CREDOS : Pluralism — IV

S B Veylanswami

They propose that all Hindus should have a unified view of the many Hindu deities and hold common beliefs regarding key concepts, such as God, soul, and world. But, as Gurudeva observed, “Sameness in religion is not healthy, not natural. Sameness is a most common, dull, uninspired and unenlightened solution, for it reduces that which is vital with differences, rich in philosophical interpretation and background to a common denominator. Such a solution would be very harmful to Hinduism in the world, and many of us are firmly against that idea.” The warning is that Vishnu devotees of a particular guru lineage, for example, should remain dedicated to their tradition, proud of their sectarianism, and not be swayed by efforts to draw them into a universalism that dilutes their tradition in a misguided effort to create an artificial sameness. Weakening sectarianism will weaken Hinduism as a whole. The stronger direction is solidarity in diversity. In fact, Hinduism’s ability to accept and encourage diversity is a strength, not a weakness. It is a model of tolerance and understanding for the world, which is in desperate search of ways to accept the differences of those who follow other faiths. There is an ancient Greek proverb: “United we stand; divided we fall, “ meaning that any group is stronger when it is united, and therefore better able to handle the challenges that face it. There are many challenges facing Hinduism today. —