By Durgadas, Ved Kovid, AYT
(c) Durgadas (Rodney) Lingham.
All Rights Reserved.
If you’re white, you can make fun of any culture or race. It’s fine as you’re entitled. But, if an Indian or a Hindu mocks their own culture in a satirical manner, white people condemn them as being racist and adharmic. If an Indian doesn’t transgress dharma and upholds it but points out tradition and a westerner were, say, to post a picture comparing themselves to an Indian Saint and Rishis and stated that Indian Gurus were lesser than Danielou or Crowley in knowledge – here the westerner sees nothing wrong in his actions and words due to his self-entitlement. Yet, he criticises and condemns the Indian for stating his own shastras and native continuous authorities….
This is the issue I gave up most of my life to defend tradition against!
Why do I do what I do and write what I do?
Well, good question! Yes, many see me as racist. I am not racist, but simply against the self-entitled nature that Europeans have adopted from Christianity, even when the actual adherence to the faith no longer exists, the social structure and Superiority complex that it and colonialism has built up, still remains as a subliminal and often condescending trait in European culture and societies, as also in their colonies.
What I do is seek to defend my own native Hindu tradition through traditional shastras or texts, aithiya or historical facts and also the native sciences and traditions as also traditional teachers and lineages or paramparas. Here, the traditional views are more often similar (such as Ayurveda) to western traditions that arose from them (as western surgery) than the misappropriated movements such as the New-Age and Americanised versions labelled as “traditional” (closet New-Age), that fall neither into the traditional Hindu or native systems or reflect their practices, nor resemble or can be validated by modern western scientific equivalents. In fact, like the Christian missionaries, these groups present an incorrect model of native teachings due to their unscientific basis and do more harm than good!
As an example, while physicists such as Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Tesla, Oppenheimer and others were interested in the ancient Hindu texts and systems, namely Vedanta that resonated with their science and drew parallels with them, such facts are left out by the plethora of ‘Hindu apologetics’ from America with their Arts degrees (History, Linguistics, Philosophy etc. majors), who present Indian ‘physics’ and ‘sciences’ in a purely metaphysical and often unscientific light, as they also do by undermining and philosophising Ayurveda and related sciences!
As an example, if one is to write a work on Vedic Physics / Sciences, surely one would draw upon the actual scientific theories and systems of the ancient Hindus, Chinese and Greeks etc. relative to atomism, cosmology, mathematics etc. and also the writings and views of Schrodinger, Bohr, Heisenberg, Tesla, Oppenheimer who not only shaped modern physics, but also studied the Upanishads, Gita and the Vedantic systems of India and saw such parallels with them, just as modern quantum physicists such as Fred Alan Wolf and Fritjof Capra also have in their contemporary works on the subjects. We wouldn’t ignore these historical geniuses in the science world and their statements and study of vedanta and Hindu sciences and replace them with mind-born theories of the philosophical and historical worlds of Art’s majors, would we? Or would we?
This behaviour, often contradictory, is what I condemn, so that the masses of both native Hindus and the Europeans are not so blinded by these pseudo-cults and pseudo-tradition groups posing as traditionalists, in their own misappropriated manners. Tantra is also another clear example of this. Many speak about Ayurvedic / Tantric Alchemy, which has naught to do with the actual science of transmutation of particles and elements or chemicals as in rasa-shastra in India (which isn’t even given mention, often), and more to do with the psycho-philosophical transformation relative to metaphysical or philosophical principles alone, which Hindu tradition sees as only one of its six dimensions of interpretation, which must be correlated with the other five, not simply left out. Such would be like (as if often done), teaching the spiritual nature of Ayurveda and leaving out the deeper intricacies of clinical practice and specifics, including surgery!
I call such ‘Closet Colonialism’. And while such people guilty of such transgressions had even asked for me guidance and endorsement previously, had themselves continued to go down the path of cultural appropriation and thereby denigration of ancient sciences, or even at places, plagiarism to stress a so-called “traditional” point. This narcissistic self-entitled complex is what really puzzled me, as I’ve seen it in so, so many European individuals, who ruin the “bigger picture” for the masses and also make many of us in tradition extremely cautious and also skeptical regarding who comes in and is taught what!
I have noted this elsewhere and the reason why caste systems existed not only in India, but other communities to keep the teachings pure. The Jews, surrounded by iconoclastic Zoroastrians and also idol-worshipping Egyptians and Sumerians created their own spiritual neiche by adopting Egyptian circumcision and rejection of idols from the Zoroastrians as other symbols and traits to differentiate them from those around them and create distinguishing marks of their people. In India, the Brahmins made the caste system more rigid and pure, even relative to diets and lifestyles so as to not have taint from lesser Indian castes and tribes that would misinterpret the true meanings of the teachings and misrepresent them (as Buddhists and Jains did), what to speak of remote people an cultures outside of them!
In many ways, this is what I also do. Historically, I have cited numerous examples of upholding dharma, from Parashurama taking up arms to the 8th Century Gurkhas as hatha-Yogis under Gorakshanatha that travelled as far and wide as Baghdad, Turkey and Central Asia to recover goods stolen from India and to protect Hindu culture against Islamic attacks. We have the Mahabharata and Ramayana wars where Sri Krishna and Sri Rama respectively urge others to go to war to uphold dharma, whether they be their own kin (as in Mahabharata) or even reputed Brahmin scholars versed in Ayurveda, jyotisha, the vedas, tantras, yoga etc. (as with Ravana in the Ramayana), who went rogue.
Chastising the modern European that commits a crime that even transcends the weight of these historical examples is, therefore, not going to get away with much as far as Im concerned.
Yet again I stress, my views and teachings are for the traditional Hindu point of view and also should not be taken out of context. A European using Vedic ideals or even my teachings for their own western culture would be taken out of context and is also an example of cultural appropriation, which I am not for under any means!
I don’t wish to have ‘Vedic Missionaries’ nor spread Vedic-culture across the globe! That’s a western and Christian-type samskara that has been adopted by Hindus from the west and not a indigenous trait, which is about quality and purity over quantity – upholding dharma from within, not seeking new converts from without! All we seek to do is preserve what we already have and uphold traditional views, not so proselytise, which many Europeans coming into these systems, often forget in their Christian zeal to preach!