Indian dharmas are all about the individual search for liberation. Research is up to the individual to decide based on their own interpretations and abilities.
The word for independence is Swa-tantra, which doesn’t just mean to be non-dependent, it means self-governance. One of the main man-made documents for self-government of our nation, which is regularly amended, is the Constitution. The very fact that the document must be modified attests to the non-static nature of the work. You cannot be “swa + tantra” until you have a governance document representing the dharmas of the indigenous population.
CJI Ramana recently called for the Indianization of the country’s legal system. It is important to note that elected governments play on the demands of the votes cast, while the judiciary is supposed to apply checks and balances as much as the Constitution provides. It turns out that the Constitution document is unable to capture the great diversity within Indian dharmas. Many untranslatable Indian dharmics are reduced to Abrahamic rationalization by interpretation into the ill-equipped English language.
RELIGION IS NOT DHARMA: Religion is a set of organized system based on beliefs in one or more God (s). These systems often result in the non-acceptance of the existence of any other God or Dharma. It goes further in achieving the goals of the crowd, being unfavorably conversion and takeover, often with a complete separation of treatment between believers and unbelievers. These come from the “Aadesh” philosophy of strict commandments to define whether someone is a believer or not.
On the contrary, Indian dharmas are all about the individual search for liberation. Research is up to the individual to decide based on their own interpretations and abilities. Dharmas come from the “Updesh” philosophy of recommendations. The four Indian dharmas encompass all, living, non-living, and the entire universe. You can say the dharma of water and that of fire. You can’t spell their religions.
THE TEMPLE IS NOT MANDIR: The temple is a place of worship. Man + dir is a place where you uplift your inner self.
The mandirs were university campuses, centers for feeding the population in prasad, centers for art, research, medicine, etc. The vihaaras between the ancient mandirs were exchange and research programs between students and professors. Each mandir has several different types of goals based on the supreme values represented by which Bhagwaan pran-pratishtha is accomplished.
PRAYER AND WORSHIP ARE NOT POOJA, ANUSHHAAN, YAGYA OR AARTI: The word prayer has its origin in asking for material things and asking forgiveness of sins. Prayer can be done anywhere in a temple, in front of a teacher or in a court, etc.
Pooja, Anushthaan, Yagya, and Aarti are completely different from prayer or worship. Indian dharmas aim to seek spirituality and individual liberation. You cannot ask for material things while seeking liberation.
GOD IS NOT BHAGWAAN: There is no concept of God in Indian dharmas. Indian dharmas aim to seek the supreme values represented by the Bhagwaan. Indian Bhagwaans are not forces that exist in an unknown place like the gods of religions. Indian Dharmas emphasize that the supreme element is in each of us and everywhere. Indian dharmas do not come from the concept of “devotee of God” worship.
Religion is about believing in a God-fearing life. Indian dharmas are all about seeking a life fearing karma. Religions believe in the concept of a life. Indian dharmas speak of life cycles based on your past and current karmas.
THE IDOL IS NOT MURTIED: The idol can belong to anyone and can be installed anywhere. You can display a poster or an idol of a politician, sportsman, scientist, etc.
What we Indians do in mandirs is not idol worship. Murti is completely different. Murti is an embodied physical representation of the Bhagwaans to seek and invoke the divine principle that they represent.
CASTE IS NOT JAATI, DHARMA, VARNA OR KULA: Caste is another western word imposed on us. Even in the West where the word originated, the occupation of people was marked by their surnames as blacksmith, barber, porter, tailor, etc.
A person’s occupation in ancient India had nothing to do with his dharma. In the absence of the current format of education, the elders passed on skills to the next generation in the same family. It had nothing to do with the birth of a person or Jaati.
CONCLUSION: All the false stories being peddled about Hindus and Indian Dharmas are mainly because of this infantile and half-baked English language, which doesn’t even have the capacity to have a clue of what this diversity is. Unfortunately, since we have borrowed the format of the Constitution from the West, the entire current legal framework suddenly brushes up whenever a case arises regarding Indian dharmic traditions. Whether it was the Places of Worship Act or the Sabarimala affair or the general hype of Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism as religions, things are completely gone in the world. look in terms of interpretations by the judiciary.
In this context of realizing that the Indian state does not have the capacity or the resources to even map the diversity of each of our dharmas, sampradayas and mandirs, the unidirectional application of the legal framework based on the word Western model ” religion ”must stop as soon as possible.
Ankit Shah is an Indian subcontinent foreign policy and security studies analyst.