Hinduism Is Different

Hinduism Is Different June 26, 2017

I’m getting rather frustrated by people dismissing all religions as being basically the same. What I mean is that many of my friends are atheists. They are all wonderful. They are respectful of different points of view and they are highly moral people. I adore them. But I’ve noticed that many of them and the other Americans around me have a very binary view on religion.

Either you believe in the Abrahamic conception of God or you don’t believe at all.

I was having a conversation with some friends a few days ago and I said, “You know the Judeo-Christian model is not the only religious model out there.” They seemed skeptical of my claim that Hindus don’t do the things that bother them about Christians. How can there be a religion without proselytizing? Without compulsion?

People seem to jump straight from Abrahamic faiths to atheism without exploring other ways of conceptualizing divinity. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s the way it appears to me, anyway.

I hear “All religious people think they have the only answer.” And that’s just not the case.

Hinduism is different. There is no compulsion in Hinduism, there is no proselytizing. There doesn’t need to be. Hinduism respects that people are not all the same and have different needs and ways of understanding the world.

There is a big world out there with a lot of different cultures and many of those cultures have different ways of understanding divinity. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you dismiss all religion because of the things that bother you about Abrahamic faiths.

Yes, the Abrahamic faiths (except Judaism) want to take over the world and they seem to be succeeding in forcing everyone to go by their definition of God.

I also hear a dismissive, “Well, every religion has fundamentalists and fundamentalism is always scary.”

It is popular to just be against fundamentalism as a blanket statement but people don’t put any thought behind that. Because it’s not true. Not all fundamentalists are scary.

The “fundamentals” of Hinduism are not scary and are not violent. Hinduism has never had any organized violence in its history, despite being one of the oldest religions in the world. There are no Hindu organizations noted for violence (there are no violent organizations using Hinduism to justify their behavior). Hindus have never invaded anyone.

Whereas Muslims exist in India today because of the moghul invasions. Muslims took over ancient India and made Hindus second class citizens in their own land. Hindus had to pay a tax for not being Muslim. Muslims invaded and ruled over the natives. Then some time later Christians did the same thing. Hindus have been taken advantage of for centuries.

SIVAJI OPENLY DEFIES THE GREAT MOGHUL By Victor Surridge, Illustrations by A.D. Macromick - Romance of Empire India, Public Domain, Link
By Victor Surridge, Illustrations by A.D. Macromick – Romance of Empire India, Public Domain, Link

Christians have the history of the crusades where they systematically tried to destroy Muslims. Judaism has the current problems of doing the same in the Israel/Palestine area. Whereas any incidents of Hindus being violent has been isolated, not part of a larger campaign, and pretty much always done from a feeling of self-defense (whether from a real threat or a perceived one).

Hindus need and deserve protection from the predatory Abrahamic faiths.

Even today Hindus are being coerced and forced to abandon their faith. In Pakistan Muslims can get money for marrying Hindu girls and forcing them to convert to Islam. That’s not a rare one-off. It’s a systematic campaign.

Christian missionaries in India use bribery and withholding medicine and food to force Hindus to become Christian.

We are a fundamentally peaceful people but we’re being left to be devoured by wolves because of this perception that all religious people are the same at the core. 

My fellow liberals need to recognize the pressures Hindus are facing from predatory faiths and need to come together to protect Hindus from religions that have at their core a need to force the rest of the world to worship like them.

It’s lovely that liberals are fighting hard to defend innocent Muslims from being smeared by the behavior of fundamentalist extremists. But they don’t seem to recognize that Hindus also need defending. We have a religion that believes in leaving others in peace to commune with the divine however they want (or not, as you like. It’s easy to be a Hindu atheist). In return for this attitude there are systematic campaigns to wipe us out.

So before you say “Every religion has scary fundamentalists” or “all religious people have the same logic problems within their faith” pause for a moment and acknowledge that these generalizations are not accurate. Hinduism is different. If you rely on those generalizations then you are perpetuating the emotional violence that has made even atheists engage with what divinity is from a purely Abrahamic conception.

The Abrahamic campaign to take over the world and force everyone to conceptualize God as they do is working. And it is that basic framework that must be questioned.

You can’t just say, “Both sides do bad things so it’s all equal.”

When one side believes that it is an affront to God that anyone doesn’t worship in their way and the other side believes that everyone should find their own way, it’s clear that one of those groups is going to get scary and the other has no reason to.

Before you say something like that it is incumbent on you to look at the actual facts, look at the actual incidents, and realize that all sides in religious conflict are not the same. There are religions that have a predatory nature and there are others that do not. It is not fair to dismiss all religion as being the same and ignore the plight of those who do not try to coerce or convert others, who want only to be left in peace to connect with divinity in their own way.

Don’t paint Hindus with the same brush as Abrahamic faiths.

We don’t deserve to be lumped in with the religions that think they have exclusive access to God and we need your help and protection against those religions.

By Raja Ravi Varma - http://www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=25494, Public Domain, Link
By Raja Ravi Varmahttp://www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=25494, Public Domain, Link

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • S Kr

    Hi Ambaa,

    This is a very relevant article. It is indeed frustrating that modern day athiests and ‘rationalists’ lump us with other Abrahamic religions.

    But there is one important feature about modern day atheism which you seem to have missed – it is that modern day atheism is not something very distinct from the proselytizing Abrahamic religions of Islam and Christianity. It is a logical follow-up of Islam and Christianity, and the modern day Dawkin-sian atheism is itself Abrahamic in nature in that it subscribes to the binary of either you
    are an atheist or a ‘religious’ person (also, it has some proselytizing component as well).
    It is the tragedy of the West that after the fall of Rome and its takeover by Christianity, it’s like Westerners have been continuously living in this believer-nonbeliever duality !!

    Christianity was the first of this Abrahamic proselytizing religion, Islam was the next, and if you think about it, Communism was the next (Communism also distinguishes in terms of ‘believer’ [of class struggle,socialism,utopia, blah blah] and nonbeliever, and wants to convert everyone to its fold by any means possible, result being Stalinist purges equalling crusades and Islamic conquests).
    Next in that succession are modern day concepts such as atheism (‘liberalism’, feminism etc and so on…). Now, don’t get me wrong. It is true that atheism (‘liberalism’, feminism etc) might have done great to liberate the West from the deadly grasp of Abrahamic Christian religion, but they seem to have inherited the
    curse of ‘my way or the highway’ style of Abrahamism; coupled with concepts such as excommunication of ‘nonbelievers’ of the ideology, and ‘total war’ (i.e. trying to insert one’s ideological position in every aspect of life and with everyone).
    Maybe, who knows, a foundationally similar ideology was necessary to take on the earlier more-brutal proselytizing Abrahamic religions.

    Often while discussing Hinduism with Western Dawkin-sian atheists and while listening to their critiques of Hinduism (like by Sam Harris etc), I always find them picking things from the worst period of Hindu history (I would say ~1700s-1900s, a broken Hindu society after centuries of invasions and conversions etc) and ignoring the rest some 3000+ years. By this time, Hinduism had degenerated because of brutalities, and lots of ‘evil’ regular practices one finds solidified. I don’t know if they are just ignorant or have an agenda to ignore.

    And just as an aside, I don’t think Judaism is doing to ‘Palestine’ what Muslims and Christians did to natives at other places. Jews *are* the natives of Israel and Jerusalem area, and they are merely retaking the area they were one brutally displaced from by Muslims. It’s like if Hindus displace the Muslim Pakistanis and retake the Indus Valley area, then there is nothing wrong with it, because Indus Valley is where Hinduism arose (Sapta Sindhu:The land of the seven rivers) – an area from which Hindu population has been wiped out (Similar for Sikhs in Pakistani Punjab area).

  • kropotesta

    I agree with some of the things you say here, but I think there are factual inaccuracies as well. While it’s true that there is no “compulsion” in Hinduism, it isn’t any “anything goes” sort of system either. The different schools of HIndu philosophy put forward and defend specific metaphysical positions regarding the nature of the cosmos, samsara and karma, the nature of the self, etc. And each school unambiguously states that their position is correct, and that a correct understanding of the nature of the self, and (for the theistic schools of thought) the relationship between the self and the divinity is necessary for liberation. Of course, not having those specific set of beliefs won’t consign you to an eternity in hell, but it means you’re stuck in the cycle of birth, death and reincarnation until you gain the correct understanding.

    You say: “Hinduism has never had any organized violence in its history, despite being one of the oldest religions in the world. There are no Hindu organizations noted for violence (there are no violent organizations using Hinduism to justify their behavior). Hindus have never invaded anyone.”

    I’m not sure what justification there is for these positions. Dalits and low-caste Indians have always faced constant violence and oppression and continue to do so, and much of this is justified theologically. Different “Hindu” kingdoms have always been at war with each other and invaded different regions. The Chola Empire, for example, repeatedly invaded Sri Lanka and parts of South East Asia, and the cultural influence of HInduism in these regions is open for all to see. And when you look at the rise of Hindu nationalism and mob violence today, it becomes pretty clear that fundamentalist Hindus are scary, and violent HIndu organizations do exist. The VHP, Bajrang Dal, Gau Rakshaks and other militant groups have incited violence and inflicted violence on minorities and Dalits.

    You also say: “Whereas Muslims exist in India today because of the moghul invasions.”

    This is false. Islam in India predates the Mughal Empire by several centuries. Arab traders introduced Islam in what is now the south Indian state of Kerala in the 7th Century, while the Prophet Muhammad was still alive. Some of the earliest converts to Islam in history were Indian.

    None of this is to say that Hinduism is fundamentally evil, or that there’s nothing of value in Hindu philosophy. But we should be careful not to romanticize Hinduism and unintentionally provide cover for Hindu nationalists.

  • DaveR

    Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. No one . . . . blah blah blah ! I am in a weekend debate with a born-aginner. He can’t get past the “Jesus is the only way” dogma. ugh ! Hare Krsna

  • Simba

    It’s very surprising the way more and more westerners are turning atheists or converting to Islam.Since this can’t be stopped or reversed,Christian missionaries are coercing the marginalized( unintentionally in most cases) from many nations to Christianity.It’s not Christianity but the sops offered that sucks these blokes to Christianity.It’s rather blatantly obvious and should make the missionaries reflect.

    Hinduism was never a paranoid religion,so there was no provision for expanding the same.It always maintained that we are the God that we seek.We will find ourselves since we never lost our true self,just went on adding useless baggage which needs to be offloaded.We don’t need any scripture for this and not a messiah for this either.In BhagwadGita,Krishna( our intuitive self) tells Arjun( our routine mind–confused and tormented) that there are different ways and He will appear as that Symbol to the devotee since He can assume different forms as per the ardent devotee’s desire.Despite this He also tells Arjun that he has told him the greatest of secrets( after the spiritual science-Gita) is explained,BUT Arjun has to consider all that and YET do what he desires.Consequences are hi and his alone–not as punishment but as another discovery that since all of us are the same,if one hurts another,one gets hurt as well( As you sow so shall you reap–Newton’s Third Law Of Motion.).Along with this the full freedom that we enjoy is explained.We can do what we want and incur consequences.Hence,there is hope for all.No one remains poor and unhappy forever.No eternal hell.Eveyone is given a chance( in fact eternally) to understand facts of life and ultimately emerge resplendent

    Ambaa has been doing a marvellous job.When she is anyway writing Gita interpreteation,she can do this as well—

    .I would request her to read God Talks To Arjuna and The Second Coming Of Christ( or The Yoga Of Christ) by Yogananda.The esoteric language( Sandhya Bhasha or Twilight Language) used therein is almost the same.Both are almost the same religion–which makes conversion from one to another redundant.AND Ambaa can do a lot in this direction if the similarities are brought within the purview of the public.Silly practices of our Hindus( due to misinterpretation of the texts -such as caste system,animal sacrifices,bathing in and soiling beautiful pristine rivers) could be gently touched and an attempt can be made to let the westerners see what true Hinduism is and is not to be ridiculed for 33 crore( 1 crore is 10 million) deities.This number 33 stands for the 33 vertebrae in the spine( the ancient Hindus knew this) and the multiplication by millions is nothing but expression of the tremendous power we have in our psychic spinal canal lodged within the spine.All spiritual action ultimately revolves around the spine and I am sure a straight spine is alluded to in The Book Of Revelations somewhere.

  • Simba

    Sorry for the very long comment.

  • tomas pasquale

    Nice article. You bring up many valid points, especially that westerners tend to be very binary in their beliefs about religion: either their own Abrahamic tradition is THE right way or ALL religions are bad. Sadly, many otherwise intelligent academics think this as well, which is why so many are atheists.

  • Swami

    Thank you.

  • Claudio Mantovani

    Sorry. Not all you said in this article is correct: hindus not violent? Do you know the recent history about persecution of christians? (for exemple what happened in Orissa?). “Christians have the history of the crusades where they systematically tried to destroy Muslims”: absolutely false: see the book of Rodney Stark “False testimonys”.

    • S Kr

      NO Sir, You are dead wrong. Non-violence does not mean that if you come and beat me up and rape my kids, then I will keep quiet.
      Hindu ‘violence’ has *always always* been reactionary, NEVER EVER started by Hindus.

      And as for Orissa, Christian terrorist groups aka Maoists killed Hindu spiritual gurus working amongst tribals first that led to violence. In fact, Christian terrorists aka Maoists are some of the most violent groups in India (google Red corridor).
      And, here is more for you -> Look up Christian terrorism in North-East India. They claim something called “Nagalim for Christ”. Christian bigots in North-East India burn “witches” every now and then (easily searched on net), but all suppressed in international media because target is Hindus.
      Please don’t take us as fools. Age of social media has busted all your propaganda and fact-selectivity.

      You must ask yourself, of all the 7 minorities in India – Christians, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoarastrians, and Jews, WHY is it that only Christians and Muslims have problems with Hindus ?!! The rest of them (5 out of 7) are at extremely good terms with Hindus.

      Christians have indeed systematically tried to destroy native cultures, and have perfected the art of crying aloud in pain while themselves hitting a blow, right from the “Roman empire is throwing us to the lions …” nonsense days …
      Even now, in middle east, Christian priority is to convert the Yazidis being genocided by ISIS and not give them relief (google it).

      • John Cochran

        Anytime you use a blatant universal statement such as “Hindu ‘violence’ has *always always* been reactionary, NEVER EVER started by Hindus.” …then you are virtually “always, always wrong!! To think of all the millions of Hindus there are now and have been in the past, to say they have never initiated violence is a ridiculous statement. You are incorrect.

        • S Kr

          It is extremely clear that I implied they have never ever carried out ‘persecution’ … Go on, read some history books. In 4000-5000 year old Hindu history, you must be able to find out at least some examples of Hindus persecuting, right ?!!

      • Claudio Mantovani

        …”christian maoists”??? How you dared to call maoists as christians. Do you know what maoists mean? According to what you said you do not know at all. Anyway, let hindu dalits choose freely to become christian, if they want to and do not persecute them. Why are they out-of-casts?

        • Ch Billy

          I agree that Maoists are not Christians. They are fundamentalist atheists. I also do not deny that there is discrimination against Dalits in Hindu society (not Hindu religion because religion and society are different). Caste system in Hindu society is a social class system (nothing to do with religion) that exists everywhere else on earth and is definitely condemnable. Although there is massive effort to remove this discrimination from Hindu society by today’s Hindu Gurus (both traditional and reformed) by strongly advocating the egalitarian principles of Hindu religion, the Hindus have no right to stop the Dalits from choosing to leave their faith and embrace any new faith they want. The reality is that most of the Dalits today embrace Buddhism when they leave Hinduism. They follow the words of the Dalit icon and the father of India’s constitution Dr. B. R. Ambedkar who said: ” If one converts to Christianity, he ceases to be an Indian. The brotherhood in Islam is confined to the believers, that is, only to Muslims. It cannot promote universal brother-hood. I will not convert to either of these religions . I will convert to one of the religions that are born here, in this country India. Of all the various Indic religions, Sanatan Dharma, Arya Samaj, Vaishnavism, Savaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Veerashaivism, etc., Buddhism appeals to me the most . It is all humanity embracing. I will therefore convert to Buddhism and advise all my Dalit brothers to convert to Buddhism and avoid conversion to non-Indic religions.” Also, it is a well known fact that many of the Christian churches in India hold different sermons for regular Christians and converted Dalits thereby perpetrating discrimination. Several cases of persecution of converted Christians in India were found to be false although some were true and I condemn the perpetrators in those cases that were true. When the police showed evidence that many of these cases were false, no famous media entity covered that news while they extensively covered the news of persecution. The media is one of the many instruments of Christian propaganda since there is an agenda to convert all gullible people into Christianity using falsehood.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            Greetings.The cases you call “false” and “falsehood” actually are TRUE! Unfortunately you call them false because you do not want to be ashamed. Sorry. You say that “Caste system in Hindu society is a social class system (nothing to do with religion)”: how can you say that! Cast sistem, in India, is a strong hindu religion sistem: you cannot deny it! What’s more: if it has nothing to do with hindu religion, why hindu religion do nothing to change this inhuman sistem?

          • Ch Billy

            Various media entities reported multiple attacks on Delhi churches in the first few months of 2015. When police investigated, they found that all the so called attacks were burglaries and thefts that happened to temples and mosques too in the same area. The media had initially speculated that it was Hindu nationalists who perpetrated the attacks but most of the media entities chose not to cover this big reveal by the police except a few like:
            http://www.firstpost.com/india/crying-wolf-the-narrative-of-the-delhi-church-attacks-flies-in-the-face-of-facts-2101105.html

            In May of 2015, a church was reported to be attacked and an elderly Christian nun was reported to be raped probably by Hindu nationalists in Ranaghat, West bengal. There was widespread outrage over this incident. A month later, police arrested a Bangladeshi national, a muslim, who perpetrated this attack. Hardly any media house apologized or even acknowledged the fact that they judged the situation too soon. Here is the police reveal:
            http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/ranaghat-nun-rape-case-main-accused-28-year-old-bangladeshi-man-arrested/

            In either of the two cases above, I chose media houses like Indian Express and Firstpost who are known to be anti-Hindu nationalist so that you won’t have any chance to call me biased. I clearly mentioned that some attacks are true and even condemned them. You, on the other side, shouted saying all the reported attacks are TRUE. Can you see the difference in sanity between me and you? Anyways, you are probably used to out-rightly deny all facts and make emotional hyperbolic statements that demonize all non-Christians. So, calling you out like this will hardly matter in changing your mind and actions. I am pretty sure you will deny reports of vandalism of Hindu temples in USA during the same time of the so called “attacks” on New Delhi churches as fake news:
            http://www.firstpost.com/world/hindu-temple-vandalised-in-us-get-out-scribbled-on-the-wall-2103181.html
            http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/us-canada-news/Another-temple-attack-in-US-spreads-concern-among-Hindus/articleshow/46414724.cms
            The worst part of these incidents is that American media did not even cover this news.

            Caste system has no basis in Hindu religion. The Hindu varna system which is wrongly accused to be the inspiration behind caste system is supposed to be a division of labor based on qualities and capabilities of individuals rather than which family they are born into. In Bhagavad Gita (4.13), Lord Krishna says:
            “I created the four divisions of human society (varna) based on the qualities and actions of people” Can you provide me a proof in the form of any verse in Hindu scripture to proclaim that Hinduism advocates birth-based caste system? If not, can you admit that this is Church propaganda? You see when Hindus do mistakes, I have no issues in admitting to it. Hindus are neither sectarian nor are looking for converts. But you will vehemently defend every Christian person and principle even though it goes against even humanity because you will lose a lot of converts otherwise. I hope you see the difference.

            The reason why Hindu religion could not do anything about the birth based caste system is the same as why Christian religion could not do anything about race based social divisions in USA and class divide in UK. When society establishes a strong power hierarchy based on race, caste etc., it takes a lot of sustained social reform for a long time to get rid of it. It is childish to expect any religion to bring such reform on its own.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            Thanks for replying. I’m sending you some links that may be useful for our dialogue/discussion:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Christian_violence_in_India
            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/12/india-hindu-taliban-narendra-modi
            http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/14/christian-persecution-by-hindus-rises-in-india-say-humanitarian-groups.html
            https://news.vice.com/article/christian-and-muslims-are-facing-more-and-more-persecution-by-hindu-extremists-in-india
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2879597/We-free-India-Muslims-Christians-2021-DJS-leader-vows-continue-ghar-wapsi-plans-restore-Hindu-glory.html
            https://www.google.it/search?q=Hindu+against+christians&rlz=1C2GGRV_enIT751IT751&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiu-7eT9IXVAhXDXRoKHbchDRgQsAQITg&biw=1330&bih=645&dpr=1
            http://www.diffen.com/difference/Christianity_vs_Hinduism
            http://shoebat.com/2015/03/25/hindu-persecution-against-christians-has-increased-to-fifty-five-percent/
            http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/746592/churches-india-warned-not-celebrate-christmas-hindu-tensions
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7214053.stm

            If you think they are telling false news, please send me some links that show me the fakenews.

            As for you said “Christian religion could not do anything about race based social divisions in USA and class divide in UK.” I only ask you this: Are you really sure about it?…
            I think you should look for what at least Catholic Church says about race based social division. You may look for it on internet. All the best.

          • Ch Billy

            The fake news in the Ranaghat nun-rape case:
            https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/asia-pacific/india-s-christian-community-under-attack-by-hindu-zealots-1.2149152

            The fake news in the Delhi Church attacks case:
            http://www.dw.com/en/fear-grips-indias-christians-amid-church-attacks/a-18235914

            Do you see how it is the western media that carries the fake news and does not write an article apologizing for fake news? Also, when they are called out, they write articles claiming that even though vandals and thieves attacked churches, we should still condemn Hindus because Father Anthony of Delhi is ‘afraid’ of Hindus and not because of facts and evidence. This was again done by western media:
            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/12059020/Security-stepped-up-at-Delhi-churches-as-Christians-in-India-fear-attack.html

            Do you want more proof than this?

            There is always a difference between saying and doing stuff. Several Hindu organizations in India like Arya Samaj, Neovedanta movement, Ramakrishna mission and ISKCON are openly fighting against birth-based caste discrimination but the reality on the ground did not change much. Similarly, the catholic and protestant churches may say many things in America but there is race based police brutality and economic disparities which is not just decreasing but increasing in USA. Similarly the class divide in UK is going nowhere and the elites are getting more power by the day and not less.

            I am waiting for your response on vandalism of Hindu temples in USA. Should I assume you deem it as fake news just as I predicted or should I assume you condone the vandalism? This is because Christianity, unlike Hinduism, preaches exclusivity and you may think that only Christians have the right to preach and practice in USA.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            OK… the western media (that are all christian???!!!) are wrong and the hindu indian media are right (!!!!?????). What’s more, the race based cast in US and elswere in western (christian?!) countrys has been created and supported by christian religion (!!!???????)! You are sure that “Christianity, unlike Hinduism, preaches exclusivity and may think that only Christians have the right to preach and practice in USA” Whauuu…How could you say that?? All the best.

          • Ch Billy

            Wow wow!!!! You need to calm down. Do you need an inhaler? Are you alright? Drink some water and read the next part of my comment with some patience please.

            I did not claim that western media is Christian. Western media is mostly leftist (except channels like Fox news). Leftist media attacks majority religion of every country except if it is Islam. They protect only Islam among minority religions in western countries and give the least damn about sensibilities of other religions like Hinduism or Buddhism. Look at their coverage of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. They show the Buddhist monks like Nazi commanders. The fact is both Indian and western leftist media made fake news of Hindus attacking Christians in India only because Hinduism is majority religion. When facts were shown, Indian leftist media at least acknowledged the wrongdoing (although they did not apologize) but western media did not even care to do that because that is how less they care about Hindu sensibilities. This is the problem.

            I never claimed race based caste is created by Christian religion. I just said that the Christian church, despite all good intentions, could not stop race based discrimination because it is deep-rooted just like how Hinduism could not stop caste-based discrimination which is also deep rooted. Please read carefully what I write.

            It is a fact that all Abrahamic religions say that there is only one way to reach God which is their way otherwise you go to hell. That is why there is rampant proselytism in Abrahamic religions. All Dharmic religions are pluralistic in the sense that they acknowledge that there are multiple ways to God. Hence, there is no proselytism in Dharmic religions. This is one of the fundamental differences between Dharmic and Abrahamic religions. I said “…may think that only Christians have the right to preach and practice in USA” because many of my Christian friends in USA think so. There are people in USA who go around and disrupt public functions of non-Christians and shout at them that they are doing devil’s work:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_moaANyPCk
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o72bFrDQPf8&t=715s
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfip241vnMM&t=767s

          • Claudio Mantovani

            Yes, I’ll try to calm down, eventhough it is very difficult to calm down when reading what you write. Actually you put many points and it is hard to follow all of them properly by writing. But anyway I’ll try to take some.
            1.”Western media is mostly leftist”: are you really sure about it? How many and what western media do you
            usually read?
            2. “All Dharmic religions are pluralistic in the sense that they acknowledge that there are multiple ways to God.”: if so, why do you say that “Hinduism Is Different”?…and what a difference! specially from “Abrahamic religions” specially from christian religion? (When you speak about christian religion, please make distinction between christian catholic church and other, so many different churches. I am catholic (I am a missionary and I have been in Bangladesh for 27 years) and there are a lot of difference, in words and deeds, between churches: do you know it? Keep in mind: catholic missionaries do not do proselytism, like Jesus did not do proselytism, in the very right meaning of it.
            3. Casts system: the difference between casts system in India, and the western one, is that casts system in India started and continues from hindu religion: “In Bhagavad Gita (4.13), Lord Krishna says:
            “I created the four divisions of human society…”.
            4.You said “…may think that only Christians have the right to preach and practice in USA” because many of my Christian friends in USA think so.” : do you only have friends of this kind? If so, look for friends of different kind: there are so many!

            No more for now. See you next. Best wishes.

          • Ch Billy

            My counter arguments:
            1) The most famous media entities in the USA (as an example of western countries) are indeed leftist. If you rate the entities in terms of viewership, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, ABC and CBS are the big ones. All of them except Fox News have a left of center ideology. There are countries in the west where leftist media is even more powerful than in USA like France, Germany and Canada. There are countries where rightist media has considerable footprint like in UK and Ireland. Overall, leftist media rules in the west.

            2) Hinduism is different within Dharmic traditions because:
            i) It is the progenitor of all the Dharmic traditions
            ii) It is the most diverse among all Dharmic traditions
            and remains so with ease. There is no history of
            violence among different sects of Hinduism because
            the overarching philosophy is “ekam sat viprah
            bahudhah vadanti” i.e., truth is one but the sages
            call it in different names. Whereas in Christianity
            (Protestantism and Catholicism) and Islam (Sunni
            and Shia), it’s not the case.
            You say you are a missionary in Bangladesh for 27 years and you say there is no proselytism. Please do not pull the PR stunt that evangelism is different from proselytism. It is not!! Catholicism was the most violent among all Christian denominations historically. I hope you don’t deny that inquisition happened in South America and Goa in India or that crusades happened in Europe and Middle east.

            3) Please do not quote the verse BG 4.13 incompletely just to forward your agenda. The full version is:
            “I created the four divisions of human society based on the qualities and actions of people (not birth). Although, I created of these divisions, I am unchangeable and not the performer of actions.”
            The four divisions of human society is part of varna system and has nothing to do with caste system. Caste is birth based and varna is not as you can read the entire verse. I just quoted this verse in one of my previous comments in this thread and yet, you quote the partial verse to mislead and prove your point. This is how strong Christian propaganda is. You will not listen to anything I say and repeat the same things like a broken record. Also, despite this clear distinction made in Hindu scriptures, I will not deny that caste discrimination was done in the name of Hindu religion by bigots. This happened and I condemn uncouth and evil Hindu people responsible for this. Similarly, Christianity was used to justify race-based slavery in the United States too although I know Bible does not justify race-based slavery to be honest (but Bible has rules of how to treat slaves which is borderline condoning slavery).

            4) I do have a lot of friends of different kind in USA but all of them are atheists and not Christian. I haven’t met a practicing Christian yet who could say that I won’t go to hell despite not following Christianity as long as I am not a bad person. Not even one. In fact, it is Jesus Christ and not non-Christians who is supposed to be saved from Christianity. If no Christian can utter “Jesus Christ loves you and does not want you to go to hell as long as you are kind and loving although you do not follow Christianity”, you can imagine how much they are willing to tarnish Jesus Christ’s name and reputation just to achieve their agenda of conversion. There is no love in this agenda.

            Best Wishes.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            Thanks for your counter arguments. Here is my reply to your counter arguments:
            1. I simply I do not agree with it. What to say more than that?
            2. I think you skipt the point: on one hand you say that Hinduism says that “All Dharmic religions are pluralistic in the sense that they acknowledge that there are multiple ways to God.” and on the other hand you say that Hinduism is different and what’s more you blame strongly Christianity and Islam. Anyway, don’t you think that there must be a “true” whay to a “true” God? This is a matter of compareson of the varied,vary varied,ways.-“truth is one but the sages call it in different names”: it is not only a matter of different ways of calling the truth, because the way hindu sages call the truth and the way christian (catholic) sages call/explain it, are so different, are opposite, as you showed. You plead me “not to pull the PR stunt that evangelism is different from
            proselytism. It is not!! : I strongly reaffirm that there is an essential difference.”Catholicism was the most violent among all Christian denominations historically”: I agree that there has been historically big errors in the catholic church (Popes aknowleged it), but it wasn’t the most violent among all christian denomination (calm down!). About inquisition please read the book I mentioned before, in one of my replies. Anyway: do not put the past and the present on the same level: proselitysm in the past is not the same in the present,(absolutely not) at least for the Catholic Church.
            3. Castes system is not only based on birth but also on “varna” : those who are doing that job are low people, and those who are doing that job are high people…even more out of castes. You say -“I will not deny that caste discrimination was done in the name of Hindu religion by bigots. This happened and I condemn uncouth and evil Hindu people responsible for this”-: who can tell who are bigots and who are not? Does hindu system have a main teacher? (At least catholic church has one: Pope Francis now). Anyway I appreciate your condemnation of castes system in hinduism.
            4. Try to meet some catholic practicing people or priests: may be you will change your mind. As for me and as for the catholic teaching, you won’t go to hell if not following Christianity: it is a matter of conscience. It is true that we catholic christians believe that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, and try to preach it all over the world, even onto death, BUT it is the very we who will go to hell if we force someone to follow Him. God bless.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            I’m back. Honestly I couldn’t understand in which way the links you gave proove that the news were fake: those brutalitis against christians, in India, were or were not done by hindus as hindus? (no matter which political party).

          • Ch Billy

            It is quite easy to get this from the links I gave but I will tell it anyways. The Ranaghat Church attack and nun rape was done by illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants (not Hindus). The spate of Church attacks (along with Temples and Mosques which many media articles did not report deliberately) was done by slum dwellers (both Hindu and Muslim) for want of money because religious places are easy targets where wealth is hidden (no religious motive). All the articles I have given are from conscious stricken journalists in Indian leftist media entities because no one would believe if I give proofs in the form of Hindu-rightist media articles.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            “The Ranaghat Church attack and nun rape was done by illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants (not Hindus)”: see (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghar_Wapsi). Whom to believe? Thanks.

          • Ch Billy

            Are you familiar with the concept of time? The NDTV news was published on March 15, 2015 when CID investigation was ongoing. Here is news published after the CID finished the investigation and released its investigation report to the press on March 29, 2015:
            http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/CID-names-all-suspects-in-Ranaghat-case/articleshow/46731604.cms

            If you are hell-bent on projecting Hindus in a bad light, rational reasoning from my side will not help. Do what you please. Say whatever you want. I should be more sensible to not fight on such petty issues.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            “The Ranaghat Church attack and nun rape was done by illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants (not Hindus)”: I read carefully what timesofindia wrote and I didn’t find that the robbers were muslim. Their names don’t seem to be muslim names; they seem to be hindu names. So why did you say that they were muslim? In Bangladesh there are a lot of hindus. I’m not hell-bent on projecting Hindus in a bad light, I’m just trying to find the exact true and find out whom to beleive. It seems to me that it’s you who are hell-bent on projecting Hindus in (untrue) good light. Sorry. But be sure: I ‘m not saying that Hindus are all bad. NO NO! I’m just saying that we must call good as good and bad as bad…also about christianity.

          • Ch Billy

            “I read carefully what timesofindia wrote and I didn’t find that the robbers were muslim. Their names don’t seem to be muslim names; they seem to be hindu names.”
            : This is what the article says: “CID has released their names — Md Salim Sheikh (who allegedly raped the 71-year-old nun), Habib, Babu, Fakir, Farooq, Manik, Tuhin and Nazoor.”

            Babu and Manik are not HIndu names. Bangladeshi Muslims have a lot of Hindu surnames due to their Bengali heritage. A lot of Muslims have surnames like Choudhury and Roy which are Hindu Brahmin surnames in Bengal but that does not make them Hindu.

            Yes, Gopal Sarkar and his wife Anita Sarkar who gave them information are Hindus. But they are also the ones who turned approvers in the investigation and helped CID identify all the criminals. If there are two Hindus helping a gang of 8 Muslim robbers with information to loot a church, do you conclude Hindu nationalism as the motive? Wow!!!!

            There were a lot of Hindus in Bangladesh at the time of independence. The percentage of Muslims in Bangladesh has reduced from 25% in 1971 to <9% in 2017. Do you think this happened naturally without systemic persecution of Hindus? Yet, how many Muslims and Christians you see who point this out and criticize Bangladeshi establishment?

            You and I are talking very different things. I do not want to get into an argument if all Hindus are good/bad or all Christians are good/bad since it is an illogical argument. But, the exclusivity doctrine in Islam and Christianity makes devout Muslims and Christians intolerant towards other religions. This is an irrefutable fact. Nice speaking to you though.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            …again you call the 8 robbers as muslim: please show me where it is written. “the exclusivity doctrine in Islam and Christianity makes devout Muslims and Christians intolerant towards other religions”: please do not make such big mistake calling all Christians intollerant (I may agree about some groups of muslims). Among christians there are at least 2 groups/churches: protestant and catholic. As a catholic faithful I can assure you that it is absolutely untrue, eventhogh we think that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour. We respect the faithful of other religions and eventhough we try to evengelize the all world, because only in Jesus Christ is the Salvation. We dialoge with other religions, we do not force them at all. Thanks. See you next.

          • Claudio Mantovani

            “The percentage of Muslims in Bangladesh has reduced from 25% in 1971 to <9% in 2017": may be you wanted to say "the percentage of Hindus has reduced…". Well, I'll tell you that the percentage of hindus has reduced because they ambraced christianity not Islam. And the reason is that mostly of them were dalit and they found that christianity gave them dignity!

          • Ch Billy

            Sorry for the typo.

            “Well, I’ll tell you that the percentage of hindus has reduced because they embraced christianity not Islam”:
            If that is true, it would have reflected in the religious demographics of Bangladesh today. Bangladesh has 0.4% Christianity even today. So, please stop with your lies. What is even more troubling is your explaining away of Hindu persecution and viewing the victims as someone who needs to be conquered with your religion instead of sympathizing with them. This is the same thing that happens in India when Christian missionaries distribute Bibles along with food supplies in drought-affected and flood-hit regions. It is like mocking their misery. All that Christians and Muslims want is that every other religion should be wiped away from the face of earth. And you question when Hindus and Buddhists carry a major mistrust towards Christian and Muslims?

  • S Kr

    Hi Ambaa, [I am reposting this because somehow this comment did not appear for past 4 days when I had originally posted it]

    This is a very relevant article. It is indeed frustrating that modern day athiests and ‘rationalists’ lump us with other Abrahamic religions.

    But there is one important feature about modern day atheism which you seem to have missed – it is that modern day atheism is not something very distinct from the proselytizing Abrahamic religions of Islam and Christianity. It is a logical follow-up of Islam and Christianity, and the modern day Dawkin-sian atheism is itself Abrahamic in nature in that it subscribes to the binary of either you
    are an atheist or a ‘religious’ person (also, it has some proselytizing component as well).

    It is the tragedy of the West that after the fall of Rome and its takeover by Christianity, it’s like Westerners have been continuously living in this believer-nonbeliever duality !!

    Christianity was the first of this Abrahamic proselytizing religion, Islam was the next, and if you think about it, Communism was the next (Communism also distinguishes in terms of ‘believer’ [of class struggle,socialism,utopia, blah blah] and nonbeliever, and wants to convert everyone to its fold by any means possible, result being Stalinist purges equalling crusades and Islamic conquests).
    Next in that succession are modern day concepts such as atheism (‘liberalism’, feminism etc and so on…). Now, don’t get me wrong. It is true that atheism (‘liberalism’, feminism etc) might have done great to liberate the West from the deadly grasp of Abrahamic Christian religion, but they seem to have inherited the
    curse of ‘my way or the highway’ style of Abrahamism; coupled with concepts such as excommunication of ‘nonbelievers’ of the ideology, and ‘total war’ (i.e. trying to insert one’s ideological position in every aspect of life and with everyone).
    Maybe, who knows, a foundationally similar ideology was necessary to take on the earlier more-brutal proselytizing Abrahamic religions.

    Often while discussing Hinduism with Western Dawkin-sian atheists and while listening to their critiques of Hinduism (like by Sam Harris etc), I always find them picking things from the worst period of Hindu history (I would say ~1700s-1900s, a broken Hindu society after centuries of invasions and conversions etc) and ignoring the rest some 3000+ years. By this time, Hinduism had degenerated because of brutalities, and lots of ‘evil’ regular practices one finds solidified. I don’t know if they are just ignorant or have an agenda to ignore.

    And just as an aside, I don’t think Judaism is doing to ‘Palestine’ what Muslims and Christians did to natives at other places. Jews *are* the natives of Israel and Jerusalem area, and they are merely retaking the area they were one brutally displaced from by Muslims. It’s like if Hindus displace the Muslim Pakistanis and retake the Indus Valley area, then there is nothing wrong with it, because Indus Valley is where Hinduism arose (Sapta Sindhu:The land of the seven rivers) – an area from which Hindu population has been wiped out (Similar for Sikhs in Pakistani Punjab area).

  • Liam

    IME, Hindus are largely homophobic. Let me know when the majority aren’t anymore.

      • Liam

        An interesting read, but largely academic.As with Christianity, what a religion’s texts say and what its proclaimed believers do can be miles apart. For me, a religion is defined by what its followers do.

        The implication that India as a whole or Hinduism as a specific prefer to claim an interest in the person over the person’s gender etc. is just so much smoke and mirrors. It is akin to Christianity’s “hate the sin but love the sinner” when they continue to exercise punishment on the individual with impunity. Gender etc IS part of a person, not something over which we should be made to feel ashamed or for which we should have to apologize.

        I understand the difficulty of having to reclaim India from the effects of the UK, but the change is unlikely unless effort is made.

        • Ch Billy

          There is huge difference between Christianity (and other Abrahamic religions) and Hinduism (and other Dharmic religions). There is a strong reason behind why people of the Abrahamic faiths are seemingly not following what is in their scriptures . There is also a strong and different reason why people of the Dharmic faith are seemingly not following what is in their scriptures. This can be understood by studying the primary differences between the scriptures of Dharmic faiths and scriptures of Abrahamic faiths.

          Scriptures of Abrahamic faiths are historical testimonies of Prophets and their followers and they often are very contradictory as the scriptures were meant to serve as documentation of the testimonies without an overarching grand philosophical narrative to connect the testimonial statements. The books say things like “hate the sin but love the sinner” and, at the same time, recommend harsh punitive action against “sins” like homosexuality. This is because they do not have a grand philosophical narrative connecting contradictory statements. The philosophical narratives for these faiths were always made by the people following it and different peoples make different narratives. Some peoples make narratives that tend to focus more on statements like those that recommend punitive actions on homosexuals and other peoples make narratives that tend to focus more on statements like “hate the sin but love the sinner”. According to me, this chaos of narratives/interpretations is a consequence of lack of inherent grand philosophical narratives in Abrahamic scriptures. What adds to the chaos is that all Abrahamic scriptures preach exclusivity. Since lack of inherent narratives in Abrhamic scriptures led to the birth of different narratives from different peoples each of whom strongly believed that their narrative is the only correct narrative (exclusivity), there had always been violent wars among peoples following different Abrahamic faiths. This made them very strong in warfare and domination. What brought peace was either a decisive victory of one narrative in a particular region (Sunni Islam in Arabic nations, Shia Islam in Persian empire, Protestantism in North America and Catholicism in South America) or an anti-religious/religious-reform movement (Renaissance in Europe). So, in summary, people of Abrahamic faiths are seemingly not following what is in their scriptures because they contain contradictory statements without an overarching philosophical narrative.

          Scriptures of Dharmic faiths are not historical testimonies but philosophical expositions often revealed through dialogue between individuals and they unambiguously reveal their overarching philosophical grand narrative. Hence, every scripture gives birth to mostly one narrative and not multiple warring interpretations except in few cases like the Advaita, Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita interpretations of the same complex scripture – Vedanta Sutras. However, Dharmic faiths like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism have multiple schools of thought with widely disparate philosophical leanings and each such school has its own set of scriptures. This was possible because all Dharmic schools vocally preached pluralism and avoided any exclusivity claim whatsoever. However, there are certain concepts like karma and reincarnation where all schools agree with. Homosexuality is one such matter where all agree that it is not a matter of concern at all because all Dharmic scriptures agree that abstaining from sexual desires ensures spiritual progress instead of focusing on what kind of sex one prefers i.e. sex with same gender or with opposite gender. So, you will see that, in all Dharmic scriptures, the consequence of different practices like adultery; sex with prostitutes; too much sex with one’s spouse; and homosexuality are said to be same which is slow spiritual progress. None of these practices called for any punitive actions other than cursory/symbolic cleansing rituals like bathing in the local pond with clothes on which hardly qualifies as punishment. This sort of peace and wisdom is the advantage of Dharmic scriptures due to having an inherent grand philosophical narrative and due to preaching pluralism. However, there were two major problems arising from this. The first problem was that too much of peace destroyed the warfare and domination capabilities of adherents of Dharmic faiths as a result of which many of the kingdoms following Dharmic faiths were either conquered and massacred by exclusivists like Muslims or Christians or they were colonized by European powers. The second problem was that too much openness and pluralism gave space for even unhealthy philosophical systems like the birth-based caste system to emerge despite such unhealthy philosophical systems having no scriptural backing of any sort from all existing schools of Dharmic thought. Interestingly, there is no mainstream scripture even today authorizing birth-based caste system but it exists in society because of lack of institutional strength required by the several thinly spread out Dharmic schools of thought to correct such unhealthy systems. So, in summary, people of Dharmic faiths are seemingly not following what is in their scriptures because there are several schools of Dharmic thoughts with very disparate philosophical narratives each of whom have their own set of scriptures.

          I completely disagree with you on the statement: “For me, a religion is defined by what its followers do.”. I have one major counter-example to explain my stand. South America as a whole today has a serious drug and crime problem. Italy has had a major mafia problem for more than a century. Does this mean that drug culture, crime and mafia culture arose from Catholicism? Of course not. Catholicism has nothing to do with these problems. Every culture and country has a political history apart from a religious history which molded the peoples’ psyche. In India, homophobia is a consequence of 600-700 year Islamic rule (political history) during which homosexuality became a social taboo and also a consequence of 200 year British rule (political history) during which the social taboo status of homosexuality got strengthened due to introduction of previously absent formal laws to criminalize homosexuality. This long period (800-900 years) of foreign rule changed the psyche of Hindus towards homosexuality.

  • John Cochran

    The author accuses others of universal statements, but she makes several herself. Hindus have “never” engaged in organized warfare? Ask the Buddhist and Muslims if that statement is true. And there have been major conflicts between diverse groups of Hindus. But a more serious aspect of Hinduism is the cultural disrespect for women. The heinous crimes against females in Hindu land have been well documented. I do respect the Hindus for their lack of proselytizing and their general easy demeanor. But it is difficult to align Hinduism with other religions because it is more a philosophy of life than a religion per se.

    • S Kr

      Don’t shift the topic from ‘violence as persecution’ to ‘kings fighting wars’. Obviously Hindus fought wars amongst themselves, but on open plains between armies. They didn’t devastate civilian populations and cities and rape women and children and treat all women as sex slaves after defeating the enemy king. And yes, please, please go and ask Buddhists.
      One 9/11 attack and the racial ugliness and big brother deep state of US was exposed. One attack in France and the country has been in the state of emergency for more than a year !!!
      And you expect India not to have been affected from its pristine cultural values after 500+ years of Islamic brutality and 200 years of Christian rules. Typical of christians -> destroy a country, burn down its every single institution, make people lose their age old values, and then act like ‘drain inspectors’ … Look that country is so horrible.
      You must have all seen Afghanistan/Syria etc before and after images … women free and women in burka … That is one of the christian legacies (with the help of its fellow Abrahamic Islam).
      Whatever “cultural” problem you talk about is a poverty problem not a doctrinal one … Well-off/Educated Hindus will surpass in every field (from women PMs and Presidents to bankers to scientists to spiritual sages…).

  • Judy Reinsma

    Makes me want to read more about the Hindu faith, which I know very little about. In the end isn’t it really bad people who use the pretext of their religion to inflict harm on others? There are not so much “good” or bad” religions, per se. as there are those whose adherents have been and continue to be cruel, warlike, etc, and do so “in the name of” their faith. For instance, the current co-opting of Islam by ISIS, Al Queda, etc. In Northern Myanmar the officially Buddhist government is systematically slaughtering, imprisoning, starving, and persecuting the Rohinga (sp?)Muslims. Surely, not a tenet of Buddhism, but again, being done by a declared Buddhist nation. Another reason why there should be no “national” religions. Nations and their goals and ambitions are of this mortal life.. Religion is spiritual. They mix about as well as oil and water, and whenever they are homogenized they cause harm.
    Some people are just plain bad, period, no matter what they claim to believe.

  • Eriu Draga

    Very nice article but I’d suggest to you that is not only Hindus who deal with this issue. I am Pagan and we also feel there are many conceptions of divinity even within the large pagan community you will find a range of these conceptions. I too feel frustrated that good people who happen to be atheist either dismiss or worse ridicule those who believe in divinity. The legacy of the Abrhamic faiths is violent and a stain on that is spiritual.

  • JaimeLopezOrtega@aol.com

    Not warriors?. Really.?
    . King ashok became a pacifist only after totally destroying his neighbors who also were Hindus.. And as for not proselytizing it is due to the idea that Hinduism is held to be for ethnic Hindus only, unless the conversion is beneficial to the survival of their faith and or people, and this because the Hindus/Indians are taught that they are superior in every way, intellectually, physically ad nauseum to every other people or culture in the world.. As so many other peoples in the world the hindu faith teaches that they alone are the children/direct descendants of the deities from the heavens realms.. Ghandi’s request to end persecuting the untouchables is still on hold in large swaths of Indian land and administration to this day.. I had hoped before today that prevarication was not an Hindu habit in public discourse…

    • Ch Billy

      Did Ashoka kill to spread Hinduism? Can his greed to have a large empire be attributed to Hinduism? Can all the murders and rapes committed by Christian individuals be attributed to Christianity? On the other hand, why did Richard the Lion-heart wage wars? Wasn’t it for Christianity? Why did the Spanish kings and warriors conquer and persecute large numbers of people in South America? Wasn’t it to spread Catholicism? Can you see the difference here?

      There is no ethnic compulsion for Hinduism. Here is the proof:
      Srimad Bhagavatam in canto 2, chapter 4, verse 18 says:
      kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā
      ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ
      ye ‘nye ca pāpā yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ
      śudhyanti tasmai prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ
      Translation: Members of the Kirāta, Hūṇa, Āndhra, Pulinda, Pulkaśa, Ābhīra, Śumbha, Yavana and Khasa races and even others can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.
      Kirata: Aboriginal tribes of Bihar in India.
      Huna: The people of East Germany and part of Russia
      Āndhra: The tribal people of Andhra Pradesh, India
      Pulinda: The Greeks. Greece was under Pandavas during Mahabharata.
      Pulkasa: The tribal inhabitants of Vindhyas, India
      Abhira: The people of the region starting from Sind to North Africa (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa). Middle east was also under Pandavas during the Mahabharata.
      Sumbhas or Kankas: The people of Kanka province of ancient India (probably tribal people). This cannot be traced to modern India.
      Yavana: The people of Europe although sometimes it may mean only people of modern day Turkey and a little beyond upto Italy. Turkey and Europe was also under the Pandavas during the Mahabharata (after Kurukshetra) and they took part in Kurukshetra some on the side of Pandavas and some on the side of Kauravas.
      Khasa: The people of Mongolia, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan (East Asia)

      Can you show me any verse in any Hindu scripture that says Hinduism is for ethnic Hindus only or can you show any verse which says that all ethnic Hindus have some divine birth from heavenly deities? Can you share any verse where Hindus are considered superior intellectually and physically compared to other races? If you cannot, please do not make false statements.

      Gandhi was a Hindu and his call for end to untouchability came form Hindu Vaishnava philosophy of “All humans are children of Hari (Lord Vishnu)”. He even called the Dalits/untouchables Harijan (people of Lord Hari). It is misinterpretation of Hinduism that led to social evils of caste system. There is no scriptural backing for such evil practices as Varna (not caste) is supposed to be based on people’s capabilities and not birth like in any rational system of division of labor. The hereditary interpretation of caste and its exploitation led to untouchability. I do not deny that caste discrimination exists in India today. Although, all Hindu gurus (both from reform and traditional schools) of today are staunchly opposed to this idea of birth-based caste. They have woken up. Time for you to acknowledge that.

      Anyways, I see you are very irrationally prejudiced towards Hindus and Hinduism. This prejudice and lack of acceptance is in the DNA of every Abrahamic follower or even most modern atheists who came out of Abrahamic religions. It is possible to wake up a sleeping person but it is not possible to wake up a person who is pretending to be asleep. I hope you get what I mean.

  • MindWarrior

    To me, the Hindu religion represents the most compelling evidence that the so-called “gods” were merely beings from other worlds/dimensions albeit with incredible power.

  • highinterest

    “Judaism has the current problems of doing the same in the Israel/Palestine area.”

    You lost me right there, for you must be observing this with preconceived notions. How many times do the Israelis have to say, “We’re trying to live in harmony with you, and you are trying to kill all of us” before people start believing them?

  • Claudio Mantovani

    Greetings. After reading again your article, let me add this comment about -“Christian missionaries in India use bribery and withholding medicine and food to force Hindus to become Christian”-: would you please tell me what kind of christians are they? I think you know that there are a lot of difference between christians, there are many groups and churches. I follow Jesus Chrirst according to Catholic Church’s teaching, and I am absolutely sure that Catholic missionaries don’t behave like you said. One example for all: Mother Teresa! Please do not put all grasses all together in one bundle, without due distinctions. Thanks.

  • Shez
  • Merle Langlois

    As a former Buddhist now Hindu I can definitely say that Hinduism has employed violence in the past, employs violence now, and will employ violence in the future. It’s a religion practiced by this violent race known as “human beings.” If you want some good evidence of the past violence of Hinduism, read “Hardship and Downfall, the Decline of Buddhism in India,” by Italian anthropologist Giovanni Verardi. He looks at temple ruins, inscriptions, and textual material and finds evidence that prior to the Muslim invasions, Hinduism was on a continuous campaign of persecution against Buddhists, and that uncivilized tribal areas were proselytized to by both groups in an effort to build strength on both sides. This argument that Hinduism is inhumanly perfect in practice doesn’t hold water and is merely a bit of embarrassed handwaving in reaction to lack of military success on the part of Hindus for the last 1100 years. I say all this while still finding the religion itself to be the broadest, most open, strongest, and best path. If India was in a stronger position relative to other nations, they might not feel insecure enough to need to whitewash their history.

  • SparklingMoon,

    Either you believe in the Abrahamic conception of God or you don’t believe at all.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    There is no such conception in Islam that ” Either you believe in the Abrahamic conception of God or you don’t believe at all”. God Almighty says in the Quran that He used to send prophets in all parts of the word to guide His people. It is an eternal part of Muslim faith to believe those all previous prophets as they all were messenger of God Almighty.

    It is explained by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his book ”Message of Peace” that: ” the age when one religion was unaware of the existence of the other. In that general state of ignorance, it was but natural that every people should have considered their own religion and their own book to be the only one. Eventually when countries became linked to each other through the spread of knowledge, this trend of monopolizing God resulted in the creation of another obstacle in the path of mutual understanding. People began to expect the religions in every other country to agree with theirs, or else they stood rejected. It was no easy task to rid such religions of the poetical exaggerations built around them over the ages. So the followers of every religion braced themselves to vehemently oppose the other. So, also, the religion of Zend-Avesta raised the flag with the claim that, ‘No one else is like us’ and they monopolized the institution of prophet hood to their own family. They related such a long history of their religion, that those who used to pride the longevity of Vedic history were put to shame.

    In their turn, the faith of the Hebrews crossed every limit when they asserted that Syria was declared to be the eternal seat of God’s sovereignty and that only the pious among them would be considered worthy of being sent for the reformation of the world. But in effect, the work of reformation remained limited to the House of Israel, and the revelation of God became the prerogative of only their House under the seal of God. All others who rose with a claim were considered liars and impostors. Likewise, among the Aryas, similar views to those which were widespread among the Israelites gained favor. According to their belief, God is the King of the Aryas alone; a king of the type who is totally unaware of the existence of others. And without rhyme or reason, it is believed that God had forever set His heart on the Arya climate. Little does He care to visit other countries once in a while, to inquire about the state of the miserable people living there whom He had once created only to forget them forever. What kind of logic it is that on the one hand God is conceived to be the Lord of the whole universe and, on the other, He is claimed to have withdrawn His hand of providence from a large part of the world, and that His gaze remains fixed on a particular people and one section of a particular country.

    The Quran is that revered book which laid the foundation of peace between nations and acknowledged the truth of all Prophets belonging to all the different nations. It is the Holy Quran which enjoys the unique distinction of teaching us with regards to the Prophets of the entire world that: (We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit. (3:85) Therefore, O Muslims, you should declare: We believe in all the Prophets of God belonging to this world and we do not discriminate between them as to reject one and accept the others. The universal beneficence of God has not been confined by the Quran to any specific House. It acknowledges the Prophets of the House of Israel, one and all, be they Jacob(as), Isaac(as), Moses(as), David(as) or Jesus(as). And it acknowledges the Prophets of other nations regardless of whether they dwelt in India or Persia. None of them have been labeled as deceitful or impostors.