How Americans came to embrace meditation, and with it, Hinduism

Source: The Conversation

This week marks the death anniversary of Mahesh Yogi, the Indian guru who brought transcendental meditation to the West in the sixties and became a spiritual teacher to The Beatles, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and countless other celebrities.

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Mahesh Yogi (seated in front) who gained a following in the United States with musicians and artists. The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about Hinduism and Meditation and human psychology

Today, the legacy of the Maharashi, as he was popularly known, is evident in the widespread appreciation of meditation: Over 6 million people worldwide practice the technique the Maharishi introduced – transcendental meditation. An even larger number practice other forms. Health professionals and practitioners extol its many benefits, which range from anger management, lowered blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, reduced post-traumatic stress and simply a healthier lifestyle.

In the 1960s many Americans may have only known Hinduism through meditation, but the story of this country’s relationship with Hinduism is much longer and more complex.

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How can Hindus think like a Muslim or a Jew, despite the mention of 330 million gods?

 

1 reply

  1. An interesting comment I’ve just picked up:

    ‘As I understand it, Hinduism is not a definite religion as such, but rather, a framework. Some Hindus believe in hundreds of gods all of whom have to be worshipped in turn so that they will not cause a disaster. Other Hindus believe that there is only one God and that all the other “gods” are simply avatars of the one true God.

    There is much in Hinduism which is not contrary to Christianity. Thus, it is possible for us Christians to accept at least some parts of yoga and meditation even though it originated in Hinduism. However, Christianity accepts the existence of only one God. Although one must respect all persons of good will, support freedom of religion, and not discriminate on the basis of religion, we Christians are disturbed by the belief in more than one God because of the Ten Commandments. That should not be glossed over.’

    Hinduism is a very complex religion, and needs a great deal of study. So far as the reference to 330 million gods is concerned, in my opinion that means that Hindus see God in everything. I find that rather appealing.

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