VOLUME X, Number 1
January - June 2020
In a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony, the bride's saree and the groom's scarf are knotted together.
In a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony, the bride's saree and the groom's scarf are knotted together.

A Marriage with Hinduism

‘Therefore, the man will leave his father and his mother to join himself to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ (Gen 2: 24). According to the description of our origin in Genesis which runs throughout Scripture before being found once again upon the lips of Christ (Mt 19: 5) and in the Letter to the Ephesians (Eph 5: 31), the man who marries must leave the paternal home to face up to the alterity of others whom he will come to know by stages. Firstly, his wife, then his children, whom he will discover with joy and the occasional bitterness to be inalienable freedoms upon which he will never be able to exert control. In this adventure of the ‘other’, the destiny of Abraham is once again being lived out, the one whom the Lord enjoined to ‘leave his country, his kindred, his father’s house for the land that he would show him’ (Gen 12: 1). In a very clear way Biblical Man knows, even with a hint of sadness, that he must be separated from the place of his origin to undertake the pilgrimage into the unknown, with a naked faith towards the One who has called him to otherness.

Even if he does not create a family in the flesh, the Catholic priest is himself also called into such an adventure and even, we might say, in an exponential way because his priesthood is by default a response to all of the brothers and sisters that he meets daily. If he is faithful to his calling, the priest will not experience any of the complacency of the ‘shut-in homes’the ‘closed doors’ and the ‘jealous possessions of happiness’[1] but on the contrary he will always be reaching beyond.I have had the chance to experience this myself for more than twenty years, by living at the centre of an unusual marriage with Hinduism which has been one of the most prominent realities of my consecration to India. In fact, at a young age I left the ‘house of my origin’, which risked acting as a sort of Christian self-segregation, in order to live a Catholicism in the wider world in the company of Hindu believers. A mysterious calling which brought together my Christian roots which had been firmly planted in the mystical soil of the Chartreuse – the land of my ancestors –, my childhood in a Brittany of timeless faith and devotion and the Pontifical Rome where I completed my theological studies before departing for the multi-religious Benares, within which the tree of my attachment to the Saviour has stretched its canopy ever further afield.

In this exodus I am a bit like the younger son of the well-known parable who, having asked for his share of the inheritance, left the paternal home ‘for a distant country’ (Lk 15: 13). However, far from squanderingmy Christian inheritance, my missionary dispatch has in fact led me to make it bear fruit in Hindu lands, I have as my only model the eternal Son who ‘came from the Father’ and ‘who came into the world’ (Jn 16: 28) to expose himself to the complete otherness of humanity through a total gift of his own person. Today after twenty years of marriage with the people of India, I would like to gather together some fruits of my pilgrimage into the heart of Hinduism – the religion with which I maintain an interior dialogue over the long term.

Devotion and Wisdom

From my early days in India I recall a Sunday in November 1997 where, sat on the steps of the pool of Mylapore in Madras, I was watching the faithful go down into the purifying waters before entering the sacred courtyard of the temple. Furthermore, I can see myself one month later on the night of the full moon of Karthikai, climbing the slopes of Arunachala with thousands of pilgrims to receive the vision of the shining fire at the top the mountain. This inaugural encounter with the radiant religious devotion (bhakti) has kept me from attempting any intellectualist reduction of Hinduism – a temptation into which Westerners so often fall when, using Greek reason, they try to classify something that cannot be classified and to understand something that is unfathomable by virtue of being beyond a merely rational logos. On the contrary, with the interior openness of youth I allowed myself to be carried along by the faith of my new people in all their highly diverse and disconcerting manifestations – like the Tamil penitents whose tongues are pierced by a large needle. Thus, led in silence by the religious fervour that stirs our being to its roots, I have been able to reach the threshold of what lives in the Hindu soul without having to get there with the assistance ofwords and ideas. I have thus discovered something of the burning heart of Hinduism in the realm that is accessed through prapatti,surrender, the abandonment of oneself to the divine love – not a passive surrender, but by contrast one which is overlaid with an insatiable longing.I have also ‘understood’ that in such a bhakti, it is precisely the giving over of oneself to the One that is beyond that gives the whole meaning to our lives at the centre of the universe. And the proof of the totality of such a surrender is to be found in the humility of the offering that mankind makes to his God: ‘he who offers to me with devotion only a leaf, or a flower or a fruit or even a little water, this I accept from that yearning soul, because with a pure heart it was offered with love’.[2]

Seized by the interior power of Hinduism as it is lived in the daily life, I mingled with the crowds of pilgrims and walked with them to the sanctuaries of the plains and in the mountains. With unalloyed joy I experienced the religious festivals which provide a monthly rhythm to the lives of my friends. And thus, I entered into the powerful flow of the great river of devotion where the Beloved becomes present. One thing leading to another, starting out from the faith of the lowly, the peaks of the age-old wisdom (jñāna) appeared to me, not just in an intellectual way but with a sort of ‘mystical foreboding’. This let me see what it is that unites into one same adoration the simplest soul, the sage who has himself ‘become like a child’[3] and the devotee who feels his way through the night of viraha[4]where he must search in the dark night of separation for the one whom he loves in his heart. I understood then that there is a Himalaya of wisdom (jñāna) which will always rise up on the Hindu horizon to rekindle its unquenched quest for the heights. Moreover, it is therein the shadow of the peaks where the silent hermits hide themselves away and where the sacred streams spring up that we have to keep climbing up struggling against the current of all that scatters us throughout the regio dissimilitudinis[5]that iscovered over by the opaque and illusory veil of māyā which hides the true light.

It will always be difficult for me to say to what extent my daily journey with Hinduism will have transformed the Christianity that I inherited as my core identity. What I can say with clarity is that India continually cleanses my faith of all that might be too intellectual within it, leading it towards the spiritual depth without which any religion is nothing but a sham which the world will quickly expose. The searing otherness of Hinduism has given me the appetite to rediscover the living springs of the two traditions which are blended together within myself in a unique way. To borrow an appropriate image from Christian de Chergé,the Prior of Tibhirine, I have to tirelessly ‘dig my well’[6] by living out with Hinduism a genuine ‘emulation of sanctity’[7] through the face to face experience of the emotive devotion (bhakti) of the lowly and the intensity of the search for wisdom (jñāna) of so many of those one meets on the road, whether they are still fully engaged in the world or those, such as the sannyāsī, who are already separated from it. This ‘ascent to the depth of the heart’[8] results in a deeper stripping away in order to reach the interior simplicity of those who in the words of the evangelist are called to be ‘like little children’ (Mt 18: 3) – those who belong to the Krist bhakta: the devotees of Jesus, the eternal Child of the Father.

Thus, over the years, I have come to better understand that it is not the words or the ideas that India wants to hear but rather the intensity of a silent presence where everything is rendered transparent to the Mystery. It is in this place of extreme simplicity that the logos can be awoken within ourselves – this purpose which the West has forgotten about that is not a fixed once and for all faculty, but a disposition through which the spiritual gift of wisdom is called to grow, by deepening itself so as to be capable of penetrating ever further into the weavingof reality that India designates by the term tantra.

Scriptures and Ritual

It has to be recognised that nowadays Hinduism is studied more by foreigners than by Hindus themselves, who would have difficulty explaining their faith to an outsider. In this respect we must recognise the remarkable work carried out by numerous western universities in conserving so many of the spiritual traditions that appeared fated to disappear even though they give Hinduism its elusive multifaceted countenance. However, in this contrast between the intellectual work of foreigners and the simple faith of Hindus, there is an important point to emphasise. The young Brahmin in his gurukul who spends years studying centuries-old texts from his tradition is not doing so in order to find new ideas but, on the contrary, he is uncovering the gateway to the original source so as to retrieve the intensity of the spiritual experience documented in the sacred Scriptures. Along with his predecessors he knows that everything he will need for his way of union with the Absolute is contained within the Veda,the Upaniṣadand the Bhagavadgītā. In these world heritage spiritual monuments, the precious pearl has been embedded by means of the use of a perfect language – Sanskrit – where each word is charged with a depth of interior vision. It is the reason why the whole lengthy process of Vedic studies has to start with the learning of Sanskrit, a veritable vehicle of the divine that is perhaps without equal.

In Hinduism, all the Scriptures have their given place in the ritual which is the very framework of this religious universe. The Indian is a profoundly liturgical individual, who inhabits the splendour of the cosmos. In particular the Brahmin is called to be the cult mediator between man and the gods. By stating that ‘the officiant recites the verses continually, without interruption’ to ‘make the days and nights of the year continuous’ and ‘so the days and nights of the years alternate continually without interruption’,[9] the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇaassigns to the Hindu priest the duty of saturating time with the rite so as to restore the original unity that was broken up by the sacrifice of the Puruṣa.[10] The life of the simple man of faith is also enshrined entirely within the ritual framework of the saṃskāra, the diverse ceremonies that follow on from his conception right up until his final funerary offering to the flames of Agni, the sacred fire that is the witness of his whole destiny. Contrary to what many would think, the rite has not been abandoned over the course of time in Hinduism. It has remained truly alive, all the while being overlaid with a new symbolic dimension in tantrism which has managed to unify the cult (karmakhaṇḍa), devotion (bhakti) and wisdom (jñāna) producing a new scriptural flowering that guides the spiritual path of man that is completely taken up and transformed in his bodiliness. It is in this way that the tantras have made each of the connections (upaniṣad) between the world (cosmos), the Absolute (theos) and man (anthrōpos) embracing everything in the flames of Agni, the ardour of ascesis (tapas) and the radiance of knowledge (jñāna).

In the silence of my room at Benares, I spent months studying the Hindu sacred Scriptures, deciphering them word by word from Sanskrit, before opening the many commentaries of the Vedānta masters. A severe and fruitful ascesis which by embracing the mindset of the other was a veritable spiritual healing for myself. In what can seem off-putting for a Westerner I realised how much Christian theology at its beginnings in the patristic era, was in itself also a continuing commentary on the Bible, and not an attempt to formally conceptualise it into ‘summas’as was the case during the Middle Ages. Yesterday and today the Scriptures are offered to us as a text to decipher – and furthermore as a place to inhabit. Gregory the Great said that they ‘accompany those who read them, being perfectly accessible to the simplest readers and disclosing themselves to be forever new to the wise’.[11] Furthermore, by beginning to open up the Bible in the way that a Hindu enters into the Veda, it occurred to me very clearly how much the great Christian theology is a theology of the Eternal. This speaks to us of ‘the spring that flows and runs’ that source ‘whose origin is unknown, because it does not have one’ but of which one knows that ‘every origin has come from it’ even if ‘it is at night’.[12] Of course – and such is its particular character – Christianity is called to take in hand what is temporal and channel it towards the ‘blessed hope’ but it can run the risk of spiritual exhaustion if it does not succeed in this contraflow pilgrimage to get back to the trinitarian source from which all things come.

Equally in the Church the Scriptures have also powerfully reverberated in the liturgy, at least for many centuries. Whilst listening in awe to the Brahmins who chant the Veda from memory tomusic from ancient times, a sadness often overtakes me as I think of what has been lost with the disappearance of Gregorian chant. No other Christian song has been able to so greatly exalt the Christian Scriptures by immersing them within the language of music and in so doing, making the spiritual experience of the believer understood from the first notes, in the way that the call of the muezzin in Islam speaks so powerfully of the transcendence of Allah. Even if they did not usually know Latin, this loss has surely been most detrimental for the ordinary people, who have also lost their access to the great treasure of the Church. As a spiritual diary entry from the poet Marie Noël makes clear: ‘although not learned […] I am […] so attached to the Latin of the Offices that I feel a great absence when the French version – secularised – tears it from us. How would I know the reason for this great nostalgia? Is it that in our liturgical chant transmitted to us across the ages by so many blessed voices there is an almost sacramental gift of the Spirit of Pentecost, that used to speak to simple souls in a hidden way through sacred vocables? Do they want to take this away from us because not being sufficiently educated, we would not know how to understand them? Well, of course we do not understand them all, despite our missals, but we used to let them flow over us like an outpouring of grace. The words of the Veni Creator, Miserere, De profundis, Magnificat, Te Deum,and all the others that were repeated time and time again, have become within us our family wealth, through the wide-open magnificence of the Catholic Church whose prayer in the world raises up and enhances the humble without their knowing it, far better than all the lessons and lectures in every age and place of the world’.[13]

When one lives in India, one can see the evidence that the rite is an essential dimension of being human. It is the very foundation within which our spiritual growth is made possible because it ties us back to the immemorial and away from the endless web surfing into which the so-called developed world is locked.This fashionable malady, along with that of subjectivism never fails to descend upon the Church at regular intervals, somewhat like mildew on a potato field. Having the privilege of hours of contemplation during the Brahminical rituals, the best of which I have often found in remote shrines, I understood how much the Catholic priest when he celebrates the mass, must disappear as an individual in the face of the mystery that he is celebrating so as not to make himself into a screen. It is thus only the sacrament that can truly beckon and the cosmos re-ignite itself in the tiny host of the God who was sacrificed and dismembered for the love of mankind.


My daily life with Hinduism has also allowed me to go ever deeper into the deep psychological wound that this religion carries, particularly in the North of India,[14] bearing the tragic history of the many foreign invasions. I have thus had to grow in compassion and share into the anguish that passes through the broken memory of the past. How would one be able to abandon a spouse upon discovering her shadows and her fractures? Today Hinduism is the target of a problematic political revival led by the religious organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (R.S.S.) and the Bharata Janata Party (B.J.P), its political offshoot which is in power. Along with other branches of Hindu fundamentalism (Hindutva) these groups are trying to unify their polymorphic religion by any means possible in order to make it manipulable and receptive to their political interests. We have here the perfect incarnation of Péguy’s well-known 1910 aphorism concerning the Dreyfus affair: ‘Everything begins in mysticism and ends with politics’.[15] In practice, this ideological stranglehold translates into the brainwashing of the masses that I also notice amongst the Brahmin students at Benares. We are witnessing the destruction of reason in a discourse reduced to slogans that are shot through with prejudice, which would be hilarious if they were not leading to the ongoing lynching and murder of Muslims. To that is added the triumph of bad taste such as the gigantic statues of gods which pop up like mushrooms in the Indian landscape, reducing Hinduism to a derisory folklore half way between a religious Disneyland and the megalomania of the satraps. Ultimately the motto Hinduism, ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam[16](the world is all one family), seems now to be only a vague past memory, giving vent to a highly toxic communalismwhich polarises Indian society. From being the spiritual beacon of the world, Hinduism has become a caricature of itself. In this religion which has become corrupted by politics there is no longer an ounce of the mystical. After all, this worrying spiritual emptiness is this not just the trademark of all extremists, fundamentalists, hardliners and traditionalists?

Another faultline to be found in contemporary Hinduism is its fossilisation of a fragment of its distant past: a mythical golden age that never existed and which thus lends itself to all possible fabrications and manipulations. In an India which changes at the speed of the rapid turnover of the generations, Hinduism has become autistic to the world. This particularly translates itself through an ominous crisis of priestly vocations amongst the Brahmins. One by one the gurukuls are emptying as the better-off families oppose their children committing themselves to a career that provides virtually nothing. None remain to learn the ritual other than the poorest Brahmins, who are incapable making other studies to earn a living. So, from year to year the age-old traditions are disappearing and many learned pandits die without having been able to pass on the mantle to a disciple. At the same time, the Vedic cult and the sannyāsa (that is to say the coming together of the liturgical and the spiritual) is ridiculed within wider society: the Brahmins for their seeking financial gain and the renunciates for their licentious hypocrisy. In a religion which is losing its spiritual vitality, only the devotion of the faithful remains, but this has been taken hostage by the Hindutva.

When Hinduism adapts itself to the modern world, as it has done for example in the Unites States, then it becomes the harbinger of ‘wellbeing’ which, as the name suggests, is the religion of the healthy. We need to mention here the astounding development of yoga in the West during the twentieth century, where it has been completely transformed – if not indeed distorted – returning to India by way of the affluent middle classes who find in it a practical and sanitised religion. In this Hinduism promoted by a few celebrity gurus, often with questionable objectives, it is no longer the ancient rites and the long, demanding ascesis but a cheap awakening for those who are only wanting a harmoniousand peaceful supplement for their hectic lifestyles. It could be that this decaffeinated version of the religious quest is one of the greatest poisons which Hinduism has to face up to today.

However, all these pathologies take place within the understanding that the Indian makes of his destiny and this is one of the most puzzling factors for a Westerner. In fact, Hinduism (along with Buddhism elsewhere) has contemplated its own disappearance in the present kalpa: the kaliyuga which started 5000 years ago and stretches over a modest period of 432,000 years. In this age of darkness everything must disappear, starting with the most venerable religious institutions being headed towards a massive collapse. Nietzsche’s idea of the death of God appears as nothing in comparison with this Hindu teaching.However, there is no need for us to prepare for the shipwreck, because for a Hindu this cataclysm is inevitable! And all the disorders cited previously are nothing more than the symptoms of a disintegration that is already far advanced.

Personally, I have always considered that the other’s wound is the mirror image of the wound within ourselves. I draw this from my experience as a confessor: in fact, very often, in the sin that the penitent confesses the priest is able to recognise his own sin. In view of the problems of Hinduism, how would the Church not also be worried that the breath of the spirit has deserted many sections of its own institutions which are collapsing from day to day, as the unrelenting heat of modernity evaporates all the illusions of the traditionalists and their derisory folklore? How would the Christian faith also not be threatened with being drained of its theological lifeblood in so many places and reduced to be a simple ‘lifestyle’, a placebo for all our existential anxieties, not on a quest for final salvation, but merely a bit of wellbeing?

In the face of this malady of Hinduism in the kaliyuga in which it is going to progressively disappear, an evangelical Protestant would be able to rejoice because for him all heathenreligions are the work of the devil, but would this be so for a Catholic? He knows that he needs the spiritual rivalry of other religions to give of the best of himself. Deeper still, he believes that religions – like all human manifestations – are mysteriously inhabited by the Spirit through which shines a ‘ray of that Truth which enlightens all men’.[17] In order to keep all the spiritual treasures of Hinduism alive, it will not be enough to save its rich tradition with scholarly studies because all that will remain a dead letter as long as the sacred writings are not incarnated within the lives and progress of living beings. As with every religion in crisis the only thing that can save it is the gift of saints who will re-live at the inner level the whole spiritual journey of earlier times.

My journey with Hinduism has not only been to receive, as far as practicable, the spiritual tradition of my Hindu brothers but also to do everything so that they might be proud of making a concrete manifestation of all of my hope within their religion. If without being naive I have actually got the measure of the malady that is corroding present day Hinduism, I have never reduced it to the distortions that it is experiencing but on the contrary, I wanted to explore the highest peaks it has generated, its most intimate treasures, the very best of itself. It is for this reason that thanks to so many Hindu friends, I have been able to come to the heart of their faith – a heart that is very pure and cleansed of the slime with which the fundamentalists have covered it over. With my friends I am highly delighted with the superabundance of greatness that they share with me, in this interior communion where we all become one within the depths of the heart.

It can certainly seem that when faced with such riches, this ancestral tradition has become too heavy to carry on the fragile shoulders of 21st Century men and women. However, over time nothing has been more moving than to receive the grace ofthe divine darshan[18] in the encounter with the most hidden beings who consecrate themselves totally to fulfilling their religious heritage with the utmost fidelity in order to transmit it to a new generation. Whether this is in the rite or in the renunciation, they want to fulfil this remarkable task not only by virtue of their intelligence but above all in the power of the Spirit that is the only true channel. All my Christian prayer goes out to them so that Hinduism never lacks some true spirituals who can stand up to all the political deformations and who will know how to preserve the riches of their religion, aware that this is related to an incalculable world heritage which will make humanity better through being more aware of the still small voice that murmurs within us all.

They will become one flesh

Nowadays we are a handful within the Holy Church who are existentially engaged with Hinduism. This inconsequential number may appear derisory in the face of a billion believers but who cares: we must go forward like a ‘voice in the desert’. For me this ishow to be faithful to my consecration to India along with the very specific form that my priesthood has taken on over the course of time. In fact, I have tried to welcome as generously as possible the alterity of Hinduism into my being and my Christian faith. I have let myself be transformed by it in an ongoing spiritual dialogue, all the more real and burning when the Hindus themselves come to me calling me ‘Father Yann’ with infinite tenderness, making me their friend, their brother, their father and also their priest. Looking at their faces, full of confidence towards me, I can say that the two traditions, Christian and Hindu, are inextricably linked in my being, as if they were of the one flesh whilst still remaining distinct. I also know that I will never finish knowing and learning from Hinduism. This will be a pilgrimage without end, made up of new discoveries that are not just intellectual but above all deeper, in the range of the mystical experience of which Abhinavagupta, the great spirit of Kashmir, said that aesthetic pleasure was the nearest equivalent. In one sense, in my Hindu wedding feast, there have not just been the seven inaugural paces (saptapadī) that the bride and groom take going around the sacred fire, according to the ancient ritual that is still in force. There will still be thousands of steps to make together in an accompaniment within which we will be mutually transformed. But just as in union where the man and the woman remain what they are according to their sexual difference, it is very clear that for me there has never been a question of falling into a syncretism that for instance absorbs the forms of Hindu prayer or a number of its beliefs. On the contrary it is about an actual expansion through Hinduism of my Catholicism, in order that it can reach its adult maturity.

It is in this precise way that I wanted to bring the heritage of my forefathers to fruition by learning how to be Christian at the heart of Hinduism and how as a Christian to make myself understood by Hinduism, through speaking its language and in communion with its spiritual quest. Doing this I have found myself to be more broadly Christian because going back to the language of Teilhard de Chardin, I have so powerfully felt the coming of the ‘ever greater Christ’[19] who walks upon the sea of eternity as in the mosaics of the ancient Roman basilicas. But this Christ has so often come to me with the surprise of the Spirit – he who is ‘the wind that blows where it will’ of which one knows ‘not where it comes from nor where it goes’ (Jn 3: 8). It has thus shown me some unimagined aspects of his person that I still did not know – the one who can assume all the human bye-ways whilst purifying them and transforming them in the newness of his mystery. This is also why my prayer to him has become simple till the point of being nothing but the yearning that brings the Bible to a close: ‘Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus’ (Ap 22: 20).

In this strange marriage that is my life I am a bit like the Hindu husband who on the night of his wedding invites his bride to sit by his side under the heavenly firmament. There, he shows her the polar star that shines above them and says to her ‘You are firm and I see you. Be firm with me, o flourishing one! Bṛhaspati has given me to you, so live with me a hundred autumns, bearing children by me, your husband’.[20] Inextricably united in the silence where there are no more words to speak, we stand side by side, with myself in Christian prayer and she in her Hindu prayer. And in our indissoluble love, I would like to designate for her the star that I am mysteriously gazing upon in the heavens: the Lord who comes, he whom the Apocalypse calls ‘the morning star’ (Ap. 22: 16)the one ‘which never sets’.[21]

Yann Vagneux, mep

Kathmandu, May 2019 

trans. by Roderick Campbell Guion o.c.d.s



[1]A. Gide, Les nourritures terrestres, Paris: Mercure de France, 1897, p. 83.

[2]Bhagavadgītā 9, 26.

[3]Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad III, 5, 1.

[4] The viraha is one of the ways of Hindu bhakti where the believer is called to love his Lord in the mystical experience of separation from Him.

[5] ‘The realm of dissimilitude’.

[6]C. Salenson, L’échelle mystique du dialogue de Christian de Chergé, Montrouge: Bayard, 2016, p. 68.

[7]. Monchanin, ‘Homage to Mahatma Ghandi’, Swami Parama Arubi Anandam (Fr. J. Monchanin) 1895-1957, Saccidananda Ashram, 1959, p. 200.

[8]Abhishiktananda, Ascent to the Depth of the Heart: The Spiritual Diary (1948-1973) of Swami Abhishiktananda (Dom Henri le Saux),Delhi: ISPK, 1998.

[9]Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, 1, 3, 5, 16.

[10]Ṛg Veda X, 90. This concerns one of the most moving myths of the origins of Hinduism according to which it is through the sacrifice of the primordial man (Puruṣa) that everything has been created. By means of the ritual sacrifice (yajña) everything that was dispersed into the plurality can now be renewed into the unity

[11] Gregory the Great, Commentary on Job,XX, 90.

[12] John of the Cross, Song of the soul that rejoices in knowing God through faith, v. 1 and 2.

[13]Marie Noël, Notes intimes,Paris: Stock, 1984, pp. 321-322.

[14] Without doubt it is necessary to nuance our analysis distinguishing between Southern India where Hinduism is more serene and sovereign as it still is in Nepal. The south of India has a less complicated and wounded history than the north. In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh or Kerala, Hinduism remains alive and tranquil. Moreover it is remarkable to observe how often across history how often Hinduism has been refreshed by great spirits who came from the South. At the same time, children of immigrant Indians settled in the United States are now starting to rediscover their religious tradition when they come into contact with western philosophy. Even if there are only a few of them, they are a source of hope for Hinduism.

[15]C. Péguy, Notre jeunesse,Paris: Folio essais, 1993, pp. 115-116.

[16]Mahā UpaniṣadVI, 72.

[17]Ecumenical Vatican Council II, Nostra Aetate 2.

[18] Darshan is a key notion in Hinduism referring to the manifestation of the Divine in his different effigies, in the sacred Scriptures or just in the encounter of eminently spiritual beings.

[19] This is the title of a prayer that Teilhard de Chardin included in his essay The Heart of the Matter.

[20] Pāraskara Gṛhya Sūtra 1, 8, 19.

[21] Exultet, the proclamation of Easter.

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