Darwinism and Hinduism.
It is a know fact that Darwinism has shaken the pillars of the western
religions and the western civilization. That it raises heated debate
among the people in the west,even today is an indication as to the
sensitivity of this issue. There is no doubt that Darwinism is the TRUTH.
Why don't people just accept it and get along with life. Darwinism is still a
hypothesis and not an accepted fact according to the people of the
On the other hand, I haven't met a single Hindu or a single Indian
for that matter who says it is wrong. Neither my parents(who are
religious Hindus) not my elders have ever told me that Darwinism
is wrong. They accept it and have not even made a slight move in
the direction of dissuading their children from believing it.
This goes for the whole culture. And the culture is predominantly
Hindu. I am not sure about the rest of the Asian countries or
cultures, but it is true that Darwinism hasn't shaken any faith
in India or of its people who are predominantly Hindu.
Some of the reasons come to mind.
First one is that in ancient Hindu arithmetic, numbers of the order
of 10 power 12 to 18 were dealt with compared to the western
civilization(greek, which is the basis of the western civilization)
who were rather very stingy in the matter of dealing with numbers.
I heard of a story where a rushi goes to Brahma to ask for something
for his people. He waits for couple of hours/minutes because Brahma was
sleeping at that time. Now it is reasoned that since Brahma's
day is couple of million years(they call it something) when the
Rushi came back from the Brahma Lok he was shocked that everyone
he knew was old(or something to that effect). The point is that the
people were taught about this. We can see the relativity of Einstein
here. But the actual beauty is that the people get an idea that
our perception is indeed limited (and wrong to an extent). The
westerners on the other hand do not have anything like this. The
greek way of representing numbers itself is very crude. It becomes
very difficult to represent any number beyond a hundred(think about
it). And according to the studies(some research that my professor
was saying in our computer science arithmetic class), anything
which cannot be represented(in a culture or civilization) cannot
be thought about by its people. If they could indeed had thought about
it someone would have come-up with a method to represent it(or the other
way round for those want to debate it). Assuming that this is true, people
in the West never thought about big numbers and when Darwin was
talking about millions of years they could not perceive it, even if
the modern people could have the religions were saying it is wrong(atleast
they said it is wrong, they go by written text remember). Their
faith was deceiving them, in a way.
The second reason is "the matter of faith". I am a Hindu and I have not
been forced to believe anything which makes it absolutely necessary that
I need to believe it to qualify to call myself that or believe myself to
be that(Hindu). I was made to do some things(ritualistic I may add) which
I didn't know why I was doing like going to a temple, but I was not
forced to do anything forget believing. So I grew up to believe that
I can believe in whatever I think is right. I said right, that means
the Truth. Ofcourse I could also believe in what is not true. Whom
am I deceiving. MYSELF. So there is no point believing in something
which is not the Truth. Because I have no pressure from any quarters
to believe otherwise. This is the beauty of Hinduism that I like the
most. Say today I want to be a Catholic Christian. I go the Catholic
Church. The father there will be very happy to Christen me. With
pleasure he would baptize me. However I would be asked to believe in
somethings though my mind(I am inclined to Scientific thought) shouts
out that it cannot because it makes no sense what so ever. I may be
happy to go through the various funcitons and rituals like I would have
done being a Hindu, however the faith. God, no. How can believe in
something which my logical/scientific mind says is wrong? I cannot
deceive my conscience. I would rather believe in something which my
relentlessly questioning brain says is the Right thing. I would not
sell myself to a cult which forces something down my throat. The
philosophy of Hinduism which says "Go for the Truth",is what made
Darwinism readily acceptable to the People of this region(according
The third reason is the existence of dualism of existence. India to
me is a place where contradictions live in harmony. The people,
especially Hindus seem to keep two opposite view-points in harmony,
without apparently going insane. They subscribe to both of them
with the same vigor. The land itself reflects that both materially
and spiritually. Its a land of sorts. It is surprising, but not
so inconceivable considering the rich intellectual past. It gives
an impression that there are always two sides to a coin. One might
meditate over something for a life time, the conclusion he might come to
is still subjected to change on the reception of new information.
That seems to be the general attitude. In this situation there is
a true respect for others viewpoints, even though the other person
thinks drastically different from what one does. A person is
respected for not what he represents but on what he has to tell
you as truth. One needs to balance the contradicting viewpoints
until one finds out about the Truth. When one does find it, there
is nothing stopping him from accepting it.
>From all this, I derive that Hinduism says that "Accept the Truth".
It tells you to take the truth whatever the source. A wiseman
will accept the truth even if comes from his enemy. Thats what I
learned from the various preachings(Gita and Mahabharat are a proof).
This according to me is the reason why darwinism has not shaken