No_Mind wrote:Colloquially you may refer to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as a mantra but not actually (it is not from Vedas). And no Hindu mantra (no Hindu anything) is possible without Om in front.
What of the nama mantras? Rama, for instance.
Saying Ram, Ram, Ram .. that is nam-jap of Ishta Devta (repeatedly saying the name of chosen deity to center one's mind on the image of the god/avatar/deity). It is not a mantra per-se (but called beej mantra at times .. beej means seed .. beej mantra is the word that sows love for the Divine).
I am using the word mantra in its proper accepted sense -- to mean sacred verses from Vedic texts used for worship. Repeating the name of a deity is a very rudimentary way of doing meditation called japa meditation. It is used regarding Ram and Shiva. I have not heard anyone do it about any other deity like Krishna or Ganesh or Durga and so on. Maybe it exists. It is bare bones concentration practice .. let me explain .. my mother chants Om Namah Shivaya for about an hour daily .. rest of the time to center her mind she repeats Shiva, Shiva, Shiva silently .. it is usually accessory/subsidiary practice and it is not a mantra in the way the word mantra is used. It is repetition of a single word so no other thought can enter the mind.
AlexMcLeod wrote: No_Mind wrote:
Nicholas wrote:No sure if the mantra first appeared in the Rig Veda, but it is one of the oldest, maybe the oldest. At any rate you will see the Gayatri mantra about halfway down the Romanized version. There is no OM nor the following three Vyahritis. I am no expert myself, but I do try to study carefully.
How do I put it .. the invocation Om or in this case Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha or Om Bhur, Om Bhuvaha, Om Svaha, Om Mahaha, Om Janaha, Om Tapaha, Om Satyam is in front of the mantra .. in a way just like in UK and elsewhere every time one addresses the judge one has to say My Lord.
Why not just point out that at the time of Rig Veda, Om was to be kept secret. It didn't loosen up until the later Vedas.
Why would Om be a secret. The word is used probably a trillion times a day. Any puja has possibly about a hundred Oms inserted into the mantras.
I think you mean the secretive tradition that Gayatri Mantra is only to be taught to brahmins and not to others. They are taught the mantra at age of about 12 in a ceremony called Upanayana (when son of a brahmin is recognised as a brahmin and given a sacred thread .. no one is born a brahmin .. but son of a brahmin is elevated to being a brahmin at age 12).
AlexMcLeod wrote: No_Mind wrote:
That is why .. it may seem weird .. Hinduism is the only religion one cannot convert to .. one has to be born a Hindu.
I'm not sure.
Someone may perform some rituals (some guru has prescribed) and say I am a Hindu. But that does not make the person a Hindu or acceptable as a Hindu to other Hindus. To begin with there is the problem of caste. If you change to Hinduism what caste are you? Well .. there is no answer to that. Next is the question of Gotra or clan .. what will be your lineage or patrilineality?
Oddly enough a non-native can choose a life of sannyasi. Sannyasis have no caste.
AlexMcLeod wrote:There is the possibility of a Hindu guru taking a non-native student. I would always consider a direct student of a master of a tradition to be more qualified to be considered a member of the tradition than a non-initiate born to it.
Sure enough .. no dispute there .. but that brings up something else .. there is a difference between knowing about Hinduism and being a Hindu. Of course you can become more learned about Hinduism than most Hindus but to do so you have to visit, live here and immerse yourself in the Hindu culture.
An Indologist translates "Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi" into English but does not posit it as a tool of Dhyana
(as done in this thread). An Indologist is knowledgeable about Hinduism but does not want to be a Hindu or try out Hindu practices.
Frequently Westerners in Dharmic forums confuse their role .. what do they want to be .. an Indologist/Orientalist or a Hindu/Buddhist?
Buddhism has been imported by Western Buddhists and presented without its cultural baggage .. can a religion survive stripped off its cultural background and history? Secular Buddhists have gone one step ahead and stripped it off Karma and rebirth .. can a religion survive multiple amputations of such kind?
Unlike Budddhism, Hinduism cannot very easily be separated from its roots. Applying Western reductionism to it is pointless .. do not like Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha .. chop it off from the most important Hindu mantra .. that just cannot happen and witnessing an argument about it is amusing.
From time to time Indian gurus have visited the West and tried to present Hinduism stripped of its roots (usually as some form of meditation or other) but never successfully or with any degree of authenticity.