The reason why the church hates Hinduism is that the depth of Hindu philosophy — with its spiritual insights collected over 5,000 years by thousands of meditative sages, its universalism, its tolerance, its vastness of scope, its democracy of thought — offers a formidable threat to the simplistic and shallow “true god, false god” philosophy on which Chritianity and Islam are based.
Hinduism has no founder. It is merely a collection of deep spiritual insights collected since 4000 BC by thousands of sages who sharpened their mind and intellect through yoga techniques. After decades of practice, gradually their mind developed a penetrative power to absorb the nature of the ultimate reality. They began to get flashes of insight with their eyes closed. That is why the central percept of Hinduism is: “Close your eyes and see. The truth you long for is inside you.”
Hinduism is thus nothing but what thousands of yoga practitioners over thousands of years have discovered on their own about who we are, where we are going, why were we born, what happens to us after we die and why some people suffer while others enjoy. The answers are found in Hinduism but it may take a lifetime of study.
As you go deeper into Hindu philosophy, a strange kind of peace and contentment takes over which makes you self-satisfied and indifferent to pleasure and pain. You live in this world but the world does not live in you. Hinduism uplifts you and you are contented to stay alone, savouring the inner quiet and peace. This is why Hindu sages never look for a mass of followers. They prefer to retreat to the forests and stay alone. Spiritual peace is their best company.
Hinduism appeals to sophisticated minds while Christianity and Islam cater to primitive minds which can only bear the burden of their existence by creating comforting delusions. The Semitic faiths appeal to the poision that exists in the psyche of all of us in which you consider everyone else as beneath contempt . As people evolve, liberate themselves mentally and learn to think freely without any self-imposed limits, the philosopy of Hinduism begins to appeal to them. Like what is happening in America today.
America, a Hindu nation?
By Brad Pfeiffer/ Progressive Voice
Sat Sep 19, 2009, 05:00 PM CDT
Heber Springs, Ark. –
Out at the dance hall a while back, a friend told me that he used to be religious until he took a philosophy course in college. I could relate to that. History and cultural studies often have a similar effect. All those early Greek and Roman gods must have been pretty important at one time, but most of us pass them off as mythology these days. In fact, I’d say that most of us are atheists when it comes to gods and goddesses like Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, etc. Over the history of man, I suppose that thousands of different religions have come and gone.
In the August 24 & 31, 2009 issue of Newsweek, I was drawn to an article by Lisa Miller titled “We Are All Hindus Now.” Hindus believe there are many paths to God. By Ms Miller’s interpretation, America has conceptually become more of a Hindu society than a Christian society. She refers to a 2008 Pew Forum survey which shows that 65 percent of us believe that many religions can lead to eternal life. The survey showed that 37 percent of white evangelicals claim to believe that, too.
I’m really not surprised by that last fact, although I wonder if we’d get the same results if the poll were to be taken here in Heber Springs. Around here, there seems to be an abundance of shirtsleeve Christians who preach that the only way to get eternal life after death is by believing in Jesus. In fact, these zealots say that you will burn in hell if you don’t believe in Jesus.
I don’t claim any personal knowledge about these things, and of course, religious matters are beyond the realm of scientific testability. So it’s certainly understandable why rationalists tend to shrug their shoulders and move along with eyes glazed over.
Nevertheless, religion is undeniably important because, for one reason, it is so often used by politicians to manipulate behavior.
According to Ms Miller, “Christians traditionally believe that bodies and souls are sacred, that together they comprise the ‘self,’ and that at the end time they will be reunited in the Resurrection.” OK, maybe I slept through that part of my Lutheran indoctrination. But Hindus believe no such thing, Ms Miller explains, and burn the dead body on a pyre. The spirit escapes and gets reincarnated in different bodies. Since 24 percent of Americans now say they believe in reincarnation and more than a third of Americans now choose cremation (up from 6 percent in 1975), Ms Miller sees more evidence that we are becoming more like Hindus.
I told my wife that if I die before her, she should cremate my body or donate it to one of the medical schools. If I could be ground up and converted into some kind of feed, fertilizer or clean-burning fuel that would be fine with me, too.
I just want to be useful after my death. These ideas aren’t based on any religious belief, but rather my very conservative nature. I know that’s a damaged label these days, but I’m talking about “conservative” in the proper and good sense of the word.
You see, I think I will hate waste as long as I exist. I’m the guy who gets ticked off when my guests throw away perfectly good food or drink. So I can’t see why my wife should spend lots of money over my death, putting thousands of dollars into a grave plot, stone, casket, service, etc. I’d rather see her use our money to help her sustain a comfortable lifestyle—something she deserves from years and years of hard work and putting up with me.
Though I won’t give two hoots to support anyone’s superstitions, I try to be respectful (as you can tell) since religious matters are very important to many people.
I’ve thought for a long time that we can learn and open our minds by studying various cultures and religions. America, after all, still thrives on cultural and religious diversity—in spite of the Religious Wrong culture warriors. It seems to me that those who try to impose their own cultural narrowness on all of America do us no favors.
My impression is that cultural hardliners—such as those who wish to impose one religion on all of America—are often struggling with some kind of personal insecurity, are politically or financially motivated, or are just confused or manipulated. I see cultural and religious diversity as a strength.
If more Americans are turning to Hinduism, maybe it’s a good thing: The Hindus I’ve met are all very kind, humble and polite people. In contrast, it seems that I’m too often snubbed and/or called nasty names by self-identified Christians who clearly project an air that they are too good to associate with me.
Of course, there are all types of Christians and I certainly would not condemn an entire religion based on some very rude people—no more than any rational person would condemn all of Islam because of the bad apples that hit us on 9-11. But I do remember from Lutheran school that we were taught to be civil and well-behaved because our behavior, we were told, was a reflection on the church—a valuable lesson.
(Brad Pfeiffer of Heber Springs is one of the local contributors to Progressive Voice, a “liberal viewpoint” column which runs each Friday.)
The church was spooked by the Hare Krishna movement that swept the West in 60s and 70s, the visit of Vivekananda to America and the admiration of Western intellectuals in 19th century when the Hindu sacred literature was first translated into English. To counter the appeal of Hinduism to White Christians, the church developed a strategy — it tried to become the main source of information and interpreter about what Hinduism is.
The church has funded and put in place a range of hitorians, anthropologists and “experts” who write books and explanations about Hinduism. These are then pushed into libraries, bookshops and universities of the West. This odious lieterature of bogus scholarship — with misinterpretations, wrong conclusions and outright lies — is written in such a way as to create contempt in the minds of the readers about Hinduism and give an impression that it is something primitive and uncivilised which they should steer clear of. This is the main trick of the church that it has been playing to kill Hinduism. The westerns are simply being lied to.
People like Michael Witzel and Wendy Dongier and even Discovery and NatGeo channels — the “experts” and “interpreters” of Hinduism — are a part of this network. This is why their output constantly outrages the Hindus, forcing them to sue.
(Hindus worship cows, Ganesha’s trunk represents a limp phallus, Shiva Linga is a penis, Ganesh has sexual design on Paravati, Rama Krishna Paramhansa was a gay, caste system is a part of Hindu religion, etc. — this output is generated by the church agents acting as historians, experts, linguists, etc. and then dished out with a flourish to Westerners.)
Have you wondered why American universities appoint communist professors such as Romila Thapar as visiting professors of Indian history and Hinduism, and why do they never approach the learned Pandits of Varanasi for the post? Why do they choose leftists / communists and shun the real pandits who are an authority on Hinduism? Most American universities have a heavy influence of Christian bigots and they play the same trick of choosing the “right interpreters.”
Hindus should interpret Hinduism to other people themselves, and not allow church agents and their hired Indian communist professors to interpret Hinduism on their behalf to the world. “Learn Hinduism from the Hindus, not from the church” should be the sales pitch. Just tell the world about the spiritual insights of our sages, and that should be enough.
One of the best resources for beginners to know what Hinduism is all about is http://www.hinduwisdom.info/contents.htm