Hinduism is the Last Hope for World Peace

Let’s instead pretend that the various social problems of the planet faces can be cured by a mode of multiculturalism that trumps hard fought liberties and civic mores.

Intolerance has been in the news these past several months, from a pontificating president who bowed to religious despots in their backyard the very day after lecturing the democratic unwashed untermensche of India about how to treat minorities [1], the sustained tirade of the scandalous “award waapsi” brigade over the Bihar polls, and more recently by the framed up interrogation of an BJP spokesman by a reactionary Islamist with a record of misogyny, homophobia, and outright discrimination, using his position in the media to impose his preconceived notions, which, at their core, profess that some people are less human than others because of their religion [2].

To see how all of these, together with endless one-eyed editorials and op-ed pieces in the western bastions of liberalism at the BBC, Guardian, and the NYT, not to mention the long going saga over “Caste legislation” fuelled by the increasingly insignificant Church of England [3] in collusion with their rather unexpected friends at the Secular Society in the UK, it would appear to Spielberg’s E.T., fresh off his spaceship, that some new and poisonous evil had surfaced on a previously peaceful planet. And that this evil incarnate was distinctly polytheistic, pagan Hindu. Vamsee Juluri neatly sums up this seemingly viral effect that Hindus and India seem to have had in 2015 in “Year of living intolerably” [4]

BESTPIX France Deploys 10,000 Troops To Boost Security After AttacksLet’s momentarily ignore the loss of millions of lives as a result of violent regime change and displacement of despotic though previously stable rule in Iraq and Libya which had held together disparate groups of people at relative peace with each other within established national borders.

Let’s also dismiss the plight of the Yazidis, Kurds, and assorted minorities who suffer rape, beheadings and worse under the cosh of fundamentalists in the Middle East, or the atrocities in Paris, about which some intellectually challenged liberals navel gazed on BBC Newsnight, a flagship current affairs program, and surmised the attacks as drug wars between gangs or being caused by the racist nature of the French capital [5].

Let’s Pretend

Let’s instead pretend that the various social problems of the planet faces can be cured by a mode of multiculturalism that trumps hard fought liberties and civic mores which have taken centuries to evolve and in their stead, run with a “free for all” where some of those who at one time may have campaigned for workers rights, stood for gender equality, and advocated an end to LGBT and racial discrimination, there now seems to be a situation where some now openly support homophobic, misogynist segregationists, all in the interests of what they call diversity and inclusion.

In effect, there is endorsement of a form of multiculturalism which, in seeking to protect certain cultures, privileges only some versions of it: usually from the most vocal and regressive elements, and which hinders adjustment to the changing environment with the resultant outcome being the opposite of that which was desired in the first instance. [6]

Instead of expanding the shared space between cultures, the result is the promulgation of the worst aspects of difference between peoples living within isolated cultural silos with ever sharper fissures between the “me” and “mine” one the one hand, and the alien “other” on the other.

book by kirschAmidst all this, Jonathan Kirsch’s book, God against the Gods [7] is an apposite account of the threats that monotheisms in all their religio-politico-ideological forms, still continue to pose to human evolution towards a safer, fairer, more just global society.

Kirsch cogently argues that far from being the upholder of ethics and morality which it considers its USP and sole preserve, Monotheism in its various hues has always found it difficult to put into practice the kind, gentle words encapsulating “respect for the stranger” and “love thy neighbour”. In fact, he starts the book with an epigraph from Sigmund Freud who said “Religious intolerance was inevitably born with the belief in one god”.

Kirsch traces the advent of monotheism from Pharaoh Akhenaton to the various prophets and kings of Judaism and their millennium long struggle for supremacy over the more refined and diverse pagan Greco-Roman classical culture of the Mediterranean and near east.

In a show of monotheist totalitarianism and in order to destroy the power of the priests, Pharaoh Akhenaton(reign 1353–1336BC) decreed the elimination of worship of all gods in favour of only one, Aton, and with the Pharaoh himself as the sole interceder on earth. This proved unsuccessful as the people returned to their old polytheistic ways soon after Akhenaton’s death.

The Only True God

The challenge was next taken up by the Jews, the challenges of whose prophets and kings over several centuries to impose monotheism and the primacy of the Only True God (OTG) on the chosen people is well documented in the Old Testament. This clash is played out between OTG and Polytheism within the civilizational milieu of a rich Greco-Roman tapestry and also as an intra-Judaic struggle between the rigorists and the assimilationists.

After centuries of struggle, with various forays into zealotic orthodoxy led by personages like Moses, Joshua, and Ezekiel which included strict punitive sanctions including death for those of the flock who disobeyed the laws of the OTG, all the way to the Masada partisans, infamous for their martyrdom to the last man, woman and child, the rigorists were defeated by the military might of the Roman legions in Judea thus forcing the Jewish people to reach an accommodation with the greatest empire in the known world of the time.

Thereafter, an assimilated Judaism flourished in the farthest reaches of the pagan realm of Imperial Rome, not unlike the way in which Judaism has assimilated into all corners of the modern world.

All was well until an upstart off-shoot cult of Judaism rose on the scene in the early centuries of the common era, and a long, bloody clash ensued between this cult and the reigning pagan power of Pax Romana – a breach of the peace that had hitherto existed between the myriad peoples of the Roman Empire.

This new cult, which, after an internecine war over self-identity, defeated the Judaists within its ranks and shed its connections to Judaism by rejecting circumcision and Jewish dietary laws (both of which made it easier to win adherents, being less painful and tastier on the palate), came to be known as the “soldiers of Christ” and Christians.

In their zeal to be “different”, these early Christians displayed what looks similar to various minority, victimhood tendencies on show prevalent even to this day. They explicitly refused to respect the polytheist norm “that all modes of worship are to be respected” and challenged the role of paganism with its diverse deities as a unifying characteristic upon which citizenship and Pax Romana were founded.

Visible means by which they did this was to display outright hostility towards the religious and civic emblems of Rome, even attacking and destroying pagan shrines; refusing to participate in the “Pax Deorum” – Peace of the Gods, praying for the prosperity of the Empire, lest such behaviour pinch the sensibilities of their cuckolded, jealous OTG.

In this regard these early Christians considered civic duty an act of apostasy and were little different from the rigorists and zealots of the Old Testament – just like Joshua hundreds of years before, this new breed of worshippers of OTG would not countenance any form of compromise and instead became “Holy warriors” to preserve the purity and exclusivity of their new faith.

How different are they from those today who would not pay respects to an anthem or flag or who consider that emblems and insignia of their ancient or even new homelands should be modified to suit the sensitivities of one or other of the hues of OTG?

What distinction can one possibly draw between these shrine destroyers and the barbaric acts of Ghaznavi at Somnath, Ghori across the Indian plains, or the Bahmani sultans’ blood lust at Vijayanagar? Anyone see the close parallels with destructions of the Baminyan Buddahs or Palmyra?

Christian Propaganda Value

The early Christians learnt and exploited the impact of terror on a civic populace as also the propaganda value of victimhood and martyrdom to the fullest, much of which still continues to be recycled under totalitarian monotheisms of various hues even today be they religious or political in nature.

The response of the generally tolerant pagan establishment of the Empire to this was to persecute what was a visible minority. The punishments included various forms of torture, being fed to wild animals as well as crucifixions.

In a circular way, the Christian zeal was a necessary prerequisite for Christian martyrdom and the martyrs fuelled the next waves of zeal and martyrdom, though Edward Gibbon, for example, characterised the worst atrocities as “extravagant and indecent fictions” invented to inspire the faithful [8].

As Kirsch himself notes, it is a truism that (even imagined) oppression is an ideal breeding ground for “true belief” to flourish whereas the seductive influences of peace, freedom and prosperity are far more dangerous to the survival of fundamentalism [9].

constantineThis went on till the early part of 4th century CE, during which time, the Christian cult came close to being totally eliminated. However, by a fate of coincidence, a Roman pagan general who history knows as Constantine the Great entered the scene, and by a convoluted sequence of events more to do with prevailing realpolitik than with articles of faith, rose to the become Emperor and ended the persecution of the Christian cult and so began their rise in status and influence in the Empire.

Christianity Destroys Classical Civilizations

During this period, further internecine feuds ensued within the monotheistic Christian fold over which the emperor sought to broker peace among the believers at the famous Council of Nicaea but fundamental doctrinal controversies (which Pagans would have found rather inane) still festered for decades after Constantine’s death and are still some of the reasons for schisms between various Christian sects.

This swing towards what became an exclusivist monotheist creed and the official religion of the Roman Empire culminated in Theodosius (346-395CE), effectively becoming the head of the world’s first totalitarian empire underpinned by the dogmas of orthodox Christianity and the criminalization of paganism as well as all other forms of religious practice and belief.

However, this was not before Julian, “the Apostate” (331-363CE), nephew of Constantine and the last pagan emperor of the Roman Empire nearly won the day for polytheism and diversity.

Though brought up as a Christian, he had the good fortune to learn about the diverse, classical, ancient, syncretism filled cultural heritage of the centuries old Roman Empire, and grew up to prove himself an excellent military commander, where, despite being outnumbered, he achieved crushing victories in Gaul over the Alamanni in 357CE at the Battle of Argentoratum . In 360CE Julian was declared Augustus by his troops at Lutetia, Gaul (modern day Paris).

Constantine’s inspirations from the symbol of the Cross of his adopted religion led him to brutality towards pagans and rivals alike; by contrast, Julian’s exposure to the diversity and “mix-n-match” of polytheism marked a peaceful ascent to Emperor, from where, in his brief tenure, he once again reaffirmed the ancient beliefs of the Empire, restored religious freedoms and challenged the monopoly of Christianity in the Civic space of the Empire. Unfortunately, Julian lost his life in battle in 363CE in an ambitious campaign against the Sassanid Empire of Persia.

The Roman Empire went through much turbulence led by several weak and vain leaders, on the inexorable road to terminal decline. Fuelled by an explosive cocktail of Church, State and Mob acting as instruments of terror, Rome disintegrated ending the glory of Classical Civilization and the Roman Empire and the advent of a thousand years of cultural darkness across Europe.

Just two examples serve to illustrate the destructive effect of monotheistic zeal: the murder of the philosopher Hypatia and the destruction of the library at Alexandria. It is ironic that the same zeal for OTG led to the murders of scores of unnamed philosophers and the razing to dust of the Academy at Nalanda in Bihar.

And yet, the cabal of “eminent” historians, without the guts of an Edward Gibbon, have been peddling lies in the name of their own monotheism of sham Nehruvian secularism?

Julian and polytheism lost: Constantine and monotheism won. What a cruel mirror these two Romans hold only to reflect India’s Dara Sikoh and Aurangzeb? What might India have become and how might monotheisms have reached an accommodation with pagans and polytheists, had Dara Sikoh prevailed? [10] What trouble and strife of the past 300 years might have been avoided by humanity? If only.

Eminent Historians

Have any of their “eminences” polluting the corridors of History faculties an iota of grey matter to ponder on these questions and build an objective, positive narrative that could unleash the potential of a truly syncretic India as opposed to the “chicken tikka” version [11] where the underlying culture is disparaged while despotic, murdering monotheists like Aurangzeb are feted?

Where the collective pagan, pantheistic, polytheistic, atheistic but above all, Dharmic fabric that constitutes the major core of Indian society can fully contribute in “Defining India”? Where, the negative narratives of Caste, Cow and Idolatry which the colonist western, racist, proselytizing monotheists have imposed on the Indian narrative whilst at the same time appropriating Indic ideas like Ayurveda, Yoga, and Meditation practices as if they were their own, are repaired with contrition and respect?

shrineThe polytheistic pagans of Rome readily adopted the OTG as part of their pantheon and accepted the worshippers of OTG as equals. How similar is this to modern day Indians – Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs – who crowd the narrow streets to pay homage and offer prayers at the Sufi shrines around India?

How is it possible that no one bats an eyelid, that Ajmer’s Adhai Din ka Jopra at the site of the shrine to Moinuddin Chisti, looks so like a temple that it must have been one, but that it’s acceptable for people of all faiths to gather and offer prayers in their own way? How else can one explain that Sufi music – ostensibly founded on Indic Raga and meter and not something imported into India by the monotheistic invaders – still holds an emotional connection with the soil and people of India?

In contrast, the custodians of the OTG at the Vatican, after centuries of destruction and pillaging, today, in a show of blood curdling triumph, brazenly prostitute the sacred statuary and holy objects of the vanquished infidels within its unholy walls (one has to pay to enter).

Will the Pope Assure the Safety of Non-Christians?

By a rather ironic twist, in its naked show of victory over the polytheists, the Vatican “celebrates” the classical-pagan-culture which it was instrumental in destroying. Among the relics – nowadays granted pride of place in the holiest bastion of this OTG, stand beautiful works of art and antiquity – row upon row of any number of Greek, Roman and Egyptian deities.

The most telling is the disgustingly triumphal display of Cybele, the Great Mother of the Gods whose earliest worship was in Phrygia and Lydia, which had spread to Greece by the 5th century B.C. and later to Rome where she also came to be known as Artemis and Diana. It’s as if the papal hierarchy is mocking the infidels with its superiority in a morbid gallery of false gods and abominations.

Would the Pope or his church, assure all pagan peoples of the World that their sacred artefacts are safe in their own shrines, that they will never sanction their destruction or relocation as “works of antiquity and primitive art” in the house of loot and plunder in Rome?

Let’s make it simple: When will the Vatican stop obfuscating and sign the UN Convention on Human Rights? [12] Or is one to take it that some members of the Human race are lesser human than others, and that, in fact, yet some others are non-persons, without any rights, fit for purging of their abominations and idolatry?

Would the Church of England admit to and end the prejudices that their church holds within its own doctrines and assure Hindus that, as a religious body, it fully respects the right to religion for all peoples and stop the assault on Dharma under the guise of “caste”?

Indeed, would the leader of any church or any other group of monotheist followers of OTG anywhere, assure not just the last pagans and humanists of the world but also adherents of competing versions of OTG, that their cultures, traditions, way of worship, sacred places, spaces, art, and imagery are safe? That they are part of the common human legacy that should be respected and given the space to live and the air to breathe? Is there a world politician with the courage to give their citizens this promise?

As a reviewer of Kirsch’s book on beliefnet.com notes [13], Kirsch himself acknowledges “that traditional monotheists generally dismiss his writing out of hand as uninformed and anti-faith. Yet he insists that he is a “Jewish monotheist.””

Kirsch further fully acknowledges “that polytheists – including pre-Christian Romans – can be as brutish as fervent monotheists (his preferred term for fanatical fundamentalists). The only difference between violent polytheists and violent monotheists is that the former kill to gain political control and the latter kill to assert theological dominance. However, the difference is subtle but important: Polytheists sought control over the public sphere alone; monotheists sought control over private thoughts as well”.

What the Monotheists Think about Pagans

Kirsch may well be right about the rationale of traditional monotheists dismissing his arguments. The question though arises: isn’t this something that secularists also have persistently chosen to do? It is instructive to compare the world views of monotheists and pagans/polytheist vis a vis each other (much of it derived from Kirsch’s book):

What monotheists thought/think of and how they react to pagans and polytheists:

  • Believe in the superiority of OTG; all others are false gods or disparagingly still “false idols”, a parade of the horrible, those who worship any other than the OTG are at best “lost” and need to guided on the one right path, and at worst, are an abomination, dark, demonic idolaters, morally deficient guilty of harlotry, sorcery, black magic
  • Regard pagans and polytheists with fear, loathing and contempt: peaceful coexistence is a one way street – if you are not one of us…
  • It is not sufficient to have belief in OTG, but there are rules on the accepted mode of worship which are to be followed
  • OTG demands absolute obedience: he is jealous, wrathful and vengeful, he doesn’t abide competition; when bad things happen (especially to the non-believers, it is divine retribution)
  • Clear delineation between who is “one of us” and who is “the other”

What pagans and polytheists (the religions of the high culture of classical Greco-Roman civilization and of Hinduism) thought/think of and how they react to monotheists:

  • Religious plurality, a spongy mass of tolerance and tradition
  • Not only tolerance, but acceptance of multiple deities and respect for multiple paths to the truth
  • Acknowledging the “Unknown Gods” as evidenced in abundant archaeological finds of shrines from the Roman Empire and also in Hinduism, for example the Narasimha pillar at Chennakesava Temple, Halebid (picture provided)
  • With or without assistance of priests/priestesses and no interceding prophets
  • Co-existence of gods and goddesses in one place, no concept of divine retribution for non-pagans
  • Accepting of the OTG and their worshippers as equals, not sense of the “other”
  • Seeing the world as holistic including all life forms – pray for the health, happiness, safety, security, justice, mercy, and a decent life for all

Throughout its history, the Roman Empire had attracted all faiths from all corners of the known world – the Greco-Roman deities co-existed with the worship of the gods and goddesses of Egypt, Persia, Sumeria, Phrygia and Lydia. They even accommodated the “strangest of all”, the monotheist Jews and later, the sect of Judaism that morphed into orthodox Christianity.

It is perfectly evident that the war between monotheism (or should it more correctly be monotheisms?) and polytheism is still raging.

Even if India, the last bastion of polytheism and paganism, as Krishen Kak explains in his piece, [14], was to be converted, the war will still rage between the competing and conflicting claims of the multiple factions claiming to speak for OTG.

Therefore, if the pagan Roman Empire could accommodate the followers of two groups of OTG, why is it not possible that the contemporary world can also accommodate the ways of life and multiplicities of belief including OTG, polytheist, and none? One can’t simply “un-invent” god, so let’s be practical. After all, is this not what the pseudo-liberals claim too crave?

But for this to be possible, it is logical to conclude that accommodation can only be reached by an admission of contrition and developing mutual respect that extends not only among followers of the various shades of OTG, but transcends to include those who may be pagan, Hindu, atheist, non-theist, pantheist, Buddhist, or whatever.

Indian Culture is Hindu Culture

The doomsayers who have been parroting about India’s intolerance need to wake up and realise that India has lived with and survived assaults from multiple monotheisms and yet retains much of its “pagan” culture. Let’s call it what it is: Hindu culture, accepting of diversity and easy on the senses which, sets India apart from its neighbours. These neighbours, who in the space of three generations have literally cleansed their domains of the abomination, the heathen, and the idolater and yet failed to find a sense of identity with which they can be at ease.

It is definitely not the “chicken tikka” Statist Diktat version of Nehruvian secularism which sets India apart and offers hope for humankind – for far from showing how to deal with the ongoing war of God against the Gods, this hollow version of how society ought to function has aggressively sought to deny the ambient pagan culture an iota of legitimacy in the civic space whilst granting special privileges to monotheisms. [15]

The monotheisms are not going to volunteer to give way for a level playing field. So, apart from Hindus reclaiming their identity and working by example to practically show that there are alternatives for people to tread their own paths to truth and peaceful coexistence [16], the self- professed liberals, particularly outside India will have to get off the pot and put some skin in the game.

To adapt what Rod Liddle mockingly referred [5] to as “ these silly mares” of liberalism and turn it into a positive, they will need to snap out from “… navigate(ing) their way through life on such slender mental resources…”, refrain from being so “… stupid because they do not see the world as it really is, but only as they would wish it to be”, and get a “handle on reality”, coming out their slumberous “… state of denial.”

Some of these “mares” are for sure beyond redemption, but one can live and work in hope and expectation, targeting those that have the capacity to turn on their dormant intellects for the greater good. For, the alternatives are not appealing; the stakes are too high to let the lunatics run the asylum.

A good start would be for the economic development of India to continue unimpeded. Yes, those inimical to progress will do all in their power to prevent this, but those who claim to be real liberals and progressives have to open their eyes and realise that economic progress and prosperity are the most effective road to peace and a potent antidote to fundamentalism.

haridwarIndians, comprising a sixth of humanity, with a millennium old experience of the battle of God against the Gods offer the best hope for resolving this vexing question. The battle isn’t over yet, in fact it’s only just begun. On India’s success depends the world’s capacity to overcome this conundrum. Those who impede India’s economic and social development do so at a greater peril.

As the Roman philosopher, Symmachus said, “What does it matter by which wisdom each of us arrives at the truth?” [17] and observe how it rings in total consonance with the Rig Veda phrase, ekaṁ sad viprā bahudhā vadanti translating to “There is one (ekam) Reality (sat), about which wise persons (viprā) in various ways (bahudhā) speak (vadanti) [18]

References

  1. Obama smacks down India for religious intolerance, says Gandhi would have been shocked, Times of India, 5 February 2015, “Obama Smacks down India for intolerance… “, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Obama-smacks-down-India-for-religious-intolerance-says-Gandhi-would-have-been-shocked/articleshow/46141742.cms
  2. Vamsee Juluri, “Why I think Ram Madhav’s Al Jazeera interview was framed” at http://www.dailyo.in/politics/modi-ram-madhav-akhand-bharat-pakistan-al-jazeera-interview-rss/story/1/8163.html
  3. Jakob De Roover and Sarah Claerhout, “The Caste Connection on the sacred foundations of social hierarchy”, University of Ghent, Belgium, https://www.academia.edu/19752142/The_Caste_Connection_On_the_Sacred_Foundations_of_Social_Hierarchy
  4. Vamsee Juluri, “The Year of living intolerably”, http://swarajyamag.com/magazine/the-year-of-living-intolerantly/
  5. Rod Liddle, “The political wisdom of people who don’t even know what a circle is” in “The Spectator”, http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/01/the-political-wisdom-of-people-who-dont-even-know-what-a-circle-is/
  6. Wikipedia article on Multiculturalism – see in particular the section on opposition to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiculturalism#Opposition
  7. Jonathan Kirsch, “God against the Gods: The history of the war between monotheism and polytheism”, Penguin Books, 2004
  8. Edward Gibbon, “The decline and fall of the Roman Empire”, Vol. 1, Chapter 16, http://www.ccel.org/g/gibbon/decline/volume1/chap16.htm#chri
  9. Jonathan Kirsch, quote from page 74 of “God against the Gods: The history of the war between monotheism and polytheism”, Penguin Books, 2004
  10. Abraham Eraly, “The Mughal Throne : The Saga of India’s Great Emperors”, London: Phoenix. Quote from p. 336: “India was at a crossroads in the mid-seventeenth century; it had the potential of moving forward with Dara Shukoh, or of turning back to medievalism with Aurangzeb.”
  11. I used the term “chicken tikka masala” to describe the so called “ethical Foreign Policy” cooked up the chicken tikka masala that is the multi-culti flavour of Britain today: Just like the non-descript dish that goes by that name in the UK, naa yahaan ka, naa wahaan ka, or to put it bluntly, neither fish nor fowl. The term applies for secularist idea of syncretism too. See http://indiafacts.co.in/pseudo-secularism-uk-style-lessons-india/
  12. Concordat Watch: How the Vatican evades human rights obligations through Canon Law, diplomatic immunity and other dodges http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-47307.834
  13. Book Review of “God against the Gods” (author unidentified)at beliefnet.com: http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Books/2004/05/One-God-To-Bind-Them-All.aspx?p=3
  14. Krishen Kak, “Hindus Are The Last Of The Pagans”, http://indiafacts.org/hindus-are-the-last-of-the-pagans/
  15. There are various examples of dispensation of privilege for religious minority, for example the Haj subsidy, the independence of places of worship and perhaps, most openly invidious of all, the status of “missionary” as a visa category for entry into India. In each of these cases, the comparative position for the “majority” belief system is overtly discriminatory: Hindus do not even get adequate protection for the Amarnath Yatra, Hindu temples are under state control often with antipathetic administrators imposed against the wishes of the temple stakeholders, and even small attempts at reversion of poor sections back to Hinduism get blown out as workings of Hindu “fascism”.
  16. Vamsee Juluri, “Rearming Hinduism”, Westland, 2015 – this little volume to my mind reads as a succinct and balanced manifesto protecting and projecting all that is of value about Hindu Dharma. It deserves to be widely read and merits being made required reading for all undergraduates in India and those outside India with an interest in India.
  17. Charles Freeman, ”The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason”, Pimlico, London, 2003. The line is a quote from the 4th century philosopher,
  18. Graham Schweig, Translation of Rig Veda 1.164.46. at Dharma Civilization Foundation website – http://www.dcfusa.org/many-truths-of-the-one-reality/

Jay Jina is a UK-based third generation NRI. Besides pursuing a professional career as a European IT Director with a multinational and a part time university academic, Jay’s interests span history, current affairs, the Indian Diaspora and the history and politcs of Science.

  • Jitu

    With all due respect to the author… this article is riddled with grandiloquence. A little simplicity of language and narrative would have helped.

    As a few commentators have pointed out, the article does not really justify what it sets out to claim… that is ‘Hinduism is the last hope of world peace’.

    There are two parts to this argument. One… proving that everything but Hinduism is detrimental to world peace. Second, actually giving some evidence that Hinduism is capable of standing up to the challenge of being the last hope. While the author did his homework and presented references to support the first half, not much seems to be their in support of the latter half.

    So, from the above write-up, I only learn that historically monotheistic religions have not been conducive to world peace. That does not automatically exonerate polytheistic religions of the world. That, the latter are a hope of the world, still needs to be established.

  • Traitor

    Also the whole article is based on focusing on faults in abrahamic religions rather than provide a solution as the headline claims, so the entire tone and motivation here is negative.

    While the author blatantly accuses voices against stereotyping and condemnation of minorities, of ignoring homophobic and misogynist behaviour, the gentleman himself is conveniently ignoring voices that speak against both things and discrimination of all kinds, and then interestingly the writer ignores that Christian majority countries have legalised homosexuality, while India has criminalised it and the severe restrictions on behaviour of women in so called “Indian culture” are like regimes in Saudi and Kuwait.

    Again, my argument is against the writer and I don’t think Hinduism is bad. Because I don’t take the actions and negative motivations of those claiming to represent a belief as the basis of the belief itself.

  • Traitor

    While the writer talks greatly of India, he has referred entirely to western authors and their accounts, and the piece does not have a single account or text from Indian scriptures or history mentioned in Indian epics.

    As for the article itself, it is based completely on selectively pointing out negatives of Abrahamic religions and rarely mentions how non abrahamic religions are flawless as the heading claims. I personally think followers of all religions have done bad things and misinterpreted the doctrines, but all religions preach equality and love.

    Among monotheistic religions, the article in its obsession with bringing down abrahamic religions, completely ignores the fact that Sikh and buddhist religions are also monotheist.

    As for ancient civilisations, the author does not realise that until Taliban came, successive Islamic regimes had preserved Buddha statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, Palmyra and ancient sites in Greece also suggest otherwise, and the instances where Umar refused to pray in jerusalem’s cathedral upon his arrival so that his followers wont stake claim on the site, or the Mosque in Istanbul housed in a preserved Cathedral are ignored.

    As for facts, the Sufi doctrine originated in Christianity in deserts of Syria and the music in India is an Indian variation as Islam adapted to Indian culture, which is evident in practices on shrines and processions on festivities.

    Chisti, Bulle Shah, and Nizamuddin show a peaceful face of Islam in India, and if it were only because of Indus culture, who was Rumi? So a bit of fact checking might work there.

    I again mention that all religions teach peace and love, but there are followers who do good and who do bad in all communities. Some are extremists and some are true followers. Selectively viewing faults and ignoring the good points, or attributing good points to one religion or culture to show it as better and others as violent or evil, completely destroys the argument put forth by the respected author himself.

    And yes Indian culture is an amalgamation of all cultures that came here, because unlike most, Indian culture is inclusive. By saying that others that came later are not Indian culture and only Hindu culture is Indian culture, completely separates the inclusive nature from Hindu and Indian culture.

    • guest

      i think including others is not an issue, it is the ‘cancerous’ quality of the other that is the problem. the others that came claim they are the only right ones, and their inherent idea always lay in ……converting others….strange, they use secuarlism to spread their non-secular ideas…

      • D. Martin

        It is not what they claim. It is how fact based the claim is. If what they claim is true or if their belief is the only truth, then why not believe theirs? My belief is not meant to satisfy my ego but to offer questions to life’s important aspects like where do I come from, where do I go from here, is there heaven or hell, did Jesus die on the cross once for all for the sins of the world, will a man who rejects Christ stand before the great white throne to account all the deeds he did during his life on earth, is it possible for someone to live a sinless life by self-effort without accepting the forgiveness from Christ, so on and so forth. If Jesus Christ is the real GOD, then he is GOD indeed!! No matter if people like you and I accept him or not! It is not going to change the fact:-)

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  • Niraj Sharma

    Every monotheistic religion has the same problem, they believe only in their one true god & do-not believe in any other god. In their zeal to be “different”, these displayed what looks similar to various minority, victimhood tendencies on show prevalent even to this day. They explicitly refused to respect the polytheist norm “that all modes of worship are to be respected” and challenged the role of diverse deities as a unifying characteristic upon which citizenship were founded.Visible means by which they did this was to display outright hostility towards the religious and civic emblems, even attacking and destroying shrines; refusing to participate in the “Pax Deorum” – Peace of the Gods, praying for the prosperity of the Empire, lest such behaviour pinch the sensibilities of their one true god. In this regard they considered civic duty an act of apostasy and were little different from the rigorists and zealots hundreds of years before, this new breed of worshippers of One True God would not countenance any form of compromise and instead became “Holy warriors” to preserve the purity and exclusivity of their new faith.How different are they from those today who would not pay respects to an anthem or flag or who consider that emblems and insignia of their ancient or even new homelands should be modified to suit the sensitivities of one or other of the hues of one true god.

    • Traitor

      But what is the problem if a person holds on to his/her own beliefs and does not believe something else? As long as that person is not interfering in your beliefs, what’s the issue? And are Buddhas of Bamiyan preserved in centuries of Islamic rule in Afghanistan, Palmyra and sites in Iraq and Greece preserved through milennia of abrahamic jurisdiction. And churches in Jerusalem and Egytian shrines and old cities being preserved through centuries of Christian and Muslim rule, do they not stand proof of respect?

      If Ghori and Ghaznavi destroyed temples, did Mughal kings not fund many? Didnt Akbar and his heirs preserve amarnath yatra? What are temples in England, US and even UAE? Would it be justified if the Babri Masjid demolition is taken as an example above all others where Hindus in power protected Minorities?

      If I do not drink but don’t force you against it, is it a problem that I dont drink?

      • guest

        But what is the problem if a person holds on to his/her own beliefs and does not believe something else? As long as that person is not interfering in your beliefs,

        Those who believe that theirs is the only God, are actually a virus that spread….just see the state of the world. where religions of desert arrived, they wiped out other cultures, first by starting to say that all is the same, then by shaming the pagans and then by forcibly converting.

        so their beliefs are like a knife underneath…that cuts everything that allows it freedom

        • Bihari

          well said !

    • D. Martin

      You are wrong. Every monotheistic religion does not have the same problem. Have all that come out of Christianity and Judaism has come out of other monotheistic faiths. The answer is “NO” and you know it very well:-)

  • Jitendra Desai

    Asia,Africa and Latin America realised long ago what Christianity was all about – through European imperialists.Post 9/11, world has realised what Islam is all about- this is something Hindus had realised about 1000 years ago.As rightly concluded by you, world will soon realise that way forward is the Hindu way of life.कृणवन्तुम विश्वम आर्यम् is not a call to proselytise.It is a call to the people of this world to return to sanity.

    • D. Martin

      I don’t know why people like you pervert facts. The fact is even today despite all their follies, Christian and Jewish societies are the most liberal and most advanced ones.

      • guest

        where does that liberalism stand when they consider their religion to be the highest, the best and the truest, even though none of it is verifiable?

      • guest

        with regard to christianity please do not ignore the fact that its expansion went hand in hand with colonisation and violence….everywhere it went…

      • Jitendra Desai

        Agree that present day Europe is liberal and advanced – but it is no longer Christian in practice.Europe could become advanced and liberal only after the separation of Church from the State.Reason why Vatican and evangelists are aggressively pursuing their agenda in Asia/India is because of their falling numbers in Europe and North America.

    • guest

      please explain कृणवन्तुम विश्वम आर्यम् —does it mean to make the world noble, or to make it walk the righteous path (after much search from the net this is what i found…)

      • Jitendra Desai

        Thanks for your response.You have got it right.Hindus do not want non Hindus to join them.Hindus want all humans to follow the righteous path.

        • guest

          Thanks much. I did not know about it. But now thanks to you, I have learnt this.

  • When we look back through history we can see that civilisation came from India and corruption or exclusion came from ignorance and false beliefs. This corruption today is infecting India as dramatically as under colonialism. Yet the wisdom of India is sweeping the world, failing to influence world leaders yet giving hope and enlightenment to many.

    India has evolved with the knowledge and reverence for life whereas other countries have only ever learned to manipulate life.

    What we call as civilisation despite all the conflict and suffering that capitalism is causing is reached a peak of physical comfort and material technology. But from here, it is predicted that all life on earth may be extinguished within the next 100 years unless we can all awaken and appreciate all life.

    India and what we call as Hinduism, and the paths of yoga are the only solution to harmonise the world because Hinduism is built on an understanding that “we do not know” whereas monotheism is built on the premise of belief without any knowledge or respect for life.

  • Samrat Bharat

    Actually, Buddhism is WAY better. No stupid Gods to offend, no rituals and no caste system. Only a quest for Truth and Compassion for all.

    • vamsi krishna

      Nothing against Buddhism but its egging on infinite patience and peace led to its extinction in south and central asia. It only exists in regions which is far from monotheistic-abrahmic faiths(south east nations) or is assosiated with strong states (japan and china). The failure is to evolve a temporal ideology of living (it evades the importance of state to protect dharma and truth).

      • Samrat Bharat

        Ooh. I thought we wanted world peace. My mistake. Yes, let us pick something not so obsessed with Peace.

        • Shubhangi Raykar

          पहले अपना घर संभालो.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Same to you. पहले अपना घर संभालो. We can keep doing this till the end of time. World peace can wait.

        • Shubhangi Raykar

          So long as Abrahamic religions are there you cannot think of world peace.

          • Samrat Bharat

            OK, so business as usual it is then. Scrap peace.

          • guest

            you are not getting the point…..and keep ranting your own ideology. Dharma works on several levels. no one way of life for all. that allows for evolution and development of thought process. not top down. the point is world peace was scrapped when religions of the book starting massacring pagans…and spreading their lies. Dharmic faiths do not care about expansion, which by its very nature is against peace. Is it so hard to understand?

          • Samrat Bharat

            So everyone world over will easily understand this point and there will be peace?

          • guest

            and there in lies some truth…..(as close as we can get to it)—not all understand, but as people evolve they see it for themselves. just like most of the developed world has renounced christianity after understanding of science and material prosperity. communism does not hold ground except for some loonies. look at china, people ought to be very cautious before they speak of communism and progress in same terms. dharma understands that there is equality but not in a way that western concept understands it. a butterfly is equal in its role and dharma in ecology…..it is important but with less responsibility than human beings. just drop defence for a while. even if you are an atheist, if you experiment with meditation and quieting your mind….you will find many answers. that is not mumbo jumbo its science. in meditation, your brain allows for new connections and subtler vibrations that allow for newer and hopefully much evolved thoughts.

        • Bihari

          Well Buddhism did get wiped out in every place that Islam hit almost instantaneously (Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia). Because of hinduism, Islam could not properly reach Burma, Thailand etc. World peace is no good with rabid dogs.

          So Buddhism has something to be grateful to Hinduism for. On the other Hinduism benefited a lot with such an amazing partner. The world will be better place when the two are in sync.

    • vamsi krishna

      By the way, who said you cannot offend the Gods in Hinduism, perhaps you have not heard ” ninda sthuthi” to start from. While Buddhism says there is no soul. Hinduism says there is indeed soul and says you can invoke it for Good.
      Thats how adi shankara charya defeated Buddhist ideology in India and led to its ideological extinction before Muslim invaders finally clamped this too good ideology. It survives now only as part of some strong state (china or japan) or where its far from hell fires of abrahmic faiths. It doesn’t even save itself when confronted with abrahmic faiths (like in sri lanka) and seems decided not to protect its values or dharma (so it will in future only exits in books).

      • Samrat Bharat

        Any links to RSS/VHP/ShivSena/BajranDal types doing “ninda sthuthi”? Should be very educating to watch a few videos of them doing it. I had not heard of it earlier.

        • vamsi krishna

          what is your obsession with RSS/VHP.. et al. Did you read my comment in the first place? I said criticism of Gods is allowed in Hinduism and you tied hinduism with despecable abrahmic faiths.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Nothing. I just assumed awareness of “ninda sthuthi” meant you liked sarcasm.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Which Abrahamic faith did I mention?

          • Nabha Garjana

            any way of “belief” is considered superior if its able to sustain further questioning than the other, and in no way Buddhism as is prevalent today has no answers to life as a whole.Buddhism = unguided Meditation As far as your barb is considered it only shows that you are not aware of the vedic/vedanta/indic philosophies.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Ideally I would recommend atheism. Any cult that depends on books written hundreds/thousands years ago will have some good philosophy mixed in with some outdated bullshit (or cowdung).

            There are only things science has already explained, or is trying to understand better. Everything else around religion is pure fantasy.

            You can go ahead and debate vedic/vedanta/indic philosophies with this dude: http://think.denverdias.com/

          • Nabha Garjana

            Debates have already been on for eternity and one cannot debate something that is not in the material realm and hence not comprehensible by the mind. if the mind wants it can argue and debate on both sides depending on the what it WANTS or thinks to be true, how can one debate atma (not soul)? as adi shankara said ( vaada vivada kim karishayate, yatra vacho ni vartante tatra swayam anubhavgamye — what is the purpose of debate beyond a point, where the mind does not reach , one has to go and experience), The fact remains that one does not know unless he knows ( language is but an way to communicate thoughts and not experience) hope you understand.

          • Samrat has linked to a person who is leftist fiberal muslim appeasing dhimmi secularist. Also seems to be aligned with christian missionaries going by his twitter account here.
            https://twitter.com/DenverThink

          • Nabha Garjana

            the fact is a left liberal commie will never engage in a fact base point to point debate or discussion as that will expose the hollow of his/her standing. they can only berate you by calling names and branding as they have no locus standi except their self professed superiority

          • Samrat Bharat

            True. So end of this debate I assume?

          • Nabha Garjana

            as i said there isn’t any debate. but as far as atheism and Buddhism is concerned, if one has to make a choice Hinduism is a far superior option than any available to an inquisitive mind

          • Samrat Bharat

            Atheism is way better than ANY religion. I don’t need to worship misogynistic, murderous fake gods/prophets, nor defend myths written into books. And nothing like science for the truly inquisitive mind. But then, to each his own.

          • Bihari

            Agreed. Each to his own. Atheism does have its charms, and I must say I have enjoyed those for a long time. But Upanishads are humbling. Someone so long ago could ask such questions and try to answer those. Amazing.

          • guest

            you do know that myth comes from the sanskrit word Mithya—Mithya is not a lie or untruth, but a reality between truth and untruth. For example this world. It appears to be real, but everything in here is perishable, some just takes longer than the other. Yet it remains –for us mortals–a thing to achieve. Bhisma on his death bed had said that the most surprising thing of all was that people saw death everyday and yet, ‘wished to live forever’–or at least had the desire to live. That is a great example of maya—this sansar is mithya…..because it appears to be real and stable, while it is constantly in flux and definitely finite (time period is relative). So nope atheists are not better, for they will never know the rapture of loving the divine….the song that erupts in our hearts with it, and how our feet dance and in that love, we include more and more beings, simply because we feel a oneness…not because we are TRYING to be nice….

          • Samrat Bharat

            Agree, that’s why we needed a new word fitting between the existing two words truth and untruth. But here is how it works.

            We always worship what we do not have control over. So early settlers found Fire, Storms, Wind etc beyond their control. As these settlements grew and became tiny kingdom, leaders who performed heroic offense/defense/prosperity feats started being revered.

            So: Agni, Vaayu, Indra definitely exist, but not in the form depicted in mythology. Ram, Krishna all possibly existed. But they were tribal leaders managing their tiny “kingdoms”. With embellishment, their stories over hundreds of years turned them into some superhumans.

            It is fine for lesser developed minds to believe in various types of Santa Clauses and expect gifts to come their way, sing carols and dance in rapture. No objections as long as they don’t try to sell that or force that onto others.

          • guest

            MIthya is the word. Because the west is a little low on spiritual IQ, they borrowed it as myth and then distorted the meaning or at least the implication. those who read and analyse probably know the difference.

            if you are living in a hindu country, have you ever had anyone impose hinduism on you? even if you say yes for whatever reason, you know there was never a movement like with the religions of the book. So, no one is forcing hinduism. we just want to live with our pride and not have those who cannot stand our diversity, wisdom and cooperative spirit —-bring us down by false stories.

            as for the Gods, remember this there is a big difference between worship……in dharma and religion. We do not worship Rama as much as we look to him as a role model. He embodies qualities we look for in our sons and other male relatives. We do not love our Gods because we fear them, we love them because they are loveable to us and there are certain qualities that they embody that attract us and want to be like them. But the main part in Hinduism is that you are taught you have to leave God to attain God……meaning you have to beyond all boundaries and the pathway is karma…the destination is moksha. so again, please drop the defense and see the beauty and truth in Sanatana Dharma. As an atheist…..you are still very defensive…..drop that to go to next level.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Actually, my parents and relatives did force me to be a Hindu 🙂 Definitely not by the sword or even whip though 😀

            Where does it say we atheists cannot defend our beliefs? 🙂

            Great we role model against an ideal. But that should be against ideal behavior (Dharma), and not expect a human to behave ideally all the time. Otherwise, we start to think “purity” is important even if the woman was abducted and held against her will and that checking if she catches fire is a test of this “purity”. Or that it is OK to abandon a pregnant wife to address the gossip around “purity”.

          • guest

            For your mentioning the incident from Ramayana, remember, the difference between the smritis and shrutis. Those that are meant for certain times and those that are timeless. Stories have much to consider, and some of it does not apply. I do not think any sane man in modern day has used Sita’s situation as a way of throwing his wife out. They know they cannot say that unless they themselves are Rama. No one is abandoning pregnant woman today because Sita was abandoned. Those incidents never ever became something to emulate. (just like no one ever names their child Ravan, even though he was intelligent, a brahmin and a great tapasvi). We admire Rama for his loyalty to his father, for his respect for his mothers, his love for his brother, his commitment to Sita (he tells her that despite he tradition of having more than one wife, he will have no other and he never did). So don’t cherry pick parts of an epic and imaginatively imply that those stories are being copied today because they are not. What ideal does and atheist role model against? Rama never abandoned dharma. He was a king before he was a husband. He stood for ideals and lived by them even at the cost to his own comfort. It is for that that we love him, not because he abandoned Sita, whatever be the reason. I find atheists can be good people, but in the long run their arguments are without any joy or love of the world. Strange, because it is the theists who are supposed to renounce the world but in loving it, they also know when to let go.

          • Samrat Bharat

            So you are agreeing that only the right qualities need to be role modeled to, and that is what Hindus do? Or are you trying to rationalize Ram’s behavior as an individual, no matter what? If he could let go of his kingdom as an ideal son, he could do that again as an ideal husband also no?

            Atheists have modern law, the country’s constitution and human rights conventions to role model against.

          • guest

            wait, I dont think any hindu would disagree that it was the good qualities that we go after, and that some incidents that do not make sense to us might have a larger purpose. For example, if you know enough then you also know that they say that from Sita Haran onwards it was a mayavi Sita for the sake of leela. Which means Sitaji never went through a purity test or even went to Lanka. So know that you cannot contain Hinduism in your limited way of ‘modern’ thinking.

            you seem like a decent person, but not sure if you are deliberately being stubborn despite seeing the inherent unity in the concept of Hinduism. Stories are stories. They have instructional properties. There has always been a tradition of dialogue and debate. Not like in the religions of the book where no questioning if allowed.

            Ram was an ideal king, Ideal son and Ideal husband. He never asked Sita to join him, it was her choice, he promised to not look at another woman and never did, and when it came to personal issues, being a king was a higher dharma than being an ideal husband which also included personal joy. He had to forego that. But never went back on his word of having only one woman in his life.

            Besides when you critique you critique from kalyug’s standpoint. In Satyug purity was very important. Lord Ram then brought up the ideal by stating that that purity should also be expected of men.

            Not sure why you focus on atheism as outside of Hinduism when you know for sure that Hinduism is all inclusive. You do believe in the principles of the universe? Hinduism is based on that. A law higher than just our state law….karma, equal and opposite reaction. energy is neither created nor destroyed–reincarnation.

            Or may be you are interested in having a separate identity. A more honest thing would be to acknowledge that Hinduism does not ask you to believe in a God but is vast enough to accept atheism —and is based on science-. But is smart enough to know the value of stories and emotions and so we have countless stories and songs and color…….no argument there.

          • Samrat Bharat

            So in Satyug how many men proved their purity by fire?

            I never disputed stories have entertainment and instructional value. But that does not mean I start worshipping Mickey Mouse also.

            I agree humans of those times cannot be judged by today’s standards. So Ram was human 🙂 .

          • guest

            you know this is something that people get all in outrage about—-men having more women was the norm, which Lord Ram challenged by his behaviour. He did come as a human but portrayed his divine qualities in action. (btw, the reason for acceptance for men having more partners, is not what the feminists like to say–it is basically for one reason that nature planted to begin with –to know the paternity of the child.’. having said that Lord Ram did not need to prove anything, he always behaved honourably with people of different tribes, with women and even with demons, never attacking before being provoked. As for mickey mouse, I have no clue why you brought it up…mickey mouse, as far as I am concerned, has no redeeming or instructional value except making money and entertainment

          • Samrat Bharat

            Ah, you are a single guy with no kids. So you haven’t heard of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Mouse_Clubhouse, the educational series 🙂

            Anyway, back to the point. It is perfectly possible for a human to be mostly noble, still no reason for ** me ** to worship him/her. Respect for noble acts is fine. But unquestionable blind faith – no.

          • guest

            I do not use bad language or words (Guess Ramayana has guided me). But seriously comparing a show for toddlers to Purshoattam Ram?

            Not sure why you choose to ignore that being a Sanatani does NOT REQUIRE you to worship? just being stubborn?

            And know that loving Rama and Krishna is not blind faith. We do not care whether they existed or not. We love them for what they evoke and where they guide us. Worship is your word. Bhakti is but one aspect. And just because you do not workship, you become neither better nor wiser. Belief or non-belief does not make us better. Dharma and a wisdom does make a difference….bringing us back to Dharma…..:)

            And remember unlike abrahamic faiths, you do not need to denounce sanatana dharma to assert your atheism. Not sure why you only focus on one aspect of Hinduism. Its greatness is that it encompasses all…

          • Samrat Bharat

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism: atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist.

            So from my point of view, I am just talking about human beings here, who can anytime be criticized for any wrong qualities. The all encompassing Hindu Dharma which includes atheism and ninda should not find it in anyway offensive.

            I accept Dharma in the context it is used in the Bhagawada Gita and Buddhism. Just that Dharma too needs to be updated to remain relevant to current times. If we start insisting everything written in thousand year old books needs to be followed to the letter, that is Sharia 🙂

            The diversity of “India” existed BEFORE the country came into existence. We mashed together religions, languages, races etc where possible and managed the early friction. So it is historically inaccurate to say India was always diverse. I feel exactly the same about Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma. Different castes, deities, rituals, beliefs existed BEFORE someone just gave it a common name.

          • guest

            I do agree. But India was always diverse—its diversity on many levels compared tot hat in the west. It is probably one of the first places to have warmed up on the earth, it has the highest genetic diversity because people moved out of here (less than those came in)—and because before we gave it a name, present day Hinduism had various sects, was spread among people of different professions, even different languages and countries (it was spread from afghanistan and beyond to vietnam)–how could it not be diverse. But I think it was diverse because it was evolved. and you have an entire sect called–arya samaj….no worship except to the sound and the mantras….so that diversity has always existed in the sense that while there was not a common name, all the rituals are various manifestations of one common belief system based on the fact that all is energy—and maya, that things are not what they seem. that is the core of hinduism and many dharma traditions even today

          • Samrat Bharat

            You are completely discounting the linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe. In India, this was one of the reason we had 500+ princely states (=countries) around the time of independence. There also does not seem to be one single “cradle of civilization”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cradle_of_civilization. Worship of elements and idols was common across the world before the monotheistic religions replaced them. It is a stretch to call all of them Hinduism.

            Arya Samaj was founded in the late 19th century (1875), nowhere as old as the vedic times. There too, Ram, Krishna etc are not recognized as Gods (at least how it was founded, this has since got diluted): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayananda_Saraswati#Arya_Samaj

          • guest

            I am not sure why you are not willing to accept the best and highest of Indian civilisation. or why you insist on separating yourself from Hinduism—even comparing mickey mouse to Purshattam Ram!!

            You do not know that India had a philosophical unity, which Europe never did? You do also know that India never had religious wars until Islam came?

            Debate was what we went by. We lived by honor. Europe is not a civilisation, India is, which includes much emerging from one composite philosophy, art, medicine, music, literature…….and it included many more languages and ways of thinking than Europe….even our words for God were so many…..so nope, Europe was never and even now is not more diverse than India. You do know they got mathematics and understanding of numbers from us.

            Arya samaj might be 19th century thing…but have you heard for Charvaka dharma? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charvaka

            Arya Samaj was founded in the late 19th century (1875), nowhere as old as the vedic times. There too, Ram, Krishna etc are not recognized as Gods (THAT IS WHAT I MEANT AS WELL…GIVING AN EXAMPLE OF A DIFFERENT WAY OF CONNECTING WITH THE UNIVERSAL ENERGY

            Also, while all other religions that worshiped images are not hinduism due to lack of a philosophy or in-depth understanding of nature associated with it, they did have an element of ritual and murti puja. which is the same. saying again…back to square one. HINDUISM IS A ONE VAST THOUGHT PROCESS AND ALL OTHERS INCLUDING ATHEISM CAN FIT INTO IT…..whether or not you want to acknowledge it, it is true.

          • Samrat Bharat

            There is no point getting sentimental over opinions we cannot defend. And then pride ourselves about honorable debate 🙂

            My point was if it is acceptable for Arya Samaj, Charvaka etc to not accept Gods, why is my stand that Ram, Krishna etc were not Gods so alarming?

            If “India had a philosophical unity”, why did the wars in Ramayana, Mahabharata and others here happen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_warfare#India?

          • guest

            agree on the first point. I am not that sentimental, and getting better at being detached.

            I do not think not believing in Divinity of Lord Rama is alarming. I have done it all my life, although it is different today…

            as for philosophical unity, have you read books by Rajiv Malhotra, read a bit more on that. Philosophical unity does not mean that there is no war between ignorance and knowledge. Fighting over establishing Dharma is not the same as saying, let us convert everyone by imposing our ideas then let us make them believe those are the only ideas worth saving.

          • Samrat Bharat

            I typically avoid reading only a particular book or following only particular set of authors. That just strengthens our confirmation bias – only absorb information that validates our existing beliefs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

            Philosophical differences cannot be as stark as calling the other side ignorant and needing a war or caste violence to solve. By definition, philosophical differences should be solvable in debates if there is a unity at a higher level. But history does not support this always existed.

          • guest

            I think history does support it. As for reading—as per my humble opinion–the wisdom in not avoiding reading particular authors,but actually read almost everything that they have written to get a gist of who they are…from there we may argue according to ideas. and the author I mentioned is no ordinary author, simply by the breadth and depth of the research that he does.

          • Samrat Bharat

            OK. History does not 100% support this “Philosophical Unity” – is that a more accurate statement? These were battles that took hundreds of thousands of lives, not minor disagreements: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_warfare#India

            OK. I will read up on Rajiv Malhotra. I definitely agree we have a heritage to be proud of. But it demeans that heritage to make stupid claims of Ganesha being an outcome of plastic surgery, Pandavas of test tube technology, vimanas that use mercury vortex etc. We should stick to what is documented, can be proven using today’s technology and actually benefits the world. Yoga, meditation, music, philosophy, some elements of medicine & surgery are great contributions. But I will believe a Sanskrit programmed vimana drone only when I see one being flown and earning us export $$s.

          • guest

            while I still think that there was something extraordinary about ancient India scientifically, socially, culturally /(civizationally)–and even Yoga is product of a scientific mind. Ayurveda certainly is…and I think many of our rituals and traditions are based on that understanding. but I also agree with

            We should stick to what is documented, can be proven using today’s technology and actually benefits the world

            And by the way, that is what Shri Rajiv Malhotra says…..http://rajivmalhotra.com/big-ideas-2/interpretation-dharma/

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKg_FjS3qZw

            (by the way, philosophical unity does not mean, no violence, because this mortal world…is based on that the conflict between the dev and asura. but in europe, and especially america, survival of the fittest became the philosophy, and many others completely devoid of dharma…)

            Good talking!!

          • Samrat Bharat

            Thanks ! Will definitely look at the video.

            Asura, Kaffir, Infidel – they all seem to meet similar ends no?

          • guest

            Asuras are not to be killed though, defeated because wisdom in their hands is dangerous….i.e. atomic bomb and america….:((

          • Samrat Bharat

            Possibly. But I am just saying that’s how most legends end. With the Asura decapitated by an arrow, head crushed by a mace, cut into 2 by a sword etc.

          • guest

            in sagar manthan asura did not all die, but the amrit was taken by devas….so again hinduism does not always fall into the black and white way of looking. Even Ravana was given the opportunity to surrender. He wanted to die at the hands of the divine. And while dying, God himself stood by his side to get the updesh….so quite different…

          • Samrat Bharat

            A snake large enough to wrap around a mountain to use to churn the ocean, so salt water yields amrit can only be mythology. The wars and deaths are however facts corroborated by different accounts.

            Ram is not God :). To me at least. My ancestors traditionally worshiped Shiva, so I was anyway one of the HaRam-zaade by a learned Sadhvi’s definition.

          • guest

            Ever heard of metaphor?

          • Samrat Bharat

            Exactly. Comparing metaphors & symbolism to facts directly seemed odd. Unless I am missing the exact point you are trying to make here.

          • guest

            shows your lack of understanding of hinduism. who ever said that we do not know the difference between metaphor, symbolism and how to incorporate it into our lives. it is the deracinated–westernized-leftist hindus who have been cut off from the basic understanding of what hinduism is all about, can barely read hindi or any other indian language, let alone sanskrit, who come up with these questions. Whether Ram is God or not is not the issue, he lived by divine qualities. Lord Krishna was another and probably more complete aspect of the divine, the playful one. our problem is that we try to define everything in the context of the west. What is God? can you define it? please tell me and I then I will give you a definition by one of my favourite persons.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Bye.

          • guest

            Bye is fine. But yes, when you are so vehemently against something, you should know what you are against, be able to define it. You know that God is an english word, which can be translated into a 1000 words in Indian languages with different levels of meanings and presence in the universe. I have been an atheist my whole life and still tilt towards that. But I will not deny that I feel a connection towards the interesting and thought provoking stories that hold it all together. But being an atheist does not give me the right to make fun of those who observe ritual. Because ritual is just as much inside just as it on the outside. Happy Sankranti—which is based on planetary movements….funnily enough in Europe this day is celebrated as the day Xmas trees are thrown out. There is an inherent wisdom in nature and non abrahmic religions have always known it. sadly only hindus have been able to keep it all together. if for nothing else respect it as an alternative way of life, outside of those that have killed several ways of life–namely christianity, islam and communism

          • Samrat Bharat

            Oh. Mistook you for someone else. Sorry. Happy Sankranti to you as well.

            I am now completely confused what exactly you want me to agree to.

          • guest

            See, my aim has never been to have you agree with me, unless as a part of civil dialogue you see a different viewpoint. But now that you ask, I think as an atheist, who is continuously denouncing hinduism, you do much disservice. Especially since in our exchange I have found you to not be very knowledgeable about several things. It is almost a ‘fashion’ statement’ to be an atheist. What is the harm in accepting that Hinduism is a philosophy, a way of life that caters to all mind sets? why is it so hard to acknowledge and then in that even stand by those who love Lord Ram and Krishna as Gods, because that is what diversity of Hinduism is all about. Because united we stand….as hindus…

          • Samrat Bharat

            It is normal for atheists to prefer to debate about the religion they and their audience know most about. E.g., in https://www.facebook.com/AmericanAtheists/ , how many references to Hinduism can you find?

          • guest

            exactly, hindu atheists are not the same as any other category for atheism is a part of hinduism. so american atheists come from ‘nothing’ all are hard facts (which i disagree with because the most important things in this world cannot be measured). So once again the question is to you—-what is so wrong about upholding the best of hinduism and laying aside what you do not wish to engage in that is the love of our devas and devis. (even though there are references to real places, including Kurkshetra and Lanka and Ayodhya–so if you look for evidence there is, but in matters of the heart–aka Bhakti movement, one goes by a feeling–which when wrung of love, rasa and joy—in its ultra dry form is atheism). So, why argue so much against Hinduism–since it accepts you as you are? Why lock heads with one section of Hinduism, which may not ‘like’ but cannot ‘discredit’ your views? You know that our civilisation is under threat right now….so it would be ‘wise’ (using this word, just in case you are against ‘nice’) –simply stand as united hindus. as a hindu atheist, you still get much more to read and juggle with. hope you are watching RM’s videos, there are over 200 and you will see they are all packed with high voltage!!

          • Samrat Bharat

            If Hinduism accepts me the way I am, there is nothing to debate.

            Yes, civilization is under threat. But we probably differ on what civilization is. To me, it is a secular, democratic country with a market driven economy where citizens accept diversity.

            Everywhere, that is under threat by those who want arbitrary rules imposed on “others”, and are ready to use violence to get their way.

            This section, like their counterparts from other religions, is turning Hinduism into something dangerous – a closed minded, misogynistic, violent cult of blind believers who value symbols over human life. I lock heads with that section, as they threaten my civilization.

            Yoga, meditation, music – I formally learnt and still practice them all. But I can enjoy a bhajan/abhang the same way I enjoy a melodious Bollywood song, without needing to feel the same sentiment as the singer/hero to either to the Devi or to the heroine.

            Which according to you is RM’s best video? Little chance I will get to all 200 of them. But let me start right.

          • guest

            If Hinduism accepts me the way I am, there is nothing to debate.

            has there ever been a question? Hinduism has never had a problem with how people love to believe, or not so….

            Yes, civilization is under threat. But we probably differ on what civilization is. To me, it is a secular, democratic country with a market driven economy where citizens accept diversity.

            You are kidding right? you know there is nothing more secular than hinduism? the problem where people blame hindus today is the narrow vision of not acknowledging simple facts. 1. religions of the book have always had an agenda. that is to expand, convert the whole world to their idea. there is proof .—from wherever they went. they respect nothing else. Please note that where-ever there was buddhism or less intellectual forms of hinduism got converted to either christianity or Islam. India played a barrier to Islam, so the countries to the west of India got converted (those that were either fire worshippers or animist belief or even Buddhist. Thailand, China, Vietnam…Cambodia all —benefited. Indonesia and Malaysia separate islands got converted—so tell me again, what is secular about religions of the book? why should their ideas that are definitely against democracy be given significance when they make no bones about superiority of their faith? tell me again why should we not stand up ? and please tell me how ‘confused seculars’ like you help the cause? working against Hinduism? and to protect your own ideology making up things like ‘if Hinduism accepts me like I am’. Wake up !! You are not a muslim. You are hindu, and so you are accepted. For heaven’s sake we even accepted Islam and hence you find a different strain of Islam in India, which is not get more radicalised. Please give me an example of a Muslim country that is secular? meaning that allow to convert people to other religions? So, there are very few truly secular nations in the world. India happens to be one of them….ONLY BECAUSE HINDUS ARE IN A MAJORITY…

            So acknowledge that. You know the US—-very Christian, no holidays even for the Jews. They did not allow ‘pagans, including the Hindus’ to migrate until the early 20th century. Hawaiian religion was made extinct by banning to practice it. And with new threats, even with a very small population of non-christians, they are already getting paranoid about ‘other religions’. Often times young parents of non-christian background have a hard time finding day cares where they do not preach ‘jesus.’. So, your idea of civilisation, Mister—is non-civilisation. Hinduism, ghar wapsi, and upholding hindu institutions, working towards a dharmic country is very very important. Now when you talk of Dharma, then religion does not matter. But watch as the church and mosques squirm on the fact. Would you want an adharmic society? Well, a hindu society is a dharmic society. SECULAR…..BY DEFINITION.

            Everywhere, that is under threat by those who want arbitrary rules imposed on “others”, and are ready to use violence to get their way.

            WOW, are you going to talk about beef ban? which is more of an environmental issue? are you going to talk about organisations like PETA? know something, ahimsa is param dharma—-but remember when violence is needed, it is needed. A hindu knows that. Buddhism that kept talking about ‘only non-violence’ got wiped away from afghanistan and parts of pakistan. Thailand declares itself as a Buddhist nation and therefore gives only limited rights to ‘minority religions’. Smart move!!

            Please do answer one question, why should non-democratic religions, those that are against secularism be allowed to take advantage of liberal countries? are you following what is going on in Europe? wait another 20 years…..they already have threats….and by the way, they are ‘¨mmmmm SECULAR’ (not as much as India though)

            so drop this ‘high moral ground’. leftists, communists and (pseudo) secularists are a threat to democracy and dharmic ways of life. (supporting azaan is good, if saudi arabia allows temple aartis as well……if not, then the filth that they have spread should not get a hearing in dharmic countries because it is a move towards chaos under the guise of ‘secularism.’

            sorry, this has been disappointing. i cannot be having the same conversation, over and over again. just hope that you drop this idea of ‘ooh, my idea of civilisation is different than yours….’ nothing is more civilised than a dharmic society. hinduism, as of now, is the only system that considers dharma, which includes animals, plants, air, water, …..all the materials/elements that we, the planets and this universe if made of…

          • Jitu

            I am amazed at the patience with which you engaged in this discussion with Samrat Bharat. I read through 2/3rd of it then gave up( for now). Will return to read some other time when I have time.

            My respect to you for this vaadakatha. _/_ _/_

            I often witness vitandakatha but rarely ever see a vaadkatha extend for so long without one of the two resorting to abuses. Not that I have witnessed too many people. I’m speaking of my limited life experiences only.

            _/_ _/_

          • guest

            Your email made my day. I am honoured and grateful. But I cannot take the credit–first it goes to my parents, who instilled in me that using abuses only means we lack vocabulary and patience. Second, I must also commend Samrat Bharat, for he could have resorted to abuses, and I have seen him do that else place. But in conversation with me, he remained polite. And lastly I bow to that aspect in you who noticed. So thanks.

            But please do explain a bit more about vaadakatha and vitandakatha. I understand superficial meaning. vaadakatha, I would assuming simply means conversation? If you find the time, do explain. thanks again.

          • Jitu

            Am glad. 🙂

            Yes. It takes two to tango. He was respectful of you. I had half a mind of commending Samrat Bharat too. I would have… had I not noticed him abuse others in a way I found quite offensive.

            But I have to give him credit where it’s due. He was polite throughout.

            Another reason I left him out of my compliment was… the discussion was practically one-sided. I did not see him bring much knowledge to the discussion. But was open-minded enough to listen to you while you tried till the end to make him understand.

            The words were picked from Wiki.

            In my mother-tongue, we use the terms ‘vaadana’ to refer to a regular debate and ‘vithanda-vaadam’ or ‘vithanda-vaadana’ to refer to illogical debates where either or both parties stray away from a logical debate.

            I was looking for synonymous terms in Hindi but could not find any.
            So looked up shaashtraath on Google. The wiki page gave three terms.
            1. Vaadkatha, which loosely translated to engaging in a debate with an opponent with an aim at arriving at the truth.
            2. Jalpakatha – a debate involving two contradictory theories. In reference to shaashtraartham, it means discussing two interpretations of the same shaashtra. Since this involves both opponents to be well-versed in the same subject, your debate could not fall into this category.
            3. Third type is Vithandakatha which mean attacking the opponent’s view without sufficiently or suitably justifying your own POV.

            Most debates on internet tend to slip into the third kind where those from opposing camps start hurling abuses or start resorting to various logical fallacies to win the argument.

            After reading the three definitions, I came to the conclusion the entire discussion was of the first kind.

          • Jitu

            Trivia…

            I read Akbar’s marriage mentioned in the thread. He had over 5000 wives. He rules for 54 years. So loosely that translates to one wife per 4 days. ( Based on his biography).

            Also… Din-e-ilaahi was mentioned. It’s on record that he did try and force it but failed. It’s been two decades since I read it. So cannot produce a source.

            There were other trivia that came to my mind while read the thread, but I lost track of them. 😀

          • guest

            Thanks so much for explaining this. I read it a few times to absorb and will need to read it again. I learn so much on this forum. Thanks very much. I will bring this knowledge to my research—hopefully. I just get so angry that we wasted so many years at school and university to simply learn XXXX while there were such gems in our own knowledge. Also that we are more familiar with English and many other foreign words than we are with Sanskrit or some of our mother tongues. Thanks again. Even though it supported my ego, it was heartening to see that someone paid attention to the quality of dialogue beyond just content and volume.

          • Jitu

            By XXXX, I am guessing you mean we learnt ‘nothing’ at school and universities. Do clarify.

            About Sanskrit, I agree. There are articles by Vikrant Pande on Swarajya on Sanskrit, on the need to boost regional languages, and more. If you do a word-search for ‘Sanskrit’, in Swarajya or IndiaFacts, you’ll find some really informative articles. The articles themselves, and some of the comments by commentators on them are a treasure trove of information.

          • guest

            XXXX —yup–I should’ve made that five X’s implying ZILCH!! 🙂

            Yes, I will check out the articles. It is really hard time wise, because work and study is in one direction and this is different, trying to bring them together is hard and learning something completely new is tiresome and requires much tapas. But I return to these forms (more here than Swarajya, I have had some issues with Swarajya’s articles and it put me off)–

            I also downloaded some notes from Sanskrit Bhariti….:)

          • Jitu

            I agree. I have had issues with Swarajya too. But individual writers are all different so I don’t let my anger with one affect the respect another deserves. Vikrant Pande is one of the few writers who used to interact with his readers and was always respectful. This was more than a year ago. The viewership was much less so few regular readers were there.

            Now swarajya attracts comments like flowers attract bees. 😀

            I had an altercations with Swarajya editor no less. 😀 😀

          • guest
          • guest

            for your information. if you continue to say that you do not just read authors, then our conversation is not getting anywhere. for you are more interested in asserting your viewpoint. what hindus are saying is not a view point…..it is actually a whole philosophy of ‘honouring the planet.’

            here read this and see the damage that christianity caused….

            https://www.uvm.edu/~gflomenh/ENV-NGO-PA395/articles/Lynn-White.pdf

            compare if the americas had remained ‘native’ and europe ‘pagans’

          • guest

            But I can enjoy a bhajan/abhang the same way I enjoy a melodious Bollywood song, without needing to feel the same sentiment as the singer/hero to either to the Devi or to the heroine.

            absolutely agreed. There can be an experience where both. But if you notice that our bhajans–are often love songs. In fact, all of Meera’s songs were love songs. Love, and rasa is a part of hinduism. So irritation in this conversation is that you prefer to stand outside of hinduism for whatever reason, knowing fully well that each and every sentiment you talk about is covered within hinduism. Hinduism…is ALL INCLUSIVE…PERIOD. you know, I do not see this ‘hard work on wanting to stand outside.’ Seems to me like you are just making a stand just to step aside. as if you are still in your teenage rebellion years.

            I could not recommend one video, simply because he has talked about very many ideas. But you can, watch the one that I sent mainly because he talks from scientific point of view. And a friendly suggestion if I may, we need more Hindus to be well read and well versed. Espeically if you do not like to read much, then please follow RM….just keep working on his work. He is our modern day Swami Vivekandana, he regularly writes in various magazines and has a blog both on speaking tree and huffington post. He is the author of ‘being different’. When the westerners screamed back —he wrote a 40 page rebuttal….excellent stuff. One of his peeve is that hindus are intellectually lazy, and that combined with us being divided (hindus who denigrate hinduism and refuse to accept it for what it is, the highest possible philosophy)—and not reading much…is very dangerous to us a community. So, please read a few of his articles. his books need a commitment. they are both lengthy and deep, for all the secularism you talk about, I can guarantee, that his books will provide a challenge. So, I will attach a few links from newspapers. But start with the video that I attached, and I might when time allows direct you to some of his work. the best to you, and know that a few idiots who say wrong things….do not mean hinduism is to be questioned. No other country has ever been a safe haven for those running from persecutors than India. But it is time now that we say enough, because religions of the book have international support. Hindus, are only mainly in India….today there is no country that is ‘hindu’ on paper. Christian, Islamic and Buddhist, quite a few. let us stand for a hindu nation, and then other religions will always have a place. but we need hindus united. I personally, have many christian and muslim friends, and I OPENLY tell them, their religions have polluted the world. Openly. I am hindu, that takes pride in being a hindu, and I say this because I have worked on reading various religions. NOTHING has the depth of hinduism…..secularists are against democracy if they do not acknowledge the limitations of religions based on one book. just like feminists are anti-family and in the end —end up being anti-women.

          • guest

            I am not sure if this link will work because it seems they are trying to remove the topic, but if anything you should read this. and see what christians are planning. if we do not stand united, hindus are at a threat. be a dharmic person. NOT A SECULAR PERSON. Dharma is important…..or else, we will have mother teresa like ‘good people’ doing more damage than help.

            http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:PrnqIbDEywEJ:www.crusadewatch.org/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26task%3Dview%26id%3D293%26Itemid%3D30+&cd=1&hl=sv&ct=clnk&gl=se&client=safari

          • Samrat Bharat

            Link works. But something looks seriously off, or I am really poor at searching. Can you help me out here?

            Where is the original article in Croatian? Which newspaper? Except the right wing echo chamber cross linking this and their article to each other, an Alex Pomero who loves Hinduism does not seem to exist anywhere else. No FB, LinkedIn, Twitter?

            What other articles has he written? Weird that a freelance writer published exactly one article in his lifetime. Were you able to find any others? Searching for his name seems to turn up only this one article for me at least.

          • guest

            well, i think it is a site that allows people to write about what abhramic religions are doing, especially Christianity. The thing is that so much is going on, and we strange people do not believe it until it comes from the outsiders. if you do not want to believe this, just because he has only one article written, read stuff by Michel Danino, who is a scholar. or my maria wirth. Now, tell me please, are you seriously interested or are you just gathering data to simply stand against hinduism? anyway, check out the ones I am saying but Christianity has spread its roots. And I do not think there is anything more dangerous. Mainly because churches are becoming old relics in the western world, with very few attending churches, in fact even in western countries those who attend are the migrants from developing countries. but these countries gather taxes from their citizens, and they use those to come to countries like india. because islamic countries will not allow them. And we the idiotic Hindus are oh so secular, that they take advantage of that. I am dharmic, which includes secular. Secular in the western manner…nope, since that is a sham…

          • guest

            PS: who wrote what is not important, check out the project. There is a project called Project Joshua, check that out. I am sure you are aware that churches have done conversions by buying people. In my travel i found it to be that way in many rural areas. that is enough of a proof. not sure what else you need to question Xtians…and their ideology……unverifiable claims…

          • Samrat Bharat

            Yep, Project Joshua exists http://joshuaproject.net/countries/IN and so does https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghar_Wapsi. Christianity is the largest (and Islam fastest growing) religion in the world because they were much more effective and organized at spreading their religion.

            It is important to not be intellectually lazy, and to check out original sources in this era of Photoshop, fake profiles and dummy articles. Otherwise you get discredited easily.

            Let’s assume I am a HR Manager of a company that is seeing high attrition. There is only so much I can do by whining about others poaching my employees. I will need to look at what incentives & benefits are better at other places and then match at my company also. If someone can so easily be bought out by a little money and they change their entire lifestyle for it, they were perhaps never had even a little loyalty to my company anyway no?

          • guest

            That is because 1. unlike other religions Hinduism accepts several levels of intellectual ability. the poor are hungry, and they go. please do not forget the role of invasions and colonisation in the poverty and mess that india is today. so again, question western style secularism, which was created only because there were religious wars in europe, which did not exist in india, until the muslims came. I still do not see your point of not defending and standing by hinduism when it allows freedom of thought —so now when hindus are waking up, and organizing themselves (it is not an organised religion) why do pseudo secularists cry. there were some wobbling in this case, for we have little training and the british left many sepoys who scream secularism behind. so today hindus have to get together and work and along side fight hindus like you, who want to put those efforts down.

            And by the way, let us not forget the role of congress in messing up the country…letting churches have free reign, allowing churches and mosques to be owned by the custodians of that religion and temples to be owned by the government.

          • Samrat Bharat

            So shouldn’t we be focusing on the solving the problems of poverty first so people don’t get easily swayed by inducements? And fix law & order and justice delivery mechanism so ANYONE making fake claims can be quickly investigated and brought to justice? Why are we wasting time on band aids and taking law into our own hands instead of a systemic fix?

            I would be happy to stand by the concept of Dharma (as reflected in its modern form in the Constitution of India and Universal Declaration of Human Rights). But unfortunately the Hindu Right makes this difficult by wasting my time with fake articles, Photoshop and bogus profiles. I don’t want to damage my credibility by standing with them.

            So re-establish your credibility first. What made you share that article by the so called “Alex Pomero”? I suspect confirmation bias, the lowest and most common form of intellectual laziness. You thought it is genuine because it fit into your pre-existing bias. Prove me wrong.

            And don’t let your attention flit away to other authors etc. I have already agreed conversion efforts exist, and that Christianity & Islam does this at a much bigger and effective scale. I have seen them in real life as well. So nothing to prove there.

          • guest

            solving the problems of poverty will have to go hand in hand since the church aint solving the problems of poverty. its harvesting souls to work towards breaking India. that is another book by the way. and before you call it photoshop and fake articles, it is a heavily researched book, with solid data. one article and you are talking about intellectual laziness, guess what, talk after you have read a few books.

            I would be happy to stand by the concept of Dharma (as reflected in its modern form in the Constitution of India and Universal Declaration of Human Rights). But unfortunately the Hindu Right makes this difficult by wasting my time with fake articles, Photoshop and bogus profiles. I don’t want to damage my credibility by standing with them.

            Swayed by authors? that is not how you debate. You read them and then debate them point by point ……

            you are still in your teenage time of ‘rebelling because my ideas are different…and you probably think higher.’ mine are towards dharma. otherwise with your idea…hindus’ fate will be that of native americans in the americas….

          • guest

            And don’t let your attention flit away to other authors etc.

            first read them, re-read them understand them. opinions that emerge from that level of research are worth contending with. one article because you could not another article written by it, and you will constantly talk about fake articles, but not engage in reading books or even watching a video. still you have not answered, when islam and christianity by nature are not for secularism, what is the problem with ghar wapsi. all these thousands of years the tribals lived side by side with hindus and we did not touch them. come missionaries and they get converted to XXXX christianity, because those idiots think they know it all. you still opposed ghar wapsi? a system which will allow people to choose among many gods or nature or atheism? so, why not ghar wapsi when religions of the book are non secular?

            I have already agreed conversion efforts exist, and that Christianity & Islam does this at a much bigger and effective scale. I have seen them in real life as well. So nothing to prove there.

            so, why this stance against those who stand up for hinduism and labelling them as right wing, as if they are doing something wrong?

          • Samrat Bharat

            Ideally, religion itself should stop existing except in private life, but that is too much of atheistic wishful thinking.

            Until then, I have no problem with Ghar Wapsi, or conversions as long as people are choosing their religion of their own free will. Inducements are also fine with me, as long as they are not false promises.

            Coercion is bad, and is a law & order issue. So are false promises. Fix law & order + justice delivery – those problems are solved.

            Right Wing is a valid political orientation, nothing insulting about being labeled right wing in context of religion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics#Religion. Just because you think being called a Leftist is an “insult”, it does not make Right Wing an insult.

            Now back to the topic. What made you trust such an obviously fake article? No point reading tons of material if we cannot even separate fakes from facts.

            This sentence of yours did not make any sense to me. What were you trying to say?
            “one article because you could not another article written by it, and you
            will constantly talk about fake articles, but not engage in reading
            books or even watching a video.”

          • guest

            religion itself should stop existing except in private life

            it is religions of the book that ask you to profess. I never had to say I was a hindu, until missionaries started to ask me several times……or muslim friends constantly talked about being a muslim

          • guest

            ok so Gandhi, right wing or left wing? you see, these right and left wings are also definitions by the west. so you still parroting that language, as if that is the solemn truth.

            Gandhi, left or right wing?

          • Samrat Bharat

            First, re-establish your credibility. Do you agree that “Alex Pomero” article was fake, or do you stand by it?

            And stop spinning off multiple threads on a single comment. Get organized, think through, and respond once.

          • guest

            1. if we are talking about ‘first’. I asked you a couple questions –days ago that you have not responded to.
            2. Getting organised is one thing. But with regards to responding to you, the aim was to respond to all the points raised —-one by one and then provide various ideas to work with them. The problem was that you were evading responding so it works like it is disorganised.
            3. As for Alex Pomero article, fake or not, I won’t comment, simply because I stand by what it wrote –because I have not only read but actually EXPERIENCED—the working of THAT project. To the extend someone when someone wanted to compliment for being a ‘just’ person, they called me ‘christian’ without my permission. (many, many stories). So, when I talked about ‘not just basing your analysis on one article’ that is what I meant.

            And most of all, sometimes working it all during the day with 20,000 other responsibilities it does get and more so seem like it is all disorganised. For that I apologise. But all the threads were towards providing stories and ideas for you to consider and respond to.

            Now to the two questions, one of which I asked a long time ago.

            How are you seculars respecting democracy by supporting the ideology that is anti-democratic?

            Gandhi, a left or a right wing?

          • Samrat Bharat

            Fair enough. You can stand by what it says, though the article is fake. Understandable because it conveniently echoes what is usually said on Hindu forums. Hence the confirmation bias. And like everything in real life, it will have some elements of truth in it, however exaggerated.

            The first warning signs for me were the illogical leaps (Meditation – Buddhism – TM by Maharishi – Ramayana – comparing real life to a story, leaving out abuse that exists in every society).

            [1] Did not get this at all. Which anti-democratic ideology? I completely support our PM’s statement: ‘India First’ is the only religion, Constitution only holy book. That should apply to every religion equally. I can’t speak for all “seculars”, I haven’t joined any club. So this answer is only for myself.

            [2] I assume you mean Mahatma Gandhi. According to me, he was Left wing on economics, and wavered between right and mostly left on religion in politics. Did not get why this was important though.

            Were these the 2 Qs or did I miss something?

          • guest

            Did not get this at all. Which anti-democratic ideology? I completely support our PM’s statement: ‘India First’ is the only religion, Constitution only holy book. That should apply to every religion equally. I can’t speak for all “seculars”, I haven’t joined any club. So this answer is only for myself.

            and yes fair enough for this too. but you see, islam and christianity are not ‘india first- That should be obvious from ‘muslims not singing vante-matram.’

            As for the confirmation bias, that article is just one…there are many, so confirmation (not bias) comes from one article. It comes from some time of reading, engaging with people, attending churches and even walking into mosques.

            So, in that case unless the basis of Islam and Christianity change, then secularism is defending ideologies that are non-secular.

            With regards to Buddhism and TM material is that from RM video? you cannot judge by watching a few minutes for a lengthy talk—so, at least give one video a go. Then after that, simply go through his youtube channel and watch them over a period of time.

            As for the MG response, the point of asking was that…..left and right wing are not that clear, they are western terms and we use them to define our own society, thereby upholding that west’s narrative can (or should) go global. Which is what I am against.

            PS: I type ultra fast, so it is easy for me….to type pages in a short time… :((

          • Samrat Bharat

            This comment was about the “Alex Pomero” article: <>

            I started watching RM videos, but more about that later. I haven’t commented about them as yet.

            One song cannot determine the Indianness of an entire community. There are varying voices on the topic anyway: http://goo.gl/epw8nQ (not all Muslims reject the first 2 verses) including Sikhs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vande_Mataram#Public_response.

            Overall, objections seem similar to what the Hindu right objects about Jana Gana Mana http://goo.gl/3nvqq5. That it was originally written to glorify someone they cannot respect (Durga / Emperor), and just editing some parts does not take that history away.

            I will discuss “secularism” in a while, work calls now. Meanwhile, enjoy this rendition of Vande Mataram, composed & sung by a Muslim and I am sure people of all religions are in the chorus:
            ..
            ..
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07UcGa4vZxI

          • Samrat Bharat

            Bah !

            This comment was about the “Alex Pomero” article: “The first warning signs for me were the illogical leaps (Meditation –
            Buddhism – TM by Maharishi – Ramayana – comparing real life to a story,
            leaving out abuse that exists in every society).”

          • guest

            RM’s video that I sent out was given at Maharishi University and talks about TM briefly, and the article I read several months ago….hence the confusion. 🙁

          • Samrat Bharat

            Got it.

            Also, my “Bah!” was for the platform that garbled up my text in my original longer message requiring me to repost that sentence.

          • guest

            These things happen, no issues. will write more about secularism as well. But I said, a hindu nation is secular by definition. And a ‘secular’ nation, which again is the west’s idea—is not really dharmic. Dharma to be upheld is the need. India, when declared a hindu nation, will take care of all, like we have for ages. thanks for the link to vandematram, will listen to it (Hindu folks do not question it, and about national anthem….the only question there is not anything else except that there are speculations that it was actually written for the Queen, in which case I would question it too, even though I think it is a beautiful poem. Noone matches Tagore.

          • Samrat Bharat

            The larger point being that if it is OK for someone to question
            Jana Gana Mana, it is perfectly OK for someone else to question Vande
            Mataram. Reasons can be debated and common ground found. But bullying
            people into shutting up is against honorable debate.

            Self certifications are of little value. Especially when Togadia, Yogis, Sadhvis etc tear up those certificates. Same problem with other religions as well, fringe elements tear secularism to bits. Political parties don’t help too. Except for small time parties like the Lok Satta (http://www.loksatta.org/loksatta-view), I don’t consider any of our political parties as secular. No Indian political party has been successful without dabbling in religion unfortunately.

            When you say “secularism” is a western concept, which western countries do you consider secular? Is it OK for folks like RM to adopt western concepts like “open architecture” then?
            (yes, started watching the videos !)

          • guest

            Reasons can be debated and common ground found. But bullying people into shutting up is against honorable debate.

            agreed. But also talk against Vande Mantram a bit more ‘fundamentalist’ in nature’

            Self certifications are of little value. Especially when Togadia, Yogis, Sadhvis etc tear up those certificates.

            sure, but all this comes up, when common man/woman is not well read on our texts. Will we allowed that as a part of schools? we cut ourselves off from that, and yet there were christian schools and muslim and even sikh schools. Growing up, I knew more about Jesus and Bible, because ‘they’would provide us free books, comics like amar chitra katha, but published by churches. My parents never said a word against it, and so I read. My anger came when attending churches I realized they preached ‘their superiority’. I was and always will be more chrisitian and muslim than those who attend churches and go to mosques. ONLY BECAUSE I AM A HINDU.

            Political parties don’t help too.

            Sure, agreed. We need well read politicians, but seriously which country has it….they all have their share of corrupt people joining politics for easy money and power.

            When you say “secularism” is a western concept, which western countries do you consider secular? Is it OK for folks like RM to adopt western concepts like “open architecture” then?
            (yes, started watching the videos !)

            Ahh…to tell you the truth, I am beginning to think I need to come up with definitions. Because even today people use definitions of democracy and communism–without really understanding them (both over used terms). Secularism–which I was crazy about–came out of the fact that Europe had much bloodshed as a result of ‘religion’. We did not have that. NO religious wars, tribals were tribals and debate was our tradition. those following totem worship were allowed, tantra and mantra, whatever be your ‘prakriti’ was allowed. Religions of the book were actually political so focused on eliminating difference (like it could ever–and so they had wars—and they continue, shia vs sunni, catholic vs the rest of the church world).

            Hmm, Open architecture is english term—BUT THE CONCEPT IS DHARMIC. He uses that for dharma. The west does not have an open architecture in their ways of religious texts. You just have to follow one way.

            Yeah!! Good you started the videos. They are quite addictive. I have watched so many of them, and each many times. Read many of his articles, reading one of his book now and think that I want to focus on this one author and trail him.

            The latest video is here, he is in India right now,….you can join his group if you wish. But also more important is that when time allows you watch this to understand what the west is doing to our civilisation and why we need even atheist hindus to claim their being a hindu–even as they take pride in being an atheist

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxcvh2BQu1g

          • Samrat Bharat

            There are fundamentalists in every religion. No non Hindu will want to sing “Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, With her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,” (Stanza 5), for the same reason no Hindu will be comfortable saying “Allah ho Akbar”. The novel this song itself was part of had fundamentalist tilt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anandamath#Historical_accuracy

            So overall insisting on the song itself has a fundamentalist tilt. So I don’t disagree that the resistance is fundamentalist.

            “No religious wars” is not fully accurate. Various dynasties rose and fell. They expanded their kingdoms through war. Each one of the dynasties had their favourite deities. But again, like everything in real life nothing is 100% black & white. Some crazy shit happened in pre-modern times. I am more worried it should not happen again, not in my country.

            Again by double standards fueled by confirmation bias, we ignore Raja Mansingh who led Akbar’s army in Haldi Ghati, but celebrate Hakim Khan Sur who was Rana Pratap’s general. We also ignore that “Ashoka the Great” killed his own brother and 100s of thousands, until he renounced Hinduism and became a compassionate Buddhist. So very hard to tell.

            But I would rather unite as Indians now, rather than dig up past graves to find reasons to divide.

            If “open architecture” (taken not just from west, but from technology lingo) is acceptable, so is any other word from English. Secularism was also translated into “Sarva dharma samabhava”, if that works better.

          • guest

            “No religious wars” is not fully accurate. Various dynasties rose and fell.

            Yes, but not for religion, not to convert. Land was a different story. Islam and Christianity are expansionist by nature. There might be secularism, if they abolish conversions, (dont scream Ghar wapsi yet, what about Ghar wapsi of pagans all over the world? they cannot even imagine it–because cruel forms of thinking ate them up).

            The rendition of VanteMatram is still the best in Anandmath–the ones that we sang in schools–

            Some crazy shit happened in pre-modern times. I am more worried it should not happen again, not in my country.

            Support dharma…:)

            But I would rather unite as Indians now, rather than dig up past graves to find reasons to divide.

            Sure, again it sounds great. Like communism in theory. I truly hope I am wrong but it is amazing what philosophies some religions live by. They face certain countries when thinking of loyalty.

            Sarva dharma samabhava”, if that works better.

            Sure, but then again, this is the best form, and yet not accepted by those who think the world would be better if all of converted to their religion. For me, from experience, to think that abrahamic religions will get the idea of sarva dharma samabhava, then it is a bit naive. The only way it can be is when we have open debates on this, by scholars–of equal merit. Which again is a wishful thinking (in the latest video that I sent RM invited the american scholar who is being questioned in his latest book, for an open debate, but so far he has declined, –because he knows he cannot match him. One very good video of RM is with Mark Tully, who keeps asking him ‘why can’t we say all religions are the same’

          • Samrat Bharat

            Akbar himself renounced Islam to set up his own religion Din-i-Ilahi. So all this broad brushing of “they are all like this” is naive.

            We should not abolish conversions (including ghar wapsi). It is the individual’s choice to choose their religion, as many times as they want. More such flip flops happen, more irrelevant stupid things like religion become 🙂

            For me, the Constitution (along with future amendments done after democratic debates) is the modern version of “Dharma”.

            Treat all threats to law & order equally, irrespective of what religion it is. That solves your worry as well.

          • guest

            Din-i-ilahi was a flop. Less than 10 people followed it…literally. And any religion without any text cannot last very long. To say that Akhbar denounced Islam is not correct. He had several wives and even Jodha at the end of her life was buried not cremated.

            As for ‘not all being the same’. That is NOT the point. Infact, it is the books that are problematic. The books teach the same, no bowing, no respect for anything else, not even parents are above Allah. For us we are to find the divine in everything around us. So long as the teachings of these religions do not change, we are living in a dream. Just look around the world, any more evidence you need. The young people in Iran are trying to get back to their religion, but they have broken links and it ain’t easy. They might just end up either being confused half-westerners or fundamentalists. Same thing in communist countries, once you have broken those connections, it is hard to link again.

            As for abolishing conversion. Ghar wapsi should continue –religions of the books should not be allowed to convert. Before you squirm, hindus never went out to convert, and the religions of the book have converted many, many many peoples…but I can guarantee, they will not agree with that, because that is the basic requirement in these religions, to bring more and more people. Next, forget what some idiots in BJP and the likes say, but it is important in Islam to have many children. Christians do not mind increasing their numbers either. Ghar wapsi is motivated by the understanding that if the numbers dwindle it will be difficult to maintain a way of life, just like the native people all over the world.

            The rest happens because people are copy cats.

            our film industry is very much working towards an ideological conversion.

            Also, know that if by any chance hinduism is at threat, then the next thing will be Buddhism, so those who support Buddhism do not realise that it will be praised only until Hinduism exists. Buddhism itself cannot survive without the shield that is Hinduism. Hinduism is the root—out of which come enormous thoughts. (one of the arguments that RM makes for dharma and hinduism).

            For me, the Constitution (along with future amendments done after democratic debates) is the modern version of “Dharma”.

            You realise that Dharma recognises that we all have different propensities, so there is no fake idea that we all are equals. We are all talented in some or the other thing. But as is always the case, in the most egalitarian of societies, we start to appreciate one profession over another, while a cleaner should truly be equal to a doctor or a teacher…it will never be the case. we know that. So, Dharma in that sense (I need to understand it myself first).

            Treat all threats to law & order equally, irrespective of what religion it is. That solves your worry as well.

            Sure, but what would you say if a woman in burqa wants to work as a school teacher? (a dilemma that one country in Europe had to deal with—)–there is an issue with any religion that says that ‘we know the name of the God,’ and that is it….believe it or not, even today, kids are taught that. So, does not matter if they are not all the same, the aim of these religions is have no dissent, no questions. that is the problem. While hinduism has always flourished in that sense…..and yet we have never had hindus and hindus warring over our idea of one God….

          • Samrat Bharat

            So no brownie points for Akbar for not forcing people to convert to Din-i-Ilahi despite being the Emperor?

            The Constitution says we all have equal rights, irrespective of other differences. Where does it say we all have equal amount of talent?

            Burqa, purdah or ghoonghat – putting a human being behind a veil is discriminatory and inhuman.

          • guest

            two points to consider here, who in what level of fanaticism followed Akhbar? meaning all this liberalism does not even pass down from one generation to the other. Check out the work in British Muslims. The first generation were liberal–breaking away from what they thought was oppression, it is those raised in the UK that became fundamentalists. The teachings are the problem. Most know it, either for the fear of being killed or going to hell, they do not question it. A closed system.

            As for ghungat, check out where-ever that ‘pratha’ started, wherever there was hold of Islam, ……check it out….more common in certain states……for all the critique we throw at Maharastra, ghungat never really made it there…Jai Shivaji :)!! and Jija Bai !!

          • Samrat Bharat

            Everywhere where fanaticism takes hold, it is the silence of the others that should also be blamed: http://goo.gl/KRKNvk. So, not in my country.

            I am happy liberals here over react, we have enough scary examples in our neighborhood about what happens when they don’t. For the same reason, I am happy the Hindu right also over reacts when a Malda happens. Overall retains the balance of our democracy. Unfortunately both sides have enough double standards to never trust them fully.

            The history of Ghoonghat is from way before Islam: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghoonghat#History. And it is also used even to “shield” themselves from male members of their own family. But yes, it took deeper hold in the North. It is weaker in the South despite Bahamani, Nizam, Tipu etc Sultanates.

            Jai Rani Lakshmibai, Jai Razia Sultan etc as well, by the way. But for all fundamentalists anywhere, “feminism” is a bad word.

          • guest

            Due to time, its not possible to write regularly, so here
            I am going to summarize a some things we have discussed and sort of lay out our core differences.

            1. Please know that logic takes us only so far. Love and caring is what binds us. Religions (& dharma is bigger—bhakti is but one aspect of it) are therefore important. I’ve realized that you’re still stuck in the ‘thinking’ part. And while I have no interest in transforming you, I’ve difficulty engaging with people who are bereft of ‘the idea of sacred’. You seem to lack that. If you consider constitution sacred, then well, so is one religious book over another. For hindus, this world is sacred. Talk to me about that level of secularism that exists in Hinduism, which also includes the knowledge that the world is to be loved, and there are times when we let go of attachment. It is a wisdom that is higher, much better and considers various phases of life.

            2. Also, a friendly advice, pl. don’t follow wiki too much. I use it as a starting point. But cannot be the basis for our learning. If you follow the last video that I sent u—then you will see how our history & traditions are being distorted. Much of it gets into wiki and not all is true. So, if we had a pratha of ghunghat, then our goddesses would have that somewhere, but all our art shows them without a veil. And all words are not translatable. But then you’re committed to denouncing Indian civilization, you will find ways of doing it. Also, Nizam and all whatever, the damage that was done to north India by Islam is visible even today…the south even today is more committed to its roots. And you do know that there are places where they have banned durga puja in Bengal—strange hindus are forced to their own practices in their own country—thanks to ‘confused secularists’ like you.

            3. IN the last video that I sent you, I got my answer. To continue to argue with someone who is committed to not seeing the value of ‘heart’ and bhakti just as much as brain and intellect, is a waste of time. It requires a certain level of understanding of the world. Which is
            there in our songs, folk songs, classical songs, —but it seems you are not there/not interested/committed to dry secularism, and want to overlook hindu idea of secularism which is complete with joy, rasa….and takes care of all kinds of beings on this planet.

            4. Not sure why you insist on brownie
            points for Akhbar and ignore the 110% that Hinduism gets for secularism, never
            venturing out to convert, giving refuge to people from other countries –and not
            to mention being a scientifically verifiable religion.

            5. If we lived with the sacredness that pagans
            lived with, we would have much more respect for nature.

            6. As for Razia Sultan, sorry not sure why her jai,
            what we know about her is basically her personal life. Jija bai and Laxmibai are role models, for women and men. And good example of women with rights and freedom much before the west could even imagine it…

            7. I do not want to get into any more debate here,
            because you are doing this just for the fun of it. And I am not interested in converting you to
            a viewpoint. But feminism again a
            western term cannot even imagine the respect we hold for women and how free our
            women were…here is but one example…the west is very new to it all and doesn’t
            want to acknowledge how it not only blocked but deterred our growth. http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/ancient-indias-liberated-women-in-classical-times-india-was-more-egalitarian-than-the-west-at-least-in-womens-education/?intenttarget=no

            8. Stayed up late to finish this because it was a
            busy day but just wanted to say something here, I have no intentions of converting you. And since I see that you ignore the grandiosity of Hinduism & want to minimize the damage that the west in general and religions of the book have caused around the world for centuries, I would rather spend my time in silence than engage in futile exercise. Regardless, thanks for a civil conversation.

          • Samrat Bharat

            I saw a few videos finally of Rajiv Malhotra, so let me counter each point and try use some of the Sanskrit words in amrikan accent he forces into each sentence to push his book sales:

            1. Full respect for the love and caring part. But the trouble is “Dharma” is not clearly redefined for modern times in an easy to follow way. So we have Thackreys, Togadias, political Yogis, Sadhvis, Babas etc who in no way are role models for Dharma.

            2. Confirmation bias. You cannot keep ignoring every source of information that does not fit into your pre-conceived beliefs. Wiki is always only the starting point I agree, but it is crowdsourced knowledge and opinions stated there without sources are always flagged. It is a good starting place to see points and counterpoints.

            Reg Durga Puja – such an incident would be an outright violation of Right to Freedom of Religion promised in our constitution. Instead of scoring political points, rule of Law should be invoked, petitions should be filed in courts. Article 356 exists in the Constitution as well, to dismiss a state govt whose constitutional machinery has failed. Since all that is nor being used, I am more inclined to believe the story is more smoke than fire. Or are Hindus illiterates and PILs can only be filed by Liberals?

            3. So much for “Purva Paksha”. Today, followers of Dharma selectively quote only parts they want to believe – and then get abusive or walk away when counter points blow holes into their “exclusive to Hinduism” claims.

            4. When they did give refuge, those kings do deserve credit. But that was thousands of years ago. That does not mean we have to deny others who lived nobly. “Scientifically verifiable religion” – I have no idea what that means. I do hope it is not some of the ridiculous stuff that can be so easily taken apart like this: http://think.denverdias.com/. And all fundies want to claim their religion is the source of all progress: http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/science-and-islam
            “All the wealth of knowledge in the world has actually emanated from Muslim civilization. The Prophet Muhammad said to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. The very first verse came down: ‘Read.’ You are required to try to know something about your creator through meditation, through analysis, experimentation, and observation.”

            5. Like I say in 1., most Hindus themselves do not follow Dharma today. So preaching to others about a time long gone is double standards. Clubbing multiple religions into “Abrahmic” is silly and oversimplification, as it ignores conflicts among and within them.

            6. Razia Sultan – She too defied social norms and fought for her right to rule her kingdom independently. Same values to emulate. We should not be using Bollywood to learn history, which always uses personal life as the main story so song and dance can be made possible (ex.. Baji Rao Mastani, Jodha Akbar).

            7. RM too comes across to me as a senile old professor forever stuck in the past. Nostalgia and pride for our heritage is fine. Again, easy to say were/was etc. Reality in today’s life is visibly different. Women are not free, and face daily discrimination and intimidation. What is the “better” word for feminism in Dharmic language? Happy to use that to ask where do we display that in real life. Ghooghat would not be required inside the house if not for the roving eye of male in laws. “Maa/behen” abuses would not be casually used in regular conversation among friends if incestous abuse had not become so acceptable.

            8. Grandoisity of Hinduism: All in the past. No one denies great civilizations existed on this land. Get those who claims to be Hindus to follow Dharma first. Trying to convert others then will be easier when you demonstrate “Dharma” makes you a prosperous role model and is not just an outdated story.

            Blaming others (“western/Abrahmic influence”) for all social diseases but claiming any past glory to ourselves is childish. We need to grow up, take responsibility and make changes first.

          • guest

            Response here point by point:

            I saw a few videos finally of Rajiv
            Malhotra, so let me counter each point and try use some of the Sanskrit words
            in amrikan accent he forces into each sentence to push his book sales:

            R: he has lived in the US for 45
            years, the way he speaks is the way it is.
            Not pushing the sales. Research
            on each of his books can cost nearly USD 100,000, most of earlier work he paid
            from his pocket and funded much other work. Especially for people cut off from
            understanding of Hinduism–or research like the ones who represent.

            1. Full respect for the love and caring part. But the trouble is
            “Dharma” is not clearly redefined for modern times in an easy to
            follow way. So we have Thackreys, Togadias, political Yogis, Sadhvis, Babas etc
            who in no way are role models for Dharma.

            R: Those who want to only see the bad
            side that is what they will see. There
            are many who are following Dharma, you only focus on the ones who seem a bit
            extreme. What do you say about Aroun
            Shourie or Dr. Swamy, and many others, even Baba Ramdev—taking one aspect of
            Hinduism and bringing it to light. By the way, you know the other names because
            that is what media focuses on (smart strategy to shame hindus). Do they ever do a documentary on people like
            Baba Ramdev or Dr. Swamy for their ideas, or how they have contributed. See, that is not their aim. They only want to focus on what will make
            people dislike hindus.

            2. Confirmation bias. You cannot keep
            ignoring every source of information that does not fit into your pre-conceived beliefs. Wiki is always only the starting point I agree, but it is crowdsourced knowledge and opinions stated there without sources are always flagged. It is a good starting place to see points and counterpoints.

            Reg Durga Puja – such an incident
            would be an outright violation of Right to Freedom of Religion promised in our constitution. Instead of scoring political points, rule of Law should be invoked, petitions should be filed in courts. Article 356 exists in the Constitution as well, to dismiss a state govt whose constitutional machinery has failed. Since all that is nor being used, I am more inclined to believe the story is more smoke than fire. Or are Hindus illiterates and PILs can only be filed by Liberals?

            R: Actually that IS what you are doing.
            I am speaking from experience that wiki, – crowd sourced, has had
            several things that are either not correct but also missing. For example, sites on Sikhism and other religions that emerged from Hinduism do not mention that they emerged from Hinduism and present them as independent religions—to create a separate identity. So, what they say is not right but also incomplete. Returning to the Ghunghat thing, which is why I mentioned thing, if Ghunghat were an important part of our tradition before the muslims, then our goddesses and carvings would have been dressed that way and they are not. And yes it was forced where muslims had a stronger hold.

            And Doniger in one of her videos had said that ‘wiki on indian issues was written by white collar workers with an agenda.

            For Durga puja while you are right about PIL, the question is why should that state arrive? That points towards what happens in muslim
            dominated areas, while every other town in india has mosques next to temples.

            2. So much for “Purva Paksha”. Today, followers of Dharma
            selectively quote only parts they want to believe – and then get abusive or walk away when counter points blow holes into their “exclusive to Hinduism” claims.

            R: I do not agree completely. There are those who do that, and there are those who are really knowledgeable. And those that come to media are often hand picked to make msm’s point clear. The likes of RM are not invited. And then again, liberals do the same, they ‘selectively quote only parts they want to believe – and then get abusive’

            4. When they did give refuge, those kings do deserve credit. But that was thousands of years ago. That does not mean we have to deny others who lived nobly. “Scientifically verifiable religion” – I have no idea what that means. I do hope it is not some of the ridiculous stuff that can be so easily taken apart like this: http://think.denverdias.com/. And all fundies want to claim their religion is the source of all progress: http://discovermagazine.com/20

            “All the wealth of knowledge in the world has actually emanated from Muslim civilization. The Prophet Muhammad said to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. The very first verse came down:
            ‘Read.’ You are required to try to know something about your creator through meditation, through analysis, experimentation, and observation.”

            R: I think our giving shelter never really stopped, Bangladeshis are still coming in—but in between we have now learnt what religions of the book are about—just look at the state of the world. Wherever they went natives and their religions were wiped out, languages killed and one way imposed. So yes, once bitten twice shy. “Scientifically verifiable religion” – I have no idea what that means. One word—dharma religions. They are not all talk, puja, and
            murthi puja is just the beginning, then as one goes on higher levels, there is much development and understanding of our inner world. Then what is written and talked about in the scriptures becomes a lived knowledge.
            There no such thing in religions of the book, you begin and end with
            believing in ‘their god’. In hinduism the ultimate aim is to go beyond god. Research on meditation, yoga and many other practices that can be researched is what is scientifically verifiable. There is no verification for the fact that Jesus was son of God. Because there is
            nothing more in Christianity beyond that.

            http://think.denverdias.com/ –ofcourse, there is some guy who chooses to
            question India, my thing would be to have two intellectually equal people to argue and debate. Most people run away
            from RM—even this guy cannot question the claims of yoga and meditation, because you first need to practice it.
            The claims of Hinduism need ‘effort’ and work, and as I said, logic
            takes you only so far. And Hinduism has the vision to see that people are at different levels, so does not enforce abstract idea of worship. Those who need murthi puja can go for that those who want gyan can go for that, those who want for other practices may choose that. So the least you can do is acknowledge that Hinduism is 1. too vast for an average person to capture 2. That it is the only one that acknowledges diversity in human mind—much wisdom there.

            “All the wealth of knowledge in the world has actually emanated from Muslim civilization. The Prophet Muhammad said to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. The very first verse came down:
            ‘Read.’ You are required to try to know something about your creator through meditation, through analysis, experimentation, and observation—NOT VERIFIABLE..

            5. Like I say in 1., most Hindus
            themselves do not follow Dharma today. So preaching to others about a time long gone is double standards. Clubbing multiple religions into “Abrahmic” is silly and oversimplification, as it ignores conflicts among and within them.

            R: the same with any other religion.
            I am sure you have met many muslims who drink—I have—among other things. So that a different. If you mean Judiasm, Christianity and Islam—well, they are Abrahmic religions, they do not allow questioning the concept of God, believe their book is the last book and that their names for God are the only ones. May be you should look at places like Israel to see what these religions did to each other. So, not clubbing them together but talking about their core—NO QUESTIONING ALLOWED

            6. Razia Sultan – She too defied social norms and fought for her right to rule her kingdom independently. Same values to emulate. We should not be using Bollywood to learn history, which always uses personal life as the main story so song and dance can be made
            possible (ex.. Baji Rao Mastani, Jodha Akbar).

            R: see, you should not assume things.
            I do not know about Bollywood here, but I did check wiki and then one more site. Due to time spent barely 10 minutes on it all. But I did look it up before responding to you. And as I stick to my beloved Bharat Maa, let us not forget what Razia did was in Bharat maa. I am not up on history, but will you please enlighten me which ‘muslim women’ were allowed to rule?—for how long? So, there she might have taken inspiration from Bharat Maa.

            7. RM too comes across to me as a senile old professor forever stuck in the past. Nostalgia and pride for our heritage is fine.

            R: Trust you to say that. YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT HIM STUCK IN THE PAST. He is very much talking about the present and the future. If you listened to the lecture where he talks about Yagna, he does not talk about taking pride in things that you cannot prove. He is also very open about the fact that there are various paths, and bhakti, which you detest and are too egotistical to understand, is an important part. If you have not read about him, he took an early retirement in his 40s and has devoted the last 25 years to only read, understand, debate Hinduism like no other scholar has before. He has a background in physics–and I think he then moved towards computer science. And he has woken many of the hindus up. More importantly, he is self taught, he is the only one who has talked about the issues that he is talking about. Each of his book is addressing an aspect of Hinduism. Even for people like you, who are not willing to say, ‘I am an atheist Hindu’ simply because you want to separate yourself from Hinduism.

            Again, easy to say were/was etc. Reality in today’s life is visibly different.

            R: RM addresses this.

            Women are not free, and face daily discrimination and intimidation.

            As they do everywhere else. From my experience, a woman in India in some ways has it better, in other ways not so much. Let us drop the whole male –female fight that the west engages in. Men and women need each other, –when theycome together they form the basic unit of family. Again from my experience despite the rise of feminism—I have not seen men take up –on a large scale—to stay at home or become the primary care takers or children. What femininsm has done—is break up families and yet not brought happiness. Know that when we are in a community, our contributions are not always the same or even equal. It is the love that keeps us together. The strange thing is fighting for love and respect only brings ‘political correctness’ does not leave to love. Look at the state of relationships in the west. And while women are supposedly ‘free’ they are also often single parents raising families. Hollywood and our media does not talk about that. As for dharma’s word for feminism. A culture that gave the world one of the first woman PM and where our goddesses are always addressed before God—Laxmi-Narayan—I guess we know who the powerful
            one was—we did not need feminism—we were wiser, we knew that men and women have different aspects of nature to bring into this world. Just like a man’s love for his family and responsibility
            of the family should not be taken lightly, similarly a woman who may not be able to write a computer program but is well versed in the aspects of a home should be respected rather than being called ‘just a housewife’. Just so that she can go outside and work under
            someone else –man or woman—to bring home the money—does not make her free. That influences family—on more than one level. And despite people saying ‘why only women should do it’—the world over—it is women who are better home makers than men. We knew that. (there are always exceptions)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtEKjBIDkvE

            What is the “better” word for feminism in Dharmic language? Happy to use that to ask where do we display that in real life.

            Ghooghat would not be required inside the house if not for the roving eye of male in laws.

            Again, a practice after Islam came. There was a practice of women being stolen. My grandmother told me about incidences. Often also because women wore much gold on a daily basis.

            “Maa/behen” abuses would not be casually used in regular conversation among friends if incestous abuse had not become so acceptable.

            R: now that is really crazy. These abuses exist in EVERY CULTURE—men considered women their honor in EVERY CULTURE—and so these abuses were to hurt. And wherever men to do not think of women as their honor, they also are quite quick to leave them at the drop of a hat.

            8. Grandoisity of Hinduism: All in the past.

            R: Your view, I see a revival—as there is a need anyway. But it cannot happen if we keep denouncing it and keep thinking that it is all over.

            No one denies great civilisations existed on this land.

            R: SOME DO

            Get those who claims to be Hindus to follow Dharma first.

            R: agreed—but those who follow are
            not in the limelight.

            Trying to convert others then will be easier when you demonstrate “Dharma” makes you a prosperous role model and is not just an outdated story.

            R: agreed.

            Blaming others (“western/Abrahmic influence”)
            for all social diseases but claiming any past glory to ourselves is childish.
            We need to grow up, take responsibility and make changes first.

            R: partially agree, western influence is a big problem as
            is a colonized mind—may be we should –including you—start with looking at what
            is great about us—and start from there—taking pride and working on it. Let us not point fingers, let us first behave
            in a way that people see a conviction of embodying the best that is about being
            a hindu. I do my best and will continue.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Where is “Dharma” defined for today’s times? The “religions of the book” as you call them, spread easily because they are preached in layman, local language in simplified format – heaven vs hell, 10 commandments etc. If “Dharma” is spread across multiple books in obscure terms in a near extinct language, you do not stand a chance.

            Wiki is crowdsourced. YOU can go in and dispute something you think is incorrect. Walking away from it does not mean others will as well.

            Ramdev: Yes, he is included in the “Babas” I mentioned. He is indeed a Yoga expert and Yoga when practiced right has clear health benefits. So does meditation. But he has misused that part of our heritage to expand his business empire with absolute scams like “home remedies for cancer”
            http://www.swamibabaramdevmedicines.com/home-remedies-cancer/, “cures” for homosexuality, AIDS etc.

            Swamy is an eccentric. It is fun to watch the Congress squirm at the dirt he digs up on their leaders. But he has the habit of stating nonsensical conspiracy theories with complete confidence as well. It is hard to take him seriously (which explains him being left out of the BJP govt).

            Durga Puja: If we don’t fix it, such situations will continue to arise. Someone with valid information should invoke the Right to Freedom of Religion. Until a court examines evidence and supports the claim, I will keep my mind open about all politicking around it.

          • guest

            Where is “Dharma” defined
            for today’s times?

            R: yes that is the issue, but thanks to our education system we have 20-30 generations cut off from studying Indian texts at all. British removed the study of shastras as a part of school system, the rest was done by Anglicization of our education. Hence the need for sankritization.

            The “religions of the book” as you call them, spread easily because they are preached in layman, local
            language in simplified format – heaven vs hell, 10 commandments etc.
            R: and you can see that they are also prone to fundamentalism. Not much depth, not much to think about. Blind faith.

            If “Dharma” is spread across multiple books in obscure terms in a near extinct language, you do not stand a chance.

            R: as I commented above. the language was made near extinct, but may
            be now we are trying to work at it. And
            so may be it would be good to support the sankritization of education.
            Wiki is crowdsourced. YOU can go in and dispute something you think is incorrect. Walking away from it does not mean others will as well.

            R: yes, but there have been several
            issues with that, although Indians are working towards keeping it honest. But then I hope it does not get commericialized –there have been talks, and then it is all the same. See, media has liberating qualities, but also there are several issues when money comes into play. And now some countries are coming up with their own wiki.

            Ramdev: Yes, he is included in the
            “Babas” I mentioned. He is indeed a Yoga expert and Yoga when practiced
            right has clear health benefits. So does meditation. But he has misused that
            part of our heritage to expand his business empire with absolute scams like “home remedies for cancer”

            http://www.swamibabaramdevmedi…,
            “cures” for homosexuality, AIDS etc.

            R: first, I do not see that he is expanding a business empire…compare the prices to those of foreign company products. Second all the money stays in india and it provides jobs. That is a way to look at it rather than always be cynical. Not sure about cancer and stuff, although I have great faith in Ayurveda. But there is something called panchgavya, which has been used for centuries to remove cancerous cells –probably before there was even a name for cancer.

            The thing is that western medicine is quick removal of symptoms not of the disease and Ayurveda and similar methods are long term.

            Again not sure about homosexuality, but definitely worth the try….(again people who live that way should be allowed space—as a human thing to do)—but again due to time its not possible to write here—but you do know about gotra system & how entire south asia almost missed the whole ‘homosexuality’ gene—or there were rare cases. That is because hindus knew about the role of genetics—but ofcourse we have now a very mixed population and people from all over the world –but read up on gotra system and related topics.

            Swamy is an eccentric. It is fun to watch the Congress squirm at the dirt he digs up on their leaders. But he has the habit of stating nonsensical conspiracy theories with complete confidence as well. It is hard to take him seriously (which explains him being left out of the BJP govt).
            R: he is impressive though. But he has also been spot on about several things.
            Durga Puja: If we don’t fix it, such situations will
            continue to arise. Someone with valid information should invoke the Right to
            Freedom of Religion. Until a court examines evidence and supports the claim, I
            will keep my mind open about all politicking around it.
            R: fair enough

          • Samrat Bharat

            OK, this split thread is for Ayurveda.

            Ramdev: Low price is no excuse for selling lies to desperate families of cancer/AIDS patients. He runs a Rs 2,000 cr FMCG business (http://goo.gl/f99aOE), it did not get there without expanding. We will never allow (and should not) a Pfizer to get away with selling fake medicines. Only one reason Ramdev is getting away – he is tying religion into it to promote blind belief.

            Serious ask for help: What is the authoritative, original source for Ayurveda literature?

            Tulsi, turmeric, ginger, garlic, lady finger etc definitely have health benefits. But I am really interested in separating home remedies (“an apple a day keeps a doctor away”) from real medicine (proved by modern scientific testing methods that they have a better effect than a placebo).

            Ayurveda CANNOT cure cancer because there cannot be proof it can. When Ayurveda was “invented”, means of diagnosing cancer did not exist. So how can there be proof? Anyone who claims there has been from ages, is misguided or is misguiding.

            Levels of cancer have increased because stress, obesity, poor lifestyle, pollution, food contamination, artificial additives etc have increased. Those too did not exist when Ayurveda was “invented”. So here we have confused correlation (that they coincidentally happened together) with causation (that one caused the other).

            Panchagvya: I assume you are talking about the mix of 5 cow products: milk, curd, ghee, dung, and urine (ewww!). Just because the first 3 provide nutrition does not mean the last 2 do.

            In pre-modern times, people seem to have got over attached to animals that provided them with nutrition. Similar to our cow obsession, the Prophet also prescribed Muslims should drink camel’s urine: https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Camel_Urine_and_Islam.

            And surprise surprise ! Ta dah ! “Dr. Khorshid claimed that she was inspired by Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) medical advice and that camel urine consists of natural substances that
            work to eradicate malignant cells and maintain the number of healthy cells in a cancer patient.”

          • guest

            look, you believe that ayurveda is useless, I believe it is not all black and white. lets leave it at that.

          • Samrat Bharat

            No I don’t believe Ayurveda is useless. Because I do not know what the original book for it is. That’s why I was asking.

          • Samrat Bharat

            (Splitting, as we are debating 2 very different topics now)

            Feminism: I am OK with invoking past tradition, goddesses etc to bring back the respect for women our society had in the past. Trouble with making the narrative too Hindu (goddess, idol, epics) is that it leaves out the other religions who also need lessons on gender equality. But the solution targeting 80% of the problem is not a bad start.

            It is naive to expect women are 100% good and a few exceptions will not misuse a law that is skewed in their favor. Broken families are OK, if those came from one spouse walking out of an abusive relationship.

            Again, looking at raw facts – Dashrath Devda of Patni Atyachar Virodhi Sangh got fined by the court that called his stand frivolous (http://goo.gl/4J0NLG) and he lost elections (maybe his deposit too).

            But several reports, including from the Ministry for Women & Child Development exits that document (https://data.gov.in/) abuse, trafficking and mistreatment of women.

            Hollywood has entire list of movies featuring single parents: http://epicmommyadventures.com/2015/07/single-parent-shows-movies-netflix/. So did not get your comment. Indian media also celebrates single parents, though not as often as they should https://goo.gl/CA4pB3.

            In today’s times there is a stronger correlation between ghoonghat (=mostly uneducated) and being victim of abuse, than feminism (usually educated) and any social evil.

          • guest

            (Splitting, as we are debating 2 very
            different topics now)

            R: wise

            Feminism: I am OK with invoking past
            tradition, goddesses etc to bring back the respect for women our society had in
            the past. Trouble with making the narrative too Hindu (goddess, idol, epics) is
            that it leaves out the other religions

            R: you mean religions that think that
            Eve was born out of Adam’s rib and yet go around talking about women oppression
            in India?

            who also need lessons on gender
            equality. But the solution targeting 80% of the problem is not a bad start.

            R:
            agreed. And its high time we
            assert Indianness, and hinduness, we have been bashing ourselves for too long.

            It is naive to expect women are 100%
            good and a few exceptions will not misuse a law that is skewed in their favor.

            R: absolutely agreed.

            Broken families are OK, if those came
            from one spouse walking out of an abusive relationship.

            R: sure. But what happens when within a few months of
            being together they state, ‘incompatibility’ or ‘I don’t love him anymore’. Which are just excuses to escape
            responsibility.

            Again, looking at raw facts –
            Dashrath Devda of Patni Atyachar Virodhi Sangh got fined by the court that
            called his stand frivolous (http://goo.gl/4J0NLG)
            and he lost elections (maybe his deposit too).

            But several reports, including from
            the Ministry for Women & Child Development exits that document (https://data.gov.in/) abuse, trafficking and
            mistreatment of women.

            Hollywood has entire list of movies
            featuring single parents: http://epicmommyadventures.com….
            So did not get your comment.

            R: it still shows a very distorted
            version of US families or US life. Also
            over the years there has been a serious decline in family movies and family
            shows.

            Indian media also celebrates single parents, though not as often as they should https://goo.gl/CA4pB3.

            R: single parents are to be accepted. Celebrated not sure, yes individually—but over a long period of time there is a problem in society if we are not learning to live with each other. In joint families, with all their ills, we knew that we got our affections and human connections from various relationships. This one to one relationship where emotional work is between two people is actually quite stressful with the modern
            life. That is why that family unit becomes very important for sanity, emotional links and a broader idea of support around us. Yes it comes with restrictions, but it has its own merits.

            In today’s times there is a stronger correlation between ghoonghat (=mostly uneducated) and being victim of abuse, than feminism (usually educated) and any social evil

            R: again not sure what is the point. We know that. No conflict there. But having a bit of grace and bashfulness is also quite appealing. Btw, it is naïve to
            assume that women in ghoonghat are weak or oppressed. Just like many say about women in burqa. Sometimes they are stronger. It is not all as it seems.

          • Samrat Bharat

            “‘incompatibility’ or ‘I don’t love him anymore’ ”- is still that individual’s choice to make. Family and friends who have their interest really at heart can possibly intervene. But absolute strangers have no right to get judgmental.

            ✄ over the years there has been a serious decline in family movies and family shows ✄
            Where are you getting this from? Any stats? Definition of family has of course changed. But finally most movies and shows are finally about some aspect of human relationship.

            “Family Values” is a big thing in US as well. I did not get why you say Hollywood (since it is in US) movies/shows will have a distorted view of US family life.

            ✄ it is naïve to assume that women in ghoonghat are weak or oppressed ✄

            Of course, not all. Hence my use of mostly/usually. No one pulls a ghooghat in my office. But there are also women who hold their ground in any work related debate and assert themselves, and in the evening they choose to wear a burqa when walking out.

          • guest

            you assume too much. Never said that anyone should interfere. it is about a culture. a culture of ‘my choice’ like deepika is promoting will lead to broken family and decadent culture like in the developed world

          • Samrat Bharat

            Yes, it is “her body, her choice”. Absolute strangers have no right to get judgmental.

          • guest

            look, my work is being affected, so I do not wish to continue and have no interest in converting you to my ideas.”her body, her choice” should only work if she raised herself in a jungle without any help from anyone else. until you live in a society, you are never really free, but we have laws so that no one steps –often people misuse them. every action that we take affects many others. if I engage in drugs it will affect my family. many people doing it will affect society.

            I understand our values are different. and I would rather spend that time helping someone than engage in an argument that is stuck in the same place.

          • guest

            each and every moment of our lives is influenced by many others, as we influence others. not even those who renounce the world are completely independent–although they try to go as far as they can–into forests and ashrams—wherever this ‘my choice’ becomes prominent societies break. from the time we are born, we are indebted to thousands if not millions of people. what i do affects by family, and by that token –the society. unless of course i have some grand idea of public service–or my choices benefit society–this idea of my choice is a camouflage for ‘selfishness.’

            Our ideas are different, i have no wish to convert you. this is affecting work. so I wish you the best in your research and learning endeavours

          • Samrat Bharat

            OK. Bye buddy.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Happy Republic Day 🙂

            Enjoy this performance of Vande Mataram by Ustads Amjad, Ayaan and Amaan Ali Khan:
            :
            :

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRvlly1LUvU

          • guest

            PS: you seriously comparing Ghar wapsi, with Joshua project? that is the problem. Ghar Wapsi is within india and bringing people back, who strayed due to misinformation, hungry stomach and lack of understanding behind hinduism. PJ and the likes are a world wide mission. So when you complain about hindus not taking care of their lot so they convert, please do not discount colonisation, and islamic invasions that shocked the hindu world that had never thought of ‘converting’ others. looks like you still think your dry and brittle ideas have any weight. you still have not answered why should undemocratic thoughts be given support to prosper?

          • guest
          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            This is the one where RM puts forth Maharishi’s views on our ADHARMI CONSTITUTION

          • guest
          • Samrat Bharat

            I agree Dharma is not = religion. But like every code of ethics, what was noble Dharma few thousand years cannot be 100% noble today also. Even the Indian Constitution or Penal Code written just a few decades ago needs amendments.

          • guest

            agreed…..but when weighing what is relevant today our gauge should not be personal convenience or ‘mixing with the global elite’ as a way of removing difference, which is what ends up happening in ‘all religions are the same’ bit.

          • Leftist gutter rat wrote: But they were tribal leaders managing their tiny “kingdoms”

            yeah. no. So according to you, Indus Valley Civilizations(7500BCE-300BCE), Ancient Egypt(3150BCE-300BCE) were such tiny insignificant tribal* settlements where

            1. everyone would gather and do ooga-booga tribal dance together,
            2. lived in jungles or occupy a single tiny region,
            3. hunted animals to survive
            4. used bones to play musical instruments.
            5. Wore feathers or grass to cover themselves
            6. Lived in the open

            *- regarding Tribes of Ancient times.

            Here I am just stating few points which characterize ancient tribes to let others know the level of your stupidity.

            You should keep to yourself instead of letting others know how stupid you are. Your stupidity is visible from the fact that you are unable to distinguish between planned cities and tribal settlements.

            So better don’t use the word tribe if you dont understand its meaning and implications. Tribal-type Stage is a very early period of Human Evolution.

            BTW any new developments on aryan invasion theory?

          • Samrat Bharat

            Er… we were discussing Ram and Krishna you beefy bovine.

            So who were the ruler and architects that made the magnificent well planned cities of the Indus Valley Civilization my dear epitome of intelligence? We should be worshiping them no?

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            The problem is that your view suffers from Abrahamic predjudice of Secularisation you believe in seperating Dharma from everything else which is impossible with regards to the Indian context and this was understood by Dr.Ambedkar hence he did not use Secularism in the Preamble.

            Another thing is our Language is such that its filled with Dharmik references I shall give u an example.

            In Bengali if a kid is not listening or crying then we tell the child

            “Lokhi chele/mein kedo naa ” which when translated to English means”Sweet/Goddess Laxmi child don’t cry” now Lokhi here means sweet or even Laxmi but I am yet to see a boy(child) respond by saying that No I am not Lokhi chele since she is a female deity and I am Shiva chele or Krishno chele or any supposedly male deity.Now this explains the gender neutrality or even femininity and Dharmik intertwined nature of our Bharatiya Bhashsa.

            How do u intend to “SECULARISE” this Bhasha??

            Now as far as Krishna & Rama being Tribal leaders again the word tribal is a Colonial Construct coz the Colonisers always called their group of people as a “Community” while the others Community as “Tribals”.Again you are viewing it from the Eurocentric Hegemonic view.
            You should go and see in Dwarka and may be if your rich enough and inquisitive enough you should fund the Project where they are trying to unveil the lost city of Dwarka that should tell whether Krishna was just a mere “Tribal Leader”.

            If you want to know about the Historicity and whether Rama was just a Tribal king then I suggest you to try and build a Time Machine and if its scientifically possible go to past and see for yourself.But since your not a Scientist you should read ASI research and Professor B.B.Lal’s works on Ramayana and Mahabharata and also Michel Danino and Sanjeev Sanyal’s books on places and people mentioned in the Ramayana and Maharabharata (Google them and buy from Amazon,flipkart whatever suits you)

            Lets say I agree with your questioning the Super Human part but then your comparing the Vedic Deities or even the Avatars with Prophets and Gods which is like comparing apples to oranges.A lot of the times the Deities represent certain states of Embodied Knowing thats why Secularisation will never help you understand Sanatan Dharma.

            Another thing is Dharma is fluid with open architecture but Posion pills or Charcoal Burners are not allowed.But when it comes to your Abrahamic Cult or even Western Univeralism they are extremely rigid and compartmentalised so they are never ready for a drastic change.For Instance your Era of Enlightenment was Inspired by Indian Purvapaksha but as usual the later on Europeans refused to acknowledge the sources.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Sqt-zqmrk

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_t-gC73AtI

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RSu4ymCgp4

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0gAfNWFi3k

            If you still dont want to believe all this evidence then its your choice but stop spreading stuff that is false and fabricated and if your a Commie or Secularist or Abrahamic then your mind is already shut off so no point discussing.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Oh shut up. I am having a more intelligent conversation with my friend “Guest” here. Take a hike.

          • Savarkar’s Disciple
          • Samrat Bharat

            Fleas on your body have a better attention span and intelligence to get the points I make. So off you go, you red assed baboon. Go climb some trees.

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            Again not surprising when Colonised Mlecchas like you who are anglophilic use their Dhimmi homocentric hedonistic references of animals as inferior creatures in some form of Ad Hominems instead of actually intellectually proving me wrong.

            By d way here are couple of videos which explains your Idelogical Aaakaas modus operandi

            Astalavista Mleccha

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXCoNDm3LrI

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgG7EbLC120

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJWQa065dWk

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j96u8FYoOI

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wZLpZpjY30

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMY6lwj52dw

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXItoeHZTHo

          • Samrat Bharat

            Shoo.. I already have a cute right winger puppy to play with. What will I need a flea infested red assed baboon for? Take, a link for you: http://goo.gl/SMrHXx

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            OINK OINK beloved RAZAKAAR OWAISI and oh viow such a cute tattoo of Muhammad the pedo egalitarian feminist supporter kudos to that good for u.

            https://letterstoadyingdream.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/islamsmuhammad.jpg

          • Samrat Bharat

            OK 🙂

          • guest

            wow, is that what you think of the conversations that we had? SD is thoughtful, intelligent well read person on this forum. Since you missed to focus on that, thought you would like to know.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Not you my friend. https://disqus.com/by/rajat_datta/ is my pet 🙂

          • guest

            Just watched Richard Dawkins one….great. He is quite caustic otherwise, here it was interesting to watch him….:) thanks

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            “The problem is that the Sanskrit word “mithya” has been mistranslated as false, when it is closer to “relative” or “contingent” existence. Even though your tasks today in the office are not permanent, you must still perform them as best as you can today. They are transitory and relative, but not false. Similarly, maya has been translated incorrectly that the world is illusory when the correct meaning is that our mental construction of the world is illusory until such time as we attain enlightenment.”

            Reference-Pg 7
            http://beingdifferentbook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Sameness-Aug4.pdf

          • guest

            Thanks, yes, I had actually read about Mithya in one other book before RM: I have focussed much on RM’s short articles, although have read about half of being different, i need to restart again. I want to be at a place where I can simply breathe the concepts.

            Yes, you are so right about maya and illusion. It falls beyond what we know to be true and real and exists and not exists. so true. thanks for the reference….

          • Nabha Garjana

            there is difference between worship and sadhana, as i said you need to learn a lot.

          • Samrat Bharat

            They are just 2 different words because they belong to 2 different languages.

          • Nabha Garjana

            as i said you do not know what you are talking. worship is puja(that too loose translation), there is no equivalent of sadhana in English.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Sure. So no exact word in Hindi/Sanskrit for worship as well? Only loose translations possible between 2 different languages from different continents, just like sadhana in English?

          • Nabha Garjana

            words represent concepts and concept are based on civilization and cultural precepts. the whole concept of worship as in abrahimic faith is not in sync with the puja or sadhana or yog or other adhayatamic methods. In indic civilizations ishwara dosen’t need or expect puja , where as its not the same in abrahamic faiths or else there are consequences. puja, sadhana or yog is done to elevate self through stages. so ideally speaking its not about words but about what they represent in practice. so what i am trying to say is the dont try to understand indic civilization through western concepts, just like ignorant people use soul & Atma interchangeably , not knowing what Soul means and what Atma means, there is no equivalence.

          • Samrat Bharat

            But OK to try understand western civilization using Eastern concepts?

          • Nabha Garjana

            and what made you say that. you can only compare when you understand both!

          • Samrat Bharat

            So there is no word for worship in Hindi and there is no word for sadhana in English. And they come from different languages, cultures and continents. So why exactly are you looking for “equivalence”?

          • Nabha Garjana

            its not for me but for them who understand them to be the same,come to conclusions, and try to portray that x is better than y not understanding either x or y

          • Samrat Bharat

            If someone says one is better than another, that makes them different and not same no? Or you think 2 > 1 means 2=1?

          • Nabha Garjana

            🙂 you analogies are frivolous. 2 and 1 are in same notation can you say @>1 or @=1, it would be stupid to arrive at such a conclusion

          • Samrat Bharat

            So the cultures are same of different?

          • Nabha Garjana

            ??

          • Samrat Bharat

            Oops. So the cultures are same OR different?

          • Nabha Garjana

            i got the OR in your fist comment itself . but still what point are you trying to make.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Actually I am trying to understand your point.
            Are you saying these civilizations (East & West) are the same or different?

          • Nabha Garjana

            sorry i give up.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Apology accepted. IQ is genetic, nothing much you can do this late.

          • Nabha Garjana

            indeed.

          • Shubhangi Raykar

            You can be an Atheist and still be a Sanatan dharmi alis Hindu.

          • Samrat Bharat

            OK. So need for any temples in this new world order no? We atheists don’t need them (or mosques, churches etc.).

          • guest

            well, we theists do……so the least you can do is respect the theists. and we hindu theists….well, we have no problem bowing in mosques and churches or synagogues and gurudwaras….so in some way, our circumference for inclusion ‘with love’ is much wider than atheists…who do not give a ‘XXXX XXX’ to each his own. we do not denounce you, you should not consider yourself better….

          • guest

            didn’t need to mention, you implied that a few organisations will not indulge in ninda-sthuthi. Ninda is not a requirement. It is just not offensive or a basis for excommunication—which is a marker of Abrahamic faiths.

          • Samrat Bharat

            First – it starts off as ninda, but is finally a hidden stuti. Many literally make a u turn along the verse and end as praise. So it is not really criticism.

            Second, honest curiosity – Any ninda stuti poets that still publish in recent times who have not been threatened (or at least told to tour Pakistan) by someone for it ?

          • guest

            First, you need to understand that ninda is allowed, ending with praise is because they are not atheists and love the idea of divinity, not because they are being ‘dutiful’ as in the religions of the book. A big difference between religions of the book and dharma traditions is–the former are God fearing. The latter God loving. Stop, think and try to fathom before you react.

            Second, as for people being threatened…..well, there were many movies and books written earlier. IN the last 25 years, since the introduction of liberal laws and western (read american) money in India media, there has been a serious propaganda against anything hindu, and even organisations like RSS and VHP….so the recent —outrage is simply a reaction, because yes hindus are angry today (read Rearming Hinduism by Vamsee Juluri,)–and that threat comes from the fact that people are usually afraid of offending certain prophets, and tip toe around people of certain religions, especially intellectuals and even atheists. I still do not understand defending religions of the book that spread by violence (fact not myth). Even intellectuals do it. So Hindus have to stand up. Knowing fully well that many deracinated hindus reject their own civilisation, which makes the rest of us quite angry. Having said that, we do not love our Gods for any other reason than love. For we are the makers of our own destiny—i.e. Karma….we love them for we love, and because they are loveable. Rama as the ideal man, Krishna as playful God-man who makes us wink at everything in the world.

          • Samrat Bharat

            Someone else above was trying to make a case that “ninda stuti” is criticism. I am just saying it is not. Because of exactly what you say – they are in love with the divine, so it is not honest criticism.

            Which one is the lesser evil among the various religions – I leave it to you believers to continue shedding blood over settling that question.

          • guest

            you see, even though you will not acknowledge it…..deep down you know that Hinduism is the highest, most diverse and most evolved. It encompasses everything and yet, never ventured out to convert. End of story.

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            Waaah Guestwaah bahut badhiyaa toph ka gola chodh rahil baa….kaha uu guest (Medha ko Patwatani) aur kaha tum baa bahut badhiyaa…tohar liye dui tho thumbs up

          • guest

            Shurkiya Dhanyavaad Guru!! 🙂

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            Arey Shrimaan hum kisi ke guru nahi bhai hum keval Marg darshan karte hay baaki log chale toh weh swayam satchitananda ki laksha praapta kar lete hay..anyways good to see Hindus like u reading and watching relevant stuff..keep up the good work…

          • guest

            Dhanyavaad…I truly have learnt from reading many of your comments and coming to this forum. So in knowledge I am your rini!! and others who write articles or write comments. I have followed you from your SS days and am so grateful for the marg darshan!! Yes we need to wake up hindus…..not for a community but for the world…

    • vpnc

      actually most of the religious practices of modern hinduism – including gods, pujas etc – are derived from buddhism. the vedic religion – the darshanas, the smirithis – are ascetic and almost verging on atheism. it is from mahayana buddhism that modern hinduism got its deities and ways of worship. avalokateshvara, maitreya, mara etc are the forerunners of vishnu, shiva, shakti etc. it is in the rise of advaita vedanta which subsequently spawned the various schools of bhakti vedanta, that the root of modern hinduism can be traced to. but even advaita vedanta is not called prachanna bauddham or buddism in disguise without reason. so modern hinduism has more in common with mahayana buddhism than the ancient vedic religion.

      • avalokateshvara, maitreya, mara etc are the forerunners(that comes before) of vishnu, shiva, shakti etc.

        it is in the rise of advaita vedanta which subsequently spawned the various schools of bhakti vedanta, that the root of modern hinduism can be traced to.

        wow, new bullshit.

      • Nabha Garjana

        but the basic premise of Buddhisms that there is no GOD.

        • vpnc

          according to the oldest school of vedic philosophy – samkya – there is no creator god either. so is it with the most orthodox school of vedic philosophy – purva mimamsa. even the vaisesika sutras and the nyaya sutras are considered atheistic by certain schools. regarding gods in buddhism, you should check mahayana buddhist deities like avalokatesvara, manjusri, tara etc. the buddha himself maintained silence when questioned about a creator god though dialectically engaged the concept. but he also accepted that there were demi gods who could help. but there are historical indications that avalokitesvara morphed into vishnu/narayana over time. but it could also be that both might have existed parallelly but over a period of time, avalokitesvara merged into vishnu worship.

          • Nabha Garjana

            Sankhya “Darshan” is pragmatic and step by step approach to realization. wherein the aspirant is in control as opposed to Bhakti Yog where in the aspirant surrenders to the deity of HIS CHOICE (GOD in the western “STUPID” way of debating indic civilization), Even Gita corroborates the same, mind you Krishna came before buddha. one may say that Sankhya does not believe in God ,but then GOD was NEVER the Goal of Hindu nor is today, it is Mokhsha and aaradhya/Ishwara the means to it. so to say that Earlier Vedic Hinduism or its today’s forms are different in essence or are derived from something other than VEDA would be gross misrepresentation and a logical fallacy

          • Nabha Garjana
        • guest

          and that is an option in Hinduism as well….so, again as I said, Buddhism is a ‘drop’ a very small fraction of Hinduism…(with all respect, because it is great, and somehow, in their honesty, by labelling t heir countries as buddhist rather than secular, they have protected a beautiful way of life.

      • Shubhangi Raykar

        You need to study the science of Devata creation. The people living in the land called Bharatvarsha after Bharata made it into one ‘desh’ had various local Gods and goddesses-deities is a common word-that later on were accepted as manifestations of Shiva, Shakti or Vishnu.Even today the Hindus mostly have Kul devata -the deity of the clan and ishta devata – the deity chosen by the individual for attainment of Moksha. Buddhism does not precede Sanatan dharma. In fact it has many gods which are from the Hindu fold but reduced to a minor status.If you visit East Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia, indonesia it will be clear.

      • guest

        what coolaid are you drinking? Buddhism is a drop of Hindiusm…..it took certain aspects of Hinduism and expanded on it….real buddhists, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama has talked about it several times.

      • Anfauglir

        “the religious practices of modern hinduism – including gods, pujas etc – are derived from buddhism

        … avalokateshvara, maitreya, mara etc are the forerunners of vishnu, shiva, shakti etc. ”

        This is demonstrably false.
        Scholars (not foreigners, not internet writers) have demonstrated the following:

        1. The Hindu gods and their worship derive from the Vedas. Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti worship are clearly from the Vedas. Only Buddhists and the Bauddhified would pretend otherwise:

        Only Buddhists and Jains _believe_ their religions pre-date or were coexistent with the Vedas (and some anti-Hindu western writers toe this line, but more honest western writers have shown that this is factually untrue).
        But such Buddhist and Jain beliefs are part of their respective theologies and are known to be back-projected (because these two later religions made horrible mistakes in their back-projection that dates them very well).

        To expand on how all the present-day Hindu worship (pooja) of the Vedic Gods (incl. Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti) derives directly from Vedic worship of Vedic Gods:

        Pooja and temple worship both have a 1-to-1 relation to the Vedic yaj~na, and this is repeated in Hindu Agamic manuals on temple worship and Hindu tantra manuals. Temple and home pooja of Gods–such as neivedyam/feeding the Gods, praising and singing to the Gods and offering pushpa with mantras–and the relation thereof to the Vedic yaj~na worship of the Gods (also by oblation of ghee/feeding, praising and singing to the Gods and offering mantra pushpas) is well explicated in such Vedic texts. The Upanishads already speak of the internalisation of the Vedic yaj~na, repeated by Hindu tantras; and the Agamic manuals (and other Hindu texts like some Pauranic sahasranamas and other stotras) show the transpose of the Vedic yaj~na shaala, its sacrificial fire and devata to the Hindu temple and its moolamoorti. (Hindu temple layouts built based on Hindu cosmology – which is notably entirely in conflict with Buddhist and Jain cosmologies, or what passes for this – easily demonstrates which temples can never be Buddhist or Jain, nor be claimed for these.)

        None of this makes sense in Buddhism or Jainism, which could _never_ have derived any of these things for themselves (whereas Vedic religion demonstrably could and factually did).

        Further: even the Jain Minority Forum–which attempted to claim many of the features of Vedic (i.e. Hindu) religio as supposedly being originally “Jain”–among its many colossal blunders, admitted that all temple construction derives from the concept of “Yajaneeya Devata”. Which is an exclusively vedic concept to do with the Devata of a yaj~na (which is exclusively Vedic), and moreover, the fact that temple building is centred on the Yajaneeya Devata is itself a notion of Vedic religion deriving from the explication of a yaj~na and its components in Vedic literature. (Because Jainism et al didn’t properly understand the explanation, the argument of Yajaneeya Devata was simply blindly copied by the Jain Minority Forum in their otherwise hopelessly bad and rather vicious argumentation that Jainism could ever have given rise to temple building).

        In other countries too, temple building and moorti fashioning and their worship (pooja) is always a feature of heathenisms: religions centred on Gods.
        Everywhere Buddhism went, for instance, it inculturated on the native ancestral heathenism and its religious expressions. While still noticeable in countries to India’s east (and the Buddhist inculturation on eastern Asian religions is well-documented by both traditional Taoists and Shintoists), to see this process at work at its most obvious to an unversed onlooker, one need but look to the west in Afghanistan where Buddhists tried to inculturate on the Greek religion starting with the very Greek Gods.

        2. Avalokiteshwara is known to have been invented–as is self-documented in Buddhism–after the earlier strains of Buddhism, which all came after the historical Buddha (Gautama Buddha).

        The developed version of Avalokiteshwara (where he became an important figure and wherein Buddhists had absorbed the pre-existing features of Shiva and other Hindu Gods) came much after Mahayana Buddhism, which itself was a later Buddhism.

        Avalokiteshwara–as explicated even by a great many actual Buddhist scholars (e.g. a famous Japanese Buddhist scholar) and admitted by anti-Hindu western Buddhist scholars–was modelled on Shiva and then some other Hindu Gods. In other words, Avalokiteshwara is a known inculturation on Hindu Gods in Hindu regions. In eastern Asia, Buddhists inculturated on a Taoist Goddess to develop the eastern Asian revision of Avalokiteshwara. (This was discussed by Taoists and other Chinese scholars.)
        Maitreya and Mara also were inculturations on Gods of native Asian heathenisms, starting with Hinduism (the Vedic religio), as were countless other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that Buddhism contrived.

        As per Buddhist scholars, the oldest Buddhist texts concerning Avalokiteshwara, ones in which he didn’t yet gain an important position (since that developed later) like the Gandavyuha sutra of Avatamsaka sutra–show when Buddhism introduced Avalokiteshwara. (And scholars have shown that Gandavyuha is dated somewhere between mid 3rd century BCE and the 1st century CE, with one Japanese scholar fixing it as being likely composed in the first century CE.)

        Note that at this early stage–which was, to state it again, when Avalokiteshwara wasn’t that well developed and somewhat peripheral (unlike how he became a key character in Mahayana Buddhism later)–Buddhists hadn’t yet started to heavily inculturate on Shiva yet for Avalokiteshwara.

        3. Buddhism and Jainism’s age is demonstrably dated by the type of samkhya they incorporate: the later, atheistic kind. The original kind of Samkhya (which is far older than the atheistic kind, and thus older still than Buddhism and Jainism) is theistic, and was already well developed before some of its ideas were removed to form the later, classical (atheist) kind. This has been shown in great detail by native scholars, with copious references to core Hindu texts like Vedas (including Upanishads) and Mahabharatam.

        4. In one of your comments here you try to make out Nyaya and Vaisheshika to be atheist. Native scholars say that not just the former listed one but also Vaisheshika was “rational theism”, though Vaiseshika did experience a period of being anti-Vedic (i.e. NAstika) before returning to the Astika fold. Likewise, native scholars have shown that Samkhya (where a strain eventually did establish itself as atheist later on) had a similar intermediate period of being anti-Vedic (NAstika) before also returning to being Astika.

        In this context, native scholars have shown how Buddhism (and Jainism) gain their samkhyan notions from a particular, later stage of Samkhya, thus dating Buddhism and Jainism.

        5. “so modern hinduism has more in common with mahayana buddhism than the ancient vedic religion.”

        Utterly false. No more so than Mahayana Buddhist inculturation on Taoism, say, implies that Taoism has anything truly in common with Mahayana Buddhism (as is also clearly denied in detail by traditional Taoist writings to this day, who likewise seek to keep their religion pristine and expose the Buddhist inculturation).

        As alluded to in point 1, Hindu pooja and all Hindu Gods popularly worshipped today all derive from ancient Vedic religion, which is a matter explicated in our Hindu texts themselves. (Mahayana) Buddhism and Jainism too admittedly tried to inculturate upon these things in time, and badly so (bad copying, just like modern christian inculturation is bad copying), and it is well documented since the early centuries CE how Hindus resisted this inculturation, at times even resorting to desperate measures like self-amputation of Hinduism in order to remove parts that Buddhism had inculturated upon.

        • vpnc

          you keep mentioning ‘native scholars’. who are these people you are talking about? can you please list references? also can you point me to the earliest hindu text on bhakti – in simple terms : that if you pray to god you will get mukti/nirvana/moksha? i would point to nagarjuna’s catuhstava. can you point to an earlier hindu text which accepts bhakti as a means to salvation. the earliest text available on samkya is the karika by ishvara krishna – it is openly atheistic and denies a creator god. which other ‘early’ text are you talking about? And historical references point to the link between avalokiteswara and vishnu and not shiva.

          • Anfauglir

            1. “also can you point me to the earliest hindu text on bhakti – in simple terms : that if you pray to god you will get mukti/nirvana/moksha?
            can you point to an earlier hindu text which accepts bhakti as a means to salvation.”

            Examples:
            a. Rig Veda 1.156.3, for instance

            which, together with Rig Veda 1.156.2, is coincidentally useful for another purpose: as they invoke Vishnu with bhakti, thereby directly denying your assertion that Vishnu worship would have been in any way influenced by Buddhism which was invented infinitely later.

            In the Vedas, Shiva, Indra and other Vedic Gods are likewise also addressed with what is very clearly bhakti. Not to be confused with the inculturated versions of any of these Gods–the Buddhist/Jain/christian clones thereof–which have nothing to do with the real, Vedic Gods.

            Note also that the BhagavadgItA, which also accepts bhakti as a means to salvation and remains older than Nagarjuna — no need to pretend otherwise — entirely echoes the aforementioned shlokas of Rig Veda 1.156.3 (and 1.156.2).

            b. shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad
            For example: 4.15-4.17, 6.13-6.18, 6.23
            Note that this upaniShad seems to explicate the Sri Rudram of the yajurvEda.

            This upanishad not only makes direct mention of “prapatti”, “bhakti”, “sharaNam prapadyE” (in reference to Rudra aka Shiva aka Maheshwara aka Ishaana aka Ishwara — all names used to address the famous central Vedic God of this text, who’s never to be confused or conflated with Buddhist/Jain/christian attempted copies of him, so don’t try it), but it also contains clear descriptions of the established, early, theistic (and fundamentally-cosmological) sAmkhya — naturally still closely connected to yoga and vedanta there — that would be featured again in mOkShadharma of the Mahabharatam and later Hindu heathen works on seshvara samkhya-yoga, including also Hindu tantras especially Shaiva and Shakta ones. shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad, while showing it precedes the mokShadharma, has also been argued to pre-date the BhagavadgitA because the GitA quotes one or more verses from it (this is besides it being an established upaniShad).

            But the origins of Samkhya development — always theistic throughout its development stage (and in its long-finalised theistic stage) — is seen in the main body of the Vedas: shown by those scholars that I alluded to to exist in an implicit else nascent form from the Rig onwards through even the ritualistic Brahmana portions, and certainly fully developed in several major upaniShads that are still considered early.

            (Note examples such as in both a and b are why even later bhakti texts trace bhakti to the shruti only.)

            Your references to the ex-brAhmaNa turned Buddhist Nagarjuna doesn’t compare.
            I’ve heard Buddhists trying to claim that Buddhism originated even bhakti, and have investigated their claims in sufficient detail to know the fraud.

            2. “the earliest text available on samkya is the karika by ishvara krishna”

            How do you propose to make the sAmkhya kArikA earlier than even the samkhyam described in the Mahabharatam? (The contexts of both the Hindu heathen epics Ramayanam and Mahabharatam pre-date Jainism forget Buddhism. Neither itihAsas know of Jainism/Buddhism, contrary to Buddhist and Jain attempts to argue so.)

            Do you merely mean the kArikA is the earliest available text that is solely on sAmkhya? Even then it would only be the earliest available text that is on the classical, atheist samkhya, not all sAmkhya.
            (shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad is on sEshvara sAMkhya, which by definition includes yoga, and is older.*)

            However, Samkhya Karika is dated variously at 1st to 2nd century CE and 5th century CE. Either is late by any standards, because:

            while classical (atheist) samkhya is indeed later than the original, theistic, Vedic samkhya (though at the same time classical samkhya pre-dates Buddhism), even the classical (atheist) samkhya started much earlier than the sAmkhya kArika: ishwara kRiShNa didn’t even invent the atheist samkhyan variant he described, nor did he claim to have.

            One final thing, the classical, that is atheist, sAmkhya is a proper subset of the pre-existing, theistic kind it derives from: it shows clear signs of simply shaving off certain–moreover very Vedic–features from the earlier theistic kind and which amputated features had made the original system more logically complete. (Even this I have found to have been already argued — independently of my own conclusions — by native scholars.)

            * Note that, like shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad, the bhagavadgItA is also on sEshvara sAmkhya and is older than the sAMkhya kArikA — but gItA’s sAMkhyam is different from the kArika in terms of number of sAmkhyan elements. The kArika gets its number from theistic developments already seen from shvEtAshvatara to mOkShadharma. Note also that the Hindu cosmology of the gItA and shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad are consistent at a fundamental point — one already present in the Rigvedam — but a point obviously not found in the later classical (atheist) samkhya: with gItA stating prakriti as the Mother and as being ‘part’ of kRiShNa the puruShottama, which is comparable to the DevAtmashakti aka the Yoni to Rudra-Shiva the Deva from shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad.

            3. You ask for references when you never provided any for your own novel claims. Why do I need to do your homework for you, when no one handed to me on a plate any of the works I found to read?

            Moreover, it’s your assertions that are the novel ones. Whereas what I stated merely upholds the established status quo (and which status quo has a consistent internal logic as well as having external validation in other heathenisms untouched by Indian missionary religions, but which heathenisms also demonstrate independently the same heathen features as Hinduism). There’s a reason why bhakti is an innate feature of Hinduism and other known heathenisms, why Gods are an innate (_core_ and _central_) feature of heathenisms a.o.t. non-heathen movements, why worship is straightforwardly associated with Gods in heathenisms, which are centred on Gods. It is the definition of religio: worship of the Gods. Why Hindu cosmology (sEshvara sAMkhya), a defining feature of Hinduism — and which is so like the fundamental cosmology of Taoism and some other heathenisms — is straightforwardly related to all these and several other features that distinguish the Vedic religio from non-heathen movements both Indic and foreign.

            Everyone on the web is either doing an atheist rewrite of various Hindu heathen matters, obscuring the theistic Vedic origins for what later merely _became_ atheist (what Elst called “coup d’etat”, but in inverse direction to his claim for samkhya etc), or else these netizens that make grand assertions are propagators of Buddhism/Jainism. The latter are even increasingly frequently seen ridiculously claiming that Vedic knowledge was originally Buddhist and Jain and/or inventing a laughable theory about Buddhism/Jainism co-existing with the Vedas let alone pre-existing, instead of the reality: that Buddhism and Jainisms are –albeit subverted– derivations from Vedic religion, and that Buddhists and Jains backprojected their religions (rather late in their own histories) into before Buddhism and Jainism’s actual time, even competing with each other to do so. Only, and absolutely only, Buddhists and Jains believe their backprojected theorising, because it’s become part of their theology (mere beliefs, not facts), as well as Hindu-baiters trying to use Buddhism/Jainism as a stick to beat Hindu heathenism (Vedic religion) with.

            As to your request on authors on Buddhism admitting that Avalokiteshwara was modelled on Shiva, I think (but do not guarantee) that Shu was one of the very many. Certainly one Williams is to have cited many primary Buddhist textual sources and scholarly references for it, with direct descriptives showing amply that Avalokiteshwara was used to heavily inculturate on the specific descriptives of the Vedic God Shiva including his Vedic _personal_ names.
            But this is so well-established that you shouldn’t even need me to give you references.

            Gandavyuha, one of the earliest Buddhist texts mentioning Avalokiteshwara (but wherein Avalokiteshwara was still underdeveloped back then) was listed as being dated by the likes of Nakamura (to 1st century CE) and some western scholars who found its ceiling date to be 2.5 centuries BCE tops.

            I’m saving the references to native scholars who wrote on how Samkhya was originally theist for the time that I need it: Kalavai Venkat recently promised to publish something on Nireeshwara schools of thought–I think he had earlier mentioned that samkhya was originally atheist, so I anticipate that will figure in it. At which point I may well consider bringing up my references to one or more native scholars on the subject. Not before. (Because I _have_ done my homework, but will use it when I need it.) As it is, I’ve provided enough references to the theistic samkhyam that was well-established before the classical, i.e. atheist kind (which last, in its turn, existed before Buddhism).

            4. I’ve been more than generous with information to substantiate some of the points I made, certainly compared to your Mere Assertions, and have answered enough of your questions.

            Now _you_ provide proof — note: not backprojected claims — for your _extreme_ statement that pooja derives from Buddhism of all things (though, as usual, the exact same claim is made by Jains for Jainism exclusively, didn’t you know). Let alone the entirety of your assertion that:

            “actually most of the religious practices of modern hinduism – including gods, pujas etc – are derived from buddhism. the vedic religion – the darshanas, the smirithis – are ascetic and almost verging on atheism. it is from mahayana buddhism that modern hinduism got its deities and ways of worship. avalokateshvara, maitreya, mara etc are the forerunners of vishnu, shiva, shakti etc.”

            (Actually, I’ve already read works by the Buddhist Sangha monks and Indian Bauddhifying scholars trying to claim these very things, and their arguments were frankly embarrassing. So only if your proofs are better/more waterproof than these last, will they have a chance at my consideration.)

            – There is nothing atheist about the Vedas.
            Just like the classical atheist samkhya was late, you don’t need to point to some late atheist period of Vedic ritualism, as it in no way impinges on the original theistic nature of the Vedic ritualistic religion, and its continuity in theism to the present among many.

            – And _all_ bhakti in practiced Hinduism (Vedic religion) — what you called “modern Hinduism” — is straightforwardly and entirely derived from Vedic texts, starting with the Vedas themselves. Bhakti’s equivalent in the Graeco-Roman context is piety, and is also innate to its Olympic religion, seen in their oldest texts too (that well pre-date Jainism and Buddhism). Likewise Taoists have the notion of bhakti (some traditional southeast Asian Taoists simply use the Hindu term for it, even as the same persons studiously avoid all things Buddhist, because they are aware of Buddhism’s inculturationist tendencies). Bhakti, as with temple construction, moorti fashioning and their worship, all derive straightforwardly from heathen religions, i.e. religions centred on the Gods. As seen in the 3 distinct examples of heathenisms just mentioned. (These things can not be naturally derived from Buddhism and Jainism, which only possess any such features by inculturation on pre-existing heathenisms. Which is why Buddhism always “looks like” the native religions in Asia, attempting to take over and Bauddhicise their Gods, their modes and expressions of worship, their texts and more.)

            – PAshupatas as well as the pAncharAtra system, for instance, are already known as being well-established in the MahAbhArata itself. The same Mahabharata does not know of Buddhism. (I’m specifically discounting a clearly late and absurdly random single insertion concerning the latter, that is considered inauthentic/very late interpolation, very probably by Buddhists themselves).

            – the ritualistic and ancient MahAnArAyaNopaniShad knows well of the Shiva lingam and its worship. The shvEtAshvatara upaniShad already shows what the Lingam means: it is a very sAMkhyan term, as is the related and more explicitly mentioned Yoni in the text as being the devAtmashakti (prakRiti) of Shiva.
            Shiva lingam worship and “pashu” and the relation to “Pashupati” and meaning of “pAsha” are all to be found in Vedic including major, early upaniShadic texts (shvEtAshvatara for instance, since the Pashupati and his worship was already well-established in the shrI Rudram). Nothing to do with Buddhism/Jainism.

            – Contrary to grandiose Jain claims, the Vedas do _not_ know of Jainism (forget Buddhism). And contrary to Jain and Buddhist claims, neither do the Ramayanam and Mahabharatam (see proviso above) — I speak of the Vaidika originals of the itihAsas, not the very late and badly inculturated Buddhist and Jain plagiarised subversive variants of these original Vedic narratives.

            5. “And historical references point to the link between avalokiteswara and vishnu and not shiva.”

            Then you’re clearly far less well-read than you projected yourself in your initiating comment.

            Note that I did also include Vishnu in mentioning that other Hindu Gods were inculturated upon by Buddhism under Avalokiteshwara (like I also mentioned that Buddhism inculturated upon a Taoist Goddess with Avalokiteshwara in eastern Asia). But there most certainly are Buddhist inculturations on Shiva-Ishwara (hence “avalokiteshwara”), and they are copious in number both in text and physical situations.
            Even as Buddhists blasted the Vedic Shiva and his Vaidika worshippers, Buddhism was trying to inculturate on him with Avalokiteshwara in order to make Buddhism appeal to his Hindu adherents. And then Buddhism got angry again when the ruse didn’t work. Similar missionising patterns are seen repeated in more eastern parts of Asia, of Buddhism vis-a-vis the local heathen religions there.

            On the subject of how Vedic Shiva was heavily mined/plagiarised (inculturated upon) for fashioning Avalokiteshwara: I’ve already given a pointer or two to resources on this topic in point 3 of this comment.

            6. “but even advaita vedanta is not called prachanna bauddham or buddism in disguise without reason.”

            The allegation exists (against Shankara’s minor modification to advaita, see below), but its applicability there was even refuted by a Japanese scholar, not just ancient and present Hindu scholars. (The Japanese author’s writing is in English.) This is mentioned as by the way. The Japanese scholar moreover showed ample indication that Buddhism was a spin off from Vedanta (as all would have known), and the same is obvious to anyone from a Jain text derived from the teerthankara MahAvIra (the sole teerthankara to be recognised as historical, the others being clear back projections going by the awful mistakes Jainism made in inserting them into established Hindu–that is, Vedic–religio-history).

            Also, your reference to advaita vedanta is only to Adi Shankaracharya’s particular modification to long pre-existing advaita vedanta (which last is pre-Buddhist, pre-Jain and also before the atheist sAMkhya of classical times). No one ever accused the pre-Shankaran advaita vedanta of being ‘cryptoBuddhist’, which older advaita had always been one of the 3 established views on vedanta, long before the later Hindu acharyas who famously espoused them. For instance, there had long been the same triple branch of vEdantic views within Shaivam and Shaktam (advaita, vishiShtadvaita and dvaita) as seen in their texts, as well as a merged else amorphous version since early times. There are many pre-Adi Shankara texts on advaita vedAnta: both early upanishads and early puranas.

            I can go on on this subject, but I’ll stop there.
            But I note I have ended up doing a lot more of your homework than I intended.

            You have no right to use anything I stated for the propagation of Buddhism or for your further attempts at encroaching on Hinduism (i.e. Vedic religion) for Buddhist or Jain or other ideologies or purposes. (And now you should also know why I don’t share such references with people known to propagate missionary ideologies that still seek to compete with Hindu heathenism, especially when such people are known to do so at the direct expense of Hinduism, as you gave ample evidence of doing.)

            Buddhists and Jains today tend to be quite ignorant of many core Hindu scriptures. (As they even were, embarrassingly, in the past: e.g. see the mistakes in Bauddhicising Vedic narratives for the Jatakas, where there are clear signs of inculturation + embarrassing mistakes in copying + deliberate divergences to replace the original Vedic purport with a Buddhist one while subverting the original heathen Hindu [Vedic] narrative.) But, the minute Buddhists and Jains today learn that a core Vedic text X exists that pre-dates Buddhism and Jainism and which simultaneously contains/shows the origins of various Vedic things that Buddhism and Jainism like to nowadays claim to have originated, adherents of these two later religions try to encroach on such Vedic texts for their own religion (else they try to postdate the text itself, in order to argue that it copied from them).

            So I’m warning you beforehand, do _not_ try to Bauddhicise shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad — you know, the way you audaciously tried to do concerning pooja and Hindu Gods — nor ever even dream of pretending that the text can be made to have anything to do with Buddhism (or Jainism), the way Buddhists have been encroaching on even the bhagavadgItA these days. (Not to mention the way Buddhists have done with some Astika texts on Yoga and Samkhya, even pretending these have more to do with Buddhism/Jainism than with Vedic religion aka Hinduism.) Because if you even attempt that, then I will make it personal. Don’t even think about encroaching on it or the Mahabharata mokShadharma chapter or any chapter — or on any such Hindu heathen text — for Buddhism and the likes.

            Also, let me never catch you hereafter claiming or implying that bhakti towards and worship of the Vedic Gods — including but not limited to Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti — derives in any way from Buddhism/Jainism. As seen in the references in point 1a and 1b, bhakti and worship of the Vedic (aka Hindu) Gods is entirely Vedic, as is the Hindu mode of worship (pooja), already explained in my previous response to you. And any alleged “bhakti” and “pooja” and temple worship in Buddhism like Jainism is entirely copied from Vedic religion (aka Hinduism) as well as–in other Asian spaces–from Taoism and several other native Asian religions too, by the way.
            If you persist in making these claims, I will not let it pass again as but an innocent mistake from ignorance on your part, but will treat you as a missionary who’s evidently willing to lie for your own ends.

          • Anfauglir

            Addendum: Mara like Vajrapani, Padmapani etc are nothing original to Buddhism, as even those are tell-tale inculturations on Hinduism. (But there are also Bodhisattvas uniquely concocted in other parts of Asia by inculturation on other Asian religions’ Gods.)

            The Buddhist Mara for instance, is a negative inculturation on the Vedic God Kama who is also called Maara — even Kamadeva’s bow and arrows are stolen/copied by Buddhism for this. There also exists a ‘positive’ Buddhist inculturation on Kama by another name, “Manjushri” I think. Other examples include Vaishravana as a Buddhist shadow copy of the real Vedic Vaishravana/Kubera, Vajrapani and Shakra as Buddhist shadow copies of the real Vedic Indra who is well-known as Shakra and who is by description the real vajrapANi, etc. The Buddhist PadmapANi was infamously used to inculturate on a famous form of Shiva. Buddhism even absurdly attempted to use its Shakra clone to inculturate on the great Taoist God Jade Emperor.

            Buddhism had a tendency to relegate the Vedic Gods under their primary names to lower or negative positions in the Buddhist hierarchy, and then to hijack the same God’s features for a Buddhist clone – shadow copy – usually under one of the established secondary Vedic names or else defining descriptives of the Vedic God.

            In time, Buddhism even opportunistically attempted to inculturate on popular Vedic Rishis. It’s laughable, angering and sad at the same time. Mostly angering. Like the lingering/ongoing attempts by Jains or Buddhists or even Bauddhified Hindus — such as vpnc, whichever of these he is — to continue to propagate Buddhist and Jain inculturation as authentic and even as the “original”.

            It’s all quite as bad as the christian inculturation/theft from heathenisms. But missionary religions are like that: not being native ancestral religions, they have to resort to fraudulent methods like inculturation to try to gain appeal for any converts among heathen populations. And yes, it _is_ fraudulent, being false: inculturation proves falseness of the copies and clones produced, and moreover says something rather negative about the validity of and pursuit of honesty in the missionary religion that employs inculturation. It is not innocent, it is not harmless. And no, heathens _don’t_ like it and are _not_ okay with it and legitimately see it as a form violence. (Outside of India, traditional adherents of extant Asian heathen religions can be quite angry, understandably, about Buddhist inculturation and its worse behaviour. The same have never complained about Hinduism, yet they know of Hinduism surprisingly well, and some other Asian historical persons knew Hinduism–the Vedic religio–very well.)

          • vpnc

            is shruti of human authorship? i am talking about any darshana or historical text which accepts that bhakti is a way to salvation. kapila/ishvarakrishna, patanjali/vyasa, kanada/prashastapada, gautama/vatsyayana, jaimini, badarayana – do any of them explicitly state that mukti can be attained by bhakti? for them it is either separation of purusha from prakriti or knowledge of the self which leads to liberation. for patanjali, atbest god ‘can help’. knowledge of the self is the means to liberation. that praying to god can result in the knowledge of the self was imo first introduced by the sri vaishnavas in astika circles. even though shankara accepts that it is only through gods grace that liberation is attained, nowhere does he state that praying to god can result in the knowledge of the self. and you had used ‘native scholars’ as a reference to your views – so it would be good if you backed it up with references. i have not made any such claim.

          • Anfauglir

            Now you’re just backpeddling. Nice try.

            You had started off by specifically asserting that what you called “modern Hinduism” — bhakti, pooja and worship of Hindu Gods Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti — was derived from Buddhism. You developed on this in your next comment tracking bhakti to Nagarjuna as the earliest instance.

            You even lied that Avalokiteshwara and other late Buddhist concoctions were forerunners for the worship of pre-existing Vedic Gods 1. who were worshipped since long before their Buddhist inculturated clones were invented and 2. whose Vedic worship is what has continued in modern Hinduism.

            I gave reference to Shu (unconfirmed), and to Williams (confirmed) who had summarised the findings both from primary Buddhist sources as well as from scholarship on how Avalokiteshwara was a plagiarism of Shiva. That itself proves one of your major frauds: the direction of derivation of the worship of Gods and who copied whom there.

            You asked to know what the earliest Hindu texts were that mentioned that bhakti to the Vedic Gods leads to mokSha. And I specifically provided examples of the _very_ shlokas from shruti for this: one example from the Rigvedam (the example was of bhakti to and worship/praise of Vishnu leading to freedom from birth) and from the shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad (where the same case exists for Shiva). Both pre-date Nagarjuna or anything Buddhist. (So does the bhagavadgItA.) My examples from ancient shruti texts moreover showed that the bhakti to/pooja of Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti in “modern” Hinduism is entirely in continuity with what is found in Vedic texts.

            Now you are pretending you were talking about something else: asking for post-shruti texts that prove Bhakti is derived from Hinduism not Buddhism. Why would I need to provide post-shruti texts –although the BhagavadGitA is certainly one — when the shruti already proves my case?

            You pretended that sAMkhya KArikA was the oldest text on sAMkhya, and when I mentioned older texts on sAmkhya that were moreover theistic — and specifically stated that among them the shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad mentions “bhakti”, “prapatti” and declares “sharaNam prapadyE” to Rudra-Shiva, besides it also discussing sAmkhya-yOga-vEdanta with these in one theme, bringing _all_ of them _together_ in the context of mOkSha by the way — you’ve started pretending something else again.

            Just stop digging a hole. Stop developing on your lie all because I caught you at it. Did you or did you not make the grand claim that:

            “actually most of the religious practices of modern hinduism – including gods, pujas etc – are derived from buddhism. the vedic religion – the darshanas, the smirithis – are ascetic and almost verging on atheism. it is from mahayana buddhism that modern hinduism got its deities and ways of worship. avalokateshvara, maitreya, mara etc are the forerunners of vishnu, shiva, shakti etc.”

            Typical Buddhist fraud.

            I’ve disproved everything you stated there. And you had the gall to challenge others about their being “dum dum” and “not studying Hindu traditions” when it is _you_ who didn’t even know the references to shlokas from Vedic texts even existed that utterly disprove your lies and you didn’t know that Buddhist scholars have themselves shown (from Buddhist sources) that Avalokiteshwara was largely modelled on Shiva historically.

            Since you’ve been shown to be a liar — doubly confirmed by your latest comment — you’re now pretending you claimed something else.

            “and you had used ‘native scholars’ as a reference to your views – so it would be good if you backed it up with references. i have not made any such claim.”

            No, get this straight: _You_ made grand claims about Hindu heathenism. _You_ provided no references. Then you demanded references to the contrary. I refuted your lies with numbered verses from Hindu texts that pre-date Buddhism. And gave a reference to at least one confirmed Buddhism scholar who shows that Avalokiteshwara was modelled very heavily on Shiva.

            I further spoke of native scholars — who refer to primary sources and other scholars — on how the original sAmkhya was theist. (I also alluded to other native scholars — with a traditionally trained background in nyAya-vaisheShika — who in their writings on the history of development of their specialised area state that vaisheShika, like nyAya – is “rational theism”.)

            I specifically said I wasn’t going to share the references on the samkhya (but will extend that for the other matter too), for two reasons: the second being that I essentially suspected you to be a missionary fraud. Which you are, else you wouldn’t be desperately developing on your lies after being caught at it. If you were remotely honest, you’d have said you stood corrected and publicly retracted the grandiose claims you had made in public. But because you’re dishonest — quite like christians, it’s a feature common to all missionary religions — you want to jump to plan B: try to pretend you were claiming something different and want me to do more homework for you.

            I’ve caught you lying: because instead of correcting yourself, you have shown your motivation is rather to give me the run-around and pretend you were talking of something else.

            Your kind of fraud — all too common, sadly — needs to be exposed.
            I suspect you’re a Buddhist: knowing Buddhism well enough, but clearly ignorant of Vedic religion (and also the background to the later Astika schools).

            You wrote this to another commenter who denied your Bauddhicising attempts on Hinduism (i.e. Vedic religion):

            “dum dum. i have spent more years defending hindu traditions, than you have been aware of them. all i am asking is you do some serious study of your own traditions”

            Stop pretending you’ve been defending Hindu traditions. Admit to what you’ve actually been doing: You’ve merely been poaching on Vedic religio to aggrandise Buddhism/Jainism. It is clear from your statements on this page (and also elsewhere).
            You’ve also been trying to divorce Astika schools from Vedic religio so you can make them appear “equally Nastika”–all because nastikas poached from astika developments and hence exhibit these features (still doesn’t make Astika schools of thought themselves “equally nastika thought”, it just means derivation and copying by nAstikas, and reveals the ingrate behaviour in the latter missionising and poaching on Vedic religio now). But then, your pulling an “equally nAstika” on Astika schools of thought is a very common Nastika tactic now: I’ve been noticing the pattern for some years. But what to expect from missionaries, right? Their trick is always to start by divorcing heathen features from heathenism to claim it belongs to all equally–pointing only to any later atheist developments and keeping a studied silence on the theistic Vedic origins & consequent pre-existing theistic variants, no matter how well-developed and documented–before finally claiming these things belong originally/truly to the nastikas themselves. Christianity didn’t invent this trick. Just like christianity didn’t invent inculturation. I’m very familiar with Buddhist/Jain attempts at theft from Vedic religion. Some of it is so shameless, I almost wonder whether even the likes of you might be embarrassed by it.

          • vpnc

            you should check with kalavai venkat, if i am a missionary fraud. i wrote this site 15 years back with vishal aggarwal – http://indian-philosophy.braincells.com/

          • Anfauglir

            Did I say you were a _christian_ missionary? Spin-offs like the Buddhisms and Jainisms have been missionary and are so yet. Whether you lean towards a reconstructionist Indian classical atheism independent of Buddhism/Jainism (except when it suits your argumentation) and want to cherry pick from Vedic religio, giving the remainder to Buddhism/”modern Hinduism” (and then admonishing “modern” Hindus for exhibiting this “remainder”) or whether you’re a missionary for Buddhism/Jainism becomes irrelevant. Anyone who is trying to push subversionist (replacement) views concerning heathenism on a potentially heathen audience is a missionary.

            What you said was 1. false; 2. missionising for Buddhism/Jainism/reconstructionist Indian classical atheism whatever. Stop trying to turn Vaidika religio atheist “originally”. In origins it was theistic — all the seeds of and even well-developed precursors of the later astika schools of thought were originally theistic, no matter that some gave rise to atheist offshoots later. Or I could be as generous as Elst was to heathenism and use his terms in inverse and I wouldn’t be far wrong, thus speaking of an atheistic “coup d’etat” that “eclipsed” the theistic origins of the later, classical atheist variants: that later atheists hijacked aspects of the earlier theism and tried to run off with it (sort of like what many are trying today).

            Addendum:

            Here, _you_ read together the following in sequence, which is what _you_ claimed and then demanded evidence for:

            1. “actually most of the religious practices of modern hinduism – including gods, pujas etc – are derived from buddhism. the vedic religion – the darshanas, the smirithis – are ascetic and almost verging on atheism. it is from mahayana buddhism that modern hinduism got its deities and ways of worship. avalokateshvara, maitreya, mara etc are the forerunners of vishnu, shiva, shakti etc.”

            2. “also can you point me to the earliest hindu text on bhakti – in simple terms : that if you pray to god you will get mukti/nirvana/moksha?”
            (To which the answer was: Rig Vedam onwards, through Upanishads like shvEtAshvatara through to bhagavadgItA — all still pre-dating your choice of Nagarjuna.)

            3. And having the answer, you then decided to change your argument to:
            “is shruti of human authorship? i am talking about any darshana or historical text which accepts that bhakti is a way to salvation.”

            So by the time you wrote point 3 you decided to pretend that your original argument (point 1) was that modern Hindus have been ignoring the Vedic (shruti) teachings on pooja to the Vedic Gods and bhakti’s connection to mOkSha (not to mention the theistic sAMkhyam in Vedic texts and other texts of Vedic religio like MBh)
            and that instead, “modern” Hindus, upon bypassing all this -their own tradition- in the Vedic religio, had to go about learning of these very things (of bhakti, of pooja and of Vedic Gods) from … Buddhism?

            And when you said:
            4. “that praying to god can result in the knowledge of the self was imo first introduced by the sri vaishnavas in astika circles.”

            Wait, are you now arguing that Shri Vaishnavas (or any such well-established type of heathen Hindu subgroup for that matter) do not base their tradition on the Vedas–conveniently ignoring verses from even the Rig Veda as I typed out–but instead evolved it in distinction and/or gleaned it from Buddhism?

            You do realise you make no sense, right? More proof that internet “researchers” do not scholars make.
            Did you want me to conclude that this is how you reasoned 15 years ago too at the link you provided? Because nothing you’ve said on this page makes it remotely enticing for me to read what you might have written elsewhere. If I wanted bad speculation and half-baked knowledge in the first place, I wouldn’t be trying to better myself by reading primary sources and proper scholarship, now would I? I could just speculate at will too.

            Note also again that your initial claim was that everything from Hindu Gods to pooja–all things “modern” Hinduism as per you–was not from Vedic religio but (preposterously) from Buddhism. Your initial claim was _not_ about any connection between “praying to Ishwara” and “knowledge of the self”, something you’ve now switched to speaking of. Though even that seems to be at least implicitly present in the shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad, since its entire discussion on the tightly connected theme of theistic sAMkhya+yoga as union with Ishwara+knowledge of the self+knowledge of Ishwara+bhakti+mokSha+ritualistic (homa) mantras here and there, is all a single continuity.

            I can’t reach out for my Hindu heathen source books at present (I keep them for this very purpose), but even some famously titled bhakti sutras were to have traced the authority for their bhakti to the Vedas (not to Nagarjuna/Buddhism or whoever). And it’s clear to see why. But that then negates your theory that Shri Vaishnavas “invented” bhakti — or would even claim to have done so — let alone that Nagarjuna invented it and that Vaishnavas/any brand of heathen Hindus had to learn it from Buddhism/Jainism/whoever.

            Likewise Shaivas and Shaktas — as seen in their texts — refer only to the Vedas for the antiquity and authority of their features: vedanta+samkhya+yoga+bhakti+tantra+UmaShiva as karmaphaladaata. And except for possibly tantra, which I don’t see any explicit mention of in BhagavadgItA–though I suppose tantra falls under vedic ritualism, which is where it so obviously derives from and with which it belongs–the Bhagavad gItA covers all those same aspects too.

            Also do note one important thing: I never singled out bhakti, that’s something you tried to do. My own view is that not just bhakti but also samkhya, yoga, vedanta–and the nyAya and vaisheshika views long ago seen even in pAshupatas and the vedas’ own ponderings (rhetorical?) on whether Ishwara was only nimittakAraNa or also upAdAnakAraNa–not to mention vedic ritualism, all went in hand-in-hand, interconnected, in the (very theistic) Vedic tradition of remote antiquity down to the later classical age where several of such features kind of spun off as near distinct schools (except that many of the heathen groups still kept all the aspects together down the ages).

            Just because your own interests are in Buddhism/Jainism/as an atheist Hindu or a reconstructionist of late classical samkhya or one of the late atheist Vedic ritualist types or whatever, does _not_ mean you can make the original heathen Vedic religio into an atheism. That is entirely heathen (which implies theistic). And this religio _has_ found continuity down the ages in the theistic Hindus — i.e. heathens — whose core texts are replete with an inseparable combination of the aforementioned original, theistic samkhya-yoga, vedanta, tantra/vedic ritualism etc; all infused with bhakti (plain vanilla bhakti is not a ‘separate school’: like the Graeco-Roman piety, it simply follows naturally from knowledge of the Gods, and hence heathens naturally experience it; and when such heathens write of it, their texts somehow get dubbed “bhakti” texts, despite often being vedic-tantric ritualistic+samkhya-yoga-vedanta texts too). Actually Vaidika Rishis wrote quantities of bhakti literature/shlokas, which often constitute more of the cornerstone of the generally known “bhakti” material for many heathen Hindus than the more obscure later works that are focused on “bhakti”.

            Most heathen Hindus don’t “do bhakti”, as if it’s a profession or a darshana or a verb. They simply diligently practice their heathen rituals/heathen practices in worship of their Gods (i.e. religio, by definition). Obviously, the piety they feel towards their Gods simply accompanies every part of it. It’s why it’s a heathenism. Piety is a natural sentiment, not something one has to “cultivate”. One doesn’t cultivate love for one’s family, friends or people one admires: they naturally wrest it from you once you get to know them. To know even somewhat of the Gods is to come to admire them and feel piety for them. To know the Gods is to know the cosmos and hence the self in Hindu heathenism, since the Gods are the outer Cosmos are the inner Self. (Actually also true in Taoism.)
            Bhakti is a natural by-product of the contemplation of the Gods when one gets to know of them. But if Vedic and other established Hindu texts of the Vedic religio (like the BhagavadgItA and Hindu tantra texts) say that bhakti even of its own leads to mOkSha, then I suppose it is so. The Gods are literally swargadvAra and mokShadvAra anyway. Heathen Hindus practising their heathen rituals to their heathen Gods needn’t even know the word “bhakti” — and that this describes their profound affection for their Gods — in order to attain mokSha therefore.

            I get that Hindu heathenism no longer computes to many modern Hindus and that post-heathen tendencies have become inevitable, but that’s no excuse for such people to stoop to desperate lies to make so-called “modern” Hindu heathenism — which accused features were specifically entirely Vedic — into a product of Buddhism or something, all so that post-heathens today (to whom only atheism/Buddhism/Jainism/new age pseudo-Vedanta/reconstructionist atheist classical samkhya etc computes) can try to make off with what they consider the more attractive features of Vedic religio for themselves.
            Christians and Buddhists/Jains try to split heathen religion in the same way too. Heathen Hindus long ago let atheists have their atheist brands of astika schools. But the latter have no right to start claiming that the core of their ideas — or even the established basis behind many of these, sometimes showing signs of having long been well-developed in explicit detail — are not originally from the theistic Vedic religio. The origin _is_ theistic.

          • Anfauglir

            An update to this statement I made:

            “I can’t reach out for my Hindu heathen source books at present (I keep them for this very purpose), but even some famously titled bhakti sutras were to have traced the authority for their bhakti to the Vedas”

            Sri nArAyaNa tIrtha’s commentary on his version of these particular bhakti sUtras quote the sUtras as saying “bhaktiH prameyA shrutibhyaH” (thus literally tracing bhakti to the shruti), for which the commentator is then to have provided lots of shlokas from shruti as examples that substantiate it.

            A much earlier commentator on these sUtras quotes from the shrI rudram and shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad as referring to bhakti’s connection to mOkSha (which they factually do: with the former doing so implicitly and the latter explictly), in support of a particular sUtra he was elaborating/explicating. That commentator also frequently quoted from the bhagavadgItA for authority, a.o.t .from Nagarjuna or anything Buddhist/Jain/whatever.

            In this commentator’s case too, his reference to shruti and the bhagavadgItA for his arguments to do with bhakti–and its connection to mOkSha–shows where such bhakti sUtras derive their antecedents from: from Vedic religio (and not from the later invented religions like Buddhism).

            The bhagavadgItA has a significant section on bhakti and its relationship to mOkSha, so even when considering post-shruti materials (“historical texts” as you demanded), it’s clear that it’s not shrI vaiShNavas that first invented bhakti as a means of mOkSha. Which is exactly why the early commentator on the aforementioned bhakti sUtras regularly invokes the bhagavadgItA as an authority (besides shruti, as stated).

            An interesting feature is that that earlier commentator actually quoted from the shrI Rudram and shvEtAshvatarOpaniShad–both these instances being more explicitly about shiva than viShNu–for his arguments on bhakti and its connection to mOkSha, in what is otherwise a commentary that leans more toward a dedication to viShNu.

    • si91

      Buddhism has always had gods and rituals. The Pali Canon itself references Hindu gods, who can be seen in Buddhist religious art and architecture in just about every Buddhist country in the world.

      • Samrat Bharat

        Can you add a link to your source? By definition Buddhism is non theist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism. Mythical characters used for decorations do not count.

        • si91

          The reason they are used for decoration is because Buddhists believe that these gods exist. Buddha himself referenced Hindu deities like Brahma and the devas in his discourses.

          • Samrat Bharat

            😀 😀 That’s like saying MF Hussain drawing gods & goddesses means he and his fans all believe in them. Acknowledging Ram existed and he was a heroic human with an interesting story to depict on walls/canvas is not the same as saying he is God.

            Anyway, happy to change my opinion if you show me links from valid Buddhist sources where followers are told to worship these “Gods”.

          • si91
          • Samrat Bharat

            Ah, thanks for the link. The mention of deities is at odds with non theist philosophy of Buddhism, even though Buddhism seems to use the term “Brahma” differently : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahm%C4%81_%28Buddhism%29.

            Back to research it is, for me.

          • si91

            It’s non-theistic because the existence of God doesn’t play a role in Buddhist attainment of enlightenment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was atheistic in that it denied the existence of gods per se.

          • guest

            Any religion with just rituals without philosophy is mere superstition. any religion without rituals and just with philosophy is dry intellectualism without the rasa of love. Hinduism has both. Buddhism started to get image worship several hundred years after its coming into being, simply because it arrived at an understanding that human beings need images to still their minds. connection needs heart. hearts need images. buddhism may or may not explicitly say anything but look at all countries where it exists, image over a period of time became important as did rituals, for they instinctively know their power and need.

      • Samrat Bharat

        Show me valid links from Buddhist scriptures where followers are told to worship Gods or follow a particular ritual, and I will accept your interpretation. E.g., which book and page from here: http://sacred-texts.com/bud/index.htm ?