Friday, June 15, 2012



'The Abject Surrender of the Vedic Agamic Tradition by certain circles' -- Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

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June 10, 2012

The barbarian invasions of the Indian subcontinent and the long night of the colonial Occupation have ended, but the attacks against the Vedic Agamic tradition of Hinduism continue. This has taken the shape of Inculturation, that process by which a native culture is surreptitiously infiltrated by a foreign one and eventually overcome. This process has not yet defeated the Vedic Agamic tradition because of the innate strengths of this tradition and because as the majority of Hindus believe, the land is protected and guarded by the Devas and Devatas of the Rig Vedic seers. They are the gift that the Rishis gave to us. The present writer has written about this previously. There are also some new perceptive articles on the subject of the Vedic Devas and Devatas by writer Achintyachintaka (see

No doubt the brainwashed deracinated Hindu still exists both in India and abroad and needs to be awakened from his/her slumber. Hence, the rainbow like thoughts of a Vedic scholar such as Dr. David Frawley (aka Vamadeva Shastri) are relevant upto a point. The present writer assumes that he is, in addition to his training in Indian and Chinese medicine, also a Vedic scholar in Sanskrit as the title Shastri would indicate. His credentials in that area seem credible and he is also the Director of the American Vedic Institute. However, the somewhat exaggerated claims from some quarters that he single handedly demolished the Aryan Invasion Theory is one that Dr. Frawley himself would no doubt reject outright.

Given his credentials and that he has been recently active in such activities as Interfaith Dialogue and Problems with missionary conversion activities in India (in the north east especially) it is important that readers should give at least a first read of his recent article 'The Need for a New Indic School of Thought' (, May 31, 2012). In conjunction with his endorsement of the projected Center for Dharma and Civilisation initiated by Dr. Frank Morales (aka Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya) the article gains added significance. The present writer has written two articles critical of that Center (see

Dr. Frawley writes well and with sincere conviction. His thinking on the topic of the need for a new Indic school of thought reads like a cosmic vision for the future, especially for those Hindus who have been brainwashed by colonial and Western approaches to Indian culture, religion and civilisation. His suggestions, however, have only a limited value and lack a strong foundation. This cosmic vision of Frawley's, although it also speaks about the historical realities of colonial misrepresentations of Indian history, especially its reading of Hinduism, is in turn, itself a somewhat incomplete, if not defective account of Hinduism. And this does not stem merely from the fact that any initial proposal for a project tends to be abstract, until fleshed out by a concrete program. The defect lies in the cognitive underpinnings of the project.

He invokes what he calls the Rishi tradition, by which he means the Rig Vedic tradition (along with the other 3 Vedas) and interprets it as the cosmic vision of the Rishis. By this he means Yoga,Vedanta, Buddhism, Jainism etc. However, he omits the Vedic Agamic tradition which is the backbone and ongoing tradition of Hinduism. The Rig Vedic vision of the Devas and Devatas, worshipped in all Hindu temples with Vedic Agamic ritual by the aam admi and the majority of Hindus is pointedly omitted. Hence, we do not get a complete and rounded account of the cosmic vision of the Rishis, a vision that included also the Vedic rituals and the consecration of deities.

This is a serious omission. The present writer has written about the way in which some lines from the Rig Veda and the Upanishads have been cherry picked both by Islamic scholars (latest being Dr. Zakir Nayak) and Christian missionaries of all persuasion, more prominently the Jesuits such as Raimundo Panikkar and Francis Xavier Clooney, to bolster their own theory that the Vedic Rishis, like them were monotheists, not polytheists ! The present writer has described it as ONE godism, as opposed to the "Infinite Satchidananda" of Hinduism. In conjunction with the attacks on traditional Hindu acharyas (as a species of illiterates) even by some Hindus themselves, there is ample cause for sober reflection.

Whereas, the writings of the Kanchi Sankaracharya ( a monist Vedantin) on the Vedas, demonstrate how a monist (such as Adi Sankara) could respect and set up a system of worship of 6 deities, Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti, Ganapati, Skanda and Surya for Hindus. The Sankaracharyar's deep and profound observation about the central role of the Vedic ritual cannot be quoted too often :

". . . . a yagna is making an oblation to a deity in the fire with the chanting of mantras. In a sense, the mantras themselves constitute the form of the deities invoked. In another sense, the mantras, like materials placed in the fire, are the sustenance of the celestial invoked . . . . (Hindu Dharma: Chapter on the Vedas).

This deeply spiritual and remarkable observation by a Hindu Acharya should surely be the starting point of any valid Indic studies, and any omission of this dimension which should be the starting point of other aspects of Indic studies is indeed a serious omission.

The present writer has spoken previously about the line of continuity from the 4 Vedas through the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the various Bhashyas as important lines of enquiry for the present day Hindu. Any undue focussing only on the so called 'cosmic ' vision of the Rishis (as interpreted only by rarefied Vedantins) is not only counterproductive but also ignores the historical realities of the ongoing Vedic Agamic tradition which is currently under attack from the proselytising faiths and their supporters.

In the article 'Squeezing the lifeblood of Hinduism' the present writer has pointed out how and why foreign Vedantins and foreign Hindus have a mental landscape that is open to a refined Vedantism and the attachment to a personal god of some forms of Vaishnavite Hinduism. This is not their fault, it is simply a reality. It can be changed by some effort and some foreign followers of Hinduism have done just that. Yogananda Paramahamsa of 'Autobiography of a Yogi' fame, is a leading example of a native born Hindu who ended up finally by replacing Krishna with Jesus (a veritable godsend for the Christian missionaries).

Dr. Frawley had coined the phrase 'Intellectual Kshatriya' at an earlier stage of his career. He repeats it now in the new article mentioned above. It is interesting and especially useful for the slumbering deracinated Hindu. Rather than engaging in violent militance the present day intellectual kshatriya must find his new occupation and challenge the mistaken notions of the West about India. This is his message.

But if the Vedic Agamic tradition is omitted from this task, the kshatriya will be betraying his/her legacy and the 'cosmic' vision may be fascinating for the Western reader. Even any new material on Hindu achievements in the ancient world will become the intellectual property of the West. Meanwhile, the slow attack on Hinduism will continue, possibly unbeknownst to the intellectual warriors ! And the surrender of the Vedic Agamic tradition will turn into the attempted defeat of the Hinduism that our Vedic Rishis have handed down to us and which millions of Hindus practise in their daily lives. It will no longer be Hinduism but some strange concoction which the West has long been waiting for and has not yet happened. Hence, the intellectual warriors must heed the possible dangers of their enterprises. As one commentator has put it : it is still a Kurukshetra for the Hindus.

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught in a Canadian university).

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