Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma – which means Eternal Law – has an interesting nemesis. The Hindu.
The Hindu of today is a religionist. He has been drenched in the paradigm of religion – complete with contextual and made-up morality, ethics, and principles as well as ideological nonsense – so deeply, that he has turned the Greatest Open Source Experiment in human-kind’s history into a joke.
Therefore, it is in keeping with such a strange situation, that I have been recommended the movie “Oh My God” by the most passionate Hindus as the best movie since “3 Idiots”. Sorry, it is not. It is a mockery of some of the most important things that have made Spiritual pursuits in India what they were.
The flaw with the Moralists is that they are beholden to stereotypes. They like Boxes. Either you are in this box or that. There is no attempt at understanding any situation in its nuances and minute details. It is the mind of a religionist. A Believer.
When you have to look at every situation as it presents – a novel one – then you need an unconditioned intelligence. If you come into every situation with a lens, however interesting it may seem to be, you are hiding behind a facade.
Let us understand some of the things that were plain stupid in this movie and which just made it a pain for me to watch the whole of it, besides, of course theatrical direction.
An Idol is an Idol is an Idol?: I have had enough of this antagonism against the idols from non-Hindus and hindus who are primarily illiterate and apologists!
An idol is not evil. Plain and simple. If at all, the people who use it negatively may be! Just as there is a WORLD of difference between Devotion and Belief. It is as stark as the difference between Meerabai and Rush Limbaugh or Osama Bin Laden. Just because you believe – with or without idol – doesn’t make you any better. The people who have broken and shunned idols are as much of mindless believers as those who use Idols as glorified butlers. Meera’s Krishna Idol was no ordinary piece of craft. It was a live Krishna… in her hand. Chaitanya’s Krishna idol was no different.
An energized and properly consecrated Shiva Lingam can hit you harder than a one tonne boulder if you are receptive to such things. Smirking cynic will ask – receptive or hallucinating? Well, it is matter of understanding. For, the “believing Hindu”, it is enough to know that in Mahabharat thousands of people fought Krishna. Wasn’t Krishna “THE” Krishna? The difference between Arjun and those who fought Krishna was that Arjun was receptive to Him.
For, the Believers of Atheism – believers nevertheless – water, matter and even air – is capable of being energized by intelligence. Scientific experiments have proved it now in many ways (Intention, Consciousness and the New Science). Such energized matter can impact other things. Specifically water. Human body, largely comprising of water, is capable of being impacted once it is in the field of such energized objects.
Shiva Lingam, properly consecrated, is one such object.
Not all Shiva Lingams in all the temples are the same. Not all the idols are energized the same way or even in any way. Many or these days, most are probably for most part, just toys. But not all.
Majority of doctors in India today are unscrupulous. But is their science useless? Are all doctors useless?
Idol Worship: Idols, in Sanatan Dharma, have never been “Worshipped”. Shouldn’t be. Meera was devotee not a worshipper. Again, there is a difference. A huge difference. Devotee loses herself, worshipper enhances himself.
Consecrated Idol is also not worshipped. It is used as a tool in Kriya Yoga. Nothing more and nothing less. It is a way to work on a spiritual traveller so that he can be pushed further to his goal. Or it is used to impart general well -being (depending on which Chakra of the consecrating Monk was predominant) for the common public which “bathes” in such energy.
The ponds in the Gurudwaras also serve a similar purpose.
God is in people: Serving others is a great way to lead a live. Selfless service that becomes a devotion. It is indeed a very beautiful thing. However, to say that service to people is the ONLY valid spiritual path is Moral and Religious mumbo-jumbo. For a Akshay Kumar-turned Krishna to peddle such a theory would turn Bhagwad Gita – the message that details Yoga of all forms, from (Jnana) knowledge to Kriya to Karma – as a non-starter. There is a place for service to people, but there is a place for spiritual pursuits where the practitioner is devoid of all interaction with a human being and annuls all relationships. A Brahmachari, for example, starts his brahmacharya by doing the death rituals of his parents and relatives. He knows no attachment there on. He will do all it takes to reach realization of Truth.
Even Buddha was not into “service” of the poor. He was into transforming of people. When Angulimaal stopped him with his neckless of fingers cut off from the victims of his looting, Buddha didn’t serve him any Moral cocktail or do him any favor. He transformed him into a beautiful human and a profound Sage. No “service” was required to be done to him thereafter.
Unidimensional Spiritual theories are a hairline away from a Believer’s religious nonsense. Sanatan Dharma was what it was – an Open Source Spiritual experiment and undertaking – not because it favored any particular path over other being morally or spiritually better, but because it understood and accepted that there were many ways to get to the Truth. And, everyone was entitled to get there with whatever means.
Antagonism for Gurus: It is true that there are many unscrupulous individuals who are professional “Spiritual Gurus”. But, again, not all Gurus are that. It would be foolish to put Ramana Maharishi in the same slot as a Nithyananda. Or a Ramakrishna Paramhans to be in the same box as the recent Nirmal Baba.
And, it is not about money or poverty. One of the greatest Sage and Jivan-mukt, one who discusses with Sage Ashtavakara of the Truth, King Janak was no pauper. But very few have reached where he was Spiritually. Sikh Gurus were no paupers – they were rulers as well!
Being a pauper is NOT the greatest distinction of a Guru or the Spiritually Enlightened! Guru is not a Morality peddler. He is out there to take people to the Truth. Every great Sage of India was in most cases a “Raj Guru” or a Royal Guru. If the modern Hindus and their aversion to Gurus was prevalent in earlier times, Sanatan Dharma as we know it, and books that these Hindus swear by would have never come about!
Another thing that is decidedly idiotic about the Neo-Moralistic Hindu – the running down of Submission to one’s Guru. Something that is shown in a negative light in this movie as well.
Submission to one’s Guru is not a sign of one’s brain-washing. It is a sign of a certain kind of flowering. Irrespective of whether the Guru is a realized being or not. Kabir’s Guru is said to have not been a Realized being, but Kabir’s doha of his submission to his Guru stands as the greatest Tribute to all Gurus. (Guru Gobind dou khade, kaake laage paun, Balihari Guru aapne, Gobind deo milaye).
And this is what is so stunning about the lack of basic understanding and intelligence of the educated Hindus. They have been suckered into equating submission to a Guru as a menial state of slavery to a colonist. No matter what Krishna may have been at birth, but his submission to his Guru, Sage Sandipani, was absolute. Ditto for Ram to his Guru Sage Vashishta.
To swear by Ram and Krishna and to berate the relationship of a Guru and his Disciple is the hallmark of an illiterate and ideological Hindu.
Dharma and Religion: Dharmic traveler asks questions and seeks the Truth. A Religious person is certain that he “knows” the Truth. He has a pretense. He has made up all the beliefs and mental constructs, which are derived in his own mind. The religious will judge everyone in his own image. His own shortcomings and fears when they surface in others, become sins of others. The Believers who seek beautiful Virgins in Heaven are the most likely to Morally restrict the women in this world. His shortcoming is his own libido, which he is seeking in his Heaven. Yet, he sees others enjoying what he yearns for, here. So, it is a sin.
It is similar in every area. One, who has never completely submitted himself to the good of the others, service is a great virtue. One who has but with pride of a King doing a favor, will not get tired of extolling Selfless Service.
Spiritual pursuits have nothing to do with the material entanglements or mundane take on life. A Guru can put his disciple through the greatest of hardships, just to make sure, certain rough edges are chipped off, before the ward is ready for the pursuit of Truth, however unfair it may seem. To another Spiritual traveler, that is Grace. To the Religious and the self-important Moralist, that is unequivocal Disgrace.
The ability to distinguish Spiritual Grace from Moral Disgrace was the hallmark of Sanatan Dharma. The modern passionate Hindu, unfortunately, has none of it!