Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Have You Been Un-Hindu Today?

Once in a while I recall that I am born a Hindu. This is usually around times when a whole lot of people are suddenly finding the need to defend Hinduism.

1. This is a little ironic. Why do you need to protect that which cannot be destroyed? Can the words or images of another person kill or harm your religion? To those who believe in God/s: even if all the people who believe in God should cease to exist will God/s cease to exist? Similarly, does Hinduism need the acceptance and support of all those being fought against in order to exist and flourish? It seems very reductionist and belittles Hinduism for anyone to say that the religion needs protection.

2. This business of religious sentiments being hurt is even more ridiculous. Why are Hindu religious sentiments hurt only by words and images but not by un-Hindu actions such as rape, murder and the racism being practiced against people from the NE in Delhi, or the displacement of Muslims in Muzaffarnagar or a thousand such atrocious acts? We are a religion that believes in the whole universe being a family, isn’t it? Why are we not religiously wounded by such major offences that hurt millions of the universal family but hugely traumatized by minor pinpricks such as a book that will be read by a few thousand people?

3. Being the transcendent religion that believes animals and trees and various forms, animate and inanimate, have the element of the Divine running through them and are therefore nothing but mere manifestations of the Unified One, how can we even distinguish between ‘ourselves’ and ‘others’? Surely the distinction is impossible and the very idea of ‘not tolerating’ someone or some view would be inadmissible – for even the so-called offender is nothing but another manifestation of the same ONE divine. So the idea of ‘getting upset’ so militantly at someone’s view is, in my view, very un-Hindu.

4. In an ecological worldview that goes well beyond the physical world, the notion is that every component have a just and fair place, the justness and fairness of which is determined by the degree to which it links with others and desists from eating into others’ space and resources. Which is the idea behind being ‘content’ – to occupy that which fulfills your need without competing with another’s, thus maintaining the ecosystem.  Wanting more than this justifiable space and resource takes you into the realm of that which does not (because it should not) exist – maya. And we are taught not to want more than our remit for this reason. This is a key principle by which the universe maintains its balance, and disturbances take place when this balance is upset. Every time we seek to dominate or attribute to ourselves the right to determine others’ activities in their spheres (such as what they may think or write), we are guilty of going beyond that which is justly ours – and again, being very un-Hindu!

5. And finally, like all great religions, Hinduism too believes that real victory is one that is over oneself. No matter how much you ‘defeat’ your enemies, if you are unable to overcome yourself, that is, your own limitations and the un-divine aspects of yourself, you cannot be considered a victor. So if anyone is claiming victory at having ‘vanquished’ something offensive, do desist, for you have not won.


Katherine Watson said...

Thanks for your post

Ishnath jha said...

Nicely put and as you have mentioned in point number 4 that every component in the universe has a just and fair place so your opinion has one just and fair place too.

However my opinion differs from yours and they would find their just and right place as well. I would like to say that:
1. I am not very religious person nor I am much illuminated on religious beliefs and practices. But what I believe is that any religion teaches us to live life. How to live in a society. How to live peacefully with others. What is acceptable and what is respectable. It list certain rules and certain guidelines. A religion is a way of life.
The point is religion wasn't there always. It still does not exist for trees and animals who are also god's own creation. Religion was created by us when we started living in society so as to maintain order, uniformity and encourage best practices for the mankind.
Something that is our own creation we must strive to protect it from any intentional or unintentional tampering or maligning. We must retain it. Otherwise it is in danger due to political reasons which is another integral part of the society like religion.
Hinduism does not need acceptance from any other religion or religious community but it would cease to exist if nobody practices it. Every religion is good in its own way for a particular religious community.
It is like in India all vehicles must ride on the left side of the road whereas in Canada everyone should drive on the right side. Both countries are correct and the sole idea is to enforce uniformity so as to avoid accident. But if Canada starts preaching us to follow their traffic rules and to give up ours does that make sense?
2. Just because Hindus have off late started to express that their religious sentiments can also get hurt by words and images like others religious sentiments can be hurt that does not mean that Hindus do not get hurt or they do not condemn about the other un-Hindu actions happening world wide. It's just that the patience of Hindus has been tested for too long and that right now they are alarmed and more concerned about their existence. If the business of take it for granted towards Hinduism would not have continued for so long and other religions had not intruded and interfered in our religion then the situation would have been different and Hindus would have been more concerned about other un-Hindu practices. It's a defensive reaction to protect one's heritage not an offensive one.

3. Hindus are not being intolerant towards others existence. They have just started being intolerant towards those who are posing threat to the existence of HINDUISM.

4.Hindus have always been content with their own space rather they have been benevolent enough by accommodating others if we believe that all other religions have branched from SANATAN. But other religions should also be content with their own space.

5. Vanquishing something offensive is not an individuals victory it is every individuals KARMA and is required for a better society. In Hinduism we are not taught to do things that will bring glory to an individual rather our KARMA should meet such that it is in line with meeting the goal of DHARMA SANSTHAPNA. So Hindus are doing their KARMA let them ARJUNA.