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Thread: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

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    From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Namaste,

    Let us take America for example, what makes this country great to live in, is that various cultures and various religions are all able to live peacefully. There is absolute freedom in every way to practice your religion, and your lifestyle, the way you want to live it.

    Isn't this kinda a role-model or a lesson at large to people to have 'the right set of attitude towards others, especially those that are different from us'?

    I understand and absolutely concur with the notion that Hindu way of living extends strong moral support, inculcates discipline and provides enough guidance to live a peaceful life and also make progress towards spiritual upliftment.

    But, whether we like it or not, we live in a diverse world. Not everyone here is ready for the austere Hindu way of life as prescribed in scriptures.

    It stands to say clearly in this case, that just like we do not push 'vegetarianism' onto anyone who is unprepared, we also need to understand that we should not preach others to live out (their) lifestyle, the way 'we see it perfect' -- is it not?

    As long as others of this world do not deviate culturally, socially, politically -- into being people that are doing wrong acts that might bring harm to others in many ways -- we are in no position to dictate them what is right from what is wrong, isn't it correct?

    If the above is not a given, then what is finding 'Unity in Diversity' -- in your terms?

    By the above question, I am looking for the correct definition of how you would define this term -- if you are interested to reply, kindly indicate what is finding Unity in Diversity, and when or what circumstances you seem fit for preaching others to act as per what seems right to you.

    EDIT: Your responses will largely help me educate myself.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Viraja
    Last edited by Viraja; 12 October 2016 at 08:18 PM.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Just to give a little 'something' to ponder about, before anyone is tempted to reply -

    To me, the right form of respect is not to tell someone - 'Hey, I believe you have the right to exist'.

    The right form of respect that we can give to others is - 'Hey, I believe in you and what you are able to contribute'.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Namaste Viraja,

    I can write very big statements and invoke moderator's attention, so putting short and sweet. In a nut shell unity in diversity is not plausibleas well as impractical because to establish "unity in diversity" we end up becoming fanatics and irrational.

    Please do not compare it with a police officer using harsh methods to establish peace. UID is just a myth. We have lived in group(s), our history inform that to us.
    Last edited by Anirudh; 13 October 2016 at 12:56 AM.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Namaste Viraja,

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    Let us take America for example, what makes this country great to live in, is that various cultures and various religions are all able to live peacefully. There is absolute freedom in every way to practice your religion, and your lifestyle, the way you want to live it.

    Isn't this kinda a role-model or a lesson at large to people to have 'the right set of attitude towards others, especially those that are different from us'?

    I understand and absolutely concur with the notion that Hindu way of living extends strong moral support, inculcates discipline and provides enough guidance to live a peaceful life and also make progress towards spiritual upliftment.

    But, whether we like it or not, we live in a diverse world. Not everyone here is ready for the austere Hindu way of life as prescribed in scriptures.

    It stands to say clearly in this case, that just like we do not push 'vegetarianism' onto anyone who is unprepared, we also need to understand that we should not preach others to live out (their) lifestyle, the way 'we see it perfect' -- is it not?

    As long as others of this world do not deviate culturally, socially, politically -- into being people that are doing wrong acts that might bring harm to others in many ways -- we are in no position to dictate them what is right from what is wrong, isn't it correct?

    If the above is not a given, then what is finding 'Unity in Diversity' -- in your terms?

    By the above question, I am looking for the correct definition of how you would define this term -- if you are interested to reply, kindly indicate what is finding Unity in Diversity, and when or what circumstances you seem fit for preaching others to act as per what seems right to you.
    The best example of Unity in Diversity is Hindu way of life. In Hindu Dharma :
    a) If you worship Lord Vishnu as the supreme, no issues. You are welcome !
    b) If you worship Lord Shiva as the supreme, no issues. You are welcome !
    c) If you worship any other God or any devata or a tree or anything ... no issues. You are welcome !
    d) If you worship Nirguna Brahman ... no issues. You are welcome !
    e) If you worship in temple ... no issues. You are welcome !
    f) If you worship Allah and you want to do in Mosque, no issues. You are welcome !
    g) If you worship Jesus and you want to do it in Church, no issues. You are welcome !
    h) If you are an atheist, no issues. You are welcome ! We respect your choice.
    i) If you want to wear clothes draped from head to toe, no issue. You are welcome !
    j) If you want not to wear clothes (as NAgA BABAs), no issues. You are welcome !
    k) If you want to eat meat, no issues. You are welcome !
    l) If you want to be totally vegetarian, no issues. You are welcome !
    m) If you want to meditate, no issues. You are welcome !
    n) If want to sing and dance, no issues. You are welcome !
    o) If you want to have a wife, no issues. You are welcome !
    p) If you want to have many wives, no issues. (May not be that welcome !!)
    q) If you don't want to marry at all, no issues. A Brahmachari is most welcome !

    ... so on and so forth ...

    ****************
    Yes, there are problems too in Hindu society and I am not ignoring them but by and large, the freedom that Hindu Dharma gives, is really commendable. In all its diversity, there is remarkable unity !

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Namaste Devotee,

    I respect your views in general, but, don't agree with you here because I am unable to understand what you mean "You are welcome !". Should I welcome some one who is organically** motivated to destroy me, just asking?

    Yes, there are problems too in Hindu society and I am not ignoring them but by and large, the freedom that Hindu Dharma gives, is really commendable. In all its diversity, there is remarkable unity !
    I would be glad if you had added that freedom brings GREAT responsibility with it. Sadly, we don't care about the responsibilities.


    ** I found that word very catchy as one in the recent past used it to defend a particular position which was very funny to say the least
    Anirudh...

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Namaste Anirudh,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    I respect your views in general, but, don't agree with you here because I am unable to understand what you mean "You are welcome !". Should I welcome some one who is organically** motivated to destroy me, just asking?



    I would be glad if you had added that freedom brings GREAT responsibility with it. Sadly, we don't care about the responsibilities.


    ** I found that word very catchy as one in the recent past used it to defend a particular position which was very funny to say the least
    What you say is right. What I wanted to say is that Hindus don't mind the diversity within the great and vast Hindu Dharma and in spite of all differences shown above in my post, we still say, "We are Hindu". We don't force others to follow what we think is right. We accept people the way they are unless it starts hurting us. See, except in India, there is hardly any nation where people from all Dharmas are welcome ... please mark the word, "welcome" ... I didn't use "tolerated". Other Dharmas try to tolerate other religions but we accept them as they are.

    Yes. Hindus have been hurt due to intolerance shown by others ... even those who were welcomed by the Hindus in spite of their differences in faith and ways of life. But when anyone hurts us, there are doctrines within Hindu Dharma to neutralise him/her effectively. Bhagwad Gita was preached by Lord Krishna for this purpose.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Namaste Viraja,

    I can write very big statements and invoke moderator's attention, so putting short and sweet. In a nut shell unity in diversity is not plausibleas well as impractical because to establish "unity in diversity" we end up becoming fanatics and irrational.

    Please do not compare it with a police officer using harsh methods to establish peace. UID is just a myth. We have lived in group(s), our history inform that to us.
    Anirudh ji,

    Ha haa... me and my husband believe in vastly different things from you... we are total believers of 'Unity in Diversity'.

    For instance, my husband all the time watches American movies in TV. In spite of being in the US for long, I still feel the cultural divide when watching some movies and become disinterested. Not so with my hubby, he watches all the time. When I questioned him one time, "how come he is ok with the scenes and does he not feel he is watching people who are behaving and talking incorrectly?" (like for example, the Bachelorette show where the female star kisses everyone who proposed to her on their mouth). Whereas my husband replied, "This is a different culture, different mental-makeup, different karma and different rules -- you cannot and should not expect everyone to be like you. If they act in one way, their role-models and their society is made-up that way and they are the ones who face consequences - not you or I. So let us not talk about them!".

    My thoughts lately have been largely influenced by my hubby's. I just recently watched a video where 2 cats were given 1 single bowl of milk. Both were trying to drag the milk bowl to their side and consume it. The minute one cat dragged the milk bowl and started licking the milk, the other cat would immediately drag it to its side, and would start licking it too! This was non-stop. I feel that given the necessity for all to co-exist and shares the world's wonderful resources, we would all behave like these cats only... each competing for the resources in our own way and claiming only we have the rights to it and only we are correct. Whereas what makes us human is not giving into feeling or thinking such thoughts, and agreeing that what makes the world interesting is its diversity - very much!

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    Namaste Viraja,



    The best example of Unity in Diversity is Hindu way of life. In Hindu Dharma :
    a) If you worship Lord Vishnu as the supreme, no issues. You are welcome !
    b) If you worship Lord Shiva as the supreme, no issues. You are welcome !
    c) If you worship any other God or any devata or a tree or anything ... no issues. You are welcome !
    d) If you worship Nirguna Brahman ... no issues. You are welcome !
    e) If you worship in temple ... no issues. You are welcome !
    f) If you worship Allah and you want to do in Mosque, no issues. You are welcome !
    g) If you worship Jesus and you want to do it in Church, no issues. You are welcome !
    h) If you are an atheist, no issues. You are welcome ! We respect your choice.
    i) If you want to wear clothes draped from head to toe, no issue. You are welcome !
    j) If you want not to wear clothes (as NAgA BABAs), no issues. You are welcome !
    k) If you want to eat meat, no issues. You are welcome !
    l) If you want to be totally vegetarian, no issues. You are welcome !
    m) If you want to meditate, no issues. You are welcome !
    n) If want to sing and dance, no issues. You are welcome !
    o) If you want to have a wife, no issues. You are welcome !
    p) If you want to have many wives, no issues. (May not be that welcome !!)
    q) If you don't want to marry at all, no issues. A Brahmachari is most welcome !

    ... so on and so forth ...

    ****************
    Yes, there are problems too in Hindu society and I am not ignoring them but by and large, the freedom that Hindu Dharma gives, is really commendable. In all its diversity, there is remarkable unity !

    OM
    Namaste Devotee ji,

    Wow! That was very interesting and very thought-provoking! I agree fully and thank you for this wonderful reply!

    With good wishes,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    Vannakkam Viraja

    I agree wholeheartedly with Devotee. I think the phrase 'unity in diversity' expresses the Hindu's love for humanity despite differences. I'm not really sure who coined the phrase, but I suspect it was in a response to the overly simplistic universalism saying, 'All religions are the same' attempt at unification. So when our wise ones noticed this blending, and recognised it was just too simplistic, not to mention incorrect, the phrase was coined to counter it, but in a loving way. So it means real tolerance of differences. Here in Canada we have a long-lasting policy of multiculturalism. In my city each summer we have a festival called Heritage days where nearly 100 different cultures set up booths in a large park to show off our diversity, yet our unity.

    The local food bank uses it as a major food drive. The 'unity' aspect is in the fact we can all be there together in one place, and the food bank shows that everyone is human, we can all bring food to our fellow man. The diversity aspect is more obvious ... the diverse music, the dances, the food, it's all educational and quite wonderful. Nobody is going on about how their culture is the best, etc.

    But I also understand that some people, some groups, forever stuck in the mindset that we're better than everyone else, or 'I'm smarter than everyone else', won't participate. It's like at interfaith forums where some groups can't even show up because of their strong righteousness. Sad, but still a stage in the journey from ignorance (mud) to enlightenment. So we tolerate that too, but from a larger distance.

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    Re: From a 'dharmic' stand-point, what is 'Unity in Diversity'?

    EM ji,

    Very nicely put.

    But in fact, to tell you what I exactly meant when I started this thread is more to do with the cultural and social basis of things.

    To give an example, White American kids start dating early -- they date their age-mates and peers while still in their teens. This is not a cultural taboo for them. Whereas in our Hindu culture, any dating or courtship isn't correct.

    So at any point, should we --

    i) Tell White Americans that Hindu way of having arranged-marriages is only correct?
    ii) Feel internally that only our way of living is right?

    To be honest with you, most people would not do point i) above. Whereas, they might feel point ii) is correct (including myself -- until a little while ago).

    But then, offlate I do not feel even point ii) above is correct.

    I feel that god has created people with different mental-makeup, mindset, karmas, that he has made provision for everyone to live out their life, by forming appropriate societies.

    So the right way to think or act is, not feeling even internally that only my culture is right (as in feeling, "not to date" is the right choice), but instead feeling, "God has given me birth in Hindu society, in India. To me, not to date is correct. But to a White Westerner, he or she is born into different set of values, for him/her, dating is appropirate and let me not feel that their culture is inferior in any way to mine!".

    So this what I would like members to pay their attention to, in this thread -- the cultural values, the social norms...

    Thank you for your reply.

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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