Why is Hinduism being denigrated in spite of being the most reasonable system of living?

This was a question on Quora to which I replied. Yet again, I got a message from Quora that “the question has been marked as needing improvement and will be in a restricted state until edited.”

So I post it here because there is nothing wrong with the question or my answer. Here it is:

Both points in the question are right: Hinduism is the most reasonable system of living and it is being denigrated.

In case some people, who don’t know much about Hinduism and believed those who denigrate it, have doubts if it is indeed the most reasonable system, this may clear the doubts:

Even just the main point in Vedic philosophy, that Brahman (in the form of Ishwara) has become this universe and beyond, is – apart from being the truth – clearly the best possible foundation for a society. If you believe (and it can be reasonably and scientifically concluded) that the essence in everything is the same and divine, there will be respect for others, including animals and nature.

There are many more very worthwhile aspects in Hinduism, for example the 4 goals of life (purusharthas), 4 stages of life (ashramas), the different dharmas connected with each stage, plus the huge knowledge in the ancient texts which is even scattered over the world and others benefitted from those texts without acknowledging it.

But this is not the topic here.

The question is: Why is it that Hinduism is being denigrated?

Incredibly, the reason is BECAUSE it is the most reasonable system of living. Because it is so profound. Because it comes closest to truth (which cannot be put into words, but it can be pointed to). Because Christianity and Islam are no match for it. And because those two religions need to protect themselves if they don’t want to lose their power and influence to the most reasonable system of living.…

This means it is after all not so incredible. Here is an explanation:

When the Vedic knowledge first reached western universities, the intellectual elite there were deeply impressed. Prominent personalities like Voltaire, Mark Twain, Schopenhauer, the Schlegel brothers, Paul Deussen and many others spoke in glowing terms about India’s tradition. And even later, in the early 20th century scientists like Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Oppenheimer, Pauli, Einstein or Tesla were in their research inspired by Vedanta and acknowledged it. Voltaire had praised the Vedas as the greatest gift for humanity. He even said “we are eternally indebted to India”.

There was real danger that the Church would lose her sheep as the Christian view of the ‘true’ God, who sits in heaven, is jealous of other gods and sends all those who are not baptized into eternal hellfire, was no match for the Indian concept of Brahman which is the one conscious essence in all forms, like the one ocean is the essence in all the waves.

Of course the Church was not keen on losing even more power. It had lost already due to people like Voltaire who fought against the Church’s unreasonable dogmas.

It surely wanted to put an end to this praise of India’s great civilization. And the strategy was simple and time-tested:

Teach children all over the world negative aspects about Hinduism and later generations will be convinced that it is worthless because that’s what they learnt.

But which negative aspects were there to project?

‘Idol-worship’ was projected as a top negative aspect, without even trying to understand it. They did not understand that the different ‘gods’ (‘deva’ was mischievously translated as god) are in essence the same as Brahman. “Idol-worship” is a great sin, both in Christianity and Islam. So to point out that Hindus worship sun-god, tree-god, or a god with an elephant head did its job of making Hinduism look as primitive as the western pagan traditions were made to look primitive.

I remember how in school our ancestors were ridiculed that they worshipped trees or thought that god is angry when there was thunder. Children easily believe what they are told and we indeed felt lucky that we now knew the one true God, who loves us so much that he even sent his own son….

Next, they projected an “oppressive caste system”. Incidentally the term caste is not there in any ancient Indian text. The Vedas speak of 4 varnas, which were compared with the different parts of a human body, and varnas were fluid, not determined by birth.

Why did the British choose ‘caste’, a Portuguese term for class or race? Did they want to give the impression that the Hindu social system is ‘cast in stone’? The worst term they projected was ‘untouchables’, which convinced every school kid that those Hindus, and especially the Brahmins, must be plain evil, forgetting that ‘not touching’ somebody is far less evil than butchering people because they did not accept Christianity or Islam.

I won’t go into how the British cemented the ‘caste system’ and created untouchables by declaring whole tribes as ‘criminal from birth’. Those who are interested can search the net, for example the interviews with Satish K. Sharma. Just so much: Hindus need NOT go on the defensive when ‘caste system’ is thrown at them. There is no need to get rid of the varna or the jati system, which has certain advantages, only because ‘caste’ is so heavily criticised. Yes, by all means give up any discrimination (and as a consequence, reservation). Yet discrimination is not inherent in Hinduism. It is inherent in human nature all over the world.

Neither need Hindus go on the defensive when ‘idol-worship’ is thrown at them. Acknowledging and worshipping the different powers in this universe, without which life would not be possible, surely makes sense. To greet the sun makes more sense than turn your back to him claiming, he is only a ball of helium. To touch the earth in reverence makes more sense than exploiting her. Not only are these powers absolutely essential for our life on earth, but are also permeated by that great Brahman. It means they are alive. Everything is alive.

I wonder when scientists come to the conclusion that the oneness of all, which they have already discovered, is conscious, too. Individual scientists consider it as possible though mainstream science did not follow yet.

But one thing strikes me as strange: While the clergy of both dogmatic religions maliciously denigrate Hinduism, the Hindu clergy does nothing of this sort to the dogmatic religions. Hindus don’t even mention unacceptable claims by those religions which are in the public domain, like ‘Hindus will burn in hellfire if they don’t convert’. Why don’t Hindus do it? Wouldn’t it be in the interest of truth to point out their flaws?

Maybe the major reason why Hinduism is constantly being denigrated is to keep Hindus busy with defending themselves and in this way prevent them from realising that the others have serious flaws.

By Maria Wirth

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49 comments

  1. Namita Nagpal · · Reply

    the question is not why Hinduism is being denigrated, the question is who denigrates it and why.

    1. An explanation is in the second half of the article

  2. vishaadyogi · · Reply

    Dear Maria,
    Thank you for your work, it was one of your first articles many years ago which made it clear to me that there were boundaries which needed to be defended, thank you for the inspiration.
    Satish K Sharma
    PS Could you pop the middle K into my name? There are a lot of Satish Sharmas out there and my socmedia chap insists … xx

  3. RAKESH SINGLA · · Reply

    I have no words to express my gratitude to esteemed Maria Wirth,

  4. RAKESH SINGLA · · Reply

    Going through Maria’s blogs,articles n so on I am searching why she has not been labelled as an RSS or BJP or VHP person

    1. my former neighbouir used to introduce me to his friends as “RSS pracharak”. never mind. if RSS is in tune with my view, it must be good, isn’t it? wonder why Indians are so afraid to be labelled ‘sanghi’, when a sanghi is far more broad minded than somebody who blindly believes in the religious dogmas of the those religions which claim that all must follow them to be saved…?

  5. RAKESH SINGLA · · Reply

    I am still to convince myself that all what is being written by Maria ji is factually correct

    1. Kuntimaddi Sadananda · · Reply

      She is absolutely correct – By the by I am one of the acharyas of Chinmaya Mission. I teach Vedanta and you can find my talks on Vedanta in you-tube under Acharya Sadaji.

  6. RAKESH SINGLA · · Reply

    I love n like German history ,culture,language n so on ,a German likes so much of all these traits of India is a great surprise

  7. Jaideep Sharma · · Reply

    Wonderful explanation ..west must learn and understand Hinduism..

  8. Vanamali Mataji · · Reply

    This is great. Do you think we could put it into our Adiveda FB. If so I will forward to Rishabh and he will do it.

    Aum Vanamali

    >

    1. Yes of course

  9. Devi ji, I think that there are strategic reasons too, besides the points you mentioned. They are as follwoing:
    1. Sanatan Dharma is like a stem and many traditions are like its branches. A tree is not going to survive without a stem.
    2. They want to break India USSR style. Its obvious without the Hinduism there is no reason for Tamil or Asameese speaking state to stay together as a nation.
    3. India is about to be a top three economies of the world with in a decade. Global powers desire a civil war inside India, so that our country never rises to its full potential. Communal or cast divide are the low hanging tree for them for a further divide.
    4. Hinduism is also denegraded because only empty vessels can be filled up, I mean it facilitates the conversion
    5. Leftist wanted to whitewash the sins of mughal invaders from History textbooks since the time of Indira Gandhi. Obviously, they are going to have clash with us Hindus.
    Mata ji, I admire your efforts and your enthusiasm to speak on behalf of us. You are a pen warrior. I salute you.

  10. This article lists a few of the reasons why Hinduism is denigrated. There are many more reasons and an entire book can be written on it. However, having watched the activities of anti-Hindu forces for years, I can assure all readers here that no number of such books or articles are going to make them cut back on their denigration of Hinduism. I have also seen that their denigration efforts are VERY effective. If they keep up their denigration, the number of [believing] Hindus will be reduced to a small percentage of what it is now.

    If any readers here are anti-Hindu, here are a few very potent questions that you can ask in order to cause the most damage to Hinduism:

    1) If Hinduism is so great, why is India, the land of Hindus, full of corruption and pollution?

    2) If Hinduism is so great, how is it that people so easily get away with denigrating Hinduism? [Do people get away with denigrating Islam? Even the Govt of India will throw you in jail if you say anything negative about Islam, and all the “good people” will call you an anti-India villian for disturbing communal harmony.]

    3) If Hinduism is so great, why don’t Hindus seem to stand out and seem more appealing than others?

    4) And other variations of the above mentioned questions.

    And if any readers here are Hindus, or pro-Hinduism, as I am, here is the one answer to all of the above questions-

    Because Hindus do not live by the teachings of Hinduism!

    Bottomline: The onus is not on others to cut back on their denigration of Hinduism. They NEVER will! The onus is on us to live as Hindus. Hinduism should exude from within us (the followers). The tree is known from its fruits. If it is obvious to people that the fruit is good, they will know that the tree is good too. We are the fruits. We need to bring quality in ourselves.

    Some examples should help. Let’s say someone spends a week denigrating Mercedes-Benz and convinces you that their cars are total crap. Then a Mercedes C class passes by you (or better yet you get to drive one 🙂 ). Would you not know in one minute that the person was lying to you? You will know, that far from being a crappy car, it is a great car. The proof is in the pudding.

    Or let’s say someone denigrates German engineering and wants you to buy Russian machinery instead. Then a wealthy friend of yours takes you (in his Audi) on a tour to show you his fancy modern chemical factory. The factory is clean and efficient and you notice that most of the equipment is made by Siemens and Bosch, and he reveals that he has a contract for BASF. Then he pops a blood-pressure pill in his mouth and you see Bayer written on it. You search online and find out that all these are German companies. Would you not know in no time that you were being lied to about German engineering? The proof is in the pudding.

    The same applies with us. We (Hindus) need to be the pudding. We need to do this together AND we need to do it as individuals. No one likes crying, whining people. Would the Germans have sold their engineering by complaining about how no one likes them? Would people have bought their machines out of pity? No, the Germans made sure that the proof was in the pudding.

    We need to do the same. The Germans did it with engineering, we need to do it with humans. Of course the first human that we need to start from is ourselves. This is the hardest part, but if we truly care as much as we claim to, we will do it!

    Yes we need to call out those who denigrate and undermine Hinduism. But we need to spend ten times more time building our own quality.

    1. If someone doesn’t believe me when I say that Govt of India throws people in jail for saying anything negative about Islam, this tweet by an ex-Muslim has a link to Times of India report from today’s news-

      1. it strangely happens all over the world. look at Tommy Robinson. but WHY is this political correctness enforced so strictly and truth must not be told any longer?

      2. @MW

        It is complicated so here is the easiest explanation-

        Modern governments, whether they are Govt of India, UK, Germany, or USA, want stability. They really don’t care what happens to people or their culture. They want stability! Whenever there is a conflict between Muslims and others, it is a lot easier to clamp down on non-Muslims and calm things down than it is clamp down on Muslims. So the governments take the easier path and clamp down on non-Muslims. That’s why.

    2. Dr. Edward Norman · · Reply

      Thank you for your post, Maria.
      Of course, Hinduism is better than anything else, unless one has something better.

      I and my school do. I incorporate and teach the superset of the Vedas, documents the Vedas do not possess. And I integrate. More knowledge is better.

  11. Vinay Sharma · · Reply

    U r doing yeoman service to preserve Dharma. My paranam to you.

    Get Outlook for Android

    ________________________________

  12. Sham Daswani · · Reply

    Thank you Maria for putting the truth so plainly. In such a simple to understand manner.
    However, I am surprised that you write so much on Vedas and Vedanta but you do not write about the great soul who gave the Vedas back to the world in one book, in its most complete and written form.
    The Vedas had been passed on from disciple to disciple thru the ages, but this one Saint brought all the scholars, all the Sampradayas together, and published the purest form of Vedas in a 1000 page book and at the age of 90 travelled to Europe, US, Africa and the Far East to present these Vedas free of charge. HE said the Vedas are for the whole world, not only for India.
    Those who are in the know, say that after VedVyas it is this great saint who gave back the Vedas to the world
    Please do justice to Him and make known to your readers the mission that He undertook.
    Thank you
    Sham Daswani

  13. Dharmendra Singh Sisodiya · · Reply

    Both the abrahamic religions are God centred where a follower of these two religions worried to please the God and does it in public but not surely in private which makes the followers living a life of double standards.
    Both these religions assure of heaven and forgiveness for the followers and negative things to non followers .So both these abrahamic religions keep their followers in the form of collective herd with similar prototype of thinking and duplicacy .
    Now Hinduism is self centric.
    What is good for my soul is adopted in life and what ever bad is for own self is rejected or kept distance with.
    Every individual through generations accept righteousness as superior and evolve through improving karmas.
    Thirty to forty year back each house has a picture of karni bharni (deeds and their fruits).
    In। a single page ten to twelve photos were assembled .
    Cheating ,eating non veg,adultery,killing birds were depicted with result after death in nark.
    The concept of karmic theory is well placed in the minds of most of the individuals and they know good will come as goodness and bad karma’s will bear dand (punishment).
    This theory makes individuals reluctant to correct any one,people on a village for a bad character will simply say bhugtega means will suffer when time comes.
    They will say bhagwan he yaha der hai andher nahi( Regarding punishment or reward God may be late ( in punishing) but will act for sure).
    With this theory a Hindu is dead sure of punishment of bad karmas by anyone and these makes them indifferent to these two religions who for ages are doing wrong .
    Hindus follow teachings of five yagnas
    1 bahma or rishi yagya
    2 Dev yagya
    3 Pittra yagya
    4 manushya yagya
    5 bhut yagya
    In reverse order Bhut yagya is taking care of all living beings and nature .
    This is done by live and let live.
    This is achieved by feeding the ants,fish,cow,birds,crows,snakes,elephants and many more animals and worshipping the nature (rivers,mountains,trees,teerths,farm field etc) .So in routine each Hindu dos this yagna.
    In manushya yagna dependent children siblings and parents and relatives if any are taken care of as duty
    In pitra yagya Hindus offer food to departed parents and grand parents .
    On every full dark night अमावस्या seedha a name for grains spices lentil sugar or gud is gifted to a Brahmin . (Assuming when ब्राह्मण will eat ,essence will reach to departed souls)
    On dev yagya Hindus do havan and Jap and daily worshipping at home and in temples.
    All auspicious events start with worshipping and end with havan .
    In Geeta chapter 3 Brahma says I have created gods and human being to work in communion and to enrich each other,these is great philosophy.
    Hindus make donations do Jap do havan and as income tax all these things nourish the gods and in return they care for the human race.
    The last yagna is Brahma or rishi yagna in which human race gets knowledge from gurus and gurus from their gurus and thus we are indebted to them.
    So by swadhyay (self reading of scriptures) satsang ,pilgrimage and getting mantra from guru is to know the dharm and it’s knowledge and at a later age to handover it to nee generation is rishi yagna.
    This way life style and systematic life cycle a Hindu without reading any book performs all five yagnas and elevated the soul.
    Now truth pervades and wins on last makes Hindus assured of true judgement and this makes them vulnerable to false propoganda.
    Even if Hinduism in number game is loosing but it’s knowledge will supercede all false propoganda of both of the abrahamic religions.
    Swami Dayanand Saraswati in satyarth prakash and swamikal in christumat chednam( dissection of Christianity) defended Hinduism in their capacities.
    The war of right and wrong,good and bad,false and truth was there and still there and will be there.
    The wise leave the wrong path and adopt sanatan dharm for righteousness.
    Hare Krishna

  14. Excellent piece Maria Wirth.. you are spot on… I have written a blog on how proselytising religions are responsible for violence in the world.
    2018/5: Hinduism, harmony and proselytization
    It is available here:
    https://milindsathye.wordpress.com/

  15. execellent

    1. Hindus don’t come to the defence of Hinduism because most of them don’t read about it. Forget reading in Sanskrit, which most of the people don’t know, they don’t read the English literature that is available about it. At the same time they don’t read about other religions & obviously they don’t know about their fault lines, which in any case are a plenty, as is the case with Hinduism too. At the same time there is always a fear that if you dwell on the faultlines of other religions you may antagonize some people from Spain to Indonesia thus becoming a target for their crusade, as is being faced by Taslima Nasreen & so many others. This world is actually meant for coexistence of every religion, caste, community, tribes & gender. That is how God created it. Otherwise He, Who is all Knowing & Benevolent, would have created only one religion for “peaceful” living if it’s inhabitants.

      1. mallikarjuna · ·

        Good work thnx

      2. Much of the English literature about Hinduism itself is bunkum and bogus. Take Devdutt Pattanaik’s books, for instance. The sad truth is that his books are popular because they are story-like in nature, as opposed to books like ‘Raja Yoga’ by Swami Vivekananda, which are actual books of knowledge, and hence require comparatively greater mental effort. Why else, do you think, are the sales of novels much higher than books on, say, astronomy or paleontology? The answer is simple: pop culture induced mental laziness. Of course, this phenomenon is not unique to India, although it is more prominent here.

      3. mystical · ·

        I believe we should coexist in love and harmony, but when you have religion that teaches hate..then it becomes difficult. There is something that connects us all and this is divine energy/consciousness or what people call god. If we find it in our self, then we can find it in all beings.

  16. Words of appreciation are inadequate, Madam

  17. S Kumar · · Reply

    Respected Madam,

    You have written:

    “The Vedas speak of 4 varnas…and varnas were fluid, not determined by birth”

    Your assertion needs to be substantiated with proper evidences from dharmashastra. The ‘Vedas’ to which you refer actually endorses the contention that varNa is only by birth :

    braahmaṇo ‘sya mukham aaseed baahoo raajanyaḥ kritah |
    ooroo tadasya yad vaishyah padbhyaaṃ shoodro ajaayata || Rigveda 10.9

    In all authentic ved commentaries of this mantra (even that of the Arya Samaj), this mantra verifies that varNa is by birth alone, not as you have opined. “Shudro-ajAyata” means “the shUdra is born” or in Hindi “Shudra utpann hotaa hai”.

    In this mantra the word defining kshatriya varNa is “rAjanya” which according to Nirukt this word means “raaja-putra”, so a person is a kshatriya by virtue of his birth as a “king’s son.”
    Kindly please do not mislead Hindus with wrong interpretations. The vedacharya are there to guide us on such matters.

    “Hindus need NOT go on the defensive when ‘caste system’ is thrown at them.”

    This is bound to happen when they are confused with misleading interpretations. They should seek authentic guidance from our jagadguru shankaracharya not ponga pandits. (neem hakeem khatre-jaan).

    “To greet the sun makes more sense than turn your back to him claiming, he is only a ball of helium.”

    Most respected Madam, you are confusing the physical entity of the sun (piNDa) which you describe as ‘a ball of helium’ with its adhiShThaatree devataa, Soorya dev. Kindly note that Hindus offer Pooja/tarpan/arghya to the latter not the ‘ball of helium”.

    “I wonder when scientists come to the conclusion that the oneness of all, which they have already discovered, is conscious, too.”

    Infrared rays and ultraviolet light cannot be seen by the naked eye yet they exist. Similarly scientists use a rubric which is for science and cannot be used for evaluating dharma. Just as a Hindi dictionary is useless for interpreting Japanese. Yes, there are many scientific benefits to be gained by following dharma, such as shauch (hygiene).

    “While the clergy of both dogmatic religions maliciously denigrate Hinduism, the Hindu clergy does nothing of this sort to the dogmatic religions”

    The true Braahman does not need to do this. One learned Braahman can silence lakhs of mullas or padres. “Hindu clergy” would do Hindus the greatest service by protecting the true seed of dharma and it will flourish anywhere and endure as it has done since Brahmaa created their ancestors.

    “Hindus don’t even mention unacceptable claims by those religions which are in the public domain, like ‘Hindus will burn in hellfire if they don’t convert’. Why don’t Hindus do it?”

    An elephant treads its path unperturbed and ignores the dogs who bark at him. He knows that they cannot prevent him from reaching his destination…

    1. An elephant treads its path unperturbed and ignores the dogs who bark at him. He knows that they cannot prevent him from reaching his destination…

      With all due respect, such attitude is arrogance. What if instead of dogs, it is poachers that are hounding the elephant? Having studied anti-Hindu forces, I can assure you that they are poachers, not dogs. They have caused immense harm, both physical and psychological, to Hindus, and continue to harm us. The fact that Hindus have gotten weaker over this time, only increases the damage done by their attacks.

      I am sure you have read/watched Ramayan. Ravan was powerful, worshiped Lord Shiv, and officially had the title of “Shiva’s greatest devotee”. Despite this he got annihilated in the war with Sri Ram. People think this was because Ram was incarnation of God and hence was somehow more dear to Mahadev.

      But that is not the reason why Ravan lost. Sri Ram never said he was incarnation of God. Ravan lost because he was arrogant and refused to see that Ram revered Mahadev just as much as he did. It is his arrogance that caused his total destruction.

      There is a lesson for us here. We should NEVER forget that God loves our enemies just as much as He loves us. For this reason we need to stop being arrogant. We need to stop seeing anti-Hindu forces as dogs and start seeing them as poachers, and we need to act accordingly.

      1. Thank you. Great analogy.

    2. I forgot to mention in my previous post that the reason why Sri Ram won the war against Ravan is because he was not arrogant and did everything that needed to be done for the war effort. He was as much a devotee of Lord Shiv as Ravan and people told him that he was incarnation of God, yet he did not act like it somehow made him special and could skimp on war preparation.

      We need to be like Sri Ram, not like Ravan.

      1. rama5678 · ·

        Though he may not have boasted as God the fact remains Rama was God incarnate and took birth to annihilate Ravana.

  18. Mitra Vinda · · Reply

    Well Hindus are too blame partly for not taking up a deep study of their religion and sanskrit and whatever local languages they are born into . They rely only on western translations. For example i know many Krishna Yajur veda students , who look up only the translation of Arthur Berrierdale Keith whenever they want to know the meaning and not the Sayana or the Bhatta Bhaskara Bhashya. This shows how deeply wanting we are in our knowledge that we need to refer to a foreign source. It is not that the translation is bad or something, It just goes to show how our knowledge in our own dharma is so wanting.
    Also many Hindus blame erstwhile dead Indologists like Max Muller or Max Weber, Micheal Whitney(Who wrote a commentary on the Taitrriya pratishakya) etc etc. But nobody ever wrote a rejoinder or compiled or wrote a book against them, If any such attempt is taken up by a person, it is criticized or not funded properly and the person is advised not to go criticizing others. Also most people degrade the majority portions of the Veda as “Just Karma Kanda” as if they understood everything in it and are so bored. Instead taking up hard scholastically sound work and doing the real deal, majority of them prefer the easy way out of going behind some Baba or upanyasaka or swamiji, who knowing the ineptitude of these multitudes of people exploit them to the hilt and misguide them. For example nowadays many people worship Chandrashekara Swami also called as Mahaperiava who was the Shankarachary of Kanchi. If the Vedas are alive and well today it is because of him alone. He exhorted Brahmins very much to eschew the material way of life and take up Vedic studies. But none of his “Bhaktas” today want to do it. Instead they want to give him gold crowns, gold Rishaba Vaahanam etc etc. Unless there is a very very fundamental change in our attitude and we start going back to our source books in whatever languages they are(Tamizh, Kannad etc) and read them and gain knowledge others will accuse us of all nonsense and we will accept it. Basically Abrahamics are using our ignorance.

  19. Mitra Vinda · · Reply

    Also it is not very difficult to see Abrahamics are also rooted in idolatry. For example What is the Christian cross , the crescent or the stars of David if not Idols? Well they may say that they are just symbols of reverence and not worship. One should not fall for these. The following is a list of questions one can ask of Christian Missionaries when anybody encounters them. You can see how easy it is with some simple questions to make them pee in their pants.

    1. Ask a Missionary whether Christianity is a Monotheistic(MT) or Polytheistic(PT). They will say it is monotheistic.
    2 Now ask them why do they consider MT as superior to PT. They will say since they have one savior, one book and one god and there is no confusion.
    3. Next ask if all is so clear why do they have 10153 secs in Christianity worldwide. Also just 250 -300 years ago, Catholics and protestants were at each others throats. For example in England the puritans lead by Olive Cromwell persecuted the Catholics and Mary the queen of Scots persecuted Protestants in Scotland.
    4. With so many sects and each sect calling the other bound for hell fire ask which sect is going to heaven and ask the sect of the guy who is trying to convert you came from. Mostly at this point many guys start to try to escape but do not let go.
    5. Tell them we can change the topic and start questioning on the original sin. You can see the guys face lighting up as he would have been brain washed in this,
    6. Ask him how does such a small act like Eve eating a fruit from the tree of knowledge become a sin? Human beings have forgiven other Human beings for far more grievous sins. The biblical god seems to be whining kid.
    7. Also ask how can such a silly act also called as original sin be propagated over multiple generations of humans for 1000s of years and people who were far far far far removed from Eve be implicated.
    8. Ask how many years have passed by since Eve committed the OS. Many blind idiots who have been brain washed or who have sold themselves will say 4325 or something years. The earth is atleast 1.5 billion years old. Confront them with this data and ask your friendly neighborhood missionary, whether Eve committed this sin roughly some 125000 years after Homo sapiens appeared.?
    9. What about other peoples and tribes outside the middle east who were not aware of this, Why did not god tell them of Eve’s “Grievous” sin?
    10. Ask them what befalls peoples and tribes before the birth of Jesus?
    11 Do they go to heaven or hell. If they go to heaven then everything seemed to be fine and the original sin was not affecting them and they seemed to be going to heaven and Jesus seems to be redundant
    12. If they go to hell it would be unfair since they were not told about it. The Christian god seems to be a monster par excellence!!!
    13. I think our friendly neighborhood missionary (FNM)would have had enough by this time and would want to leave you. Many of them are decent and leave without a word. Others would resort to personal attacks and say that you are hell bound.

    Sorry for a long comment. But this is what happened to me last week and i followed the same steps and my FNM left with an ad hominem attack saying that i was a Christian hater. Though it was he who disparaging Hindu gods at every turn.

    1. Excellent

  20. S Kumar · · Reply

    Respected Smt. Leela Vaadi jee (formerly accidental34)

    Why do you consider such attitude to be arrogance ? If we are armed with true knowledge then we have nothing to fear. Those who live by dharma are protected by dharma.

    Had we implied anywhere in our post that we are elephants or that we can match them ? The illustration with which many of us are acquainted is that we should learn from the elephant and emulate him when facing encounters with such enemies of dharma. The elephant remains focused and knows his own strength thus remaining steadfast.

    Does Shree Krishna not teach us to be karma yogis and like the lotus leaf, although the lotus owes its birth, growth, and sustenance to the water, the leaf does not permit itself to be wetted:

    ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति य: | लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा || गीता ५.१०

    Water poured on the lotus leaf runs off the side, similarly we exist due to society where such dharmadrohi exist, but we should not let them deter us from our goal.

    “The fact that Hindus have gotten weaker over this time, only increases the damage done by their attacks”

    Some Hindus may be weaker due to their own failings to live by dharma, however Sanatan Dharma is becoming stronger and the faith of its followers remains strong.

    Perhaps a major contributor to Hindus alleged “weakness” is that they are being led astray by bogus preachers, armchair experts and the like who twist the dharmashaastra to suit circumstances or their personal agenda.

    “I am sure you have read/watched Ramayan. Ravan was powerful, worshiped Lord Shiv, and officially had the title of “Shiva’s greatest devotee”. Despite this he got annihilated in the war with Sri Ram”

    Respected Mahodaya, we should perhaps determine who Raavan actually was, the reason for his birth and why he was slain by Shree Ram despite being a bhakta of Mahadev and having a blessing of immortality from Lord Brahmaa.

    You will also no doubt have read in our sacred volumes that Raavan and Kumbhakaran were none other than Shree Hari’s dvaarpaal, Jay and Vijay who were cursed by Sanakaadi to be born seven times on earth and to die by the hands of Shree Hari each time. This in turn was so we could behold Shree Bhagavaan jee’s divine avatars and leela here on earth.

    “People think this was because Ram was incarnation of God and hence was somehow more dear to Mahadev”

    And the reason why people think and indeed believe this is the case is because our most revered texts expound this, do they not ? Even the most primitive Hindu amongst us is aware that Shree Hari takes avatar from time to time and undertakes ‘nara-leela’ appearing, behaving, reacting, interacting and conducting himself in a manner akin to a mortal. However possessing human mannerisms does not imply that Shree Rama was not an avatar

    “But that is not the reason why Ravan lost. Sri Ram never said he was incarnation of God.”

    Shree Ram did not need to say he was an avatar. Ramayana itself declares Shree Rama to be the divine incarnation of Shree Hari and ratified beyond any doubt in its own verses:

    विष्णो पुत्रत्वमागच्छ कृत्वाऽऽत्मानं चतुर्विधम्। तत्र त्वं मानुषो भूत्वा प्रवृद्धं लोककण्टकम्।

    अवध्यं दैवतैर्विष्णो समरे जहि रावणम्।।1.15.19-20।।

    Similarly shloka 25,28,29,30 of the same sarga verify the same. There are further verses in Sundar Kaand and Yuddh kaand and we can provide the references if you so require.

    “Ravan lost because he was arrogant and refused to see that Ram revered Mahadev just as much as he did. It is his arrogance that caused his total destruction”

    Ramayana confirms that the power gained by Raavan corrupted his mind and drove him to adharma:

    स हि देवांश्च गन्धर्वान्सिद्धांश्च मुनिसत्तमान्। राक्षसो रावणो मूर्खो वीर्योत्सेकेन बाधते।।1.15.21।।

    Viewed in the broader context of Shree Hari’s nara-leela and what is mentioned above, we should understand that this was simply a means to an end and cannot blame Raavan solely.

    We completely agree that arrogance (ahambhaav) should be avoided at all costs. It is another thing to sit silent and watch miscreants come into our homes, dishevel our dharma and pass it off as ‘Sanatan’.

    1. Respected S Kumar, I am glad to have a response from you.

      There has clearly been much misunderstanding of my post and I realize that it is because of my failure to present my opinion properly. Of course Sri Ram-avatar was Sri Hari’s Nara-leela, and I fully agree that He along with Laxmi, Shesh, Jay, and Vijay, came to Earth so that we can read about their leelas in the books (and watch on TV).

      However, there is a second benefit that we receive from the leelas of God. By contemplating upon the leelas, we learn lessons that we can then apply to our own lives (or outlook towards life). We can learn from watching Ravan’s actions and attitude, and we can also learn from watching Sri Ram’s actions and attitude.

      Ravan was highly learnt and knew what actions were dharmic and what was adharma. But because of his power, his attitude changed. He started thinking that since he was so powerful, he didn’t need to abide by rules and follow guidelines that others usually need to do. That is classic arrogance.

      Contrast this with the actions and attitude of Sri Ram. He was incarnation of God himself, yet did not act like he was somehow special. He abided by all the rules and followed all guidelines. For the war, he asked for (and accepted) assistance from as many people as he could (Sugriv, Vibhishan, etc) even though he could do everything himself. Even though He was special (avatar of God), he was humble.

      The lesson to be learnt from noting the above, is quite obvious.

      So what has this got to do with the analogy of dogs barking at elephants. Dogs cannot actually harm elephants. The most they can do is bark. So of course the wise elephant ignores them. The enemies of dharma however, are not as harmless as dogs. They can do great harm to Hindus and Hinduism (and actually do). We should NOT be like Ravan and think that we don’t need to do anything in response to this. We are not special. We need to follow everything dictated by dharma in this situation.

      You said, “Those who live by dharma are protected by dharma.” I fully agree. But what should our dharma be when we are facing attacks (both direct and stealth) from such enemies. Our dharma is to counter them. Only then dharma will protect us.
      ————-

      By the way, it is Shrimaan Leela Vaadi. My name is not Leela. “Leela Vaadi” is a Hindi noun that I use for my user-name here and on my Google page.

      What does Leela Vaadi mean? It is simply another term for Karma yogi. Just as a person who believes in terrorizing others to get his way is called “aatank Vaadi”, and just as a person who follows Mao’s communist doctrine is called “Mao-Vaadi”, similarly the person who believes that we are in this world to do our leela (as per Karma yoga teaching of Gita) is called Leela Vaadi 🙂

  21. Swamiji · · Reply

    Ms Wirth has finally accepted the fact she is from the RSS. This proves that she accepts RSS ideology which grew in the 1930’s as a German, Wirth would readily accept the glorification of Mussolini and Hitler by Hindu Maha Sabha -RSS.
    Wirth should then accept Hitler’s definition of Indians as sub-human and Hitler then went on to say Indians were better under the civilised British rule. This is why Syam Prasad Mukerjee of BJP opposed the Quit India Movement but Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru was gracious enough to include Syam Prasad Mukerjee in Free India’s Cabinet as a Minister.?
    Ms Wirth would then condone the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Godse a Hindu Maha Sabha supporter ?
    Ms Wirth I have earlier mentioned seems to be peddling lies to the already initiated, “thali bajanawale” without any basis, just by saying “great, Great” does not make India great. It is self-delusion. I would like Ms Wirth to be a homemaker and not dabble in these serious matters as a dilettante. Manu said that the main role of women is to produce children which the RSS supports. Today a young girl of 5 has been raped by 2 men, is this what religion teaches ? You will then put the blame on Abrahamic religion !
    But RSS does not believe in what Gandhi said, be the person you want to be. You are acting as the Pied Piper of Hamelin
    Coming down to the fact the Ms Wirth keeps quoting Voltaire, please get your facts right instead of parroting slogans. Fact of the matter is the French translation of Yajur Veda included a dialogue of 2 Vedic sages who agreed on the “monotheism’ of Hinduism which was given to Voltaire in September 1790 which Voltaire went gaga over, this was not the original Yajur Veda !!! and you are going “gaga” over too about Voltaire who got a “naqli” translation.
    I do not accept true lies that does disservice to any religion including Hinduism

    1. Folks, please read the above post by Swamiji to see the effects of buying cheap ganja.

      1. I see his comment only now. Wow, and he calls himself ‘Swamiji’.
        Not worth to reply. He surely is not in his right mind, I agree with you, Leela Vaadi.

  22. […] article was originally published on Maria Wirth’s blog . It is being reproduced with the author’s […]

  23. Manoj Choudhary · · Reply

    Maria ji, another fantastic article as per usual.
    I find that we both have similar understandings of history. Hinduism was founded in the 19th century by Britishers who wanted to unify the native existing traditions of the subcontinent and more importantly ridicule it. It is 100% true that Vedic knowledge and influence reached as far as the shores of Britain to the islands of Indonesia and that it was gaining power, so it had to be prevented and made to look inferior. Though there are many ways by which they did this, there are 3 most important (not in any specific order).
    1) Finding and mistranslating texts such as Manusmriti and using it to govern over the Hindu populace, dividing them and enforcing caste and untouchability. India is critcised on a daily basis for having ‘caste system’ and untouchability, but if it was even half as bad in colonial days as it is today, then why did the British not abolish it once and for all? Why allow it to be as it is? This is a question to think about.
    2) Pushing for division of Hindus and Muslims. In 1857 the British were shocked to see both Hindus and Muslims fighting together against their oppressors, this could not happen again otherwise they would be overthrown. After WW2, British were not going to leave India without leaving a mark. Using their political pawns, the Muslim League and Jinnah, they created the idea that Muslims can’t live together with the Hindu majority in peace, thus the birth of East and West Pakistan, dividing a nation into 3 parts which we still see today. In reality, Muslims would have been safe and not treated as second class citizens in India, but as equals. The creation of Pakistan was thus a humiliation for Hindus and India.
    3) After the creation of ‘Hinduism’ in the 19th century, The British immediately associated it with idol-worship, caste, dowry, and polytheism to make it seem inferior. They spread this understanding of Hinduism across the world, successfully preventing Vedic knowledge from gaining more influence while attracting missionaries to India in order to evanglise the Hindus, who they saw as the last group of pagans that had not yet been converted. Hinduism was held in the same regard as the religions of pre-Christian Europe, and it was sidelined among world religions, with the same reputation standing today.
    Today however, the problem seems more to be Hindus themselves more than the foreign forces who work to convert, destabilise, and prevent India from becoming successful. It is due to lack of unity among Hindus that Hinduism is bashed on an international scale and often humiliated. If Hindus unite, forgetting whatever difference they may have, India will be great in every aspect as it once was and Hinduism will continue to thrive.
    Thank you very much Maria ji.

  24. One of the forces that poses a serious threat to Hinduism today is Leftism. For now the international Left concentrates on attacking Christianity and the west, and spends only a small fraction of its energy against Hinduism. When I say “west” I mean Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, all the lands dominated by people of white race including their dominant religion Christianity.

    Now before any of you anti-west, anti-Christianity Hindus become all elated, be assured that once the Left is done defeating the west, they are going to come after Hinduism with their full might. Hinduism is highly individualistic and liberty-conscious, and hence is an enemy to the Left.

    Eventually China will also be a target of the Left. Even though China is a communist country, the culture of chinese people is fairly individuaist and capitalist, which the Left hates. However, the very fact that China is communist puts it in a strong authoritative position to repel the Left’s attacks, and so it is going to be very difficult for the Left to defeat China. They will come for the easy target first- the democratic India.

    No, I take that back. The target is not India, the target is Hinduism.

    I can already hear people asking “Leelavaadi, how do you know all this?”

    There is a saying that if you want to catch a thief, think like a thief. If you want to think like a thief, you will have to know everything about a thief. Well, I happen to know leftists down to the synovia in their bones. I know everything that goes on in their brains. I know what they think and how they see the world. This is why I know what they are going to be doing once they are done conquering the west! 8) 😎

    Unfortunately, it is not sufficient that only a few Hindus like me know the Left. The elites among the Left are highly educated, have lots of money, are quite influential in the public sphere, and most importantly, have a zeal so strong that they dedicate their entire lives towards their leftist causes. This makes them at least as dangerous to Hinduism as the Islamists. Combine this with the fact that almost all of the Left is friends with Islamists. This makes the Left-Islamist cabal multiple times more powerful. Think of Raavan and Mahisasur colluding to create an ‘axis of evil’ and attacking Hinduism together, and you get an idea of the threat that the Left-Islamist cabal poses to Hinduism. Actually it is worse. Raavan highly respected Lord Shiva and Mahishasur worshiped Lord Brahma (even if just to get the boon). The Left-Islamists respect neither!

    There is no way that a handful of Hindus would defeat the Left. Therefore, as many Hindus as possible need to know the left like the back of their hands.

    Do not underestimate the Left because the worst thing that Hindus can do is to underestimate their enemies (and underestimate their zeal). Everyone who cares about dharma needs to know the Left as much as I do (or better) and take appropriate action to defend Hinduism (our religion and our culture).

    Below is a link to a recent article that talks about American leftists, especially progressives. It gives a fairly decent description of who the Left is, what their worldview is, and a rough idea of their reach, and capability. (For those who don’t know, “progressives” is a western term for modern militant Leftists.)

    The Leftists that pose threat to Hinduism are going to have the same worldview and same mentality as described in the article. There is lots more to know but this article is a good start to understanding what makes the Left tick. So good luck-

    https://thefederalist.com/2018/06/15/masterpiece-cakeshop-case-proves-americas-state-religion-leftism/

  25. So I posted my previous comment barely 24 hrs ago and already an American ‘progressive’ is [indirectly] threatening violence against people in the US govt. He says “The U.S. had thousands of domestic bombings per year in the early 1970s. This is what happens when citizens decide en masse that their political system is corrupt, racist, and unresponsive. [By “citizens” he obviously means his group.] The people out of power have only just begun to flex their dissatisfaction. [Now wait, who has been out of power for a year and half in the US? The Leftists, that’s right.] The day will come, sooner than you all think, when Trump administration officials will look back fondly on the time when all they had to worry about was getting hollered at at a Mexican restaurant.”

    [Link to article: https://splinternews.com/this-is-just-the-beginning-1827099100 ]

    The political situation in the US has deteriorated a lot in the last 10 years. The man who wrote this article blames Donald Trump and his supporters but the fact is that it is the Left (his own side) who is truly responsible for it. This is similar to how in India, the people who claim to support the lower-castes, themselves are the ones keeping the caste-system alive (via their aggressive support for Reservation system), yet they blame Hinduism for it. (Ulta chor kotwal ko dante.)

    Unfortunately the western Left is quite a bit more dangerous than the caste-reservation lndian leftists. It is very important that we (Hindus) start building our defenses already. Do not let the Left flourish in India. Nip them in the bud. Of course we can do that only if we can tell which people and ideas are ‘leftist’ ideas. In addition we would need to contrast them with Hindu ideas and know why the Hindu ideas are better. It obviously takes some time to learn all this. We will have to learn and proceed one step at a time.

    In my previous comment, I posted a link that gave some idea of who the western Left is. Those who read it now know that for all practical purposes, [western] Leftism is a religion. You also learnt that Leftism is a modern form of Marxism, an ideology propounded by Karl Marx in the 19th century.

    Here is another short comment by Rami Sivan, a Hindu who posts on Quora, that explains Leftism from a slightly different angle. I decided to post it here because it only helps to better understand the ideology we are facing.

    “Cultural Marxism analyses society in terms of power, exploitation and oppression. [According to it,] In every society the majority are, by default the “oppressors” and the “privileged” and the “exploiters” – the minorities are by default the “victims”, the “oppressed” and the “exploited.”

    So Christians and Muslims [in India] must be supported and nurtured to bring about a cultural revolution to provide equity (equality of outcome) for everyone. Regardless of the fact that both these religions are triumphalist and are striving for dominance not equity and equality.”

    [Link to Rami’s post: https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Indian-communists-oppose-Hinduism-but-support-Islam-and-Christianity/answer/Rami-Sivan ]

  26. If you’ve read all the four Vedas, I’ll be happy learn some philosophy about life that they’ve taught apart from – sacrifices, rites and rituals. As for the caste system, you should read a book called Manusmriti, if you haven’t already.
    And one more point, Hinduism is not a typical religion but a set of cultures practiced in India. If you’ll try to understand the reason why Asceticism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism took birth in the same land where Vedic Religion or Brahminism was so predominant and flourishing, maybe you’ll understand the truth that life is much more than just finding Gods in stones and sing prayers in their glory.

    1. mystical · · Reply

      Perhaps you should try to meditate as the yogis and saints did thousands and thousands of years ago, then you will understand this whole life as it is. You will now the truth. It is wonderful that you love to read about scriptures, but try and meditate, you will understand those scriptures more.
      Peace and blessings.

  27. “ If you’ll try to understand the reason why Asceticism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism took birth in the same land where Vedic Religion or Brahminism was so predominant and flourishing, ”

    Flyawayria, do you think we were born yesterday and never tried to understand those things? The reason why independent religions took birth in India is precisely because Vedic religion or Brahminism was predominant and flourishing. The Vedic Religion ALLOWS for freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, and freedom to practice it all. Try starting a new religion in Pakistan and see what happens. (Don’t actually try this. They will chop your head off before you turn 19. Simply study the condition of Hindus, Christians, and Ahmadis in Pakistan, and you will know. Read this article from yesterday- https://www.mangobaaz.com/ahmadis-are-once-again-being-targeted-because-of-this-verdict-of-the-high-court/ )

    “…. maybe you’ll understand the truth that life is much more than just finding Gods in stones and sing prayers in their glory.”

    How cute and sarcastic. I saw your wordpress page where you were dissing the Vedic religion. Well guess what? Stone worship did not come from the Vedic religion. It was pre-existing in India. The Vedic Hindus accepted it from the pre-existing culture because unlike you, they saw value in it.

    What value is there in looking for God in a stone, you ask? Since you live in India and have access to the Internet, you should spend time and study this yourself. But today is your lucky day so I’ll save you the trouble ↓

    There is indeed God in the stone, but people don’t see it. The stone represents the human heart. This ‘heart’ doesn’t mean the human organ that the medical doctors call a “heart”. No, it is what the artists call ‘the heart’. In the romance movies the hero says “I love you with all my heart.” It is THAT ‘heart’. God lives in that heart but humans have very hard time seeing it because the human ego covers the heart and this ego is hard like a stone. Humans have very difficult time seeing through their ego. So we pray to God so that S/He helps us see through our stone-hard ego and helps us see the divine that resides there.

    Hopefully you will not again joke about finding God in stone. Hopefully you will see God in your ego-hard stone of a heart, and when you do, you will know without anyone needing to explain to you, why people sing prayers in the divine’s glory.
    ————————-

    Also, I saw your wordpress page. You are an 18 yr old who has been fooled by the communists to join their ideology. Ria, on this website you are dealing with people who have been studying religions and political ideologies longer than you have been alive. Doubtful if the communists ever told you, but here is the tally of people they killed in the last 100 years alone. (Source: https://scottmanning.com/content/communist-body-count/ )

    The Chinese communists, under Mao

    38 million

    The Soviets, under Stalin

    20-25 million

    Germany, under the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (aka the Nazi Party)

    6 million

    Combodia, under Pol Pot

    3 million

    North Korea

    2.5 million

    The total count of those killed by communists reaches almost 150 million people, which is second only to the 270 million killed by Islam followers.

    So Fly away, dear Ria, and spend some time sitting on some high tree branch until you realize that you have been lied to about Communism and Hinduism, most likely by the very people you trusted.

    BTW, you are correct to say that the truth in life is more than simply singing prayers in God’s glory. But communism is not that truth! Fly right back here from that tree to learn what the truth in life is. You will learn a lot here, starting with learning about your own real Self.

  28. I know your question was rhetorical, but to give a precise answer I can relate to you and your audience a recent experience in dealing with anti-Hindu agitators in America. A rabid right-wing Christian theocrat and his Christian fanatic friends have teemed up with extremist Sikh seperatists in California and have published some anti-Hindu books, also hold rallies to get statues of Mahatma Gandhi removed, and also make websites and youtube videos dedicated to anti-Hindu polemics, including the harassment of Hindu politicians in America with hateful lies and denunciations. Right now Tulsi Gabbard is feeling their hate online. The question is: why are the putting so much energy into it? Both the Christian extremists and Sikh extremists have come together to attack Hinduism together in America for what appears to be financial reasons. To me it seems that this group of people are trying to rile up hatred of Hindus in order to gain notoriety within their respective communities with the true goal of gaining donations as “defenders of the faith.” So, money is one reason why Hinduism is being denigrated.

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