Is stateless ‘Dharma’ integral to Sanatan Tradition ?
The first written constitution of India accepted in history, if any book can be considered or which has been accepted by scholars, then that book is Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
Kautilya had cast the foundation of the Maurya Empire in a very strict mold of strict rules like iron. These rules became the standard points of Indian politics in the 3rd-4th centuries BC.
By following Kautilya’s Arthashastra, India had attained the status of the happiest, prosperous and prosperous nation on the economic stage of the world. World-renowned economic analysts like Angus Madison have believed that two thousand years ago the Indian economy was the world’s most powerful and the fastest growing economy in terms of modern GDP.
India alone stood with a share of up to 32 percent of the world GDP. Discuss this sometime again. Today the discussion on only one point that what is the meaning of Arth.
We were told since childhood that in these four Purusharthas, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, Artha means wealth or money. But in the Arthashastra written by Kautilya, Kautilya has explained the meaning of the Arth even more deeply.
Kautilya writes that the first meaning of Artha is Vritti i.e. employment or skill. The second meaning of Arth is country or Earth. The third meaning of Arth is the state. Another meaning of Arth is money.
Some people will ask that how can you call Arth as Earth? Kautilya himself has told that-
मनुष्याणां वृत्तिरर्थ। मनुष्यवती भूमिरित्यर्थः। तस्याः पृथिव्या लाभपालनोपायः शास्त्रमर्थशास्त्रमिति।।
This means that the instinct or Vritti of man means skill and skills means livelihood. The land on which skilled man lives is also a country or state. To get such earth or land, country or state and to follow it properly, the knowledge system is called Arthashastra.
Kautilya had said in the Arthashastra that Dharm is the root of happiness in life. Here Dharm is not in the form of religion but in the form of duty.
Kautilya further wrote that the base or root of Dharm (duty) is Arth. Here also Artha does not mean money, but skill, livelihood and earth or land or country.
Kautilya again wrote that the root or base of Artha is the state. There is no meaning of the Arth without having the state Purusharth Chatustay i.e. Dharam, Arth, Kam and Moksha. Your livelihood, your wealth, your land and buildings and even your existence will be snatched away by barbarians and tyrants just as big fish kill small fish. Therefore it is necessary that the state should be taken under control to establish ‘Purusharth’.
The fundamental society of India is based on Sanatan Dharma. Traditionally it has been called Hindu. It includes all the sects born in India like Buddha, Jain, Sikh etc. The core of its society’s mind and life is fully based and inclined towards skill or knowledge. He does not like violence by nature.
If we turn the pages of the last 2000 years of history, it is seen that the plight of the original Sanatan Hindu society of India is due to the state or the earth has come out of its control. Dharma, Kama and Moksha all became victims of terrible misfortune in the absence of all meanings i.e. self-rule or state or Arth.
Bharat that is India fought hard to get the same self-state or Swarajya or Arth. He suffered severe torture to regain the kingdom from the clutches of foreign powers. Bharat also became independent in 1947, but could self-rule really be achieved?
Contrary to this Christian religion and Islam religion have a big name in all the sects that were born on foreign lands. Marxist ideological sect is also a special type of ‘religion’ like these, although it claims to oppose religion, but in reality it also behaves like a sect in religious or religious sense in favor of their belief.
There are more than 30 declared Christian religious countries in the world. These include Armenia, Ethiopia, Georgia, the Roman state of the Vatican, the Byzantine state. It also includes those countries in which the concept of State Church is applicable. These include Argentina, Costa Rica, EA Salvador, Denmark, Greenland, England, Greece, Hungary Iceland, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Serbia, Tonga, Zambia etc. Other Christian majority countries like America also follow step by step with Christian culture and religion.
According to Kautilya’s sutra, the basic meaning of dharma is state. Here Dharma is the duty as well as the identity of your existence and identity. From this point of view, Christian religion and Islamic religion have many states of their own and they are constantly trying to get new states. It is as if he has accepted Kautilya’s formula very well that the root of Dharm is the state. However, Kautilya here on the land of India puts forth Dharm only in the form of duty or skilful productive behave.
The second major religion is Islam. Recently, Taliban rule has been established in Afghanistan. Islam anyhow, is desperate to swallow the whole earth by bringing a new state i.e. the country under the purview of Shari’a Law. He has no hesitation in expressing his intentions openly. He puts his beliefs above all religions and sect. All religions are equal, this principle is hardly acceptable to the heads of Islamic or Christian faith.
Well, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Iran etc are declared Islamic Sharia based countries. Whereas in many countries like UAE, Qatar, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Kuwait, Iraq, Malaysia, Bangladesh etc. Islam holds the status of state religion. In these, Sharia law is partially applicable.
Among them are countries like Turkey, Nigeria, Syria, Kazakhstan which have been declared secular till now but now they have changed their thinking and character rapidly. They are changing the character of their rule of law according to Islamic law. Islamic Terrorist gangs like IS, Al Qaeda in their terror mission and the other state including Turkey, Saudi, Iran, Afghan and Arab world, are now also seen competing with each other to keep Islamic Qaeda and billions of followers under their influence and control.
Those who say that India has never been a theocratic state in history, then they should also understand the fact that there has never been any such thing as a Islamic or Christian sects like religion were existing in ancient India, in which there is hard competition to convert people and also their name, identity and culture.
In India, sects or the matter of Ishwar etc. have been of personal importance. In social and political life, Indian culture has been influenced by culture originated through Sanatan Dharm, although serious clouds of crisis are hovering over it. Indian children, including Indians Christians, Muslims, Sanatani Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, etc., are now increasingly influenced by Arabic, Turkish, English or say foreign culture.
The question is that which identity is culturally considered Indian in the world and the hard reality is that its hold on Indians in India itself seems to be weakening continuously as per Bhartiya Sanskriti is concerned.
Why Bhartiya samskriti and its age old cultural heritage and rituals are in danger? As a matter of fact, after 2000 years, there are many Islamic nations officially declared in the world, how many Christian nations are there, but there is not a single nation where Sanatan Dharma is recognized as a state religion or culture . There was a small Nepal, that too has ended.
This is the reason why objections are raised when a program to consecrate the state emblem in India’s new Parliament building according to the thousands of years old cultural tradition of India. The question is that in what way Indian customs and thousands of years old cultural customs can be preserved in India, if questions continue to be raised in this manner.
Cultural diversity and religious diversity in the world are under threat today. In this, a serious crisis is looming on Sanatan Hindu Dharma and its customs because there is no constitutionally protected state in the hands of Hindus. Obviously, if no permanent constitutional remedies are taken soon, the danger of India’s unique cultural identity being lost forever amid the dangers of Christianization and Islamization of most of the land in the world will be nothing less than a tragedy for the world tolerant peaceful community.
There is another aspect. Where the government is running on the basis of Islam and Christianity, there governments spend enough public money on the activities of churches and mosques. Even in foreign lands or in other non-religious countries, they keep distributing funds for their religious or religious propaganda by masquerading as pseudonymous academic institutions, media organizations, NGOs, etc. to promote their religion. . They also keep looking for every opportunity to spread anarchy in a country that is hostile to them.
In contrast, almost all the state governments in India directly control the funds of temples, pilgrimage centers associated with Sanatan Dharma. The offerings that Hindu devotees make in temples for the development of their centers of religion, all that money goes to the government’s treasury. It is directly controlled by the state government’s endowment ministries. Sometimes they also spend donation money on other religion and religious centers. These charitable ministries do not control the aid received by any Islamic or Christian religious center.
The question is, how can the governments which keep the offerings of Sanatan Dharmis be secular? The question is also that in the world, which is the nation-state of the people of Sanatan Dharma to be called their own government or rule or their own safe country? Where is the existence of that Nation safe for Sanatan Dharm? And why isn’t it?
By Prof Rakesh K. Upadhyay
(Founder Centennial Chair Professor, Bharat Adhyayan Kendra, BHU, Varanasi-221005)