A very valid and important point raised. Thanks.
I agree with you that Hinduism as it should be taught is not being done. The fault as I see it lies in the system that we as citizens have adopted to educate our children, and the misuse of freedom given to individuals as members of the Hindu society. To elaborate on these points I feel that the basic education system in itself is so taxing that a student even if he wants to cannot devote much time towards religious studies and also that these studies do not form a part of the curriculum under the pretext of India being a “secular state”. What I don’t understand is why does so called secularism mean to shun and avoid religions instead of supporting and respecting all in equal stead. Wont it help our young generation to understand better their own faith and others if introductory classes were given in schools itself, thereby promoting not only their knowledge in their religion but also in other religions too? Not to mention that it shall increase the levels of tolerance, respect, and understandings of other religions too. In Hinduism every ritual has a meaning both deeply spiritual as well as practical, how is one supposed to know if such rituals are just passed on as acts to be done instead of knowing the exact meaning behind them, from one generation to another.
To cite an example, we in our family have Ganapati Pooja tradition, which all follow, but now a days it is just confined to bringing in the idol, decorating the place, and having a huge platter for naivedyam! I mean out of 7 families only one follows the entire pooja routine to the book with complete understanding!
That apart, discourses are viewed and perceived as for the old and people who don’t have any work. The perception of religion is relegated to be of use only in the vanaprasthashram or what??
Also when you say that Sanskrit text be made more simple and in language more common, I shall beg to disagree for the reason that the Sanskrit text for mantras and pooja have great meaning and potential. Our mantras are not only textual but have deep phonetic, audio-wave impact. Hence I am of the view that they should not be meddled with and preserved in the purest form that is in Sanskrit only. I say this because Sanskrit is a very evolved language, a language in which with subtle changes in intonations of the same words different meanings are derived, not to mention that it is a language which has grown itself over the barriers of punctuation!
In schools especially in the northern states Sanskrit is an optional subject which is mostly opted out in favour of some foreign language or a regional one citing its irrelevance of use. Isn’t it here that it can be used, to get closer to one’s religion?
Literature though widely available and now a days predominantly in Hindi is still not used because people take almost an hour to read a single line in Hindi! This amazes me beyond words. I am surprised when i see my fellow colleagues frown to see me reading Hindi novels and Sanskrit books, I mean how difficult is it to learn to read a language which you use 80% of the time to interact n talk in?
The attitude is wrong. Coming to my second point of misuse of freedom, I’d say that we Hindus have been given a freedom to chose to worship the way we want, and we have conveniently chosen to be lazy and not to do what we are supposed to do. That is we can donate a huge amount one day or be hungry one day and light lamps n use flowers n colours and conveniently call ourselves Hindus, where we don’t even know who the father of Ayaapan is or who is the husband of Riddhi & Siddhi!
It is said that “Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha” the one who follows dharma is taken care of by dharma itself. I don’t know how many of us have even heard of it.
As far as Idol worship goes, it too had deep meaning and relevance in the Hindu way of life and should not be discarded just because some say so. Hinduism is probably the only religion which takes two or more opposing views and yet can keep them together in view of the greater goal for the benefit of humanity and its freedom to express freewill and choose a path to attain God.
All in all I’d say just take out sometime and know your religion of which you are so proud of am sure. Just sit with it for a while and see for yourself how much more it has to offer than the bit you choose to take from it. I assure you that you’ll discover a wealth unparalleled and happiness like never before.
Sarvejanaha Sukhino Bhavantu.