in the Real World
Hindus must deal with Christianity and Islam as they exist in the
world today, not in an idealized mystical form that exists mainly in
the minds of Hindus. Such real dialogue, however, can be difficult
because the differences between religions that exist in the real
world must be confronted. The facts that most Christians still feel
a need to convert Hindus or that most Muslims feel that all Hindu
image worship is unholy must be faced.
Hindus must realize how many millions of the members of these
religions still think this way and will act upon their beliefs to
the detriment of Hindus. Hindus should develop a dialogue with such
groups to help change their views or to at least challenge their
misperceptions. They can't pretend that they don't matter. It
is not enough for Hindus to proclaim that Islam is one with
Hinduism. The Islamic leaders - the Mullahs, Sheikhs, Muftis and
Ayatollahs - must say it.
Let major Islamic leaders proclaim
that Mohammed was not the last prophet and that recent Hindu gurus
like Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo, were also
prophets and perhaps even went beyond Mohammed. Then a real ground
for synthesis might exist. It is not enough for Hindus to proclaim
that Christianity and Hinduism to be one; Christian leaders must
proclaim it. Let the Pope say that Rama and Krishna were also the
son of God and that karma and rebirth are facts.