THE TEN FACETS OF HINDUISM : Page 2
4. It is only in the ultimate dirtless crystalline purity of the mind that one can see or realise God's reflection in oneself. As we attempt to purify our minds and remove all the accumulated dirt in it, we should simultaneously take care not to allow further dirt to gather. For this purpose, there is a powerful but difficult prescription. We are to do all our actions, secular or religious, private or official, personal or public, in such a way that no further Vasanas adhere to the mind. Act with detachment, says Sanatana Dharma, with no attachment to anything that comes and goes, without an iota of selfishness, without any hankering or desire for the fruits of actions. Such actions will not bind the doer. The strategy for such action is dedication to the Almighty or to a noble cause. Thus the fourth commandment is: Act, in the living present, in total detachment and dedication, by avoiding all egocentric desires, fears and anxieties. And , if such an action also serves another fellow being, it becomes Service to God.
5. God is One, though He has many names and forms. That there are several names and forms should not confuse the seeker. Each name and form is only a symbol pointing to, or a prop helping us hold on to, the Unique Unmanifest Almighty. Since God is all-pervading, each name and form suits Him. All names and forms are His. Not only that. A seeker can choose the name and form that suits his taste and evolution and worship that name and form as the Ultimate Godhead. To be free to find expression to one's search for a personal God and seek His Grace for the purification of one's mind is the fifth directive principle of Hinduism. The validity of this principle is the authority for the Hindu conviction that all religions are only different perceptions of the path to Divine Perfection.
6. The sixth principle, the concept of AvatAra, is the unique prerogative of Hinduism among all religions. In the long mythological history of the Indian nation and also in its historical past, there have been many many occasions when the Absolute Unmanifest Godhead chose to manifest itself in flesh and blood, as a living presence, for the purpose of either putting an end to rank cruelty, hatred and wickedness, arrogance of muscle power or spiritual power or for the purpose of showering Divine Gace on a superhuman devotee and spreading of the air of spirituality. Each one of these manifestations is a voluntaryand planned descent from the absolute pedestal of the nameless and formless God. Such a descent where the Perfect Godhead assumes an imperfection, as it were, to raise us imperfect humans towards the path of Perfection, is called an Avatar. The word 'Avatara' itself means 'descent'. It is only by God's Grace we may recognise such an Avatar. We should feel honoured and doubly blessed if, in addition, we can enjoy His beatific presence. To follow the precepts of Avatars, particularly their reiteration of the Vedic emphass on one's duties to one's Mother, Father, Guru and Spouse, the emphasis on Truth and Love as the basic ore of Dharma and the Unity of all Faiths - this is the sixth directive or commandment.
7. The seventh commandment prescribes for man one of the time-honoured methodologies of Bhakti (= Devotion) . It is in fact an operational plan for a life of devotion.The principle is that there is no substantive distinction between the name of God and God Himself. Each name of God, particulaly in Sanskrit and Tamil and in all the Indian languages which have roots in these, is full of meaning, revealing o us a sample of the majesty and glory of the personfied Absolute as well as of the Impersonal Absolute, recalling to us His maraculous achievemnts and reminding us of the inherent Divinity which we are seeking outside instead of deep within us. So it is prescribed that we go back to the source of all things in the Universe, by continuously being aware of His omnipresence and by always keeping His memory as an undercurrent in our subconscious, in all our thought processes and in all our activities. To keep His name and memory in the mind and heart is the surest way to purify the mind. To live, through the memory of God's names, in the ecstasy of the chant of such names in continuous awareness of His presence, is the seventh commandment.
8. What dominates? Man's free will or the Divine Will? Hinduism says that every one starts his life with certain macro-aspects of his life already chalked out for him, not by an external force, but by the thoughts and actions of his own past lives -- in short, by his own evolution, as evidenced by his store of VAsanAs. Subject to this each man is enjoined , in his day-to-day life to voluntarily discipline himself as per the religious sanctions, advices and norms. But an intellectual analysis of life's experience in due time tells him that nothinghappens without God's Will and perhaps even one's own free will is subject to the influence of the Divine. For most of humanity this however remains only as an ideal. The eighth commandment of the Lord is: Surrender to Me in heart and soul, even your will. Then your future, either here or elsewhere, shall be my concern.