Jeninne Lee-St. John, a writer at Time.com, unnecessarily mentions about Hindus and takes a dig at us that we are confused about how the world was created. In Jeninne Lee-St. John’s words – Confused about how Hindus believe the world was created? (So are they; the religion has no single canon and there are many, sometimes conflicting, origin stories.)
Yes! Hinduism has no single canon and there are many and some are conflicting this is because we are fiercely independent and we believe that each individual is a part of the Supreme Being and has the freedom and right to think about creation and origin and discuss it and write about it. The thought of two individuals can never be the same, if it is expressed without fear and favor. Our ancient seers did not impose an idea, but they sat under a tree and discussed it and you can find those discussions in the Upanishads.
Now why did Jeninne Lee-St. John write about Hindus? The writer was introducing a new website (Patheos.com), which explains the differences among religions as well as illuminate the areas of common ground. So when Jeninne mentioned about Hindus, I naturally thought the new website might have explained about Hinduism and its concept of origin.
But the website Patheos.com is yet to publish any content related to Hinduism.
So why was Hinduism used by Jeninne in the article, it is simple – make fun or spread misinformation about Hinduism, you are not answerable or accountable; in fact you will gain few supporters for mudslinging Hindu religion.
Patheos.com website has content on Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant Mainline but the writer was not interested in taking an example from these religions. We can understand the limitations!!!
Such irresponsible comments in not limited to this particular website or newspaper. Editors and writers of some of the most famous and popular newspapers in United States, Britain and Europe writes about Hinduism without any proper research. Most are still influenced by derogatory Christian missionary writings and teachings on Hinduism.
So Time.com and Jeninne Lee-St. John here is what Hinduism thinks how the world was created?
The languages used by human beings are not powerful enough to talk about origin etc. To be fair there is nothing called creation or origin. Creation or origin happens when the creator stands aloof. But for us Hindus, the creator is present in everything.
The nature of the Absolute Reality (Brahman) cannot be satisfactorily talked about or discussed. It can only be experienced within the depth of one’s own being. (Yoga Vasishta VI-b: 31-37)
We Hindus believe in Brahman (the Supreme Soul – the Supreme Being). It is present in all animate and inanimate. We cannot imagine Brahman and Brahman is beyond definition. It has no beginning and end. All that is here is That! Past, present and future is Brahman.
It is neither a being nor a non-being nor anything between the two. It is nothing, yet everything. It cannot be grasped by the mind and expressed in words. It is empty of all possible contents, yet is the deepest of all enjoyments. (Yoga Vaishta III 119-23)
We do not call Brahman as He or She but That – The greatest saying in Hinduism is "Tattvamasi" (thou art that).
It is the limitation of human mind that gives form to Brahman and each individual has the freedom to give a form to Brahman. Remember, Brahman is in that form but is not limited to it.
Before knowing Brahman, every being – himself being Brahman – is really already identical with the Totality. But ignorance superimposes on every being the idea that he is not Brahman, that he is not the Totality! (Adi Shankaracharya)
So what we human beings call as origin or creation is a minute play in Brahman.We all begin and end in it. There is no separate existence from that. All that we feel and discuss and talk as origin and creation are mere transformations.
By knowing Brahman there is a falling off of all fetters; when the sufferings are destroyed, there is cessation of birth and death. By meditating on Brahman, there is the third state; on the dissolution of the body, universal lordship; oneness with Ishavara (Brahman). (Shvetasvatara Upanishad I.11)
To know about Hinduism, approach it without prejudice and by dropping the ego. It will not impose its teachings on you; yes it will invite you for a discussion on equal terms.