There are several major differences between Christianity and Islam on one side and Hindu Dharma on the other, and all of them are in Hindu Dharma’s favor. Yet one difference plays out as an advantage for the Abrahamic religions and it could easily be avoided: It is the behavior of Gurus and Swamis as opposed to the behavior of the clergy of the two Abrahamic religions.
Generally, Gurus only talk about Hindu Dharma, but don’t touch on the serious flaws in the two exclusivist religions. In fact, they even praise those religions if they find something good in them. It would be a worthy trait, but only if those two religions had genuine interest in the truth and did not have the goal to finish off Hindu Dharma. Unfortunately, these religions do have the goal to finish off Hindu Dharma.
Hindu gurus might have been ignorant about this goal. Yet by now they must have realized that by not exposing the unacceptable, unproven claims of those two supremacist religions about the biased, even cruel nature of the Supreme Being, about their ‘divine duty’ to dominate the world and about the “despicable nature of idol-worshipping Hinduism and Hindus, who will be thrown into hellfire”, is now harming Hindus badly and may haunt the Hindu representatives that they didn’t do their dharmic duty.
All this while, the Muslim and Christian clergy in India talked little about their own religion but a lot about how bad Hinduism and Hindus are. Swami Vivekananda was right when he said that every convert is not only one Hindu less, but one enemy more.
This enmity towards Hindus was in painful display in the international media, of the Bhoomi Pujan for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya recently. The reports were incredibly cynical, arrogant and unfair towards Hindus and Prime Minister Modi especially. And of course they quoted Indians, like Rana Ayyub, to give their reports the stamp of ‘authenticity’.
I read some articles in the German media. Deutsche Welle didn’t even mention that a temple had been destroyed 500 years ago on which the Babri mosque was built. FAZ mentioned it half-heartedly that the ‘great’ Mogul emperor had demolished “one of their temples” to build the mosque. All reports insinuated that the building of the Ram Mandir will lead to an intolerant if not fascist Hindu nation and will aggravate the oppression of the Muslims in India, ‘which has already started with Muslims having been lynched’.
How do they dare to put Hindus in such bad light, when they had patiently waited for a court verdict to get back only one of the over 40,000 temples which were destroyed by Muslims? When they are the most open-minded community probably in the whole world? A community which gave refuge to all who were prosecuted – Parsis, Jews, Tibetans, even Syrian Christians who later backstabbed their generous Hindu hosts.
Maybe the reason is that for too long missionaries and evangelicals had already prepared the ground. They knew that Hindus won’t take an aggressive stand when attacked and demeaned because many of them are themselves confused and are not sure what Hindu Dharma is about.
Unfortunately, the Hindu clergy never challenged Christianity and Islam. The claim by Christianity and Islam as being the “only true religion” was never questioned, even though India has an ancient tradition of highly intellectual debates on truth and two separate religions cannot be “only true”. Further, the ONE cause of the universe cannot be a separate entity who is so hateful towards the majority of human beings that he will throw them into hell forever. Forever?
Yet ridiculing Hinduism and bashing Hindus and especially Brahmins has become the norm in mainstream media. It was largely ignored by Gurus and Swamis with the attitude “Hindu Dharma does not become bad by calling it bad”. This is true of course, but it can be debated if this is dharmic behavior or maybe cowardice.
However, there is some hope. Hindus are much more aware now and the blatant vilification of only Hindus and the inexplicably protective attitude towards Muslims doesn’t go down well any longer with many common people including in the West.
By Maria Wirth