Secularism is a means of controlling religion
How did you get inclined towards Hinduism?
At the age of less than 20, I was exposed to the teachings of such gurus as Sri Aurobindo, Maharishi Raman, Ma Anandamayi, Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda. I also got attracted towards Bhakti, Vedanta, Yoga, Astrology. Nothing like this existed in the western world. Curiosity grew and on studying I realized that all these things, teachings are very old and rich. Then automatically took this path.
Hindus living in India take a taken for granted approach regarding their religion, its teachings and talks. What should be done to change this attitude and to re-identify India as a world guru?
This is a very important and pertinent question. India’s education system is heavily influenced by western values. Here the views of the western media are also so much influenced by the people that they consider the point of view served by them to be correct. Foreign media, in their own way, reports on the prevailing beliefs and faith in India, by which people from here and outside form an opinion. It is important to understand that the teachings of Hinduism and Yoga are being adopted by people all over the world as Indians are spread all over the world. Apart from this, its relevance has also been accepted by modern and medical science. It is important for Indians to have a straight understanding of their traditions without any prejudice. Western terminology is not correct for the interpretation of Hinduism. Hinduism is not a belief system because there is no one God, one scripture. To call it a way of life is also a fallacy, and it is demeaning it because cricket can be a way of life for someone. It is the way to live in harmony with the entire universe. This is the name of a conduct, a practice. It is a search for the self, no external belief. That’s why it is necessary to improve the education system here. A cultural renaissance is necessary and efforts have already begun in this direction.
What would you say about people often not being able to differentiate between religion and mythology?
Mythology is a western concept. According to him, the name of faith in monotheism is religion and western thinking completely rejects the idea of polytheism. That’s why she gives the name of story to the ideas of some other faith, which has no truth in her eyes. By mythology they mean history. In a way, this is an attempt to degrade other votes.
There is a lot of debate on secularism in India. What is your opinion about this?
India is the only country in the world where the majority community is tax payers. This is not religious equality but a means of control over religion. Many feudal practices are still going on here. The concept of secularism in the West was introduced to prevent Christian conversion and control Christian dominance in the government, so that the administration works in a democratic manner. Christian and Muslim sects in India have much freedom as compared to Hindus, so what kind of religious equality is this? Globally, the percentage of Hindu voters is the lowest. Similar is the situation in universities, in the academic world.
Is the notion of equality of all religions a political gimmick in today’s time?
Universal equality is a very modern idea. In Hinduism, religion does not mean following any fixed rules, the name of doing work according to time and situation is religion. On the contrary, the fundamentalist school of thought always insists on following the same kind of karma. In Hinduism, non-violence is also talked about and taking up arms when needed, like the war of Mahabharata was religious. We also talk about the right to live and protection of all living beings in this world.
How is the thinking of western countries towards Hinduism and spirituality?
The scope of western countries is quite large. It has many countries in Europe, Russia, Canada, South and North America. In all these countries there are Hindus who follow Krishna, follow Yogananda or follow some other sect. That’s why there is information about Hindu religion. Earlier Indians were considered superstitious, backward and poor by outsiders, but today Indians and Hindus settled abroad are the most prosperous and educated. His achievements are being acknowledged and there is also a sense of envy.
You reject the Aryan Invasion Theory and consider Aryans as the natives here. Tell me your thoughts on this?
The Aryan Invasion Theory came two hundred years ago, before that there is no evidence of such a thing. Neither do you find any encampment of soldiers from outside or any mention of horses or chariots, so that it can be known that Arya came from outside. Arya is a term of address in Hindu tradition which is used for Arjuna, Mahavira all. Genetic studies also prove that there has been no change in the genetic properties of humans in thousands of years. This is the interpretation propounded to convey the concept of ethnicity. We give more importance to virtues and deeds.