Hinduism and Hindutva

In India now a complex situation has arisen in relation to Hindu religion. Dr. Radhakrishnan has long time back named Hinduism a way of life and did not say about religion in relation to it.

But now in all media and society and nation, Hindu religion is equated with Hindutva - what is this Hindutva, who coined this word I do not know - and every one is expressing oneself against or for this Hindutva, completely forgetting or ignoring Hinduism which is also a way of life and not merely a religion - as any other religions. Unfortunately it has become very difficult now to release HInduism from the clutches of Hindutva - whatever it is - and declare again its brilliance and usefulness to the nation and society.

HIndutva as understood by, RSS or its affiliates who are intent on their "superstitions and fundamentalism"; and the rationalists, communists, Indian media of all colors and means, atheists (interestingly, annoyingly and amusingly atheists of India denounce, abuse, and find fault only with "Hinduism" as they call and understand and not other religions which are equally faith-based - why it is so unknown -) and other modern and elite cultured individuals who are against; the word Hinduism is completely and ignorantly misinterpreted and wrongly communicated in biased way - never represented, represents or will be representing Hinduism - the human and humane system of spirituality, culture, social organization, rituals and other associates.

Hinduism is universal for its spiritual basis. Rituals vary from region to region, state to state, ult to cult, philosophy to philosophy - are all united by Upanishadic insight.

This is Hinduism as represented by Upanishads and not as propagated by later theological schools or atheist isms.

The social wing of Hinduism, the caste system is now being misused and blatantly used to meet selfish ends and not to get justice of some communities. Caste divisions and caste system as was praacticed is criticized by all isms and all self-proclaimed scholars and intellectuals; but is getting patronage from citizens, political leaders, political parties and governments. It is now an unresolved puzzle for many objective thinkers whether in India people are working for or against caste system, its divisions, advantages, disadvantages, the benefits it is showering.

It is seeming that now most want the caste divisions, though they lost their relevance and use to present situations, to remain because of the inherent benefit being provided to many communities who are considered for things in which they may not be suitably efficient and are economically sound too. Thus these communities are getting double advantage in many ways.

So caste system is simultaneously abused, used, and also criticized and its originator - who are these originators none definitely knows - are put to sword by mistaking them to be Brahmins.

Thus Hinduism as is present and "practiced" today is spiritually, culturally, rituals-wise, faith-wise and socially not a coherent and emotionally or intellectually integrated block, group or ism.

Thus now there is no proper claimant for Hinduism. Thus many cults, cultural entities, philosophies, individuals specific maths, ashrams, are getting away being called Hindu. But many cults, individual-specific organizations and like groups are both bringing good and bad propaganda to HInduism proper.

Thus Hinduism is not just Hindutva as is misunderstood and many in India are in battle for and against such Hinduism - the Hindutva.

Hinduism is sublime as spirituality-wise, faith-wise, rituals-wise and socio-economic and cultural aspects wise. Hinduism or we can call it as ancient Indian insight and tradition is liberal, and individual's freedom is put above every ideology, thought, ritual, cult-formation or like things. Individual is supreme and not the other entities. That is why one ancient Indian saying says:

"An individual is to be sacrificed for the sake of the family; a family is to be sacrificed for the sake of the village; a village is to be sacrificed for the sake of Kingdom (country), and a country is to be sacrificed for the sake individual's dignity - the individual's spiritual aspirations and faith".

Liberal attitude of and in Hinduism

Individual is the supreme in Indian spiritual world. If the Individual does not like or is having a different interpretation because of his experience / intellect / emotion he will do it without caring for what was expressed by the earlier great people. This aspect in Hinduism is very dear to me. And this aspect can be easily explained by the famous example of Madhvaachaarya. Before Madhvaachaarya, Adi Sankaraachaarya, and Ramanujaachaarya haave interpreted the prasthaanatraya (the Upanishada, the Bhagavadgita, and the Brahma Sutras) from advaita and visihtaadvata points of view. But Madhva differed from them and boldly proposed his Dvaita view though it is not in tune with the earlier famous systems. Many more such examples can be cited which happened during these many centuries in India - in relation to jnaana, karma and bhakti margas. And any capable one can now interpret not similarly as the three aachaaryaas and can give one's own interpretation.

Family is to be taken care of in Hinduism. House-holder is superior to any ashrama people. There is no spirituality without being in family. Being in family only we have to strive for spiritual excellence. Monkhood is later addition by Buddhism, Jainism and like isms which are antagonistic to Hindu way of life and practice. Vaanaprastha is the final stage of life together with the spouse. Spouses are separated only by death.


More by :  Dr. Varanasi Ramabrahmam

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