I have to admit it, I have a soft spot for Hinduism, at least as it is practiced in the U.S. and as it appears in books in English that extoll its values, wonders and mysticism. That’s not to say that I do any Hindu practices or even hold any Hindu beliefs, per se, although I do find the Indian philosophical questing to be highly intelligent and enlightened, if not also extremely ancient and appealling for that very reason.

Hindu temple, Malibu, California

I used to visit a marvelous Hindu temple in Malibu canyon, in California. It was thrilling and breathtaking to drive through this beautiful canyon and then see the temple spires cresting over a hill. I loved the colorful statues and exoticness of the place. I drew the line when the priest implied that the god-awful central statue, a huge black-painted log carved into a deity, with its eyes covered in wads of gauze, was too important for me to approach closely. I fully understand the symbolic significance of such icons, but bowing down to that ugly thing was not something I personally would do.  As if the deity really was in that log!

In any event, I still like Hindu temples–and the refreshing openness of Indian Hindus as a whole. I’m not blinded to the fanaticism of that faith, as it manifests itself in India and elsewhere.  I see it, and I don’t like it. Nor am I fond of Hindu fanatics–especially the kind who got my Wiki page deleted because they could not stand me using an Indian pseudonym.

But I do find Hinduism to be far superior to certain other religious ideologies, especially the monolithic and intolerant Abrahamic faiths.

Further reading:

Hinduism in America on the rise
Hindu Americans face challenges, growth in following their faith