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Thread: Hallelujah Hindus!

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    Hallelujah Hindus!

    Who'll be singing carols and reading the Nativity story on Christmas Eve this year? Many American Hindus.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Hind...For-Jesus.aspx

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    Who'll be singing carols and reading the Nativity story on Christmas Eve this year? Many American Hindus.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Hind...For-Jesus.aspx

    Vannakkam Sahasranama: It would be interesting to me to see the statistics involving the % of Hindus here in America (and Canada somewhat) who are directly involved with Vedanta Societies that do this. The word 'many' could me misleading as I think it suggests 'a significant percentage'. Here in my town the local Vedanta Society consists of about 4 families. I'm not sure about elsewhere. Certainly many Hindus don't celebrate Christmas at all. It's not done in any way at the temple I go to.

    Aum Namasivaya

  3. #3

    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Though I can not speak for native Indians who make this decision...I can speak from one with a similar issue.

    Everything here in this culture is geared towards the holiday season. My husband's only days off are the christian holidays...the mail won't even run here...and Walmart shuts down. Walmart!

    It's like the end of the world.

    Add to this my love of Santa, I openly admit I love the children's holy spirit of giving called Clause. Not this commercialized version with the newest Xbox tucked under his arm...but the being who loves children despite race, religion or location.

    So I am a Santaphile, always have been. I am the acting Santa in my home so I know the job well.

    Here we sing non christian carols like rudolph the red nosed reindeer, frosty the snow man, jingle bells... I'll be home for christmas.

    Because I simply do not believe jesus ever lived...he's some sort of harry potter for the christians. Give humanity 400 years or so and they will begin digging up all these copies of harry potter in our own ruins and they will immediately assume it's some mystic text which was long ago forgotten.

    It's the way of our world.


    I make holiday cookies, we open presents...all while Beloved Shivaya watches us from the wall above. Vishnu, Shiva...all on the center table in my meditation room. They will not move aside for the holiday tree.

    I won't lie, I wish I could trash the tree...and this whole tradition my family had adopted when my GG Grandmother was forced to convert.

    It's hard. But, I think about Santa, and his love of children and it keeps me going.

    This year, I would like to go to the Hindu Temple on Xmas eve with all my children. It's my goal. They seem very up to this as they also do not believe in jesus. The holiday is the holiday and "happy holly days" suffices.

    I remember as a child the jehova's witnesses would be sent out into the hallway on Halloween and xmas...even valentine's day. It was very sad to me, I was a godless child by then...not christian and did not yet know Beloved Shivaya's name. I would go out into the hallway and sit with them. We would talk about anything but the party going on inside.

    Years later, those girls are still my friends...they both left the JW church oddly enough.

    Perhaps it started on that long ago hallway, when the children were shown compassion despite their parents choice to outcast them to the hallway. Perhaps it was these moments in the hallway which made them doubt their parents all the more?

    This is the main reason I allow my children to be a tree in the holiday pageant, and they have a cupcake and koolaid during the holiday parties. I make vegetarian cranberry noels for those parties. My children will never sit in the hallway.

    I have to raise them strong enough to know that the sleepers will try to convince them that they are the crazy ones for worshiping the "Blue guy".

    If they are strong...no amount of carols will change the truth which has sprung into bloom within their hearts.

    So they smile and accept the token stocking stuffed with crayons and candy from their classmates and it's "Happy Holly Days" for all.
    Last edited by NayaSurya; 15 October 2010 at 01:54 PM. Reason: ya know:P

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by NayaSurya View Post
    Walmart shuts down. Walmart!

    It's like the end of the world.

    I actually laughed out loud. Once upon a time on a flight into La Guardia, my new friend, the guy sitting beside me on the plane, observed with similar glee, "Hey look, there's a MacDonalds. New York must be okay after all."

    Maybe if enough of us Hindus wrote to WalMart complaining, they'd keep it open. I'm sure the Mexicans could use the extra bucks. Maybe ... maybe not.


    This year Boss and I depart for India on Dec. 25 itself, so Yes, I'll be celebrating that day. Hopefully the people on said flight west of here won't spontaneously break into carolling. I'll just drown them all out with my very off tune version of Namashivaya bhajans.


    Aum Namasivaya
    Last edited by Eastern Mind; 15 October 2010 at 07:11 PM.

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Well then...my job is done

    You really do have to keep a sense of humor about it.

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam Sahasranama: It would be interesting to me to see the statistics involving the % of Hindus here in America (and Canada somewhat) who are directly involved with Vedanta Societies that do this. The word 'many' could me misleading as I think it suggests 'a significant percentage'. Here in my town the local Vedanta Society consists of about 4 families. I'm not sure about elsewhere. Certainly many Hindus don't celebrate Christmas at all. It's not done in any way at the temple I go to.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Probably the percentage of Hindus isn't that large, but there will still be many. This article is describing a new trend among Hindus, yogis and vedantins.

    I have no problem if people want to pray to Jesus, but they should refrain from redefining existing religions according to there own standards. There are two problems here.

    1) Universalists take the right to redefine Christianity. In their words, the Christian religious rituals are called Churchianity, while the Universalist practice is real Christianity. This is the objection a Christian could make.

    2) Universalists also take the right to redifine yoga and vedanta. This is not described in the article, but universalist will often say that Hinduism is full of dogma and that yoga and vedanta belong to people from all religions, even claim that these are pre-Hindu, pre-Vedic or pre-Brahmanic practices which were spread all over the globe in ancient times. They will also bring Christian morals, like suffering to Hinduism. This are the objections a Hindu could make.

    I thought it was interesting to read about the problems of Universalism from the perspective of Christianity and see that their problems with the universalist mentality are similar to ours.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 15 October 2010 at 03:48 PM.

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    Probably the percentage of Hindus isn't that large, but there will still be many. This article is describing a new trend among Hindus, yogis and vedantins.

    I have no problem if people want to pray to Jesus, but they should refrain from redefining existing religions according to there own standards. There are two problems here.

    1) Universalists take the right to redefine Christianity. In their words, the Christian religious rituals are called Churchianity, while the Universalist practice is real Christianity. This is the objection a Christian could make.

    2) Universalists also take the right to redifine yoga and vedanta. This is not described in the article, but universalist will often say that Hinduism is full of dogma and that yoga and vedanta belong to people from all religions, even claim that these are pre-Hindu, pre-Vedic or pre-Brahmanic practices which were spread all over the globe in ancient times. They will also bring Christian morals, like suffering to Hinduism. This are the objections a Hindu could make.

    I thought it was interesting to read about the problems of Universalism from the perspective of Christianity and see that there problems with the universalist mentality are similar to ours.
    I do not attempt to redefine Christianity, I simply look at the good contained within the faith and make sure to give it credit and reverence.

    Universalism seems to get a lot of flack here on the forum. As a student of Vedanta I simply see Universalism as an aspect of non-dualism. Since all is Brahma then all is within Brahma and all is created by Brahma. No aspect of the universe is with out his authorship. Who am I to Judge other faiths that may be as valid as mine? My master dabbled in all faiths and saw not that they were equal but that they lead to the same place. Do I believe our Dharma to be the best and most fulfilling path? Yes. Is it the only path? I believe not.

    This thread also seems to issue a distaste for the Ramakrishna order. It seems like there is some equation that combines universalism with western Hindus. My master, who teaches of universalism, was fully Indian and trained by Totipuri, who was a initiate of Dashanami Sampradaya, the direct lineage of Adi Shankara.

    Universalism is truly just the acknowledgment that all is equally an illusion and the only truth is Brahma.
    May the Supreme Spirit illumine us!

  8. #8

    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Though perhaps others here would be issuing such a call, I would like to say, for at least my part this:

    I know all is Shiva...there is no doubt about this. But, some beings, be they Christian, Hindu, Jew, Atheist are undoubtably sleeping.

    They muck around this world making money, raising a family and maybe going to their secular church. They look to their left and watch what the man sitting next to him puts into the donation tray and adds that plus 5$.

    They get a new car every single year, despite the previous one being perfectly fine...and they come to my door with a musty basket filled with Chick Flicks and try to get me to their church. A family with 8 kids is like gold to them. In one act of "kindness" they could draw in a family which would fill the church in just a few years time. They hunt large animals and gut them open upon the hood of their car displaying them proudly. Then park that car in front of my car filled with my little children.

    They are sleeping. Not aware at all. Just as those children I spoke of yesterday. I know them, I live with them...I greet them every afternoon as I wait for my children to come off the handicapped bus.

    There's nothing to judge here, how can you judge one who has just begun? The problem is there are certain factors within the christian church that see India and Hinduism as a very ripe place for conversion. They begin with adding Jesus to the list of dieties and then pretty soon...he's the only one left.

    If you go to the christian sites online they have whole segments of tutorials on how to convert certain religions. When I was researching cultures I found a site dedicated to converting Aboriginal people of Australia with christian hymns translated into their native tongues.

    So folks are nervous when you begin adding jesus to a list of Beings which hold the truth nestled in their loving Beloved Arms.

    All is Shiva, but one would have to admit that some things are very much blindfolded to this fact, as we once were. Things that can harm us due to this confusion.

    Let me put this in the only way I know how...in terms of my own experience.

    It's fall time here right now and the bees...they are very confused. They swarm and get angry very quickly. See, they are ready to die...or hybernate depending on their type and age...and they are dangerous.

    One time my children were playing train on a large aluminum ladder and an entire nest of bees swarmed them.

    The bees are not lesser beings, not evil, nor stupid...or bad. But, they are confused and they can hurt you, if not given a wide berth.

    I think mostly this is why folks want to give other religions a wide berth. Especially those known to cause harm.

    I truly wish no ill feelings towards any guru and beliefs. Ultimately I do very much agree with you and I try very hard to be compasionate to every living being.

    Lastnight I had a dream. There were snakes everywhere...all over everything. One put it's head on my foot. It was a rainbow serpent that shimmered beautifully with a aqua blue shimmer. It had hundreds of razor sharp fangs in its mouth and I went to pick it up and it moved it's head towards me. I became scared so I yanked at it and it bit me very gently.

    So I angriliy grabbed its head and moved its own body into its field of striking. It bit itself. But, this bite hurt me horribly, worse than even the first bite...it hurt me so bad it caused my heart to have an episode and I woke up screaming.

    For to hurt myself is one thing...but to hurt another hurts me a thousand times worse.

    I believe this is a lesson of a lifetime. Even the most dangerous of creatures should be given compassion and a very wide berth.
    Last edited by NayaSurya; 14 February 2011 at 07:56 AM.

  9. #9

    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    I suppose it's probably very evident that I spent a portion of this lifetime sleeping.

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    Re: Hindus for Jesus - Stephen Prothero

    Quote Originally Posted by NetiNeti View Post
    Universalism seems to get a lot of flack here on the forum.
    Vannakkam NetiNeti: This may be true, but what are the reasons? For me personally, it is because of the confusion it causes. Not so much for adults who can see from some sort of higher advaitic level, and practice at the same time, but for the learners, the children.

    Example: Family is on the way to temple.

    Son: Appa, if all religions are the same, as you say, why do we have to drive 20 miles across town to be at the temple? Why can't we just go to the church across the street from home? I noticed a nice looking building closer too. I think its called a mosque. Why can't we go there? It's closer. I won't get so tired.

    What would you say to him?

    Which is it, heaven/hell, or reincarnation? Were animals put on the planet for us to eat like the Christians say, or is it ahimsa?

    What do we say? Son, its up to you to decide?

    I just think it is far less confusing to follow a path, a sampradaya. Kids are too smart and are able to figure things out so quickly. They cognize unclear thinking much faster than anyone might think. Then what happens? They go off into wanderland and begin to think religion of all sorts is just stupid.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Last edited by Eastern Mind; 15 October 2010 at 07:10 PM. Reason: sp

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