HINDUISM AS A STAGNANT POOL ? (Post No.8680)

WRITTEN BY R. NANJAPPA                        

Post No. 8680

Date uploaded in London – – – –14 SEPTEMBER 2020   

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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FOSSIL SOCIETIES: ARE HINDUS TURNING FOSSILS ? – 2 – Part 2

R.Nanjappa

Established orthodox Mutts and Swamis like Sankaracharys are harping on the golden age in the past and urging people to stick to tradition. While the Mutts are patronised and the Acharyas worshipped, no one cares two hoots for tradition, except in the elementary externals. Now, even Hindu marriage and family as an institution are disintegrating. Ask any modern educated Hindu girl about “Stree dharma” and see the reaction. Wisely, even the Swamis do not talk about it in public. This is an example of how archaism is given as a solution and it does not work. 

There are any number of Gurus and movements promising a new age. Yes, the promoters have ensured a new age for themselves!


HINDUISM AS A STAGNANT POOL ?

Traditional scholars do not view Hinduism as an evolving force. For them, everything is eternally fixed. But those who study with an open mind and historical sensitivity do understand that though the basic elements have been the same, their expression in practice has varied over time. This is the clear idea we get from the Gita. After all, the society or the people we see in the Ramayana and Mahabharata are not the same! Both were Vedic civilizations! If things can continue the same forever, where is the need for Avataras?

SAINTLY RESPONSE TO MUSLIM THREAT 

When the Muslims invaded and captured large parts of India, our Vedic religion broke down. Our temples were broken down. Throughout North India, Saints appeared and promoted the religion of devotion to God. This had two main elements: replacement of Sanskrit by local dialects for religious purposes, and replacement of Vedic karma by acts of devotion. These saints were not irresponsible upstarts: they based themselves on our scriptures, but on different parts. The Bhakti movement that they promoted is solidly based on the Bhagavatam and the Gita. The Bhakti movement embraces a larger chunk of Hindu society than the merely karma-based Vedic variety!

TANJORE AS THE BASTION OF ORTHODOXY

Vedic Hinduism [ that part based on karma or rites ] got protection under Vijaynagar and  Mahratta kings, but even then came to be  confined to the Tanjore belt under the Serfojis. The region has gradually declined and ceased to be such a centre in the last century, though the descendants of those people still carry on the tradition in however  truncated a manner. But they form a minuscule minority.

How are Hindus as a whole reacting to the current realities? 

TRAGEDY OR OPPORTUNITY ?

This represents an enormous tragedy, or chance for tremendous transformation, depending upon how one looks at it! The 68th Pontiff of Kanchi Mutt is highly respected and he has spoken extensively on this subject.  The crux of his argument has been that it was Brahmins who were responsible for the decay: they left villages, abandoned their traditional role, took to English education and work for salary, and left their dharma and the whole society followed them and  our dharma is lost! It is as though Brahmins did all this with deliberate intent, with group consciousness! But the fundamental question is:  Why did the Brahmins have to leave the villages?  Why is the exodus, consisting of non-Brahmins, from the rural areas continuing even today? 

It was because we had new rulers (English) under whom the traditional administration and economy changed drastically. Social reform was spreading, the Brahmins could neither rely on the patronage of rulers nor on the performance of the traditional arrangements. If we look back and trace the social history of the last 200 years, we clearly see how society was fundamentally changing! This was a phenomenon taking place in all old societies.[ Read Oliver Goldsmith’s poem “The Deserted Village” or the novels of Thomas Hardy to see how English society was getting affected by socio-economic changes.] The Brahmin alone cannot stem the tide of change or restore the old dharma.

To be continued……………………………………………..

***

tags-  Hinduism, stagnant pool, fossil society

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