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Can a Hindu Celebrate Christmas

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
The topic might be controversial particularly in India.
I live in the USA so my opinions are based on living in a Christian land.
I am active in Hindu Temple, Chinmaya Mission, and Indian Social associations.
We celebrate Diwali, Holi, Indian Independence Day, etc as a society.
At home, we light Diwali lamps, fireworks, and Puja.
But we also have Christmas lights, a Tree, gifts for family and friends. We do not observe the religious aspect of Christmas.

 
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
The Christmas carols play in the background while my 9-year-old daughter and I decorate the tree. It’s propped up in a corner of our living room, the green limbs stretching their reach while the mini-lights create constellations on the branches. As a sweet treat, I’ve made hot chocolate with marshmallows. My iPhone is tuned into the Christmas station and we sing Jingle Bells, while holding hands and shimmying across the floor.

In the midst of our revelry, I glance at the opposite corner of the room and spot the silver and copper mini-temple that greets my family every morning. It serves as a cultural lighthouse and a reminder of our roots. A few weeks earlier we celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. I cooked a traditional feast, my daughter made a rangoli, an Indian folk art where patterns are made on the floor using colored sand and we lowered our heads and prayed. “Happy Diwali” we exclaimed, calling family and friends to share in our joy. To complete the festive experience we lit sparklers on our patio and watched the glittering display until the sparks bowed to the ground.


 
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Minorities like Indian-Americans and South Asians have striven for decades to be part of the melting pot that is America. But they also crave to be recognized for their differences. No time is more telling than Christmas when this community which is made up of so many faiths, displays a varied but open approach to a festival that only some of them espouse as a religious one.

For Indian Christians, it is a time of deep reflection, and a time to meet fellow devotees hailing from different parts of India, as well as keeping children engaged with the faith as they follow the traditions of their country of origin. Indian churches in America ring out with the Telugu “Shudda Raathri” and Malayalam “Devivam Pirakkunu” or Punjabi “Sada Yesu Aj” and Bengali “Eshe Gelo Sei Subho Din,” rather than English renditions.

A rough estimate of Indian Christian organizations in the New York and New Jersey area alone, showed a list of more than 35 churches in 2015, reflecting India’s diversity, with congregations ranging from as small as under a hundred to those like Syrian Christian ones with several thousand followers (News India Times Dec. 23, 2015).

 
OP
prasad1

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Just a counterpoint - not my view.

Christmas has today become a universal phenomenon – widely celebrated in many countries across the world. Even in a Hindu-majority country like Bharat, there has been an exponential rise in Christmas celebrations, at least its commercial elements – street vendors selling Santa Claus caps, masks and other decoration paraphernalia is a common sight in most cities of Bharat. Many private Hindu-run schools are also celebrating the festival through Carnivals, contests and special assemblies. The scene is similar in many residential societies and corporate offices as well.

As Christmas mania sweeps across, it is hard for the discerning Hindu not to note the positive associations with Christmas, while major Hindu festivals like Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi and Dahi Handi are increasingly under fire in Bharat & attacked on one pretext or the other.

 

tbs

Well-known member
hi

in many tamil brahmin homes in USA....CELEBRATE AS THALAI CHRISTMAS LIKE THALAI DEEPAVALI..LOL
 

praveen

Life is a dream
Staff member
These days people see Christmas as a holiday/celebration than a religious thing. Atleast with the people I know of.
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi

just info....when i was in teenage in mylapore chennai.....we brahmin boys(SOME) used to visit santhome

church during christmas/new year mass in 80s...i still like christmas celeberation as tambrahm....i dont have

any problem with church/BIBLE....only some problem with masjid...
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Briefly stated:
Celebrations like making a Christmas tree at home, wearing the dress of a Santaclaus and giving children sweets and wishing friends and neighbours happy Christmas are all peripheral like bursting crackers, wearing new clothes, eating sweets like okkorai and mysorepak, wishing happy Diwali to every one around is peripheral. It gives happiness and a déjà wu feeling and helps in preserving the community instinct. I have no qualms doing these peripherals even as I preserve my identity.
Whether it is Diwali or Pongal or Christmas I get up as usual in the early morning, have my bath, do my morning sandhyavandanam as usual, then do the Nitya aradhanai to my Srimannarayana and then go about the peripherals. That's because it is part of my identity and at least a few of my questions for which I have been searching for answers for long have been answered satisfactorily in my belief system.
So there is nothing wrong in celebrating Christmas or Buddha Purnima. They are just peripherals. Deep inside you have preserved your value system.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
I have a question...why everyone is so cool about Christmas but not Eid and Hanukah?
May be because:
1. People of other faith know very little about that particular religion.
2. While English is understood across the globe Arabic or Urdu is known to limited number of people. I do not understand even a word of what is blared out in the every morning aazaan.
3. And the discomfort when you recall the past - payment of Jaziya, the atrocities suffered etc makes you shun the faith.
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi

some religions are so called PEACEFUL....but in reality.....not so peaceful.....its hard to digest certain things in

their religion/celebrations....
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
May be because:
1. People of other faith know very little about that particular religion.
2. While English is understood across the globe Arabic or Urdu is known to limited number of people. I do not understand even a word of what is blared out in the every morning aazaan.
3. And the discomfort when you recall the past - payment of Jaziya, the atrocities suffered etc makes you shun the faith.

Dear Vaagmi ji..
I can translate the Azan for you since I know Arabic.

Ok.
Here goes:
God is Greater
I bear witness that there is none but God
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God
Rise up for prayer
Rise up for success

Ok..morning Azan has one extra line which says Prayer is better than sleep"


In summary...its like a Suprabhatam and 3 prayer timings match Sandhyavadanam timings.
 

Rudra_Maha

New member
Dear Vaagmi ji..
I can translate the Azan for you since I know Arabic.

Ok.
Here goes:
God is Greater
I bear witness that there is none but God
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God
Rise up for prayer
Rise up for success

Ok..morning Azan has one extra line which says Prayer is better than sleep"


In summary...its like a Suprabhatam and 3 prayer timings match Sandhyavadanam timings.
A small correction:-

God is Greater
I bear witness that there is none but God(mention which god too here)..

That's the most important point, don't miss the elephant in the room.😅
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Dear Vaagmi ji..
I can translate the Azan for you since I know Arabic.

Ok.
Here goes:
God is Greater
I bear witness that there is none but God
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God
Rise up for prayer
Rise up for success

Ok..morning Azan has one extra line which says Prayer is better than sleep"


In summary...its like a Suprabhatam and 3 prayer timings match Sandhyavadanam timings.
Thank you Renuka.
But while any one in my family or friends circle will not hesitate to say that all religions are different paths to the same destination called God realisation I can not forget that Tipu Sultan killed, maimed, tortured and burnt the vaishnavite Brahmins in an entire village called Melukote in present day Karnataka state in India in the name of a religion. Even today people from these families do not celebrate Diwali because the mayhem happened on a Diwali day. Nor can I forget that Aurangzeb collected the Jazia tax from his Hindu subjects and those who could not pay were given capital punishment. All these and several other such instances are in recorded history.
I do not ever say my way is highway. But if you ever try to tell me that your way is the highway and all other ways are subways then I will deal with the situation by just saying good bye rather than enthusiastically bring out my sword before starting a lesson for you.
That makes all the difference.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Thank you Renuka.
But while any one in my family or friends circle will not hesitate to say that all religions are different paths to the same destination called God realisation I can not forget that Tipu Sultan killed, maimed, tortured and burnt the vaishnavite Brahmins in an entire village called Melukote in present day Karnataka state in India in the name of a religion. Even today people from these families do not celebrate Diwali because the mayhem happened on a Diwali day. Nor can I forget that Aurangzeb collected the Jazia tax from his Hindu subjects and those who could not pay were given capital punishment. All these and several other such instances are in recorded history.
I do not ever say my way is highway. But if you ever try to tell me that your way is the highway and all other ways are subways then I will deal with the situation by just saying good bye rather than enthusiastically bring out my sword before starting a lesson for you.
That makes all the difference.
Dear Vaagmi ji..
What if in a previous life you were Tipu Sultan?
Since Tipu Sultan caused the loss of lives of so many vaishnavites brahmins..so in this life he had to take a birth as a Vaishnavite and defend it with all his might to undo the karma of killing vaishnava brahmins.

Do you realize you fiercely defend Iyengarism?
Karma works in strange ways.
I do see a Sultan in you.
 
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renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
A small correction:-

God is Greater
I bear witness that there is none but God(mention which god too here)..

That's the most important point, don't miss the elephant in the room.😅
There is no which god .
God is called Kadavul in Tamil.
Called Ishwar in Hindi
Called Tuhan in Malay
Called Khuda in Farsi
Called Allah in Arabic.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Renuka,
Kindly explain to me what is Iyengarism. I really do not know.


Dear Vaagmi ji,

Karma can work in anyway.
You could be right
There is no fellow traveller.
There is only a lone ranger in the path of any spiritual pursuit.
All religions lead to the same path.
I still hold on to it.
If others dont believe me its their problem.
So there is no alkali or acid test.
 
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