Category:Working Within the Hindu Tradition
From Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as Sanātana Dharma (a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law" and "the eternal law that sustains, upholds, and surely preserves." Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid common set of beliefs and both the word "Hinduism" and the concept of Hinduism as a distinct religion is a fairly recent concept that attempts to accommodate and encompass a variety of complex regional religious streams that include folk and tribal religious practices, Vedic Hinduism, the Bhakti tradition, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shaktism. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma, dharma, and societal norms. It is also common for practitioners of Hinduism to employ many folk magical traditions and divinatory traditions in their spiritual practice.
Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. Among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India and, as such, Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion" or the "oldest living major religion" in the world.
A large body of texts is classified as Hindu, divided into Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered") texts. These texts discuss theology, philosophy and mythology, and provide information on the practice of dharma (religious living). Among these texts, the Vedas are the foremost in authority, importance and antiquity. Other major scriptures include the Upanishads, Purāṇas and the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. The Bhagavad Gītā, a syncretistic treatise from the Mahābhārata, is of special importance. It combines Vedanta, Yoga, and some Samkhya philosophy into its discussion of good conduct and life.
There are a large number of individual Hindu deities, called devas (gods) and devis (goddesses), within the Hindu pantheon. Popular gods, like Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Kali, and Ganesha each have a story and purpose in their own right, along with their own temples, priests, feast days, and forms of veneration -- and to some (but by no means all) Hindus, they may also be seen collectively as divine aspects of the Supreme Creator.
Hinduism and Hoodoo
Hinduism -- or at least its iconography -- forms a minor thread in the hoodoo folk-magic tradition. This came about not through social and cultural mingling between Hindus and Protestant Christians (as was the case with the incorporation of Buddhist elements in hoodoo). Rather it was the result of a top-down introduction of Hinduism into American metaphysics that took place during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially among adherents of then-new religions such as Theosophy and New Thought. Among the concepts adopted from Hinduism were a belief in reincarnation and in karma, the cosmic law of cause and effect, in Theosophy; and an interest in yoga, meditation, and other forms of mental self-development in the New Thought Movement.
During the early 20th century, metaphysical publishers such as L. W. DeLaurence and others wrote about Hinduism and used Hindu imagery and gave Hindu names to the spiritual supplies that they sold nationwide. Within a few years these occult products and preparations and their concomitant Hindu deity images became commonplace articles of use among Spiritualist conjure doctors. Certain concepts from the Vedanta branch of Hinduism also was formally incorporated into the teachings of The Home of Truth, an eclectic denomination within the broader New Thought Movement.
Probably the most popular of the Hindu deities found in conjure are Ganesha (for road opening and new beginnings), Lakshmi (for money drawing, job-getting, and business success), and Kali (for protection, love spells, and works of spiritual justice). Depending on the individual worker's magical and divinatory traditions, these entities may be petitioned in spirit work without reference to, or even strong belief in, traditional Indian Hindu cosmology or theology.
- Religious Traditions
- Magical Traditions
- Divination, Fortune Telling, and Oracles
- Hoodoo, Conjure, Witchcraft, and Rootwork
- Working with Spirits