Sunday, November 28, 2010


"Mahabharata: History or Myth"
"Internal Beauty of Sanskrit"


Dr. N. R. Joshi

Editor's Note: intends to publish articles and
summaries of Dr. N. R. Joshi's two papers published and soon to be
published by the prestigeous Journal of the Bhandarkar Oriental
Research Institute (BORI).

The paper on Mahabharata will elucidate that the Indian Historians
recognized the spread of ancient Indians towards Far East into Viet
Nam and Indonesia, but totally ignored the migration towards Iran and
Greece,and Scandinavia, thus becoming geographically "Indo-centric" in
their views regarding Mahabharata.

The paper on the "Internal Beauty of Sanskrit" will illustrate how
the Indian and Western linguists missed an opportunity to unravel
the mystery of Sanskrit as a "designer language"
and how the clues were there embedded in Sanskrit to discover that it
was originally a specially designed language that was later enriched
while retaining its internal beauty.

Both of these contributions by Dr. N. R. Joshi are revolutionary in
in nature and will lead to controversy at first as most new ideas and
discoveries do.

However, as a Ph.D. in Metallergical Engineering and Material Science
specializing in Ultrasound Technology he was led to this research by
studying Sanskrit sounds and how they are put together. In elaborating
his original ideas he has now given the Sanskrit Scholars in India
food for thought and a new direction to understand the etymology of
Sanskrit words. He received a long overdue honor in India by
receiving a recognition worthy of a Sanskrit Pundit.

Readers are urged to stay tuned to this blog to read these innovative
contributions that will focus on the Westward migration of the ancient
Indians, the import of which was totally missed by the British, other
Western, and Indian historians.

The readers will also learn the originality of Sanskrit language and
how the Westward migration of Sanskrit explains the futility of
theories looking for a mother language for Latin and Sankrit as well
as all Indo-European Languages.

Both papers accepted by BORI will be tour de force in modern

Dear Readers of "Sookta-Sumana":

This year I took a trip to India to meet Indian scholars and exchange views on my favorite research topics, “Mahabharata History or Myth” and “Internal Beauty of Sanskrit.” Certain aspects of these topics were discussed by me in the interviews for the weekly papers like Voice of Asia and India Herald. Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) of Pune published my research paper, “Sphota Doctrine in Sanskrit Semantics Demystified” in the 2007 Annals of the BORI.

In the past 2500 years of known history of India, Sanskrit scholars are discussing semantics (meanings of words) of Sanskrit because the origin of Sanskrit is lost in the unknown ancient history of India. The same is true in case of Mahabharata history. Not much archeological evidence has come forth from the soil of the subcontinent. So I collected evidence in support of history of Mahabharata from sources outside India.

My first power point presentation on “Mahabharata History or Myth” was arranged by Dr. Vijaya Bedekar in K. G. Joshi College, Thane. More than 30 students and faculty members were present. The program ended with many questions and discussions on the new information I presented. My niece Rekha and her husband (High court advocate Paithane) were present for the lecture.

My friend and Indology scholar Dr. Pramod Pathak, who used to live in Houston, invited us to visit Goa University. Dr. Chandralekha of Goa University arranged our presentations. Dr Dhadphale of BORI talked on General Linguistics while I made power point presentation on “Internal Beauty of Sanskrit”.

Dr. Saroja Bhate, the secretary of BORI was kind to arrange my lecture on May 11. The topic chosen was “Mahabharat History or Myth”. Around 52 scholars were present. This was my first opportunity to address top level Indian scholars in a large hall of the BORI. The presentation was followed by question and answer session. My family members Divakar and Madhuri Joshi, Vandana Inamdar and Vedanta scholar Praachi Gumaste were present for the lecture. The news of my presentation at BORI appeared next day in the local newspaper, “Lokamata”. The research paper based on my talk at BORI was invited by BORI for publicaton and it was submitted to BORI. It is in the process of being published in the Annals of BORI.

My next stop was Hyderabad. Dr. Amba Kulkarni and Dr. Subrahmanyam Korada were kind enough to make arrangement for my lecture at a short notice in their department of Sanskrit studies of the University of Hyderabad. First I briefed the scholars and doctoral research students on my Mahabharat research. Then with my power point presentation I talked on the “Internal Beauty of Sanskrit”. The origin of Sanskrit is a very controversial subject. So I took this opportunity to discuss many Sanskrit related topics with Sanskrit Vyakarana scholar, Professor Dr. S. Korada.

On the second day in Hyderabad, I was invited by Dr. K. V. Krishna Murty of Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas (I-SERVE) to make presentation in his institute. I talked on both topics and told audience that I came there because I have new information. They appreciated my presentation. Finally Dr. Krishna Murty honored me by covering me with a special Vastram-Shaal in the Indian tradition of honoring Sanskrit scholars (Pundits). Having a Ph.D. degree in Material Science and Engineering, I never thought that I will receive such an honor reserved only for Sanskrit scholars in India. Tears came in my eyes.

Next I headed to attend the All India Oriental Conference in Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthaan University at Tirupati. In the conference I made presentation on “Mahabharat”. The session chairman Dr. Somashekhar remarked that he and all in audience heard new information on Mahabharat history never read or heard by them before. After taking the darshan of Shree Vyankateshvara and Devi Padmavati we returned to USA.

I intend to share the theses of both my papers with you soon. I will first share my work on the Internal Beauty of Sanskrit and after the second paper is published by BORI, I will share with you the contents of my research on Mahabharata, both in a summary fashion because both topics will be soon published in the form of two separate books.


N. R. Joshi.


Dr. N. R. Joshi holds a Ph. D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from
The Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, Maryland. He has 60 research publications. He is the Fellow of the American Society of Nondestructive Testing.
His research specialty is Ultrasonics and Acoustic Emissions. Ultrasonics is a science of high frequency sound while language and Music are composed in low frequency sound. His interest in acoustics of articulated sounds of Sanskrit attracted him towards research of the internal beauty of Sanskrit and towards research of the ancient Indian history related to Mahabharata.

Saturday, November 27, 2010



(Part III)
(For Part II see posting of 04 11 2009)


Dr. Seshachalam Dutta

Edited and partially modified by Shree Vinekar, M.D.

The institution of “caste” (more precisely “varNa”) is the most explosive subject of discussion for “Hindus”. Among the modern Hindu religious leaders, there had been profound ambiguity in expounding the caste system, often leading to defensive posture, especially when challenged by Western critics. I shall presently outline their dilemma in this article. The word “caste”, most people do
not realize is not indigenous to India, nor what it stands for. It is derived from the word “caste” in Portuguese. The medieval Portugal along with the rest of the Europe and the British Isles was practicing “serfdom” (a lesser form of slavery but discrimination of a large population indeed very much based on birth, to be considered a lower class, lower than the nobility and commoners) for several centuries, nearly two millennia, during this era.


Theological basis of Varna was presumably based on the Purusha Sukta of Rigveda . The “gods” sacrificed HiraNyagarbha in a Yajnya and the creation came forth from His body. (A nearly parallel version of the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe). The Purusha is described as “infinite, formless, without any differentiated qualities, ananta, niraakara, nirguNa” yet, anthropomorphizing “HIM”, the mantra 13 says

Braahmano yasya mukhaasit
Baahoo raajanyah kritaah
Ooroo tadasya yad vaishyaah
Paadaabhyaam shoodro ajaayata

Meaning, as popularly translated in concrete literal terms: Brahmins came from his face, raajaas (kshatriyaas) from his arms, Vaishyaas (merchants including other entrepreneurs) from his thighs and finally the servant class, Shudras, from his feet.

This Vedic authority was accepted unchallenged in concrete terms by orthodox Hindus throughout history. Brahmins pursued intellectual enterprise, Kshatriyas warfare and they became rulers; whereas Vaishyas agriculture and trade, and the rest were a servant class. While some argue this was a flexible system moving from one “caste” to another, there is absolutely no evidence for that conjecture either from tradition or from history with only a few exceptions. However, there was harmonious relation in this division almost until modern times. Occasional challenge to the Brahmin supremacy came from the next highest caste, the warriors. A Vaishya on the other hand cared less for Brahminical scriptures and was perfectly happy with his profits from trade. Shudras accepted their position and gradually acquired agriculture, thus the bulk of Indians even at present are farmers. Earlier we have analyzed how the caste sectarianism evolved into political struggle undermining secular democracy that has been tearing apart the Hindu Society (see of 04-24-2009. This article is considered the Part I of this topic). Here in “Part II” we shall examine the scriptural authority for the classification.

More precise definition of caste system took place in Hindu society by Sutra period, perfecting sociological structure dictated by codified laws. Sutra period was the time when orthodox Hinduism faced Buddhist challenge (600 BCE to 300 CE). Ancient Hindus were ruled by the laws dictated in later years by Smrutis, the social and religious laws. These codes changed with times and, therefore, there arose in time many Smrutis, like Parashara Smruti, Yajnavalkya Smruti, Devala Smruti and Manu Smruti. Whereas Smruti governed the contemporary, religious, political and personal life, whenever there was a conflict between Smruti and Shruti, the latter embodied in Vedas and Vedangas, prevailed (akin to constitutional law or preamble to the constitution in modern times) which was considered superior to legislative action, giving flexibility in application of the laws. Thus many practices in Parashara Smruti became outdated and abandoned as unfit for later ages (Kalivarjya).

In the matter of caste, its preservation was by strict rules for occupations or professions to be practiced and informally enforced by the laws for marriage. Although, eight forms of marriage were recognized, marriage was strictly restricted within the same caste. If ever transgression occurred, downward union of a man with lower caste woman was tolerated (Anuloma marriage) and man’s marriage with women higher up the gradient (Pratiloma marriage) was prohibited. Keechaka in Mahabharata was a case in point. He was described as the son of a Brahmin woman and Kshatriya father and hence was assigned the status of a Vaishya (3rd level). Vyasa and Vasishta were born of lower caste women, but their fathers were Brahmins and thus of anuloma descent.

Historically, there appears to be conflicts between top two higher castes. Legendary Parashurama enraged by the killing of his father, killed every Kshatriya king, conquering most part of the earth which he gave to Kashyapa prajapati, from whom the earthly princes re-acquired their kingdom and thus the kings of this earth derived their kingdoms by gift, and therefore, were forever obliged to heed the Brahmin and respect his counsel. However, Kshatriyas maintained near equality in spiritual learning and creativity. In this regard, Vivekananda makes a point that Upanishads were largely written by Kshatriyas whereas Bramhanikas were written by Bramhin Rishis.

Most egregious code written that brought infamy to Manusmriti is the role assigned to women and Shudras in Society as though they are compelled to live by this code. Manusmriti lV: 413 states Shudras should serve the Brahmin first and others, if only they do not find employment with a Brahmin. Serving a Brahmin with reverence and submissiveness elevates him to a higher level in the next life- not so when he serves others!

In the education of these classes, the distinction was maintained by Manu. A Brahmin boy had initiation into studies by upanayanam at age five, Kshatriya at age eleven and Vaishya at 12. There were slight variations in different traditions with the order being maintained. There was recognizable uniform; Brahmin carrying a danda to the length of the top of his head. Kshatriya to the level of forehead and Vaishya to the level of his nose. Brahmin was initiated with Gaayatri of Vishwamitra, Kshaktriya with Trishtub attributed to Hiranyastupa, Vaishya with Jagatti of Vamadeva. Their sacred threads were also different. Recognizable differences between these classes were maintained in the materials of girdle, upper cloth, lower cloth and their colors (mekhala, ajina and vasa). Caste was thus maintained by creating separate identity from the very childhood.

Professionally, Brahmins followed intellectual pursuits commanding highest respect, Kshatriyas were warriors and rulers, Vaishyas were in pursuit of trade and agriculture. Shudras were relegated to servant class who were forbidden in trading with the exception of selling only what they make, as for instance, a potter could sell pots and then only pots. They should serve the Brahmin first, and if employment was not available, he could serve Kshaktriya, and Vaishya last. Needless to say this division of labor was long gone as we know. The bulk of Indian population is farmers and not Vaishyas anymore. Nevertheless, the divisions of the castes persisted to modern times.

Even though Shudras were servant class, there was no slavery in ancient India in contrast to the ancient Western world. Sutrakaras were both liberal and conservative. The treatment of Shudras was more generous by Bhodayana than Aapastambhaa. Chariot makers (Rathikaras) were given Upanayana initiation by Bhodayana, considering them as the progeny of Vaishya and Shudra, whereas Aapastamhaa admitted no exceptions. Initiation into Vedic education was limited to the upper three castes, perhaps leading to wide spread illiteracy among Shudras which is the bulk of the population of India now. Treatment of Shudras, untouchables (chandalas) and women under Manu’s law had been the issue of contention for religious scholars and sociologists. So although much highly touted as an available option in ancient times to indivuduals of using the covenant of “guna-karma-vibhagashah” meaning one’s true nature and chosen occupation is to determine his/her caste, there is no historical evidence that such was a
prevalent practice.


The caste system of ancient times broke down with the invasion of northern tribes and internally by the social reform and challenges from Buddhists. Buddhist Aaramas and educational centers with the same curriculum as traditional brahminical disciplines with the exception of jyothishka (astrology), unlike single teacher gurukulas, transformed the landscape of India allowing wide spread education regardless of the caste. Over the centuries (mainly during the second millennium) there were many reformers who challenged caste system and finally, the only character left of caste was marriage within the same caste – endogamous marriage. Semblance of caste functions remained with few sections of Brahmins if not all, who were keeping alive the traditions of Vedic learning, observing ancient culture and following intellectual pursuits. Other segments of the Brahmin society, who were not engaged in administering sacraments, because of the head start in intellectual pursuits, became scholars both during Muslim and British rule and materially prospered relative to other communities. These scholars migrated to many parts of the world outside India as teachers. While Vaishyas mainly practiced trading, agriculture became the vocation of the rest of the masses. In some states, as in Andhra, Kshatriya community, if ever existed, nearly or totally disappeared. A few called Rajus are a small community which was brought from Bihar, along with others, by Shatavahanaas at the time of expansion of their empire.

Finally without any other meaning left in the domain of social order and occupational hierarchy, caste tribally divided India. Is there any justification in modern India for this system to exist? Answers to this question come in different shades. One superb achievement of caste system, however, was in segregating the incoming foreign elements into their own respective castes and to protect the purity of mainstream Hindu society from cultural and ethnic hybridization. This was before the paradigm for the departments of Immigration and Naturalization existed. India provided “amnesty” to many refugees and invaders and absorbed them in the society and enriched itself socioeconomically without disrupting its own social infrastructure. This was an ingenuous way of creating a melting pot, or rather a salad, that permitted diversity while maintaining separate identities but gave the larger cultural identity to all as “Hindu,” to both indigenous and immigrant populations.

We shall consider various defenses of the system by Hindu leaders. There are protagonists of the system who argue that there is “no such problem as caste”. It is the western educated mindset that discovers any such problem. The Hindu society is perfectly in harmony with the caste division as it only represents division of labor, and the institution is very healthy at best. Also, the inbreeding in each caste is a natural phenomenon, as lawyers’ sons tend to be lawyers and plumbers’ sons tend to be plumbers. There was no concerted effort to keep them segregated, they argue. Vivekananda gives an example, poor Brahmin is respected by rich Vaishya unlike in a Western class ridden society. While Vivekananda was not defending against Western criticism, he sees the problem differently. When a great person is elevated to higher caste by his qualities, the lower community is deprived of his/her presence among them. Conversely, the worst elements in the higher caste are dumped into lower castes resulting in further deterioration of their newly acquired caste, causing a ghettoing effect (italics mine). The mentally ill and incapacitated drifted downward in the lower socioeconomic classes. Division of labor argument is still most popular among the defenders of caste system. Swami Vivekananda when once asked about reforming caste system, himself a former Bramho, reportedly said that there were two sub-castes of Kayasthas in Bengal and asked them to try to unite them first! He wanted to stay out of the debate. In this respect, it is interesting to note that RSS which is open to all castes and is egalitarian in its philosophy has had no impact in reforming the caste system among the Swayamsevaks in Hindu community. Swayamsevaks are not able to reject their caste and most belong to one and privately carry the identity in their personal life, though not in the social context of the Sangha where there is ostensibly no discrimination on the basis of caste. This in itself is a significant progress which impressed Mahatma Gandhi and Jayaprakash Narayan when they visited RSS camps.

Presented with the problem of defending caste to the Western Audience, some leaders attempt to skirt it cleverly. Thus Prabhupada , the Founder of Hare Krishna Movement, translating Gita (first chapter) defines caste as family (Kula). Accepting this definition Lord Rama belongs to ”Raghukula” (Raghukulaanvaya Ratnadeepam) ( as if not a Kshatria!) Mahatma Gandhi totally avoided the question and concerned with the problem of untouchability, which was steadfastly defended by all Shankaracharyas until its defense was outlawed. Gandhi saw more of a political problem with untouchable leaders, Jogendranath Mandal and Ambedkar who began opposing Congress. On the other hand, Jawaharlal Nehru, a self-proclaimed agnostic and not much for the preservation of even an iota of Hindu identity, saw that without caste there was no structure for Hindu society and that dismantling caste would create chaos without replacing it with something for social identity, although he recognized the caste must go eventually. He had no idea what it should be that replaces it and what should be done to make it go away! He, however, vigorously defends the system against the Western critics saying that it is a natural institution not specifically designed to discriminate and enslave certain class. According to him, it is, in fact, one of the three pillars of Hindu society. Thus caste can be understood as grouping of people with common culture, subculture, language and dialects, food habits, customs, and even sampradayas meaning religious beliefs, like flowers with different fragrance and colors in a garden, if Hindu society is viewed as a garden.

Argument that there was a long standing harmony and acceptance of inferior social position by lower caste Hindus, which is characterized as division of labor is weak at the outset. Simply that there was no uprising by a permanent underclass does not justify the morality of the system. After all the slaves had full employment and many instances might have been treated generously by their masters, but that could not justify slavery (Dinesh D’Souza sees it differently). They, indeed, sang, danced, fell in love, raised families and accepted their condition as divine ordinance. This was true for the slaves, serfs, and all “lower” classes in the West as also in the East. The concept of social revolution and rebellion could not be viable with limited communication and unwieldy distances between scattered communities. . The communists and the Islamists also have failed in evolving classless societies although philosophically they and even the early Vedic philosophies and the Western democracies all recognized in principle that “all men were created equal.”


The protagonists of caste argue that the system as originally conceived was perfectly justified, but only that it became misconstrued. They tend to provide scriptural basis for it and argue caste or “varna” for a better word was a flexible system, which lost its vitality. However flexible, there are genetic differences among these groups, and therefore, the classification is still justified if only we can modify it to fit it in the modern times. This is an apologist view. There is a second group that denies that there is any such problem like caste problem, and therefore, the discussion is irrelevant. The third group, like Shankaracharyas, currently silenced by law and public opinion, advocate no change in the system, believing in the inerrancy of the scriptures. Various degrees of ambivalence can be found in the modern Hindu philosophers on this subject.

Oft quoted verse Chaturvarnam mayaa sristam gunakarma vibhagashah (Bhagavat Gita Ch 4: verse) says that Shri Krishna himself created four castes or Varnas differentiated by personal qualities and duties. This verse was commented on by various authors variously which illustrates the ambivalence on the subject of caste. Literally, the birth into a caste is ordained by “God” with no election possible for moving across the castes.

S. Radhakrishnan had varying positions on this subject at various times and places. He believed that the heredity determines the qualities of people and hence caste division and endogamy was justifiable. (Lectures at Oxford 1926). To illustrate this point he gives an example of one Civil War American soldier who, after wild romantic adventures, fell for an imbecile and married her. The subsequent six generations of this union yielded a total of 143 children all of whom were either, dullards or criminals like their mother. This soldier later married a good Quaker girl whose six generations produced professionals, judges, and governors. He was talking like an amateur geneticist long before this view of heredity was debated and trashed by professional geneticists. While commenting on the verse quoted above, he holds more benign opinion that castes of present day had nothing in common with the Varnas of antiquity, since Varnasankara took place during the times of Mahaabhaarata and the face of the Hindu society is completely changed in this domain. If we accept that view there is no point in discussing this subject further. The fear of Varnasankara was utmost in the mind of Arjuna, described in five verses of Gita in the first chapter. His fears came true and Varnaashrama indeed disappeared.

Radhakrishnan then reversed his position while commenting on the phrase swadharma nidhanam shreyam (Gita Ch. 18 verses 41 and 47). While all caste should be treated equally, he holds that, “equal opportunity” does not entail “identical opportunity”, a fine distinction indeed! In support of keeping the castes separate he quotes Herald Heard (Man and Master 1942) who admires Hindus for four fold division of society and deplores that “we pay more attention to breeding horses than men” and need no further scriptural support! By quoting a “eugenics” oriented racist view of a “white man,” S. Radhakrishnan identifies with him and
endorses it forgetting his “swadharma” !!! Radhakrishnan maintains that Hindus were liberal and flexible in matters of caste and gives the examples of Vasishta, a son of a low class woman and Vyasa a son of a fisher woman . But, their fathers were Brahmins; the concept ( erroneously) that genetic endowment comes from man who provides the “seed” and the woman the “soil” and nourishment is outdated and unscientific! This is pointed out to illustrate how even great thinkers
among the Hindus were bamboozled in dealing with the institution of caste and
forming clear cut ideas about retaining the system versus adopting a social reform
to abandon it.

Prabhupaada takes a very sanguine view of the phrase Guna and karma on the commentary on the verse of Gita (Ch. 4 vs 13) and says that a Brahmin who behaves like a Shudra is Shudra indeed, although born in a Brahmin family. He curiously does not deal with converse situations where Shudra has the qualities of a Brahmin. However, if we treat each other as equals it has no bearing on the social structure. On commenting on the phrase Swadharma nidhanam sheyam, he maintains that a merchant (Vaishya) can lie about his business, since it is his dharma! Lying is defended by the phrase sadoshamapi (meaning even though it is wrongful). Although Prabhupaada may be referring to the situational ethics of concealing the cost and the profit margin, I wonder whether this may also apply to tax evasion. Here again one sees another great thinker or commentator getting stumped on these complex issues of caste and swadharma.

On this subject of swadharma to be followed despite imperfections, Aurobindo takes the position that all should spiritually advance to the level of a Brahmin and thus function to elevate themselves. The problem with this interpretation is that, if perfection is thus achieved, the phrase sadoshamapi (despite imperfections) in the verse loses its significance. This would not shed any light on the social organization of caste again. In modern language this truly endorses being true to one’s nature and trying to be as authentic as one can be rather than carry affectations and deceptive fake façades. “Be real!!” However, great thinker after thinker, great interpreter after interpreter of Hinduism seems to find this area of Hinduism quite slippery and seems to slide and lose his/her balance.

People are born in specific castes ordained by god is evident in Gita where Vaishyas and Shudras (and women) have lower birth — papayonah (Gita Ch. 9-32), “the worst of the humanity are thrown into inferior wombs by God (Ch. 16: 19 and 20).” The literal translation would mean the Shudras and women are born from a sinful (if papa is translated as sin) vaginal birth. This view is further supported by Ithaca’s and Purina’s. For instance, Yudhisthira in answer to one of the questions of Nahusha, who was in the form of a snake and who bound and immobilized his brothers, says a good Shudra can only become Sat-Shudra not a Brahmin, because that would upset the social organization (Mahabharata Adiparva).

There is a well known story of Satyakama Jabala in Chandogyopanishad. Jabala goes to his teacher Gautama and reveals what his mother told him about his birth that she served many men in her life and that she would not know to whom he was born. The teacher impressed with his truthfulness and honesty admits him as a student. Shankara commenting on this episode insists that, certainly, he should be of Brahmin descent and goes one step further by commenting that his mother in her devotion to serving her master forgot to ask him of his caste, but he was indeed a Brahmin! His hypothesis that qualities of character are determined at birth (and are genetically determined and honesty is limited genetically to the Brahmin caste is a preposterous position taken by a Hindu religious leader) as those of Satyakama is consistent with the overall message of Chandogyopanishad. Most modern educated individuals will recognize that Shankaracharya was hard pressed and was only human to use extreme rationalization full of fallacies.

It is the opinion of this author that the irrationalities from modern scientific and genetics viewpoint in the position adopted by the Hindu scriptures are clear. We shall accept or reject the validity and necessity for the caste system on its own merit and any other approach defending it is disingenuous or an apology for an indefensible position.

What does future hold for the traditional caste? With greater social mobility, economic development and emigration to the West the Hindu society will change in the coming years despite the resistance from the reactionary ruling political and feudal forces. This is the subject of hope for the third part of this article.


Stay tuned on for Part IV

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Failure of American Diplomatic Strategies
Traced to Distorted Histories
by the Likes of Wendy Doniger

(An Indian Perspective)
Dr. Pramod V. Pathak

The biased history of Asia, South Asia and in particular of India, as written by the likes of Wendy Doniger, Paul Courtright and James Laine has made the American policy makers take distorted view of the region. The U.S. foreign policy stalwarts have committed mistakes on several occasions. Decades ago, they denied India access to a super computer. India’s “super computer boy,” Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, built it with the help of his colleagues without turning to the U.S. During the recent visit of the American President, Mr. Obama, in Nov. 2010, American policy makers and U.S. Foreign Service administrators again committed a number of blunders and botched the whole trip for President Obama. A person at the presidential level has to depend on the group of policy makers and get briefed in order to actually deliver speeches outlining and reflecting policy of the nation. In their task of backing up President Obama, the American bureaucracy has utterly failed and failed him too.

In the first place they asked for personal identities of the Chief Minister and Dy. Chief Minister of the Maharashtra State in Mumbai in their own home state. CM Ashok Chavan was like a dog lay biting dust at that time on account of Adarsh building scam at that time. He got a chance to show his one man upmanship by denying meeting. The consulate had to tender apologies to him. This was a fiasco for the U.S. Consulate. It is besides the point that both the Chief and Dy. Chief Ministers were axed just a few minutes after Obama left India. Earlier Americans had Indian Central Minister George Fernandes undress at their customs counter on the American soil and made ex-President of India Abdul Kalam to undergo personal screening without following diplomatic protocol. American consulate had the privilege to take a firm stand to ask for their credentials instead of treating them like ordinary citizens. No diplomats of such stature on planned diplomatic visits are processed through the Security in such manner at the port of entry.

The front line of the national economic daily, The Economic Times dated 4th Nov. read, “After drubbing at home, Obama won’t bring Diwali gifts for India”. It pointed to the mood of the nation. Under such circumstances letting retinue of more than three hundred business people to accompany the President was a great mistake. We anticipated that these people had come to India to squeeze our businesses and Industrialists, open up countrywide Malls and deprive the millions of middle level self employed Indian population and retailers of their jobs. Mr. President was out to purchase 50,000 jobs for Americans at our cost. At the end when the deals were finalized, these amounted to paltry $10 billion i.e. Rs 50000 Cr (The Times of India Dated 7th Nov. 2010). USA is reported to be spending around $1 billion/day on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These days, antisocial Indian scamsters like Central Telecom Minister Raja, Suresh Kalamadi or erstwhile Chief Minister Madhu Koda indulge in petty corruption of that order. They could have bought what President Obama had to sell in one hour. Deals comprised mostly of the defense items. That means Americans will supply defense items free to Pakistan by way of unconditional aid of $1 billion for 7 years to wage proxy war on India and sell the same items to India at an added cost to subsidize their aid to Pakistan!! Most Indians would hate it. Then Obama showed meanness by not mentioning Pakistan in his address while occupying the suite in Hotel Taj where the Pakistan originated gory attack took place on 26/11. It created uproar in the Indian media. It was the biggest lapse on Obama’s part. Then he was grilled by anybody and everybody in public hearing. He had to back track on many occasions. Who was the American policy maker advising Obama to omit Pakistan from his Mumbai address? Was he brought up on the staple food of history written by likes of Wendy?

When in Delhi, Obama infuriated our most balanced, savvy and soft spoken Prime Minster Dr. Manmohan Singh to publicly chide Obama by saying, “We are not afraid of the K-word. - - - Indians are not in the business of stealing jobs. The outsourcing industry, I believe India has helped improve the productive capacity and productivity of American Industries” (The Times of India Dated 9th Nov. 2010). Is President Obama such an inept and immature politician to let such things happen? Or, was he briefed by inept officials?

Last, but not the least, was Obama’s visit to Humayun’s tomb. Who was Humayun? Son of an invader Babar; a failed prince; he took asylum in Iran for more than a decade and then he came back to India to acquire a small kingdom. His illustrious son Akbar made it into the Mughal Empire, but to be despised by hardcore Indian Muslims for being secular and honoring other religions of the day. Keeping in tune with the aspiration of emerging India, the American policy makers could have arranged his visit to the newly inaugurated magnificent Swaminarayan Temple – Aksharadhaam. It has become the new pride of India. Thus the Americans could have conveyed a message of appreciation to the majority people of India. Instead the American Administration preferred to bow to the wishes of the ruling Congress Govt. This UPA government has been pampering the Muslim minority at the cost of national interests. Did UPA Government suggest Obama to visit Humayun’s tomb? It no way does it come close to either Taj Mahal or Swaminarayan Temple in architectural grandeur.

Can USA ever make Pakistan a stable country where Punjabi Muslims are killing and persecuting Baluchis, Mohajirs and Sindhis, all their Muslim brothers? Can Punjabi Pakistan army, ISI, and Punjabi Mullahcrasy in Pakistan ever accept Kaffir (Non-believer) Governments, whether in India or in USA? Can USA ever achieve peace in Afghanistan or capture Osama bin Laden without dismembering Pakistan in four independent States of Punjab, Pakhtunistan, Sindh and Baluchistan? Can Americans prevent burning and destruction of fuel tankers and aid convoys sent to the forces deployed in Afghanistan without safe passage through Bolan Pass in independent Baluchistan? Century ago the British Army used it successfully. American policy makers refuse to learn from the past experiences of their “52nd” client state, UK. On the other hand, Obama advises us Indians that stable Pakistan is the need of India!!!! It has sent India a wrong signal. What are the Americans interested in? In helping India or aiding China and Pakistan?

Since WW II, Americans have not won a single war, be it in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, or now in Afghanistan. It is a failure of generations of American policy makers who must have read half-baked, falsifying histories of Indian subcontinent written by likes of Wendy Doniger, James Laine and Paul Courtright. God help America to come out of the morass by wising up to a correct understanding of the Indian and Asian affairs. It will mean that the American scholars will have to keep aside their age-old biases to write good history books giving accurate and unbiased information. Such knowledge will go a long way to not give room to wrong-headed foreign policy in South Asian Continent.

Monday, November 15, 2010



Professor Paul Courtright’s Porno to Emory Journey

“From Academic Freedom to Intellectual Crap”


Shree Vinekar, M.D.

Academic discussion in the article, “Elevating the Sacred,” by Paul Courtright in the recent issue of is a cover-up for the truly distorted depiction of Ganesha by him in his 1985 book and its revised editions. There may be many authentic myths and academic treatments of such myths in his book on issues directly derived from the Puranas which he uses to distract his readers in this cover-up. However, Courtright cannot demonstrate a single reference to a "limp phallus," "oral sex performed by Ganesha," or a reference anywhere in the Puranic texts describing "Ganesha as a eunuch or a Hijra." These are Paul Courtright's own original mischievous creations from his own Unconscious or from the internalized crass culture in which he grew up. These and other pornographic demeaning characterizations of Ganesha are non-existent in the Indian Unconscious, Puranas, or any authentic Indian literature. His relying on “peer review” and “awards” only indicates that he is a fair-haired child of the proselytizing empire-building group of Western “Indologists” who cannot see through his “phallic” “fraud” just like the dean of Emory University who helps him hide behind his academic freedom to dole out pornographic junk.

The hackneyed “psychoanalysis 101” explanation that any provocation and protest by a reader is a proof of the accuracy of the interpreter's interpretations being right on the mark is also a fallacy. A lay reader will not be able to detect this. Sometimes that is the case only when an analyst is analyzing an analysand. Courtright glibly uses such fallacies to delude his naïve Indian and especially his Western readers in believing that he has discovered some Universal truths about the “Hindu Unconscious” (also a myth created by Courtright) that are hard to swallow for the “fanatic Hindus” without protesting. He takes a one-man up-man-ship role to treat all Hindus as if he is their psychoanalyst. Courtright will continue to present himself in his psychotic grandiosity as a “genius” to naïve Indian psychoanalysts that have not read his book or who do not have the cultural background to understand Ganesha. The readers of Courtright need to be alerted to such gimmicks he repeatedly uses when trying to defend himself.

In this recent article on he gives a condescending lesson to Indians on how academic discussions need to be conducted in the spirit of academic freedom so very valued in Universities as against in “Ashrams.” Paul Courtright conveniently fails to reveal examples of his blatant "desecration of the sacred" cited above and wants Hindu readers to become “sophisticated enough” to swallow his crap. By choosing the title "Elevating the Sacred" for his article he is still engaged in arrogant defense of his demeaning characterization of Ganesha, creating an illusion that his book was actually written with reverence. That is the blatant falsehood he wants to perpetuate while giving the impression that he is focusing on a litany of alleged “falsehoods” upheld by his critics.

With his full knowledge that only few in India can access his original book, he is again trying to pull a fast one on the Indian readers. He creates an illusion that his critics are lesser academics and that they are simply angry "Hindu fanatics." He conveniently dilutes and hides his own noxious excreta that have emerged from his own anus and not from “the anus of any Brahma described in any of the Puranas." He seems to be obsessed with such irrationalities he finds in the Puranas without understanding the context. He would like the readers believe that the Puranas are themselves pornographic and not his translations or his treatment of them. If the language used in this critique is offensive to any readers they need to understand that Paul Courtright is not a novice to anal sadistic use of language under the disguise of academic sophistication.

Paul needs to examine his own Unconscious to recognize his obsession with “Phallus.” “Paul” is actually a shortened version of “Paulus” which is pronounced in the Middle East exactly as “Phaullus” connected in his Unconscious with the word “Phallus” by association of sound. Paul Courtright needs to be awarded a new title for his pornographic psychoanalytic discoveries. It would be nothing less than “Paul Limp Phallus Courtright –Lord of Porno.”

Friday, November 5, 2010






Shree Vinekar, M.D.

There is a branch of psychoanalysis that is termed Applied Psychoanalysis.

Freud himself contributed to it by writing his extra-clinical literary
works that have become quite famous.

Many other famous psychoanalysts like Erik Erikson and his protégé
Sudhir Kakar have also taken liberty to exercise their talents in
this domain.

Common sense dictates that although this field is remotely connected
to the therapeutic aspects of psychoanalysis, only those who have the
authentic training and qualifications as psychoanalysts can truly delve
into this domain with some competence. For example, an "Applied Mathematician"
is necessarily an authentic "Mathematician" first.

In contrast to mathematics, psychoanalysis is viewed as only
a school of thought despite its practical value in the field of
psychology and psychiatry. Needless to say, over the years it has lost
its pride of place as a scientific discipline though efforts were made
to promote it as such.

Psychoanalysis has its legitimate uses but it is rarely used by
well trained reputable psychoanalysts themselves to analyze any
religion, highly revered spiritual leaders or religious mythology
in spite of earlier attempts by Freud himself. If they do so, their
training as psychoanalysts is quite transparent in the empathy for
the subject of their analysis and their respect for other human beings
in contrast to the wild analysis undertaken by the Western Indologists
most of whom are members of the faculty of Religious Studies departments
or their variations such as Departments of Sanskrit, or South Asian Studies,

Religion is viewed by psychoanalysis as a collective neurosis and this
concept is applicable to all religions. The practices of all religions
have a close connection with mainly the Obsessive Compulsive Neurosis.
One needs to have clinical training and experience to understand in depth
these collective neuroses and alleged neurosis in a living or deceased
individual spiritual leader.

The perversion of the Western Indologists in pretending to be applied
psychoanalysts can be viewed as resulting from 1) fundamentally a lack
of training as psychoanalysts, 2) a conscious or unconscious desire to
denigrate a religion foreign to them with no empathy for the practitioners
and their sentiments, and 3) their urge to use a “wild analysis” with projection of their own Unconscious upon the phenomena of Hindu religion (Devatas and Hindu scriptures, Hindu mythology, or Hindu Spiritual figures, etc.).

They lack the knowledge of Indian languages and nuances of certain words and
also lack thorough knowledge of Sanskrit at an advanced level, and culturally accepted meanings in the rich spiritual traditions of Hinduism, and therefore,
the entire field of "Hinduism" becomes as ambiguous to them as a Rorschach card
of the famous “Ink Blot Test.” What they project on Hinduism and Hindus
can be easily recognized as equine elimination springing from their
own past, their negative biases, and of course, their cultural background
and their own Unconscious. Such material is disguised as a product of
scholarship praised by their Western peers who lack the ability to
distinguish scholarly professional psychoanalytic interpretations
from subterfuge.

American Academy of Religion has no standing as a group of
psychoanalytic scholars. Most of the members of this academy
are themselves the sufferers of the collective or societal neuroses
as viewed and defined by Psychoanalysis. Therefore, they cannot be
objective in this matter of analysing their own or others'
religions or religion based mythology until they themsleves go
through a thorough and nearly complete analysis. In the event they
do so, if their analysis is successful, it is doubtful they will
will engage in such alloplastic activity of denigratingly analysing
others' religion or any longer remain active members of such academy
of a group of "neurotics" suffering from a collective neurosis as viewed by

Simply speaking, it should be evident to astute readers bynow that the
academics in the departments of Religious Studies or Schools of
Divinity and those others who truly study and practice Psychoanalysis
mix as poorly as oil and water. In other words, trained psychoanalysts
may be competent in analysing religion related matters, but
scholars of religious studies with background in humanities are
hardly qualified to competently apply psychoanalytic concepts in any
human endeavour. They cannot be considered unbiased neutral observers.

Many erudite scholars in the West as well as the East have questioned
whether psychoanalysis has the right to interfere into fields that have
nothing to do with its specific realm of interest. Having recognized the controversy, however, it is quite apparent that many Western Indologists
thrive in the publication business by producing books designed to
sensationalize the field of comparative religion by depicting Hindu religion
as mostly pervert. They have meticulously avoided extensive scholarly review
and examination of their “applied psychoanalytic” works by authentic, well
trained psychoanalysts (except for giving a few small Publisher’s blips by
Sudhir Kakar, used as a marketing tool).

These Western scholars like Wendy Doniger, Paul Courtright,and Jeffrey Kripal,
etc., claiming to be Freudians are quite timid when it comes to exercising
their talents in interpreting Christianity, Islam, and Judaism using
the same methods they use in depicting "Hinduism." They avoid applying
boldly these wild and shoddy methods of their amateur psychoanalytic
interpretations to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in stark contrast to their foolhardiness in dealing with Hinduism and Hindus. Reasons for this are obvious
to all who are in touch with the current sociopolitical climate.

Besides, it does not require a scholar to detect the mocking and deriding
tone of these so called scholars who pose as objectively analysing other's
culture. Their use of highfloating academic scholarship cannot conceal the
mockery they make of other's cultures that is transparent to anyone. Most of
their Western readers giggle as they read their books and are quite amused and
take delight in the negative depiction of other's religions. Such mockery is
hardly limited to the fast and loose interpretations of the sexual or erotic symbolisms. The outrage of the Hindus in reaction to their works is erroneously dubbed with the same old hackneyed "explaining away" as their "resistance to accept the Unconsious sexuality" in the religious symbolism and mythology. Although such may be an apt observation occasionally, it is the bulldozing overpowering demeaning mockery of other's religious sentiments by berating their heroes, ego-ideals,spiritual and even their political leaders, and social customs, etc., that leads to the angy reactions to these authors' works. Psychonalysis is only a smokescreen used to divert the attention from the main agenda of these academics to engage others in polemics that are quite tangential to the main issue of mockery of everything others hold dear. That is hardly an admirable trait of a gentleman (lady) and a scholar in any culture.

There is no such demeaning treatment of any other religion besides Hiduism
by this cadre of American professors of religious studies, most of whom are
trained by Wendy Doniger. Ridiculing others under the banner of academic
freedom and freedom of speech has become their favorite sport.

No Hindu would object to their writings if they were truly academic,
dignified and authentic scholarly acitivities sans the ridicule.

This leads to a natural conclusion that, unqualified as they are, they all
are using applied psychoanalysis as a sham and not truly as a scholarly tool
to elucidate and develop any deeper understanding of Hindu religion. In fact, instead of "edification" their works are a form of abuse perpetrated by throwing aspersions at a foreign religion that they have failed to fully comprehend
in spite of their alleged claim to (fake) scholarship and authority on Hinduism
in the Western academia. Some of them have vast information about India and Hindu
sriptures and mythology but they utterly lack understanding of the Dharmic traditions and the symbolic meanings. Unfortunately, vast majority of Hindus themselves are also many a time quite ill-informed in this area.

Since their readership is mostly ignorant of psychoanalytic and applied psychoanalytic methods, as well as their subject of analysis (namely, Hinduism), they have been successful in perpetrating a perpetual grand scale fraud on their fans and their readership in the last twenty-five to thirty years. Their publishers are seduced, deceived, and corrupted by the demand for such pervert and often virtually pornographic material disguised as a product of "superior scholarship"
of renowned academicians. On closer examinations their works are often found to be lacking in academic integrity. (see other articles on this blog)

Besides that, these so called Indologists have a political agenda and are
generally clever to detect cleavages in the Hindu and Indian society to find a following and support. They also find some wellknown or not-so-wellknown individuals, with Hindu sounding names, as their admirers to market their books. Their publishers are knowingly or unknowlingly accessories to such fraud.

Academic freedom and freedom of speech are well known laxatives that facilitate
such equine elimination. It is seemingly becoming so very fragrant to the
publishers like Penguin Inc. and their Western readers now-a-days. There can
also be a large demand among Hindus as well as non-Hindus in one billion
population of India that can provide a market-share for such rubbish. Those
familiar with the political events in India can easily recognize why such Western Indologists will be welcomed by some Indians.

The reputable institutions of higher education like University of Chicago,
Harvard, Emory, and Rice in the U.S. are expected to scrutinize "research" undertaken by their faculty even in the Social Sciences through their respective IRB's to make sure that the human subject rights are protected especially when a single community is chosen for its subject. Any observations made need to be verified with consensual validation before any theory is built to interpet these observations through any research. Conclusions reached by analyzing some spurious observations that negatively affect the vulnerable community need to be scrutinized by the respective IRBs as invalid and ill-motivated products of faulty scholarchip. Most IRB's would not permit deception of the community or human subjects under the name of social science research. Non-disclosure of intent of research to the subjects or community as some of these researchers have engaged in during their stay in India mingling with trusting innocent people who had no idea as to how the stories shared by them would be totally distorted to suit the deviant mentality of the researchers would be totally unacceptable to the IRBs. The researchers will be held to the standards of utmost integrity in making accurate observations that can be universally consensually validated and not just by their equally ill-informed peers. Imaginary or distorted "facts" and inferences and conclusions based on such "facts" would not be permitted to pass as "scientific" psychoanalytic research especially when such is deletarious to the members of the community and the community at large that is being studied for "research." It is amazing that the IRB's of these reputable Universities have not taken notice of such harm brought
to a single community by their unethical Indologists who call
themselves "researchers."

The question now is: Does it behoove the American Academy of Religion to
have members engage in such unethical damaging activity of sham scholarship and "spurious research" when the national trend is to respect diversity and promote deeper understanding among people with different cultures and religions?