|Published online: March 27, 2015||$US5.00|
The oldest continuous worldview, incorrectly called Hinduism, has been greatly misunderstood. This misunderstanding is due to insufficient knowledge, inaccurate comparison with other faiths, and different interpretations of ideas and practices in various socio-cultural contexts. The cultural tradition of the people living on the banks of the river Sindhu (Hindu) has been perceived as history, myth, or fictional literature. During a long historical development, the Hindu cultural tradition has become extremely diverse in language, thought, and practice. It has evolved from core beliefs to a context based ethics, and from abstract metaphysics to concrete physics, achieving the status of “Universalism,” inclusive of idealistic monism, with one Absolute Truth, and ritualistic polytheism for worship of various gods and deities, to the highest kind of cosmopolitanism that calls for respect for the dignity of all-inclusive existence of all beings and all things in the cosmos. This paper attempts to show that this tradition of rich diversity, which has confused scholars and practitioners alike, actually promotes tolerance and humility and can be useful in combating the conflicts arising from socio-cultural constructs of “isms,” including sexism, racism, classism, ageism, ethnocentrism, and elitism.
|Keywords:||Philosophy, Religion, Culture, Ethics, Science, Synthetic|
The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, March 2015, pp.15-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 27, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 506.157KB)).
University Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA