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  Demythifying Reality  
 

 

By: Adity Sharma
August 05, 2006
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iews expressed here are author’s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer is at the bottom.

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In academia, when a myth is punctured through empirical analysis, credited scholars are allowed to come on stage to propound their contradiction and alternatives to the evidence that has been disproved. Well, not according to the Indian secularists and apologists for Christian missionaries and the quotidian disquisitions dished out as absolute truth even though it has been confounded again and again. The scholars propounding alternatives to a popular myth or theory are quickly dubbed as Hindu fanatics. These apologists are not just unwittingly supporting the anti-Indian cabal, but they have a long standing agenda, i.e. to malign anything Hindu or concerning India's true history.

From time immemorial, the Christian missionaries in cahoots with colonialists have devised maleficent designs to discredit the hi story of Sanatan Dharm, falsely plant Christianity in Bharat, and aggrandize so-called Saints for their charity which had an ulterior plan of its own. These designs have become more pernicious and pronounced, because they now not only exist in India to poison people's mind but have transgressed beyond its borders.

Origins of Sanatan Dharm

A very good transnational example of this venom masquerading as history is the recent furor over the proposed edits by the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) and Vedic Foundation (VF) to the California school Board of Education concerning the prejudicial portrayal of Hinduism in school history textbooks.

Here Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer tried to argue that the Aryan invasion theory is indeed veritable, why? By claiming that the Aryans brought Hinduism, wrote the Vedas, and subsequently ruled by force. This is not only denying Sanatan Dharm its rightful place in shaping the history of Bharat, butt it is also with all intent and purpose gratuitously pitting the putative indigenous Dravidians of the southern part of India against the supposed foreign Aryans.

The theory posits that Hinduism was really imported from central Asia by nomadic Indo-Aryan tribes that conquered the Dravidians an advanced society around 1500-100BC. It goes on to claim that the Dravidian people were defeated, subjugated and pushed to the south by the light-skinned Aryans. This noxious theory was engineered by a Christian chauvinist named Friedrich Max Muller during British rule in the early nineteenth century. It is ironic that texts such as the Bible and the Quran that have no standing in the scientific world are not refuted, but a religion that has produced a large corpus of not only literary and Dharmic ideals, but has also provided us with sufficient proof that a civilization's existence in the particular places that are being haughtily disputed today were indeed its homeland is not taken seriously.

Now, anyone even remotely familiar with the Aryan migration premise, knows that it is spurious. there is ample archeological, linguistic, anthropological, literary, astronomical, and historical evidence that turns this theory on its head. For instance, Vedic scholar Dr. David Frawley in his article titled “Solid Evidence Debunking Aryan Invasion”, summarizes that this couldn't possibly be true for the following reasons: first, according to Dr. Frawley, many propagators of the Aryan migration premise have claimed that the Aryans used Horse-drawn chariots and had sophisticated weaponry like iron that the Dravidians eventually succumbed to. The refutation is that there was no evidence of iron in the excavation of the Indus Valley sites. However, horses were discovered not only in the Indus valley sites, but also in the pre-Indus sites, this according to Dr. Frawley means that horses were very much a part of ancient Indian economic life.

Furthermore, chariots can not travel over mountains and deserts, they are more suited for flat lands. Second, the claim is that there is a prevalent and sustained conflict between the light-skinned Aryans against the dark-skinned Dravidians. Some fatuous secularists have even gone as far as to claim that the Dravidians are the modern day untouchables. They have gone on to say that the attempt to dispute the Aryan Migration Premise stems from a desire by Hindutva proponents to make an Aryan nation modeled on the hitlerian concept of a supremacist Aryan race fashioned in the 1930s by the Nazis. The first claim is false because there is a constant theme of light and dark in the Vedas. But this has nothing to do with Aryan racism; it simply means a struggle between good and evil. The Sanskrit word Arya did not even explicitly or implicitly suggest race or ethnicity, but the word Aryan of the Nordic concept had nothing but race in mind. It is probably made to look like a race struggle because many Westerners upon seeing the words light-skinned versus dark-skinned immediately shun Hinduism, and all intellectual gumption is quickly jettisoned, and hence this ploy was an excellent conversion tool for the Christian missionaries. Racism is an ethnocentric concept that only the Europeans can claim credit to. We usually are weary of anyone tagging us as racists, obscurantist, or fanatics, so, this was a clever trick on the part of Muller and today's propagators of this vicious lie and it puts many Hindus on the defensive. Therefore, it becomes facile to alienate the Hindus from the cradle of their civilization by telling them that Bharat was never their true homeland to begin with.
It is likely that the Indus valley civilization was destroyed by floods as discovered in the excavation by the (National Institute of Oceanography in India). Dr. Frawley also states that the inhabitants of Gujarat and Punjab are more or less the same ethnically and linguistically as they were before the so-called Aryan invasion.

Still, anti-Hindu academics whearring the garb of scholarly research like Ramila Thapar, Michael Witzel, Steve Farmer, and Wendy Doniger continue to float lies as truths. In the face of more than sufficient evidence, they keep repeating that there is not enough evidence that shows Hinduism was indeed an indigenous religion to India; it seems that these "scholars are suffering from what is known in psychology as confirmation bias. This is when the victim ignores all the proof that he/she finds in conflict to their point.

When elementary school children learn about the Aryan migration premise and other malicious concoctions, they only have one thing in mind i.e. Hinduism is a foreign and intolerant religion imposed forcibly on a people, that were coerced in to the rigid fold of a discrimination oriented creed.

The book titled "Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate" by European historian Dr. Koenraad Elst offers contradiction to the Aryan migration premise and discusses just why such a theory was floated by the British, present day Western Indologists, and Indian "secularists" in full cooperation with Muslim and Christian theologians.

The reason given by Dr. Elst for the expeditious acceptance of the theory is that at the time of its concoction there was no disputation proffered by anyone, it seemed like the right thing to do. Another more sinister aspect according to the author is the abrogation of Sanskrit as an Indian language by Indian politicians to be taught as school subjects under the pretext that it is a foreign language brought by foreign peoples (Elst, 33). The second reason is, to mobilize the Dravidians to hate everything that represents traditional Brahmanism (46). An example sited by Dr. Elst is that many Dalit organizations have published vitriolic writings on the so-called blatant arrogance and opulence of Brahmans; it is wholly specious and propagandistic to say that the Brahmans are the only wealthy class in India (50). The author states, "It is legitimate to criticize caste; but it is perverse to do so on the basis of false history (64)."

The astronomical evidence presented in Dr. Elst's book explains how the Rg Veda described the exact location of the Indus valley civilization. It also says that the dates propounded by the Hindu astronomers during the Vedic age were more or less correct (89). When John Playfair, a European historian put forth the supposition that the Rg-Veda was as old as 4300 B.C., it was considered to be inordinately insane. But it was not disputed by any scientists of the day, and presently, it is a powerful counterpoint to the Aryan migration premise.

Saint Thomas in India?

Just as the Aryan invasion theory has done its damage in history, so has another myth decorated with variegated frosting of clever ploys with an obvious purpose. This particular creativity comes from the Christian Theologians/missionaries in India, and it is the myth of St. Thomas. This so-called apostle St. Thomas, according to popularized missionary propaganda, came to India around 52 A.D., he founded the Syrian Christian community, and was murdered by" fanatical" Hindu Brahmans in 73 A.D. This not only served to vilify the Brahmans but it is also used to play the lower Christianized castes against the upper castes. Christianity's history abounds with self-victimization and self-imposed and most of the time false martyrdom. I was shocked to learn

from a peer belonging to the (Bible Society) on campus who told me that, "The only way to discover Christ, was from suffering, and that it was good that people were suffering." "That way they will discover Christ's love." How can a faith that supposedly inculcates fear and a fervent desire to suffer, uplift the so-called uncivilized peoples of the world? Christianity's flocks, it seems have stuck to its dogmatic doctrine not out of devotion, but from fear.

The Saint Thomas story is not a novelty at all; in fact it is a long running exercise to indigenous and sanitize the fanaticism of Christianity more specifically Roman-Catholicism in India. This most likely is a sustained effort to efface the outrageous enormities perpetrated by the Portuguese in the 16th and 17th centuries in places such as Goa and the Malabar coast. In his piece "In Memory of a Slain Saint", which appeared in the Indian Express in December 1989, C.A. Simon emphatically contended that Saint Thomas really did exist and his visit to India was a blessing to the downtrodden and oppressed classes. He further aggrandizes St. Thomas by claiming that there were miracles performed everywhere, and sure enough many converted. Does this line of reasoning sound all too familiar? Of course, the downtrodden were just waiting for a cultured and "egalitarian" faith like Christianity to rescue them from the evils of Hinduism. This reasoning is as old as Christianity's exclusivist existence is.

In a rejoinder to C.A. Simon, titled "The Legend of a Slain Saint to Stain Hinduism", by Swami Tapasyananda states that this pernicious legend was contrived by the Portuguese to hide their glaring fanaticism, because they occupied Mylapore from 1522-1697. It was in the 16th century when the decimation of the Kapaleeswara temple occurred. The Santhome church was built and was often repaired. It also challenges the very existence of such a saint and whether he came to India or not. Furthermore, Catholicism and Christianity in general has always claimed full rights where ever it has ventured, and this myth fits perfectly in that mold of claiming land and more land for Christ.

Mother Teresa's "altruism"

It is unfortunately a sad fact that many Hindus have forgotten Seva or selfless service to society, that is perspicuously prescribed in the Bhagavad-Gita by ShriKrishn. But, it would also be a lie to sublime those who have only by clever publicity stunts managed to give the misleading impression of altruism. On October 19th 1999, a much popularized and overrated woman was beatified as a saint by the late Pope, and this "saint" was mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa came to India to administer to the poor and ill, however, her actions are indicatory of anything but selfless service to the poor and ill. She was, like many of her critics have pointed out, a friend of the wealthy; her extreme opposition to abortion does not help her image much either. Ensuing the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal in 1984, mother Teresa rushed to the scene and said, "Forgive, forgive, forgive." Forgive? After investigations, it was amply clear that the corporation had pre-warnings about the disaster, so why should the victims forgive? Another unduly foolish answer to a question of what she was planning to do in regard to housing and jobs for the victims by a Bhopal resident, was "First, we must learn to love one another." It is excruciatingly painful to believe that such a willfully ignorant person was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It is even more astonishing that no "savant" found it worth their time to criticize such an asinine and unwholesome decision made by the committee. Mother Teresa did not treat poverty as a disease that needs to be eradicated but as a blessing. She blamed Calcutta's poverty on the people's refusal to accept Christ. Again, we see that Christ comes to those who are hopelessly suffering, sort of like a drug that only induces a desperate person, not a healthy one.

However, not everyone has been hypnotized by an overdose of falsities, Christopher Hitchons in his book titled "The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, through thorough investigation evinces a completely different and less flattering side of the putative saint. In the book Hitchons meticulously expatiates about the total and complete lack of proof of Mother Teresa's charity to the poor. For instance, although Mother got the finest medical treatment for herself in the West, there isn't any substantial proof of any hospitals or orphanages that were indeed built by Mother Teresa (Hitchons 37). Of course, she received millions, but what happened to them, is the question. The author also denounces her as a right-wing Christian fundamentalist, who went out of her way to varnish the atrocious actions of the Contras and death squads in Nicaragua, endorsed the Duvalier in Haiti the cause of much poverty in that country, and her extreme opposition to abortion under any circumstance.

We must realize that these myths are making us forget the greatness of our culture, and the people who have rendered selfless service to the nation which, incidentally do not ask nor get any attention from any media outlet. If some of these myths and other such falsehoods can be corrected, then there can be a greater focus on issues more concern. Actively challenging these myths is also intellectual and it silences the "secularists" who are only apt at hurling invectives and nothing else. One can ignorantly argue that what's done is done, but unless we make a concerted effort to erase these lies they will grow like bacteria, and become clogged and solidify in the arteries of history.

Adity Sharma

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References

1 Frawley. David, Solid Evidence Debunking the Aryan Invasion
2 Elst. Koenraad, "Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate"
Voice of India: New Delhi
3 Simon. C.A., In Memory of a Slain Saint
Indian Express Dec. 1989
4Swami. Tapasyananda, The Legend of A Slain Saint To Stain- Hinduism
Indian Express January 1990
5 Hitchons. Christopher, "The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice"
Human quest: London, 1996


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