Hinduism Resilience Against Islam and Christianity

Hindu Temple Ruins

by Jayaram V

If there is one important feature of Hinduism which distinguishes it from the rest of the world religions, it is its resilience.

For centuries, without organized effort, Hinduism has been able to survive intense attacks against it from both within and without.

From the ancient ascetic traditions that disparaged Vedas and ritualism to the present day modern religions such as Christianity and Islam, Hinduism saw it all and managed them all with dignity and unprecedented fortitude.

Hindus bore the brunt of these attacks, often with immense personal sacrifices and proved in the end that the strength of a religion lies in its merits rather than in propaganda.

The propagators of both Christianity and Islam have been doing a great service to Hinduism for the last several centuries, with their vehement criticism born out of their profound ignorance of Hinduism and their condescending sympathy for the natives.

When they set foot on the Indian soil in the medieval period, they made every possible effort to declare Hinduism as a Satanic cult and a religion of the Brahmins in an attempt to draw converts from lower castes, ignoring its philosophical depths and its true character.

Unknowingly, they helped Hinduism by forcing the Hindus of medieval and British India to become more defensive, resolute and determined to safeguard their own religion.

Few converts they did gain, but they also fortified Hinduism and made their own task much more difficult.

Because of their vituperative attacks, Hindus were forced to shift their emphasis from the outer aspects of Hinduism to the more serious knowledge of the Upanishads and the practice of Yoga.

In the last two hundred years or so, Hinduism underwent tremendous transformation. This became possible because of the selfless efforts of many great souls.

Their efforts resulted in the ending of such abominable practices as child marriages, burning of widows, untouchability, female infanticide, casteism and so on.

Hindus, Christians and Muslims all alike were benefited by these reforms as the reforms broke the walls of orthodoxy and narrow-minded chauvinism and helped in the creation of a multi religious, secular society.

A lot of reforms are still going on in Hinduism and a lot of new developments are taking place. This time, it is happening not just in India, but on a global scale.

A good number of individual saints and sages and several new age thinkers are playing their dutiful role in keeping alive the ancient tree of Hinduism.

Many spiritual teachers are now travelling worldwide spreading awareness of Hinduism. Their contributions are helping the religion to rise up to the expectations and aspirations of the new generation of the 21st century.

Hinduism is perhaps the only religion in the world which survived about 700 years of Islamic rule and nearly 400 years of Christian propaganda and emerged in the end stronger and more vibrant than ever.

And it happened without any organized support or violent struggle, solely because of the incredible resilience of Hinduism and its appeal to human nature.

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