Friday, November 2, 2007

Today's Hinduism – Does it truly depicts India’s past ?

Hinduism – Does it truly depicts India’s past

I thought of writing this post to shed light on some of the myths about Hinduism.
As many of us believe, Hinduism is not a single religion. People who call themselves as Hindus might have completely different beliefs.

It might be hard for the pro-Hindu activists to actually accept this fact. But, inspite of all the differences we are all united with the hypothetical term “Hinduism”.
Digging into the past, the term Hinduism was framed by British in early 1800’s.
So, if Hinduism didn’t exist then where did it come from?

It has been proved genetically; India is multi-cultural, multi-racial society.
Historically, different forms of worship or religion have been closely tied to races. Each race had its own religion to the least.
Hinduism is a term used to conglomerate the beliefs of Shaivism, Vedism, Shakthism, Tantrism and other popular beliefs that seemed to have existed in the greater sub-continent of India.
People in South of the Vindhyas followed Shaivism and people in the north of Vindhyas followed Vedism or Vaishnavism.
Mongloids followed Shakthism and Sino-Tibetian people followed Tantrism. Of course, Buddhism and Jainism are other popular religions that branched out from here.

Vedas which were contributed by the Brahmans, was unable to make inroads into the already pre-existing form of worship by the Dravidians. That’s the reason it was restricted to specific caste in South. Contrary to the popular belief where Brahmin priests are only allowed to do Poojas in the temples, South Indian villages have devoted non-Brahmin families to do Poojas in temples (also called as Pandarams in Tamil).

Vishnu is one of the Gods worshipped by Aryans. But, he developed into supreme God because all other Gods are depicted as the incarnation of Vishnu in the Vedic religion/beliefs.

The reason that lord Siva is of Dravidian worship is tied to the fact that the name “Siva” does not occur in Vedas. The word “Siva” means “redenned” in Tamil. It can be tied to the fact that ancient human race worshipped fire. There is no sensible etymology from Sanskrit for “Siva” or any other Indian language for that matter. Also, interesting to note that Dravidian God “Murugan” is similar to the East African form of worship named “Murungu”. Dravidians are god fearing and are excellent temple builders. This is so obvious from the excellent temple architecture in TamilNadu.

Thought I don’t believe below theory, crime rate in Tanjore, TN (place with more temples than any other part of the world) is the lowest in the world. And pro-God worshippers believe that it might be tied directly the number of temples and the God fearing nature of the people.

At least in ancient India, women were treated with mutual respect in all other religions except Vedism. This can be attributed the number of female poets in the Tamil Sangam period.
Of all the forms of religions practiced in India Vedic religion are the considered most inhuman as far as treatment of women is concerned. The horrific practice of Sati can attribute its root to Vedism.

But, Vedism has contributed to Indians history and culture a lot (both good and bad). There is no point in arguing who is superior as we all binded by our common mother (Bharatmata).

Though there is no existing proof that caste system was introduced by Vedism, they had tried to preach their Varna (color) system throughout India. Many people tend to believe that cruel caste system doesn’t exist in India anymore. Deep rooted casteism still exists in Indian villages and it is time we get rid of this hierarchical mess.

PS: The intent of this article was to specify the hidden truth about Hindu religion. There is no point in arguing which is the best as each and every belief is independent and unique to specific group of people. Trying to paint Vedism is Hinduism will only hurt the sentiments of other people.


AM I A HINDU? Best Seller said...

Priya, what you wrote is music to my ears. You are right in writing

" inspite of all the differences we are all united with the hypothetical term “Hinduism”. The intent of this article was to specify the hidden truth about Hindu religion. ....."

Please write more.

Malarvizhi said...

In the past, every hindu practised hinduism knowing fully well the tenets, the scriptures, the sanskrit language, the core principles of the religion, the foundation, the contents of the scriptures, the precepts, the commandments etc and applying them in daily life. The ancient hindus reverentially observed rituals understanding fully well in spirit, their intent and purpose. They performed sandhyavandhan 3 times daily, sincerely following the rules. They never offended or hurt followers of other religions and faith. On the contrary they sought to learn other faiths and appreciated them. They also borrowed the good from other religions. They lived in harmony with others. I can go on and on and on praising and showering laurels on past Hindus. They represented India so much so that India and Hinduism were one and the same. Unfortunately Today's Hinduism (T/H)does not depict the India which had a glorious past. T/H is a mere imposition. No hindu observes religion based on conviction. Every hindu is only conditioned to mechanically observe some rituals. Most hindus do not observe anything at all. No hindu follows a discipline of reading or meditating on the scriptures daily. Sanskrit is almost extinct. No hindu knows the basic tenets, the fundamental principles, the precepts, the commandments of hinduism. T/H is demolishing mosques, torching churches, brutally murdering a humble australian and his 2 children burning them alive for hinduism's sake, openly expressing hatred for muslims and christians. As a community hindus don't live a life of testimony. Hinduism has become synonymous with superstition, black magic, intolerance, violence, perversion, chaos, confusion, scandalous sadhus etc. Ancient Hindus classified themselves into 4 castes for social harmony. T/H is divided into 4 million castes for social disharmony and political cause. Earlier caste was a vocation bank. Today caste is a vote bank. Earlier it was "Theocracy thy name is Hinduism". Today it is "Hypocrisy thy name is Hinduism".

Priya said...

Hi Malarvizhi,

Ancient people lived in harmony following Hinduism, because lower caste people are made to believe that they are inferior. They got convinced thinking of it as Karma. So, upper caste people are able to enjoy all the privileges by birth.

"They performed sandhyavandhan 3 times daily, sincerely following the rules"

This is not true. This is done only by the Brahmans. Though a Sutra can become a Brahman by learning Vedas etc.. (as per original Hinduism theories), throughout the documented history they are treated as untouchables.

The theories of Hinduism are corrupted centuries ago and it is not done by our generation. Today, at least we believe caste system is ridiculous.

It is easy to think and believe that past is perfect, but if that is the case, we wouldn't be divided like this now.

Malarvizhi said...

Hi Priya,
I am under the impression that superiority and inferiority of castes are complexes that developed in current times. If it existed in ancient times I am not aware. I thought social hierarchy was the concept of caste system.

In ancient India hindus never felt insecure. Even those who crossed oceans and settled abroad practised hinduism conveniently. There are some groups in Trinidad, who had settled long ago from India and they are very religously hindus, more than present day Indians. But in our own country hindus feel insecure when numbers dwindle and are desperate. We are witnessing large scale conversion, especially by the lower caste groups to other religions. The motive behind conversion is to escape oppression and suppression by the upper caste. The upper caste are subjecting lower caste to harassment, humiliation and inhuman treatment but are crying foul when lower caste convert to other religions. The financial lot of lower caste may not have improved by conversion but the other religous groups are socially treating them on par with them.

Present day hinduism has taken a militant turn, is offensive, abusive, intolerant and desperate for survival. We are witnessing the emergence of such groups like RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Munnani etc. These have no genuine agenda but communal violence against other religions. In ancient India there was no need for such groups. Hinduism does not promote violence or militancy. No hindu scripture propogates or permits harming others for religion's sake. The present day hindus don't seem to have confidence in their own religion, in their own selves. I don't understand why hindus should be intolerant, feel shaky and object to conversions. To sum it all up, there was neither mass conversion nor fear of conversion in ancient India.

For the reasons mentioned above and for many other reasons, I feel present day hinduism does not depict past India.

Veda Vyas said...

Religion is defined in many ways viz a path to connect with God, a way of life, a set of rituals and customs commanded in scriptures etc. Hinduism has influenced the lifestyle of Indians tremendously. The religous practices of hindus have obviously undergone many changes over the centuries. Many of the rituals observed in past centuries have been given up owing to numerous reasons. The nation has also changed politically, economically and in numerous other aspects. The past hinduism depicted past India wholly because hinduism was the sole religion until a few centuries ago. Obviously today's hinduism cannot depict past India. However we shall study if today's hinduism depicts today's india. When we look at it in the angle of what depicts today's india, we find it is not only religion but numerous factors. The advent of science, technology, business claim a significant space besides religion in india. The past India was the face of hinduism but in today's india religion especially hinduism is just one of the numerous sectors.