As we finalize our tour of other religions this weekend, we’ll have looked at Islam, Buddhism, The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism), and finally Hinduism. Each of these religions are part of humanity’s search for truth and the Divine, and each have been fascinating glimpses into the beliefs and practices of our neighbors.
Hinduism is, in my opinion and experience, the most complex and fascinating of the world religions because belief and practices vary more than most across adherents. God (Brahman) is understood in many facets and forms in Hinduism, though ultimate unity in actuality, and they consciously recognize truth in other religions (and religious deities), too.
I had the honor of presiding over a Christian-Hindu wedding ceremony a few years back. The Christian portion of the ceremony (the sermon and vows) was the least interesting part of the proceedings, at least for me. For the Hindu portion the couple walked around a fire-pot repeatedly, each journey representing a different journey that they would take together in their marriage, including that final journey through death into the next existence. And they marked one another with paint and gave each other gifts, as the custom required, symbolizing their love and servitude toward each other.
It was beautiful and intriguing to me, and I was inspired to imagine ways that Christian religious ceremonies could deepen their meaningful practices, too.
This Sunday, though we’ll be talking about Hinduism, we will not cover everything possible. It’s not possible to. So I encourage everyone to do a field trip, if they can. Go to the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Cary to get first hand experience. Be respectful and enter with open eyes. Not much will be familiar to Western Christians, but I promise you will not be bored.
See you Sunday,