Speech given by Swami Nikhilanand at the HMEC 2010 (Hindu Mandirs Executives' Conference) co-hosted by JKP Barsana Dham at Sheraton (IAH), Houston, TX, Oct 2-24, 2010
We are gathered here at this conference of Hindu mandirs where one of the stated goals is to preserve the authenticity of the teachings of Hinduism and pass that heritage on to future generations. There is a statement many of us make which undermines these efforts. We often say, "All religions are the same." Why do we say it? Sometimes it is out of caution. In other words, we don't want to offend anyone, and that is a safe fallback position. It is considered politically correct. Sometimes we say it out of ignorance. In other words, we find it difficult to grasp the intricacies of Hinduism, so we fail to recognize the uniqueness and greatness of our own religion. If Hinduism were the same as all other religions, then why would we care if our children convert to other religions? If Hinduism were the same as all other religions, then why would we organize a conference to preserve the essential teachings of Hinduism and develop better ways of teaching it to our kids? If Hinduism were the same as all other religions, then why would I, who was not raised Hindu, have chosen Hinduism over other religions? In this talk I am going to explain very briefly what it is that separates Hinduism from the other religions of the world.
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