Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tirupathi Declaration

According to Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji there are far too many powerful people, even in India, in whose mental landscape there is no place for Hindus, and that unless Hindus act, Hinduism is finished. These forces include the Communists and the current ruling parties in India.

My comment - part of the problem is that secularism in India applies not to Hinduism - the government does not have any right to interfere in minority institutions, but runs and milks the manifold Hindu religious establishments.

Anyway, here is his declaration, and he hopes it catches the spirit of the people like the Quit India, 1942.

July 15, 2006

We Hindus assembled here declare
that we do not support, directly or indirectly,
any group, institution, religion, media,
or political force, which preaches, practices
or works against Hindu Dharma
in this country.

We appeal to all the Hindus
in this country and elsewhere
to subscribe to and support
this declaration,
the Tirupathi Declaration.

We want all the Hindu religious endowments
to be managed by Hindu bodies,
and not by the government.
We want the secular government
to release all religious endowments
from its hold.


Vishal said...

Couldn't agree more.

I believe media is also to blame fot his situation to a large extent. While the vernacular media does bring out such issues, english media, disproportionately powerful in the country, enforces stereotypical images of anyone who talks of Hindu rights and caricatures them..

Jan Aquarius said...

From your use of the honorific 'ji' after the name of Dayananda Saraswati, I suspect that you subscribe to that school of thought (or lack thereof). I cannot, of course, presume to teach you what is right and wrong. I can only say, and say it with pride, that Hinduism, the oldest religion/philosophy in the world, shall go on despite the weak-minded ramblings of Dayananda Saraswati and his ilk. The so-called Tirupathi Declaration is meant only to stir up a communal frenzy of the type seen more often in the Middle East or your esteemed neighbor. All sane and intelligent Indians should criticize it to the harshest possible extent.

Arun, do you know about the root of the word 'Dharma' (for that matter, does Dayanand Saraswati?)? It comes from 'Yah Dhaaranam Kritwaah' (what holds you together). Yes, it is an intensely personal experience, a communion with God, something not to be bandied about in public by the likes of Dayanand Saraswati.

I would not endeavor to preach here. But in your spare time, please try to look up, either in a book or in the internet, the origins of Hindu dharma, which long predates Dayanand Saraswati. You would notice terms like Advaita, Dvaita, Vishishtadvaita and so forth. The Advaita school of thought is one of the earliest Hindu philosophies, that declares the oneness of God. I don't know if you can really comprehend the enormity of it, but it really tells you that the one God is everywhere, from the smallest particles inside the atom, to the largest expanse of the universe; God is in everything, living and non-living, and in everyone, Hindu, non-Hindu, believer, non-believer. Do you realize that, Arun? God is in ALL of us, there is a spark of God in all of us, and all our lives we spend trying to realize that spark, in the end trying to merge with the universal God.

How do we, as Hindus, try to realize that spark, Arun? By trying to follow the basic tenets of any religion in the world, 'do unto others as you would have others do unto you', by striving to help others unconditionally, working towards eliminating the ills of mankind, poverty, disease, greed, and lack of education. This is how we are supposed to realize God, not by making incendiary statements, prosetylization, intolerance and general idiocy.

Do you really want to know what is wrong with India today? It is contained in the term 'religious establishment'. When purport of something as personal as religion is subverted into making establishments, be it Hindu or otherwise, it is bound to create confusion galore, for all establishments would essentially reflect the thoughts, ideas and even political aspirations of individuals. God, sadly, has no place in that!!

I hope you see the light, if not today, perhaps someday.

Arun said...

Vishal, agreed, and the following comment is also the kind of nonsense that we hear a lot of.

Jan Aquarius:

The -ji is a honorific applied to a learned and respected elder, regardless of whether one agrees with them or not. This is a part of Hindu dharma.

Swamiji is one of the great teachers of dharma in this age. Dharma is not a communion with God, for instance, even the God-denying "religions" of India have dharma. So you are simply wrong on this point.

Swamiji is also one of the great teachers of Advaita of this age. Moreover, he is not just teaching on the intellectual plane, he has put it into practice in the organization he started - AIM for Sewa. It is **after** all that that he is making the statement he did.

His statement is not incendiary, intolerant, proselytizing or idiotic. He is stating a simple fact - we will not support those who have no place for us in their worldview. If we're just conversion fodder to you, we will not cooperate with you. Period. To anyone who agrees that Hinduism has validity, we will forgive much.

We do not want the government to support Hinduism, and conversely we want Hindu religious establishments - temples, trusts, monasteries, schools, and so on - to be free from government interference. No different from the rights that a "minority religion" enjoys in India. When we say "establishment" we do not mean to set up a Church - there is no such thing for Hindus and it is anathema to us. Let the million currents flow in their own direction, free from the government and from the politics that inevitably follows from their being controlled by the government.

About the only statement I can agree with you on is "May I soon see the light!" though I suspect your conception and my conception of the light is very different. Good luck to you, too - I think you will need it.