Discuss some Hindu influences in America.
Hinduism has had an influence in America since being introduced by Swami Vivekananda in 1893, at the World’s Parliament of Religions. Religion is a complex component of our lives and it encompasses much more than our own particular traditions or personal experiences. Hinduism has had a reflection on interests around vegetarian concentration, yoga meditation, reincarnation and alternative medical treatments that have become popular in the United States. Hinduism has also introduced words, such as yoga, mantra, and chakra, to name a few, that have been incorporated into the American language as quasi-religious practices. As Hinduism grows in populations so does the interests in what the religion has to offer. Yoga is used as a relaxation exercise to unite oneself with God or one’s true self. Yoga practices have become so popular and widespread that newer populations may mistake them as being entirely American tradition. Mantra is a means of chanting or meditating and consists of a set of sacred words or syllables used to unite one with the deity they represent.
These are some of the benefits Americans feel provide them with a newfound faith. Hindus of Indian descent in America have created a balance between their religion and Indian cultural religion with the pressures to Westernize. Temples have been built in American in the styles of northern or southern India and dedicated by Hindu priests from India. These temples create a place to worship. There is always the threat that modern American traditions, such as eating meat, racial intermarriage, and considerable mobility in society may interfere. The temples welcome the serious seeker of non-Indian descent which speaks well for Hindu hospitality. The population of Hindu’s is continually growing in America. It is believed that Hinduism isn’t just a faith but is related to the union of reason and intuition. As most Americans we find new things intriguing by feeling they may bring us closer to oneself or to God. In my opinion it is likely that this belief will continue to entice Americans in the years to come.