Dharma and Adharma

By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 06-10-2011

Programming, Deprogramming, and
Reprogramming the World – 14

 Hinduism was decaying and getting
mired in deep muck mostly occasioned by a powerful, influential Brahmanic
culture rotting in morally degenerate practices such as untouchability, child
marriage, and forbidden status of re-marriage for widows. Especially in South
India the Namboothiri Brahmins acquired considerable socio-economic power from
the continuous wars between Cheras and Cholas, and used their powerful
positions to carry out their oppressive social and religious dictates. When
struggle for political independence from Western colonialism, that was equally
rotting if not more, gathered momentum, enlightened intellectuals and reformers
were forced to look into their own evil structures and systems. They knew political
freedom from colonizers aboard could not be divorced from individual and moral
freedom at home. Ram Mohan Roy initiated socio-religious reforms speaking
against sati, caste rigidity, polygamy, and child marriage. Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa inaugurated a new era sowing seeds of change for harmony of
religions and service of humanity. Dayananda Saraswati, who inspired many
reformers and freedom fighters who shaped modern India, renounced his
comfortable life at home; he ran away from home to escape the will of his
father who was determined to keep him at home in traditional roles; he spared
no trouble in search of the soul of Hinduism in the centers of Hinduism.
Putting his own life at risk he visited far away places like Kashi and
Badrinath, studied Vedas, experienced firsthand the appalling condition of
Hinduism, and gave a clarion call for socio-political-religious reform. He was
the first one to give the call for swarajya
(self-governance) in 1876 saying “India for Indians” thus sounding the first
death knell for British colonialism. His definition of dharma and adharma and
the ten principles of Arya Samaj he founded conveyed the sound message that all
actions should be performed with the prime object of benefiting humankind. He
was highly critical of Christianity and Islam. Rather than discrediting
Christian scriptures through his amateurish, uninformed discourses on them he
could have done even better if he had confined himself to pointing out the
hypocrisy and disconnect of a Christian colonial regime while the Christian
missionaries attempted to spread the message of love through education,
service, and conversion.

Vivekananda, Gandhi, and Narayana
Guru stand out as the three socio-spiritual-political reformers and architects
of modern India who unstintingly built on their predecessors, and extricated
Hinduism while it was choking on its own vomit, and restored it to its own
pristine, Vedic purity and glory. While I high-light some I by no means want to
discount the contributions and sacrifices of 
persons like Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Pyne, Ramanna Maharshi, Rabindranath
Tagore, Aurobindo Gosh and many others in the realm of the spirit. (To be
continued).

About The Author

Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti

Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.