How Do Hindu Followers Get Redemption [Google Questions Answered]

How Do Hindu Followers Get Redemption [Google Questions Answered] February 7, 2014

The first question is: redemption from what?

If you’re so stuck in a Christian mindset that you think people need to be saved from something (from some person thousands of years ago, who may have been mythological, eating a fruit?) then you’re unlikely to ever understand Hinduism.

When a belief system is that different from your own, you really have to be able to step outside your understanding of how to world is structured or you’ll never be able to see another religion’s structure. I also struggle with this. I have a hard time seeing from a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim perspective. I don’t get it. And it’s a struggle to set aside what seems so obvious and clear to me in order to see the world in an entirely different way.

Hindus don’t believe that people need redemption. We aren’t the naughty children of a God who loves punishment. The Gods are friends and companions who we interact with along our way to full realization of our true nature.

The goal for us is moksha, which is liberation from the bonds of the illusiory world. So let’s substitute “moksha” for “redemption.”

How do we believe people attain moksha?

Mostly through hard work.

There is a place in the tradition for grace. A God may grant you a boon, a gift, an ability to see more clearly, but even that is earned. In the stories, the Gods mostly grant audiences to those who have shown incredible dedication.

We believe in discipline and learning to control our bodies, our minds, our senses. We refine and polish our discrimination and gain mastery over the systems of the body. The mind, which is like a monkey run wild, becomes a tamed servant who can focus as needed. We develop our selves with great care, becoming more and more evolved and more and more able to see through illusion to what really matters.

The Gods can help us, but it is we who put in the hard work and the effort. The reward is entirely up to us.

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  • THAT is exactly the kind of people I run into here. They simply cannot see any different.

  • A.R.

    If you read the Bhagavad Gita (which I am sure you’ve heard of), God explains that there are different paths: karma-yoga (which is like salvation by works–trying to do good works and earning salvation by earning good karma), jnana-yoga (which is pursuit of the spiritual and philosophical life), and bhakti-yoga (salvation by devotion). God explains that ultimately, bhakti-yoga is the purest way to redemption/salvation because you are trusting in Him that He will simply rescue you from sin.

    Bhagavad Gita 18.66: “Without worrying, forsake all religions (here implying rituals, sacrifices, etc.) and simply surrender to Me and My devotion. I shall preserve you from all sins.”

    Why is God necessary in the belief system? We don’t “include” God in our belief system. He has been, is, and will be forever and ever, and our belief system acknowledges that. In any case, He does control the laws of karma. Karma is a part of the natural law of His created universe. Ambaa is right by saying that He doesn’t need to enforce karma, just like God doesn’t need to enforce gravity or uphold the power of the sun. His created universe has all the parts to keep functioning on its own. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t interfere when he wants, or that the universe doesn’t ultimately depend on Him. We don’t dismiss the use and power of prayer. Prayer, good works, and a spiritual life are all an equal way to salvation. There is no ONE way, but there are better and more direct paths than others.

    Although not everyone knows about Jesus Christ, and you can’t prove his divinity since I can’t see him, he lived halfway across the world from me, and his actions according to the Bible are not replicable and are unexplainable by the eternal laws of science, EVERYONE in the world has an understanding of morality, and everyone can come to an understanding of some sort of God. In Hinduism, as long as one attempts to understand God and live a good life, God will not condemn them for their curious innocence or attempt to obey morality and pursue spirituality to a lake of fire, because God knows that humans are rational beings who need to have proof of Jesus Christ before they can believe him. Yes, everyone sins to some degree–that’s why God says in the Bhagavad Gita that devotion is ultimately the way to salvation.

    Bhagavad Gita 9.23: “Arjuna, though others might worship other gods–even with great faith–they ultimately worship Me alone, but in an unprescribed (unauthorized) manner.”

    You say in your comment that Hindus believe we are divine (a form of pantheism, I guess)–that may be true for some Hindus, but it is most definitely not true for all. Indeed, many Hindus are pantheists, others are panentheistic, many others are very strict monotheists, others are henotheistic, and many others may be polytheistic (although if they are polytheistic it is probably just a very crude form of pantheism).

    If you want to know more about Hinduism, I suggest you research the differences between the Advaita (non-dualism, pantheism/henotheism) school of Hinduism, the Vishishtadvaita school of Hinduism (qualified non-dualism, pantheism/henotheism), and the Dvaita school of Hinduism (dualism, monotheism).

  • A.R.

    God is omnipotent. He can do anything He wants. Whatever He wills occurs at the same instant He wills it.