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501. Yasukuni Enoki, Former Ambassador of Japan in India categorically echoes the Hindu influence in Japan, where 80% of Japanese gods are originally from India. This stands as a monument to the vitality and magnetism of Hinduism and Indias position in ancient world.

Enoki has noted:

It is very important for the Japanese to know that in the bottom of Japanese culture, Indian culture is very firmly imprinted. 

He also mentions that:

As I come from the Japanese Lakshmi Town, it is no great surprise to find that Japanese life is full of so many Hindu deities. Since these Hindu deities were introduced into Japan through China, with Chinese names, Japanese people are unaware of their origins. Hindu and Buddhist deities of India are worshiped by the people of Japan. The 5th century Sanskrit script is revered in Japan and its letters denoting different deities, are considered sacred by the Japanese. They pray in Sanskrit.

The Vedic havan is known as Goma in Japan. There are hundreds of shrines to Goddess Saraswati and innumerable representations of Lakshmi, Indra, Shiva, Brahma, Mahakala, Ganesha, Agni, Bhudevi, Garuda, Kamadeva,Yama, and other deities.

In fact, deities that have practically been forgotten in India, such as Vayu and Varuna, are still worshipped in Japan. The most ancient temple to Lord Ganesha which has been in use for more than a thousand years is located in Tokyo.

In a sense Japan is a time capsule of Hindu culture that is already disappeared in India.

(source: Indian Deities Worshipped in Japan and Hindu deities in Japan by Benoy K Behl).


Goddess Benzaiten - A Japanese Saraswati


502. Tulsi Gabbard (1981 -    ) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has been the United States Representative for Hawaii's second congressional district since 2013. She is also a Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Elected in 2012, she is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress.

The Bhagwad Gita is the "perfect textbook" for those who are striving to be "servant leaders" and its message is relevant for all days and ages, American Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said.

The teachings by Lord Krishna in Bhagwad Gita are life and soul for me. They are the absolute foundation and motivation for the actions and the work and everything that I am trying to do with my life," she said during a discussion on 'The Future of Indo-US Relationships' organised by the India Foundation. 

Noting that the level of "optimism" for the future of Indo -US ties is very high at the present juncture and there were many areas of collaboration, Gabbard -- a member of the US House of Representatives -- said that these ventures can be successful by upholding and living the ideals of Lord Krishna as taught in the Gita.

"We have many areas of opportunity and many areas that we can collaborate. The only way we can be successful in these ventures and in every other part of our lives is by doing our very best to uphold and live by these ideals like Krishna teaches us in Gita... of taking actions for service of others. "It's not just the political leaders who are charged with this responsibility but each of us with our own lives," she said. Gabbard, who took her oath as a US Congresswoman on the Bhagwad Gita, said that the text would remain relevant regardless of time and age.

"That's what I found through my own personal experience -- that the Gita is the perfect text for people who are striving to be servant leaders. This textbook is applicable to everyone. "(It) is as relevant today as it has always been and as it always will be... regardless of your age, where you come from, what language you speak, what gender..." she said. Noting her personal experience practising 'Karm and Bhakti Yoga', Gabbard said she had gradually understood her "true identity" through it.

"I have gradually been able to understand my true identity ... Who I really am, my spiritual essence, my purpose in life..." she said. Talking about her days in Iraq, where she had volunteered with the US military, Gabbard said that during that time, she would handle the stress of duty by turning to the Gita.

(source: Bhagwad Gita 'perfect textbook' for leaders: US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard -

503. Henry Margenau (1901 - 1997) Born in Bielefeld, Germany, Margenau obtained his bachelor's degree from Midland Lutheran College, Nebraska before his M.Sc. from the University of Nebraska in 1926, and PhD from Yale University in 1929. This German-US noted philosopher physicist, wrote:

Did you know that atomic theory was anticipated by Hindu philosopher Kanada around 500 BCE?

But the most remarkable feature which I have never seen in American textbooks on the history of science is the atomic theory of philosopher Kanada.

Source: Physics and Philosophy - by Henry Margenau p. 30 - 38 1978).

504. Maria Wirth (  ) is a German and who came to India on a stop over (thats at least what she thought) on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University. She visited the Ardha Kumbha Mela in Haridwar in April 1980 where she met Sri Anandamayi Ma and Devaraha Baba, two renowned saints. With their blessing she continued to live in India and never went to Australia.

She dived into Indias spiritual tradition, sharing her insights with German readers through articles and books. For long, she was convinced that every Indian knows and treasures his great heritage. However, when in recent years, she noticed that there seemed to be a concerted effort to prevent even Indians (and the world) from knowing how valuable this ancient Indian heritage is, she started to point out the unique value of Indian tradition also in English language.

She writes eloquently thus:

Secular means worldly in contrast to sacred or religious, and secularism is a western concept.  State and religion were intertwined since Christianity became state religion in the Roman Empire. The Church declared what is the truth, for example that that Jesus is the only way or that the earth is flat, and everyone had to agree. If scientists disagreed, they were in serious trouble. Not without reason those centuries of Church domination are called dark ages and the liberation from her tight embrace is called the era of Enlightenment. For Christian Europe, it was a great and hard fought achievement to get secular states, where the Church could not push anymore her agenda through state laws. Several centuries ago, even the Sunday mass was obligatory in German kingdoms. Nobody was allowed to leave Christianity. The blasphemy laws kept the flock in check. Heresy was punished severely. Jews suffered discrimination and persecution all through history being branded as the killers of Jesus.

After Martin Luther split the Church into Protestants and Catholics, fierce wars were fought over supremacy which destroyed much of central Europe. In 1648, after 30 years of fighting, a compromise was found: the subjects of a region had to follow the religion of their ruler. Only in 1847, a Prussian king introduced a law for negative religious freedom, which meant, his subjects had the right to leave the Catholic or Protestant Church. Ever since, the Churches are losing sheep from their flock. It points to the fact that Christianity did not grow because its dogmas were convincing. It gained strength because those born in the faith could not leave it. The blasphemy laws propped up Christianity.

India has a completely different story. Sanatana Dharma was never based on unreasonable dogmas and did not need state oppression to keep believers in check. It was not in opposition to science. It was helpful to society as a whole by giving guidelines for an ideal life that acknowledges the invisible, conscious essence in the visible universe. It did not straight jacket people into an unbelievable belief system. It allowed freedom of thought and many parallel streams with different ways to connect to this essence emerged. Hinduism is a way of life, is often said. Following Hindu Dharma is actually an ideal way of life.

(source: Is Hindu Dharma good and Hindutva bad? - by Maria Wirth).

Hindus cannot be put into one single box. There are too many different ways to reach the goal of life. As it were, there are many minorities within Hinduism. But they all are based on the Vedic insight that everything, including our persons, is permeated by the same divine essence which is called by many names but is ultimately ONE. Our human consciousness (Atman) is one with the cosmic consciousness (Brahman) and to realize this, is the goal and fulfillment of life. Satyam vada, Dharmam chara the Veda exhorts speak the truth and do what is right under the given circumstances. And find out who you really are: you are not a separate entity but in the depths of your being one with all. 

From this follows that good Hindus are those rare human beings whose dharma makes them regard all others as brothers and sisters. Their dharma makes them further respect nature and not harm unnecessarily any living being. 

Hindus do not, unlike Christians and Muslims, divide humanity into those who are chosen by God and those who are eternally damned. Hindu children are not taught to look down on those who are not Hindus, unlike children of the dogmatic religions who are taught that their God does not love those others unless they join their true religions. 

Hindus are also comparatively kinder to animals. The great bulk of vegetarians worldwide are Hindus.

Hindus never fought crusades or jihads to establish their dharma in foreign lands. In fact, they didnt need to, because they convinced most of Asia merely by solid arguments.  Yet, for the past thousand years Hindus were at the receiving end of jihads and conversion campaigns and millions of Hindus were killed in cold blood because they were Hindus. It has to be held in favour of Hindus that they held on to their tradition and did not succumb to the pressure and even violence brought on them to adopt blind belief that only one particular person has revealed the full truth. Instead, they continued trusting their sages who never asked for blind belief, but asked to verify their insights through experience.

(source: Why the notion of ‘Hindu Nation’ alone is chosen for criticism? - by Maria Wirth).


Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar Temple entrance.

(image source:
Surya's Tapestry: Ancient Rishis Pathway to Hinduism- By Sushama Londhe).


Since I grew up in the Catholic Church and know the narrow mindedness that is indoctrinated into children, I wonder why on earth Indians would prefer dogmatic religions to their ancient, benign Dharma.

Is it not time that Indians wake up to the treasure hidden in their scriptures which are much older than what western scholars estimated? Those scholars were influenced by the Christian belief that the world was created only some 6000 years back. The Rishis had always thought big and their estimate of the age of (this) universe is collaborated by astronomy. Further, their claim the world is maya was ridiculed, but nowadays nobody ridicules it unless he wants to make a fool of himself.

The greatest treasure of Indias wisdom, however, lies in the knowledge of what the human being truly is: he is not a separate person, the Vedas claim. He is one with Brahman. His essence is pure, infinite consciousness. And it is possible to realize this truth by living a dharmic life and doing sadhana. When the mind is stilled by dropping thoughts, the divine dimension of ones being is accessed. True inspiration and intuition come from this level, and true happiness as well.

And how to drop thoughts? In the Vijnanabhairava, one of the texts of Kashmir Shaivism, 112 methods are described. Maybe they are already patented in the west and come to India in the form of seminars held by foreigners charging hefty fees? The participants from the wealthy elite would not notice. However, in spite of the lack of traditional knowledge in the English educated classes, Indian tradition is fortunately still alive among many who dont speak English. They make India still positively stand out among other countries, in spite of the vigorous attempts by media to blacken her image.

(source: mariawirth blog).

505. Edward Teller (1908 - 2003) was a Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist who, although he claimed he did not care for the title, is known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which Edward Teller help found, has something in common with CERN's LHC. Both laboratories have a statue of the Hindu god Shiva, which depicts this God performing a dance called the Nataraja to destroy a weary universe in preparation to restart creation.

Teller explained nuclear fusion in the following words:

Laser lights is brought in simultaneously from ten pipes on the top and ten pipes on the bottom. Compression and nuclear reaction occurs in a tiny dot at the middle of the sphere. Apparatus practically filling a whole building feeds the twenty pipes, or the arms of the god Shiva. According to Hindu Creed, Shiva had three eyes; two for seeing, and one (usually kept closed) to emit annihilating radiation. The Hindus obviously know about lasers.

(source: Energy from Heaven and Earth by Edward Teller  p. 216 W H Freeman and Company. San Francisco 1979).

506. Makarand R. Paranjape is a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies. He has authored and edited over 30 books, including Spirituality and the Modernisation of India and Altered Destinations: Self, Society, and Nation in India. He is also managing trustee of the Samvad India Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes intercultural dialogue.

He has written on Hindu Ecology thus:

From the most ancient of times, Hindus have shown immense reverence for all forms of life. Forests, for instance, were especially sacred. The most important Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, have large sections designated as the Aranyakas, or the forest books. The Upanishads, which embody the quintessence of Hindu thought and philosophy, form a part of these forest books. Here is an example of one of the celebrated declarations from one of these texts, the Bhumi Suktam, Atharva Veda:

Earth, in which the seas, the rivers and many waters lie, from which arise foods and fields of grain, abode to all that breathes and moves, may She confer on us Her finest yield.

It is generally believed that the founders of Hindu society were not kings or conquerors, but sages and mystics. These latter, known as the Rshis, generally dwelled in forests. The Rshis were able to perceive the interdependence of all inanimate and animate objects, which they called Rta, or the great cosmic order. To live in harmony with Rta was considered the greatest good and happiness, but to go against it would result in disharmony and misery.

To the hermitages of these Rshis, who were the preceptors of humankind, came emperors and their progeny, as well as commoners and peasants. Together they learned the cardinal truths of life, chiefly dharma or righteousness, which was thought to be the basis of both natural and cosmic order. What Rta was to the cosmos, dharma was to the world of human beings. The forests in ancient times were not only a source of prosperity but also sites of penance, asceticism and spiritual contemplation. It was as if two orders or ways of life were clearly established, one leading to worldly prosperity, power and pleasure (Kamaand Artha), and the other conducive to virtue, enlightenment and liberation (Dharma andMoksha). Clearly, these were not thought of as separate or necessarily antithetical, but together formed the matrix of the good life on Earth.

But the basis of both paths was a respect for and recognition of interdependence between human beings and the natural world.

This interdependence is articulated in a famous verse of the Bhagavad Gita, one of the favorite sacred texts of Hindus:

From food come forth living beings, and from rain food is produced; from sacrifice arises rain, and sacrifice is born of action.

We clearly see here a cycle of mutuality and reciprocity between action, sacrifice, rain and food; that is, between the human, the natural and the supernatural realms.

(source: Hindu Ecology - By Makarand R Paranjape).


Uma Maheshwara, 9th century

(image source: webmaster's own collection of photos).


507. Jacob Needleman (1934 - ) American philosopher, author and religious scholar, author of the book A Sense of the Cosmos has written:

In the great spiritual disciplines of the world, the path of self-knowledge is precisely the study of time, energy and causality in oneself. For example, the ancient Hindu tradition of Sankhya speaks of the evolution and degeneration of energies in the cosmos, the expansion and contraction of time, the subtle or coarse qualities of the substances that enter into the physical and psychic functions of the organism – all of which need to be observed in oneself.

Writing on the topic of Nucleus and Radiation, he has observed that:

A symbolic understanding of nature might be understood from India. A selection from the writings of a contemporary master of the ancient system of Samkhya:

If you consciously hold within yourself three quarters of your power and use only one quarter to respond to any communication coming from others, you can stop the automatic, immediate and thoughtless movement outwards, which leaves you with a feeling of emptiness, and of having consumed by life. This stopping of the movement outwards is not self-defense, but rather an effort to have the response come from within, from the deepest part of ones being. This process reverses the natural movement of prakriti (Great Nature) and brings back energy to its seed form. Let this become your way of communicating with others.

Writing on the topic of Creation and Destruction he has observed:

Many speculative philosophers have written about the idea, contained in many traditions, that in the universe there is a law of creation and a law of destruction, a law of love and a law of death. We find it clearly stated in Hinduism where these two forces are symbolized by the gods Brahma and Vishnu.

(source: A Sense of the Cosmos: The Encounter of Modern Science and Ancient Truth - By Jacob Needleman p. 84 - 97 and 126).

508. Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (1836 - 1920) was an English scientist and astronomer. Along with the French scientist Pierre Janssen he is credited with discovering the gas helium. Lockyer also is remembered for being the founder and first editor of the influential journal Nature.

He declared:

The Vedas, in fact, are the oldest books in which we can study the first beginnings of our language and of everything which is embodied in all the languages under the sun.

(source: The Dawn of Astronomy - by N J Lockyer p. 432 Massachusetts: Institute of Technology).

 509. Brannon aka Vrndavan Parker (1967-  )  author of the book, Orissa in the Crossfire where he has eloquently observed that the same war against the native people and ancient traditions never ended. Let the people of the world recognize the truth and demand an end to the ongoing Cultural Genocide of India's native cultures:

History reveals that Hinduism and Buddhism were not inimical faiths that demanded rejection of the other. Both these faiths were contemporary to one another and are accurately described as alternate cultural accents of the same traditional milieu. The concept of the two traditions being separate religions was a western intervention. The very fact that Lord Buddha is recognized as the 9th Avatar of Lord Vishnu, who is accepted as God himself by a majority of Hindus, testifies to this. The Dashavatar or 10 avatars of Vishnu represent a crucial and integral aspect of Hinduism. Unlike western religions, the total uprootment and abandonment of one’s ancestral faith as an inimical force has never held a prominent place within the Indic religious context.

Christian and Muslim conversion involves the rejection and denial of ancestral faith. Similar changes within Indic context are never so drastic and reflect the variations of choices within the Dharmic family.

By constant disenfranchising the Hindus, distorting their words and denigrating their efforts, the media is the primary cause of social chaos and political mayhem. In America this same method was applied against the great American Indian leaders of the 1800s who struggled to defend their culture, people and lands. In every case without fail it was media which provided the sensational gruesome tales of massacres of innocent white women and children at the hands of the Red Savages’. Guns alone do not create genocide."

Today as the world is overwhelmed by constant crisis many are recognizing the inherent wisdom of the ancient indigenous cultures. Hinduism, as a religion that was practiced before the age of Pyramids or the construction of Stonehenge, is an authentically indigenous tradition. It is one of the few remaining root cultures in the world. These root cultures represent an ethos that does not put a price tag on anything which lives inside each of us.

(source: Orissa in the Cross fire: Khandhamal burning - By Brannon Parker p. 7 and p. 284 -287).


Meerabai's temple to Lord Krishna at Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. A 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Krishna.

She was the daughter of King Ratansingh of Udaypur, and is celebrated as a poet and has been claimed by the North Indian Hindu tradition of Bhakti saints. She has written thousands of devotional poems in passionate praise of Lord Krishna.

(image source: webmaster's own collection of photos).


In an article on The Forgotten Hindus of Vietnams Champa Kingdom, he has written:  

Hinduism continues to thrive in India, yet today it is only among the Balinese and Cham Balamon people that this once global expression of Hinduism survives unbroken. Vietnam, with its ancient and impressive Hindu heritage, has age-old ties with India. The Cham Balamon people continue to practice their venerable Hindu traditions and express a keen interest in visiting India to see the holy sites and meet with other dedicated Hindu activists.

In India, Hindus have developed many organizations and projects to preserve the traditions of their ancestors and to empower their youth with the wisdom and time-tested methodologies of their priceless heritage. The Cham Balamon are engaged in a similar struggle. Sharing the Hindu heritage and ethos, holding the same dharmic outlook, the Vietnamese Hindu community is confronted by the same challenges being faced in India.

Today, as members of a global Hindu community, we are becoming more and more empowered by the technologies of this information age, which allow Hindus throughout the world to support each other in common cause. Our culture is worth preserving and as Hindus, we know dharma is not optional. Dharmic based Hindu civilization, wherever found, is a testament to that which is best in humanity. As the 21st century dawns, the Hindus of Bali, Vietnam and the world look to India as both the epicentre and foundation of Hinduism. It is my hope that the Hindus of India and the world will rise up to the occasion. Surely then will dharma prevail."

(source: The Forgotten Hindus of Vietnams Champa Kingdom - By Brannon Parker -

510. Alphonze Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine (1790 - 1869) chevalier de Pratz, was a French writer, poet and politician who was instrumental in the foundation of the Second Republic and the continuation of the Tricolore as the flag of France. He wrote on Hindu Philosophy:

It is the ocean, we are but its cloud...The key to every thing is in India.

(source: Lamartine, Opinions sur Dieu, le bonheur et l'eternite d'apres les livres sacres de l'Inde, Sand, Paris. 1984, p. ix.).

511. Dr. Hans-Peter Durr (1929-2014), was a German physicist. He was born in Stuttgart between 1978 and 1992 he was executive Director of the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich for several times. He was Vice executive director at the Max Planck Institute for Physics (Werner-Heisenberg-Institute) 1972-1977, 1981,1986 and 1993-1995. Until 1997 he was professor of physics at the Ludwig Maximilian University, both in Munich, Germany.

He had remarked that:

I studied matter for the last 35 years, only to find out that it does not exist! I have been studying something that does not exist. He also was of the opinion that whenever he is giving a lecture on quantum physics, he feels as if he is speaking on Vedanta. The whole universe is made up of one substance. Ancient Rishis and modern physicists both say the same thing.

(source: Secret of the Sages -

512. Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall (1935-1911) Anglo Indian poet, historian and British civil servant. Verses written in India on Lord Shiva:

I AM the God of the sensuous fire 
That moulds all Nature in forms divine; 
The symbols of death and of man's desire, 
The springs of change in the world, are mine; 
The organs of birth and the circlet of bones, 
And the light loves carved on the temple stones

- Shiva by Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

(source: Siva - By Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall).

513. Trevor Fishlok is an author, broadcaster and foreign correspondent. He has worked on assignment in more than seventy countries and was staff correspondent of The Times in India and New York, and Moscow bureau chief for The Daily Telegraph. In his book, India File he has observed:

In Sanskrit Jagganath means lord of the universe. It is one of the names of Krishna in his incarnation as Vishnu, and one of the main reasons for his popularity is that all castes are equal before him. The extraordinary spectacle of Puri is merely one of many epic demonstrations of the strength of belief in India and as aspect of its awesomeness.

Religion is a dominant forces in the country and its influence and symbolism are embedded and pervasive. Taxi dashboards are often decorated with religious images, and cars, and lorries and rickshaws are painted with swastikas, the most ancient of Hindu religious symbols.

Hinduism is indivisible and all embracing, so that the esoteric part is no more significant than the material. It is a framework for dealing with natural and supernatural, providing places for all manner of beliefs and superstitions. It is a sponge, admitting far more than it prohibits, and sets little store by dogma. The existence of an omnipotent force is recognized, but this god-alone is by no means the central exclusive focus in a religion which admits millions of gods and allows immense freedom of worship. The spiritual and superstitious can be blended, permitting limited notions of heresy. You can shout at your god if he or she displeases you, and withhold your offerings as long as your sulk lasts.

It is a powerful idea, being a code for living, and is linked with karma, the idea that present actions affect future existence, the soul being eternal and going through a cycle of births, deaths and rebirths, so that marriage, as the preliminary to birth, is pivotal.

Hinduism offers solace and hope, a belief that present troubles are the wages of a former lifes sins, that the future may be mitigated by unselfish and dedicated actions. And, if these actions are truly altruistic and not performed for the satisfaction of ego or conscience, they may lead to a form of liberation. This serene state may also be achieved through various pilgrimages, worship and meditation.

(source: India File - By Trevor Fishlok p. 63 - 64).

514. Sankrant Sanu is an entrepreneur, author and yoga student and teacher based in Seattle and Gurgaon. He is a graduate of IIT Kanpur and the University of Texas at Austin. He holds six technology-related patents. His writing has appeared in various publications in India, USA and UK. His popular blog on has garnered over 100,000 views. Some of his writings were republished in the book Invading the Sacred published by Rupa Publications. His critique of the article on Hinduism in Encarta led to its replacement by a more balanced article by a different academic source. He is also now a regular columnist for Entrepreneur India magazine.

He has ardently contented that on Yoga is indisputably a Hindu practice thus:

There has been some debate on the question of whether yoga is Hindu and whether it is religious. Courts in California, hearing a lawsuit by Christians, to Muslims clerics in Indonesia, have engaged themselves with this question. The answer simply is this. Yoga is Hindu in origin, but it is not a religion. It is a science of being. As in science, it can be practised by anyone, the experiments replicated and the results verified. Yoga has Hindu roots and has been sustained by Hindu (meaning here Indian, including Buddhist, Jain, and later on Sikh) gurus down the ages.  Yoga was developed and elaborated by Hindu sages from the ancient Rishi Patanjali to Sri Krishna elaborating on the yogas as paths to union in the seminal Hindu text the Bhagvad Gita.In modern times, too, Hindu teachers brought this science to the West and revitalised it in India. The names of T Krishnamacharya, an Iyengar Brahmin from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is prominent in the modern revival of Hatha Yoga. His illustrious disciples, most notably BKS Iyengar, T K V Desikachar and Pattabhi Jois, helped spread it in the West.  The other notable lineage comes from Swami Sivananda Saraswati and his many disciples, including Swami Vishnudevananda who established yoga ashrams worldwide in his gurus honour, Swami Satyananda Saraswati who founded the seminal Bihar School of Yoga, and Swami Satchidananda who became famous as the Woodstock guru.

While yoga is indisputably Hindu in its roots, it does not mean that one needs to convert to being a Hindu to authentically practise it. This is not how Indian wisdom traditions have worked. The aim of yoga is ultimately to transcend all such identities, and thus it is not uncommon for gurus from India to say, Yoga is not Hindu, anyone can practise it. This is true, just as it is true for Science. There is no separate Christian science and Hindu science and Muslim science. There is just physics. In that sense there is just yoga. The enlightened masters themselves did not bind their teachings in identities. Nor did they require any conversion. Yoga is not a belief system or a religion. It is the science of transformation that can be practised by all. But in an age of patents and intellectual property rights, it would be improper to deny that yoga comes from the Hindu tradition. Yet, we see a trend in the West of taking the fruits of yoga, the asanas, the kriyas, the meditation practices while at the same time attempting to erase or even denigrate its Hindu roots. An example of this is Christian yoga, that tries to appropriate yoga into Christianity while removing the chanting of Om or other sacred syllables. While copying Hindu practices, Christian missionaries dub Hinduism as Satanic. This is an example of stealing the fruit of the tree while trying to chop its roots down.

Similarly millions of Americans practise yoga and participate in other Hindu practices, leading Newsweek to famously proclaim We are all Hindus now.  At the same time, the academic study of Hinduism in the US shows considerable prejudice, another example of cutting the roots. This form of stealing will remain an obstacle for American yogis. Thus the proper way of practice would be to acknowledge and honour the Hindu roots of yoga and the Indian sages who brought this knowledge to humanity and by their efforts have constantly renewed and propagated it for the benefit of all.  Authentic learning and transmission of the knowledge is the way to pay the debt to the rishis. Let us not dilute or distort it (for instance, by removing Om) to fit it into some religious or secular concept.

(source: Is yoga a 'Hindu' practice? - by Sankrant Sanu -


Lord Dattatreya

The beauty of this culture is this, it means that you're supposed to be a natural seeker. It means you're seeking truth.

(image source: webmaster's own collection of photos).


515. John D Barrow (1952 - ) is an English cosmologist theoretical physicist and mathematician. He is currently Research Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

In his book, Pi in the Sky: Counting, thinking and Being he has observed:

The Indian system of counting has been the most successful intellectual innovation ever made on our planet. It has spread and been adopted almost universally, far more extensively, even than the letters of the Phoenician alphabet which we now employ. It constitutes the nearest thing we have to a universal language,

(source: Pi in the Sky: Counting, thinking and Being  - by John D Barrow p. 92).

516. Dr Alok Kumar professor of Physics at the State University of New York at Oswego and author of the new book, Sciences of the Ancient Hindus has observed:

What would you say about the people or culture who gave us the place-value system of numerals, the numerical zero, the trigonometric function sine and several trigonometric formulae, and set standards for mass, length, and time? What about those who developed a sophisticated system of medicine with its mind-body approach known as Ayurveda, detailed anatomical and surgical knowledge of the human body, metallurgical methods of extraction and purification of metals including the so called Damascus blade, chemical techniques to transform compounds, knowledge of various constellations and planetary motions that was good enough to assign motion to the Earth in the fifth century A.D. and the science of self-improvement (Yoga)?

The ancient Hindus used a complex calendar that used the sun and the moon in defining the day, month and year. While days and months were defined by the moon, the year was defined by the sun. Regarding the Earths motion, Aryabhatta I suggested about one millennium before Copernicus a theory in which the Earth was in axial rotation. All stars, but not planets, were at rest in this theory. Aryabhata Is hypothesis of the Earths rotational motion is clearly explained by the analogy of a boatman who observes objects on the shore moving backward.

Science was institutionalized among the ancient Hindus. It was considered sacred and as good as their moral codes for society. Scientific activities had important functions that were valued in society. The role of astronomers to fix the calendar, to set dates of religious festivals, and to predict eclipses or other astronomical events became as important as their moral codes.

There is no scholarly tradition in India to visit foreign lands for learning. On the contrary, India attracted scholars from China, the Middle East, and even from the Mediterreanean. This is in contrast to the Greek tradition in which many young Greek scholars undertook arduous journeys to Egypt, Babylon, Persia, and even to India for learning.

(source: Sciences of the Ancient Hindus - by Alok Kumar  p. 12 - 13 and p. 24 -31).

517. R Jagganathan is Editorial Director, Swarajya. He has worked on online news website and as well as Forbes India. He has previously written for or edited publications such as The Financial Express,Business Standard, Daily News & Analysis, and Bussinessworld. His is popularly referred to as Jaggi

He has wisely stated on what Hindus need to develop in order to survive Hinduphobia:

Hindus need to develop the intellectual arsenal to combat subtle Hindu-baiting with sophisticated counters. There are two lessons for Hindus who do not want to either join the fringe or become Hinduphobic themselves:

First, they must study their adversaries and adopt tactics and strategy based on local, national and global conditions for the spread of Indic ideas. If Hinduism has to hold its own at home and expand abroad, it has to have at least two products, a sophisticated version for the western markets, and a Hinduism Lite for India, where the social content is emphasised more than high metaphysics. Second, they must master the language of sophistication and modernity. Consider how the anti-Hindu lobby is dealing with the rise of Sri Sri Ravishankar. They are attacking his World Cultural Festival on the banks of the Yamuna by talking about environment damage.

..Sadly, in India, too, a supposedly Hindu majority country. The unusual thing about India is that its innate pluralism allows intemperate Hindu-baiters to be labelled as progressives, and not as Hinduphobes. However, the problem lies not with the Hinduphobes, but with Hindus themselves. There is a fundamental reluctance to understand or accept where Hinduphobia comes from, and to develop the intellectual arsenal to combat subtle Hindu-baiting with sophisticated counters.

Over the past few centuries of interaction and conflict with Islam, Christianity, racism and colonialism, Hindus often withdrew into a shell and refused to understand the adversary - and where he is coming from. Octavio Paz, the late Mexican Nobel laureate and ambassador to Delhi in the 1960s, wrote in his book (In Light of India) that Islam came to India fully formed and armed, and Hindus just could not understand what it was about. Hindus and Muslims in India, despite centuries of coexistence, merely stared at one another in incomprehension.

Hindus knew only the Indic way of religious conflict, which was more about public disputation and ultimate coexistence, and not the binary good-bad approach of the Abrahamic religions.

In Abrahamism, acceptance of one god automatically negates the other. In Hinduism, worship of Durga does not mean some people cant mourn Mahishasura. There is, of course, a serious effort underway to make Hindus see this in binary terms, so that people are set against one another.

(source: Even While Calling Out Hinduphobia, Its Important To Develop A Hinduism Lite  by R Jagannathan -

518. Yoshio Mikami (1875-1950) Japanese mathematician and wasan historian in his book, The Development of Mathematics in China and Japan, observed of the Indian influence on Chinese mathematics:

Things Indian exercised supremacy in art and literature, in philosophy, in the mode of life and the thoughts of the inhabitants, in everything. It is even said, astronomy and calendrical arts had also felt their influence. How then could arithmetic remain unaffected? No doubt the Chinese studied the arithmetical works of the Hindoos.

On the popularity of Indian literature in China, Mikami wrote: we read in history, the Indian works were read in translation ten times more than the native (Chinese) classics, a fact that vividly tells how the Indian influence had swept over the country (China).

(source: The Development of Mathematics in China and Japan - By Yoshio Mikami  P 57).

519. Dr. Kapil Kapoor (1940 - ) is an Indian scholar of linguistics and literature and an authority on Indian intellectual traditions. He is former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and served as professor at the Centre for Linguistics and English, and Concurrent Professor at the Centre for Sanskrit Studies there before retiring in 2005.He is Editor-in-Chief of the 11-Volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism published by Rupa & Co. in 2012.       

Hinduism has no sacred text. It is a kind of manual for living based on ethical materialism. It is also deeply and widely interpretative.

But keeping this make what you will of it nature of Hinduism in mind, I ask him whether this encyclopedia, an interpretation of interpretations, is not going to open to criticisms both from those who have a very firm view of Hinduism in mind and from those who see it as an exclusionary communal enterprise? Even most Brahmin scholars dont know about most of the matters that they pass off as Hindu. Like nuclear science, Hinduism is essentially a system of knowledge and this encyclopedia attempts to explain various elements for both the scholar as well as the student of ideas, says Kapoor.

(source: Hinduism is an intellectual system, not religion - by Indrajit Hazra Hindustan Times - January 13, 2012).

520. Hindol Sengupta is an Indian journalist and entrepreneur, who is the author of six books. One of Hinduisms greatest achievement is the recognition that our way is not the only way. This lack of theological arrogance must be the bedrock of any modern thinking about the place of God in our lives. The Vedanta philosophy is perfectly impersonal said Vivekananda. It does not build itself around one man. Yet, it has nothing to say against philosophies that do; there is no fight and no antagonism. We have no theory of evil. We call it ignorance said Vivekanada.

This non-judgmental, non-discriminating approach is also impossibly important in an age where we are less sure than ever about ourselves, about where we could fin love (if at all) and how we could, possibly, be happy. There is no moral code of the universe, says Hinduism, the sanatan dharma, by which the entire universe lives and works, and it is the choice of man either to learn, appreciate and play by it or not. Finally there is no sin at birth, only a choice of action, the application of karma. The entire cycle of action and consequences is in the hands of man. The law of sanatan dharma works not just for Hindus but for every living element in the universe. The universe itself, says Hinduism, has always worked on sanatan dharma or the harmonious code of balance that keeps everything functioning and always will. It is up to man to traverse that journey. In a sense then, Hindu philosophy tries to push you into realizing that you can attain any and every physiological and psychological depth through any manner or form that you choose. What determines your success and spiritual elevation is your determination, your devotion to your chosen path. It chooses neither to tell you how to live or worship, nor suggests that any path that you take would necessarily be good or bad. It asks only that you be self-aware and responsible for your actions. In your actions, it suggests, lies your liberation.

(source: Being Hindu - By Hindol Sengupta p. 60 - 61).

521. Raja Rao (1908 2000) into an old Brahmana family whose spiritual lineage dates back to the 13th century. The family home was built next to a temple and Dharmashala, both built by distant relatives. A life-time wanderer, Raja loved to tell the story of being born in room number one of his familys pilgrim inn. He was one of Indias most illustrious English language writer and during his life, Raja shared the wisdom of India with thousands of people around the world, as a teacher and author.

Raja had to learn Sanskrit against his wishes, but this opposition intensified his search for Indian values. Emerging from the classical Indian background of his grandfather, Raja began his philosophical, spiritual quest. Though, he would study many world religions, philosophies and cultures, he always knew Advaita Vedanta was the ultimate path. 

The following are the words of Raja Rao on Vedanta

There is no India without the Vedas as theres no India without the Ganges or the Himalayas.

 And whats the secret of the Vedas: its Vedanta, the end of the Vedas, or if you will, the end of knowledge (for Veda comes from the root vid: to know). So, it would be truer to say, theres no India without Vedanta 

What is mans estate? Is it to love the rivers and the forests, to glorify the world and the spenders of his making, or is it to know, to realize the estate of his state? Where is he from and where does he go? Koham Kutham? asked Sri Sankara. And what is it that I see? Unless I know whence I came, would I know what I am? And if I know what I am, would I see the world as I saw it before I knew the background, the background of my instruments of perception? Ultimately, what is it I see, comes back to who sees. If you can decide this, we have resolved, according to India, every problem of philosophy. 

Being excludes nothing, becoming choses, for evolution predicates choice. In daring the Truth, India became fearless again. In knowing it she saw herself. The Vedas became contemporary and Vedanta actual. The great sage showed the rose as rose and India became free not politically, but metaphysically. Thus going back, as it were, to the source of the Ganges, she discovered the nature of water. ‘Water is not stagnant water. Water is not flowing water. Water is just water.

Again, in the words of Raja Rao on the Guru:

Thus, I had connected myself with the great Indian tradition, started as it were with the Vedas, from an unknown age. At the apex of Indian civilization is the Guru. There was always the Guru. Everything in Indian civilization, whether it is for music or metaphysics, grammar, or yoga, or archery, you always go to a Guru.

All this shows to you that wisdom does not belong to any one nation, as sometimes we Indians in ignorance seem to boast of, as if we had the monopoly of it but that wisdom is without Kaladasa, without time or space, and to me, India is anywhere there is neither time nor space. Much as I love the Ganges, and the Himalayas, where I shall be going tomorrow, that snowy home of our Sages, the founding fathers, so to say of this land, yet must we never forget, the Truth belongs to no one, and he who has even a small inkling of it must realize that it shines in every human heart indeed, it shines wheresoever we look, for Truth is itself light, the light in any perception. So you could say ladies and gentlemen, if you will, India is perception or in the triputi of seer, seeing, and seen, seeing alone is India. In that sense, every human being is an Indian.

(source: Meaning of India in Words of Raja Rao: Brief Life Sketch of a Novelist as Sadhaka - by Susan Raja Rao -

522. Suman K Chiplunkar, author of Mudras and Health Perspective: An Indian approach has remarked: 

From time immemorial India has been a country rich not only in natural resources but also in learning and scholarship. Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says there is nothing as sacred as knowledge. The Rishis and yogis engaged themselves in the pursuit of knowledge and studied the universe. Inspired by nature and its wonders, they created the Vedas and Upanishads. They also delved deep into the inner nature of man and came about the stunning knowledge of Ayurveda, Yoga, Mudras and many other sciences. 

Through scriptures it has been given to understand that Rishis and Yogis lived hundreds of years, nay, thousands of years. People wondered at such scriptural statements. But now when we come across the practical knowledge of Ayurveda, Yoga and Mudras we feel confident that the dream of realizing long and healthy life is possible.  

Like Yoga, Mudra is one of the greatest and finest gifts of India to the world. The Science of Mudras, a part of Yoga, is based on the fundamental principles of life, namely, the five elements akash, vayu, agni, jal and prithvi; the five pranas Prana Udana Samana Apana and Vyana; and the three doshas Vata, Kapha, Pitta. 

(source: Mudras and Health Perspective: An Indian approach - By Suman K Chiplunkar p. 15).

523. Sanjeev Sanyal author of the book, Land of the Seven Rivers, arguing that Hinduism is unique because while it sees 'The Truth' as absolute and immutable but simultaneously acknowledges that there could be an infinite number of variations and permutations and combinations to approach that Truth.

Hinduisms resilience and formidable intellectual prowess comes from this open source nature of its architecture. Hinduism is unique because while it sees ‘The Truth’ as absolute and immutable but simultaneously acknowledges that there could be an infinite number of variations and permutations and combinations to approach that Truth. So Hinduism, says Sanjeev, is like an operating system which provides the basic framework to structure the search and different thinkers, sages, monks, philosophers have built apps on top of that architecture, on top of that operating system, building thoughts and ideas that assist people on the faith to knowing the Truth.  

In a sense, I argue, Hinduism is an open source faith allowing many ideas to flow in and provides nuances and directions of thought that assimilate and accommodate constantly and consistently.

In this sense, everyone from Ramakrishna Paramhansa to Vivekananda to Osho to Ramana Maharishi was an app builder who influenced and built within and on top of the open source architecture of Hinduism.

(source: Calling Hinduism A Way Of Life Is Meaningless: Sanjeev Sanyal By Hindol Sengupta).



Durga Goddess: Fierce can be beautiful. Durga, wife of Shiva personifying Shakti or divine energy. Hindu society has never seen women as weak.  



524. Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, Hindu Yogi, author and mystic. Founder of Isha foundation and offers Yoga programs around the world. He has expressed his ideas on Hinduism thus: A Hindu is free to question the existence of God.

The beauty of this culture is this, says Sadhguru. It means that you're supposed to be a natural seeker. It means you're seeking truth. Though all the religious texts have said (the truth), the individual has the right to seek. We need not accept anything anyone has said.

While we can and should respect everyone's beliefs, no one has the right to impose them on each other.  Ultimately, we all need to be seekers and this holds true for every religion. Hindu means that there is just one goal in ones life, which is Mukti, meaning liberation. Thus, the only aim that any Hindu has is ultimate liberation. For a Hindu, his career, business, family, and friends are all like secondary things. They are just but stepping stones to ultimate liberation. Hence, everything else is secondary, and relationships are not significant. For a Hindu, the one and only thing about life is liberation. For him, even God can be used as another stepping stone for attaining ultimate liberation. However, no one else sees it in this angle.

God, in almost all religions, is the eventual goal. However, Hinduism is like a culture that does not view God as an ultimate goal. Hindus understand that they created him and can create whichever number they desire. Any kind they want. Hindus have learnt the science and art of creation such that they can transform a rock to be divine. 

(source: Hinduism Explained - by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev).

Famines were quite normal in almost every culture, in every society. In this culture, when famines came, the simple rural wisdom was that if you have a cow in your house, your children will live. If you do not have a cow in your house, your children will die, it was as simple as that. So the cow naturally became like a mother, it is like a surrogate mother to us. When our mothers breast could not feed us anymore, and the next level of food did not come to us, the cow was like a mother for everybody. All of us at some point have sustained and nourished ourselves on cows milk, is it not? It became very sacred because it is a life nourisher and what should have gone to its own offspring, it allows us. We believe such things, but whether it allows or not we take it. Because it nourishes us in that way, it is like the number two mother in our life. So in this culture some sanctity was given to the cow. Another reason is that the cow has very human kind of emotions. The cow is one animal which responds to your own grief and sorrow. Suppose you are very miserable, the cow feels this and sheds tears for your pain. That is the reason why in India it was said you should not kill a cow because its emotions are close to that of a human being.

(source: Cow The Life Nourisher -

525. Kashyap Vasavada born in India,M.S. (Physics) Delhi Univ. (India) Ph.D. (Physics) Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD. Research Associate NASA. Emeritus Professor Department of Physics Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis Indianapolis. He has written at length on Hinduism and its lack of conflict with science:

Eastern religions (in particular Hinduism and Buddhism) do not have any problem with science whatsoever. In the following I will try to explain this assertion. In fact you would have hard time finding a single Indian (or someone from many other Asian countries) who believes in young Earth creationism or is against Big Bang theory or theory of evolution.

I will start with the concept of God in Hinduism. In some sense, Hinduism is the most misunderstood religion in the West, starting with its name! The real name is Sanatana Dharma meaning universal duty, responsibility or a prescribed way. The word Hindu was coined probably by Persians thousands of years back. They called people living near the river Sindhu (Indus) as Hindus! Unfortunately the word Hinduism is stuck like God particle for Higgs boson! So I will have to use it. The main scriptures are called Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagvad Gita. The religion did not originate from one prophet, but a number of sages contributed to the Vedic vision portrayed in the scriptures. Founding fathers of quantum theory like Schrodinger, Heisenberg and Bohr were familiar with these scriptures. These scriptures talk about (in Sanskrit) a formless, shapeless, omnipresent, omniscient God as Brahman. It is a universal, ultimate, super consciousness. It is supposed to be present in every particle of the universe. Thus the Hindu concept is: God is not like a king emperor who created the universe and rules arbitrarily from outside but it is an all pervading eternal entity.

There is a beautiful interesting illustration in Vedas which Schrodinger mentions in his book on what is life. The question is why consciousness looks similar when our bodies look different. The answer in Vedas is that the source of consciousness is outside. We are merely reflecting it as multiple mirrors would reflect a single object!

Now let us consider two main issues in which some Westerners see conflict with science: age of Universe and theory of evolution. On both of these issues, the Hindu sages got approximately correct ideas in agreement with science. Just by thought processes they realized that universe must be billions of years old, as noted by Carl Sagan in his book on cosmos. The other realization was that there must be some connection between animals and human beings. If human beings have souls, then animals too have souls. That gave rise to mythological stories that God came to Earth in the form of first sea animals, then land animals and then human beings. These are ten Avatars of god Vishnu.

How about origin of universe? Of course one cannot say that the ancient sages knowledge was anywhere comparable to the current knowledge. But just see the astonishing description of origin from a scripture known as Vayupuran: 

In the beginning, there was nothing in the universe. The Brahman (the divine essence) alone was everywhere. The Brahman had neither color nor scent; it could not be felt or touched. It had no origin, no beginning or no end. The Brahman was constant and it was the origin of everything that was destined to be in the universe and the universe was shrouded in darkness.

Interesting! It was dark because visible light was not created yet!! In all Hindu scriptures, multiverse and cycles of creation and destruction of universe lasting billions and trillions of years are frequently mentioned.

Another excerpt from Vedas:

The universe is brought about by the collapse of fullness in the transcendental field in which reside all the laws of nature responsible for the creation of the entire manifest universe. How is the transcendental level functioning? It is functioning from its unbounded nature to point to itself. He who does not know that initial pure consciousness state, ultimate reality, what can the laws of nature accomplish for him? He who knows it, remains established in evenness, unity, wholeness of life.

Since Brahman was by itself, it is clear that it interacted with itself i.e. self-referral (like inflaton!!!) and eventually manifested in every particle of the universe. It is a very interesting parallel with modern cosmology. Strictly speaking the word manifestation rather than creation is used in Vedic cosmology with a subtle meaning.

Hinduism for physicists - by Kashyap Vasavada).



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