I follow Dharma, I am not a non-believer

Even though dharmic traditions are built around the core philosophy of karma, but for the sake of equal treatment, dharmic people have to demand rights and be entitled to certain privileges.

I follow Dharma, I am not a non-believer
I follow Dharma, I am not a non-believer

Criticism of Dharmic traditions, philosophy, and culture is a part of that education to instil a sense of fear of losing their exclusivity

Being a Hindu, Buddhist and other allied dharmic faiths, has become difficult for many practitioners of Dharma. Dharma is the connecting principle from all faiths originating from Vedas. Anyone who knows Vedas will appreciate the openness in which Vedas discuss all issues. The inherent nature of Vedas is objectivity, subjectivity with rationality. That makes a powerful combination for intelligent people to naturally get drawn towards Dharma.

Directly or directly, there are more than 90 million followers of Dharmic philosophies in the USA. And this movement towards dharma is becoming stronger by the day. The natural inquisitiveness of a person is directly fulfilled by Vedic literature. I recently met with a person on the flight, and he asked me, “what type of beads you are using?” I replied that “these are tulsi beads and we use them regularly for our mediation.” His inquisitiveness rose and he asked me, “what faith are you from?” I told him that “I follow Hinduism”. His immediate question to me was “I was taught that Hindus are idolators and have no religious practice”. I asked him what was his faith. He replied that “he was a Muslim”. Then, I added, as per your faith, I am considered as a kafir. For those who won’t know that Kafir is considered an atheistic and faithless person in Islamic texts and good Muslims are usually indoctrinated from childhood to not mix with kafirs. He immediately asked the flight attendant to change his seat.

The dharmic traditions lose followers to this institutionalized propaganda because sometimes they don’t understand the purpose behind those questions

Usually, most dharmic people are highly educated and are usually very very accommodative of other faiths. Anyone from any faith can easily become dharmic because dharma doesn’t discriminate. That’s the beauty of Dharma. The dharmic philosophy creates a balanced individual. Also, dharma also assumes that everyone has an individual spiritual path which they are entitled to seek. Which, naturally brings in freedom to choose and also brings in responsibility.

How would have other dharmic people handled this? Most Hindus and Buddhists I know, never judge anyone else by faith. Faith is just considered a personal choice. It is not usually considered important. Many Hindus and Buddhists are generally shy to speak about their faith to anyone unless they are asked. Usually, even when they are asked, they describe the cultural aspect more than the philosophical aspect. So generally, when they are asked about their faith they will probably give the least amount of information out of deep civility. A Hindu may say that I worship Vishnu or Shiva or Ganesh, and then he will add a qualifier that God is one for all. The non-dharmic person that he is speaking with will interpret this in a totally opposite way. The non-dharmic person immediately asks, “I have heard that you have many gods.” At this time, the Hindu person becomes defensive and gets into a larger explanation that further expands into the next challenging question by a non-dharmic person, “I have heard that you have a caste system.” At this time, Hindu defends,” Caste system is not by birth but it’s due to qualities and qualification. It’s misused by some people, not the majority.” That is usually the end of the discussion.

But, have we wondered that from where these questions are springing up in the minds of non-dharmic people. The answer to that question will baffle you, to say the least. It’s the centuries-old philosophical insecurity and indoctrination since childhood of non-dharmic people that makes them believe that they are the people of faith and all others have no faith. In their sermons, textbooks and their preaching, they are taught that they are exclusive chosen people. Very little information is given to them about other native cultures and spiritual practices. When they meet a Hindu or Buddhist or any other spiritual practitioner, they are surprised. Because probably they are meeting them for the first time. Their inquisitiveness often throws similar questions.

The concept of polytheism, pantheism and idolatry is considered heretic to a large extent in their books because their books were designed by their men to make them exclusive. This exclusivity makes them entitled to consider themselves as special and more advanced than other people. This exclusivity often drives them to violent acts against native people.

History is evidence of violent Islamic conquests against Levant, Persia and South Asia. Also, violent Christian racist propaganda against native cultures in the Americas, South Asia and many other parts of the world. The philosophical maturity of Dharmic literature makes their books look very artificial and incomplete. That’s the biggest insecurity of their teachers. So the only way they can maintain their so-called superiority is by teaching a false sense of exclusivity through indoctrination. Things like, monotheism, belief in their version of god and superior belief in their book are drilled into the minds of all their followers. They institutionalize the propaganda at all levels to maintain their followers.

Criticism of Dharmic traditions, philosophy, and culture is a part of that education to instil a sense of fear of losing their exclusivity. It’s sort of negative propaganda to protect their egotistical belief in exclusivity. Monetary benefits, Community benefits are usually created to help retain people which otherwise will naturally be drawn towards dharmic traditions. A culture of false pride is taught. Also, they force themselves on all religious bodies and educational bodies of Dharmic people to weaken their philosophy.

The dharmic traditions lose followers to this institutionalized propaganda because sometimes they don’t understand the purpose behind those questions. It’s also an opportunity to train non-dharmic people about dharmic culture and philosophy. It’s important to design simpler curriculums to remove this false propaganda and present a stronger face to people of non-dharmic traditions. Western societies are built around entitlement and rights. Even though dharmic traditions are built around the core philosophy of karma, but for the sake of equal treatment, dharmic people have to demand rights and be entitled to certain privileges.

Few things that need to be done by dharmic communities forcefully:

  • Demanding cultural rights on food
  • Demanding fair representation in government religious bodies such as USCIRF
  • Demanding the correction of documented native history in all State and school curriculums
  • Removal of non-dharmic people on Academic bodies of Dharma
  • Last but most important, giving cultural pride to their children and explaining them core differences between their faith and the faith of non-dharmic people

Everything is not the same, otherwise, God won’t have created a diverse world.

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Aditya Satsangi is a Hindu American Entrepreneur and Writer with a Centrist viewpoint. He is a keen observer of International Politics, Dharma and Ideology. His research on ancient Hindu Scriptures such as Mahabharat, Ramayan and Bhagawatam brings unique perspectives on current affairs. He is an avid Golfer in his free time.
Aditya Satsangi
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  1. Like a company law guides businesses, constitution guides a nations functioning, the divine law controls and guides humans. This law is dharma and operates at macro level. Under this dharma many micro dharmas function to keep society in order. Whether one likes it or not, and whether one believes it or not, it continues to operate covering all humans. Our Rishis, downloaded the broad parameters on the functioning of dharma and provided us the info in texts.Hence a hindu visualises God’s functioning with clarity.

    Desert religions , are prophet oriented faiths and for them what ever they interpret in the name of their prophet is their dharma.While Vedic dharma of macro level is practised by Hindus, the micro level is practised by desert faiths. Islam doesn’t accept the existence of other faiths. Islam prohibits democracy.Conversion to other faiths leads to death penalty.if any person wants to marry a Muslim, he or she has to get converted to Islam or the marriage becomes invalid. Under such conditions, how can they live harmoniously among democratic societies ?

    US is a Christian country, hence their vision is at micro level. Pathetic is situation in Islamic countries. If Hindus want recognition outside India, India HAS to become rich and maintain spiritual values.

  2. The vibrant, highly rational Vedas are the only answers to these Non Vedic faiths, Swami Dayanand who founded Aryasamaj is exclusively for this purpose. Aryasamaj is both rational and traditional. It is modern too. All Non Vedic faiths including that of Hinduism based on Puranas have one defect or the other, Swami Dayanand in his epoch making book ” Satyarth Prakash” has while elucidating the Vedic philosophy has exposed the irrational nature of other Faiths including that puranic hinduism, So if Hindus want to survive and take on the aggressiveness of non Vedic faith then he must study Satyarth Prakash and strengthen Aryasamaj movement which blends the ancient with the modern

    • Many interpretations in Our texts have given berths to Buddhism, Jainism,Sikhism,Aarya Samaj, brahma Kumaris, Yagoda Satsangi, RK mission, Ramachandra mission, Kalki mission, OSHO, Aurobindo Ashram, Amritanandamayi, ISKCON etc etc. These sects have sprung based on the core Hindu foundations comprising of vedas, puranas and upanishads given to us by Rishis who never claimed their authorship. The puranas and epics have huge hidden meanings and are meant to elevate human consciousness. Editing, cutpasting of hindu texts have not helped hindu society.

      For a seeker Hinduism is a library of infinite books of spiritual knowledge. More than spiritual knowledge, what Hindus need now is how to build a harmonious family and brotherhood.

  3. Namaskaram PGURUS,
    With all due respect, I’d like to propose something. The main headline of this article says, “I follow dharma, I’m not a non-believer”.In other words, it can be said as “I follow dharma, I’m a believer”.Now as far as I know our culture has been a tradition of seekers. When someone says that he/she is a believer; it means that, that person isn’t straightforward to admit that he/she DON’T KNOW.The moment we believe something we subjugate put intelligence.The entire issue on the planet is one man’ believe VS another man’ believe.Even our saptrishis did seeking not believing.
    Please enlighten me as per your wisdom.I beg your pardon for flaws in English.
    Love you guys.


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