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Why I am a Hindu

திசெம்பர் 16, 2008

Aum sri sai ram
A wonderful article on Hindu… Thought provoking…
courtesy: Tarun Nambiar/Pune/Maharashtra
Four years ago, I was flying from JFK NY Airport to SFO to attend a
Meeting at Monterey, CA. An American girl was sitting on the right side,
Near window seat. It indeed was a long journey – it would take nearly
Seven hours. I was surprised to see the young girl reading a Bible
Unusual of young Americans.

After some time, she smiled and we had few acquaintances talk. I told
Her that I am from India.
Then suddenly the girl asked: ‘What’s your faith?’
‘What?’ I didn’t understand the question.
‘I mean, what’s your religion? Are you a Christian? Or a Muslim?’
‘No!’ I replied, ‘I am neither Christian nor Muslim’.
Apparently she appeared shocked to listen to that. ‘Then who are you?’
‘I am a Hindu’, I said.

She looked at me as if she was seeing a caged animal. She could not
Understand what I was talking about.

A common man in Europe or US knows about Christianity and Islam, as they
Are the leading religions of the world today. But a Hindu, what?

I explained to her – I am born to a Hindu father and Hindu mother.
Therefore, I am a Hindu by birth.

‘Who is your prophet?’ she asked.
‘We don’t have a prophet,’ I replied.
‘What’s your Holy Book?’
‘We don’t have a single Holy Book, but we have hundreds and thousands of
Philosophical and sacred scriptures,’ I replied.
‘Oh, come on at least tell me who is your God?’
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘Like we have Jesus and Muslims have Allah – don’t you have a God?’
I thought for a moment. Muslims and Christians believe one God (Male
God) who created the world and takes an interest in the humans who
Inhabit it. Her mind is conditioned with that kind of belief.

According to her (or anybody who doesn’t know about Hinduism), a
Religion needs to have one Prophet, one Holy book and one God. The mind
Is so conditioned and rigidly narrowed down to such a notion that
Anything else is not acceptable. I understood her perception and concept
About faith. You can’t compare Hinduism with any of the present leading
Religions where you have to believe in one concept of god.

I tried to explain to her: ‘You can believe in one god and he can be a
Hindu. You may
Believe in multiple deities and still you can be a Hindu. What’s more –
You may not
Believe in god at all, still you can be a Hindu. An atheist can also be
A Hindu.’
This sounded very crazy to her. She couldn’t imagine a religion so
Unorganized, still
Surviving for thousands of years, even after onslaught from foreign
‘I don’t understand but it seems very interesting. Are you religious?’
What can I tell to this American girl?

I said: ‘I do not go to temple regularly. I do not make any regular
Rituals. I have
Learned some of the rituals in my younger days. I still enjoy doing it
‘Enjoy? Are you not afraid of God?’
‘God is a friend. No- I am not afraid of God. Nobody has made any
Compulsions on me to perform these rituals regularly.’
She thought for a while and then asked: ‘Have you ever thought of
Converting to any other religion?’

‘Why should I? Even if I challenge some of the rituals and faith in
Hinduism, nobody can convert me from Hinduism. Because, being a Hindu
Allows me to think independently and objectively, without conditioning.
I remain as a Hindu never by force, but choice.’ I told her that
Hinduism is not a religion, but a set of beliefs and practices. It is
Not a religion like Christianity or Islam because it is not founded by
Any one person or does not have an organized controlling body like the
Church or the Order, I added. There is no institution or authority.

‘So, you don’t believe in God?’ she wanted everything in black and
‘I didn’t say that. I do not discard the divine reality. Our scripture,
Or Sruthis or
Smrithis – Vedas and Upanishads or the Gita – say God might be there or
He might not be there. But we pray to that supreme abstract authority
(Para Brahma) that is the creator of this universe.’

‘Why can’t you believe in one personal God?’
‘We have a concept – abstract – not a personal god. The concept or
Notion of a personal God, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling
Us irrational stories through few men whom he sends as messengers,
Demanding us to worship him or punish us, does not make sense. I don’t
think that God is as silly as an autocratic emperor who wants others to
respect him or fear him.’ I told her that such notions are just fancies
of less educated human imagination and fallacies, adding that generally
ethnic religious practitioners in Hinduism believe in personal gods. The
entry level Hinduism has over-whelming superstitions too. The
philosophical side of Hinduism negates all superstitions.

‘Good that you agree God might exist. You told that you pray. What is
your prayer then?’
‘Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,’
‘Funny,’ she laughed, ‘What does it mean?’
‘May all the beings in all the worlds be happy. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.’

‘Hmm …very interesting. I want to learn more about this religion. It
is so democratic,
broad-minded and free’ she exclaimed.

‘The fact is Hinduism is a religion of the individual, for the
individual and by the
individual with its roots in the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita. It is all
about an
individual approaching a personal God in an individual way according to
his temperament and inner evolution – it is as simple as that.’
‘How does anybody convert to Hinduism?’

‘Nobody can convert you to Hinduism, because it is not a religion, but a
set of beliefs
and practices. Everything is acceptable in Hinduism because there is no
single authority or organization either to accept it or to reject it or
to oppose it on behalf of
Hinduism’ I told her – if you look for meaning in life, don’t look for
it in religions; don’t go from one cult to another or from one guru to
the next.

For a real seeker, I told her, the Bible itself gives guidelines when it
says ‘ Kingdom of
God is within you.’ I reminded her of Christ’s teaching about the love
that we have for
each other. That is where you can find the meaning of life. Loving each
and every creation of the God is absolute and real. ‘Isavasyam idam

Isam (the God) is present (inhabits) here everywhere – nothing exists
separate from the God, because God is present everywhere. Respect every
living being and non-living things as God. That’s what Hinduism teaches

Hinduism is referred to as Sanathana Dharma, the eternal faith. It is
based on the
practice of Dharma, the code of life. The most important aspect of
Hinduism is being
truthful to oneself. Hinduism has no monopoly on ideas. It is open to
all. Hindus believe in one God (not a personal one) expressed in
different forms. For them, God is timeless and formless entity.

Ancestors of today’s Hindus believe in eternal truths and cosmic laws
and these truths are opened to anyone who seeks them. But there is a
section of Hindus who are either
superstitious or turned fanatic to make this an organized religion like
others. The
British coin the word ‘Hindu’ and considered it as a religion.

I said: ‘Religions have become an MLM (multi-level- marketing) industry
that has been
trying to expand the market share by conversion. The biggest business in
today’s world is Spirituality. Hinduism is no exception’.

I am a Hindu primarily because it professes Non-violence – ‘Ahimsa
Paramo Dharma’ – Non violence is the highest duty. I am a Hindu because
it doesn’t condition my mind with any faith system. A man / woman who
change ‘s his / her birth religion to another religion is a fake and
does not value his / her morals, culture and values in life. Hinduism
was the first religion originated.

Be proud of your religion and be proud of who you are.
Om Namo shiva……. ……..

Send it to all Hindus who you think will find it interesting! !!!!!!!!! .




(¨`•.•´¨) Always
  `•.¸(¨`•.•´¨) Keep
(¨`•.•´¨)¸.•´ smiling!
  `•.¸.•´    Aum.
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