Essay donated by Chintamani Rath
So, why am I a Hindu?
Sometime in late September 1999, a senior Roman Catholic priest made remarks
to the following effect in my presence in an informal setting (but in his
"I think it is high time that we all stop thinking of God in a
primitive and pagan manner as a terrible and frightening Being ever ready to
mete out fearsome punishment to sinners and begin to think of God in a more
acceptable manner as One who is merciful, kind, benevolent, loving,
compassionate and ever ready to forgive sinners when they repent sincerely".
Since the season was that of Durga Puja and Kali Puja (the
great annual Hindu festivals celebrating the Glory
of the Mother Goddess in Her Form as Durga and thereafter in Her Form as
Kali), his references and implications were obvious. He was referring, in an
uncomplimentary manner, to those particular manifestations of the Almighty
towards which we direct our minds during these festivals. He either did not
realize or chose to remain silent on the point that apart from these two
manifestations of the Supreme Being, there are others, too, of the aspect and
demeanor well-depicted by his own description of a desirable and acceptable
Supreme Being, such as Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Bhavani, Vaishnavi and more.
Why should there be so many "manifestations" of the same and one and only
Supreme Being? This is a separate subject and will be addressed later in this
On another occasion soon after the priest's remark, a Muslim colleague
"With the passage of time society progresses and becomes
increasingly more refined. So a later religion is more scientific and
incorporates the accumulated wisdom of greater human experience. Since
Islam is later than both Hinduism and
Christianity, it is more advanced than the latter two
and hence more acceptable".
At that time (1999) the reverend's and my colleague's comments
prompted me to write a small article explaining why in spite of their
arguments I am and continue to remain, and very happily so, a proud and
thankful Hindu. An annual publication in Calcutta did me the honor of
publishing it, and this section is based in part upon that article.
Topics covered in this section:
Copyright © Chintamani Rath. Taken from:
http://www.ragaculture.com/hinduism.html Contact Dr Rath for permission to use.
Initial posting: 2009-SEP-30
Latest update: 2009-SEP-30
Author: Chintamani Rath. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org