Liberal Hinduism; Retreat after death
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami , 2001-01-25
A cyberspace devotee wants further explaination on the term liberal Hinduism. Gurudeva says that he looks at it as a new Indian creation to sort of be a Hindu and sort of not be a Hindu. Another cyber devotee asks what she should do during the 31 day retreat after a death in the family. Gurudeva says it is what you don't do that is important and that one should not go to the temple, worship in the shrine room and visit holy men and women.
A cyberspace devotee is very interested to know, "What is the definition of, or a little more explanation on, liberal Hinduism?"
Liberal Hinduism, in my way of looking at it, is a new Indian creation to sort-of be a Hindu and sort-of not be a Hindu. Most liberal Hindus will say, "Oh ... I'm a Buddhist, I'm a Jew, I'm a Christian. I'm a little bit of everything and I guess, a little bit of nothing." You have heard this, you know. They are totally unable to explain Sanatana Dharma and yet they want to blend in with each and everybody. Of course, the Jews know they are not a Jew, the Christians know they are not a Christian and the Buddhist know that these people are not Buddhists. Muslims know of course, that they are not members of Islam.
This liberal Hindu, watering down of the great Sanatana Dharma, is a result of Christian-educated Indian kids, who grow up and get influenced by Communism but still, want to hang on a little bit to Hindu roots.
Radha Raman asks, "We want to observe the 31-day retreat after a death in the family. But what do we do during these 31 days?"
It is not what you do, it is what you don't do, that is important.
What you don't do is go to the temple, worship in your shrine room, visit Swamis or Holy men or women. You cover your Deities and religious pictures at home with a white cloth and you live your normal life. You can do japa, you can do sadhana, you can read religious books and things of that nature.
This is a very ancient custom to adjust the inner psychic part of your being, your astral being as well as your soul, to the transition that your loved one is going through for a 31-day period. After it is over, have a big celebration. Take the white cloths off the Deities in your shrine room and your religious life continues as usual.