The Changing Face of Dharma

The philosophy of the modern world often undergoes radical changes.  In ancient times, long even before the Old Testament’s deity was formulated, there emerged in ancient Persia (Iran) the sect of Zoroastrianism, a kind of an archaic “New-Age” sect that sought to introduce two major elements into the world – the forces of Light or a monotheistic doctrine of a one supreme God (Ahura Mazda) and the opposing darkness of all evil in the world of Angra Maniyu (Ahriman).

As the influence of the mighty Persian Empire swept across the Middle-East and also even into Europe, these elements shaped many people including the Jews, but would eventually become more of a stronghold in later times through Roman Christianity.

Zoroastrianism, not unlike modern New-Age systems that continuously reinvent ancient traditions itself reversed the older Aryan view of the world and placed the negative Asuras (Ahuras) as the higher deities and defied the Devas (Daevas) or celestials as the opposing forces of darkness. It also introduced the idea of Prophets – namely the one Prophet, Zoroaster.

While continuing the worship the Fire, their Asuric nature and revering the lesser spirits as their God helped to build and expand their empire – much as many in southern India formally had under the guidance of the Bhrigu (Venusian) Gurus devoted to Fire as the god Vishnu – the most notable of them who was Shukracharya, also known as Daityaguru (Guru of the Titans) and Asura Medha (the wise Asura). This deity would appeal to the Persians as he was patron of the art of astrology and also fantastic architectural achievement in ancient India. Venus is the planet of wealth and abundance.

Flash forward several thousands of years and we look back upon the evolution not only of the non-threatening Judaism, but of the later incarnations of Zoroastrian-inspiration such as Roman Christianity and later, Islam (which ironically caused the end of Zoroastrianism, it’s great-grandmother in the Middle-Eastern world!).

The alteration of original ancient ideas then or New-Age movements goes back many thousands of years. Even if something is deemed to be “ancient” such as acupuncture, acupressure or deviant forms of divination opposed to calculative astrology and astronomy, it doesn’t mean they were any more valid than Zoroastrianism’s ancient “New Order” was Orthodox Vedic, but a deviation!

One of the issues we face today is the Eurocentric complex that cannot comprehend this and wishes to constantly assert its authority, giving appearance in robes as the ‘Native-apologetic’, when deep down, he still reveres that same materialistic Asura-deity of the Persians that has come into Christianity and loved also by the Romans, but thankfully actually rejected by the Jews in favour of a different and more logical system and deity.

I was recently reading an article of a self-proclaimed “expert” on dharma, Tantra etc. who tried to excuse ignorance of traditional views by ascertaining their own achievements in life relative to publications and other issues that questions one’s humble as opposed to narcissistic personality. The subject was relative to criticism he had received from others – possibly here as a result of cultural appropriation and that they were a confirmed, “out” Islamic-apologetic!

Such is not always excusable. We cannot go through life denying our way through the troubled waters of cultural appropriation or misappropriation by seeking to project onto others. A common theme today I see here is the introduction of political tactics by such personalities when found to be guilty of such themselves and rather to be seen as hypocrites, introduce non-contextualism in their defense as a politician does his rapid shift of subjects when dealing with a sensitive manner – especially one that involves him personally and is likely to indict him! 

These are not examples of true scholars, but of sociopathic personalities that enter into the world of philosophy which especially in the oriental metaphysical sense, like a potter’s clay, can be moulded into one’s own fanciful shapes and forms while denying any link with actual shastra or scripture and even tradition. It brings us back to the primal memory of Zoroastrianism which introduced the idea of the Prophet who remains infallible to explain his new philosophy to the world and need not debate with the ancient masters regarding the intricacies of sacred texts, traditions and philosophies – nor does he, like a scientist, need to validate or prove any of his teachings. Later it is the Christian argument that faith in God is enough, or that one is guided by Spiritum Sanctum (The Holy Spirit) and need not enter into the nuances of philosophy, reason, logic or even debate!

While one can work in the Arts world of fantasy and mental masturbation (especially relative to Fine Arts graduates and their lust for ‘Contemporary Art‘), it fails to work in the real world at the hands of the Nazis when one cannot deny themselves a Jew! Yet, even then these guilty parties will undoubtedly seek to argue their out of this with their doctrine of denial – there’s always some excuse at hand to explain their lack of knowledge or incorrect or even misleading statements in the pursuit of wishing to be seen as the ‘White Philosopher’ – which is also why such adorn themselves with various talismans, gemstones and other signs and symbols, a clear admission of their own lack of knowledge and insecurity they wish to obscure by such outer signs!

Culturally misappropriated terms as even asura and deva (used in this article’s context as that which is non-original and materialistic and that which is higher, celestial and dharmic respectively) have long been floated about, as also the Kali-Yuga, all of which have been Christianised by the European mind and often fused with quasi-Catholic and neo-Pagan or even New-Age systems by adherents. The pizza-effect of this is now true in India, so much that it is even digested by the Swamis!

The modern regime now is to clone the teachings and also personalities and stories of traditional teachers in an attempt to appear informed, educated and authentic. In a sense it also appears as ‘autobiographical plagiarism’ and seeks to put up a facade through which the masses shall not question one that already appears the genuine article!

To the masses of Persians, Zoroaster, like Mohammud to the Arabs appeared as the genuine article. Caesar to the masses of Roman-subjects also metamorphosed into Jesus Christ, the ‘chosen and only’ son of God, infallible for all times sake and the New God under the state religion at the time of Constantine the Great!

Yet, here again we forget the roots of such a philosophy and such people who have adhered to it genetically for thousands of years as the original deviants – the reverence of the lesser Asura over the higher power of mighty Asuras of the Vedic pantheon and that didn’t seek worldly pursuits, fame and fortune as the Persians did as well as the Christians after them and Muslims after them. The Machiavellian archetype that works in the shadows of the world. There is the Asura transcendental and also the Asura manifest that we need to differentiate between!

The question today is, do we see past this insidious force and host of personalities it has created, or do we remain beguiled by the outer appearances?




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