Amarnath Shrine, situated in the Himalayan ranges at a height of about 13,000 feet, is one of the oldest pilgrim centers of the Hindus. Its importance and antiquity were well known even by the twelfth century since Kalhana’s Rajatarangini mentions it. Even after the Islamic conquest of northern India, this pilgrimage continued unabated due to the enthusiastic Hindus who have been visiting this place paying Jizya tax to Muslim rulers during most of the Islamic period in India. Kashmiri Hindus were eliminated totally by 15th century, initially by notorious Islamic preacher of Syed clan, followed by cruel and merciless conversion carried out during the rule of Sikandar and Ali Shah.
There is a traditional belief that the snow linga in the Amarnath cave gets formed every lunar month in the bright half and gets dissolved during the dark half. Visiting the cave temple on the Shravanapoornima Day (July-August) is considered extremely auspicious since, according to the mythological lore, Shiva appeared in this cave on this day. The Annual Amarnath Yatra, which draws four to five lakhs of devotees from all over the world, especially during the months of July-August every year when the snow linga appears in the cave, has been a thorn in the eyes of fanatic and fundamentalist Muslims from the very beginning. These separatists and terrorists have missed no opportunity to scare the pilgrims away. It is a different matter that these obscurantist forces always failed in their attempts to dissuade the faithful. Bomb blasts, grenade attacks, fatal firing and all other acts of disruption resulting in premature killing of scores of yatris did not shatter the faith of the Shivbhaktas. Environmental concerns were raised to influence the opinion and decision-making process with a single motive of restraining the number of pilgrims. State apparatus was used to cite lack of resources and inability to provide facilities for pilgrims even in case of natural calamities and bad weather. And after all these attempts failed the valley-based politicians have come together and joined hands to use transfer of land to Shree Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and the august office of Governor as an excuse to malign the Yatra.
Muslim fundamentalists in the state are frightened by the increasing numbers of pilgrims who visit the cave for worship of the natural formation of the ice Shiva Linga. To accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims the Governor allowed the pilgrimage to go on for 60 days instead of the previous 15 days. The Governor’s action is seen as an attempt to destroy the Muslim character of the state. The Governor is alleged to have hatched a plot to settle outside Hindus in the State.
When the Jammu-Kashmir Government allotted 40 hectares of forest land to the Shree Amarnath Shrine Board to provide facilities for the lacks of pilgrims visiting the holy shrine every year, it was specified that the Shrine Board could use the land only for erecting temporary sheds to accommodate pilgrims, permanent structures could not be put up, and the land could not be sold or mortgaged by the Shrine Board. The People’s Democratic Front of Mufti Mohammad Syed, which was one of the partners in the ruling Congress alliance of Jammu-Kashmir, initially agreed to the transfer of the land to the Shrine Board. In fact, the Minister for Forests who passed the orders was from the same party. However, under the threat and coercion from Islamic fundamentalist forces and the main opposition party, Farook Abdullah’s National Conference, who have been opposing the transfer of land to the Shrine Board, the PDF also joined the fanatic Islamic forces and resigned from the ruling alliance protesting against the transfer. The ruling Congress under Gulam Nabi Azad promptly cancelled the order allotting the land. The Congress Party under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, which is afraid of a fall of the Central Government and consequent general election to the Parliament, wants to leave no stone unturned to please the Islamic Fundamentalists to secure the Muslim vote bank.
It is in this context that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad issued a call for nationwide Bandh on July 3, 2008, to protest against the blatant outrage against the Hindu society by the JK Government, which cancelled the allotment of land to Amarnath Shrine Board under threat and coercion of Islamic terrorist and fundamentalists. Thousands of patriotic youth and self-respecting Hindus have taken to the streets recording their strong protest against the so-called ‘secular’ Governments in the Centre and JK. The VHP has also given a call to observe the whole week as Amarnath Raksha Saptah to create awakening among the Hindus throughout the length and breadth of the country.
However, the most surprising and amazing fact is that the leading Hindu Dharmacharyas all over the country—whether they are Peethaadheeswars, Mandaleswars, Mahamandaleswars, Acharyas of the Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva Sampradayas or heads of internationally renowned Mutts and Missions or leaders of different caste based religious cults and sampradayas—have all been silent on this issue and none has the courage or guts to come out and openly record protest over the actions of the secular politicians in the Centre and the States. No statement has so far come from these so-called Hindu Dharmacharyas condemning the brazen outrage against the Hindu society. Do these Dharmacharyas think that Lord Amarnath is all-powerful and He could solve Himself His problem and the problem of His devotees and He doesn’t require their support? Or it may that these hypocritic and spineless spiritual and religious leaders think that their first and foremost duty is to save themselves and their own institutions from the wrath of the secular politicians in power by not indulging in any act that will displease them. It is also a known fact that many of the so called Dharmacharayas are in the pay-rolls of politicians, including those who claim at the top of their voice that they are ‘secular’, who come to these religious heads for blessings for victory in the elections and lavish their generosity in the hope that the money offered to these sadhus and sannyasins would bring votes and victory to them in the elections.
When the structure erected by Babar at Ayodhya to prevent Hindus from reclaiming and restoring the Rama Temple there was brought down by patriotic Hindu youth, the Mullahs and Moulvis all over the country came to the streets crying aloud that their ‘Masjid’ was demolished. The entire Muslim world stood by them. When some state governments brought legislations to prevent illegal conversion of poor and downtrodden Hindus by force or inducement by Christian Evangelical Organizations, the Bishops, Archbishops, Pastors and Nuns of all Christian institutions undertook nationwide protest and campaigns and the World Christian Council and international missionary organizations also protested vehemently. However, when the anti-Hindu forces are trying to destroy the age-old pilgrim centre of Amarnath, when atheistic forces try to demolish the Rama Sethu, when secular politicians hungering for Muslim minority votes want to prevent construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, and when the Holy Ganga is polluted and destroyed by materialistic minded industrial institutions and factories on the banks of the river and by building dams which prevent the free flow of the water, our so called Holy Acharyas are the most unconcerned about these. The Portugese aggressors demolished the sacred shrine of Lord Kapaaleeswara on the seashore at Mylapore, Madras, and the Santhome Church was built at the place. Hindus have been demanding the restoration of the place to the Mylapore Kapaaleeswara temple. However, the atheistic Chief Minister of the State pricks with an arrow the burning wounds of the Hindus by declaring his open support to the production of a mega-film on the life of Saint Thomas, whose very existence has been questioned by historians and research scholars, and by supporting the efforts of the cunning Christian missionaries to project a story that St. Thomas met the great Tamil Saint, Tiruvalluvar, and converted the latter to Christianity. Here we have to recall the event that occurred a few years ago when one Iyer, claiming himself to be a Tamil scholar, extracted several lakhs of rupees from the Archbishop of Mylapore by promising the latter that he would prove that Tiruvalluvar was a Christian. Our so-called Hindu Dharmacharyas are the least concerned about these onslaughts on Hindu culture and spiritual heritage.
What about the majority of the Hindus in the country today? Though the country has attained independence six decades ago, the Hindus still consider themselves to be slaves of the Muslims and Christians who ruled over them for centuries and are prepared to renounce their rights and liberties to appease the Muslim and Christian minorities in the country. The Hindu politicians in the country are in the firm conviction that they are impotent eunuchs who cannot produce a national government of their own by standing united and that they have to helplessly depend on the minorities to come to power by fighting against their own brethren in the Hindu society. For getting votes of the minorities to keep themselves in power, these wretched Hindu politicians have no hesitation to give their ancient temples and religious centers to Muslims and Christians to build their mosques and churches. During the Muslim and Christian rules, temples in holy places like Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura, Datta Peetha and Kapaleeshwara were destroyed. After Independence, thousands of Hindu temples all over the country, especially in Muslim and Christian dominated areas of the country, have been destroyed. Neither Hindu politicians nor Hindu Dharmacharyas are pained by these facts and is prepared to speak out against these atrocities.
Unfortunately today the educated Hindu youth in the country have been brought up in total ignorance of the glorious heritage of the country as well as its long history, and they are imparted an education that turns them into money earning machines and beasts enjoying creature comforts at the cost of human as well as spiritual values. The average Hindu youth is brainwashed to such an extent that he believes that his most ancient religion is a bundle of superstitions and meaningless rites and rituals. Valentines Day, cocktail parties and ballroom dances are more attractive to the Hindu youth than spiritual discourses and study of Hindu scriptures. A few exceptional Hindu youth, who by the grace of our forefathers whose blood still flows in their veins, have taken interest in our culture and heritage, but they are often misled by our bogus acharyas and religious leaders who make them believe that they need not bother about the nation or the society and it is enough if they shell out their hard earned money to prop up the institutions of these selfish and self-centred Acharyas in the guise of promoting Yoga and meditation. The youth are made to believe that it is enough if they come and sit at the feet of these traders of spirituality and they will be assured of reaching the feet of the Lord without undertaking the hazardous and long pilgrimages to the holy shrines of Amarnath, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
It is a matter of shame that none of our Dharmacharyas could issue a statement on the Amarnath issue while a French man, Francois Gautier, who is a lover of India and its hoary past, an ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo, and a journalist and writer, who is also editor-in chief of La Revue de l’inde, has expressed the pain and agony in his heart, in the following words, in The New Indian Express :
“Reading in Paris about Kashmiri Muslims rioting because of land transferred to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) and the People’s Democratic Party pulling out of the Jammu and Kashmir Government coalition, one feels a little bit surprised. The Amarnath pilgrimage is an ancient tradition and after all, Kashmir, much before some of the inhabitants of the Valley were converted to Islam, is the seat of Shaivism, the place where thousands of yogis, sadhus, holy men, prayed, meditated and often attained realization, for at least 3,000 years.
“Millions of devotees have flocked to Amarnath over the centuries—and Muslims from Kashmir should show them generosity, because in India, although Muslims have been a minority since the beginning, Hindus have always respected the religion of Islam. Indeed, Muslims in India have had a freedom that Hindus or Christians do not enjoy in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.
“Furthermore, Indian Muslims returning from the Gulf, have built, in the last 20 years, tens of thousands of mosques, thanks to the Gulf money, often with land donated by the Indian Government and without the Hindus ever protesting.
“Kashmir is also the land of Sufism, where the best of Islam and Vedanta blended, which allowed many generations of Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims to worship together in mosques and temples and attend each other’s festivals. Unfortunately, after the creation of Pakistan, a hard Sunni fundamentalism has entered the Valley mainly with Pakistan and Afghan jihadis, and four lakh Kashmiri Hindus have been forced by death, terror and violence, to flee the valley of their ancestors, one of the biggest ethnic cleansings in human history.”
Our Dharmacharyas do not have even an iota of the feeling, which the French national has expressed for our culture and heritage. Dr. Jagan Kaul of Diversity-USA has listed out the largesses that the Hindu society has offered to the Muslims in India through our national government:
“GOI provides air fare subsidy to about 140,000 Haj pilgrims – annually; The cost of it runs close to Rs.400 crores annually; Subsidy runs to about Rs.35, 000 per pilgrim; GOI allows every Muslim to transport 10 liters of holy zam zam water free of cost; There is a separate Haj cell in the Ministry of external affairs; Haj Committee of India has its own premises in Mumbai. Similarly such committees in each state have their own premises on land and building provided by governments; States in India have waqf boards. In fact Kashmir has a ministry dedicated to Muslim Affairs; Almost all of the activities and programs of the Indian Ambassador in Riyadh and Consul General in Jeddah are Haj related; Despite India proclaiming to be secular all Muslims are appointed to these posts. Accommodations in Mecca and Medina are provided and they are fitted with lifts, phones, running water, electricity and computers; In last year’s Haj a contingent of 115 doctors including 63 specialists. 141 nurses, 3 coordinators, 46 Haj Officers, 165 Haj Assistants and 186 Khadimul Hajaj were sent from India; Facilities provided by the Govt. include polio, meningitis and influenza vaccinations; 75 bed hospital and 12 dispensaries; another 15-bed hospital and 6 dispensaries in Medina, 3 medical teams at Jeddah airport; 17 ambulances in Mecca and Medina; All medical instruments, treatments, doctors’ services and medicines are free; At Delhi Air Port a special terminal is set up for easy and quick transit of the pilgrims.” He further asks: “Perhaps our outrageously petty minded and self righteous Muslim leaders of Kashmir will tell us what the only Muslim majority state in India does in return for the Hindu pilgrims in Kashmir?”
The VHP has given a call to Dharmacharyas to come out of their Ashrams and abodes and to travel to every nook and corner of the country, after the forthcoming Gurupoornima, to awaken the Hindu masses about the threats that are staring at their face. We have to wait and see how many real Dharmacharayas are there, who are willing to give up the cozy comforts of their ashrams and come to the streets to give leadership to the Hindus, and how many are there who are hesitant to incur the displeasure of their ‘secular’ political bosses by openly supporting those who are branded as ‘radical Hindu extremists’ and hide behind their mask of ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’. In the Guru Geeta it is rightly said, “Guravo bahavah santi shishyavittaapahaar akah, Tamekam durlabham manye shishyahrittaapahaa rakam“—”There are many Gurus who relieve their disciples of their money, but it is difficult to find a Guru who will relieve the anguish in the heart of his disciple.” (Guru Gita, 3.269). Here is the litmus test for our Guru clan today. Let us see how many of them will prove themselves to be worthy of the order of sannyasins and Gurus like Vidyaranya, Samarth Ramdas, Guru Gobind, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Rama Tirtha and Mahayogi Aurobindo for whom the country and the society are greater than heaven and salvation.
The solution to the present imbroglio in which Hindu society and nation are caught is not in a handful of Hindu tigers and lions who are still left in the society turning into ‘suicide squads’ as someone advocates, but in their turning of them into real warriors of Hindu cause like Shivaji, Rana Pratap, Teg Bahadur, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad and Netaji Subhas who will raise their arms to protect the nation and Hindu Dharma, to fight, annihilate the evil forces and come out victorious in establishing Hindu Rashtra in this holy land. If fanatic and fundamentalist Christian militants, Islamic terrorists, and Russian and Chinese inspired Communist extremists can take this country to ransom, valiant Hindu militants can give a crushing blow to these forces by paying them in their own coin. Gandhism failed to emancipate this land from foreign rule, whereas Subhashism succeeded in creating revolt in the army, navy and air force and compel the British to leave this land.
Of course, in the pre-Independence days we had to fight against alien enemies who were ruling over us. However, today, we have to fight against the stooges of those alien enemies who have been left behind to continue the work of destruction of our nationalism and freedom and integrity of our nation. It is an unfortunate fact that these modern Kauravas have been bred in our own country and have emerged out of our own people, but patriotic people of this country, like the Pandavas, should take up arms against these Kauravas to reestablish Dharma on this land. When Arjuna hesitated to take up arms against his own Acharya and Pitamaha in the camp of the Adharmic Kauravas, Lord Krishna gave him a lash in the Gita sloka:
“Kutastwaa kashmalamidam vishame samupastitam, anaaryajushtham, aswargyam akeertikaram arjuna“—”
Wherefrom you got this delusion in this hour of crisis; this is unbecoming of an Arya (a noble son of Bharata), and this will deny heaven and bring disrepute also to you.
To the awakened Arjuna, He assured,
“hato waa praaapsyasi swargam, jitwaa waa bhokshyase maheem, Tasmaaduttishtha kaunteya yuddhaaya krita nischayah!“
—If you are killed in this righteous battle, you are assured of heaven, and if you are victorious, you will rule the earth. Therefore get up and fight with determination!”
This is the message that is to be conveyed to the Hindu youth who will turn into real lion cubs.
Today, Hindu militarism alone can cleanse this nation of the evil forces left behind in this country, which corrode our national existence like cancerous germs. We sit before the TV watching films that depict heroes, who see the hypocrisy of people in power, the corruption and nepotism in the government machinery and the helplessness of the poor and downtrodden people, and raise their arms to annihilate the evil forces, take law into their own hands and finally put an end to Adharma, even at the cost of their own lives and that of their kith and kin. When we appreciate and admire such heroes in the films, we must earnestly pray for such living heroes to come up in the real life of the nation and society. That day, when we find such brave and courageous Hindu youth endowed with prowess on their shoulders and arms, will bring the salvation to our glorious Motherland, Bharatavarsha. Let us invoke Shri Bharata Bhavani to produce such valiant children in thousands very soon. Vande Mataram!
By Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan
Founder & Spiritual Head, Sri Bharatamata Gurukula Ashram &
Yogi Ramsuratkumar Indological Research Centre,
Sister Nivedita Academy, Sri Bharatamata Mandir
Srinivasanagar, Krishnarajapuram, BANGALORE 560 036
email: sadhurangarajan@ vsnl.com ;
Phone: 080-25610935 /25613716, Cell: 09448275935