What is Hinduism?
V.M. (Nitant) Kenkre, UNM
March 10, 2019
There is a famous river in India with the name Sindhu. Foreigners mispronounced its name and called the people who lived on the “other side” of it as Hindu. This is the etymology of the word Hindu, and its derivatives Hinduism, Indus and India. The Hindus were progressive, independent, tolerant and occasionally brilliant in their beliefs. Since the only association of the name is geographic, the various faiths that they followed, collectively called Hinduism, cannot be described or looked upon as a single religion in the manner of the Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Dr. Kenkre will discuss some aspects of Hinduism including its scriptures such as the Bhagwad Geeta, considered a central representative of Hindu philosophical thought, and perhaps also Patanjali’s Yogasutras, associated often with the practice of Yoga. He will describe some of the varied religious practices of the Hindus including Yadnya and Pooja, and touch upon the origin and aspects of a few customs puzzling to outsiders, for instance the notorious caste system.
V.M. (Nitant) Kenkre is a Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) of Physics at UNM. He has wide interests in comparative religion, literature and visual art, has lectured on the first of these in many places over the years including at an international conference in Delhi, India. His latest work is a book on the Bhagwad Geeta which is in the process of publication. He has published a book on his poetry entitled “Tinnitus”, and a few others on theoretical physics, and is additionally the author of over 270 articles on his physics research. He founded an international Center for interdisciplinary research at UNM and directed it for 17 years until his retirement a couple of years ago.
Supported by Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group
and Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union