Shortcomings Of Hinduism And It’s Struggle To Get A Fair Representation


By Maria Wirth

There seems to be some “defect” in Hinduism, because worldwide, it is clearly not as respected as Christianity and Islam. Hindus struggle to get a fair representation for Hinduism in the media or in textbooks whether abroad or even at home.

This is hard to understand, because Hinduism has the best philosophical basis of all and is in tune with modern nuclear science. It acknowledges that the essence in all is consciousness (spirit) and shows practical ways how to realize this one spirit as true. It is therefore even in tune with the ever growing tribe in the west who say “I am spiritual, not religious”.

When India was ruled by Christians and Muslims, it was understandable that those in power promoted their religion as the best and denigrated the ‘primitive native religion’. But today, when there is an open market of ideas, why is Hinduism still getting a rough and very unfair deal when it actually deserved the highest respect, and how can this be changed?

One fine morning I realized what Hinduism is “lacking” and how this could be rectified. Hinduism would finally be on the same footing as Christianity and Islam.

It is simple.

The ancient rishis had left out only one important sentence after passing on their insights. This one sentence obviously makes all the difference whether a religion is respected, powerful and keeps gaining followers or whether it is demeaned, ridiculed and loses followers.

This sentence is:

If you don’t believe what we tell you, the supreme Divinity will throw you for all eternity into hellfire.

Let’s imagine Maharishi Vyasa, after compiling the Vedas, had added this sentence: “Whoever does not believe in the Vedas as the only truth, will be thrown for all eternity into hellfire by Brahman himself.”

Or after writing the Mahabharata, if he had added “Whosoever does not believe that Sri Krishna is the only true mediator between man and Brahman, will burn eternally in hell”.

Or if Valmiki, after writing down the teaching of Guru Vashishta to Prince Rama, had added that Vashishta alone is the true guru and whoever does not believe it will end up in hell.

Or even today, if Mata Amritanandamayi for example, who has several miracles to her credit and an unparalleled outflow of love, would claim that she is the only indigenous daughter of god and who does not believe it, will be thrown into hellfire forever…

If this had happened, Hinduism would not be the underdog. It would be on the same level with the respected religions. In fact, the newcomer religions probably had little chance to come up, because Hinduism was there ages before them and it could have easily declared those newcomers as inexcusable heretics that need to be put to death.

In fact, not all is lost. Since the Bible and the Quran were written down after Jesus and Mohamed had died and several earlier versions were discarded, maybe Hindus still could amend their sacred texts?

In case it is not clear, of course I am not serious.

But it struck me one morning that the respect for dogmatic religions is based on irrationality and how easily it could be corrected if Hindus would chose to be as irrational and if they would back up –this is an important ingredient – their irrationality with blasphemy laws. Hindus could take part in the one-upmanship of “only we are right” and threaten those who dare to dissent with death.

Actually, it is not so much irrationality but cunningness, because those who made those claims of eternal hell for outsiders in all likelihood did not believe it themselves. It could not possibly have come from Divine inspiration but is driven by worldly power.

The rishis in contrast were truthful. They were not cunning or irrational, and Indians – all Indians – can be proud of them.

But pride is not enough. Present day Indians need to take care that this irrationality does not eat into their society because it will lead to its downfall. It is not difficult to find examples for such societies.

Dharma finds expression through people who stand up for it and if necessary fight for it. Adharmic forces need to be called out and challenged.

It seems, on this world stage, a Mahabharata war is always on, in all ages. Yet ultimately, at a higher level beyond the dichotomy of good and evil, all are absorbed in the one eternal Brahman from whom all has originated.

There won’t be a huge cauldron of fire where billions of human beings will burn for all eternity. This claim by both Christianity and Islam does not deserve respect. It deserves ridicule.


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  • This is an over-simplification and away from the reality. First, there is no Hindu religion, as is understood by all, including most Hindus themselves. Unlike other religions, India has had only SANATANA DHARMA (Eternal values) applicable to the entire Universe and everything in it. This was based on truthfulness, cleanliness of the mind, mutuality, reciprocity, positivity, healthy and helpful attitudes towards everything else, animate and inanimate etc. You live and let live everything else. Second, YOU ARE GOD. Till you realise this, you need props to help, of one kind or the other, such as other created Gods, Sacred books, Prayers, Forms of worship, Places of worship etc. These are like the pole for the pole-vaulter, it only helps to vault or like a boat that helps to ferry across water or the scaffolding for building a structure. They should be gotten rid of after the initial limited purpose is served, no more. If not, you are born again and again into this Universe, based on the inclinations and actions in this life.

    Therefore, no one is interested in or can save another beyond showing the light, which the Rishis did admirably. Other religions, especially Islam and Christianity do not not subscribe to any of these fundamental values, they need numbers for mass-salvation.

    Therefore, do not expect Hinduism to become popular among other sects, except when they understand these fundamentals and are fully convinced.

  • Hi,

    Interesting write up.

    Offering comments:
    (1) Hindus should never feel insecure. Isn’t the strength acually in the depth of conviction and less in numbers? There are no metics to define footing. Where is the need to be on the same footing when we have a superior religion, unless we pedal backwards.
    (2) The Rishis did not mention hellfire and instead used a milder “use it ot lose it” approach. If we were smart and used the current birth to advance spiritulity we would have fewer re-births. So one “living sensually will evolve over a greater number of re-births. This number being directly proportional to the stickiness in the sensual world.
    (3) By the same token there is no needto riducule a less evolved religion. As pointed out the distortion is man made and when removed evevates these religions to a more convergent altiude. In fact isn’t that what they are doing when they redefine practices?

  • Hindus are not competing to win any popularity contest. The strength comes from not numbers, but the deep-rooted conviction of the practicing.

    Hindus do not fear other religions. This is not a concern that keeps hindus up at night. It is a religion that has evolved to a state of refinement and found that fine line – where it is both “non-threatening” and “not threatened”. There is an impermeable layer around Hinduism that other religions cannot match in thought, content or penetrate. This fortress has withstood the test of time and has achieved the peak of resilience.

    It is a mature religion. Yet is is open to updating. It is not practiced by coersion. There is no top-down approach, it is a bottom-up approach. Each person charts his or her own course. The freedom to explore is theirs. No do’s and don’ts. It has even taken care of modern concerns – example – based on equality of sexes – Shiva and Shakti are both important.

    Yes, other religions have to evolve to have the openness of Hinduism. Like a banker they take loans from Hindusim and evolve. It is ok they never acknowledge or repay these loans. Hinduism has infinite wisdom to rescue other bankrupt religions.The Rishies and more evolved ones remind us, gently i might add, that the spiritual progress is cumulative in one’s life-time and over life-times’. So postponing spirituality and choosing sensuality is fine. It only means that rebirths may be necessary to get to a spiritual threshold where the practitioner can shed the physical body and live in the spiritual world permanently.

  • While agreeing that strength is not in the numbers, see how 30 muslim families in Birbhum forced the WB Govt to ban Durga Pooja celebrations this year for 200 Hindu families.. the list is endless and need not be reproduced here for buttressing my point..

    Being a 20% – 30% of the population itself is giving them so much helt to have their way, then what is the fun in staying put on our “openness” and “superiority” if the actions of Islam and Christianity are hell bent on undermining Hindus and Hinduism since ages…

  • It is not the duty of the Hindu religious to preach the Hinduism. It is the responsibility of every individual to understand the truthfulness of Hinduism. Bagwan Srikrishna says “Dharmasamsthapanaarthaaya sambavami yuge yuge” means he will come again and again to this land to establish the dharma to its righteous position. Our duty is to do our karma (duty) and do not expect anything in return. If eligible the benefits will come to us automatically.

    • Well, Shri Krishna also said get up and finish the people on the side of adharama and used his sudarshan for protecting innocents at numerable instances. It is foolishness to leave every thing on Vishnu to take avatar to kill demons and establish dharma afresh. What good are the followers of Krishna and what good have they learnt from gita if they don’t want to pick up gandeev like arjun. Every diety has multiple astra and shastr in their hands. Hindus can serve the humanity better with some power in their biceps.