Dharma in Service to Vinaya Essays

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India is renowned as an incubator of religion. The South Asian nation’s countless sects have it widely known for its deep, abiding spirituality. In some respects, the story of India is the story of conflict among the most abided of these faiths. Even today, India’s political landscape is defined by the struggle between those who would insist that religion is nationality (Islam) and those who maintain that, as a historical entity, India is essentially Hindu and all other faiths are interlopers. India is replete with the history and shrines of the Hindu faith, though its most famous shrine, the Taj Mahal, is as Muslim as Mecca. Nonetheless, it is a Hindu aura that permeates the India of the Western imagination. So what of the fact that …show more content…
India is renowned as an incubator of religion. The South Asian nation’s countless sects have it widely known for its deep, abiding spirituality. In some respects, the story of India is the story of conflict among the most abided of these faiths. Even today, India’s political landscape is defined by the struggle between those who would insist that religion is nationality (Islam) and those who maintain that, as a historical entity, India is essentially Hindu and all other faiths are interlopers. India is replete with the history and shrines of the Hindu faith, though its most famous shrine, the Taj Mahal, is as Muslim as Mecca. Nonetheless, it is a Hindu aura that permeates the India of the Western imagination. So what of the fact that there are Hindu shrines? After all, extant examples of truly ancient Hindu relics are scarce. Perhaps the battle for the souls of India claimed more casualties in the form of the Islamic tendency to destroy all that clashes with it. More likely, though, the Hinduism of the world before King Ashoka was not the all-encompassing cultural touchstone that the most nationalistic Indians believe it was. To the Western observer, Hinduism seems cruel, almost cartoonishly so, and the animistic Gods are bewildering. But these representations of the forces that rule human existence are a direct reaction to Ashoka’s move to push the cruder elements of Hindu ritual underground, so to speak, and embrace the Buddhist principle that spirituality is the province

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