Journal : Roots And Heritage

Are our roots — historical, cultural and familial — of any consequence ?

Is our concern with our heritage of any value to our present and future ?

We know some, actually many, would size up the query with impatience, perhaps scorn. Life is anyway immense and apparently more than enough to engage us with its challenges and opportunities. Roots and heritage add nothing to our entrepreneurship or professional capability, for instance, or to our pursuit of money and wealth, for survival and happiness. It does not help us with our income augmentation efforts, with our enjoyment of all that we have, and our reach out for what is on the offer. We, in any case, have our roots in the here and now, with a way of life already upon us, to live up to.

If one is a communist, a leftist of whatever hue, or an atheist irreligious or areligious, a peek into our times in past hardly illuminates the scientific or dialectical catechisms before us. Everything would have to be settled in the light of our respective interests or goals, as it must be led and moved hereon. A treasure of large enough worth or a technological secret that could be unravelled and built upon today would be welcome. But delving into our roots and heritage ?It rarely lead us to such material gain or means to power.

I really cannot answer for others. My own roots and heritage mattered to me when I began looking at myself along the timeline I’d traveled since birth and the successive experiences of the community I was part of , which shaped the way of life I felt carrying on my back and that was already about me. I had gone very much far into the ubiquitous modernity on which business and our urban westernised life was found, with emphasis on scientific temperament and reasoned inquiry into all that we experience and all that happened to and with us, when I had to stop and question the values system and life perspective on which my motivation to living and to life itself was founded.

It was then that I learned about the ancients who insisted on keeping our spiritual moorings stronger than the mental drift, than the psychological, survival and material drives; about the towering men who displayed unflinching perseverence to the just stance, persistence with the right way, and courage to lose everything that bind us small and that leave us with our mere posssessions and the breath to live with all that we have lost — our self and our soul. The sound of Vedic hymns from the banks of our rivers rang in my ears, the celestial song of Gita and the fullsome narrative of the grand epics once more brought the tear-filled eyes of my sire to my memory, and the heroes who cared not for their loss or defeat but only of who they represented and what they stood for…

It was only thereafter that I picked my life once again with a doubtless certainty of who I was, what my life was for, and how my path ahead meandered through all the senselessness, meaninglessness and unrelatedness I had found myself in. The awareness of my roots and my heritage saved me from a certain suicidal purposelessness. It gave meaning to the mountains I visited, the people I met and conversed with, the forces I opposed, the views I demolished, the ways of life and thought I came to second and support, and the values that earlier chimed within me without any apparent basis.

Are our roots — historical, cultural and familial — of any consequence ?

Is our concern with our heritage of any value to our present and future ?

But haven’t I answered already !

Invading The Sacred : Rajiv Malhotra

Anything can be covered with profanity, with surprising ease. A practice, a way of life that nurtures the sublimest of heart and intellect the world has known, with uncanny regularity, is routinely mocked at by protoganists of cultures that barely understand and have seldom practiced the fundamentals of the way with any rigour. Rajiv Malhotra’s comeback in response is not too soon.

The author writes : “… a powerful counterforce within the American Academy is systematically undermining core icons and ideals of Indic Culture and thought. For instance, scholars of this counterforce have disparaged the Bhagavad Gita as “a dishonest book”; declared Ganesha’s trunk a “limp phallus”; classified Devi as the “mother with a penis” and Shiva as “a notorious womanizer” who incites violence in India; pronounced Sri Ramakrishna a pedophile who sexually molested the young Swami Vivekananda; condemned Indian mothers as being less loving of their children than white women; and interpreted the bindi as a drop of menstrual fluid and the “ha” in sacred mantras as a woman’s sound during orgasm.”

The book deliberates upon pertinent issues : Are these isolated instances of ignorance or links in an institutionalized pattern of bias driven by certain civilizational worldviews ?

Are these academic pronouncements based on evidence, and how carefully is this evidence cross-examined? How do these images of India and Indians created in the American Academy influence public perceptions through the media, the education system, policymakers and popular culture ?

Adopting a politically impartial stance, the work unravels a well-researched response informing us of the invisible networks behind frequent instances of Hinduphobic behaviour in American academe and of challenges to Indian diaspora at responding to such well-publicised ‘ scholarship.’

The book hopes to provoke serious debate. For example : How current Hinduphobic works resemble earlier American literature depicting non-whites as dangerous savages needing to be civilized by the West ?

Are India’s internal social problems going to be managed by foreign interventions in the name of human rights ?

How do power imbalances and systemic biases affect the objectivity and quality of scholarship ?

What are the rights of practitioner-experts in “talking back” to academicians ?

What is the role of India’s intellectuals, policymakers and universities in fashioning an authentic and enduring response ?

Invading The Sacred can be downloaded from http://rajivmalhotra.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Invading-the-Sacred-Final.pdf for free …

Indian Muslims … In Cowardice !

From When They Were Being Made …

Edited Version Of The Interview Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Gave In April, 1946.

Full Version Published May 28, 2012 In Journal : The Poet… Watching History : I

Flag adopted by the Indian National Congress i...

Flag adopted by the Indian National Congress in 1931.

Q : But the question is how Muslims can keep their community identity intact and how they can inculcate the attributes of the citizens of a Muslim state.

A : Hollow words cannot falsify the basic realities nor slanted questions can make the answers deficient. It amounts to distortion of the discourse. What is meant by community identity ? If this community identity has remained intact during the British slavery, how will it come under threat in a free India in whose affairs Muslims will be equal participants ? What attributes of the Muslim state you wish to cultivate ? The real issue is the freedom of faith and worship and who can put a cap on that freedom. Will independence reduce the 90 million Muslims into such a helpless state that they will feel constrained in enjoying their religious freedom ? If the British, who as a world power could not snatch this liberty, what magic or power do the Hindus have to deny this freedom of religion ? These questions have been raised by those, who, under the influence of western culture, have renounced their own heritage and are now raising dust through political gimmickry.

If the Muslims still feel under threat and believe that they will be reduced to slavery in free India then I can only pray for their faith and hearts. If a man becomes disenchanted with life he can be helped to revival, but if someone is timid and lacks courage, then it is not possible to help him become brave and gutsy. The Muslims as a community have become cowards. They have no fear of God, instead they fear men. This explains why they are so obsessed with threats to their existence — a figment of their imagination.

The world needs both, a durable peace and a philosophy of life. If the Hindus can run after Marx and undertake scholarly studies of the philosophy and wisdom of the West, they do not disdain Islam and will be happy to benefit from its principles. In fact they are more familiar with Islam and acknowledge that Islam does not mean parochialism of a hereditary community or a despotic system of governance. Islam is a universal call to establish peace on the basis of human equality.

In future India will be faced with class problems, not communal disputes; the conflict will be between capital and labour. The communist and socialist movements are growing and it is not possible to ignore them. These movements will increasingly fight for the protection of the interest of the underclass. The Muslim capitalists and the feudal classes are apprehensive of this impending threat. Now they have given this whole issue a communal colour and have turned the economic issue into a religious dispute. But Muslims alone are not responsible for it. This strategy was first adopted by the British government and then endorsed by the political minds of Aligarh. Later, Hindu short-sightedness made matters worse and now freedom has become contingent on the partition of India.

Jinnah himself was an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. In one Congress session Sarojini Naidu had commended him with this title. He was a disciple of Dadabhai Naoroji. He had refused to join the 1906 deputation of Muslims that initiated communal politics in India. In 1919 he stood firmly as a nationalist and opposed Muslim demands before the Joint Select Committee. On 3 October 1925, in a letter to the Times of India he rubbished the suggestion that Congress is a Hindu outfit. In the All Parties Conferences of 1925 and 1928, he strongly favoured a joint electorate. While speaking at the National Assembly in 1925, he said, “I am a nationalist first and a nationalist last” and exhorted his colleagues, be they Hindus or Muslims, “not to raise communal issues in the House and help make the Assembly a national institution in the truest sense of the term”.

In 1928, Jinnah supported the Congress call to boycott Simon Commission. Till 1937, he did not favour the demand to partition India. In his message to various student bodies he stressed the need to work for Hindu Muslim unity. But he felt aggrieved when the Congress formed governments in seven states and ignored the Muslim League. In 1940 he decided to pursue the partition demand to check Muslim political decline. In short, the demand for Pakistan is his response to his own political experiences. Mr Jinnah has every right to his opinion about me, but I have no doubts about his intelligence. As a politician he has worked overtime to fortify Muslim communalism and the demand for Pakistan. Now it has become a matter of prestige for him and he will not give it up at any cost.

Q : It is clear that Muslims are not going to turn away from their demand for Pakistan. Why have they become so impervious to all reason and logic of arguments ?

A : It is difficult, rather impossible, to fight against the misplaced enthusiasm of a mob, but to suppress one’s conscience is worse than death. Today the Muslims are not walking, they are flowing. The problem is that Muslims have not learnt to walk steady; they either run or flow with the tide. When a group of people lose confidence and self-respect, they are surrounded by imaginary doubts and dangers and fail to make a distinction between the right and the wrong.

The true meaning of life is realised not through numerical strength but through firm faith and righteous action. British politics has sown many seeds of fear and distrust in the mental field of Muslims. Now they are in a frightful state, bemoaning the departure of the British and demanding partition before the foreign masters leave. Do they believe that partition will avert all the dangers to their lives and bodies ? If these dangers are real then they will still haunt their borders and any armed conflict will result in much greater loss of lives and possessions.

Q : But Hindus and Muslims are two different nations with different and disparate inclinations. How can the unity between the two be achieved ?

A : This is an obsolete debate. I have seen the correspondence between Allama Iqbal and Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni on the subject. In the Quran, the term “qaum” has been used not only for the community of believers but has also been used for distinct human groupings generally. What do we wish to achieve by raising this debate about the etymological scope of terms like millat [community], qaum [nation] and ummat [group] ?

In religious terms, India is home to many people — the Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs etc. The differences between Hindu religion and Islam are vast in scope. But these differences cannot be allowed to become an obstacle in the path of India gaining her freedom nor do the two distinct and different systems of faith negate the idea of unity of India. The issue is of our national independence and how we can secure it. Freedom is a blessing and is the right of every human being. It cannot be divided on the basis of religion.

Muslims must realise that they are bearers of a universal message. They are not a racial or regional grouping in whose territory others cannot enter. Strictly speaking, Muslims in India are not one community; they are divided among many well-entrenched sects. You can unite them by arousing their anti-Hindu sentiment but you cannot unite them in the name of Islam. To them Islam means undiluted loyalty to their own sect.

Apart from Wahabi, Sunni and Shia there are innumerable groups who owe allegiance to different saints and divines. Small issues like raising hands during the prayer and saying Amen loudly have created disputes that defy solution. The Ulema have used the instrument of takfeer [ fatwas declaring someone as infidel ] liberally. Earlier, they used to take Islam to the disbelievers; now they take away Islam from the believers. Islamic history is full of instances of how good and pious Muslims were branded kafirs.

Prophets alone had the capability to cope with these mindboggling situations. Even they had to pass through times of afflictions and trials. The fact is that when reason and intelligence are abandoned and attitudes become fossilised then the job of the reformer becomes very difficult. But today the situation is worse than ever. Muslims have become firm in their communalism; they prefer politics to religion and follow their worldly ambitions as commands of religion. History bears testimony to the fact that in every age we ridiculed those who pursued the good with consistency, snuffed out the brilliant examples of sacrifice and tore the flags of selfless service. Who are we, the ordinary mortals; even high ranking Prophets were not spared by these custodians of traditions and customs.

Gandhi addressing AICC in Bombay, July 1946.

Gandhi addressing AICC in Bombay, July 1946. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Indian Muslims … Predictable !

From When They Were Being Made Into A Separate Nation…

Edited Version Of The Interview Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Gave In April, 1946.

Full Version Published May 28, 2012 In Journal : The Poet… Watching History : I

 A Muslim couple being wed alongside the Tungab...

Q : But many Ulema are with Quaid-e-Azam [ M.A. Jinnah ]…

A : Many Ulema were with Akbare Azam too; they invented a new religion for him. Do not discuss individuals. The upholders of truth are exceptions. How many of the Ulema find an honourable mention in the Muslim history of the last 1,300 years ?

Q : Maulana, what is wrong if Pakistan becomes a reality ? After all, “Islam” is being used to pursue and protect the unity of the community.

A : You are using the name of Islam for a cause that is not right by Islamic standards. Muslim history bears testimony to many such enormities. In the battle of Jamal, fought between Imam Ali and Hadrat Aisha, widow of the Holy Prophet, Qurans were displayed on lances. Was that right ? In Karbala the family members of the Holy Prophet were martyred by those Muslims who claimed companionship of the Prophet. Was that right ? Hajjaj was a Muslim general and he subjected the holy mosque at Makka to brutal attack. Was that right ? No sacred words can justify or sanctify a false motive. I see clearly the dangers inherent in the demand.

Now as I gather from the attitude of my own colleagues in the working committee, the division of India appears to be certain. But I must warn that the evil consequences of partition will not affect India alone, Pakistan will be equally haunted by them. The partition will be based on the religion of the population and not based on any natural barrier like mountain, desert or river. A line will be drawn; it is difficult to say how durable it would be.

We must remember that an entity conceived in hatred will last only as long as that hatred lasts. This hatred will overwhelm the relations between India and Pakistan. In this situation it will not be possible for India and Pakistan to become friends and live amicably unless some catastrophic event takes place. The politics of partition itself will act as a barrier between the two countries. It will not be possible for Pakistan to accommodate all the Muslims of India, a task beyond her territorial capability. On the other hand, it will not be possible for the Hindus to stay especially in West Pakistan. They will be thrown out or leave on their own. This will have its repercussions in India and the Indian Muslims will have three options before them :

1. They become victims of loot and brutalities and migrate to Pakistan; but how many Muslims can find shelter there ?

2. They become subject to murder and other excesses. A substantial number of Muslims will pass through this ordeal until the bitter memories of partition are forgotten and the generation that had lived through it completes its natural term.

3. A good number of Muslims, haunted by poverty, political wilderness and regional depredation decide to renounce Islam.

The prominent Muslims who are supporters of Muslim League will leave for Pakistan. The wealthy Muslims will take over the industry and business and monopolise the economy of Pakistan… The greatest danger will come from international powers who will seek to control the new country, and with the passage of time this control will become tight. India will have no problem with this outside interference as it will sense danger and hostility from Pakistan.

The other important point that has escaped Mr Jinnah’s attention is Bengal. He does not know that Bengal disdains outside leadership and rejects it sooner or later. During World War II, Mr Fazlul Haq revolted against Jinnah and was thrown out of the Muslim League. Mr H.S. Suhrawardy does not hold Jinnah in high esteem. Why only Muslim League, look at the history of Congress. The revolt of Subhas Chandra Bose is known to all…

The confidence of East Pakistan will not erode as long as Jinnah and Liaquat Ali are alive. But after them any small incident will create resentment and disaffection. I feel that it will not be possible for East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period of time. There is nothing common between the two regions except that they call themselves Muslims. But the fact of being Muslim has never created durable political unity anywhere in the world.

The Arab world is before us; they subscribe to a common religion, a common civilisation and culture, and speak a common language. In fact they acknowledge even territorial unity. But there is no political unity among them. Their systems of government are different and they are often engaged in mutual recrimination and hostility.

On the other hand, the language, customs and way of life of East Pakistan are totally different from West Pakistan. The moment the creative warmth of Pakistan cools down, the contradictions will emerge and will acquire assertive overtones. These will be fuelled by the clash of interests of international powers and consequently both wings will separate.

After the separation of East Pakistan, whenever it happens, West Pakistan will become the battleground of regional contradictions and disputes. The assertion of sub-national identities of Punjab, Sind, Frontier and Balochistan will open the doors for outside interference. It will not be long before the international powers use the diverse elements of Pakistani political leadership to break the country on the lines of Balkan and Arab states. Maybe at that stage we will ask ourselves, what have we gained and what have we lost.

The real issue is economic development and progress; it certainly is not religion. Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the economy without any competition from capable rivals. It will be interesting to watch how long they can keep this deception alive.

I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems :

1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.

2. The heavy burden of foreign debt.

3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.

4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.

5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.

6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.

7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.

8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.

In this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain and the Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any worthwhile help. The assistance from other sources will not come without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial compromises.

At Wardha Railway Station, Maulana Azad, Achar...

Indian Muslims … Predictable !

From When They Were Being Made …

Edited Version Of The Interview

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Gave In April, 1946.

Full Version Published May 28, 2012 In Journal : The Poet… Watching History : I

English: At the All India Muslim League Workin...

All India Muslim League Working Committee, Lahore session, March 1940 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q : The Hindu Muslim dispute has become so acute that it has foreclosed any possibility of reconciliation. Is the birth of Pakistan inevitable ?

A : If Pakistan were the solution of Hindu Muslim problem, then I would have extended my support to it. A section of Hindu opinion is now turning in its favour. By conceding NWFP, Sind, Balochistan and half of Punjab on one side and half of Bengal on the other, they think they will get the rest of India — a huge country that would be free from any claims of communal nature.

If we use the Muslim League terminology, this new India will be a Hindu state, both practically and temperamentally. This will not happen as a result of any (amiable) conscious decision, but will be a (forced) logical consequence of its social realities.

How can you (Muslims) expect a society that consists 90% of Hindus, who have lived with their ethos and values since prehistoric times, to grow differently (in accord with how the Muslims wants them to) ?

Muslims have turned away from the Quran. If Muslim politicians had not used the offensive language that embittered communal relations, and the other section acting as agents of British interests had not worked to widen the Hindu-Muslim breach…The political disputes we created in the name of religion have projected Islam as an instrument of political power and not what it is — a value system meant for the transformation of human soul.

Under British influence, we turned Islam into a confined system, and following in the footsteps of other communities like Jews, Parsis and Hindus we transformed ourselves into a hereditary community. The Indian Muslims have frozen Islam and its message, and have divided themselves into many sects. Some sects were clearly born at the instance of colonial power. Consequently, these sects became devoid of all movement and dynamism, and lost faith in Islamic values.

The hallmark of Muslim existence was striving and now the very term is strange to them. Surely they are Muslims, but they follow their own whims and desires. In fact now they easily submit to political power, not to Islamic values. They prefer the religion of politics…

Pakistan is a political standpoint. Regardless of the fact whether it is the right solution to the problems of Indian Muslims, it is being demanded in the name of Islam. Who among the scholars of Islam has divided the dominion of God on this basis ? Division of territories on the basis of religion is a contraption devised by Muslim League. They can pursue it as their political agenda… The demand for Pakistan has not benefited Muslims in any manner.

How Pakistan can benefit Islam is a moot question and will largely depend on the kind of leadership it gets. The impact of western thought and philosophy has made the crisis more serious. The way the leadership of Muslim League is conducting itself… God alone knows what is in the womb of future.

Pakistan, when it comes into existence, will face conflicts of religious nature. As far as I can see, the people who will hold the reins of power will cause serious damage to Islam. Their behaviour may result in the total alienation of the Pakistani youth who may become a part of non-religious movements. Today, in Muslim minority states the Muslim youth are more attached to religion than in Muslim majority states. You will see that despite the increased role of Ulema, the religion will lose its sheen in Pakistan.

English: Indian leaders at the Simla Conferenc...

Islam – Prehistory, Myths & Present (I)

The Damning Case Against Islam 

Miniature of Muhammad re-dedicating the Black ...

Muhammad re-dedicating the Black Stone at the Kaaba. From Jami Al-Tawarikh, c. 1315 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those who are familiar with this blog also know my antipathy for the Islamic belief – system; not for the people who live with the same physiology as the rest of humanity, experience the same emotions, work, laugh and cry, and aspire as we all do.

But their entire idea-being, their life and values perspective with which they view themselves, the world and the others in it, is warped beyond repair. It’s not just crap, lies and demeaning to humanity; it’s evil and destructive, way past measure. They associate spritual strengths to what are essentially political calls and dream of material equivalents in the spiritual realm.

Hence, this series …

There is no truth in a belief system that destroys diversity of human thought and life perspective, and aims to replace it with a uniform monochromatic pervasiveness. There is no future for a collective that is committed to annhilating people merely because they are different. And there can little happiness in a society where female and children are disrespected, devalued and repressed… 

The only viable way of life is one that admits and exults in diversity, accepts and co-exists with competing thoughts and beliefs, and respects the sacred feminine. Unfortunately, the happy and viable way of pre-Islamic life in Arabian penisula was lost when Muhammad cursed  al-Lat,  al-Uzza  and  Manat, the much loved and immensely regarded icons of people in Mecca, after he was advised to delete the “satanic” verses from Quran.

It is well-known that progression of Islam was compulsorily accompanied by the sword, except where people freely retained their cultural symbols and their earlier way of life. The text-trio of Muhammad’s new religion – Quran, Hadith and Sharia – fostered community values that mandated terror, lies, slavery, torture and rape as “just punishments” and acceptable means to subdue the non-believers, in order to saddle their souls and propagate brand Muhammad. It invaribly meant destruction of their settlements and plunder of their assets. That experience is part of our history, especially of the Jewish, Zoroastrian, European and the Indian people. And we hope the world will never forget that truth !

Some historians and Islamists have alleged that the Meccan Quraish lacked compassion for the poor, or were a society in disintegration. These conclusions are without substance, and have their only basis in Muslim texts. Indications are rather that they were economically buoyant and that social inequality in pre-Islamic society did not lead to a collapse, as claimed by the invading umma of the prophet.

If the pre-Islamists in Mecca and around were steeped in “Jahaliyat”, or ignorance, we are not informed of any blood-letting, massacre or genocide they perpetrated because of that. 

What should concern us is that Islam is a threat to mankind.  Islam reduces its followers to being brainless hate mongers.  Hate is the essence of this faith… hate of non-believers, hate of believers who interpret Islam differently, hate of those who leave Islam, hate of women, hate of homosexuals, hate of freethinkers, hate of the Jews, hate of the Hindus … and the list goes on. Even dogs and pigs have not been spared from hate.

Observe, in just one instance among many, what the “enlightened” Muslim invaders of the new “religion of peace” did in India : Rizwan Salim, himself a Muslim, writes… Savages at a very low level of civilisation from Arabia and west Asia, with no culture worth the name, began entering India from early 8th Century onward. Islamic invaders demolished countless Hindu temples, shattered hundreds of thousands of sculpture and idols, plundered innumerable palaces and forts of Hindu kings, killed vast numbers of Hindu men and carried off Hindu women, ( as if they did not have any remotely respectable of their own ). 

“Educated and even illiterate Indians know this story very well. History books tell it in remarkable detail. But many Indians do not seem to recognise that the alien Muslim marauders destroyed the historical evolution of the earth’s most intellectually advanced civilisation, the most imaginative and rich culture, and the most vigorously creative society ever. It is clear that India, at the time when Muslim invaders turned towards it (8th to 11th century), was the earth’s richest region for its agriculture and craft, wealth in precious and semi – precious stones, gold and silver, religion and culture, its fine arts and letters.”

We need to understand why; and the followers of Islam need it the most !

To be continued …


Indian History And Its Historians

Inimitable Dr. Subramanian Swamy’s Valedictory Speech

Internatonal Conference on Indian History, Civilisation and Geopolitics – 2009 

Source : http://indianrealist.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/dr-subramanian-swamys-valedictory-speech-at-the-conference/

subramanian-swamy

Introduction

The identity of India is Hindustan, i.e., a nation of Hindus and those others who acknowledge with pride that their ancestors were Hindus.  Hindustan represents the continuing history of culture of Hindus. One’s religion may change, but culture does not. Thus,  on the agenda for a national renaissance should be the dissemination of the correct perception of what we are.  This perception has to be derived from a defalsified history. However, the present history taught in our schools and colleges is the British imperialist-sponsored one, with the intent to destroy our identity. 

India as a State is treated as a British-created entity and of only recent origin.  The Indian people are portrayed as a heterogeneous lot who are hopelessly divided against themselves.  Such a “history” has been deliberately created by the British as a policy.  Sir George Hamilton, Secretary of State for India, wrote to the Home Office on March 26, 1888 that “I think the real danger to our rule is not now but say 50 years hence….. We shall (therefore) break Indians into two sections holding widely different views ….. We should so plan the educational text books that the differences between community and community are further strengthened”.

After achieving independence, under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and the implementing authority of the anglicised ICS, revision of our history was never done, in fact the very idea was condemned as “obscurantist” and Hindu chauvinist by Nehru and his ilk.

The Imperialist History of India

What is the gist of this British imperialist-tailored Indian history? In this history, India is portrayed as the land “conquered” first by the ‘Dravidians’, then by the ‘Aryans’, later by Muslims, and finally by the British. Otherwise, everything else is mythical. Our history books today exhibit this obsession with foreign rule.

For example, even though the Mughal rule from Akbar to Aurangzeb is about 150 years, which is much shorter than the 350 year rule of the Vijayanagaram empire, the history books of today hardly take notice of the latter.  In fact the territory under Krishna Devaraya’s rule was much larger than Akbar’s, and yet it is the latter who is called “the Great”. Such a version suited the British rules who had sought to create a legitimacy for their presence in India. 

Furthermore, we were also made to see advantages accruing from British rule, the primary one being that India was united by this colonialism, and that but for the British, India would never have been one country.  Thus, the concept of India itself is owed to the plunder of colonialists.

In this falsified history,  it is made out that Hindus capitulated to Islamic invaders.  But on the contrary,unlike Iran, Iraq and Egypt where within decades the country capitulated to become 100% Muslims. India despite 800 years of brutal Islamic rule, remained 80% Hindu.

 These totally false and pernicious ideas have however permeated deep into our educational system. They have poisoned the minds of our younger generations who have not had the benefit of the Freedom Struggle to awaken their pride and nationalism. It has thus to be an essential part of the  renaissance agenda that these ideas of British-sponsored history of India, namely, (1) that India as a State was a gift of the British and (2) that there is no such thing as a native Indian, and what we are today is a by-product of the rape of the land by visiting conquerors and their hordes and (3) that India is a land that submitted meekly to invading hordes from Aryan to the English, are discarded.

Just because India did not have a nation state of the present boundaries, exercising control through a unified modern administration, does not mean that there was no India.  On the contrary, there was always as India which from north to south, thought of fundamentally as one country. 

Just as Hinduism exists from ancient days despite a lack of a Church, Book, or Pope, Hindustan too existed from time immemorial but without the parameters of a modern state. The invading Muslims and the British on the contrary tried to disrupt that unity by destroying the traditional communication channels and educational structures.

Thus, on the agenda for National Renaissance has to be a new factual account of our history, focusing on the continuous and unbroken endeavours of a people united as a nation. This history of India must deal with the conscious effort of our people to achieve a civilization, to reach better standards of life, and live a happier and nobler  life.  Although the lamp of faith of the Indian people burnt brightly in  long periods, this history must also record when that faith dimmed and brought shame to the people. 

Such a factual account of our past is essential to the agenda, because we have to objectively disgorge and discard the foreign versions of our history.  It  is this foreign version that makes us out to be foreigners in our own land. The Aryan-Dravidian divide in the history taught in schools and universities is purely a conception of foreign historians like Max Mueller and has no basis in Indian historical records. 

This fraudulent history had been lapped up by north Indians, and by south Indian Brahmins, as their racial passport to Europe. Such was the demoralization of the Hindu mind, which we have to shake off through a new factual account of our past.

Falsification of Chronology in India’s History

The fabrication of our History begins with the falsification of our chronology.

The customary dates quoted for composition of the Rig Veda (circa 1300 B.C.), Mahabharat (600 B.C.), Buddha’s Nirvana (483 B.C.), Maurya Chandragupta’s coronation (324 B.C.), and Asoka (c.268 B.C.) are entirely wrong. Those dates are directly or indirectly based on a selected reading of Megasthenes’ account of India. In fact, so much so that eminent historians have called if the “sheet anchor of Indian chronology”. The account of Megasthenes and the derived chronology of Indian history have also an important bearing on related derivations such as the two-race (Aryan-Dravidian) theory, and on the pre-Vedic character of the so called Indus Valley Civilization.

Megasthenes was the Greek ambassador sent by Seleucus Nicator in c. 302 B.C. to the court of the Indian king whom he and the Greek called “Sandrocottus”. He was stationed in “Palimbothra”, the capital city of the kingdom. It is not clear how many years Megasthenes stayed in India, but he did write an account of his stay, titled Indika.  The manuscript Indika is lost, and there is no copy of it available.  However, during the time it was available, many other Greek writers quoted passages from it in their own works. These quotations were meticulously collected by Dr. Schwanbeck in the nineteenth century, and this compilation is also available to us in English (J.M. McCrindle: Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian).

When  European indologists were groping to date Indian history during the nineteenth century (after having arbitrarily rejected the various Puranas), the Megasthenes account came in very useful. These scholars simply identified “Sandrocottus” with Chandragupta, and “Palimbothra” with Pataliputra.  Since Megasthenes talks of Sandrocottus as being a man not of “noble” birth who essentially usurped the throne from Xandrames and founded a new dynasty, the western writers took it as enough evidence to  suggest that Sandrocottus was Maurya Chandragupta, who deposed the Nanda (=Xandrames) dynasty, and founded the Maurya dynasty.  This identification, thus places Maurya Chandragupta circa 302 B.C. 

However, Megasthenes also notes that Sandrocottus was a contemporary of Alexander, and came to the throne soon after Alexander’s departure.  With a little arithmetic on how many days it would have taken Alexander to cross the Indus, etc., the scholars arrive at c.324 B.C. as the date of Chandragupta Maurya’s coronation.  It is on this date that every other date of Indian history has been constructed.

The western writers constructed other dates of Indian history by using the data on the number of years between kings given in the Puranas, even though they have generally discredited this source.  For instance, the Puranas give the number of years for the reign of Chandgragupta and Bindusara as 62 years.  Using this period, Asoka’s coronation year is calculated by them as 324-62 =c 262 B.C.  This estimated year is then cross-checked and adjusted with other indicators, such as from the Ceylonese Pali tradition.  The point that is being made here is that some of the important dates of Indian history have been directly determined by the identification of Megasthenes’ Sandrocottus with Maurya Chandragupta, and Xandremes with Nanda.

The founder of the Mauryas, however, is not the only Chandragupta in Indian history, who was a king of Magadh and founder of a dynasty.  In particular, there is Gupta Chandragupta, a Magadh king and founder of the Gupta dynasty at Patliputra.  Chandragupta Gupta was also not of “noble” birth and, in fact, came to power by deposing the Andhra king Chandrasri.  That is, Megasthenes’ Sandrocottus may well be Gupta Chandragupta instead of Maurya Chandgragupta (and Xandremes the same as Chandrasri, and Sandrocryptus as Samudragupta).  

In order to determine which Chandragupta it is, we need to look further.  It is, of course, a trifle silly to build one’s history on this kind of tongue-gymnastics, but I am afraid we have no choice but to pursue the Megasthenes evidence to its end, since the currently acceptable history is based on it.

In order to determine at which Chandragupta’s court Megasthenes was ambassador, we have to look further into his account of India.  We find he was at Pataliputra (i.e. Palimbothra in Megasthenes’ account).  We know from the Puranas (which are unanimous on this point) that all the Chandravamsa king of Magadh (including the Mauryas) prior to the Guptas, had their capital at Girivraja (or equivalently Rajgrha) and not at Pataliputra.   Gupta Chandragupta was the first king to have his capital in Patliputra. This alone should identify Sandrocottos with Gupta Chandragupta.  However some 6-11th century A.D. sources call Pataliputra the Maurya capital, e.g., Vishakdatta in Mudrarakshasa, but these are based on secondary sources and not on the Puranas.

Pursuing Megasthenes’ account further, we find most of it impossible to believe.  He appears to be quite vague about details and is obviously given to the Greek writers’ weakness in letting his imagination get out of control.  For example, “Near a mountain which is called Nulo there live men whose fee are turned back-wards and have eight toes on each foot.” (Solinus 52.36-30 XXX.B.) “Megasthenes says a race of men (exist in India) who neither eat or drink, and in fact have not even mouths, set on fire and burn like incense in order to sustain their existence with odorous fumes…..” (Plutarch, Frag. XXXI). However, Megasthenes appears to have made one precise statement of possible application which was picked up later by Pliny, Solinus, and Arrian. As summarized by Professor K.D. Sethna of Pondicherry, it reads:

Dionysus was the first who invaded India and was the first of all who triumphed over the vanished Indians. From the days of Dionysus to Alexander the Great, 6451 years reckoned with 3 months additional.  From the time of Dionysus to Sandrocottus the Indians reckoned 6452 years, the calculation being made by counting the kings who reigned in the intermediate period to number 153 or 154 years.  But among these a republic was thrice established, one extending…..years, another to 300 and another to 120.  The Indians also tell us that Dionysus was earlier than Heracles by fifteen generations, and that except for him no one made a hostile invasion of India but that Alexander indeed came and overthrew in war all whom he attacked.”

While there a number of issues raised by this statement including the concoction that Alexander was victorious in battle across the Indus, the exactness with which he states his numbers should lead us to believe that Megasthenes could have received his chronological matters from none else than the Puranic pundits of his time.  To be conclusive, we need to determine who are the “Dionysus” and “Heracles” of Megasthenes’ account.

Traditionally, Dionysus (or Father Bachhus) was a Greek God of wine who was created from Zeus’s thigh.  Dionysus was also a great king, and was recognized as the first among all kings, a conqueror and constructive leader.  Could there be an Indian equivalent of Dionysus whom Megasthenes quickly equated with his God of wine? Looking through the Puranas, one does indeed find such a person.  His name is Prithu.

Prithu was the son of King Vena. The latter was considered a wicked man whom the great sages could not tolerate, especially after he told them that the elixir soma should be offered to him in prayer and not to the gods (Bhagavata Purana IV.14.28). The great sages thereafter performed certain rites and killed Vena. But since this could lead immediately to lawlessness and chaos, the rshis decided to rectify it by coronating a strong and honest person. The rshis therefore churned the right arm (or thigh; descriptions vary) of the dead body (of Vena) to give birth to a fully grown Prithu.  It was Prithu, under counsel from rshi Atri (father of Soma), who reconstructed society and brought about economic prosperity.  Since he became such a great ruler, the Puranas have called him adi-raja (first king) of the world.  So did the Satpatha Brahmana (v.3.5 4.).

In the absence of a cult of soma in India, it is perhaps inevitable that Megasthenes and the other Greeks, in translating Indian experiences for Greek audiences, should pick on adi-raja Prithu who is “tinged with Soma” in a number of ways and bears such a close resemblance to Dionysus in the circumstances of his birth, and identify him as Dionysus.  If we accept identifying Dionysus with Prithu, then indeed by a calculation based on the Puranas (done by D.R. Mankad, Koti Venkatachelam, K.D. Sethna, and others),  it  can be conclusively shown that indeed 6451 years had elapsed between Prithu and a famous Chandragupta. This calculation exactly identifies Sandrocottus with Gupta Chandragupta and not with Maurya Chandragupta. The calculation also identifies Heracles with Hari Krishna (Srikrishna) of Dwarka.

This calculation must be necessarily long and tedious to counter the uninformed general feeling first sponsored by Western scholars, that the Puranas spin only fair tales and are therefore quite unreliable.  However, most of these people do not realize that most Puranas have six parts, and the Vamsanucharita sections (especially of Vishnu, Matsya, and Vagu) are a systematic presentation of Indian history especially of the Chandravamsa kings of Magadha. 

In order to establish these dates, I would have to discuss in detail the cycle of lunar asterisms, the concept of time according to Aryabhatta, and various other systems, and also the reconciliation of various minor discrepancies that occur in the Puranas.  Constraints of space and time however prevent me from presenting these calculations here.

On the basis of these calculations we can say that Gupta Chandragupta was “Sandrocottus” c.327 B.C.  His son, Samudragupta, was the great king who established a unified kingdom all over India, and obtained from the Cholas, Pandyas, and Cheras their recognition of him.  He also had defeated Seleucus  Nicator, while his father Chandragupta was king. On this calculation we can also place Prithu at 6777 B.C. and Lord Rama before that.  Derivation of other dates without discussion may also be briefly mentioned here: Buddha’s Nirvana 1807 B.C., Maurya Chandragupta c. 1534 B.C., Harsha Vikramaditya (Parmar) c. 82 B.C.

The European scholars have thus constructed an enormous edifice of contemporary foreign dates to suit their dating. A number of them are based on misidentification. For instance, the Rock Edict XIII, the famous Kalinga edict, is identified as Asoka’s. It was, however, Samudragupta’s (Samudragupta was a great conqueror and a devout admirer of Asoka. He imitated Asoka in many ways and also took the name Asokaditya. In his later life, he became a sanyasi). Some other facts, which directly contradict their theories, they have rather flippantly cast aside.

We state here only a few examples – such facts as (1) Fa-hsien was in India and at Patliputra c. 410 A.D.  He mentions a number of kings, but makes not even a fleeting reference to the Gupta, even though according to European scholars he came during the height of their reign. He also dates Buddha at 1100 B.C.. (2) A number of Tibetan documents place Buddha at 2100 B.C. (3) The Ceylonese Pali traditions leave out the Cholas, Pandyas, and Cheras from the list of Asoka’s kingdoms, whereas Rock Edict XIII includes them.  In fact, as many scholars have noted, the character of Asoka from Ceylonese and other traditions is precisely (as R.K. Mukherjee has said) what does not appear in the principal edicts.

The accepted history of no country can however be structured on foreign accounts of it. But Nehru and his Leftist cronies did just that, and thus generations of Indians have been brainwashed by this falsified history of India.

The time has come for us to take seriously our Puranic sources and to re-construct a realistic well-founded history of ancient India, a history written by Indians about Indians. Such a history should bring out the amazing continuity of a Hindu nation which asserts its identity again and again. It should focus on the fact that at the centre of our political thought is the concept of the Chakravartin ideal – to defend  the nation from external aggression while giving maximum internal autonomy to the janapadas.

A correct, defalsified history would record that Hindustan was one nation in the art of governance, in the style of royal courts, in the methods of warfare, in the maintenance of its agrarian base, and in the dissemination of information. Sanskrit was the language of national communication and discourse.

An accurate history should not only record the periods of glory but the moments of degeneration, of the missed opportunities, and of the failure to forge national unity at crucial junctures in time. It should draw lessons for the future generations from costly errors in the past.

In particular, it was not Hindu submission as alleged by JNU historians that was responsible for our subjugation but lack of unity and effective military strategy.

Without an accurate history, Hindustan cannot develop on its correct identity. And without a clearly defined identity, Indians will continue to flounder.

Defalsification of Indian history is the first step for our renaissance.

Samudragupta-001

Journal : First Social Nursery

Pitching For The Family

Family 7

I take no religious cue and quote no reference text in saying that a Family is an institution. However loosely, it has a purpose and a mandate, an organisation and a structure, values, behaviour and attitude norms, and interactive processes to abide. That it is not a formal or legal entity, and is without a documented basis to exist or function in the way it does, does not mean that it should be flouted nor automatically invite transgression.

The family is like a lamb or cow you could easily slaughter. If we do not, at least among Hindus, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, it is because they give us more while they are alive, healthy and strong.

People in other cultures constantly invoke individual rights to disown and deny, and walk away from the cohesive ambit of their respective families. Also, parent’s make a life in togetherness difficult by attaching conditions; and marraiges today, with or without pre-nuptial agreements, already envisage a separation sooner or later. As a result, families keep getting dysfunctional all the time and are destroyed within the span of a few generations.

But the family is the closest and the most immediately natural group, of which we are a part. To avoid going generic, I would present my view of a ‘ fictional ‘ family, as it would be in the Indian context : one perhaps I myself would be happy to have despite the imperfections and peculiarities of its individual members !

 A family aims to …

01    To Pursue Collective Material Abundance and Emotional Happiness

02    To Promote Personal Growth – Professional and Intellectual

03    Honour Individual Goals for their Spiritual Fulfillment

Not every member of the family would be inclined or capable of furthering along the stated purposes and values. There would be those who would stop at the material and the emotional. Others would be more willing to put in the effort for educating themselves further and a rare one might pitch for more morally evolved strengths and awareness.

The personal values and rules of behaviour however is set for all by the instituted purposes : at cooperating among themselves for collective material abundance and behaving with sufficient care and mindfulness, especially towards the weak and more disadvantaged, to allow collective emotional happiness.

The family could have additional commandments in their values system… say,

” We will never wrong others,” or

” We will respect facts and truths against our opinions or assumptions,” or

” We will always restore trust among each other and act in fairness,” etc.

These exposures form our ‘samskaras,’  the bedrock of values-perspective we bring to the world as adults.

 Father

The Father in the family is the head of the institution, above all, by virtue of his being in a position to best represent the family values, guide it through the present and keep its future in his trust.

Mother  

The Mother, again, is a position in the family that keeps it together, serves its vital needs and answers the emotional call of individuals in the family.

It is clearly important that the Mother and the Father have an open and smooth communication line between them. They must have the maturity to come into conflict on occasions, even rage at each other on issues, but withdraw sufficiently well in time to reassess and cool off enough to understand the other’s stand. It is necessary to appreciate that what is on table is institutional in nature and not a matter of mere personal preference. For instance, a member’s need for food cannot be ignored just because one is busy or does not “feel” like it. Similarly, a decision to invest cannot be taken at the cost of essential need of a member or if it makes the family’s material life miserable.

 

Members 

All members are to be as children of the family. Adults must add to the family’s purposes to the best of their abilities. They also have a responsibility towards themselves which, if they do not, would adversely affect the family as a whole.

Children, yet growing up, must obviously strive to add to their learning, experience and skills, emotional balance, conviction on facts and capacity for critical thinking.

All children however, regardless of age, must defer to the Father and Mother of the family, who are dedicated to its purposes. 

 

Accepting Queers

A family that does not have a place for personal imperfections and peculiarities, even vice, is heading for extinction. Institutionally, it should be able to encourage the individuals with patience and love, for them to establish a moderation in respect of such deviations. Other members, despite conflicting values, should be able to accommodate the departing behaviour or deviant goals, and accept the person for what he or she means to the family in institutional terms.

No member of the family, including the Father and the Mother, should be expected to be a paragon of ALL personal virtues at ALL time. And, it is actually easier to accept the odd weakness or failing of anyone when the primary identity is institutional, rooted in the family.

Let’s raise a happier family;

let’s contribute better

to the happiness of one

we are already a part of !

 

It seems to me that life is more “flowing” than about hard divides : nesting and unnesting. Of course, they are very admissible concepts : the building up for children to grow up and withdrawing so as to send them away. But that it excites one to implement in practice, or not, or to what extent, is a cultural matter.

The Indian way would always keep the family meaningful to the children, wherever they might go and howsoever they choose to live. They are always welcome to their parents home, whatever their need or motivation. Sometimes it’s just so that may relive the child in them … and go back to their post to take on the world. After all, one needs a parent or another child’s company to really be the child.

On the other hand, we have the concept of “outgrowing,” which is more in the mind and in our knowledge. There is a more real dismantling of the sense of earlier attachments and ownership … a flowing out of the family memes, even while continuing to anchor the legacy in children’s expectations.

It’s only after the final departures of the parents do they realise and accept that they can be children no more !

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Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

THE SANATAN WAY

The world capitalises on our need to be happy in a variety of ways : by the economic order in which food is available to those who either have land and money for inputs to grow and harvest or have the money to buy it in the marketplace; it keeps billions on our planet hungry and deprived, and enslaved. There are regions where water is sold by owners of fresh water bodies and clean air to breathe can be had only in costly air-conditioned areas. Governments and oligarchs big and small buy up natural resources held untill then in common and, as “property owners,” do as they please untill the environment is too polluted and is no longer self-generating, leaving the “public” more in want of fish, firewood and animals, even air and water that was earlier consumable and freely available till then.

Then, there is the ubiquitous media and “urban” advancements – food, gadgets, civic amenities, security, transport, communication, entertainment, lifestyle – that get propagated to multiply people’s needs, create where there was not, which again ropes in a much larger population that perpetually feel disatisfied, constantly aspires to enter the set graded channels and end up either enslaving, being enslaved, or becoming mediates in between.

The apparent priviledges of the masters too is less real than it seems : they might have more than they need, but the needs multiply, with real risks to their wealth and income; that it all might disappear in a jiffy or diminish alarmingly for any number of causes, leaving them rather poor. If not enslaved by bigger cats in business, there would be robbers and killers on the prowl, or taxmen and politicians who may or may not be humoured unless the stakes are met on the high. Money itself begins to enslave the masters and dangerously too, like a man astride a tiger !

Apart from material causes, rather as perceived material causes, images or impressions in memory, or imagination, trigger the same persistent emotional distress – pain, want, anger or despair, nowhere thoughts, darkness in awareness and inadequacy of being. Every craving that issues of recall and takes us over, everytime we are lost in the maze of thought or are unable to extend it to light, we suffer the same smallness of the slave, of being a mere for-other distressed robot under remote control. Occasionally, some of us meet a guide or chance on our own the ability to hold the dissatisfaction in our very hand and summon the intuitive will to take the grapple on to the next level, where our purity of being fills us with manifold more moral strength and intellectual acuity required to wring the truth out of matters in our subconscious and those thrown up by out mental ground.

Few are fortunate and sagacious enough to remove themselves from this worldly game of being in the master-slave trap, of ensnaring and entrapping others into it. But it continues blatantly for the billions in every secular and religious walk of life; yes, every ‘faith’ plays by it, more or less. 

In the Sanatan way, its varnashrama society codifies the “householder” period of life during which the man is expected to fulfill two goals : acquire income and wealth and attain physical pleasures and sensuous joys. The period covers approximately 25 years, one-fourth of the total, after he has gone through the rigours of leading a celibate life and educating himself in a whole range of disciplines including dharma, which equips him with moral clarity, ethical norms, and a well-etched perspective of matters in truth and the ability to discriminate between right and wrong.

Unlike the contracted souls of bleak, colder climes in the West with fewer hands, less sunshine and deficient resources, which conditions tethered them to survival-induced barbary amongst themselves and compelled them to colonise faraway lands and its populations, the agriculturally rich energy-surplus tropical lands fostered far more expansive and embracing ways of life in the Indian subcontinent. The Sanatan way evolved with the refinement of the thread of thought from Vedic antiquity, its culmination in the Upanishad era and popularisation through the Epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Puranas and, above all, the Bhagavad Gita. 

Though there were codified norms laid out by various authorities for public behaviour and conduct in private, the evolution of both the community and the individual was more an integrated and inherited affair, with rules and values perspective even the unlettered were aware of. The elite and the laity grew into the Sanatan way without an elaborate enforcement bureaucracy or judicial vertical, and fell in step in accord with their nature and station. The community was responsible for the welfare of its people; and individuals for themselves, for each other and the community. 

A community of people that lives responsibly must have collective institutions and agreed processes to educate and skill its people in diverse arts and sciences. It must also value truth : as God to theists and as pure knowledge to atheists. The truth is self-evident to the man unified with himself, his day and his environment, his people and his time. How the man’s being expands with thought and action issuing from the unified self, and contracts of segregagtion or alienation, also yields his moral and ethical values. The book merely records them and makes it formal.

The Sanatan way, and the Hindu country, produces scriptures and saints. Untill history began with kings and monuments, and truth was no longer evident : it only remained in debates and arguments. People were no more responsible for their karma, for living out the consequences in their awareness in order to learn, know and remember, and transcend with their awakening. Instead, men and women came to be seized by concerns of wealth and power, slave and enslave !

Karma is the thread vibrating between our immortality and now, over the seen and unseen. It spans the five sheaths of our being across the three great spaces, in our life and death and beyond through umpteen iteration of forms gross, making or unmaking the subtle untill its unity with the causal and ultimate turning away for liberation absolute. Our preoccupation with the body, with material possessions and worldly station only distracts us from the primary task here and now : of attending to the karma pulsating in the unseen. The shrink is of no help … for he only takes his norm and references from the mundane.

Journal : Musings

The year rolls in anew …

There is a countenance in my view when I write … it is always sad and hopeful, looking intently at me. I am wagering the rest of my lifetime to see her one day skipping on the ropes or pushing the flat round “gittee,” the small disc of stone or clay, with her feet and hop on to the next house in the grid sketched by a piece of red brick … with a smile on her face and cheer in her heart, without fear, despair or hope, when she’ll wrap her arms around my wide girth with a child-like abandonment and make me choke on a cry of joy and recalled pain of all that our people, young and old, have suffered and continue to till this day.

*  *  *

Am I a citizen of this land or is this govt going to confer or, more importantly deny me because I have or do not have one document or another ?

It is strange to even contemplate. What is this govt doing with our citizenship ? It would be a good rule that bars a foreign-born from holding public office high enough to lay down policy for the natural-born. The gap in emotional rootedness we feel for the land and its culture is likely to be too wide between the two.

I am inclined to include the foreign-educated under the same bar … How is the layered concept-within-concept of contrived argument to be understood by the farmer, who has tilled his land without a thought along those complicated lines of identity ?

*  *  *

The avalanche of protest against rape and crimes against women is a good thing that is happening, amidst the inane, corrupt and criminal, callous, insensitive and, yes, incompetence. It was charged … in the media, govt corridors, personal discussions and social forums online.

But as someone pointed out : Is policing and punishment the solution ? I’d say, in India, policing is the problem … a long, long way off to becoming part the solution. The Govt ? The less said the better … an overwhelming majority of the lawmakers are millionaires, all tending to becoming billionaires … alongwith a sizeable proportion being actually charged for rape and crimes against women !

It’s all come from the same pool of the general population that, through its growing up years, has lost the capacity to respect for human beings, and for women in particular. Everything conspires to that effect : the society, dog eat dog values, system that prefers and promotes psychopaths to leadership positions, a sea of population that is marginalised and uncared for, with little in the economic loop for them, the pervasive entertainment industry, the imposed western norms in stark conflict with staid native continuity … everything disincentivises sensivity and empathy, and respect, for others.

And that’s the root problem. Women themselves may be a part of the same problem, in common with the society exhorting individuals to push ahead and surge forward, no matter what. Punishments, both the severity and speed of it, is necessary but not enough. It is the Kantian “absolute value” an individual has for himself or herself that needs to be restored in our awareness, recognised, reminded of and remembered, against all factors sustained by the systemic rot and the hormonal factors rising in the individual.

That is the challenge and the task before us. I see the solution in pervasive culture, the sanatan kind that the Hindus have not yet lost or forgotten, and in real education that prepares individuals for conflicts and urges in life ahead. Do I see any emphasis on these two fronts ? The answer is, ” No.”

*  *  *

If you feel like being a monarch in that moment, as you already are, without needing a grain more, without aspiring for or wanting a thing … it is both your good fortune bestowed by the universe and your victory over the forms of self you have lived with ! #Happiness

Some of my best online friends did not wish me on my supposed birthday, perhaps remembering from my advisory the previous year. This year too, I put up a note … but ended up thanking those who did. To someone who questioned my alternate view obliquely, I clarified : I was less bigoted about the matter than find it vain. Hopefully, I’d have more friends next year who’d be more accepting of the seeming inanity I value.

Finally, the old lady in my house beamed in celebration : the hearing aid was perfect to her 90% deaf ears ! The old one had begun to whistle and feed the sounds of a speeding train into her ears. Now she was back in the connect with her daughter, far-away daughter-in-law, and her young grandchild who murders her mother tongue lovingly because he was brought up with another … the one city folks speak in.

Wishing everybody great health and good fortune through 2013 !

– vamadevananda –

PS : ‎#Delhi recorded minimum temperature of 2.7 degree Celsius at 8.30 am !

          A man on the road below hurried as Pinocchio – Chaplin combine would.

Journal : Being Different

This is to introduce Rajive Malhotra’s recent work ” Being Different.”

Source : https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9jySISONeKibTItNU51QU52RkE/edit?pli=1

In the course of it, I would also adapt from observations about Albert Camus‘ works.

Source : http://www.enotes.com/albert-camus-essays/camus-albert-vol-9

And from Kartick Mohan’s article

@ http://www.hinduwisdom.info/articles_hinduism/52.htm

 *    *    *

Rajive Malhotra’s work, ” Being Different,” is a challenging book. If literary classics are especially vested with riches that enable them to be read at different levels, Rajive’s matter-of-fact psycho-spiritual non-fiction demands a subsumation of all levels to a very specific understanding of the Indian way of life and thought, and how if differs from that in the West. The universe he lays on the table has an entire history to contend with, the evolution of values along it and how they express today in acts, thoughts and utterences of typical Hindu and Western or West-imbibed individuals today. 

It reminds me of Albert Camus’ works and my own growing up in a partially Western scheme, if not values. His works show a subjectivity cut off from the supernatural paradigms in Judeo-Christian context and its alienation from the absurd world about him. His protagonist acts but only as drawn by situation and events and, very tellingly, fails to express the being he is privy to, of himself. 

What value abides in a world without order ? What do we make of this existential chaos ? These questions preoccupy Camus through every one of his works, wherein he intuits answers while feeling the presence of the cosmos in his own being, and in the being about him. This mode is extraordinary, compared with how the Western laity and leadership dwell within the monotheistic framework laid out and imposed by the Church. But for the poetic souls who embrace the irrational, with capacity for extended sensibilities, it is especially uncommon among linearly inclined atheists, materialists, logicians and rationalists, scientists, politicians and businessmen. 

Camus is different within the Western mainstream, as is the Hindu without it. Rajive’s Being Different juxtaposes the Western mainstream mind and the Hindu mainstream ways : the former caught up in its imposed Judeo – Christian orientation and Greek linear order, which collapsed with Bruno, and the latter with a sense of continuum anchored to reaffirmed cosmic truths and with guidelines to an illustrated way of life in dharmic tradition. The two are different, as the author details in the following terms : 

  • History Centrism vs Embodied Knowing

  • Synthetic Unity vs Integral Unity

  • Anxiety Over Chaos vs Comfort With Complexity And Ambiguity

  • Cultural Digestion vs Sanskrit Non – Translatables

 

In the Indian context, Dharma is both morals and ethics, and is rooted in Truth that is not apart from our Self, God, Pervasive Energy and Conscious Immanence.

To the Hindu, Truth is said to underlie existence entire; it is consciousness itself, of which our I-sense is constituted and which illuminates our mind and intellect. It is the vitality flowing in the body, operative in sense organs and interfacing the mind with feelings and emotions. It is the undifferentiated bliss we experience in deep sleep and is the undeniable power of existence in each being.

Positioned between the mundane and the divine, the dharmic tradition envelops the Indian soul in the same inclusive reality that at once and directly links him ever with the cosmos and the world about him, even if one has not perceived it for oneself. There is always someone in the present, or not so long ago, who has refreshed the same truth announced in antiquity and has periodocally enunciated it in contemporary terms. In sum, the call is same : We live in truth and die in truth. 

In contrast, truth in the Judeo-Christian scheme is either in the book or equated with phenomenal facts, knowledge about the other – the truth of the moment – discovered and known by those with some claim to scholarship. The Bible is community interpreted, compiled, edited and ordained, though of words issued by supposedly historic individuals. Deviations from the laid terms are generally considered blasphemous. Alternate notions, unless reinforcing that stated in the book, have no validity and acceptance. There are human arbiters, representatives of God whose word is final, with assumed authority of biblical historic characters. They have a right over a fraction of the fruits of one’s income and are empowered to channel the Lord’s forgiveness in confession boxes.

Everybody is a sinner and is exiled in the ungodly realm, to be finally judged at the end of history and take his place in Heaven or Hell till eternity. 

In his works, Camus shows the Western mind in the order that prevails. He does not strive to create an illusion of reality, for it is precisely the real which is being questioned. His strange protagonist is tweaked to reflect the bizarre gulf between the inner self and outward acts. His work gives the sensation of fragmentation, the incoherence of a world which has lost its nuts and bolts… with just a hint of the answer that will later be arrived at in several treatises.

But not everyone is an artist or an intellectual; in fact very few are. How do the rest cope ? By chasing dreams where few succeed, mostly by creating opportunities by hook or crook. It doesn’t really work though : there are 42 – 45 milion poor people in the USA, the land of opportunities ! The West has the best of medical cures but few can afford some of that state of art . The UK is on the way to dismantling its National Health System. And EU will soon find it hard to sustain its mandatory welfare programs. 

Since chaos and uncertainty is forever upon us, insecurity and anxiety is our base human condition. How would the man in psychological exile, without anchor and deeply alienated, handle it ? And that isn’t the end of it, too. God is dead and the world is unforgiving. It is legal to hoard and go for the kill : everybody has the right to make the most of opportunities. It’s a free market. Every cure, pain alleviating advance, or scientific research comes with a mountain of “opportunity” cost or royalty, to people who need them the most but have the least capacity to pay. Typically, cancer treatment drugs in the West cost 50 to 100 times of that which prevails in India. 

A life led by truth, even while striving, is markedly different from a mind lit up to facts. Truth, in its universally inclusive meaning and indescribable form, infinitely deepens the mystery and magnifies the wonder. Facts, the ‘information or knowledge about,’ seek to quench the wonder and kill the mystery.

” It’s a wonder ! It’s a wonder !! It’s a wonder !!! ” says the enlightened one in Chandigya Upanishad. The culture nurtured for the path of enlightenment is quite apart in their values, concerns and behaviour, from one that is restricted to rationality.

“Concepts create idols; only wonder comprehends anything. People kill one another over idols. Wonder makes us fall to our knees,” explains St. Gregory of Nyssa. 

Camus’ narrator has lost the key to his own secret : he has become a stranger to his own life. He holds only facts, and facts are nothing. Therefore, he cannot give his existence a meaning which would establish its unity. Having neither past nor future, he has only a present which is crumbling away and does not become memory. Time, until the final revolt, is nothing for him but a succession of distinct moments, which no Cartesian God pieces together, which no vital impulse spans, which no remembrance transfigures. Camus has rendered admirably this fall of the present into insignificance through a paradoxical use of the first person narrative. 

We would be ascetics though if, I believe, our alienation was complete. A stranger to ourself and others, we forever have a homeland in sensation. Finding nothing within to engage ourself, we still have the body to ourself. We indulge then to find and have our bagful moments of happy sensation, in food and porn. Its excessive pursuit in the West is not only a protest against the false seriousness of pulpit morality but also a proof of the victory of the values – system that the Church, even the catholic one, dare not speak against.

Thus is the injustice of having been cast rootless in spirit, mind and body, addressed. Nothing is sacred anymore before the meaning that sensations offer. It is I and my sensations, my indulgence … take it or leave it. Cultism is preferable, family could be discarded or corrupted, and marriages annuled, but I must have it and you got to take it. In the age of freedom, the world must order itself among feminists, misogynists, sadists and masochists, leaving the middle ground to be ordered by the shrink ! Abuse, violence and arbitrary cruelty is never far away and an unspeakabe slavery, formed of freedom all about it, prevails. 

Individual freedoms anywhere tend to prompt either getting carried away or being rooted in indifference. It gets exacerbated in the West in the absence of something greater than the individual to moderate it, or to urge him to step up. The family makes it clear that it is not going to provide or take care of anybody beyond a point. One needs to do that for himself; others might chip in then, not before.

To that extent, the family in the West is also not heeded to, beyond a point. As to community and society … the less said the better; it’s wholly optional. There are laws but they, as everywhere, would almost always kick in after the horse has bolted. The United States police and FBI do have the vision of preempting the excess, but getting organised and empowered to that extent also brings in the spectre of a Police State. As some will vouch, it already does. 

* * * 

In a direct head on, historically and especially from the Hindu’s perspective, Christianity is hardly a religion – it has a political agenda in spiritual guise. Its end is subjugation of non-Christians, in common with the other Semitic derivative, Islam. To achieve that end, it has relied on propagation of lies and falsification of history – not to mention manipulation of our very notion of what is right and wrong. 

For instance, Judeo-Christian religions cannot get over the idea that Hindus worship the male organ, as the Shiv Ling idol is perceived. The vertical cylindrical form is in fact placed over the Yoni ( vulva ) of Shakti, and the two together symbolise the transcendent Matter-Intelligence power, of which all being is manifest. The symbol connects the individual with the wonder of creation, in very everyday terms, and calls upon each to regard all life as sacred. 

I believe, even Christians and Muslims are exhorted to have the same value; so, why is the most characteristic feature of life, the act of progenition, any the less sacred ? Why do they, in practice, consider it to be sin, dirty and unclean ?

It is not only the act of sex in focus here but the union of vast and qualitatively different energies, male and female, of which the Shiv Ling is a symbol. It acknowledges and celebrates the fact that mankind has two genders, each with its unique attributes and qualities; and, that, when they come together, they create MORE life of their own kind, becoming in the process more than the sum of their individual parts. 

Many ancient civilisations recognised this wonder of creation. The Chinese represent it somewhat abstractly in their symbols of Yin and Yang. Such transcendent and sacred wonderment set in our awareness the idea of something pervasive, with which we can relate to through what we each are and have.

The perspective of someone with such extended consciousness beyond his individual idea of exclusive self, based on biology and not on creed or community affiliation, is wholly different from a faith limited to religious fantasies of a personal God or historical Prophet walking upon water or miraculously curing a cripple or a blind. The former lends to us a unity with faraway cosmos in our very being; the latter wrenches us away from close-at-hand life and baptises us into this belief in fiction. 

Let us consider the assumptions that cause us to think of sex as something “unclean”? Why is a joke about sex or pictures of the naked human body labeled as “dirty” ? Because we have since been conditioned into thinking of it as something wrong and impermissible, by the pervasive manipulations of this nature-abhorring “ethics” imposed by western clerics and brain-washed laity. Islamists, of course, were simply barbaric during their 500 year rule in Indian subcontinent : they destroyed every institution or temple arm remotely connected with education.

However, the British occupiers and Christian missionaries more than made up with their sophisticated cultural onslaught. They started schools, not to teach but to school the unsuspecting young ones into their lies which, among others, included their cardinal belief that sex was evil, unclean and inherently immoral, in and of itself – perhaps their oldest lie of all. And like all of its lies, it was meant to serve a “control” agenda in spiritual guise. 

India since antiquity has always had a central place for Mother Goddess. Hindus know her as Shakti and, in her manifestations, as Durga / Kali / Parvati. Akkadians worshipped Gingira. Sumerians had Inanna. North-eastern Semites knew her as Astarte. In Assyria, Babylon and Egypt, as Ishtar. In ancient Greece, as Hecate or Demeter, and later as Anaitis or Aphrodite. In Persian culture, which widely prevailed before the rise of absurdly puritanical Islam, people knew the Goddess Mother as Anahita. In Rome, as Vesta. Even in the New World, American civilisations of that era had temples and representations of Mother Goddess. 

Israelites seem to be quite the odd tribe there, back then. They had a different kind of god altogether : a male god, with a Capital G. They called him Yahweh, and he is the direct antecedent of the ” Lord Our God ” of the Christians, and Allah of the Muslims. He was not about fertility or caring at all. He was wrathful, vengeful, jealous and angry god, full of violence, hatred and intolerance. He spoke out of a “burning bush” and instructed Moses that his followers must not worship false gods, that HE was the One True God, and then asked Moses to go with his staff and smite another people who believed in false gods.

It was their belief, stronger than any other, that the non-believer is a lesser human being than one of them … a belief that was later copied by Christians and Islamist. This signified a political agenda that was truly unprecedented untill then, exhorting, ” Go forth, multiply, and kill whatever stands in your way, because I Am That I Am and I am on Your Side.” 

We know the bloodshed that followed from Old Testament times, from pages of history after Christ, and upon Mohammed’s proclamation in Mecca. The Jews did not go about converting people with the rabid fervour of Christians, but they had the same political agenda. They reviled other people in neighbouring civilisations of Egypt and Babylon, especially by discrediting their principal deity – the Mother Goddess.

In practice, they brought in their male dominated values and made it popular to despise and subjugate women, than treat them with respect as equals. The culture put an end to worship of any Goddess in societies where Jews and Christians, and Muslims, became predominant. They denounced fertility and procreation itself, declaring it as not miraculous but sinful affair. For them, the male – female intimacy, and sex, was the Original Sin; the human body in its natural state was dirty and unclean. 

The world had not seen a fanatic until the Judeo-Christian paradigm had set in. Slowly but with unmatched doggedness, the anti-female script was enacted … It began with the murder of Queen Jezebel, described in Old Testament. The Temple of Astarte in Jerusalem was razed to ground, and one for Yahweh was raised by King David in its place.

The conversion of Roman Emperor Constantine I to Christianity in AD ca. 300 was a great advance to the cause. He led codification of the Bible as we know it today. However, recent finds have thrown up alternate forms of the gospels included in it and a few that were found as not appropriate.

The fall of Rome in 480 AD was followed by the Dark Ages, rise of Papacy and the blood-soaked Crusade centuries, degrading Colonialism and murderous Inquisition eras. The faith that had sprung from the Israelites spread like a metastizing cancer over the face of the earth and holds its sway even today, despite the feminist movement through the 20th Century … now more particularly in the Islamic world, where a monotheistic intolerant God descended from Yahweh sits high up yonder in his most perverse caricature.

We know how women are treated in Muslim countries : the recent Malala incident is symbolic and the Saudi order, which informs husbands every time the woman leaves or enters the country, is a telling symptom. 

The world knew of the Mother Goddess once. The dharmic tradition in India alone continues with it today. It is the only one that has survived since antiquity. The civilisations of Persia, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Americas, have all fallen to Judeo-Christian uniformity…Later, parts of Asia fell to the Islamic monstrosity.

All those cultures that have disappeared were marked with the same tolerance that makes the Hindu standout today. While the Western and Islamic worlds are today looking to cook up a humanism by the rivers of blood they have caused to flow, the true heirs of the tolerant, accepting and inclusive ways of yore are preserved in India, among the native Hindus who the world knows as “being different.” 

* * * 

And we in India, who follow the dharmic tradition, must never forget this : we are different. We are hiers of this spiritual legacy of the most ancient civilised era, of which we are the last surviving inheritors.

One day, Christianity’s mighty edifice will fall under the weight of its own contradictions, just as Islam is falling today. Till then, we must bear the torch of the legacy of pagan humanism that will ultimately prevail.

From Moses to Jesus to Mohammed to Marx is a logical – and inevitable – progression on the road to tyranny. India and Japan are the only major cultures that have successfully resisted this onslaught.

 *   *   * 

Some Of The Ways We Are Different : 

  • The Dharmic tradition is derived from Truth anchored at once in the cosmos and the humanity at large, in the pre-historic and the pre-mundane man !

  • We are a secure, sharing, tolerant, accepting and inclusive people !

Extending between the ephemeral and the eternal, the Dharmic tradition occupying the Indian mind not only permits but encourages a joyous acceptance of contradictions between potential truths and manifest facts. It has no qualms about setting in our awareness mutating facts, as truths of the moment, and immutable truths, being the facts for eternity. 

The dharmic tradition declares : There is not an iota of diversity, not even the least trace, in the ultimate substratum of all being. And, equally, there is no truth without abundant and unending diversity in the manifest world.

We is free to be calm in truth, with peace deep in our heart, while dancing in step with the rapid transience about us or pacing to moves in an engaging combat with the enemy before us. 

As a consequence, the Hindu is incomparable : there is no soldier like him, none more forebearing under occupation, more gracefully vigourous a dancer or a more completely immersed singer gliding over the scales with restrained speed for hours.

Each one of us are informally skilled at playing with raging waves while being anchored to the depths of the sea. That is the unacknowledged secret behind the unusual success of Indian managers and entrepreneurs globally. On the other extreme, it explains why the Indian remains unmoved despite the ugliness he has and has had to put up with. 

* * * 

Asked what he thought of freedom, Camus said : “What freedom can there be in the fullest sense without assurance of eternity ?” Hence, Camus built up a sense of freedom that lies in an assumed one : as if it were; as if it were already there. 

In contrast, the Hindu’s freedom is for real. The Indian dharmic tradition comes in the wake of infinite – existence, knowledge and bliss – and ushers an unending karmic journey.

It situates the individual in an entire tri-ply scheme : That (mental) is infinite. This (material) is infinite. The Infinite derived of Infinite leaves the Infinite (spiritual). It needs mere observation of the cosmos, and a discovery in oneself, to experience the reality of absolute freedom. 

Of course, the karmic laws are incontrovertible in material space : we are free to act but not free to choose the immutable consequence it invites.

Our freedom in mental space is more liberal : we are free to know and outgrow the limitations that circumscribe our current station.

And, finally, we are free to shed this individuated awareness of our self and cease to be, as we were, for ever. There is nothing anymore, as we ever knew – not the material world of beings and things; not the mental world of sensation, will, meaning and knowledge; and no longer the ego-I-sense dilating through sleep, dream and wakeful being. There is nothing anymore animal, human or divine.

It’s truth itself, alone, without a second. 

This spirit to outgrow is natural to the Indian dharmic tradition. It occurs along various generic attributes. First, in human goal over a lifetime : dharma, artha, kama and moksha … loosely translated as Right Knowledge, Thought and Conduct; Income and Wealth; Sensuous and Sexual Fulness; and, Supreme Yoga and Liberation Absolute … in that general order. The process allows for endless variations of the same theme, because the outgrowing process itself is not strictly compartmentalised in practice. 

The stepping up is more obvious in relief when viewed against the age – axis and values system respective to each :

0 – 7 years, with parents in an atmosphere of love and tender care;

7 – 25 years, celibate life with the teacher, away from parents, in utter simplicity, given to study and service to others, without any priviledge or exceptional treatment over others;

25 – 50 years, leading a vigorous householder’s life, living by right knowledge, honing skills and applying effort to become a useful citizen in the community, with moderated but full-blooded sensuousness, marraige and raising a family in the light traditional morals and exemplary ethics, excelling at one’s chosen profession in accord with aptitude;

50 – 75 years, gradual withdrawal from worldly pursuits and possessions, handing over all to next generation, disengaging from sensuous calls or sexual acts and generally from householder’s duty, engaging in spiritual company, education and practice; and,

75 – 100 years, complete withdrawal from worldly and household affairs, given over entirely to reclusive life, engaged pointedly in prayer, thankfulness and at inviting spiritual fulness, in ever – prepared state of readiness to shed the body and depart for the next. 

The sense of outgrowing pervades a Hindu’s lifetime, even in other ways. It is common for to hear of outgrowing the ways of physical animality and take to mindful human values and pursuits, and then to preparations for inviting the divinity upon one’s heart and mind.

It is common worldwide to see the eagerness to evolve through one’s age while we are young or our worldly stations in adult life. In India, however, sages are on record advising people to outgrow external signs of identity in favour of internal ones; from rituals or audible chant to their mental equivalent; from godhead with form to the truth formless; from religion itself to the a-religious perspective. 

But to outgrow means to give and take anew; and for that to happen, we need to turn away from merely deepening our anchor in history and, rather, to rescue ourself from it and restore ourself to ethics arising from our morals, not merely from the law in our statute books.

That would place us precisely in the otherwise non-linear dharmic tradition, with which the Hindu has remained connected through the millennia after Ice Age,

the Bronze Revolution,

the Great Bharata War,

the end of urban Sarasvati Civilisation,

the rural Arya resurgence, the Iron Age,

Buddhism and Jainism religious reform movements,

transformation of democracies into monarchy,

the great Maurya and golden Gupta eras,

the reign of mighty Harshavardhan and his extreme generosity at Kumbha gathering at Prayag,

the brilliance of pure monism of Adi Shankara,

the centuries of Islamic onslaught and Muslim rule,

the Age of Devotion and poetics,

the British occupation and long period of Christian upmanship,

and the chaos of post-independent India. 

The Indian has seen too much with a surfiet of extreme stupidity and barbarism, of utter beauty and complete harmony. He stands balanced with his wealth and secure in his poverty, patient with peace and hopeful of growth in chaos.

The cosmos is stil there… how wrong can things go ?

Bhimbhetka 2

The Sannyasi Rebellion

I use here material entirely available on wiki page @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sannyasi_Rebellion

 

The Sannyasi Rebellion refers to short period of a dozen odd years through the 1770s, after the Battle of Plassey that Clive won in 1757 and the great famine of 1770 in Bengal province. Those involved were Hindu renunciates, who were avowedly without any root in the world and were not attached to anything material or mental, including their very body. The movement, if it could called, also had Muslim “fakirs” who had taken to ascetic life along lines institutionalised in Sanatan way of life.

The rebellion was limited to Murshidabad and Baikunthapur forests of Jalpaiguri, in north-west of the province. It has been variously considered in significance as : a law and order problem; early war for India’s independence from British rule; reaction to atrocities during tax collection, especially at a time of severe and widespread starvation, since British East India Company had acquired that right after its victory at Plassey.

The Rebellion itself prompted recognition as a phenomenon with three distinct extended events over a couple of decades …

One, refers to a large body of ascetics – Hindu sannyasis – who traveled from North India to different parts of Bengal and beyond, to shrines in north-east region including Assam. En route, it was customary for many of these holy men to ask for monetary support from village heads and local landlords who, in better times, generally obliged. However, with “diwani” or collection rights won by East India Company, the regime’s tax demands from the populace increased and local landlords and headmen were unable to pay both the ascetics and the English mercenaries. Crop failures, and famine, which killed ten million people, or an estimated one-third of the population of Bengal, compounded the problems when much of the arable land lay fallow.

In 1771, about 150 of the renunciates were put to death by the British Company troops, for no apparent reason. It led to a violent retaliation, especially in Natore in Rangpur, now in modern Bangladesh. Some historians however argue that the particular reaction never gained popular support and hence could not be considered a major cause behind the rebellion.

The other two movements involved a sect of Hindu ascetics, the Dasnami Naga sannyasis. It was alleged that they engaged in lending out money on interest while passing through the region and collected it on their way back. The British looked upon this as an encroachment on their domain and declared the Dasnamis as brigands, liable for criminal offense. They arranged not only for prevention of such money gathering, which right they felt belonged to the Company, but also to stop their entry into the province. The entire propaganda may have been a cover, since a large body of people on the move would always be a challenge and a possible threat to law and order administrators anywhere.

Most such clashes are recorded during the years following the great famine; but they continued sporadically up until 1802. The rebellion actually spread all over the province during those last three decades of 18th Century. Attempts by Company’s forces to prevent the sannyasis and fakirs from entering the province, or from collecting their money, met with resistance and fierce clashes often ensued. In these instances, the regime’s troops were not always victorious, inviting cheers from the oppressed population of the day. The Company’s hold was poor over territories in far-flung and forested areas of Birbhum and Midnapore districts, as a result of which it often faced reverses in their clash with Naga ascetics and suffered humbling losses.

The Sannyasi rebellion was the first of a series of revolts that the British faced in western districts of Bengal province, which included practically the whole of present-day eastern states of Bihar, Odisha and Paschim Banga. The Chuar Rebellion of Midnapore and Bankura took place 1798 – 99, Laik Rebellion in Midnapore extended through 1806 – 16, and the Santhal Revolt posed a severe task in 1855 – 56.

The inspiration the Sannyasi Rebellion gave to these uprisings that followed is without doubt. Later, it was instituted in vernacular literature by India’s first modern novelist, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. His novel, Ananda Math ( Monastery Of Bliss ), inspired many a rebel in early 20th Century and its song, Vande Mataram, is regarded as the National Song of India.

Gandhi : Righteousness Vs Truth

I believe that the pursuit of truth can lead to madness … when egotism prevails. There is a wilfullness in overreaching by being “good,” on moral high gounds raised on ambition, howsoever merged in its accord with historical timeline. That was Gandhi … moral and right, up there as the ‘great leader’ of men, grafting a nation’s destiny all by himself … without an iota of the truth in respect of himself ! All that remains of him today are the falsehoods he had strayed into and embraced unawares.

 

I    A DREAM OF DEATH

“I do not know if the sacrifice of Mr. Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi has gone in vain. His spirit always inspired me. I envy his sacrifice. Is it not shocking that this country has not produced another Ganesh Shankar? None after him came to fill the gap. Ganesh Shankar’s Ahimsa was perfect Ahimsa. My Ahimsa will also be perfect if I could die similarly peacefully with axe blows on my head. I have always been dreaming of such a death, and I wish to treasure this dream. How noble that death will be,—a daggar attack on me from one side; an axe blow from another; a lathi wound administered from yet another direction and kicks and abuses from all sides and if in the midst of these I could rise to the occasion and remain non-violent and peaceful and could ask others to act and behave likewise, and finally I could die with cheer on my face and smile on my lips, then and then alone my Ahimsa will be perfect and true. I am hankering after such an opportunity and also wish Congressmen to remain in search of such an opportunity.”

—Message sent by Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the celebration of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Shri Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, who was killed in the Hindu-Muslim riot at Kanpur in 1931.

Source : http://www.mkgandhi.org/ebks/This_was_Bapu.pdf

II   WITHOUT A SENSE OF REAL FUTURE OR HISTORY

“I have never made a secret about the fact that I supported the ideology, which was opposed to that of Gandhiji. I firmly believed that the teachings of absolute Ahimsa as advocated by Gandhiji would ultimately result in the emasculation of the Hindu community incapable of resisting the aggression of other communities especially the Muslims.

“To counter this evil I decided to enter public life and … I might mention that is not so much Gandhi’s Ahimsa that we were opposed to but his bias for Muslims, prejudicial and detrimental to the Hindu Community and its interests. I have fully described my point of view and have quoted instances when how Gandhi became responsible for a number of calamities which the Hindu community had to suffer and undergo.

“On 13th of January 1948. I learnt that Gandhiji had decided to go on fast unto death. The reason given for such fast was that he wanted an assurance of Hindu-Muslim unity in Indian Dominion. But I and many others could easily see that the real motive behind the fast was not merely the so-called Hindu-Muslim Unity, but to compel the Dominion Government to pay the sum of Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan, the payment of which was emphatically refused by the Government.

“In my writings and speeches I have always advocated that the religious and communal consideration should be entirely eschewed in the public affairs of the country. At elections, inside and outside the legislatures and in the making and unmaking of Cabinets I have throughout stood for a secular State with joint electorates and to my mind this is the only sensible thing to do.

“Under the influence of the Congress this ideal was steadily making headway amongst the Hindus. But the Muslims as a community first stood aloof and later on, under the corroding influence of the Divide and Rule Policy of the foreign masters, were encouraged to cherish the ambition of dominating the Hindus.

“The first indication of this outlook was the demand for separate electorates (conceded by the Congress firstly by the Lucknow Pact of 1916 and at each successive revision of the constitution thereafter) instigated by the then Viceroy Lord Minto in 1906. The British Government accepted this demand under the excuse of minority protection. While the Congress party offered a verbal opposition, it progressively supported separatism by ultimately adopting the notorious formula of neither accepting nor rejecting in 1934.

“Thus had originated and intensified the demand for the disintegration of this country. What was the thin end of the wedge in the beginning became Pakistan in the end…”

 ~  Nathuram Godse, in his defence.

Source : Why Was Gandhi Killed ?

http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/Why-was-Gandhi-killed-(short)-2.aspx

When Kalkaji Temple was demolished … in 1667 !

 3 September 1667
Emperor Aurangzeb issued a decree for demolishing the Kalka Temple, dedicated to the Mother Goddess. It’s what he wrote that is revealing of a senselessness that continues till date among the Taliban, Jihadists, ISI, Pakistan Army, Wahabis of Saud, Mullahs and orhtodox Muslim clerics everywhere, Kashmiri separatists, Jamaat-e-Islamists… 
Translated, I am told, it reads :
“The asylum of Shariat (Shariat Panah) Qazi Abdul Muqaram has sent this arzi to the sublime Court : a man known to him told him that the Hindus gather in large numbers at Kalka’s temple near Barahapule (near Delhi); a large crowd of the Hindus is seen here.
“Likewise, large crowds are seen at (the mazars) of Khwaja Muinuddin, Shah Madar and Salar Masud Ghazi.
” This amounts to bid‘at (heresy) and deserves consideration.
” Whatever orders are required should be issued.”
The cleric’s request is immediately admitted by the highest arbiter of the land… a complaint based on hearsay…  and 

“Saiyad Faulad Khan was thereupon ordered (by the Emperor) to send one hundred beldars to demolish the Kalka temple, and other temples in its neighbourhood, which were in the Faujdari of Faulad Khan himself.

These men were to reach there post haste, and finish the work without a halt.”*   *   *

The Kalka Temple which stands today was rebuilt soon after Aurangzeb’s death (1707 A.D.) on the remains of the old temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. Two Akhbarat dated Sept 3 and Sept 12, 1667, provide details regarding the demolition of the temple on Aurangzeb’s orders.
Since 1764, the temple has been renovated and altered several times but the main 18th Century structure remains the same, more or less .
The site is very old dating back to Emperor Asoka’s time (3rd Century BC). There is mention of Kalka Temple in the Maratha records of 1738.
All through those centuries, people have flocked to the temple in large numbers, especially during Navratras twice a year.


“Saiyad Faulad Khan reported that, in compliance with the orders, beldars were sent to demolish the Kalka temple, which task they have done.
“During the course of the demolition, a Brahmindrew out a sword, killed a bystander and then turned back and attacked the Saiyad also. The Brahmin was arrested.”

*   *   *

There are only a few recorded instances of armed opposition by outraged Hindus, such as at Goner (near Jaipur), Ujjain, Udaipur and Khandela. But there were many more that have not been, of angry outbursts and resistance against Muslim vandalism… instances which did not make into official records of the Mughal state. And that is understandable in the era of deceit and intrigues, under an emperor who was known to be weak of the ear, suspicious, vindictive and brutal.Most of the Hindus took the destruction of these temples philosophically, considering these as acts of ignorance and folly, in vain and futile. They regarded it as a matter in accord with the little understanding of Musalmansand their poor intelligence that left them incapable of comprehending the truth of the matter behind the idol worship or the fundamental oneness of saguna and nirguna worship.

The Hindus believed that Gods and Goddesses leave for their abode before the hatchet or the hammer of the vile destroyers – mlecchas and asuras – so much as even touched the idols.
The idea has been well described in Kanhadade Prabandha (1456 AD) while giving an account of the destruction of the Somnath temple by Sultan Alauddin’s troops in 1299.
*   *   *

General Order for the Destruction of Temples… 9th April, 1669 


“The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Thatta, Multan, and especially at Benaras, the Brahmin misbelievers teach their false books, in their established schools, to admirers and students, both Hindu and Muslim, who come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire their vile learning.
“His Majesty, eager to establish Islam, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels, and with utmost urgency, put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these unbelievers.”

This is not the only instance when Aurangzeb prevented the Muslims from acquiring knowledge and wisdom of the Hindu philosophical works and other Sanskrit and Bhasha classics, or sharing spiritual and intellectual experience. He thus stifled the process of fusion, or at least bridging of the gulf between the two creeds of very different approach, principles, values, levels of intellectual attainments and period over which their ideas evolved.

Instead, a ‘ general order ‘ of this type is issued to put down the teaching and public practice of religion by Hindu. There is no intelligible reason for such senseless acts, except profound hatred and fear or absence of critical capacity to examine and discriminate.
But the inferior mental assets of the Islamists proved very costly to people  native to this land, as it continues to be in this age and time. They demolished some of the most lofty, beautiful and venerable shrines of India during the next few years !
However, nothing they could do took a speck away from Benares its unique position and prestige as the chief Vedic centre of learning, dharma shastras, the six philosophies, Sanksrit language and literature, and astronomy.


Eager to establish Islam, or at least perceived to be, Aurangzeb had on the 9th of April 1669 issued orders to governors of all provinces, to demolish schools and temples of the infidels… with utmost urgency, it must be stated, to put down the teaching and public practice of the religion of these (Hindus) unbelievers.
In the sketch above, the artist shows the destruction of  hugely regarded temples at Somnath, Jagannath Puri, Benaras (Kashi Vishwanath) and  Mathura (Keshava Rai)… all highly respected places of worship of some antiquity.
In the centre is a portion of the infamous order of the 9th April.

Journal : May 03, 2012 : Guru Teg Bahadur

There is much work in queue to occupy. But the one least happy and most needed is to reach the elusive reader of a work as wayward as Kalinjar Fort. It keeps you stuck to something that’s past. It’s no longer in my heart. But the absorbing human interest story needs to be read, not only for its novelty value or the mystery surrounding it but for the perspective it offers to human nature and its evolution over the long term.

 @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007WYGNNA

A huge and immensely joyous task is to begin on the first installment of Vedanta, the secret knowledge that gives to us the eye for the transcendent, even as it roves over the ephemeral and wrestles with the phenomenal. Without it, no amount of intellectual waxing or rhetorical exhortation is of much avail at effecting the much needed shift in our paradigms. Our fears return, and the primordial one is not even unhinged !

The second matter that I am charged up with is to discover the voices of sensitive minds and rebellious hearts living in barbaric times under the Islamic and Christian occupiers of our land… to hear the “poet” through those oppressive times in the Indian sub-continent in 18th Century and later. I would have the greatest empathy with those tormented souls who would found their lexis and the courage to express them.

*   *   *

GURU TEG BAHADUR

One of the grandest stories ever anywhere, from the annals of Indian history… a real tale of transcendent courage in the cause of universal human values and rights, of unflinching compassion for the oppressed and the downtrodden, and of one man’s infinite commitment to his conviction of truth. My salutations… again and again…

… Guru Teg Bahadur lapsed into deep thought after listening to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, some 500 hundred of whom led by Kripa Ram met the great warrior saint with woes of great suffering at loss of their freedom to keep faith and their religious beliefs. They pleaded for the Guru’s intervention with Emperor Aurangzeb to put a halt to this tyranny. The Guru knew that this was not a problem of Kashmiri pundits alone. Their cries of pain were screams of humanity all over the subcontinent under the hidebound and crude Islamist regime. Nor was it a mere political matter. Their calamitous misfortune was reflective of the senseless adversity which the entire Hindu society was groaning under. Nor was it a case of social repression or economic oppression. It signified a collective indignity that drew the lion in the Sikh Guru to the fore. It was a moment of truth, an issue that concerned the very future of humanity, in the way people of the land would live and believe, look upon themselves and their fellowmen, through centuries to come !

When the Guru emerged from his reverie, his face shone bright as the sun. The call of duty was upon him, and the ringing of truth was clear in his heart. The entire might of the bigoted savagery of the Mughal Emperor had to be opposed, here and now. The Guru’s son, Gobind Rai, barely nine year old, was seated close to him. He asked the Guru about the cause that had sent him into such deep contemplation. The Guru cheerfully told his inquisitive son that there was need of sacrifice from a great man, someone exceptionally holy, for protecting the Hindu society from its misfortune. Gobind Rai, who was brought up in the same spirit of universal love and spiritual regeneration, instantly suggested, “Father, who else is greater than you ?” It sealed the Guru’s steel resolve.

The Background

Guru Teg Bahadur, the son of the sixth Sikh Guru, was anointed the ninth in line in the year 1665 AD. As was the custom since Guru Har Gobind, the Guru kept a splendid lifestyle. He had his royal attire, armed attendants and a seat to suit when holding court. He himself led an austere life and there is no historical mention of any conflict or clash with powers ruling during his lifetime. He travelled a lot to different parts of the country, including Dacca and Assam, to preach the teachings of Guru Nanak and resolve conflicts between neighbouring states when invited. It was during one of these tours, in 1666, that Gobind Rai was born.

These were one of the worst of times in Indian history, when people were driven to the very pits of despair. Four years through his “padshahi”, Guru Teg Bahadur was informed of Emperor Auragzeb’s general decree, authorising and charging every State official of note with the ‘pious’ duty of demolishing all native places of worship and education, converting as many of them into mosques, and prosecuting the persistent non – believers as if they were “persona non grata.” After Aurangzeb’s 1669 order to demolish non-Muslim temples and schools, a Sikh temple at Buriya was converted into a mosque, which the Sikhs then demolished. The Emperor visited Punjab in 1674, and his officials forced many people to convert to Islam. The Guru gave a call to Sikhs everywhere to withstand these persecutions.

Aurangzeb was a terror even to his co-religionists and members of his own family. He had imprisoned his sister and his father, Shah Jahan, and had all his brothers murdered to become an unrivalled authority unto himself. Perhaps to wash his sins in his own eye, he presented himself to the people as being a good Muslim, offering prayers five times a day, leading a simple and frugal life, and defering to the advice and ruling of the Islamic clergy, who thence endeavoured to bestow on him his very elusive ‘peace of mind.’ He sent gifts to rulers of Mecca and Medina in 1659. That year he appointed a muhtasib as a censor to enforce Islamic laws. His main advisors became the chief judge (qazi) and supervisor of ‘pious’ charity. In 1672, he took back all grants that had been given to Hindus. In his zeal to reinforce the ‘pious Muslim’ face in public, he sought to please the fanatic Islamists by converting the native non-believers, especially Hindus, through making their keeping of faith impossible, prohibitive and fatal. His method of measuring the success of his ‘conversion program’ was to weigh the sacred thread worn by Hindus ! A “maund” would imply that about 7000 of them had been either converted or killed

With major centers of learning then, Kashmir was governed by a liberal Subedar, Mir Ahmed Khan, who restricted his administrative machinery to maintaining law and order and implementing the taxation policy of the State. The smooth functioning however was soon disrupted by an overzealous Islamist, Muhata Khan, who was a powerful Islamic scholar of repute. The latter had been sidelined by the coterie whom the brutal Emperor courted, and was hence in dire need of establishing his ‘holier than thou’ upmanship over others in order to tide over his discontentment and regain the Emperor’s favour.

Muhata Khan submitted to the Subedar of Kashmir a list of measures the State must take to penalise, indignify and pauperise the Kashmiri pundits. He was bitterly critical about the liberal policies of Subedar Mir Ahmed Khan and his treatment of the Hindus. He had made it clear that any avenue or opportunity available to the Hindus to advance and progress was intolerable.

Muhata Khan’s charter of demands included the following :

  1. Hindus should not be allowed to ride a horse.
  2. They should not permitted to wear the “jama” (a type of Mughal dress).
  3. They should not keep, carry or handle any kind of weapon.
  4. They should not visit the public gardens.
  5. They should be barred from wearing vermillion (Tilak) on their forehead.
  6. Their wards should not be receive education of any kind.

The Subedar Mir Ahmed Khan refused to entertain any of the proposals submitted by Muhata Khan. He instructed Muhata Khan to keep his distance from affairs of the State in Kashmir.

Attack on Hindu function

But Muhata Khan decided to have his way, by taking the law in his own hands. He set up a centre in a mosque for carrying out his plan. He incited people, who used to come for Namaz, and exhorted them to remain steadfast on tenets and proclamations of Islam, and to bring the Hindu idol worshippers within the ambit of declared Islamic policies of the Emperor. He roused a following of Muslim youth with his discourses,  and raised a group of young men who were ready to to do his bidding. Muhata Khan issued instructions for implementing the resolutions he had submitted to the Subedar. As a result, any Hindu found with Tilak on his forehead was mauled badly, even killed, his home vandalised and women folk abducted, molested and raped. The Hindu could no longer ride horses, a speedy means of transport in those days. And he could hardly carry on with his trade or profession, or official duties of the State, without being presentable enough in a decent dress !

An attack on a well-known trader, Majlis Rai Chopra, took a historical turn. Majlis Rai had arranged for community luncheon in connection with a religious function, to which thousands came. While they were having their lunch in a garden, Muhata Khan, with a band of bigots, attacked them with weapons. Majlis Rai managed to escape and took shelter in the house of Mir Ahmed Shah. But that house too was srounded and picketed by the blood-thirsty rowdies. Mir Ahmed Khan made good his escape by a secret door and took refuge in the nearby cantonment. He waged a battle against Muhata Khan with the help of a company of troops, but was defeated. Muhata Khan arrested and jailed the Subedar, denouncing him as a Hindu supporter, and took over the powers of the State.

Majlis Rai was mercilessly killed and all his property was confiscated. It was followed by many more instances of shameless atrocities on the Hindu community in Kashmir. The new Subedar of Kashmir, Iftikhar Khan, took to the task of forcibly converting the Hindu population to Islam by the sword. The Hindu Brahmin Pandits of Kashmir were among the most learned and orthodox of Hindus and Aurangzeb felt that if they could be brought to accept Islam the rest of the country would easily follow. He decided to strike at their exalted identity by barring the practice of wearing tilak (holy mark on the forehead) or janaeu (sacred thread). There was turmoil among Kashmiri pundits and their families lived in fear of their lives. They bore an ultimatum upon their head : convert or die.

In that conspired atmosphere of terror, many Hindus gave in and were converted to Islam. Among the rest was Pundit Kripa Ram, who had met the Guru several times. He led the pundits to the assuring sanctuary of the Sikh Guru, Teg Bahadur, whose very name meant, “Brave of the Sword.”  Pandit Kirpa Ram Datt would later become the Sanskrit teacher of Guru Gobind Singh and eventually a Khalsa, and would die fighting in the battle of Chamkaur against Mughal forces led by Wazir Khan.

 

The Guru Stands Tall

And Proves To Be Heavier Than A Mountain…

The Guru soon appointed his son, Gobind Rai, as the tenth Guru of Sikhs and thus addressed the Pandits, “Go, my esteemed friends, and tell the Emperor that if he can cause Guru Tegh Bahadar to change his faith and accept Islam, you will all follow suit in his footsteps. If not, he should leave you alone.”

The Pandits rejoiced at the resolution and duly informed Emperor Aurangzeb of the decision. Aurangzeb was delighted with the reduced task of having to convert just one person in order to obtain the cooperation of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs, and the way to bring millions of willing infidels into the folds of Islam. He summoned his officers to arrest Guru Tegh Bahadar and present him in the royal court.

Meanwhile, the Guru left Anandpur Sahib with Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Dyala and Bhai Sati Das, to seek an audience in Mughal court. He was arrested soon after on the way and brought to Delhi in chains. In the royal court, reminiscent of Jesus’ interrogation by the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate, Aurangzeb asked him why he was hailed as the Guru or the Prophet, addressed as the ‘Saccha Padshah’ or the True King. The argument between Guru Teg Bahadur and the Emperor went on for days. Finally, the Emperor posed to the Guru the plain course, and his Islamist sycophants echoed in unison : “ If you really are the One, as addressed, perform a miracle for us to believe the truth.”

Guru Tegh Bahadur was unmoved and in fact reprimanded the Emperor for his blind orthodoxy and his persecution of people of other faiths. He said, “Hinduism may not be my faith, and I may not believe in the supremacy of Vedas or the Brahmins, nor in idol worship or caste, in pilgrimage or other rituals, but I would stand for the right of all Hindus to live with honour and dignity, and freedom to practice their faith according to their own beliefs.” The Guru further suggested : ” Every ruler of the world must pass away, but not the Word of God will not, nor would the Saint who holds it in heart. This is how people call me a “ True King “ and that is why they have done so through two preceding centuries, in respect of my “ House “ and also in respect of all those others who came before and identified themselves not with the temporal and the contingent, but with the eternal and the immortal.”

The Guru refused to perform any miracle, saying, “this is the work of charlatans and mountebanks to hoodwink the people. Men of God submit ever to the Will of God.” Guru Tegh Bahadur refused to embrace Islam, saying “For me, there is only one religion – of God – and whosoever belongs to it, be he a Hindu or a Muslim, him I own and he owns me. I neither convert others by force, nor submit to force. I will not change my faith.”

Aurangzeb was enraged and ordered Guru Tegh Bahadur to be forced to accept Islam as his faith through torture, or be killed. It led to a period of great cruelty on Guru Teg Bahadur’s body, and of his colleagues. The Guru and his companions were tied to hot pillars and heated sand was poured over their bodies, which were scalded and covered with wounds. The torment, in some form or other, became a routine. Guru Tegh Bahadur was kept in an iron cage and starved for many days. When even the intolerable pain and physical afflictions heaped on them proved ineffective, orders were issued to kill each, one after the other for appropriate effect.

The Fatwa or decree of the Royal Qazi specified the precise manner in which the life of each one was to be taken, with maximum brutality : Bhai Dayal was to be thrown in a boiling pot; Bhai Sati Das, to be packed in a bale of cotton and set ablaze; and, Bhai Mati Das to be sawed into two. The Guru was made to watch as Bhai Mati Das, the devoted Sikh, was tied between two pillars and his body sawed into two, as Bhai Dayal was boiled alive in a cauldron of heated water until he died, and, as Bhai Sati Das was wrapped in cotton wool and set on fire.

The Guru bore these cruelties without flinching or showing any anger or distress. Finally, having put these orders into effect, Guru Teg Bahadur was publicly beheaded on November 11, 1675. Before his head was severed from the body, the Guru had enough to recite the first five lines of the sacred book, Japuji.

The Gurus body was left to lie in dust, in Chandni Chowk, the area right in front of the Red Fort, where no one dared to approach for fear of the Emperor’s reprisal. But a severe storm swept through the city and, while it raged, a Sikh named Bhai Jaita managed to collect the Guru’s sacred head under the cover of darkness. He brought the Guru’s precious remain to Anandpur Sahib, where Guru Gobind waited for the latest to happen. Another Sikh, Bhai Lakhi Shah, smuggled the Guru’s headless body in a cart and brought it to his house nearby, where the Gurudwara Rakabganj today stands. Since a public funeral would have been impossible, Bhai Lakhi Shah cremated the body by setting the entire house on fire !

At Anandpur Sahib, on November 16, 1675, the young Guru Gobind Singh and the grief stricken widow, Mata Gujari, placed the late Guru’s “head” on a pyre of sandalwood, covered it with roses.  Guru Gobind lit the pyre to complete the cremation rites of the departed saint

Never before in the annals of history, or after, has a religious head of one faith stood so tall and heavily steadfast, as to sacrificed his own life, for the sake of another religion, for their rights and freedoms.

Thus ended the mortal saga of the ninth Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur.

What Happened After …

The Guru’s sacrifice had symbolically but completely smashed the arrogance of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. It proved to be a great event that galvanized the nationalist forces politically. It led to a surge of pride and self-belief that swept over the entire length and breadth of India. Apart from firming directions for Guru Gobind Singh’s opposition in Punjab, it engendered the rise of several formidable forces against the Mughals, under whose patronage the native people suffered religious oppression and administrative tyranny : Rana Raj Singh in Rajasthan, Shivaji in Deccan, and Chhatrasal in central India.

In sum, inspired insurrections and collected mobilisations broke the back of Mughal forces in the subcontinent and finally, barely five decades after Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom, drove the myth of Muslim supremacy and Islamic grandeur into the ground.

The Emperor’s Lament … in last hours

During his last days Aurangzeb came to realize that the days of the Mughal dynasty were numbered and that he himself was largely responsible for sowing the seeds of destruction.

Azma fasad baq !” were his words, which means, “After me, the chaos !”

The last words of Aurangzeb, addressed to his sons from death-bed, echo mournfully :

“I came a stranger to this world and a stranger I depart.

 I know nothing of myself – what I am and what I was destined for.

 

“My back is bent with weakness and my feet have lost the power of motion.

 The breath which rose is gone and has not left behind even a ray of hope.

 

“The agonies of death come upon me fast.

 My vessel is launched upon the waves !

 

“Farewell, Farewell !”

Guru Gobind Singh’s Letters To The Emperor …

The contents of this letter, written in 1704 in Persian, reads as follows :

NAMEH GURU GOBIND SINGH BA AURANGZEB

(Letter from Guru Gobind Singh to Aurangzeb)

This letter clearly shows that it was written from Machhiwara, after the battle of Chamkaur, after the Guru had seen the brave sacrifice of his two elder sons in the battle field. It also reveals that though Guru Gobind had suffered heavy losses in men and material, he was in no way overcome or feeling vanquished but, instead, was full of confidence, faith and courage.

Observe how the Guru chastises, shames and reprimands the Emperor for is deceit and unbecoming conduct…

1          In the name of the Lord of Sword and Axe.
In the name of the Lord of Arrow and Shield.

2          In the name of the Lord of Men of Heroic Deeds.
In the name of the Lord of Speeding Steeds.

3          He, who has given you kingship, has entrusted to me

the task of defending Dharam and Righteousness.

4          Your frantic activities are confined to deceit and diplomacy,

whereas my efforts are based on faith and truth.

5          The name of Aurangzeb hardly behoves you,

for kings should not indulge in deceiving others.

6          Your rosary is nothing more then a collection of beads and thread…
the beads to ensnare and the thread as a net to enslave others.

7          You kneaded the earthly remains of your father with evil deeds

and with the blood of your brothers.

8          And with that mud you built your house to live in.

9          I will now storm you like rain water

and deal with you with the sharp edges of my steel arms.

10        You have met with failure in the Deccan

and are coming back thirsty from Mewar.

11        If you now turn you eyes to the north

then you will find your thirst quenched and parched throat set right.

12        I will place fire under your feet

and will not allow you to drink water of the Punjab.

13        What if the sly fox has killed the two cubs of a lion with deception.

14        The lion itself is alive and will wreak vengeance.

15        I do not now ask you for anything

in the name of your Allah and your scripture.

16        I have no faith in your word.

Only the sword will now serve its purpose.

17        Even if you claim to be a clever leopard,

I will ensure the lion remains outside your net.

18        Even when you talk to me, if you will,

I will always speak of the path which is pious and straight.

19        Let the armies on both sides draw up opposite to each other.

20        And let there be a distance of three miles between them.

21        There, then, I will come alone

and you may come along with your horsemen.

22        You have had easy fruits and enjoyed the unusual gifts

but have never met the warriors, in person.

23        Come forward yourself, armed with a sword and axe, for a duel

and kill no more the innocent people in God’s creation.

Bhai Dhaya Singh had taken this letter to Aurangzeb on December 26, 1704. By the time he arrived Aurangzeb and been briefed about the Guru having suffered being uprooted from Anandpur Sahib. He felt the injustice done on his part, especially since he had been promised on solemn oath to Quran a safe passage to the Guru from Anandpur.

The Emperor assured Bhai Dhaya Singh that he would make ample amends and extended an invitation to the Guru to meet him in the Deccan. Bhai Dhaya Singh shrewdly suggested that a written letter would be more appropriate. The Emperor agreed and sent two messengers with Bhai Dhaya with his letter to the Guru. The return journey of 900 miles lasted three months.

The Guru heard Bhai Dhaya Singh’s report, of how sympathetic and remorseful the Emperor was while penning the reply. There was a mixed light of magnanimity and sombreness on the Guru’s. He decided to send another, even more detailed, letter to the Emperor, in which he neither accepted nor refused the invitation.

The ‘Zafarnama’ by Guru Gobind Singh :

Salutations to God…

O Master of miracles, O Eternal and Beneficent One,
O Provider of sustenance, O Deliverer, Bestower of Grace and Mercy ! (1)

O Giver of Bliss, O Great Pardoner, Who holds me by the hand,
O Remitter of sins, O Bestower of daily bread, O Charmer of our hearts ! (2)

O King of kings, O Giver of Good, O Guide of the Way.
O One without colour, without form, without equal ! (3)

He who has no material possessions, no army, no ground to stand upon,
Him too, Thou blessest with Heavenly Bliss. (4)

Separate from the world yet most powerful, Thou O Presence,

Who givest Thy gifts as if Thou wert here before us. (5)

O Thou Pure One, our Cherisher, our only Giver.
O Thou Merciful One, who givest to every land ! (6)

O Greatest of the great, Thou art the God of every land :
Of Perfect Beauty, Merciful and Giver of sustenance ! (7)

O Master of intellect, O Embellisher of the meek,
O Refuge of the poor, O Destroyer of the tyrant ! (8)

O Protector of the faith, Fountain of eloquence,
O Knower of the Real, O Author of revelation ! (9)

O Master of intelligence, O Appreciator of Wisdom,
O Diviner of secrets, O Omnipresent God ! (10)

Thou knowest all that happens in the world,
And Thou resolvest all its problems and doubts. (11)

O Thou all-knowing God, O Great One,
Thou alone art the organiser of our lives. (12)

The Guru’s Memorandum to Aurangzeb :

I have no faith in thy oaths,
Even if thou bringest in God as thy witness. (13)

I haven’t even an iota of trust in thee,
For all thy ministers and thy courtiers are liars. (14)

He who puts faith in thy oath on Quran,
He comes to ruin in the end. (15)

But beware; the insolent crow can lay not its hands

Upon one whom Huma, the Bird of Heaven, protects. (16)

He who seeks the refuge of the tiger
Can he be harmed by a goat, a deer or a buffalo ? (17)

Had I vowed on the book of my faith, even in secret,
I would have withdrawn the infantry and cavalry from the field. (18)

And, what could my forty men do (at Chamkaur),
When a hundred thousand men, unawares, pounced upon them ? (19)

The oath breakers attacked them,

Of a sudden, with swords, arrows and guns. (20)

I had perforce to join battle with thy hosts,
And fought with muskets and arrows as best as I could. (21)

When an affair is past every other remedy,
It is righteous, indeed, to unsheathe the sword. (22)

Hadn’t I taken thee to thy word upon the Quran,
I wouldn’t have chosen the path I did. (23)

I knew not that thy men were crafty and deceitful, like a fox.
Else I wouldn’t have driven myself to this state. (24)

He who swears to me on the Quran
Ought not to have killed or imprisoned my men. (25)

Thy army dressed like blue bottles,
Charged us, of a sudden, with a loud bang. (26)

But they who aggressed not against us
Were left unhurt, unmolested by us. (28)

But, he who advanced from thy ranks beyond his defenses,
Was hit with such deadly aim of my single arrow that he was deluged in blood. (27)

When I witnessed thy general, Nahar Khan, advancing to war,
I gave him the taste of a single deadly arrow. (29)

And many of his men who boasted of their valour,
Fled the battlefield, in utter shame. (30)

Then advanced another one of Afghan blood,
Rushing forth like flood, like a gun-ball, or a deadly arrow. (31)

He made many assaults with great courage,
Some time with conscious skill, and at others like a mad man. (32)

The more he attacked, the more he was mauled,
And then while killing two of my ranks,
He, too, fell dead in the cold dust. (33)

But the cowardly and contemptible Khwaja came forth not like a man,
And hid himself behind a wall. (34)

Had I but seen his face,
I could have helped him too with an arrow of mine. (35)

At last, many on their side fell on the ground
Hit by arrows and our death dealing bullets. (36)

There was, indeed, an overpowering rain of these,
And the earth turned red like the lalla flower. (37)

Torn heads and legs lay in heaps,
As if the earth was covered with balls and sticks. (38)

The arrows whizzed, the bows twanged,
And it brought forth from earth only cries and yells. (39)

There were other dreadful, vengeful noises too, of weapons and men,
When men, the bravest of brave, battled like mad. (40)

But, what kind of chivalry is this in war,
That countless hosts should pounce upon a mere forty of us ? (41)

When the lamp of the world veiled itself,
And the queen of night came forth with all her splendour.(42)

He who trusts, however, in an oath on God,
His Protection too is on Him; in need, He shows the Path. (43)

So, not even a hair of mine was touched, nor my body suffered,
For God, the Destroyer of my enemies, Himself pulled me out to safety. (44)

I knew not that you, o man, was a perjurer,
A worshipper of self and a breaker of faith. (45)

Nay, you keep no faith, nor mind religion,
Nor know God, nor believe in Mohammed. (46)

He who observes the tenet’s of his faith,
He never to breaks a promise, after he makes one. (47)

You have no idea of what an oath on the Quran is :
Nay, you have no faith in the one God. (48)

Now, even if you were to swear a hundred times on the Quran,
I’d regard not thy word, not an iota of it. (49)

Had you ever a mind to keep thy faith,
You would have taken courage and come to me. (50)

From when you gave your word, swearing in the name of God’s Word,

It was incumbent on you to keep your faith. (51)

If your majesty were to be present here before me,
I would have with all my heart posted you with your treachery. (52)

Do now what is enjoined upon you,
And stick to your written and plighted word. (53)

Both the written word and the verbal promise of your envoy,
Should have been fulfilled by you. (54)

He alone is a man who keeps his word :
Not have one thing in heart and another on his tongue. (55)

Your promise was to honour the Qazi’s word,
If that be true, then come thou to me. (56)

If you want to seal thy promise on the Quran,
I would for sure send the document to thee. (57)

If only you were gracious enough to come to the village of Kangar,
We could see each other face to face. (58)

On the way, there will be no danger to your life,
For, the whole tribe of Brars accepts my command. (59)

Come to me that we may converse with each other,
And I may utter some kind words to thee. (60)

I’d send thee a horseman like one in a thousand,
Who will conduct thee safe to my home. (61)

I’m a slave of the King of kings,
And ready to obey His Call with all my heart. (62)

If He were to order me thus,
I’d with utmost pleasure present myself to thee. (63)

And if you are a believer in one God,
Tarry not in what I ask you to do. (64)

It is incumbent upon you to recognise the God,
For He told you not to create strife in the world. (65)

You occupy the throne in the name of God, the one Sovereign of all creation,
But strange is thy justice, stranger thy attributes ! (66)

What sense of discrimination is this? What regard for religion?
O fie on such a sovereignty ! Fie, a hundred times !! (67)

Stranger than strange are thy decrees, o king,
But beware : broken pledges boomerang on those who make them. (68)

Shed not recklessly the blood of another with thy sword,
Lest the Sword on High falls upon thy neck. (69)

O man, beware, and fear thy God,
For, with flattery or cajolery He can be deceived not. (70)

He, the King of kings, fears no one,
And is the True Sovereign of heaven and earth. (71)

God is the Master of earth and the sky :
He is the Creator of all men and all places. (72)

He it is who creates all – from the feeble ant to the powerful elephant,
And is the Embellisher of the meek and Destroyer of the reckless. (73)

His name is : “Protector of the meek.”
And He is dependent upon no one’s support or obligation. (74)

He has no twist in Him, nor doubt.
And, He shows man the Way to Redemption and Release. (75)

You are indeed bound by your word on the Quran,
Let, therefore, the matter come to a good end, as is your promise. (76)

It is but in abiding that you act wisely,
And be discreet in all that you do. (77)

What, if you have killed my four tender sons,
When I remain, like a snake coiled. (78)

It is not brave to put out a few sparks,
And stir up a fire to rage all the more ! (79)

What a beautiful thought has Firdausi, the sweet-tongued poet, expressed :
“He who acts in haste, plays the devil.” (80)

When both you and I will repair to the Court of God,
You will bear witness to what you did unto me. (81)

But, if you forget even this,
The God on High will also cast you off from His Mind. (82)

God will reward you amply for your misdeed,
Which you launched with all your recklessness ! (83)

This is the keeping of faith, the act of goodness :
To put God above love of one’s life. (84)

I believe not that you know God,
Since, from you, have come only acts of tyranny. (85)

The Beneficent God also will know thee not,
And will welcome not thee with all thy riches. (86)

If now you swear a hundred times on the Quran,
I will not trust you, even for a moment. (87)

I will enter not your presence, nor travel on the same road,
Even if you so ordain, I would oblige you not. (88)

O Aurangzeb, king of kings, fortunate are you,
An expert swordsman and a horseman too : (89)

Handsome is your person and your intellect high,
Master of lands, the ruler and the emperor. (90)

A skilled wielder of the sword and clever in administration,
A master-warrior and a man of charitable disposition. (91)

You grant riches and lands in charity,
O one of handsome body and brilliant mind. (92)

Great is your munificence, in war you are like a mountain,
Of angelic disposition, your splendour is like that of Pleiades. (93)

You are the king of kings, ornament of the throne of the world:
Master of the world, but far from religion ! (94)

I warred with the idol-worshipping hill chiefs,
For, I am the breaker of idols and they their worshippers. (95)

Beware, the world keeps not faith with any:
He who rises also falls and comes to grief. (96)

And look also at the miracle that is God,
That He may destroy a whole host through a single man ! (97)

What can an enemy do to him whose has God as friend ?
For the function of the Great Bestower is : To Bestow. (98)

He grants Deliverance and shows too the Way.
And He teaches the tongue to utter His praise, in love. (99)

In times of need, He blinds the enemy,
And protects the helpless from injury and harm. (100)

And he who acts in good faith,
On him, the Merciful One, rains His Mercy. (101)

He who serves Him with all his heart,
God blesses him with the Peace of Soul. (102)

What harm can an enemy do to him,
With whom God, our Supreme Guide, is pleased. (103)

The Creator-Lord is ever his refuge,
Even if tens of thousands of hosts were to proceed against him. (104)

If you have the pride of your army and riches,
I bank upon Praise of God, the Almighty. (105)

You are proud of your empire and material possessions,
While I am proud of the Refuge of God, the Immortal. (106)

Be not heedless : for the world lasts but a few days,
And man will depart, one knows not when. (107)

Look at the ever changing faithless world :
And see what happens to every house, every denizen. (108)

If you are strong, torture not the weak,
And thus lay not the axe to thy empire. (109)

If the one God is one’s Friend, what harm can the enemy do,
Even if he multiplies himself a hundred times ? (110)

A thousand times let an enemy assault him,
And yet touch he would not even a hair of his head. (111)

This letter is called “Zafarnama” –  the  Epistle of Victory.

Written in Persian verse it was sent from Dina in 1705 through two Sikhs, Bhai Dhaya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh. It was not entrusted to the Emperor’s messengers because of the nature of its content and because the Guru wanted to know from his Sikhs the instant reactions of the Emperor upon reading it.

Although Bhai Dhaya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh travelled with great speed they could not get an early audience with the emperor. They stayed at the house of Bhai Jetha. It was some months before the Sikhs met the Emperor. The Guru had instructed Bhai Dhaya Singh to speak boldly and fearlessly to Aurangzeb when handing over the Guru’s letter.

The Emperor read the letter and felt that the Guru was highly intelligent, truthful, and a fearless warrior. He was nearly 91 years of age and his body started to tremble from feelings of remorse and regret of what he had done in his life time. Again, he put pen to paper and wrote a letter to the Guru, stating his inability to come to the north and requesting the Guru to meet him in Ahmadnagar at his earliest convenience. The letter was sent through royal messengers.

The Emperor’s peace of mind was lost. He wrote another letter to his sons in which he states : ” I do not know who I am, where i am, where i am to go and what will happen to a sinful person like me. Many like me have passed away, wasting their lives. Allah was in my heart but my blind eyes failed to see him. I do not know how I will be received in Allah’s court. I do not have any hope for my future : I have committed many sins and do not know what punishments will be awarded to me in return.”

The Zafarnama had a demoralising effect on Emperor Aurangzeb, who saw his end looming over the horizon. The future seemed so very bleak. He saw Guru Gobind Singh as his only hope… the only one who could show him the right path in truth, as was hinted by the Guru in his epistle. Although he had greatly wronged the Guru, he now knew the latter to be a man of God and wanted to meet the Guru in person, to seek his own redemption. He issued instructions to his Governors to withdraw all orders against the Guru. He instructed his minister, Munim Khan, to make arrangements for the safe passage of the Guru when he came to meet.

The Guru was not willing to go to Delhi yet and, instead, stopped outside the town of Sabo Ki Talwandi. According to Sikh chronologists, it was at Sabo Ki Talwandi that Guru Gobind Singh untied his waist band after a period of nearly eighteen months, and breathed a sigh of relief. This is why Sabo Ki Talwandi is known as Damdama Sahib (place of rest). It was at Damdama Sahib that Mata Sundri, the Guru’s mother, learned of the fate of four Sahibzaday – sons of the Guru and Mata Gujri. And, it was here that Guru Gobind Singh re-wrote the Adi Guru Granth Sahib from memory and added the Gurbani of his father, the martyred Guru Teg Bahadur.

Upon receiving the Emperor’s letter, Guru Gobind let th matter rest for a period before deciding to meet the Emperor in Deccan. He felt that Aurangzeb’s invitation was extended with due humility and concluded the time was right to accept it in view of the Emperor’s old age, without compromising on his oath to mete out justice to anyone who resorted to acts of barbarity.

Unfortunately, by the time the Guru entered Rajasthan, news came of the Emperor’s death at Aurangabad. Historical records, kept by Bhai Santokh Singh, show that the Emperor had lost all appetite, capacity to digest, and could not expel waste. Whatever he consumed acted as poison in his body. He remained in great pain and torment for several days, terrified, as it were, by ‘angels of death.’

Born in 1616, Aurangzeb had lived for about 91 years, his last Will (appended below) confirms the degenerate state of his physical and mental health.

What The Emperor’s Last Will Reveals …

The Emperor’s last will was recorded by Maulvi Hamid-ud Din in chapter 8 of his hand-written Persian book on the life of Aurangzeb.

1       There is no doubt that I have been the emperor of India and I have ruled over this country. But I am sorry to say that I have not been able to do a good deed in my lifetime. My inner soul is cursing me as a sinner. But I know it is of no avail. It is my wish that my last rites be performed by my dear son Azam. No one else should touch my body.

2       My servant, Aya Beg, has my purse in which I have carefully kept my earnings of Rupees 4 and 2 Annas. In my spare time, I have been writing the Quran and stitching caps. It was by selling the caps that I made an honest earning. My coffin should be purchased with this amount. No other money should be spent for covering the body of a sinner. This is my dying wish.
By selling the copies of Quran I collected Rupees 305, which is also with Aya Beg. It is my will that poor Mohammedans should be fed with sweet rice procured with this money.

3       All my articles – clothes, ink stand, pens and books should be given to my son Azam. The labour charges for digging my grave will be paid by Prince Azam.

4       My grave should be dug in a dense forest. When I am buried, my face should remain uncovered. Do not bury my face in the earth. I want to present myself to Allah with a naked face. I am told, whoever goes to the supreme court on high with a naked face will have his sins forgiven.

5       My coffin should be made of thick Khaddar. Do not place a costly shawl on the corpse. The route of my funeral should not be showered with flowers. No one should be permitted to place any flowers on my body. No music should be played or sung, I hate music.

6       No tomb should be built for me. Only a chabootra or a platform may be erected.

7       I have not been able to pay the salaries of my soldiers and my personal servants for several months. I bequeath that after my death at least my personal servants be paid in full, even as the treasury is empty. Niamat Ali has served me very faithfully : he has cleaned my body and has never let my bed remain dirty.

8       No mausoleum should be raised in my memory. No stone with my name should be placed at my grave. There should be no trees planted near the grave. A sinner like me does not deserve the protection of a shady tree !

9       My son, Azam, has the authority to rule from the throne of Delhi. Kam Baksh should be entrusted with governance of Bijapur and Golconda states.

10     Allah should not make anyone an emperor. The most unfortunate person is he who becomes one. My sins should not be mentioned in any social gathering. The story of my life should not be told to anyone.

Translated from a history article published by Sh Ajmer Singh, MA,

in the Fateh weekly Nov. 7th, 1976.

(According to wishes of the emperor, his grave made of ‘kuccha’ bricks can still be seen in Aurangabad).

And thus ended Emperor’s Aurangzeb’s reign of fifty years.

He was over 90 when he died.

His death marked the beginning of the decline and fall of the Mughal dynasty.

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