Isn't Your View Critical of
Christianity and Islam?
It is aimed at helping
Hindus deal with the ongoing Christian and Islamic efforts to
convert them, which are still quite extensive and well-funded.
Christian and Islamic groups have projected much criticism of
Hinduism, much of it unfair. It is only proper that they hear the
Hindu point of view, which is based upon a seeking of universal
Truth and is of importance for all human beings.
Many Christian and Islamic
groups do not recognize Hinduism as a valid religion. While there is
some mutual acceptance of Biblical-based religions (Judaism,
Christianity and Islam), there is a reluctance to accept religions
outside this field. Most Christians and Muslims condemn Hindu-based
Yoga and meditation practices. They do not accept God-realization or
Self-realization and consider it to be arrogance or delusion. I
myself was raised as a Catholic, so I know this first hand.
There is no Hindu
counterpart of this form of religious negativity. The main criticism
that Hinduism has levelled against other religions is relative to
their dogmatism and exclusivism, their insistence that they alone
have the Truth, that only their God is the real God and not God
called by another name, as well as their failure to discern
universal truths of karma, rebirth and liberation.
As the common Christian and
Islamic idea of religion as a belief system - which is very
different from the Hindu idea of Dharma - is the predominant idea of
religion today, it must be questioned in order to show the Hindu
idea of religion. The Hindu
view, which is religion linked to a spirituality of Self and
God-realization, is the essence of religion in its true sense, which
means to unite. It is not a matter of Hinduism being opposed to any
religious truth but of its placing spiritual realization above any
dogma. This naturally places Hinduism in a different position than
traditions which make dogma and authority more important than
individual spiritual realization.