I’m hindu but do a lot of catholic prayers. I believe hinduism and been catholic is very similiar. does anyone else believe this
hopeless, can’t say I’ve had much thought on this idea, but maybe you’ll find this article interesting:
When C.S. Lewis was converted from atheism, he shopped around in the world’s religious supermarket and narrowed his choice down to Hinduism or Christianity. Religions are like soups, he said. Some, like consomme, are thin and clear (Unitarianism, Confucianism, modern Judaism); others, like minestrone, are thick and dark (paganism, “mystery religions”). Only Hinduism and Christianity are both “thin” (philosophical) and “thick” (sacramental and mysterious). But Hinduism is really two religions: “thick” for the masses, “thin” for the sages. Only Christianity is both.
I’m not terribly up on Hinduism, but I THINK I know a few fundamental differences.
Christianity believes in ONE God who is eternal, omniscient, omnipotent. Noone else has ever or will ever acheive ‘godhood’ in the sense of actual divinity. He is not a force or a concept or an amalgom of consciousnesses. He is an actual being.
Christians know that we only get one lifetime shot at it. No reincarnation. Judgement is based on what we do with what we are given (drastically simplified explanation).
Christianity declares the equal dignity and worth of EVERY human being. No caste system. Similarly, christianity declares the uniqueness of humanity as compared to the rest of creation. The most wretched human is worth more than the best of cows!
I’d have to say “no”. The theology is very different.
I think there are many truths in Hinduism because if there were not truths there what reason would anyone have to follow it.
My understanding of hinuism is limited, but as far as I see:
Dharma(Ethics) - Works
Actions are critical to Catholics. If we reject Christ through our actions, especially how we treat others, He will reject us. Underlying this is a recognition of a right action and a wrong action. Dharma is based on the fact that there are right actions and wrong actions.
Karma - Effects
As Catholics we believe sin naturally bears rotten fruit. The principle of Karma recognizes that actions have natural results. (Where some philosophies take it beyond that is a different matter.)
Oneness of the Divine - God is one
Many Hindu sects hold that the diety has a sense of Oneness (Brahman?) Core to Catholics is God is one. Now many Hindus take things further than that, but the oneness of God is the only logical answer to the following proof of existence of God from causality.
Devas - Angels
Celestial beings with certain tasks and duties.
Avatar - Jesus
Its a far strech to comapre Jesus, the Infinite I AM to any of the avatars, but the principle of the divine assuming corpreal form IS Christianity
There are many more things that are similar: Feasts, festivals, pilgrimages, some devotions, funeral obligations, etc.
At the same time its difficult to say Hindus believe this because there are so many different Hindu sects. As we have one faith with one head it is easier to say Catholics belive ABC.
India was a great nexus of cultures and religions. As religions passed through things that seemed true appealed to people. It was man looking for God. As a Catholic my religion is God looking for, reaching out to man. Our religion is one where man forsake God, but God kept calling man back to him, and ultimately in Jesus brought divinity to flesh and man into the divine. (Note this is not making us everyday humans the immortal God, rather He allows up to participate in His divine life.)
The underlying theology is very different. But there are many similarities between Hindusim and Catholicism because man is given that desire from God to seek Him, seek the truth.
So do many versions of Hinduism, although they think this God can take on many forms.
Noone else has ever or will ever acheive ‘godhood’ in the sense of actual divinity. He is not a force or a concept or an amalgom of consciousnesses.
This is a rather caricatured version of Hinduism. Do not take your impression of Hinduism as a whole from Western “New Age” thinking.
- Christians know that we only get one lifetime shot at it. No reincarnation. Judgement is based on what we do with what we are given (drastically simplified explanation).
This is definitely one of the main differences.
- Christianity declares the equal dignity and worth of EVERY human being. No caste system.
True, but traditional Christian society was very hierarchical and taught that each person expressed their human dignity by living according to the particular way of life appropriate to their station. This is very similar to the Hindu concept of “dharma.” Again, the reincarnation issue does make a big difference, since differences in caste are seen as resulting from one’s actions in a previous life, giving Hindu hierarchy a spiritual value that orthodox Christianity has never granted.
Similarly, christianity declares the uniqueness of humanity as compared to the rest of creation. The most wretched human is worth more than the best of cows!
Certainly Christians emphasize the differences between humans and other creatures more, but in Hinduism rebirth as a human is a very desirable thing–it’s certainly better to be a human than a cow.
This is not meant to be a theological statement in any way, but my experience is that Hinduism led me to Catholicism.
As a young woman I was involved with someone who was studying comparative religions, in particular Hinduism. We went to the Hari Krishna temples and other Hindu temples in the city where we lived, and then we went to live for a year in India.
What touched me about those experiences was a profound sense of the sacred, a respect for god-hood, a devotion to a higher, divine reality than permeated the everyday in a way that totally overwhelmed anything that I had experienced in the West. Again, I’m not talking about particular theological or philosophical approaches which in Hinduism are as numerous as there are stars in the sky, but about the sensation of worship; the sound, the smells, the images, the color, the respect for something Other (which for me translated to covering my head with the pallu of a sari most of the time). And finally, in Hinduism there’s an appreciation of the feminine through Goddess worship, which for some reason was important to my vision of myself.
Some years later, back in the West, when my relationship with this person disintegrated (he was real creep!!), I realized I needed God again. I was in a small town with no Hindu temple, and I was willing to give Christ a try. The only Christian church that made any sense to me after my experiences was the Catholic church; especially because when you looked around, it was the only place you could find a female face (the blessed mother); the only church where the male/female aspects seemed balanced somehow. The smells, the reverence, the recited prayers in unison…it was familiar and yet it became so much more as I got to know Jesus Christ.
I loved my experiences in India and I know I was “taught” by them (by the Holy Spirit no less!), but nothing compares to truly knowing Christ and His Church through the teachings of the magisterium and the Sacraments. I encourage you to continue your prayers and to get know Him who is Lord of All, and whose coming makes us sons and daughters of God - our true home is Heaven. Rejoice!
My dad would probably call himself a Zen-Catholic.
He is devout and prayerful and sometimes meditates with Buddhists.