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Category: Religion

Some recent notes on Dayanand Saraswati’s belligerent and bigoted Hinduism

For my record and reference – based on recent study. Of course, there are many other references to Dayanand on this blog over the years.

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Dayanand Saraswati's "enlightened" caste system with two types of schools. – from Satyarth Prakash

Posted by Sanjeev Sabhlok on Saturday, 15 February 2020

Further details of how the "qualitative" (not hereditary) caste system should operate – Dayanand Saraswati's Satyarth Prakash

Posted by Sanjeev Sabhlok on Saturday, 15 February 2020

Dayanand Saraswati was smitten by the need to differentiate people. His theory was that these are not hereditary, but…

Posted by Sanjeev Sabhlok on Saturday, 15 February 2020

Dayanand Saraswati is crazy delusional when he says such things. Vivekananda at least recognised that "qualitative"…

Posted by Sanjeev Sabhlok on Saturday, 15 February 2020

It is amusing to read Dayanand's arguments that caste is real, but qualitative: "Since the divine formlessness and…

Posted by Sanjeev Sabhlok on Saturday, 15 February 2020

Here Dayanand Saraswati provides a mechanism to allocate "caste", but ALSO TO TAKE AWAY ONE'S CHILDREN!! Ghastly! Reminds me of Plato's Republic.Who in his right mind thinks up such rubbish?

Posted by Sanjeev Sabhlok on Saturday, 15 February 2020

Dayanand fully supports Manusmriti. He has a really sad message for "Sudras" – you guys are supposed to serve the higher…

Posted by Sanjeev Sabhlok on Saturday, 15 February 2020

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Conclusive proofs that Shiva and Ganesha are NOT Vedic gods. This further confirms that the Vedic religion is foreign to India.

The Vedic religion is all about fire worship. So what is the link (if any) between Vedas and Shiva and Ganesha – which have everything to do with fertility worship.

I’ve taken some material sent by Sanjay Sonawani and reviewed against well-referenced standards. These are my initial findings (many words continue to be that of Sanjay)

IMPORTANT NOTE TO READERS: In order to understand the background to this blog post, please read (at least) the following two books by Sanjay Sonawani first:

a) Origins of the Vedic Religion: And Indus-Ghaggar Civilisation

b) Origins of the Caste System

I have discussed many of Sanjay’s views and findings earlier on this blog and also raised them on my Times of India online blog (here). Basically, this post discusses merely one of the many proofs of the distinctiveness of the Vedic and Hindu religions.

[Addendum: I came across this interesting answer on Quora – and this.]

INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION DEFINITELY KNEW ABOUT THE ELEPHANT

The oldest elephant-type image in India so far was found at Harappa. (approx. 2600 BC). This is the image from Harappa.com, a reputed website.

This is extremely tiny: Approximate dimensions (W x H(L) x D): 5.4 x 4.8 x 4.6 cm. It is difficult to made deductions from this. However, it has some traces of vermillion. Further, it does look close enough to a modern Ganesha.

The elephant was well known in the Indus Valley. E.g. see this | this | this |

Elephant bones have also been found (see this )

SHIVA WAS DEFINITELY PART OF THE INDUS VALLEY BELIEF SYSTEM

Shiva is the highly worshipped Hindu deity, with millions of temples across the country. Not a single town or village is to be found where a Shiva shrine is absent. Shiva is worshipped either in the temples or in the open in his Lingam (Phallic) form. His consort Shakti (synonyms Parvati, Jagdamba, Amba etc.) are also worshiped in unified form with Shiva and also independently in abundant temples dedicated to Shakti across the country.

Shiva-Shakti worship can be traced back to the Indus civilization where abundant proofs of Shiva worship have been found. What is considered a Shiva lingam has been found at Kalibangan site, dating back to 2600 BC.

A “proto-Shiva” was found in the Indus Valley, image below. Many archaeologists note a resemblance to future depictions of Shiva. Non-Vedic elements are seen, such as wearing a tiger skin (tiger was unkown to the Vedics).

 

CONTEMPT FOR FERTILITY WORSHIP IN VEDAS

The early Vedics display knowledge of fertility worship (not necessarily Shiva but something similar that they came across in their travels) and ridicule such gods as “Phallus Gods” (Shisnadeva) in the Rig Veda.

RIG VEDA DID NOT DISPLAY CONCLUSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ELEPHANT

The word “Gana” in Rig veda appears as individual abstract deities, most probably Maruts,

“Ganapati” in Rigveda is used as an epithet of Brahmanaspati and verses themselves are clear that they were used to invoke abstract god who had nothing to do with elephant head god.

Vedic people might have heard about elephants but the verses show that they had no physical knowledge of elephants. The terms used for Elephants also are too ambiguous and this is why the commentators on Rig veda are not sure what actually Vedic people meant. No direct reference to “Hastin” is found in the Rigveda.  (Note this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastin#The_elephant_in_the_Rigveda )

Rigveda nowhere shows any connection of Indra with an elephant, even if considered that the Vedic clans knew elephant. In the later centuries, when Indra was depicted as lord of the heaven, he got a vehicle “Airavat”, a heavenly elephant. Rigvedic verses nowhere mention of existence of any Airavat or for that matter any vehicle of Indra.

DIDN’T VEDAS INVOKE GANESHA?

Allegedly, “Rig Veda begins with the invocation of Lord Ganesha, who is described as the Chief of Ganas (divine beings) and as the Supreme Seer (Rig Veda 2.23).” [Source]

But Sanjay Sonawani has clarified that “Vedic literature does not start with salutation to Ganesha. Interpolated fabricated literature has added him, including an inserted version in Mahabharata that depicts Ganesha as a writer of poet Vyasa. Rather, Mahabharata’s beginning lines salute Narayana and Sarasvati.

THE RIGVEDA SHIVA IS NOT SHIVA

Shiva’s name appears in Rigveda as a name of a tribe that fought against Sudasa in the celebrated battle of the ten kings.

RUDRA AND SHIVA ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT 

Attempts are made today to “show” that Rudra and Shiva are the same. These are false.

Basically, the Vedics appropriated indigenous gods like Shiva for their benefit. The eminent Vedic scholar Tarkateertha Laxman Shastri Joshi made clear in Vaidik Sanskriticha Vikas that Shiva a.k.a. Mahadeva was the benefactor god of pre-Vedic people and was assimilated in Vedic culture by elevating his character. Shiva is a later addition to the Vedas.

Further, Kapardin is used as an epithet for Rudra but was later on (in the course of future appropriation by Vedics) also used for Shiva. This does not make Rudra-Shiva the same.

Rudra and Shiva represent an opposite religious tradition i.e. Vedic and Non-Vedic. The following information about Rudra, a minor God, is found in Rig Veda and other Vedas:

  1. Only three verses are dedicated in Rig Veda to Rudra, showing that he was a minor god.
  2. The main epithet of Rudra is “Agni” (Fire).
  3. In Agnichayana (a kind of fire sacrifice) to keep the fire kindled, butter is constantly poured in the fire pit, while chanting “Shatarudriya”(Hymns addressed to Rudra) requesting him to immerse in the fire.
  4. Taittiriya Samhitastates state that a sacrifice conducted in favor of Rudra enriches the host (person making the sacrifice) like Indra.
  5. Vedic Rudra is as handsome as the supreme Vedic God Indra, having golden complexion. He wears golden necklace and holds golden axe. He helps Vedic people in finding lost cattle.
  6. In Rig Vedic descriptions Rudra is said to be older than oldest.
  7. Rudra’s father is Prajapati.(Maitrayani Sanhita,6:1-9). In a mythical story Rudra is said to have killed his father, Prajapati.
  8. Rudra is depicted as a destroyer of humankind and animals in Rig Veda. (RV 2.33.10)
  9. Rudra is not a single entity but is enumerated from 11 to 60 in different texts of Vedic literature. In this way, Rudra represents a group of deities bearing the same name. He also is often called the father of Maruts, another group of Vedic Gods.
  10. Rudrasavarni, 12thManu, is said to be the son of the Rudra.
  11. Dogs and Wolves are the pets of Rudra. (Atharva Veda 11.2.2)

This description of the Vedic Rudra is completely different to what Hindus think of Shiva.

Shiva was and is a supreme God for the Non-Vedic (Hindu) people. Shiva is ajanma, having no birth or father. Indeed, Shiva is a concept of creation, preservation and destruction of the universe that is worshipped in phallic form. He has no son directly born to him, though kartikeya and Ganesha are associated with him as his sons in later times. Shiva’s mythical abode is mount Kailasa. None of the mythologies associated with him match with Rudra’s. Shiva is “Smarari” – the destroyer of fire sacrifices, which opposes the very concept of Vedic fire sacrifice dedicated to Rudra.

This point about the “Shiva” of Vedas being quite different from the actual Hindu Shiva is made clear by Doris Srinivasan in his “Unhinging Siva from the Indus Civilization”, The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 1 (1984), pp. 77-89

It is critical to observe that the animals depicted on the seal are all wild animals, being the elephant, tiger, buffalo and rhinoceros. In surveying the term pagupati in the Rig Veda and Atharva Veda, especially as it relates to Rudra, it is to be concluded that a pagupati does not protect wild animals. Verses in the Atharva Veda make it quite clear that a pagupati protects the domestic animals upon which the agrarian economy and ritual depend. The Vedic evidence would therefore not support the interpretation that the animals on seal 420 are within the domain of a Pasupati. Indeed there is further textual evidence in the Rig Veda and Atharva Veda that Rudra injures precisely those creatures under the protection of a Paiupati.

Srinivasan obviously is confused – he thinks that Shiva originated in the Vedas and since the Harappan seal doesn’t match the Vedic description, it can’t be the Shiva. He fails to recognise the obvious fact that Shiva originated in traditional Hinduism and that Shiva is TOTALLY different from Pasupati of the Vedas.

THIS IS WHAT THE RIG VEDA SAYS

Rigved Samhita Part 1, Sukt 114

and Rigved Samhita Part 1, Mandal 2, Sukt 33.

Rigved Samhita Part 2, Mandal 5, Sukt 3.

Rigved Samhita Part 2, Mandal 6, Sukt 74.

EVOLUTION OF THE IDEA OF GANESHA

Gana in Indian culture always refers to the clans and Ganapati as clan head. Different clans used totems such as serpents, reptiles, birds, trees and elephants. Later when various tribes/clans did assimilate, those totemic symbols were merged in single symbol.

Ganesha’s other epithet is “Vratapati”, lord of the Vratyas – which were non-vedic communities.

The iconology of Ganesha has evolved with time. We have couple of human-head Ganesha from Kushan era. The Ganesha we see today is a collective product of Naga, Yaksha, Vratya and Shiva culture.

GANESHA WAS THE ENEMY OF FIRE SACRIFICE

In the beginning Ganesha (aka Vinayak) was an enemy of fire sacrifices, causing obstruction to such sacrifices. Hence the first oblation was given to him asking him to go to the distant Mujavat mountain. Thus, Ganesha was considered a trouble-maker by the Vedics but was later was accepted as the destroyer of troubles.

WHAT ABOUT MAHAMRITUNJAYA MANTRA?

“Mahamritunjay mantra is mentioned in Rigveda” – said someone. I had no clue about this mantra. I’m informed by Sanjay that mahamrityunjay verse is addressed to “Tryanbak” (an epithet of the fire).

The meanings of Tryanbak is “one who has three fathers in Vedic sense. This term was applied to Shiva also as “one who has three eyes”. But these are entirely different concepts – Mhmrityunjay Mantra has nothing to do with Shiva.

In this regard, “Om” is absent throughout Vedas and other Vedic literature. Om is used mostly for Shiva and the gods in his pantheon. Om in mahamrityunjay mantra also is not found in the original text. The Original Rigvedic mantra simply starts with “Tryambakam yajamahe”. Om was inserted later to show affinity with Shiva.

WHAT ABOUT Yajurveda 4.5.8.1?

This verse states: “Hail to Shiva the most auspicious one, hail to Soma Rudra, hail to the red, copper hued one, hail to the terrible and fearful one, hail to the blue necked one, hail to Pashupati, hail to Shambhu, hail to Shankara, hail to Kapardin, the one with matted hair”- Yajurveda 4.5.8.1 [Source]

Sanjay’s response which I agree with – because he has a concrete theory that explains all facts, while the others don’t:

These verses are from Krishna Yajurveda’s Taaittiriya Samhita, which was used in the southern region only and might have originated there probably during the 1st century BC to third century A.D. – a far later composition (couldn’t be earlier than this as claimed and even if considered older, it is composed in India when Vedics were settled and had started spreading their religion with missionary practice).  This mantra also appears without the initial Om in the eighth hymn.

This may be during the period of Vedic missionary entered south India and had to show semblance with Hindu popular gods.

Though Vedics tried to assimilate Shiva with Rudra, Shiva to Hindu remains as only Shiva. Rudra is not worshipped in Lingam form. [Sanjeev: This is the most crucial proof as far as I’m concerned]

These lines also appear in Vajasneyi Samhita of Shukla Yajurveda. This verse is part of Shatarudriya, a hymn in praise of Rudra in which this one line appears which mentions Shiva. But the entire Rudriya does not show that it is meant for Shiva. In fact, Shiva is used as an epithet to Rudra and some special attributes of Shiva have been used for Rudra. This does not make both one and the same.

Vedics created this verse out of their need to adapt to a foreign land. Thus, Christians in the medieval period wrote their own “Khrist Purana” in Indian Purana style to spread their message. Such a strategy seems to have been initiated by the Vedics – who inserted the mention of Shiva in a couple of places in late writings in order to “prove” that the Hindu Shiva is also Vedic – which he is obviously not.

WHAT ABOUT DURGA PARVATI AND THE MOTHER GODDESS CONCEPT?
Since Parvati, Durga and so on are crucial to the fertility focus of traditional Hinduism, to what extent do such goddesses find mention in the Vedas?

Fertility is not part of Vedicism. The concept of “Mother Goddess” is absent in Vedic literature. Indologist Dr. RG Bhandarkar also states that the concept of the mother goddess is significant as it is more or less absent in the Vedas. Similarly, image worship which is so basic to the present day Hinduism was unknown in the Vedic and post Vedic periods, whereas there are indications that it was practiced by the people of Sindhu valley civilisation and so on.

The process and social ideology of both religions (Hinduism and Vedic religion) are completely opposite to each other which is reflected in their iconology and mythology.

Female goddesses are very few in the Vedas in comparison with about 640 male gods. Most female goddesses are the personification of natural elements such:

  • Sarasvati (River)
  • Ratri (Night)
  • Dhatri (Earth)
  • Ushas (the personification of the morning)

They are subordinate goddesses because the Vedic system is patriarchial and women are treated inferior to men. No Vedic goddess is prominent even today although the Vedics have tried to promote Sarasvati.

For instance, the consort of Vishnu, Laxmi is not originally a Vedic goddess nor does she finds any mention in the main body of Rigveda. Laxmi originally was worshipped in India in the Yakshini form and was associated with Vishnu in the Gupta era. But if we look and the iconology, Laxmi is not depicted as Mother Goddess and is subordinate to Vishnu serving him sitting at his feet whereas Shiva-Shakti is equal and unified in the form of Shivalingam and his Ardha-Nari Nateshvar form. Hindus give equal importance (and at some places even higher) to Shakti goddesses. That is why if there are 12 Jyotirlingas there are 52 main Shaktipeethas spread across the country.

MY NOTE REGARDING THE IMPLICATIONS OF SANJAY’S WORK

[On Facebook]

Once Vedic religion is proved to be distinct (and foreign) to Hinduism, it will have many political implications:

a) It will destroy RSS/BJP’s claim that Vedic Hinduism is indigenous. Since Vedic religion is foreign, their objections to Islam and Christianity become less valid.

b) It will destroy the concept of “varna”-based caste system. Vedics can continue with their caste if they wish. But most Hindus can then choose to abandon this nonsense and revert to their ancient tradition of total equality.

AND

c) It will bring back a focus on India’s many sceptical schools of thought. It will liberate India from all forms of social, internal, tyranny and make it meaningful as a society to focus on freedom and good governance.

Many Vedic gods are similar or exactly the same in Greek and Avestan culture. For example, Zeus and Indra have many similar attributes and characteristics but their differences are also striking. These similarities don’t make both the religions or Gods the same.

 

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Nehru’s 7 August 1947 letter to Rajendra Prasad regarding the question of banning cow slaughter

This is why I hold Nehru in high esteem on many issues, excluding his socialist policies.

Source

To Rajendra Prasad
New Delhi 7 August 1947

My dear Rajendra Babu,

I have just received your letter of today’s date

2. I have also received a large number of telegrams and post cards about stopping cow slaughter, though they are far fewer than the num¬ber received by you. I have met the deputation led by Maharaj Partap Singh and had a long talk with them.

3. Nobody can possibly doubt the widespread Hindu sentiment in favour of cow protection. At the same time there is something slightly spurious about the present agitation. Indeed the number of telegrams and postcards, though impressive, is itself a sign of artificiality to some extent. Dalmin’s money is flowing and Dalmia is not exactly a desirable person.

4. The fact, however, remains that there is very strong Hindu feeling in this matter. There is also the additional fact that for economic reasons certain steps must be taken for stopping the slaughter of milch cows and of trying to improve the breed and. condition of cattle.

5. This question should in any event be considered in its larger con-text of general planning. It is possible to take some preliminary measures even before any larger scheme is: passed. But I think that it is quite out of the question for us to talk about stopping cow slaughter generally without the fullest examination of its political and economic effects. I am convinced that if we did so suddenly it would result in great injury to cattle in India. Our better breeds will be swamped out of existence and there would be a general degradation.

6 Every important question runs into another and the two cannot be separated if we have a balanced view. I remember that one sub-committee of the National Planning Committee reported strongly in favour of adding to the pasture lands for cattle. Another sub-committee dealing with a slightly different problem recommended equally strongly the use of the present pasture lands for food production and stated that to continue these pasture lands wa§ injurious to the nation. This shows how one has to weigh every aspect before deciding one course of action. For my part I am convinced that any precipitate action might lead to very unhappy results, even from the point of view of cow protection.

7. I do not think we can ignore the political aspect. India, in spite of its overwhelming Hindu population, is a composite country from the re¬ligious and other points of view. It is a vital problem for us to solve as to whether we are to function fundamentally in regard to our general po¬licy as such a composite country, or to function as a Hindu country rather ignoring the viewpoints of other groups. It is inevitable that the majority Hindu sentiment will affect our activities in a hundred ways. Nevertheless it does make a difference whether we try to think of India as a composite country or as a Hindu country. It should be remembered that the stoppage of cow slaughter means stopping non-Hindus from do¬ing something which they might do. For economic reasons steps can al¬ways be taken because they are justified on economic grounds But if any such step is taken purely on grounds of Hindu sentiment, it means that the governance of India is going to be carried on in a particular way, which thus far we have not done.

8. You know how strong an advocate of cow protection Bapu is. Nevertheless, so far as I am aware, he is opposed to any compulsory stoppage of cow slaughter. His chief reason, I believe, is that we must not function as a Hindu State but as a composite State in which Hindus, no doubt, predominate.

9. This question, therefore, raises rather vital issues in regard to our approach to almost all our, problems As you know, there is a very strong Hindu revivalist feeling in the country at the present moment. I am greatly distressed by it because it represents the narrowest communalism. It is the exact replica of the narrow Muslim communalism which we have tried to combat for so long. I fear that this narrow sectarian outlook will do grave injury not only to nationalism as such but also to the high ideals for which Indian and Hindu culture has stood through the ages. We are facing a crisis of the spirit in India today and a false step may have far reaching consequences.

10. I have felt often enough during the past few weeks, and have stated as much at our party meetings in the Constituent Assembly and elsewhere, that I find myself in total disagreement with this revivalist feeling, and in view of this difference of opinion I am a poor representative of many of our people today. I felt honestly that it might be better for a truer representative to take my place. That would do away with the unnaturalness and artificiality of the present position.

11. These general considerations are very important and will have to be decided by us or others On that decision depends our entire future policy, domestic, national and international. India is on the verge of great happenings and is going to step out boldly as a free country. What that step should be is a highly important matter and it will be watched all over the world.

12. But apart from these considerations, I just do not see what we can do in regard to the stoppage of cow slaughter within the next week or so. Any step that we might take may for the moment please many people, it will be resented by some at least. It will also give rise to the feeling that we do not act deliberately and, after full thought but are rushed into action by any organised attempt to influence us regardless of the merits of the question.

Yours sincerely,

Jawaharlal Nehru

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