Before delving into the nitty-gritty of the subject, let me begin by expounding on my personal exposure to Hinduism. I was born into a Hindu household, and while my parents aren’t fervently following the Hindu calendar to the letter, there are certain things that are expected of one born into such a family. Piety and devotion being the primary goals of the life of a Hindu and certainly, as a corollary, blind piety and blind devotion have become the norm. As I grew up, I came to view the religion I was born into as my ancestors’ legacy on Earth, a legacy that my family and I ought to respect lest we would offend the ethos of their existence. But then, in high school, I endeavored to learn more about my religion, and I embarked on a spiritual journey with a very philosophical concomitant.
As a child, folding my hands in prayer and saying nebulous Sanskrit phrases while doing so, seemed like the end-all of religion. There was no underlying purpose, it was all about fulfilling this need, this obligation to qualify as a good Hindu. My grand-father eschewed all that ”hogwash” as he would call it, and would openly declare his skepticism, often labeling Hindu priests as ”charlatans”, whilst in their midst. My grand-mother would pray in the evening, somehow managing to turn her prayers into selfish soliloquies whereby she would harangue all the Gods on the shortcomings of everyone in her life. My mother would embrace a more spiritual approach although she too, didn’t have the answers when my sisters and I would question her on her faith, or faith in general. My dad wasn’t much of a believer, similar to his dad, although he chose to blindly adhere to the notion that his ancestors’ religion is the true religion.
For the first time in my life, I was given reading material that resonated with my views on life, although no one from my immediate circle touched upon those themes. I was reading the Purusha Sukta, the Nasadiya Sukta, the Mahabharata and the Upanishads. I was reading about Hindu reformers and great souls like Ramakrishna Paramahansa. I was reading about Swami Vivekananda and his countless victories in exploring the spiritual aspect of this physical entity. All this positive imagery stuck in my head and I began to feel the changes in my life. Whilst reading the Upanishad, I realized that Hinduism called for its adherents to respect other living things. I became a vegan for a while and I can fairly say, there’s nothing quite like experiencing this physical and spiritual makeover.
Hindu texts speak extensively about unity in consciousness, as did Swami Vivekananda. Consciousness is a primary theme in many ancient Hindu texts; in the Suktas, Gurus opine that we either know about the Genesis or we do not. The dualism is even more present in the Mahabharata whereby Krishna espouses violence as a means to overthrow the draconian usurpers. This dichotomy in Hinduism doesn’t end there, it leads to the Nietzschean conclusion that whatever we do in this world is confined to this world only. The soul rises above the material plane and continues to do so until it reaches enlightenment.
Moksha (enlightenment) becomes the primary goal of the Hindu faith. One has to work their way through this maze to finally reach an epic explosion of mindfulness and complete knowledge. Moksha happens insofar as the devotee hasn’t strayed from their spiritual path. Moksha is the ultimate goal of every scientific pursuit, of every single human experiment ever undertaken; it is after all the obtainment of every piece of information about humanity, the planets, the gods and Genesis. Come to think of it, Moksha is tantamount to finally acquiring that software that contains every bit of information spanning from the beginning of time to eternity, and embedding it within your consciousness.