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Indology And Indologists,
Kaushal ji,

Has this wonderful work become the finished product yet?

Also, please add the names of Theosophical Society - Madam Blavatski etc - who contributed to knowledge about India's past, to some extent.
A dark, distorted Hinduism
Talveen Singh's article on Rajiv Malhotra
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->While wandering through the halls of academia he discovered the works of a group of highly regarded American professors who have written scholarly tomes on Hinduism that make it sound like a mix of voodoo and pornography.

Hindu gods and religious symbols have been put through Freudian analysis to establish such bizarre conclusions as Ganesha's trunk representing a "flaccid phallus" and his love of sweets as a desire for oral sex. He also has Oedipal problems!

This Freudian analysis goes beyond the gods to actual Hindu religious practices, and it is then that these scholars show not just their abysmal ignorance but their deliberate distortion of reality.

They teach students in American universities that Brahmins drink menstrual blood and other human fluids and that this is Tantra. They teach that Shiva temples are dens of vice where priests routinely murder and rape unsuspecting pilgrims.

Malhotra became passionately engaged in proving that this view of Hinduism was nonsense and the result of his efforts is a book, sponsored by his Infinity Foundation, called Invading the Sacred. It comes out next week.

As someone who believes that an Indian renaissance will only happen if we go beyond the taboos of 'secularism' and teach our children about India's civilisation, I found the book worthwhile reading. It made me realise that the reason why dodgy scholars from a distant land have succeeded in becoming 'experts' on our civilisation is because our own scholars do not tread in this territory for fear of being branded with that much reviled word — Hindutva.

When you read the book, you also realise that these so-called experts would have no currency if they were not aided and abetted by Indians like Amartya Sen, who attend their conferences and support their ignorant theories.

According to Invading the Sacred, Sen attended a recent conference at the University of Chicago, where, along with Hinduism 'experts' like Wendy Doniger and Martha Nussbaum, he backed the idea that Hindu fanatics were a bigger threat to Indian democracy than the Islamists.

Nussbaum is quoted as saying, "Thinking about India is instructive to Americans who in an age of terrorism can easily oversimplify pictures of the forces that threaten democracy . . . in India, the threat to democratic ideals comes not from a Muslim threat, but from Hindu groups."

That sounds like a joke, but you will stop finding it funny if you remember that the current dispensation in Delhi is supported by Marxists, who openly state that they consider Hindutva a bigger threat than jehadi Islam. In pursuance of this belief, our Marxist parties support Iran's efforts to make a nuclear bomb but oppose our own. The damage they have done goes beyond the political, for it is largely on account of 'secular' leftist pressure that Indian civilisation remains untaught in our schools and universities.

Indian students who want to learn about their religion and civilisation have to go to foreign universities where they are taught that Hinduism has no philosophy or higher idea, only a pantheon of badly behaved gods and priests. Until Indian scholars work actively to rectify this scandalous distortion, it will prevail. But where are the scholars going to come from if our own universities do not produce them?
Kubler-Ross is another case of U-turn done by the followers. I had always suspected that her theory about "stages of grief" had an Indic ring.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->At about this time, <b>Kübler-Ross </b>became convinced of the reality of her own spiritual guides and she eventually moved to California in early 1976 to pursue these inquiries. There, she founded a <b>healing center</b> <b>(eventually called Shanti Nilaya, a Sanskrit phrase that she understood to mean "the final home of peace") </b>where she could have a base for her workshops, explore out-of-body experiences, and develop a new lecture entitled "Death and Life after Death." Unfortunately, Kübler-Ross eventually lost confidence in some of her California colleagues and the center's property was sold.

In July 1983 Kübler-Ross purchased and later moved to a 300-acre farm in Head Waters, Virginia. There she built her house and a healing center for workshops. Around this time, the situation of persons with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) attracted her attention. However, when in 1985 she announced her intention to adopt AIDS-infected babies, she became, in her words, "the most despised person in the whole Shenandoah Valley" and could not get the necessary zoning approvals to carry out that plan.<b> On October 6, 1994, her house was set on fire and burned to the ground with the complete loss of all her papers and possessions.</b>
US textbooks stereotype India
In 1976, Asia Society, New York, published the results of their survey on the treatment of Asia in American elementary and secondary school textbooks. A team of 103 experts reviewed 306 books used in 50 states. The portrayal of India was "the most negative among all Asian countries" according to Prof. Arthur Rubinoff of the Toronto University who felt that this was one of the reasons why Congressional perceptions on India had been negative. John W. Mellor, author of India, A Rising Middle Power said that US policy towards India was the product of similar stereotypes, in which India was portrayed "as poverty-stricken and helpless" since American legislators and decision makers were subject to the same impressions as the general public. A state department (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs) study in 1982 found that "American attitudes about India, more than about any other place, focus on disease, death, and illiteracy."

Since 1990 official and Congressional perceptions on India had undergone a substantial change. Part of the credit for this should go to the wealthy and proactive Indian American community who are the biggest fundraisers for the Congressional and presidential candidates. The same could be said about American business community as they are developing closer business connections.

However, this positive perception about India and its culture has not permeated into the US educational system. Yvette C. Rosser, well known educationist, author, founder of Badshah Khan Peace Initiative and co-founder of the G.M. Syed Memorial Committee, wrote in Teaching South Asia: An Internet Journal of Pedagogy (Winter, 2001): "Stereotypes about India and Hinduism when taught as fact in American classrooms may negatively impact students of South Asian origin who are struggling to work out their identity in a multicultural, predominantly Anglo-Christian environment." The same conclusions are arrived at in a new book, Invading the Sacred: Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America brought out by Infinity Foundation, a Princeton based non-profit organisation founded by Rajiv Malhotra, who defines himself as a "non-Hindutva Hindu." This book contains 13 brilliant essays by different scholars, four of whom, including Yvette Rosser, are of non-Indian origin. Kalavai Venkat, a contributor, is "a practising agnostic Hindu."

Several reasons are attributed for this state of affairs. Yvette Rosser while analysing the Asia Society survey had said in her 2001 paper that the authors of textbooks on India had the choice of three approaches: Asia centred approach, progress centred approach and western centred approach. Seventy-six per cent of the textbooks followed the last approach and came to wrong conclusions. She comments, "Textbook writers often discuss only the western contributions to Asian life and fail to mention any Asian initiative and strengths at all."

Dr S.N. Balagangadhara of the Ghent University, Belgium, who wrote the foreword of the present book also felt that the study of India occurred during the last 300 years within the "cultural framework of America and Europe" which gave more prominence to the caste system, worshipping "strange and grotesque deities," discrimination against women, widow burning and corruption. The book says, "Selective, questionable academic research and its conclusions filter into American classrooms, textbooks and media." The book gives many examples how these scholars distort India and Hinduism. The core of the influential American Academy of Religion (AAR) has been following a traditionally negative approach towards India as chaotic and backward, compared to the US business schools who view India as a creative, problem solving land of opportunity. "The producers and distributors of this specialised knowledge comprise a sort of closed, culturally insular cartel, which has disastrous consequences for original thinking about India and Hinduism." This attitude will adversely affect the ordinary American’s perceptions on Indians ethnics: "Native Americans, Blacks, Jews, Gypsies, Cubans, Mexicans, Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Vietnamese and now Iraqis have suffered brutalities that were legitimised by depictions of them as primitive/exotic, irrational, heathen, savage and dangerous and as lacking in human values."

The book does not blame the AAR alone for this state of affairs. "Indians themselves have contributed to the problem in significant ways." While American universities have major programmes for studying world religions, their Indian counterparts do not offer any comparable courses resulting in scholarship being confined to "Ashrams, Mattas, Jain Apasaras and Gurudwaras." Those who want to seriously study Indian religions have to go to American, British or Australian universities. "Even China has recently established numerous well funded Confucius Institutes around the world that teach Chinese civilisational approaches to human issues on par with western models." The book blames rich Indian Americans who are merely content with building temples "while their cultural portrayal in the educational system and in the media has been abandoned to the tender mercies of the dominant western traditions."

Is there a way to tackle this imbroglio? A recent California experience has shown that it is possible to reverse the trend with hard work. In 2005, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim groups complained to the California State Board of Education (SBE) that their religions were negatively portrayed in some textbooks. The board was in the mood to make the changes proposed by the Hindu groups, but reversed the stand on the motivated intervention of Prof. Witzel, a Harvard Sanskrit professor. As a result, the changes made by the SBE did not satisfy the Hindu groups who chose court action. Their suit that the textbooks tended to demean and stereotype Hindu beliefs and practices, opening itself to ridicule was decided partly in their favour in 2006. The court held that fair and open process was not followed in adopting textbooks to Standard VI students and ordered SBE to pay part of the costs to the litigants. However, their demand to scrap the textbooks was not allowed, although during this year advance consultations on the textbooks had begun from March onwards.

Financially strong Indian associations should emulate this example. It will not be irrelevant to mention here that the American Jewish groups have been able to wrest fair treatment for their community only by aggressive ground action through their Anti-Defamation League.

V. Balachandran is a former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat
What do members think of Garland Cannon on William Jones?
<b>The work is nearing completion need about 20% more or editing.. .you can check out my site periodicaly for updates.
Here is an excerpt

It is taken as largely axiomatic in the study of the History of the Indic peoples within the confines of the Indian subcontinent that the civilization that remains extant has been brought into the area by migrating races such as the Dravidians , and the Aryans. According to such a narrative everything that was worth preserving has been handed down to us over the centuries by migrations, within the last 3 1/2 millennia, into the subcontinent, from somewhere else. It is also true that the history that is taught the children of India today is vastly at variance with the puranic accounts handed down to us over several millennia. It is to state it without any embellishments, a revised history that is completely at odds with the traditional history of India. Even so great an effort as the History and Culture of the Indian people edited by RC Majumdar, with the blessings of KM Munshi of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, the most famous of Indian historians at the time of Independence accepts the basic framework of the History of India as revised by the British colonialists. Fifty years after independence the narrative has not changed and the banner of the colonial version of history is now borne by the Indian left including the Communists and the rump of the Congress party left behind after successive defections from its fold and whose only common ideology is the adulation of the Nehru Gandhi dynasty . A substantial percentage of Indians now feel they have a stake in the preservation of this false history and when confronted with the reality of their acquiescence to a false and revised history of their own land by a very recent arrival on the scene, react with irrelevant responses such as “why blame the British” (the issue is not one of blame, for after all we are in great admiration of the British for the extraordinary sagacity they displayed in prolonging their imperial rule by every artifice imaginable). One possible reason for such a stance by the Indic in our view is the so called Societal Stockholm Syndrome, which we have elaborated upon elsewhere. We have also dealt with the systematic approach that the British used to remake the weltanshcuung of the indic and to create an international image of the Indic that is much at variance with reality , and the success they achieved in the resulting internalization of these views by the Indic himself in our essay titled the South Asia File.

In this monograph we will study the motivations of individuals who made it a lifelong passion(or at least spent a substantial portion of their life) to study the Indic people and their achievements in sciences and the arts and in the process undertook a dangerous and long journey in order to satisfy their curiosity. The study is startling in that the current disdain with which the Indic is held in the post colonial era is a development that occurred mainly in the last 200 years and that for most of our recorded history the Indic has been held in high esteem by the denizens of the globe. But the pattern of spending a lifetime studying the indics for a lifetime and imbibing their knowledge and then subsequently belittling their achievements was first exhibited by the Afghan scholar Al Biruni ( a very rare instance of such behavior in the ancient and medieval world) is more prevalent in recent times. To the extent that these contributions of the ancent indics are held in high esteem by the occidentals,,, it is because it is understood that these were contributions made by the so called Aryans immediately after arrival in the subcontinent and that such a creative and inventive spark was extinguished shortly thereafter . To quote W W Rouse Ball, the historian of mathematics

“The Arabs had considerable commerce with India, and a knowledge of one or both of the two great Hindoo works on algebra had been obtained in the Caliphate of Al-Mansur (754-775 AD)though it was not until fifty or seventy years later that they attracted much attention. The algebra and arithmetic of the Arabs were largely founded on these treatises, and I therefore devote this section to the consideration of Hindoo mathematics.The Hindoos like the Chinese have pretended that they are the most ancient people on the face of the earth, and that to them all sciences owe their creation. But it is probable that these pretensions have no foundation; and in fact no science or useful art (except a rather fantastic architecture and sculpture) can be definitely traced back to the inhabitants of the Indian peninsula prior to the Aryan invasion. This seems to have taken place at some time in the fifth century or in the sixth century when a tribe of Aryans entered India by the north west part of their country. Their descendants, wherever they have kept their blood pure, may still be recognized by their superiority over the races they originally conquered; but as is the case with the modern Europeans, they found the climate trying and gradually degenerated”

We remind our readers that such a sentiment was expressed as late as the beginning of the 20th century, after the renaiissance and the enlightenment.

In fact no study of this kind would be complete without a reference to the differing standards by which Occidentalists have concluded whether a particular discipline was imported or exported out of the Occident. We quote the Aryabhata group from the University of Exeter at Exeter in the UK in a paper delivered by Dennis Almeida, titled “Transmission of calculus from Kerala to the west”

“However, we are aware that for some unfathomable reasons, the standard of evidence required for an acceptable claim of transmission of knowledge from east to west, is different from the standards of evidence required for a similar claim of transmission of knowledge from West to East. Priority and the possibility of contact always establish a socially acceptable case for transmission from west to East, but priority and definite contact never establish an acceptable case for transmission from East to West, for there is always the possibility, that similar things could have been discovered independently. Hence we propose to adopt a legal standard of evidence, good enough to hang a person for murder. Briefly we propose to test the hypothesis on the grounds of 1. motivation, 2. opportunity, 3. circumstantial evidence and 4. documentary evidence”

Examples abound, especially when it comes to areas such as Mathematics, Astronomy and Linguistics and the discovery of the origin of scripts. In particular we cite the instance of David Pingree’s PhD thesis titled “Materials for the Transmission of Greek astrology to India”. Notice he does not ask whether such a transmittal ever happened. That is a given, a hypothesis that needs not to be proven. This is another example of a circular argument. Assume the answer in your initial assumptions and then claim that it is an incontrovertible fact

We begin our story by turning our attention to the question of why India has been a subject of such intense interest over the prolonged period of at least 2 ½ millennia

Garland Cannon is the standard conventional english pov. My preference is

Mukherjee, S. N. (1968). Sir William Jones: A study in eighteenth-century British attitudes to India. London, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-05777-one should of course read both

First effort of Jones (1784) and the secret planning
Two more attempts of Jones to destroy the Divinity of Sanskrit language and to mutilate Bhartiya history.
The fiction of Aryan invasion,
Max Müller. A paid employee, who translated the Rigved in a demeaning style. The hidden secrets of his life.
<b>From Academic Freedom to Intellectual Crap</b>
<i>By Shree Vinekar </i>

TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/23ttoa
This truly a must read book. Here is a review and excerpts from the book

This book forms a good source of reference material for the assertions we have been making in the South Asia File,. Prof Prodosh Aich of Oldenberg university has demolished the notion that many of the people who studied India over the centuries have any pretensions to scholarship or knowledge about India. It is clear that neither Max Muller nor Sir William Jones would have passed their PhD qualifying exams had they proposed their hypothesis about the history of india based on such flimsy and shoddy work. But such is the reality of the age we live in that an occidental heritage is the major qualification for international acceptance of one's work. it is this heritage and not the content of the scholarship that determines whether one gets published in the journals of the west. Clearly the dream of Martin Luther King has a long way to go before it becomes reality.

In a sequel to the South Asia File we will document the works of Indologists through the millennia and show that beginning with the Jesuits in 1540 CE there was a concerted effort to purloin the intellectual property of the Indic civilization while at the same time denigrate it as being of little value.

The work of Prodosh Aich is of great value in exposing the fact that the Emperor has no clothes (see Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales), and that the entire history of India is based on the work of people with meager scholarship in the traditions of the Indic civilization. I trust this book will be read by every Indian who can afford to buy the book or borrow it from a library


Macaulays, Muellers exposed
Satish Misra

Lies with Long Legs
by Prodosh Aich. Samskriti. Pages 404. Rs 650.

Lies with Long LegsIN his painstakingly long academic journey through mountains of source material available in Europe, Prof Prodosh Aich establishes that the entire understanding of India developed by self-claimed scholars from West is erroneous, since the initial attempt to comprehend ancient India through the Vedas was itself faulty.

He questions the validity of the works of the famous western scholars who translated the Vedic literature from Sanskrit into Italian, English and German. A vast majority of them did not even set foot on the Indian soil and those who came here did not learn the ancient language in an organised manner, even though translation needs an equal command of both languages. Since Sanskrit was not a spoken language, it was all the more difficult for them to develop language skills required for translation.

Colonialist Imperial England had prepared a concerted design to establish the superiority of white, blue eyed, blond, Christian culture over other cultures that they opted to define as "primitive", particularly in case of India.

Prof Aich uses juxtaposition to drive home a point and leaves judgement to readers. He frames a question and then answers it by using the primary source material. The book is bound to trigger an academic debate in the West also and would go a long way to establish once for all that the much-trumpeted and self-championed discipline of Indology in the West has in fact been based on falsehood.

It must have been a design that none of the scholars so far bothered to use the existing material, so abundantly available, which could have helped to unravel the truth about the colonial powers and imperial administration and bureaucracy. Scholars after scholars, even after the end of colonial empire, have continued to overlook the material that would have removed the well-laid myths about Indian society, polity and culture.

It would raise questions on popularly accepted theories on India, such as did the Aryans come to this part of the world from the north or they emigrated and then pushed back the original inhabitants to south. The book also puts a serious question mark on the anthropological understanding of the ancient Indian society as sought to be explained on the basis of the colour of the skin.

Prof Aich has dissects the methods adopted by famous Indologists for collecting material for their renowned works and made rightful inquires into their sources. A Jesuit father, Roberto de Nobili, in his missionary zeal, went to the extent of claiming that he had been able to find the lost Yajur Veda, which in fact was a copy that he had written to establish that there was indeed a relationship between Christianity and ancient Indian practices preserved and followed by Brahmins. In order to win the confidence of the local Brahmin community, he even called himself a Brahmin from Rome.

The author has put every Indologist under the microscope and exposed the majority. Comparing their descriptions with the writings of Megasthenes and others, the author shows how the 18 and 19th century Indologists did irreparable damage to the people of India.

Sir William Jones, celebrated as the Father of Indology in the UK, befooled not only his superiors but also the entire academic community by claiming that he knew 32 languages, including Sanskrit. He came to India as one of the Judges and went on to set up the Asiatic Society of Bengal, which closed its doors to the Asians, on January 15, 1784. He disseminated so much false information about India that an entirely wrong image of this ancient society was painted in the popular mind. German Indologist, Friedrich Maximilian Mueller, known here as Max Mueller, despite never visiting India, came to be known as the most authoritative Sanskrit expert.

It’s now beyond doubt that it was an English conspiracy hatched by none other than Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, who wanted to control Indian minds by ensuring that they should know, comprehend and understand India through books written in English. Mueller became an instrument in Macaulay’s plan to convince the majority of the local population that the English alien rule was better for them.

Macaulay had written in 1835 in absolutely clear terms: "We are not content to leave the natives to the influence of their own heredity prejudices..."

Till the l6th century, social studies, including historical studies, did not use racial terminology.

It was used later, by the British, to create a conscious divide between the ruled and the ruling classes, by bringing in words like "us" and "them" alien and local, Aryans and non-Aryans, Indo-European or Indo-German, so much so that a new discipline, "ethnography" came to be established at the European academic institutions.

Even physical descriptions like skin colour and types of lips, etc. were consciously used to drive a wedge between people. Stories of conquests were designed as the "historical justification" for looting, building strongholds, colonising foreign lands with the purpose of sustained exploitation and presented as an inherent law of evolution. The conquerors, the deliberate killers, the occupants, the exploiters were hailed for having brought culture and "civilization" into the "colonies". They were just following the pattern of the nomads on grazing grounds who came in some "pre-historic" period and brought "civilization" into India. "What could be wrong with that?

The book has exposed the western scholars who are never tired of claiming their objectivity and impartiality.


Discoveries, Scholars, Science, Enlightenment
Documentary Narrative by Prodosh Aich

To this book

Our daily life is organised by "Information". World wide. A continuously increasing flow of "Information" leading to more and more consolidated social and political order. "Information" is brought to us not only through the so-called print� and electronic media, but also by our environment, by the family, by educational institutions, etc. extensively. But, where does "Information" come from, where is it produced, who puts it into circulation, what are the channels, how fast does it reach us from its source? Can we really find out? Is it important to know all the facts?

These are the reasons, these are the backgrounds that made our search for answers to our rather harmless questions so difficult, so complicated: who the "Aryans" are, the "Indogermans" and the "Indoeuropeans"? Who they are, since when has their existence been known, how has it become known that they existed, who discovered them, and how, why and for what purpose? But we have made progress in our search. With the help of our unusual questions. And as it seems, we have banged on Pandora�s box and it is open now.



The impetus 7

Prologue: We are, what we know 9

What is happening to us? 28

Who paved the way
for the �epochal discoverer� William Jones? 52

Who is this William Jones? 119

Calcutta - Sir William�s Eldorado 155

All trails lead to Calcutta 227

Treading in Sir William�s steps 282

Epilogue: An era of brainwashing 383


And we know what knowledgeable people tell us. We readily accept a story if it is consistent, if it does not create a feeling of unease and if it doesn't contradict our experience and our knowledge stored so far. We save it as an addition, and we increase our knowledge a little. We are inclined to accept stories from far away fields innocently, otherwise an inner assessment is due; assuming that our memories function well, we won't have time to sublime contradictions. We are accustomed to this process. Mostly we don't care about who the narrator is, how he got the story, how he earns his living, who is harmed by the story, who gains and so forth.

We wanted to know about "Aryans", "Indogermans" and "Indoeuropeans". And we found many stories. Who doesn't know them? Most learned people know these stories found in "references" in "standard books of history" and in more detail in specialised books: The "Aryans", the grazing nomads, were, in pre-historic age, residents in the Steppes between the Caspian Sea and China's western boundary. How does one define "pre-historic"? Well!

Those grazing nomads had domesticated horses and cows for the time in history around 6000 years ago. They discovered copper, iron and other precious metals. They invented bronze and steel. They prospered. Their population increased. They expanded their "Lebensraum". Whose living space did they invade? We won't know. Who is to tell us? Is it important to know? Did they perhaps occupy "Lebensraum" of animals only? An earlier age of "discoveries" eventually? Nothing is known yet. If our type of questions was important, we would have found answers in the end. Are we perhaps on a wrong track?

Some of these grazing nomadic people with cows, horses, copper, iron, bronze and steel emigrated. So it is told. To the west and to the south. The circumstances of this expansion of "Lebensraum" are either veiled in "early or pre-history" or even buried. We can imagine why they didn't go into the inhospitable northern regions, into the cold, if some of these grazing nomads did really emigrate. But why did they not expand their "Lebensraum" eastwards too? No one tells us. No one has, for that matter, as yet asked.

But there seems to be no doubt about "expansion" of "Lebensraum" of these people. Naturally, as "cultured" people they had a common language. So the language wandered with them too. Some of these "Aryan wanderers" reached Northwest India. The Hindukush was the only pass through the Himalayan massif. How could these nomads from the Turkmenian steppe find this single pass? Wandering from an area thousands of kilometres away? Should we be detained by such "useless" questions? Isn't it solely important that they did find the pass? Otherwise they would not have arrived in India. Did they really arrive? Anyway. They were tall, strong, fair skinned, fair haired, blue or grey-eyed, and obviously "dynamic" as well. Otherwise they could not have made this long journey.

They settled down in Northwest India. They brought their language with them. Quite logically. This was Sanskrit. But without scripts. They invented the device of writing in India only. Had they had brought also a script with them, we would have found it in their initially native area. However, the Sanskrit script was found nowhere. Therefore it is deduced that the need to store their knowledge for future generations in writing was first felt in Northwest India. And they accomplished the job nicely. How long does it usually take for a cultural community to devise a script? "Philologists" or "Comparative Linguists" do not tell us anything about that. We must be content with the fact that "Aryans" from central Asia moving around discovered the Hindukush pass, drove out the inhabitants from this hospitable Northwest India to the South, settled down, acquired new knowledge, invented a script for writing and produced a huge amount of highly sophisticated literature. We naturally won't know where the initial inhabitants of the North forced the inhabitants of the South to go after they had been forced out from the North. Is it important to know that? So far, so good. In the oldest parts of this literature these "New Indians" called themselves "Aryans"; so we are told. We shall yet have to identify the "historian" who told us these stories for the first time. No one can tell us, however, why only those grazing Nomads in India should call themselves "Aryans" but not their brothers, sisters and cousins elsewhere in western Europe and/or the ones who remained at home. Why not? Shouldn't we know it?

Let us take it as a fact for the time being. We are assured that the "New Indians" called themselves "Aryans" and the language they brought with them was "Sanskrit". Up to now Sanskrit is universally regarded as the best arranged language. As Sanskrit has been found nowhere else, it is logically assumed that the nomadic "Aryans" in central Asia must have spoken a simpler version of Sanskrit. So we are told. This simple form, the early Sanskrit, Sanskrit in its childhood so to say, is called "Protosanskrit". Well and good. Those "Aryans" wandering towards the West also had to take along the same "Protosanskrit" Isn't it absolutely logical? Well, it didn't keep its initial form. The language and culture of the "Aryans" did change with time and through encounters with other languages and cultures in different continents. But the "kinship" naturally remained in regard to language and otherwise. So we are told. A convincing story.

It is supposed to be sufficiently established that there is a close kinship between Sanskrit, the language of the Northwest-Indian "Aryans" on the one hand and Greek, Latin, Germanic and Celtic languages on the other hand. The family of the "Indoeuropeans". So to speak. And who has discovered and established this kinship? Not those "Aryans" who passed through the Hindukush and created the world-wide known literature like Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Sutras, and so forth and allegedly called themselves "Aryans" in their literature. No! None of them, not in any of their writings, not even once has it been indicated that at some period in central Asia their "Lebensraum" became so congested that a lot of their brothers, sisters, cousins set out on a search for new space to live and emigrated in the end. No! The "Sanskrit-Aryans" did not remember anything else, so it is told, than that they were "Aryans". An absolute "black out" otherwise. The kinship was claimed rather late by the remote cousins and relatives belonging to the "Abendland" (occident); only while they were engaged in robbing and killing in the "Morgenland" (orient). They were robbing India indiscriminately, carrying away whatever was not riveted and nailed, occupying the country for enduring exploitation. But they blessed also their remote cousins and relatives first with "language kinship" and then the "Linguistics". This branch of "science" has also invented the term "language family", but only in the 19th century AD, to be more exact, between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 20th century.

Terms like "family" and "kinship" however, even when they are designed in the context of languages, develop their intrinsic dynamics. The "occidental" inventiveness was at that period quite effective. The distant cousins from the "occident" deduced consequently that if their languages were from a common origin, then they belonged also to the same family, then there was a "blood relationship" as well; even if this had remained in oblivion for centuries. This was how the "Aryan race" was added to the "Aryan language" hardly fifty years later. And we have also been blessed with further branches of "science": Ethnology, anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis, and so forth.

In the 1995 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica we can read about these inventions: "During the 19th century there arose a notion - propagated most assiduously by the Comte de Gobineau and later by his disciple Houston Stewart Chamberlain - of an 'Aryan race', those who spoke Indo-European languages, who were considered to be responsible for all the progress that mankind had made and who were also morally superior to 'Semites', 'yellows'� and 'blacks'. The Nordic, or Germanic, peoples came to be regarded as the purest 'Aryans'. This notion, which had been repudiated by anthropologists by the second quarter of the 20th century, was seized upon by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and made the basis of the German government policy of exterminating Jews, Gypsies, and other 'non-Aryans'." The second half of the 20th century has proved, however, that this rejection of the "Aryan theory" by anthropologists didn't have any effect. Shouldn't the anthropologists, historians, indologists, political scientists and social scientists of this culture have known from their own professional experience that a bare rejection rather confirms? As "makers" of a "media society" they should know that "denials" rather amplify the refuted statement? What has been undertaken by the anthropologists or representatives of other new disciplines after it was established that the rejection of the theory about the alleged superiority of the Aryan race had had no effect whatsoever?

In 1990 the second revised edition of the biography of German indologists was handed over from the "Max Mueller Bhawan (House)" in New Delhi. The German Institute for Culture in foreign countries is called "Goethe Institute". But in India quite interestingly it is called "Max Mueller House", named after Friedrich Maximilian Mueller. We shall deal with him in detail later. An impressive number of 130 German indologists have been referred to who are known through their publications on the "early history" of India. The youngest one in this "gallery of ancestral portraits" was born in 1931. There are younger indologists, of course, and a lot of young persons are engaged in "research" on this topic in Germany and elsewhere. Many books have been printed; the "Aryan race" lives on and is still going strong.

Helmuth von Glasenapp (1891-1963) wrote a lot in large editions about religion and philosophy. Here we quote from his book, first published in 1963, from "an unabridged paperback edition", printed in 1997 as a 6th edition: The five world religions. (He did not include Judaism!) Under the heading "The historical development" we read on page 29: "The old city Prayága (i. e. sacrificial site), which the Muhammadans renamed Allâhâbâd (Allah's residence) and as such familiar to us, happens to be the holiest place of India because both the holy rivers Ganges and Yamuná join here. That is symbolic for Hinduism: as it is according to its essential spirit also a merger point of two big evolutional streams, though emerging from different origins, merging to a new unit: one of these streams is Aryanism that penetrated from the north four millenniums ago to India and reshaped it to a large extent in linguistic and cultural respect, the other stream is represented by the indigenous element already before the Aryan immigration and has been maintaining its characteristic until today. The origin of Indian culture goes back to the creative synthesis of these two components; through them the Indian religion received its distinct mark, unique in the world."

Is it not pretty, light, and smooth convincing and saleable in style? Under the heading "The pre-Aryan period" we read on page 31: "The oldest history of India is to us still today a book with seven seals. Ethnographers accept that the oldest inhabitants of the Indian continent, which then did not have its contemporary appearance, were Negroid, standing to their tribal comrades in Africa and Melanesia in spatial and genetic connection. These are supposed to have been forced away by Europides coming from the north to the south and into remote fields and to have been absorbed by degrees so that they are not to be found today anymore in a pure state. Under the Europides, who, moving in several waves, took their residence in the wide country, ancestors of the delicate brown peoples which, with its inherent variety of aspects, had its seat in India talking in Dravidian languages in the south represented the most developed type. ... Fifty years ago (that is around 1913) the prevailing view was still that it were the Aryans who brought a higher culture and religion to India and that the pre Aryan inhabitants of the continent of Ganges, however, had been primitives lacking in culture. This view changed entirely through the great archaeological discoveries made since the years 1921/1922 in the Indus area. In Mohenjo Daro (in the region of Sindh) and in Harappa (in Punjab) the ruins of large cities were then laid open. The spacious buildings, artistic tools and form-beautiful sculptures found there betray a state of culture that was highly superior to that of the Aryans living only in villages that had no developed technique and art yet. This so-called Indus culture shows a striking similarity with the simultaneously existing Near East culture, on the other hand it bears again so individual traits, however, that it can not be considered as a simple subsidiary of the latter and is therefore to be taken as an independent link of the international world culture of the 3rd millennium. ... While some researchers are holding the Induspeople for Indogermans that belonged not to the Aryan branch, but to an older group of this language-family, most accept that they were ancestors of Dravidians and as such to be rather related to the Sumerians and pre-indogerman Mediterranean peoples."

Isn't it delightfully narrated? Why didn't Helmuth von Glasenapp come to the obvious conclusion that the results of excavation led to a thorough collapse of existing theories in "history"? Unfortunately we can not ask him anymore. But we can continue our reading in "The vedic period" on page 32: "Those Aryans who immigrated through the mountain route of the Northwest into the watershed of Indus and subjugated in continuous fight the prior residents of the north-west corner of India in the 2nd millennium BC, were warriors of a youthful group of herdsmen, who did already some farming, but knew nothing of town planning and of fine artistic work."

Our apologies for the long quotation. As mentioned, we are quoting from a large paperback edition. It has a pretentious appendix: It has a pretentious appendix: "Comparative survey over teachings and customs of the Five Religions", "Comparative chronological table", "Regarding the pronunciation of words in Asiatic languages", "List of the abbreviations", "Section-wise Literature and Index of names". A pure "scientific" book at its best. We refrain here from a subject-wise criticism. We ask simply: what were the sources of Helmuth von Glasenapp's stories, which he tells us in this apparently pretentious book?

So we looked at the bibliography. The first chapter "History of Religion, General Theology" has three sections. The oldest mentioned source for "Overall views" goes back to 1920, for "References" to 1956 and for "Sources" to 1908. The next chapter: "Brahmanism and Hinduism" has two sections only for reasons we don't know: "References" and "Overall views" are put together. The oldest source referred to here is from 1891 and in "Sources" from 1912. A critical review of sources doesn't occur. Was every printed word holy for Helmuth von Glasenapp? What would be the benefit of a critical review of sources? Isn't it rather depressing to note what is being sold as science? How does it look like in other "scientific" books? We have not yet been able to identify a different "science-culture". Therefore, before we go into stories, we have decided to put a few simple questions: who is the narrator, how does he earn his living, who supports his story-telling, who is benefited by his stories and what were his sources. The result of this practice is even more depressing. But first things first. We haven't been able to detect a single primary source in Helmuth von Glasenapp's book. But he knew all about human races and their ranking. Tellingly, during the "Tausendjähriges Reich" under Hitler he certainly did not suffer any setback to his career.

Knowing the modern-science-culture as manifested in the book by Helmuth von Glasenapp we are not amazed to note that sources have been referred to in the latest edition of the book, which were first published after 1963, that is after his death. Of course not real sources, but new printed products. In "notes" we are informed that "a number of other publications, mainly of recent dates, that could be suitable for further studies of the five great religions have been made available." We would have liked to know, which "spirit" has selected 'a number of other publications' and whether this "spirit" has also fumbled in the text. To make the book more sellable, of course!

In one of the "standard history books" in Germany, History of India: from Indus Culture to Today by Hermann Kulke and Dietmer Rothermund, 2nd expanded and revised edition, Beck, Munich 1998, first edition 1982, the same story reads on pages 44-45 as follows: "The second millennium BC witnessed, after the fall of Indus Culture, another important event of the early history of India, when groups of central Asiatic nomads migrated through the Hindukush pass to Northwest India, who called themselves 'Arya' in their writings. In 1786 William Jones, the founder of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta, discovered close linguistic affinity between Sanskrit, the language of Aryas, and Greek, Latin, and the Germanic and Celtic languages. This epochal finding laid the foundation stone for exploration of the Indo-European family of languages, to which according to our contemporary knowledge more languages belong to than Jones had assumed in the beginning. Since the late 19th century more and more researchers came to the conviction, that the origin of this Indo-European family of languages was to be searched for in the spread of the East European and central Asiatic steppe (We include William Jones in our list for later scrutiny).

The important findings of the early Linguists about the close linguistic affinity within the Indo-European family of languages were however overshadowed increasingly by racial-nationalistic ideologies, in which the origin of one's own nation was postulated in a mystic-Aryan race. This applies particularly to German nationalistic historians since the 19th century and recently also to nationalistic historians of India. This development led to devastating results in Europe and also resulted recently in India to vehement quarrels between historians and to heavy communal riots. It appears therefore to be appropriate in the context of the early Indian history, to speak of 'Aryas' in the German language, to distinguish the mythical primary race of Indo-Europeans of Northwest India more clearly from the ideological construct 'Arier' of recent times."

This quotation is even more cynical than the one circulated in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, isn't it? Are these "historians" not clandestinely trying to escape the moral responsibility for their so-called scientific doings? Even today they talk about 'the Indo-European family of languages', but do not tell us which languages are not to be assigned to this family. They act as if all those problems created during the "Tausendjähriges Reich" had been over for them since long. But do they really believe that it will work if they just spell the term "Aryans" differently? Should it now concern the Indian historians only? Can one be more hypocritical?

So, the immigrating "Aryans" bring the "Aryan" language "Protosanskrit" along with them to Northwest India. Then they refine their language to Sanskrit, devise the Sanskrit script and produce and deliver an abundance of great literature to the world. The "modern historians" specialised on this period and on this area are busy with their dating of events. What else could be more important than to determine precise dates when each and every writing was first published and to dispute on such issues "scientifically" with colleagues in the same field?

Since the emergence of Jainism and Buddhism about 2600 years ago the history of India is well documented. During that period Sanskrit was no longer spoken. The literature on metaphysics, on science, on history, the books (Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Sutras) and the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata were, however, already known in the 7th century BC. So the "modern scientists" concluded precisely that this abundance of Sanskrit literature emerged before the 7th century BC only. So far, so good. The conquest and/or immigration is, however, dated around the 15th century BC. How was this dating determined? We add this question to our list of notes to be dealt with later. The ancient Sanskrit literature could accordingly by no means be older than the invasion and/or immigration of the "Aryans", with Sanskrit as their language.

Rigveda is established as the oldest of the four Vedas because it does not mention in the other three Vedas. It is also supposed to be the oldest of all Sanskrit scripts composed around 1200 BC. We cannot see how a "scientific" fixing of the dates of these books could particularly enlighten us. We won't pass judgement on that. We only wonder why we are so totally unable to comprehend the stories told by the "modern historians" and indologists about the origin of Sanskrit literature. It would be unfair not to mention here that there is dissent about the dating acrobatics among these "scientists" as well as among different "scientific" disciplines.

It is agreed by all "modern scientists" that something like an "Aryan invasion" or an "Aryan immigration" must have taken place in India. How else would Sanskrit have found its way to India? Brilliant, wouldn't you agree? Where else would Sanskrit have come from? Do we find Sanskrit elsewhere? We do not know. No one can tell us. But one fact is striking indeed: the inventors of the theory of the "Aryan invasion" and/or of the "Aryan immigration" resemble the "Aryans" in their physiognomy. Is it just coincidence? We won't know. The diligent diggers, the archaeologists have yet to find evidence of an "Aryan conquest", however. On the contrary. Their finding shocked the "Aryan-looking-scientists" for a while but could not shatter the whole theory. Because the archaeologists are unable to disprove the immigration of a language. Immigration of a language does not leave behind archaeological evidence. No one can deny the presence of Sanskrit in India. Does it not brilliantly prove that the "Aryans" did at least immigrate into India?

And as already mentioned, the "Aryans" were tall, strong, fair skinned, fair haired, blue or grey-eyed. So they would have been absolutely able to conquer Northwest India if their immigration had faced resistance. There was no doubt about the presence of the "Aryans" in India. Every simpleton who visits India can obviously see the "Nordic race" in Northwest India. In the south on the other hand the people are of short stature, dark-skinned and dark-eyed. "Scientists" imaging the "Aryans" are obsessed in describing this physical appearance They were, as said, tall, strong, fair skinned, fair haired, blue or grey-eyed. People with these features are of course superior to others. Does the scientists' obsession not actually indicate an urgent desire to identify themselves with these "Aryans"? Is this desire rather an indication of "Ich-Stärke" (ego-strength) or of "Ich-Schwäche" (ego-weakness)?

Naturally the "race", allegedly inferior to the "Aryans", had also a name. They were "Dravidians". Unfortunately we have not come across such an exceptional "scholar" having the "qualities" of a Friedrich Maximilian Mueller, who could have told us whether they also did call themselves "Dravidians" in their early literature. Did the "Dravidians" have "early writings"? Did they have literature at all? We do not know. We do however wonder how the dynamic, self-conscious and clever "Aryans" obviously never compared themselves with the "Dravidians" in order to develop their own "we-consciousness". There is no reference whatsoever to "Dravidians", to "two races" or to "race" in any ancient Sanskrit script.

Shouldn't this lacuna have been noticed by the "modern scientists" and been reflected upon? Anyway. We are not yet through with the stories we are told. The "Aryans", having either invaded India or immigrated into India, displaced the "Dravidians" to the South, settled down, developed their "Protosanskrit" almost to perfection, devised a script, produced literature of high cultural value, brought this culture to the pushed out "Dravidians" and spread the "Aryan" culture over entire India. Helmuth von Glasenapp gave clear indication that the "Dravidians" too are not indigenous people (Ureinwohner) of India. They immigrated in the "earliest early period" from 'Africa and Melanesia' to India. We won't comment on this. We just take a note of this version of the earliest history of India. But we have many questions. It needs not be specially mentioned that we don't find answers to our questions in the "modern-scientific-literature". It is even worse. Most of these questions have not even been raised yet.

What was the numerical ratio, for example, when the "Aryans" sent the "Dravidians" scuttling South? Is it in the realm of imagination of these scientists that the more unfavourable the ratio of the conquerors or of the immigrants to the inhabitants was, the more difficult and more improbable it would have been to drive them out? The "Aryans" could not have passed the Hindukush in masses. Which routes could they have taken from the steppe to the south? How were the conditions of the routes? Did they encounter human beings on their way? Which ones? How much did they roam around until they discovered the only pass, the Hindukush?

What logistics? What were the prerequisites for logistic considerations for these grazing nomads in the central-Asiatic steppe? Were there any? Did these "historians" ever study a map of this area? Even if we accepted the story of "population explosion" leading to immigration, how could they have found and kept direction in a vast, unknown, incalculable terrain thousands of miles from their steppes? Besides, if, against all odds, the nomads did find direction, we should find these central Asiatics all over the place not just India. And to add to it, the nomads were no star gazers. Their eyes were on the ground or ahead of them. How did they suddenly learn astronomy?

And what has been told by Helmuth von Glasenapp? Under the heading "The vedic period" on page 32? " Those Aryans who immigrated through the mountain route of the Northwest into the watershed of Indus and subjugated in continuous fight the prior residents of the north-west corner of India in the 2nd millennium BC, were warriors of a youthful group of herdsmen, who did already some farming, but knew nothing of town planning and of fine artistic work.

Instead of asking at least a few of the many obvious questions, the "Glasenapps" describe how different the physical characteristics of those the two races, "Aryans" and "Dravidians", were. As already said, the "Aryans" were tall, strong, fair skinned, fair haired, blue or grey-eyed and the "Dravidians" were of short stature, dark-skinned and dark-eyed. Would it actually have been possible that the "Dravidians" were inferior to the "Aryans" due to the differences of their physical features and were therefore conquered? In spite of a vast majority of "Dravidian" people? Which question is more relevant, the numerical ratios or physical features? And how could those "modern scientists" determine the appearance of people of those "two races" who lived 3500 years ago? Is there any comprehensible method for that? Can there be a method to that purpose?

Obviously the designers of the "theory of two races" and their descendants do not only sympathise with but admire them and identify themselves with "Aryans" and their assumed physical attributes. It goes without saying that the physical aspects dominate their subjective evaluation. These designers projected their own physical appearance to the assumed superior "Aryans" and developed with it a common "we-consciousness" vis-a-vis the "others", whoever these others might have been. There are just the "others". And the "others" were by no means tall, strong, fair skinned, fair haired, blue or grey-eyed. What is not wished cannot be.

After the creation of the "we-feeling" the individual features develop independently. We don't have to remember the impressive meeting of Hitler and Mussolini in the movie "The Great Dictator" by Charles Chaplin, to understand the powerful motivation behind the internalised values, the all too prevalent misconception that "big" is "great". In the Chaplin film, the two dictators are sitting on a swivel chairs and, throughout their conversation, each is trying to sit�appear�higher than the other this hilarious scene brings amply to light that inferiority complex � a sense of security � is the root motivator of all dictators.

We leave it at that, emphasising the fact that every "we-feeling" presupposes actual or pretended positive qualities which "the others", of course, don't possess. It is irrelevant who � linguists, historians or indologists � when they pen such imaginary theories in the guise of "scientific" history, a classic example being the following: 'in the context of the early Indian history it appears to be appropriate, to speak of "Aryans" in the German language, to distinguish the mythical primary race of Indo-Europeans of Northwest India more clearly from the ideological construct "Arier" of recent times. In their purely subjective desire to hold on to the "racial superiority" theory � whether it be the beauty or the virtues of the Aryans � the author has thrown to the winds one of the key elements in research ethics: Objectivity.

The impilcite massage is that In fact, the "short-statured" persons are not just "not tall", they are also "incalculable and mischievous"; dark-skinned people are in fact "shady customers", not frank and open like fair skinned people. And if they have dark eyes in addition, who would like to meet them? Be they citizens or not, who would seriously think about integrating them into the "we-group"? A culture which has generated the superiority consciousness of the "blond-blue-eyed-white" people for centuries must also be named accordingly. We should no longer allow "experts on culture" to confuse us by inventing new labels for this culture. The "Aryans" could not have been Christians. Christianity emerged later. But who are the "Indo-Europeans"? Are they only the Christian descendants of the "Aryans" or also products of the blond-blue-eyed-white-Christian culture? Are they not more civilised than the "Indo-Aryans"? And a little superior too?

And superiority is not superiority if it is not constantly scrutinised and being evidenced. This can be observed when physical violence is used against those fellow-habitants in Europe, in "America", in "Australia", in "New Zealand", who obviously do not belong to the "blond-blue-eyed-white-Christian" culture. And in Germany, of course. Why do we have the public appeals of the celebrities against the infringements? Is it more than just "celebrating"? It should be added that all pioneers of this culture have not necessarily to be "blond-blue eyed-white-Christian". Not all pioneers/leaders of this culture need to be blond-blue-eyed-white-Christian. Take Hitler and Gobbles. There should not be any misunderstanding. We, the authors, also belong to this culture. We lack the essential features but cannot root out the internalised "values" either.

But let's get back to the original "Aryans" who are supposed to have started the whole affair. They were basically simple people, who 'were warriors of a youthful group of herdsmen, who did already some farming, but knew nothing of town planning and of fine artistic work', but nonetheless 'immigrated through the mountain route of the Northwest into the watershed of Indus and subjugated in continuous fight the prior residents of the north-west corner of India in the 2nd millennium BC'. They just 'were warriors of a youthful group of herdsmen. That was it. We wanted to know in which period all these things happened. But there is no concrete evidence. And what about the spread of this culture up to the southern tip of India? When did it happen? From the time of Vardhamana, the first Mahavira of the Jains and Gautama Buddha, the history of India is well documented. There is no evidence of any "Aryan" invasion, occupation and spreading of the culture into the diminished "land of the Dravidians" in the south of India. Apparently this must then have occurred in the period between the 15th and 7th century BC. Why was it not even mentioned in the extensive literature of the "Sanskrit-Aryans"?

Even if we bought the theory of "population explosion" among the grazing nomads, we would need to try to find out what section of population would be ready for a collective emigration: The "well established" ones or the "inferior" ones? Which of these two would foster the common language better: the established ones or the inferior ones? Who is inclined to emigrate? If the "Aryans" brought "Protosanskrit" to India, must we not assume that those remaining at home spoke the same language? If the "Aryans" abroad produced an abundance of Sanskrit literature, shouldn't the same "breed" have produced literature at home? May be not in abundance and in good quality, but some literature anyhow? Where is the literature of the "Aryans" at home? Where is their history? And why didn't the other "Aryan" emigrants, the Greeks, the Romans, the Germans and the Celts, produce literature similar to "Sanskrit literature"?

Then we would like to know how �modern historians� were able to acquire their knowledge. What were the sources of all these theories which are being served even today? In that exemplary German "standard history book" of 1998 we get a hint about the quality of their sources on page 49: "The dating of the texts and the cultures that produced them was vigorously disputed for quite a long time also among western Indologists. Based on astronomical information the famous Indian freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak has published in his book 'The Arctic Home in the Vedas' at the beginning of this century his belief that the origin of the Vedas was to be backdated to the 5th and 6th millennium BC. The German Indologist H. Jacobi came independently to similar conclusions and dated the beginning of the vedic period in the middle of the 5th millennium. Mostly one followed, however, the dating set by the famous German Indologist Max Mueller who taught in Cambridge in the late 19th century. Setting out from the lifetime of the Buddha around 500 BC he dated the origin of the Upanishads in the centuries from 800 to 600 BC as the philosophy in them had originated before Buddha's deeds. These were preceded by the Brahmana- and Mantra texts in the centuries from 1000 to 800 respectively from 1200 to 1000 BC. Today one dates the oldest vedic text, that of Rigveda, into the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. Since the Vedas soon after this genesis as a divine manifestation were not allowed to be changed anymore and handed down to our contemporary time by priest families verbally in an unbelievably precise manner, they can now be considered, after their dating can be regarded as being fixed at least in specific centuries, as historical sources of first rank for the history of the vedic society in northern India."

Impressive style, indeed. In fact the whole book is in the same impressive style, made more so by its "scientific" character. Each sentence, each paragraph is convincingly presented. The book, from the first to the last word, is a demonstration of the scientific character of the "Humanities". Who can still have doubts about its contents? The most important aim is to convince readers - no, not exactly. It is to make believe. The weak points, wherever possible, camouflaged in insignificant portions. And the debatable points which might lead to criticism are just touched upon, signalling that these issues have been recognised, but could not be dealt with in detail due to the lack of space. Right?

At the beginning of the "modern humanities", we suppose, it was more difficult "to make others believe". But today the means of manipulation are almost perfect. It is not that the scientists of our time have become cleverer and packed their messages more impressively. No that is not the danger. What is happening is we are increasingly losing our ability to recognise manipulations. It begins with the family, continues at school, on the job, in the subcultures and finally takes control of the entire culture. The mass media always play a major role. Nothing depends on the actual truth. Whatever is sold becomes truth. The logic is primitive but effective. The people wouldn't buy it if it was not true, would they? Have we already forgotten the media report on the "Gulf war", "Kosovo-air strokes" and "Afghanistan-crusade"? And the bombshells enriched with uranium?

We have to apologise because of these provocative sentences. We are particularly angry because we have long been victims of this manipulation. It will not make much sense if we describe our way to emancipation in all details. There is no point here in going into all the details. Rather, what is needed is to read again the following "exemplary" paragraph carefully. "The dating of the texts and the cultures that produced them was vigorously disputed for quite a long time also among western Indologists (What could be the purpose of 'for quite long time also among western Indologists' in this connection? Is it important to know? Is it not more important to know why it 'was vigorously disputed ... also among western Indologists'? Why? And what is the meaning of 'also among western Indologists' in particular? And all these controversial items in one sentence? Why aren't we informed in a simple way that: for a long time the dating was controversial among Indologists? And thereafter the issues of controversies? Was all this done just by mistake?).

"Based on astronomical information (Is the information correct or wrong?) the famous Indian freedom fighter ('famous Indian freedom fighter'? What are we to be conditioned for now?) Bal Gangadhar Tilak has published in his book 'The Arctic Home in the Vedas' at the beginning of this century his belief ('belief'?) that the origin of the Vedas was to be backdated to the 5th and 6th millennium BC (Did Bal Gangadhar Tilak give some reasons also?). The German Indologist H. Jacobi came independently to similar conclusions and dated the beginning of the vedic period in the middle of the 5th millennium."

The 'famous Indian freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak' is not easily available to us. However, 'the German Indologist H. Jacobi' is. Hermann Jacobi (1850-1937) was a mathematician. He got his doctorate in 1872 on: De astrologiae Indicae "Hora" appellatae originibus. In translation it is: About the origins of the term "Hora" in the Indian astrology. He worked with Jainic texts dealing with mathematical and calculational background. He was proficient in Prakrit and in Pali, both spoken versions of Sanskrit 2600 years ago in the eastern area in India, in the contemporary Union state of Bihar. Up to his middle age he remained a mathematician and natural scientist. He also wrote a Prakrit-grammar. He contributed an article on the age of Vedas on the basis of astronomical calculations on the occasion of a commemorative volume for the indologist Rudolf von Roth, which then was published in 1908 also in the "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society". In his published biography we can not find any indications about his knowledge in Sanskrit. Having gained this background knowledge the next three sentences in our exemplary paragraph cast a different light.

"Mostly one followed, however, (why so?) the dating set by the famous German Indologist Max Mueller who taught in Cambridge in the late 19th century (Was he famous because he taught as a German in Cambridge, or did he teach in Cambridge because he was famous before? Did he become "the leader of the (indologist)pack") because he was famous, or did he become famous because he had ascended to "the leader of the pack"? We would prefer to know instead how this indologist established the dating of the Vedas. Absolutely no indication. And what is more, there had never been 'a German Indologist in Cambridge' called Max Mueller. We continue in that paragraph.). Setting out from the lifetime of the Buddha around 500 BC he dated the origin of the Upanishads in the centuries from 800 to 600 BC as the philosophy in them had originated before Buddha�s deeds. These were preceded by the Brahmana� and Mantra texts in the centuries from 1000 to 800 respectively from 1200 to 1000 BC ."(Are these methodological indications or arguments? Instead they foist upon us that the famous German indologist Max Mueller could read these texts brilliantly, judge them and consequently deduce when these texts were written. Nothing like that in fact. We shall deal with Friedrich Maximilian Mueller, that is his full name, in detail giving special attention to his knowledge of Sanskrit in particular and to the knowledge of Sanskrit of the indologists in general. Now we can continue our reading.).

Today one dates (just like that?) the oldest Vedic text, that of Rigveda, into the middle of the 2nd millennium of BC. Since the Vedas soon after this genesis (had there been anything before that?) as a divine manifestation (A divine manifestation is always related to a person. To whom was the Rigveda divinely manifested and by which God?) were not allowed to be changed anymore (how could it be ascertained?) and handed down to our contemporary time by priest families (priest families?) verbally in an unbelievably precise manner, they can now be considered, after their dating can be regarded as being fixed at least in specific centuries, as historical sources of first rank for in northern India (Is this sensible reasoning?)."

How does 'the history of the vedic society' emerge? We also fail to comprehend the meaning and purpose of: 'a divine manifestation', 'historical sources of first rank' and 'the history of the vedic society'. Another aspect is striking in this exemplary paragraph. It applies adjectives and adverbs, positively and negatively loaded, as an instrument of manipulation, like: vigorously disputed', 'for quite a long time', 'western Indologists', 'famous Indian freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak', 'the German Indologist', 'mostly one followed', 'the famous German Indologist Max Mueller'. We were not led astray by this trick. We have frequently endured such fruitless disputes staged in order to scuttle essential discussions. Just to give an example, we all remember the quarrels about "tapped-records" being "illegally" published in many "democratic" countries. Mostly the public disputes were focused on the legitimacy of the publication. The essential question remained in the dark: What in fact did honourable democratic political personalities tell their political friends, opponents and leading administrators? Why should it be kept away from the democratic public? A diversion of focus as a technique of manipulation.

Again we must apologise because of a small naughtiness of ours. In the beginning we talked about "Aryan conquerors". Later we introduced "Aryan conquerors and/or immigrants" just like that. It was only done to get the reader tuned to understand the way we become victims of a common method of manipulation by the "historians". The 2nd section of that standard history book, The history of India: from Indus culture to today by Hermann Kulke and Dietmer Rothermund, 2nd expanded and revised edition, Beck, Munich 1998, first edition 1982, is titled: "Immigration and Settlement of Aryas". Now, "immigration of Aryas" is an event which was called "Conquest by the Aryans" till the first quarter of the 20th century. Due to absolutely unavoidable interdisciplinary rivalries among "modern scientists", the "historians" and indologists got involved into more than a dating conflict with the archaeologists. The archaeological finds refute the conquest theory insofar, as the so called war trophies as a proof of the defeat of "Dravidians" were unfortunately already there much earlier, before the "Aryans" were supposed to have had their "population explosion" in the central-Asiatic steppe and gone on their march to a new "Lebensraum".

In fact, this should have not only led to the collapse of the theory of the Aryan conquest, but also of the theory which claims that India is a country of two or three races. But 'mostly one followed' the flexibility of the "historians" and indologists: If there was no conquest, then there must nevertheless have been an immigration! By this twist the theory of the "superior Aryan race" was rescued. These "Indo-Europeans", no, these "Aryan-Europeans" were and are emotionally convinced of their own superiority. What would happen to them if the theory collapses? Perish the thought!

These manipulators of opinions know very well how deeply the racial consciousness is rooted in this "blond-blue-eyed-white-Christian" culture, which is still on the search for an innocent name. They are confident that even if they have to use the term "immigration" it will nonetheless automatically be converted in the mind of the members of this culture into "conquest". And their smug confidence has no limits. They do not even feel that while writing a little more attention has to be paid to keep their innermost conviction about the superiority of the "Aryan-Europeans" under restrain lest it be exposed. Thus we can already read on page 50 of the 2nd section: "The victory of the Indo-Aryas over the indigenous population seems to have been as in the case of other conquering nations in the Near Orient, based considerably on their sophisticated two wheeled horse chariots (ratha). The spokes of their wheels were so valuable and sensitive that the chariots were carried occasionally on ox carts in order to spare them until the beginning of the battle. The land-taking of the Aryas seems nevertheless to have been carried out only in a step by step manner and slowly. The reason for that might have lain indeed also in the width of the country and in the great number of hardly passable rivers.

The resistance of the indigenous population seems however to have carried more weight. As dark-skinned Dasa or Dasyu they are named in the texts again and again as the real adversaries of the conquerors. They defended themselves in fortified places (pura, later = city) that were mainly surrounded by several palisade rings or ramparts, or they moved back onto the mountains into their retreat-castles. Numerous hymns celebrate the God Indra as the «castle breaker» (purandara) and King of Gods of the Aryas who stormed the castles and killed the Dasyu intoxicated from the Soma drink."

Apart from the fact that these "historians" and indologists, who, in spite of the archaeological discoveries, let themselves be led by the "race superiority of the Aryans", our attention is attracted by two other facts that are not less fatal. By insertions of simple Sanskrit words these "scientists" create the impression that they are proficient in Sanskrit. Whether this is true, remains to be examined thoroughly. We will systematically track down, how Sanskrit and "Vedic Sanskrit" or the one that is just being called Sanskrit came to Europe.

The second aspect is still more pathetic. We recall the part of the quotation: 'The resistance of the indigenous population seems however to have carried more weight. As dark-skinned Dasa or Dasyu they are named in the texts again and again as the real adversaries of the conquerors.' As already mentioned, in their tales these "historians" and indologists describe the Aryans" as tall, strong, fair skinned, fair haired, blue or grey-eyed. As these physical characteristics are still positively evaluated and are in flesh and blood those of the members of this culture, we will also trace the time when these physical characteristics were applied to distinguish the quality of human beings and where this theory originated.

A very last remark on "modern humanities" to reveal their treacherous arts. Since the third quarter of the last century archaeologists in India are laying open entire cities concealed under the earth for millenniums. These cities were planned with coherent settlements, straight roads, play grounds with stadium, efficient water management, public baths, drainage, artificial irrigation plants, channel systems, dry docks and so forth on banks of mighty rivers later dried up by drought. These cities didn't have palaces and temples. An intensive discussion at least on one issue should have started. Is it conceivable that such a civilisation could exist without a language, without writing, without literature, without science, without philosophy? The answer is obvious. It is not conceivable. Where are those cultural achievements?

And what would happen if we had reasonable doubts about Sanskrit being the language of the 'Aryans who immigrated through the mountain route of the Northwest into the watershed of Indus and subjugated in continuous fight the prior residents of the north-west corner of India in the 2nd millennium BC, were warriors of a youthful group of herdsmen, who did already some farming, but knew nothing of town planning and of fine artistic work.' What are we supposed to do then? What would have to be done?

The impetus

The Faculty of Social Sciences of the Oldenburg University announced a seminar on "Might, Media and Manipulation: The invention of 'Indogermans', 'Indoeuropeans', 'Aryans' as an exemplary case-study" for the winter term of 1996/1997. It was a project of "learning by doing it". It was research at its purest�seeking answers to open questions free of any prefixed projects and unprejudiced by preconceived or prefabricated theories.

No one could have anticipated that the seminar would last for four long years, to the beginning of the winter term 2000-2001. And, the extensions were always on students' demand, though with changing participants. Some students were dropping out and new students were constrained for time. They had to go through the work already done � the collected material, protocol of the sessions, and their evaluation � and then develop new areas for further research.

When more than 35 students wish to participate in the seminar it is time for rethinking. A seminar of "learning by doing research" needs a manageable size of between 5 to 15 participants. So in the first session of the term a detailed report was presented on what had already been done and what the open questions were. Thereafter, only five participants were left. They decided to evaluate the results achieved so far and to prepare an interim report before proceeding to further research work. After the evaluation, only two participants remained at work. And these were not to undergo any more university-examinations.

They added new materials to fill up the gaps so as to get a comprehensive view of what had been accomplished. In this process the realisation came that m
Recent Exemplifications of False Philology By Fitzedward Hall published 1872. a review published in New York Times, February 26, 1873
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>They kept coming like ants</span>

I might remind Prof Witzel that when it comes to not publishing inconvenient rebuttals , his Indo eurasian group has definitely not been a shrinking violet. He has refused to print the rebuttal to his derisive remarks on the ICIH 2009. People who live in glass houses should not whine when others reply in kind. So when it comes to 'of course it was not allowed ' i say 'physican heal thyself''

So now the gloves are off and the real culprit is the "Hindu" . One can quibble about the fact that he uses it in an adjectival form. The intent is clear - to convey the fact that it was a Hindu list that was the key factor in his reply not being allowed The apalling bigotry with which he condemns the members of the faith by such a generalization is not lost on the rest of the population.If there is one thing the Hindu abhors it is the attempt to stereotype him in a broad category. Too often this individuality of the hindu is portrayed as a weakness by the Occidental and attempts are constantly made to compartmentalize the hindu into subcategories (the Aryan invasion theory was one of them) and to exploit the differences for less th an noble purposes. In the 19th century it was the attempt to paint the Vedas as a Brahminical construct, forgetting the fact that even those who were not believers in the Vedas were also part of the Dhaarmic tradiiton. We, the hindus of this planet are immensely conscious that the tradition which is continuously morphing itself , has the genetic longevity of a cockroach.

This fight is not over yet by any means. We are convinced that there has been a violation of the constitution in not providing us equal treatment under the law , and that the singling of the hindu tradition for special treatment will eventually be upheld as a breach of the constitutional protection of equal treatment uder the law. It took a while for the african american to win his first law suit in America and he did not win his frist case till very recently.

The misrepresentation of the Hindu has been practiced with great diligence by the Occidental ever since St. Francis Xavier instigated the Goan Inquisiton in the16th century, which resulted in the unspeakable tortures and death by hanging and burning at the stake of many thousands of individuals for over 2 centuries until it was finally stopped in the 1800's. The vatican made sure that all associated records were completely destroyed and granted Saihood to Francis Xavier for his part in the resulting genocide. It continued on as Robert di Nobili tried to pass himself of as a Hindu priest
If Prof Witzel thinks the fight is over he underestimates the tenacity of the Hindu. At kargil, the Pakistani captain remarked that the Indians had climbed up the sheer walls of the cliff like ants and that they kept coming despite the prospect of great bodily harm. 'They kept coming like ants' he repeated in a daze.

I hope Prof Witzel will continue to spout the drivel that he does, because everytime he speaks and writes we get a flood of additional recruits to our cause,

- Show quoted text -
On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 5:53 AM, Michael Witzel <witzel@fas.harvard.edu> wrote:

The discussion on this list reminds me of a summary I recently sent to a “Hindu” list. Of course, it was not allowed.
Therefore, here repeated.

Note that it also discusses some of the attacks against Dr Elst as well (who definitely is not a friend of mine). As this has come up on this list, for balance, this needs to be discussed with a calm mind, not in the uninformed and biased way that has surfaced.


Some update on the Californian school book question is in order.

As most of you will remember, the decision of the Californian Board of Education in March 2006 against changing the schoolbooks according to the wishes of two Hindu foundations VF, HEF), had been opposed in two law suits: one by the previously not involved Hindu American Foundation (HAF), and one by the then newly founded CAPEEM.

The contention of HAF about the content of the schoolbooks that they wanted to change (“different” rights of women, denial of early caste system in Vedic texts, non-existence of the Aryan “invasion”, monotheistic nature of “God” in Hinduism) has been thoroughly refuted and dismissed by the CA judge at Sacramento in his decision of Sept. 1, 2007.

He nevertheless allowed for some procedural changes: the rules of the CA Dept. of Education were to be updated to conform to recent changes in law -- since done.

However, CAPEEM, founded only after the fact, lodged their own, long prepared law case in March 2006, after the CA decision. Their case is described on their web site <http://www.capeem.org/pressroom.php>

However, for a year now they have not added any updates and details.

Well, since March 2008, they have been *defeated* in the courts three times:

* First by trying to “compel” me to deliver *all* emails that I ever sent to anybody regarding this matter. This was denied in July 2007 by a Massachussets court.

* Second, their move to get a revision of this court decision, again denied by a three judges panel in Massachussets on July 7, 2008 (case 07-2286). Nothing of that at CAPEEM.org, -- they only revel in their dated, futile attempt to “compel” me.

* Third, and worse, the Federal Court in Sacramento has now, in March 2009, dismissed -- just as the CA judge did in the HAF case on Sept. 1, 2007 -- all CAPEEM claims (women, caste system, Aryans, God, discrimination of Hindu applicants by the CA Dept. of Education). The judge did so in sometimes hilariously scathing fashion. See:

And cf. the summary on March 1, 2009:

The Federal judge, too, has just left open a decision about the *procedural* aspects of the CAPEEM case, which will now go to trial over the Summer.

In short, a total defeat of all unscholarly attempts to fudge US school books.
The procedural aspects do not concern scholars, just administrators and politicians.


CAPEEM–minded people had been warned by the Hindutva sympathizer Dr Koenrad Elst (Belgium) already in January 2006 –well before the law suits --- about the futility of their unscholarly claims. See Dr. Kalyanaraman’s now dormant Indian Civilization list @ yahoo in January 2006. Kalyanaraman, who had bold facedly lied about matters in the case, then denounced Elst for spoiling their game. And, major CAPEEM member Kalavai Venkat boasted --before CAPEEM was even founded-- that they had a winning strategy, and were guided by professionals. Well, we have now seen what that strategy was and what it lead to.

However, both HAF and CAPEEM persisted in their law suits in 2006-2009 and Hindutvavadins then shunned Elst (again: … he definitely is no friend of mine -<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->.

Lesson to be learned:

if you want to do something about the self-representation of India and Hinduism, do not claim absurd things but proceed from well-known facts. (Several times, I have actually supported some Hindu initiatives like that, and I am actually member of such organizations!)

But blindsided Hindutva attempts are doomed to failure, just as they were in India (by the election of 2004).

Instead, what actual sympathizers like Dr. Elst, or “just the facts, ma’am” researchers like me, get from Hindutvavadins, is a lot of abuse, defamation and libel. See the archives of this list and other lists and use “the Google” for checking the general internet:

Happy April Fool’s Day reading!


PS: Of course, if desired, I can upload the relevant *official* files in the list’s file section.

On Apr 5, 2009, at 12:33 AM, Dr. Rabinder K. Koul wrote:

> Sunil ji and Koenraad Ji:
> To be certain, I would like to point out that there were two California related law suits filed. One of these law suits filed by CAPEEM is still going on, and they have had quite a success in it. You can access it on http://www.capeem.org/ and contains almost upto date status on the case.
> Ravindra
> --- In ancientindia@yahoogroups.com, Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...> wrote:
>> --- On Tue, 3/31/09, sunil_bhattacharjya@... <sunil_bhattacharjya@...> wrote:
>> From: sunil_bhattacharjya@... <sunil_bhattacharjya@...>
>> Subject: Re: [Abhinavagupta] Re: California History Book Controversy
>> To: Abhinavagupta@yahoogroups.com
>> Cc: hchis006@..., IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, vedic_rentindia@yahoogroups.com
>> Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 1:54 AM
>> Dr. Elst,
>> You said
>> Quote
>> The burden of proof of your victory is naturally on you.
>> Unquote
>> It is you, who was the first to make the statement that the Hindus were defeated in the Ca History Text book controversy without providing proof. So it your responsibility to substantiate your statement. You may take your own time. I have told you about Mr. Glee Johnson's statement and you must remember that he was no ordinary person so far this subject is discussed. Now you want to escape the responsibility of submitting proof. I stand by my statement that you have made a hasty statement and please do not make any such statement without confirming.
>> You wrote
>> Quote
>> In reality, however, they were very much made by men, and the Vedas themselves are perfectly clear about this. Those Hindus who deify the Vedas are thoroughly un-Vedic.
>> As I told you the Vedas contain spiritual truths and Hindus venerate the Vedas. The Truths seen /experienced/realized by the seers were passed on orally in beautiful verses from generation to generation. Why speak the Veda alone even the Bhagavat purana is deified. It is called Vankmayee rupa of the Lord ie it is Verbal form of God. Being a non-Hindu you cannot perceive this and leave the deification of the Vedas alone as it does not concern a non-Hindu the way you said that the CA History Textbooks are of no use to you in Belgium
>> You also said
>> Quote
>> Just yesterday, I caught you on another yahoo list (IndiaArchaeology) producing some other typîcal fallacies, one of which you have just repeated here, if only implicitly this time. It is this one: making deductions about the truth of a statement or theory from real or imagined shortcomings of the person proposing it. In particular: you manage to find fault with me for not having procured me a new CA textbook, which would be of no use to me here in Belgium, to quote from to you; and then you pretend (this time only implicitly, on many occasions explicitly with a misplaced "so", "this amply proves" etc.) this proves the wrongness of my claim about the Hindu lobby's failure to get its edits into the textbooks.
>> Unquote
>> What kind of scholarship is this to make vegue statement? Please make specific statement as to where did you catch me. What are you hiding from the forum members. Please be transparent and speak out. Let the Forum members know about your self-vaunted scholarship. On the contrary I caught you. You told me that you were one with Mr. Francesco in his statement that the name Saraswati came from the PIE Selos / Helos. Now Mr. Francesco has failed to give any evidence demanded by Mr. Shivraj and you too do not have any answer to what Mr. shivraj has asked.
>> You stated that the Hindus were defeated in Ca Text Book Issue and at that time time you did not realize that these books are of no use to you in Belgium. And now when I contested your statement you are saying that these books are of no use to you. What kind of logic is this? I shall request you that when you make a statement concerning a group like Hindus please check it first about the truth before making the statement.
>> Kind regards,
>> Sunil K. Bhattacharjya
>> --- On Mon, 3/30/09, Koenraad@... <Koenraad@...> wrote:
>> From: Koenraad@... <Koenraad@...>
>> Subject: [Abhinavagupta] Re: California History Book Controversy
>> To: Abhinavagupta@yahoogroups.com
>> Date: Monday, March 30, 2009, 3:57 AM
>> Arun and Sunthar are of course right when they observe that the present discussion has badly degenerated and tends to import some of the typical flaws from other Hindu forums. To speak for myself first, it seems I have created the impression that Kosla Vepa was responsible for the attempt to deny Prof. Gunatilake the right to read his paper. Not so, it was the chairman of that particular session who interrupted the speaker on the plea that the political angle he brought in (and that was explicitly provided for in the conference theme) was impermissible. Among those in the audience who protested and ultimately made the chair allow the speaker to continue, was Dr. Vepa.
>> Now for another instance:
>> --- In Abhinavagupta@ yahoogroups. com, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:
>>> Dr. Elst,
>>> This refer to your mail of March 28 on the above subject. You wrote
>>> Quote
>>> You established for a long time to come the impression that Hindus are
>>> untrustworthy, wily schemers with a reactionary and obscurantist agenda.
>>> Unquote
>>> Please
>>> desist from ranting without citing instances.<
>> On the Indo-Eurasian list, several contributors have commented to just this effect. Steve Farmer reported that a publisher had asked him to scan a Hindu-written book on Indian history for (to unsuspecting Americans) hidden political distortions. They also congratulate themselves that in upcoming textbook review cases, as in Texas, Hindus will have no chance to get their way precisely because the authorities have been alerted to the danger of Hindu fundamentalism trying to distort the textbooks.
>>> Your very mail on the
>>> California issue shows how you demean the Hindus. In fact what you have
>>> written in the above-quoted lines apply to you and not to me. In one of
>>> your earlier mails you wrote that the Witzel group considers Dr.
>>> Rajaramji and Shri Kalyanaramanji as Buffoons. What sadistic pleasure
>>> do you get by demeaning others and that too without any facts and
>>> figures?
>> Again, you can become a member of their list and read along (though I expect they won't allow you to post messages, certainly not of the kind you're posting on so many Hindu forums and now also here). You can see for yourself that Hindu history-rewriting is only mentioned mockingly, except when it is described as a political (not an intellectual) threat. That doesn't require "facts and figures", the existing hostile opinion climate is itself the fact we're concerned with. And my point is that it has largely been provoked by Hindus themselves, with their arrogant denial of scholarly method as well as of elementary rules of politeness. To be sure, I am not demeaning "the" Hindus, indeed I have cited many in support of my own position.
>>> You wrote
>>> Quote
>>> So I stand by my diagnosis. On all substantive points, the Hindu
>>> position was soundly defeated, the Witzel side totally victorious.
>>> Unquote
>>> No
>>> problem if you do not see the truth or want to ignore the truth.<
>> In that case, the Hindu position was not defeated, and the textbooks now carry the proposed edits. The Witzel crowd, by contrast, was defeated and, not being lazy Hindus who prefer to deny rather than remedy their defeat, are now strategizing how to undo the recent court verdict. Well, please prove these points.
>>> Your
>>> attempt to depreciate the efforts of the Hindus will also be likewise
>>> ignored by the Hindus.<
>> I do appreciate the efforts of Hindus, e.g. of the British Hindus who produced fine textbooks upholding the essence of the Hindu position yet acceptable to the educational authorities and effectively in use in state-supervised schools. It is against that standard that I judge the CA textbook effort as a painful waste and the preceding Delhi textbook failure as a gigantic Hindutva-made disaster.
>>> Further
>>> you do not understand that when we Hindus say that the Vedas are not of
>>> human origin we mean that these are not invented by man and these are
>>> the Eternal Truths only seen by the Vedic seers.
>> Exactly. In reality, however, they were very much made by men, and the Vedas themselves are perfectly clear about this. Those Hindus who deify the Vedas are thoroughly un-Vedic. They refuse to stand tall, shoulder to shoulder with the Rishis as religious freethinkers, and instead deny the Vedic testimony to their human origin (being addressed to, not by, the gods) to impose on the Vedas a quasi-Quranic status.
>> I suggest we start a new thread to investigate the claim of "Eternal Truths only seen by the Vedic seers". Which ones are those?
>>> Further you said:
>>> Quote
>>> I'd have to see
>>> the new crop of textbooks to verify,-- and I note you don't quote those, only a non-committal oral statement.
>>> Unquote
>>> Now
>>> you admitted that you are yet to verify what is in the textbooks.
>>> Please verify and revert to us to admit that you made a hasty comment
>>> earlier without ascertaining the facts. You are also casting
>>> aspersions on the President of California SBE, Mr. Glee Johnson by
>>> expressing doubt on the reliability of his statement.
>> I have verified what is in the official SBE and court decisions on the textbooks, and they unambiguously ruled against the Hindu edits on all substantive issues. I have no information that textbook-makers are defying those decisions and carrying the Hindu edits anyway. If there is such information, please provide it. If you fault me for not quoting the textbooks, please do so yourself. Now you've put yourself in the position of a schoolboy who comes home and boasts of having done well on his exams. His father, who remembers the teacher complaining about Johnny's laziness, will of course want to see the boy's school report. So you, please show us the textbooks. The burden of proof of your victory is naturally on you.
>> This is one of the many breaches of the rules of argumentation that pop up again and again in the "rants" of Hindu textbook rewriters: shifting the burden of proof away from themselves. Just yesterday, I caught you on another yahoo list (IndiaArchaeology) producing some other typîcal fallacies, one of which you have just repeated here, if only implicitly this time. It is this one: making deductions about the truth of a statement or theory from real or imagined shortcomings of the person proposing it. In particular: you manage to find fault with me for not having procured me a new CA textbook, which would be of no use to me here in Belgium, to quote from to you; and then you pretend (this time only implicitly, on many occasions explicitly with a misplaced "so", "this amply proves" etc.) this proves the wrongness of my claim about the Hindu lobby's failure to get its edits into the textbooks. There is no such logical connection. The only valid way to
>> prove the wrongness of that claim of mine is to prove that the edits were accepted, i.e. to show us a recent officially-approved textbook that contains the edits. I already noted in my last post that you conspicuously fail to do so.
>> I thank Sunthar, who is not a paleface foreigner like me but very much a Hindu himself, for his patience with this unpleasant discussion.
>> Kind regards,
>> [Koenraad Elst]
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Michael Witzel

Dept. of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street,
Cambridge MA 02138, USA

phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295 (voice & messages), 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571;
my direct line: 617- 496 2990


पुराणमितिव्रुत्तमाख्यायिकोदाहरणं धर्मार्थशास्त्रं चेतीतिहासः।
Kosla Vepa
Indic studies Foundation
This probably doesn't belong here, but the contrasting of "Vedic and un-vedic" reminded me.

1. The following two items are from beliefnet. Beliefnet is some umbrella intrafaith and interfaith dialoguing group. It looks like the groups are only talking with each other (mostly within groups), but it's a monitoring facility to see what the current trends are.

My own inserts in purple

Hinduism is a descendant of Indo-European Vedic religion and the non-IE Indian traditions. Vedic Reconstructionism is a revival of the old Vedic religion. Warning: Hinduism being descended from Vedic religion often describes itself as Vedic, the majority of things you find on the web, will be Hindu or Hare Krishna rather than Vedic recon.

(The following lines are all links in the original "beliefnet" item above.)
Sword & Shield: Vedism Overview
Vedism Introduction
The History of Religion in India: Vedism and Hinduism
The Order of the Perfumed Scorpion
Institute of Vedic Culture
Hinduism Sacred Texts (just look at the Vedas at the top)
Veda mp3 audio samples

<b>Proto-Indo-European Reconstructionism</b>

(The following lines are all links in the original "beliefnet" item above.)
Nemos Ognios
Gods and Goddesses central to the earliest IE religion
ADF: PIE Rituals
MSN Groups: The Noble Path (Arioweghya)
IE Mythologies: Genesis and Evolution of Characters
IE Mythologies: Structure in Socio-Historical Aspect
Indo-Europeans and Indo-European (linguistics)
Journal for Indo=European Studies

Sword & Shield: PIE Studies Board<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Reading the following in full may be of interest for those who didn't know yet.
Note that the following expresses views FAR KINDER to Hindus/Hindu Dharma than most 'vedic reconstructionist' individus and orgs out there.

Over several pages starting at:

There are some links embedded in the texts in the original. These links are lost in the C&P-ed text below.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Vedic Reconstructionism</b>

Messages: 1 - 4 (13 total)

5/27/2005 2:53 PM  1 out of 13 

[This topic is in response to the thread Vedic Reconstructionism on the Learn about Hinduism board.]

As a "Vedic Recon," I would like to say a few things

1. The Hindu traditions are wonderful and beautiful. No one in the "Vedic Recon" community would ever say or even think otherwise.
(The use of "beautiful" as diversionary compliment means nothing. The arguments they give throughout this quoteblock are still for delegitimising Hindu Dharma including by negating the fact that the Vedas and Vedic traditions are an intrinsic aspect thereof. Instead, they want to extract it as an independent free-for-all.)
2. "Vedic Recons" are not seeking to replace any Hindu tradition or religion - ever. We are a separate movement, outside of Hinduism proper, and do not claim superiority over Hinduism and its' traditions. We simply aren't Hindu.
3. Since we are not Hindu, and there is no specific board for "Vedic Reconstructionism," there is really no appropriate place on Beliefnet to discuss this movement. If anyone is interested in "Vedic Reconstructionism," contact me and I can point you in the right direction and/or we can request Beliefnet accommodate the topic.
4. I suppose debates on "Vedic Reconstructionism" can be appropriately discussed on the Recon Debate board for now. I have posted these points, plus my personal responses to issues on this board.

A. What is the purpose of "Vedic Reconstructionism"?
The two primary objectives of the "Vedic Recon" movement is to:
1. Encourage the direct study and reverence of the spiritual and literal contents of the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Saamaveda and Atharvaveda - regardless of the practitioner's sex, birth, status, etc.
2. Reestablish the reverence and worship of the Vedic Gods, and the associated theologies, as stated in the aforementioned texts.

We realize that factual understanding of the ancient Vedic societies is limited. Though we may take into account certain academic and archeological facts, <b>it is not our purpose to debate the geography, ethnicity or culture of the aarya (e.g. we don't care how they got to India).</b> Nor do we, as a community, have any requirements concerning the geography, ethnicity or cultural background of our "members." We do not focus on the origin of a "people," but the origin of life, Law (Rita, as described in the caturveda) and the Gods. The Gods and their wishes are the most important to us.
(But that just shows: these people *do* believe the 'oryans' got to India.)

Language, practice, authenticity are important issues to which I have posted a reply later in this thread (see A Personal Response to Important Issues).

[conintued ] 

5/27/2005 2:54 PM  2 out of 13 

B. Why "Vedic Reconstructionism"?
Those of us who became interested in the Vedic Gods - as found within the primary Vedas (caturveda) - searched for a Hindu tradition that still worshipped these deities. Needless to say, we were disappointed to find that no one worships <b>only the Vedic Gods</b>, if any at all. We were also very disappointed to find that most Hindus, while stating their tradition is based upon these texts, had never directly read them  and had no idea what they actually said.

Also during our search, we found a large number of Hindus who, for various reasons, became quite irate and offended that we were interested in the worship of the Vedic Gods and the practices in the Vedas. Due to this common reaction, "Vedic Recons" had no choice but to form a new community - apart from Hinduism - so that we may read the Vedas, and worship the Gods found within these works, without disturbing the Hindu community.

So, that is the long and short of why the "Vedic Recon" movement has left the Hindu cultural context - it was ultimately the wish of the Hindu community.

C. What are "Vedic Recons"?
This section might best be termed "What 'Vedic Recons' are not"  but to continue:

1. We are not related (or even remotely similar) to Gaudiiya Vaisnava, ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement. For example, we do not believe in Hindu reincarnation, mandatory vegetarianism or Krisna. <b>We have no interest in the Bhagavad Giitaa.</b> In our opinion, the Hare Krishnas are far from "Vedic."

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupaada even went so far as to call the Vedic Gods "demigods," and those who worship them as "less intelligent" (e.g. see his commentary of 7.20 in the Bhagavad Giitaa, As It Is1). If you read the definitions of key Vedic deities in the lexicon of the same book,1 he specifically states that "Deva" means "a demigod or godly person" and uses this definition for the deities in the Vedas (e.g. "Agni - the demigod of fire," "Candra - the presiding demigod of the moon").1
(Swami Prabhupaada's claims on this do not count. He doesn't know the other Gods at all.)

In his book The Science of Self-Realization,2 Swami Prabhupaada defines Indra as "the king of the heavenly planets and chief of the administrative demigods." In The Laws of Nature: An Infallible Justice,3 he likens Indra to a hog (as according to a particular myth; no source quoted) and describes how happy Indra was with this stool-eating form.

He ranks Gods as demigods/men and raises up men and demigods as Gods (even above Visnu Himself in some instances). This is not "Vedic." Frankly, we feel this attitude towards the Vedic Gods alone qualifies the Hare Krishna movement as naastika according to the Vedas (particularly the caturveda).
(ISKCON is very non-representative: it's a recent movement, although it refers to a longer pedigree. The west only knows ISKCON, so it always uses them as a measuring standard or basis for comparison. And no self-respecting mainstream Hindu condones ISKCON's condescending on and ridiculing other Hindu Gods.)

2. Due to the use of the term "Vedic" by the Hare Krishnas, and for respect of the ancient Vedics, "Vedic Recons" are formulating a more appropriate and descriptive term for our movement. If we use the term "Vedic" or "Vedism" (vaidika), it will be qualified (e.g. Neo-Vedism, Modern Vedism, etc.). This also explains why I have put "Vedic Recon" in quotes. We have not agreed upon a term as of yet.

3. We are not a Proto-IE movement. We do not justify our interest in the Vedas or the Gods because "we are Indo-European too" (actually, some of us are not entirely "IE" in heritage). We are not seeking to generalize or universalize the Gods as IE. The Vedas and the Vedic Gods are Vedic. The only "universal" aspect we advocate is that the Gods may be worshipped and the Vedas followed by anyone, regardless of birth.
(Other 'vedic reconstructionists' clearly state their claims are because of IE.
In any case, the Gods are certainly open to all. But the rites may not be performed by merely those who elect themselves.)

[continued ] 

5/27/2005 2:55 PM  3 out of 13 

End Remarks
I did not post this [under the Vedic Reconstructionism on Learn about Hinduism] to start another debate on that board - these are just the facts surrounding the establishment of "Vedic Reconstructionism." I hope this helps the curious and relieves the Hindu community here at Beliefnet from having to deal with this topic in the future. The last thing any "Vedic Recon" wants is to upset the Hindu community or force them to address an uncomfortable topic. We always welcome comments, suggestions and criticisms from Hindus. I worked hard for the Hindu community here on Beliefnet when I was host, so I hope you trust me when I say, "abhaya" - I mean no ill will.
(Yes, interfaith dialoguing. Let's talk while we steal from you and delegitimise you - note that we do it in a "well-meaning" manner, so that makes us better, and hence if you protest you are being intolerant Hindooos.)

Some very pertinent issues have been raised on this thread and I have posted a response here on this board (general and then specific). Again, if you would like more information or you would like to debate the points of this movement with me personally, I encourage you to email me so we may communicate and/or petition Beliefnet for an appropriate forum.

Thank you guys for the great discussion. Please continue reading for more detailed information.

1 A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupaada. Bhagavad-Giitaa: As It Is. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Dominion Press - Hedges & Bell, Australia. 1984. (Page 266; 605; 607)
2 A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupaada. The Science of Self-Realization. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, England. 1968-1977. (Page 310)
3 A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupaada. The Laws of Nature: An Infallible Justice. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, USA. 1991. (Pages 54-55)

NOTE ON ALL POSTS: Transliteration is according to the ASTHA system on Sanskrit & S nscrito

5/27/2005 2:56 PM  4 out of 13 

A Personal Response to Important Issues (General)
<b>Some really great comments and concerns were raised about "Vedic Reconstructionsim." I will admit that some of us are more "orthodox" than others. I am probably the most "orthodox" of them all in some respects.</b> So, I would like to express what I have been doing to address some of these basic concerns. Please note that these responses are my personal views and opinions and do not necessarily reflect the will of all members of the "Vedic Recon" community or organization(s).
(Claims of orthodoxy.)

I have been studying Sanskrit for 10 years now, to the best of my ability, and will continue to do so until I leave this earth. I can fluently read in script with little accent (yes, I did finally find a tutor for pronunciation). I am not quite fluent in comprehension, but I am working on it.

And, in my opinion, no leader in the "Vedic Recon" community should be without knowledge of Sanskrit. Pronunciation is an important aspect of Vedic rites. The most important part is for <b>clergy</b> and laity to learn devanaagarii, the proper pronunciation (etc.) - comprehension is secondary and will come with time. This is being addressed within the community. I have personally made materials available on this topic including educational literature.

In regards to the reading of the texts - I do not solely rely on the English translations. I go to the original. I am also familiar with the various pathas. There is more to understanding the Vedas than simply reading them in as a collection (samhitaa).

I intend to perform the essential Vedic rites, such as the agnihotra, darshapuurnamaasya, caaturmaasya, etc. I have been working on the calendar and ritual schedule already, which include these rites. <b>I am also willing to perform the paashuka rites with actual animals, unlike what is usually done in India. Currently, I do altered forms of worship while I prepare myself fully for the traditional rites.</b> I am personally not ready yet to take on that responsibility technically or materially. I would rather simplify my worship than perform a sacred rite incorrectly or poorly.

As for the basis for some rites and cycles, like the caaturmaasya ("every four months"), there are variations of these within India. Some include a fourth rite, shunaasiiriiya, for caaturmaasya, which could technically make it "traimaasya" ("every three months; quarterly") depending on the timing (which would be per 4 seasons - instead of 3 - and coincide [generally] with the solstices and equinoxes; However, most Hindus recognize more than 3 "seasons" now anyway).

So, given the fact that in India, the various traditions do have variations for what is "Vedic," I am sure that having some special variations to allow for seasonal differences and local law should not be a huge problem. Ultimately, what happens is up to the Gods. They can express their likes and dislikes just as well as we can - sometimes even more effectively.

Anyway, a very intensive training program is being developed so that clergy will be properly prepared. Once we have enough prepared members, who are comfortable with the rites, and the resources to purchase land, animals and materials, we will establish regular services.

[continued ] 

  Vedic Reconstructionism 

5/27/2005 2:57 PM  5 out of 13 

One's varna was originally based on skill/certification - not on birth. If someone joined the community and adopted the law and religion of the aarya, they would be included based upon skill/qualification and profession (usually shudra). If they acquired the skill and/or certification later, they would then be part of the appropriate higher varna. There are plenty of examples in Hindu literature of parents being of a lower varna than their children.

I think there is an important point to make: "caste" (from Portuguese, meaning "clean, pure") is not the same as the Vedic varna ("outward appearance, form, figure, color"). As the term varn means also "to describe, proclaim qualities, etc.," one's varna would (or should, in this case) simply describe their current accomplishments and certifications, not restrict them and their progeny for eternity.
(Interesting that these people only learn all these facts from Hindus who have successfully defended Hindu Dharma from the accusations of casta and the rest. Until then, the same sort of westerners - including exactly such reconstructionists - had still argued 'caste system', etcetera. In fact, some of them still did so not long ago, as per a 'VR' site I chanced upon a few months back. They learn from Hindus even as they delegitimise them. An old tactic by the christowest and the christoconditioned that these 'non-christians' have inherited.)

In the Rigveda, there are multiple examples of requests for "heroes" - children who will do better in their life, beyond the abilities of their (the parents') own current skill-level. There are also examples of prayers for glory and skill, for the individual. People can improve in this life as well; they are not static. The Vedas state this.

There are also examples in Hindu literature (at large) of parents being of a lower varna that their children. So, historically, the "caste system," as it is now, was not always the rule.

We will regard the varnas in the same manner - skill-based. The varna delineation will specify qualification within religious worship.

No one expects the "Vedic Recon" movement to transform a foreign culture and time into ancient Vedic civilization. What people do expect is for us to worship the Vedic Gods, read the Vedas - know them and follow them.

<b>Within the Hindu community, the traditional Vedic rites are very rare and almost extinct.</b> I do not want this extinction to happen. If our community inspires Hindus to bring back the traditional Vedic rites in India, then that would be a wonderful feat. In my opinion, this would make my efforts worth a whole lot more.
(Hahahahahahahhahahahaha. Very funny. Sounds like they base their legitimacy on the assumption of the absence of the real legitimates.
The nerve: these people pretend surprise at the number of Hindus who still know Samskritam and stil practise Vedic rites. Yet it was the *westerners* - both christos and christoconditioned kinds - that have systematically discouraged Hindus from learning the Vedic rites and eliminated schools and persons doing so. Anti-brahminism, anti-Samskrita movements are all western after all.
This shocked condoling of "oh your loss is mystifying" is the same as how they play at being shocked at India's poverty after *the christowest* inflicted it.)

[continued ] 

5/27/2005 2:59 PM  6 out of 13 

<b>Specific Replies to Shekhar's Posts</b>
The following are some specific quotes from shekhar19 and my responses (please remember that these responses are my personal views only).

<i>[My family belongs to the taittirIya or kRshNa yajur-veda and the Apastamba-charaNa - I do try to continue the practise of the ?nityAnushTAnAni? such as vedAnuvAka-paThanam, at least to the best of my ability. (The recent observance of the SrAvaNa-pUrnima upAkarma kind of reinforced the importance of these rites for me.)]</i>

<b>I am really glad to hear you say this <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> Keep at it. It is very important.</b>
(And the condescension doesn't cease.)

<i>My understanding is that the people who have started this new movement of ?vedic reconstructionism? are westerners who are looking for an ancient and well-established religious system that they can regard as their own (playing here the ?we-are-also-indo-european-speakers? card), whether for personal ?spiritual? reasons or (at worst) the mere novelty of discovering something so old and ?exotic? to experiment with. My question is what exactly these folks are looking to ?reconstruct? for themselves?</i>

<b>Most of us are western, yes. It has nothing to do with the IE issue. We are interested in the Vedas and the Vedic Gods. All comparative studies done by a "Vedic Recon" is apart from and outside of faith and practice  a hobby.</b>
(Yes it is IE. Because earlier this person said they didn't care how the oryans got to India, assuming they 'got' to India rather than allowing for any possibility that they were Indian. They say 'it is not IE' when IE still grounds it, it is what indirectly gave them the interest to carry out rites that they <i>should not</i> be carrying out. Besides, the other vedic reconstructionist sites most certainly swear and stress "IE, IE".)

My personal reasons for being part of this effort: I have never been a member of any other religion (i.e. I am not a "religion-hopper," or dabbler). For 7 years (11-18) I stood before my parents and the minister and told them, "No, I will not undergo confirmation. I am not Christian."

Despite my mother's efforts, I read my first hymn from the Rigveda, along with other Hindu literature, at age 16 and then I understood the general direction I was to take and began studying Sanskrit and various Hindu literature on my own. I am now 26, turning 27 this year.

Essentially, I have been studying my rear off, trying to play catch up. This is not a game for me. It is not exotic. It is my life. I just want to worship the Vedic Gods in the most respectful way possible. I really don't have a better explanation other than my conviction.

<i>For one, although I am not a supporter of either casteism or ethnic prejudice, the fact is, from a traditional and orthodox point of view, it is a dvIja that becomes, through the processes of upanayanam, vedArambham and gurukula-vAsa, entitled to perform the vaidik kriyAs and, then to, after having received the appropriate dIkshA and establishing for himself the fires (by agnyAdheyam) after his marriage - and this rule was probably much more in force during the vedic period than it is now, when information about the vedas etc is more freely available to the public. How do the ?recons? plan to evade this aspect of ancient vedic religion (technically being ?avarnas?) and still maintain any sense of authenticity?</i>

I addressed part of this earlier (see Varna), but to expand - As for who can perform the rites, they definitely need to be trained and initiated. Training and initiation will dictate varna - not birth. So, the primary issue here would be the quality of training and the standards of initiation.
(These people deny the authenticity of the real initiators and trainers: they don't think there are any/many Hindus who actually know. Moreover, no such Hindus *would* actually initiate them.)

How can we ensure that those initiated to each level or station are prepared? What will they need to be prepared for and to what extent? What type of instruction can we offer to meet these standards? These are questions we are still trying to answer. If you have any ideas, general or specific, you would like to offer in this department, we would be glad to listen.


5/27/2005 2:59 PM  7 out of 13 

<i>Is the ?recon? understanding of ?vedism? based on perusing western translations of the vedic saMhitAs and articles written on the subject rather than actual (read: traditional) study of the texts in their original saMhitA / pada / krama pAThas and recitation in the correct svara, chhanda etc?</i>

In my personal circumstance - both  to the best of my current ability. I have also read Hindu references and interpretations, including but not limited to the very  let's say, modern interpretations of "the Vedas."

<b>I am interested in learning, from a trained Hindu, the definitive methods.</b> This opportunity has not been made available to me as of yet.
(At this point they admit they need Hindu help; admitting that it is Hindus who know the traditions associated with the Vedas. After learning, they will be back to proclaiming they are the legitimates and Hindus and Hindu Dharma is not. Stoopid Hindoos are so infatuated with all western interest/involvement, they may even be willing to teach what is not theirs to teach to just anyone and particularly not to delegitimizers.)

<i>And on a practical level, how do they plan to scrupulously keep to the strict ritual schedule of a vedic ahitagni with twice-daily performance of agnihotra, bi-monthly darSa-paurnamAsya ishTis, tri-annual chaturmAsya ishTis (which were based on an indian seasonal cycle) etc? Will they include such practises as paSubandhana (animal sacrifice) which hindus have since moved away from?</i>

Right now, we are carefully gathering our knowledge, experiences and resources and trying to figure out what we lack. I addressed part of this under Authenticity.

As for paashuka rites, or pashubandhana, yes - we plan to include these practices as closely as we can. We will offer actual animals, as the law provides. In the US, we can perform animal sacrifice  and if anyone wants to complain, we can point to previous Supreme Court decisions which rule in favor of animal sacrifice and to Jewish Kosher practice and allowance. At most, we may have to follow animal slaughter legislation if on public property. On private property, I don't think we have to do anything in particular. When the time comes, we will get all of the facts together for the relevant localities.

We can not, and will not, however, do traditional/literal purusamedha. The only circumstances where such practices might be "ethical" today would be execution for crimes (which we can not do because we are not a government body) and planned suicide (which is illegal, at least where I live).

I hope this expresses how serious we are.

[continued ] 

5/27/2005 3:00 PM  8 out of 13 

<i>Also, where do ?recons? decide the line between vedic and post-vedic hinduism is to be drawn? Do they accept the saMhitAs and brAhmaNas with the angas such as the kalpa-sUtras? or the brAhmaNas with the upanishads and the darSanas? Are the itihAsas and purANas categorically rejected (although the vaidik literature does mention them as a class of scriptural writ)? Are the regulatory injunctions of the smRtis even applicable to recons? How does one begin to decide where ?vedism? ends and hinduism begins?</i>

This is actually very hard in some respects. I am glad you asked. Though this is not an official agreement, I think the following is the general direction:

caturveda: The four vedas (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaaveda & Atharvaveda) are the basis of our belief and practice. The first three (triveda/trayiiveda) are the ultimate authority, while the Atharvaveda, being the later addition, is regarded as "optional" (i.e. may be considered with the remaining shruti).
All other shruti: these books, including the vedaangas, are considered aids to interpretation and instructional guides to practice but will not solely dictate basic theology or faith. The trayiiveda are the authority on <b>theology and faith</b>. The upanisads may be included in this section, but are "optional" (i.e. may be included among the smriti).
smriti: Recommended reading, but holds no authority on practice, theology or faith. This includes the itihaasas and puraanas.
(And all Hindu religious literature, if you please! All while arguing that Hindus who have always done the same can't be considered as belonging under the vedic category!
Western christoconditioning and the derived Rightist attitude is astounding. 'True' version, 'True' version. But meanwhile, we steal from you, yah? You will help, won't you?)

<b>Special Topic - Pantheon: as a general rule, the pantheon which "Vedic Recons" follow includes those deities found within the Rigveda. If they aren't in the Rigveda, but found in other essential or instructional literature, then they are either epithets of a Rigvedic deity or irrelevant.</b>

I think certain aspects of practice as described in smriti, such as the manusmriti, has value. I think that these books are important references on specific issues, such as ritual purity, training, marriage, ritual timing and appropriateness, etc. These topics must be dealt with and these earlier books may (in my opinion, should) serve as limited references topics.

[continued ]
<i>I totally respect the right of any individual to explore their own spiritual paths and learn about other faith traditions - but I have my reservations about trying to create some composite ersatz version of vedic hinduism based on an ?outside? understanding of it.</i>

<b>We hope to have input and participation from those with a traditional background in Vedic literature and practice. However, this all depends on the wishes of the individual Hindu. We can't force people to help or participate <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo--></b>
(See, they *need* Hindus to get started. This is so christoconditioning: same parasitism. But it starts off benign even as it denies validity of Hindus.)

Hindus that might be "orthodox" or "traditional" enough to be interested may also be those who view outcaste participation as inappropriate. So, it is like a catch-22. We hope to find those who will agree with the caturveda and the associated practices, but who also think that these practices, including training and initiation, should be open to "non-Hindus." That is our hope, but we also understand and respect that we may not find anyone who agrees with this premise.
(The only ones who know the traditions and are sanctioned to teach them will NEVER teach them to delegitimizers. This is because the Gods themselves don't want the delegitimizers to be taught.)

<b>Vedic Reconstructionism</b>   

5/27/2005 3:01 PM  9 out of 13 

<i>I am sure it will be entertaining and novel to be a part of some ?vedic ecclesiastical council? of the ?order of the perfumed scorpion? (say what??) and wear self-proclaimed titles like ?hotR?, ?adhvaryu? etc but I really doubt the integrity of such a movement, especially when the vedas are concerned.</i>

I can understand your doubt. Though they have already taken the titles (more as a goal than a statement of full accomplishment), the people you speak of are still learning about their positions. In my opinion, it will be quite awhile before all the positions are fully understood and filled. <b>Again, this is my personal opinion - I hope we gain traditionally trained individuals to help this process.</b>
(More parasitism: steal and leave for dead.)

<i>The very sound of the vedas is considered sacred in hindu dharma. They are literally the Sabda-brahman, and to lightly throw them around, mispronouncing mantras and clumsily attempting the performance of kriyAs is, from a vedic perspective, more likely to produce negative, even disastrous, consequences (vide. the story of tvashtR in the brAhmaNas). In fact the SAstras specifically instruct brAhmins not to pronounce any text in the accent of a ?mleccha?, which is thought to destroy its potency (tasmAd na brAhmaNo mlecched / asuryA ha eshA vAk).</i>

You are 100% correct. I am advocating the education of every "Vedic Recon" - at minimum - in devanaagarii and proper pronunciation. I feel this help dramatically because each character represents a sound - one sound and one sound only - which is very unlike the Roman alphabet and its' relationship with English. Regardless of comprehension, learning the script will help this aspect. From there, we can build up towards other specific goals.

As for the place of foreign language in practice - we all agree that allowances have to be made for native languages, such as English, but we have not yet agreed on what aspects will require Sanskrit. I am in favor of doing all traditional rites in (Vedic) Sanskrit only, and providing classes for interpretation. I think we all agree that there will probably have to be some sort of <b>simplified home worship, like Hindu puujaa</b>. This is where I think native language may really have a place. What do you think?
(But indology proclaims that Hindu Puja is a novelty, etcetera. Stealy, stealy. Of course home pujas or their equivalents are there in all TRADITIONAL religions like Shinto, Roman and Greek traditions.)

Also, this quote - 1. Where is this quote specifically from; and 2. could it also be a reference to or be applied to what Christians consider "glossalalia" or "speaking in tongues"?

[continued ] 

5/27/2005 3:02 PM  10 out of 13 

<i>I don?t see why people outside the tradition would choose such an ?exclusive? and insular aspect of hinduism as brAhmanic vedism for themselves <b>(eg. if a recon had to attend a Srauta-yAga such as agnishTomam, they would be treated as ?bAhirvedi? and not allowed past the boundaries of the yajna-SAla).</b> It is rather the bhakti-inspired sampradAyas such as the gaudiya vaiSnavas (represented in the west by ISKCON) who are more inclusive and welcoming when it comes to ?converts?, regardless of caste and background. Movements that have carried the message of vedAnta philosophy to western countries (such as the rAmakRshna mission) also share this attitude.</i>

I really don't have a specific explanation - at least for myself. I can say that I disagree with the vedaanta perspective. <b>I feel that the Vedic Gods and practices have been eclipsed and I am working to create a respectful context for them.</b> It will not be exactly as it was - in my opinion, no "reconstructionist" religion can ever guarantee otherwise - but I will work hard to make it as honest as possible yet work with modern technology and attitudes.

I wish that we could be included in traditional worship - but it does not seem possible.

<i>(I don?t mean for this post to offend, but these are just a few concerns as a hindu..)</i>

I am not offended. I share many of your concerns and I appreciate your posts <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<i>Creating their own artificial hierarchy of priests in imitation of the vedic one isn?t likely to have much authenticity or credibility outside their own ranks.</i>

This may be the case. <b>I hope that we can achieve credibility in Hinduism</b>, but I do not expect we will for a number of reasons. I will suggest we qualify our titles and certifications to specify that we are not traditionally trained, out of respect. This may be the best solution.
(Yes, like the earlier christians sought credibility from the Jews, and failing that....)

<i>It is quite another thing however to become scholars of the vedic tradition in an academic sense, as many learned westerners already have. It is also possible to help sponsor the maintenance of vedic schools in india and the preservation of the vedic heritage within the communities that uphold it.</i>

Yes it is (on both accounts). We always promote scholarship on <b>Vedism</b> (sick) and we will definitely try to sic Schools in India in the future - regardless of our association or cooperation. It is very important that the traditional schools continue.

<i>These are probably better options than attempting to recreate a half-baked replica of vedism based on culturally foreign interpretations.</i>

I thought about just becoming a <b>Vedic scholar</b>  but I want a tangible system of belief and practice to pass down to my children and their children. And, as harsh as it may seem, I just can't accept, "No," as an answer from Hinduism. I am not going to give up my conviction because I am not allowed to join a closed tradition.
(Why can't these people find their own traditions? Their real Gods exist forever, and so do their real ancestral traditions. When they search for their Gods, their Gods will guide them back. It is from their Gods that their traditions were derived and their Gods will help with the proper revivalism of their traditions, as opposed to artificial 'reconstructions' of any tradition.)

If that is what we create - "a half-baked replica of vedism" - I would say that is better than nothing. I can't sit back and do nothing because I was not born Hindu (of course, I am a woman and would not be allowed, at least as the tradition is practiced today, to participate to the greatest level anyhow). So, this is better than nothing  at least I will be following my conscience and I can tell the Gods I tried.
(Half-baked is "partially/half" done, right? It's not half-baked. It's simply incorrect. It's not a 'replica' to any degree in any sense.)

[continued ] 

5/27/2005 3:02 PM  11 out of 13 

<i>i do support the efforts of reconstructionists to revitalise their national and ethno-cultural heritage ? but i do not think the veda should be distorted just to fill out the spaces they?re missing.</i>

I hope you understand that this is not what we are trying to do. I cannot speak for everyone else on the thread or websites - but I can speak for myself - and I can give you some insight on the guys at the <b>Perfumed Scorpion</b>. I met the founders awhile back and we have decided to work together towards an acceptable <b>formulation</b>. I bring a unique perspective to the process because I have studied various Hindu traditions and philosophies in-depth and have actively worked in the community. They come from a different perspective and we are still comparing notes and working out differences.

Besides numerous telephone conversations, emails and file swaps, I met with them in upstate NY last October and they are sincerely trying to do the right thing. They are completely devoted and they are willing to put their money where their mouth is, which is rare. <b>They have committed resources to building a strong financial foundation for our movement, which will include temples.</b> We are moving slowly and cautiously  we do not expect all of our goals to be fulfilled in our lifetime. We only expect to set the foundations for a self-sustaining movement.
(But the indologists and their believers are always declaring that Hindu temples have nothing to do with the Vedas.)

Right now, we are in the process of sorting out a lot of information and ideas - which we welcome input from those knowledgeable in the Vedas and the traditional practice. The Perfumed Scorpion website is not 100% up to par in regards to process and is not a measure of where we are or what we will establish in regards to practice. We are still organizing - and we have not even revealed our name as of yet (it will not be the Perfumed Scorpion). Please excuse the present online gap.

We all know that we are not going to "resurrect" an ancient religion, but we are going to, inevitably (whether we like it or not), create something different. You are right - this is a different time and place. But we are trying to specifically lay out those differences and set acceptable boundaries. <b>If you would like to advise us and help us establish these boundaries, we would be indebted.</b>
(Yes, every 'let's interpret the Vedas the RIGHT way' ends up inventing a new religion, most particularly when the west does it.
And again, they're making a move on knowledgeable Hindus to help them get set up. In other words: to teach them everything, since they simply *cannot* know the proper way of doing a thing without Hindus having taught them either directly or indirectly.)

<b>You have no idea how excited I was to see your posts. It is truly hard to find someone as knowledgeable in Vedic practices, as you have demonstrated</b>, who is also willing to talk about it. I have spent several days writing these posts to make sure they were as thorough and accurate as possible so that you can get a sense of where we are, what issues we are dealing with (which you already know the important challenges <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo-->, what we are trying to do and to what extent. I hope that you will not be disappointed, and I hope that whether you agree with our efforts or not, that you will find some use in our goals.
(Check the condescension! "It's a miracle Hindus who know about Vedic rites exist!"
Actually, this Hindu - 'Shekhar' - ought to know he shouldn't be dialoguing with such people on this matter at all. Maybe it's naivete on his part, but no other Hindu would ever do it.)

Thank you for posting, shekhar. I truly appreciate it.


(Another posterSmile
5/30/2005 9:40 AM  12 out of 13 

An outstanding thread! Very extensive and informative.

I have had the unenviable position of being one of the more frequent posters on all matters Vedic. <b>This is especially sad because I am NOT a Vedic Recon. I was an Asatruar (Norse Recon) who has progressed into a broader Proto-Indo-European student, exploring the similarities of the various IE religions.
Having said that, my knowledge is limited to Western translations of the Vedas and the works of figures such as MacDonnell, Griswold, Keith, Oldenberg, and Doniger.</b>

I am glad to see we have someone more knowledgeable out here to handle matters.


5/30/2005 2:28 PM  13 out of 13 

<b>Well, shekhar knows his stuff, dude. It is truly rare to find someone with that much traditional experience and knowledge about Vedic practice. You are in the presence of a true master <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo--></b>
(Oh the HYSTERIA! Shekhar is supposedly RARE? Hahahahahaha.
And the condescension is <i>amaaazing</i>. Westerners don't know anything about the existence of relatively LARGE numbers of traditional brahmanas - Hindus <i>of course</i> - traditionally versed in the Vedas in India. Western people only know of ISKCON, Arya Samaj and other visible organisations, and hence draw the conclusion that traditional Hindus don't exist. But just because silent Hindus are made invisible by their silence does not mean they are non-existent. Fortunately, no such Hindus would EVER teach delegitimising parasitical pseudo-friendly orgs - that are friendly while they need your help to learn, after which they start badmouthing and invalidating Hindu Dharma and Hindus in order to corner the legitimacy for themselves.)

Well, I will be glad to help you with the Sanskrit part. Teaching is learning, dude... and I have plenty of learning to do <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Like I said up there somewhere, the best and first place to start is with the script. <b>Learning devanaagarii removes you from English and places you in a special space - plus you can read Hindi without too much effort.</b>

<b>A short plug about Hindi: I had the pleasure of hearing Fareed Zakaria</b> a few months back in Richmond and he made a great point. Most Americans learn Spanish or French. Spanish definitely has a purpose, but French - there are only 50 million French in the world, but it is #2 most popularly studied foreign language in the US. We still focus on French while just as many people in China learn English as in the US. Plus, India has 1 billion people, and their official language is Hindi.

With the rise of India and China, we should be learning Hindi or Mandarin - not freakin' French.

So, this is my point - anyone who learns devanaagarii for Sanskrit will also be adding a relevant, real- world skill to their belt. Only a few more characters, and you can read Hindi.

[end devanaagarii plug]

Interested? >Wink

Anyway - thanks for bringing up the topic of Vedic Reconstructionism. Hopefully there will be a lot more talk on Beliefnet about the topic soon. Should be fun <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

2. There was some India-focused list were a "sanskritist" (western person, of course) described himself as a "vedik" (or "vedic", can't remember spelling). In the same list there were other indologists who were talking about how Hindu fundamentalism was victimising muslims in India and that Hindus were fascist. The "sanskritist-vedik-indologist" agreed. Naturally.
I don't remember enough keywords to track the page, but IIRC there were also mentions of "Hindoootva" and more.

3. There used to be many "vedic reconstructionist" web sites out there. All westerners - of course - who think the Hindus don't know much about the Vedas. And of course, they knew only Arya Samaj and ISKCON to gauge what Hindus know of the Vedas.

The reconstructionists called themselves 'brahmins' or something ('real' brahmins, which they contrasted against the 'eviL Hindoo brahmins' who were still imposing the caste system on the other Hindoos in India). According to them, Vedas are not Hindu Dharma ("hinduism") and Hindu Dharma is not Vedic. Of course, their claims (and arguments for proof) came from IE theory.

I have long been (independently) of the same opinion as the following expressed by the Hellenes at ysee.gr:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Are you Pagans?
The term 'Pagan', which in the original Latin is derived from Paganus (peasant), is yet another insult used by the victorious Christians since the 4th Century, to belittle what remained of the Native Religions.

They used this to label all those remaining loyal to their Ethnic Traditions, to imply that they were uneducated and uncouth villagers. The term was used for centuries in most European languages to refer to the Ethnikoi. <b>In the 20th Century, it was reintroduced with the suffix neo (viz. Neopaganism), by various Christian-inspired devotees of Esotericism and the New Age. 'Neopaganism' doesn't concern us. It may even be a manufactured ploy to detract from the current world rule of the so-called 'Monotheists'.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Despite its inconsistent name indicating that it is a trackback of an original tradition, "Vedic reconstructionism" is neopaganism.
Reconstructionism is the process of recreating something that existed.
But neopaganism is a name for a set of modern beliefs/religions that people think existed earlier but which didn't, not in the way they imagine now that it existed then. (And some of the neopagan religions didn't even exist in any form in the past.)
Such a phenomenon happens when the canvas is made blank, and people are left to imagine anything and everything. Vedic reconstructionism parallels PIE reconstruction.

Vedic reconstructionism was invented during British colonialism. It didn't have that name then, but all the sankriticists/indologists - especially those that seemed a bit in infatuated with the texts and the language and the oryan fable - were all convinced they knew what really happened and what the Vedas were really about. (This certainty on their part derived from their assumption that their interpretations, based on merely reading and their study of Samskritam, was sufficient to suppose that they knew better.) They started the process of delegitimising traditional Hindus' knowledge of the Vedas. Now the lay westerners have taken this on themselves. It's actually a side-product of christoconditioning. They often go to India to 'study' the Hindus and their traditions and to decide where they are right and wrong. They often learn some sort of 'Vedic' practices (of course they learn it from people who don't know, because people who *do* know would actually NEVER teach them).

I am sure there are many Hindus or Indians out there who would take the above 'vedic reconstructionism' movement as a compliment and think this is somehow something good. It's not really. There used to be many "vedic reconstructionist" sites that referred to how Hindus did not know the Vedas, that Hindus had no right to say it was theirs and that Hindus were rather ignorant and were definitely not Vedic. Some were quite openly anti-Hindu - it somehow bothered them that Hindus made some supposedly 'illegitimate' claim to the literature and the 'Vedic religion'. And they all definitely believed that the west has the claim on the Vedas (that their ancestors wrote it somehow - using dollops of the IE story). At least one had written a book sold at famous online bookstores on the matter of the "real vedics", i.e. vedic reconstructionism. It starts off with how Hindus in India don't know ('lost the tradition'), that Hindu Dharma is not really related, IE and consequently reclamation of what is 'their' religion, etcetera.

While the above comments at 'beliefnet' are not anti-Hindu in the same manner/to the same extent/at the surface, the seeds of their antagonism starts from there: the beliefnet comments show they still believe that they know better, that Hindus don't know, that traditional brahmanas are very few and incredibly rare (even though actually traditional brahmanas are still rather common in some parts of Bharatam), expressing shock-surprise-sadness at the rarity of knowledge in Samskritam and Vedic rites when they ought to know who caused this (that it's NOT Hindus), their expression of how they wish Hindus would learn the 'proper Vedic religion' which these people have been 'studying and practising' properly. All this means they are already in the delegitimising phase. It's a small step from there to the next ones where the conscious and overt anti-Hindu nature sets in.

The term "vedic" as per western interpretations means a separate religion from Hindu Dharma and that the Gods mentioned in the Vedas are somehow separate. In Hindu Dharma, Vedic just means 'of the Vedas', 'versed in the Vedas', to do with the knowledge, rites, conduct, etcetera, derived from them and its times.

Many westerners who initially purported to reconstruct other European religions eventually leave to join a PIE reconstructionist movement. That's because their reconstructions of their original European religion (like the example case of the Asatru person in the comment above) essentially operated under assumptions of IE/PIE.
(As far as I know, the traditional Icelandic Asatruar as well as the Hellenes of ysee.gr don't do that.
They're revivalists and their traditions have survived and don't need reconstruction, or not much and which can be done successfully
But from reading different sites, I know that European Reconstructionists do assume IE: from Slavonic to Asatru-<i>reconstructionism</i> - they all base their reconstructionism off "PIE", and the alleged "PIE religion" and "IE religions".)
By using PIE, christowest has a lot of control over the creation and eventual abandoning of revivals of actual traditions. Belief in PIE in reconstructing religions means revivals are not genuine and don't last (because people are merely constructing an *idea* of some religion they imagine existed).

I agree with the following, with some additional qualification added at the end:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Does Ethnic Hellenic religion engage in proselytizing?</b>
Certainly not, we are dealing here with a clearly <b>ethnic polytheistic (natural) religion</b>, that is to say one that concerns a very specific Ethnos. <b>If a non-Hellenic origin wants to honor our Gods, then he is always welcome to decide this for himself, as we will never try to convince him.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Those wanting to honour Hindu Gods (and yes, Vedic Gods ARE Hindu Gods) do so properly: Not everyone (i.e. the christoconditioned engaged in delegitimising Hindus/Hindu Dharma, however 'kindly' they start off with) is allowed to just recite the Vedas and carry out Vedic practices. But that doesn't mean Hindus would interfere with their attempts. It's the Gods themselves who won't bother.
And even further off from the topic of this thread (apologies), though tangentially related to the above post.

Comment by another new agey neo-'pagan' to an article by Wendy Doniger:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dear Prof. Doniger,
Finally I would like to add that <b>I frequently worship Ganesha. I have just returned from a Pagan gathering in which one of the presenters, an initiate of Ammachi of Kerala, held a Kali Puja for us.</b> It was lovely. <b>Sometimes I worry about your welfare in the face of Hindu fundamentalism.</b> May my prayers for your continued well-being resound throughout the nine realms.
Blessings from Caroline Kenner

Posted by: Caroline Kenner | July 9, 2007 10:52 AM <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->1. Shows that while the person claims to 'worship' Ganesha, they mention some imaginary threat that 'Hindoo fundamentalism' supposedly poses to Doniger's welfare along with lovey-dovey well-wishing for the real and only aggressor in the case, Doniger. The person's comment adds to the aspersions cast about the very community whose traditions they need (to appropriate) for their own mental comfort (they are using 'paganism' as a blanket). The two-facedness of appropriation is a recurring pattern.
And by far most of these neopagan people that dabble in 'Hinduism' (including vedic reconstructionists) tend to read Doniger et al, to get the 'inside scoop' on what Hindu Dharma - and consequently 'paganism' - entails. They'll accept Doniger's twisted take on what 'Hinduism' involves, and their taste in this determines how they view Hindu Dharma and Hindus. Guess it's no wonder they react the way they do.

2. And again, a compliment on one hand ("it was lovely") while they villify or negate Hindus and/or Hindu Dharma on the other hand. Comparable with beliefnet's VR comments pasted in the previous post stating that "Hindu traditions are wonderful and beautiful" 'BUT it's not Vedic'.

I don't know who the "Ammachi of Kerala" mentioned above is, but she was not very discerning in her choice of who gets initiated. Self-professed 'pagans' dabbling in everything doesn't seem very sincere.
My goal as a Hindu is to make Westerners and their opinions about Hindus irrelevant. As we gain in strength and power, we will laugh at their opinions (& weakness). Even a so called "Pagan" White takes the side of their race when push comes to shove. Also note how the Western powers have deliberately been targeting Hindus for extinction despite our polite nature. They have taken a hard stand against Hinduism, so we should do the same.
We want the westerners to fall at our feet seeking our endorsement (Just the Macaulyites have been doing for the last 150 years)

<!--QuoteBegin-Husky+Apr 11 2009, 07:23 AM-->QUOTE(Husky @ Apr 11 2009, 07:23 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->And even further off from the topic of this thread (apologies), though tangentially related to the above post.

Comment by another new agey neo-'pagan' to an article by Wendy Doniger:
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dear Prof. Doniger,
Finally I would like to add that <b>I frequently worship Ganesha. I have just returned from a Pagan gathering in which one of the presenters, an initiate of Ammachi of Kerala, held a Kali Puja for us.</b> It was lovely. <b>Sometimes I worry about your welfare in the face of Hindu fundamentalism.</b> May my prayers for your continued well-being resound throughout the nine realms.
Blessings from Caroline Kenner

Posted by: Caroline Kenner | July 9, 2007 10:52 AM <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->1. Shows that while the person claims to 'worship' Ganesha, they mention some imaginary threat that 'Hindoo fundamentalism' supposedly poses to Doniger's welfare along with lovey-dovey well-wishing for the real and only aggressor in the case, Doniger. The person's comment adds to the aspersions cast about the very community whose traditions they need (to appropriate) for their own mental comfort (they are using 'paganism' as a blanket). The two-facedness of appropriation is a recurring pattern.
And by far most of these neopagan people that dabble in 'Hinduism' (including vedic reconstructionists) tend to read Doniger et al, to get the 'inside scoop' on what Hindu Dharma - and consequently 'paganism' - entails. They'll accept Doniger's twisted take on what 'Hinduism' involves, and their taste in this determines how they view Hindu Dharma and Hindus. Guess it's no wonder they react the way they do.

2. And again, a compliment on one hand ("it was lovely") while they villify or negate Hindus and/or Hindu Dharma on the other hand. Comparable with beliefnet's VR comments pasted in the previous post stating that "Hindu traditions are wonderful and beautiful" 'BUT it's not Vedic'.

I don't know who the "Ammachi of Kerala" mentioned above is, but she was not very discerning in her choice of who gets initiated. Self-professed 'pagans' dabbling in everything doesn't seem very sincere.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We want the westerners to fall at our feet seeking our endorsement (Just the Macaulyites have been doing for the last 150 years)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->What?
How did you conclude that? Not from my post, surely?

It has nothing to do with west or east, "white" or "non-white", northern or southern hemisphere ultimately. These are all distractions that christianism has created to protect itself: thanks to which people will fingerpoint anything except christianism.

You've chosen to fight phantoms, ignoring the real enemy that is still entirely safe from your gaze and your slashing.

The first victims of christianism were the "white" people. Greeks and Romans did not know of the concept and connotations of "white". In fact, they never even considered themselves as part of Europe - "Europe" was unrecognised.
Vikings were indiscriminate in going berserk, plundering, looting, assaulting, enslaving. And indiscriminate in friendships too.

The modern west is a product of christoconditioning.

The west is belligerent now because it is christo-conditioned. It is a disease that runs very deep and it affects even some Hindus to some extent (psecularism). It manifests in many symptoms.

Racism is a spinoff of christianism, hence it remains there in the christoconditioned even when they do not identify with christianism (e.g. various racist orgs).

You have identified the wrong thing as the enemy, and in doing so, you are excluding people who DESERVE better. You don't undo racism and christian-conditioned imperialism (which is guided by the "we can do anything we want to other peoples, gawd absolves us" - which still directs western policy even where the second part of that statement is now ignored by the more secular 'non-religious' but still christo-conditioned forces) - you don't undo all that by falling into the racist/christo-conditioned mindtrap yourself.

Let it go. One can easily feel such misdirected bitterness at times, since "white-ness"/"western-ness" is the only 'visible' part of the malleable liquid underlying threat (christoclass mindvirus), and it is human nature to want something tangible to reproach and hold at fault. But this <i>misdirected</i> bitterness needs to be put into perspective every time and dissolved. It is not good for you, it is ineffective and mistaken.
There <i>is</i> most certainly an enemy - something that IS guilty - and it keeps generating all the related sideshows like psecularism, racism, (neo)nazism, fascism, communism, conquistador type tendencies, modern imperialist forms. Find a way to fight the causal meme. Then would still need ideology overhaul (through replacement/reinstatement with ethnic natural traditions) to mop up all the lingering symptoms of the christoconditioning (racism, communism, neonazism - that is, the 'heresies'/new strains of the christoclass meme retrovirus which can now exist independent of christoislamism).

I find this blind antagonism to the "west" surprising - as if it was always the nemesis and as if its current callous and imperialistic (summarised by the term "white") attributes are intrinsic to it. <i>What the west is now is a product of > 1.5 millennia of social engineering and mind-warping of the native European populace.</i> Who knows how many today could have been like some variant of Emperor Flavius Julianus and other GrecoRomans. What the *character* of the west could have been by now. While imperial Rome was not perfect, but it was already slowly changing, and in 2000 years (in time for now) it could have become far better. Instead it was forced on a different, ruthless path, eventually dragging all of Europe and the rest of the world with it.
So who knows what the world would have been like. Wars, likely, yes. Cruelty, yes - as always. But not this total destruction of the mind and crushing of the spirit in an evil nightmare haze caused by the terrorist meme of total intolerance. The meme has meant nothing but death for humanity - not just physical death, not just the death of naturally-derived (indigenous) civilisations. It has to go.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->AgniVayu: Even a so called "Pagan" White takes the side of their race when push comes to shove.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->The example I gave, which you refer to, was clearly labelled "new-agey neo-pagan":
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Husky: Comment by another <b>new agey neo-'pagan' </b>to an article by Wendy Doniger<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
And I already wrote in that post which you excerpted it from that:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I have long been (independently) of the same opinion as the following expressed by the Hellenes at ysee.gr:
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Are you Pagans?</b>
The term 'Pagan', which in the original Latin is derived from Paganus (peasant), is yet another insult used by the victorious Christians since the 4th Century, to belittle what remained of the Native Religions.

They used this to label all those remaining loyal to their Ethnic Traditions, to imply that they were uneducated and uncouth villagers. The term was used for centuries in most European languages to refer to the Ethnikoi. <b>In the 20th Century, it was reintroduced with the suffix neo (viz. Neopaganism), by various Christian-inspired devotees of Esotericism and the New Age. 'Neopaganism' doesn't concern us. It may even be a manufactured ploy to detract from the current world rule of the so-called 'Monotheists'.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The Hellenes at ysee.gr are supportive of all true natural traditionalists in the world. They also gave moral support to the Tibetans protesting the Chinese olympics. By your description, they are "white" so-called "pagans" too. And so, your accusation, being too general, injures those that don't remotely deserve it - merely by association.

Here's a sensible comment I read recently that comes directly to the point:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Harish said...

    I wonder if Radha Rajan would be fine tomorrow with the Church if all "whites" disappeared from this world & "blacks" took over the Church hierarchy?

    Instead of focusing on ideas she prefers to focus on "race" to obsfucate the real problem, similar to Rajiv Malhotra's "whiteness studies" where he claims that Xtianity is fine, it's the fact that whites dominate it thats the problem.

    The White Church started among a bunch of disgruntled Hebrews in the ME (far from "white" as understood today), it was viewed with contempt by the white rulers of the Roman empire & rejected for nearly 3 centuries until Constantine, even after that the white Emperor Julian who had nothing but contempt for Xtianity tried to restore the Hellenic religion but didn't live long enough to see his dream fulfilled. The first ones to thoroughly critique Xtianity & reject it with disgust were whites like Celsus. In comparison the "brown" Hindus in India adopted a nonchalant attitude about Islam & Xtianity for over a thousand years while being massacred by followers of these two cults, the supposed intellectual heads of the Hindu society (i.e the Brahmins) failed miserably in putting forth any intellegent critique of Xtianity until Dayananda Saraswati the founder of Arya Samaj in mid 19th century along with Arumuga Navalar (a Vellalar from Eezham) in the South.

    It may interest Radha Rajan to know that the white church also expanded by brute force in lily white northern europe over the centuries.

    I wonder how Xtianity became the "white race's religion", so tomorrow if enough Indians become Xtians through force & forget their Hindu past then Xtianity is the bonafide religion of the Indian race?

    The problem with Christianity is not whether it's followed mainly by white people or black people or martians. The real problem is that it's central truth claim that Jesus died for our sins is not true, add to this the intolerance inherent in this cult. These are the real problems.

    It's funny that the same Hindus railing about white this & white that often nurture fantasies of Jesus as some good boy Yogi (eg: Rajiv Malhotra) whereas they have no clue of someone like Marcus Aurelius who is much more closer to a Yogi than the mythical Jesus could ever hope to be.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->See, respectful mentions of Marcus Aurelius, Flavius Julianus. I can only nod in approval.

<b>I think this <i>is</i> my fault actually.</b> I probably don't qualify my statements. Like how I <i>should</i> always say "catholic Croatians" (and later communist Croatians) when referring to those who tortured and genocided the orthodox Serbs.
Likewise, I should properly explain what I mean when I say "west" accusingly. I mean "christoconditioned west" each time.
Indologist "Arnaud Fournet" insults Indians

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This article is fairly good.

I have already opted out of Akandaram list, which I will describe as a
psychiatric hospital.
I'm not sur the other "Indian" lists are any better.

It's really amazing that India is such a mentally sick country, obsessed
with racism and all those absurd theories.
I was not aware of that.
Most of you are mentally **sick**
I think I understand better the social clashes that keep happening over
It's quite inevitable with such a mind-set.


<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Jun 25 2009, 07:17 PM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Jun 25 2009, 07:17 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Indologist "Arnaud Fournet" insults Indians
I don't remember who, but someone had mentioned that love and interest these Indologists claim to have for India-Hindu-Indic culture & civilization is similar to the love a pedophile has towards children.
He He Stupid losers like these make me laugh.
They can shoot their mouth off for maybe another 20 years.
With India's GDP at $30 Trillion, I think they will piss in their pants.

<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Jun 26 2009, 06:57 PM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Jun 26 2009, 06:57 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Jun 25 2009, 07:17 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dhu @ Jun 25 2009, 07:17 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Indologist "Arnaud Fournet" insults Indians
I don't remember who, but someone had mentioned that love and interest these Indologists claim to have for India-Hindu-Indic culture & civilization is similar to the love a pedophile has towards children.
From Pioneer, 6 July 2009

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->AGENDA | Sunday, July 5, 2009 | Email | Print |

Shedding colonial baggage

<b>BB Kumar’s book is a rich collection of materials and painstaking analysis, writes Satya Mitra Dubey</b>

India: Caste, Culture and Traditions
Author: BB Kumar
Publisher: Yash Publications
Price: Rs 2,100

<b>Author BB Kumar, being a teacher, an academic administrator in the field of higher education, an active researcher with training in anthropology, with his natural inclination for a textual and empirical understanding of Indian society mixed with first hand familiarity with the linguistic, socio-cultural and political problems of the tribes of the Northeast, can easily depend on his experience and study to write a book on Indian castes, culture and traditions.</b>

According to him, <b>“The confusion of the average Indian about our social structure, culture and tradition is enormous. The root cause is our culture and tradition illiteracy that is quite high in society, especially among our university degree holders. One reason for this is the continuance of the old colonial education in our country even after Independence.” </b>

<b>Kumar is of the view that social science disciplines such as anthropology, history and Indology, apart from the mindset of a large section of educated Indians, are coloured by colonial misinterpretations.</b> This is primarily the motivating factor for writing this book. <b>“Efforts should be made to get our social sciences and education rid of the all pervasive colonial hangover without any delay. The book, written with this perspective in mind, tries to inform about Indian social structures — varna and caste — and the various other aspects of our culture and tradition in the succeeding chapters,” Kumar says.</b>

<b>Al Beruni mentions only four castes and eight outcastes in Hindu society and the fact that all the four castes, as observed by him, had no hesitation in eating together, Kumar says, indicates that the caste system in its present form is a post-Turk phenomenon. The constant invasions, wars, defeats and reprisals in the medieval period generated insularity among Hindus, leading to the hardening of commensality and extreme forms of the notions of purity and pollution.</b>

<b>The early administrators of East India Company were primarily interested in profit through loot, expansion and consolidation of the British Empire.</b> <b>The well-integrated Indian society and stable village communities were portrayed in their reports, monographs and surveys as consisting of isolated, mutually-exclusive castes, tribes, communities, linguistic groups, sects, religions and mass of people geographically scattered and racially distinct.</b>

<b>Some of the early Western translators of Sanskrit texts into English deliberately misinterpreted the philosophical and religious concepts. By this the main purpose was to strengthen colonial rule, propagate Christianity and convert Indians. To achieve these objectives, Indian customs and traditions were degraded.</b>

Going through these bold assertions, a natural question may arise: <b>Has Kumar offered sustainable evidence to prove his line of argument? Yes.</b>

The author recognises the valuable contributions made by William Jones and a host of other scholars and administrators. But at the same time, <b>he points to the negative, distorted and motivated pictures of Indian society as presented by Abbe JA Dubois, Max Mueller, James Mill, ET Dalton, HH Risley, among others. </b>

<b>James Mill’s History of British India was recommended as a basic text for candidates of the Indian Civil Service.</b> Even a pro-colonial scholar like <b>Max Mueller calls this book “most mischievous”. According to a well-known Sanskrit scholar, Prof Wilson: “Mill, in his estimate of Hindu character, is guided by Dubois … Orme and Buchanan, Tenant and Ward, all of them neither very competent nor very unprejudiced judges. Mill, however, picks out all that is most unfavourable from their works and omits the qualifications which these writers felt bound to give to their wholesale condemnation of the Hindus.”</b>

<b>Brahmins, being the intellectual class in India, were especially targeted. Dubois considered them the greatest hurdle in winning “India for Christ”. The Boden Professorship of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford was established to translate Sanskrit books into English so as to enable the British to proceed in the conversion of the natives of India to the Christian religion. Macaulay, who had a design of “proselytisation through education”, proposed to pay £10,000 to Max Mueller for translating the Rig Veda in such a manner that it would destroy the belief of Hindus in the Vedic religion.</b>

In Kumar’s assessment, in the early phases, the process of differentiation and stratification based on the varna system was positive. The varna system played significant roles in division of labour in Indian society and helped in organising occupational structure. Its contributions were pivotal in the socio-cultural integration of Indian society. <b>The present degraded form of rigid and untouchabilty-based caste system is the product of the latter phases.</b> In the first decades of the 20th century, such views were strongly upheld by scholars like Bhagwan Das and Anand K Coomaswami. Even Mahatma Gandhi had highlighted the positive roles of varna and caste.

The author has tried to discuss different aspects of caste in different chapters with special emphasis on its relationship with varna, professions and mobility, clan and marriage, food taboos and commensality, caste clusters, socio-religious practices, panchayats and castes and the caste-tribe continuum. There are chapters on deities and priests, the jajmani relationship and Scheduled Castes.

In the evaluation of any work, there are bound to be different opinions. This book, too, is not an exception. For its rich collection of materials and painstaking analysis, this book deserves admiration. At the same time, in this era of ideological controversies and political motivations, some others may find it tradition-oriented.

Both these stands will make this book more readable and valuable.

The writer is a senior sociologist and political analyst
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It's really amazing that India is such a mentally sick country, obsessed
with racism and all those absurd <b>theories</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Look at his words. According to this fellow Arnaud, the 'experience' of the colonized is on the level of "theory/beliefs" and can be "evaluated" as such. In "theory" everything is possible, even the pedophile priest can be made to "love" the child if appropriately "defined". Is it any surprise, then, that these analysts are being accused of robbing the colonized of their experiences, both in the noncolonized past and in the colonized present. That is, these orientalists colonize not only the present but the past as well.

The past native traditions are transformed into a variant of the demonized Judaism (Aryan/Israelite "history") and the sepoy future into a variant of Christianity (where the imperialist's identity is unknown, forgotten, hidden).

An Indian was unfortunately tempted to reply to Arnaud's "message" and Arnaud then replies with this gem:


<b>I'm not at all racist,
and I've been married with a Chinese girl for years.</b>

So I certainly will not apologize for anything, least alone for being
supposedly "racist"
The continous outpour of absurd racist statements and distortions does not
emanate from me.
If you have a zero tolerance for racism, I wonder why you don't make the
same demand for some of other listees :

Best regards.


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