What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Hinduism

Shashi Tharoor: I am a Hindu. I am a believing Hindu, and I . . . I have to say that that has been a fairly significant impact . . . has had a fairly significant impact in my approach to the world, because Hinduism is uniquely the only major religion in the world that doesn’t claim to be the only true religion. Hinduism says that all ways of reaching out to God are equally valid. And Hinduism and Hindus readily venerate the saints and the sacred objects of other faiths. So it’s a . . . it’s a . . . it’s an agreeable thing to belong to a faith which doesn’t say in any of its teachings that this is the only way to salvation. And it means that I can meet my fellow human beings of other faiths without being unduly burdened by the conviction that they are embarked upon a wrong path – that . . . that I’m sort of doing the right thing seeking salvation and they have missed the boat, as unfortunately true believing Christians and . . . and . . . and Muslims and others would be obliged to believe because their teachings do indeed specify that they are the . . . the right way to redemption and salvation. So that’s, to me, the right faith for an age of doubt and uncertainty. For an age of co-existence and tolerance, it’s . . . it’s great to be brought up in a faith which has no single sacred book, no single Pope, no single Sunday, no compulsory obligations, rituals, rights of worship; that leaves to the individual the possibility of finding his own truth. In that sense, Hinduism has rightly been considered a very selfish religion because it ultimately deals with the well-being and the personal quest for truth and peace of the individual worshipper. And the collectivity is much less important in Hinduism than in Islam, or even in Christianity with its Sunday church services and so on. And so I find it a . . . a religion that’s very congenial to me as somebody who doesn’t particularly enjoy going to temples; who sees through the trappings of organized religion and the privileges of the priestly class and so on. I would be very troubled to belong to a . . . an excessively well-organized religion. To belong to Hinduism is to accept the notion that there is a divinity beyond all of us as human beings, but that divinity is essentially unknowable by us as human beings. And that all spirituality and faith is about stretching out your hands to that which you cannot touch. And . . . and knowing that is humbling in many ways; but it also gives you a fairly sensible perspective when others proceed with dogmatic ________ from the verities of their faith to . . . to . . . to try and tell the rest of the world how to live. My Hinduism gives me the . . . both the strength and the skepticism to deal with those people.

Recorded on: 9/18/07

 

 

 

Does religion inform your w...

Newsletter: Share: