I am an Atheist with background of Hindu Religion.

Jun 8, 2013

Discussion by: prabinsharma.timilsina

There are very few number of Atheist here in Nepal. Its only 51 people counted till date with refrence to atheistcensus.com. Well , i am proud of myself because i believe in myself rather then so called god. I am proud that i am an atheist, because i believe being an atheist is itself a matter of great achievment. And i am really greatful for the people like Richard Dawkins who helped me to gain this level of thoughts and attitude. Well, where i find a problem being atheist is that i am incircled by all the religious people specially hindu….Actually its not a problem living with these people but with the point they raise against atheism, Sometimes they are so Scientific i can't answer them and how could a religion be Scientific??? They talk about Veds and all those Historic figure and facts. I need to oppose them strongly and i don't have any answer to their Question. So i request "Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science" to explain all those non-sense, orthodox and hoax related to hinduism. Could you please be more Specific about Hindu religion too. I can answer the Question raised by Christian and Islam but not by Hindu….Please help me.

25 comments on “I am an Atheist with background of Hindu Religion.

  • I’m currently working on adding a list of links to help people connect with others who have similar backgrounds, and here is what I have that may help you as far as being an ex-Hindu goes:

    Nirmukta – promoting science and freethought in India

    Nirmukta forums – this one links directly to one about Hinduism

    Indian atheists

    I don’t know of anything specific to Nepal, though.

    And if anyone else knows of any useful websites, I’d be happy to add them to my list. =)

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  • 3
    dotcompals says:

    Yes, also check out Nirmukat’s facebook presence



    In reply to #1 by KimCox:

    I’m currently working on adding a list of links to help people connect with others who have similar backgrounds, and here is what I have that may help you as far as being an ex-Hindu goes:

    Nirmukta – promoting science and freethought in India

    Nirmukta forums – this one links directly to one about…

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  • 4
    Reckless Monkey says:

    I know next to nothing of Hinduism.

    However I’d suggest that this is unnecessary. As an Atheist it is not your responsibility to disprove every claim made by any religious doctrine it is for them to prove what they assert is true, and how they can know this. If they are suggesting their views are philosophically based this may well be the case, however I wouldn’t for example rely on a philosophic belief to hold me up in the air at 40 000 ft for that you need science and evidence. This is not to say there is no value in philosophy just that it can only take you so far.

    So you could ask them to provide empirical proof of how Hinduism. I suspect there are many Dogma’s asserted by Hinduism like all other ‘isms’ Catholicisms, Mormonism, Capitalism, Communism etc. It is here you should concentrate.

    What do they assert without evidence? What justification do they give for doing so? If they cannot actually empirically know then I would argue they would be better off just saying “I don’t know”.

    In short you do not have to prove anything that is their job, yours is to be skeptical and not take anything on faith without sufficient evidence.

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  • 6
    tantrai says:

    I understand your problems discussing these issues with Hindus who come up with those “figures and facts” that you speak of. Well I can tell you this, there is nothing in the Hindu Holy books which describes anything in Modern Science. They can use verses to interpret and reconcile with modern scientific facts. This is similar to how the Islamists use the Quran verses to describe big bang theory and others.

    Yes there have been ideas and practices developed in the “Hindu region” which contributed to our understanding of nature, but they can no way be reconciled to our current understanding..

    Next time ask them what they think about Pluto, or how many constellations we have defined right now.. ask them about hydrogen ..just basic science..and tell them to show you where is it noted.

    If you need more help.. like others mentioned.. please put up the facts they talk about..

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  • 8
    RobertHarris says:

    Hinduism doesn’t get much publicity or discussion by atheists, probably because it really isn’t very specific about anything, even the existence of a deity. This is how Wikipedia describes it,

    “Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, and atheism among others;[84][85][86][87] and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. It is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization.”

    I have no idea how you would discuss such an ambiguous religion. But if you want to debate these people, you can always fall back on the simple tactic of asking them to prove any claims they might have about supernatural beings. If they have none, then tell them maybe they’re right:-)

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  • 9
    Shashank Sripad says:

    Hmm….look the thing you have to understand about hindhuism is…..when u go deeper into the scriptures…specially the Upanishads(the culmination of Vedas)……there are 2 aspects to a belief system….1-smruti 2-shruti………..the smruti is the part which include the things that are derived from skeptical questioning, reasoning and rational thinking…..here there is no theistic god….and it clearly says one doesnt need to believe in a god..
    the shruti is the part that has all the things derived from stories (puranas),tales etc…..it includes all the customs and such things….and it is said that the shruti is somthing that pertains to a given time….so a practice in the 1200 AD would be meaningful at that time…but absolutely stupid if one was to follow it now….
    when YOU talk to theistic hindus, you can tell them about this distinction and that all the superstitions/irrational beliefs etc are to change….and you have accepted the change…and adapted a more rational view of life…
    —–there is no compulsion to follow anything in hinduism…….but one need to follow his ‘dharma’ i.e righteousness……Hinduism more as a “way of life” than a religion…….

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  • 10
    Shashank Sripad says:

    I’d suggest you stay out of too many forums….try n think for yourself…….take the ‘god delusion’ and put it next to say a book of vivekananda…….and you’ll see that its very tricky and very difficult to handle hinduism……

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  • One way of looking at religion is as an attempt at “personification of the unknown”. Science is the best way for dealing with the unknown, often this involves using a Normal Distribution. Popular Hinduism strikes me as an attempt to put a god-face on every possible part of the ‘bell curve’, whereas monotheism tries to put a single god-face on the whole thing. But anyone who studies probability should see that there is no need to put any faces on probability distributions.

    its not a problem living with these people but with the point they raise against atheism

    What exactly is this point they raise against atheism?

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  • 12
    ArminNavabi says:

    You can also check out this Facebook group: Indian Atheists

    In reply to #1 by KimCox:

    I’m currently working on adding a list of links to help people connect with others who have similar backgrounds, and here is what I have that may help you as far as being an ex-Hindu goes:

    Nirmukta – promoting science and freethought in India

    Nirmukta forums – this one links directly to one about…

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  • 13
    Nonlinear says:

    Perhaps the most important need for literate Hindus is to find to a “non religious scholar” who could interpret the Upanishad and Vedas in an unbiased manner . These form the very basis and origin. As far as i understand from writings and explanations and various extracts and lines from respected scholars, Vedanta makes “atheism” as the starting point. It negates blind faith and asks the individual to build entitlement based on intuition, experience and common sense. The individual is exhorted and explained how to be free and to decide what to believe and disbelieve. Buddha asked his disciples not to accept any of his preaching if it failed to meet the test of reason ( this clearly excluded reasoning by physical threat to body and family by this sect). Those who follow Mahavira within Jainism would/should know that the concept of God is “Mithya” (a polite word for falsehood). The logic was simple in old texts (where perhaps the knowledge of the Big bang was still pending) that since universe had no beginning and limitless there can be no “creator”. Also for your comfort Hinduism officially accepts that Atheists can continue to be Hindu’s. To accommodate this belief in Hindu Mythology there is even a Deity for Atheists – Brihaspati. His philosophy of Charvaka or Lokayata maybe read and that appears to again reject any doctrine.
    There is thus complete freedom in Hindu philosophy. All the danger within any religion has emerged when humans believe and follow some individual as a self proclaimed leader, who propounds a “restrictive doctrine”. Any restriction to thought should immediately be rejected by a literate and now any scientific human mind because once on is educated, it should become very clear that though we are a result of “natural selection” there is something very exclusive (very easy to say God Given) to humans. That is the power to validate, evaluate, test and only then “believe”. In the 21st century even a belief cannot become doctrine, and must be considered “subject to change/upgrade” based on the rapid evolution of science and its ability to keep providing proof with every claim.

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  • 14
    Agent_Allons-y says:

    These are Richard Dawkins’s opinions on Hinduism:
    “Hinduism and Buddhism offer much more sophisticated worldviews (or philosophies) and I see nothing wrong with these religions.”
    -Richard Dawkins

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  • 15
    Agent_Allons-y says:

    In reply to #11 by Logar:

    One way of looking at religion is as an attempt at “personification of the unknown”. Science is the best way for dealing with the unknown, often this involves using a Normal Distribution. Popular Hinduism strikes me as an attempt to put a god-face on every possible part of the ‘bell curve’, whereas…
    There isn’t a point against Atheists in Hinduism. Hindus preach acceptance. You don’t have to believe in a god to be Hindu. I’d really appreciate it if you would look deeper into Hinduism than you are now before voicing your opinions. Just a rule of thumb.

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  • One common argument I have heard from believing Hindus is that it is a ‘way of life’, different from other religions (particularly Christianity and Islam) and that Hinduism cannot be criticised in the same vein as other religions.

    In my view, the conflict between reason and faith is common to all religions. Hinduism is no exception. In Hinduism, there are just so many superstitions, orthodox practices, dogmas and doctrines that do not have any evidence or basis in science.

    The complexity of Hinduism only makes it more difficult to cure the indoctrinated mind. The complexity of Hinduism makes no case at all in protecting it from arguments against faith in general.

    I have had discussions with religious Hindus, including those who have a particular tendency to sell their own belief system and preferred Holy Books within Hinduism. Invariably, the intellectual dishonesty becomes manifest when reason begins to pinch them. To them, reason is alright only as long as it supports their arguments. The moment reason begins to expose their illogicality and questions their doctrines, they swiftly abandon reason and cling on to faith. Some of them go as far as finding fault with reason itself, forgetting that they use reason whenever it suits their convenience.

    In Christianity it is the Bible. In Hinduism, it may be the Bhagavad Gita or any one of the many other holy books. But the process of surrendering one’s mind in slavish obedience to the holy book is the same. The process of indoctrination is the same.

    As history (assuming history it is), Hinduism is a mess. The Puranas give different accounts of the same events. if you are a believer, you might want to ask yourself which are you going to accept as true?

    I have also not found any satisfactory answer to the conflict between freewill and predestination from Hinduism. Some preachers (or those who believe in their own strong opinions on this topic) have gone as far as saying that everything is predestined, as for example, my typing this comment right now. In support, they would quote texts or axioms from some obscure corner of the vast body of writing that go under Hinduism. But they also believe in accountability in practical life. They retaliate if injustice is done to them. They don’t accept injustice as a predestined event and stay put. By their own logic, they should go as far as saying that the retaliation was also predestined. But that reaches the height of absurdity and obscures the distinction between freewill and predestination. This is where they usually change topic. I have only seen them make decisions in practical life based on reason and experience.

    Believing Hindus, preachers and holy men invariably evade questions that cut at the root of their faith. For example, the caste system. Even today (some of you might find this quite shocking but it is true), there are people who believe that those who have no caste must be forbidden from entering a Hindu temple. To those who are unaware, there was a time when such proscription existed as a social custom. But it was agitated against by what is popularly known as the Temple Entry Movement. Today, the only thing that stops people from voicing such obscurantist views in public is that it is not a topical subject anymore, and then there is the law.

    But where do they get the theological support for this? To my knowledge, there is none. But the view has become so embedded in their minds that they refuse to question it or change it.

    Talking about the caste system, one common argument one hears is that Lord Krishna himself has said in the Bhagavad Gita that he created four Varnas. To the believers, this gives a divine sanction to the caste system. Many questions are connected to this argument. At the very root is the view that the Bhagavad Gita itself is an interpolated text in the Mahabharata. There is also the view that only a small part of the Bhagavad Gita was originally written, and the rest of it are later accretions. But, religious believers usually evade these questions and conveniently assume that Krishna is God and the Bhagavad Gita is his own words.

    Whatever be the religion, it takes a lot of courage to ask honest questions and still more courage to find honest answers. A closed and indoctrinated mind is unlikely to indulge in such an exercise. If the closed and indoctrinated mind also happens to have evangelical tendencies, it would help to keep far away from it.

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  • Why do you want the believers to know what you think is true? Do you consider its your responsibility to prove them wrong? Hinduism is a very complex philosophy which has been interpreted and re-interpreted so many times. It identifies two groups one who believe in bhrahma (not the bhrahma of trinity but the unmanifested God) and another group that don’t believe in bhrahma. What it needs you to do is do your karma (bear your responsibility and work for good) and it still considers you on the side of dharma. Hinduism to its core thus is not a religion per say as it doesn’t ask you to submit to God. It is your choice. Hinduism rather “Sanatana dharma” never came as a revelation like it did to Muhammad nor it came like Christianity. It allowed ample room to reason, to discuss your curiosity. By the way have you read any Hindu scripture? If you really want to debate a Hindu you have to know their culture and belief, else just don’t get into arguments. I hope nobody forces u to believe as nobody can. Putting a tika on your forehead to please let’s say your mother, bowing before an idol to please others does not make you a believer. When I was agnostic (I have been lately appeased by the the philosophy still failing to recognise the God) I practised Hinduism as it is a way of life and I did not want to hurt my folks. Buddhism is more practical and is not about God. For Islam and Christianity is concerned they appear more as history and politics rather than philosophy. However these religions are far way simpler than Hinduism. I have God delusion and Bhagvad geeta, I have read the latter more than four times but have read former only once. You can search for Hindu atheist by the way.

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  • Sandip Timsina
    Dec 9, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Why do you want the believers to know what you think is true? Do you consider its your responsibility to prove them wrong?

    The irrationality of religious faith makes many people do damaging things to themselves and others.

    But the mob killing last month of a man wrongly suspected of eating beef has prompted a national debate and calls for tolerance from India’s civil and political leaders, as beef-related clashes have escalated.

    Prasad and Singh are members of one of dozens of cow protection squads or “beef vigilante” groups operating across India. These aggressive Hindu squads patrol the streets for smugglers by night and work at charitable shelters for elderly cows by day. https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/11/hindu-cattle-patrols-in-india-seek-to-protect-cows-from-beef-eaters/

    There are also ridiculous and dangerous activities like bathing in the Ganges, in toxic waste and sewage for “purification”!

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  • 40,000 feet in the air?
    That’s close by most airplanes today move at. Not to mention that many ‘space vehicles’ are indeed sent out from earth in modern times to search the deepest n far reaches of the cosmos.
    So, it’s very much possible.

    Now, the part about ‘-isms’. Hinduism isn’t a single religion, nor a single philosophy.
    Comparing it with other modern day religions like the Abrahamic faiths, Buddhism, Jainism, etc wouldn’t be accurate.
    The source of this religion till date is unknown. Not to mention it has over 36 million deities, each with a different branch.

    It is difficult to deduce a religion like Hinduism. It constitutes pure asetism, yoga, a life of wealth, a life of chastity and poverty, belief in the divine, disbelief in the divine, belief n disbelief in the Buddha,belief n disbelief in Jesus (from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s testimony).

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  • Truth is, there is NO Hinduism.
    It’s like considering Islam, Christianiity, Judaism in one group though they are different in many aspects. The sects of Hinduism, some of them are entirely opposite to the beliefs of other sects within this ‘religion’.

    In recent decades, Hinduism has taken a more primitive stance on issues. Going back to fundamentalist stages on cultural and rituals.

    Atheism too exists in Hinduism… There were many Sadhus who preaches a non violent atheistic doctrine based on logic and yoga. Though today the largest Vaishnava Group, the ISKCON has made it’s mission to berate those teachings,yet atheism per say isn’t a sin or a crime in Hinduism as long as no living being (humans and animals) are harmed.

    I was born in a Hindu household… Later went to Christianity, Catholicism, Paganism, Etc.
    But later found refuge in Zen Buddhism and the Bhagavad Gita.
    Undoubtedly every religion has it’s dark stages, but scripture wise according to the Gita (the non ISKCON versions), Vedas, etc. Other religions or no religion isn’t for condemnation. Nor are lower caste people up for oppression.
    But again, ideas and beliefs vary within this group of religions.

    The theistic sects of Hinduism are concerned with the preservation of the Dharma which in Sanskrit isn’t the same as religion as the ISKCON Gita and Purana seems to say.

    But in the end it all comes to the sect one follows. Animal beheadings, practice of widow burning, bias against lower caste, dowry, etc which were practiced in India in the name of religion isn’t commanded not prescribed in vaishnava texts, while animal beheadings are permitted in the Shaktism sect.

    The focus should be on halting the new heat of religious fundamentalism that is predominantly on the rise in India.

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  • The problem is in Hinduism itself. Religious fundamentalism is merely the external manifestation.

    The atheists of ancient Hinduism such as the Carvakas disappeared long ago. For believing Hindus, that is a matter of jubilation. They pay lip service to the tradition merely to feel proud that India had diverse traditions in the past. But in reality, they do not care one jot about Carvakism or any other atheistic tradition that has long since disappeared.

    If you look closely enough, you will discover that atheists get socially ostracized in a most subtle and invisible manner. Although there is no bar or legislation against atheism, atheists in India do not enjoy the same status as religious believers. They are looked upon with suspicion and even contempt, because they challenge established order of things and established patterns of thinking.

    Their only crime is that they insist upon rational thinking and scientific outlook as a guide to knowledge and understanding of the outside world. But they are not welcome in a population that is made up largely of believers.

    It is my view that even in ancient India, the slow, subtle process of social ostracism must have operated in alienating and ultimately destroying such atheistic traditions as Carvaka.

    Let me hasten to add that in India, there exists in some regions a hatred-based atheism, which I myself would condemn. Atheism in its true form is based on, and must only be based on, scientific and rational thinking.

    People who worship a guru or gurus are not born with a devotion to that guru. They get mind conditioned in the same way a Christian gets mind conditioned in the Bible or a Muslim in the Koran.

    The explanation that a believer would give is that the mere fact that he was born in an environment that led him to look upon X or Y as his Guru is a result of Karma or actions in previous births.

    What he fails to understand is that in order to gather support for his Guru worship, he is merely using an imponderable as argument. To support a blind faith, he uses a doctrine dinned into his head by the same process of blind faith.

    That was only one example, from a multitude of examples that may be given, of how the process of indoctrination or mind conditioning works in Hinduism.

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  • Agent_Allons-y #14
    Apr 3, 2014 at 4:33 am

    These are Richard Dawkins’s opinions on Hinduism:
    “Hinduism and Buddhism offer much more sophisticated worldviews (or philosophies) and I see nothing wrong with these religions.”
    -Richard Dawkins

    While the original post no longer exists, this appears to have been a posted item for discussion on RD net, rather than a personal opinion of Richard Dawkins!

    Hinduism and Buddhism offer much more sophisticated worldviews (or philosophies) and I see nothing wrong with these religions.
    By RICHARDDAWKINS.NET. – Added: Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 4:00 PM

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  • Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
    Where knowledge is free
    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
    By narrow domestic walls
    Where words come out from the depth of truth
    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
    Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
    Where the mind is led forward by thee
    Into ever-widening thought and action
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let the world awake.
    – Rabindranath Tagore

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  • I appreciate your efforts You Do in your country. I also used to belong to hindu religion since childhood but the only reason for this was that I was born to the hindu family. But when I got sense I started changing myself. Now me and my good friends try to spread the true knowledge or the motive of humanity and also tell people how boring, sexist, racist, judgemental etc. the religion is and J hope one day we all will get success friend.

    Another thing h mentioned that your country has a very less no. of people as atheiest but its not the matyer of a single country its the matter of the whole Earth and there is a quote- EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP. So dont worry my friend start exploring on YouTube, Google and other sites,  watch debates regarding these topics especially of Richard Dawking and Lawrence Krauss, discuss with good people who understand you,  be it your family member or your friend. I am also not so matured, I study in class 10 in India where the education system is not so good.

    The last I want to say that never loose hope and never underestimate yourself. Among 51 Atheist in your country, feel proud that you are the beginning of the golden era.

    And also I also love Science, thats the weapon for Atheism.

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  • >Samyak06 says:

    Nicely put Samyak.


    We all do this everyday when we discuss our differences in faith or beliefs in superstitious nonsense.  Remember too that when you stand up for yourself and discuss things you do or don’t believe (provided it is safe to do so where you live), then you will impact more people than you think.  Probably not the person you are arguing with but others.

    At my staff-room we were discussing the relative costs and benefits of vegan diets.  One religious workmate (and he is a mate a good bloke) said something to the effect that the Bible gave him dominion over all animals and plants for his use so he could eat as much meat as he liked.  I was amused by this and jokingly said “That’s not so simple that same book tells you you cannot eat shellfish every eat Prawns?”  He objected that he didn’t need to follow those mandates as he was under the new covenant (New Testament) I pointed to Matthew 5:18 which states the old law will not be undone till the end of the world.  Anyway this went on, and ended in him storming off after I proved to him slavery was condoned in the bible. But I noticed many a religious staff member looking surprised.  So while I didn’t convince him there were other listening.  You will never know who you convert.


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