Invitation To Health: 24 ►Aggravation Of The Problem By The Word 'Dharmanirpekṣatā'

Published: 07.04.2017

Aggravation Of The Problem By The Word 'Dharmanirpekṣatā'

The distance between emotions (feelings and thought) and language is an intricate problem. Emotions do not speak and language does not have experience. Both have a bond. Language is necessary for expression of internal world. On this basis, this bond is continuing. Entire behaviour of human being is continuing with the help of words. They are the most powerful medium of exchange.

Religion and politics

Religion is inner experience or process. Some words have created a lot of complications in the field of religion. One of such words is 'dharmanirpekṣatā' (used as a translation of 'secular') The inner soul of the constitution makers wanted to say that in democracy there will not be absolute authority of any one religion. State will provide equal opportunity to all religions for development. It will not favour any one. But the spirit of the word did not join the inner soul. The meaning of the word 'dharmanirpekṣatā' was taken as atheism or to be away from religion.

Question is, whether there has to be any relation of religion with state or politics? If there is no relation, then that state or politics will be despotic and people will be oppressed. If there has to be a relation of state and politics with religion, then it has to be with which religion? Religion is not one. Its number is in hundreds. On reaching this point out thinking takes a turn—religion is not in hundreds, hundreds are sects, explanations of religion.

Religion and sect

Ordinarily we are taking religion and sect to be synonym and therefore many a times we use the word sect for religion and vice versa. If we take religion to be different from sect, then our viewpoint will get disentangled quite a lot. The question does not come to an end. A new argument comes to the fore—what is religion? Whatever definition of religion is given by a sect, that becomes religion for us and therefore many thinkers do not regard religion and sect to be different. They do not regard politics and religion also as separate. Their argument is the same—if state is not animated by religion it cannot be a welfare state. In their opinion only that religion is of wellbeing' the explanation of which is given by their sect. This is not a solution of the problem. The solution of the problem can be by that religion which is sect-less. There will be less importance of religion and more of sect if state gives primacy to that religion which is associated with a sect. It will give less solution and give rise to more problems.

Democracy and religion

State should be related to religion but it is very much necessary that it is free from that religion which is committed to a sect, if it is not so then it can be a monarchial state and never a democratic state. In the age of monarchy public was compelled to accept that religion which was accepted by the king. Democracy is not a despotic process of governance. And therefore, in it there cannot be recurrence of monarchial dictatorial tendency.

A religion dominated by sādhanā(spiritual austerity) is individualistic. With it state has no relation. Morality is a part of religion. State and society are related to that only. It is quite necessary for a democratic governance to give value orientation to ethical code of conduct. If it is made a part of training in democracy, then the very background of secularism (Dharmanirpekatā) will change.

Democracy and morality

It is a matter of surprise that India is the largest democracy in the world and even then, there is no arrangement for training in democracy. Can enhancement of democracy be imagined without moral development? In democracy, there should be no occurrence of violence, use of force, firing etc. or at least there should be diminution in them but there is no decrease in them. Its main cause is lack of training. Where is the formation of that awareness which is needed for democracy?

Let us not make the word 'dharmanirpekṣatā' a point of perplexity. It is highly necessary to keep the system of democratic governance free from the religion committed to a sect and along with it is also necessary to make it committed to ethical code of conduct. One aspect was touched and the other was ignored. Its consequence is that the word 'dharmanirpekṣatā' instead of solving the problem is making it

Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
HN4U Digital Edition: Ratna & Amit Kumar Jain

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Soul
  2. Sādhanā
  3. Violence
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