Living in dualism is not only a psychological but is an existential necessity. Both the Advaita and the indescribable, unapproachable and one that cannot be experienced Allah are bare and bereft of any material visible enjoyable trapping except when united with it. Here again, there is some difficulty with the Allah and attaining Nirvikalp Samadhi is given to a minuscule few. On top of that, the Jewish Lord is a harsh punishing and threatening Lord though he always comes to the help of Jews. Both the Jews and Muslims are in terrible awe, almost in the fearful state with their God. Islam’s fundamental idea is the importance and the relevance only of the afterlife on the Day of Judgment. The Hatha yogis i.e. those who subject their bodies to extreme and sometimes unbearable hardships, which one may feel shaken even to read, to attain salvation and Sanyasis i.e. those who have given up the world are not concerned about this life but the next. Additionally, there are perversions in them and too much of fake currency. Shia Islam is based on the lament. Islam is a religion of considerable austerity. Protestants also are for austerity and simplicity. I specifically state that this is not to demean any religion or sect but to describe the need of a psychological situation which leads billions of people into, which I will describe below.
People need some fun, frolic, succour some laxity, some abundance, a sense of material richness, enjoyment of their riches and so on. They need congregations of people to enjoy. This is a human necessity and no one is an exception. Similar is the case with their spiritual needs. Many could be in need of something more than their prescribed practices. People want something that is visible, rich, enchanting, temporarily freeing them from the constant awareness of their disadvantaged state. One simple question that may be considered in this context is – why do Catholics so vastly outnumber the Protestants?
An interesting conversation took place between the Bishop of France and Napoleon Bonaparte himself. Napoleon was angry with the Catholics and their Church and said – ‘I am the Emperor. I will destroy Catholic Christianity in France.’ The Bishop smiled and said – ‘You cannot do it, Sir. We are trying to do this for the last 1800 years and still not succeeded.’ The core of this exchange was the innumerable, centuries-old acts in all the spheres of life of the Catholic, Vatican Christian world. Be it political muscle and interference in the world, enormity of money accumulated, governments played with, every possible misuse of it, and most importantly the nauseating extreme sexual perversions widely prevalent in the Nunneries and the Monasteries for over a thousand years continuing till date were the contents of Catholic Christianity the Bishop of France was hinting at. Even after doing all this it has not got destroyed. This is a mere highly abridged list. The point remains is what attracts a common Christian to Catholic Church.
Obviously, there are unmet psychological needs. I am an atheist who has rejected all that goes not only by the name of God but what goes by spiritual development and experiences. Thus, the unmet needs are mere psychological. What needs does Catholic Christianity meet? In one word it is the Grandeur of worship, the material richness embellished in every small thing in the Church, the golden altars, the frankincense, the seriousness solemnity and the high complexities of rituals, have a tremendous attraction.
Then the images of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus with him are always there in some sort of a material form which is not exactly a Christian practice and not sanctioned. The exact translation of grandeur will be ADAMBAR of worship. The miracles associated with sainthood are a powerfully attractive idea.
I lived in Coorg in South India for many years. The Kodavas, the main inhabitants are worshipers without a formed deity. They initiated and brought the Ganesh Festival in Coorg and liked to participate in it in large numbers with all the ritualistic fanfare that went with it. What is it that attracts many Hindus to visit the peers and participate in the Uroos or festivals of Muslims or the Fakirs who go around burning the essence even among Hindu localities? This should be a bit out of an expectation that with 330 million gods around Hindus go to the Dargah. The core belief of fully accepted Polytheism among Hindus is not really the cause. It is some unmet need.
Similar trends are seen even among the knowledgeable Muslims who are well versed with the injunctions of their religion. In 1977 after the establishment of Janata Raj the then daredevil editor of Organizer published a series of articles detailing the many Punjabi Muslim Poets who had so lovingly described, played with and prayed for Lord Krishna. There were no protests, not even a whimper about it. Ras Khan is one well-known name. In the realm of cinema and art the greatest contributions of even depicting through acting the Hindu ethos comes from Muslims. One of the greatest examples often cited is that of Baiju Bavara and its song Mana Tarapat Haridarsana ko Aaj. It is written by Shakeel Badayuni, the music was composed by the Maestro Naushad Ali and it was sung by Mohammad Rafi for Bharat Bhushan as Baiju who was a Hindu.
If they were to do it as a part of their profession could they have immortalised this song? No. Unless they themselves were deeply familiar with the Devotional Cults of India, unless they had inculcated and internalised that ethos, imbued with it in some conscious / unconscious mechanism this would not be possible. At least two of the three persons here were devout practising Muslims. Shakeel may have been influenced by the left ideology but was to the core an Indian Muslim. How come their strict monotheistic religion and unseen God did not interfere with absorption of this ethos? Unless there is a space and place outside their core beliefs which was a necessity this could not have happened. No music loving Hindu ever mentions Rafi as Rafi. He is Rafi Saab. Hindus proudly call him the voice of God. Where else would they anyway hear it? If we have to accept it then we have to accept the need and space for Dualism. No one need lose sleep or his religion over this. Accepting it does not diminish anything that one may believe. It merely adds something that is pleasing.
Over the last one year, I came across a number of visual evidences, where I found the otherwise proud and devout Muslims were worshipping Hindu Gods and following Hindu Practices. They would do it for the only reasons of their need for dualism which in its essence is a God with a form and describable attributes and their conditioning with majority Hindu practices and since they have a space for it. The most remarkable was the one Dr Farooq Abdulla published on 15th April 2011 singing quite well (he has a good singing voice) fully appreciative of the emotion or devotion of Shri Krishna Bhajan. He knew it by heart. The rhythm was perfect and he was absorbed in it.
In another video titled Zafarnama the Muslims were singing a bhajan for Sant Sri Guru Gobind Singh. This is understandable to an extent since the syncretism between Hindu and Muslims is seen in the Sikh religion. In another one published this year, 2016, a Muslim Veer as he was described was doing Kirtan. The most shocking or astounding was the Sanskrit hymn or a Stotra being sung by about 20 Arab Muslims, in their traditional dress with headgear. This took place in the big Sabha Mandap of Sri Satya Saibaba. These Sunni Arabs were his devotees. As if this was not enough, it was followed by a similar number of women in the traditional black Hijab singing similar devotional songs in the same Mandap. Undoubtedly they were educated, some even having a tika on their forehead. Then there was one showing an aarti taking place in a Masjid. In the Shrimad Bhagvat Katha of Chitralekhadevi, a Muslim came to sing a bhajan ‘Mere Tanmein Ram, Mere Manmein Ram’ with the same ethos and feeling as a Hindu might do. There is one more titled Muslaman Gharmein Bhajan Bajata Hain - Unka Makasad poora hua. Bhagavad Gita being called Khuda ka Bayan is an old story now. So is Lord Shiva being an earlier Paigambar. All these relate to a formed deity.
The point I am driving at is – acceptance of alternate practices is not the substitution of your articles of faith. Here again, there is a big difference. The dualistic fights among the Hindus end up in Supreme Court. The famous battle between the two Vaishnavite sects U Nama or MOOR Nama, on who is entitled to certain types of applying tilaks on the forehead is famous. The dualistic fights in Islam or among the Muslims are directed by the Supreme Sword.
It is merely satisfying the need for certain emotive expressions and experiences that come only from Dualism. If Muslims can accept the bloodthirsty Dualism of Shias and Kafirs and Dar Ul Harb why can they not accept this sober Dualism?