Hinduism for me has evolved in many ways but continues to be a basis for my endless search for knowledge and truth. When I was younger, I would read passages from the Bhagavad Gita and tried to understand Arjun’s quest for righteousness and having to make difficult decisions against his own family. But all the while knowing that he must trust this path as he was guided by Lord Krishna. I even had a dream once where Krishna appeared and I remember feeling the power and presence of something magnificent. There are other deities (avatars/ascended masters) and some of my favorites are Ganesh, Laxmi and Hanuman. These different personas have humanlike characteristics, each showing qualities that we can learn within ourselves. Ganesh with his elephant head was known for his wisdom and playfulness. It is that balance in life that is necessary to stay grounded. Laxmi personifies wealth and abundance. She is also known for her sovereign power, which is important for each of us to develop along our path. Lastly, Hanuman is known for his strength and his loyalty. I learned from him the value in having both physical and mental strength to live optimally and what it means to be dedicated to what you truly believe. Having these deities as a personification of Oneness allows me to see the many qualities I can continue to develop on my spiritual path as I strive for transcendence.
Reincarnation is a basic principle in Hinduism and I would often wonder what would happen when we died. If the soul is eternal and sheds many different bodies after each of its lifetimes, how does it keep going? What does it look and feel like after we die and are no longer in our body? Do we still get to be around our loved ones? Through my quest for these answers, I know that we are an active planner for each of the lives we live. We choose what our life circumstances will provide us with the lessons we want to learn. Oftentimes, people confuse the word “karma” with good or bad but they are merely the teachings we bring into each lifetime and the lessons we hope to gain in that life. During these lifetimes, we have planned who else will be a part of them and the roles each person will play. These souls often repeat lifetimes with each other, playing out different characters and roles to give each other the opportunity to grow and expand. Souls are connected to each other and they re-connect after each lifetime. This strong connection can often be felt when we meet someone and it instantly feels like we have known them forever.
The word “Om” is part of every chant, verse or mantra in Hindu scripts. I have always enjoyed reciting these Sanskrit verses and have felt the strength in the words. It is the vibration of these scriptures that have this power and the word Om is the most powerful of them all. Going to a temple and hearing these chants would instantly lift my vibration. I felt more empowered and euphoric hearing a multitude of voices in unison reciting the verses and feeling the vibration of the room reach great levels. It is the power of many and the pureness in their hearts that was captured in those moments. I have learned the importance of using high vibrational words and music to continue to uplift me and it is an important part of my spiritual practice these days.
As I have continued along my spiritual journey, Hinduism has evolved along with me. I have veered away from the rituals and the fear-based superstitions. What I have kept are the principles and the fundamentals of living a life as an immortal soul seeking liberation. I continue to seek the Truth and know my awareness of this Truth can change as I progress on my path. Hinduism has given me so many principles from an early age and I continue to build on the foundation and knowledge it has provided. I remain on my path to attain and fulfil my eternal dharma, living my spiritual life with purpose, meaning and intent, while seeking to learn the true nature of who I am.