Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Unholy Duel - Unnecessary 'Dharma Uddha'

Shankaracharya Vs Sai Ram!

Karan Kharb
Rev Shankaracharya Swami Swarupanand ji Maharaj is again in the news raking up a controversy that threatens to weaken people’s faith in this high Institution of Hindu Faith. There are many sects within Hindus and some religions – Jain, Buddhists, Sikhs et al – that practice variants of the Primary Fatih and essentially its subsidiaries.  

A neo-entrant sect of Sai followers seems to have annoyed him for treating Sai Baba as a divine incarnation and eulogising the saint by installing his idols in Temples. Issuing diktats in a Taliban style, the Shankaracharya has virtually banished the Sai followers from the Hindu fold by decreeing that they be forbidden from entering the Ganga and Hindu Temples even as nothing anti-human or anti-civilisation has been observed in the practice of Sai followers.      

Recently a ‘Dharma Sansad’ has also endorsed the Shankaracharya diktat.  So much brouhaha about an innocuous practice, no matter how superstitious or deviant it might be, is surely against the very tenets of Hindu religion they are claiming to protect. The whole outrage against the Sai affair is ridiculous and cheap when viewed in the light of these very high Priests of our Faith winking at the rampant mal-practices going on in religious places.  We have not heard them condemning the immoral activities and crimes indulged in by the likes of Swami Nityanand Saraswati, Bapu Asa Ram and a host of other Gurus and Swamis who stand exposed today.   

Just what are the basic Articles of Faith enshrined in our Holy Scriptrues in this context?  A few excerpts from the relevant provisions in these Scriptures:-  

1.            ‘Dharma’ as defined in Manusmriti (मनुस्मृति) is a personal regime in life adhering to ten tenets: Patience, Forgiveness, Abstinence, Freedom from Greed, Hygiene, Suppression of Desires; Wisdom, Intellect, Truth and Freedom from Anger.    

धृति, क्षमा, दमोऽस्तेयम्, शौचम्, इन्द्रियनिग्रह |
धीर्विद्या, सत्यमक्रोध: दशकम् धर्म लक्षणम् || (Manu. 6/92)

2.            In Bhagvadgita, Lord Krishna explains 26 attributes of ‘Dharma’ to Arjun (Chapter 16, Shlokas 1-3):-    

अभयम्, सत्त्वसन्शुद्धि:, ज्ञानयोग-व्यवस्थिति, दानम्, दम:, यज्ञ:, स्वाध्याय:, तप:, आर्ज्वम्. (१)
अहिंसा, सत्यं, अक्रोध:, त्याग:, शान्ति:, अपैशुनम्, भूतेशु-दया, अलोलुपत्वम्, मार्द्वम्-ह्री:, अचापलम्:. (२)
तेज:, क्षमा, धृति, शौचम्, अद्रोह:, अतिमानता न, दैवीम्, सम्पदम्, अभिजातस्य. (३).  

3.            What is God? The Vedas have elaborate exponential explanations that help us to realise and understand God.  विश्व के इतिहास में यह तथ्य निर्विरोध रूप से प्रमाणित एवं स्वीकृत है कि वेद (कम से कम ऋग्वेद’) इस संसार का प्राचीनतम् ग्रन्थ है। भारत में भी हिन्दू धर्म के सभी सम्प्रदाय/घटक वेदों को शाश्वत, सत्य एवं सर्वोपरि मानते हैं । ईश्वर को भी वेदों में विस्तार से परिभाषित किया गया है. संक्षेप में ईश्वर के स्वरूप को  इस प्रकार वर्णित किया है:-  

ईश्वर सच्चिदानन्दस्वरूप, निराकार, सर्वशक्तिमान, न्यायकारी, दयालु, अजन्मा, अनन्त, निर्विकार, अनादि, अनुपम, सर्वाधार, सर्वेश्वर, सर्वव्यापक, सर्वान्तर्यामी, अजर, अमर, अभय, नित्य, पवित्र और सृष्टिकर्त्ता है। उसी की उपासना करना योग्य है।  

(God is Embodiment of Truth and Bliss.  He is Formless, Omnipotent, Judicious, Gracious, Unchanged, Sterile, Infinite, Incomparable, Basis of all Being, Master of all, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Enduring, Immortal, Fearless, Eternal, Pure, and Creator of Universe. Only He is worthy of worship.)     

For more details read:  Yajurveda 23/62; 31/1; 31/13; Rigveda 1-164-39; 1-52-12; 10-129-7; Satyarthaprakash (ch. 1).    

4.            More than anything else, all our scriptures preach universal fraternity (वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्). There is no room for animosity. Only untruth, violence and vices must be shunned by all. Virtues like TOLERANCE and FORGIVENESS cannot be discarded – more so by those who occupy the most revered Seats of Faith.  By castigating followers of a particular sect – Sai Ram or Sat Sai Baba - and banning them from entering the Hindu Temples is most unfair, high-headed and impetuous besides being illegal.  The Shankaracharya posturing runs counter to the basic principles of our Faith, eg:- 

सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिन:, सर्वे सन्तु निरामया:।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु, मा कश्चिद् दु:खभाग्भवेत ॥ 

               None can impair the power or influence of the Supreme Power – God, Ishwar, Bhagwan, Allah – call Him what you will. There is no power on Earth that can guard, protect or save God because He is immune to harm, danger or fear. It is He who controls all. He can neither be endangered nor threatened nor diminished no matter how many wars we might wage on each other in His name.  

Only ego and ignorance will provoke irate responses. Knowledge of Truth will foster universal Love, Goodwill and Compassion.  Lack of it will trigger Self-righteousness, Ego, Rivalry, Jealousy and dispute.  

May Truth prevail!