Principles of Hinduism in Pushtimarg
The world is a dynamic environment and religion needs to keep in check with the changes in the rest of the world. This is an ideal situation. This should NOT mean that we compromise on the attributes of a religion to make it ‘modern’ and more pleasing to the new generation. This is my sincere belief.
In Pushtimarg we whole heartedly adopt the ethical and moral principles that apply to a Hindu. We are Hindus and have to live by the ideals and formalities that it entails.
We put more importance to the practices of a Hindu than in other ‘paths’ to God. It is for this reason that people misconstrue principles that a Hindu SHOULD follow to be the principles of Pushtimarg.
Future of our children.
Pushtimarg is taught wrongly, especially to teenagers. They are told what not to do instead of what they should do. In their minds the word DONT has been deeply ingrained.
I think we must look ahead at the future. Our future are the youth of today. The consequence of DONT is that the people shy away from religion and turn to other forms of distraction/entertainment. In no way I am suggesting we should become sadhus. Renouncing the world is not the point of being a Vaishanav.
We should initially teach children the core belief of Pushtimarg and not the secondary aspects of it. In our mind we have to shift the emphasis from the secondary to the primary goal.
The primary belief in Pushtimarg is that we have a special relationship between God and ourselves. This is based on Love. This is the essence of Pushtimarg. We, I think fail to convey this message to the new Vaishanavs and our children.
This website is dedicated to teaching you the religion as it is. It is not a substitute for the teachings that a Goswami Balak or Betiji can give.
Equal opportunity in Pushtimarg
The doors to this emporium of a religion are open all. It doesn’t
differentiate between Caste, races, disabilities or sex. It is in-fact an
equal opportunities religion!!!
This section talks about the difference between the principles of Hinduism and that of Pushtimarg.
Relationship between Hinduism and Pushtimarg
Pushtimarg is part of Hinduism and as such we are expected to follow the ideals, beliefs and practices that is is expected from a Hindu. When this doesn’t happen and we find people with strange formalities, then we begin to associate the formalities with the ‘path’ (path means the method/means of attaining God that you are pursuing) the people are following. This is using logic to reach this conclusion.
The chief aim of a Hindu is to attain moksha or salvation from the cycle of birth and death. ( I will discuss the topic in detail later on). In Pushtimarg we want to serve God and that is our aim.
As a Hindu you have a set of ideals by which we have to live by. These ideals to the modern mind seem outdated and too restrictive. They have been established for the good of the individual. They are designed to allow you to progress on the Spiritual road and they offer you cleanliness of mind body and soul. If you aspire to these ideals the you should follow them.
The spiritual Hindu mind is concerned with 2 simple words.
Within these two words consists of all the moral and ethical principles the Hindu mind should be concerned about.
Yama deals with Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha.
Niyama on the other hand deals with Shaucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya and Ishvarapranidhana.
Himsa is to harm and the A preceding it negates it to mean ‘not to harm’ others through deed, word or though. This also results in Vegetarianism.
We Hindus set ourselves a very high ideal which is why we put emphasis on deed, word and even thought!
It must be noted that for the Hindu it is unacceptable to physically harm others, to think about harming or to talk about harming. Thus any ill actions by by deed, word or even thought are unacceptable.
Satya or truth is at the bedrock of Hinduism. Consonance of thoughts, words and deeds is Satya or truth. It goes without saying that these must be right and good.
Asteya is non-stealing, non-covetousness included.
Chastity in thought, word and deed is the core of Brahmacharya.
Not to accept anything from others, more than what is absolutely necessary for sustenance is Aparigraha.
Shaucha is purity and cleanliness in all manners of our lives.
Contentment, absence of greed and cheerfulness constitute Santhosha .
Austerity in the form of service, control of speech and mind-these are designated as Tapas.
Study of sacred literature as also repetition of sacred mantras and prayers are termed Svadhyaya.
Surrender of the fruits of one’s actions, nay, the surrender of one’s very self, is Ishvarapranidhana.
Why do we have these rituals? Why do we need them?
Surely, in the Modern world is there a place for them? The rituals are there for the cleanliness of body, mind and soul. Our love for Thakurji (God) has to be pure and free from tarnish. Following the Hindu ethical and moral principles we achieve this.
These practices are part of being a Hindu and have been brought into place by the Ancient Hindu Scientist (rishis). Today, we modern scientists are discovering the reasons for these practices and accepting them. In time there will be ‘scientific fact’ and ‘scientific proof’ for all of them! Till then what do we do? Accept the word of the rishis or question the bedrock principles of being a Hindu.
The modern mind is very inquisitive. We always what to know the ‘Why’ of this or that. We can’t or don’t want to take things at face value. We want science to give ‘prove’ to us the principles we follow. This is why when you tell you that they should do something, they will automatically ask you ‘why’.
Questions are good and very potent. They are only good as long as they are asked with humbleness, deep faith in Hinduism and discipline. If we look at the Upanishads and Gita in both these Texts we have knowledge being gained through questions and in both cases the questions were asked with faith, belief, humbleness and not arrogance.
Questions are not good when asked as a means of winning points in a argument. Or to demonstrate the inability of the elders in not answering. Science may not be able to explain everything. There are many questions that remain unanswered. For example why do cars drive on the left hand side in Europe and America and on the right hand side in UK? Why do doctors wear white clothes? Why are taxis painted yellow or black? Something’s have to be taken for granted. The principles are for your own benefit!
So ask questions but with humbleness, deep faith in your religion and a belief that the risis have created practices for your benefit. Please understand these risis are an incarnation of God. So in effect its Gods instructions that we are following. Are you willing to doubt Gods word?
A Hindu should follow the following ideals and principles as mentioned above. All of these are to be followed by Hindus. They stem from the teachings of Bhagwat Gita, Manu Smriti. If you follow them well and good. If you don’t then you are not following principles of a Hindu.
There is nothing new about Pushtimarg. All that it requires you to do is to follow the Hindu traditions and customs if you are a Hindu. People assume that the vagaries of a Pushtimargiya vaishanav are due to the customs of Pushtimarg. This is not true. Being a Pushtimargiya vaiahanav requires you love Thakurji.