esamskriti
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Indian Culture And Traditions

Who Is A Hindu
By Sanjeev Nayyar, December 2004 [esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net]

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Words of Great Men       

19. Quote Swami Vivekananda
Have quoted excerpts "From the spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multi various mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu's religion.
 
Address at the World’s Parliament of Religions at Chicago on 11/9/1893 – I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation, which has sheltered the persecuted, and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth.

Every one of the great religions in the world, excepting our own, is built on historical characters, but ours rests upon principles. There is no man or women who can claim to have created the Vedas. They are the embodiment of eternal principles, sages discovered them.

The Hindu can worship any sage and any saint from any country, go to churches and mosques, and that is good. Why not? Ours, as I have said, is the universal religion. It is inclusive enough; it is broad to include all the ideals.

Ours is the religion of which Buddhism, with all its greatness, is a rebel child, and of which Christianity is a very patchy imitation.

This religion of ours admits of a marvelous variation, an infinite amount of liberty to think and live our own lives.

The religion of the Vedas is the religion of the Hindus, and the foundation of all Oriental religions: that is, all other Oriental religions are offshoots of the Vedas, all Eastern systems of religions have the Vedas as authority”.

20. Now let’s look at a patriot’s definition. I quote Veer Savarkar “A Hindu is a person who regards his land as Bharat-Varsha from the Indus to the Seas as his fatherland as well as his Holyland that is the cradle land of his religion".

For a Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh using modern day connotations he is firmly aligned to only one country Bharat. He could become a citizen of the U.S. but Bharat is where he belongs, his roots are. Now take the Muslims - they protest against the bombings in Afghanistan, are quick to declare Fatwas against Hindus, Christians but when innocent Hindus are massacred in Jammu & Kashmir or elsewhere by Muslim jehadis groups there is silence.

21. Sri Aurobindo wrote – “But what is the Hindu religion? What is this religion, which we call Sanatan, eternal? It is the Hindu religion only because the Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas, because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages. But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country; it does not belong peculiarly and for ever to a bounded part of the world. That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal religion, which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion that can triumph over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and the speculations of philosophy. It is the one religion, which impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God. It is the one religion which insists every moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge that He is in all men and all things and that in Him we move and have our being. It is the one religion, which enables us not only to understand and believe this truth but also to realize it with every part of our being. It is the one religion, which shows the world what the world is, that it is the Lila of Vasudeva. It is the one religion which shows us how we can best play our part in that Lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules. It is the one religion, which does not separate life in any smallest detail from religion, which knows what immortality is and has utterly removed from us the reality of death…”.

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