What are the biggest misconceptions that Hindus have on Hinduism?

Although Hindu religion is the oldest religion in the world which is embedded with unparalleled culture and tradition, it is unfortunate that the religion has been misquoted and wrong ideas have been spread against it. Most of the time it was the ill intention of western agencies which wanted to malign India and its rich culture. This mainly happened has India lost valuable literature and scripts which were collected for thousands of years during various intrusions.  The books which are written today are mostly scripted by Western writers and leftist mindset people who have the least knowledge about the religion and its values which has again mislead many generations.

The understanding of Vedas and Upanishads which were written thousands of years back needs a proper channel and explanation. The Hindu religion directs a man to lead a flawless life towards moksha. But in order to understand this, it is important to first debunk the myths about the religion.

Myth 1: Hinduism is a Religion

The first myth that needs to be removed is the myth that Hinduism is just a religion. But in reality, Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma is not just a religion but is bound by the rules and principles of Dharma. Dharma is something that governs all actions of every living thing. Hinduism was not a religion founded by an individual and it does not have authoritarian rules and does not require the followers to agree to one idea. It exists as long as the Nature exists as the principles are bound with Nature.

Initially, people never used the word Hinduism, rather the word Sindh was used to address to those who settled in the region of Sindhu river (Now Pakistan). It was the Persians who gave the name Hindu for Sindh. The Hinduism is an amalgamation of many ideas, philosophies, and culture. It is based on the principle of reincarnation, Karma and the path of liberating ourselves from the cycle of life and death.

2. There are 33 Crore Gods in Hinduism

No where in the Vedas or Upanishads have mentioned of 33 crore Gods in Hinduism, but mentions about 33 supreme deities in Yajur-veda, Atharva-veda, Satapatha-Brahmana. The number 33 here refers to the divinities in the Parsi scriptures of Avesta. There is mention of KOTI in Trayastrimsati which does not refer to the number crore, but refers to the Supreme power of the 33 divinities. But people thought there were 33 crore Gods in Hinduism which is totally false. When we use the phrase Uchha Koti, it means we are referring to the supreme power and not  number. 8 are Vasus, 11 Rudras, 12 Adityas, and Indra and Prajapati. 8 Vasus + 11 Rudras + 12 Adityas + 2 Heaven and Earth ( 8+ 11 + 12 + 2 = 33).

The meaning of Koti was misinterpreted because in the year 725 AD, when Subhakarasimha and his Chinese colleague I-hsing translated the Mahavairocana-sutra into Chinese, they did not translate the word Koti. They rendered the compound Sapta-Koti-Buddha as Shichi (sapta) Kotei (koti) Butsu (buddha) and called it Kotei. So the Tibetans who translated the script from Sanskrit thought the word Koti refers to numbers and misrepresented the whole fact. So, even today, the Sapta-Koti-Buddha is believed to be 7 crore Buddhas while the real meaning only says the 7 Supreme Buddha.

3. Hinduism is Intolerant

These days it is a fashion for some so-called liberals to say Hinduism is intolerant and does not allow any inclusive growth. But this whole concept is false as Hinduism is the most tolerant religion as it allows discussion, understanding and experimenting with every idea. That does not mean we are allowed to change the stances of Vedas or Upanishads as they are bound by certain principles of Nature just like Physics and Mathematics. Each mantras, when recited in the correct form only, will yield the result and not when used in wrong way. So, every good action and prayer we do leads us to God.

5. Women are not given equal respect as Men in Hinduism

This is one of the biggest fake narratives to have developed recently. First of all, Hinduism is the only religion which considers women as Nature (Prakriti) and men are referred to Purusha. Purusha doesn’t exist without Prakrithi. Lord Shiva himself is in the Avatar of Ardha Nareshawara which is half man and half women.

The Vedas has described about the women scholars who had given up marriage and dedicated their life for studying Vedas. The Vedas mentions about Brahmavadini and Mantra drashtri who were composers of Rig Vedic hymns. The Rig Veda alone refers to 30 women Vedic scholars (rishikas) to whom different hymns have been attributed to.

6. Hindus must worship idols

Hinduism never preaches that idol worship is a must. The reason why an idol is worshipped is because it helps one focus during prayer or meditation but never mandates anyone to use the idol.

7. Hindus only worship Cows

It is purely a misconception that Hindus only worship cows and do not care for other animals. In reality, Hinduism considers every animal as sacred. for example, there are temples where the different avatars of Vishnu in Tortoise (Kurma Avatar), Pig (Varaha Avatar) are all worshipped. So every living things are regarded as sacred and Cow is considered more holy as it is believed that every God resides in the cow.

Image result for varaha swamy

Image result for varaha swamy

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8. Hinduism discriminates people on caste

This is a completely false story as Hinduism never preached caste system. However, in the early 10th century, the use of certain words to describe one’s employment and work was later twisted as caste system which was used by Westerns to malign Hinduism. One of the greatest saint Kanaka Dasa to whom Lord Vishnu blessed belonged to a lower caste and the life story of his shows the only thing God looks in a human being is righteousness and divinity and not caste.

9. Bhagvat Gita is compared to the Bible and Quran

The sad part among many Hindus is comparing Gita with Bible and Quran saying all are same. But in reality, the Gita is very much different from Bible and Quran. The entire concept of one God, one man and everything else is false, is a something which Hinduism never accepts. Though Hinduism has many scripts like Vedas, Upanishads, they all ultimately lead to the same principle of attaining moksha through the right path. They help us to understand God and connect ourselves with God himself.

10. Karna is a myth

Just like the physics principle of Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the Karma will also have a reaction. Which means every action of ours will have a reaction as well. So, for every good or bad work we do, we will have to face consequences which cannot be escaped. This is exactly what Hinduism preaches.

11. Salvation and Moksha are same

We have to understand there is the difference between Salvation and Moksha. Moksha here refers to freedom, freedom from life, freedom from sins, freedom from all pain. Freedom from life means, there is no rebirth, the energy or soul of a person will get united with the God which means he attains moksha. But Salvation can be used in many ways. It means to save oneself from all pain. But this concept doesn’t apply in Hinduism as we believe that no soul can escape from their Karma.

12. Hinduism doesn’t allow one to be non-vegetarian

Hinduism encourages a human to be a vegetarian for the well being of the body, as it is developed in such a way. But it never demands anyone to be Vegetarians. Many Hindus are non-vegetarians and eat meat.

Credit: Speaking Tree

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