There are Westerners following sampradayas in the Saiva, Shakti, Vaishnava, Smarta, and Neo-Hindu sects.
I have come across a number of blogs by other Western followers of Hinduism, and I thought that putting a page listing them by sect would be a useful resource. I chose a page rather than a post because I see this as something that will develop over time rather than a journal entry. The page can be accessed by the “Westerners Following Hinduism” tab below the header image.
Continued from How I became a Hindu – part two which follows How I became a Hindu – part one.
Nataraja, Shiva the cosmic dancer.
One day, when surfing the Internet I came across a Nataraja, the image of Shiva as the cosmic dancer on eBay. Almost on impulse I purchased it. I found myself impelled to read up on the symbolism. The symbolism of the dance of creation, preservation and destruction struck a chord with me and immediately felt right.
I found that whenever I passed the Nataraja I could see that this image represented God, and I felt compelled to thank God for all that exists.
I live near to a Hindu temple, and I decided to visit. At first I was very nervous about just turning up, but I was made very welcome and the Pandit explained many things to me. I also bought and studied many books on Hinduism, as I knew that I had been called to this path. One of the books I bought was “How to become a Hindu”, which is published by the Himalayan Academy and available online. Continue reading
Continued from How I became a Hindu – part one.
Having been brought up in a small town that was almost exclusively white and Christian, at University I met a number of people from all over the world and of all religions. In fact I have lived in ethnically diverse cities since then.
A mela in the UK
This in itself had a major impact on my understanding of Christianity as “the only way to salvation”. One of my closest friends at University was a Sikh, and whereas it is one thing to theoretically hear that people you don’t know will be destined for hell, it is quite different if you know this is talking about friends, fellow students, work colleagues, etc. It is obvious to anyone who meets people from many different religions and cultures that if God is loving, then it can’t be true that only those from one particular religion will be saved.
The strength of atheists’ arguments
I also met many articulate atheists. These were in general sincere, people of integrity and they had very logical arguments. Continue reading
Posted in hinduism, other religions, religion
Tagged agnosticism, atheism, caucasian hindu, christianity, hindu, unitarian, universalism, western hindu, white hindu
I have been asked why I am became a Hindu. In one way this is simple to answer, God called me to this path. What people really want though is a description of the manner and the process of this calling. I will attempt to describe this, though in some ways it is quite difficult. Writing things down makes it appear as though they are an ordered set of steps, one leading to another. In reality I am not certain which thoughts and ideas occurred before others, and many things happened concurrently. I have also left out certain influences and events concerning other people. Anyway, I will start at the beginning and end at the present, and even if the order in the middle is a little uncertain the gist will be correct. Continue reading
I have decided that I need to change my blog title from “Westerner interested in Hinduism”. I am more than just interested in Hinduism now, I am a follower of Sanatana Dharma. I have to say a follower at the beginning stages, and perhaps not a very good one. But what should I change it to? Well, it should reflect that I am ethnically Western, and that I am following Hinduism. The obvious title is “Western Hindu”, and that is actually the title that I have decided to use.
Why have I bothered to write this article then? Because there are very good arguments that the title “Western Hindu” is not accurate and some would argue incorrect. This article explores the alternative titles that I have considered, and why I have chosen a title that is not the most accurate. I will start by looking at why the term “Western” is could be misleading, and then look at why some people would claim that my use of the word “Hindu” is wrong.