to Saiva Siddhanta: A Study in the Mysticism and Theology of Saivism". Retrieved 2008-05-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Thanks Wikidās ॐ 13:48, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Kindly correct. There is nothing like 'Handu'. That is a kashmiri surname. Persians called Indus, its people and its beliefs as Hendu, the region as Hapta-Hendu. Is it a typo? Then say that the word re-entered with the Delhi Sultans. It was not coined by them. Aupmanyav (talk) 13:14, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

hard to read?

i was just interested in learning a little bit of general information about the religion but i found the introduction hard to gain information from, i thought that it was very clutterd with overly complicated words. i know i should read the whole article but like most i dont have that much time on my hands. if somebody could make the introduction a little bit easier to read and understand about what it is and its main points so that general unknowlagable people can eaisly understand it i would be greatly thankfull. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:37, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

You could try the Simple English version, though after a quick look I wouldn't say that it was much easier. -- Q Chris (talk) 15:05, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I've simplified the lead a bit. There are still some complicated sentences but your feedback on whether its readibility has improved is welcome. GizzaDiscuss © 04:47, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes that is an improvement. There is a limit to what can be done because this is a complex subject that needs comprehensive coverage. I am not sure whether an encyclopedia is the easiest way to get a little bit of general information on a topic, or even if that should be its aim. -- Q Chris (talk) 08:50, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Well I'm not sure about your second point. I think an encyclopedia is to provide general/introductory information on a topic. That is one reason why Jimbo Wales encourages students not to cite Wikipedia but to conduct their research by using detailed books, journals and reliable websites. It is also why articles such as this need to follow WP:SS. GizzaDiscuss © 12:38, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the opening needs to be changed... quite drastically... The second paragraph has two or three lines simply listing countries that have large Hindu populations... this is not only boring, but veers offtrack from discussion of Hinduism to discussion of demographics... A simple statement that the world has a billion or so Hindus, with a majority living in India and Nepal, is enough. Links or later paragraphs in the body of the article will tell aspiring sociologists where else they can look.
It's important to discuss scripture, but there's hardly any mention of the major basic tenets of Hinduism in the introduction! All I learn about Hinduism's outlook is that it has something to do with dharma, which is a vague law or set of laws. Here's an example of what I think would be better -
"Hinduism is an extremely diverse set of beliefs and practices which often defies easy categorization. However, most practitioners generally follow or accept the centrality of dharma, both practical and spiritual law or harmony, the existence of some kind of superpower or God (expressed in many forms), and a variety of means of attaining liberation/moksha from the cycle of birth and rebirth through various ritualistic Vedic, meditative and devotional yogic, and in some cases more esoteric tantric, practices."
Look, I wrote this off the cuff. But I think it does a decent job of, in one regular and one long sentence, of condensing at least the general approach of Hinduism. Add in a bit about scriptures divided into Shruti and Smriti, with the Vedas-Upanishads, the epic poems and 'histories', various sectarian Agamas or sect-specific works (like Yoga Sutras or Devi Mahatmya), and of course the Bhagavad Gita, and you're done... what say [all of] you? Am I on the right track here? What I'm offering may still be dense, but I believe it's more focused on the question of what "Hinduism" is than the current intro. -- (talk) 08:37, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
You make a good point about the demographics sentence. There have been suggestions previously that a separate demographics section be made in line with other religion articles. We could move this sentence (and add a bit more detail) to such a section, which would create space for an introduction into the key concepts in Hinduism. GizzaDiscuss © 08:37, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Reduce history and conversion and you might bring it down to 65 kb. I think it is enough to say that there are a billion in India, Nepal; perhaps we can add Mauritius with 52% hindus ( Aupmanyav (talk) 13:46, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Defamatory sentence

Following sentence is defamatory and malicious in nature. "Historically, Hinduism in the wider sense includes Brahmanism, religions that evolved from or are based on Vedism in ancient India; in a narrower sense, it encompasses the post-Buddhist religious and cultural traditions of India.[4] Among its roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India.[5]"

This sentence does not make logical sense either. First there is no such thing a Brahmanism, Word Brahmanism is a slur used by Christian evangelists for Hinduism because they try to project Hinduism as a religion of Brahmins and not the rest of the Hindu society. Similarly Vedism is also an invented word and does not make sense. Second sentense "post-Buddhist religious and cultural traditions " is even more ridiculous, since it implies that there was change in cultural traditions in india after the buddhism. I recommend removing the whole sentence as it is based on invented words like Brahmanism and Vedism with malicious intent. Sindhian (talk) 08:08, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I suggest the following as an example of insert replacing the statement above, that is not justifiable:

The term Hinduism is used as an umbrella designation for all traditions that declare allegiance to the Veda, however tenuous the actual connection with that body of writing might be, and however old or recent the particular branch might be. Hinduism is a family of religions, a vast and heterogenous tradition without a common leader, a common center or a common body of teachings. Early forms of Vedic religion are seen not as an alternative to Hinduism, but as its earliest form and there is little justification for the divisions found in much western scholarly writing between Vedism, Brahmanism, and Hinduism. (K. Klostermaier, K. "Hinduism: A Short History". Retrieved 2008-07-06. ), ("JSTOR: Philosophy East and West, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Apr., 1984 ), pp. 234-236". )

Sindhian, Let me know if this wording can be an acceptable replacement, or provide your version. Wikidās ॐ 10:32, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing this to debate. Klostermaier says "There is little justification for the divisions found in much western scholarly writing between ``Vedism, ``Brahmanism, and ``Hinduism." Which implies that words Brahmanism and Vedism are created by western and marxist scholars. In the current context this term is very controversial and considered malicious in nature as it is used to build hate against a section of Hindus (Brahmins). It is like calling catholic religion as popism or christianity as Biblism or Judiasm as Zionism(all these isms can be percieved as slurs). My understanding is that if there is a single denominator for Hinduism from ancient time to present it is the reverance in Vedas. Although all hindus believe Vedas were superceeded by Upanashids which are called Vedanta (summary of vedas or literally end of vedas). This change is important because the Upanishads were considered to explain and conclude the knowledge of Vedas. It is also incorrect to say that Hindus do not have a common leader. Advait sect which forms the bulk of Hindus have four supreme leaders in 4 different geographical regions called Shankaracharya who preside over an religious institution called maths. Simailarly Dvaits and other sects have their religious heads and institutions. Just like Christianity has different sects divided by philosophical difference over the interpretation of bible, hindus have different sects divided by interpretation of upanishads and Vedas. Therefore to keep it simple and short I would suggest replacing the paragraph with following:
The term Hinduism is used as an umbrella designation for all traditions that declare reverance to the Vedas and belief in Upanishads. Like Christianity, Hinduism as a term can can be applied to a number of religious sects which are seperated by philospohical differences over the interpretation of its holy books i.e Vedas and Upanishads (See Hindu Philosophy) Each sect may also have its own Purana not accepted by other sects. Most of the Hindu sects can be classified between monistic Advaita and theistic Dvaita schools. Sindhian (talk) 13:47, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
You said that there is a single denominator to Hinduism, yes its true. You said that all Hindus believe Vedas were superceeded by Upanashids - that is not so, some traditions are vaidic - see Shrauta. Interesting to notice how you compare Zionism with Brahmanism, not that much but it has its connotations. Actually first Moguls, were exploiting hate against brahmins because of degraded version of cast system. Theory of arian invasion and separation of Vedism into a separate religion is credit to British Raj researchers, only sometimes used by Marxists. Wikidās ॐ 14:12, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Zionists were a political movement, but these days Zionism is an anti-semitic slur used to imply the the "jewish conspiracy". Similarly brahmanism was invented by britishers and missionaries to create a rift in hindus. I also don't agree with your sentence "Moguls, were exploiting hate against brahmins". This is not true as there is no evidance of hate against brahmins in Mughal period. anti-brahminism is a missionary introduced doctrine. In any case that is not important. Most europen colonizers had a habit of magnifying the evils of their colonies. While it is true that there was castism in Indian society but one could argue that some form of castism was there in almost all developed or non tribal societies. In japan there were Samurais and Peasants and Samurai's have a record of exploiting and mistreating peasants. for example samurai had a right to kill any peasant who he felt was disrespectfull. Samurais would raid peasents and rape and pillage them.
Similarly most of the european society was divided into Nobles and peasants. There are so many movies which show the discrimination of these peasants by nobles. Sindhian (talk) 14:29, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Also Shrauta are a fringe group just like GNOSTIC CHRISTIANS, so we should not consider that as a major diviation from what I said . Sindhian (talk) 14:36, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I would still request you to remove the references to Brahmanism and Vedism. It does not make sence to use these clearly controvercial words in the headlines of a religion. definitionof Hinduism like other religions should be based on what its adherants believe it is and not what its critics believe it is. Sindhian (talk) 15:29, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Brahmanism and Vedism are just terms refering to periods of Hinduism, I agree that they many not be the best terms used. Please propose your option of the lead and we can take a vote on it. Unlike Christianity, there is much more tolerances to different schools of thought in Hinduism, which is good. Do you have a proposal? Post it here and we will have a look at it. Wikidās ॐ 16:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

If you look at the wiki article on Christianity and compare it with Hinduism you will see that Hinduism Article looks like a mess. Like Christianity, Hinduism too is a complex religion so it is impossible to put all information of hinduism in a single article. What should be covered in the main Hinduism article is only things which are common to most of the Hindu sects and are not controvercial.
I would like to contribute to this Article and try to make it better but I see it has been locked and only some editors are allowed to edit, which I feel is odd. Please give me access to the article and I can help.
Coming back to the article I don't understand the justification of the following sentence in the heading of Hinduism.
Early forms of Vedic religion are seen not as an alternative to Hinduism, but as its earliest form and there is little justification for the divisions found in much western scholarly writing between Vedism, Brahmanism, and Hinduism.[4],[5] Historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India, is at its roots.[6][7]
What is the purpose of this sentense. No body in India and most of the world thinks Vedic religion was an alternative to Hinduism. There is no such controversy at present. It is a refutation by a western historian of a erronous belief of some western historians more than 80 years back. Very few people have heard of the invented and meaningless terms of Brahmanism or Vedism.
Similarly the sentense "Hinduism is often presented as the "oldest religious tradition" among the world's major religious groups, or as "oldest living major tradition"
Why is said as "often presented"? Who is presenting it as such ? Or is it only a few people are presenting it as such and rest do not agree? Is there a controversy arround this? Is it wrong to just say "Hinduism is one of the oldest religious tradition". This is complicating a simple senten which could havebeen written as "Hinduism is one of the oldest living religious tradition".
Similarly "Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism,[21] panentheism, pantheism, monism, and atheism. It is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization.[22]" creates more confusion than provides information. This could have been written in a much simpler way Sindhian (talk) 08:48, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment page
Result pending

it does not meet the following good article attributes.

It is not well written: (a) the prose is not clear. For exapmle it says": "Hinduism is often presented as the "oldest religious tradition" among the world's major religious groups, or as "oldest living major tradition" in the lead section. therefore creates confusion about Why is said as "often presented"? Who is presenting it as such ? Or is it only a few people are presenting it as such and rest do not agree? Is there a controversy arround this? This is complicating a simple sentence which could havebeen written as "Hinduism is one of the oldest living religious tradition"

(b) it does not comply with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, jargon, words to avoid, fiction, and list incorporation For exaple it has two of the following sentenses in the lead section : Early forms of Vedic religion are seen not as an alternative to Hinduism, but as its earliest form and there is little justification for the divisions found in much western scholarly writing between Vedism, Brahmanism, and Hinduism.[4],[5] Historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India, is at its roots. This is a clear attempt to inply a POV and to introduce an unneccessary contradiction. It is not factually accurate and verifiable: For example : Other major scriptures include the Tantras, the sectarian Agamas, the Purāṇas, and the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. The Bhagavad Gītā, a treatise from the Mahābhārata, spoken by Krishna, is sometimes called a summary of the spiritual teachings of the Vedas.[14]

There is a implied POV that Tantras are more prominant than rest of the scriptures, which is incorrect. Bhagavad Gītā and Ramayana are the most prominant of other scriptures. There are a lot of other inaccuracies which need to be corrected.

It is not broad in its coverage: (a) it does not addresses the main aspects of the topic properly ;[3] and (b) it does not stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). For example "Other countries with large Hindu populations include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Canada and the USA."

What does this have to do with the topic of Hinduism and how can this be justified in the lead section of hinduism.

It is not neutral: it does not represent viewpoints fairly and without bias. For example The Grihastha Dharma recognize four goals known as the puruṣhārthas. They are:kāma: Sensual pleasure and enjoyment Artha: Material prosperity and success .

This is again an implied POV with intent of bringing disrepute. It is not stable: it has changed a lot in recent times and lot of implied POV with malicious intent are added. A group of editors have taken over the page and have stopped others from editing by locking it over.

Please see the talk page of the article. Sindhian (talk) 10:36, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

It looks that after a few edits by you we are back on track to feature article, are we? It all looks makable. Just a question of actual work of doing it? Wikidās ॐ 00:16, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
We do not exactly know about Harappan beliefs apart from Mother Goddess and the purported Pashupati. That does not seem to be Vedic in any sense. IMHO, by Harappan times, the admixture might have already taken place (taking that Aryans may have come in before 3,000 BC. We have to account for not only the Mahabharata but the 'Battle of Ten Kings' also) and the Aryans may have started worshiping local deities as they do now. Therefore it is not correct to call it 'historical Vedic religion'. I too, find it derogatory to the indigenous belief (though perhaps I may belong to the Aryan stock. Our forefathers accepted the indigenous Gods). Aupmanyav (talk) 13:33, 27 July 2008 (UTC) Aupmanyav (talk) 02:51, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Good article reassessment

Guys, I'm not sure how many of you may have seen it, but the template at the top of the page very definitely indicates that potentially the article could lose GA status. The recent additions and reversions do nothing but make the possibility of that happening increase, by indicating that the article isn't stable. I would very seriously suggest that any changes be discussed and agreed to or at least accepted by as many interested parties as possible on the talk page first. John Carter (talk) 21:19, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

If we want this article to meet GA criteria we need to ensure it meets Wikipedias criteria of NPOV. As of now too many un referenced and poorly referenced statements are being added. Untill that changes there is no point of supporting this as GA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sindhian (talkcontribs) 15:04, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
For example
Historically, Hinduism in the wider sense includes Brahmanism, religions that evolved from or based on Vedism in ancient India; in a narrower sense, it encompasses the post-Buddhist religious and cultural traditions of India.[4] Among its roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India.[5]Bold text
WP:REDFLAGThis statement is misinterpretation of a poor referenceWP:QS. The reference provided for this statement does not prove the statement and infact is a misinterpretation of the reference.

The reference Britannica Encyclopedia says "The earliest literary source for the history of Hinduism is the Rigveda, consisting of hymns that were composed chiefly during the last two or three centuries of the 2nd millennium bce. The religious life reflected in this text is not that of Hinduism but of an earlier sacrificial religious system, generally known as Brahmanism or Vedism, which developed in India among Indo-European-speaking peoples." Therefore the statemnt being pushed qualifies as WP:OR and needs to be removed. Sindhian (talk) 05:42, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

There is also an implied controversial POV that Hinduism is a religion of Brahmin casts. Reference provided for Brahmanism is wikipedia sub-article on Brahmin casts which is incorrect because Brahminism is based on Brahma (supreme God) and not brahmin caste. Please note there is an important difference between Brahman and Brahmin. Brahman is the word for Supreme God in Hinduism while as Brahmin is cast of priests in Hindus. The above statement provides a notorious twist that Hinduism is a religion of Brahmin casts by hyperlinking Brahmanism to a sub article on Brahmin casts. This statement seems to be based on slander and propaganda used by Christian evangelists to malign Hinduism. Therefore this is a defamatory sentence and qualifies as WP:UNDUE and in no way meets the guidelines of WP:NPOV.

I also want to emphasize that Britannica as a source is not neutral and is biased against non Christian eastern religions, please see [6]. Since even Britannica does not prove this sentence and there is no other independent reference to this controvercial statement. No other historian has supported this early 20th century seemingly anti-hindu POV and as a matter of fact this has been disproved by other independent western scholars [7]. Please remove this unless there is sufficient proof that this is supported by a majority of scholars from different perspectives. Sindhian (talk) 16:11, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

the GA bureaucracy has no chance of catching the issues with this article. It may be "good" on a purely formal basis, but it is very far from "good" in terms of coherence, quality of prose and expert knowledge. It is really irrelevant whether it keeps the "GA" tag, since that tag has long ago ceased to have any meaning in the first place. dab (𒁳) 09:38, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Britannica Encyclopedia

  1. Using Britannica encyclopedia as a reference is against wikipedia’s policy WP:PSTSbecause encyclopedias are considered tertiary sources. Wikipedia guideline is to use reliable secondary sources.
  2. Britannica encyclopedia also fails as a un-biased source WP:NPOV since was used for propaganda for British imperialism. Its pro-Christian and anti-eastern religion bias has been exposed and criticized by secular writers. Please see a detailed analysis.["The Lies And Fallacies Of

The Encyclopedia Britannica How Powerful And Shameless Clerical Forces Castrated A Famous Work Of Reference"] [8]

Also please see the following narrative on Britannia on Hinduism which not only proves the blatant anti-hindu bias but also uses scandalous language against hinduism. "By that time, the main divinities of later Hinduism were worshipped. Rama, the hero of the epic poem, had become the eighth avatar of Vishnu, and his cult was growing, though it was not yet as prominent as it later became. Similarly, Rama’s monkey helper, Hanuman, now one of the most popular divinities of India and the most ready helper in time of need, was rising in importance. Krishna was worshipped with his adulterous consort, Radha. Strange syncretic gods had appeared, such as Harihara, a combination of Vishnu and Shiva, and Ardhanarishvara, a synthesis of Shiva and his consort Shakti." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sindhian (talkcontribs) 07:25, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Interesting to note that some of the articles of EB that are particularly sensitive were written by selected people, such as an article on Mohhamed. But some of the articles on other religions, such as Hinduism, are not very nice and full of unacceptable expressions and not very well sourced or have some outdated ideas and sources (AIT), possibly written with some intentional disregard. The above section is a good example of it above, very very POV. It would be nice to have a consensus on not using such POV sources. Of course all editors should agree to it. Can EB as per above be one such source? I would support removing it from the RS for Hinduism related articles. Wikidās ॐ 10:36, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Besides the Wikipedia policy is not to source from encyclopedias. Please see WP:PSTS. Dab is intentianally disregarding wikipedis WP:PSTS policy by providing his own commentory on questionable source WP:OR. Untill this is removed I am going to put a disputed tag on the article. Sindhian (talk) 14:48, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
WP:RS says "Tertiary sources — compendiums, encyclopedias, textbooks, and other summarizing sources — may be used to give overviews or summaries, but should not be used in place of secondary sources for detailed discussion."--Redtigerxyz (talk) 14:05, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Delibrate attempts by Dab to push misleading POV

Dab is delibrately introducing incorrect and misleading information, For example he picked up this sentence from disputed EB ""Hinduism in a wider sense encompasses Brahmanism, a belief in the Universal Soul, Brahman; in a narrower sense it comprises the post-Buddhist, caste-ordered religious and cultural world of India" and gave it a twist of its own by removing "a belief in universal soul, Brahman" and providing hyperlink of Brahmanism to Brahmin sub cast. Implying that brahmanism is only related to brahmins.

Earlier also he introduced incorrect and WP:OR on Purusartha leading to edit war and disruption of article. He has been introducing edits and reverting edits without discussion with no regard to discussion on talk page. I believe this is high time we take this to dispute resolution as we are not making any progress with such attitude of some editors and the article has become a mess. Sindhian (talk) 15:25, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

I am sure that brahmanism as a term relates to brahmans as a varna, it has nothing to do with Brahman, except that the definition of the true brāhmaṇa is one who knows Brahman. Should or should we not include a reference to it another thing, but for the neutral POV I think we should, since that is something that people will read in older academic texts that talk about Hinduism. It should be noted however that the term should not be misused, as the caste system was entirely different or absent back then, and a more flexible varnasrama system was in place that spanned across not only Hinduism but also Jainism, Mahayana etc.Wikidās ॐ 16:59, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I object strongly to the latest edit of the introductory paragraphs. Encyclopedia Britannica though it may be, the sentence implies that only caste-centered belief systems are Hindu post-Vedic era! That's simply not true! In Hinduism were birthed Yogic, Tantric, and Bhakti-based belief systems which well before the last few centuries were disavowing caste... even the Upanishads questioned and at points outright condemned caste as a social construct. I will edit out this sentence if it isn't gone in the next day or two following some thoughtful debate. -- (talk) 14:50, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think Dab is trying to push PoV, but yes, I'd definitely say that his knowledge about India's history is superficial (pseudo or placeboic, if you may). Casteism is definitely not the one and only aspect of Hinduism, but unfortunately westerners pin this attribute as the single most important aspect of Hinduism. At the risk of sounding communal, I daresay that of all religions, Hinduism is the richest and most advanced in philosophy and spirituality. This is, of course, because it is a pagan faith. It is closest to Human instinct much like the other natural inclinations to be polygamous and capitalistic.

Even in India, "secular" people (read:Hindu bashers) like Barkha Dutt, Arundhati Roy, M J Akbar,Amartya Sen and Communist parties are quite opportune to denounce India's largest faith as merely a casteist cult, if not anything lesser. Back in wikipedia, we have greats like Shri. Sindhutvavadin who are of the same stock. Indian_Air_Force (IAF) (talk) 19:43, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Conventional western thinking assumes that all things can be and must be dissected, compartmentalized, and labeled in order for it to be understood. Hinduism by nature defies dissection, compartmentalization, and labeling and hence difficult to understand in the west and remains one of the least understood and most mislabeled entities in the west. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:27, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Call Dab & Cos sometimes factually questionable edits, pseudo-elitism. Trips (talk) 06:26, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Going back to the original topic of the section, if what you say about the EB definition is correct, then the Brahmanism link should go to Brahman and not to Brahmin. If there are other sources that use the term Brahmanism in that way then the Brahmanism disambiguation page can also mention this point. GizzaDiscuss © 11:02, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Please have a look at the links and verify for your self. I also have a book from Dr. Radhkrishnan and could not find the phrase "Evil and error are not ultimate. There is no Hell, for that means there is a place where God is not, and there are sins which exceed his love" Could the person suggesting that provide the page number Sindhian (talk) 14:46, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

A new section - perspectives and definitions

Instead of fighting I propose new section that will first summaries view of traditionalists (Hinduism as defined by Hindus) and then a number of other views (Hinduism defined by others in all its variety). When reading World Religions Reader, Gwilym Beckerlegge pp. 205-208 as well other sources it became very clear - there is a commonly accepted view, that it is hard to define Hinduism. This notion in itself needs a separate section. No use call others trolls (some actions can be trollish of course), more important is to reach NPOV on such an important subject and include all valid perspectives. What perspectives are not NPOV? Lets compare them. Wikidās ॐ 13:51, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Please also understand that there is an agenda against Hinduism from British imperialists, Christian evangelist and communists. Can we use a al-azhar university scholars as a reference for Christianity. Al-azhar university has number of scholars every year declaring Christianity as Polytheistic and idolatrous. Why should we therefore take western and imperialistic scholars seriously on Hinduism? Sindhian (talk) 15:32, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I guess because some of them a practicing Hindus? Would that be good for you? But would you care to gather definitions of the Hindusims from reliable sources, that you are happy with? Wikidās ॐ 16:34, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Swaminaryan says Shri Krishna is God

I have moved a the last few comments here. Wikidās ॐ 15:18, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Dr. Radhakrishnan's comments

Wikidās ॐ, thanks for removing the encyclopedia Britannica crap from the lead. However I feel that the following comments attributed to Radhakrishnan should be added back into the lead:[Special:Contributions/|]] (talk) 08:35, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Hinduism is not just a faith. It is the union of reason and intuition that can not be defined but is only to be experienced. Evil and error are not ultimate. There is no Hell, for that means there is a place where God is not, and there are sins which exceed his love.[1]

That quotation does not represent the beliefts of all Hindus. It is the view of one sect that has no place anywhere on this article. It is better to put that on Radhakrishnan's article. That quotation suggests there is no concept of hell and Hinduism is entirely monotheistic, which is wrong. It still has more value on the Bhagavad Gita article but it no way should it be added here. GizzaDiscuss © 07:05, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
When you say "It is the view of one sect" which sect are you referring to? The view that there is no (permanent) heaven/hell in Hinduism (as in the case of Christianity/Islam) is pretty much a universal concept within Hinduism - that is what salvation is all about: being free from cycle of birth/death, heavenly pleasures, or hellish torture and uniting with God/Brahman. (talk) 07:32, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Along with Ramakrishnan's comments, the following might be helpful as well. (talk) 08:35, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Hindus can't conceive of a hell in the Christian sense either, a place from which God has withdrawn his grace. To Hindus God is literally omnipresent. How could there be any place in any dimension of any world where God isn't present? Hell worlds do exist in Hinduism, ... They are temporary states in which disembodied souls undergo expiation and purification

— Linda Johnsen, Idot's Guide to Hinduism, page 154

It is said experiences of heaven and hell are experienced in the existing birth itself, depending one's past karmas which could be good or bad. (auspicious or inauspicious) which Buddha termed as 'Kushal and Akushala'. There seems to be to no heaven or hell, but these are merely nomeclations of conditions, but not of places

— Shiv Sharma, Brilliance of Hinduism, page 129

According to Shanoo Bijlani [2] in Hinduism, unlike Christianity and Islam, heaven is not a final destination. It is a halfway place where one enjoys oneself for a while before being reborn again on earth. The final aim is to attain moksha, freedom from transmigration

— Prof Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD, After Death Heaven or Hell? [9]

Only during human form can one accumulate good deeds than eventually lead to the liberation called moksha that stops the cycle. Good karma and bad karma do not cancel out each other and hence every one has to face consequences of all their actions. Hindus believe in haven and hell but think of it as temporary place before the soul is either united with the Supreme-being or returned to earth as another life form.

— Dr. Thayumanasamy Somasundaram, Hinduism's view on Dying, Death, & Grief page 2 [10]

Hindus maintain that heaven and hell are neither physical places, nor they are eternal. There is no thought of eternal hell in Hindu scriptures...There is no hell, but there is as we may speak, a purgatory (spiritual clinic) a temporary place in the astral world where souls low on the scale of spiritual development are required to remain for some time in order to be purified before they proceed forward to the higher regions of the astral world.

— Bansi Pandit
I find it appealing that the vast majority of Hindus do not accept the nonsensical concept of eternal hell (besides Madhvas sect, which is a rather large Vaishnava group that interprets 16th chapter of the Gita differently with perp. hell notion). However there is a concept of hells! Yes Hinduism is monotheistic from the point of view of Radhakrishnan, so maybe chopping it up and linking to Radhakrishnans page would be good. I just thought that we need to have discussion and consensus on this addition. (I have no objection to Radhakrishnan, since he was, after all, formally initiated by an acharya in line of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati.) So as far as the consensus I would stand by Gizza's view that Radhakrishnans definition should be left in the lead. Wikidās ॐ 10:27, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Radhakrishna's comment is blatantly false. Both the Shiva Purana and Bhagavata Purana conceive of hell, for punishment, presided by Yama. Yes, But Madhva followers also had the greatest impact in Vaishnavism; it was their followers who brought on the Vaishnavite bhakti movement. Ramananda and Chaityana et al were inspired by the earlier Madhva bhakti movement in the south!

Raj2004 (talk) 13:01, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

I think you should read what the quote said: "No Hell (capital not hell or hells)" ie "No place where god is not". - that is the same as to say that there is no Hell of Abrahamic religions. Hells in Bhagavata and Shiva P.s are temporary and are short term. Completely different from Christian Hell. So its not blatantly false is it? It is your reading of it, but yes perpetual damnation is an accepted existence for tama-yogins of Dvaitas. Ramananda and Chaitanya did not borrow this theory of hell and it is usually shown as an example of exception to what is believed in Hinduisms (which was just the 180 degrees of what Sankaracharya said:-) as you would expect from Madhvacharya). Wikidās ॐ 13:10, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Wikidas, I agree that hell is temporary but to say no hell is false. You may have misinterpreted me. Only Madhva followers believe in eternal hell. However, Madhva followers were major players in the Vaishnavite bhakti movement, especially in Karnataka. They may have influenced Ramananda and Chaitayana. Ramananda was inspired by Ramanuja

Hope this clarifies.

Raj2004 (talk) 13:22, 2 August 2008 (UTC) Yes it does. I have no further comments, but I would suggest that this reference (as reference not as quote) used in the section that talks on different views on what Hinduism is and how it is defined by different prominent hindu Philosophers or scholars. Wikidās ॐ 13:28, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Improving Lead Section


I see we have made some significant progrss in the lead section. To improve it further I suggest we remove the sentense "Other countries with large Hindu populations include Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States."

This sentense is unnecessary in the lead section. I don't mind if we move it somewhere down in the article but it cannot be justified in the lead section because a. It talks about Hindu poulation and not Hinduism b. The irrelevance of this sentense is one of the reasons suggested for good article reassesment. c. It is irrelevant to the topic and does not meet wikipedia criteria for lead Section as it does not establish context nor does it provide an overview of the article. Please see WP:LEAD Sindhian (talk) 10:51, 4 August 2008 (UTC) 08:41, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


Too many scriptures are mentioned in the lead section. I suggest we replace the following sentense

"Among these texts, the Vedas and the Upanishads are the foremost in authority, importance and antiquity. Other major scriptures include the Tantras, the Agamas, the Purāṇas and the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. The Bhagavad Gītā, a treatise from the Mahābhārata, spoken by Krishna, is sometimes called a summary of the spiritual teachings of the Vedas.[10] "

With "Among these texts, the Vedas and the Upanishads are the foremost in authority, importance and antiquity. The Bhagavad Gītā, a treatise from the Mahābhārata, spoken by Krishna, is sometimes called a summary of the spiritual teachings of the Vedas"Sindhian (talk) 08:41, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Dharmic Religion

In order to establish the context of Hinduism with other indian religions, it is important to add following to the lead section: "Hinduism is classified as one of the Dharmic Religions as it shares its core fundamental beliefs of Dharma, Karma, Rebirth and Moksha with Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism"Sindhian (talk) 08:41, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

It is good to mentioned the similarities between Hinduism with Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism but the phrase "Dharmic religion" is a neologism. It is better to go staight to the point and perhaps also say that all four religions originated on the subcontinent, because that is more informative. GizzaDiscuss © 08:49, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes I agree "Dharmic Religions" is a neologism but it is as much a neologism as the term "Abrahmic Religions". These terms have been in use for at least 15 years. In fact the two terms were created almost at the same time in order to classify different religions and has therefore become a important term. Since wikipedia is using the term "Abrahmic Religion" it should also use "Dharmic Religions". "Dharmic Religions" is now a very commonly used and established term. A Google search on the term throws up 15,300 pages. Hundreds of books written by respected authors have a reference to the term. Most important in the absence of any other term to define the genre of these religions we have no choice but to use it. I also do not see any controversy surrounding the term. Besides most of the other encyclopedias have already accepted and included the term.
Although all four religions originated in the subcontinent (which I feel is less important) more intresting fact from the perspective of classification is to show how these four different religions are related in terms of their fundamentals. Just like Abrahmic religions major fundamentals of "Dharmic Religions" are the same but each religion differs in interpretations. The fundamentals in this case being the concepts of Dharma, Karma, rebirth and Moksha. Sindhian (talk) 10:32, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Well currently Dharmic Religion redirects to Indian religion. Even though Indian religion is misleading because for example, Buddhism is no longer prevalent in India, it is still a more common term than Dharmic. The thing is essentially Dharmic means religion that comes from India. Yes all of these religions have the concept of "Dharma" but it had different meanings in each religion. In Hinduism it often means duty whereas in Jainism it means behaviour and conduct. The important thing is to say all four religions came from Asia (not in the modern sense, but South Asia of course). IMO that explains to the reader why they are grouped together as Dharmic Religions. GizzaDiscuss © 11:15, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Unlike Abrahmic religions where the core fundamental is the worship of monotheistic personal god and righteous conduct is secondary, in Dharmic religions the core fundamental is to to follow the righteous path or Dharma, worship of god or any other diety is secondary. Yes every Dharmic religion has its own interpretation of what Dharma is although they all seem to agree on doctrines of Moksha, Karma and Rebirth. For example the gods worshipped by Thais are different from gods worshipped by Cylon buddhists even though they belong to the same Theravada sect (based on their common interpretation of Dharma). Unlike in Abrahmic religions sects in Dharmic religions are not based on Gods they worship but how they interpret Dharma. Sindhian (talk) 11:28, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Sindhian is aboslutely right when he says usage of "Dharmic religion" is as common as the usage of "abrahamic religions. See (European Informational website).Major religions are classified as Abrahamic,Dharmic & Taoic . -"Dharmic religions are a family of religions having a theology and philosophy centered on the concept of Dharma. All Dharmic religions have their roots in India, and they are of the most influence across the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and South East Asia. The main Dharmic religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and there is a close interrelationship among them." -Bharatveer (talk) 11:22, 4 August 2008 (UTC)Bharatveer (talk) 11:26, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Sourcing references from Colonial era Western Historians

It is generally well established that colonial era historians had an agenda in distorting or diminishing Hinduism. I therefore request caution in using those historians as primary or secondary source. I would suggest that prominance should be given to Hindu sources like Bagvat Gita where the Hindu theology has been clearly defined. Sindhian (talk) 15:01, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

BTW why am I now restricted from editing the main article. Sindhian (talk) 15:01, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

New section

I have added a section that is supposed to resolve the many misunderstandings and editwars on the lead. It related to Definition of Hinduism. [11] It is a rather large section, but I believe its necessary to add the depth to what we are talking about. I would welcome and very much appreciate if other editors can look at it and provide input by as many constructive edits as possible in this new section. Wikidās ॐ 11:37, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

We definitely do not need to include a "Christian" view of/comparison with Hinduism since it assumes that the reader has some knowledge of Christianity. Thus it is very WP:POV. Such information can go to appropriate comparison of religion pages like Hinduism and other religions. Also I see no purpose in having a politician's view of Hinduism (Jawaharlal Nehru). He is not an expert in the field and his opinion deserves no more weight than any of ours. The other quotes on Hinduism are better suited at Wikiquote. I think the remaining information, which is valuable, should go to the lead because a lot of it summarises the religion's core notions. If some of it is too detailed for the lead, it can be moved to the beliefs section, which is just below it at the moment. GizzaDiscuss © 11:59, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with DaGizza, there is no confusion or contradiction on defining Hinduism. Hinduism is a well defined religion and well understood by its followers. The only problem occurs when people try to frame it into a set of dogmas. Hinduism like all eastern religions and unlike Abrahmic religions cannot be defined in a set of dogmas. This is the root cause of confusion for SOME western scholars in defining hinduism. Therefore please refrain from bringing in a new controversy which is implying the western POV that "hinduism being a pagan religion is obfuscated religion". This is not supported by most of the independent scholars who have found Hinduism a philosophically rich religion. Besides your section is too long and does not deserve the top section. Any reader who is new to Hinduism will leave confused and bewildered after reading your section. This section does not do justice to anything or any oneSindhian (talk) 12:23, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with DaGizza, that Christianity is NOT a starting point of such definition and should be removed in this terms. I will remove this quote from Nehru, it appears to be diminishing, so that is agreed... even it was used by academics. However the principle of the WP:LEDE is that is summarizing the article, not the religion. So in order to have a summary you need to have the body that you want to summarize. Lead is already tagged as it should be rewritten.
I have already asked Sindhian to provide some reliable or at least the likes of Hinduism today quote confirming that there is no confusion on what Hinduism is. I guess the key here is Sanatana Dharma. Some scholars compare it with Jainism or Buddhism and say its close to Judaism (also being old traditions). We really need a definition that does not frame Hinduism in the set of dogmas. Any definition you found that is not OR? J Gonda had a nice definition but I can not locate it now. Wikidās ॐ 12:40, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Wikidas, to start with such a long section on definition is not justified as it takes away the focus on main topic. I request you to prune the section to non controvercial information only. Please add the following to your section. Sindhian (talk) 14:12, 4 August 2008 (UTC) {{editsemiprotected}}

Hinduisms comprehensive tolerance of difference in belief and its dogmatic openness makes it difficult to define it as a religion according to 'Western Conceptions" [2] According to Max Weber, doctrine of Karma constitutes perhaps the only dogma of Hinduism. Sindhian (talk) 14:10, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

I have put the section Talk:Hinduism/Definitions for review and you can mark it up as much as you want. I honestly do not understand why you can not edit the mainspace. Wikidās ॐ 00:07, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Because from what I can see your new section is going to require a lot of discussion and rework before it would be stable. People may not want to constantly edit/reedit each others changes in the actual article. I suggest we remove this section from the main article until it is at a point where it can be reintroduced into the main article. (talk) 07:12, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
To start with I would suggest you make the new section less verbose, more coherent, and determine few main items that the new section should address. Currently, the new section seems to be bouncing around quite a bit. No need to mention "religious tradition" since it has already been mentioned in the lead. No need to mention "Vice President of India" since Hinduism is older than "Vice President of India" and the title does not give any credibility to anyone in regards to Hinduism, and so on... Also, I think the section is better titled "Shape & Form" rather than "Definitions". It will be easier to explain general "Shape & Form" of Hinduism rather than "Definitions" of Hinduism which may or may not exist. But its a good starting point. (talk) 07:25, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, if something is mentioned in the article already, it does not need to be mentioned again the new section. (talk) 07:47, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I read the new section twice and from what I can see it needs to be completely rewritten. Sorry :-( I suggest removing it from the main article first. (talk) 07:49, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
The section is essential for article stability, more specific for the stability of the lead section. With the page being protected from trolls and unexperienced editors, as it should be the page will be very stable. I can not see the article being unstable, the lead note should go as its not a bad lead at present. Wikidās ॐ 08:55, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
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