For more than 150 years, Hindus in Trinidad had to face their religious and colonial critics, who described them as pagans with no sense of hygiene. Their worst critics were the converts from Hinduism who never took the time to study the deep philosophies of either the four Vedas (Rig, Atharva, Sama and Yajur) or any or the sacred scriptures. In fact, our pundits and teachers were the object of fun and ridicule.
But today, Hinduism is being studied in nearly every university in North America and Europe, and some of the finest and most revealing theses are written in the English language by non-Indian authors. In the London-published monthly magazine Hindu Today, issue No 44 of October 2011, writing of the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda: “For western thinkers, man is either an animal or a machine. Hindus on the other hand believe that he is essentially divine.
“Secondly, whereas western savants have postulated only three ultimate goals for a man, viz sensual enjoyment (kama), acquisition of earthly riches (artha), and fulfillment of social obligations (dharma), the Indian philosophers have postulated a fourth and final goal: liberation (moksha), the state of fullest manifestation of innate divinity and perfection.