This has long been an observation of mine, and it is also possibly the reason why many Hindus veer to another religion – only because he or she “understands” what’s going on.
The Hindu has been brought up with more of Cultural Values instead of Spiritual Values.
Many Hindus know exactly what to do at a temple or a prayer. They know precisely which direction should the lamp be rotated in front of a deity, and at which degree too. They are apt at displaying a person in penance, and some can be seen rolling on temple floors, literally. And they understand the story of “Ramayana” as a play to be performed or watched or heard off or read (only).
Through all these observations and practices, yet, does the Hindu know exactly what is going on? Has he seen even a glimpse of God or understood his purpose in life through all these activities and sacrifices?
The Hindu has been brought up with noise. Lots of noise. At our prayers, at our weddings, at our celebrations. We have heard the sound of instruments and chants in a language very, very few of us know (Sanskrit), and this is the way we were taught to worship God – through activities and noise.
I thought in my youth, “this is all too noisy to reach someone as peaceful and calm as God”. Sure, I did not know who God was at that time, but the sound of “God” itself sounds calm and peaceful and quite contrary to banging drums and ringing bells. And this is why, I believe, many Hindus opt to embrace a different religion, only because the values of that religion is explained to a Hindu in plain and simple English. A language he or she understands.
In fact, the great Buddha became famous only because of the “language” he used to speak life’s doctrines to the masses. He spoke the language the masses in India understood at that time, which was not Sanskrit (Sanskrit was spoken by only a few) – it was “Pali”, and since people could “understand” what Buddha was saying, he created a following that we see until today. Immense!
The book in the photo of this blog belongs to a Hindu. It is Christian teachings of God realisation – it is in English. Separately, sometime back I met another Hindu who was preaching to me the purity and beauty of the teachings of Rasool. Oh yes, I concur with the teachings of Rasool as pure, divine and beautiful. Indeed, all spiritual teachings are good. But, I think that that Hindu could cite such a name and teaching only because it was explained to him in English previously.
Hence, we see here a pattern.
The Hindu has been always hungry for some kind of Spiritual Knowledge that he or she could properly ‘sink his teeth’ in. In other words, properly and coherently understand some spiritual knowledge or literature that are explained to him or her in plain and simple English.
There is no knowledge or values imparted at the temples. No one explains to us, in English, why are we all here, what makes our real identity, how do we counter sorrow, and how do we live happily? This is why we go to anyone who seems to have these answers and trust them blindly, without knowing that the Hindu himself was given this great Knowledge of Life directly by Godhead Himself – in Sanskrit, English, German, French, Indonesian, and many other languages. And there are many teachers all around the globe who can teach a Hindu all about his religion and purpose on earth – in simple English language or in a language the seeker understands.
Great Spiritual Knowledge that guides a man safely and peacefully through the turbulences of life has been available to the Hindu for the past millions of years. They are known as the “Vedas”, which is timeless and endless. There is so much to learn about why is a human being on earth, what he or she is suppose to do here, and how to exit sorrow in his or her life. But fortunately there is a ‘summarised’ version of the great and limitless Vedas – it is called the “Bhagavad Gita”.
The Bhagavad Gita is the “essence” of the great The Mahabharata and Vedas, and is available in every corner of earth, along with teachers who can explain or teach the meaning of life from it. The Bhagavad Gita exists as “The Manual For Life” or, as the saints call it, “The Scripture For Mankind”, and we can read this book in English. The Ancient Hindu Scriptures were originally in Sanskrit, but now the wisdom of these great Scriptures has been translated in many languages around the world. The Gita is recorded as the top selling book of all time. You can have a good understanding of it through my book, Life At An Ashram In India.
It was through this realisation that I saw a gap, and thought that I should close that gap for the sake of the young Hindu, who may be searching for some “literature” to “read” and “understand” his or her purpose on earth. Any of my books will show him or her the path – they were written exclusively for the seeker who loves to read and introspect on its great and divine teachings that shall lift the spirit of anyone who reads them, leading him or her to eternal joy on earth.
– Joy Nandy