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Raising Children of India and PIO with high self esteem

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tks

Well-known member
Raising childern in today's world is a special challenge in my view given that a family has many choices to deal with in bringing up their children.
(PIO - People of Indian Origin often living in another country)


Choices include religion, traditions, country to live in, asserting or suppressing sexual orientation as a value, opinions around premartital sex etc to name a few all of which bring different types of unanswered questions & challenges for the children.


Indian famililes both in India and outside India face a special challenge in answering questions that come up from their children since they are often unable to give satisfactory answers . This is particularly true for Hindu families since Hinduism is an unorganized religion. Vedic vision is supposed to be the basis of Hinduism and yet almost no family has any idea what is in the Vedas other than being able to recite a verse here and there. Therefore they are forced to make up an explanation to tough questions or reject the premise for a question.


Children expect simple answers to complex situations and questions. Hinduism itself is based on encouraging questions which is why all key teachings (e.g., Bhagavad Gita) are presented as Q&A


Often a frustrated elder may shut a quesion from a teenager by telling them to follow a rule . The elder may not have an answer and hence they choose to force a rule which does not work well with kids growing up in today's world.


The elder may teach the value of Truth and yet may use a bribe to avoid major pain (say to expedite a death certificate or a marriage certificate, delay of which would have severe issues). Can they answer a question that challenges the elder on their behavior?


In this thread let us explore how to answer tough questions of youngsters with simple explanations that both address the question and has basis in the universal truths (taught in say Bhagavad Gita). My plea is not to start digressing about what is in the Bhagavad Gita . I made this reference to those that understand and respect those teachings (not preaching)


By universal truths I mean those that are true independent of time or location.


Since Logic, reasoning, critical thinking and respect are the basis for answers there is no need to bring caste, brahminism, theism vs atheism and other overloaded and debated items into this thread. There are other threads for such discussions unless the question is about that topic.


The idea of answering questions is to allow a child to learn about life and grow up with high self esteem.


I can think of many questions but this thread is motivated by Sri Ravi asking me to elaborate on how my son in his 7th grade in USA answered a seemingly tough question from his class mate. I will detail that in the next post


This thread is like the sticky thread of the past on 'how to get children to go to temples' . However there is no assmption being made that going to temples is a way of raising children with high self esteem.


If this thread does not get fillibustered then it is possible to have discussions to questions like


- What is Hindu view on Abortions? Is it always bad?
- Is dating and living together not allowed in Hinduism
- Do Hindus worship Elephants and monkeys
- How come we celebrate festivals like Navarathri and Deepavali in various places in India for different reasons
- If I must be 100% responsible why should I pray
- Why do I have to go to temples
- If divinity is manifested in everyone why do some people do really bad things like terrorists and serial killers
- I know my close friend is stealing from his parents to get money for drugs but I made a promise not to tell that to his family. But I do not like the way he is destroying himself. What do I do since I do not want to break my promise? How will Hindu teaching help me to resolve this dilemma?
- If one living entity needs to consume another why do some people strive to be vegetarian?
- What happens when a person die?
- Why do people do Poojas? God cannot be bribed and yet people do poojas when they want something




- etc
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

Well-known member
The first question arises from this post

Subsequently Sri Ravi asked me to elaborate questions posed in that post:

My son when he was in 5th grade was asked a question like - "Hey I heard you guys worship monkeys and elephants .. Can you tell me why". Since the question was not made to mock he tried to answer. The teacher in the class heard that and asked him to explain to the class as a whole next day. If there is interest I can summarize what he said though that may be off topic for this thread....

My point is that though he is an American he answered in a way that made people view positively about India without making things up ...

Actually he was in 7th grade and was chosen to attend a leadership workshop in 'peer mediation' where disputes involving children are resolved by children trained in workshop while a teacher watches from a distance. In that workshop a kid asked him that question.

I could not find a copy of his prepared speech (made with my help) to the class. I am trying to remember the main points he made since this event happened many years ago.


It goes something like this


" Do Hindus worship Monkeys and Elephants?
The short answer is NO.




Hindus worship God - not monkeys and Elephants!


But they worship God *in the form* of Monkey and Elephant since a specific form *symbolize* a principle that is important in our lives. The spcific form arises from a mythological story. The key point is not whether the story is a historical fact or not but the principle that is embodied in the story.


Hinduism is all about symbolism.


When we assemble and say Pledge facing the flag we are not showing respect to a piece of any cloth but a special piece of cloth called Flag which symbolizes the values our country stands for.


For Hindus this book in my hand is not some paper bound together but symbolizes knowledge. Hindus worship God in the *form of Knowledge* symbolized by this book. In fact just like we name Hurricanes with male and female names it just happens that this book symbolizes Goddess of Knowledge (a female form). In fact we have a festival and tradition when we actually keep books in the alter and worship the Goddess in the form of books.


In fact I have heard that during the same day we worship Goddess (of Knowldge) in the form of a book , there are people who worship Lord in the form of the tools of their trade. Some taxi driver will worship Lord in the form of his taxi cab since the Lord manifested in the Cab is providing his livelyhood and puts bread on his table for his family.


Hinduism is about symbolism to form and reinforces respect to all items - living beings and non-living things since they are all manifestations of the same God.


Let me specifically talk about Lord in the form with elephant head.


When we go to take a tough exam we hear our parents and friends wishing us 'Best of Luck'. By luck what people mean is that they wish many unknown factors (like getting a headache ) do not hurt our chance to do well in the exam.


God's ability to remove unknown obstacles and provide better luck is symbolized by this form of Lord with Elephant head. So when we worship Lord in the form of elephant head we are actually saying "God please give me good luck'.


Sometimes we do not know what we are capable of. When I got selected for this peer mediation leadership workshop I did not know if I can handle the class and take this leadership challenge. My parents told me I can handle it.


Ability to accomplish a seemingly challenging task is symbolized by this form of God with monkey-man face. It has to do with story but what is important is that when Hindu looks at this form they think of Lord who can make them recognize what they are capable of and accomplish the task.


Some people in India literally believe God is in this book. There is nothing wrong with that since that reinforces the right behavior. For example we had role playing exercise during peer mediation workshop. If we keep telling ourselves it is just a role play we cannot learn anything. We were told to lose ourselves in the role so our learning is good. In the same sense we dont have to keep saying it is just a symbol.


By recognizing the presense of God everywhere in every object and by symbolism Hindus teach respecting self and others.
They also teach us not only tolerance to others but acceptance of others.


Let me ask you to respect ancient traditions of India when you see many forms of Lord in a Hindu household"
 

renuka

Well-known member
- What is Hindu view on Abortions? Is it always bad?
- Is dating and living together not allowed in Hinduism
- Do Hindus worship Elephants and monkeys
- How come we celebrate festivals like Navarathri and Deepavali in various places in India for different reasons
- If I must be 100% responsible why should I pray
- Why do I have to go to temples
- If divinity is manifested in everyone why do some people do really bad things like terrorists and serial killers
- I know my close friend is stealing from his parents to get money for drugs but I made a promise not to tell that to his family. But I do not like the way he is destroying himself. What do I do since I do not want to break my promise? How will Hindu teaching help me to resolve this dilemma?
- If one living entity needs to consume another why do some people strive to be vegetarian?
- What happens when a person die?
- Why do people do Poojas? God cannot be bribed and yet people do poojas when they want something
- etc


1)Abortion is taking an unborn childs life.To prevent unwanted pregnancy use contraception.

2)Dating is a process that comes with the art of falling in love.Love is pure and sacred.
Living together is inviting trouble in case the relationship turns sour.
Get married first and then live together.

3)Hindus believe that everything is Brahman.There is no harm worshiping God in any form for each form has a meaning.

4)Deepavali and Navaratri are festivals which have significance just like how celebrating our Birthdays have significance.

5)Praying is part of being responsible.
As humans we owe our existence and development to Mata,Pita,Guru and Deivam..so praying to God is showing gratitude to our creator.

6)We go to temples for Sat Sang and also to steady the mind and give ourselves a chance to keep in touch with culture and religion.

7)Divinity is in everyone but its not Manifested yet in most of us..till then we all make mistakes.

8)Talk to your close friend or get help for him by telling him to get medical help but make sure parents know about it before the cops do.Drugs is serious matter.
Being a friend is not always about keeping promises..your friend might be angry for letting his parents know but in the long run he will know that you really cared for him.
Hinduism teaches us to be equiposed in praise and blame.

9)Some people are vegetarian out of compassion,lifestyle or for health benefits.
No two people are alike in food choice.

10)What happens when we die?? Ok for now..let see..do we even know tomorrow? We dont!! Live now in the present and not worry too much for the future.

11)Poojas are not bribing..we can never bribe God.
Poojas are under the Karmakanda portion of religion.
Some do it for desire,fame,favour,for progeny,for health and some for the love of God.
 
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C RAVI

Well-known member
Shri TKS,

Thank you so much for your post above, detailing what you tought to your son and how he presented them.

Wonderful explanations with sensibility and simplicity...

 

Yamaka

New member
The first question arises from this post

Subsequently Sri Ravi asked me to elaborate questions posed in that post:



Actually he was in 7th grade and was chosen to attend a leadership workshop in 'peer mediation' where disputes involving children are resolved by children trained in workshop while a teacher watches from a distance. In that workshop a kid asked him that question.

I could not find a copy of his prepared speech (made with my help) to the class. I am trying to remember the main points he made since this event happened many years ago.


It goes something like this


" Do Hindus worship Monkeys and Elephants?
The short answer is NO.




Hindus worship God - not monkeys and Elephants!


But they worship God *in the form* of Monkey and Elephant since a specific form *symbolize* a principle that is important in our lives. The spcific form arises from a mythological story. The key point is not whether the story is a historical fact or not but the principle that is embodied in the story.


Hinduism is all about symbolism.


When we assemble and say Pledge facing the flag we are not showing respect to a piece of any cloth but a special piece of cloth called Flag which symbolizes the values our country stands for.


For Hindus this book in my hand is not some paper bound together but symbolizes knowledge. Hindus worship God in the *form of Knowledge* symbolized by this book. In fact just like we name Hurricanes with male and female names it just happens that this book symbolizes Goddess of Knowledge (a female form). In fact we have a festival and tradition when we actually keep books in the alter and worship the Goddess in the form of books.


In fact I have heard that during the same day we worship Goddess (of Knowldge) in the form of a book , there are people who worship Lord in the form of the tools of their trade. Some taxi driver will worship Lord in the form of his taxi cab since the Lord manifested in the Cab is providing his livelyhood and puts bread on his table for his family.


Hinduism is about symbolism to form and reinforces respect to all items - living beings and non-living things since they are all manifestations of the same God.


Let me specifically talk about Lord in the form with elephant head.


When we go to take a tough exam we hear our parents and friends wishing us 'Best of Luck'. By luck what people mean is that they wish many unknown factors (like getting a headache ) do not hurt our chance to do well in the exam.


God's ability to remove unknown obstacles and provide better luck is symbolized by this form of Lord with Elephant head. So when we worship Lord in the form of elephant head we are actually saying "God please give me good luck'.


Sometimes we do not know what we are capable of. When I got selected for this peer mediation leadership workshop I did not know if I can handle the class and take this leadership challenge. My parents told me I can handle it.


Ability to accomplish a seemingly challenging task is symbolized by this form of God with monkey-man face. It has to do with story but what is important is that when Hindu looks at this form they think of Lord who can make them recognize what they are capable of and accomplish the task.


Some people in India literally believe God is in this book. There is nothing wrong with that since that reinforces the right behavior. For example we had role playing exercise during peer mediation workshop. If we keep telling ourselves it is just a role play we cannot learn anything. We were told to lose ourselves in the role so our learning is good. In the same sense we dont have to keep saying it is just a symbol.


By recognizing the presense of God everywhere in every object and by symbolism Hindus teach respecting self and others.
They also teach us not only tolerance to others but acceptance of others.


Let me ask you to respect ancient traditions of India when you see many forms of Lord in a Hindu household"

Dear Dr. tks Avl:

First, congratulations to your son. I admire him in explaining Hindu Symbolism to his classmates and the practicality of his explanations etc.

Since you said that he got the input from you, I have the following questions to YOU (not to your son):

1. Your "TEACHINGS" (not preaching) seems to be one of a Theist. You have said you are NOT a theist before. Is there a contradiction here? If there is, what's the motive?

2. Having said that Hinduism is about symbolism at the beginning, somewhere at the end the post says, "We don't have to keep saying it is just a symbol". Do I see an internal contradiction?

3. You have rightly said, "Prayers, Poojas and bhajans are like bribery" before. I have used the line myself many times in my posts.

Then, here you advocate for prayers like "God, Please give me good luck". Is there some contradiction?


Best wishes

Y
 
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OP
OP
tks

tks

Well-known member
1)Abortion is taking an unborn childs life.To prevent unwanted pregnancy use contraception.

2)Dating is a process that comes with the art of falling in love.Love is pure and sacred.
Living together is inviting trouble in case the relationship turns sour.
Get married first and then live together.

3)Hindus believe that everything is Brahman.There is no harm worshiping God in any form for each form has a meaning.

4)Deepavali and Navaratri are festivals which have significance just like how celebrating our Birthdays have significance.

5)Praying is part of being responsible.
As humans we owe our existence and development to Mata,Pita,Guru and Deivam..so praying to God is showing gratitude to our creator.

6)We go to temples for Sat Sang and also to steady the mind and give ourselves a chance to keep in touch with culture and religion.

7)Divinity is in everyone but its not Manifested yet in most of us..till then we all make mistakes.

8)Talk to your close friend or get help for him by telling him to get medical help but make sure parents know about it before the cops do.Drugs is serious matter.
Being a friend is not always about keeping promises..your friend might be angry for letting his parents know but in the long run he will know that you really cared for him.
Hinduism teaches us to be equiposed in praise and blame.

9)Some people are vegetarian out of compassion,lifestyle or for health benefits.
No two people are alike in food choice.

10)What happens when we die?? Ok for now..let see..do we even know tomorrow? We dont!! Live now in the present and not worry too much for the future.

11)Poojas are not bribing..we can never bribe God.
Poojas are under the Karmakanda portion of religion.
Some do it for desire,fame,favour,for progeny,for health and some for the love of God.

Dr Renu :)

Thanks for quick and simple answers to such questions.

Let us explore one question at a time ...

Assuming that there are no comments in Post #2 , if you take up the issue of Abortion - the real question to answer is Hindu view of 'Pro-choice vs pro-life'.
We can present our view points, but is there a basis to decide if abortion is legitimate if mother's life is in danger. What about the pregnancies arising out of rape? Is it about a women's right or Hindu Dharma teaches something. Since there are no commandments in Vedic teaching how does one decide? I know a child - even a teenager - will not ask these question but the answer has to provide a satisfactory view.

Biblical religions have provided a position but Hinduism being not organized has not explicitly addressed this issue that is more visible in the modern times.

Is use of contraception OK in terms of Hindu view of the world - why?


Thanks:)
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
- What is Hindu view on Abortions? Is it always bad?
- Is dating and living together not allowed in Hinduism
- Do Hindus worship Elephants and monkeys
- How come we celebrate festivals like Navarathri and Deepavali in various places in India for different reasons
- If I must be 100% responsible why should I pray
- Why do I have to go to temples
- If divinity is manifested in everyone why do some people do really bad things like terrorists and serial killers
- I know my close friend is stealing from his parents to get money for drugs but I made a promise not to tell that to his family. But I do not like the way he is destroying himself. What do I do since I do not want to break my promise? How will Hindu teaching help me to resolve this dilemma?
- If one living entity needs to consume another why do some people strive to be vegetarian?
- What happens when a person die?
- Why do people do Poojas? God cannot be bribed and yet people do poojas when they want something




- etc

Shri Tks and other Hindus/Theists..

Hinduism is more "THE ART OF LIVING" than just a Religion.


With the above preamble let me try the best possible answer to each of the questions above, to the best of my knowledge, understanding and belief.




- What is Hindu view on Abortions? Is it always bad?

Ans. - Hindu's phylosophical views are much emphasized on moral values/code of conduct. Getting into sex and getting conceived occurs in three different circumstances, that may warrent aborting the fetus -

1) After marriage, between legally married couples

2) Before marriage, between unmarried couples, out of Love clubbed with Lust to experience the pleasure OR by luring to make a girl commit for his life as wife OR to satisfy with verieties of sexual pervertion and look for other, leaving the partner.

3) Raping a girl

Abortion is perfectly OK in the 1st case with mutual consent of the couple and on justifiable grounds that are reasonable for the couples.

The 2nd case is against religious principles and moral values. The actions that spiritually/purly, personally and socially can not substantiate the True Love. The sense of sex is to fecilitate procreation. This sex sense is instilled as pleasurable feelings as without this feelings of sexual pleausers, as common and normal needs, indulgence in procreation can not happen. The Art of Living administeres that Sex should be emotionally connected with his/her partner with sense of commitments towards each other and their offsprings. So, True Lovers should neither indulge in intercourse nor other sorts of bodily explorations of each other, unless they are ritually/legally married and committed to each other.

Abortion is fine in the 3rd case as the girl/victim has her right to protect her interest first. To protect her moral values and her sense of moral commitments to her future husband or present husband (when a married lady is raped).


In general Hindu principles/philosophies makes its followers understand and request them to recognize, realize and accept that these prinicples/philosophies are nothing but purly an Art of Living with a sense of dignity for self and that of one's life patner. With a sense of absoulte commitment towards each other with their feelings, physical body, moral support and mutual trust. Not to consider Males and Females as sexual tools and use them to enjoy as a teenagers, as grown up single adults and as married individuals.



- Is dating and living together not allowed in Hinduism

Ans. - Why a person goes for dating? And why a person wants to live together with an opposite sex without marriage? These question should be answered first in positive spirit.

Dating - A person opts for dating with an opposite sex to get to know more about the other person and to build the bonding with the other. To see if they can like each other, if they could get along with each other and if can opt to live with each other as husband and wife. As long as dating is meant for these purposes, dating is absolutely Fine. If any one of the party involved could not find any sort of liking/compatibility with the other, can well tell openly and go ahead minding his/her own business.

If dating is meant purly for vivid perverted explorations with one or multiple partners, then, it is out of perview of "Art of Living", even if such carnal activities are by mutual consent between Adults.

Living together - When a person opts to live together without marriage one has to see what real sense he/she is making, living together without marriage? What sort of guarantee/assurances, commitments, moral goodness and trust can be expected between each other? Would they procreate or would just indulge in pleasurable unprotected sex and keep on murdering fetus? If they deliver baby what sort of guaranteed commitments can be expected to be offered to kids, untill they could be made to stand on their own legs, by their such mother and father? What sense of moral goodness can be instilled in the kids of such partners?


Dating for the purpose of perverted explorations (by unmarried and married folks) and living together without marriage for the sake of relieving onself from the sense of commitments/responsibilities are all destructive to oneself, the other and the society in general.

These fantasy ideas are out of the perview of Art Of Living. The Art of Living shows whats the ideal way of living for the betterment of self, for the partner, for the kids, including those in mother's womb and for the society at large.


- Do Hindus worship Elephants and monkeys
Ans. Answer for this been provided fantastically by Shri TKS in his post #2.


- How come we celebrate festivals like Navarathri and Deepavali in various places in India for different reasons

Ans. - Navarathi and Deepawali are celebrated in various places in India for different reseans ONLY because different traditions/cultures are followed within India among Hindus. These traditions/cultures/Festivals are based on various epic stories showcausing - What is righteousness? What is the law of goodness and what are the responsibilities of folks to uphold law/dharma/justice, moral goodness, dignity and safety/security of the self and others? There are the basis that forms the central theme of the moral messages that would justify "The Art of Living". The reasons of celebrating ceritain festivals, associating festivels with certain epic stories though are different, ALL the epic stories are the same for all the Hindus.

The bottom line of the messages of all the epic stories is - Goodness allways wins over Evilness.

The Art of Living advocates all Goodness and vouches against Evilness.


- If I must be 100% responsible why should I pray

Ans. - We pray to the allmighty to be graceful upon us and offer Wisdom to us ignorant souls so as to help us not only understand our responsibilities and moral goodness but to enable us administering them as best as possibile. We pray to gain spiritual energies/vibrations that in its purrest essense helps us to be understandable and responsible, day to day, in every walk of our life.

The Art of Living says that life is a complicated journey and full of learning process till the end. The spiritual energies can help us to steer through this journey without losing balance and gain as much wisdom as possible and have a meaningful life following The Art Of Living.

- Why do I have to go to temples
Ans. To visualize physical projuctions of Spiritual Energies/God/Values inorder to be influenced by purest spiritual energies by our prayers, with the sense of satisfaction. The Art of Living says that we ignorant souls in our journey of life feel much contented with the sense of acceptance, unless we could visualize/identify physically and could see things with our naked eyes. For the very purpose certain desired spiritual energies/values are embodied in a physical form of Idol, representing the spiritual energy. So, if you go to temple you will first have the sense of satisfaction that you could identify the spiritual energy to which you can pray and seek his blessings.



- If divinity is manifested in everyone why do some people do really bad things like terrorists and serial killers

Ans. - Beacuse some souls could not identify and adher to the essense of Art of Living owing to the total lack of spiritual energies in them, during certain period of their life. These souls are inhuman and immoral not because they don't have divinity in them. It is because they have not allowed the divinity in them to take its full charge. These terrorists and serial killers do have divinity in them with which they they could act as a good human to their near and dear ones, to their family members etc. Their Divinity is cocealed deep withing them and could not surface fully or reasonably due to their sense of Selfishness, Greediness, Ignorance, Jelousy, liking of Voilence, inclination towards exagrated sense of fantasy/out of way actions/self importance etc..etc.. Once these souls could go through the purification and learning process, stage by stage/life after life, as below average students, these souls would gradually refine themselves with the help of Divinity concealed deep within them.


The Art of Living tries to give us a handy guide book to speed up our learning process so as to enjoy the essense of divinity as best as possible and progress towards absolute refinement.

- I know my close friend is stealing from his parents to get money for drugs but I made a promise not to tell that to his family. But I do not like the way he is destroying himself. What do I do since I do not want to break my promise? How will Hindu teaching help me to resolve this dilemma?

Ans. - Many epic stories shows that, YOU can lie, YOU can cheat and YOU can break your promise IF AND ONLY IF Your thoughts and actions can do good and protect your friend, the people associated with your friend and the society at large. Provided You have advised/warned/informed your friend without hurting his feelings and emotions and you could not succeed in making him/her correct himself, his/her own wrong doings.

Don't succumb to emotional imbalance and let the evil rule over the good.

All the epic stories shows that Goodness and Evilness exists in all its might and both are playing their vital roles to ultimately project and substantiate the GOODNESS.

So, follow the above as one of the several teachings of "The Art of Living" and save your friend without any guilty consciousness.


- If one living entity needs to consume another why do some people strive to be vegetarian?

Ans. - "The Art of Living" says that the existence of this physical world itself in a great Art in itself, perfectly designed and balanced for the good of all. There are several sources to consume and keep oneself alive. There are several substances to fill the stomach and satisfy the tasting sense of the tongue. The Ecosystem is so intelligently designed that there exists perfect balance and sense of importance.

Many strives to be vegetarian on the following grounds - 1) not consuming meat right from the stage of infancy as followed by parents. 2) Accepting parent's spiritual philosophies/traditional-ancestral values and understanding the best values of vegetarian food, and 3) Adhering to Vegetarian foods on their own accord (though having been used to non.veg from childhood) based on one's level of spiritual sense and one's considearations of health factors, as one grows.

- What happens when a person die?

Ans. - Many things can happen after a person dies. Broadly and simply it is believed and understood on the basis of Karma theory that, a soul which has gained the plus and minus of his/her deeds while being alive, would be offered with a befitting course of another life, at a specific time, in a spercific environment and in a specific form.

Basically what The Art of Living says is that, "You are aware of this life as "YOU" are living in this world. Just try maximum to adher to the prinicples of "The Art Of Living" and rest assured about everything else beeing put perfectly in its proper place at the right time, through out this life time of yours, during your final days of leaving this world and after you leave your body and this world.

- Why do people do Poojas? God cannot be bribed and yet people do poojas when they want something

Ans. - People do Pooja with the hopes that they can by this way get relieved and be protected from any sort of evil/negative energies/vibrations wandering every where. So that, they can remain energized/surrounded/protected by good/positive energies/vibrations and keep themselves intact mentally and physically. For all these reasons they do pooja for their personal interest and that of their near and dear ones.

Yes, God can not be bribed but it is believed that God can be pleased not just with mere offering of fruits, flowers and tasty sweets. But with true love/bakthi/Shraddah along with the offerings out of love.

Humans are living a complex life in this complex world with lots of uncertainities , confusions and difficulties. "The Art of Living" emphasizes on Spirituality to help humans gain some positivity to sail in this deep sea of turbulance, so that mentally and physically attempted righteous hard efforts can be fructified with the grace of spiritual energies. So that humans can prevent distractions/pervertions/destructive thoughts, hoplessness, and refrain oneself for indulging in unethical/immoral activities out of impatience and losing sense of calmness and steadyness.

Humans life revolves around the sense of "WANTING". If there are NO WANTS, human survival would cease to exist. We humans out of our sense of WANTS, tend to ask God for what we don't have. This request to God being a mere human being may be senseless or senseful BUT the point is how we could take things that we were been offered with other than what we desired for and made the request? The point is that how you value spirituality and your belief in the Supreme being irrespective of what you have been granted? The point is how you could realize, understand and could sense the happening and offerings subtly?

As long as you don't go out of your mind out of frustrations and end up in bad deeds, taking your pains as the challenges posed on you, you are rest assured with peace and happiness in this life and the following life (if you would have).

The Art of Living professes that "As you sow, So you reap". And the things that you reap (good or bad) will have his implications when you reach the other side of the shore (taking another birth), in the process of purifying the Soul's energies.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Assuming that there are no comments in Post #2 , if you take up the issue of Abortion - the real question to answer is Hindu view of 'Pro-choice vs pro-life'.
We can present our view points, but is there a basis to decide if abortion is legitimate if mother's life is in danger. What about the pregnancies arising out of rape? Is it about a women's right or Hindu Dharma teaches something. Since there are no commandments in Vedic teaching how does one decide? I know a child - even a teenager - will not ask these question but the answer has to provide a satisfactory view.

Wonderful post#7 Mr. Ravi

I presented my view in gruesome thread and was very quickly castigated by others, but I am going to frame it differently.

I am all for the child and its quality of life. If the child is going to be raised in a loving family, where at least one person is totally devoted to the care and upbringing of the child please have and raise the child. It is a gift of GOD.

If the mother feels that she can not take care of the child, but someone else is promising to do the rearing again please do so.

If the mother is not in a position to take care of the child, or it endangers her well being. I will not judge her, it is up to her Conscience.
As long as it is legal all options should be available to her. I will fully support her decision. It is no body else's business to make that decision for her.

If the mother is conflicted or ignorant of her options, adoption should be available. But still there should be no stigma or guilt assigned.

This is highly charged issue. Men particularly old men (under the guise of religion or society) want to control women all the time. I am against this practice.

What if the women had a huge tumor in her, would we be discussing it as public issue? What if the tumor was cancerous, will we have any problem if it is cut out?

I have seen the dark side too much.
Famous song by Elvis
Elvis Presley - In The Ghetto ( That's The Way It Is 1970).avi - YouTube
 
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C RAVI

Well-known member
Thank you Shri Prasad1,

Yes, a mother should have her right to decide. And the people associated with her should understand and value her emotions first than that of theirs.

A girl / a lady first should have the sense of respect to her womb and should have moral goodness mentally and physically. A mother's womb is not like a bin to wash it off if it is found with something not necessary like unwanted filth.

I am not saying that guy's need not to have such moral goodness in getting the girl conceived. But, I am emphasizing on girls with the sense of sexual morality because nature makes her to get conceived and carry a life in her. Generally NO MOTHER would opt to abort her baby unless the situation so warrents. So a legitimate mother's decisions should be honored/should be considered for careful evaluation of the situation and should be supported for her right decision. There are cases of Men conviencing their wife to abort a baby for her safety and well being, calming her down with her emotional attachement to her baby she is carrying, for they need their loving wife to be alive than the not fully grown baby / not yet born baby inside her womb.


The fecility of abortion is ironical when girls/ladies indulge in premarital and extra marital unprotected affairs for the pleasure and easily proceed with abortion as simply as flushing out the filth from the bin.

If the need of abortion is not arising out of immoral mind set and practices, the heart wrenching abortion of the fetus is justifiable. And the mother who forces herself to abort her baby under such circumstances should be morally supported.

Let us first be a human than trying to be God's representative.

A mother is a human too and she would have the wound and pains for what she did as a final resort. If she does without any valid reasons or without any dire need of abortion out of her arrogance, let her bear the fruits of her deeds.



 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri TKS Sir,

On abortion, I think our scriptures clearly saw them as unwanted, except when a mother's life is in danger.

The reasons are based on Ahimsa(wanton killing of a life), Karma(incurred by the mother as well as the aborted child) and Reincarnation(delays the 'soul' of the child to self realize).

Here is a nice summary of our belief in a Power Point presentation:
http://mamaneh.org.my/v1/index2.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=3&Itemid=49

However, in India there have been abortions of female fetuses by Hindu women. The following research paper examines the Hindu abortion stand from the Dharma perspective, quoting various scriptural references and tries to explain the abortion behavior outlined above in the society:
http://eng.bioetica.ro/atdoc/RRBv8n1_2010_Damian_EN.pdf

Like you said, in Hinduism, abortion is looked at from a personal perspective of a woman's free will.

Regards,
KRS
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Mr. Ravi,
I can not tell you how emotional I got reading your post. My post#8 was written with emotion and trepidation. I did not know that it would be appreciated in a conservative society, I am happy that you agree with my view. Thank you.
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Prasad Ji.

You said:
I presented my view in gruesome thread and was very quickly castigated by others, but I am going to frame it differently.

Sir, this seems to refer to my comments on this topic. I never 'castigated' you sir, I just expressed my own personal opinion, based on how I view life. Your opinion is diametrically opposed to mine, where you do not consider a life is a life, till it is born. In such a case where we fundamentally do not agree, I did not see a need to continue to argue.

You also said:
This is highly charged issue. Men particularly old men (under the guise of religion or society) want to control women all the time. I am against this practice.

I am a man and I am old! :) So, I guess this is also directed towards me. Sir, I have never said that on the current legal basis a woman should not elect to abort. In fact, both in USA and India legal abortions need to meet specific criteria. So, both countries clearly have spoken to the society's interest in safeguarding life, and do not allow laissez faire as supported by both populations where majority support legal abortions with restrictions.

As I have said, this is about understanding when a life starts. In fact almost all religions assert that life starts at conception and on this basis one can criminalize all abortions; but that is not my position. One has to balance the rights of the child as a human being, with the rights of the mother to control her body. As I have said, our assumption that ALL mothers go through emotional trauma on abortion is not true as evidenced by the fact on wanton abortions of female babies in India and instances of mothers wantonly killing their children in well publicized cases in USA.

So, I reject your assertion that, I, as an old man would want to control a woman's body. If a society does not value a life, including that of a mother(I support abortion on medical grounds) and child(I think if the child can live outside the womb independently, it is a life) - any life - then we will go down the uncivilized road towards Nazism; where we eliminate people on the basis of their physical/mental attributes. And such a society will invariably be robbed of it's soul. And again, this is my OPINION.

Finally, let me apologize to Sri TKS Sir, for this lengthy post, that is a diversion. I had to explain myself. Thanks.

Regards,
KRS
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
Shri Pasad1,

Yes!!! I could sense your emotion in your post #8.

Though I am not married yet and have obviously not experienced the tough situation of need of abortion, I can well understand the emotional pains and trepidation a mother would undergo and a loving husband would experience in all same degree.

Some folks can not understand unless they find themselves in such demanding situations and some do understand though they are no where close to such possible disturbances.

I keep my eyes and mind open to grasp and realize the things happenig around me, I ponder on them and I realize the pains.

I am a MAN, BUT no way it makes me incapable to understand the pains of a WOMAN.

As I said in my post #9, I get pained on two different situations. 1) When a legitimamte mother forces herself to abort her baby as a final resort, as the situation demands and 2) A girl/lady who carry on with abortions so casually without any sense of moral goodness and responsibility.

Shri Prasad1, a society may look conservative in public, but within the four walls things can be totally different. Both in positive/moral ways and in negative/immoral ways. Isn't it??

As long as we find people sharing their honest views openly and as long as that's the ground reality of human life, irrespective of any caste and creed, we can certainly find folks agreeing to our views and opinions.


 
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prasad1

Well-known member
I am a man and I am old! :) So, I guess this is also directed towards me.

Mr. Krs this was not against you. I was talking in generality. I am a man and old too. My observation was based mostly on US Evangelical right, and their preoccupation with women's private parts all the time.
This issue of women's liberation is very dear to me, even more as a father of an independent grown women, I empathize with her.


Mr. Ravi,
You are a refreshing young person to meet. I wish you all success in life.
 
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biswa

New member
Sorry had to verify since the thread castigates old men. What is the line for old? 70, 50, or (god forbid) 35?

But Messrs. KRS and Prasad, regardless of what your physical age might be, it is clear that both of you are young at heart and mind.
 

biswa

New member
Re abortion: I seriously think men should excuse themselves from the issue. Let only female parliamentarians, MLAs, senators, congressmen and dictators create and abide by these laws.
 

sarang

Well-known member
For a change, let us look at this issue the 'hindu' way. Everyone accumulates karma - good or bad - and has to atone in this or future births. It is also agreed that it is possible to burn away all the past karmas and sins in one birth (aandal pasuram) and acieve realisisation. There are several types of papams - gynakrutam, agynakrutam (knowingly, unknowingly). apath (life risk), and many more.
Our sanatan dharma often does not enforce a rigid binary logic - yes or no - but a sort of fuzzy logic, to be interpreted by the individual, family, and kula and society.

Perhaps the answer will be - not for all, not under all circumstances.
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

Well-known member
Dear Dr. tks Avl:


1. Your "TEACHINGS" (not preaching) seems to be one of a Theist. You have said you are NOT a theist before. Is there a contradiction here? If there is, what's the motive?

When one looks at the world through the lens of biblical view of Theism and Atheism which many Hindus also subscribe to , there will appear to be a contradiction. By the way, in my others posts in the past I also noted that Vedic view of a word loosely translated to Theism does NOT mean belief in a personal God (that listens to your wishes etc).

One needs to have deep desire to learn the universal truths and be willing to spend effort (of the order of decades) in order to have deep conversation on many such topics, in my experience. So that is not possible here. Let me provide a metaphor to make a point instead to address your question about contradiction.

If some one asks you "do you believe that energy is neither created nor destroyed in the entire universe " what would be your answer. Let us make this definition: if you say yes , you are a theist and if you say no you are an atheist. In this imaginary context are you a theist or atheist? I hope your answer would be neither. why?

(By the way: Preaching means asking one to suspend reasoning abilities and accept whatever is being presented (say in a scripture). Teaching means there are Q&A subject to logic and understanding. No logic can teach anyone to accept the notion of a Personal God)


2. Having said that Hinduism is about symbolism at the beginning, somewhere at the end the post says, "We don't have to keep saying it is just a symbol". Do I see an internal contradiction?

Kindly re-read the original post.. There is an example about role playing as a means to teach a point. Anyway if after re-reading if you still have a question I will respond

3. You have rightly said, "Prayers, Poojas and bhajans are like bribery" before. I have used the line myself many times in my posts.

Then, here you advocate for prayers like "God, Please give me good luck". Is there some contradiction?

Motives and attitude makes all the difference in any activity we undertake which includes prayers and rituals. You may want to re-read the post. In that post I did not advocate or not advocate. It was a talk given to other children who already understand what prayer means.

If you want to know what I think, for most people I will advocate meditation, preferably prayerful meditation every day.
If you see the word prayer in what I advocate you may ask - 'I thought that is theist speak' :)
I have to respectfully say that you will not be able to understand this (unless you genuinely want to know the truth and are willing to spend enormous effort).
 

renuka

Well-known member
Re abortion: I seriously think men should excuse themselves from the issue. Let only female parliamentarians, MLAs, senators, congressmen and dictators create and abide by these laws.

Dear Biswa,

I feel it should be equal participation of male and female parliamentarians,MLA's senators etc after all abortion is all about sowing seeds and reaping the harvest later..so why should the sower of the seed be exempted from making decisions?

It takes two to Tango so in this case never let the Man Go.


Sometimes I am amazed at some patients I had seen in the past..they claim that they have low literacy rate and are not aware of contraception but their knowledge on modes of termination of pregnancy is very much above average almost at par with a doctor sometimes.How come they are selectively ignorant??

So there is no excuse actually for anyone..its just being downright irresponsible and wanting an easy way out cos some people find contraception too tedious and go in for abortions without having any remorse.

I personally feel a fetus can sense when his/her parents does not desire or desire them cos I remember every case where I had advised patients to keep their pregnancy(abortion is illegal in Msia) I have noted that when the babies grow and become my patients they seem to have a very close bond with me..even their parents have commented"Doc I think he/she knew that you asked us to keep the pregnancy"

You will have to feel this bond to realize how precious each life is.
 
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prasad1

Well-known member
I am not going to preach my moral value to others. The values are ever changing, and invariably we are stuck some where in the back. The younger generation lives by different set of values. Even in India, dating, cohabiting, casual sex are common in metro cities. In the west it is recreational sex, homosexual sex, and weird sex practice are common.

My concern is women's health and well being of the child. Men can and should support women's decision. In majority of the cases of unwanted pregnancies, the male is not even in the picture.

Contraception is also used for other purpose, like excessive bleeding, ovarian cyst, etc. So contraception should be treated as medicine for women, and should not be stigmatized. Even catholic women including pious nuns have admitted to using these drugs. In USA 98% of women admit to taking these drugs at some time or other.
 
OP
OP
tks

tks

Well-known member
Dear Sri TKS Sir,

On abortion, I think our scriptures clearly saw them as unwanted, except when a mother's life is in danger.

The reasons are based on Ahimsa(wanton killing of a life), Karma(incurred by the mother as well as the aborted child) and Reincarnation(delays the 'soul' of the child to self realize).

Here is a nice summary of our belief in a Power Point presentation:
http://mamaneh.org.my/v1/index2.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=3&Itemid=49

However, in India there have been abortions of female fetuses by Hindu women. The following research paper examines the Hindu abortion stand from the Dharma perspective, quoting various scriptural references and tries to explain the abortion behavior outlined above in the society:
http://eng.bioetica.ro/atdoc/RRBv8n1_2010_Damian_EN.pdf

Like you said, in Hinduism, abortion is looked at from a personal perspective of a woman's free will.

Regards,
KRS

Sri KRS Sir -

Thanks for sharing interesting resources on the subject.

What I told my children about this item when they asked me is that while we dont have commandments the closest one that we can all relate to is "Ahimsa Paramo Dharma" (अहिंसा परमो धर्मः )

From this perspective, it is about minimization of injury considering all aspects of all beings ...




 

prasad1

Well-known member


From this perspective, it is about minimization of injury considering all aspects of all beings ...


I agree we need to minimize the sufferings. How do you account for it is subjective. I understand that the origin of this ahimsa movement is not in vedas. It either got in from Buddhism or Jainism. There is mention of it in Mahabharat, and became very popular with Gandhiji.

Suffering or pain is dependent on which side of the equation you are in.
Restricting the rights of a terrorist or putting a terrorist to death is not ahimsa from their perspective but it is lessor of the two evils of letting them to commit murder.

My brother helps run a homeless shelter for kids. We also saw some orphanage in Old Romania. Too much suffering.

My dilemma is

Yes abortion is terminating a potential life.
Is using a condom preventing a potential life?
Is women going through menstrual cycle and rejecting an egg is killing?
Miscarriage is it murder?
How about test tube baby? Or surrogate womb?

where does it start or stop?

I do not know that we get a satisfactory answer.

Is it humane and Ahimsa to condemn a child miserable loveless life?

Like elvis said:

As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto

And his mama cries
Cause if there's one thing that she don't need
It's another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto
elvis presley - in the ghetto - YouTube
 
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OP
OP
tks

tks

Well-known member
I agree we need to minimize the sufferings. How do you account for it is subjective. I understand that the origin of this ahimsa movement is not in vedas. It either got in from Buddhism or Jainism. There is mention of it in Mahabharat, and became very popular with Gandhiji.

Suffering or pain is dependent on which side of the equation you are in.
Restricting the rights of a terrorist or putting a terrorist to death is not ahimsa from their perspective but it is lessor of the two evils of letting them to commit murder.

My brother helps run a homeless shelter for kids. We also saw some orphanage in Old Romania. Too much suffering.

My dilemma is

Yes abortion is terminating a potential life.
Is using a condom preventing a potential life?
Is women going through menstrual cycle and rejecting an egg is killing?
Miscarriage is it murder?
How about test tube baby? Or surrogate womb?

where does it start or stop?

I do not know that we get a satisfactory answer.

Is it humane and Ahimsa to condemn a child miserable loveless life?

Like elvis said:

As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto

And his mama cries
Cause if there's one thing that she don't need
It's another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto
elvis presley - in the ghetto - YouTube

Every judgement is subjective in the end.
What matters is the intent and attitude towards minimizing overall injury. By overall it includes all beings.

Our great epics do provide many instances of dilemmas where there is no right answer. The poets could have left them out but they did not. I am talking about examples like killing of Vali in Ramayana.

Taittriya Upanishad has the following:

Verse 11.3 (Sikshavalli):

“In case of any doubt in the karma (deed) to be fulfilled or the way one should act in a particular situation,
you should look for elders ….. who have the ability to enquire and analyse deeply, those who run life
according to traditional prescriptions, those who are not obliged to others, those who are kind, those who
are committed to dharma ….. observe what they do in similar situations …. and follow their ways.”

While the translation above may not be the best there is the important point that in life we do run into dilemmas.
For the right interpretation the suggestion is to seek help. In the end if no help is available the suggestion is always to do the best.
This way the eventual interpretation is left up to the individual in these teachings.

Therefore with open mind and with right intent the 'Ahimsa Paramo Dharma:' is helpful in acting in a way that is aligned with universal principles.
After exercising our free will with the best intent there is no need to worry about the eventual outcome.
 
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