Interesting – Why am I a Hindu ?


A Hindu was flying from JFK New York Airport to SFO San Francisco Airport CA 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.

He 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.He told her that I am from India

Then suddenly the girl asked: ‘What’s your faith?’ ‘What?’ He didn’t understand the question.

‘I mean, what’s your religion? Are you a Christian? Or a Muslim?’

‘No!’ He replied, ‘He am neither Christian nor Muslim’.

Apparently she appeared shocked to listen to that. ‘Then who are you?’ “I am a Hindu”, He said.

She looked at him as if she was seeing a caged animal. She could not understand what He 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?

He 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,’ He 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,’
He 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?’

He 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. He 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.

He 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 He tell to this American girl?

He 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.’ He 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.’ He 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,’
लोका समस्ता सुखिनो भवन्तु !!! ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः !!!

‘Funny,’ she laughed, ‘What does it mean?’

‘May all the beings in all the worlds be happy. Let there be Peace, Peace,and Peace every where.’

‘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 it is a Culture, a way of leaving life, a set of beliefs and practices. Everything is acceptable in Hinduism because there is no single Authority or Organization either to accept you or to reject you or to oppose you on behalf of Hinduism.’

He 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, He 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.

He 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’

He said “I am a Hindu primarily because it professes Non-violence – ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma’ means – 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 changes his/her birth religion to another religion is a fake and does not value his/her morals, culture and values in life.

Hinduism is the original rather a natural yet a logical and satisfying spiritual, personal and a scientific way of leaving a life..

 

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Primary duty of Brahmins – WAY OUT OF MISERY!


 

 

CURRENT STATE:
Brahmins have got various professional and business degrees and have moved all over the world. They thrive well in their chosen professions. They take part in many leadership roles and have even become political leaders. Many of our past and present PMs, CMs and Presidents are examples of such leadership positions. Chanakya was an historical example.
DUTY OF BRAHMINS:
In this process we Brahmins have slowly forgotten the primary duty of Brahmins. That is more spiritual in nature and not political or business roles. The direct process of social transformation is through better governance, education, wealth creation, health improvement etc. This can be done by the Government, Business and other transforming agents. This is the most visible and most attractive way. For example people think that Modi becoming PM will bring good transformation in India. Quite likely.
ANCESTORAL WISDOM:
But our ancestors knew the limitations of all these social and governmental transformations. Hence the Brahmin community was given an entirely different role. That is the spiritual transformation of the people. This was considered to be the most beneficial and most permanent solution to the miseries of Man!
SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES:
We study many Business principles in MBA course and many Administrative principles as IAS and many medical and surgical procedures as a Health professional. Similarly in the religious and spiritual field the highest research has yielded the Vedas and all the principles of life, death, Misery and happiness. But our ancient Rishis were well aware that they need very powerful tools to bring about transformation in the bulk of the common people. They followed the best of SOCIALISM OR COMMUNISM (don’t confuse with politics!) in the sense that they wanted the spiritual benefits to reach the most humble human being on the earth.
HOW TO DO?:
To make the spiritual transformation reach the grass roots, they invented and developed very powerful tools. These are the use of Mantras and creation or development of the Brahmin caste. They were handed over the powerful Veda Mantras which could directly remove the misery of man by endowing both physical and spiritual benefits on the common man. They have given wonderful Philosophy to the intellectuals in the Upanishads. They have set up many procedures to directly deliver the good to the people. These are chanting of the Vedas and performance of many Homas to benefit the people. To make the Veda mantras effective, they have given many restrictions on how a Brahmin should live, what and when he should eat etc. Starting from Sandya Vandana, there are a large number of procedures to make the Brahmin pure and fit to deliver the goods! A Brahmin need not be a professional Sastrigal but atleast can practice as many procedures by him as possible to make himself fit for progress.They have also given so many other ways of worship, Vratas, Festivals and procedures to people of all castes. These are for giving them permanent and lasting freedom from misery and to keep increasing their levels of happiness.
CONTINUOUS PROCESS:
The transformation in Man is not 1 or 0. That is you are NOT either a saint or a sinner! The progress is continuous and keeps on making one more and more evolved and more and more free or blissful. There is scope for the worst sinner to start climbing the ladder. So every one is partly a saint and partly a sinner. The percentages makes the different from one to the other! Everyone continues from where he left in the previous birth. This explains why there are saintly souls and horrible sinners amongst us at the same time!
WAKE UP NOW:
But the SAD part is that Brahmins have substantially forgotten their spiritual role and have submerged themselves in wealth pursuits thinking that MONEY alone is real. The need is to realise their true roles and slowly disentangle themselves from the web of MORE WEALTH – MORE HAPPINESS, which is false and misleading. Life is short and is not worth wasting away in non spiritual pursuits. Brahmins should set the examples to other sections of society. If they merge with other sections in wining and dining and 5-7-9 bedroom houses, then their original purpose is completely lost. By all means earn well and live happily but all the time remember that there is a more permanent and sure way to get out of misery!
(IDEAS BORROWED FROM DEIVATTIN KURAL)