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Religious Cultures and Dharmic Culture


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It is such temple wealth and the prosperity of the community that attracted rapacious and greedy invaders. It should be noted that the community is rich only when its Middle class is rich and prosperous. The later colonizers also, sought access to the vast lode of ancient knowledge and also, sought continuous revenue by enforcing high taxation to reduce the community into poverty and then show themselves as the benefactors, especially to those Poor they could induce to convert and to also, prevent any uprising against them. (See- “Understanding-Varna, Caste/Jati and Untouchability”).

Dharma reflects the Golden Rule – Do not do unto or demand of others what you do not want them to do unto or demand of you’.

Dharma calls on each individual to follow the dharmic, moral and ethical way of living and doing, that is today called ‘Hindutva’. It evolved these eternal / Santana principles through studies into the nature and energies of the Cosmos and of the Laws of Nature and teaches them through stories and parables to allow for better understanding. It enjoins everyone to recognize the validity of the law of action and reaction that says that your acts will determine your karma in this or in a later life, whether you believe in reincarnation or not. (See –“Parental Responsibilities- Karma and Reincarnation”).

Hindutva asks everyone to strive to reach Heaven on this earth and in this Life itself by following the Sanatana Dharmic way of living and does not demand any sacrifices now, to reach an unseen and unproven Heaven only after death.

Dharma and the culture it expounds, encouraged ‘Seers‘ and “Seekers’ to delve into the depths of Nature and the Cosmos and into our inner selves, to logically and rationally strive to find answers to philosophical questions as well as to find ways to make life better for all on Earth, in a sustainable manner. It encouraged a culture of decentralization and the acceptance of many viewpoints only calling for them to rationally and logically be proven.

The knowledge from that Golden Age was taken from India, to the Middle East by traders and those who came to learn and was responsible for the ‘Renaissance’ there. Thereafter, when religious conflict and war and the fear of the religious leaders that such education and development could break their strangle-hold on their own followers, caused them to move way from scientific rationality towards religiosity, the renaissance soon died out in the Middle East.

However, such Renaissance then moved into Europe wherein conflicts and differences in religious matters allowed it space to develop, even if painfully, and give rise to the Industrial Age which allowed them to rapidly advance technologically and militarily and thus begin to colonize the rest of the world.

Book burning, burning libraries, like at Alexandria, and even destroying and burning of the first, and most ancient University in the world, Takshila, all were the acts of Barbarians afraid of knowledge. It is a pity that over-confidence in the respect that people would have for Knowledge and for those who possessed such Knowledge, had led the learned of those times to not understand the mind-set of the barbaric invaders for whom only might was right.

The concept of Sanatana Dharma led to India being a country with a common culture, even if with some diverse practices and customs, from the times of the Rig-Veda (about 60,000 plus years ago), from the Himalayas to the peninsular tip washed by the three seas and was thus easily, geographically and culturally recognized as Bharat or India or Hindustan. The oldest name for this land is Bharat varsha, or the land Raja Bharat, the son of Raja Dushyant and Shakuntla, who had established his sway and spread this culture across the land and thus can be considered the real ‘Father of the Nation’. (See- ‘Salutations!’).

In the Hindutva way of life you can worship any God / Diety, perceived by you in any way or as residing in any thing you choose, in any manner you find satisfactory, or even not believe in any God at all. Ishta Devata (Personal deity or no deity), Kula Devata (Clan deity), Grama Devata (Village deity) and so on. However, you were always enjoined to follow the Golden rule and therefore accept the equal right of others to select their own God and worship in any manner they chose. Also, Dharmic culture doesn’t ask you to be God fearing, as Religious cultures do, as it sees the gods and goddesses as deities to love, revere and regard and not ones to fear.

In order to avoid misunderstandings or even conflicts, it was always necessary that you keep your beliefs or your religion to yourself, your home and your community places and everywhere else follow the Golden Rule and lead a life of Dharma – morally, ethically and environmentally conscious of your responsibility to all Life.

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