Sabarimala and the way ahead

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Sabarimala and the way ahead

Thursday, 07 February 2019 | P Narayana Kurup

Sabarimala and the way ahead

For the Marxists, it’s a do-or-die battle in Kerala. The shrine row is but a ploy to stop the consolidation of Hindu votes. But it can’t dilute Sanatana Dharma

It was expected that the fury and furore generated by the Sabarimala imbroglio would subside with the seasonal closing of the shrine. But controversy has resurfaced and resulted in a public outcry in Kerala once again. The latest provocation for the Hindus was the news widely publicised that the affidavit submitted by the lawyers of the Marxist Government of Kerala — that contained the names of women below the age of 50, who entered the Sabarimala shrine — is a fabricated list of lies. It has names of men and women over 50 years of age, whose age has been deliberately reduced and also the name of a woman, whose address cannot be traced.

A heap of lies concocted by the Government is beginning to get exposed. But the question of larger significance, which more and more Hindus are asking themselves, that too vocally now is: Why this haste to reform our rituals alone? Why resort to lies, police brute force and false propaganda to demolish Hindu faith?

Marxism and Hinduism in Kerala: Marxism anywhere cannot be tolerant of religion. But in Kerala (and in West Bengal too) the party confronted an Indian reality. They could not attack the faith of the organised religions who had well-established vote banks. In Kerala, therefore, Hindu faith became the primary object of derision. In this task, they always had the unstinted support of the Western-biased media.

Sanatana dharma and Marxism: As the erudite Purohit Swami wrote in his autobiography, “Civilisations superstructure may be very fine indeed but it totters like a house of cards, for the everlasting kingdom is established in man’s hearts and not an inevitable denouement outwardly to dazzle these eyes.” Marxist Governments in USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and East European countries did totter like a pack of cards because they did not improve the inner man.

Marxism and social maladies: Hindu youths have been the most vulnerable targets for this loss of values and Marxist indoctrination. If weaned away from religious moorings, youth become rebellious and Marxist ideology can then be easily driven into such discontented minds. In northern Kerala, these unemployed and under-employed youth are being used as volunteers to carry out the political murder. 

The intellectual pauperism: Sloganeering and repetitions of cliché have stunted independent thinking minds in the State. “Idiotically pompous” that is what most people have been reduced to by the communists’ propaganda. They vainly mouth fascism, sangh parivar, renaissance (navodhanam) or any other phraseology coined by the communist bandwagon. While Vedantic traditions and faith hold through time, the communists are flogging a dead ideology.

Sabarimala and its unique tradition: Sabarimala has always been a temple that was intended to instill qualities of renunciation, peace and bramhacharya. A 41-day period of discipline regarding diet restriction, sleep control and celibacy is followed by the devotees as they prepare for a visit to the holy shrine. Once they put on the bead garland, they are called swamys, suggesting they are worthy of respect. When the devotee reaches Sabarimala, he is better qualified to realise the ultimate truth, tatvam asi (thou art that) inscribed at the entrance of the temple. Sabarimala is not just a place of worship, it is a nursery for those desirous, who follow the path of yoga. It is for this very reason that the unique tradition of Sabarimala needs to be preserved. 

Yogic traditions and media lies: Can’t the women too practise these very virtues and discipline? They can, and it for this very reason that all temples, including the temple of Ayyappa, are open to women of all ages. The Sabarimala idol is conceived by the devotees as a naishtika brahmachari, a youth who has conserved all his vital energy and performs tapas for God’s realisation. He is depicted as sitting in a unique posture, yoga pattasana, which tantric science says is conducive for the arousal of the Kundalini Shakti. If one observes the idol, with even a rudimentary knowledge of tantra and yoga (the writer claims nothing more), it can be seen that in this posture of sitting, pressure is put on the mooladhara chakra and the lower energy centres of the body. This posture is unique and Ayyappa idol at Sabarimala is the only deity depicted in this posture.

Is the total sublimation of the vital energy, conceived in the idol, ideally suited to be worshipped by women of reproductive age?

To denounce esoteric religious practices in terms of modern-day rationality would be as absurd as dismissing the bread and wine taken by the faithful Christians during Eucharist as being bakery items of gastronomical delights or giving a biological explanation to the virgin’s motherhood of Christ.

Romo Rolland knew the dangers of state interference in spiritual matters and he was prompted to say that had Shri Rama Krishna Paramahansa been born in the West, he would have been subjected to shock treatments.

Gender and Sabarimala: If my right to swing my walking stick ends where your nose begins, then the feminist bandwagon should realise that the right place to swing their walking stick is not the Sabarimala shrine. The faithful women devotees of Kerala realise this unique nature of the deity and this is the reason why they spontaneously carried out rallies against Government interference in Sabarimala. The faithful respect the right to worship for others and Sabarimala is the only temple (one or two local exceptions apart) where age restriction for women is followed.

The feminists, who still insist on swinging their walking sticks at other worshippers’ noses, are State-sponsored activists of various hues. Many have shady pasts, police cases pending against them and have Maoist affiliations too. When the State Government manipulates the list of young women, who have already entered the temple premise, it was the culmination of a large game plan that divine intervention has exposed.

Gender, Sabarimala and some common sense: Gender parity is a pre-requisite for the functioning of democracy. There are times when you have to give Caesar what is his due and to God what is due to him. But again, who shall decide where Caesar’s domain ends and God’s begin? Justice Indu Malhotra said in her dissenting note that the judiciary itself should not judge matters of spiritual significance.

Media and the propaganda of lies: Ayyappa is no misogynist, nor is his celibacy under threat if women visit the shrine. Neither Ayyappa nor his devotees have contempt for menstruating women or consider them unclean. These are arguments concocted by Western-biased media and the communist propaganda machinery. If the true significance of Sabarimala’s rituals and tradition is to be understood, surely it has to be by using the semantics of spiritual literature and not new fangled words imported from an alien culture. To paraphrase Sri Aurobindo’s observations on Western psychology, the secret of the beauty of a lotus flower cannot be unravelled by analysing the composition of the mud in which it grows but it can only be done by looking at the ideal of a lotus existing in some heavenly sphere above.

The last citadel and the long fight: Kerala is the last communist citadel and the LDF would fight with all collective strength of the Government machinery, police force and the numerical strength of its well-knit party cadre against any consolidation of the forces of Hindu dharma. They will try to buy over the Christian and Muslim vote banks and also use nefarious tactics of widening caste divide to split the consolidation of Hindu votes.

For the Hindus of Kerala, the battle is a long drawn out one. They will be isolated, maligned by the media and curbed by police power. What the Hindus of Kerala need is belief, the perennial nature of Sanatana Dharma that has survived greater onslaughts and invasions. But Hindus need to fight without forsaking the spirit of tolerance and compassion fostered by their faith, without becoming cowards in the bargain. 

But in the political battle field, Governments of the day will only acknowledge the strength of the vote bank. In the neo-Darwinian political scene of India, it is the survival of the vote bank. And it is here that divided Hindus will have to think wisely, decisively and cast their votes. Hindu religion never did stoop to fascism.  It fostered civilisational values and strengthened nationhood. The writing on the wall is clearer now for the Hindus of Kerala than ever before. 

(The writer is President, Thapasya Art and Literary Forum)

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