What is Hindutva? The Literal Meaning of The Oft-Spoken Word Today is the ‘Hindu Way of Living with belief in Hindu gods and goddesses, and the precepts of Hindu religion, I.e. Hinduism.’ However, the Interpretations and Observation of the same vary vastly from one Social Group, Caste or Sect of Hinduism to another, especially between the Upper and Lower Castes of Hindu society, as the principles and values and even the gods that are worshipped differ a lot between them. A lot of confusion and criticism of Hindutva has arisen as a result of this ambiguity about the exact nature of Hindutva.
Of late, some of the practices of staunch Hindus like Cow Vigilantism have drawn a lot of public ire because of the increasing incidence of cases of Mob Lynching of persons found or suspected of abducting Cows for Sale to Slaughter Houses, or for Beef eating, mostly of Muslims, which has strained the relations between Hindus and Muslims more than ever before. Another allegation against Hindu Society is the discrimination and ill treatment of Dalits (who are the untouchables and the lowest caste of the Hindu Society), like exploiting their labour and women, as well as denying them the use of basic facilities like getting Water from Public Wells and other sources. They are also refused entry to temples frequented by the Upper caste Hindus, which is an obstacle to Unity among the Upper and Lower castes of Hindus, and has been instrumental in inducing many Lower Caste people to get converted, to Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. (2)Coming to the different SECTIONS OF HINDUS:
The followers of the SANATAN HINDU DHARMA OF THE EARLY VEDIC ARYANS, AND THE ARYA SAMAJ, as well as ‘The Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Association’, subscribe to the Vedic worship of the Five Main Elements of the Universe, and the 33 main Gods with emphasis on the Brahmanical Trinity- Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Mahesh/Shiva the Ultimate Disposer- as also the Cow, but Do Not Perform Idol Worship.
The DRAVIDIAN Castes, and now practically all the Hindus, including Brahmins and the other Upper castes of Aryan origin, are sworn Worshippers of Idols, and are devotees of Shiva Parivar(family) including Shiva, Devi(Parvati), Ganesh, Kartikeya, and the incarna- tions ofVishnu, and also Brahma, according to some authors.
Most of the Hindus worship the Cow, but it is only the radical Hindus who resort to violence in the name of CowVigilantism and Sites for construction of Temples like RamMandir at Ayodhya.
Still different are the religious customs of the Adivasi or Aboriginal tribes of India like the NATH PANTH/Sect of GORAKHNATH and Aghoris. The Nath Panth are said to do Tantra-Mantra, that is, Magical Orgies accompanied by chanting of related hymns to cure people of ‘possession’ by ghosts or evil spirits. They do not however perform the offensive carnal and sexual rituals that are indulged in by the Aghoris. They are the devotees of Lord Dattatreya, whom they consider as an incarnation of Lord Shiva (unlike the upper Hindu castes who regard Dattatreya as the joint incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh/Shiva, but particularly Shiva).
The AGHORIS (meaning Fearless) are a related sect residing in the forests,( from whom the Nath Panth is said to have been separated by Gorakhnath with shedding of their evil customs). They are supposed to be Shaivite, Ash-smeared Naga(Nude)Sadhus, who leave their hair loose in tangled knots. They also worship the Mother Goddess Kaali, and Shiva as ‘Kaal Bhairav’, the Mother’s Consort. However, they have certain customs or rituals which are horrendous and obnoxious to the other Hindus, like Human Sacrifice, Cannibalism, Sexual Orgies with Corpses, and Sorcery or Exorcism
(3)WHY AGHORIS ARE A BLACK SPOT ON HINDU SOCIALISTS:
These AGHORIS ARE the Tribes and their rituals NOTICED BY tourists from OTHER NATIONS of the World FIRST, AND ARE SCANDALISING TO THEM, and THEREFORE REPORTED MORE PROMINENTLY than anything else, as if those rituals are an important part of Hindutva. The Upper Caste Traditional Hindus, namely, the SANATANI Hindus, become indignant and PROTEST vehemently AT THIS EMPHATIC PUBLICISATION OF THE AGHORI RITUALS AS IF they are a significant or MAIN part of HINDUTVA, and deny that their backward and repulsive practices are a common feature of Hindutva. YET, the Hindu Society, which incorporated these tribal sects as a section of it in ancient times, continues to tag them to itself, notwithstanding the fact that their above mentioned beliefs and rituals of Human Sacrifice and Cannibalism etc. are in direct or diagonal contrast and violation to those of the other Hindu Castes and communities, which abhor and condemn even Cow slaughter, leave alone Human Sacrifice for appeasement of any god/goddess!
All this confusion and resultant humiliation on account of the ghastly and repulsive customs of these backward and ignorant sects of Hindu Society before people of the Western Nations and Culture, is because of the educated Hindus not trying to enlighten and reform the Aghoris and other backward castes to shed their bloody and perverse rituals due to Superstition. As long as educated and ENLIGHTENED HINDUS do not lead the way to INSTIL HOMOGENEOUS IMPROVED CONCEPTS/PRECEPTS in keeping with modern times, IN ENTIRE HINDU SOCIETY, by weeding out the practice of undesirable, harmful and outdated customs and rituals ( including Jallikattu in Soutth India,which harasses Bulls and Cow Vigillantism besides the obviously perverse and hideous customs and rituals of the Aghoris, and superstitious practices from all the castes /sects that are acknowledged as Hindus, the exact NATURE and understanding OF ”HINDUTVA’ WILL always REMAIN VAGUE and open to Misapprehension and Harsh Criticism in all corners in the World. AT LEAST, the learned and evolved sections of Hindu Society should make it clear to the World that they are not in agreement or unison with those abiding with the dubious, superstitious and outdated practices of the Aghoris and other related sects, and vote them out of the Hindu fold !
For they are not Shaivas but ‘Shaktas’, that is, devotees of a non-Aryan goddess of some primitive tribes.
Should They be Outcast from the Hindu Society for their cadaver – ous customs or Shouldn’t they? They should first be made to understand why their practices are wrong and urged to give them up. However, if they are adamant in sticking to their beliefs and habits, they should be cast out of the Hindu Society with liability of prosecution for them! If Hindu Society cannot be firm enough to do that, it will always stand out as one of the ‘Heathen’ or ‘Pagan’ societies the World over!
(4)In my opinion,the BEST type of HiNDUTVA:
The Best way of Practice of HiNDUTVA is that propounded by Swami Vivekananda and the Ramakrishna Paramhansa Mission, whose members practice Love for Humanity and acceptance of Life as well as Tolerance of other people ‘s nature as it is, and Meditation as a way of communicating and achieving communion with the Supreme Spirit. No religious text of any religion has appealed to me or inspired me as much as the writings and personal biographies of Vivekananda and his Guru, Ramakrishna Paramhansa. I felt an immense sense of Peace during my visit to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial at the Southernmost tip of India, in the midst of the Indian Ocean, and swept by the waves of the ocean, which I have not experienced anywhere else. There is No rush or jostling one another (भगदड़) of the devotees or pilgrims just for a momentary glimpse of the idol, or accidents as at other temples, and hardly any tedious ceremonial rituals. Just Meditation on The Supreme Spirit and Heavenly Peace in the Natural Oceanic Background!
(5) REALLY speaking, HINDUISM, besides praying to the Supreme formless and abstract, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent Spirit or Power, and the many deities which are parts of it, ALSO involves the WORSHIP OF all forms and elements of NATURE and the Universe, like the (a)’Gods of the ‘Realm of Light’ or Adityas, including the various aspects of the Sun; (b) Gods of the Realm of Air or Maruts namely Indra (the God of Thunder and Rain, as well as War), Vayu(Air), Parjanya(Heavy Rain),etc; and (c) Gods of the Realm of the Earth, viz. Terrestrial Gods or Vasus, that is, Agni, Jal, Prithvi, Trees. Therefore, ONE of the
MAIN DHARMAS or Duties of Hindus is the CONSERVATION and Nurturing OF the ENVIRONMENT, which would return the care with its bounties to all living beings.
Unfortunately, very few Hindus realise the importance of the Natural treasures in today’s
Industrialised and Mechanised World, and have replaced forests with concrete jungles and factories in the name of the ‘Industrial Revolution’. As a Penalty, the whole World is Paying the Price of the indiscriminate destruction of Nature the Curse of Global Warming!
Likewise, the reason for worshipping the Cow and the Bull is essential for protecting and SAVING THE LIVESTOCK, as the nutrition of the early humans depended upon it. However, due to religious emphasis on the Cow exclusivity, only Cow slaughter and beef eating is banned. Actually, the Goat is the Poor Man’s Cow, but people don’t have qualms about killing Goats and eating Mutton.
The UNDERSTANDING Of the VALUE of ALL LIFE, that is, Nature with its Flora and Fauna(Plants, Animals and Birds), and advising others against killing livestock, unless humans are starving without it in absence of vegetables in some regions in some seasons, and if an animal is dangerous to human life, is the real Dharma of Hindus, not Lynching all and sundry for suspicion of cow slaughter and beef eating!