Sujeeth, an Indian, killed in Kerala. By Karl Marx!


(A quick comment by: Shreepal Singh)

One Indian is killed on 16th February 2016 in Kannur of Kerala in India. His name was Sujeeth.

He is reported to be previously an enthusiastic member or supporter of Communist Party of India (Marxist) – CPM – and to have later on switched on sides by joining Rashtriya Sevak Sangh – RSS – the parent organization of BJP.

He was killed for political reasons.

People may have different and opposing political views. Is it improper to have different political views?

Indians need to answer this question.

One may have extreme Right or extreme Left political views. Is it bad? Law permits it. Common sense justifies it.

Then, what should be the penalty for those who crush this common sense with bullets?

Here in Sujeeth’s case CPM people are the suspects and have been arrested. They are adherents of Marx and Lenin; dictatorship of proletariat; extermination of class conflict.

It sounds good. But see the history: what happened to USSR, to China; see what Stalin did to Trotesky (even to ailing Lenin’ wife Krupskaya), what Mao did to Leiu Shao Chi etc.

(For the information of those who do not know about these events: Trotesky was next to Lenin, the leader of Russia’s October 1917 Communist revolutiona. Trotesky almost single-handedly built, lead and used Communist Red Army to  overthrow the government of Karensky – after the abdication of Czar – and then to defeat Czar’s army under Karnilov. Trotesky was hounded out of Russia by Stalin. Trotesky took shelter in Maxico and there he was assassinated by Stalin through his henchman. Second: Lenin’s wife Krupskaya was shut-up and threatened when Lenin was about to die and wanted to communicate with top leaders of Russian Communist Party against Stalin. She was not allowed to contact and Lenin had to dictate his last letter or will against Stalin, which was smuggled out secretly and published many years later. Third: Lie Shao Chi of China was a Communist leader next to Mao Tse Tung in importance. He was Communist ideologue, more proficient than Mao in Marxism. After success of revolutiona in China, Chi was a great hero but he was first humiliated by Mao and when he was about to be arrested, he tried to run away from China. His plane was shot down in the attempt and Chi was killed. World’s Communist history is full of political revenge and assassinations of rivals.)

It is the failure of a seemingly best ideology (ever found/discovered/established by humans!) on the practical ground.

It is a truth that humans are not always guided by ideologies alone but by human weaknesses like hatred, jealousy, revenge also. Stalin and Mao and those who killed Sujeeth were driven by these human weaknesses.

These human weaknesses are the A, B, Cs of another ideology called Spiritualism, which is propounded by Buddha, Jesus Christ, Shri Krishna, Baba Fareed, Nanak Dev, Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and many others, towards which the unfortunate Sujeeth seems to have been drawn in the later part of his life.

Where does Marx’s Dialectics or dictatorship or class war stand in comparison to Spiritualism that teaches controlling and rising above these human weaknesses for a “Supreme Purpose and Interests” of humans?

Nowhere.

But the question still remains: What is to be done of those who killed Sujeeth?

And, still more important, question is: What is to be done to eradicate in India for ever this root cause that killed Sujeeth?

India – and Indians – need to be intelligent enough, and intelligent enough quickly, to know the realities of the world in which we live today and the hostile evil forces working overnight in our country.

The need of the hour for Indians – in South, North, East and West; Hindus, Muslims, Christians and all others – is to unite to defeat these forces.

Why “The Battle for Sanskrit” matters for India?


By: Shrinivas Tilak

(It is a review written by Shrinivas Tilak of “The Battle For Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit political or sacred? Oppressive or Liberating? Dead or Alive?” a book by Rajiv Malhotra – 2016 HarperCollins Publishers India)

I Introduction

Why The Battle For Sanskrit matters

In chapter one of The Battle for Sanskrit the author Rajiv Malhotra succinctly explains his purpose (prayojana) in writing this book: Sanskrit has been the heartbeat of Indian civilization (sanskriti) for several thousand years. It could even be said that bharateeya sanskriti has Sanskrit embedded in its DNA. Put differently, Sanskrit provides the vocabulary with which Indian civilization is encoded. Even those who do not explicitly use Sanskrit often draw upon knowledge stored in Sanskrit texts—Shruti, Smriti, and epics (mahakavyas) such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. One would think, continues Rajiv Malhotra (hereafter RM) that major takeover of Sanskrit studies by Western scholars would not go unnoticed in India particularly when their works discount or undermine the core values of Sanskrit and sanskriti. In the United States it is Sheldon Pollock (Arvind Raghunathan, Professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia University, New York) who leads and shapes the anti-Sanskrit/Sanskriti brigade. After acquiring his Ph.D. in Sanskrit Studies from Harvard under the famous Indologist, Daniel Ingalls, Pollock spent the next four decades working diligently on a variety of Sanskrit texts. His publications cover a vast canvas of topics in Sanskrit studies. Chapter two of The Battle for Sanskrit (hereafter TBFS) provides a detailed account of Pollock’s activism. A leading Sanskrit scholar, Sheldon Pollock (hereafter Pollock) is regarded as a hero by many fellow academics and leftists in the USA and in India. He has trained and inspired an army of young American and Indian scholars, popular writers, and other opinion-shapers to use his interpretations of Sanskrit for a completely new analysis of Indian society. The new breed of intellectual leaders groomed under his aegis includes a number of young scholars across the world that pretend to claim newly earned authority on Sanskrit history, social structures, and their political implications.


Patrick McCartney

Patrick McCartney, a PhD candidate in the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University, is one such aspiring (‘good cop’) scholar inspired by Pollock. The topic of his dissertation sounds benign and innocuous: ‘Shanti Mandir: Authenticity, Emotion and Economy in a Yoga Ashram’ which is located in Melbourne, Australia. The title of his proposed post-doc research, however, is more ominous: ‘Imagining Sanskrit Land: A Sociolinguistic Study of Sanskrit Language Nests and the Hindu Rāṣṭra.’ Here, McCartney (the ‘bad cop’) intends to explain ‘how the symbolic capital of Sanskrit is utilized by the Hindu nationalists groups, i.e. the Sangh Parivar, as a way to usher in their ultimate goal of overthrowing the world’s largest secular democracy and replace it with a Hindu theocratic state. Due to its religious symbolism, McCartney speculates, ‘Sanskrit is the preferred linguistic vehicle that is apparently able to purify and sanitize space, right the historical wrongs of the Mughal and Colonial periods, and assist with the creation of a new social and moral order’ (see McCartney, n.d. Post-doc Research Proposal).


Elsewhere McCartney challenges the very mandate of Samskrita Bharati (an organization of dedicated volunteers founded in 1981 that strives for the popularization of Sanskrit, Sanskriti and the Knowledge Traditions of India): to undertake the ‘Revival of Samskrit as a mass communication language (janabhasha) and facilitation of common man’s access to its vast knowledge treasure.’ Samskrita Bharati, McCartney warns us, is a part of the Sangh Parivar, the collection of nationalist, political, social, paramilitary, religious and cultural organizations devoted to the furthering of its particular version of ‘patriotic’ Hinduism. The Sangh would like to see an ideal utopian Hindu nation and world with Sanskrit as its lingua franca. Samskrita Bharati’s role in this movement is linguistic and cultural; however, it is enmeshed in the political, religious, and para-military preoccupations of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), respectively. Sanskrit is a symbolic vehicle for the ideology and practices of the Sangh Parivar (McCartney 2014). Approvingly citing Sheldon Pollock, McCartney claims that speaking in Sanskrit was restricted or prohibited regardless of an individual’s linguistic inheritance. Punishments to prevent further transgressions included pouring molten tin and lac into the ears of women or non-twice-born males who dared listen to Sanskrit mantras, according to the ancient legal text Manava Dharma Shastra [i.e. the Manusmriti]. The punishment for a non-dvija learning or teaching Sanskrit was for their bodies to be hacked to pieces (McCartney 2014). For McCartney, the use of Sanskrit is deeply connected to the nationalistic patriotism of Hindutva ideology. The Hindu right, he concludes (in a manner clearly reminiscent of Pollock), has appropriated Sanskrit for its own moral and political agenda and is implementing it as part of its cultural hegemonic aims. For national unity and world peace, a Brahminical ideology and practice should be established under a Hindu kingdom with a hyper-masculinized Rama as its semiticized, monotheistic figurehead (see McCartney 2014).


Following his mentor Pollock, McCartney concludes that Samskrita Bharati represents a monolingual and mono-cultural hegemony bereft of sympathy for or interest in South-Asian cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. The imposition of their ‘tolerant’ and ‘harmonious’ goals result from adopting the Sangh’s moral and linguistic initiatives whose symbolic power comes through the sanitizing effects of Sanskrit. Therefore, the type of person found speaking Sanskrit generally seems to hold conservative and intolerant views towards multiculturalism and modernity, and is rooted in the ideology of Hindutva. This is problematic for the 99.99875 percent of India’s population who don’t [sic] speak Sanskrit and also, perhaps, don’t want to be sanitized in the way the Sangh would like them to be. The ‘intangible heritage’ found within the Sanskrit literary canon is a valuable body of knowledge that UNESCO believes should not be lost to humanity. It belongs to all of us, not just fascist ideologues with an agenda.


In his research proposal McCartney informs us that (1) he has been to India twenty two times over the past sixteen years spending a total of six years there, (2) that he did not encounter any resistance to his project amongst the communities he visited, (3) that as an outsider who shows interest in their culture he is generally treated as an honored guest (see McCartney 2014).No doubt, at some future date McCartney’s publications will be prescribed as required reading in Western universities where Sanskrit and Indian culture are taught. Like McCartney, several bright young Indians are being trained in Sanskrit studies who are then encouraged to occupy key posts in India and elsewhere. They control many journals, conferences, dissertation committees, and other fora that shape the approach to Sanskrit and sanskriti. The prestigious Murty Classics Library, which plans to translate five hundred volumes of Indian language works into English, is an example of the enormous power controlled directly by this group of US and India based Sanskritists and Indologists. The translations it is producing bear the ideological stamp of the very overbearing and bullying stamp whose fundamental positions RM targets in this book.


The raison d’ȇtre of TBFS is to discuss in depth some of these politically active scholars led by Sheldon Pollock. RM laments that Indians in general (and Hindus in particular) are blissfully unaware of the fact that studies in Sanskrit and sanskriti have been and being hijacked by Western (particularly American) Sanskritists and Indologists with a specific political agenda (as discernible in McCartney’s Post-doc proposal). Prominent leaders of the USA-based Sanskrit studies movement like Pollock occupy powerful academic positions in a number of fields in Indology from where they (1) control the editing and authoring of many influential works in and on Sanskrit and (2) initiate or support petitions that attack Hindu institutions and leaders. They also lobby in Indian political circles, exerting influence through the media. Alarmed by the increasing hostility among Western Indologists and Sanskritists toward Sanskrit and sanskriti. RM has initiated an ongoing debate with them. 


The long tradition of debates/verbal battles

In India, controversial philosophical and religious doctrines have been debated and verbally battled in public discussions from the earliest times. Debates (Sanskrit samvāda = dialogue) featured different schools of thought covering such areas as philosophy, jurisprudence, literature, and medicine. One reads about arguments in which important teachers advocated their opinions fearlessly and defeated (or lost to) opponents in verbal debates. One early Indian thinker, Kautsa, was bold enough to insist on the meaninglessness of the Vedas and was taken to task by the famous etymologist Yaska for it. Yaska nevertheless retained this dissenting opinion as well as many others in his dictionary of Vedic terms the Nirukta.


In the Upanishads there are dramatic scenes of men and women ascetics, kings and brahmins regularly debating and disputing over the ultimate nature of brahman, the transcendent reality. This they did publicly before an equally erudite audience in rounds of challenge and counter-challenge. The famous debate where Gargi challenges her sage husband Yajnavalkya on the nature of the self (atman) is one such instance.


Over time, a distinct discipline of debate and dialogues (Vadashastra) emerged with set conventions about how such debates were to be held, which rules were to be followed to conduct the debates and when a debater could be declared the winner in a verbal contest. Unfortunately, manuals on debating per se from ancient India have not survived. Nevertheless, two sources–the Carakasamhita (Vimanasthana 3:8) and the Nyayasutra (chapters one and five) with Pakshilatirtha’s commentary Nyayabhashya, provide an adequate account of the rules that were to be observed in actual arguments and an indication of what handbooks or manuals of debate may have contained.


Samvada (sambhasha in Carakasamhita) can mean dialoguing in a variety of modes including ‘face to face,’ and ‘confrontation between two adversaries presided over by a referee.’ Many suktas in the Rigveda featuring such debates are called ‘Samvada suktas.’ The Bhagavad Gita too styles itself as samvada—between Shrikrishna and Arjuna about the nature of ultimate reality and how to attain it. The Mahabharata uses the term samvada to describe harmonious exchange, say, between Draupadi and Satyabhama (one of Krishna’s wives), or the more contentious one between Draupadi and Yudhishthira before they set for the forest.


Generally, a debate proceeded in three stages—Purva paksha, Uttara paksha, and Siddhanta. Purva paksha refers to the faithful depiction and critical examination of the views (mata) held prima facie by one’s opponent concerning a key idea about a major precept or practice in philosophy, jurisprudence, or medicine (pariksha). Uttara paksha involved critical assessment and subsequent refutation of the point of view of the opponent on the subject under scrutiny (nirnaya = decision).  Siddhanta meant putting forth of a ‘provisional’ conclusion (i.e. a conclusion subject to revision after subsequent round/s of debate).


Debates regularly took place among the leading scholars of the six philosophical systems (darshanas; meaning philosophical visions or views about different aspects of reality) over the merits and demerits of each system. Typically, the losing scholar would renounce his lineage to join the winner’s school. The losing scholar’s disciples were expected to follow him. This is how Mandana Mishra, the leader of the Mimamsa School, had to join the Vedanta School led by Shankaracharya after losing in one such debate.


II Opposing camps on the battlefield

The outsider and the insider

RM refers to the two antagonists in the debate/verbal battle over Sanskrit as Outsiders and Insiders. It was Kenneth L. Pike who coined the new terminology of ‘etic’ and ‘emic’ to refer to the ‘outsider’ and ‘insider’ respectively. While etic refers to a detached, trained observer’s perception of the un-interpreted ‘raw’ data; emic refers to how those data are interpreted by an ‘insider’ to the system. An emic unit is a physical or mental item or system treated by insiders as relevant to their system of behavior in terms of the context (Pike 1967). Thus, in the etic perspective, the color ‘white’ is perceived as equal presence of light of all wave-lengths by an average human eye. In the emic perspective, white is the color of festivity and joy in Western cultures. In India it denotes the notion of purity and auspiciousness; while in China it is the color of mourning. On the whole, therefore, the distinction between the etic and emic views parallels the distinction between the outsider and insider and the absolute and the relative respectively. The outsider allegedly brings with him/her a detached observer’s view, which is one window on the world. The view of the local scene through the eyes of a native participant is a different window. Either view by itself is restricted in scope and may lead to distortion. The ‘Outsider’ looks at Sanskrit from an Orientalist and Social/anthropological studies point of view; while the ‘Insider’ camp holds a traditional Indic view of Sanskrit and tries to understand a culture the way the insiders see it.


Two important caveats may be entered here: (1) RM is categorical in stating that the ‘Outsider’ vs ‘Insider’ division is not based on race, ethnicity, or nationality. Thus, while in general the Western view looks at Sanskrit and sanskriti with an Orientalist lens, any Westerner holding the traditional viewpoint on Sanskrit would be called an ‘Insider.’ By the same token Indians holding an exclusively Social/anthropological science point of view while denying the traditional view would come under the ‘Outsider’ camp; (2) RM’s battle for Sanskrit is not physical but verbal and metaphysical. The structure of his overall argument developed in TBFS–attack, defense, and counter-attack is verbal and intellectual; not physical.


The camp opposing Pollock’s is led by RM. It wants to see Sanskrit regain and retain its power as a living language driving sanskriti and dharma. Rather than dismiss Sanskrit as a dead language, Hindus celebrate Sanskrit as a living language for its enduring sacredness, aesthetic powers, metaphysical acuity, and ability to generate and support knowledge in many domains (Malhotra 2016: 30). Unfortunately, advocates of the inside view are dispersed and not well-resourced. They are for the most part practitioners of one or the other form (pantha) of Hinduism and tend to cluster in small groups where they feel safe as they relate to one another. Many of them are ignorant of the battle at hand and hence unwittingly become complicit in the agenda pushed by Pollock and his troops.


III Purva paksha

RM’s TBFS, which ‘provides a careful survey of the ongoing contentious debate over Sanskrit, sanskriti, and dharma, provides a worthy continuity to that illustrious line of debating tradition of India by challenging Professor Pollock and his school. Initially, skirmishes took place at various seminars, public lectures, and on line followed by a meeting between RM and Pollock in latter’s office in Downtown Princeton. After cordial exchange of views the two decided to meet again after TBFS was published. TBFS narrates the history of how RM built his Purva paksha around four key propositions put forth by Pollock:


I : Decoupling Sanskrit from the Vedas by removing the mystic aura surrounding it. Scholars then must direct their gaze through the window of Sanskrit into the history of India to expose the toxic role Sanskrit has had in social oppression as claimed by select historians.

II: Secularizing the Sanskrit kavya tradition (particularly the Ramayana) by peeling away its paramarthika (transcendental) dimension

III: Interpreting the Ramayana as a social and political weapon of oppression against women, shudras, and Muslims as claimed by some select historians

IV: Declaring the death of Sanskrit and the rise of vernaculars (Pollock’s term for languages derived from Prakrit). Per Pollock, Sanskrit was dead as a living language by about the twelfth century. The cause of its death was the structures of abuse that were built into it and Hindu kings accelerated that process. Pollock absolves Muslim invaders and British colonizers from any hand in the death of Sanskrit.


Pollock’s posse 

RM charges that over the past few decades a group of ideologically and politically motivated American Sanskrit scholars with commitment to Marxism have successfully fused expertize of Sanskrit onto the leftist lens on India. This fusion, led by Pollock, is at the heart of what RM calls ‘American Orientalism phenomenon.’ It is important to note that the deep and systematic study of Sanskrit carried out by Pollock and his posse is not being driven by any kind of respect or attachment for Sanskrit as a language of an ancient civilization. Rather, it is motivated by a political agenda as several chapters of TBFS explain in detail (Malhotra 2016: 61ff). RM charges that Pollock and his posse (many of them being Hindu scholar recruits) have set up for themselves the task to exhume, isolate, analyze, and theorize about the modalities of domination rooted in Sanskrit as the medium of brahminical ideology of power and domination. RM’s Purva paksha (i.e. scrutiny = pariksha) occupies the major portion of TBFS (in my opinion this material could be divided into the following six fields: (1) Sanskrit pariksha; (2) Shruti pariksha; (3) Kavya pariksha (4) Shastra pariksha; (5) Sanskriti pariksha; and (6) Orientalism pariksha).RM’s presentation of Purva paksha is masterly. There is ample evidence that he has carefully and diligently studied the principal writings of Pollock and his henchmen/women displaying for all to see their assumptions, detailed arguments, and conclusions that are detrimental to Sanskrit, sanskriti, and dharma. He has exposed the etically derived agenda of Pollock and his posse–to divide Hindus and fracture their composite sociocultural identity by artificially decoupling Sanskrit from the Vedas on the one hand, and from the ‘vernaculars’ on the other. 
  

IV Uttara paksha

Malhotra, the musketeer: lone defender of Sanskrit and Sanskriti RM modestly claims that the Purva paksha component of this book is more important than the Uttara paksha. I beg to differ. His Uttara paksha is as important as the Purva paksha because it is destined to awaken Hindu intellectuals and instill in them the urge to provide their own versions of spirited and creative Uttara paksha in response to the gauntlet thrown by Pollock. I would suggest to the reader that RM’s energetic Uttara paksha (albeit not as elaborate as his Purva paksha) should be understood and explained (to others) in terms of the following six verdicts or decisions (nirnayas) delivered on points of order raised in the Purva paksha of Pollock’s thesis that Sanskrit is dead, oppressive, and politically motivated: (i) Nirnaya on Sanskrit and Prakrit, (ii) Nirnaya on Shruti, (iii) Nirnaya on Kavya and Shastra, (iv), Nirnaya on Sanskrit, (v) Nirnaya on Sanskriti, and (vi) Nirnaya on Orientalism.


V Siddhanta

Every tradition faces existential challenges from time to time, and its adherents must consider (and develop) ways to maintain its viability as they enter new epochs and eras. On the whole, this is a healthy process of maintaining dynamic equilibrium. A tipping point, however, comes when opponents begin to dominate the discourse from the outside so overwhelmingly that the defenders of the tradition from within simply capitulate. Sanskrit and sanskriti are facing this challenge and plight right now. In order to ensure the revival and survival of Sanskrit and sanskriti Indians need to assemble what RM calls a ‘home team’ to represent their views collectively in debates with Pollock and others over Sanskrit and sanskriti. RM reached this crucial conclusion (siddhanta) after waging a lonely battle against Pollock and his posse for over two decades.


Building the ‘Home Team’ of musketeers

The ‘home team’ of RM’s dream would consist of those who would work toward seeing Sanskrit flourish as a living language, and as a pathway into the transcendent realms of experience  and the knowledge systems based on them. He suggests setting up training academies that are on par with those built upon vast research and educational apparatus controlled by the opposite side. They will sponsor academic conferences and journals, not for regurgitating old materials but for generating new ones. The context and institutions within which Sanskrit is taught today will have to be entirely revamped and re-envisioned. There, the traditional web of sanskriti could be approached critically, using a wide range of tools–from philology and social science to metaphysics and cosmology. All this would be approached from within the traditional cosmology and be lived as the ‘lifestyle’ issuing out of it.


From the mouse clicker to the musketeer = intellectual kshatriya

Another major conclusion (siddhanta) of TBFS that I found most inspiring is RM’s endorsement of the traditional adage—a true scholar is he who acts on his convictions (yah kriyāvān sa paņḑitaḩ).  Indeed, RM’s latest book is concerned to transform mouse clicking armchair Hindu of today into an intellectual kshatriya (musketeer activist) in the cause of Sanskrit, sanskriti, and dharma. It would be instructive to learn how RM himself came to acquire the adhikara to lead the mission he took upon himself two decades ago. At the age of forty-four, RM heard a call from within to serve his homeland and his people. Before long, he had summoned enough courage to come out of his cushy, comfort zone and take voluntary retirement from the lucrative business he had been operating quite successfully in the United States taking enormous personal and financial risks in the process–continuing to support and bear the responsibility of his homemaker wife with two young children aged thirteen and ten.


He next put himself totally in the hands of the guru he had chosen. This is how his true tapasya (ascetic practice) started and continues. His tapasya involved internal meditation + ascetic practices (tapas), self-initiated and guided studying (svadhyaya) and devotion to God (ishavara-pranidhana). Initially, his guru did not allow RM to go public with his experiments or experiences or saying anything about what he was doing explaining it would only inflate his ego. When his guru realized that RM had cultivated the necessary adhikara, he was allowed to go on the mission that he had chosen for himself—battling for Sanskrit, sanskriti, and dharma.


Ethos, pathos, and logos in TBFS

RM’s experience in community service, his tireless commitment to the wellbeing of his people, and his willingness to reach across the aisle and cooperate with the opposition have made him an ideal activist pandit to lead (1) the battle for Sanskrit and (2) to mobilize the masses through his writings. It is instructive to study how he deploys a three-fold strategy based on the traditional concepts of adhikara, sahrdayata, and samjna (roughly equivalent to Aristotle’s ethos, pathos, and logos respectively) in order to mobilize his readers to accept and act on his abiding message.


Ethos (adhikara)

Adhikara (ethos; Greek for ‘character’) refers to how trustworthy, credible, and qualified the writer/speaker is and how knowledgeable s/he is concerning a subject. Since the reader is familiar with RM as the writer, his reputation is relevant and important to the message he is sending through TBFS. Ethos is often conveyed through tone and style of the message and through the way the writer refers to differing views and voices. Persuasion from ethos involves the appeal from the author’s acknowledged life contributions within a community. Ethos is conveyed through tone and style of the message. It can also be affected by the writer’s reputation as it exists independently from the message—his/her expertise in the field, previous record or integrity, and so forth.


Readers are naturally more likely to be persuaded by a writer who, they think, has personal warmth, consideration of others, a good mind, and solid learning. RM’s potential readers already know something of his adhikara ahead of time thanks to the availability of dozens of videos and audio tapes in which he has developed the basic argument in defense of Sanskrit. His experience and previous performances eminently qualify RM to speak on the various issues pertaining to Sanskrit, sanskriti, and dharma.


RM’s authoritative voice marshals other qualified voices in a conversation with his readers by the device of direct and indirect quotation.  In TBFS, the quotation marks signal that someone else’s words are erupting into the text, replacing temporarily his lead voice. Carefully creating a proper perspective and context for the material he is quoting, RM makes sure how the reader will interpret the quoted passage while retaining control over the message being delivered. Since through indirect quotations the writer can exert even more control over the other voice than in direct quotation, RM extensively uses a large amount of indirect quotations as well as paraphrasing a large number paragraphs where warranted.


In representing his argument or story in particular ways RM, the activist promoting Sanskrit, sanskriti, and dharma energetically (i.e. in the spirit of an intellectual kshatriya), portrays the voices expressing the need to preserve Sanskrit exposing the voice of Pollock and his supporters as short-sighted and socially irresponsible.


Pathos (sahridayata)

Sahridayata is an abstract noun made by fixing the Sanskrit prefix ‘sa’ meaning ‘similar or together’ to hridaya = heart. Sahridayata is the state of common orientation, commonality or oneness and sahridaya is one that has attained this state wherein the heart of the ‘communicator’ and the heart of the ‘receiver’ of communication have become ‘one.’ Vedic teaching “Be humane and humanize others” (Rigveda 10:53.6) is significant for understanding sahridayata: all should be mutually bound with each other; each one affectionately attracting the other, the way a cow showers her love and affection for her new-born calf” (Atharvaveda 3:30.1). Everyone should look upon each other with a friend’s eye (Yajurveda 36:18). The Samanjasya Sukta (Atharvaveda 6.64) conveys a similar message: Live in harmony, in accord with each other, understanding each other, suffused with each other, with your hearts co-mingling.


Kalidasa in his Abhijnana Shakuntalam describes a sahridaya person as paryutsuk, that is, someone who was ensconced in his/her genial environment (or comfort zone as RM would have it) but has now become edgy and restless and filled with angst as a result of the call and the pull of the message received (Misra 2008: 94). Thus, it is sanskriti that provides the basis for sahridayata; however it is not an elitist notion because one does not have to be an intellectual to imbibe that quality.


Like pathos, sahridayata is an appeal that draws upon the reader’s emotions, sympathies, interests, and/or imagination. With an appeal to pathos, the reader is encouraged to identify with the author – to feel and experience what the author feels. As the meaning of pathos implies, the reader ‘suffers,’ (in the realm of the imagination that is–) what the author suffers. An appeal to sahrdayata (bandhuta) causes the reader not only just to respond emotionally but to identify with 
the author’s worldview and voice–to feel what the author feels.


Logos (sapramanata) 

Logos (Greek for ‘word’) refers to the internal consistency of the message or argument–the clarity of the claim, the logic of its reasons, and the effectiveness of its supporting evidence (sapramanata). RM’s logic is impeccable and TBFS (as well as his other publications) is a testimony to it.  Consider, for instance, the following exchange from TBFS–During RM’s meeting with Pollock in his office in Princeton, the latter cited an impressive list of his publications and awards received and asked RM: ‘How could you think I hate Hinduism when I have spent my entire life studying the Sanskrit tradition?’(Malhotra 2016: 13). This logic, observes RM, would certainly have worked with the vast majority of Indians. The mere fact that a famous Westerner is working so hard to study Hinduism would be enough to bring awe into the minds of most Indians. In reply RM said “…there are scholars in many disciplines who study some phenomenon for the purpose of undermining ‘(emphasis added) it, not because they love it. People study crime in order to fight it. There are experts on corruption who want to expose it, not because they love corruption. There are public health specialists who study a disease with the intention of being able to defeat it.” It was fallacious, concluded RM, to assume that merely studying Sanskrit made Pollock a lover of Sanskrit and sanskriti (Malhotra 2016: 14).


VI Concluding comments

RM concludes TBFS with the hope that the world has much to learn from the long Hindu tradition of critical learning from debate and dialogue. Many of the ancient debates were about deeply felt, controversial matters particularly in philosophy and literature. Since the two camps hold widely different views on Sanskrit and sanskriti, and dharma each can profit from a dialogue with the other and appreciate both the uniqueness and commonalities of each side. Dialogues (whether performed in public or written down) have been an indelible feature of Hinduism because its voice is multi-vocal and multi-lingual. Its doctrines, practices, and institutions have not had only one voice of authority. In almost every region of India, dialogue has been embedded in Hinduism through texts, doctrines, histories, rituals, ceremonies and in  architecture and art. For thousands of years, Hindus have been debating over gods and deities, how best to represent them, and what their true nature is. Thus dialogue and debate, and critical thinking too has been a defining feature of Hindu traditional texts, rituals, and practices.


Kenneth Pike saw the outsider (etic) and insider (emic) approaches as complementary, rather than conflicting ways of achieving an understanding. In order to apply comparative concepts appropriately, therefore, it is necessary to follow the research carried out from an etic perspective by an emic one. Pike draws our attention to the two perspectives that are present in a stereographic picture. Superficially they look alike, on closer inspection they are notably different, but taken together the added perspective is startlingly novel because the same data have been presented through a bi-focal vision (see Pike 1967: 41). 


RM believes that a dialogue carried out in a ‘stereographic’ manner would not only uncover commonalities as may exist but also creatively develop them bringing the two camps closer in a spirit of mutual respect. An inclusive framework might then emerge that will draw upon the synergy existing between emic and etic approaches generating a balanced perspective on Sanskrit, sanskriti, and dharma.


A harmonious sharing of a common cultural space and labor between Sanskrit and Prakrit based languages existed in the past. Available epigraphic evidence suggests that while the genealogical account in many inscriptions is in Sanskrit, the ‘business’ portion (i.e. details of the land grant etc) are in the regional language. Today, while Sanskrit would be used to interpret, supplement, and re-describe the constitutional and legal reality; in the pragmatic day-to-day affairs regional vernacular languages would prevail. Sanskrit phobia will evaporate in thin air as soon as Indic scholars find a place of honor in Sanskrit and Indic studies.


Bharunda: Bird with two heads

RM might consider adding to his debating points the urgent need to persuade those Hindu scholars that have joined the Pollock camp to return home (ghar wapasi). The purport of the following story from the Panchatantra may be used to impress upon them that in unity lives the wellbeing of the duality of Sanskrit and Prakrit, Kavya and Shastra, Sanskrit and Sanskriti: 

Once upon a time, there lived a strange bird named Bharunda, on the banks of a lake. It was strange because he had two heads fused on to the same body. One day, as the bird was wandering, it found a delicious looking golden fruit. One of the heads started eating the fruit with pleasure. The other head requested, “Oh dear, please let me taste too the fruit that you are so praising.” The first head just laughed and said, “We share the same stomach. Whichever mouth between us may eat the fruit, it goes to the same stomach. Moreover, since I am the one who found this fruit in the first place, I have the right to eat it myself.” This selfishness of the first head hurt the second head very much.


Few days later, as they were wandering the second head spotted a poisonous tree laden with fruit. It declared to the first head, “The other day you did not share with me the delicious fruit. Now I am going to eat this fruit without sharing it with you. The first head pleaded in desperation, “Please don’t eat this fruit; it is poisonous. We share the same stomach. If you eat it, we will both die.” The second head replied in a mocking tone, “Since I am the one who found this fruit in the first place, I have the right to eat it.” Knowing what would happen, the first head began to cry. The second head ate the poisonous fruit regardless. As a consequence of this action the bird died with both the heads coming out losers. The wise indeed say: Union is strength (see http://www.talesofpanchatantra.com/shortstories_bharunda_bird_two_heads.php.; accessed on Oct 20, 2015).


References

Acharya, Poromesh. 1996. Indigenous education and Brahminical hegemony in Bengal. In The 

Transmission of Knowledge in South Asia: Essays on Education, Religion, History, and Politics 

edited by Nigel Crook, 98-118, Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Bagchi, Shrabonti. 2014. Indian tradition of debate, dialogue has much to teach us, America’s 

Indologist says: Interview with Laurie L. Patton. Times of India, April 14, 2014. 

Henning, Martha L. Friendly Persuasion: Classical Rhetoric–Now! Draft Manuscript. August, 

1998. http://www.millikin.edu/wcenter/workshop7b.html; accessed on October 27, 2015.

McCartney Patrick. 2014. The sanitising power of spoken Sanskrit. 27 February 2014 Himal: 

Southasian. http://himalmag.com/sanitising-power-spoken-sanskrit/; accessed on Feb 15, 2016.

McCartney Patrick. n. d. Post-doc Research Proposal. 

https://www.academia.edu/19566419/Post-doc_Research_Proposal; accessed on February 21, 

2016.

Misra, V. N. 2008. Foundations of Indian aesthetics. Gurgaon, Haryana: Shubhi Publications.

Patton, Laurie L. 2014. The Biggest Loser in the Doniger Controversy? Indian Traditions of 

Debate. Posted on Huffington Post Blog. 02/26/2014; accessed Oct 25, 2015. 

Pike, Kenneth L. 1967. Language in relation to a unified theory of the structure of human 

behavior [1954]. The Hague: Mouton.

Pollock, Sheldon. 1993. Deep Orientalism? Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj. In 

Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South Asia edited by Carol A. 

Beckenridge and Peter van der Veer, Sheldon, 76-133, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania 

Press.

___________.1996. ‘The Sanskrit Cosmopolis, 300-1300: Transculturation,Vernacularization, 

and the Question of Ideology.’ Ideology and Status of Sanskrit. Contributions to the history of 

the Sanskrit language edited by Jan E.M. Houben, Leiden: E.J. Brill, pp. 197-247.

——, 2006. The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in 

Premodern India. Berkeley: University of California Press.

* Shrinivas Tilak (Ph.D. History of Religions, McGill University, Montreal, Canada) is based in 

Guelph, Ontario, Canada. His publications include The Myth of Sarvodaya: A study in Vinoba’s 

concept (New Delhi: Breakthrough Communications 1984); Religion and Aging in the Indian 

Tradition (Albany, N. Y.: State University of New York Press, 1989); Understanding karma in 

light of Paul Ricoeur’s philosophical anthropology and hermeneutics (Charleston, SC: 

BookSurge, revised, paperback edition, 2007); and Reawakening to a secular Hindu nation: M. 

S. Golwalkar’s vision of a Dharmasāpekşa Hindurāşţra (Charleston, SC: BookSurge, 2008). 

J. N. U. Debate – Crisis-cum-Agitation


By: Kishore Dere

By now almost everybody, following current affairs and world news, has become at least vaguely familiar with the ongoing controversy that erupted on the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi on 9th of February 2016.

The event that sparked off this furore was ‘commemoration’/ ‘celebration'(?) or the execution or hanging/’martyrdom'(?) of a terror convict called Afzal Guru who was found guilty by judiciary of launching a terrorist attack on Indian Parliament on 13th of December 2001.

Indian judicial hierarchy at all levels had found him guilty. He had also filed a Review Petition before the Supreme Court of India which was rejected. Thereafter he had filed a Mercy petition before the President of India. That was also rejected. Thus, on 9th of February 2013, Afzal Guru was hung to death at Tihar Jail in New Delhi.

The video recording of this event in JNU was circulated which showed a group of individuals raising anti-India slogans, and chanting slogans in favour of the slain terrorist.

This act of glorification of a terrorist who felt proud of being part of those who are born and sworn enemies of India, rightly infuriated an overwhelming number of Indians and all those across the world who oppose terrorism anywhere and everywhere.

The investigations are underway and the matter is sub judice. Therefore, it may not be prudent to talk about the judicial adjudication at this stage.

One can, however, certainly ponder over the role of the university education system in India.

By the way, JNU is supposed to be the leading university of India. Its current and former students and teachers feel proud of its academic rigour and high quality of academic research.

While wholeheartedly appreciating all the good things that JNU stands for, one must not hesitate to call spade a spade.

It must be realised that nobody is infallible and sacrosanct. Most of the teachers and students of this premier university of India instead of doing any introspection over what has happened, resorted to unabashed justification of the outright pro-terrorism act as ‘right to freedom of speech and expression’, ‘right to dissent’ and ‘free thinking’.

No doubt that academic institutions must have limitless freedom to transcend all the barriers and relentlessly pursue the truth for benefit of humanity and share / produce / discover / invent knowledge even for the sake of knowledge.

There is, however, a word of caution here. There exists a clear-cut distinction between debating or discussing highly contested issues like retaining or abolishing death penalty, Kashmir dispute, India-Pakistan relations, counter-terrorism policies, national security versus individual privacy and civil liberty etc on the one hand, and chanting slogans in favour of a terrorist and his handlers.

There may be doubts about the precise names of organisers of and participants in this event. Yet one cannot argue that it was an act of innocent and ignorant people.

These are highly educated mature university youth who know what they were doing and are still doing.

The sheer fact that they themselves claimed celebrating this event for three consecutive years shows their intentions and designs.

Moreover, the fact that a number of accused students had absconded and they returned/resurfaced(?) to audaciously claim their innocence and democratic right (?), speaks volumes of their mindset.

UThey have no plans at all to surrender either to police or judiciary.

Do they really have any faith in the Constitution of India? Do they respect the rule of law and judiciary? Do they have anything constructive and positive to offer to the society?

It is indeed a pity that the university named after our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who had plunged into freedom struggle and played a vital role in nation-building has degenerated into a safe haven for those who want to break India into pieces.

They are citizens of India who have both fundamental rights as well as duties. Those who wax eloquent about their fundamental rights (Articles 12-35 of Indian Constitution) must also enjoy remembering their duties (Article 51A). They may also know that they are getting highly subsidised higher education at the cost of hundreds of millions of poor Indians.

Are these enlightened noble souls going to destroy this country?

It may be worthwhile to recall few words of wisdom from this towering personality in this hour of crisis.

The JNU which is known more for protests, demonstrations and agitations and less for academic excellence, may remember Nehru’s views on agitation:  “The purely agitational attitude is not good enough for a detailed consideration of a subject” – Jawaharlal Nehru.

Likewise, he had to say following about citizenship:”Citizenship consists in the service of the country” – Jawaharlal Nehru.

Thus, one may rightly ask, are these protesters doing any service to the cause of India or to its enemies?

No doubt, today or rather as usual, enemies of India are ecstatic. Last but not the least, Nehru – a man of practical experience and outlook – cautioned the utopians and theoreticians in these words:  “A theory must be tempered with reality” – Jawaharlal Nehru.

Is anybody from among the “freedom fighters” and their “unabshed supporters” listening to the wise words this great man who lived and died for India?

Had Nehru been alive today, he could have launched another freedom struggle against these enemies of humanity.

Let us seek inspiration from our beloved first Prime Minister and realise his ambition of making India a great nation in the world under the visionary leadership of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jai Hind, Jai Bharat, Bharat Mata Ki Jai.

Let us all – all except the enemies of India – love India, cherish the respect, prestige and progress of India. But no place for the enemies of India who “will fight till India is destroyed”.

J. N. U.- How US is trying to control India & “The Battle for Sanskrit”


By: Sankhdeep Das

The book ‘The Battle for Sanskrit’ informs us about modern Kurukshetra between American Orientalists like Mr. Sheldon Pollock, his team and our Sanskriti. This is about hijacking our Sanskrit and sanskriti.

Many eminent Indian scholars and business tycoons are in awe of Mr.Pollock , and ready to elevate their social status and prestige by offering millions of dollar for his work. Even our own Sringeri Math was going towards the same direction. Shri Rajiv Malhotra intervened in the matter and till now the decision is on hold.

In the meantime ” The Battle for Sanskrit” has been published and we know how deep is this nexus to destabilize India through giving a political twist to our own Shastras and Kavyas.

Outsiders i.e. American Orientalists are injecting venom of Dalit oppression, hegemony of Brahmin and King over population of India, mainly Shudras, by inventing a new concept ‘Aestheticization of Power’.

According to these outsiders, Vedas are equivalent to mumbo jumbo and Kavyas like Ramayan, Mahabharata etc were written by Brahmins to aestheticize the king so that king could hypnotize common people and in turn Brahmins could continue to live under king’s grace. They say this was the way Sanskrit propagated throughout Asia. They say there is nothing sacred in Sanskrit. It is already dead and it should be kept in museum only to analyse like Greek and Latin.

Surprisingly, they are silent about Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, which are also very old language.

Shri Rajiv Malhotra refutes all this propaganda with his razor sharp intellect and provides numerous scopes to do ‘Purva Paksh’ on American Orientalists. Rajivji makes difficult concept of western thinkers like Benjamin, Vico etc very lucid so that one can understand the issues of this war of intellect or, as he terms it, Kurukshetra.

The writings of these scholars are twisted and tricky so that they could not be understood easily by Indian Sanskrit Pandits. They often have double meanings. By superficial reading one would feel good that they are praising our Sanskrit and sanskriti, but on deeper reading one would find that they are blaming Sanskrit as a weapon of Indian Kings and Brahmins.

Rajivji painstakingly explains all these tricka of US Orientalists in an understandable way.

Recent J. N. University, New Delhi events prove the deep penetration of these Breaking India forces. Books of Rajivji expose how from US, Indians could be controlled by colouring our Shastras, Kavyas. Mr.Noam Chomsky writes to VC of JNU, New Delhi asking why VC allowed police inside campus. Many eminent scholars, including Mr.Sheldon Pollock, from various US universities protest against Govt. of India and support JNU students for anti-Indian slogans and activities. Every Indian should make it a point to read ALL the books by Shri Rajiv Malhotra. They are eye openers.

Now this is our turn to reverse the gaze and decide who has the ‘Adhikar’ to control Sanskrit.

My Reflections on “The Battle for Sanskrit” written by Shri. Rajiv Malhotra


The Essential Cog

Ever since the superimposition of Westphalia concept of nation state on a formerly colonized state or newly liberated territory (i.e., India) from colonial subjugation, the debate whether this land is a single nation state or a state of many nations was kept alive by some forces. Such questions have always helped entrench the alien rule in India primarily by pitting one Indian against the other in the past. These false notions were cleverly constructed by the invaders and were spread systematically through their proxies.

TBFS

A nation, whose populace is psychologically weak and is a victim of inferiority complex can be enslaved easily. Islamic & Christian subjugation of other cultures was done with relative ease, but when it came to India the foreigners could not apply the same methods with this civilizational state which they have applied elsewhere successfully. Hence, the Christian invaders systematically studied Indian civilization to manufacture perverted interpretations of…

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Sheldon Pollock, Sanskrit, Hinduism, Christianity: and A Reply to Sheldon Pollock


By: Shreepal Singh

Sheldon Pollock is an American Orientalist and is the proponent of a newly invented theory that holds that Hinduism, as we know it today, is an artificial creation, which is not found in the ancient Sanskrit sacred books of India. He says there is no continuation of Hinduism from ancient times to our present times and Hinduism as we know it today is a newly and artificially created entity, which he terms as “Neo-Hinduism”.

He alleges that the foundation of this Neo-Hinduism was laid down by Swami Vivekananda and that the Swami was much influenced by the concepts of Christianity in creating this “Neo-Hinduism.

In order to give his theory a logical foundation, he proposes two things: Firstly, Sanskrit language, in which the Hindu sacred books are written, should be detached from – divested of its – divinity or sacredness; and, Secondly, after so divesting, Sanskrit should be read, understood and interpreted as a linguistic-political tool.

By applying these two theoretical premises in his studies of sacred Sanskrit books of Hinduism, Pollock comes up with his conclusions that Sanskrit was a literary tool of oppression not only of the political nature (by poetical eulogy of the king of the time) but was also oppressive to other vernacular languages of India.

These allegations of Sheldon Pollock have been examined threadbare and replied with great intellectual caliber by Rajiv Malhotra in his book “The Battle For Sanskrit”, which is a must-read for everyone who loves India and Indology.

The first issue is whether scientifically it is justified to divest a sacred book of its divinity or sacredness and to deconstruct the language (Sanskrit) in which that book is written in order to get its real meaning.

Here is an article written by Surya K. on this issue.

Surya K. applies the theory of Sheldon Pollock by simply replacing “Hinduism” with “Christianity” and the “Sacred books of Hinduism” with “ Sacred Bible”

 

By; Surya K.

In his deliberations on Christianity, Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his Autobiography:

I could accept Jesus as a martyr, an embodiment of sacrifice, and a divine teacher, but not as the most perfect man ever born. His death on the Cross was a great example to the world, but that there was anything like a mysterious or miraculous virtue in it my heart could not accept”.

Now, Gandhi can say this as a non-believer. He was not a Christian. But he did not push these views on Christians as “scholarship” the way Pollock is pushing.

Gandhi was not alone. Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of America, compared miracles in the bible, and hence divinity of Jesus, to dung hill.

In 1813, in a letter to John Adams, Jefferson wrote:

“… We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill.”

Jefferson created for himself a “clean” version of bible called the Jefferson bible from which he stripped all divinity. Again, Jefferson, like Gandhi, did not palm his views off on Christians as actual history.

Would Christians or Muslims accept interpretations of their books by excluding divinity?

After reading the story in the bible, one is invariably struck with the following question:

What did Jesus really accomplish? There are many good – very nice – people who were killed mindlessly in the last two thousand years. Look at Mahatma Gandhi. He fought for a well-defined cause, made great strides towards that cause using only peaceful means, and finally died during the process but leaving behind a success story. In contrast, Jesus achieved no improvement to the society and died in vain. Gandhi successfully used civil-disobedience to bring justice to millions of his people. Perhaps, Jesus could have had the same effectiveness if he had used it.

This is not a new thought. Speaking on Mahatma Gandhi’s death, Nobel prize nominee and legendary missionary E. Stanley Jones described Mahatma Gandhi as “the greatest tragedy since the Son of God died on the cross.”

Theodore Beza wrote in his work the Anti-Bellius in 1554:

There is one way that leads to God, namely, Christ; and one way that leads to Christ, namely, faith; and this faith includes all those dogmas … If Christ is not true God, coeternal and consubstantial with the Father, how is He our Savior? How is He our sanctifier? How is He victor over sin, death, and the devil? Unless He is true man, save for sin, how is He our mediator?”

If we take away divinity from Jesus, we are left with a Jesus who did not do any miracles (just a human so they must all be magic tricks). His speeches no longer qualify as moral teachings but political anti-establishment speeches. He was crucified then as one of many others who were crucified by Romans. Jesus then lived the life of a trouble-maker who died without achieving anything. Without divinity, all that Jesus has going for him is that he is a nice guy who accomplished nothing for his people and died in vain.

This basic argument was not lost on Christian thinkers.

C.S. Lewis, one of the most celebrated Christian apologists, says that if we do not accept Jesus as God, then we have to either consider him a fool, a madman, or a devil.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (New York: MacMillan, 1943), pages 55-56

I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacherHe would either be a lunatic–on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

We are faced, then, with a frightening alternative. This man we are talking about either was (and is) just what He said or else a lunatic, or something worse.. I have to accept the view that He was and is God.

Without Divinity, Christianity is Meaningless Drive

How does Jesus lead humanity to salvation?

In his letter to th Church of Corinth, Paul writes:

Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to remember the Good News I told you. You received that Good News message, and you continue to base your life on it. That Good News, the message you heard from me, is God’s way to save you. But you must continue believing it. If you don’t, you believed for nothing. I gave you the message that I received. I told you the most important truths: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say;  1 Corinthians 15:1-

This is a quote from the Bible.

Paul is saying in no uncertain terms that, for Jesus to bring salvation to Christians, Christians have to believe that Jesus died to atone for the Original Sin of humanity.  If Jesus were just another human being, with no divinity, such a belief would be meaningless drivel.  Jesus had to have had divine origin fo the belief to be meaningful.  If he not he is not the Lord, Jesus is either a liar (he outright lied about his miracles) or a lunatic (imagined self-aggrandizement).

Divinity is crucial for Christianity to find honorable meaning in the bible and in the life of Jesus.  In fact, belief in divine origin of Jesus is so critical that all major Christian denominations require divine origin of Jesus.  Every major Christian denomation has codified the core belief of divinity of Jesus as part of their version of “Nicene Creed”, a statement(the  of belief that all members of that Christian denominations have to hold.


Divinity of Jesus is a core belief, an essential axiom, for Christians.  It is foolish for a Christian to accept an argument based on the supposition that Jesus is merely human with no divinity.  It is up to Christians to say what the axioms or the statement of their beliefs are and insist on only engaging in arguments that presuppose beliefs of divinity of Jesus. (Why is it a presupposition and not history?  Divinity is beyond common human experience and cannot be recognized as history even though history-centric religions claim history as confirmation for their beliefs.  Even if we grant that Jesus was born of a virgin mother, performed miracles, died on the cross and resurrected, it still does not follow that he is son of God.  Worse, one cannot take those human-observable events to be true.)

Just as Christians insist in acceptance of divinity as a presupposition for any valid interpretation of the Bible, so should Hindus insist on acceptance of divinity as a presupposition for any valid interpretations of Sanskrit Hindu sacred works.

By: Unknown

Christianity ….One Christ, One Bible Religion…

But the Latin Catholic will not enter Syrian Catholic Church.

These two will not enter Marthoma Church .

These three will not enter Pentecost Church .

These four will not enter Salvation Army Church.

These five will no enter Seventh Day Adventist Church .

These six will not enter Orthodox Church.

These seven will not enter Jacobite church.

This way there are 146 castes alone for Christianity.

Each will never share their churches with fellow Christians!

One Christ, One Bible, One Jehova???

Now Muslims..! One Allah, One Quran, One Nabi….! Great unity?

Among Muslims, Shia and Sunni hate and kill each other in all Muslim countries.

The religious riots in most Muslim countries is always between these two sects.

The Shia will not go to Sunni Mosque.

These two will not go to Ahamadiya Mosque.

These three will not go to Sufi Mosque.

These four will not go to Mujahiddin mosque.

This way there are 13 castes in Muslims.

Killing/bombing/conquering/ massacaring/… each other!

American attack on Iraq was fully supported by all Muslim countries surrounding Iraq !

One Allah, One Quran, One Nabi….????

Hindus –

They have 1,280 Religious Books, 10,000 Commentaries, more than one lakh sub-commentaries for these foundation books, innumerable presentations of one God, variety of Aacharyas, thousands of Rishies, hundreds of languages.

Still they all go to All TEMPLES and they are peaceful and tolerant and seek unity with others by inviting them to worship with them whatever God they wish to pray for!

Hindus never fought one another for the last ten thousand years in the name of religion.

This only confirms Hinduism is not a religion. It is a way of life.

Most serious lapse of Modi Govt. of two years’ power


By: Shreepal Singh

Narendra Modi as a person and the government of India under him seem to have set, by all accounts of their actions and words, goals before India as a nation, which are indeed very high and ambitious. These goals are especially ambitious for India because they seem to be set in the context of current geo-political global formations and may play a prominent role in the emerging world.

One would need only a common sense to realize that such highly ambitious targets for any nation would certainly need persisting and determined efforts on the part of those who are at the helms of affairs. Most certainly, a five-year stint at the head of power is not enough for this task. Any sane person would not doubt this plain truth.

And, Modi and his government have been in power for almost two years by now out of its total of five. What did Modi and his government do in these two years? To be honest, Modi and his government have been almost on their tiptoes, relentlessly and tirelessly, in pursuing these national goals. There are many fronts where the results of these efforts are visible to anybody who cares to notice them and these results are being acknowledged by independent international observers and agencies.

But, while determining the strategy to realize the set national goals, should these efforts of Modi and his government have been the “top priority” or even the “only priority” in this stint of five years? Oh! come on, one has to show the results to the country! Yes, you have to prove yourself by your results. But, should it be the top priority of a government that has five years at its disposal and has a program ten or fifteen years’ goals at its hands? No. Absolutely, no. Then, what are those other priorities that should be given equal, if not more, importance in the strategic planning?

It is the task of putting your intellectual soldiers at the battle fronts, where the war is going on in the nation. If you do not have them in the required numbers, groom them and deploy them. If you fail in this task, you fail in your entire mission. And, rest assured, if you fail, you lose; if you lose, you go; if you go, whatever you have achieved so far, would be dismantled and demolished. The resonance-amplification of the sounds of “intolerance, atrocities on Dalits, minorities oppression, dirty-India, superstitious-India” etc. are the direct outcome of the failure of this government to put competent people at proper places. The old guards as usual are ruling the roost. This Government has not been able to put in place a “fast acting body” to review who is doing what in this country and for how many years.

Modi government has not been able in its long-span of two years to identify the available intellectual soldiers and deploy them where they are urgently required to challenge and demolish the opponent-intellectual fortifications. Till now, there is no top quality intellectual institute of international repute established in India that convinces the world how the Indian philosophy, way of life, thoughts and outlook are correct in essence; how the adversaries’ ideas (which are being marketed from the high pulpit of commercial media) are hollow within; and, how the modern science – psychology, para-psychology, Unity of Fundamental Force, neuroscience etc. – is validating with each passing day the essence of this most vibrant and multifaceted Indian thought.

Intellectually, India is still being ruled by the decadent Western thoughts, which on being practised there in the West or here in India has destroyed the peace and beauty of life. There are intellectually accomplished people in India – and even in the West – who are able to demolish by virtue of their depth of knowledge of the current science as well as of the understanding of Indian way of life the opponents’ fashionable cult passing under the name of modern Western outlook.

These intellectual soldiers have not been identified by the Modi government; they are not deployed where they are urgently needed to be deployed; and, there is no top quality institution in place where the new crop of these intellectuals could be grown. This is the most serious lapse – the fatal mistake – of Modi and his government. In formulating a strategy to accomplish the goals set before itself, this government needs to give this task an equal priority – if not the top priority. And, out of the five years, two have already passed.

“Rama’s obedience to his father Dasratha was the ‘slavery'”: Sheldon Pollock – and an “Answer to this Allegation” by an Indian


By: Surya K (Allegation by Sheldon Pollock) and an answer by: Sai Krishna

First the allegation – distortion – in Ramayana by Sheldon Pollock:

Interpreting “Rama’s obedience to his father King Dasaratha”

As the “slavery, just like slaves in ancient Rome”

Sheldon Pollock’s version:

Source book is:

“Ramayana of Valmiki (Vol. 2) Ayodhyakana – An Epic of Ancient India” by Sheldon I. Pollock

Excerpts from Pages 20-22:

For Rama represents a comprehensive model of behavior, enacting in particular two roles that encompass communal life in its totality. After Rama’s banishment Kaushalya exclaims to Dasaratha:If only Rama could have lived at home though it meant begging in the city streets!  You had the freedom to grant such a boon, which at the worst had made my son a slave. (38.4)

The verse directs our attention to an important aspect of Rama’s status: his absolute heteronomy.

The status of junior members of the Indian household was, historically, not very dissimilar to that of slaves (as was the case in ancient Rome), both with respect to the father and, again, hierarchically among themselves.

The image of Rama’s bondage is enhanced by the fact that he is obliged to pay a debt that devolves upon him with the death of his father.

More generally, like the slave, Rama is “not his own master, he is subordinate to others and go where he wishes,” as an early Buddhist text defines the condition of slavery.

On this level of signification, where Rama’s position is one of unqualified subservience to the will of his master, the relations that has come to characterize the social formation can be understood.

As Lakshmana and Bharata submit to Rama (“I am your servant,” says Lakshmana to Rama 20.35;  “I am your slave,” says Bharata 97.12), and as Rama himself submits and suffers (“the King [my] master is exercising his authority … over me,” 21.17), so all the orders of society are to recognize and observe the strict boundaries of hierarchical existence.

This is not something that the poet is content merely to suggest.

It is explicitly enunciated: “as I myself have shown you,” Rama tells the people of Ayodhya, explaining the example he is setting, “you must obey your master’s order” (40.9).

Rama’s behavior is a paradigm to which all subordinates must conform.

Where his status might seem to be different is in his apparent freedom to choose to obey: But this freedom is illusory, conjured by the poet only to dismiss it; it is precisely such freedom that Rama himself denies: “it is not within my power to defy my father’s bidding” (18.26); “I cannot defy my father’s injunction” (18.35).

He acts, in fact, as if he had no choice, without deliberation, “without questioning my father’s word” (16.37).

His obedience as unreflective action holds as much interest for the poet as its justification – indeed more, for the latter is consistently minimized.

On another socially symbolic level, where Rama’s filial relationship with the king is brought into prominence, the relations obtaining in the political organization at large are grasped.

According to the paternalistic formulation of the text, the people are the prajah, the “children” of the king.  The institutionalization of dependency and loyalty would appear to be a major precondition for the centralization of power; a basic problem, especially in the period of consolidation, is how to incorporate and manage the more traditional local allegiances.

The mediating expression of a higher yet recognizable unity, the broadly integrating and richly allusive image of the state as family and the king as father would do this effectively – perhaps even more effectively than the ascription of divine status to the king (which, as shall see in Book Three, likewise plays a significant role in the ideology of the poem).

For the king comes to represent a superior kinship bond, drawing on and incorporating the symbolic power of those that had previously been dominant.

The deeper resonances of “father” in the following verses would have been perceptible to any Indian audience “on the streets and highways of Ayodhya”.

There is no greater act of righteousness than this: obedience to one’s father and doing as he bids. (16.48). It is this that is my duty on earth, and I cannot shirk it. Besides, no one who does his father’s bidding ever comes to grief. (18.31). As long as Kakutstha lives, my father and lord of the world, he must be shown obedience, for that is the eternal way of righteousness. (21.10). Both you and I must do as father bids.

He is king, husband, foremost guru, lord, and master of us all. (21.13). My father keeps to the path of righteousness and truth, and I wish to act just as he instructs me.  This is the eternal way of righteousness. (27.30).

Thus the ideological dimension of the Ayodhyakanda comprises two principal components.

Actual relations of subordination, on the one hand, and the identification of “state” and more localized political interests, on the other, can no longer be recognized as having a determinate and historical character; the one is now in every sense natural and inevitable; the other, an inextricably genetic bond.

Social subordination and political domination now become “the eternal way of righteousness” and the ultimate horizon of possibility for human life.

They thus acquire a heightened value, which in turn promotes their continued reproduction.

Reply to Sheldon Pollock by Sai Krishna

And, now, an answer to this intentional distortion:
I have not read Pollock’s version, but read Ramayana in Telugu and Sanskrit. 
Pollock’s interpretation of Ayodhya Kanda fails when one reads the same sarga he discusses fully.
Dasaratha orders Rama to kill him and take over the kingdom as the rightful heir to the Kosala kingdom.
Rama, refuses , obviously and reasons splendidly with Dasaratha that it is his duty to keep his father’s honor and he cannot do anything that nullifies Dasaratha’s promise to Kaikeyi. 
Yes Rama disobeys Dasaratha for the greater upholding of Dharma.
In the same Ayodhya Kanda, last sarga, Rama once again instructs Sumantha , the minister of Ayodhya who is charioting Rama, Lakshmana and Sita to the banks of Ganga to ignore Dasaratha’s pleas to stop. He explicitly tells Sumantha to tell Dasaratha once he is back in Ayodhya that he could not be heard in the cacophony around. 
Once again Rama places the greater Dharma above obeying the king and his father.
Pollock ignores this part: “I cannot but fulfill my father’s promise
in letter and spirit”
It is not his father’s command, but his fathers promise to his mother that he wants to uphold.
From here:
eternal way of righteousness”

21 GUN SALUTE -“The Battle For Sanskrit”


21 Gun Salute

“THE BATTLE FOR SANSKRIT”

A book by: Rajiv Malhotra

By: Avinash Naidoo

Low res-Front Cover

Since ancient times India has been the birth place of sages, seers and saints. It has been a country that has shared its rich culture all over the world, which was highly reputed. India has for ages relied on its spiritual wealth and nothing else. If one just thinks about the plight and position of the mother of spirituality and the quintessence of life today, the ocean of anguish and concern hits like a tsunami unannounced, to think that once upon a time this great land spread light of divinity to every corner of the world in all places, in all periods of time in human history.

 It is in this light that Sanskrit took form, being the most ancient among the world’s diverse languages. Unlike any other civilisation and their languages or means of…

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