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Re: Does Hinduism require belief in God ?

In article <2sjb4r$f19@ucunix.san.uc.edu>, * subbu sivaramakrishnan * <SXS144@PSUVM.PSU.EDU> writes:
|> I've asked many people this question, but not got a clear
|> answer : Does Hinduism require that one believe in God ?
|> It appears to me not, because Hinduism as I see it, is more
|> of a way of life than a religion. In my opinion, as long as
|> one can detach oneself from the material aspects of life,
|> always think and do good without expecting anything in
|> return, one has lived the life of a Hindu.
|> Another question I would like to know the answer to is :
|> Does Hinduism require one to be a vegetarian ?
|> Any responses to the above questions will be appreciated.
|> subbu sivaramakrishnan

what you say about believing in God is true.  the question about 
vegetarianism is more tricky.

i would say that vegetarianism is a requirement for strict hinduism, but it
is not one of the "major" requirements - if that makes any sense.  The 2 
vows that a monk takes are chastity and poverty - vegetarianism is 
recommended but not absolutely required - this is the answer i received
when i asked the same question to a Swami (this Swami, by the way, belongs 
to a monastery that practices vegetarianism except on Thanksgiving and 

Swami Vivekananda ate meat when he was a guest in American homes because he 
didn't want to disrupt his hosts' hospitality.  He defended himself by 
stating that he still followed the 2 "absolute" monastic vows (chastity and

so, in a nutshell, it is better to follow vegetarianism, and if you have a 
choice, you should.  Vegetarianism is "higher" than non-vegetarianism but is 
not an "absolute" requirement.

- this is just my understanding - further discussion is welcome...

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