your mail

Prashant Sharma psharma at BUPHY.BU.EDU
Mon Jul 27 13:19:19 CDT 1998

I assume that Shri Giridhar has similar views to the ones expressed in
this article from the newspaper.  I will take the liberty of adding my
comments to it.

On Sun, 26 Jul 1998, Giridhar wrote:
> This situation has become so bad that even the soft spoken newspaper 'The
> Hindu' has to say the following...
> -----
> It is amusing to read articles written by NRIs, who often take the
> liberty of preaching Hinduism (and Advaita, Karma) to the Indians
> here.
>         When the non-resident Indians speak of 'their' version of
> Hinduism to the so-called 'ignorant' and 'pitiable' Hindus who
> live 'here' in India, one becomes a little uneasy. A majority of these
> people, from the early years of their education, start nurturing
> the dream of migrating to the land of bounty (the US in most cases)
> for better material prospects.
>         They leave their motherland with the sole objective
> of fulfilling their material ambition, which itself is the antithesis
> of the true practice of Hinduism. They do not want to be in the
> 'ugly' land of snakes, cowdung and stinking villages. They do not
> want to identify themselves with the unclean and foul-smelling
> common folk of this country. They want to be hygenic, clean and
> economically high-placed.

        This is a social problem that has nothing to do with religion at
all. Who doesn't want to be hygienic, clean and economically well-off.
Does "Hinduism" preach that a man should not be any of these?

>         To wash off their 'guilt complex' and feel emotionally
> secure admist their riches - which, at times, alienates them from
> their cultural roots - they would like to have, as a cosmetic touch,
> a little of religion, the Indian classical dance, music, ethnic food,
> festivals and other cultural items. They build ostentatious
> places of worship to visit either during weekends or during times
> of distress. They liberally donate to temples in India or themselves
> construct temples over there.
>         Hinduism  is protected and preserved by the common folk of
> this country...The latest challenge to them is not globalization
> and liberalisation, but also the attitudes of the NRIs, the impact
> pf which is devastating on Hindu culture and traditions.

        It is indeed amusing to read this paragraph. sanAtna dharma has
the intent and the capacity to protect the human being from the falsity
that the mind creates. And now the "followers" of the "Hindu" dharma are
so righteous and so great that they will protect the dharma from being
harmed. Personally, this is a ridiculous attitude that has lead to as much
"harm" as its absence might have done.

>         First we have to become rightful insiders to understand
> the subtlelities involved in religion. Only then we will have a
> right to criticize. [A]

        Perhaps the only sensible thing written in this article.

>         If we start denigrating the inconvinent things of Indian
> culture, which do not tune to our intrepretation, we may ultimately
> reach a stage where we may be compelled to eliminate even some of
> the most creative portions of our literature.

        Notice that nobody talks about improving the situation, of
removing inconveniences so that culture can flourish. They all talk about
 some doomsday predictions.

> -------------
> It is not that I am not guilty of the above (i.e., sacrificing the
> spiritual for the material) but then I do not wantedly misinterpret
> Shankara to suit my tastes. If shankara says that physical renunciation is
> necessary for moksha, so be it. It is so. I may disagree with Shankara but
> it is HIGHLY improper to say 'Shankara said so because it was his prarabdha
> to say so. It is my prarabdha to deny His greatness without any logic or
> reason.'
> For those of you who are happy with the prarabdha theory, do not get too
> angry and yell at me or Ravi (for allowing such posts on the list), just
> think it is my prarabdha to post such things and pray to God (if you have
> such prarabdha, of course).

        Sometime ago an article from the Hindu was submitted to the list,
for perusal of course.  I remember the issue of copyright violations
coming up then, and it being recommended that no such articles be posted
on the list. I just hope that Shri Giri's posting doesn't fall under that


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list