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Thread: Dear European Hindus, Friends

  1. #1

    Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Pranam-s & Namaste,

    Dear European Hindus, what/how is the situation of Hinduism* in your European country? Politically? Economically? Socially?

    I would like to engage in a discussion with the noble European Hindu community that is ever present here on HDF (if I recall, correctly, a lot of the Western members on HDF are from Europe, right?) regarding these questions.

    If not, I'm very sorry to have put all of you in the spotlight. But, please understand that it is only out of love for my European Hindu brethren and sisters. And, out of curiosity. I would like to acquire first-hand [cyber] accounts of European Hindus on how Hinduism is being taught, received, practiced, etc. in Europe [in your respective country] currently. Is the spread of Hinduism being religiously and/or politically challenged by political or social organizations in your European country of origin? Etc.

    I did, what seemed to me, a lot of side-research regarding these questions, but I remembered that the most fruitful way for me to receive and understand these inquiries would have been to ask my European Hindu brothers and sisters themselves. So, here I am.

    Please help your American brother out, por favor.

    *any sect and sub-sect of Hinduism, be it Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakta, etc.

    EDIT: Important Trivia Question: Are any of you from France? France has one of the most famous underground hip-hop circles. I love French Underground Hip-Hop, especially the instrumentals. It's legendary.
    Last edited by Sudas Paijavana; 16 November 2013 at 06:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Namaste Sudas Paijavana

    I can not give you detailed information about this but I can say what I have heard about this in my country.

    There are various groups of people interested in Hinduism here on the one way or another. Sometimes it's through transcendental meditation and yoga schools and courses. In fact they are telling people that it is not a religion, but that's just a technique of meditation and exercise for people of any religion or even for atheists. I suppose they do not present any philosophy to people if they see that practitioners are not interested. Only to the most advanced they give Yoga Sutras to study etc.
    I can not remember the details but about a decade ago or so, one group wanted to built a school or academy, something big and expensive, large center, but authorities have not given them permission.
    There are other groups that are not only a school of meditation or something, but are real branches of the Hindu schools of Yoga, karma yoga, this and that yoga, some sampradaya etc, I can not exactly enumerate because I do not know the details. They have their teachers and gurus who are famous in the world and traveling around the world and sometimes stop by my country and gather followers. So it's not typical only for my country but has a global character.
    All these groups do not have many followers, but have their own literature and if you go to the library you can see some of their books there. For example Book by Svami this and that, ... etc.
    About Vaisnavas I heard that there's just some Gaudiya groups, among them Iskcon is the greatest. They started in the early 1980's. About a decade ago I heard that they have distributed around a couple of million Srila Prabhupada's books only in my country. Others are not neither far from this number, actually much less than Iskcon. This is because Iskcon is a preaching movement and their mission is to distribute a lot of books. About that I remember some anecdotes. I heard that in the USA they tend to go to a place such as an airport or similar, I heard LAX, and here they used to go to the railway station or something. Many times I have seen people in front of the railway station with a book of Srila Prabhupada in hand. They hold luggage and one of the Iskcon books they have just purchased. You can not even imagine how it looks funny when you see this. Thus not only my countrymen get a book, but also many people who travel in and out of my country abroad also get a book. Who knows which countries these books get into with these traveling people.
    I remember once on the TV years ago in our version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? game show, a host asked a player to introduce himself, to say something about himself. A player said I am doing this and that and I read Rig Veda.
    I heard that some of our celebs or some of the people known to the public such as some singers, actors, poets, TV hosts and journalists etc are interested in Hindu dharma and they probably read some books about it, some of these people are sympathizers of Iskcon.

    regards

  3. #3

    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Pranam-s,

    Hehehe. Yes, I can surely imagine how funny it must look, with a heavy luggage in one hand and a Gita in the other.

    And, the guy from Croatia: Who Wants to be a Millionaire is very smart guy for reading Rig Veda!

    I'm sorry to hear that a building project was cancelled by authorities, but hopefully something develops in the future.

    I made this thread to hear about personal experiences from European Hindus, and also because I love gossip.

    Dalmatia is part of Croatia, correct? Is it really as beautiful as they say? I would love to go to Dalmatia, Croatia one day and perform a small yajna there for well being of that country and its people.

    How is the socio-political scene regarding Croatia and Her neighbors?

  4. #4

    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Namaste sadhakas

    This body is American, and this brain learned about Brahman in the heart of America, in the
    1970`s a Hindu temple was set up by wright state university a popular college many Indians attend.

    It is the only temple I've been to.
    Its a smart a temple, and has a vaishnava bra in, and a shivite bramin .

    They teach the principles of Hindu ethics and morality, they teach purity and simplicity.

    They refuse to stick to one philosophy or even speak about it unless you get to know them well.

    But the common teachings passed around by devotees are;

    All the gods are pictures of the one True God
    The Guru is God, not a human being

    All is one, all is God.

    But only an ignorant fool calls his limited form God

    Yet God is found everywhere, even inside humans. To know yourself is to know God, to find yourself is to find the real Genuine God almighty.

    The philosophy is taught by the shivite priest, it is Advaita.
    While all the Bhakti worship is controlled by the vaishnava priest
    The temple has obviously been influenced by the Sinks who use the Hindu temple in absence of a Sink temple. And so God is always seen as monotheistic but is expressed through many deities or faces of God.

    Gods manifests in this world as nobility and virtue, yet is all(I don't think they really thought that one through)

    They get along by teaching the doctrine of acceptance, all paths lead to God and the worst sin is fighting over ideology, what is important is that we all pray together at sankirtan

    Many people Indians and westerners alike practice some form of Neo Vedanta, as they have no gurus around to teach them a traditional method yet is practiced in conjunction with orthadox ritual worship of lord Vekateshwara(and his aspects, all the other deities) Shiva is God-consciousness, Devi is Divine energy. Rama is Gods incarnation as a jnani in the yoga vasistha, and Krishna is the supreme "personality" of God(as in when we pray to an anthropomorphic God it is best that it is him)

    Essentially with the mix of shivite siddhanta , guadiva vaishnava,, and universalist advaita.

    America is a melting pot, and American Hinduism has developed under the influence of Vivekananda,Ramakrishna, parahamsa yogananda, and bhaktivedanta prapuhada.. or basically by mixing Neo Vedanta and Iskon


    This little me treats these priests like Gurus because they initiated my spiritual journey this mind was lost in the darkest dark ness of delusion... but they always reply "I am not the Guru, only God is the Guru"

    They pointed me to God, to the one true God, that is all gods.
    It is hard to express that kind of prema bhakti, that temple is a slice of India, I renounced everything eveen the idea of renouncing. During the summer stay at the temple four nights a week and sleep by a dhuni.
    But nothing is hard when you have God to wrap up in. The temple is an incarnation of God, the priests are incarnations of God, the devotees are incarnations of God. For the price of devotion this deity called temple will feed you nuts and fruits non-stop.

    The rest of the Hindu doesn't even matter, because God can be found right here, right now. That temple is its own self contained universe. The secrets of Brahman do not come from anyone but God, therefore I accept this new form of initiation, who needs to go to a Himalayan cave when temple is right he here by this body in America.
    Last edited by the sadhu; 27 November 2013 at 09:55 PM.

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    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Namaskar.

    In the United Kingdom, Hinduism may as well not exist. As with most other places Bhuddism is far more popular. I've conducted primary and secondary research and in general there are more hinduism/spirituality resources emerging in the USA. I'm not taking size into consideration though. Of course UK is a small island. Furthermore - most people are ignorant to the fundamentals of hinduism including our own people, so how will the surrounding people of other faiths and backgrounds understand? They think it is a faith with millions of gods with multiple heads and arms and that we beleive people reincarnate as insects and so forth. The typical stereotypes. Abrahamic faiths also tend to spread propoganda, for example the temple where mice run free, and many other misinterpreted scriptural references and occurences. Every single Atheist I've engaged in conversation about Hinduism has had a indifferent/negative outlook on it, when I actually explain its function and movement they seem to find a natural affinity towards it. The poor information flow is the worst thing plaguing Sanatana Dharma.

    Regardless, Hinduism exists, but the state is childlike & poor. The only thriving community is ISKCON, that too, quite small.

    EDIT : How can I forget how I was taught Hinduism in Religious Education in school - Innacurate & poor. I couldn't dispute the points then because I didn't know myself. Quite pathetic. The caste system was passed off as a fact, bad memories. The cycle of information that is regurgitated for Hinduism is many times very poor, especially with the abrahamic misconceptions. That individual was Christian, I'm sure he had external influences. However he eventually learned accurate information about Sikhism (essentially a hindu school of thought) and liked it! Oh, what a odd paradigm. There needs to be a reinvigoration of Vedic culture in the correct manner some way or the other.
    Last edited by IcyCosmic; 29 November 2013 at 04:09 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Namaste
    Quote Originally Posted by Sudas Paijavana View Post
    Hehehe. Yes, I can surely imagine how funny it must look, with a heavy luggage in one hand and a Gita in the other.
    Just imagine, holding luggage and then standing and watching the book, rotating it all around and just watching and watching ...
    I've seen this many times.

    And, the guy from Croatia: Who Wants to be a Millionaire is very smart guy for reading Rig Veda!
    I suppose he is your godbrother.

    Dalmatia is part of Croatia, correct? Is it really as beautiful as they say? I would love to go to Dalmatia, Croatia one day and perform a small yajna there for well being of that country and its people.

    How is the socio-political scene regarding Croatia and Her neighbors?
    If you're interested in that socio-political stuff you can read about it on Wikipedia. Recently we have become member state of the European Union.

    Our coastline is divided (if I remember the geography lessons correctly ) into 3 regions: Istra peninsula (the northernmost part of the coast), Kvarner (south of Istra), and Dalmatia (farther to the south). We have 1185 islands scattered along the coast.
    If you want to get some insight into this I recommend you to google a bit, even videos on youtube you can find.
    See eg: http://www.mediatravel.tv/?lang=en
    http://www.mediatravel.tv/page.asp?cID=128&lang=_gb

    regards

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    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Quote Originally Posted by the sadhu View Post
    The philosophy is taught by the shivite priest, it is Advaita.
    While all the Bhakti worship is controlled by the vaishnava priest
    The temple has obviously been influenced by the Sinks who use the Hindu temple in absence of a Sink temple. And so God is always seen as monotheistic but is expressed through many deities or faces of God.
    You mean Sikh, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by the sadhu View Post
    But only an ignorant fool calls his limited form God
    Yeah, and only an ignorant neo-Hindu can make a comment like...

    Quote Originally Posted by the sadhu View Post
    Namaste
    Quote Originally Posted by the sadhu View Post
    Just to push the envelope a bit. How is dvaita philosphy viewed as legitimate? It appeared centuries after Advaita and vishishtadvaita. What is Hindu without yoga, non duality is the liberating aspect of Hindu dharma.

    Dvaita was proposed after the Muslim invasion, and Christian missionaries, and there is really no reason to believe that dvaita is anything but an Abrahamic version of hinduism expounded in the 13th century.
    Madhava was convinced against the teaching of the Vedas yet kept its outer husk as Vishnu devotees....

    Anyway, just for giggles, perhaps you might want to watch the following:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KXidr0z1RY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja86AkbxQLQ
    Last edited by yajvan; 27 December 2013 at 06:40 PM.
    படைபோர் புக்கு முழங்கும்அப் பாஞ்சசன்னியமும் பல்லாண்டே
    May your pA~nchajanya shankha which reverberates on the battlefield, last thousands upon thousands of years...
    http://archives.mirroroftomorrow.org...anchajanya.jpg

  8. #8

    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Namaste lol sorry I write on a smartphone so spellcheck changes some of the words. sihk turned into sink.

    How very enlightened trying to insult people, anyone who insults people they don't isn't worth listening to, they obviously have no understanding of Dharma as Yama or positive conduct is a sign of a yogi. insults are not impressive to anyone

    If you want to debate dvaita or advaita then you can provide historical evidence to support Whateva claim you make
    Our emotions cloud our judgement
    "Names and forms are like bangles and braclets and Vishnu is like the Gold." - Adi Shankara

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    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Quote Originally Posted by the sadhu View Post
    Namaste lol sorry I write on a smartphone so spellcheck changes some of the words. sihk turned into sink.

    How very enlightened trying to insult people, anyone who insults people they don't isn't worth listening to, they obviously have no understanding of Dharma as Yama or positive conduct is a sign of a yogi. insults are not impressive to anyone

    If you want to debate dvaita or advaita then you can provide historical evidence to support Whateva claim you make
    Our emotions cloud our judgement
    Vannakkam: For future reference, it's Sikh, not Sihk. Just so you don't insult anyone.

    Aum Namasivaya

  10. #10

    Re: Dear European Hindus, Friends

    Quote Originally Posted by the sadhu View Post
    If you want to debate dvaita or advaita then you can provide historical evidence to support Whateva claim you make
    Our emotions cloud our judgement
    Namaste,

    No please don't debate in this thread; this thread is for European Hindus (not American, nor African, nor Japanese, nor Indian, nor Central Asian, etc.) and about the state or condition, growing or not-growing, of Hinduism in Europe. Please stay on track. Thank you.

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