Preserving Tradition & Dharma

By Durgadas, Ved Kovid, AYT

(c) Durgadas (Rodney) Lingham.
All Rights Reserved.

Many have recently asked me about certain decisions I have made and certain actions I have taken that many people have viewed from their (westernised) angle of ahimsa, relative to treatment of people and confused the western samaritan ideals of “love thy neighbour” with the true doctrine of ahimsa, which means not to violate dharma or attack another first – but one may retaliate and defend themselves if dharma is compromised and other yamas violated such as asteya etc. (as also via deliberate plagiarism, which is denied by the offending party or them feeling the right to be entitled to everything as ‘their own’).

For a start, let me start off with stating that all of my advanced students and sadhakas are warned about consequences of wanting to study with me. I don’t ask them – they ask me. I don’t offer anything up-front. But, if they appear to be genuine, then I state that studying with me requires adhering to tradition, the Rishi path and their teachings and not violating them or deriding them in any manner, or there will be consequences. I reiterate this and give them time to process it. If they agree, they can study with me. If during the course however, they ignore these and violate the principles, either consciously or subconsciously, I warn and caution them several times, privately. If however they ignore my warnings or seek to argue their self-entitled nature to be derogatory deliberately and act outside this, then the name I have given them, their teachings etc. will mean nothing and I shall disown them and if they continue this nefarious and sometimes straight out racist and adharmic behaviour while pretending to be dharmic and the epitome of dharma, then I shall expose them.

People want to be part of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma but often forget the background and deeper non-Christian shades. It is a completely different tradition. Sri Rama killed the tyrant Ravana despite him being a Brahmin by birth and an Ayurvedic, jyotisha and Sanskrit scholar. Rama revered his knowledge, but not his adharmic actions. Likewise, Rishis such as Durvasa, Vasishtha, Vishwamitra, Bhrigu etc. cursed many who came in the way of dharma – some even cursed Lord Vishnu and other Mahadevas for their transgressions, let alone others. Krishna cursed his own son! Curses here, we must remember are quite different to spells and bad-luck as in the western interpretation and have to do with karmic manipulation for the better. A ‘karmic purge’ if we like, to avoid the individual undergoing an entire life of suffering in the next life, instead undergoing a temporal suffering that turns them inwards again.

In this way, dharma was upheld in India, whereas, I am sorry to say to those westerners with samaritan ideals – your ancestors lost their culture thousands of years ago!

Now, before I have too many hippies jumping on the Gandhian and New-Age bandwagon, let me state that the indigenous Indian traditions are quite different and more strict than what the average westerner is exposed to or learns. They learn the more Christianised aspects via pop-Gurus and Swamis in India and their European counterparts.

Let me tell you a story from my own lineage to begin with!

Well over a century ago, the greatest Guru and founder of our kaula sampradaya decided to form an alliance with a well-known western society that prided itself on the more challenging and esoteric aspects of it’s day as a challenge to the mainstream Christianity of the European world. There were numerous such movements going on at that.

This was all quite cordial until Guruji realised that there was some underhanded business going on there; that the Europeans were going to use the great Guru’s name and his lineage to further their own ideas to the point that both formed an alliance, but it was revealed (before the official formation) that the paths were quite different between the westerners and those of bharatiya (Indian) extraction and Guruji. The Europeans had no true reverences for the vedas, nor the sacred Brahmanical systems the lineage upheld and were in fact, somewhat derisive of it. They also lusted after materialistic powers and such rather than the true goals of jnana and moksha.

They were hence exposed for their fraudulent nature. The vaidika patha or Vedic path is one that upholds dharma and satya (truth) at all costs. It has obviously been successful and doesn’t require our criticism of its system of doing so – as Hinduism today remains the world’s largest Pagan faith and oldest surviving religion, with Sanskrit, the world’s oldest continuous language and the Vaidika Sanskrit still chanted the same as has been going on for millions of years (as per Hindu reckoning).

It is all about keeping the traditions shuddha (pure) and untainted which is the actual arya or noble and pious ideal of the Rishis. It is about honouring their traditions and not seeking to unjustifiably alter them against the natural order (i.e. science always went hand-in-hand with Vedic systems, but other younger and divergent systems could not be seen as authoritative over the Hindu parent or the Vedas).

The importance of this is also well-stated in the ancient Hindu shastras; texts also warn that here, relative to a malignant tumour  or cancer, it should be removed without leaving any residue, otherwise it can (potentially) kill the patient – here using the analogy of fire (by a spark).(Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsasthana, XVIII.42). We can apply this in the same manner to Hinduism also – not in a dogmatic manner again to proselytise, but to keep the remnants, like the healthy human body in-tact and well-preserved.

This also requires the knowledge and study of all systems, which takes several decades and also much meditation. Such as I have noted elsewhere is also not possible simply by westerners or those outside a tradition coming in and seeking to grasp or understand them.  One must be born with such qualities and not fake, force or imitate them. This includes not trying to superimpose subliminal / unconscious Christian samskaras or neo-Buddhistic renderings of ahimsa upon Hinduism and thinking one has perfected the Hindu understanding! Such is as inaccurate as equating Judaic beliefs with those from Catholicism!

We see this in all native systems which have been, since time immemorial, bent on trying to preserve themselves as best they can. This means that even influences of the more educated traditions of higher-level educators and teachers in society were kept aloof from the lesser-educated masses and vice-versa, so as not to corrupt the teachings either by way of incorrect second-hand knowledge (as occurred with Hindu venesection during Buddhist India and generated acupuncture and marmapressure), or taint the literature and vast canon of knowledge directly (as also occurred with the Puranas when mercantile vaishya influences that were highly rajasic or materialistic, entered into them and the symbolism was forgotten and undermined – replaced with a more literalistic mythological dharma than the earlier symbolic, as occurred with the Roman take on Judaic traditions and sects).

For these reasons, as from a child I was taught in the traditional ways and systems and the approach of not deviating from them, relative to these traditions that had been handed down to us. It doesn’t mean we accept everything – but we apply shruti or the oldest orthodox and revealed insightful traditions to the smriti or remembered and younger strata of texts, which can often be more mythological and less symbolic or metaphoric than the former.  The issue is when we simply take the latter view alone and give is sole credence and validation that we fall into ruin and the intellect wanes, as also tradition. It thwarts the true knowledge that is preserved in the more scientific tradition.

We must guard tradition against invaders and impostors. Many today wish to create fusion systems and cross-pollinated [so-called] ‘traditions’, simply using their traditional and native endorsements to shield them from their transgression of cultural appropriation and distortions. This image becomes quite confusing to the public at large and also distorting to the masses that come into contact with such and misunderstand what real native traditions and teachings are about.

More recently I have become more cynical regarding human behaviour and also western maturity to handle native teachings and pass it on traditionally, rather than to franchise it and disrespect it as also misappropriate it as some individuals have done as my sadhakas.

Sadly for these individuals, the age of self-entitlement and disrespect for traditional teachings and systems, has passed!

OM Namah Shivaya!


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