Future of Hinduism
A Journey Back to the Basics: Cycling and Recycling Hinduism
Though it took nearly two to three decades, Hindu Americans began the process of not only reigniting their own faith but unraveling a generations-long cycle of rote religiosity and spiritual complacency. Appropriately today, and especially in America where the lure of "Westernization" is not as intriguing as it is in India, we find ourselves ushering in a Hindu renaissance of interpretation, introspection, and finding applicability of age-old wisdoms to modern life -- a testament to the eternal and dynamic nature of Hindu teachings. This increase in religious inquiry and understanding is also leading to a growing segment of Hindus who strive toward a Hindu way of life, not because they have to, but because they want to. And just as great Hindu thinkers have done through the ages, Hindus today are reexamining old practices and going inward and to the sources to reinterpret what may have been perverted through previous historical realities. They're letting go of the social constraints that tarnished the faith that are no longer relevant -- they are post-caste, post-superstition, and post-blind ritual.
The future of Hinduism in America really is a journey back to the basics, a recycling so to speak. Recognizing the presence of the Divine in everyone and treating one another accordingly; respecting that each one of us may travel a different path or utter a different Name to grow closer to the Divine; living in the present rather than dwelling on the past or fretting over the future; and accepting that seva or selfless service to not only our fellow human beings but all living things, will bring far greater joy than mere material gain -- this is the wisdom Hinduism has offered not just Hindus, but all of humanity. This is what Hinduism was about, is about, and will be about.
Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. is a co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation and now serves as its Managing Director and Legal Counsel. Views expressed here are the personal views of Ms. Shukla, and do not necessarily represent those of the Hindu American Foundation.