Saturday, May 26, 2012


Why focus on Consciousness to understand the concepts of Devas and Devatas ?



The word "Vedas" is translated in English to mean "Knowledge." The verb "Vid" to know or comprehend is the root in the "noun," when transformed to "Vedas," meaning that which is known
or comprehended (or realized).

Vedas are thus the expressions of "what is known" in poetic form. What is known and expressed is the
content of consciousness. The cognition in Vedas is not anything different than the representation
of internal and external reality. The knowledge in Vedas may be viewed as representation of inner
reality, or outer reality, and of course, we cannot dismiss the subject expressing it (Rishi) who will necessarily reveal his/her "relationship or reaction" (subjectivity) to the perception and comprehension as well as his own emotional experience of the inner or outer reality as realized.  So if the Rishi is describing in a poetic format any revelation which he may call Sookta he may appropriately name it as a revelation of his experience which may be narrowed down to a devata, and it would be proper to name the Rishi as its composer, and the Chhanda in which the Sookta is composed (the meter, and the inflections, etc.).

All of the Vedas are to be viewed as the content of consciousness and the task is to understand which inner or outer reality they represent or describe.

These realities may assume the status of devas or devatas, and if addressed in any Sookta, the sookta
may be assigned or dedicated to that devata.

Some of these devatas may have correspondence with outer objective phenomena, forces of nature, that have deep impact on the lives of humans then or then and now. They have to be graphically described for generational transmission of cultural memories. These cultural memories cannot be transmitted from one generation to the next unless the compositions are elevated to "sacred" and the duty to transmit them in the authentic format is also recognized as a sacred duty. That is the wisdom behind the oral transmission of Vedas in their purity for many millennia un-adulterated and non-distorted forms from one generation to the other. More on the inherent sacredness and assigned sacredness later.

The people of the 'religions of the book' projected that "The Vedas," so very revered by Hindus, must be similar to the Bible or Koran for the Hindus and some Hindus went along to humor them in this perception. Vedas themselves have to my best knowledge never claimed to have founded a religion or are described as the authoritative book of any "religion." The fact that they reveal their deeper understanding of nature and deeper spiritual knowledge does not it in itself make them the "Dharma shaastra". That does not mean that a dharma shastra may never be evolving or may not have evolved from the wisdom revealed in Vedas in some measure or in some parts. The practical utility of the knowledge revealed if known to the composer will be be described as "Viniyoga."

Since the concepts of devas and devatas are older than the concept of GOD and GODDESSES
it would be imperative that these newer concepts be not projected on the devas and devatas but
examine them with a mind that is not tainted with the concepts of God or Goddesses.

If a mind of a rishi comprehended these phenomena of consciousness or knowledge as worth
preserving for perpetual cultural memory it would be included in the Vedas.  It must be presumed
that there was a consensus for including that insightful knowledge in the form of Sookta or other
forms in the Vedas for oral transmission.

Phenomena of consciousness or knowledge must be recognized as representation of inner
and/or outer realities. So these important realities that will affect the human race were to
be given the status of devatas. Not all of them may be worshiped by everyone and may not be worshipped by anyone at all.

However, if they attained the super-odinate value in human consciousness they were to be recognized
as "Devas". That special place in human consciousness leads to their sacredness, and elevation in positive transference to images to be loved and worshipped.

To understand Devas and Devatas one must focus on human consciousness and its contents. One must abandon the concept of God and Goddesses to understand and interpret the images representing these concepts, devas and devatas, even though they may be worshiped by their Bhaktas or worshippers. Such worship is what makes them look like the Gods and Goddesses of some other cultures or the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God or Allah.

In simplistic terms what looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck is a duck.

One could use such simplistic argument to dismiss this assertion as meaningless and still maintain
that the devas and devatas are indeed nothing but Gods and Goddesses. The latter are presumed to be
outside the realm of consciousness in the West, and until the West came into contact with East
in the last couple or three centuries the Western theology had no mention of "Consciousness" but now it is not uncommon to hear the words like "Christ Consciousness." The west needs these borrowed concepts to sell their Gods. In contrast the word chit or chid to denote the sentient nature of Brahman is indigenous to Hindu philosophy in describing the nature of Brahman.

Viewing Devas and Devatas as phenomena of consciousness do not devalue them but in fact
raises questions about any spiritual science that bypasses consciousness.

While God is an elaborated projection of infantile memories of a child of his/her father, devas and devatas are real phenomena and exist in the outer or inner world.

(Please see the soon to be published and released book, "Introduction to Vedas" by Dr. Pramod Pathak.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Devas and Devatas not Gods and Goddesses : How then do they come into "Existence"?



Let us start with the very basics.

Only minimal contemplation will be needed to understand that Devas and Devatas are
expressions of human subjectivity or Consciousness that can evolve in each individual
and also collectively in each culture.

Why go too far?  Start with the most familiar saying known to any Hindu.

"Matru Devo Bhava"

Matru = Mother
Devo = Illuminated entity
Bhava= Become

Every civilized individual most likely has deepest love for his/her mother.

Does every individual consider his/her mother to be "God" ( A male divinity) ?

No, here the word "deva" is "generic" and includes deva, devata, and devi.

The word "bhava" may be closer to "let ____(mother) become" or "may ____ (mother) come into existence or evolve into" --- deva.

This saying clearly does not equate mother with God. Neither does it say "Mother is God" and
literally not even does it say "mother is Goddess." There should be clear agreement among those who
know elementary Sanskrit on this.

In grammatically correct Sanskrit attentive to gender it may be argued that it should have been "Matru devi bhava".

None dares amend such widely accepted "shloka" to do violence to the Rishi who may have
composed this line by correcting the grammar of the original composer.

Humbly accepting the fact that mother can potentially become "deva" for each individual will
lead to understanding of the word "deva."  It will also immediately illustrate that God and Deva are
not the same, not even equivalents. So the realization that "Devatas" are not "Gods and Goddesses" should be by now the first cognitive milestone in accepting this new paradigm or discovery of the intent of the saying, "matru devo bhava."

How then in human subjectivity or Consciousness (individual and collective) "mother" can "become"
"deva".  How does she attain the sacredness, awe, respect, love, deserving worship from the "child"?

Please do not confuse this saying with "Twameva Mata, Pita twameva" addressed to "Mama Deva, Deva." The logic in this instance is reversed compared to that of "Matru devo bhava." (This will be addressed in the future articles).

It is now simple to see the development of the rudimentary consciousness in the infant that is totally dependent on his/her mother and has no independent existence (no resources to survive without the mother).

The infant starts discovering the mother in his/her consciousness and begins to form the image
of the mother and "She" becomes his/her primary object of love. In this state the "Mother" has literally
the full life giving power and infant is instinctively and genetically programmed to know this. Any
separation from the mother is likely to lead potentially to loss of life. An immense gratitude for
the unconditional love of the mother is present in the Unconscious of each human being. Such gratitude
and love becomes repressed in the mother child relationship over the years although the immense love
and respect lingers on throughout for most individuals.

Contemplating on mother over the years of psychological growth and development, and for females
especially by experiencing their own motherhood, leads to a new realization of the sacrifices mother may have made to give every thing one now has and enjoys. This enlightenment is prayed for in
"Matru Devo Bhava." Fortunate are those Hindus who have attained such enlightenment.

Such enlightenment emerging from the human Unconscious is a unique phenomenon of human consciousness. The objects or principles illuminated by such enlightenment attain the status of Devas, Devatas, and Devis.

A great injustice and violence done to the Hindu culture disparaging its unique concepts of sacred relationships with Devas and Devatas was inadvertently the result of an erroneous
translation of these indigenous Sanskrit terms when they were translated by "whosoever" as "Gods"
and "Godesses."

More on this in an elaborate article on this very theme to be published by special request of
"Vijayavani" and its editor Shrimati Sandhya Jain. This article and the previous one by
this author "Achintyachintaka" are prelude to this new paradigm in the science of consciousness.

Let all Hindus get in touch with the richness of their Unconscious which was so very poetically glorified by their Vedic Rishis.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Devas and Devatas :  Not Gods and Goddesses



Also see:

The articles by Dr. Rajiva on the topic of Hindu Polytheism are to be considered revolutionary. They
are in tune with G. P. Srinivasan's recent articles that are equally revolutionary in exposing the modern
Hindu as well as non-Hindu thinkers who erroneously equated Brahman of the Vedic tradition with Abrahamic concept of God either out of unconscious or conscious submissiveness or because of deficient deeper scrutiny into the concept. In so doing they have unwittingly compromised the interest of the Aam Admi Hindus who worship multitudes of Devas and Devatas every day and whose lives revolve around such faith and belief, in addition of those who additionally or exclusively worship and/or recognize the divinity in the various vibhutis like Saibaba, Satya Sai Baba, Aanandamai Maa, Ammachi, etc. Therefore, it is imperative that one questions such berating of one billion Hindus by well-meaning other Hindus and other non-Hindus who considered themselves more evolved or broadminded by accepting "ONE-Godism" as the premium or most desirable of religious beliefs. ONCE IMMATURELY JEALOUS ABRAHAMIC "TRUE" GOD DECLARING ALL OTHER GODS AS FALSE HAS NOW STARTED SELLING HIMSELF AS THE SAME AS THE GODS OF THE PAGAN HINDUS, TAOISTS, CHINESE, INCLUDING KRISHNA, ASTUTE POLITICIAN INDEED. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT ABRAHAMIC GOD CAN PLAY SUCH GAMES TO HIS IMPERIALISTIC ENDS SEE FOR YOURSELF : On the part of Hindus who espoused and promoted "ONE God-ism", it was to placate the foreign invaders of such monotheistic faiths, though the philosophy of Advaita was not at all in conflict with the freedom to worship multitudes of Devas and Devatas as is implicit and explicit in the Vedic tradition and the Vedas themselves.

Dr. Rajiva and G. P. Srinivasan may be considered "out of the box" thinkers. Out of the box thinking is the necessity of time. The unconscious conspiracy with the conquerers by the vanquished is a sad phenomenon. The very noble nature of the Hindus and the instinctive tendency to assimilate and absorb foreign thoughts and faiths into the Hindu culture through a process of reconciliation and assimilation can be viewed as wonderful adaptation in comparison to the rigid aggressive religions that refuse to accept other viewpoints. However, the lack of assertiveness and being defeated to the point of making a civilization "spineless" can be attributed the "blame" for such adaptation.

On the other hand, the natural tendency of the foreign invaders to project their own cultural understanding on the culture of the newly found indigenous cultures to find similarities can
also be assumed to be a factor leading to projection of their own concept of "God" (including "Allah"),
"Gods" and "Goddesses" (known to them from their encounter with the Greek culture of antiquity - now extinct or decimated by the Christian empire) onto the Hindus whom they encountered and assumed to be "look alikes" in their forms of religious worship.

Of course, in a polite international society harmonious coexistence should be no problem if the very principle of religious freedom is primarily translated only as "live and let live." If this principle were to be adopted there would be no reason for justifying conversions on the basis of "One Godism." This type of tolerant attitude towards other religions and respect for their beliefs has not been found to be evolving in the followers of "One-Godism."  However, the human nature also has not obviously evolved sufficiently to understand this principle. It, the "live and let live" principle, is often expanded to mean freedom of practice of religion which is misinterpreted as freedom to convert populations of
other faiths to suit the aggressive and imperialistic instincts of the currently dominant proselytizing
religions mainly Christianity and Islam. This has been a problem for the entire human race in the last two millennia and has not been sufficiently addressed in the "world -view" because of the dominant
nature of the aggressive cultures on one hand, and the peace keeping nature of those who are
aggressed upon ideologically as well as demographically.

For example, even among the followers of the same "Christian" faith there is very little outrage when Pope Benedict declared all Christians other than Catholics as "deficient" Christians. The educated populations of today will only laugh at such pronouncements as there are no "soldiers of Vatican" to impose such belief of the Vatican on the deficient Christians. That is not to say that the strategies or the modus operandi of Vatican has changed at all over the last two millennia and the Jesuit priests will  not use any other soldiers they find on this globe to accomplish their goal of expanding the Catholic empire all throughout the world.

What is not quite transparent to brainwashed modern human race sharing the current world view
unquestioningly is that such pronouncements are the ones that sew the seeds of blood bath yet to take place in future as well as that which is occurring currently in developing and undeveloped countries.  In the remote past any resistance to such pronouncements would have led to wars and even now the "Protenstants" may be at risk of encountering violence in some areas of the world.  "We are all the
children of the same "One" "God" - is not a sufficient ground to co-exist peacefully in this world as demonstrated by history.  There are more favorite children among all his children that God intends to use to impose "His" views on the rest of the world!!!!

This author will therefore pronounce that Devas and Devatas are not Gods and Goddesses.

Future articles on this topic will clearly elucidate this pronouncement.

Monday, May 14, 2012


The Glamour Industry : Attacking Narendra Modi
12/05/2012 09:04:27  Dr Vijaya Rajiva

Since the 2002 Hindu Muslim riots in Gujarat, a legacy of the Partition riots, there has sprung up an industry specifically designed to target Narendra Modi. The fact that Gujarat under Congress rule had witnessed several communal riots and that in the last ten years Gujarat under the governance of Shri Modi has not experienced any since 2002,is ignored by the industry. The chief sponsors and participants of this industry are the now discredited Teesta Setalwad and the many NGOs or activists as they are referred to. The danseuse Sarabahi and others have quietly gone back to the wood work , though even as late as last year the present writer saw her and the ubiquitous spokesperson of the Congress Party, Renuka Chowdary, giggling and bursting into unseemly laughter during a program on the riots on Times Now. These, presumably, are the beautiful people, the secular avante garde of Indian society who claims to uphold communal harmony. Their credentials are seriously in doubt.

The industry, ofcourse, has its international supporters, and it is reported that they are also financed from these dubious sources.

One of the first things that strikes any impartial viewer of mainstream programs on national television is that each participant begins with a virtuous disclaimer. Ofcourse, they regret the Godhra 'incident'. That is exactly the word used by them. The 59 plus people, men, women and children, who were roasted to death
in the horrific train carnage are routinely referred to as 'kar sevaks'. Indeed, these were Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya. Dushyant Dave the lawyer turned spokesperson against Narendra Modi even referred to them as the 'unfortunate' victims, and then hypocritically added : it is to be condemned. But he, as well many such people, then turn with indecent haste, to the riots that followed. He was sure, by some god given insight, that the Narendra Modi government deliberately instigated the riots. He was offended by the fact that the bodies of the Ayodhya pilgrims were taken in procession to their families. All this to fan the communal flames. He was certain about this. There was an unseemly air of certainty about his many obiter dicta.

Increasingly, it has become clear that they are not seriously interested either in communal harmony or the tragedy of the Muslims who died in the Gujarat riot of 2002. The most recent program to date on national television was Left, Right and Centre, anchored by Nidhi Razdan ('Illegal orders withing a room no offence' May 10,2012). Its topic for discussion was the SIT Report, recently released and which is presented in the program as making controversial statements. Since no one in the show had read the entire report it would seem to have been precipitous to engage in a discussion. Neverthless, for reasons of publicity Razdan decided to go ahead with it.

Lawyer Dushyant Dave led the pack. After the obligatory reference to the 'unfortunate' victims of the Godhra train burning by the Muslim miscreants(murderers, is the proper appellation) he launched into a tirade, accusing the authors of the SIT report which saw no prosecutable evidence against Shri Modi, for lying and worse. Siddharth Varadarajan, after a cautious opening statement stating that he stands corrected since he had not read the entire report, damned it as a shoddy piece of work. Interestingly, he too like lawyer Dave, was offended that the Gujarat prosecutors of those who were responsible for the killing of the Muslims, were RSS and members of the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) ! The implication was that they could not be impartial in their enquiry.

Such accusations are astonishing since both the RSS and VHP are respected law abiding citizens of the country and have every right to hold public office. But this incident speaks to the bias of the so called secularists. If reports are to be believed, Mr. Varadarajan is sympathetic to the Left in India. Neverthless, he holds the post of Editor of the newspaper The Hindu. There is no prima facie evidence to show that he is in some way superior to the hoi polloi of the desi organisations such as the Rashtriya Swamayam Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The fact that they are Hindus cannot be held against them. The entire Gujarat judiciary would then be tarnished by such statements !

Mr. Vyas, lawyer for the Gujarat government held his ground and had no difficulty in showing that the SIT Report had to be accepted as the work of an investigative agency appointed by the Supreme Court. Much as the 'beautiful' people would like to indict and convict Shri Narendra Modi, to date there has been no evidence of his guilt in the Gujarat massacre. The moral arguments advanced by Mr. Varadarajan remain somewhat tenuous since the legal aspects are to be respected in a democracy. And any moral argument per se cannot be held in a vaccuum. It has to be grounded in history. One would have to bring in the Godhra massacre and the history of Hindu Muslim riots. In the absence of such a context his statements are just that, statements in a vaccum. And difficult as it may be for the likes of Dushyant Dave et al, there is simply no actionable evidence against Shri Modi.

Every now and then, someone might jump up and bring another case against him and ask for the continuation of the witch hunt against Shri Modi. The dubious industry might continue to flourish. Their political agenda will continue. But the people of Gujarat have moved forward under the prosperous governance of Shri Modi and the people of India will wait for their legal system to pronounce on guilt or innocence.

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


Sunday, May 13, 2012


Owning A Canadian

On her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger (America's most popular talk show host) - said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura and posted on the Internet.
It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.  When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1.       Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighbouring nations.

A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians.
Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2.       I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. 

In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3.       I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual un-cleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24.

The problem is how do I tell?  I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4.       When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord - Lev.1:9.

The problem is my neighbours.  They claim the odour is not pleasing to them.  Should I smite them?

5.       I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath.  Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.

Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6.       A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.

I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7.       Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.

I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8.       Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27.

How should they dye?

9.       I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10.     My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.

Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

P.S.  It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian.

Friday, May 11, 2012


The Upanishads: Happy Hunting Ground of the ONE god-ists


Dr. Vijaya Rajiva
11 May 2012

In previous articles, the writer pointed out that monotheist appropriators of Vedic Hinduism lift a few lines or verses from the Rig Veda to emphasise the similarity between their beliefs and those of the Vedas and Upanishads. They do not go anywhere near the other three Vedas (Yajur, Sama and Atharva) and stay as far as they can from the Brahmanas (the prose commentaries on the Vedic rituals) and the Aranyakas, which are basically a continuation of the same. On the other hand, the Upanishads are mined frequently.

The authentic Hindu tradition is the Vedic-Agamic tradition which was transmitted down the millennia and is currently what constitutes Hinduism as practised by millions of Hindus. This means the entire Vedic corpus including the Upanishads.

The attention paid to certain select passages from the Rig Veda and more especially the Upanishads is both a strategy and a lack of understanding of the sacred texts. The strategy clearly is to detach the Upanishads from the Vedic tradition, mangle them somewhat by forcing a monotheistic interpretation of them, after which the Vedas can be dealt with, or so they hope. In other words, they treat the Vedas as simply an early immature, undeveloped version of their monotheist faith.

The common theme is that the Vedic ‘Aryans’ in the Asian homeland had abandoned / forgotten the pre-Vedic monotheism and ‘fallen’ into polytheism. Subsequently, as they progressed into the age of the Upanishads, the search started for a single Creator, and they hit upon the idea of Brahman. Here too, according to the monotheists, the Vedic ‘Aryans’ were deficient because Brahman, who should be standing outside of his creation, is being identified with it. The moral of the story is: Brahman is not yet the Abrahamic god.

Why the mere words of prophets should be privileged over the vision of the Vedic seers is not explained. It is simply taken for granted. From a Hindu perspective, this approach, namely the worship of the Word of prophets, is the worst form of idolatory, as Sita Ram Goel once observed.

The ONE god-ist views are based both on their political agenda and on their misperception of the Upanishadic Self and Brahman and the presence of innumerable deities. The Self and Brahman are not the same as the monotheist soul and god. The Self (Atman) is not a soul. It is a spiritual part of Brahman in its entirety. And neither are the deities of the Vedas left behind in the Upanishads, as the ONE god-ists try to make out.

A recent statement from them illustrates their incomplete understanding of the Hindu world view. They ‘admit’ that Hindus are not mere idol worshippers, nor are they polytheists (worshipping many gods and goddesses). They too worship the ONE Supreme Being and the deities are simply manifestations of this Being. This latter part is grudgingly and belatedly admitted. But, from the Hindu perspective, they have downgraded both the Vedas and the Agama tradition of Hinduism. They have, in a sense, squeezed the life blood out of Hinduism and Hindu religious practice.

Hindus are in fact polytheists (like it or not!) and they worship murtis in temples; this is a reality the monotheists either profess not to understand or misinterpret for political purposes. The Supreme Being envisaged by monotheists is an extension of their historical adherence to the words of a prophet and therefore brings with it an entire baggage. For both Christians and Muslims this means accepting their theology, or else!

The Infinite of the Upanishads is Satchidananda, that which Exists, is Conscious and is Blissful (Sat, Chit, Ananda). It manifests in the entire universe, both animate and inanimate. It manifests in the gods and goddesses that Hindus worship on a regular basis. Satchidananda automatically precludes any coercion or submission to itself and historically Hindus have not engaged in proselytising or coercion of other religionists.

Some Hindus themselves contribute to monotheist misperception in an eagerness to endorse the ONE god of the monotheists, in order to receive compliments, especially from the West, for being part of a privileged club. In this manner, such Hindus help to further the cause of bigotry and the imposition of false views on a gullible world. Sita Ram Goel was quite right when he said that it is a choice between the Vedic world view and the limited imperial world view of the dogmatic monotheist faiths (ONE god-ism).

This fact should be kept in mind by Hindus. It is essential that Hindus clear up this misunderstanding since for monotheists the Supreme Being is their ONE god, not the Infinite Divine of Hinduism. This god is then pitted against the many deities of Hinduism, starting with the Vedas.

The writer has written about the contradiction involved in using the number ONE in describing the existence of god. One is no closer to Infinity than any of the other numbers (an important argument proffered by noted scholar Alain Danielou in Hindu Polytheism, 1964).

A dual process is going on with the ONE god-ist strategy. On the one hand they elevate their ONE god as the Supreme Being (as per the prophets) while rejecting the many gods of Hindu polytheism and while blatantly claiming that their position is that of the Upanishads also.

It was not always this way. The early European scholars were professionals and worked hard to understand what they vaguely called the ‘Hindu mind.’ They took their academic role seriously and did not deviate from a systematic and scrupulous translation of whatever texts they could find. There was also intra-competition amongst them as to who were the best translators. The well known names include Max Mueller, A. Weber, Julius Eggeling, Monier Williams. But none of them, with some honourable exceptions (Griffiths, Wilson) ever considered the Vedas or the as anything but literary, eloquent ‘pagan’ outpourings, sometimes profound, but more often childish gibberish ! We are not talking here about philosophers such as Schopenhauer, who found the Upanishads a source of great wisdom and profound thoughts.

Hence, the contemporary interest in mining the Vedas as a source of similarity with monotheist faiths can be traced back to the process known as Inculturation, whereby a native culture is slowly infiltrated until it is finally defeated. This process resulted in the loss of Greece and Rome, and subsequently other native cultures in the Americas and Africa.

The Vedic-Agamic tradition alone has remained unshaken by Inculturation, not to mention the barbarian invasions and the resultant destruction of temples and murtis. Today, the creeping conversion campaigns launched by the Church must be taken into account.

A revisiting of the Upanishads by Hindu intellectuals is called for. Some preliminary points are suggested. The Mahavakyas of the Upanishads cannot be bent to the monotheist agenda. And they do not try to.

Tat tvam asi (That thou art) and Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman) are prime examples. Whichever school of thought, whether the Advaita Vedanta of Adi Sankara or the Vedanta of Ramanuja, the notion that the Self and Brahman are intimately related to the point of identity is something Abrahamic monotheists could never accept. No need to labour this point.

Hindus have to stress that the worship of deities of the Rig Veda is in a continuum with the Self-Brahman equation. What is dismissed by monotheists as pagan worship of the elements (personified) is in fact part of the Upanishads, which refer to the Vedic deities as the world of Devas. This can be seen in each of the 108 Upanishads.

Even the famous Isa Upanishad which has been bent to a variety of monotheistic interpretations recognises the world of Devas as manifestations of Brahman. This is quietly ignored by the Abrahamics. They cannot accept this because it entails that their own version of divinity is only one among many versions. They want to emphasise the uniqueness of their version and the theology that goes with it.

Each of the 108 Upanishads shows the line of continuity with the Vedas. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the longest and densest, is a good way to see how and why the Upanishads and the Rig Veda are integrally related. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is the concluding section of the Satapatha Brahmana, the prose commentary of the Yajur Veda. The prose Brahmanas are elaborations of the Vedic ritual and do not state any philosophical/ontological position different from the Vedas. The Upanishad itself weaves the rituals and worship of deities into a consistent and remarkable whole by spelling out the relationship of all this to the Self and Brahman. The latter is often also described with names taken from the Rig Veda: Prajapati, Hiranyagarbha, Viswakarman.

Contrary to misconceptions promoted by monotheists, the Upanishad does not in any way downgrade or dismiss Vedic ritual. In fact, it explicitly states that the rituals and religious practices of the Vedas are necessary for the individual to simultaneously relate to the reality of Self and Brahman.

It is customary to place the famous lines “OM! That Brahman is Infinite, and this universe is infinite, this infinite proceeds from the Infinite…” at the beginning of the Upanishad proper. This is rightly so since it is the fullness of Being that characterises the Infinite Divine. These lines have been placed by Vedantins at a later date, but they represent the content of the Upanishad very well. Of course, Adi Sankara and Ramanuja are the best known interpreters of this Upanishad. Sri Aurobindo has also written a partially finished commentary.

At first glance Aurobindo seems to be contradicting Sankara by calling him a Mayavadin (the world is an illusion). On closer inspection of the commentary along with a deep study of the Sankara commentaries, it becomes clear that both philosophers are celebrating the richness and diversity of Satchidananda.

Each of the Upanishads can be so interpreted. Failure to do so will entail accepting the theological baggage of the ONE god-ists who seek to impose their narrow world view on the world. It is the urgent task of contemporary Hindu intellectuals to pre-empt that agenda.

The writer is a political philosopher who taught at a Canadian university

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Using NGOs to coerce nations


Sandhya Jain

Many Indians feel that the country does not need foreign aid to improve the lot of its citizens, and that all social service activities can be meaningfully conducted with local donations. As India herself provides considerable assistance to other Asian and African nations, there is no merit in accepting foreign funding on the pretext of charity, and then using the same for conversions or politics.

- Sandya Jain

Non-Western nations have long known that non-governmental organizations, ostensibly set up to provide humanitarian services to citizens in their respective countries, such as against police or other public authorities, fighting poverty or environmental degradation, are funded by foreign regimes to serve their agendas. They are in that sense a tool of coercive diplomacy, or war by other means.

Some weeks ago, Egypt, frontrunner of the aborted Arab Spring, clamped down on foreign NGOs and refused to license eight US civil groups, including the election-monitoring Carter Centre, prior to the presidential polls. Under Egyptian law, NGOs cannot operate without licenses.

American NGOs, called quangos, tend to focus on promoting democracy abroad, an euphemism for electing governments that serve American interests. Last month, the UAE decided to shut down the offices of an American quango run by the Democratic Party but mainly funded by the US government.

Observers said the move was engineered by Riyadh and other capitals that felt the quango was active in their internal affairs, and hence urged the UAE to close it. Many capitals view quangos as intrusive in national sovereignty. By grooming ‘democracy activists’ – recall the Coloured Revolutions in former Soviet republics – they create the environment for US-desired changes to occur.

The decision by UAE and other Gulf countries to curtail the functioning of German and US foundations is likely to usher in a new system whereby entities directly or indirectly funded by foreign governments will be allowed to function only under negotiated agreements and can no longer operate as they please.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), closely associated with the Reagan administration, was conceived as a tool of US foreign policy by its founder Allen Weinstein, a former professor, Washington Post writer, and member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a neo-conservative think tank whose membership included Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. NED’s first director Carl Gershman was transparently candid that it was a front for the CIA.

From its inception in 1983, NED’s annual funds are approved by the US Congress as part of the United States Information Agency budget. Its activities include funding anti-left and anti-labour movements; meddling in elections in Venezuela and Haiti; and creating instability in countries resisting Imperial America.

Freedom House, set up in 1941 as a pro-democracy and pro-human rights organization, is engaged with the Project for the New American Century, and much of the warmongering in Washington. The Bush administration used it to support its ‘War on Terror’. The US government provides 66% of its funding via USAID, the State Department, and the NED. Freedom House leapt into the Arab Spring, training and financing civil society groups and individuals, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, and grass-roots activists in Yemen. The Bush administration also compelled NGOs to serve its imperial agenda.

In 2003, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios said the NGO-USAID link helped the Karzai regime to survive, but Afghans did not appreciate this. In Iraq, he wanted NGO work there to show a connection with US policy. It is difficult to be more explicit.

By far the most important tool of empire is Amnesty International. Its current Executive Director, Suzanne Nossel, was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the US State Department. She is credited with coining the term ‘smart power’ to achieve US goals by recruiting others to work for them, as in Libya, where Washington used the UN to engage in ‘humanitarian intervention.’ Amnesty International actively joined the propaganda war against Syria. The author of a 2011 report on custody deaths in that country confessed in an interview that Amnesty International had not been allowed to enter Syria at the time, so research for the report was done mainly from London, neighboring countries and other sources. In other words, one relies on unverified information.

In India, despite decades of unhappiness with Western NGOs, the Union Government decided to openly confront them only when it felt aggrieved over the stalling of its Rs. 15,000 crore Kudankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu, and protests over genetically modified crops.

Indian law bans NGOs from taking foreign funds for political purposes or affecting the security, strategic, scientific or economic interest of the State (India). The Church-organised Kudankulam protest was purely political. Popular concerns over the power of NGOs, however, stem from their staggering funding, dubious agendas including religious conversion, and untrammelled powers to interfere in domestic matters.

Data available with the Union Home Ministry, as reported first by The Pioneer, shows that in the nine years between 2001 and 2010, NGOs received more than Rs 70,000 crores. The highest donors were the US, Germany, and Britain, and the most significant recipients include Gospel For Asia Inc, USA (Rs. 232.71 crore), Fundacion Vicente Ferrer, Barcelona, Spain (Rs.228.60 crore) and World Vision Global Centre, USA (Rs.197.62 crore). Analysis of the data shows that the greatest sums out of the foreign contributions were utilized for establishment expenses (Rs. 1482.58 crore), followed by rural development (Rs. 944.30 crore), welfare of children (Rs. 742.42 crore), construction and maintenance of school/college (Rs.630.78 crore) and grant of stipend/ scholarship/ assistance in cash and kind to poor/deserving children (Rs. 454.70 crore). Note the diminishing values!

Now, if 50% to 70% of the funds of any organisation are spent on establishment expenses such as buying land, buildings, jeeps, office infrastructure, mobiles, laptops, cameras, salaries, consultancy fees, honorarium, and foreign travel, in addition to the administrative costs, should such expenditure be tax-free when there is no prominent public beneficiary? Huge sums are expended on conversions, which also cannot be or hardly can be designated as ‘charity’ or ‘public service’. World Vision in particular has an exclusive Christian identity, as attested to by its own website, where it admits that while 20% of its worldwide staff belongs to other faiths, all prospective staff are expected to affirm their Christian faith in writing! This was after firing some staff in America for changing their religious affiliations. (Editor's Note: Remember they are operating in Secular India to convert Hindus and Buddhists primarily.)

In the light of these experiences, many Indians feel that the country does not need foreign aid to improve the lot of its citizens, and that all social service activities can be meaningfully conducted with local donations. As India herself provides considerable assistance to other Asian and African nations, there is no merit in accepting foreign funding on the pretext of charity, and then using the same for mass conversions or politics. (Editor's note: Conversions are a demographics attack on India.)

 - Vijayvaani, New Delhi, 8 May 2012

Sandhya Jain is Editor,

Also, New post on Bharata Bharati

See also WORLD VISION: Christian NGO engaged in culture murder not social service – V.K. Shashikumar NGOs in Tamil Nadu which recieved over one crore of foreign funds in 2009-2010 & 2010-2011 – GOI Kudankulam: Bishop’s NGOs received Rs. 54 crore – The Hindu Kudankulam: Agents of hostile foreign interests – M.D. Nalapat NGOs and the starvation industry – Ravi Shankar Etteth Government and NGOs remote controlled from far away – Anuradha Dutt Book Review: Lords Of Poverty: The power, prestige, and corruption of the international aid business by Graham Hancock – David Osterfeld NGOs: How to run a country on “trust” – M.D. Nalapat Evangelical Christianity: Devils in high places – Yogesh Pawar VIDEO: The Role of Evangelicals in US Imperialism – Iain Buchanan May 10, 2012 at 5:38 am | Tags: amnesty international, christian evangelism, democracy, foreign funds, fundacion vicente ferrer, Gospel For Asia, human rights, kudankulam agitation, missionary activity, NGO, non governmental organisations, USAID, world vision | Categories: christianity, conversion, economics, evangelical, foreign funds, geopolitics, globalization, human rights, india, indian politics, international finance, NGO, poverty, proselytize, protestant church, psychological warfare, religion, roman catholic church, secularism, us congress, us politics | URL: