Teaching Hinduism? Here's a review of the ten most common misconceptions about Hinduism from Sheetal Shah, the Senior Director of the Hindu American Foundation, in an essay for the Washington Post's On Faith. Among the ten common things about Hinduism everyone should know:
- "Hindus recognize and worship the feminine divine"
- "Hinduism is actually a family of six major schools of thoughts, one of which is Yoga."
- "Hindus believe the Divine resides in all beings."
- "Caste-based discrimination is not intrinsic to Hinduism."
Hindus acknowledge the potential existence of multiple, legitimate religious and spiritual paths, and the idea that the path best suited for one person may not be the same for another...As a result of this pluralistic outlook, Hinduism has never sanctioned proselytization and asserts that it is harmful to society’s well being to insist one’s own path to God is the only true way."Or, that
Hinduism is the only major religion that worships God in female form. Hindus revere God’s energy, or Shakti, through its personification in a Goddess.And, finally, did you know that Hindus worship one god in various forms?
Most Hindus believe in one, all-pervasive Divine Reality that is formless (Brahman) or manifests and is worshiped in different forms (Ishvara or God/Goddess).This is a terrific essay that might be a good hand-out for students when you review the unit on Hinduism.