Is Hinduism a Museum of Beliefs, Medley of Rites, Name Without any Content? (Post No.5266)

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 28 JULY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 14-47  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5266

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

AUGUST 2018 ‘GOOD THOUGHTS’ CALENDAR

FESTIVAL DAYS- AUGUST 3- Adi Pathinettu (Tamil Festival), 5-Adi Krithikai, 11- Adi Amavasai, 13- Adi Puram,  15- Independence Day, Naga Panchami, 21- Avani Mulam, 24-Varalakshmi Vrata, 25- ONAM and Rig Veda Upakarma, 26-Raksha Bandan and Yajur Veda Upakarma, 27- Gayatri Japa,

 

 

FULL MOON DAY- 26

NEW MOON DAY- 10 Bodhayana amavasai, 11 Adi Amavasai

August 11 Solar Eclipse/ Surya Grahana not for India

EKADASI FASTING DAYS- 7, 22

AUSPICIOUS DAYS- 23, 29, 30

Is Hinduism a Museum of Beliefs, a Medley of Rites, a Name Without any Content? (Post No.5266)

 

I have given below 31+ quotations from ‘Radhakrishnan Reader – An Anthology’. Dr S Radhakrishnan was the
President of India . He was a great philosopher.

AUGUST 1 WEDNESDAY

It is a bewildering phenomenon that, just when India is ceasing to appear grotesque to Western eyes, she is beginning to appear so to the eyes of some of her own sons. The West tried its best to persuade India that its philosophy is absurd, its art puerile, its poetry uninspired, its religion grotesque and its barbarous. Now the West is feeling that it’s judgement is not quite correct, some of us are insisting that it was wholly right.

AUGUST 2 THURSDAY

The past course of Indian philosophic development encourages us in our hope. The great thinkers, Yajnavalkya and Gargi, Buddha and Mahavira, Gautama and Kapila, Samkara and Ramanuja , Madhva and Vallabha and scores of others are India’s grandest title to existence, a clear testimony of her dignity as a nation with a soul , the proof that she may yet rise above her self and the pledge of this supreme possibility.

AUGUST 3 FRIDAY

God’s Creation not an instantaneous act or a series of acts, but is an eternal process. There is no divorce between the natural and the supernatural. The two are continuous. If god is anywhere, he is everywhere.

AUGUST 4 SATURDAY

The Mahabharata says, ‘To you I declare this holy mystery, there is nothing nobler than humanly’– 12-300-20

Guhyam brahma tad idam vo bravimi
Na manuscat srestataram hi kincit

AUGUST 5 SUNDAY
The inadequacy of-religion-is evident from the disparity between outward allegiance and inward betrayal. Religion is confused with the mechanical participation in the rites or passive acquisition in the dogmas.

 

AUGUST 6 MONDAY

INDIA’S CAPACITY
Hinduism is not limited in scope to the geographical area which is described as India Its sway in early days spread to Campa, Cambodia, Java and Bali. There is nothing which prevents it from extending to the uttermost parts of the earth. India is a tradition, a spirit, a light. Her physical and spiritual frontier s do not coincide.

AUGUST 7 TUESDAY

For thinking minds to blossom, for arts and sciences to flourish, the first condition necessary is a settled society providing security and leisure. A rich culture is impossible with a community of nomads, where people struggle for life and die of privation.

 

AUGUST 8 WEDNESDAY
The huge forests (in India)  with their wide leafy avenues afforded great opportunities for the devout soul to wander peacefully through them, dream strange dreams and burst forth into joyous songs.

AUGUST 9 THURSDAY

Intellectual unselfishness or humility is the mother of all writing, even though that writing may relate to the history of philosophy.

AUGUST 10 FRIDAY

On God
God is not the great silent sea of infinity in which individuals lose themselves but the Divine person who inspires the process first , last and without ceasing.

 

AUGUST 11 SATURDAY

To say God created the world is an understatement. He is creating now and for all the time.

AUGUST 12 SUNDAY

I have had my own share of anxiety trouble and sorrow, but I have had blessings, too, more than I deserve, the chief being the affection and kindness which I receive
In abundance from other people. For all these a thanks offering is due.

AUGUST 13 MONDAY
Life is not a mere chain of physical causes and effects. Chance seems to form the surface of reality, but deep down other forces are at work. If the universe is a living one, if it is spiritually alive, nothing in itis merely accidental. “ The moving finger writes and having writ moves on.”

AUGUST 14 TUESDAY

Indian wisdom has also contributed effectively to the cultural developments of the regions of South East Asia. The characteristic features of Indian culture can still be discerned from ‘Ayuthia and Angkor to Borobudur and Bali’.

AUGUST 15 WEDNESDAY

Ancient Indians do not belong to a different species from ourselves. An actual study of their views shows that they ask questions and find answers analogous in their diversity to some of the more important currents in modern thought. The systems of Nagarjuna and Samkara, for example, are marvels of precision and penetration. Comparable to the very best of Western thought.

 

AUGUST 16 THURSDAY
The scientific mastery of natural force s has intoxicated the modern mind with a sense of material success and intellectual conceit.

AUGUST 17 FRIDAY

Though peoples of different races and cultures have been pouring into India from the dawn of history, Hinduism has been able to maintain its supremacy, and even the proselytising creeds backed by the political power has not been able to coerce the large majority of Indians to their views.

AUGUST 18 SATURDAY

There is an Indian saying that words are the daughters of earth but deeds are the sons of heaven. Words are born of intellect, deeds of spirit. It is faith that can move mountains. Faith is an attitude of will, the energy of soul, the response of the entire self.

AUGUST 19 SUNDAY

Pascal is right when he says “most of the mischief in the world would never happen, If men would only be content to sit still in their parlours “. Even worship is a means to gain solitude. But sitting still, being alone has become very difficult in these days. We devise ways to escape from solitude, such as play and drink, luxury and dissipation.

 

 

AUGUST 20 MONDAY

God is the living friend of all—suhridam sarvabhutaanaam— as the Bhagavad Gita has it.

 

AUGUST 21 TUESDAY

If we are spiritually alive, our capacity for love and service will be ever growing. We will be indulgent to others and hard on ourselves. The characteristic sign of a spiritual temper is to be inwardly hard and austere and outwardly genial and forgiving.

 

AUGUST 22 WEDNESDAY

A great Sanskrit poet Bhavabuti, maintains that though the artist speaks of different moods of laughter, pity, compassion, anger, love etc., they are all variations of a common theme, Karuna, compassion, love with suffering.

AUGUST 23 THURSDAY
If we should wish to build a society in which judges and evil doers are transformed into higher beings, into brothers forgiving one another, and thus free themselves from falsehood, guilt and crime, we must practise love.

AUGUST 24 FRIDAY

Difficulty of defining what Hinduism is……….
‘To many it seems to be a name without any content. Is it a museum of beliefs, a medley of rites, or a mere map, a geographical expression? If there is not a unity of spirit binding its different expressions and linking up the different periods of its history into one organic whole, it will not be possible to account for the achievements of Hinduism’.

AUGUST 25 SATURDAY
Half the world moves on independent foundations which Hinduism supplied. China and Japan, Tibet-and Siam, Burma and Ceylon look to India as their spiritual home.

 

AUGUST 26 SUNDAY

The Hindu attitude to religion is interesting. While fixed individual’s beliefs mark off one religion from another, Hinduism sets no such limits. Intellect is subordinated to intuition, dogma to experience, outer expression to inward realisation.

AUGUST 27 MONDAY
The chief sacred scriptures of the Hindus, the Vedas, register the intuitions of the perfected souls. They are not so dogmatic dicta as transcripts from life. They record the spiritual experiences of souls strongly endowed with the sense for reality. They are held to be authoritative on the ground that they express the experiences of the experts in the field of religion.

AUGUST 28 TUESDAY

The Vedic tradition became surrounded with sanctity, and so helped to transmit culture and ensure the continuity of civilisation. The sacred scriptures make the life of the spirit real even to those who are incapable of insight.

 

AUGUST 29 WEDNESDAY

While other civilisation s have perished or absorbed in the changes that have transpired in the march of over five thousand years, the Indian civilisation, which is contemporary with those of Egypt and Babylon, is still functioning.

AUGUST 30 THURSDAY
How has she managed to remain more or less the same in the midst of social migration s upheavals and political changes that have else where changed the face of society? Why is that her conquerors have not been able to impose on her their language, their thoughts and customs, except in superficial ways? It is not by the use of force or by the development of aggressive qualities that India has succeeded in her missions.

AUGUST 31 FRIDAY

Hinduism is an inheritance of thought and inspiration living and moving with the movement of life itself, an inheritance to which every race in  India  has made its distinct and specific contribution. Its culture has a certain unity, though on examination it dissolves into a variety of shades and colours.

 

SUBHAM

MORE QUOTES FROM THE SAME BOOK

SAINT TUKARAM

We seem to give value to god, more than god to us. Saint Tukaram says “That we fall into sin is thy good fortune; we have bestowed name and form on thee; had it not been we, who would have asked after thee, when thou was lonely and unembodied?
ON FEAR
Religion is the conquest of fear, the anti dote to failure and death. The fear which is an expression of mans rationally cannot be removed by any change in his circumstances. It is an instinctive fear which can be displaced by the stimulation of other instincts.

STRANGE ALCHEMY

By what strange social alchemy has INDIA subdued her conquerors them to her very self and substance?, transforming.

MISSIONARY RELIGIONS

All missionary religions, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam believe in their own superiority . They all profess that they have the highest truth. How is anyone claim to be preferred to others?

–THE END–

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. It is heartening that quotations from Dr.S.Radhakrishnan have been given. Dr.S.R was a very unique scholar. He had studied Hindu scriptures in the original; he had studied western philosophers too from the source books ( and not through interpreters). Hence his knowledge was on solid foundations. Hence he was able to interpret and explain both. More than that, he was able to relate them both. He was able to defend Hinduism against the mischievous propaganda of the missionaries, and also against the misconceptions of the academics.

    When Swami Vivekananda visited Madras in the closing years of the 19th century, he complimented the Madrasis for keeping alive their religious traditions in spite of acquiring modern (English) education. Dr.S.R is a prime example of this phenomenon, though he came later. [ Another fine example we can think of is Dr.V.Raghavan, who came still later.]

    When Dr.S.R. completed his education, the Macaulay system of education was about 60-70 years old. The old Indian traditional systems of knowledge and its resources had not gone dry, though they did not get official patronage. Philosophy was taught as a major subject in the universities. Even a Christian scholar like Dr,Hogg, who was Dr.S.R’s philosophy professor in Madras Christian College did not suppress his thesis which sought to establish the ethical foundations of Vedanta, against the Christian propaganda that Vedanta lacked a system of ethics!

    In the century and more since that time, Macaulay’s system has intensified,Indian sources have dried up- at least there is a total disconnect between our so called universities and Indian philosophical and religious thought. Most universities have closed their philosophy departments. There is no way for our youngsters to study philosophy, east or west, through the Indian academic system. Young Indians are strangers to their own knowledge traditions .Any private study is bound to be desultory and lack academic rigour and approval.

    Now, the first quotation given under the date August 1 acquires a new significance. The academic West is trying to misinterpret and malign Hindu thought and philosophy, and the English language press and media, in India and our own leftist academics calling themselves intellectuals and liberals are joining the cacophony. And there is no tall academic in India like Dr.S.R to defend Hindus.

    To be able to defend our philosophy effectively we must also master the Western philosophies; it is then we can talk to them in their own jargon and idiom, and call their bluff. Alas, this is not happening. Dr.S.R. was a past master in comparative analysis. Besides writing on Indian Philosophy, Upanishads, Brahmasutra, the Gita, Dhammapada, etc, he also wrote books like The Hindu View of Life, An idealist View of Life, Eastern Religion and Western Thought, East and West in Religion, etc. In these latter books, he has given enough hints about the connections between the two philosophies. In fact there are some rare insights into the connection between Indian and ancient Greek thought. Unless one is well versed in both systems, one cannot defend or explain our system in these days. Sadly, this is not happening.

    Dr.Radhakrishnan was an able interpreter of Hindu thought on modern lines. He had the fire, not the fanaticism. Even his casual speeches on various occasions used to be full of references to classical Indian thought- as seen in the books Occasional Speeches and Writings, published by the Publications Division. These books are not easily available now. Our youngsters should take to reading Dr.Radhakrishnan’s books which are academically rigorous and intellectually stimulating. The quotations you have given serve as reminders to the old, and must be as appetisers to the young.
    Thank you
    .

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