I am no longer Hindu


#1

This has been fermenting in my consciousness ever since my recent voyage to India. I found in India I did not relate at all to Indian people and their ways, and surprisingly the Hindus. After visiting many Hindu ashrams and talking to many Hindu pundits and swamis, and socializing with many Hindus, I realized just how repulsive I found it all. Today, this is a culture steeped in superstition, blind faith, dogma, dead traditions and hypocrisy. I will give some examples.

I approached a Siddha Yogi(the Yogis with dreadlocks) to learn Yoga. He had a board up saying he taught classes. When I inquired about taking his classes, he rudely said to me, “You must fulfill my conditions you must shave your head, cook and clean for me, and go to the streets and beg for food” Needless to say, I did not accept his conditions. Later, he granted me some time to talk to him and ask questions. I asked him, “I want to be a yogi like you, gain mastery of my mind and body” He replied, “To do this you must stop eating” I said, “If I stop eating I will die” he replied, “Exactly, this is why it impossible for you to gain control of your mind and body” I then pointed out the vegetables lying besides him, saying, “Well, even you have to eat” He replied, “Exactly, I cannot control my mind and body” I then said, “Well, then if we cannot control the mind and body completely, we must do whatever we can to gain as much control as we can” He replied it was impossible, “Everything is polluted, food, water, air, light” and then proceeded to tell me how were all doomed and next year “Shiva’s third eye is going to open” I asked him what he will be doing next, he said, “I will go and beg, and when the season changes, I will go elsewhere and beg”

I met a Hindu pandit at an ashram, who took an interest in me and started to preach at me. He asked me whether I was married or not. I told him I was not interested in getting married yet or maybe ever. He was dismayed, “No, you must get married, because without marriage you will be not able to attain liberation in this life, it is an obligation you must fulfill” He then proceeded to tell me a mythological story from the Puranas how a celibate man was forced to reincarnate again to fulfill his martial duties before he could get liberation(he was also punished by the gods for not doing his duties) He then told me If I really wanted to be Hindu I would have to learn how to speak Hindi or Sanskrit, wear Indian clothes(dhoti) and have a pony tail and abide by my caste. He then created my astrological chart and started to interpret it for me, and basically got everything wrong about me.

I attended a Durga festival(divine mother festival, on the eve of Dushera) During a devotional hymn, a woman holding a baby seemed to lose it, she started whirling around violently and psychotically, bumping into everybody around her. Everybody moved back to give her space and she proceeded to do her dance of destruction as if the divine mother had possessed her. Eventually somebody was able to take the baby off her, so the baby was not hurt fortunately. The priest there then consecrated her with holy water and basically fed her delusion. When the hymn ended, the woman ran away, and a few people ran after her.
At the same festival a little boy dressed like Ganesha was bought in ritually, and then crowds of people thronged to the boy and put money at his feet. People pushed and shoved each other just so they can get to the little boy to get his blessings.

I decided to go to a Krishna temple I was meaning to go to for a while. I participated in the devotional ceremony where we danced, sung some hymns together and then ritually walked around the temple. Then when it ended we prostrated before the Krishna idol with her heads down for a long time, whilst repeating a prayer together. An old monk behind me used that has a chance to take my music player outside of my pocket. Fortunately, a boy had seen him take it out, so I was able to get it back. I did not create a scene.

I went to a traditional Vedanta ashram in Utterkashi to learn Vedanta. They promised they would give me instruction in Vedanta in English and were going to arrange classes for me, meanwhile I was expected to attend the daily routine(morning wake up and prayer, Vedanta class, evening wake up and prayer) The first thing I noticed was how pretentious it all was, I had monks coming up to me to preach at me all the time, not to have a discussion with me, but preach their knowledge to me as if they were trying to convince themselves more than me. When I told them I already had some knowledge in Vedanta and had read English translations of most of the core texts, I was told none of my knowledge was valid, because it was learned not from an authorized Vedanta guru and in Sanskrit. In the Vedanta class, it was amusing to watch how everybody was trying to look cleverer than the next person, and I personally witnessed some nasty gossiping. I felt sorry for this woman who was being bullied by her peers, they kept on laughing under their breath whenever she said something.
I also met an American yogi there, who told me how he was discriminated against by the Vedanta community because he was non-Indian, and because he was a Yogi. He told me has been actively persecuted and harassed by the monks.

In Gangotri I went to a traditional Krishna ashram run by a Sadhu. I met an Australian seeker there who was on a spiritual journey and was doing karma yoga at the ashram. He was young and naive and was horribly exploited by the Sadhus there. They made him do everything, even clean their own dishes, they asked him for money all the time to get groceries(in addition to rent) They would laugh and ridicule him in front of him in Hindu. When he finally ran out of money they asked him to leave. They passed most of their day doing cannabis and other drugs, and were high most of the time.

At another Krishna Yoga ashram in Rishikesh, the Yoga guru who was also a monk and devotee of Krishna, made a sexual advance on one of his female pupils in private. She was so traumatized, scared and then decided to leave the ashram. I then find out that the Yoga guru had also tried it with his other female pupils.

I went to another Vedanta ashram where Vedanta classes were taking place every morning. The head Vedanta teacher was an arrogant South Indian man, and loved the sound of his own voice. I did not get on well with him, and I once asked a few legitimate questions in class and he silenced me. He preferred lengthy monologues and hardly ever answered anybodies question. He walked proudly and arrogantly(he believed he was god) and never smiled. I later found from long time students that they did not like him. They complained how the ashram was falling apart and revealed there were many power struggles going on in the ashram. The management was rude, they did not even make eye contact with me when I talked to them for information on courses etc.

Something sinister almost took place with me when a Sadhu approached me at a festival. I was just standing on my own, minding my own business, when a Sadhu beckoned me. He spoke to me in English(he had obviously guessed I am foreign) He then tried to charm me, “Something has made me talk to you, I need to tell you something” He then told me “You have a pure heart, people like you are rare.” He then invited me to meet him at 4am in the morning besides the Ganga in a remote place, he was going to summon his deity with a ritual then and teach me some Yoga exercises that I needed to know. Suffice it to say I did not go, but I do wonder what could have happened if I did! I saw him again at another time, he seemed to be high on drugs.

I met a Vedic studies scholar and was seeing him for a few weeks. Initially, I was very impressed with his scholarly knowledge of Hindu scriptures and grasp of his knowledge. Later I realised he was just a bookworm, classes with him became tedious, and ridiculous when he started to tell me blatantly unscientific facts from the Puranas, “It is impossible to leave the solar system, we will never be able to leave it” or “You must give ritual offerings to the sun in the morning, because the offering of the water goes to the sun” and I must perform the ritual of offering to my dead forefathers, otherwise I will incur sin.
He then proceeded to rigidly define my behavior “You must only eat once in the day, you must wake up at 3am the morning, you must get out and pray to your deity, and put your right foot forward first, you must eat facing such and direction” It was a long list of DO’a and DONT’s.

It can be argued that I have had some bad experiences, encountered some bad apples, but I say not so. These experiences were very common and I have experienced them both at the higher stratras and lower stratras of Hinduism.

If this is Hinduism, I don’t want to be Hindu.


#2

The word Hinduism itself is a fallacy, because it is suppose to be the English translation of the Sanskrit word: Santana Dharma. Here is what they both mean:

Hinduism: The religion, traditions and way of life of the people of the Indus
Sanatana Dharma: The cosmic and eternal religion/way

They obviously do not mean the same thing. Hinduism is geographical and is bound only to the Indian subcontinent, its history and its traditions. Sanana Dharma is universal and is not bound by any place or time period. Santana dharma implies that its teachings are timeless and scientific in that they can be discovered by anybody at any time. It is not bound by any founder, scriptures, practices, symbols, language.

I was under the illusion that Hinduism was the same as Sanatana dharma, but I was in for a rude awakening after I went to India, and recently a Hindu internet forum, just how intertwined Hinduism is with Indian nationalism. I am not a Indian national, so technically I am excluded from being a Hindu, because I an not an Indian national. Moreover, I do not care for Indian gods and goddesses and its social and moral codes. I broached the topic on the Hindu forum(where else would somebody go than to their own community to discuss religious issues) and I was greeted with great intolerance for even thinking that Indian identity can be separated from Hinduism. My aim was to expand and redefine the definition of Hinduism to bring it closer to its actual meaning of Sanatana dharma, so that all nationalities can be included within it and other traditions around the world which have affinity within it can also be included within it(Such as Christian Gnosticism, Sufism etc) The suggestion was so despised, that many Hindu members started to personally attack me and the moderator banned me.

I thought what a great shame that the tradition that has historically been very tolerant, pluralistic, democratic and intellectual has today been trivialized and reduced to nothing but a dead, stubborn Indian tradition worshiping stones, trees and snakes. It is for this reason I announce that I am no longer Hindu. I obviously cannot relate to Hindus as they are today and thus formally renounce the religion of “Hinduism”

I am still a follower of Santana Dharma, and still have as much love for Vedic philosophy as I did before. I still follow the universal Aryan religion that the Vedas outlined. The universal Aryan religion is a religion of humanity - about becoming a noble human being, cultivating virtuous character and doing noble deeds. It is primarily about spiritual development. Thus the term “spiritual” is perhaps the closest and most accurate term we have to express this religion. Thus I am more comfortable now just calling myself ‘spiritual’ and thus have freed myself from the fetters of religion.


#3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6QgCfnBtF7M


#4

Self inquiry ?Who AM I? may be more about identifying ?who one is not? instead of ?who one is?, ?I AM? being the great reminder.


#5

Good to have disrobed what is not becoming.

Its worth it, if here begins a journey within, for being.

And clarity and brevity follows.


#6

It is better this way, you won’t give Hinduism a bad name by association this way.


#7

Actually, if anything I have given Hinduism a good name with people. I have created interest among many of my friends and peers on Hinduism, some of which are Hindus themselves. However, I do not at all sell the Indian nationalistic Hinduism that you and your friends at HDF share Sarva, nor do I turn on my friends like you do simply because we do not share the same ideology. To be honest you guys are no friends to anybody, because if anybody disagrees with your ideologies, you turn on them instantly(the hallmark of any fundamentalist group) Just a year ago, and even till recently I was your best friend and you were praising me, because you were wrongly thinking I shared your Indian nationalism. When you realized I didn’t, you turned against me in an instant. It really goes to show that you cannot be friends of anybody. You share the same fundamentalist characteristics you condemn in Abrahamic religions. Like any religious grouping you are full of hypocrites.

You are wasting your time preserving a dead tradition nobody really is interested in today, even Indians at home, and have done nothing to address the problems existing in current Hinduism, and really have missed the whole point of Hinduism which promotes humanism(not nationalism) Good luck in flogging your dead horse. You can keep your ‘Hinduism’ I will keep to my Sanatana dharma.


#8

One year ago, you were still defending Hinduism, but that was slowly fading since you landed in India. I have known for a while that you were getting confused, I have already discussed this with Nietzsche. That is why I pointed you to a Hindu forum where you could maybe learn something, instead of preaching here. Unfortunately, you created a scene and started a crusade against India and Hinduism, based on your view of what is the “true vedic philosophy.” Your idea of Sanatana Dharma comes from 18th century colonialism and reinterpretations of vedas which were adapted to fit the abrahamic model of religion. This has been pointed out to you, but you kept ignoring all arguments.

To inform you, you were not banned for the controversial topics you started, but for the language you were using and for your attitude. What do you even expect when you come to a Hindu forum and write that you consider India a dead country, that you are strongly repulsed by Hindus and that you want them to discard their “superstitious” traditions in favour of your personal, nonetheless “perennial” philosophy. All I want to say is that this event may have bursted your bubble and made you realise that Hinduism is not aligned with your personal views. If that’s the case, it will be a good thing for your to leave Hinduism and adopt an ideology that suits you better. This way, you won’t feel the need to change Hinduism, nor do we Hindus need to listen to how much you are repelled by us and how we should change our traditions to please you.


#9

There is a reason why one needs to ride a camel in the desert and not a horse; and horse in a war and not a camel. Yoga and religion are vehicles meant for different terrains. Why confuse one with the other?

Can you see enough of the present, to be able to see the past? Debating about 18th Century and beyond needs an exceptional vision. Historians have opinions, not a vision. Still they think that their interpretations form a universal truth and a series of ?experts? keep building on this truth with home-made bricks of air. Problem is that two scholars end up with two different versions of the same past, that unfortunately may be something else altogether. Dwelling in the past is mind?s favorite pastime, debating is intellect?s favorite sport, judging is ego?s main occupation, passionate articulation is emotional satiation and to belong to a comfort zone of similar thinkers is a physical need.

Everything above binds us to the untruth. But that?s in our blind spot.


#10

Actually if there is anybody here latching onto an 18th century colonial interpretation of the Vedic tradition it is you and your group of fundamentalists: As the category of Hinduism as a religion was created by the British in the 18th century, no such category ever existed before the British classified the religion of Hinduism. So put that in your pipe and smoke it :smiley:

This whole obsession you have today with Hindu religion and Hindu identity is entirely a British invention. Even the concept of nationalism and nation states is a British invention. No matter how much you tell yourself you are practicing an indigenous tradition of Hinduism, it will not change the facts that you interpretation of Hinduism as another religion is the product of colonial thinking. On the other hand, my interpretation of Hinduism is closer to the actual Hinduism that existed in pre-colonial times, as a tradition of spirituality which was based on the principles of the Vedas, but did not adhere to any fixed practices, codes or canons. If one looks at all the denominations of Hinduism no denomination actually has the same practices, codes or canons, the only common denominator is the principles of 1) dharma 2)karma and reincarnation and 3) Yoga.

The Vedas do not enjoin any single practice - they simply say cultivate your character, personality, intellect and do noble deeds. They primarily advocate spiritual development - and spiritual development is a personal thing. It is not a religion. One is free to do anything they want in order to develop. This is why in Hinduism you can have completely contradictory practices. If one tradition preaches celibacy and vegetarianism, another tradition preaches the exact opposite: sexual indulgence and meat eating.

You are trivializing the great dharmic tradition that has flourished in India by ignoring its complexities and reducing it to just another religion. However, I know why you do that, because you need to latch onto some identity to make yourself feel better. You need to belong to something to feel some sense of purpose in life.


#11

Good luck with your ramblings, I am not feeding trolls.


#12

The only person who is trolling here is you. This is a thread I started, on my own personal reasons for leaving Hinduism, and you have come along in here and tried to trash me for those reasons - so whose the one trolling here? The other reason you are a troll is you are narrow minded, you cannot engage with any of my arguments, because you know I actually have a point. Even your fellow members at HDF agreed I had a point. This is why they were so angry and hostile, because they actually know my points have validity - and that hurts the most.

I will explore the issue of ‘Hinduism’ a bit more in later posts. You don’t have to troll…err post here.


#13

What is Hinduism?

Sarva gives the impression above that there is some unified Hinduism with a set viewpoint, which does not agree with my viewpoint:

perennial" philosophy. All I want to say is that this event may have bursted your bubble and made you realise that Hinduism is not aligned with your personal views. If that’s the case, it will be a good thing for your to leave Hinduism and adopt an ideology that suits you better.

So what is the view of Hinduism? ---- Everything it seems! There is nothing that is not the view of Hinduism. There is Hindu atheism, Hindu pantheism, Hindu theism, Hindu creationism, Hindu deism, Hindu dualism, Hindu Monism, Hindu qualified Monism, Hindu Hedonism, Hindu ritualism; Hindu Magik; Hindu mysticism; Hindu materialism; Hindu idealism; Hindu nihilism. It becomes clear then there is not single view of Hinduism. There are several viewpoints. In fact pretty much anybodies viewpoint can fit into Hinduism. It is impossible to have a Hindu fundamentalism, because that would mean forming a single viewpoint and nobody has the authority to do that in Hinduism, because there is formal clergy or Church.

The people over at HDF are fundamentalists and proudly don the title of “fundamentalist” in their profiles, but these clowns do not realize that it impossible to do that. They cannot at all dictate to anybody what is a Hindu view and what is not, much less tell somebody that Hinduism does not agree with their viewpoint. What they really mean is that they do not agree with your viewpoint. Well, who cares about what these clowns think. It is like caring about what the Taliban think.

There is an obvious problem in having a religion which believes everything! If it believes everything, it also believes in nothing. If this religion has every practice, then it also has no practice. If this religion believes every path is valid, then no path is also valid. In other words such a religion is no religion at all. Therefore, Hinduism cannot be a religion. And if it is a religion, than tell us

Who is it founder?
What are its scriptures?
What are its beliefs?
What are its practices?

The answer are: There is there is no particular founder. While some Hindus believe the founder are the Risis, others believe Hinduism is eternal and has existed since the beginning of time. Some believe that Hinduism really begins with the life and times of Krisna. Others believe that Hinduism begins with the life and times of Shiva.

There are no particular scriptures. While some Hindus consider the Vedas as their scriptures. Other Hindus consider Puranas as their scriptures. Shiavaists consider Agamas as their main scriptures. Most Hindus do not read scripture at all, but learn stories from the epic literature Mahabharata and Ramayana. Vaishnavas consider the Gita as their main scripture. Yogis do not rely on scripture at all, but mystical experience.

There are no particular beliefs: Some Hindus believe that no creation has ever taken place, the world is illusory and thus do not believe in a creator god. Others believe there is a creator god and he periodically creates, sustains and destroys the universe. Some believe there is no god, just souls and nature(Classical Samkhya). Some believe that there is no god, but only knowledge. Some believe there are many gods. Some believe that they are god. Some believe Krishna is god. Some believe Shiva is God. Some believe nature is god. Some believe life is about suffering. Some believe life is about enjoyment. Some believe there is free will. Some believe in destiny.

There are no particular practices: Some Hindus just practice living a moral life as per their dharma. Some Hindus practice idol worship. Some practice silent prayer. Some practice meditation. Some practice contemplation and philosophy. Some practice Vedic rituals. Some practice Tantra rituals. Some practice celibacy. Some practice sexual indulgence. Some practice vegetarianism. Some practice meat eating. Some practice taking drugs and intoxicants. Some practice extreme asceticism. Some practice mantra. Some practice silence.

Therefore, I have clearly demonstrated there is no particular founder, no particular scriptures, no particular beliefs and no particular practices of Hinduism. Then how it be called a religion at all? How is possible to have a Hindu fundamentalism when there is nothing you can base your fundamentals on? When we cannot even clearly define what Hinduism is, how can we say it is a religion? It evidently cannot be a religion?

So what is it? I will discuss this in the next post.


#14

You have made excellent observations, and reached a wrong conclusion. Diversity is Hinduism’s strength. Yes, that makes it uniquely unlike most other religions and their factions, each with single identity. But to say that because Hinduism is unlike other religions, it is in fact not a religion displays absence of intuitive wisdom.

Hinduism is a holistic thought and at its core is a concept of evolution and involution. In evolution, the subtle keeps manifesting in gross and involution sees a reverse process. The grosser the world, human awareness captures diverse images. The subtler the world one stands ‘enlightened’ that the many is really One. When you take a flight on a rainy day, rain and the clouds is not your reality the moment you rise into high altitude. Rain still remains a ground reality and simultaneously sunshine is a high altitude reality. Wisdom is in seeing them both.

The human evolution-involution creates such apparent paradoxes, and Hinduism in fact does justice to it by embracing divergent interpretations and approaches as different stations on the path of ultimately realizing the One. Scholars without intuitive wisdom miss this point and remain engaged in the grosser world of jargon, contradictions and a desire to showcase relative truth as the “only” truth. A problem with any scripture is that the reader cannot be transported to its time of creation to fully understand the context for those words. Then any discussion today remains a war of words and opinions. Of course, the scriptures need to be studied for what help they bring in one’s spiritual growth. But when people recklessly glorify or demolish the contents, its an effort as pathetic as someone trying to measure the Himalayas with a 12" scale and declaring that it is afterall a small hill.

That Hinduism has no known beginning, no one founder and no one identity should be cherished. Afterall here is one religion that has not been institutionalized and scriptures are not designed to serve the powers-to-be. Here’s one religion that does not peddle a system of beliefs, but offers a philosophic base open for self-validation, with agreement or disagreement perfectly within bounds. Here’s one religion that does not shut doors on new ideas, new interpretations and is even willing to assimilate them suitably.

Diversity does not diffuse Hinduism’s identity, it is our diffused vision incapable of seeing through it.


#15

The only person who is trolling here is you. This is a thread I started, on my own personal reasons for leaving Hinduism, and you have come along in here and tried to trash me for those reasons - so whose the one trolling here?

No, I am not trashing you for leaving Hinduism. I am happy for you that you have realised you are not Hindu. On the Hindu forum you were the one to argue against the diversity of Hindu traditions and even denigrated them in favour of your so called philosophical position, which was merely a mixture of new age and neo-vedanta, and presented that as the true version of Sanatana Dharma.


#16

No doubt the complexity of Hinduism is overwhelming however the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras and Tantra lead me to the Advaita Vedanta which I kind of view as a resulting outcome of the evolutionary stream of recorded consciousness of much Hinduism.


#17

There are two paths in indian culture --1)religion 2)Spirituality .Hinduism is a religion which teaches us how to live in dharma because we all know we are bonded with universal karmic laws and if we dont follow religion we will make bad deeds and suffer.
unfortunatly some dumbs are making mess out of religion .The people u have encountered fall under this category.2)spirituality is to know the spirit or to know who we are …who created it ,why we are suffering or elso who is god where he is present and some indian scientists have researched and shared the knowledge to the world and we know very little of it yoga ,chakras,samyama,asanas all …so suryadeva u are in spirituality and you are not in religion so dont look religion …((its not for you …)
The whole world is the thought of the one
We are just thoughts


#18

Diversity does not diffuse Hinduism’s identity, it is our diffused vision incapable of seeing through it.

Is this really true? I have really wanted to believe that Hinduism’s diversity is a strength and not a weakness, but if I look at the actual ground reality of things, it is an obvious weakness. The ground reality is the fact that people are so confused about what Hinduism means, that Hindus easily can be called the most confused lot. Nobody really knows what their religion is about; is it polytheistic or monotheistic, is it about rituals or yoga? Is it a culture or a philosophy? Do Hindus really worship elephant gods, rats, private parts? Is the caste system really an essential part of Hinduism? I know how common confusion about Hinduism is among Hindus, because I have encountered Hindu youth today who tell me how confused they are about their religion. They don’t really know what they believe.
The second ground reality I see is how fragmented India is, how it cannot actually form any lasting political or geographic unity. This has left India open to invasions in the past and it was how small countries like England were able to subjugate it. As there was no political or geographical unity, England was able to play off one kingdom against the other and finally bring them all under its control. Today, India is in the same situation, it is in danger of splitting up into several small states, as Rajiv Malhotra shows in his publication, “Breaking India” In an interview he says the ground reality of India today is that it is a balkanized war zone. It is in danger of splitting up like the Soviet Union into several smaller states. This is something that India’s enemies know very well, and Chinese strategists have even suggested China further destabilize India to break it unity.

For all the faults of the Abrahamic religions, they have served a positive role in Western and Islamic history in that they have served as unifying force. If you ask a Christian or a Muslim on what they believe, they can give a clear answer. They have the strongest sense of identity out of all religions. It is because of this societies were able to develop a strong scientific, material and technological culture. Something India has always lacked behind in, even behind their contemporaries like Greeks.

Hinduism, because of the very nature of what it is can never be a unifying force in Indian society. I will explore why in my next post, ‘The fallacy of Hinduism’


#19

The fallacy of Hinduism:

As promised here is my explanation as to why Hinduism is a fallacy and can never serve as a unifying force in India, or anywhere else. As we all know that the term ‘Hinduism’ as a religious label was not in use before the British. The term ‘Hindus’ was used by the Arab invaders to refer to the people of India. It literally means the people of the Indus river and is used as an us and them type of divider. The Arabs made no distinction between Buddhists, Sikhs, Shivaists, Shaktas, Vedantins, to them they were all one people, the Indian people. They had no interest in knowing the differences, because they essentially saw them all as infidels(Infidels) that needed to be destroyed.
The British were scientific people, they were indeed interested in the differences between the various grouping that existed in India. They studied and classified accordingly identifying one set of groupings made of diverse groupings(Vaishnavas, Shaktas, Shivaists, Vedantins) as followers of Vedas, and another set of more identifiable groups like Buddhists and Jains who were not followers of the Vedas. This classification has been historically contentious though and revised again and again. Initially, the Sikhs were considered Hindus, but later due to political interests, they were separated from the Hindus. There are still Sikhs today that identify as Sikh Hindus. The Shivaists and Shaktas are another contentious group, because while they recognize the Vedas as an authority, they actually consider another set of scriptures known as the Agamas as their highest authority and the Agamas are all in the form of spoken dialogue between Lord Shiva and his consort or his disciples. They differ markedly from the Vedas, and consider modern followers even consider it a separate religion. The situation is similar to how Christians accept the Torah as the Old Testimant, but give more importance to the Gospels as the New Testimant.

The Vaishnavists do not oppose the Vedas in principle, but have elevated non Vedic-texts texts like the Bhagvad Gita and the Bhagvata Purana to the same status. In doing so like the Shivaists and Shaktas, they do relegate the Vedas to the status of an Old Testimant and recognize the Gita and the Bhagvata Purana as a New testimant. Historically, only the Vedas were considered revelation(Sruti) and every other text was considered written by men. However, later texts that were written by men(like the Gita and Puranas) were elevated to the status of Revelations due to their popularity.

Another grouping called the Samkhya-Yogis, though considered followers of the Vedas, only accept the Vedas in lip service, but place the highest authority on personal revelation(like the Risis of the Vedas initially had their own revelation) The views of Samkhya-Yogis are actually antithetical to the original Vedic religion, because they reject the existence of Brahman. The Samkhya Yogis are obviously not an organized religion, because it is based on ones personal religion.

Effectively Hinduism is a classification made of separate religions, rather than separate denominations of one religion. Tantra formed of Shivaists and Shaktas; Vaishnavas; Samkhya-Yogis and finally Smarta- Vedantists. Each group is formed of various denominations(Samapradayas) which have their own clergy and power structure. Thus it is absolute nonsense that a master religion called Hinduism exists. The type of 18th-19th century thinking that lead to this classification, was the same thinking that lead to the classification of master-races like Aryans, Nordics, Hyperboreans. They are purely fictitious and fallacious categories, created out of bad thinking.

The ground reality is the people of India had several different religions, not just one master religion. The fallacy of Hinduism can be demonstrated with the following illustration: Suppose one goes to America for the first time and then tries to classify their religion. We find various groups exist in America today Christianity, New-age, Yoga, Tantra, Judaism, Islam, Vaishnavism, Sikhism, Shaktism, Wicca, Buddhism. They end up with the following categories:

Category 1: Christianity, Islam and Judaism
Category 2: Vaishnavism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Shivaism, Shaktism, Tantra and Yoga
Category 3: New age and Wicca

We can now see the obvious problem here: Christianity, Islam and Judaism are definitely not the same religion. If you ask a Christian and Jew whether they are the same religion as Islam, they will outright deny it. If you ask a Muslim if he is the same religion as a Christian and a Jew, they would outright deny it. This is because each has a very strong religious identity. Similarly, if you ask a Sikh if he is the same religion as Vaishnavism, Shivaism and Shaktism, they will outright deny it. Thus the term Hinduism only serves as a theoretical category for scholars of religion to identify and classify which stream a religion belongs to. It is not a religion itself and serves no practical significance.

If we started calling the categories above a religion in itself, then category 1 may well be called Abrahamism. No such religion exists, and if it did exist, it would be an impractical religion. Hence, why the religion of Hinduism does not exist either and is impractical as a religion.

So Hinduism as a religion is obviously a fallacy. But this does not mean we reject Hinduism completely, because if we look closer we will find that Hinduism does indeed refer to something - but it definitely is no religion. In the next post I will discuss how Hinduism points to the wider religion of Santana dharma.


#20

In the above post I demonstrated why Hinduism as a religion is a fallacy. A fictitious category. If somebody says they are ‘Hindu’ it basically means nothing. It tells us nothing about what they believe, what they practice and which tradition they belong to. If instead they tell us they are a Vaishnava, a Shivaist, a Vedantaist, a Yogi, then we can get a clear idea of what they believe, what they practice and what tradition they follow.

What India lacks is a unifying religion which can inform the epistemology, morality and eschatology of the nation. It is because of this India has historically been prone to political and geographical fragmentation. Today, India is in the worst state ever and is in danger of being completely destroyed. Hindu people do not realize the gravity of the situation today, and are busy preserving their dead traditions, rather than taking up the challenge head-on to protect their identity. Identity protection to them means simply preserving their dead traditions. As our resident Hindu fundamentalist friend Sarva shows:

This way, you won’t feel the need to change Hinduism, nor do we Hindus need to listen to how much you are repelled by us and how we should change our traditions to please you.

He said I was banned from HDF for making comments like, “I consider India a dead country and Hindus a dead people” Well it is views like the ones Sarva expressed here is why I consider this a country dead. Dead people preserve dead traditions. What these Hindu nationalists do not recognize that India is in severe danger of breaking up, it can easily be subjugated by a more powerful and organized nation like it was in the past and China is its biggest threat today. In a decade from now India could well be under the subjugation of China. Then the game will be over for the Hindus. It is my personal prophecy that this is exactly what is going to happen, because I cannot see any scope for Hindus changing. Thus I no longer care about the future of India and Indian people. I have already pronounced them dead. I am sorry to say people like Sarva are going to realize the import of my prophetic statements in the coming years.

What I do care about is the future of dharma on this planet, and as India is the land which is cultivated the highest understanding of dharma in history, I enjoin Hindus to help preserve this dharma by getting involved in the dharma that is unfolding around this planet - the global spirituality movement. Contribute to it, reinforce it and enrichen it. Not only should Hindus be helping spread dharma on the planet, but they should be helping it spread in their homeland of India. Dharma is the only hope that Hindus have of not becoming extinct. If they let it go, as they are doing right now in favour of following dead traditions and failed experiments of modernity, they have no hope in hell of surviving.

We must first understand what dharma is and the history of dharma on this planet. Prior to the term ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism’ Indian people called their ways dharma; the Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Vaishavas, Shaktas, Shivaists, Yogis, Vedantins use the word dharma. In the Gita Krishna says dharma is the highest ideal in life. He incarnates when dharma is under threat. In the Puranas Vishnu’s avatar incarnates whenever Dharma or the Vedas is under threat. The Buddhists aim to achieve perfect dharma. Thus it is evident that dharma has has been the most important thing to the Indians. This is why we find hundreds of dharma texts in Indian literature discussing how best to achieve the ideal of dharma.

If we trace the history of dharma to the source of this concept we land up in the Vedas. The Vedas are the texts which lay the foundation of dharma and define its principles. Here is what the Vedas say:

On knowledge and wisdom:

We meditate on the adorable glory of the divine,
Which is ever existent, every conscious and ever blissful.
May he stimulate our vision and intellect.
(Sama.1462)

Constant and deep meditation are the means to revealing
the divine working of the supreme lord.
(Rig 5.2.6)

For success and happy life, sharpen thy intellect, like
the sharp blade of steel, vow to live by truth and truth
alone, dedicating thy life to the divine.
(Rig 6.47.10)

He who knows the truth about the universe
And the knows the secret of the conscious soul
pervading all
Achieves equanimity
He is rewarded by the divine with intuition insight
And eternal glory
(Atharva 10.2.229)

Knowledge of eternal truth leads to eternal peace and bliss
(Yajur 40.14)

The cosmos is created by means of toil
Patience and perseverance
Understood through knowledge
And being firmly vested with truth
Stay firmly
(Atharva 12.5.1)

The knower of reality is he who knows about
the invisible thread running inside the visible thread
(Atharva 10.8.37)

In order to lead a blissful life
Sharpen thy intellect and enrich thy mind
With brighter vision
(Sama.101)

In order to protect thyself
And make progress in life
Enhance thy treasure of thy wisdom and vision
(Sama.161)

Acquire and develop thy wisdom
Through discriminating between truth and falsehood
(Sama.171)

Bless me with divine vision at morn,
At noon of day, at evening and night.
Bless me that the seeds of intelligence ever flourish
In the warmth of thy love
as plants flourish bathed in the rays of the rising sun
(Atharva 6.108.5)

Enrich yourself by the acquisition of wisdom
Then act and perform deeds of noble quality
In the spirit of dedication
(Sama.189)

Enhance thy discrimnative power of intellect
And instill the spirit of invincible valour
in thy body
(Yajur 4.11)

He who knows the first vital string
binding all things formed in shape, colour and words
Knows only the physical form of the universe, and knows
very little
But he who goes deeper and perceives the string, the thin
web binding the universe with cords of unity
Knows the ultimate reality
(Atharva 10.8.38)

On society:

O citizens of the world
Live in harmony and concord
Be organized and co-operative
Speak with one voice
And make your resolutions with one mind
As our ancient saints and seers
Leader and preceptors
Have performed their duties righteously
Similarly, may you not falter to exercise
your duties
(Rig 10.191.2)

Let your minds work in harmony
Let your sentiments be for a common objective
I shall help you to overcome troubles
And how to harmonize
Your deeds and thoughts
(Atharva 6.64.2)

Not one of you is small
Not one a feeble child
All of you are truly great
(Rig 8.30.1)

May our prayers be one and the same;
May we belong to one fraternity;
May our minds move in accord;
May our hearts work in unison
For one supreme goal;
Let us inspired by a common ideal;
Let us the sing praises in congregation
(Rig 10.191.2)

May the inmost aspirations of you all
Be perfectly harmonious;
May your hearts beat in unison;
May absolute concord reign your minds,
May you all be welded
Into strong fellowship and unity
(Rig 10.191.4)

Cont in next post