What Hindu Dharma is ‘Lacking’

There seems to be some “defect” in Hindu Dharma, because worldwide, it is clearly not as respected as Christianity and Islam. Hindus struggle to get a fair representation for Hindu Dharma in the media or in textbooks whether abroad or even at home.

This is hard to understand, because Hindu Dharma has the best philosophical basis of all and is in tune with modern nuclear science. It acknowledges that the essence in all is consciousness (spirit) and shows practical ways how to realize this one spirit as true. It is therefore even in tune with the ever growing tribe in the west who say “I am spiritual, not religious”.

When Bharat was ruled by Christians and Muslims, it was understandable that those in power promoted their religion as the best and denigrated the ‘primitive native religion’. But today, when there is an open market of ideas, why is Hindu Dharma still getting a rough and very unfair deal when it actually deserved the highest respect, and how can this be changed?

One fine morning I realized what Hindu Dharma is “lacking” and how this could be rectified. Hindu Dharma would finally be on the same footing as Christianity and Islam.

It is simple.

The ancient rishis had left out only one important sentence after passing on their insights. This one sentence obviously makes all the difference whether a religion is respected, powerful and keeps gaining followers or whether it is demeaned, ridiculed and loses followers.

This sentence is:

If you don’t believe what we tell you, the supreme Divinity will throw you for all eternity into hellfire.

Let’s imagine Maharishi Vyasa, after compiling the Vedas, had added this sentence: “Whoever does not believe in the Vedas as the only truth, will be thrown for all eternity into hellfire by Brahman himself.”

Or after writing the Mahabharata, if he had added “Whosoever does not believe that Sri Krishna is the only true mediator between man and Brahman, will burn eternally in hell”.

Or if Valmiki, after writing down the teaching of Guru Vashishta to Prince Rama, had added that Vashishta alone is the true guru and whoever does not believe it will end up in hell.

Or even today, if Mata Amritanandamayi for example, who has several miracles to her credit and an unparalleled outflow of love, would claim that she is the only indigenous daughter of god and who does not believe it, will be thrown into hellfire forever…

If this had happened, Hindu Dharma would not be the underdog. It would be on the same level with the respected religions. In fact, the newcomer religions probably had little chance to come up, because Hindu Dharma was there ages before them and it could have easily declared those newcomers as inexcusable heretics that need to be put to death.

In fact, not all is lost. Since the Bible and the Quran were written down after Jesus and Mohamed had died and several earlier versions were discarded, maybe Hindus still could amend their sacred texts?

In case it is not clear, of course I am not serious.

But it struck me one morning that the respect for dogmatic religions is based on irrationality and how easily it could be corrected if Hindus would chose to be as irrational and if they would back up –this is an important ingredient – their irrationality with blasphemy laws. Hindus could take part in the one-upmanship of “only we are right” and threaten those who dare to dissent with death.

Actually, it is not so much irrationality but cunningness, because those who made those claims of eternal hell for outsiders in all likelihood did not believe it themselves. It could not possibly have come from Divine inspiration but is driven by worldly power.

The rishis in contrast were truthful. They were not cunning or irrational, and Bharatiyas – all Bharatiya – can be proud of them.

But pride is not enough. Present day citizens of Bharat need to take care that this irrationality does not eat into their society because it will lead to its downfall. It is not difficult to find examples for such societies.

Dharma finds expression through people who stand up for it and if necessary fight for it. Adharmic forces need to be called out and challenged.

It seems, on this world stage, a Mahabharata war is always on, in all ages. Yet ultimately, at a higher level beyond the dichotomy of good and evil, all are absorbed in the one eternal Brahman from whom all has originated.

There won’t be a huge cauldron of fire where billions of human beings will burn for all eternity. This claim by both Christianity and Islam does not deserve respect. It deserves ridicule.

By Maria Wirth

This article was originally published on Maria Wirth’s blog . It is being reproduced with the author’s consent.


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About the Author

Maria Wirth
Maria Wirth is a German and came to India on a stop over (that’s at least what she thought) on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University. She visited the Ardha Kumbha Mela in Haridwar in April 1980 where she met Sri Anandamayi Ma and Devaraha Baba, two renowned saints. With their blessing she continued to live in India and never went to Australia… She dived into India’s spiritual tradition, sharing her insights with German readers through articles and books. For long, she was convinced that every Indian knows and treasures their great heritage. However, when in recent years, she noticed that there seemed to be a concerted effort to prevent even Indians (and the world) from knowing how valuable this ancient Indian heritage is, she started to point out the unique value of Indian tradition also in English language.