Verbatim from D's e-mail -
I had to write to you about this - nothing against one particular person or organization - but a general outpour of thoughts and feelings.
When I heard you talking about ABC - my first instinct was that of disdain - thinking - "oh one of those things!" But I did not want to sound rude - or discourage you from what may be a good thing - so I kept my voice in check. With a more positive mindset, I did look up what ABC stood for - what it aims to do.
I've become so bitter about so many things - especially when it starts with "Our tradition..." And I was not like this before- and it wasn't that long ago that I did a lot of things with a lot of joy and enthusiasm - because I truly believed in it - that it brought happiness and evoked goodness in everyone.
But the words "Tradition", "Culture" have lost their meaning and value and most importantly respect in my eyes - mainly because of what I see around me and how these "traditions" and "culture" are more used to create divisions rather than create harmony.
When I see someone come with a statement like "7000 years of tradition and culture - lost within one generation" - I cringe - and it hurts- honestly it does. Because it feels like it's been lost for so many more generations that right now, we are bemoaning the loss of an illusion. No one even realized or shed a tear when the real thing was lost.
I myself am happy to "lose" some traditions - we seem to worry more on how we'd go to hell if we do something wrong with the Stone God, but don't care two hoots that "this tradition" may hurt a person -it stinks and I truly doubt if God even intended it that way.
Right now, I'm fighting my way out of this bitterness and trying to focus on the good I know. I always used to question most things - and I got the most amazing answers from my mother for some things. And now, I've chosen to rebel against everything that doesn't make sense to me. I refuse to do it just because. And I do read, in my own speed and in my own way, I do try and find logic to why something was done. If I cannot find that makes sense to me, or if it doesn't apply any more, I have chosen to let the tradition die. I'm creating my own religion and you know what the best part about all this is? "Hinduism" or "Sanatan Dharma" or whatever else you want to call it- lets me do it :)
But I do hope for my sake more than yours that what you are doing right now, does distinguish between "applicable traditions" and "blind traditions" and that people focus more on the "why do this" than "what to do". In between all the glorification of our "traditions", they do take the time out to actually check and discard the ones that make no sense in today's world (or even did in yesterday's world!) And in case you are doing that - thank you.
Recently, we heard about this organization - lets call it ABC - which is 'designed for anyone interested in learning about Hinduism and the inner meaning of its rich tradition and culture. It is particularly useful for students, young parents, and anyone concerned about preserving the best of Hinduism in Western society.'
A couple of close friends are a part of this organization.
Now D and I discuss for hours on end on "our culture" "our religion" etc. etc. and above is an accurate representation of where we are today.
Spot-on and beautifully written me thinks.