Being Hindu is to stop being fanatical…it is being cosmopolitical
Advaita Vedanta of Sri Shankaracharya ( circa 780 AD – 820 AD), Shaivism with its many branches,Vaishnavite systems with their deism, the Tantric system with its own inner esoteric logic, the neo-Vedanta of the Ramakrishna Order and the lived daily lives of countless wo/men with their sacred rituals have come to mean for us Hinduism. Some of us live by the philosophy of Sri Ramanujacharya (circa 1017 AD – 1137 AD); some of us try to integrate within us the teachings of Patanjali (circa 2nd BC) while again some among us would want to live by the dictum of Sage Vashishtha. We are a Faith community which has no one language; our practitioners may appear unrecognizable to each other, leave alone to the devotees of other religions. We have no one book to live by; we accept no one centralized source of doctrines. In truth, we have only our own inner loci of control to lead us to God. Our concept of the universe has been mistakenly confused with the philosophy of pandeism (sic). In fact, we are a community evolving with the times. Our concept of dharma does not mean only a specific cognitive space or an area of discourse which separates our lives into little-boxes and relegates the idea of the holy to the realm of what is commonly understood by spirituality. Our religion is a lived religion which sees natural ambition for earning wealth, having sex within marriage, and having fulfilling careers to be integral to self-actualization. Thus, Hinduism is a religion which is eminently practical and does not concern itself too much with the life to come. It is enough to enjoy and live this present life to the full. It is only within Hinduism will one find an equal stature being given to the householder and the renunciate. Both can and do attain God. In all other religions of the world, the renunciate is compulsorily seen as superior to the layperson. In all probability the apaurusheya Upanishads and the Vedas relate the lived-experience of non-celibate happily wedded seers, both women and men. Those who seek Hinduism for magic, for personal peace, for some sort of harmony and certainty, seek in vain. Their quest is misplaced. Hindus know that to be spiritual is to be uncertain, to desire holiness often immature, to seek magic and miracles may be non-scientific and betray a need to find quick-fix solutions to real problems which need long working out. To seek peace in a world torn by strife is foolishness and moreover, selfish. How can a spiritual person seek inaction and solipsism when countless around her or him are illiterate, hungry and live with no proper sanitation? Hinduism rejects these desires as been unworthy of the human being. This world is not meant to be a seclusion: it is meant to be one of action, and relentless self-appraisal: am I fighting the good fight? Am I living my swadharma?
(Read the rest of the editorial here : Lectio Divina )
This was a very eye-opening article and I feel that it has much merit, at least for me. Would love to know any thoughts on it!