Chronicles of my life in Japan - a series of extraordinary events
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The Speaking Tree - The Times of India, 11 Aug 2009
Young people today engaged in self-exploration are looking for inner peace. They question the relevance of rituals and religious practices. Religion needs to be reinterpreted to suit the context of modern times; otherwise today’s youth might lose faith in Sanatana Dharma – the timeless faith.
The hallmark of Hindu tradition has been its great capacity to adapt itself to the lifestyles of people without losing its identity, and helping seekers focus on attaining the transcendent absolute.
The inquiry into the nature of God and self, and the practices thereof could be termed as the Hindu way of life. The ultimate aim of a Hindu is God-realisation through the spiritual practices he adopts. It is a way of life which respects and accepts all paths to self-realisation.
Hinduism is based upon the qualities of acceptance, absorption, continuous change and expansion. It is thus a dynamic, living, ever-growing set of ideas, rituals and spiritual practices. It incorporates constant acceptance and freedom of thought for all other Religions of the World.
One cannot be ‘converted’ to Hinduism. For every other religion, there are ‘rites of baptism’. Hindus consider that everyone is naturally on a journey to reach a higher awareness through the cycle of birth and death; and that the soul continuously reincarnates to experience Karmas – the effects of actions performed in earlier incarnations. This is something automatic.
In a way, everyone who is trying to explore their divinity is practising Hinduism.
Hinduism is a way of life and does not conflict with any religion for it is simply the commitment to search for the truth. One does not have to give up one’s religious identity to follow Hindu practices.
The greatness of Hinduism lies in its infinite capacity of acceptance and allowance. As long as an individual is mindful of ‘raising consciousness’ – of self, community, and humanity as a whole, one is following tenets of Hindu religion.
This has been termed as ‘Shreya’ – the essence of the Hindu way of life, in a single word.
(Finally know the meaning of my name :P tee.hee.hee)