Saturday, September 21, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 41 (Vol # 7) Dated 20 Sept 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 41 (Vol # 7) Dated 20 Sept 2013

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavãL of Kanchi Kaamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. Today we are going ahead from page No 357 of Volume 7 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’ includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated continually)

403.        Here we wish to suggest a point of view for your consideration.  There is also a system in which a Government could adopt a religion that its people have been following for many years as the State Religion and give freedom to its people to follow any other religion with equal felicity and protection.  In our country, that is how the Kings of the past took care of its people by following Hinduism known as Sanãtana Dharma as the State Religion.  Except for some rare cases most of them have also been equally great benefactors of others' religions uniformly.  England which has earned a name for itself as being a much advanced country in modern technology, even today displays its faith in religion by having a song which says, "God save the King" as its National Anthem.  Moreover as one of the duties of that King, calls him the 'Defender of the Faith'.  In that too, Christianity as represented by the Church of England is the only religion England stands for, that is managed by the direct supervision of the Parliament.  This we must take into consideration for contrast.
404.        So, in Independent India too, Hinduism is the religion of the majority, as the foremost among all religions of the world and as the religion that has given the basic principles for many a religion.  It has a reputation in addition to all this, as a religion with a wide expansive vision, and as the one which has been saying that 'all religions are various ways of reaching the one God' and thus has always been the only religion which gives support to all other religions.  Most importantly it is the one religion which even in its golden era when its flags were flying high, never thought it necessary or indulged in Conversion.  Such a Hindu Religion is fit enough to be declared as the official State Religion, as we sincerely opine.  By doing so, one can rest assured that other religions' justifiable growth will not be hindered, as it is a historical fact.

405.        Still, presently because of the distrust and hate between followers of two main religions in the Indian subcontinent, there has been wide spread riots coupled with looting, arson, loss of life, dishonoring of women, damage to property and massive movement of human populations in panic in all directions as a result of dividing India into two nations!  In this situation, we are under constraint not to demand and simply give up the Hinduism's rightful position as the State Religion and accept that the Government should adopt 'Secularism' as its policy in a way, without jeopardizing the Government's equal support for all religions and not as an irreligious 'Secularism'!

406.        Suggested Changes in the Educational System; Giving Importance to Religious Teachings.  While adopting such a benign concept of Secularism, we wish to suggest a feasible and essential method by which Spiritualism can get rejuvenated.  That is, the System of Education as devised by the Britishers in India, in which all attention is focused on intellectual pursuit of worldly knowledge while religious education (of intrinsic matters of the heart, moralistic attitude and humane behavior) have been utterly neglected.  By this system the one most affected are the people of the Hindu Religion.  Religions other than Hinduism have continued with their religious education in schools run by them quite extensively. It is only the students in schools run by the majority community, who do not get any religious education at all.  As part of the general syllabus some Moral instructions are included as optional without any test of their absorption by the students.  Studies in the school followed by some homework on those very subjects and some play or entertainment, are occupying all the children's time.  So, their knowledge about their own religion, the attachment to the noble principles of that religion, have been denied to the children born to Hinduism in their most impressionable age!  This is the reason for Hindus having no pride in their own culture and a tremendous passion for the western ways of life!  Changing this from the basic foundation level, instead of name-sake religious teachings at only the peripheral level, all students should be enabled to get a fairly deep knowledge about their own religion.  To plan and execute such a system is the most important duty of the new and Independent Government of India.

407.        Like Political Freedom, People Should Fight for Religious Freedom Also.  Still seeing the trend, one wonders as to whether this government of Independent India will ever do these things that are being suggested here?  Will the national Constitution cater for such uniform and wholesome teaching of all its student population in their respective religions?  Such doubts and questions do arise.  The national leaders of today in India being seized mainly with the idea of worldly material, economic and monetary advancement, secularism has been misunderstood to mean 'governance without any connection to any religion' and this mistaken notion is what is going to be their attitude, it seems.

408.        (KTSV Adds:  As though to help me in my, this work of translation I came across an e-mail from a friend of mine quoting Lord Macaulay's address to the British Parliament dated 2nd Feb 1835.  I quote, "I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief.  Such wealth I have seen in this country, such moral values, people of such caliber  that I do not think that we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and so I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become, what we want them, a truly dominated nation".  Now relate this to what PeriyavãL has been saying and what he has to say further on the subject of education and religion.)

409.        By delinking themselves from all connections with religions, the leaders of Independent India have achieved much more by their adoption of the concept of 'secularism' than what the British strategic and tactical planners could ever have dreamt of!   India's has always been a unique stand of governance supportive of religions; contrary to what exists elsewhere in all the other countries of the world.  If we have to make an effort to get back to our traditional reputation, the intelligentsia of this country have to jump into the fray waking up the other citizens to join them, I insist.  Now while we have got Independence from the British Rule is the right time and a golden opportunity to make it really 'swa-tantra' that is, truly religiously oriented self-directed freedom!  But the way things are developing on the political scene, it seems more than likely that this golden opportunity will be willingly surrendered by the powers in being in this country. 

410.        So, it becomes more than necessary that some elite citizens of the nation, who sincerely feel the truth, will have to sacrifice their all and give a clarion call for all to join them as they avidly participated in the struggle for Independence, should now amass support for our intrinsic spiritual freedom and call forth for God's blessings and support.  I am praying for the support and help of all good people of this country to re-dedicate themselves and motivate others also to fight yet another struggle for freedom.  Like in the struggle for freedom, in this struggle for religious freedom also, the nation's people irrespective of caste or creed or religion, should be working united together.  We have to be clear that we got rid of the foreign yoke only so that, we may bear our responsibility of making the country strong, integrated and refined.   This is not the time for differences of opinions and one-up-man-ship, as otherwise we will lose the very purpose of our gaining political freedom.
411.        Majority Community's Labour of Love.  It is the duty of the majority community as a labour of love – to make the minority communities also develop love for the Indian Nation.  In this announcement by us on the policy of Secularism, we have had to point out some of the mistakes in the approach / methods adopted by some of the communities.  But that was done only to point out some of the lessons for the future and not to instigate further differences of opinion.  Past will remain as past and its only usefulness lies in the correct pointers for the future.  It is the duty of people of the majority community to assure followers of other religions that they are also equally the free citizens of this country.  They have to go out of their way to make others understand this.  Hindus must consider it their duty to make others feel at home as equal citizens of this country by their free and responsible attitude. Then only the people of minority communities will feel equally attached to this nation as their Motherland.  At the end of the freedom struggle many of the minority community were instigated by their own leaders as though they belong elsewhere leading to many avoidable calamities.  If we do not forget those horrendous days and if they remain nurturing alienation and animosities without developing a love for this nation, I shudder to think of future possibilities.  As equal members of one nation, as children of one God, if we all come together, we can still make this country uniquely capable of being a centre of religious unity despite our being a people of different religions.  We can and should demonstrate to the world as to how we can be integrated as a peaceful and progressive nation.

 Inner Reason for Dharma Chakra in the National Flag
412.        I started this talk saying that even though we did not give it due attention, without our being aware of it, that God himself has caused the Dharma Chakra to become the central figure in our National Flag.  To the extent I am aware of, they were influential leaders of modern ideas, who were responsible for the way the national flag was designed.  Though they were mainly concerned with economic, industrial and worldly material progress of the nation only, they were of sterling character, brave and capable of much sacrifice.  They were so keen on loyalty to the nation so much without an iota of selfishness, that so as to not hurt people of other religions, they did not wish to play or draw upon their being Hindus so much.  So they selected this Dharma Chakra as representative of the wheel of progress and the central idea of fairness, rather than as an ancient religious symbol.  There by they wished to depict all citizens should also cater for fairness and equality as a central issue in all their dealings.  That is how this Dharma Chakra became the central figure in our National Flag.

(To be continued.)




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