Bhagwat was speaking at the launch of the international edition of Encyclopaedia of Hinduism in New Delhi. He mentioned that Hinduism was earlier called “manav dharam” (religion of man) as it is for everyone. He said that people of India had not considered it an ancestral property but “a legacy for the world”. He said that today the world likes it.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, during his speech, said the selection of entries on different concepts in the encyclopedia as also identities of historical significance were comprehensive. According to reports, he also said that exclusivity in domain knowledge has to be ruled out and expertise should be judged objectively and sought globally.
Ansari expressed his confidence, saying, “This test, I am sure will be applied in future editions of this otherwise excellent compilation.”
Meanwhile, Bhagwat said that people often say that a concept was correct principally but not practically but Hindu religion does not allow for them to be regarded differently. “What problems Hindu society is facing, the main reason is the difference being kept between principle and its practicality.”
Bhagwat criticised that though the meaning of religion is duty but it is now being identified with rituals. He said, “Dharam is what binds. What causes divisions is not dharam.” He said there was no word in English which connotes full meaning of “dharam” and people had started using the word religion for it.
He said the need is to understand what dharam is and asked to follow it. “The need is to know what dharam is and then follow it,” said Bhagwat.
He urged on the need of people to have proper knowledge about Hinduism. Bhagwat said while it is important for people outside India to have correct knowledge about Hinduism, it was even more important that people in the country have this knowledge.
According to reports, an official said, the Encyclopedia of Hinduism has been in the making for more than twenty years and brings out depth and breadth of India’s spiritual culture in “an authentic, academic and scholastic form.”
The encyclopedia, which is in 11 volumes and has approximately 7,000 entries, is a project of India Heritage Research Foundation guided by Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh.