In one of his speeches, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev said, “In the past we were divided into at least 200 different states; we had 200 political entities; yet we were recognised as one nation. We eat differently; we dress differently; we speak different languages; yet we remain one. What holds us as one nation is the spiritual thread.”
According to him, the end of all spiritual experiences was ‘liberation’ – moksha. Moksha, or liberation, can also mean “freedom to think, freedom to express, freedom to act, while respecting others freedom to do the same.”
Yes, moksha is not an afterlife experience alone. Moksha must be, and can be, attained while living in this world, amidst the maddening crowd, and in the marketplace. Moksha is living free while at the same time respecting, honoring others’ freedom.
Moksha is not freedom from life. Death is not moksha. Death does not guarantee moksha. Moksha is living freely, as free women and free men. It is the moksha-experiment in life that may lead us to moksha in death.
It is this spirit, the spirit to “strive for liberation” in Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s words, that has kept India intact as a nation, “in spite of numerous attacks by the external forces, and the invaders. For more than a thousand years they tried. Elsewhere they succeeded, but not here in India.” Well, history supports the guru.
And “the invaders were not successful,” explained Jaggi Vasudev, because “spirituality had no one single head.” There has been no whole and sole pope; a ruler, or a head of a state did not automatically become the head of the church. And, once again, there has been no one single Hindu church.
“Every house and each parent was a spiritual head,” Sadhguru added. The invaders simply could not invade each and every house. They could not convert each and every household. By converting any number of the heads of the states, they could not automatically convert their subjects. It was a thousand-year-long experience of total failure as far as conversion was concerned.
So that was the spiritual strength that kept India intact as a nation, and Hindu as a living civilisation. The ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilisations are long dead. You find them on the pages of history books. Not so with the Indian, the Hindu civilisation, which has not only survived but is thriving.
What can the Hindu civilisation contribute to the world we are living in and, more importantly, to the world-thought? Sadhguru explained, “Non-imposition of any belief system, and to encourage ‘seeking.’ It does not matter what the scriptures say. It does not matter what the leaders say. Each person, every individual must seek.”
Yes, Hindu Thought, Hindu Mind, Hindu Philosophy does not depend upon any dogma or doctrine. Religious rituals are acknowledged and appreciated, but the Hindu Mind also recognises that spirituality is not built upon the platform of such rituals. There is not a single ritual that is enforced upon all Hindus. None. There is no uniformity.
This freedom of thought, freedom to express one’s thoughts and beliefs, and to act according to one’s belief, is the survival-secret of the Hindu civilisation, as also its contribution to the world.
(This is excerpted from an article written by Anand Krishna, a spiritual activist.)