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Thorbjorn
22 Apr 2015, 12:08
Incorporating the Hindu deities into my practice, that is. I'm either Ásatrúar or I'm not, and I am definitely Ásatrúar. After a rather heated debate elsewhere about still having an affinity for the Hindu deities and somehow keeping them in my practice, albeit separate from the Aesir and Vanir, it's clear to me it won't work. It seems I've been forcing the issue.

The reason is several-fold:



I cannot accept that the Hindu deities are all different aspects of one God. Either they are Gods and Goddesses in their own right, or they are not. Hinduism says they are but aspects of Brahman, as are we.



I cannot accept Hindu cosmology and theology. That is, advaita and its several flavors. I believe in wyrd and orlog, but not karma and reincarnation in the Hindu understanding of it.



I do not believe in or am seeking moksha, liberation from the world of illusion. I don't believe that.



I was told it's intellectual dishonesty (and I believe it is to a degree) to worship Gods who are part of a culture that puts a high value on vegetarianism, while I like a good horn of mead, ale, and a good rib steak, and holds beliefs I do not.



Last, but probably most importantly, are my Gods and Goddesses not enough?


Now, in overthinking this it occurred to me... what of the literature? What of the books I have: the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, even some Buddhist writings that are clearly not in line with my beliefs? I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water, so I will probably just keep them on my bookshelves for their literary and entertainment value. And possibly for some universal truths I will find in them. But they would be no more than literature, not scriptures. As for the pretty statues I have, well they'll have to be packed away. I think to keep them on display would reduce them to being objets d'art. That may be an offense and affront to the culture and the deities themselves. I have thought about carefully packing them and sending them to the temple gift shop as donations.

Norse_Angel
22 Apr 2015, 13:45
Im sorry you're having these troubles in your path. I, being Heathen for some time, have looked into differing religions out of curiosity. Nothing has stuck with me though, or shaken my faith in our Northern Gods. But for me, it has always been a delight to learn about different dieties and religions.
I can leave you with some advice on your topic though. It seems that our Gods have stuck with you in a mighty way, our ideals being powerfully present in your vessel. Take pride in this gift, and keep it close to you. If something doesn't feel right, let it go. It's alright to dabble, and learn, but if it loses its sensual touch, and you feel the tug from another side, let that tug take you to where you belong. My two cents for you.

Thorbjorn
22 Apr 2015, 14:31
Thanks. :) I have nooo doubts with Ásatrú. It's the only way that's made sense to me as far as I can remember in all my life. It's just so practical and undemanding:



You light a candle for your deity(ies), or you don't (I do).
You have a vé (shrine), or you don't (I do).
No rituals if you don't want.
You remember where you came from (or try to), i.e. venerate, respect, honor your ancestors.
Try to live by the Nine Noble Virtues. Admittedly they are reconned, but they are a good code.
Pop a cold one (or room temp as I prefer), raise it in a toast, then bottoms up.
Talk to the Gods, thanking them for their help and blessings. But no groveling.
Understand who and what the Gods are... older, wiser, more powerful versions of us, but like us nonetheless: e.g. Freyr sat in the All-Father's seat, saw Gerda, pined for her, used his sword as a bribe to Skirnir (what kid never got into his or her parents' things out of curiosity and then got punished?); Freyja used her sexuality to get a piece of jewelry; Odin broke faith a couple of times; Thor is a very protective and devoted family man. Yep, they are just like us and have lessons to teach.
No demanding by them, no threats, no punishments.
We (they and us) are all in this together; we're born, live the best we can, and we die.


I thought I'd be able to work in other philosophies, but as it turns out, it's not meant to be. You're right, the Gods have called me loud and clear and represent everything of who and what I am. I think it was a matter of just trying to hold onto the past.

Willow
23 Apr 2015, 09:54
Sometimes things just don't click. It happens, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy reading about it anyway. ^^

Side note: I love people who use bullet points.

Thorbjorn
23 Apr 2015, 15:16
I recently discovered bulleting. :D

eightofcups
25 Apr 2015, 03:27
Hey there, Thorbjorn! I grew up in family that was half Hindu (my mum's side is Christian) and we managed to merge the two, so it can be done, I guess. :)
Anyways, about your first four points, I have known a lot of Hindus in my life, and a lot of them don't believe in the tenants you list; even my own family, I wouldn't say they don't believe, but they're neutral, they don't believe or disbelieve. Not to mention at least half of the Hindus I've met are huge meat eaters (one Hindu friend I had would eat a ton chicken everyday!).
As for the literature, I don't think anyone needs to be Hindu to enjoy Hindu literature, or even to glean some wisdom from it. Anyone can read and enjoy it, heck, I've known a few Christians who've read and enjoyed the Ramayana.
Ultimately, do what feels right to you, and if this faith no longer resonates with you feel free to move on from it. I just wanted you to know that many Hindus don't even follow those rules themselves (so you need not be so hard on yourself!) and that anybody of any faith or background can read Hindu literature.

thalassa
26 Apr 2015, 12:31
Hey there, Thorbjorn! I grew up in family that was half Hindu (my mum's side is Christian) and we managed to merge the two, so it can be done, I guess. :)
Anyways, about your first four points, I have known a lot of Hindus in my life, and a lot of them don't believe in the tenants you list; even my own family, I wouldn't say they don't believe, but they're neutral, they don't believe or disbelieve. Not to mention at least half of the Hindus I've met are huge meat eaters (one Hindu friend I had would eat a ton chicken everyday!).
As for the literature, I don't think anyone needs to be Hindu to enjoy Hindu literature, or even to glean some wisdom from it. Anyone can read and enjoy it, heck, I've known a few Christians who've read and enjoyed the Ramayana.
Ultimately, do what feels right to you, and if this faith no longer resonates with you feel free to move on from it. I just wanted you to know that many Hindus don't even follow those rules themselves (so you need not be so hard on yourself!) and that anybody of any faith or background can read Hindu literature.

I was going to mention this...I had a Hindu "roommate" (we were in the same berthing on the ship, she was in the rack next to mine), and I know for a fact that she was a hard polytheist and a meat eater. Also, that there were (maybe still are?) schools of thought in Hinduism historically that have even been atheist. So, in practice it seems to be more bendy in terms of beliefs than your experience of it was.

That being said, go where your journey takes you!

anunitu
26 Apr 2015, 12:36
I like that term "Bendy" gonna steal it for some sharp describing at some time or other....

Thorbjorn
27 Apr 2015, 04:51
Ultimately, do what feels right to you, and if this faith no longer resonates with you feel free to move on from it. I just wanted you to know that many Hindus don't even follow those rules themselves (so you need not be so hard on yourself!) and that anybody of any faith or background can read Hindu literature.

I'm pretty much able to let go now.

I just finished reading Patricia Lafayllve's A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru. In one chapter she talks about inangardh and utangardh, in simplest terms, one's inner circle and outer circle of acquaintances, friends and family. Everyone has multiple inangardh and utangardh because they overlap with other people's. She mentions Venn diagrams. The inangardh of a person who is my inangardh may be my utangardh not because of animosity or enmity but only because I don't know or work with those persons. It's the same with deities. The deities of our pantheons (this applies to ancestors and wights too) are our inangardh because they are very close kith and kin. There are even deities within our own pantheons we are not close to and don't work with, so they are technically utangardh... just not our inner circle, but there is no dislike or animosity. Some day I may get to know them, or not.

The inangardh of someone who worships the Egyptian, Hindu or Hellenic, etc. deities are my utangardh not because we have anything against each other, but because we simply don't know or work with each other. Or in my case with the Hindu deities, like all relationships, we've drifted apart. Think of old coworkers or high school or college friends you don't see anymore due to life's changes. It doesn't mean we don't like each other or have animosity; we still like and respect each other.

Sometimes we reestablish the connection, but most times we don't. Now I understand this is how it is with the Hindu deities. We simply have different circles of devotees, followers and in the case of me, different close personal deities. If I went to a Hindu or Buddhist temple I would pay my respects the deities deserve. In the same way I can keep pictures of people I don't see or know very well, I can keep statues or picture of other deities I respect though I don't worship. It's a good resolving of it, I think. Of course the literature will be kept and appreciated for what it is, just as I do like parts of the Bible... Ecclesiastes, Psalms, the Synoptic Gospels (John is too "out there" for me), and a few others.

Torstein
02 May 2015, 14:54
Just thouhgt I'd say, my fiance has been practicing Hinduism for a little bit now, and I constantly do what I can to accomade for her faith as well as the Buddhism and Taoism that I incorporate into my Heathen practices. I think they can mesh well, but only if you believe that all of the Gods you're observing religiously are okay with being in eachothers holy space, you know? But I do agree that there are some things that just dont come together well with the two.