Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hindu Terminologies

The Hindu view is far different from western concepts. Check out your knowledge of Hindu terminologies.

Hindu : The word Hindu is often mistaken to be a religion. However, the word Hindu has more to do with geography and culture. During the ancient days, India was referred to as Hindusthan (the land beyond the River Sindhu) and the inhabitants were called Hindu. So Hindus refer to indigenous people of India. This theory has gained more credibility especially after the demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory. Western thinkers like Max Muller conceptualized the Aryan Invasion Theory to justify the imperialist presence in India.
Hindu Dharma: Hindu dharma does not denote religion. Dharma can be loosely translated as codes of righteousness Hindu dharma is a way of life of the people of Bharatvarsh / Hindustan / India. There is no single prophet, no single scripture, no single faith – very much unlike Christianity and Islam which can be categorized as cults. In Hinduism there are innumerable schools of thoughts, innumerable gods and innumerable ideologies. Hinduism is highly democratic and its adherents are free to choose. They also have the option to remain atheists or agnostics as some of the Hindu schools of thoughts were indeed atheistic and agnostic. It should also be noted that dharma is of three types: Sanatana dharma, samaja dharma and vyakti dharma.
Sanatana dharma: It refers to the eternal positive values that mankind is supposed to uphold. They include values like love, compassion, courage et al. Sanatana means eternal. That is why these values can never be outdated.
Samaja Dharma : It refers to societal codes. It is like a constitution of the society. It changes from society to society and from time to time.
Vyakti Dharma: It refers to personal values and freedom. Worship, beliefs and lifestyle comes in this category.
Hindutva : This word was first coined by the famed revolutionary Veer Savarkar in his seminal book : Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? However, of late, leftits and their ilk often use this word to describe fascism of Hindu variety. Hindutva is nothing but Hinduness. When Savarkar coined this word, he had the concerns of indigenous Indians in mind as most of the Hindus during his days were in the sway of foreign ideologies (Islam, Christinatiy, Communism, Capitalism, hedonism et al). That is why he coined the word Hindutva to refer to the original way of life of the people of Hindustan / India/ Bharatvarsh.
Hindu Nationalism: The origin of this movement is debatable. However, it gained momentum after Muslim attacks on India With an intention of saving Hindu dharma, the kshatriyas (Hindu warriors) grouped themselves against the Muslim invaders towards the ultimate aim of flushing them out. Their move almost succeeded when Prithviraj Chauhan defeated Mohammed Ghori and was able to drive him out. However, his misplaced generosity proved disastrous as Ghori re-attacked India and was victorious. During the later period, Rana Pratap and Shivaji were the icons of Hindu nationalism. Today, Hindu Nationalism is chiefly an intellectual movement to remove the vestiges of colonialism/ communism / Islam and Christianity from the Hindu mind. The chief aim of the Hindu nationalists is the establishment of Hindu Rashtra.
Hindu Rashtra: This term is often translated as Hindu nation or state. However, the word Rashtra is far different from the western concept of nationhood or a theocratic state. Hindu Rashtra is neither political nor theocratic. It is more along cultural line. It stems from the logic that the people of India are united by culture and lifestyle rather than religion and politics.
Akhand Bharat: (Undivided India) is a term that refers to regions that had a Hindu majority in the past, before the Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent and post-colonial partition. Popular conceptions of Akhand Bharat differ. Some regard Undivided India as Akhand Bharat, while some opine that Afghanistanand even Iran, which come within the Indian sphere of influence form a part of Akhand Bharat. It includes all of the current Republic of India as well as the nation-states of Afghan, Bangla and Pakistan particularly the Punjab and Sindh region), Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Apart from Afghanistan, this is basically the same as the formerly-existing Indian Empire which lasted until the end of the colonial era in India in 1947. Akhanda Bharatam is the Sanskrit name for this region. The geographic frontiers of this region is held to range from the Himalayan region in the north to the ocean in the south, the borders of Bharathavarsh as outlined by Hindu epics.
Swadeshi: The Swadeshi movement (part of Indian Independence movement) was a successful economic strategy to remove the British Empire from power and improve economic conditions in India through following principles of swadeshi (self-sufficiency). Strategies of the swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic-made products and production techniques. Swadeshi, as a strategy, was a key focus of Gandhi who described it as the soul of Swaraj (self rule).
RSS or Sangh: Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (National Volunteers' Organisation), also known as the Sangh or the RSS, is a Hindu nationalist organization India. It was founded in 1925. The RSS is active throughout India and abroad as the Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh.
Their general philosophical outlook is cultural nationalism known as integral humanism aimed at preserving the spiritual and moral traditions of India. The RSS believes Hinduism is not simply a religion but a way of life. The proclaimed purpose of the organization is "serving the nation and its people in the form of God - Bharata Mata (Mother India) and protecting the interests of the People who treat India as their motherland". As it reflects in their everyday hymn before the saffron flag - their real Guru, Param Waibhavan ney tumetat swa rashtram which in Sanskrit means, "for establishing you on the supreme pedestal of glory, o my motherland i shall lay everything that belongs to me".The Sangh has a heirarchial structure to their organization, with the sarasangachallak being the highest rank.
The RSS ideology: Its Hindutva philosophy states that it stands by eternal phrases like Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. (Truth is One, Sages Call it by Many Names. The Whole Universe is one Family). However, the RSS primarily believes in organizing the Hindu society. Its belief is that the Hindus have everything and its duty is only to organize the resources at their command.
Sangh Parivar: (Family of Associations) refers to the family of Hindu organizations built around RSS. Sangh Parivar organisations promote swadeshi, hindu nationalism and integral humanism.
Apart from RSS, the Sangh Parivar comprises
SJM (Swadesh Jagran Manch), the economic wing
ABVP (Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) – students’ wing
Vidya Bharati – the educational wing
BVKA (Bharatiya Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram) – tribal wing
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh – labour wing
Rashtriya Sevika Samiti – women’s wing
BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) --the political wing
Vishwa Hindu Parishad - the religious wing
Bajrang Dal – the activist wing
BKS (Bharatiya Kisan Sangh) - the farmer’s wing
The Sangh Parivar is involved in more than 60,000 service activities.
Shakhas: It means "branch" Sanskrit.
Most of the organisational work of the RSS is done through the coordination of shakhas, or branches. These shakhas are run every morning (prabhat shakha), evening (sayam shakha) or night (ratri shakha) for 1 hour in public places and are open to people of all castes, creeds or social and economic status. Currently about 50,000 shakhas are run throughout India. Apart from 42,000 daily gatherings, there are about 5,000 weekly and 2,000 monthly gatherings conducted throughout the length and breadth of the country.
These shakhas are usually operated in playing grounds without any offices. At the end of the shakha prayer "Namaste Sadaa Vatsale Matrubhoome" (which means "My salutation to you, ever loving motherland") is recited.
These shakhas are the core building blocks of RSS structure. During a Shakha, the activities consist of Games, Yoga, discussions on broad range of social topics, prayer to Mother India and an inspirational session (baudhik). The RSS uniform consists of a black cap, white shirt and khakhi-coloured shorts. On the day of 'Guru Poornima' the RSS vounteers pay tributes to the 'Bhagwa Dhwaj' - the saffron flag, which has considerable symbolic importance.
Swayamsewak: An RSS volunteer who attends shakha is referred to as a "Swayamsevak". A Swayamsevak is sometimes appointed as a Sanghchalak, meaning group administrator, and is given the task of leading and organizing the Shaka's events.
Integral Humanism: Integral humanism is the political philosophy of the BJP and the former BJS (Bharathiya Jana Sangh). It was first propounded by Deendayal Upadhyaya. It is espoused by most Hindutva organizations. Upadhyaya has argued that western philosophies are not acceptable as a blueprint for society because of their "preoccupation" with materialism and their overall over-looking of the social well-being of the individual. He saw both capitalism and socialism as essentially flawed -- stimulating as they do greed, class antagonisms, exploitation and social anarchy.
His proposal was an "integral" approach that attempts to create a harmonious society. This could be done, he argued, by satisfying the needs of the body (hunger, shelter), the mind (traditions), intelligence (reforms), and the soul (common aspirations of a people that shape their unique culture).
Upadhyaya said that each nation creates institutions to satisfy needs, and these much be reshaped so that the group solidarity could be sustained and maintained under changing circumstances. He argues that Bharathiya tradition builds on the social nature of people and obliges them to create institutions meant to enhance social solidarity. Advaita Vedanta or the principle of recognising ourselves in all life, is seen as the philosophic underpinning of this view.
Shiv Sena: A Hindu rightwing political party in Maharashtra headed by Bal Thackeray which is not connected with the Sangh Parivar in any way.
Hindu Mahasabha: It is a Hindu nationalist organization which was originally founded in 1915 to counter the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress. The president of Hindu Mahasabha was V D Savarkar. Dr. Hedgewar also served the organisation. Hedgewar later left the Mahasabha to form Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. Soon after India's Independence, and the subsequent assassination of Gandhi, a good number of Hindu Mahasabhaites joined Bharathiya Jana Sangh nder the leadership of S. P Mukherjee, who had left Hindu Mahasabha and joined hands with the RSS to float a political party under the control and supervision of RSS. Mukherjee had left Mahasabha after his proposal to allow Muslims to gain membership was turned down by the followers of V.D. Savarkar.
The Born Again Hindu: Anwar Shaikh (the man who reconverted to Hinduism after he became aware of his ancestral root) said: I came to the conclusion, all of a sudden, that it was Muhammad himself who was telling the people how to bow before him in the name of Allah, as though it were a command from Allah. By now, I felt that this veil of ignorance had been lifted from my mind.
I was no longer willing to study the Koran through faith. I started reading it critically and rationally. And as I went through it, I realized the Koran did not appeal to me anymore the way it used to do, the way it had for the last twenty-five years…The moment I started reading the Koran critically, it looked entirely [like] another book to me.

1 comment:

Lovy Bhardwaj said...

Deen Dayal Upadhyay did not write the Integral Humanism, in fact Hegel wrote this philosophy 100 year before the birth of Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

DDU just translated it in Hindi, as many copy-paste mens use to do nowadays to attain name & fame.