White Hindu Converts: Mimicry or Mockery?
Here is an article published in the Huffington Post regarding White Westerners converting to Hinduism and mimicking the stereotypical or 'imagined' archetype of Indian Hindu culture. I will say for myself, that first off I did not just choose to embrace Hinduism...it chose me. Why should I go against what I feel in my heart and soul is my Dharma. It has nothing to do with my culture or the Indian culture. I believe very deeply in the philosophy of Sanatana Dharma, Vedanta to be precise. Should I call myself a Hindu? I doubt myself every day. I ask myself all the time if I am somehow just pretending, but then I read Hindu scripture or words from Hindu gurus and it dissolves my doubts for a time. I do not question the philosophy, what I question is do I belong in the Hindu culture. I know in India Hinduism pervades ever aspect of life both religious and secular...where in the United States religion is thought of as aside from secular life.
I would in no way mock Hinduism...at least not intentionally and it troubles me to think that Hindus would even think that of me. Yes I would like to fit in with them, but I do not feel the need to do it just to claim that I am a Hindu. My spirituality is very personal to me and no one...absolutely no one can take that from me. I still embrace my own culture, and am working to integrate parts of my new Hindu beliefs into my own culture at home. I am always looking to those born into Hinduism for guidance. Those I have met online have been very welcoming and honestly quite loving...they have no idea how grateful I am for that.
I feel as if I am part of something bigger in respect to being one of the few Western Hindus out there, and with that I feel a great responsibility in living a Hindu life that bares integrity and genuineness. I know I have a good following of Hindus out of India here on my blog and am always open to discussion...and would love to hear from many of you and what your thoughts may be on this matter. I look at each of you as my brother and sister in Dharma.
If Vedanta was not meant to be spread throughout the world then great men like Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda would never have brought it to the West. Hinduism culturally may not be for everyone, but who holds claim to Vedanta? It is what every human being is...it is our birthright.
Tat Tvam Asi,