Wednesday, May 25, 2011

HINDUISM - A WAY OF LIFE

Hinduism is the name which has now been given to our system, but its real name has always been Sanatana Dharma or the Eternal law. It does not date from a particular point of time or begin from a particular founder. Being eternal, it is also universal. It knows no territorial jurisdiction. All beings born and to be born belong to it. The eternal truth that fire burns does not depend for its validity upon our allegiance to it. If we accept the truth so much the better for us. The law is there, immutable, universal and eternal. That is Sanatana Dharma. As per this a true Christian or a true Muslim are also part of Sanatana Dharma, that is why there are no conversions.



The statement that Hindu and Hindutva ( I don’t understand why they have been clubbed together) believe in many Gods shows a lack of understanding of ‘Hinduism’. The ultimate Truth is only Brahman It is the quest of every soul (atman ) to ultimately merge with the Absolute. The many Gods in Hinduism that one keeps on hearing is only on account of the fact that that this is a religion which has allowed the concept of a personal deity. You have the freedom to choose and still remain a Hindu. As per Hindu thought, a worshipper of Idols and many Gods is at the lowest rung of the ladder leading to salvation. The goal in life is to transcend these stages and reach perfection as a result of becoming aware of and merging with Brahman or the Ultimate Reality.



Not all are endowed with the intelligence that some of us seem to have, to question ( which of course is welcome and necessary) and to judge( which of course exposes our inherent insecurity ). Fanaticism is a religion by itself comprising not only of Hindutvas ( frankly I do not like the word and wonder why this keeps on coming up) rather I would call them as Hindu fanatics, Islamic fundamentalists and Christian fanatics, but also of what I would like to term as fanatical atheists, agonising agnostics (agonising not knowing what to believe). Why does anyone want to get labelled as an atheist or an agnostic? After all I perceive the World in my own way and live my life, why should it be true for anyone else ? What am I trying to get across to the other person, that he is wrong and I am right?


I quote from Socrates. When he was accused of heresy, he said, “I do believe that there are gods, and in a higher sense than that in which my accusers believe in them”

To break down the images of gods we worship is not always an act of disbelief: It is the announcement of a higher sense of God.


It does not matter what we think about the ultimate nature of Reality, God , Allah, Christ or whoever or whatever it is. Are we prepared to do the proper thing in the conduct of our life? What do we mean by the “proper thing”? I guess that as life is something certain and definite, it would concern striving towards perfection in our relationship with the world around us, a frictionless and a harmonious world. May be one can find answers in “Karma Yoga”.