The streets of the small yet modernised town appear empty. It is the Holy month of Ramadan, during the hours of breakfast in the evening the road is so, devoid of much people and vehicles except a few old models of cars crawl through the smooth roads most of the vehicles decorated by Om and the names of the children and family members of the owners.
Perhaps we can recognise if the driver belongs to a Hindu community, looking at the way he drives careful (or cowardly) not to hurt even the road while driving or not to cause any damage to even the air around him! Amidst such vehicles, I have also seen some luxury vehicles rushing in a way about to hit and run proving that the ‘laws exist only to be broken’.
The town surprisingly has four major areas, from the north when it stretches, an area of few hundred metres belongs to the Muslim majority, the area close to the old bus stand has a mixed population though the representation is more for the Muslim community, then comes the part which is once again mixed but here the representation is more for Hindus. The Northernest part belongs to the Hindu majority.
What is intended here is not to bring a sense of indifference, but to point out a few facts, one to indicate a dangerous polarisation in the country and another to differentiate the characteristics of such areas. The most surprising fact that comes to our mind while travelling from south to the north of the city is that the area where Hindus are majority, development is minimal (though I wouldn’t measure the development of a nation with the number of storeys of the buildings built in it!) We can still see the age-old tiled single or maximum, two-storeyed buildings, where we can probably find an old man counting the coins he earned.
‘I am earning what is necessary for my food, why should I bother much? Ultimately, it is salvation from this world is the main objective in our lives!’ Like that of those old-model cars that we have seen, life just goes on, comfortable within its own limitations. Probably a couple in the community would think twice to have a second baby for they are afraid of the ‘repercussions’ such as meeting the expenses of the kid and even the possible expenses of a marriage ceremony or building a separate home for him/her.
Most of the Hindu families opt to have a single child though it is the waves of laughter and screams of a few kids makes a building home. But thanks to its ‘profound’ philosophy, the religion doesn’t let one take risks in life (or it is perceived so). In many parts of India, Hindus are reducing into a minority where sooner or later we will find minorities becoming majorities and ruling the country. Like that of Ram Navami celebrations are banned in West Bengal or Worshipping Goddess Saraswati on the campuses of Kerala are prohibited, eventually, the rituals and traditions of the country will vanish. Though in the entire country it would take more than a few decades to reflect the changes, states like Kerala have already seen such glimpses.
We don’t have to curse the so-called invaders – let it be Islamic or Christian. Remember even before their arrival, we had almost 72 prominent ‘religions’ that includes even the ‘religion’ of Charvaka. The fact is that the Hindu community is prone to be invaded just because of its own nature. Rather than blaming Britain for intruding into the country, we must thank them for bringing a country together under a single law, if not, India wouldn’t have existed now, but would have remained as a terrain of thousands of tiny countries that has their own rules and regulations where we could find wars between countries that are as small as villages in this country today. The Hindus lack unity, they lack the courage to win, they lack the very vision of life. Life ultimately is all about business. A business without a purpose can’t exist, so is a life without an objective known as happiness. And more than anything we should have dreams, dreams as high as the mountains. But we are taught that life is full of miseries and all that we have to find salvation from all these miseries!
Hindus today present Shankaracharya not only as a person who advocated the essential one nature of the universe but also projects him as a person who brought unity among Hindus when it was much needed. We must have to reject this, for there was never a feeling of unity among Hindus although the people in India are collectively called as Hindus. We must assume that Adi Shankaracharya had a powerful team of disciples who were rather great in branding him. A group of people whom he cultivated through Muths are orthodox to its core where the priest communities who know just to recite the mantras and follow the prescribed rituals lead the movement.
Untouchability etc are predominant in many of such Muths believed to be founded by him where in Muths like Sringeri we can find separate places for even dining. When a poorly-nutritious, simple food is served in common dining halls, feasts are being reserved for people belonging to the priest community. We can see people who visit Jagadguru being asked for removing their shirts essentially to find the sacred thread and I have personally seen people wearing the sacred thread, holding a vessel containing expensive fruits and a dakshina, are being served as VIPs in such Muths. This is a reality that anyone who visits the math could find. The great wisdom of Advaita, yeah?
The Orthodox community of priests has been a curse to the Hindus since time immemorial where their mishandlings are somehow tactically hidden from the history. Buddha who has been seen as the first to mark his opposition towards the priest community, and even a few prominent personalities such as Vagbhada who presented the world with a treatise of Ayurveda were people whom the priest community managed to silent and they were even successful in banishing from the country where we have seen Indian Sciences flourishing.
The last one who appears trying to renovate Hinduism was Vivekananda who called for throwing away the fragility of minds and to wake up. But no one seems to have given ears to him except RSS who took his words to encourage their ‘warriors’ who would fight for nationality. As far as I am known, the RSS is just a military wing of an orphan institution named Hinduism where there is none to head the entire organisation. They lack in vision that is the core of Hinduism.
In the practical sense, Hindu is a term ‘invented’ by outsiders; whereas it has nothing to do with religion. In a small house consisting of as little as four members, there could be four different religions where Ganesha or Shiva or Vishnu present their ‘religion’. If we look deep, the original philosophy says there exists no Vishnu, no Shiva but there is only one supreme energy known as Brahma (or you may call anything else) that exists even in the ‘lifeless’ particles in the universe and that is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent in its nature. Though we would argue that the principles of Shiva, Vishu etc. are bridges to take one to the enlightenment of this truth, the so-called religion, especially the community of priests prevents one reaching such a state of enlightenment that would perhaps bring all the answers in our lives.
We are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient reality in the world and we limitless. Living a happy life must be a priority in our lives, resources that would help our lives flourish are as important as the food that we intake. Non-violence is just a myth, for without violence the earth can’t survive. At a time it is important to cause pain to ourselves or to others to achieve something better in life, however, there is nothing wrong in it. Selfishness is not a sin, but a necessity in our lives. We can achieve whatever we need that would make our life happy and exciting. It is just one life, though the universal law of eternity of energy will remain so. But that is none of our business, but leading a happy life only matters, and when it is in a society, without interrupting a system.
Call me, an anti-Hindu or anti-national, but all that I wanted is to repeat what Upanishads told us, what Vivekananda has reminded us:
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत,
क्षुरासन्न धारा निशिता दुरत्यद्दुर्गम पथ: तत् कवयो वदन्ति |
Arise! Awake! Approach the great and learn.
Like the sharp edge of a razor is that path,
so the wise say−hard to tread and difficult to cross.
The Lost essence of India, struggling more with every passing day to survive under the overwhelming tides of globalization and everyday conflicts of contemporary life. Somewhere in between the rising and falling waves, you see the hand of our sinking cultural, educational heritage, shouting mutely for help…or is it the fin of a shark yet unnoticed?