The Oracle Institute

Hinduism in the 21st Century

When: Location: Register: Cost:
Saturday, February 23, 2008 Leesburg Masonic Lodge Recommended
1:00 – 5:00 p.m. 108 N. Cornwall Street or call (540)882-9252 Donation of $10
  Leesburg, VA, 20175   (Light snack included)
  (park in District Court lot or corner of North & Slack St)

This class marks the official start of our seminars on the five primary religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In this class, we will learn how the Hindu religion, the oldest of the five primary religions, was formed and why it is the only popular polytheistic religion that has survived to this day, having outlived the pantheon of gods and goddesses from Sumeria, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Our facilitator, Swarup Kurella, was born in India as a member of the Brahmin caste and was trained in the Hindu tradition for 25 years before coming to the U.S.

Students will learn about the ancient Hindu holy texts, including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavid Gita, and the Laws of Manu. Students also will learn of the Hindu holy trinity of gods: Brahma, the creator god; Vishnu, the god who sustains the Universe (a/k/a Krishna, the god of love); and Shiva, the god of destruction and time. And because this is the only orthodox religion which still cherishes the Sacred Feminine, the major goddesses of Hinduism also will be discussed, including: Sarasvati, the goddess of wisdom; Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth; and Durga, the invincible one. We also will learn the basic constructs for spiritual enlightenment according to the Hindu tradition: the Universal Law of Karma (law of cause and effect); and the principles of Dharma (righteousness); Ardha(the means); Kama (desire); and the ultimate achievement of Moksha (salvation).

We will end the class by discussing the relevance of this ancient religion in the 21st Century. In keeping with the unification goals of The Oracle Institute, our facilitator will identify the lessons of Hinduism which he believes continue to enhance our view of God and those which no longer serve humanity, such as the Hindu caste system. We also will explore how Hinduism may be incorporated into a more pluralistic approach to understanding and communing with the Supreme Being.