Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Unity and the Hindu Samaj

[This article was written by:]
Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology
Tamil Nadu, 18 June 2010

The article ‘Let All Hindus Come Together’ in the 17 June 2010 issue [of the New Indian Express] was heartfelt no doubt; much of what the author writes has been the cause of concern among thoughtful observers of the situation Hindus face in contemporary society, not only in India but throughout the world. We must recognise that over the past 2000 years orthodox religions have come to the forefront in world affairs. Together with their emergence the thirst for world domination arose. Organised faiths then became the major tools for the implementation of their respective hegemonic drives. This situation has never plagued Vedic culture. India has never invaded another country and sought to impose her beliefs on others. But this was not the case with the rise of organised belief systems. Recorded history over this period testifies to this development.
    Prior to these hegemonic drives using the tool of religion, there were ancient traditions which also served conquerors in those early days, but the tool they used to keep the flock together was very different, and it is precisely what is lacking in contemporary Hindu society. This was simple enough and was undisputed until only recently; it was through the calendar in use by all ancient societies, from the Vedic to the Egyptian, the Persian, the Greek and finally the Roman. They all made use of the cosmic harmony to unify the energies of the conquered around a common system. The Pax Romana that lasted for 700 years is an example of its effectiveness. Finally, in the early part of the last millennium, Christianity became consolidated and reigned supreme throughout most of the known world at the time, establishing its seat in Rome, the Eternal City. In keeping with the tradition, the Church Fathers formally adopted the then prevailing Mitraic system of calendar reckoning because Mitraism was Christianity’s main rival.
    Thus, the birth of Jesus was established accordingly, to coincide with the birth of the solar Mitra, as was the method in those times. With this tool in hand the religion spread to become the dominant force in the world, certainly the longest abiding influence in recorded history.
    This was the same calendar used throughout the ancient world. It was based on the actual provable harmony of our solar system with its four pillars, the Equinoxes and the Solstices. Two were the most important of all: Mahavishuva or the March Equinox, the beginning of the zodiacal year; and the Makar/Capricorn Sankranti, the December Solstice and shortest day of the year. Hence, in the Brihad Samhita of Varahamihira (6th Century), calculations are given only to determine these two correctly; the rest could be then accommodated accordingly.
    Certainly the December Solstice was the most important of all for ancient civilisations, including the Vedic where that 10th month (after Mahavishuva) was the month/sign of victory for the Initiate-Warrior. The importance of the Makar Sankranti in ancient times was obvious when we note that the placement of certain pyramids at Giza in Egypt was done so that the rising Sun on this special Solstice would fall between two of these colossi. The Great Pyramid itself was aligned with immaculate precision to the four Cardinal Poles. In ancient Rome the December Solstice introduced Capricorn by the important Saturnalia festival, since Saturn rules Capricorn and therefore found pride of place in Rome. Thereafter, the birth of Jesus established on 25 December did not seek to disrupt the tradition. In ancient Bharat we have the Epics and the Puranas following suit and confirming the importance of this 10th Sankranti, the Mahabharat itself beginning on this day. How much more important would this Solstice and Sankranti be for India, known in astrology to be ruled by Capricorn/Makar? For all practical purposes this rendered the culture eternal when it was based on the unchanging rhythms of the cosmic surround. As long as the cosmos lived, so long would the tradition live.
    But the problem Hinduism faces today and which Gautier has failed to appreciate is that it has indeed managed to survive – but only just. The author is correct in highlighting the danger Hinduism faces, but the remedy he suggests, an arbitrary Supreme Council to govern the entire Hindu Samaj, is anathema to this ancient tradition. His suggestion would fall in the category: ‘If you can’t beat them, join them!’ And if by chance this Council did come about, it would truly mean the end of the ancient tradition in the only land where it has somehow managed to survive across the millennia. His suggestion signifies that Hinduism would re-align itself not with the cosmic harmonies but with contemporary trends established by orthodox religions – at a time when they themselves are struggling to survive.
    But we know that Hinduism is not a religion. To seek means to force it into that category, time-bound and incompatible with the Vedic Way, would truly mean the demise of that ancient tradition in the only land where it has managed to ‘hang in there’.
    The problem, the factor that ‘disunites’ the energies of 80% of the population – truly a brilliant divide-and-rule policy – is that there is no such calendar in use capable of empirical verification and absolutely faithful to the ancient Vedic tradition which alone was eternal because the cosmos is eternal wherefrom these reckonings are done. Today, thanks to the official adoption of the Nirayana system of computation for all Hindu observances by the Calendar Reform Committee in 1953, Hindus are bound to this method that does nothing to unite those energies and has no basis in the Veda, but which serves merely to foster vested interests of almanac writers whose livelihood depends on proffering different timings, at least a dozen or so, for this most sacred of all Sankrantis. In a word, they do not follow the ancient Vedic tradition of establishing the Makar Sankranti on the shortest day of the year; rather, they have carried the entire Hindu Samaj into the belief in a ‘floating’ ayanamsha (zero starting point), to which only they hold the key, and without an iota of sanction from the Veda.
    These are the vested interests that are keeping Hindus disunited and vulnerable. Only from within, as the ancient tradition teaches, can the Vedic basis of Hinduism find the source that unites and no longer divides. In this light Hindus have no one to blame for their current vulnerability but themselves. They have, to put it bluntly, lost the plot. To regain it there is only one method: the formal, immediate adoption of the provable Mahavishuva and Makar Sankranti, and to cease following those who have no knowledge of the true power of unification that cuts across all barriers of caste, creeds and sects, and yet miraculously harmonises and integrates them all. The ancients were wise indeed. They had the formula, and it was simple: the measure of the Earth Year, the entirely verifiable, empirical reckoning that eliminates vested interests since the Makar Sankranti does not shift as they claim and for which reason they have driven the Samaj to celebrate it TWENTY-THREE DAYS AFTER THE EVENT! Any Hindu can verify this with exactitude. No Pundit is required for the purpose.
    In Tamil Nadu more than 30 temples have seen the wisdom in this exposition and have incorporated the solar Sayana system, as it is known, into its calendric timings. It is hoped that the rest of the nation will follow suit and the present aberration will soon be a thing of the past. It is further hoped that at the up-coming Tamil Conference in Coimbatore, the organisers will see fit to include a discussion on this important theme, since the calendar based on the verifiable equinoxes and solstices was used in the Sangam periods, similar to all ancient civilisations. We may even suggest that the Tamil Nadu Government hold a seminar where the Nirayana pundits can be invited to present their rationale for inflicting this system on the entire community. They should face those who hold the contrary view; for if their ‘science’ is sound its defence should not be a problem. Unfortunately, all attempts to draw these pundits together to discuss this most important issue for Hindus have been unsuccessful. Vested interests, no doubt, stand in the way.
    Finally, Gautier’s suggestion that the (arbitrary) ‘Supreme Council’ issue ‘commands’ (adesh) for the Samaj to follow is, mercifully, not likely to appeal to any Hindu. Edicts and fatwas are not a part of their culture. The method to unify – today as it has always been – is through a calendar that unites and no longer divides.

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