Gita in America and Hinduism in Europe

Translated from ‘Dainik Jagaran’ newspaper:

American University Makes Study of Gita Compulsory

An American university has made study of Gita compulsory for all its students by including it in its “core course.” The Seton Hall University (http://www.shu.edu/) has taken this decision observing the importance of Gita in life. University administration says that through the wisdom of Gita, students can better understand and cope with the complexities of life and be better prepared to face all the life’s challenges.

The autonomous Catholic Seton Hall University was established in New Jersey in 1856. Professor A.D. Amar working with the University’s Stillman Business School said the decision to make Gita compulsory for all students is an unprecedented one. Out of the University’s total strength of 10,800 students, about one-third are non-Christians. There are a huge number of Indian students studying at the University.

Professor Amar who played a key role in this development said that the core course is compulsory for all students of the University. It has to be studied by everyone regardless of the subject they  have chosen for study. He added that the University understood the importance of the philosophy of Gita and decided to make its study compulsory for all students.

What a shame that Gita is compulsory study for all students in an American university regardless of their religion, but banned from schools and colleges in India due to “secularism.” This Congress-style ‘secularism’ is the biggest wound Hindus have willingly inflicted on their own cheeks. Worse, the more this wound festers and poisons the rest of their body, the more the Hindus showcase it to others to prove their  intellectual sophistication.

Little do they realise that the kind of secularism being practised in India is nothing but an elaborate scheme to strangle them slowly, and that they are being quietly brainwashed by India’s English media (with questionable funding) to ensure that the Hindus go to the gallows singing all the way. 

Here is another report from the same newspaper:

“Europe Should Recognise Hinduism as a Religion”

US-based spiritual leader Rajan Zed has asked the European Parliament to give recognition to Hinduism as a religion in the whole of Europe. While meeting the President of the European parliament Hans Gert Pottering, Zed explained the essence of Gita and Gayatri Mantra to him. Zed asked Pottering to declare Diwali as a major festival in Europe. The European Parliament had invited Zed for a spiritual discourse on Hinduism. The Hindu spiritual leader introduced the Members of Parliament to the fundamental tenets of Hinduism.

Zed also raised the issue of religious discrimination being suffered by Hindus in Europe. He said that Hindus living in Europe have to face many problems and difficulties. To solve these, Zed presented a 15 point programme to the Parliament. The programme includes points such as quick approval to proposals related to opening of Hindu temples, appropriate representation and promotion of vegetarianism. Zed informed Pottering that Hindus are not allowed to construct temples anywhere in Europe. The applications to open new temples are kept under processing for a long time and then almost always rejected.

Not many Hindus know it, but Hinduism — the oldest living spiritual tradition in the world going back about 8,000 years — is still listed as a “cult” in all European countries. Their governments refuse to accept it as a legitimate religion. They actively prevent establishment of any Hindu temple in their territories.

But that does not prevent European leaders — especially from Italy and France — from preaching “respect for all religions” to Indian government and recommending to Hindus that they should allow more churches to be opened in India to prove to the world how tolerant they are. What a farce! Why don’t the Indians take the Europeans to task for this kind of behaviour and ask for an explanation about why Hinduism has been listed as a cult while Judaism, Buddhism and Islam are listed as legitimate religions. 

Is it because the church fears the ancient and formidable Hindu spiritual literature (especially the Upanishads, Rigveda and Gita) and thinks that it may trigger another “Hare Rama, Hare Krishna” movement in Europe, shaking its very foundations? But there is no reason why European governments should continue to list Hinduism as a primitive cult and be allowed to get away with this insult to all Indians.

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32 Comments

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32 responses to “Gita in America and Hinduism in Europe

  1. Bhagwad Gita is a wonderful book, I have just begun reading the volume, and I find it strange when youngsters of my age find it difficult or funny that one is reading GITA. Or one has heard but never read. Ignorance either ways, I think, is harmful. Beside it’s never to late to begin.

    No wonder a foreign university can see its virtues and values while here all we can see is the ISKCON guys selling them outside CP, while everyone walks past…as the books are covered with dust.

    I thin we cannot ignore that ” Hinduism” being a way of life and being such a secular religion is taken for granted. Else my muslim friend want miss his namaz while my Hindu friends are never bothered about visiting the temple, let alone reading Gita.

  2. sanjaychoudhry

    You are right Nitesh about the Gita. It is actually “Bhagwad Geet” (The Divine Song). Gita is like an ocean of wisdom and I cannot get enough of it,, though I have read it hundreds of times since childhood. It is mind-boggling stuff.

    Read the quotes on Gita in the Hiindu Wisdom site I have written about above. it is clear to me that the wisdom in the slokas of Gita is full of eternal truths that were revealed to the ancient Hindu sages when in deep meditation. Nothing can match the spiritual wisdom that arises when the mind has been trained enough to concentrate and contemplate on the ultimate reality.

  3. Bharat Nair

    sanjay,nitesh,

    This article may help us to understand why a high sounding word like “way of life” tag was dubbed on Hinduism.

    Swami chinmayanda says it was an Irish padre who first coined this term.

    IIRC, S. Radhakrishan also popularised this “term”.

    It would be worth while to get the name of this “Irish padre”.

  4. Thanks for this information Bharat this is definitely interesting and worth investigating.

  5. I had absolutely no idea about this . Hinduism a cult ? Can you provide me with some links to other sources of information on this .

  6. sanjaychoudhry

    Kislay: I read a couple of articles in the media about Hinduism being listed as a cult in europe, especially France. They were published about six months ago. Cannot find the links now. In the entire Euroope, how many Hindu temples exist? Permission is simply not given. But these charlatans have no problem in funding thousands of churches in India.

  7. J. Rathi

    I agree that the Bhagwad Gita is a great book but I think it is completely wrong to make the Bhagwad Gita compulsory. Even in convent schools in India, the Bible is not taught to non-Christian or in many cases non Catholic students. It should at best be provided as an option. Would you like it if some university you studied in made the Koran compulsory?
    Secondly France is a nation for French people. Europe is a continent for European peoples. They have the right to do whatever they want in their nations. We as foreigners have no right to tell them what to do in their motherlands.
    BTW if you guys have not realised Christianity is followed by only a minority in Europe outside the post communist East. France is officially a secular nation not a Christian nation.
    Sanjay, in all of India, how many Shinto temples exist? In Mecca how many Hindu temples exist? Why not ask the government of Ssudi Arabia to allow the construction of a Hindu temple in Mecca? Does that scare you? Why pick on the tolerant Europeans?

  8. sanjaychoudhry

    J. Rathi:

    You are unable to distinguish between the tolerance of European citizens and the antics of thier governments. It is the governments which are dangerous. Their state policies have to be watched. Thwarting the moves of European governments is not the same as hating ordinary Europeans who are barely Christian now. Have you seen the antics of the French government over India’s internal affairs and the so-called “persecution of Christians”? How can you ask India not to take umbrage because the ordinary European people are nice?

    The university in the US which has made Gita compulsory is actually a private university. The government-funded institutions have to be secular for separation of church and state. There is no reason why private institutions should be forced to become religion-neutral too.

  9. Kshitij

    Sanjay, I really enjoyed this article by dharmaveer (sort of like the ante to Hindu spirituality, which he does mention):

    http://dharmaveer.blogspot.com/2009/02/is-this-islamic-spirituality.html

    He has put up a second article on this, but have not had time to read it yet.

  10. Nishant S Jindal

    No doubt geeta is the only book which provide us with all the solutoins of life no matter what time or situation it is. As for having it been introduced to indian studys I know a person Mr. Ram Krishan Goswami who has made his personal goal to bring geeta to every indian’s life and in indian education system. He ia running an organisation “Bhartiya Charitra Nirman Sansthan” from delhi and such a wonderfull work he is doing !
    as for geting it to the schools the road is hard and long but I know it for sure that he will succeed in his efforts wan very soon we will see it in our text books and then i’m sure in no matter of time india will regain it’s long lost glory in the world !

    Love
    Nishant S Jindal

  11. JGN

    Dear sanjaychoudhry , Hinduism is not a religion in its narrow sense. Its a conglomeration of various beliefs and even non-belief (atheism). Atheists existed even in Vedic era and were known as “Charvakas or Chaturvedis”. We are not at the mercy of any high-priest. The Christians are at the mercy of their Church right from birth (Baptism) till burial. The Churches can even deny permissionto bury dead bodies. The Muslims are at the mercy of their clerics and have to be constantly afraid of one fatwa or other from some obscure Mullah. No high-priest can declare me or the TN Chief Minister who questioned the existence of Lord Ram as “non-hindus”. Ram of Valkimi Ramayana was not a god. Divinity was granted to him later by vested interests. The original story (Ranghuvamsham) is the story of 21 Kings from Dileepan to Agnivarnan.

    As for Bhagvad Geeta, some scholars believe that it is a later day addition to Mahabharata due to difference in language (original Mahabharata contained about 10,000 stanzas only whereas the one available now contains over 1,25,000 stanzas. It is an epic containing some Universal truth and good morals. A major portion of Mahabharata contains stories told by well-wishers to the Pandavas in exile to boost thier moral. If we grant divinity to some books, we would also fall intothe dogmas of Semitic Religions. Learning the Gita is good but there no no need to impose the same on somebody.

    The principles of Buddhism (Panchsheel and Eight-fold parth) are much more refined than the principles of any other religion. They do not even believe in any god (it is a different matter that the Buddhists have made Gautama the Bhddha who abhored all forms of worship their “god” now)!!! Compare the teachings of Buddha to the Bible (thou shall not have any other god) and The Quran (there is no god but Allah and Muhammad was his last Prophet) .

  12. gajanan

    Buddhism rejected Vedic thought. It was like Albert Einstein rejecting Quantum Mechanics initially. Buddhism is like classical mechanics, seeing is believing. This is good to lead a normal good life. But human beings have to go beyond frontiers , which the great Indian rishis and sages propounded in Vedic thought some thousands of years before Buddha.

    The advent of Quantum Mechanics changed the world view completely. Quantum Mechanics was a great stimulus for Vedanta and Vedic thought.

    Here is the full book of the redoubtable, one and only Erwin Schrodinger ” What is life” . In this book the epilogue ( pp 31 -32) part dwells with Free will and determinism. There ES explains Vedanta and the profoundness of Upanishads. This short book by ES laid the foundations of modern biology and many all time greats in science have eulogised this. The present nanotechnology in science is all has its foundations in Quantum Mechanics.

    Here is the full book . You can save and store it to eternity. This small book is a classic.

    http://whatislife.stanford.edu/Homepage/LoCo_files/What-is-Life.pdf

  13. According to J. Rathi’s comment, Europeans are aware christianity, Arabians are aware islam , Indians are aware Hinduism. then why the government of india give immediate permisson to the construction of churches,mosque without any enquiry both are foreign religion is this a shameful for indians and india we are not pick on the tolerant Europeans. we are the people believing Hinduism and allow others to perform their way the question is simple Why the European and others are not allowed to perform Hindus on their way?

  14. Very good article every person should read sacred gita thanks

  15. It is a good news that american university allow gita for students but in india it is impossible because congress idiot pseudosecular media will oppose for vote bank.

  16. It needs to be kept in mind that the effort to get the Bhagavad Gita
    taught in this university was based on two factors:

    The large Indian student body and the personal efforts of the Indian
    professor. This being a private institution, it was possible.
    But I don’t think it would have happened in a public institution.

    Kudos to the NRI’s who made this possible.

  17. @J. Rathi,

    Well, India is a land of Indians/Hindus. Don’t you think that the
    Indian Hindus have a right to not want Christianity and Islam in their
    land??

    When Indian Hindus state that they want India to remain a land
    of Hinduism and want Islam/Christianity out, people like you are
    likely going to call them “communal”, “fascist”, ect ect.
    But you have no problem in allowing the Europeans to
    keep their continent free of other belief systems, like Hinduism.

    Do you see the double standards you have?

  18. ARYA DEEPAK SEHRAWAT

    I AM IN FAVOR OF JAIPAL ………AND EVEN FEW OTHERS but strictly against ,””gajanan “”!!!!!,PLZ LISTEN CAREFULLY=HINDUISM IS NOT A RELIGION ..real word for the purest form of religion followed in ancient India (bharat) is SANATAN DHARMA…SHRI RAMA,SHRI KRISHAN WERE NOT FOLLOWERS OF HINDUISM BUT SANATAN DHARMA…..THE WORD HINDU IS A WORD OF FARSI LANGUAGE And IT MEANS BLACK,THIEF,KAFFER……FOR CROSS CHECKING CHECK FARSI DICTIONARY ……………….words like Hindu and Hinduism doesn’t exist anywhere in Vedas and gita …………AND in strong words TO THOSE WHO PUT QUESTIONS Against Vedas….read satyarth prakesh by rishi Dayanand ….then you may easily know how poor is Buddhism,christanism,and islam in front of sanatan dharma .Buddhism IS NOT SO STRONG IN THOUGHTS THAT IT COULD EVER rejected Vedic thought….I AM AN ARYA AND A FOLLOWER OF VEDAS …..WHO SO EVER WANT TO RAISE FINGER AGAINST ME AND VEDAS ,PLEASE TALK TO ME ON FACEBOOK = https://www.facebook.com/arya.sehrawat?ref=tn_tnmn

  19. Sneha Chauhan

    I am an Indian and I am proud that our holy book is gaining importance as well as shamed on………

  20. raj

    UK PM David Cameron all praise for British Indians, wants them to become key citizens

    “We want to see British Hindus, British Indians in the top of our judiciary, we want to see them at the top of our armed forces and we also want to see them at the top of our politics,” he said.

    “I think we have made some big steps forward in recent years, and it’s great to see here tonight people like Shailesh Vara (Justice Minister) Alok Sharma, MP (Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party), Priti Patel, MP and Keith Vaz, MP, Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee. There’s a lot more British Indians now involved in our politics, and as I said on Monday, I want to see more in the Commons, I want to see more in the Lords and I want to see more in our government.”

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/uk-pm-all-praise-for-british-indians-wants-them-to-become-key-citizens/1191925/

    • som

      US says ready to work with Modi if he becomes PM, blames media for visa row

      The US would be willing to work with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, if the party is voted to power in the next general elections, senior Obama administration officials here have said asserting that the enduring bilateral relationship is to continue irrespective of the poll results.

      Dismissing visa as a non-issue, the official said it was largely a creation of the Indian media and not at all an issue in the US government.

      “Visa issue is a media creation. He has to apply and we will review. He (Modi) has not applied (for a visa),” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

      http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-says-ready-to-work-with-modi-if-he-becomes-pm-blames-media-for-visa-row/1192383/?rheditorpick

      • Harish

        @som
        US BLAMED INDIAN MEDIA

        The Congress party essentially owns and controls every single mainstream media house in India, including Hindustan Times, The Times of India, NDTV, CNN-IBN, The Hindu, Tehelka, Outlook, etc, to name a few.

        The typical JNU Nehruvian communist left-libbers ideologues have really perpetrated some kind of stranglehold on India’s journalism, media and intellectual space.
        Almost all pro-BJP (or even centre-right ideologues) journalists have been slowly thrown out of their jobs due to pressure from the Congress and the Nehru family.

        Very few centre-right ideologues are left in India’s media space today, that too in minor publications like The Pioneer.

        Almost all the mainstream media houses have been thoroughly infiltrated and coerced into towing the Congress’ line, sometimes just through ideology and relationships, and not even money power.

        So……….do that……. or enjoy the cricket and Bollywood and ………off course …..Sunny Leone……..and don’t be too frightened of ads that threaten to have pages other than P3. Without enough readers.

        • raj

          VERY FEW CENTER-RIGHT IDEOLOGUES ARE LEFT IN INDIAS’S MEDIA SPACE TODAY, THAT TOO IN MINOR PUBLICATION LIKE-THE PIONEER
          Chandan Mitra is an Indian journalist, presently editor and managing director of The Pioneer newspaper in Delhi, India.
          He was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha during August 2003 to August 2009.
          He was elected to another term in the Rajya Sabha, as a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Madhya Pradesh, in June 2010.

    • Harish

      @raj
      UK PM David Cameron all praise for British Indians specially Hindus.

      But there is no reason why European governments should continue to list Hinduism as a primitive cult and be allowed to get away with this insult to all Indians.

  21. Do take a look at my books on Hinduism – written in Engilsh rhyme – comments appreciated – site http://booksmmisra.blogspot.in/ or http://mmisrafan.wordpress.com/

  22. Anonymous

    For the kind information of all human beings ……. Bhagwad Gita is a geet sung by The Lord , not for the so called any particular religion but for all the human beings n therefore for humanity…… If sun is called by any other name in a particular country it does not mean that it belongs to that nation…… so think think n think ………. Actually we all are the children of the same God ….. so all have one religion( only if we truly understand the meaning of religion) n therefore Srimad Bhagwad Geeta is for everybody and ‘Bhagwad Geeta’ as it is by Srila Prabhupada is available in more than 70 languages , with the latest being available in chinese as well………Hare Krishna!

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