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How To Become A Hindu
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Meeting a German Hindu </b>
Prafull Goradia
<i>While Hinduism puts no brake on its followers, semitic religions demand complete surrender to their scriptures</i>

On my visit to Har ki Pauri at Haridwar, on April 19, I happened to meet Hermann von Mecklenburg. He had also come to participate in the aarti, including floating a lamp on the Ganga river. His name immediately took my mind to Field Marshal von Mecklenburg, the colourful legend of pre-World War I German Army. Mr Mecklenburg confirmed that he was the Field Marshal's great great grandnephew. He lives in Munich since his ancestral Prussian Duchy had become a part of East Germany.

In the course of the conversation that followed, I pointed out to Hermann that only Hindus were meant to come to Har ki Pauri whose anglicised name was the esplanade of the Ganges. Under the United Provinces Municipal Act II, 1916, passed by the British rulers, except for officers on duty, non-Hindus are not permitted on the esplanade, island shaped platform, Har ki Pauri area and Khushavart Ghat. Only the followers of sanatan dharma were allowed to congregate on the Pauri and any lectures, discourses et al could be made only with the permission of the chairman of the board supervising the esplanade.

<b>To which the German's reply was that he was spiritually a Hindu. Although he was born a Christian, this faith did not assuage his longing for the divine. Mr Mecklenburg's complaint was that Christianity demanded excessive faith. The faithful had to blindly believe that Jesus was the son of god. That god or the father created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. The Trinity of Father, Son and the Holy Ghost comprised the divinity.</b>

Islam posed the same problem according to the Hindu from Germany. Accept that there is no god other than Allah the Merciful and the doctrine thereafter is inexorable. Blind faith is the fountainhead of the philosophy.

The other question of the semitic faith is the belief that god made men equal and society renders them unequal. Hence the enormous Christian effort at charity whether through the Society of Jesus or any other.

Nevertheless, everyone knows that people are not and cannot be equal. On the other hand, the Hindu explanation presumes that men will remain unequal (due to their different karmas) until they attain salvation or release from the cycle of rebirth, called mukti. The belief in karma leading to bhagya (fate) or deed causing destiny cannot put a limit on how much of good karmas a person should perform. Therefore, there can be no ceiling on his destiny. This is the fundamental difference between Christianity and Hinduism. The former is a prescription given by god and inspired by faith. The latter is an explanation based on observing the phenomena and filling in the missing gaps with imagination by rishis in the distant past.

The two sets of faith can be classified by logic, which is a branch of European philosophy. Christianity can be compared with deductive logic where reasoning begins with a presumption about god and proceeds faultlessly thereafter. On the other hand, Hinduism is inductive logic which begins with experience and works upwards to a conclusion. For example, say Peter has seen only red roses while Paul has grown up seeing roses being only white. Similarly, Michael could be familiar with only pink roses and Mathew only yellow ones. If these gentlemen were Hindu and they happened to meet, after a debate they would conclude that roses could be of several colours. Whereas a semitic edict might be that all roses are red and the rest are weeds - whether gentile, heathen or kafir.

For the Hindu there are directions and alternatives, but neither premise nor prescriptions. Each has to find his or her own way. There is a limited social recommendation and certainly no political content in Hinduism. The faith has, therefore, produced no ideology and no central bond.

The Prussian aristocrat saw other faults in the Hindu ethos. There just was no collective consciousness. No matter what others do unto the Hindu community, there is seldom any retaliation. Look at the number of desecrated temples that are still standing, being looked after by the Archeological Survey and yet used for Muslim prayers. It is recognised that Varanasi is the Jerusalem of the Hindus. Yet, the obnoxious Gyan Vapi Masjid overshadows the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir.

<b>Even Prof Arnold Toynbee was provoked in 1960, while delivering the Maulana Azad memorial lecture, to say that the two tall minarets on the ghats of Varanasi were an ocular demonstration of Muslim arrogance in the holiest of holy Hindu places. This was so even decades after the Partition.  </b>

Messages In This Thread
How To Become A Hindu - by acharya - 06-06-2007, 04:03 AM
How To Become A Hindu - by acharya - 06-06-2007, 04:20 AM
How To Become A Hindu - by acharya - 06-06-2007, 04:21 AM
How To Become A Hindu - by acharya - 06-06-2007, 04:26 AM
How To Become A Hindu - by Guest - 07-09-2007, 02:22 AM

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