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For Dharma to survive amongst us usefully, Hindus will have to become Spiritual Seekers first

Last year Sadhguru was speaking to a group of people in Houston.  He said that Bhagwad Gita was an intimate dialog between Krishna and Arjun.  Krishna, from all the people he knew and who were dear to him, chose only one to give this knowledge/experience to.  Gita in Mahabharat has entered as Sanjay overheard the whole discussion and relayed it.  However, just the writing of the words do not convey COMPLETELY and ACCURATELY what Krishna disseminated to Arjun.  For, beyond the words, there was some other communication that was also going on.  Even the words as they were used had a specific meaning to those two given their special relationship.

It is quite like two lovers talking and someone overhears it and records it.  Later even if you carefully go over the words, you will never be able to understand the WHOLE dialog that happened between the two – said and unsaid.

That is very true.

Indian Spiritual tradition is not textual or historic.  The Gurus have not depended on the written text or on history.  They have used experience and current experience.  The words were used in terms of sound.  Vedas are amazing.  But the value of Vedas is in its sound.  Its Mantras are specially crafted in a way that they have a certain impact.  Whatever you may gather from it intellectually will be far lesser than what you will from its experience if you used it in a certain Sadhana.  That is why they were also known as Shruti.

To use the scriptural works in the right way and to correctly experience it needs a lot of Sadhana.  And, that Sadhana is not intellectual.  It is of some other dimension.  Someone like Ramana Maharishi or Ramakrishna Paramhans can deliver far more in Spiritual value than 1000s of intellectuals put together.

That is why Dharmic Spirituality required strict adherence to Sadhana and proper creation of atmosphere.  A certain rigor was used.  People were not allowed into an Ashram as Shishyas unless the Guru was certain that his/her interest was real and genuine.  Some would have to go through years or even decades of tests.  Those tests themselves were preparations for the ultimate Sadhana.

The problem occurred when the invasions happened and such Ashrams and Schools were attacked and destroyed.

It was then that the knowledge was either disseminated to the child of the Guru – due to proximity – and which started the caste system, since merit was no longer the criterion; or when even that was going down, it was written down in textual format and handed over to people.

Writing of Dharmic Spiritual texts was perhaps the Greatest Disservice to Spirituality, although many deem it to be the opposite.  I am convinced that it was a disservice because texts like Bhagwad Gita or Vedas or Upanishads have fallen in to the hands of extremely unprepared and unworthy people.

If you have only understood the Kindergarten curriculum, F= M.A (Newton’s formula) will only mean alphabets.  Knowing the alphabets is NOT the same as knowing and understanding the import of Newton’s Second Law of Motion.  For that, you will HAVE to know the appropriate level of physics.

And, that is the issue with Dharmic Spirituality.  It is immensely profound.  Immensely.  And it is in the hands of every Tom, Dick and Harry.  Someone starts analyzing Krishna.  Someone has a great time with Ram.  Someone with Shiva.

Some unprepared people make them into human caricatures out of their ill-conceived love that doubles up as “Devotion”.  Such are the people who loudly sing to the Goddess “Aaja Maa tainu dil ne pukaara..” (Come on Mother, my heart is calling you).  As if the Goddess is a Butler.  Instead of submission in devotion, the so-called devotee beckons Gods now!

Some others who are not into such devotion, but are armed with even greater ignorance and colored by prejudice start running a Ram or a Krishna or a Shiva down.

Meanwhile, a Nanak devotes his life to Ram and transcends.  Chaitanya devotes himself to Krishna and goes over.  A Guru Gobind Singh cannot help but keep calling his Shiva in various ways.

Those who transcend don’t analyze.  They receive them.

They also don’t intellectualize them or even do lectures on them.

Being a Guru

Being a Guru is not easy.  One in many many millions can become enlightened – or realized.  Out of those, very very few do so within their living time.  Out of those few, still very few have the wherewithal to guide someone else.  Rest can best bless.

Such minuscule few who can be worthy of becoming Teachers or Gurus, are indeed very rare.  Even one in a Generation is enough.  The problem with Hinduism – or more accurately Sanatan Dharma – has been the proliferation of Gurus, who can articulate and talk but have nothing to offer except words.  For spiritually deprived people, even sweet words are magical.  These people – masses and masses of them – are not looking for Truth.  They are looking for entertainment and religiosity at the same place.  And so they love such places.

So many of them land up in trouble due to lack of character or due to misspeak.  And that is what is happening.

Asaram Bapu – is someone who has masses after him.  He speaks softly and sweetly.  He professes devotion.  It is not my business – not am I qualified in any way – to say whether he can or cannot become a Guru.  But, I couldn’t go to his entertainment.  Those who go and find peace, for them he is great.  And why not.  For someone who is in pain, if he gets peace, then such a person would indeed be like God.  So, he is surely doing service to many in ways that, honestly, I cannot.

But for me Guru has always meant something different.  And I will let my Guru explain what a Guru should be.

Save Dharma by re-looking at Hinduism

Dharma is NOT a religion.  Hinduism, on the other hand, has over the years been crafted along Religious belief systems of the Middle East – in its basic structures.  We are becoming more concerned about beliefs and texts than experience and Spirituality.  Sanatan Dharma is not a joke or simple thing.  We cannot handle it with ignorance.  If we do, we will hurt it far more than all those ignorant idiots who think they can save their own idiotic belief system – and yes, Atheism is ALSO a belief system – by attacking something as profound as Spirituality that has seeked and internalized the foundational truths of the existence.  That which is that primordial cannot and should not die.

In a famous movie dialog, Amitabh Bachchan is a Navy officer.  He is talking to his subordinate about Pakistanis.  The subordinate is reminding him how low Pakistanis can fall when it comes to war tactics (we have seen that in Kargil, haven’t we – both for their own soldiers and ours), and how he would like to avenge their wrongs by giving them the same treatment.

Amitabh Bachchan – the Naval Officer – then replies:  Hum mein aur un mein ek fark hai.  Aur wo rehna chahiye”.

Between us and them, there is a difference.  And, that SHOULD remain!

Between a Belief System and an Experiential Spiritual Tradition, there is a huge difference.  And, that should remain the way it is.  Keeping that difference intact.  Keeping the barriers to Truth high enough that it is not violated or trivialized is the responsibility of all Hindus.

If Hinduism has to survive, then every Hindu has to be a Sadhak.  Without true and disciplined Sadhana, he can do nothing worthwhile.  Such passionate and driven people are great to promote Belief systems – carefully crafted and predicated on One Book/One form/One person etc…  but they fail to handle the diversity that comes with experimentation of experience.



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The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

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1 Comment on "For Dharma to survive amongst us usefully, Hindus will have to become Spiritual Seekers first"

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October 24, 2014 9:12 am

Great article. But sadly Hindus are forgetting these, now Hinduism means nothing apart from idolatry and festivals, when their sentiment is praisable but way is not right. For now it is better to read 10 Principle Upanishads and Vedas instead of making huge festivals.