"I want to proudly say that I am a Hindu, but I want to say that for right reasons," the diplomat-turned-politician said at the launch of his new book 'Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism's Greatest Thinker' at the Nehru Memorial Library in New Delhi.
"I refuse to be a mute witness to the reduction of such a great religion (Hinduism) to its lowest common denominator by ignorant and illiterate people who think they are self-anointed protector of Hinduism," Mr Varma said.
The book was formally launched by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi and senior Congress leader Karan Singh.
Hinduism is a grand edifice of thought and is inclusive by its very philosophy and is based on shastras, debates, ability to listen, to accommodate and much more, he said.
"I want those traditions to be respected- of inclusion, not exclusion; of assimilation, not hatred; of dialogue, not violence. We need to have the knowledge of Hinduism and its great philosophy and if we don't, it's like to be reduced to that level," he added.
"Let me commend Pavan, because when I met him first 12 years ago he was an unusually intelligent foreign service person, but since then he has moved from Kamasutra to Adi Shankaracharya," he said.