Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Essential Hindu

It is often said, even by Hindus, that Hinduism is "a way of life rather than a religion."

It would be far more accurate to say that Hinduism is a religion that has shaped a way of life.

In a land of great diversity it has provided a unifying framework that encapsulates the highest philosophy as well as the popular culture of folk tales and traditions.

As that unifying drive has been its primary impetus, Hinduism's powerful core beliefs have not been enunciated with clarity.

Essentially, a Hindu is one who believes that God exists as universal Truth (Dharma), manifest in human affairs as the law of causality (Karma).

All else in Hinduism is explanatory.

Our gorgeous philosophy, our wonderfully humanized universe of legend and fable, our colorful customs and rituals, our view that all living things are "God's family;" the whole amazing superstructure of our tolerant and humane culture, has been a flowering of those beliefs.

Evil exists in Hinduism not as the opposite of the Good, but as a falling away from Truth and the values required to express and safeguard it.

Bad karma is rooted in delusion; sin springs from moral confusion.

Good karma is to see the Truth clearly and live by its dictates.

As India marks on the 15th of August its release from a destructive and demeaning period, let us celebrate the core beliefs that have made a people of endless diversity a nation.

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