Jewish Hindu pact
A Swami from India has instigated a peace keeping pact between the Jewish and Hindu communities across the globe.
Swami Dayananda Sarswati is the head of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha in India. An organisation that represents several traditions of the faith. He's been in West London hoping to dispel myths about Hinduism. As well as shine a light on the work the Sabha has done with the Chief Rabbinate in Israel.
A Hindu symbol that resembles the swastika has often been confused with the sign of Nazi Germany. Notions of Hindus worshipping idols have never been well received either.
Sacred Hindu symbol
Prior to his trip to London, Swami Dayananda and members of the Acharya Sabha were invited to Jerusalem for a frank discussion about the misconceptions of the faith. Similarities brought them together in the first instance, Swami Dayananda says:
"They are really committed to their tradition and at the same time they don't go about changing people or bringing people to the flock. They don't do that, that's a good thing. So I thought we can have an honest dialogue, dialogues must be honest otherwise they don't mean anything."
For the Swami, Hinduism is a monistic faith contrary to what is perceived. The Hindu symbol that is often linked with the swastika is in actual fact an ancient sacred sign that has no association with Nazism. Propaganda has done much damage to Hinduism says Swami Dayananda:
"How can anyone say we have many gods, that is not right. We have many manifestations of that god, the whole jagath, jagath means all that is here, is a manifestation and therefore from different standpoints, we say there are many "Devtas". The same lord, the same Ishvara is looked at from different standpoints. That does not really mean we have many different gods with their own domains. We don't accept that and this is what we made very clear to them. "
A declaration was signed at the first Hindu-Jewish summit under the aegis of the World Council of Religious Leaders, with hope many similar pacts will follow.
The Swami has been giving a series of lectures at the Bharitya Vidya Bhavan in London.
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last updated: 06/05/2008 at 17:54