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Thread: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

  1. #1
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    Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste all.

    I am a white westerner who lives in Europe and apologise for my low english.

    I used to be a gaudiya-vaishnava until about a week ago...now,although I still worship only Lord Krishna and still recite Hare Krishna maha-mantra,I am an advaitin-smarta and consider my-self a "generic hindu" instead of a vaishnava.

    Since I am not anymore interested in the "saving souls business"(unlike gaudiya-vaishnavas,for example ISKCON's followers),I am not anymore interested even in making a good impression for the sake of preaching.

    Hence I would not care if someone found strange the fact that I do not shake hands with him/her.

    Now my question: as a hindu,should I never shaking hands with others?

    Pranama,
    Orlando
    Om Sri Kalikayai Namah

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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Dear Orlando


    Shaking right hands is an age-old welcome and farewell ritual. It has its origin in presenting the empty weapon hand to the opponent.


    Other terms are ‘to lend a hand’ - ‘to give a helping hand’ - ‘hand of friendship’ - ‘hand of brotherhood’.


    I am also a Westerner from Europe … with all the love to India, I respect our traditions too.


    There was a time when I enjoyed to attract attention by being different, acting like a Hindu, trying to be like an Indian … meanwhile I got over it. When I am with Europeans, I am European.


    And don’t forget - to refuse the handshake is an offence. Especially towards women!


    What should Krishna have against it? There are so many pictures where He is hugging someone. Amma is hugging the world. Can there a handshake be wrong?


    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

  3. #3
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste,

    Sorry to barge in on this conversation between European White Hindus; but it is painful to watch.
    When the purpose/meaning/aim of life is spiritual development; why let ourselves be bogged down with trivial things?
    I would think that we should be focused on the ultimate goal and not be sidetracked by meaningless distractions.
    If you want to hug people when you meet them, go ahead and hug them; if you want to shake hands with them, do it; if you want to greet them with a namaste and hands clasped together, do it. But as you must have already noticed, going against the cultural norms of where you are, makes you stand out and sometimes you are considered odd and are disliked by others. Why make a big fuss about it? Let it go and stay focused on your 'sadhana' for the ultimate prize.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste,
    I stand by what Believer said above. Focus on your goal of God Realization / Self Realisation.
    Stop wasting time over non-issues like this one.

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 06 August 2018 at 04:13 AM.
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste

    I apologize for causing pain to a high evolved soul that is no longer touched by everyday trivialities.

    Hinduism is, like every religion, full of do’s and dont’s. And, as in every religion, it threatens punishment of a God in case of noncompliance.

    Gaudiya and ISCKON brought it to perfection. If you get in touch with this community your life is completely bound by instructions, rites, dietary rules and so on - all to please Krishna.

    For some Europeans, like me and may be Orlando, coming in contact with Hinduism creates an excitement. One wants to become the perfect Hindu. I have overcome this phase.

    Orlando seems to be on the way reconsidering stupid regulations in the name of God.

    Good luck Orlando! Keep on and become free!

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

  6. #6

    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste

    Conventions should be respected but not fixed. There will always be some issues in cross cultural synthesis, as long as the motive is synthesis then the unconventional consciousness will manifest. We learn we grow, we let go we expand.

    Harih Om

  7. #7

    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste

    If there is willingness to discuss this could really be a good topic to identify the limitations of form and concept and how we label things and get stuck in definitions of the I am, all things can be broken down.

    There is no issue with conventions, the issue is if we give them fixed definitions and hold on to them. It seems that discussion is not going on here very much. Conventions act as guidelines to freedom. Some rules and regulations are there only as props for consciousness to expand and break free from them, but if they are there as guidlines to freedom then they should be maintained with some wisdom beyond any extreme. And then inject that freedom back into the conventions, cultural expression and even laws of society.

    India lover what you say is true about ISKCON, but not totally, there is a lot of freedom that devotees have by following guidelines, the institution has to be upheld for expansion, we only hope that the institution builds up some wisdom, there is a saying among devotees that all the intelligent people have left, I think this is an extreme view.

    I am in communication with some western Buddhist group, its hard work, they think that somehow the suttas become real when translated into a dead language, rather than see suttas as maps to free consciousness into a new realm, although I dont mind, I am willing to test the metal on anything, if the metal is tested just like gold then we find the real value. But there needs to be a structure and methodology to know how to really refine all gross elements out of the testing. Many people are weak minded due to wanting some identity and be transfixed in it, there is a certain security in that, but its limited and temporary and if held onto with to much attachment when natural change comes which is the essential nature of phenomenon dukkha is increased both within and without.

    Due to lack of cross cultural awareness, which is not just a one sided coin, there are many things that Hindus are not aware of due to not understanding the conditions of the west and will judge the west, and there are things within the dharma of Sanatana Dharma that are more natural for Hindus that people in the west are not aware of, communication is key, essence of love is to listen and work through things for a better way of life. I have fought against all conventions all my life but always respected guidelines even if they are sometimes hard to follow. I still have the tendency to fight against fixed views and fixed conventions, I dont have plans to give this up, only to be more wise in how I do it, how can we just sit by and watch everything go to hell, there is much contemplation to have and rely on non conventional sources that are free from conventions, but then work through conventions without attachments.

    Balance, patience, willingness to learn, accepting our faults and limitations, to build up communication powers is essential in the world that we live in, if that is lost then more divisions are built up. If we can give up attachments and be more lucid while respecting conventions then we are on our way to experiencing more boundless way of living. If others want to limit and punish us it is their;s only, they only imprison the externals and cannot see clearly, they are fighting shadows, essence is totally invisible to the kings of mind and sense consciousness.

    I have travelled alot, and even in my day to experience I try to keep a lucid pattern. If I go in a shop and the man is hindu I will greet him namaste and have a chat about India and its natural flow and greet and depart with folded hands. If I go in Muslim shop I will greet the person with assalamu alaikum and their culture is to shake hands, I will shake his hand and have a chat and all is good. If I go into an English shop the greeting is alright mate, alright guvnor and a wink and nod is there for equal connection. No need to get stuck in the conventions, be lucid and open, it opens channels and powers in awareness for true unity and awareness expands.

    If the I am gets stuck in nama and rupa then problems arise. I am Hindu how can I shake hands with a muslim, or I am muslim how can I great and English guy with alright mate, division then arises, tensions build, the set conditions of I am become more transfixed.

    If someone holds there hands out or is their custom to shake hands then shake their hands, if its with folded hands reply in same way. The profound is always in the most simple, but dealing with the complicated and transfixed states is the problem.


    Consciousness is not limited to nama and rupa, not defined by conventions but can find freedom within this whole mass of confusion.

    Harih Om
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 07 August 2018 at 06:59 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by Indialover View Post
    I apologize for.....
    No apologies were expected/needed and none should be offered. We have seen Orlando many times in the forum over the years. I don't know about others, but my concern was about his slow progress which in many cases makes the aspirant get frustrated and quit the path. He is a fine young man who is not getting proper guidance and getting sidetracked with issues that really don't matter. Orlando, as always, best of luck and good wishes for your spiritual progress.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Vannakkam all ... It can be quite disconcerting to go outside of your own upbringing/culture. I have difficulty with hugging personally. It's just too close, in my space. In Mauritius, because of the French influence, that side to side fake kissing thing is incredibly common. In 3 months, I never did get used to it. I prefer a stand back 'Namaste'. Indian born Hindus, a few years back, needed training on handshaking in the west, as they didn't hold their hand firm enough, and amongst western future employers, it came across as soft and weak. I think that's probably changed now.

    Aum namasivaya

  10. #10
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    Re: Should I totally avoid shaking hands?

    Namaskar!

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    He is a fine young man who is not getting proper guidance and getting sidetracked with issues that really don't matter.
    Actually this is my problem: I don't have the possibility to meet an enlightened self-realized guru(spiritual master).

    Pranam
    Om Sri Kalikayai Namah

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