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Non-Indian Hindus

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il_guy

Member
Namaste all,

I have been a Hindu for at least four years now. I actually have lost track of the time. I go to the temple at least once a week, if I can. I do daily puja and study. My priests are very warm and welcoming and so is the Hindu community I am involved in.

I know there are no mentions of a conversion process in the scriptures. I have read, and believe, that this is so because the people who wrote (well, heard in the case of the Veda) those scriptures automatically assumed whoever they met to be a Dharmi, just like they were. So, there was no need to put in such information.

My question is, why do so many people think you have to be born Hindu or you have to be Indian to be Hindu? How in the world did this absurd conclusion come about?

Sanatana Dharma is limitless. By saying those comments, they are putting a limit upon something which is impossible to have limits imposed upon it. I honestly wonder how many potentially great Hindus we've lost because of such misinformed statements.

I have also read that the Brahmana section associated with the Sama Veda contain the rituals of how to bring in non-Aryans into the Aryan religion. Is this true? I have also been told that some Hindus in other areas of the world were definitely not born into it, but are considered full Hindus anyway. I forget the exact locations of these Hindus.

I know I shouldn't make such a big deal out of it. But I get very hurt every time I read such statements. I know it shouldn't hurt me, but it does nontheless. And, this does impact me on a personal level.

So, what's the deal?

Thanks,

Justin
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
dear justin,

i am very distressed at your anguish. being a so called 'born hindu', please accept my sincere apology for the ignorance prevailing among hindus.

if you read some of the several posts here, you can find, that such ignorance is not the monopoly of the unschooled alone.

i will leave it to the eminent learned members in this forum, to give you philosophical guidance.

i hope that through this somewhat inadequate apologia of mine, atleast i can provide you with some minimal solace.

God Bless.
 
S

s007bala

Guest
Just In

Shri Justin

>>My question is, why do so many people think you have to be born Hindu or you have to be Indian to be Hindu? How in the world did this absurd conclusion come about?<<

It's a perception that you have formed.Remove it immediately now,plz.The Vedas are universal in nature.The seers are drasthas,who saw the sound waves.Some people when they hear music,they can see the color of the notes.Yes,we human beings are transmitters as well as receivers in a science jargon.

Sanathana Dharma,technically speaking should include Hindus,Judaist,Christians,Islamicist,Buddhist,Jains,Sikhs......the entire gamut of religions known to humanity.

Santhana means eternal.Dharma means righteous conduct.

While most religions known to humanity,we can trace the origin,but Sanathana Dharma aka Hinduism popularly,you cannot trace its origin nor originator.That is why people object to my saying of other religions as Sanathana ie eternal.But other religions have the concept of Ishta DEvata or personal god,which incidently is part of Sanathana Dharma aka Hinduism popularly .

But Hinduism as been branded by Islamic Terrorist ( Mughals ) and Christian Terrorist ( British East India Company Christians) and they had to have their say,so,Hindu & Hinduism.Otherwise,the feeling of conquering another humans domain,is a source of irritant,for these proselytisers of religion,and their psyche is conditioned to, might is right.Therefore atrocities in the name of Lord Jesus Christ and Lord Allah,is wantonly used to perpetuate,this deadly Kshatriya trait.

Shri Amma Sharanam Mama

sb

:)
 
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il_guy

Member
Namaste Sri kunjuppu and Sri s007bala,

First, I will address Sri kunjuppu's response:

There is no need to apologize. I just don't understand why I read this from time to time on web sites and why some temples in India will not admit Westerners. I have thought about spending my last days in Varanasi. I want to be able to go to any of the temples, including the Sri Vishvanath one. I have heard that this, and other temples, do not allow Western Hindus to enter, for whatever reason. But again, there is no need apologize.

Sri s007bala,

I have not formed this perception. There are many web sites and books who intone that only those born into Hinduism can be true Hindus. It is NOT just something I've come up with out of thin air.

Please do not take any of my words as being angry or 'snapping'. I just don't understand this. All I seek is clarification.

Regards,

Justin
 
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Seshadri Subramaniam

Well-known member
Shri Justin,

Acceptance is the key everywhere... and nobody is an exception... our perceptions tend to affect the mind of the self and the other, and it is inevitable...

The solution lies with you - depending on what level of acceptance your mind seeks...

I do not believe Sanathana Dharma as a religion, because, the religious practices have evolved into closed cultural systems and we are all following it as tradition.

If you indeed follow the vedic path, then rest assured, you are a "Hindu" as termed by the neo-religious groups.

What you infer may be the cultural differences. I do not know you (or your ethnicity) personally to comment on that, but still, in spite of religion, there is always the culture difference.

Two options:

One - Ignore cultural systems and be what you are and follow the vedic way; this would require a serene mind unperturbed by criticism or other remarks.

Two - Merge into the culture and be one among them... gradually, this would dissolve all discriminations...

Rituals, at best, should be for the purification of the mind.... the rest is insignificant... If there are practices which incorporate the hindu identity out of lineage, it would be best to leave it to their satisfaction. That does not make you a "non-hindu".

Everyone is born "religion-less"... it is the mode of spiritual quest that determines the religion.

You decide; if you seek comfort in statements from others, then everytime you wander outside the comfort zone, you would be hurt.

Have self-coviction and continue the journey onward...
 
S

s007bala

Guest
bow wow

Shri Justin

If you have not formed this perception,then those who wrote and that you have read,has made you perceive,with this perception.

>>I want to be able to go to any of the temples, including the Sri Vishvanath one. I have heard that this, and other temples, do not allow Western Hindus to enter, for whatever reason.<<

It's human nature to perpetuate a long line of legacy handed down from generation to generation.With Bharatham,it's a melted pot culture,unlike here in USA where it's still melting pot culture.

I still remember,when my children were studying in elementary school,because of the drill as well as real emergency situation,all the children were huddled to a Church.That evening as usual,i casually sauntered into the church,to pick up my kids.As i was leaving,someone in the crowd acted as if they were upset about my entering the church,and how i was allowed to enter.Nobody dared to come and confront me directly.So,i am assuming that they were enacting a drama,to ascertain my reaction and subsequent behaviour.

A gods place is gods place.Some have restrictions based on so many issues.To respect the sentiments is my belief.So,i walked out cooly without saying a word to anybody.I am a Indian,who is born,bred and raised at the minimal,five different states in India,and travelled widely,either as tourist or on business agenda.I have been living in the USA for the last ten years,wherein within the first two years i lived in three different States amongst the fifty.

My upbringing as well as the religion that i come from,teaches me to respect beliefs,faith,laws...of other human beings.

My suggestion to you is respect it and leave it alone.You will be doing Indians as well as Americans ,a huge favor.

Hope you understand,and take this suggestion in the right spirit and don't mis-understand me.

sb

:)
 
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il_guy

Member
Namaskar Sri Seshadri and Sri s007bala,

Sri Seshadri,

Thank you very much for your help. I will do as you say and just be myself and follow the Vedic way. What do you mean by neo-religionists?

Sri s007bala,

You make a good point. Thank you for your advice.

I hope I have not offended anyone. That was never my intention.

Regards,

Justin
 
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s007bala

Guest
awwww

awww Justin,you know me better than that.It's always your perception and how you let your mind influence you...while with other's we can only second guess about their perception,thinking,...etc

sb

:)
 
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il_guy

Member
Namaskar all,

I know I should just let it go. And I'm trying. It's a slow process though. As Sri Seshadri said, it's a matter of acceptance. I guess I just believe everyone should be accepted no matter what, as long as they're lawful citizens and not breaking laws and things of that nature. I know Sanatana Dharma is where I belong. It's really changed my entire life for the better. I guess I should leave it at that?

Regards,

Justin
 

Seshadri Subramaniam

Well-known member
Ohh, I meant that the term "Hindu" is coined by the neo-religious groups to identify their ilk separately... that is all... maybe the coining of the sentence in my post has lead to some confusion?

Neo-religion here infers to the spiritual groups that have sprung up in the later ages... that is, christianity, islam, buddhism etc... (no offence intended). Actually, there is no name for the one who adheres to the Vedic way - maybe we can call it the Vedic Religion...

I am not an exponent on the Vedas, but I have sensed that if one follows the vedas, then definitely inner peace is assured...

Regards,
Seshadri
 
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il_guy

Member
Sri Seshadri,

That's fine. No offense taken. I just didn't know what the term referred too. I had never heard it before.

Regards,

Justin
 

Seshadri Subramaniam

Well-known member
dear justin,

i am very distressed at your anguish. being a so called 'born hindu', please accept my sincere apology for the ignorance prevailing among hindus.

if you read some of the several posts here, you can find, that such ignorance is not the monopoly of the unschooled alone.

i will leave it to the eminent learned members in this forum, to give you philosophical guidance.

i hope that through this somewhat inadequate apologia of mine, atleast i can provide you with some minimal solace.

God Bless.


Shri kunjuppu, I do not think that it is the ignorance of anybody... it is just the way things are... some believe in a closed system (a closed system does not mean anything wrong) and have their own preferences... If you go to certain villages in TN, there are certain "Kaapu" rituals which prescribe certain restrictions on the people of that particular village for a prescribed period... mostly it would be on account of certain temple festivals... this is the custom followed by them and as a hindu, even I would not interfere in this...

We should all accept it as the broader part of the culture... in calling them ignorance, we implicitly covey that we are superior in knowledge to them... This may not be so.
 

Seshadri Subramaniam

Well-known member
I found this in the Nov 2005 edition of Sri Nrisimha Priya of North America;

Quote:

Swamy Desikan illustrates the samathvam displayed by the Lord with few examples following the path of the poorvacharyas:

" Saamyam: Jaathi - guna- vrutthadhi nimnothathva anadharena sarvai: Aasraneyathvam samathvam”. Swamy Desikan's definition is equanimity shown to all who sought Him without differentiating them based on their jaathi, occupation and gunam.

Those who are considered as superior ones in this world make a distinction between the people, who approach them seeking aasrayanam. They recognize some as belonging to a higher kulam and others as being linked to a lower kulam. They make a distinction between those seeking them as having good or bad conduct.

They accept only those who belong to higher kulam and good conduct and reject the others. Such people do not possess samathva gunam, even if they are recognized as superior beings. They demonstrate their penchant for classifying and choosing people based on their birth, occupation and gunams. They thus show partiality for some.

Our Lord on the other hand accepts every one for protection, who seek His rakshanam independent of their high or low birth, noble or ignoble gunams. He does not show any partiality in terms of blessing them with phalans after accepting them as His aasrayanees. He grants them equal phalans and honors them equally. He treats them as equal in mind.

Unquote:
 

tbs

Well-known member
Namaskar all,

I know I should just let it go. And I'm trying. It's a slow process though. As Sri Seshadri said, it's a matter of acceptance. I guess I just believe everyone should be accepted no matter what, as long as they're lawful citizens and not breaking laws and things of that nature. I know Sanatana Dharma is where I belong. It's really changed my entire life for the better. I guess I should leave it at that?

Regards,

Justin

hi il guy,
namaskarams, here we talk about hinduism....many hindus does not
know the meaning of sanatan dharma... some say it is the way of life.
here example... a boy born in a doctor's family..he knows more
about doctor's life/job.......it is easy to follow /understand about
physiology.....but if a boy born in a priest's family....he wants
know about doctor's life ..he has to learn many things..some
time he may not understand practical problems...same way
if we born in hindu family ..its easy to folow.......but if you
accept a new faith/religion..we have to face many practical
problem...so hinduism is the way of life...

regards
tbs
 
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il_guy

Member
Namaskar Sri tbs,

Yes, and I have adopted Sanatana Dharma as my way of life. I view all religions as ways of life in and of themselves, so I use the terms 'way of life' and 'religion' interchangeably. I mean, the Eight-Fold Path of the Buddhists is a way of life. The Christian Ten Commandments are a way of life. The Jewish 613 mitzvot are a way of life. So, to me, it's the same thing. I have adapted quite well to the Hindu way of life.

I posted this in another thread, but here is what I think the basis of Sanatana Dharma is:

Om Tat Sat - "That/God is the Absolute Truth"
Tat Tvam Asi -"That Thou Art"

As far as facing problems, I haven't really had any. As far as the original question posed in this thread, I think I have come to a conclusion. It's really maybe two conclusions, but kinda blend together:

We're in the Kali Yuga. We all know that means things are at their worst since the Satya Yuga ended. Along with this comes all the invasions on our Dharma by outside forces. Sanatana Dharma, at one time being practiced in more places than just India, kept a stronghold in the Indian subcontinent and, in time, came to be associated with India alone. So, this could be the reason why I read sometimes where you have to be Indian to be Hindu. I know it is not true, obviously. I only wanted to know the reason for this, and I think this explains it. Or at least is one explanation.

Regards,

Justin
 
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s007bala

Guest
On the dot

Shri Justin

Bingo.In my opinion,you have always been "In" not " Just In "....khe khe ..:humble:

sb

:)
 
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Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
i have gone through this thread. Last month as I had posted elsewhere, I have been in Banares going to the various temples with my group of friends from U.S. They are all Hindus. Some of them are converted formally. Many of them have not converted formally though all of them have a Hindu name. We had no problem. We were received with honors in some temples.

Hinduism does not believe in conversion. There are no clearly laid down formalities for conversion. I had given the link to il_guy last year for conversion. Most of Hindus do not believe that you can be converted to Hinduism. This is the reason for the attitude. I will post in some more detail about this in the thread on Hinduism.

About temples in India or in the U.S only Hare Krishna temples welcome Western Hindus. Temples in India look askance even at Indians who do not belong to that region. The same case with the temples erected by Indian groups in U.S. If it is a south Indian temple even a Punjabi will not find total acceptance there. it is like the denominational Church. An Indian Christian will be totally at a loss in a Black Evangelical Church. That is the reason that some of the Indian Christian communities have started their own churches.

It is simple clannish behavior. Nothing to do with religion.

Earlier I have seen even Westerners married to Indians having a tough time in the Indian temples. They had to produce a certificate from an accepted authority. Arya Samaj is accepted by most temples. It is much better now.
 
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s007bala

Guest
>>It is simple clannish behavior. Nothing to do with religion.<<

Vasishtar wailirundu Brahma Rishi ....super truth Shri Nacchinarkiniyan what you have written.

sb
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
Shri kunjuppu, I do not think that it is the ignorance of anybody... it is just the way things are... some believe in a closed system (a closed system does not mean anything wrong) and have their own preferences... If you go to certain villages in TN, there are certain "Kaapu" rituals which prescribe certain restrictions on the people of that particular village for a prescribed period... mostly it would be on account of certain temple festivals... this is the custom followed by them and as a hindu, even I would not interfere in this...

We should all accept it as the broader part of the culture... in calling them ignorance, we implicitly covey that we are superior in knowledge to them... This may not be so.

sesh,

i don't think my notion of 'ignorance' came up correctly. it was not deragatory. it was more inclined as a range from 'not aware' to 'could care less'. it is in this context that i posted.

let me explain.

in justin, we have someone, who has come seeking the hindu concept of spirituality. i think the right thing to do is to welcome him and help him in his efforts to attain his own level of gratification of our way of life.

maybe fifty years ago, it was a novelty. but nowadays it is accepted among most of us, especially city living folks of india, that there can be westerners (or other foreigners) interested in our culture.

in this context, an ignorance born out of 'not knowing how to handle the situation' may be excused. but i believe, that a deliberate ignorance, bent towards unaccommodating a knowledge seeker, is something that could be repaired.

through education and awareness. by pointing this out, does not imply an arrogance in any way. it is an identification of a 'right' from a 'wrong'. in my opinion.

after all, we cannot attribute all our knowledge based behaviour to arrogance, can we?

furthermore, i am more focussing here, on behaviour based on our peculiar prejudices stemming from ingrained caste feelings, and the inability to slot the foreigner into a 'caste' within our hindu society. it all comes back to caste.

to compare and contrast: had i shown even an iota of interest in islam or christianity, i can but imagine, not only the number of brochures, but also the innumerable personal visits of the followers of those faiths, trooping to my door, with an eagerness to accommodate me in their fold.

and once i accept their faith, the welcome mat and inclusiveness into their families, is something, that i wish, we can emulate. my view.

and what do we do? we either shun those coming to our doors. or perhaps raise yet another barrier to protect a fast eroding exclusivity? i

i have problems with status quo, in the name of tradition. had we acquiesced to this, the madurai or the guruvayoor temple would still bar dalits.

thank you.
 
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s007bala

Guest
>>to compare and contrast: had i shown even an iota of interest in islam or christianity, i can but imagine, not only the number of brochures, but also the innumerable personal visits of the followers of those faiths, trooping to my door, with an eagerness to accommodate me in their fold.<<

Shri Kunjuppu

I can say with confidence,that Justin,is adequately,getting knowledgeable,just as we are.And he has been asking things,and we all have responded well,to the best of each one's ability.

While comparison with other folks is a great way to move forward,but we should also have adequate resources,funds,people..to harness such activities in an organised manner.Maybe,stalwarts like you,can give younger generations like us,the impetous and encouragement,to do it honorably.( I am assuming you are senior generation ).I think today,many Maths,Societies,...etc are doing well to welcome all people of all folds.I personally am very positive about how things are now,and as to how its going to be in the future, a la optimist. :)

sb
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
sb,

you flatter me.

this time i don't feel so good, being at the receiving end, as iwas in an earlier other posting by happy.

true, i am somewhat advanced in years. 58. but with each, i am more aware of my ignorance and would desist from any call to lead or even worse, set an example.

i think, the way i am progressing, in a few years i can be considered an old fool. and as you very much know, there is no fool like an old fool :)
 
S

s007bala

Guest
Shri Kunjuppu

Adi Sankara the great himself has called all of us fools,if we indulge in grammar of Samskritam,instead of chanting Govinda Govinda.In my view,you are simple but no simpleton.

sb
 

Seshadri Subramaniam

Well-known member
Shri kunjuppu,

I completely share your sentiments as regards a non-Indian hindu... the point where I differ is in this area:

"...through education and awareness. by pointing this out, does not imply an arrogance in any way. it is an identification of a 'right' from a 'wrong'. in my opinion...."

I simply stated that I differ from your opinion due to the facts cited in my earlier post. And hence, we cannot claim to have superior knowledge by merely negating a practice or custom... (no offence meant).

Those who are embracing the vedic religion have to remind themselves of the intricacies of practical living. As I have oft repeated in many of my posts, groupism is but a common trait necessary for survival... They may not necessarily be antagonistic, but closed to reception, as is their wont...

But our religion does not end with these temples and neither did it start with them... so, my humble request to all such spiritual seekers is to respect the local sentiments while continuing on with their quest.

Regards
 
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