In the era where the promotion of Hinduism is at its peak, sadhus are randomly leeched or humiliated in India. Two years ago, two Hindu sadhus were brutally lynched to death by a frenzied mob of more than 100 people in the town of Palghar. This issue became a political saga, there was a lot of blame game and finally, the Maharashtra government got toppled on the issue of Hindutva. Eknath Shinde was projected as the flag bearer of Hindu and he became CM of the state. After coming to power both Shinde and Fadnavis forgot this topic and now there is no cry for justice.
Similarly, common people also got carried away with the propaganda and joined the campaign #JusticeForSadhus. The WhatsApp forwards and social media sites were flooded with agendas but now some people have turned mute. Conditioning plays a vital role in creating a fake narrative. Are we really bothered about the saints and sadhus of India?
I would be sharing one personal experience here. A few days back one Fakir Sadhu walked from Uttarakhand to Mumbai for some research work with “The Hindu education and research foundation.” In spite of having his state CM and lakhs of rich disciples at his feet, he chose to walk. He calls himself a Fakir (beggar) he prefers no extravagances. He wanted to rest on the footpaths but one of the ministers of Uttarakhand and a spiritual leader informed me that Fakir baba is coming to Mumbai, if possible, to meet him. I invited him home because his proficiency in explaining the Vedas and Sanskrit is amazing. He speaks good Sanskrit, English, Hindi, Spanish and other languages. Being a Shiva worshipper, he recites all related Vedas with utmost devotion. Maybe we wanted to experience that.
It took almost four days for him to reach Mumbai. He was tired, soaked in dust, and also unwell. After walking miles alone, he finally entered our building and my watchman objected to his entry assuming he was a beggar. Some residents were making unnecessary noises by judging him through their own actions. Somehow, I told the watchman to guide him to come home. I thought this humiliation might have bothered him. I was feeling guilty. Even I cannot blame my building people because when a person looks like a popper or a beggar, we don’t trust them but start arbitrating. Security is the prime concern for all; this baba is known to me so I can take responsibility. There are goons who enter the complex in the guise of something and commit crimes. The hesitation is justified. But when it comes to the incidence of sadhus getting killed or trashed, we get hyper because it happened somewhere else. The biggest challenge is to identify the guanine.
Hinduism does not reject Sadhu who is not lavish. There are three types of religious leaders in our country. The one who is so-called famous where politicians and the public fall in line to meet them at least once. The other religious leaders follow the political leaders wagging their tails so that they can click pictures and glorify themselves. Third, they remain detached from this world and dedicate themselves to God and religion. But these third category people have no face because they don’t belong to social media, they don’t keep phones or they don’t look presentable with that fanfare. This rare species of spiritual leader is constantly under attack due to mistrust and fear. That is what exactly happened with the Palghar killing, people failed to acknowledge them as sadhus.
After the Palghar incident, Sadhus of the Juna Akhada had come from Mathura (UP) in a Bolero car to Lavanga in Sangli District and asked for directions to an address. The local people thought that the Sadhus were intending to kidnap the children. They not only thrashed them but also severely beat them up. Maharashtra is reputed to be the land of Sadhus and Saints yet it is here that incidents of Sadhus being beaten up happen again and again. Society is living in unknown fear and superiorly complex both. That is the reason such saints having no glossy background or name find them vulnerable.
Hinduism does not demand that every Hindu should be religious or spiritual but they should respect the culture. Hindus become religious or spiritual voluntarily. The basic requirement of Hinduism is to follow Dharma or good conduct which is taught even in secularism or any civil society.
When we normal human beings are in the turmoil of our worldly life, we are either very happy or not happy. When we are not happy, we are angry or sad. When we are happy, we are on top of the world; however, when we see true Sadhu, we find them without attachments to anything materialistic. They work for the betterment of the people. They live and yes, they can give you mental stability by resolving your query. It is a spiritual process. A sadhu is somebody who is working on himself so that he becomes receptive. He will teach you what he has accumulated if you want it.
We live in the subcontinent where illiteracy meets religion and together, they make a mixture of stupidity and blind faith. Rather than making much out of this superb concept of sadhus, we began to lose reasoning, which makes sense, because the majority of us are illiterate and live under mental bankruptcy. We should believe that there are some wonderful people who’ll guide you through your life irrespective of your faiths and beliefs. When a person realizes that everything in this dynamic world is temporary, does not belong to him and that without all these material things also, he can live his life, he starts limiting his needs, his desires and his wishes. This leads to a state of complete satisfaction. Thus, he becomes a sadhu. And what makes him choose this path? It’s the society itself. Every year there have been more than 24 brutal attacks on Hindu sadhus since 2000. Before that there were minor attacks but not much in numbers.