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Few days back my sister had an interview for the post of assistant professor in Gujarati department in Krushnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University. Her PhD thesis was ‘રઘુવીર ચૌધરી ના સાહિત્ય માં સાંસ્કૃતિક ચેતના Raghuveer Chaudhari na sahitya ma sanskrutik chetna (Cultural awakening in Raghuveer Chaudhari’s literature)’. My sister told me to write something for her on Sanskruti (According to her Sanskriti is wrong correct is Sankruti-Culture). I wrote one article for her and thought of sharing with you.

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It is necessary to talk about religion whenever there is discussion about culture because there is very thin line between both. Culture and religion are connected together and sometime both are back bone of one another. Let us take two examples.

Example 1: Culture is reason behind identity of religion

All of Christian nations celebrate Christmas festival. Santa Clause comes in sledge cart pulled by Reindeers who are led by red nosed Rudolf. A thought came in my mind, Christianity founded by Christ in Jerusalem then how both hot desert and cold ice are connected? According to historical records Christian priests went to Scandinavian countries to spread Christianity. To convince them priests adopted their culture of Santa Clause and it became part of Christianity in Europe. This culture spread in world where Europeans migrated and this is how Santa Clause became one of the symbol of Christianity.

Example 2: Religion propagates a culture

Lets talk about India. Sanatan Dharm prevails in India. Anyway, there are two important characteristics of Sanatan Dharm are eye catching: Knowledge and accepting independent existence. Knowledge because Sanatani worship knowledge in the form of god (That also female form!) and accepting independent existence because we respected and accepted Baudhhism, Jainism, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism etc. These two characteristics are clearly visible in India’s culture. Worship of knowledge provoked hunger of knowledge in Indians and they wrote 4 Veds, 108 Upnishads, 18 Purans, 2 epics, 1 law. It is surprising Sanatanis have many literature but none of them is authentic religious scripture i.e. absence of ‘ism’ even in scriptures. This knowledge hunger of Sanatanis gave first university in world (Takshashila), calculus(Bhaskara, Aryabhatta), chemistry (Nagarjun), Medicine (Dhanvantari), Surgery (Sushrut), Mathematics, numerals including zero etc. With this a culture of respecting scholars became popular in India. If we talk about accepting independent existence, all the ideology expert used to debate with each other regarding their ideology and mutually accepted each other opinion. If they find something good then accept it. This traditional mentality promoted believer of many faiths in India and that is fundamental reason behind culture of tolerance in India.

A Thought of Mind

I think Sanatan Dharm will be more appropriate than Hinduism due to two reasons. First reason, Hindu word derived from the book titled Indica written by Greek explorer Megasthenes (4 BCE). He derived this name from river Sindhu and that is why Hindu is geographical term. Another reason is ‘ism’ in any word means believing in that ideology only e.g. Feminism (believe in female rights only), Monotheism (Believe in only one god), Bauddhism (Believe in Buddh), Vaishnavism (Believe in Vishnu), Shaivism (Believe in Shiv) etc. But in ‘Hinduism’ we don’t believe in single faith. So, Hinduism is not appropriate.

ઝબકારો: Culture and religion are strongly bonded with each other that is why communist also hate culture along with religion.

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Note:

  • Raghuveer Chaudhari won Gnanpeeth Award 2016 for his contribution to Gujarati literature. He was fourth Gujarati, after Umashankar Joshi, Pannalal Patel, Rajendra Shah, to win this award.

  • Umashankar Joshi wrote famous Gujarati song representing Gujarat’s identity Gujarat mori mori re… which is popular song in every household in Gujarat.

  • Pannalal Patel wrote a novel named Manvi ni Bhavai on the theme of Chappaniyo Duskal (Great famine of Vikram Sanvant 1956, 1900 AD. Another famine was Chhanavo Duskal of Vikram Sanvant 1996, 1940 AD). A movie with same title based on this novel won National Award.

  • Rajendra Shah wrote a famous song Tara Vina Shyam Mane Ekalu Lage… and this song is so much popular that no Navratri event will be completed without playing this song :).

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