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Dear Visitor,
I welcome you to this non-profit, educational page. Here you will read about different aspects of the history and culture of that part of our globe which is known variously as Bharatvarsha, Hindostan or India. My approach of looking at history is that of a rationalist and humanist. As my aim is to spread awareness about history and culture, you may freely download this page, print it, link it up from your site, or mirror it at any server. Enjoy the infotainment laid out for you at this site. I also look forward to your valuable suggestions and feedback. Happy viewing.
Author

Humanism and Rationalism

- Humankind's only hope for the future

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by Sudheer Birodkar

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Table of Contents

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Dear Reader,

I welcome you to this page where I have done some
loud thinking on humanism.

I'd like to give a brief background as to why this
page has been created. I have seen the hate mail that
is being posted on some newsgroups and the replies being given.

This has motivated me to share what I have always held
dear and which I owe to the principles
like "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (The world is one family)
and "Ekam Satya, Viprah Bahuda Vadanti" (Truth is one,
people call it by many names).

I have inherited this outlook from
human thinking that comes from that part of our globe
which is geographically today known as Bharatvarsha,
(also known by other names like Aryavarta, Jambudwipa,
Hindustan or India).

But such ideas are not specific to any one part of our globe,
they have existed in different parts of the globe
wherever the right thinking of Humankind has prevailed.

At the forefront let me state that my viewpoint is that
of a rationalist, an agnostic and a humanist.

Rationalists and humanists will never be in a majority
in a world till we are all being programmed (brainwashed
by sectarian nationalist education) to look upon people
in our slice of the world as countrymen and those in
other parts as enemies or at least foreigners.

Rationalists will not be a majority till we are
conditioned by a reformed future education and a reformed
future tradition to look upon ourselves as humans first and last.

To digress a little, phenomenon for humans will never be
within the bounds of human understanding and hence we will
always have an infinitely large part of phenomenon beyond
human knowledge.


As a species capable of abstract thinking we human beings have, since
consciousness came into being, tried to understand what was
beyond our knowledge. But rather than forever engaging in
understanding what is beyond human knowledge, a large majority of the Homo Sapiens
(who are distinct from the animal kingdom by the large brain
bestowed on us by evolution) have sought solace in giving the
unknown part of phenomenon that exists beyond human knowledge;
the common noun "GOD", with differring proper nouns.

These names and the concepts built around the proper nouns
differred in different parts of the globe and THIS DIFFERENCE
has been the main reason to incite humans to slaughter others
from their species.

As I am a rationalist and an agnostic,I belong to this
smallest minority in the globe. For me the only enemies
are wild animals and natural disasters (and extra-terrestrials?).

I cannot comprehend how and why a species capable of abstract
thinking, can look upon those among their own species as mortal
enemies because the name that they have given to the unknown is
different.

Yes as a rationalist I can understand that most humans need
psychological solace in thinking that there is an almighty who
is taking care of us and to whom we could pray in times of crises
and feel that we have done our best. To whom we could ask for
boons in normal times.

But why should the different names given to the unknown lead
to slaughter for centuries together?

We should ultimately have a scenario where there is one world
state of humankind, where the ruling philosophy is that all humans
are free to find their own personal way of co-relating with the
unknown. They may call it the unknown or a diety as long as it
is purely personal aspect and not a social aspect. Where those
who give a certain name for the unknown as their diety no longer
exist as religious community and as nations - we have one world
state. And one is free to be an agnostic or a theist. And theists
do not organise as social entities and nations antagonistic to
one another.

In this scenario for a theist his/her path to co-relating
with the unknown is as private as the colour of the underclothes
he/she wears and has no social bearing whatsoever.

In this scenario we could say the pre-history of humankind is
over and history begins.

Some positive thinking theists express a feeling today in the
following words:

Mandir, Masjid, Girijaghar mein baat diya bhagvaan ko,

Dharti Baati, Sagar Baata,

Mat baato insaan ko.

Mat baato insaan ko.

(You have divided God into temples, mosques and churches,

You have divided the land and the oceans,

But please do not divide human beings in this way.)

In Vedic literature we have terms like "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam"
(The world is one family) and "Ekam Satya, Viprah Bahuda Vadanti"
(Truth is one, people call it by many names).

Now the above thoughts are theistic and I am an agnostic. But
at least I can see that these are philosophies trying to unite
all humans as theists. We agnostics do not even need any emotive
bonding. For me (and for other rationalists, I presume) bonding
is logical. Sectarianism, nationalism, religion is illogical and
in practice, have so far been harmful to the human species.

I know that the crime of the type "Your money or your life"
will always be with us even in a rationalist scenario.

All history has been so far been a struggle or a human civil war.
A religious fanatic would say that it has been a struggle with those
of other religions, a Marxist would say that it has been
a class struggle. I would say that it has initially been
a struggle with the forces of nature and wild animals. This was
so in the days of savagery, later on in the days of barbarism,
the struggle was with those of other tribes for women, cattle
and other forms of wealth and then onwards when the differences
in the name given to the unknown was established in human
consciousness, this difference gave a legitimacy for this
civil war in the human species to be carried out on a grand scale.

I do not know how the human species is finally going to be shaken
out of its brittle adherence to warring camps legitimised by the
difference in the names given for the unknown. If it is going to
be through education - then it could be a peaceful but agonizingly
slow process and take about a hundred thousand years. But if
unfortunately it is going to be through the culmination of the
human civil war in a thermonuclear-nutron-biological world-wide
clash which will see the extermination of a third to almost all of
humankind - it would virtually destroy all past civilization.

All history with all its positive and negative aspects is
our history the history of our species. My being a human is not
foremost or uppermost for me.....
.....IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT CONSTITUTES MY BEING.


People ask me how did I convert to being a rationlist and an
agnostic or was I born as one? My answer to them is "No Sir,
I was only born as a human, I was innocent of what a hindu or
a muslim or a christian is. I am told I was baptised into the
hindu faith and then through my friends at school and home I
was taught to hate the enemies of "my" nation, "my" faith,
ad nauseam.

I made myself a rationalist and an agnostic after a lot of
mental struggle to rid myself of prejudices. I cannot claim that
I have rid myself of all prejudices. They still could be there.
I am trying to find them out and get rid of them.

People also ask me than what do you think of the babri masjid.
Are "we" not right in demolishing it. My answer to them is
"Okay there was a temple before the masjid came to be built in 1528.
But then before the temple was built the land was vacant.
It was used by nature for an useful activity - to grow trees.
We are thinking humans, let us build a school there for rational
and humanistic education." In fact a rationalist would like a
scenario where all places of religious worship are converted
into schools for rationalist and humanist education.

Some ask me if I believe that was there no tyranny in middle
ages on the Hindus, which lead to the conversion of many hindus
to Islam "by force of circumstances". My answer to them is; "Okay,
this is true. But then before this conversion, the same way as
they were hindus, we were all humans before consciousness
divided us into being members of various sects, before this
consciousness came into being we were all simians, and before
we became simians we were lower mammals, and before that
reptiles and amphibians and single-celled organisms and before
that we were a part of the inorganic soil and lava that came from
the sun and the BIG BANG....." How far behind are we to go?

Let us look at the future and at least open our minds towards
being humans and humans alone. To harbour a vision of a world state.
A future where all kinds of sectarianism is relegated into the
dustbin of history.

Where the attitude to the unknown is
strictly a personal issue, not even a family one the same way
as the colour of one's underclothes is.

Dear reader, I only wish to add that in my heart of hearts
I am only a fellow human and not a member of any nation.
My agenda is for human integration worldwide. A goal whose pursuit
may even seem stupid today. But there is no other goal for humankind.


Let me sign-off with one of my first attempts at Shayari.(English Translation in italics)

Mein Insaan Hoon, Sirf Insaan hoon,
(I am a human, only a human)
Insano koh dhoondtey ghoomta hoon,
(I am in search of others who too are only human.)
Miltey hain Hindu, Farsi, Isahi, Yahudi, Sikh aur Musalmaan,
(I have met many Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs and Jews.)
Nahi Miltey sirf Insaan.
(But I rarely meet those who are none of these, but are only human)

Mera Khudha, Mera Parwardigaar, Mera Bhagwaan...,
(My God, My Lord... )
....Toh hai Insaan,
(...is only the Human Being)
Aur mera Mahzab hai pyaar aur Insaaniyat,
(And my religion is Love and Humanism )
Lekin Log shak kartey hai meri Neeyat.
(But people do not believe me.)

Kehtey hai - Woh toh nahi Hindu, nahi Sikh, nahi Farsi, nahi Isahi, nahi, Yehudi ya Musalmaan?
(They say what kind of a chap is this who is neither a Hindu, nor a Muslim, nor a Christian, nor a Sikh, nor a Parsi, nor a Jew? )
Woh kaisa Insaan joh hai sirf Insaan!
(What kind of a human is he who is only a human! )

Woh toh Pagala hai, Bawala hai,
(He must be crazy or out of his mind.)
Ya hoga Dhokhebaaz - Chupa Rustam, Dushman Kaum ka!!
(Or maybe he is a spy of the enemy community!!)
Ya agar apna hai, toh hai gaddar.
(Or if he belongs to our community, then he is certainly a traitor.)

Lekin mein toh keheta hoon ki, Ya Insaan - Merey Parwardigar, Merey Bhagwan,
(But I say that O My dear Human Being you are my My God my Lord )
Baksh dey Hum Insaano par Insaaniyat terey naam,
(Bestow upon us human beings, humanitarianism in your name.)
Mila dey sab key dil pyar aur mohabbat sey,
(And bring together our minds with love and compassion )
Karne dey sab koh sab sey Dosti ka Ikraar,
(Let everyone be bound up with everyone else in an understanding of friendship)
Aur Dushmani ka Tapish mita dey.
(And bring an end to the heat of enimity)

Bana dey ees Jahan koh Ek Khandaan.
(Make the entire world a single human family)
Aur uparvaale key hazarron naam se maat honey dey Khoon Kharaba,
(And let there be no more bloodshed due to different names we have given to the unknown.)
Ya insaan, joh hai mera bhagavan.
(O human who is my God)

Hamen nahin chahiye, Jehad, ya Crusade, ya Dharm Yuddh.
(We do not want a Jehad, nor a Crusade, nor a Dharma Yuddha)
Hame chahiye pyaar, mohabbat, Sukun aur Aman.
(We want love and peace)

Ley ja mazhabi dushmani ka tapish humse dur, kafi dur,
(Take away the heat of religious animosity far away from us, quite far away)
Aur lupt kar dey usey hamesha key liyey,
(And exterminate it once and for all)
Insaan hai hum, Insaaniyat hamara mazhab.
(We are Humans and Humanity alone is our religion.)

Soochta hoon, kab mar jayega, mazhab ka shaitaan insaano mein sey,
(I wonder when the demon of religion will die from human minds?)
Aur kab jaagega insaan, inssaniyat bahal karne,
(And when the human being within us will awaken to bestow humanness on us humans.)
Saare mazhabon koh hatakar?
(By eliminating all religions?)
Saare mazhabon koh hatakar?
(By eliminating all religions?)

Saare mazhabon koh hatakar?

(By eliminating all religions?)


This brings us to the end of this website. It is for you as the reader to judge the contents of this site and send in your feedback to the author

The following link will take you to the homepage from where this site is supposed to begin Humanism in Ancient India.

_____________________

By Sudheer Birodkar

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View the Table of Contents

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