Sunday, September 08, 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 36 (Vol # 7) Dated 07 Sept 2013

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 36 (Vol # 7) Dated 07 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 250 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)

Government's Role in Aiding the Religions' Wellbeing
352.            The governments have a responsibility in the refinement of its peoples' attitudes, behaviours and manners.  We wish to show how, with that growth of religiousness in its people, the governments stand to gain a lot of advantages as an additional logic for governments to participate in aiding the growth and sustenance of religions.  Presently the Governments world over have to incur enormous expenditure so as to maintain Law and Order in terms of upkeep and deployment of the Police Force and the functioning of the Judiciary.  In addition to the enormous expenditure involved in the above, maintenance of Law and Order is an extremely tasking job adding to mental tensions almost every day.  A fraction of such expenditure could be more profitably apportioned for aiding the Religions thereby obviating much of the mental tensions.  Like the Kings of yore, the areas where the Governments could assist unobtrusively are Repair and Renovation of places of worship, sanctioning of endowments, assist in conduct of functions and recognising the contribution of religious leaders in the social milieu by granting National and State Awards. 

353.            It is very important that this should be done in total impartiality if we are to avoid creating tensions.  By this, there will be substantial improvement in people's mutual understanding, attitudes and behaviour that, there will be a remarkable easing of tensions and drop in the crime rate.  Thus the requirements of the departments of Police and the Judiciary will come down along with load of work in governance.  In the present day when people are tending to behave more independently than in the past, with proliferation of materials and policies instigating desires and greed, there is a poisonous atmosphere.  As an effective counter measure to it, this benign involvement of the Governments gets added importance and emphasis.  Finally as a conclusion if the number of people who are well behaved and good has to increase and the crime rate come down, to aid and assist the religions and their organizations is a must for all governments in all countries.  As a continuation of the above idea, instead of wrongly understanding 'Secularism' as a policy of benign negligence, it should be considered as a proactive policy helpful impartiality.  Since in the present day world, all countries have to deal and contend with people of a mix of all religions, to be equally helpful of all religions would be the policy that could be optimally suitable in the name of Secularism.  If people are to be protected and saved from becoming animalistic automatons of crass materialism and so called revolutionary ideas, it is this type of proactive secularism that can change the tide.   
Governmental Assistance: Hinduism and Other Religions
354.            I wish to clarify an issue about the ways a Government could help and assist these religions.  This may please be considered by the religious leaders of the other religions from an impartial point of view.  Two of the important religions other than Hinduism in India are such that, they have a continuous inflow of substantial financial wherewithal, as it is part of their policy to convert others into their fold.  In contrast Hinduism believes in Introversion instead of Conversion!  So as known to people all over the world, they have various strategies and plans for converting others to their own religion.  So in the present day scenario they have access to literally unlimited resources for this conversion.  Such efforts of other religions in this country are aimed at the target audience, which happens to be the Hindus.   It is a fact that other religions have worldwide organizations funded and maintained for the very purpose of their expansion.     It is the Hindus in India that are standing in different a state.  One simple example will prove the point of pathetic indifference that they are subjected to.  To rebuild their temples which are in ruinous condition and repair and maintain of existing ones, they have to keep on begging by advertisement and appeals.  Other religions are not in the same condition as they never have to make such appeals.  This clearly proves the point that Hinduism in India has neither the organizational backing nor the support of individuals!

Hindu Religion's Lack of Organizational & Individual Power
355.            More than organizational structure, for centuries Hinduism has relied on the individuals to abide by the rules and regulations of what they had to do in terms of daily rituals and periodic functions by maintaining Dharma (moral code of conduct) in all their thoughts and actions.  That is the way the religion was to be sustained and protected.  When 2,500 years back when the number of people who set themselves as living examples by their actions dwindled, Buddhism came into being which was almost based on the concepts, principles and methods of the Sãstrãs of Hinduism only, came into being.  Buddhism from the beginning depended on organizational muscle for its spread and control.  Along with the principle of 'buddham sharaNam gachchãmi' – 'बुद्धं शरणं गच्छामि', meaning surrender to Buddha or the Idea of Buddha, it also deeply depended on 'sangam sharaNam gachchãmi' – 'शङ्गं शरणं गच्छामि', meaning surrender to the Association of its followers!

356.            If anew religion has to come up in India, it had to be converted from amongst the people of India only isn't it?  That is how it happened.  It is in that stage our ÃchãryãL came on the scene and realising that from now this Sanãtana Dharma known as Hinduism in the rest of the world also needs organizational strength started establishing the Sankara Matam in various parts of India.   Later when other branches of Hinduism established their own traditions of separate identity, they also started establishing their own Matams.  Till date all these Matams of all the traditions are functional.  But there is no central organization for co-ordinating their efforts and or channelizing the views and opinions of more than 1200 million of Hindus spread all over this sub-continent!  These Matams do not have the money power or human power resources to protect the religion physically.  It has been so arranged because of the belief of our elders that unlimited man power and financial resources will be a hindrance to the intrinsic inner atmosphere of spirituality.  So, it has been delimited to depend on the spiritual power of its Heads of each Matam as derived by his meticulous observing of religious practices known as Anushtãnãs.

Religious Orientation of the Kings and Citizens
357.              Still as the Kings and people of the past in this country have been quite religiously oriented on their own, through them the protection by money power and human resources has been available for this religion and it has been going on quite satisfactorily for centuries.  Mainly it is 'Ãlaya Vazhipãdu' – 'ஆலய வழிபாடு', meaning 'devotional procedures in temples', that has been the main stay by which the protective force for the Hindu Society.  Such Temples of importance being spread all over the country, the community work in those Temples and ensuring proper conduct of religious observances in them has been the main power protecting this religion in a homogeneous way for thousands of years and will continue to be so.  This has been the contribution by Kings and the people of this country.  Though these Matams have been established for the Hindu Religion, the participation and contribution of the Matams in this respect has been minimal.

Deterioration of Sustenance of Religion, During Rule by Others
358.            After the Hindu Kings had been wiped out for some five centuries this country was ruled over by various Muslim rulers before the British took over the reins.  During this period and subsequently the taking care of the religion and managing the affairs of the Temples deteriorated.  Then after British rule people started getting enamoured of western way of life to such an extent that one's own religion and culture started getting ignored.  People started losing interest in taking care of their own religion and individual and collective duties towards their religion. 

Independence Struggle: Failures Affecting Hindu Religion
359.            I cannot help but mention the sad fact that Independence Struggle failed in not turning the people in the right direction in this respect.  The most important leader of the Independence struggle was keen on religious orientation of the people along with removal of the foreign yoke.  But the other leaders and the masses were not keen on such things, I am afraid!  Since getting independence was considered as an end in itself, there was no effort made to retrieve the people's attitudes and ways of life from the clutches of being enamoured of the western mores, standards and ways of life.  When the country was getting political freedom, unmindful of which religion people belonged to, all our efforts were directed towards achieving that, without any consideration of their need for individual religious ennoblement, whatever their religion.  In this respect it is the people of this Hindu religion who were worse off and deteriorated during and after the much prized independence.

360.            Let me make that point clearer.  Muslims being more actively concerned about any danger to their own religion and being more disciplined with religious fervour, were not so badly affected like the Hindus who let fly all the self-controls as though along with political freedom they have also got independence from their religious fetters!  Christians being followers of the religion of the very western rulers were not at all adversely affected.  So it was basically followers of this religion who lost much during and after the Independence struggle.  Except for some Hindu organizations which were not mainly religiously oriented but remained only social institutions participated as such in the Independence Struggle.  Thus though the mass of Hindus were the majority and took very active part in the struggle for independence, the religion remained in the background and virtually deteriorated as people's interest in the religion waned.     

361.            If these realities are seen impartially by non-Hindus also, they will come to the following conclusions.  That, to raise the people's minds, understanding and comprehension, is a certain responsibility of the government.  That to do so, to maintain discipline, law and order, and ennoble the character qualities of the citizen at large, it is best done through their religions as shown by history.  Hence the policy of the Government should be one of benign care for the religions in the most impartial manner.  So they have to assist and aid all the religions.  If this is done even on a pro-rata basis, it will be agreed even by non-Hindus that, Hinduism will have to be given the major share of assistance and aid undoubtedly.

 (To be continued.) 




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