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UF lecture 4-20-10

Page history last edited by Ali Krishna dd 9 years, 3 months ago

On April 20, 2010, the following lecture was given by Srila Acharyadeva as a guest speaker in an undergraduate class called Religions of India at the University of Florida.


In this lecture, Acharyadeva critiques Swami Ramdev, a popular Indian health guru and spiritual leader, who promotes Indian nationalism.  Acharyadeva argues that Indian nationalism is often based on an ahistorical understanding of the origin of many elements within Indian culture: language (Hindi), food (halava, tomatoes, potatoes, and chiles), and dress.  Thus, when ahistorical parallels are drawn between elements of Vedic, Hindu, and Indian culture, Swami Ramdev's intentions to draw India's attention back to its glorious spiritual past is equivalent to mundane Indian nationalism.


Acharyadeva concludes with an analogy to arguments put forth by the Christian right in America, whose nostalgia for a pure Christian nation is based on an ahistorical belief that the founding fathers of America were explicitly Christian.