The Hindu Philosophy of Sin, Salvation and Karma

The Hindu Philosophy of Sin, Salvation and Karma

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Book Specification

Item Code: IDL054
Author: R. K. Sanyal
Publisher: Crest Publishing House
Edition: 2002
ISBN: 8124202001
Pages: 200
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.6" X 5.7”

Book Description

The essence of Indian philosophy is that all living beings are endowed with two constituents. One, with the Supreme Power’ which created the world and has existed since the beginning of the creation: the indestructible, the unsullied element which is constant for all eternity, is called the ‘Purusha’ which literary translated into English would layers of destructible and ever changing material called ‘Prakriti’ meaning the ‘The Female Principle’.

The outermost coating is called the ‘Annamaya Kosha’ – the sheath derived from food or in other words the body. This body is important because its functioning is the purpose of life and on its proper functioning i.e. the karma depends the salvation which means the shedding of the various sheaths one by one the Purusha and getting liberated attaining its innate pure form and accomplishing the goal of oneness with the Supreme Being.

The ‘Prakriti’ is basically endowed with three attributes viz. ‘Sattwik’ (the noble one) which, like clear transparent glass, facilitates clarity of thought and altruism of motive. The next quality is called ‘Rajasik’ or materialistic which makes a person feel important and inflates his ego. He looks upon the world as if through coloured glasses, as a field for display of his power and enjoyment. The third quality is called ‘Tamasic’ or the ignoble one, which is like a dark glass. It makes a person lazy, ignorant and superstitious. All beings have all the three attributes though in varying proportions. By appropriate action, one overcomes the tamasic quality, subdues the rajasik or egoistic tendencies and ultimately concerts himself into preponderantly sattwik or altruistic. Thus one rises in level and finally shedding even the ultimate sattwik quality becomes one with the Supreme Divinity.

Just as ‘Prakriti’ is endowed with three qualities, religion also exists on three planes. In the highest plane, altruism and tolerance predominate and one is nearest to God but even these persons are engaged in doing good work, not for social or political gain but for the good of the humanity as a whole. Here a person’s belief is not only monotheistic but supertheistic or ‘Nirgun Bramha’ as explained later in the book. In the middle level, religion is more rajasik. Pomp, splendour and rituals predominate and there is more emphasis on the way one prays rather than the essence and direction of the prayer. In Hinduism this is also manifested as polytheism though the physical deities represent the power of the only one Supreme Divinity by whose grace alone a person can reach the only sublime God. To emphasize this, prayers to all of them are preceded by chanting ‘AUM’ – the spiritual essence of the ‘Supreme Divinity’, At the lowest level religion degenerates into fundamentalism, hatred for followers of other faiths, conflict and violence. Those indulging in it keep on falling to lower and still more lower levels in the continuous cycle of birth and death.

It becomes evident that the functioning of the actions or Karma should be such that one keeps an attaining the higher levels of existence spiritually, The question may arise – what is the appropriate action? The answer is – action which commensurates with one’s capability, training, station in life and is in accordance with one’s scriptural teachings from the highest level to the lowest (which we may call the course of behaviour that society has prescribed as law).

The Bhagvadgita prescribes four different ways which are complementary to one another for ascent to various planets of progress to God-head i.e. divinity. First comes the ‘Karma’ which can be enriched by ‘Gyan’ or knowledge, by dialectical discourse, deep meditation on the divinity which is the true self of everybody and by devotional practices. Karma is the backbone of all behaviour, not only for those who are trying to ascend but also because one cannot remain without action (such is our nature). Even when one has attained the highest level, he goes on performing karma as an example for others, though at that stage he is beyond all karma.

The present treatise is an attempt to highlight all these facets and begins with a summary discourse of the most ancient Hindu texts as available today and tries to draw lessons from it about the nature of God-head, the essence of Hindu worship, prayers and sacred symbols and on sin and salvation. Special chapters have been devoted to the essence of karma and attempts have been made salvation and how karma a long with gyan attain salvation and how karma a long with gyan i.e. knowledge leads one to higher and higher spiritual levels. Some of the author’s thoughts have been expressed in prose and some in verse.

References have been made to the original sources of material, wherever applicable but chiefly, these have been the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and above all the Bhagvadgita. The objective of this book is to give the reader an insight into the basic philosophies of Hinduism by examining some of the beliefs in the light of modern knowledge.


1. Introduction 1
2. ‘I Pray in Frustration’ - Poem 5
3. Evolution of Hindu Religion 6
4. Karma – The Basic Principle of Religion 16
5. Hope - Poem 28
6. Fundamentals of Hindu Philosophy 30
7. The Sacred Literature of Hinduism 37
8. The Beginning - Poem 47
9. Musings on the Upanishads 48
10. The Nasadiya Sukta of Rig Veda 78
11. Primordial Event - Poem 85
12. Musings on Devi Sukta 87
13. Understanding Kali – The Dark Goddess 91
14. “Reflections on the Gayatri Mantra 103
15. The Immortal Chant - Poem 108
16. Scientific Interpretation of ‘Aum’ 109
17. The Searching Soul - Poem 113
18. Knowledge - Poem 114
19. On Mediation 115
20. revelation - Poem 120
21. My Fragility - Poem 122
22. Scientific Analysis of Kundalini 123
23. Is Hindu’s Worship of a Physical Deity Idolatory? 129
24. Unity in Diversity - Poem 136
25. Illusion or Maya 137
26. The Hindu Thought on Sin 141
27. Sin and Salvation 147
28. Karma and Moksha – As Espoused in the Bhagvadgita 154
29. Hinduism – A Socio-organic Resume 170
30. Essence of Hinduism 177
31. Innerself - Poem 186
32. Karma – The Supreme Pathway 188

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