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De-Monotheising the Human Mind the Hindu Way

Ranbir Singh April 26, 2012 Analysis/Insights 8 Comments
De-Monotheising the Human Mind the Hindu Way
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Almost a thousand years of cultural onslaught have left Hindus apologetic about their beliefs. They are keen to mould them into the framework dominated by a monotheistic mindset which holds sway even when it is mutated into terms such as rational, scientific and even atheist. Such is the power of monotheism that it infects even ideologies which purport to be antagonistic to any form of religious belief and it does so without most of us even realising.

Not widely known but John Gray is one of the western world’s most profound philosophers , and with his 2007 publication ‘Black Mass’ which is perhaps the most underrated book of the century thus so far. For those who thought that any attack on aggressive atheism would come from evangelical style preaching were sorely mistaken. Derided as being too negative even for nihilists, Gray uses calm and cogent methodology to unravel the Christian worldview which we take for granted in spheres which we would never have imagined. For instance the seemingly innocuous subject of economics has its theoretical springboard in Christianity, in both Marxist statism and free market libertarianism.

The common denominator is the utopia which they promise their disciples. One only needs to observe how dogmatic people of various political persuasions cling to the amorphous ‘theory’ in the wake of its failure in the real world. In all cases the ‘theory’ must be right and it is humans that are flawed having polluted the perfect ‘theory’. If this sounds disturbingly like religious fundamentalism then that is because to all intents and purposes it is.

If Richard Dawkins acts like an aggressive evangelist that is because in his own way he is one because bizarrely his atheism needs religion to exist in order to deny it. The ‘theory’ is the god in whatever form it is manifest. It is the only true being worthy of worship and commands blind obedience. Gray warns us that denial and especially suppression of religious belief will lead to its resurrection in grotesque formats. Hence the ‘self-improvement’ groups which are in fact very successful cults using the format bequeathed to them by monotheism to force down their unbending message without compromise.

Essential to all these is the sense of crisis which has its origins in Christianity’s idea of the End-Time. Earlier cultures did not believe this. Instead they held to a cyclical view of world history. That which exists must necessarily be destroyed. Out of ashes it is then recreated. While the millenarianism of

Christianity has been secularised into the rarely questioned assumption that that future will always entail progress, this has not always brought benefits. In fact it has induced a false sense of flattered egotism via an assumed reality centred on the state of ‘present’ which refuses to examine that the entire human mindset has been put through a state of historical disconnect.

It is therefore not surprising that Hindus are keen to be seen as gravitating towards this norm when even cultures that unambiguously spoke to cyclical views of history have been remoulded by monotheistic imperialism to assume a millenarian attire. For example the Mayan prophecies are said to speak of a cataclysmic destruction and a literal apocalypse in December 2012. But the records and calculations actually refer to the end of an era and the dawn of a new age. That is in keeping with how other ancient cultures viewed history.

If John Gray is little known even in western countries then we can expect little justice to be accorded to the pioneering work of Hindu scholars Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel.

Towards the end of the twentieth century they laboured almost unknown even in their native India towards giving Hindus back their own history and cultural awareness. In doing so they attacked the very assumption that monotheism was superior, which as I have explained, is something which even today we take for granted.

Even many people in the west who regard themselves as multicultural and having respect for other cultures would nevertheless assume that those deemed of lesser quality on the hierarchy remain in their place and at a safe distance. But this is like admiring nature solely through taxidermy.

However both Swarup and Goel had the one major advantage that unlike most other cultures, the Indian tradition had never been completely obliterated by the monotheist onslaught and thereby had kept ties to its ancient roots. Many times they wrote how as western pagans began to rediscover their long suppressed past it was India ’s surviving spirituality which would help them overcome the mental rust of monotheism.

India not only survived but it fought back when physically threatened. Under the inspiration of the Mother goddess Bhavani the great Hindu pagan warrior Shivaji was one of many such figures fought to save this ancient culture from the attack of aggressive monotheism which brought slavery, genocide and devastation in its wake, all in the service to that one true jealous god. In the modern age the pen is mightier than the sword and the keyboard can be more influential than the Kalashnikov.

As western countries shake off the crushing weight of dogmatic religion they find that the monotheist curse remains in the secular ideologies which have replaced a once omnipotent church. Confused by generations of despiritualisation which pushed blind rituals over meaningful insight and outward aggression over the sense of an inward journey of self-awareness, they are easy prey to the secular cults which retain a sense of purpose.

Those that wish to find their pagan roots unintentionally give it the same structure of the backward monotheistic toxin which they left behind. It is for this reason that Swarup and Goel felt that India was essential to help Europe ’s pagans and indeed other long suppressed indigenous cultures. As India ’s rise leads to renewed interests in the ancient culture of that country it will also allow Hindus to not only shake off the monotheistic straightjacket but by doing so help the rest of humanity to do the same.

For more on Sita Ram Goel and Ram Swarup online literature please visit Voice of Dharma

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About The Author

Ranbir Singh : Writer and lecturer, HHR chairman : BA (Honours) History, MA History from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London : , Have lectured previously at De Montfort University, London School of Economics, Sternberg Centre for Reform Judaism. Contributor to various political and human rights discussion outfits.

  • http://anaryasviews.blogspot.in/ Krishna Vatsa

    The sheer ignorance of Hindutvavadis and Sangh Parivar Fellow Travellers amuses me. Poor people don’t even know that Sita Ram Goel was a ruthless critic of the RSS. They may read Goel’s “Time for Stock Taking – Wither Sangh Parivar?” to know what he and other reasonable Hindus think about their beloved Sangh Parivar. To know more about the so-called political achievements of the RSS they may refer to “Bharatiya Janata Party vis-a-vis Hindu Resurgence” by Koenraad Elst. Goel and Swarup never wrote about Hindutva. But they have always written about Sanatana Dharma and the Hindu community. Their literature is published by the Voice of India, a publishing house they themselves founded. They never needed any help from the RSS who they think is the “first line of defence” of Islam and Christianity. The RSS is a dinosaur, having big body with tiny brain. That is why all Hindu intellectuals refer to the quality books of Voice of India instead of low-quality Sanghi books.

    • Kumaran

      Krishna Vatsa, the “Prasad” below happens to be author of one of the letters in the book you quoted – “Wither Sangh Parivar”, I know him personally. There is no need for the pomp you just showed, and if you can manage some manners, stick to the point without throwing mud on organizations.
      When monotheism is the topic at hand, what worthwhile comment could you make on the subject?

      By the way many of the 19-20 century movements happen to be badly influenced by monotheistic idea some way or the other – ISKCON, Arya Samaj etc. While theism is not an area of a socio-cultural organization like RSS, it resisted the monotheistic mindset better than those spiritually oriented organizations just mentioned, as is visible from the official stand of the concerned parivar organizations like VHP. The raw-looking commonsense in the Hindu movements can hardly be appreciated through book-reading. It needs a lot of experience, of movements, of social developments, and an understanding of the impact of movements at the deepest levels of social psyche over decades.

      • admin

        Kumaran, You’re totally right.This monotheist template taken up by neo hindu groups is doing more damage within hindu society than the real monotheists themselves.Its a Trojan horse within which will open the door to islam and christianty by doing 90 percent of damage first

      • http://anaryasviews.blogspot.in/ Krishna Vatsa

        This anti-intellectual approach has taken the RSS commomsensical people nowhere. The RSS is totally incapable of handling the intellectual attacks on the Hindu community. It is always ready to retract its earlier statements. It is an organization of lathi-carrying fools. And Hindu society is not dependent on the “secular” and “liberal” RSS for its protection.

        • Kumaran

          Ah! there you go! See how this man carefully avoids the discussion but repeats his cheap comments. What is your “intellectual” contribution, Krishna Vatsa? Where are your publications? What is its impact on the “protection” of “Hindu Society”? Demonstrate your credibility.

          • http://brahmanayoddha.blogspot.in/ Krishna Vatsa

            Views of the great Hindu scholar Sita Ram Goel on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh: “The RSS is the biggest collection of duffers that ever came together in world history” (1989), “The RSS is leading Hindu society into a trap from which it may not recover” (1994), “Hindu society is doomed unless this RSS-BJP movement perishes” (2003).

            Source: Koenraad Elst, Hindu activism outside the Sangh – http://koenraadelst.blogspot.in/2011/08/hindu-activism-outside-sangh.html

  • Nagaraj

    Why do you mean by cheap literature? Be grateful lthere is still something publishing /preserving such literaturre? This arrogance will surely ;not work. Cheap literature ? your assumed intellectual superiority ? Who cares for your crap?Well can you name the books that are cheap as per your standards? Get in touch with Sangh Parivar book stores to see books displayed over there.

  • prasad

    I have no particular comment on krishna vatsa’s jibe at sangh parivar’s hindutva literature at this juncture but one thing is certain. It is the sangh parivar which housed the much neglected books of Goel and Swarup in its book sales outlets, got some of their books translated into, to my knowledge, atleast two regional languages,namely Telugu and Kannada.If today Goel and swarup are known in southern states(and they are not known or read much in northern states according to Goel’s own admission) a large share of the credit goes to the sangh parivar. This is my own experience. Iam myself purveying Goel,swarup knowledge in my own small way. One more thing. Let us not judge sangh parivar the way blindmen judge the shape of an elephant. No doubt certain parts of the elephant may be less than the best we saw elsewhere, but it is the overall objectives and the total impact of the work of any organization that ultimately counts when the chips are down. On this count sangh parivar is much misunderstood and dis-served. The present writeup on de-monotheising human mind the Hindu way is timely and relevant.Much needs to be written and discussed about it. regards. prasad.