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The banyan tree

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A misconception

            Who is responsible for messing up the views and ideas portrayed by great visionary saints or philosophers of Vedic India. Is it the ineffectiveness of our old self-indulgent ruling classes (Brahmins and Kshatriyas) or is it the common peoples' inability to conceive the idea ? What ever may be reason, our view of god, religion, faith and everything related to it is defacing the entire vedic mystics and what they stood for. 

           Most of  us make the mistake of  considering Hinduism as any other religion, but actually it is a religion stemmed from a culture, not like other Abrahamic religions, that is why it depicts polytheism, like Roman and Greek cultures. Polytheism, if you look is one among the properties of ancient cultures. If you look closely Hinduism even inside India have different versions. There are wide varieties of stories and gods are present, each according to locality and people. If it was like any other religion it couldn't have possible. Hinduism is a part of great "Indus valley civilisation", some says it is possible that the term Hindu came into existence from the Persian word for river Indus. 

            The most saddest part is that we lost our right to express our thoughts and views freely. We have become so intolerant that, India has become a barren land for sowing the seeds of reforming ideas. i am not turning a blind eye on the facts that there were occasional clashes between classes (shivites and vishnavites, Brahmins and Buddhists, etc.), but that was when we were not percieving ouselves as Indians and we were not united under one cause (it took British to lighten up that unity in our mind). It would have been suicidal and blasphemous to deny the existence of god and heavenly powers at that period of time, when the priest class were thriving on that particular idea of fear of god. At that time "Charvaka" disciple of sage "Brihaspati" introduced charvakism which gives a materialistic and naturalistic view of universe. He dare to say, what you have is, what you see and feel and you don't need heavenly intervention as the cause of life. And our wise philosophic sages have big enough heart to include that "sutra" among many. They were men enough to respect his view, which is different. And of course they argued, coz only through healthy argument does knowledge increases.

             Everything in our culture for that matter in any other culture were used to conveyed through stories and poems. But one mistake we had done over the years is that we took the medium for granted than the content which was  being conveyed. These stories about Rama, Krishna, and other gods were to make us understand easily the ideas of truth,selflessness etc. in an enjoyable manner. Just think, if a philosophic thought or teachings about  truth or about anything for that matter were to be propagated to the common man, what do you think would be the best choice? through stories, right. And thats what they had done. Each and every character depicts emotions, which are relatable to us, and  principles, some which we should, and some, shouldn't be followed. Thus through these stories those great wise "Rishis" were giving us a road map of life to follow. Another saddening thing was post-vedic period saw the degeneration of the real soul of the philosophic views depicted in "Upanishads". Instead  due to the high influence of priest class there were many addition that were added to the "Vedas" like "Bhramanams" which try to nail the idea that only through "yagnas" real manifestation of "Bhramam" is attainable, since Bhramins were the sole bearers of yagnas.