Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sense?

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RajeshA
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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby RajeshA » 26 Nov 2014 22:14

shiv saar,

I have a question! Why is Balu reinterpreting the meaning of "iti" as in "Itihas"?

Balu wrote:Now, why is this important to us? Because Itihaasa - just look at the word Itihaasa - forget etymologies, I am not going to go into etymology at the moment, it is not of great consequence to us, the word "Iti-haasa" is translated as "thus it happened", "thus it verily happened" and so on.

"Iti" is supposed to be "thus". Which is very true. But when you write, in India, Sanskrit language or even in vernacular languages, we used to, maybe we don't any more, we used to write letters to uncles and aunts, etcetra, ending with the word "iti".

"Iti". What does it mean?

It is a meta-linguistic sign, which refers back to what went before. Before what? Before the end, before you sign your name.

"Itihaasa" is referring back to something else that must be behind it before the story is told. That is Itihaasa, that is what "iti" means. Not "thus it happened" saying it is referring to a story that is going to come, it is referring back to something that has already been said. That is what "iti" means in our languages.

So how can "thus it verily happened" in a story, normal oral story telling, you say it and start telling a story. So one speaks as though "iti" refers to the story that has to come yet. No, it cannot. It can only refer back to something that has already been said, what has been said before Ramayana, what has been said before Mahabharata. What is the background text or message that Itihaasa is referring back to? I have a hypothesis, the only explanation that I can give. It refers back to Adhyatma.

Ramayana and Mahabharata are illustrations of Adhyatmic claims. That is why it is Itihaasa, thus it happened, going back to something about, not salvation because we are not Christians, not even Moksha because that is a vulgarized word anyway, but certain kind of happiness, certain kind of liberation of some type from earthly problems, that is what Adhyatma is all about. Ramayana, Mahabharata illustrate it. Using what? It is a story. What do stories do? Especially Ramayana, Mahabharata, what do they do?

They are disguised as descriptions of the world. They are not descriptions of the world. They talk of a Rama, they talk of a Ayodhya, they talk of a Bhima - maybe those guys existed, maybe they did not. If they did, they function as empirical reference points to understand the story. But they have no other function. Absolutely no other function.


If it is a well meant reason to strengthen our Sanskriti, our Rāṣṭra, I am genuinely missing it and would like to understand!

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby A_Gupta » 26 Nov 2014 23:01

^^^ There is a book I have (by a westerner) that says that martial arts are Vedic in origin. Both the Upanishadic wisdom (e.g., Raja Janaka) and the Buddhist (Gotama Buddha) are kshatriya, not brahminical in origin. This wisdom was carried to China where it became the basis of what we call Kung Fu today (Fa = dharma in Chinese, supposedly, if my memory serves) and then all the martial arts. In India, the remnants are mostly in classical dance.

This from personal experience - apparently any Bharat Natyam dancer who has seen Kung Fu will tell you that the basic dance moves and Kung Fu moves are still identical, even after separation for so many centuries.

The classical Chinese martial arts (prior to their becoming merely a sport) have, essentially what we would call Adhyatma, as a core practice.

I am nowhere near that book right now, but can try to find it in my collection and quote from it when I get back.

I think if first one takes a wider view - which the Hindutvavaadis, with their focus on India often fail to do - remember the Indic culture has gone to China, Japan, Southeast Asia where it has not been so molested by Islam and by Europeans as happened in India (but has undergone other evolution, of course, which one may have to disentangle) - and understand Dharma from a broad perspective instead of from the narrow rashtra-dharma of Himalayas to Kanya kumari -- don't get me wrong, this is very important for India, but is only one part of dharma -- then these kinds of doubts would not arise.

In a historical narrative, I would say that the kshatriya dharma was mostly extinguished with the Islamic invasions, and it is the brahmin-led effort that valiantly upheld the Sanatana Dharma - with an unfortunate but understandable byproduct that our modern view of Dharma is now lopsided. When I say "Adhyatma" the Hindutvavaadi seems to think it means sitting a corner away from the world and meditating. No, I assert, the kshatriya practicing his sword moves also, classically at least, approached it as an Adhyatmic practice.

To recover as much as possible of all that was lost it is not sufficient to study only what India retains. One has to get hold of the works from Sanskrit that were translated and carried to China, Japan, etc., etc. While the focus of action has to be India, the span of thought and study has to be much wider.

You want Virya? Kena Upanishad 2:4 I think says the knowledge of Brahman is the source of Virya. I'm repeating myself, but this insight was built into the warriors' practices, and can still be found today to the extent the martial arts remain the kinetic component of physical effort just like Hatha Yoga is the static component (the modern commercialized versions lose all that.)

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby Karan M » 26 Nov 2014 23:14

A Gupta brilliant points.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby RajeshA » 27 Nov 2014 00:06

A_Gupta wrote:I think if first one takes a wider view - which the Hindutvavaadis, with their focus on India often fail to do - remember the Indic culture has gone to China, Japan, Southeast Asia where it has not been so molested by Islam and by Europeans as happened in India (but has undergone other evolution, of course, which one may have to disentangle) - and understand Dharma from a broad perspective instead of from the narrow rashtra-dharma of Himalayas to Kanya kumari -- don't get me wrong, this is very important for India, but is only one part of dharma -- then these kinds of doubts would not arise.

In a historical narrative, I would say that the kshatriya dharma was mostly extinguished with the Islamic invasions, and it is the brahmin-led effort that valiantly upheld the Sanatana Dharma - with an unfortunate but understandable byproduct that our modern view of Dharma is now lopsided. When I say "Adhyatma" the Hindutvavaadi seems to think it means sitting a corner away from the world and meditating. No, I assert, the kshatriya practicing his sword moves also, classically at least, approached it as an Adhyatmic practice.


A_Gupta ji,

Islam is being spread everywhere, but Mecca, Medina, Al Quds, Najaf, Karballa, Cairo, Qom are still important centers and those who spread Islam want to keep it that way, with Mecca retaining is status as the Ummah Central!

Same is the case with Catholicism - in Vatican! Evangelists have their Church centers in various places with their own inner circles and philanthropists!

When the British came, they closed our industries, took our science and technology, and put up industry back in Britain! Everyday we find out that something or the other convention, technology can be traced back to India, but we don't find any mention of us Bharatiyas being the discoverers. Somehow we are not happy that our discoveries live on in other cultures even if we don't get recognition. Nor were we happy during British occupation that we were buying clothes stitched in Britain and not produced here. Why?

Hindutvavadis don't have anything against "Krivanto Vishwam Aryam", but we don't want to end up as Abrahamics and our Sanskriti digested or put in a museum in the West!

History tells us that paranoia is legitimate!

I think you are misreading the thinking of Hindutvavadis that they do not have an internationalist perspective! It is just that we don't agree with suitcase-Hinduism of uprooted-Ādhyātmikta!

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby A_Gupta » 27 Nov 2014 05:17

This is a post I made Dec 2, 1998, in soc.culture.indian.jammu-kashmir, with typos corrected, and mild edits. I just remembered it, found it on groups.google.com, and here it is:

Browsing at the bookstore, I came across the book "The Bodhisattva Warriors : The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art within India and China". (The author, by the way, is Shifu Nagaboshi Tomio, a.k.a Terence Dukes. He is "an ordained teacher and initiate of the Ryushinji Temple in Okinawa, Japan).

This was very intriguing. Perhaps some of you have heard of the Buddhist martial arts in India, but I hadn't. I had thought that these had a purely far-Eastern origin.

I flip through the pages, and see Figure 105 captioned "Modern Indian Nata dancer (a Kathakali dancer). The movements of Chuan Fa are still clearly visible."

"The Tang Chinese equivalent for the title "Vajramukti", Chuan Fa (Japanese : Kempo) was a nominal approximation used by monks for that section of the Buddhist Vajramukti art concerned with ritualized movement practices which contained the principles of health preservation, weaponless self-defense and meditative insight."

"The term Chuan Fa was commonly used from the Tang dynasty onward [AD 618-907 according to an appendix] to represent in general those aspects of the Vajramukti practices which missionary monks imported from India. Much later it was exported to offshore islands such as Taiwan and the Ryukyus, where the title was pronounced "Kempo". "

First, a little intro:

According to our author, "Vajramukti" is the name given to the art of unarmed combat. "Vajramukti was practiced in peacetime by means of regular training sessions and these utilized sequences of attack and defense technically termed in Sanskrit "nata"."

".....We must now look briefly at the historical development in India in order to appreciate the social environment into which the "nata" emerged. After this we will consider the nata further, for it was their sequences which were taken by monks into China and developed into a native form, which, in turn, gave rise to many of the Buddhist physical meditation arts."

(Brief overview of Buddhist monarchs)
" ....Harsha, revitalized the Sanskrit language and Indian cultural arts. He sponsored sculptures, temples, art, drama and Buddhist nata in all their forms. It is only from this dynasty that the Hindu nata can be dated....."

"In ancient Hinduism, nata was acknowledged as a spiritual study and conferred a ruling deity, Nataraja, representing the awakening of wisdom through physical and mental concentration. However, after the Muslim invasion of India and its brutal destruction of Buddhist and Hindu
culture and religion, the Ksatreya art of nata was dispersed and many of its teachers slain. Due to these invasions, subsequent traditions of nata which arose within Hindu India drew inspiration from sources such as the southern Indian (Dravidian) folk dance and developed very different orientations from its original form. These different sources resulted in the nata becoming a popular performance art of mime and dance, reflecting mainly the myths and legends of the Hindu religious past, rather than the energetic, body-oriented form of the Ksatreya spiritual warrior training. It is only in these Dravidian areas of India that indigenous martial arts, under the name of Kalari exist nowadays."

{I know, I know, this guy is suspect because he uses "Dravidian"}

"When Buddhism came to influence India (circa 500 B.C.) the Deity Nataraja was converted to become one of the four protectors of Buddhism, and was renamed Nar(y)ayana Deva (Chinese : Na Lo Yen Tien). He is said to be a protector of the Eastern hemisphere of the mandala."

{One more reason why saying Buddhism was a revolt from Hinduism is all made up nonsense. Why did it take over Nataraja and Indra? }

"The Muslim invasions and subsequent slaughter of Buddhist monks and nuns caused many to flee into Southern India, China, and elsewhere. Because of this, much of what we know concerning nata within Indian Buddhism comes to us via Chinese tradition and Buddhist writing. Refugees carried with them living knowledge, not only of Buddhist spiritual teaching, but also of its cultural arts and skillful means of teaching.The Gupta and Pala Dynasty nata would have been among these, and doubtless continued to be developed by subsequent Buddhist masters."

"..... Although modern Sanskritists usually represent the term nata as one describing the Indian classical art of representing events and characters in the Hindu scriptures by means of highly stylized dance, mime and acting, this is not the meaning of the term evidenced with the Buddhist sutras. The term nata in Mahayana Buddhism described "body nourishing movement sequences" of "a demanding nature" performed by one who was "vigorous and determined." It referred not to a spectator-oriented activity of entertainment or pleasure (as were the Hindu nata) but to the practice of warriors."

According to Shifu Nagaboshi Tomio, "nata" was martial art (mostly armed) practiced by Kshtriyas from Vedic times.

Other fascinating claims : Tiger Striking (Sanskrit: Vyaghraja) was a technique of unarmed combat.

"In addition to the Indian and North Chinese accounts there is a legend, preserved in both the Ryukyuan "Kempo Hishu", the "Itosuchi", and other Japanese manuscripts, that the technique of Vyaghraja in Chuan Fu developed from teachings contained in an account brought from India, via a Tibetan monastery, into China which recorded the hand-to-hand combat held between two deities. Their names are given phonetically as "Ka-shi-ma" and "Ka-chu-ri". The account is said to describe their movements and practices and says they used these techniques to "control and restrain their followers". The manuscript is usually named in Japanese Ju Jitsu schools as the "Ta-ka-no-kabi". I was even told this story while sitting by a mountainside of the Motobu peninsula of Okinawa with an old Karate master."

"Here we have a fascinating record of a living tradition passed down from generation to generation among people who don't really understand its constituents, but who nevertheless still retain accurate elements of an earlier Chinese tradition. The word "Taka no Kabi", literally means "the giving and receiving of the high(er) places" (Chinese: Kao Cha Li) actually represents the Sanskrit term "Devaloka dana adana", meaning "The heavenly realm of those who give and those who receive" a meaning almost the same. The names Kashimi and Kachuri probably represent Chinese transliterations of the Sanskrit Buddhist term "Ksatre(ya) ksetra". This means "the place - or land - of the Ksatreya." It is both a synonym for the land of India and a place where warriors train and exercise control."

"The whole name seems likely to represent a literal Sarvastivada source originally called something like the "Devloka danadana Ksatreya ksetra", and which, if tradition is accurate, passed from the Vikramasila monastery of India, for it was to here the Tibetans mainly came to be taught Buddhist teachings. It may be a coincidence, but the area in India which contained the most Sarvastivada/Mahasanghika monasteries was named "Danakataka", a word which can be translated fancifully as the "gift of the closed hand". One further, as yet unnamed method of the Vajramukti was said to have arrived in Southern China via Sri Lanka, but this awaits further research."

----

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby A_Gupta » 27 Nov 2014 05:25

Another excerpt from the Boddhisatva warriors from soc.culture.indian that I made in 1998:

Quote :

One Indian translator of the Yogacara philosopher Vasubandhu's texts into Chinese named Vimoksaprajna (Chinese : P'i Mu Chih Hsien) is mentioned in the Chinese text of the Kai Yuan Shih Chiao Lu. of Chih Sheng.

In this, he says that Vimoksaprajna came from the land of Wei Chang (Uddiyana) and was of a Ksatreya family descended from the Shakya clan.

He further mentions that in ancient times, the Indian King Pi Liu Li (Virudhaka) destroyed the city of Kapilavastu, and massacred the Shakyans, whereupon four Sons of Shakya (i.e.,monks) resisted him by raising an army which succeeded in driving Virudhaka away. When the four Shakya sons returned to the city, the inhabitants refused to allow them in saying that they (the Shakyas) were followers of the religious life who had vowed never to resist violence and that the four sons had violated this principle.

Cast out from their home, the four each wandered to different regions. Such was their fame that each was asked to become a monarch in the land he settled in. The Kai Yuan says that at the present time (circa 720) the Kings of Wu Chuan (Uddiyana) and Fan Yen (Bamyan) are their descendants and that Vimoksaprajna belonged to their family.

This story of combatant monks is also mentioned in the Sarvastivada Vinaya (Taisho 24) and the Ekottaragama (Taisho 2), as well as the Chinese translation of Dharmatrata's Undanamarga (Chinese:
C'hu Yao Ching, Taisho 4). These give slightly different versions of the story.

In the latter two accounts it is said that the inhabitants of Kapilivastu were Upasikas (10 precept upholders) and that only one Shakyan named Sabaka, or Sama (Chinese : She Mo or She Ma) attacked the army of Virudhaka on his own, putting them to flight. As in the previous story, he was refused entry on the same grounds, and, forced into exile he went, along with some relics of the Buddha, to a region named Bakuda (Chinese : P'o Chu Ch'a) where the inhabitants immediately made him a king, no doubt because of his great military prowess.

The oral tradition of Nepal and Uddiyana as recorded by Hsuan Tsang states that there were indeed four Shakyan heroes who drove out Virudhaka and these were banished to the North of India. One became the King of Wu Ch'ang Na (Uddiyana), another the King of Fan Yen Na (Bamyan), the third King of Hsi Mo Che Lo (Himatala in Kashmir) and the fourth became King of Shang Mi (Sambi).

PS: now in this day of Google, I searched, and found for example, this:
http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=buddhi ... sacre.html

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby A_Gupta » 27 Nov 2014 05:45

RajeshA wrote:Hindutvavadis don't have anything against "Krivanto Vishwam Aryam", but we don't want to end up as Abrahamics and our Sanskriti digested or put in a museum in the West!

You wanted Virya - I gave you Virya as much as is possible for me.

Virya comes from atma-gyaan, this is the most ancient teaching. It manifested itself in martial arts. These teachings went abroad. The Chinese and Japanese developed it beyond the original Indian imports, but the Indian root lives on in their traditions. It is not yet a museum piece, and it is not in the West.

{Obviously we cannot take the word of one western-turned-Okinawan monk for all of this. But it is quite plausible and merits study.}

To make it relevant to this thread on Hindu nationalism - have the organized Hindu nationalists initiated any serious effort to study these Japanese, Okinawan, Chinese traditions? Or are the local fights in India occupying all their effort and time?

Before ""Krivanto Vishwam Aryam", make oneself Arya first is what I would say. Since I'm fed up of the one-track Hindutvavaadi mindset, I'll insult you by relaying to you the advise of the Prophet of Islam - seek knowledge even if it be in China. While a good part of Arya Dharma remains in the Indian texts, it is not the whole of it.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 27 Nov 2014 06:27

RajeshA wrote:shiv saar,

I have a question! Why is Balu reinterpreting the meaning of "iti" as in "Itihas"?

Balu wrote:Now, why is this important to us? Because Itihaasa - just look at the word Itihaasa - forget etymologies, I am not going to go into etymology at the moment, it is not of great consequence to us, the word "Iti-haasa" is translated as "thus it happened", "thus it verily happened" and so on.

"Iti" is supposed to be "thus". Which is very true. But when you write, in India, Sanskrit language or even in vernacular languages, we used to, maybe we don't any more, we used to write letters to uncles and aunts, etcetra, ending with the word "iti".

"Iti". What does it mean?

It is a meta-linguistic sign, which refers back to what went before. Before what? Before the end, before you sign your name.

"Itihaasa" is referring back to something else that must be behind it before the story is told. That is Itihaasa, that is what "iti" means. Not "thus it happened" saying it is referring to a story that is going to come, it is referring back to something that has already been said. That is what "iti" means in our languages.

So how can "thus it verily happened" in a story, normal oral story telling, you say it and start telling a story. So one speaks as though "iti" refers to the story that has to come yet. No, it cannot. It can only refer back to something that has already been said, what has been said before Ramayana, what has been said before Mahabharata. What is the background text or message that Itihaasa is referring back to? I have a hypothesis, the only explanation that I can give. It refers back to Adhyatma.

Ramayana and Mahabharata are illustrations of Adhyatmic claims. That is why it is Itihaasa, thus it happened, going back to something about, not salvation because we are not Christians, not even Moksha because that is a vulgarized word anyway, but certain kind of happiness, certain kind of liberation of some type from earthly problems, that is what Adhyatma is all about. Ramayana, Mahabharata illustrate it. Using what? It is a story. What do stories do? Especially Ramayana, Mahabharata, what do they do?

They are disguised as descriptions of the world. They are not descriptions of the world. They talk of a Rama, they talk of a Ayodhya, they talk of a Bhima - maybe those guys existed, maybe they did not. If they did, they function as empirical reference points to understand the story. But they have no other function. Absolutely no other function.


If it is a well meant reason to strengthen our Sanskriti, our Rāṣṭra, I am genuinely missing it and would like to understand!


I will try and explain this as simply as I can. But it may not be a short explanation. Balu is delving deeply into psychology. Please be patient with me.

The short explanation is "How do you see your past? Do you see your past as what has been told to you from generation to generation? Or do you see your past as a chronicle, a document that has been written as and when it happened?

It is one of perspective, and if I can change your perspective on your history I can destroy your past, or I can create a past for you.

Before I expand on some of these points I would like to point out certain commonly used words, words at we use too, whose meaning we may or may not understand. I will list some salient ones

    history
    pre-History
    recoded history/historic records
    chronicle
    truth-claim
    rationality
    scepticism

Actually, the word "epistemology" that no one understands, but is used liberally by our historians to make their truth-claims is very important - but I will not use it here. Do look up its meaning for future reference.

About 2500 years ago, Greek philosophers were wrestling with what is truth and what is not, what is "knowable" and what is not knowable. Plato came along and developed the idea that Greek mythology had a lot of claims that were unverifiable. The claim that Gods came down to earth and did x,y and z were unverifiable and that an ideal society should not be exposed to such fantastic stories. Children who make up the ideal society should only be told stories that were rational and credible - things that could be done by men rather than fantastic miracles. The Greeks developed the idea of "scepticism" the idea that certain types of knowledge are impossible for man

These concepts were handed down to the Roman empire, and then came Christianity with its claims of immaculate (Virgin) birth, Star above Bethlehem, miracle cures of lepers etc. The Romans were dismissive of this and in order to make Christian claims acceptable to the public at that time. Christians, led by one Augustine helped create a story that was "rational". It ws believable and its "truth-claims" could verified because there were witnesses as an when the story occurred. They "created history" by converting a story into a "chronicle", A chronicle is not a story. It is a "record (a series of events) in a factual and detailed way."

If you are a sceptic, you could ask, "Why is your Christian chronicle a factual account? How do I know that your claim is true? " For nearly 2000 years the Christian answer has been "We have witnesses who have written down everything on record as it happened". Now please look at the meaning of "recorded history". We use these terms so much, but we don't understand the meaning they imply. Recorded history is ONLY what has been written and those writings are present today. What was written may be utter bullshit, but it is written, so it is accepted. Christian history has been written for 2000 years therefore it is true. Anything else is not true.

Now I come to you and ask you, "What is your History?" and you say "Vedas". I ask you, "So where is it written? When was it written? Who wrote it?"

And you say "it is not written. No one knows who wrote it. It is transmitted orally"

Now I tell you that things which are transmitted orally are unreliable. and that it should be written to be believable. It cannot be history like our history, so what is your history? Then you say "Well, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Purana's are history"

I then say "These stories defy rationality. How can monkeys carry mountains? How can Gods with superhuman powers come to earth and perform miracles. These are fairy tales. When did these "true events" according to you occur? You then say "A very long time ago" I ask you "is there a chronicle? Are there eyewitnesses who have recorded the sequence of events and when they occurred?"

And so this question and answer goes on where I reach judgement on your past and state that your past is not "recorded history" while mine is "recorded history". Of course this does not falsify your history, it only changes a perspective. it tells you that if you view your history the way I view it, it becomes difficult to believe, and that I do not believe that you are telling me any history. My argument is so reasonable that you cannot really tear it down and so we have included this type of reasoning in our education. Nearly every Indian in the last 100-150 years is being educated in the arts of rationality and scepticism. What can you know? (epistemology) What can you believe? And by these parameters all of Hindu history is nonsense and increasingly, as story telling is being replaced by TV and computer/smartphone games, we are looking at our own past with scepticism and questioning its truth claims.

But you know all this, so what is Balu saying?

Balu is saying that your past is past. This is true for everyone. But you can view your past in two ways

1. One way is to say "This is what we know or our past from countless years of stories that have come down to us from time immemorial." - "iti" - thus it has been told to us.

2. The other way is to say "Here is a written chronicle of our past. This is the exact truth with dated written by identifiable people. This is my story - to follow. Please read". It is another matter that what was written is unverifiable and may be utter crap and complete lies - but since it is written, you make the claim that any record is better than no record. This is history told as "Thus it happened: In 33 BC a child was born in a barn. He was Jesus christ... etc etc"

The "iti" is "thus it has been told from time immemorial" , not "thus it is written as and when it occurred- read on". Our history is "itihaasa". It is not told as eyewitnesses recording events with dates as in "here is the story to come.Please read on." Our past is recalled as "This is what is our past. This has been handed down to us". In the Christian case they stand at 0 AD and say "the story is as follows - from today, 1st Jan 0 AD up to 2014 AD". In our case we stand in 2014 and say "Our past was like this as told to us. This is our itihaasa.

In BOTH cases the claims are unverifiable. Written records too cannot be verified as truth. But your history is dismissed because I claim that my written recorded history is the truth. If no Hindu believed this argument, this would not be a problem. But unfortunately too many Hindus have internalized this "sceptical view" of the Indian past and are now looking for 'evidence of true events' from our itihaasa simply to "prove" to sceptics that our events really took place. In other words it is not just the Marxist historians but dedicated westernized Hindus who have fallen into this "prove your history" trap. In this game, you cannot prove everything. You will be asked to discard what you cannot prove. And what you think you have proved will be questioned for its "truth-claims"

It is dedicated Hindus who have entered this game which can only be lost.

What Balu is saying is that our past is seen by us via our itihaasa. We do not need to subject it to epistemological analysis. we need not subject it to "truth claims" and rationality and scepticism. This is being done both by Romila Thapars as well as by Hindutva-vadis. We are trying to win a game where the dice is loaded against us where we will lose the game by attempting to make our history understandable in the "recorded history" method of the west.

Our history is exactly what it is.It is our past as told to us. DO NOT try to tell or prove our history by western methods to convert it into a "chronicle" . You need to take it as it is. That is what Balu is trying to say. He is also at pains to point out that colonized minds find this very difficult to accept because they are so taken in by the western charm of epistemology, verifying the "truth" in a "scientific way" with no understanding of what "truth" can be of events that occurred long ago.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 27 Nov 2014 07:29

I will try and further expand on Balu's angst using my own examples.

Witzel's study and commentaries on the Rig veda are based on Max Muller and Jones' translations. He subjects the Rig Veda to "truth-claims" on rationality and verifiability, using a healthy dose of scepticism for what is not scientifically verifiable (archaeology) or rationally tenable

If you look at the role of the Rig Veda in the Hindu past and present, it is immaterial whether these "truth claims" can be epistemologically examined using rationality and scientific method. A person such as Talageri, who jumps in enthusiastically to join the Witzel game has already fallen into an epistemological trap. Once he is in the game, he must verify and prove using rationality and science. That which he cannot prove from the Rig Veda will necessarily have to be discarded as myth and nonsense. That which he "proves" will hold till the next sceptic finds a fault.

The same things hold true for "archaeological investigations into the truth of the Ramayana" by excavations in Ayodhya or Ram Sethu. Hindus (educated in epistemological aids like archaeology) are applying the methods of the sceptics to dig into their own history for "verifying" what cannot be verified. You find that Marxist historians are using these same methods to kill your history and Hindutvadis who don't like this are entering the same game and adding to the methods of the history-killers to prove our history.

This is totally wrong. Divisions like "history", "recorded history" and "pre-history" based on writing are fake - or at least no more credible than anything else. As Hindus we need to simply affirm that our itihaasa is our past as handed down to us and not a "history as written as it happened" as the Christians have used for 2000 years . The Christians did that because they wanted to negate what came before Christ as being false and wrong. We don't need that. We want our past to be recalled to be the way it is. We do not need to have it examined for validity by others or for us to use their framework. It is what it is. But that examination has already been done and too many of us are already believers of those fake examinations of our past - like the way we "read" Rig Veda in its translation for records of historic life and the way we try to find "remains of Rama's work" in Ram Sethu.

The form of colonization of Hindu minds is insidious and is designed to gradually negate our past as incredible and irrational. And this is being done by Hindus who think they are "scientists" using "scientific method" to dig into our past and "prove" history. All of us are colonized, including me.

Why do we need to prove our past? Who are we doing it for? i put it to you that we are doing it because we are convinced that we must "verify" our past because we have "scepticism" and curiosity which Hindus did not have in the past. We are chipping away at our own past - chopping the branch we sit on using modernity and science and scepticism and western philosophical method to do it. And we don't even understand what we are doing.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby A_Gupta » 27 Nov 2014 07:34

^^^ There is also the "why do you have Itihaas?" question. In the western method, if Itihaas is full of miraculous tales that are not chronicled, and you still believe it to be making "truth claims" then you were fooled by somebody, and those somebodies obviously put Itihaas together to fool you - what other motive could they have had. You are called to liberate yourself from being in thrall to these somebodies. What will you liberate yourself to? (hint: to a chronicled history, to use Shiv's term, is their hope.)

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby member_22733 » 27 Nov 2014 07:47

I am a zero on the specifics of Hindu ithihaasa, but it seems to me that these were a bunch of guidelines (not rules), that were codified into folklore and stories and then orally transmitted for generations.

Hindu knowledgebase was then composed of stories collected from every corner of India. Everytime a new culture came into the Hindu fold, they brought their own stories, which were then accepted as Hindu folklore.

Abrahamism also has its stories (Noah's arc and Moses parting the sea) but they focus on RULES more than guidelines.

The difference between rules and guidelines is:
1) Violating a rule has a swift and definite consequence. You steal apple, Arrah chops your fingers, one finger for every two apples stolen.
2) Violating a guideline only has a cost, a Karmic style of influence, on ones life. You steal an apple, you get another life as a worm. (thats harsh I know)

The former leads to tyranny and concentration of power. The latter leads to harmony and devolution of power.

Brihaspathi saar has gotten it right: Our culture focus on "storifying" what is rational, whereas the abrahamic culture focuses on rationalizing their stories.

Obviously skeptics of Abrahamic rationalization began to make fun of it and became "modern". Our sepoys also became modern and started similarly making fun of our story collection without understanding heads or tails of what it represents.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby johneeG » 27 Nov 2014 08:53

shiv wrote:
johneeG wrote:Now, Bhesterner 1 and Bhesterner 2 come to Hindhus and ask them:

Bhesterner 1 and Bhesterner 2: Hey Hindhu, we both have been arguing for sometime and are not able to reach any clear conclusion. Tell us, who do you accept as correct?
a) Is you literature just a silly mythology i.e. fabricated lies? or
b) Is you history trying to portray the invasion of Oiropean Aryans?

This is like asking: have you stopped beating your wife?
If I say, "yes", then it means I admit to beating my wife previously.
If I say, "no", then it means that I still beat my wife.

Balu is knowingly or unknowingly following the line of bhesterner 1.



I think you are knowingly or unknowingly talking crap and you have made up a story to make that crap sound convincing.

Balu is not doing what you say and your story is too shallow and idiotic for me to be polite any more.

Balu's entire work is probably too difficult for you to express in your silly "bhesterner did this" style. His work centers around pointing out why Indians failed to understand Europeans and got fooled into agreeing with their terms of reference. This is obviously not important to you because you are too busy making up stories that you like.

But Balus work is important in tearing down the edifices built by India''s secular historians in their JNU fortresses in a way that other academics can understand. The fact that you cannot or will not bother to try and understand is fine - but you should not pass comments out of ignorance. You have posted a whole long made up story about "Hindhus" and "bhesterners" simply to show up your ignorance and I think it is high time you stopped. This does not speak very highly of you - because you are hiding your ignorance (or misinformation?) in humongously long posts.


Shiv,
its 'shallow' and 'ignorant' to trade insults and abuses. If you have a point to make, then go ahead and make them. If you think some x, y, z is right, then please argue your case. But, abusing other posters is not going to convince anyone of your case. Rather, it will only show that you don't have much of a case to argue.

Coming to topic:
The long and short of your dear Balu's work is that he is denying Hindhu history. He is basically saying that Hindhuism is a mish-mash of cults and is not even a religion because according to him, a religion would be like X-ism or Mo-ism. If a religion is not like X-ism, then it is not a religion. This means that he has taken the definition provided by X-ism as true and final.

Infact, his book is called 'heathen in his blindness'. It seems that Balagangadhara uses the framework provided by the X-ism to critique Hindhuism. In this process, he is doing what the earliest X-ists did.

They simply said that Hindhu literature was nice poetic literature but did not have any historical value. Balagangadhara is basically saying the same thing in a round about way.

Oiropeans found the Hindhu literature having historical importance only when they woke up to the Aryan Invasion theory. Until then, they simply said that Hindhu literature was just a mythology.

Both these attitudes are still found in many 'secular' and 'westernized' folks. For example, when the issue of Raam Sethu came up, Indian govt said in court that Shri Rama was a mythological figure and not a historical figure.

The Archaeological Survey of India on Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that there is no historical and scientific evidence to establish the existence of Lord Ram or the other characters of the Ramayana. Denying the Ram Setu or Adams Bridge is a man-made structure, it said Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas cannot be taken as a historical record to “prove the existence of the characters or occurrence of events” depicted in it.


Link

No historical evidence!!! What kind of historical evidence are they looking for the existence of Shri Raama? There is his biography written and rewritten in so many languages. His temples are all over the land. Yet, they say that there is no evidence for His existence?! Your dear Balu is saying the same.

When the westerners do accept the historical Raama, they try to bring in the Aryan Invasion theory.

So, its basically two stands:
a) deny history
b) distort history.

Your dear Balu is denying history while Witzel is distorting history.

Anyway, witzel seems to concentrate on Vedhas which are not history according to Hindhu traditions. Vedhas are the 'knowledge'. Infact, the very first distortion of history is trying to create history out of Vedhas.

On the other hand, 'Ithihaasa' is history according to Hindhuism. Puraana are ancient histories.

johneeG wrote:to me, it seems like what Balu is saying is, "Oiropeans thought it was history when it was not history."

Basically, Balu is saying that it was Oiropeans who came up with the unique idea that Ramayana and Mahabharatha are histories. This is utter nonsense. Ramayana and Mahabharatha were always seen as histories long before the Oiropeans came.

Infact, it was the Oiropeans who first started questioning the Ramayana and Mahabharatha as histories. They first denied them historical significance.


shiv wrote:JohneeG please don't expose your shallowness by passing comments without reading or understanding what he writes. Balu writes longer posts than you - so I admit it is difficult to read. But you cannot comment without reading and it is obvious that you have not read what he is saying. Please don't shame yourself.


My opinion of his work is based on whatever I have read of his work. If I have misunderstood his work, please point to specific excerpt from his work which is contradictory to what I said, he is saying. I'd be rather pleased if he is not saying what I think he is saying.

You have made more than 3 posts, saying,"You have not read him. You are mistaking him. You are an idiot if you comment on his work without understanding his great work" You have written many posts trying to explain his theories in your words. However, all those are simply your opinions or interpretations.

It would be far better to directly quote him and let people come to their own conclusions.

----
Shiv,
answer a simple question: Was Raamayna and Mahabharatha considered as history before the brits came or not?

That means did people think that Raama lived in Ayodhya or not? Do you think brits started this theory that Raama actually lived in Ayodhya? Before that people thought it was just a spiritual literature not a historical chronicle?

It seems to me that Balagangadhara is saying that it was the brits who came up with this unique idea that Raamayana and Mahabhaaratha are histories. If that is his stand, then I think thats a wrong idea.

If I am misunderstanding his stand, then I'll be happy to be corrected.


----
As for 'Ithi':
Balagangadhara wrote:Iti" is supposed to be "thus". Which is very true. But when you write, in India, Sanskrit language or even in vernacular languages, we used to, maybe we don't any more, we used to write letters to uncles and aunts, etcetra, ending with the word "iti".

"Iti". What does it mean?

It is a meta-linguistic sign, which refers back to what went before. Before what? Before the end, before you sign your name.


Link

There are no quotation marks in Sanskruth. So, "Ithi" is used as a quotation marks also. Because it means 'thus', i.e. it was said thus. Now, in the word 'Ithihaasam', its etymology is quite clear:
Ithi + ha + aasam
thus + of course + it occurred.
Instead of straight forward etymology, Balangangadhara is trying to spin a new meaning by some innovative thinking.

Anyway, heres a simple question to Balagangadhara:
According to him, did Shri Raama live in Ayodhya or not?
According to him, did Shri Krushna live on the earth or not?
Are Raama and Krushna mythological figures(or spiritual figures) or are they also historical figures?


----
Shiv,
it seems to me that you are the one who misunderstood Balagangadhara's work and you are trying to see it in positive light. To me, it seems that he is just repeating what a typical marxist or X-ist would say. His framework, his definitions, and his ideas seem to be based on X-ism.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby GopiD » 27 Nov 2014 09:41

shiv wrote:Why do we need to prove our past? Who are we doing it for? i put it to you that we are doing it because we are convinced that we must "verify" our past because we have "scepticism" and curiosity which Hindus did not have in the past. We are chipping away at our own past - chopping the branch we sit on using modernity and science and scepticism and western philosophical method to do it. And we don't even understand what we are doing.


If I understand Shiv correctly, there are more reasons for us to study their history for authenticity than ours, coz they are the ones claiming historical authenticity.

That is why whenever someone questions me about our history and our sacred texts, I simply start with asking a simple question of "do you remember your great-grandfather" and the answer would be mostly "no or not much." Then I would ask "if you don't know much about your own bloodline who lived may be 40-50 years ago, howcome the followers of Jesus remembered every single detail about him after 3 centuries to write a whole book?"

But, I think we have to really start studying their history and their claims in good detail and come up with good counter arguments. Where should I start?? Any links or some readable book names would help.

Thanks

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby ShauryaT » 27 Nov 2014 09:55

Pulikeshi wrote:[*] If anything, new Itihasa (purana, etc.) have to be created precisely because new conventions are arising and the interruption of the past has to come to an end. There is more value in creating new solutions than in seeking proof and codification of the historicity of previous conventions

Pulikeshi: Good post. Before we go on to write new puraans and new itihaasa, another task that needs to be done is to seek the "correct" interpretations of the existing works. There seems to be a great disconnect between the principles, values, objectives, traditions and "design intent" of these works from how they are at times interpreted, especially by the English speaking elite.

We have a lot of "unsatisfactory" explanations to many questions that the contemporary mind grapples with. There are limited works out there that would explain the Dharma component in the puraans/itihaas , in a manner that is useful for the contemporary world. Comprehensible explanations to these events and questions is the need of the hour.

E.g: Why does Ganesh have an elephant head? Why was Eklavya asked to and agree to cut his thumb off? Why did Draupadi marry 5 men? By the time you explain the BVM/LSD and the myriads of manifestations, the philosophy of the 6 major Aastika streams, try to claim the Nastika streams as Dharmic paths, reconcile the many conflicting views - one is most likely to loose the audience.

Dayananda Sarasvati of the Arya Samaj like many others grappled with such questions. His answer was to dismiss the Puraans altogether and simplify. I have often asked, is this the only way out or is there a way to simplify our vast literature into a meaningful whole?

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby Vayutuvan » 27 Nov 2014 10:20

ShauryaT: If puRANas have to be dismissed, the first one we should chose is what is known as bhavishya puRANa. I submit to the thread participants that this one ranks a little lower than the fraud called The Shroud of Turin but not much lower.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 27 Nov 2014 14:50

johneeG wrote:its 'shallow' and 'ignorant' to trade insults and abuses. If you have a point to make, then go ahead and make them. If you think some x, y, z is right, then please argue your case. But, abusing other posters is not going to convince anyone of your case. Rather, it will only show that you don't have much of a case to argue.

Coming to topic:
The long and short of your dear Balu's work is that he is denying Hindhu history. He is basically saying that Hindhuism is a mish-mash of cults and is not even a religion because according to him, a religion would be like X-ism or Mo-ism. If a religion is not like X-ism, then it is not a religion. This means that he has taken the definition provided by X-ism as true and final.


If you can reach conclusions without reading the works, that is shallow and ignorant by my definition.

But tell me this, why do you worry if Hindhu-ism is a mish mash of cults and not a religion? What is the problem with that? Do you believe that a mish-mash off cults is somehow inferior to a religion? Would Hindu-ism go down in your esteem if someone called it a mish mash of cults and not a religion? What is the basis for this idea?

You seem to have some idea of what "mish mash of cults" means and you don't like that name applied to Hinduism, and you are unhappy until it is given the name "religion" and you believe that this name will raise its rank. Your idea of Hinduism seems to be a fragile system whose status is increased or decreased by what other people call it. I have not understood why a cult is less than religion? After all these are words used by your loved "beshterners", by which I think you mean "westerners" but seem to want to hide your usage of the term.

Why is a cult less than a religion? Why is a mish mash of cults less than religion? What makes religion higher and better that a mish mash of cults?


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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby RajeshA » 27 Nov 2014 15:25

shiv saar,

thanks for taking the time to explain in more detail. I think I understand Balu's perspective better now and I'll refrain from casting aspersions on his intent or integrity, until I can say I've a good handle on his work and ideas and a good reason to be critical.

Going forward, I feel either you in your explanation or Balu as he explained to you, have very much touched the source of the problem and that is the Western psyche!

For example,

Plato wrote:The claim that Gods came down to earth and did x,y and z were unverifiable and that an ideal society should not be exposed to such fantastic stories. Children who make up the ideal society should only be told stories that were rational and credible - things that could be done by men rather than fantastic miracles. The Greeks developed the idea of "scepticism" the idea that certain types of knowledge are impossible for man


If in case this is the assessment, then it differs somewhat from ours, at least as far as telling stories is concerned - that stories are a means of character building, or Ādhyātma.

Greek mythological tradition however has really zero Ādhyātma, though abundance of Vīrya, and they do refer to it as the Heroic Age. As such Plato was right in a way that a story-telling with zero Ādhyātmic content but loads of embellishments and exaggerations and fantasy could shake the rationality and credibility faculties of the child. So skepticism was indeed correct approach.

So one major difference is indeed the utility of story-telling, and as other posters here too have noted, that for Bharatiya Itihas, the main purpose was Ādhyātma, for which each one has a different understanding, what it entails. So skepticism indeed destroys the purpose!

And so this question and answer goes on where I reach judgement on your past and state that your past is not "recorded history" while mine is "recorded history".


As you have suggested, that Christianity has, so to speak, post-factum tried to increase the legitimacy of Jesus and the Bible using dates, witnesses, and later on archaeology and references in texts from other cultures. Actually the methodology which proved earlier to be quite promising later turned out to be the death knell of Christianity, as less and less corroboration was achieved.

Now it may have destroyed Christianity, but it gave the West something else to cheer about and that is all the findings they made about Roman and Greek civilizations and how they achieved ownership of other earlier civilizations (Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Egyptian, ...) which they then intertwined with the Greek to get an alternate comprehensive history for themselves.

Basically it has been an exercise in gaining legitimacy.

The basic architecture of European thinking, overlaid by Abrahamic mindset, has remained the same, which is to achieve legitimacy on Earth as representatives of something greater.

The whole biblical story is much less concerned with morals, and more to do with legitimacy, with bolstering the claims of prophethood based on genealogy. Even in modern times, this drive has not abated. Now it is to claim legitimacy as the sole authority on modern values and thinking, which can only be based on their exclusive moral authority to speak for the past.

They have tried to compensate their meager inheritance in literature and shallow historical data through noise of so-called academic activity, which has become an industry with iterative processing of speculative theories, bolstered by awards, praise and endless references producing new truths. Even China has joined the bandwagon of historical fabrications to assert their authority over Tibet and East Turkestan.

Control over historical narratives has been made essential as a means of claims of legitimacy and authority.

Now Balu's analysis may be correct, but good analysis may still not lead to good strategy. This we often see from the likes of Riedels and Cohens and so on.

I just wonder whether the strategy proposed by Balu, amounts to holing up in the fortress, where the enemy forces take over the land and lay siege to your fortress, but you still feel you're safe! For example, would be get rid of Pakistani terrorism if we give away Kashmir.

Same is the dilemma with historicity of our Itihas! Would we be more secure in our inheritance and faith if we let go of the historicity claim over our Itihas? Just a few posts back,

ShauryaT wrote:Dayananda Sarasvati of the Arya Samaj like many others grappled with such questions. His answer was to dismiss the Puraans altogether and simplify. I have often asked, is this the only way out or is there a way to simplify our vast literature into a meaningful whole?


And that is what I mean, you give them a inch and they'll take a mile and more!

Instead what I propose is to make their battering rams, catapults, ladders, flamethrowers, tanks ... all useless. What we need is to question every motive, every tool, every reference, every theory, every historian they use to analyze us and basically tell them that they are intellectually too compromised, and their concepts are far too crude to grasp the essence AND historicity of Bharatiya Sabhyata and Sanskriti. And then we should proceed to take apart their whole historical research to date, be it about them, us or Eskimos.

Yes and for that we may need a whole army of academicians, researchers, archaeologists and writers.

But in all this what we should never give up are our traditional claims, just so as to suit the framework and demands of the other, neither land claims nor Sanskritic claims.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby member_20317 » 27 Nov 2014 15:46

Religion = = successful politics
Cults = = Loss to Religion
Dharma OTOH is the thing that can be used as, among other things, as a Religion or a destroyer of Religions.
This should clarify on the battle-lines.

...............................................

Re. shiv Post subject: Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative senPostPosted: 27 Nov 2014 07:29
Smritis are valid source of history while Sruti is not. That is not just a stand in hindu darshan but also is borne out by later developments - Saraswati, Dwarka, RJB. My working presumption is that foreigners know that Indians will find their true history in Puranic claims despite them at places being contradictory merely because a search for evidence will entail cross-checking both the contradictory claims.

http://www.hipkapi.com/2012/02/23/casteandcastesystem/
http://www.hipkapi.com/2012/04/01/jativarnaandcaste/
http://www.hipkapi.com/2012/02/23/thedominantstoryaboutthecastesystem/

Shiv ji, after being encouraged by you I started reading hipkapi. Above are what hipkapi thinks about Jati, Varna and Caste. Obviously he has exerted well, during his study of the Indic classifications, to find out what a lot of Indians are saying in that regard. He has also put up a few questions. However the only thing that I found where he took a stand (as in a stand of his own which is unlike the stand took by the other side which is a stand based on traditions) is the following:

http://www.hipkapi.com/2012/02/23/thedominantstoryaboutthecastesystem/
3. Thirdly, just because people deny the Aristotelean theory about falling bodies, they are not committed to deny the experience that unsupported bodies (on earth) fall downwards. By denying one set of theories about the caste system (or even all of them), I am not committed to deny any experience, whether they are horror stories or stories of oppression or whatever else. Furthermore, I am not even denying that jati practices cover many things: from commensality to marriages. These are issues for further empirical (which are these practices and where) and theoretical (what role do these practices play in sustaining and reproducing a social structure) investigation.


While doing your own study of the man please do bear in mind that neither the people nor the texts support any oppression. The only support is for violence to defend the I/me/mine so long as it is rightfully owned/inherited/entrusted. If a man or a bunch of men claim anything otherwise and carry out an oppressive act then there umblical cord is to be cut off and left to fend for themselves (again traditional stand).

I am also flagging the gentleman as a wait and watch instead of taking up arms against him just yet. I think I need to read more of hipkapi.

…………………………………………………………….

Also why do you think he invoked Protestant critique of Catholics while disagreeing with somebody he thought was important enough to warrant attention. What is the man worried about - wrong methodology?
That Feynman does not know his own culture is excusable; but, is that a reason for us to reproduce Protestant critiques of Catholic Christianity as the last word on the status of human sciences?


…………………………………………………………….

johneeG ji, you mean - "to achieve [exclusive] legitimacy on Earth as representatives of something greater"

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 27 Nov 2014 15:57

GopiD wrote:
shiv wrote:Why do we need to prove our past? Who are we doing it for? i put it to you that we are doing it because we are convinced that we must "verify" our past because we have "scepticism" and curiosity which Hindus did not have in the past. We are chipping away at our own past - chopping the branch we sit on using modernity and science and scepticism and western philosophical method to do it. And we don't even understand what we are doing.


If I understand Shiv correctly, there are more reasons for us to study their history for authenticity than ours, coz they are the ones claiming historical authenticity.

That is why whenever someone questions me about our history and our sacred texts, I simply start with asking a simple question of "do you remember your great-grandfather" and the answer would be mostly "no or not much." Then I would ask "if you don't know much about your own bloodline who lived may be 40-50 years ago, howcome the followers of Jesus remembered every single detail about him after 3 centuries to write a whole book?"

But, I think we have to really start studying their history and their claims in good detail and come up with good counter arguments. Where should I start?? Any links or some readable book names would help.

Thanks


Balu (SN Balagangadhara) has done a lot of work in this regard.

Your usage of the "great grandfather" example is perfect. In fact here is something i wanted to say in that regard.

Supposing you have heard it from the elders of your family that your great grandfather was a brave and strong man who once fought off a leopard and escaped by jumping off a 50 foot tree. Let us assume that it was his boldness and strength that encouraged his descendants to be like him and join the army or police force. This is, like "itihaasa" - "so it has been" (which is the translation of "itihaas")

Now suppose someone who claimed to have known your great grandfather had written a biography of him. This is a bio-graphy. A life-history. A chronicle of the man's life. "He was born in abcd on xyy the son of etc . It is claimed by western historians that only this can be a history. Someone saw/heard/met etc and wrote something contemporaneously. Imagine that there is no mention of the leopard incident in the biography. If you have never seen that biography and one day you find it among some old books and read it, what difference would it make to your view of your great grand father? Would it mean that the man never escaped from a leopard and that the story is a myth? Obviously not. It changes nothing.

In the same way, the absence of contemporary attestation or proof in our itihaasa and the fact that it is handed down does not take away its value as a history.

The problem here is the word "history". The past remains the past whether anyone calls it history or not. Just because someone chooses to say that something is not "history" does not take away its value as a record of your past.

The next question that comes is what Arun Gupta has stated
if Itihaas is full of miraculous tales that are not chronicled, and you still believe it to be making "truth claims" then you were fooled by somebody, and those somebodies obviously put Itihaas together to fool you - what other motive could they have had. You are called to liberate yourself from being in thrall to these somebodies.


This question, put to Indians was like the British asking Indians "Why don't you wear ties?" or "why don't you eat steak?' The reason is we just don't. Why don't you make halwa and wear dhotis would be a valid counter question.

Itihaasa was never intended to be a chronicle of the life of people and kings. From this arises the question, "if itihaasa was never meant to be a chronicle of the life of people and kings, then are hindus an ahistorical people who have no history?"

In fact no, and the only person I know who has ever given a learned reply to this question is SN Balagangadhara, aka Balu.

He starts by asking "Which cultures in human history are "historical". And which cultures are "ahistorical".

it turns out that this question has been muddied by Christian definitions of "history" where history means what has been written and excludes miracles. So any culture that has some great praise for an ancient and revered figure has its history dismissed as trash because miraculous things are claimed. There is a clear bias in western academia and scholarship on these grounds and this will not go away unless it is fought. Unfortunately our historians and teachers simply sit back and accept this as true without making the points that I find Balu making.

India's history is in its itihaasa. The fact that the narratives contain miraculous events is because those narratives are passing down to us more than mere history, but moral and ethical lessons a well. Why is it done this way? Why don't western profs wear dhotis?

it is better to recognize and acknowledge what itihaasa is rather than try and box it into the definition of history desperately trying to meet western definitions. it is more than history to us. it gives us information about our past alright, but tells us more than a bland history could do. In my view this is what our itihaasa should be portrayed as rather than fighting to meet western criteria to include it as a mere "history" by trying to make it "credible". the question that asks "Did Rama live in Ayodhya?" has one answer. Yes. Where is Ayodhya exactly - ie exact geological coordinates is a different question. Not finding archaeological remains of Rama in today's Ayodhya it does not negate our history or make Rama and the moral lessons that accompany him disappear.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 27 Nov 2014 16:35

ravi_g wrote:http://www.hipkapi.com/2012/02/23/thedominantstoryaboutthecastesystem/
3. Thirdly, just because people deny the Aristotelean theory about falling bodies, they are not committed to deny the experience that unsupported bodies (on earth) fall downwards. By denying one set of theories about the caste system (or even all of them), I am not committed to deny any experience, whether they are horror stories or stories of oppression or whatever else. Furthermore, I am not even denying that jati practices cover many things: from commensality to marriages. These are issues for further empirical (which are these practices and where) and theoretical (what role do these practices play in sustaining and reproducing a social structure) investigation.


While doing your own study of the man please do bear in mind that neither the people nor the texts support any oppression. The only support is for violence to defend the I/me/mine so long as it is rightfully owned/inherited/entrusted. If a man or a bunch of men claim anything otherwise and carry out an oppressive act then there umblical cord is to be cut off and left to fend for themselves (again traditional stand).

Balu is a tricky fellow and certainly merits watching. When he speaks of oppression, he does not necessarily mean oppression of BC by FC. He could also be speaking of a modern day reactive oppression of FC by BC, of which I have heard him speak. In person.

By running the story of Backward caste oppression by forward castes continuously and relentlessly, India has set the stage for a revengeful oppression in the opposite direction.
Last edited by shiv on 27 Nov 2014 16:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby chiru » 27 Nov 2014 16:35

saw this today morning and was :evil:, didn't expect his from DH

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/444025/return-retrograde-nationalist-dogma.html

Return of retrograde nationalist dogma
By Pankaj Mishra, Nov 27, 2014, International New York Times
The apocalyptic Indian imagination has been enriched by the exploits of Hindu nationalists. NYT

India, V S Naipaul declared in 1976, is “a wounded civilisation,” whose obvious political and economic dysfunction conceals a deeper intellectual crisis. As evidence, he pointed out some strange symptoms he noticed among upper-caste middle-class Hindus since his first visit to his ancestral country in 1962. These well-born Indians betrayed a craze for “phoren” consumer goods and approval from the West, as well as a self-important paranoia about the “foreign hand.” “Without the foreign chit,” Naipaul concluded, “Indians can have no confirmation of their own reality.”

Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister and main ideologue of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, is stoking old Hindu rage-and-shame over what he calls more than a thousand years of slavery under Muslim and British rule. Recently, while India and Pakistan were engaging in their heaviest fighting in over a decade, Modi claimed that the “enemy” was now “screaming.”

Since Naipaul defined it, the apocalyptic Indian imagination has been enriched by the exploits of Hindu nationalists, such as the destruction in 1992 of the 16th century Babri Masjid mosque, and the nuclear tests of 1998. Celebrating the tests in speeches in the late 1990s, including one entitled “Ek Aur Mahabharata” (One More Mahabharata), the then head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent outfit of Hindu nationalists, claimed that Hindus, a “heroic, intelligent race,” had so far lacked proper weapons but were sure to prevail in the forthcoming showdown with demonic anti-Hindus, a broad category that includes Americans (who apparently best exemplify the worldwide “rise of inhumanity”).

A Harvard-trained economist called Subramanian Swamy recently demanded a public bonfire of canonical books by Indian historians - liberal and secular intellectuals who belong to what the RSS chief in 2000 identified as that “class of ******** which tries to implant an alien culture in their land.” Denounced by the numerous Hindu supremacists in social media as “sickular libtards” and sepoys, these intellectuals apparently are Trojan horses of the West. They must be purged to realise Modi’s vision in which India, once known as the “golden bird,” will “rise again.”

Modi doesn’t seem to know that India’s reputation as a “golden bird” flourished during the long centuries when it was allegedly enslaved by Muslims. The psychic wounds Naipaul noticed among semi-Westernised upper-caste Hindus actually date to the Indian elite’s humiliating encounter with the geopolitical and cultural dominance first of Europe and then of America.
These wounds were caused, and are deepened, by failed attempts to match Western power through both mimicry and collaboration (though zealously anti-Western, Chinese nationalism has developed much more autonomously in comparison). Largely subterranean until it erupts, this sentiment of the West among thwarted elites can assume a more treacherous form than the simple hatred and rejectionism of outfits such as Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Taliban. The intellectual history of right-wing Russian and Japanese nationalism reveals an ominously similar pattern as the vengeful nativism of Hindu nationalists: a recoil from craving Western approval into promoting religious-racial supremacy.

The kind of retrograde 1920s-style nationalist dogma is making a big comeback in India, especially since last year when Modi overcame the taint of various suspected crimes to launch his bid for supreme power. Interestingly, it is not the RSS’s khaki-shorts-wearing volunteers but rather quasi-Westernised Indians in the corporate-owned media and mysteriously well-funded think tanks, magazines and websites who have provided the ambient chorus for Modi’s ascent to respectability.

India’s recent economic travails and diminished international standing have frustrated these rising Indians’ sense of entitlement, provoking them to lash out at such handy scapegoats as “racist” and “Orientalist” Westerners and Indian libtards and sepoys. Typical of their ersatz nativism is a book entitled “The New Clash of Civilizations,” which gleefully heralds India’s hegemony worldwide. It was written by Minhaz Merchant, the Anglicised former editor of a defunct lifestyle magazine called Gentleman and now a self-appointed publicist for the prime minister. Many such “Modi Toadies,” as Salman Rushdie calls them, had Western tails once, like the Harvard-economist-turned-book-burner.
Others still cling to those tails, such as the wealthy businessman called Rajiv Malhotra, hailed by Modi for “glorifying our priceless heritage.” Malhotra routinely puts out, from his perch in suburban New Jersey, popular screeds asserting that American and European churches, Ivy League academics, think tanks, NGOs and human-rights groups are trying to break up Mother India with the help of both dalits and sepoy intellectuals.

Lest he be accused of irrationality, Malhotra also claims that the intuitive Indian worldview is not only different from but also cognitively superior to the logic-addled Western outlook. Malhotra has worked up his own version of the Russian Idea and kokutai with some piffle about the “integral unity” of Indian philosophy, a notion that conflates very different Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In his North American redoubt, Malhotra runs workshops aimed at mass-producing “intellectual kshatriyas” (intellectual warriors).

Racial-religious revenge
The fantasies of racial-religious revenge and redemption that breed in Western suburbs as well as posh Indian enclaves today speak of a vast spiritual desolation as well as a deepening intellectual crisis. Even Naipaul briefly succumbed to the pathology of mimic machismo he had despised (and, later, also identified among chauvinists in Muslim countries). He hailed the vandalising by a Hindu mob of the Babri Masjid mosque in 1992, which triggered nationwide massacres of Muslims, as the sign of an overdue national “awakening.”

There are many more such non-resident Indians in the West today, vicariously living history’s violent drama in their restless exile: In Madison Square Garden, in New York, last month, more than 19,000 people cheered Modi’s speech about ending India’s millennium-long slavery. But hundreds of millions of uprooted Indians are also now fully exposed to demagoguery. In an unprecedented public intervention this month, the present chief of the RSS, who wants all Indian citizens to identify themselves as Hindus since India is a “Hindu nation,” appeared on state television to rant against Muslim infiltrators and appeal for a boycott of Chinese goods.

Such crude xenophobia, now officially sanctioned in Modi’s India, seems only slightly less menacing than the previous RSS chief’s wishful thinking about one more Mahabharata against demonic anti-Hindus. Japan’s expansionist gambles in China and the Pacific in the last century and, more recently, Russia’s irredentism in Ukraine show that a mainstreamed rhetoric of national aggrandizement can quickly slide into reckless warmongering.

Certainly, the ruling classes of wannabe superpowers have spawned a complex force: the ideology of anti-imperialist imperialism, which, forming an axis with the modern state and media and nuclear technology, can make Islamic fundamentalists seem toothless. One can only hope that India’s democratic institutions are strong enough to constrain yet another wounded elite from breaking out for geopolitical and military manhood.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby peter » 27 Nov 2014 16:41

govardhan wrote:
peter wrote:I think you need to be a bit more clear on what you are trying to say or ask.


I left four dots here and there to see whether you will connect them and understand the common point, but you could't..

From the same quote of silpa prakash isn't it clear, ....

Unbelievable! I am declaring you have no idea about how Hindu temples are constructed/consecrated. You can ask for a list of temples to visit and I can oblige.

govardhan wrote:And Peter sab one more thing... you cannot read Rig veda, it is told from a guru to a disciple, practiced...
what you read is actually interpretation of person of what he/she understands from shlokas of Veda


This is the second unbelievable!! Same as your buddy Shiv! When Mahabharata states clearly Vedas were written (shlok given earlier) who are you or Shiv or others on this board who think like you to dispute Mahabharata?

Do notice I never questioned that Vedas were taught in a guru shishya parampara or Vedas were transmitted orally also. Just gave evidence from Mahabharat that Vedas were written down in addition to being transmitted orally.

BTW most should be convinced that stance like yours on Silpa Sastra and evidence form Mahabharat is the reason why Hindus are routinely hit for a six.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby peter » 27 Nov 2014 16:45

shiv wrote:.....

Hindu nationalism goes back a long way. But militant nationalism occurred in the last 500 years as Sikh and Maratha militancy, but they were not pan-Indian. They were relatively local because the Muslim rulers were themselves not pan national. It is only after the British established pan national control that basically allowed the expression of pan national "Hindu nationalism". .....


Is there no one on this forum to correct absolute colonized non-sense emanating from this fellow?
Does he not even know that first muslim attacks started on India in 7th century AD?

What has happened to the standard of posters as well as administrators where any kind of trash without contest or evidence is allowed to be posted?

This fellow shiv is abusing Johnny. He is bringing religion in admonishing me and Johnny. Is this allowed?

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby peter » 27 Nov 2014 16:48

johneeG wrote:Peter is knowingly or unknowingly following the line of bhesterner 2.


May I humbly ask for evidence from what I have written which makes you say the above?

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby member_20317 » 27 Nov 2014 17:38

peter ji, you do not have it in you to be humble.

shiv wrote:Balu is a tricky fellow and certainly merits watching. When he speaks of oppression, he does not necessarily mean oppression of BC by FC. He could also be speaking of a modern day reactive oppression of FC by BC, of which I have heard him speak. In person.

By running the story of Backward caste oppression by forward castes continuously and relentlessly, India has set the stage for a revengeful oppression in the opposite direction.


I would disagree on the oppression part of the suspicion.

From personal experience while being part of large group of people, and as a so called FC I do not feel oppressed by BC or even Muslims or Christians or even the West. I was part of the anti-mandal college level agitations and I agitated because I believed a wrong precedence was being set and not because I would be denied a govt. job and somebody has the capability to oppress me in my own land. I assure you almost all my so called FC friends during those times were rather interested in the private sector, for professional freedom and monetary success.

At least to me the whole battle is about a few Libtards/Islamists/EJs/West, trying to frontrun the Mangoman/Muslims/Christians/NRIs respectively and trolling India in general. This is not oppression (whites oppressing blacks by way of slavery is oppression). This is instead is a potent mix of deception, dogalebazzi and sabotage that mostly works on the inattentive fellows. And this may get misconstrued or misdescribed as oppression.

I would rather let the people classified BC speak for themselves.

However, your point is also the traditional Indian stand that itihaas is primarily for carrying into the future, a live history. A sanskaari history. That still does not mean that seeking history from itihaas is inspired by a desire to do an == with the west.

There is a need to figure out our own dates too so the west cannot hijack the agenda totally a la the Aryan horse, Krugman whatever and 6 skeleton aryan invasion. Their denial can only be met by our desire to destroy their denial and to tell their 'truth' to our own future generations so it becomes an eternal conflagration. Also the reason to hang around in BRF.

There is yet another need where we may need to create new teerth-sthals also. The world is growing more materialistic and with it we Indians are also growing more materialistic and so people do need a hard history of their own too.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby RajeshA » 27 Nov 2014 18:45

ravi_g wrote:However, your point is also the traditional Indian stand that itihaas is primarily for carrying into the future, a live history. A sanskaari history. That still does not mean that seeking history from itihaas is inspired by a desire to do an == with the west.

There is a need to figure out our own dates too so the west cannot hijack the agenda totally a la the Aryan horse, Krugman whatever and 6 skeleton aryan invasion. Their denial can only be met by our desire to destroy their denial and to tell their 'truth' to our own future generations so it becomes an eternal conflagration. Also the reason to hang around in BRF.

There is yet another need where we may need to create new teerth-sthals also. The world is growing more materialistic and with it we Indians are also growing more materialistic and so people do need a hard history of their own too.


ravi_g ji,

that is very perceptive! Sometimes there is a danger, that in order to show that one is not reacting to others, one fails to act at all based on own impulses and interests.

West is a very young civilization, which means till quite late, either they did not produce enough material which differentiated them from the apes, or that material has gone amiss, or deliberately destroyed, which can also be true considering the ways of the Church. Whatever be the case, but they do try to hide it and try to gain legitimacy and authority through questionable means.

Their project Christianity is dead in their own lands, except in the land of the uber-idiots Amreeka and useful for turning Indians, dried-up of meaningful Sanskritic discourse and wealth, into their own servants.

The project of Western Universalism however lives on and they plan on either digesting other cultures if it is possible or crapping on them if not. As far as this goes no one has achieved anything of this scale than may be perhaps Ancient India.

But West has a very thin layer of history: the Edda, some Greek stuff, some Roman stuff and the Germans have only two chants which predate Christianity! It is they who seek legitimacy as equals, and all this academic activity, all that buzz is to mask their own historical and cultural poverty!

Sometimes when I need to put down an uppity European, I like to use the tale that in year 1600 Queen Elizabeth had zero teeth in her mouth due to zero knowledge of dental hygiene in Europe, and till 1700 British monarchs use to eat human flesh! Read on!

It is when we consider Hinduism to be a Religion, which all Hindus are supposed to believe in, that questions arise like "How can you believe in gods with elephant heads?" Our faith does not work like that of Abrahamics which requires historical legitimacy. We already have legitimacy through the philosophical work of our Darśanams, Itihasic and Satya Parampara, and Sanskritic Dīrghāyu.

It is not for legitimacy of our faith or Sanskriti, that we need to bring our history in sync with today's calendar, but rather for continued expansion and blooming of our Sanskriti!

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 27 Nov 2014 20:02

ravi_g wrote:However, your point is also the traditional Indian stand that itihaas is primarily for carrying into the future, a live history. A sanskaari history. That still does not mean that seeking history from itihaas is inspired by a desire to do an == with the west.

There is a need to figure out our own dates too so the west cannot hijack the agenda totally a la the Aryan horse, Krugman whatever and 6 skeleton aryan invasion. Their denial can only be met by our desire to destroy their denial and to tell their 'truth' to our own future generations so it becomes an eternal conflagration.

I attended an interesting talk (in Kannada) today where the speaker analysed the nature of debates evoked by Kannada literature since the late 1800s. He pointed out that the debates were all very curious in nature - like "Why does Kannada literature not have "tragedies" like Greek tragedies". Other debates were about morality and caste. Curiously all these debates were provoked by the accusations and "consciousness" that was provoked by European colonization. Even more remarkable was the fact that no one, to this day, has done an analysis of why the Europeans said such things and what our response should be. They (the Kannada writers) simply argued amongst themselves the way we do on here.

There are a number of issues that Indians have not answered proactively or satisfactorily. We face an accusation and simply react and say "On no you are wrong we do have what you say we don't have. None, bar none, of these debates were necessary for Indians before we were colonized. But after that we have only reacted without arriving at a satisfactory end point.

Let me name some of the issues:
Colonialists said "You don't have religion". We said "No no no. We have religion."
Colonialists said "You don't have history". We said "No no no. We have history."
Colonialists said "You don't have ethics". We said "No no no. We have ethics."

Have we, as Indians, and as Hindus, answered the questions
1. What is religion?
2. What is history?
3. What is ethics?

How can we say we have something for which precise equivalent definitions do not exist in Indian tradition. We are scrambling to say "No we do have all that"

Do we? I would like to know about it. Mind you this does not mean that we are unreligious, ahistoric or unethical. But there are cultural standards we have that are different from the parameters that colonialism forced on us and we have ourselves not grasped the issues firmly.

For example, suppose I say "Fine. We have no religion. We don't have history the way the west want history. We have no coded system of ethics like the west."

But we do have religion, a record of the past AND moral and ethical values. How have we kept them over the centuries. How have we propagated them? What terminology have we used?

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby vishvak » 27 Nov 2014 20:49

But West has a very thin layer of history: the Edda, some Greek stuff, some Roman stuff and the Germans have only two chants which predate Christianity! It is they who seek legitimacy as equals, and all this academic activity, all that buzz is to mask their own historical and cultural poverty!

Sometimes when I need to put down an uppity European, I like to use the tale that in year 1600 Queen Elizabeth had zero teeth in her mouth due to zero knowledge of dental hygiene in Europe, and till 1700 British monarchs use to eat human flesh! Read on!

How much of the thin layer of history do the westerners deserve to inherit?

The Greeks and Romans of the past have no connection to the colonial/post-dark-age/post-printing-press west. Just imagine if they had anything of the sort of Atlantis then that would be declared as the only civil idea in the world. However, it is also a fact that in Europe the Greek and the Roman civilizations were destroyed too.

We have countless connections to the past - be it Indus Valley Civilization and its seals, or Saraswati, or Shri Raam Setu, or now submerged Dwaarkaa nagar, and so on and so on and on. Shri Lankans are promoting tourism for Hindu pilgrims now. link.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby RajeshA » 27 Nov 2014 21:09

vishvak wrote:How much of the thin layer of history do the westerners deserve to inherit?

The Greeks and Romans of the past have no connection to the colonial/post-dark-age/post-printing-press west.


Basically I would not grudge them the Roman "Civilization", but the Greek can be digested perhaps in the Bharatiya itself, and the Roman can be thrashed. Yes Alexander "the Great" needs to be judged more skeptically!

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby member_23365 » 28 Nov 2014 02:49

I haven't read all the post but I would like to put my views.
With respect to Indian or Hindus we have Dharma which is misinterpreted as religion but as per our scripture Dharma is not religion but duty. For eg Raj-Dharam i.e duty of a King, Vidhayrathi Dharam i.e duty of student, Pativarta Dharam i.e duty of a wife so on and so forth. We can call them as code of conduct or moral codes but this thing is not same as religion.
Second important thing is nothing is rigid only constant thing is change. With the changing times these codes can change. For eg during Duvapar yug, Ram was maryada purshottam but code of conduct changed for Krishan in Treta yug.
Same way Puranas as the name suggest they get puranay(old) so upnishads came.

Other aspect is spirituality or nirvana or eternal peace for which you need to meditate or do tapasya or become sanyasi.

Since Britishers when they come to India don't have such an evolved concept of code of conducts and spirituality clubbed everything as religion. Then there was a class of english educated self hating elite was created which was fed with hostality towards Hinduism. The abuses which have creep-ed into practices worked as catalyst for these elites as well as Briturds like untouchability, sati paratha which made like of Nehru as pseudo liberal. There was a fight back by Hindus since early on from people like Dayanand Saraswati and Swami Vivekanand then by Savarkar and later on by RSS. But since Independence Nehru dynasty has hold on establishment , hindu pejorative or contempt become establishment line.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 28 Nov 2014 06:13

Can anyone provide me with information on whether it is necessary for "civilized societies" to have
1. A written code of laws?
2. A written code of ethics?
3. A sense of history based on written historic chronicles?
4. A religion?

You see, we are all educated enough to have been taught the following postulates
1. A society without written laws is uncivilized
2. A society without a written code of ethics is an uncultured, unethical and corrupt society
3. A society with no sense of history and no documented history is an uncivilized society that cannot learn from history
4, All societies have religions. religion is a fundamental human universal

We have been taught all this and we are all smart enough to look at the implications of this list of four universal truisms
  • Societies were all uncivilized until they learned how to write and pass down their laws from generation to generation
  • A code of ethics too cannot be included among the laws of civilized society until the ability to write led to a paradigm shift
  • Pre historic societies, before histories were written and recorded for posterity were barbaric and unruly and did not have any mechanism to record injustices or bad practices. Pre historic societies were savages until the invention of writing aided in the laying down of laws, ethical mores and the scholarly study of history
  • Religions are universal. Even uncivilized societies had religion.

Of course the implications of these should be clear to us. Before the invention of writing, and before written laws and codes of ethics were laid down, societies around the word consisted of savages. By accepting these postulates as true it means that Indian society, and therefore Hindu society were savages, lawless and corrupt until they were given written laws and codes of ethics under secular British rule. Civilization itself is barely 2000 years old in 200,000 years of human history.

I make this post deliberately to provoke cognitive dissonance and an intuitive feeling that what I have written is rubbish.

But why is it rubbish? Hindus did not have and still do not have written laws, a written code of ethics, a properly chronicled written history and are divided by multiple Gods.

What evidence is there that Hindus are civilized? If you accept the postulates above, Hindus are not civilized. But how can you not accept them? Are they not perfectly reasonable? Do they not make western societies work well? Did these very values not make the west strong enough to dominate the world including India?

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 28 Nov 2014 06:28

Let me post another set of mad thoughts like the above one. Again, I am making arguments dsigned to cause irritaion and anger and preparing to continue arguing this line

Is there any society in the world that survives continuously by being ashamed of itself? I would say, no. Societies tend to be proud of themselves. But when one society meets another - either by conquest, or by people traveling from one place to another, then a sense of shame might arise if some aspects of another society are felt to be superior to one's native society.

Shame is an admission of inferiority, and an acknowledgement that change or "something different" is preferable. pride is an assertion that "Al iz wel"

There was no need for Hindus to feel ashamed of themselves until India was subjected to invasions and finally controlled by Britain. The shame has started after the British came. As I said earlier, shame is an acknowledgement of inferiority. Many Indians who display shame acknowledge that Indian society is inferior in many ways to British/Western societies and that we need to change.

It is easy to say that someone has "self hate" or is "ashamed of his past". But why? Why are educated Indians ashamed of India's past and of Indian society? We like to call this a "colonized mindset". But what is wrong with acknowledging the superiority of a society that dominates us in every way and showed its superiority over our people? Could it be that pride among Indians is the false pride of a loser society? We could feel proud after we change ourselves no?

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 28 Nov 2014 07:39

I ask questions not because I have answers, but because I sometimes seek answers.

However I believe I have asked some particularly vicious questions above and will try and answer some of them.

Of course Indians had no reason to be ashamed before the British colonization and re education. Of course we had ethics. Our epics and folklore are full of examples of ethics and morality. Of course we had laws, and like laws everywhere else, laws were subject to implementation. But the laws were embedded in what we call shrutis and smritis. And of course we had a record of our past. The past was remembered by our people in their preferred way. Everyone remembers his past in his preferred way. The Indian way was to embed the past in moralistic stories that taught us how to live life and the consequences of failing to live by what is right. And we had spirituality, answers to life and existence questions and Gods and worship and sacred places and sacred objects.

Our culture, body of knowledge, ethics, laws, the way to settle differences in religious belief were all bundled into one huge set of works that comprise Hindu literature. At one time in the past ALL of this literature was orally transmitted.

We have ethics, but we do not call it ethics and do not separate ethics from our epics. We have laws but our laws are not written separately from our epics, folklore and other scholarly works. Laws were implemented by leaders at the local level. Our past, our ethics and our laws all came embedded in one package. we did not split them up to say "This is my code of ethics; this is my law book; this is my history text" When they said "itihaasa" what was meant was not history but the entire body of work - the past bundled with laws, ethics and morality. And like "ethics" we had no separate word for "history". We had spirituality, worship, Gods as well as concepts like agnosticsim and atheiem - all bundled into our literary works. We have no one book religion

When the British came to India they asked us questions that we could not understand. We tried to make sense of those questions but our answers did not make sense to the British

When the earliest British asked Hindus, "What is your law book? What is your constitution?" What do you think Hindus would have understood from that.

When the British asked "Where is your moral code written? What book lists your ethical code?" there was no single book of ethical code that Hindus could point at.

When the British asked, "Where are your history books that describe the lives and experiences of your people? Which books are they?" We had no single book or single subject that was separately named history dedicated solely to recording dates with no other information/ Again we had to point to our voluminous literature that embedded history, ethics, laws and history in one package.

It is no wonder the British simply concluded that we had no laws, ethics, history or religion. I am sure this puzzled Hindus at that time as it still puzzles us today. but I think Hindus have not satisfactorily explained to themselves or to the world why world's biggest superpower, the biggest source of scholarly literature of the day (Britain) reached such conclusions about Hindus.

What was worse was the education and conversion of the minds of hundreds of millions of Indians from 1860 to 2014 that the British viewpoint is the "correct" way to see India. Some Hindus blame "them". Some blame "us". But neither group has got down to analysing and writing scholarly works or getting students to do doctoral theses on these questions. There are at least 10,000 books and theses to be written here. And we are depending on JNU to do that

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby Vayutuvan » 28 Nov 2014 08:08

shiv wrote:Have we, as Indians, and as Hindus, answered the questions
1. What is religion?
2. What is history?
3. What is ethics?

Shiv: please allow me to be a little whimsical (as much as you are :) ) here.

My questions to westerners (besterners is cognate with wetereners FWIW) are:

(... below stand for samskruta writen in dEvanAgari script - please do not ask me what i sscript and what is dEvanAgari and smaskrutam :P )

1. Do you have samskAra? (...)
2. Do you have itihAsa? (...)
3. Do you have dharma? (...)

Have the bhesterners (my indic ingilipees is showing :oops: ), as christists and musslaman, answered the questions?

1. kim samskAra?
2. kim itihAsa?
3. kim dharma?

(or whetever the samskruta phrases, idioms, or flourishes are for the same :oops: ).

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby shiv » 28 Nov 2014 08:16

matrimc wrote:
1. Do you have samskAra? (...)
2. Do you have itihAsa? (...)
3. Do you have dharma? (...)

+1 for the thought

But the burden we face is of deeply colonized minds who see ethics, law and history from the western box and simply argue and say we have all that.

In actual fact we have the same concepts, but those concepts are not written in separate books that would be on separate shelves in a library like "Ethics", and "History"

In my view decolonization of Indian minds will revolve around teachers, sociologists, historians and educators understanding where the problem lies. For example, if we were to construct our own library, the Ramayana would sit on a shelf that reads, "Ethics and History". It could also sit on a shelf that reads "Adventure stories and tragedies". You could also find it on a shelf labelled "Love stories and Romance".

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby csaurabh » 28 Nov 2014 08:26

shiv wrote:When the British asked, "Where are your history books that describe the lives and experiences of your people? Which books are they?" We had no single book or single subject that was separately named history dedicated solely to recording dates with no other information/ Again we had to point to our voluminous literature that embedded history, ethics, laws and history in one package.

It is no wonder the British simply concluded that we had no laws, ethics, history or religion. I am sure this puzzled Hindus at that time as it still puzzles us today. but I think Hindus have not satisfactorily explained to themselves or to the world why world's biggest superpower, the biggest source of scholarly literature of the day (Britain) reached such conclusions about Hindus.

What was worse was the education and conversion of the minds of hundreds of millions of Indians from 1860 to 2014 that the British viewpoint is the "correct" way to see India. Some Hindus blame "them". Some blame "us". But neither group has got down to analysing and writing scholarly works or getting students to do doctoral theses on these questions. There are at least 10,000 books and theses to be written here. And we are depending on JNU to do that


A major problem in this regard is the current perception that History and other humanities subjects are only for 'losers'.

There are no MNC jobs in History. ( Unfortunately, being an MNC servant is what the vast majority of people aspire for )

That is why most of the students currently studying 'B.A.s' and 'M.A.s' in 'History' are already at the bottom of the pool to begin with. Which is a huge problem.

They read English textbooks written from the British point of view. If they come up with regurgitating commie and WU nonsense they would be praised to high heavens and maybe given a free ticket to the West. Else they would be derided as 'communal'. It is no wonder then, that things are how they are.

I used to watch Discovery Channel in my teenage years ( in Hindi, too ). Being an archaeologist was one of the things I found fascinating. But in school, it seemed like 'History' meant memorizing a bunch of sentences and faithfully reproducing them in the 'exam'. I rightly concluded this is not a career for me.

It may be too late for me, but the next generation should not grow up this way.

Again, a quote from Swami Vivekananda

A nation that has no history of its own has nothing in this world. Do you believe that one who has such faith and pride as to feel, "I come of noble descent", can ever turn out to be bad? How could that be? That faith in himself would curb his actions and feelings, so much so that he would rather die than commit wrong. So a national history keeps a nation well-restrained and does not allow it to sink so low. Oh, I know you will say, "But we have not such a history!" No, there is not any, according to those who think like you. Neither is there any, according to your big university scholars; and so also think those who, having travelled through the West in one great rush, come back dressed in European style and assert, "We have nothing, we are barbarians." Of course, we have no history exactly like that of other countries. Suppose we take rice, and the Englishmen do not. Would you for that reason imagine that they all die of starvation, and are going to be exterminated? They live quite well on what they can easily procure or produce in their own country and what is suited to them. Similarly, we have our own history exactly as it ought to have been for us. Will that history be made extinct by shutting your eyes and crying, "Alas! we have no history!" Those who have eyes to see, find a luminous history there, and on the strength of that they know the nation is still alive. But that history has to be rewritten. It should be restated and suited to the understanding and ways of thinking which our men have acquired in the present age through Western education.

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby member_22733 » 28 Nov 2014 10:46

Warning: Frivolous post :)

Difference between "history" and Itihaasa is like a difference between Hollywood "action" movie vs an old school Hindi movie.

A Hindi movie has everything :- love, romance, hex (indirectly), moral lessons, ethical studies, action, drama, song and dance etc. It is also very "unrealistic"

A Hollywood "action" movie has mostly one (or two things): Violence (and sometimes hex). It is made to look very "realistic" as well.

Indian cinema, my brothers and sisters, is the modern day Itihaasa. :mrgreen:

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby Vayutuvan » 28 Nov 2014 10:53

LokeshC: call it navarasa bharita. All Hindu plays by definition are supposed to have all the nine rasa.

The ones I rember

shringAra
bhIbhatsa
raudra
vishAda
...

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Re: Why is "Hindu Nationalism" spoken of in a pejorative sen

Postby member_22733 » 28 Nov 2014 10:57

^^ Interesting. So after getting screwed over and mentally colonized to the depths, our movies did catch the essence of our cultural "tools" pre-mogul era. There is some hope of recovery :) :)

I just learned that the "tools" a culture uses to visualize itself is called epistemology. In "western" style analysis epistemology sits on top of Metaphysics. In math terms: Epistemology == logic/rules, metaphysics == axioms. Axioms are taken to be self-evident truths. You make a mistake in epistemology your entire application of the rules (aka "ethics") is completely invalid.

In Hindu itihaasa, the tools are different, they are tools of inference and inspiration. You look for a precedent in your itihaasa and you see if it applies to you and how the protagonist of that story handled his situation. You then make that solution your own, not in a rigid way but by adapting it to your particular situation.

There is no "metaphysics" or even "epistemology" in Hindu-ism. Only abstract principles and lessons of our ancestors coded up in hyms, folklores and stories given as knowledge to everyone for adaptation into their own life. There is no penalty for not following it, there is no "rules" for deduction from the "metaphysics". Infact terms like "metaphysics" and "epistemology" appear to be pure bullshit when Hindu itihaasa is looked at from that point of view.
Last edited by member_22733 on 28 Nov 2014 11:07, edited 2 times in total.


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