Change, before the others force changes unto you

published on August 30, 2006


Dr.TS Girishkumar 


“Vande Mataram”, the National song of the Republic of Indian Union, was always a Muslim problem right from the days of our struggle for independence. Vande Mataram, written in Sanskrit language appears in a Bengali novel by the celebrated Bengali writer, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya (Chatterjee in English), namely, “Ananda Math”. This one ought to have been the national anthem of independent India, and it was only due to the vehement oppositions from the Muslim bulk that this was discarded in favor of the unbecoming “Jana gana mana” written by Tagore, praising the then visiting British King, through the newly built ‘Gate way of India’. And even from those days, Nationalists were uncomfortable with this National Anthem of our Nation, which is a praising song of a visiting colonial ruler.


Of late, it was in the news that some sections of the Muslims were making statements against the National Song ‘Vande Mataram’ as it is viewed as against the Queran and thus anti-Islamic. Indeed this is anti-Nationalism, though it is a known fact that such Muslims do not belong to any nation what so ever, even to the so-called Islamic nations. Within Islamic nations, such Muslims shall start dreaming of becoming citizens of Saudi Arabia, then citizens of Mecca, and then Ka aba, and ultimately of the fallen “Siva Linga” within Ka aba itself. Such situations could be termed as the “fallacy of infinite regress” borrowing it from Aristotle, to signify an unending process, like that of cancer itself.


It becomes interesting to think in terms of why the Muslims do not want to accept the innocent song Vande Mataram.  Vande Mataram simply describes Mother India and her qualities, very poetically, and offers respect to her, calling her mother. How could this go against the Queran? Some of the Muslims say that according to Queran, worshipping shall only be unto the one God and none else. There fore, one cannot worship anything or any one else, and through Vande Mataram, the Hindus are worshipping the Indian Nation, and there fore, they do not accept Vande Mataram, and they will not sing that. Truly, Queran does say this; worshipping is due only unto the one God, and no one else. But to what extent they are right in understanding the Hindu ways in spite of their being with the Hindus for so long a time?


In India, the Muslims had been with the Hindus for a very long time. If they had not understood the Hindu ways, then it is entirely their fault, and I must say, that they do not have any right to stay in this nation at all. When the Muslims opposed Vande Mataram, the Hindus substituted Jana gana mana, but still they carved out a Pakistan out of Indian soil. If they would have asked for it, then why did they cause the change in our national anthem? Of course, it is the fault of the Hindu leadership of that time to yield to the Muslim pressures for nothing, but such kinds of things still go on!


The concept of worshipping in Queran is entirely different from the concept of worshipping in India. What is worship after all? For us Indians, it is the way of offering respect. The Hindus are a lot, who do no hesitate to offer respect to all those are respectable, both living and nonliving. We fold our hands in pranams, we offer flower petals, and we touch the feet of the elders, and sometimes make full prostrations. This is Indian Culture, and ways of functioning. For us the land is mother, and language is also mother. As a matter of fact, there are many other civilisations that treat land and language in this same way. We say ‘Vande’ to greet as well as to offer respects. When addressing to a Muslim friend also we do all these and say ‘Vande’. But is it the same as worshipping God? The Muslims ought to understand the differences between offering tribute to ones motherland, and offering tribute to ones God, and also offering tribute to ones elders, and friends. When the Muslims do not make such distinctions, they commit such big blunders as this.


And have they not understood the Hindu philosophy? The Semitic ones speak of only one God, but the Hindus do not even speak of God, they speak of one reality. When the Semitic faith is monotheism, the Hindu faith is monism. Ultimately, for the Hindus, there is only one ultimate truth, and reality, and it is represented through the symbol “OM”. Vedanta, the crown of all world metaphysics treat this ultimate reality as having no shape as it is beyond having any shape, as having no qualities as it is beyond having any qualities, and so on. The Hindu mind understands that the ultimate reality by definition is infinite, and a human, with his finite mind cannot understand it. But for functional requirements, the Hindus speak of many gods and goddesses, and they are all written using the small English letter ‘g’. When the Semitic ones write God using capital letter ‘G’, they are speaking about the ultimate reality, and when the Hindus speak of gods and goddesses with small letter ‘g’, they are not speaking about the ultimate reality. Many gods and goddesses are functionaries for many types of human minds and existential situations. They are all illusory in the long run, and Sankaracharya says that they are like the steps of a ladder for one to climb up till one reaches the knowledge of the ultimate reality.  They are real only for the time being, and in reality, they are only illusions, and unreal. In another words, the Hindu gods and goddesses are merely instrumental, and never intrinsic. And for the knowledge of the Muslims, the Hindus do not worship the ultimate reality in any way as the Semitic mind can ever imagine. We simply meditate upon that, and do not treat the ultimate reality as a person in any case!


The Semitic minds treat the ultimate reality God as a person and worship him in order to please an angry God. All their offerings and worshipping are to please the God, and they are tremendously afraid of his ‘wrath’. It is the fear psychosis at work with them, when they pray. The Hindus do pranams as a spontaneous out flow of respect to some thing more than him, and not out of fear. You must also remember that the Hindu religion is not a God centred religion, and on the contrary, it is a man centred religion. Semitic religions are God centred religions, and their God is a personal God, a Creator God, and for each breath one draws in, he has to depend on an angry warlord like God.


Please understand that the Hindus had long transcended such idiotic images philosophically. Worshipping, praying, and ritualistic approaches are all very mundane, for mundane people to perform, since they are all meaningful to them till they achieve the transcendental. If your philosophies are still wriggling with the mundane and empirical things, it is not at all our faults. I should comment that, let your philosophies evolve, and it shall certainly take a real long time, and when your philosophies had evolved sufficiently, then you may try to look at us in an earnest effort to understand the Hindu philosophy, and till such time, you can keep re inventing the wheels.


The Hindu faith and philosophy is neither homogeneous, nor uni linier. Hindus have varying and different levels of approaching the ultimate reality, as there are varying and different human types. Upanishads speak of ‘sthayi bhava’ with human beings, which could be translated as the permanent mental dispositions with men. There could be umpteen such numbers of permanent mental dispositions, and for each such different mental dispositions, there are many deities, and the ‘upasaka’ could select any one befitting his mental disposition. Do not be frightened, the Hindus had identified only thirty-three Crores of such deities. If you are good enough, then identify some more and add to it which might suit yet another mental disposition that my ancestors failed to comprehend.  Similarly, the Hindus have many techniques of transcendence. Semitic religions have only one simple technique of transcendence or salvation, atonement, liberation or what ever you may call it in another language. The simplest and most common technique of transcendence for the Hindu is that of ‘Bhakti’ which comes closer to the Semitic idea of means to salvation. But then; this is the simplest, the very common and the very mundane one. For higher Hindu minds, there are many other ways, higher and higher, until the highest, the path of knowledge as prescribed by Sankaracharya.


Do not try to simplify religion, as you might want to, for the sake of getting more numbers of people into the fold. This amounts only to quantity, and not quality. Your numbers will be certainly less, when yo aspire for quality. You can decide what is desirable. I would suggest to the mundane and dumb headed Muslims to look around and find out a Muslim Sufi, and if he grants his audience to you and your silly questions, ask him your silly and nit wit questions. But I must warn, please do not hold me responsible for whatever the Muslim Sufi Saint might tell you, he could even beat you to pulp, Ignoramus!


The problems with the Muslims who criticises Vane Mataram is that, they are an ignorant lot with very narrow out looks. They do not understand the spirit of Queran, and at the same time, they also do not understand the spirit of Hindutva, leave alone the complicacies with Hindu Philosophies. With their simple and unitary minds they look at the world and form opinions. And what is more, they think that they know every thing, and are infallible. Such people are doing injustice to their own holy book the Queran, the spirit of Islam, to the Indian nation, and to the unfortunate Hindus who happen to make efforts to live in peace with the Muslims, and finally unto they themselves. Such ignorance and the narrowness resulting from that, added with arrogance of knowing all, makes these people an impossible lot and the world shall soon make designs to punish them. In the past, only Indian nation and the Hindus suffered from these nitwits, but now they are all over the world, and I am sure that other people are not going to be patient and gluttons for punishments like the Hindus, who are unfortunately condemned to understand their positions.


How on earth do you think that you are offending your God, when you offer worship to your nation in the form of your mother? Don’t you feel like offering respect to your mother, like any other Indian? Is your faith in God so feeble and fragile, that one song of Bankim Chandra can uproot it so easily? Are you so shaky and in secured with your religion, that you will have to go around planting bombs all over the world killing unknown innocents to protect and preserve your faith? How long can you preserve any thing in such a dangerous and artificial manner? How could you stand the test from the time? I do have a right to speak of the test from the time, since I successfully came through such tests, and my religion is intact and Sanatana not because of any rigidity and fundamentalism, but because of flexibility and dynamism.


With such attitudes of narrowness, fundamentalism, and refusal to accept a simple song such as Vande Mataram, you are not going to survive longer in this world. Change, before the others force changes unto you, let me conclude with this translation of Asan’s poetry! 

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