Thinking about God

Hindus who like to think of God as a personality, experience awe and wonder at God’s creation which is so intricate and well balanced. They express their gratitude and praise by performing various rituals such as the puja or worship ceremony, fasting, celebrating festivals or going on pilgrimage. They accept all the pleasure and suffering they experience as the play or leela of God, as a way to deal with the human condition.

Those Hindus who treat God as an Ultimate Reality which underpins the universe, express awe and wonder differently; they treat everything as a manifestation or reflection of spirit. Worship here does not involve sitting in front of an image, but by carrying out service or seva for the good of all. They treat both pleasure and pain as forms of bondage from which all of us need to break free.

The vast majority of Hindus like to think of God as a personality, and collectively express their religious inclinations and feelings through various rites and rituals. They practise values such as respect and reverence for all life, and promote family values and care for the community.

The way in which these spiritual feelings link with questions of value is through reverence for life, and culminates in a disciplined and focused life. Treating the whole world as a manifestation of spirit, charges it with great potency; reverence for life arises naturally from such a dynamic teaching. It is believed that in order to cope with the difficulties in our lives, it is important to pay a great deal of importance to character building. It is the only thing that comes with us after we die, and determines the nature of our future life. The belief in reincarnation therefore ensures that Hindus try to establish a stable character.

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