A Western Hinduism
I have been thinking what a Western Hinduism might look like. One of the books I am reading is called American Veda by Philip Goldberg which explores how Vedanta and Hindu philosophy came to America. One area I found fascinating was how Hinduism was re-packaged for an American audience and culture often by Indian teachers. I think many Americans would be less reluctant of calling themselves Hindu if we had a uniquely Western expression of Hinduism. I know friends who fall in love with Hinduism but then experience culture shock when visiting a temple because they may be the only non-Indian there. I also know people they cannot be Hindu because they are not Indian or should not speak of dharma and such as they do not know Sanskrit and thus should not speak of Hinduism at all. I know for me I felt as if I were somehow inadequate or faking at being a Hindu as I stood out like a sore thumb. I think however Buddhism has largely succeeded in speaking to a Western audience, and welcoming converts and Hindusim has not.