Thoughts on economics and liberty

If this is Hinduism then everyone should become Hindu

I came across this excellent page on Wikipedia (through offstumped) from which I’m extracting some key messages from the Hindu scriptures. Surely, this resonates so closely with what I have to say that I must, at least in spirit, be a 'true' Hindu.

I wonder, though, whether we use these ancient sayings more as decorative logos (not even mottos), to be honoured in the breach, than guides to action. The evidence of critical thinking, that can only arise from genuine love for the truth, is virtually non-existent in India – including in the actions of most alumni of India's prestigious educational institutions. Mental short-cuts abound (mindless belief is just one example); truth is ignored, falsehood given precedence.
 
The discrepancy between the high quality of ancient Indian thought and the low quality of thinking that prevails today prevents India from becoming the  greatest country in the world that it can be, given such high thinking in the past. India can regain its status as the unparalleled economic and philosophical leader of the world, but only when it genuinely starts caring for the truth.
 

Open mind

  • नोभद्राःक्रतवोयन्तुविश्वतः(Let good (thoughts) come from everywhere, from all over the world)

(How many times commentators on this blog display hatred of 'Western' ideas, as if these were false by default. Sure, reject false ideas, but please appreciate the truth!!) 

 In praise of the truth
  • असतोमासद्गमय ((Lead us) From Untruth to Truth)
  • सत्यमेव जयते (The truth always triumphs)
  • तमसोमाज्योतिर्गमय ((Lead us) From Darkness to Light)
  • सत्येसर्वंप्रतिष्ठितम् (Everything is established in truth)
  • सत्यंशिवंसुन्दरम् (truth, auspiciousness, beauty)
In praise of knowledge
  • ज्ञानंपरमंध्येयम् (knowledge is the supreme goal)
  • विद्ययाऽमृतमश्नुते (eat nectar through knowledge, i.e. be immortal through knowledge)
  • साविद्यायाविमुक्तये (That is knowledge which liberates)
  • तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु (May our knowledge become brilliant)
  • उत्तिष्ठजाग्रतप्राप्यवरान्निबोधत (arise, awake, obtaining worthy (teachers), know (the truth))
  • ज्ञानंपरमंबलम् (knowledge is the supreme power)
  • विद्याविनयेनशोभते (knowledge graces by humility)
  • साविद्यायाविमुक्तये (Knowledge liberates)
  • सत्यंवदधर्मंचर (Speak the Truth, Walk the Righteous Path)
  • विद्यैवसर्वधनम् (Knowledge is the greatest wealth)
  • विश्वजीवनामृतम्ज्ञानम् (Knowledge is the nectar of Life)
  • Sa Vidhya Ya Vimukthaye (Education results in liberation)
  • योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् (excellence in action is yoga)

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17 thoughts on “If this is Hinduism then everyone should become Hindu
  1. Erfolg

    Dear Sri. Sabhlok,
    All those quotes that you have gathered above are from the Vedas and the Upanishads (most of these would be from the Rig Veda) and these – and a lot many more –  represent the TRUE essence of what we TODAY call the Hindu Relegion. I personally  prefer the terms Sanathana Dharma or the Vedic Tradition, since this is a more accurate depiction of what the Vedas represent.
    If one studied the Vedas crirically, one would realise that this is a vast ocean of knowledge from all dimensions – scientific, ethical, philosophical, practical and of course spiritual. For instance, in the Hiranyagarbha Sukta, the Vedic Rishis ponder on the origin of the Universe, how creation happened and how God is related to Creation and this Universe.
    The fundamental essence of the Vedic Thought is that this entire Cosmos IS a manifestation of the ONE ALMIGHTY – we are all part of him and he is a part of every one of us. Contrary to the tenets of the Abrahamic religions, GOD is not someone who lives in the high heavens and controls us every minute of our life. One does not have to go anywhere to find GOD, he is all around us and pervades our body and soul and it just requires a close introspection and calm thinking for us to find HIM within ourselves.
    So, in this sense, ALL of us should start following the Vedic Thought and become HINDUs – in your words. This is not calling for mass conversion – that is far from my intent. This is just to throw light on what is the most logical and sensible path to adopt.
    From this point of view – now I am coming to your other blog on the Cheap Magician who is on his death-bed – every one of us can claim to be an Avatar, since we all have an element of the ALMIGHTY in us. So, all those people who masquerade as GODMEN are feeding on the ignorance of the common man and taking them for a ride.
    The issue with India – and most parts of the world for that matter today – is that no one pays attention to the basic TRUTH principles and are lost in rituals and external formalities.
     
    Best regards

    From Germany
     

     
  2. Erfolg

    Hi,
    First of all, the pseudonym I use is E-R-F-O-L-G – it is a German word that means SUCCESS – in Sanskrit, this would translate into JAYAM or VIJAYAM.
    Since you mentioned Budhism in your reply, I am pointing out to a more thorough dissection of Buddism at the following URL.
    http://agniveer.com/4020/buddhism-and-vedas/
    In this website, you would also find a very elaborate exposition of several Vdic concepts.
    I am trying to read you father's website on Metaphyics and Vedas and I would get back to you with my impressions after I am done with it.
     
    Best regards
     
    from Germany

     
  3. Sandeep

    "The evidence of critical thinking, that can only arise from genuine love for the truth, is virtually non-existent in India – including in the actions of most alumni of India's prestigious educational institutions
     I can't say about India or Indians. BUT
    Sanjeev , You are one fine example of this.
    ONLY you can admire Macaulay (an advocate of genocide ) as a philosoher.
    Regards

     
  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Rubbish, Sandeep. You have not proven your case about Macaulay. You have neither read nor understood Macaulay. You referred me to some book. Please publish full details of what genocide did Macaulay advocate. You are showing your lack of critical thinking here. And note that I admire Macaulay for his genuine contributions to India.

    The fact that there is at least SOME law and justice in India is directly attributable to Macaulay. That his thoughts have informed India’s constitution, is another obvious fact. He has contributed MUCH that is good to India, and I have NO evidence of genocide.

    Your readiness to believe nonsense is typical of what I’m talking about – the shoddy quality of education of the Indians today. Please study Macaulay YOURSELF. Don’t parrot second rate second hand stuff.

    S

     
  5. Sandeep

    "Rubbish, Sandeep. You have not proven your case about Macaulay. You have neither read nor understood Macaulay."
    The sad fact is that you are such a Macaulayite that you dont want to read any 'truths' about him.
    Macaulay: the tragedy of power by Robert E. Sullivan
    (http://books.google.com/books?id=hVVEtXHNup4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=macaulay&hl=en&ei=7FW2TeroF4bNrQeYxYDKDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
    Read the Introductory text- ( I know it will be hard for such a 'macaulay bhakta' to read it in full)
    "Self-defense taught Macaulay that power, calculation, and duplicity rule politics and human relations. In Macaulay’s writings, Sullivan unearths a sinister vision of progress that prophesied twentieth-century genocide."
    In Page 6. – "In Calcutta the unknown Macaulay also projected what became his most chilling achievement:he appears to have been the first responsible European to advocate publicly what the mid-twentieth century learned to call "genocide". From London during the summer of 1838, he wrote about Sir William Temple, a second tier seventeenth-century politician and writer. Zachary had died on 13 May. Tom despised his father and, even more, the scheme of Zachary's antislavery allies to protect endangered native peoples against various European and American civilizing imperial projects. He turned "Sir William Temple" into a preemptivestrike against those meddlesome "philanthropists." The essay proved to be as prescient as "Bacon". More than ever an enthusiast for humat progress and English power, he insisted that "it is in truth more merciful to extirpate a hundred thousand human beings at once, and to fill the void with a well-governed population, than to misgovern millions through a long succession of generations."  Presented as a counterfactual history of modern Ireland, his ethic of civilizing and imperial slaughter was embraced globally before World War I and practiced into the second half of the twentieth century. During all those murderous years no one publicly objected to what he advocated in "Temple" and reitrated elsewhere.(p.6-7)
    Now if you are not going to 'censor' this post, I will waiting to read another 'apology' from you.
     

     

     
  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Sandeep

    You are joking. This – an incidental remark by Macaulay in relation to Oliver Cromwell’s “invasion” of Ireland – is NOT representative of Macaulay’s thoughts nor influence. Please note that ANYONE with the crudest knowledge of history knows that the original classical liberals, like anyone else of their time, suffered from numerous personal flaws. Indeed, MOST religions were the first promoter of hatreds. Macaulay might have got involved – momentarily – in some hatred towards the Irish, and I have no interest nor inclination to investigate the circumstances of his hatred for the Irish. In DOF I cite serious flaws (of this sort) in a series of people who have otherwise contributed brilliantly to mankind’s progress: Martin Luther (anti-semitism) [Sorry I wrote “King” in a hurry, earlier – now corrected], Thomas Jefferson and Washington (slavery), J.S. Mill (belief that some people were not “ready” for democracy), Lincoln (he thought that the two “races” should remain separate), etc.

    You tell me that someone in 1838 could escape from the hatreds of his time entirely? Impossible. 90% of the Hindus today, for instance, express deep hatred towards Muslims (and vice versa). And yet, there are a few who will take the good and absorb the learnings of history to help promote a peaceful, free society.

    You must be totally joking if a few personal failures of opinion (that we can criticise happily, being far away from the emotions of his time) IN ANY WAY imply that Macaulay was a promoter of genocide. You are clearly out of your mind!

    99% of Macaulay’s writings were influential in promoting liberty and good governance. In India he gave the Indian Penal Code: the epitome of justice in a land where whimsical justice prevailed. Is there any condonation for “genocide” in the IPC?

    They say that when a white sheet of cloth is shown to someone they look at one black spot on that sheet. Macaulay’s contributions OVERWHELM any possible errors of judgement he may have displayed as a young man.

    I do not judge anyone on the basis of ONE statement. To do that would be UTTER FOOLISHNESS. Please avoid falling into blatant foolishness.

    S

     
  7. Sandeep

    Sanjeev,
    I am not joking.
    "This – an incidental remark by Macaulay in relation to Oliver Cromwell’s “invasion” of Ireland – is NOT representative of Macaulay’s thoughts nor influence"
    Sullivan in his book "Macaulay: the tragedy of power " writes:-
    "In Calcutta the unknown Macaulay also projected what became his most chilling achievement:he appears to have been the first responsible European to advocate publicly what the mid-twentieth century learned to call "genocide". …. He turned "Sir William Temple" into a preemptivestrike against those meddlesome "philanthropists." The essay proved to be as prescient as "Bacon". More than ever an enthusiast for humat progress and English power, he insisted that "it is in truth more merciful to extirpate a hundred thousand human beings at once, and to fill the void with a well-governed population, than to misgovern millions through a long succession of generations."  Presented as a counterfactual history of modern Ireland, his ethic of civilizing and imperial slaughter was embraced globally before World War I and practiced into the second half of the twentieth century. During all those murderous years no one publicly objected to what he advocated in "Temple" and reitrated elsewhere.(p.6-7)
    Now read this part once more carefully -" his ethic of civilizing and imperial slaughter was embraced globally before World War I and practiced into the second half of the twentieth century"
    You mentioned Irish Famine. Read Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_famine
    "Charles Trevelyan, the civil servant with most direct responsibility for the government's handling of the famine, described it in 1848 as "a direct stroke of an all-wise and all-merciful Providence", which laid bare "the deep and inveterate root of social evil"; the Famine, he affirmed, was "the sharp but effectual remedy by which the cure is likely to be effected. God grant that the generation to which this opportunity has been offered may rightly perform its part…"
    And you know  Charles Trevelyan's relation to your hero Macaulay???
    Charles Trevelyan, it seem was TBM's first disciple and the first implementer of his genicidal policies.
    "Macaulay’s contributions OVERWHELM any possible errors of judgement he may have displayed as a young man"
    Do you think arguing for genocide is a possible error of judgement?
     
     

     
  8. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    It is nonsense of the highest order to suggest that Macaulay OR ANYONE ELSE is my “hero”. I don’t hero worship. I analyse.

    Sandeep, the fact that you buy the argument of ONE feeble scholar that Macaulay was in any way responsible for “imperial slaughter” shows your lack of interest in understanding history. This is such garbage! The SLAUGHTERS of the 20th century were conducted by the ENEMIES of liberty – Marx’s followers and those of Hegel/ Martin Luther (Not King – sorry I wrote that earlier in a hurry!).

    Re: Irish famine I’m fully aware of the history of the famine and indeed have an extensive section on it in DOF. Please read it. It has NOTHING to do with Macaulay.

    On the other hand, Macaulay was instrumental, for instance, in the 1832 Reform Act that BROKE the backbone of the aristocrats.

    I’m tired of this nonsense, Sandeep. I commend you to read history before barking up the wrong tree. You don’t persuade me be offering me rubbish. I have read and sampled enough of history to recognise nonsense when I hear it, and this is a classic case.

    In hindi it is called “baat ka batangar banana” You are cooking up a mountain from the MEASLIEST of evidence. I’m unable to debate this further. You have dragged this ONE ARTICLE STUDY of yours into the extreme. As they say, “neem hakim khatra jaan”.

    S

     
  9. Sandeep

    Sabhlok ji,
    "You don’t persuade me be offering me rubbish. I have read and sampled enough of history to recognise nonsense when I hear it, and this is a classic case. "
    For you anthing which is critical of your hero Macaulay is "rubbish". You said the same thing when I asked you to read "Lies with Long legs" by Dr. Prodosh Aich.
    It seems you are master in "assumption". This might be because you received a  specialised education in eCONomics.
    You 'assume' that I have done 'only one article study'. You 'assume' that author (Robert.E.Sullivan) is a feeble scholar. You assume that 90% of the Hindus today, for instance, express deep hatred towards Muslims (and vice versa).
    First two assumptions are dirty personal attacks, which I will let pass. but the third one is more serious.
    Please tell us all how you reached this figure of 90%. Is it another case of 'assumption'??

     
  10. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Sandeep

    I don't cook up approximations from my hat. They represent my direct lifelong experience of living in India and meeting Indians of all sorts. Just check out this comment as an example:

    http://sabhlokcity.com/2011/04/narendra-modi-loses-all-credibility/comment-page-1/#comment-33192

    "i am in favour of riots… all muslims should be taught a lesson to become an Indian first otherwise they have to die or go to pakistan…  So whatever modi has done is totally right… "

    I've not published Abhishek's second comment about me where he used foul language (people are welcome to criticise me on my blog but I don't tolerate foul language).

    Sandeep, this deep hatred among the staunch Hindus is often expressed through communal riots. We have had this issue in India since at least the 1920s. It has not gone away. And I'm not talking about ordinary people only, but about senior ministers in government, senior police officials, even a well known and otherwise well-admired Vedantin.

    I am also referring to PRIVATE conversations that people have with me, assuming that I'm as bigoted as them. In private, a lot of hatred is spewed. The 90% figure (or thereabouts) is pretty robust. Very few Hindus (and I'm assuming others, similarly) are genuinely committed to giving other religions a reasonable space to exist. Of course the Muslim fanatics haven't done themselves any favours through large scale terrorist activity.

    The point I'm making is that unless you know about the HUGELY VIOLENT history between Catholics and Protestants, you can't understand Macaulay's views on a particular invasion of Ireland. 

    That doesn't mean his contributions become all nullified.

    Anyway, this is my last discussion with you on this issue. I need to move on. You are welcome to your own beliefs and views. I am not here to change you or your mind. Just giving you an alternative view for your kind consideration. 

    S

     
  11. ramesh

     Dear sabhlok,
     
    I fail to understand why you post such rubbish (?) blogs. I see that you have translated “Jnan” as something “ Knowledge”.
     
    Do you know Knowledge resembles more to ‘information’ than the ‘Jnan’? Hence your or otherwise such interpretation is wrong.
     
    This ‘Jnan’ (from Indian philosophy) is intrinsically related to ‘Spiritual philosophy’ according to you. Are you aware?
     
    And I know for sure (your past comments) you are hardly interested in such a philosophy.
     
    I understand you as:   For you Advaita (non worship of gods) and Dvaita (worship of Gods) are contradictory. And all the above Hindu phrases contain principles of advaita and dvaita.
     
    But my dear leader these are never contradictory. Unless you understand them and more particularly Jnan as Vedas or India philosophy interpret better not venture into such blogs. It will be a change of topic for you or timepass but for we it may belittle you and the FTI. It will only lead to debate which you are never willing to settle. Better concentrate on practical success of FTI.
     
    Will you please?

     
  12. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Ramesh

    The “translation” is directly from Wikipedia entry.

    The fact that jnan is being interpreted in a manner beyond what I understand to be knowledge is clearly a concern. I’d hate to have such confusion in the minds of students of Indian universities. It is enough if they can learn to use their brain.

    Note I’m not debating advaita/dvaita/ etc. I have too many questions on each of these issues – and your making claims either way (or anyone else’s making claims) simply means NOTHING to me. I ONLY trust myself and that rules out anything that I can’t FULLY explain.

    I’m happy for you to keep trying to persuade me to a particular view, but the proofs I need are clearly well beyond you and your claims.

    S

     
  13. Sandeep

    "I don't cook up approximations from my hat. They represent my direct lifelong experience of living in India and meeting Indians of all sorts. Just check out this comment as an example:"
    In spite of your claims, it is very clear that you have 'cooked up' that figure.

     
  14. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    As usual, you’ve picked up the tangential issue not the key point. Can you remind yourself what was the key point – to rebut your wild generalisation about Macaulay.

    I’ve done that.

    Now if you want to know precisely how many Hindus detest Islam, please conduct your own surveys, but note that surveys will ALWAYS give a false picture on this very sensitive issue. E.g. in public many AGP ministers (mostly “caste” Hindus) would pretend to be well-wishers of the Muslims and Bodos. In private many of them spoke with extreme hatred and supported their being shot down – basically justifying a particular massacre that had taken place in Kokrajhar. I was Deputy Commissioner of Barpeta then. The DGP of that region also hated Christian missionaries from the bottom of his teeth. I was privy to these conversations because people assume that just because I “look” Hindu and am married to a Hindu, I must be Hindu with the same bigoted views they have.

    No amount of “survey” data will get you such truth. So I rely on what is called good judgement: a wholistic estimate of the biases and prejudices of Hindus. This includes my private conversations with hundreds of people including close relatives and friends and so on and on.

    And yes, they are HEAVILY biased against Muslims. VERY rarely (virtually a handful) of totally scholarly unbiased Hindus I’ve come across. I expect this ratio to be replicated in other religions as well.

    If you are a Muslim your chance of getting to rent a Hindu house drop virtually to zero, including in Mumbai. Shabana Azmi personally spoke about this.

    Nevertheless, you are entitled to deny the basic truths of life. I only make an argument. You decide. YOU are the judge of everything. That’s what I teach.

    S

     
  15. Sandeep

    "Can you remind yourself what was the key point – to rebut your wild generalisation about Macaulay.
    I’ve done that."
    I have not seen you doing that here.
    I know it will be very difficult for you to acknowledge the fact that your hero was actually advocating genocide. It wouldn't be that serious if he was just theorising. The fact that that Macaulay's genocidal policies were put to 'direct use' in Ireland by his disciple Trevelyan shows the brutal nature of this so called freedom loving sociopath.
    Well, If you go through the rest of the book, there are other 'colourful' descriptions of Your hero's 'love' for his sisters.