15 votes

Why does God allow us to suffer?

It's true that Brahman is conscious, and that Brahman is the one that gives both rewards and punishments, so in that sense it is the efficient cause of all suffering. But it is not being cruel or ...
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14 votes
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Approach to the Ultimate/Absolute Truth (Jnana)

The path of knowledge is commonly referred to as Jnana Yoga. What is meant by Jnana depends upon the scripture being read. Oftentimes scripture will distinguish between Vijnana (refers to Knowledge -...
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14 votes
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What are Mahavakyas?

The Mahavakyas are "Grand Pronouncements" or "Great Sayings" usually taken from Upanishads. They have profound significance in Hinduism. The four Mahavakyas (महावाक्यानि) are as ...
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14 votes

Are the 3 gunas mentioned in the Vedas?

Yes, there is reference to the Tri GunAs in the Vedas. See the following Mantra from Atharva Veda (AV): Pundarikam navadwAram (1) Tribhir gunebhirAvritam (2) Tasmin yad yakshamAtmanvat (3) Tad ...
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13 votes

Aham Brahmasmi and Advaita Vedanta

One has to see the full context regarding how the Mahavakya is spoken. The complete verse from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is as: ब्रह्म वा इदमग्र आसीत्, तदात्मानमेवावेत् ‘अहं ब्रह्मास्मि’ इति । तस्मा...
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12 votes
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How can you roll up space?

The mantra is not talking about rolling the sky, it's just used in analogous comparision: निष्कलं निष्क्रिय शान्तं निरवद्यं निरञ्जनम् । अमृतस्य पर सेतुं दग्धेन्धनमिवानलम् ।। 19 यदा चर्मवदाकाशं ...
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12 votes
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Why did Adi Sankaracharya compare the color of Ishwara's eyes to that of monkey's nates?

First of all, here is the Chandogya Upanishad verse in question: tasya yathā kapyāsaṃ puṇḍarīkamevamakṣiṇī tasyoditi nāma sa eṣa sarvebhyaḥ pāpmabhya udita udeti ha vai sarvebhyaḥ pāpmabhyo ...
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12 votes

Why do sanyasa scriptures degrade women?

Sanyas Upanishads were written for male spiritual aspirants and thus talk of women being dangerous to males. Women are allowed to be monks. Just as women are dangerous for men who are spiritual ...
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12 votes

According to Hinduism, who am I?

Atman. You've already said you've spent good time in understanding what is Atman or the self and the answer of "Who am I?" is already hidden in that thing. Now, since you've started to learn ...
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11 votes
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Who is the seer of the Isha Upanishad?

There are three levels of Rishis in Vajasaneyi Samhita. The Sarvanukrama Sukta of Vajasaneyi Samhita states the Rishi for whole Vajasaneyi Samhita is Rishi Vivasvan. He is the first level of Rishi. ...
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11 votes
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What is the best way to attain Moksha (God-realization) in Hinduism?

There are many paths as there are many different temperaments of people and different understandings. There is no 'one' way. All the scriptures enjoin upon you to find your teacher - your teacher is ...
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Where does Atithi Devo Bhava (Guests are equal to Gods) come from?

Athithi Devo Bhava, which as you said roughly means "treat the unexpected guest as a god", originates from the Taittirya Upanishad of the Yajur Veda. Here's the whole hymn that it's taken ...
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10 votes
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In Hinduism, are you not supposed to be happy?

It's not like that. The sole purpose of Hinduism is to show the path of true happiness to all beings. It's because happiness is the inherent desire of every jiva and until and unless one jiva becomes ...
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10 votes

How is semen helpful in Self Realisation?

Swami Vishwananda has already given several references in support of continence. I am adding a Sri Ramakrishna quote on it: Sri Ramakrishna: "To be able to realize God, one must practise absolute ...
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10 votes
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What is Dharma according to Veda or Upanishad?

Dharma is one of those Sanskrit words that defy all attempts at an exact rendering in English or any other tongue. In the hymns of the Rig-Veda ( ऋग्वेद) the word Dharma seems to be used either as ...
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9 votes
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What is the origin of Ganapathi Atharvasheersh?

The Ganapati Atharvashirsha Upanishad, AKA the Ganesha Upanishad or Ganapati Upanishad, is a text which claims to be an Upanishad associated with the Atharvana Veda; here is what it says about itself ...
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9 votes

Difference between Jeeva and Atman

You should consult Taittiriya Upanishad part 2 which talks about the five Koshas surrounding the Atman. The five koshas are annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas. These 5 ...
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9 votes
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What is the need of creation?

According to Sankara there is no creation. There is only vivarta vada - apparent manifestation. Swami Vivekananda says (Complete Works, V3, pp 12-14, also available here under the heading Lectures ...
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9 votes
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What can I do to reduce anger, greed, lust, fear and ego?

Your question is about overcoming or wining Shadripus (षड्रिपु) meaning the six enemies of Human beings , as told in Hinduism. They are as follows. Lust (Sanskrit: Kama) (काम) Greed (Sanskrit: Lobha)...
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9 votes
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Names of female scholars from Vaidic and Upanishadic times, or "Brahmavadinis"

According to Brihad Devata, 2.82-84 Sanskrit Source and English Transliteration Source, there are several Brahmavadinis as follows: Ghosa Godha Visvavara Apalopanisan Nisat ; Brahmajaya Juhur nama, ...
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8 votes
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Which Upanishads are quoted in sage Vyasa's Brahma Sutras?

The Badarayana-Vyasa Brahma Sutras are a compilation of extremely terse Sutras. These Sutras are impossible to understand without the commentary attached to them. There is no direct quote from any ...
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8 votes

What order should I read the Vedas and Upanishads in?

Vedas are Shruti texts. Sayanacharya in his commentaries on Rigveda, said that मंत्र ब्राह्मणात्मको वेद that means Mantra (मंत्र) and Brahmanatmak (ब्राह्मणात्मक) combined are considered as Veda. Here ...
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8 votes

How is semen helpful in Self Realisation?

Chastity is a necessary prerequisite for Self-Realization. This is expounded in many of the scriptures. In Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms, it is said that the first stage of Yoga is the practice of Yama ...
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8 votes

Approach to the Ultimate/Absolute Truth (Jnana)

Good question sir. Here is an advaita view on this. According to this view, the jiva and Paramatma are one. Jnana Jnana means wisdom. Wisdom of what? Wisdom of your own True Nature is Jnana. You are ...
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8 votes

Approach to the Ultimate/Absolute Truth (Jnana)

Jnana or Jivanmukti is a state wherein, all the perceptions of duality is removed and the non-dual alone remains. In Isha Upanishad a Jnani is defined as a person "who perceives his Self in all ...
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8 votes
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What is Turiya and how can we realize it?

Turiya refers simply to the Fourth. There are four quarters to Brahman; the waking, dream, dreamless, and the Turiya. The Fourth state is not separate from the other three but rather transcends and ...
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8 votes
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How do Dvaitins interpret this verse of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad?

Here's how the Dvaita philosopher Madhvacharya renders the portion you put in bold, in this excerpt from his commentary on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: But he worships any other god (than Brahman),...
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8 votes
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What is the difference between living beings and dead matter according to scriptures?

First, your interpretation of verse 7.5 is almost there, but not quite, which leads to your confusion. It is best to read verses 4-7 together and not separately. Verse 4 refers to the apparent ...
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8 votes
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Conversion of Sattva, Rajas, Tamas

I think you are talking about 4th Prapathaka of Maitrayanai Upanishad. Maitrayania Upanishad is one of the important Upanishad. Maitrayania Upanishad 4th Prapathaka states: It was all Tamas – then ...
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