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Revival of Hindu Dharma
Nithin Sridhar | 06 Oct 2013

Often, it is heard that Hinduism is suffering from image-crisis and that Hindus should embark on aggressive marketing of their religion. Is Hinduism really suffering from image-crisis? The answer is yes. But is this the disease itself? No, it is only a symptom of a deeper disease. Hence, it cannot be solved by any "aggressive marketing".

Nithin Sridhar

Often, it is heard that Hinduism is suffering from image-crisis and that Hindus should embark on aggressive marketing of their religion. Is Hinduism really suffering from image-crisis? The answer is yes. But is this the disease itself? No, it is only a symptom of a deeper disease. Hence, it cannot be solved by any "aggressive marketing".

India is facing a spiritual crisis and it is this crisis that has manifested as social, political, economic and cultural crisis. For, someone to teach about religion, teach about Dharma, he should first KNOW it and must have implemented it? How many of us even care to study religion? How many of us even care to understand the traditions that have passed down to us?

Largely, there are four kinds of people in our society. The first is the English educated 'secular' kind, that looks down upon everything that is remotely connected to Hinduism. For them, Hinduism is nothing more than a combination of superstition, vodoo, sex, violence, untouchability etc etc. These people are not only ignorant about Hindu tradition, culture and philosophy; they also DO NOT have any interest to know them. Then, there is the second kind, which takes pride in everything remotely connected to Hindu name. They neither understand Dharma nor understand Tradition. They are as ignorant as the 'secular' kind, but they have this misplaced understanding that "they know Hinduism, this and this is our culture etc etc". And these people are harming our religion more than the 'secular' folk. These people know nothing but abusing people or using violence in name of religion. They have only interest with the "Political Identity" of Hindu and not with religion of Hinduism. Hence, they are ignorant of Dharma too and have no interest in it too.

Then, there is the third kind, the followers of modern self-claimed gurus and satsang, who think that singing bhajans or listening to lectures on weekends is religion and Dharma. They are blinded by their own kind of superstitions and never move beyond them. They are actually not interested in Dharma, they are only interested in fulfillment of their self-fish desires. Now, coming to the fourth kind, this is the silent majority which does not belong to any of the above group completely but may join them at some point of time. These are the people that are brought up in so called traditional families, but are never taught about tradition or practices. They do the rituals, do the ceremonies mechanically and only think of their personal lives and careers. These are the silent Hindus, whose knowledge of religion is restricted to doing ceremonies and celebrating festivals without ever understanding the meaning and symbolism behind them. These are Apolitical Hindus, who are religious only with respect to external exhibitionism and not internal implementation.

This is the malaise that has afflicted our society. When people do not follow the basic Dharma, what is called as "Samanya Dharma" like Satya, Asteya, etc in their life, what more can we expect from them? What will we advertise? the rot that has set it? People either think Sex is taboo, a filthy sin or call it pornography, when our scriptures, call us to treat Sex as just sex. They call us, to even turn the sexual pleasure into a spiritual bliss. And what the present society has made it to be? On one hand we have a person like M.F.Hussain who exhibits his perversion by painting Sita in suggestive positions on Hanuman, when any such incident is not at all mentioned in scriptures. On the other hand, we have people who deliberately want an idol or image of KaLi to be covered up in saree or ornament, when the scriptures explicitly call her "Digambari". People compare, Hindu sculptures to pornography on one hand, and others find excuses to explain it. Is it so difficult to understand that Sex is a part of life and Hinduism stands on 4 Purusharthas? And hence, such a depiction of Sex on temple walls is completely proper?.On one hand we have, people who insult Hinduism by calling us the worshippers of Shiva's genitals and on the other hand we have Hindus who take offense at such an ignorant insult and try their best to prove that Linga does not mean "Phallus". When the fact is, Linga does mean "Phallus" among other meanings like mark, pillar etc. And all of the meanings are equally valid. Shiva does represent the cosmic male principle and Shakti the cosmic female and their union creates the Universe, and on a physical level it is portrayed in the act of Sex. Yatha Pinde, tatha Brahmande.

But, for people this is very difficult to understand. No one wants to know the Truth. People just want to live with their delusions and superstitions. So, what should we teach and to whom should we teach? Do we know anything to teach in first place? The best we can do is to learn it ourselves. One should be open minded and examine the teachings, understand them and finally implement them. One must perform Sadhana; one must first discover his/her Life's purpose and then work towards it. But, today people are not interested in Sadhana. They don’t have time for any rituals or meditation. For them it is useless. This mind-set should change. People should start living their life according to the Dharmic values, performing all their duties with an attitude of Truth and Surrender. They should spend their time in the study of scriptures. Whatever little they could read, they must internalize the message and implement it. They should spend little of their time in a performing regular sadhana- it may be jap, homam, meditation or bhajan. They should surrender themselves to God and develop qualities like Satya, Asteya, Nishkaama Dasha, etc. It is these qualities that form the foundation of our religion. We do not need any aggressive advertising. All we need is to the Hindus to give up superstitions and narrow mindsets and start living their life according to Dharma, practicing all their duties, making the very life into a Sadhana. One must develop Shraddha/faith in our religion and in our scriptures. We must understand them and then put to them to practice in life.

The present condition is bad, but by our efforts, the future can be made better. It is indeed possible to revive the Sanatana Dharma. I am very optimistic that in the years to come, things will change. The change has already started. For, the divine mother, nothing is impossible. The time has come, when India, our motherland will rise again and the flag of Dharma will be hoisted again.

Jai Maa KaLi, Jai Maa Bharati