The Hindu Culture (Part II)
by Anwar Shaikh
Culture is the deciding
factor of history: a nation is low or high according to the nature of its
culture, which tends to be self-preserving owing to the customs, traditions and
conventions that determine the temperament and mental attitude of its people,
who get used to a certain way of life and become extremely reluctant to change.
This is the reason that practitioners of superior culture command the people
accustomed to inferior culture.
A superior culture is daring, dauntless and dominant.
It draws these qualities from a strong belief in its national consciousness,
which makes every individual a caring member of the society, willing to do his
national duty. Without sense of nationality, a culture is a cart which has to be
pushed, pulled and propelled but national pride turns a culture into an
automobile, which carries the burden of the nation to the goal marked by high
purpose, pomp and prestige. It is the quality of national pride which eventually
decides the historical status of a nation. All those nations, which humiliated
India since the invasion of Alexander, the Great, to the British occupation,
were led by men who were inspired by the ideal of national glory. This was the
corner-stone of their culture.
I believe that the Hindus are more of a racial group,
and less of a religious band for having all the elements of nationhood such as a
homeland, language, color, blood ties, traditions, economic interests,
historical back ground and a common culture. Having been endowed with the Pundit
pedigree, I am racially Hindu, and find no pleasure in denigrating my own roots.
Though unpalatable, I must criticize my own people. This is a form of major
surgery that has to be performed to keep the patient alive. Paying them a
tribute of sycophancy is a much easier task, which may bring me applause and
adoration. There are plenty, who have done so to become Rishis, Mahatmas and
Avataaras, and many more are waiting to jump on the bandwagon for the same
selfish reasons, but I am determined to resist this temptation, no matter what
they think of me. Someone has got to speak the truth, and let it be me.
What is the true Hindu Culture? Is it what they have
practiced over the last 1000 years, or is it something they valued and practiced
a lot earlier?
Since influence of the Vedanta has been profound on the
Hindu mind, one may say that the Vedantic culture is the true Hindu Culture.
This is far from truth but for the sake of clarification, I may explain what is
meant by the Vedanta. This is a Sanskrit term meaning "Conclusion"
(anta) of the Vedas, which is said to have taken place c. 900 B.C.
Most modern schools of Hinduism are based on Vedanta,
which is the orthodox system of Indian philosophy. It refers to the Upanishads,
which are treatises on the Vedas elaborating their mystical meaning and
doctrinal mysteries. In the last resort, they are learned opinions of the
ascetic men, though imbued with piety. The Hindu culture has come to be based on
the study (Mimamsa) of the Upanishads, which number over two hundred, though
eight of them such as the Bhadaranyaka, the Chandogya, the Taittriya and the
Katha are the most famous.
There is a large number of Shastras that have become
part of the Upanishadic studies; some of them are: Bhagavadgita, and by
inference, the massive volumes of Mahabharta, Ramayana, Puranas, Darshanas and
many more. Neither there is any cohesion in these commentaries, treatises and
epics nor they have much relevance to the problems of the modern age for the
views expressed therein concern antiquity and are widely divergent. The tragedy
of the Indian culture is that its roots i.e., the Vedas, which can still provide
guidance, have been cleverly hacked away but their shriveled branches have been
painted green to fool the devotees for the benefit of the priest, politician and
pretenders. It is simply because the Hindus have lost the will power to practice
the noble standards of behavior set by the Vedic seers.
It is said that too many cooks spoil the broth. This
also applies to the Hindu Dharma, which has collapsed under the colossal weight
of its unwieldy scriptures. Though different schools of Hinduism do have some
principles in common i.e., transmigration and Karma, generally speaking, they do
not possess a single interpretation of the Vedas, and this has led to disunity
among the Hindus: Non-dualism of Shankra (Advaita), theism (Visistadvaita) of
Ramanuija and Dualism (Dvaita) of Madhva, are some of the examples. In fact, it
has pulverized the Hindu unity to such an extent that there are said to be over
1100 sects amongst them, and it is in addition to the thousands of divisions
arising out of the Caste System. This confusion has rendered the Hindu culture
inferior, inefficient and inanimate leading to the decline, degradation and
devastation of the Hindu nation.
Of course, some Hindus have realized the effect of too
many Shastras and thus openly denied the scriptural authority of them all except
the Vedas. Members of the Arya Samaj are one such group, but they do not want to
be classified as "the Hindus" and have actually struggled for the
acknowledgement of their apostasy. This is not in keeping with the spirit of the
Vedas, which call for a struggle against the anti-Hindu forces and not the
Dharma itself. What is then Hindu Culture?
The Vedic or the true Hindu Culture stands on two
1. Reason, and 2. Valor.
I may therefore explain them under these headings:
Vedism is the natural religion of mankind because it
rose in response to the human psyche. Some faithful may call it the result of
Revelation, but it is the consequence of the Indian wisdom and power of
observation coupled with piety, purity and probity:
Man is naturally afraid of the natural phenomena:
I he vastness of billions of galaxies, known as the
universe, is very frightening, indeed. Fear, which needs remedial action,
naturally invokes curiosity. This is especially true because man's existence,
despite his free will, is largely controlled by extraneous conditions and he
feels helpless. This feeling is exacerbated by his physical drawbacks such as
limited strength and restricted vision, which are subject to disease, disruption
and decline, leading to old age and death.
What is the source of these multitudinous sufferings,
and how to avoid them? These are the questions that agitated the Indian sages
who came to the conclusion that this universe is held together by Rta, the
Eternal Law, and its various sections, are controlled by different Forces of
Nature, which are also manifestations of the Rta. Out of fear and reverence,
they named these Forces of Nature as gods and goddesses, allotting them
multifarious roles: the sun was Cal led Surya, the moon Chandra, the dawn Usha,
the wind Vayu, the tempest Rudra and so on. Today we call these Forces of Nature
as gravity, electromagnetic, nuclear forces, etc., but the change of name does
not affect the reality, that is, the universe is governed by the Forces of
Nature. This is the Vedic deduction which is the essence of reason.
Why is it the Vedic deduction? Could it not be a
Chinese, a Mesopotamian, an Egyptian or a Greek innovation? The anti- Indian
elements will love to bestow this honor on some other country but there is not
much they cannot do about it because this is the subject of the Rgveda, which
was composed in the Punjab some 6,000 years ago. I need not discuss its
chronology here because I have done so in my book: "God, Devil and
Idols" (to be published shortly). This is what entitles it to rank as the
piece of Living archaeology. The Rgveda contains over 1,000 hymns, each
dedicated to some god or goddess, the Forces of Nature.
The instinct of fear arouses desire for protection and
support. The ancient Indians (the people of India) who took these forces for
deities, believed that they possessed the powers to please and tease, promote
and demote, respite and ruin. Thus, they thought the path to happiness, health
and longevity lay in appeasing these supernatural forces, and this is how man
started worshipping nature. However, though the Rishis or seers i.e., the Vedic
priests-philosophers could visualize the truth, the ordinary devotee found
difficult to comprehend it because it was too abstract a concept. So it was
found necessary to present this doctrine symbolically i.e., in the form of
concrete statues. Thus, a statue is not a god or a goddess but the symbolic
representation of a certain deity. It is no different from a Prophet; he acts as
the Symbol of God, who cannot be seen or contacted, and the faithful start
ascribing Divine attributes to him (the Prophet) and adore him accordingly. Here
one can see that the Hindus are no more idolatrous than the Muslims: they are
In view of the rational significance of the Rgveda, I
may tender further explanations to establish that the various Vedic gods are in
fact, the delineation of the Forces of Nature:
a. MITRA and VARUNA:
These are the twins Lords of Rta, the natural law. They
are usually invoked together because of their close relationship with each
other: Mitra presides over the day and Varuna over the night. Conjointly, they
uphold the rule of the Eternal Law, govern the natural phenomena, and guard the
They were twelve sun-gods having influence on the
twelve months. It is Aditi or the element of eternity, which sustains them. This
inviolable, imperishable and eternal element is the celestial light, which
unlike the radiance of the moon and the stars, in a way exists behind these
They are the gods of the winds and storms, and
considered as a personification of the speckled clouds .
This god may be described as the Chief God of the
modern Hindus. Both Rama and Krishna are considered his incarnations, yet he is
not the Chief but a junior god of the Rgveda. He has been described as offering
praise to Indra, the Chief Vedic god, and derives his power from that god (Indra)
The chief characteristic of Vishnu is that he strides
over the heavens, and he does it in three paces, which have been explained as
the threefold manifestation of light in the form of fire, lightning and the sun;
the three paces are also held as the three daily conditions of the sun such as
rising, culminating and setting.
He was the Chief God of the Vedic age, equally admired
by gods and mankind. There are more hymns dedicated to him in the Rgveda than
any other god. In fact, a closer study of the Rgvedic hymns reveals that he is
the model of procreation and it is his power that keeps everything alive and
moving. However, in general terms, he was held as reigning over the atmosphere;
thunderbolt was his main weapon, which he used to make life-sustaining rain and
quell the demons of drought and darkness to express his heroism.
The noblest and the most heroic Indra was once the
Chief of Vishnu, Brahma and Siva. That was the time when the Hindus possessed
the heroic character, which fired them with the zeal of adventure and they
spread into all regions, crushing every resistance, to disseminate the Vedic
Civilization. Since the Hindus have turned their backs on the most heroic Indra,
they have suffered the moral setback that has turned eagle into a vulture.
The brief description of the few gods, does show that
they reflect reason and not superstition. It also demonstrates that rational
thinking started in India, and this claim is amply vouched for by the fact that
Indra is also the fountain of philosophy. Therefore, I may continue this
discussion with reference to Indra:
Studying the natural phenomena in search of the Truth
is the peculiarity of reason. Its sustained and advanced form is known as
philosophy, which has been described as "pursuit of wisdom and knowledge:
investigation of the nature of being: knowledge of the causes and laws of all
The "Veda," the original scripture of India,
means knowledge, and it is based on the observation of the natural phenomena,
their underlying principles and working. The Veda is the first book ever to
declare that this universe is based on the Law Eternal (RTA) whereas all other
religions and ancient schools of thought held it to be the miracle of God:
miracle is something that is supernatural, and defies the natural law. This is
enough to prove that maturity of thinking, which is the foundation of
civilization, first started in India, and this is from here that it spread to
the rest of the world.
It is easier to make claims but difficult to prove
them. I may therefore refer to the world-famous Platonic Doctrine of Forms,
which has influenced religious and social thinking in every part of the globe.
Described briefly, Plato distinguishes between eternal being and temporal being;
the latter is visible, changeable and had a beginning, it is the work of God
(the eternal being) who had before Him the prototype i.e., the eternal model of
everything that exists. Thus, God created this world as an imitation of the
Before proceeding any further, I may clarify one major
misunderstanding which has crept into this theory as a result of the
enthusiastic interpretations of Plato's monotheistic admirers such as Jews,
Christians and Muslims. They say that Plato's God is Creator and Absolute. I
think, it is a nonsense because this theory implies that the models of creation
are as eternal as God himself, and therefore, they (God and prototypes) are co-
existent. Since God has no choice but to make everything according to the
pre-existing Forms (prototype), He is neither Creator nor Absolute.
There is a general accord among the 20th-century
historians that the Indians (people of undivided India) the Romans and the
Greeks are members of the same racial stock. A study of their customs and
traditions clearly show that the Indian culture is the Mother Culture and both
Roman and Greek cultures sprang from it. It is not surprising that Plato's
ancestor was called Dropides (Draupadi ) which is an authentic Indian name.
Without relying on this description, I claim that Plato's theory of Eternal
Ideas or Form is a re-statement of the Vedic philosophy. Here is the proof:
"He (Indra) of whom all this world is but the copy
who shakes things moveless, He, O men, is Indra." (Rg. II, XII - 9)
One can clearly see here that this world is a copy, and
not creation of God (Indra). Again, Indra is the soul of the world because he is
the motion that "shakes things moveless." Obviously, he is
self-moving, and if he did not supply the moving power, every thing should come
to a standstill.
Plato has also adopted this Rgvedic idea: he holds that
all motion in the universe is ultimately generated by souls. As there is a
systematic unity in these motions, these motion-originating souls form a
hierarchy headed by God, which is the best soul.
To make sure that this Vedic doctrine is not understood
as an accidental statement, I quote once again to prove that this is the
considered Vedic opinion:
"In every figure he hath been the model: this is
his only form for us to look on. Indra moves multiform by his illusions."
(Rg. VI, XLVII - 18)
This quotation surely proves beyond a shadow of doubt that
Plato's philosophy is the imitation of the Rgvedic doctrine. In fact, all the
mystical theories of monism which hold the universe as an aggregate of
illusions, originate from this verse.
One should remember that Plato also believed in the
Vedic principle of Karma because he did not think that offering to God or Gods
could do any good to man. He was also a staunch follower of the Indian doctrine
The reader ought to remember that this discussion has
been initiated by my assertion that the Hindu Culture stands on two principles,
namely, reason and valor. I think that I have said enough to show that the Hindu
Culture is founded on reason. Now, I may explain the second element i.e., valor.
It may surprise the reader to know that all the Vedic gods are warriors, who are
fundamentally righteous; they are universal in character and love the entire
mankind. They are not sectarian, blood- thirsty and worship-crazy like the
Semitic gods. They fight for the good of humanity and expect their devotees to
follow in their footprints.
Having discussed this issue in my book "God, Devil
and Idols," I intend to be brief here:
Study of the Rgveda makes one fact abundantly clear,
that is, the fate of a nation rests in the hands of its leader. It is because he
exercises psychological dominance over them. In fact, choosing someone as the
leader implies that. the followers do want to be psychologically dominated by
the leader: they want to think, feel and act like him. Thus a leader is in a
position to mould, and set the cultural path for his people. If he has the right
ideology and acts righteously, his people will be straight, sensible and super
but if he is a hypocrite, his followers shall be proportionally devious,
digressive and devilish .
Indra, the Vedic leader of gods and men, is the superb
leader, who is moved by love of mankind, piety and courage. The main feature of
his character is that he is the deadly enemy of cowardice; he acts with the
greatest fortitude to destroy the wrong and restore the right. To him, cowardice
is the fountain of evil because when a wrong doer knows that people shall not
check his wickedness owing to cowardice, he becomes daring, dauntless and
devastating in spreading evil. Thus cowardice and evil become synonymous.
Indra's warring virtue is the cleansing factor of the Vedic society that the
world once knew through the brave, boisterous and bullish Indian spirit of
Here is a brief outline of Indra's character, and one
can see the truth for oneself without any advocacy from me:
"Indra, bring wealth that gives delight, the
Victor's ever conquering wealth, Most excellent, to be our aid. By means of
which we may repel our foes in battle hand to hand .....Aided by thee, the
thunder-armed, Indra, may we lift up the bolt, And conquer all our foes in
fight. With thee, O Indra, for ally with missile-darting heroes, may We
conquer our embattled foes." (Rg. I, VIII: 1-4)
Here is the ancient Hindu priest raring for a hand to hand
fight with his enemy and invoking the grace of Indra, himself a great fighter.
it is exactly the opposite of the modern Hindu priest, the biggest preacher of
Ahimsa, the alluring euphemism of cowardice! No wonder the Hindus have become a
play-thing for the mischief-mongers.
His followers, the ancient Hindus, adore Indra their -
Lord, and feel fearless like him:
"All sacred songs have magnified Indra expensive at
the sea, The best of warriors borne on cars, the Lord, the very Lord of
strength Strong in friendship, Indra Lord of power and might we have no fear.
We glorify with praises thee, the never-conquered Conqueror." (Rg. I, X:
A true Hindu is a power-worshipper. This is why he
glorifies the mighty Indra, the never-conquered Conqueror, and being the
follower of such a dauntless Hero, he himself feels fearless. The situation is
reversed in the case of a modern Hindu: he has no such hero to follow and
therefore, he is fearful, frightened and foreboding.
One should also note that Indra, the Lord of Power and
Might, is not a bully but he is equally strong in friendship. I his is the
balanced character that once the Hindus possessed. As an extension of this
virtue, a Hindu does not seek the glory which accrues from plunder, rape and
enslavement but he searches for the "bliss-increasing glory:"
"So give us Indra, bliss-increasing glory; give us
great sway and strength that conquers people." (Rg. I. LIV: II)
The Vedic Hindu yearns for power to conquer people but for
their own good because he feels as the Divine arbitrator on earth:
"When Indra's helpers fighting for the good of
men." (Rg. I, II: 9)
The Vedic Hindu being Indra's helper, assists him in
discharging his Divine duties.
Indra is the universal god, and the Vedic Hindu being
his helper is obliged to play an international role for the good of all people:
"And measure out to us, thou (Indra) lover of
mankind." (Rg. I, LXXXIV: 20)
Indra, like Allah and Yahwe cannot be sectarian in
character. He loves mankind because:
"He (Indra) who is Lord of all the world that moves
and breathes." (Rg. I, Gl: 5)
Again, the Vedic gods are righteous, and unlike Allah, who
claims to play tricks on the unbelievers, are free from guile:
"..on us descend the bounty of the righteous
gods." (Rg. I, LXXXIX: 2)
The two basic elements ( reason and valor ) of the Vedic
society that I have discussed above clearly show that the true Hindu culture, as
stated previously, is universal in character, righteous and hatred free, in
which Hindus play their role as arbitrators. Being the divine custodians of
world's peace and justice, they need supreme power, otherwise, they cannot
perform their cultural function.
" Al l gods (are) devoid of guile. " (Rg.
I, XIX: 3)
I must emphasize that this picture of the Vedic culture
is as it was, and principally ought to be. It will be wrong of me to say that
this is what the modern Hindu culture is. The nation that has suffered the
utmost moral and political degradation over the last 1,000 years, and is still a
member of the Third World, cannot be the representative of the Vedic Culture.
The present day Hindus cannot claim to be the inheritors of the Vedic Character.
In fact, they have disgraced the Vedas both in principle and practice. Since
they have deserted Indra, the Lord of 100 powers, they have become effeminate
and braggarts, and lost the ability to practice the Vedic doctrines which
require reason and valor.
This discussion for its logical conclusion demands that
I must try to pinpoint the major causes which are responsible for perpetual
decline of the Hindu Culture. One can think of numerous factors, but I may
describe the following three:
Islam is a Semitic ideology and does not suit the Indian
disposition; it has the same relevance to India as cold bath may be prescribed
as the cure for a sufferer of pneumonia. Having discussed the Islamic Culture
previously, there is hardly any need to touch it again. Therefore, I shall opine
about Ahimsa and Caste System only:
2. Ahimsa, and
3. Caste System.
"By war I found for man the way to high
success." (Rg. X, XLIX: 9)
The above is the Law of Indra, the Warrior. It states very
clearly that the secret of success, superiority and supremacy lies in war - a
pious war. Having explained the Vedic concept of a pious (holy) war in an
another article: "The Vedic Crusade," I hardly need go into full
details here but to maintain the rhythm of this discussion, I ought to add that
from the Vedic point of view, a war is holy and the greatest worship when a
devotee puts at stake everything he has and jumps into the battlefield to defend
the honor of his motherland, family, friends and property. The one who does so
is a Vedi (Hindu) but the one who refrains, is not.
It is for this reason that the Rgveda forbade the
Kshatriya to dip his arrows in poison; dirty fighting is no part of Dharma.
Again, to be a warrior one has to be brave, bold and bullish. Such a person must
be chivalrous in conduct and must not stoop to cheap and low devices of
fighting. Manu Smriti lays down a whole host of rules in this respect - a Vedic
warrior cannot attack a sleeping or ailing enemy; nor is he allowed to molest
women and children; in fact, he is not allowed to fight anyone who does not want
to fight. These standards of heroism only a Vedic Kshatriya could set. This is
the reason that the Rgveda in Hymn GIV, entitled, Indra-Soma, declares:
"Never doth Soma aid and guide the wicked or him
who falsely claims the Warrior's title." (Rg. VII, GIV: 13 )
To eulogize the greatness of a Vedic warrior, it is sin to
call oneself as a Kshatriya falsely because he is the hero, aided and guided by
In fact, it requires a whole volume to complete praises
of Kshatriya, the Vedic Warrior, because God has "founded on war the way to
high success." Yet we see that the Hindus are hell-bent on calling
"Ahimsa" (non-violence) the true Vedic way of life. It is a gross
insult to the Vedic doctrine, especially when Ahimsa means cowardice, escape
from challenge, and flight from a contest to survive honorably.
Even the Bhagavadgita says:
"Besides, considering your own duty you should not
waver; for there is nothing more welcome for a man of the warrior class than a
Arjuna, it is only the lucky among the Khsatriyas, who
get such an unsolicited opportunity for war, which is an open door to heaven.
Now, if you will not wage such a righteous war, then
abandoning your duty and losing your reputation, you will incur sin.
Nay, people will pour undying infamy on you, and infamy
brought on a man enjoying popular esteem is worse than death.
Either slain in battle you will attain heaven, or
gaining victory you will enjoy sovereignty of the earth; therefore, arise Arjuna,
determined to fight." ( Bhagavad-Gita ii : 31, 32 , 33 , 37 )
I do not think that these verses can be interpreted in
any way except acknowledging the truth that righteous war is an integral part of
the Hindu Dharma. Yet some Acharyas and Swamis claim that these verses do not
mean war against wicked people but against greed and anger. Obviously,
dishonesty knows no bounds. The truth is that these 'holy men' have become so
cowardly that the words: sword, blood and death scare them and they feel obliged
to misinterpret the Scriptures for hiding the shame of their own pusillanimity.
Pity, they ate fooling the nation for their own ends. May be readers will like
to know the Vedic verdict about such men:
" Indra and Soma, burn, destroy the demon foe,
send downward, O ye Bull, those who add gloom and doom. Annihilate the fools,
slay them and burn them up: Chase them away from us, pierce the voracious ones.
(Rg. Vll, GIV: I)
The type of people whose willful interpretations and
preaching serve as the source of national gloom and doom, have been equated in
this verse with the "demon foe" i.e., the destructive enemy. To put it
mildly, they are the fools who must be annihilated and chased away. They are not
fit to be members of the Vedic society.
How accurate is the Vedic description of these
"demon foe," who have been the cause of the national doom and gloom
over the centuries. The people who have been taught Ahimsa i.e. cowardice right
from the cradle, are naturally not fit to stand the rigors of real life. They
prepare their own pyre to cremate themselves in the fire of disgust, dishonor
and detestation. Look into history and see for yourself how the Indian people
have been devastated by the Macedonians, the Bactrians, the Sakas, the Huns, the
Kusanas, the Arabs, the Turks, the Afghans, the Mughals and the British. What an
unusually long string of humiliation it is! But why blame the foreign predators
for its A person who deliberately does not repulse the attack of a robber,
morally, aids and abets him in his vicious designs. The main culprit is Ahimsa,
the bane of the Hindus, yet they are not prepared to accept the responsibility;
instead, they blame the Emperor Ashoka as the ambassador of Ahimsa. This is a
fabrication because Ashoka's ahimsa was a message of love for all those who
"deserved" it. His rule was essentially paternal which is denoted by
his world famous saying, "All men are my children." Ashoka's edicts
testify to his philosophy of ahimsa which means tolerance of all sects and
opinions, obedience to parents, reverence to the Brahmins, liberality to friends
and kindness to servants and animals.
This, in fact, is the Vedic attitude to life, and this
is the reason that India has been practically free from the curse of slavery
while it has been rampant in the rest of the world. This is a tribute to the
high Indian morality. This is what makes Vedism synonymous with humanism and
raises its status to that of the international religion. Ashoka held the largest
empire of his time; he could not have controlled it without rewarding the good
and punishing the wicked. As a tribute to his personal firmness and sagacious
administrative policies, nobody ever dared raid his dominions. It is unfair to
blame Buddhism for our weakness because Buddhism has not weakened the Chinese,
the Japanese or the Koreans. On the contrary, these nations have high standing
in the international hierarchy.
The true cause of the Hindu ahimsa lies in their very
long period of sustained prosperity, which makes people soft, spongy and supine,
and they develop aversion to challenge, dare and adventure. This truth is
vouched for by the fact that India is the origin of all the historical diamonds
of the world such as the Great Mughal, the Darya-i-Nur, the Koh-i-Nur, the
Florentine, the Sanci, the Shah, the Regent, the Orloff, and so on. This is what
made India the fountain of the lapidary art, and this is why that even today 70
S, of all diamonds are cut, shaped and polished in India. According to Pliny,
the Mauryan army consisted of 9,000 elephants, 30,000 cavalry, and 600,000
infantry. It must have required fabulous sums of money to maintain it. The Nanda
rulers of the 5th century B.C., who are held to be of Shudra origin, were fabled
for wealth in the ancient world history. The source of the Indian riches was the
ingenuity of the people and their trading interests, which firmly extended to
Central Asia, China, the Eastern Mediterranean and South Fast Asia .
3d. CASTE SYSTEM
Now, I am in a position to discuss caste system, the
third element that has caused the ruination of the Hindu Culture and made it the
fountain of what is debased, degrading and disgusting in the Indian society.
Let me state categorically that the source of this evil
is not Rgveda but Ahimsa. This statement may appear strange, stupid and sinful
but this is the truth. Because of its debasing and ruinous effect on the Indian
society, it ranks as the curse of the Vedic gods on the Hindus, who have
deserted them for centuries. As I will discuss later, this factor is much
sharper in bringing about the partition of India than Islam, which has exploited
it to the hilt.
What is Caste System?
It is a rigid discipline in which Jati has the central
function though Varna has also played a theoretical role. its rules require
strict adherence to endogamy (i.e. marrying within one's own group), inviolable
concepts of purity and pollution, hierarchical arrangement of occupations,
sticking to a geographical location, and above all, an unshakable belief in it
as the hereditary truth.
This system is claimed to have been initiated by the
Rgveda itself and therefore its denial is held tantamount to unbelief, whereas
the truth is that a hereditary social structure of society is a gross insult to
the egalitarian wisdom of the Vedas and their Divine spirit. The justification
of caste system is based on Hymn XG known as Purusa to be found in Book: X of
Purusa is held as Embodied Spirit or Man personified,
which is considered as the soul and original source of the universe. This hymn
which consists of sixteen stanzas, states that the Purusa (some also refer to it
as Prajapati, the Lord of Creation) has "A thousand heads, a thousand eyes,
a thousand feet," and "This Purusa is all that yet hath been and all
that is to be ..."
In modern terms, one can refer to Purusa, as the
initial state of matter i.e., a fireball and its thousands of limbs i.e., eyes,
feet, etc., as its various properties. According to this hymn as Purusa was
sacrificed, everything that constitutes this universe, emerged from the
different parts of its body. However, it is the 12th stanza, which is relevant
to this discussion. It says:
The Brahman was his (Purusa's) mouth, of both his arms
was the Rajanya (Kshatriya ) made, His thighs became the Vaisya, from his feet
the Shudra was produced.
For the benefit of the reader, I must state
categorically that the word: heredity, which may perpetuate the Caste System
does not appear in this hymn or anywhere else in the Vedas. It is a statement of
the four social divisions to be found in any society of the world, and social
divisions are never hereditary or perpetual: the son of a ruler can become a
beggar, the son of a learned man can become an ignorant person, the son of a
soldier can become a clergy. The social order is naturally subject to change;
the nations that have realized this truth have prospered but the Hindus, who
ignored it to live in a world of make- believe, have come to suffer from an
unusually morbid parvanimity, which has caused them untold indignity, iniquity
and infamy. In our age of human rights and civil liberties, how can one even
think of hereditary "greatness" and "lowliness."
Change is the fundamental principle of this universe.
It equally applies to the biological mechanism (life) and is known as
"Mutation." In a nutshell, it implies an alteration in the genetic
constitution of a cell that is passed on to the cell's offspring (children).
This principle of change i.e., Mutation is so fine and thorough that no two
humans are exactly the same in their intellect, taste and practical approach to
life. It is totally unnatural and impossible to build a large group of several
thousand or million people having the same physical, moral and spiritual traits.
Therefore, the hereditary caste system is a phenomenon of social injustice that
has been invented for the benefit of a tiny minority at the expense of
overwhelming majority. How the son of a Brahman, who is a cook by occupation,
can call himself a Brahman? How the son of Kshatriya, who is a taxi-driver, can
claim to be a warrior? The secret of this wizardry emerges when we look into the
mechanism of the pretended heredity.
Then, what is the Vedic meaning of Caste System? Here
is the answer:
"One to high sway (1), one to exalted glory (2),
One to pursue his gain (3), and one his labor (4): All to regard their
different vocations, all moving creatures hath the Dawn awakened." (Rg.
I, GXIII: 6)
This stanza has been quoted to support Caste System
whereas, in fact, it has exactly the opposite meaning: it mentions four social
classes, which refer to "different vocations," totally alien to the
principle of heredity. However, decisive factor is the one that I have marked as
no. 4: it explains beyond a shadow of doubt that a "Shudra" is not
someone, who is lowborn, unclean and subject to the strict laws of purity and
pollution; he is simply a laborer, a workman and an artisan. According to the
previously quoted hymn (Purusa ), he is the most important member of the society
because he emerged from the feet, which simply means, footing, on which the
stability of the thing depends. A building is only as strong as its footing
i.e., foundation, and a man with deformed feet cannot walk properly and
therefore, ranks as a cripple.
Classifying members of d society at cording to the
hereditary principle of "love" and "high" birth is
blasphemous because it negates the Vedic excellence, which bestows a high
reverence on human birth without any reference to genetics, whatever:
"O undivided Heaven and Earth, preserve us, us the
Lofty Ones, your nobly-born descendants." (Rg. Vll: LXII - 4)
Without resorting to any interpretation, one can clearly
see here that all men without any distinction are lofty ones because they are
nobly born descendants of Heaven and Earth. This is why the Veda is the only
true champion of man's dignity whereas other religions (Note 1) look down upon
humanity. What a pity, the Hindus themselves have done more to disgrace their
scriptures than the combined forces of their enemies.
Note 1: For example, the Koran says about man's birth:
"Then He (Allah) made his (man's) seed from a draught of despised
fluid." Prostration XXXII - 8)
Man - every man, is the noble descendant of Heavens
because God and man are made of the same materials. This is what makes them
"Ye, O ye gods, are verily our kinsmen." (Rg.
II: XXVIII: 4)
Here the emphasis (ye, O ye gods) on kinship is noteworthy
because man as a species is related to all gods, and thus he is of divine
origin. Therefore, nobody can be low or high by birth: life is what one makes of
it. This is the fundamental Vedic Law known as Karma: the concept of caste
system which contradicts it, cannot be used as its justification.
Man as kinsman of gods is himself a potential god.
explained this principle in my book "Eternity," I need into detail
here, but may repeat the emphasis that "Twixt you (gods) and us there is
ancestral friendship and common kin: remember and regard it." (Rg. Vll,
Here man (priest) feels so sure of his divine
relationship with gods that he not only asserts it openly but insists that it
should be remembered and regarded by them. Obviously, this bond exists between
every man and gods. Therefore, the very concept of caste system is sinful and
blasphemous because it implies that some classes of gods are equally degraded,
unclean and "wicked" like low class men. This notion is utterly
un-Vedic and he who holds such a belief cannot be a follower of the Veda.
According to the Vedic doctrine, gods are essentially righteous. Those who
concocted stories about the moral shortcomings of gods, are not Rishis but the
enemies of Dharma.
There is a lot more material in the Vedas to support my
argument but I prefer to be brief, and may quote the following verse to show
that every devotee of Indra, (now forgotten by the Hindus) is a very high human,
and cannot be allotted a low origin:
"He who with sacrifices worships Indra is lord of
wealth, law- born and law's protector." (Rg. Vll, XX: 6)
Though it is foreign invaders, who are blamed for twisting
the Vedic doctrine, the truth is that the Hindus themselves are the biggest
culprits in this field. For example, to justify casteism, the casteists have
incorporated the law of transmigration into the Vedic teachings. This un-Vedic
principle has given a very ingenious spin to the Vedic law of Karma, which
means: "we reap what we sow," and the casteists have interpreted it to
imply that a human is reborn as a rat, snake, Shudra, etc., according to his
desert in the previous life. Therefore, they hold that low-birth is a
consequence of one's own doing and is in accordance with law of nature. It means
a person is Hindu by birth only, and therefore, cannot be converted. This view
has become the biggest curse on the Hindu nation. It has destroyed the national
unity of the Hindus by creating thousands of really harsh social divisions
amongst them. Further, as non-Hindus cannot be converted into Hindus, and are
looked down upon as Mlenchhas i.e., born of impurity, they do not feel
themselves as part of Hindu nation; thus they lack the love that nationals of
other countries have for their motherlands. This is a tragedy of gigantic
proportions and serves as the true bane of India.
The unity, dignity and progress of India demands total
destruction of the caste system. Those who defend it, are self centered people
and cannot qualify as patriots. They are guilty of treason and traitors are
never considered high class. In fact, there is no class low enough to describe a
Of course, reincarnation is an Indian tenet but it is
not a Vedic doctrine. India has always housed many other religions besides
Vedism, and the Hindus have adopted it from some other Indian faith, which must
have existed long before Jainism and Buddhism. I need not trace its origin here
but must repeat that there is no evidence of metempsychosis in the Vedas.
Attempts have been made to justify it through manipulation but they do not
conform to the ethos of the Vedas. If it were really a Vedic principle, it would
have been stated not only categorically but also repeatedly. It has been brought
to my notice that " Bahu-Prajah" in R.V. I. 164. 32 has been
interpreted as "subject to many births." It is just an exercise in
fallacy. This is a legacy of the Vedanta and appears in the Upanishads.
The purpose of this principle was that the Khsatriyas
must not be afraid of death; they must realize that death in the service of
Dharma opens the door to a new and better life. Some people see a
"preliminary sign of the doctrine of metempsychosis in the Atharva Veda,
but the notion first makes its definite appearance in the Satapatha Brahmana."
Further, it is claimed that the doctrine of reincarnation was revealed by the
Khsatriyas to the Brahmans!
Frankly speaking, one can say that Caste system is the
child of the deformed, dwarfed and diluted form of the Vedic teachings brought
about by Ahimsa. To understand this theory, one must realize that fighting for a
pious cause is the fundamental Vedic doctrine. The long sustained period of
prosperity weakened the martial spirit of the Hindus, which was pathetically
exacerbated by the Muslim military incursions. Though it hit the Hindu will to
fight, it did not exterminate their aspiration for self importance.
Self importance is psychological trait and seems to
originate from one's inferiority complex. Man instinctively wants to be treated
with respect, which requires some virtues that may be appreciated by others. It
is this appreciation by others which forms one's source of esteem. These virtues
can be natural such as intelligence and beauty, or they can be acquired such as
learning, high rank, artistic skill, etc. When one does not have natural or
acquired virtues, one does not attract attention and feels neglected and
despised; this leads to a sense of inferiority and sharpens one's tendency of
self-importance. Thus, one usually resorts to wrong methods to look what one is
not: living in a world of fancy, gloating on one's dynastic or family glory,
tricking others to feel clever, are some of the examples.
The power and will to defend oneself is a great Virtue.
Having lost this ability through Ahimsa, which heaped untold humiliation on the
Hindu nobility, its members felt the pangs of inferiority complex, both at
personal and national level. This is what sharpened their sense of
self-importance. Having been deprived of the fighting skill by their enthusiasm
for Ahimsa, but still wanting to look important, they resorted to Casteism,
which gave 5% of the population a high social status compared to the rest of the
society; though it was a high treason against the nation, it gave the
perpetrators what they wanted. Thus a person became superior to others by birth
alone. For the sake of maintaining their self-importance, members of the higher
castes, invented tremendous lore and ritual to brainwash the ordinary folk for
accepting low-birth as the natural cause of their previous Karma. They did it so
skillfully that the Devil himself would have liked to be instructed by them in
the art of manipulation, malevolence and malignity.
A long string of foreign predators had preceded the
Muslim invaders. Caste System had become a part of the Hindu Culture: the
Muslims simply drove it to its nadir. The simple truth is that the Hindu
nobility had reached such a low point of moral and political degradation that
its members could not have maintained their sanity without the opium of casteism.
I may explain this complexity with an anecdote that I read a long time ago:
As a result of the 1857 Mutiny, the Mughal dynasty of
India fell on its face. An English colonel could not check his tears when he saw
a Mughal prince driving a bullock-cart.
"You were a prince. Don't you feel ashamed of
driving a bullock- cart now?" asked the English Colonel. "Not at
all," replied the prince, "I am a Mughal, governing is a part of my
nature. First, I ruled humans, now I rule animals. " It demonstrates the
pathetic condition of the prince, who did not know the difference between
commanding humans and animals. His urge of self-importance overcame his sense of
dignity and he equated a menial occupation with the honor known as domination.
These high casteists turned their own brethren into animals to enjoy their most
destructive urge of self importance.
This utterly un-Vedic concept of caste system is
extremely ruinous to the Hindu nation and has been the major cause of breaking
up Mother India. I know it because I was a sincere and enthusiastic practitioner
of Islam in 1947. Treatment of the Harijans or untouchables by the
"high-caste" Hindus always filled the Muslims with consternation
because they were held by the Hindus as Mlenchas i.e., lower and more impure
than the untouchables. This fear was confirmed by the fact that even those
Hindus, who lived in the same localities as did the Muslims, shrank all social
intercourse with the Muslims; neither they would shake hands with them nor share
the dining table, never mind inter-marrying or exchanging greetings or
condolences at birth, marriage and death; a Hindu became impure if a Muslim
touched him or his shadow fell on him. This hateful attitude of the Hindus,
which originated from casteism, was exploited by the Muslim leaders, who knew
very well that they were racially Hindu, and Mother India was their home as
well, but a politician does not know the difference between right and wrong when
it comes to gaining political ascendancy: power to a politician is what a virgin
is to a rapist, sheep to a wolf and a loaf of bread to an extremely hungry
person. Do members of the same nation, or brothers, look down upon one another
like this? It is not that easy to construct a Two-Nation Theory from the Koran,
but the caste-mad Hindus did the dirty work of the Muslim leaders; their
followers, who felt socially no part of the Indian society, were pleased to
realize that they were a separate nation: they felt no qualm of conscience when
they partitioned their own Motherland.
It does not take a sage to predict that if Caste System
survives much longer, Bharat shall not. It is because people divided into
thousands of antagonistic groups neither feel loyalty for their nation nor
possess sufficient unity to defend her. It is this disunity that has been
eroding the land of India, which once included Kandhar (Afghanistan) in the
north, Burma in the east and Ceylon in the south, but now Amritsar marks its
northern boundary and Calcutta the eastern edge. If Caste-System survives,
Bharat is sure to split up into smaller states before the 21st century runs its
course. On the contrary, China, where Caste System lacks cultural recognition,
has doubled its territory by adding Mongolia and Tibet!
Japan also once adopted the Caste System but realizing
its harmful cultural effects, they threw it out to be a great nation. Ancient
Greece also practiced Caste System. The Greeks had hereditary four tribes. It
was Cleisthenes who abolished this divisive and harmful way of life, and
introduced a division of the citizens into ten new tribes having territorial
A great Kshatriya, known as Lord Buddha, tried to
eliminate this evil some 2,500 years ago but his efforts bore no fruit.
According to the Rgveda, a Shudra means a working person. It is the most urgent
need of time that the Vedic message is interpreted fairly, and not for the
benefit of the few.
I dream of a powerful and dignified (reunited) India,
and sincerely believe that this process has got to start from Bharat, but it
cannot happen until the last traces of Caste System are removed from the Hindu
culture. The lead must come from the Hindu leadership. The so called
"untouchables" can help by not leaving Dharma. Instead, they must
fight their corner from within and they can do so by reading the Vedas and
molding their practices accordingly. No Hindu patriot will ever fill their ears
with molten lead for listening to the Vedas or split their tongue for reciting
them. The Vedas are to be read and practiced by the entire mankind. Those who
oppose this idea are the enemies of the Vedas. In fact, they are wolves in
The Vedas are the fountain of godliness and messenger
of human greatness but the concept of Caste System degrades them because it
holds that not only the Muslims, Christians, atheists, etc., are impure but 75%
of Hindus also come within this category. What a ploy it is to maintain the
mania of self-importance by the few. Their manipulative behavior has played
havoc with the national dignity because "Hindu" has come to mean a
savage, an uncouth, a black, a Hejra; in the Persian poetry "Hindu" is
used for a desirable female owing to the effeminacy that has come to be ascribed
to the Hindus.
The greater challenge to the Hindu nation comes from
the Islamic culture. Once the Hindus have set a model of patriotism based on the
love of the Motherland, the Muslims will follow suit because love, especially
love of one's Motherland works wonders by overcoming narrow-mindedness, which
breeds mutual contempt and social squabbles. The Hindus have no choice but to
Indianise the Muslims, and the only way to do so is through loving India, the
Motherland of all.
It does not need magic to Indianise the Muslims. They
must be made to realize the meaning of Prophet Muhammad's saying: "Love of
one's motherland is a part of the faith. This is a very wise tenet because
without the love of one's motherland, one cannot build a righteous and
prosperous society. It was the Prophet's love for Arabia that persuaded him to
make his homeland the center of reverence for all Muslims. Here is a clear
pattern for the Muslims of India to love their own motherland. Once the Hindus
and Muslims feel as one Indian nation, the people of Pakistan and Bangladesh
will think again and shall be eager to return home, but it is not likely to
happen as long as the divisive sword of Caste System hangs over the head of the
One's country of birth counts as one's motherland,
which deserves greater respect than one's own mother. Thus, Bharat is the
motherland of the Muslims as well; they owe her a duty of love and care; she
must be preferred to all other lands as the Iranians adore Iran and Egyptians
cherish Egypt. In fact, India is the only Deity that Indians of all faiths need.
Once they learn to love their motherland, they will enjoy one national goal, and
cease to be narrow-minded sectarians.