Hindu mythology and Hinduism are two different things although the commoners do realize that no difference is there between those two. Of course, the question relating to their interaction is there to be assertive about their interdependence on each other. Myths are based on the relevant culture mingled with timely level of understanding of the people living in a particular period and again in a particular area as far as this sub continent is concerned.
The movement we raise the question as well as the fact of Hindu mythology we actually like to be acquainted with the cultures of the people living in this subcontinent from time immemorial. Myths differ from place to place, time to time and myths are always related to the ancient period where no scientific method was there to conceive of the phenomena taking place in the history of a nation having only faith based on faith.
Myths are not to be believed but to be studied because myths are also necessary to understand the actual tone of a nation. In this connection it can be said that since the history of India is an old history and there by the Indian mythology is also an old one side by side. No nation can really stand on its own having no mythological background. If we look back into the history of world civilization we see that the same is nothing but the collection of myths till the period the human civilization has stepped into the modem one. Modern civilization has its history but the same is based on the scientific estimations. With the advent of modem civilization the world has started viewing the things completely in a newer perspective and for that it cannot be said that the myths are to be ignored out right.
Although the Hindu religion or Hinduism that started thousands of years ago is not akin to Hindu mythology, it cannot be said the Hindu religion does not have any link to the mythology but this religion attaches more importance to the philosophy of the events that took place at the relevant period. So what inference can be drawn without being entangled in any sort of controversy is Hindu religion is based on Philosophy and that Philosophy is again related to the essence of the super minds of the relevant period.
The super mind of the ancient sages is matchless in respect of looking into the inner tone of the phenomena asking for a thing that is universal. Not that the solution is already had to that universal asking but the process of understanding the same is still continuing and that way the process of civilization is still in the process to reach a more sophisticated plane. This is again what the reality is so far as the civilization in its truer perspective is concerned.
The present age is actually based on the perspective of the ancient age, of course, with deviations. This is again the reality and the demand of the day. The world is ever changing and it is a fact that an individual because of his physical limits cannot understand it instantly but the change is inevitable. The world viewed from scientific plane cannot stand still. If it does happen to be static, it will come to a dead stop. And the question of the dynamic aspect of the civilization cannot come up. There would be an end to what we do understand about life and the civilization. Only darkness would be there. No being would be there. It would be as good as doomsday and to speak it from Indian perspective it would be Mahaproloy.
So far as Hindu religion is concerned it started long ago. With the advent of the Aryan invasion the Hindu Religion got a strong break through. Before the Aryan invasion Dravidians were there having their own religion and ritualities. The Aryans came, conquered the land and started reigning the sub continent but the question was there that the Aryans could not run the administration all of their own and certainly there had been an admixture of the Dravidian ritualities with those of the Aryans Certainly in most of the cases the Aryan ritualities reigned over the Dravidian ritualities.
With the Aryan advent came the system of puja as we do observe till today, of course, with variations from place to place, Area to area but as a whole it is the diversity in Unity and thus we see Indian with the reality of multilingual entities, it is Indian and the civilization is called the Indian civilization. Indian civilization as we see now is the modern advancement of the same but the interesting part of it is being that the modem civilization is deep-rooted in the realms of the ancient Indian era where different scholars, sages used to live and dominate the thought process that was and still recognized as Indian civilization.
They spent day and night relentlessly to arrive at the truth and in the process of arriving at the absolute truth these super human beings developed the volumes of Indian scriptures where from we can know many things relating to the origin of Man's quest for knowledge - a universal quest which is still equally adorned by the peoples of the whole world.
"Vedas" are the oldest books of the world. The world scholars have come to the conclusion that Vedas are the oldest books and the same are the attempts to know about the truth and to know about the origin of the creation and the creator. Thus we find four Vedas: Rik Veda, Sam Veda, Jajur Veda and Atharba Veda. The Veda being the oldest as well as finest ones are revered by the Hindus like anything & they are ready to call them the books not written by any human being rather the Vedas were written or the revelations of the wishes of "Ishwara" himself.
That the demand that was raised was that the Vidas were not composed by any human being actually came from the Idea that the culmination of Ideas that came into being was not possible by any man. Actually they were written by the human beings but they were super human beings having tremendous sprit and sagacity. It is man who can do and undo anything but for that serious exercise is needed. Without proper exercise nothing excellent is possible. This idea has been over the ages established and it has now become universal. After the composition of vidas came the Vedantas or Upanishads. Upanishads are the annotations of the Vedas.
If the Vedas are the diamonds, the Upanishads are the rays coming out from those. The Indian soul can be revealed if the Upanishads can actually be revealed. Herein lies the difference between the Indian Philosophy & the other Philosophies of the world.
More or less along with the compositions of Vedas and Upanishads, puranas were published or composed with the same view to arriving at a clear conclusion of the great question as to who is the creator and what we are for in this world. Mainly eighteen puranas are there, along side other puranas are existing. It is "Markandaya" purana where we see the reference of Sri Sri Chandi Matas. This Chandi is Durga. Chandi is the source of combined spiritual forces of all the celestial entities by dint of which the people on Earth can attain what they aspire.
The true aspirations can be materialized through the Adoration of the Goddess mother Chandi. With the change of time and ages this Godded Chandi is known to be the mother Durga and so we see that in the worship of the Goddess Mother Durga, the chanting as well as the recitation of Chandi is a must. No conception of the Goddess Mother Durga is possible without the conception of Mother Chandi.
The Goddess Mother Durga as we see to-day was not and still is not worshipped outside Bengal or any place where the Bangaless are available. The Durgapuja has become a symbolic one with the innermost entity of the Bengalee Hindus. But for this no conclusion can be drawn that the Goddess Mother Durga is the creation of the Bengalees. The conception is spread throughout India but the Goddess Durga is worshipped in Bengal and also the places where the Bengalees live. So far as the Bengalees are concerned, the Goddess Mother Durga is known by many names. The Bengalees and their entities have been one with the worship of the mother Durga.
They show their utmost submission before the Goddess. For this it cannot be said the Bengalees do not worship other goods and Goddesses that are there in Hindu Religion. They do as the other Hindus do in the different parts of the subcontinent. During the specific days of worship, to attain perpetual emancipation, with the longing for peace and prosperity of the countrymen and to spread the immortal message of humanity worldwide the Bengalee Hindus ignoring their class status gather together to lay themselves before the feet of their mother.
Actually the ritualities are nothing but symbolic ones and inner tone to a unique platform for performing the universal task of bringing all the human beings to the greatest cause of equality so that basing on the same the greatest wellbeing can be achieved. Now' the question is can we really do it through the worship of the Goddess mother Durga? The answer is "No". This "No" has become the greatest factor in the present day context. Apparently speaking huge money is spent for the worship of the Goddess mother Durga.
Also the people relating to the Puja enjoy a lot but the question is do these people who seem to be worshipping and enjoying much do something real that might come of use for their mundane as well as spiritual wellbeing and for that matter for the overall development of the society? - the development of which is the real development for whatever we do, think, strive, we will have to do anything including the worship much talked about in a proper is a polluted one.
The question of population comes when the value system is not present or the value system is given a different meaning from what it should have to be. Puja or whatever it is, we do it for our salvation but the fact the remains if we without attaching any importance to our value system engage ourselves in the things that link us to be foul, unsociable and self centered then this Puja although apparently it is Puja, is no Puja at all and the purpose of being assembled together will go in vain and the greatest purpose of worshipping Mahamaya is sure to be shattered as well as spoiled. We should keep it in mind that the Goddess mother Durga is always for the wellbeing of Mankind and nothing else.
Indian civilization as we do conceive of, is an admixture of different ideas initiating from time immemorial and the concept of the Goddess mother Durga is all pervading as well as inclusive of the ideas prevailing in the society. It is a universal concept that is aimed at doing good to the ideological frame work of the social texture along with deviations. This is a partial view of Indian civilization. There are other views relating to other faiths of the world. 'A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. FORSTER is a vivid example of India's diversity in unity.
The writer is a former Deputy Secretary of Bangladesh Govt
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