The answer Quora monitors couldn’t digest – Maria Wirth

Maria Wirth

It seems truth cannot be told anymore. I had written an answer to the question “What do Western atheists feel about Hinduism?” on Quora, but after over 11k views it was taken down, allegedly violating the “be nice, be respectful” policy. I cannot see anything objectionable in my answer. Why would they let it “collapse”?

Here is what I wrote:

Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma is least dogmatic (Buddhism is more dogmatic as it follows what Buddha said and Buddha was only one of numerous Hindu sages). And of course it is completely different from Christianity and Islam. If those two big religions are the norm, then Hinduism should not even be called a religion.

However, it is not easy for a foreigner to get to the core of Hinduism. One reason is that we hear mainly bad things about Hinduism in the west and another is that Hindus don’t go out of their way to explain [their religion]. In fact, many of them, especially the English educated, know themselves pretty little about their tradition as it was demeaned under British rule and even after Independence.

Only recently more Hindus realize its worth and this may fluster the Christian west. I guess it’s because at least some westerners know that Hinduism can pose a real challenge to their “blind-belief-in-divisive-dogma religions”.  And again there is this increased effort in recent times to demean India in general and Hindus in particular—whether it is by shouting “rape” or “attack on minorities”. Both charges are very unfair if seen in relation.

I was on my way to become an atheist, as I couldn’t believe anymore what the Church told us to believe, and the Christian God simply couldn’t be true, sending non-Christians summarily into hell. And what about all those who lived before Christ was born? Anyway, it’s easy to see why one can lose faith in dogmatic religions and the Christian God.

On my first trip to India I didn’t understand a thing about Hinduism. Only on my second trip (which was intended as a stopover) I came by chance into contact with two great sages and then slowly went deeper, started reading, reflecting, meditating….

It all made immense sense: naturally there must be some great power / intelligence behind and beyond this universe—the inner ruler of the big and the small. It makes sense that the meaning of life is to discover That in oneself. If it is there (and it makes sense that it is there), then of course it makes sense to put my focus in life foremost on That.

From then on, it is not only intellectual enquiry but also experience. If I say that bhakti, devotion to that great power, is a natural outcome of putting one’s focus on it, many may not agree because intellect alone can’t get there. One needs to genuinely want to know the truth about ourselves for the truth’s sake.

Unfortunately, for many in the west “God” has such negative connotation thanks to the Church that they don’t have an open mind even towards “Brahman” (big, expanding), as they may feel that “God” comes in again through the back door. Yet the Hindu concept of the Highest is scientific. “Veda”—the most ancient Hindu scriptures—means knowledge. The analysis of us and the universe by the rishis is mind-boggling and the ways to connect with that power in present day Hinduism are amazingly colourful and joyful. – Maria Wirth Blog, 20 October 2016

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8 Responses

  1. Quora is a publisher not an open platform for a variety of views


  2. I am an Indian and I think the answer is very fair and balanced. I think there are a lot of Indian simpletons who have joined quora who don’t understand English very well and are also radicals who take it the wrong way ha ha. I have recently seen a totally wrong interpretation of a paragraph from the ganguli version of Mahabharata and it was clear that the individual did not have a good grip of the english language and wrote blunder.


  3. I hope that you get a prize for writing this balanced and respectful view of Santander dharma. It doesn’t fit the western or limited model of “religion” as such it is just that we came to the world with a mandate, to find our true self. In everything. To see the world as Brahman. That’s all. Practices and rituals are just reminders of our true self.
    Thank you for this respectful, balanced and truthful article Maria.


  4. This is why I never appear on Quora. It is a medium to bring out and exorcise the truth while reinforcing PANGOLIN* perceptions.


  5. Once you start reading the Hundu texts you get a feeling like – OMG My eyes have opened – you start looking at the whole world , in a different perspective. For eg. read the lines below ..

    1) Kan kan me hai Brahman ..( infinity )

    which meeans – There is an Universe ( Brahman ) inside Every Atom ..

    or Every atom is an Universe..

    2) Aham Brahmasi..

    Which means – I am an Universe..

    The above eg. are only 2 of many such saying of Hundu scriptures..


  6. I think you wrote a great answer; it was truthful and brilliant.


  7. I think Quora-people think it might offend Christian and Islamic beliefs but I think it says more about what you felt than being an issue with you being disrespectful or something.

    Hinduism, being the oldest, had a lot of time to make and amend mistakes and is sort of like wise grandmother who would just think everything else as child’s play. I think, this could be a reason for Hinduism’s non-defensive behaviour when it comes to “protecting” their belief system. This also explains why there aren’t any Hindu missionaries to teach/preach people about Hinduism; they believe everything will just find their way in time.

    Anyway, got into the flow, sorry. You wrote absolutely nice post. I wish you great progress in your spiritual path.


  8. Jai Shri Krishna. Thanks for this post


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