Hinduism In The U.S., It’s Everywhere And We Don’t See It

Until I read the link  I had not realized how often we encounter ideas from Hinduism in the U.S.  I’ve known many people from India, been in their homes and attended ceremonies. About 20 minutes north of this metro area is a new Hindu Temple. It is an exotic looking structure and has a sign in front welcoming visitors.

While there is a large community of Muslims in India we associate the country with Hinduism. There were 1,700 Hindus in the U.S. in 1900. Today there are 2.4 million.

Martin Luther King studied the writing and political techniques of Mahatma Gandhi. This was how King came up with the idea of walking on foot in the most dangerous areas of the U.S. and offering no resistance to beatings and attacks. Both Gandhi and King were quite successful in reaching their political goals.

In the U.S, 18 million people practice meditation which came from the Hindu faith. In addition, 22 million practice yoga. Ironically, only half those of Indian ancestry practice it.

The Star Wars movie has themes from Hinduism and Ralph Waldo Emerson found writing from India enchanting. Some of can remember the fascination the Beatles and several other celebrities had with an Indian philosopher. As I recall, another fan was the current Governor of California, Jerry Brown.

It should be humbling to those of the Christian faith to remember Hinduism predates Christianity. While Christianity was successful in selling itself to those of the ancient brands of Paganism, it has never been as successful in converting Hindus.


33 Responses

  1. A couple of points. Christianity traces its roots to Adam & Even; the first 2 human beings on earth. That seems to be pretty early. Albeit Christianity is thought by some to coincide with the arrival of Christ (God) on earth, it actually begins with Adam & Eve, the Jewish faith and the transition to the New Testament.

    Jerry Brown went to India to work with the Missionaries of Charity, the religious Order founded and run by Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Knowing Jerry Brown, he probably dabbled in other elements of the society.

    1. Matt 7:19 Christianity traces its roots to Adam & Eve..that seems pretty early.
      Hinduism was before that. From a site on Hinduism “…in Brhandamanyaka, Death is what existed before creation. The Death assume a self so it can think. He thought very deeply. As a result of heat, he perspired….This created water. The foam of the water hardened to form the earth…”
      About where humans came from I found the “..10 avatars of visham over time.” I’ll just list two … 4. Narasimha–Anthropomorphic: the dawn before humans….7.Rama: mature and civilized humans.

      I say this preceded Adam and Eve because the story apparently was told long before the story of Adam and Eve was told. Of course, both tales were no doubt based on stories passed down from earlier societies.

      1. Not so fast. For there to be death there needed to be life. For death to predate creation, makes little to no sense. The existence of death (human death?), any death, prior to creation, implies creation followed creation. The logic breaks down.

        Regardless, Hindus are entitled to their own beliefs.

        Creation is broken down in to 7 epochs. Fundamentalist Christians believe these are literally 7 days as written about in Genesis. The earth, the heavens, animal life all preceded human creation.

        If someone wants to create a new religion which claims it precedes Christianity, they can do so.

    2. Matthew Hauff

      Hi Matt, just a small correction (slightly off topic), we now know there couldn’t have been an ‘Adam and Eve’. There weren’t two first humans. I’ve often wondered what the Catholic church does with this information. At what point does the church believe a ‘soul’ entered the person when there was no first person?

      1. There were 2 first humans, Adam and Eve. The best theological explanation I know is that in the 7-day – actually much much longer than 7 24-hour days – creation God took from the earth (all of current creation) and created Adam. Eve followed and they created Cain and Abel. The distinction of Adam and Eve was of their mind and soul, not their body. So, yes, Adam & Eve were the first two humans and they were the first to have souls.

        Keep in mind I am no expert in this field. I’m sure there is a much more involved and correct Catholic theological version of the creation story. It is central to the Faith as it is the basis for Original Sin and the falling away from God. It is probably a google search away.

        1. Matt 8:15 I looked at you link. The title should be “What Catholics are allowed to think.” I can understand better now your comments here–you are allowed to have a limited number of thoughts and all of those outside the boundaries are prohibited.

          1. Jon, for years you toiled in a field of economics where every book you opened could have been entitled, “What Economists are allowed to think.” Another way of thinking about any field of study is that there is knowledge which is irrefutable and their are areas of research.

            Catholic theology has areas of knowledge which are irrefutable. Then there are areas of mystery which may evolve to knowledge as more information is uncovered or processed.

            Atheism certainly has ‘What Atheists are allowed to think.” Atheists are not allowed to believe in God, miracles, sin, etc.

            Everyone is allowed to have thoughts as they are rather difficult to control. You should re-read the link I provided with an open mind. Think freely. Many of us do it all the time.

          2. Matt 10:44 You should re read the link I provided with an open mind

            I did that. Here is a quote, “While the church permits belief in either special creation or developmental creation on certain questions, it in no circumstances permits belief in atheistic evolution.”

            I would contrast that with what I have written here numerous times. Atheism does not claim certainty of knowledge about everything about the universe. That being the case, a higher power cannot be entirely ruled out, even is the odds are only one in a million.

          3. Jon 11:11 am: I’m glad you read the information on the link. So, the Church defines the areas of uncertainty and lists one are of certainty, i.e. the theory of atheistic evolution is rejected, and with good reason. That is a far, far distant cry from having a limited number of thoughts. The Church exercises her teaching authority and informs the Faithful what is to be rejected, for good reason. All along, the person is expected to think, to reason and to ultimately come in to harmony with the Church, i.e. Christ’s teaching.

            While the atheist can freely think about the same issues, the atheist must reject the other the Catholic’s theology and embrace atheistic evolution since it leaves no room for God, the Creator.

            Your assertion that atheists don’t reject the remote possibility of a higher power is fanciful. You spend a good deal of your waking hours trashing Christianity, not any other religion, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or aliens from Mars.

            Your actions are so loud I can’t hear a word you are saying.

          4. Matt 12:10 your assertion that atheists don’t reject the remote possibility of a higher power is fanciful.

            You used correctly the term “remote possibility”. That is different than no possibility even though you are correct the atheist is unlikely to encounter evidence there is a god.
            When we get into use of the term “fanciful” I’m reminded of the theology of the Catholic Church prohibiting artificial birth control. That the majority of Catholics would follow that theology is “fanciful” to say the least. That atheists will find evidence of a god and the majority of Catholics reject artificial birth control are both unlikely.

          5. For the sake of clarity on what atheists think atheism is I visited http://www.atheists.org. By their definition, they leave open the possibility of God.

            What is clear in effect is that atheism results in eternal damnation. One needs to believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is not enough to believe in the remote possibility of God and Jesus Christ.

            Believe or don’t believe. “Maybe” is not belief.

            Those who identify as Catholics but who cherry pick what they choose to believe and follow risk much. The doctrine of artificial contraception is serious. Those who violate the doctrine risk their eternal salvation. Denying God in the act of creation through chemicals and barriers is a monumental problem in the Christian world. The birth rate among Christians in Europe is below replacement level while the birth rate among Muslims is well beyond replacement level.

  2. I’m sure there are a great many examples of religious faith sprinkled throughout the USA which are oblivious to me. In Fargo, I was completely oblivious to the Moravian church between 11th and 12th Avenue South on 11th or 12th Street. I was less oblivious to the Jewish Temple in Fargo on 11th Avenue South and about 8th or 9th Street. There is a pocket of heavily Catholic populated Colorado where it would be hard to distinguish the public school from a Catholic school. No one said anything and no one complained. The same was happening at an Islamic charter school in Minneapolis until about 10-15 years ago. One wonders if people even realize the origin of the name of California’s capitol city, Sacramento.

  3. Henry


    “Those who identify as Catholics but who cherry pick what they choose to believe and follow risk much. The doctrine of artificial contraception is serious. Those who violate the doctrine risk their eternal salvation. Denying God in the act of creation through chemicals and barriers is a monumental problem in the Christian world.”

    Good. I’m safe. I do not identify as RC.

    1. Up until the Lambeth Conference of 1920 all Protestant Denominations and the Roman Catholic Church unequivocally opposed artificial contraception – http://anglicanhistory.org/gore/contra1930.html

      That fateful day in Protestant history ushered in error which can only be reversed denomination by denomination, person by person. While it is true that individual Catholics are in sinful defiance of the Will of God, the Catholic Church has stood firm in its opposition to artificial contraception.

      The Church reaffirmed her position in Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae encyclical in 1968. Of course, this set the progressive thinkers in the Catholic Church in to revolt. They have led many of the faithful in to sin.

      I am 60 years old and have a 3-year-old daughter. I think you can safely surmise my stance on this issue.

      1. Catcher

        @ 11’04 Review the context. We are not influenced by Lambeth, nor the World Council of Churches.
        Please keep up.

        You are young enough to be the illegitimate bastard son I never had,

          1. Catcher

            Matt; @ 3;50; re. Lambeth. We have nothing to do with Lambeth, A function of the Episcopalian communion.
            Learn something. You un-informed prig.

      2. Catcher

        @ 11;04; You’re 60, your daughter is 3. Another neat way to deplete social security when you retire. How socially responsible.????

        1. I have no idea what you are writing about as I have no plans to use the social security system. What does my daughter have to do with anything other than I will be earning money for a longer time than many of my peers, in order to support my family.

          Then again, I didn’t understand your previous 2 posts although I am quite sure you meant to insult me.

          1. Henry

            CJ/MN 3:53

            “What does my daughter have to do with anything other than I will be earning money for a longer time than many of my peers, in order to support my family.”

            Don’t know. You brought her up. You tell us.

  4. Henry

    MN/CJ 10:31:

    “Be careful of flippant attitudes. You claim to know the Bible and the mind of God, unless I am reading you incorrectly.”

    I answered strictly what you had written. What you had written had only pertained to Roman Catholics. I reassured everyone as a result, I am safe. Yet, you treat me like a Roman Catholic almost like a RCC subject. Why is that?

      1. Henry

        4:15, Not just a potential Catholic, but they see us to be under the pope’s authority even though we are protestant. We are subjects in their eyes. This is consistent with the application of the inquisitions.

        1. Catcher

          @ 4;40; re. “Under the pope’s authority even though we are protestant”.
          Yes, in a book I have entitled “Christ’s own Church”, (with the emprimator,); All churches outside the Catholic Church remain under the authority of the Pope.

        2. The Pope is the head of the universal (catholic) Catholic Church. It is the Church left by Christ, created by Christ, that holds the keys to the kingdom. I’m quite sure the majority of people on earth don’t identify themselves as Catholics. That the Church welcomes all, as Christ welcomes all, is quite different than the Church regarding them as “subjects”. As for statements such as “This is consistent with the application of the inquisitions”, I think Henry chooses his words carelessly. Repentance starts with me so I will go pray.

          1. Henry

            Ok. I am tiring of the system eating my responses on formatted posts. “Invalid Security Token” and my post is lost. This has been going on for over a month on two devices. Cleared all my cookies, didn’t help. I was down to posting off of one remaining device, and now that no longer works. Somebody else may have to address MNCJ’s errors. I am out for awhile.

          2. Catcher

            @ 8;24; re. “that the Church welcomes all, as Christ welcomes all.”—
            Matt; The church I attend; ” welcomes all, as Christ welcomes all.” You are welcome.

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