Who will save Hinduism

Attempts by various gurus and Vishnu to reform Hinduism

As time passed, the Hinduism descended into ignorance and darkness. The demise started when it was proclaimed Sanskrit was holy language fit only for the higher caste to learn and recite. . Access to the language and therefore the ability to read the Holy Scriptures was truncated for lower casts.

All meaning left the practice of Hinduism around this time. People did what they were told without understanding why they were doing it. Blind and costly rituals took the place of meaningful knowledge based practices. The guides exploited the masses. Temples became rich. The rich could perform a lot of ceremonies and therefore retained purity. The poor, who could not afford rich rituals, were slowly relegated to second class citizens. The gap between the pure and impure widened. It was a catch 22. Power brings money, and with it comes the desire to hang on to your power quotient. Laws were quietly altered through reinterpretations. How could you argue if you could not read the original texts? If indeed you could read the texts, you had a free run on manipulating illiterate masses.

During the dark ages of Hinduism several highly realized gurus were born. Understanding the nature of the rot, they did attempt to set it right.

Buddha born a Hindu Ksatriya and the 9th Avatar of lord Vishnu., as proclaimed by our own Hindu Puranas in the chapter covering the 10 avatars of Vishnu, ……..was also reclassified and pushed out as the founder of a new faith called Buddhism……….. .

Although, at no point did Buddha claim to have any intention of wanting to start a new religion. He was just summarizing the core essence of the Upanishads and the Vedas in a simplified form for everyone to understand. When you look at the Buddhist community today, only two words come to mind ‘PEACE’ ‘TRANQUILITY’.

Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spritual; and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. -Albert Einstein

If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. -Albert Einstein

Mahavira a Hindu who came up with a similar thought was quickly pushed out of the Hindu mainstream, His fault was, he too tried to simplify Hinduism for the masses, where purity of thought and action, was more important than complicated rituals. Mahavira created the Jain community that is the richest community in India that is also renowned for adhering to the path of non violence.

Guru Nanak a wise pragmatic ‘god realized’ Hindu never claimed any attempt to form a new religion. He was quickly reclassified as the founder of the Sikh religion. Although the word Sikh panth (sect) is attached to Sikhism, it for all purposes operates as a separate religion. (starting much later, after the 10th guru). Guru Nanak when he stated complicated rituals were of no consequence started to pose a threat to some mainstream Hindus earnings. Today the great and wise Guru Nanak and Guru Govind Singh has created the Sikh community that is today one of the most hard working and prosperous communities in India.

The common thread in all these God realized Gurus and the last avatar of Vishnu himself was that they all preached that complicated rituals have no meaning. This certainly meant the loss of a meal ticket for many people who wanted to hold on to their status quo.

The power of these vested interests is indeed incredible.  To be able to push so many gurus and the last avatar of Vishnu itself out of the realm of Hinduism calls for incredible mental agility.

Is it their amazing ability? Or is it our own stupidity? Or a combination of both?

Divisions between Vaishavits, Shaivaits and non existent Brahmanites

According to Vedas, the ultimate is defined as Paramatman. He is the ultimate omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent god, when we attain Moksha; we merge back into this universal spirit. All advaita, vishiswadvaitha and dwaita philosophy acknowledge that there are only two states of existence, the sentient beings (us) and the insentient (Parmatman or god).

These are the only two states that exist in the entire universe apart from inanimate matter.

So who then are Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma?

They are just three aspects of the one supreme unified field called the Paramatman. They represent the 3 dynamic states of all matter i.e. creation, life (preservation) and destruction. All three states have to coexist with each other in dynamic equilibrium. Its only when all three exist in dynamic equilibrium is there harmony in the universe.

Their respective consorts represent the yin and yang within the three aspects of the same energy. Brahma who is the creator has Sarawaswati as his wife, who represents knowledge required for creation. Vishnu who is the preserver has Lakshmi as his wife who represents prosperity required for preservation of life. There is Shiva the destroyer who is assisted by Parvati Devi his wife who in her militant form destroys evil or ignorance.

If you understand the states of energy in this manner, you would understand it is indeed foolish to choose between them. Put together represent dynamic equilibrium and harmony of matter and energy within the universe.

It is elementary high school physics written 6000 years ago and personified in human like shapes for ordinary folks to focus their mind. It is difficult to tell a carpenter of a farmer to focus on so and so aspect of creative energy in a dynamic state. It was easy to give this energy a name and a familiar shape. That is how the gods came to be born. Gods are not individuals; they are just specific energies of that one supreme.

Matter is neither created nor destroyed. It changes from one state to another. For matter to be born, something has to die for this energy to be transmuted. Once it’s born, it has a life span with properties attached to it. But then it has to die finally after a period of existence, to be reborn again in another form or shape

It’s because Vishnu is identified as the preserver of the universe, its only he who tasked with the preservation of humanity, takes the ten births to preserve the world as per Hindu scriptures. . Buddha the last acknowledged visitation on earth by Vishnu has ironically been bundled off and classified as a non Hindu by vested interests.

Put in a simple way, it’s so incredible that we disrespect our own gods and holy books and clutch to ignorance and misery based on a few words of manipulative individuals.
Today in India, there is a Shiva band of followers who state their god is supreme. There is the Vishnu band of followers who state their god is supreme. Then there is poor Brahma who according to some old fable did something wrong, so no one votes for him anymore, or subscribes to his political party. It sounds a bit funny when put this way, but this is the essence of religious division within Hinduism.

Instead of seeing a complete composite picture of our religion, we have given each god a political party like quality and each party follower think it’s a virtue not to look at the leader of the other political party. Some of these political leaders like Brahma have been black listed. We humans have passed judgment against a god called Brahma, the creator of our entire universe!!!!!

So you now we start to see a picture of Hinduism being divided into vertical silos. Then horizontal layers overlapping the silos. Each one of us has been pushed into a hole. We have to spend the rest of our lives within this hole.

The funny part is this entire construct of Hindu faith is that it bears no resemblance to our holy books. When our gurus and our gods are born and come down to give us the right orientation. We blow the whistle on them and ask them to get off the football field.
That is why I ask the question, Who will save Hinduism?

We kicked some of our gurus out; we kicked some of our gods out So who are we depending on now?
Right now its Politicians ……of all colors. Who are into every sort of crime? They we believe ………….will save Hinduism.

Lots are voting for them, to the sounds of mantras sung to the tune of Bollywood musicals

Oh help us god. I mean mantriji.

Or the guy with the hand phone slung around his neck telling you to pay up so much to do some rituals for the soul to cross the umpteen gates on the way to heaven. Tough luck if you family can’t afford it, your soul does not get to pass those gates, and may perhaps end up in hell. So ask the priest, hey whats with the karma of the individual? How come it does not matter anymore on the way to heaven?

Sounds funny? Think about it, isn’t this exactly what is happening today?

The point of this article is not to paint a dooms day picture. There is a way out of this mess.

Obviously the top down approach has not worked in Hinduism. Many gurus and even the 9th avatar of Vishnu and Brahma have been side tracked.

Perhaps the bottom up approach may work.

It’s simple. Here is how you can do your bit to save Hinduism.

Get out of your house, Go to the nearest book shop, enough literature on the Vedas and Upanishads is available. …………..yupieee written in English too.

It’s written in the Vedas, Knowledge brings wisdom. Wisdom gives us the ability to choose between right and wrong. Choosing the right path, takes us down the path of freedom and Moksha.

The first step however is to acquire Knowledge. If you have doubts, ask a self realized Guru the deeper meaning of what you read.

So start reading, and start to do your own thinking. This may perhaps the only way to bring back Hinduism where it’s supposed to be.

(O lord of the three universes, deliver us from ignorance to knowledge)

The author is Sanjayrao1010. In search of the ultimate truth beyond concepts and notions, in that silence, after 20 years in soulless corporate board rooms.

Also read:

In defense of Hinduism by Swami Vivekananda
When caste was not a bad word
What is Dharma

Why have things come to such a pass? Answer is complex but a few thoughts.

•Indian educational system does not connect the student with Indian culture and traditions. Student grows up with incorrect notions about his religion and culture. Side effect is looking up to the West for approval. Thanks to the Internet things are changing but the educational system has not changed.
•Indian Governance model is based on Democracy while the soul of Bharat is Dharma. The former is based on rights, meaning what is in it for me. The latter is based on duty, meaning what I can do for you. Unfortunately most Indians follow the former that has made our society very materialistic.
•The Hindu society is not organised like the Church. Thus it has not been able to withstand and counterattack organised religions like Islam and Christianity.
•Study of Hinduism was not encouraged and supported in schools, colleges. Perhaps one of the reasons lots of research and teaching on the world’s oldest religion takes place outside the country of its origin.

Way Forward

•Hindus (meaning followers of Dharma) need to rediscover their roots which is the objective of esamskriti.
•Learned Swamis must get into intellectual debates with Western scholars on Indian Thought or train students (like Chanakya trained Chandragupt) to do so. Keeping knowledge within yourself is good but not when your way of life is under threat.
•Know more about your opponents meaning take the battle into the opposing camp instead of perpetually being on the defensive.
•Hindus must organise themselves and stand united.
•Earn money but share your wealth with the less needy Hindus.
•Support political parties that give Hindus equal human rights in India for e.g. the right to manage their temples which are now under government control.
•Focus on action and creation rather than intellectual arguments.

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