I have had some concerns for quite a while about a certain phenomenon I have noticed about the “discourse”. As I see it it’s a simple mutation of an earlier Hindu trope.
If one considers philosophy as the “way of life” then it is clear that different ideologies will differently interpret what each subset of the way of life is.
So let us take the superset of Religions (and even though there is indeed a distinction between religions and counter-religions, I shall omit the distinction for the purpose of this illustration). Hinduism, Hellenic pagan traditions (Hellenism?), Christianity, Islam etc are all “ways of life”. There are many different subsets of human life that each consider, and it follows from simple bayesian reasoning that there are certain subsets, where the mata of the different religion will be along very similar lines.
I have two observations from this fact-
Firstly – The lay Hindu when he comes across a mata similar to an unmAda mata, will discard the mata because it disagrees with his aesthetic idea of what Hinduism is. This is because after centuries of slaughter the Hindu religion is in danger and there is a lack of guru s who can inform the members of their sampradaya as to the Astika belief of said sampradaya. This has led many Hindus to define their religions as a negative proposition (“Hindus do not do this”) whereas Hinduism is best thought of as a positive proposition (“This is the Hindu Astika view”). Making every Hindu idea a negative proposition will have disastrous consequences.
Secondly – The Hindu believing his bubblegum Hinduism, goes out of his way to retrofit any and every idiotic unmAda idea under the sun within the fold of Hinduism. As an example, some Hindu may conclude that Hindu society is “individualistic” since the different sampradayas differ but allow different interpretations. They will blindly apply the “ekam sat” without understanding that sarva dharma is not so sambhAva. This is actually better understood when recognizing that Hindus know how to respect spaces. This observation does well when put in context of the fact that many practicing Hindus are card carrying communists in Kerala.
While one may argue that mata s change with the yuga and that what worked for another yuga may not work for this yuga, it is clear that certain aspects of human society will never change. The mata s which deal with these aspects are the most dangerous and the most important to look out for since the mangling of these will result in the downfall of Hindu society. The last word I think should be this excellent essay on satyanrtam.