Few weeks back, I took Marriage Blessings in a church (with the same husband of mine, of the last five years). Why? There is quite an interesting story behind it…. promise to post it in my next writeup.
It’s not a big deal if you want to read your marriage vows again, but if you are a Hindu by religion and do some function, that too, of marriage sort of, in a Church than it’s bound to raise many questions. Some of them were less of a question and more of statements, coming from family and friends. Like, have you changed your religion?, or, Is it done for some christian belief?, or, did you forgot abut your culture?, or, You are now totally in influence of western culture… and blah blah…..
Questioning is good, it makes your mind curious, and makes you look out for the right answer. I am reading about religion, specially Hindu, since childhood, now a days I have taken a fancy about other religions too and their stories, about their evolution and coming to existence. Reading about other religions has in fact made me more closer to understanding my own religion – Hindu Dharma.
First of all, Hindu is not a religion, it’s a Dharma. If you go into translation, then Dharma (Hindi/Sanskrit word) is translated as Religion in English. But, Dharma has a more broad meaning to it than just Religion. Dharma means to hold, to bear, to believe; to hold what you believe, to believe what is true, to believe what is right. Dharma means to hold on to your rightful beliefs and truth.
Hindu Dharma, Hinduism, or Sanatan Dharma as called popularly, actually speak of practices which are in harmony of nature, and manifestation of happiness and peace. When our Vedas and Upanishads speak of God, they do not talk of something which is out of reach and unimaginable. Bhaagvat and Shiv Puran when speak of, how God, or to say, super almighty came into existence and this universe is created, they say that God was always there, and he created man as his image. It also states that all the Devs and and Devis, resides in various forms in man’s body.
But, why say that Gods resides in your own body? Why are we going to temples then? When our Vedas say, that everything is created by God, and He is residing in everything and everyone. He is everywhere in everyone, then why are we looking outwards for him? Why are we not respecting others and ourselves too, as God is within all of us.
So, lets settle on the point that God is within you and me. But, does he resides in my American friend too? He is no Hindu. So maybe not my God, but the God that he believes in, maybe He is in him. But, does that mean that I should not respect him, as he has some other God? Wait, but it’s a God. Why take a Panga (make an issue), with any God? So, let’s respect all. Settled.
Now, coming to Church and temples. Hinduism is the oldest practices in this whole world, and the reason why it has survived for so long is mainly based on one of it’s founding principle of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam”, which states that entire world is actually a big family. Acceptance of all the things as they are, and grasping every good thing is the key behind this ever evolving religion.
In it’s entire history, Hinduism have not embarked on any other religion or belief, to impose itself. Over the years it has learnt to live with peace and harmony, with others. This is what it teaches us too. As long as Hindu Dharma is preaching the above, I feel proud to be one. I have always believed in respecting others beliefs and rituals and will proudly do so, always. This is My Dharma, My Religion.