Friday, 18 February 2011

What Lies Ahead For Hinduism And Buddhism

What Lies Ahead For Hinduism And Buddhism Image, a religion and spirituality information website, is running a summer series on the Future of Religion. The series invites leading scholars and writers from a variety of religious traditions to talk about the future of religion, including trends, challenges, controversies, and reforms.

Last week, 14 contributing scholars and authors discussed the Future of Hinduism. Loriliai Biernacki of the University of Colorado wrote "A Rich and Strange Metamorphosis: Global Hinduism." She described how assets of Hinduism, such as the practice of yoga and ideas of karma and rebirth, "are pervading American consciousness."

Pankaj Jain, a religion researcher at the University of North Texas, shared thoughts on "Bollywood and Beyond: Hinduism Changing the World." He writes, "the ideals of Hinduism, such as pluralism, "dharma, ritam", and nonviolence are some important lessons for the future of Hinduism in particular and for humanity in general. If today's Hindus can take inspiration from their own teachings, they can ensure a healthy and prosperous future for themselves, their diverse neighborhoods, and their natural resources."

Chade-Meng Tan, head of Google University's School of Personal Growth, suggests a convergence of the three branches ("yanas") of Buddhism (Theravada, Tibetan, and Zen) into a playful term he coined "Hahayana." This concept is similarly broached by Charles Prebish, a leading scholar of Buddhism in America, who discusses how "three Buddhisms" are evolving into a clearer picture of "American Buddhism."

Philip Ryan, Web editor of Tricycle: A Buddhist Review, offers insights into the opportunities and challenges of creating a virtual community in Online Buddhists. SOURCE

BOLBAMOn the road to Allahabad, I met thousands of pilgrims, mostly young men, walking barefoot and wearing the color orange. They were going to Varanasi (Benares) in order to worship the spirit of the river Ganges. In the month of "Saawan", when on account of Shiva we have to eat strictly vegetarian, Indians from all over the state of Uttar Pradesh have to make this pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. I can hear them singing and shouting "Bolbam," which is another name for Shiva. They do this in order to feel the strength to carry on. This year I feel there are more people than usual. The long orange lines they are making on the roads is impressive.

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