Why Be A Hindu:

The Advantages of the Vedic Path

By

Stephen Knapp

Written as a short guide to promote and preserve the genuine purpose, values and understanding of Hinduism, the Vedic spiritual process. 

This is a free "e-book," or electronic booklet. It is published as an "e-book" on the internet to more appropriately reach as many people as possible, and enable anyone to read it and pass it along in as many ways as necessary. You can read it here on my website, or direct other people to do the same, or download it onto a floppy disk, park it on your computer hard drive for later use, email it to others, print it out to send to friends, or re-typeset it as you see fit and print it in booklets for distribution. It does not matter. I am giving permission to anyone to use it in anyway you want, providing the content remains the same. Anyone who has this booklet can reproduce it in any form you want, as many times you want. In this way, it is a tool you can use for your own inspiration or to send to others, as well as to send to the media or those who need further understanding of what is Hinduism and the Vedic culture, and the advantages that this spiritual path has to offer.

Copies of this 22 page booklet can also be acquired as a Microsoft Word document, an Ascii Dos Text file, or an Acrobat Reader .pdf file. I can email it to you. Simply request it by email at: Srinandan@aol.com.

{Another free booklet is "Dharma Self Defense." Details below.}

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Description of "Why Be a Hindu"

(From the Preface)


This book is my response to the fact that sometimes I get a little concerned, as I was when I took one of my tours of India (June, 2001), when I see the efforts of those who try to demean and unnecessarily promote serious misunderstandings about Hinduism, the Vedic culture. This often times is done in the attempt to convince others of the greatness of some of the minority religions there. This is something that is increasingly going on in India. It is also increasing in other parts of the world in what is called "Hindu bashing." I have also witnessed young Hindus who have moved to the West and sometimes exhibit confusion or disregard in their attitude toward their own culture, some of which is a result of the Western attitudes and misunderstandings toward Hinduism. So this booklet is written in response to that confusion, trouble, and the unnecessary campaigns for conversion. All of this is merely due to a lack of a clear understanding of Vedic culture and what it offers. So I wanted to bring out some simple yet important points, in the form of this booklet, that I thought people should consider in their view of the Vedic spiritual path.

Hinduism, or the Vedic culture, is not merely a religion. It is a spiritual path and way of life. Quite honestly, nothing compares with it. And I know. I grew up in the West as a Christian, studying the Bible from cover to cover due to my own curiosity. However, when I was about 19 years old, I still had many questions that were not and could not be answered within the Christian philosophy. So, I made great studies of the various religions and civilizations throughout the world, finally finding the Vedic culture as perhaps the most profound tradition of all. It is one that offers more insights into life and the purpose of it, especially the spiritual aspects, than any other culture one can find today. In this way, I found the kind of answers I needed in the Vedic literature, especially in the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavat Purana and others. Only then did things of this world begin to make sense to me.

So what's so great about Vedic culture and its philosophy? This booklet describes some of the elementary details that differentiates Hinduism, the Vedic path, over all others. And I am glad to share this with my fellow human beings who are open-minded enough to consider the various avenues that can help us understand more about our spiritual identities and the purpose of life. This is not an attempt to say that the Vedic path is better than anything else for everyone, but there are distinct advantages worth considering from which a person can benefit.

After each point about the advantages of Vedic culture in the booklet, there are a few paragraphs that elaborate on it to make it more clear. The points that are considered include:

1. What does Hinduism stand for? 

2. Hinduism is the oldest living culture in the world. 

3. The Vedic literature is the oldest and most complete scripture found anywhere. 

4. The Vedic path has a most developed and complete spiritual philosophy.  

5. The Vedic literature offers more information on the science of life after death, karma and reincarnation.  

6. The Vedic philosophy offers a most complete understanding of God and the spiritual dimension. 

7. Hinduism and the Vedic literature has many direct words and instructions from God. 

8. The Vedic path offers the most loving and beautiful forms of God. 

9. The Vedic culture has some of the greatest spiritual teachers and masters that you can find. 

10. Vedic culture offers a most direct path to personal spiritual enlightenment and realizations. 

11. Because Hinduism is one of the most expressive paths, it is also one of the most emotionally fulfilling. 

12. Hinduism, Vedic culture, offers a scientific way of life, from diet, lifestyle, daily schedule, etc. 

13. Anyone in any position can be a Hindu and practice and benefit from the Vedic teachings. 

14. The Vedic path views all religions as truth, or portions of the One Truth, and ways of salvation. 

15. Hinduism, Vedic culture, does not present God as a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Sikh God. 

16. This is why Hindus, the followers of the Vedic path, can live peacefully with those of other religions. 

17. Hinduism has no concept of Jihad, holy wars, crusades, or martyrdom on its behalf. 

18. Followers of Vedic philosophy do not target others for conversion. 

19. Hinduism accepts that everyone has the right to choose one's own path to enlightenment or salvation. 

20. Hinduism offers a universal God and consciousness, beyond a mere local tradition. 

21. Hinduism promotes seeing God in all living beings. 

22. In Hinduism you can ask all the questions you want without being considered a blasphemer or a doubting person. 

23. Hinduism is like the million dollar culture. 

24. The Vedic process offers the easiest path back to God. 

25. Hinduism advocates a universal rather than a self-centered consciousness. 

26. Hinduism promotes the cause of real care and concern for others. 

27. With or without a church or institution, Hinduism shows and establishes that everyone has a personal and independent relationship with God, which only needs to be reawakened. 

28. In essence, Hinduism, the Vedic system, opens the door to the real meanings of life. 

 

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The Gentle Art of Dharma Self-Defense is another "free" booklet that you will want to read and distribute, by Yajnavalkya Dasa. This book is also not copyrighted and is available for you to download, copy and distribute in any way that you wish. 

Many western people misjudge Hinduism or the Vedic culture, dismissing it as some form of antiquated heathenism or ignorant superstition. They consider the adoration of the Soul as narcissism; the worship of the Deity in the temple as idolatry; the esteem for the cow as animism; the respect for Mother Earth and other life forms as pantheism; and they ridicule the noble concept of ahimsa (non-violence to other life forms) as impractical sentimentalism. It is important to show compassion for those who persecute the Hindu religion and Vedic culture. And the proper way to show compassion for them is to gently enlighten them. This booklet will show many examples of ways to answer their criticisms, and analyze the reasons why their complaints or objections are inaccurate and unjustified. It also provides valid points and questions regarding the authenticity of the Biblical teachings. (Also available in Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or Adobe .pdf files.)

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