The two messages (given below) written by one Mr Duart Maclean,
a non-Hindu by birth living in Canada,
that appeared in the mailing list of a yahoo group
(AIVS / American Institute of Vedic studies)
make an extraordinary reading
in the present environment of anti-Hindu sentiments
taking centre stage in India
in important locales such as the government and the media
influencing the public opinion against Hinduism.
Hinduism or Sanatana dharma is a logical conclusion
of any sincere research into Self and
the way of life that is moralistic to the core.
This has been demonstrated by the writer of these articles
in his quest of the Knowledge and the Self
that inevitably landed him in Sanathana dharma.
This Dharma can never die.
Even in the trying period of Kaliyuga,
one-fourth of it lives.
I bow to this Dharma
and am happy to be born in this Dharma
and more importantly, for not having lost to get a grasp of it.
May I support this Dharma and
may this Dharma support me!
Being a non-Indian and a non-Hindu by birth, I may have an advantage over Indian Hindus in being able to see the real core
value of Sanatana-Dharma. I have been seeking self-knowledge since I was very young and have a mind with a turn to
philosophy. Actually, in my own family lineage I have a great British philosopher, Jeremy Bentham. Today, I consider myself
When I was about 19 years old, I was tormented with the question 'Who am I?'. I was told by my religion that I had a soul which would
go to heaven after death. Something about that answer didn't add up for me. It took me a long time to figure out what it was
that didn't add up. When I discovered this, it was a eureka experience. Here is what I realized: If I have a soul that is going to
go to heaven when I die, then who am I that has this soul? The soul was always talked about as if it was some sort of 'ghost in
the machine'. I was extremely frustrated.
During a six month tour of Europe (I was still 19) I found my way to Israel where I worked on a kibbutz for about three months. Needing something to read, I found a short biography on Gandhi at a bookstore in
Haifa. What I learned about and from Gandhi blew me away. I also learned that he considered his guru to be a book called the Bhagavad-Gita. This is the first time I had heard of this book and I made a mental note to read it when I got back to Canada. Upon returning home, I found a copy of the Gita in my father's little library! So I started to study it. Chapter two answered my most fundamental question: 'Who am I'. When Krishna says to Arjuna, 'You are the Self, and the Self cannot be cut by a sword, made wet with water or burned by fire...in fact, can never die', I had the great 'aha' experience. I was ecstatic! Krishna was the first spiritual or philosophical teacher who had answered my question (and by then I had read a lot of very good books).
A year later I took up the practice of Transcendental Meditation and became a teacher of this technique. Later I began to study the life and teachings of Ramana Maharshi and a lot of other extraordinary material, such as Viveka Chudamani (Sankara), the Upanishads, the Yoga Vasistha, the Ribhu Gita....and the list goes on. Now I write and lead seminars. In my seminar I always teach the method of self-inquiry as suggested by Ramana Maharshi and I also teach about the Self. Believe me, it brings people great peace to even hear about the Self.
My point is: the Self is what it is, just as gravity is what it is. Self-realization can be achieved through religious means, but it can also be achieved through non-religious means. To realize the Self is to realize Reality, and Reality transcends religion. It is Hinduism and Hinduism alone that, among all of the worlds religions, has grasped and fully understood the nature of the Self.
Buddhism also speaks of the Self, but had it not been for the Upanishads, I am certain there would not have been Buddha. Buddha must have been powerfully influenced by the highest teachings of the Hindu environment within which he lived. For these reasons, I HAVE THE HIGHEST RESPECT FOR HINDUISM. Actually, I could care less about the various cults and ideologies that pervade the broader context of Hinduism. Worship Vishnu, worship Siva, worship Durga, worship Hanuman... who cares? These choices are peripheral.
I always meditate in front of a Ganesha and a Nataraj. You may meditate in front of an image of Krishna. Someone else may to puja to a monkey-god. It is irrelevant. When I say, 'arise Bharata' or 'jai Bharata', this is all I mean. India and the Sanatana Dharma are the spiritual heart of the planet. Indians must never, never, never give this up. The world needs to know of the Self and it is India that can offer this, through her great books and her extraordinary lineage of masters.
Jai, jai, jai Bharat.
The fact is that Indian Hindus (I consider myself a non-Indian Hindu) need to wake up and take
command of the destiny of India, which involves more than money, Bollywood and a comfortable
middle-class life. Hindus are more successful than Muslims because of Hinduism. They must not ignore this.
Hindus succeed at a material and intellectual level that far surpasses most other cultural and religious communities.
For evidence of this simple look at the prosperity that Hindu communities enjoy in the Carribbean Islands,
Africa, etc, relative to their neighbors. In Canada, where I live, Hindus do very well.
Hindus in India are allowing other competing, anti-Hindu elements such as Christian evangelists, Catholic priests,
marxists, atheists and secularists set the agenda in India. When Hindus stand up for themselves in their own
country they are called fanatics, dangerous, terrorists, you name it. And what does the Hindu majority say in
response? Mostly they say nothing, they keep silent. As far as I can tell, the Indian media is not dominated
by Hindus (which it should be) but by anti-Hindus or pseudo-Hindus whose primary concern is their pockets
and 'getting ahead'.
Hindus must not retreat from this serious threat to the integrity of India and Hinduism in the name of Hinduism itself.
The Sanatana Dharma is a spiritual philosophy of compassion, patience and non-violence. Does this mean allowing
any usurper to invade one's house, take the money, empty the kitchen and abuse one's wife and
children? Does it mean that one simply smiles and says, 'Namaste, I forgive you, I love you, we are all One?'
The Muslims took control of India centuries ago through blood and warfare. They have lost India to its rightful heirs,
but they have not forgotten nor forgiven. Count on this.