Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[ocr errors]

the surface of the mind of its first victims, and swayed their consciousness. In the second generation the disillusionment began. In the third the reaction was in full swing, and in the fourth, the present generation, that reaction has resulted in hatred towards the white man. But such is the poison of this materialistically intellectual education that they have not yet been able to shake it off entirely, so as to get back into the healtb of their inherent spiritual consciousness.

The best policy for the present Government will be to help the denationalised section of the Hindoo people to get back their old consciousness, lost character, and self-respect, for their own good and the good of the rulers. Let the rulers keep the Hindoos Hindoo, and it will be well for both of them. They have so long sown the seeds of outlandish ambitions in the educated Hindoo, at the cost of the loss of his racial and national character, and they have reaped a whirlwind. To entertain the nervous fear that the revival and strengthening of the old Hindoo spirit will be more unsafe for British rule will be both cowardly and sinful, and it is devoid of foundation. The leading lights of the Hindoos in the Bengal Presidency, headed by the Maharaja of Durbhanga, have, I see, formulated the plans of a Hindoo University for the purpose of preventing this denationalisation through religious instruction being given in schools and colleges under its auspices ; a movement with which Mrs. Annie Besant has identified herself by offering to merge her Central Hindoo College in Benares in it. I rejoice to see that this wise and opportune movement has been countenanced by the Government of India, which has promised to advance its cause in any way it can, under certain conditions which are not at all objectionable. The recognition by his Majesty the Emperor of this scheme, ay, giving to its noble and beneficent purpose his Majesty's full countenance, will not only stamp the impression upon the people's mind that even the Emperor is anxious to help their youths to regain and retain their time-honoured national consciousness, but will add to it the highest prestige and draw the required funds to it. His Majesty's most gracious gift of fifty lacs of rupees towards the aid of primary education may, if not wholly, at least in part, be diverted to the use of this new national university. India does not want primary education of the kind imparted under the present system of university education, so that the denationalisation wbich is the result of that education may be extended to the masses also. God save us from such a terrible course, fraught with the greatest dangers to both the community and the Government, which has hard work in keeping the rowdyism of the boys of the denationalised gentry in check! When to the gentleman' Anarchist is added the peasant'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

Anarchist, devoid of all ideas of national concepts and traditionsreligious, moral, and social--the people and the powers that be will not know where they are. Besides, it will rob these sonl-happy people of their soul, of which, thank Heaven! they are still keeping conscious through the worship of the divine images enjoined by the Scriptures ; filled with a spiritual humility, the despair of the conceited West-conceited through the process of the same system of utterly materialistic and all-intellectual education. Education, education - education about what? Education about matter, about mere material things, thoughts, and ideas-that is what is meant when education of the masses or classes is advocated. Mr. Gokhale's scheme of free primary education, if it be the education of wholly Western ideas, is not wanted by the people of India. Let Mr. Gokhale put his band upon his heart and say if his country wants such a scheme. Who does he lead? The Westernised Hindoo, Westernised in mind out of all recognition. We want primary education certainly for the masses. The Lord bless the Sircar, and even Mr. Gokhale, if that education be made free and founded upon national beliefs, mostly, if not entirely. Otherwise, Mr. Gokhale and Government will be the worst enemy of the country. Education, according to the Vedas, is the opening of the petals of the mind-lotus to the rays of the spiritual sun, and that is what we now want first, and Western matter-education afterwards, if you please. I sound this note of warning out of my love for my people, and out of regard for the welfare of the State.

But even more than this his Majesty can do, not only to win the hearts of the Hindoo people, all the 220 millions, but to lay the foundation of their abiding and ever-fervent loyalty. It is by righting a wrong which has rankled in the heart of every Hindoo man, woman, or child; it is a wrong they can never forgive, a wrong which draws blood daily and hourly from their very soul, a wrong which has been perpetrated for about a century, inflicting ghastly wounds upon their religious susceptibility, one of the tenderest feelings they possess. And that is the slaughter of cows. They hold the cow sacred, and worship her as a deity. This reverence for the divinity of the cow, deep-rooted in every Hindoo heart, is not based upon any consideration of the utility of that animal, the products of whose milk form the chief luxuries and nourishment of the whole population. Not that they do not look at the cow in that light, too. In that light she is the second mother of mankind, civilised mankind if you will, as no civilised child can be reared without the cow's milk supplementing the mother's milk, for which it is the best and the most harmonious substitute. At the present day, when in the West the mothers will not give

[ocr errors]

A very

suck of their breast to their babes, and the feeding-bottle supplies the place of the mother's breast, the cow is the first mother, not the second. From that view-point, to eat her flesh is to eat one's mother's flesh. A noble sentiment such as that ought to be commended and respected. But the Hindoo's reverence for the cow is still higher. The cow is the incarnation of the Divine Motherhood, the Motherhood of God. She is the medium of the Goddess of Universal Sustenance-Mother Nature's sustaining energy-created to help in the rearing of the earth's highest product, man, when a child. The twelve seers (sixteen quarts) of milk which the best hill-cow of India gives daily is not the essence or extract of her blood. If it were so, the cow would die before half the milk were drawn. If her blood is transformed into milk, sixteen quarts of blood drawn out every day would kill any cow in the process of milking the first day. If it be the extract of blood--that means, one quart is the condensed substance of many quarts—the cow would die sooner. The Western physicians say that milk comes from the glands of the cow, it is generated in the glands. But out of what is it generated? The glands may be the storage of the generated milk; but out of what substance is it generated ? Not the blood, as I have shown above. From where, a transformation of what, is the milk? serious and knotty question for the baby science of the West to solve.

But I will leave it there, because, for my present purpose, it is not at all necessary to argue. The Hindoo believes, and has believed through countless centuries, that the milk in the cow is the transformation of the sustaining energy of Vishnoo, the Preserver of the Trinity of the Hindoo Godhead. And this Vishnoo's energy of sustenance which nourishes His creatures is His Divine Consort, or Shakti, who dwells particularly in the cow to supplement the nourishment of civilised humanity. Where this Energy (Consort) is, Vishnoo resides as well, as do the gods the sum-total of whose powers is the power of the One God whose main attributes are represented by the gods. I am trying to explain the beliefs of the Hindoo mind intellectually to the mere intellectuals of the world. Not that I want these intellectuals to accept the Hindoo arguments put forward. The best way to appeal to the Emperor and his Government of India is to state that the Hindoo worships the cow and has worshipped her through all the ages, and, therefore, has got these reverential feelings for the cow entirely consolidated into his consciousness. Therefore, there is no arguing against it. If you think he is wrong in his estimation of the cow, if you call his cow-reverence a superstition, it does not count. What does count is his consolidated belief through countless generations. All the attempts of centuries to reform him out

[ocr errors]

of it have failed. He reverences the cow with the same fervour to-day as his ancestors did of old. It is in his blood, bred in the bone; he draws it in with his mother's milk. This cowkilling in India, therefore, is the greatest sin that can be committed against Hindoo feeling, and a Mahomedan deputy-magistrate some time ago published statistics showing that 60,000 cows, bullocks, and calves are slaughtered every day in India to feed the European soldiers and residents alone. How correct this estimate is I do not know, nor do I care to know. I am representing the keenest and greatest grievance of the Hindoos. The British Government in India has observed the policy of religious neutrality, and the Hindoos are highly grateful for that blessing. It is the greatest blessing under an alien rule. But this cowkilling is associated with their religion ; a cow is a more sacred being to them than even an illuminated saint. If they had arms and cannon they would defend the cow until they were all slain. The idea that Hindoos are getting used to cow-slaughter, and reformed out of the superstition,' is entirely wrong. They stand it because there is no help for it.

If the Government of India has the idea that I am exaggerating, let it experiment on the feelings of the Hindoos in this matter by asking them to pay a high poll-tax as compensation for the cessation of cow-slaughter. The response will be such as the Government cannot even dream of. Every Hindoo will not only pay it forthwith, but bless the rulers for it. The poorest will starve to save money for it. The Emperor George the Fifth will win all Hindoo hearts for ever if his Majesty prohibits cow-killing to celebrate his crowning in India. All Hindoo India will fall prostrate at the Sovereign's feet and pledge to him their undying loyalty. From one end of that vast country to the other, the shout of 'Jai Sircar Ki Jai !' will rend the dome of Heaven and usher in a new era of British rule in India ; a new atmosphere of political and moral serenity will fill the consciousness of the rulers and the ruled alike. By one single stroke of kindness and gracious conciliation the King might conquer the inmost conscience of the oldest and the most cultured nation on the earth. All unrest would be gone in the twinkling of an eye, and what cannon and repressive laws, and a vast army can never do would be accomplished by the utterance of the three words - Cow-killing is prohibited.'

The Moghul Emperor, Akbar the Great, won the Hindoos over by prohibiting this cow-killing, so our Mabomedan fellow-citizens could not grumble at the British Emperor's command. The higher classes of Mohamedans do not eat the cow's flesh; only the masses eat it in cities and towns. They will by-and-by get need to the goat's flesh which the majority of them use.

If the

British soldiers cannot do without beef, they can have canned meat imported from abroad. This gracious act of the King would infuse a new spirit, a kindly spirit, into British officials, and a new régime of kindly feeling would follow in its wake. Kingdoms, like human life, are unstable, but so long as the British Kingdom sustains itself in that hoary land of wisdom and religion, in that cradle of civilisation, this act would be engraven on the tablet of the people's heart and transmitted to future generations as a sanctified memory.

(SWAMI BABA) PREMÂNAND BHARATI.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »