Let us become nobler

Sanskrit word 'Arya' or 'Aryam' stands for nobility. Let us implore everyone to become noble, the Arya or Aryam. Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews, communists or capitalists, rich or poor, clever or dumb, weak, meek or bully. Uncomfortable perhaps are they with other, threatening peace. Ray of hope for the world is ‘include-all’ ideas of ancient Indian wisdom popularly known as Hinduism. Only they knew how to celebrate individuality of each person. Aryas respect ideas of others, respect way of worship of others, help others and become a noble citizen of this wide and varied world. Idea behind this blog is to bring out those ideas and help each of us become better than what we are. 'N' in the 'Aryan', by the way, was a mistake made by colonial 'experts' who wanted to underplay and undermine the culture and religion of those who they clandestinely enslaved.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Saffron, Saffronizing and Sanyaasi in Hinduism

Media, TV and print, have coined the words, ‘saffron’ and ‘saffronizing’, in the context of Hinduism. It has taken it from the color of garments worn by Hindu Sanyaasis. Monks of every faith originated from India (Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism etc.), follow that tradition.

Saffron is a color associated in Hinduism with doing selfless service towards others, with sacrificing self-interest in service of society, with giving up personal comforts for the society at large, with giving up personal property, family life and unessential material comforts and with finality of never returning back to family home once it is left.

Sanyaasis are those individuals who have, on oath pledged and given up family and possessions he/she had till that day, never to return back nor to ever reclaim. Sanyaasi is considered ‘dead’ for claiming any erstwhile relationships or wealth. It is a hard vow; it does not end with ‘giving-up’. It entails many do’s and don’ts for his or her balance life. He or she has to live only for the cause of society while spending balance time on self-development to be able to love everything in the universe, animate or inanimate. A genuine unselfish life but not an un-useful life.

Usually, the vow of Sanyaasi-hood is administered only by accomplished master who takes care to examine incumbent’s aptitude, motives, determination and capacity. Master can refuse entry into Sanyaasi-hood or can ask incumbent to wait out unlimited incubation as deemed fit. This safeguard is considered as essential filter to ensure only deserving becomes Sanyaasi. Therefore Sanyaasis are respected by everyone and they bow to him in acknowledgement of his resolve of serving selflessly. Once a Sanyaasi, the whole mankind becomes his or her family to care for, to live for or die for. It is neither natural nor easy for average man to love everyone; it takes a lot of learning to be able to genuinely love everyone. For that learning, the incumbent needs a lot of self-discipline, dedication to learning, healthy body and mind and patience. Saffron robe helps keep Sanyaasi steadfast in his resolve of sacrificing his life for others out of pure love for creations of God.   

Besides Saffron, Hinduism associates with many other colors in various ways. The red, orange and green are auspicious colors for most happy occasions, the black, violet and blue are associated with Vishnu and his Avataaars, the yellow is associated with holy due to color of waist wrap (i.e. Pita-amber or dhoti worn during ceremony) of priests and the white signifies simplicity and cleanliness. Every color and their combinations represent Hinduism. ‘Saffron’ can, therefore, at best only partially represent Hinduism but ‘Saffronizing’ cannot mean Hinduising. Thinking public will not use imagery of color ‘Saffron’ and ‘Saffronizing’ in an inappropriate and unsuitable manner.