Google Hinduism V/S Hinduism: Battle Of Coming Era
Google Hinduism and you will see something really interesting. Most of the first page results are dominated by article by western media. As put forward by Rajeev Malhotra; China and West is doing more research on Hinduism than Indians. So as obvious the Hinduism world knows is a portrait painted by West and china instead of one who should be doing it.
As always there are pros and con to this process. Good thing is at least someone is studying such ancient culture and tradition and documenting it. Since people have tremendous interest in Hinduism all sort of people are attracted to study it and hence give different angle to same thing and better understanding. Some of the major cons for such study as put forward by Rajiv Malhotra are ‘the Atrocity Literature’. The Atrocity Literature as defined by him is as “any literature material in the form including written, video or audio developed with intention to highlight and exaggerates ideological, historical, social, political or any other weakness in Hinduism which can be used to defame it when required.”
So most of the Hinduism we know in christened Hinduism i.e. Hinduism from christened view point. This can be made clear by the fact that while Hinduism is Dharmic religion whereas Christianity is Abrahamic religion. Hindus are polytheist whereas in these studies much of stress is put on Monotheism i.e. God is one which was not in original Hindu texts.
The common traits of Hinduism misunderstood
Unlike other religion which have these three characteristic
A Holy Book
Hinduism believes in one and only one supreme God (Paratma). It has no recognized Prophet like Jesus or Mohammed but has many numbers of philosophers. It also does not have any one holy book like Bible or Quran but have several number of Holy Scriptures.
Some of the points that often get unnoticed about Hinduism is the degree of freedom devotee enjoy.
One has the freedom to any God by name or any form of God i.e. freedom of worship.
You can pray to god at any location be it bank of Holy River or temple or at home i.e. freedom of worship place.
Duration as well as time of devotion is totally subjective. You can pray at time of your convenience i.e. freedom of worship time.
The path to moksha is totally subjective as devotee as freedom of worship path be it Yoga or chanting mantra.
Let’s talk about much criticized idol worship. It appears like sins if we look from the Christianized view. Hindus worship to no of idols I.e. polytheist totally unacceptable to christened view. But if we look into Hinduism it has three modes of expression.
Murti - One which allow devotee to create three dimensional sculpture of the God.
Yantra - Two dimensional or mystical diagram like Sriramchakra, Swastika etc.
Mantra - Sacred utterance or numinous sound that can be chanted in contemplation.
Hinduism at best can be understood only if we keep in mind the context of preaching. For this primary religious scriptures have to be read to get basic understanding of the religion. If things are taken out of context it can serve as ‘atrocity literature’ which cause more harm than understanding the religion.