[ Bell Ringing ] [Rev. Kevin Dean]
It is the oldest
religion in the world and pre-dates Christianity
by 4-thousand years. Still the basic tenets of this
faith have withstood the tests of time and human evolution. It is Hinduism, a faith
rooted in concepts of goodwill, tolerance, and harmony. Hello. I’m Chaplain Dean with
the Chicago Police Department. This is the fifth in a series of
videos to expand your knowledge and understanding of the
many diverse communities within our city. Having even a basic knowledge
of a person’s customs and culture enables police
officers to conduct their duties in a more efficient
and respectful manner. Today, we explore Hinduism. Swami Vivekananda
introduced Hinduism to Chicago in 1883 during the
Parliament of Religions. Since then, more than
80-thousand people of the Hindu faith have
settled in the Chicago area. [Dr. Shyam L. Bhatia]
Most of them have migrated from
India since the middle sixties. They came as engineers,
professors, doctors. They got education here. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
But not all Hindus are Indian. [Swami Varananda]
No, not necessarily. I’m American for example. It’s basically, uh, what you
believe in you know, determines. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
And what do Hindus believe? [Dr. Sudha Rao]
We all believe in
one Supreme Lord. We believe in
a cabinetry, if you will, of multiple Gods and
Goddesses who are in charge of different cabinets,
of learning, of wealth and this and that. But ultimately Hindus believe
there is only one God, one creator. Some choose to consider this
creator a feminine gender. Some consider this
a masculine gender. [Swami Varananda]
Hindus believe in
reincarnation. They believe that
after this life you go to some celestial realm, you
know, heaven, maybe a hell, but that’s a temporary
thing, then you come back, you’re born again,
take on another body. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
And Hindus respect all
religions as a path to God. Hindu gods are honored
in temples, whether those be the
elaborate community temples or simple temples
within the home. Hindus don’t go to temple on
a specific day of the week, Sunday for example,
temples are open every day and get quite crowded
on Hindu Holy days. [Swami Varananda]
A Hindu doesn’t go to temple to
hear a sermon or to get a talk or you know, he goes
primarily to have Darshan, which means to see God,
you know see God, bow down, and pay your respects,
offer something you know, just kind of say hello to God. [ chanting ] [Rev. Kevin Dean]
Hindus priests are typically
the only people allowed to touch statues of the
deities within the temple. Photographing deities
is not allowed. It is not necessary for males
to remove hats or for females to cover their heads
inside a temple. However, all visitors
and worshippers are asked to remove their shoes. [Dr. K.V. Reddy]
The significance of taking
off the shoes is keeping the place clean. And this is practiced in all of in the east, India,
China, Japan. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
Cleanliness of mind and body
is important in Hinduism. The left hand was
traditionally used for hygiene and many Hindus still
use the right hand for handling food
or sacred objects. It may be considered rude to offer a Hindu something
with your left hand. Hindus who have recently
immigrated to Chicago or who are here to visit
family may appear uncomfortable or fearful when approached
by a police officer. One reason is that
in they are not used to seeing people with guns. [Dr. K.V. Reddy]
In India the, the
constable level, they do not wear weapons, okay. The basic, the uh, police system in India is similar
to in England. That’s also contributable to
the fact that the incident of gun ownership in
India is rather low. Guns are very costly. Guns are not affordable. You cannot go out and buy a
Saturday night special anywhere. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
Many Hindus are accustomed to the western habit
of handshaking. Others however, prefer to
press their palms together and give a simple bow. [Dr. K.V.Reddy]
In the East you always greet
as a non-contact way so that Hinduism way, method,
is “Namaste”, then bow, and already you brought the
goodwill of the person. [Dr. Sudha Rao]
What basically namaste means is, I worship the divine
good within you. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
Hindu women often wear Saris. These are dresses
made of one long piece of cloth wrapped
around the body. Scarves may also be worn
as a measure of modesty. Women should not be asked
to publicly remove a scarf or unwrap any portion
of a sari. Hindu women may also
strongly oppose the removal of a marriage necklace. [R.S. Rajan]
A woman wouldn’t remove it because it symbolizes
marriage it symbolizes the fact that she is in the
sacred state of matrimony. [Dr. Sudha Rao]
Clearly if you meet
someone from my group who will be wearing this,
this is a very private and sacred thing to us. And uh, in fact, the
old tradition taught that this would not
even be seen by others. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
As with other Eastern
religions, it is preferred that male police officers
avoid any physical contact with Hindu women. [K.V. Reddy]
In Hinduism pretty much the
best officer an can do is don’t touch the lady. That’s one thing you ever
see in the Hindus in public, a man touching a
lady, even his wife. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
The same applies to female
officers having contact with Hindu males. This is especially
true for Swamis, who are Hindu monks recognized
by their orange-colored robes. Interviews should be
conducted in view of others. [Swami Chidananda]
In order to be free from all
the scandals the best thing is whenever a lady comes, keep
the door of the room open, everything open so that nothing
is hiding, nothing hiding there, so that’s a good rule. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
Many Hindu women and some men
also wear forehead markings called bindis or a tilaks. [Dr. Sudha Rao]
There is a definite religious
or a sacred component to it. Much of the time that we come to the temples we take
our red powder here which we take and apply. The men call it tilak and
the women call it bindi. So this is applied
to the forehead and it represents
almost your third eye through which you
see the world better. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
Within a Hindu home,
officers may be asked to remove their shoes. Most Hindus are vegetarians
and do not smoke cigarettes. It would be disrespectful
to smoke or bring meat products
into a Hindu home. Hindu homes have rooms or
special areas used for worship. In a non-emergency, always
ask permission before entering that area and handling
any objects. [R.S. Rajan]
Every family has on some degree or some scale a place
set apart for worship. Devotion to the lord calls for
a higher standard of cleanliness than just a normal thing. We take a bath, we change
our clothes do this or that, and then we sit down
before the lord to pray. [Dr. Shyam Bhatia]
It’s a question of purity. We just feel everything
should be pure and clean. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
Something else officers
may encounter in a Hindu home is
the swastika symbol. Centuries before Adolph
Hitler adopted the swastika as the symbol of the Nazi
party, Hindus used the swastika as a religious symbol. In fact, swastika is a
Sanskrit word that translates to Let Goodness Prevail. It is still found on many
Hindu articles of faith. [R.S. Rajan]
It symbolizes power. It symbolizes shate. It symbolizes the original
goodness of the divine being. [Rev. Kevin Dean]
As with all religions, Hinduism
has many different subsets, hundreds of them
around the world. Still, there are some
basic cultural courtesies officers can observe. In non-emergencies,
remove your shoes when entering a
Hindu temple or home. When practical, ask permission
before entering a sacred area within a home. Statues of deities
within a temple or home should not be touched
unless absolutely necessary. Handshakes may be refused. A traditional hello
involves a slight bow and the greeting Namaste. It is preferable
to hand objects to Hindus using the right hand. Most Hindus are vegetarians. Marriage necklaces
are considered sacred and should not be touched
or removed by police. Hindu men and women may
be more comfortable dealing with officers of their own sex. All of the people we encounter
on a daily basis expect to be treated with
dignity and respect. Those who practice
Hinduism are no exception. It is our hope that this
video will serve to enlighten and foster a new
awareness and understanding. Thanks for watching and
as always, stay safe.

3 thoughts on “Hinduism”

  1. Wow… I really appreciate the awareness spread by Chicago police on dealing with people from different culture. It helps a lot….

  2. Swami Vivekananda represented India and Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions (1893). This was the first World's Parliament of Religions and it was held from 11 to 27 September 1893.
    On 11th September 1893 – Swami Vivekananda delivered his first speech in the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago.
    Above video says it's in 1883.That's wrong commentary.
    I appreciate the great initiative . Thanks 🙂

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