Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The start of fall of Hinduism?

Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion. But there are forces at play which are contesting to break it. This article is intended to create an awareness among general public about this.


There exists a breed of people who call them Indologists. Those who study India, it's religion, culture, languages, art etc. are called Indologists. The subject is called Indology.
It will be interesting to know that being an academic subject, Indology is not taught in any universities in India. It was British who started this branch of study, but now Americans pioneer it. Unlike China where China studies are controlled by China, Americans control India studies.
Max Muller who translated Rig Veda was quoted saying:
“The translation of the Veda will hereafter tell a great extent on the fate of India, and on the growth of millions of souls in that country. It is the root of their religion, and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, it is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3,000 years.”
This clearly stated the purpose, to uproot our belief system. He wanted to conquer Indians by education based on western ideas. He considered Hinduism doomed, and Christianity has to help revive the situation. Though in his late years, softened his stand on India and the values taught by its classics, the damage wheel has already started to spin.
Britishers one after the other started to formulate theories to break our belief system. The prominent ones being:
    Aryan Invasion Theory - Though proved wrong, our schools are still teaching to our next generation. Not even our adults know that this is just a theory and have no proofs attached to it.
    Caste system - Many staunchly believe that Hindus started the caste system as prevalent today. But its British who gave shape to this based on their class system. This does not mean our society was impartial to groups of societies. But with British giving the name caste (which in Spanish means breed or race) to our varna (means choice) based society. (Read more about by searching for “Social structure of the United Kingdom”. While the British used this as a tool to divide the population and cause revolts between them, after Independence they are merely used as vote-bank.
     The Language divide - Tamil-Sanskrit is a classic example of what the British Indologists can do. From times immemorial Indians were bilingual. There was a “local” language as well as a “national” language. The British who were not able to understand the bilingual concept, suggested that Sanskrit was a foreign language brought by Aryans and Tamil was the local language. The Aryans using the language suppressed the locals and dominated them. This was their theory, which is taught in all textbooks across the country. Even though the Aryan Invasion theory is dead now the language divide exists even stronger. Thanks to the Dravidian movement which promoted nothing but Tamil, and removal of Sanskrit words from Tamil. We have to remind ourselves that Sanskrit was playing the role of father, Tamil was playing the role of mother in the region. One need not waste their times in proving one language’s prominence over the other.
These are only some of the examples what British Indologists have achieved. But with the advent of American Indologists, things have become complicated.

Modern Indologists

The British can be forgiven for their mistakes, but not the Americans. They have succeeded in captivating our minds. They are so keen on destroying our culture, most even don’t know of their existence. Many of such Indologists are not foreigners, but Indians. Infosys founder Narayana Murthy and people like them are unknowingly supporting these people by offering them grants. This will come as a shock to most of us.
    How many of us are aware that Sringeri Sharada Peeta was nearly hijacked by these people?
    How many of us are aware that Kalakshetra is already hijacked by them?
    How many of us are aware that we Hindus have started to advocate for them?
One needs to have a basic familiarity of some people who have pioneered this movement. Wendy Doniger, Sheldon Pollock are just some names.
Wendy Doniger - An American Indologist, born in 1940. Her major work includes “Asceticism and Eroticism in the Mythology of Siva” which has led to the west reduce divineness of Shiva. Most academicians refer to Shiva worship as mere phallus worship. In another book “Kali’s Child” by Jeffrey Kripal (advised by Wendy) banishes goddess Kali and Sri Ramakrishna. This book won the Best First Book of History of Religions Prize in 1995.
Devdutt Pattanaik - He comes in educational lineage of Wendy Doniger. His books are a sensation among Hindus. He refers himself as Mythologist. He is now seriously trying to build a different image for himself. His books if carefully observed are misleading Hindu youth towards the goal of Indologists.
Sheldon Pollock - The most dangerous man yet. He is a Sanskrit scholar from Columbia University. Sheldon Pollock loves Sanskrit, does not want to believe in what the real authors meant. For example, he does not consider what Valmiki meant in Ramayana, but he suggests a political angle to Ramayana and other Sanskrit works.
His work Ramayana and Political Imagination in India (1993), written in backdrop of Babri Masjid demolition states that the then rulers promoted Mughals as demon-king Ravana and using Ramayana they called for people to fight against them. He argues that Ramayana was written for creating hatred. He claims that with divine powers, Rama was substituted with the then rulers to create a more powerful kingdom. Unfortunately, the top brass of BJP and VHP leaders have fallen for it.
In 2001, his other work “The Death of Sanskrit” came out. In this book, he argues that Sanskrit is a dead language. But the deeper influences of Pollock were on Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, US. Through this extension of Sringeri Peet, Pollock had intended to create an academic chair in Columbia University “blessed” by Sringeri Acharya. This would have meant outsourcing Shankaracharya’s teachings to Columbia University.
Sheldon Pollock but has succeeded in getting grants from India’s rich elite. Infosys founder Narayana Murthy’s son who is heading Murthy Classical Library has chosen him as the editor of his ambitious plan to translate 500 volume of Indian texts to English.
Secularists - On one-side it is the academicians who are controlling what we learn, and on the other hand it is the leftists who call themselves seculars. They are demanding removal of religious materials from Government sponsored events. The recent example of this is from Kerala when the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Kerala demanded objection and removal of Sanskrit prayer during International Yoga Day. These secular forces are only targeting Hinduism and its practices, if one observes carefully.

Digestion of Hinduism

Rajiv Malhotra coined this word Digestion. He uses the term to explain how predatory animals attack their prey and then digest it, throwing away useless parts of the prey. This is what Christians have done to all the pagan and Hindu religions over centuries. Easter for example was a pagan celebration embraced by Christianity. Likewise, our festivals such as Deepavali, Vishu etc may become part of Christianity. Already there are evidences where “Jesus Sahasranama” and things like that have started to pop.
These trends suggest that Hinduism is going through a rough time. Unless Hindus understand there is a collective effort in tarnishing them, there can’t be any revival forces start to shape.

Moving forward

There are some action items which we can plan.
Identify - As public who wants to protect our value-based culture system, we must first understand our real opponents. It is difficult because not all of them are foreigners. There are some foreigners who really love our culture as it is. Only a deeper study of people will reveal whether they are proponent or opponent.
Help - If you know some Indian scholars, help them understand the real opponents so that they won’t get sold out. This prevents brain drain. We should start promoting our culture values and donate to the cause of reviving it. Every village needs to have an education system attached to the temples which will help sharing the knowledge and bring unity for the cause.
Research - If you like to read, do a lot of research in this subject. More firsthand research is required in unearthing what our culture was before the British arrived.
Learn Sanskrit - The traditional approach of learning Sanskrit for marks is not good enough. Samskritha Bharathi has an excellent spoken course on Sanskrit. One must start to converse in Sanskrit inside our homes. This will keep the momentum going and one day we will learn the language. At the minimum one should try understanding the meaning of an Ashtakam. Do not use words like Soul, instead use atma. Also make yourself learn that soul and atma are two different things. Do not use terms such as RIP (Rest in Peace) when passing condolence messages. Instead use a term which you would have said in real words, like “May he attain parama padam”, “Let him live in vaikunta forever” etc.
Sanskrit Vs English words (Atma Vs Soul) - As author Rajiv Malhotra states “aatma in Indian thought is not the same as soul in western thought. As per western thought soul don’t exist in animals, soul don’t exist in plants, soul doesn’t have re-incarnation. So, if you replace the word aatma with soul actually it’s a distortion.” He also calls for people to start identifying Sanskrit words which does not have English equivalent words. He then suggests using the Sanskrit terms in daily conversations.
Start collaborating - Being a scholar in ideal terms is a big deal. If you can dream of it, achieve it. Start collaborating with likeminded people and develop a network of fighters.

Further read

The base of all modern education, started from Britain. The British learned Sanskrit and then exported all our texts. I would advise them to read a set of 5 books compiled by Dharampal (who had painstakingly written and typed the manuscripts from British libraries). These books are freely available to download from Internet. The books are:
    Vol 1: Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century.
    Vol 2: Civil Disobedience in the Indian Tradition.
    Vol 3: The Beautiful Tree Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century.
    Vol 4: Panchayat Raj and India's polity.
    Vol 5: Essays on Tradition, Recovery and Freedom
Also books by Rajiv Malhotra gives us a fair bit of understanding. Based on his 20 years of first hand research he has unearthed these giants at play.

May the beautiful tree called Hinduism thrive, not in numbers but in spirit. We must not just thrive but revive ourselves. We should not be blind followers, but a sound reasoning based society. May god help us in achieving this.

As published in Thirunellai Gramam Kumbhabhishekam Souveneir 2017

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