Hinduism: once was: RAJARAM EPISODE

Valerie J Roebuck vjroebuck at APPLEONLINE.NET
Fri Oct 6 07:20:21 UTC 2000

Nanda Chandran writes :
>Yup, I admit that. I often get carried away by the heat of the argument and
>fail to control my tone. But my sincerest assurance that I didn't mean to
>offend. If I came across otherwise - my apologies.

I accept your apologies.

To make my own position clear: I am a Buddhist, and have been for 30 years.
My teachers have included both Asian and Western Buddhists, and people who
weren't Buddhists at all.  I have the greatest love and respect for
Hinduism, which I have studied for about 32 years.  I have just spent the
last seven years translating the UpaniSads.  So I'm pretty sure (most of
the time) that I'm not a Hindu.

I have never tried to group anybody else as an entity.  On a spiritual
level, such labels are meaningless anyway.  On the practical level, and as
scholars, we need some sort of language to talk about ourselves and others
and our various ideas.  However I think we should respect what people want
to call themselves, in terms of religions as in politics or anything else,
as a human right.  I don't think people automatically "belong to" the
religions that their parents followed, either.  (If they did, presumably
we'd all still be tribal animists of some kind or other?)

> But what makes you so sure that
>your reasons are wholly true? OK, it is true that there's a lot of
>literature on the subject which gives one a general idea of the subject. But
>how sure are you that the literature truly reflects the ground reality? How
>sure are you of your own interpretation of the texts?

I'm not sure about any of this--why does one have to be?

With best wishes--

Dr Valerie J Roebuck
Manchester, UK

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