ONENESS IN HINDUISM
Dr. Madan Lal Goel
University of West Florida
Hinduism is not properly understood in the United States. Hinduism is negatively and
stereotypically portrayed with an eye for sensationalism. This has been pointed out by Sulekha
contributors such as Rajiv Malhotra, Sankrant Sanu, Yvette Rosser and Vishal Agarwal.
Described in this short article are essential features of Hinduism, written in a language for the
common person. The concepts described here will help those who seek to explain Hinduism to
American audiences. This article grew out of a speech the present author gave at the Unity
Church of Christianity in Florida.
Hinduism is among the world’s oldest living traditions. The Hindu tradition goes back at least
5,000 years, perhaps even longer. Hymns composed in ancient times are recited even today.
Asato Ma Sad gamaya,
Tamaso Ma Jyotir gamaya
Mritor Ma Amritam gamaya
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shantih
Lead me from the Unreal to the Real;
From Darkness to Light;
From Death to Immortality.
OM, Peace, Peace, Peace.
Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam. The numbers
below are approximate.
Christianity: 1.4 billion (Catholics 800 m, Protestants 400 m, Eastern Orthodox 200
Hinduism survived 700 years of persecution on the hands of Islamic rulers and Christian
missionaries. Under the British colonial rule (1757-1947), the Hindu religion was often
debunked as a form of paganism and as being “primitive.”
The long colonial rule also impacted the land economically. Put simply, when India was
subjugated by Islam, she was the richest country in the world. When the British left in 1947, she
was among the poorest.
A revival in Hinduism occurred during the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. Swami
Dayananda, Swami Vivekananda and Sri