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Does Hinduism Condemn Atheism & Atheists?

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Does Hinduism Condemn Atheism & Atheists?

There is no simple YES or NO answer to this. But for sure the Answer tilts more towards NO rather than YES. Hinduism is undoubtedly a Theistic religion, but still Hinduism has room for Atheistic approach as well because of the vastness of philosophy, and importance given to "enquiry" rather than "Belief" in the important texts.

Variety of Hindu Philosophy can be classified into:

  • Theistic by belief & Approach, but Non-Judgemental: Bhagavad Gita, Majority of the Upanishads, Philosophic texts like Yoga Vasishta, Tripura Rahasya are very theistic, but do not criticize the Non-Belief in God. Lot of importance is given to the spiritual Journey, atheism is accepted as a intermediary stage in spiritual evolution.
  • Theistic by belief, But Non-theistic in Approach: Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Samkhya Yoga, Vaisheshika, RajaYoga in general, KarmaYoga & JnanaYoga related texts are Non-theistic in approach. They don't stress on dependence of God, but on self-effort for liberation.
  • Theistic by belief & Approach, But Judgemental: Devotional texts like Agamas, Parts of Vedas which are assumed to meddled by the priests do not accept Atheism, in fact they are critical of Atheism.
  • Non-theistic by Belief & Approach, but Non-Judgemental: Nyaya Shastras, Ajivaka schools are Atheistic both by belief and Approach, however they do not over criticize the theistic approach.
  • Non-theistic by Belief & Approach, but Judgemental: Charvaka Philosophy is atheistic in approach and does not accept God or theistic view. It is vocal in its rejection of God.

So is Hinduism supportive of Atheism?

Hinduism is a vast philosophy, Depending on the consciousness of people living in any particular age, it can take a form that is suitable. Different people look into different parts of the Hinduism.

Hinduism isn't completely supportive of Atheism, but certainly tolerant of Atheistic approach, there is not much condemnation but Rejection, and even that is arguable.

Hinduism's core is more towards enquiry rather than belief, it is evident in the relativiely peaceful co-living of Hindus, Buddhists & Jainis for the last 2500 years. Though Hindus are mostly theistic are still appreciative of the Jain, Buddhist approach as well though Jainism is Atheistic, Buddhism is Agnostic.


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