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The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RamaY » 12 Feb 2013 00:32

Moksha (liberation) implies bondage. Bondage of Karma which according to Dharmik schools, every jeeva is bound with. But this is quinessentially a personal question. By personal I mean this - From Dharmaarthik perspective, it is not possible for me to categorically state whether the path X leads to Moksha OR not.. and I have said in the beginning, I lack the anubhuti..


Atri mahasaya,

Karma/Action on its own is Rudradevji's 10.2. It has no meaning. Only the context (Raaga or Dwesha) that makes a mind slave to them.

Moksha doesn't mean absence of Karma. Moksha means absence of Raaga or Dwesha towards the karma-phala.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Atri » 12 Feb 2013 00:34

:) true...

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RamaY » 12 Feb 2013 00:59

Our strategy cannot be to self-inflict 1000 cuts so we can deny our enemy "death thru 1000 cuts" option.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 12 Feb 2013 01:59

Re: the word "Hindu": I put some thoughts in a table and diagram.

Consider a diagram of concentric circles, each representing a degree of concern and ability to affect (or be at cause over) one's self and the environment.

Image

Below is my understanding of some characteristics of these, along with some memes AFAIU the RgVeda. Corrections, additions, etc, are welcome. IMHO, "Hindu" would actually encompass all of these -- but in a particular balance.

Image

By this schema, currently Pakistan as a nation is moving solidly into #7 red zone, the smallest circle. It is therefore surviving only by serving other powerful forces in an anti-Bhaaratiya context, and has a deathwish in serving a particular ideological force. From their perspective in their own schema, they would consider themselves at #3 in defensive mode for their own concept of Ishvara.

I think a definition of "Hindu" civilization as a spectrum does including a shading that encompasses a deracinated periphery, or a subversive force, or even outright antithetical ideology within its own space. IMHO the deciding factor is only one of political balance and dynamic between the thesis and antithesis. The antithesis itself would be a "special case" of sanatana dharma, in the same way that classical Newtonian mechanics can be derived as a special case of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, at speeds much slower than the speed of light, etc.

Dharma in action would need to have a deracinating force in addition to an assimilative force. Yoga would be a balance between these centrifugal and centripetal forces in different orbits, each selected as special cases for different basic purposes.

That said, its important to analyze the differences between the two forces, and their effects, and what is the desirable balance in each orbit and for what purposes.
Last edited by Agnimitra on 12 Feb 2013 05:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Rudradev » 12 Feb 2013 02:55

ShauryaT wrote:
RamaY wrote:Did you get a chance to pose this question to the likes of RM? What was his answer? I am curious.
I prefer to take the guidance of pure practitioners on the matter. Practitioners who are less bothered about others and also those who are more connected with issues of India and Indians as Indians see them, preferably living in India. I have posed related questions to some very astute observers of the Indian constitution and the way it has come about. Do not want to drop in names but since you asked, not to RM as IMO he has dedicated himself to the issue of purva-paksha of the west. All power to him and his endeavors.


Analysis by practitioners who are "less bothered about others," however valuable it may be, is also susceptible to a fatal blind spot. It often fails to recognize that hostile "others" exist within our immediate environs, and must be contended with as a matter of survival. Those "others" are present within India, interspersed thickly among Hindus, and have been so for a thousand plus years. In fact, many of them dominate the highest positions of political and economic power within India today. Can Hindus, however "pure" in their practice, afford to "bother less about others" today? One might ask that of the dozens of practitioners who died yesterday while attempting to visit the Kumbh Mela, managed by an Islamist stooge of the UP government.

Any consideration of the "issues of India and Indians" which does not take this glaring fact into account is dangerously inadequate... in fact, the overwhelming predominance of navel-gazing introspection is one reason why the great mass of Hindu society could never orchestrate a pan-Indian resistance, while our civilizational, material and social wealth was being looted from under our noses. Being less bothered about others is a recipe for extinction; the course of evolution in any system is determined ultimately by successful adaptation to changing environmental cues. Giving up a Hindu identity in favour of new fangled, politically correct fabrications is a big step towards such extinction. It amounts to kicking away the few yards of ground left beneath our collective feet, in the hope that we can all be happy under water.

This is why I regard the purva-paksha of Rajiv Malhotra as by far the most important new idea to emerge from within the sphere of Hindu thought, possibly since independence. As many on this thread have observed, you cannot place Hindu Dharma in a box, or constrain it within some narrow schema of doctrine; it defies containment. Hindus cannot face the West (or even the Adharmics who run rampant within India herself) by assuming a Western-style identity based on an ordinate set of "values", i.e. by defining ourselves along rule-sets predetermined by Adharmic systems. Rajiv Malhotra takes the opposite approach, and begins by defining what Hinduism is not... in opposition to Western, Chinese and Islamic systems. By focusing on the face the outsider sees, he arrives at the only practical method of providing a common identity to us all. If a more relevant or effective approach exists to address the problems we face today, I haven't come across it. Purva-paksha was a critically important tool for Hindus facing the intra-dharmic challenges of Buddha/Jaina paths in the first millennium CE, and I have every reason to believe it will achieve the same success against the external adharmic challenges we face today. At no time was relinquishing the "Hindu" identity ever necessary.

Interesting, meanwhile, that those who reject "Hindu" as a "3000 year old foreign label", feel happy to do so in a foreign language which no educated Indian spoke even 300 years ago. That language is English. "English" and "England" derive from "Angeln", a tribe of people who did not come from the British Isles at all but were Germanics from the Baltic Shore. Yet one doesn't see any apologetic, insecure, politically correct calls among the English to reject the term "England" or "English." They wear that label with pride, as also the name "Britain"... which was a name given by the Romans, and not intrinsic to any native tribe of those islands.

Likewise, the Malaysians and Indonesians are proud to call their language "Bahasa"... a clear derivative of Sanskrit "bhasa" and not by any Australo-asiatic term more "authentically native" to their territories.

The entire exercise of rejecting "Hindu" is completely unjustifiable on the basis of perceived "foreignness." If that were even a remotely valid consideration, why would Vivekananda, Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, B.C. Pal and so many others have consciously developed a renaissance of Hindu identity... with an overtly Hindu label... for the very purpose of liberating India from foreign rule?

The very idea is shameful; it is about as productive as amputating one's own limbs so as to present a smaller target for an enemy sniper.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Feb 2013 07:54

devesh wrote:OK, so let's call ourselves "Hindu" or "Vaidik Dharma" or "Arya Dharma".

simply "dharma" is not good enough. and that's not how our forefathers identified themselves.

"Arya" and "Vaidik" are unique identifiers. and "Hindu" is fine too. Sindhu/Hindu is not essentially a "denigrating" term. it is simply a description of "east of Indus" by the Persians and the people to the west of Persia. I don't have a problem with the "Hindu" term.

so now, can we move past the terminology and to the next step?

let's consider Arya/Vaidik/Hindu/Hindava Dharma as "acceptable".

is that good enough?
Except Vaidik. We should be inclusive of Nastika dharma adherents in it - who have rejected the supremacy but not necessarily the teachings of the Vedas. The major ones are Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. Another issue is to not provide a single source idea akin to the works of the prophets as the "defining" source for all things. Off late even the BG is used as such by some, which is a stretch even if I myself dwell on its verses every week.

Quite frankly, this "supremacy" of the vedas has no coherency in terms of theology. The excessive focus of the then practitioners on the Brahmanas and Karma Kaands, at the cost of an exposition and understanding of the samhitas has rendered to meanings of the words of the vedas being left neglected and to a large degree its original meanings and contexts lost. Many movements such as the of the Buddha, Advaita, Bhakti and of the Sikhs were in fact a part reaction to the excessive ritualistic practices, which has rendered the meanings of the vedas a little wanting. This was also reflected upon by Sri Aurobindo in his critique of Sayana - the last known compiler of the vedas. Hence Sri Aurobindo felt the need to espouse this own inspired meanings of the vedas. Such effort is welcome. IMO, we can skip Vedic as a definitional term as it adds no value or purpose - does not mean its teachings are rejected. From a geopolitical perspective too, it is in Indian interests, to claim Buddhists as our own.

From a verbage perspective the adjective "Dharmic" is well qualified to be in the preamble. The preamble is an exposition of the constitution. The words in it usually escape tight definitions as it is supposed to denote a set of ideas, values and principles, who's application changes based on context. Our identity as adherents of Dharma and its various streams can remain fluid as long as this higher order set of ideas is captured well.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Feb 2013 08:05

brihaspati wrote:To illustrate the problems with trying to fix values - I am going out of immediate "Bharatyia" context, and I am taking the 10th commandment - "don't covet thy neighbour's wife".

(1) How does "truth" help in establishing decisions here, if say someone says - that the rule does not prevent coveting the non-neighbour's wife, or everyone's daughter, sister, mother. It does not define who is a "neighbour". There is no special meaning for "neighbour" if someone stretches the definition to all humanity - since until we are sure that humans do not live in other planets, we will not be able to divide humanity into "neighbours" and "non-neighbours".

(2) if a neighbours wife is "formally/ritually/soicially-recognizably" married, but the hubbie beats/prostitutes her and such beating/prostituting is formally approved by that society, and the wife decided to "covet" you. What does "truth" provide as a way forward?
Astyeya? Also, dharma shastras have been explicit on such matters of copulation with someone else's wife. At the end of the day, we will have to determine, what rules and practices are adharmic and yes these may have context specific answers and not based on some absolute application of values, however it does not mean the definitional and general purpose and universal role of values do not have a place. I can very well defend Astyeya as a general value system for Sajjans governed by Dharmic principles. Section 66A of the IT act can be interpreted by dimwits and misapplied and abused does not mean the legislation needs to go. This is where the role of a executioners and a judge comes into play to interpret, apply context and judge based on the law of the land. Does not mean legislators do not have a role to frame laws that help achieve a society with certain ideas and values as its underpinnings.

Your example is very dire, there are far more simple issues where the lack of values have created havoc in Indian society. A son in Grihasta is obligated to care for his elders, however not legislated as such and hence has opened scope for abuse on this score. A complete mockery of Asharma dharma. A wife is an equal partner to her husband in ALL he owns but our laws do not provide for such equality and hence has opened scope for wives to be treated as maids and worse opened ideas of a divorce wrecking the family unit. The lack of or enforcement and respect for values has led to a certain socio-economic order of Hindu society, which was saved only due to its mass and size. It is easier to unite a society behind common causes, who share the same underlying value system. The state has a solemn duty to propagate and protect and enforce these value systems.

To what degree values are directly encoded is open for debate, however support of the law (and its enforcement) they must have or these values perish as is evidenced in fast degrading of Indian society. We fail to protect dharma and hence dharma fails to protect us.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RamaY » 12 Feb 2013 08:12

ShauryaT garu,

It is not that simple. The problem is at multiple levels.

1. Philosophical levels - There are a set of Astika vadas. Then a new set of Nastika vadas came around denouncing those Astika vadas. Now how is it Astika vadas fault for dejecting Nastika vadas?

2. Social levels - Nastiaka vadas got same social acceptance as Astikavadas. There were no oppressive regimes for most part. If there were any Astika oppressive regimes, there also existed Nastika oppressive regimes. But overall the society was free enough based on the fact that almost entire Bharat became Nastika for a few centuries before it went back to Astikavadas

3. Governance model - To be fair both government models focused on governance. There were great empires on both sides as they were unpatriotic empires.

Coming to accepting Indic Nastikavadas as one of our own, I don't know if anyone is objecting to that, unless I missed some key posters.

I have a question though - our penchant is to accommodate all moksha-margas, assuming Nastika vadas and even Abrahamic faiths offer Moksha. Then why don't we want to accommodate Hinduism? Are our hearts not open enough to accommodate Hinduism, as is with all it's Satti, Caste system, Untouchability and so on?

Coming to "supremacy of Vedas" Adi Samkara walked all over Bharat and proved that against all indic philosophies (one book says they were 72). Now you need to comeup with something better than your "informed and powerful" people in govt to tell us that how this is not "coherent".

Looks like you are taking WKKism to the next level.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby devesh » 12 Feb 2013 08:19

I still don't get why the "Hindu" is such a khujli.

Atri ji,

your post on the last page is interesting. especially where you mention that even "Hindu" is becoming an "obstacle". I don't share the same view on that. OBC's, afaik, very much want to be a part of the "Hindu" and put themselves in that category willingly. "Hindu" is the most identified with and the most logical grouping for Indics of modern day to regain the Bharatiya darshan.
_________________________________________________________________________

to those who have a problem with "Hindu":

Also, the word "India" was also given by "foreigners", yet we are using it without any complaints, no? even "Indic" is but a variant of "India". yet, not much opposition to that.
Last edited by devesh on 12 Feb 2013 08:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby brihaspati » 12 Feb 2013 08:19

"sarva dharman parityajya mamekam smaranam vraja"

Hindu-Indic-Bharatyia, and even "dharmik", are approximations, attempts to interface with something that goes even beyond those approximations. Hence the "neti-neti" approach proved so attractive. This "beyond every categorization" something is more easily approached by trying to grasp as to what it is not, rather than what it is.

Hence we find repeatedly being forced to define ourselves by what we are not, how we are different from those who are "different", and why it is so difficult to put us into neat little boxes. This has been our greatest weakness on practical terms because it seemingly makes our base intangible, and therefore not a concrete basis for action.

However this is what is also our greatest strength, because anyone who does not understand the quoted line at the top of this post, is never able to model the reservoirs of strength and retribution that we may have in reserve.

I think we have had enough of hair-splitting. I am not a theist, never a deist, and not even sure of my advaita. But the earliest words I remember uttering before even I learned anything about Sanskrit, or evne the meaning of the words I was uttering was this (and another was "dharma sams..."). In my childhood I was shielded from any of this literature because of predictions still kept from me, so I could not have heard it. I must have remembered it from another lifetime. I did not hear these lines in myself for a long time. Recently I have heard the words again inside me. I sense, that these words hold a clue to the future. All else should be left behind - all the labels, boxes, epithets, classifications, dresses, adjectives, names, others gave to us, and we gave to ourselves - out of fear, out of compromise, out of desire for peace, or shame, or profit, or pride, or envy, or greed, and revisit every such item we carry as baggage. We revisit because we want to and not because others mock us, want us to, or threaten us not to.

The intensity of quest for that very old, and very new - path, and what lies beyond should be the cleansing our society needs, in which any accumulated dirt and old clothes "vsamasi jeernani" are swept away. In all the above discussions, I pateinetly and eagerly waited for that joy. But there is no sense of this joy in our posts, the joy of a waiting rebirth - of new life force and spirit, that which does not hold on to the jeerna vaasa for dear life out of shame. Joy, "ananda" is the key to what we are, what we have been, and the core word of our spiritualism as well as values. We are looking for a cut and dry constitution, a samvidhana of spirit?!!! We are fighting over labels?

I don't know what lies beyond, but it beckons. A renewed search and quest, that even is not confined to the terms of "dharma", is what is hinted at when even all "dharman" is asked to be "parityajya". I would urge people, those who can, go out in groups - take a chance - and sing "hari haraye... " in public. If possible. Let streams and rivulets start. Let it start raining. Let it become a flood.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby brihaspati » 12 Feb 2013 08:27

I am not saying "values" are unnecessary. But if there is no joy in seeking them out, and finding them too- the basic thread of our spirituality is lost. Too much formalism, too much rituals, too much emphasis on form and not on content and anudhaavan - those are accretions on our core, and pulls us down.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 12 Feb 2013 08:30

brihaspati wrote:In all the above discussions, I pateinetly and eagerly waited for that joy. But there is no sense of this joy in our posts, the joy of a waiting rebirth - of new life force and spirit, that which does not hold on to the jeerna vaasa for dear life out of shame. Joy, "ananda" is the key to what we are, what we have been, and the core word of our spiritualism as well as values. We are looking for a cut and dry constitution, a samvidhana of spirit?!!! We are fighting over labels?

I don't know what lies beyond, but it beckons. A renewed search and quest, that even is not confined to the terms of "dharma", is what is hinted at when even all "dharman" is asked to be "parityajya". I would urge people, those who can, go out in groups - take a chance - and sing "hari haraye... " in public. If possible. Let streams and rivulets start. Let it start raining. Let it become a flood.

Amen to that. :)

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RamaY » 12 Feb 2013 08:31

From Epics thread...viewtopic.php?p=714240#p714240

When asked “Kutasya Advaita Shiva?”
(Kutaha = How, Shivah = Shiva, Advaita = is the one God consciousness?)

Adi Shankara replied that “Nana bhootam prudhaktvam anyasya anyasmaat yatra drishtvam, tatra, Asshivam bhavet.”
(Yatra = Where, nana bhootam = all things and live beings in this world, Dristvam = are seen as, Prudhaktvam = separated, Anyasya Anasyat = from each other, tatra = There, Asshivam = non-auspiciousness, Bhavet = results).

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby brihaspati » 12 Feb 2013 08:37

ShauryaT wrote:Astyeya? Also, dharma shastras have been explicit on such matters of copulation with someone else's wife. At the end of the day, we will have to determine, what rules and practices are adharmic and yes these may have context specific answers and not based on some absolute application of values, however it does not mean the definitional and general purpose and universal role of values do not have a place. I can very well defend Astyeya as a general value system for Sajjans governed by Dharmic principles. Section 66A of the IT act can be interpreted by dimwits and misapplied and abused does not mean the legislation needs to go. This is where the role of a executioners and a judge comes into play to interpret, apply context and judge based on the law of the land. Does not mean legislators do not have a role to frame laws that help achieve a society with certain ideas and values as its underpinnings.

Your example is very dire, there are far more simple issues where the lack of values have created havoc in Indian society. A son in Grihasta is obligated to care for his elders, however not legislated as such and hence has opened scope for abuse on this score. A complete mockery of Asharma dharma. A wife is an equal partner to her husband in ALL he owns but our laws do not provide for such equality and hence has opened scope for wives to be treated as maids and worse opened ideas of a divorce wrecking the family unit. The lack of or enforcement and respect for values has led to a certain socio-economic order of Hindu society, which was saved only due to its mass and size. It is easier to unite a society behind common causes, who share the same underlying value system. The state has a solemn duty to propagate and protect and enforce these value systems.

To what degree values are directly encoded is open for debate, however support of the law (and its enforcement) they must have or these values perish as is evidenced in fast degrading of Indian society. We fail to protect dharma and hence dharma fails to protect us.


My example was to illustrate the problem of having to be limited by hard stated values, and not principles that can be used to decide on a wide variety of deviations from exemplary cited cases. On the other hand, making the principle too relative ["truth" may depend on perception in some cases] may not help us in pinpointing clarifying decisions.

Thus trying to define "dharma" by practice would have to necessarily come down to the level of a "code bill" and hence will catch all the limitations of language, and that of a particular human social experience in a given time and place. Sooner or later some will take "dharma" and "practice" to be equivalent, and would see disaster when the laws need to be changed or if they are not changed - they will be thrown out by large numbers of people anyway - and then "dharma" will seem to have been thrown away.

We need to be careful in tying up dharma with a specific table of values of applicable importance. Application ties down the principle. Its almost like trying to illustrate a theorem by examples and then forgetting that the examples are special cases of a more general result. Some may find an example that differs radically in values and output - and because it differs dramatically from the previously cited examples - claims that the "theorem" is wrong and to be discarded.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2013 09:04

Rudradev wrote:in fact, the overwhelming predominance of navel-gazing introspection is one reason why the great mass of Hindu society could never orchestrate a pan-Indian resistance, while our civilizational, material and social wealth was being looted from under our noses.


IMHO, one weakness was that we lost sight of the core, universal Dharmic ideas, and became engrossed with particular forms and rituals. The forms and rituals have value if they are used for the purpose of enhancing our awareness of the core ideas. But without awareness of the core ideas, the forms and rituals are like a dead tree.

For example, many Indian men and women apply the traditional Tilak and Bindis, but how many of them are aware of the universal spiritual and yogic significance, which relates to the Ajna Chakra?

Can we be motivated to mobilize for Dharma Raksha when we are oblivious of real spirit of Dharma, which is common to all Dharmic traditions?

Interesting, meanwhile, that those who reject "Hindu" as a "3000 year old foreign label", feel happy to do so in a foreign language which no educated Indian spoke even 300 years ago. That language is English. "English" and "England" derive from "Angeln", a tribe of people who did not come from the British Isles at all but were Germanics from the Baltic Shore. Yet one doesn't see any apologetic, insecure, politically correct calls among the English to reject the term "England" or "English." They wear that label with pride, as also the name "Britain"... which was a name given by the Romans, and not intrinsic to any native tribe of those islands.


The primitive tribals of the British Isles of 2500 years ago cannot be compared with the Indic civilization of that time. We had a completely evolved identity and world-view, so our reaction to the mispronounced labels used by outsiders could be different.
Last edited by Pranav on 12 Feb 2013 10:35, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Rudradev » 12 Feb 2013 09:58

Pranav wrote:The primitive tribals of the British Isles of 2500 years ago cannot be compared with the Indic civilization of that time. We had a completely evolved identity and world-view, so our reaction to the mispronounced labels used by outsiders could be different.


But the comparison isn't being made 2500 years ago, it is being made today. The language in which we are making the comparison is the language of those primitive tribals... not vice versa. It is called "English" even though the name "English" does not have roots in the British Isles. And it is spoken the world over, along with an attendant cultural universalism that we cannot hope to match for several centuries (if ever).

In this light, our reaction to the mispronounced labels used by outsiders 2500 years ago is a sad and empty conceit. What of all our linguistic wealth from 2500 years ago? What tiny proportion of those languages, flourishing then, struggle along in the life support of dusty libraries and are spoken (if at all) by miniscule, ever-shrinking populations today? In fact, we should be grateful for the word "Hindu"... whatever its roots, it is at least one word of comparable antiquity that remains in our legacy as a term in widespread usage.

Given what the English made of their identity, does it matter that the name "English" isn't from England at all? The roots of "English/England" as a modern national identity date back to the Tudor period... that's how much of a headstart they have on us. Even the Chinese, with their determined efforts to universalize "Han" identity among all relevant people... are far ahead of us in terms of establishing a comprehensive cultural nationalism. And where are we? We're still wasting our time with pointless debates about whether "Hindu" (the ONE legitimate identity we have) might offend the hypersensitive skins of Nastiks, anti-Vaidiks, Tribals, Arya Samajis, Brahmakumaris and of course our dear victimized Abrahamics. Ack-thoo!

Any attempt to replace Hindu with "Dharmic", I see as an active threat by ill-intentioned forces seeking to dilute and digest Hindu identity. "Dharma" is an abstract noun, not a proper noun. As Rajesh A ji observed, it is like saying "Law"-- without specifying "which law" or "whose law". In fact, the word "Dharma" has been applied even to Abrahamic faiths, by Indians within India, for over 800 years. Chand Baradai's Prithviraj Raso (1192 CE) as well as the works of Vidyapathi Thakur (ca. 1350 CE) refer explicitly to Islam as Turaki Dharma. The word "Dharma", then, does not have any of the specificity required to distinguish an Indic identity from the Abrahamic... considering that it was in widespread use to describe the religious laws and praxis of even Abrahamic religions, with as much validity as Indic belief systems.
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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2013 10:13

Rudradev wrote:Any attempt to replace Hindu with "Dharmic", I see as an active threat by ill-intentioned forces seeking to dilute and digest Hindu identity. "Dharma" is an abstract noun, not a proper noun. As Rajesh A ji said, it is like "Law". In fact, the word "Dharma" has been applied even to Abrahamic faiths, by Indians within India, for over 800 years. Prithviraj Raso (1192 CE) as well as the works of Vidyapathi Thakur (ca. 1350 CE) refer explicitly to Islam as Turaki Dharma. The word "Dharma", then, does not have any of the specificity required to distinguish an Indic identity from the Abrahamic... considering that it was in widespread use to describe the religious laws and praxis of even Abrahamic religions, with as much validity as Indic belief systems.


Dharma is what Rajeev Malhotra might call a non-translatable term.

I would not say "Dharma is law". One could perhaps say "Dharma is the law", or better - "Dharma is the universal order". The Abrahamic doctrines hardly deserve to be put on an equivalent footing, regardless of the misconceptions of the author of Prithviraj Raso.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Rudradev » 12 Feb 2013 10:17

It doesn't matter how you or I see it. The usage is there, with the evidence of 800 years. Chand Baradai's Prithviraj Raso is a thousand times more widely read than random forum posts on this thread. Dharma has been repeatedly and frequently applied to Abrahamic faiths by many Indians in different Indian languages. How are you going to undo that etymology? Wish it away?

You might as well try to wish away the foreign roots of "Hindu" in that case. At least "Hindu" only ever referred to one particular set of belief systems.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2013 10:27

Rudradev wrote:It doesn't matter how you or I see it. The usage is there, with the evidence of 800 years. Chand Baradai's Prithviraj Raso is a thousand times more widely read than random forum posts on this thread. Dharma has been repeatedly and frequently applied to Abrahamic faiths by many Indians in different Indian languages. How are you going to undo that etymology? Wish it away?

You might as well try to wish away the foreign roots of "Hindu" in that case. At least "Hindu" only ever referred to one particular set of belief systems.


I think we should try to reclaim the correct use of our terms ... Here is Rajiv Malhotra's effort regarding the term Dharma -

Dharma Is Not The Same As Religion
by Rajiv Malhotra
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajiv-mal ... 75314.html

The word "dharma" has multiple meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Monier-Williams' Sanskrit-English Dictionary lists several, including: conduct, duty, right, justice, virtue, morality, religion, religious merit, good work according to a right or rule, etc. Many other meanings have been suggested, such as law or "torah" (in the Judaic sense), "logos" (Greek), "way" (Christian) and even 'tao" (Chinese). None of these is entirely accurate and none conveys the full force of the term in Sanskrit. Dharma has no equivalent in the Western lexicon.

Dharma has the Sanskrit root dhri, which means "that which upholds" or "that without which nothing can stand" or "that which maintains the stability and harmony of the universe." Dharma encompasses the natural, innate behavior of things, duty, law, ethics, virtue, etc. Every entity in the cosmos has its particular dharma -- from the electron, which has the dharma to move in a certain manner, to the clouds, galaxies, plants, insects, and of course, man. Man's understanding of the dharma of inanimate things is what we now call physics.

British colonialists endeavored to map Indian traditions onto their ideas of religion so as to be able to comprehend and govern their subjects; yet the notion of dharma remained elusive. The common translation into religion is misleading since, to most Westerners, a genuine religion must:

1) be based on a single canon of scripture given by God in a precisely defined historical event;
2) involve worship of the divine who is distinct from ourselves and the cosmos;
3) be governed by some human authority such as the church;
4) consist of formal members;
5) be presided over by an ordained clergyman; and
6) use a standard set of rituals.

But dharma is not limited to a particular creed or specific form of worship. To the Westerner, an "atheistic religion" would be a contradiction in terms, but in Buddhism, Jainism and Carvaka dharma, there is no place for God as conventionally defined. In some Hindu systems the exact status of God is debatable. Nor is there only a single standard deity, and one may worship one's own ishta-devata, or chosen deity.

Dharma provides the principles for the harmonious fulfillment of all aspects of life, namely, the acquisition of wealth and power (artha), fulfillment of desires (kama), and liberation (moksha). Religion, then, is only one subset of dharma's scope.

Religion applies only to human beings and not to the entire cosmos; there is no religion of electrons, monkeys, plants and galaxies, whereas all of them have their dharma even if they carry it out without intention.

Since the essence of humanity is divinity, it is possible for them to know their dharma through direct experience without any external intervention or recourse to history. In Western religions, the central law of the world and its peoples is singular and unified, and revealed and governed from above.

In dharmic traditions, the word a-dharma applies to humans who fail to perform righteously; it does not mean refusal to embrace a given set of propositions as a belief system or disobedience to a set of commandments or canons.

Dharma is also often translated as "law," but to become a law, a set of rules has to be present which must: (i) be promulgated and decreed by an authority that enjoys political sovereignty over a given territory, (ii) be obligatory, (iii) be interpreted, adjudicated and enforced by courts, and (iv) carry penalties when it is breached. No such description of dharma is found within the traditions.

The Roman Emperor Constantine began the system of "canon laws," which were determined and enforced by the Church. The ultimate source of Jewish law is the God of Israel. The Western religions agree that the laws of God must be obeyed just as if they were commandments from a sovereign. It is therefore critical that "false gods" be denounced and defeated, for they might issue illegitimate laws in order to undermine the "true laws." If multiple deities were allowed, then there would be confusion as to which laws were true.

In contrast with this, there is no record of any sovereign promulgating the various dharma-shastras (texts of dharma for society) for any specific territory at any specific time, nor any claim that God revealed such "social laws," or that they should be enforced by a ruler. None of the compilers of the famous texts of social dharma were appointed by kings, served in law enforcement, or had any official capacity in the state machinery. They were more akin to modern academic social theorists than jurists. The famous Yajnavalkya Smriti is introduced in the remote sanctuary of an ascetic. The well-known Manusmriti begins by stating its setting as the humble abode of Manu, who answered questions posed to him in a state of samadhi (higher consciousness). Manu (1.82) tells the sages that every epoch has its own distinct social and behavioral dharma.

Similarly, none of the Vedas and Upanishads was sponsored by a king, court or administrator, or by an institution with the status of a church. In this respect, dharma is closer to the sense of "law" we find in the Hebrew scriptures, where torah, the Hebrew equivalent, is also given in direct spiritual experience. The difference is that Jewish torah quickly became enforced by the institutions of ancient Israel.

The dharma-shastras did not create an enforced practice but recorded existing practices. Many traditional smritis (codified social dharma) were documenting prevailing localized customs of particular communities. An important principle was self-governance by a community from within. The smritis do not claim to prescribe an orthodox view from the pulpit, as it were, and it was not until the 19th century, under British colonial rule, that the smritis were turned into "law" enforced by the state.

The reduction of dharma to concepts such as religion and law has harmful consequences: it places the study of dharma in Western frameworks, moving it away from the authority of its own exemplars. Moreover, it creates the false impression that dharma is similar to Christian ecclesiastical law-making and the related struggles for state power.

The result of equating dharma with religion in India has been disastrous: in the name of secularism, dharma has been subjected to the same limits as Christianity in Europe. A non-religious society may still be ethical without belief in God, but an a-dharmic society loses its ethical compass and falls into corruption and decadence.
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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 12 Feb 2013 10:28

Rudradev and Pranav ji,

Its fascinating that while "Hindu" was used as an ethnic slur for a certain period, the word for our neigbours in "Afghanistan" is a matching slur at its very root! I believe it is the Perso-Arab mispronunciation of Sanskrit "avagaNa-sthAna", which means "Land of deviant or less civilized tribes." It was applied not just to present day Afghanistan but basically the core of what was then Iranic and Scythian Central Asian lands. They proudly call themselves "Afghans" today, though I doubt they are aware of the origins of the name. :mrgreen: OTOH, "Hindu" came from Sindhu, which referred to the river, but it actually means the Ocean in Sanskrit. So the roots of the word are again in Sanskrit, and mean something rather beautiful, given the oceanic nature of Hinduism into which many ideological rivers flow! Its another thing that for a period the same word was used as a racial slur by our avagaNa friends. Ferishtah (16th century AD) has a dictionary in which some of the meanings for the word "Hindu" are "a wretch, a dark-skinned lowlife, a thief, a rascal." Yet, "Ferishtah" was only his nom de plume, his real name was Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah! So if our avagaNa converts gave "Hindu" a negative colour, we can probably put it down to self-loathing! :mrgreen:

So much for the politics of names! :)
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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 12 Feb 2013 10:35

Dharmic Idealism

Pranav wrote:
Rudradev wrote:in fact, the overwhelming predominance of navel-gazing introspection is one reason why the great mass of Hindu society could never orchestrate a pan-Indian resistance, while our civilizational, material and social wealth was being looted from under our noses.


IMHO, one weakness was that we lost sight with our core, universal Dharmic ideas, and became engrossed with particular forms and rituals. The forms and rituals have value if they are used for the purpose of enhancing our awareness of the core ideas. But without awareness of the core ideas, the forms and rituals are like a dead tree.

For example, many Indians men and women apply the traditional Tilak and Bindis, but how many of them are aware of the universal spiritual and yogic significance, which relates to the Ajna Chakra?

Can we be motivated to mobilize for Dharma Raksha when we are oblivious of real spirit of Dharma, which is common to all Dharmic traditions?

This is a good hypothesis, that our civilizational fragmentation was caused by us losing sight of our core, universal Dharmic ideas.

But how good are 'pure Dharmic ideas' good at resisting the assault by other ideas?

Earlier I gave a general list of assaults we have faced

RajeshA wrote:
  • Islamic Genocide of Brahmins,
  • Destruction of Libraries,
  • Sufi-Infiltration,
  • Islamic Rule,
  • Macaulayism,
  • Partition of Bharatvarsha,
  • Nehruvian-Secularism,
  • Aggressive Evanjihadism Proselytism,
  • Rapid Demographic Expansion of Abrahamic faiths,
  • Jaati-Compartmentalism and lastly
  • Yuppyism


I would probably include "Rapid Urbanization and Displacement" to that list.

The challenge with staying in Pure Dharmic Idealism is that that

  1. Idealism needs to be transferred without loss across generations
  2. Dharmic Idealism should not be corrupted by other Ideas, Perceptions, Reality Distortions, Propaganda, Temptations, Distractions or fall prey to Pragmatism.

When you have ideas being churned all the time, with new ideas coming forth, taking root in society; When you have new technologies coming in leading to different interaction models, one would always have an uphill task holding on to some Dharmic Idealistic purity. There will be benign as well as malignant contamination all the time.

Even if the Dharmic Idealism was transferred without loss from one generation to the next, the next generation grows up in a totally different world, a different environment. He has to learn anew how to apply that Dharmic Idealism in the newly changed world. Sometimes he may be able to do a proper migration of this applicability but other people may not, they may lack the wisdom to adjust their idealism for the changed world.

In the Dharmic Idealistic Model one is putting too many eggs in the hope that one mind can alight the mind of the next generation perfectly and each mind is capable of navigating the world despite this large scale intrusion of ideas from outside as well as change of technological and socio-organizational environments. So basically the model is based on too much Hope.

Rituals are often like trinkets which one takes along in one's journey, which tell one one's origin, and should in one one day the need arise to look back at one's roots, one would know where to search. Rituals are compasses, Rituals are breadcrumb trails.

Same is the function of Identity Tags, Cultural Symbols, etc. All these root you!

With pure Idealism one breaks the tether of the boot in a tumultuous sea with the hope one would be able to survive and return. It is good to have that confidence, but should one be advocating it to everybody else?

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2013 10:45

RajeshA wrote:But how good are 'pure Dharmic ideas' good at resisting the assault by other ideas?


First of all one needs an idea of what is worth defending, what one is fighting for. Furthemore, those universal core ideas are what unites us as a nation, across all regions and all Dharmic strands.

And we do have our strong traditions of Dharma Raksha, and Kshatriyataa.

Yadaa Yadaa hi Dharmasya ... etc.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Rudradev » 12 Feb 2013 10:53

Carl ji... fascinating tidbit about the etymology of "avagaNa"!

Pranav ji, I am very well versed with RM's positions, and in fact, I've done quite a bit of volunteer work with his Infinity Foundation. I believe you are completely missing the point of "non-translatable" here. Yes, as RM says, "Dharma" cannot be translated into English as "Religion" (and then be imbued with all the culture-specific connotations given to "religion" by Western Universalism.)

What I am talking about with "Dharma" is quite different... it is not a question of translation at all but it's use in INDIAN languages. Like it or not, it is used as the abstract term implying a belief system. And it has been so for nearly a thousand years. There is no question of a few English speakers like ourselves "reclaiming" it. "Reclaiming" from whom? Our own people?

For example: you go to any house in North India where some variety of Hindi is spoken. Ask the people there to define: "what is Islam?" I guarantee you that, in providing the definition, the people of most houses will use the term "Dharam". As for example "Islam Dharam ka ek prakaar hai" etc. The people concerned may have contempt or hatred for Islam but for the most part they will still use "Dharam" to define what Islam is.

Are you, or Shaurya, or Harbans ji going to go house-to-house in each and every town and village to re-educate all these people about what "Dharmic" means in their own language, in their own usage?

Do we not have a better use for our time and energy than that? All because some people have taqleef with the far more contextually-established and specific term "Hindu"!

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 12 Feb 2013 10:56

Pranav wrote:
RajeshA wrote:But how good are 'pure Dharmic ideas' good at resisting the assault by other ideas?


First of all one needs an idea of what is worth defending, what one is fighting for. Furthemore, those universal core ideas are what unites us as a nation, across all Dharmic strands.

And we do have our strong traditions of Dharma Raksha, and Kshatriyataa.

Yadaa Yadaa hi Dharmasya ... etc.


What is worth defending:

- Institutions which transmit Dharma and Sabhyata to new generations - Gurukuls, Libraries, Ancient University Tradition, Festivals, Rituals, Civilizational Environment

Of course when you are navel gazing, then many things do not seem important, as whatever one finds in one's navel, one does a neti-neti on it, throws it away and tries to go "deeper" into the navel of the navel, till one has nothing left. As a form of individual jnana search, it is okay, but the same process cannot be applied on the macro-level for the society!

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 12 Feb 2013 11:01

Pranav wrote:Furthemore, those universal core ideas are what unites us as a nation, across all regions and all Dharmic strands.


Nothing wrong with universal core ideas, but the danger is that when one starts exploring one's own heart, one should not start cutting up all that surrounds and supports it, the limbs, the chest, the legs, the head.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby member_20317 » 12 Feb 2013 11:02

brihaspati wrote:I am not saying "values" are unnecessary. But if there is no joy in seeking them out, and finding them too- the basic thread of our spirituality is lost. Too much formalism, too much rituals, too much emphasis on form and not on content and anudhaavan - those are accretions on our core, and pulls us down.



See that is why I love my people. I mean theat dhartiputras.

You call them by any name they reply 'Present maam'.

Hindu - Yes Sir,
Budhist - Yes Sir,
Indian - Present Sir,
Muslim - Yes maam,
Bhartiya - Aaho ji,
Moderinst etc. – Present

Saab samaj mein aaya? Yes maam!

The core of this country is the head nodding Indian. The guy comfortable in his meta-life. The man who would not go communist even when he is damn poor, the man who would not go modern even when his own people show him the shiny plastic, who would not hit back even when he is wronged but would not get evicted from under the piece of sky he has decided is his.

One of the big problem that goes with not getting acknowledged is that certain things for just that much longer remain unrecognized. And during this time slice people can get waylaid into believing that the only way to political success is the western way (which is basically Abrahmic in essence). A chain link armour like the Indian armour will never behave like the breastplate armor. So why draw a strategy around a breastplate armour?

At the end of the day if it does not get a Kaar seva from everybody in the village (even if not at the same time) it will remain fragmented. The fun part of this is simply ignored.

Does not fall on the people to wait till the last sulking man is happy but at least have the fun factor in fit and healthy. The sulking man will find it within himself to join in when his time comes.

I am happy with all the epithets (including cuss words) so long as I am allowed to play around with it. And pray tell me what is worth defending besides the adjectives and more like Kriya/Karm/Sadkarm.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Prem » 12 Feb 2013 11:10

Carl wrote:
brihaspati wrote:In all the above discussions, I pateinetly and eagerly waited for that joy. But there is no sense of this joy in our posts, the joy of a waiting rebirth - of new life force and spirit, that which does not hold on to the jeerna vaasa for dear life out of shame. Joy, "ananda" is the key to what we are, what we have been, and the core word of our spiritualism as well as values. We are looking for a cut and dry constitution, a samvidhana of spirit?!!! We are fighting over labels? I don't know what lies beyond, but it beckons. A renewed search and quest, that even is not confined to the terms of "dharma", is what is hinted at when even all "dharman" is asked to be "parityajya". I would urge people, those who can, go out in groups - take a chance - and sing "hari haraye... " in public. If possible. Let streams and rivulets start. Let it start raining. Let it become a flood.

Amen to that. :)


Too much talk takes the target away.!! Remove the Delusion, Come to conclusion and start the fusion. Not much time to Wait before its too late to seal the Fate . Initiate the Kriya , we know its never gonna be Priya . There is no other option but to break and beat the eggs to make good Omlete .
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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2013 11:11

Rudradev wrote:Carl ji... fascinating tidbit about the etymology of "avagaNa"!

Pranav ji, I am very well versed with RM's positions, and in fact, I've done quite a bit of volunteer work with his Infinity Foundation. I believe you are completely missing the point of "non-translatable" here. Yes, as RM says, "Dharma" cannot be translated into English as "Religion" (and then be imbued with all the culture-specific connotations given to "religion" by Western Universalism.)


Yes, as RM says Dharma should be translated neither as "religion" nor as "law".

What I am talking about with "Dharma" is quite different... it is not a question of translation at all but it's use in INDIAN languages. Like it or not, it is used as the abstract term implying a belief system. And it has been so for nearly a thousand years. There is no question of a few English speakers like ourselves "reclaiming" it. "Reclaiming" from whom? Our own people?

For example: you go to any house in North India where some variety of Hindi is spoken. Ask the people there to define: "what is Islam?" I guarantee you that, in providing the definition, the people of most houses will use the term "Dharam". As for example "Islam Dharam ka ek prakaar hai" etc. The people concerned may have contempt or hatred for Islam but for the most part they will still use "Dharam" to define what Islam is.

Are you, or Shaurya, or Harbans ji going to go house-to-house in each and every town and village to re-educate all these people about what "Dharmic" means in their own language, in their own usage?


Well, if our own people have been using terms misguidedly, then they should be educated. And the confusion is compounded by the fact that many of our people do not sufficiently understand their own Dharma ... for many it is a set of empty, hollowed out forms and rituals. So they have no problem with equating their own rituals (whose significance they are oblivious of) with the doctrines of the Abrahamics.

Now although I personally do not favour the "Hindu" label, I care less about the label than about the core, universal ideas. If we can educate people about the underlying foundations of Dharma, then that is good, irrespective of the label used. But if the label you are using causes Takleef to a significant number of people, then the label is not serving its purpose. We want to unite across all Dharmic strands and all regions. And if you go to the core universal ideas, there is a sound basis for such unification.
Last edited by Pranav on 12 Feb 2013 13:25, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2013 11:26

RajeshA wrote:
Pranav wrote:First of all one needs an idea of what is worth defending, what one is fighting for. Furthemore, those universal core ideas are what unites us as a nation, across all Dharmic strands.

And we do have our strong traditions of Dharma Raksha, and Kshatriyataa.

Yadaa Yadaa hi Dharmasya ... etc.


What is worth defending:

- Institutions which transmit Dharma and Sabhyata to new generations - Gurukuls, Libraries, Ancient University Tradition, Festivals, Rituals, Civilizational Environment

Of course when you are navel gazing, then many things do not seem important, as whatever one finds in one's navel, one does a neti-neti on it, throws it away and tries to go "deeper" into the navel of the navel, till one has nothing left. As a form of individual jnana search, it is okay, but the same process cannot be applied on the macro-level for the society!


What is worth defending is all the systems, practices, knowledge and infrastructure that facilitates human evolution, which is the ultimate purpose of human existence. And that is also the purpose of the existence of a state, for that matter.
Last edited by Pranav on 12 Feb 2013 11:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby member_20317 » 12 Feb 2013 11:40

Ok if anybody is not writing about the following from now on and things of this nature then I threaten I will move over to Nukkad and L&M and cause you guys a lot of takleef and also to them over there:


1) Gurukuls, Libraries, Ancient University Tradition, Festivals, Rituals, Civilizational Environment

2) all the systems, practices, knowledge and infrastructure that facilitates human evolution

No more adjectives please. Only providing the basis for the above items which constitute 3/4th of the thread focus.

The thread title besides talking of Identities also mentions Vision, Agenda and Propositions.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2013 11:44

RajeshA wrote:
Pranav wrote:Furthemore, those universal core ideas are what unites us as a nation, across all regions and all Dharmic strands.


Nothing wrong with universal core ideas, but the danger is that when one starts exploring one's own heart, one should not start cutting up all that surrounds and supports it, the limbs, the chest, the legs, the head.


That is a perfectly valid point ... but different individuals may prefer to support the same "heart" in different ways.

One can enjoy the variety ... from the Yogi in a cave in the Himalayas to the Pujas at Ramakrishna's Dakshineswar Kali temple.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Rudradev » 12 Feb 2013 12:06

Pranav wrote:
Well, if our own people have been using terms misguidedly, then they should be educated.


Well, on the one hand, you have crores of Indians who, for 50-odd generations, have been using the term "Dharam" as an abstract noun applicable to Abrahamic religions... in their own language. On the other you have a handful of Dharmic idealists who are a mere subset of users on Bharat-Rakshak forum. We might want to reconsider who is in need of education.

Now although I personally find the "Hindu" label distasteful, I care less about the label than about the core, universal ideas. If we can educate people about the underlying foundations of Dharma, then that is good, irrespective of the label used. But if the label you are using causes Takleef to some people like Buddhists and Sikhs, then the label is not serving its purpose. We want to unite across all Dharmic strands and all regions. And if you go to the core universal ideas, there is a sound basis for such unification.


Pranav ji, let me ask you this. Suppose you move to a Western country (assuming you don't already live in one.) And your colleagues and neighbours there have Takleef pronouncing your name "Pranav." Would you change your name to "Paul" to make them more comfortable?

Let's go a step further. Let's say it's only a small minority of the acquaintances in your adopted Western country who have a problem saying "Pranav". What then? Is that enough reason for "Pranav" to become "Paul", or "Rajesh" to become "Roger", or "Rudradev" to become "Dave"? How about our family names, which are so much more uncomfortable for Westerners to pronounce? Would you change yours?

If you would not... then why are you being so generous with changing the name of my civilization, my heritage, and the heritage with which nearly 80 crore Indians identify? You may find the "Hindu" label distasteful... well, that is your prerogative to stop identifying with it. Do you expect me, and crores of others who identify as "Hindu", to reject the identity of "Hindu"? And for what... so that Sikhs and Buddhists will "feel happy"?

My personal belief is that Sikhs and Buddhists are not anywhere near as stupid, malleable, or victimhood-prone as the Italian National Congress traditionally assumes all "minorities" to be. Sikhs and Buddhists have lived with Hindus long before there was any Italian National Congress or any Republic of India... and they have thrived alongside. Some of the core characteristics of their belief system match those of Hindus... some are different... none are incompatible. And they KNOW it. They know from ancestral experience that Hindus will offer Mutual Respect to their faiths, treat them as equally valid paths to the truth, like no other people will-- as long as they offer Mutual Respect for Hindu identity in return. Does the average Sikh think he would be better off in Pakistan? Does the average Buddhist look at the Islamists in Burma, Thailand etc. and think "they are no different from Hindus?" The identification at a higher plane already exists, as an ingrained attribute of cultural heritage. Calling this attribute by the imaginary name "Dharma" instead of accepting it for what it is... the hard-wired Mutual Respect offered by Hinduism... is like changing your name to "Paul" before you even get on the plane.

The Taqleef some Sikhs and Buddhists may feel has nothing whatsoever to do with Hindu identity or civilizational heritage... even if some opportunists have been coached as public mouthpieces to present it in that way. It has everything to do with how the Italian National Congress has, and continues to exploit every single indigenous identity within India to leverage a colonial-style divide-and-rule process of seeking and retaining power.

Do not fear. The Hindu has nothing to apologize for. He has had a relationship with these other faiths you call "Dharmic", for centuries or millennia, based on mutual respect and understanding as the basis of coexistence. There is no need whatsoever for those of us who identify as Hindu to change the name of what is our civilizational legacy. Those who suggest we need to change it are the ones reeling from judgment clouded by fear, paranoia and reactionaryism. Those who suggest we drop "Hindu" for "Dharmic" or "Indic" or some such fabrication, are the ones who have already bought into the Italian National Congress game hook, line and sinker. It is they who will ultimately do more harm to India than any Abrahamic proselytizers or jihadists could ever accomplish on their own.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby member_20317 » 12 Feb 2013 13:03

Ok lets say instead of deciding what a word means, lets just take up whatever is happening as our own and put a word to describe it for the time being thought not for all times to come. Lets just leave some margin for the late sleepers and late risers. Also at the same time lets just decide if these things we should be committing to or not for the present.

Basically taking up responsibility for all the bums of this land and other seeds scattered in other countries.

Aayiye mere kandhe par baithiye but kindly mere kaan mein nahi mutiye.

Working towards the good of all, may be not at the same time and not all at once, but damn surely at some point regardless of all the chit-vrities.

‘What is it that upholds’, ‘Why to uphold’ etc. may have differences but ‘what is to be upheld’ is where the interpersonal relationships get decided. The establishment of Sapeksha Dharm on a common point. In much the same way that all the varied Dharmics of yore decided not to abuse the other.

So no chori-chakari, no padosan ko line marna, no nasha baazi, no dul-mul, no makkaari…. If not for anything else then for at least to keep others from doing that to me. If somebody can find some higher reason for not doing these things to others, then all power to this new Rishi. I will change my Gotra to whatever new Gotra is started by this Rishi.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby member_23686 » 12 Feb 2013 13:31

rudradev ji +108 to everything

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby member_23686 » 12 Feb 2013 13:41

i dont get a few things-

1. does anyone think that 80 crore hindus are going to wake up one fine day and start calling themselves dharmik/ sanatan dharmi/ scientologists?

2. does anyone think that 40 crore hindu women would suddenly become aware of chakras and kundalini of bindis?

3. does anyone think that a millenia worth of historical baggage would be shed in a day?

4. does anyone think that all those women who performed jauhar would be forgotten overnight?

5. does anyone think that all those textbooks which denigrate our memes would suddenly vanish?

6. does anyone think that rajiv malhotra is as famous outside this forum as he is among us

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby member_23686 » 12 Feb 2013 13:50

there is some serious effort going around on this forum even. it is no different from what we are being told in main stream media and formal educational institutes and peer reviewed journals.

we are being told to change a few things otherwise we wont be acceptable to sikhs and buddhists. we'll then be asked to change some more to be acceptable to bigger minorities.

no matter what we do everything is bad with hindus only and we should be the one adjusting.

whatever they have is theirs and everything we own is negotiable.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Atri » 12 Feb 2013 15:27

devesh wrote:Atri ji,

your post on the last page is interesting. especially where you mention that even "Hindu" is becoming an "obstacle". I don't share the same view on that. OBC's, afaik, very much want to be a part of the "Hindu" and put themselves in that category willingly. "Hindu" is the most identified with and the most logical grouping for Indics of modern day to regain the Bharatiya darshan.


Devesh garu,

let me rephrase my stand..

1. I do not have problems with "Hindu". I have made it clear in previous post. I am a Hindu and a "hindutvavadi".. I have not advocated giving up this tag. I have said that it is essential and potent.

2. I have only put the context in which Hindu is used and is potent. That is a religious context. While dealing with foreigners, we do not require this tag (arabs Vs rajputs, Indian independence struggle). Its dharmaarthikly relevant when dealing with indigenous folk following foreign religion and acting against interests of India and her native civilization.

3. India is a "hindu nation", since eternity. By that I mean, even when the name tag "hindu" was not popular, India was nation based on same values and civilizational unity as it is today with "hindu" name tag.

4. When I said, it is becoming an obstacle, it was in reference to the west-spearheaded globalizing force which is threatening the dharmarthik interests of India.

5. We have devout and practicing Hindus in position of numerical superiority and power in places like Trinidad, Fiji, Mauritius etc. Yet, the dharmaarthik policies of these nations are not "hindu", they are firmly "western".

6. "Hindu" evolved in response to the imposition of concept of "religion" on "us" from sections of "our" society which converted to "religions" and started persecuting those who hadn't. As long as the imposers were foreign, we did not need this tag.

7. I am merely asking to acknowledge the presence of second antagonistic globalizing force (I request you all to help me name this force, I am not able to find an apt name) which has forced us to have a dharmarthik identity. Hindu identity is religious identity which is good while engaging with Muslims an Christians. My emphasis on Hindu has nothing to do with what some Sikhs and Buddhists think. I call them as "hindus". We are facing two-pronged threat, hence we need two faces to address them both.

8. Like Ganda-Berunda, we need a body with two faces (Hindu and another dharmaarthik identity) to tackle two foes - Abrahmism and Globalizing western secularism, respectively. (a suggestion for new name would be appreciated)

9. Regarding OBC, this is precisely what I said. The Hindu conscience of OBC is on the rise and this is very good news for India..

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 12 Feb 2013 16:43

What is Hindu Dharma?

Over several posts, I have gone into this topic,

  1. Definitions
  2. Anchors of Bharatiya Dharmic Evolution
  3. Basics of 'Hindu'
  4. Why is 'Hindu' non-negotiable?
  5. What does 'Hindu' embody?
  6. Disabusing 'Hindutva's Image Problem
  7. Do we need 'Hinduism'?
  8. Pros and Cons of 'Hinduism'?
  9. 'Hinduism' - The Trojan Horse
  10. Vaidik Dharmics ⊂ Hindus

Atri garu has gone into the problems with the use of identity markers. Atri garu also writes what Hindu encompasses

Atri wrote:Look at pre-islamic times -

While discussing on Dharmik debates, we had various identities (one belonged to Manu's school, OR yagnavalkya's school OR apastambha's school etc). While discussing on aarthik debates, we had various identities (chankian, vidurian, bheeshman, shukracharyian, etc)
heck, even on Kaama matters, we had people who were "vatsayanaian" or jayadevian etc..
and of course we had sankhya-yoga-bauddha-vedanta etc for moksha matters..

"Hindu" encompasses all of these against "Muslim" or "Christian".


Rudradev ji writes
Giving up a Hindu identity in favour of new fangled, politically correct fabrications is a big step towards such extinction. It amounts to kicking away the few yards of ground left beneath our collective feet, in the hope that we can all be happy under water.

This is why I regard the purva-paksha of Rajiv Malhotra as by far the most important new idea to emerge from within the sphere of Hindu thought, possibly since independence. As many on this thread have observed, you cannot place Hindu Dharma in a box, or constrain it within some narrow schema of doctrine; it defies containment. Hindus cannot face the West (or even the Adharmics who run rampant within India herself) by assuming a Western-style identity based on an ordinate set of "values", i.e. by defining ourselves along rule-sets predetermined by Adharmic systems. Rajiv Malhotra takes the opposite approach, and begins by defining what Hinduism is not... in opposition to Western, Chinese and Islamic systems. By focusing on the face the outsider sees, he arrives at the only practical method of providing a common identity to us all. If a more relevant or effective approach exists to address the problems we face today, I haven't come across it. Purva-paksha was a critically important tool for Hindus facing the intra-dharmic challenges of Buddha/Jaina paths in the first millennium CE, and I have every reason to believe it will achieve the same success against the external adharmic challenges we face today. At no time was relinquishing the "Hindu" identity ever necessary.


brihaspati garu wrote
My example was to illustrate the problem of having to be limited by hard stated values, and not principles that can be used to decide on a wide variety of deviations from exemplary cited cases. On the other hand, making the principle too relative ["truth" may depend on perception in some cases] may not help us in pinpointing clarifying decisions.

Thus trying to define "dharma" by practice would have to necessarily come down to the level of a "code bill" and hence will catch all the limitations of language, and that of a particular human social experience in a given time and place. Sooner or later some will take "dharma" and "practice" to be equivalent, and would see disaster when the laws need to be changed or if they are not changed - they will be thrown out by large numbers of people anyway - and then "dharma" will seem to have been thrown away.

We need to be careful in tying up dharma with a specific table of values of applicable importance. Application ties down the principle. Its almost like trying to illustrate a theorem by examples and then forgetting that the examples are special cases of a more general result. Some may find an example that differs radically in values and output - and because it differs dramatically from the previously cited examples - claims that the "theorem" is wrong and to be discarded.


Do we ask ourselves why the term 'Hindu' is so dear to some and so loathsome to others. Why do we hang on to this identity marker 'Hindu'? We already have ways to denote us. In Bharat, all Sampradayas had their own ways to denote themselves - Sanatan Dharma, Arya Samaj, Sikh Dharma, Jain Dharma, Buddh Dharma, Cārvāka, etc. So why do we need 'Hindu'? Is it as a collective for all the above mentioned Dharmic Sampradayas? Hardly, as with time, machinations of Nehruvian-Secularism have ensured that except for Sanatan Dharma, others go at a distance from it.

I think the confusion in Bharat really started when we stopped doing the neti neti. It is this principle which has practically built up our knowledge base about the world and more importantly about us. But we have ignored it for too long. That is why Rajiv Malhotra has been a breath of fresh air for Bharatiya intellectual pursuit.

I think now I can dare to suggest what Hindu Dharma is, as the idea has now crystallized enough for me.

I wrote in the first post of this process of inquiry:
RajeshA wrote:Definition of Hindu - Any ethnic Indian who follows the traditions originating in the Indian Subcontinent.

I revised it later on to
RajeshA wrote:Hindu: Set {all inhabitants of India} - Set {all inhabitants adhering to foreign religions}

I revised it still further
RajeshA wrote:So 'Hindus' became the Target. But a target resists, and as we as 'Hindus' also became the Resistance.

So the term 'Hindu' from the Islamic PoV became the Target, and the term 'Hindu' from the Bharatiya PoV became the Resistance.

The Hindus were all those in Bharatvarsha who resisted the Islamic assault on Bharatiya Sabhyata, which tried to not only convert the religion of Bharatiyas to Islam but tried to also change the allegiance of Bharatiyas to another 'civilization', the Islamic Civilization.

The Islamics, the 'Targeters' defined the 'Target' and from their definition of 'Target', the Bharatiyas defined the 'Resistance' and the name of this Resistance was 'Hindu'.


The problem of defining 'Hindu' and the problem of looking for some Dharmic Code of Values to put in the Indian Constitution are one and the same.

We have been trying to find out what are "those core, universal Dharmic ideas" which bind us all together and then some of us are looking at ways on how to formulate them for an ideal Constitution and around those ideas to find some commonality.

Also the Sanataniks :) have done their part to inject 'Hinduism' with all of our Sanatan Dharma and to call these equivalent.

The Problem is what I call "Definition by Positive Content". It is the inverse of neti neti. Instead of being "not this, not that" we end up defining ourselves by "this, and this, and this, and ..." A "Definition by Positive Content" would ultimately miss out something, or due to inadequate formulation leave something to misunderstanding or mischief. Now it is admirable that the various Dharmic Sampradayas have been able to give some Gestalt to their essence, but that also means that it has taken long deliberations in many smritis and shastras to arrive at their self-definition, and before that much neti neti has been done. So whereas referencing various concepts from these smritis and shastras is fully okay, distilling these smritis and shastras for some lowest common denominator is a risky task.

So when we approach the issue of defining 'Hindu Dharma' we are faced with a similar challenge.

As many of us already 'feel' the term 'Hindu' is much broader than Sanatan Dharma and in fact has a totally different origin and evolution.

'Hindu Dharma' needs it own neti neti in order to better understand itself. But the 'Hindu' identity was forged in the fires of Resistance, so I would claim that a "Definition by Positive Content" is simply wrong and impossible. The Hindu identity itself means "Neti Neti". It means "We are not this Muslim, We are not that Christian". The Hindu Identity can only be defined by underlining WHAT 'HINDU' IS NOT, it can only be defined by underlining WHY 'HINDU' IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH ISLAM and CHRISTIANITY. Hindu Dharma can only be defined using a "Definition of Negative Content".

So 'Hindu Dharma' has three constituents
  1. The historical physical resistance to Islam and Christianism, to all foreign predatory expansionary imperialistic religious ideologies

  2. The modern intellectual resistance to Islam and Christianism, which are expanding in India under the protective shielding of Nehruvian-Secularism.

  3. The traditional cultural resistance to Islam and Christianism, where each and every Dharmic Sampradaya, be they Sanataniks, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Animists, Nastiks, whatever Bharatiyas go and nurture their culture and as well as the common Bharatiya cultural heritage. We resist by retaining our culture. Hindu Dharma is however not in the business of prescribing any religious rituals. All that is outsourced to the various individual Dharmic Sampradayas and Samskaras

As far as cultural resistance is concerned, Rajiv Malhotra has spoken of at length about digestion and inculturation practices of Christianists in India - Christian Yoga, Christian Bharat Natyam, etc. Similarly Nehruvian-Secularists have tried to promote the West Asian cultural enrichment of India even to the extent of India's defining culture.

As far as intellectual resistance is concerned, we need to better differentiate between us and them. 'Hindu Dharma' would be defined by the exact practices we cannot allow the Islamists and Christianists in India to follow in India, and perhaps one day we can define that for the world as well. 'Hindu Dharma' would be defined by 'Resistance to all the Adharma of Islam and Christnism'.

Closing the circle, in the beginning I wrote a few posts on my "Purva Paksha" of Islam

  1. Differences: Direct Transceivers
  2. Differences: Sitting for the Exam
  3. Differences: Saving the Native
  4. Differences: Clerical Power

Put in a box - Hindu Dharma is very intolerant! :wink: Hindu Dharma is very very intolerant of Adharma. That is the Hindu Dharma we need to awaken.

After all in order to recognize Adharma we need to either recognize transgressions of Dharma or do a Purva Paksha of recognized Adharmic ideological systems. Being Dharmic too is all about countenancing Adharma, and for that we need to recognize Adharma first.

Nehruvian-Secularism is the wool put on on our eyes so that we cannot recognize Adharma and thus do our Dharmic duty, thereby allowing Adharma to spread and flourish in the land of Dharma.

When we say we want a Hindutvavadi Bharat or a Hindutvavadi Constitution, what we mean is that this "Intolerance for Adharma" as determined by a proper Purva Paksha should be embedded within the Constitution.
Last edited by RajeshA on 12 Feb 2013 17:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2013 17:29

RajeshA wrote:The Hindu identity itself means "Neti Neti". It means "We are not this Muslim, We are not that Christian". The Hindu Identity can only be defined by underlining WHAT 'HINDU' IS NOT, it can only be defined by underlining WHY 'HINDU' IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH ISLAM and CHRISTIANITY. Hindu Dharma can only be defined using a "Definition of Negative Content".


IMHO, Christianity and Islam each need to be understood separately.

In the case of Christianity, the Church organizations are political animals and are tools of western neo-imperialistic machination. But there is the possibility of the founder being absorbed into a Dharmic framework, albeit after interpretation of his teachings from a Dharmic POV.

In the case of Islam there does not seem to be any possibility of the founder being compatible with a Dharmic framework. But arguably, the political challenge from Islamism is less coherent and organized as compared to the Church.
Last edited by Pranav on 12 Feb 2013 18:19, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 12 Feb 2013 17:34

Pranav wrote:
RajeshA wrote:The Hindu identity itself means "Neti Neti". It means "We are not this Muslim, We are not that Christian". The Hindu Identity can only be defined by underlining WHAT 'HINDU' IS NOT, it can only be defined by underlining WHY 'HINDU' IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH ISLAM and CHRISTIANITY. Hindu Dharma can only be defined using a "Definition of Negative Content".


IMHO, Christianity and Islam each need to be understood separately.

In the case of Christianity, the Church organizations are political animals and are tools of neo-imperialistic machination. But there is the possibility of the founder being absorbed into a Dharmic framework.

In the case of Islam there does not seem to be any possibility of the founder being compatible with a Dharmic framework.

Perhaps I should say Christianism instead of Christianity to emphasize the role of the Church.

Pranav wrote:But arguably, the political, neo-imperialistic challenge from Islamism is less coherent and organized as compared with the Church.

This is debatable. Islam just works differently but I would call it more driven and effective. In a few decades Islam would have taken over Europe - the bastion of Christianity.


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