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India owes its tolerance to Hindu dharma

January 5, 2016 by admin

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Core Teachings

This article by Dr David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) was first New Articles by David Frawley
published by DailyO. News

India has been primarily Hindu in terms of culture and religion for many centuries, extending to thousands
of years. Hinduism has endured remarkably through long periods of foreign invasion and hostile rule,
though other ancient religions have long since perished.

Tweets by Dr David Frawley

We find this vast spiritual and cultural tradition comprehensively explained as early as the Mahabharata,
and synthesised philosophically in the Bhagavad Gita more than 2,000 years ago. The Mahabharata
describes the geography of the entire subcontinent of India relative to the worship of Krishna, Rama,
Vishnu, Shiva and Durga, explaining the main deity forms and yogic teachings of later Hinduism, as well as
delineating the rule of kings. Other important dharmic traditions, notably Buddhism and Jainism, share a Archives
common culture, values and practices with the Hindu.

February 2017
Christianity arrived in India at an early period but was a minor influence until the colonial period. Islam
began inroads in the eighth century and become a strong force after the thirteenth century. Yet these January 2017
religions, in spite of great efforts, could not replace Hinduism as the dominant cultural tradition.
December 2016
Composite culture and cultural continuity November 2016

Culture has an identity and continuity that evolves over time. In this regard, we can speak of an Indian October 2016
culture and identity that is predominantly Hindu, just as we can speak of a European culture and identity September 2016
that is predominantly Judeo-Christian, or a Middle Eastern culture that is predominantly Islamic.
August 2016
There is certainly much beautiful art, profound philosophy, transformative yoga practices and deep July 2016
experiential spirituality in Hindu and related dharmic traditions. This ancient dharmic culture spread to
East Asia, Indochina and Indonesia, but also to Central Asia and influenced West Asia and Europe. June 2016

April 2016
Yet Hindu dharma has not been frozen in time and continues to assimilate not only other religions, but
also science, democracy and other modern trends, without losing its identity as promoting the spiritual March 2016
quest above outer forms or dogmas.
February 2016

It is crucial that India recognises its past, which has a strong Hindu component, in order to understand its January 2016
cultural heritage. There may be aspects of older traditions that are not politically or scientifically correct in
December 2015
terms of current standards or may need reform, just as is the case with older cultures of the world. But
there is much of tremendous value that should not be forgotten. November 2015

The fear of Hindu majoritarianism

October 2015

September 2015
There is a fear in India that highlighting its Hindu past may alienate non-Hindus or make Hindus intolerant
today. There is a fear of Hindu majoritarianism in India, just as there isa fear of Christian majoritarianism in August 2015
the West, or Islamic majoritarianism in the Middle East. July 2015

Yet Hinduism has never had a single book, church, or religious law, nor any single savior or religious leader. June 2015
It recognises that the Divine dwells in the hearts of all beings as the very power of consciousness. Its views May 2015
of religion and culture are pluralistic and synthetic, not exclusivist or monolithic. Hinduism has not been an
aggressive religion, but one often under siege owing to its emphasis on inner spiritual practice over seeking April 2015
power in the external world.
March 2015

The British tried to eradicate pride in Indias past through denigrating Hindu teachings starting with the February 2015
Vedas. Though they preserved certain Sanskrit texts, their interpretations were condescending and
January 2015
inaccurate. Marxist and Freudian scholars have continued with demeaning interpretations of Hinduism
and miss its sublime art and spirituality. December 2014

November 2014
The great gurus of modern India since Vivekananda have kept the teachings alive and expanding in spite of
such concerted efforts that have even targeted them personally. October 2014

Indias characteristic culture and yogic spirituality that the world honours owes a great deal to its Hindu
September 2014
background. India has more peace and tolerance today than Pakistan and Bangladesh that have rejected August 2014
their Hindu past and where the percentage of Hindus in the country has been radically reduced. Muslims
have greater religious freedom in India than in Pakistan, with Islamic groups like Shias and Ahmadiyyas July 2014
that are often attacked in Pakistan able to operate freely in India.
May 2014

Mahatma Gandhi referred to himself as a proud Hindu. Yet such a term will rarely be found repeated in April 2014
media and academic circles in the country today.
February 2014

Hindu dharma has supported the timeless spirit of India and should be respected for its role. Hinduism January 2014
remains one of the greatest cultural, religious and spiritual traditions in the world. An India without Hindu
October 2013
dharma would not be India.
June 2013

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