Tag Archives: universalism

The Guru and the path of freedom; a contradiction?

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami

I had a very interesting comment from littleindian that made me think. A lot of littleindian‘s comments are thought provoking. Littleindian was questioning whether my seeking approval from Satguru Bodhinatha to change my vow of vegetarianism to allow eggs was sacrificing individual thought.

This leads to a more general question. Hinduism has always allowed  freedom of thought. Hinduism acknowledges that there are many ways and paths. In his book “Am I a Hindu“, Ed Viswanatham expresses this very clearly:

Within Hinduism you can argue on any subject. You can even make statements like “There is no Krishna or Rama” and still be a Hindu … In Hinduism one will seldom come across a statement starting ‘Thou shalt not.’  … you will find it to be filled with all kind of ideas.

Yet Hinduism also has the concept of the Guru, the spiritual preceptor , the God realised master who will lead his (or sometimes her) followers to God. The Guru is the ultimate authority. How can we reconcile this with the freedom of ideas? Continue reading

How I became a Hindu – part two

Continued from How I became a Hindu – part one.

Multicultural Britain

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