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Contemporary Hindu movements

From Academic Kids

Hinduism is going through a phase or regeneration and reform through the vehicle of several contemporary movements. These movements stress the spiritual science aspects of the Hindu traditions, creating a form that is egalitarian that does not discriminate based on jati (ethnic group), gender, or race. Active Hindu communities are to be found in all parts of the world. In particular, the former Soviet Union countries and Poland have thriving Hindu communities due to the missionary work of the Hare Krishnas.

There are groups in India that are actively engaged in getting women and those from socially disadvantaged jatis to become priests of Vedic ritual.

The new movements look up to Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore,Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo (for his Integral Yoga), Swami Ramatirtha, Narayana Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, and Srila Prabhupada A.C. Bhaktivedanta for inspiration. More recently, the work of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Sathya Sai Baba, Shirdi Sai Baba who has many Muslim followers, Swami Muktananda, Swami Chinmayananda, Dayananda Saraswati, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Ammachi has inspired millions to create new centers of spiritual development. In the intellectual field, the writings of Ananda Coomaraswamy, Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel, Subhash Kak and David Frawley have been influential.

In social work, Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Pandurang Shastri Athavale, Baba Amte have been most important. Sundarlal Bahuguna created the chipko movement for the preservation of forestlands according to the Hindu ecological ideas.

The increasing popularity of yoga and meditation has helped Hindus to re-discover their roots. The revival of Indian classical arts like dance and sculpture have been influential in instilling pride.

A socio-cultural organisation called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was formed by Dr.Keshav Baliram Hegdewar in 1925.The motto was to unite Hindus,make them rise over their caste differences and work for the glory of the Hindu Rashtra(Bharat).

In Indonesia there are several movements in favour of return to Hinduism in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. Balinese Hinduism, known as Agama Hindu Dharma, has witnessed great resurgence in recent years.


The Hindu Renaissance

Since the late 1970's, hinduism has been going through what the Hindu community calls a "Hindu Renaissance". British rule in India and western cultural influence had weakened the faith, but the popularity of Hinduism in the West and activism of certain influential leaders, such as Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, reversed this trend. Instead, today Hindus who live in foreign countries are building temples for Ganesa, Murugan and Siva in varied places such as Norway and Australia.

In India, followers of the Hindu faith have been increasingly proud of their faith and heritage. The nationalist propaganda of the Indian government and the consistent economic growth of the country have added strength to this movement.

Hinduism has a widespread and widely accepted magazine called Hinduism Today (http://www.hinduismtoday.com), which has played a fundamental role in uniting widespread communities as well as reviving and bringing to light old precepts of Hinduism. Hinduism Today yearly awards the "Hindu of the Year" prize to notable people of the Hindu faith.

See also

Topics in Hinduism
Shruti (primary Scriptures): Vedas | Upanishads | Bhagavad Gita | Itihasa (Ramayana & Mahabharata) | Agamas
Smriti (other texts): Tantras | Sutras | Puranas | Brahma Sutras | Hatha Yoga Pradipika | Smritis | Tirukural | Yoga Sutra
Concepts: Avatar | Brahman | Dharma | Karma | Moksha | Maya | Ishta-Deva | Murti | Reincarnation | Samsara | Trimurti | Turiya
Schools & Systems: Schools of Hinduism | Early Hinduism | Samkhya | Nyaya | Vaisheshika | Yoga | Mimamsa | Vedanta | Tantra | Bhakti
Traditional Practices: Jyotish | Ayurveda
Rituals: Aarti | Bhajans | Darshan | Diksha | Mantras | Puja | Satsang | Stotras | Yajna
Gurus and Saints: Shankara | Ramanuja | Madhvacharya | Ramakrishna | Vivekananda | Sree Narayana Guru | Aurobindo | Ramana Maharshi | Sivananda | Chinmayananda | Sivaya Subramuniyaswami | Swaminarayan | A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Denominations: List of Hindu denominations
Vaishnavism | Saivism | Shaktism | Smartism | Agama Hindu Dharma | Contemporary Hindu movements | Survey of Hindu organisations
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