Literature: Satavahana Hala’s Gathasaptasati

Having previously commenced our study of Classical Indic Literature, we now take our first look at Classical Indic Poetry. Appropriately, our first selection is from Andhra itself and dates back to the glorious Empire of the Satavahanas.  This great dynasty featured mighty Conquerors such as Gautamiputra Satakarni and is famed for the Art & Architecture of Amaravati. However, it also produced talented poets such as Hala, an earlier dynast. He was the compiler of and contributor to the Poetic Anthology Gathasaptasati (known as Gaha Sattasai in the Maharashtri Prakrit in which it is composed).

Translated into many Indian, European, and Middle Eastern languages, the Sapta sati (also known as Gaha koso—or ‘Treasury of Gathas’)  is considered to be one of the earliest surviving anthologies of Classical Indic Poetry.

Composition

While Sanskrit reads in an highly refined and courtly fashion, Prakrit is far more bucolic and earthy, fitting for the red earth of the Krishna-Godavari. Indeed, if Sanskrit literally means “refined”, Prakrit literally means “natural” and “common”. As such, while composed by none other than a great king, this work is appropriately written from the common woman’s perspective. Indeed, it is a fitting riposte to all those who seek to brand Classical Indic Literature as “elitist” and disconnected from the masses.  Rather, it intimates a close awareness and love for village life and the village itself. While it is indeed Love Poetry, it is as much an ode to the Dakshinapatha (Deccan), its rivers, its plant life, and its rural life. Gardens, assorted flowers, maidens, ploughmen, hunters, and sisters are all mentioned and appreciated. Indeed, it is a celebration of the common life.  From festivals, to bucolic happenings, to sylvan hideaways, to the qualities of good men and good women, we are given a a snapshot of the time.

Replete with imagery, the Godavari River itself is treated by the Gathasaptasati as a metaphor for the flow of love and desire. The banks of the nadi are viewed as a near aphrodisiac.  It has, with good reason, been called “a woman’s book, a compendium of her gestures, utterances and silences“. [1]

Foreign commentators have had a tendency to over-emphasise the wanton and libertine while ignoring the loyal and chaste. Here is counter-evidence to their claims:

house-wives entreat people going to the places of work of their husbands, to ask their husbands to return home earlier, or if they are literate they themselves send to their husband love-letters with similar request.”[2, xvii]

“Even a wife of noble family used to keep in writing on a wall of her house the last  promised day of return to her husband (2.70). Such a lady often repeats many a time the words of her husband sent to her through a messenger (2.98)” [2, xix]

“In this way we come across many a passage suggestive of deep love on the part of husband & the wife” [2, xvii]

There is a full spectrum to love, and Sringara-kavya necessarily will cover both the negative and the positive. While it is true, in general, classical poets for the sake of auspiciousness (mangalam), prefer to focus on successful and faithful lovers, Haala gives us a full picture of the society, any society. The gossipy and guilty village-woman, the youthful ploughman, and the faithful wife and husband, all are captured here in verse.

Contrary to modern characterisations, kavya literature is neither uniformly prudish nor prurient. It very much runs the gamut, as do Hala’s 700 single verse poems (Sapta – satti), in Gatha form (the Prakrit counterpart to the Sanskrit Sloka and the Apabramsha Doha). Satakas are famous in Telugu literature, and the pre-Literary Telugu period of the Andhras was no different. A gatha, or song, consists of as many as 27 different variations, but is generally structured with 30 matras (syllabic instants) in the first line, and 27 in the second line. It is composed in the traditional Arya meter.

Elsewhere a prakrit gatha is defined as:

Pathamam vaaraha mattaa veeae atthaaraehi samjuttaa |

jaha patamam taha teeam dapancha-vihoosiyaa gaahaa ||

That is called a gaaha or gaathaa which contains twelve maatraas in the first foot, eighteen in the second, again twelve in the third & fifteen decorating it in the fourth.” [2,ix]

The Kashmiri literary theorist, Anandavardhana wrote on the importance of dhvani, or resonance, in his suitably titled Dhvanyaloka. According to him, the gatha is the poetic embodiment of dhvani, and he himself was a poet in Prakrit. Indeed, in contrast to the ornamental and elegant Sanskrit of Kalidasa, the Prakrit of Hala et al truly resonates in unadorned yet evocative form. Simple, quick, and powerful.

Filled with vyanjanaa (suggestiveness), it is a work that appeals to the reader not only with sentiment, but with resonant simplicity. Earthy yet profound, rustic yet refined, it is redolent with the full spectrum of romance. At times insightful, at times humourous, at times chiding, and at times ennobling, it is a complete work. 262 authors are thought to have contributed (including 7 women). The Emperor Hala himself is credited with 44 of the 398 slokas. The colophon of each century of poems ends as follows:

Here ends the [first] century of gaathas from amongst the seven centuries, composed by good poets headed by Kavivatsala, which are so dear to the heart of men of taste (or sentiment). [2,23]

Writers such as   Abhinavagupta (Kashmiri commentator), Kuntala (Vakrokti), Mahimabhatta (Vyaktiviveka), and Mammata, the author of the Kavyaprakasa, and others, have all cited this famed poem as examples for their theory. [2, x]. The Bana himself said the following, ostensibly in reference to Hala:

Avinaasinam-agraamyyam-akarot Saatavaahanah|

visuddha-jaatibhih kosam ratnair-iva subhaasithaih||

Just as (a king) collects a treasure which is inexhaustible and worthy of use by refined people, by means of jewels of pure kind, so the Saatavaahan (King) prepared an anthology which is imperishable and un-vulgar, by means of apposite sayings, which abound in pure jaati or Svabhaavikti alamkaara. [2, xi]

The sthayibhava and rasa are undoubtedly Rati and Sringara respectively. The anthology records every day trials and tribulations of Love and the Erotic, as well as the ebb and flow of affection. Indeed, it describes the escapades of various lovers and how they seek each others forgiveness, while others remain loyal. As described in our previous post, merely because the masses fall short of the ideal, should not mean that people should refrain from aspiring to them. Many of the descriptions are indeed erotic, touching on both the romantic and physical nature of love in real life. The poem itself exhorts virtue in those who seek to attract a beloved.

It is by dint of virtues that a (female) person obtains a (male) person who is worthy of being seen with unsatiated looks, who is equally affected
(with his beloved) in weal and woe, who offers good disposition and who is mutually attached to the heart  (99) [2, 23]

Author

Not much is known about Emperor Hala (pronounced Haala). According to Western archaeology he is tentatively dated to between 200 BCE and 200 CE (but likely much earlier according to the indigenous Indic Chronology). The 17th Satavahana dynast in the pauranic king lists, Hala himself is called Kavi-vatsala (‘he who has parental affection for poets‘). Considered to be religious, he is famous for his patronage of Prakrit over the more popular and elite Sanskrit of the time. Despite this, the influence of his anthology extended to poets centuries after him, such as Govardhana, who wrote the Sanskrit work, Aryasaptasati . He is mentioned by many other Pan-India litterateurs such as Bana of Harsacarita fame.

Maharashtri Prakrit was considered the finest of all Prakrits, and is appropriately used in this work and many other classical ones. Only a portion of the Gathasaptasati, 44 of the 700 verses, are attributed to the Satavahana Emperor. The remainder are said to have been collected from assorted poets, most anonymous. There were as many as 7 or 8 women poets  in an estimated 261 total, truly making it the poetry of the people.

The selection below, however, gives a only a taste of rati bhava and focuses more on sringara rasa. Enjoy.

Selections

§

Pia-viraho aappia-damsanam aa guruaaien dho vi dukkhaien|

Jie tum karijjasi theeain namo aahijaaie||

Separated from the woman you love,

To sit beside one you do not is

To double your sorrow. I honour

The goodness that brings you. (24)

§

Adrisanena pemmam aaveai ai-damsanena vi aaveai|

Pisuna-jana-jimpaina vi aave ai aimeaa vi aave ai||

Distance destroys love,

So does the lack of it.

Gossip destroys love

And sometimes

It takes nothing

To destroy love. (81)

§

Bahu-pupaph-bharonamiaa-bhoomi-gaa-saaha sunasu vinnatthim|

Rolaa-tad-viaad-kudangam-mahuaa saniaam galijjaasu||

Oh Mahua

Blossomed

On Godavari’s

Arboured bank

Shed

Your flowers

One

After

One (103)

§

Sama-sokakh-paivadadiaanaum kaalena rooda-pemmaanaum|

Mihunaanaum marada jam tham khu jiaai aiaaram muaam ho ai||

Their love by long years secured,

Sharing each other’s joys and sorrows,

Of such two the first to go lives,

It’s the other, dies. (142)

§

Bahu-viha-vilaasa-rasiai surai mahilaanaun ko uvajjhaao|

Sikkhaee aasikkhiaaeen vi savvo nehaanu bandhena||

Bookish lovemaking

Is soon repetitive:

It’s the improvised style

Wins my heart. (274)

§

Rannaau thanam rannaau paaniaam savvaam saam-gaaham|

thaha vi maaun maeen aa aamarananthaaeen pemmaaeen||

Stag and doe

Enter the forest

Separately looking for

Herbage and water,

And stay unparted

Till death. (287)

§

Lajjaa chatthaa seelam aa khandaam aajasa-gosanaa dhinnaa|

Jassa kai nam piaa-sahi so ccheaa jano jano jaaao||

He, for whom I forsook

Shame, chastity, honour,

Now sees me as just

Another woman. (525)

§

Muha-pecchaao paee se saa vi hu savisesa-damsanumbaeeaa|

do vi kaatthaa puhaeen aamahila-purisam va mannannthi||

He looks deeply in her face;

She is sunk in his vision

Thus looking at each other in great joy

As if for them they were all alone in the world. (743)

§

It is available for Purchase today in Telugu and English editions:

Prakruta Gatha Saptasati                                                                           The Prakrit Gatha Saptasati

References:
  1. Mehrotra, Arvind Krishna. The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry from the Gathasaptasati of Satavahana Hala. Penguin: Delhi. 2008
  2. Basak, Radhagovinda. The Prakrit Gatha Saptasati. Kolkata: The Asiatic Society. 2010
  3. Peter Khoroche; Herman Tieken (2009), Poems on life and love in ancient India: Hāla’s Sattasaī
  4. Amaresh Datta (1988) Encyclopaedia of Indian literature vol. 2 Chennai: Sahitya Academy
  5. Winternitz, Maurice. History of Indian Literature. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. 1985


* Numbering diverges from original. Done according to Albrecht Weber's German translation.

Sulbasutras & the Indic Approach to Engineering — 2


Summary

Part-1 focused on the transcendental objective of the Sulba Sutras. Geometrical metaphors and algebraic ideas emerge from the system of correspondences (bandhus) established in the Yagna [3, 4, 5]. This results in a natural unity among seemingly diverse disciplines such as ganita/engineering and Indic art/architecture.

Sulba Sutras & the Indic Approach to Engineering — 1

Geometrical Science and Engineering Principles 

This post is a limited-sample study of the engineering and geometrical principles discernible from the Harappan era through the Sulbasutra period. It is divided into two sections. It may be convenient to use the page jumps provided to navigate through this post.  As always, the references at the end will offer a more comprehensive view of these topics.

Section 1: Harappan Engineering
Section 2: Sulba Vijnana

Harappan Engineering

Although the Saraswati script is yet to reveal all its secrets, the Harappan constructions speak the universal language of Ganita.

In this section, we study how key structural engineering innovations of the Sindhu Saraswati Civilization emerge from kshetraganita. The Harappans made astounding progress in urban planning, sanitation, residential and public works, water resources management, and other areas. The excavations from that time period provide a snapshot of the state of Indic engineering in the 4th-3rd millennium BCE [15, 17].

We distill key points from Michel Danino’s talk at IIT-Madras and other references:

  • Geometry of the Harappan Brick (~3000 BCE)
    • Some length-width-height ratios for bricks are preferable to others depending on the context. The dimensions adopted by Harappan brick-makers were simple and special and in a modern ratio of 1:2:4.
    • This brick geometry results in a structurally effective and economical bond. Summarizing his remarks, Danino states that their brickwork should be termed the Harappan bond rather than the English bond.
    • Multiple researchers have commented on the quality and design of these bricks.   K. N. Dikshit observed [23]: “the bricks used for the building of houses in Mohenjo Daro and Harappa are well burnt and of excellent proportions,  which have excited the admiration of modern engineers in Sind. The most usual size of burnt bricks is 11’’× 5 1/4” or 5 1/2” with a thickness of 2 1/4” to 2 3/4”.
  • Highly polished and level stone segments as building blocks
    • Modularity: Bricks combine to form transverse elements. Highly polished and level stone column segments were combined into vertical pillars. Tapering may enhance stability and aesthetics. The column sections can be crafted elsewhere and easily transported to site and assembled as a pillar to the desired height.
    • Another theory cited in Danino’s talk that needs to be tested is that such segmented stone pillars may better resist earthquakes in a seismically active zone where un-reinforced brick masonry can be vulnerable.
    • Earthquake impact can be represented as a dynamic lateral acceleration  at the base of a structure. A rigid-body monolithic column would transmit the entire impact up to the rest of the structure whereas highly polished segmented sections can shift relative to each other.
  • Harappan wells (~2600 BCE)
    • It is worth studying this example in some detail since this involves a remarkable breakthrough. In Mohenjodaro, the water table was known to be high. Underground infiltration generates pressure on the outside of the well-wall.
    • If regular bricks are used, the pressure on the underground brickwork (up to 20 meters deep) eventually triggers a collapse inward into the well [15, 18]. How did the Harappans solve this problem?
    • Bricks as structural elements perform well under a compression load. The ancient Indian engineers harnessed the brick’s compressive strength by altering the geometry of their bricks.

    • Employing trapezoidal bricks that taper inward results in a circular wall as shown in the picture below. Arch action is initiated by any external pressure and gets transmitted throughout the trapezoidal bricks as a compressive impact.
    • The bricks self-organize in harmony with their geometry and lock together, resulting in static equilibrium, and do not cave-in.
    • The degree of tapering and the well geometry are interrelated: If (R, r) is the outer and inner radius of the well, the altitude of the trapezoid is (R-r) and the ratio of the lengths of the parallel sides is r/R.
    • This circular-arch well that resists external water pressure is the earliest known example of the structurally true arch, which Prof. Danino notes, qualifies as an invention by Harappan hydro engineers.
    • There is no evidence yet that this invention was transposed by 90° to build true vertical arches to resist gravity load instead of water pressure. Mohenjodaro’s drains employed corbelled arches. 2000 years after the Harappans, the Roman engineers became famous for their use of vertical arches, and as Prof. Danino notes, they were unaware of this horizontal arch well innovation.
    • Additional structural innovations can also be seen in Harappan wells, suggesting a sound empirical understanding of engineering principles.
Harappan-era well with trapezoidal bricks. Source: Michel Danino’s IITM Talk
  • The excavated urban plans, water drains, public baths, etc. at Lothal indicate the application of civil engineering instrumentation and geometrical methods for alignment and leveling. This is evidenced by several surveying instruments and accessories discovered at Lothal [21].

  • Excavated pottery depict a series of regular shapes marked using geometrical instruments:  intersecting circles, squares, inverted triangles, etc. [2].
From Harappan Geometry to Sulba Sutras

We review several examples pertaining to Harappan units of measurement and proportions that persist through the Sulba time period and beyond.

  • Urban Harappan house plans resemble those seen in rural India even today.
  • Fundamental units of measurement:
    • An angula was 1.76 cm at Dholavira [15], and reported as 1.778 cm at Lothal.
      • The Sulbasutra also uses angula as a basic measurement unit for altar construction, and one estimate is 1.9 cm [20].
    • Harappan urban layouts yield an estimated unit of length of 1.9m [15], which is 108 times their angula.
      • 108 is a central Vedic number (e.g. 108 Karanas in the Natyasastra) and a number of Bandhus are associated with this number [4, 5].
      • The linear Purusha in the Sulbas is around 2 meters (2.28 m per Kulkarni [20]).
    • Harappans employed a unique decimal – binary system for their weights (not the decimal place value system of Ganita that includes 0) [15, 16].
  • The urban layout has streets organized at right angles along the cardinal directions. The Vedic altars are also oriented with respect to the E-W line (Praci).
  • The repeated use of specific building ratios at Dholavira (5:4 and 9:4) are in consonance with the proportions used in the Sulba constructions [15].
Dholavira’s key 5:4 ratio is seen in the Mahavedi of the Satapatha Brahmana, yet again in the Sulbasutras, and then centuries later, again in Vaastu shastra [15].
  • Similarity in the shapes of the Lothal altar and the Vedic Altars:
Source: Michel Danino [15]
  • The most common Harappan pottery motif, the rectangle with in-curved sides is preserved in the shape of the Vedic altars, including the important Mahavedi [2].
  • Ceremonial structures like Vedic fire altars can be seen in Lothal and in Kalibangan, which were constructed in five layers of bricks [5].
  • Astrophysicist J. McKim Malville is quoted [16] on the commonality in measurement principles that can be observed in Dholavira: the apparent intent … to interweave, by means of geometry, the microcosm and the macrocosm”.

It is apparent from these findings that the Harappan constructions and methods indeed reflect an integral (Indic) approach to engineering that persisted long after their era.

"To the ancient mind, the concept of sacred space is inseparable from the practice of town-planning and architecture".
- Michel Danino [16].

Over time, this accumulated knowledge enabled the Indians to execute precision engineering projects that met stringent tolerances, satisfied structural stability requirements, showcased India’s unparalleled artistry, while always serving a primary transcendental objective. It took several centuries for the most destructive organized religions known to mankind to break down much of this sacred architecture. Despite their best efforts, some divine examples of Indic engineering survive.

Ellora cave16 001.jpg
Kailasanatha Mandir at Ellora “By Y.Shishido CC BY-SA 3.0, Link 

The Kailasanatha temple is architecture as well as sculpture. It is both cave and temple. “It is both natural, because it has not been built, as well as artistic, because [it is] gained by human effort of excavation“[27].  It is also an engineering masterpiece and represents “an excellent example of Reverse Engineering and was chiselled from top down … the temple has the largest cantilevered rock ceiling in the world. There was simply no margin of error here…” [26]. Beyond its sublime artistry and engineering wizardry, the Kailasanatha temple architecture’s overarching message is transcendental:  From the great Marathi saint Jnanadeva’s vision emerges a question for us [27] – Murti, mandir, and beings are sculpted out of the same mountain-rock, so which part of it (and the cosmos) is sacred space and which is not?

Sulba Vijnana

1. Vijnana and Modern Science
2. Units of Measurement and Terminology
3. Construction of Nityagni and Kamyagni
4. Square on the Diagonal Result
5. Combination, Transformation, Enlargement of Altars
6. Circling the Square, and Squaring the Circle
7. Geometric Algebra, Square Roots, and Fractions
8. Concluding Comments

Introduction

A knowledge of Ganita was required prior to studying the Sulbas, as affirmed by Sivadasa (between 1150 and 1320 CE) who wrote is his commentary on Maanava Sulba Sutras [1]: ‘the study of the Sulba should be begun after having finished the science of mathematics. Otherwise there cannot be a thorough knowledge of Sulba. Among other requirements, one must be comfortable working with fractions, the rule of three, approximations (calculating with ‘irrational’ numbers), and managing permutations and combinations.

Self-Verifying Computation versus Self-Evident Axioms

Per Bibhutibhushan Datta, the earliest Hindu name for geometrical sciences was Sulba Vijnana [1]. Saraswati Amma mentions how this field later became part of the Ganita family as kshetraganita alongside Paatiganita (arithmetic) and Bijaganita (algebra) with Jyotisha covering all branches of Ganita [2], which eventually included the calculus of the Aryabhata school of Kerala. The calculations of volumes for earth-moving (excavations) were covered in Khatavyavahara while Rasiganita, which dealt with the calculations relating to heaps, also included geometrical aspects [2].  

Datta refers to Vijnana as a science in the Sulba context [1]. When we refer to ‘geometry’ in the Indian context, we do so using the Indic perspective, and not ‘Euclidean geometry’ that made its entry later. Sulba Vijnana’s validation of stated propositions are not through the western approach of theorems-and-deductive-proof based on self-evident axioms, but through demonstrations and constructions. This important point was stated by Bibhutibhushan Datta more than 80 years ago [1]. This approach is consistently followed in Ganita through the ages.

Vijnana and Ganita are Sanskrit non-translatables having multiple context-dependent meanings and cannot be limited to modern science and mathematics. Western science too rejects claims that disagree with experiment, but differs from vijnana: the latter is rooted in a Vedic cosmology that is free of the tension of the religion-science-mathematics fragmentations. Sulba vijnana in its Yagna context points to an integral knowledge and an experiential understanding that emerges from consciousness.  Through prayoga a practitioner can simultaneously test a claim as well as realize the truth, reflecting the maxim: doing is the best way of knowing and learning [19]. The self-verifying constructions in the Sulbas seem to be in consonance with the self-organizing cosmos (a manifestation of ritam [4]) of the Rig Veda.

"The spider that extrudes its own web without any extraneous agency is proffered as a metaphor for Brahman as both the efficient and material cause of the universe".
  - Rajiv Malhotra in 'Being Different' [4].

This unity of computation & verification in Ganita is also mentioned in the Aryabhatiya.

Saraswati Amma identifies 3 categories of such geometrical knowledge in the Sulbas:

a) Results that are explicitly stated,

b) Constructions, and

c) Geometrical truths implicit in the constructions.

Geometry in the Sulbas was primarily constructive in nature [2] although we do find some demonstrations of the geometrical results in the later Sulbas (e.g., Katyayana’s Sulbasutra) [1].  Saraswati Amma’s work [2] has to be acknowledged for recognizing the transcendental objective of the Sulbas. She has explained how this Vedic approach shaped the methods of preservation and transmission of Ganita knowledge in India through the generations: The main works, often through sutras, enunciate the procedures required for proper altar construction and performance of Yagnas. Thereafter, the technical derivations were likely to be present in commentaries, and the rationale of the great teachers were transmitted orally, similar to the practice in Ayurveda. We see this resemblance with Ayurveda in Sulba terminology as well.

Units of Measurement and Terminology
Measurement

Sulba primarily means measurement. Measurements were done using the measuring tape called the Rajju, although sometimes Sulba and Rajju are used interchangeably. There is also mention of the bamboo rod (‘Venu’), which appears to have been gradually replaced by the Rajju. The measuring cord had to be smooth and of even cross-section throughout.  It was fabricated using sama (kind of hemp), balvaja (Indian goosegrass), munja grass, and kusa grass to make it strong and retain its elasticity after repeated stretching, and produce consistent measurements [25].

Munja grass. Link: sciendirect.com

The Vedic Samhitas and Brahmanas stipulate rules of conduct for those engaged in altar construction [1]. To see what can happen when ethical considerations are set aside, consider this example [23]:

We may cite an example from recent past to show how poor peasants were exploited by the land surveyors during the Mughal rule in India. In the seventeenth century, ropes made of hemp were usually employed for measuring and assessing land. Now, the hemp rope would shrink when wet and lengthen when dry. The government officials used to keep the rope wet on all sorts of pretexts… Later on the hemp rope was replaced by the more accurate bamboo rod with iron rings.

When dharma took a backseat, trust in the contextually flexible and versatile Rajju was lost and people returned to a rigid and inflexible ruler.

Units of Measurement

Units of measurement used in the Baudhayana Sulbasutras [5]:

small pada = 10 angulas

pradesa = 12 angulas

pada = 15 angulas

aratni = 24 angulas

prakrama = 30 angulas

yuga = 86 angulas

vyayama = 96 angulas

aksa = 104 angulas

vyama = 120 angulas

(linear) purusa = 120 angulas

Purusa was also used as a unit for measuring areas and the Sulbasutras mentions three kinds of measures — one, two, and three dimensional.

Those who have lived in engineering campuses may recall seeing Civil Engineering students dragging metal linked chains for surveying. This practice probably goes back to the Harappan period [16]. Measurements for the Vedic Yagna were done by a sama-sutra-niranchaka, the uniform rope stretcher, or the Rajju grahaka (Pali), who was the king’s land surveyor. In later Silpasastra texts, the surveyor was called the sutra grahi or sutra-dhara who was also an expert in alignment [1]. A sutragrahi can refer to a Chief Engineer, and is a meaningful and historically apt choice given this connection to Sulba Sutras, the oldest known reference text for Indic Engineering.

Not taking sides in the debate on whether Baahubali was a civil or mechanical engineer, we include other engineering terms:

Yaantrika or Yantra-nirmana vidya — engineering (from Vaastu sastra)

Yantrakaara/Abhiyanta — engineer (M), abhiyantri (F)

Tantraagna — technician/technologist.

Indic terminology employs meaningful words that along with their root sounds reveal their Ganita qualities. This is possible because of the power of Sanskrit, as Rajiv Malhotra [4] notes: “Since every root sound has a distinct meaning, its signature is found in all the words derived from it. It is theoretically possible to explain the meaning of the words according to the algebraic combination of letters, syllables and roots… Naming was inseparable from realizing its essence. In Ayurveda, the names allow us to understand not only the morphological characteristics of a plant but also its medicinal properties.” Barring a few exceptions, the meaningful nomenclature of the Sulbas persisted in Ganita works through the ages [2].

Bibhutibhushan Datta (Swami Vidyaranya) and Saraswati Amma were Sanskrit scholars in addition to their mathematical expertise. They were capable of accessing and interpreting primary source content, and set many a record right.

Terminology

A sample list of terms used in the Sulba Sutras are given below and one can find an exhaustive list within [1, 2, 22]. It is possible that multiple Sanskrit words may be used in different Indic texts to describe a geometric figure or Ganita operation depending on the context and audience.

Closed Figure — Kshetra

Area — Bhumi, Kshetra

One-dimension

Line of symmetry of an altar — Prsthyaa

East-west (eastward line) direction — Praci

Perpendicular (north-south) — Tiryanmaani

Line —  Lekha or Rekha

Straight line — Rju-lekha

 

Two-dimensions

Square

Square — Chaturasra/Samachaturasra

Unit Square (to compute area) — Varga

Square of any number — Kriti, Varga

Side of the square, square root — Karani

(karani ~ producer, kriti ~ produced)

√2 — Dvikarani

√3 — Trikarani

Geometrical representation of a square number — Vargakshetra

 

Rectangle

Rectangle — Dirgha chaturasra

Geometrical representation of a product of two quantities — Ghaatakshetra

Diagonal (that which goes transversely) — Aksnaya

Two Sides — Tiryanmaani, Parsvamaani

 

Triangle

Triangle — Tryasra

Isosceles Triangle — Prauga

Altitude of triangle — Isu

Rhombus (double isosceles triangle) — Ubhyatah Prauga

Isosceles Trapezium (shorter in the front) — Purastaad Amhiyasi

 

Some Composite Fractions

⅜ — Triastama

2⁄7 — Dvisaptama

The terminology here is important because the name contains within it the ‘concrete concept of the operation of measuring’. Sanskrit allows us to recursively express fractions of fractions [1].

Circle

Circle — Mandala/Parimandala

Circumference — Parinaaha

Diameter — ViskambhaVyaasa

Center/midpoint — Madhya

 

Fundamental Operations in Sulba constructions [1].

Addition (“putting together”) — Samaasa

Subtraction — Nirhaara

Remainder — Sesa

Division — Bhaaga, Vibhaaga

Replication (repeated operations) — Abhyaasa

Repeated enlargement — Vidhaabhyaasa

Finding Cardinal Directions

The east-west line (Praci) was established using the Sanku as explained by Prof. K. Ramasubramanian (see below) in the Q&A session at the end of the lecture. This approach is simple and free of instrumentation error.

source: http://www.engr.mun.ca/~asharan/JAI_SINGH/index.html
Geometrical Constructions

Broadly, there are two types of agnis discussed in the Sulbas – nityagni and kamyagni.  The three primary Nitya Agnis are Garhapatya (circle), Ahavaniya (square) and Dakshina (semicircular) [1, 3]. The construction consists of five layers of bricks with each citi built up using a specific number of bricks of specific shapes. The Sulbasutras present the complete specifications required for precise construction. These specs are from prior works and much of the matter is traceable to earlier Brahmana and Samhita works.

Nityagni Constructions

Constructing the three nityagnis require the ability [1] to:

  • Construct the perpendicular bisector to a given line
  • Construct a square on a given line
  • Circle a square, and vice versa
  • Double a circle

This in turn requires two kinds of subject expertise that are listed below:

  • Ganita Sastra: For an accurate approximation of √2.
  • Sulba Vijnana: The area of the square on diagonal of any given square is double the area of that square. This is a special case of the more famous result discussed below.
Kamyagni Constructions

The second level of complexity is the construction of rectangular and isosceles trapezoidal figures. At the higher end of complexity are the kamyagnis, whose area, regardless of shape is fixed at 7½ purusas (108,000 sq. angulas [5]). This requires the ability to enlarge, shrink, rotate, and transform squares, triangles, and rhombuses. Several geometrical facts are implicit in the constructions [2]. For example:

  • a) the circle is the locus of points at a constant distance from a given point.
  • b) the perpendicular bisector is the locus of points equidistant from the two extremities of the line.
  • c) the line connecting the vertex of an isosceles triangle to the mid-point of its base is perpendicular to the base.
  • d) the tangent to a circle is perpendicular to the radius at the point where they meet.

We now discuss the fundamental proposition of geometry that was first discovered and used in many altar constructions.

Square on the Diagonal (SQD) Result

This famous and important result had a deep influence on ancient Indian geometry, trigonometry (e.g., sine-table), algebra, and perhaps Ganitasastra itself [2].  The SQD result was popularized by the western world and accepted by secular India as the Pythagoras Theorem. The Babylonians too are known to have stated some Pythagorean numbers but “the full geometrical significance of the theorem, that the sides of any right-angled triangle will exhibit this relationship among them, was first realized by altar-building Vedic priests” [1].

In the Ganita context, knowing Pythagorean numbers is insufficient, and an Euclidean-type deductive proof is neither necessary nor sufficient.

Since the Sulba does not speak of the right triangle (hence no hypotenuse is mentioned), the result is first stated by Baudhayana with respect to the square:

the diagonal of a square produces an area twice as much“.

and later, he stated the general SQD result:

Baudhayana Sulbasutra [1].
the diagonal of a rectangle produces both (areas) which its length and width produce separately“.

On the other hand, later Sulba authors  state the general result first and then the special case, which indicates that over time, the generality of SQD was recognized [1].

Apastamba Sulbasutras. Source: Geometry in Ancient and Medieval India [2].
Apastamba Sulbasutras. Source: [2].
As far as “proof”, there is no none in the Euclidean sense, although the constructions for which the result has to be known confirm that the Indians were well aware of the general applicability of the SQD rule. To know how old the result is, one has to find the most ancient mentions of its applications.

How old are the Geometrical Results in the Sulba Sutras?
"India's sands were never so kind to her records as Babylonia's sands have been to her clay tablets" - Saraswati Amma.

There is epistemological and other evidence regarding the knowledge of these geometrical results in the Rig Veda itself:

  1. There are many reference to Yagna and fire altars in the Rig Veda.
  2. The 3 places of the (nitya) agni are mentioned in Rig Veda Samhita.
  3. Given the importance of the correspondence principle (Bandhu) in the Rig Veda, it is likely that the task of squaring a circle, and the special case of SQD is as old as the Rig Veda itself.

The first clear mention of the area of Garhapatya circle and Ahavaniya square of the same size is in the Satapatha Brahmana. Therefore, the science of altar construction likely dates back to the Brahmana and as early as Taittiriya Samhita [1]. The SQD result appears to have been used in the Satapatha Brahmana, but the proposition is stated only in the Srauta Sutras. We summarize the observations of Datta [1] regarding the SQD result.

  • The Hindus recognized the geometrical nature of the result and put it to good use, and applied it to rectangles, the lengths of whose sides were irrational (e.g., for the construction of Sautraamaniki Vedi, Asvamedhiki Vedi).
  • The Sulba author mentions after stating the SQD: ‘iti kshetrajnanam‘.  Kshetra in this context means figure, not area.
  • Empirically, by constructing the squares on the sides and diagonal, and dividing them into unit squares, one can verify the result for any rectangle.
  • Katyayana Sulbasutras [2]
  • The special SQD case of squares is required in Baudhayana’s method to transform a square into a rectangle, where it is necessary to construct a square whose corners are turned toward the four cardinal directions.
  • For geometric constructions of √2, √3, etc., SQD is ‘indispensable’.
  • In Baudhayana’s Sulbasutras, the converse of the proposition is used to construct a Mahavedi. The converse of SQD is implicit in the text but is not explicitly stated.
Rational Rectangles

Did the ancient Hindus identify a general rule to find a limitless number of rational rectangles (~rational right triangles)?

To answer this, Datta quotes two verses from Apastamba Sulba:
1. Etaavanti Jneyani Vedi-Viharanaani Bhavanti.
2. Taabhir Jneyaabhiruktam Viharanam.

Jneya: it is known, from prior (Vedic) works; these are but the methods of constructions of the Vedi which are known from prior (Vedic) works [1].

The question is then answered in the affirmative. Saraswati Amma [2] remarks that the Sulba authors had ‘a genius for generalizing’, citing Katyayana’s general rule for combining squares as an example, and that they were familiar with multiple general formulas for finding the sides of rational right triangles. The ancient Hindus knew that new rational rectangles are obtained by multiplying or dividing sides and the diagonal by any rational quantity, and Apastamba has derived it this way [1].

We see several rational right triangles in the Mahavedi layout [24] where the diagonal is 1 + greater side, 2 + greater side, etc. Datta derives two equivalent general rules ‘A’ and ‘B’ for generating such triangles:

Rule ‘A’ with odd ‘m’ (3, 5, 7, ..) generates several rational rectangles stated in the Sulba such a (3, 4, 5) to (7, 24, 25), and rational rectangles where this difference is 2 can be generated by the following rule ‘B’ obtained by setting a = 2, m > 2 in (A).

An important right triangle (15, 36, 39) in given in the Taittiriya Samhita, where the diagonal is 3 + the greater side. Baudhayana Sulbasutras specifically calls out this result. This instance was employed in the most ancient method of constructing the Mahavedi, and was considered sacred by tradition [1].

Mahavedi – suggested dimensions. source: harekrsna.com [24].
In [24], Parameshwaran, a scholar of Vedic mathematics, has commented on the sacred geometry of the Mahavedi and the importance in Vedic Yagna of the eastward striving aspect represented by the tapering of the trapezoid.

Sample Results and Propositions in the Sulbas

We briefly discuss two of the basic constructions in the Sulbasutras. For brevity, we refer to the video lecture of Prof. Ramasubramanian and present only the pictures of the final constructions.

Perpendicular Bisector (‘Fish Figure’)
Perpendicular Bisection using Rajju and Pegs. Figure 17 [1].
Constructing a Square Given a Side

Examples of Combination of Areas

Part-2 of the video lecture covers the constructions involving combinations and transformations of squares and rectangles.

1. A1 = nA2. The SQD result is used here.
A special case occurs when n is a perfect square = p². The 2D task is skillfully reduced to a linear problem: construct a straight-line that is p times a side of the given square A2 and use that as the side of square A1.

Elegant and simple methods are given for finding a square equal to a number of other squares of the same size [1]. For example, by constructing the isosceles triangle shown below using the specified base and side and applying the SQD result,

[a(n+1)/2]²-[a(n-1)/2]² = na²

i.e., the constructed altitude (Isu) will give the side of the required square A1 for any positive integer n (>1) and area a of square A2. The statement from Katyayana Sulbasutras is shown below.

Katyayana Sulbasutras. source: [2].

2. A1 = 1/n A2.
A special case occurs when n is a perfect square = p². The 2D task reduces to a linear problem of dividing a side of square-2 into p equal parts. A1 is obtained by constructing a square using one of these line segments as its side.

3. A1 = A2 + A3 (construct square-1 whose area is the sum of the areas of two other different squares 2 and 3).

Baudhayana’s procedure based on SQD is simple and elegant: “cut off from the larger square-2, a rectangular portion having the side of square-3. The diagonal of this segment will be a side of the square having area (A2+A3)“.

4. A1 = A2 – A3 (construct a square whose area is the difference of the areas of two other different squares).

Apastamba has given a demonstration along with an example [1].

Examples of Transformation of Areas

1. Transforming a Rectangle into a Square [1]

Transforming a Square into a Rectangle [1].
An interesting step in the construction consists of chopping off (or making a copy of) the ‘flat’ rectangle (ABHG), rotating it clockwise by 90-degrees, moving it, and pasting it along the vertical line segment DF in the position DFH’G’.

2. Transforming a Square into a Rectangle.

3. Transforming a Square or Rectangle into a Triangle or Rhombus.

4. Special construction: Construct a square of area 108 padas, i.e., whose area is thrice that of a square of side 6.

Note:

Sometimes, the cubic content has to be kept intact for two altars of different heights. Here, one obtains an approximation formula for the volume of a frustum of a pyramid (see picture below).

 

Square frustum.png
By MarinaVladivostok, CC0, Link

Scalability: Enlargement or Reduction of Altar Size

An important astronomical discovery emerges from the need to preserve the integral unity of successive (annual) enlargements of certain kamyagni altars by an area increment of one Purusa. The sequence of areas will be: 7½, 8½, …, 101½ Purushas, with the final construction 14X the area of the first altar. The shape and proportions within the altar have to be strictly maintained. Datta [1] shares the reason for this stipulation given in the Katyayana Sulbasutra:

The following correspondences are established in the Yagna: agni = Prajapati, his child is the unit of measure employed, and the womb is his unmanifest form, and therefore the spatial relations of that form must be preserved.

This altar construction cycle corresponds to the 95-year Yagnavalkya cycle of astronomy [5].

Engineering this design requirement is non-trivial, and requires one to solve the geometrical problem of constructing similar figures. The shape of these altars can be pretty complex and such constructions require a clear understanding of the relationship between length and area (“agni = Prajapati, and his child is the unit of measure employed”). It is observed by the Sulba authors that the number of square units in the area of a square is obtained by multiplying the number of linear units by itself. This was stated by Apastamba and Katyayana. Conversely, the length varies as the square root of the area. Using this correspondence, the Sulbakaaras came up with an ingenious design solution, which is also present in the Satapatha Brahmana.

Increase or decrease the length of the unit of measure in the ratio of the square root of the areas, but do not alter the number of units used in the construction.

To engineer a 14-fold altar enlargement, knowledge of the SQD result is essential [1] and was likely known and used before the Sulbasutra was codified. The resultant constructive algorithm (Abhiyukti) can be employed to enlarge an altar of area  Purusa to (7½+m) Purusas, where m is a positive integer:

  1. Make the incremental excess area (m) into a square or rectangle
  2. Divide the resultant square/rectangle into 15 equal parts (m/15).
  3. Two such parts are turned into a square (area = 2m/15) and combined with a square of one Purusa to generate a new square (area = 1 + 2m/15)
  4. The side of this new square = √(1+2m/15) will be the new unit linear measure, which will preserve the proportions of the original Agni.

Applying this to scale up the final altar (m = 101-7 = 94), which is ~14X the area of the original altar, the new linear unit will ~√14 times the original measure.

Circling the Square

Baudhayana’s method of transforming a given square of side ‘2a’ into a circle having approximately the same area:

"if you wish to circle a square (ABCD), draw 1/2 its diagonal (a/√2) about the center towards the East-West line (EW); then describe a circle together with 1/3 of that which lies outside the circle (radius OP = OM + MP)".

Circling a Square [1]
Datta mentions the key phrase employed by Apastamba regarding this method:

"saanitya mandalam:yaavadd hiyate taavad aagantu".

The prescribed procedure is an inexact (anitya) method of construction by “as much the circle falls short, so much comes in” [1]. The radius of the resultant circle r = a/3(2 + √2), yields a slightly larger area compared to the square, which can be checked empirically:
Area ~ 4.069 a², compared to the true area of square = 4a², using the famous √2 value given in the Sulbas.

Excess error ~ 1.72% < 2%

Squaring the Circle

Given a circle of diameter ‘d’, construct a square of equal area. A numerical solution is provided to obtain the length of the side of the square to be constructed.

source: [2].
"Divide the diameter (d) into 8 parts. then divide 1 part into 29 parts and leave out 28; also, the 6th part of the preceding sub-division less the 8th part of the last".

These steps yield the following finite series approximation for the side ‘2a’ of the resultant square [1]:

2a = d – d/8 + d/8.29 – d/8.29.6 + d/8.29.6.8

Computing an error bound:

2a = 1224/1393 d ⇒a = 0.43934d
⇒ error = (4*(0.5*1224/1393)^2 – 0.78539816339)/0.78539816339
area of circle = πd²/4 ~ 0.78539816339 d²
area of the square ~ 0.77207697806 d², i.e.  a slightly smaller square.

error ~ 1.697% < 2%

These constructions imply the following approximations for π [1]:

  • π = 3.0885
  • Maanava Sulba calculations yield π ~ 3.16049.
  • Dvarakanatha, one of the commentators, improved the approximation to 3.158.
Ramanujan’s Solutions to Squaring the Circle

The squaring of the circle has a colorful history in Europe due to anxiety over the uncertainty injected by ‘irrational’ numbers. Ramanujan’s numerical contributions are well-known and in line with Ganita tradition. Here, he has contributed to a basic Sulba construction of squaring the circle. He does so using an approximate geometrical construction that is in the spirit of the Sulbasutra approach. The picture in his manuscript shows his 1913 solution that corresponds to a value of π ~355/113, which is accurate to 6 decimal places, the best at the time in the context of this problem.

Squaring the circle-Ramanujan-1913.png
By Srinivasa Ramanujan; verwendet von Petrus3743Who Was Ramanujan? von Stephen Wolfram, Public Domain, Link

In 1914, Ramanujan improved upon his own result using another construction (animation shown below) corresponding to an 8-digit accuracy of π.

01-Squaring the circle-Ramanujan-1914
By Petrus3743 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The resultant error is minuscule: if we squared the ‘circular’ earth (radius ~6371 km) using Ramanujan’s construction, the error in the side of the slightly smaller square would be around 2 mm.

Origin of Geometric Algebra

Datta remarks on the algebraic significance of the geometrical constructions, noting that they form the seed of Geometrical Algebra which can be seen even in the Bijaganita of Bhaskara-2 (1114 CE). Some algebraic equations that emerge are listed below.

ax² = c (enlargement with equal proportions). The equation x² = 1+2m/15 can be derived from the m-th enlargement of the falcon-shaped (Syena) fire-altar.

ax² + bx = c (enlargement with increment)

The geometric analog of the algebraic identity
 (a+b)² = a² + b² + 2ab

is obtained from the general rule for enlarging a square ABCD to square AEFG shown below.

If a = AB, b = BE, then (a+b)² = Area (AEFG) = sum of the areas of the two squares plus the twice the area of the equal-sized rectangles.

From the ‘Science of the Sulbas’
Square Roots (√2)

The following is the Sulba approximation for √2:

Its decimal value ~1.414216, accurate to five decimal places. Commentator Rama Bajapeya added a corrective pair of terms to improve accuracy to 7 decimal places [1]. How did the Sulba authors derive this series? Many interesting explanations have been given. Datta’s appears to be the best among those offered [1] and is an entirely geometrical reconstruction similar to those employed by Sulba authors. It starts with two squares having unit length, and involves the slicing of rectangular strips, rotating and pasting them, dividing areas into several equal parts, adding and subtracting areas, etc.

Datta uses this approach to approximate √3 ~ 1.732051 up to 5 decimal places.

Commentator Kapardiswami noted the persistent inexactness in calculating √2: “in any case there will be an excess even by a fraction of the smallest part of the minute nivaara grain falling from the mouth of a parrot” (a vivid epsilon!). The commentaries of Kapardiswami and Karavindaswami imply the following knowledge in ancient India about their estimate of √2 that it was: a) approximate, b) an over-estimate, and c) cannot be completely eliminated. Datta shows that the meaning of the term ‘visesha‘ and ‘savisesha‘ have been correctly interpreted by the commentators.  The canonical texts of the Jainas (Suryaprajnapati, 500 BCE) uses visesha in the same way. Similarly, the Jambudviparajnapti (~300BCE) uses visesha to refer to a small quantity that has not been recorded and cannot be accurately determined, but has to be added or subtracted from the estimate in order to obtain its exact value. Nemichandra (975 CE) uses the term savisesha in exactly the same way as the Sulbasutras (tiny overestimate).

Fractions

How does one grasp the reality that the area of a square of side ½ is ¼ square units? Saraswati Amma [2] remarks on the Sulba author’s “unerring grasp of the area produced by fractional units of length, which is infinitely more difficult to conceive“. She quotes Apastamba who says that a cord of 1½ units produces 2¼ units of area, a cord of length 2½ produces 6¼ units of area; ½ a unit produces ¼, and ⅓ of a unit produces ⅑, based on a neat empirical observation: ½ of 2 units (= 1) fills up one quarter of the area (¼ of 4).

Complex Fire-Altars

For certain altars, the total number of bricks to be used in a layer are specified, but not their dimensions. We will get into this and advanced Sulba engineering topics in Part-3.

Summary

Editor’s Note: After all this discussion of Sulba sutras and Squares, Abhiyukti and Arches, there is one takeaway to remember: Indic Engineering is about more than just about holding up bricks, it is about upholding spiritual harmony between the mathematical and practical, the artificial and natural, the human and divine. Ayodhya isn’t only about rebuilding one destroyed temple. Ramarajya is to be experienced by reclaiming Bharata’s sacred space, both outer and inner, where bhavya Ram Mandirs mirror a billion मन Mandirs.

Dharyate anena iti dharmah — that which upholds [Rta] is Dharma.

References

(Partial list only. Full list will be shared along with Part-3).

  1. Bibhutibhushan Datta (Swami Vidyaranya). The Science Of The Sulba: A Study In Early Hindu Geometry. University of Calcutta. 1932.
  2. Saraswati Amma. Geometry in Ancient and Medieval India. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. 1979.
  3. Kapila Vatsyayan. The Square and the Circle of the Indian Arts. Abhinav Publications. 1997.
  4. Rajiv Malhotra. Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism. Harper Collins. 2011.
  5. Subhash Kak. The Astronomical Code of the Ṛgveda (Third Edition). 2011.
  6. Rajiv Malhotra. Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity. Harper Collins. 2014.
  7. Kosla Vepa. The Origins of Astronomy, The Calendar, and Time (Second Edition). 2010.
  8. Prakruti Prativadi. Rasas in Bharatanatyam: First in a Series on Indian Aesthetics and Bharatanatyam. Creative Space. 2017.
  9. N.R.I Pathi. Dharmic Development. Andhra Cultural Portal. 2014.
  10. Prakruti Prativadi. The Bharatanāṭyaṃ Yajña. Swadeshi Indology-3 Information Handout. 2017.
  11. Dharampal. Collected Writings in 5 Volumes. Other India Press. 2000.
  12. John Price. Applied Geometry of the Sulba Sutras. Department of Mathematics, Maharishi University of Management, Iowa. 2000.
  13. Amartya Kumar Dutta. Was There Sophisticated Mathematics During Vedic Age? in ‘An anthology of disparate thoughts at a popular level‘. ISIREA, Kolkata, 2016.
  14. K. Ramasubramanian. The Origin and Growth of Mathematics in India. R C Gupta Award Lecture, IIT Bombay. 2010.
  15. Michel Danino. Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati.  Penguin Books. 2010.
  16. Michel Danino. New Insights into Harappan Town-Planning, Proportions and Units, with Special Reference to Dholavira. Man and Environment (33). 2008.
  17. Rima Hooja. Channeling Nature: Hydraulics, Traditional Knowledge Systems, And Water Resource Management in India – A Historical Perspective.
  18. Michael Jansen. Mohenjo-Daro, Indus Valley Civilization: Water Supply and Water Use in One of the Largest Bronze Age Cities of the Third Millennium BC. Openarchive.icomos.org. 2013.
  19. History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, 8(2). General Editor: D.P. Chattopadhyaya.  From Physiology and Chemistry to Biochemistry. Edited by D. P. Burma and Maharani Chakravorty. 2010.
  20. R. P. Kulkarni. Layout and Construction of Citis According to Baudhayana, Manava and Apastamba Sulbasutras. 1987.
  21. J. E. Schwartzberg. Introduction to South Asian Cartography, in ‘The History of Cartography’. University of Chicago Press. 1992.
  22. S. N. Sen and A. K. Bag. The Sulbasutras of Baudhayana, Apastamba, Katyayana, and Manava. Indian National Science Academy. 1983.
  23. Ramakrishna Bhattacharya. Origin of Geometry in India: A Study in the Sulbasutras. 2013.
  24. Parameswaran Murthiyedath. Sulbasutras: Indian Texts on Sacred Geometry.  http://www.harekrsna.com. 2005.
  25. Dharam Pal Kularia. Sulbasutras: A Critical Study. PhD Thesis, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak. 2004.
  26. Top 10 Civil Engineering Marvels.
  27. Kapila Vatsyayan (editor). Concepts of Space: Ancient and Modern. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. 1991.
Acknowledgment: Thanks to Nripathi garu for his valuable feedback on terminology, and his ideas and comments that helped improve this post.

RW is as Mentally Colonised as LW

There comes a point in time when a nagging feeling must become reluctantly accepted. Right Wing is as Mentally Colonised as the Left Wing. It is not an easy one or even one that is obvious on its face. But those of us who have been watching politics in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s invariably start asking this uncomfortable question.

After all, leave aside some of the bone-headed economic moves the current government has made, the real question is why was the sangh ecosystem so eager to strike a deal with the PDP?

The people of Jammu have lost faith in the parivar because they have reason to. Their homes and livelihoods are now being threatened by demographic aggression taking place under the auspices of the very ecosystem they thought was working for them.

The mistake this gentleman above is making is not in calling out the misdeeds of the sangh’s ecosystem in j&k—he is right to do that. His mistake is in not studying the issue deeply to realise exactly why this is happening and who exactly is to blame. Personalities and individual politicians (be they the PM or otherwise) are not being distinguished from ecosystems, nor are regional exigencies from national and civilizational.

Many people are of course quick to latch on to caste. While there is some of that going on as we saw in the Battle for Sanskrit review episode, there were also plenty of people of that same caste presently classified under “RW” who supported Malhotra and still do both on this site and elsewhere. RM himself warned of the rise of RW sepoys and made such a distinction between real and fake dharmics.

But perhaps there is a more relevant designation: Ecosystem  and Non-ecosystem. There are a number of people in the twittersphere already discussing the ecosystem, but are doing it for self-serving purposes, making it about caste vs caste, when in fact it is about Dharma vs Adharma.  There are people (of all castes), affiliated with an ecosystem, who nominally seem to support Hindu causes (even using the language of ‘Dharma’—literally and figuratively) but in fact more are interested in their own careers, etc. Hence ‘Hindutva’ rather than specifically Dharma. This is because Hindu and Hindutva are based on foreign terms rather than a native one like Sanatana Dharma or “Arya Dharma”.

And its also because hindutva is an ideology ,which can ultimately mean anything (based on expedience), while Dharma is a philosophy, needs no ecosystem, and means very specific things. It’s also why the cause of Dharma is so fragmented because even people interested in Dharma don’t want to practice it fully when it conflicts with their ego or greed or parochial interests.

Yes, there are some people who are just Dyed in the wool casteists (of every caste), but there are some who are just self-interested and see their careers rising only within the ecosystem.

Because that’s how politics now works. It certainly explains how the parivar has been quick to rehabilitate so many congress party members or even a tavleen singh. It is easy to blame caste again.

But there are also plenty of people from that same caste who are fed up with what they are seeing and and who are speaking out—only like the gentleman above, don’t know what to do. Indian politics is caught between the devil and the deep sea because it is meant to be. One set of casteists vs another set of casteists—both of whom meet offline over steaks.

But such a pattern is not unique to Indian politics. It characterises politics around the world. The question is why?

First and foremost, there’s the obvious fact as has been explained many times over that RW and LW are not Indic terms and are merely a cookie cutter importation of foreign politics.

There are of course those will argue: “But sir, how will we categorise the differences of opinion within our own ranks”. And that’s part of the problem—the eagerness to divide and subdivide while ignoring the overarching classification of Dharma Paksha. Well, the rebuttal to that is 1. For all you Classical Liberals, Madison himself warned of the dangers of factions. India today is literally a walking embodiment of factionalism—with one region of Andhra Pradesh taking so much pride in this, RGV made a movie about it.

There are those, of course, who will instinctively say “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam!”. The textual technicalities of that quote aside, let us assume for the moment that the world is in fact one family. But even if the world is all one family, your cousins still will not let you run their house…especially if they are Kauravas.

So let us begin with the specifics

Binary-ism

Binary-ism is obviously best represented by left vs right. Either you are a Cultural Marxist or a “Sanghi Nationalist”.  Of course this is best represented by Communist vs Capitalist. It is as though the ideological choices are restricted between two top-heavy options. Both result in concentration of power. In the case of Communists, it is concentrated in the state, and in the case of Capitalists, it is concentrated in Big Business, which captures the state.

The net result is policies proposed by the UPA, end up getting implemented by the NDA. Sure, there is window-dressing, but the net result is centralisation of power and the birth of the Brave New World.

What is the opposite to that? Decentralisation. Rather than Dharma being the product of a single group, a single business, or a single institution, it should belong to everyone, with each playing merely but a role.  As we discussed in Dharmic Development, this is in fact the traditional model of Indic Society. Decentralisation of wealth and power prevents the accretion of adharmic power and unchecked influence.

Strong State vs Strong Society

Francis Fukuyama may be famous for his “End of History” fallacy, but as a Professor of Political Economy, his commentary on International Relations can be useful purely for observational, rather than policy, purposes. One is that Countries consist of more than just the state. He writes the standard line in political science that along with the state (that is the politico-legal-economic framework) there is society, specifically, civil society. Aside from the government (national, state, municipal) there is also society-at-large (citizens, families, communities, associations, institutions, etc). He notes that China has historically had a strong state but weak society, while India has featured a weak state but a strong society. And herein lies the lesson: However prejudiced the state laws may be against Hindus (and other Dharmikas), what has Civil Society been doing?

If the state isn’t teaching you real history, what is Civil Society doing?

If the state isn’t teaching you real culture, what is Civil Society doing?

If the state isn’t preserving native Arts & Crafts, what is Civil Society doing?

If the state isn’t giving patronage to rooted artists, what is Civil Society doing?

If the state isn’t protecting you, what is Civil Society doing?

If the state isn’t protecting Native Pandits & Dharma, what is Civil Society doing?

If the state isn’t giving you a Dharmic political party, what is Civil Society doing?

And, just to clear up any misunderstanding, Civil Society includes you! If the state’s writ runs, it’s cause Civil Society cooperates. Capisce?

The reality is, to set the politics right, you have to set the culture right.

That is why Culture is the new politics.

Aryan Invasion Theory

Caravan is certainly a questionable magazine when it comes to Indic perspectives. Nevertheless, this particular article is touching on a topic itself previously discussed by those with more Indic inclinations:

This is the well-known phenomenon of pseudo-trads (Pseudo-Traditionalists). They serve as sepoys for Aryan Invasion Theory, “Beef in Vedas”, & Pan-Paganism to digest Hinduism, and ultimately European ownership of Vedas and Vedic culture. This article showcases precisely that, albeit with its own ulterior motives:

Arktos has sought to avoid categorisation, claiming, on its website, that its project is to “provide the resources for individuals of many different inclinations to find alternatives to the onslaught of modernity.” The publishing house has released books on topics such as Hindu spiritualism and European paganism.

THE COVER OF ARKTOS’S 2011 edition of The Arctic Home of the Vedas, by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, shows a clear, rippling arctic sky against jagged black mountain edges, which does little to suggest its content. The book, first published in 1903, theorises that the North Pole was home to an original Aryan race some 10,000 years ago.

Morgan and Friberg were inspired by Tilak’s Arctic theory as well, although they interpreted it, and its implications, differently than Golwalkar did. They chose Arktos’s name to evoke, according to Morgan, “European tradition and ‘northernness.’” The term recalls the myth of an Aryan arctic homeland now lost in snow and tundra—a genesis theory of the white race as distinct from and superior to the rest of humanity.

Vikernes identifies as an “Odinist,” a worshipper of the Nordic god Odin.He rejects pan-Aryanism that includes South Asia, but there are others who connect his Odinist worldview with Vedic texts, often citing archaic, widely discredited race-science.

Hindus “refer to our present age as the Kali Yuga; an age of spiritual and moral decline,” he said. “Northern Europeans use the term Wolf Age to describe the same thing.” South Asian texts or religions, to Reddall, seem to be divorced from the culture they were born from in place of a mythical, non-historical past: “The Vedas are helpful to us as a part of our study alongside other texts such as the Eddas,” he wrote, referring to medieval Icelandic texts and the main sources of Norse mythology.

What pseudo-trad useful idiots are facilitating:

a photograph of the interior of a colonial-style restaurant, which Friberg captioned: “Revisiting my favorite restaurant from last year in Bangalore, a colonial style restaurant in the form of a train. ‘Here Sahibs and Memsahibs are still treated as royalty’”—“Sahibs” and “Memsahibs” are colonial-era terms for white men and women. Friberg’s caption continues: “‘At Sahib Sindh Sultan, very little has changed since 1853.’ (I.e. everything is as it should be.)”

Funny how eugenics obsessed casteists don’t have a problem with this:

Born in New York City to Catholic parents and raised in Brooklyn, Morales has said in multiple interviews that he began reading the Gita when he was ten years old. He was ordained in India as an orthodox Vedic brahmana in 1986.

Morales rejects the term “Hinduism” in favor of “Vedism,” which he argues more accurately reflects his interpretation of Hinduism as being a branch of European paganism. “Vedic culture and the pre-Christian European religions are not merely spiritual cousins; they are one and the same worldview,” he said in an interview with Counter-Currents. This European paganism, according to Morales, includes Odinism—like that of Varg Vikernes—as well as Celtic and Slavic pantheisms.

The goal is to create a binary of Cultural Marxism (i.e. Secularism) vs Hindutva/Fascism, with European “Acharyas” teaching infighting Hindus their culture. Most unsuspecting but well-meaning Hindus instinctively choose Hindutva, not realising that even Hindutva is not in line with Dharma. Make no mistake, Marxism must be rejected outright, but Hindutva (and its pantheon of proponents) form yet another ideology for unthinking ideologues. Dharma is a philosophy for learned saints and warrior-saints alike. It’s why there are Hindutva proponents who are pro-beefwhat do they know of real Dharma?

Hence AIT, Pan-Pagan Confederacy and host of other digestion tropes, including Hindutva, must be rejected in order to reject the ecosystem and reconstitute the Dharma Paksha. It is only Dharma that is rooted, it is only Dharma that provides Itihaasa over History, and only Dharma that teaches us not only how to work outside the ecosystem, but what our real Sanskriti is to begin with.Those pseudo-trads promoting AIT, “Beef in Vedas”, and general casteism have shown who they really are and what’s behind the mask.

Rather than anointing you and others as “dharmrakshak” prove it, by using your intelligence and stop giving these stooges of videshi intelligence legitimacy and credibility they don’t deserve. The responsibility lies on your shoulders now that you have that information to seek out those making a genuine difference rather than just blubbering with bluster. Failing to do that shows you are merely yet another Charvaka seeking to do what is easy and popular rather than what is actually Dharmic and Vedic.

How do we know all these theories are wrong? Because they ignore the actual Vedic View as stated by real orthodox and Native Brahmanas:

Knee-jerk embrace of the Foreign to be ‘Modern’

There is an insipid sense that just because some “phoreign debeloped” country is doing something, it must be good. N-plants? “Must be good“. Free Market Capitalism? Must be good“. Bullet train?Must be good“. Getting chipped?Must be good“. But who stops to actually set aside the conventional wisdom and ask…

bono

Whether they like it or not, whether they even know it or not, Right Winger’ers (whether econ or pseudo-trad) are very much in the thrall of western political zeitgeists. “Alt-right”, “Trad right”, “Neo-Pagan”, “euro airyan”, “fake scientism”, you name it, these people will embrace it, because “sveta-tvach” told them so.

Right Wing  intellectual slavery is emblematic whenever a new “brave author”magically appears to fill a niche. In the name of “Rna!“, we find that common sense, cultural awareness, and even basic survival instincts are tossed aside to accommodate the sanctimonious indiot’s sense of magnanimity to outsiders.  It’s funny how those who cite Chanakya the most apply his theory the least. Mandala theory is not just some “process/ritual” to apply in cookie-cutter fashion. It is a way to conceptualise the strategic space. Indiots are the only ones who consistently let “baharlog” to the inner circle while kicking countrymen for caste conceit.

Racist rhetoric whether it is with respect to Indians or non-Indians should be rejected ipso facto. Hate is not a strategy, particularly when it is a matter of institutions. It is good to have friends around the world—but your friends can’t run your household.

A relative once mentioned how India is the only place in the world where a western  nobody (notice it is never a non-westerner) can come and suddenly enter into the highest circles of celebrities or power, predictably wielding influence afterwards. A simple look at page 3 circles alone is proof. But hey, Indians have such experience elsewhere as well. It’s not that such things don’t go on in other countries—they do. It’s that lower classes may be clueless and upper classes may be compromised—but what excuse does the middle economic class have? Social Media, and twitter in particular, is a shameless exhibit of RW & LW Sepoys-in-waiting. It’s this willingness and even congenital need to be externally validated that makes both LW and RW Indians so shamelessly colonised. They even need ex-colonisers to give them a course on how to decolonise!!!

Pre-Rajiv Malhotra, it may have been understandable why Indians couldn’t fathom such “imperialism of the mind”—but why is this still happening long after he became a household name?

“Medium is the Message”

Pattanaik may have zero general credibility given exhibit A here.  Malhotra himself long ago debunked and exposed the sepoy author army of which Mr. Mithya is a part. Nevertheless, in this particular instance, his point remains valid. Fortunately, Indiots are always ready to be their master’s voice.

As we said in the previous article, it is time for Bharatiyas to Grow up. It is alright to use literature that is favourable to your cause (evidence-based argument is wise), but making celebrities, or worse, creating replacement cultural & spiritual leadership will lead you back to the very same starting point: replacement political leadership.

If the Hindu mind must be Decolonised, it is something Hindus must do on their own. Modern De Nobilis cannot be anointed to replace our real acharyas. Some may argue, “well they are genuine“—great, let them minister to people in their home countries. Western Countries are having their own spiritual crises as we speak without native dharmic spiritual guides. Despite facing an hostile environment, traditional Indian Acharyas and orthodox Indian yogis continue to give spiritual guidance to India—why this obsessive compulsive passion for the pardesi…and his payrolls?

Inevitably, they all seem genuine at first, until the signal is given, and the real agenda is sprung. You have seen it with non-Dharmic journalists, why would non-Indic Acharyas be any different? Standards and quality control regarding Dharma remains with real Bharatiya Acharyas—because as you can see here below, this is what foreign ones are upto:

The Ultimate Pizza Effect

Most urban/urbane Bharatiyas by now have heard of Rajiv Malhotra. His theory of the Pizza effect was enunciated to describe how Indians in general (and Hindus in particular) become interesting in some phenomenon only if it has a foreign stamp of approval. That is why foreigners can be brought to:

Teach you your History

Teach you your Culture

and even, to Teach you your “Dharma”

All while working to discredit your actual native Acharyas.

In many ways, as we saw it with Roberto De Nobili, this is nothing new. It is in fact a matter of things coming full circle. Some may say, well aren’t religions meant to be universal? Not necessarily. The Romans, for example, felt their religion was “too good” for others and restricted it to native born Romans. Sanatana Dharma may be Universal, but Arya Dharma is restricted to Aryas (meaning all ethnic-Indic Hindus, north or south, of any varna). This is the danger of piece-meal religion. If one learns from orthodox traditional Brahmanas, one gets the correct interpretation of our scriptures: The reality is Arya is an ethnonym, and originally all Indians (even “Dravidians”) were Aryas, from India!

So how can Arya Dharma, the strict Vaidika Dharma, be universal? As we read about the Yavanas, Maharishi Vasistha gave them protection on the condition that they give up  Vedic rituals, on account of their misdeeds. So while it is fine if there is a Dharma sampradaya that appeals to sincere and honest foreigners (many of whom are rediscovering their own traditions), the rituals of Vedic Arya Dharma are clearly not meant for all, as Itihaasa itself asserts. This rule laid down not by mere mortals, but Maharishis.

Sanatana Dharma, with its expanded astika and nastika heterodoxies could be universal. But there is an inherent danger in all “universalisms”: Force-fit a solution to a context specific problem. Some have argued that those experiencing spiritual emptiness in cathedral pews of Europe should revert to their ancestral faiths (as is being done in Iceland and Greece). There is value to that. Late AntiquityJapan also offers insight with the Japanese picking and choosing aspects of Hindu and Buddhist Dharma to adapt to their own way of life and existing Shinto religion. Perhaps that is why the category of religion itself is wrong as many have written, and panth/sampradaya rather than Dharma, a better translation.

Part of the reason why an official Dharma Paksha (beyond parties and ecosystems) hasn’t been floated to date is because there are many patriotic people who aren’t religious, and feel their personal lives & freedoms might be affected. But Dharma is a big tent, as is Dharma Paksha. Men and women of different character and characteristics also practiced Desa Dharma even if they didn’t practice strict svadharma and achara. Along with the golden pativratas of old, were also women who were silver sahadharmacharinis and had lived independent lives before getting married. There is arguably a complicated copper standard too, and so on.

Believing in the need for a Dharma Paksha doesn’t mean you have to yourself be a Ram or Sita. It means you want a Truth preserving society, where leaders (political and spiritual) are held accountable to high standards, where women are respected, & where the common person is not exploited. That is real Dharma, and how we must decolonise.

How to (actually) Decolonise the Bharatvasi Mind

VN_Silence

1.Learn the Value of “Shut up”-This isn’t a new principle. It’s at least as old as Mahatma Vidura.

VN_Speech

2.Disagree without being Disagreeable-Be diplomatic. Learn to speak politely and with etiquette. Stop barking orders at people whom you don’t even know, and who are doing useful things. If there’s an issue, learn to communicate it in a respectful and discrete way.

3.Learn the Art of Letting the Other side have Your Way-This is the art of diplomacy.

4.Dismantle the shopkeeper mentality-This is credited to the late Bharat Verma ji. Bigotry against “banias” is unfair as many strategic, patriotic vaishyas also existed. Raja Hemachandra is often said to hail from such a background. But the shopkeeper is a different category. He is only concerned with his shop and how anything affects him—and whether he can get a discount on wholesale. Running a shop isn’t easy, but for the shopkeeper, anything is fine as long as his margins aren’t affected. That is why rather than Britain, it is India that—at least at present—has become a nation of shopkeepers. Each Indian has something to sell.

And if you’re part of his franchise or give discounts, then “welcome, brother!”

Even if you are a patriotic shopkeeper, vote not just your self-interest, but your enlightened self-interest. Don’t just think about the free merchandising or the cheap labour today, but the illegal immigrant rioters who might burn your shop down tomorrow..

5.Give a 5% margin of appreciation.This is real intelligence. Sometimes language is ambiguous. Sometimes a person can have an off day. Give a 5% margin of appreciation in case the person normally means well, but did come across as intended today.

6.There are many forms of Intelligence.

It is in our I.Q. testing that we have produced the greatest flood of misbegotten standards. Unaware of our typographic cultural bias, our testers assume that uniform and continuous habits are a sign of intelligence, thus eliminating the ear man and the tactile man…[describing] the top level of British brains and experience in the 1930s.”Their I.Q.’s were much higher than usual among political bosses. Why were they such a disaster?“…”They would not listen to warnings because they did not wish to hear.” [2,18

As none other than media mogul Marshall McLuhan wrote, IQ is a purposefully narrow measure of merely analytical intelligence. It doesn’t measure the many other types of intelligence, doesn’t control for culture capital/elite-self-selection, and certainly doesn’t account for strategic intelligence. As we showed in this article, strategic intelligence is not about genetics, but rather, about competence and imagination. Genetics merely provides a baseline, but Culture also counts. For those who think being a scientist defines intelligence, hear from someone who was part of the capitalist power complex:

Their great betrayal was that they [intellectuals] had surrendered their autonomy and had become the flunkies of power, as the atomic physicist at the present moment is the flunky of the war lords. [2, 40]

7.Understand the difference between  Family, Friend, Rival, Adversary, Enemy. Your Enemy’s aim is to destroy you. As Shakespeare wrote, “there’s daggers behind men’s teeth”. He may not show it, he may not say it, but he has nothing but hatred or even contempt for you. Nothing you can do to change it, no matter how much you grovel. Even if you forgive him like Prithviraj did, he will come back.

Your adversary is the person directly confronting you at any moment. It may be due to hatred, but it may also be to differing interests, or even a dispute between friends. Your adversary today could be your friend tomorrow. It’s sometimes said that when brothers fight, they generally hold something back. This is because they know they might need the same person tomorrow. But Indians fight 110% against their own brothers and friends or petty  native rivals, and yet feel strangely magnanimous and chivalrous when fighting hardened & barbaric enemies. This truly is a topsy turvy approach. This is also the problem with Hate. Hatred Blinds.

Rivals are those who may be competitive with you, but don’t mean direct harm…yet. The lines are often blurred between rivals and acquaintances. Therefore, rather than trust everyone, focus your trust on friends and family (and after that, your countrymen).

As for your friends. It is good live life being loyal to friends. But also remember this wisdom: Be slow to enter into it. When in it remain steady. But if he or she shows the true face, learn how to move on.

Unlike your friends, your family will never lose its status. You will remain related to them by blood or bond no matter what. But part of the problem in families today is individuals only tend to think about what is good for them, or what is “not fair!” given some childhood perceived petty injustice. If family members are to get along again, they must start prioritising what is good for the family. Your family is also your inner circle.

Ironically, those boasting most about their knowledge of Chanakya’s Mandala Theory are least likely to apply it to their personal/political life. This must change.

8.Trust the native before the foreign. This is just common sense.

Yes, Pattanaik is a sepoy. Yes, he has racked up terrible karma for his perversion of our epics. But at the end of the day, he is still a fellow Indian—barely. You don’t have to support him, in fact, you must oppose him & his nonsense. But when he raises up the valuable point about how RW is as colonised as the LW, perhaps it’s something worth considering—even if you don’t become his friend (please don’t…). Rivals, or in his case, adversaries, are not the same as inveterate enemies.  This is less about nationalism and more about common sense. At the end of the day, Pattanaik is still a sepoy & must be rhetorically defeated—but even sepoys—every once in a while—can give you inside information on how your colonial, or neo-colonial, enemy operates.

Does this mean rejecting all foreigners?—No! But there is a difference between cosmopolitanism and colonialism. It means giving your foreign friends due courtesy, and a fair hearing, but nothing more. Be respectful—even friendly, but not slavish. Above all, have the self-respect to learn about your tradition from those who were, like you, actually born into it. Are there wise, enlightened beings born in other lands?—Yes, surely there must be. But it’s not as if India has a deficit of such people.

annamayyastatue

Learn our Dharma from an Actual Acharya

9.Stop seeking approval from Foreigners

Admittedly, it’s not  a uniquely Hindu problem. As we can see here, some religions have this racial inferiority complex built in—and the Indian adherents of those religions too could benefit from a little self-respect.

Play the odds and be on the safe side. Gain your foundation from your traditional teachers, then when you Grow Up, realise you can learn something from even a child—without making it your guru.

10. Operate strategically

§ Issues many have with BJP justified are (especially in J&K & MH). Hence option to vote one for state, different for centre (i.e. BJD in Odisha, and BJP at centre). NOTA is NOT an option. Find an alternative & put the community’s full weight behind it. If there is no alternative, build it!

§ Another option is having many Dharma oriented parties establishing alliance at Centre. There may be relative gains among each, but required to unite at centre, as BJP and SAD presently do.

§ Common Dharmic Programme. Learn to Collaborate…with your own Countrymen!

UPA 1 had Common Minimum Programme for “secular parties” why not “Dharma parties”?

§ Run independent agenda-oriented candidates with proven record of working for Saamaanya Dharma. Hold community town halls at municipal level to give forums for candidates to make their case before a Dharma focused audience. This shouldn’t be based on caste, but for all castes with a common interest in restoring Dharmic governance.

They don’t have to be Sri Rams, they don’t have to be Sita devis, they just have to be committed to the common cause, with enough political credibility to get elected.

§ Vote one way at the state level and another way at the national level, when necessity demands it.

The Punjab election was a case and point. The SAD-BJP alliance was facing huge anti-incumbency, Aam Admi was virtually aiming for a re-ignition of the Khalistan insurgency. In this case, INC’s Captain Amarinder Singh offered the least detestable choice. The patriotic Dharmic majority, which was normally inclined towards the SAD-BJP, felt the ground reality of the popular winds and voted accordingly—as a bloc.

That is the point of Dharma Paksha. Whichever way you vote, it must be as a bloc. Not as a caste or a business group, but as a bloc. Make no mistake, Congress delenda est. But sometimes, when facing a mutual enemy or a Pyrrhus of Epirus, it makes sense to make your (temporary) peace with a rival or lesser enemy than to submit to a worse one. Maharashtra too offers another regional choice (and I write this despite being a South Indian aware of local recent political history). If the party with a difference doesn’t make a positive difference at the state level, vote one way at the state level and another at the national level. But whatever you do, put aside ego and conceit (and ‘my way! or the high way!‘, and ‘my caste! or we end up like the past!‘). Such decisions can’t be made based on emotion, but cool calculation in national interest (instead of petty personal/caste interest).

Is India headed for another Partition or Civil War?

Finally, make it a point to prioritise those promoting the many traditional scholars we have today. Learn Science at School, but learn heritage from traditional scholars and Pandits, who, throughout the tumult of the past thousand years, have preserved an unbroken tradition with an imperfect, but truly rare integrity.

If you start looking outside to learn about yoga (as many “right wingers” do), this is what you end up with:

Modern postural yoga, developed a century ago by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya at the Maharaja of Mysore’s court, does owe a few elements to Western culture. These include iconic exercises like the Headstand and the Salute to the Sun, a series of older postures now linked into a dynamic sequence.”

The source for that little gem of “Hindutva” wisdom is from a doyen of the Right Wing. I personally don’t have anything against him, or the other darlings the so-called saviours of society refer to as “Acharya”. If you yourself want Anglo Acharyas (or EU Acharyas), so be it. But you don’t get to call others “racist” until you yourself start en masse promoting African Acharyas and African Sonia Gandhis to replace your native spiritual and political leadership. That would be true racial non-discrimination. So until then, consider yourselves mentally colonised..and yes, recognise yourselves as the actual racists..

Conclusion

The RW sepoy is nothing new. If one considers Purniah, it is in some cases actually an older phenomenon than LW sepoyhood—though, make no mistake, both LW & RW are sepoys, however much they criticise each other. And also, as we have shown, it is not an exclusively Hindu thing either. In fact, mir jafar and mir sadiq both betrayed their rulers to the British, and the first “native” prince to sellout was the very cowardly turkic nizam of Hyderabad. The prime difference, as Malhotra has written, is how easily and cheaply Indian sepoys sell out. One story embodies what makes the Indian case so shameful.

A persian friend once remarked on seeing a fight between two Indian cliques (featuring foreigners on both sides): “hmm, that’s interesting, you Indians seem to involve others into your own internal fights. We Persians have our issues, but generally don’t believe in letting outsiders into our own disputes”. What could I say?—was he not telling the truth? It’s not that no outsider has ever gotten involved in Persian politics, it’s that it’s so difficult for it to take place. In contrast, learning all the wrong lessons from the Mahabharata, Indians quickly enlist outsiders into their own fratricidal battles, now citing Chanakya as further evidence. They don’t realise that the Kurukshetra War was also a metaphor on the dangers of fratricidal/internecine wars. Who benefitted more from the depletion of kshatriyas in the Kali Yuga than foreign invaders (and their sanskari sepoys)? This is the cost of the Indian policy of “Me and the world against my cousins. Me and my cousins against my brothers”.

In contrast, the arabs provide the original proverbial “exam[b]le” (spelling intentional).

Me and my brothers against my cousins. Me and my cousins against the world.

Which model has been more successful in medieval world history?

Yes, Dharma must come first, and the point is not that you can’t find compromised arabs. You can—arabs themselves lament their present political life. It’s just a question of how easy it is to do so. Nor is this meant to somehow lionise them given their cruel and cowardly treatment of defenceless Indian workers in their own lands. It’s that external competence/strategy frequently is used by those with more barbaric mentalities. Those citing “courtly etiquette/courtesy/adab” often used that to mask more uncivilized intentions. In contrast, as one foreigner remarked: Indians seem to have forgotten their etiquette—hence the dearth of functioning lines. But other than the standard law & order issues in any society, for the most part, Indians are gentle. Proportional pushback and they go back to respecting your personal space. And that’s the point that Indians don’t get, proportionality!

Paraphrasing Aurobindo: Modern civilization is not actually civilization, but a well-ordered barbarism. Indian civilization may have forgotten its finer points of order and sophistication, but the core is gentle and sustainable.

But the ecosystem prefers to operate not for the benefit of the natives, but for the benefit of the colonisers. After all, one would think a civilization so birth-obsessed due to caste would make an even greater distinction between native and foreign. But no, that’s where AIT comes in handy. It disseminates the slave mentality through the hierarchy of outward-looking slaves. Always a stooge of someone else so that your own rival never wins, and the “chote log” know their place.

Now there are of course those who, in order to escape charges, tried to slander Rajiv Malhotra first as though he were also some ecosystem anointee (like them). In fairness, this is the Kali Yuga and anything is possible. We should not be fanboys. But Malhotra has done nothing to indicate such loyalties, and in fact, continues to be boycotted by the actual ecosystem. Furthermore, it can be argued that Malhotra was one of the first, if not the first, to actually distance himself from Hindutva and to focus on Dharma proper. Beef-promoting Hindutva and Hindutva-vadis are not Dharmic and are barely Indic.  So who then is more believable? Pending anything to the contrary, Malhotra stands exonerated in the court of public opinion—the same cannot be said for the ahankari-shikandis who attacked him an unprovoked fashion.

Also, it is important to start distinguishing between individual politicians such as the PM, and the ecosystem in which is he forced to operate. Is Modi Kalki avatar?—clearly not. But this is where self-reliance and Rajadharma and Kshatriya Dharma are required. One cannot forever wait and rely on divine intervention. We must do our part irrespective of the outcome. If you are dissatisfied with not only the sangh ecosystem, but even the PM, find a Dharmic replacement. Build the alternative first, then talk.

This is also why centralisation for anything—even Dharma—is a bad idea. Because too much becomes too dependent on too small a group of people. Rather than a single individual, or even a single ecosystem…each state, region, and individual community, and even family, must be doing its own part for Dharma. Just as sharda script & associated scriptures belong to Kashmiri Pandits, so too do Lingayat Mathas belong to Lingayats. Rather than translating everything into Roman script, let each maintain what belongs to it, while answering the higher call of Dharma. It’s also why the IQ-obsessed eugenics brigades never does anything useful and only care about themselves. Elites always self-select. But this gang can neither lead the way nor get out of the way.

And that is the precisely the problem—when the clarion call of Nishkamya Karma comes, who actually answers? People are quick to ask “why not me”, but never ask “why me”. They let their egos and ambitions get in the way rather than recognise that leadership, particularly politico-strategic leadership, goes to the competent. So the ecosystem and their casteists orbiters are compromised. But why do so many others avoid doing the right thing?

Rabid Casteists can’t be allowed to Masquerade as Nationalists

Opportunism is 1 factor, bandhutva is often another, but also the traditional four policies of sama, dana, beda, danda. This is why hate is not a policy. If you or your family is threatened with danda, what would you do?

So talk is easy, and casteist finger-pointing even easier. Sound understanding of what’s facing you and courage of conviction to actually engage in nishkamya karma much harder. Dharma doesn’t require a politically constructed, agenda-driven, top down ecosystem. It needs a Dharmic Civil Society.

Dharma’s natural “ecosystem” only works if people actually do their own Dharma—rather than try to do someone else’s. This is not a reference to birth caste, but a reference to character and competence (guna-karma). Ask yourself what you are actually good at doing, and focus on that, rather than nurture some delusions of grandeur and obstruct those simply running in their own lane. And stop perverting Dharma so you can anoint your own caste as “ruling caste” even though this contravenes Dharma. It is those with Kshatriyata who formed the ruling class: whether it was a blue-blood like Rana Pratap or a son-of-the soil like Shivaji.

It’s why time and again we’ve been advising you buddhus to avoid trying to settle caste scores and understand there’s a bullseye on all your backs.

While you all fight each other, there are those who are allying to fight against each of you…one by one, with atrocity literature about each caste (as seen below):

“The Big Book of Brahmin Atrocities” may be coming soon, but those of you from other castes should also realise that atrocity literature is already being compiled on you. This “dominant caste” theory is another product of the western academe. In this case it was used to justify the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in the end, paving the way for this.

Understand that in the end even whole communities are disposable for the ecosystem, which ultimately only cares about interests.

Sadly, even naxalism is a product of the ecosystem, since RW corporate greed (with a sanskari tinge) creates discontent among those who are affected.

When elected governments don’t help them, they make the wrong choice, and become manipulated by the anti-national/anti-dharmic LW. But both left and right ultimately dine on an Indian dish. It’s why any Indian raising questions against this can simultaneously get branded a “commie” by the right wing and “hindutva-vadi” by the left wing—if you don’t toe their line, you must be with the other side.

While you rally around your caste guy because “he is our own man”, you forget that ultimate loyalty is to the ecosystem. Not everyone is affiliated with the ecosystem. Some are just orbiters. There are even some members who care about Bharat, like Syama Prasad Mukherjee or a Deendayal Upadhyaya, but whatever happened to them? If that can happen to members, how easily do they part ways with non-members?

Such things happen when a lone voice speaks out. But what happens when the body politic as a whole does? More importantly, this is where people must begin thinking more shrewdly. Devoted loyalty to parties and ecosystems and even politicians who don’t actually care about you is foolhardy. The current dynamic may necessitate different votes for municipal, state, and national elections. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 3rd generation partyman of x party/parivar. You have to begin thinking about what’s important for your society or heritage rather than looking at everything only through every prism except the genuine Dharmic prism.

And this is why rather than blaming a PM or CM or and individual MP, you need to start blaming who’s really responsible…you. Because you can’t even do the basic work, the basic praja dharma required in any society, let alone a Dharmic one. You want mai baap but complain about netas. You hate paying taxes but refuse to do your own work at the societal level or at the state level let alone the civilizational level. And until any or all of these things change, you no longer have the right to complain. Change doesn’t start through Poschim Bong “poriborton”. Change starts with you.

Correct yourself, correct your community, then you can correct society. It is only with a Dharmic Civil Society and a Dharma Paksha, rather than a RW neo-colonial videshi badshah, that the course even has a chance of being corrected.

Leadership doesn’t mean lying down like a lazy book-reading bum giving “commands”. It is good to read books, but don’t expect change in others until you yourself are willing to lead by example. That is real leadership, and that is what is required to lead not only a Dharmic Civil Society, but a Civilizational Revival as well.

Finally the unbecoming and unmanly defeatism on social media is emblematic of exactly what happens when you have all the wrong sorts of people full ambition but completely incompetent, hang on to influence. Rather than girding up to meet the challenge, they give up. When that’s the case, it’s time for new leadership.

References:
  1. Fukuyama, Francis. Political Order and Political Decay. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2014
  2. McLuhan, Marshal. Media Messaging. Oxon: Routledge Classics. 2001

The Misconstrued Abhinaya

The following Post was composed by respected scholar-danseuse Prakruti Prativadi.


In a worrying development, things have been vanishing in Bharatanāṭyaṃ performances for a while now. It started out as a missing piece here, and then another one there, and now its absence can be noticed by even a casual observer of Bharatanāṭyaṃ. The puzzling disappearance of Āhārya Abhinaya – the signature costumes, accessories, makeup, jewelry, and other props that form one significant branch of the Abhinaya in all classical Indian arts – is a symptom of an overall malaise that has taken hold of this sacred Hindu art. Once chosen with the utmost thought and care, nowadays Āhārya abhinaya has become more of postscript or a matter of convenience.

At first glance, Bharatanāṭyaṃ stands out for its unique, bright, distinctive, and festive costumes. Even the most un-initiated spectator will notice the sophisticated jewelry, tilakam, mehndi, and exuberant attire worn by the dancers. To many in the audience, these costumes and accessories may seem like they are mainly for the purpose of beauty and embellishment. This is only partially true; the dance is supposed to evoke beauty and grandeur. However, they serve a more important purpose. From the first step the dancer takes on the stage, these attributes and accessories herald to the audience that the performance is not mere pleasant entertainment, but a sacred experience in which they too will be transformed. The Nāṭyaśāstra provides the insight and details of not just the methods and items of Āhārya, but the aim of it as well.

Āhārya abhinaya does not just consist of the jewelry, makeup and costumes that the dancers wear, but also includes other props, scenery, and even machines (yantra-s) used in performances as mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra. All these elements are part of the overall Āhārya abhinaya. Bharatamuni, in his characteristic meticulous and philosophically profound manner, methodically classifies and lists a myriad array of these. Bharata has dedicated an entire chapter of the Nāṭyaśāstra to Āhārya abhinaya and states that it should be wisely used and is not mere embellishment.

The purpose of this article is not to catalog all the various types of Āhārya abhinaya such as the jewelry and props. Rather, it is to encourage a rooted understanding of the pivotal role of Āhārya abhinaya in bringing out the Rasa experience in the onlooker. Unfortunately, many believe that the ornaments and accessories of Bharatanāṭyaṃ serve only a prosaic utilitarian and materialistic purpose. However, Āhārya abhinaya serves a deeper purpose, like every other aspect of Bharatanāṭyaṃ.

It’s important to note, Bharatanāṭyaṃ is not just a simple art. It is a dance with profound metaphysics requiring many years of full immersion with Śraddha and Bhakti to comprehend the foundational truths embedded in the dance. Studying Bharatanāṭyaṃ for 10 years is an inadequate amount of time to grasp the complete philosophy and meaning of all aspects of this dance. Many people have various opinions, mostly specious, on different characteristics of Indian arts; however, those who have practiced Bharatanāṭyaṃ as a Sādhana for many years, with Śraddha and Bhakti, can understand the purpose of the customs and traditions of the dance.

As discussed in a previous article, the purpose of Bharatanāṭyaṃ is to awaken the Rasa experience in the spectator. Rasa has no translation in English. Rasa can be described as a supreme aesthetic experience and bliss. Abhinaya is the embodiment of characters, stories, and situations with the purposes of generating Bhāva-s and Rasa. Abhinaya consists of four subdivisions: Vācika, Āṅgika, Āhārya and Sātvika.

It is somewhat perplexing to hear dancers say that they do not believe in using a lot of Āhārya abhinaya because they are ‘minimalists’ in this regard; perhaps they do not realize the full import of what minimalism means in the artistic realm. Minimalism is a technical term; it is a movement in art that originated in the 1960’s and had its heyday in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Minimalist art is not just ‘simplified’ art but art that is materially objective and does not refer to anything outside of itself. This means that minimalist art does not refer to any kind of symbolism, spirituality, or sacredness. In a prior article we saw that Bharatanāṭyaṃ is indeed a sacred Hindu art derived from the Vedas. Thus, Bharatanāṭyaṃ and minimalism are not compatible in their aims. Furthermore, far from being an avant-garde trend, the Minimalist movement in art is now quite outmoded. More significantly, claiming to want simplicity in the dance costume in order to focus only on the art conflates Āhārya abhinaya with mere materialistic embellishment, which it is not.

Āhārya Abhinaya affects the performance in two ways: The first is how it affects the onlooker, and the second is how it affects the dancer.

Āhārya Abhinaya and the Audience

As Bharata emphasizes in the Nāṭyaśāstra, Āhārya abhinaya must be carefully considered with respect to the Bhāva-s and Rasa-s the dancers or actors want to generate. The purpose of Bharatanāṭyaṃ and all Hindu arts is to pervade Bhāva-s during the dance performance and awaken the Rasa experience in the onlooker. According to Abhinavagupta, Rasānanda is akin to Brahmānanda, the experience of Rasa is similar to experiencing of Brahman. In order to do this, every single aspect of the dance is carefully chosen to add to the effect it has on the onlooker and the Rasa they experience. Bharata states that an actor or dancer should make intelligent use of jewelry, colors and costumes keeping in mind which Bhāva-s and Rasa that they support. Thus, it becomes obvious that Āhārya has a much deeper purpose and is not just materialistic, or to beautify, or to help the audience recognize the characters.

Every small detail in a Bharatanāṭyaṃ dance integrally acts on the onlooker. The spectator may not even consciously be aware of the detail, so much the better. However, this does not mean that the dancer should neglect it. Āhārya is the finishing touch, the final sophisticated refinement that will aid in the embodiment of Bhāva-s.

Āhārya is a Sanskrit word that has several meanings. One of the meanings of Āhārya is ‘to bring toward’, thus, we see that these props and accessories brings the performance to the onlooker. This does not mean just the characters and stories, but the Bhāva-s and eventually Rasa-s. It has a subtle effect on the onlooker’s consciousness. Since the Nāṭyaśāstra is the oldest treatise on dramaturgy, dance, and music in the world, Bharatamuni is the first to recognize that one’s dress and accessories aid in producing Bhāva-s witnessed by the onlooker. Bharata is also the first to recognize that color influences the psychology and consciousness of a spectator, and color should be thoughtfully considered in Āhārya abhinaya. While one should never overdo the jewelry and dress, as Bharata himself sagely warns, Āhārya abhinaya is not a mere afterthought or whim of the dancer and this is evident if one sees a performance which has little or no Āhārya abhinaya. Such a performance seems bare; removed of the dignity and poise that is integral to Bharatanāṭyaṃ.

The Nāṭyaśāstra and Sangita Ratnākara state that the dancer should be dressed in brilliant, pure, happy attire, jewelry and accessories. The dancer should wear clothing that is made of the finest material including a beautiful jacket or bodice; every part of the body is exquisitely finished with the proper ornamentation. The purpose of all Abhinaya is the grand and glorified embodiment of characters and stories. Bharata goes on to list numerous types of head ornaments, some are similar to those worn even today. He catalogues a variety of jewelry for each limb of the body.

He states that the dancer should wear the sacred brass anklets that she herself has strung, such is her dedication. Her toes should be adorned with toe rings. He associates colors for each Rasa and additionally, for specific types of characters, including the color of the gems and jewelry they are to wear. For example, black attire and blue jewelry is that of Rākśasi-s. This may explain why black as a color for dancers’ costumes, until recently, was eschewed. Human beings like the Nayika-s should be dressed in radiant colors and beautiful delicate jewelry, wear Tilakam and mehndi, with sandal paste applied to their limbs and wearing all other customary ornaments. Colors and ornaments are specified for kings, queens, Deities, sages, even women living in ashrams, and for other characters. Thus, Āhārya abhinaya is a subject to be studied seriously itself.

The great music and dance treatise Sangita Ratnākara specifically mentions that the dancer should have an abundance of hair, a long plait of hair in the back that is decorated with a string of pearls and flowers, this is often seen even today in the Bharatanāṭyaṃ performances. The forehead is decorated with curls and the head ornaments are bands of pearls, or a pearl net, or a metallic band with a forehead ornament. Some of the these are similar to the head ornament, nethi chutti or baitale bottu, in today’s Bharatanāṭyaṃ dances.

Of special significance is the Tilakam or bottu or bindi. These are not merely a beauty mark as has unfortunately become the description. The Tilakam has a very deep Vedic significance and it is not an optional ‘decoration’ in Bharatanāṭyaṃ. It is quite contrary to the ethos of Bharatanāṭyaṃ for the dancer to appear without a Tilakam or bottu.  The Tilakam/bindi symbolizes the third eye awakening and the Bhakta-s relationship with the Paramātma. Furthermore, bindi and Tilakam are not a ‘marker’ that a woman is married; this is a deceitful misrepresentation about Hindu women and culture that is widespread. The Tilakam and bindi are worn by women and girls of all ages regardless of their marital status, especially in the southern Indian states. Women who never marry wear it; as do young girls. This has been the case for millennia and is not a new ‘fashion’ trend.

A detailed study of the sculptures in our temples, both inside and outside, is vital to gaining a further understanding of and to discover aspects of our culture that perhaps we previously were not aware. Many of the sculptures and mūrti-s in temples contain the rich history of Āhārya abhinaya throughout India through the ages.

Āhārya Abhinaya and the Dancer

The second consequence of Āhārya Abhinaya is how it modifies the dancer. Bharatanāṭyaṃ is a Sādhana for the dancer, and therefore, both the dancer’s mind and body reflect this. The dancer is applying the tilakam and sandal paste to their face and body as these are the same materials that are used in puja-s. As explained in the paper I presented for the Swadeshi Indology 3 conference, the Bharatanāṭyaṃ performance itself is a Yajña; thus, all the materials used in the performance are sacred. The dancer wears the appropriate sacred attributes that are associated with the art. This generates the decorum, grandness, and radiance that the dance itself commands from its practitioners. The jewelry and especially the salangai/gejje are sacred, a puja is even done to them prior to the performances. By wearing these items, the dancer transcends her own persona.

The Śraddha required to perform the dance naturally extends to the mode of dress, which is not to be done in a slapdash manner. The purpose of the dance is to transcend the worldly, however this does not mean that one’s convenience is above the art. Therefore, appearing without the proper jewelry, tilakam, head dress, necklace, bangles, belt, mehndi, and gejje/salangai would be considered appearing in a state of undress. It is considered undignified, disrespectful to oneself and others.

Furthermore, in Bharatiya Samskṛti, one’s conduct and attire are for one’s own self-respect, not just for others. This is the ācāra followed by the dancers. It is uncouth and lacking in the right mindset to dance a Bharatanāṭyaṃ performance in jeans or salwar kameez or a kurti. The Devadāsi-s who danced in temples, were adorned in the proper ornaments, dresses, and accessories when they danced. This does not mean the dance is materialistic, this interpretation shows a lack of understanding and espouses an outsider perspective. The purpose of the dance is to transcend the mundane while at the same time providing a beautiful aesthetic and entertaining experience.

A painting of Devadāsi dancers circa 1800. Note the full attention to Āhārya Abhinaya in their dress and jewelry. Painting: “Devedassis or Bayaderes,” by Frederic Shoberl, from The World in Miniature: Hindoostan, London: R. Ackerman, 1820’s

 Indian art is a manifestation of the profound metaphysics of the Veda-s and sastra-s. A deep study of these is necessary to practice Bharatanāṭyaṃ authentically. Everything has an intrinsic meaning and it is the responsibility of the artist to understand and study what these are.  Āhārya Abhinaya is an art in itself, and a significant component in the Bharatanāṭyaṃ dance. Indian art was the first to recognize the connection between dress, color and props and the affect they have on the spectator’s consciousness, as shown in the Nāṭyaśāstra. The dancer who knows the connection with Āhārya and the Bhāva-s and Rasa is one who will intelligently make choices for makeup and costume that will awaken the Rasānanda in her audience and bring the greatest success in her performances.

RasasBook

About the Author: Prakruti Prativadi is a Bharatanatyam dancer/teacher, researcher and engineer. She is the author of ‘Rasas in Bharatanāṭyaṃ’, which is based on her research of the Nāṭyaśāstra and other treatises. Her upcoming book further explores these and other aspects of Indian aesthetic philosophy in Bharatanāṭyaṃ.

She recently received a best paper award at the Swadeshi Indology 3 Conference. You can follow her on Twitter. She also blogs at our Daughter Site, Tamizh Culture Portal.

References:
  1. Kamath, Suryanath. 2006. Karnatakada Ithihasa: Halavu Mukhagalu [History of Karnataka: A Few Faces, in Kannada]. Bengaluru: Sumukha Prakashana.
  2. Ghosh, M.M. 2006. P. Kumar (Ed.) Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharatamuni. (Vols. 1-4). Delhi: New Bharatiya Book Corporation.
  3. Prativadi, Prakruti. 2017. Rasas in Bharatanāṭyaṃ. South Charleston: Createspace.
  4. Sarangadeva, Sangītaratnākara. Adyar Library Series.
  5. Srinivas, P. N. 2000. Mathugalu [Talks on Kannada Literary Criticism, in Kannada]. Bangalore: Purogami Sahitya Sangha.
  6. Subrahmanyam, Padma. 1979. Bharata’s Art Then and Now. Bombay: Bhulabhai Memorial Institute. Madras: Nrithyodaya.
  7.  ‘Minimalism’ retrieved from http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/m/minimalism. Accessed January 18, 2018
Copyright: Prakruti Prativadi. All rights reserved.

Sulba Sutras & the Indic Approach to Engineering — 1

source: http://vigyanprasar.gov.in/digital-repository/posters/maths-indian-heritage/

How great is the science which revealed itself in the Sulba, and how meagre is my intellect! I have aspired to cross the unconquerable ocean in a mere raft". 
-Bibhutibhushan Datta, Science of the Sulbas.

Summary

In this short introductory post, we share the motivation behind the study of Ganita in ancient Indian works such as Vedanga Jyotisha and Sulba Sutras, before delving deeper into the geometrical science of the Sulbas in Part-2. This self-study gives us a rough understanding of traditional Indic Engineering and its methods. We further develop these ideas in the third and final part and apply it toward solving challenging contemporary problems.

Introduction

The Sulbasutras are comprehensive reference manuals to plan, align, measure, compute, layout, and construct structurally stable Vedic Altars required for the proper performance of Yagnas. The Sulbas belong to the Srauta Sutra section of the Kalpasutras, which are one of the six Vedangas attached to the Vedas.  The Sulbas provides the required spatial and directional parameters for constructing the altars while the time-keeping calculations in the Vedanga Jyotisha decide the temporal parameters of the Yagna. The position vector coordinates consisting of orientation, location, and time (dik-desa-kaala) can be decided using these texts.

Sulba primarily means measurement [1], which is done using the measuring cord called the Rajju, although sometimes these two terms are used interchangeably. An early Hindu term mentioned in the Sulba Sutras is Sulba Vijnana, roughly the ‘science of the Sulba’, measurement science, or the geometrical sciences [1], which also became known later as kshetraganita [2]. Part-2 has a more complete discussion of these terms.

Seven Sulba Sutras are available today, and the three earliest Sulbas are listed below (earlier first), noting that the dating of the early Sulba to 800 BCE is tentative and only provides the latest date when the Sulbas were compiled. The organization of these three Sulbas are given below [1].

Baudhayana Sulba Sutra

This is considered the world’s earliest systematic treatise on Geometrical Sciences, but like the Vedanga Jyotisha, contains pre-existing ideas from more ancient Vedic works that date back to the 2nd-3rd millennium or earlier. Interestingly, the pythagorean theorem is first stated by Baudhayana.

The Sulba content also serves as the oldest known reference text for Engineering.

Chapter 1: 116 sutras
Topics: measures, geometrical rules of altar construction, relative positions and magnitudes of the various Vedis.

Chapter 2:  86 sutras
Topics: spatial relations in the constructions of the agnis (Vedic fire altars),
and the construction of the two simplest agnis, i.e., Garhapatya and Chandas (Veda mantras replace bricks).

Chapter 3: 323 sutras
Topics: Seventeen different kamyagnis, which involve complex and highly specific constructions.

Apastamba Sulba Sutra

6 sections, 21 chapters and 223 sutras in total.

This work also discusses the methods of construction.

Katyayana Sulba Sutra

7 sections, 90 sutras. 48 verses.
The content is partly in sutra form and part verse. Additional topics include attributes of Sulba expertise, and the rules of ethical conduct for those involved in altar construction.

The other available Sulba works include those of Maanava, Maitraayana, Vaaraaha, and Vaadula.

Available commentaries on the three Sulbas (likely date: post Aryabhata)
BS: Dvarakanatha Yajva, Venkateshvara Dikshata
AS: Kapardiswami (before 1150 CE), Karavindaswami, Sundararaja (prior to 1600), Gopala
KS: Rama Bajapeya (1449 CE) who made new contributions and improved the accuracy of √2 up to 7 decimal places, and Mahidhara (1589 CE, Banaras, based on Rama’s work).

Why Study the Sulbas?

The Sulbasutras have been popular as a mathematical research area since the 19th century CE. There exist several works by acclaimed scholars that summarize the mathematical content and astronomical connections of the Sulba texts through books and video lectures, and can be found within the reference section at the end of the post.  Here, we study the Sulba content to try and delineate an Indic approach to Engineering and where it differs from the western method.

Our primary references for this effort are the seminal 1932 work of Bibhutibhushan Datta on the Sulbas [1], the 1979 book of ancient Indian Geometry by Saraswati Amma [2], the 1997 publication of Kapila Vatsyayan’s work on Indic Art [3], and several other textual and non-textual resources. Bibhutibhushan Datta (who later became Swami Vidyaranya) and Saraswati Amma were Sanskrit scholars in addition to their mathematical expertise. Barring exceptions, scholarly works adopt a reductionist ‘secular mathematical’ view of the Sulbas, ignoring its Vedic basis as simply irrelevant, or dismissing it as pre-rational mystic rituals.

Questions

  • What is the wrong with adopting such a Euro-centric approach? Why move toward an Indic perspective?
  • What is the practical benefit of studying the content of such ancient Hindu texts?

The responses to these questions given by learned Indian scholars inspired us to ask similar questions of our own professional domain:

  • Is there such a thing as a traditional Indic approach to Engineering? If so, what are the principles of this Indic Engineering Practice? How is it even relevant today?

We turn to Dharampal for answers.

Bharatiya Chitta and Kaala

In his writings [11], Dharampal explains the value and need for studying ancient Indian texts from an Indic perspective: “One understands others only from one’s own perspective. Attempts to live and think like the others, to transport oneself into the Chitta and Kaala of others, lead merely to delusion… In fact, the process of understanding the Indian Chitta and Kaala cannot possibly begin without some understanding of the vast corpus of literature that has formed the basis of Indian civilisation and regulated the actions and thoughts of the people of India for millennia

...If we wish to affirm the validity of Indian consciousness, of Indian Chitta and Kaala, we can do so only by establishing the Indian way of life in the present-day world. And, this re-assertion of India in the present context is the major task today which Indian scholarship, Indian politics, Indian sciences and technologies, Indian arts, crafts and other diverse skills must accomplish. 

Dharampal emphasizes the time-criticality and practical requirements of this task.

what is urgently needed is not high scholarship, but a rough and ready comprehension of ourselves and the world. We need a direction, a vision, a conceptual basis, that is in consonance with the Indian Chitta and Kala, and through which we can proceed to understand the modern world and the modern times

Keeping this challenging goal in mind, we have studied the technical aspects of the Sulba Sutras not in isolation, but relative to and serving its primary objective.

Preliminaries

The overarching objective of the Sulba Sutras is to establish the proper construction of Vedic altars in order to ensure the correct performance of Yagna, which unites mankind to the devatas [4]. The keywords listed below give us a limited but useful idea of the Sanskrit non-translatables employed in this context of Yagna.

Agni: Fire altar constructed using layers of bricks of different types and dimensions.

Citi: A layer of Agni

Vedi: The raised area where the Yagna is performed, including the agni and where the participants are seated.

Yagna sala layout. Source: Square and Circle of Arts (1997)

Syena (Falcon-shaped) fire altar. [3].
It is known that these profound Sanskrit terms associated with Yagna have multiple meanings relating to transformation, consciousness, and knowledge. Hence, Agni is not simply fire, Citi is not merely a brick layer, and Vedi is not only a raised platform. The Sulba Sutra is not just a collection of results from geometrical science, and Yagna is not the same as sacrifice in the western sense [4]. The writings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who popularized transcendental meditation, point to the deeper role of the Sulba Sutras that includes a description of consciousness itself [12]. Therefore, to better understand the Sulbas, we have to study the transformative power of Yagna.

Indic Engineering Practice as Yagna

Integral Versus Fragmented Knowledge

The Vedic Cosmology is embedded in every aspect of the altar constructions. Every grain of sand, brick, citi, and the altars of various shapes correspond to some aspect of the cosmos. These correspondences or Bandhus bind the universe in an integral unity. Rajiv Malhotra coined this term in his book ‘Being Different [4]: “The integral unity of the whole manifests itself in the parts, and they in turn aspire to unite with the whole; this principle is reflected in every domain of dharmic knowledge, including philosophy, science, religion, ethics, spirituality, art, music, dance, education, literature, oral narratives, politics, marriage rituals, economics, and social structures. Each domain of dharmic knowledge is itself a jewel in Indra’s Net, and reflects all the others. In other words, the same underlying principles are represented in these specialties in different ways.”.

Prof. Subhash Kak in his path-breaking work [5] states that the agnicayana altars symbolize the universe; the five layers of the Ahavaniya represent the earth, space, and sky through the first, third, and fifth layer, with the intermediate layers linking these elements. He asserts that knowledge is gained through altar construction. The knowledge obtained through Yagna is integral and not fragmented since the traditional Indic approach is not to “disentangle and differentiate conceptually different entities & notions, but to realize their connections (bandhus) [5]”.

For example, the circadian biological cycle is synced with earth’s rotational cycle through Ritam (from the Rig Veda, nature’s ordering principle [4]). The press release for the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology starts with “Life on Earth is adapted to the rotation of our planet“, and concludes with “indications that chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner timekeeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases.“.  The deficiency in the inherently fragmented western approach is apparent in this ‘new’ finding based on inner and outer correspondences.  In contrast, in ‘Being Different‘, Rajiv Malhotra gives examples of Ayurveda’s integral unity. Ayurveda, an Upaveda of the Vedas emphasizes the importance of adopting the right, sustainable lifestyle for an individual.

Science rooted in a vedic framework can lead to sustainable solutions to many such important problems. The Indic engineering system designed and built to work in harmony with Ritam will benefit both man and environment, while also serving a higher, transcendental objective. The traditional Indic practitioner would not look at his/her field in isolation but could draw inspiration, ideas and methods from seemingly unrelated disciplines, which in reality are interlinked knowledge systems that are integrally united [4].

Lacking this deeper dharmic unity,  western attempts to unify separate fields of knowledge is evident in new-age ideas such as ‘combinatorial creativity‘, and the ‘generalized specialist’. Professional certifying examinations in the west tend to reward practitioners having a T-shaped skillset in the workplace and reduce the proportion of ‘one legged men in ass-kicking contests‘. Despite such efforts, the splintered view of knowledge, which tends to be profitable in the short-term, is not only dominant but gaining ground in western higher education, culminating in ‘fragmentversities‘.

Certitude and Uncertainty

Indic scholars have presented many more examples of such Bandhus in the altar construction: Kapila Vatsyayan [3] mentions that in certain constructions, there are 108,000 lokamprna bricks corresponding to the number of muhurtas in a basic 360-day Vedic year. There are 396 yajumati bricks in some constructions which corresponds to the 360 days + 36 intercalary days of a Vedic calendar. Similarly, certain Kamyagnis have a surface area of 108,000 (sq.) Angulas [5].

In the Chandasciti, Vedic mantras are considered equivalent to and replace the consecrated bricks, where the construction is no longer physical, but at the level of consciousness [12]. An altar of mantras is a representation of the Rig Veda. Correspondences are established using Ganita Sastra and Sulba Vijnana, resulting in accurate calculations and precise measurements. However, such decisive alignments and careful stacking of bricks do not signify a quest for an unnaturally perfect order. The altar construction reflects nature’s geometry that balances smoothness (certitude) and roughness (uncertainty).

The role of uncertainty is recognized and incorporated into the altar through the sprinkling of sand and interspersing the orderly chant of Vedic mantra with inarticulate sounds. Yagna combines order and chaos [4].  The amicable sharing of sacred space by doubt and surety suggests an early Indic grasp of the fallibility of the scientific claim, and the unavoidable imprecision in calculation and measurement. We can see the tangible value of this ‘bandhutva’ with uncertainty in the results of the Sulba sutras in part-2. On the other hand, without uncertainty, there can be no useful science. Engineering in the Sulbas also views uncertainty as an opportunity to innovate. This will be covered in part-3.

This 'concession' to fallibility is not a weakness, but a contributor to Bharata's dynamism and civilizational continuity through its demonstrated ability to continually reform and transform from within and be reborn. This is Bharata's own Natyam through the ages; a Yagna performed on India's sacred geography, its altar constructed on a cosmic level using bricks from Bharatiya Chitta and Kaala. Every Bharatiya who participates in this Yagna is transformed, thereby transforming the national consciousness.

Sulba Vijnana: From Art to Engineering

Toward obtaining a more comprehensive view of the Sulba science, we learn from the art perspective of the Sulbas and Yagna presented by renowned art scholar Kapila Vatsyayan, and is summarized below. If Yagna is a basis for Indian art, architecture, and sciences, then the vijnana of the Sulbas will be reflected in all these fields, and the engineer will be able to learn a lot from such art.

  1. Elements of Geometry and Algebra emerge from the Bandhus, the system of correspondences established during the Yagna

The Indian way of viewing nature, and their inclination to look for Bandhus [4] is nicely captured by Vatsyayan ji when she states that “anything that is visible can have layers of meaning, and also has validity for itself… the visible is not just visible but is the very aid to the invisible.” During the Yagna, a link is created between finite and infinite, between the precisely measured that are defined by name and form (namarupa) and that beyond definition and the formless (pararupa and arupa).

Bandhus in the form of geometrical metaphors can be identified here. Fundamental geometric entities starting from a single ‘dimensionless’ point (Bindu), the one-dimensional line that emerges from a moving point, the two-dimensional figures such as triangle, square, and circle that emerge from moving lines, etc. are all symbols having multiple meanings.  Sophisticated principles from the Vedas and Upanishads are contained within the circle and its geometrical properties [3]. Bindu also denotes a center or origin, and all notions of time and space are comprehended through itAnother Bandhu described by Vatsyayan ji is in the form of the botanical metaphor of the seed or Bija [3], which motivates Bija Ganita (algebra), the earliest notions of which are to be found in the geometrical methods of the Sulba Sutras.

Every math student in the world is replicating the first step of Vedic Yagna when they draw the perpendicular X-Y axes on graph paper, intersecting at the origin with the X-Y axis arrowhead pointing eastward. Vedic Altar construction begins by identifying the east-pointing E-W line (Praci) using the instrument Sanku [14]. The basic geometrical construction of the Sulbas is the perpendicular bisector, yielding the north-south line.

2. The geometrical and algebraic ideas that emerge from the Sulbas are transferred to the sacred Indian artforms.

Vatsyayan ji traces the methodology (viniyoga) of human movement evolved in Indian arts to its interconnections with the vidhi of the yagna. She notes the importance of trigonometry and geometry to science as well as art, and states that the system of solving linear equations by moving from one known to many unknowns represents both a mathematical and artistic understanding.  This algebraic layer “gives the Indian arts the capacity to concretise the notions of the one and the many as also abstract and concrete, the measurable and beyond measure finite and infinite” [3]. Thus, Indic art reflects the findings of the Sulba Sutras. Kapila Vatsyayan remarks that a careful study of the Sulba Sutras can tell us exactly how those Sulba principles were transferred into the artistic domain.

In her award-winning research paper at the third Swadeshi Indology conference (Chennai 2017), danseuse and aerospace engineer Prakruti Prativadi has discussed Bharatanatyam as Yagna. She has reviewed the necessary conditions for a recital to qualify as a Bharatanatyam performance. When the sacred artistic recital is of high caliber and the audience too is receptive to the performance, the performer and the audience unite as participants in a Yagna [8]. 

"The purpose of Bharatanatyam is not only to produce an aesthetic effect but to transform the consciousness of the onlooker to experience the Paramatma through Rasa." [10]. The participants are thus reborn.

Ganita’s place value systems and Sanskrit itself are algebraic in nature [4]. In the decimal place value system, the value of a digit such as ‘1’ is variable and can be any integral power of 10 (1, 10, 10², 10³, …) and is fixed only when its place is specified. Similarly, a Sanskrit word or verse can have a whole range of meanings. The Sanskrit Pandit can narrow down the appropriate meaning depending on the context of usage [4]. A misunderstanding here can produce silly interpretations (e.g. “Beef in the Vedas“).

Professor Amartya Kumar Dutta at the Indian Statistical Institute in his excellent survey of ancient Ganita prior to the common era [13], quotes Swami Vivekananda on the decimal system. This quote by Swamiji highlights the integral unity of Ganita and Sanskrit: “… the ten numerals, the very cornerstone of all present civilization, were discovered in India, and are, in reality, Sanskrit words.”. Where does Sanskrit end and Ganita begin, and where does Ganita end and Sanskrit begin!

3. Engineering as an integral discipline emerges from Sulba Vijnana (with Ganita from Vedanga Jyotisha as pre-requisite).

From the artistic domain of Bharatanatyam, the connection can be made to Silpa Sastra and sacred architecture and sculpture: Vatsyayan ji quotes the renowned danseuse Balasaraswati who explains how a Bharatanatyam recital is structured like a great temple [3] affirming that both Indic art and sacred architecture are based on a system of correspondence established through Vedic yagna.  Sulba Vijnana is used in the construction of Hindu Mandirs. The calculating expertise comes from Ganita, the science of computation. The Sulba Sutras along with Vedanga Jyotisha form the basis of Engineering as an integral discipline.  Indian history is full of amazing feats of engineering that stand out for the harmony of construction with nature.

Reclaiming the Sacred Space

The present rupture [7] in India’s epistemological continuity has resulted in a significant number of Indian elites transporting themselves to live in the socially profitable Chitta and Kaala of the West [11]. The situation is direMany of us have lost the depth of insight available to our ancestors by limiting ourselves to living with this reductive, fragmented mindset. The Indic practitioner’s effortless and refined improvisation in-context while remaining anchored in the Raaga and Taala of Bharatiya Chitta and Kaala is achieved through Shraddha and Saadhana. Without this anchor, there is an overemphasis on text and theory over embodied knowing [4], with contextual ethics [4] giving way to moral relativism. The net result is a rootless, jarring remix of uninspiring engineering and myopic profiteering.

There are multiple paths to recovery, and we discuss one such path. As Dharampal pointed out [11], rather than weep over the lakhs of manuscripts that are lost to us, we can learn from what is already available. The several Sulba works, Jyotisha redactions, and the Natyasastra text, and the various commentaries, and dozens of books on these topics are all available online. By incorporating these Indic methods into our professional practice and daily life, we can slowly relocate our westernized selves back into India’s Chitta and Kaala.

A long and circuitous journey has to be undertaken by the hard-working Karthikeyas in order to return home to Shiva and obtain the Jnana-phala. Blessed are those Vinayakas who are already in the right space and time!

Understanding the principles of Indic art and dramaturgy can give engineering students a more rounded view of their discipline. Like a genuine Bharatanatyam performance, the sculpting of Devi’s Murthi, or constructing a Kovil/Mandir, Indic Engineering takes up a project as a sacred task that transforms the consciousness of the participants and end users, yielding sustainable, dharmic development. This goal can be achieved if the project is in harmony with Rtaaccepting only shubh labh (as opposed to unbridled profit), with all the stakeholders functioning as an integrally united team based on the dharma of collaboration.

There is no I or U in team, but there must be IU.

The construction of Rama Sethu in the Ramayana forever serves as the ideal to emulate. Even the tiny squirrel that contributed its expertise to the Sethu was transformed by Sri Rama’s divine touch.

References:

(Partial list only. Full list will be shared along with Part-3).

  1. Bibhutibhushan Datta (Swami Vidyaranya). The Science Of The Sulba: A Study In Early Hindu Geometry. University of Calcutta. 1932.
  2. Saraswati Amma. Geometry in Ancient and Medieval India. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. 1979.
  3. Kapila Vatsyayan. The Square and the Circle of the Indian Arts. Abhinav Publications. 1997.
  4. Rajiv Malhotra. Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism. Harper Collins. 2011.
  5. Subhash Kak. The Astronomical Code of the Ṛgveda (Third Edition). 2011.
  6. Rajiv Malhotra. Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity. Harper Collins. 2014.
  7. Kosla Vepa. The Origins of Astronomy, The Calendar, and Time (Second Edition). 2010.
  8. Prakruti Prativadi. Rasas in Bharatanatyam: First in a Series on Indian Aesthetics and Bharatanatyam. Creative Space. 2017.
  9. N.R.I Pathi. Dharmic Development. Andhra Cultural Portal. 2014.
  10. Prakruti Prativadi. The Bharatanāṭyaṃ Yajña. Swadeshi Indology-3 Information Handout. 2017.
  11. Dharampal. Collected Writings in 5 Volumes. Other India Press. 2000.
  12. John Price. Applied Geometry of the Sulba Sutras. Department of Mathematics, Maharishi University of Management, Iowa. 2000.
  13. Amartya Kumar Dutta. Was There Sophisticated Mathematics During Vedic Age? in ‘An anthology of disparate thoughts at a popular level‘. ISIREA, Kolkata, 2016.
  14. K. Ramasubramanian. The Origin and Growth of Mathematics in India. R C Gupta Award Lecture, IIT Bombay. 2010.
Acknowledgments:
Thanks to the ICP editor for his valuable suggestions and patiently reviewing this work.

The Modern “Hindu” is a Charvaka

Prior to this Post, we published The Descent of Man — Stages of Charvaka-ism. It explored how men & women of whatever caste and whatever background can descend from Daiva Bhakti to Asura Bhaava.

Those of you long time readers may recall our previous piece: The “Modern” Hindu is a Spoiled Brat. We concluded by stating that the degree of his selfishness was greater than others, and that this was due to mummy-approved egos. While there is truth to that, the reality is in fact even deeper. There are plenty of mama’s boys the world over. What makes ours so particularly unctuous is their embrace of “mujhe kya mila” ultimately rooted in Rnam krtva, ghrtam pibet

The Charvakas, sad to say, in fact won…likely a long time ago. As hard as it is to believe it, as much as “official” history belies it, the reality is the Charvaka philosophy is not only returning, but has in fact become the moola-mantra for the Modern Hindu of all castes: Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet.

The Charvakas are often conflated with the School of Lokayata, associated with Acharya Chanakya, and ultimately originating with Brihaspati, but they are in fact a different branch. Neither Chanakya nor Brihaspathi are nastikas—that is, both upheld the authority of the Vedas and also believed in the Supreme Being, however ruthless their politics may be. Brihaspathi is the preceptor of the devas, after all.

But Charvakas are something quite different, and quite a bit more insidious. The term itself means “sweet speech”, as they aim to deconstruct by the means of sweet voiced nothings that reduce societies to nothing. Rajiv Malhotra famously wrote on Charvakas 2.0, and the Return of the Charvakas. But the truth is, they never really left. After all, what better way to quietly assert your influence than to convince the world you don’t exist.

“There is no outside-text”

Textualists say “look at the text”—as if there is nothing above it. Do you know who else says that?—Cultural Marxists. Traditional Acharyas always emphasise sadhana & shraddha (along with study) to intuitively gain the true meaning.

Interestingly enough, there has long been an association and mutual fascination between the charvaka & the marxist. Derrida famously wrote “il n’y a pas de hors-texte“. Though some quibble that this means “there is no outside text“, the net effect remains “there is nothing beyond the text“. As such, each is free, whether materialist or spiritualist, traditional pandit or atheist scientist, to impute his or her meaning into the text itself. Original canonical interpretation is not what matters, but strategic interpretation to produce atrocity literature or social misfiture.

This is the problem with textualist twits. These murkhapanditas say “look at the text”, not realising Rishis purposefully recorded key texts in metaphor so idiots who misuse power/authority don’t get mantraphala (fruit of mantra).

Furthermore, many original manuscripts have been tampered with. So there is no point in saying “this is so-and-so’s own commentary!”, because the original words may have been changed to suit another agenda. That is why tapasya, shraddha, sadhana, all matter.

The problem is, the so called “Hindu RW” is filled with Charvakas—who say, “there is nothing beyond the text”. Egotists align exactly with Derrida who wrote exactly that. But along with text of Dharma is the Spirit. Letter can get corrupted, not Spirit.

For some, corruption of letter can result in financial remuneration. And then? Rnam krtva, ghrtam pibet.

You may assert, “Well, the average Hindu is known for his wise management of family money”—yes, of family money. He isn’t so stupid as to (as a general rule) get his family into debt so that he can drink ghee. No, he sells off the state or national interest instead! After all, “mujhe kya mila?”

Somebody is doing something useful? Should we promote? No, “mujhe kya mila?”. But if I promote foreign Acharyas, I will be seen as part of the popular “in crowd”. Popularity, you see, is also a form of ghee-shakkar. American high schools of the 90s may have become the embodiment of popularity contests, but Indian social media is no stranger—willing to barter even the national interest in the process.

It is true that around the world “normie twitter” is pretty much the same—disconnected from reality and focused on trivial things like food, celebrities, sports, etc. But the key difference is between Internet Hindu Twitter and the rest of the world. Internet Hindu twitter is very much a product of high school popularity contests. Short term gains rather than long term interests.

Even rhetoric too.

He is the ruthlessly unsentimental sentimentalist. His high minded values that are publicly professed allow him to be a low level charvaka unsentimentally focused on Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet.

Why else is “infotainment” so popular? Not enough to get information—nooo!—you must be entertained while you get it. “Amuse me”.

Bandhutva

I have purposefully used the term bandhutva rather than the usual point on casteism because in reality, casteism is just a specific form of bandhutva. For others it is language or region or frat house camaraderie, or some cases all three. This matters because it is demonstrative of the fact that it is not some sacred sense of duty that binds all these people together (sellouts happily sell off dharma to pay of rna). No, it is because any form of bandhutva rather than being the organic group they emanate from  is in fact an extension of their own self.

It’s why an idiot movie like Dangal can become popular not just in India but China, because the modern people of these  countries think there is something noble in a tyrannical father forcing his daughters into wrestling so he can be vicariously victorious through them. Children are but extensions of the parent’s self, rather than a true bandhu bound by blood and  reciprocal duties. Rather than loving the child for her own sake, it’s loving the child as the extension of one’s own self. That’s why parents often get hyper-competitive in making their kids compete with others.”Sharma ji ka beta…”.So naturally, those who are “not the self” become rivals in an ever-worsening zero-sum game for solipsism.

Casteism is merely another group extension of the self. It’s also why certain castes are famous for having vicious fights within, despite unity when collective interests are threatened. Jackals too, behave the same way. Mafias too operate that way. Varying degrees of this misconception of the self result in self-centeredness and eventually, the worst variety of selfishness known to mankind. Others may say more horrible crimes are committed by other communities—and this is true. But this is not out of selfishness—it is out of a topsy turvy sense of morality. Within a given conception of morality, the Hindu has become the most selfish.

Opportunist to the extreme, he is the ultimate fence-sitter. “Which side is winning?”—I will join that side. “Who cares if something is useful, I don’t have time to help build something someone else is doing. Give me something ready made, with a good ROI, and then I will join”—because, mujhe kya mila?

Prefer cozy digital salons to active useful action cause, Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet

Outrage and bluster instead of concerted societal action cause, Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet

Pay lip service to high minded ideals but in your private life, Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet

Naxalism or Nationalism,why care,as long as its casteism cause,Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet

Whine about conversion but utilise Catholic indulgences cause, Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet

Give legitimacy to criminal families for selfserving politics cause,Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet

No wonder “Rna creates Dharma” for a set of charvakas masquerading as brahmanas. Their own policy is in fact, Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet.

It’s why they can mistranslate madhuparka as beef

It’s why they can mistranslate sringara as sensuality/eroticism

It’s why they can falsely assert alternative lifestyles are not prohibited by Dharmasastra

It’s why they can malevolently attack Rajiv Malhotra in favour of Phil Goldberg

It’s why they can misguide the Hindu population on behalf of Sheldon Pollock & Co.

Rnam krtva, ghrtam pibet.

Secularists themselves have admitted as much for their philosophy. But what about so called “RW”ers. Nationalism being—temporarily—oh so popular these days. Let’s leave aside the normie twitter crowd. Why is internet hindu twitter so vacuous. Yes I mean you, quietly reading this article while publicly pretending not to (we see the link clicks).

It’s not that you don’t see what’s going on. It’s cause you prefer to do what’s popular, rather than what is principled. It’s understandable if you don’t have critical thinking skills—the education system (especially in India) was designed to deny you that. It’s understandable if you don’t have courage of conviction, after all 70 years of “pata hai mera baap kaun?”.

Others of course love to point to British Colonialism or Turkic Invasion, and there is some truth to that.  It is understandable if there is a sense of survival instincts, but for treachery to become a way of life long after at least nominal independence smacks of something deeper. If treachery is seen as mere transactionalism, and transactionalism the national policy, then it can only mean one thing: Rnam krtva, ghrtam pibet.

Even most ladies aren’t innocent. We’ve generally been understanding of the woman’s  predicament with the modern male—but the modern female is not much better. For all her high-minded talk of Romance, she doesn’t actually want real romance, but the possession of it for showcase. “See, I too HAVE someone who loves me that much. I too POSSESS such a Love”. It’s romance as consumption.

As Bhavabhuti showed, real Romance is selfless—not selfish. It’s not “I did this for you, so you do this for me”—that is the very  embodiment of transactionalism. It is also emblematic of how rather  than elevating men to the intuitively spiritual level of women, modern women have descended to the selfishly material level of men.

And people accept it, not because of conditioning (though there is some of that), not because of misquotation (though there is some of that), and not cause of peer pressure (though there is some of that)—they accept it because they want to.

In all fairness, who doesn’t want to enjoy? Everyone has some sense of wanting to enjoy either their youth or their family life or their retirement—etc. But the question is how much and at what cost?

“If you sell out your conscience, then you can enjoy!“

“If you sell out your self-respect, then you can enjoy!“

“If you sell out your principles, then you can enjoy!“.

“If you sell out your religion, then you can enjoy!“

“If you sell out your country, then you can enjoy!“

“If you sell out your state, then you can enjoy!“

“If you sell out your family, then you can enjoy!“

“If you sell your soul… then you can enjoy!“

“If you sell your mind…. then you can enjoy!“.

When is the cost too much?!!! That is the question not only Hindus or Indians, but all people of the world must ask. That is the moral of the story in the Ramayana—no cost is too high to bear…not for enjoyment…but for principles…for upholding one’s Dharma. Life treated both Sita and Rama unjustly. No average human should be asked to pay the cost they paid. You saw in the Uttararamacharita just the level of the love between them. And yet, Dharma had to come first. You rank cowards can’t even avoid selling off your own minds, your own free will to think as independent human beings worthy of respect—because you have no self-respect.

Groveling has not only become your way of life, or even a legal argument in courts, but even your religion!

Don’t blame Dharma—madde snanam is justified nowhere, and Sambha’s 1 off case involved rishis not saamaanya brahmanas (traditional or otherwise).

Self is not material. The self is spiritual—consciousness incarnate. And this why ultimately the Charvakas not only have returned, but in fact won long time back and are now running the show. They can sell off to colonial (or neo-colonial) invaders, not only cause “rnam krtva, ghrtam pibet”—but because they believe in the material self rather than the spiritual self.

That is why bandhutva matters to them—because (material) blood is thicker than spirit. Because rather than various levels of community-hood united in spirit, it is a brotherhood of self-proclaimed “eugenically” enhanced thievery—because Rnam krtva, Ghrtam pibet.

It is material self-hood, the ultimate egotism that has replaced the spiritual self-hood. One believes the self is only the physical body (with nothing much beyond), and the other believes the self to be the jeevatman—and emanation of the Ultimate self, Paramatman. It is the difference between the Asuric and the Daivic. One need not be an Asura worshipper—one need only believe ‘this is it, nothing more”’

Bhagavad Gita 2:42-43

yam imam puspitam vacam
pravadanty avipascitah
veda-vada-ratah partha
nanyad astiti vadinah
kamatmanah svarga-para
janma-karma-phala-pradam
kriya-visesa-bahulam
bhogaisvarya-gatim prati ||

Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.

Charvakas come in different varieties. It all depends on the degree to which their sense of self-hood extends or to what extent they define their blood-based bandhutva. For some it is just themselves, for others just family, for others caste, and for others region. None of this is to say that any sense of bandhutva is wrong—only that it explains their behaviours. It’s why some self-proclaimed nationalists can still in fact be rabid casteists and also charvakas promoting beef in Vedas. It is “our empire after all”. And they can also whine about AIT’s effect on their state’s own sect while subtly promoting a bloviating blogger who promotes it —why?—”cause he is our own man“. Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet.

And if that doesn’t pay off—well then, one can still partner with the foreign charvakas to keep the chote log down. Treachery after all, is but mere transactionalism to them. Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet.

It’s why charvakas frequently masquerade as “by birth” brahmanas, embarrassing fellow brahmins with their pompous propaganda. Recognising that brahmanas and women were protected classes in ancient India, they cynically seek the protection of the very Dharma they are slowly destroying like termites.

But whether it was Charvaka or Ravana or even a woman like Tadaka, all those who aim to destroy Dharma will ultimately be destroyed by it. 

It’s also why this spiritual samgraam can’t be about caste vs caste,but Dharma vs Adharma.

There are those who will argue, “Well, aren’t Asuras spiritual beings rather than material?”. Well, the truth is more complicated. There are the pure “rationalist”/”empiricist” materialists of western or westernised nature who believe “disembodied beings” are balderdash. But then there are the ancient Indic materialists who emphasise only the material, while subverting aspects of the spiritual to their own Egos. And that is what it fundamentally means to be an Asura.

Asuras want to “run alongside God” with the aim of ultimately replacing God. Devas, whatever their flaws, however much they like to enjoy, don’t seek to replace God, but be one with God.

This is the true root of transactionalism, the shopkeeper mentality, because there are no consequences once life is over. YOLO! Life itself is the ultimate transaction, why not try everything on the buffet! So promote fraudacharyas you know in your heart are compromised. Anoint foreign Acharyas while insulting your own native ones. After all, you can drink the benefits of digital popularity!

So eat, drink, and be merry now cause you know not what comes tomorrow! Rnam krtva ghrtam pibet….

The Descent of Man — Stages of Charvaka-ism

http://www.bhagavad-gita.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/gita-126.jpg

There is an old story about a Brahmana who had traveled to Greece and was conversing with a Sophist. The Sophist said that the Greeks had separated God from studying Science so that their rational temper would not be clouded by their Spirituality. The Brahmin laughed, saying in order to understand Science correctly, you must first understand God.

While it is true that many quantum physicists are known to be religious, this story is less a riposte to agnostics than it is to atheists. After all, according to western logic, the agnostic position is indeed the most “rational” as based strictly on scientific evidence (i.e. primarily pratyaksha) God can’t be “proven”. Nevertheless, Indic logic recognises Sabda pramana as well—sabda in this case referring to the Veda, as well as the word of Enlightened Spiritual beings living the Dharmic tradition. As such, Indic logic is more robust as it doesn’t suffer from the solipsistic arrogance of modern man (who believes unless a phenomenon (divine or otherwise) makes itself observable—it must not exist). Interestingly, modern man echoes many of the views of Ancient Charvakas.

Despite having many agnostic and even a few atheist friends, we will, in the spirit of civilized discourse (and indeed, due to the impending technology-driven doom of mankind), give a structured rebuttal to the popular notion that God does not exist—or even that God-worship has caused mankind’s “social evils” (aka “religion is the opiate of the masses”). Those who know the difference between Dharma and religion may indeed believe the latter to be an opiate, but the former is not. This is because it doesn’t emphasise burdens of “dogma”: 1 way, 1 book, 1 person, 1 jealous god.

This is less a remark towards the religious of other religions—for at this stage, it may be (and that’s a big “may be”) better for a man to be religious than irreligious. It is simply a necessary tangent regarding the difference between Dharma and religion. The problem is, under the pretext of criticising religion, or superstition, one often finds the subtext of criticising God-worship or worship of the Divine. This is the moola-mantra of the Marxist. It is why both the Charvaka & the Marxian drive the descent of man into societal destruction.

But before Bernie bros get their boxers in a twist, we will focus not on Socialism (which has already been deconstructed here), but on how the Charvaka view of God-denial drives the demoniac.

The thought process of man’s descent into societal destruction:

God-harmony -> Ahamkar -> “Mujhe kya mila” -> Physical Fixation-> Sensuality -> Lust -> Hedonism -> Everyone is doing it -> Cruelty -> Inhumanity

After all, an egotistical person inherently is not in complete God-harmony as he believes “Aham-kaar!“. If I am the one who is deterministically doing this and that, then don’t I have the right to demand mujhe kya mila (what’s in it for me?). Does this not then lead to fixation on the physical (excessive focus on the erotic) or material (general greed for ‘things’)? Isn’t the result then sensuality then lust then hedonism (i.e. anything goes/sukham jivet rnam krtva) ignoring karmic debt, then finally mindless mob-thinking, then cruelty (the mark of the asura), then finally inhumanity (rakshasa-tattva)?

Thus, from Deva-bhakti man descends into Asura-bhaava. A slow but sure progression, duly aided by Yavat jivet.

If God-harmony is the goal, then what are the various motivations that influence whether or not society avoids or ambles toward destruction?

Bhakti -> Love of Truth -> Sadhachara -> Cultural Norms / Moral Living -> Ethical Living -> Legalist Living -> Groupthink -> Charvaka-ism -> Nihitha Svaartha -> Asura-bhaava

That is how mankind descends from manava-tattva to rakshasa-tattva. And it is not just men; many women are guilty of this too—Exhibit A: Golddiggers.

In fact, the seed of man’s problem is in the denial of woman. When “we” is reduced to “me”, the natural Rta between microcosmal-shiva & microcosmal shakti becomes discordant (much to the chagrin of Macrocosmal Shiva and Macrocosmal Shakti). It is this spanda (vibration) that emanates from bindu to become naadha, that determines our mentality. Is it a discordant one (with a wild amplitude and irregular frequency) or is a harmonious vibration (operating at a more sonorous frequency)? If Kaali is wild and untameable and yet a promoter of harmony it is because she only mates with Shiva. Thus, it is her mono-andry that ironically makes her stable and free. Her creation and her desires are subject to her will, rather than her will being subject to desire. It is the slavery to senses and sense gratification that prevent women from attaining the state of Kaali (or more specifically Shakti) & that certainly prevent men from attaining the state of Kaala or Shiva.

Abhicharakas and practicioners of all sorts of “black magic”—may or may not be superstitious, but their Egos and rootedness in the “I” over the “We” is what destroyed the sanctity of the Tantric tradition. It is the espousal of the material over the spiritual and the denial of each microcosmal Pinda-Shiva needing a specific sviya Shakti (and vice versa) that opens up a panoply of never-ending sensual possibilities rather than seeking merger with Parama-Shiva (macrocosmal) and Paraa-Shakti (macrocosmal). It is this “me” that separates sex from “we”. It is also this first separation of “we” that makes splitting a potato more difficult (for men).

Through this egoism (which eventually becomes egotism), any and all possibilities become plausible, because yavat jivet sukham jivet rnam krtva ghrtam pibet  (Be happy as long as you are alive, if need be go into debt to enjoy ghee). Forget the sukham of others’ happiness, even the rnam of karmic debt is forgotten, because not only the most personal “we” with respect to jeevatman, but the overarching “We” of paramatman is denied—so who or what’s to stop us from the deliciously endless buffet of buffoonery?

Much like nitwit Nazis who see national socialism as the solution to Communist Hedonism, many Charvakas are like rakshasas manipulated by greater asuras—picking only choice A or choice B, rather than thinking outside the box. These scientism-advocates believe science to be the key to perfecting man rather than spirituality. But Nazi Nationalists are as dangerous to any society as are individualistic Liberal hedonists. Both destroy the decentralisation of society that defends against tyranny, and exhort the reduction of worship to mere ritual, and religion or Dharma to mere tribalism.

But piety is not virtue. Indeed, with “piety” again one finds ego. True spirituality & true Dharma is rooted in humilityVinayasya moolam vruddhopa seva. When one is more interested in petty ambition than seva, humility which would come through serving elders, does not flower. Thus vinayam is absent in such social misfits.

But leave aside humility, where is humanity? Where is mankind today? Whether humans (of all nationalities) wish to admit it or not, they are flirting with (if not wholesale embracing) inhumanity. Whatever the sloganeering of “insaniyat” in the quest for “kashmiriyat”, mankind has forgotten its maana-tattva. It is why Aurobindo referred to modern civilization as not civilization, but “a carefully ordered barbarism”. And that is why, what humanity is in the midst of is not a clash of civilizations, but a clash for civilization.

After all, it is human cruelty that distinguishes the barbarian from the Aryan, or any civilised person for that matter. If civilization is a mega-culture, then what many people call “culture” is in fact merely so in an anthropological sense. Even if arts exist in such a society, its aesthetic is driven by the predatory, and thus, unworthy of being called ‘sanskriti‘. Sanskriti literally refers to refinement—if predator societies insist on calling what they have ‘culture’—perhaps it may indeed be best to restrict it to its anthropological sense, and assert Sanskriti as another ‘non-translatable’.

Real culture is not simple pack mentality, emblematic of the behaviour of predators. What is a predator in a suit and tie but merely a predator in more pompous clothing?

vivekanandagentlemen

Real culture recognises the Dignity of every Man and every Woman.

Abandoning of elderly mothers, bahu slapping saas, women using men, men exploiting women, brother usurping from brother, even the foundational relationships of mother & son or father & daughter are being destroyed in the name of “rnam krtva ghrtam pibet”. Society is literally eating itself out.

Though ethics and genetics can explain why many of these are wrong (especially the latter two), it was the concept of God/Paraa-Shakti/ParaBrahman that gave sanctity to all these relationships in the first place. By “Invading the Sacred”, the sanctity of life and living right has been lost, in favour of living pleasant. Preyas has finally and completely obliterated Shreyas. But all the plastic surgery in the world cannot hide the ugliness that humans have on the inside.

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Does Nastika simply mean heterodox/denying Veda or actual atheism?

In fact, the Sanskrit word for orthodox is nisthavaan. So the question of orthodoxy vs heterodoxy is not necessarily rooted in astika and nastika.

As a person who embraces the Veda as apaurusheya, one might venture to ask this question: Is all that’s happening today why great saints condemn denial of God?

It is true that there can be good, ethical individuals who happen to be atheist. It is also true that if one is to live by strictly “rational” or “scientific” standards, agnosticism (as opposed to atheism) is the more empirical position (as it admits we don’t know—not enough evidence). But the question isn’t what happens when very good or even the best people take atheist/agnostic positions—it’s whether Pandora’s box has been opened for the middling or the very worst to behave as they please.

Despite being a person who revers the Veda as sacred, one might ask  whether the greater sinner is in fact not the Veda Virodhaka , but the Deva Na-asti-ka..

Is this what the Puranas meant when they said that “popular preachers” in the Kali Age would be…”Naastikas” and Pashandas—those skilled at feeding both their bellies and their genitals?—because whatever Vedic ritual they do…they don’t believe God exists.

After all, if life is in the material (rather than the conscious spirit), then there is nothing after death (it’s lights out). So technically speaking, setting aside the very good and very bad people, how will very “average” people behave? There is nothing wrong in being “average” or wanting to appreciate all aspects of life. But when one is just “average” in virtue or Dharma, that means he or she is only as good or as bad as society allows him or her to be. Such a person simply wants to “get along, and live comfortable life without hurting othersif possible…”.

So with no aspiration to live an exemplary life, life essentially becomes a matter of triangulation: “Eh I don’t really care to be a Sati-Savitri, but I don’t want to be a Surpanakha either—what’s everyone else doing?”. But as society slowly but surely dilutes the definition of bad (“there is no good/bad, just perspective), men and women slip more and more towards the bad (because, “neethulu koodu guda pettavu” until finally…“rnam krtva ghrtam pibet”).

It is of course also important to note that by Deva na-asti-ka, we refer not to just those who reject the possibility of any deity, but rather, those denying the existence and agency of Paramatman or ParaBrahman or Paraa-Shakti.

Many charvakas in fact masquerade as (small d) deva-worshippers while overcompensatingly boasting about virility (again, small d…or in this case, no d). This in turn drives the sadism of their views and espousal of nazi theories, and the distinctly un-dharmic concept of “patriarchy”. It is a denial of Veda by denying Vedanta (which is more than just a school of philosophy (Uttara Mimamsa, or higher investigation)—but the literal “end” purpose of the Veda). Real rishis know this, and thus tell the followers of Purva Mimamsa (earlier/beginning investigation) to “proceed further”. But this attachment to ritual, privilege, and ritual privilege has led to an espousal of materiality, ironically on religious grounds. It is also why a real rishi like Ramana maharshi is often insulted by them—it is no different than the charvaka of old misguiding the masses and falsely portraying others. This segues to our conclusion.

We conclude as we began. An important point need be stressed about deity-worship, as all deities are not benevolent. And Dharma is not paganism It is true that Vedanta (‘literally the End of the Vedas’) emphasises that there is a Supreme Brahman which is the pervading and active spirit in all beings. Modern Charvakas often attempt to conflate this either with 1 true God-ism, or non-theism (giving some inert non-autonomous quality to it). This is typically done as it then gives justification to the Asuric—that is non-benevolent, or even malevolent deities that egotistically manipulate human beings for their own ultimate Supremacy—in defiance of the Supreme.

After all, many of the devas (i.e. Varuna) were originally Asuras. Regardless of paying lip-service to the Devaraja, such worship is usually characterised by imbalance, and even if the masculine is balanced by the feminine—it is done cynically, debasing both in the process. Whatever “we” that is there is contractual, terminating with its conditions, and reverting back to the original egotistical “me”. In fact, while much may not be known today about the historical Charvakas, the Mahabharata provides a parable for the modern reader that is particularly prescient. And we will end with that:

After the great Kuruksetra war, when the Pandava brothers were returning
triumphantly, thousands of brahmins gathered at the city gate to bestow their blessing on Yudhisthira. Among them was Charvaka. He moved forward and
without the consent of the rest of the brahmins, he addressed the king thus:

A little while after when the Brahmanas had become silent, a Rakshasa of the name of Charvaka, who had disguised himself as a Brahmana, addressed the king. He was a friend of Duryodhana and stood therein the garb of a religious mendicant. With a rosary, with a tuft of hair on his head, and with the triple staff in his hand, he stood proudly and fearlessly in the midst of all those Brahmanas that had come there for pronouncing benedictions (upon the king), numbering by thousands, O king, and all of whom were devoted to penances and vows. That wicked wight, desirous of evil unto the high-souled Pandavas and without having consulted those Brahmanas, said these words unto the king.’

Charvaka said, ‘All these Brahmanas, making me their spokesman, are saying, ‘Fie on thee! Thou art a wicked king. Thou art a slayer of kinsmen. What shalt thou gain, O son of Kunti, by having thus exterminated thy race? Having slain also thy superiors and preceptor, it is proper for thee to cast away thy life.’ Hearing these words of that wicked Rakshasa the Brahmanas there became deeply agitated. Stung by that speech, they made a loud uproar. And all of them, with king Yudhishthira. O monarch, became speechless from anxiety and shame.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘I bow down to you and beseech you humbly, be gratified with me. It doth not behove you to cry fie on me. I shall soon lay down my life.’ 1

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then all those Brahmanas, O king, loudly said, ‘These are not our words. Prosperity to thee, O monarch!’ Those high-souled persons, conversant with the Vedas, with understanding rendered clear by penances, then penetrated the disguise of the speaker by means of their spiritual sight.’ And they said, ‘This is the Rakshasa Charvaka, the friend of Duryodhana. Having put on the garb of a religious mendicant, he seeks the good of his friend Duryodhana.

We have not, O thou of righteous soul, said anything of the kind. Let this anxiety of thine be dispelled. Let prosperity attend upon thee with thy brothers.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘These Brahmanas then, insensate with rage, uttered the sound Hun. Cleansed of all sins, they censured the sinful Rakshasa and slew him there (with that very sound). Consumed by the energy of those utterers of Brahma, Charvaka fell down dead, like a tree with all its sprouts blasted by the thunder of Indra. [1]

Unfortunately, many such Rakshasas disguising themselves as Brahmanas have been subtly disseminating Charvaka beliefs by misinterpreting texts and misguiding the naïve, trusting, and the devoutly orthodox. The time has come to expose them and their misguiding malevolence, before all of Hindu Society not only descends into Charvaka-ism, but is destroyed by it.

References:

  1. The Mahabharata. Shanti Parva. Section 36. Page 82.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m12/m12a038.htm

Envisioning the Modern Kurukshetra

Introduction

The imagery of the Kurukshetra continues to be a powerful one in the mind of Bharatvasis. The gathering of great armies preparing to clash in the name of Dharma and Desha is one that is both captivating and cautionary. For many it was about fighting for liege-lord, for others it was about family blood ties, and for still more it was about securing personal advantage through proximity to throne. But to draw armies from the length-and-breadth of Bharatavarsha—that is the entire Indian Subcontinent—to do battle in the Madhyadesa makes this titanic conflict far more resonating than the mere rights to the throne or even Dharma-samsthaapana. The Restoration of Dharma was verily Krishna’s purpose, but the Kurukshetra itself was more than just about the Field of the Kurus. It was about the Kurukshetra we fight every day.

Do we press our thinly reasoned rights for personal profit or do we bow out of the contest in the name of the common good? Do we foresee the catastrophes of impending fratricide or do we up-the-ante, refusing to part with even 5 villages?  Above all, do we see position as responsibility, or merely entitlement to privilege?

The Kurukshetra was about the purification of not only the Land of Adharmic rulers, but also the Mind of its Adharmic inclinations.  It is why it is the greatest of ironies that those of us schooled in the Blut und Eisen tradition of no-nonsense statecraft would find ourselves understanding the central importance of restoring the character of the individual, before we can Restore the National Character. Poorna Vijay is not possible for Bharatvarsh unless the individual Bharatvasi first makes effort for the Antar Vijay.

Individual ambition continues to the prioritised over National aspiration. Greed for sensual pleasures and quick fame perpetuated as perennial plague. Casteist delusions continue to predominate rather than common societal feeling.

But above all, the widespread pervasiveness of Sanctimoniously, Selfish, Stupid, and Spoiled Brats, has made winning the narrative not only easy for the other side, but a near foregone conclusion. If the scale has tipped in recent years it’s in fact less because we’re winning it and more because the other side is losing it.

In the wake of articles such as Niti, Exigencies of the Politico-Strategic, and Dhanurveda, it becomes important to understand the precise nature of the clash and why Self-Improvement is pivotal before Societal change is even possible.

What Faces Us

Although reams have been written on “Ram Raj” and “Rishi raj” and “Renaissance” and regurgitation of knowledge, little time has been spent on the exact nature of the challenge facing Bharat today. While there is plenty of rhetoric about the “Clash of Civilizations”, this too is a distraction. What in fact faces Bharat faces all of Mankind. This statement is being made not without having done a survey of world history or a detailed study of Bharat’s millennium horriblis, but rather, it is specifically because of it.

Yes, people are interacting without barriers more than ever before. Yes, the injunction to let go of ancient hatreds and bigotries is upon us more than ever before. Yes, conveniences of technological consumerism are accessible more than ever before.  But look around, the soul is dying.

In the quest for convenience, mankind has forgotten its priorities. In its drive for ambition, it has destroyed its relationships. In its celebration of selfishness, it is has lost its soul. All this not only makes for consumption-driven, college-credentialed zombies, but also disunited and atomised sheeple. No wonder there is an epidemic of loneliness. Consumption of all things, satisfaction of all impulses, and even hedonism may feel good for a while, even a long while—but ultimately end up the same way: self-loathing misery.

It’s why despite apps such as tinder, people are dating and “hooking up” more than ever before, but are also lonelier more than ever before. This is because if your relationships mean nothing and are replaceable, then you truly are alone. This may be bearable when all is well, but what happens during times of vyasana? After all, if you “love everyone” and are “accountable for everyone” you are in fact responsible for no one. While we all have a duty to help our fellow man, there are circles of trust. Spouse and immediate family, extended family, friends, acquaintances, and then only the rest of society. But as in the Brave New World, an atomised, hedonistic society is one that is easily controlled. Statism or Scientism then reign supreme, and even “Mother” becomes a bad word rather than the root of all that is good.

“everyone belongs to everyone else” emphasising the system of forced promiscuity, brainwashed into the people from the moment of birth. At the core of this book is the horrific idea of eugenics and despite being written several decades ago, its message remains valid for our generation.

Brave New World explores the negatives of an ostensibly successful world in which everyone appears to be content and satisfied, with excessive carnal pleasures yet really, this stability is only achieved by sacrificing freedom in its true sense and the idea of personal responsibility.

Many from the Chetan Bhagat school of foreign policy believe there’s nothing wrong with sacrificing “a little bit of sovereignty for a little bit of security“. But how much freedom are you willing to sacrifice before you sacrifice your own freedom of will? In the name of technology and technocracy, will you submit to singularity? In the name of security will you sacrifice privacy? The technology for many of these things is in fact not only real but here. It is not for nothing that truth is said to be stranger than fiction. Rather than being distracted by obvious distractions and digital virtual passtimes, perhaps its time you open your eyes and understand what is in fact so fully invested in destroying your culture is in fact invested in destroying all culture.

The contributions of Rajiv Malhotra have been courageous and intellectually rigorous, and Malhotra himself coined the phrased Intellectual Kurukshetra. The time has come to take it forward and expand it to the full battlespace, with the Intellectual sphere being only one dimension. If the Battle for Sanskrit has now officially expanded to the Battle for Sanskriti, what is at stake is not only the loss of our traditional culture, but traditional culture and humanity the world over. Therefore, the Intellectual Kurukshetra is but one Dimension of the overall Field of the Modern Kurus. As convenient as binaries such as “abrahamic vs pagan”, and “aryan vs dravidian” may be for some simple-minded sections, the only binary that matters in the coming days is Dharma vs Adharma. As Sun Tsu teaches us, know yourself, and know your enemy and you will be victorious in a hundred battles.

Above all, it becomes critical to know what the dimensions are, why the answers aren’t so simple as “revolutionary netaji-ism” or a ballot box or even “traditional patriarchy”. What is required is understanding what is being faced, what must be done, and what individual parts might be in the days ahead. In short, understand the Purva Paksha, understand the Dharma Paksha, and then understand one’s own Svadharma.

Dimensions of the Kurukshetra

battlefield-of-kurukshetra

Surveying the terrain is obligatory before any battle. Surveying the geography is even more important before any war. The geography of the Modern Kurukshetra may involve the jargon of the economic, the financial, the technological, the martial, and even the cultural, but these are all factors at play in each dimension. While discussions of hard power are important, and even Chanakya touched on soft power’s culture factor, the faceoff between Dharma and Adharma is fundamentally spiritual. It is about Satya vs Asatya (Truth vs Untruth) and Rtam vs Anrtam (Moral Order vs Immoral Order).

Therefore, preparation for the days ahead necessitate understanding how simple solutions and quick conflicts can’t simply take us back to business as usual. A fundamental desire and willingness to change (parinamavasya) will be needed across all sections of society. If the muck of the the Kali Yuga must first be cleansed off before one is battle-worthy, then no section is free of muck. If a Dharmic Society is what is desired, then it must be one that works for all sections of the Dharma Samaaj, not just one or two. Above all, nationalism and civilizational revival cannot be mere rhetoric for advancing caste agendas. If the difficult problems of unwieldy reservation and rural caste atrocity are both to be tackled, a sense of harmony and common good must reemerge. Jaathi is by birth, but those who assert the privileges of varna must prove themselves worthy of it. No one is beyond question, and all will be held accountable.

Is this how you build Dharmic unity? What authority do such people have to  lecture?

If care only about your own caste & rationalise its wrongs, how can you claim leadership?

Rabid casteist rants (however subtle…) achieve nothing and alienate everything and everyone. Therefore, rather than twiddling our thumbs on twitter like tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum, or like AIT proponents (tweedle-dum and tweedle-dummer), let us understand what will be required of us, all of us. It is easy to excoriate Shri Modi and decry his “do-nothingness on core”, but it is much harder to understand exactly what Modi, or Yogi, or any neta actually faces. Those who lead lives of full-time spectator sport and contribute nothing have no right to demand anything. First demonstrate that you understand what is actually taking place, then you can give your gyaan. And if you don’t, then take steps to visualise it and begin to envision actual and workable solutions.

In the mean time, one must begin by understanding each dimension of the Kurukshetra, starting with the Intellectual one.

Intellectual Kurukshetra

chakravyuha

Decoding the Intellectual Kurukshetra is no easy task. As was written in that previous ICP article, “propheteering” is a lucrative industry, from Karl Marx to Karl Popper. Rajiv Malhotra has naturally been the pioneering (and remains the leading) voice here, and the issues related to tackling this dimension are naturally best covered directly by him in his works. Nevertheless, there is a particularly aspect that is jarring at this stage that in the interests of unity, has not been discussed much. We, after all, do not have the same burdens to be diplomatic that he does.

And the issue is this: Shalyas masquerading as Rishis and Acharyas.

Beef-in-Vedas, Eugenics,  and Alternative Lifestyles are all looking for legitimation from louts looking for lucre as Rna. This is the danger of fake Acharyas, foreign and domestic: they mislead and make way for the immoral agenda. Many “modern Rishis”—many of whom are foreign origin—are being pushed online and off to replace not only our traditional Pandits and their orthodox interpretations, but also to replace dharmic political leadership as well.

The Rishi, understandably has had a storied place in Dharma, with the most important of them recorded as mind-born sons of Brahma. But one must be wary of conflating the role of the Brahmana or even Rishi with that of the Raja.Like the words Acharya and Guru, even the word Rishi is now increasingly bandied about today, as though there could be a Peter Drucker based management course to train such leadership.It is not enough to call for the Leadership of Rishis if Daivic Spiritual Power is in fact lacking.

As such, spiritual leadership cannot be conflated with political leadership. The two are distinct, though they must work hand-in-hand and must be native in nature.

This dimension also necessitates challenging intellectual “white elephants” being foisted as “dharmic”, whether it is “dharmic liberalism” or “dharmic paganism”. “Dharmic capitalism” is another such oxymoron, and Swaminathan Gurumurthy correctly termed this “Baahuka Economics”.

Here is the Indian equivalent of Greenspan’s economics — the economics of Bahuka. Bahuka figures in the Bhagawata Purana, and was the advisor of Jarasandha, who was Kamsa’s father-in-law. Kamsa, who regarded Sri Krishna as his enemy, asked Bahuka’s advice on how to make his subjects state-dependent. Bahuka told him: “Open your treasury to the people. Make the people eat, drink and enjoy themselves. Bring up children to look upon parents as old and useless. That will make them laugh at those who talk of duty, love and compassion. Like well-fed cattle at the mercy of the cowherd, the people will be completely dependent on you. [2]

Therefore, the Intellectual Kurukshetra necessitates a sense of discretion and a healthy skepticism of ‘saviours‘ presenting themselves as rishis and acharyas. Critical thinking is indeed critical.

Individual

While the Intellectual Kurukshetra has been much discussed, the Individual Kurukshetra has not. This might strike new readers as surprising, but as we will show in subsequent dimensions, the individual is the building block to the overarching Kurukshetra we have today. And stupid individuals cannot a strong society or sena make.

In a preceding Post, we identified the following as the elements of Indian Stupidity: Attention Deficit Disorder, Missing the Woods for the Trees, Rote Memorisation, Status Obsession, Sentimentality, Sore-loserness, Inability to Shut up, Action vs Reaction, & Lack of Focus resulting from Loss of Culture. Ultimately, these all radiate from the need for Character.

quote-in-other-words-character-is-far-more-important-than-intellect-to-the-race-as-to-the-theodore-roosevelt-121-25-36

Strength in character consists of having the qualities that allow you to exercise control over your instincts and passions, to master yourself, and to resist the myriad temptations that constantly confront you.

  • Strength of character allows you to carry out your will freely, while enabling you to cope with setbacks. It assists you to accomplish your goals in the end.
  • It allows you to inquire into the causes of ill-fortune, instead of just complaining about it, as many are inclined to do.
  • It gives you the courage to admit your own faults, frivolousness, and weaknesses.
  • It gives you the strength to keep a foothold when the tide turns against you, and to continue to climb upward in the face of obstacles.

If there is a single aspect critical in creating effective participants on the Kurukshetra it is character. And in order to build character, one must rely on the basics of Dharma. The Dharmasastra of Vaidika Dharma obviously provides an exegesis in tomes. Sikh Dharma emphasises Naam Japo (chanting the name of God), Kirat Karo (work diligently), and Vand Chakko (doing good for society). Satya (Truth) and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) are part of the Five Vows of Jain Dharma, and Bauddha Dharma provides the 8 Fold Path.

More than Trivial Pursuit, GK games, IQ obsession & Eugenics theories to preserve your favourite perspective, wisdom and intellectual humility are needed to do the intelligent thing. That can only come from character. Udhaarabhaava (good character) or Aryabhava (Noble character), that is what is lacking today. Instead we have people full of Kusheela or Paapasheela (Bad and Ignoble Character). The Rishi has been replaced by the Marjaar.

Character is about building a community, not using people and throwing them away after.

Character is about building institutions for the common good, not just promoting your own brand or clique or popsicle stand.

Character is about having the courage to do the right thing, even if it is the difficult thing. It is in putting societal duties above personal obligations. It is in looking after the common welfare rather than merely private social-climbing.

Much has been written about degeneracy and depravity, but the root to this is Selfishness.

Character is the opposite of Selfishness, because it looks to do what is necessary and hard rather than what is easy. Enjoying the bonhomie of the decade-old digital salon is easy. Recognising a Jaichand in your midst and disavowing when apparent is the sign of true character…not dp’s of grave looking European men in statue form.

The Romans had many intelligent slaves to serve as tutors in intellectual matters—yet, they remained the rulers. After all, “High IQ” slaves are still slaves. Among the Greeks, Alcibiades too was “high iq”, but ultimately betrayed his nation. Carthage had the more brilliant general in Hannibal, but Rome’s character & citizenry ensured Scipio had the support to defeat him. That is the importance and criticality of Character.

Oordhva

We are all human beings who naturally have needs. But character teaches us how and when to fulfill those needs, or even transcend them. Dharma is the path to Character.

DharmaMandir

Familial

Family is an important dimension of the Modern Kurukshetra precisely because of what is being pushed in the name of the “Modern Family”. If traditional family values are under threat it is because for too long individuals have been winking at or turning a blind eye at abuses of family power. This is of course seen best in the lead up to the original Kurukshetra itself.

The infuriating and sinful disrobing of Draupadi fueled not only the Pandavas’, but Krishna’s desire for the destruction of the Kauravas. However, even Krishna achieved justice for Draupadi after weighing all the factors: When, Where, How, Who, What, Why. He did not merely advocate war immediately. He took into account the factors against and even tapasya required on the part of the Pandavas, before, in the name of all women, Duryodhana and Dushasana could be brought to justice. And brought to justice they were, in the most terrible of fashions.

But this was achieved and societal attitudes corrected because even an humiliated and vengeful Draupadi patiently listened to the wisdom of Sri Krishna. Rather than putting her cause above Dharma, she focused on Dharma, which in due time, gave her the justice she so richly deserved. That is because, no matter how just the cause, weighing and prioritising of all interests (not just one) and correction of all crimes (not just one) is required. A family is governed, protected, and ultimately restored in the same way. It is not about the dictatorial interests of a patriarchy or matriarchy, but about the head-of-household governing the family in the interest of all its members.

Indeed, it is the failure not of pursuing one’s interests, or frequently even societal interests, but the failure and stubborn refusal to prioritise interest properly that frequently leads to problems not only for societies but even for relationships.

If you only prioritise your interest, if you only care about yourself, if you only look after yourself, how can your relationship, any relationship, survive? Romance isn’t dead today because modernity makes it impossible or obsolete. Rather, the Death of Romance took place because individuals (the constituent parts of a relationship) are too selfish to make the relationship work. What self-absorbed, selfish woman (no matter how physically beautiful) will inspire continued romantic sentiment in her husband? What selfish brute of a man can continue to retain the romantic affections of his wife? Indeed, it is not compatibility, but selfishness and brutishness, that makes a relationship impossible. Even the classic English drama Pygmalion demonstrates this.

If divorce rates are increasing, if violence against women is increasing, if isolation in society is increasing, it is because of selfishness and self-centeredness.  A nation of narcissists and selfish brats will not long last. And a nation of people that know not how to prioritise, will not become strong. If the externalities of the “bastard society” are to be avoided, these aspects must be kept in mind.

Prioritisation also means preparing for the unexpected and working as team when the unexpected happens.

Plan & prepare for contingencies. Develop Survival skills.

§ Learn to stock up and keep provisions for a rainy day or week or month

§ Learn to work in teams (castes don’t count)  like professionals in institutions

§ Learn to plan & train. Waiting until stuff happens isn’t a strategy. Emergencies happen

If such situations occur, what will you do?

If you haven’t done any of these things in your spoiled little existence, start today. This is why we wrote of the importance of critical thinking. Gyaani-ism results in living in your own made up world of assumptions. Critical thinking necessitates understanding the world as it actually is. Dharma is not assumption-based. Dharma is reality-based, and reality changes based on circumstances . Modern/Post-modern living may make it seem like you are just a mall or a single-brand retail store away from food, fashion, and water, but what happens when the power goes out? 1 hour or 1 day power cuts are the norm in less densely populated towns and villages, and even many cities, but what do you do if you live in a crime-ridden metro? Gated community or not, foreign or domestic, these are things to consider.

This is also why it is important to value Wisdom over Knowledge. Knowledge is important. But remember as Kant wrote: Science is organised Knowledge, Wisdom is organised life.

classvclass
Bhodrolok?

Value wisdom over knowledge. Knowledge is important, but not what is pivotal in the end. Learn the differences. Debasing yourself like a gunga din, following orders, taking instructions, or just taking advice (or saying you’ll think about it) are not the same thing.

This leads into the next point. While it’s good to differentiate between those who openly attack our culture and those foreigners who openly support it, understand that you don’t always know who’s doing what covertly. A traitor is still a traitor, but understand that there still is a difference between native and foreign. Foreigners can be allies and friends, but regardless of the behaviour of casteists, only natives are your real family. There are some things only natives can do. Have the self-respect to understand this.

Gandhi remains controversial, and this movie ever less appreciable by the day. Nevertheless, every now and then, there are some relevant scenes, and this is one of them.

It is good to appreciate friends, but your friends cannot run your own household. It is good to acknowledge well-wishers, but they cannot lead your way. It is good to be a good global citizen,but start by being a good national citizen first. Then, not only will you find that you will be more successful in attaining your objectives, but that your circle of friends (foreign and domestic) will increase, not because you are likeable, but because you are respectable.

All this is also why, rather than chasing after the approval of others, silence is golden.

VN_SilenceSocietal

Some of the most sanctimonious societal moralists are those least in line with the spirit of morality. After all, what happened to all those eminence grises, those ancient worthies who watched the vastrahaaran of Draupadi in criminal inaction?

But societal solutions are not as simple as simplistic sloganeering. Civilizational Revival is only possible if all sections are uplifted and given dignity and a stake in society.

Gender

From human trafficking to acid attacks to forced intercourse to everyday run of the mill lechery, women are overwhelming the victims of indecency and violence. But no amount of legislation can completely prevent such behavior in all settings. Thus, the mistake of these ladies is not in speaking out, but knowing where to speak out, realising how to correct, and having the willingness to listen.  Sadly, even in the ranks of those who presume to speak out in favour of or in support of dharma do so only so far as it advances their self-interest. Statements like this show that soul-searching must be done by both genders.

smartgirl

Modern Girls need to start understanding that it takes two hands to clap. It is easy enough to criticise men (we do it here all the time), but both genders must assume responsibility.  Modern and post-modern life has made people soft and selfish and sybaritic. If you value preyas (the pleasant) over shreyas (the good) then society finds itself unwound. But don’t take it from another “chauvinistic pig”, take it from a lady who was once young herself.

Girls: Who you gon’ tell when the repercussions spin?
Showing off your ass ’cause you’re thinking it’s a trend

Guys: How you gonna win if you ain’t right with them?

This Lauryn Hill ‘feat is in many ways a lament of Post-Modernity and the tragic downfall of her community (mentioned here). The obvious contrasts between 1967 and 1998 are clearly seen in split-screen. She soulfully sings of how easily women are prepared to “give it away” for material things and how men are prepared to take advantage of women for “that thing”, leaving behind 3-4 kids on child support they don’t pay.  She asks men, how can they think they win if they don’t treat women right?

And before you think this is just another lecture from old-fashioned people, understand how the above leads to the below.

Coming_Apart

In America, IQ champion Charles Murphy is now bemoaning the coming apart of his theories in The Coming Apart of White America, and in India, we now have “Char bottle Vodka”. Women are not chattel or baby factories. The due place of women is not only as mothers and wives but also as co-equals and partners in society.  But the way to dignity, justice, and respect for women is not through outside intervention, but internal reform.

From Basava to Annamacharya to Vivekananda, voices rooted in the native and indigenous were the ones that most successfully appealed to our conscience and reformed society in the process.  Achara is the building block for this, because it restrains our behavior to encourage the common interest instead. It is not more laws but better conduct that will improve society and women’s safety.

This leads to the next point. At a time when foreign elements are doing there utmost to split Hindu society along caste lines, only an idiot plays into it by making it worse.

Class

classvclassEven our self-proclaimed patriots and social media saviors are guilty of this sin of selfishness, and have even less reason for it. Dharma is merely a flag or (temporary) party—ambition is their cause.

Rather than think of the common good, they prioritise advancing their own personal, career, and caste interests. These pseudo-trads would do well to remember that Sukra Niti prescribes strict punishment for those inciting caste hatreds.

good-character

Start with yourself, and show you have self-respect by treating others with respect. This is the first step to rebuilding personal character, which in turn will rebuild society.

Regional Kurukshetra

Flag_of_the_Maratha_Empire.svg

To rebuild the character of the state necessitates leaders. Real leaders, not just entitled buffoons who like to boss people around or boast of credentials or give flattering lectures, but real people of action. Real action is not in producing hackneyed memes that mimic analogues from the West, but in actually taking tangible steps in collaboration with like-minded people.

Samarth_ramdas_swami_&_kalyan_swami
Samarth Ramdas Swamy

Reach out to the local traditional Pandits. You can find ways to give qualified ones patronage or support the events they and others like them hold to teach all children. There is a lot of junk colonial history out there and junk colonial scriptural interpretation as well. It is only the traditional pandit who can give the correct interpretation and advise your effort to properly restore your regional history and culture. Only orthodox Pandits are the authorities on our scriptures anyway—not some beef-eating baboo, foreign or domestic, from the ivory tower.

Promote native/regional language & language bookstores. But it’s cheaper on amazon” isn’t an excuse. That should be a last resort not a first one. Give patronage as much as you can and suggest book titles to your friends and family and followers. There’s no point whining about how your kids or the younger generation doesn’t speak  your mother tongue when you didn’t make it a point to show them what to read, and why.

Kashyapa_muni_statue_in_Andhra_Pradesh
Kashyapa Muni Statue in Andhra

KP’s should teach their children Sharda (and of course, Koshur). This will ensure not only the ability to read the treasure of Sanskrit literature that came from the Land of Maharishi Kashyap, but that there will be motivation to re-collect the many lost manuscripts of our civilizational heritage that are in that lipi.Our Sikh brothers in Dharma have provided an excellent example in preserving not only the Punjabi language, but the Gurmukhi script.  Those speaking various Hindi dialects should begin emphasising them as well. We touched on that issue here. There is no reason why the purveyors of a persianised pidgin patois should look down upon the venerable bhashas of Braj and Avadh and Mithila.

Also remember, culture isn’t static. Nor is it 1 dimensional or only religious in character. You can’t just regurgitate whatever traditional learning you learnt. The next step is to revive cultural equities not just by documenting them,but by supporting artists, dancers, weavers, craftspeople, fashion designers, poets, etc etc.

If you are fed up with bollywood insulting our culture, give the parallel vision, the real vision of real India. Enough talk. Put your money where your mouth is. There are plenty of short film directors and film students looking for funding online. Crowdsource. Pool your resources and give the ones with the right vision and right attitude the funding they need. One small film can lead to bigger ones. They are all one google-search away. This also means investing in your regional language industry.

That is how state culture is revived—not through twitter threads—but through giving patronage to pandits, support to arts & crafts, ticket sales to traditional & folk theatre & dance, and funding to up and coming filmmakers who are culturally & nationally rooted.

National Kurukshetra

If the regional front has its share of issues, they are manifold at the national level. Everything from national history and historicity to central administrative language is contested. This necessitates not only nationalists at the regional level but regional thinkers to think nationally. But only a cultured elite (whether municipal or regional) can function that way.

A New Elite

RamayanReturn
Ram Raj requires Bharatas & Lakshmanas as Lieutenants

Ram Raj was not built in a day. Nevertheless, it remains a perennial and even millennial aspiration throughout India. But such a selfless elite, such duty-bound/self-sacrificing leaders who verily gave us the definition of Tyaagi, require more than 1 giant personality. Whether Maharaja or Mukhya Mantri, such a leader requires secondary leadership to back him up (as Bharata did for Rama) and loyal lieutenants who rejected ambition for service to the leader (like Lakshmana), and more importantly, his cause (Dharma). But where are such lieutenants today? Every nitwit with some basis for ahankar (birth, gotra, education, money) sees himself as the saviour and will tear down any putative rival with a viciousness he doesn’t even show to national enemies. That is why Dharma is needed, as it rejects ambition in favor of duty and aspiration. Duty must come before self-interest—then and then only is the national/civilizational cause served. Ask yourself “is there someone better qualified?”—if so, politely step aside, and if you have it in you, help (that is, after all, what a true leader would do).

India’s record is actually slightly better than that, as there was resistance and even rollback throughout the 1000 years (which is closer to 5-600 years if one thinks of all of India, rather than just Northwest India). But the point of the honourable Minister is spot on. In our obsession for IQ, we are forgetting the need to evaluate character. Do you hang tough and stand by your countrymen when the going gets tough—or do you cut a side deal to keep your ill-deserved kingdom or because you feel he wronged you.

quote-character-in-the-long-run-is-the-decisive-factor-in-the-life-of-an-individual-and-of-nations-theodore-roosevelt-158026

Our modernism zombies may laugh instinctively that any elite in any time could be politically (let alone morally) superior to their own. But in an era when selfishness and greed itself have become virtues, perhaps the time has indeed come to review aspects of Aristocracy that indeed made them aristos (the best) as opposed to the current crop of kakistos. Perhaps there is indeed a way to imbibe the self-sacrificing and rootedness of the old elite in our democratic framework without restoring monarchy’s dictatorial worst. To do that, we must first understand what the purpose of an elite really is.

Also understand how the game is played. Overcompensating bravado, caste prejudice, and even overt religious bigotry are merely going to ensure you play directly into our shatrus’ hands with quotable soundbites—many of you are experts at this already…And misogyny is downright suicidal. We at this site reject it prima facie, but if you don’t reject it on principle, at least have some sense. Political sense. When your shatru is trying to pit women against men, you don’t play into his hands.

Civilizational Kurukshetra

For Romans it was Virtus, for the Chinese it is Tianxia, for Indians it is Dharma. The character of a nation or civilization is determined by the driving principle. It is an ideal that gives courage in dark days, high minded thinking in peaceful ones, and moral thinking in prosperous ones. Above all, it not only gives a nation its character, but builds character among its nationalists. When character is corrected, then attitude is corrected, and not only fellow countrymen but neighbouring countries will hearken to your call.

Our previous articles on the Global Crisis of Character and Why Character is so Important, were composed so that people, especially self-declared civilizational saviours, understand that their personal character is ultimately what deprecates or elevates National Character.

Character also teaches you to plan for succession. Team, Family, Community, Business, Army, Government, all need depth not just in the ranks of enlisted man or common member, but depth in leadership as well.  From Dahir to Anandapala to Hemu, too many battles have been lost because a cause was personality-focused. To get loyalty from your subordinates show loyalty and respect (not the same as subservience) to seniors. Personalities do matter, but institutions matter more. That is how civilizations are saved.

Global Kurukshetra

While video games, dm groups, and wrathofgnon ripoffs may make the Clash of Civilizations fashionable, the truth is there is a Global Clash for Civilization. This is seen not only at the individual level as we discussed previously, but at the structural and military industrial level as well. It is said that Ashoka Maurya once patronised a society of nine men to ensure that destructive technologies from esoteric sciences did not enter the wrong hands. Well, the box is open, Pandora, and humanity is reaping this mutated crop.

Furthermore, as a number of individuals have remarked, colonialism never truly ended, but merely took on a new form. It has in fact expanded to now colonise yester-year colonisers in a more overt fashion, destroying culture in a covert fashion.

While the culture-less are driven by hyper-activity or a desire to embrace the fashionable, the cultured take a moment to reflect on the proper course of action and have the ability to follow through. This is why culture eats strategy for breakfast. An individual, a family, an organisation, a society at harmony will have the ability to not only devise the right strategy and implement the right tactics, but have the cultural wherewithal to execute properly.

This is why mere shows of knowledge are ultimately useless, and due to disinformation and misinformation, can even be dangerous. Institution building, team building, critical and strategic thinking, solution providing…these are what ultimately prepare individuals, citizens, societies, and civilizations for problems that face them. If you are wasting your time in dimwit digital salons that stroke unjustified egos, don’t make pretense to being civilizational saviours with IQ’s of 8 billion.

No one is ever what they seem, especially on social media. This is the value of critical thinking, and more importantly, strategic thinking. Rather than getting caught up in self-serving models and self-selecting data, you pay attention to motives and ask…

bono

For God’s sake, when all this is going on, when there are open attempts to recreate medieval colonial kingdoms not only through culture or historical apologia, or language, but even outright political division, do we have time for games of Trivial Pursuit ?

It takes teams to counter teams. But how is this possible with selfish spoiled brats who don’t even like team sports?

To restore the native way of life, native knowledge and literature must be supported.

Give patronage to Civilizational bookstores. They may not be perfect. They may have vsnl-era websites, but these publishers ensure that our common national and civilizational heritage is passed on to anglicised metro youth.

§  Chowkhambha

§  Motilal Banarsidass

§  Sri Yogi Books

§  Vedambooks.net

§  Vedicbooks.net

§ Carnatic Books

§  Exotic India Art

§  Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

§ Nag Prakashak

Spiritual Kurukshetra

This may be the most difficult aspect for most us schooled in the politico-strategic tradition. After all, Bismarck famously wrote on Blut und Eisen, not Geist. But the spiritual aspect will be crucial in the days ahead. The degeneracy we see all around us is not just a result of man’s coincidental fall into hedonism from a natural interest in pleasure. It is in fact intended as strategy to entrench a very real asuric panth that is the embodiment of the demonic. This is the danger of fixation with pagan vs abrahamic. There were ancient paganisms that worshipped the asuric, and it is foolish for Dharmikas to equate Daiva worship with Asura worship. Rejecting abrahamism is one thing, being gradually boiled into asura worship is another. Make no mistake, that is in fact what faces not only Bharatavarsha but the world itself.

Cultivating yourself also means developing other sides of yourself with hobbies. Merely watching serials or cricket or idiot bollywood movies is no way to spend all your free time. Some tv time is ok, but the rest of it, spend on developing your artistic or musical side. Pick up gardening, or a sport—a real sport—like wrestling, archery, or field hockey. It also means, not devolving to the emotional equivalent of a child. From godforsaken gameshows to stupid serials and soap operas to infantile cartoons, the modern middle class adult (young and old, male and female) has literally become infantalised through a life of idle pleasure-addling. This results in spiritual demise.

A life of pleasure-addled delusion and pain-avoiding pill-popping leads to the requiem for a dream. Don’t be dependent on drugs. Take what pharmaceuticals you absolutely need, but when possible rely on a healthy lifestyle, traditional medicine, and non-fast-food diet.

In addition, failing to join together to preserve the common interest is not only a recipe for common slavery, but indicative of a loss of character. The ability to endure pain is the sign of the statesman. It is the sign of the kshatriya (intellectual or otherwise), and that incidentally gave away Karna’s true birth. But in our era, whatever your birth caste,  if you play a role in civic affairs, if you wish to have a hand in the destiny of the nation, you must have the character to make the painful decision when it is clear that it is the right decision.

Making false equivalence with asuric paganisms will not stem the tide of abrahamism nor lead to spiritual revival.  Bharat is not supremacist—but it is certainly special. Therefore, rather than paganism uber alles, spiritual regimens will be pivotal for the spiritual warfare that will gradually make itself more apparent in the days ahead.One need not believe in the supernatural to see the very real spiritual crisis that is plaguing mankind. The human love for pleasure first begins as delusion and then concludes as misery. Purushartha is one thing, polyamory and bollyamory is another. It is again why critical thinking is so important so as to prevent careless mistakes, whether spiritual or familial.

This is the cost of being gullible, of not taking precautions, of not doing your homework,  of not focusing on action rather than sweet talk, in not thinking of both intentions and capabilities, in not asking about alternatives.  This is why we have emphasised the importance of Niti. Rule number 1 of Rajniti is Shut up and Be aware of your surroundings.

Awareness is Life“. How many make it a point to be aware? Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me. Indians are fooled time and time again. To fail like this is not only a failure of Niti, but a failure of Dharma. After all, preservation of Dharma is the most important Dharma—everything else comes after it.

Bharat has shown the light of holistic living. It is not through pagan confederacy, but through Daiva balam that the Asuric will be defeated. It is also why as much as there may be interest in the Clash of Civilizations (which may be the case at the mohalla level) this is ultimately a Clash for Civilization. This is because in the past, foreign rule meant loss of territory, sovereignty, and dignity, but the present conflict is one that involves the loss of our very humanity itself.

If wealth is lost, nothing is lost. If health is lost, something is lost. But if character is lost, then all is lost.

Dharmachakra

Conclusion

There is much disenchantment today not only in India but across the world. Political systems are increasingly showing their problems. Nationalists are not necessarily responsive to concerns. And societies themselves are at the brink. But if you only focus on your own problems, if you only care for your community, if you only concern yourself with regional politics, if you only pay attention to national politics, how could you possibly understand what is transpiring trans-nationally?

Caught up in one’s own individual financial problems, the self-absorbed ‘citizen of the world’ can’t be bothered to actually consider the consequences for the common humanity. Easily conditioned to fall for simplistic notions such as “Clash of Civilizations”, our class clowns fail to recognise that the Dharmic War of the Kurukshetra was fundamentally about a Clash for Civilization. The preservation of Dharma necessitates not only preserving our own Civilization but seeing to it that Bharatiya Sabhyata takes up the cause of all mankind. The Lok Kalyan of Lord Krishna  is about recognising this for what it is and restoring Dharma, Rta, and Satya in its stead. For civilization is more than just the mere sum of mega-cultures in the anthropological sense.

Civilization is about ensuring mankind’s freedom by ensuring the first and noblest conquest.  For it is when man (and woman) reaches the stithapragna state of transcending all desire that he (or she) is free to experience without attachment all the joys of life. It is attachment that enslaves, and today, moha has come in the guise of prema. It is why whether it is one’s relatives, one’s caste, one’s region, or one’s digital cult of the demented, bandhutva is the bond that has prevented sinner and sinless alike from doing his Dharma.

Perhaps most disconcerting is the continuing do-nothing sanctimony of the internet hindu. Comfortably ensconsed in AC soothed flats or newly constructed upwardly mobile colonies, they believe they have the luxury of ranting and raving for another year or 6 years. There is never any plan b, because they never care to strategically plan—only scheme like myriad backbiters there since the days of the minister who betrayed Prithviraj.

The reality the current nationalist upsurge is only temporary and is not even India-specific. Open your eyes and look around .The world itself is churning all while you carp and cavil in self-loathing and self-degrading public flagellation. No the problem is not Hindus or Dharmikas in general, the problem is a selfish collection of the well-heeled and comfortably leisured who believe in coasting on yesterday’s “merit-based” examinations rather than today’s necessity-driven societal tests. Pareeksha anya yogyata anya.Exams are one thing competence is another. Do you honestly believe you have the luxury of ranting and raving in your ill-gotten luxury?

One look at the Gujarat elections alone should indicate to you just how much damage Cultural Marxism has done to a generation of youth who were inclined to vote for the perennial (and near pentagenarian) “youth candidate”—leave aside the AAP win Delhi. What happens once nationalism itself loses its appeal (after petering out from its 15-20 year course)? What will you do then? Do you think a generation of good for nothings will pick up the mantle once you prepare for the semi-retirement of advanced middle age or senile dotage? No, you dotard. You must act now.

1.Understand macro-politics before you open your trap

2.Recognise that any leader can only do so much and focus on setting the culture right to set the politics right

3.Make yourself useful. If the other side itself is talking about the coming Kurukshetra, do you think you can just sit around giving gyaan? This is the case not only in India but around the world.

This is the reality dharmikas must face. They must recognise that the government—any government—may not educate their kids correctly on culture & history. So who will? A government is but an administrative structure that takes in political talent and churns out bureaucrats. If government cannot create the societal change you are looking for, then it is up to civil society. As one yester-year political talent once said “In a democracy, yatha praja tatha raja”. What happened to him after he got into government?

quote-character-in-the-long-run-is-the-decisive-factor-in-the-life-of-an-individual-and-of-nations-theodore-roosevelt-158026

Yet another thread, yet another impuissant digital salon, will do diddly squat. Social media itself will only continue to and suddenly get even more adverse to your cause. Rather than bring on board, train, and mentor directionless youth, most are content to shriek like banshees over 2G this and demonitisation that. If you don’t understand the macro-politics you don’t know what you are talking about.

So rather than waste what precious time is still left join together in teams to begin training the next generation. Self-celebratory conclaves that look for “civilisational” ways to further the cultural marxist agenda only end up shooting us in the foot. After all, the goal is global monoculture, international diplomats as internal & national leaders are all but waiting in the wings—freshly powdered, conditionered, and shampoo’d.

But the bulk of the Internet Hindu crowd continues in its storied tradition of proving its general jealous and self-defeating uselessness. If your strategy to save civilization is do yoo liffft bwro?, perhaps a smaller box of crayons (and undies) is more your speed (steroids and all after all…).

teddy&character

Physical fitness and self-defence is important—make no mistake. But this must be done in conjunction with mental exercise. Valour, “virility”, and vim & vigour may be all well and good, but they will not alone a leader make, let alone guarantee victory.

Know yourself. Know your enemy and you will be victorious in a hundred battles.

This is the importance of the Politico-strategic.It cannot be conducted by court eunuchs and debauched pseudo-dharmics or militating mimic (half) men. It can only be done by those who understand that statecraft, politics, and strategy are all under the purview of those who understand kshatriyata. Whatever your jati, it is this varna dharma that serves as lead function in the polity of any society. Religio-spiritual leadership provides spiritual advice, but the heavy lifting must be done by those who not only read—but implement. Vision, implementation, accountability, these are the indices of leadership. These require not only upadesh, but protection of the desh, from the myriad threats that are emerging both within and without.

That is also the danger of  binary-ism, which includes not only Capitalism vs Communism, but also Monotheism vs Polytheism or Abrahamism vs Paganism. If you get caught up in the black vs white rather than the grey, you miss the gradations on the Kurukshetra.

It also means not falling for foreign fraudacharyas who are preparing to implement the ultimate pizza effect with adharmic institutions and immoral consequences. It means prioritising the native over the foreign, and when possible, small business over big business. Development too must be Dharmic.

Prioritise business to small business. So what if you might pay a few paise more. So what if the other guys have an app. Like it or not, trust is a key part of the commercial relationship. Giant mega-corporations and malls may look slick and shiny, but it’s small and medium enterprise that employs the most people. Yes, there are crooks who do things like adulterate milk, but how does that compare with the plastic and cadmium rice of corporations in India’s neighbour to the east?

Above all, Dharmic Development rejects plunder. Plunder of natural resources, plunder of human life and dignity, and plunder of our heritage.

Ironically enough, the reader might be flummoxed to realize that Bastiat’s  critique above was actually centered on socialists, but he too acknowledged the rich man’s plunder [5]. As one can see today, capitalists and socialists are two sides of the same coin, only a different “moral” code: one for the bureaucrat and the other for the banker.

Whether private sector or public sector, it is greed which is destroying the world.

AADHAR, demonitisation, Artificial Intelligence, singularity, all are not taking place inside a vacuum but with broader purpose moving forward. Many have spoken about it. Some are discredited, some are diversionary, but some have also…

The economic and political naturally lead into the military. Have you stopped to consider what is in fact ahead? China is at the forefront of manipulating DNA to create a new class of superhumans. How does society respond to such unethical scientific quests nominally to prevent dysgenics, but in actuality to apply towards strategic purpose?

Therefore, rather than perennially obsess about leaderless instrumentalities it becomes important to understand who is running the show and to not just go by their brand name, but to understand what agenda they are actually pushing forward.

Put aside personal ambition & focus on the National Need.

The days ahead will be tall and terrible. So much so that even the heretofore spoiled and brattish will wake up and be shaken from shirking obligation. While they will separate the boys from the men, but they will also make men, real men.

HindiDiChadar
Hindi di Chadar

For once in your lives, recognise we’re all in this together. Emotional discipline, cultured behaviour, professional competence, personal character, all these qualities, all this background literature was composed so that the one thing you truly lacked was the one thing you’d finally recognise you sorely needed: the right Attitude.

The sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, and art, from one generation to the next.

Gobind Singhji, Shivaji, aur Pratap

It is to prepare you for the Modern Kurukshetra that we have written all these articles:

  1. [Ram Raj] was not Built in a Day
  2. Selfishness: The Real Root of All Evil
  3. Are We a Serious People?
  4. Indians are Talkers not Doers
  5. Problem of Indians: Unrepentant Stupidity
  6. Origins of Indian Stupidity
  7. Culture: The Cure for Stupidity
  8. What is Needed for a Civilizational Revival
  9. Niti: The Practical Principles of Life
  10. The Dharma of Collaboration
  11. Why are Indians so Gullible?
  12. Post-Modern Society is a Bastard Society
  13. The Global Crisis of Character
  14. Why Character is so Important
  15. Rebuilding the National Character
  16. The ‘Modern’ Hindu is a Spoiled Brat
  17. Exigencies of the Politico-Strategic
  18. Grow Up, Bharatiyas

Since the hour is now late and time now sparse, we have drawn from many of them to compile this compendium article for those who lead hectic lives.

quote-in-war-three-quarters-turns-on-personal-character-and-relations-the-balance-of-manpower-napoleon-bonaparte-105-56-97

Culture breeds Character. And that is why Culture is banned in the Brave New World.

And ultimately, it is why Culture is at the Core of the Modern Kurukshetra. If cultural degeneracy and depravity are being spread the world over it is because they make possible the pleasureful slavery that is in store for those who choose the easy way out.

Medieval India faced tremendous civilizational danger from barbaric invaders, but it was always able to recover because its culture essence could live to fight another day. But now this is being destroyed root and branch courtesy court restrictions on Diwali and cultural marxism in the media leading to smut in mainstream celluloid.

It is in fact here that the great danger lies. Pop Culture cannot educate our youth, yet it is Pop Culture that is corroding the standards of morality the world over. “The root of National Honour is in National Morality”.

That is why an interdisciplinary response is required to take on a multimedia, and indeed, multi-dimensional assault. It is culture first and foremost that we must defend. And the root of our Culture is Dharma. For it is only when the Cultural Dharma, the Common Dharma, the Saamaanya Dharma is correctly calibrated and revived that Virtue can be restored around the world.

References:
  1. Vidura Niti
  2. Sukra Niti
  3. Malhotra, Rajiv. Sulekha. 2002. http://creative.sulekha.com/the-axis-of-neocolonialism_103313_blog
  4. Swaminathan, Gurumurthy. Economics of Bahuka and Greenspan. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/economics-of-bahuka-and-greenspan/article2598383.ece
  5. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media.
  6. Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World.

Polyamory is Not Polygamy

Recently a particular post courtesy the degenerate left caused something of a hullaballo in yon hallowed digital halls of Internet Hindus. While  Sringara topics are nothing new on ICP, perhaps nothing heralds the Death of Romance more than polyamory.

Many of challenges facing Indic society (and indeed World Society) today are being attributed to irresponsible or unromantic or “unperforming” men. But the reality is it takes two hands to clap. Although we have been very empathetic to the plight of the modern woman, as seen in this article explaining Why Gentlemen Matter (useful for redpill champions), both modern men AND modern women are responsible for the current state of things. Whether modernity (or post-modernity) is itself the issue is another matter, but at the root of this is Selfishness.

It is this selfishness that is preyed upon by marketers the world over. Contrary to the “performance” theory causing certain phenomena, it is the role of marketing and image-shaping. This too is a type of psywar. After all, what better way to break morale than from within. But defeatism achieves nothing. Even fighting only the enemy you wish, achieves nothing. It’s only when you understand that what faces your civilization in fact faces the entire world, that you begin to understand why degeneracy such as polyamory (or bollywood amory) is promoted to begin with. A polygamous past (polygyny and polandry) is reinterpreted to suit exigencies of the present. No society better represented the cesspool of social engineering than the Soviet Union.

It is also why Post-Modern Society is a Bastard Society. But the response to this cannot be promotion of adharmic Nazi eugenics. As we’ve adduced evidence here, Fascism is just Socialism for Nationalists, resulting in social engineering again. Therefore, the true traditionalist rejects these Western constructs and paradigms, and studies his own tradition through its own lens. This means understanding exactly why the Puranas had such gender-bending stories (but don’t promote transgenderism) and why Polyandry and Polygamy could be practiced without promoting Polyamory.

Readers, please note: None of this is to encourage polyandry or polygyny, but to explain why they existed and were accepted in previous eras—but are not necessarily the ideal, and were certainly not polyamory. The simple reason why polygamy or even remarriage existed in previous times is not all souls are at the level of selflessness of Sita & Rama. Most “modern” people—whatever they may protest— do not even have control over their loins let alone their hearts. Not all individuals are spiritually evolved enough to only take one spouse in a life. Rather than feeling a need to serve a spouse (yes, this applies to both spouses…), most take a spouse to serve a need…and especially a feeling. But that isn’t a basis to change the definitions of Dharma, based on devas (lower case d) or even Draupadi. We must consider the Devas (capital D, i.e. the Trimurthi).

Brahma married only Sarasvati, Vishnu only Lakshmi, & even Shiva only married Parvati upon realizing she was the reincarnated form of his first wife Sati. Brahma did not “marry his daughter” Sarasvati, but married his other half. Being the Creator, he had the dilemma of having to create her physical form from his mind. But his story is echoed by the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad where the Supreme Being has to divide itself into halves—resulting in a man and women in eternal embrace.

Comparisons to Krishna or Rajas or rich merchants of previous eras ignores the fact that the vast majority of Hindu men were permitted to take only 1 wife (with a second only permitted if the first were barren). Kings and rich merchants are not always spiritual beings, and as for the case of Krishna, he had to marry all the women who did tapas to gain a husband “like Rama”. Hence Vishnu had to marry them in a future avatar to fulfill their boons. Other cases only saw multiple wives only when some unfortunate girl could not find a husband. Maharana Pratap married many wives, not a few of whom wished to be rescued from the clutches of Mughals. Through him, they had the protection of a valiant King.

maharanapratap

As for the Pandavas, they are neither here nor there, because these cases of polyandry exist/existed for a specific necessity. In the case of the Pandavas, it was because of Draupadi’s previous request for the boon of the perfect husband (no such man exists) and her desire for her husband in a previous life to make love to her in 5 different physical forms (resulting in a curse). Finally, there is the additional fact that the Pandavas themselves were so loyal to each other (with none of the younger 4 desiring his own kingdom) because all were amsa-avataras of Indra himself. Though born to different Devas, they were all the same soul (which is why they acted in such unison). Draupadi herself was Indra’s wife Sachi—and there is even a tradition showing the spiritual granularity of it all that states that when each husband sired a son on Draupadi, it was only that corresponding portion of Sachi’s soul which was activated in Draupadi at that time.

Even the case of the sons of Dasaratha is instructive. While traditionally we hear that Rama was Vishnu, Lakshmana was Adi Sesha, and Bharat and Shatrughna Sudarsana and Panchajanya respectively, Valmiki simply states that Mahavishnu divided himself into four portions, with Lakshmi ostensibly doing the same. Rama was naturally the largest portion (1/2), Lakshmana (1/4) and Bharata and Shatrughna (1/8 each), and marrying their corresponding portions of Lakshmi (i.e. Sita, Urmila, Mandavi, & Shrutakeerthi).

Simple minded arguments from simple minds such as this one don’t give license to deprecate or destroy traditional morality. If you do not want to live a certain traditional way in ‘modern society’—that is fine. But do not call it “dharmic” saying “traditional morality is Victorian”. Nor should the shameless pedants justifying “alternative lifestyles” as ok’d by dharmasastra be taken for “acharyas” when they are merely sellout poets lusting for lucre. Could all these live under the auspices of a “Dharmic society”—sure. But also remember, with the freedom of expression also comes the freedom of association…

Regardless, rather than gender defining the relationship—it is the relationship which necessitates the defining of gender. It is why we often find male gods with a female form (Vishnu as Mohini) and female gods with a male form. The soul itself carries no gender. When the soul divides into halves, gender becomes necessary for a romantic relationship to take place—real romance reaches its peak with the physical potential for a couple to conceive a child. But gender alone can’t become the basis for limiting someone or her freedom. Trust doesn’t mean putting someone in a box or cage (or in chains or chastity belts). Trust means setting someone free—because you know no matter where they are, what they’re doing, or whom they’re interacting with, that person will never betray you—physically or emotionally or spiritually. Rather than freedom being equated to polyamory, it is in monogamy that there is true freedom (the freedom to love as deeply as you please in perfect security, rather than the conditions placed on single serving “love” of constant insecurity—seen in polyamory).

Leave aside monogamy for a second, mono-amory (when genuine) doesn’t ask the question “did he love his first wife more?” let alone “first girlfriend or current mistress”.  Polyamory doesn’t solve the problem of someone you romantically love dearly, loving someone else more than you. After all, if someone has to be rescued or someone needs a kidney—whom will it be? This is the question polyamory proponents never cover…That this concept of “modern romance” could even be considered “real romance” only shows just how far the language and the culture has fallen. When definitions change, society approaches its downfall. Real freedom is not experiencing every fleeting desire…

That is why Acharya Chanakya writes

Sukhasya moolam dharmah Dharmasya moolamarthah |

Arthasya moolam rajyam Rajasya moolam indriyavijayam ||

The Root of Happiness is Dharma. The root of Dharma is Artha. The Root of Artha is Rajyam [Power]. The root of Power is Victory over the Senses [1,129]

If someone can be replaced—was it really love at all? This is something Modern Girls need to think about.The question is whether we as human beings prove ourselves worthy of trust—even when faced with the highest of temptations. That is the barrier that all couples face and must ultimately overcome.

If the freedom of women has waxed and waned over the ages, it is because men must bear fault for most of it—but not all of it. The reality is, cheaters are not always men, and as Tolstoy explored in Anna Karenina, good men are often punished for their unconditional love (and no ladies, they didn’t make you do it). Being badgered over tfr may be irritating, but it doesn’t justify slandering your own like this shalya did (with clinical precision). Attributing certain social phenomena to such things is a sign either of stupidity or complicity—or probably both. But the reality is much simpler: in a time when doing bad feels good, chasing after what is forbidden becomes popular. And this applies to boys and girls brought up in any religion. They chase after what they are forbidden to have. And it works both ways only with differing consequences.

This also shows the importance of not losing the narrative on Love. Contrary to twenty-something anime fanbois, writing on Romantic Love or showcasing it (in Dharmic context) is not “sybaritic nonsense“, but rather an intelligent rejection of Bollywood. Do a check on who were the Action Heroes in the 90s & who were the Romantic Heroes in the 90s, and you’ll have your answer on the psychology behind this. If you leave space uncontested, don’t be surprised if you start losing it. But winning it doesn’t occur through rhetoric or bravado, but in defeating the strategy. The complete man is both warrior & lover.

Main Yoddha Bhi Hoon!

The question for modern women is whether they are indeed worthy of the the love they claim to seek, for the suffering of both men and women are linked to the nature of their behaviour.  Most men are content to sink to the bottom of uncommitted barrel (hence MGTOW). Unjust divorce laws and 498-A did not occur in a vacuum, and are the karmic result of man’s unjust treatment of woman throughout the ages. But as one can see from the more equitable rules of the Vedic period—where women had much more freedom—all too many ladies later were no longer as trustworthy, resulting in their later societal restriction. This is not a justification, but an explanation of the strict moral standards of a different time.

The times and laws have obviously changed, even the letter of Dharmashastra (hence the differing Dharmasutras), but the Principle remains the same. If the illimitable Shiva-Shakti is the goal, then women too cannot always blame men (however deserving)  for their illimitable pigheaded chauvinism, as it is the standard of Shiva’s wife Sati that inspired trust and freedom in the first place. No self-respecting man will ever consent to be cucked or even chumped. The love women feel they are born to give, men reciprocate (assuming they ever do so) only after careful consideration and complete trust. If women wish to gain that trust, they must prove worthy of it. It is true that much of the selfishness of men is inborn or due to baser instincts. But much of it is also due to the first or second-hand experience in the school of hardknocks.

Ending hypocrisy is indeed a two way street. If women are fed up with Neanderthals, to gain the evolved men they want in the post-modern era, they need to first reject the inner Carrie Bradshaw. That is the difference between Surpanakha and Shakti (the true Divine Feminine). When this is the case, men no longer need worry of humiliation and are no longer petty and small-minded about helping a woman achieve her full potential. Because what matters then is not capabilities, but intentions. All this starts first with character. And the foundation of good character is Achara.

There are of course still more polyamory advocates who argue “character be damned!”. For these degenerates, it is the height of “sophistication” to be able to love beyond number (or beyond species!) or beyond gender—be it the 3 genders one finds in many languages classified as “Indo-European” or the new “genders” being invented every day by SJW’s. But neuter gender perfectly aligns with the concept of atman (which has no gender). And the true beauty of love is found in the complementary male-female relationship. Some sages even speak of couples exchanging genders in the peaks of ecstasy out of love for each other, or each one becoming both. But none of this is meant to justify transgenderism or polyamory or who knows what. Rather, it’s meant to show the distinction between consciousness and matter. When we take material form,  it comes with its own rules. A soul splits into a male half and a female half per the Upanishads itself.

And when material form is taken,we must observe the rules of material existence: Dharma.

To give another analogy: As Rama wished to show his appreciation for Lakshmana’s exemplary service as younger brother by being Balarama’s younger brother his next life, would it be so surprising that the same Vishnu might want to show his love for Lakshmi’s life as Sita by repaying this devotion in a future life…hence a possible Mohini avatar? All this may be too gender bending for our 1 dimensional binary thinkers, but it does begin to explain how traditional morality can be at harmony with the gender transcending nature of Divine illimitability.

It also explains why “indologists” and “mythologists” can’t create perverted readings of the Sacred Puranas to misinterpret Dharmasastra or question gender as a biological reality (which it is). If you want to learn the correct interpretation of our Dharmic culture and religion, learn from actual Dharmacharyas…not online simulacra. Consciousness may be illimitable and without form, but matter comes with its own rules when we take form.

sitaram

Male – Female. Husband – Wife. Sita – Ram

Contrary to the policy of hippies, this transcending of gender and “everything being maya” doesn’t mean all the rules go out the door. It simply means that mithya and maya come with their own rules that have to be observed to prevent matsya nyaya. Loving “everyone” doesn’t mean you’re actually loving more. You are merely lusting more while loving less and less. If you romantically love everybody, then you truly love nobody. Nobody is responsible for you and you are responsible for nobody. As in the novel Brave New World, if someone dies, people merely pop a few soma pills, and the party goes on….”zip, zip”. [3, ]

Polyamory is a stepping stone to the cementing of every degeneracy known to man. Even promiscuity goes from being voluntary to forced. Even the sacred word “mother” becomes profane. Childbearing is seen as dirty, and pleasure the highest good (when in fact, it is a means of control). After all, if you can’t bear pain, then you will prefer a pleasant slavery.

Funny how one must absolutely take classes to “learn how to properly appreciate wine”, but the same cannot be done to properly appreciate life!—especially married life! Which is more important: pairing the right wine with the right food?—or pairing the right female with the right male? It seems ‘modern’ Hindus aren’t the only ones with their priorities out of whack.

That modern science can do “wonders” isn’t license for licentiousnessAll of this is not to judge many modern Indians (women and men alike), who have had a number of partners (not at the same time) or even a number of spouses. It’s to explain why your situation is different from these shameless polyamory advocates who are in effect saying “anything goes”. Draupadi was married due to special circumstances—and married to each of those men. Women who have had multiple lovers or husbands over time for whatever reason don’t amount to Anais Nin. Life isn’t always simple and not every woman (or man) is lucky in love (though it does explain why arranged marriage with consent has some logic to it). The point isn’t to judge those of you who were unlucky (or perhaps were confused by society and changing social standards), but to reassert what the traditional standards are in the first place. If even a righteous brahmana like Charudatta married a courtesan like Vasantasena, the latter had to reject all other men and show herself of deserving of such a good man. And of course, as the Valmiki Ramayana explains, even Rama had to show himself worthy of Sita by stringing the divine bow of Shiva.

Finally, one cannot simply point to custom—be it history polygyny among Rajputs or polyandry among Paharis to justify your carnality. The case of polygyny has been explained, and as for the Paharis (some communities among them at least), it’s understandable if skewed gender ratios often result in society adapting to certain circumstances. But that is why the ultimate guide for any society isn’t custom or ritual or tradition, but Dharma (virtue). It is not that custom or ritual or tradition do not matter, only whatever of these might be Dharma in a given circumstance or Yuga, may no longer be when the circumstances change. It is also why Dharma is not rooted in a frozen rna or Rta. Rather, Dharma upholds the moral order Rta which is ultimately the expression of Truth (Satya). That is why truth—rather than a given order—must triumph. This is because it allows us to understand the the reality of a given situation or context, and provide guidance to ensure harmony within it.

We get in life what we deserve. It may be difficult to reconcile traditional morality with divine illimitability (or for that matter, modern degeneracy), but the reality is, it is possible. Just as men have Nara Dharma, there is a Dharma for Naari too. For those who arrogate the right to interpret our sacred texts to justify their unsacred agendas, even if you don’t worship the Divine Feminine, it is important to understand how it drives the internal logic of Dharma. Shakti worship when correctly done, makes women more feminine but also makes men more masculine. By understanding the greatness of the female, a male recognises the need for his own qualities, which then resonate even  more.

Even if a man refuses to believe in “shakti”, the concept reminds Dharmic men that simply because women take on a more delicate and vulnerable form does not give license for physically stronger men to become tyrants. Whatever a particular set of circumstances may demand for harmony, She is his equal half. Shakti is the reminder that if man does not behave properly with Durga, he will get Kaali. But ladies, remember too, that Kaali sits astride the corpse of Shiva. The inauspicious form that Kaali takes does not justify becoming the very selfish and asuric forces Kaali is meant to devour.

Polyamory is not love, but rather, only license to lust. If you wish to degrade yourself in such degenerate definitions as “polyamory”—that is your business. Just don’t compare it with polyandry (which comes with marital duties) or polgyny—and certainly do not call it “Dharma”.

DharmaMandir

References:
  1. Chaturvedi, B.K.Chanakya Neeti.Diamond: New Delhi.2015
  2. Gurumurthy, Swaminathan http://vskkerala.com/society-was-the-source-of-knowledge-for-deendayalji-s-gurumurthy/
  3. Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper. 2006

Book Review: Being and Becoming

Being and Becoming‘ is the title of a contemporary fiction novel by Indian-American author Phalgun Prativadi. Set in the background of the US healthcare industry, the story is about a gifted physician-researcher, Dr. Arya Krish, who is drawn into a battle with a powerful and manipulative giant medical business group, Alpha Corp. You can read the synopsis and excerpts on the book website. The storyline connects two cities, Washington DC, where the main protagonist resides and where his office at Beacon Medical Institute is located, and Bengaluru, which is an HQ for managing his philanthropic projects in India.  The plot unfolds into an escalating chess-like tussle between the shadowy Alpha Corp and Krish, culminating in a fascinating end-game in the final chapter.

The author, with his first-hand knowledge of the US healthcare industry, is able to expertly communicate key aspects of the ongoing clash in the US today between medical care professionals and their patients versus the combined influence of big-hospitals, big-pharma, big-insurance, and big-lobbying (it is Washington DC after all). The author notes that “Ultimately, the insurance company got to decide what happens to the patient. It was an insidious takeover, corrupting the politicians in their favor, and desensitizing the public to their blatant power grab. And, the norm was being declined a certain treatment, facility, or medicine because the insurance company decided it wasn’t worth paying for, while at the same time influencing how much the damn thing costs!“.

Another takeaway is the insightful observation about the approach followed by medical residents (physicians-in-training):these physicians in training all wound up conforming to a single arbitrary but consistent and effective mode of operation. Lately, it seemed to him that they all looked and sounded the same, that none of their individuality came through in their behavior or interactions.” Some may contrast this efficient monoculture backed by first rate infrastructure in the US, with the excellent clinical ability, patient-history taking and examination skills, and diverse methods adopted by Indian doctors to overcome the limitations of equipment shortage.

It is interesting to note the use of a few Sanskrit non-translatables such as Shakti. Introducing a few more would have been handy, but the decision is understandable given the constraints and focus of this genre.

Being and Becoming

As Dr. Krish plots his fightback against Alpha Corp, a manthana emerges within Dr. Arya Krish as he introspects and attempts to reconcile his ‘being’ with what he was ‘becoming’ in this process.  Dr. Prativadi has addressed this inner conflict from a mostly Indic perspective.  This ICP post introduces us to the literary theory and dramatics within classical Indic Literature.  This exploration of inner-space within the novel is refreshing and different from the usual fare, where such discussions tend to get intellectualized using western philosophy and simplistic two-valued logic. The West has studied the being-becoming conundrum by building upon the ideas developed in Ancient Greece by thinkers like Plato, Heraclitus, Parmenides, and others. Such works resolve the issue in the favor of one position or the other, or propose an uneasy and synthetic unity [2] between such opposing poles. In any case, the anxiety latent in this conflict never really goes away.

Such dualities exist all around us. For example, in India, we often hear the phrase “Nation comes first whereas Religion is personal and comes next, and practiced inside the home“. This is taken as a positive way of ‘managing’ diversity, whereas in reality, it admits to a potentially irreconcilable conflict between organized religion and one’s duty to their nation, and that one can at best achieve a compromise without ever resolving the resultant anxiety. Similarly, it is not uncommon for western STEM professionals to be ‘scientists’ inside the lab, while embracing religious or atheistic dogma outside it, again manufacturing a tense unity between two separately independent worlds.  Such a synthesized unity is prone to fissure. On the other hand, this is a non-issue for the diverse dharma traditions of India [2]. Following a dharmic path naturally and always serves the nation as well as science in the most genuine manner.

In India, such pairs of opposites have received the attention of Rishis since the earliest of times and their resolution results in a harmony that rids us of such anxiety. In his book ‘Being Different’ [2], Rajiv Malhotra remarks:

in dharma traditions, integral unity can be discovered and experienced through spiritual practices such as yoga. Since both ‘exterior’ and ‘interior’, body and mind, spirit and matter, individual and collective, are mere manifestations or aspects of an integral whole, it becomes natural to start the quest for ultimate truth using what is at hand, namely the embodied self. Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation of the Isha Upanishad explains nine pairs of opposites and how they are resolved within the integral unity”.

Thus, the Indic solution to this challenge radically differs from the western and embraces an integral rather than a synthetic unity. For example, Sri Aurobindo writes on ‘Being and Becoming’ [3]:

Everything depends on what we see, how we look at existence in our soul’s view of things Being and Becoming, One and Many are both true and are both the same thing: Being is one, Becomings are many; but this simply means that all Becomings are one Being who places Himself variously in the phenomenal movement of His consciousness. We have to see the One Being, but we have not to cease to see the many Becomings, for they exist and are included in Brahman’s view of Himself. Only, we must see with knowledge and not with ignorance…”

On the whole, I enjoyed reading the book, which is the author’s first. The author has skillfully narrated an interesting story without making it a long read, and the plot moves forward briskly. To learn more about the novel and purchase it, please visit the book website. It is also available on Amazon and other retailers.

It is an exciting time to be a reader. There is a new generation of Indian writers who are grounded in India’s deep culture, which allows them to explore the world using an Indic lens and freely express themselves based on their own, authentic Indian experience.

About the Author

Phalgun Prativadi, M. D., is a practicing physician in the United States. He grew up in Maryland and graduated from Penn State, and is currently an infectious diseases physician in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has previously authored articles for websites such as Hinduism Today. ‘Being and Becoming’ is his first full-length novel, and he hopes to continue the story in the future.

Click here to Buy this Book!

References:
  1. Phalgun Prativadi. Being and Becoming. Dog Ear Publishing. Kindle Edition. 2016.
  2. Rajiv Malhotra. Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism. Harper Collins. 2011.
  3. The Collected Works of Sri, Aurobindo: Isha Upanishad, Vol. 17. 2003.