Ten Things a Hindu Can Do While Using English Language
2. Please do not use the meaningless term “RIP” when someone dies. Use “Om Shanti”, “Sadgati” or “I wish this atma attains moksha”. Hinduism neither has the concept of “soul” nor its “resting”. The terms “Atma” and “Jeeva” are, in a way, antonyms for the word “soul”.
3. Please don’t use the word “Mythology” for our historic epics (Itihas) Ramayana and Mahabharata. Rama and Krishna are historical heroes, not just mythical characters.
3. Please don’t be apologetic about idol worship and say “Oh, that’s just symbolic”. All religions have idolatry in kinds or forms – cross, words, letters (calligraphy) or direction. Also let’s stop using the words the words ‘idols’, ‘statues’ or ‘images’ when we refer to the sculptures of our Gods. Use the terms ‘Moorthi’ or ‘Vigraha’. If words like Karma, Yoga, Guru and Mantra can be in the mainstream, why not Moorthi or Vigraha?
4. Please don’t refer to Ganesh and Hanuman as “Elephant god” and “Monkey god” respectively. You can simply write Shree Ganesh and Shree Hanuman.
5. Please don’t refer to our temples as prayer halls. Temples are “devalaya” (abode of god) and not “prathanalaya” (Prayer halls).
6. Please don’t wish your children “black birthday” by letting them to blow off the candles that kept at the top of the birth day cake. Don’t throw spit on the divine fire (Agni Deva). Instead, ask them to pray: “Oh divine fire, lead me from darkness to light” (Thamasoma Jyotirgamaya) by lighting a lamp. These are all strong images that go to deep psyche.
7. Please avoid using the words “spirituality” and “materialistic”. For a Hindu, everything is divine. The words spirituality and materialism came to India through evangelists and Europeans who had a concept of Church vs State. Or Science vs Religion. On the contrary, in India, Sages were scientists and the foundation stone of Sanatan Dharma was Science.
9. Please don’t use the word “Sin” instead of “Papa”. We only have Dharma (duty, righteousness, responsibility and privilege) and Adharma (when dharma is not followed). Dharma has nothing to do with social or religious morality. ‘Papa’ derives from Adharma.
10. Please don’t use loose translation like meditation for “dhyana” and ‘breathing exercise’ for “Pranayama”. It conveys wrong meanings. Use the original words.
(From the book “Why Am I a Hindu?” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9PAGLT ). Remember, the world respects only those who respect themselves!
Some people may ask, “What’s wrong in it? Those are all just harmless words”. Ask them a counter question: “What’s right in it?” For, those words are intentionally introduced into your psyche. Those are not just words, but very strong cultural statements that you blindly follow without knowing its depth. Remember, MTV introduced cultural terrorism through a ‘harmless'(sic) word “ENJOY” in India through advertisements – the rest is the history of how the then young Indians moved away from the idea of “happiness” to the next natural step of “make money ANYHOW and ENJOY!”
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Book: Why Am I a Hindu (The Science of Sanatan Dharma). For kindle and international paperback, please visit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9PAGLT For Indian paperback (print) edition only: http://prachodayat.org/why-am-i-a-hindu/
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