Hinduism Redeemed in a Refined Format
A collection of selected Mantras, Bhajans, Philosophy and Teachings from the Golden Ages titled “Songs of My Soul” put together by the most illustrious Damyantee Devi Dabydeen is a work of rare vision, spiritual flavours, straight talking, eternal affirmation, transcendentalistic consequence, adequate foray into the world of deities, the pronouncements of righteous nature and the articulation of cherished principles of life in an overwhelming fashion. The misgivings about the most tolerant faith in the entire world are discounted here to give it a dimension of universal spread and reach. The true ideals of Hinduism are brought into the forefront or mainstreamed through this work of tremendous scale. The spiritual side of Hinduism takes centre stage in this book in no uncertain terms. Hinduism is defined as a set of practices which can be adopted by anybody in the world to attain holistic well being and mental peace and tranquillity. The universal relevance of true Hinduism is stated without any ambiguity through this work of philosophical and theological wavelengths. The incantations of Hinduism are synthesized with the everyday realities of human beings. These incantations do have their own universal benefits once they are applied within the parameters of deep and unshakable faith.
The deities so synonymous with Hinduism do have their significant roles to play in moralising Hindu ideologies in an obvious way. These deities through their actions, reactions, words and thoughts have taught humanity certain pertinent principles which are required for human society as well the natural world to live properly in this universe of diversities, complexities,pluralities, heterogeneities, variegated ways and means, identities and manifold affiliations. The ways in which human beings should function in this world are laid down by these deities which, the human society should follow in letter and spirit to have ultimate salvation. When it comes to life within Hinduism, the principles of fair-play, tolerance, brotherhood, love, co-existence, trust, loyalty and peace are upper most and can’t be set aside at any stretch of the imagination. The philosophy of living a life in tune with nature and other fellow creatures is the fundamental trait related to Hinduism. As per Hinduism, this entire universe is one family and there must not be any discrimination on the basis of barriers, boundaries, castes, creeds, ideologies and religions which are of human orientations rather than Godly will. A world of tolerance is the bedrock of Hinduism as a whole.
The deities of Hinduism do have their own roles to play in bringing forth the ideals of Hinduism to the life of the people in a social framework. Sri Ganesha is the embodiment of compassion, mercy, pity and inextricably intertwined affection towards his parents.The respect he accorded to his parents is something that must be emulated by the present generation. In a world where parents are treated in a shabby manner by their children, Sri Ganesha’s example of showing absolute devotion, dedication and commitment to his parents should be the stepping stones for many. Through his indomitable spirit, righteous mentality, fair treatment of all, brotherly love, fierce loyalty, extraordinary prowess, inborn goodness, down to earth attitude, holistic vision, universal outlook and kind mentality, he has become an exemplary deity of sum and substance and the true ideals of Hinduism are played out through him in a comprehensive way.
Sri Saraswati Devi, the manifestation of true wisdom is the most defining deity within Hinduism.True learning is a way to enter into the world of eternity. When authentic learning is imparted, human beings never live for material prosperity rather they go for that eternal bliss, for which only we are sent to this world by Atman.The true learning is all about search for the Ultimate Being and all other sorts of learning are only secondary to it in every step of the way. We all say that the essence of education is all about character formation. When the character of an individual is truly formulated, moulded, shaped and formed, he/she seeks only the creator or the Atman. When we associate with this deity, we should have such a noble intention towards the very purpose of education unlike the meaning of education as interpreted today by institutions of money spinning nature. Sri Saraswati Devi, through her cosmic knowledge, innate wisdom, sound judgement, gathered attitude, egalitarian pronouncements and motivational vibes have encouraged and inspired trillions of true seekers of wisdom in the world.
Sri Mahalakshmi is a deity of wealth and prosperity. It is pertinent to go through the notion of true wealth as against the current perception of wealth here.True accumulation of wealth has nothing to do with accumulation or hoarding rather it is all about sharing. Wealth is not meant to keep intact in our fold rather it should be ploughed back to those people who don’t have that. When we have wealth, we are only custodians of that wealth to share it with the dispossessed, the underprivileged, the disadvantaged, the destitutes, the poor and the financial sidelined.The wealth that is given to us is not our own making rather it is willed by Sri Mahalakshmi from her bounty. So we must not consider wealth as our personal property rather it should be utilized for the greater good of humanity. Certain people are not financially well-versed not because of their own faults rather it is done to ensure the transference of wealth from those who have it to those who don’t have it. But today wealth has become a medium of divisions, segregations, discriminations, fragmentations and segmentations in the society. When we have such an attitude towards wealth, we don’t make use of wealth the way it is envisaged by Sri Mahalakshmi. This very ebullient deity is known for her generosity, according of favours in a liberal manner, prosperity, contentment and the deposition of worldly blessings on humanity. The only way we can be in her good book is by giving away what we have to the needy people in the society so that wealth can be gathered by us in heaven.
Sri Durga Devi is a female deity of enormous strength, vitality and vigour. She is the one who rises her banner of revolt against all wrongdoings in the society. In her anger all aspects related to darkness are dissolved and the world is put back on a trajectory of righteousness. She is reincarnated when the world is beset with injustices, inequalities, deceits, atrocities, upheavals,discords, confrontations, vices, suppression, oppression and compression. She is the personification of empowerment for many women going through unwanted and uncalled for curbs and curtailment on their legitimate rights. She appears when the world is caught up in many turbulences of unparalleled scale to set things right. Sri Durga Devi is synonymous with decisiveness, prompt interventions, fierce defence of the wronged ones, warmthness extended to the marginalized and a protective mechanism around many.
Lord Shiva is the overseer of this world. Under his wings the world reaches that domain of perfection and accuracy. He is a god of simplicity and humbleness who is infinite in every sense.The lifeblood flows from him and the entire world is enfolded within his grasp. He is a god who sees everything with his third eye which is connected with his far sighted vision.The life organisms do begin from him and he along with his goddess wife always looks after all the minutest motions of this world. The world exists through him, with him and in him. His universal vision rules the heaven and the earth simultaneously. This powerful deity is the life giving source and the world is centred around him in a whole lot of ways and means.
Sri Vishnu Bhagavan is a God of deftness.Through his overall Lordship of the Lords, he strives hard to keep intact the good ways in this world.The fight between Good and Evil is an ongoing process in this world. In this battle between diametrically opposed world views, the moral high ground is occupied by the heavenly scheme of things. When the world comes across struggles as a result of the well entrenchment of evil forces in it, there must be a Godly hand to rescue it out of such existential problem. Sri Vishnu Bhagavan is always on the forefront of adding balms to the problems swirling around this world. His guidance puts this world on a road to salvation in a stark manner.
Sri Rama is a God of just pedigree.The ideology of fair-play is blended into the world owing to Rama’s decision to go into exile although he could have avoided it at any rate. Instead, he allowed himself to be in a disadvantageous situation to send out a message to the people of the world that true power is not about governance through coercion rather it is all about practising what is preached and rule through exemplary life. Even when he was engaged in the battle against Ravana, he was fair and just and never did anything that could be construed as highly imbalanced in terms of justice. The deeds of Rama had a heavenly touch than a worldly dimension at all circumstances. Sri Rama is tinged with the traits of uprightness, honesty, sincerity, brotherhood and love towards the entire humanity.
Sri Krishna is a benevolent God whose heart only contains pure love for one and all. He stands for bringing an era of unstinting backing to human beings. The love that emanates from this deity encircles the world protecting it from all forces of pessimism. The blessing of Sri Krishna is very imperative for a world at present when it is filled with invasive forces trying to establish their will upon the common will. Sri Krishna is endowed with the qualities of love, peace, truth, trust, faith,determination and spiritual aura.
Sri Hanuman is the focal point of life for all of us because of the valour associated with him and the loyalty that he showed in his life. The extraordinary power that he possessed, was never used for bad purposes rather those skill sets he used for the greater good of humanity. Today the people of the world who are so drunk upon dominating this world as a result of the biggest advancements they have notched up should act like Sri Hanuman who always maintained that prayerful attitude towards God and attributed all his accomplishments as gifts coming or overflowing from the bosom of God.
Mother Ganga is the source of life. When in Hinduism our fellow creatures are considered as our kins, brothers and sisters, that is a sign of the acceptance of the world as one family. If a river like Ganga is given that Mother like status in Hinduism, that is a clear indication that this belief is in the frontlines of considering the animated and the inanimated beings on Earth as part of a consolidated infinite Being, from which everything originates undoubtedly. So, the true Hindu ideology is a faith of coexistence and cooperation than anything else.
Hinduism, a set of practices governing humanity, is based upon trust. Once that aspect is firmed up to the core, this faith does have relevance for all times and till the end of the world. It is a faith that promotes no ill will towards anyone but charity for all. Maliciousness is not a part and parcel of this faith rather it thrives upon tolerance and that is why, it is said in an unambiguous terms about it that do your duties without expecting any sort of reward from any quarter and that is the foundational stone of this enduring and endeavouring faith.
Through this book titled “Songs of My Soul” the honourable Damyantee Devi Dabydeen has reached a height of unique philosophical and theological wavelengths. It is a path-breaking book on true fundamentals connected with Hinduism. Let this book elevate the respected Damyantee to a level of world conquering literary figures who are embedded with spiritual enlightenment. My best wishes to this multifaceted and towering literary personality pertaining to her future creative endeavours.
About the Reviewer:
Mr. Cijo Joseph Chennelil.
Head of the English Department.
Kristu Jyoti College.
About the authoress:
Damayantee Devi Dabydeen was born the great, great grand daughter of British Indentured Labourers who travelled across the seas in the late 1880s from India to then British Guiana to seek a better life for themselves and their children. She grew up in East Canje, Berbice and was a school teacher for twenty years before immigrating to Canada where she worked in the Retail Management and Information Technology sectors.
Name of the book: Songs of My Soul,
Name of the author: Damayantee Devi Dabydeen,
Name of the publication house:
Authorspress, New Delhi, India
ISBN NO: 978-93-88332-61-3
Published in 2019
Total number of pages: 448
Price: Rs/- 595 /$ 30