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Thoughts - For Hindus abroad

Hindus, who are in the places where they are in a limited number, feel at times missing a lot in their personal life. With the changed environment one needs to see how effective the Hindu concepts, which provides the vital spiritual growth, can be practcied and preserved and provided to the whole world. Some thoughts on it.

1. Temples

These are the hubs - point understated actually, these are the hearts which energize each individuals spirituality, irrespective of the stage one is in. These abodes of God are in fact the base points for meeting many of the other following points too. The temple worship, though present, it is somewhat given lesser preference when people are abroad. It is not required that only the temples in India are holy (because people who do not visit temples abroad do that when in India). If the Hindus make it a point to visit the temple at least once a week (on whichever day they are comfortable with) along with their family, that is the major and necessary ritual that would ensure the Hindu breeze blowing in their minds and in the minds of their generations.

2. Worship

This procedure may have to be streamlined. There are multiple points to make here. One thing is preserving the traditional knowledge and the next is the adoption to the changed environment. Our ancestors have given quite a great amount of thought in forming the worship rituals. These rituals carry very fine meaning in them and produce marvelous effects in ones spiritual progress and the social upliftment. These are coined so beautiful that even without understanding the real sense behind, if done, they serve some purpose at least. These rituals and scriptures are something we have to preserve and pass on to the next generations.
There is one problem in that. When everything is in Sanskrit very few people get the meanings of these marvelous hymns, hence the involvement doesn't come fully. So it would be very much necesary to have the worship also in the language the local people could understand. In the Swiss temples run by Srilankan Hindus, they worship the God with the thEvAram and thirumuRais and even during the archanai time everybody in chorus chants the pORRith thiruththANdakam of appar. On the other side, in places like US or Australia, where multi-linguistic Hindus stay, it may not be that easy.

3. Education

This is a much lacking point as for as Hindus of this generation in general are concerned. And this problem is more found in the people especially the younger generation living abroad. They see their parents doing some pUjas or going to temples, but living in a modern and E-society they don't understand why they are wasting their time like this in superstitious beliefs ! These young kids in the so-called free society (uncontrolled!!) see two different worlds one inside the house and a diametrically opposite one outside. They get absolutely confused. All because of lack of information. This could be avoided by means of providing the vital information about the knowledge that is inherited from our forefathers and the glory of the Hindu practices. 
To do this today's parents are not well equipped. Either because they did not show interest earlier for various reasons or they themselves were not taught well by the generation before. So this education from the religious societies would be a nutritious food for the younger generation. The spiritual journals in various languages could provide quality information. But not only journals, but there could be some formal classes on spiritualism, philosophy and rituals held for people.

4. Festivals

The festivals are the ones add color to our spiritual society. Whether the high-funda philosophies go to the roots are not these festivals go deep deep into the whole cross-section and from and ignorant to a well-learnt pundit celebrates them. Further these are the ones along with the rituals carry the meanings and glory to the future generations. Many of our people abroad feel they are fish out of water or branch cut off from the root. Celebrating the Hindu festivals induces a great amount of refreshment in them. These festivals would also tell about Hinduism to the people who do not know about it.

5. Discussions/Forums

One important factor that makes Hinduism an open umbrella is the sharing of various views and experiences. From the ancient days this has provided a well-nurtured growth to Hindu philosophies. The knowledge which one has obtained needs to be shared (without any Ego !!) to the people, which through a forum of wise and learnt people gets in a pure form to reach the people. These discussions held in a very positive sense are very much required in order to tackle the challenges this marvelous religion is facing today from various quarters. The Hindu Forums have to take the messages to the people, involve them and also provide an opportunity for the people who do not know about this glorious path(s) to realize and follow.

6. Service

This is one of the very important aspects of our religion which has been almost absolutely lost or forgotten in the recent days. We have become very much self-centric and due to this reason we have shrunk ourselves quite a bit. This is very much against the motives of our great sages who shared the immensely valuable knowledge that they got out of stringent austerities renouncing the normal pleasures. And it is against those kings and valorous people who gave their lives in ensuring the well being of others and to ensure the availability of this great dharma to the future generations that is us. Whomsoever great people we read about in our religion the main point is their service.
Though we are aware of the high morals of the Hindu religion we do not tell about this to others, we do not educate them. How could we call the Lord pashupati and deny the fellow pashus the knowledge about pati, the God ! In fact we do not share the knowledge quite much amongst our people also. We need to remember the saint rAmAnuja, who cried loud the name of Lord viShnu in public, saying "If all these people would go to vaikunTam, I won't mind going to hell". In this regard our service engine has to be revived.

We, as followers of Hinduism can contribute a lot to the morally high, spiritually blissful, peaceful future society and world, telling and more importantly practicing the innumerous good things that Hinduism has offered us. If we do that, no doubt the future world would be thankful to us, as we are to our forefathers.

Posted On : 03.04.2000

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