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Hindu Good News

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The world is in a time of transition. Globalization, increasing movement of people across national boundaries, environmental challenges, religious conflict, emerging economies and a multi-polar world all demand shifts in thinking to resolve age-old human dilemmas and problems.

Many of the solutions offered for resolving today’s challenges, seem tired, dated and inadequate. They and the institutions created to propagate them stem primarily from the worldview of the West, which has been dominant in world affairs for almost half a millennium. This worldview in turn has been profoundly shaped by the history, myths, intellectual traditions and religious beliefs particular to Europe and America.

As the pendulum swings once again towards Asia and emerging economies and powers stir and find their cultural voices, we stand at a moment of opportunity. Many of us could be dismissive of the world’s diverse voices as we are wont to do – especially when they challenge long-held beliefs. Or we could admit new paradigms, disruptive as they may be to the privileged position of the West, yet promising in their ability to shape the world anew not only for the benefit of Westerners, but for all humanity.

One of the old paradigms which we have all heard is presupposed in the phrase “good news” used by Christians. (The phrase “good news” is a literal translation of the word gospel, which refers to the accounts of Jesus’s life in the bible.) The Christian Good News is usually associated with the saving acts of God through the sacrifice on the cross of his only son, Jesus Christ, for the atonement of the sins of humanity. Yet Hindus find such atonement unnecessary. For man is not inherently sinful, but divine. And we, every one of us, is endowed with the same potential as Jesus, to uncover this divinity within ourselves in the here and now – without the need for someone else’s past sacrifice. To explain this empowering idea I have coined the term, “Hindu Good News”™

Such glad tidings are only a glimpse into the Hindu Good News™, which exalts man’s own potentialities, emphasizes the essential unity of God, man and the cosmos, and insists that diversity rather than uniformity are the truest understanding of reality. Some of the key promises of such a worldview include the following:

– There is no such thing as Original Sin in the typical Christian sense. We are all originally divine as described by the Sanskrit term, sat-chit-ananda

– Historical prophets and messiahs do not control access to spiritual truth, as in Christianity and most Abrahamic religions. Yoga and related spiritual practices allow us to achieve a state of freedom from history – including historically shaped communal identities, races, bloodlines, and claims of religious exclusivity based on some unique historical event. In other words, we are not dependent on historical prophets, or the institutions of power that evolved based on them.

– There is no fundamental conflict between dharma and science, nor has there been any in the past in the dharma traditions.

– There need be no fear of “chaos” as in much Western cosmology and myth. What is often considered chaotic in the negative sense is merely the natural and normal manifestation of reality. It is only the limits of human cognition that misinterpret nature’s complexity, viewing it as fearful and evil, and worthy of annihilation.

– A blissful human life is possible while remaining respectful of nature. Nature need not be ravaged in order to “advance” and “progress” – indeed our own evolution would be hastened without the violation of the web of interconnectivity that sustains us.

– There is no need for any centralized religious authority whatsoever to advance us to our ultimate potential. One may experiment and discover one’s own path using the discoveries and tools of past exemplars as guidelines.

– Mutual respect among all faiths and traditions is a matter of principle in Hinduism, not a bow to “political correctness” or a grudging necessity imposed from without. It goes far beyond mere “tolerance” for others who follow different paths. We reject claims of exclusiveness and mandates to convert others to one’s own religion.

Published: March 6, 2012

  • Niraj Pandey

    Good One Sir – wanted to add a point (please correct me if my thoughts are not fully refined) – Christianity and Abrahmic religions were merely designed to make follower than liberating the people. And hence they came up with the Idea of Original Sin. They made this very idea of Original Sin unquestionable. Dharma is a great framework which allows one to even challenge and experiment with the very basic ideas of human existence and spirituality.
    I have observed that everyone, after gaining some kind power (be it muscle, political, intellectual or any other), has tendency ruling the masses. The Christianity and Abrahmic religions tried to cash in this very tendency of individuals. And hence we had so many barbaric looters and murderers in these religions.

    On the other hand, the Rishi’s and politicians of old times in India taught about the rule of “Dharma”. They preached that people should be ruled by none but Dharma. The Law of Dharma makes us to be the master of ourself. No one has to protect the Dharma (like Jihadi’s do it). Dharma is self-protected. One just has to be with Dharma. And to be with Dharma, there is only one condition – Liberate one from oneself.

  • vikaskapil35

    Great Article.
    Dharma is a desire to know. A longing that is inherent to every human being irrespective of the ‘institution’ they ‘subscribe’ to.
    Modern religions are sets of rules deemed moral by a certain group of people (implemented with a stick- that if someone breaches those rules, he/she will be ‘punished’ by a God.)
    Moral norms vary from culture to culture, whereas ‘desire to know’ is a universal human trait.

  • Siddharth Singh

    I am curious to know that .., from where the word “Hindu” came from

    • patnaikt

      Hindu word came from West Asia. For Indians it was “Sanatan Dharma” Please read Rajivji’s books- Being Different and Breaking India. Store house of knowledge. It will change your perception about Sanatan Dharma

    • ThinkBig

      first of all, word Hindu/hindu religion/hinduism don’t have concrete references in our holy Sanskrit scripts. However, in order to represent people living on sides of river Ganges initially called people of indus Vally, then the pronunciation of external/invader people called as Hindus instead of Indus.. then they successfully applied religion to it, calling Hindusm.
      but truly we are of SanathanaDhrarma follers (still not a religion) the people who support Dharma and support of Adharma is not encouraged if not fought as well to restore dharma when adharma flourish.

    • Amiya Kumar Satpathy

      “Heenatwam nasayati iti Hindu” (That belief system what decimates/eliminates narrowmindedness or meanness is Hindu).

  • Amiya Kumar Satpathy

    A great treatise Malhotraji ! Please keep continuing your researches, publications and lectures for the benefit of the entire human civilization.Thank you a lot for your great efforts. God bless you for ever.

  • Shiva

    great…. world needs to understand the difference between the Abrahmic religion and those of the East(dharma)…. infact the the idea of religion which is conveyed by the word ‘religion’ is of the west, we do not had such idiotism(conversion shit, god is one but mine not yours, ..etc)….

  • rs reddy

    pranamam guruji for educating us. More and more personalities like yours should emerge and crush the evils like Rama’s army destroyed Ravana’s Dharmarajas destroyed duryodhana’s (dharma winning over adharma) I was desperately looking for these kind of ideas being talked in political circles and intelligencia(academics) but the unfortunetly not many are in the Dharma side…thanks for being in Dharma side..

  • Annapurna Mysore Nanjappa

    The word ‘Hindu’ is a Kannada word meaning the herd, the herd of Lord Pashupati, Shiva.

  • logick one

    Hello Rajiv. I am a big fan of your work towards the empowerment of
    Hindu culture. I want to point out one thing which is going immensely
    against the Hindu Religion, the lectures of Dr. Zakir Naik. Not only
    Hindu but Zakir Naik targets Sikh, Jain ,Buddha and Christian’s
    religious beliefs and tries to break them and merge them into Islam.
    This guy is a total maniac and has memorized many verses of
    Vedas/Upanishads/Geeta/Bible with line numbers and paragraph numbers
    which he uses very intelligently by hiding the true meaning and putting
    some utterly different crazy meaning in his lectures. I have seen many
    times in his lectures that he converts people into Islam then and their,
    destroying their emotions towards their religion. Zakir Naik has
    insulted Sri Sri Ravishankar and Hindu dharma guru Shri Shankaracharya
    even. Zakir Naik talks about Islam is the religion of peace but that
    never shows up when he insults the beliefs of other religions. I hope
    your organization will do something against this blasphemy.

    • Bhagat Pandey

      HI,

      Zakir Naik is always misleading Hindus by falsely saying Vedas versus infect he had very basic knowledge of vedas and Puranas but unfortunate is that most of Hindus doesn’t have even that knowledge of our own scriptures that’s why they are making fool to us.

      For example Zakir Naik quoting about 330 Million Devtas in Hindu vedas now actual meaning of 33 Koti (Koti means kind of or say prakaar) In sanskrit there are 2 meaning of koti one prakaar (kind of) and another is crore.

      33 Kind of Devtas are as below,

      12 Form of Aditya, 8 form of Vasu,11 form of Rudra, 2 form of Ashwni Kumar
      12+8+11+2 = 33.

      Now you might know how Zakir Naik kind of people are making fool Hindus.

  • Anand Rathod

    Rajiv Ji , Very nice article. I have been watching your videos for past 20 days and many of them i have covered and read articles too. I recollected an incident when i was around 23yrs old, one day an missionary called me while i was on platform waiting to catch a train to my work in mumbai, she asked me question about my belief in whom— And i was shocked what the hell she is asking – but calmly i replied to her that i believed in Swami Vivekananda & Rajayoga- at that time i had just completed reading the biography. Listening to this reply she pushed off immed. From this incident – i feel now that these missionaries must have updated the various feedbacks like i said to her – and then they must have analysed it about indian people that Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts are deeply rooted in the minds of people of india. Thus they upgraded there strategy and started misleading and maligning Swamiji.