Q: I have read much of your site and The Christ of India and am interested in the dharmic approach taken by the Saint Thomas school–most of which seems natural to me.
While there is documentation on Hindu acceptance and worship of Christ, how can a follower of Christ respectfully and meaningfully engage with Hindu aspects, from specific helpers such as Ganesha to omnipotent archetypes like Shiva?
I attend a Tamil Mariamman temple from time to time and experience no inconsistency but am still reserved in my engagement.
Any pointers will be much appreciated.
Sanatana Dharma did not come out of the mind and ideas of some individual who then persuaded others to follow him. Rather, it is a revelation given to many sages (rishis), who were master yogis, in their superconscious experience. That is why there is no founder claimed by Sanatana Dharma.
Also, that revelation can be confirmed by yogis who purify themselves and become able to enter the same superconscious state.
Sanatana Dharma is based on realization, not intellectual philosophy. Consequently, only the adept yogi can really understand its nature and meaning. Yoga Sadhana is the key to really “becoming” a Sanatana Dharma. I say this from experience. There were many aspects of Sanatana Dharma that upon first encounter seemed utterly silly to me. But as I persisted in meditation and yogic discipline I literally saw the reality and value of them.
I will share with you some experiences I had.
An elephant headed God
One day I went with some yogi friends to the now extinct Wil Wright’s Ice Cream Parlor in Westwood, California. In a niche to one side of the door there was a white marble statue with the head of an elephant. One of my friends pointed to it and said: “That is the Indian Elephant-headed God, Ganesha. I don’t know what it’s doing here.” Neither did I, for I was thinking: “Elephant-headed God! Whoever thought that up? How stupid.” But some weeks later in meditation I saw Ganesha and knew he really was a form of God. And more than that: I loved him. I not only believed in him, I got an image of him and put it on my meditation altar.