Published On: Mon, Mar 21st, 2022

Understanding the Persecution of Hindu Gurus: An Introduction

As the world awakens to the gruesome genocides inflicted on the Indigenous Kashmiri Pandits with the release of The Kashmir Files, it is about time the global community learns about the historic and ongoing persecution of Hindu Gurus. Before we talk about the persecution of Hindu gurus, let us first understand the importance of a Guru in Sanatana Hindu Dharma, popularly known as Hinduism. The ancient Hindu scriptures go to great lengths singing the glory and importance of a guru in a spiritual aspirant’s life.

Every Hindu grows up learning the shloka “GururBrahma GururVishnu GururDevo Maheshwaraha Guru Saakshaat ParaBrahma Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.” This verse translates to “Guru is the Creator (Brahma), Guru is the Preserver (Vishnu), GuruDeva is Destroyer (Maheshwara), Guru is the absolute Lord Himself, Salutations to that Sri Guru.”

Most of us blindly chant the above shloka but rarely do we contemplate on the meaning of it. As the shloka explains, Guru is understood as the embodiment and representation of all the great divine beings and the Ultimate manifestation of the Divine Itself. Such is the glory of a Guru in Hinduism. With this context in mind, how come modern-day Hindus have become so distanced from the Indigenous Hindu Guru Paramparas that have sustained Hinduism since time immemorial?

The deadly combination of systemic anti-Hindu invasions, settler-colonialism, colonization, imperialism, vested-interest media outlets, neo-colonial education system, and the onslaught of anti-Hindu bigotry via the South Asian entertainment industries have all collectively ganged up to discredit, delegitimize, and destroy the very backbone of Sanatana Hindu Dharma, which is the Guru-Shishya relationship. 

While modern-day Hindus remain clutched in the colonial psyche, anti-Hindu elements have figured out that as long as the Guru paramparas are alive, Hinduism will always be alive. That is precisely the reason why animosity and persecution of Hindu Gurus has amped up in recent decades in an unprecedented way.

Hindu Gurus are often mocked in movies, T.V. shows, digital news media, print media, and social media on a regular basis. It has become a norm for the neo-colonial brown sepoys to denigrate Hindu Gurus and their Sampradayas using a non-Indigenous, western mode of thought based on their limited understanding of Hinduism. The entertainment industries such as Bollywood have released countless movies portraying Hindu sadhus and Gurus as “fake babas” and “con-men.” The entire anti-Hindu media ecosystem terms Hindu Gurus as “godmen” which is a euro-centric model of labeling a religious leader but it does not encapsulate the Hindu understanding of who a Guru is. 

Apart from the countless hours of hate speech, Hindu Gurus are also victims of unfair and illegal lawfare where a sizable amount of false cases are hurled at them in an attempt to create negative press, distrust, and animosity toward them in the public eye. When such distrust and negative caricature is systematically painted toward many Hindu Gurus on a large scale, it impacts the psyche of everyday Hindus who lose trust in the Guru Paramparas. Not only do they lose trust, but many misinformed rowdies even take up violence and attack the Guru’s ashrams and devotees due to excessive anti-guru brainwashing.

Apart from character assassination, if the persecuted Hindu Gurus manage to prove their innocence amidst all odds, they are subjected to violent, physical assassination attempts. The goal of anti-Hindu and anti-Guru elements is to eliminate Hindu Gurus who create a positive impact for Indigenous Hindus and revive authentic Hinduism in today’s society. 

If the anti-Hindu and anti-Guru elements become successful in eliminating the Hindu Guru, then the death of that Guru will be trivialized and cunningly justified using the help of their proxies in the media. Many times, their death will be spun as a “suicide” in order to cover up the murder. Other times, their death is disgustingly glorified using the false-negative accusations as a justification to celebrate the death as the “victory of good over evil.”

Hindus are entrenched in deep colonial rot and the venom spewed against the Guru-Shishya relationship, which is the foundation that kept the Hindu tradition alive for millennia, is deeply troubling and self-harming. The present-day Hindu community self-sabotages and it is the need of the hour we study and learn about the historic and contemporary persecution happening to Hindu Gurus and how that is directly contributing to the erasure of Hinduism.

We must make the connection that Hinduism and Hindus are suffering because the Guru-Shishya relationship is suffering. The persecution of Hindu Gurus is happening in parallel and in sync with the erasure of Hinduism and Hindus worldwide. These two go hand-in-hand and hold a direct relationship with each other.

It is time to check our internalized anti-guru hatred that we have inflicted on ourselves via our interaction with and trust of institutions like bigoted media outlets and anti-Hindu entertainment industries. The change starts with us. As Hindus, it is our responsibility to hear the perspective of the Hindu Gurus and hear the plight of their persecution, as it is them that are working full-time in the protection and revival of Sanatana Hindu Dharma.

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