Why Hindutva for the Modern World?
28/07/2010 22:59:54 Dr Babu Suseelan
We are living in a world of fast communication, instant gratification, innovative technology and materialism. People also are searching for instant fame, wealth and happiness. We are also living in an era of analysis where our thoughts, writings, times and personalities are instantly analyzed, criticized and thrown out.
There is a plethora of advice books that give us solutions for common human problems and to find instant happiness by overcoming miserable emotional problems. Some people are still trying to promote medieval tyrannical political dogmas for finding eternal solutions.
Now, all over the world science and technology have become dominant forces. Mass communication and technological innovations are commonly seen as a symbol of progress and enlightenment. The rapid development in computer science, communication system, and genetic science have created a false impression that life is good for the common man. At the press of a button, we can talk to anybody in the world. But people don’t communicate to their neighbors. Modern technology has created a strange paradox. While pursuing a vision of progress and improvement in the human condition, modern technology has led increasing dehumanization and alienation from traditional culture.
Modern disciplines like Behavioral Science, Neurology, and Psychiatry studying human phenomena have tended to reduce the psyche to a complex neurological reflexes and interacting instinctual forces. Modern philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, linguistic analysis, and contemporary psycho therapies also provide us concepts of time, causation, and pragmatic solutions for life problems. Because of the present importance of the pragmatic, instant solutions are offered in greater quantity than is usual by contemporary thinkers. The general public is treated as a kind of sponge, able to soak up only more bumper sticker solutions. Modern technology has reduced ancient wisdom into mere knowledge, knowledge into information and information into data and data is used to manipulate humans.
Contemporary science and technology has been dominated by the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm. The basic philosophical assumptions of this system of thought are derived from the ideas of Newton and Descartes. It has created an absolute dichotomy between mind and matter. The mechanical model of man and the universe was emulated by other disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry, sociology, social anthropology and related helping professions. The various disciplines based on the mechanistic model have created an image of the universe and man as an infinitely complex assembly of passive, inert and unconscious matter, developing without any participation of creative intelligence self (ATMA).
In the reductionast world view of mechanistic and materialistic paradigm, there is no place for Dharma, spirituality and human development. Spirituality is seen as a sign of primitive superstition, lack of intellectual and emotional immaturity. Although, Newtonian-Cartesian science has acquired great prestige, the mechanistic paradigm, once a progressive and powerful tool for science has become a straight-jacket, seriously impeding further evolution of human knowledge. As a result,, nations and societies around the world find themselves in a crisis. We can read about its numerous manifestations every day in the media. There is economic crisis, energy crisis, health crisis, divorce, substance abuse and a rising wave of Jihadi terrorism, crime and violence.
HINDUTVA: THE NEW VISION OF REALITY
The world needs a new vision of reality. It is Hindutva, the ecological based Hindu Dharma. Hindu Dharma is supported by science, but rooted in a perception of reality that reaches beyond the reductionist frame work to the intuitive awareness of the oneness of all life. Hindutva promotes the interdependence of the world and its multiple manifestations, and the cycles of change and transformation. Hindutva views that the universe is spiritual; it has direction; and the explanation of ordinary facts, human actions, changes and human relationships and problems may be grasped once we recognize how they are imbedded in this cosmic organism, how they are directed by the Absolute (Brahman) , how they play their part in the Universe’s progressive realization of the soul.
In this world of change and development, medieval political, dualistic, divisive, dogmas paraded as religions are hopelessly inadequate to finding peace, harmony, progress and tranquility in the world. Even though these dogmas are conflict producing, these closed dogmas have attracted the attention of several thinkers and political movements seeking world dominance. They have competed for the minds and hearts of the masses throughout the world often with deception and violence. These dogmatic thought systems have liberated millions of people by force or deception from their traditional spiritual roots and enslaved them in the fundamentalist paradigms. Those who question these inadequate dualistic and conflict producing dogmas are attacked with emotional outbursts and violence.
In this context, we need to promote the universal, systemic and all inclusive Vedic thought system. When the concept of the Universe and the human spirit is understood in the Vedic sense, as the individual (JIVA and ATMA) is connected to the cosmos as a whole (BRAHMAN), it becomes that the ecological awareness is truly spiritual. In this Hindu concept, the individual is linked to the cosmos as expressed in the Latin root of the word Religion (to bind together), as well as in the Sanskrit Yoga, which means union. The Hindu view is holistic, ecological, spiritual, life affirming and emphasizes the fundamental interrelatedness of all phenomena.
The new paradigm based on Hindu Dharma is humanistic, universal, pluralistic and emphasizes personal growth and self-actualization. It also recognizes transcendental needs as intrinsic aspects of human nature and on the right of every individual to pursue his or her spiritual path. Vedic Thought system in the twenty first century is directly related to the concerns of human being and the social-psychological-ecological problems. Practicing, preserving and promoting this eternal Hindu Dharma will profoundly make positive changes in the world.