The name Hinduism is an invention of the British to put under one heading the general pagan cult of the Indian Subcontinent. The term encompasses the simple idol cults of the more than 3,000,000 Hindu ‘deities’ (spirits of trees, stones, animals, as well as a horde of human-like deities who other than their mystic powers act no different than the worst criminals and are often killed by each other or lesser beings), the worship of numerous gurus or self-deified religious guides (who have awoken to their ‘divinity’), and the more generalizing, philosophic worship of the monists-pantheists and the panentheists, and the worshippers of the deified nation in the ‘goddess’ “Great India”, all of which has its basis in a common collection of diverse ancient scriptures and national traditions.
In their details they differ, but broad study of these reveals a common idea - that all things are in some degree divine and part of an impersonal divine substance from which all things evolved and arose - whether one worships it all together or in each individual part is irrelevant. Therefore, since the universe is allegedly divine, the common belief is that the universe is eternal, and eternally in motion or change, progressing through endless cycles of birth, growth, decay, destruction, and rebirth, according to some vague immutable law, both corporately and in all its members.
From this derive the doctrines of reincarnation and karma - that is, that the souls of humans, animals, plants, stones, etc. are constantly progressing or regressing into new types of being (which can be divine, animal, plant, human, etc.), in a cycle determined by that secret law of the universe, according to the merits (karma) of their past lives. Yet, Hinduism affirms that all memory of past lives perishes in the process of rebirth, thus making it impossible to learn from past successes or mistakes. The ultimate, hoped-for goal is a merger of soul, consciousness, or personality into the impersonal, divine “All”, and thus to be delivered from the “wheel” or endless cycle of karma, fate, and suffering.
Of course, this concept of salvation is incorrect, in that created beings can never become the uncreated divine Being or Essence, but they may receive a God-like life through participating in God’s divine energies; thus to however great a height God may raise us, we never become the origin, source, or cause of these blessings. However, Hinduism admits its uncertainty about how this is attained, and relies on chance or speculation for its hoped-for success in accomplishing it - although various rituals or obedience to a guru are thought likely to help.
Thus, Hinduism by its own admission lacks a practical way to (their idea of) salvation and does not know where it is leading one. Moreover, it puts its hopes for temporal and eternal blessings either in immoral, mortal, and untrustworthy ‘deities’, who themselves seem to lack this salvation and the power to save themselves, let alone others, or in even more fallen, weak, mortal human beings whose merit consists in their ‘awaking’ to their own ‘godhood.’
The only hope for true salvation is the one, almighty, unchanging God, the Lord Jesus Christ Who both clearly showed the assured way of salvation and His reliable, unconditional love for us. As for Hinduism’s ‘saviors’, ‘teachers’, ‘gurus’, etc.: “They are blind guides of the blind. And if the blind guide the blind, both shall fall into a pit.” [Mt. 15:14]
P.O. Box 3177
Buena Vista, CO 81211-3177
All rights reserved.