View Full Version : Why i am a hindu...

January 12th, 2009, 04:49 PM
One more forwarded emails...I found it interesting so posting on jatland!!!!!!!!!!!


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 forces.

'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 sometimes..'

'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 white.

'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 sarvam' 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 you.

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.
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. Hinduism was the first religion originated. Be proud of your religion and be proud of who you are.
Om Namo shiva.....


January 15th, 2009, 01:11 PM
Enjoyed reading it.Nicely written.