Walk the plank, Anarchy !
Walk the plank, Anarchy !
by Pamarty Venkataramana
India is an ancient civilisation. It still is an incredible nation where society comprises of multifarious belief systems, dressing habits, cuisine, worship forms and despite the lack of an uniform civil code, all co-exist in harmonious relationship to a Constitution that is much talked of ‘as a model bastion of humanism‘!
It would be seven decades in a year’s time of having been carved as a single, large nation even as neighbouring portions were declared as independent countries by departing British colonialist government!
It is to the credit of the Englishman who set foot to undertake trade and soon dabbled in political affairs of princely states that in spite of the fabulous wealth, treasures and riches which was looted and stashed away in shipping vessels to Europe, they felt overawed by traditions and customary rituals of predominantly Indian culture of the Hindu religion. Umpteen stories, incidents and true life episodes have been chronicled by English historians and diarists of how every atheist ‘Christian‘ and anti-idol worshiper from England who decried the ‘pagan’ fòrm of nature-worshiping and prayers was made to bite the dust, by either turning blind or being crippled from the back downwards in the result. Traditions of Hinduism, thus, were allowed to remain as they were. As a form of subterfuge, the missionaries were brought in with huge funds to ‘convert‘ and ‘save the souls‘ of Indian sib-continent!
Be that as it may, on the occasion of the 67th Republic day of India, it has become necessary to admonish all those wicked busybodies and psuedo-leaders of society – be they journalists, opinion makers or the new tribe of social media pundits,for seeking to tinker, tamper and reform Hinduism, even whilst professing to be adherents of any sect or thought-camp, other than Hinduism itself!
How can a non-Hindu pontificate upon tenets, practices and customs of Hinduism ?
It all appears to be another sub-chapter in the textbook style of anarchy which foreign agencies have been injecting into the great Indian Nation, ever since they succeeded with Jasmine War in Egypt. Creating chaos, confusion and indiscipline in orderly society is the avowed objective of parties that support anarchy in a democracy. Although 69 soon, we are a young Nation in comparison to the oldest modern democratic nation, the United States of America. It is no secret that even the American nation encounters anarchy in functioning of its traditional institutions of governance. Why and how ? That is another essay by itself .
What is of grave concern is the unsavory act of a non-Hindu(specifically a Muslim) filing a public interest litigation seeking lifting of an age-old restriction on entry of women between age of puberty to age of menopause,to worship the Presiding Diety, Lord Swami Ayyappa at Sabarimala temple in Southern State of Kerala!
It is not out of place to mention herd that said petitioner/litigant is a hardcore contestant of apex court Bar elections & he seemed to have hit upon the idea of this PIL which has helped fetch him bytes that must have made him stouter in joy, to say the least! But, who are the phantoms behind his act of bravado and how did the court-registry entertain such a piece of litigation from a Muslim concerning practices of Hindu religion is a moot question that merits probing. Strangely, the reluctance to reportedly let him ‘withdraw’ this petition! If it indeed be true!!!
Nevertheless, close on heels is the Shani Shingnapur in Maharashtra State where women wished to worship the Lord Shanishwara, as males do. Strictly speaking, the till or mustard oil – rituals are performed by the householder of the family,a male propitiating for deliverance from troubles,difficulties and poverty in life.
Before proceeding further, it is overtone get to observe that under the Haj Act, only a Muslim citizen is allowed to raise any question on the contents of the said enactment thereby barring a Hindu or any other non-Muslim from agitating or interfering into their tradition of a Haj pilgrimage culminating with visits to shrines in Syria, Iran-beyond Mecca and Madina!
So, what is Hinduism if not Humanism because the religion is so vast an ocean and does not suffer from an inferiority-complex, as desert-religions, seem to : Spiritualism is the core of Hinduism. ‘Nature-worship‘ is but a very loose term used to define or describe the oldest living religion of the world.
A connection of the mind, body and soul of every living person and being with the Universe is established,both by scriptural texts and pre-Vedic period rituals. So much so that even a breath being taken or living without breathing or partaking of food, water or fruits for years on end are both possibilities under the doctrine of spiritualism a.k.a. Hinduism. Hospitality, kindness, compassion, love, mercy and grace comprise the highest ideal of ‘DHARMA‘ which is a concept unique to Hinduism : no other religion,old or new, has whispered nor contains this highest ideal of ‘dharma’. To protect Dharma and uphold noble purpose of being born as a human being is the life goal of all humans. Re-birth is a cyclical procedure of a soul until it attains ‘salvation‘ ( Moksha ) by merging with the Supreme Soul (‘Almighty’, ‘God’) by dint of good ‘karma'( deeds, actions, thoughts in a lifetime )!
Hence, it becomes essential to adhere to certain set norms and thought-processes which have been time-tested by real-life experiences of thousands of sages, rishis and seers across hundreds of generations of the Human race. All world is believed to be one cosmos ,one planet and everybody is treated akin to the self. Thus arose the very unique practice of greeting one another with hands folded, head bowed, saying-‘Namastey’, which literally translated from original Sanskrit means-‘ the soul in me bows to the soul in you!’ …
It is in this background of religious thought system that one ought to view the belief of ‘light’ of a soul and ‘speaking’ trees,rocks,animals’ as being germane to Hinduism. As such, myriad rituals have been prescribed to address as many problem-situations of countless human beings existing throughout the world.
Even as we set our eyes to the specific reasons to restrict entry of womenfolk into sanctum Santorum of all such ‘powerful’ temples of worship, one ought to notice the fact that entry of womenfolk is barred in all mosques and dargahs of Islam. Many more restrictions bind their womenfolk, beginning with the ‘hijab’ and burqa, a mandatory veil covering the whole form of the female barring eyes visible through netted or muslin-cloth! Besides, even Christianity, in the orthodox form,down the centuries’ bars women from performing duties of the priest !
So,what is the Sabarimala temple and significance of menfolk observing celibate state for a fixed duration? Why are women barred from undertaking this pilgrimage?
Without going into folklore or mythology, it is pertinent to observe that such a forced celibate state helps these men reinforce faith in family system,personal values and seek to cleanse themselves of bad karma accumulated ! And,the trek is a most difficult journey passing through forests infested by tigers and other wild animals, a river and uneven path of rocks,stones,pebbles,thorns – all strictly to be made on bare feet! And,at culmination ,to reach the sanctum sanctorum,each pilgrim has to leap up to reach and climb eighteen steps!
So, can women clad in sarees undertake this journey? Nature has endowed them with certain frailties that cannot be wished away . Nor,is Hinduism a religion of ‘jeans’,’shorts’ or ‘salwar-kameez’ ,down south atleast! One practical reason as to why it is impractical for women to undertake the arduous, gruelling journey to Sabarimala !
Hinduism is a religion of Symbolism
Shani is Lord who presides over difficult periods and he alone can help mitigate sufferings. Oil, salt, iron are not supposed to be taken or received by hand – this is the belief among staunch Hindus. To others it may seem a superstition but to practitioners of Hinduism, these are very basic precautionary measures they should take – to avoid shifting of bad karma of one soul to another being . Oil extracted from till seeds or gingerly oil or even mustard oil is poured over idol of this God-Force by a householder seeking release from pain, poverty, agonies. Womenfolk are not to step into such areas because they, traditionally, are house keepers and as housewives step into the kitchen and tend to children as well as ensure clean environment on the home-front : any mingling with others’ discarded bad-karma could result in ruin if a family and destruction of peace & harmony in the homestead . Such are the deep-rooted reasons attributed to a traditional restriction so imposed upon womenfolk,at the temple !
How many of the ‘handles’ showing outrage as well as support of the ‘ ban on women’ are aware of the intricacies as well as simplest truths of the non-issue highlighted as an issue through mass propaganda ? Not many!
Hence and therefore, the need to reawaken Hinduism in the society ( as did Adi Shankara of kalady,Kerala all those centuries ago ) cannot be over-emphasised in light of the sinister campaign being launched to belittle a mighty religion in eyes of little-knowing illiterate,semi-literate and less-caring masses of society .
Ensure anarchy-moles walk the plank!!!