Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Secularism in India

The cognition of the very conscience of India people, as Mr. Mark Tully, in his No Full Stop in India, states, is true. The tolerance and the liberal view beneath diversities in sects, the people have been following in India, is a direct repercussion of millennial long realization by we Indians or better say, Bharatiya, of the Cosmic Unity, Tat tvam asi or aham brahmaasmi.To see traces of this fact, one, be it an Indian or a foreigner, does not need to go for some theological course. If one has his “eyes open”, and if one is "sensitive enough", he or she can observe in the day to day behavior of common people in India.
It is so deeply rooted and thoroughly immersed in the psyche of people, that every act of people goes unconsciously or without any deliberate intention.
What we call Dharma, is in fact the “Order within Cosmic Unity”. This cosmic ordering principle "keeps on working" and as soon as a “person” begins to exist on conception becomes bound by this cosmic order. It has nothing to do with the “faith” or method of worship, i.e, religion that new born person would follow in his or her life.
Thus the ordering law of cosmic unity is entirely independent of the path of worship one chooses. "The situation is analogous to the Indic position on religious salvation—that a human being has access to it not by virtue of belonging to this or that religion—but by the mere fact of being a human being."
The fact of matter is that the duality inherent in our own reasoning makes it more convincing to believe in all those things which are consequences of duality.
And the process goes on, leading to very many interpretation and consequent uses and abuses by those superior in power, be it intellectual power, might or wealth. It is due to this fact, for centuries deliberate interpretations have been made by power brokers to satisfy their vested interests.

Like Mr. Tully, Kerry Brown observes, “… the culture that we know now as Hinduisms and that the Indian ones call Sanatana Dharma - the Law Eternal - precedes this name by thousands of years. This is more than a religion, more than the theological direction in which the west understands religion. One can believe in all divinities or in no divinity and remain Hindu. This is a manner to living."
It is due to this prevalent undercurrent, Tully observes that Indian secularism does respect all religions and rejoices in the diversity of faiths we Indians follow but, “the Western world and the Indian elite who imitate it ignore the genius of the Indian mind. They want to write a full stop in the land where there are no full stops.”
This is why he writes, “for thousands of years, in changing historical circumstances, in different countries, and cultures and climates, people had experienced what appears to be the same reality, although describing that reality differently, I saw that a universal God made far more sense rationally than one who limited his activities to Christians.” This is why Shri Guruji Golwalkar, said that theocracy was alien to our culture and tradition.
If we have to succeed, we must strive to work hard to check various misinterpretations of the words like secularism and identification of Sanatan as religion and to clear minds of the people from any pre seated misunderstanding.

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