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Understanding Hinduism - a letter - INDIAN EXPRESS

C.R. Nath ()
3 July 1996

Title : Understanding Hinduism - a letter
Author : C.R. Nath
Publication : INDIAN EXPRESS
Date : July 3, 1996

Sir: I strongly protest against the article "Mid-
dle class lumpenisation of Hinduism" which denigrates
the Hindus. The author has abused freedom of expres-
sion. Had he known the ABC of Hinduism (Vedantic reli-
gion) he would not have obliquely advised the readers to
look at their religion through Johnsonian goggles. He
would have quoted any of the scores of luminous sages
cited in the Upanishads or Lord Krishna's advice to Ar-
jun. Luckily, the British did not care for the reli-
gious feelings of Johnson who, if quoted correctly by
the author, would have his countrymen keep away from
Sunday Church services. The author has interpreted
Johnson out of context because religious congregation and
pulpit oratories could never have been condemned
by the great litterateur and lexicographer.

I wonder if he has courage enough to write such things
about any other religion. There are countries/regions
where it was not possible to separate religious and
secular affairs - Ireland, Scotland, Roman Papacy etc.
- what to speak of the Semitic world.

He is also wrong in assuming that the rituals and fes-
tivals of the Rig Veda are secular, since
religious/spiritual/philosophical feelings and ideas
form the very foundation of entire sets of hymns, lit-
urgy and rituals of all the Vedas. Whatever secular
construction is visible to anybody is just the veneer or
crust of the inner Vedic religion of Pantheism or non-
dualism. The Vedas are too inextricably interwoven to
be segregated into religious and secular compartments.
Their holistic nature is quite transparent.

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