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November 28, 2010

Page: 19/43

Home > 2010 Issues > November 28, 2010

Vedic Hinduism is the only universal religion
By Manju Gupta

Universal Hinduism: Towards a New Vision of Sanatana Dharma, David Frawley, Voice of India, Pp 213 (PB), Rs 200.00

THOUGH Hinduism and Hindu tradition, particularly yoga, Vedanta, Ayurvedic medicine, Vedic astrology and vastu have become popular, very little is read or written about Sanatana Dharma on which Hinduism is based.

This new Hindu movement also reflects the global reach of the Hindus. The present volume discusses the global issues of Hinduism with India as its central focus, while examining the relationship of Hinduism with other religions, similarities and differences, including the issues of inter-faith and conversion. It also highlights Hinduism’s connection with native and pagan traditions, the Hindu view of Nature including ecology, evolution and science, the caste system and its origins and solutions to the problems caused by its recent distorted views.

Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion, the third largest religion in the world in terms of the number of its followers and the largest of non-biblical traditions. It has the largest number of temples, sacred sites, festivals, philosophical texts, monks and yoga practitioners of any religion.

By presenting the arguments of its adversaries and counter-arguments of its followers, the author, who is an influential writer and commentator on Hindu and Vedic teachings, presents a dynamic view of universal Hinduism, its spiritual culture, art, science and way of life that are vital for all living beings on this planet Earth. Frawley says, "Hindu universalism is not a radical universalism that equates religions as they are but removes any differentiations between religious teachings and doctrines. Hindu universalism reflects an understanding of universal law that cannot be made subordinate to religious dogmas, beliefs, faiths or institutions."

Frawley also makes a very pertinent observation by saying that in the past, Hindus were forcibly converted by invading foreign powers but today the average Hindu is fast losing his moorings in his own religion. Thus Hinduism, the Hindu population and Hindu India are at the crossroads, vacillating between continuing as Hindus or converting to something else.

Other topics included in the book are the dialogue between different religions like Hinduism with Christianity, Buddhism and pagan traditions, yoga Vedanta, Nature, the social order, etc. and that all are relative to the role of Dharma and the views of the Hindu mind going back to the Vedic rishis. The book emphasises that Hinduism can be explained as a universal path of self-realisation without the Hindus having to give up their own particular religious identity.

Frawley examines the deeper aspects of Sanatana Dharma and to bring about peace and wisdom to humanity, he advocates the propagation of the Dharma all over the world.

(Voice of India, 2/18, Ansari Road, New Delhi-110 002;

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