24 Dec 2010

My Hinduism

I am an atheist; I have lost interest in offering prayers or visiting temples. However, being atheist doesn’t make me a non-Hindu. I don’t see Hinduism as a religion but as a way of life, the Indian way of life.

Historically, for foreigners the Hindus were those who resided beyond the river Indus. They were the citizens of Hindustan.

Hinduism is an eternal cultural revolution. It is known for its openness and has always adapted itself since the Vedic ages. New influences, ideologies and cultures have arrived from outside and many new have taken birth within this region but Hinduism has always embraced them and coexisted with them. 

When the Vedic way of life or Brahmanism was threatened by the liberal ideologies of Buddhism and Jainism, it adapted itself and rejuvenated within some centuries. It sustained the rule of Islamic rulers in the medieval ages and even forced Islam to adapt itself to the Hindu way of life.

There is no scope of so called fundamentalism in Hinduism as Hinduism never propagated any fundamentals. Stop confusing Hinduism with the ancient Vedic religion and look at it with an open mind. I believe in this brand of Hinduism.

So when people talk about reviving the old glory of Hinduism, they are just fighting a personal battle with vested interests. Hinduism is forward looking and not backward looking.

It was this backward looking tendency that made some maniacs destroy one place of worship to erect another in 1992 to correct an alleged wrong committed in 1528. Because of this one act, India has bled again and again in the last two decades. The covert actions of Pakistan are not as much responsible for the Islamic brand of terrorism as these politically motivated acts of violence which are claimed to be spontaneous outbursts of the population.

And now, those who want to turn a blind eye to a new brand of Militant Hindu Nationalism or don’t want to see it as a big threat are just giving into the wishes of these backward looking ideologues who want to tarnish my faith, my Hinduism.

In the Image:
A confluence of rivers. Just like it, Hinduism is a confluence of various ideologies, cultures and traditions.

Image Courtesy:
http://gallery.nen.gov.uk (original)


Raghu VN said...

hi... I totally agree with you especially about the 'backward looking tendency'! I never thought or heard of such a view and it does makes sense.

I consider myself as an atheist but, I'm against everyone who says that 'god doesn't exist!'. I haven't felt or seen any super-natural or miracles in my life so that I could possibly clarify the presence of god! But, I support god because 'my inability to prove the presence of something does not mean that it is absent!'.

Nice views...Keep writing!!



Vipul Grover said...

Hi Raghu, welcome to this blog.. thnx 4 empathising with my take on Hinduism and the backward looking tendency of those who claim to be the protectors of Hinduism..
And yeah, a very nice take on atheism.. keep reflecting :)

BK Chowla, said...

I would rather not comment as this being a very sensitive subject will result into unending exchange of comments. Neither of us will give in.Hence,a respectful silence as must respect each other's point of view even though we may not agree with each other on certain touchy subjects.

Mr. Pramathesh said...

Nice Views. I liked reading them. Although I felt the end could have been better. I felt it was abruptly ended for the sake of finishing the post.

Vipul Grover said...

Well Chowlaji, I appreciate it. But as I have said in my introductory post to Empathic Libertarianism back in Feb 2008, respecting each othr view points in important but when certain backward looking tendencies try to push the nation backwards, its imprtant to stand up against it.. Knowing tht v both have best intentions in our mind, resting my case for time being.

Thanks Pramathesh.. well this was not intended to be a neatly written post bt only my ramblings which I wrote within 10 minutes and posted :)

Bharathi said...

again I have no difference here. But do read my recent post. I dont know if you will differ. (No. it is not a trick to bring you to my blog. I honestly want your comments on it)

pramod said...

@Vipul, I can't see why you are taking all the cross border terrorism as miniscule, ,the kargill, the kandhar , the factory producing terrorists, so lightly.
My plain view is "No point in harping past deeds" Lay a demarcation line.

Chetan Maheshwari said...

you are true,and its ideologies have always been taken as a reference in religious and philosophical book.
i liked your last two lines

Bharathi said...

what happened to your blog roll?

aativas said...

Hinduism has crossed the stage of being mass religion towards individualistic worship. Due to influence of other religions, it is becoming a mass frenzy nowadays, which worried me. But nevertheless, this phase will hopefully pass and people would learn to appreciate the individualistic nature (ishtadevata) of worship!

Vipul Grover said...

@Bharathi.. As always :)
Nd yeah removd blogroll long time back.. use my dashboard 2 visit the blogs tht i follow.. frankly, got too lazy to visit any blog..

@Pramod.. My dear friend, where in this post u find me condoning cross border terrorism, the kargil or the kandahar???
This post is about my take on Hinduism and about those who are exploiting masses in name of Hindu religion and lastly my aversion to such people..
So I fail to undrstand what point u r trying to make here by asking me questions about issues which are not even vaguely related to this post!!!
However, agree with ur parting statement in totality..

@Chetan.. Thanks Chetan.. Keep reflecting :)

@Savita.. True.. What we r seeing is nothing but mass FRENZY and what I have been saying in these posts is that this frnzy aka MADNESS can have vry violent consequences..
Sadly, I dont think this phase will pass tht easily as thr r many who r not ready 2 admit this frenzy!!!

pramod said...

I am really Sorry Vipul, this was a biased statement of me, influenced by your earlier post on malegaon,
I regret the inconvenience,
The post completely turns a blind eye on activities of other terrorising elements, and focuses on one faculty to the ultimate,.so I got the feeling. nothing else.
please don't mind.
In reality everyone wants peace.

Vipul Grover said...

Hey Pramod.. Its alrights.. once again, wn this post is about sumthing else, thr is no case of trning blind eye to othr things.. I have taken up othr issues in my earlier posts in last two and a half years..
Kargil, Kashmir, 26/11, indigenous Islamic Terrorism, etc.

Shruti said...

Hinduism is the only religion which doesn't propagate much and make/brainwashes people to join the religion.. As u said, Hinduism is surely different from ancient Vedic Religion.. Or we can make it this way, Hinduism and Vedic Religion are one inside other?

Btw, Nice post :)

Rika said...

I agree that Hinduism is more than a religion, its a way of life...gr8 post Vipul...will be following your blog...

sm said...

nothing is static not even nature or Gods they keep changing.
YES we must look forward and not backword

Vipul Grover said...

@Shruti.. Thnx babes :p Hinduism has been anonymous secular for a long time but the increasing fundamentalism in other religions has made certain sections within the Hindu Religion backward looking too.. This needs to be stopped!

@Rads.. Thanks a lot :) Lets hope this way of life penetrates through the whole Indian society without threating any religion of its existence.
For eg, when Gandhi used the term Ram Rajya to denote a way of life that he aspired for the independent India, certain minorities saw it as his evil intentions to spread Hindu Religion throughout the country.

@SM.. Good to see u aftr a long time.. the line of urs is perfectly in tune with this post.. keep reflecting :)

Matangi Mawley said...

I found your write-up very balanced. It was great take on the whole issue. Especially am most impressed when you say- you are an atheist and that does not make you a non-hindu! the concept here, though put in a single line has so many layers beneath...


Vipul Grover said...

Thanks Matangi.. It feels gr8 wn sum1 cn relate to ones thoughts and the deeper meanings beneath, so empathically :)

Roshni said...

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