Why is preserving our Hindu Culture is essential? We never realize certain hard-hitting realities until it reaches out to snatch a part we never cared for.
Let’s slowly come to the realization, till I take you to an end that will fill that hollowness in our beliefs. Come, Sit back and let’s read along. This post is for every Hindu, the followers of Sanatana Dharma. In Hinduism, it is used to denote the “eternal” or complete set of duties or religiously ordained practices incumbent upon all Hindus, regardless of class, caste, or sect. Our Religion is also called the Aryan Religion because it is the religion given to the first Nation belonging to the Aryan race. Arya means noble, and the name was given to our great race much more refined in character and appearance.
The First Families that settled in the northern part of the land now called INDIA and the first settled in was called Aryavarta because Aryans lived. The land from the eastern to western ocean between the Himavan & Vindhya is called Aryavarta. Sanatana-dharma is the oldest religion in the world. It is pre-historic and absolute. On the other hand, the term Hindu or Hindu dharma is a term given by Persians only a few centuries ago to mean the people living beside the river Sindhu. Initially, it was an outsiders’ term, building on centuries-old usages of the word Hindu.
References — Sanatana Dharma “An elementary Textbook of Hindu Religion and Ethics” Published by the Hindu College, Benares,1916.
Early travellers to the Indus valley, beginning with the Greeks and Persians, spoke of its inhabitants as “Hindu”. In the 16th century, India’s residents started very slowly to employ the term to distinguish themselves from the Turks. Gradually the distinction became primarily religious rather than ethnic, geographic, or cultural.
Now, this briefs us about our Evolution. We are the only ONE Hindu nation globally, so safeguarding its culture eventually means protecting it because, after 1, there would be zero. We shall be diminished to dust; hence Creation, Preservation, Expression, Suppression & Destruction of the forces that endanger us are all our Eternal Duties of Hindu faith.
Thinking, Reading, Talking & Writing all contribute to one’s fulfilment of a subjects knowledge. There are infinite references we all can adhere for this subject. But what passes from one Generation to another is Inheritance. Our Roots are our Birthright Legacy.
Orthodoxy in Hinduism is holding onto the oldest beliefs. It is, of course, impossible for the religion not to evolve at all as new questions and their answers have to address. I strongly disagree with the status of Orthodox, which still stands true when it comes to culture. Every religion has to evolve and be progressive in its approach since we live in a society with others and other religions. We also take pride in being rich in our religious & moral teachings.
Today, the Western education system’s spiritual and ethical training is suited to our needs, time, era, and a new generation that directs us to have a comprehensive, liberal but openly Hindu character. “Orthodox” version is often considered to be the least evolved sect of a religion. Does the concept of Orthodox apply in Hinduism?
Yes hence, We live as per our convenience; we proudly stretch when we are called Orthodox because tolerance is our highest moral high ground, but for whom? Will it do us any good? We cant celebrate the history that also reminds us of our slavery for hundreds & thousands of years. Every History will have its repercussions immediately or eventually. We need to gather, pick, and choose aspects of our culture that puts us in our Sanatana religious Virtue, progressive mind being the Compulsion.
By my Traditions, my Upbringing, my Parents, my Ancestors, my Character, and most importantly, I’m a Hindu by birth because of my Belief in it. I know many people who strive to find the chord to their roots of Hinduism deeply. We are surrounded by many religions and their cultures around. I can even mention a few ones that stand true to their element of unity and respect among its people, but it isn’t about ranking since that would state I consider Hindu Culture a rank below. I would never get in that game of numbers. I’m a firm torchbearer of my Religion.
Unity is the principal ignored element among us. Coming back to why I feel our Roots are in Danger is not because I fear external forces intervening or other religions having a firm foothold in their unity and pride; having said that, these are also a little matter of concern which should tickle us to be addressed in the far future. What significantly puts us in peril is the difference in our Ideological approach among our people. Time & again, we have failed our religion and never ranked it higher above us and proudly been its flag bearers. But why has this happened? What can divide the third-largest Religion with over 15% of the global population?
Let’s say there are two kinds of Hindu, the Traditional & the Modern. There is a strong tendency for contemporary Hindus to affirm that tolerance is the only religious virtue. On the other hand, even cosmopolitan Hindus living in a global environment recognize and value the fact that their religion has developed in the specific context of the Indian subcontinent.
Such a tension between universalist and particularist impulses has long animated the Hindu tradition. When Hindus speak of their religious identity as Sanatana Dharma, they emphasize its continuous, seemingly eternal (Sanatana) existence and the fact that it describes a web of customs, obligations, traditions, and ideals (dharma) that far exceeds the Western tendency to think of religion primarily as a system of beliefs. While you continue reading, you should categorize yourself either of the two, traditional or modern.
let’s Discuss few fundamental Ideologies of our Sanatana Dharma which will quickly show us the mindset of the Traditional vs Modern.
DIVINE – in simple terms, it means the worship of our Divine Deity. Our religion has prescribed several ways to celebrate our Devas & Rishis’ Ceremonies, which significantly improves the atmosphere around us, aids our intelligence and peace of mind. We use materialistic objects, gestures, postures & sounds to get the result aimed at. Idol worship primarily being the glorious joy that is our identity as Hindus. What divides a tradition from a modern Hindu is his actions of worshipping the deity. The Traditional Hindu will visit the temple and believe in compulsory idol worship as a part of his everyday life. A modern Hindu is doing the same but in his capacity. This disparity is caused by the availability of time, money, energy, age & location. The purity of anybody’s faith is not calculated by his attendance marked on temples but by his Faith & Belief’s attentiveness.
If I call myself a traditional Hindu, I will visit my temples regularly, but no number of visitations can entitle anybody a greater or a lesser Hindu. I cannot enforce or label my kids or my Grandfather my way of following my Divinity. Every person is in the epicenter of their solution & Problems of life. Like mindedness of our ideology will become our strength towards attaining absolute unity among our people. We should thrive on passing on beliefs that will be the pillars of our identity for generations to come rather than enforcing parameters to tick.
DHARMA -Hinduism is the oldest, survived the longest till date Religion. Dharma follows our eternal duties and obligations in our life by following the path of virtue, showing the highest moral high ground that will promote greatness for everybody around us. Deeply taught by our elders & Family, not specifically parents alone, we are always given a roadmap to follow, our Dharma. How to follow will be more importantly mentioned rather than accomplishing it. Here is the bridge of difference that widens deeply between Families, which creates a disparity between my dharma and its path.
Moreover, each traditional attribute develops out of a history of conversation, elaboration and challenge. Hence, in looking for what makes the tradition cohere, it is sometimes better to locate central points of tension among us and not agree on Hindu thoughts and practices just for the sake of contending our mind. Each Individual is guarded by forces of his mind & soul, which will always propel him to follow his Dharma irrespective of his Belief in his faith. You can run away from your Faith but not your Fate. Both ideologies must exist together, guarding and respecting each other heavily.
Rituals & Traditions are the solid pillars and identities of our religion that have evolved over centuries. Today the perception of rituals and traditions is also determined and followed with the convenience of time in our lives. Our Hindu rituals widely include idol worship, meditation, recitations, festivals, and pilgrimage, etc. Today, there is a disparity between the traditional vs the modern Hindu beliefs primarily because of Time, Money, and Priorities. The methodology will be different for me and to them, but our intentions should be the same for performing or following any basic rituals of our everyday lives. Coming to a broader spectrum of festivals in our life unites us, enables us to share space, time, and knowledge between our people, family & friends. Nobody contemplated that we would be grappled by a pandemic taking away the lives of so many of our loved ones. Amid a situation like this, we come to a complicated plight of choosing between our Dharma ( duties towards our religion ).
Still, the emotion attached to doing it in our minds is the biggest prize, and Nothing else matters. I have seen Families celebrating Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navrathri, and other festivals on scales desirable to many, wishing we would do the same if we have Money, time, and people. The biggest failure here is not the above three elements mentioned to celebrate our Festivals. All we need is a mind that wants to do it and manages to do it in his capacity to enlighten him and his space, atmosphere, and people around.
Weare a big Society of over 1.2 billion people, with liberals & Conservatives, always existing together to challenge our unity but unnecessarily endorsing moral foundations more when righteous acts target our people internally is not what we should strive for. Both ideologies are critical perspectives of our Roots, and no other religion can test our moral foundations. Together as Santana Dharma, we should emphasize maintaining an equilibrium among ourselves by respecting our ideologies, taking pride in our fellow people’s work in contributing to our Culture.
With Age comes Wisdom, no person can occupy the social and religious role of our Society as a whole, he will pass on the torch to a generation more Enlightened in the Right direction.