Dr. B.R.Ambedkar’s Contribution To Buddhist Education In India

31/10/2010

Dr. B.R.Ambedkar’s Contribution
To Buddhist Education In India

By Nishikant Waghmare

16 February, 2007
Countercurrents.org


“Noble is your aim and sublime and glorious is your mission. Blessed are those who are awakened to their duty to those among whom they are born. Glory to those who devote their time, talents and their all to the amelioration of slavery. Glory to those who would reap their struggle for the liberation of the enslaved in spite of heavy odds, carpine humiliation, storms and dangers till the downtrodden secure their Human Rights.”– Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar.

Today’s Ambedkarites may have reduced their mentor to a symbol to center their electoral campaign on, but history will view Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar differently—as a man whose genius extended over a diverse arrange of human affairs. Born to Mahar parents, Babasaheb would have been one of the many Untouchable of his times condemned to a life of suffering and misery, had he not doggedly overcome the oppressive circumstances of his birth to rise to pre-eminence in India’s public life. Ambedkar was, of course, a towering leader of the Untouchables, but he was also much more- patriot, scholar, thinker and Founding Father of the Indian Constitution.

Ambedkar started the Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha and the Samaj Samanta Sangh for the uplift of untouchables. He led processions and dharnas for his community, demanded separate electorates for them, parted ways with Gandhi, violently differing with Gandhi’s approach toward the Untouchables, and finally, left the Hindu fold, embracing with thousands of his followers the more egalitarian faith of Buddhism.

India got Independence 55 years ago, till today Dalit has to suffer for basic needs for their day to day living i.e. Drinking water, food, shelter and Right to live as human being in society. The Untouchables “Dalit” were denied even Human Rights, which are essential for a bare existence of human life. They were not allowed to drink water from public well; and even their shadow was supposed to pollute the so- called upper Castes. The Hindu social order made the life of the Dalit miserable in every sense of the term. The Hindu Dharmashastra gave sanction to this evil Caste system and the practice of Untochability. This continued for the Centuries.

Then arose on the horizon Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar, the liberator of the Millions of downtrodden in India. He made abolition of the Caste system and Untouchability a mission of His life. Perhaps it would take a rebirth by the Mahatma Gandhi to end the abominable evil of Caste. As he he had said: “If I do not want to attain moksha, I do not want to be reborn. But if I were to be reborn, I should be born an Untouchable… not as a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shudra But as an Atishudra, a Bhangi.”


Babasaheb Ambedkar raised the banner of Buddhism and brought back to his motherland the Buddha who suffered an exile for over twelve hundred years. Ambedkar, a man of provocative learning, challenged opponents of Buddhism to hold discussions with him, and was confident that he would defeat all Pandits. He propagated Buddhism in India. He made the provision for the study of Pali in the Indian constitution. The Government of India had declared Buddha Jayanti a holiday mainly through his efforts. Dr. Ambedkar was the greatest Pioneer of Buddhist revival in India.

India, no doubt, continues to be proud of its Buddhist heritage. Since regaining independence, Buddhist symbols like the Wheel of Dhamma and the Asoka Capital, have become national symbols and the Mathura Buddha adorns the house of Parliament and inspires Indian lawmakers.

The Buddha established a classless society by opening the gates of the Sangha to all deserving individuals, making no distinction between caste and class. The fundamental principle of Buddhism is equality… Buddhism was called the religion of the Shudra’s… ” There was only one man who raised his voice against separatism and Untouchability and that was Lord Buddha… Buddhism is the only religion, which does not recognize caste and affords full scope for progress.

Dr. Ambedkar’s speech on the Eve of the great conversion at Nagpur on October14, 1956, Dr. Ambedkar said Buddhism can serve not only this country, India, but the whole World at this juncture in the world affairs; Buddhism is indispensable for world peace you must pledge today that you, the followers of Buddha, will not only work to liberate yourself, but will try to elevate your country and the world in general.

Dr. Ambedkar declared: “By discarding my ancient religion which stood for inequality and oppression today I am reborn. I have no faith in the philosophy of incarnation; and it is wrong and mischievous to say that Buddha was an incarnation of Vishnu. I am no more a devotee of any Hindu god or goddess. I will not perform shradha. I will strictly follow the eightfold path of Buddha. Buddhism is a true religion and I will lead a life guided by the tree principles of knowledge, right path and compassion. Dr. Ambedkar denounced Hinduism, its customs and traditions and declared that from that moment onwards he would strive for the spread of equality among human beings.

Emancipation and empowerment of Dalits is possible only through education. The present Dalit leadership, unlike Spartacus or Ambedkar, is suffering from intellectual bankruptcy. It fails to criticize the ruling classes or follow Ambedkar’s philosophical and ideological roots. Nearly 60 to 70 per cent of India’s wealth belongs to Dalits. It is their blood and sweat. But they are the principle victims of the system.

Dr. Ambedkar explained to his people that “a great responsibility had fallen on their shoulders in connection with the upholding of Buddhism; and if they would not follow rigidly and nobly the principles of Buddhism, it would mean that the Mahars reduced it to a miserable state, no other person under that the sum was burdened with such unparalleled responsibility as he was, he concluded.

Dr. Ambedkar set the wheel of Dhamma in motion once again, spreading the message of his Master to all the corners of the world. The Buddhists said the “the Dhamma Chakra was set revolution by Dr.Ambedkar and it was the greatest religious revolution which India had witnessed in modern times.”

Dr. Ambedkar dedicated himself to the propagation of the Buddhist faith in India. He wrote a book on Buddhism titled “Buddha and His Dhamma” explaining its tenets in simple language to the common man. His two other books “Revolution and Counter Revolution in India’ and “Buddha and Karl Marx”

The malafide intentions of including the Buddha in the Avatara pantheon are also clear from the fact that the Brahmins never worshiped the Buddha and no temples were built in his honour. Logically, the theory that Buddha is an incarnation of Vishnu is dubious one. Therefore, Dr. Ambedkar exhorted Buddhists not to believe that the Buddha was an incarnation of Vishnu. Now even a Brahmin Priest agrees that the Buddha was not an incarnation of Vishnu. Principal Vipassana Teacher, Shri S.N.Goenka and Sankaracharya of Kanchikam Kote Peetham Sri Jayendra Saraswati made a joint declaration on 11.11.1999 at Sarnath that Gotama the Buddha was not an incarnation of Vishnu.

“I am reported to be against peace. This is not correct. I am for peace. But, the peace, which is, based on justice not the peace of a graveyard. So long as justice is not respected in the world there cannot be any peace. Buddhism and Buddhism alone can save the World.”

Dr. B.R.Ambedkar a great scholar, Lawyer and freedom fighter along with hundreds of thousands of Mahar’s an untouchable caste, converted to Buddhism and changed the face of Buddhism in India. Dr. Ambedkar’s conversion was a symbolic protest to the oppressions of caste inequality. His conversion was an intellectual decision that would meet with the least opposition from the Hindu majority.

India, have no leader of the kind Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Indian Crusader for Social Justice and Champion of Human Rights. One of the greatest contributions of Dr. Ambedkar was in respect of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The fundamental Rights provide for freedom, equality, abolition of Untouchability and remedies to ensure the enforcement of rights.

Fifty-five years after independence, Caste prejudices in India have not erased very much. And now there is a deliberate attempt to revive these prejudices to their former position.

Grundtvig’s conception about Nordic mythology and Christian “Anskuelese” may be compared with Ambedkar’s views on the original tradition of Buddhism as a source of inspiration. In describing the work of on Buddhism he said” we have started this movement to develop and educate our minds” Explaining the need for religion among the poor as a need arising for hope, Ambedkar referred to a German professor of his, Professor Wintermitz.


“The Watergang Rabelan Depth was the book which he recommended and by which I was much inspired. It is only the poor, he said who need religion.” Hope is the spring of action in life. Religion affords hope. Therefore, mankind finds solace in the religion, and that is why the poor cling to religion.”

Those who are turned to Buddhism, but remained within Hinduism but wanted Hinduism to change, Ambedkar made the following suggestion:

“You must give a new doctrinal basis to your religion-a-basis that will be in consonance with Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, in short, with Democracy.”

Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar once commented, “Dalit representatives elected from reserved seats open their mouth in the Indian parliament only when they have to yawn.”

It was the Buddha who, for the first time in the known history of mankind, attempted to abolish slavery and “invented the higher morality and the idea of the brotherhood of the entire human race, and in striking terms condemned” the degrading caste-system which in Indian society at that time was firmly rooted. The Buddha declared: “By birth is not one an outcast, By birth is not one a Brahmin, By deeds is one an outcast, By deeds is one a Brahmin.”

Dr. Ambedkar in His book “Annihilation of Caste” reproduces his major difference with the Mahatma Gandhi. While he was for abolition of the caste system, prescribed by Hindu sage Manu, Gandhi was for giving up caste prejudice, and for reform of the system, so that the stigma of Untouchability may be removed, but function of various castes remains.

As Dr. Ambedkar could not abolish the caste system, when Mahatma Gandhi asked for dedication on the shared cause of struggle for freedom, he asked for separate electorates for the so-called “outcastes” whom the Mahatma called “Harijan”- sons of the ‘God’

Dr. Ambedkar turned on Gandhi too: The Dalits leaders converted to Buddhism perhaps the least dogmatic or hierarchic of world religions. Dr. Ambedkar’s response to Gandhi was that he wanted to treat the symptom, not the cause of the disease- you can’t abolish Untouchability without addressing the Caste and the Dharma system, which is at the root of it.

“ Gandhiji, felt that the high castes should change their hearts: Dr. Ambedkar said that we’ ve been suffering for over 2000 years, many Hindu saints have come and gone; but nothing has changed, so he legally empowered to challenge it.” Article 17, of the Constitution that abolished “Untouchability” The problem is if you implement it half of India would be in Jail.”


There have been many Mahatmas in India whose sole object was to remove Untouchability and to elevate and absorb the depressed Classes, but every one of them has failed in his mission. Mahatmas have come, Mahatmas have gone. But the Untouchables have remained as Untouchables.

Buddhists of India need the friendship, understanding and cooperation for uplifting themselves and for strengthening the hands of those who are striving for peace, equality and justice. Let the scent of the Dhamma spread in all directions and illumine the minds of those who put much faith in steel and fire but ignore the value of peace, loving kindness and compassion.

Venerable Anagarika Dharampal, great son of Sri Lanka, came to India and was distressed to find even the great Bodhi Gaya Temple in a dilapidated condition under the control of Brahmin Mahant. He struggled to take possession of Boudh -Viharas of the Buddhist but failed owing to the hostile attitude of the British Government and the Upper Caste Hindus. He founded Maha-Boudhi Society to propagate the Dhamma and to continue the struggle for reviving Buddhism.

Dr. S. Radhakrishna, Late -President of India and Philosopher said; Buddhism brought about a profound change in the lives of the Indian people. “For us in this country the Buddha is an outstanding representative of our religious tradition.”

Dr. G.P.Malalasekera said: Let us not forget that some of the leaders of religion have themselves been revolutionaries. The Buddha, for instance, was one of the greatest rebels in human history. He denied the assumptions on which religion in His day was based and gave the religious quest an entirely new orientation. He refused to accept the sincerity of the Vedas or the power of the Priesthood. He refuted the illusion that human problems could be solved with sacred rituals and incarnations. He was a sworn enemy of the Caste –System on which the World structure of Indian Society rested. He was ridiculed and persecuted and several attempts were made on his life.

Dr. Ambedkar said, my final words of advice to you is “Educate, Agitate, Organize” have faith in yourself. With justice on our side, I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for reclamations of the human personality.

Amedkar was Bharat Ratna in the refuge of Tri- Ratna Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Therefore all Ambedkarites must call themselves as Buddhist and nothing else. Thus Ambedkar’s whole life and mission was a practical contribution to humanistic Buddhist education in India and not just intellectual and philosophical which is common these days. Though he was not a Buddhist by birth but by practice and at heart he was a Buddhist.

BabaSaheb Ambedkar had said Tuesday July 31, 1956, at his official residence 26 Alipur Road, New Dehli at 17-50 to his Honorary Personal secretary Mr. Nanak Chand Rattu… Tell my people Nanak Chand: “Whatever I have done, I have been able to do after passing through crushing miseries and endless troubles all my life fighting with my opponents. With great difficulty, I have brought this caravan where it is seen today. Let the caravan march on and further on despite the hurdles, pitfalls and difficulties that may come in its way. If my people, my lieutenants are not able to take the caravan ahead, they should leave it where it is seen today, but in no circumstances should they allow the caravan to go back?”

The most significant development in the resurgence of Buddhism in modern India was the movement inaugurated by BabaSaheb Ambedkar, as a result of which mass conversions of Buddhism have been taking place in many parts of the country. The Neo-Buddhist is progressively gaining self-sufficiency as regards temples and shrines, monastic leadership and guidance, educational institutions and religious literature. In India, too, Buddhism is numerically the fastest growing religion.

I, for one, truly believe that individuals can make a difference in society. Since periods of great change such as the present one come so rarely in human history, it is up to the each one of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier world for new generation to live with peace, freedom and love for mankind on planet earth. This century is the most important century of humankind said: His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

BabaSaheb Ambedkar said: The first point, which makes off Buddha from the rest, is his self-abnegation. JESUS insists that he is the Son of God. MOHAMMED went a step further. He claimed that he was the messenger of God on earth and insisted that he was the last messenger. Lord KRISHNA went a step beyond both Jesus and Mohammed. He claimed that he was “Parameshwar” – the God of Gods. BUDDHA never arrogated to himself a status. He was born a son of man and was content to remain common man and Krishna claimed for them selves a role of MOKSHADATA, Buddha was satisfied with playing the role of MARGADATA.

Buddha’s Teachings are based on wisdom, morals and concentration, which are applicable not only for Buddhist nations but are of Universal application. He is the giver of path of sublime promotions and reliever from painful demotions. Hence let us all practice His teachings without hesitations walking on the path of noble truth realization and making “Nibbana” as our final destination.

The socio-cultural movement, which gradually transformed the original teaching of Buddha to popular Buddhism as practiced by millions of people, needs to be given due consideration in a study of Buddhism as religion.

“The Hindus wanted the Vedas and they sent for Vyasa, who was not a caste Hindu. The Hindus wanted an Epic and they sent for Valmiki, who was an Untouchable. The Hindus wanted a Constitution, and they sent for me.”-Dr. B.R.Ambedkare.

“Law is secular, which any body may break while fraternity or religion is sacred which everybody must respect. My philosophy has a mission. I have to do the work of conversion: for I have to make the followers of Triguna theory to give it up and accept mine. Indians today governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set out in the preamble to the Indian Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion, denies them.” Dr. B.R.Ambedkar
(All-India Radio broadcast of speech on October 03, 1954)

Buddhism makes enlightenment the sole aim of life. This was the philosophy that Ambedkar accepted and tried to revive. Besides this there was another reason. Buddha, whose life and movement Ambedkar had studied, was a believer of the educatability and the creativity of the people. Under the influence of those teachings, the most rejected peoples of India has once risen and uplifted their life as well as that of the whole society. If that was once possible in India, it must be possible again. He had a solid historical basis to trust India’s ordinary folk as India’s future democrats.

This is what Jawaharlal Nehru wrote of the commitment of Ambedkar to the untouchables: “Dr.B.R.Ambedkar would be remembered mostly as the symbol of revolt against all the oppressing features of Hindu society. In a way he symbolized the hopes and aspiration of the oppressed and the Untouchables.”

Buddha was the first religious leader of the world, who expounded peace and equality in the history of man. Five precepts (Panchsheeel) of Buddha’s life are principles of building world peace the precepts Panchsheel based on Buddha’s life would help to build world peace and harmony among the Nations.

Our Humanity is cultivated through our emotions. Each day we should look not only to be moved by others, But also to move them through kindness, patience and caring. Said Venerable Master Hsing Yun.

It is my hope and prayer that we will always live a happy, joyful, peaceful life based on non-violence, truth, equality, love and compassion, this great message of Buddha is relevant today.

Nishikant Waghmare, Peace Representative, The World Peace Prayer Society, USA. Director- Asia & Pacific, Airline Ambassadors International UN NGO USA.

NOTES

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar – -“Buddha and His Dhamma” Siddhartha Publication Mumbai, 1957.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar – – “Annihilation of Caste”

Dr.B.R. Ambedkar – – “Writing and Speeches” The Education Department, Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai 1987.

Mr.Bhagwan Das- “Buddhism in India” Dalit Liberation Today, June 1997, New Delhi.

H.H. Dalai Lama – – “A Human Approach to World Peace.”

H.H. Dalai Lama — “Compassion and the Individual”

Dhananjay Keer – -“Dr. Ambedkar’s Life and Mission” Popular Prakashan, Mumbai, 1971, “Revival of Buddhism”

Dr. Prof. Ananda W.P. Guruge – – “What In Brief Is Buddhism” Published by Mitram Books, A Subsidiary of, Dhamma Healing Way. Inc. Monterey Park, CA. USA, 1999.

W.J. Basil Fernando – – “ Demoralization and Hope” A Comparative study of the Ideas of N.E.S. Grungtvig of Denmark and B.R. Ambedkar of India, A Publication of Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong, 2000.

Venerable Narada Mahathera – – “The Buddha and His Teachings” Buddhist Missionary society, Kuala Lumpur, 1988, “Is Buddhism A Religion”

Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda – – Ven. Narada Mahathera, Dr. G.P. Maklalasekera “Gems of Buddhist Wisdom” The Buddhist Missionary society, Kuala Lumpur.

S. Krishna (Anand) –“The Buddha the Essence of Dhamma and its Practice” Publication By, Samrudh Bharat Publication, Mumbai, August 2002

The Times of India — “100 Indians who made a difference this Century” Monday, December 6, 1999. Mumbai.

Venerable Bhikkhu Vinayarakkhita, Dharmayatana, Maharagama, Sri Lanka.

Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar… “The Man who made all the difference.”


dhammaindia@hotmail.com,
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nishinirvana@yahoo.com

 

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Devadasis Were Degraded Buddhist Nuns

26/07/2010

Dr. K. Jamanadas,

What is the Devadasi System

Perhaps the most horrible effect of fall of Buddhism in ancient India, which is haunting us even today, is the start of devadasi system. The system of votive offering of girls to the deities in Brahmanic temples is a system found in all parts of India, but was more prevalent in the south. In some parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka it is still prevalent and has become a source of exploitation of lower castes. Though they had a glorious past, these girls are now a days degraded to the status of cheap prostitutes. The saying in Marathi goes, “Devadasi devachi bayako sarya gavachi”, meaning that she is servant of god but wife of the whole town. This is the lot of such a woman. She has to remain unmarried, and maintain herself by ceremonial begging, a system called “jogava” in Marathi, to get both ends meet. With “chal” (a string of small bells) in her feet, she carries the “jag” (a metal mask of god) in a “pardi” (a basket) on her head and begs whole life, or ends up in a brothel.

The term devadasi is a Sanskrit term denoting female servant of deity, but they are known by different names in different areas. Jogan Shankar gives the names by which they are known in various parts, such as Maharis in Kerala, Natis an Assam, Muralis in Maharashtra, Basavis in Karnataka State. [p.16] Though the name ‘devadasi’ is popular, in Goa they use the term `Bhavanis’. `Kudikar’ on the West-Cost `Bhogam-Vandhi’ or `Jogin’ in Andhra Pradesh; Thevardiyar’ in Tamil Nadu; `Murali’, ‘Jogateen’ and ‘Aradhini’ in Maharashtra. In Karnataka, old devadasis are called as `Jogati’ and young devadasis as `Basavi’. The term `Basavi’ refers to feminine form of `Basava’ a bull which roams the village at will without any restriction. Hence `Basavi’ alludes to the foot loose position of the woman. [Jogan Shankar, p. 157]

The rite of Initiation

This cult is prevalent even today throughout India with some regional variances. When a girl is dedicated to or married not to a mortal-man but to an idol, deity or object of worship or to a temple, some rite is performed. About the rite of initiation, it is stated that, unlike old times, such ceremonies are now a days performed rather secretly without much fanfare at smaller temples or local priests’ residences, rather than big temples of Yellamma like at Savadatti or Kokatnur, to avoid the expenses and also to escape clutches of law. The expenses are borne either by the ‘would be’ companion or paramour or the “Gharwalis” (mistresses of urban brothels) where these girls who would be expected to join their brothel in future. [Joga Shankar, p.99]

The vows at the time of initiation include the warning to parents or brothers that this girl will have a right in their property. Then the priest addresses the girl to be dedicated and seeks some set answers, to which the girl has to agree.

“Priest: Look! Hereafter you cannot claim a right of wife with any man. You have to fast on Tuesday and Friday and beg on those days holding a Joga in your hand. You happen to see a calf, sucking its mother you should not forcibly withdraw the calf. If a cow grazes the crop before you, you shall not drive it away. You shall not speak untruth. If you are feeling hungry don’t tell others so and ask for food. Offer shelter to shelterless and strangers. Provide food to those who are hungry and water to the thirsty. Help the helpless people. If anybody abuses you and beats you, never retaliate. If you come across with an event of death you have to take bath, visit the temple of Yellamma. Only after worshiping the deity you are supposed to take meals. You should not eat ‘Yenjalu’ (left out food) of somebody. You shall chant “Udho Yellamma” (Glory to Yellamma) all the time.” [Joga Shankar, p. 101]

Fate of Devadasis

After initiation, the ceremony of ‘the first night’ is celebrated. It is called ‘Uditumbuvadu’. Previously the right belonged to the priest but now a days, it is well publicized within the clientele of businessmen and rich landlords. One who deflowers her gets right to her over others for the rest of her life but neither she nor the children of such union have any right over him, or his property. He can leave her any time. She has to lead a life of a cheap prostitute either near about or at metropolitan brothels. By the time her market value goes down, and she is thrown out of business, she becomes a habitat for a number of diseases including may be AIDS, and ends up in some village corner, desolate, rejected, friendless and rots to death.

Caste distribution of Devadasis

It is well known that majority of devadasis are from dalit community. According to the research conducted by Prof. Baba Saheb Ghatge for his M. Phil. the percentage of castes in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra is as follows:

Mahar (SC) – 53%, Maratha – 30%, Matang (SC) – 10%, Gurav (OBC) – 2%, Sutar (OBC) – 1%, Dhangar (OBC) – 1%, Parit (OBC) – 1%, Khatik (OBC) – 1%, Bhoi (NT) – 1% [Baba Saheb Ghatge, “devadasi pratha aani punarvasan”, (marathi), Sugava Prakashan, Pune, 1996.

The 30% among Marathas, which is not a backward caste, is rather surprising, and in my opinion is indicative of common origin of Dalits and Marathas, as was explained by Dr. Ambedkar in “The Untouchables”.

Even in those places, where worship of Yellama is in vogue by other castes, the devadasis are all dalits. Jogam Shankar observes:

“In Yellampura village almost everybody worships Yellamma deity. A dominant caste like Lingayats acknowledge Yellamma as their family deity. But at the time of survey it was found that no single upper caste woman was dedicated to the deity. However, knowledgeable elderly persons revealed that there were a few devadasis among other castes like Talawar, Gurav and Kurubar castes. But at present no devadasi is found among these castes. As ritual status of such women came down and functional relation with temple almost terminated, members belonging to other castes abandoned the practice but lower castes like ex-untouchable including Holers, Madars and Samagars continued the practice. Among Samagar caste there is only one devadasi who is about 70 years old. Since then no new initiation has taken place in the caste. Samagars are placed above the remaining ex- untouchable castes. The whole devadasi population is concentration among Holers and Madars only.” [Jogam Shankar, p. 159]

Legends to support Devadasi system

To keep the bahujans and dalits under control, it was necessary that the stories are manufactured and incorporated in various mahatmyas in the Puranas. There are three important legends, we should know about. It may be useful to see what the traditional stories told by the brahmins and believed to be true by the sufferers themselves. Vasant Rajas, “Devadasi: Shodha ani bodha”, (marathi), Sugava Prakashan, Pune, 1997, has given the account of various legends in Puranas concerning this practice. [p.74 ff.] The following is the summary of it.

Legend of Renuka or Yallamma

One of the important legends concerned is about Renuka Devi. It seems to be an addition to the well known story of Parasurama. The story of Parsurama is interpreted in many ways, by different scholars. But there is an inherent contradiction in his story, which no scholar seems to have pointed out. The main concern of Arjuna on the battle field was of ‘varna sankar’ i.e. inter caste marriages. If you kill the ksatriyas, the widows are likely to have ‘varna sankar’ which destroys the ‘dharma’. The Lord says he takes avatara to establish the ‘dharma’ meaning ‘chatur-varnya- dharma’ by killing the ‘wicked’, meaning those who do not follow this dharma. Parasurama is said to be an avatara. How does Parasuram deserve the status of avatara, when he himself killed the ksatriyas 21 times, and ultimately led to ‘varna sankara’? But such questions are not to be asked to the brahmins. Let it be as it may, we come back to the legend.

According to legend, Renuka appeared from the fire pit of ‘putra kameshti’ yadnya performed by a kshatriya king Renukeswara. She was married to Rishi Jamdagni. The couple had five sons including Parasurama. One morning she was late in coming home from the river as she was sexually aroused by watching the love play in river, of a Gandarva raja with his queens. This enraged Jamdagni who ordered his sons to kill her. All other sons refused and were burned to ashes by rishi’s curse, but Parsurama beheaded her. The rishi gave him three boons. By first, Parshurama asked to bring back to life his four brothers. By second he wanted his mother to be made alive. But her head was not available. So Parshurama cut the head of a woman from ‘matang’ caste, and Jamdagni revived his wife with the matangi’s head. By third he wished to be free from the sin of matricide. But Renuka was cursed by Jamdagni to have leprosy and was banished from the hermitage. However, she got cured by some ‘Eknatha’, ‘Jognatha’ sadhus in the forest. She returned back to Jamdagni who pardoned her and blessed her that she will attain great fame in Kaliyuga.

Later a King Sahstrarjuna killed Jamdagni on Full moon day of Magha, and Renuka became a widow. This day is called “Rand Punav” – a widow’s full moon day. “Rand” is a derogatory word meaning widow as well as a prostitute. According to Hindu customs, Renuka broke down her bangles on death of Jamdagni on this day. So all the devadasis on that day assemble in the temple of Yellama at Soundatti, to break down their bangles.

Later Parsurama invaded Kartvirya Sahasrarjuna, killed him and brought back ‘kamdhenu’ along with the head of this king. On his prayer of god, his father Jamdagni again became alive, so Renuka again became a ‘suhagan’ – a married woman – and put back on her green bangles. So the Devadasis put on bangles (chuda) on this day – the full moon day of Chaitra, so this day is called ‘chudi punav’. A ‘choundak’ was made out of the skull of Sahasrarjuna, so the devadasis use this musical instrument while begging a ‘jogava’.

Parsurama went on rampage destroying and annihilating the kshatriyas twenty one times. He killed even the children in the womb of pregnant women. So these women started running around. Their garments fell down till they approached Renuka, who advised them to wear branches of ‘nim’ tree around their waist and pray Parsurama, saying ‘udho udho udho’. (so ‘nagna-puja’). Since then the people became devotees of Yellamma and started offering their girls as devdasis and boys as ‘jogte’, the male counterpart of devdasi.

Temple of Renuka was built in 13th century in Soundati hills. The Jains believe that Renuka is their ‘Padmawati’. For centuries, the devotees of Renuka, who are mostly dalits and bahujans, assemble there twice a year on Magha and Chaitra full moon days for pilgrimage, offer their daughters to make them devdasis.

B. S. Kamble from Sangali dist. mentions the influence of blind faith over dalits to an extent that a backward class member of legislature had established a shrine of Renuka image in Bombay Mantralaya. [“Sugawa”, marathi journal, Ambedkar prerana issue, December 1998, p. 51]

Legend of Renukamba

There is a temple of Renukaamba, built in 14th century, at the top of Chandragutti hill in Shimoga district in Karnataka. The gullible masses from dalit and bahujan communities are made to believe that Renukaamba devi is the incarnation of Renuka or Yallamma of Saundatti. The speciality of this temple is that dalit women must go naked to worship this devi. It is called ‘betale seva’ or ‘nagna puja’ i.e. naked worship.

Legend in Purana says that the if girls go naked and pray the devi they get good husbands and married women get all their wishes fulfilled, the childless women get children, and that those shudra women and girls who do not follow these traditions meet with a lot of calamities.

Some awakened youth trained in Ambedkarite traditions tried to stop this practice in 1984. There was a struggle against these workers, they were beaten up by the goons of pujaris and orthodox mandir committee people, and paraded naked, and were made to worship the Devi in such condition. The victims included some police – even lady police officers – kept for bandobast.

The chief Minister of Karnataka had to appoint a committee to investigate whether “Nagna-puja” has any religious sanction of Hindu sastras. The report was submitted in 1988 stating that there is no such sanction of Hinduism. In 1992 ban was imposed on this “Nagna-puja”. There was a hue and cry against it, but since then it is stopped.

Legend of Khandoba

The third deity of Devdasis is Khandoba of Jejuri, though there are eleven ‘pithas’. It is the ‘kul-daivat’ of dalits, though many others worship him including some Muslim devotees, who presumably were dalits, worshiping this deity before being converted to Islam. Even the robbers used to attend the annual fair and finalize their plans there. They were, presumably, of ex-criminal tribes, which was a part of Dalits. Brahmins have homologized this deity and made out stories that Shankara took this form of Martanda, to protect the brahmins from the asuras.

People do votive offering of their sons and daughters to this deity. The terms used are ‘waghya’ for male and ‘murali’ for female. It is a form of Devdasi. Murali, whose token marriage is performed with Khandoba, remains unmarried throughout her life and leads a life same as devadasi of Yellama. After Ambedkarite awakening in the Matang society, who form the majority of Murlis, the practice has declined though not completely stopped.

Jogam Shankar gives more details:
‘Muralis’ are girls dedicated to god Khandoba in their infancy or early childhood by their parents. “Poor deluded women promise to sacrifice their first born daughters if Khandoba will make them mothers of many children. Then after the vow the first born girl is offered to Khandoba and set apart for him by tying a necklace of seven cowries around the little girl’s neck. When she becomes of marriageable age, she is formally married to Khandoba or dagger of Khandoba and become his nominal wife. Henceforth she is forbidden to become the wedded wife of any man, and the result is that she usually leads an infamous life earning a livelihood by sin. Some of these girls become wandering muralis. Others become ordinary public women in any town or city; while a few are said to live for years with one man. The parents of such girls do not feel ashamed to take her earnings, because they belong to Khandoba, and what they do is not sin in the eyes of his devotees. Kunbis, Mahars, Mangs and other low castes make muralis of their daughters in this fashion”. (Fuller : 1900 : 103). High caste people of the region also worship Khandoba and their mode of expressing reverence to the god differed. Thus “Not a few high caste people visit Jejuri to pay their vows; but they never give their own girls to Khandoba but buy children from low-caste parents for a small sum of money, which is not a difficult thing to do and offer them instead of their own children”. (Fuller, Marcus B., “The wrongs of Indian Womanhood”, Edinburgh:Oliphant Anderson and Ferrier, 1900). [Jogan Shankar, p. 50]

Definition of Devadasi under the act

As many laws had to be passed from time to time, for its abolition, it had to be defined by law. One such example is the Bombay Devadasi Act, 1934, which states that “the performance of any ceremony intended to dedicate or having the effect of dedicating of women as a devadasi where such women has or has not consented to performance of such ceremony, is hereby declared unlawful and to be an effect to any custom or rule to the contrary not withstanding”. This law also declared the marriage of devadasi valid and children of such marriages as legitimate. [Jogan Shankar, p. 153] However, nobody bothered to enforce the Law, till some Ambedkarites agitated.

Some examples of Brahmanic sexual exploitation

According to Ramanika Gupta, in certain parts in Bihar, even now, a new dalit bride has to spend the first night with the village head man. [Sugawa, p.69]

A bazaar is organized in Dholpur for sale of Dalit girls. [Sugawa, p. 69]

Kamble describes a custom called Okali. On first or second Saturday comming after the Hindu New Years Day (Gudhi padawa), the devadasis were openly sexually enjoyed in public, about hundred years ago. This is now replaced by another tradition called “Okali”, which was in vogue till 1987. It is a festival like ‘Rang Panchami’. The young boys from higher castes assemble around a pool of coloured water in front of town temple. Young devadasis in the town stand in front of them in a row, and each receives a sari, a choli and a flower garland. The coloured water is poured over the devadasis who appear virtually naked as the cloths given to them are very thin, scanty, delicate and transparent. The boys play with the bodies of devadasis as they like, doing everything just short of sexual intercourse. All assembled enjoy the scene. This happens in the name of god ‘Bili Kallappa’. [Uttam Kamble, Sugawa, p. 81]

Vasant Rajas describes another custom, called “Sidi attu” in town Madakeripura in Karnataka which was in vogue till 1987, when it was banned by the Govt. Here a devadasi is suspended with a hook in her back on one end of a transverse rod placed on a vertical pole planted in ground, and rotated by a rope at the other end. She salutes the gathering, while her garments fly and all the naked lower part of her body is visible to all, for their amusement. This was supposed to bring prosperity to town, and the devadasi used to get a sari, a choli, a coconut and a betel nut, for which she thanked the gathering. [p. 27]

It must be realized that Hinduism is the only religion in the world, which has given religious sanction and provided with religious philosophy to the practice of prostitution. [Sugawa, p. 81]

It is well known that Dr. Ambedkar advised the conference of Devadasis on 13th June 1936, in Damodar Hall, Parel, Bombay, saying that they must give up this life of sin and be prepared to lead a pure life though it will be a life in poverty, as character is more important than money. After conversion to Buddhism, the custom of devadasis is stopped completely in families converting to Buddhism. [Prof. Archana Hatekar, Sugawa, p. 92]

Dasis and Devadasis are different

Many scholars including shri Rajas, an active Ambedkarite, who has played an important role in the activities for the Abolition of Devdasi system, has confused a ‘devdasi’ with ‘dasi’ which simply meant a female servant. It must not be confused with the ‘dasis’, which were given in Yadnyas to brahmins as gift. The famous dasis like Manthara of Ramayana fame, Uttara in Mahabharata, Mura in Maurya period or Panna of Rajput period were all ‘dasis’ and not ‘devadasis’.

Use of sex by Brahmins for dominating over masses

Use of sex by brahmins to keep domination over the masses is not a new thing. Shri Rajas gives many examples like ‘putra kameshti yadna’, the rite of ‘laja hom’ during Vedic marriages where the ‘devas’ give up their right over the bride, an old tradition of offering of wife to the guest for the night, the tradition of rajpurohit spending time with the queen in king’s absence on war or hunting – the rite called ‘anang dana pratana’, traditions in Gujrath and Rajasthan of sending young brides before marriage to temple for one night to be spent with the priest, similar tradition of visiting temple priest by one woman from every household for one night during the nine nights in ‘navaratra’ prevalent in Gujrath and Rajasthan, are all such examples of the tricks employed by the brahmins over the masses. He has also given the example of infamous game of ‘ghat kanchuki’ during the reign of Peshava Bajirao II. [Vasant Rajas, p. 4 ff.].

But why blame Peshava Bajirao II, for a game of ‘ghat kanchuki’. It is described in the Hindu sastras as ‘chakrapuja’. M.M. Dr. P. V. Kane has described it in his ‘dharma sastra cha itihas’. He describes that, an equal number of men and women assemble secretly in the night, without any consideration of caste or relationship, and sit around a paper on which ‘chakra’ is drawn as a symbol of goddess. All the women remove their cholis and put it in a pot, and every man picks up a choli at random and selects his partner for the night. A Hindu Tantrika text, “Kularnava Tantra”, he says, mentions that God has ordered that, what ever good or bad transpires that night must never be disclosed. Kane had heard in his childhood that this puja was practiced in some cities in Maharashtra. [Marathi translation by Y. B. Bhat, p. 430, second edition, 1980, Maharashtra Rajya Sahitya Sanskruti Mandal, Mantralaya, Mumbai]

But all these traditions, customs and practices are not examples of devadasi system.

Indus Valley Civilization

As foreign examples are not applicable to India, the search for time of origin of Devadasi cult in India should start with Harrapan Civilization, which shows no trace of offering of girls in worshiping places. The well known bronze ‘dancing girl’ is referred by Basham as a representation of temple dancer, but he himself admits that “this can not be proved”. As a matter of fact, “historians remained silent about existence of temple or common place of worship” in Harrapan Civilization. [Joga Shankar, p. 38] Though it was a Dravidian civilization, as has been amply proved, it had no connection with the devadasi cult.

Courtesans in Vedic Age

A marathi scholar, “Itihasacharya” V. K. Rajwade, who had taken a vow not to write in English, has described many sexual practices of Aryas, whom he always referred to as “our savage ancestors”. They used to have free sex openly in front of fire, so perhaps had no need of prostitution or devadasis.

Rig Veda mentions the word “Samana”, which is rendered by different scholars differently to mean a festival, a gathering or a battle, festival being the most favoured. In it among many others, the courtesans used to attend ‘to profit by the occasion’ [Shastri Shakuntala Rao, “Women in Vedic Age”, p. 6]

There are references to secular prostitution in Rig Veda and terms are used like “harlot”, “son of a maiden” or “son of an unmarried girl”. [Joga Shankar, p. 38]. But certainly these are not the examples of temple prostitution.

Buddhist period

That way, prostitution is supposed to be the oldest profession. The known history of India starts in sixth century B.C. and we find in Buddha’s time, an illegitimate child, becomming a renowned courtesan Amrapali, who later became a Bhikkuni.

Kautilya

“Artha Shastra” of Kautilya, or Chanakya or Vishnugupta is supposed to be a work of around 300 B.C., though some people think that there are interpolations of the Gupta age. It mentions “Ganikadyaksha” – superintendent of prostitutes, the penalties for prostitutes, dancers and singers, but does not talk of devadasis.

Ashokan Times

An inscription of Ashokan times found in a cave at Ramagarh in Vindhya hills, as referred by J. Bloch, mentions a word “Sutanuka”, which in later period was used to denote temple dancer. But this is no “clear reference to devadasis in early sources” [Joga Shankar, p. 39]

The Jatakas also make no mention of temple dancers. (Altekar, p. 185)

Vatsayana’s Kamasutra

It is expected that Vatsayana, who deals with sexual attitude in ancient India, will make a note of this cult, if it existed at his times. But he does not, as Joga Shankar observes:

“In early literature we find abundant references to secular prostitutes, dancers and courtesans, But specific references to temple dancers and sacred prostitution are not traced. Classics like Vatsayana’s ‘Kamasutra’ (250 A.D.) deal in detail about courtesans. There is, however, no direct reference to sacred prostitution. … He even classifies prostitutes into nine classes, the most honoured of whom is ganika. “Such a women” says Vatsayana, “will always be rewarded by kings and praised by gifted persons, and her connection will be sought by many people” (Burton : 1923 :166) [Jogan Shankar, “Devadasi Cult”, p. 40]

Later Works

We find in a sanskrit drama of seventh century A.D., Mrichakatikam, a courtesan Vasantsena having courtship with of a poor Brahmin Charudatta.

In South India, about the same time or a little later, two Tamil epics “Manimekhalai”, a Buddhist composition and “Sillapadhikaran”, another non-brahmin creation, which depict the story of Madhavi, a girl adept in singing and dancing etc.

All these belonged to flesh trade. But none of them was a devadasi. This distinction is important, because the origins of these two systems are different.

Earlier accounts of devadasi system

Vasant Rajas, “Devdasi: Shodha ani bodha”, (marathi), Sugava Prakashan, Pune, 1997, mentions of an inscription of 1004 A.D., in Tanjor Temple mentioning the numbers of devdasis to be 400 in Tanjor, 450 in Brahideswara temple and 500 in Sorti Somnath temple. [Vasant Rajas, p.3]

R. C Majumdar, who blames the inclusion all people with different views into its religious fold by the Buddhists for the general decline of morality in India, admits the degradation in ideas of decency and sexual morality in the Hindu religious practices. He observes:

“A great Sanskrit poet of the period gave a vivid description of the deva-dasis in a temple of Krishna and added that they made one feel as if the goddess Lakshmi had come down on earth to attend her lord the god Murari. (Dhoyi, “Pavandutam”, v. 28) Contemporary epigraphic records also refer in rapturous terms to the personal charm and beauty of the hundreds of deva-dasis assigned to a single temple. [R. C. Majumdar, “The Struggle for Empire”, HCIP, vol. V, fourth edition 1989, p.400 ]

Ghoshal enumerates the number of devadasis in various brahmanic temples:

“Indeed literary record and inscription give us the impression that they were regarded as a part of the normal establishment of temples, The number of these girls in the temples often reached high proportions. The temple of Somnatha at the time its destruction by Sultan Mahmud is stated to have been served by three hundred and fifty dancing girls. According to Chau Ju-Kua, Gujarat contained 4000 temples in which lived over 20,000 dancing girls whose function was to sing twice daily while offering food to the deities and while presenting flowers.

“We have the valuable testimony of Al-Biruni to the effect that the kings maintained this institution for the benefit of their revenues in the teeth of the opposition of the Brahmana priests. But for the kings, he says, no Brahmana or priest would allow in their temples women who sing, dance and play. The kings, however, make them a source of attraction to their subjects so that they may meet the expenditure of their armies out of the revenues derived therefrom. [U. N. Ghoshal, “The Struggle for Empire”, HCIP vol. V, fourth edition 1989, p.495]

Al-Biruni’s statements, as is well known, are all based on the learned Brahmins, whom he interviewed. So it is the Brahmins’ side of the story. The truth is that Brahmins and kings used to fight for the possession of these girls.

Distribution of Devadasis between Brahmins and Ksatriyas

The devadasis in temples had become the targets of the pleasure seekers among the brahmins and the kings. Brahmin priests claimed that they being the representatives of gods in heaven, the ‘bhudevas’, i.e. gods on the earth, they have the first claim, as anything offered to god belongs to brahmins, so also the girls offered to god must belong to them. The Kings retorted, that they make appointments of devadasis, they give them money and land and feed them, so they have greater claim. Ultimately the conflict was resolved by an understanding and devadasis were branded on their chest with emblems of ‘garuda’ (eagle) and ‘chakra’ (discus) for kings and ‘shankha’ (conch) for brahmins. [Rajas: p. 2]

It is interesting to note that all these emblems are Vaishnavite. We know that Ramanujam had started the system of branding on shoulders, with shankha and chakra, for the devotees embracing Vaishnava faith and it was a part of initiation rite. [See details in my book: ‘Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine’]. The system of branding devadasis seems to be the further application of the same principle.

Devdasi system among Muslims

The influence over Muslims of hindu of devdasi tradition is mentioned by Vasant Rajas. Some muslim sects had started offering girls to ‘dargas’. Such girls were called ‘acchutis’. There is a colony of such people in Lucknow in U.P. even today. The girl is married to Koran, Nikah is performed, the girl is called ‘bibi’ and is condemned to lead a life of prostitution. [Vasant Rajas, p. 17]

Earliest References in Epigraphs

In inscription of about 1230-1240 A.D. in the time of raja Raya III, in Tamilnadu the word Emperumandiyar is used for dancing girls, in Vishnu temples. This word had the sense of Vaishnavas before 966 A.D. [K. Jamanadas, “Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine”, p. 125]

In India, first references start appearing around tenth century or so in Jagannatha temple of Puri, which was originally a Buddhist temple, where Buddha’s Tooth Relic was being worshipped. Here these dancing girls were called ‘Maharis’. It is well known that ‘Mahar’ is a prominent untouchable caste of Maharashtra.

The earliest reference to the girls dedicated to temples appears in a Tamil inscription dating back to the reign of Rajaraja the great, a Chola monarch. He was a Shaiva votary. He came to throne in 985 A.D. The inscription indicates that in 1004 A.D. the main temple at Tanjore had four hundred ‘tali-cheri-pendugal’ or ‘women of the temple’ attached to it. “They settled in the streets surrounding the temple and in return of their service received one or more shares, each of which consisted of the produce of one veli (26,755 sq. meters) of land, calculated at 100 Kalam of paddy”. (E. Hultzsch: South Indian Inscriptions : Vol II: part III). The entire Chola country was filled with temples with devadasis in attendance as is clear from this particular inscription. It also provides an exhaustive list of the dancing girls who had been deputed to the Tanjore temple. [Jogan Shankar, p. 52]

“Historians have also traced and inscription from the Chebrolu of Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh dating back to 1139 A.D. The inscription records that some dancing girls were in services at the temple of Nageshvara right from the age of eight years old (Epigraphia Carnatica : V : Ak : 105 : 1139 A.D.).

Earlier Duties of devadasis

In earlier stages, their duties remained religious as Mahalingam presumes that when food was offered to God they danced before the idol, they themselves gave him food and all that was necessary. (Mahalingam; 1940:150). Probably this services to only God remained for a long period.

Harshad. R. Trivedi believes initial spurt of the cult was associated with the great spurt in building up of temples, and that the cult of “Devadasi” began to flourish during Pallava and Chola dynasties in South India from the 6th to 13th Century A.D., and the rise of “sacred prostitutes” in India seems to have taken place in the ninth or tenth century A.D. [ (Trivedi :1976:76), Jogam Shankar, p. 111]

However, at later stage devadasis were forced to please earthly Gods and lords as well. Mahalingam referring to Nuniz, wrote :

“Every Saturday, they were obliged to go to king’s palace to dance and prostrate before the King’s idol which was in the interior of his palace” (Mahalingam:1940:158).

In Mattsya Purana there is a reference to the dishonoured women of the defeated or killed wives of ‘asuras’ who were asked to serve in the temples and practise prostitution (Nadkarni:1975:15). Naturally it seems that the other kings and princes treated the devadasis as their personal servants and forced them to dedicate every thing they possessed to them. Emulating the practice of sponsoring the cult of such rulers, chieftains, feudals, officials, and moneyed persons also took advantage of this system and treated devadasis as objects of their carnal desires. Priests and religious heads of various denominations and temples supported the cult to continue and persist by bestowing religious sanctions. [Jagan Shankar, p.111]

Jagan Shankar observes:

“Hence, we have to assume that they were rare until the middle ages, Altekar also opines that, “The custom of the association of dancing girls with temples is unknown to Jataka literature. It is not mentioned by Greek writers; the Arthashastra which describes in detail the life of ganikas is silent about it” (Altekar : 1973:185). [Jogan Shankar, “Devdasi Cult”, p. 39]

“Probably the custom of dedicating girls to temples and sacred prostitution became quite common in the 6th century A.D. as most of the Puranas containing references to it have been composed during this period. Several Puranas recommend that arrangements should be made to enlist the services of singing girls at the time of worship at temples. They even recommend the purchase of beautiful girls and dedicating them to temples..” [Jogan Shankar, p. 40 ff.]

“Bhavishya Purana suggests that the best way of winning Suryaloka is by dedicating a bevy of prostitutes to a `Sun’ (Solar) Temple” (Altekar : 1973:184). [Jogan Shankar, p.40]

Moghul period

Abul-Fazl records the condition of prostitutes, both sacred and secular, during Akbar’s reign (1556-1605) in his famous work Ain- e-Akbari, stating their number was so much that a ‘Daroga’ or a superintendent was required to supervise their activities, and their locality was called ‘saitanpura’ or ‘devil’s villa’. [Blochman and Jarrett, 1873, quoted by Jogan Shankar, p. 40]

“During the reigns of Emperor Jahangir (1605-1627) and Shah Jahan 1628-1658), the luxury, ostentation, extravagance and depravity increased”. (Manucci : 1907 : 9). [Jogan Shankar, p. 40]

It was Aurangzeb (1659-1707), who seems to have taken pity on the plight on these women and made many efforts to attempt to alleviate their sufferings, and at the same time, check the wastage which was slowly draining the resources of the country. He was a committed Mohammedan puritan who led a life of an ascetic. During his reign thousands of Hindu temples were demolished by his order, and every effort was made to wipe out prostitution and everything pertaining to it. He even issued public proclamations, prohibiting singing and dancing; at the same time ordered all the dancing girls to marry or be banished from the Kingdom. (Elliot : 1867 ;283). [Jogam Shankar, p.41]

Why the Devadasi cults are less in North India

W. Crooke while presenting account of the tribes and castes of Northern India, mentions castes such as tawaif, gandharb and patur. These castes consist of dancers, singers and prostitutes. Only one caste called ‘raj-kanya’ among them seems to be temple dancer. [Jogan Shankar, p.42] There are certain gypsy tribes named `bediyas’ and `nats’, who are dancers, acrobats and prostitutes in Bengal. But these castes have no connection with temple worship. [Jogan Shankar, p. 43]

Thus we find that though the secular prostitution flourishes in Northern India as in the rest of the country, the Devadasi cult seems to be less in existence. This is attributed to Muslim influence, as Jagan Shankar observes:

“Hence in North India the institution dedication to temple dancing is very rare. This may be due to Mohammedan rule which destabilized temple administration and sacred complexes were frequently attacked by alien plunderers. However, dedicated dancers were not attached to any temple as such. Mohammedan puritans like Aurangzeb treated this institution and other Hindu cults with contempt. He wanted to do away with such cults. In fact he succeeded in his endeavours to some extent.” [p.43]

Participation of Veera Shaivas

At least during British times, Veera Shaivas did not lag behind the Brahmins and the kings in exploitation of these girls. In a paper entitled `Basavis in Peninsular India’ at the Anthropological Society of Bombay during 1910, presented by R.C. Artal, then deputy Collector of Belgaum describes:

“… Indeed the ceremony is subject to local variation. The lucky badge is generally tied on her neck by the Lingayet Jagam or Arya-Pattadappannavaru or Charamurtigalu of Hire- Math, i.e. Chief math of the Village. The practice observed with regard to the consummation of the Basavi is that generally the Hiremathadayya has the right to take her maidenhood” (Artal :1910:99)

“It seems to me that the institution of Basavis was mainly started with a view to satisfy the carnal desires of Jangamas or Lingayat priests who are not allowed to touch a non-Lingayat women. Hence the proverb “Bhaktar Mani Oota, Basavi Mane Nidre” which means “a Jangama take his meals in the houses of Bhaktas (devotees) and sleeps at night in the house of a Basavi” (Artal :op.cit.).

“The leading members of the Veershaiva community of the village, including the Jangamas of the Hirematha, endow her with a concave metal vessel on the occasion of her dedication, and thus permit her to go a-begging. I have seen the concave copper vessel given to the Veerashaiva Basavi of Rabkavi in the Sangli State on the Terdal-Jamkhandi Road. It bears an inscription on it to the effect that it was given to the Basavi by the Pattadappanavaru of the place” (Artal : op.cit).

Commenting on this Joga Shankar observes that, it is evident from this description that dominating castes and their priests sponsored this cult in the past. [Joga Shankar, p. 62]

Some important Devadasis

In spite of great humiliation and exploitation, and ultimate horrible fate of most of them, devadasis being expert in dancing and singing, some of them have attained high fame. Rajas mentions some of such important ones. The famous dancer Jailaxmi of Padanallur became the queen of King Ramanad. Devadasi Subalaksmi became a famous classical singer. The famous devadasi house of ‘Mangeshkar’ from Goa is renowned for singing all over the world. During late Peshava rule, example of Patthe Baburao, a great ‘shahir’, who forgot his brahmanic origin and removed his sacred thread for his consort Pawala, a Mahar by caste, is still famous [Rajas: p. 54], and people have produced films on the couple.

Classical Dance forms of ancient India

Today, we find the exhibitions over media, and festivals being organized, specially for foreigners, to show how great was our ancient art form of dance, may it be Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi or Oddisi. It is never mentioned on such occasions that this art was the gift of these low caste women who nurtured the art under trying conditions and with great suffering. The art was later learnt by women of higher castes and now it is they who only participate in international festivals and the like. Jogan Shankar gives an account how this happened about ‘Sadir’ dance of devadasis. He observes:

“The revivalists wanted to preserve the traditional from of Sadir dance by purifying it. The new name was given as ‘Bharatanatyam’. As a consequence of purification some modifications were introduced into the content of to dance style. The revivalists were basically belonging to Brahmin dominated Theosophical Circles. Many Brahmin girls started to learn the dance from devadasis. Hence the dance technique remained unchanged. The only change was change in the class of clientele.” [p. 144]

The themes were picked up from Sanskrit texts, higher caste girls learned the dances and put them in new settings which excluded devadasi traditions, and the dance form became individual oriented from the community oriented. [p.144] Theosophical Society of India revived the devadasi dance, declaring as the aim of restoration of India’s ancient glory. Rukmini Arundale was well groomed and encouraged by Annie Besant to convert the devadasi’s ‘Sadir’ to ‘Bharatanatyam’, and started training the higher caste women, with the funds of the Theosophical Society, organizing a convention in 1935-36, and establishing an International Academy of Arts which was later renamed as Kalakshetra. [Jogan Shankar, p. 145]

Theories of origin of Devadasi Cult

Jogan Shankar observes that, none of the numerous theories, provides explanations satisfactorily. However inadequate they may be, they help us in our inquiry, so he gives the list of such theories.:

1. The custom of dedicating girls to temples emerged as a substitute for human sacrifice, being and offering to the gods and goddesses to appease and secure blessings for the community as a whole.

2. It is a rite to ensure the fertility of the land and the increase of human being and animal population on the principle of Homeopathic magic.

3. It is part of phallic worship which existed in India from early Dravidian times.

4. Probably sacred prostitution sprang from the custom of providing sexual hospitality for strangers; and if such hospitality is offered by the living mortal wives of a deity, prosperity would bound to result.

5. The devadasi cult simply represents the licentious worship offered by a people, subservient to a degraded and vested interests of priestly Class.

6. Devadasi system is a deliberately created custom in order to exploit lower caste people in India by upper castes and classes as:

(a) The upper castes have influenced the establishment of an order of prostitutes who are licensed to carry on their profession under the protective shield of religion.

(b) The establishment of such system facilitates them the access to low caste women to fulfill their carnal desire.

(c) The setting up of such a system can destroy the lower castes’ sense of self-respect in a society.”

As Jogan Shankar feels that the last theory is most likely to be the real cause, we will concentrate only over it. He feels:

“The above mentioned theories have been put forth by many scholars in the past. The survey of literature and historical evidences clearly show that most of them are inadequate to explain the whole institution of devadasis. While some of them are supported by Frazer, Briffault, Tawney and Penzer these theories or explanations do not support everything. Such theories were presented after making comparisons. … Hence for the present study the sixth explanation seems to be more feasible. …” [Jogan Shankar, “Devadasi Cult”, p. 62 ff.]

The first five theories can not explain, why only bahujan girls have been becoming devadasis and not the others. So his theory of exploitation of lower castes by the upper castes is very sound. But it is the effect of devadasi cult, and not the cause, as we will see later.

Decline of Women started with the decline of Buddhism

It is well known that at one time girls were allowed to undergo ‘Upnayana’, which was a ‘right’ to take education, but their position declined later. It started from Manu and went on deteriorating further. Altekar identifies the period of 500 A.D. to 1800 A. D. as one of further deterioration During this period the ‘Upanayana’ rite for girls was banned, marriage remaining the only alternative. The age of marriages of girls was lowered and child marriages became the rule. Widow remarriages were prohibited. ‘Purdah’ was observed leading women to a secluded life. Hindu sastras considered women as Shudras, and they were debarred from reading or reciting the Vedas and perform any Vedic sacrificial rituals. Women were indoctrinated through the puranic stories which inculcated blind-faith rather than rational thinking. It was impressed on their minds that they must visit temples, perform vows and observe fasts with more regularity than menfolk to accumulate ‘punya’, i.e. virtue. In this context Altekar explains the paradox with these apt remarks:

“Thus the very women whom religion had once considered as outcastes, were also the most faithful custodians of its spirit and traditions (1973: 176)” [Jagan Shankar, p. 9]

Condition of women in non-hindu religions

We all know that, the women’s participation in Buddhism and Jainism was more their condition was not that humiliating as in Hinduism. After Buddha changed his stand about the admission of women into the Sangha, we have many examples of outstanding Buddhist nuns. Later, Jains also permitted nuns but more puritanic Digambara Jains held that women could never gain salvation unless they are reborn as male. [Jogan Shankar, p. 10]

In a study, from Madras, it was found that Christian women had a much higher rate of participation in white collar occupations than Hindu women and that Muslim women had a much lower rate. The report states that Christianity places fewer restrictions on the activities of women that other religions and therefore Christian women have acquired more education and vocational training than women of other communities.

Chandrakala A.. Hate, who has also found similar differences from Bombay and Poona, claimed that “since there is no joint family system among the Christians, women work out of necessity the expectation of the eventual need to be self-supporting”. (Hate :1969 :16). Both studies attribute the low rate of participation of Muslim women to greater conservatism.” [Jgan Shankar, p. 11]

A stigma on Hinduism

The faith in god itself is a blind faith. The blind faith increases the exploitation of ‘masses’ by the ‘classes’. Any time the interests of these classes are in danger, there is a hue and cry that the ‘dharma’ is in danger. I have a great respect for the members of ‘Andha shraddha nirmulan samiti’ for their work, but it is a pity, that they have also failed in removing the fear from the minds of people about these so called devis, and could not convince them that matting of hair – ‘jat’ – as locals call it, is not a ‘call from devi’ to offer their daughter as a devadasi. I think it is because they do not like to include the faith on god as a ‘blind faith’, though they accept in private that the origin of all blind faith starts with the faith in existence of supreme god.

Untouchabilty has been recognized as an ‘evil’ of Hinduism, and a stigma, but devadasi system is still not recognized as such. The day that is recognized as such, will be the real day of beginning of liberation of women. Dr. Ambedkar has shown that the real cause of Untouchability is contempt of Buddhists. Similarly, it is the fall of Buddhism that caused the degradation of Buddhists nuns to the present state of devadasis.

Salient points

The theories to which Joga Shankar attributes the origin, it would be clear that he is confusing the effect with the cause. That the exploitation of dalits is the effect and not the cause of devdasi system. The cause is the contempt of Buddhism. His theory does not explain many points.

We know that devadasi system started around ninth or tenth century after the fall of Buddhism, during the so called ‘Rajput period’.

We know that many Buddhist temples were converted to Brahmanic ones during the period.

We know that it was the Buddhist system of at least one girl or a boy from each house to join the Sangha.

We know that the Bhikkus were killed. Some ran away to foreign lands, some accepted brahmanism and became low grade brahmins. Then what happened of these bhikunis?

We know that during the last phase of Buddhism, it was Vajra Yana, which prevailed. In later stages of this religious system, the importance of women in the religious practices had increased. As a matter of fact all tantras, hindu as well as buddhist, used women as media, in their religious practices.

We know the system of untouchability had started during late Gupta period around fifth or sixth century. How did the untouchable girls got entry into the sanctum sanctorium after this? These girls must be present in the temple service before the system of untouchability started and some of the Buddhists, residing out side the villages and refused to stop eating beef of a dead cow, were condemned to be untouchables, as explained by Dr. Ambedkar.

Devadasis were degraded Buddhist nuns

It is, therefore, our opinion, that today’s devadasis are the degraded Buddhist nuns of ancient India, as put forward by us some ten years ago. [Dr. K. Jamanadas, “Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine”, p. 125 ff.] The points in favour of this theory are as follows:

In Tamilnadu the word Emperumandiyar which was used in the sense of Vaishnavas before 966 A.D got the meaning of dancing girls, attached to Vishnu temples, in inscription of about 1230-1240 A.D. in the time of raja Raya III. [K. Jamanadas, p. 125]

In Maharashtra, they are called ‘Devadasis’, meaning ‘female servant of God’. In the opinion of present author these devadasis were originally Buddhist nuns, and the system of making first born daughter, a Bhikshuni was prevalent, and the fall of Buddhism caused the degradation of these bhikshunis to the level of todays devadasis.

Foreign origin of the custom

It the mistakes to trace the origin of Indian Temple dancers to Babylonian, Greek, Syrian, Phonecian or Egyptian tradition or any foreign ancient customs. Even some very important leaders who are struggling for the abolition of ‘Devadasi system’ in parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, seem to attribute this origin. Practices of dancing in these foreign temples was thousands of years before the Christian era. Indian scene is comparatively more recent, about 1000 A.D. or so. It should be clearly understood that Ambrapali, Vasantsena and Madhavi were not Devadasis, as mentioned above, and there is no foreign influence on Indian Temple dancers. This system of devadasis started after the decline of Buddhism in India during the so called “Rajput Period”, and flourished during the “Muslim Period”.

Their nomenclature

They were called emperimandiars in Tamilnadu, a name which was applied to devotees of Vishnu before being called Vaishnavas, as already seen. In certain parts of Maharashtra, these devadasis are known as ‘bhavin’ or ‘jogin’ or ‘jogtin’. All these words literally mean a Buddhist nun.

Temple of Jagganatha at Puri

In India, first references start appearing around tenth century or so in temple of Puri. It is well known that this was a Buddhist temple, where Buddha’s Tooth Relic was being worshipped. For details on this point please see my book ‘Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine’. It is interesting to know that these dancing girls were called ‘Maharis’ in temple of Puri. It is well known that ‘Mahar’ is a prominent untouchable caste of Maharashtra. From Jogan Shankar we learn that same name is used in Kerala too. That the Kerala Nayar community were Nagas and formerly Buddhists is well recognized.

Ancient Indian literature is silent about them

One has to differentiate between Ganikas and their inferior counterparts Varaganas on one hand and Devadasis on the other. That the Devadasis were Buddhist nuns can be deducted from many evidences. They were unknown to ancient India. Jatakas, Kautillya or Vatsayana do not mention them, but later Puranas are full of them. The system started only after the fall of Buddhism and records of them start appearing around 1000 A.D.

Old Buddhist practice of offering a child for religious cause

In certain castes the system of offering at least one daughter from family for the service of god was rampant in almost all families of the caste. It well known that 95% of the devadasis today belong caste of Untouchables, who were, of course, Buddhist originally.

These dancing girls and their male counterparts had different names in different parts of the country, and the important point to note is that the pair was, and even today is considered not as husband and wife but as brother and sister, the relation that existed among the Buddhist nuns and Bhikshus. The practice of Ceremonial Begging also denotes Buddhist origins.

Their deities

There is always some religious rite conducted at the time of their initiation and that they were looked upon with respect by the society in early days, It is also noteworthy they have the Deities of their own, which are distinct from Brahmnic Deities, and the original connection with Buddhist Deities is already forgotten.

Some of the Deities of these Devedasis are also now homologized as some Brahmins also worship these Deities, and the people whose ‘Kuladdaivatam’ are those deities, are of lower castes and do not belong to Brahmnic order. These deities, are of lower castes and do not belong to Brahmnic order.

Religious Orthodoxy

Origin of devadasi system is religious and not economic. It has not only economic facets but also religious ones. For example devadasis have a firm religious belief that they must not get married, as they are married to god. This poses a difficult problem, not only to find them husbands but also to persuade them for marriage. Instances are abundant that these girls refused to get married and some of those who did get married, lost their prestige in the eyes of their kith and kin. This kind of orthodoxy can only be explained on religious grounds and not on economical ones.

Unfortunately the present Devadasis are ignorant of their glorious past and that the prominent among them and their families have dissociated themselves from the problems of Devadasis. They are against any kind of reform and are associating with the very social institutions and people, who made them prostitutes from servants of God.

What more evidence is needed?

It is a matter of understanding. 95 per cent of Devadasis are untouchables. Being untouchables they were Buddhists of olden days as shown by Dr. Ambedkar very aptly. Before the name ‘Vaishnva’ came in vogue, the devotees of the Lord of Tirumalai were known by the name ’emperumandiyars’. The same name was being applied to these women who became devadasis from buddhist bhikkunis. This is a direct evidence that the ancestors of todays devadasis who were devotees of Venkateswara, were Buddhists and that the Lord of Tirumalai was the Lord of these Buddhists.

The name by which these erstwhile Buddhists are known today, was the name of the devotees of the Lord Venkateswara. What more direct evidence could there be that the Lord Venkateswara was the Buddhist deity.

Evolution of the System

The evolution of the devadasi cult has been traced erroneously to a period earlier than Aryans entry in India because of ‘dancing figure’ in Harrapan civilization. This is shown above to be false.

The Kerala pattern of matriacheal system, as Joga Shankar seems to suggest, also has nothing to do with this cult and it is not a relic of Dravidian matriarchal society, in which the genealogy of a child was traced only to the mother.

Contrary to what he suggests, the children of devadasis are forced to enter `Basavi’ or mother’s name in the slot meant for father’s name in the school application forms, only because they do not have a social father and even if known, the biological father accepts no responsibility. This has nothing to do with the matriarchal society of Dravidian region and no parallel can be drawn. One might remember a story of Satyakama Jabala from Upanishada, who was placed in similar situation.

Joga Shankar’s suggestion that, Aryan invasion saw many Dravidian deities being homologized by Brahmins is correct. Many such examples are given by Bal Krishna Nair, who observes:

“Who does not know how the Tamil Muruga came to be installed as the Subramania and how the Tamilian Avai was metamorphosed into the Durgai and Parvathi in the Aryan pantheon. Even Mayon and Mal are believed to be old pre Aryan Tamil names subsequently identified with the later Aryan Sun god, Vishnu. … An ancient ‘Muruga’ temple situated in the eastern ghats popularly known as “Ayyappa Swami” (also considered as Buddhist in origin) became Sanskritised as ‘Shastha’ and therefore the son of Vishnu. … Deities are similarly married and the new relative assumes equal importance in a new place like the older deity whose spread encompassed the new also. The bride, of course, in this case is usually the Dravidian deity and the bridegroom is mostly Shiva e.g. marriage of goddess Meenakshi of Madurai with Shiva. [“Dynamic Brahman”, pp 51 ff.] . For details of Ayyappa see K. Jamanadas, p. 28 ff.]

Similarly, Basavi or Jogati such as Yellamma, originally a Dravidian Goddess, became Renuka or Renukamba and was superimposed by an Aryan system of devadasi, which was prevalent in Somannath and Jagannath Temple at Puri and other north Indian temples where the impact of the Aryans was predominant.

Initially the dedicated women were required to clean the sanctum – sanctorium, for maintenance of lamps in cleaning, putting oil, lighting the lamp, offering food (naivedya) to the main deity, assisting priests at the time of worship, as they used to do as Buddhist nuns. Education and learning of women had already stopped with the decline of Buddhism, so these nuns had no other work. System of washing and bathing the Buddhist images had already started in Mahayani system.

Ratha Yatra was a Buddhist practice copied by Brahmanas [K. Jamanadas, p. 160 ff.] These girls started to dance and sing in praise of the deity, and look after cleanliness of the temple complex. These women were said to be expert artists in music and dance. We have seen how Bharatnayam, a classical dance form, flourishes today because of devadasis of Tamil Nadu. As society underwent changes so also patrons of devadasi changed and their service also shifted.

From Devadasi to a Prostitute

The later progress can be surmised as mentioned by Joga Shankar:

“At a later stage, devadasis were asked to serve the king as in the case of God, since the king was considered to be God on earth. In fact Kings sponsored this cult. Temple dancers along with their traditional ritual functions started rendering their services to royal palaces and assisting Kings in the art of politic. They were use in espionage activities against enemy Kings and Court dancer.

“Kings started building temples and appointed devadasis to serve God in the temples and royal palaces. This development had a far reaching impact on popularization of the cult. Other lesser Kings, chieftains and feudals also emulated their superiors and started patronizing the cult. In rural areas feudals who possessed substantial land, exercised commandable authority over other socially and economically weaker sections of society. They were de facto owners of men and material of the region. The cult served as an instrument through which they could gain the assessability to desirable low caste and poor women. The field experience supports that this cult is prevalent only among scheduled caste women who are subjugated and suppressed by upper caste members since time immemorial.” [Jogan Shankar, p.157 ]

And thus the Buddhist nuns were converted to today’s Devadasis, the cheap prostitutes in the name of god, and it was the most dreadful result of the decline and fall of Buddhism in ancient India, affecting mostly the bahujans.


What happened to Buddhism in India?

21/07/2010

January 17, 2008
Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta

I readthiswith great interest but also had many questions which arose and as I also received the same article in an email, I inquired about them from the sender.

The fact that Buddhism disappeared from India over a period of about 800 years is not in doubt. Starting right from the great days of Buddhism after Emperor Ashoka gave the most almighty push, a combination of incorporation within Hinduism, emergence of Jainism, the invasions of the Muslims, the sectarian splits between various Buddhists sects, etc. all meant that we do not see Buddhism in India as seen in other countries. But this theory that Brahmins and/or Hinduism eradicated Buddhism does not quite hold.

The theory by Naresh Kumar is quite an interesting story, but unfortunately not really catered for by valid references. I wouldn’t expect references in an opinion piece, after all it is not an academic journal article, but I would expect at least a nod given to the contradictory evidence as well.

For example, it was during the Buddhist times, around the 2nd century BCE, that the original Ashoka stupa at Sanchi was vandalized and then a bigger stupa built over it. I wonder who it was who restored the original Ashok Stupa? While, for example, it is well known that Pushyamitra Sunga was responsible for the destruction and had a hatred for Buddhists, this does not explain why his son would rebuild it. (Hint, check out Romila Thapar’s work on this curious incident).

How about the White Huns and their impacts on Indian Buddhism? Their invasions had a huge effect on ancient Buddhism. As for welcoming Muslims as saviors, I am curious how he justifies the arrival of Mohammad Khilji and say for example the destruction of Nalanda, the premier Buddhist University?

And how about Harshvardhan, who was perhaps a bigger secular leader than Akbar himself with his tolerance and willingness to support multiple religions? Curiously, the author does not talk about say the Kalchakra Tantra (which can be said to have emerged as a reaction to the Muslim invasion) or even compare it to why Buddhism survived in Sri Lanka and not in India. Mind you, the argument can be extended to South East Asia as well.

Also, many Buddhist kingdoms were succeeded, especially in the west of the country, around the Gujarat and Malwa region, by Jain kingdoms.

How does that compute with the general overall hypothesis of the author? The author also seems to have ignored the rather large oral and written corpus over the concept of Buddha as a reincarnation of Vishnu. He talks about the Vishnu purana and says that the Buddha is the great seducer. Now this does not make sense, because according to the Vishnu Purana, Buddha is one of the 24 or 29 or 10 (depends upon which shloka you read) avatars. Now all I can presume is that because the previous avatar was Krishna, who was called as the great seducer, the author has gotten a bit confused between the avatars. I cannot understand how the author could say that the Buddha was said to be bad, when he is supposed to be an avatar of Vishnu.

I realize that the Buddhists and Dalits are trying to build up their own identity, but relying on wrongful views or misinterpretation of history will lead to two things. One is people chuckling at you and second is a weak identity. You don’t want either of these, so I would suggest that either the arguments about the disappearance of Buddhism in India be more factual or better researched, preferably both. And before you complain, I claim the Buddha as my own God as well, so don’t you tell me that it has nothing to do with me!

http://desicritics.org/2008/01/17/005402.php

=====================)

Comments! Feedback! Speak and be heard!

Comment on this article or leave feedback for the author

#1
Die Hard
January 17, 2008
04:25 AM

Dr. BD, I agree with the message that you are trying to send.

However, you have said “…I claim the Buddha as my own God…”, I believe, as an attempt to convince the readership of your impartiality, objectivity or fairness even!

Buddhism is one of the ‘non-theistic’ religions (if not the only one)that does not teach of a ‘creator or almighty God’ and/or of a ‘personal God’. Dhamma in fact rejects the notion of the existance of and belief of ‘God’. And Buddha (Gauthama or anyother)was only human!

#2
bd
January 17, 2008
04:35 AM

Die Hard

ah! my friend, that was meant as a joke but every joke has a kernel of truth. If you look at the concept of Buddha as a Vishnu Avatar, then he is a God 🙂

#3
Die Hard
January 17, 2008
05:02 AM

But BD, the point is, then, it is not a Buddhist concept! Perhaps a Hindu one?

#4
bd
January 17, 2008
05:44 AM

Buddhist concept? according to which sect? There are multiple Buddhist sects, my friend. Many sects believe in the miraculous powers of the Buddha (I have references, if you wish). Now that means that he had divinity, no?

But we are quibbling here. The fact that he was a Man is not in doubt. I am saying he has divine attributes in him which resemble the Vishnu Godhead. It can be part of the wheel or incarnation! 🙂

cheers

bd

#5
Die Hard
January 17, 2008
06:40 AM

Theravada of course! I am not quibbling. There is a fundamental flaw in your article. Intentional or for the sake of humour.

The Buddha was an exceptional man.The qualities and characteristics of him could be explained by the nine supreme attributes of Buddha as taught in Dhamma. Nothing miraculous or divine about him. He was all and only man!

#6
bd
January 17, 2008
06:53 AM

Of course its a flaw from your perspective. Completely agree. He was a man. Completely agree.

From my perspective and from the perspectives of all those Buddhists who believe that there was divinity in him, let us agree to disagree! 🙂

cheers

bd

#7
kela
January 17, 2008
08:29 AM

it hasn’t helped also that most of the buddhists haven’t conducted themselves appropriately,the Tibetan buddists refugees where i live,and they are a substantial lot,are all into gambling and boot- legging

#8
Deepti Lamba
URL
January 17, 2008
09:36 AM

and Christians were into witch hunting and lynching. Whats your point Mr kela?

#9
Chandra
January 17, 2008
09:58 AM

BD

Good one!!

The question I have is have we ‘Indians’ incorporated many aspects of Buddha’s teachings in our way of life? I have a strong feeling that indeed that is the case……

rgds

#10
Gill
January 17, 2008
11:12 AM

If you look at Buddhism historically in India it fourished in north west including Afghanistan and eastern India. These area had majority Buddhist population before Islam came. And the rulers were Hindus including Kabul (shahi dynasty) and Sen in east. In very short span of time in north west they all converted to Islam and in later time all east converted to islam too.

As such historically the followers of Buddhism in a very short period became followers of Islam and thus the death of Buddhism in India proper.

#11
Anamika
January 17, 2008
11:31 AM

BD: See the post I left a few days ago on one of Hindu who? threads on Romila Thapar’s credentials as a “Buddhist” scholar. She doesn’t speak Sanskrit or Pali, relies on English translations of the texts with no access to the originals. Really shoddy scholarship actually. Seems like Naresh Kumar does the same.

But going back to your article – as far as timelines go, Jainism arose BEFORE Buddhism so I am not sure why it should be held responsible for Buddhism’s decline. If various Indic texts – Hindu, Jain, Buddhist – are to be considered in tandem, Buddhism was the most successful of the three in spreading abroad. At the conclaves to determine its precepts in Sri Lanka (circa 1st century BC), representatives of monasteries from as far as Palestine and Egypt are recorded.

My take is this: Buddhism declined for various reasons but the conclaves may hold a key – the attempt to “canonize” a specific set of beliefs, rules and rituals as binding and absolute meant that many of its adherents in India looked to other forms of religious practice that allowed more theological/philosophical freedom.

I realise that this is a provocative point to raise because many Hindutva supporters try to do the same today – by dictating what Hinduism is supposed to be in direct contradiction of its diverse, often self-contradictory, exuberant values.

Second, the role of Jainism is extremely interesting in Indian history – not only does it date to BEFORE Buddhism but it seems to have flourished in the most martial of kingdoms – present day Rajasthan and Karnataka being key areas. Perhaps its inherent austerity appealed to martial areas? I dont have answers but am always intrigued by this.

An area that needs more clear and responsible scholarship. But helps to have more people – like you – raising the questions.

#12
kela
January 17, 2008
12:04 PM

#8 . point is ,it reflects poorly on them

#13
Man Singh
URL
January 17, 2008
01:16 PM

The answer to all missing links in this topic are hidden in history of census in India.

before 1857 first war of indepnendence, all follwers of Indic religions were listed as Hindus(Hindus budhists sikhs and jains etc).

In 1861 there was no census.

In 1871 and onwards British started using religion and cast to divide Indics as much as possible as they realised in 1857 all communities came togather and fought against a common enemy.

Yes my freinds, Indian tradition of religions is preaching Dharma and eliminating Adharma.

Budha never started a new religion my freinds. he re-establihsed Dharma and said `Dhammam sharam ganchami’. So called Budhist kings never propaged teachings of Budha as a separate religion but as `Dharma’ in different way.

Mahaveer never said he is started a new religion nor did Guru Nanak.

Yes guru Gobind Singh establsihed a `Khalasa Panth’ to eliminate eveil of Moguls using both of his swords `Miri'(material propperity) and Piri'(spritual propeperity) but still dharma reamailed the same.

Untill 1871 all follwers of Indic religions were rightly considered as Hindus only. Hindus follow a blend of Budhism sikhism and jainism. Therefore the very statement that `Budhism has been eliminated from India’ is not a right ststament.

Dharma is universal and is core of all religions. Budhism is very much practised even today in India by 850 million Hindus.

Such issues are raised by minds coontamiated by `divide and rule’ policy according to whcih people are categorised based on `way of worship’ rather then moral character of people ie Dharma used to be in ancinet times.

Budhism is very much alive in India also as `dharma’ and not as kingdoms or countries.

Dharma contains `satya(truth)’ `Daya(kindness’ `tap(Austrerity)’ and `Shoch(purity)’ that can be extended to 10 universal human values further.

Dharma will ever stay till creation just like other laws of nature. That’s why it is known as sanatan Dharma.

The day on which christians will correct theor teachings of `jesus is the only way’ to `Jesus is also the way’, they also will become part of sanatan Dharma. the day on whcih muslims will abandon their arrogance of `Truth is only in Islam’ they also will become part of dharma.

sanatan Dharma accepts all ways of worship but does not accept any claim on monopoly on `truth’ and as such discourages proslytisation and evangelism.

sanatan dharma is true model of pluralism and universalism and a guarentee for world peace.

#14
kerty
January 17, 2008
01:24 PM

Here is my take on some of the points raised about Budhism..

1) Hindus have tried to treat Budhism as reform of highly ritualized Hinduism of that era and tried to assimilate Buddha as Avatar of Vishnu. However, if you look at core of Budhist beliefs, it has nothing to do with core of Vishnavite or Vedic thought. Budhism remained highly athestic and humanistic – while Hinduism remains deeply thestic

2) Since highly ritualized Hinduism got reformed and Adi Shankaracharya’s treaties re-established philosophical foundation of Hinduism, Budhism lost much of its original raison d’etre in India. However, political map/realities of those times did not allow regions outside India to revert back to their original faith as it did in India. And in some regions, the original faiths of inhabitants could be too weak to remove the appeal and relevance of Budhism, thus maintaining Budhist hold on them.

3) Just as Budhism arose as transcending force when Hinduism went too far off the clift to highly ritualized form from its pure form, Budhism also created a duality between theism and atheism, multi-god and no-god, spiritualism and nihilism – the metaphysical force that took birth to transcended such dualities took the form of semitism, one-god theology, humanism and materialism(theologies that specialized in humanism and materialism as opposed to theism and spiritualism). That is why Budhism is considered eastern xianity, a gate-way to western theologies, a middle world.

4) It is a reflection on state of Budhism that its defender of faith(Dalai Lama) has not only lost its home, but is reduced to seeking asylum and patronage among Hindu and semitic. Budhism in India is maintained around political expediency, negative and reactive forces to Hinduism. It lacks positive energy to stand on its own. So what it ends up is constituencies of reactionary, bitter, hateful, revengeful, nihilists, dropouts and rejects. Much like what ISKON ended up attracting in 60’s in the west.

5)Budhism remains a staging area, transit point – its pacifism, nihilism and humanism are not merely reductionist, they are antithetical and lack the anecdote to withstand more aggressive ideologies and theologies. And what it makes room for totally contradicts what Budhism actually rests on. One can see Afghanistan now over-run by most rabid form of theology. Budhism has no built-on mechanism to withstand a take over by such theologies and ideologies. Its like religion of the hermit – its mission is to provide only one type of anecdote and it does not mind being relegated and confined to a hermit as long as it achieves that mission, it does not mind that realities beyond its hermit and even among its own followers acquire total antithesis of that hermit. i.e You can have a sect preach/mock extreme negation of materialism combined with extreme end of spiritualism but attract only hardcore materialists as followers because the sect provides safe theological shelter against all other theological challenges. As long as few in the hermit follow its extreme rituals, rest of it followers are set free to follow just the opposite.

#15
commonsense
January 17, 2008
01:40 PM

Man Singh Bhai wrote:

“sanatan Dharma accepts all ways of worship but does not accept any claim on monopoly on `truth’ and as such discourages proslytisation and evangelism.”

A logical contradiction here: either “all ways of worship” are accepted or they are not. If “all ways of worship” are accepted, there can be no exceptions, whether the other religions claim a monopoly on truth or not, since the first premise is that “ALL ways of worship” are accepted.

(I am not promoting any religion: yeh baat avashya note ki jaye)

#16
Gill
January 17, 2008
02:42 PM

If we are looking at death of Buddhism in India proper (subcontinent) than we have to leave Hindu and Hinduism out.

We have to look at from Islam vs Buddhism prospective. In very short time Buddhists became Staunch Muslims from Turks and others in central asia, afghansitan and present day Pakistan and eastern India Bengal etc.

From both sides it is all well documented.

In brief

Major weakness cited in Buddhism was that it was a “monks-religion” and not peoples religion. As such when Islam came it was easy to convert Buddhists because Islam was more practical and peoples religion. One did not have to leave their home and spend part of their lives as monks to learn their religion.

Secondly, it was very easy to attack the authenticity of Buddhism because they worshipped a Man in the form of statues. And there were many similarities in both religions teachings. Infact the arabic word “budh prasti” is for Buddhists not Hindu idol worship.

Thirdly, Buddhism had lost royal patronage by that time and Hindu dynasties were ruling these majority Buddhist areas. There was already resentment towards Hindus and their rule by Buddhists in these areas. Eventually Buddhists accepted Islam whereas Hindus fiercely confronted Islam.

Fourthly, fact is that majority of the Muslims of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bengal ex-Buddhists.

From Buddhist prospective on conflict

Why is “The Kalachakra Tantra” so conveniently ignored by Indians? Why does it call for a “Holy war” similar to “jihad” in Islam?

Another fact that should not be ignored is that Buddhism and Hinduism were always in confrontation with each other. Buddhist literature is full of attacks and disgust of Hindu Gods, rituals etc.. Hinduism confronted them by simply making Buddha a Vishnu avtaar.

We should not forget that even Adhi Shankracharya was at time criticized for preaching Buddhism under the disguise of “Maya” philosophy.

#17
Man Singh
URL
January 17, 2008
03:00 PM

Bhai Commonsense #15

way of worship of an individual or group is accepted and respected.

But their tendency of imposing their one on the rest is not.

Even dacoits are acceptable in village providd they abandon their habbit of looting others.

Theoretically you may be right my freinds, but from realistic angle, attacking on others way of worship is not acceptable.

That’s what i wanted to say.

#18
commonsense
January 17, 2008
03:01 PM

Gill the lad from Punjab now in the US of A wrote:

“”Infact the arabic word “budh prasti” is for Buddhists not Hindu idol worship.””

True. In fact the derogatory term “buddhu” has similar roots ie. an attempt to mock the Buddhists. The same term is still in use in Malaysia, albeit pronounced as “bodo”

#19
Gill
January 17, 2008
03:10 PM

Commonsense are you idiot.

Since when is Bhudh prasti a derogatory term. You really need education. It is arabic and it was used for Buddhists because they worshipped human like statues of Buddhas. Read islamic theology and works by muslim scholars. In every Islamic work budhprast is used for Buddhists.

Since you are self-proclaimed intellectual who did Arabs call Hindus. where did word Hindu come from

I think you really need some professional help all this leftist brainwashing you have done to yourself is showing results…..

#20
temporal
URL
January 17, 2008
03:22 PM

gill:

Infact the arabic word “budh prasti” is for Buddhists not Hindu idol worship.

this is news for me

do you have a source for this assertion?

#21
bd
URL
January 17, 2008
04:01 PM

Anamika #14, Well, I am not that clued up on that angle to comment on Romila Thapar’s work, I am afraid. I have been reading up on buddhism recently after having had the opportunity to spend quite a lot of time in Sanchi. But few photo essays and normal essays on Buddhism are currently bubbling away! 🙂

Yes, you are right about the time line, but the author completely ignored the existence of the Jain kingdoms. Mainly because it did not fit into their world view, lol.

the conclaves may well be the reason, there are very many reasons. But my gut feel is that given the sharpness of the decline, it can only be attributed to the Islamic invasions to a very large extent. The fact that Buddhism had to create a just war (a Buddhist Jihad if you will) to cater for this is one very big indication of the same.

Curiously, talking about scholarship, there has not been that much (not that I have been looking that hard, but seeing your point about ROmila, I am curious)

#22
bd
URL
January 17, 2008
04:02 PM

Also see this note here by Prof Majid on my note about buddhism in bengal

http://dailysalty.blogspot.com/2008/01/more-on-buddhism-in-india.html

#23
Anamika
January 17, 2008
04:26 PM

BD, I agree that there are a number of reasons for Buddhism’s decline and quite different ones in India vs the Middle East.

I find the issue of the history of the Buddhist conclaves very interesting partially because they are so well documented and timed – so they occur for about 300 years alongside the development of Christianity in the Middle East and the mediterranean. Alexandria as well as Samaria and Galilee are quoted as having major monasteries. Plus there is some evidence of monasteries as far as southern France. Given the level of participation in these by ME monks and scholars, we could speculate on the level of intellectual and cultural exchange between the two regions. More interestingly – for me – at least, is the introduction of compassion and a “loving” god into the semitic and mediterranean (greek, roman, egyptian) traditions (via the new testament) which till this moment have not had such a view of divinity at all. All this is speculation as not much scholarship has been carried out to date.

Re issue of “jihad” – dont forget that Christianity ALSO – and well before Islam – has a clear concept of Holy War. Another reason I am a bit leery of linking decline of Buddhism in the ME to Islam.

Personally, in the ME at least, Buddhism’s decline is more easily linked to the rise of Christianity – which gains strength by 4th century AD and which may have appropriated a lot of the Buddhist worldview and re-articulated it within the earlier Semitic heritage. Given the political decline of Buddhism in India, this may have allowed the ME Buddhists to have been assimilated into Christian folds – one reason the eastern churches remained out of agreement with the Catholic one. This is all speculation based on what facts we have, so to be taken with a bag of salt.

By the 7th century and advent of Islam, Buddhism was negligible in political and social terms in northern India and had declined in most of the Middle East as well. Which is why I am hesitant to link its decline to Islam.

Btw, look up some of the work by H.P. Ray. Not specifically Buddhist, but a more secular (as in nonreligious approach) and definitely a better scholar than Thapar.

#24
commonsense
January 17, 2008
04:37 PM

“”Infact the arabic word “budh prasti” is for Buddhists not Hindu idol worship.””

True. In fact the derogatory term “buddhu” has similar roots ie. an attempt to mock the Buddhists. The same term is still in use in Malaysia, albeit pronounced as “bodo”

Temporal: I’m not sure who started this ie. whether it was the “Hindus” or the “Muslims” who used this as a term of abuse…ie. Buddhu…but this is what I heard in Malaysia. Admittedly, hearsay is not proof of anything…

#25
commonsense
January 17, 2008
04:49 PM

Interesting point from BD’s blog:

“At the root of all forms of communalism is the colonial depiction of history of our own country. The descriptions of Hinduism (and its caste system), Islam, Buddhism, etc are all dumbed down versions as the British chose to describe them for the service of the Empire. The present stage of vicious communalism in India rests on nothing but these colonial depictions.
Moududi of India and Syed Qutb of Egypt created a vision of a counter-Empire, a trans-national Islam that is at the root of all Islamic fundamentalism today.
Hindu fundamentalism also stems from a desire for a counter-Empire — wanna-be like them mentality.”

#26
Anamika
January 17, 2008
04:51 PM

BD: interesting post by Dr. Majid. Agree with the basic logic of it. I wont contest the timeline as the work is specifically on Bengal but it would appear from archeological and literary evidence that a similar process had occurred in other parts of India before 7th century AD.

I think the post mentions a good point – that Buddhism didn’t separate itself from Hindu society (rituals were still in Brahmin hands eg). That division is a European one and one that informs people like Naresh Kumar.

#27
temporal
URL
January 17, 2008
07:54 PM

bo’ot parasti

bo’ot – persian = idol

bo’ot parast = idolator: iconolator

there are several words that go with this root word such as:

bo’ot tarash, bo’ot tarashi, bo’ot kadah, bo’it khana, bo’ot shakan

incidentally the nascent islamic history was not “hind” focussed…they called all inhabitants of india “al-hindi”

their focus was the idols in the confines of ka’aba

Parast adj. persian worshiper: devoted to

hence it could be added to a noun…practically any noun it indicate a person devoted to that noun…

#28
flickr
January 17, 2008
09:15 PM

Nagarjuna……..
What sounds to you all. I know you might be thinking why I am talking about this Telugu Movie star here.
But actually Nagarjuna is one of the greatest philosopher, Buddist who almost converted (without sword or money) all of AP, Orrisa with his preachings.
Nobody gives history a shit even though they can see all over the guntur, Nagarjuna Sagar his teachings and preachings.
Hyderabad muslims always talk abt Nizam, Nizam and never allow to see beyond him. If you see Andhra history from 8th century to 15th century there was many things to know.

#29
Serviced apartments Bangalore
URL
January 18, 2008
01:03 AM

I think the Buddhists haven’t taken to preaching Buddhism as seriously as the Christian groups not to mention that Buddhism has a crisis of sorts going for it in china… And they lack resources too while Christian groups have billions of dollars in aid

#30
Die Hard
January 18, 2008
01:26 AM

Man Singh # 13, I do not quite agree with your interpretation of Dhamma. Dhamma in Buddhism is the teachings as taught/expounded by the Buddha. It is not as same as ‘sanathan Dharma’ that you have described in #13.

If you leave aside ‘Karma’ and ‘Rebirth’, the most pertinent part of the Dhamma is the Four Noble Truths, which are 1)Suffering 2) cause 3) cessation 4) Nirvana.

Everithing about Dhamma is centred on point 3) which is the way to put an end to 1) and 2).

Sanathan Dharma seems like the laws of nature. Which the Buddha has acknowledged. But they are not the same as the teaching of the Buddha.

I think kerty # 14 has analysed very well, albeit in brief, the difference between Buddhism and Hinduism.

#31
PSA
January 18, 2008
03:36 AM

Dr. B R Ambedkar, a lawyer and Dalit politician, and the chief architect of Indian constitution writes this in his book “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in India”

“It (Buddhism) did not remain as one of the many diverse religions then in vogue. Ashoka made it the religion of the state. This of course was the greatest blow to Brahmanism. The Brahmins lost all state patronage and were neglected to a secondary and subsidiary position in the Empire of Ashoka.

Indeed it may be said to have been suppressed for the simple reason that Ashoka prohibited all animal sacrifices which constituted the very essence of Brahmanic religion.

The Brahmins had not only lost state patronage but they lost their occupation which mainly consisted in performing sacrifices for a fee which often times was very substantial and which constituted their chief source of living. The Brahmins therefore lived as the suppressed and Depressed Classes for nearly 140 years during which the Maurya Empire lasted.

A rebellion against the Buddhist state was the only way of escape left to the suffering Brahmins and there is special reason why Pushyamitra should raise the banner of revolt against the rule of the Mauryas. Pushyamitra was a Sung by Gotra.

The Sungas were Samvedi Brahmins,who believed in animal sacrifices and soma sacrifices. The Sungas were therefore quite naturally smarting under the prohibition on animal sacrifices throughout the Maurya Empire proclaimed in the very Rock Edict by Ashoka.

No wonder if Pushyamitra who as a Samvedi Brahmin was the first to conceive the passion to end the degradation of the Brahmin by destroying the Buddhist state which was the cause of it and to free them to practise their Brahmanic religion.

That the object of the regicide by Pushyamitra was to destroy Buddhism as a state religion and to make the Brahmins the sovereign rulers of India so that with the political power of the state behind it Brahmanism may triumph over Buddhism is borne out by two other circumstances.

The first circumstance relates to the conduct of Pushyamitra himself. There is evidence that Pushyamitra after he ascended the throne performed the Ashvamedha Yajna or the horse sacrifice, the vedic rite which could only be performed by a paramount sovereign.[citation needed] As Vincent Smith observes :

“The exaggerated regard for the sanctity of animal life, which was one of the most cherished features of Buddhism, and the motive of Ashoka’s most characterisitic legislation, had necessarily involved the prohibition of bloody sacrifices, which are essential to certain forms of Brahmanical worship, and were believed by the orthodox to possess the highest saving efficacy. The memorable horse sacrifices of Pushyamitra marked an early stage in the Brahmanical reaction, which was fully developed five centuries later in the time of Samudragupta and his successors.”

Then there is evidence that Pushyamitra after his accession launched a violent and virulent campaign of persecution against Buddhists and Buddhism.
How pitiless was the persecution and of Buddhism by Pushyamitra can be gauged from the Proclamation which he issued against the Buddhist monks. By this proclamation Pushyamitra set a price of 100 gold pieces on the head of every Buddhist monk & hence their slaughter.

#32
PSA
January 18, 2008
03:37 AM

Then there is evidence that Pushyamitra after his accession launched a violent and virulent campaign of persecution against Buddhists and Buddhism.
How pitiless was the persecution and of Buddhism by Pushyamitra can be gauged from the Proclamation which he issued against the Buddhist monks. By this proclamation Pushyamitra set a price of 100 gold pieces on the head of every Buddhist monk & hence their slaughter.

#33
bd
URL
January 18, 2008
05:12 AM

PSA #31 and #32, good points and rather well known (if a bit debatable), but which does not explain why Pushyamitra’s son went about repairing the damage to the stupa’s. Curious, no? That tells me that it is more of an isolated individual’s action than a generic across the board reaction to Buddhism. So this entire argument that Pushyamitra’s reaction was Hinduism driven is rather weak.

#34
bd
URL
January 18, 2008
05:20 AM

Anamika #26. That’s right, we seem to see a significant and very complicated structure of religious and political change across those 3-4 centuries. But then, we tend to concatenate history in our minds. For example, saying significant religious changes across those 3-4 centuries is like saying there has been significant technical change in the last 3 centuries (meaningless, lol).

But I have a deeper issue. The more I read into Buddhism, I am getting to a deeper problem. If I put myself into the robes of a layman in 6th century AD Indian kingdom. How on earth am I going to distinguish between buddhism and hinduism? They didnt exist as we know it. Not cleanly and clearly (as we have it) now. And it is a huge country.

So I actually think that this debate is sterile because at that moment, religion was different, sects were different, we related to gods differently…..

On a different note. Dr. Ambedkar, bless his cotton socks, is a brilliant lawyer, but his historiography is now a bit dated. Also remember that he was writing for a political purpose, not as a historian, so I would take his history lessons with a grain of salt and his constitution as my “sir ka taaz”

#35
bd
URL
January 18, 2008
05:31 AM

Anamika #23, well, not knowing much about buddhist presence in the ME, wouldnt comment on your thoughts, but would like to put forward a different hypothesis (to all, actually).

1. What happened to Afghanistan’s Buddhists? (we all know)

2. What happened to Buddhism in Tibet? What goes for Buddhism in Tibet and what we know the Buddha preached is hugely different.

So one can ask, what makes religion change and evolve or disappear? Its like languages, if you stop speaking or add words, you kill or change the language! 🙂

#36
Anamika
January 18, 2008
09:22 AM

PSA, interesting point but while Ambedkar was a brilliant lawyer, his historical credentials are a little weak. Moreover he had a specific ideological axe (not to mention being completely submerged in colonial educational system) to grind which means all he says must be taken with a grain of salt. Before you accuse me of caste-ism or prejudice for saying the above, note that this is EXACTLY the same for Gandhi and Nehru who used history very poorly and for their own political purposes. Their political views can NOT be taken as last words on history of the country.

Second while there was animal sacrifice in Hinduism – and that exists till today – there is little evidence that an Ashwamedhyagna required a horse to be sacrificed. The ritual required a horse to be present as a symbol of regal power but there is little evidence that it was killed – ritually or otherwise – as part of the ceremony. Yes, I KNOW that loads of colonial historians assert this is so, but there is nothing to the effect in Indic texts.
#37
Anamika
January 18, 2008
09:56 AM

BD, I think the point I was trying to make – and obviously failed – was that Buddhism (like Islam or Christianity as religions that travelled not in genetic forms as has Judaism and Hinduism, but as cultural and informational values) evolved differently in different places.

So Buddhism of Sri Lanka or Indonesia was already different from that of Syria and Egypt by 2nd century BC. That was one reason for the conclaves (similar to what Christians do in the 4-6th centuries AD, ie about 400 years later).
I agree that in India, there would be little differentiation between Hindus and Buddhists.

This btw is still the case in areas that have strong Buddhist roots – in parts of Himachal for example, families are both Hindu and Buddhist (same for example as in Punjab where families have both Sikh and Hindu members).

So the processes that led to Buddhism’s decline in India would be different – politics, distance from the laity, inability/unwillingness to provide socially binding rituals which were left to Brahmins, requirements of austerity as a precondition of practice (which Jainism funnily enough does not require of ALL its adherents and which perhaps allows it to continue) would all be factors.

In western ME, I believe that Christianity would have played a greater part. Also lets not forget it would be easier to distinguish Buddhists in a non-Indic society because they would primarily be monks. More importantly, a conjunct of this would be linked to the issue of laity. If in India, Buddhism could not retain links with the lay person, imagine trying to do it in a foreign society. The situation would be similar to today where Buddhism is apparently spreading in the west but mostly through specific monasteries and specific individuals but not with any deep roots in the societies.

continued…

#38
kerty
January 18, 2008
10:23 AM

BD #35

Religions are not like languages. Languages are rooted in transient needs of humanity and thus evolve with human experiences and needs. One can customize languages to individual or group needs or needs of the times. While religions provide an anchor, a permanence to transient and evolving world.

Religions rooted in metaphysics do not change, they remain sanatana. Humanity adepts to them rather than other way around. Such religion acquires a way of life built around it which accumulates adaptations and diversity over a period of time, but religion itself remain sanatana. Like a river Ganges, it simply flows – people come and go, use its waters any way they like, but Ganges remain Ganges.

Religions rooted in philosophies and personalities wither away once they lose their relevance – that is why such religions have to remain fundamentalist, dogmatic and fanatic or they wither away.

Religions that are strictly rooted in way of life have to constantly grow and adapt – and are more akin to languages. They come and go like languages, quickly forgotten, never missed. Tribal religions, ancient civilizations built on myths and folklore, religions built around local physical conditions/nature would fall into such category of religions. They are not fully developed theologies – merely loosely held beliefs and rituals misnamed as religion just because others call theirs a religion.

Hinduism has all the components – built on solid metaphysics, has fully developed theology, rests on philosophies and personalities, makes full use of myths and folklore, gives full play to myrid ways of life and worship. It has built-in unchanging permanence as well as ever-adapting dynamism. That is what has endured it since ages.

#39
commonsense
January 18, 2008
01:12 PM

Kerty wrote:

“”Religions are not like languages. Languages are rooted in transient needs of humanity and thus evolve with human experiences and needs. One can customize languages to individual or group needs or needs of the times. While religions provide an anchor, a permanence to transient and evolving world.””

On the contrary, the similarity between religion and language is uncanny. Both fulfil a certain need, both get transformed due to changing social context etc. etc. Otherwise there wouldn’t be all these various sects of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and yes even Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikkhism etc, each claiming to peddle the real, unadulterated product. Besides, if religions were really permanent, I’d have no hope of converting everybody here to the DC religion. No religion has remained unchanged after inception. It is not for nothing the the Wahhabi morons keep harping on the need to “purify” the so-called “deviant tendencies”….just commonsense!

#40
temporal
URL
January 18, 2008
01:50 PM

posted on behalf of anamika

BD, re#35: I think the point I was trying to make – and obviously failed – was that Buddhism (like Islam or Christianity as religions that travelled not in genetic forms as has Judaism and Hinduism, but as cultural and informational values) evolved differently in different places.

So Buddhism of Sri Lanka or Indonesia was already different from that of Syria and Egypt by 2nd century BC. That was one reason for the conclaves (similar to what Christians do in the 4-6th centuries AD, ie about 400 years later).

I agree that in India, there would be little differentiation between Hindus and Buddhists. This btw is still the case in areas that have strong Buddhist roots – in parts of Himachal for example, families are both Hindu and Buddhist (same for example as in Punjab where families have both Sikh and Hindu members).

So the processes that led to Buddhism’s decline in India would be different – politics, distance from the laity, inability/unwillingness to provide socially binding rituals which were left to Brahmins, requirements of austerity as a precondition of practice (which Jainism funnily enough does not require of ALL its adherents and which perhaps allows it to continue) would all be factors.

In western ME, I believe that Christianity would have played a greater part. Also lets not forget it would be easier to distinguish Buddhists in a non-Indic society because they would primarily be monks. More importantly, a conjunct of this would be linked to the issue of laity. If in India, Buddhism could not retain links with the lay person, imagine trying to do it in a foreign society. The situation would be similar to today where Buddhism is apparently spreading in the west but mostly through specific monasteries and specific individuals but not with any deep roots in the societies.

Re: Afghanistan – I agree that it was a key centre of Buddhism (with links to other Buddhist lands including Tibet) and there you would have Islam play a part in its decline. But then I dont think Islam differentiated between Hindus and Buddhists. Lets not forget Hindu K u s h mountain ranges refer to the slaughter of “Hindus” – ie those of India and not of a particularly Indic religious tradition.

Finally, re language/religion, a funny story: In pre-Christian Russia, the bear was considered so sacred that its name could not be spoken. Over time the original word for bear disappeared from the language. One could turn around and say that perhaps this disappearance of the NAME of the deity also weakened the culture and made it susceptible to Christianity. 🙂

#41
kerty
January 18, 2008
03:08 PM

CS:

If you read my post slowly, you will see how I classified religions and how some of them feel the need to convert to their world views and why some of them don’t and why some of them have to constantly expand or parish and why some of them have to constantly adapt or parish.

Religions at personality and philosophy level have to splinter off as personalities and philosophies fade or get added. Even at way of life level, some have to adapt to circumstances and some can force way of life to adapt. You can’t place all religions in one basket and generalize.

Way of life has to have philosophical foundation, philosophies have to have theological foundation, theologies have to have metaphysical foundation which has to be so unshakable that no human intelligence, logic or science can prove or disprove or challenge. Such religions acquire eternal (not necessarily universal) mandate, their struggles remain self-defensive for self-preservation. I agree that not all religions would meet such qualifications – that is why some of them have to remain fanatic to propogate and some of them appear akin to languages and some of them simply come and go like a fad.

Statism too is fashioned on similar lines like religions. You have issue-level politics that are rooted in party agenda, you have parties rooted in ideologies, you have ideologies rooted in pan/trans/national/international ideologies who in turn are rooted in theologies – either as their extension/offshoot or as a rebellion against. You have constitution and laws that are unchanging core of statism while its political manifestations constantly undergo evolutions and adaptations to deal with realities on the ground. States that are grounded in weak constitutions, presided over by weak ideologies wither away, while some constantly have to amend/adapt even their constitutions to survive. We take great pains to differentiate one from the other and point out pros and cons of parties, ideologies, state-crafts, constitutions, states – but when it comes to religions, they are summarily brushed aside with a broad brush and lumped all of them together. All political intellectuals and media pandits suddenly go dim-wits and irrational at the sight of religion.

#42
commonsense
January 18, 2008
04:04 PM

Kerty,

My point applies to all religions: those that convert and those that claim not to convert. Show me one religion, convertible or non-convertible, that has never changed historically in response to social changes and has never splintered off into different sects etc. and I will for sure eat my non-existent hat…

#43
kerty
January 18, 2008
04:40 PM

CS..

Existence of sects, variety of gods, paths and worship is a wrong litmus test to prove your point. In a monotheistic traditions, they create a kind of contradictions you like. In non-monotheistic traditions, they are not contradictions, they are their special features if i may use the microsoft lingo. I have not seen any Hindu god fade, ramayana veda, Purana, upnishads, mahabharata, sanskrit sloka are verbatim same as read thousands of years ago. Sants and sects have come and gone, many more will come and go, sanatana dhrama will go on, even if there remains only one hindu follower in India. Ganges will not change her course to reach out just because nobody comes to her shore no more. That is why sects and sants come into picture, to bring Ganges to people and bring people to Ganges.

I know you will pick one or other line from here to go off in a tangent arguing for the sake of arguments. But frankly, none of it matters or make any difference. Whatever is, is and whatever shall be, shall be. I know none of what I write about is going to make any difference – when great sages have written more substantive things and that has made little difference. I argue with people like you only when I feel I can add something to the discussion. That is my 1*1=1 commonsense.

#44
commonsense
January 18, 2008
05:25 PM

Kerty:

“”Existence of sects, variety of gods, paths and worship is a wrong litmus test to prove your point. In a monotheistic traditions, they create a kind of contradictions you like. In non-monotheistic traditions, they are not contradictions, they are their special features if i may use the microsoft lingo. I have not seen any Hindu god fade, ramayana veda, Purana, upnishads, mahabharata, sanskrit sloka are verbatim same as read thousands of years ago. Sants and sects have come and gone, many more will come and go, sanatana dhrama will go on, even if there remains only one hindu follower in India. Ganges will not change her course to reach out just because nobody comes to her shore no more. That is why sects and sants come into picture, to bring Ganges to people and bring people to Ganges.””

The slokas may remain the same but they are interpreted differently as society changes. If only the meaning of every religious text, scripture or oral tradition were so self-evident and so self-contained…there would be no need of any interpretation or religious scholars spending their entire lives trying to make sense of it all. There would be no reason to consider the distintction between the “”text”” (inclusing oral slokas) and the “”context.”” Not to mention the CON-TEXT that mullahs, pujaris and other assorted thekdars/dalaals use to con people. This is not just for the sake of argument, but for the sake of dispensing commonsense.

#45
Anamika
January 18, 2008
11:29 PM

Thank you temporal bhai…I tried responding to BD but the site refused to let me post. But hope to continue the discussion.

Kerty, religions are VERY much like languages because they are intended to fulfill a human psychological and emotional need. The BIG difference is that they address different needs.

Language allows us to express the world as we perceive it and therefore connect to others who may help ease our isolation in that world. Religion allows us to explain that world – based on our perception.

Moreover, religions are “customised” to individuals – Semitic traditions are quite harsh in part because they are rooted in harsh topographical and cultural realities. Ancient Egyptians developed a death cult in part as a way of coping with an extremely harsh environment.

And when religions travel out of their place of origin, they change and become “customised” to their new habitats. So Christianity in India is nothing like St. Paul’s version of the Bible or indeed the way it was practiced in ancient Greece, Roman or the Levant. Nor is it anything like Christianity in Peru. Same happens with Islam and Buddhism (the religions that have travelled most amongst the major ones).

And yes, when religions travel and use different language, they evolve so in that sense language is necessary to how religions are received, learned and practised. On another thread, no matter what I tried, I could not explain the concept of shunya to Ruvy, not because he wasn’t trying but because what the word MEANS – with its connotations, references, historical ideas, symbolism – is completely different from the zero which is what he knows and understands.

Same goes for something like the word “Christ” which means something specific in Greek but few Christians could tell you anything about it today because the word has changed, evolved and grown as it has moved into other language. And as the word has changed, so has the religion.

CS – please dont say chicken-and-egg now because all that will make me crave is a cheese omelette.

#46
commonsense
January 19, 2008
03:18 AM

Anamika wrote:

“”CS – please dont say chicken-and-egg now because all that will make me crave is a cheese omelette.””

Ah Anamika, I crave for a cheese-omelette now!! As strict (well, not too strict!) I don’t crave for chicken!

Best wishes!

Commonsense

#47
commonsense
January 19, 2008
03:20 AM

Sorry, my keyboard is all messed up (blame it on the brew/beer!). One more attempt!

Anamika wrote:

“”CS – please dont say chicken-and-egg now because all that will make me crave is a cheese omelette.””

Ah Anamika, I crave for a cheese-omelette now!! As a strict vegetarian, (well, not too strict!) I don’t crave for chicken!

Best wishes!

Commonsense

#48
assaji
January 19, 2008
05:06 AM

According to the Dona sutta, the Buddha himself says he is not a man. He also says he is not a god. When pressed to say what exactly is he? He replied, I’m Awakended!

#49
kela
January 20, 2008
12:51 PM

Courtesy: The Dalit Voice April 16-30.The author is the Prof. of History, Guru Vihar, Punnathala, Kollam Dt of Kerala)
http://www.themronline.com/200106m12.html

#50
bd
URL
January 20, 2008
01:36 PM

Kela, are you serious that you expect me to take a serial violater of Godwin’s Law as an expert on History? lol lol lol.

And you are actually referring to an article from the dalit voice as an authoritative article? My friend, you have to do much better than that. Here’s a sample of the articles on the front page:

* Shrinking female population may force Hindus to keep Dalit sex slaves
* Zionists cause defeat of Mbeki ?
* SET FIRE TO BRAHMINICAL BULLSHIT HISTORY BOOKS : Our fight for justice fails because we don’t know true history
* Cowards & hinduised Budhists have finished Budha’s Dhamma

May i suggest one of the peer reviewed journals rather than rags like those for proper debates over History?

#51
bd
URL
January 20, 2008
01:38 PM

And kela, while you are at it, the answer to why the son rebuilt the stupa’s is not clear at all even in this weird article. So no, I am afraid the question still stands.

#52
Anamika
January 20, 2008
05:06 PM

Lol, BD, those are funny. Almost you tempt me to check out the site. Btw, don’t feed the troll – he just gets worse with each feeding.

#53
bd
URL
January 20, 2008
06:07 PM

Anamika, I liked the sex slaves bit but sort of gave it up because tbs sort of snorted at it.

sighs

but fair point, lol, will avoid it. I dont suppose the gentleman concerned would pick up the capitalised topic and relate to the issue at hand! 🙂

#54
kela
January 21, 2008
12:13 AM

Bd ,it really doesn’t matter what you think as long as the people who are oppressed know the truth and know what is better for them.
As regards the Bigot Anamika , i don’t need scumbags like her for feed

#55
bd
URL
January 21, 2008
01:36 AM

Kela

if by that statement in #54 you mean that, it does not matter what you base your thinking upon, then we do not have anything further to debate.

Remember the quote? , “when the facts change, madam, I change my mind, what do you do?”

have fun with the dalit voice magazine and do let me know how that sex slaves thing works out! 🙂

#56
kela
January 21, 2008
01:27 PM

Anyway I didn’t know we needed a supervisor in here to tell us how to talk or whom to talk too,i thought we were all adults here.Some people are so anal retentive.

#57
Man Singh
URL
January 21, 2008
07:27 PM

kela # 56 most of the time your statements are without logic, without refernce and doesn’nt make sense.

Yes just one thing I can sense is that you never support religions, culture and civilisation values originated from soil of India.

You are always on the opposite side of pro-India people.

Don’nt you feel Indian culture and religions is your heritage as well as your forfathers also follwed this way of life, shared cultural and reliogious values before you or somebody in ur family surrendered to foreign invaders for greed, terror or ignorance and converted to foreign religions?

Don’nt you feel we should respect our forfathers and their way of life even if we do not follow them today.

Newton deserve respect even if some of theories are failed today my freind. So is religion and culture of forfathers. We as a civilsied progeny should make attmepts to shine that heritage after filling cracks and gaps and cleaning any negativities inflicted in due course of time and not destroy it or help its destruction by foreign invaders.

Greeks converted to christianity but still are proud of their forefathers religion culture and philosophies.

Egyptians though converted to islam but still glorify their non muslim forfathers and show pyramids to world as their contribution.

India also contributed a lot to humanity in all field of human developement. Scinece technology maths, atronomy, medicine, sprituality etc and we have so many things to be proud of.

Of course we also have a fair share of our negativities. Wise generations are those who remove the negativities and promotes positiviees and relvant to modern times.

India being the ancinet most civilisation on the earth today, many negativies may be visible in its teachings. But our forfathers were always libreal enough not to force or terrorise us to follow them.

Chapter 18 shloka 63 of Bhagwadgeeta , Lord Krishan says to Arjuna, I have told you the all knowledge, its upto you now if u want to follwo or not?

Krishan never terrorised Arjuna that if u dun follw me I’ll put u in hell fire. If u dun worship me is this particular way then only u’ll be accepted in heaven otherwise not?

Just read geeta once and you will see the secret of liberal humanim in Hinduism.

#58
kela
January 21, 2008
11:52 PM

man singh I have never attacked your religion or your people unlike you and your cronies,nor have i tried to twist history to suit my point of view. geeta/mahabharata/ramayana are not my traditions,they belong to Alien Aryans,I appreciate the true traditions born out of this soil like Jallikattu,drinking toddy …

#59
kela
January 22, 2008
04:49 AM

and save all your dharma/adharma for someone who gives a damn.All that crap has been throughly exposed numerous times. I remember a non-veg restaurant tried to open near a Jain area in Bombay, the Jains force them to close by throwing rubbish near the restaurant,spitting etc…so much for dharma and non-violence etc

#60
Gill
January 22, 2008
07:58 AM

Kela wrote

>>>>and save all your dharma/adharma for someone who gives a damn<<<

Ofcourse anyone who is member of “moron cult” wouldn’t. I wonder why you even bother bring in your “moronic verses” when the topic has nothing to do with you. Its about Buddhism started by an alien Aryan Siddarth.

#61
Gill
January 22, 2008
08:10 AM

>>>>My point applies to all religions: those that convert and those that claim not to convert.<<<<

This weird!!!! On one hand you claim you are the new messiah and you are starting a new religion!!!!! And at the same time you claim to talk for all religion????

Get your head straight!!! Don’t turn every discussion into tabloid.

Only talk of the cult you are propagating the cult of the Morons with you their prophet. You should be happy you already have a convert Kela. Your side kick and you only blabber moronic verses. Because there is nothing that comes out of you both on any topic.

The present topic is on Buddhism and its relation with Hinduism and you both as usual bring in your moronic verses. Man get a point across your thick head there are not takers of your moronic cult. If you can’t than take my advice as I always say get some professional help. You need to out with real people. Get a life!!!! or maybe too scared to face the real world…. do not worry there is always help out there….just take the first initial step….

#62
kela
January 22, 2008
09:50 AM

All that coming from anti-india ,terrorist khalistani like you doesn’t really mean much.Have you forgotten how your people were butchered by your hindu brethren ?Far from christianity being a cult it you Sikhs who are a cult and are disowned by hindus

#63
Gill
January 22, 2008
10:34 AM

Kela wrote

>>>All that coming from anti-india ,terrorist khalistani like you doesn’t really mean much.Have you forgotten how your people were butchered by your hindu brethren ?Far from christianity being a cult it you Sikhs who are a cult and are disowned by hindus<<<<

oooops i forget India is taken over by Christian fundamentalists like you and supported by radicals like commonsense.

Interesting to note how moronic intellect works now from a Hinduvtawadi I am a Kahlistani. Good please keep demonstrating your intellect.

How do you know it was hindus who committed violence???? It was congress goons and at the forefront were Christian fundamentalists congress goons like you committing violence on behest of Missionaries and Vatican under the protection of congress.

And now you are going to shift your evil focus from Hindus to Sikhs???? But than again what to expect from “moronic cult” they are basically against every Indic dharmas.

Once again if you nothing worthwhile to contribute to a topic than keep your moronic verses to yourself. If you think you have to propagate your versions than open a thread on that topic and we sill discuss your views there. Stop corrupting every thread and topic by bringing in the same nonsense again and again.

When Buddhism died in India Christianity was nowhere in India and only a moron would bring it into discussion. It is totally irrelevant to discussion of this topic.

God gave you two ears and one mouth. If he wanted you to use your mouth more and listen less than he would have given you two mouth and one ear. But than again in your case I guess maybe it is true!!!!! Abnormality is very much evident from your views and convictions……

#64
kela
January 22, 2008
11:32 AM

abey mental if you bothered to read i had posted links with regard to buddism ..anyway reading you is corrupting my english

#65
kela
January 22, 2008
11:57 AM

and Gill I dont type with my mouth…that turban tied to tight?

#66
Gill
January 22, 2008
12:01 PM

people with corrupted mind and with hatred for Jews and Indic dharmas and its followers do not need any more corruption. You are beyond that point

#67
kela
January 22, 2008
12:03 PM

Gill please be specific and say Brahminism ,”indic dharma is too vague and can even include muslim and chrstianty

#68
Gill
January 22, 2008
12:09 PM

Sorry do not prescribe to your moronic cult or adhere to its fetish version of facts and history.

Indic dharmas do not include Islam and christanity. Get your facts corrected first. If you say yes than you are the biggest Hiduvtavawadi.

#69
kela
January 22, 2008
12:12 PM

no get your facts right,brahminism is as foreign as chrisianity and muslim.
and the only moronic cult are those who wear towels on their head and hop on one leg to the beat of drums

#70
Man Singh
URL
January 22, 2008
12:15 PM

kela #67

can you give a single reference of the word you are using `brahmanism’ before Britsih started writing Indian history and communists patronised it with support of followers of foreign religions?

Dharma is te word used by Hindus, Budhism, Jainism, Sikhims and all other religions of Indian origin.

Islam and christianity are religions of agressors, invaders and are of foreign origin.

people are free to practise religion of their choice native or foreign but none has right to attack the native religions.

#71
Gill
January 22, 2008
12:15 PM

Kela wrote

>>>>no get your facts right,brahminism is as foreign as chrisianity and muslim.<

The statement exactly proves why you belong to moronic cult.

#72
Gill
January 22, 2008
12:17 PM

Kela

you forgot to mention that sikhism is foreign to India too.

#73
kela
January 22, 2008
12:27 PM

Man Singh ,you forget Aryan Brahmins invaded native indian dravdians and stole their land.
you need refernces go here http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/1335/Hist/fall_ind.html

#74
Gill
January 22, 2008
12:36 PM

Kela

Please give us proof for AIT. And please show us the archeological proof to support the theory.

AIT is already a nullyfied theory because it was invented by non-trained historians and archeologists and was propagated by Chritian MIssionaries for vested interests.

Kela please prove us through scientific works that there was ever a Aryan Invasion into India and infact Indus Civiliazation was ever destroyed by any human factor.

Please first prove it and than present it as a fact.

Stop using a disproved theory as a base for your conviction.

#75
Man Singh
URL
January 22, 2008
12:40 PM

Kela #73

Indica is memoirs of a travellor to India in 327 BC. It is not a history book. It gives waht the travelleer saw in India during those days.

It is foolish to refer such books as a proof for Aryan Invasion.

Let me enlighten you using simple common sense easy to understand think and act?
1. `Arya’ in Sanskrit means a noble person who does his/her duty professionally and smartly irrespective of cast creed color or way of worship and never a race?

2.Hindus Devas Ram Krishna Vinsnu are black in color curly hair like typical south India.
3. All Devis look like typical South Indian women.
4.Vedas describe Indian rivers, Indian flaura and fauna not of any foreign country
5. Conch shell(Shanks) used in Hindu worship is found in south India and not in North.
6. Sandal used in worship found in South India and not in North.
7. Roli (Kumkum) produced in South India and not in North.
8. Supari, etc all south Indian and not North.
9. Rice (South India) used in prayers not wheat produced in south.
10. Coconut produced in South India and not in North.
11. Sanskrit has alphabet of 53 letter similar in all Indian languages including Tamil while European languages have only 24-26
12. English have only 400 words common with Sanskrit, Tamil have more then 4000.
13. All rivers described in Vedas are Indian rivers. If they were foreinegers they might have described foreign rivers as Muslim invaders always described `zam xam ka Paani’
14. All Mountains described in vedic Literature are Indian. If they were foreigners they might have described foreign mountains.
15. All atronomical descriptions match with star positions on India
16. All trees, plants medicines etc described are of Indian origin

Still do you believe the lie of Aryans invasion on India? If there were

#76
kela
January 22, 2008
12:48 PM

ha ha same nonsense arguments are used by the jews.
Gods are purple/blue,sign of nobility,devis are white skin,brahmins are white with green eyes like german aryans..all the asuras are black south indians…this is boring and tiring ,read more here http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/1335/Hist/fall_ind.html

#77
Gill
January 22, 2008
12:52 PM

Kela wrote

>>>>all the asuras are black south indians<<<

Another example of kelas intellect and lack of knowlegde on any subject. Iranian tribes are refered to as ashuras. Please do your homework before you come and make stupid statements

#78
Man Singh
URL
January 22, 2008
01:04 PM

Kela #76

Follwers of foreign invaders need such nonsense theories kela. they need it to justify their own crimes against humanity.

Though I as an Indian do not need any foreign source to know my history as foreign invaders do not understand us well and most of the time have vested interest. vedas, Upnishads, Puranas nowhere mention `Aryan’ as a race hence its fictious theory yoiu are riding on.

If foreign sources make you happy, let me put a foreign greek source itself for `your satisfaction’

I’ll use the same Greek reference to prove that Indians never enslaved or attacked anybody.
“The southern Indians resemble the Ethiopians a good deal, and, are black of countenance, and their hair black also, only they are not as snub-nosed or so woolly-haired as the Ethiopians; but the northern Indians are most like the Egyptians in appearance.”
“No Indian ever went outside his own country on a warlike expedition, so righteous were they.”
“Indians do not put up memorials to the dead; but they regard their virtues as sufficient memorials for the departed, and the songs which they sing at their funerals.”
“This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave.”

http://:www.earth-history.com/India/arrian.htm+Arrian+on+India

However I’ll quote ancinet Indian scriptures to prove that Hinduism originated in South India.

It is Srimadbhagwat Puran chapter 1 (mahatamya shloka 48 ) Bhakti said I was born in Dravid Desh , grew up in Karnakata, respected in maharashtra and sidelined in Gujraat. In Vrindavan fainted completely’

Even in Bhavishya Puran chapter 7 shloka 65 very clearly defines boundaries of aryavarta ie between Vindhyachal and Himalayas and two oceans on two sides.

But you being mentally trapped by ideology of foreign invaders find it hard to grasp references of Indian origin?

Come out of foreign yoke kela and strat trusting India and Indian refernces.

#79
kela
January 22, 2008
01:20 PM

See You mentioned Dravid desh,this country belongs to dravidians and i am one,this is my country and i follow any religion choose,you are the foreigner you are the guest who overstayed ,you have no right to tell me what to do

#80
Man Singh
URL
January 22, 2008
02:56 PM

Kela #79

perhaps you did not read the boundaries of draviddesha and aryavarta.

Religion came from draviddesha

Nowhere it is mentioned that Aryans invaded Dravidians?

Therefore Aryavarta and Dravida karnataka maharashtra etc all out of good will got united in due course of time without any force and that’s why you find all languages and ways of life still intact.

Opposite to it wherever islam reached it has destroyed all native cultures, imposed Arabic on people and permanenetly enslaved others.

Muslim invaders invaded India also. Well recorded by muslim writers out of their zeal to promote Islam. And hence Islam is religion of invaders and so is christianity other then syrian christians of Kerala.

Those who surrender to foreign invaders, assocate with them, convert to their religion and help them plundering their own moptherland are called `taritors’.

Greed, terror and ignorance have been the motivation of `traitorship’ through out the history.

Religions of India (Hinduism, Budhsim, Jainishm and Sikhsim) always promote Dharma in spite of having different way of worship.

Foreign religions never focus on Dharma and only on way of worship and converting others hence promote adharma indierctly.

That’s the reason when Mohamemd starts new religion, he do not build his own places of worship in a civilised way, he attacks non muslims places of worships, captures them and convertes them to Mosque. This continued untill Mughal rule was eliminated from india.

Opposite to it in India you will find places of worship of all religions in same place of pilgrimage. jains, Budha, Sikh and Hindu temples in every city.

becasue Budha never captured Hindu temples, Mahaveer never attacked Budhism or Hinduism and their place sof worship, Guru Gobidn Singh always build fresh new Guru dwaras and never captured others places.

That’s how Dharma is promoted opposite to barbaric ways of attacking and capturing pagan’s places of wroship by Mohammed.

can ypu see the difference? This tendency to attack and capture is the root of the evil?

#81
kela
January 23, 2008
12:14 AM

Man SIngh, at least you admit Syrian Christians are the true sons of the soil,sorry can’t say the same about you Aryans

#82
blokesablogin
February 11, 2008
01:44 AM

bd, cant believe I missed this post! Interesting questions you raise- see the more we read Indian history, the more the “holes” appear! isnt this amazing? I think this is fascinating.

Arun Shourie has his own ideas about what happened to Buddhists in India- He shows the relationship between the highly organised religion and its monastic tradition to be “easy” targets for quick elimination by the invading muslims. Evidently, thousands of buddist monks were slaughtered by the muslims when they burn down their monastries and centers of learning. The ones who remained quickly converted to Islam to avoid genocide. http://arunshourie.voiceofdharma.com/articles/scandal.htm

#83
bd
February 11, 2008
04:50 AM

Meenakshi, i have been doing further research on the dalit history efforts and more i read about it, the more bizarre it is coming out. I actually thought of doing a full length essay on this amazingly bizarre and silly historical edifice that the dalit historians are building but then figured, sod them, if they want to teach their people utter pap, then hey, that’s their problem.

#84
commonsense
February 11, 2008
10:25 AM

Gill:

“”AIT is already a nullyfied theory because it was invented by non-trained historians and archeologists and was propagated by Chritian MIssionaries for vested interests.””

Nice standards for historical research 🙂

#85
commonsense
February 11, 2008
10:29 AM

BD:

“”And you are actually referring to an article from the dalit voice as an authoritative article?””

Not to defend the article I have not read, but Meenakshi below refers to a piece by Shourie in “Voice of Dharma””

http://arunshourie.voiceofdharma.com/articles

We will have to assume that both sources are suspect as they seem to be hearing “voices”:)

#86
bd
February 11, 2008
11:44 AM

check out the dalit voice, cs :), i am sure you will get a giggle

#87
commonsense
February 11, 2008
12:45 PM

BD, sure will 🙂 I’m sure it must be burdened with hyperbole:)

(the general forumula: if someone is hearing too many “voices” or getting too may visions, a visit to the “doctor” (a medic not a PhD)should be the first stop en route to a cure…

#88
Gill
February 11, 2008
12:55 PM

CS

I guess you are talking from experience!!!

#89
commonsense
February 11, 2008
12:57 PM

Gill Sardar Sahab,

Sure, my hallucinations and visions are here in public for all to see! Since it’s not a well-hidden secret, you won’t be getting any medals for this “discovery” either!

#90
commonsense
February 11, 2008
12:59 PM

Gill Sahab, apologies. I posted this on the wrong thread…(my hallucinations getting in the way again! Here it is, just for you!)

Commited to finding ways to shore up your self-esteem: Guess what I found:

DECIBEL: actually “desi-bell” a traditional Indian measurement of sound, stolen by the “West” to measure sound. Indian farmers always put different kinds of bells on their livestock so they could tell by the timbre of the chime, which cow, goat or sheep was going astray. Stolen by colonialists and now called “decibel” instead of the original “desi-bell”

#91
Gill
February 11, 2008
01:10 PM

CS

True to your cult you got to come up with commiesense. Ofcourse the poor farmer was exploited by Imperialists….and that lead to eventual “class struggle”….and guess what now cow, goat or sheep have a “livestock” union with you there spokesperson. So what do you propose great comrade commiesense … when are you having the great livestock revolution…….since humans don’t listen to your commie crap only comrades left for you are the cow, goat or sheep ….. A suggestion better paint them Red… would make a good statement

#92
commonsense
February 11, 2008
01:13 PM

Gill Sahab,

Please launch an internet petition about “Desibell” and I will join you. Gill Sahab sunghursh karo, hum tumaharey saath hain”! (or was it “saas” instead of “saath”? My hallucinations are kicking in…I guess I cannot be a “saas” if I am male? But then Gill sahab is the real male here, so how could I be a male? Confused as usual…forgot my medication again..

#93
Kela
February 11, 2008
01:21 PM

Dalitvoice .org has been proved right.Kerala govt has claimed Ayappan temple in Kerala was a buddhist temple.

#94
Man Singh
URL
February 11, 2008
03:15 PM

Kela # 81

This post is altogather senseless. I could not make out what you want to say?

#93

Budha is 9th incarnation of lord Vishnu. So every Hindu temple is a Budhist temple. what’s so fuss abot it.

Kerala government can say anything if it can give ravi varma award to MF Hussein.

Kerala is being ruled by gangs of Mao, marx, Missinery and mullas for last 60 years and any action by kerala govt about Hindu related things is a natural assault on Hinduism. Whatelse you can expect fro follwers of foreign ideologies/religions.

They will do everything within their reach to divide natives and make them fight so that they can rule easyly. Its so simple.

teachings of Budha are still being practised by Indians. Hindusim of today includes all his teachings. Tree of Hindusim has many branches and you can see Budha’s teachings also part of it.

refer any census before 1861 you will find all Dharmaic people identified by Hindu only.

`Hindu’ originally means people living beyong Sindhu and hence a collective name ofr all Indians follwing Indic teachings.

Those who associated with foreign invaders and converted to their religions strated showing separatist mentality and separate identity and as such society was broken. Muslims and Christians became separate based on way of worship. Rest reamined united. By 1861 census British started further divisions and you are seeing Ayappa temple as Budhist temple?

In reality Hinduism being a pluralist religion can tolreate even a statue of Jesus or Mohammed in its temples not only of Budha.

Can Christians tolerate Hindus dieties in their churches or Muslims tolerate Hindu diesties in their Mosques?

Other then an Isolates incidence of Pushyamitra Shung, no other Indian king diferntiated people based on way of worship. His son though rebuilt the vihars his father demolished.

Rest there is not evena single incidence recorded in Indian history where Hindu King took over Budhist temple or Budhist king took over Hindu temple.

Just do your homework before writing something here.

#95
commonsense
February 11, 2008
04:20 PM

Man Singh:

“”Budha is 9th incarnation of lord Vishnu. So every Hindu temple is a Budhist temple. what’s so fuss abot it.””

Man Singh, acchaa mazaak kar letey hao aap bhi! ( I thought I had a monopoly on poor jokes!)Pity poor Dr. Ambedkar going thru the trouble of conversion…

The custodians of Buddhist temples in Japan will be happy to meet you one of these days…

#96
commonsense
February 11, 2008
04:28 PM

Man Singh:

“”In reality Hinduism being a pluralist religion can tolreate even a statue of Jesus or Mohammed in its temples not only of Budha.””

Bhai you are full of mazaaak…Another nice one 🙂 “statue of…Mohammed”!

#97
commonsense
February 11, 2008
04:50 PM

Gill Sahab,

Something closer to home for you. Some professional degraders of our dignity, especiall of Punjabi dignity, are selling our beloved lassi under the disgusting name of “smoothies”. We must start another petition…the malicious intent here is too evident to require any proof. If France can claim rights to the name “champagne”, why can’t we force all “smoothies” to be called “lassis”?

#98
neusinger
February 11, 2008
07:20 PM

#93 Kela, I agree and if I am not mistaken it was Syrian Christian church before that. Christians were there before Buddha.

#99
blokesablogin
February 12, 2008
12:44 AM

Man Singh: In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Buddha is not mentioned as an incarnation- Rishabha or Adinath (1st jain thirthankara) is though. This is simply because the Srimad Bhagavatham predates Buddhism. Later puranas added Buddha as an avatar- this very inclusion, morphing makes “hinduism” a very transmutable kind of “religion”. Some of the valid questions asked by the Buddhist groups was accomodated into Hindu thought and practice- eg. substituting ‘fruits,vegetables and different “danyas (grains)” for animal sacrifice, increase in vegetarianism.

CS: The voice of dharma is but a website. Most of Arun shourie’s articles are published in other “voiceless”magazines and media. One thing you have got to give credit to the man- he is thorough with his research.

#100
Ajay
February 12, 2008
05:41 AM

One does not really know what Buddhism is in the real sense.If Buddhism is what Buddha himself said, then Buddha was a man of very few words, who uttered very few things and steered clear from all controversies. He deliberately did not clarify many aspects despite his close disciples insistence. May be he was aware of the inherent contradictions.
It was only after the death of Buddha, that a host of other teachings, interpretations and interpretations by the later masters have crept into the original form.This has altered beyond recognition what Buddha had uttered in his own life time.

#101
Ajay
February 12, 2008
06:02 AM

Perhaps the most controversial of Buddhas teachings was his concept of “shunya” which has been the topic of many debates in the times to come. His realisation regarding this was flayed by even Shankaracharya. Caustic comments by later Vaihnavites regarding this also sowed seeds of doubts in the minds of the people about the teachings of Buddha which was also a reason for it’s vanishing from India.

#102
Sujai
URL
February 12, 2008
06:33 AM

Bhaskar Dasgupta:
I cannot understand how the author could say that the Buddha was said to be bad, when he is supposed to be an avatar of Vishnu.

That’s because Buddha was added into Dasha avatar, not during the reign of Buddhism, but much later.

You should find out when Buddha was added to the list of Dasha Avatar and you will get the answers.

#103
Sujai
URL
February 12, 2008
06:52 AM

#11, Anamika:
by dictating what Hinduism is supposed to be in direct contradiction of its diverse, often self-contradictory, exuberant values.

…like how Hinduism is monotheistic?
😉

#104
Sujai
URL
February 12, 2008
07:05 AM

kerty:
While religions provide an anchor, a permanence to transient and evolving world.

?? really?

#105
Ajay
February 12, 2008
07:16 AM

Religion does not provide an anchor, it is spirituality that provides an anchor. As long Buddhism was a spiritual force, it managed to survive in India. But as soon as it started to take the shape of a religion in the form of dogmas, religious rites, gods and demi-gods, tantric practices etc,the deterioration began and it soon vanished.
What really attracts the modern world toward Buddhism is the core philosophy that Buddha himself preached, which was devoid of rites, rituals etc. He even denied to comment on the existence of an omni-potent and omni-present God let alone propagate the existence of numerous demi-gods.

#106
bd
February 12, 2008
07:28 AM

#102, Sujai, sorry, I did not understand your reference, my friend. I know he was added later to the list of avatar’s, but why would that explain that he was “bad” ?

#107
blokesablogin
February 12, 2008
12:06 PM

Ajay, adding to your insight, I always had this theory that the Buddha did not plan on “starting his own religion”. rather, he took people from brahmacharya directly to sanyasa skiping the grihasta and vanaprastha phase. With royal patronage, he was able to ‘afford” it too!! Of course, he bcame proficient in “bhavathi bhikshaan dehi”- all part of the Hindu varnashrama dharma. His meditation led him to experience the “truth” at its deepest level and truth can never be expressed in words- can only be experienced.

The mind can never be made to be still with pure “nothing”, all the subsequent dilution of buddhism happened with the need for the mind for objects and rituals. Buddhism is a clear example of how the vedic tradition of brahman fell into the rut of rituals, over a period of time. We see this phenomenon in more recent religions too. Islam started with the smae idea of “ridding the world of idols and idolators”. It is not uncommon to see “pictures” of the khaba stone in devout muslim homes. same can be said of sikhism. pictures of the gurus, of gurudwaras etc.

Knowing the nature of mind and being comfortable with it is the key here.

#108
Sujai
URL
February 12, 2008
01:29 PM

#106, BD:

If Buddha were added much later, it explains a lot – as to why a person who adores Vishnu can despise Buddha.

If you look at our history, you will realize that Buddhism and Hinduism were at loggerheads for a long time, spanning many centuries.

One doesn’t need to read Romila Thapar to know this.

Even in South India, kings embraced Hinduism and Buddhism at different intervals, and there was an ongoing conflict between these two religions. When a king embraced Buddhism, the brahmins lost their clout, power, prestige and influence.

So, a Vishnu lover could hate Buddha if he is looking at these times of conflict.
you woke up in 8th century.

#109
Sujai
URL
February 12, 2008
01:32 PM

108- contd.

We woke up in 20th century to find that Hinduism and Buddhism are similar or that Buddha is one of Hindu gods.

But if you woke up in 8th century, you wouldn’t feel the same. You would see two religions trying to get the king’s approval to make it the religion of state.

#110
Man Singh
URL
February 12, 2008
01:52 PM

Sujai #109

Dharma is never a slave of political power. Adhrama can never surviwe without it though. Therefore those who strived for approval from kings are simply jokers engaged in adharma. They are neither Budhists nor Hindus.

Dharma simply is the process of God Realisation, self realisation, reaching to ultimate truth whatever you call.

Minor variations in methods may be there just like minor variations seen in methods used in a scinece experiment by differemnt scineteists.

Control the senses, control the mind, and become able to see the the ultimate reality.

The same system prescribed by all Indic religions with little variations.

Did Budha ever said I am strating a new religion?
Did nanak ever said I am strating a new religion?
Did Shankara ever said I am starting a new religion?
Did mahavir ever said I am strating a new religion?

Yes Sujai it is 20th century phenomenon of considering Budhism different from Hinduism.
Seaparatist mentality aimed at political gains and divide and rule caused so.

By 8th century as you mentioned, discussions were only right representation of Dharma and not differnt Dharmas altogaher

#111
commonsense
February 12, 2008
02:46 PM

Meenakshi:

“”The voice of dharma is but a website. Most of Arun shourie’s articles are published in other “voiceless”magazines and media. One thing you have got to give credit to the man- he is thorough with his research.”‘

Will re-read Shourie one of these days. Currently hip deep in Cynthia Talbot’s _Precolonial India in Practice_…limited time at hand, much of it spent on DC 🙂

#112
commonsense
February 12, 2008
05:57 PM

Meenakshi,

I took a quick look at the voice of dharma site. I have an open mind on a lot of issues, but not on sectarianism/communalism, regardless of which sect or community is being promoted. So, thanks, but no thanks!! 🙂

#113
Man Singh
URL
February 12, 2008
06:16 PM

Bhai Commonsense # 112

You are acting like Baldev the elder brother of Krishna who declined to take any side as he was confused whose side to take. Which side Dharma is?

Don’nt you feel that a person with opne mind should side with innocent villagers being attacked by dacoits again and again.

When some village youth get organised and beat back dacoits they also `seem’ to be doing adharma as they are involved in violence and killing.

But commonsense says village youth are right. You can not call them `sectarian’ as they were forced to become sectarian temporarily to protect themselves from continuous onslaught of dacoits though from outside they also `seem’ to be as `sectarian’ as dacoits.

Budha and Devdutt were claiming the fallen swan. Devdutt said I shooted it and hence it belongs to me. Budha said I saved it , so it belongs to me.

King gave the judgement `maarne vaale se bachaane vaale ka adhikaar jyada hot hai isliye hans gautam ka hai’ ( right of saviour is more then that of killer, hence swan belongs to Gautam)

Therefore, if Aurangjeb was engaged in sectarian violence againt Hindus, it was really sectarian. But if Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj was engaged in war to protect the weak and innocent Hindus, it should not be put in `sectarian’ category by people with commonsense in spite of the fact that great Guru organised Hindus(modern day Sikhs) to creat a Khalasa Army to eliminate the atyachar.

tendency to equate `attacker’ and `defender’ is virtually helping the `attacker’ only and that’s what is hapening in India in the name of secularism.

#114
Ajay
February 13, 2008
12:37 AM

blokesablogin #107 , you are absolutely correct.The decline of buddhism reveals as to why sanatan dharma later on steeped into rituals and rites.Buddha even denied the existence of the atma and stressed that it is all the mind.One is the mind without ant trace of sanskara or impressions ( i.e. the pure one) and other is the mind guided and controlled by sanskara, impressions,desires etc. Buddha wanted the reveal the nature of the mind sans all impressions. This condition is nothing but the same element which has been described by the hindus as the atma.
To know one’s mind in its purest state as described buddha is nothing but the nirvikalpa samadhi as has been described in hindu scriptures and in Yoga sutra which defines various kinds of samadhi.Nirvikalpa samadhi is the state where the atma is not tainted by seeds of any desire or sanskara which is the same as the pure mind propagated by buddha.So Buddha had said nothing new. He just invented a new term and packaged the old concept in a new bottle.
It is extremely difficult for the mind to be in it’s own pure state since the very nature of mind is to ATTACH itself, whether it be an object or a desire. It is the very inherent nature of the mind to attach itself that has led the minds of subsequent buddhist practitioners to allow their minds to attach itself to various kinds of desires. This had led to the emergence of mahayana and hinayana schools, various deities in buddhism, tantric practices, siddhis or siddhas. The same thing had happened to the sanatan dharma.

#115
commonsense
February 13, 2008
09:53 PM

Bhai Man Singh,

Confusion is good! Trust me, Confucious himself told me so…

#116
commonsense
February 13, 2008
09:56 PM

Bhai Man Singh my friend,

I don’t live in a village, and I assume, neither do you. Can you deploy a different metaphor? Who, for instance, are the dacoits and villagers in the global village?

#117
Deconstructive JATT
February 14, 2008
01:20 AM

All of y’all need to read Derrida and foCault. And if y’all still stupid, then go [rant edited – please read comment policy before you post again]

#118
Man Singh
URL
February 14, 2008
11:32 AM

Bhai commonsense #118

You will not believe my permanent address in my passport still my village and I do not have any house in any city of India or abroad. Of course I rent apartment or Hotel wherever required.

I am still a villager.

For the sake of your convenince I can use another metaphor though.

Attackers are everyhwere. Evangelists, proslytisers are direct attackers of natives even today.

Dawa’t workers are dierct attackers even today.

Those who protect the community from these attackers are village youth I mention sometimes.

Funniest thing is that some these attacks and loots are legalised and even promoted by many governmnets around the globe. People become aware only when angry victims beat back these attackers.

Unofrtunately attackers actve in your temple of Dow Jones can not be beaten back by anybody and victims have no choice but to suffer at hands of attackers there.

One thing I failed to understand what’s so difficult in understanding `dacoits’ VS `village youth’ metaphor?

Alexender was Attacker, Chandra Gupta/ Chanakya were defenders.

Mohammed Bin Qassim was invader , Bappa rawal was defender

Mahmud gajanavi was attacker and people of India were defenders

Gori was attacker and Chauhan was defender

Akbar was attacker and rana pratap was defender

Jehangir was attacker and Guru Arjan Dev was defender

Aurangjeb was attacker and Guru Teg Bahadur , Guru Gobind Singh and Shivaji were defenders.

British were attackers and Krantikaris like Bhagat Singh and Netaji were defenders.

Even today Missioneries are attackers and I ma the defender.

MF Hussein is attacker and I am the defender
Mullas of India and Bandladeshi are attackers and Tasleema Nasreen and salman Rushdie are defenders.

what’s so difficult in metaphor of `dacoits’ and `village youth’

#119
commonsense
February 14, 2008
02:11 PM

Bhai Man Singh,

You appear to be a well-trained person. But your training has rendered you inflexible, so you keep reciting the same ram-katha each time…

#120
Man Singh
URL
February 14, 2008
02:26 PM

Bhai commonsense #119

Ramkatha says `hari anant hari katha ananta’. how come people with infinite version of ramkatha can be called inflexible?

Inflexible are those who say `there is only one true ramkatha and that also what they know’ and they have divine right to eliminate the rest of versions of ramkathas using all means including terror and money.

I usually get surprised how `educated people’ always preach to people with `ananth versions’ of ramkatha and never dare to say even to word those who claim to be monopoly on one true versions of the same and engaged in eliminating the rest?

Ab tum hi batao, infinite vaale flexible hai ya `ek’ vaale.

#121
commonsense
February 14, 2008
02:56 PM

man singh, on a more flexible note, why did you not join the debate on torture?

#122
Man Singh
URL
February 14, 2008
03:07 PM

Bhai commonsense #121

Thanks for reminding. Title looked to be bit general to me.

I have very clear views about torture.

Again I’ll quote from Ramkatha what Tulsidaas says about gist of ramkatha

`parhit saris dharam nahi bhai, parpeeda sam nahi adhmai’

second part in very very clear words declares that there is no sin equal to torturing innocent creature (not only human beings even animals are covered here).

Vedvyasa also wrote ‘paropkaraya punyaya papay perpeednam’.

These are my views how people should behave in a civil society.

I’ll read the topic and join the debate there.

#123
Morris
February 14, 2008
09:52 PM

CS and Man Singh
Very interesting discussion.
On what basis one can say Akbar and MF Hussein are attackers? Perhaps I don’t know enough about them.

#124
neusinger
February 14, 2008
09:59 PM

Bhai Mansingh,

very interesting post – enlightnihg. You are a learned person. Indeed.

But, forgive me because you forgot one little person: What about Babur?

And Did Babur ever reach Kannada?

Perhaps commonsense can help out?

#125
neusinger
February 14, 2008
10:06 PM

Commonsense #18 “In fact the derogatory term “buddhu” has similar roots ie. an attempt to mock the Buddhists. The same term is still in use in Malaysia, albeit pronounced as “bodo””

Very strange and sounds much like your jokes my professor friend. Any proof of this?

#126
commonsense
February 14, 2008
10:36 PM

Neusinger boss:

No, no proof really. I wrote in haste! But of course they do the term “bodo” to denote a fool in Malaysia, like “buddhu” in much of North India. I admit, no proof that it has to do with denigrating Buddhists…some people speculate about this, but of course, speculation is not proof. Do I really joke that much? what’s this professor shit? Teach/Cheat, Dog/God…me a professional graduate student…

#127
commonsense
February 14, 2008
10:47 PM

Yes, Man Singh merey Bhai, what about Babur? Did he have a role? Did he ever get to present-day Karnataka? Neusinger has a point…

#128
Moirai
February 15, 2008
09:40 AM

Perhaps what’s happening today sheds more light on this question than pointless posts by kela et al.

When the Taliban destroyed two Buddhist statues in Afghanistan in the spring of 2001, there was an international outcry. But similar incidents are now occurring in northwest Pakistan, where radical Islamists recently blew up a sculpture of Buddha in broad daylight.

There are vast numbers of important Buddhist sites in Swat and other areas of northwest Pakistan. At this point, all of them are under threat of destruction, thanks to the influential voice of the Islamist leader Mullah Fazlullah.

#129
Moirai
February 15, 2008
09:48 AM

Historically, many Mongols had adopted Buddhism early in the 13th century, as they were exposed to the religion in China, Tibet, and northern India. Hulegu had adopted some Buddhist customs, but he is primarily regarded as a traditional Mongol shamanist. The fact that he was buried with several young women testifies to this fact, since neither Buddhism nor Islam would have sanctioned human sacrifice.

Abaqa, Hulegu’s son, was a devout Buddhist who mercilessly persecuted the Muslims of the Il-Khanate. He even promoted Christian interests ahead of Muslim, simply to harass the Muslims. Abaqa’s son, Arghun, also a Buddhist, was even harder on Muslims than his father had been. During this period of Buddhist leadership in traditionally Islamic lands, many Buddhist symbols appeared. Numerous Buddhist temples dotted the landscape of Persia and Iraq, none of which survived the 14th century, unfortunately. The Buddhist element of the Il-Khanate died with Arghun, however, and Islam soon spread from the population to the ruling classes.

Eager to make a name for himself as an Il-Khan, Gaykhatu (Arghun’s brother) introduced paper money from China into Islamic trading circles. Islamic merchants in the Il-Khanate refused to accept the unrecognisable new money, however, and trade came to a virtual standstill. The experiment was such a disaster that Gaykhatu was forced to abandon it after six months, and the ensuing rebellion ousted him from power in 1295.

His successor, Arghun’s son, Ghazan, was the first Muslim of Mongol heritage to rule the Il-Khanate, and all rulers of Persia since him have been Muslim. Ghazan adhered to the Sunni form of Islam, but he was tolerant of Shi’ites. He focussed his religious persecution instead on the Buddhists, who had been so intolerant of Muslims for the past 30 years in the Il-Khanate. Ghazan converted all Buddhist temples to mosques, and he forced the Buddhist priests and monks to either convert to Islam or return to India, Tibet, or China. Christians were also persecuted, in retaliation for their special treatment at the expense of the Muslims under the Buddhist rulers of the Il-Khanate.

#130
Gill
February 15, 2008
03:07 PM

>>>But similar incidents are now occurring in northwest Pakistan, where radical Islamists recently blew up a sculpture of Buddha in broad daylight<<<<<

You should ask “deconstructionist” Mullahs like Commiesense as to why is happening again and again in this time and age also…..

It is this moronic cult that people like commiesense belongs to that justify these actions as “natural” trends under the pretext of “deconstruction”. Because these self proclaimed moronic prophets have one goal in Indian context and that is in very simple words to prove that “what ever that had been written, constructed and evolved was done by entirely the wrong people and was done for entirely the wrong reasons”. This sums up people like commiesense. They are simply predictable.

Ideology of people like commiesense and islamists is very similar in this sense. Both are are believers of “deconstruction”……….. and to achieve that they both have to destroy past……

Example of “idiocity” and moronic mind set is very evident in CommieSenses statement :-

>>>Yes, Man Singh merey Bhai, what about Babur? Did he have a role? Did he ever get to present-day Karnataka? <<<

#131
Man Singh
URL
February 15, 2008
03:44 PM

Morris # 123

Akabar was grandson of Invader Babur and and the most important piller of foreign Mughal rule . Maharana Pratap was the last hope for Indians as Traitor Kings like Man Singh accepted slavery of Akbar and fought on invaders’ side.

MF Hussein paints Hindu Gods and Goddeses in nude and paints Mohammed’s daughter, his own mother in fully clad form provin that he is intentionally doing tha nonsnese and attacking India’s cultural heritage.
sarasvati – Nude
Mather India – Nude
Hanuman – Nude
Ganesha – Nude
Parvati – Nude
gandhi – depicated
Hitler – Nude

Himself – clad
his mother – clad
Mohammed’s daughter – clas
Ghalib – Clad
Faiz – Clad

In an interview 8 years ago he said he painted Hitler nude to humiliate him.

Does it mean he painted Mother India nude to humiliate her?

That’s why Hussein is an invader and those who resist against him are defenders.

nesinger#124

From where kannada came in? I dun know please enlighten.
Commonsense #127

same as response to nesinger#127

baaki kaisa chal raha hai bhai commonsense

#132
Neusinger
February 15, 2008
04:37 PM

Man Singh sahib, thanks for that last post.

Re my post #124 – I honestly dont know what I meant when I wrote that – please ignore it.

#133
Man Singh
URL
February 15, 2008
05:01 PM

its fine neusinger #132.

kabhi kabhi esa hota hai. Appreciate your honesty. keep it up.

#134
commonsense
February 15, 2008
08:23 PM

Gill:

“”It is this moronic cult that people like commiesense belongs to that justify these actions as “natural” trends under the pretext of “deconstruction”.”‘

I see that my infinite deferral of shoring up your self-confidence is not doing wonders for your neurotic anxiety, so here goes:

Tattoo: the western people stole this ancient Indian word from us without acknowledging it. In the past, people working with horses and “tattoos” were prone to this. An angry tattoo would sometimes kick a worker and the next day, the marks could be seen on his face. The other workers would laugh at him as in “arrey, you got tattooed yesterday”? Or,””after working here so hard, what tumhey tattoo mila”? We have to reclaim this word.

Tobacco: see, we always used this ancient word “tanbaakoo”, even though we don’t like this substance too much in Punjab. Another stolen word from us.

Platoon: since time immemorial we had brigades of jawans called “paltan”. They stole it from us and mock us by calling it platoon.

Hooligan: this is yet another deliberate attempt to mock at your festivals. Arrey bhai during the holi festival, many young boys and girls enjoyed them pichkarees. They were not real guns bhai, just pichkari guns. Now they call any bad character, “hooligan” just to put us down?

But the fact that they stole these words from us, should make you feel superior my friend Gill. Since people usually don’t steal anything that is inferior. That’s all for now. When your self-confidence needs some priming and pumping up, don’t forget to call me!

#135
Neusinger
February 15, 2008
09:54 PM

Common, I think Gill has finally pushed all your buttons at the same time. Calm down, my man.

#136
commonsense
February 15, 2008
10:03 PM

Neusinger,

Thanks man! But this is an ongoing saga…I’m calm, not to worry!!! This kind of exchange is ancient history and fun for me!

#137
Neusinger
February 15, 2008
10:14 PM

excellent!

#138
commonsense
February 15, 2008
11:05 PM

neusinger,

I do want to acknowledge your concern…! Not to worry my friend, but thanks for looking out for me!! Now I will relax, and smoke a Charminar cig!

#139
Gill
February 16, 2008
04:12 PM

CS

Nice work !!! Pls Keep exhibiting your moronic intellect. Its good amusement!!

But than again I feel sorry for you!!! I think this fetish “deconstructionist” ideology has really taken toll over your intellect. It is sad to see that your fetish for trying to “deconstruct” the world and its societies and play God and Prophet have pushed you to the point of lunatics. I really pray that you do get help to “deconstruct” your psychiatric disorder. And than maybe you will once again start talking “sense”

#140
commonsense
February 16, 2008
08:48 PM

Gill Sahib,

At your service sir, anytime. Free!

#141
commonsense
February 16, 2008
08:56 PM

Man Singh #131,

As far as I know (but I will acknowledge the limitations of my knowledge), M.F. Hussein has apologized for the paintings, said his intentions were not at all malicious, withdrawn the paintings from circulation and has left the country. What more should he be doing? Short of unpainting the paintings? Curious…

#142
commonsense
February 16, 2008
09:09 PM

Yaar Gill Sahab,

I was surprised to find that you are an expert of Derrida and deconstructionism. And even more to find out your full name! So your critique of mullahs is actually an auto-critique?

link: http://www.chowk.com/articles/8188

Jacques Derrida, Founder of Deconstruction, is Dead
Mohammad Gill November 12, 2004
Tags: science , scientist , tribute , orbituary

Jacques Derrida, Founder of Deconstruction, is Dead

By Mohammad Gill

The Algerian born French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, died of pancreatic cancer on Friday, October 8, 2004. He was 74 at the time of his death.

#143
commonsense
February 20, 2008
05:36 PM

Gill Sahab,

Do you have other articles on Deconstruction and Derrida?

#144
commonsense
February 20, 2008
05:37 PM

Gill Sahab,

Do you have other articles on Deconstruction and Derrida?

#145
commonsense
February 20, 2008
05:39 PM

Man Singh Bhai,

What do you propose M. F. Hussein should do? After his apology and leaving the country? Is there anything he could do to satisfy a particular community of “art critics”?

#146
Man Singh
URL
February 20, 2008
05:52 PM

Bhai Commonsense #145

apology is enough provided it is sincere and the person pledges in future not to commit the same crimes. he no need to leave the country in that case.

It is a like gang members of dacoits apologise for their past sins and show their desire to lead a normal life along with villagers they looted some time back.

Villagers are very civilised in general and accept the apology. Some responsibility goes even to dacoits also after that they should behave nicely and should abandon their habbit of looting and attacking.

Hussein on the other hand is selling his paintings (for whom you say he apologised and felt bad for..). You can visit his website and you can buy his painting on line. The same paintings in which he tried to insulted the nation.

I am not an art critic but have a commonsense (may be came from yourgoodness?). I can see the crookedness when he paints his own mother in full clothes and Moter India nude.

He paints Mohamed’s daughter in full clothes and Durga parvati and sarasvati in nude along with ganesha and Hanuman put in a very very offensive posture with them.

#147
commonsense
February 20, 2008
06:43 PM

Man Singh Bhai,

This is what the painter had to say in an interview with Shoma Chaudhury. He sounds extremely sincere to me. Do you think he is faking it. Does he sound as if he hates Hindu culture and deliberately wants to “insult Hindu sentiments”? Hitler was painted “naked” while the others are line drawing. Difference between “naked” and “nude” and a difference between an artistic genre and pornography. The virgin mary with the infant jesus have also been painted in the nude by many painters. Or is Hussein simply dissecting “baal ki khaaal” to save his skin. If he INTENDED to DELIBERATELY hurt any sentiments, why would he not dwell on it, especially now that the 90+ frail man is not within reach of the Shiv Sena? If you read the following experts from the interview, does it even remotely sound as if he intentionally set out to hurt any religious sentiments?

Excerpts from the interview, cut/paste:

“”What I said was that I have
painted my canvases – including those of gods and
goddesses- with deep love and conviction, and in
celebration. If in doing that, I have hurt
anyone’s feelings, I am sorry. That is all. I do
not love art less, I love humanity more. India is
a completely unique country. Liberal. Diverse.
There is nothing like it in the world. This mood
in the country is just a historical process. For
me, India means a celebration of life. You cannot
find that same quality anywhere in the world.

I always paint a Ganesha before I begin on any large work.
I also love the iconography of Shiva. The Nataraj
– one of the most complex forms in the world –
has evolved over thousands of years and, almost
like an Einstein equation, it is the result of
deep philosophical and mathematical calculations
about the nature of the cosmos and physical
reality. When my daughter, Raeesa wanted to get
married, she did not want any ceremonies, so I
drew a card announcing her marriage and sent it
to relatives across the world. On the card, I had
painted Parvati sitting on Shiva’s thigh, with
his hand on her breast – the first marriage in
the cosmos. Nudity, in Hindu culture, is a
metaphor for purity. Would I insult that which I
feel so close to? I come from the Suleimani
community, a sub-sect of the Shias, and we have
many affinities with Hindus, including the idea
of reincarnation. As cultures, it is Judaism and
Christianity that are emotionally more distant.
But it is impossible to discuss all this with
those who oppose me.

But I really began to study spiritual
texts when I was 19. Because of what I had been
through, because I lost my mother, because I was
sent away, I used to have terrible nightmares
when I was about 14 or 15. All of this stopped
when I was 19. I had a guru called Mohammad
Ishaq- I studied the holy texts with him for two
years. I also read and discussed the Gita and
Upanishads and Puranas with Mankeshwar, who had
become an ascetic by then. After he left for the
Himalayas, I carried on studying for years
afterwards. All this made me completely calm. I
have never had dreams or nightmares ever again.
Later, in Hyderabad, in 1968, Dr Ram Manohar
Lohia suggested I paint the Ramayana. I was
completely broke, but I painted 150 canvases over
eight years. I read both the Valmiki and Tulsidas
Ramayana (the first is much more sensual) and
invited priests from Benaras to clarify and
discuss the nuances with me.”

#148
Man Singh
URL
February 20, 2008
09:05 PM

BHAI COMMONSENSE,

I REALLY FEEL HE IS FAKING. MARY AND INFANT JESUS WERE PAINTED NUDE BY MANY PAINTERS BUT NEVER BY HUSSEIN.

HIS LOVE AND CONVICTION NEVER OVERPOWERED HIM WHILE PAINTING GHALIB FAIZ , HIS OWN MOTHER , MOHAMMED’S DAUGHTER AND MANY MORE MUSLIM CHARACTERS.

I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO PASTE PICTURES IN THIS WEBSITE OTHERWISE I COILD HAVE GIVEN YOU A COMPARISON BETWEEN PAINTINGS OF RAJA RAVI VARMA AND HUSSEIN.

IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THAT PLEASE SHARE AND ENLIGHTEN ME. I HAVEW A VERY GOOD COMPARATIVE PICTURES.

#149
temporal
URL
February 20, 2008
09:31 PM

caps means someone is shouting

shouting means someone is angry

anger reflects loss of calm

loss of clam means skating on thin ice

#150
commonsense
February 20, 2008
10:54 PM

Man Singh Bhai,

You have made your point in caps. If you really think that this old man is faking it, there is little more to talk about this topic. I guess he was awarded the Padam Shree etc. due to an anti-Indian “secular lobby”. We agree to disagree on this point. I feel sorry for this incredible painter who did us proud. Too bad he was hounded out of his native land by folks who have not a clue what his art was all about and who have no appreciation of his complete identification with his sanskriti and maryada. Sad.

#151
commonsense
February 20, 2008
11:06 PM

Bhai Man Singh,

Thanks for showing everyone how petty some “art critics” are. It all has to do with intentions. If you really think that Hussein of all the people, was hostile to so-called Hindu sentiments intentionally so, it does not make sense why he would apologize, as opposed to heaping more abuse on his object of hate/vitriol. Why exactly would he be contrite? Well, one explanation would be that he had no idea that he was stepping on egg-shells. And when he realized that he was, he was full of sincere remorse. The only people circulating his so-called “hurt my sentiments” paintings, are the very people who want to attack him. He himself has withdrawn them form circulation, and no, they are not for sale anymore. Shame, is all that I can say, for this attack on someone we should be proud of. India is not a piece of real-estate owned by its self-apponinted thekedaars, be they religous, nationalists, whatever…

#152
Man Singh
URL
February 21, 2008
01:57 PM

Bhai Temp # 149

CAPS simply means a finger put on keyboard by mistake. `key’ was labeled as `Caps Lock’ *S*

What anger causes Lord Krishna describes the most brilliantly in Bhagwadgeeta Chapter 2 shloka 63

Krodhatbhavati sammoha sammohad smriti bhrama
smriti bhramad budhi nasho budhi nashat pranashyati.

(anger causes hysteria. Hysteria causes memory loss. memory loss damages intellect and once intellect is damaged a person is fully destroyed.)

let’s not jum to conclusions so easyly.

#153
Man Singh
URL
February 21, 2008
02:07 PM

Bhai Commonsense # 151

Apology is a drama.

India is definitely not a peace of real estate owned by thekedars.

It is nation which has three components ,ade of.

1. land
2. people
3. its culture

India have seen enough of abuse and assaults. Hope no more. Have pity commonsense bhai.

I feel right thinking people side with victims and not by attackers and invaders.

Visit Hussein’s official website and you will still find many offensive paintings for sale.

Bhai mere dacoits have many forms. Daaku, chor, thug, conmen.

They use different tactics but belongs to same family.

#154
commonsense
February 21, 2008
04:42 PM

Bhai Man Singh,

You are right, the Mother India painting is on his site.

However, I do feel that he was sincere in his apology and that his intentions were not to hurt anyone’s sentiments. He is so steeped in Indian culture in all its various and diverse forms. He does not believe that the paintings should hurt anyone, and in his interviews he clearly says that he did not have any such intentions. If he intended to hurt, he should gloat about it.

Interestingly enough, the mullahs are after him too…some mullah politician apparently has offered a huge reward to anyone who chops off his arm!

Let us agree to disagree about certain kinds of art critics!

Peace!

#155
temporal
URL
February 21, 2008
06:01 PM

#149 and #152:

for future reference:

anyone can make a mistake…so you did not look up in the box and hit the “publish” button….fine…

perhaps next time you can re type it and ask the editor to delete the earlier one?

#156
Morris
February 21, 2008
10:25 PM

I just wonder
Why Hussein should not paint what he wants to
Why Tasleema should not write what she wants to
Why the media should not publish Mohmmed’s cartoons.

Do people have a right not to be offended or protected against their feelings being hurt?

#157
ravi
February 22, 2008
10:34 AM

Morris

why you restricted yourself to these three points you can go further..like

Why we should respect our country, our national anthem, our national flag.

Why people in India feel offended when these three are insulted. Why it is crime if you hold the national flag up side down.

what’s wrong? Because we respect our country , we respect our national anthem and national flag, if anyone not follow the protocols we will feel it’s an insult.

In the same way people belongs to those religions respect mohammad, saraswathi and so on. That’s why they feel offended. Tell me why it is not good? why this much criticism on that issue, why not in the case i mentioned.

#158
Morris
February 22, 2008
01:05 PM

Ravi
Yes, of course you could go all the way unless parlament has expressly indicated otherwise. And how far legislators could go will be checked by the constituion.
Arbitrarily, banning a book or a painting depending on outcry does not make sense. I must admit I do not know how they do this.

#159
Man Singh
URL
February 22, 2008
06:06 PM

Bhai Commonsense #154

Mullas are after him for different reason. In True Islam even painting a living being is `Haraam’, Music is `haraam’. So they are after him only beacuse he paints living things.

I am not with him because he paints my symbols of respect in disrespectful manner.

As per his own words, he painted Hitler Nude to humiliate Hitler and condemn nazism and fascism. Upto it here its fine with me and all humans engaged in inhuman activities shoulkd be condemned.

But Mohammed Bin Qasim or mahmud of Gazani or Aurangjeb were no less inhuman then Hitler. Hussein never painted them nude.

He rather prefered Durga, saraswati, hanuman, Ganesh and Mother India nude. It naturally leads to the conclusion that he painted them nude to humiliate all of them along with hitler?

If he has apologised and promised not to repeat the mistake. Hope he will mend his ways n respect his apology.

#160
commonsense
February 22, 2008
06:28 PM

Man Singh,

Not really…

#161
Man Singh
URL
February 22, 2008
07:22 PM

Then?

#162
commonsense
February 22, 2008
09:19 PM

Then? Then we move on to other topics until I pin you down or vice versa. It is clear that our taste in art is quite different; which is just fine. I am not saying my taste is better than yours! Nor that yours is better than mine. Art is like food. One person’s poison is another person’s meat or vegetable!

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neusinger,

I do want to acknowledge your concern…! Not to worry my friend, but thanks for looking out for me!! Now I will relax, and smoke a Charminar cig!

#139
Gill
February 16, 2008

04:12 PM

CS

Nice work !!! Pls Keep exhibiting your moronic intellect. Its good amusement!!

But than again I feel sorry for you!!! I think this fetish “deconstructionist” ideology has really taken toll over your intellect. It is sad to see that your fetish for trying to “deconstruct” the world and its societies and play God and Prophet have pushed you to the point of lunatics. I really pray that you do get help to “deconstruct” your psychiatric disorder. And than maybe you will once again start talking “sense”

#140
commonsense
February 16, 2008
08:48 PM

Gill Sahib,

At your service sir, anytime. Free!

#141
commonsense
February 16, 2008
08:56 PM

Man Singh #131,

As far as I know (but I will acknowledge the limitations of my knowledge), M.F. Hussein has apologized for the paintings, said his intentions were not at all malicious, withdrawn the paintings from circulation and has left the country. What more should he be doing? Short of unpainting the paintings? Curious…

#142
commonsense
February 16, 2008
09:09 PM

Yaar Gill Sahab,

I was surprised to find that you are an expert of Derrida and deconstructionism. And even more to find out your full name! So your critique of mullahs is actually an auto-critique?

link: http://www.chowk.com/articles/8188

Jacques Derrida, Founder of Deconstruction, is Dead
Mohammad Gill November 12, 2004
Tags: science , scientist , tribute , orbituary

Jacques Derrida, Founder of Deconstruction, is Dead

By Mohammad Gill

The Algerian born French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, died of pancreatic cancer on Friday, October 8, 2004. He was 74 at the time of his death.

#143
commonsense
February 20, 2008
05:36 PM

Gill Sahab,

Do you have other articles on Deconstruction and Derrida?

#144
commonsense
February 20, 2008
05:37 PM

Gill Sahab,

Do you have other articles on Deconstruction and Derrida?

#145
commonsense
February 20, 2008
05:39 PM

Man Singh Bhai,

What do you propose M. F. Hussein should do? After his apology and leaving the country? Is there anything he could do to satisfy a particular community of “art critics”?

#146
Man Singh
URL
February 20, 2008
05:52 PM

Bhai Commonsense #145

apology is enough provided it is sincere and the person pledges in future not to commit the same crimes. he no need to leave the country in that case.

It is a like gang members of dacoits apologise for their past sins and show their desire to lead a normal life along with villagers they looted some time back.

Villagers are very civilised in general and accept the apology. Some responsibility goes even to dacoits also after that they should behave nicely and should abandon their habbit of looting and attacking.

Hussein on the other hand is selling his paintings (for whom you say he apologised and felt bad for..). You can visit his website and you can buy his painting on line. The same paintings in which he tried to insulted the nation.

I am not an art critic but have a commonsense (may be came from yourgoodness?). I can see the crookedness when he paints his own mother in full clothes and Moter India nude.

He paints Mohamed’s daughter in full clothes and Durga parvati and sarasvati in nude along with ganesha and Hanuman put in a very very offensive posture with them.

#147
commonsense
February 20, 2008

06:43 PM

Man Singh Bhai,

This is what the painter had to say in an interview with Shoma Chaudhury. He sounds extremely sincere to me. Do you think he is faking it. Does he sound as if he hates Hindu culture and deliberately wants to “insult Hindu sentiments”? Hitler was painted “naked” while the others are line drawing. Difference between “naked” and “nude” and a difference between an artistic genre and pornography. The virgin mary with the infant jesus have also been painted in the nude by many painters. Or is Hussein simply dissecting “baal ki khaaal” to save his skin. If he INTENDED to DELIBERATELY hurt any sentiments, why would he not dwell on it, especially now that the 90+ frail man is not within reach of the Shiv Sena? If you read the following experts from the interview, does it even remotely sound as if he intentionally set out to hurt any religious sentiments?

Excerpts from the interview, cut/paste:

“”What I said was that I have
painted my canvases – including those of gods and
goddesses- with deep love and conviction, and in
celebration. If in doing that, I have hurt
anyone’s feelings, I am sorry. That is all. I do
not love art less, I love humanity more. India is
a completely unique country. Liberal. Diverse.
There is nothing like it in the world. This mood
in the country is just a historical process. For
me, India means a celebration of life. You cannot
find that same quality anywhere in the world.

I always paint a Ganesha before I begin on any large work.
I also love the iconography of Shiva. The Nataraj
– one of the most complex forms in the world –
has evolved over thousands of years and, almost
like an Einstein equation, it is the result of
deep philosophical and mathematical calculations
about the nature of the cosmos and physical
reality. When my daughter, Raeesa wanted to get
married, she did not want any ceremonies, so I
drew a card announcing her marriage and sent it
to relatives across the world. On the card, I had
painted Parvati sitting on Shiva’s thigh, with
his hand on her breast – the first marriage in
the cosmos. Nudity, in Hindu culture, is a
metaphor for purity. Would I insult that which I
feel so close to? I come from the Suleimani
community, a sub-sect of the Shias, and we have
many affinities with Hindus, including the idea
of reincarnation. As cultures, it is Judaism and
Christianity that are emotionally more distant.
But it is impossible to discuss all this with
those who oppose me.

But I really began to study spiritual
texts when I was 19. Because of what I had been
through, because I lost my mother, because I was
sent away, I used to have terrible nightmares
when I was about 14 or 15. All of this stopped
when I was 19. I had a guru called Mohammad
Ishaq- I studied the holy texts with him for two
years. I also read and discussed the Gita and
Upanishads and Puranas with Mankeshwar, who had
become an ascetic by then. After he left for the
Himalayas, I carried on studying for years
afterwards. All this made me completely calm. I
have never had dreams or nightmares ever again.
Later, in Hyderabad, in 1968, Dr Ram Manohar
Lohia suggested I paint the Ramayana. I was
completely broke, but I painted 150 canvases over
eight years. I read both the Valmiki and Tulsidas
Ramayana (the first is much more sensual) and
invited priests from Benaras to clarify and
discuss the nuances with me.”

#148
Man Singh
URL
February 20, 2008
09:05 PM

BHAI COMMONSENSE,

I REALLY FEEL HE IS FAKING. MARY AND INFANT JESUS WERE PAINTED NUDE BY MANY PAINTERS BUT NEVER BY HUSSEIN.

HIS LOVE AND CONVICTION NEVER OVERPOWERED HIM WHILE PAINTING GHALIB FAIZ , HIS OWN MOTHER , MOHAMMED’S DAUGHTER AND MANY MORE MUSLIM CHARACTERS.

I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO PASTE PICTURES IN THIS WEBSITE OTHERWISE I COILD HAVE GIVEN YOU A COMPARISON BETWEEN PAINTINGS OF RAJA RAVI VARMA AND HUSSEIN.

IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THAT PLEASE SHARE AND ENLIGHTEN ME. I HAVEW A VERY GOOD COMPARATIVE PICTURES.

#149
temporal
URL
February 20, 2008
09:31 PM

caps means someone is shouting

shouting means someone is angry

anger reflects loss of calm

loss of clam means skating on thin ice

#150
commonsense
February 20, 2008
10:54 PM

Man Singh Bhai,

You have made your point in caps. If you really think that this old man is faking it, there is little more to talk about this topic. I guess he was awarded the Padam Shree etc. due to an anti-Indian “secular lobby”. We agree to disagree on this point. I feel sorry for this incredible painter who did us proud. Too bad he was hounded out of his native land by folks who have not a clue what his art was all about and who have no appreciation of his complete identification with his sanskriti and maryada. Sad.

#151
commonsense
February 20, 2008
11:06 PM

Bhai Man Singh,

Thanks for showing everyone how petty some “art critics” are. It all has to do with intentions. If you really think that Hussein of all the people, was hostile to so-called Hindu sentiments intentionally so, it does not make sense why he would apologize, as opposed to heaping more abuse on his object of hate/vitriol. Why exactly would he be contrite? Well, one explanation would be that he had no idea that he was stepping on egg-shells. And when he realized that he was, he was full of sincere remorse. The only people circulating his so-called “hurt my sentiments” paintings, are the very people who want to attack him. He himself has withdrawn them form circulation, and no, they are not for sale anymore. Shame, is all that I can say, for this attack on someone we should be proud of. India is not a piece of real-estate owned by its self-apponinted thekedaars, be they religous, nationalists, whatever…

#152
Man Singh
URL
February 21, 2008
01:57 PM

Bhai Temp # 149

CAPS simply means a finger put on keyboard by mistake. `key’ was labeled as `Caps Lock’ *S*

What anger causes Lord Krishna describes the most brilliantly in Bhagwadgeeta Chapter 2 shloka 63

Krodhatbhavati sammoha sammohad smriti bhrama
smriti bhramad budhi nasho budhi nashat pranashyati.

(anger causes hysteria. Hysteria causes memory loss. memory loss damages intellect and once intellect is damaged a person is fully destroyed.)

let’s not jum to conclusions so easyly.

#153
Man Singh
URL
February 21, 2008
02:07 PM

Bhai Commonsense # 151

Apology is a drama.

India is definitely not a peace of real estate owned by thekedars.

It is nation which has three components ,ade of.

1. land
2. people
3. its culture

India have seen enough of abuse and assaults. Hope no more. Have pity commonsense bhai.

I feel right thinking people side with victims and not by attackers and invaders.

Visit Hussein’s official website and you will still find many offensive paintings for sale.

Bhai mere dacoits have many forms. Daaku, chor, thug, conmen.

They use different tactics but belongs to same family.

#154
commonsense
February 21, 2008
04:42 PM

Bhai Man Singh,

You are right, the Mother India painting is on his site.

However, I do feel that he was sincere in his apology and that his intentions were not to hurt anyone’s sentiments. He is so steeped in Indian culture in all its various and diverse forms. He does not believe that the paintings should hurt anyone, and in his interviews he clearly says that he did not have any such intentions. If he intended to hurt, he should gloat about it.

Interestingly enough, the mullahs are after him too…some mullah politician apparently has offered a huge reward to anyone who chops off his arm!

Let us agree to disagree about certain kinds of art critics!

Peace!

#155
temporal
URL
February 21, 2008

06:01 PM

#149 and #152:

for future reference:

anyone can make a mistake…so you did not look up in the box and hit the “publish” button….fine…

perhaps next time you can re type it and ask the editor to delete the earlier one?

#156
Morris
February 21, 2008
10:25 PM

I just wonder
Why Hussein should not paint what he wants to
Why Tasleema should not write what she wants to
Why the media should not publish Mohmmed’s cartoons.

Do people have a right not to be offended or protected against their feelings being hurt?

#157
ravi
February 22, 2008
10:34 AM

Morris

why you restricted yourself to these three points you can go further..like

Why we should respect our country, our national anthem, our national flag.

Why people in India feel offended when these three are insulted. Why it is crime if you hold the national flag up side down.

what’s wrong? Because we respect our country , we respect our national anthem and national flag, if anyone not follow the protocols we will feel it’s an insult.

In the same way people belongs to those religions respect mohammad, saraswathi and so on. That’s why they feel offended. Tell me why it is not good? why this much criticism on that issue, why not in the case i mentioned.

#158
Morris
February 22, 2008
01:05 PM

Ravi
Yes, of course you could go all the way unless parlament has expressly indicated otherwise. And how far legislators could go will be checked by the constituion.
Arbitrarily, banning a book or a painting depending on outcry does not make sense. I must admit I do not know how they do this.

#159
Man Singh
URL
February 22, 2008
06:06 PM

Bhai Commonsense #154

Mullas are after him for different reason. In True Islam even painting a living being is `Haraam’, Music is `haraam’. So they are after him only beacuse he paints living things.

I am not with him because he paints my symbols of respect in disrespectful manner.

As per his own words, he painted Hitler Nude to humiliate Hitler and condemn nazism and fascism. Upto it here its fine with me and all humans engaged in inhuman activities shoulkd be condemned.

But Mohammed Bin Qasim or mahmud of Gazani or Aurangjeb were no less inhuman then Hitler. Hussein never painted them nude.

He rather prefered Durga, saraswati, hanuman, Ganesh and Mother India nude. It naturally leads to the conclusion that he painted them nude to humiliate all of them along with hitler?

If he has apologised and promised not to repeat the mistake. Hope he will mend his ways n respect his apology.

#160
commonsense
February 22, 2008
06:28 PM

Man Singh,

Not really…

#161
Man Singh
URL
February 22, 2008
07:22 PM

Then?

#162
commonsense
February 22, 2008
09:19 PM

Then? Then we move on to other topics until I pin you down or vice versa. It is clear that our taste in art is quite different; which is just fine. I am not saying my taste is better than yours! Nor that yours is better than mine. Art is like food. One person’s poison is another person’s meat or vegetable!


Hope for India’s ‘broken’ Buddhists: Ambedkar’s Buddhist Movement

19/07/2010

By Kalinga Seneviratne

NAGPUR – Over 50 years ago, the author of India‘s constitution, B R Ambedkar, set in motion a Buddhist socio-political movement which many believe is now ready to fructify through Mayawati, chief minister of northern Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.

Both Ambedkar and Mayawati, who goes by one name, come from India’s so-called “untouchable” caste, better known as Dalits (the broken people).

It was in this central Indian city that Ambedkar converted to Buddhism, along with a million of his followers on October 14,

1956. Mayawati has not publicly disclosed her religious beliefs, but as a follower of Ambedkar, Buddhists expect her to make his dream come true – that of obtaining for Dalit Buddhists the right to be treated as equal citizens in the land of the Buddha.

Mayawati, who figures in the Forbes magazine’s list of 100 most powerful women in the world, has already declared her ambition of becoming India’s prime minister and is expected to make her bid in general elections due in the first half of this year.

“We were converted into Buddhists in 1956, but we still face a lot of discrimination, injustice and violence,” said Devidas Ghodeshwar, talking to Inter Press Service in front of the impressive Deekshabhoomi Stupa built here to mark the site of Ambedkar’s historic conversion, along with thousands of his followers.

The monument is built after the famous Sanchi stupa built in the third century by emperor Ashoka who renounced Hinduism to become a Buddhist. Thereafter, Buddhism flourished in India until the seventh century when it went into a slow but steady decline, mostly owing to a powerful Hindu revival.

Even as Buddhism spread to Tibet, the Far East and Southeast Asia, its followers in India suffered persecution.

However, Buddhism has continued to haunt India through the remains of impressive stupas and monasteries, sculptural art, and through its many philosophical concepts and teachings, such as non-violence. Other than Dalits (also called neo-Buddhists), sizeable communities of Buddhists continue to hold out in the Himalayan marches of the modern day states of Uttarakhand,Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh where they were pushed by advancing Hinduism.

In contemporary India, while attacks by Hindu militant groups on the minority Muslim and Christian communities have drawn the attention of the Indian and international media, atrocities on Buddhists go unreported, mostly because they fall into the lowest rungs of the caste ladder.

In September 2006, a family of Buddhist Dalits – 45-year-old Surekha Bhotmange, her 18-year-old daughter Priyanka, sons Roshan and Sudhir – was lynched by an upper caste mob in Khairlanji about 30 kilometers from here.

On October 24, 2008, eight people were convicted for the massacre and six of them given the death sentence. But Ghodeshwar says that was a rare instance of justice catching up on such atrocities perpetrated by upper caste Hindu fanatics.

Over the past few years, however, Buddhists have been quietly building up a political base from which to fight caste-driven discrimination. Their hopes have been raised by the rising political fortunes of Mayawati and her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which claims support from the poor and deprived in every caste and religious community.

Many Buddhists believe that her political movement – which in many ways resembles US president-elect Barack Obama’s successful grassroots initiative – could propel her to the prime ministership of India this year, at the head of a grand coalition of the poor and deprived.

“There’s a good number of Buddhist members of parliament and in Uttar Pradesh and [western] Maharashtra states there’s a vibrant Buddhist movement,” says Dhamma Viriyo Mahathera, spiritualdirector of the All Indian Bhikku Sangha.

“Mayawati is working for all the people. So now, Muslims and Brahmins, day by day, accept that the Buddhists are the people of this country. They are good hearted and they can rule this country well,” added the monk, himself a former member of parliament.

In this central Indian city of over 2 million people over 60% are believed to be Buddhists – though most live in squalid and crowded neighborhoods.

One problem for the Buddhists is that the Hindu establishment does not accept the fact of their conversions or even that Buddhism is a separate faith system. Officially, less than 1% of 1 billion Indians are listed as Buddhist, but most people agree that the majority of the 200 million Dalits of India follow the Buddhist faith.

“We have converted but still the Hindus aren’t accepting that we have been converted and they don’t understand that we belong to a separate group now. They refer to the Buddha as the ninth incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu and do not see Buddhism as a separate religion,” said Ghodeshwar.

“We are seen as part and parcel of Hinduism and this is also linked to our oppression and discrimination as Dalits,”Ghodeshwar added.

Yet, there is a palpable air of confidence among Buddhists here. Though they talk with bitterness about their treatment at the hands of high caste Hindus, they are also hopeful that change is on the way.

In the suburb of Kamla, a predominantly Buddhist community on the outskirts of Nagpur, a community leader introduced to IPS many Dalits who are lawyers, teachers, engineers and accountants.

Sadanand Fulzele, secretary of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak Samiti [founded to perpetuate the leader’s memory], agrees that Buddhist Dalits are now more confident than they were before. “I was myself converted to Buddhism along with Babasaheb Ambedkar,” he told IPS. “Prior to conversion, those who were known as untouchables had an inferiority complex. But now, they feel they are no less than anybody. That’s a great change.”

Yet, Buddhist communities, like the one in Kamla, rarely have a resident monk or a community temple. This is in contrast to most Buddhist countries where monks are housed and supported in monasteries or temples, because they are not allowed to earn a living.

“Buddhist communities here are still very poor,” explains Fulzele, “We can’t build huge monasteries like in Burma [Myanmar], SriLanka or Thailand, where they follow centuries-old Buddhist traditions. We only converted 50 years ago”.

Viriyo Mahathera is critical of Buddhist countries and organizations that contribute money to build grand temples in Buddhist pilgrimage sites across India such as Bodhgaya – the place of Buddha’s enlightenment – but do not contribute to the benefit of Buddhists in India.

The monk, who resides in Bodhgaya, eastern Bihar state, says that while the provincial government has drawn up a master plan to attract investments from rich Asian Buddhist countries to develop the area, it has not associated Indian Buddhists with the plan.

“There should be a Bodhgaya development board where 50% of members can be drawn from the (Indian) Buddhist community,” he argues. “Monks and Buddhist people can then take active part in the development of Bodhgaya and create a Buddhist environment there”.

Sulekhatai Kumbhare, a former minister in the state government of Maharashtra and a Buddhist leader here, argues that the number of Buddhists in India is not large enough to affect political changes. ”We need to get the support of other communities. But Hindus think that because we left their religion we cannot be friends,” she says.

(Inter Press Service)

crtsy: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KA16Df03.html