Hindu Purohit Sangh
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शीर्षक

HINDU SOCIETY AT CROSS-ROADS: Evolving a Manifesto for Hindu Renaissance. ( MUST READ)


विवरण

Politically speaking , the Hindu community today is more conscious of its identity than ever before . Yet , we find that the majority are at a state of confusion so far as their understanding of the fundamentals principles of Hindu Dharma are concerned . There is loosening bond of religion on it's followers .The order is missing, there is confusion regarding ways , believes and practices in Hindu society. Thus in absence of a religious bonds , political consciousness , though so essential , becomes meaningless in a long run. Today, we find that a section of Hindus are disoriented ; there is digression from faith, digression from its ways and means; which can have serious consequences if this trend continues for long. The structural aspect of society is crumbling. Varna systems, which cemented the community for centuries is withering away as it got degenerated over time and has outlived its relevance. The Varna system, in someway played the same role which is played by Hierarchy of Church among Christens ( pope, cardinal, bishop and pastor ) and Imams among Muslims. Yet, the Varna system, though cemented the Hindus in an structure, is essentially divisive. However, this withering of Varna system is taking place without an alternative structure shaping up for replacement. Nevertheless, the disintegration of caste system is the best thing to happen for social integration in Hindu Society, therefore, it needs to be welcomed by one and all. As a matter of fact, the priestly structure similar to Christianity could never come up in Hindu Dharma. The institution of Shankaracharya could not develop into hierarchical system encompassing Mahamandleswar, Mahant and purohit-pujari in a formal sense. Further ,the Brahmin centered priestly caste did not get the type of guidance from successive Shankaracharyas in a formal manner . Therefore the priestly class also started disintegrating due to various reasons like lack of its representative character , caste consciousness in the society, loss of credibility , unorganized nature and so on. This process has become more pronounced in recent past and Hindu religious and political leadership also did not attempt to strengthen the otherwise totally unstructured priestly class.The priestly profession has also started loosing its lucrative character as there is total absence of institutionalized support system to priestly profession among Hindus.This has in the recent past, led to a situation where the new generation of Brahmins are withdrawing from priestly profession, on the one side , and lack of institutionalized attempt as well as missing enthusiasm among other casts to join priestly profession due to apathy of society, on the other . The result is there to see as the Hindu priests are even not available for essential rites today in many localities .This virtually forces the community to forgo the essential rituals thus one more factor which binds Hindus is going to become the casualty. Another challenge is restoration of the respect of Purohits , as a section of society treats them responsible for many ills in Hindu religion. In fact the situation is not new .People were left directionless for centuries, therefore , easy pray to religious poaching . Self seekers , black magicians, even criminals in the garb of sadhus, made the situation worst. Today the sacred institutions of Hindus are being commercially exploited by selfish people. The Puja , Jhankis, Ramlila , Garba, and virtually every possible occasion is being sponsored for selfish motives . The politicians take the mike in the midst of Ramlila as they get dedicated crowed. It is disheartening to see that the posters of Lord Ganesha are replete with all kind of advertisements during Ganpati festival in Mumbai and same is the fate of Janmastami where film stars find great opportunity to market their films and what not. A number of self styled preachers have started placing their own statutes in place of Gods and Goddesses in temples and places of worship. Their statues are at times taller and bigger and at higher pedestal than even Lord Shiva in some of the temples.This not limited to Sai Temple. Why should we ignore the Akasyardham temples ? Who will dare to tell these people not to put their statues in temples or harm our faith .In few years beck a criminal was found operating as fake shankaracharya Further , in absence of unified guidelines some sections have digressed from faith and started worshipping living human beings, dead or mortals. The gullible masses are being misguided by self proclaimed upholder of the faith . It is a free for all situation all round with absolute freedom of faith ! Many of our preachers and religious teachers do not possess basic understanding of the sublime philosophies of our religion, therefore, they make people to believe as if Hindu Dharma is animistic and it is all about holy cow , worship of gurus , godman, and so many superstations . Multiplicity of Gurus is a divisive force in Hindu Dharma particularly when they start creating their own version of believes and sects. Unbridled materialism and lack of respect to their traditions and lack of concern to poor co -religionists among large number of Hindus is a bigger threat to Hindu Dharma than anything else. Our educational institutions are westernized .The great liberal tradition is under constant threat from organized religions .The society today looks directionless and leaderless and in order to satisfy their religious cravings people often reach to wrong hands of fake Godmen. Some of our Gurus and Sadhus have dubious distinction and few of them are in jails.The concept of Tyag ( renunciation) seems to have been lost lost in the mad rush for Mercedes among some of our Saadhus. Is it not the alarm bell for the believers of this great religion ? The result of all above is there to see. This type of situation in a community leads to pathos and what the famous sociologist Emile Durkheim calls normlessness . This is reflected in what is happening in our society. Our temples are in a chaotic situation, and there are instances of stampede taking place now and then in our religious places . If the suicide rate is any indication , one third of the suicide in the world are taking place in India ( as reported by WHO recently). Who is responsible for this state of affairs. What the society expects from their institutionalized religious leadership of Jagatguru Shankaracharyas . The institution of Shankaracharya is unparalleled in the world, all of the Shankaracharyas , who graced the Piths in last 1200 years , have lived incredible lives full of serenity, divinity, renunciation, dedication . Though the same can not be said regarding taking all Hindus along and giving direction to faith by these saints. Where Adi Shankara firmly established Sanatan Dharma across the sub-continent , the subequent Shankaracharyas could not maintain that status keep aside further spread. Rather a large section of Hindus sliped toother religions and the process continues even today. Thankfully, many positive things happening today are due to the efforts to galaxy of Sadhus, great Munis, and enlightened Gurus and Swamis, who have kept the light of Hindu Dharma burning. They dedicated their lives for spread and glorification of Hindu Dharma. Today we actually need thousands of Gurus like Adi Sharankaracharya, and Swami Vivekananda, who will produce institutions. As the need for new institutions is being felt today more than ever.There is no alternative to institutional solutions to the problems Hinduism is facing today. In fact Vishwa Hindu Parishad and RSS are the the only representative institutions in existence today but they are confined to temporal matters. What is the solution to our problems in view of complex social realities of present day complex society ? The Multi pronged initiatives required may include the following : 1. Hindus expect the Jagatgure Shankaracharyas take complete charge of the religious leadership with unified directions to followers of Faith on the spiritual matters .The Hindus worldwide expect Shankaracharya to play the same role for them as played by Adi Shankara.The focus has to be on the followers sitting in the fringe areas and bottom of the society. In fact it was , perhaps for the first time since ages that a Shankaracharya had finally stood-up and asked Hindus, in a carefully worded statements, not to digress in their beliefs and reframe from worshipping Sai Baba. This was very rare as after Adi Shankaracharya this institution remained quite dormant and Shankaracharyas remained quite alienated from the masses. This top Hindu religious leadership rather remained engrossed in karmkanda , which was perhaps not in the minds of Adi Shankara while institutionalizing his mission and movement . 2. A hierarchy of priestly class needs to be established with institutional framework , this has become necessary in view of rising complexities in society. The chain is based on the existing set up only and would runs like this - Shankaracharya Mandal at top, followed by Mahamandaleswar, Acharys / Mahant, and Purohit-Saadhus -Pujaris at grassroots level , each reporting to the higher one. As a matter of fact, a hierarchically organized priestly professional class would not only replace the withering Varna system but also it is the only solution for strengthening the Hindu society . All supervision and direction rests with the top. All purohit to be attached with Mahants and their ares defined. They can be stationed in temples and s be paid some amount to take care of the basic needs . This money should be contributed by community in an Endowment Fund which would have to be created. The Purohit themselves should be stratified and organized in a hierarchy based on their qualifications. Training and Recruitment of Purohit and pujaris should be taken up looking into the global needs.Training Institutes for Purohit, Pujari and Archaks should be established with support from community . We should establish best possible training centers for Hindu priests in all the state capitals with satellite centers.We need to attract best brain to this profession. Recruitment drive from non traditional sections, i.e; OBC, SC-ST and Women and other deprived sections should be initiated, trained and send to fill the vacancies everywhere in the world. Not a single centre of repute for training of purohit have come up in last century even though the reach of Guru -Shisya parampara is narrowing down. Therefore , the newly established Hindu Purohit Sangh, which also is a reform movement in the profession of purohiti, needs to to strengthened with all sincerity. Early we realize the fact that a reformed Purohit- Pujari institution will have to become backbone of our society . 3. Institutionalized effort are required towards unity of Hindus of all castes , creeds, nationalities, denominations . Hindu Dharma is now a world religion therefore all our efforts should keep this min. Spread of this sublime philosophy among more and more people in the world is required to establish Vasudhaiv Kutambam ,i.e. Ramrajya in the entire world. At the same time we have to focus on far flung areas , leftover communities, people living in forest and so on. Our efforts should not be confined to middle and upper classes only. Inter-caste marriage , dining, prayers is what needs to be encouraged. The Himanchal Government provides assistance of Rs. 75000/- for inter-caste marriages and this type of efforts need to be encouraged. These steps have to become part of mass awakening. 4. Dharma Prasar Kendra should be established in each district Head quarter in India and in major cities in the world.These centers will help people who want to acquire knowledge of Hinduism and want to join Hindu fold. These Facilitation Centers should have all sects options including Arya Samaj, Sanatan Dharma and so on. Purohits and temple priests should be impanelled for this. At the same time we should focus on material and spiritual upliftment of SC/SC /OBC which will finally alleviate caste system . Saivism has for centuries appointed these classes as priests and we need to popularize that. Elimination of cate is of paramount importance for Hindu Dharma to flourish. Consolidate the Sanatan Dharma , also known as Hindu Dharma is need of the hour. As on date there is nobody to enforce discipline among the delinquents as the Naaga Saadhus , the militant spiritual force created by Adi Shankara to perform this role , has lost that function in the present day democratic set up . The institution of Shankaracharyas , conscience keepers of society , will have to develops representative charter and become symbol for Hindu unity. As a matter of fact there no restriction on making this institution more inclusive as this decision rests entirely with the incumbent Shankaracharya . It is not that we did not have people with great qualities as Shankaracharya in past . In fact Shri Chandrashekhandra Saraswati was one of them .The Kanchi Math has taken some pioneering initiatives in this regard. The concept of Tyag ( renunciation) which is the greatest virtue for the tapaswi perhaps need survival so that there is no mad rush for Mercedes among some of our Sanyasis. Though some of our Saints, Sadhus and Munis have done incredible contribution on various directions to our religion but it is more of their personal efforts rather then institutionalized support from community . Not a single formal institution on Research and Analysis of Hindu Religion has come up in India ! No world class Community Centre where community members can hold functions like Ram Lila, Janmastami, Vijayadasmi, Maker sankranti , and community get together etc. , have come up in our cities. As a result there in no space to hold these events . As per one survey the number of Ramlila in Delhi have reduced by 80 percent in last 25 years , mainly due to various restrictions by different authorities and lack of institutional support .Unfortunately, some of the wealthy Hindus are spending millions on Tantrics and fake Sadhus, often for selfish reasons, but not ready to spend a penny for community service. Interestingly there is no organisation of Hindus which will receive the Endowments if someone wants to donate . The existing endowment boards are the one created by government and the fund so generated is also not always utilized for the purpose the donors would have expected. Hindu Dharma is in fact more like orphan today as most of the philanthropic support goes to temples , Gurus or the institutions they create and governments. Lack of centralized religious body to channelize the funding is a serious issue. There is a serious deficit of Institutional framework in Hindu Order. The Hindu Purohit Sangh feels that our religious leaders need to come together and take course corrective initiatives , some of them are as followed 1.Clarity of thought and believes, Concept of Iswara, Shiva as the supreme godhead needs to be spread to masses 2. List of Dos and Dont's should be brought our on various spears.Some of them are as followed :- a. Not to throw anything including flowers of Puja in the rivers. b. Not to offer flowers , money, coconut, incense sticks, or any other offerings in the Garbhagriha or idols. They should be offered at the designated places only.Every devotee should dedicate sometime in the temple for cleaning of the surroundings. c. Dead bodies should be cremated in pollution free decent crematoriums only. d. Nobody should be allowed to print images of God and Goddesses in their pamphlets, calendars, or any other material having commercial contents. 2. Guidelines should be issued on celebration of festivals , Yatras, Jhankis, conduct of Sanskaras and karmkandas. 3. We must liberate our religion from the clutches of numerous self seeking Godman. We need to re -examine the concept of Guru as this has become most misused term these days. 4. Statues of humans should be removed from the temples in a systematic manner. They should be kept in the museum of temples. 5. Universalization and standardization of content and method of Puja , Arti , Karmakanda and Sanskara . All should be familiarized with the core knowledge of Hindu Dharma . Maha Aarti concept to be encouraged as large gatherings will bring ( kutumb) family feeling among Hindus. Similarly, railies, jhankis, kirtans, disciplined congregations than large queues should be emphasized. There is need to adopt popular Arti from marathi or other languages in Hindi as they are older traditions. Copy of arti, mantra and puja should provided in every temple to people during puja which would be returned by them at the end. The Hindu Purohit Sangh believes that some of the later scriptures contain some not so positive references for some sections of society . These references are added by selfish priestly cast of that time . This is time to separete these slokas from books on Karmkandas and sanskaras.The purohit Sangh plans to bring out s new series of books in this regard. The sangh will also encourage best of priests to carry out pujas in the houses of deprived sections on priority. 6. Construct Multi-story congregation centers with multiple auditoriums of various sizes for holding community pujas, spiritual congregation, Maha-arti, Kirtan, Bhajan , Ramlila- Krishna lila , mahapuja and celeberation of various type, morning prayers, katha listening, and Bhajan in community halls 7. Encourage universal Darshan instead of rushing to get closure to idols. 8. Declare that a parliament of Shankaracharyas , to be chaired by the senior most one , can only speak on matters of faith and they only have the right to interpret scriptures and they have to come out of the castiest framework , if any. 9. Broad base the role of purohit by capacity enhancement so that they can attend discourses in schools, inter religious debates as advocate of religion, give sermons, include yoga, pranayam, meditation and . Inculcation of moral values and ethics is the most important virtue for them. 10. Traditional concept like Hanuman Vyayam sala and Akhadas needs to be revived and encouraged. Each temple should have sports and gymnasium facilities whereever possible as physical well being is necessary for spiritual realization ( Sarira madhyam khalu dharma Saadhanam). Massive efforts are needed to strengthen Ayurveda and Naadi Gyan..This is also part of our Hindu Way of life . 11. Meetings of Dharma sansad should be held twice in a year . 12. A Temple and Pilgrimage Advisory Board may be created as an umbrella organization having advisory function on better management of various temples, endowments, charitable institutions, temple properties and pilgrimages all over the world. 13. An Organizing Committee needs to be established to help in organising the religious events. It will also have role to pre-empt disasters, stampede situation and issue guidelines in consultation with conrned authorities.Early it is made the better. 14. Hindu Endowment Board may be created to channelize financial support for religious work. Known Hindus may be appointed to the Board by Shankaracharyas and Gurus. 15.We need to popularize the concept of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam among Hindus . First of all Hindus have to behave like a Kutumb. We have to facilitate religious needs of co- religionists. Every member should aspire to work for betterment of co-religionists and fulfillment of their religious and metaphysical needs as ordained in our scriptures . 16.The authority to enforce order should rest with Mahamandaleswar/ Mahant in their area and issues of digression from faith may be tackled through educational means. Parents may be issued guidelines on daily practices . 17. It is interesting to know that the Hindus children are getting their schooling at Christen schools. There is many fold increase in Christen institutions in India post independence whereas not a single prestigious chain of schools based on Hindu Values come up. The result is there to see as a completely alienated generation has come up, which is not proud of its roots. Hindu Dharma is an ever evolving religion ,it is flexible with sublime philosophies treasured from large number of Rishis and enlightened souls therefore it will never be threatened by scientific advancement. The Biggest question is who will take initiative towards above suggestions . Let us debate on this . But to give shape to things the Hindu Purohit Sangh proposes the following tentative composition of the committee to work out on the above suggestions :- 1. All five Shankarayas, Mahamandaleswers and Mahants 2. Rastriya Swamsewak Sangh pramukh. 3. President of VHP 4. Baba Ramdev ji 5. Shri Shri Ravi shankar ji 6. Muni Chidananda Saraswati ji 7.Shri Rajiv Malhotra 8 Two Business personalities.

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