The world is in a time of transition. Globalization, increasing movement of people across national boundaries, environmental challenges, religious conflict, emerging economies and a multi-polar world all demand shifts in thinking to resolve age-old human dilemmas and problems.
Many of the solutions offered for resolving today’s challenges, seem tired, dated and inadequate. They and the institutions created to propagate them stem primarily from the worldview of the West, which has been dominant in world affairs for almost half a millennium. This worldview in turn has been profoundly shaped by the history, myths, intellectual traditions and religious beliefs particular to Europe and America.
As the pendulum swings once again towards Asia and emerging economies and powers stir and find their cultural voices, we stand at a moment of opportunity. Many of us could be dismissive of the world’s diverse voices as we are used to - especially when they challenge long-held beliefs. Or we could admit new paradigms, disruptive as they may be to the privileged position of the West, yet promising in their ability to shape the world anew not only for the benefit of Westerners, but for all humanity.
One of the old paradigms which we have all heard is presupposed in the phrase "good news" used by Christians. (The phrase “good news” is a literal translation of the word gospel, which refers to the accounts of Jesus’s life in the bible.) The Christian Good News is usually associated with the saving acts of God through the sacrifice on the cross of his only son, Jesus Christ, for the atonement of the sins of humanity. Yet Hindus find such atonement unnecessary. For man is not sinful at all, but divine. And we, every one of us, is endowed with the same potential as Jesus, to uncover this divinity within ourselves in here and now - without the need for someone else's past sacrifice. To explain this empowering idea we have coined the term, “Hindu Good News”™
Such glad tidings are only a glimpse into the Hindu Good News™, which exalts man’s own potentialities, emphasizes the essential unity of God, man and the cosmos, and insists that diversity rather than uniformity are the truest understanding of reality. Some of the key promises of such a worldview include the following:
This website https://beingdifferentbook.com offers essays and discussions on a wide range of such ideas, assumptions and practices, all under the umbrella of Hindu Good News™. These postings include and reflect the philosophical and metaphysical views of all of India’s dharmic traditions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. With the above as our guideposts and through ongoing discussions and debates, we hope to usher a new era of interfaith relations, relations between faith and science, and relations between humanity and nature.
The recent book, BEING DIFFERENT: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism (Harpercollins, 2011), examines how this worldview is different than mainstream Western thought, including the Judeo-Christian variety, the secular variety based on the European Enlightenment, and the postmodernist thought.