The confused Modern Hindu
A proper diagnosis is essential for a correct prognosis and treatment. Swami Chinmayananda reinterpreted this ailment afflicting the Hindu masses as the Arjuna disease. A few years after this initial prognosis, the society has morphed in more ways than one can catalog. The disease has become more acute, displays diverse range of indications. While a prescription may need a great guru or an avatar, we will at least focus more on the symptoms plaguing the modern Hindu society, look at some potential band-aids and attempt at postulating some practical actions.
The modern Hindu society is devoid of its connection to its roots, to tell the least. Whilst other religions have their religious books as a part of their daily life, be it weekend courses or group discourses (even if it be with altered interpretations like we see with radicalists), the Hindus have been taught that reading their scriptures itself makes one radical. Even in my own case, merely reading some scriptures was assumed that I will end up as a Sannyasi which I have not. As noted in Fourfold Hinduism, the fourth varna – Sannyasa and the fourth purushartha (ideal goal) – Moksha have been relegated to non-existence. Today, even Dharma has joined its ranks. The current adult generation has been indoctrinated with too many false ideas making them almost beyond redemption. Perhaps their role is reduced to not obstructing the blossoming potential of the next generations.
Disease of Sickularism
Due to the Islamic invasion and the brutalities that ensued, Sanatana Dharma could not express itself in all its forms. This statement is bound to be twisted immediately by bigoted fissure engineers who will read it as caste. Caste is not a Hindu concept in the first place and more awareness is gathering amongst neutral researchers of its presence in non Hindu faiths of India. Despite using caste fissures for proselytization, caste exists amongst Islam and Christianity as well in India. The British have successfully wedged the fissures into deeper fractures, be it Lord Risley’s Census or Lord Macaulay’s reforms. The British constantly introduced several measures to divide the unifying civilization beneath. Varna has been downgraded and distorted heavily into a powerful weapon – Caste.
Post Independence, the rulers of India had adopted a left leaning socialistic outlook which has led to gross stunting of our strengths and in many cases have resulted in total loss of certain values. For instance, Nehruvian suggestion of not wanting to be part of the UN permanent club is met by today’s constant begging of our inclusion into that elite group. Politicians in the last few decades have realized the power of small vote banks, especially in coalition politics, due to the vacuum caused by the absence of National parties in many states. They constant polarize; deepen these fractures for petty selfish gains.
Secularism is basically a socio-political idea where in the governance of the state is kept away from the influence of religion. United States was perhaps the largest experiment that initiated this idea, after having seen the perils caused by the influence of the Pope and the Anglican Church playing second fiddle to rulers like Henry VIII. Behind this façade, most in US will agree about the Judeo-Christian roots. In US, a President can be elected by inciting against a certain community for political gains, like in 2016.
In India, we have modeled our secular credentials along the lines of an imagined US. We have been repeatedly told to be secular, but when it comes to non Hindus, play a communal card for vote bank politics. Beneath this constant hum of secularism only for hindus, it is very easy to spot the Breaking India forces, cheap politicians, left leaning media and biased educators.
The bedrock of this putrefaction stems from the nonstop drumming up of Hinduism as a secular ideal and if a Hindu must not accept this altered socio-political idea, then he is labeled as a radical, a bhakt amongst other derogatory terms.
Why Only Hindus must be Secular?
The sick part of this secularism agenda is always focused on making the Hindus secular. Despite the constitutional guarantee of treating all religions are equal before Indian Law, it is very easy to go about abusing Hinduism in public space either for proselytizing expeditions or even openly just to trivialize. We have had the Dravidian movement in Tamilnadu use it as a garb of rationalism and atheism to pinpoint their attack only on Hinduism. The Dravidian party leaders greedily show up iftars or Christmas parties while all the time badmouthing Hinduism. Such cheap is their behavior that they have made it as a policy and do not even need a mask to hide.
A mohammedan or Christian can hide behind the sanctity of their religious texts and call Hindus as kafirs and heathens. No Abrahamic ideologist will ever accept that even other religions are a possibility. They do not even accept their other versions as agreeable. Rajiv Malhotra observed this strong bigotry and challenged to RESPECT all religions. Even the Pope refuses to use the word RESPECT for all religions. Such is the heights of bigotry. WHY? Despite these glaring oddities, the Hindu community is nonstop challenged to give up its roots, questioned on its legacy by always tying its past to few past practices, that too with a distorted prism.
Why should a Hindu not be a hindu and only be secular? The sepoys, proselytizers, Breaking India forces all take advantage of the esoteric Paramartika teachings and bash the common Hindu who is devoid of Sadhana or even basic understanding. The past few generations which took pride in detaching themselves from their Hindu practices, still cannot come to terms despite strong scientific evidence. Yoga has been usurped by the West, still we squabble about its practice in India. Ekadasi upavaas which used to be a standard across India was ridiculed as pagan and today we find the benefits of fasting given Nobel prize in Medicine in 2016 for the effect of Autophagy. Instead of trying to interpret our legacy using science, the half baked school taught sickular hindu who is as strong in science as his Hinduism, bashes the practices, but blindly accepts the digested portions reimported from the West. This does not mean start talking of vimanas or astras, again the loss of narrative to prejudiced forces.
The lack of intellect application is one of the prime losses in Today’s Hinduism. One can easily masquerade Mother Teresa as a peace worker and as one who cared for the poor, while all she did in India was used the poor and dying to convert. Hindus have been trained if one raised the missionary aspect of Mother Teresa to bash and attack such an individual as radical and not being secular. Secularism is neither a religion nor philosophy. It is merely a socio-political idea. Is the pope secular? Or are the maulvis and muftis or the conversion gangs? Then why insist that every Hindu must be secular? Why can he or she not be just a HINDU? If secularism is that important, why not insist that all the religions be secular?
At the root
We earlier studied how many Gurus are wrong. The sad aspect is we do not have gurus who can claim like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to have seen or realized God. Worse still is we lack disciples like Swami Vivekananda who challenged and tested his Guru before following. In Today’s India, it does not take Self-Realization to set up a Gurudom. Gurus are busy flattening Hinduism so that their petty brands can stand. Most Gurudoms seldom survive their central figure, a few have sustained as an institution though. In spite of this awareness, the pettiness to make their brand stand drives many a Guru to make absurd claims like All Gods are same, chant Om Jesus like Hare Rama.
Most Gurus do not emphasize the differences between Paramarthika and Vyavaharika states. Let us take a simple example from real world. All of us agree matter and energy are interconvertible. We have E= MC2 quoted all the time for proof. If all matter and energy are the same, then why not use one over the other. We cannot even use one form of energy for other. We now agree that there is a time and place for both. In the same way, understanding in the Spiritual realms must not be confused with the material plane of day today dualistic existence. But most Gurus who preach All Gods are Same, fail to insert the caveat, in the Paramarthika plane. Partly this is due to the fact, they themselves are not realized in the first place but a Gurudom is more important for them than self-realization or teaching in congruence with Vedas, Rishis and great mahatmas of the past.
Many Gurus seem to be foisting legitimacy over the broken theologies of Abrahamism. Most of the Gurudoms, despite their popularity abroad have the majority of its base as Hindus. Yet they stampede for attracting a few western prospects or followers whom they cannot even protect from U-turns after few years or decades. The Gurus go one step further, absorb and digest all the Vedic and Vedantic wisdom, but market it under a secular label. Some go further and claim as if they invented these practices independently. If one were to read Shanti Parva of Mahabharata, one cannot help how humble Bhishma attributes all his wisdom to all the great ancestors of the yore. Contrast this with the brand conscious Gurus who wish to claim everything as their own invention, not even quoting the sources. It is understandable of the New Age gurus of the west, but such a behavior by Hindu Gurus needs to be condoned. This merely emboldens the digesting forces who are bent on proselytization. Worst part of this joke by Hindu Gurus is their ignorance of the scriptures or actual understanding of other religions. No one follower of these religions will ever listen to these Hindu Gurus who act like All Gods are Same, yet the confused Hindu is repeatedly given the sage advice of Secularism by these Gurus.
Has any of these Gurus debated successfully and established this idea amongst other religion followers? Yet they have the audacity to switch ideas of Paramarthika and Vyavaharika without a caveat. They can at least claim it as their personal experience, which they don’t for the fear of retribution from scholars of other religions. The fallacy of this imagined unity of Gods when one is not even clear of one’s own roots is at the root of the confused Hindu.
The reason behind this illusory All Gods is same is due to the Unity within Hinduism. Many Gurus, mahatmas and rishis have established over time the Unity amongst the six schools of Hinduism and the different Vedantic dissimilarities being unified by Vedas. The modern Hindu Gurus have taken these arguments that unify the metaphysics, theology and philosophy within Hinduism and applied it across all religions without any scholarly inputs on what their scriptures even state. How can one say that only my way is correct is the same as the different roads lead to the same mountaintop? Unless one agrees to the former one as a less evolved state through arguments, experience or evidence; which the Hindu Gurus themselves are ignorant of.
The foolish Hindu institutions, including the ones carrying Vivekananda’s legacy are yet to produce a modern Vivekananda following these secularized doctrines. WHY? Instead of promoting Advaita, their core philosophy, we find them busy trying to celebrate Christmas in the name of trying to forge an illusory unity. In the west that is steeped in Christianity, serious questions are raised on the main trump card of Christian missionaries against Hinduism – Historicity of Jesus. Today this fundamental historicity itself is under serious doubt. When Christians themselves are becoming atheists by the droves due to the fallacies within Christianity, why are the super ignorant gurus stampeding to exhibit their ignorance by promoting Christianity to Hindus as the sameness of God. Non Dharmic religions have only Heaven and no concept of Karma or Moksha. How are the ignorant gurus reconciling these? This again proves they are brand conscious and not truth conscious. Else they would be parroting the subtleties of Paramarthika and Vyavarharika at every opportune moment.
How this confusion can be seen
During this Christmas season, I have received Christmas greetings from ONLY HINDU friends or colleagues and not even one Christian. I even received pictures of Hindu families dressed as Santa. Such is the stupidity amongst Hindus that we have days of debate when the prime minister of the largest Hindu nation wishes JAI SHRI RAM for Ram Navami. The left leaning media and confused hindus gang up to politicize this. Yet they do not see any irony is wishing Hindus Merry Christmas.
- Take time to study few minutes from the scriptures like Ramayana, Mahabharata or Bhagavad Gita periodically. The least one should aim is 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday, if not 10-15 minutes daily. Contrary to the confused Hindu’s illiterate opinion, these are not mere stories. The Shanti parva and Anusasana parva is replete with moral stories and ideas and are much larger than the story portions. Even the most conservative Hindu today has not cracked open unless someone doing Upanyasa mines these gems. The TV version of Ramayana or Mahabharata, mostly funded or directed by even non Hindu media houses do not care to present a correct picture like the Sita ki kahani series. Even if they intend to, they cannot cover the discourse or teaching aspects. One can dramatize Krishna’s Vishwaroopa avatar for media effect, but cannot be lecturing 700 verses of Bhagavad Gita.
- Be bold and proud to be a Hindu. One can be Secular and also Hindu. But in no other religion this is possible due to the nature of their religions. We must be proud of it. It is possible if one elevates their mind to Paramarthika level we can see the Oneness is all and yet see the differences in the normal daily life.
- Why can’t we demand Respect while giving Respect to other religions? Why display extreme timidity and cowardice when demanding Respect. Why do the All Gods are same dance when one has not even peeked at that Oneness? Either get busy with Sadhana and reach the level to preach, else accept that in the Vyavaharika plane, things are different from Paramarthika. Do not try to apply hearsay without experience.
- Stop being a prejudiced bigot. When questioning Ganesh Chaturthi or Diwali celebrations on grounds of environmental concerns, where are the same people when so many animals are butchered in the name of Bakrid or when millions of trees are cut in the name of Christmas. Where is the environmental concern hiding? I definitely do not approve of the modern way Hindus have twisted the age old celebrations. Ganesha was made from local clay from water bodies which were dug up as a part of monsoon preparations. The same clay idol was released without too many manmade additions back into the water bodies. Today we have giant imported Ganesha idols. This battle has numerous fronts.
- Take time to study the wisdom of the past. Our Rishis were most definitely more evolved than what modern science can sense. A lot of their science was disguised as culture or religion. Today the West is going head over heels be it literally for Yoga or metaphorically for fasting (take off from ekadasi upavas) or plants like turmeric. The confused Hindu along with the sepoy brigade is busy trivializing this legacy, while the West is busy digesting it. Why not apply a science gaze to our past, not the one the sepoys or confused Hindu has – which is not even science, but only bias? Study the practices and understand how it helped our ancestors. The same science today is going back to recommending eating once a day, a practice which was common in many parts of India even few generations ago. Science can learn a lot if we have the right attitude towards our past. Do not let imbeciles and morons hijack our legacy by mere descriptions of our past filled with vimanas or astras. Our legacy is much more rich than this biased narrative.
Om Tat Sat
Author is a prolific blogger on issues related to Dharma and Sincerely interested in raising awareness of Hindu Dharma, especially to Hindus. Read more of the author’s thoughts at http://satchitanandareflections.blogspot.com/