Views & Reviews
Naga Christianity and Heraka Faith: Theological Perspective in View
Nature by God has provided an unlimited sphere and space to explore the unrealized truth open to man. Human limited assumption of God has limit God’s limitless provision. Religion is one that has systemized human thought to be within the bound of doctrine or dogma. It has binds and bound mankind within its limit. Hardcore doctrinated religions are historically dogmatic war inducers in the world. “Religion… is the opium of the people”. Karl Marc is right to say so. There are fanatics wolves in sheep’s skin all around. Beware of them. In the history of mankind, bloody wars have been waged and stained the world with blood in the name of religion and God. Judgmental and self-righteous Christians are dogmatic zealots. “Orthodoxy is my doxy; heterodoxy is another doxy” said, William Warburton.
State of Religious affairs in Nagaland:
Reasoned that, Nagaland state and the Naga society are failing to come up to be called Christian state by official declaration or actualizing by practicing Christianity. The constitution of India for Nagaland Art.371 (A) (a) para (i) “Religious or social practices of the Nagas” has guaranteed under which constitutional provision, Heraka or any other name of Indigenous faith by any Naga tribe could have been preserved and practiced. Observed that, Naga Christian converts have not been spiritually transformed. Naga culture and Christian practice does not seem to go well with the Nagas’ nature in the current society. Something is wrong somewhere with the Nagas’ nature. Could it be that, Christ is not enthroned in the heart and self is reigning instead.
“Sensible men are all of the same religion” as Benjamin Disreali said. Religion and secularism in India goes alongside with politic. It must be rationally understood as social reality and not as dogma or as discriminative antagonism. Religion is man-made and not God-made. The concept of religion has maddened man against man.
Christianity is a faith-cult of following Christ, the Jewish socio-religious reformer. It is a reformed faith of the Jewish religion. Man is mad after the things of superficiality and blind to the things of eternal reality. It is true also with the Nagas. Dogmatic and fanatic in one’s religion and denomination creates religious contention. War begins from corrupted and unrefined minds. Nagas are no difference. “A faith is something you die for; a doctrine is something you kill for: there is all the difference in the world” said Tony Benn.
Heraka as religion:
Basically, Heraka’s faith is the worship of the almighty Holy God. It is the instinct faith of the Nagas even during the age of Naga animism like that of the Judaism of Old Testament. Herakaism (believers of the God of Heaven) is the endearing reformed faith of the Zeliangrong Nagas in particular. The rest of the Nagas left their original faith undefined in their own local term. Herakaism is of worldly religion like any other religion in the world. Any sort of discrimination or suppression against one’s religious faith is against God and his own self. The central reformed teaching of Jadonang and Gaidinliu was of worship of the almighty God, denouncing all needless ritual sacrifices, incantation, Genas and Taboos. The influx of British merchandise colonial group have introduced Christianity in the Nagas’ society. The wave of English influence with the flows of Christianity was sweeping over the Naga people like an epidemic plague. The old indigenous religion was eroding fast from the people. The Nagas without much thought on their originality, identity and history as a people, jealously then embraced Christianity. Thus Nagas felled succumbed to foreign invasion. It was Jadonang and Gaidinliu who envisioned and determined to preserved the Indigenous Nagas’ faith by reforming as Heraka/Tingkao Ragwangh. The early Christian converts among the Zeliangrong were attempting to finish the Heraka’s faith with all means and ways. Force conversion was meted upon the few steadfast preservers, worshipers and defenders of Heraka faith with the forces of Naga National Council; underground armed forces. Naga National History has a cruel record of destroying their own original way of worship of God. A day will come when Nagas will regret for their past deed.
Inter-Religious Peace and harmony:
Robert Burton (1577-1640) once said, “One religion is as true as another.” Heraka is true and right faith to them that believe as equally pious as Christianity is to Christians. Christ preached the way, the truth and the life for humanity to practice. The cruelty of the past Christian believers were that, they convert others to their faith but refusing their members to be converted to others’ faith. Social downfall is caused by irresponsible and insane behavior of its citizens. Humanity is made low to bestial grade by religious dogmatism. Religious fanatic brings social disharmony and needless contention. All these needless strive and foolish pursuits have made all man blind to God. Man must stop religious discrimination that the way to heaven is not hindered to the souls of man.