In Hinduism, music, dance, arts, everything has a purpose – the purpose is to realize your higher Self or consciousness. The more time you spend in doing something creative which reminds you of your ishta, the more tuned you are to your own divinity and remember that you are that – that you are consciousness. Indian Carnatic Music is an example of this practice. Even if we praise or glorify our ishta, it is to remind our own selves of those dimensions and possibilities in our selves. In Hinduism, everything was a science to move you closer to enlightenment or Jeevan Mukti, to establish you in Advaita.
This concept of realizing your own self as Divine is unique to Hinduism. No other religion or socio-political cult allows you to declare that, or aims to help you realize that. This is what differentiates Hinduism in the biggest way from other cults which are culturally misappropriating the arts from Hinduism.
Why Cultural Misappropriation is A Problem
All the arts and sciences which originate in Hinduism, had a higher logic behind them, which would lead to the maturing of the everyday thinking and abilities of the one who practices it. Learning dance was not just mastering movements, it was about imbibing the body language and grace of the deity you are depicting through the dance.
A song was not just a composition, it required you to melt in devotion and be in the space of Oneness with the deity when you sing.
Cultural misappropriation divests any art of all these deeper understandings. It reduces the arts to nothing more than a burnt empty shell, without a life. Moreover, there are already plenty of modern arts which a person can practice if they are not inclined towards the arts from Hinduism. They don’t need to distort the original cultural sciences and morph it into something else.
No, cultural misappropriation is a dilution of a major part of Hinduism – a part which few other religions have. They remove the depth from Hinduism. In Hinduism, we worship Devi Sarawati as the giver of these arts and this knowledge. No other cult has a separate deity just for arts.
Conversion Agendas Are The Reason
Most of the times, this cultural misappropriation of arts like Indian Carnatic music is not “innocuous” as uninformed Hindus believe, but has an agenda:
- Dilute Hinduism to the point where there is no difference between Hinduism and any other socio-political cult.
- Fool Hindus into believing, after some time, that these arts are “universal” and are not originating from Hinduism – exactly what they did to yoga.
- Make your socio-political cult look as similar as possible to Hinduism, so it is easy to convince Hindus that whatever they have in Hinduism they can also get in your religion or socio-political cult. So there are now fewer barriers to convert Hindus from Hinduism to your cult.
In the light of this, it becomes obvious that these agendas are not a one off practice, but a systematic effort to chop off every sacred practice, like Indian Carnatic Music, from Hinduism and digest it into other cults. This is a tried and tested method, repeated over a period of time.
Hindus need to be wary and not get fooled into buying into these agendas. It is important that we remember how we are different.