Friday, March 16, 2007

Mr. Foster sails down the Ganga

The Telegraph's Delhi correspondent has begun his journey sailing down the Ganga (Ganges), and is blogging about it. (One suspects at some point this might even become a book and adorn the non-fiction stand at Crosswords, which is always crowded with so many fascinating books on India by foreigners -- both Western and Indian :). Heck, I just picked up Edward Luce's In Spite of the Gods, not too soon after reading Pavan Varma's Being Indian, which is simply unputdownable, and, right on the money.)

In his very first post, he indulges in some parenthetical inter-religious dialogue of sorts.
For a Catholic-born Christian like me, the Hindu religion is extremely difficult to get to grips with - I've often wondered what goes through a Hindu's mind when he prays. Is it substantially the same as a Christian or Muslim, or something altogether different?

In a religion populated by so many different Gods manifesting so many different aspects of spiritual life and yet addressing the profound questions of existence which confront all human beings equally, it is hard for someone brought up in a highly prescriptive, monotheistic religion like Catholic Christianity to empathise and understand.
The comments turn out to be a bit predictable - Hindus getting their Irish up about the evils of prejudiced Christianity, and one lone Benedictine taking Mr. Foster to task for his lack of theological preciseness. I put some thoughts of my own up there, which may or may not show up (they are moderated), but forgot to copy then before I hit the "submit" button! Oh well ... [Ah, they made it through!]

And actually, at one level, I've never had the kind of "discomfiture" that I've heard about from my co-religionists when it comes to Hinduism or polytheism. Guess that comes from growing up Hindu.

[I wanted to link to some thoughts that I'd written down a while back, after a vist a road-side shrine St. Anthony in Pune.) but the comment interface warned that html wasn't allowed.]

1 comment:

Mike said...

The comments did appear, and they're right on.

"Hindus getting their Irish up" is a fairly brilliant line, G.