Chicago 1893: A great spiritual leader from one of the oldest civilizations of the world, India was about to become famous for his thought-provoking speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. The young and inspiring monk from the Far East, Swami Vivekananda, opened the doors of Hinduism to the West, not only captivating the hearts of everyone present at the august convention, but also introducing the true essence of spiritual awareness to millions of citizens around the world. In his iconic speech, Vivekananda summarizes the greatness of Hinduism in these simple words of truth:
…I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true…
While the world immersed itself in violence and tyranny to capture unknown territories and acquire wealth in the name of Empires and Religions, India and Hinduism paved the path to universal brotherhood and non-violence. Right from the ancient Vedic Scriptures and the teachings of the great Adi Shankaracharya to the learning of world leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, one comes face-to-face with the power of tolerance and communal harmony. Throughout history, you will see several examples of the values of Hinduism – whether the acceptances of religions like Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity to give their followers the freedom of choice and present them with the path of unity & peace or spreading the message of non-violence and selflessness through Buddhism. This is course gives you a brief glimpse into the history of India .
Hinduism is not just a religion; it’s a way of life-whether it’s mastering the art of self-discipline through Yoga and Meditation or discovering the secrets of natural healing through Ayurveda. Come! Let’s explore the true essence of Hinduism to understand the true meaning of a purposeful life.
The word ‘Hinduism’ originated from the river Sindhu (Indus), that nourished the Indus Valley Civilization and was pronounced as Hindu by the Persians. This region was called Hindustan and the religion that the people practiced was called Hinduism. It is the world’s oldest religion that encompasses more than religion itself; it’s a confluence of philosophy, culture and traditions, beliefs and ideas and ancient practices like Yoga, Meditation, Puja, Ayurveda, Vastu Shastra, Karma and more.
Hinduism is based on several philosophies like Dharma (ethics and duties), Samsara (reincarnation), Karma (action) and Moksha (liberation from the cycle of births and deaths). It’s a homogenous mix of principles like Truth, Honesty, Righteousness, Non-violence, Universal Brotherhood, Tolerance, Contentment, and Perseverance etc. Hinduism believes in the existence of one god but in several forms; people visualized and sought god in various forms – male and female deities with different characteristics and powers. Therefore, the Hindus worship god in different forms – Krishna, Shiva, Rama, Ganesha, Durga, Lakshmi, Kali, Hanuman etc. The uniqueness of Hinduism lies in the freedom of choice it gives to its followers and the fact that it’s not tied down by one single belief system. In whatever way you wish to practice Hinduism, you will surely realize that it’s basically a way of life that preaches universal acceptance and tolerance. If you are new to Hinduism and want to explore the different realms of this great philosophy, visit our online course on Indian Heritage and the principles of Hinduism.
Power of Yoga & Meditation
Hinduism is a journey of self-awareness, of leading a virtuous life, of finding the unknown and being in one with the nature around us. The scriptures of Hinduism are called ‘Shastras’ that are a collection of teachings and wisdom passed on by the ancient sages and saints through the generations. India introduced Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda to the world among other popular practices of Hinduism.
The age-old quote “Knowledge is Power” defines the underlying principle of the ancient practices of Yoga and Meditation. If you are looking for self-realization and want to lead a balanced life, free of stress and tension, then practice Yoga and Meditation that’ll unravel the hidden truths. You might have seen many of your friends and colleagues taking part in Yoga sessions, in strange, twisted postures and weird practices. Well, Yoga is much more than the postures and rituals; you’ll be amazed at the power of Yoga and Meditation that’s reaping several health and spiritual benefits to a growing population around the world.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient Hindu practice that involves several exercises like breath control, bodily postures (asanas) and simple meditation to improve health, fitness and relaxation of your body and mind. It harmonizes your body and mind through a combination of vigorous yet gentle exercises and techniques that not only calm your mind but also awaken you to your inner consciousness! Explore how you can live a stress-free, healthy life in this Yoga course for total mind-body transformation.
Benefits of Yoga & Meditation
- Nurtures your body, mind and soul
- Awakens your inner-consciousness and self-realization
- The yoga postures, breathing techniques and meditation exercises help you get rid of stress and disease.
- Improves quality of life and cures several ailments like indigestion, insomnia, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, hypertension and more.
- Brings in self-discipline, makes your mind alert, refreshes and rejuvenates you to lead a happy, worry-free life.
This Yoga & Meditation course is designed specially to make it easy for everyone to learn. Go ahead and try it out. Experience the benefits for yourself.
Ayurveda and Natural Healing
Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal science, practiced in India from centuries ago and is often referred to as the ‘mother of healing’. Ancient Greek and Chinese medicine too were influenced from Ayurveda and its natural healing techniques. Ayurveda is based on the principles of natural and holistic medicine and tries to cure the disease from the root instead of merely attacking the symptoms. It emphasizes on adjusting your food habits (pithya) and lifestyle to help improve immunity and bodily constitutions (doshas) for a balanced and healthy life.
In Sanskrit, “Ayur” means life and “veda” means science; Ayurveda helps us cleanse our body and mind to enhance our longevity. Through a process of natural healing and herbal medicines, Ayurveda balances the effects of the five elements (air, water, earth, fire and space) on our body thereby making us stronger and healthier. Discover the secrets of Ayurveda and how Yoga & Ayurveda work together to clear the imbalances in your body.
The 8 Branches of Ayurvedic Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Organic Medicine
- Rejuvenating Remedy
- Aphrodisiac Therapy
- Spiritual Healing
These various branches have their individual approaches to curing a disease or preventing one. Ayurveda uses an age-old system of understanding our body type (prakriti) to make us aware of the diseases we may be prone to and helps us adjust to a preventive lifestyle. In fact, take this course to learn how to cook healing food in accordance with ayurvedic principles. As they say, what you eat makes you who you are!
To discover Hinduism, you need to understand the rich heritage of India, one of the oldest living civilizations of the world that gave us the concept of ‘zero’, introduced us to the power of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda and spread the message of peace and non-violence through Buddhism. You’ll be amazed to find the many diversities and cultures of India while traversing through the beautiful country sides, the modern cities and a sea of vibrant people.
With its pretty landscapes from the Himalayas, Ganges to the Deserts and Coastal Lands; you’ll witness the unravelling of magic as you explore this massive and welcoming country. The numerous festivals & languages, traditions and beliefs, rich art & architecture and the fascinating cuisines; they are all waiting to make you fall in love with this great heritage!
It’s no surprise that the flavors of India have reached the farthest corners of the world; the exotic spices and herbs, interesting recipes and various cooking styles have influenced many modern cuisines around the world due to their increasing popularity. Be it Tandoori, North or South Indian Cuisine, Kashmiri, Bengali or Maharashtrian food, you will never cease to be amazed by the different flavours of each and every region of this vast nation. You may find it hard to believe that Indian cooking is based on the science of using the right mix of herbs, adopting the right cooking processes and using traditional techniques to create finger-licking delicious food! Find out more about the amazing Indian gastronomy with this course on Indian Cooking.
India is a diverse country with many religions, languages, cultures and traditions; the people are not only friendly but also inspire us in little ways to help us find true happiness. To understand the different principles and layers of Hinduism, you need to discover yourself first and come face-to-face with your inner truth. To understand the law of cause and effect, awaken your consciousness and spirituality, and seek answers to life’s queries, introduce yourself to the many life-changing ideas and teachings of Hinduism.
To conclude, Hinduism is a way of life that enables you to become a better person; look beyond religion and regional divides to truly experience the journey of leading a happier and balanced life!