General Aspects of Hinduism
(Text and Research by Master Arnaldo de Almeida)
India is the world’s spiritual barn. Certainly, Hinduism constitutes one of the greatest cultural treasures of mankind. He materialized over the centuries, so very vast and prolix. There are many elements that underlie their customs, their art and their traditions. When we study this culture we conclude that the Hinduism is very complex, because the Indian subcontinent exists as human environment for thousands years.
“The first evidence of human presence in India dating back to the Paleolithic era and consist of chips of carved stone, found along the Soam river’s course, smaal affluent of the Indo river. These chips were produced probably by peoples from Central-Eastern Asia, which came of the northward from the Indian subcontinent during the second interglacial period, ie, between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago (…) During the Mesolithic era, 30,000 years before our era, came to India a second migration avalanche (…) The transition from nomadism to sedentary life (…) seems to have developed in India after the 6000 b.C. (…). (ALBANESE, M. Ancient India. Barcelona: Folio, 2004. p. 16. (Series Great Civilizations of the Past).
Bring up Hinduism becomes something very controversial, especially when we regard it past, because all historical accounts of ancient India are impregnate by mythological visions. Something common in the history of India, is its tendency to make everything myth. Some how all the roots of this culture began about fifteen thousand years ago. According to some historians, researchers and scholars, in the remote past of India, flourished a people called Dravidians, a theory that has, nowadays, being challenged, but it is still the most accepted.
The territories of Ancient India were constituted by regions that are now part of Pakistan and much of India. The Dravidian culture was a specific civilization. It was centered on trade, agriculture and process-oriented therapeutic self, with devotional worship directed to the forces of Nature. This, Nature, was regarded as spiritual. Analyzing artifacts of the ancient civilization of the Indus Valley, Albanese tell us that there the life was something spiritual and the world, that was feeling as spiritual, was a striking feature of the ancient Hindu culture:
The sacredness of nature seems to corroborate to create a figure whose face female body produces a tree. (ALBANESE, M. Ancient India. Barcelona: Folio, 2004. P. 21). (Series Great Civilizations of the Past).
Dravidians civilization developed through a socio-political-cultural and democratic matriarchal commune, unlike most other civilizations, they always based on a patriarchal and totalitarian system. The Indus Valley civilization, born of a vision of matriarchal existence, mythicized figures related to nature. Thus, the myths that society figures would not be linked to violence or war, the myth was the Great Mother representing Mother Nature fertile and loving:
The Great Goddess, Lady of Life and Death, must have played a vital role in the religious landscape of a sedentary and agricultural civilization as Indus Valley. (…) The cult of the Great Goddess must have been a hallmark of religiosity of civilization Indus Valley and among other works found (…) detach female images of large breasts and navel sharp that refer to motherhood and fertility (…) (ALBANESE, M. Ancient India. Barcelona: Folio, 2004. p. 16:21). (Series Great Civilizations of the Past).
In this civilization, the woman was the center and provider of life and, as such, was a being privileged and respected, as well as the nature, which was seen as containing in itself all the potentiality of cosmic wisdom and power, and also as a sustaining life and teachings. In mythology, this vision is represented in figures as Shakti in the Tantra and Parwati in the Hinduism.
This Dravidian civilization thrived, blowing, enriched and it is not known why left the Indus Valley and dispersed throughout various regions of India. Currently the science of archeology, and history has been studying this civilization through excavations in the cities as Harappa and Mohenjo Dharo, among others, as well as scholars and practitioners of yoga have dedicated various studies on this civilization and the latter on reliving many of his experiences and knowledge.
For Shivam Yoga System, the brand of Dravidians civilization was his quest for self-knowledge, the inner development and flourish of the internal powers of the human being.
Some questions can be raised by scholars of civilizations, that didn’t study this civilization with correct vision. Maybe one of these issues relates to their bases, which were grounded on principles very different from most of her contemporary civilizations and civilizations to it later, these civilizations shaped by the male principle, the strength, the power of destruction by “art” of war and strife and violence. The patriarchal civilizations always looked the matriarchal societies with prejudice and contempt. Even the scientists and researchers are all formed within this theoretical-philosophical patriarchal, masculine and militaristic. What are the heroes of all civilizations so far? The most of them were heroes of death and destruction. Violent, cruel and usurpers warriors. Even the Western God appears, in many Christian traditions, as a human male, all-powerful and often cruel and violent, reflecting ideas of patriarchal societies. This God Western acquired over the centuries, unquestionable powers, and can make judgments about the ruthless humans. This Western God can do everything, dominates everything and decides everything – is a reflection of the strength of patriarchy and militarism in religion.
The “Shift” or “Scatter” of Dravidian Civilization
There are several hypotheses to understand the “displacement” of this civilization. Archaeology has presented material that lead scholars to draw their conclusions, but their claims will be forever hypotheses. One of the hypotheses of the abandonment of cities by the Dravidians relates to disasters caused by floods (Noah’s Flood?). Mohenjo Dharo was rebuilt several times. Another hypothesis speaks of progressive changes in climate, which has become too dry for planting. Another hypothesis turns on the fact that even this civilization having a harmonious relationship with nature, its inhabitants were using excess wood, especially in its use for the production of bricks and thus forest areas were decreasing. Another hypothesis talk about the Invasion of Aryan peoples, warriors bornned from a nomadic civilization, patriarchal and militaristic civilization. Unlike Dravidians civilization, who was a spiritualist, the Aryans were monists, worshiping one God, the masculine nature, the almighty, who ruled the entire universe. Albanese says about the Aryans:
According to cronnology, it seems that the Aryans came to the chain of the Hindu Kush, crossed the Khyber Pass, and superior in their chariots pulled by horses, destroyed the communities of the Indus Valley, and get domain all the Ganges region.
We have not heard from them by archeology, but the oldest sacred writings: the Vedas. Nomads, divided into tribes led by a chief, dedicated to plunder and the guerrillas, lived about cars and depended on the beasts of burden. The process of sedentarization, started after 1000 BC with the introduction of iron, not only fighting gave local people, but also included ongoing clashes between the various Aryan tribes who came to India in successive waves. Gradually consolidated a new system of government centered on sovereign (…) (ALBANESE, M. Ancient India. Barcelona: Folio, 2004. P. 51). (Series Great Civilizations of the Past).
The Aryan civilization was as basic characteristic of masculine power, expressed through the force of war, dominance over people and nations and over all the world. It is known that the Aryan peoples were nomadic, creating small temporary villages and cultivating large herds. When these people depleted the wealth of the region, left for great achievements in bloody wars. Their social structure is based on patriarchy, and the head of the clan all powers, following his warriors. So the army is the basis of civilization and man is his great maintainer. The woman is submissive and placed on a lower plane. Your God is masculine, powerful, warrior, often, violent. Believe that the Mahabharata epic fights between two people portray the conflict between Aryans and Dravidians.
Anyway, the time instructed to amalgamate these two cultures and the main one prevailed: the legacy and spiritual techniques to the awakening of consciousness and self-knowledge, and for us, the Yoga.
OTHER ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT “SCATTER”
Currently there are other hypotheses about this scattering of Dravidian civilization, highlighting two:
1st.) Dravidian civilization had its rise and with it there was also the emergence and rise of another civilization – the Aryan. Over the centuries, there has been a rapprochement of these two civilizations and their culture and their people coalesced, forming what is now India. This hypothesis does not point to the field of Aryans on Dravidian through wars.
2nd.) There were neither Aryan nor Dravidian civilization. The Dravidian civilization, over the centuries, it became Aryan, adopting, more intense, the Aryan culture and abandoning their original culture Tantric, forming what is now India.
However, these new hypotheses have not been adopted by most scholars and for us they may have been created due to the need to make a “mea culpa” of the Aryans in relation to the history of India.
THE SHIVAM YOGA AND CIVILIZATION DRAVIDIAN
In our course, we will seek, through the Traditional Indian Yoga – Tantric Yoga -, in our case, Shivam Yoga – rescuing the matriarchal worldview, which is valued the power of intuition, spirituality, beauty and sensitivity. Clearly, along with this process, do not despise the strength of a clear rationale, objective and transparent.
Through practices and studies, we will seek to awaken the power of Yoga as something that provides a state of unity and integration. The path will be the development of inner powers, for being in the world more conscious, joyful and happy and in harmony with the cosmic cycles present in all beings and all of nature.
Hinduism is rich in meanings and symbols. The whole culture of Dravidian and Aryan civilization is condensed in this cultural amalgam that is Hinduism. Then, Hinduism is not only philosophy, much less religion. It is, in fact, the whole culture of Ancient India and current. In general, Hinduism is present in Samkhya philosophy, Tantra, Vedanta, Brahmacharya – four basic philosophies for Yoga – the Yoga as philosophie, and philosophies as Vaisheshika, Nyaya and Mimamsa, Yoga and its various lines, the Pujas Hindu devotional such as Brahmanism, the Vaishnavism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc.., the Hindu arts – music, dance, painting, sculpture, architecture, etc.. – Ayurveda.
In Hinduism, there are six philosophies considered classic, which they are called Darshnas, or viewpoints. The word Darshna itself contains the root “drsh” which means “to see”. These six are the Samkhya philosophical schools, whose founder/compiler would be Kapila, Vedanta, whose founder/coder would be Vyasa, Yoga, whose encoder would be Patañjali, the Mimansa, whose founder/coder would be Jaimini, the Vaisheshika, whose encoder/compiler would be Kanada and Nyaya, whose founder/coder would be Gautama. These six schools encompass, in a different way, the same tradition, whose base is spiritual and incarnational but prescribing different methods for their followers reach deeper states of consciousness.
Something inherent to Hinduism is a spiritual basis, ie, everything exists or has been created so that humans can develop their spirituality. For the Samkhya and Tantra tradition, the disciple must seek self-knowledge, must seek to awaken the inner powers and wisdom, in order to achieve a high degree of enlightenment and spirituality (Vidya/Samadhi). Nothing makes sense, if the human being don’t find himself, don’t get the self-knowledge. To other traditions, such as Vedanta, the Buddhism, the Jainism, among others, the key to the awakening of spirituality would be the detachment and renunciation, to attain Moksha (Transcendence/Liberation).
Over the centuries, the culture contained in Hinduism was expanding and form the largest frameworks of culture and art of humanity. Merging in this culture is to enrich the knowledge and awareness. India is constituted in this reservoir culture and wisdom and scholars of Yoga become privileged beings who not only know this cultural wealth, but immerse in it. The tool for this immersion, proposed in our course, is the Sadhana of Indian Traditional Yoga and, in our case, this immersion will occur from the Shivam Yoga Sadhana.