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Who Is A Good Hindu?
14 December 2018 IST
Who Is A Good Hindu?

It’s a political issue; for four years not much was talked about it and suddenly it has become an issue once again. As a nation, we need to move forward, we need to be progressive, we need to protect the beliefs and interests of all diverse cultures in the country. Rather than making the mandir a national issue, we should be tackling unemployment, healthcare and social security. But you keep people’s attention diverted from matters of importance and that’s how you win votes, perhaps.


There’s much debate today over ‘Who is a good Hindu?’
The word ‘Hindu’ was given to us, because we belong to the Sindhu Ghati, Indus Valley civilisation; people from Arab nations started calling us Hindu and it became Hindustan. This was always Bharatvarsha, there was no singular religious identity that people identified with, and it was just Vedic culture. Sanatan Dharma means that it’s been there forever. Anybody who is flexible and believes in peace is a Hindu, because that’s what we have seen over thousands of years with different temples, sthan devtas, gram devtas, vastu devtas, kuldevas, ishta devtas.
How important are rituals?
Krishna says there comes a time, when you find a giant reservoir of fresh water. What need is there for a pond, then? When a child goes to school, he is expected to turn up on time; he is expected to carry a bag and greet the teacher. He is expected to sit in a certain way; these rituals are meant to train the child. As you grow older, your school bag becomes smaller. When you become something, you stop carrying a bag; you carry a phone or a tablet. Rituals are means to connect to our culture and help us make progress.
Does the ultimate spiritual experience imply that we are free of all identities?
It should not be forced, though. It should come on its own from our spiritual evolution as opposed to being forced upon us — that you have to be in a certain way — otherwise, you are not spiritual.
How can one know the extent of one’s spiritual progression?
A disciple asked his guru once, ‘how do I know that I am progressing spiritually?’ and the master said, just see how many times in a day you get disturbed over little things. A non-spiritual person gets disturbed easily over small matters. A spiritual person is not easily shaken. If you get disturbed, you may betrying to be spiritual, but are not yet spiritual. Disturbance occurs when there is conflict and conflict occurs when our viewpoint is stronger than the other person’s.
You said in your talk that it is important to take a stand. But won’t that make the other person angry?
Getting angry is not spiritual. Just like I have a right to an opinion, the other person also has a right to his opinion. Who is to say who is right and who is wrong here?
How can a leader get things done despite disagreements?
You have to keep three things in mind: One, what is the priority that the leader has been chosen for? Nobody becomes leader on his own accord; people have mandated the leader for a reason. Second, what is my principle; what do I stand for? Third, what are the resources that I have? Everybody in a public position is expected to serve the nation and a nation comprises its people. But this is often forgotten — we see that happening all the time. Politically, we are still a young nation. We got our Independence in 1947 and we are not even 100 years old. Politically, countries that are more mature, have better systems of governance in place. Transparency, accountability and education can bring about necessary transformation.
Is there a correlation between education and maturity?
In software, there is Capability Maturity Model, CMM. If you have just started a company, you can hire IIT,IIM and Harvard graduates, but ask, does that make your organisation mature? Unless you make some mistakes, deal with clients and know what involves growth, you don’t have maturity. Eventually, what happens? You move from individual heroism to corporate governance or wisdom. Similarly, in a country, no doubt leaders have charisma and that can inspire people to do countless things, but at the same time, the country’s system should be such that it can run smoothly, without having to depend on one or two leaders. The work shouldn’t stop. As Confucius said, ‘In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of, and in a country, poorly governed, wealth is to be ashamed of.’
Krishna was an avatar, yet he broke his vows, is that okay?
Absolute rules don’t work and that’s why we don’t have them in Sanatan Dharma. If you are born in a cold place, you can eat meat and still be spiritual; you can offer meat to God. If you are born in a hot region, you can be a vegetarian. They didn’t say that there is one book and if you follow its rules you are good, otherwise you can go to hell. Krishna felt it necessary to break vows.
One should be flexible enough, and if it serves a bigger purpose, then it is worth considering. We should protect people who are looking up to us for protection. Rama was maryada purushottam, he was a suryavanshi and the Sun never falters, but Krishna says ‘Look! Desperate times call for desperate measures.’


His very first book, published in the year 2014, titled: If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir, is only one of ten bestselling books on spirituality, meditation, and wellness that Om Swami has authored since he gave it all up to embrace the spiritual path. His newest book on Zen, is called Mind Full To Mindful. Earlier publications include books on kundalini, wellness, love and mantras. An advanced yogi, Om Swami did thousands of hours of intense meditation in seclusion in Himalayan caves and woods. Prior to renunciation, he owned a multi-million dollar software company with offices in New York, Toronto, London, Silicon Valley, Sydney, and India. In 2010, at thirty years of age, he completely renounced his business interests (and his Porsche!) to discover his own truth and walk the path of renunciation. He lives in his ashram in Himachal Pradesh close to the Himalayas — an incredible journey from billionaire businessman to austere monk.
Black is black when it absorbs all colours and lotus is a flower that even though grows in mire, remains above it, unsullied. It’s not possible to be happy all the time. But, it is possible to be happy almost all the time. And it is certainly possible to make wiser and more spiritual choices in life so you don’t end up in situations that drive you insane. Black Lotus is an app conceptualised by Om Swami that is absolutely free of cost, an app to enable you to measure your spiritual progress and something that will remind you to perform your act of kindness, chant mantras and follow the spiritual path; to help you remember three things: meditation, mantra, kindness.


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Shibu Chandran
2 hours ago

Serving political interests in another person's illness is the lowest form of human value. A 70+ y old lady has cancer.

November 28, 2016 05:00 IST
Shibu Chandran
2 hours ago

Serving political interests in another person's illness is the lowest form of human value. A 70+ y old lady has cancer.

November 28, 2016 05:00 IST
Shibu Chandran
2 hours ago

Serving political interests in another person's illness is the lowest form of human value. A 70+ y old lady has cancer.

November 28, 2016 05:00 IST
Shibu Chandran
2 hours ago

Serving political interests in another person's illness is the lowest form of human value. A 70+ y old lady has cancer.

November 28, 2016 05:00 IST

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