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Hinduism Oprah is a Dharma Seer (?)

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, May 27, 2011.

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  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Oprah is a Dharma Seer
    by Aseem Shukia

    “I know that every thought that I think, every thought that I have, that moves into action is going to create an equal and opposite reaction. So everything that I put out into the world is going to come back. It’s the golden rule on steroids.”

    “There are many paths to what you call God....there is not just one way...”
    “The ego is the illusory Self!”

    These reflections on karma, pluralism and enlightened self-realization are basic tenets--core beliefs--for the Dharma religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. The Holy Vedas or the Buddhist sutras are replete with insights into those understandings on the path of liberation. But the quotes above are not translations from the original Sanskrit or Pali, but rather the words and musings of the scriptures of Oprah.com.

    Oprah Winfrey’s phoenomenal success as an eponymous media conglomerate is a testament to incomparable gifts as an entertainer and even thought leader of our times. Her savvy as a business mogul is no less amazing. She is bold and brilliant, perhaps the most influential media personality ever. She wears many monikers very well, but if some are eager to burden her with another epithet--messiah--then let us be very clear: Oprah’s message, her religion, is very much an iteration of the eternal teachings of the Dharma traditions.

    Paraphrasing and then repackaging the wisdom of Hindu sages, Sikh gurus and Boddhisatvas into New Agey aphorisms is certainly not a new practice. I have written before and been queried, of course, by Deepak Chopra on my assertions against the appropriation and delinking of yoga from its Hindu origins. And while I had my own questions about Chopra’s reluctance to acknowledge the “empire of wellness he has built on the foundations...of Hindu masters,” Eckhart Tolle, the author whisked to international fame by Oprah’s endorsement, comes in for similar criticism for a softer deceit in expounding on the Hindu school of nondualism, or Advaita Vedanta, albeit beautifully. Hindus read his book and realize that his concepts, embraced enthusiastically by Oprah’s audience as novel revelatory insights, are something they know well as a retelling of the three thousand years old Upanishads.

    So while Hindu Americans should be pleased and proud that their erstwhile esoteric and lofty ideals--long misunderstood and misinterpreted--are going very much mainstream, they are also undergoing their own awakening as to the dangers when appreciation and assimilation border on appropriation. Hindu Americans realize now that they may have failed to shape the narrative of their faith and other dharma traditions, allowing its reductionist caricaturization while ceding the transcendent teachings of pluralism, inherent divinity of the soul, reincarnation, meditative contemplation and much more to be sanitized for mass marketing.

    Oprah and charisma are synonymous, just as charisma and messiah are intertwined. She may not claim the mantle of a religious leader, but like any prophet, Oprah has her flock, her commandments and her scrolls. Her unabashed embrace of pluralism--many potential paths to one eternal Truth--is an urgent message for contemporary times.

    But Oprah’s is not a new message, a new commandment or new god, but rather a message heard over eons of time, reverberating from the Himalayas where ascetics passed on wisdom for the ages in an oral tradition continuing today. It is the eternal relevance of those verses that reverberate within, spiritually uplift and empower Oprah and her flock.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...isa-dharma-seer/2011/05/26/AGWUq3BH_blog.html
     

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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    For those who may not know Oprah...she is the richest woman in the world according to Fortune 500 magazine, all self-made. She came from a background of deep poverty and suffered from her share of racism directed against African Americans. She was a victim of family incest as a child, and openly lobbies to protect victims of incest and abuse. Oprah Winfrey made her name and her billions through television, and later as a movie producer. Today she is a household world in the US and can make the reputation of a budding author just with simple and positive few words. She has tens of thousands of devoted fans. She is also a philanthropist, giving away a percentage of her wealth every year, supporting social causes to improve the lot of poor and oppressed people. Her influence on public opinion is unquestioned. This and more is why the author of the starter article has made a point of examining her views on dharma.

    Here is her biography. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey

    A clip of one of her television programs. One of six about Oprah's visit to the Nazi extermination camp,Auschwitz:

    YouTube - ‪Oprah and Elie Weisel at Auscwitz Part 1‬‏

    What do you think of the starter article by Mr. Shulka? I am intrigued but have not formed an opinion yet.
     
  4. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    It appears Aseem Shukla wants to claim back things and concepts as belonging to Hinduism as his primary goal. He is the co-founder of the following,

    I am sure at appropriate time he is going to claim that "Sikhs are Hindus" but not just yet. He perhaps needs them to tag along for security.lol

    Here is the other side of the story quoted in the name of Dr. Deepak Chopra,


    I also met a muslim who claims everything is described in the Koran including how to determine the speed of light, missile technology, obstetrics, and anything else you can think of, etc. lol

    To each their own I suppose!

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  5. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    Who does all the wealth belong to? Who owns all wisdom, all insights? Who owns all religions, temples, scriptures and writings? Who owns men, women and the countries, states, cities and the universe beyond the skies, the stars and the galaxies? All belongs to Waheguru, who is free from form and 'religion'.

    In short, let us not fight for small things.. hehe

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh ji
     
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  6. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Kanwaljit Singh ji perhaps send the above in an e-mail to Mr. Aseem Shukla japposatnamwaheguru:lol

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  7. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    Such thoughts can only be shared with like minded people hehe.
     
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  8. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Kanwaljit and Ambarsaria ji

    I think your conversation is helping me understand my own confusion. Mr. Shukia's narrative has been annoying me. It somehow gets in the way of what is going on with Ms. Winfrey. Her story is interesting on the point of dharma. But somehow I can't chip through to understand exactly what her perspectives are, because the author's mindset is getting in the way. Almost as if he is using Ms. Winfrey as the poster child for his advocacy. Thanks.
     
  9. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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