i want to learn more about hinduism. where do i start? the christians have the bible that explains the teaching and story of jesus etc what is the hindu equivalent. what are the basics that every hindu should know about there religion:-

Answer:-

<1>
Start with the books those are normally used by every Hindu i.e. Geeta and RamacharitManasa by TulsiDas. Also understand the following point carefully if you are going to know hinduism.
1)God is one.
2)God is omnipresent in every part of this universe.
3)This world came into the existence from him as the spider takes out the web from its own body in the same way God took out this world of Maya inside him.
4)God is present in our heart in the form of soul.
5)Every great person is an embodiment of God on this earth and we should worship his sculpture because this is how we give respect to God.
6)Nature gives us everything. So we should preserve and worship some sacred creations of nature (River, trees, cows).
7)Tapasya and meditation is the way of spiritual growth that is infinite. You Tapasya and Dhyaan can make you a divine soul like Brahma,Vishnu and Shiva. Even these three are doing tapasya and dhyaan for doing their work of creation, preservation and destruction.

Having been perfect in above mentioned, you can go ahead with Puranas, upanishadas, Aranyakas, Brahmanas and Finally Vedas.

<2>
For a beginner, read any or all of the lectures and books of Swami Vivekananda. He was a monk who came to America at the turn of the century and was received joyfully by thousands of people because his words were beautiful and his thoughts were revolutionary to the Christian mind. He was the toast of the Parliament of Religions, where the organizers would save his lecture to the last so that the audience would stay through the whole thing just to hear him.

When you progress, read Sankara and Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita. There are many translations. Here are the books I like:
The Bhagavad Gita translated by Yogi Ramcharaka.
Sankara's Crest Jewel of Discrimination translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood
Patanjali's How To Know God, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood.

<3>(BEST ANSWER as per user's)
Friend, Hinduism is a way of thinking, way of worship and way of life.
If you join any International Krishna Consciousness Organization nearby, those people will guide you properly in this matter. For this you need not change your original religion/faith. It can not be studied in schools or colleges or universities. You can read Maxmuller's literature for your information, but still for practical experience, you join ISCON.

<4>
I think to learn Hinduism you have to experience this religion not only by reading books but also by practicing it and the main advantage of this religion is you don't have to convert ,because Hinduism is a human way of living....i am not boasting this is true.

<5>
First know thy Self as the blissful Atma, which is not seperate from the energy of God. Without knowing the Self any knowledge is useless.

Secondly Hinduism doesn't judge and condemn us to eternal hell. It is based on unity, union of one's soul with eternal soul of God. It has one's karma as the cause.

<6>
Scriptures are indispensable to all religions. Followers of all important religions may said to be more familiar with their sacred books than with their kith and kin. But the case of Hindu is different. Among the followers of different faiths, a Hindu is bewildered with regard to this question. He does not know which book he may term his scripture. If a mention is made of the Vedas, he confesses he has never had a occasion to see or handle such books, let alone the question of getting acquainted with their contents. Many a Hindu may mention this or that as his sacred book from which he draws inspiration and guidance. This dilemma is due to the immensity of the Hindu scriptures.

The popular conviction is that the Vedas are both direct and indirect source of all the sacred books pertaining to Hinduism. Several portions of the Vedas have said to become extinct in the March of time. But the cream of the Vedas is the Upanishads which have been piously guarded against extinction and mutilation. All the philosophies in India derive their inspiration and authority from these Upanishads.

Classification of the contents of the Upanishads goes by the name of Brahma Sutra or Vedanta Sutra and known as Vedanta Philosophy around the world. The dictum of Vedanta Philosophy is complex and incomprehensible and without a Guru or commentary difficult to follow.

Unlike the Vedas and the Upanishads the position of Shrimad Bhagawad Gita is different. It is the essence of the Upanishads, not in the sense that it is all condensed, but in the sense that Vedanta Philosophy is made easy for understanding. One who has studied and understood Shrimad Bhagawad Gita may be have said to have understood the cardinal teachings of Vedanta Philosophy that is Hinduism.









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