17. No Concept Of Jihad, Holy Wars, Crusades
Sunny • onVedic 13 years ago • 4 min read

Unlike other religions that tend to be extremists or exceptionally dogmatic in its views, Hinduism, or Vedic culture, has no concepts that relate to being a martyr, as found in Christianity, or the Islamic jihad. These are not ideas that make much sense to the Hindu. Why? Because for Hindus spiritual life is not about fighting others for the supremacy of one religion over another. Hinduism treats all religions with respect because it has its own sense of security and strength in its approach to God, which is the hallmark of a mature spiritual path. Religion and any spiritual process is to help an individual better understand who he is and what is his or her relation to God, and what is his purpose in the universe. If a person is truly trying to progress in this way, then of what purpose is there in participating in a holy war, or to die becoming a martyr for a cause fighting against another religion? This is not the purpose of any spiritual path. This is why there is not much discussion in the Vedic literature to demean other religions, nor is there any campaign against any so-called "false gods" as you find in the more rigid or dogmatic religions.

The reason for this is not that Hinduism is not interested in "saving" people. The reason is that the Vedic culture allows anyone the freedom to undergo whatever may be necessary for their own spiritual development and particular realizations. The Vedic literature, if studied to its fullest depths, supplies all a person needs in order to understand the highest levels of spiritual Truth. Nonetheless, if a person still has different avenues to investigate in spiritual matters, the Vedic culture allows that person to do so, even if the person may risk undergoing a slow process to the highest levels of spiritual realizations. This is a personal choice for everyone. Therefore, forceful conversions or tyrannical religious rule or competition amongst religions make no sense to the Hindu. What makes sense is the freedom for each individual to reach an appreciation of everyone being a spiritual being, all going back to God, but at their own pace. Nonetheless, the Vedic spiritual teachers always try to encourage everyone toward the best use of their time and energies in their spiritual pursuits. That is how people are guided in the Vedic culture, as opposed to forceful conversions or dogmatic regulations.

Religions that view other spiritual paths as competitors will never understand the Vedic path, which is more open. They will only hold on to their fear that makes them think that only their way is the right way, and all other paths lead to hell, as if they need some reassurance that they are correct. Hinduism does not have such fear of being wrong. Followers of the Vedic path acquire their own spiritual realizations that assure them of their own progress. That is the sign of real spiritual advancement when the change of consciousness is directly perceived. That is the difference between the Vedic path and the more fundamental and fear-based religions that depend on mere blind faith in the process, without experiencing any perceptive results in one's change of awareness and consciousness.

For Christianity, only when they accept the value of other religions, and the right of others to follow the creeds and processes of their choice, can the universal love as taught by Jesus Christ truly illuminate from their churches and pulpits. Then they can get along with those of other religions without the condemnation that all others are going to hell. After all, no truly loving God will cast His children into an eternal hell without the chance of correcting themselves. Therefore, the Vedic culture offers a deeper understanding of the true loving nature of God than the religions that are merely based on fear of God.


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  • Guest 10 years ago

    Dear Sir,

    The article makes a very interesting reading.

    I must add that if we go through the teachings / religious sermons of any of the religion may that be Hinduism, Sikhism (perhaps the youngest religion in the World), Islam, Buddism, Jainism et al, they very explicity guide us how we have to soulfully behave with not only other human beings but any sentient on the universe. Instead of following the religious teachings which we should consider to be so close to our heart, we tend to indulge in inhuman activities which are very much against the religious tenets. If we truly love our religion, there is not place for hatredness towards a person belonging to other religion.

    Perhaps, such people do not know the correct definition of religion. To be true to our religion, broadly, we should :

    A. Shed ego.
    B be humble in words and deeds to one and all. C. be tolerable to the core. D. forgive others
    E. chartiable F. should involve ourselves in some community work from time to time. F. Share the sorrow of others. G. Show empathy especially towards poor, weak and infirm and women.

    H. Show much more respect to the persons of other religions.

    If the above broader parameters which govern the very foundation of any religion and have been propagated as such in our religious books, are kept in mind, there will hardly be a need for anyone, to go haywire and indulge in such inhumane acts which are against the vary survival of mankind. And it is not difficult to follow these tenets ; we need to make an honest beginning considering this to be our sacred duty. Otherwise, sadly, we are bound to face yet more dangerous and drowing situations than what we witness today.


    Tilak Raj Sharma