On Hinduism.

Recently I have found myself converting from atheism to Hinduism, yet I still remain an atheist. Hinduism is one of the oldest traditions, and it’s more of a philosophy than a religion. To be Hindu, you can choose to believe in one god, several, or none.

I see the Universe as a god itself, though not supernatural. I can’t help but marvel at the complexity and beauty of it all. In Hinduism, it is believed that the godhead is expressed in many different forms, yet all are ONE. Similar to the trinity, yet so vastly different.

Here are some reasons why I found Hinduism particularly appealing:
(this is from a wonderful article I read about Hindu - Pm for links :slight_smile: )

  1. The embracing of women. It is the only religion where the godhead is expressed in both male and female forms. Women are encouraged, not repressed! This is very different from other religions, where women are repressed and considered subservient to men. It’s absolutely mind-boggling that Hinduism, born thousands of years before Christianity are giving women equality.

  2. Inclusiveness: Talking about religions being out of step with present values - if you were a hiring manager and refused to hire someone because of their religion, in most countries you would be hauled into court and jailed! Yet some religions teach that their god does exactly the same thing! He runs heavens limited to members of his religion only! You could be a Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, but there is no room in his heaven for you. Hinduism teaches us that character matters! All good people can be enlightened.

  3. Fear of God: Hindus who come in contact with other religions have come to hear these words, which are absent in Hinduism. How did this fear originate? It started with Primitive man. Living in caves more like animals, they would hear thunder and lightning from the dark clouds above, and would reason that the gods must be angry. Sure enough, in dry grass plains, fire and destruction followed, and in coastal areas, floods devastated entire villages. Hence, Fear of God! This fear has seeped into some religious teachings even today. But the amazing fact is that one of the oldest religions, Hinduism, far pre-dating some of the religions that came later, does not teach this fear of God! It teaches you to love and respect God, the very thought of God should bring a smile to your face, not fear.

  4. Science: Christinity still struggles with the findings of Darwin, insisting that the earth is 5,000 years old, denying evolution. Hinduism teaches us that the earth is millions of years old! Hinduism teaches us that Brahma, a metaphor for the Universe, has been born and died several times. Scientists now say that there could be several universes, some dying while new ones are being created. Again, how mind-boggling is it that a faith thousands of years old, coming to the same conclusion! Hinduism also encourages the acceptance of scientific fact! It embraces new ideas and discoveries; the Universe should be understood, as we are all a part of it.

  5. You can be enlightened in many ways: Almost all Hindu Gods are pictured accompanied by an animal. These images are teaching us to respect all nature. The images also show God in various forms, not only male and female, but as a Lingam, Halfman-HalfLion, Halfmale-Halffemale(Ardhanariswara), Gods with several arms and heads. What these images are teaching us is that God could come to us in any form. Muslims say that God is formless, we Hindus say that God is not only formless but could also appear before us in any form. How small are some religions to teach that God can only be a man and can only be addressed by just one name!

  6. Learning from Mistakes: Amazingly, Hinduism has come up with a refreshingly different, intelligent and forward-thinking way for humans to become better people - Karma and Rebirth! The great thing about Karma is that it forces you to take responsibility! There is no King god to forgive all your sins and let you into heaven. If you made a mistake it is up to you to make things right. You don’t have to be reborn to do it, you can do it right now in this life. Karma forces you to rethink and reexamine your life and your actions. Moksha, a pure enlightened state, is the goal of every Hindu, and until you reach this stage, you are born again and again, each time receiving a new lesson from God, our Guru. For evil acts one may have committed, one is reborn and made to learn life’s lessons over and over again. People mistakenly believe that Karma means that we are punished for the sinful acts of a previous life - but that is the wrong view. Physical punishment does not make you a better student, instead God patiently teaches you to correct your ways! As I mentioned before, Karma forces you to take responsibility. Other religions have a King god who forgives your evil acts, it’s like a criminal being brought before a judge and the judge simply lets him go after a stern lecture. Has the criminal learnt anything? Has he changed? Not at all. What kind of a message is that to send to the victims of this criminal? But with Karma, there is no God to forgive away your sins, it is upto you to correct the mistakes you may have done in this life or your previous life! It is upto you to learn God’s teachings and become a better person. Karma asks you to examine your life, examine each one of your actions, reflect on them and try to become a better person! What a refreshingly unique and better way than using barbaric backward methods!

-end of article-

Do you fear God?
God should be a friend.

  1. Learning from Mistakes: Amazingly, Hinduism has come up with a refreshingly different, intelligent and forward-thinking way for humans to become better people - Karma and Rebirth!

This is actually retrograde and old-fashioned.

Christianity is MUCH more up-to-date and modern.

When did this happen? What evidence is there for it? All the Hindu texts I’m familiar with express a deeply patriarchal approach to the world, and traditional Hindu culture is *extremely *repressive of women. Of course you can claim that this was a later development and that there was some pristine early Hinduism that was different, but at this point you’re making claims on the basis of faith with which no mere observer of the historical evidence is likely to agree.

Your other points are also highly dubious in many respects, but this is perhaps the most outrageous one.

Ediwn

Women are encouraged, not repressed!

Is this why the custom of sutee (in various spellings) existed–namely that of burning widows alive on their dead husband’s funeral pyre?

Goodness, hippyprincess, that is a lot to absorb in one reading.

I’ve thought many times, over the years, that the only world religion
that I know absolutely nothing about is Hinduism. So I much appreciate the
succint presentation of the beliefs of those who embrace Hinduism.

The following are simply thoughts that formed, as I read.
In no particular order. Just a mishmash.
A collage of thoughts, vis a vis Hinduism and Judeo-Christianity.
[It’s late afternoon, on the East Coast, and I’m running out of the mental stamina
required, to organize thought in clear fashion.]

-the Catholic Church instituted the university system.
The University of Paris, among them. Yes, I know about
Copernicus and Galileo. Sheer stupidy, on the part of ecclesiatics
of the day. Yet this does not vitiate the contribution to learning,
advanced through the establishment of the university system.

-Judaism has a Day of Atonement. This atoning is for trangressions
against the laws of Torah. However, in Judaism, if one has harmed another,
one is not forgiven by God, on the Day of Atonement - simply by telling God that one is sorry.
One must do one’s best to right the wrong done.

-at age 63, I may be in a position to reflect on the implications of karma,
over the long haul.
As one ages, one begins to run short of stamina.
Simple energy is no longer a blank check, as it were.
The thought of doing it all over again, makes one feel profoundly weary.

As a philosophical point, karma is quite elegant. It covers many realities,
in concise fashion.
Yet I thank the God, Whom I believe in, for the mercy extended, in that -
after one go-round…one spends eternity, in the presence of the Being Who made all things.
This may not be elegant, philosophically, but it is practical Mercy, I think.

In terms of philosophical thought, as expressed by a given religious world view:

As a young woman, 40 years ago, I revelled in the study of philosophy.
[Got my degree in same, as a matter of fact.]

Existenialism, I thought then…and still think…is the sole philosophy that
would clearly reflect man’s position, if the universe were without a merciful God.
"L’Homme révolté!" Man, in revolt - against the absurdity of a universe
with no purpose or meaning. Man, according to the existentialists,
creates his/her own meaning, thus railing, lifelong…in the face of meaninglessness.

I was highly trained in Catholic thought, as well as in philosophy.
But you know what? Judaism leads, and I follow. Why?

Because as a 14 year old, I noted an elderly neighbor,
who walked each morning to synagogue, to help form a minyan.
He was charity itself. Soft spoken, and good to others, in a quiet way.
My choice of religious faith was not philosophically based.
It had little or nothing to do with any tenets of religious faith.
It was a quiet, elderly man, who spoke of God without uttering a word.

Thank you for sharing information on Hinduism, hippyprincess.
I had thought that karma was a doctrine of Buddhism alone.
[What about Taoism? Do you know if Taoism also speaks of karma?]

You have extended my understanding today, hippyprincess, and
I am grateful to you.

Kindest regards,

reen12[/size]

I’ll briefly comment on your statement above.

That’s the image that some people have of God.

The quote you are referring to is Fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom. The sort of fear being referred to is really more a sense of God’s power, majesty, holiness, and a sense of awe of God. It’s not the fear of being smited (or is it “smitten”?)

God is love, that’s how we know God is a trinity of persons. There can be no love without a target for the love. And that’s why God created humans in his image. So that he’d have even more persons to love. And the reason the universe was created was so us human persons would have a place to live. This is awe_some. You start down the path of wisdom by realizing just how loving and awesome God is.

God created us to choose to be with him in Heaven in eternal joy beyond our comprehension. That sounds pretty friendly to me.

the gods you worship are satan followers,there is a great islamic film about hindu gods,you should see it

A book about Christianity and Eastern religions
orthodoxphotos.com/readings/future/dogma.shtml
A War of dogma

Today christianity is taking the thrusts of a foe that is all but invisible to the faithful. And if it can, it will pierce to the heart before declaring its name. The enemy is Hinduism, and the war being waged is a war of dogma.

When Vedanta Societies were founded in this country, around the turn of the century, first efforts were directed to establishing that there was no real difference between Hinduism and Christianity. Not only was there no conflict, but a good Christian would be a better Christian by studying and practicing the Vedanta; he would understand the real Christianity.

In early lectures, the Swamis attempted to show that those ideas which seemed peculiar to Christianity — like the Logos and the Cross — really had their origin in India. And those ideas which seemed peculiar to Hinduism — like rebirth, transmigration of the soul and samadhi (or trance) were also to be found in Christian scripture — when it was properly interpreted.

This kind of bait caught many sincere but misguided Christians. The early push was against what might be called “sectarian” dogmas, and for a so-called scientific religion based on a comparative study of all religions. Primary stress was always on this: there is no such thing as difference. All is One. All differences are just on the surface; they are apparent or relative, not real. All this is clear from published lectures that were delivered in the early 1900’s. Today we are in great danger because this effort was so very successful.

Now common parlance has “dogma” a derisive term. But this scorn could not have originated with those who know that it refers to the most precious heritage of the Church. However, once the bad connotation became fixed, the timid, who never like to be associated with the unpopular, began to speak of “rigid dogma,” which is redundant but bespeaks disapproval. So the attitude was insidiously absorbed from “broad-minded” critics who either didn’t know that dogma states what Christianity is, or simply didn’t like what Christianity is all about.

The resulting predisposition of many Christians to back down when faced with the accusation of holding to dogma has given the Hindus no small measure of help. And aid from within had strategic advantages.

The incredible fact is that few see that the very power that would overturn Christian dogma is itself nothing but an opposing system of dogmas. The two cannot blend or “enrich” each other because they are wholly antithetical.

If Christians are persuaded to throw out (or what is tactically more clever) to alter their dogmas to suit the demand for a more up-to-date or “universal” Christianity, they have lost everything, because what is valued by Christians and by Hindus is immediately derived from their dogmas. And Hindu dogmas are a direct repudiation of Christian dogmas. This leads us to a staggering conclusion**: What Christians believe to be evil, Hindus believe to be good, and conversely: What Hindus believe to be evil, Christians believe to be good.**

The real struggle lies in this: that the ultimate sin for the Christian, is the ultimate realization of good for the Hindu. Christians have always acknowledged pride as the basic sin — the fountainhead of all sin. And Lucifer is the archetype when he says. “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will ascend above the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” On a lower level, it is pride that turns even man’s virtues into sins. But for the Hindu in general, and the Advaitin or Vedantan in particular, the only “sin” is not to believe in yourself and in Humanity as God Himself. In the words of Swami Vivekananda (who was the foremost modern advocate of Vedanta): “You do not yet understand India! We Indians are Man-worshippers after all. Our God is Man!” The doctrine of mukti or salvation consists in this: that “Man is to become Divine by realizing the Divine.”

From this one can see the dogmas of Hinduism and Christianity standing face to face, each defying the other on the nature of God, the nature of man and the purpose of human existence.

But when Christians accept the Hindu propaganda that there is no battle going on, that the differences between Christianity and Hinduism are only apparent and not real — then Hindu ideas are free to take over the souls of Christians, winning the battle without a struggle. And the end result of this battle is truly shocking; the corrupting power of Hinduism is immense. In my own case, with all of the basically sound training that I received at the convent, twenty years in Hinduism brought me to the very doors of the love of evil. You see, in India “God” is also worshipped as Evil, in the form of the goddess Kali. But about this I will speak in the next section, on Hindu practices.

This is the end in store when there is no more Christian dogma. I say this from personal experience, because I have worshipped Kali in India and in this country. And she who is satan is no joke. If you give up the Living God, the throne is not going to remain empty.

youtube.com/watch?v=e9ewsBQ22JU

First of all Hinduism is a very complicated religion you have 18 puranas two epics, four Vedas countless Upainshads and a Bagavata Gita to name a few. Like the bible the hindu scriptures are contradictory. Think of one of the main themes in hinduism the idea of “Unity within diversity.”

While I won’t deny that some parts of the Hindu culture have certainly oppressed women, these were radical sects (Vedic and Vaishnava, which form a part of Hinduism known as astika) and NOT widely practiced at all.The Brahmins (astika Hindus) were like the KKK of Hinduism; claims to be part of the practice but still radically warps the messages taught.

Sati was voluntary and hasn’t been practiced for centuries.

With a name like hippy princess i dont know if i should take you serious??? HA HA LOL JK

1

. The embracing of women. It is the only religion where the godhead is expressed in both male and female forms. Women are encouraged, not repressed! This is very different from other religions, where women are repressed and considered subservient to men. It’s absolutely mind-boggling that Hinduism, born thousands of years before Christianity are giving women equality.

The idea that Hinduism is completely egaltarian is not neccessarily true. Nor is it completely misogynistic. Allow me to provide you with some contrary evidence;

A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is the founder of the ISKON movement and here is what he had to say about women;

This is what it says in the 9th canto chapter 9 text 32

*“A women is supposed to always be dependent…According to Manu-samhita, she is never independent. Independence for a women means miserable life.” *

And in the BG i read;

According to Canakya Pandita, women are generally not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. So, the different family traditions of religious activities should always engage them, and thus their chastity and devotion will give birth to a good population eligible for participating in the varnasrama system. On the failure of such varnasrama-dharma, naturally the women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population. Irresponsible men also provoke adultery in society, and thus unwanted children flood the human race at the risk of war and pestilence.

  1. Inclusiveness: Talking about religions being out of step with present values - if you were a hiring manager and refused to hire someone because of their religion, in most countries you would be hauled into court and jailed! Yet some religions teach that their god does exactly the same thing! He runs heavens limited to members of his religion only! You could be a Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, but there is no room in his heaven for you. Hinduism teaches us that character matters! All good people can be enlightened.

Again it depends in the BG it says that it doesnt matter which demigod you use rich Krishna they all lead to God. In the Rig Vedas

it is written that the truth is one but many call it by different names

on the other hand i have read in the Srimad Bagavatam that it is only in the foot of Krishna one should seek and find refuge

  1. Fear of God: Hindus who come in contact with other religions have come to hear these words, which are absent in Hinduism. How did this fear originate? It started with Primitive man. Living in caves more like animals, they would hear thunder and lightning from the dark clouds above, and would reason that the gods must be angry. Sure enough, in dry grass plains, fire and destruction followed, and in coastal areas, floods devastated entire villages. Hence, Fear of God! This fear has seeped into some religious teachings even today. But the amazing fact is that one of the oldest religions, Hinduism, far pre-dating some of the religions that came later, does not teach this fear of God! It teaches you to love and respect God, the very thought of God should bring a smile to your face, not fear.

It may not teach you to Fear God but what should we make of Shiva’s role as the Destroyer?

Hinduism also encourages the acceptance of scientific fact! It embraces new ideas and discoveries; the Universe should be understood, as we are all a part of it.

I recently bought a book “Scientific reason for Hindu Beliefs” it makes some interesting observation and convincing arguments but a majority of whats in the book does not seem well supported. There are a handful of examples i could give of how science and Hinduism actually compliment one another

  1. You can be enlightened in many ways: Almost all Hindu Gods are pictured accompanied by an animal.

These animals are actually vehicles for the various Gods. Hari=Govinda Ganesh=mouse, in some sense Rama’s vehicle is Haanumaan. An interesting story regarding this subject is when Ganesh raced around the “three worlds” against his brother.

If you made a mistake it is up to you to make things right. You don’t have to be reborn to do it, you

2 points

  1. catholic theology teaches that faith without works is dead.
  2. This would seem to indicate that Hinduism does not embrace the idea of Grace which is false.

I understand about being in awe of God’s power, majesty, and holiness. And I cannot deny that I share the same feelings, but about the natural universe, which may as well be God.
But being in awe was not what I was referring to. I was referring to being afraid of God, and the physical torture he allows his “children” to go through in hell.

The sick and twisted physical torture that the Abrahamic God would allow his children to be inflicted with is not love. That is pure hatred. Surely a loving god would, instead of hurting people, would be patient in teaching them how to love as he does. Instead of a “one shot deal,” don’t you think a loving god should give more chances? That’s where the beautiful idea of reincarnation comes in; you are born many times, in many forms, each time to learn a new lesson. The Hindu concept of god would never want you to be in pain; only for you to learn and grow.

The Hindu texts never acknowledge “satan” or any Christian devil term.
In fact, Hinduism was created far before the Christian religion was even thought of. :shrug:

Again, sects of the religion do not define the religion as a whole.
If that were true, all the Christians would be killing black people (the KKK ideas).
And also, I can’t find this verse in the 9th canto - links?

I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Do you mean that there are conflicting texts? If so, then YES, there certainly are conflicting texts. People have been inspired to write many stories about Hinduism. They’re not meant to be taken as absolute truth.

Of course things need to be destroyed and people need to die. But that’s where Vishnu and Brahma come in, to make everything anew. It’s a cycle of learning lessons and rebirth.

I agree, science and Hinduism certainly compliment eachother.

Narasimha is certainly an animal, or at least halfway. God’s don’t have a form, but can be expressed in limitless ways. That’s why you shouldn’t poison the rat.

Today christianity is taking the thrusts of a foe that is all but invisible to the faithful. And if it can, it will pierce to the heart before declaring its name. The enemy is Hinduism, and the war being waged is a war of dogma.

Thats a great way to get anyone to listen. Im sure if i say that to one of my hindu friends he will eagerly await my criticism

In early lectures, the Swamis attempted to show that those ideas which seemed peculiar to Christianity — like the Logos and the Cross — really had their origin in India. And those ideas which seemed peculiar to Hinduism — like rebirth, transmigration of the soul and samadhi (or trance) were also to be found in Christian scripture — when it was properly interpreted.

I could see how this could create confusion but at the same time u have people lke Sadhu Cheppel trying to use hindu scripture to promote christian theology

The incredible fact is that few see that the very power that would overturn Christian dogma is itself nothing but an opposing system of dogmas. The two cannot blend or “enrich” each other because they are wholly antithetical.

This is a BOLD statement and could be easily refuted. What other religions teach that God manifest himself as a man. Sure the are different in many respects but to act as if they have nothing n common is foolish.

If Christians are persuaded to throw out (or what is tactically more clever) to alter their dogmas to suit the demand for a more up-to-date or “universal” Christianity, they have lost everything, because what is valued by Christians and by Hindus is immediately derived from their dogmas. And Hindu dogmas are a direct repudiation of Christian dogmas. This leads us to a staggering conclusion**: What Christians believe to be evil, Hindus believe to be good, and conversely: What Hindus believe to be evil, Christians believe to be good.**

so can you provide examples where Hinduism exolts greed, jelousy, lust etc. If anything the Ramayana is an allegory against adultry.

On a lower level, it is pride that turns even man’s virtues into sins. But for the Hindu in general, and the Advaitin or Vedantan in particular, the only “sin” is not to believe in yourself and in Humanity as God Himself. In the words of Swami Vivekananda (who was the foremost modern advocate of Vedanta): “You do not yet understand India! We Indians are Man-worshippers after all. Our God is Man!” The doctrine of mukti or salvation consists in this: that “Man is to become Divine by realizing the Divine.”

This is one of my biggest criticism of Hinduism but it is not completely right. In the Ramyana we see Raavaana a demon who will not relinquish Seeta because he is too proud in himself which ends in his defeat. In the same story Ram shows humility by deciding to obey his father’s wishes and live in the forest while his brother ascends to the thone.

In my own case, with all of the basically sound training that I received at the convent, twenty years in Hinduism brought me to the very doors of the love of evil. You see, in India “God” is also worshipped as Evil, in the form of the goddess Kali. But about this I will speak in the next section, on Hindu practices

.

This is the end in store when there is no more Christian dogma. I say this from personal experience, because I have worshipped Kali in India and in this country. And she who is satan is no joke. If you give up the Living God, the throne is not going to remain empty.

Im a little ambivalent about the Godess Kali. On one and i read a Chrisian tract from Chic publications where a man was convinced that Kali wanted him to kill humans and sacrifice them so she could drink their blood.

*According to David Kinsley, Kali is first mentioned in Hinduism as a distinct goddess, related to war, around 600 CE. Scriptures like Agni Purana and Garuda Purana describe her terrible appearance and associate her with corpses and war. The Bhagavata Purana calls her the “patron deity of thieves.” She was worshipped initially by tribals and by low-caste Hindus in “wild places”. *

On the other hand both Swami Vivikenada and Ramakrishna where devotees of her and from what i have read they seem to be extraordinarily rightgeous individuals. On the other hand i just got done reading a post from a Sikh who criticized both Swami Vivikenada and Ramakrishna quite pugnaciously even going so far as to call RamaKrishna a child molester and feces eater and called Vivikenada a racist. The author also argues that the work that is currently propogated about the life of Rama Krishna is nothing more than PR but on by Swami Vivikenada.

I know this girl who rides my bus is a follower of Kali I will send her this information to see what she has to say. Knowing all this I am curious to see what the Kali Purana says. Also wether she openly manifested herself asking for human sacrifices is debatable but i sort of understand why she would be depicted as being violent. Her husband was Shiva the Destroyer god. So in conclusion i remain ambivalent on this issue.

With all due respect have you ever heard of the Hindu caste system? Despite some attempts to curtail it, it remains extremely entrenched in Indian society. There is great fear among many prominent Hindus of losing the lower untouchables, the dalits, to Christian proselytism which holds all men and women, despite their birth, weaknesses, or even their being social outcasts, as being equally loved by Jesus Christ.

And the caste system is hardly comparable to bringing up a fringe laughable KKK which is thankfully now quite moribund. The caste system in India is still alive and kicking with all its attendant discriminations as was forcefully covered in a powerful piece for 60 Minutes by journalist Christiane Amanpour who was astounded watching the untouchables being forced to do the most unbelievably disgusting work while displaying extreme respect and humiliation in the presence of the upper class. Now, in 21st Century India, not the 19th Century Deep South KKK which you seem to argue represents Christianity somehow.:confused: Indeed, in speaking with a most pleasant higher-caste Indian family, Mrs. Amanpour was politely told by one young lady that how could she, this young lady, even marry a dalit, as it would be akin to marrying an animal (there was no hint of her having said anything wrong on her face but that this was the way it was). I think Amanpour was slightly dumb-founded.

Some have argued that even Buddhism started partially in response to the Hindu caste system and the Brahman class.

Let me ask you hippyprincess, is the man who kills another human being with malicious intent just as evil as the man who kills a rat or monkey out of malicious intent in Hindu society. In other words, is a man’s life equal in worth to, say, a cow’s life. Is there any difference in Hindu belief or are both lifeforms just as worthy of esteem and protection? The cow and human? Since one never knows in the Grand cycle of rebirths should one come back as an animal or some such, I assume both life forms are of equal weight, correct? And if not, how are they not.

Friendship means a personal relationship. Our God is not an impersonal god, gods, or lifeforce. On the contrary, Christianity has a Personal God who sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior and to whom each and every one of us can have a personal relationship with.

Joseph Campbell, a great studier of comparative religions always liked the Eastern religions like Hinduism because they preached belief in an impersonal god(s). No thank you, I am quite glad that Christianity unlike the East has a personal God, and His name is Jesus Christ and He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads such is His love for us.

Rubbish to both statements. In the course of my studies of Indian history at university I wrote a paper on sati, so I know a little something about it. In many cases there are questions as to whether the women are forced into it. For example, by being made to feel like they are a burden on the family by staying alive.

It’s no coincidence that sati is mainly performed by widows, it the most convenient method of avoiding either their or their late husband’s families having to support them.

Wikipedia states, and its statements have been backed up by my own research (and a LOT of documentation)

"Sati still occurs, albeit rarely, in the rural areas. A well documented case from 1987 was that of 18-year old Roop Kanwar. In response to this incident, some more recent legislation against the practice was passed, first by the state government of Rajasthan, then by the central government of India.

On 18 May 2006, Vidyawati, a 35-year-old woman allegedly committed sati by jumping into the blazing funeral pyre of her husband in Rari-Bujurg Village, Fatehpur district in the State of Uttar Pradesh. On 21 August 2006, Janakrani, a 40-year-old woman, burnt to death on the funeral pyre of her husband Prem Narayan in Sagar district. On October 11, 2008, a 75-year-old woman committed ‘sati’ by jumping into her 80-year-old husband’s funeral pyre at Checher in the Kasdol block of Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district."

So it’s far from unknown even today.

There are many threads on the subject of “Why does God allow pain and suffering.” Perhaps you might even want to start your own thread on this since it would be easier than reading through all the previous threads :wink:

As to why people choose hell - a good short easy book on this is “The Great Divorce” by CS Lewis (at your local library most likely).

In Hindu reincarnation - how can you learn anything if you don’t remember what happened in the last life? Each life is totally new and one makes the same mistakes over and over again (or so it seems to me).

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