Monday, August 10, 2020
Home Indian History & Culture Dr. David Frawley: To respect Hinduism is to respect our ancient spiritual...

Dr. David Frawley: To respect Hinduism is to respect our ancient spiritual roots

By David Frawley

Saying “I am a Hindu” is bound to meet with denigration in the West and even in India – more so if someone born in the West states to have formally become a Hindu.

Yet for someone in the West to say that they have become a Buddhist or a Muslim does not meet with the same negative response. Nor does it occur for someone in India, even from a Hindu background, to say that they have become a Christian or a Muslim.

Like a number of Westerners starting in the 1960s, I became immersed in Hindu based practices of yoga and vedanta, extending to the worship of Hindu deities like Shiva and Devi.

When people asked me what religion I followed, I realized that I was clearly a Hindu in my way of life from puja and pilgrimage, to mantra and meditation. I decided to formally become a Hindu to affirm this, particularly when I saw Hindus in India remaining under extensive conversion assaults.

Here is a link to books written by Dr. David Frawley.

Students of yoga and vedanta

However, most in the West who take up yogic teachings do not formally call themselves Hindus, even if they adopt Sanskrit names relating to Hindu deities. This is owing to deep-seated propaganda against Hinduism as characterized by backward social customs, not enlightened spiritual teachings.

Many yoga students claim to be followers of their particular guru or sect. Others claim to be part of a universal tradition of yoga that includes all religions, of which Hinduism is only one. Yet all follow ideas and practices rooted in the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras – primarily Hindu sources – overlooking the fact that they are benefitting enormously from Hindu teachings.

Some say practicing yoga will make a Christian into a better Christian. I had given up my Catholic background because I could not accept the theology, rituals, or conversion efforts behind it. The law of karma, rebirth and the pursuit of liberation in Hinduism made much more sense to me, not the heaven, hell, sin and salvation of Christianity.

If practicing yoga and meditation, with statues of Shiva and Devi in my shrine, made me into a better Christian, it was not something any mainstream Christian group would acknowledge or recommend.

There are those in the West who want to become Hindus, but find little support. The most helpful group I discovered was the Hinduism Today magazine and some thoughtful, articulate Western Hindu swamis associated with it. In India, most helpful was the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and authors Ram Swarup and Sitaram Goel, who wrote extensively on modern challenges to Hindu dharma.

The situation for Hindus today

To tell Christians or Muslims today that one has become a Hindu is to invite ridicule and charges of idolatry and superstition. Academicians disparage Hinduism as a strange, sensational set of cults, ignoring its profound meditation-based philosophies – a negative approach they would not take relative to any of the other great religions of the world.

The success of the Hindu community in the US and UK has muted these criticisms, but not removed them. Hindu-Americans still have to face both religious and racial prejudices for the images of their deities and the color of their skin.

You will not find a single department of Hindu Studies at any major India universities, even BHU (Banaras Hindu University). You can find a lone Hindu department at Oxford in UK, run largely by non-Hindus, but none elsewhere at any major universities in the West. This is though Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world and has the oldest and most diverse literature of any religion.

Clearly there has been a long history of maligning and suppressing Hindu dharma that continues worldwide today. There has been a deliberate strategy, both to discourage people from becoming Hindus and to discourage Hindus from asserting their own identity. The influence of vested interests from missionary, colonial and Marxist groups is easy to discern behind these concerted efforts, often with extensive political and media support.

Today in India when Hindus question this long-standing and well-funded anti-Hindu bias that they continue to face, they find themselves demeaned as “intolerant”.

Fortunately, there is a slow awakening to the value of Hindu dharma and its rishi traditions. To respect Hinduism is to respect our ancient spiritual roots and our potential for higher consciousness. (The article was originally published in DailyO)

Here is a link to books written by Dr. David Frawley.

STAY CONNECTED

18,959FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,780FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Reliving The Life Of Abanindranath Tagore

A founding artist of the Bengal school of art, Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951) has had a profound impact on modern Indian art as we know...

Boost Immunity This Monsoon: The Tasty Way

2020 is unlike any year we have seen and in parts of the country this monsoon is unlike any we have seen. Staying healthy is...

Kohli, Rohit, Dhoni Among Most Popular Cricketers Worldwide: Study

India skipper Virat Kohli's popularity knows no bounds and once again it has been re-affirmed by a study which has revealed that the 31-year-old...

I Have Always been a Hands-on Mom: Raveena Tandon

By Puja Gupta A hands-on mom, Raveena Tandon has not just portrayed impactful and memorable characters in her career spanning over two decades but has...

Know South Africa’s Indigenous Cuisine

By Puja Gupta Food is invariably a universal connector - however, experiencing and sharing-in the food of a different land is a very personal experience. As...

PETA Moves to Delhi HC to Seek Directions to Prohibit Animal Cruelty

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Monday moved the Delhi High Court to seek directions to the central government to prohibit...

The Impact of Stress on Skin, Hair and How to Overcome It

By Puja Gupta The lockdown has resulted in stress for a lot of people - stress of being cooped inside for weeks together; the uncertainty...

People Who Play VR Games Can Develop Higher Navigational Efficiency

Adding to the growing list of studies, a new study has said that individuals playing a virtual reality (VR)-based game can develop higher navigational...

Recent Comments