History, Textsbooks and distortions

History, Textbooks and Distortion

In our history text books Hinduism is portrayed as full of superstition, caste system and costly rituals.

Vedic era and Vedic society

The most ancient literary evidence in Indian history is the Veda. The ancient archaeological sites are that of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Unanimously all history textbooks tell that both of them are distinct. Why they have to be distinct? Nobody knows. There is no primary evidence for the distinction of the two.

In the context of religion of Harappans, the very history textbook says that they worshiped Mother Earth, Shiva, Shiva linga and gods in the form of animals, trees and human beings.(1) I don’t know in what way this is different from Vedic worship. The Vedas too talk about Shiva, Mother Earth and gods in the form of animals, trees and human beings. Taittiriya Brahmana uses the word Shiva linga too.

There is a huge attempt to differentiate Hinduism and Shaivism. This must be due to the discovery of Shiva worship in Harappan civilization. Such attempts to differentiate Hinduism and Shaivism can be noticed in the history textbooks as well. For example, our history textbook says: Early in his life, he (Harsha) was a follower of Hinduism. Later he followed Shaivism and Buddhism.(2)

What does it indicate? A non-existent distinction between Hinduism and Shaivism is being fed into the minds of the students, the children of Hindus, the majority of this nation.

The textbook says: “After the decline of the Indus Civilization, there are evidences of some new inhabitants in north India. These new inhabitants called themselves Arya (called Aryans today) as is known through the Rigveda, the chief source of information on the history of this period”.(3)

Actually in the Rig Veda, Arya means noble. Nowhere in the text there is a reference to any community calling themselves a race named Arya. It is the recent European colonizing historians who invented a particular race named Arya for which there is no evidence of any kind but for their own writings quoting each other (like a blind led by another blind).

Let us see a sample from another textbook: “On the ruins of the Harappan civilization, a new culture developed with the coming of the Aryans. This culture is known as the Vedic culture. Vedic literature constitutes the sole source of information about this culture. Nowadays, of course, archaeology is adding to our knowledge.

“Most historians opine that the Aryans or groups of people who spoke a particular language (possibly Sanskrit) and had particular cultural practices came from central Asia. The Aryans entered India through the Khyber Pass between 2000 BCE and 1500 BCE”.(4)

The Vedic literature constitutes the sole source of information. This is a vital statement with which I agree. But can anybody show a single place where Aryan invasion or migration is mentioned in the Vedas? Nowhere. It is never even mentioned in any early Sanskrit and vernacular works of India. It was just concocted by some European colonizing historians. That is all. Later while archaeological sites were found they were seen in the lens of Aryan invasion theory. But certainly we have neither got any evidence from the Vedic literature, nor from archaeology. All the attempts have only been to prove the ‘theory’ concocted already.

“The Aryans came to India in several waves and the earliest wave is represented by the Rigvedic people.” (5) This is in a special box indicating that it is a vital information about Aryan invasion theory. I was informed by TS Narendran that this is a clever response concocted by the historians to ‘refute’ the new finding that goes against the concocted major influx, from regions north and west of India.

Why such a concoction is needed at all? If a Hindu finds fault with the atrocities committed by invading Sultans or Mughals, he should be silenced by telling that Hindus too were invaders. He should understand that he should passively accept Mughal and Sultan invasion as he himself committed this fault. Thus, Aryan invasion theory was concocted by European colonizing historians to permanently defeat the Hindus or Vedic people and to hang their heads. This is still there in our textbooks.

While most of the scholars conclude the minimum date of the composition of Ramayana and Mahabharata as before 2500 years and there are ample evidences to prove it, the date given in the history textbook is 400 AD (CE).(6)

Dronacharya asked Ekalavya to cut his thumb and offer to him as Guru dakshina. This account does not represent the Vedic culture as a whole in any manner. Though Drona is a master of archery who teaches it to the students, he is not taken to be a role model character in Mahabharata. He belongs only to the enemy’s camp fighting against Dharma violating Dharma. Can you expect such a character to represent the Vedic culture as a whole? The account of Dronacharya is given in a box in the textbook and finally two questions are asked to the students. To which period do you think the story belongs to? What do you get to know about the Vedic society through this account?(7) For the first question the students are expected to answer, “Vedic period.”

Two things come to my mind.

  1. There are thousands of accounts found in our epics representing equality and universal brotherhood like Rama’s friendship with Guha, Rama’s affection to Shabari, or the story of Rantideva in which he offers everything he has, though he is suffering from hunger. Leaving all such accounts why Dronacharya account alone is given in our textbook? This agenda is only to make the Hindus who form the majority of India, feel ashamed of their own scriptures and traditions.
  2. While the account of Ekalavya is narrated in the context of Vedic culture, why the commands of Jehovah (Christian god) in Bible regarding killing of non-believers’ children and rape of their women not given or why Abraham’s marriage with his sister and Mohammed’s marriage with his daughter in law are not given while dealing with Christianity and Islam? “What do you get to know about the Biblical or Islamic society through this story?” Why such a question is not asked to the students?

Then, the textbook says that in the later Vedic period people worshipped new gods- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.(8) This statement is incorrect as all these three Gods are found in Rig Veda and they were vital too. Vitality of the gods in Rig Veda is not based on how many hymns are dedicated to them, but based on what roles they play. The word ‘new’ is used here with an agenda of making the Hindus, the majority of India, the worshipers of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to hang their heads feeling shame. Why can’t Jesus be called as a recent god as he was not worshiped before two thousand years? Why can’t history textbook call Jehovah as a new god as he was not worshiped in Greek or Roman or Egyptian culture?

Buddhism and Jainism

The textbooks tell our children about the reason for the rise of Buddhism and Jainism.

“The Brahmanas took advantage of people’s ignorance. They interpreted religion for their own convenience, and increased their power and wealth”.(9)

There could be a possibility of some priests interpreting religion for their own convenience. But the above passage implying that the majority of Brahmanas interpreted religion for their own convenience is biased and without basis. Why the author does not talk at all about the atrocities of the Christian priests at the time of Dark Age in Europe? Why she does not talk about the Islamic terrorism? Why only Brahmanas? Did Brahmanas increase their power and wealth? Even if the author possesses a little knowledge of primary sources of history she cannot write like this. Most of the Brahmins belonging to that era lead a life of poverty, except for a few who were associated with the kings. What power they had? Did they rule the Kingdom and make the laws at that era?

Let us see further.

“A little before the emergence of the Janapadas, a strong reaction against priestly domination of cults and rituals was felt. Some thinkers started questioning the need of sacrifices and rituals. Some others were interested in finding answers to questions like what was the relationship between the soul or atman and the creator or Brahma. Eventually these questions became part of the later Vedic literature as Upanishads. These philosophical texts, composed around 600 BC, criticized the rituals, sacrifices and laid stress on the value of right belief and knowledge. They are the basis of Indian philosophy.

“Upanishads were accepted within the brahminic system but during the same period there were other teachings which were against the brahminic system. Of such religious sects Buddhism and Jainism were the most prominent.

“People were forced to follow elaborate and costly rituals as subscribed by the Brahmanas. Instead they wanted a simple religion without unnecessary Vedic rituals”.(10) (13)

Let us examine the above passages-

Let us examine the above passages.

  1. Rise of Upanishads does not come in the previous chapter which is about the Vedic culture. It comes in the beginning of this lesson, which is named as rise of Buddhism and Jainism. Thus, a Hindu should feel in his unconscious mind that Upanishads come in parallel to Buddhism and Jainism, and Upanishads are contradictory to the Vedic corpus.
  2. Upanishads did not evolve while need of rituals was questioned. Even to Upanishads, the Kamyakarmas (desire fulfilling rituals) are required to fulfill our desires and they are not needed in the path of liberation. That is all.
  3. “Upanishads criticized the rituals.” On reading this, a modern reader may think that Upanishads criticized them to be superstitious. But Upanishads did not criticize rituals in that sense. Upanishads too believe that the desires would be fulfilled by rituals. Mundakopanishad criticizes Kamya karma (desire fulfilling rituals) as being limited to fulfilling temporary desires and instead points out that eternal liberation can be attained only through knowledge. But for very few such passages, even Kamya karma was not criticized in the Upanishads. This is not the main subject matter of the Upanishads. Stating Kamya karma as not leading to eternal liberation is wrongly presented to the readers as the condemnation of rituals in general as superstitions.

From the before quoted passages, it also becomes obvious that the author want to portray the Upanishads, Buddhism and Jainism as belonging to the same period. But, many researchers have shown how the Buddhism and Jainism are later to Upanishads. Upanishads never talk of Buddhism and Jainism, while Buddha and Mahavira talk of Upanishadic principles. Then, why does the above passages confirms that they belong to the same period? The answer is simple. There are many common principles in all the three. Therefore, if Buddhism and Jainism are taken to be of later date, their evolution should be considered as being from the Upanishads. But the author does not want to concede that. Instead the author wants to make way for future authors to portray how Upanishads took concepts from Buddhism and Jainism. Having this in mind the author makes the three contemporary of each other.

The author completely ignores how the Vedas are the foundations of Upanishads, which they themselves acknowledge and instead concentrates on imagined contradictions between Vedas and Upanishads.

Now, coming to the assertion that people were forced to follow costly rituals, the less said the better. For one, truly costly rituals like Ashwamedha were limited to particular groups like the rulers and were optional. Rituals like Vajapeya were also optional. On the other hand, obligatory rituals like Sandhyopasana and Aupasana, which were to be performed daily were extremely simple without any cost incurred. This being the case, the assertion saying people were forced to perform costly Vedic rituals is without a basis. Moreover, the author straightway considers Vedic rituals as unnecessary, which is nothing but a subjective moral judgment, which should have no place in a proper history textbook.

Moving on, what is most glaring is the fact that these textbooks make no mention of the lofty values and thoughts found in the Vedas, though they are abundantly available.

Example: May the noble thoughts come to us from all corners (Rig Veda, 1.89.1.). May we see all the beings with the eye of love (Shukla Yajur Veda, 36.18.).One who consumes without sharing is a great sinner (Rig Veda, 10.117.6.). Whatever is mobile in the world is the dwelling place of the Lord. With this attitude of sacrifice may you live the life. Don’t be desirous of anybody’s wealth (Shukla Yajur Veda, 40.1.2.). Let assembly be common. Let the mind be common with psyche for these. Let me plan a common planning for all of you (Rig Veda, 10.191.3.). Salutations to Mother Earth. May I not harm her. May she not harm me (Taittiriya Samhita, 1.8.15.7.).

The Vedas, the repository of values are not mentioned for values anywhere in the history textbooks. What do the Vedas tell us?(11) This is a title in history book. We cannot find a title: what do the Vedas teach us? Can you find a title anywhere in our children’s textbooks “what does Bible tell us?” “What does Buddhism or Dhammapatha tell us?” It can come only as “What does Bible teach us?” You see a detailed description of teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Mahavira and Mohammed in the history textbooks of your children. But what is there about the teachings of the Vedas? Nothing. At least what is there about the teachings from Ramayana and Mahabharata? Let alone the epics be considered historical. Can you find any single moral value culled out from the epics which our ancestors considered to be their life breath and which our grannies taught us while we were children? What did they teach us about Buddha or Mahavira or Mohammed about whom we read pages after pages in our history textbooks? Are we and our children not being uprooted by the history textbooks of our own nation? There is not even a single word of appreciation about the Vedic literature in the history textbooks of our children.

Then, the 6th century BCE is called as intellectual awakening by one textbook as it is believed that Buddhism and Jainism were born in that century. This indicates that before that, people were sleeping in darkness and intellectual awakening was due to Buddhism and Jainism. Were those philosophers and writers before Buddha not intellects? Were not the Rishis of the Vedas intellects? Were Rama and Krishna not intellects? Were Valmiki and Vyasa not intellects? Were the authors of Vedangas and Upavedas not intellects?

The textbook says: “The aim of these religions is to remove the superstitious beliefs, unwanted religious rituals and the caste discrimination.”(14)

I don’t understand why Vedic rituals are stamped as superstitious and unwanted again and again? If they can be stamped as superstitious and unwanted, why not the Christian confession, Islamic Namaz and the rituals found in Buddhism and Jainism including their costly temple worships are called as unwanted or superstitious?

“In order to spread the truth he (Buddha) went from place to place”.

“The world is full of sorrow, dukkha……….this sorrow can be stopped by killing the desire.”(12)

This is the teaching of Buddha. The history textbook says that this is the truth. Why the textbook fails to call teachings of the Vedas as true. Why Buddha’s teaching alone should be called as truth. If the teachings of the Vedas should be taken as belief or superstition, why Buddha’s teaching should not be taken in that way?

The idea that all are equal was new to them (those who listen to Buddha’s talk).(15)

This is what the textbook says. The concept of equality is not new. It is there in the Vedas. The Vedas encourage us to see all classes of people as the manifests of one Divine. This is found in the Vedas in many places. E.g. Salutations to carpenters. Salutations to car makers. Salutations to smiths. Salutations to bird keepers. Salutations to foresters. Salutations to bow and arrow makers. Salutations to hunters.  Salutations to hound keepers. Salutations to dogs. Salutations to lords of dogs.

While talking about the causes for the decline of Buddhism, the textbooks never mention the debates between the Vedic people and the Buddhists. It never mentions about the great Kumarila or Prabhakara or Shankara. Nor does it talk about how Buddhism declined due to corruptions in its monasteries. According to the textbook, “Hinduism became purified and reformed under the Gupta kings.” What does it mean? I don’t know in what way Hinduism became purified. Some say that it got reformed through the expansion of its temple worship. This may be true. But purification…..? I don’t understand. Please explain if anybody knows.(16)

Christianity and Islam

Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus, who is acknowledged as the son of God by all Christians. This is the definition of Christianity in the textbook.(17) See the word ‘acknowledged’ carefully. Here the word ‘believed’ is not used. Generally regarding Hinduism wherever some thought of Hinduism is dealt it is stated as a belief. But the Christian belief of the only son of the only God, which is responsible for several genocides and mass murder throughout the history in many places is not considered as a mere ‘belief’ but as an acknowledgment. Acknowledgement means recognizing some existing reality.  The word acknowledged is carefully used so that the faith of only son of the only God should enter into the unconscious mind of our children, the Hindu children.

While the textbook talks about the spread of Christianity it just says that the popularity of Christianity was such that eventually almost the whole of Europe adopted Christianity as the state religion. Here there is not even a single mention or even a hint about the forcible conversions and the atrocities committed by Christians for the spread of Christianity, which run page after page in the primary sources of history. All these are brushed aside.

Under the title ‘impact of Monasteries,’ they are glorified to the sky, while ignoring their excesses. For example, it is mentioned that some of these monasteries later developed into famous universities; they provided shelter to travelers and food and clothing to the poor; and how the nuns educated the children, and treated the sick and the wounded.(18) But, there is not even a single hint of atrocities committed by those in these monasteries. Church was responsible for several rapes and genocides. Church was responsible for the persecution of the scientists like Galileo and Copernicus and the philosophers like Bruno. Church was a very great hurdle for the development of great arts and sciences in Europe. Rule of church is called as Dark Age in western history. In the name of the only son of the only God, church committed innumerable blunders in the Dark Age which is an open page in European history. But regarding these things not even a single hint is found in our history textbooks. What is found instead is the below statement:

“In the Medieval period, everything revolved around religion. People were taught not to think about the world, but to concentrate on God. However the Renaissance thinkers believed that human life in this world was of great importance”.(19)

On the other hand, when it comes to the Vedic priests, these very textbooks casually use descriptions like ‘Interpreters of scriptures for their own benefits’, ‘the ignorant people to gain wealth and power’, etc.9 The Vedic rituals are further described as superstitious,14 meaningless,13 unnecessary10 and expensive.10

The textbook says, “Muhammad also forbade idol worship, and stressed the importance of good and kind behavior.”(20) Forbidding idol worship and good and kind behavior are put together, so that the student, a Hindu child, our child should understand in his unconscious mind that idol worship is not a good and kind behavior.

It is well known from the primary sources that Mahmud Ghazni was a terrible mass murderer. He destroyed the temples and looted the riches in temples like anything. People were murdered and temples were plundered and demolished. Even now the remains found in the places like Somnath can tell the story of Ghazni Mahmud. Let us see how he is eulogized in the history textbook that our children are learning.

“He (Mahmud Ghazni) was an efficient administrator and promising statesman.

“Mahmud was a pragmatic ruler………he wanted to build a large and well equipped army to expand his kingdom and also to protect it from enemies in Central Asia. Therefore he invaded Indian temple towns, as their great wealth could fulfill his monetary needs”.(21)

This is what we learn about our invaders, plunderers and rapists.  Malik Kafur’s massacres and plunders from the temples like Srirangam and Madhurai in South India were horrible to say the least. Yet no mention of it in the textbooks. Then, in a chapter(22) which details about Akbar for several pages, there is only one line mention about Maharana Pratap Singh who was an embodiment of selflessness and self-sacrifice and who worked hard for this nation throughout his life. That the Rajputs of Mewar rallied behind Maharana Pratap, the valiant son of Udai Singh and the Moghul army defeated the Rajputs, this is the only information we get there.

The textbooks further say that the Bhakti saints preached against rituals and idol worship (23). This is incorrect. Most of the Bhakti saints actually promoted idol worship and rituals. It was they who predominantly protected and propagated idol worship. Most of the Hindus today are connected to one or the other Bhakti Movement. To undermine this, the textbooks try to show Bhakti movement as being contradictory to Vedas, notwithstanding the fact that Bhakti movement itself acknowledges that their base was Vedas! The agenda behind such faulty portrayal appears to be the intention to link Bhakti with Islam and show the former as evolving from the latter, which actually has no basis in reality.

Conclusion

Ancient cultures were demolished. Many temples were destroyed. Many genocides were conducted. Many scientists were killed in the name of religion throughout Europe. The Cultures of Rome, Persia, Egypt and Greece were destroyed by Christianity and Islam. India was overrun by Islamic and European invaders to uprooted Indian life, culture and education system. Yet, there is not even a hint of all these things in our history text books, while the poor Vedic priests alone are targeted. While Hinduism is portrayed as full of superstition, caste system and costly rituals, the textbooks teach about how morality was brought by Buddhism and Jainism, how Islam introduced devotion and brotherhood, and how Christianity taught charity and service!

This is only a sample. I have used only study material from sixth and seventh standard textbooks of history. Just imagine, what an average Hindu child’s mindset will be after learning this kind of history from third standard till tenth? While an average Hindu child will learn to look down upon everything Hindu and look up to everything alien to Indian civilization, an average Christian or a Muslim child will unconsciously imbibe how it is their duty to uplift the poor ‘superstitious’ Hindus by contributing towards making India pan-Christian or pan-Islamic country.

Abbreviations

LV- Vipul Singh, Anuradha Mukherjee, Jasmine Dhillon, Social science, History, Geography and Civics, VI standard, Longman Vistas.

FM6- Sucharita Basu, Frank Modern Certificate, History and Civics, VI standard, Frank Bros & Co. Macmillan.

FM7- Sucharita Basu, Frank Modern Certificate, History and Civics, VII standard, Frank Bros & Co. Macmillan.

S.S. et.al, “A prehistory of Indian Y chromosomes. Evaluating demic diffusion scenarios.” In proceedings of the National academy of sciences, 24th Jan 2006 vol 103, No 4. Pp. 843-48.

TN6- Mathematics, Science and Social science, Term II, Vol2, VI standard, Tamilnadu textbook and educational services corporation, Department of School Education.

TN7- Mathematics, Science and Social science, Term II, Vol2, VII standard, Tamilnadu textbook and educational services corporation, Department of School Education.

References

  1. LV (Page number 23)
  2. FM6 (P: 121)
  3. LV (P: 27)
  4. FM6 (P: 77)
  5. LV (P: 28) & SS
  6. LV (P: 28)
  7. LV (P: 29)
  8. FM6 (P: 82)
  9. FM6 (P: 87)
  10. LV (P: 38)
  11. LV (P: 28)
  12. LV (P: 40)
  13. TN6 (P: 102)
  14. TN6 (P: 105)
  15. TN6 (P: 108)
  16. FM6 (P: 92)
  17. FM7 (P: 2)
  18. FM7 (P: 5)
  19. FM7 (P: 113)
  20. FM7 (P: 11)
  21. FM7 (P: 19)
  22. FM7 (P: 78)
  23. TN7 (P: 174)
rr@gmail.ore'
Dr Rangan was awarded the Yoga-vidya-varidhi (a doctoral degree in Yoga) from SVYASA, Bangalore. He also has a master’s degree of management from SIMS, Pune. He is well versed in Vedas, Vedic Sanskrit, Upanishads and epics. He is founder president of WEBOLIM which conducts several Ramayana classes throughout the globe. He runs two vedic schools, one in Bangalore and other one in Faizabad

Why Christianity poses a clear threat to India

Christianity has not – yet – failed in India. With powerful backers in the West, it is preparing for another big harvest.

If you could sum up the history of Christianity in India in one word, that word would be ingratitude. Among the earliest refugees to arrive in India were the Syrian Christians, who were facing persecution in their native lands in the Persian Empire in the fourth century CE.

Persecution would be the wrong word to use here because the Syrian Christians of the Persian Empire were found to be collaborating with Christianised Rome. Aghast at the betrayal by his Christian subjects – in the midst of Persia’s war with the Romans – the Zoroastrian king Shapur II lamented: “We are in a state of war; they are in a state of joy and pleasure. They live in our land but are of like mind with the emperor, our enemy.

Shahpur II deported some Christians from his Eastern Syrian province and imposed a double tax on those that remained. The Christian subjects were then ordered to revert to their native Zoroastrian religion.

Down on their luck, the Syrian Christians sought refuge in India. Kerala’s Malabar coast attracted them because they had heard of an ancient community of Jews who had been living there since the first century CE, having also fled the turmoil of the Middle East.

How were these Syrian Christians – or Nasaranis as they are still called by the locals – treated? “The Indian king received them with great kindness,” George David Malech writes in History of the Syrian Nation and the Old Evangelical-Apostolic Church of the East.

At the Kotem school in Malabar there are still some copper tablets in existence on which there are written messages from the king to the Christian leader, permitting him and his followers to settle in some places and recommending them to neighbouring chiefs.”

In fact, around the time (1498 CE) when the Portuguese marauders led by Vasco Da Gama arrived in Malabar, the Syrian Christian community was thriving, with at least 30,000 members. Now, here’s how they repaid India’s generosity. When Da Gama returned for the second time in 1502, he was met by a delegation of Syrian Christians: “They identified themselves, surrendered their ancient honours and documents, and invited him to make war on their Hindu kings,” writes Ishwar Sharan in The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple.

According to George Menachery, a Catholic apologist and former adviser to the Kerala State Department of Archaeology, the Syrian Christians presented Da Gama a ‘Rod of Justice and “swore allegiance to the Portuguese kings and implored Portuguese protection”.

K.M. Panikkar elaborates in Malabar and the Portuguese: “More than this they suggested (to Da Gama) that with their help he should conquer the Hindu kingdoms and invited him to build a fortress for this purpose in Cranganore (Kodungallur). This was the recompense which the Hindu rajas received for treating with liberality and kindness the Christians in their midst.”

vascoAuthor and researcher Sanjay Subrahmanyam, no friend of Hindus, writes in the extensively annotated The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama:

The perspective of the Syrian Christians on early Portuguese activities in Kerala is an interesting one; they clearly support their co-religionists, rather than the local rulers…”

In a letter of late 1524, the Syrian Christian bishop Mar Jacob writes after recounting all his actions in favour of the Portuguese Crown: “This, Sire, is the service that I have done in these parts, with the intention of moving you to the help me in the expansion of these people (Syrian Christians) through this India in the faith of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.”

Subrahmanyam continues: “In the same context, he hence offered the aid of the Syrian Christians as an auxiliary military force, to aid the Portuguese, claiming that they represent ‘over 25,0000 warriors’.” The bishop requests Vasco Da Gama to intercede – that is use military force – on behalf of the Syrian Christian community. Mar Jacob also proposed the construction of a Portuguese fortress at Cranganore, a proposal that was put into effect a decade later, in 1536, paving the way for the Portuguese colonisation.

However, once they had cynically used the help of the traitorous community, the fanatic Portuguese persecuted the Syrian Christians with a vengeance, and forced them – on pain of death – to abandon their ancient Orthodox church and swear allegiance to Roman Catholicism.

Flash forward to the 20th century

The history of Kerala Christians – who today comprise around 20 per cent of the State’s population – hasn’t exactly been exemplary in modern times. In the early 1970s when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was publicly denouncing the threat of CIA subversion of India, the US ambassador in New Delhi, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ordered an investigation into the matter.

The US embassy uncovered two occasions during Indira’s father Jawaharlal Nehru’s premiership when the CIA had secretly provided funds to help the communists’ opponents in state elections. The first occasion was in the 1950s, in Kerala, where cash was supplied to the Syrian Christian church to destabilise the democratically elected Communist Party of India. According to Moynihan, “Both times the money was given to the Congress Party which had asked for it. Once it was given to Mrs Gandhi herself, who was then a party official.”

Just like the Syrian Christians backed their western co-religionists over the local Hindu and Muslim communities, with whom they had co-existed – and from whose help they had thrived, prospered, and gentrified – modern Indian Christians look up to the West, especially the United States. In their view, America, being the most Christian nation, should help them in keeping India – and thereby Hindus – in line.

Role of Christians in India’s Partition

In a paper titled The Role of Christians in the Freedom Movement of Pakistan published in the Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, Munir-ul-Anjum and Shahnaz Tariq write:

The support of Christians for the cause of Pakistan was based on their belief that the Muslim society in its nature was more secular than the caste ridden Hindu society hence more permissive for the rights and safe guards of the religious minorities.”

Christians strongly supported Quaid-e-Azam and Muslim League at that critical time when there was lot of opposition to the formation a new Muslim state. The All India Christian Association assured unconditional full cooperation to the founder of Pakistan. This crucial role of Christian population of the region was recognised by the founder of Pakistan and the All India Muslim League at all levels. These Christians played a very strong role in the creation of Pakistan….The Christian vote before the Boundary Commission was the only decisive vote for the true foundation of Pakistan. Christian leaders voted for Pakistan because they believed that Quaid-e-Azam would be the real protector of their rights and interests.”

When the proceedings of the Boundary Commission took place, Christian leaders Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha, C.E. Gibbon and Fazal Elahi, in their recorded statement, demanded that for the demarcation of the boundaries, the Christian population be included and termed as Muslim population.”

In the last days of united India Jinnah visited Lahore as a part of his campaign to fetch the support of the minority community for Pakistan. He met the Christian leader Chandu Lal and Sikh leader Giani Kartar Singh. The Sikh leader turned down his offer while Chandu Lal declared unconditional support of the Christians for Pakistan. When the resolution to join Pakistan or India was moved and voted upon in the Punjab Legislative Assembly, the three Christian members voted in favour of Pakistan and saved the situation. Eighty-eight and 91 votes were cast in favour of India and Pakistan respectively. In this way the three Christian votes decided the fate of the province.” [Emphasis added]

However, not content with the creation of Pakistan, the Christians “denounced and condemned the unfair distribution of Punjab province more forcefully even than the Muslims and tried their best to get the districts of Pathankot and Gurdaspur included in western Punjab”.

Are Christians a fifth column?

Christian fundamentalists thrive on suffering and disaster. In February 2001, T. John, the Karnataka civil aviation minister and a member of the Orthodox church, described the Gujarat earthquake, which resulted in death of over 20,000 people, as “the punishment of God to the people for ill-treating Christians and minorities in the state.”

John also saw a divine connection between attacks on Christians in Orissa and the cyclone that hit the region in December 1999, killing 10,000 people. This is nothing but vicarious pleasure at the expense of non-Christian Indians.

asiaEvangelist K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of the Evangelist outfit, Gospel for Asia (investigated by IndiaFacts several times earlier), welcomed the tsunami of 2004 as “one of the greatest opportunities God has given us to share his love with people”.

He wasn’t the only one expressing such sentiments. The tsunami in India – in which 10,136 people were killed and hundreds of thousands made homeless – was indeed a windfall for many American churches which poured in billions of dollars to convert large numbers of poor fisher folk in the Kudankulam area.

Ten years later, these converts were unleashed against the crucial Kudankulam atomic power plant. In 2014, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) — India’s premier internal security agency — submitted a report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, identifying several foreign-funded NGOs that are “negatively impacting economic development”.

The IB report neatly ties in with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s claims that NGOs funded by the Americans were leading the protests against the Russian-built nuclear reactors in Kudankulam. That the maddeningly taciturn Singh would speak out – despite owing his Prime Ministership to his party boss, the pro-Christian and Catholic Sonia Gandhi – is an indication of the danger posed to India’s national security by forces being remote controlled by the West.

The NGOs that were at the centre of the mass protests were associated with Bishop Yvon Ambroise, the Tuticorin church leader, who had been active in the vicious campaign against the power plant.

In fact, there is evidence that the earliest Christian converts from Hinduism betrayed Indian interests. It also illustrates how Christians are easily coerced by their western masters.

Animalising – the process by which cotton is dyed – was a secret that remained a mystery to Europeans. Stephen Yafa explains in his book Cotton: The Biography of a Revolutionary Fiber how this trade secret was stolen: “Ironically it was a man of the cloth, Jesuit Father Coeur-doux, who betrayed these fiercely guarded secrets. In 1742 the French cleric took advantage of his missionary posting on the Coromandel coast to gain the trust of Indian master dyers who he had converted to Catholicism.”

These Indian Christians confided their secret process to him with an understanding that he would never reveal it. And what the father do? “Coerdoux immediately gave a detailed description in a step-by-step letter published in France. In a blink, 3000 years of clandestine artisan practice became public knowledge.”

The point is not the betrayal by newly converted Indian Christians. To be sure, they had – albeit naively – asked the European priest to keep the secret to himself. The point is that this is exactly how Indian Christians can be used by their western masters. For instance, pressure can be applied on the family of a seemingly loyal Indian Christian who is, say, a rocket scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Pressure can come in a variety of ways but the most likely approach a western intelligence agency would take is to first approach the Christian scientist’s parish priest via the local bishop, who may be approached through someone in the Vatican.

Parish pressure is no joke. Hindus, who do not formally congregate under a priest, cannot understand how closely integrated the church is with the families of local Christians in a particular area or parish. When this writer was studying in St Thomas College, Thrissur, Kerala, he was witness to priests, some of who were lecturers, demanding to know why a particular student had skipped Sunday mass.

The family can be threatened with pariah status. For instance, many Kerala Christians who joined the Communist Party of India were denied burial services by the church upon their deaths. This can be traumatic for the surviving members because the rest of the community members tend to treat them as outcastes. (Imagine the state of children who are not able to bury their dead father.)

Under such circumstances, transferring national secrets into a pen drive and handing them to an agent of a western intelligence agency might seem like a small inconvenience. To be sure, individual Christians in high-level positions may not be predisposed to betrayal. But because the entire Christian ecosystem is geared towards complete control of its flock, it’s unlikely many of them can stand the immense pressure brought to bear on them and their families. As Subrahmanyam writes, the Portuguese looked at Syrian Christians as a means to get “political and economic mileage”. Similarly, today’s Indian Christians are a means for the West to penetrate the higher echelons of power in New Delhi.

Why Christianity has no place in India

Some argue the caste system in Hinduism is unfair to the lower castes and hence Christianity can lift them by treating them as equals. That’s probably the lamest argument in favour of the Abrahamic faith. For, if Christianity has not made, say, Europeans or Americans, better human beings, what makes them think it will make Indians any better?

First up, racism is at all-time high levels in the West. American Christian churches quoted the Bible to give approval to the slave trade. Today, black Christians are again being lynched by white Christians in America. What can they teach India about equality?

Also, despite the horrendous bloodshed of two World Wars, these Christian nations are still at each other’s throats and still bombing innocent civilians around the world. And if events in Ukraine are any indication, European Christians haven’t learnt anything at all and are creating a situation that could lead to World War III.

At any rate, caste schisms among Indian Christians mirror the caste divisions in Hinduism. “Conversion to Christianity does not seem to eradicate caste prejudice in India any more than it eliminates racial discrimination in the US. Despite Jesus’ call for brotherly love, isn’t Sunday the most segregated day in America?” writes C. Alex Alexander, a naturalised US citizen and former Chief of Staff, US Department of Veterans Affairs in a detailed expose of the Christian threat to India.

There are others some who argue that converted Hindus will remain Indians, and therefore where’s the problem with conversion? Well, there is a major problem and Swami Vivekananda set it in the founding document of the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897. If India embraces a foreign religion, he wrote, “Indian civilisation will be destroyed. For whomever goes out of the Hindu religion is not only lost to us but also we have in him one more enemy.”

Because the West has usurped the soul of Christianity, Christianisation – like Islamisation – equals denationalisation. Western missionaries who were rampaging through China in the 1940s were fond of the line, “One more Christian, one less Chinese.”

Religious conversion is therefore a flick of a switch that transforms an Indian – or for that matter any follower of a native religion – into an extension of western culture and influence.

ianIn his book The Armies Of God: A Study In Militant Christianity, Iain Buchanan, a British-born, Malaysia-based academic, has explained how Christianity imported from the West can cause havoc in developing countries. In an interview with DNA newspaper, he says,

There is no doubt at all that US strategy makes deliberate (and somewhat cynical) use of Christian agencies in pursuit of foreign policy – and that the distinction between the religious and the secular is deliberately blurred in the process….Most of the major evangelical corporations (like World Vision, Campus Crusade, Youth with a Mission, and Samaritan’s Purse) operate in partnership with the US government in its pursuit of foreign policy – World Vision, which is effectively an arm of the State Department, is perhaps the most notable example of this.”

What does this mean, in practice, for a targeted country?

Above all, it means that it is often very difficult to distinguish the agencies of evangelization. Active Christian proselytization is often just a small part of the process; in addition, there must be infiltration of every sector of influence in a society, from religious groups to government departments to local charities to private business, in ways which blur the line between Christian indoctrination and secular change.”

  1. Alex Alexander agrees:

Self-professedly Christian pressure groups have both a highly influential membership and a powerful grip on policy. The network of evangelical influence goes far beyond this: there are scores of such groups at work in Congress, the military, and departments of state. All act to connect politics, business, the media, and the military with one another in pursuit of a common vision of a Christian American dominion over the world.”

It is well known that Indian Christians in cahoots with fundamentalist American politicians, church groups and Indian Marxists played a leading role in getting Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned from entering the US for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat religious riots.

However, Christians have been working against Indian interests even prior to that. In September 2000 when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in the US on an official visit, Christian fundamentalist John Dayal appeared before the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in Washington DC.

According to Alexander, the virulently anti-Hindu “Dayal should have thought of the possibility that the timing of that invitation extended to him by USCIRF was not an accident. It is quite likely it was part of the US State Department’s plan to place the visiting Prime Minister on his defensive and thereby weaken India’s efforts to convey to the American public the destructive consequences of cross-border terrorism aided and abetted by Pakistan”.

Alexander offers an example of the West-Christianity nexus:

A page from the recent history of East Timor may be appropriate for Indians to review in order to understand the negative potential of offshore proselytisation. The indigenous tribes in that island were first converted to Christianity by Dutch and Portuguese missionaries. Then they were helped by the western nations to secede from Indonesia. India may run similar risks if it continues to allow foreign missionaries to have unfettered access to its tribal populations.”

Indeed, the activities of Christian missionaries can cause turmoil as it did on a massive scale in 1857. Historian R.C. Majumdar wrote:

“The sensitiveness of the sepoys to their religious beliefs and practices and the dread of conversion to Christianity worked as a nightmare upon their minds…. A vague dread that the government was determined, by hook or by crook, to convert the Indians to Christianity pervaded all ranks of society, and the sepoys, fully shared these apprehensions with the rest…. The aggressive attitude of the Chrisitian missionaries…in matters of proselytisation had been frequent subjects of complaint.”

Among such aggressive activities, Majumdar noted the practice of missionaries of “open unchecked denunciation of their cherished social usages and customs in most violent language, and filthy abuses of their gods and goddesses by bands of Christian missionaries”.

Myth of passive Christians

Outwardly, Christianity might appear to be a benign religion. Indeed, when compared with the aggressive face of Islam, it definitely appears to the tamer Abrahamic sister. In Why Christianity Failed in India, Tony Joseph writes in Outlook magazine that after 2000 years of trying to convert India, Christians form just around 2 per cent of the population. However, he misses the point entirely.

Christianity did not grow much during the centuries preceding the period of European colonialism because the early Christians were refugees and not keen on converting native Indians. Again, during the colonial period, when hordes of missionaries Europeans waded into India, the pace of conversion failed to pick up because Indians knew who the enemy was – Christian Europeans, who came to destroy Indian civilisation just as they destroyed Native American and Australian Aboriginal cultures.

Today, the Europeans are gone but their agenda remains. Where earlier you could spot a Christian or evangelist by the colour of their skin, now they are in our midst. They have names like Mahesh Bhupathi, whose mother once said, “My burden is for India, since in this country we fight with about 33 million other gods.” Had she not uttered those tasteless remarks, nobody would have been the wiser to her and her son’s proselytization activities.

Under the cloak of democracy, Christian missionaries can sneak in and conduct their unholy work among the poor and helpless. Christian churches have cropped up like a rash across the east coast after the tsunami hit southern India. Nagaland, which was entirely animist, despite two centuries of British rule, became 100 per cent Christian under 50 years of democratic – or rather Nehru-Gandhi dynasty – rule.

Christianity has not – yet – failed in India. With powerful backers in the West, it is preparing for another big harvest. While visiting India in 1999, the Pope openly proclaimed his wish to “witness a great harvest of faith” there through the Christianisation of the entire country. Predictably, it led to a backlash from Hindus who felt threatened – and betrayed – by the huge crowds of Indian Christians who turned out to greet the Pope.

Breaking India

Christian leaders and organisations in sync with western NGOs and church backed bodies are playing a divisive game aimed at breaking India. Author Rajiv Malhotra has exposed this with abundant evidence in the book Breaking India, which he co-authored with Aravindan Neelakandan.

indiaAccording to Malhotra, US and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, government and human rights groups play an aggressive role in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India.

Koenraad Elst says, “There is a vicious attempt to delegitimise Hinduism as India’s native religion, and to mobilise the weaker sections of Hindu society against it with “blood and soil” slogans.

Seeing how the nativist movement in the Americas is partly directed against Christianity because of its historical aggression against native society (in spite of Liberation Theology’s attempts to recuperate the movement), the Indian Church tries to take over this nativist tendency and forge it into a weapon against Hinduism.

Christian involvement in the so-called Dalit (“oppressed”) and Adivasi (“aboriginal”) movements is an attempt to channel the nativist revival and perversely direct it against native society itself. It advertises its services as the guardian of the interests of the “true natives” (meaning the Scheduled Castes and Tribes) against native society, while labelling the upper castes as “Aryan invaders”, on the basis of an outdated theory postulating an immigration in 1500 BC.

Elst adds:

“To declare people “invaders” because of a supposed immigration of some of their ancestors 3500 years ago is an unusual feat of political hate rhetoric in itself, but the point is that it follows a pattern of earlier rounds of Christian aggression. It is Cortes all over again: Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, could defeat the Aztecs, the ruling nation which had immigrated from Utah three centuries earlier, by enlisting the support of nations subdued by the Aztecs, with himself posing as their liberator (of course, they were to regret their “liberation”). The attempt to divide the people of a country on an ethnic basis — whether it is a real ethnic distinction as in the case of Cortes’ Mexico, or a wilfully invented one as in the case of India — is an obvious act of hostility, unmistakably an element of warfare.

“Therefore, ‘without any restriction’, Christians are teaching some sections of Hindu society hatred against other sections. You don’t normally try to create hostility between your friends, so the Church’s policy to pit sections of Hindu society against one another should be seen for what it is: an act of aggression, which warrants an active policy of self-defence and counter-attack. This counter-attack should take a proper form, adapted to the genius of Hinduism.”

From allying with the fanatic Portuguese to siding with the murderous Muslim League mobs of the 1940s, Indian Christians have shown an unbelievably stupid and opportunistic streak. Their Abrahamic compass is fixed due west and there’s little hope Christians will suddenly become nationalist. For, identifying with the Indian nation state would also imply acceptance of Hinduism. That, more than anything, is incompatible with the Christian worldview. Former top cop Julio Ribeiro and Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph – who both railed against the Indian nation state – are living symbols of this incompatibility. In this backdrop, Ghar Wapsi – or reverting of Christians to Hinduism – is not such a bad idea after all.

Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a New Zealand-based journalist. He writes on foreign affairs and defence for Russia Beyond the Headlines, a project of the Moscow-based Rossiyskaya Gazeta group, Russia’s largest media group. He is on the advisory board of Europe-based Modern Diplomacy.

Evaluating the Islamic Genocide of Hindus

“The Partition Holocaust”: the term is frequently used in Hindu pamphlets concerning Islam ”

he Partition Holocaust”: the term is frequently used in Hindu pamphlets concerning Islam and the birth of its modern political embodiment in the Subcontinent, the state of Pakistan. Is such language warranted, or is it a ridicule-inviting exaggeration?

To give an idea of the context of this question, we must note that the term “genocide” is used very loosely these days. One of the charges by a Spanish judge against Chilean ex-dictator Pinochet, so as to get him extradited from Great Britain in autumn 1998, was “genocide”. This was his way of making Pinochet internationally accountable for having killed a few Spanish citizens: alleging a crime serious enough to overrule normal constraints based on diplomatic immunity and national sovereignty. Yet, whatever Pinochet’s crimes, it is simply ridiculous to charge that he ever intended to exterminate the Spanish nation. In the current competition for victim status, all kinds of interest groups are blatantly overbidding in order to get their piece of the entitlement to attention and solidarity.

Jewish children behind a barbed wire fence at Auschwitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nazi Holocaust killed the majority of European Jewry (an estimated 5.1 million according to Raul Hilberg, 5.27 million according to the Munich-based Institut für Zeitgeschichte) and about 30% of the Jewish people worldwide. How many victim groups can say as much? The Partition pogroms killed hardly 0.3% of the Hindus, and though it annihilated the Hindu presence in all the provinces of Pakistan except for parts of Sindh and East Bengal, it did so mostly by putting the Hindus to flight (at least seven million) rather than by killing them (probably half a million). Likewise, the ethnic cleansing of a quarter million Hindus from Kashmir in 1990 followed the strategy of “killing one to expel a hundred”, which is not the same thing as killing them all; in practice, about 1,500 were killed. Partition featured some local massacres of genocidal type, with the Sikhs as the most wanted victims, but in relative as well as absolute figures, this does not match the Holocaust.

Among genocides, the Holocaust was a very special case (e.g. the attempt to carry it out in secrecy is unique), and it serves no good purpose to blur that specificity by extending the term to all genocides in general. The term “Holocaust”, though first used in a genocidal sense to describe the Armenian genocide of 1915, is now in effect synonymous with the specifically Jewish experience at the hands of the Nazis in 1941-45. But does even the more general term “genocide” apply to what Hinduism suffered at the hands of Islam?

Complete genocide

“Genocide” means the intentional attempt to destroy an ethnic community, or by extension any community constituted by bonds of kinship, of common religion or ideology, of common socio-economic position, or of common race. The pure form is the complete extermination of every man, woman and child of the group. Examples include the complete extermination of the native Tasmanians and many Amerindian nations from Patagonia to Canada by European settlers in the 16th-19th century. The most notorious attempt was the Nazi “final solution of the Jewish question” in 1941-45. In April-May 1994, Hutu militias in Rwanda went about slaughtering the Tutsi minority, killing ca. 800,000, in anticipation of the conquest of their country by a Uganda-based Tutsi army. Though improvised and executed with primitive weapons, the Rwandan genocide made more victims per day than the Holocaust.

Photos of the Bangladesh War of 1971

Hindus suffered such attempted extermination in East Bengal in 1971, when the Pakistani Army killed 1 to 3 million people, with Hindus as their most wanted target. This fact is strictly ignored in most writing about Hindu-Muslim relations, in spite (or rather because) of its serious implication that even the lowest estimate of the Hindu death toll in 1971 makes Hindus by far the most numerous victims of Hindu-Muslim violence in the post-colonial period. It is significant that no serious count or religion-wise breakdown of the death toll has been attempted: the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ruling classes all agree that this would feed Hindu grievances against Muslims.

Nandan Vyas (“Hindu Genocide in East Pakistan”, Young India, January 1995) has argued convincingly that the number of Hindu victims in the 1971 genocide was approximately 2.4 million, or about 80%. In comparing the population figures for 1961 and 1971, and taking the observed natural growth rhythm into account, Vyas finds that the Hindu population has remained stable at 9.5 million when it should have increased to nearly 13 million (13.23 million if the same growth rhythm were assumed for Hindus as for Muslims). Of the missing 3.5 million people (if not more), 1.1 million can be explained: it is the number of Hindu refugees settled in India prior to the genocide. The Hindu refugees at the time of the genocide, about 8 million, all went back after the ordeal, partly because the Indian government forced them to it, partly because the new state of Bangladesh was conceived as a secular state; the trickle of Hindu refugees into India only resumed in 1974, when the first steps towards islamization of the polity were taken. This leaves 2.4 million missing Hindus to be explained. Taking into account a number of Hindu children born to refugees in India rather than in Bangladesh, and a possible settlement of 1971 refugees in India, it is fair to estimate the disappeared Hindus at about 2 million.


While India-watchers wax indignant about communal riots in India killing up to 20,000 people since 1948, allegedly in a proportion of three Muslims to one Hindu, the best-kept secret of the post-Independence Hindu-Muslim conflict is that in the subcontinent as a whole, the overwhelming majority of the victims have been Hindus. Even apart from the 1971 genocide, “ordinary” pogroms in East Pakistan in 1950 alone killed more Hindus than the total number of riot victims in India since 1948.

Selective genocide

A second, less extreme type of genocide consists in killing a sufficient number who form the backbone of the group’s collective identity, and assimilating the leaderless masses into the dominant community. This has been the Chinese policy in Tibet, killing over a million Tibetans while assimilating the survivors into Chinese culture by flooding their country with Chinese settlers. It was also Stalin’s policy in eastern Poland and the Baltic states after they fell into his hands under the 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact, exemplified by the massacre of thousands of Polish army officers in Katyn. Stalin’s policies combining murder of the elites, deportation of entire ethnic groups and ruthless oppression of the survivors was prefigured in antiquity by the Assyrians, whose deportation of the ten northern (now “lost”) tribes of Israel is attested in the Bible.

Hitler Stalin Pact

During the Islamic conquests in India, it was a typical policy to single out the Brahmins for slaughter, after the Hindu warrior class had been bled on the battlefield. Even the Portuguese in Malabar and Goa followed this policy in the 16th century, as can be deduced from Hindu-Portuguese treaty clauses prohibiting the Portuguese from killing Brahmins.

In antiquity, such partial genocide typically targeted the men for slaughter and the women and children for slavery or concubinage. Thus, in 416 BCE, the Athenians were angered at the Melians’ reluctance to join the war against Sparta, and to set an example for other client states, Athens had Melos repopulated with Athenian colonists after killing its men and enslaving its women. Another example would be the slaughter of the Jews of Medina by Mohammed in 626 CE: after expelling two Jewish tribes, the third one, the Banu Quraiza, were exterminated: all the ca. 700 men were beheaded, while the women and children were sold into slavery, with the Prophet keeping the most beautiful woman as his concubine (she refused to marry him).

Art depicting the extermination of Banu Quraiza.

Hindus too experienced this treatment at the hands of Islamic conquerors, e.g. when Mohammed bin Qasim conquered the lower Indus basin in 712 CE. Thus, in Multan, according to the Chach-Nama, “six thousand warriors were put to death, and all their relations and dependents were taken as slaves”. This is why Rajput women committed mass suicide to save their honour in the face of the imminent entry of victorious Muslim armies, e.g. 8,000 women immolated themselves during Akbar’s capture of Chittorgarh in 1568 (where this most enlightened ruler also killed 30,000 non-combatants). During the Partition pogroms and the East Bengali genocide, mass rape of Hindu women after the slaughter of their fathers and husbands was a frequent event.

At this point, however, we should not overlook a puzzling episode in Hindu legend which describes a similar behaviour by a Hindu conqueror: Parashurama, deified as the 6th incarnation of Vishnu, killed all the adult male Kshatriyas for several generations, until only women were left, and then had Brahmins father a new generation upon them. Just a story, or reference to a historic genocide?

Genocide in the Bible

For full-blooded genocide, however, the book to consult is the Bible, which describes cases of both partial and complete genocide. The first modest attempt was the killing by Jacob’s sons of all the males in the Canaanite tribe of Shekhem, the fiancé of their own sister Dina. The motive was pride of pedigree: having immigrated from the civilizational centre of Ur in Mesopotamia, Abraham’s tribe refused all intermarriage with the native people of Canaan (thus, Rebecca favoured Jacob over Esau because Jacob married his nieces while Esau married local women).

Full-scale genocide was ordered by God, and executed by his faithful, during the conquest of Canaan by Moses and Joshua. In the defeated cities outside the Promised Land, they had to kill all the men but keep the women as slaves or concubines. Inside the Promised Land, by contrast, the conquerors were ordered to kill every single man, woman and child. All the Canaanites and Amalekites were killed. Here, the stated reason was that God wanted to prevent the coexistence of His people with Pagans, which would result in religious syncretism and the restoration of polytheism.

As we only have a literary record of this genocide, liberal theologians uncomfortable with a genocidal God have argued that this Canaanite genocide was only fiction. To be sure, genocide fiction exists, e.g. the Biblical story that the Egyptians had all newborn male Israelites killed is inconsistent with all other data in the Biblical narrative itself (as well as unattested in the numerous and detailed Egyptian inscriptions), and apparently only served to underpin the story of Moses’ arrival in the Pharaoh’s court in a basket on the river, a story modelled on the then-popular life story of Sargon of Akkad. Yet, the narrative of the conquest of Canaan is full of military detail uncommon in fiction; unlike other parts of the Bible, it is almost without any miracles, factual through and through.

And even if we suppose that the story is fictional, what would it say about the editors that they attributed genocidal intentions and injunctions to their God? If He was non-genocidal and good in reality, why turn him into a genocidal and prima facie evil Being? On balance, it is slightly more comforting to accept that the Bible editors described a genocide because they wanted to be truthful and relate real events. After all, the great and outstanding thing about the Bible narrative is its realism, its refusal to idealize its heroes. We get to see Jacob deceiving Isaac and Esau, then Laban deceiving Jacob; David’s heroism and ingenuity in battle, but also his treachery in making Bathseba his own, and later his descent into senility; Salomon’s palace intrigues in the war of succession along with his pearls of wisdom. Against that background, it would be inconsistent to censor the Canaanite genocide as merely a fictional interpolation.

Indirect Genocide

A third type of genocide consists in preventing procreation among a targeted population. Till recently, it was US policy to promote sterilization among Native American women, even applying it secretly during postnatal care or other operations. The Tibetans too have been subjected to this treatment. In the Muslim world, male slaves were often castrated, which partly explains why Iraq has no Black population even though it once had hundreds of thousands of Black slaves. The practice also existed in India on a smaller scale, though the much-maligned Moghul emperor Aurangzeb tried to put an end to it, mainly because eunuchs brought endless corruption in the court. The hijra community is a left-over of this Islamic institution (in ancient India, harems were tended by old men or naturally napunsak/impotent men, tested by having to spend the night with a prostitute without showing signs of virile excitement).

A fourth type of genocide is when mass killing takes place unintentionally, as collateral damage of foolish policies, e.g. Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward inducing the greatest man-made mass starvation killing 20 million or more, or the British war requisitions causing the Bengal famine of 1943 killing some 3 million; or as collateral damage of other forms of oppression. Unlike the deliberate genocide of Native Americans in parts of the USA or Argentina, the death of millions of Natives in Central America after the first Spanish conquests was at least partly the unintended side-effect of the hardships of forced labour and the contact with new diseases brought by the Europeans. In contrast with Nazi and Soviet work camps, where forced labour had the dual purpose of economic profit and a slow but sure death of the inmates, there is no evidence that the Spanish wanted their Native labourers to die. After all, their replacement with African slaves required a large extra investment.

The Atlantic slave trade itself caused mass death among the transported slaves, just as in the already long-standing Arab slave trade, but it is obvious that purely for the sake of profit, the slave-traders preferred as many slaves as possible to arrive at the slave markets alive. Likewise, the Christian c.q. Islamic contempt for Pagans made them rather careless with the lives of Native Americans, Africans or Hindus, so that millions of them were killed, and yet this was not deliberate genocide. Of course they wanted to annihilate Pagan religions like Hinduism, but in principle, the missionary religions wished to convert the unbelievers, and preferred not to kill them unless this was necessary for establishing the power of the True Faith.

That is why the mass killing of Hindus by Muslims rarely took place in peacetime, but typically in the fervour immediately following military victories, e.g. the fall of the metropolis of Vijayanagar in 1565 was “celebrated” with a general massacre and arson. Once Muslim power was established, Muslim rulers sought to exploit and humiliate rather than kill the Hindus, and discourage rebellion by making some sort of compromise. Not that peacetime was all that peaceful, for as Fernand Braudel wrote in A History of Civilizations (Penguin 1988/1963, p.232-236), Islamic rule in India as a “colonial experiment” was “extremely violent”, and “the Muslims could not rule the country except by systematic terror. Cruelty was the norm — burnings, summary executions, crucifixions or impalements, inventive tortures. Hindu temples were destroyed to make way for mosques. On occasion there were forced conversions. If ever there were an uprising, it was instantly and savagely repressed: houses were burned, the countryside was laid waste, men were slaughtered and women were taken as slaves.”

Though all these small acts of terror added up to a death toll of genocidal proportions, no organized genocide of the Holocaust type took place. One constraint on Muslim zeal for Holy War was the endemic inter-Muslim warfare and intrigue (no history of a royal house was bloodier than that of the Delhi Sultanate 1206-1525), another the prevalence of the Hanifite school of Islamic law in India. This is the only one among the four law schools in Sunni Islam which allows Pagans to subsist as zimmis, dis-empowered third-class citizens paying a special tax for the favour of being tolerated; the other three schools of jurisprudence ruled that Pagans, as opposed to Christians and Jews, had to be given a choice between Islam and death.

Staggering numbers also died as collateral damage of the deliberate impoverishment by Sultans like Alauddin Khilji and Jahangir. As Braudel put it: “The levies it had to pay were so crushing that one catastrophic harvest was enough to unleash famines and epidemics capable of killing a million people at a time. Appalling poverty was the constant counterpart of the conquerors’ opulence.”

Genocide by any other name

In some cases, terminological purists object to mass murder being described as “genocide”, viz. when it targets groups defined by other criteria than ethnicity. Stalin’s “genocide” through organized famine in Ukraine killed some 7 million people (lowest estimate is 4 million) in 1931-33, the largest-ever deliberate mass murder in peacetime, but its victims were targeted because of their economic and political positions, not because of their nationhood. Though it makes no difference to the victims, this was not strictly genocide or “nation murder”, but “class murder”. Likewise, the killing of perhaps two million Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge was not an attempt to destroy the Cambodian nation; it was rather an attempt to “purify” the nation of its bourgeois class.

The killing of large groups of ideological dissenters is a constant in the history of the monotheistic faiths, of which Marxism has been termed a modern offshoot, starting with the killing of some polytheistic priests by Pharaoh Akhenaton and, shortly after, the treacherous killing of 3,000 worshippers of the Golden Calf by Moses (they had been encouraged to come out in the open by Moses’ brother Aaron, not unlike Chairman Mao’s “hundred flowers” campaign which encouraged dissenters to speak freely, all the better to eliminate them later). Mass killing accompanied the christianization of Saxony by Charlemagne (ca. 800 CE) and of East Prussia by the Teutonic Knights (13th century). In 1209-29, French Catholics massacred the heretical Cathars. Wars between Muslims and Christians, and between Catholics and Protestants, killed millions both in deliberate massacres and as collateral damage, e.g. seven million Germans in 1618-48. Though the Turkish government which ordered the killing of amillion Armenians in 1915 was motivated by a mixture of purely military, secular-nationalistic and Islamic considerations, the fervour with which the local Turks and Kurds participated in the slaughter was clearly due to their Islamic conditioning of hatred against non-Muslims.

This ideological killing could be distinguished from genocide in the strict sense, because ethnicity was not the reason for the slaughter. While this caution may complicate matters for the Ukrainians or Cambodians, it does not apply to the case of Hinduism: like the Jews, the Hindus have historically been both a religion and a nation (or at least, casteists might argue, a conglomerate of nations). Attempts to kill all Hindus of a given region may legitimately be termed genocide.

For its sheer magnitude in scope and death toll, coupled with its occasional (though not continuous) intention to exterminate entire Hindu communities, the Islamic campaign against Hinduism, which was never fully called off since the first naval invasion in 636 CE, can without exaggeration be termed genocide. To quote Will Durant’s famous line: “The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.” (Story of Civilization, vol.1, Our Oriental Heritage, New York 1972, p.459)

Hinduism’s losses

There is no official estimate of the total death toll of Hindus at the hands of Islam. A first glance at important testimonies by Muslim chroniclers suggests that, over 13 centuries and a territory as vast as the Subcontinent, Muslim Holy Warriors easily killed more Hindus than the 6 million of the Holocaust. Ferishtha lists several occasions when the Bahmani sultans in central India (1347-1528) killed a hundred thousand Hindus, which they set as a minimum goal whenever they felt like “punishing” the Hindus; and they were only a third-rank provincial dynasty. The biggest slaughters took place during the raids of Mahmud Ghaznavi (ca. 1000 CE); during the actual conquest of North India by Mohammed Ghori and his lieutenants (1192 ff.); and under the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526). The Moghuls (1526-1857), even Babar and Aurangzeb, were fairly restrained tyrants by comparison. Prof. K.S. Lal once estimated that the Indian population declined by 50 million under the Sultanate, but that would be hard to substantiate; research into the magnitude of the damage Islam did to India is yet to start in right earnest.

Note that attempts are made to deny this history. In Indian schoolbooks and the media, an idyllic picture of Hindu-Muslim harmony in the pre-British period is propagated in outright contradiction with the testimony of the primary sources. Like Holocaust denial, this propaganda can be called negationism. The really daring negationists don’t just deny the crimes against Hindus, they invert the pictureand blame the Hindus themselves. Thus, it is routinely alleged that Hindus persecuted and destroyed Buddhism; in reality, Buddhist monasteries and universities flourished under Hindu rule, but their thousands of monks were killed by Ghori and his lieutenants.

Apart from actual killing, millions of Hindus disappeared by way of enslavement. After every conquest by a Muslim invader, slave markets in Bagdad and Samarkand were flooded with Hindus. Slaves were likely to die of hardship, e.g. the mountain range Hindu Koh, “Indian mountain”, was renamed Hindu Kush, “Hindu-killer”, when one cold night in the reign of Timur Lenk (1398-99), a hundred thousand Hindu slaves died there while on transport to Central Asia. Though Timur conquered Delhi from another Muslim ruler, he recorded in his journal that he made sure his pillaging soldiers spared the Muslim quarter, while in the Hindu areas, they took “twenty slaves each”. Hindu slaves were converted to Islam, and when their descendants gained their freedom, they swelled the numbers of the Muslim community. It is a cruel twist of history that the Muslims who forced Partition on India were partly the progeny of Hindus enslaved by Islam.

The Hindu notion of Karma has come under fire from Christian and secularist polemicists as part of the current backlash against New Age thinking. Allegedly, the doctrine of Karma implies that the victims of the Holocaust and other massacres had deserved their fate. A naive understanding of Karma, divorced from its Hindu context, could indeed lead to such ideas. Worse, it could be said that the Jews as a nation had incurred genocidal karma by the genocide which their ancestors committed on the Canaanites. Likewise, it could be argued that the Native Americans had it coming: recent research (by Walter Neves from Brazil as well as by US scientists) has shown that in ca. 8000 BC, the Mongoloid Native American populations replaced an earlier American population closely resembling the Australian Aborigines — the first American genocide?

More generally, if Karma explains suffering and “apparent” injustice as a profound form of justice, a way of reaping the karmic rewards of one’s own actions, are we not perversely justifying every injustice? These questions should not be taken lightly. However, the Hindu understanding of reincarnation militates against the doctrine of genocidal “group karma” outlined above. An individual can incarnate in any community, even in other species, and need not be reborn among his own progeny. If Canaanites killed by the Israelites have indeed reincarnated, some may have been Nazi camp guards and others Jewish Holocaust victims. There is no reason to assume that the members of today’s victim group are the reincarnated souls of the bullies of yesteryear, returning to suffer their due punishment. That is the difference between karma and genetics: karma is taken along by the individual soul, not passed on in the family line.

More fundamentally, we should outgrow this childish (and in this case, downright embarrassing) view of karma as a matter of reward and punishment. Does the killer of a million people return a million times as a murder victim to suffer the full measure of his deserved punishment? Rather, karma is a law of conservation: you are reborn with the basic pattern of desires and conditionings which characterized you when you died last time around. The concrete experiences and actions which shaped that pattern, however, are history: they only survive insofar as they have shaped your psychic karma pattern, not as a precise account of merits and demerits to be paid off by corresponding amounts of suffering and pleasure.

One lesson to be learned from genocide history pertains to Karma, the law of cause and effect, in a more down-to-earth sense: suffering genocide is the karmic reward of weakness. That is one conclusion which the Jews have drawn from their genocide experience: they created a modern and militarily strong state. Even more importantly, they helped foster an awareness of the history of their persecution among their former persecutors, the Christians, which makes it unlikely that Christians will target them again. In this respect, the Hindus have so far failed completely. With numerous Holocaust memorials already functioning, one more memorial is being built in Berlin by the heirs of the perpetrators of the Holocaust; but there is not even one memorial to the Hindu genocide, because even the victim community doesn’t bother, let alone the perpetrators.

This different treatment of the past has implications for the future. Thus, Israel’s nuclear programme is accepted as a matter of course, justified by the country’s genuine security concerns; but when India, which has equally legitimate security concerns, conducted nuclear tests, it provoked American sanctions. If the world ignores Hindu security concerns, one of the reasons is that Hindus have never bothered to tell the world how many Hindus have been killed already.

Healing

What should Hindus say to Muslims when they consider the record of Islam in Hindu lands? It is first of all very important not to allot guilt wrongly. Notions of collective or hereditary guilt should be avoided. Today’s Muslims cannot help it that other Muslims did certain things in 712 or 1565 or 1971. One thing theycan do, however, is to critically reread their scripture to discern the doctrinal factors of Muslim violence against Hindus and Hinduism. Of course, even without scriptural injunction, people get violent and wage wars; if Mahmud Ghaznavi hadn’t come, some of the people he killed would have died in other, non-religious conflicts. But the basic Quranic doctrine of hatred against the unbelievers has also encouraged many good-natured and pious people to take up the sword against Hindus and other Pagans, not because they couldn’t control their aggressive instincts, but because they had been told that killing unbelievers was a meritorious act. Good people have perpetrated evil because religious authorities had depicted it as good.

This is material for a no-nonsense dialogue between Hindus and Muslims. But before Hindus address Muslims about this, it is imperative that they inform themselves about this painful history. Apart from unreflected grievances, Hindus have so far not developed a serious critique of Islam’s doctrine and historical record. Often practising very sentimental, un-philosophical varieties of their own religion, most Hindus have very sketchy and distorted images of rival religions. Thus, they say that Mohammed was an Avatar of Vishnu, and then think that they have cleverly solved the Hindu-Muslim conflict by flattering the Prophet (in fact, it is an insult to basic Muslim beliefs, which reject divine incarnation, apart from indirectly associating the Prophet with Vishnu’s incarnation as a pig). Instead of the silly sop stories which pass as conducive to secularism, Hindus should acquaint themselves with real history and real religious doctrines.

Another thing which we should not forget is that Islam is ultimately rooted in human nature. We need not believe the Muslim claim that the Quran is of divine origin; but then it is not of diabolical origin either, it is a human document. The Quran is in all respects the product of a 7th-century Arab businessman vaguely acquainted with Judeo-Christian notions of monotheism and prophetism, and the good and evil elements in it are very human. Even its negative elements appealed to human instincts, e.g. when Mohammed promised a share in the booty of the caravans he robbed, numerous Arab Pagans took the bait and joined him. The undesirable elements in Islamic doctrine stem from human nature, and can in essence be found elsewhere as well. Keeping that in mind, it should be possible to make a fair evaluation of Islam’s career in India on the basis of factual history.

(Paper presented at the World Association for Vedic Studies’ conference in Hoboken NJ, 2000)

FURTHER READING:

(1) The Bengal Famine: How the British engineered the worst genocide in human history for profit

(2)  The Ugly Briton

The Evil Cult

We invite you to watch the videos. How strange is Islam is so much evil, dark, cruel and barbaric, yet, they have the most followers and will be the most dominant religion by 2050?

Because this is how Christians in Europe and The US want it to be ! There’s no other plausible reason.

Is it possible to make an uncivilised person into human or civilised?

(1) The Evil Satanic Cult of Islam

(2) Islam is Evil: Atheists and Christians Find Common Ground

(3) Islam’s 10 Most Diabolical Evil Teachings in all Human History in Quran from Allah & Muhammad

(4) Muslim says that Islam is Evil

(5) From the Endless Love of Jesus Ministeries:  Momad was a sick suicidal deviant Monster

(6)

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals by Swami Krishnananda

Chapter 14: The Esoteric Significance of the Devi Mahatmya

A talk given on the 13th of October, 1972, during the Navaratri worship.

Jai Kali Maa

Jai Kali Maa

Our longings are fundamentally very deep and cannot be easily satisfied by temporary makeshift or a day-to-day adjustment of outer circumstances. Our desires are profound; our yearnings are very unintelligible to the outer atmosphere of our daily life. We seem to have a root which is deeper than what can be comprehended by our normal understanding of the world. We grow from all sides, and when we long for, or desire, or yearn, or aspire, we do so in a very comprehensive manner. This aspiration of the human being is really the soul’s longing for freedom. All our desires are desires of the soul, ultimately. Though they look like sensory desires, mental desires, intellectual desires, social desires, etc., they are, at the bottom, the longing of the soul of the human being, which ramifies itself into various distracted rays through the operations of the mind and the activities of the senses. Our longings are, therefore, capable of being collected into a single essential power, an inward urge, which we may call the longing for freedom. It is freedom that we ask for and it is freedom that anyone asks for. Varieties of longings and multitudes of enterprises in the world can be collected into a single focus of the soul’s aspiration for liberation. And this aspiration for liberation is not merely the longing of the human being, but of all that is created anywhere on earth or in heaven. Whether it is the plant or the animal, whether it is a man or a celestial, the aspiration is this much. All longings can be boiled down into the quintessence of the longing for liberation, freedom from all sides and an ultimate supremacy over one’s own self in the realisation of this freedom.

The Devi-Mahatmya which, in a majestic poetry in Sanskrit, describes to us the epic of the march of the human soul to its destination – the realisation of this freedom – is the dramatic aspect of the great worship of the Divine Mother during these nine days of Navaratri, or Dassehra as we call it. The march of the soul is dramatic. It is not a lagging or a crawling but a beautiful, sonorous, musical advent, we may say. This is the beauty of the Devi-Mahatmya. All epics have this particular character of grandeur, uplifting the emotions, and chastening the intellect of the devotee who goes through them.

The Devi-Mahatmya, which is a part of the Markandeya Purana, contains thirteen chapters which are grouped into three sections known as the Prathama Charitra, Madhyama Charitra and the Uttama Charitra. As in the Bhagavadgita sometimes we are told that the eighteen chapters can be grouped into three sections of teaching, consisting of six chapters in each, the Devi-Mahatmya also, which is an epic counterpart of the methods of the Bhagavadgita in its practical implementations, is capable of a division into three sections. The march of the soul is graduated into three major steps, though there are many minor steps involved in these three major ones. While we have to rise through various rungs of the ladder of evolution, we come to three points or halting places, we may call them, where there is a complete transformation of outlook, attitude and constitution of our being. These threefold transformations of the spiritual being of the aspiring soul are dominated or presided over by three deities known as Maha-Kali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Sarasvati. These three presiding forces are representative of the powers of the spirit within manifesting themselves in an upward ascent towards freedom ultimate, so that in this march of the soul to its freedom, it carries with it everything that is connected with it. The difference between the spiritual march and your march along the road or a highway is this: that while in your march on a roadway, you alone walk and nobody need accompany you, nothing need be connected with you, and you can have a free walk independently. In the spiritual march, it is not such an isolated march because you carry with you everything that is connected with you.

Now, what are the things connected with you that you carry? There are four stages of this relationship. Consciously we are related in a particular manner and subconsciously we are related in another manner altogether. Consciously, we people seated in this hall for example, have a particular sort of relationship among ourselves, but subconsciously our relationships are of a different kind altogether and they need not tally with our conscious relationship. And deeper still, we have a layer where our relationship is more akin to a unity of life than to a diversity of personality. There is a fourth stage which is incapable of any description at all. We do not know whether we are to call it a unity or a diversity, or oneness or otherness. This is the goal towards which the soul is marching. So, in the description of the Devi-Mahatmya, we are carried forward psychologically and spiritually to our destination of the ultimate realisation.

There are three stages of transformation described in the three sections of the Devi-Mahatmya. The first one is where Adi-Sakti awakens Maha-Vishnu who was asleep, so that He may destroy or overcome the original demoniacal forces, Madhu and Kaitabha. The second stage is where the same Sakti manifests Herself as Maha-Lakshmi and overcomes Mahishasura and Raktabija. The third one is where Sumbha and Nisumbha are destroyed by Maha-Sarasvati. And the nine days of worship, which are referred to as Navaratri, comprehend these three stages adored in three days of worship, each. The final victory is called Vijaya-Dasami, the tenth day. That is the day of Victory, where you master the forces of Nature completely and your goal is reached. When you step over nine, you enter into Infinity. Numbers are only nine; you do not have ten numbers. All the arithmetic is within nine numbers only. The whole cosmos is within nine. But when you transcend the nine, you have gone to Infinity, which is beyond cosmic relationship. The lower powers of Nature are like dirt. We call them Mala. “Vishnukarna-malodbhuto hantum brahmanamudyato,”says the Devi-Mahatmya. The Madhu and Kaitabha, two Rakshasas (demons) are supposed to have come out of the dirt of the ear of Vishnu. The lowest category of opposition is of the nature of dirt, Mala; and psychologically, from the point of view of the seeking soul, this dirt is in the form of Kama, Krodha and Lobha. “Kama esha krodha esha rajo-guna samudbhavah”, “Kamah krodhastatha lobhah tasmat etat trayam tyajet”: It is desire and anger born of Rajas; desire, anger and greed – these three therefore should be abandoned, says the Bhagavadgita. These three are the gates to hell. These three are regarded as dirt, because they cover the consciousness in such a way that it appears to be not there at all. It is like painting a thin glass with coal tar. You cannot see the glass. It is all pitch-dark like clouds. This has to be rubbed off with great effort. When this Mala or dirt is removed, you get into another trouble. Do not think that when you are tentatively a master of Kama, Krodha and Lobha, you are a real master of yourself. “There are more things in heaven and earth than your philosophy dreams of, O Horatio,” said Hamlet. So do not think that your philosophy is exhaustive. There are many more things that philosophy cannot comprehend. Kama, Krodha and Lobha are not the only enemies. There are subtler ones, more formidable than these visible foes. As a matter of fact, the subtle invisible enemies are more difficult to overcome than the visible ones. Sometimes an angry man is better than a smiling person. A smiling person is more dangerous than an angry one, because he can have a knife under his armpit. This is what we will face.

When we manage somehow to overcome this Madhu and Kaitabha, Kama and Krodha, we get into the clutches of Mahishasura and Raktabija. They represent the Vikshepa Sakti, the tossing of the mind. Every minute the mind changes its forms which multiply in millions. You read in the Devi-Mahatmya, how Mahishasura changed his form. Now he is an elephant, now he is a buffalo, now he is something else. If you hit him in one form, he comes in another form. And this is your inexhaustible opponent. His energies are incapable of being exhausted. However much you may try to oppose the Vikshepa Sakti, it will manifest in some form or other. This is described in the form of the demon Raktabija, whose drops of blood were seeds of hundreds and thousands of demons like him coming up. When the Devi severed the head of one Rakshasa, the blood fell on the ground profusely and from that blood, millions cropped up. And when She killed them, again another million cropped up. So there was no end to it. If you cut off one or two desires, the desire is not over. The root is still there. The branches are only severed. Unless the root is dug out, there is no use of merely severing the branches of the tree. So what did the Devi do? She asked Kali to spread her tongue throughout the earth, so that there is no ground at all for the Rakshasas to walk over. They had to walk over the tongue of Kali. So huge it was. And now the Goddess started cutting their heads and when the blood fell, it fell not on the ground but on the tongue of Kali. So she sucked everything. Chariots and horses and demons and everybody entered her mouth. She chewed all chariots into powder. Likewise, we have to adopt a technique of sucking the very root of desires and not merely chop off its branches. Otherwise, desires will take various forms like Mahishasura. When we think that Mahishasura has been killed, he comes as a buffalo, and when the buffalo is attacked, he again comes as an elephant, and if Devi attacks the elephant, he comes as a bull and attacks Her. So, there is no way of overcoming these desires by merely dealing with them from outside by a frontal attack. Their very essence has to be sucked, because a desire is not an outward form or an action; it is a tendency within. You may do nothing, and yet you will have desires, because desire is not necessarily an activity. A desireful person need not be very active. He can be sitting quiet, doing nothing, saying nothing, and yet be full of desires because it is a tendency of the mind, an inclination of consciousness, that we call a desire. That can be inside, even if there is outwardly nothing. This is the Vikshepa Sakti – distraction, tossing and the chameleon-attitude of desire – which attacks us, when, with herculean efforts, we try to destroy or gain control over Kama and Krodha, Madhu and Kaitabha. After Madhu and Kaitabha, we get Mahishasura and Raktabija. Thus Mala and Vikshepa are the primary oppositions in our spiritual pursuit.

Ancient masters have told us that while Mala or dirt of the psychological structure can be removed by Karma Yoga, by unselfish and dedicated service, Vikshepa or distraction of the mind can be removed only by worship of God, by Upasana. While Karma removes Mala, Upasana removes Vikshepa. But even now, we are not fully safe. While Mala might have gone and Vikshepa is not there, we may have a third trouble, namely, a complete oblivion of consciousness. We will have no knowledge of anything as to what is happening. Ajnana or ignorance is an opposing power subtler than its effects in the form of Mala and Vikshepa. Distraction and direct sensual desires are the outer expressions of a subtle ignorance of Truth – Avidya or Ajnana. Why do we desire things? Because, we do not know the nature of Truth. Why does a strong wind blow? Because, the sun is covered over with clouds. The sun is covered by the clouds first, then there is darkness, and then a gale or cyclone starts blowing from the north, breaking our umbrellas and uprooting trees. All these happen because the sun does not shine. Even so, when the Atman is covered over by ignorance of its nature, the winds of desire begin to blow, and they come like violent storms. Impetuous is the force of desire. You cannot stand against it, because the whole of Nature gets concentrated in a desire. That is why it is impetuous and uncontrollable. All the powers of Nature get focussed in a desire when it manifests itself, whatever be that desire. So the whole of Nature has to be subdued. You are not to subdue only your individual nature, but the cosmic Nature itself is to be subdued. This is what is depicted in the epic of the Devi-Mahatmya. It is the subdual, overcoming, transformation of the cosmic Nature in the form of Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. While Mala represents Tamas, Vikshepa represents Rajas.

Sattva is also a Guna, unfortunately. We always praise Sattva and regard it as a very desirable thing. But it is like a transparent glass that is placed between us and the Truth. You can see through it, but you cannot go beyond it because though the glass is transparent, it can obstruct your movement. It is not like a brick wall, completely preventing your vision, as Tamas does; it is not like a blowing wind which simply tosses you here and there, as Rajas does; it is a plain glass, through which you can have vision of Reality, but you cannot contact Reality nevertheless. How can you contact a thing when there is a glass between you and the thing? Yet you can see it. So they say even Sattva is an obstacle, though it is better than the other two forces in the sense that through it you can have a vision or an insight into the nature of Reality which transcends even Sattva. There is a glass pane and you can see a mango fruit on the other side of it. You can see it very well, but cannot get it; you cannot grab it. You know the reason. Even Sattva is a subtle medium of obstruction, which acts in a double form – as complacency or satisfaction with what has been achieved, and an ignorance of what is beyond. These two aspects of Sattva are indicated by the two personalities of Sumbha and Nisumbha. They have to be dispelled by the power of higher wisdom, which is Maha-Sarasvati.

Action, contemplation and knowledge are the three stages through which we have to pierce through the veil of Prakriti, or the three Gunas. And as I mentioned earlier, we are not individual pedestrians on the path. There is no individual movement here. It is all a total movement of everything connected with us, and no item in the world is really disconnected from us. Every thread in a cloth is connected with every other thread. When you lift one thread of a cloth, the whole cloth comes up, because of the interconnection of the warp and the woof of the cloth. Likewise, there is an internal interconnection of beings, which prevents any kind of individual effort for the sake of salvation. That is why salvation is universal, it is not individual. When you attain to the Supreme Being, you become the Universal Being. You do not go there as a Mr. So-and-so or as a Mrs. So-and-so. The path of Sadhana also is a cosmic effort of the soul, a subtle secret which most Sadhakas are likely to forget. It is not a small, simple, private effort of yours in the closet of your room, but a dynamic activity of your essential personality, internally connected by unforeseen relationships with everything in the cosmos. When you enter the path of the spirit you have also, at the same time, entered the path of cosmic relationship. A Sadhaka is, therefore, a cosmic person. A spiritual seeker, an aspirant is a representative of cosmic situation. He is not an individual, though he looks like a person; and his Sadhana is not an individual effort. It is much more than what it appears to be on the surface. It is, as it were, the conversation between Nara and Narayana – Krishna-Arjuna-Samvada, as they call it. You and your God are face to face with each other. In Sadhana, in spiritual effort, you are face to face with your Maker. And the face of the Maker is universal. He is not in one spot, hiding himself in one corner.

So, the dance of the cosmic spirit, in its supernal effort at self-transcendence, is majestically described in the beautifully worded sonorous songs of the Devi-Mahatmya, where we are given a stirring account, a stimulating description of what Maha-Kali did, what Maha-Lakshmi did and what Maha-Sarasvati did in bringing about this evolution, transformation of the whole range of Prakriti from Tamas to Rajas, from Rajas to Sattva and from Sattva to Supreme Vijaya, mastery in the Absolute, God-realisation. All our scriptures, Puranas and epics, all our ceremonies and celebrations, all our festivals and Jayantis – whatever be the occasion for a religious performance – all this is charged with a spiritual connotation, a significance which is far transcendent to the outer rituals which is involved in their performance. Every thought, every aspiration, every ritual and every duty of ours, every action that we perform automatically becomes a spiritual dedication of the Soul, for the sake of this one single aspiration which it has been enshrining in itself from eternity to eternity. This significance is brought out in all our epics and Puranas. Whether in the Mahabharata or the Ramayana, whether in the Bhagavadgita or the Devi-Mahatmya, they tell us the same account in different terminologies and with different emphases. It is always a song of the soul. The Bhagavadgita is a song of the soul, the Over-soul speaking to the lower soul. Here again, we have a similar account of the actual Sadhana involved in the realisation of this ultimate harmony of the soul with the Over-soul.

The spiritual practice of a Sadhaka is, therefore, a confronting of the three forces of Tamas, Rajas and Sattva, gradually, stage by stage, in their cosmic significance, forgetting not for a moment that we are not ‘islands’. No man is an island. You must have heard the poet’s saying: “No man is an island unto himself.” That means he is not surrounded simply by oceans and cut off from things. He is connected with everything. This is the significance we have to read in our practical lives. This is the meaning we have to see and visualise in our personal Sadhana. And when we learn to see the significance of the presence of divinity or the universality of God even in our private actions, we are taken care of by universal forces. We need not bother about even the smallest problem of our life. Even the littlest of our difficulty will be taken care of in a proper manner by the forces that are in the world, provided, of course, that we are able to read the significance of universality even in the most private of our actions, even in the smallest and littlest of our actions. There is no such thing as a little action in the world. Everything is important. Even the most insignificant event is a very important event, ultimately, because hidden behind it is the ocean. This significance we have to learn to read. This is, in my humble opinion, what Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj meant whenever he said that God-realisation is the goal of life. He was not tired of saying this throughout his life. We can see, in his earlier books especially, that they commence with the sentence: “The goal of life is God-realisation.” Whatever he had to say in those books, he said afterwards. So, the first thing is to remember that the goal of life is God-realisation. Do not forget this. The little petty tensions and turmoils and annoyances and worries and vexations are not the goal of life. They are the obstacles that come on our way, which we have to carefully obviate and go with caution – like a pilgrim who has lost his way in this wilderness of life – and yet confident at the same time that the warmth of the spiritual sun is always energising our personality and that we are never, at any time, any moment of our practice, completely cut off from that source of energy.

So, through the worship of Maha-Kali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Sarasvati, we worship Mula-Prakriti, Adi-Sakti in her cosmic dance-form of transformation, prosperity and illumination. In the beginning, what happens to a Sadhaka? There is a necessity of self-transformation. It is all hardship, rubbing and cleaning, washing, sweeping, etc. That is the first stage through the worship of Maha-Kali, who brings about a destruction of all barriers. Then what happens? There is tremendous prosperity. You become a master and a progressive soul commanding all powers, getting everything that you want. This is the second stage. In the first stage, it looked as if you were a poor person, having nothing, very weak. But, when you overcome this weakness by removing the barrier of Tamas, you become prosperous. Nobody can be as rich as a Yogi. He can command all the powers. By a thought he can invoke all things, and this is Goddess Maha-Lakshmi working. When Maha-Kali has finished her work of destruction of opposition, Maha-Lakshmi comes as prosperity. A great Yogi is also like a royal personality, because of his internal invocations, though unconsciously done, of cosmic powers. When prosperity dawns, it looks as if the whole universe is heaven. In the first stage, it looked like hell. Afterwards, in the second stage, it looks like heaven, when Maha-Lakshmi begins to work. But this also is not sufficient. Knowledge should dawn. It is not heaven that you are asking for. You want the realisation of Truth. Maha-Sarasvati will come to help and a flood of light of Truth will be thrown, and you will see things as they are. There is no enjoyment, prosperity, richness, wealth, or any such thing. It is Truth unconnected with yourself in the beginning, but later on inseparable from yourself. Thus, from opposition to prosperity, from prosperity to enlightenment, and from enlightenment to Self-realisation do we proceed. So, these are the truths esoterically conveyed to us in the Mantras of the Devi-Mahatmya.

This Devi-Mahatmya is not merely an esoteric epic. It is not only a great spiritual text in the form of occult lessons, occult teachings of which I have given you an outline. But, it is also a great Mantra-Sastra. Every Sloka, every verse of the Devi-Mahatmya is a Mantra by itself. I will tell you how it is a Mantra, by giving only one instance, that is the first Sloka itself. “Savarnih suryatanayo yo manuh kathyate-shtamah.” This is the first Sloka – “Savarnih surya-tanayah.” It is all a Tantric interpretation and a very difficult thing to understand. But I am giving you only an idea as to what it is like. Surya represents fire, the fire-principle. Surya-tanaya means that which is born of the fire-principle. What is it that is born of the fire-principle? It is the seed ‘Ra’. According to Tantric esoteric psychology, ‘Ram’ is the Bija Mantra of Agni. In the word ‘Savarnih’, ‘Varni’ means a hook; so add one hook to ‘Ram’. “Yo manuh kathyate, ashtamah.” Eighth letter – What is Manu? It is a letter in Sanskrit. Eight letters are Ya, Ra, La, Va, Sya, Sha, Sa, Ha. The eighth is Ha. Add Ha to it. Ha, Ra and one hook, make ‘Hreem’. “Savarnih suryo-tanayo yo manuh kathyateshtamah, nisamaya tadutpattim.” “You hear the glory of that,” the sage says. So, the first verse means: “Now, I shall describe to you the glory of ‘Hreem’.” This Hreem is the Bija of Devi. But, outwardly it means, “Listen to the story of the king so-and-so, who is the eighth Manu,” and all that. Thus in addition to the outer meaning, there is an inner significance of the Mantra. I am giving you only the case of one Mantra. Like this, every Mantra is full of inner significance. And every Mantra is repeated by devotees for some purpose or the other. The Devi-Mahatmya is especially recited for averting calamities in life. Catastrophes, calamities and tensions – personal or outward, whatever they be – all these are averted by a regular daily recital of the Devi-Mahatmya. When there is war threatening a country, for example, or pestilence or epidemic spreading everywhere, or any internal tension or anxiety of any kind, the Devi-Mahatmya is to be studied. And it is a very potent remedy prescribed by seers of yore – not only for temporal terrestrial prosperity, but also for the glory of the hereafter, for illumination, for the destruction of Avidya or Ajnana, for overcoming Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana, and to be a fit recipient of the grace of the Almighty. Thus is the outer significance and the inner significance of the Devi-Mahatmya, and the special meaning that it has in the life of spiritual seekers or Sadhakas. Glory to God! Glory to Sadhana! Glory to the integral character of spiritual practice! May we be blessed with this illumination, with this wisdom, with the strength to tread the path of the Spirit, to our ultimate Freedom!

Bangladesh : Laxmi idol found at Brahmanbaria mosque

idol found at Brahmanbaria mosque

A Hindu priest shows a vandalised room of a priest at Goura Temple in Brahmanbaria's Nasirnagar upazila. (Daily Star file photo)
A Hindu priest shows a vandalised room of a priest at Goura Temple in Brahmanbaria’s Nasirnagar upazila. (Daily Star file photo)

Six days into the attack on Hindu temples and houses in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria, police recovered an idol of Goddess Laxmi from a mosque in the upazila.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of police recovered the idol from the mosque at Bitui village, Officer-in-Charge of Nasirnagar Police Station Abu Zafar told The Daily Star.

Police suspect that this could be one of the idols stolen on October 30 during the attack on five Hindu temples that left 100 people injured.

Imam of the mosque Mohammaed Shahabuddin saw the idol after he finished his call for Fajr prayers and informed the police, a correspondent reports from the spot.

On October 30, around 200 religious bigots attacked at least five temples and vandalised and looted about 100 Hindu houses in several localities in Nasirnagar over a Facebook post purportedly from the account of one Rasraj Das. The attackers also beat up more than 100 people.

The attack was made claiming that the post “hurt the religious sentiment” of the Muslims.

Before his arrest and the systematic mayhem, Rasraj claimed he had nothing to do with the post, but apologised for it anyway. Relatives say his account may have been hacked.

Five days into the attacks, five Hindu homes were torched in Nasirnagar yesterday, spreading panic among the already frightened minority community.

Source : Daily Star

Evil eye Symptoms which indicate that an individual is afflicted

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1. Evil eye symptoms pertaining to gross body, mental body and subtle-body

In this process of getting afflicted by evil eye, an environment of RajaTama-predominant desirous vibrations is generated around the person that is afflicted by evil-eye. This environment is charged with RajaTamapredominant sound waves and hence, its contact can adversely affect the gross body, mental body and subtle-body of that person.

1 A. Gross body : When the gross body is charged with RajaTama-predominant desire waves, the person suffers from various physical ailments. Some of these physical ailments are – severe headache, earache, pain in the eyes, blackouts, numbness of limbs, palpitations, reduction in body heat and experiencing weakness. On observing such symptoms, if the evil-eye is cast off immediately, it reduces the associated distress.

1 B. Mental body : When the energy of RajaTama-predominant desire waves increases and it begins to function in a swift manner, they start affecting the manodeha (Mental body) of the person and begin to show their effect there.

        RajaTama predominant nature of the manodeha results in unnecessary thoughts and doubts about others. These often lead to squabbles in the household, and functioning under the influence of these thoughts the squabbles culminate into fights, leaving the house impulsively, meeting with an accident due to rash driving, etc.

1 C. Subtle-body : After a while, as the subtle-body also begins to get influenced by these waves, it can even lead to the death of the individual.

2. Some problem related evil eye symptoms

  • Physical problems : Addiction, repeated illnesses, recurrent skin diseases
  • Mental problems : Constant tension and depression, excessive fright
  • Educational problems : Failing in examinations despite hard work, forgetfulness despite good intellect
  • Financial problems : Not getting employed, failure in business, recurring financial losses or getting swindled
  • Problems in marital and family life : Not getting married, marital discord, infertility, abortions, premature birth, birth of a mentally or physically retarded child, children dying at a young age

If such problems are observed for long period, then those can be considered as evil eye symptoms and spiritual remedies should be taken accordingly.

Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy Text on ‘Spiritual science underlying affliction by the evil-eye and its removal

Science underlying various methods of casting off the Evil-eye and Spiritual experiences while performing evil-eye remedies

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1. Why should the individual who is performing evil-eye remedies and the one who is afflicted pray before casting off the evil-eye?

1 A. Importance of praying

When the evil-eye is cast off on the strength of a prayer unto God, the individual performing evil-eye remedies is not distressed and the distress of the afflicted individual reduces in lesser time.

1 B. Benefits of praying

  • Due to the prayer, the Deity’s grace is obtained and as a result, the distressing vibrations within as well as outside the afflicted individual are activated in a short time, which then get concentrated in the substance used for casting off the evil-eye and are subsequently destroyed when offered to fire.
  • Due to the grace of the Deity, a protective sheath is formed around both the individuals and subsequently, it helps in protecting them from the attacks of negative energies.

2. Why should the afflicted individual, whose evil-eye is being cast off, hold his palms facing upwards (skywards)?

Negative energies emit large amount of black energy from the Hell region. The ventral surface of the palm is more sensitive in imbibing and emitting energy when compared with the dorsal surface. When the palms are held facing upwards (skywards) the black energy coming from the Hell region is not directly imbibed by the hands. So also, keeping the palms open facing upwards helps in the black energy within the body to be drawn into the substances used for casting off the evil-eye.

3. Why should the substances used for evil-eye remedies be waved around the afflicted individual?

The purpose of waving the substances used for evil-eye remedies is, to impart motion to the waves conducive for the purpose through the Raja component oriented movement of waving.

4. Why should the individual returning after casting off the evil-eye not look back?

If the individual who has cast off an evil-eye looks back, it is considered a bad omen; because after casting off the evil-eye, substances used for the purpose are charged with RajaTama-predominant vibrations. As a result, the path treaded by the individual too is charged with Raja-Tama-predominant vibrations and it increases the possibility of several negative energies following the individual. Should this individual look back, there is a likelihood of the individual’s mind getting trapped in the vibrations that are unholy, and this could lead to the individual falling prey to the attacks of the negative energies that are present on this unholy path; hence, it is advised that the individual keep chanting the Name of God and walk forward after performing evil-eye remedies on affected person

5. Why should both the individuals, one who performs evil-eye remedies and the other who was afflicted keep silent and continue to perform their activities accompanied by chanting the Name of God?

5 A. The process that takes place after casting off the evil-eye and its adverse effects on the body

  • To some extent, the body of the individual casting off the evil-eye falls prey to RajaTama-predominant vibrations :After casting off the evil-eye, the RajaTama predominant vibrations of the afflicted individual affect the individual performing the act and hence, his/her body too gets charged with these vibrations to some extent.
  • Emotional talk harms the individual as it attracts RajaTama-predominant vibrations towards it : During this period, any conversation other than chanting the Name of God is likely to be at an emotional level. Should this happen, the RajaTama predominant vibrations spread over the body get attracted in larger proportion to the subtle-sound-vibrations in the speech. As a result, they can spread into the body through the voids of the mouth, nose, eyes and ears.

5 B. Divine vibrations in the chant destroy the RajaTama covering on the body, and other benefits obtained by the person.

  • Instead of permitting entry of the layer of RajaTama-predominant vibrations into the body by futile talk, if further activities are performed accompanied by chanting, the covering of Raja-Tama vibrations developed over the body are destroyed by the Divine sattvik vibrations present in the Name of God.
  • Formation of a protective sheath around the body reduces the possibility of attacks by negative energies from the external atmosphere.
  • Instead of some emotional talk pertaining to Maya, it is always preferable to get rid of the covering of RajaTama-predominant vibrations present around the body, and thereby purify one’s body that is subjected to the impure process.

It is always preferable that the individual commences chanting immediately after the act of casting off the evil-eye is performed on him, else the possibility of immediate attack of negative vibrations increases.

6. Why should both the individuals, one who has performed evil-eye remedies and the one who is afflicted wash their hands and feet before commencing further activities?

6 A. Large-scale transfer of RajaTama predominant vibrations in both the processes pertaining to casting off the evil-eye, that is, performing the act and getting the act performed and its adverse effects

  • In both the processes pertaining to casting off the evil-eye, that is, performing the act and getting the act performed, large-scale transfer of RajaTama predominant vibrations takes place.
  • If the bhav (Spiritual Emotion) reduces while praying to God before casting off the evil-eye, then there is an immediate rise in possibility of attack of negative energies.
  • In this process, since both the individuals are participating in an inauspicious act, the possibility of attack by the annoyed negative energies on both the individuals is the same. Therefore, the danger of attack of negative energies on both is the same.
  • Basically, this process is RajaTama-predominant. When compared with other body organs, feet are in contact with the ground to a greater extent. Hence, there is a strong possibility of waves from Hell region getting transmitted in the upward direction through the medium of legs. If the body gets charged with these waves through the medium of hands, then it can reach right up to the head region.

6 B. Benefits of washing the hands and feet with water

  • After casting off the evil-eye, wash the hands and feet, since they are the organs which respond immediately to the RajaTama predominant vibrations in the surrounding atmosphere.
  • Water functions at all-encompassing level and accommodates any type of RajaTama-predominant de-meritorious waves and there-by, purifies the body; hence, immense importance is given to washing the hands and feet after this process.

7. Depending upon the severity of the distress, what is the need to cast off the evil-eye every hour?

If it is possible and in case of severe distress, cast off the evil-eye at hourly intervals, else there is a possibility of re-emergence of the distress during the interim period. When casting off is done every hour, the proportion of repeated deposition of black energy reduces.

8. Spiritual experience related to uttering the words ‘May the evil-eye cast upon by guests, passers-by …’ while casting off the evil-eye

The severity of distress of a lady-seeker manifesting was many times more when the words were uttered in Marathi when compared with English, while casting off the evil-eye : In December 2007, a video recording of casting off the evil-eye using salt, mustard seeds and chillies of a seeker was in progress. The lady-seeker who was casting off the evil-eye uttered the sentences to cast off the evil-eye in English and the afflicted lady-seeker manifested (the negative energy within the seeker manifested). Just then, we realised that the lady-seeker casting off evil-eye can also utter these sentences in Marathi. Hence, the whole exercise was repeated by uttering the sentences in Marathi. No sooner did she commence in Marathi, the afflicted lady-seeker manifested, but its severity was many times more. This experiment revealed the importance of Marathi language.

Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy Text on ‘Spiritual science underlying affliction by the evil-eye and its removal