Advanced Yoga Practices
Main Lessons
Previous  |  Next

Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 267 - Subject: About the Word "Hindu"  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Sat Jun 25, 2005  4:33 pm

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"


Q: I read your articles with great interest. Needless to say that I am into various branches of yoga.

What surprises me in your last lesson (#266) is your classification of "Hindu" and "Hinduism." No such thing existed in the "ancient days" as Hindu/ism. It is called even today as "Sanathana Dharma," a set of guiding principles, which most learned sages agree. I am a staunch follower of same!

You know how the word "Hindu" came! The west always wanted to identify the rest of the world with a religion, thus they coined "Hinduism."

Learned people like you should propagate to remove the stigma.

Just my few cents, having subscribed to your Group and enjoying the good articles. Please keep them flowing.

A: Thank you for writing and sharing.

Interestingly, it is the questioner from India (lesson #266) who used the word "Hindu." As it turns out, my answer has neither the word nor the characterization of "Hindu." The reply was about the relationship of organized religion in general with the methods that promote human spiritual transformation, which here we call "Yoga."

It was the Persians who coined the term "Hindu," wasn't it? In any case, the only religious classifications you will find in AYP are on those that promote human spiritual transformation versus those that don't. Ultimately, the names do not matter very much in this -- the business of accelerating human spiritual evolution is everything. Yet, from a cultural point of view, the names can mean a lot. We all need someplace to hang our hat, at least when starting out on our spiritual journey in this life. Later on, we can end up seeing all the religions as different expressions of the same truth that lives within us all. As discussed in the previous lesson, there can be a lot of distortion in the religions, but not in the underlying and often hidden truth.

As they say, "A rose is still a rose by any other name." In AYP, the rose is called "Yoga." If you call it "Sanathana Dharma," that is perfectly okay, as long as proven practices (meditation, pranayama, etc.) and results are there. It can be called "Hinduism" too. Why not? Many in India feel comfortable with that, and who are we to deprive them of their way of regarding the spiritual path? Every culture has adopted a name for truth. It is always the same truth - the truth of human spiritual transformation.

In the new novel, "The Secrets of Wilder," the word "Yoga" is not used once. The whole journey, with the same practices, is made within a Christian framework, with no eastern terminology at all. It is still the same rose...

The novel was written that way to appeal to a mainstream western audience -- not to slight India in any way. There can be no doubt that we owe much to Mother India in all of this. Every major religion has important connections with the ancient wisdom of India. Jesus went there too, yes?

Many names can apply to the same knowledge that has come to us from ancient times, and is bubbling up from within us in this very moment -- pure bliss consciousness, ecstasy and outpouring divine love!

There is one common denominator behind all the religions -- the human nervous system's inherent capacity to open to divine experience.

I wish you all success on your chosen spiritual path. Enjoy!

The guru is in you.

Related Lessons Topic Path

Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum

Note: For detailed instructions on building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.

Previous  |  Next