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   Kashmiri Writers

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Of Indian Faith and Godliness

For ages religion and spirituality has been a number one priority for common Indian and it continues to be so. There is nothing that can distract the masses of this land from this influence. India continues to be a staunch believer of Hindu faith in spite of lots of negative inputs provided by modern westernized life standards and culture. The Indian religious and spiritual culture continues to be a strong force though for the last many centuries very strong foreign influences that entered this land in various forms tried their best to alter her cultural base but she was able to retain her cogent basic elements of culture which continues to be her most coveted treasure for all times to come. Lots of Indians changed their faith from time to time but continued to preserve in them certain basic elements of local Indian culture thus rejecting the most powerful influences that wished to change the whole fabric of Indian culture according to their own vested interest. India has not allowed herself succumb totally even to the most vigorous foreign influences repeatedly for hundreds of years, though the face of India changed a lot but she retained the essential traits of her culture. Thus India continues to be a strong advocate and preserver of certain strong religious and spiritual values along with substantial development of science and technology and high economic growth. A rich treasury of authentic religious and philosophical scriptures preserved through thousands of years along with numerous religious institutions and places of spiritual importance is spread widely over this land and a galaxy of learned scholars, saints and seers with high spiritual awakening and knowledge are working overtime teaching people of this country and abroad the tenets of Hindu religion and spirituality. There is a substantial development of Indian thought and spirituality supported by deep faith of the masses of this great country despite many provocative elements working against it.

Indian faith and godliness, an established religious and philosophical movement with a glorious history of thousands of years, is gaining more and more attention for the last more than fifty years among the people of the west. More and more people in the western world are getting influenced by Indian religious and spiritual thought, and the Indian saints and pundits (religious teachers) are greatly honoured and welcomed for discourses than they used to be a century before. The practice of Yoga as a science and art is welcomed by all and sundry not only as a body healer but also for spiritual awakening. Numerous Yoga teaching centers in the US and other countries are catering to the aspirations of the people of all ages and the response is tremendous. Besides Yoga, Indian meditation centers help thousands of youth throughout the globe ease themselves of the stress and strain that they suffer from due to present day high heeled life.

Unfortunately along with this rich religious and spiritual environment an another trend of godlessness and atheistic attitude is cropping up in this society with a good number of individuals trying to refute the existence of gods and propagating the futility of religious beliefs obviously the result of some foreign influence or better financial independence or wrongly implicated higher educational inputs in them. The impact is not alarming but invites a good deal of awakening among the masses especially the highly educated high-heeled youth before any damage is done to our well established culture. Their argument is strong against religion and spirituality for lack of sufficient scientific proof to any divine existence, soul or the so called spiritual emancipation or awakening as propagated by numerous holy men and the religious literature circulated throughout the world. The Indian faith and godliness is thousands of years old with a solid background supported by authentic scriptures including Vedas and Upanishads, Mahabharata and Ramayana, and above all the world renowned Bhagwadgita, besides the open book lives of numerous holy men and women that have come down on this land as the messengers of God to propagate and recall the God’s message among the misleading men and women from time to time. Millions and millions of people around the globe continue to be the staunch believers of various faiths and believe God as the almighty power guiding solely the whole universal activities.

The advancement in modern science and technology has given an impression to certain people that life processes cannot exist beyond the assumptions of the scientific studies of living creatures including man. These studies that prompt certain people especially youth change the time tested beliefs of this land are just recent developments based on knowledge recently acquired by man cannot be an alternative to the world of knowledge and experience established by numerous scholars of yore and practically experienced by unlimited number of sages and seers not only on this land but also at various other locations. These people unfortunately do not like to go beyond whatever is scientifically proved recently by the men of science and are naturally averse to the belief of the presence of any supernatural existence on which the whole edifice of religion and spirituality stands. They limit their knowledge and understanding of life to its existence only from birth to death which is in fact only a small portion of the real life that exists far beyond. The life that is assumed to be the absolute reality is not the whole process but only a small portion of our existence, part of which has been lived in the gone by stages and the rest is yet to be experienced. The human life on this planet that we consider the absolute truth is actually an occasion provided to the mortal man especially to work for his personal enlightenment that has the capacity to take him nearer to the absolute reality and ultimately release him from the cycle of life and death, the ultimate object of this whole life process. The glamour of life that is witnessed here is simply to distract man from the real task that he or she is entrusted with so that he fails to perform the real function of life and passes away and just according to ones deeds gets some other life.

All development and technological advancement along with the glare of modern life is a part of the process that eludes man from seeking the real purpose of life. In fact the life process is a major test that a man is put into as two distinct options are clear before him, either to live for the sake of life and enjoy the transitory pleasures of the worldly existence and face death leaving everything behind or otherwise fulfill the task of seeking emancipation of self and try to approach the absolute reality, i.e. God. The task which seems stupendous may or may not be fulfilled in a single life so a human being may get one or more lives further to strive for achieving the ultimate reality. Since the period of stay on this planet as a human being is a transitory phase but with a very essential purpose and the ultimate aim of religion and spirituality is to bring home to the erring man that human life is the rarest of the rare opportunity that one gets after going through various stray lives and the purpose is to strive for personal enlightenment along with the routine duties as a householder with normal function as a bread earner or whatever function he or she is put to perform. One, who understands the real purpose of life and dedicates himself wholly for the purification of his real self besides performing his or her legitimate duty as a human being, consequently displays the choicest traits of human character--­­­­­ truth, justice, spirit of sacrifice, honesty, and respect for all. For him the pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat are alike as he is dedicated to the path of salvation where only the deeds of goodness and godliness help. Such people distance themselves from the false pleasures of life while keeping busy in the honest dealings as the scriptures command to renounce all selfish desire and work making all life a sacrifice offered with true devotion. Here one is also able to discriminate between the real self and the material self, as it the material one that has to perish and the real self does not die, it repeats its existence on this earth time and again in one form or the other as a consequence of its deeds till it ultimately gets a human form and an occasion to work for enlightenment. How unfortunate that we lose this rarest of rare occasion in the quest of worldly pleasures and forget the essential purpose of life by following the dictates of the objects of desire and sense enjoyments till the end comes and one passes away just to enter into one more link of the chain of our life cycle.

There was never a time when the reality of life and godliness was not experienced by lots of people in this land and numerous other places and most of them left an indelible impression on the psyche of people of their time and for the future generations to follow suit. Most of these awakened souls lived a normal life but definitely displayed an aura of spiritual excellence which naturally attracted people towards them. Many among them were people with high academic qualifications and held high elevated positions besides working overtime for the betterment of the social and spiritual fabric of their society. They made their life an example for others to follow and continue supporting and showing the path to awakening to lots of their devotees even today after they have passed into eternity. Such people actually do not die; their presence is felt eternally among their people for the influence created by them. The people of India have never been fanatic in their religious beliefs. This country has a long history of adopting various outside beliefs and faiths by people who liked to make a ground for themselves here in this country. Our people at every juncture displayed a great openness of heart and soul to accommodate everyone whoever came at her doors and shared her culture with them thus changing herself every time but essentially retaining certain basic elements of her glorious past which is her strength even today and will continue till eternity.

Our youth and those who are following a rebellious attitude towards our time-tested faith and beliefs should try to delve deep into the Indian religious philosophy and spiritual experience instead of nourishing a superficial knowledge of the real facts of life. The glorious past of this great country is not based on superficial beliefs or baseless blind faith but very solid foundations of time tested spiritual experience, philosophy and religion. This deep rooted religious, spiritual and cultural panorama with an uninterrupted history of thousands of years is the sacred legacy received by us from our forefathers. It has long helped India keep her head high and withstand the vagaries of time and nature quite contrary to many advanced nations of pre-historic period who had touched the zenith of prosperity and development in the days of yore but perished totally leaving no traces of their existence. There should be no reason to believe, act or propagate ideas contrary to the spirit of our motherland as an attitude and belief which does not correspond to her spirit is a crime against the land of our birth. We’re never bound by any blind faith to believing or acting simply as the tradition goes but we’re proud to belong to a country where you always look before you leap and scrutinize before you act. Our faith is based upon the divine experience of numerous unknown sages and seers who worked for their spiritual advancement for long periods of unknown history and the scriptures developed in centuries not by individuals but by successive generations of highly awakened sages and strangely enough without any clue of the original creator. India is a country with traces of advanced civilized culture from deep pre-historic periods when the present advanced countries of the west who boast of their advancement did not even exist in their most crude primitive forms not to speak of any of their organized system. The unfortunate that has happened with India is her slavery and subjugation to various foreign powers for long periods which deprived her of her independent spirit for a long time, thus giving an occasion to her rivals in the international forums raise fingers on her cultural integrity. Here we are indebted to some of our social and literary stalwarts like DR. R. N. TAGORE and DR. S. RADHAKRISHNAN and others who tried and succeeded in exploring the real image of India before the English speaking west who presented a very dismal picture of India lived by uncivilized people with no worthwhile cultural history.

We are proud that India is displaying remarkable development in all fields of modern technology, education, secular democratic pattern of governance, social and economic development, so much so that the image of India has got a tremendous uplift in the post independence period. India is proceeding fast on the path of economic and technological development but it is encouraging that it does not anyway overshadow our religious and spiritual development and the faith of people in the institution of religion and spirituality is increasing day by day.


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Kashmiri Writers J.L. Bhat


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