Even Aurangzeb Dare Not Touch The Shankaracharyas

by PC SAHAJWALA

When I think of the Shankaracharyas, I many times wonder, who are these Shankaracharyas? I have heard about the caliph & the caliphate (though non-existent now). I have heard about the Roman Catholic Church & the Pope, but I wonder how many people know about the Shankaracharyas.

The center of nerves of a Muslim may be the Kaaba & the centre of nerves of a Sikh may be the Swarna Mandir (Golden Temple), but under what pretext have the Shankaracharyas ever been talked about? Do we even know where exactly are the four primary ‘mutts’ established by the Adi Shankaracharya & the two secondary ones? I remember having read that Swami Vivekananda once defined ‘Advaita’ (non- duality), the principle of Adi Shankaracharya - in the following phrases:

‘THE DIVINITY OF SOUL, THE NON-DUALITY OF THE GODHEAD, THE UNITY OF EXISTENCE & THE HARMONY OF RELIGIONS’.

But the days of Vivekananda are certainly gone. Now we have the Hitlerites, who may sound the same as the Saverkarites, or it may be vice versa. Here, Golwalkar quotes the following couplet from a Hindu scripture ‘Prusha Sukta’ in his famous collection of speeches – ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ (p 36):

Brahmanosya Mukhamaseed Baahu Rajanyah Kritah,
Ooroo Tadasya Yad Vaishyah Padbhyam Shoodro Ajayat
(Brahmin is the head, King (Kshatriya) the hands, Vaishya the thighs & Shudra the feet. This means that the people who have this 4-fold arrangement i.e. the Hindu people are God).

Now we the Hindus must believe that we are the ‘God’ in this universe. No need to think about others, or any unity of existence or the divinity of the soul or non-duality of the Godhead, not to speak of the harmony of all religions. The concept is as arrogant as the concept of the ‘Chosen People’ & their so-called ‘Promised Land’.

Now coming to the Shankarachryas, the earliest memory that I have, of having read about the Shankaracharyas, the holiest Hindus, as we may believe, was when in the year 1967, Indira Gandhi was a novice PM & the Jana Sangh the novice aspirant of power. They were looking for some Hindu symbols to exploit & they spotted the poor animal ‘Cow’! Like a blessing! They thought of protecting her & to accompany her, they took another symbol that is, the ‘Sadhu’! A ‘Sadhu’ died in the demonstration held on 7 Nov. 1967 & the new aspirants of power, the only caretakers of the ‘Hindutva’ (which is not Hinduism but ‘Hinduness’ – that sounds like what we read on a hotchpotch vehicle of eatables which displays in the menu, ‘tomato soup with an egg drop’!) were bent upon creating revolution over the death of the ‘Sadhu’ by demonstrating further. But Indira Gandhi, the then novice PM was there to do her first over-smarting act to the Hindutva-ites (something similar to what Sonia did to Sushma & Uma).

Even before heat could generate & resentment be created by the aspirants, she ordered an inquiry into the death of the ‘Sadhu’! Then to carry ahead the ritual of saving the poor animal ‘Cow’, a Shankaracharya is going on fast. Shankaracharya was arrested but the leaders are mused that even after the release, the Shankaracharya is going ahead with the fast! For the ‘Cow’! Deen Dayal Upadhyaya holds a full ruling party, the Congress to ransom by uttering, in an angry mood in an equally angry rally in Bhopal: ‘Such high dignitaries & religious leaders of the top were never detained even when India was under foreign rule. EVEN AURANGZEB DARE NOT TOUCH THE SHANKARACHARYAS! The media calculating how much vote swing will the fast of the Shankaracharya & his arrest earlier make from Congress to the BJS! Then a rift comes & some Swami (Karpatriji) is in favor of Shankaracharya continuing the fast while Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, on the basis of the self-important behavior of the ‘Sadhus’, thinking that the fasts must be discontinued! Swami Karpatriji thinks that he would launch a National Front whose only job would be to save the ‘Cow’ & for this he would field many candidates for the Lok Sabha & even more for the State Assemblies & for that, he rushes to a Shankaracharya (of Puri) again!

If we look at the way AB Vajpayee struggled against Narendra Modi & the Hindutva-ites while he was PM recently (read Hitlerites at least w.r.t Narendra Modi), any person with some nostalgia of the years gone by & the political happenings in this country would have sensed some sort of de ja vu since in those days also Vajpayee, as an orator tried to link the party with some realistic issues & had to pronounce that Swami Rameshwaranand of Haryana, who was suspended & then re-suspended from the Parliament for making noise over the cow, did not represent the Jana Sangh policies!
The Shankaracharya is receiving a letter from his son-in- law that he doubted that perhaps the Shankaracharya was required to die in the fast to give some mileage to the aspirants! But then, the same tug of war between various Hinduite organisations (RSS), the politicians (BJS) & the Bharat Gosewak Samaj (BGS), the Sarvadaliya Goraksha Maha-Abhiyan Samiti (SGMS) each cow-protecting organisation eying its own cup of milk from the poor ‘Cow’!

Time then travels to the Ekatmata Yatra of the 80s! The Doeras- Indira honeymoon continuing, since the days of emergency, at its last leg since Indira was no more & Rajiv was there as the protector of the Hindu nationalism! The Meenakshipuram event of a Dalit boy being beaten to near death also having passed, in which the people of a village convert to Islam overnight, also over! The Ekatmata Yatras are organised on long long routes from Katmandu to Ramewshwaram, from Gangasagar to Somnath & from Haridwar to Kanyakumari, held to wash the sins, at places like Meenakshipuram, of the second superior most creation, after the ‘gods goddesses’, the Brahmin by ‘Brahma’ (as Baba Saheb used to sarcastically say!). The jars of water contained water from sacred places, which included the four holy monasteries (!) headed by the Shankaracharyas! The holy waters distributed from village to village by the Dalits as a measure of the Hindu unity! The introspection was good, though everything seemed like a compulsion! (Interestingly, the Shankaracharyas were a divided house over the matter.

The Shankaracharyas of Dwarka & Puri remained away from the ‘compulsion’ ritual). The days were such that the ‘Shah Banos’ created uproars in the Parliament, & the Bharat Gosewak Samajs & Sarvadaliya Goraksha Maha-Abhiyan Samitis now replaced by the VHP & lo! the locks of the Rama shrine in the basement of Babri mosque have also opened ! A festival sort of! And more than people rush the media of thousands of reporters catching the frenzy of the Hindu mind! The Ram Lala (Rama child) was free from the clutches of the Babar. Here a Shankaracharya (Jayendra Saraswati) is suddenly suggesting that the opening of the gates at Babri Mosque simply points to the success of the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi Movement’, so this should be the end of the campaigns, the yatras! But nope! The Deoras is there. He is the first RSS chief who links the RSS with politics! He writes frankly in the centenary issue of Panchjanya (the centenary of Dr. Hedgewar’s birth) that the Sangh was changing & so it should! To the Shankaracharyas he unhesitatingly & frankly says, this is not the end of a movement, but this is the beginning of the movement! The Shankaracharyas coming and going at the wills of the Hindu organisations, the Shankaracharyas looking like appointees! The Shankaracharya (Jayendra Saraswati) offering a solution to the Ayodhya movement becomes a bombshell which no channel or paper wants to miss.

The five points of solution he suggests: viz the building of a temple by the govt, the building of a mosque 10 km. away, the renunciation of claims for the Mathura & Kashi shrines by the Hindus, the opening of 100 mosques under the ASI to the Muslims & the withdrawals of all legal suits etc. The VHP doesn’t like since its own shine seems to be going away to the Shankaracharyas! This was similar to the situation when Narasimha Rao as PM offered to build the temple with the help of the Shankaracharyas & the shine now expected to be lost was by the ‘Ram-Bhakt’ Bharatiya Janata Party! I really wonder! Who are these Shankaracharyas! Why can’t we leave them to themselves & leave their good & bad days to themselves! Why do we now all huddle near a Shankaracharya in a situation when he is involved in the murder of another Hindu Devotee? Do we know who has committed the murder? Do we know that the Hindu ethoses are hurt the most when we do violence by killing others! The famous couplet by Tulsidas:

Daya Dharma ka mool hai’ pap mool abhiman, Tulsi Daya na chhodiye. Jab lag ghat mein pran (The root of Dharma is compassion, the root of sin the arrogance! Do not renounce compassion, till alive) is the immortal definition of Hinduism. Do we care about the 8 virtues proposed by the Kuru Dynasty founder King Kuru, viz (1) Truth (2) Austerity (3) Compassion (4) Cleanliness (5) Forgiveness (6) Charity (7) Composure & (8) Chastity! Nope! Our souls are dumbstruck because a Shankaracharya is now facing a murder case, & we the Hindus are overnight cornered to the corner, concerned about the Hindutva! Do we care about the Adi Shankaracharya who traveled all over India in his brief life span of 32 years, & established ‘THE DIVINITY OF SOUL, THE NON-DUALITY OF THE GODHEAD, THE UNITY OF EXISTENCE & THE HARMONY OF RELIGIONS’?

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