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View Diary: Hinduism (Photo Diary): Street Prophets Coffee Hour (22 comments)

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  •  It was my impression that "Hindu" actually (5+ / 0-)

    comprised hundreds of religions, the defining character of each being which deity was considered most important, and that many Indians changed "religion" several times throughout their lives.  The term "Hindu" was essentially an ethnic slur devised by Muslims who had difficulty understanding the general philosophical attitudes in India.

    Due to the interchangable religious attitudes, the Indians do not have the concepts of apostasy, blashphemy, or heresy.  That point of view is very comforting to me.  Seems to be an enlightened attitude.

    Does anyone know if this is true or if I've been misled?  Thanks!

    •  Some truth in some of what you say... (8+ / 0-)

      ...Hinduism is a mosaic of many different types of religion, with old tribal deities and practices coexisting with accretions from other centuries.  Regional variations are the norm rather than the exception, with different parts of the country practicing in very different ways.

      But "Hindu" is a geographical term, meaning "of the Indus river," so AFAIK it is not pejorative.  "India" and "Hindu" both have the "Ind" phoneme, as you can see.

      There are many fascinating Hindu/Muslim syncretisms in India, for example at the shrines of Sufi saints like Moiuddin Chishti in Ajmer and Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi.

      And generally the concepts of apostasy, blasphemy and heresy are not part of Indian religious discourse.

      Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

      by WarrenS on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:25:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the clarification (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ojibwa, linkage, arizonablue, WarrenS, Aunt Pat

        I think I agree with Webranding below, if I were to chose any religious tradition, this is one that would get serious consideration from me.

      •  I've worked for & with (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WarrenS, Aunt Pat, KenBee, Ojibwa, Ooooh

        Indians. There is great variation, & rather large difference  between North & South India. I helped found, & copyedited, an Indian-American monthly newspaper. You can imagine the spelling challenges. But caste & class  have carried over to America, if  subtly to an  American's view.  I had to be constantly advised on protocol. Indians, with their culture  - plus the British influences that allow us to relate better to each other, are a wonderful addition to our culture. They go just as overboard as we do on their holidays & festivals, with the parades, color, music, food & dancing. We can't have too many happy festivals.

        "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

        by DJ Rix on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:21:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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