Saturday, August 31, 2013

Discovering our roots

One of  the biggest concerns of our nation is rootlessness of its citizens, many of us are disconnected from past , only very few people can comprehend the idea of real India, for us, its nothing more than a big chaos, a society immersed in extreme corruption, an underdeveloped third world country.

For most of us nationalism starts and ends with cricket. We blame politicians for everything including for natural calamities. For most of us Indian history starts with 1942 quite India movement and ends with 2002 Gujarat riots. We ask, whats the big deal with history? its just a chronicle of bloody imperialism and of corrupt politicians, we ask, what use it is for me when I'm aspiring to become an engineer. we ask, what job does it fetch ? if this were to be the situation, it is but natural for one to expect lack of historical sense among Indians. We have reduced education to a mere bread earner, in traditional sense education is much more than bread and butter, it spans right from basic mathematics to that of self-realization.        

I don't know how many of us know that ours is a civilization of unbroken tradition from past 5000 years (Dolavira in east dates to 2500 BC and Harappan in west dates 3000 BC), our's was the vibrant and dynamic society, it was very innovative. Do I sound like a fanatical fool?  Hold on, let me list some of the key features here for the benefits of our friends.

1. Harappan civilization is considered to be most advanced civilizations of its time, known for its town planning (I feel ashamed of living in today's Bangalore).

2. Vedas are the oldest literature know to us till date.

3. Upanishad - a secular literature on religious philosophy a highly intellectual in nature is first of its kind and a treasure of India and the world.

4. Arthashastra -  a treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy of 4th century BC is first of its kind and highly acclaimed in academics.

5. We are the only culture to have written a treatise on kama shastra popularly know as "Kamasutra", it is dated around 4th century BC. Kamasutra in essence is much more than sexual positions.

6. Sanskrit is one most scientific language known to us. Our contribution to field of linguistics is unparalleled in history.

7. Though Indian astronomy is heavily influenced by Greeks, we made great progress in field of astronomy due to the knowledge of advanced mathematics.

8. We are the only culture not to have prosecuted religious reformers and social reformers, Buddha was highly revered and respected, and was also worshiped as God. (Jesus was prosecuted by Romans and Galelio was prosecuted by Church).

9. During the rule of Gupta's at around 4th century AD we were the most prosperous and highly advanced societies of the time.

10. We have developed highly advanced system of music, dance ,sculpture, poetry and many more in the field of arts.

OK I will stop listing , my intention of this post is not make a laundry list of achievements , the list will serve as a prelude to rest of my post. Above list is too small and is far from giving a complete picture.

As in any other society we too had highs and lows, we as a society have produced fanatics, tyrants, and was victim of social evils. But let me tell you going by western standards we can easily claim that our's is  less fundamental and one of the tolerant societies of the world.
This unique feature of India is by no means an accident, being a tropical country, India enjoyed the benefits highly hospitable climate and abundant natural resources( monsoon which is key feature of tropics) enabled development of  advance civilization. Unlike our western counterpart we did not struggled for basic living. Economic prosperity and sense of security can do a great deal of things to a society, it leads to overall development in all facets of life, which in tern leads to mature and tolerant society. America today is one such example(with few exceptions).

I do not know how many of  us Indians looks at India with such perspective. We are ignorant, what we see as India is just of 20th century, and quite naturally we feel inferior to western standard. No doubt our society have degraded culturally and politically, but we have cultural foundations to help us in building the society and  in making a better place for our selves. For that to happen we need to regain our confidence, confidence comes from knowledge. We as Indians we have no pride,  either we indulge in false pride or turn hostile on our culture, and all this is the product of ignorance. Leftist India had a great success in keeping all of us in dark and successfully undermined the very idea of real India.

Having said this, let me focus on very important topic which have eclipsed our minds. For us, politicians are easy targets, without much ado people put blame on politicians and on their dirty politics. If you ask anyone why world today is so immoral and filled with violence? They just say one word "Politics", there ends the story. Religion is very touchy, no one wants ask uncomfortable questions about it , we will be having very good friends belonging to different religions, so we don't want to offend any one and thus we say "I'm secular", for them either all religions are equally bad or all religions are equally good. I have not seen more stupidest statement than stated one above. Tolerance is not about accepting falsehood, it about respecting one's freedom.

Our culture cared lot for truth, no philosophy was accepted at the face value, we have the history of great debates practically in all fields of discipline. People accepted new faiths after conceding a intellectual debate, yes there were conversions in ancient India, and these conversion in many cases was preceded by Intellectual debates, no swords were used for conversions and there was no jizya (In Islam tax was collected from non-believer ) ever collected by kings in the history of pre-Islamic India.

 Isn't it so easy to be political correct and be diplomatic when it comes controversial topics, who don't want to be called Mr nice guy? why risk being label communal and fanatic?  Socrates a Greek thinker had to sacrifice his life for speaking truth,as common man at least we should give up political correctness and stand by truth. One thing we have keep in mind always, a Muslims and  Christians are as good and as bad as any Hindus, so we have to be objective and should by no means develop hostilities towards the people of other faiths.

As a good citizen of the society we should have awareness about socio-geographic and political situation of the country, and that requires one to understand the historical and ideological context of different cultures that are prevalent. If you cannot connect to our past and cannot feel for the future of society I can easily say your patriotism is superficial. A true spirit of  Hindu society  is universal oneness and inclusiveness,  you love your country as much as you love the whole humanity.

Let me give you very brief introduction of  cultures like Islam and Christianity, and highlight the key differences from our own.

Christianity and Islam are relatively younger compared that of  ours. Both are essentially similar in spirit, both have one book Bible/Koran which is the sole authority for their religion, and they believe in one and only true God, all other gods are false gods, in Christianity Jesus is the only son of god and is the only path  to god, in Islam Mohamed is last prophet and he is the only path to god.

Christianity and Islam divides humanity into believers and non-believers, non-believers have no redemption and they burn eternally in the hell fire. Converting non-believers to believers is a religious duty. Islam mandates second class citizenship to non-believers like Jews and Christians, whereas conversion or death to idolater (pagans).  Muslim literature proudly claims Mecca as symbol of victory against pagans, in fact Mecca mosque was built on pagan temple (belonging to  pre-Islamic Arabs).

Below are some of the quotes from Koran and Hadis  about non-believers.

Sura 4:89 “seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

Slay the idolaters (pagans) wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. (Sura  9:5)

4:101 “When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers May attack you: For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies.” 4:102 “For the Unbelievers, Allah has prepared a humiliating punishment.”

9.73 “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.”

9.123 “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you”

Refer to below link know more about prophetic religions.

Sanatana dharma  (Hindu religion) is extremely diverse in nature , there is no one god , though every sect has one main god most worship more than one gods. There is no single book which can claim sole authority. In fact Vedas and Upanishad were composed over centuries by many seers and have many conflicting view points, which again is an indication of diversity , tolerance and eagerness for truth.  Non believers who are referred to as Nasthika, have place in society, Kautilya's Arthasharstra clear mandates the kings for the well being of non-believers. There was never any religious prosecution, though there existed conflicts at various levels.

We have no prophets, you are whole and sole responsible for your self realization. In our culture belief in God is not mandatory, most teaching of Upanishad  have nothing to do with god, its all about you and universal cosmos.

If one  juxtapose the historical events with that of religious teaching, one can say with conformity that Islamic invasion of India were not just political , thousands of temples were destroyed over centuries and mosques are built on their debris, people were forced to convert. There is enough  archaeological and documentary evidence to prove bloody history of Islam, Muslim rulers as matter of pride have recorded the details of temple destruction, though little exaggerated in details,one should not suspect its authenticity.

Refer to below links for detailed proof.

Temple destruction and ethnic cleansing is in practice till date, esp in Karshmir , Pakistan and Bangaladesh, we are seeing it happening around us every day, but popular discourse have made us to believe us that there is nothing religious about its and its just about politics. Leftist India for long have captivated the minds of the educated class and made us to believe that Islam and Christianity are religion of peace, and all the plunders of Islamic invasions they claim as political. Its a big lie ,  I wonder what were the political motivation behind temple destruction? Greeks invaded India during 4th BCE,  they never destroyed any temple nor they ever tried to convert Hindus, instead a small minority of Greek settlers got assimilated into our society and accepted our tradition. There were many other invasions before Islamic invasions but there never was any kind of religious prosecution. Temple destruction and religious prosecution have no other motivation but of religious.

UP high court recently pronounced a Judgment on Ayodhya, it clearly documents the existence of Hindu temple pre-existing to that of  mosque, Archaeological society of India gave enough evidence for the existence of temple before mosque. AIT evidence came as big blow to our intellectuals, till then they were claiming Islam have no history of temple destruction and only later they started questioning the historicity of Rama. Is Rama a historical person? what is proof that Rama was born in Ayodhya? It sounds so foolish to me,  who cares weather Rama was born in Ayodhya or elsewhere, the issue should not be of birth place but of destroyed temple. Hindus believed that Ayodhya as Rama's birth place and place was sacred to them and more importantly there existed Hindu temple prior to that of mosque.  

Many of my friends ask me, why worry about temple destruction which happened hundreds of years ago? They hardly know it is quite common even today in Muslim majority countries. Imagine a hypothetical situation what should be done if  Islamist's destroys Tirupati temple? And after how many years should we give up pursuing the re-construction? Issue is not about temple, but of self respect. Isn't it a good gesture for minorities to give up place so sacred to Hindus?  If tyrant Hindu destroys a mecca mosque and construct a Hindu temple (which is an impossible proposition :) ) , isn't it a good gesture for Hindus to give back that place to Muslims?

A typical Hindu reaction is a manifestation of ignorance and fear, both are against our cultural tradition, fearlessness and knowledge takes highest precedence in our culture and that's why Bramha (knowledge) and Kshatra  (fearlessness ) were held very highly in ancient Indian society. This by no means provocation of violence. We have become spineless for we have completely disconnected from our cultural tradition.

 Let me reiterate, Truth and Truth alone matters, we have to cultivate the attitude of facing the truth, be it about Sati , be it about child marriage or that of religious fundamentalism. Hindus have moved long way in suppressing the evils of the  society be it Sati, child marriage or polygamy. There is no Hindu intellectual worth the name who will justify or defend such evils in the name of God,  and these are punishable by law in India where Hindus are still a majority.

Religious fundamentalism is alien to Hindus, however religious fanaticism in Hindu society which is peeking here and this is a result of Hindu reaction to Islamic/Christian aggression. Over years it might even become substantial, who is to be blamed for this? Non else but secular politics.

Lastly, as true Hindu I do not mean to offend any one, its time to educate our fellow Hindus and people of other faiths about the truth, we have to rescue ourselves and people of other faiths, not by converting them but by educating them. You have every right to be skeptical of my viewpoints and hence I would say do your own home work and try to know about truth for yourself, and precisely that is the intention of my post.                      

I want to preserve the essence of  Hindu culture in our country not to please any Gods, but for the sake of freedom and knowledge. This is possible only if Hindus are in majority.

Further reading (authored by  late  Sita Ram Goel )