In spite of Hinduism's persistent attempt to teach and demonstrate the realization that all existence is pervaded by One Supreme Divinity, and that "I" am, at the least, a part of that Oneness, even still, the selfishness of egotism makes men create divisions which expand their individual authority. Now a new concept of "alien Hindu" has evolved, a concept which can only serve to further divide men. Religious experience has nothing to do with race or geography. It is the essence of awareness, the unifying attitudes and values which go beyond experience.

Hinduism does not meant being Indian. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Jews all live in India. It has nothing to do with the color of one's skin, nor the origins of one's birth. Charvaka was as much a Hindu as was Ramanuja or Shankara. Every spectrum of thought and opinion has been accommodated with respect under the bannerhead of Hinduism. According to the Tantra Sara: "Who abhors violence and division in every form, who always practices harmonious behavior, who is a lover of Wisdom, who respects all teachers of Wisdom, who practices one-pointed mediation, such a one may be said to be Hindu."

Devi Mandir is located in a suburb of the cosmopolitan San Francisco Bay Area, where we serve Hindus from around the world. They come in all colors from any countries both East and West, speaking many languages, and yet they all have one thing in common: when they enter into the temple, they leave all thoughts of divisions and become simply children of God, children of the Divine Mother and the divine Father, members of the family of creation.

No child is alien to the Mother. Every child, fair or dark, wise or foolish, talented or unskilled, belongs equally to the Mother. Anyone who would support an ideology of division or discrimination because of color or race is actually acting with disregard to the basic principle of our religious creed.

Now many Hindus are battling racial discrimination in their adopted homes around the world. How foolish it would be for us to practice the same in reverse, by excluding our own allies, who even go farther than we might imagine in trying to make their lives conform to our religious heritage.

Hinduism is becoming a moving force around the world. Is it prudent to create divisions within the discrimination between the faith of those who were born into the religion and those who have accepted its principles because they understand it from a thorough study? By acknowledging the validity of our religious teachings and their practical applications in life, people are really working for world peace and enlightenment. Shall we discriminate against them because hey are practicing what we preach?

Rather, true Hindus will bow down with respect to the wise of every generation who demonstrate the principles of faith, devotion and surrender, the real fruits of religious inspiration. We will demonstrate the wealth of our heritage by joyously sharing with all who so desire, and we will overcome discrimination by our example of mutual respect and openness, as well as using the talents and skills which we individually possess.

In a name of dharma, manifesting the ideal of perfection, the solution we seek are universal. In the name of ahimsa, the battles we fight are within. In the name of God, let us realize the ultimate harmony and peace in the universe.

I send you all blessing of wisdom, peace an joy!

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.