Hinduism Finds a Place in Western Culture

January 28, 2006

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


On January 28, 2006 The Sydney Morning Herald reported, "Hinduism is the predominant religion of India but in the global spread of eastern religions it has been Buddhism that has found a firm foothold in the spiritually barren lands of the West. But as the revered American-born Hindu monk Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami likes to remind his students, Hinduism is far more pervasive in ordinary Australian life. Hatha yoga, vedic astrology and ayurvedic healing are all practices borrowed from the Hindu faith, stripped of their religious ritual and reinvented respectively as a form of physical exercise, fortune-telling and healing. It is part of a phenomenon, the saffron-robed swami suggests, that others have labelled buffet spirituality. 'There is a general shopping for meaning,' he said, 'of pulling out parts that are easily accepted and understood and avoid other parts that are harder to study but produce deeper results.'"