hindu hinduism

anonymous asked:

(3/3) point of view, I do. It’s just troubling to me because, again, I feel very drawn to Hinduism as a whole and certain deities, and the more research I do the deeper I go in this rabbit hole, and… I don’t know. Should I just give it up? Because I don’t want to be taking from other peoples’ culture and I don’t want to receive hate and I just… don’t know. If you could suggest anything, that’d be great. Thank you so much if you do end up responding to this! Thank you for your time if you don’t!

Ask #1 What advice do you have to give someone who’s white and pagan and wishes to work with Hindu deities and include Hindu practices in their pagan practice/practice in general? I feel very drawn/called to certain Hindu deities and honestly a lot of my spiritual beliefs align with certain Hindu beliefs and… anyways. I’ve been doing all the research I can; about the culture surrounding Hinduism, history of Hinduism, Hinduism in India, Hindu practices, the deities I wish to work with, the (1/?)

Ask #2 (2/?) practices associated with said deities, etc., etc., etc. just… anything I can get my hands on. I just… feel guilty about even thinking about working with Hindu deities and what-not because the one time I tried talking about it on my pagan blog I got destroyed with hate-anons saying that I need to be born into the culture to be able to even think about Hinduism, that pagans should never touch Hinduism, the usual “it’s cultural appropriation” comments and what-not. And I understand their

My answer:

Don’t believe the bullshit SJW shit out there. They’re screamed from people who think they know what they’re talking about, when in reality, they can’t get out of their precious “OMG THIS IS ALL APPROPRIATION@!@#$@!@#$@!”  bubble and shit similar, when they don’t understand what they’re actually screaming about.

As someone whose actually studied Hinduism in college as well as having spoken to scholars in person (as well as just watching videos online with commentary from people who live in India and practice different niches of Hinduism), give me a moment to actually educate you and get things straightened out.

No, do not give up your passions or who you are drawn to. We, as people, can not help who we are drawn to in terms of deities and what not. Hinduism, in all honesty, is a 95% open religion. What does this mean? Hinduism is a VERY ancient religion, possibly the oldest to date. With that in mind, there’s been many sub-communities that have popped up as well as different temples and other “styles” of worship. In contemporary times, MOST of these existing styles are pretty open to people observing their practices, claiming you’re a devotee of a certain Hindu deity, etc.

There’s a few rare exceptions, depending on the exact community/temple/etc. but like I said, for the most part, Hinduism is pretty open. For myself, I’m a devotee of Kali and Ganesha, despite not having been “born into” Hinduism. 

If you tell me what deities you are drawn to specifically, I might be able to help you out get specific information for styles of worship, information on specific temples, etc. I’m happy to help out anyone whose just beginning to explore the Hindu pantheon. It’s extremely rich with mythology, just like the Greek/Roman and Egyptian mythology surrounding their deities :)

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

THE NAZI SWASTIKA AND THE HINDU SWASTIKA ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

The Hindu swastika, which is actually in my house, represents good fortune and happiness, and was used long before Hitler stepped foot on this planet. Also, it is normally straight, and has dots in between.

The Nazi swastika, which obviously represents hatred of Jews, is normally on an angle, and has no dots in between.

DO NOT MIX IT UP, OR CALL AN INDIAN WHO HAS THIS IN THEIR HOME A NAZI.

IT IS NOT THE SAME THING.

before we begin explaining actual myths, we’d like to address a few misconceptions, or rather myth-conceptions:

first: contrary to popular belief, hinduism is not a polytheistic religion (polytheistic meaning believing in multiple gods), but rather a monotheistic one. yes, there are several gods we reference (i.e.: brahma, vishnu, shiva, etc.) but if western writers actually bothered to properly research, they would find that some denominations of hindus believe that all of these gods are merely forms/manifestations of the Supreme Deity, Parameshwara, and that everything in the universe i also a manifestation of him/them. this does not, however, take away from the significance of other deities.

second: the syllable aum (om) is not merely something you say while standing in the tree pose, but also the most sacred sound of both hinduism and some forms of buddhism (which originated from hinduism) and represents the complete creation of brahma and by extension, Parameshwara. that is to say: the sound aum is the frequency of the universe.

third: karma, pronounced [karma] and not [KARma] is the record of everything you’ve done in your life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. it dictates what happens to you after your life is over not what happens to you while you are still alive, so the phrase “karma’s a b*tch” when used in the context of minor inconveniences in life is, in fact, inaccurate.

fourth: who the fuck told y’all we worship cows? while it’s true we consider cows sacred, and many denominations of hinduism don’t eat beef because of this, you won’t find anyone treating cows themselves like literal gods. that just isn’t a thing.

fifth: no, you cannot randomly call yourself hindu because you think “third eyes” and “chakras” and whatever exotified bullshit you ran into in yoga class is sooooo trendy. some people do convert to hinduism – personally i know a few hindu converts who aren’t of south asian descent, and they are some of the most respectful and religious people i have met – but please, don’t pick and choose the parts of a religion that you think are cool and exotic. and for the love of the gods, don’t culturally appropriate. recognise that hinduism has a deep and interconnected history with south asian culture, and that not all of it is your place to take part in.

sixth: a bindi/bottu/tikka/tip is not just a “forehead decoration,” it is a symbol of shakti, power, and corresponds with the mythos behind chakras (pronounced [chakra] not [CHAKra]). do your fucking homework before you misuse a powerful symbol of south asian culture and don’t try to tell us that we’re overreacting.

seventh: not all hindus are peaceful, and hindu extremists do exist! hindus have a long history of islamophobia, for one, which has resulted in violence, and also discrimination against people of the sikh faith (see: indira gandhi, anti-sikh riots of 1984). also, the hindu nationalist (or hindutva) movement is as violent as any other extremist group you’d encounter. most hindus are generally pretty chill and don’t agree with these extremists’ views but even so, it’s dangerous to assume every hindu is gentle, because that overlooks and minimises the actions of these groups.

eighth: hinduism itself has no problems with the LGBT+ community. in fact many hindu deities have feminine/masculine/non-human forms (i.e.: vishnu and mohini,) and can therefore be interpreted as nb/genderfluid. there are also a few myths that challenge conventional heteronormativity.

Po Nagar Cham Towers in Nha Trang, Vietnam
Po Nagar is a Cham temple tower founded sometime before 781 and located in the medieval principality of Kauthara, near modern Nha Trang in Vietnam. It is dedicated to Yan Po Nagar, the goddess of the country, who came to be identified with the Hindu goddesses Bhagavati and Mahishasuramardini, and who in Vietnamese is called Thiên Y Thánh Mâu.
(via Instagram: alenaigorya)

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” — Carl Jung

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          navratri, also known as devi navratri is a nine day (nav: nine, ratri: night) holiday celebrated by hindus that commemorates mahadevi in all her forms. celebrations of the holiday vary depending on region.
          in telangana the first three days commemorate durga (parvati), the next three days commemorate lakshmi, and the last three commemorate saraswati. the last day is known as dasara or vijayadasami, on which elaborate floral arrangements called bathukamma are created to commemorate the tridevi.