MARIA WIRTH writes as follows, under the caption “Nothing wrong with Hindutva or
Hinduness – on the contrary” on March 13,2018–
Is being a Hindu ok and is Hindutva not ok and even dangerous? Many Hindus seem wary to be associated with Hindutva, in spite of the fact that Hindutva simply means Hindu-ness or being Hindu. They tend to accept the view which mainstream media peddled for long:
‘Hindutva is intolerant and stands for the communal agenda of an extreme right Hindu
party that wants to force uniform Hinduism on this vast country which is fully against the true Hindu ethos.’
Is this true? The Supreme Court ruling of 1995 declares it as not true:
“Hindutva is indicative more of the way of life of the Indian people. …Considering
Hindutva as hostile, inimical, or intolerant of other faiths, or as communal proceeds from an improper appreciation of its true meaning.”
From personal experience, I also came to the conclusion that it is ‘an improper
appreciation of its true meaning’, when Hindutva is branded as communal and
For many years I lived in ‘spiritual India’ without having any idea how important the
terms ‘secular’ and ‘communal’ were. The people I met valued India’s great heritage. They gave me tips which texts to read, which Sants to meet, which mantras to learn, etc., and I wrote about it for German magazines. I used to think that all Indians are proud of their ancestors, who had stunningly deep insights into what is true and who left a huge legacy of precious texts unparalleled in the world.
However, when I settled in a ‘normal’ environment away from ashrams and connected
with the English speaking middle class including some foreign wives, I was shocked that several of my new friends with Hindu names were ridiculing Hinduism without knowing anything about it. They had not even read the Bhagavad- Gita, but claimed that Hinduism was the most depraved of all religions and responsible for the ills India is facing. The caste system and Manusmiti were quoted as proof.
My new acquaintances had expected me to join them in denouncing ‘primitive’ Hinduism which I could not do as I knew too much, not only form reading, but also from doing sadhana. They declared that I had read the wrong books and asked me to read the right books, which would give me the ‘correct’ understanding.
They obviously didn’t doubt that their own view was correct.My neighbour, a self-declared communist, introduced me occasionally to his friends as “the local RSS pracharak”. It was half in jest, but more than half intended to be demeaning. My
reaction at that time: “If this is what RSS stands for, then it must be good.”
Standing up for Hindu Dharma indicted me as belonging to the ‘Hindutva brigade’ that is
shunned by political correctness. My fault was that I dared to say that Hindu Dharma is the best option for any society. I did not make a baseless claim, as Christianity and Islam do and which goes mostly unchallenged. I explained why Hindu Dharma is inclusive and not divisive, whereas Christianity and Islam divide humanity into those who supposedly have the ‘true faith’ and those who are wrong and will pay for it eternally in hell, if not already on earth.
Of course my stand is neither communal nor dangerous for India. Hindu Dharma is indeed not only inclusive, but also most beneficial for the individual and for society and needs to gain strength at the expense of Christianity and Islam, which are exclusive and therefore harmful. And yes, politicians, too, need to base their lives on Hindu Dharma if they want to be efficient in serving the society. Propagating blind belief in a strange story has no place in politics, but propagating and following Dharma is in the interest of all.
My secular friends can’t really be blamed for their faulty understanding. They were taught that Hinduism is just another religion, but inferior to the two main “only true” ones. Children usually don’t doubt what they learn. Yet Hindu Dharma is in a completely different category from the Abrahamic religions.
Hindu Dharma was never based on unreasonable dogmas and did not need blasphemy laws to keep its followers in check. It is helpful to society as it imparts wisdom and gives guidelines for an ideal life that acknowledges the invisible, conscious Essence in this visible universe. It does not strait-jacket people into an unbelievable belief system. It
allows freedom of thought and many parallel streams with different ways to connect to this essence emerged which co-existed harmoniously.
Since I grew up in the Catholic Church and know the narrow mindedness that is
indoctrinated into children, I wonder why Indian laws even after Independence still favour the dogmatic religions which the invaders brought with them over their ancient, benign Dharma, for example in education or in regard to places of worship. Don’t politicians see the real communal danger? Don’t they realise that both dogmatic religions cannot live peacefully with others. Both need to dominate. And both are very powerful worldwide, politically and financially. As long as they have not yet the numbers in India, they may downplay the central tenet of exclusiveness in their ideologies.But exist it does, and their numbers are frightfully and rapidly increasing.
The so-called secularists fight for the right of Christians and Muslims to assert their separate identity, which ultimately needs to engulf everyone. And what is this separate identity? It is merely an unverifiable belief that negatively impacts the mind-set. This unverifiable belief sees in Hindus not only outsiders, but outsiders that need to be looked down upon. How can educated Indians be blind to the danger and risk having in future more partitions on the basis of unsubstantiated religious beliefs, including the risk of more terrible bloodshed?
Strangely, the exclusive religions are not accused of being divisive and communal, but
Hinduism is. Why? Hindus are required to see Brahman, the one Supreme, in everyone.
In contrast, the followers of dogmatic religions are not required to respect those who reject their ‘true religion’. They are even allowed to hate them. The ease, with which
Muslims kill unbelievers even in our times, is frightening. And strangely, even the most
gruesome murder by ISIS inspired Muslims are played down by media worldwide. Yet if
a Hindu kills a Muslim, media gives it huge space. Why?
Humanity needs to win over the madness that the Supreme Being loves some humans more than others, because they believe in a certain book. But how to make them see sense, and adopt the inclusive Hindu mind-set?
In recent weeks some staunch ‘secular’ Indians declared themselves suddenly as Hindus. Maybe they pave the way for others to follow. However, they seem to propagate (and portray it as a positive aspect) that for a Hindu everything goes: believe in a Supreme
Being or not, be vegetarian or not, go to temples or not, follow Vedic guidelines or not.
It seems to imply: be truthful or not, etc. They portray Hindu Dharma as having no
Yet this is clearly wrong. Hindu Dharma has fundamentals, but in contrast, they are benign and helpful.Being Hindu means to know and value the profound insights of the Rishis and to follow their recommendations in one’s life. These insights may not be obvious to the senses, like the claim that everything, including nature, is permeated by the one consciousness (Brahman), but it can be realised as true; similarly as it is not obvious that the earth goes around the sun, but it can be proven. Being Hindu does not require blind belief.
Being Hindu also means having the welfare of all at heart, including animals and plants,because each part is intimately connected with the Whole. Especially the cow is revered and the Rishis gave good reasons why it must never be killed. (At the end there is a link to a video which would probably stop any truly human being from eating her flesh.)
Being Hindu means following one’s conscience and using one’s intelligence well.
It means diving into oneself trying to connect with one’s Essence. It means trusting one’s
own Self, Atman, and doing the right thing at the right time.
Being Hindu means being wise – not deluded or gullible or foolish. This wisdom about the truth of this universe and about how to live life in the best possible way was discovered and preserved in India. Yet its tenets are universal, valid for all humanity.
Isn’t it time for our interconnected world to realize this and benefit?
1. Imbued in the nectar of Hnduism and with a very positive and rational frame of mind Maria Wirth has tried to explain the all embracing attributes of Hinduism which doesn’t deserve to be categorized under any religion and is Dharma or Truth pure and absolute. The unique features and concept of Sanatan Dharma have been adumbrated below, in brief, from ‘Hindu Glory’ published in 1943, which clearly show what makes Hindu Dharma so different from other religions.
(1) Hinduism and the Shastras, alone unique in the world, among Science and
Religions– for Hinduism is a Dharma and not a religion– know that the Creator has created Himself not in His image, though said so elsewhere, and everything in this world is God Himself and nothing but God.
Jiva is Shiva and Shiva is Jiva. Jiva is nothing but Shiva. Rice covered with husk is called paddy and paddy husked is called rice. When God covers Himself with the husk of Maya He is called Jiva.
Everything in this world is a manifestation of God and Diversity is only apparent and not real.All that we see around us is one and the same.
(2) Hinduism alone knows that the Universe owes its origin to God’s desire to assume many shapes and forms. The faintest approach to this is made by Jeans when he says.
Jeans– We are beginning to suspect that mind is the Creator of matter.
(3) This desire of God is the essence of The only proof of the existence of Maya is
Contradiction, real absolute, and unthinkable. Maya is simultaneous contradiction. That is its only definition. Inconceivable and beyond the senses. Logic says that a thing is what it is, and is not what it is not. But Maya says, a thing is what it is and what it is not at one and the same time.
(4) Thomson and Jeans unconsciously visualise .
Thomson– The most irregular choas has an order of its own. Jeans– There may be something to modify the universal law of causation.
Eddington also says in his own blind way, like the blind man describing the elephant.
Eddington– Something unknown is doing.We don’t know what, that is what our theory
They cannot be expected to know
It is God’s Will that determines the character of a thing at any one time. (The
Theory of Indeterminacy still prevails)
(5) Chemistry bears its humble part in proving Maya unconsciously. Gold and
Silver are one and different at one and the same time. We all see, silver is not gold and gold is not silver. Chemistry, purblind, vain dogmatic Chemistry, saw the same thing so long and mocked Hinduism. But now it has begun to see differently and says gold and silver are derived from Hydrogen.
[With the advent of Modern physics now it is further known that all elements or
matter are evolved from a singular source of energy which in the final analysis is nothing but a manifestation of electro- magnetic waves. This explains How but not Why?]
(6) The illusion of Maya the Incomprehensible can be dispelled only in one way and in no other. The Incomprehensible Maya, the terror of the Universe, the terror of Munis and Rishis, the terror of the Gods, the terror of Brahma, Vishnu & Maheswar, can be banished easily by avoiding its duality or contradiction, by simply remembering, God is One and became Many, and by constantly keeping in view unity in diversity and diversity in unity.
(7) Alone in the world, Hinduism knows, Maya leads to Moha (confusion), Moha to Ahankar (egoism), and Ahankar to Sansar, the unending succession of births and deaths through the whole gamut of creation. Upon his death man courses through 80 lacs of different births, and becomes man, tiger, serpent, crocodile, tree, stone and the rest of created things. In every birth he can only have a Bhogdeha for mere sufferance, except one, Karmadeha in which man is born as a man to break, if he can, the cycle of births and deaths by new and suitable action leading to Salvation.