America is a Nation of Hindus...

I have had this article by Newsweek book marked for a while now as I debated whether or not to post on it. However, I decided to post on it since there seems to be a growing consensus about America no longer being a “Christian nation.” This is particularly popular following President Obama’s comments that really jump-started this discussion (you can watch this comment HERE). His exact quote was: "We have a very large Christian population...uh...we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation...uh...we consider ourselves...uh...a nation of citizens, who are...uh...bound by ideals and a set of values."

What really struck me about this article, however, is that it was not yet another news snippet proclaiming that America was no longer Christian. The amazing thing about the article was it proclaiming that we are becoming a nation of Hindus—at least in our ideals. The article noted, “A Hindu believes there are many paths to God. Jesus is one way, the Qur'an is another, yoga practice is a third. None is better than any other; all are equal.” Pointing to recent surveys, Lisa Miller—the author—shows that the traditional belief of conservative Christians that Jesus is the only way of salvation and that Christianity is the only true religion is becoming the minority. She wrote:
According to a 2008 Pew Forum survey, 65 percent of us believe that "many religions can lead to eternal life"—including 37 percent of white evangelicals, the group most likely to believe that salvation is theirs alone. Also, the number of people who seek spiritual truth outside church is growing. Thirty percent of Americans call themselves "spiritual, not religious," according to a 2009 NEWSWEEK Poll, up from 24 percent in 2005.
Could it be that Christianity is beginning to lose one of its fundamental doctrines? It has long been understood that the Bible teaches that salvation is gained by Christ Jesus alone (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). As far as Christianity being the only true religion, that can become an argument of terms. For example, there are many who proclaim they are “Christian”, yet deny many of the doctrines taught by Christ himself. On the other hand, which religions and denominations are “Christian” is becoming a war of semantics. Baptists don’t consider Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses to be Christian, yet the average person on the street would call a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness a Christian. This is increasingly going to become more of a problem as time continues to pass. This relativism is beginning to creep into churches because many churches no longer teach their congregations the Bible, they teach their congregations about the Bible. There are lots of “pretty” sermons preached that don’t make a bit of difference in people’s lives when they leave the doors of the church because they don’t believe the Bible applies to their daily lives. It’s just an outdated book that isn’t relevant any longer. It’s not equipped to answer the tough questions of society today. Then we are surprised when we hear the statistics of polls like these.

There was yet another interesting point in this article: “So here is another way in which Americans are becoming more Hindu: 24 percent of Americans say they believe in reincarnation, according to a 2008 Harris poll.” Reincarnation is the belief that following a person’s death, their soul returns to earth in a different body. In a sense, the Bible teaches reincarnation. At the end of days, people will be reunited with a new body—an eternal body (1 Corinthians 15:35-55, 2 Corinthians 5:1-5). The main difference in Hindu reincarnation and “Christian reincarnation” is that Hindu’s understand this to be an on going process—death, rebirth, death, rebirth, etc. Wheras, Christians would only believe that this occurs one time. Death of the finite body and rebirth into the eternal body.

Overall this was an intersting article that raised some good points. What about you, do you think we are becoming more Hindu as a nation? Do you believe there is more than one way to salvation? Do you believe in reincarnation?
What'd you think? 


2 Response to "America is a Nation of Hindus..."

  • Anirudh Kumar Satsangi Says:

    o According to His Holiness Huzur Maharaj, the Second Most Revered Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had stated : “Love or Force of attraction (i.e. the Force of Cohesion) is the Param Tattva or the chief ingredient of the creation, i.e. the entire creation has come into existence out of Love and is sustained by Love.” In scientific terminology this is known as Gravity.
    Based on my recent comments posted in various blogs , I have postulated a hypothesis. propose. Theoretical Physics describes four fundamental forces of nature viz., weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force, electromagnetic force and force of gravity. Here we can present an analogy. Weak and strong nuclear forces represent pancha-bhutas or the five elements. Electromagnetic force represents force of current of mind which mainly works through sensory organs and force of gravity represents supra-causal state of Consciousness. We know that during advanced stage of practice of meditation and yoga pancha-bhutas or five elements merge into mind and mind into supra-causal state of Consciousness and ultimately Individual Consciousness merges into Cosmic Consciousness. This is the state of Perfect Bliss or Self-Realization. Likewise during the reverse process of Cosmic Evolution i.e. Perfect Dissolution of the Universe, weak and strong nuclear forces merge into electromagnetic force and electromagnetic force merges into force of gravity.
    In the beginning, the entire Creation came into existence from this Single Force Current which later on manifested into many force currents during the process of Cosmic Evolution.
    Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator, this paper I presented at the 1st Int. Conf. on Revival of Traditional Yoga, held at The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India), Lonavla, Pune in 2006. The Abstract of this paper is given below:
    The Universe includes everything that exists. In the Universe there are billions and billions of stars. These stars are distributed in the space in huge clusters. They are held together by gravitation and are known as galaxies. Sun is also a star. Various members of the solar system are bound to it by gravitation force. Gravitation force is the ultimate cause of birth and death of galaxy, star and planets etc. Gravitation can be considered as the cause of various forms of animate and inanimate existence. Human form is superior to all other forms. Withdrawal of gravitational wave from some plane of action is called the death of that form. It can be assumed that gravitation force is ultimate creator. Source of it is ‘God’. Gravitational Field is the supreme soul (consciousness) and its innumerable points of action may be called as individual soul (consciousness). It acts through body and mind. Body is physical entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system. Electromagnetic waves are its agents through which it works. This can be realized through the practice of meditation and yoga under qualified meditation instruction. This can remove misunderstanding between science and religion and amongst various religions. This is the gist of all religious teachings – past, present and future.


  • Anirudh Kumar Satsangi Says:

    PRACTICE OF YOGA AND DEVELOPMENT OF SPIRITUAL QUOTIENT

    Religion and Yoga reflect identical meaning. Religion (re-ligare) means union again with Ultimate Reality or binding back to Absolute. Yoga is the derivative of Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ which means yoking of power of body, mind and soul. Yoga primarily consists of concentration, meditation and realization apart from practicing asans, mudras and breath control which help to achieve concentration and physical and emotional well-being. Yoga is experimental technique of spiritualism. Religion is blend of ritual and spiritual. Rituals dominate religion these days. Whereas rituals are altogether not necessary for practicing yoga.
    Yoga in India has been practiced since the dawn of the human civilization, according to Hindu mythology millions of year back.
    In Bhagavad-Gita Lord SriKrishna says to Arjuna:
    “I taught this immortal Yoga to Vivasvan (sun-god), Vivasvan conveyed it to Manu(his son), and Manu imparted it to (his son) Iksvaku. Thus transmitted to succession from father to son, Arjuna, this Yoga remained known to the Rajarisis (royal sages). It has however long since disappeared from this earth. The same ancient Yoga has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend, and also because this is a supreme secret”.
    At this Arjuna said: You are of recent origin while the birth of Vivasvan dates back to remote antiquity. How, then, I am to believe that you taught this Yoga at the beginning of creation? Lord SriKrishna said: Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births. I remember them all, you do not remember.

    Famous historian Romila Thapar has described in her book A History of India about the status of Yoga in 300-700 A.D. She writes: “Yoga (Application) which was based on the control of the body physically and implied that a perfect control over the body and the senses led to knowledge of the ultimate reality. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the human body was necessary to the advancement of yoga and therefore those practising yoga had to keep in touch with medical knowledge.”
    As far as anatomical knowledge of human body is concerned it is very much required for the optimum result during practice of Yoga. Yoga system has very close connection with the human anatomy i.e. chakra or nerve centres distributed along the spinal column and in brain region.
    Besides, connection chakras with the practice of Yoga, chakra has also great role in the development of personality. People do not realise that personalities can grow to include a balance of all the six chakras. Jung referred to this growth process as “individuation”, and associated it with life’s spiritual dimension. Danah Zohar evolves a model of spiritual quotient (sq) based on the six petals of a lotus and its centre, corresponding to the seven chakras described by the Hinduism’s Kundalini Yoga, as an aid to the process of individuation in the mid-1990s. Contribution of Danah Zohar for coining the term spiritual quotient for the first time is immense. But she did not establish any mathematical relationship, which is very much required, for this quotient.