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Quotes and Thoughts on Hinduism

Quotes and Thoughts on Hinduism is collected over a period of 12 years from various sources. The quotes on Hinduism include mainly of Gandhiji, Nancy Wilson Ross, S Radhakrishnan, A B Vajpayee,  Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Sri Aurobindo and more....

Hinduism – not only in philosophy and literature but also in art – has the capacity for immense conceptions, profound and subtle apprehensions, that can entice the imagination and stun the mind with their depth, range and boldness.

The many masks of the many gods, their various appearances and incarnations, have been employed to suggest the infinitely possible variations of one supreme essence. In seeking to give expression to that almost inexpressible idea of a unity which admits also of polarities, a “union beyond the opposites.”

Hinduism created such arresting icons as the divine two-in-one embrace of Shiva and Shakti; or Shiva alone, half male, half female, or the two-sided figure of Hari-Hara, an expression of the seemingly “opposite” creative-destructive forces of Vishnu and Shiva embodied in one being.

Nancy Wilson Ross on Hinduism  (Source: Three Ways of Asian Wisdom – By Nancy Wilson Ross)

Hinduism is like the Ganga - Pure and Unsullied - Mahatma Gandhi

Hinduism is like the Ganga, pure and unsullied at its source but taking in its course the impurities in the way. 

Even like the Ganga it is beneficent in its total effect. It takes a provincial form in every province, but the inner substance is retained everywhere.

Hindu Dharma is like a boundless ocean teeming with priceless gems. The deeper you dive the more treasures you find.

Hinduism is a living organism. One and indivisible at the root, it has grown into a vast tree with innumerable branches. Knowledge is limitless and so also the application of truth. Every day we add to our knowledge of the power of the Atman, and we shall keep on doing ever the same. New experience will teach us new duties, but truth shall ever be the same. Who has ever known it in its entirety?

I think I have understood Hinduism correctly when I say that it is eternal, all-embracing and flexible enough to suit all situations.

If were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: Search after Truth through non-violent means.

A man may not believe even in God and still call himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after Truth and if today it has become moribund, inactive, irresponsive to growth, it is because we are fatigued and as soon as the fatigue is over Hinduism will burst forth upon the world with a brilliance perhaps unknown before. Hinduism is the most tolerant of all religions. Its creed is all embracing.

Quotes on Hinduism by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

While other religions are precisely defined by explicit and often unyielding beliefs, Hinduism condones no such constraints. For the Hindu intuition is far more important than intellect; experience supersedes dogma; and personal realization is held infinitely more precious than outer expressions or affiliations of faith. Hindu religious philosophy is based on experience, on personal discovery and testing of things.

Hinduism does not say. ‘Believe as others do or suffer.’ Rather, it says, ‘Know thy self, inquire and be free.’
Source: Dancing With Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. (Introduction page XX)

A B Vajpayee quotes on the scientific nature of Hinduism

One of the principal aspects of Hinduism that impresses me is its scientific nature. Hinduism has stood up to the challenges of modern science better than any other religion. The reason is simple: if anything is found at variance with facts, it is quietly forgotten. Hinduism is thus constantly refreshed and updated. The West had one reformation 500 years ago. We have a permanent reformation.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Former Prime Minister of India)

Thoughts on Hindu Religion by Mahatma Gandhi

It is clear from the foregoing, that Hinduism is not an exclusive religion. In it there is room for the worship of all the prophets of the world. It is not a missionary religion in the ordinary sense of the term.

It has no doubt absorbed many tribes in its fold, but this absorption has been of an evolutionary imperceptible character. Hinduism tells everyone to worship God according to his own faith or dharma, and so it lives at peace with all the religions.  (Source – Hindu Dharma, Orient Paperbacks, Published 1991, page 15.)

What is not Hinduism?

The chief aim of our religious exercises is to gain prosperity, good health and triumph over our adversaries. We flatter our gods with prayers, bribe them with offerings ‘wash’ our sins in sacred rivers and pay priests to carry out expensive rituals on our behalf. Even thugs and thieves do all these things in the hope, they will gain supernatural assistance in the performance of their nefarious deeds. This kind of religion does more harm than good.

Shri N. Kulkarni
Illustrated Weekly of India of 26th January 1973, Page 10.

The last 150 years have demonstrated the vitality and resilience of Hinduism. It is capable of change, can absorb new forces and respond creatively to them.

(“Why I am a Hindu?” – Illustrated Weekly, Nov.1976.)

Gandhiji Thoughts on Non-Violence and Hinduism

My correspondent accuses me of the crime of using the ambiguous middle in that I have confused Truth and non-violence with the Hindu creed. The crime is deliberate. It is the good fortune or the misfortune of Hinduism that it has no official creed. In order, therefore, to protect myself against any misunderstanding, I have said Truth and non-violence is my creed.

If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: search the Truth through non-violent means.

A man many not believe in God and still call himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth and, if today it has become moribund, inactive, irresponsive to growth, it is because we are fatigued, and as soon as the fatigue is over, Hinduism will burst forth upon the world with a brilliance perhaps unknown before. (Source: Hindu Dharma, Orient Paperbacks, Published 1991, page 18 and 19.)

Sri Aurobindo Ghose on Hinduism

Hinduism, which is the most skeptical and the most believing of all, the most skeptical because it has questioned and experimented the most, the most believing because it has the deepest experience and the most varied and positive spiritual knowledge, — that wider Hinduism which is not a dogma or combination of dogmas but a law of life, which is not a social framework but the spirit of a past and future social evolution, which rejects nothing but insists on testing and experiencing everything and when tested and experienced turning it to the soul's uses, in this Hinduism we find the basis of the future world-religion.

This Sanatana Dharma has many scriptures, Veda, Vedanta, Gita, Upanishad, Darshana, Purana, Tantra, nor could it reject the Bible or the Koran; but its real, most authoritative scripture is in the heart in which the Eternal has His dwelling. It is in our inner spiritual experiences that we shall find the proof and source of the world's Scriptures, the law of knowledge, love and conduct, the basis and inspiration of Karmayoga.

(Source: Aurobindo’s Karmayogin: Political Writings And Speeches - 1909-1910: Chapter: The Ideal of Karmayogin)

Hindu philosophy has touched upon every metaphysical difficulty

"It was an astounding discovery that Hindustan possessed, in spite of the changes of realms and chances of time, a language of unrivalled richness and variety; a language, the parent of all those dialects that Europe has fondly called classical - the source alike of Greek flexibility and Roman strength. A philosophy, compared with which, in point of age, the lessons of Pythagoras are but of yesterday, and in point of daring speculation Plato's boldest efforts are tame and commonplace. A poetry more purely intellectual than any of those which we had before any conception; and systems of science whose antiquity baffled all power of astronomical calculation. This literature, with all its colossal proportions, which can scarcely be described without the semblance of bombast and exaggeration claimed of course a place for itself - it stood alone, and it was able to stand alone."

"To acquire the mastery of this language is almost the labor of life; its literature seems exhaustless. The utmost stretch of imagination can scarcely comprehend its boundless mythology. Its philosophy has touched upon every metaphysical difficulty; its legislation is as varied as the castes for which it was designed."

William Cooke Taylor (1800-1849)
(source: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Vol. II (1834) - W. C. Taylor's paper on Sanskrit Literature)

1200 year old Kailasa Temple in Ellora is carved out of one single rock starting in reverse order. First the roof, then the pillars and then finally base. This is the only structure in the world to be built is such a way. Can any modern building technology replicate the building method of Kailasa Temple. This impossibility was achieved when there was no electricity or modern tools. Sashtanga Pranamam to my great ancestors. I will not fail you and the knowledge that you have given me.

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan quotes on Hinduism

Hinduism is not just a faith. It is the union of reason and intuition that cannot be defined but is only to be experienced.

In the history of the world, Hinduism is the only religion that exhibits a complete independence and freedom of the human mind, its full confidence in its own powers.

Hinduism is freedom, especially the freedom in thinking about God. In the search for the supernatural, it is like traveling in space without a boundary or barrier.

Hinduism is more a way of life than a form of thought. While it gives absolute liberty in the world of thought, it enjoins a strict code of practice. It insists not on religious conformity but on a spiritual and ethical outlook on life.

On the principle that the very best is not the enemy of the good, Hinduism accepts all forms of belief and lifts them up to a higher level.

Belief and conduct, rites and ceremonies, dogmas and authorities are subordinate to the art of conscious self-delivery and contact with the Divine.

The men of experience feel the presence of God and do not argue about it. The shoals and shallows of existence are submerged in a flood-tide of Joy.

Hinduism is a process, not a result: a growing tradition, not a fixed revelation.

The Hindu religion is marked by an eminently rational character. Throughout the bewildering maze of dreamy hopes and practical renunciations, strangest dogmas and reckless adventures of spirit, throughout the four or five millennia of ceaseless metaphysical and theological endeavor, the Hindu thinkers have tried to grapple with the ultimate problems in a spirit of loyalty to truth and feeling for reality.

Throughout its long career, the oneness of the ultimate Spirit has been the governing ideal of the Hindu religion. The one incomprehensible God, who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, appears to different minds in different ways. An ancient text says that forms are given to the formless Absolute for the benefit of the aspirants.

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (former President of India)
Source: Bhagavad Gita - By Dr S. Radhakrishnan page - 55

Shashi Tharoor on Heritage of Tolerance of Hinduism

And I admire the civilizational heritage of tolerance that made Hindu societies open their arms to people of every other faith, to come and practise their beliefs in peace amidst Hindus. It is remarkable, for instance, that the only country on earth where the Jewish people have lived for centuries and never experienced a single episode of anti-Semitism is India. That is the Hinduism in which I gladly take pride. Openness is the essence of my faith.

Annie Besant on Hinduism

After a study of more than 40 years of the great religions of the world, I find none so perfect, so scientific, none so philosophical and none so spiritual as that great religion popularly known by the name of Hinduism.

Make no mistake, without Hinduism, India has no future. Hinduism is the soil into which India's roots are stuck and torn out of that she will inevitably wither as a tree torn out from its place and if Hindus do not maintain Hinduism who shall save it?
If India's own children do not cling to her faith who shall guard it? India alone can save India and India and Hinduism are one.

George Bernard Shaw

The apparent multiplication of gods is bewildering at the first glance, but you soon discover that they are the same GOD. There is always one uttermost God who defies personification. This makes Hinduism the most tolerant religion in the world, because its one transcendent God includes all possible gods. In fact Hinduism is so elastic and so subtle that the most profound Methodist, and crudest idolater, are equally at home with it.

Robert Arnett
Hinduism is greatly misunderstood in the West. Most occidentals do not realize that Hinduism is a monotheistic belief in only one God, who as Creator is beyond time, space and physical form. The entire pantheon of Hindu gods and goddesses are merely representations of different attributes of the One, Unmanifested Spirit. Hinduism created a different deity for each of God's numerous qualities to make God seem more real and approachable.

Count Maurice Maeterlinck
We cannot tell how the religion of the Hindus came into being. When we become aware of it, we find it already complete in its broad outlines, its main principles. Not only is it complete, but the farther back we go, the more perfect it is, the more unadulterated, the more closely related to the loftiest speculations of our modern agnosticism. 
Count Maurice Maeterlinck – poet and essayist – won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1911. (Source: The Great Secret – by By Maurice Maeterlinck)

Gertrude Emerson Sen
As the Indian sages pondered on the problem of good and evil, they were confronted with the apparent injustices and cruelties of the world around them, and this state of affairs was finally reconciled with their idea of Brahman by the conception of a universal ethical law applying to all life. This law as proclaimed as the law of karma. In the words of the Upanishads, "As is a man's desire so is his will, and as is his will so is his deed, and whatever deed he does that he will reap.” 
(Source: The Pageant of India's History Gertrude Emerson Sen)

Joseph John Campbell
There is an important difference between the Hindu and the Western ideas. In the Biblical tradition, God creates man, but man cannot say that he is divine in the same sense that the Creator is, where as in Hinduism, all things are incarnations of that power.
We are the sparks from a single fire. And we are all fire. Hinduism believes in the omnipresence of the Supreme God in every individual. There is no "fall". Man is not cut off from the divine. He requires only to bring the spontaneous activity of his mind stuff to a state of stillness and he will experience that divine principle with him.

Sita Ram Goel (1921-2003)
Hindu society has been the meeting point as well as the melting pot of as many spiritual visions as the human psyche is capable of springing up spontaneously. It has been a willing and welcoming platform for as many seers, sages, saints and mystics as have responded to the deeper stirrings in the human soul. It has been a repository of as many metaphysical points of view as human reason can render in human language. (Shri Sita Ram Goel was a Hindu renaissance thinker and writer. He was also the founder of Voice of India)

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Hinduism a Way of Life

Hinduism is not a religion; it is just a way of life that thousands of Rishis have written about. It is such a democratic religion where everybody has the freedom to think, write or say whatever they want.

We have no opposition for any other philosophy coming into us. We have no opposition for the Bible to be part of our own study. Nobody here will say, 'If you read the Bible, you will go to hell'.

It is an inclusive way of looking at life, and that is what we need in the world today. We have no objection taking food from every part of the world, listening to music from every part of the world. So we need to globalize wisdom too.

(Source: From an interview to a popular Indian Magazine – The Week in 2002.)

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Hinduism

Dr S Radhakrishnan: What is your religion?
Mahatma Gandhi: My religion is Hinduism which, for me, is the religion of humanity and includes the best of all religions known to me.

Dr S Radhakrishnan: How are you led to it?
Mahatma Gandhi: I take it that the present tense in this question has been purposely used, instead of the past. I am led to my religion through truth and non-violence. I often describe my religion as religion of truth. Of late, instead of saying God is Truth, I have been saying, Truth is God... Denial of Truth we have not known... We are all sparks of Truth. The sum total of these sparks is indescribable, as yet unknown Truth, which is God; I am daily led nearer to it by constant prayer.

Dr S Radhakrishnan: What is its bearing on social life?
Mahatma Gandhi: The bearing of this religion on social life is, or has to be, seen in one’s daily social contact. To be true to such religion, one has to lose oneself in continuous and continuing service of all in life. Realization of Truth is impossible without a complete merging of oneself in and identification with this limitless ocean of life. Hence, for me there is no escape from social service: there is no happiness on earth beyond or apart from it. Social service here must be taken to include every department of life. In this scheme, there is nothing low, nothing high. For all is one, though we seem to be many.
The deeper I study Hinduism, the stronger becomes the belief in me that Hinduism is as broad as the universe... Something within me tells me that, for all the deep veneration I show to several religions, I am all the more a Hindu, nonetheless for it.

Mahatma Gandhi in conversation with Dr S Radhakrishnan

Hinduism The Greatest In The World

I boldly proclaim Hinduism the greatest in the world. Hinduism's venerable age has seasoned to maturity. It is the only religion, to my knowledge, which is not founded on a single historic event or prophet, but which itself precedes recorded history. Hinduism has been called the "cradle of spirituality" and the "mother of all religions," partially because it has influenced virtually every major religion and partly because it an absorb all other religions - honor and embrace their scriptures, their saints, their philosophy. (Sivaya Subramuniyaswami)

Hinduism Will Exist Forever

Western religions can be compared to a monolithic iron pillar, which is incapable of bending or giving away or changing. Hinduism, on the other hand, can be compared to a banyan tree which has spreading branches reaching out with ever more new shoots and more ideas. That is why we find more religions within the Hindu faith than there are in the rest of the world put together. Though its fundamental concepts are ancient, it is capable of accepting and even welcoming all new ideas which are consistent with dharma or righteousness.  (Mataji Vanamali)

Many Gods of Hinduism Is Better Than Intolerant Single God

The one god of all monolithic religions is a sectarian god, exclusive to the followers of that particular faith or sect. He has nothing whatsoever to do with those who do not believe in him. They are cast beyond the pale of divine grace. There is intolerance and hatred for those who do not believe in this one god.

Hinduism also believes in one god and one divine power. But the one god of the Sanatana Dharma is a universal Being, who transcends all boundaries of time, space and causation. That (God) is not bound to only the Hindus but is available to the whole of creation and not just for human beings. That has existed always and will continue to exist even if no one believes in That. That is the Ultimate Truth of everything and everyone. (Mataji Vanamali) 

With its traditions of periodically repeated incarnations of the Deity in the most diverse forms, its ready acceptance of any and every local divinity or founder of a sect or ascetic devotee as a manifestation of God, its tolerance of symbols and legends of all kinds, however repulsive or obscene, by the side of the most exalted flights of world-renouncing mysticism, it could perhaps more easily than any other faith develop, without loss of continuity with its past, into a universal religion which would see in every creed a form suited to some particular group or individual, of the universal aspiration after one Eternal Reality, to whose true being the infinitely various shapes in which it reveals itself to or conceals itself from men are all alike in different. (Professor Clement Webb) (Cited from The Hindu View of Life, 48.)