There is a Great Discussion going on if Hindus and Hinduism are under attack, under siege, whether the very existence of Hindus and Hinduism is under some kind of threat – or, whether such fears are unfounded.
The fear is certainly not unfounded, I repeat “not unfounded”, if we are referring to the Hindu outlook towards life that is Dharma based – based on the eternal natural laws and human values – as an ism, and equate it with other isms.
Demographic statistics in several countries show a decline in the number of Hindu populace. What is not shown by such statistics is the influence and impact of Hindu Philosophy the world over. What is not yet a subject of demographic research is the ever growing number of people the world over adopting the Hindu Way of Life.
Such People may or may not Declare themselves as Hindus as such, not legally or formally… but, then such legalities and formalities matter very little in many countries, specially in the Western hemisphere.
It is only in some countries, and mostly in Asia, where one’s religion is still mentioned on the identity card. How many of such countries anyway?!
In any case, can we define Hindu as a religion per se, as an ism, or a belief system? We have been discussing this for quite some time now, so will not repeat it here.
Coming back to our topic: Is Hindu-“ism” really under attack? If it is so, then we as Hindus – this is my subjective opinion, you may disagree with me – should welcome it!
The “Ism” in Hindu-“ism” should Rightly be under Attack. The suffix “ism” after the word Hindu should be shunned anyway. It is high time that we shun this pseudo identity forced upon us by the invaders who enslaved us for centuries.
The Hindu Sanatana Dharma is based on Rtam, the Laws of Nature. These laws, such as the law of Consequences or popularly referred to as the Law of Karma, is not man made.
We can not pinpoint a single person as the creator of the law. It is also not aagama (Sanskrit), meaning “a tradition that has come down” from any human or an identified, a specific divine source.
Belief Systems or Isms, on the other hand, are centered around the life and teachings of certain personalities. Such personalities may have developed their own teachings or claim to have received them from a divine source or through some metaphysical esoteric experience.
The conflict that we see among the followers of such belief systems is, therefore, very natural, since our experiences vary. The experiences of those who developed the systems vary too. Yes, we may find certain common universal values, but the differences cannot be overlooked either.
In the Sanatana Dharma, however, such conflicts can never ever arise, since the laws of nature are the same for one and all. We may choose to reject the Law of Consequences, but we can not escape it.
We may deny the imperishable nature of energy, but energy is not affected by such denial. It remains imperishable.
Sanatana Dharma, whether called Shinto by the Japanese, Tao by the Chinese, Wiwitan by the Sundanese, or disgracefully referred to as Paganism and Animism, remains eternal. It is not affected at all. It still governs all life, all existence.
The Term Hindu, as we all know, was popularized by the Greeks and Persians. It implied a “geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living beyond the Sindhu or Indus river” in the Indian Subcontinent and most of modern South East Asian States.
It was only around the mid-19th century that the European merchants and colonists began to refer to Hindu as an ism, a belief system. Later, they went steps further to distinguish Hindus from Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains – all of them, actually, belonging to the same Sanatana Dharma family. The division was clearly part of their divide and rule policy.
The tribals were also poisoned with the idea of being the oppressed race or dalit. Thus, they succeeded in fragmenting the Hindu society.
Alas, This Same Divide and Rule Policy is now being adopted by the power-monger individuals and institutions, supported by their ignorant followers. And, mind you, they are not followers of other faiths. They are Hindus.
Their slogan “Hindus and Hinduism under Attack” is no different from the similar slogans often used by the followers of belief systems: “Our Faith is in Danger”.
First, they create fanaticism, and, then fear in order to rule over the minds of their followers. They are not leaders. They are opportunists and pose a threat to our Hindu society.
Some of us may take it lightly, or even reject the idea outright. But, it will not take a long time to see the damage done by them and their blind followers.
We Hindus Face Many Many Problems. Let us not overtly simplify such problems by referring to them as challenges. Problems are problems. We have to understand the nature of such problems, identify them, and work on the solutions. And, we have to work on the solutions by ourselves. We cannot rely on the opportunist power-mongers.
In spite of the invaders and centuries of slavery we have survived. We have fought courageously and bravely not to survive alone, but to thrive.
Our source of inspiration is Rama, who turned the Vana Nara, the forest dwellers, into an invincible army to destroy the forces of adharma, unrighteousness, led by Ravana.
Our inspiration is Krishna, the Divine Coach, the Supreme Master, who led the Pandavas to victory.
Both, Rama and Krishna, were neither power-mongers, nor narcissistic with personal agendas. They led by example. They were not on the battlefield to gain praise for themselves. They gave all the credits to others.
Let Us Keep it That Way. Let us keep Rama and Krishna as our Inspirations. Let us not find other lesser gods with petty agendas and become their blind followers. They are blind, and they can not lead us anywhere.
We can dress up as Rama or Krishna, but dresses do not turn us into Rama or Krishna. Let us stop this circus and get real. Our commitment is to Dharma, our ideals are, once again, Rama and Krishna. Let us get rid of all the distractions created by those who have strayed from the path. Let us follow Dharma.
And, Dharma is not under attack. It can not be attacked. We have forsaken Dharma. We are the cause of the present state of affairs. We have nobody to blame other than ourselves. Once we realize this, we become the true Dharma Warriors, ever on our toes to uphold and serve the cause of Dharma, Sanatana Dharma – Righteousness…