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

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

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

Hinduism in Different Colour Capsules! (Post No.4034)


Written by London Swaminathan

Date: 28 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 21-11
Post No. 4034

 
Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

Problems facing the Hindu society were discussed by the members of the Hindu Forum of Europe in its Annual General bod y meeting held in Lisbon (Portugal) on 23rd of June 2017. Sri Mahaprabhudasa, General Secretary, listed the burning issues facing the community:

1.Text Books on Hinduism in different countries give wrong information

2.Sufferings of Hindus in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc

3.Hindu Forum Branches where it is not yet organised

4.Hinduism presented by different Hindu groups in public forums confuse everyone.

 

5.Earlier the Yoga presented by different groups was discussed ( I have already given it under “Yoga without Religion is dangerous”).

 

Sri Mahaprabhudasa pointed out that in any multi faith meeting, other religious speakers first tell their denomination he or she represents and then present their point of view from that angle. A catholic or a protestant clearly says : according to my faith…………… But Hindus from different groups or sects speak as if they represent the religion. It confuses our children and people belonging to other faiths.”

When I spoke on these points I dealt with only one issue in the above list, i.e. Hinduism presented by different groups:-

“The biggest strength of Hindusim is Diversity; the biggest weakness is also Diversity. We give complete freedom to follow our religion in different ways. But it is better to tell the people from which group they have come and then explain their point of view. Even in the earlier discussion we could not agree on a single method of Yogasana practice and each one supported a different method of Yoga and Asana. We need to tell the Hindu leaders to speak clearly in public forums.

 

Some of the members in private discussions told me the following points:

Texts books on Hinduisn gave lot of wrong information about Hinduism. Shiva Linga worship is misrepresented ( I pointed out that Kanchi Shankaracharya has spoken about it and explained that it represents God is formless. I have also written about it in my blog)

When the British Census was taken lot of people tod that they belong to this sect and that sect without saying that they are Hindus. Because of their ignorance and the ignorance of the census officers, they were not listed as Hindus. Since all those sects were not in the British census form they marked such Hindus as “other faiths”. As a result of which Hindu population was less than the actual figure. Now Hindu Forum of Britain is searching for a solution and one of them is to write Hindu -Swaminarayan, Hindu- hare Krishna sect etc. But it should be approved by both the government and the respective group. It is very important that Hindus unite on this issue and project them as one group.

 

My new comments on this:

 

Hinduism is presented in different colour capsules though the contents are the same. We all believe in rebirth, Karma theory, Symbol Aum and One god who can be worshipped in different ways and forms. But one cult or sect is criticising the other sect. This wont help any Hindu group in public forums.

Several years ago I met a young boy in a London hospital with worried face. I approached him and started the conversation deliberately so that I could help him. When I asked him for what health problem he had come to the hospital, he told me that he was hale and healthy and the reason he came to the hospital was for a job interview. I wished him all the best and continued the conversation. When I asked his name, the country of his origin, it was a Hindu name! Oh you are a Hindu like me, I said. He refuted me at once saying that he worships Lord Murugan (Hindu God Skanda). Smilingly I explained to him that my name also Murugan’s name and he is one of the main Hindu gods. But that young boy couldn’t digest it and he repeatedly told me that he was a Muruga worshipper and in Mauritius, where from he comes, only Muruga is worshipped as main god. I told him to go back to his parents for clarification on the matter I told him.

I knew the problem with youngsters like him. Hindus living in remote areas such as Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, South Africa are generations away from the Hindu mainland. Their names are “Non hinduized” or “dehinduized”. Many of them were taken by the British and French from the lower strata of the society and treated them as slaves. They lost or forgot their culture completely. When they were struggling for their survival as human beings, religion is relegated to the back. They don’t have good religious teachers or preachers who can attract youths. Whatever they have now as religion is the major festivals with bizarre local stories. Books on Hinduism written by the French and the English give distorted pictures. Hindus have an enormous task of supporting, educating and elevating those people. This is an internal problem, internal threat. Someone has to write proper, uniform text books with reasonable, simple explanation for the festivals, Siva Linga worship and umpteen other issues. Though thousands of Hindu cults, groups, sects, sub sects, Sath Sang groups, Ashrams, Yoga centres, Babas, Swamijis and Mutts exist, not many are bothered about uniting them under one banner. Each one is promoting his or her own organisation.

 

Even in Face book I see several people put several quotations in the name of Bhagavad Gita. Like Einstein is quoted in several hundred quotes which he never said, Lord Krishna’s name is dragged into several statements. I react to such posts immediately saying that ‘could you please give me the chapter and sloka number.?’ Then they keep quiet. So, we must first create awareness amongst our own people.

 

-Subham–