Author: durgadasl

Durgadas ("Rodney") Lingham is a traditionally trained practitioner in all aspects of Ayurveda in the Ashtavaidya system of Ayurvedic medicine in Kerala, India and is also a student of Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) - one of the world's noted authorities on Ayurveda. Durgadas is not only an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Certified in all aspects of Ayurvedic Medicine, but also a Certified Yoga and Ayurveda Teacher, Ayurvedic Astrologer and Veda Kovid, a rare title given to those studying all aspects of the ancient Vedic sciences of India. As an Indian having grown up the traditional Vedic Hindu lineage spanning several generations, Durgadas feels it important to restore the traditional views and values of Yoga and Ayurveda, rather than the many distortions about these sciences promoted by non-Hindus with little knowledge in these areas and not having grown up in these traditions or the New Age Yoga and Ayurveda and Spa Ayurveda that is often popularised both in India and the West. His books hence reflect a return to tradition. He resides in New Zealand and is director of Arogya Ayurvedic Health Ltd and the Academy of Traditional Ayurveda, which conducts several courses on Yoga, Vedic Philosophy and Ayurveda. His website is www.nzayurveda.com

The Issue of Cultural Superimposition

Just as foods are suitable to various races and climates, so also such come into context, relative to cultural appropriation as well. Many people over time become ingrained in various religions systems – some more limited than others, which even when becoming more agnostic and even atheistic over time, shape the dominating psyche of the people or regions as a result of its influence upon the social structure. An example is in how in the east, ahimsa or non-violence predominated, that meant one did not forcefully go looking for trouble or attack another, but defended themselves only, as need be, to keep all communities and individuals safe, where threats to their own safety and dharma was involved.

The west (European world) has had quite a different psyche relative to this – even going back to Greco-Roman times when the west was more materialistic, and travellers to India noted that unlike Greece and Rome, India had no slaves, but only servant classes, who were free citizens and enjoyed benefits of freedom as others. Naturally however, these facets are ignored when the European tries to project their own culture upon the caste-system in India, and turn the poor Brahmin priests into what was wealthy kshatriyas and also try and see the whole Indian caste-system as something heathen and inferior, to deflect from their own culture and when such was taken out of cultural context of the Hindu world – but was true of the Islamic and European that indulged in slavery and the slave-trading for over a millennia.

This aspect alone shows how in the past 2,000+ years, the western world, shaped by the Greco-Roman influences, especially through Roman Catholicism and the Roman Empire, generated a superiority and self-righteous attitude and psyche among its people, often extending to all inferior (lower socioeconomic demographic) classes that sought to emulate them, like the bourgeoisie to the actual aristocrats, as a classic example! The age of the Colonialists from the Spanish to the British also drove a culture of Christian superiority that was dominated by the feeling of them doing the work of the One True God – the lands that they occupied, being ruled by inferior classes of people from the Americas to India, that didn’t subscribe to the One God, One Book, One Way mentality of the Colonialists.

As a result of this impending psyche, many Europeans that come into contact with what to them, opposed to their ‘vanilla doctrine’ religion and monochrome (‘conservative‘) culture is “exotic”, as being able to be token Hindus or Indians by defending native traditions in the heir that they feel they are more spiritually and emotionally connected and advanced or elevated, as even to deeper cultural and racial issues, than the swarthy Hindus, Native Americans and others, and also understand better, their plights, pains and suffering! This “spiritual fast-tracking”, as we often seen with yoga, jumping straight to asana and dismissing the preliminaries as yamas and niyamas and their own subcategories is a good example of this complex – it mirrors the Christian doctrine where one doesn’t bother about the rites, rituals and tenets of the Old Testament of the Jews to whom it belongs, but we can invent a newer, faster way;- accept Jesus, ignore philosophical debate and even actions and even logic itself, and where (blind) belief alone is enough to absolve us from all transgressions or even ignorance in the text itself! Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing at all wrong in defending a native tradition, as long as we don’t use “we” and autonomously include ourselves into another’s culture, simply to try and deny we’re culturally appropriating!

As an example, I defend native traditions, Jews, Polynesians etc., but I’d never be their representative or speaker, as I’m not – just as I’m not black and wouldn’t seek to be seen as an authority on their traditions, as I have my own. I’d NEVER pose as a Jewish Rabbi, for example and likewise, not as a Christian Orthodox Priest or equivalent. Likewise, I wouldn’t try and pretend to be a Celtic Druid as that’s also not my culture or blood! But, I can sympathize with them, agree and find common ground.Yet, the self-righteous European wishes to even superseded the Hindu Brahmin or native American Shaman when they emulate them, throwing all caution as per cultural sensitivities we have grown up with, into the wind, superimposing that same Christocentric Colonialist self-righteous superiority-complex and attitude of the “superior” opposed to the “inferior” – whether they see it or not. Often it is, sadly, an unconscious trait they’re unaware of, but it’s seen quite transparently from others outside. When they do violate these cultural norms within certain cultures – they try and defend themselves by projecting – yet, heaven forbid for example, if any native person were to come to their house and not eat properly with a knife and a folk, quoting the maxim “When in Rome!”. It’s very much a one-way street, a one rule for them and another for everybody else – what is truly subliminal racism”.

Can you imagine here, for example, if a Chinese Christian person were to go to America and start telling Christians how to be good Christians, stating they alone knew about it and the American Christians knew nothing, even though it had been a part of their culture for several centuries and some regions, almost two millennia? All hell would break loose! Yet, this kind of colonialist attitude is what Europeans today project onto native people and their cultures when adopting them – often out of a pop-culture influence or other materialistic / social zeal for personal ego-development.

The issue with Europeans is they do not have a tradition of metaphysics, karma (which is replaced with “fate” as per their reckoning), samsara, reverence for nature and natural energies, ecology, vegetarianism, atman or the impersonal Godhead as native traditions do, as they’ve lost these centuries ago. All they have today has been appropriated from other groups and faiths or cultures aloof from their own in all respects and regards and have been franchised and proselytised as they have done with Christianity; not a true digestion and assimilation of foreign concepts in their original forms, but distorted and used in a self-righteous manner of self-entitlement of egotism. For example, despite the attempted correlations between say, the Maori Io, the Hindu Brahman as impersonal concepts to the western “God”, such completely fail, but the European uses such to try and carry his past burden of samskaras rather than accepting that one cannot simply fast-track one’s karmas as in Christianity and superimpose the doctrine of automatic “saviour-hood” in Jesus’ name and you’re done – in eastern and native traditions, it is about cause and effect of past lives to even be born in a native lineage, which then alone allows one to actually understand the context and traditions as a member from inside, not from without, looking in!

In closing, just as I myself cannot represent and understand the true suffering of Black Americans and their ancestors, but can sympathise with them and agree (the difference between Europeans and us however, is both groups have traditions aloof from the limited and limitations of Abrahamic doctrines and have both been dominated by Christianised Eurocentric history of our own traditions) – so also, Europeans need to start looking at their own cultures and not trying to continuously appropriate from others in a fragmented or deconstructive manner, as they have done already with their own faith of Christianity that was appropriated from the Middle-East and then used to attack and destroy their own religions and cultures – and didn’t stop there, but spread this insidious belief and psyche across continents where they conquered, in the name of God!

 

Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya and His [Negative] Obsession with the term “Hindu”

The Denunciation of the term “Hinduism”:

“The word “Hinduism” is not found anywhere in either Vedic or classical Sanskrit, nor in any of the recognized sacred scriptures (shastra) of this spiritual path.  Rather, the proper name of this spiritual tradition, the name that is found throughout the scriptures of the tradition, is Sanatana Dharma, or the Eternal Natural Way.  Additionally, followers of Sanatana Dharma are not properly referred to as “Hindus”, but as “Dharmis”, or followers of Dharma.” [1]

First of all, I have to question what the “recognized scriptures” refer to? The actual Vedic shastras that are authoritative are actually in the Vedic and older Sanskrit, not in the classical Sanskrit and include the four Veda Samhitas (viz, Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva), the primary Upanishads (excluding the later) and the Brahmanas – the latter of which comprise the Vedic commentaries and metaphysics. In addition, the authoritative commentaries acting as etymologies or Nirukta and Nighantu are by Sakatayana and the more recent by Yaskacharya.

Now, the term “Hindu” derives from the Persian version of the Vedic Sindhu, the name given to the people dwelling along the banks of the Indus-Sarasvati civilisation, which also came to be known as the “Hindu” later by the Persians. And since “Hindu” is an Iranian term, related to the same branch of Indo-Iranian languages as the Indo-Aryan Sanskrit, from which Sindhu derives, it becomes much more native.

There is also nothing in the Samhita portions of the Vedas, which are considered arsha (revealed) and shruti (heard) as opposed to the later smriti (remembered) texts, which include the Puranas, that notes of a Sanatana Dharma. In fact, the term Arya is used instead, denoting ‘one of pure (sattvic) qualities’. Thus, the self-proclaimed Hindu Master that authored this quote appears to liberally use the term “Vedic”, but actually applies it to what traditional Hinduism, or traditional “Sanatana Dharma” knows as the smriti and post-Vedic literature, of a secondary nature.

The term ‘Dharmi’ also appears nowhere in the Vedas, while the concept does appear and is known as Rta or cosmic law and order in the Rig Veda, upheld by Mitra and Varuna. Now, the term for the oldest Vedic people, such as Ila, the daughter of the progenitor Manu, is called as “Maitravaruni” – but not as a “Dharmi”, nor as a “Sanatana Dharmi“. This is a clear invention of ‘Acharya-ji’ himself!

This said however, the author also openly displays his origin within the Vaishnava system of ‘Hindu-ism’ as we shall call it (since Sindhu and Arya identify the Vedic people in the Riig Veda clearer than “sanatana” does), which itself lends its ear towards the system of Bhakti-Yoga or the Yoga of devotion – in their case, blind devotionalism which, like fundamental Islam and Christianity, is hell-bent on criticising everything else around them, but being lenient towards Islam and Christianity, and even reducing the Vedas or traditional shruti texts down as secondary to the post-Vedic classical-Sanskritic Puranas, notably the Bhagavad Purana, which itself, has many inconsistencies with the original Mahabharata (of which the Bhagavad Gita forms a part of), relating to their tutelary deity, Krishna!

For a start, Krishna in the Mahabharata is a reincarnation of Narayana Rishi, not the god Vishnu-Narayana and his peer, Arjuna, of Nara-Rishi, both from Badrinath.

Now, unlike this Dharmi claimant who is of “European-American of Italian and Spanish descentI am of Indian descent and was brought up in a family that recognised the validity of only the arsha or shruti scriptures, of which, we used the term Hindu and Arya and also Rishi-tradition or Arsha, but we never used “dharmi“, which does not occur in our sacred texts, whereas, as noted, Sindhu, the Iranian term for Hindu did – the Iranians who were and are, our sister-culture of Zoroastrians or now Parsis.

The term Arya / Aryan appears in the Rig Veda as “krinvanto vishvamaryam” (Rig Veda, IX. 63.5) as clearly the name of Vedic people, as also when Indra gives the earth or world (bhuma) to the Aryas (Rig Veda. IV.26.2). Indra himself in the former stotra (I) actually identifies himself with the archetype and progenitors of the Arya people – namely Manu, his father the Sun (Surya), Ushana (Shukracharya), Kakshivan (Dhanvantari Divodasa) and Kutsa Arjuni. In this respect, the Vedic people are more “Aindras” than Dharmis etc. and again points to Sindhu‘s indigenous origin. Sindhu is also the supreme of all rivers (Rig Veda.I.75.1).

Sindhu also derived the Persian term Hindu and thereby Indus in Greek and finally in the English-language, India, of which, like the terms in English such as zero and sugar, had a true “Vedic” origin, but the word “Vedic” itself is a more recently-inspired word for these groups of people! We can however say that the Vaidika texts belonged to and were sacred to the Arya people who lived along the banks of the Sindhu river!

Secondly, the two have had much more relationship with each-other than a “European-American of Italian and Spanish descent”, which also doesn’t seem to be mentioned in any of our texts, either! I guess as “America” is not mentioned, we might as well not validate ashrams and temples in America, since these are also “not found anywhere in either Vedic or classical Sanskrit, nor in any of the recognized sacred scriptures (shastra) of this spiritual path”.

We thus begin to see how ridiculous this all sounds, and also how contradictory it sounds – not to mention, like Max Muller, this comes from a Westerner who has the typical Christian attitude of putting the native Hindus in their place (oh, you naughty savages!), but an enlightened Italian-Spanish Hindu, thank the Devas, is here to place us and our tradition on the right track!

Have I missed something here, or have the poles clearly shifted?

We also continue…

“Sri Acharyaji was the very first Sanatana Dharma guru and scholar to write and publically speak about the unfortunate divide that exists between the two separate Vedic communities of A) Indian Hindus, and B) Western Yoga practitioners. Indian Hindus and Western yogis rarely communicate with each other, have found it challenging to relate to one another, have vastly different approaches to Vedic spirituality, and have remained two radically distinct communities. “

Interestingly, now we use the term “Hindus” and also “Indian” and have no issue with it being a non-Vedic, non-sanctioned term. Of course, this man is also writing in English, which, when I last looked, wasn’t even invented at the time classical Sanskrit or even later variants such as Pali came on the scene! But, I guess as Acharya-ji is much more knowledgeable than us native Hindus, he must be right and exercises the right to chastise others for their incorrect use of these terms, but he, being a Supreme Purusha, may act as he pleases!

We should point out here that even Vedic is an anglicised Sanskrit term, derived from Vaidika in Sanskrit, which means “of / pertaining to the Vedas (four Veda Samhitas) and again, implies nothing of these classical and supposed “Vedic” (rather, post-Vedic) texts that Acharya-ji himself commonly quotes from. His own antagonism towards the term Hindu actually comes from his own lack of knowledge and true education on the Vedas (of which, tradition doesn’t require you have a western Doctorate in – that has always historically been the issues with misleading translations and misrepresentations along the path!), as also his own Vaishnava roots in ISKCON, of which he now appears to be ‘closeted’ about.

Sadly for him and his cronies however, I am a Hindu and an Arya – not an Italian-Spaniard who thinks he can still dominate the world by cloaking his Paganism in another dress and giving it another name so he may be revered, just as his own Latin people such as Constantine did with the Pagans of Europe under what is now known as “Christianity”!


The Misleading Information about “Vedic” Texts:

In addition to denouncing “Hinduism”, Acharyaji also appears to have his own interpretation of what constitutes the Vedic texts. He states that the Gita is the most important of all “‪Vedic” texts and also states:


“In addition to the 
‪‎Bhagavad Gita, the most important sacred texts in the Dharma tradition include the Yoga Sutras, Narayana Upanishad, Narada Bhakti Sutras, Lakshmi Tantra and Bhagavata Purana, among others. ” [2]

Now for a start, as I have noted above, and just to reiterate here, none of these are ‪Vaidika, which implies the four‪ Vedas, the Brahmanas, principal ‪Upanishads (which doesn’t include the Narayana). These are POST-VEDIC texts and smriti (remembered), not shruti or authoritative (as their simple minds cant’ grasp the true original and vast Vaidika-sphere!).

In addition, tenet five of Acharya-ji’s “International Sanatana Dharma Society” is also misleading and reads:


“5) Vedic Authenticity: We are radical traditionalists in our approach to the Vedic way. We seek to practice Dharma in as traditional, authentic, orthodox and uncompromisingly real a manner as is possible in the modern era. There is nothing new, “New Age”, or concocted in how we teach or practice the Vedic way. Moreover, we do not “mix and blend” our practice or understanding of Sanatana Dharma with those of other, non-Vedic paths. If you are interested in the ISDS, the teachings of Sri Acharyaji, or being involved in our movement, please do so knowing that what you will be taught and will be following nothing less than the authentic and ancient religion of Sanatana Dharma – the Eternal Natural Way.” 
[3]

Well, this is my take on the above: You DO mix and blend your practices, you are not “radical traditionalists” – otherwise you’d mention the authority of all the original texts as per TRADITION, not as per “New Age” and “concocted” views that you appear to teach!

There is nothing AUTHENTIC and everything WESTERN and NEW AGE about this organisation. Including their overt use of the term “God”, which is a Germanic and Western term with negative monotheistic connotations that one would expect this ‘Acharya-ji‘ with a Doctorate in Religious Studies, would be able to identify from an academic and philosophical perspective!

Such westerners jump on their own band-wagon and misrepresent Hinduism, which then gets re-imported into the uneducated masses in India and Hindus as well as others in the West. One cannot merely “invent” and “re-invent” Hinduism as it suits them. If one wishes to do so and limit the shastras down to what THEY think is correct, then they’re better off going back to their Christian roots and staying there in my opinion…

The Pizza-Effect:

To conclude, the main issue I have with these types of Acharyas is that they actually gravely misrepresent tradition, import Christocentric / misappropriated views into Hindu traditions and then pass them off as “traditional”, which are then reimported back into India, where the scores of both uneducated Hindus, wishing to learn about their ‘spirituality’, not from the local Yogi, but from the likes of these American Acharya-jis and their books, which then becomes the mainstream. This is also how Buddhism once swept the nation of India and required Shankaracharya to restore true and authentic Hinduism, which had become very corrupted and debilitated due to these other cults.

A similar wave is hence occurring now. These Western Swamis appeal to both the West and also to Indians, usually as the latter, as noted, are largely ill-informed as to their traditions and there is a clear lack of viveka or discrimination in Hindus overall.

In closing, I quote Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe), a British turned Hindu-Shakta, and an authority on Hinduism with knowledge far surpassing the neo-Vedantins and others points out and his Shakti and Shakta in 1918 (“Tantra Shastra and Veda, Chapter IV), re the misinterpretation of Hinduism and Hindu concepts, and also how many Hindus (Indians) themselves follow likewise (thus affected by the Christocentric Superimposition):

“Even when giving an account of Eastern thought the Western is apt to take up a “superior” attitude because he believes himself to be superior. The Bishop of Durham very clearly reveals this sense of superiority (Christian Aspects of Life, by B. F. Westcott, 175) when after stating that the duty of the Christian missionary was to substitute for “the sterile theism of Islam and the shadowy vagueness of Hindu Philosophy a belief in a living and speaking God” he goes on to point out that “our very advantages” by way of “the consciousness of social and intellectual superiority with which we are filled” and “the national force which sets us as conquerors where we come as evangelists” constitute a danger in the mission field. It is this notion of “superiority” also which prevents a right understanding, and which notwithstanding the facts, insists on charges which, if established, would maintain the reputation for inferiority of the colored races. It is this reiterated claim to superiority that has hypnotized many persons amongst Eastern races into the belief that the European is, amongst other things, always a safe and learned critic even of their own beliefs and practices…”

He continues (with respect to how this affects the Hindu psyche):

“There are, however, still many Indians, particularly those of my own generation, whose English Gurus and their teaching have made them captives. Their mind has been so dominated and molded to a Western manner of thinking (philosophical, religious, artistic, social and political) that they have scarcely any greater capacity to appreciate their own cultural inheritance than their teachers, be that capacity in any particular case more or less. Some of them care nothing for their Shastra. Others do not understand it. The class of whom I speak are, in fact, as I have said, the Manasaputra of the English in a strict sense of the term. The Indian who has lost his Indian soul must regain it if he would retain that independence in his thought and in the ordering of his life which is the mark of a man, that is of one who seeks Svarajya-siddhi. How can an imitator be on the same level as his original? Rather he must sit as a Cela at the latter’s feet. Whilst we can all learn something from one another, yet some in this land have yet to learn that their cultural inheritance with all its defects (and none is without such) is yet a noble one; an equal in rank, (to say the least), with those great past civilizations which have molded the life and thought of the West. All this has been admitted by Indians who have discernment. Such value as my own remarks possess, is due to the fact that I can see and judge from without as an outsider, though (I will admit in one sense) interested observer — interested because I have at heart Indian welfare and that of all others which, as the world now stands, is bound up with it.”

 

References:

  1. http://www.dharmacentral.com/acharyaji.php 
  2.  http://www.dharmacentral.com/dharmainfo/dharmafaq.php 
  3. http://www.dharmacentral.com/dharmaactivism/about_ISDS.php 
  4.  Rig Veda Samhita

 

A Note on ‘Vedic Trolls’

For many in the west, anything “Vedic” (Skt. ‘Vaidika’) and the system of vegetarianism and ahimsa have become systems to make them feel good about themselves. Ahimsa itself is one of the most culturally misappropriated facets of yoga in the west and the world today – that arose not with Hindu yogis, but with the political interests of Mahatma Gandhi – not with true Hindu acharyas as Gorakshanatha, Matsyendranatha, Agastya and others historically, or Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and others in modern times.

Often, there’s little true interest and more of a social interest to improve one’s spiritual resumé. We see this with Facebook groups and posts that misappropriate the entire basis and teaching of the Mahabharata and it’s Bhagavad Gita and try a turn it into a neo-Buddhist system of non-violence (when even Buddhist monks gave us Martial Arts!) -trying to reclaim some sense of a moralistic high-ground for their own purposes of forming a new order of chardonnay socialists!

This has become dangerous for many reasons, as it superimposed ideologies from Christian cultures upon the eastern systems and takes their statements and tenets out of cultural and historical context in a similar heir to how Europeans first interpreted the Vedas, as a result of Eurocentric biases and preconceptions.

Social media today has become a tool for such people as well. It gives their diminutive learning a voice and stamina with which to proselytise their garbled half-truths, hearsays and other misappropriated and hyperbolic statements and views. This doesn’t end there. Many Vaidyas from India have been setting themselves up as Gurus since the ’70s, often having no real learning in yoga, vedanta and such systems back home or in the west. Paraphrasing has become the new “Vedic” and fueled with western blind-faith based naivety, gives rise to a dangerous cocktail.

Often we see articles and posts from Ayurvedic practitioners and yoga teachers that are quite laughable, due to getting basics facts wrong or completely misrepresenting quotes out of philosophical context. Others confuse systems and act as “experts”, which pasteurises the systems and tenets themselves; an example is how we often see “dosha” in Ayurveda as representing a “mind-body type” – which is incorrect and doesn’t even represent the prakriti of a person correctly! Others like to split yoga, ayurveda and tantra up into separate systems, which they are all part of, or buy into the Tantric-Vedic split, which goes along with the Aryan-Dravidian racial divide, that is also not only illogical and scientifically proven to be incorrect, but incorrect as per even the traditional meaning of these within India itself!

Sadly, the maxim “a little knowledge is dangerous” doesn’t seem to resonate with these people. Instead, they see this as in invitation to express their little knowledge as true, gospel and final, and when confronted with complete or integral systems and wisdoms, cannot grasp it and so rather learn, expand and embrace, take to trolling and abusive diatribes! We find little in the way of citations, quotations and references substantiating their claims, beyond their dubious Gurus’ words (which are often in the same contextually incorrect category) – on their websites, blogs and articles or posts, but instead a culture of “I feel so” emotional-isms, that epitomises this modern-age of social media and how it becomes a tool for spiritual sociopaths!

 

Eurocentric Socialistic Self-Entitlement

Background:

The negative shades of socialism today still sadly exist in the fabric of mainstream society as an insidious post-Colonialist-samskaraWe see it permeating everywhere, especially now filtering into native systems as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Yoga and numerous others as Native American traditions, which it does in a disguised manner of an apologetic, but with a very strong Christianised slant to it that it superimposes upon, seeking to replace the original foundations of these systems and also undermine the authority of tradition teachers, education systems and other authorities – just as Christianity did with Jewish rabbis and Jainism and Buddhism did with Hinduism’s Brahmins and the vedas.

Over the years, I’ve seen many even do this with my own writings. If you’re going to plagiarise someone, then refrain from doing so in a verbatim manner with complete passages and sentences, as certain people have done with my books, without citations or even references. When this was brought to their attention, their behaviour was somewhat juvenile, claiming (despite their own copyright on their page etc. and disclaimers) that “all is one” and everyone owns everything. By that logic, I’d go and take this guy’s car without him having an issue, right? I was wrong – it works only in a one-sided manner with the European, still dealing with his ahankarika Eurocentrism that he thinks he’s uniquely qualified to ignore and instead hypnotise himself into believing he’s transcended everything!

Another such person took it upon themselves, after reading my books and articles, to misappropriate and even represent my own Vedic teachings and those of my family Guru’s tradition, which are not only not a part of, nor even related to, coming from a Catholic background, and feels such misappropriation for their “cult” is valid. Narcissists however, as sociopaths and psychopaths, as appear to be the disorders that Catholicism has generated over so many generations – can never actually realise their wrongs. If they even kill someone, it’s somebody else’s fault! It doesn’t take long to see where this arises from – the Catholic complex that itself misappropriated the Hebrew tradition and maligns the Jews, while appearing as the “holier” party – just take a look at the said person’s anti-Semitic subtext and you’ll soon get the gist of it.

Sadly, we are inundated with them coming into native systems, as a means of their ego-transference and also an easier way for them to “transcend away” their personality disorders, or at least, tell themselves they’re doing so in their self-hypnotic delusional manners, rather than seeking proper psychiatric help! These kinds of faux philosophies, neo-vedantic rants and delusional “meditations” are about as useful in actually solving the issue than obscuring or repressing it, as placing a plaster over a malignant tumour and ignoring it, thinking the cancer won’t eventually spread is!

Such people however, come in pairs and share a similar attitude, arising from an inferiority complex. They think they can represent other’s traditions much better than native people. These people are the ones that wish to be Americans, but due to their culturally distant and British Crown allegiance, actually cannot, so act out instead in a condescending Victorian British manner, like spoiled schoolchild! You guessed it – I’m talking about Canadians!

Where there’s a troll, there’s a thousand supporters. Today, where there are criminals and pseudo-Gurus, the masses will support them over the victims or real tradition.

Take for example how westerners as John Douillard, Melanie Sachs, Lisa Coffey, Marc Halpern and New-Age Indians such as Deepak Chopra etc. are seen as an Ayurvedic authorities over true Ayurvedic physicians as Dr. Vasant Lad and his BAMS graduate student, Robert Svoboda or others such as Jessica Vellela that have completed the Indian Ayurvedic BAMS systems and adhere to a more authentic Ayurveda as per classical tradition, opposed to the westernised New-Age hyperbolised versions that are the mere narcotic-inspired misappropriated fetishes of the hippie-era! Vellala and others do represent a different style of Ayurveda from the classics, as even as Dr. Lad does to some degree. In India, Bhagwan Dash, Prof. Srikanthamurthy, P.H. Kulkarni, PV Sharma and others have become almost household Ayurveda names in true Ayurveda communities with their in-depth scholarship on the matter, that make the western hybrid of the hippie-era look like they’re not even skimming the top of Ayurvedic vidya!

My family comes from a lineage where we use the authority of shruti or the Veda samhitas alone. I find it insulting that post Vedic texts have been labelled as “Vedic” and markets by Hindu Swamis as such as some kind of spiritual currency.

For thousands of years, Hinduism’s sacred Vedic texts (viz. four vedas, upanishads and brahmanas) have been guarded with utmost respect. There has been no need to convert people across the globe or to spread their message as in Christianity! In fact, few were ever born with the knowledge to decipher them, which is why these systems existed. Few are people like Arthur Avalon, Aleister Crowley, Paul Brunton, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and others that really immersed themselves in the in-depth study of Hindu traditions!

Today however, Hinduism and Vedic have become social labels for the elite, Hollywood stars and others that don’t want to use LGBT titles to be seen as popular or having a point of difference. Thus, “Vedic” today has become sort of “Vedic Club for white people and their opinions“, rather than actually Vaidika. They commonly quote the post-Vedic literature for a start, in addition to being perpetually stoned or on meth or other narcotic substance for their “knowledge”, over traditional learning. The reject any traditional native systems, their pramanasshastras and their bhashyas etc. in favour of their myopic self-born views, such as we see.

The white subliminal culture doesn’t end there. African Americans will often look down at African people from the Caribbean or the African mainland, as often their culture and features are different. Hence, while claiming the victims of “racism” on one hand, they dish it out, on the other. The behaviour of not only white Americans, but also African Americans towards Asian communities and Latino minorities is also not a harmonious and socially conducive one honouring cultural acceptance and assimilation, either! Here, such people, while claiming to be victims, have actually themselves fallen prey to the Eurocentric racist gene and superiority complex.

The same exists in all minority groups, claiming to be historical “victims” and taking their awareness of acceptance too far. The LGBT communities for example. How often do we see white same-sex couples on TV shows, sitcoms and movies, compared to interracial or even ethnic same-sex couples? It is a rarity compared to the white majority, which obviously the LGBT community itself wishes to promote, while again claiming “equal rights” in a hypocritical manner! How are trans-people accepted in the mainstream gay communities? This is another issue.

Just as we support these people and groups however that themselves continue to carry colonialist bigotries and dogmas internally, we ignore the majority that are still being hurt by these groups and people. Another example is Islamic apologetics, who would completely wipe out the continuous bloodshed and dominating destructive psyche that Islam has generated since the 7th Century AD onwards, to the present day (only with more dangerous weaponry) – however, their victims as Hindus, Buddhists and others, we crucify when they dare to (a) expose historical facts (b) defend themselves against centuries-old Islamic attacks and slander! So much for ‘human rights’ and ‘equality’, socialists!

Most socialists today however are either of, or are members of the lower socioeconomic ‘aspiring bourgeoisie’ classes, far from the haute bourgoisie at the upper end of the social spectrum. We see this with the lower socioeconomic demographic trying to emulate Hipters that has become a pop-culture sensation as a result, but divorced from the original foundations of which it was generated by the upper middle-classes as a means to appear “toned down”! Similarly, the plethora of oversexed, menstruating females from the lower social demographics and their male peers are usually those who wish to reinvent themselves as some kind of quasi-Druid Priestesses and Priests, emulating even the Brahmanical classes and hypocritically even trying to become vegetarian and self-righteous like a Hindu monk on one hand – but on the other, are married and continue to engage in their less-than-Brahmanical and brahmachari / brahmacharini behavior as would befit traditional values as a whole! This cultural selectivity is also seen by Christians who, on one hand argue that the New Testament overrides the Old Testament God and laws – but select and chose which of these they’d keep. Their homophobia for example is driven from the Old Testament, but they ignore the taboo of eating pork, also from the Old Testament – and ignore the fact that Jesus and the New Testament for them stands as a new tradition, not of the old ways they wish to carefully select from to enslave others into their irrational and non-lineal social substructures!

Yoga has similarly been misappropriated in the west and reduced down to rigid stereotyping as being vyayama and asana or exercises and poses alone, while Tantra has become all about magical rituals and rights and sexual practices – forgetting that real tantragama shastra was simply the updated Vedic ritualism, as scholars such as Swami Vivekananda and Arthur Avalon had also stated, as also others as Sri Aurobindo, Ganapati Muni etc., as is also evident from the Rigveda, Brahmanas, Upanishads and their commentaries, in which tantra, yoga etc. are all part of the one Raja-Yoga system, as even Shankaracharya promoted across India! Yet, even he is reduced down as a vedanta teacher alone, by the uneducated plebeian masses  becoming “wiki-quote” self-professed authorities and scholars, misinterpreting things out of context (as even half-verses and stanzas, like Baptist preacher does) – without even understanding the crux and deeper side of Shankaracharya’s Advaita system, which isn’t as simply and non-complex as these fools make it out to be!

This also brings us to the main issue here of our western yogic sub-culture: vegetarianism and it’s aggressive proselytisation by its western adherents in an almost Baptist-zeal, rather than one of equality, rational and medical understanding and acceptance, that vegans and vegetarians demand from others, but (like a true Christian superimposing their Christocentric puritanism upon others), labels others as inferiors – a modern notion that simply stands as the contemporary updated-slander cognates for “heathen / satanist / witch / infidel / atheist / non-believer” of the Abrahamic traditions.

As with atheists and Jews however, the meat-eater doesn’t seek to convert you to meat-eating as the vegan and vegetarian does through psychopathic insults and ridicule, rather than peaceful logic, as is the facade of their ways, as a Christian preaches “Christ’s love for humanity”, while burning down a village, or a Muslim preaches Islam is a “religion of peace” as he slices open your throat! Sociopaths, psychopaths, schizophrenics and others are hence attracted to these systems, not due to moral causes, to simply to be seen to be standing on a higher moral ground and code of ethics of which they can laud over others. It is the ago and culture of egotism alone that even has naught to do with historical vegetarianism within the south Asian traditions!

The Moral Vegetarian Issue:

Vegetarianism was for the Brahmin caste predominantly and also brahmacharis (celibates) to keep their minds pure, especially in southern India. Hence, before deciding to adopt vegetarianism as per Hinduism, we have to ask ourselves three main questions:

  1. Is this satmya (suitable) for me as per by prakriti and also genetic background? Different groups of people even in India and across the globe are stated in the classical texts to have a kind of immunity to eating meats and shouldn’t simply stop this, as such may otherwise cause diseases – similar to how one not used to taking hit, spicy foods as chilies will suffer from ulcers and issues as a result of non-suitability.
  2. Am I a Brahmin that performs daily rituals as pujas, yajnas etc. for the benefit of others in temples or am I a single, celibate monk living in a monastery and keeping away from all rajasic aspects of society, including the use of TV, internet, tea, coffee, refined sugars and processed foods etc.?

One here should also ask themselves if they’re well-versed in these food-types and have studied all of the available ancient Ayurvedic texts on food articles and their properties, as also ahara or dietary intake. Here, no sadhana can commence unless the body itself is operating at the state of normalcy in arogya or healthy state, not vitiated due to some social-concern etc. that could affect the mind and thereby the body, or vice versa.

Here, adopting vegetarianism as a moralistic or social-concern alone and ignoring the classical opinion and thinking one is “Hindu” is hypocritical – as these same people reject the notions as the Aryan Invasion Theory of India, which is also on the grounds of historical texts or shastra as well, or arguing the karmic facet of vegetarianism alone (without even udnerstanding karma‘s doctrine – a philosophy in itself), is as bad as reducing yoga down to mere exercise or tantra down to sex alone! Both again that rest on the classics. It shows a very selective culture that we have generated in the west – one of superiority complexes resulting in down-right narcissism!

  1. Do I understand that while karma is involved in killing animals, that these are (a) part of the food chain when required (just as it is the dharma of a kshatriya to take up arms and even kill others – even his own family if necessary for the greater benefit of all, as in the Gita’s message) (b) that animal sacrifices were a part of Vedic society and Hindu society that helped this and (c) that as with the use of sex, that vegetarianism in India was primarily of concern relative to how not only meats, but also even some vegetable substances (garlic, onions etc.) affected the mind?

Relative to (3), western vegetarianism itself often misappropriates the Brahmanical shades of purity of south Indian orthodoxy. Here, such regimes were due to the south being pitta-kapha (hot and humid) tropical climates, where vegetable dishes are more suitable than heating and fatty meats for logical purposes, as discussed in Ayurvedic texts, that also double as the Vedic food rationale.

The Vedic Brahmanas and Yajurvedas also mention numerous kinds of meats in sacrifices as well (some symbolic). True Hindu vegetarian Brahmins won’t eat various root-vegetables at all – such also stems from even various vegetable classes being higher life-forms and due to their properties upon the mind – much as noted is also a geographic issue that later became a part of superstition, over the original rational and logic Vedic systems as we see with the shad darshanas and ayurveda etc. Due to cooler climates in northern India for example, sarson ka tel (mustard oil) and til tel (sesame oil) are often used over nariyal tel and nariyal (coconut oil and coconut) in the southern preparations, but in the desert Sindhi-regions of the Thar desert where there is excessive dryness, dairy is used with foods (the Ayurvedic texts also mentioned this also).

In addition, I often see many people trying to cover up their own insecurities and lack of learning by stating that yoga, vedanta, ayurvedahatha-yoga and tantra were different traditions. While posing as teachers or even “traditional authorities”, their mindset is actually clearly one white Colonialist Masters with self-entitled superiority complexes and reminiscent of the likes of Max Muller and his Aryan Invasion Theory and racial divisions and other European distortions (including their Indian counterparts entertaining such, as Romila Tharpar) that adhere to one set of teachings alone – whether it be the concise Bhagavad Gita + Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras or one text of Adi Shankaracharya on vedanta, taken out of spiritual and cultural context and seen through the lens of a Christcentric mind bereft of true Hindu vidya and insight! This is what I call a ‘Christian samskara’ – not necessarily religious, but a myopic culture centered on monotones that permeates all facets of what it seeks to learn and pasteurise in an autonomous fashion!

The other issue here is that many come into these traditions with poor mental and physical health. Ashrams in the west and India are a breeding-ground for the mentally unstable, physically weak or ill, schizophrenics to psychopaths and sociopaths on the other – that all need true psychological help and counselling, not simply to drown and deny their issues under a veil of ‘spiritual’ -isms and Self-healing, Self-diagnostic / assessing hyperbole! Original yogis and great health, mentally and physically – which is what both Patanjali’s and the later Hatha Yoga system both aim at – developing ojas or vitality and also purifying the body of unwanted wastes – regardless of the plethora of chubby and anorexic rogi (diseased)-apologetics and their (flawed) rhetoric that dominate the Vedo-sphere today! It ruins it for those who want to learn or do need actual help and are receptive to it, traditionally!

The issue with the west today is that it quickly appropriates something – a mantra, a yoga or technique (kriya) or diet, but improperly without the full system, and thinks that eastern systems are safe enough to be seen as “self-managed” systems, without any proper training, study or depth. This in itself is due to a residual colonialist arrogance that (subtly) undermines and reduces these eastern systems down to simplistic systems – opposite to what they are. Vedanta alone, even of the advaita variety takes several years to master and numerous texts to understand the depth of it and reflection – not simply reading a few Ramana Maharishi quotes, or pulling half-quotes from the Upnishads out of context as many do.

This kind of uneducated narcissistic self-entitled, self-righteous motivated appropriation is exactly what reduces down all native faiths, and such blatant ignorance can be compared to the historical missionaries’ view towards Hindus and Native Americans or even Caribbean pan-African Voudon [1] traditions, rather than immersing themselves in these foreign cultures, philosophies and systems and understanding the complete picture first, rather than superimposing their own biases and interpretations upon them.

Such people constantly seek to be validated, which is precisely why all ancient cultures and even the modern such as the British, not simply those of India and Asia, had their social classes and substructures. One cannot merely ‘fast-track’ as an ‘intuitive pilot’ – one has to have the skills for that and also background. Today, we have those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, the ‘aspiring bourgeoisie‘ to the ‘aspiring haute bourgoisie‘ (or wannabes) becoming educated, taking up positions that were historically meant for certain aristocratic classes that could both handle the power, work and responsibility and ethics that went with it and endure these with the vigour they were born with! The same cannot be said of the menial classes – mutton dressed as lamb, always remains mutton, as leopards never change their spots!

If philosophy in India or ancient Greece, was never about actual learning before one debates – and instead interpolating the excuse ‘Holy Spirit / God / Universe guides me’ when one doesn’t know to try and win an argument – then even rabid barking dogs would be allowed to debate and there’d be no need of pramanas, such as Islam and Christianity have both done away with!

Footnotes:

1. In a similar heir to how people in the west argue that yoga and tantra are not related and are simply asana or posture and sexual-rituals alone, so also the missionaries in the Caribbean superimposed the European dogma upon so-called effigies as “Voodoo dolls”, that in Africa traditions were meant for healing, not nefarious purposes; the culture of using effigies were cursing by inserting pins and needles is part of the European culture and acts as a good example of how these Eurocentric biases were superimposed upon other cultures with similar practices – but the technique and purpose was wholly different!

Today sadly, just as the mainstream think of Voudon in this manner thanks to the Eurocentric biases dating back to Colonial times, so also people have become indoctrinated into what tantra and yoga is, and even Indians cannot accept the classical opinions about these, due to European education.

Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe) in his Shakti and Shakta text in the 18th Century brings attention to this:

It is this reiterated claim to superiority that has hypnotized many persons amongst Eastern races into the belief that the European is, amongst other things, always a safe and learned critic even of their own beliefs and practices…”

The Issue of Suitability (Satmya) in Ayurveda

By Durgadas, R.A.P, A.Y.T, Ved Kovid.

(C) Durgadas (Rodney) Lingham 2017. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any manner, except by direct permission from the author.


[Experted from upcoming book “The Complexity of Charaka’s Ayurveda: Looking at Ayurveda Beyond New-Age Eyes“]

Today, Ayurveda is seen as being a predominantly vegan or vegetarian system resting on ahimsa of non-violence. While this is important, we must first take note of dehika ahimsa or non-violence relative to our own bodies, which requires eating suitable foods as per our diseases, constitutions and also relative to genetic and social satmya or suitability. Here, there is a difference between taking meats (which were traditionally ritualistically sacrificed and taken when needed) for certain purposes as per their requirement and mercilessly killing in excess as today’s abattoirs.

According to the classical texts, we must examine and treat people according to their cultural satmya or suitability of ahara or accustomed foods and intake relative to their desha or location and climate – which isn’t the same as, or even across India!

On satymaSushruta (sutrasthana, XXXV.39-40) notes that various substances and foods that don’t cause any vitiation, despite their contrary nature to ones biological constitution, the region, season and even exercise regimes, are suitable, as one becomes accustomed to such. Good examples are royal families that habitually take alcohol and meats as also rich foods and yet don’t suffer from diseases of excesses due to suitability of these through various generations – compared to non-aristocrats that could not historically afford such and being not used to these, can suffer from excesses when taking such.

Samtya or suitability is also mentioned by Charaka in greater detail (Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa, XXX, 315-19), especially relative to Chinese, Persians, Central Asians and Greeks habitually eating meats and taking wine and thus becoming accustomed to them, and of southern Indians with lighter foods as tubers, roots and fruits and variations such as suitability of fish as in eastern India (Bengal etc.); in the Sindhi region, the liberal use of milk-products is noted and grains as wheat and barley with milk in the central region of India, and that despite being unhealthy, such accustomed or suitable (satmya) foods should be given to these patients along with medicines for better health, rather than changing it and forcing a localised diet upon them!

This is mentioned in Charaka in ancient times – yet today, we see the same people as the Europeans and others (Greeks and Persians mentioned in the classics along with Chinese) being administered a south-Indian style vegetarian staple along with various herbs for their conditions, opposed to their (local and genetic) suitable foods, when even a native Indian of Bengal or Sindh wouldn’t be customised to such diets!

In more recent times, the south-Indian vegetarian staple that Charaka mentions (suitable to the pittogenic climate of south Indian Brahmins due to it being hot and damp or humid), has come to replace many dietary regimes in India as “sattvic”, due to the influence of historical acharyas or teachers coming from the south in ancient times as south-Indian Brahmins (Shankaracharya, Ramanuja, Vallabhacharya, Nimbarkacharya, Madhavacharya) and modern Gurus coming from there, including Sri Ramana Maharishi, Satya Sai Baba, Bhagavan Nityananda, Swami Sivananda etc. Yet, these diets are not suitable to non-pitta people in non-pitta climates – just as Hatha-Yoga also aimed it’s yoga at the pitta and rajasic Gurkhawarriors, not for the average person of northern India outside this constitution, aggressive kshatriya nature, or climate. They were also required to fight in the hot, dry desert regions in Sindh to the Middle-East, which is why high intake of dairy, raw foods etc. worked well for them alone.

This of course doesn’t mean we give meats for all diseases! It simply means adopting the foods one is accustomed to and also tailoring such as per their disease, which sometimes means reducing or complete cutting out these or placing one on a bland diet at times.

This contradicts the view of New-Age Ayurveda which argues (on moral grounds) that one and all must adopt the Indian vegetarian diets for health and in diseased cases! It is in fact a clear violation of Ayurvedic principles and tenets as per the classics and would appear to cause more difficulty long-term, especially considering the strange diets of today such as veganism that don’t even agree with ancient lacto-vegetarian models!

In continuing this discussion, Charaka Samhita (Chikitsasthana, XXX.320) states that a physician that doesn’t take these local suitable considerations relative to desha (location, geographical suitability etc.), age, strength of the patient and their body into account and simply prescribes therapies alone is a failure.

He continues (ibid, 321 – 325) giving examples of, just as how the diets of Chinese, Europeans etc. doesn’t affect them, though sometimes contrary to disease, so sometimes like qualities of the doshas can alleviate them, as pitta deep within the tissues can be brought out by heat as in poultices or hot application and that excreta from a fly, though causing vomiting sensations, can also cure it (things which are normally contrary, but in certain cases help the disorder)!

These are perhaps some of the more important aspects relative to use of meats in Ayurveda we need to take note of, relative to historical and true traditional Ayurveda accounts.

It hence also calls into question the reasoning for adopting such dietary regimes as being so-called sattvic (pure) for such modern ‘American Ayurveda’ protagonists and their brethren, when they ignore the Ayurvedic guidelines in which what is sattvic or pure for one person, is not suitable for the constitution of another – and may even cause health-issues (meats for example can be heavy and tamasic, but vata being light, requires such heavier substances to calm its rajasic and ethereal sattvic nature; heavy spices are rajasic but required to get kapha‘s sluggish nature moving).

Moreover, the modern American Ayurveda system has been somewhat antagonistic towards the BAMS system and syllabus in India, which indeed  has some limitations, but still studies the classic texts and concerns in their more expanded, not pasteurised nature and fuses such with modern-science, as the ancient acharyas did with the ancient shad darshanas, not simply inventing their own philosophy bereft of these traditional concerns and systems!

Here, the New-Age and pseudo-Yoga diets can quite dangerous when they ignore local aspects of desha satmya or local suitability and customisation.

The Sad Reality of Aggressive Religions

It is very sad about innocent people in Islamic nations. However, it is even sadder that there are Jewish and Christian minorities that are also being persecuted and have had difficulty throughout history, especially when there have been more fundamentalist groups.

We must reflect or meditate upon several facts before simply allowing our emotions and media-fueled hysteria to dictate our (impaired) logic when deciding to defend or apologise for a religion or group of people. I am sure that many Native Americans don’t wish to be Spanish Colonialist apologetics, just as, despite historical issues going back some 1,500 years, the Welsh and Scots wouldn’t want to be English or Anglo apologetics!

We must consider that not only Islam, but Christianity has had a history of intolerance bloodshed and violence that spread across the globe into the Americas, Asia and Africa.During the Goa Inquisition alone, 121 people were sentenced to death, while over 4,000 were tortured and punished and 300 Hindu temples were destroyed. These numbers weren’t limited to Hindus alone, but also Goan Catholics (who still embraced some Hindu customs and thus were seen as heretics), Syrian Christians and Jews. Everyone was forced to adhere to the religious doctrines of Catholic Portugal.

Islam has sadly had Arabic, Iranian, Turkic and other ethnic groups that have persecuted others in the name of their religion historically – it hasn’t simply been an isolated case or within one region / nation or group alone. Not all Muslims are terrorists and this is true – many wish to simply get on with their own lives. Yet, if we weighed up different faiths as per numbers, we find that Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists and even (modern) Christians aren’t the ones threatening the innocent members of the public, violently enforcing their beliefs upon others or making a point through terrorism. Again, the incidences in Brussels, London, Sydney, Paris, Berlin etc.all have one thing in common that we cannot deny, as much as we wish not to stereotype all people.

The question is, “do we view Hindus and Buddhists or Taoists today with the same heir as we do Muslims, or as medieval Pagans viewed Catholics?” The answer is “no”. Why did Pagans fear Christians? As they were mercilessly persecuted and condemned to them, simply due to a different belief, not due to crime.

My advice today is that we have no need to try and embrace the enemy, but to have empathy for those trapped within these faiths and in nations where their individual freedom is compromised, regardless of their religious persuasion. Here, the “extreme vetting” measures imposed by President Trump may seem an exaggerated notion at first, however if we are thinking about the history of Islam, modern terrorist attacks and how best to avoid them, such measures are a necessary evil – not only for the safety of the American public, but also for those who are refugees from such nations in America, so as their safety isn’t compromised as well. Imagine what impact upon peaceful Islamic communities in the United States would be if such restrictions weren’t imposed and a terrorist was let in accidentally! The damage would actually be just as great towards how people view all Muslims in general and spiral internal attacks and racism by association. These measures simply help keep everyone safe.

Whereas the Catholic Church historically has been an unruly parent, so also Islam as the world’s youngest large religion has acted out like a rogue child that we must be cautious and strategic in dealing with, not simply brash, nor let our guard down completely. We must not forget that these faiths alone not only killed in their name, but also devised elaborate methods of torture for innocent people who wouldn’t convert to their religion, which no other historical faith employed! Many people as the Jews simply kept to themselves – Jews don’t proselytise and it’s not easy to simply decide to become a Jew or even a Hindu, as it is a Muslim of Christian! These are facts we must consider and reflect upon.

Islam has given many wonderful contributions to the world, especially through India and translation of Sanskrit treatises on medicine, astronomy and astrology, advanced mathematics, the numeral system we use today from India via the Arabs and many other important things historically, of which the world has to be grateful for. However, as with those in the Catholic Church, along with this and its erudite scholars who spent their lives in the pursuit of this knowledge, were also equal tyrants that did great harm in the east and also in the west and sadly, continue doing so. The damage they did has long been implanted in the psyche of people’s nations they have attacked and civilisations and cultures they destroyed – it is not new, not limited the past few decades of Islamic terrorism in the western world, or European attention alone.

We must also remember that the Arabs developed much of their culture and academic learning via the Persians and Hindus. Many Indian vaidyas travelled to Baghdad and set up hospitals and taught there. During the Arab invasion of Sindh also, many Hindu architects were taken back to Baghdad to design and build mosques there. Such also occurred later in history when Tirmurlane took Hindu slaves to build his capital at Samarkand. Such styles date back to the early Buddhist architecture of Ashoka (c.300BCE) and earlier, which we often forget. Likewise, we also forget the sacking of the great Somanatha temple along with many others in India by Mohammed of Ghanzi and later destruction by other Muslim invaders that destroyed the great libraries and University of Nalanda and other native places of learning. The activity today has simply shifted from catapults and cannons to using bombs and nuclear threats – but it’s aggressive nature is over 1,200 years old, and we do not need former Christians apologising for Islam, due to their own bloodthirsty history that they wish to either validate or sweep under the carpet as a subliminal / subconscious samskara!

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but they are not all pacifists, either. Likewise, not all Hindus and Buddhists are pacifists, either – some, somewhere could be terrorists as well, but the reality is that for their majority, they are not, never have been and never really will be, despite them predating even Christianity, let alone Islam, by several centuries.

While we always wish for the best, we must remember that leopards never change their spots and also, congenital and deep-seated diseases are also much harder, if not impossible to completely cure, only to alleviate the symptoms before a period of eventual decline.

 

Dharma, Vedanta and the Kshatriya:

Our desire for moksha is a rajasic-fueled desire due to our frustrations with the physical world and our personal environment. We can often also superimpose elements from Abrahamic religions which dominate the globe that misappropriate yoga’s moksha concept, such as the Christian Salvation or Heaven, which shouldn’t be a focus or goal, nor a means to by-pass social order or dharma in the world and upholding it as many in New-Age circles tend to think.

Moksha isn’t a race and a true yogi isn’t worried about liberation as they help their minds to remain aloof from such and see their lives and bodies as but transient states and vessels through which to work out their individual karmas while remaining content (developing santosha). If one is truly detached and believes in samsara, there is no reason to fear this world or others, but see them as but pictures on a screen alone – not refusing to get involved in the play as many neo-vedantins feel, but remembering that one is an actor alone on the world-stage of a drama and not becoming attached to the “character”; it isn’t about denying one’s part in the role or playing / acting it out!

Many ancient kshatriyas or warriors and kings were also yogis as well that defended the world in the physical and social aspect and also dwelt within the inner worlds when in their personal periods of sadhana or spiritual discipline and practices. Rishi Vishwamitra, Divodasa, Raja Janaka (disciple of Rishi Yajnavalkya), Parashurama, Hanuman (who, for all purposes was a Sanskrit scholar, Siddha yogi (one who attained siddhis or supernatural powers) and Brahmin in his own right, who took up arms); Sri Krishna, Arjuna and Gorakshanatha are also examples of these people who stood for reforming society and social order through kshatra-dharma and also helped ready their karmic side towards the pursuit of moksha or release on the other – neither allowing one to dominate the other. Others as Bhishmacharya were great preceptor kshatriyas as well. Today however, our society has forgotten this and creates an almost blind illusory field surrounding pursuit of moksha in a materialistic fashion, forgetting about our social and moral duty in the world and upholding dharma. Protagonists of this theory label other as “materialists”, when they themselves are simply wishing to fast-forward their own karmas in an almost Christian fashion of saviourhood-belief, rather than work their own karmas out through active works and sadhana. It is a novel idea, but not a reality within Hinduism. On the other side are spiritually redundant social justice warriors that fight for causes with no real logic or background, simply upon their own moral grounds alone, the codes of which they have rewritten and reinvented themselves.

The idea of an “intellectual kshatriya” as put forward by scholars as Dr. David Frawley and Rajiv Malhotra catalyses the true Vedic ideal here, which combines both sides in a more balanced manner. While today’s spiritualist neo-vedantins think anything is too intellectual or debate is beyond them and for plebes, it was the greater vedanta scholars such as Adi Shankaracharya and others that actively engaged in debates historically to save Hinduism from other faiths such as Buddhism and Jainism, that would have otherwise engulfed vedanta and all that was Hinduism – much how the native traditions across the globe are being consumed today and reformatted in a New-Age fashion, quite distinct from their original aspects in their homelands. It is an idea that we must consider and also extend to the physical realm as well.

While many espouse Shankaracharya’s philosophy in its misappropriated neo-vedantic form today, they forget that the entire Advaita tradition, as all schools of vedanta are available to us today and have survived the test to time due to scholarly debates (shastrarths) historically. Shankaracharya like his predecessors and successors was a scholar and not only that, didn’t simply allow the philosophy of “All is One” to be superimposed into the physical social-sphere from the spiritual – he rescued Hinduism and, the vedas and the declining Vaidika systems and didn’t simply sit down and go “all is one, bro! Netflix and chill – she’ll be right!“. No, he was was an “intellectual kshatriya”!

In his article on the “intellectual Kshatriya”, Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) has rightly stated:

However in the Vedic view a country cannot exist without a Kshatriya order, which is the pillar of the society. The Mahabharata states that if there is not a righteous Kshatriya rulership that employs the danDa (rod) [sic] or is willing to punish adharma, then the people will end up eating each other. In the information age we could say that if Hindus do not create an intellectual Kshatriya then the people will end up destroying themselves with false beliefs and propaganda.

“If a dharmic Kshatriya is not created through the force of Brahma or spiritual knowledge, then the law is that an adharmic Kshatriya will come to fill in the vacuum. This is exactly what occurred not only in modern India but throughout the rest of the world. After the excessive non-violence in the Indian independence movement no genuine Kshatriya could or was created in the country. This left the country prey to a false Kshatriya, based mainly upon Marxist ideals, mixed with war lord temperaments, such as we have found in communist countries, who similarly have misled the people and prevented the real growth of the nation. [1]”

This is exactly how it is. While the west is today happy to misappropriate the doctrines of ahimsa in India and give them a Jainist twist (as even Buddhist monks defended themselves, as those as Bodhidharma actually took un-armed combat and martial-arts into China and elsewhere), movements of Hindu Acharyas from Shankaracharya and his formation of Vedic Hinduism across India to those as Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati in more recent times that took to pruging India of Islamic and missionary activity, to the Gurkha Hatha-Yogis under the tutelage of Gorakshanantha in the 8th – 12th Centuries and the Sikhs in the 16th Century under Gobind Singh, are historical movements that arose from yoga in India to protect and save both it’s dharma and citizens from Islamic attacks,so that we may enjoy them today and all that come with them that the west appropriates – yoga and it’s tenets of ahimsa, samsara, karma, moksha etc., along with vedanta, ayurveda, jyotisha. Without these wars, we’d have only the Koran being recited and Muslims in the place of Hindus today in India – as has occurred in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan etc. that were once Hindu nations. Iran has seen Islam almost but annihilate its once thriving indigenous Zoroastrian population, the majority of which now live in India.

This shows India wasn’t aggressive, as it gave shelter to other foreign faiths that were under attack from Islam (hence they still survive in greater numbers in India than their so-called ‘peaceful’ Islamic homelands), but also was effective in protecting itself, its own religions and also others from Islamic threats. These were times before Islamic nations could even consider more dangerous weaponry as nuclear warfare as today.

The question of whether Hindus should now lay low and not engage either Islam or western critics and dwell in a world where everything is philosophically “One” and “Blissful”, then, is a rather ridiculous one. Here, we cannot correlate the physical or dharmic and the metaphysical worlds and superimpose the latter’s view upon the former, any more than we can truly state that Shankaracharya in his Atma Shatakam had no mortal mother or father historically!

On this note, I quote the great yogi, Sri Aurobindo, who said:

All is Brahman, but in action you have to treat the elephant as the Elephant Brahman and the Asura as the Asura Brahman and neither as merely Brahman pure and simple. One has either to avoid the Rakshasa or overcome him; otherwise the Rakshasa may eat up the man, all Brahman though both be.” 
(Letters of Sri Aurobindo: Opposition to Hostile Forces)

Philosophical superimposition not only fails here, but undermines the entire philosophy of vedanta itself, of the Bhagavad Gita and most of all, it’s system of debate and logic (nyaya) through the four pramanas that modern western vedantins also wish to omit; it was and is firstly, an intellectual tradition which is why the great yogis left us with so many texts and their bhashyas or traditional commentaries – that we may understand their words in true fashion, beyond our own preconceptions. Modern vedantin scholars as Sri Ramana, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Sivananda and numerous others have also taught us what true vedanta is – which is merely more than self-hypnosis that we are the “Self”. As, unless we understand the philosophical nuances, what is even the purpose of saying we know about vedanta? It requires years of study of all branches of Hinduism.

Citations: 

  1. http://voiceofdharma.org/books/tfst/chi1.htm

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