|“Today due to lack of oneness and self-centric attitude, the world is facing problems like war, violence, terrorism etc. India can play a very important role and make a big contribution towards world peace through its philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence), spiritualism, knowledge and religious harmony.”
– HH Dalai Lama at the World Hindu Congress, 2014
When the World Hindu Congress was on in Delhi, a scholar from Myanmar asked me in Yangon that why you are limiting Indo-Myanmar linkages to Buddhism, when India has much more to offer? He was almost echoing what the Buddhdist spiritual leader was propounding here in Delhi at the world Hindu Congress. Unfortunately, not only ‘liberals’ and ‘secularists’ but many propounding Hindus fail to understand the role of Hinduness for the world at large. On the backdrop of World Conglomeration of Hindus, we need to understand one the reason for this clarion call for Hindu unity, and the other being, what makes this non-monolith way of life without any single authoritative scripture, seamless.
Hindu way of life has always been humanist. Therefore, praying for happiness and prosperity of every living being, not only material but all pervasive, is inherent in the culture. Hence, in present times when we are facing racial violence, religious persecutions, mindless materialism, this only surviving humanist tradition is the lone hope for many. Considering this, the coming together of people who believe in humanist way of living cannot be only for themselves but for the whole humanity.
Many people see this call for unity either on the lines of Monolithic conventions or as an attempt to forge Hindu unity that is antithetical to other faiths. Many attempts were directed to bind Hinduism as a religion; ample reform movements took place to bring monotheism; and anti-Muslim or anti-Christian rhetoric were also endeavoured, but all failed. Despite all this, Hindu way of life remained non-Semitic, tolerant, diverse and still looking for oneness in everything; in view of this, Hindu unity can be rightly called a positive force rather than a reaction or imitation.
Yoga is perhaps the best exposition of the Hindu way of life. When the concept of ‘religion’ had not yet been invented, Yoga was known as a spiritual process– a way of healing yourself, a sort of medication for your inner being. The growing acceptance of Yoga at the world level today is nothing but an acknowledgement of Hinduness across faiths and nationalities.
In this sense, what the RSS Sarsanghachalak said on the occasion of this mega humanist event is significant. While giving a call for depicting Hindu values of oneness in every sphere of life, he said, “Be a true Hindu, but before that there is a need to introspect, assess our abilities and develop ourselves, so that our lives can be a lesson for others.” This alone can ensure Hindu civilisation fulfilling its destined role for the world.