Want to learn all about Hinduism, the world's oldest and third-largest religion? Like actually understand what karma is? Or what dharma means? Do you want to know what the sacred texts of Hinduism are? Or, maybe, you just want to know why Hindu women wear a dot on their forehead? Or, perhaps, if all Hindus vegetarian? If so, then All About Hinduism is just what you’ve been waiting for. We’ll give you an overview of Hinduism as a lived and contemporary spiritual path. We’ll explore the history of how Hinduism has come to be what it is today: the third-largest and oldest religious tradition in the world.
We’ll also clear up some of the misconceptions out there about Hinduism, as well as unflinchingly address some of the more contentious issues in Hinduism’s past and present. Hosted by Mat McDermott and brought to you by the Hindu American Foundation.
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We've got to talk about caste
27:21Caste is one of the most complicated and misunderstood concepts encountered when attempting to understand India and Hinduism. Yet caste and a so-called caste system have become the singular focus of how Indian and Hindu society and culture are seen by the West — and increasingly being focused on by activists within the diaspora. Sources:German Indology, Aryanism, and Anti-Semitism, by Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep BagcheeThe Indian Caste System and The British – Ethnographic Mapping and the Construction of the British Census in India, by Kevin HobsonThe Brahmin, the Aryan, and the Powers of the Priestly Class: Puzzles in the Study of Indian Religion, by Marianne Keppens and Jakob De RooverCaste Confusion and Census Enumeration in Colonial India, 1871–1921 by Kevin Walby and Michael HaanCensus in Colonial India and the Birth of Caste by Padmanabh SamarendraEthnographic inquiry in colonial India: Herbert Risley, William Crooke, and the study of tribes and castes by C.J. Fuller‘Untouchable’: What is in a Name?, by Simon CharsleyScheduled Castes vs. Caste Hindus: About a Colonial Distinction and Its Legal Impact, by Jakob de Roover Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
We’ve got to talk about the word Aryan
18:26If you think of Nazis, white supremacists, the Holocaust, a rabble of Fred Perry-wearing white dudes marching in Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Jews will not replace us”, we don’t blame you. If your primary source of knowledge about India is your average high school textbook or mass market travel guideyou might also conjure up images of a group of light-skinned Aryans invading India in the hoary past and subjugating the darker skinned people already living there, the invaders imposing their beliefs and culture. In this episode we explain to you the connection between those two sets of imagery and how both are hugely off the mark. Related: That's So Hindu interview with Professor Lavanya Vemsani Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
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What are the yamas and niyamas?
14:34Hinduism’s most basic ethical foundation — its guidelines, observances, and practices for living — are called yama and niyama. As most generally expressed, there are five of each. The yamas are often described as principles, while the niyamas are often called practices or observances. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
What is reincarnation?
9:46The cycle of reincarnation — birth, death, and rebirth — is called samsara. It is the process through which individual divine consciousness or souls, for lack of better word, repeatedly take on a physical body through being born on Earth. Though these physical bodies die, each immortal soul continues to exist, until being reincarnated again and again, in a process of spiritual evolution and development. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
What karma is, and isn't
9:46Despite the fact that the word karma is arguably one of the most common Hindu concepts to have entered into casual usage in the Western world, it's a much understood topic, both overly complicated and sometimes overly simplified. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
What is dharma?
15:56One-word English translations of dharma provided by scholars are numerous. Law, duty, custom, religion, path are all regularly used. But none of those singularly hold together the multifaceted nature of the word, the many ways in which it’s used. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
What are the main Hindu rites of passage and sacraments?
12:40Every culture marks moments in human life in some way. We honor and recognize those points where our experience of and place in society moves, through a doorway, passing from one room, as it were, to the next. In doing so, in making that passage, we become changed. In Hinduism these rites of passage, these sacraments, are called samskāra. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Are all Hindus vegetarian?
15:10Hindu scripture is replete with passages supporting vegetarian diet. In practice less than half of all Hindus are fully vegetarian. In this episode we explore why that is, the Hindu environmental case for vegetarianism, and a dharmic perspective on veganism. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.