Thursday April 19, 2018

Understanding Hinduism in United States

Swami Vivekanand was the establisher of Hinduism in Chicago . More than 80,000 Hindus presently live in Chicago comprising American as well as Indian Hindus.

2
//
749
Hinduism in Chicago, Wikimedia Commoms
Republish
Reprint

This is a video released by Chicago police department. In this, Rev. Chaplain Dean guides us through the cultures and traditions of Hinduism.

Watch this video

Here is a brief summary of his point of view.

  • In Chicago, Hinduism was established by Swami Vivekanand (a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa) in 1883. Since then nearly 80,000 have settled in the Chicago.
  • A major chunk of this immigrated population comprises of Indian doctors, professors and engineers. Most of them are concentrated in western and northern suburb regions.
  • Hindus worship different idols of gods and goddess. However they believe in one supreme lord “The creator”. There is a great sense of respect among Hindus towards all other religion.
  • Every Hindu home has some place reserved for worship. Be it community temples or simple home temples, Hindus always worship their gods in temples. Darshans are often done during weekdays followed by offerings. There’s a whole different mesmerizing ambiance inside a Hindu temple.
  • Unlike western culture, eastern nations such as India, Japan follow a different tradition. Wearing shoes are not allowed inside temples and touching any idols are not allowed. Even photography is strictly prohibited.
  • In Hinduism, the Right hand is ideally preferred for handling sacred objects and food. It is considered inauspicious and rude if someone offers via his left hand.
  • Similar to England, Indian police do not carry weapons with them. So these Indian Hindus often get frightened when approached by a police officer.

Related article : Being an American Indian ,from the eyes of Gauri

  • Women often wear Saari and marriage necklace along with a Bindi on their forehead as a sign of marriage. In males, sacred tilak is applied. People welcome others by doing Namastey (generally means I worship the divine within you)
  • Touching is considered to be a bit inappropriate in Hinduism (especially among opposite genders). It is highly inappropriate to ask Hindu women to remove anyone of them. Police officers are expected to respect the dignity of Hindu women. Same goes the other way round.
  • Most Hindus are vegetarians and non-smokers, so smoking and bringing non-veg food are considered to be disrespectful.
  • Swastika is a religious symbol symbolizing power (Shakti) which means let goodness prevail. In Hindu homes, one can often see swastika inscribed in front of their doors. Even temples contain these holy symbols as a mark of auspiciousness.

Pritam, a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. A simple person who tries to innovate and improvise himself.

Twitter @pritam_gogreen

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Pritam Go Green

    I must say this is a good initiative taken by Chicago Police department. This indeed helps a lot in shortening the bridge between civilians and police officers.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Its good that Indians always remain rooted to their culture .. no matter where they migrate and settle, they carry forward their culture and traditions

  • Pritam Go Green

    I must say this is a good initiative taken by Chicago Police department. This indeed helps a lot in shortening the bridge between civilians and police officers.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Its good that Indians always remain rooted to their culture .. no matter where they migrate and settle, they carry forward their culture and traditions

Next Story

Swami Vivekananda’s Quotes That Will Inspire You To The Fullest

Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. He wanted the youth to get going and hence his inspirational thoughts were a motivation to many people for self-improvement especially for the youth of the country.

0
//
62
Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. Wikimedia Commons
Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. Wikimedia Commons
  • Swami Vivekananda was behind the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world
  • Swami Vivekananda followed and carried on the philosophy of Ramakrishna Paramhansa
  • Swami Vivekananda’s mother had a great impact on him

Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu monk, a great orator, passionate patriot and one of the most celebrated spiritual leaders of India. He was the man behind the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. In colonial India, Swami Vivekananda immensely contributed to the concept of nationalism.

Swami Vivekananda followed and carried on the philosophy of his guru, Ramakrishna Paramhansa forward with his teachings and worked towards the upliftment of the society and revival of Hindu spiritualism. He wanted to showcase Hindu religion on the world stage. Later, he found the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.

Also Read: India’s First Woman Lawyer: 10 Lesser Known Facts About Cornelia Sorabji

Swami Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863, into an affluent Bengali family in Calcutta. His father was a successful attorney with considerable influence in society. Swami Vivekananda’s mother had a great impact on him. During his lifetime, he spoke a lot about spirituality and life motivation. Swami Vivekananda quotes became very popular among countrymen and he was seen as a spiritual idol for many.

Swami Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863, into an affluent Bengali family in Calcutta. Wikimedia Commons
Swami Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863, into an affluent Bengali family in Calcutta. Wikimedia Commons

Here, we have compiled few of the Swami Vivekananda’s inspirational thoughts that would fill you with much insight and spiritualism.

  1. “When I Asked God for Strength He Gave Me Difficult Situations to Face When I Asked God for Brain & Brawn He Gave Me Puzzles in Life to Solve When I Asked God for Happiness He Showed Me Some Unhappy People When I Asked God for Wealth He Showed Me How to Work Hard When I Asked God for Favors He Showed Me Opportunities to Work Hard When I Asked God for Peace He Showed Me How to Help Others God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted He Gave Me Everything I Needed.”

2. “This is the gist of all worship: to be pure and to do well to others. He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva. And if he sees Shiva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary. He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Shiva in him, without thinking of his caste or creed or race or anything, with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.”

Also Read: 11 Must-Know Facts About Asima Chatterjee

3. “All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of anyone. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”

Swami Vivekananda followed and carried on the philosophy of his guru, Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Wikimedia Commons
Swami Vivekananda followed and carried on the philosophy of his guru, Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Wikimedia Commons

4. After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul the more quickly does one follow the other. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature; both are chains-one iron, one gold; behind both is the Atman, who knows neither happiness nor misery. These are states, and states must ever change; but the nature of the Atman is bliss, peace, unchanging. We have not to get it, we have it; only wash away the dross and see it. Let people say whatever they like, stick to your own convictions, and rest assured, the world will be at your feet. They say, “Have faith in this fellow or that fellow”, but I say, “Have faith in yourself first”, that’s the way. Have faith in yourself-all power is in you-be conscious and bring it out. Say, “I can do everything.”

5. “Advance like a hero. Do not be thwarted by anything. How many days will this body last, with its happiness and misery? When you have the human body, then rouse the Atman within and say-I have reached the state of fearlessness!…and then as long as the body endures, speak unto others this message of fearlessness: ‘Thao art That’, ‘Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached’.”

Also Read: 10 Must-Know Facts About Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

6. “Remember the words of Christ: “Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” These words are literally true, not figures or fiction. They were the outflow of the heart’s blood of one of the greatest sons of God who have ever come to this world of ours; words which came as the fruit of realisation, from a man who had felt and realised God himself; who had spoken with God, lived with God, a hundred times more intensely than you or I see this building.”

7. “Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvellous work. It is fear that is the great cause of misery in the world. It is fear that is the greatest of all superstitions. It is fear that is the cause of all our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment. Therefore, “Arise, awake and stop not until the goal is reached.”

8. “For a warrior, nothing is higher than a war against evil. The warrior confronted with such a war should be pleased, Arjuna, for it comes as an open gate to heaven. But if you do not participate in this battle against evil, you will incur sin, violating your dharma and your honour.”

January 12, swami Vivekananda's birthday, is celebrated as the National Youth Day in India. Wikimedia Commons
January 12, swami Vivekananda’s birthday, is celebrated as the National Youth Day in India. Wikimedia Commons

9. “Do not believe a thing because you have read about it in a book. Do not believe a thing because another man has said it was true. Do not believe in words because they are hallowed by tradition. Find out the truth for yourself. Reason it out. That is realization.”

10. “We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act. “

Also Read: 15 Amazing Facts About The Revolutionary Bhagat Singh

Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. He wanted the youth to get going and hence his inspirational thoughts were a motivation to many people for self-improvement especially for the youth of the country. For his love for youth, January 12, his birthday, is celebrated as the National Youth Day in India. Swami Vivekananda’s motivational quotes are still followed at many of the country’s educational institutes.