Maraj: Hinduism will thrive all over

B y NATASHA OFOSU (as reported in the Trinidad Guardian)

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Ralph Maraj on Friday outlined a vision of Hinduism thriving in every country of the world.

Addressing the opening academic session of the World Hindu Conference 2000, Maraj said increasing ”international court-ship of India – the home and storehouse of Hinduism – will allow the faith to gain greater world exposure and the Hindu diaspora was also playing an important part in the process.

“If this trend continues,” he said, “we would come to a situation where Hinduism thrives in every country of the world and where the world community of Hindus is also made up of a significant percentage of persons who are not of Indian descent.”

Maraj told the conference at the Learning Resource Centre, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, that Hinduism had been eroded by the effects of Westernisation and “continues to suffer today through a lack of understanding,” which he believed was its main obstacle.

He said, however, the globalisation of the religion was both necessary and achievable. “Hinduism is of one mankind’s greatest cultural treasures and its internationalisation will benefit all humanity,” Maraj said.

“Spreading the message of Hinduism to the entire international community could lead to removal of barriers and generate greater acceptance.”

Hinduism is “multi-dimensional,” Maraj said, providing not only a source of “spiritual enlightenment” but also creating a “platform for social change.

“It speaks not only to man’s relationship with the supernatural but also to the variety of associations the individual has with other human beings and with society, in addition to his relationship with nature and the material world.

“At the heart of Hinduism is an inclusive cosmopolitan spirit which sees God in every human being, black, yellow, brown or white,” Maraj said.

“Hinduism also emanates from, accepts and caters to the variety of life, asking no one to abandon their own, but inviting all to be enriched by an understanding and experience of Hinduism,” he added.

“It, therefore, has an important role to play in achieving peace and understanding in this plural global village which we already inhabit,” he said.

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