The four religions originating in India are called Dharmic paths, as per Wikipedia. This is the most common mistake made by all Indians as no proper explanation is offered on what Dharma and Pantha are. Aptly, Indian religions should be called Panthas (Paths). However, that isn't the purpose of this post. Indians are believed to be very cultured and religious. Modern Indian citizens tend to think that religion divides, spreads exploitation and is fascist. But neither the religious, nor the self proclaimed secular know what our religions and culture teach us. Negligence to scriptures will lead to the same fate we are in today. On the other hand, Mass Imitation (in the name of religion) is so profound that it can be called a new religion. It runs without any scriptures, only by word of mouth. Am I making false claims with no firm base to my inference? The following two anomalies in our culture and religion will clarify:
Lost - Karma: Karma is a word widely used in India and abroad to show to people that we know something about our religion. I am yet to meet a person who actually practises it. My first encounter with a Karma claimant was on Orkut. I was happy and quickly developed respect for her. Still I controlled my emotions and asked her, "What do you mean by Karma?" The answer dropped her from the top floor of the Respect Towers to the ground floor. Probably, she might have even drilled a hole in the ground. She said, "What comes around, goes around is Karma." My dream bubble blew and I knew no matter how hard I try to explain to her, she wont understand. I don't think she was dumb, but plainly was not interested in anything that complicated.
|The Bronze Statue at Kurukshetra representing the Bhagvad Geeta discourse.|
Perform your daily duties without any expectations.The point to be noted here is that one shouldn't be considering the outcomes unlike the 'Goes around, Comes around' theory. Karma is a very powerful tool to understand and evaluate oneself. For instance, I work as an engineer. It's a service industry position. If I were to consider Karma and Varna, I will simply be classified as a Shudra - regardless of what my father(or his ancestors did). Yet, most modern day Indian engineers claim themselves to be Brahmins. The evident reason for this flawed thinking is the belief that Varna is a Bloodline-based classification than Karma-based. It is really difficult for people to accept their Karma and Pantha at the same time and digest the reality. The Geeta is pertinently set in the battlefield, when Arjuna loses faith and drops his Gandiva. It sets clear that all men should perform their duties without any doubt and foul play. Arjuna had to accept his and so shall we.
Deviation from Karma led to the following anomaly:
Bloodline Varna: As people readily gave away the traditions and wisdom of religion, Varna system became an exploitative tool. I am astonished at the modern Indian society that bears different standards to a couple of classification systems having the same base - WORK. We all accept being called engineers, lawyers, doctors, accountants etc. based on our work, but never accept being called a Shudra if we are from the service industry. Varna is totally flexible in this regard, hence a human being can be classified in different Varnas at different time - based on his Karma. I will provide two examples to this fact:
1. Sage Ved Vyasa was born in a Shudra household. However, due to his deeds, he was later considered a Brahmin. 2. Similarly, Chandragupta Maurya, the great king, was born as a Shudra. Kautilya(being a Brahmin) accepted him as a disciple and promised to make him the Emperor of India. Hence, Maurya was a brahmin while he was being trained by the Kautilya - as he performed the duties of Bhiksha and Diksha that define a Brahmin. Subsequently, he can be classified as a Kshatriya when he fought for India and became the Emperor.
We can conclude that children who are not performing any duties can't be classified under the Varna system. Furthermore, the son of a Brahmin is not a Brahmin until he performs his Panthic duties (Dharma). These examples can be used as set standards to evaluate whether we are religious or not. Clearly, Indian Culture is dead and what is prevalent in our society is a rotten corpse. There is a dire need to revive the beauty of our culture and religions. Acceptance is key to this issue.