The most popular among the Aryan religions is Hinduism. ‘Hindu’ is actually a Persian word that stands for the inhabitants of the region beyond the Indus Valley. However, in common parlance, Hinduism is a blanket term for an assortment of religious beliefs, most of which are based on the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.
There are several sacred scriptures of the Hindus. Among these are the Vedas, Upanishads and the Puranas.
The word Veda is derived from vid which means to know, knowledge par excellence or sacred wisdom. There are four principal divisions of the Vedas (although according to their number, they amount to 1131 out of which about a dozen are available). According to Maha Bhashya of Patanjali, there are 21 branches of Rigveda, 9 types of Atharvaveda, 101 branches of Yajurveda and 1000 of Samveda).
The Rigveda, the Yajurveda and the Samveda are considered to be more ancient books and are known as Trai Viddya or the ‘Triple Sciences’. The Rigveda is the oldest and has been compiled in three long and different periods of time. The 4th Veda is the Atharvaveda, which is of a later date.
There is no unanimous opinion regarding the date of compilation or revelation of the four Vedas. According to Swami Dayanand, founder of the Arya Samaj, the Vedas were revealed 1310 million years ago. According to other scholars, they are not more than 4000 years old.
Similarly, there are differing opinions regarding the places where these books were compiled and the Rishis to whom these Scriptures were given. Inspite of these differences, the Vedas are considered to be the most authentic of the Hindu Scriptures and the real foundations of the Hindu Dharma.
The word ‘Upanishad’ is derived from Upa meaning near, Ni which means down and Shad means to sit. Therefore ‘Upanishad’ means sitting down near. Groups of pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him the secret doctrines.
According to Samkara, ‘Upanishad’ is derived from the root word Sad which means ‘to loosen’, ‘to reach’ or ‘to destroy’, with Upa and ni as prefix; therefore ‘Upanishad’ means Brahma-Knowledge by which ignorance is loosened or destroyed.
The number of Upanishads exceeds 200 though the Indian tradition puts it at 108. There are 10 principal Upanishads. However, some consider them to be more than 10, while others 18.
The Vedanta meant originally the Upanishads, though the word is now used for the system of philosophy based on the Upanishad. Literally, Vedanta means the end of the Veda, Vedasua-antah, and the conclusion as well as the goal of Vedas. The Upanishads are the concluding portion of the Vedas and chronologically they come at the end of the Vedic period.
Some Pundits consider the Upanishads to be more superior to the Vedas.
Next in order of authenticity are the Puranas which are the most widely read scriptures. It is believed that the Puranas contain the history of the creation of the universe, history of the early Aryan tribes, life stories of the divines and deities of the Hindus. It is also believed that the Puranas are revealed books like the Vedas, which were revealed simultaneously with the Vedas or sometime close to it.
Maharishi Vyasa has divided the Puranas into 18 voluminous parts. He also arranged the Vedas under various heads.
Chief among the Puranas is a book known as Bhavishya Purana. It is called so because it is believed to give an account of future events. The Hindus consider it to be the word of God. Maharishi yasa is considered to be just the compiler of the book.
The two epics of Hinduism are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata
According to Ramanuja, the great scholar of Ramayana, there are more than 300 different types of Ramayana: Tulsidas Ramayana, Kumbha Ramayana. Though the outline of Ramayana is same, the details and contents differ.
Unlike the Mahabharata, the Ramayana appears to be the work of one person – the sage Valmiki, who probably composed it in the 3rd century BC. Its best-known recension (by Tulsi Das, 1532-1623) consists of 24,000 rhymed couplets of 16-syllable lines organised into 7 books. The poem incorporates many ancient legends and draws on the sacred books of the Vedas. It describes the efforts of Kosala’s heir, Rama, to regain his throne and rescue his wife, Sita, from the demon King of Lanka.
Valmiki’s Ramayana is a Hindu epic tradition whose earliest literary version is a Sanskrit poem attributed to the sage Valmiki. Its principal characters are said to present ideal models of personal, familial, and social behavior and hence are considered to exemplify Dharma, the principle of moral order.
The nucleus of the Mahabharata is the war of eighteen days fought between the Kauravas, the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra and Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu. The epic entails all the circumstances leading upto the war. Involved in this Kurukshetra battle were almost all the kings of India joining either of the two parties. The result of this war was the total annihilation of Kauravas and their party. Yudhishthira, the head of the Pandavas, became the sovereign monarch of Hastinapura. His victory is supposed to symbolise the victory of good over evil. But with the progress of years, new matters and episodes relating to the various aspects of human life, social, economic, political, moral and religious as also fragments of other heroic legends came to be added to the aforesaid nucleus and this phenomenon continued for centuries until it acquired the present shape. The Mahabharata represents a whole literature rather than one single and unified work, and contains many multifarious things.
Bhagavad Gita is a part of Mahabharata. It is the advice given by Krishna to Arjun on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. It contains the essence of the Vedas and is the most popular of all the Hindu Scriptures. It contains 18 chapters.
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most widely read and revered of the works sacred to the Hindus. It is their chief devotional book, and has been for centuries the principal source of religious inspiration for many thousands of Hindus.
The Gita is a dramatic poem, which forms a small part of the larger epic, the Mahabharata. It is included in the sixth book (Bhismaparvan) of the Mahabaharata and documents one tiny event in a huge epic tale.
The Bhagavad Gita tells a story of a moral crisis faced by Arjuna, which is solved through the interaction between Arjuna, a Pandava warrior hesitating before battle, and Krishna, his charioteer and teacher. The Bhagavad Gita relates a brief incident in the main story of a rivalry and eventually a war between two branches of a royal family. In that brief incident – a pause on the battlefield just as the battle is about to begin – Krishna, one chief on one side (also believed to be the Lord incarnate), is presented as responding to the doubts of Arjuna. The poem is the dialogue through which Arjuna’s doubts were resolved by Krishna’s teachings.
Concept of God in Hinduism
Common Concept of God in Hinduism
Hinduism is commonly perceived as a polytheistic religion. Indeed, most Hindus would attest to this, by professing belief in multiple Gods. While some Hindus believe in the existence of three gods, some believe in thousands of gods, and some others in thirty three crore i.e. 330 million Gods. However, learned Hindus, who are well versed in their scriptures, insist that a Hindu should believe in and worship only one God.
The major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim perception of God is the common Hindus’ belief in the philosophy of Pantheism. Pantheism considers everything, living and non-living, to be Divine and Sacred. The common Hindu, therefore, considers everything as God. He considers the trees as God, the sun as God, the moon as God, the monkey as God, the snake as God and even human beings as manifestations of God!
Islam, on the contrary, exhorts man to consider himself and his surroundings as examples of Divine Creation rather than as divinity itself. Muslims therefore believe that everything is God’s i.e. the word ‘God’ with an apostrophe ‘s’. In other words the Muslims believe that everything belongs to God. The trees belong to God, the sun belongs to God, the moon belongs to God, the monkey belongs to God, the snake belongs to God, the human beings belong to God and everything in this universe belongs to God.
Thus the major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim beliefs is the difference of the apostrophe ‘s’. The Hindu says everything is God. The Muslim says everything is God’s.
Concept of God according to Hindu Scriptures
We can gain a better understanding of the concept of God in Hinduism by analysing Hindu scriptures.
The most popular amongst all the Hindu scriptures is the Bhagavad Gita.
Consider the following verse from the Gita:
“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.”
[Bhagavad Gita 7:20]
The Gita states that people who are materialistic worship demigods i.e. ‘gods’ besides the True God.
The Upanishads are considered sacred scriptures by the Hindus.
The following verses from the Upanishads refer to the Concept of God:
“He is One only without a second.”
[Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]
“Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah.”
“Of Him there are neither parents nor lord.”
[Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]
“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no likeness of Him.”
[Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]
The following verses from the Upanishad allude to the inability of man to imagine God in a particular form:
“Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam.”
“His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye.”
[Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]
Vedas are considered the most sacred of all the Hindu scriptures. There are four principal Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda.
The following verses from the Yajurveda echo a similar concept of God:
“na tasya pratima asti
“There is no image of Him.”
“He is bodyless and pure.”
“Andhatama pravishanti ye asambhuti mupaste”
“They enter darkness, those who worship the natural elements” (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). “They sink deeper in darkness, those who worship sambhuti.”
Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.
The Yajurveda contains the following prayer:
“Lead us to the good path and remove the sin that makes us stray and wander.”
The Atharvaveda praises God in Book 20, hymn 58 and verse 3:
“Dev maha osi”
“God is verily great”
The oldest of all the vedas is Rigveda. It is also the one considered most sacred by the Hindus. The Rigveda states in Book 1, hymn 164 and verse 46:
“Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names.”
The Rigveda gives several different attributes to Almighty God. Many of these are mentioned in Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1.
Among the various attributes of God, one of the beautiful attributes mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3, is Brahma. Brahma means ‘The Creator’. Translated into Arabic it means Khaaliq. Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Khaaliq or ‘Creator’ or Brahma. However if it is said that Brahma is Almighty God who has four heads with each head having a crown, Muslims take strong exception to it.
Describing Almighty God in anthropomorphic terms also goes against the following verse of Yajurveda:
“Na tasya Pratima asti”
“There is no image of Him.”
Another beautiful attribute of God mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3 is Vishnu. Vishnu means ‘The Sustainer’. Translated into Arabic it means Rabb. Again, Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Rabb or ‘Sustainer’ or Vishnu. But the popular image of Vishnu among Hindus, is that of a God who has four arms, with one of the right arms holding the Chakra, i.e. a discus and one of the left arms holding a ‘conch shell’, or riding a bird or reclining on a snake couch. Muslims can never accept any image of God. As mentioned earlier this also goes against Svetasvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 19.
“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no likeness of Him”
The following verse from the Rigveda Book 8, hymn 1, verse 1 refer to the Unity and Glory of the Supreme Being:
“Ma cid anyad vi sansata sakhayo ma rishanyata”
“O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone.”
“Devasya samituk parishtutih”
“Verily, great is the glory of the Divine Creator.”
Brahma Sutra of Hinduism
The Brahma Sutra of Hinduism is:
“Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan”
“There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit.”
Thus only a dispassionate study of the Hindu scriptures can help one understand the concept of God in Hinduism.
Prophet Muhammad in Hindus’ Scripture
According to Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 5 to 8.
“A malecha (belonging to a foreign country and speaking a foreign language) spiritual teacher will appear with his companions. His name will be Mohammad. Raja (Bhoj) after giving this Maha Dev Arab (of angelic disposition) a bath in the Panchgavya and the Ganga water (i.e. purifying him of all sins) offered him the present of his sincere devotion and showing him all reverence said, “I make obeisance to thee. O ye! The pride of mankind, the dweller in Arabia, Ye have collected a great force to kill the Devil and you yourself have been protected from the malecha opponents.”
The Prophecy clearly states:
The name of the Prophet as Mohammad.
He will belong to Arabia. The Sanskrit word Marusthal means a sandy track of land or a desert.
Special mention is made of the companions of the Prophet, i.e. the Sahabas. No other Prophet had as many companions as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
He is referred as the pride of mankind (Parbatis nath). The Glorious Qur’an reconfirms this
“And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character” [Al-Qur’an 68:4]
“Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful pattern (of conduct)”. [Al-Qur’an 33:21]
He will kill the devil, i.e. abolish idol worship and all sorts of vices.
The Prophet will be given protection against his enemy.
Some people may argue that ‘Raja’ Bhoj mentioned in the prophecy lived in the 11th century C.E. 500 years after the advent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and was the descendant in the 10th generation of Raja Shalivahan. These people fail to realise that there was not only one Raja of the name Bhoj. The Egyptian Monarchs were called as Pharaoh and the Roman Kings were known as Caesar, similarly the Indian Rajas were given the title of Bhoj. There were several Raja Bhoj who came before the one in 11th Century C.E.
The Prophet did not physically take a bath in the Panchgavya and the water of Ganges. Since the water of Ganges is considered holy, taking bath in the Ganges is an idiom, which means washing away sins or immunity from all sorts of sins. Here the prophecy implies that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sinless, i.e. Maasoom.
According to Bhavishya Purana in the Pratisarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 10 to 27 Maharishi Vyas has prophesised:
“The Malecha have spoiled the well-known land of the Arabs. Arya Dharma is not to be found in the country. Before also there appeared a misguided fiend whom I had killed; he has now again appeared being sent by a powerful enemy. To show these enemies the right path and to give them guidance, the well-known Muhammad (pbuh), is busy in bringing the Pishachas to the right path. O Raja, You need not go to the land of the foolish Pishachas, you will be purified through my kindness even where you are. At night, he of the angelic disposition, the shrewd man, in the guise of Pishacha said to Raja Bhoj, “O Raja! Your Arya Dharma has been made to prevail over all religions, but according to the commandments ofIshwar Parmatma, I shall enforce the strong creed of the meat eaters. My followers will be men circumcised, without a tail (on his head), keeping beard, creating a revolution announcing the Aadhaan (the Muslim call for prayer) and will be eating all lawful things. He will eat all sorts of animals except swine. They will not seek purification from the holy shrubs, but will be purified through warfare. On account of their fighting the irreligious nations, they will be known as Musalmaans. I shall be the originator of this religion of the meat-eating nations.”
The Prophecy states that:
- The evil doers have corrupted the Arab land.
Arya Dharma is not found in that land.
The Indian Raja need not go the Arab land since his purification will take place in India after the musalmaan will arrive in India.
The coming Prophet will attest the truth of the Aryan faith, i.e. Monotheism and will reform the misguided people.
The Prophet’s followers will be circumcised. They will be without a tail on the head and bear a beard and will create a great revolution.
They will announce the Aadhaan, i.e. ‘the Muslim call for prayer’.
He will only eat lawful things and animals but will not eat pork. The Qur’an confirms this in no less than 4 different places:
In Surah Al-Baqarah chapter 2 verse 173
In Surah Al-Maidah chapter 5 verse 3
In Surah Al-Anam chapter 6 verse 145
In Surah Al-Nahl chapter 16 verse 115
“Forbidden to you for food are dead meat, blood, flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah”.
They will not purify with grass like the Hindus but by means of sword they will fight their irreligious people.
They will be called musalmaan.
They will be a meat-eating nation.
The eating of herbivorous animals is confirmed by the Qur’an in Surah Maidah, chapter 5 verse 1 and in Surah Muminun chapter 23 verse 21
According to Bhavishya Purana, Parv – III Khand 1 Adhay 3 Shloka 21-23:
“Corruption and persecution are found in seven sacred cities of Kashi, etc. India is inhabited by Rakshas, Shabor, Bhil and other foolish people. In the land of Malechhas, the followers of the Malechha dharma (Islam) are wise and brave people. All good qualities are found in Musalmaans and all sorts of vices have accumulated in the land of the Aryas. Islam will rule in India and its islands. Having known these facts, O Muni, glorify the name of thy lord”.
The Qur’an confirms this in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 33 and in Surah Al Saff chapter 61 verse 9:
“It is He who hath sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it)”.
A similar message is given in Surah Fatah chapter 48 verses 28 ending with, “and enough is Allah as a witness”.
In the 20th book of Atharvaveda Hymn 127 Some Suktas (chapters) are known as Kuntap Sukta. Kuntap means the consumer of misery and troubles. Thus meaning the message of peace and safety and if translated in Arabic means Islam.
Kuntap also means hidden glands in the abdomen. These mantras are called so probably because their true meaning was hidden and was to be revealed in future. Its hidden meaning is also connected with the navel or the middle point of this earth. Makkah is called the Ummul Qur’a the mother of the towns or the naval of the earth. In many revealed books it was the first house of Divine worship where God Almighty gave spiritual nourishment to the world. The Qur’an says in Surah Ali-Imran chapter 3, verse 96:
“The first house (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakkah (Makkah) full of blessings and of guidance and for all kinds of beings”. Thus Kuntap stands for Makkah or Bakkah.
Several people have translated these Kuntap Suktas like M. Bloomfield, Prof. Ralph Griffith, Pandit Rajaram, Pandit Khem Karan, etc.
The main points mentioned in the Kuntap Suktas i.e. in Atharvaveda book 20 Hymn 127 verses 1-13 are:
He is Narashansah or the praised one (Muhammad). He is Kaurama: the prince of peace or the emigrant, who is safe, even amongst a host of 60,090 enemies.
He is a camel-riding Rishi, whose chariot touches the heaven.
He is Mamah Rishi who is given a hundred gold coins, ten chaplets (necklaces), three hundred good steeds and ten thousand cows.
Vachyesv rebh. ‘Oh! ye who glorifies’.
The Sanskrit word Narashansah means ‘the praised one’, which is the literal translation of the Arabic word Muhammad (pbuh).
The Sanskrit word Kaurama means ‘one who spreads and promotes peace’. The holy Prophet was the ‘Prince of Peace’ and he preached equality of human kind and universal brotherhood. Kaurama also means an emigrant. The Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madinah and was thus also an Emigrant.
He will be protected from 60,090 enemies, which was the population of Makkah. The Prophet would ride a camel. This clearly indicates that it cannot be an Indian Rishi, since it is forbidden for a Brahmanto ride a camel according to the Sacred Books of the East, volume 25, Laws of Manu pg. 472. According to Manu Smirti chapter 11 verse 202, “A Brahman is prohibited from riding a camel or an ass and to bathe naked. He should purify himself by suppressing his breath”.
This mantra gave the Rishi’s name as Mamah. No rishi in India or another Prophet had this name Mamah which is derived from Mahwhich means to esteem highly, or to revere, to exalt, etc. Some Sanskrit books give the Prophet’s name as ‘Mohammad’, but this word according to Sanskrit grammar can also be used in the bad sense. It is incorrect to apply grammar to an Arabic word. Actually shas the same meaning and somewhat similar pronunciation as the word Muhammad (pbuh).
He is given 100 gold coins, which refers to the believers and the earlier companions of the Prophet during his turbulent Makkan life. Later on due to persecution they migrated from Makkah to Abysinia. Later when Prophet migrated to Madinah all of them joined him in Madinah.
The 10 chaplets or necklaces were the 10 best companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) known as Ashra-Mubbashshira (10 bestowed with good news). These were foretold in this world of their salvation in the hereafter i.e. they were given the good news of entering paradise by the Prophet’s own lips and after naming each one he said “in Paradise”. They were Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Zubair, Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Saad bin Zaid and Abu Ubaidah (May Allah be well-pleased with all of them).
The Sanskrit word Go is derived from Gaw which means ‘to go to war’. A cow is also called Go and is a symbol of war as well as peace. The 10,000 cows refer to the 10,000 companions who accompanied the Prophet (pbuh) when he entered Makkah during Fateh Makkah which was a unique victory in the history of mankind in which there was no blood shed. The 10,000 companions were pious and compassionate like cows and were at the same time strong and fierce and are described in the Holy Quran in Surah Fatah:
“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other.” [Al-Qur’an 48:29]
This mantra calls the Prophet as Rebh which means one who praises, which when translated into Arabic is Ahmed, which is another name for the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
Battle of the Allies described in the Vedas.
It is mentioned in Atharvaveda Book XX Hymn 21 verse 6, “Lord of the truthful! These liberators drink these feats of bravery and the inspiring songs gladdened thee in the field of battle. When thou renders vanquished without fight the ten thousand opponents of the praying one, the adoring one.”
This Prophecy of the Veda describes the well-known battle of Ahzab or the battle of the Allies during the time of Prophet Muhammed. The Prophet was victorious without an actual conflict which is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Ahzab:
“When the believers saw the confederate forces they said, “This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true.” And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.” [Al-Qur’an 33:22]
The Sanskrit word karo in the Mantra means the ‘praying one’ which when translated into Arabic means ‘Ahmed’, the second name of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
The 10,000 opponents mentioned in the Mantra were the enemies of the Prophet and the Muslims were only 3000 in number.
The last words of the Mantra aprati ni bashayah means the defeat was given to the enemies without an actual fight.
The enemies’ defeat in the conquest of Makkah is mentioned in Atharvaveda book 20 Hymn 21 verse no 9:
“You have O Indra, overthrown 20 kings and 60,099 men with an outstripping Chariot wheel who came to fight the praised one or far famed (Muhammad) orphan.”
The population of Makkah at the time of Prophet’s advent was nearly 60,000
There were several clans in Makkah each having its own chief. Totally there were about 20 chiefs to rule the population of Makkah.
An Abandhu meaning a helpless man who was far-famed and ‘praised one’. Muhammad (pbuh) overcame his enemies with the help of God.
A similar prophecy is also found in Rigveda Book I, Hymn 53 verse 9:
The Sanskrit word used is Sushrama, which means praiseworthy or well praised which in Arabic means Muhammad (pbuh).
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is also prophesised in the Samveda Book II Hymn 6 verse 8:
“Ahmed acquired from his Lord the knowledge of eternal law. I received light from him just as from the sun.” The Prophecy confirms:
The name of the Prophet as Ahmed since Ahmed is an Arabic name. Many translators misunderstood it to be Ahm at hi and translated the mantra as “I alone have acquired the real wisdom of my father”.
Prophet was given eternal law, i.e. the Shariah.
The Rishi was enlightened by the Shariah of Prophet. Muhammad. The Qur’an says in Surah Saba chapter 34 verse 28.
“We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not.” [Al-Qur’an 34:28]