‘As the most beautiful image carved by man was not the god, but only a symbol to help towards conceiving the god; so the god himself, when conceived, was not the reality but only a symbol to help towards conceiving the reality’. Our ancient ‘philosophical’ writings like Gita also lays stress on ethical and moral principles in statecraft and life in general. Without the foundation of religion there can not be true happiness and society cannot hold together. Hindutva not only has spiritual connotation but comprises a beautiful philosophy of life.
Hinduism, as a faith, is vague, amorphous, many sided, all things to all men. It is hardly possible to define it, or indeed to say definitely whether it is a religion or not, in the usual sense of the word. In its present form, and even in the past, it embraces many beliefs and practices, from the highest to the lowest, often opposed to or contradicting each other. Its essential spirit seems to be to live and let live. Mahatma Gandhi has attempted to define it: ‘If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: Search after truth through nonviolent means. A man may not believe in God and still call himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth. Hinduism is the religion of truth. Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known.’ Truth and non-violence, so says Gandhi.
Hindutva in its viraat darshan is liberal, liberating and brooks no ill will, hatred or violence among communities on any ground. It’s is an integral understanding of entire creation, showing the way both to the Here and Hereafter. It emphasizes the inseparable relationship between manís material and spiritual needs. Itís a symbol of love that transcends artificial boundaries of religion, race or cast and embraces the entire community. In its true essence, It’s a stridently assertive rational-humanist line of reasoning which can be described by the practitioners of this outlook as “Heenam Naashaayati iti Hinduhu” (Those who uphold righteousness and fight ignobleness are Hindus). Thus, far from being a narrow nationalistic doctrine, Hindutva is in its true essence, ‘a timeless and universal compilation of human wisdom’. Hence it is also called “Sanatana” which means, something that is “forever continuing”.
Two instances of Hindu Principles that symbolize the outcome of freedom of thought are the pronouncements made not today, but four thousand years back by unnamed rishis (Hindu ascetics) that, “This world is one family” (Vasudaiva Kutumbakam) and that “The Universal Reality is the same, but different people can call it by different names” (Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti). In these two proclamations made in ancient Hindu India, we see the seeds of globalization and freedom of thought, four thousand years before the world was to become the global village of today.
Great modern thinkers have taught us that the reason was superior to belief (Hegel); that God diminished man’s sublimity (Feuerbach); that religion was an ‘opiate of the masses’ (Marx); and there was no ‘future of an illusion’ (Freud) because ‘God was dead’ (Nietzsche). So, I turned for understanding the inspiration to the third goal of classical Indian life, to dharma or right conduct, rather than the transcendent goal of moksha. Dharma was secular while moksha was religious. Over time I have discovered, however, that a secular life based on the noble end of dharma cannot substitute the mesmerising power of moksha. Secularism is a noble but limited ethic ó I don’t think it can replace religion. In a similar vein, Habermas explains that many of our modern ideals, such as the intrinsic worth of all human beings that underlies human rights, stem from the religious idea of the equality of all men in the eyes of God.
Only those religions who can suspend the temptation of theological narcissism, the conviction that my religion alone provides the path to salvation are welcome in our rapidly changing, post-secular world. Tilak, while delivering speeches on national education in 1908 maintained: “We are not given such education as may inspire patriotic sentiments. Secular education only is not enough to build up a character. Religious education is also necessary because the study of high principles keep us away from evil pursuits.” Leaders and philosophers of our freedom movement had their vision of education system to be linked with the cultural heritage of the country. Vivekananda believed that for a ìqualitatively higher stage of societyî ideal of Indian social endeavour was necessary. While Tilak aspired for Dharmrajya, Gandhiji believed in Ramrajya. The BJS ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay in post-independent India believed in integral humanism. If the vision of our national thinkers, who fought for freedom of the country, is taken into consideration, our educational system must have a spiritual dimension to materialistic pursuit. The pursuit of Dharm, Arth, Kama and Moksha in a balanced manner is possible only if the age-old education system in India is linked with modern and scientific education. About Sanskrit language, Prof. Max Muller of world fame said, , ìSanskrit is the greatest language in the world, the most powerful and the most perfectî Similarly, Sir W. Hunter was of the view that Grammar (Sanskrit) of Panini stands supreme among the grammars of the world. It stands forth as one of the most splendid achievements of human invention and industry. The Hindus have made a language and a literature and a religion of rare stateliness.î
Our Vedic philosopher Maharshi Gautam had rightly pointed out in his ‘Nyay Sutras’ that “the knowledge derived from observation, inference, comparison and testimony should objectively be verified by discussion, which usually leads to the enquiry of truth. Although Hindus are a majority in this country and followers of Hinduism are almost always Hindus still ‘Hindutva’ as a word does not explicitly belong to a Hindu. Neither is it necessary to be ‘Hindu’ nor to be ‘Indian’ to follow Hindutva, which is what that word implies. It teaches us that ‘the entire world of mortals is a self-dependent organism’.