CREDOS : Pluralism — III

S B Veylanswami

This is how each denomination is strengthened — as each devotee draws strength from the heritage of his roots. The second step naturally occurs when other Hindus are inspired to learn more about their tradition and its practices by meeting Hindus who have become proficient and knowledgeable. This is the idea of “each strengthening the other by strengthening itself.” This then leads to the third step, which is Hindus of the four major denominations effectively coming together to create a Hindu unity. Their coming together is effective because each follower and each leader is knowledgeable and deeply involved in his or her own tradition. The nature of this unity is that it is based on solidarity rather than sameness. It cannot be based on sameness, as the followers of the four denominations do not hold identical beliefs and do not follow identical practices. On many points they differ. Therefore, unity must be based on solidarity, coming together on the shared platform of beliefs and practices common to all Hindus while acknowledging that in many ways we differ. Said another way, the social, political power of the family of faiths we call Hinduism is based on its spiritual, mystical power, which abides in its many individual sects and sampradayas, each with its enlightened guru lineages, dynamic temples, noble traditions, and profound scriptural canons. This sectarian diversity is the real power of the Hindu faith and must be preserved. —