CREDOS : Pluralism — II

S B Veylanswami

A better definition is solidarity in diversity. Recently I pilgrimaged to Toronto. After my talk at the Hindu Temple of Richmond Hill, as devotees were coming forward for blessings, one man asked, “Swami, should I call myself a Saivite or a Hindu?” Of course, the answer I gave was, “Both.” This illustrates what to me is the perfect meaning of Hindu unity, which Gurudeva

called Hindu solidarity. He also founded our magazine, Hinduism Today, which last year celebrated its 25th anniversary, as an effective tool for promoting Hindu solidarity. He declared as its first objective: “To foster Hindu solidarity as a unity in diversity among all sects and lineages.” Gurudeva’s explanation of Hindu solidarity is as follows: “For all sects of Hinduism to survive in their purity, maintaining their traditions, cultural heritages and religious theologies within our great Sanatana Dharma, each must strengthen the other by strengthening itself.

Having found their roots, Hindus of all sects can proceed with confidence and work for Hindu solidarity. The many beliefs and practices common to all Hindus are the meeting ground, the basis, of this profound unity in diversity.” Hinduism has four main sects, also called denominations — Saivism, Shaktism and Vaishnavism. This means that the followers of each of these denominations, and the many lineages, should become more knowledgeable about their denomination’s beliefs, practices and ways of worship and pursue them more diligently.