An Example of How Non-Hindus Especially Westerners View Hinduism

I accidentally stumbled on a western education blog discussing Hinduism. Most of the people who were participating in the discussion were not scholars but common people and they were learning about Hinduism in this education blog.

The discussion was initiated by Mrs. Caracappa in her blog by asking – Do you think that Hinduism would be an easy religion for you to follow? Give examples from your book why you would think it is easy or not easy to follow.

No idea which book they were discussing. If it is any of those books written by Christian Missionaries – it is an easy guess what the nature of the content will be.

We get to read a lot of crap regarding Hindus and Hinduism on the internet most of which are sponsored by Christian missionaries. The aim of such websites, blogs and newspaper articles is mudslinging and to spread misinformation. Such articles on internet should be dismissed in the same manner in which Hindus thwarted all attempts by Christian missionaries to convert Hindus on a large scale under the British rule using print media and government machinery.

But this particular blog was independently discussing Hinduism; perhaps the book they were using for the purpose might be the product of a prejudiced westerner or of one of those missionaries.

  • In the discussion, caste was a major point. Other strange misinformation included was that all Hindus are vegetarians and all Hindus follow Vedas and lead their life according to the rules prescribed in it.

Take a look at the some of the points discussed (I did not edit the conversations and so the errors in spelling and other errors)

I believe that Hinduism would be an easy religion to follow because all you would need to do is study the Verdas (I guess it is the Vedas).

I think that Hinduism is a very difficult religion to follow. The reason why I think that is because they have a caste, which is like a social class. The most difficult part about the caste is that people from the one class cant conversate with people from another.

No I do not think that Hinduism is a easy religion to follow because it is a lot of rule to follow and if you don’t do it right you drop to a lower caste.

Hinduism isnt easy because you have to study the vedas and many gods. You have to follow the cast system and not do anything with someone higher then you. You have to stay good to be reincarnated into a higher level on the cast system.

No i do not think that it would be easy because u have to be a vegetarian and because you have to accept your duties without complaining. Also because you supposivly have a karma and I do not believie in that stuff like that if I had bad karma then i would turn into a lower caste or a pig. Also i couldn’t obey one’s dharma it would be too hard for me to follow all that stuff.

I think the religion is easy because they believe in many different gods.
The three major gods they believe in are Brahma who is the creator, Siua whos believed to be the destroyer, Vishnu whos believed to be the preserver.

I think that Hinduism is not easy to follow because women are not allowed to study Vedas or sacred texts. Also, because if you are not satisfied at the religion of Hinduism you have to believe in Jainism which you have to believe in nonviolence which also means I am an vegeterian and mostly everything has vegetables in it.

I have not posted all the comments and some of them are really funny.

Thanks to the evil caste system, all the unparalleled teachings that Hinduism has to offer to the world are negated. What is interesting to note here is that none of the people who participated in the discussion had any idea what Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma is but were aware of Caste. They pretty well knew the effects of Caste in Hindu society.

Misinformation regarding Hinduism around the world is primarily due to the prejudiced media and pseudo-secularists. Western media rarely discusses the teachings of Hinduism but they lavishly provide space to all the negative news regarding Hinduism.

There is no doubt that Caste System is evil and needs to be rooted out. Although efforts are being made by numerous organizations we are yet to contain the ill effects of caste system. But is Hinduism all about caste. No!!

Here is a reply that I wrote on Mrs. Caracappa’s blog. I am not sure whether they will publish it as I am not a student.

I was keenly following the discussion here and realized that the western media and especially missionaries have spread a lot of misinformation about Hinduism. Most the discussion revolves around Vedas and some of the opinions were amusing and suggested the extent of misinformation.

First of all Hindus don’t follow any one book like the Bible. Then, Hinduism is a word coined by British and the missionaries. For Hindus, the so called religion is ‘a way of life’ and is referred as Sanatana Dharma. And again faults like caste etc are created by individuals and society. If fault of individuals and society is to be blamed on religions, then no religion can escape crucifixion.

For majority of the Hindus – religion is a highly personal affair. All Hindus believe in Brahman – which is the Supreme Soul present in all animate and inanimate beings. Actually Brahman cannot be defined and nearest best way to explain it is ‘Thou Art That.’ Since Brahman cannot be defined each individual has his or her freedom to define it or experience it or pray to it in the form he or she wants. Therefore Hinduism stress on individual freedom and strongly believes that each individual should cut a path to reach Brahman. In simple terms, Hinduism stresses individual divine realization not borrowed divine realization.

Finally, Hinduism does not have the missionary zeal. We discuss about Christ in the same way as we discuss Sri Krishna. Because for Hindus, Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Prophet Mohammed and numerous other saints are realized souls who have taught the world about Brahman.

If you want to know more about the teachings of Hinduism read the Bhagavad Gita – one with a good translation. Other books include Upanishads especially Katha Upanishad and Isa Upanishad and Yoga Vasishta.

All this – whatever exists in this changing universe, is pervaded by Brahman – Isa Upanishad.