Durban: Dr Thillayvel Naidoo of Durban North who worked for the department of science at the University of Kwazulu-Natal conducted more than six decades of research on the Hindu religion. The religion approximately is more than five thousand years old.
He has launched several books in the past, came up with his latest book entitled “Three canons to religious intelligence”, which is a definite read for the young generation as well as the religious scholars and spiritual leaders.
Naidoo has given many lectures on Hinduism and written and published many books on Hinduism before. He said, “The book is my interpretation of three of the most outstanding scriptures produced by the Hindu religion. My reason for writing the book is to express the fact that I regard the three scriptural texts as the greatest the world has produced. The three canons are the Upanishads, the Bhagwad Gita, the Brahma Sutras. I am perfectly happy to explain this to any person or group of people who have a genuine interest in religion. The condition, however, is that people must understand that I can only discuss my position if people are willing to discuss to religion intelligently and not turn the discussion into an argument or sparring session.”
Religious intelligence has also been extended to several other religions practiced in South Africa. Naidoo said, “My own life has been based on my belief that religion must make sense to me first before I extend that interest in talking to and teaching other people. It is important to know how Hinduism began in India before it arrived in South Africa and other parts of the world.”
“My book presents my interpretation of the spiritual message of Hinduism in a very modern context and I would like very much of the message of Bhagavan Sri Krishna to be better understood by all people. I place emphasis on Bhagavan Sri Krishan who I regard as the greatest of the world’s religious teachers”, said Naidoo.(Inputs from agencies)
If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong. There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. To disturb others’ tranquility falls under the heading of vices. Preserving the sanctity of the environment, and more importantly, inner purity of mind and heart is the “prime doctrine” of SANATAN DHARMA which is popularly known as Hinduism. This Hindu culture now seemingly run the risk of having been defined by other communities with what is not very pleasant to hear.
I’ve overheard many toxic comments against this blatant desecration of auspicious “puja celebrations”. During Holi festival, many people fear to move out of their homes, particularly in certain the plane areas in India. You might be blasted with a bucketful of dirty water by pranksters from the 5th floor of the building. Is this sadism the part of the puja and holi celebration? One is afraid, with each passing year, this festival of color of joy, though having strong spiritual significance, has only painted the very face of Hindu culture with vulgarity and depravity.
Matter of fact, peace in one’s life and his efforts to help bring peace in others’ lives is essentially the fundamental basis of Hindu culture and festivals. Practically speaking, there is no devotion to God without “peace”. Therefore, “Shanti” (peace) is one of the most paramount peace mantras in Sanskrit, not “Ashanti” which, of late, is the hallmark of such Hindu puja celebrations. The profound objective behind this peace mantra, as propounded in Upanishads, inspired even one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century – TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land. That poem finally ends with the same peace mantra — Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so. We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment. There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna Lila, Ram Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”. Ancient sages in their meditation conceived and authored a number of treatises in which we find the elaborate approaches and procedures to evolve oneself spiritually through fun-filled dances and music. There are “ragas and layas”(musical modes and rhythm), which are meant to “recharge” the mind for the meditative concentration. The objective behind being to climb up the ladders of realization of oneness and universal uniformity.
However, there is absolutely no scope or prescription for deriving pleasure or fun by causing pain and anxieties to others? How come bursting high decibel fireworks at 2 AM or 3 AM or 4 AM is puja? In fact, it is called “adharma” or irreligion leading to self-degeneration.
Therefore, it is DIYA, as per Vedas, which symbolizes the LIGHT to dispel the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of vices, and bring forth the light of knowledge to awake the “inherent” divinity. Goddess Laxmi is the “flame” of feminine ENERGY in the infinite cosmic creation. So, indulging in earsplitting fireworks and causing continuous problem to HER creatures, and HER environment, is totally against the fundamental principle of the devotion in Hinduism. Very sadly, with the blasting of the fireworks in the name of Goddess Laxmi we have invariably set off the tank of vices alone.
Salil Gewali is a well-Known Writer and Author of ‘Great Minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali