In Hinduism we believe that the Oneness of existence is the Supreme Truth. Yet in our daily life we experience division and separation of existence, where there are apparent differences in the society of individuals, differences within the various groups in the communities and even within families.
With the apparent differences comes the challenge of living cohesively within our own immediate environment and the wider community in our neighbourhood. Here we may find individuals with different backgrounds, faiths and beliefs living side by side, sharing the experience of living close together in the area.
When we talk about living in close contact with individuals from different faiths or no faith, we need to have a think about how we can develop a sense of togetherness in dealing with areas of common interest and concerns. There may be some neighbourhood disturbances caused by a certain section of the community or there may be businesses which are going to be affected by change in local council policy. This sense of working together for a common purpose with people from different backgrounds is important to develop in order for us to become creative and contributing members of the British society. This is where an Interfaith Vision can help us to develop competency in citizenship.
Hindu Forum of Britain has an active committee for Interfaith relations and has been working with many different organisations and institutions including local and governmental, that puts forward the Hindu perspective on matters of vital social and cultural importance. As such not only is the Hindu voice heard in many areas of dialogue and action but also we can make a positive contribution at many levels, and increase the understanding and appreciation of the Hindu Dharma and its wide and comprehensive vision of humanity.
here are several objectives we can work towards:
- To promote and facilitate inter faith dialogue which builds an understanding of the common and shared beliefs and values.
- To enhance and increase collaborative social action in working together with other faiths to bring about constructive and tangible change within their local communities.
- To sustain and promote greater relations between faith communities and between faith communities and wider society.
- To focus on and facilitate the involvement of young people and women in participating in inter faith dialogue and social action.
At the regional and local level there are many things we can do to fulfil these objectives: getting involved in local faith networks/groups, representing Hindus in various organisations including bilateral and multifaith ones, getting involved in grass roots action groups for issues that concern the community locally etc. There is a nationwide Interfaith Week which you can participate in. Check for details on http://interfaithweek.org/.
How can this be done? You may already have experience in this area or you may be keen to get involved and have a good working knowledge of dialogue, or you may want to contribute your skills and energies to local issues. You are the right person to get in touch with the HFB Vice Presidents and introduce yourself and get started in the true Hindu Dharma Spirit of Sacrifice (Yagna) to serve your community.