West and Hinduism
After pursuing bluff of Aryan invasion of India in 1500BC, a theory now totally discarded both historically and scientifically west has now come with new idea that Sanskrit is European language and Vedas are what India got from West. In history books of world, India’s position is in foot notes, what a tragedy? Western scholars have even come up with idea that Swami Vivekananda took western ideas and came up with neohinduism.
West wants us to believe that they are real Aryans and Sanskrit is their mother tongue. They migrated to India and are precursors to present day Hinduism. Why they do this is simply to tell us that they gave us civilization. It is interesting here to note that West borrowed ideas from Greece and Greece was highly influenced by Vedic civilization. This fact is totally ignored by western scholars.
In their mission to denigrate India they were highly influenced by Christian missionary spirit. They tried to explain pantheism of Vedas by telling, this is due to pollution done by Brahmins. Pantheism of Vedas was contradicting Monistic Christianity. These so called indologists even said Samkhya was a original system of foreign Aryans. They liked Advaita to some extent as it did not threaten Christianity. Different philosophical schools were labelled divisive. West attacked by saying Hinduism is divisive. West attacked Hinduism not being cohesive and without social consciousness. Hinduism they labelled other worldly. Maya concept is treated as nondevolpmental, noncompassionate. West is explaining new religious movements of nonwestern world as reactions to deprivation and helplessness. Christian charity is praised. Church in fact use charity as a tool of proselytizing. That is their social ethic and interpretation of charity. On contrary Mahabharata and Smriti’s we see are full of social ethics which west is ignoring? Indians believe man is microcosm of GOD hence service to humans is service to God. Seva, Karma and Bhakti are variants of social action. God in the form of poor is meant to serve poor which in turn serves one spiritually. Should n”t this answer critics who say Hindus lack social ethics. Western scholars bracketed “ Asat”,[unreal] and” Mithya” together when in Sanskrit both words are different . In fact there is no proper word for “Mithya” in English dictionary. Mithya really means Existence-nonexistence [dependent existence].
Christian salvation means freedom in heavens after death. Christianity believes GOD and humans are separated by Sin hence separated from one another, Universe is nothing but congregation of Atoms. Prophetic utterances tie humans to past, dogmas are there. There is a biblical belief that creation is just 4004BC old. On the contrary Vedic cosmology is close to scientific version. Hinduism is not only nondogmatic but wants each individual to know Truth by self-experience. Hindus believe Karma binds man hence sufferings. To get away from this Moksha is goal of life. Salvation to a Hindu means to have knowledge of God [Brahman]. Shruti’s serve source of knowledge but one has to experience Truth thyself so say Vedas. Bhagvad Gita by itself suffices as a valid means of knowledge about Brahman [God]. Hindus believe in one real self,” Brahman” and this world is just projection of that reality. This existence is dependent on” Brahman” , has no separate identity hence labelled Mithya which west calls illusion. So Maya [Mithya] is false perception, not false world.
Judeo Christian religions unlike Hinduism are close ended. They do not stress for knowing the Truth but rely on historical revelations through Prophets. In Hinduism on contrary there is total openness and stress for knowing Truth by self-introspection.Christainity discouraged mystics who were seen as threats and even persecuted. There are no Commandments in Hinduism, instead there is flexibility to allow different answers to same metaphysical questions. Hinduism does not demand blind faith but pursuit of Truth through dharmic traditions. Meditation is used as a tool for exploration. Hinduism believes reality has two faces, one which is manifest can be perceived by senses and other is unmanifest which is beyond senses, needs exploration through Yoga and meditation. Holy Gita says that there are four major paths to Truth---- Janana, Karma, Dhyana and Bhakti yoga.
Heisenberg and Schrodinger acknowledged Upanishad wisdom and its closeness to Quantum mechanics. Quantum physics says matter exists only if observed, when not observed it is in Quantum soup. This impression is akin to Upanishad thought when it says this world we see is Mithya [Hologram].There is increased recognition in west to see Reality through Vedic knowledge. In Christianity Prophets hear from external God but in Hinduism there is no external voice but internal voice [Iam Brahman] .Rishi’s did not compose Vedas but experienced them, hence called Shruti. Upanishads demonstrate diversity and evolution of Hinduism.
West has already copied some Hindu ideas. They now talk of Christian yoga but at the same do not acknowledge its source. West projects India fragmented and incoherent yet absorbs its ideas. On one hand they reject Indian thought but at the same time espouse same ideas clothed in western vocabulary. While taking ideas from India they dilute source so that in time to come original source is lost and what remains repacked idea with western implication. This negligence of Indian history is going to stop advancement of ideas to the detriment of mankind. Hinduism not only is diverse but evolving too. West projects Hinduism in vague fashion, labels it incoherent. Plagiarism of west needs to be stopped and world given true picture of India.
We Hindus need to assert and stop compromising on everything. Let us be more vocal. We should tell world that Karma and Incarnation are not negotiable and church needs to be decentralized. There should be interfaith debates to decrease tensions created by religious peers. BY relying on books and Prophets individual spiritual exploration gets marginalized. Christianity believes in divine profoundly separate from world. To Christian doctrine, Jesus has come to save from Sin, Hindus say all are divine and there is no original Sin. Christianity is closed, centralized, history centric and Dualistic. Hinduism is open, not centralized and nondualistic.
If we have to save Hinduism from western plagiarism we have to teach core principles of Hinduism:
[Karma, Incarnation, rebirth and law of cycles [evolution/devolution of Universe] without compromise to world. Moksha of Hinduism is based on notion that essential nature of all humans is— Divine, while salvation of Christianity is based on original Sin. West is trying to defeat Hinduism by propaganda coupling it with so called charity, Jobs, human rights and so on. It is true that Hinduism has no single founder, no linear history and no one canon to follow but at the same time its freedom of thought and expression , its metaphysical wisdom and its solutions to earthly problems and pluralism is far superior to Abrahamic thoughts on creation and Creator.
A question comes to mind, “How does person evaluate benefits offered by religions that await one after death”? Does Christianity have answer?
“-We were never a nation until British invented India”------This image needs to be challenged forcibly
Indian nationalists suffered an inferiority complex, hence copied western formulations of Hinduism. Hindu scholars should shrug off this complex, peruse original Vedic literature and convey to world wisdom of Vedas.
West invented imaginary Aryan invasion theory to discredit India and its civilization. This theory now stands totally discredited. In fact India is seen now as cradle of human civilization. Hinduism is oldest religion of world. Its philosophy is not other worldly as projected by West but a philosophy telling mankind that man is microcosm of God. There is no role of proselytization as everyone is divine. Goal of life is Moksha. It is birth right of every one to know inner self. This right is not exclusive to a few only as claimed by other religions. Service to man in fact is service to God.
Hindu cosmology is more closer to science than Christian theology. Science and math originated in India.
Some quotes will substantiate above statements:-
Grant Duff [British historian], “Many of the advances in science that we consider today to have been made in Europe were in fact made in India centuries ago.”
Mark Twain:--“India is cradle of the human race, birth place of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only”.
|*Dr. Makhan Lal Babu, Born and brought up in Kashmir, lived in Kashmir till his migration from valley in 1990. Retired as Professor and Head Neurosurgery from Institute of Medical sciences, Soura, Srinagar. Has published a lot of professional articles, both in national and international journals. His interests, besides medicine, are in Ancient history of Kashmir, Vedas and Ancient India. His focus is educating youth who are fast losing track of their glorious roots and culture.|