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November 7, 2010

Page: 15/37

Home > 2010 Issues > November 07, 2010

Hanuman’s Prayer
A consensus on Ayodhya, Ram and Constitution
By Dr Vijaya Rajiva

HANUMANJI must surely be praying for the return of his beloved Sri Ram to Ayodhya.

Hanuman is the essence of devotion in Hinduism. Most Hindus have at some time or other heard old aunts, grandmothers and mothers speak about Hanuman. One such mother used to read the Ramayana every afternoon during a certain month. When asked why, she replied: In the afternoon Hanumanji takes a short nap, the rest of the time he is in deep dhyana (meditation) praying to Sri Ram. We can’t interrupt him.

The BJP is quite right in saying that the Allahabad High Court verdict paves the way for a grand Rama temple at Ayodhya. The word ‘grand’ seems to have unsettled certain people unduly. Hindus have always built grand temples, small ones, medium ones and so on. Small is beautiful, medium is fine, but grand is beautiful, fine and grand, befitting the return of Sri Ram !

This will also please millions of mothers, grandmothers, aunts etc. who wait for the return of Sri Ram to Ayodhya. So will Bharata Mata (Mother India). The Sanskrit stothra goes like this: Ya Devi sarva bhuteshu, matru rupena samasthitha (You divine principle who art grounded in the form of mother). Mother India (Bharat Mata) is an entirely appropriate name for the subcontinent.

No other culture has so called upon the divine principle as a feminine principle as dharmic Hinduism. Bharata Mata awaits the return of Sri Ram to Ayodhya. And this is Hanumanji’s prayer also.

Secular fundamentalists do not understand this prayer. Grand is befitting for a dharmic ruler or warrior which every Hindu is, by definition. The Vedic prayer is to all living beings, the earth and the universe that they may be at peace and enjoy well being: Om Shanti, antaryamin... shantihi, prithvi... vanaspatai... shantihi, sarvam shantihi.....

Om, peace to the inner self, peace to the earth, peace to the environment, peace to the universe.

The Indian Constitution is grounded in this dharmic injunction. The idea that it is derived purely from Westminster style parliamentarism (common law) or the American Constitution (Roman Law) or the French (Roman Law) is the conceit of the secular fundamentalists for whom everything worthwhile must surely have a non-Hindu origin! Hence, their frenetic attempts to downgrade Hindu constitutionalism, and their hysteria at the very word ‘Hindu’.

Ayodhya, Rama and the Indian Constitution are synonymous with justice and the equality of all living beings.

Why is every Hindu a dharmic ruler or warrior by definition ? Ruler, because he or she has the high responsibility of observing the rule of law , justice and the equality of all living beings. Warrior, because like Lord Rama, he or she should be prepared to fight for those ideals. But every Hindu warrior keeps the sword sheathed except in defence, when attacked. Then, and then only, can the Hindu warrior unsheath the sword.

Even Mahatma Gandhi called for the robust defence of helpless people. And unlike Arjuna who became despondent at the thought of fighting even the enemy and who needed to be advised and encouraged by Lord Krishna, the dharmic Hindu must be prepared to defend his or her dharma, which in present day India, is the Indian Constitution. Arjuna fought the battle of Kurukshetra. The present day Hindu will fight for the Rama Rajya, and not necessarily with weapons.

Relax, secular modernists. Don’t make it harder for yourselves and the nation !

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university).

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