Pataliputra: as seen by Megasthnese


KUMRAHAR SOLE REMINDER OF AN ANCIENT CAPITAL

Kumrahar is the site beneath which sleeps a city — the lost Pataliputra. Both in its richness and town planning, it was in no way inferior to any of its contemporary cities in the world. But sadly, it has hardly any significant remains to exhibit, says Somen Sengupta

Our history avows with pride that Pataliputra was the most glorious capital of the ancient era, and it was where today’s Patna city stands. If this is history, then why are there no archaeological ruins in or around Patna where the edifice of the great city — from where this country was ruled for more than 600 years — can be seen? Why don’t we have any majestic ruins of the royal seat like those in ancient Italy or Greece?

This question called for a visit to the Kumrahar Archeological Park, just 6 km from Patna station. A stone tablet installed by the ASI answered a disturbing but fundamental question. Soon, I realised that I am walking on a ground under which a massive archaeological excavation site is buried. It is Pataliputra, the glory of our pristine past. And both in its richness and town planning, it was in no way inferior to any city in the world. The only difference is that today when a plethora of archeological ruins and excavation sites are carefully preserved in all ancient capitals of the world to showcase their extraordinary past, Pataliputra — from where four royal dynasties ruled India — has hardly any significant remains to exhibit.

Thanks to the British officers of ASI, at least some signs of that city are visible in Kumrahar. Legend and history both have an equal share in forming the biography of the lost city. From these it is obvious that today’s Patna city stands over a treasure box of archeological relics which are nothing but footprints of Pataliputra.

The origin of the city finds its reference in mythology. Legends goes that King Putraka built the city in honour of his queen Patali and named it Pataligram. The name was changed to Pataliputra when she gave birth to her first son. A rational version explains that ‘Pattan’ meaning port in Sanskrit or ‘Patali’ meaning flower could have been the real inspiration for naming the city.

Buddhist texts suggest that when Buddha was undertaking his last journey towards the north from Vaishali, he came across Pataligram where he witnessed the construction of a fort by King Ajatshatru to protect his kingdom from the attack of Licchavies. At that time, Magadha’s capital was Rajagriha. Soon, Udayin, the son of Ajatshatru, shifted the capital to Pataliputra. That was the beginning of a glorious journey of a great city. The journey ended after 1,100 years when the last few weak Gupta rulers failed to hold the kingdom. Frequent floods, attack by invaders and gradual deurbanisation turned the city into a necropolis. It soon sunk into the dark, forgotten pages of history.

Chinese travellers Fa-Hien in the 5th century and Xuanzang in the 7th century visited the place, but by that time it was already a ghost city. The best description of Pataliputra was found in the writings of Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador in the court of Chandragupta Maurya. In his book Indica, he referred to the city as Patlibothra, describing it shaped as a parallelogram running 12.5-km-long east to west and having a width of 2.4 km. Situated between Ganga, Punpun and Gondak rivers, the city was exposed to frequent flooding. The beautiful city was encircled by a timber palisade, which had 570 towers and 64 gates. There was a broad and deep moat around the wall, providing protection and serving as a sewage canal. He gave an illustrative description of Chandragupta’s palace, clearly mentioning it as being much superior to the palace of Susa and Ecbatana of Iran.

Forgotten till the early 19th century, there was no effort to find the banished city, but the dream of finding ancient Pataliputra always hounded archaeologists. In the early 19th century, Buchanan and Rennel first made an effort. After that Alexandar Cunningham and JD Begler also tried to discover Pataliputra with not much success. It was concluded that the city was washed away and its ruins were under water.

The real credit of finding ancient Pataliputra goes to Dr Laurence Austine Waddell, a legendary British explorer. It was he who in 1892 first wrote an article ‘Discovery of the exact site of Asoka’s classical capital of Pataliputra, the Palibothra of the Greeks’, after discovering wooden beams arranged in double rows and a wooden drain. At a place called Bulandibagh near Patna, he unearthed a column capital. Waddell took reference from Xuanxang, who in his travelogue, had mentioned two Ashoka pillars, which he named Jambudavipa and Nilli. Waddell was sure that he had discovered Nilli pillar. In the true sense, Waddell was the real explorer of Pataliputra. His article created mayhem across the world.

He had a grand plan to excavate more but a transfer order moved him to Calcutta to teach chemistry in Calcutta Medical College. So, the excavation was handed over to PC Mukherjee, who in 1897 found a ditch along with many stone fragments and coins of Chandragupta-II. The discovery of the ditch matched with the description of Megasthenes, and the existence of Pataliputra under the base of Patna city was cemented with this.

In 1912, industrialist Sir Ratanji Tata of Bombay’s Tata Sons expressed his desire to fund the archeological excavation. A budget of Rs20,000 per year — a princely sum at that time — was sanctioned. His condition was that the ASI should undertake excavation at the Buddhist site of Peshawar province and all artifacts unearthed from the project be sent to the Prince of Wales Museum in Bombay, which was then in its formation phase.

However, the ASI chose Pataliputra over Peshawar for excavation, and this time the project site was shifted to Kumrahar. A young American archaeologist named David Brainerd Spooner excavated the same village from another side. Bad weather, floods and some local issues affected the pace of work, but on February 7, 1913, he discovered one of the richest archaeological treasures of India. He first found a brick wall under a structure and beneath that found 30 cm thick charcoal and ashes. Once that layer was removed, a huge square sub-structure with 72 massive Mauryan sandstone pillars made of black spotted buff sandstone monoliths were unearthed. The pillars were 15 ft apart and were arranged in eight rows.

He also found a series of parallel wooden platforms. Of the 72 pillars, only one column was found intact; the rest were broken. His excavation again established the fact that there was indeed a great city called Pataliputra. Spooner soon concluded that this huge structure was a grand conference hall where Ashoka conducted the third Buddhist council. As he could not match the structure with any present classical Indian structure, he also concluded that this palace was a replica of the great Persian structure hall of Persepolis. However, his theory was not accepted by many.

The project stopped due to heavy flooding in 1913. In mid-1914, Spooner re-excavated Bulandibagh and found a wooden palisade, which was the boundary wall of the city described by Megasthenes. Soon excavation entered a Muslim burial ground and with that all work stopped. In 1927, this place was again excavated by JA Page and M Ghosh. They unearthed a wooden wall made of heavy sleepers placed vertically in a double row with similar sleepers joining them horizontally from the bottom. Once again, Megasthenes’s 2,000-year-old description came under light.

From 1951-1955, AS Altekar and V Mishra from KP Jaiswal Research Institute conducted another excavation. It unearthed eight more pillar pits apart from the 72 already discovered by Spooner, and also found the ruins of a brick structure dating back to the 5th century. A terracotta seal found on the same spot read: “Arogyavihare Bikshusamghasya”. A seal was also found curved with the word ‘Dhanvantareah’ written in Gupta Bramhi script. A plethora of antiquities like copper coins, ornaments, antimony rods, terracotta seals, dice made of ivory, and toy carts were also excavated.

After this discovery, it was clear that legendary doctor of the Gupta era, Dhyanantari was indeed a man of medical repute and this was his hospital meant for Buddhist monks. The word Arogya Vihar by its literary merit means a hospital. The remains of the hospital can be seen today but only in a minimum form. The actual excavation trench of the palace of 80 pillars is no more visible today. As the area is still prone to floods. The Government had buried the entire site with soil in 1989. A museum at the site has a small replica of the original excavation and that is the only visual delight to have a feel of how the site looked like when it was explored in 1913. The museum also houses various artifacts found at the site.

A solitary pillar on display, with some inscription on the front, now rests under a covered and fenced shade. The pillar of the great conference hall is good enough to give you the idea of its shape and size. It carries the testimony of an extraordinary level of archeology and engineering of a time when the rest of the world could not have imagined it. This solitary pillar along with the Arogyashala are the last signatures of an ancient city which we will never be able to see again.

This article was published on 28th June 2015 in The Pioneer

Click here to view the original article

Argue away India and its Hinduism! And replace with ‘South-Asia’!


By: Prof. Ramesh Rao

I have taught since 1987 across four states and in four universities in the United States. I have a son, who is thirteen, and who comes home fretting about what is taught in school about religion and history. Next year, entering high school, he will take an AP course in History, which will include references to the “Aryan Invasion”, “caste”, “Brahmins”, and “untouchability”, among other references to the nature of Hindu spiritual/religious traditions, and social divisions and practices. Teaching the very complex and ancient but living traditions and the history of Indian civilization will be by teachers who have little knowledge about the area and its profundities.

This rot runs deep. While I was teaching at one university I found out that the Mahabharata and the Ramayana had been included in the readings for a “World Mythology” course but there were no texts included from Christian, Jewish, and Islamic “mythology”. My colleagues, with the requisite terminal degrees, were willing to compromise for political and ideological reasons to categorize Hindu texts as mythology but were unwilling or afraid to include Muslim, Jewish, and Christian “religious” texts. They claimed academic freedom, but when I asked them to consider academic integrity, I was met with haughty silence.

So, the contours of the California textbook controversy therefore are not unsurprising. It is the same old combination of deracinated Indians, religious groups inimical and profoundly opposed to the great Hindu traditions, and Left/Marxist academics who, trumpeting the cause of those they say are discriminated, are willing and eager to use their political axes to grind Hinduism and India to size if not out of existence in California. “We will go where the evidence leads us”, they claim, cherry-picking history and the complex dynamics of the present to push forward their political agendas.

These are powerful groups, and members of the “South Asia Studies” faculty have programmatically sought to argue away Hinduism and India. Thus, it should not have come as a surprise to me when I was recently comparing textbooks on intercultural communication (for students in the third or fourth year of college) and considering which textbook to adopt for teaching an online course on the subject.  In one of the books, I was shocked to find the following description of Hinduism:

“Hinduism is an inegalitarian, practice-based religion….  Unlike Christianity and Islam, Hinduism is not monotheistic (i.e., purporting a belief in a single god) and has no organized worship.  Hinduism is practice based rather than faith-based, which means that practices — which are often social — are more important than beliefs. Jeff Spinner-Halev writes: ‘Hinduism is concerned with legitimizing hierarchical social relationships and mollifying deities, not with faith or belief….  Unlike most of the Western approaches to ethics, Hinduism categorically denies that people are equal and practices a rigid caste system.  A caste is a social ordering hierarchical system in which people are ranked.  Hinduism prescribes strict rules and regulations about how one is to act within one’s caste level.  In some cases, the lower caste may not be allowed even to interact with the higher caste.  In India’s caste system, there are four levels: (1) Brahmins — the learned, educated elites, and priests; (2) Kshatriyas — the noble and warriors; (3) Vaishyas — the traders, businessmen, and farmers; and (4) Sudras — those who serve the needs of the upper-caste members. The Sudras are further divided into the touchable and Untouchables.  The untouchable take on positions considered demeaning and polluting by the upper caste, such as barbers, hairdressers, or cleaners.  The untouchable Sudras are considered spiritually polluting and perform jobs such as garbage collecting. Hinduism prescribes that one is born into a caste level and it is virtually impossible to move from one caste level to the next — that is, from lower to higher levels.  In Hindu society, men and women are clearly not equal.  The birth of a son is a blessing while the birth of a daughter is met with misgivings.  She is a financial burden to the family”.

That was it!  No yoga and meditation, no Bhagavad Gita or the Shad Darshanas, no discussion about the influence of Hinduism on art, music, architecture, and dance in India, Southeast Asia, and also now in the West, and absolutely no mention of how some of the great American minds – Emerson and Thoreau, William James, and Huston Smith – responded to Hindu thought and belief.

In a book on intercultural communication, where the goal is to enable students to learn about other cultures this crude, simplistic depiction of Hinduism is what students read.  That such a description of Hindus/Hinduism could be presented in a textbook which went through numerous reviewers’ hands indicates the level and the kinds of bias that infect the work of some scholars in the United States in the humanities and social sciences. These authors did not just happen, by chance, figure out what to say about Hindus and India. They have been fed this “knowledge” since their middle school days. This prejudice, this bias, and this deliberate campaign to malign Hinduism are what are in play in the California textbook case. Nothing more, nothing less.

‘Nirbhaya – the raped womanhood’ – In India or in the US?


By: Prabhat Gupta

Nirbhaya – a woman – was not long ago raped in India, who later on died in hospital.  It was indeed a gruesome rape. At that time the Western media dubbed India as ‘The Rape Capital’ of the world. At that time, if my memory does not fail me, BBC said about Indian men, ‘It is not a case of few rotten apples but the barrel itself being rotten’ implying that most Indian men were sexually perverts.

What is the reality? Where does the world’s ‘Capital of Rape’ lie? To put it more graphically, to which place on Earth ”It is not a case of few rotten apples but the barrel itself being rotten’ does the reality lead us?
Before answering these questions, please watch this video aptly titled ‘The Hunting Grounds’:

This documentary puts the spotlight on the highly sexualized and porn fueled civilized West.

Indians gripped by inferiority complex should note that India is far more safer and should rely on RAINN (https://rainn.org/ ) and see how the Western men, whom they think as their saviour, are actually far “ahead” when committing crimes against women and are far more deviant and pervert than most in the “developing” world, including India.

I have copied this to Prof Michele Decker of John Hopkins University who runs this https://www.coursera.org/course/gbv, so that she and her colleagues can better understand where the problem spots are.

I must hasten to add that she did write back to me saying words to the effect that “India does not have the unusual burden when comes to dealing with GBV”.

I was pleased to hear that from her and I also understand that she is also aware of the cultural sensitivities involved in the matter.

It is on these pages that they had shown Devi Durga Mata with a torn lip, as if to indicate that Indian men were responsible for this depraving violence. That image, a very offending to Hindus, has since been removed. That offending image was akin to Mother Mary being shown naked or some imagery which showed her being injured by several thugs effectively putting her in a perdition, in primarily a Judeo-Christian America. One can imagine the furor this would cause in the US and the right-wing and then seeking “justice”.
Nonetheless the work – the work of correctly educating people – needs to be done everywhere, not just in the US and not just in India. It needs to be done everywhere with the right contextual settings realising that a simple cut and paste of ideas and a reductionist approach are all bound to be very measured in their success and at times will simply fail.

In ‘War of cultures’ the unique place of Rajiv Malhotra


By: Vedic Desi

Curry smells, eating with hands, not using toilet paper, squat toilets, public defecation, pollution, caste system, accent, 33 million gods, driving in India, Paan spitting, vegetarianism, reincarnation, British gave you everything, and other clichés.

Astonishing! When people hear about India this is all they will get to know. As if somebody carefully trains them. Although there are many facts on India readily available thanks to the development in couple of years, the “Third World” image is carefully crafted and nutured.

There is another set of people who are totally in love with India. They love yoga, and they want this “SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE” from India. In between the spectrum there are the people, who are still formulating an image about what is India. These form the think tanks, universities who know the reality on ground and know how to spin it, wherever and whenever needed.

At some point, if you feel you need to correct these stereotypes and get a true picture, you need to understand who you are in the first place to present yourself and the facts. Sadly most Indians neither have the depth of knowledge nor interest to explain about themselves. History is distorted. Media is biased. Cultural festivals have ended up being all about Bollywood song and dance.

It is Rajiv Malhotra who brought it all together. Nobody has integrated the current geopolitics and its effects on India as done by Rajiv. He authored Breaking India, which is a seminal book that explains the role of US and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, government and human rights groups in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India.The research tracked the money trails that start out claiming to be for education, human rights, empowerment training, leadership training, but end up in programs designed to produce angry youths who feel disjointed with their Indian identity. More importantly everyone should think about what it takes to put this together. When the problem is explained in such clarity, 50% of it is solved.

Rajiv Malhotra ji is unique because the integrated understanding his works provide is unparalleled. Dr. Subhash Kak’s work is creditable when it comes to Myths of Aryan Invasion and others for other specialties in Indology. But to understand the full spectrum of Indology, you have to come to Rajiv Malhotra.

On why the West works on specialization? 

Simple, America has a goal of global dominance. If the traditional scholars and their pawns understand the foreign policy of US, they would just be glad that someone like Rajiv exists and would put their force behind him to save our Sanskriti.

Not just study of religions regions and languages, do look up, US has an expert on almost everything imaginable on earth. Experts on Science, geopolitics, Religion, regions, languages, cultures, sports, Mathematics, Space, etc list goes on and on. Recently there was an alarm in the US on dwindling Russian experts and this was seen as responsible for hampering the policy decisions.

In US Universities, at the top-level the research direction is determined by National Science Foundation and the topics are split into small sections for research by different universities. This may be seen as a mundane practice by the uninitiated, but it is effective to obtain mastery. Do our traditional scholars know this?

It is the US which is the only country in the world that can print currency continually to fund its needs. As a supplement of the global dominance agenda, there is the goal of some to have Pan Christian world. If you want to dominate the world, you need to understand it thoroughly, only then you can control it. So where are the traditionalist doing the Purva Paksha to understand the US?

Rajiv in his new book – The Battle for Sanskrit has laid open all his years of work and encourages the traditionalists to know the battlefield and join in to save Sanskriti.

In such a complicated situation, if someone like Rajiv is offering a way to fight back, why are traditionalists attacking him? This whole outcry about not crediting previous Indologists is just comical. It is Rajiv Malhotra’s humble attempt and request that others have to take it forward. What more do the critics want? The attacks on Rajiv are unwarranted. All Dharmic minds need to help stop these illogical attacks by traditionalists and start contributing to save our Sanskriti.

In my personal view, an even bigger aim of Swadeshi Indology, as Rajiv Malhotra suggests we work on (not Indology, which is a western view) is to help in spiritual advancement.

In a world, where Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavatham are totally distorted, imagine what lies ahead for the future generations to tackle and develop faith and understanding of Dharma. Today it’s Sheldon Pollock, tomorrow someone else, but the battle has to be fought with a unified front. And the battlefield is best studied and explained by Rajiv Malhotra. Let’s stay on the path of Dharma, let’s unite to support and contribute to The Battle for Sanskrit.

This article is borrowed from this site:

http://www.jagritbharat.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1220

Watch wonderful moments!


(Net Discovery made by: Shreepal Singh)

Bounty of Nature:

Bounty of humans:

India can, and should, emerge as ‘knowledge producing’ international hub of education


By: Rajiv Malhotra

Indians were once upon a time (during the days of Nalanda, Taxashila and other world-class universities) the preeminent producers and exporters of knowledge, ideas and values to the rest of Asia. Now we are consumers of what the Western institutions teach us. We are stuck in a system of dependency so serious that our elites feel they must get certified by the West in order to be credible back home in India.

But I will explain that a window of opportunity has opened up and we cannot afford to miss this chance to take back our leadership role as knowledge producer and exporter. This window is due to the disruptions caused by the internet.

One of the latest trends in US universities is the growing role of foreigners, including Indians, in the affairs of these universities. First this role was only in the form of foreign students bringing in billions of dollars. Many US academic institutions are financially dependent on foreign students because they cannot meet their expenses through domestic student tuitions alone. An effect of this has been that a large number of Indian elites (both in USA and those returning to India) have been influenced by American values and principles, both good and bad. From the US side, this is not only a great source of tuition fees but also a way to spread its intellectual influence.

A more recent trend is for wealthy Indians to invest in US universities for personal brand building. (See an interesting article, titled, ‘Harvard is a hedge fund with a university attached.’) This is shortsighted and dangerous. Indians are giving grants and endowments to US universities without adequately evaluating the subject matter being produced by the scholars. It’s about wealthy Indians seeking a seat at the high table of prestige in American society. They see their family name on a building or attached to an academic chair as their next step in climbing the social ladder. Few donors get sufficiently involved in the details of the subject matter and the impact that is being created by their donation.

A major contrast between India and China in this regard is that China retains strict control over the disciplines pertaining to its civilization, values, domestic politics and culture. They readily buy (or use unscrupulous means to acquire) Western science, technology and business knowhow. But they do not want to brainwash their youth with Western prejudices in areas of the humanities that are considered sensitive to the interest of national unity and security. India has not been able to appreciate this strategic point even now.

Against this backdrop, I want to explain how some tectonic trends that are taking place in US higher education are rapidly making brick and mortar university campuses obsolete. I wish to advise those giving donations to US academic institutions to step back and rethink their strategies with future trends in mind. Most donations being given are wasteful because they fund obsolete models at a time when they should be funding the incubation of new models.

The single most important trend that is revolutionizing education is information technology, especially the internet. Teaching platforms like the Khan Academy are the wave of the future, not the physical classroom in a brick and mortar building. The old-fashioned teacher is being squeezed out along with the physical classroom. The total cost of higher education in the US is estimated to exceed $500 billion annually, using old delivery models. Many administrators in major universities are worried that their institutions are becoming like the dinosaurs. A disruption is long overdue and we should see this as an opportunity for creative entrepreneurship. This may be seen as a part of the wider trend in dis-intermediation (bypassing of the middleman) taking place in various industries.

The new cloud-based teaching methods are rapidly threatening the old school systems in many ways, such as the following:

Huge campuses are becoming obsolete. In the future, the buildings required will be mostly those with laboratories and high-tech infrastructure that cannot become virtual. The ordinary classroom will become almost extinct.

Old teaching materials are already obsolete. The teacher’s class notes that were once written on the board or handed out in class are now a waste of time because all that is readily available online. With video conferencing, considerable interaction is also available without physical meetings.

This trend will lower tuitions significantly because it is not necessary to hire full-time faculty.

 This also changes the demand side of university professors and impacts the future of academicians as a profession. Many subject matter experts who are not formally classified as professors will be teaching part-time and sharing their knowledge and practical experience. The old style professor with limited real world experience will be replaced by learned persons who will also bring their lived experience to teach.

All this means an end to the ivory tower academic snobbery of the past, in which there was great prestige associated with being a professor disconnected from mundane life. Now the floodgates are opening for teaching that is brought by knowledgeable individuals who are embedded within communities and who also speak as voices of the community.

Higher education will be a lifelong pursuit and not limited to a few years of college/university. Most workers will take online courses as a regular part of staying current with the trends in their field. Education will be seen as something you do all your life and for which you do not need necessarily to take several years off.

While the above list of changes pertains to the teaching side of higher education, there are equally revolutionary changes expected in the research side, especially in the humanities. Let us discuss religious studies in the US academy, as an example.

Twenty-five years ago, when I first started monitoring and intervening in the American academic research on Hinduism, the academic fortress was a formidable center of power. To make any impact, it was crucial to get inside the system one way or another. But today, an increasing amount of high quality scholarly works are being published by scholars and practitioners outside the walls of the academic fortress. Many guru movements have their own writings and publishing houses. The new works produced by Hindu movements are not only about standard topics like Bhagavad Gita, but also pertain to issues of society, politics, family, health, etc. Many other groups started by civic society now nurture non-academic research and publishing. These new suppliers are seen as threats to the turf traditionally controlled by the academicians. The academic empire is fighting back, but it is a losing battle. (I am an example of someone seen as a threat to the officially credentialed producers of knowledge about my culture.)

The number of readers who receive their knowledge about religion from sources outside the academy far exceeds the number who are sitting in class to learn from their professor. The American academicians refused to accept this trend during the past two decades when I tried to explain it to them. They were too arrogant to be open to this new reality. The pride of being the exclusive source of knowledge had been instilled in them during their PhD, and was seen as their ticket to success that could never be taken away. This attitude of the senior professors has misguided the new generation of academicians, and made the academic system insular and vulnerable.

Today, most people get their knowledge about religions (their own and those of others) through television, online sources, personal travels to sacred and holy sites, teachings from their gurus and swamis, and reading materials published by non-academic writers. If someone wants to invest in spreading particular ideas about our traditions, the investment is better spent on such platforms and not on feeding the old system which is rapidly becoming obsolete. Instead, they should rethink the dynamics of this intellectual kurukshetra of civilizational discourse. Only then can they develop a more viable strategy for interventions.

Indians have in the past bought used technologies and obsolete models in certain industries, at a time when the Western countries exporting these were migrating to new paradigms. I feel many of us are being fooled into investing in what will become obsolete models of higher education.

Instead of funding American higher education’s pre-internet era system, India should develop the next generation platforms. And India should not be content with a back-office role in this emerging industry, but should develop and own the brands seen by the end users (i.e. the students). Besides developing the platforms and delivery systems, Indians should also lead in content development and educational methodology, especially in areas where traditional Indian systems would give us a competitive advantage.

“Replacement of India with South Asia” controversy: Facts and propaganda


12 Apr 2016 — In the past few days, there have been several propaganda attempts made by either dishonest or ill-informed journalists and writers to discredit our petition.

The LA Times and some others have tried to argue that the “South Asia” name change was ONLY about references to the Indus Valley Civilization, and that India is “not being erased.” That is a blatant lie.

Please read the attached summary of all the edits made by the South Asia Faculty to the history curriculum. It goes far beyond some benign Indus Valley references, and includes egregious moves like deleting “India” and subsuming it within some pan-Asian “Islamic civilization” in one instance.

Please pass on the link to friends and others who might be finding it hard to believe that India could be erased like this…

Following are the 76 revisionist edits proposed by “South Asia Faculty Group” of which 80% of them were initially accepted by California Board of Education, some of which were recently reversed in response to…
Link:

Indian system of ‘Gotra’ and Genetics


By: Sunil Gupta

What is Gotra system ? Why do we have this ? Why do we consider ‘Gotra’ of the would-be spouce when we take a decision to marry our children? Why do we refuse to marry our children in the same ‘Gotra’?

It is uncontroverted fact that Indians follow these ‘Gotra’ traditions in making matrimonial alliances since time immemorial.

Why should sons carry the gotra of father, why not daughter ?

How does gotra of a daughter changes after she gets married ? What is the logic ?

In fact this is an amazing genetic science we follow. Let’s see the science of genetics behind gotra systems.

The word GOTRA formed from two sanskrit words GAU (means cow) and Trahi (means shed). Gotra means cowshed. Gotra is like cowshed protecting a particular male lineage.

We identify our male lineage / gotra by considering to be descendants of the 8 great rishi (sapta rishi + bharadwaj rishi). All the other gotra evolved from these only.

Let’s see why human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes (one from father and one from mother) on these 23 pairs, there is one pair called sex chromosomes which decides the gender of person.

During conception if the resultant cell is XX chromosomes then the child will be girl, if it is XY then it is boy. In XY – X is from mother and Y is from father.

In this Y is unique and it doesn’t mix.

So in XY, Y will supress the X and son will get Y chromosomes. Y is the only chromosome which gets passed down only between male lineage. (Father to Son and to Grandson).

Women never get Y. Hence Y plays a crucial role in genetics in identifying the genealogy.

Since women never get Y the gotra of a women is said to be of her husband.

They are 8 different Y chromosomes from 8 rishis. If we are from Same gotra then it means we are from same root ancestor.

Marriages between same gotra will increase the risk of causing genetic disorders as same gotra Y chromosomes cannot have crossover and it will activate the defective cells.

If this continues, it will reduce the size and strength of Y chromosome which is crucial for the creation of male. If no Y chromosome is present in this world, then it will cause males to become extinct.

So Gotra system is a method to avoid genetic disorders and attempt to protect Y chromosome.

Amazing bio-science by our Maharishis. Our Heritage is unarguably the best.

“Aesthatization of Power Theory” of Sheldon Pollock demolished by evidence of “Pallava inscrptions”


By: Satya Srinivas

Sheldon Pollock a Western Indologist has attributed Aesthatization of Power (AOP) theory to the spread of Sanskrit and Hinduism by Hindu kings. Rajiv Malhotra in his recent book “The Battle for Sanskrit” explained and debunked Sheldon Pollock’s gross misunderstanding of Raj Dharma as Aesthatization of Power (AOP). As per Sheldon Pollock Aesthatization of Power (AOP) theory below are basic points (Chapter 5 Location 3044):
  1. The King’s core function is protection of the Brahmins
  2. The well-being of Brahmins is so necessary that they perform Vedic yajnas in order to maintain balance in the cosmic order: and
  3. The supposed unlimited power of the king is this implicitly justified no matter how oppresive it may be.
This theory has been debunked by Rajiv Malhotra with below arguements (Chapter 5 Location 3044)
While it is true that great emphasis is placed on protecting the domains of sacredness (associated with Brahmins) and goverance (associated with Kshatriyas), Pollock is silent about the other duties of raj dharma. He simply ignores other shastras such as Arthashastra, which explicitly lays down the reasons for the king to maintain the welfare of all subjects and which offers specific injunctions on how to go about doing so. Ensuring economic welfare and ecological balance are, for instance two key principles of raj dharma as laid out in the Arthashastra.”
I came across application of this fancy AOP theory by a research scholar Mekhola Gomes of JNU, who is in awe with AOP theory and has two research titles based on this theory. 
She is even very unhappy about pulping of controversial book of Wendy Doniger The Hindus: An Alternate Theory.
Currently she is conducting a conference titled “The Aesthetics of Power: Representations of Kingship within the Early Pallava Imperium” on March 21st in IISc Bangalore. A clear extention of Pollock’s AOP theory.
The details are below:
Dear All,

Literary, Arts and Heritage Forum
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES
Indian Institute of Science Campus,
Bengaluru - 560 012

is pleased to invite you to a talk on

“The Aesthetics of Power: Representations of Kingship within the
Early Pallava Imperium”

By

​​Mekhola Gomes
Doctoral Scholar, Centre for Historical Studies,
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Chairperson : Naresh Keerthi, NIAS

Date:               Monday, 21st March, 2016
Time:               4:30 pm
Venue:             Lecture Hall, NIAS

Abstract:   The period of Pallava rule in Tamil Nadu was a dynamic time in
South Indian history, with innovations in several spheres. These included
the construction of cave-shrines, structural temples, creation of new
iconographies, and inscriptional encomiums. In this talk, I attend to the
changing aesthetics of power in the Pallava kingdom through a juxtaposition
of texts and images. Starting the 4th century CE, inscriptional genealogies
praised Pallava kings in innovative ways. These innovations were elaborated
within and through the construction of royal cave-shrines and structural
temples beginning the 7th century CE.  Through inscriptional panegyrics,
the construction of cave-shrines, and structural temples, the Pallavas
inaugurated a new aesthetics of power. This emergent aesthetics of power
was created within and through a larger field of representation. I will
compare representational strategies of kingship within inscriptions of the
Early Pallavas with visual delineations of power in rock-cut cave- shrines
and stone temples.  I suggest that the Pallavas created a new aesthetics of
power in early south India, through both the textual and visual and it is
only through the interpretation of text and image together that we can
fully appreciate the emergence of this new aesthetic.

About the Speaker: Mekhola Gomes is a doctoral scholar in early Indian
history at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Her thesis, explores representations and practices of political power in
the Deccan, between the 3rd and 8th centuries CE. She is co-editing a
forthcoming volume on the epigraphical (re)turn in the study of ancient
Indian history.

After reading the description, I wanted to really check if Pallavas are so imperialistic who otherwise known for their great architecture, political acumen and cultural development.
So I started searching for Pallava’s inscriptions and found a very good website of http://www.whatisindia.com/ online (Founded by Aravind Sitaraman, a Computer Scientist in 1995). The site contains a collection of Pallava inscriptions translation done by  C. R. KRISHNAMACHARLU, Epigraphical Department in 1943.

http://www.whatisindia.com/inscriptions/south_indian_inscriptions/volume_12/preface.html
After going through the collection below are my observations:
Yes there is prashasthi of kings just like how details of a modern day donors are inscribed either in a temple or some charity organization. Not beyond that. And in some cases the kings made offerings whenever there was victory over their opponents which is part of our Hindu tradition of offering to god once the wish is fulfilled.
But attributing the growth of Hinduism due to such prashasthi or Aesthatization of Power (AOP) by Pollock is stretching too far. Apart from that remaining carvings of the temple are mostly about the gods, or carvings based on our purana ithihaasas which clearly talks about genuine divine love of our kings for the Hindu gods and the religion.
Apart from the inscriptions related to kings there were many inscriptions related to donations made by common man such as traders and even maid servants. If the king’s objective behind building temples was to use AOP to spread their kingdom, why will they allow common man’s deeds inscribed.
Simhavishnu or Avanisimha first Pallava monarch who extended his dominions beyond Kanchi in the South.  He has not left any stone or copper-plate inscriptions, but is known only through the records of his successors.” This statement debunks Pollock’s AOP theory completely.
Another statement below supports arguement that kings are not that interested in AOP.
Pallavamalla, also called Kshatriyamalla and Sridhara, revived the practice of quoting regnal years in inscriptions, which had been apparently given up by his immediate predecessors.”
There is a gradual shift of language used in inscriptions from Sanskrit to Tamil, it was not abrupt. Even after the shift, initial part is writtern in Sanskrit and remaining in Tamil.
This supports Rajiv Sir explanation of Vernacularization might have resulted from an attachment to one’s mother tongue or ethinicity.
From his (Pallavamalla ) time onwards Tamil came to be the main language used by the Pallavas in their inscriptions, though a few records continued to be in Sanskrit.  This language was first adopted by Mahendravarman I himself in a few records of his (No. 16, fn. 2); but from the time of Paramesvaravarman I, the practice came into vogue of inscribing a part of the record in Sanskrit and the rest in Tamil.[33]
The inscriptions also speaks about the distribution of powers. All the temples are managed by committies or trusts not by a individiual. So the arguement of nexus of Kings and brahmins is also not that strong. Moreover in one inscription Brahmins were considered as defaultors because of they stood surety for some individuals who did not paid their dues. And loan was given to (note they were not written off) Brahmins to repay those dues. If Brahmins have such influence as mentioned by Pollock why were the dues were not written off.
Some inscriptions show that temples are not just spiritual centers but much more than that. Some talk about social programs like offering food to piligrims, desilting tank in a village etc.
Below are some of the inscriptions examples supporting my above observations.
No. 54.
(A. R. No. 8 of 1934-35).
Padur, Chingleput Taluk and District.
On a slab set up in the street called ‘Mettutteruvu’.
The beginning of this inscription is lost, but from palaeography and the letters Nan traceable in the first line, it may be assigned to Nandivarman III.   It is dated in the 18th year and registers the gift of 96 sheep by the shepherds (kottaanradis) of Amur-kottam for burning a perpetual lamp before the god Peruma[na*]digal ‘who was pleased’ to stand at Vilupperundaya-Visnugriham in Paduvur.
No. 90.
(A. R. No. 190 of 1912).
Tiruvorriyur, Saidapet Taluk, Chingleput District.
On a slab built into the floor of the mandapa in
 front of the central shrine in the Adhipurisvara temple.
On this slab of stone, three records are engraved one in continuation of another in the same hand.  The name of the king in the first record is damaged; the second is dated in the 7th year of Kampavarman[6]while the third belongs to the 6th year of Aparajita.  They appear, therefore, to have been engraved on the slab in the same time; but what necessitated the procedure is not clear.  The last record registers an agreement made in the 6th year of Vijaya-Aparajitavikrama-Pottaraiyar, by the assembly of Manali, hamlet of Tiruvorriyur, to burn two perpetual lamps before the god Mahadeva at Tiruvorriyur, in lieu of the interest on 60 kalanju  of gold received by them from the community of Mahesvaras.
The endowed amount was invested with the assembly as fixed deposit bearing interest at the usual rate of 3 manjadi per kalanju.  The assembly promised also to give two meals daily to the person who came to collect the interest and if they failed in their duty, they agreed to pay a fine of 8½ kanam per day to the court of justice.
No. 95.
(A. R. No. 435 of 1905).
On the same wall.
This inscription refers to a remission of taxes made by the assembly of Tiruttaniyal in the 18th year of Vijaya-Aparajitavikramavarman, on 1000 kuli of land situated to the north of the temple, purchased by Nambi Appi from the cultivators of the village and given over to the dharmigal of the village for providing offerings to and burning two twilight lamps in the temple of Tiruvirattanattudeva in the same village.  The donor is evidently identical with the builder of the temple mentioned in the above inscription.
The dharmigal were perhaps a body that managed the charitable endowments and trust property in the village.
No. 34.
(A. R. No. 109 of 1932-33).
Paiyanur, Chingleput taluk and District.
On a rock near the dilapidated temple of Ettisvara.
This record is dated in the 37th year of Vijaya-Nandivikramavarman who, from the palaeography of the inscription and the high regnal year quoted in it, may be identified with Pallavamalla.  It registers an agreement made by the gana of Payinur to remove annually the silt from the big tank of the village for the interest on 6,400 kadi of paddy received by them by the standard measure por-kal, from Nagan, a merchant of Ulakkuni residing at Mamallapuram. The document is signed by Settanandi, evidently a member of the gana.  The village Paiyanur is very close to Mahabalipuram and the earliest epigraphical reference to ‘Mamallapuram’ is to be found in the present inscription.
It may be pointed out that the epithets ‘Vijaya’ and ‘Vikramavarman’ added to his name by Nandivarman, were invariably adopted by his successors.[10]
No. 42.
(A. R. No. 283 of 1916).
Tondur, Gingee Taluk, South Arcot District.
On a Boulder in a field near the ‘Vinnamparai-rock’.
This inscription[14] is dated in the 6th year of  Vijaya-Dantivikramavarman and it registers a gift of 16 kalanju of gold by Vinnakovaraiyar, probably a chieftain of the locality, to provide, from th interest on the amount, offerings to the goddess Erruk-Kunranar-Bhattari for the merit of Udaradi and Nambi ……… who fell in an  encounter.  The food offered to the god was used for feeding pilgrims and the gold endowed was received by the assembly of Aruvagur in Singapura-nadu.  Certain specified members of the Varigam were nominated to see that the assembly maintained this charity properly.  The village Aruvagur, which is stated to have been situated to the east of the road, may be identified with Arugavur in the Gingee taluk.
No. 47.
(A. R. No. 158 of 1919).
Kiliyanur, Tinivanam Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the south wall of the central shrine in the Vaikunthavasa-Perumal temple.
This inscription is dated in the 3rd year of  Vijaya-Nandivikramavarman who may be identified with Nandivarman III.  It states that a resident of the village Tigaittiral built the temple of Tigaittiral Vishnugriha at Kilinelur in Oyma-nadu and gave 300 sheep for maintaining a sacred lamp and 2 pieces of land (seru) made tax-free, for providing offerings to the god.  In later inscriptions the god is called Virrirunda-Perumal (A.R.  Nos.163 and 168 of 1919).
No. 49.
(C. P. No. 24 of  1910-11).
Velurpalaiyam Plates of Nandivarman III: 6th year.
This copper-plate record issued in the 6th year of Nandivarman  (III) registers a gift of the village Srikattuppalli, to the Siva temple built by Yajnabhatta, at the request of Chola-Maharaja Kumarankusa, for the expenses of daily worship and for a feeding house.  This Chola-Maharaja and Vijayalaya, the founders of the revived Chola line at Tanjore are taken to have belonged to one and the same family.  This is doubtful and he should probably have belonged to the family of Renandu Cholas[17].
No. 39.
(A. R. No. 256 of 1908).
Vayalur, Chingleput Taluk, Chingleput District.
On a slab built into the floor of the mandapa in front of the central shrine in the vanadhisvara temple.
This inscription records a gift of 3 kadi  (of paddy) by five individuals for offerings and a lamp in the temple of Bhatara at Vayalaikka, in the 2nd year of Vijaya-Dantivikramavarman.
No. 103.
(A. R. No. 174 of 1912).
Tiruvorriyur, Saidapet Taluk, Chingleput District.
On a slab built into the floor of the verandah
round the central shrine in the Adhipurisvara temple.
This date of this record of Vijaya-Kampavarman  is not clear.  It might be 11, 13 or 16.  The inscription records an agreement made by the assembly (ur) of Vaikkattur ro provide offerings to the god Mahadeva at Tiruvorriyur, on the day of sankranti, for the interest on 27 kalanju of gold received by them from Pudi Arindigai, wife of Videlvidugu[Ilankove]lar of Kodumbalur[1] in Ko-nadu.  The chiefs of Kodumbalur (in the Pudukkottai state) figure largely in inscriptions as subordinates of the Cholas, but their connection with the Pallavas is not so well known.  A chief of this family is also mentioned in a mutilated record from Kilur[2], dated in the 11th year of Vijaya-Nandivikramavarman, where the donor is stated to be the wife of Sattan maravan and the daughter of Vikrama-Pudi who is probably identical with Videlvidugu Ilanko-Adiaraiyan mentioned in the same record.
No. 105.
(A. R. No. 372 of 1911).
Tiruvorriyur, Saidapet Taluk, Chingleput District.
On a slab built into the floor at the entrance into the second prakara of the Adhipurisvara temple.
The construction of a temple of Niranjanesvarattu-Mahadeva at Tiruvorriyur by a certain Niranjanaguravur of the place and the gift of 20,00 kuli of land by purchase from the assembly of Manali for its upkeep, are recorded in this inscription of Vijaya-Kampavarman dated in the 19th year.  The document was drawn up by Rudrappottar Kumara-Kalan, the madhyastha of the village.  The communities Mandirattar and Kombaruttar are mentioned in II. 29 – 30.
The inscription is stated to have been engraved by Tiruvorriyur-Acharyan alias Paramesvaran, son of Samundacharya.
The pullis are marked in the inscription.
No. 108.
(A. R. No. 345 of 1906).
Uttukkadu, Conjeeveram Taluk, Chingleput District.
On the south wall of the ruined Perumal temple.
This is dated in the 25th year of Vijaya-Kampavarman and registers the agreement made by the tirunamakkilavar of Ulaichcheri in Urrukkadu to burn three lamps and to provide offerings (to the god) for the money and land received by them from Pusali Vamanan, a resident of the village.  The name of the temple is not mentioned in the record, but from the reference made in it to the mahesvaras, it seems to have been dedicated to Siva.
No. 109.
(A. R. No. 82 of 1932-33).
Anur, Chingleput Taluk and District.
On the south wall of the mandapa in front of the central shrine in the Astrapurisvara temple.
This is a damaged and incomplete record of Kampavikra[mavarman] dated in the 25th year.  It registers an agreement made by the sabha of Aniyur to burn a perpetual lamp before the god Vambankattur-Mahadeva for the interest on 40 kalanju of gold received by them from Periya Sridhara-Kramavittan of Arivilimangalam, a member of the alum-gana, evidently of Anur.
No. 110.
(A.R. No. 283 of 1919).
Madam, Wandiwash Taluk, North Arcot District.
On the side of a boulder called Sarukkamparai About a furlong to the south of the village.
This inscription records that in the 26th year of Vijaya-Kamapavarman, Jayavallavan (Jayavallabha) a merchant of Kulattur in Tennarrur-nadu, a subdivision of Palkunrak-kottam purchased land from the urar of the village and presented it as erippatti for the maintenance of a tank, evidently at Madam.
No. 114.
(A.R. No. 152 of 1916).
Kilpulam, Arkonam Taluk, North Arcot District.
On the north, west and south walls of the Kailasanatha temple.
This record registers a gift of land made in the 2nd year of Vayiramegavarman by Mullikkudaiyan Adittanali for conducting the tiruppali (i.e., sribali) ceremony and for offerings during the three services in the temple of Tirukkulichcharattu-Alvar at Palkalam in Damar-kottam, with five persons including one for beating the gong (segandigai) and two for blowing the trumpets (kalam).  The assembly (ur) of Palkalam entrusted the endowed land to Arayanichchingan, a drummer (uvaichchan) residing in the village.
The village Palkalam may be identified with Kilpulam itself.

No. 129.
(A. R. No. 229 of 1925).
Akkur, Mayavaram Taluk, Tanjore District.
On the east side of the base of the mandapa in front of the Tanto Risvara temple.
This inscription states that Kopperunjingadeva who is called Alagiya-Pallavar alias Virapratapar, after imprisoning the Hoysalas and levying tribute from the Pandyas, proceeded to the Chola country along the southern bank of the Kaveri.  Proceeding due east, he worshipped at all the sacred shrines, repaired temples and remitted all the taxes on temple lands.  While camping during this march at a village, probably Akkur itself, in Jayangondasola-valanadu, he found that the tenants had ‘migrated as far as the Ganges’ leaving the lands waste.  Sympathising with their position, he remitted the arrears of taxes due from them, restored their original holdings and invited the emigrants to settle on their original lands.
The present inscription is probably connected with No. 124 above.  Since the defeat of the Hoysalas is also referred to here, this record may be assigned to Kopperunjinga 1.  The defeat on the Pandyas claimed in this record could not have taken place after the accession of the powerful Pandya sovereign Jatavarman Sundara-Pandya I in A.D. 1251.
It may be pointed out here that Kopperunjinga’s fortifications built on the north bank of the river Kaveri against his enemies the Hoysalas are referred to in a record from Tiruvenkadu.[3]
No. 131.
(A. R. No. 69 of 1918).
Vriddhachalam, Vriddhachalam Taluk, South Arcot District.
In the second gopura (right of entrance) of the Vriddhagirisvara temple.
This inscription records a provision made in the 2nd year of Sakalabhuvanachchakravarttigal Kopperunjingadeva for burning a perpetual lamp before the god at Tirumudukunram in Paruvur-kurram, a subdivision of Merka-nadu Irungolappadi-nadu situated in Virudarajabhayankara-valanadu, by Adaippu Tirukkarturai-Udaiyan Kunramuttaraiyan, son of Nerkuppai-Nadalvan Gunamudaiyan, one of the Pallis having the hereditary right of watchman ship in the temple.
The initial date of this chief is fixed in A.D. 1243[4] by a record from Conjeeveram[5], which equates the Saka year 1182 (A.D. 1260) with his 18th year.  The astronomical details given in the record correspond to A.D. 1244, November 13, Sunday.   The chief may, therefore, be identified with Kopperunjingadeva II.
No. 147.
(A. R. No. 323 of 1921).
Tirukkoyilur, Tirukkoyilur Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the north wall of the second prakara in the Trivikrama-Perumal temple.
It is stated in this record of Sakalabhuvanachakravarttin Avanialappirandan alias Kopperunjingadeva, dated in the 5th year, that the kaniyalar of the temple of Tiruvidaikali-Emberuman at Tirukkovalur agreed to burn a twilight lamp in the temple in return for six cows received by them from certain shepherds residing at Melaip-Panippakkam in Idaiyarru-nadu, a subdivision of Tirumunaippadi.
For the cows received the kaniyalar undertook to supply, by the ulagalandannali, 1 nali and 1 uri of ghee monthly to the temple.
The astronomical details given in the record correspond to A.D. 1247, December 29, Sunday.
No. 149.
(A. R. No. 296 of 1913).
Chidambaram, Chidambaram Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the north wall of the third prakara in the Nataraja temple.
This inscription gives an insight into the management of the temple affairs.  It is dated in the 6th year of Sakalabhuvanachakravartti Avaniyalappirandar  alias Kopperunjingadeva. The temple at Chidambaram was at this time managed by a committee consisting of the following members and groups, viz., Jayatungap-Pallavaraiyar, Tillaiambalap-Pallavaraiyar, Mahesvara-kankaniseyvar, Srikaryanseyvar, Samudayancheyvar, Koyilanayakancheyar, Tirumaligaikkuruseyvar and the accountants.
It registers a grant of land made by Sottai-Nayaka alias Kumara-Bhatta of Irayur residing in Ponmeyndasola-chaturvedimangalam for a flower garden called ‘Tirunilai-Alagiya’ for supplying flowers to the god and the goddess Tirukkamakkottamudaiya Periyanachchiyar with an additional plot by purchase from Ponnandi, wife of Ulaichchanan Madevan Tiruchchirrambalamudaiyan of Perumbarrappuliyur, as tirunamattukkani, for the maintenance of the person looking after this garden.
The village ponmeyndasola-chaturvedimangalam must have been so named after the title of Kulottunga-Chola II.[9]  The inscription purports to be an order of Solakon.
No. 151.
(A. R. No. 304 of 1913).
Chidambaram, Chidambaram Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the north wall of the third prakara in the Nataraja temple.
This inscription, dated in the 7th year, contains an order of the officer Solakonissued to the authorities of the temple at Chidabaram, to engrave on their temple walls, the gift of a flower garden made after purchase by a devaradiyar named Pillaiyar Sirridai Arivai and one Irangalmitta-pillaiyar, for providing flowers for the goddess Tirukkamakkottamudaiya-Periyanachchiyar and for the maintenance of two servants looking after the garden.
It may be mentioned that the officers Jayatunga-Pallavaraiyar, Tillaiambala-Pallavaraiyar and Tennavan-Brahmamarayan[1] mentioned here also figure in No. 124 of 1888, a record of the 28th year of Maravarman Kulasekharadeva (A.D. 1296) from the same temple.
No. 157.
(A. R. No. 318 of 1913).
Chidabaram, Chidambaram Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the north wall of the third prakara in the Nataraja temple.
This record, also dated in the 9th year of the chief, registers an order of Solakon makidng a gift of 27 and odd ma of land, by purchase from several individuals, for the maintenance of gardeners working in three different gardens, namely, one, in korrangudi alias Pavittiramanikkanallur, hamlet of Perumbarrappuliyur, and the others called ‘Avaniyalappirandan-tengu-tirunandavanam’ in the same village and ‘Adiravisiaduvan-tirunandavanam’ at Madandayarmanikkanallur. The gift is stated to have been made for the welfare of Kopperunjinga (devar tirumenikku nanraga). The lands purchased were situated in the devadana villages of (given by) Tamilnadu-katta-Pallavaraiyar.[5]
No. 159.
(A. R. No. 312 of 1913).
Chidambaram, Chidambaram Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the north wall of the third prakara in the Nataraja temple.
This inscription, dated in the 10th year, records an order issued by Solakon for the welfare of his master. It pertains to an exchange of 140 – 7/8 kuli of land in Pallippadai alias Vikramasolanallur in which was situated the temple of Pidari Tiruchchirrambala-Makali, for an equal extent of land (i.e., 141 kuli) purchased from the temple of Varanavasi-Mahadeva, according to the sadhana given by Parasavan Tiruchchirrambalamudaiyan alias Kanakasabhapati-panditan who had the kani-right of the former temple. This land was made tax-free by order of the officer Solakon, for the welfare of Kopperunjingadeva. The inscription reveals the existence of a committee called ‘Nilavaravu-kuttap-perumakkal’ which was probably in charge of land income. Some of the temple authorities mentioned here also figure in the time of Rajraja III and Jatavarman Sundara-Pandya in a few records of the village[6]. The documents connected with this transaction were ordered to be preserved in the temple treasury.
The Pidari temple is stated to have been situated on the southern side of the ‘Vikkiramasolan-tengu-tiruvidi’, along which the god (at Chidambaram) was taken in procession of the sea during festival days.
Vikkiramasolanallur is here called Pallippadai, but in No. 275 of 1913 belonging to Jatavarman Sundara-Pandya I dated in the 14th regnal year it bears the alternative name of Akkan-Pallippadai. From this it may perhaps be inferred that the remains of the elder sister (akkan) of Vikrama-Chola were interred here and that the village called after the king as ‘Vikkiramasolanallur’ was founded at this locality.
No. 180.
(A. R. No. 317 of 1921).
Tirukkoyilur, Tirukkoyilur Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the north wall of the second prakara of the Trivikrama-Perumal temple.
This inscription of the 13th year records a gift of 16 cows by Suliyamalagiyan alias Lakesvaradevan, son of Nachchi alias Tiruvengadapperumal Manikkam, a maidservant of the temple of Tiruvidaikkali-Nayanar at Tirukkovalur in Kurukkai-kurram, a subdivision of Miladu alias Jananatha-valanadu[2], for providing one alakku of ghee daily by the measure Ulagalandan-nali to the god Tiruvidaikali-Nayanar.
The astronomical details given in the record are regular for A.D. 1256, January 3, with the emendation Purva-Bhadrapada for Sravana.
No. 204.
(A. R. No. 196 of 1930).
Kunnattur, Sriperumbudur Taluk, Chingleput District.
On the west wall of the central shrine in the Tirunagesvara temple.
In this record dated in the 17th year, it is stated that the assembly in charge of the central shrine in the temple of Tirunagisvaramudaiya-Nayanar at Kunrattur in Puliyur-kottam alias Kulottungasola-valanadu, a subdivision of Jayangondasola-mandalam, received 3 palankasu from Piraiyanivanudalar, the daughter of Ponnalvar, a servant attached to the temple and agreed to burn a twilight lamp before the imae of dakshinamurti set up by her in the temple. It may be pointed out here that in this inscription no distinction is made between the territorial divisions ‘kottam’ and ‘valanadu’.
No. 232.
(A. R. No. 498 of 1921).
On the north wall of the mandapa in front of the central
shrine in the vaikuntha-Perumal temple in the same village.
This is also dated in the 27th year and it records a gift of 4 cows to supply monthly 1 nali of ghee by the measure Arumolideva-nali for burning a twilight lamp in the temple of Sri-Vaiku(nda)nthadeva at Tiruvennainallur, by Perungakon Sivanandan, a shepherd residing at Kayirurpattu.
No. 246.
(A. R. No. 191 of 1904).
Tiruvakkarai, Villupuram Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the south base of the 1000-pillar mandapa
inside the second prakara of the Chandramaulisvara temple.
This present inscription which is not dated gives the surnames Kadavan Avaniyalappirandan, Sarvanjan, Khadgamalla[7], and Kripanamalla to Kopperunjinga II. It records that the chief constructed a sluice, with a feeder-channel, to the tank at Olugarai. In the Sanskrit version appended to the epigraph the channel is stated to have been named ‘Tribhuvananripanatha.’ The village Olugarai is in French India about 2 miles from Pondicherry. It was also known as Kulottungasolanallur (A. R. No. 175 of 1904), evidently after Kulottunga-Chola I.
No. 258.
(A. R. No. 503 of 1926).
Omampuliyur, Chidambaram Taluk, South Arcot District.
On the west and south walls of the central shrine in the Pranava-Vyaghrapurisvara temple.
The date of this damaged inscription is lost. It gives an instance of how the temple came to the rescue of persons placed in financial difficulties. The record states that certain Brahmans of Ulagalandasola-chaturvedimangalam, a brahmadeya in Merka-nadu, a subdivision of Virudarajabhayankara-valanadu ‘on the northern bank’, had stood surety for some tenants who went away without paying the dues on their lands. The duty of paying the arrears of dues devolved upon these persons, who when pressed for payment tried in vain to transfer the lands to others. Finally they requested the trustees of the temple, evidently at Omampuliyur, to advance them money by taking at least a portion of the land as tirunamattukkani. The trustees thereupon sold some ornaments in the treasury which were perhaps not in use, and with the proceeds, assisted the Brahmans by buying the land for the temple.
In this inscription Omampuliyur is called Ulagalandasola-chaturvedimangalam.

‘Breaking India’ project – Western strategy and Indian couter-strategy


By: Rajiv Malhotra

1. DRAVIDIAN IDENTITY CONSTRUCTED, EXPLOITED & POLITICIZED:

The fabrication of South Indian history is being carried out on an immense scale with the explicit goal of constructing a Dravidian identity that is distinct from that of the rest of India. From the 1830s onwards, this endeavor’s key milestones have claimed that south India: is linguistically separate from the rest of India; has an un-Indian culture, aesthetics and literature; has a history disconnected from India’s; is racially distinct; is religiously distinct; and, consequently, is a separate nation.

Tamil classical literature that predates the 19th century reveals no such identity conflicts especially with “alien” peoples of the north, nor does it reveal any sense of victimhood or any view of Westerners or Christians as “liberators.”

This identity engineering was begun by British colonial and missionary scholars, picked up by politically ambitious south Indians with British backing, and subsequently assumed a life of its own.

Even then it was largely a secular movement for political power (albeit with a substratum of racist rhetoric).

In recent decades, however, a vast network of groups based in the West has co-opted this movement and is attempting to transform Tamil identity into the Dravidian Christianity movement premised on a fabricated racial-religious history.

This rewriting of history has necessitated a range of archeological falsities and even epigraphic hoaxes, blatantly contradicting scientific evidence. Similar interventions by some of the same global forces have resulted in genocides and civil wars in Sri Lanka, Rwanda and other places.

If unchallenged these movements could produce horrific outcomes in South India.

2. LINKING OF DRAVIDIAN & DALIT IDENTITIES:

India has its own share of social injustices that need to be continually addressed and resolved.

Caste identities have been used to discriminate against others, but these identities were not always crystallized and ossified as they are today, nor were they against a specific religion per se.

Caste identity faultlines became invigorated and politicized through the British Censuses of India, and later intensified in independent India by vote bank politics.

A dangerous anti-national grand narrative emerged based on claims of a racial Dalit identity and victimhood.

But Dalit communities are not monolithic and have diverse local histories and social dynamics. There are several inconsistencies and errors in these caste classifications: not all Dalit communities are equivalent socially and economically, nor are they static or always subordinate to others.

While Dravidian and Dalit identities were constructed separately, there is a strategy at work to link them in order to denigrate and demonize Indian classical traditions (including spiritual texts and the identities based on these) as a common enemy.

This in turn, has been mapped on to an Afro-Dalit narrative which claims that Dalits are racially related to Africans and all other Indians are “whites.”

Thus, Indian civilization itself is demonized as anti-humanistic and oppressive.

This has become the playground of major foreign players, both from the evangelical right and from the academic left. It has opened huge career opportunities for an assortment of middlemen including NGOs, intellectuals and “champions of the oppressed.”

While the need for relief and structural change is immense, the shortsighted selfish politics is often empowering the movements’ leaders more than the people in whose name the power is being accumulated. The “solutions” could exacerbate the problems.

3. FOREIGN NEXUS EXPLOITS INDIA’S FAULTLINES:

An entity remains intact as long as the centripetal forces (those bringing its parts together) are stronger than its centrifugal forces (those pulling it apart). This study of a variety of organizations in USA and Europe demonstrates certain dangerous initiatives that could contribute to the breaking up of Indian civilization’s cohesiveness and unity using various pretexts and programs.

The institutions involved include certain Western government agencies, churches, think tanks, academics, and private foundations across the political spectrum.

Even the fierce fight between Christians and Leftists within the West, and the clash between Islam and Christianity in various places, have been set aside in order to attack India’s unity.

Numerous intellectual paradigms, such as postmodernist critiques of “nation,” originating from the West’s own cultural and historical experiences are universalized, imported and superimposed onto India.

These ill-fitting paradigms take center stage in Indian intellectual circles and many guilt-ridden Indian elites have joined this enterprise, seeing it as “progressive” and a respectable path for career opportunities.

The book (Breaking India) does not predict the outcomes but simply shows that such trends are accelerating and do take considerable national resources to counteract.

If ignored, these identity divisions can evolve into violent secessionism.

4. RELIGION’s ROLE IN THE COMPETITION FOR SOFT POWER:

Global competition among collective identities is intensifying, even as the “flat world” of meritocracy seems to enhance individual mobility based on personal competence.

But the opportunities and clout of individuals in a global world relies enormously on the cultural capital and standing of the groups from which they emerge and are anchored to.

As goes India and Indian culture (of which Hinduism is a major component), so will go the fate of Indians everywhere.

Hence, the role of soft power becomes even more important than ever before.

Religions and cultures are a key component of such soft power. Christian and Islamic civilizations are investing heavily in boosting their respective soft power, for both internal cohesiveness and external influence.

Moreover, undermining the soft power of rivals is clearly seen as a strategic weapon in the modern kurukshetra.

5. INTERROGATING THE TERM “MINORITY”:

The book raises the question: Who is a “minority” in the present global context? A community may be numerically small relative to the local population, but globally it may in fact be part of the majority that is powerful, assertive and well-funded.

Given that India is experiencing a growing influx of global funding, political lobbying, legal action and flow of ideologies, what criteria should we use to classify a group as a “minority”?

Should certain groups, now counted as minorities, be reclassified given their enormous worldwide clout, power and resources?

If the “minority” concerned has actually merged into an extra-territorial power through ideology (like Maoists) or theology (like many churches and madrassas), through infrastructure investment (like buying large amounts of land, buildings, setting up training centers, etc.), through digital integration and internal governance, then do they not become a powerful tool of intervention representing a larger global force rather than being simply a “minority” in India.

Certainly, one would not consider a local franchise of McDonalds in India to be a minor enterprise just because it may employ only a handful of employees with modest revenues locally. It is its global size, presence and clout that are counted and that determine the rules, restrictions and disclosure requirements to which it must adhere.

Similarly, nation-states’ presence in the form of consulates is also regulated.

But why are foreign religious MNCs exempted from similar requirements of transparency and supervision? (For example: Bishops are appointed by the Vatican, funded by it, and given management doctrine to implement by the Vatican, and yet are not regulated on par with diplomats in consulates representing foreign sovereign states.)

Indian security agencies do monitor Chinese influences and interventions into Buddhist monasteries in the northern mountain belt, because such interventions can compromise Indian sovereignty and soft power while boosting China’s clout.

Should the same supervision also apply to Christian groups operating under the direction and control of their western headquarters and Islamic organizations funded and/or ideologically influenced by their respective foreign headquarters?

Ultimately, the book raises the most pertinent challenge: What should India do to improve and deliver social justice in order to secure its minorities and wean them away from global nexuses that are often anti-Indian?

6. CONTROLLING THE DISCOURSE ON INDIA:

The book shows how the discourse on India at various levels is being increasingly controlled by the institutions in the West which in turn serve its geo-political ambitions.

So, why has India failed to create its own institutions that are the equivalent of the Ford Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, etc.?

Why are there no Indian university based International Relations programs with deep-rooted links to the External Affairs Ministry, RAW, and various cultural, historical and ideological think tanks?

Why are the most prestigious journals, university degrees and conferences on India Studies, in sharp contrast to the way China Studies worldwide is under the control of Chinese dominated discourse, based in the West and mostly under the control of western institutions?

 

(This article by Rajiv Malhotra is reproduced from: http://www.breakingindia.com/six-provocations/ )

Don’t replace “India” with “South Asia” in California history text books


By: Dr. Sanjaya Baru

Indus, Indo, Indic, Indo-China, Indonesia, West Indies, East India Co, Red Indians, Indian Ocean, Indian ink, Indian summer, Indiana ….. Says it all!

Geographically, the Republic of India lies in the belly of Asia. It is a nation of continental dimensions with civilization attributes. Its Western reaches touch Central Asia and its Eastern reaches lie close to China in the Northeast and Malacca Straits in the Southeast. India’s maritime neighbours include the states of the Persian Gulf and the nations of Indo-China.

India is the place of origin of Asia’s most widely practiced religions, Buddhism and Hinduism, and has for centuries also been home to the world’s other great religions, Islam and Christianity. Christianity came to India directly from West Asia, crossing the Arabian Sea, long before Europeans set foot on the subcontinent. Buddhism traveled via Afghanistan and Central Asia into China and Mongolia, leaving behind historic monuments in Bamyan and Bokhara, in Samarkhand and Sinkiang. Hinduism spread across Himalayan mountains, the plains below into peninsular India, from where it set sail into Java, Sumatra, Indonesia and the kingdoms of Indo-China. Hindu temples are found even to this day in Vietnam. Islam spread across many parts of Southeast Asia from India. India’s cultural imprint is visible all over Asia.

So the question in civilizational terms, if one is permitted journalistic license, is not “how Asian is India?”, but “how Indian is Asia?”.

‘India’ or ‘South Asia’: How students should be told of the history of these peoples?


By: Ram Jagessar

A small group of South Asia studies faculty recently asked the California Board of Education to replace the word ‘India’ with ‘South Asia’ and there was an opposition to this suggestion. A petition of protest against such move was presented to the Board.

It may be difficult to win this battle for retaining India instead of changing to South India, for different reasons than posted in an article on this website.

Let me give our experience in Ontario Canada where in 2001 we got the Ontario Legislature to accept South Asian Heritage Month as a celebration of the arrival and heritage of “South Asians” in Canada.

I was the secretary of the Indian Arrival and Heritage Month Committee and know all the details. It’s not that our group in Toronto did not want to use the word Indian.

For several years before we had been celebrating Indo-Caribbean Heritage Day, Indian Arrival Day and then Indian Arrival and Heritage Month.

We made it clear that by Indian we meant people of the Indian sub continent, including present day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan. In other words, Greater India. In other words, Greater India, ethnic India, cultural India rather than political India oftoday.

The Caribbean Indians here in Canada accepted the Indian tag quite willingly, as we considered ourselves to be ethnic and cultural Indians, our ancestors had come from the old Greater India.

We have been celebrating Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and several other Caribbean nations since 1979.

But there was serious resistance from others here. The Pakistanis would have nothing to do with Indian Arrival and Heritage Month as they did not consider themselves Indians in any way. The Bangladeshis similarly did not respond to invitations to celebrate Indian Arrival and Heritage Month for the same reason as the Pakistanis. The Tamil Sri Lankans here were angry with India about political matters in Sri Lanka and were not interested. Neither were the Sinhalese Sri Lankans. We could not detect much enthusiasm from the Afghanistanis here, and not much either from the Nepalese and Bhutanese.

Much to our surprise, we found that some Punjabi Sikhs didn’t buy the Indian Arrival and Heritage Month idea. They were at the time very angry with India over problems with the Indian government and some were pushing for an independent state of Khalistan. Gurudwaras had pictures of Sikh martyrs killed by Indian soldiers on their walls.

That left just the Indians with roots in India, including those who had come directly from India, the Indo-Caribbeans, the Indo-Fijians, the ethnic Indians from East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) and one or two other small groups.

We have in Canada ethnic Indians who have come from over 15 countries.Indian Arrival and Heritage Month and the general use of the word Indian to cover this million strong community were not working out too well, and seemed to dividing us rather than uniting us.

The word South Asian was around, used in academic circles and in some government circles as well, but few of us considered ourselves South Asians. It was just a made up word.

In 2001 we were quite happy to see an Indian member of the Ontario Parliament introduce a bill to legalize Indian Arrival and Heritage Month, and to hear that all major political parties liked the idea. But after a while the legal drafters discovered a problem with the Indian Arrival and Heritage Month Act. Canada already has a federal Indian Act of 1876, which applies to the province of Ontario, and deals with various native or First National “Indians”. An Indian Arrival and Heritage Month Act would cause immense confusion with the Indian Act 1876 and the various “Indian” bands like the Sioux and Cree and Meti .It would probably not get approved in the legislature at all.

Would we consider changing the name to South Asian Heritage Month Act? What choice did we have?

It was either South Asian Heritage Month Act or no act at all.

South Asian was the politically correct word, which would cause the least problems. We said yes to South Asian Heritage Month and it was signed into law the same year 2001. May 5 was chosen as South Asian Arrival Day, referring of course to May 5 arrival of the first Indians to Guyana in 1838.

I have to report that South Asian Heritage Month has had much greater overall acceptance and support than Indian Arrival and Heritage Month. Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Afghanistanis, Bangladeshis and others have joined in, and this celebration is spreading out from Ontario to many other provinces in Canada. Some of us Indo Caribbeans celebrate South Asian Heritage Month and others continue with Indian Arrival Day.

Almost none of us consider ourselves South Asian as our identity statement That is something we use with outsiders, with government agencies, with funding applications and some publicity.

Using South Asian hasn’t helped much in unifying this group (by whatever name we are called), but then it hasn’t caused roadblocks and opposition as the use of the word Indian for us all did in the past.

We can all live with South Asian whereas some of us previously could not live with Indian.

I will ask those who want Indian instead of South Asian: what would you have done when told that Indian Arrival and Heritage Month was not going to work because of the word Indian?

Analysis of Pollock’s position on Sastras


Here are some thoughts after reading Pollock’s paper. If I understand him correctly, he is basically trying to say that Indian culture is stagnant because it relies heavily on ancient shastras imbued with divine authority that can never be challenged. I am willing to grant that Indian culture is stagnant, if not in a continuous state of degeneration.

However, I would theorize that this is because we have neglected our shastras and not because we have relied upon them.

As far as theories go, there is more evidence for the latter than for Pollock’s theory.

In fact, his entire essay is peppered with evidence that goes against the grain of his own theory, a fact that he even acknowledges but ultimately neglects.

A good theory must accord with the empirical evidence and must resonate with the people or culture it describes. I doubt most Hindus recognize themselves or their culture in Pollock’s description. As such, his entire essay lacks explanatory force and can resonate only with people of Pollock’s own ilk.

In fact, Pollock himself appears to be an embodiment of all the elements he imputes upon Indian culture.

For starters, he does not look around him for evidence but simply draws upon his pre-existing cultural biases and presents them in the form of a theory.

Some of the specific biases of western culture that he imputes upon the Indians are the following:

  1. That knowledge is textual;
  2. That values are normative;
  3. That authority (shastra) is some sort of truth that cannot be challenged;
  4. That theory precedes action;
  5. That there is a divine realm starkly different from the secular realm that humans must obey.

These are, in fact, the defining prejudices of western civilization, but Pollock cannot see the forest for the trees. Instead he acts like he has discovered something about Indian culture which is in fact quite the opposite of what Pollock describes.

Let’s look at his claim that Indians treat knowledge as if it is textual, implying that knowledge is something that can be put into words or contained in books. As evidence for this he cites numerous passages that assert the authority of the shastras.

But this is rendered moot right off the bat because the vedas themselves assert that true knowledge cannot be obtained by relying on the vedas (or any other text). The clear implication is that knowledge can only poorly be put into words, or not at all.

Pollock cites a passage from the Gita where Krishna emphatically asserts the importance of shastra. However, he conveniently overlooks the fact that Krishna’s closing words to Arjun were to do as he, Arjun, thinks best, after proper reflection, and not that he must open up his textbooks before he decides what to do.

It is a common lament among most Hindus who live in the West that their parents did not teach them anything about “Hinduism”. This becomes a problem in western culture where you are expected to spout off exactly what your religious beliefs are.

This is because in western culture such knowledge is contained in a book and can be described in words and formulated in terms of beliefs.

This attitude is all pervasive in western culture, not just with respect to religion. In order to act correctly they believe they must know what the right thing to do is.

Not so in Indian culture where action (karma) generates knowledge.

Most Hindus cannot articulate the fundamentals of their culture; there are no common beliefs, and no common practices. Yet it is a culture that has thrived, spread, flourished and survived to this day.

Obviously there’s some form of knowledge that has been passed along from generation to generation even though most of us cannot put it into words.

Surely in his 30-year-long career Pollock must have discovered, just as the British did 200 years ago, that Indians, including the pundits, are mostly quite ignorant of their shastras? How, then, can he claim that Indians cannot act until they consult their shastras since all evidence points to the fact that they have not been consulting them?

At the Kumbh mela I asked a couple of ordinary sadhus what books they relied upon. They looked at me with incomprehension as if I was totally clueless.

They said that their lifestyle was mostly about keeping their parampara alive, looking out for each other, networking with others on the same path, and following some basic practices.

None of them (the three people I spoke to) relied upon any Shastra and I’m guessing they would have told me if others in their akhada did.

However, as Pollock notes, there is even a Shastra for proper sadhu behavior. So who’s reading these Shastras? Clearly it is the likes of Pollock and not the sadhus.

Therefore, he is totally and completely wrong to claim that Indians believe that “the practice of all human activity depends on rules accessible to us in a textualized form.”

The more accurate statement would be to say that human activity can be described in a textualized form. From here you cannot jump to the conclusion that Hindus believe that knowledge comes only from texts or shastras.

In fact, that theory precedes action is closer to the western attitude and not an Indian one.

Pollock’s paper is riddled with holes and he does not strike me as someone seriously looking to solve any problems.

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