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The ethical value system of the Hindu

Exercise of Free Will, vs .Fate and Karma

A false paradigm often attributed to the Sanaatanik is the notion of the inevitability of fate and destiny. This is astonishing and gargantuan in the scale of the misrepresentation. The Dharma teaches just the opposite, namely that the individual is endowed with free will and the capability and the responsibility to exercise such a free will and make appropriate choices. The choices one makes are governed by the Dharma, and the ethical value system expounded in another section on this page, without doubt, but they are available and it is false to contend that an individual is rendered helpless and paralyzed by the forces of destiny.

Samskaaras (obligatory  karma) of the Hindu.

The sraddha ceremony is an extension of the Antyeshti Samskaara enjoined upon Hindus to perform  in the aftermath of the funeral service. Which raises the question of what is a Samskaara. A Samskaara is not merely ritual or an outward religious rite performed in order to impress the community. The closest to the word Samskaara in English is the word Sacrament ' a religious ceremony or act regarded as a visible sign of inward spiritual grace'. A discussion on what constitutes the corpus of the Samskaaras is to be found  here

  • An important Samskaara is the Antyeshti  of which the Sraddha ceremony is a component. Here is an exposition on the meaning and origin of the Sraddha ceremony with citations from the Vedas and the Smrtis. There is an important distinction between Sraddha and the Antyeshti samskaara. Funeral rites (antyeshti) are amangal (inauspicious) while Sraddha are mangal (auspicious).


Adi Sankara's Historical Significance

Vedas, Vedanta and Sanskrit

Dr. Will Durant, truly one of the most recognized historians in the world, has remarked on the universal applicability of the Vedanta paradigm. Here is an essay on these topics by him

The Shanti Mantra (from Shukla Yajur Veda)


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