Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sick with “identity”


 

On 14 November 2012, Prof. Deepak Sarma posted an article on Huffington Post, titled “White Hindu converts: mimicry or mockery?” In that blog, he defines Hindus in America as an ethnic group animated by a memory of the colonized condition. It should, he argues, mistrust attempts by white Americans to convert to their religion. These whites only mimic “their imaginary (and often Orientalist) archetypal ‘Hindu’ in order to reverse-assimilate, to deny their colonial histories, to (futilely) color their lives, and, paradoxically, to be marginalized”.

Before we can begin discussing this thesis, we note that one word already stands out: “Orientalist”. Indeed, Sarma is one of those Hindus who take Edward Said’s theory of “Orientalism” seriously, even to the point of making their own whole work a footnote to Said’s magnum opus. But Said’s influential book has been refuted as both riddled with factual errors and being in essence a grand conspiracy theory. It is plainly shameful for an academic to be seen in Said’s company and to use the neutral term “Orientalism” in Said’s pejorative sense. But for a Muslim, at least, it is a form of championing his own cause: he merely quotes a Dhimmi (a self-humiliating “tolerated” non-Muslim, for that is what the Palestinian Christian Said was), a defender of Islamic interests, who found a new way of overruling all the scientific research that Western scholars (a.k.a. Orientalists) had done on Islam. But for a Hindu, it is sheer buffoonery to treat Said as a scholarly authority. It seems that Sarma never grew up to doubt the pious lies he was taught in school.

 

Colonialism

Now, to come to Sarma’s own thesis: we find that he does not mention the contents of Hindu tradition, eventhough therein lies the only interest that Hinduism has for its converts. Most white converts by far don’t care to join Hindu society as such, and know little about mundane Hindu reality. They only know their guru, maybe his ashram in India, and some pretty ancient Hindu scriptures. That is their limited view of Hinduism, and that is what some convert to it. In this, most of them have no consciousness at all about colonial history, known to our generation only through the history books. It is simply not true that they do it because they want to “identify with the subaltern group and can transform from the oppressor to the oppressed, from the colonizer to the colonized”. Oppression is not what people think about when they think of India, which has been independent for as long as 95% of the Indians can remember. Thus, if India suffers from widespread corruption, it was not inflicted by or inherited from the British, but is the doing of its own citizens, and everybody knows it. In his university’s ivory tower, Sarma may obsess over long-gone colonialism, but most people don’t.

Moreover, while for British youngsters colonial India is a dim reality they once heard of from their grandparents, for Americans it was never a reality at all, unless you mean that they opposed it. Like the Indians, the Americans saw themselves as having acquired their freedom from British colonialism. It was American journalists who gave a global platform to Mahatma Gandhi and cheered for his struggle against colonialism. I will not go into the complex situation of the continental Europeans, who were no party to India’s colonization but took it for granted (and of whose countries some gave independence to their colonies under American pressure), or to the Irish, who took part in the British conquest of India all while their own homeland was in a colonized condition for far longer than India. At any rate, it is bad history to identify American whites with colonialism. It may have escaped the racially-obsessed Prof. Sarma’s attention, but there were white anti-colonialists too.

 

Tribal conversions

The professor is badly informed when he claims: “Surely such an imagined transformation is only available to those who are privileged in the first place.” Can only “privileged” whites make a conversion across Christian/Dharmic boundaries? Not at all: a majority of Indian Christians consist of people from an underprivileged Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe background. That is the comparison which this subject calls for: if there are American “whites” (in fact, blacks too) who convert to Hinduism, there are many more Hindus (or whatever you want to call them; let us say “Indian religionists”) who have converted to Christianity. And against the hurdles which Deepak Sarma wants to throw in the way of Western would-be converts to Hinduism, brown converts are courted by and welcomed with open arms into Christianity. In fact, he need not even go back to his homeland to see this phenomenon: in America itself, many second-generation Hindus are eagerly converted by Evangelical Christians. Some of the most successful politicians of Indian descent are in this case.   

Indeed, we see a strange alliance emerge. While American Christians have no option but to tolerate the conversion of some of their members to Hinduism, they do try to prevent this development. Indeed, after the seeming elopement of the children of Christian parents with Hindu gurus (or with Japanese Zen Buddhism, or with secular Leftism) in the 60s and 70s, the American Churches devised strategies to keep or to win back their flock, strategies which have been copied in other Christian countries. Now, they get the objective support of a born Brahmin who tries to limit entry to Hinduism to native Hindus, or at least to non-white people.

This is in fact a new form of an old phenomenon: Brahmins trying to limit the entry to Hinduism. A number of times, Hindu rulers have tried to reconvert populations that had gone over to Islam under duress or social pressure, but Brahmins prevented them. I am not in favour of the game of blaming the Brahmin caste, but here they really have committed an error which Deepak Sarma is now repeating.

 

Expansive Hinduism

Hinduism, as Sarma’s aged colleague Prof. Arvind Sharma has shown, was a missionary religion for very long. Indeed, this is how Vedic tradition spread from the Northwest of the Subcontinent: tribes in South and East India collectively joined, embraced the Hindu epics, employed Brahmin priests whom they welcomed and allowed to settle, and generally added Hindu culture to their own tribal culture, which largely survived in Hindu form.  A difference with Christianity was that it did not require its newcomers to abjure any past religion. Most of the tribe’s ancestral tradition persisted under the aegis of Hinduism.

Another difference was that it was mostly tribes as a whole that joined Hinduism, while Christianity converted individuals. Sometimes these were followed by their families or communities, sometimes not. Sometimes this conversion split communities down the middle and pitted converts against non-converts – the very reason Mahatma Gandhi and many other Hindus have given to oppose conversions. Differences of “identity” were taken for granted, tribal life in the forests of Andhra was very different from the Vedic cattle-raisers’ life on the plains of Haryana or the urban life in the West-Panjabi town of Harappa; but Hinduism took all those differences along in its capacious bosom, just as it can give a place to white citizens of Los Angeles along with sun-tanned whites of Jammu or the dark brown natives of Chennai.

A third difference is that ancestral religions were followed as a matter of tradition, because people had learned it from their parents and the elders of the tribe, whereas many (though not all) conversions to Christianity took place because the converts were convinced of the truth of their newfound belief system. In the case of Indian tribes adopting Vedicism/Brahminism, this same consideration may have played a role for a certain elite though not for the masses, but in the case of Christianity it is really typical. It is ironic that a religion of which the core doctrines (e.g. mortality as a consequence of primeval sin; Jesus as son of God; his resurrection; its power to free man from sin and from mortality) are demonstrably untrue, put such an emphasis on its truth claim. This may be explained by the cultural milieu in which it came into being, the Hellenistic emphasis on truth claims, but that circumstance does not yet make the beliefs true. However, many people were convinced they were, and therefore converted.

Most Western converts to Hinduism follow the Christian model of conversion at least in this second and third respects. They convert as individuals, not collectively (though when you look at life in Ashrams, they end up intermarrying far more with each other than with native Hindus, thus forming a separate caste of Western Hindus); and they become Hindu because they believe the core doctrines of Hinduism are true. Prof. Sarma’s considerations of colonialism, identity or privilege don’t figure in this process at all.

 

Campus dogmas

American universities are deeply sick with a hyperfocus on sociological issues, most of all on “identity”. Last month I attended the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion, a forum which ought to focus on higher issues transcending the mundane problems of communal “identity”. But instead, the majority of papers dealt, explicitly or implicitly, with these question of identity. At least I met one (non-academic) Hindu scholar who soberly remarked that identity is just there, that it is a coincidental starting-point from which you embark on more engaging projects such as religion. But in Deepak Sarma we have an academic who, instead of playing the game while at work but laughing at it when at home, takes the new dogma seriously. He really believes in the salvific power of “identity”. He really thinks of himself as “colonized”, though he has never lived through the colonial period in his homeland, nor in America. By contrast, the question of the truth of Hinduism does not enter his mind (or at least his article) at all, even when it is all-important to the people he lambasts, the white converts.

Sarma does have a point where he observes that some Western converts “claim to be more ‘authentic’ than Diaspora Hindus”. Yes, and this is even more remarkable when you realize that most converts don’t know of the many inter-Hindu discussions where Hindus complain about their (or each other’s) decadence. Hindu society in India and even more in America does have its problems, and converts are free from that particular history. Indeed, they often totally ignorant of it. Thus, many of them are totally innocent of how Hinduism in its homeland is besieged by certain movements, including the Hindu-born secularists, and how the Hindus they meet are to various extents trying to live up to the standards set by their enemies (e.g. those Hindus who try to prove to the Christian missionaries, but firstly to each other, that Hinduism is monotheistic). They only know the ideal Hinduism laid down in ancient books such as the Upanishads or the Yoga Sutra, and judge the native Hindus they meet by this yardstick.

They should not do this, they should keep in mind a fundamental humility and willingness to learn. Whatever the situation of these diasporic Hindus, and whatever the compromises with modern society they have had to make, both in their homeland and in their country of settlement, they have lived the really existing Hinduism all their lives, and converts could learn a few things from them. But the Western converts’ attitude is understandable (not justifiable) when you compare it with the Western Communists of yore who met people from the countries where the really existing Communism was in power: they were disappointed at the corruption in the Soviet Union, the conformism of the Chinese, or the backwardness of North Korea. This reality fell short of the Communism of their dreams, or rather, the Communism of the textbooks. They wanted the Communism as it should have been, and now they want the Hinduism of the textbooks, as it should have been. Of course most real Hindus don’t live up to the standards of a Yajnavalkya or a Patanjali; but converts of whatever colour are inspired by Yajnavalkya or Patanjali and want to be like them, not like Deepak Sarma.

 

54 comments:

ysv_rao said...

Perceptive and informative as usual.Some minor quibbles though

1)Vedas origin in the northwest: Dr Elst , by insisting on the northwestern origin of the Vedas ,Im afraid you are subscribing to a more modest form of AIT ie ascribing Vedic civilization to the "whitest" or most "Aryan" part of India.
Already since the time of Ramayana which was just during the compilaton of the Upanishads,we can see the Northwest was held in utter contempt.
Please note that Manu and Ikshvaku progenitors of the Aryan dynasties such as Solar and Lunar races were of South Indian origin.
You should google Rodney Lingham ,a white Australian Hindu converts take on Vedic history.It is actually illuminating and well written.Lot of great insights well thought out and argued without the PN Oak style crank etymologies or linguistics(in case you are wondering)

2) Like many Hindus, you make an error in thinking that the Vedas and Puranas are disjointed and create a false dichotomy between "Vedic Hinduism" and Hinduism as we know today.Indeed Hinduism derives from its Vedic sources.It has simply evolved and expanded as kings and sages have better elaborated dieties they acquired as time passed on.
This was implicit in your wonderful essay on Indra and Shiva.

3) Full disclosure:I am a Hindu Brahmin and I dont care for either conversions from others to Hinduism or Hindus converting to other religions.Of course neither am I a Hindu Taliban type(how I loathe these joyless losers who burn Valentines day cards and harrass bar patrons) so I wont act to prevent it.Indeed my sister is married to an agnostic white American.But I can no longer consider her Hindu as she has to assume his identity.
We have assimilated foreigners like Hunas,Greeks and Shakas in the past but these have given us such "contributions" as untouchability,sati,child marriage and rigid caste hierarchy(as opposed to the relatively fluid caste system). As well meaning as non Hindu converts maybe they may bring their misinterpretations and counterproductive practices to Hinduism.What Hinduism needs is a house cleaning not more guests.And sorry to say if you are a Hindu ,you have to be a part of Hindu society because for all practical purposes Hinduism like Judaism is a religion associated with an ethnicity.
For foreigners interested in Hinduism,may I suggest a happy compromise-a backdoor to Hinduism where they may avail of Hindu rituals,scriptures and traditions but need not deal with issues with regard to their place in society-Mahayana Buddhism.

अश्वमित्रः said...

[For foreigners interested in Hinduism, may I suggest a happy compromise-a backdoor to Hinduism where they may avail of Hindu rituals, scriptures and traditions but need not deal with issues with regard to their place in society-Mahayana Buddhism.]

Putting aside the matter of how precisely Mahayana rituals, scriptures, and traditions are actually Hindu, your proposed solution still leaves unaddressed that little question of what is true, what one actually believes. I mean, OK, if you go Mahayani you get your "bells and smells" and all that, but -- what if you don't believe in Mahayana? What if you believe in Hindu dharma? Kind of consequential, I would think, at least if you're interested in, you know, truth and meaning.

Not that I care, personally. This is a problem for conformists, for groupists. For a comfortably alienated individualist like myself, names, identities, rituals, festivals, all that warm and fuzzy tribalist crap, don't come into consideration at all. Believe what's true -- e lascia dir le genti.

ysv_rao said...

"Ashvamitra" if that is your real name...(friend of a horse...seriously? you need to put some more effort in choosing a sanskrit name that putting two random words together)

Your post is so laden with nonsense and cliches that it would probably a book to dissect the drivel within.

Suffice to say your knowledge of Hinduism or Buddhism is pretty the same as Sonia Gandhi's! Be sure to visit her in Delhi and compare notes on your ignorance.

Ciao Paisan

Raja said...

Thank you for this article.

Deepak Sharma and YSV Rao represent a latter-day Brahmin exclusiveness that should be ignored. Any one is free to join the Hindu religion - be they white, black or other. There are no barriers to entry.

Furthermore, Hinduism can not be confined to just India. It spread to neighboring Nepal and Sri Lanka, to Cambodia and Indonesia, not to mention other places. In each place, there was a process of assimilation, synthesis and accomodation. The Hinduization of Indonesia and Cambodia, since largely undone, preceded the Hinduization of India's North East.

The likes of Deepak Sharma do not know India living as they do in the United States and having been educated in the Nehruvian system. Let them focus on the pervasive corruption and suboptimalism that India represents today.

About Mahayana Buddhism, much of that is now in decline - be it in South Korea, Japan or the Peoples Republic of China. Where we do see a vibrancy is in Tibet - but that strictly speaking is not Mahayana.

windwheel said...

'Ashvamitra" if that is your real name...(friend of a horse...seriously? you need to put some more effort in choosing a sanskrit name that putting two random words together)'
I'm guessing Ashvamitra is a translation of the guy's first name.
I don't see how Mahayana can be a backdoor to 'Hindu rituals scriptures and traditions.' Actually, any Jain or Buddhist King- like the Royal family of Thailand- can and did have that access but most people aint Kings and don't have Royal purohits.
I must admit I couldn't make any sense of Deepak Sarma's post. Sure there were some converts- like @Himachal's Johhny Appleseed, Samuel Stokes, who donned khaddar and went to Jail along with Gandhi etc. But Stokes had originally come to India as a missionary of the C.F Andrews type. Even before that there were Salvation Army missionaries who dressed in Indian clothes and lived in poverty. I don't see how Hinduism, as opposed to the Salvation Army, or Theosophical Soc. or the Communist party, gets to be 'subaltern'- it looks the other sort of thing- Krishna and so on are all Kings who lived in Palaces. Christ the Carpenter could be 'subaltern'.
Are there any good Hindu origin scholars in Adademia anywhere in the world? If not why not?

ysv_rao said...

I am amazed that so many Hindus have really no idea of how close Buddhist traditions are to Hinduism and how Vedic Hinduism forbids conversions.To be make their point, individuals like Raja make some truly fantastic assertions
"Furthermore, Hinduism can not be confined to just India. It spread to neighboring Nepal and Sri Lanka, to Cambodia and Indonesia, not to mention other places. In each place, there was a process of assimilation, synthesis and accomodation. The Hinduization of Indonesia and Cambodia, since largely undone, preceded the Hinduization of India's North East"

There is so many things wrong with these statements I really dont know where to begin!
Firstly "neigboring" Nepal and Sri Lanka were not considered "neighbors" even as far as the Ramayana but distinctly a part of Indian civilization.Nepal was considered one of the janapadas(note the word "jana" in janapada which denotes peoples not regions) but Sri Lanka more of an extension.

Also the Northeast specifically Manipur,Assam and Meghalaya were referred to as "Kamarupa" and the inhabitants as Kiratas who known as worshippers of Lord Shiva as far back as the Mahabharata.So I dont know how you can claim with a straight face that Laos and Indonesia Hinduization preceeded it.

Also the Hinduization of SE Asia was more likely a response to Buddhist missionary activity propagated by somewhat heteredox kings and dynasties such as Satavahanas and Cholas for one reason or another(their kingdoms had long coastlines which exposed them to both trade and piracy and this prompted them to take defensive measures which lead to cultural and political imperialism.Also south Indians were traditionally less skittish about occupying foreign territories than their NI counterparts which made them materialists and "Vratyas" in the eyes of Vedic purists)

My disdain for converts to Hinduism is not due to "Brahmin excluvism" as it is due to traditional Vedic requirements which apply to all castes.
Indeed upper castes such as Brahmins and Kshatriyas tended to marry outside more due to their elitism and formation of alliances ..with mostly Central Asians and Middle Easterners which accounts for the formers fairer skin.
The lower caste looked more askance on these matrimonial relations.But note in order for the offspring to be considered Hindu, the father would have to be of Hindu background.
Unlike Judaism or the Nair system, the mothers faith didnt matter.

To revert to the Buddhist issue, I hope you realize that a Buddhist does not to be a royal personage to avail of Hindu rituals! Where do you get this information!
All manner of gods such as Indra(Vajra) , Tara(Devi) etc are invoked in Buddhist rituals.
In Nepal, Hinduism and Buddhism are hopelessly intertwined as was probably the case till the end of the Gupta era when Shankaracharya types purged "Buddhist" influences ,along with a great deal of knowledge and learning, out of Hinduism and what passes for Hinduism is the sorry nonense we have today.

ysv_rao said...

Are there any good Hindu origin scholars in Adademia anywhere in the world? If not why not?"

If by academia ,you mean the profession whose members routinely use words and concepts like "subaltern", then you will be please to know there is a highly irritating woman in the Arundhati Roy mould called Gayatri Spivak.

Like Arundhati, she is richly hypocritical in biting the hand that feeds her i.e Western society.

The fewer "Hindu origin" scholars like these-the more relieved I will be.

About Mahayana Buddhism, much of that is now in decline - be it in South Korea, Japan or the Peoples Republic of China. Where we do see a vibrancy is in Tibet - but that strictly speaking is not Mahayana."

And your point is? I hope you realize that these countries are defeated and occupied countries-Japan and Korea by America and China by a foreign ideology. All the high tech exports and booming economies inthe world cant fill a God shaped void.In this, North East Asia has much in common with Western Europe.

They have fewer social dysfunctions however due to the Confucian ethic that still prevails and supersedes organized religion.

Tibetan Buddhism re the Dalai Lama isnt really Buddhism but a Mongolian import.



windwheel said...

#To revert to the Buddhist issue, I hope you realize that a Buddhist does not to be a royal personage to avail of Hindu rituals! Where do you get this information!#
Actually, put like that, the statement is true! Vedic kingship rituals don't become Buddhist- i.e. they can't be performed by a Shraman as opposed to Brahmin for his jajman Prince- whereas any other 'Hindu' practice can be directly assimilated.

There is some notion that caste and Religion is inherited from the father. Sheer nonsense. However so long as you mention Gramsci and Gadamer and Gayatri Spivak you can get a away with saying it and not look stupid.
ysv rao writes 'My disdain for converts to Hinduism is not due to "Brahmin excluvism" as it is due to traditional Vedic requirements which apply to all castes.
Indeed upper castes such as Brahmins and Kshatriyas tended to marry outside more due to their elitism and formation of alliances ..with mostly Central Asians and Middle Easterners which accounts for the formers fairer skin.
The lower caste looked more askance on these matrimonial relations.But note in order for the offspring to be considered Hindu, the father would have to be of Hindu background.
Unlike Judaism or the Nair system, the mothers faith didnt matter.

Every clause of each sentence of the above is sheer idiocy and ignorance. Yet had he re-written is as a 'hermeneutic merging of the horizons' between essentially subatern codes within a Queer Theory critique of the current impasse in Post Colonial discourse then, sure, Huffington Post would publish his witless nonsense. This Deepak Sarma character is probably related to this yvs rao guy. I hope they get married and live happily together trying to get each other pregnant.

ysv_rao said...

had he re-written is as a 'hermeneutic merging of the horizons' between essentially subatern codes within a Queer Theory critique of the current impasse in Post Colonial discourse then, sure, Huffington Post would publish his witless nonsense."

Indeed! Talk about projection.I am not a muddle headed academic! So I wouldnt waste my time on such jargon!You on the other hand....


You havent countered my assertions with anything meaningful, all you have said is this:

"This Deepak Sarma character is probably related to this yvs rao guy. I hope they get married and live happily together trying to get each other pregnant."

Which is what I expect from someone who writes stupid books like "Gandhi,Ghalib and Gita".
Enjoy your fantasy multiracial cosmo Hinduism of your deranged imagination.
All I can say is you make a good argument for reviving the practice of lobotomy.

windwheel said...

It may be that ysv-rao and Deepark Sarma are svagotra and that is why he objects to the marriage alliance. However, great Mimasakas like Chief Justice Gajendragadkar have shown that being svagotra is not a bar to marriage, in any case one or other can get adopted by his maternal uncle or something of that sort. I have not examined the horoscopes of the two boys so the hopes I have expressed for their future happiness together should be considered as Arthavada rather than Vidhi- i.e. permissive rather than mandatory.
Rao is right to point out that I'm the author of a stupid book called 'Ghalib, Gandhi & the Gita'. But once a Tam Bram passes a certain age it is inevitable that he will write something foolish of that sort. My book is intended to be funny which is why it isn't at all- but that too is rasabhasa.
Incidentally, Rao baba, I am arguing not for lobotomy but cliterodectomy for you to ensure your happy married life. Us elders have to think of you youngsters' welfare and conjugal happiness. Continuous arguments as to who has the bigger clitoris is not conduce to happy marriage.
Mind it kindly.

ysv_rao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
windwheel said...

I appreciate the interest you express in my posterior but, I'm sorry to inform you that it is for one way traffic only. I may mention that though I have never had a proctology exam I made it a point to exhibit my hemorrhoids to anyone with a PhD- especially Development Economists and Social Choice theory. The reason is, as Hindu, I consider all types of Gyana to be equally worthy of respect. I send my stool samples to Indologists only for this reason. Why should only Medical Doctors get all the fun? If more people followed my example Indology would be greatly advanced.
Incidentally, I spotted you for a Telugu Brahmin and thus probably a PhD of some sort.
Normally you fellows are only interested in Muslim boys who can properly appreciate your paler skin and more gracile build. Still, you should think of settling down with a nice South Indian Brahmin boy like this Sarma fellow. Incidentally, Shahrukh Khan is actually just an Iyengar boy from Kumbakhonam who changed his name to get ahead in the Film business.
Mind it kindly.

ysv_rao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
windwheel said...

Telugu Brahmins do have some unusual features. The hereditary C.F.O's of the Nizams were Brahmins but kept Muslim wives because zenana politics was important back then. I suppose Jagganatha Pandit, whose second wife was Muslim, was also one of yours. Your own achievements, not amongst Muslim women, but men are no doubt the reason for your healthy contempt for a mere Smarta like me. You, no doubt are Srauta but perhaps you'd better go easy on the Srautamani coz it's really indecent the way you keep propositioning me in this public forum and calling me darling and yawning provocatively.
What you don't get is Tamil Brahmins were too busy warding off the unwelcome attentions of catamites like yourself to even notice things like Tipu Sultan.
Please just get married properly with that nice Sarma boy so that your joban gets proper outlet and you stop harrassing and importuning elderly Hindutva bloggers like myself in this unseemly fashion.

ysv_rao said...

calling me darling and yawning provocatively."
LOL! I never knew yawning could be provocative, you learn something new)and weird) everyday.

What you don't get is Tamil Brahmins were too busy warding off the unwelcome attentions of catamites like yourself to even notice things like Tipu Sultan."

Really, was that what SHyama Iyengar was doing in Tipus cabinet?
Why is it that Tamils(B or non B) are the most hated people in Karnataka?
Please just get married properly with that nice Sarma boy so that your joban gets proper outlet and you stop harrassing and importuning elderly Hindutva bloggers like myself in this unseemly fashion."

Now that you are whining about "harassment"(do your fantasies ever cease?), it seems that you want to bring our little shinding to a close.What a pity.

You are a Hindutvadi..seriously! Honestly I took a brief glance at your blog and had absolutely no idea what the heck you were talking about because the writing is so absolutely atrocious.A major problem is that you believe you are a great writer.
I remember a line from Deconstructing Harry where Woody Allen confronts his sullen brother in law "You know you are the opposite of paranoid , you think everyone likes you"...similarly you think you think you piss Dom Perignon and fart Chanel No 5.
There is no hope for you.

If I may make a request -if you really care about Hindutva( a lame political ideology modelled on European nationalism than Hinduism formulated by atheists like Savarkar and Hegdewar) then please defect to the Marxists or Islamists, we can use a guy like you ....on their side.

windwheel said...

Hell hath no fury like a Ysv rao scorned.
Yawning is classed as a sexual invitation (indulged in by low class courtesans and catamites) by Skt writers. You didn't know about it because you are ignorant.
The guy in Tipu's Cabinet was a Telugu speaker and in any case I'm Saivite. Wasn't he blinded by Tipu?
I did not 'whine that you were harassing me'. I said it was unseemly to do so in a public forum and that your 'joban' should get proper outlet in marriage.
You are most welcome to make non-sexual suggestions to me- such as that I become a Marxist or a Muslim or something like that (my DMK loving Uncle urged me to write in Hindi for the same reason)- because there is nothing unseemly about that sort of conduct.
Notice that when you get your mind off your burning need for buggery you are capable of writing statements which (though you have no means of knowing it) are not actually false though uttered with your customary reckless disregard for the truth. I refer to your literary criticism of my oeuvre.
Marry whom you like or buy a vibrator or use the Qutub Minar as a suppository but desist from using the august pages of this blog for your shameless and importunate self-prostitution. Unless you can keep coming up with gems like this- 'Why is it that Tamils(B or non B) are the most hated people in Karnataka?'
Incidentally, the answer is not- as you may think- 'because Tamils refuse to bugger Kannadigas' but has to do with Economics and Politics and stuff of that sort.

Capt. Ajit Vadakayil said...

hi,

this might come as a big surprise.

the hidden reason why educated people all over the world is converting to hindusim is a bit profound, --it has to do with quantum physics.

punch into google search-

RIP IMPOSSIBLE WITH BURIAL, THE WORLD IS GOING BACK TO CREMATION.

capt ajit vadakayil
..

ysv_rao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
windwheel said...

@ysv rao- no doubt you are descended from Krishna Rao, Tipu's Treasurer, have some historical animus against Shyama Iyengar who, though a Telugu speaker, at least had a son who displayed courage in battle rather than the behavior of a money hungry rent boy.
Your continued concern for my rectum is touching but misplaced- no doubt a little turd like you derives a sense of pride by imagining that that you issued from an august Tam Bram spinchter such as that which I possess. However this is not the case.
I know you have constructed this elaborate fantasy for yourself whereby what I actually wrote to you was something like 'little turd, you issued from my anus and thus I am your mother. My plight is like that of Kunti facing Karna etc, etc.' It is these 'pain filled words' which ring in your imagination and the reason you proudly offer condolences to me.
However, these condolences are misplaced.
Be satisfied with whichever anus has uttered you and cherished you and raised you up to your current position as a representative turd of your generation and class.
Cease to pine for a more distinguished ancestry.

ysv_rao said...

Yes how noble of Shyama Iyengars son to serve a tyrant who blinded him! Slavery is strength indeed!

Arent you already late for your appointment with your mother in the Dharavi brothel?You are after all her most frequent client!

I can already anticipate your highly eloquent response: blah blah marry gay Brahmin...rectum of Tam Bram is superior.....

Really with Tam Brams like you, its not too hard to see how the DMK came to power!

windwheel said...

You have no cause to be jealous of my mother. She is not in the same line of business as yourself but is a chaste house-wife. You resent me because I have suggested you give up your vagabond rent-boy ways, ekeing a miserable livelihood out of the produce of your vagrant amours, and just get married properly to that nice Sarma boy and stay at home trying to get pregnant.
I understand your animus against me but nevertheless must repeat my plea that you reform your way of life and cease to be a public nuisance.
I've looked up Shyama Iyengar- he wasn't born in T.N. He spoke Telugu. I don't know if he refused to sodomize your ancestor who was Tipu Sultan's treasurer but the important point is that his son did not rent out his rectum but died bravely on the battlefield. I'm not suggesting that you are capable of bravery or going to a battlefield save for the ignoble purpose of getting yourself buggered but death is still within your capacity.
Incidentally, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu- worst Chief Minister of Madras Presidency ever (he wanted to tear down the textile mills)- was a Telugu Brahmin. Rajaji, with his idiotic ideas re. caste based education and compulsory Hindi was a Brahmin- so, for that matter is the nutcase Subramaniyam Swamy. No wonder we Tam Brams lined up behind MGR a great patriot and idealist whose untimely death we still mourn. Brahmins may or may not be smart. They may advise and do accountancy or engineering or whatever. However, as K.M Munshi has pointed out, it is against the interests of the country, or indeed the Brahmin caste, for them to exercise unrestrained power or monopolize high office.
Humility is the essence of Brahmindom. I myself am the crest-jewel of humility and have awarded myself the Iyer Prize for being the most humble and self-effacing person in the history or futurity of the Universe. I may mention that the Iyer Prize for Humility was joint winner, along with the Nobel Peace Prize, of the Iyer Iyer Prize for bestest Prize ever.
Mind it kindly.

ysv_rao said...


You have no cause to be jealous of my mother. She is not in the same line of business as yourself but is a chaste house-wife. "

The illegitimate son of the woman covered with the sweat of many castes doth protest too much.But then again clearly you are the expert in this area of eunuchs, come hither IOIs(yawns etc) and repeated references to anal intercourse.Since your experience in these matters are unparalleled ,there will be little for me to add.

Your confused ramble about Brahmins is best ignored.

Yes, whether one views your profile with the face made for radio or your incoherent, smug but sadly mediocre "literature"(as you so generously term it) , I am not sure you are eligible for the humility prize...humiliation prize perhaps (but what you do with a ballgag and mask on your weekends is your private business) but not humility.
Ironically you do have a lot to be humble about..

windwheel said...

@ysv-rao-
You are not illegitimate. Your mother was not covered with the sweat of many castes. I did say you protest too much but I did not imply that this was because of any defect in your mother. It is your own insatiable appetite for your own dishonour which has undone you.
I am not an expert in the area of eunuchs but can spot a turd- which is what you are. My experience in this matter is not unparalleled. Virtually everybody, except you, knows that you are a turd. There really is nothing for you to add. You tried to get fresh with me and I put you in your place.
I don't understand your reference to 'ballgag and mask'. Please don't enlighten me. I am not interested in your syphilitic anus. Nobody is.
I appreciate that being humiliated by me on this blog satisfies some masochistic urge of yours and, in so far as typing on your computer or smartphone keeps you off the streets, I have indulged your depraved taste purely out of a concern for the Commonweal.
I don't say you are wrong in saying that my writing is crap but that you are too stupid and illiterate to evaluate its worth. You know nothing. You have no sense of humour. Why are you showing yourself up like this? What is the point?

ysv_rao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
windwheel said...

My blog stats says I get about 5000 hits a month- I think its about 70,000 cumulatively, you are probably thinking of my profile views.
Creative Writing is a hobby for me- as one gets older one tends to get fixed in one's ideas and intellectually narrow and worst of all one loses one's sense of humour.
Well, in any case you say I've made you laugh- so I guess I'm not a total failure at comedy.
The profile photo you dislike was sent to me by a lady- I'm not good looking but the passport photo I was previously using was simply too scary.
Interestingly, another lady (I now do you courtesy of treating you as such)said that my photo was very weird and disturbing. Like you this lady was Indian and from the Brahmin caste. There's probably something about this photo which gives those of your sex and caste the heebie jeebies.
Sour grapes probably. And, no, to answer your question I won't change my mind about you even if you go to Thailand and have the operation.

Romesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Romesh said...

Ysv_rao comes across as a narrow-minded Brahmin full of conceit. He is insulting. Its important that several of these comments be expunged to keep up the otherwise scholarly nature of this site.

I would like to make a few points on Ysv_rao's comments on Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Mahayana Buddhism. I will be selective.

Nepal and Sri Lanka may be part of Indic civilization in the historic sense of the word. However, in the modern day, they represent distinct nationalities which have to be respected.

Sri Lanka in particular can not be subsumed under India. Even the Sri Lankan Tamils had a distinct pre-colonial state in the North of that island with their own customary law and literary heritage since 1215 AD. More so, the Sinhalese with a 2000 year history.

Nepal likewise, while Hindu in the broad sense of the word, represents a fusion of the Indic and the Tibeto-Burman.

As for Indonesia, the Hinduization thereof before the advent of Islam was not a response to Buddhism but preceded that. Hinduism had percolated to the rural grassroots and farming communities more than Buddhism had. This explains why Muslim Javanese retain a quasi-Hindu culture despite their adoption of Islam in the 1500s AD.

Ysv_rao should not talk on subjects he is ill-equipped to address! As to the decline of Mahayana Buddhism, it was because China, Korea and Japan had a historic identity that had preceded and was quite independent of Buddhism. China was Confucianist and Taoist. Japan was Shinto.

The last point I find most objectionable about him was his comment that the Veda did not permit conversion. That's the bigoted Brahmin in him. The Arya Samaj would have a very different take on that very topic and the Hinduization of the Tamil land in South India in the second and first millennium BC itself illustrates why Ysv_rao is incorrect.

I wish people would retain a civility in their comments rather than resort to crude insults.

windwheel said...

'As to the decline of Mahayana Buddhism, it was because China, Korea and Japan had a historic identity that had preceded and was quite independent of Buddhism.'
Was there in fact a decline, save in response to the challenge of the West?
In the case of China we might say a neo Confucian like Han Yu makes some salutary criticisms but the fact is ruling dynasties tended to become more overtly Buddhist not less so. Similarly, Japanese law and mores- e.g. ban on meat of '4 footed animals', enforcement of untouchability etc- tended to get more Buddhist not less with Shinto taking a back seat. Post Meiji promotion of Shinto had amongst its other purposes, also the objective of getting the people to eat beef! Nowadays, of course, the Japanese diet is considered healthier but that was not the conventional thinking a hundred years ago.
Nepal and Sri Lanka, at the elite level, were closely tied to India. Sri Lankan monarchs of whatever religion or ethnicity intermarried with royal families on the mainland. The present Royal purohit of Thailand traces his descent to the Tamil country and tell us that hymns in old Tamil are still used in Abhisheka type ceremonies at the Royal Court.
My feeling is that the connection between India and Java etc was very much a two way street. They were great mariners. There is a lot of linguistic diversity in that region (just as there is in Nepal) so maybe the adoption of a Sanskrit ars dictaminis was not a sign that the elite was 'Hinduized' but that it was simply a way to avoid unproductive arguments. The French and the Germans and so on have no great love for English but the E.C has quietly adopted English as its language of business. In the old days Indologists had to know German, now I think they all write in English to reach a wider audience. It is a matter of convenience merely. Govt. of India now requires all non-language PhD candidates to provide an English translation of their dissertation- this does not mean we Indians have lost our pride, it's just convenience is all.

If Hinduism was just some sort of Imperial or Colonial religion why should anyone respect it? The truth is it is a common heritage of all mankind through which Great Souls can illumine ordinary people. How can it be a monopoly of some elite? Is Mathematics a monopoly? They used to write 'a woman can't be a great mathematician' or 'by the nature of the Chinese language, Chinese people can never be great mathematicians- they are too pragmatic and incapable of abstraction!'
In T.N the move to throwing open priesthood to all castes is a very good example of how Religion can be rescued. I don't want to get into political debate, but it seems obvious to me that elitist attitudes have no place when it comes to the pure and holy space of Religion.
One further point- despicable views should be depicted in the language of bibhatsa- to provoke disgust. To use scholarly politeness, unless one is a professional scholar, when dealing with a hate-monger is not appropriate. 'Answer a fool according to his folly' as the Bible says.
In any case this ysv-rao is was probably writing with tongue in cheek.
Reminded me of my College days.

ysv_rao said...

Ysv_rao comes across as a narrow-minded Brahmin full of conceit."

What have I said that is full of conceit?

He is insulting. "

Whom I have insulted?

Its important that several of these comments be expunged to keep up the otherwise scholarly nature of this site. "

Really?

I would like to make a few points on Ysv_rao's comments on Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Mahayana Buddhism. I will be selective.

Nepal and Sri Lanka may be part of Indic civilization in the historic sense of the word. However, in the modern day, they represent distinct nationalities which have to be respected. "


I never claimed that India should annex these nations!I merely claimed in the past they were a part of "greater India"

Sri Lanka in particular can not be subsumed under India. "

Thats really not what I said at all.



Even the Sri Lankan Tamils had a distinct pre-colonial state in the North of that island with their own customary law and literary heritage since 1215 AD. More so, the Sinhalese with a 2000 year history. "

It is more than 2000 years, 2500 if Sinhalese legends are any indication.And perhaps even more,the Mahabharata refers to "barbarous Sinhalas", could very well be them.
All this doesnt change the fact that Sri Lankan culture was an offshoot of India.Not unlike how American,Canadian,Australian and NZ all point to Mother England for their language,culture ,customs etc.



Nepal likewise, while Hindu in the broad sense of the word, represents a fusion of the Indic and the Tibeto-Burman. "

Yes I acknowledged this.

As for Indonesia, the Hinduization thereof before the advent of Islam was not a response to Buddhism but preceded that. "

Seriously? Hinduization really didnt occur in SE Asia until the great explosions of mariner energy from Southern India well after C.E

Hinduism had percolated to the rural grassroots and farming communities more than Buddhism had. "

How is this known?

This explains why Muslim Javanese retain a quasi-Hindu culture despite their adoption of Islam in the 1500s AD."

More likely because as Buddhism was a centralized religion, it was pretty easy to displace once you destroy the monasteries and slaughter the monks.Hinduism due its decentralized nature was another matter altogether.



Ysv_rao should not talk on subjects he is ill-equipped to address!"
Im sorry but you havent really offered any new knowledge but nit picked on minor details on what I already posted!

As to the decline of Mahayana Buddhism, it was because China, Korea and Japan had a historic identity that had preceded and was quite independent of Buddhism. China was Confucianist and Taoist. Japan was Shinto. "

Ok , but how does it explain the decline of Buddhism in those countries? Whether or not it was imported from India, it had been there for a long time and is a part of those countries identities.


The last point I find most objectionable about him was his comment that the Veda did not permit conversion. That's the bigoted Brahmin in him."

Now whos being insulting?


The Arya Samaj would have a very different take on that very topic"

The Arya Samaj also believes the secrets of rocket propulsion with nuclear energy are encoded in the Vedas.Should I take their word for that as well?


and the Hinduization of the Tamil land in South India in the second and first millennium BC itself illustrates why Ysv_rao is incorrect."

If Manu hails from the kingdom of Dravida and Cholas,Cheras and Pandyas are mentioned as early as the Mahabharata, what makes you think "Hinduization" occurred so late?


I wish people would retain a civility in their comments rather than resort to crude insults."

It takes two to tango.I got into a tiff with windwheel and that Italian Hindu convert when I was minding my own business.You seem to have no problem with them initiating it!

Either way , for my part I feel bad for tarnishing Dr Elst comment section.

I will delete a good chunk of my less than savory comments.

ysv_rao said...

...agreed with pretty much all of first para..


If Hinduism was just some sort of Imperial or Colonial religion why should anyone respect it?

It is not neccesary that imperial and colonial religions not be respected.Christianity and Islam started as more or less imperial religions and slowly entered the hearts of the conquered.
It is likely Hinduism in SE Asia was initially confined to Indian colonial settlers but spread to the locals throu conversion and intermarriage away from prying eyes of "bigoted" Brahmins like myself.




The truth is it is a common heritage of all mankind through which Great Souls can illumine ordinary people. How can it be a monopoly of some elite?"


Hinduism is not the monopoly of an "elite",it is the heritage of all Bharatiya people.Brahmins are simply its guardians and record keepers.




Is Mathematics a monopoly? They used to write 'a woman can't be a great mathematician' or 'by the nature of the Chinese language, Chinese people can never be great mathematicians- they are too pragmatic and incapable of abstraction!'
In T.N the move to throwing open priesthood to all castes is a very good example of how Religion can be rescued.
THis "bigoted" Brahmin agrees with this move and endoreses it wholeheartedly.But quite as wild abut the DMKs insitence that the prayers be conducted in Tamil!


I don't want to get into political debate, but it seems obvious to me that elitist attitudes have no place when it comes to the pure and holy space of Religion."

Purity and holiness by their very nature breed elitism of sorts. Some elitism is good ,some bad.

Elitism which guards Vedic culture from being subsumed and destroyed in the manner of Zoroastrianism -good.Elitism which prevents the return of Islamic fold back to Hinduism -bad.

One further point- despicable views should be depicted in the language of bibhatsa- to provoke disgust. To use scholarly politeness, unless one is a professional scholar, when dealing with a hate-monger is not appropriate."

Apparently not throwing your door open to every tom,dick and harry to the most enlighted religious discipline in the world which took our ancestors millenia to create and warned against external propagation(which is Brahmins werent allowed to cross oceans) is now considered hatefilled.

'Answer a fool according to his folly' as the Bible says.
In any case this ysv-rao is was probably writing with tongue in cheek."

There is nothing tongue in cheek about my belief in restricting access to outsiders.
I doubt you realize that most Westerners dont convert to Hinduism due to their deep belief in the profundity of the Upanishads and the like but in their mistaken notion that Hinduism is more "spiritual" than religious ,that it is less dogmatic and freedom loving that Western Christianity and Hindus are less repressed because they are all into Kamasutra,yoga,colors of holi, singing and dancing and stuff.Most of them just want to stick it to Daddy!
This explains the appeals of hippies and silly celebrities like Julia Roberts and Russell Brand to Hinduism.We can do without them.
Genuine seekers are few and far between.They are better off with Buddhism.

Reminded me of my College days."

What was college like under the British Raj ..sorry couldnt resist!

windwheel said...

There are examples of purely Imperial religions- Roman God-Emperors including two of Semitic origin- and Theocratic states but Christianity and Islam, in their origin, were nothing of the sort. People like Witzel and Pollock appear to be trying to cast Hinduism in this mould but can't demonstrate that an incentive mechanism for this to happen existed. Now Iran has a very different geography militating for synoecism in Religion and a centralized priestly/bureaucratic caste. This is associated with the deliberate restriction on Pehlevi literacy. Nothing remotely like that ever existed in India. Ipseity and alterity tend to be the opposite sides of the same coin in all Indic traditions. Multiple alleigances tend to be the rule rather than the exception. Ritual specialists exist in all castes.If Tamil Brahmins have some Skt. so do Valluvars- priests to the 'Pariah'community. The Doms of Benares are described as wealthy and of good physique whereas the Brahmins were poor and emaciated. Casteist or Regionalist chauvinism is quite harmless and entertaining when it is restricted to comic jibes and scurrilous repartee. Karna was the soul of generoisty- his racialist imprecation of Shalya is funny but clearly it is not a model to emulate.
No doubt, as kids, parents or teachers may say 'this is our tradition- follow it and don't imitate the traditions of those others.' This could give rise to the feeling that our tradition is superior or their tradition is somehow ridiculous or disgusting. However, as one grows up, one rises above this childish 'heteronomy' and seeks for universal principles.
The Rg Veda shows Rishi Bharadwaj himself taking the help and praising one of different nation and profession. Chandogya shows that 'Brahmins' learned the true doctrine from Kshatriyas- but also a plain and simple carter. If Bhagvad Gita appears to condone misogyny and casteism (I believe this is an error) then Vyadha Gita shows women and even butchers as superior to Brahmin meditators
This Deepak Sarma may be sincere in his devotion to Madhva parampara and it is true that to keep their doctrine pure (especially when Advaita was considered the most prestigious) they may have said something like 'look this is the tradition of our ancestors. So we must preserve it.'
However, there is no danger now to that parampara and so no need for exlusivism. Maybe with Zoroastrianism there was such a need- but even they are contemplating dropping exclusivism because of the great advance in education and availability of multi=media and Web based resources such that the non Parsi spouse can remain true to the tradition and not accidentally introduce innovations.
Back in the Sixties and Seventies there was some fear that if the Beatles start playing sitar, our parampara will be destroyed, or if some African, like Swami Ghanananda, or American, like David Frawley, learns our scriptures then they will just turn it into some mumbo jumbo or boogie woogie.
In fact no such thing occurred.
Actually, we used to have plenty of prejudices within India itself. I remember one young shop keeper in Connaught place telling me 'you should go to Swami Narayan temple easily reachable on Metro. One thing- it is very clean, those people are from Gujerat, but still it is very good. You will like'.
The funny thing is I understood what he meant. 'it is very clean but still good'
I no longer remember my College days at all clearly. There was one young fellow called M.K. Gandhi. Terrible hooligan. Dadhabhai Naorojee used to beat him unmercifully.
I was in love with a girl called Sarojini but she went and married some Naidu fellow.
I wonder what happened to all those friends of my youth?

Karthikrajan said...

@ysv_rao: Agreed that braahmans are the guardians and record keepers of hinduism. In Tamilnadu itself, as far as i have seen, it looks like only the braahman community speaks pure 'Thamizh' with proper pronunciations, of course with a distinctive style, whereas other communities speak a slang variety. I can sense some contradiction in your statements: u say that Elitism which prevents the return of Islamic fold back to Hinduism is bad. Aren't u doing the same thing by insisting that non-indians need not convert to hinduism ? Aren't u preventing humanity from seeking the true universal religion, for whatever reason - be it spiritual or religious? Let them come first, later u may impart true 'upanishadic' wisdom to them - whatever it means. why do u call celebrities like julia roberts , silly? Is it because of her 'lowly' profession, or has she ever spoken about hinduism like a scholar?
Both u, windwheel and Dr KE have a lot to offer to non-scholars like me. Polemics is acceptable but vulgar-abusive language has to be avoided.
@windwheel: throwing up priesthood to all castes is good no doubt, but how will that rescue religion? in the sense that why do all castes clamour for priesthood? very recently a priest from lower caste committed suicide in TN because people from other castes looked at him with disdain. surely, something more has to be done to rescue religion. Hope scholars debate more on the psychology part.

windwheel said...

@Karthikarajan- the Hindu priest faced a lot of problems- some patrons were miserly and had a superiority complex, others were weak minded and inclined to spend a lot on all sorts of superstitions fancies, on top of that there was the notion that he was 'eater of sin- psychologically the position of the priest was a bad one. Under the British, the sons had some small chance to come up educationally because the wealthy classes were not interested in sending their sons for clerical work. However, the priest's position grew worse not better after Independence. Patrons became more miserly. Younger generation scoffed at them and adopted Left Wing ideology. Reservations reduced the chance for their children to come forward. The mania for 'Convent School education' meant that even if the son or daughter somehow learned English still they did not have the elite accent and outlook- only Maths or Physics or I.T offered some way out but now even those fields are too crowded.
The priests are not all demoralized but the numbers are dropping. Lower availability of priests tends to lead to lower demand for priestly services- people substitute Temple visit or visit to teerth for the traditional rituals.
The first step to restore the position of priests is to show that it is a field of excellence, not just some old mumbo jumbo handed down from father to son. Where there is free competition, people become more spirited and have a determination to excel. Obviously, if I see a priest from some different community- say if the son of a big Industrialist becomes a priest, or if the son of a low class drunkard becomes a priest- I will say to myself, there must be something special in him which led to his choice of profession. But where does that 'specialness' come from? Must be God, not heredity. So my attitude to this priest will be different from if I think 'this is our family priest, once a year he comes round to change our sacred thread. It is a nuisance simply.'
The parent's attitude will influence the children. They will think 'Hindu priests are lazy or stupid fellows who are still following their ancestral vocation. Be miserly towards them. They are nothing but licensed beggars.'
This attitude causes the death of Religion and the cult of bogus Godmen and Godwomen who claim to be God but indulge in perverted sex and hoarding black money. If a boy or girl has true 'tejas' and is attracted to this line, let him or her come up- take proper Certification and receive proper respect of the community.
I am very sorry to hear about the suicide of the priest you mention. Such a thing is very inauspicious and bodes ill for younger generation. However, the great people of Tamil Nadu will never permit such a sacrifice to go in vain. Some years ago the Bishop of the Christians in Pakistan committed suicide to protest the escalating violence against his people. Rather than weakening his people, it showed them they had to stand up for themselves and it drew attention to their plight.
In T.N, there is an economic issue- better prospects for agricultural labor is putting the squeeze on the dominant castes. They think that by humiliating the workers they will destroy their spirit and thus they will work for the old wages. Such a view is simply mad. People will run away to the Cities. Economics has its own laws.
My grandfather was a Trade Union leader during the British Raj. Labor made a lot of progress, especially during the War. But this caused jealousy and the feeling that 'lower castes are getting arrogant'. Chief Minister Prakasam proposed destroying the Textile Mills! Why? Because if landless laborers can go to work in the mills for good wages, who will do the work on the zamindar's fields. I'm no friend of Communism, but on this occasion they were right to resist Prakasam.

windwheel said...

In matters of music I may be a rasika to some extent but I'm not a singer. I don't have that tejas. Music will die if I become the Dictator of music. However, a genuine singer will always recognize a youngster with 'tejas' regardless of his social origin. He may abuse him, as Karna was abused, he may beat or curse him, but he will never be guilty of saying 'O, that Ekalavya- no real talent. Just some monkey tricks.' You will often find so called 'rasikas' saying such things. They are the enemies of Promise.
Ramanujan, the mathematician, was just some small black Madrasi fellow. Prof. Hardy was not doing charity when he took him up. He spotted the 'tejas' the 'pratibha', what is called 'genius'. How could mathematics come forward if only the sons of mathematicans were considered to be fit to derive proofs and theorems?

I don't want to paint an exaggerated picture or to mislead you according to my own ignorance. I would say that a young man like you is well able to judge things for himself. Still, I am sure, if you saw a young man like yourself who is full of 'tejas' for the priest's profession, you yourself would spontaneously go towards him.
In the MhB, Karna who was (falsely) insulted on account of his birth says 'those who take priest from such and such caste are the lowest of the low.' By such words, Karna undoes himself.
Even if one is not a Hindu but is a resident or well wisher of India, still one would wish for Hinduism to have a good and able priestly caste with high standing and good reputation- similar to Xtianity, Islam, Judaism etc.
India is going through huge changes which are causing a lot psychic distress. Organized Religion must play a part in finding new and innovative ways to take care of the psychic wounds of the people. See this terrible rape in New Delhi. What has caused young men to behave in such a bestial fashion? If you see the surnames- one fellow is a Brahmin, another a Thakor- they are not from history sheeter families. What caused this devilishness?
Of all the politicians, only Speaker of the House, Smt. Meira Kumar has shown real sensitivity on this issue. Normally, she is very quiet.
If this lady had chosen to be a priest rather than IFS officer or politician or whatever- how would it have hurt Hinduism?
I don't have the answers to these questions but I am sure the younger generation will meet this challenge and find a resolution.

Karthikrajan said...

@windwheel: That was a nice elucidation on priesthood. i was under the impression that hinduism is best served if priesthood is left to the braahmans. But opening it to all communities including non-indians, would be better. i am not sure how the braahmans are responding. If there is opposition they should be gently persuaded rather than by militant aggression as shown by the DK brand politicians. Maybe then such suicides by priests of other communities can be prevented.

ysv_rao said...

@ Karthikrajan Agreed that braahmans are the guardians and record keepers of hinduism. In Tamilnadu itself, as far as i have seen, it looks like only the braahman community speaks pure 'Thamizh' with proper pronunciations, of course with a distinctive style, whereas other communities speak a slang variety."

Thanks for this info.It amazes me how the DMK burnt its bridges with Brahmins when the latter wouldve able to contribute to a Tamil Renaissance.



I can sense some contradiction in your statements: u say that Elitism which prevents the return of Islamic fold back to Hinduism is bad. Aren't u doing the same thing by insisting that non-indians need not convert to hinduism ?"

I dont see the contradiction.On one hand I am talking about formely Hindu peoples who have crossed over to Islam. But you are talking about foreigners who ancestors have not contributed to Bharatiya heritage.


Aren't u preventing humanity from seeking the true universal religion, for whatever reason - be it spiritual or religious? "


What I am preventing humanity from is taking the sorry remains of a once glorious civilization(lets not mince words -V S Naipaul was right about India and therefore Hinduism- "a wounded civilization) and just making it worse.
Western hippies and ISKCON types have done extensive damage to Hinduism and its image.I dont wish for any more of the same.
I dont know what you mean "universal religion"....if by that you mean all religions provide a guide for good conduct in this life and path for the afterlife, then to some extent yes.
I also believe that Hinduism if practiced as before say 100 AD was the greatest religion and it was because it was subject to very stringent rules and criteria as to what was allowed and rejected in its corpus.
The decline of Hinduism started much before the arrival of Islam with Huns and Scythians masquerading as Ikshvaku and Chandravanshi dynasties creating great havoc in both north and south India and facilitating severely harmful religious trends such as bhakti which turned Hinduism in to the hopeless muddle we know today.


Let them come first, later u may impart true 'upanishadic' wisdom to them - whatever it means. why do u call celebrities like julia roberts , silly?"

Because most celebrities are silly people.Its the nature of celebrity.
Is it because of her 'lowly' profession, or has she ever spoken about hinduism like a scholar? "

To some extent I do consider acting a "lowly" profession because they are almost cattle in the hands of the filmmaker and are told how to feel and think in various different characters.This does great damage to their own character in the long term!

Both u, windwheel and Dr KE have a lot to offer to non-scholars like me. Polemics is acceptable but vulgar-abusive language has to be avoided. "

I know...


@windwheel: throwing up priesthood to all castes is good no doubt, but how will that rescue religion? in the sense that why do all castes clamour for priesthood? very recently a priest from lower caste committed suicide in TN because people from other castes looked at him with disdain."

Unfortunate but such incidents are inevitable in any type of social change where the entrenched classes feel threatened.During desegragation in Southern U.S, there were wide scale resentment and violence by whites that they had to rub elbows with blacks.In time it passed and now its obviously a non issue.

surely, something more has to be done to rescue religion. Hope scholars debate more on the psychology part."

No need for psychology, let lower castes create Siddhas.That would get Brahmans to worship them as they did with a shepherd boy called Krishna.



ysv_rao said...

Karna was the soul of generoisty- his racialist imprecation of Shalya is funny but clearly it is not a model to emulate."

Oh go easy on Karna in this matter!

He was just subscribing a long established contempt of the Pataliputra Ayodhya belt for the Northwestern peoples. Initiated by Sagara when put many Kambojas(afghans),Madras(Punjabis and Sindhis)Sakas(proto Scythians-probably Uzbeks of that era) and Pahlavas(Persians) to the sword
and imposed on them humiliating conditions.

This conflict survives to this day in the form of the conflict between Indian and Pakistan. And within India the resentment that "poorbias" (what northwesterners contemptibly refer to UP and Biharis) feel at Punjabi ,Sindhi ,Pushtun and Marwari domination of the military,economy and film industry.
Let us not sit here and pretend these communities achieved such predominance in a meritocratic setting!

The Rg Veda shows Rishi Bharadwaj himself taking the help and praising one of different nation and profession. Chandogya shows that 'Brahmins' learned the true doctrine from Kshatriyas- "

I think Brahmins learnt pretty all they know -down to their rituals and manner of clothing and grooming from Ikshvaku.


but also a plain and simple carter. If Bhagvad Gita appears to condone misogyny and casteism (I believe this is an error) "

On first appearance, it may appear to do so but one has to remember the context of the Bhagvad Gita.
Draupadi due to her female nature wanted Pandavas to conduct war for sake of vengeance but what Krishna counseled was not pacifism of course but war for the right reasons.i.e. justice.And women being more emotionally prone were considered less likely to conduct policy on less basis on shastras than on emotion.
As for casteism, it was more a plea for social stability than entrenching bigotry.He spoke out against mixing of castes just before the advent of Kali Yuga.Perhaps he was vainly trying to avert it- he knew that any type of upheaval(good or bad) can lead to very dangerous territory.
witness the fate of the French,Russian,Nazi,Chinese,Iranians and various other revolutions...10s of millions dead,starvation,famine,destruction and totalitarianism.
He was pleading simply for thelesser evil.



then Vyadha Gita shows women and even butchers as superior to Brahmin meditators"

Indeed.But most womens siddha abilities were by proxy ....Sita was able to withstand the agni pariksha due to her proximity to Rama.Similarly Rukmini at times was considered a greater yogi than Krishna even though her penance was minimal.
I think it was hunters rather than butchers as they had a very physical lifestyle and had acquired to dieties as they found penance easier to conduct.
It was elaborating and articulating the nature of the dieties where Brahmins knowledge and analytical abilities came in handy.

windwheel said...

@Rao- 'Karna was just subscribing a long established contempt of the Pataliputra Ayodhya belt for the Northwestern peoples.' Clearly this contempt was not shared by his biological mother or brothers.
If you look at Karna's speech, what you will see is that he is using a special type of imprecation used to throw of supernatural possession or the working of a virulent poison. Now we know Shalya had the property of turning anyone's aggressive power against himself- a bit like Valin, in the Ramayana. Thus the potency of Karna's imprecation is turned against himself as per Shalya's previous compact. This is Karna's moment of 'hamartia'- he misses the mark.
Different regions have different customs. The same Pundit who observes that Kashmiris chanted shlokas in an unpleasant fashion, never denied that Sarada herself had her abode there.

Your historicist reading of Scripture is not part of any Brahmin sampradaya- you have picked it up from stupid fuckwits of the Witzel type. You probably think Byrappa is a great historian. Why not add Kosambi to your list? These people, whatever their other accomplishments, were provincial auto-didacts inventing their own historicist 'just so' stories' in a manner unconnected with any Brahmin or Shraman sampradaya.
There are plenty of stupid Brahmins who write nonsense on the internet. (I'm a Brahminbandhu btw). Matilal and Billimoria, Brahmin philosophers who got turned around at some point (vide-http://socioproctology.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/matilal) by the influence of Gayatri Spivak, are also unreliable.
You write 'Draupadi due to her female nature wanted Pandavas to conduct war for sake of vengeance'- what 'female nature'? She was born from the fire sacrifice without a biological mother. Women are the fountain of Ahimsa. Lord Mahavira addresses Ahimsa as Bhagvati.
You are a man and I'm a man. We can insult each other as much as we like or even trade blows- so what? No one bears a grudge- it is a tamasha.
But why tell lies about the female sex?
I am not a fan of NDTV, but I had tears in my eyes listening to Smt. Meira Kumar speaking on the recent atrocity. My father, who was her boss when she was a diplomat in London, had the highest praise for her. You would never think that such a modest and hard working person was the daughter of the (then) Deputy Prime Minister.
What is the point of saying 'women want vengeance'- you and I probably gave trouble to our Mums either during birth or subsequently. Why have they not taken vengeance against us?
There is no misogyny in Brahminism. Nor is there racism or elitist attitude. Just for a joke, to add 'masala', there is no harm in indulging in outrageous claims and obscene imprecation. We are not angels, we are men.
Just recently, and old friend called me on skype and we started exchanging 'gali'. I saw his son come behind him grinning- I said 'better stop', he said 'no, no- he's old enough, let him learn from the Master!' But when wife came home, son gave the signal and we all began speaking very politely. That lady thinks I'm some sort of Sadhu type and that her husband only phones me to discuss Upanishads!
My point is that you should not be misled if you hear elderly people insulting each other- 'Gujju bastard!, "Madrasi rent-boy' etc, etc- we will shut up quickly enough if a lady comes into the room.

windwheel said...


@Karthikrajan- Politics is Politics, don't blame any party (except for Corruption and Hooliganism).
The Leftists believed 'Religion is opium of the people'- so naturally they want the number of candidates for Priesthood to continually decrease till they disappear or are just totally marginalized as a type of beggar or snake-charmer or such like hereditary and educationally backward caste.
Tamil Nadu welcomes anyone from any region- MGR was from Kerala, Rajnikanth is of Marathi origin- so what? I think biggest Sri Lankan Saivite sect had a white American satguru- so what? Who can say someone is 'ours' or 'not ours' on basis of birth? Gender is also not an issue. Avvaiyar is the most beloved teacher of the poor children who were not getting education and feeling left out.
You are a young man and can find the truth by yourself. Growing older, stupid people like me turn towards the Saints just like those poor children who could not get a place in the school.
God bless.

ysv_rao said...

Your historicist reading of Scripture is not part of any Brahmin sampradaya-"

Maybe that is a defect in our cultural heritage.The attention we pay to recording of history is very poor indeed compared to say Chinese or Romans.

Its too bad my reading of history is something you found rather nonPC, well history is not politically correct.When recorded well, it should be an assortment of brutal truths about different societies..some of which endure and some dont.The Northwestern type endures....I know this is not a popular view but I really dont give a damn.

you have picked it up from stupid fuckwits of the Witzel type. "

Witzel is an AIT enabler.Do I sound like an AIT guy?


You probably think Byrappa is a great historian. Why not add Kosambi to your list? These people, whatever their other accomplishments, were provincial auto-didacts inventing their own historicist 'just so' stories' in a manner unconnected with any Brahmin or Shraman sampradaya. "

I havent examined either of them so I cant comment.

Re the female gender- there is nothing morally superior about womanhood.We all love our mothers but they are human like everyone else with their glories and warts.

Ive met thoroughly disagreeable women who were wonderful to their children.So I dont get your analogy in this regard.

Women's morality stems from the culture in which they dwell.
Lets not fall for the women=good,men=bad type of simplistic equation.Women like men are can be angels or demons as the situation or their nature demands.

Finally I will only say this much about many Hindus being wild about white converts.
This is little more than the Hindu inferiority complex vis a vis whites at work.
Most of these Hindus are just thrilled that these peoples (whom they consider "superior") have given their stamp of approval to their faith.
While I dont care for their "approval" I do care for a strong resurgent and heterodox Hindu faith that can withstand the soul crushing modernity of 21st century.
I dont Hinduism not to be loved but respected.

Karthikrajan said...

@ysv_rao:
"dont see the contradiction.On one hand I am talking about formely Hindu peoples who have crossed over to Islam.
But you are talking about foreigners who ancestors have not contributed to Bharatiya heritage".
Agreed that non-indians haven't contributed to hinduism so far, but shouldn't they be allowed to do so
in future? Hinduism is like a mother, not a master who will take a servant only if he is worthwhile.
she would embrace her rebellious kids and also those who take refuge.

"Because most celebrities are silly people.Its the nature of celebrity".
Maybe , but i don't understand how this can be held against them in their quest for hinduism. Hinduism may actually help
in de-sillyfying them, who knows !!!

"Western hippies and ISKCON types have done extensive damage to Hinduism and its image.I dont wish for any more of the same".
If they have spoilt hinduism, then it is because the real gurus have done nothing to prevent it. Let us do it now.

"Chandravanshi dynasties creating great havoc in both north and south India and facilitating severely harmful
religious trends such as bhakti which turned Hinduism in to the hopeless muddle we know today".
Agreed that hinduism has become a muddle , but it is not hopeless, because bhakthi as such is not harmful. Excessive bhakthi is.
Bhakthi in a way breeds loyalty. That is why majority hindus refused to convert, and preserved the religion.

"No need for psychology, let lower castes create Siddhas.That would get Brahmans to worship them as they did with a
shepherd boy called Krishna".
Agreed, but was krishna a born sidhdha, a tutored one or a self made man ? I don't know. But most
common folk require a guru to become or discover the sidhdha in them. I have to recollect this wonderful dialogue from the film
Rambo-III, where Rambo's mentor says this to him: A sculptor doesn't create the statue, he merely chips off the blocks that were
covering it !!! HInduism has to provide such true sculptors who would do the chipping work to all, indians and non-indians.

"I dont Hinduism not to be loved but respected."
Agreed, and love (getting to know) comes easily than respect (appreciation).
How would someone respect you unless he gets to know you? How would someone know you unless you open up to them? This is my point.
Throw open hinduism to all, hi-lives or low-lives. Hindu converts are not like salt dissolving in water which changes the taste
and makes it undrinkable to others. It is like dust sprayed on water. One needs patience for the dust to settle down and pure
water to emerge on top - to make it an eternal ganga, as it has been so far.

@windwheel:
"Politics is Politics, don't blame any party (except for Corruption and Hooliganism)"
Agreed. I am unable to make out whether DK brand anti-braahmanism is calculated hooliganism or sheer ignorant opportunism.
i believe it is the former. DK members went to the extent of cutting sacred threads (nick named 'cross belts' by us in our
friend's circle !!) in TN. After some intelligent counter attack in the press (whether muslims would keep quiet if somebody
toppled their skull caps ?!) these incidents died out. NOthing to worry about getting old, sir. People don't get stupid, in fact
they hold a wealth of knowldge. You and ysv_rao should write a book on various characters in mahabharata an ramayana.
For eg.: why did bhishma sideline karna ? Was it his dislike for him or was there some other reason ?

Venkat Raman said...

I am surprised at the outset that some Americans do get converted to Hinduism. Hindu "gurus" seldom have the courage to mention the contributions of Hinduism before an American audience. At lease I didn't find one. They all give an impression that all that is good is from Buddhism. Thus when they talk of yoga or meditation, they market them as Buddhistic concepts! Also, most Americans seem to be comfortable with Buddha - a founder like Jesus.

So it makes sense when you say that even with all these hurdles, some Americans do convert to Hinduism because they see truth in its concepts.

Venkat Raman said...

There are statements in the Vedas which opens doors to all. For example: Athaidaaneem Kalyaaneem vaacham aavadhaani janebhya:. Brahma raajanyabhyaam. Shudraaya caaryaaya ca. svaaya ca caaranaaya ca. Loosely rendered, this means : These auspicious words are for Brahmana, Kshatriya, Shudra and Aarya (Vaishya) - for our own people (svaaya ca) and for foreigners too (aranaaya ca). To me this svaaya should be read with reference to the four varnaas, as "our own" people belong to one varna or the other. "Foreginers" are *not* to be excluded just because they do not belong to one Varna or the other! So Vedas do take into consideration this basic reality and try to transcend these artificial divisions.

ysv_rao said...


There are statements in the Vedas which opens doors to all. For example: Athaidaaneem Kalyaaneem vaacham aavadhaani janebhya:. Brahma raajanyabhyaam. Shudraaya caaryaaya ca. svaaya ca caaranaaya ca. Loosely rendered, this means : These auspicious words are for Brahmana, Kshatriya, Shudra and Aarya (Vaishya) - for our own people (svaaya ca) and for foreigners too (aranaaya ca). To me this svaaya should be read with reference to the four varnaas, as "our own" people belong to one varna or the other. "Foreginers" are *not* to be excluded just because they do not belong to one Varna or the other!"

I have to take issue with your translation of aranaaya as foreigner. Aranaaya means forest dweller , tribes well within the borders of Bharatavarsha.

They may outside the chaturvarna but they arenot foreigners.

Many tribals have contributed in the Sagar Manthana due to their knowledge of herbs which was invaluable in creating Ayurvedic medicine.

Similarly they played a big part in the Ramayana where gave provided Rama with strong logistical and tactical support due to their knowledge of the terrain.

Even much later we see Gonds siding with Rani Durgavati to fight Akbar.

ysv_rao said...

Hindu "gurus" seldom have the courage to mention the contributions of Hinduism before an American audience. At lease I didn't find one."

This has not been my experience.Most gurus Ive come across which seem to cater to whites not only highlight contributions of Hindus in various fields such as astronomy,metallury,mathematics,chemistry,drama,art,architechture,engineering and what have you but also indulge in crank Arya Samaj/PN Oak type theories about how ancient Hindus used nuclear weapons,airplanes and discovered the theory of relativity!

They all give an impression that all that is good is from Buddhism. Thus when they talk of yoga or meditation, they market them as Buddhistic concepts! Also, most Americans seem to be comfortable with Buddha - a founder like Jesus. "

I understand.Hinduism with its myriad of dieties is too bewildering for the average American Christian and his staid and no frills Protestantism.In those who crave Buddhism are similar to those which Dr Elst talked about-who believe that Hinduism today is all about Patanjali and Vedanta.

However there are those who are attracted to Hinduism BECAUSE they find it so chaotic .THese are the Julia Roberts and Beatles types..best avoided.

ysv_rao said...

Agreed that non-indians haven't contributed to hinduism so far, but shouldn't they be allowed to do so"

We can appreciate those like Dr Elst and David Frawley for their amazing contributions and their names should be placed alongside those of Dayanand Saraswati and Vivekananda.Contribution is one thing,acceptance is another.
In my view Buddhism is really not just Hinduism made palatable for foreigners but also the acceptance of foreigners made palatable for Hindus!
Conversion to Buddhism is a win win for foreigners and Hindus.

Hinduism is like a mother, not a master who will take a servant only if he is worthwhile.
she would embrace her rebellious kids and also those who take refuge. "

Hinduism is not a mother to all but to a few.
We can consider these "rebellious kids" after we squash their rebellion.


...Hinduism may actually help
in de-sillyfying them, who knows !!! "


That is not our problem!We have enough issues than to deal with it as it is.

If they have spoilt hinduism, then it is because the real gurus have done nothing to prevent it. Let us do it now."

yes.

Agreed that hinduism has become a muddle , but it is not hopeless, because bhakthi as such is not harmful. Excessive bhakthi is.
Bhakthi in a way breeds loyalty. That is why majority hindus refused to convert, and preserved the religion."

I will yield to you that Bhakti played a role in Hindus preserving their religion.But then again bhakti itself is not sufficient.Bhakti is more of fatalist religion in the mould of Calvinist or Puritan Christianity and the Russian Orthodox Church,where your actions have little bearing on your fate.
Christianity could not be saved from Islam in its ancestral lands because in those areas, it was the more passive Orthodox bhakti type which believed that Islamic invasions were an act of God and it was best to submit and petition the conquerors to spare the faith.


"No need for psychology, let lower castes create Siddhas.That would get Brahmans to worship them as they did with a
shepherd boy called Krishna".
Agreed, but was krishna a born sidhdha, a tutored one or a self made man ? "
A combination of all above.


I don't know. But most
common folk require a guru to become or discover the sidhdha in them. I have to recollect this wonderful dialogue from the film
Rambo-III, where Rambo's mentor says this to him: A sculptor doesn't create the statue, he merely chips off the blocks that were
covering it !!! HInduism has to provide such true sculptors who would do the chipping work to all, indians and non-indians."


Not everyone is capable of siddhi even after strenuous effort.Your birth does play some part but not all.

I think the best explanation on siddha and Hinduism in general was given by a Kunal Singh,an Indian American of Bihari origin, on various Hindu and Indian newsgroups.You can find his thoughts in the archives
groups.google.com
type Kunal Singh Vedas or Kunal Singh Indra, siddhi,Shiva or some other Hindu term and you will come up with his amazing insights.
In my opinion ,hardly any Hindu gurus have as strong as insight as he does on Hinduism.


"I dont Hinduism not to be loved but respected."
Agreed, and love (getting to know) comes easily than respect (appreciation).
How would someone respect you unless he gets to know you? How would someone know you unless you open up to them? This is my point."

No need for that.Lets us simply restore Hinduism to its pristine state and that will attract respect and admiration like bees to nectar.

"..It is like dust sprayed on water. One needs patience for the dust to settle down and pure
water to emerge on top - to make it an eternal ganga, as it has been so far. "

I would actually use the Ganga metaphor to make my point not yours as the Ganga is heavily polluted! This is how I view foreigners "contributions" to Hinduism, Dr Elst and Frawly aside.

Karthikrajan said...

@ysv_rao: "I have to take issue with your translation of aranaaya as foreigner. Aranaaya means forest dweller ,
tribes well within the borders of Bharatavarsha."
ok, so which word in the vedhas refers to foreigners? If no such word can be found then Aranaaya (or is it Aaranya ?)
should also mean foreigners apart from forest dwellers. To my knowledge the concept of bharatvarsha was born after
the vedhic periods.

"However there are those who are attracted to Hinduism BECAUSE they find it so chaotic .THese are the Julia Roberts
and Beatles types..best avoided."
Funny !, how did you find out that julia roberts types were attracted to hinduism because she finds it chaotic? Did they say
that, or have u extrapolated this from the 'chaotic' profession they have chosen.? Even if they did, it is our job to
clear the chaos in their minds.

"Hinduism is not a mother to all but to a few"
I didn't say that, i only said that she should 'behave' like a mother to all those who take refuge.
"We can consider these rebellious kids after we squash their rebellion".
Quashing rebellions? Yee gods !! , just how ? Like the way islam does by suicide bombing ??????? You direly need to
reconsider your stand here, dear sir !!

"That is not our problem! We have enough issues than to deal with it as it is"
Sure is not, just allow hinduism to deal with her, no big deal i guess. What problems can she create which iskon and beatles
haven't created already - by your own info.

"Christianity could not be saved from Islam in its ancestral lands because in those areas, it was the more passive
Orthodox bhakthi type which believed that Islamic invasions were an act of God and it was best to submit and petition
the conquerors to spare the faith."
Fine, let us then fight orthodox bhakthi and propagate real bhakthi and save the bhakthaas. The terror gang Boko Haram is
actively purging christianity from nigeria at present. Assuming that it is orthodox bhakthi which is preventing christians
from retaliating, i think hindus should seriously think of promoting the sales of Bhagawadh Geetha among the chrisitians !!.

"Not everyone is capable of siddhi even after strenuous effort.Your birth does play some part but not all."
Agreed, so your point is.....???
Will try to study the works of Kunal singh, & i think Ram Swarup has done a fantastic job.

"No need for that.Lets us simply restore Hinduism to its pristine state and that will attract respect and admiration like
bees to nectar"
I understand that it is the bees which seek out the nectar - may be for culinary delight or for mere survival. The fragrance
of the flower (from its petals ?) acts as the lighthouse (not attraction), guiding it to the nectar. Yes, hinduism must be
restored to its pristine state and we can all work towards it. But, If hinduism is the nectar , then hindus must be the
fragrance - ready to go with the flow (a la Billy Bob Thornton in one hollywood film) to guide the truth seekers.

"I would actually use the Ganga metaphor to make my point not yours as the Ganga is heavily polluted! "
Agreed, my mistake, and good thing u pointed it out. Dust can never settle down in a flowing ganga !!!!!! Pleae allow me to
re-phrase : Hinduism must be like the eternal maansarovar.

Venkat Raman said...

@ysv_rao: Arana does mean distant land or foreign. Actually, aranya itself can also mean foreign. However in the Vedas, aranya has not been used in that sense. Only as forest. Foreigner is definitely the meaning intended in the passage I quoted. Sva vs arana. The assertion that there was no concept of a nation to demarkate sva vs arana is debatable.
In fact Aranyavaasam is definitely not foreign to the Rishis. "Aranyedheeyeeta. tapasvi punyo bhavathi." So the assertion that forest dwellers were considered as outsiders is also debatable.

ysv_rao said...

To my knowledge the concept of bharatvarsha was born after
the vedhic periods."

The Emperor Bharata was a contemporary of Vishwamitra so that would make him of the Vedic era.
However Bharat Mata is of very recent origin..probably from Bankim Chatterjees Vande Mataram.

Funny !, how did you find out that julia roberts types were attracted to hinduism because she finds it chaotic? Did they say
that, or have u extrapolated this from the 'chaotic' profession they have chosen.? Even if they did, it is our job to
clear the chaos in their minds. "

I would say it is not our job.
Julia Roberts converted to Hinduism after participating in the movie Eat Pray Love where a woman divorces her husband to travel to Italy,India and Indonesia.It is based on a incredibly stupid memoir written by a bored and silly middle aged woman.
It is for these reasons and more that her conversion to Hinduism was out of a belief that this faith is a morally relativisitic feel good faith unlike the stuffy "organized religions" she is brought up with.



"Hinduism is not a mother to all but to a few"
I didn't say that, i only said that she should 'behave' like a mother to all those who take refuge.
"We can consider these rebellious kids after we squash their rebellion".
Quashing rebellions? Yee gods !! , just how ? Like the way islam does by suicide bombing ??????? You direly need to
reconsider your stand here, dear sir !!

That statement was tongue in cheek.Anyway there is a method to mad statement....Hunas,Greeks and Scythians turned to Hinduism usually after Hindus gave these invaders a good thrashing.We didnt impose it on them, because they were barbarians and respected only strength ,they deduced that Hinduism the faith of those defeated them was the superior faith.

"That is not our problem! We have enough issues than to deal with it as it is"
Sure is not, just allow hinduism to deal with her, no big deal i guess. What problems can she create which iskon and beatles
haven't created already - by your own info."
See above.Even if she cant create new ones, why make the same problems even more severe?


Fine, let us then fight orthodox bhakthi and propagate real bhakthi and save the bhakthaas. The terror gang Boko Haram is
actively purging christianity from nigeria at present. Assuming that it is orthodox bhakthi which is preventing christians
from retaliating, i think hindus should seriously think of promoting the sales of Bhagawadh Geetha among the chrisitians !!."

Well yes, the Crusaders had a similar approach to defending their religion which I support.I think they would appreciate arms,ammunition and money rather truck full of Gitas,but the intent is the same!


"Not everyone is capable of siddhi even after strenuous effort.Your birth does play some part but not all."
Agreed, so your point is.....??? "

My point was to disagree with your sculpture analogy that everyone has the potential to be siddhas! Of course one wouldnt know until they try!
Will try to study the works of Kunal singh, & i think Ram Swarup has done a fantastic job."

Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goels passing was a great loss.
I was most impressed by Shri Ram Swarup polemic against the iconoclastic monotheist arguments.He took their argument and used it against them by asking- why an idol need only be visual, even a word or sound can be considered an idol?By using this very reasonable criteria all adherents of Biblical faiths become idol worshippers!


"I would actually use the Ganga metaphor to make my point not yours as the Ganga is heavily polluted! "
Agreed, my mistake, and good thing u pointed it out. Dust can never settle down in a flowing ganga !!!!!! Pleae allow me to
re-phrase : Hinduism must be like the eternal maansarovar."

In that case we have to avoid the specific sections of the lake where Ravana did his darshan.To this day, it is considered evil.

ysv_rao said...

@Venkata Raman'Yathemaam vaacham kalyaaneemaavadaani janebhyah,
Brahmraajayaabhyaagvong shoodraay chaaryaay ch' svaay' chaarnaay.'

'Appropriately I deliver this welfare speech for ALL THE PEOPLE: the intelligent ones, the politicians, the workers, the businesspersons,the self praising ones.'

Well you had stumped with arana meaning foreigner so this got me curious about this verse and I went around looking for it.

Turns above is an alternate translation of the same but where arana means "self praising".

The context is that its an invocation to Saraswati ,the giver of wisdom and by invoking this verse she will enlighten the intelligent,passionate,practical,servile and braggart alike.

Then it takes a rather different context.

The one you provided was a neo translation by Aurobindo Ghosh who believed that Vedas were meant for foreigners and indeed his ashram is popular with Westerners.

Karthikrajan said...

@ysv_rao:
"Hunas,Greeks and Scythians turned to Hinduism usually after Hindus gave these invaders a good thrashing.
We didnt impose it on them,because they were barbarians and respected only strength ,they deduced that
Hinduism the faith of those defeated them was the superior faith".
Interesting point, and u may have missed some psychology here. The vanquished do not adopt the religion
of the victors because it is superior, but merely to save themselves some embarrassment and avoid ridicule.
After all, what would they praise gods for? For getting them beaten black and blue ?? In fact they
would be cursing their own gods for deserting them. Instead of turning atheists they have followed the dictum:
while in rome chant as the romans chant !!, or , if you can't fight them then join them.

"Well yes, the Crusaders had a similar approach to defending their religion which I support.I think
they would appreciate arms,ammunition and money rather truck full of Gitas,but the intent is the same!"
Are the nigerian christians running short of these? I don't think so, plenty of christian organisations
are ready to help in this matter. All they need is will power and conviction. Either it is orthodox bhakthi as
you have said, or sheer hesitation.

"My point was to disagree with your sculpture analogy that everyone has the potential to be siddhas!
Of course one wouldnt know until they try!"
At last!, so you do admit that julia roberts types can attain sidhdhi if they 'try' in the correct way. Then
why prevent them from entering the hindu fold which would be the first step and the right step ?

"I was most impressed by Shri Ram Swarup polemic against the iconoclastic monotheist arguments.
He took their argument and used it against them by asking- why an idol need only be visual, even a
word or sound can be considered an idol? By using this very reasonable criteria all adherents of Biblical
faiths become idol worshippers!"
Yes, but their objection is to the visual idol not the verbal. We have to attack them using their own rigid
criteria and not by blunting it by broadening it. Ram swarup has given pretty good insights into yogic spirituality, and
i don't find the above explanation on idol worship convincing. I am yet to find a convincing explanation
which can link idol worship directly with vedhantha philosophy. I understand that there is nothing in the vedhas which
suggests that vedhic braahmans indulged in idol worship. Therefore i think ram swarup has tried to reconcile
verbal idols found in the vedhas with visual idols developed during later stages of evolution of hinduism,
and he has extended it to include biblical verbal idols as well. I don't know how this can succeed.

"In that case we have to avoid the specific sections of the lake where Ravana did his darshan.To this day,
it is considered evil"
In this blog itself we have seen that even the worst hindu-baiters have acknowledged the fact that hinduism
is peaceful due to the absence of this self-declared enemy called 'saathaan' or devil. So it is better to
ignore what the general public considers evilish or devilish. Ravana is neither evil nor devil. At best he
can described a 'raakshasa', and the worst translation of this can be 'ruffian' or 'rough-neck' who are
more prone to impulsive reactions than calm usage of the brain.

ysv_rao said...

"My point was to disagree with your sculpture analogy that everyone has the potential to be siddhas!
Of course one wouldnt know until they try!"
At last!, so you do admit that julia roberts types can attain sidhdhi if they 'try' in the correct way. Then
why prevent them from entering the hindu fold which would be the first step and the right step ?"

Well again, she is welcome to try and achieve siddha in her faith system , i dont see why we should help her facilitate her goals within Hinduism.
I will just say one thing to hammer home the point about letting foreigners gain siddhi.
Once again I have to quote Kunal Singhs POV- look what happened when prophet Mohammad attained siddhi(Kunal singh like me is against the revelation of HIndu mysteries to foreigners and also nicely showed that indeed Mohammad had supernatural abilities but his methods and mindset was flawed which led to said intolerance and cruelty of Islam)


Yes, but their objection is to the visual idol not the verbal. We have to attack them using their own rigid
criteria and not by blunting it by broadening it. Ram swarup has given pretty good insights into yogic spirituality, and
i don't find the above explanation on idol worship convincing. I am yet to find a convincing explanation
which can link idol worship directly with vedhantha philosophy. I understand that there is nothing in the vedhas which
suggests that vedhic braahmans indulged in idol worship. Therefore i think ram swarup has tried to reconcile
verbal idols found in the vedhas with visual idols developed during later stages of evolution of hinduism,
and he has extended it to include biblical verbal idols as well. I don't know how this can succeed."

There is circumstantial evidence to show that Vedic peopel did worship idols.
You should read this book "Vedic origins of Hindu iconography."
The details of Vastushastra (architechture) as well as the proper way of moulding sculptures(shilpastra)can be found or atleast derived from the YajurVeda.
Very early we see in the Ramayana, the presence of Shiva linga and large scale yagnas.
Either way there are good reasons for idols to be few and far between then
1.Whatever idols there were ,were created from the earth and not metal.Metals such as bronze came much later.
2.Idols are associated with large temple,this is also a recent phenomena
3.Yagna and havans invocation of the nature gods didnt call for the anthromorphic representation of these Vedic dieties.
4.Puranic hinduism which emphasised humans diefied such Rama and Krishna would require an idol or a representation thus paving the way for Puja style worship.

In this blog itself we have seen that even the worst hindu-baiters have acknowledged the fact that hinduism
is peaceful due to the absence of this self-declared enemy called 'saathaan' or devil. So it is better to
ignore what the general public considers evilish or devilish. Ravana is neither evil nor devil. At best he
can described a 'raakshasa', and the worst translation of this can be 'ruffian' or 'rough-neck' who are
more prone to impulsive reactions than calm usage of the brain.

I agree that the absence of devil and apocalypse is a net plus for Hinduism.However we must not ignore that while not all asuras were evil, there were evil demons and currently all the unpleasantness in the world is caused by a demon called "Kali" of Kaliyuga..not to be confused with the goddess "Kaali"
And we anticipate Kalki to defeat the demon and his handmaidens of chaos and ignorance(mlecchas-people of the northwest)

Karthikrajan said...

"Once again I have to quote Kunal Singhs POV- look what happened when prophet Mohammad attained
siddhi(Kunal singh like me is against the revelation of HIndu mysteries to foreigners and also nicely
showed that indeed Mohammad had supernatural abilities but his methods and mindset was flawed which
led to said intolerance and cruelty of Islam)"

So, was mohammad's sidhdhi his own or taught from outside which led to so much non-sense? Had he learnt
the right art of attaining sidhdhi, say from a hindu sage , wouldn't it have helped him better? ok, forget it,
at least your line of argument has echo in modern polity in the US: No one born outside the US can vie for its
president-ship !!

Trailer of Dharma said...

Koenraad Elst ji,

I disagree, but that disagreement has more to do with choice of identity rather than substance.

A non-Bharatiya can never become a Hindu. Hindu simply means any Indian who resisted conversions to Abrahamic religions and retained their original beliefs and culture. Hindu means Indian Resistance.
.
What you speak of is White conversion to Sanatanic Dharma (SD). Anybody can convert to Sanatanic Dharma, White, African, Chinese, Aliens. No problem.
.
Many rituals however within SD are jaati or varna specific. Every Jaati which made a claim of belonging wholesale to a specific varna (naturally all nonsense) created their elaborate rituals, and these are still present as legacy. They belong to Hindu Samaj rather than to Sanatan Dharma.
.
These rituals make no sense to the Whites and they need not partake in them.
.
But otherwise the whole world of Bharatiya mythology, philosophy, places of pilgrimage, festivals, rituals, etc. are all open to Whites and others to partake in.
.
But it is important to shed the term Hinduism, because that is a European prism of looking at Hindus and rather a body of study rather than the repository of self-claims by Hindus.

The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition