30 Mar 2022


Impact of Hinduism in the US

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The encroachment of Hinduism on to the American population has had double-edged implications on the religious and socio-political aspects of the United States. According to Goldberg (2010), the population of Hindus in the United States has been gradually increasing from 387,000 by the year 1980 to a remarkable 2.29 million. However, it is fundamental to note that the increase in Hindus in the United States as depicted by the demography cannot be entirely attributed to an increase in the influx of the Indian and Indo-Caribbean individual to the United States. Instead, the United States different societal norms and freedom of worship allowed for the adoption of the fundamental of Hinduism by those that perceived it as ideal and appealing. Despite the fact that a majority of the people are staunch Christians and Muslims, the basic practices underlying Hinduism have been incorporated into the day-to-day routine of most people. In this accord, this comprehensive analysis essay seeks to extensively analysis the implications of Hinduism on the United States ‘culture, religion, and socio-political platforms. Therefore, the underlying question is how has Hinduism impacted on the United States societal norms, the dominance of other faiths, and the day-to-day- practices?


The collection of fundamental data to this case study that seeks to provide vivid insight into the influence of Hinduism on the United States is based on critical and extensive analysis of the available secondary sources of information. Various scholars and researchers have extensively addressed the subject. Hence, this study seeks to analyze the information presented by different researchers and formulate an individual comprehension on the subjected. Therefore, this analysis papers is not merely a presentation of information and finding of other researchers; rather it adds a personalized interpretation of the question using the rationale advanced by the scholars. The secondary sources used for the study range from books, journals, and websites on the subject. Furthermore, this case study employs principles in various academic disciplines such as History and Philosophy to study human behaviour as attributed to the Hinduism influence on the United States.

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According to Lippy (2006), Hinduism is a generalized term that denotes a broad array of Hindu denominations which are native to the Indian subcontinent. The fact that Hinduism has been synonymously associated with the Iron Age India has branded the religion the ‘oldest living religion’ on a global scale. The studies of the Hinduism has been a complicated phenomenon to unravel because it is a propellant of Indian traditions with deep roots but without a definite founder or rather single source as opposed to the other dominant religions such as Christianity and Islam, whose origin is coherently outlined. The Caribbean Hindus orchestrated the entrance of Hindus to the United States of American. In the mid-1960, the Hindus from the Caribbean, who were subjected to slavery, sought new settlement areas due to the escalating predicament associated with economic fluctuation and uncertainties, social unrest and political fears. This disparity orchestrated the mass migration of the Hindus from Caribbean especial those that were residing at Guyana to northern America. Therefore, this lot of Hindus was the first to set foot and establish deep roots of the Hinduism by constructing the first place of worship in the United States and Canada.

Despite the fact that Islam is regarded as the fastest growing religion the United States and the West due to increased migration, Hinduism’s demographic statistics have portrayed an enormous increase in numbers due to its appeal to the American population. The American population is slowly encroaching into the tyranny of Hinduism because the lifestyle of the American people is sluggishly but steadily becoming synonymous to Hinduism teachings and governing principles. According to the 2008 Harris poll, 24% of the American population revealed that they believe in reincarnation. Furthermore, activities that were once a characteristic of Hinduism exclusively have been adopted by the majority of the United States population. In this accord, Meditation which was denoted as a branch of Hinduism is mostly being practiced by millions of people who are not particularly affiliated to Hinduism as a religious practice. Also, Yoga is regarded as a fitness protocol by people from different religious affiliations such as Christianity and Islam. Hinduism has been perceived as a beauty and glamour by the American populations. Hence, these aspects have been the main attracting factors for non-Hinduism affiliated to embrace the religion.

Case Study

The Hinduism penetration into the United States elicited both positive and adverse implication on the socio-political and societal norms. In this accord, Hinduism and the United States diverse culture are always in a constants negotiation to finding a point of balance without either practice overrunning the other. However, before addressing the impact of Hinduism on the US, it is paramount to restate the western depiction of Hinduism. People who lack personal experience in the religion describe Hinduism in a rather conventional manner that does not convey the truth on the ground.

The western and the United States media may portray Hinduism as priestly dominated and hierarchical religion based on a stringent caste system perpetuating the worship of a broad spectrum of deities. However, it is fundamentally notable that viewing Hinduism from this perspective tends to deteriorate the manner in which people can engage in constructive and objective analysis of the primary concern. Instead, it is vital to outline the fundamental fact that Hinduism today encapsulates a vast range of beliefs that date back to divergent prehistoric backgrounds. However, the differing views are unified by universal concepts such as the belief in reincarnations and Karma, the respect for life, non-violence, and acceptance and tolerance of diverse faiths.

However, the integration of Hinduism into the American society can be coupled to some predisposing factors that are detrimental to the underlying principles of Hinduism. For instance, despite the rising number of Hindus in the United States, they remain a minority religion in comparison to Christianity and Islam. In this accord, the translocation of information and religious teachings to children has increasingly become a challenging endeavour due to the tremendous influence of the other dominant religions. Furthermore, the culmination of a population that adopts a segment of the Hinduism practice has increasing become a threat to the solidarity between Indian culture and Hinduism. Hence, the threat to disentangle tradition and Hinduism beliefs loom higher in the United States.

Consciously or in disguise, either way, Hinduism is rapidly being incorporated into the American society. In this regard, the broad adoption of Hinduism is a sheer sign of the American dynamic religious freedom and affiliations. The adoption of Hinduism is on the rise because it does not segregate people instead all are accepted. The shambolic condition culminating from religious wars are more often than not synonymous with the two dominant religious groups which include Islam and Christianity. The civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo is mitigated by Christian groups perpetuating chaos and mayhem. Also, the heated civil warfare in Syria that has resulted in the deaths of more than 250,000 people and the displacement of eleven million inhabitants are mitigated by Islamic extremist groups rebelling against the government. Furthermore, other terrorist activities orchestrated by the Islamic extremist groups such as ISIS, AL-Qaeda, and Alshabab has thrown the world into chaos.

However, despite the fact that the world’s dominant religions are championing for peace, it is ironical that the two religions propel a greater percentage of the disorder experienced in the world today. On the other hand, Hinduism is a religion that has utmost respect for humanity and is championing for peace. Despite the fact that peace has been the core value preached and advocated for by all the dominant religions such as Islam and Christianity, it is, however, ironical that they are associated with wars and civil unrest in the world. Hinduism has been portrayed as a peaceful religion, and this portrayal has spiralled the increased converting of people into this religious affiliation.

Furthermore, according to Wald and Calhoun-Brown (2011), Hinduism is associated with co-principles such as Yoga, meditation, and reincarnation. The acceptance and adoption of these practices on a countrywide scale in the United States have increased Hindus influence on the United States open culture. The dominant religions have controversial views of the world. Hence, this aspect has contributed to shambolic conditions, on the other hand, Hinduism through Yoga and meditation and other principles advocated for calmness and preaching peace. Gandhi, a Hinduism leader in the 20th century, spearheaded teachings that were meant to foster equality among the diverse ethnic, linguistic and cultural differences in the United States. Hence, the key influence of Hinduism on the American society in the installation of a peaceful perception towards life and human nature. The philosophical teaching has been adopted across the American social classes and incorporated in the American people’s way of life.

In contrary to the positive contribution of Hinduism to the American population, extreme and morally deteriorating teachings of Hinduism have to some extent affected the socio-political and societal cohesion and integration of people from different religions. For instance, the belief in women being inferior to men has orchestrated violation of the human right of women and spurred unfair treatment exhibited towards women. The rationale for the belief that men are superior to women sprouts from the belief that they are evil and are incapable of achieving Moksha. Furthermore, Hinduism encompasses a Caste system which subdivides people and places them in groups which are different regarding superiority. The Caste system compromises the aspect of equality since an individual is born into a Caste system and he or she can leave the system. Hence, this submission deteriorates the effort to unify people on a global scale across ethnic differences. Hence, the division infuses detrimental implication on the American population since they work against nation integration and cohesion.

The belief in oppressive systems and the archaic laws and rules has predisposed Hindus into a state of constant withdrawal from the rest of the world. Despite the social, technological, and socio-political changes that have occurred in the world, the Hindus remain adamant to adjusting their lives to suit the changes occurring. Moreover, despite the scientific proof that certain superstitious belief underlying the Hinduism faith are unfounded, some Hindus remain strongly attached to them and disregarding the probability that the different perception could be correct. Hence, the unshakable belief in old laws has hindered how Hindus can integrate harmoniously into the American social life. Therefore, this hindrance has crippled the Hindus ability to be part of the United States society (In Hatcher, 2016).

Analysis of the Case Study

The escalating demography of the Hindus population in the United States is double-edged since it has both positive and adverse implication on the society. However, the potential beneficial impacts accrued from the spontaneous integration of Hinduism practices in the united states day to day lives outweighs the detriment associated with the endeavour. Therefore, the positive implications of the encroachment and the spread of Hinduism in the United States’ population is a significant asset. The perception can assert this fact that the religion preaches for peace and its practices foster harmony and calmness.

Hinduism is regarded as a peaceful religion because India is not prone to chaos and the dominant religion there is Hinduism. Alternatively, despite the other dominant religions such as Islam and Christianity advocating for peace, the ideologies advance by these religions have often been misinterpreted and used to orchestrate chaos and civil unrest. For instance, countries that Christianity is the dominant religion such as the Democratic Republic of Congo is war-tone despite the authoritative Christian teaching that discourages the rowdy behaviour. Also, Syria is a country that has been economically and socially crumbling because of the rebellions that later descended into civil war. In the midst of this warfare, it is expected that the dominant religion should be engraved in soliciting for peace in the region. On the contrary, extremist jihadist groups have used the shambolic circumstances to mitigate more chaos and orchestrate killings (Harley, 2003).

Given the principles and teaching of Hinduism such as Yoga and Meditation, foster calmness and harmony, In this regard, people can eradicate hate, devastation, frustration, and stress by the use of Yoga and meditation. Ultimately, the use of these practices is crucial to stress management. Hence, aspects associated with stress such as impulsive behaviour which may result to civil unrest is handled at an earlier stage. Moreover, Hinduism teaches peace and respect for life. Hence, this religious teaching and practices underlying Hinduism have been integral in the culmination of a peaceful society.

The extreme negative implication of Hinduism is the deterioration of the aspect of harmonious and social cohesion. The fact that Hinduism is associated with the discriminatory Caste system which infuses division among the public works counter to national integration and cohesion of people from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, the world is advancing towards an era where equality between both genders is campaigned for vehemently by feminist groups and humanitarian organizations. In this regard, the fact that Hinduism is based on the perception that men are superior to women distorts the globalization of gender equality. In this accord, the counter perceptions advanced by Hinduism negatively impact on the American social cohesion and socio-political stability.

However, despite the divergence in the implication caused by the escalating population of people affiliated to Hinduism in the United States, the ultimate product emanating from Hinduism practices and teaching accrue tremendous benefits to the American society as opposed to the potential detriment caused by its influence. In this accord, the infiltration of Hinduism on the American population is a beneficial endeavour to the United States society.

In conclusion, the United States is an emblem of an open society where people with different religious affiliations, ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds are harmoniously integrated and accepted into the society. This aspect of freedom has fostered the adoption of the Hinduism practices such as Yoga, meditation, and reincarnation in a majority of the character of the American population without the fears of fierce criticism. The integrative nature of the American society has resulted in the integration of the beneficial aspect of Hinduism teachings and practices which foster peace and harmony. However, the incorporation of Hinduism practices spurs the adoption of the discriminatory caste system and the introduction of male superiority. The fact that Hinduism regards men as being superior to women promotes male chauvinism which may eventually orchestrate violation of human rights championing for gender equality. The bottom line is, Hinduism is good for the United States’ society because the potential benefits outweigh the detriment associated with it infiltration into the American society.


Goldberg, P. (2010). American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to yoga and meditation: how Indian spirituality changed the West . New York: Harmony Books.

Harley, G. M. (2003). Hindu and Sikh faiths in America . New York, NY: Facts On File.

In Hatcher, B. A. (2016). Hinduism in the modern world .

Lippy, C. H. (2006). Faith in America: Changes, challenges, new directions . Westport, Conn: Praeger.

Wald, K. D., & Calhoun-Brown, A. (2011). Religion and politics in the United States . Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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