Be a Conscious Hindu!

pBy Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D. br/(Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya)/p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"The number of Hindus currently living in our world is truly br/impressive. According to reliable sources, there are as many as a br/staggering one-billion Hindus in the world today. There are as many br/as three-million Hindus living in the U.S. alone. Indeed, if you br/found yourself drawn to reading this column, you are yourself most br/likely one of this teeming number of self-identified Hindus. While br/the numbers of Hindus in the world may be impressive, however (and br/the numbers are indeed to be seen as a source of pride), numbers br/alone don't always point to the actual strength of a religion. br/!--more--/p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"The number of adherents of a religion do not, after all, always br/correspond to the quality of the individuals practicing the br/religion. And it is really the inner strength of the individual br/religious persons that is the source of the outer strength of any br/religion. This is the case for Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) as much as br/any other religion./p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"Religion is ultimately not just a numbers game. Rather it is a br/matter of personal conviction, depth of realization, and inner br/spiritual experience. Religion is ultimately a radically personal br/experience, and not just a group dynamic or a demographic statistic. br/This truth being the case, I have made a distinction between two br/types of "Hindus" in the world today. There are what I call "Nominal br/Hindus" and "Conscious Hindus". The real question for you is: Which br/of these two types of Hindus are you?/p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"A Nominal Hindu is a Hindu in name only. That is, they have no br/difficulty necessarily saying that they're Hindu. That comes easy br/enough. But this mostly cultural identity is often as far as the br/typical Nominal Hindu is willing to go into exploring the depths of br/their spirituality. The real question, of course, is not just are br/you willing to call yourself Hindu…but are you consciously and br/sincerely practicing Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism)?/p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"Like the Nominal Hindu, the Conscious Hindu also has no difficulty br/proclaiming "mein hindu hun." "I am a Hindu." But unlike the br/Nominal Hindu, the Conscious Hindu actually knows what this claim br/means…and he knows so as a result of his own personal experience. br/The Conscious Hindu not only identifies with Sanatana Dharma, the br/most ancient and profound spiritual system the world has ever known, br/but he also has immense pride in this heritage, and isn't afraid to br/show it!/p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"More, the Conscious Hindu knows that it is his duty to not only revel br/in the greatness of Dharmic culture, but that to be a true Hindu he br/must also do everything in his power to live the life of a Hindu. A br/Conscious Hindu joyfully embraces the Hindu lifestyle./p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"As a Conscious Hindu, you must be knowledgeable about the philosophy br/and teachings of Sanatana Dharma, reading the Bhagavad Gita daily and br/familiarizing yourself with the meaning of Dharma. More, you must br/know that it isn't enough to merely read about Sanatana Dharma, but br/that you must also practice its principles (puja, meditation, arati, br/Yoga, etc.) and ethics (non-stealing, not lying, being noble, etc.). br/Finally, it also is not even enough merely to practice Dharma by br/rote, but you must practice with the ultimate end-goal in mind: The br/goal of Sanatana Dharma â€" Hinduism â€" is to know, and love, and serve br/Bhagavan â€" God. The ultimate purpose of both Hinduism, and life br/itself, is having deep and abiding Bhakti â€" devotion toward God./p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"It is ultimately only by living your life as a Conscious Hindu - br/reclaiming your spiritual heritage in Sanatana Dharma and joyously br/practicing this path â€" that you will know the true happiness, peace, br/fulfillment and joy that your spiritual tradition has to offer you. br/Become a Conscious Hindu, live the Hindu lifestyle, and begin to br/experience the true joy of the presence of God in your life./p p style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify"The Author: br/Dr. Frank Morales (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya) has been a br/practicing American Hindu for over 30 years. He has a Ph.D. in br/Religious Studies and is recognized as one of the leading Hindu br/Acharyas in the nation. He is the Founder and President of the br/International Sanatana Dharma Society. To contact Sri Acharyaji, br/email him at: a href="mailto:info@dharmacentral.com"info@dharmacentral.com/a./p