Twilight of the Gods
by Henryk Skolimowski
(Times of India dated 31-03-2010)
http://timesofindia .indiatimes. com/home/ opinion/speaking -tree/articlelis t/articleshow/ 5742684.cms
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, at the end of the 19th century, announced the twilight of the gods. Finally, he said: “God is dead,” referring to the principal god of Abrahamic religions. From this time on, the Christian religion has been in a state of permanent crisis.
Around the same time, the Hindu religion, supported by a cast of 33,000 gods and the living presence of Swami Vivekananda, was flourishing. The Indian subcontinent was then under British occupation.
Then India gained her liberation and freedom. However, 60 years later, the quest for material satisfaction remains paramount. But the feeling of inner emptiness is acute. Many younger people are now looking for liberation in a new form of spirituality that is individual and free of religious constraints.
Are the thousands of gods who have been helping Hindu people, no longer willing to help? Or are they unable to help? Might it not be the case, per chance, that these gods are no longer relevant?
After having been around for thousands of years, maybe the gods have gently retired, unable to understand the world run by computers. Perhaps gadgets have replaced the gods swiftly and adroitly—and we are rather embarrassed to admit it.
One way or another, we are in an altogether new situation, in which traditional religions—East and West—appear to be worn out, shabby and irrelevant. Hindu people, for instance, are experiencing the “twilight of gods” just now. Perhaps Nietzsche was right, after all. He saw the coming crisis of religions much sooner than most of us did. The Hindu religion was quite oblivious of this coming crisis. It was too intoxicated with its own perfume to be able to pay any attention to the mad prophet philosopher from Germany.
But now the Hindu people are exposed to another kind of perfume, or shall we say they are exposed to the noxious fumes of Western progress, accompanied by an increasing craziness of their individual lives. The old world charm of gods no longer holds or helps. The new gods are Mechanos and Electronos combined. Yes, there is another part of the unholy trinity: Mammon.
Now you have an answer as to why the old religions have been waning and sliding. Perhaps they have been doing so for some centuries. But nobody wanted to notice it. ‘Who, us, declining? Never! We are the oldest religion in the world!’ Such has been the unspoken response to any criticism of traditional Hindu religion.
But everything evolves and changes; disintegrates and renews itself—sometimes in quite radical forms. You have to look at the situation from high above, from the position of the Ultimate Light. If you take this perspective, then you can see that the period of patriarchy is coming to an end; and with it the period of patriarchal religions; and with it the reign of Brahmins and priests.
We are at the dawn of a new era of Light. It is precisely this new liberation, unfettered and unbound by traditional religion, that is sought after by those who opt for open spirituality instead of a closed religion. You have to be strong to do that. To follow directions is easy. To be your own master and to follow your own Light is difficult. But you are not alone. The Big Light is with you. Identify with the Light, which predates all religions, and you will see that the New Light will prevail ... because it must.
(The writer is author of ‘Let There Be Light’)