HINDU nation does not cease to exist simply because some foreigners ruled over it for some time and converted some of its citizens to other faiths by force or fraud.
For the regeneration of India it is essential that along with patriotism our leaders and the public should also acquire knowledge of Hinduism because it is Hinduism which has been the very basis of spiritual, moral and material progress of India since thousands of years.
Our national leaders have always negated our great culture which is the root cause of all ills like corruption, poverty, antinational activities the country is facing today. The decline can be witnessed in all fields, administration, education, politics and so on.
Those who propagate Hinduism are often dubbed anti-national and breakers of law. Hence it has become imperative to clarify the wrong notions about Hinduism.
In his India’s Road to Nationhood, German historian- diplomat Von Pochhammer admits that “the present secular India state rests upon the foundation of ancient Indian culture which integrates various minorities in the same manner as the USA integrates people belonging to different races and different immigrant groups.”
Even though Europe has one religion, it has witnessed two World Wars.
Sanatana Dharma believes in the universal philosophy of Unity in Diversity, which is the only bond that can hold together a country as big as India with its diverse faiths, creeds, languages and customs.
This unity and emotional integration is the glorious heritage we have inherited from great sages and men of wisdom born in India over the centuries. It is because of Hinduism that the “unity in diversity” could flourish in India.
Frank Moraes, ex editor, Times of India and Indian Express, had once posed the question “What preserved the concept of India as a separate entity?”, and answered the question himself: “It is Hinduism, the one strand, which binds Aryan and Dravidian, North and South, East and West. What might be described as a Hindu habit of mind prevails pervasively over the greatest part of our country.”
There is a misconception in the minds of some persons that Indian national unity is a British contribution. Facts, however, belie this theory.
Hinduism has been the binding force of India for the past thousands of years. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana were popular throughout the country from time immemorial.
Ramsay Macdonald, one time prime minister of England, agrees with this view in the following words: “India’s vastness does not obscure its oneness, its society does not hide from view its unity.’’
“The term Hindu, according to Dr. Radhakrishnan, had originally a territorial and not a creedal significance. It implied residence in a well- defined geographical area. Aboriginal tribes, savages and half-civilized people, the cultured Dravidians and the Vedic Aryans were all Hindus, as they were the sons of the same mother.”
According to Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu is the one who follows any religion originated in India though he may live anywhere in the world.
The general spirit of Indian thought is identical to the spirit of Hindu thought. Max Mueller, the oriental scholar, has delineated this identical aspect in these words: “There is behind the six systems of Hinduism a common fund of what may be called national philosophical thought of India.” Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are all offshoots of Hinduism.
When the Hindu Code Bill was passed by Parliament, the word “Hindu” was defined in the Bill as to include the Sanatanis, Lingayats, Arya Samajis, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists.
The conception of the world where the law of karma functions is common to all Indian systems – Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist. Mahavir, Nanak and Buddha utilized their Hindu inheritance to modify some of its expressions, and to give new dimensions to it. They can remain separate if they like, but Hinduism shall always be their mother.
Rev. TJ Sunderland, American thinker and missionary, says in his book India in Bondage: “The truth is, if there is a real nation in the world a nation with a unity so deep that it had become part of the very intellectual and mental fiber of the people, an ingredient of their very life blood, that nation is India. Compared with the unity of India, that of every American and European nation is superficial ephemeral.”
This gentleman has obviously spoken only of the Hindu nation because there was no other nation having the described qualities as in the Bharat of those days. And that Hindu nation does not cease to exist simply because some foreigners ruled over it for some time and converted some of its citizens to other faiths by force and fraud.
Concept of Indian nation
The consciousness of oneness of the Hindu people in the mind of the Hindus is as old as the Indian nation. What was implicit in their thoughts was made explicit by Swami Vivekananda, whose influence played a great part in the mental development of our great national leaders like Gandhi, Aurobindo and Tagore.
Dean Inge in his essay “Patriotism” says, “Love of country means pride in the past and ambition for the future: those who live in the present are incapable of it. A patriot always believes that he desires the greatness of his country because his country stands for something intrinsically great and valuable.”
In ancient India each Hindu used to consider himself blessed and fortunate that he or she had been born in India, the Punyabhoomi where even Gods yearned to take birth. Ancient Sanskrit literature is full of praise and devotion for Bharat like dhanyastite Bharat bhoomi bhage. (Blessed are those who are born in India).
India and Hinduism
“Many are the religions and many are the races which are flourishing in India, but none of them stretches back into the far dawn of the past, nor is necessary for her endurance as a nation. Everyone might pass away as they came, and India would still remain. But, let Hinduism vanish, and what is she? A ‘geographical expression’ of the past, a dim memory of the perished glory. Her history, her art, her memory of the perished glory. Her monuments all have Hinduism written across them. India lived before their coming, India could live after their passing but let Hinduism go, Hinduism that was India’s cradle, and in that passing would be India’s grave.
Dara Shikoh, elder brother of Aurangzeb and a non – Hindu had once said “You cannot understand India without understanding Hinduism, because both are identical.”
In Hinduism lies the future of this country. No political movement will survive if it lacks a spiritual background. “It is significant to note that great political mass movements in India have had a spiritual background behind them.” (Jawaharlal Nehru in Foreword to Dr. Karan Singh’s book Prophet of India Nationalism)
During one thousand years of slavery, the mind and body of India were crushed. Its religious, political, social and economic institutions were totally destroyed by barbarous invaders. But the soul of India survived all these trials and vicissitudes because of the efforts of saints like Tulsidas, Surdas, Mira, Narsingh Mehta, Dhyaneshwar, Guru Nanak, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Julelal, and many others.
A Second generations of saints like Guru Govind Singh, Maharshi Dayananda, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Aurobindo then brought about a spiritual awakening though the principles of Hinduism thus being forerunners of the Independence movement.
That was the time when Hinduism stirred the soul of India and awakened the masses from their long slumber of inertia and fatalism. And though there were many other social and political factors which helped the cause of freedom, the moving factor was the spiritual generation of Indians through Hinduism.
But the aim of Hinduism is not limited to India only. As a universal movement it has always tried to unite the people of the world into one international family believing as it does in the Vedic dictum Vasudhaiva kutumbakam-the whole world is one family.
If in this dangerous atomic age the world wants to save itself from violence and destruction then the 21st century has to be a Hindu Century. There is no other way.