Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Hinduism The Legacy of Rishis / Munis - The Caste System

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Admin Singh, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
    Expand Collapse
    Admin SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    5,043
    Introduction

    Throughout human history the conquerors have justified their actions by invoking divine sanctions and declaring themselves morally, intellectually, socially and racially superior to their victims. The slave master with whip in hand standing under the shade of an umbrella used to holler at the slaves toiling under blazing hot sun, “ O you lazy bums! You so and so¾when will you learn to work hard?” The Muslims regarded the killing and coercing of kafirs (infidels, non-Muslims) to bring them into the fold of Islam as the Will of Allah. The Christians carried out genocide of native populations, enslaved them, colonized them and inflicted untold atrocities on them on the pretext of “saving the soul of heathens” and “civilizing the savages” turning the meaning of civilized “upside down”. The “soul saver”¾missionary with a Bible in hand used walk behind the Christian soldier with a gun in hand.

    Since 1947 Hindu intellectuals have started rewriting Indian history. They blame the British and Muslim rulers for the ills and the division of the Indian society. They are right, as rulers use the policy of “divide and rule” to exploit their subjects and keep them under their grip. However, they forget that their ancestors, the so-called Aryans were also invaders / conquerors who destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization of the native Indians known as Dravidians. They also turn a blind eye to the atrocious Varna Ashrama Dharma / Caste System when they project India before the conquest by Muslims as a land of peace and harmony and milk and honey¾utopia¾Ram Raj. Moreover, they regard their ancient seers / sages (Rishis / Munis) as paragon of virtues¾the fountainhead of civilization. Nothing could be further from truth than these absurd claims.

    It should be pointed out that India’s next door neighbor, Nepal, which is far worse than India in every respect, has been ruled continuously by Hindu kings since antiquity. So the problems of modern India can not be simply blamed on past Muslim and Christian rulers.

    Discussion


    Varna Ashrama Dharma / Caste System


    The ethics of the modern Hindu elite reflect the teachings of the two most renowned Hindu thinkers, Manu and Kautilya (Chanakya), who were the founders of the policy of “divide and rule” and were responsible for shaping the destiny of Hindu society.

    Permanent human inequality by birth is the summum bonum of Brahmanical ideology. The Brahmans proclaimed that Prajapati (God) created the caste-system and the Sudra as a slave of the other castes. Moreover, Prajapati was the God of Aryans only, from whom the Sudras were excluded. It was also claimed that gods do not associate with every man, but only with an Arya, a Brahman, or a Kashtriya, or a Vaisya, who can make religious sacrifices to gods. Nor one should talk with everyone, as God does not talk to everybody but only to an Arya. The order and rank of castes is eternal as the course of stars and the difference between the animal species and human race. Thus the Sudra was excluded from the domain of religion and barred from any religious activity. 1

    Manu claimed that Brahma (God) enacted the code of the caste system, and taught it to him and he taught it to Bhrigu and the later would repeat it to the sages. 2 It was Manu who codified Varna Ashrama Dharma / Caste System dividing the Indian people into four castes and myriad of sub-castes. It is based on the avowed principle that “men are for ever unequal”. Caste-system is the most rigid social mechanism devised by human ingenuity to entrench human inequality and hierarchy. It raised “caste status” above “economic status” and “political status”. It compartmentalized the economy according to its own social patterns, and prevented the economic forces from attaining to their unhindered growth and stature. The caste system also made political power subservient to political patronage. In fact, the preservation of the caste or sub-castes became the over-riding motive / consideration of the Brahmanical order.

    This system was designed to serve the interests of a small minority of people, the Brahmans, at the expense of the vast majority belonging to other castes, the bulk of whom belonged to the Sudra caste. Lower still were the Antyaja (untouchables / outcastes), whose mere shadow could pollute the upper castes. The entire conquered / enslaved population of Advasis (aboriginal tribes) called Dravidians was forced into Sudra and untouchable / outcaste ranks. Never in the history of mankind such an “evil and cruel system” was conceived by intelligent but devious men for the exploitation of man by man. It took away the human dignity of vast majority of the Indians and subjected them to untold injustices and atrocities. The untouchables / outcastes were treated worse than animals for thousands of years and this is continuing in villages across India even today.

    Brahman was the kingpin of the caste system in more than one way. He was the ideologue as well as the focal point around which the system revolved. Brahman caste was like a wheel within a wheel¾ the axis of the caste-system. It was this caste which set the guidelines of the system, and determined the direction of its course. It is the Brahmans who have profited most from the system and are mainly responsible for its maintenance and furtherance.

    Sacerdotal functions were made the sole monopoly of the Brahman caste. Manu declared that Brahman alone was to teach the Vedas and a Kshatriya was never to usurp a Brahman’s functions. It was not merely an empty declaration; it became fixed rule in the caste order. 3 Kshatriya rulers who defied the supremacy of the Brahmans were dislodged and replaced by others like the Huns (Rajputs) who replaced the old Kshatriyas. According to one legend, Parsurama, a Brahman destroyed all the Kshatriyas and installed another royal caste in their place. So the Kshatriyas were made and unmade according to the will of the Brahman. Manu has described the names of Kshatriya races, who by their omission of holy rites and disrespect for the Brahmans gradually sunk among men of the lowest of the four castes. 4

    The Vis (the later day Vaisyas) of the Vedas were not limited to a caste, but included everyone in the Aryan population which was not distinguished by sacerdotal functions or aristocratic rank. They formed a bulk of the free men of the Aryan nation. The caste system gradually reduced them to a derogatory social position, very near the borderline of the Sudras. According to Aitareya Brahmana Vaisya is to be lived on by another and to be oppressed at will. Bhagvadgita puts women, Sudra and Vaisya in the same category of people to whom eligibility to absolution through Bhakti (devotion) is conceded by the Lord. One explanation given for downgrading the peasants, who constituted the bulk of Vaisyas, is that ploughing involved the killing of worms and insects. If this is correct, it only serves to show how little consideration the Brahmans had for the bulk of the people of their own Aryan stock, since they could be penalized for ever on such flimsy grounds. 5

    The cunning Brahman invoked divine sanctions to perpetuate this system for eternity. Sacred Hindu scriptures proclaim that the caste division has divine sanction. Manu declared that the soul of one who neglected his caste-duties might pass into demon. The Bhagvadita preaches that according to the classification of actions and qualities of people, God creates the four castes. According to a passage in Mahabharta: as cisterns for cattle, as streamlets in a field, the Smriti (code of caste system) is the eternal law of duty, and is never found to fail. The Dharma-Sutras enjoined that a King has to rely on the Vedas and Dhrma Sastras for carrying out his duties. 6 To combat Buddhism strict adherence to Dharma (caste system) and obedience to Brahmans is constantly insisted upon in Mahabharta. According to Bhgvadgita if anybody wants to quit the works and duties of his caste and adopt those of another caste, even if it would bring a certain honor to him, it is a sin, because it is a transgression of the rule. 7

    Next came the doctrine of Karma to desensitize people’s sense of justice and compassion against atrocities committed on the masses to enforce the caste system. According to this divine law, one reaps the fruit in this life for the deeds performed in the previous life. So, if a person is subjected to injustice and cruelty in this life, it is the due to one’s own actions in previous life, not due to the perpetrators of cruelty and injustice. By observing the caste rules strictly and serving the superior castes faithfully one can earn the reward for the next life. The Karma theory is a cruel and unconscionable joke on the Sudra and untouchable ¾ as only faithful commitment to the duties of his caste would earn him a reward in next life!

    Under the caste system some sections of the Indian population were regarded as almost bestial rather than human. The whole conquered Sudra race (Dravidians) was equated with burial ground. Aitareya Brahmana describes Sudra as “Yatha-Kama-Vadhya” (fit to be beaten with impunity) and “Dvijatisusrusha” (menial service was his prescribed lot). One text puts the murder of a Sudra on the same level as the killing of a crow, an owl or a dog. A Sudra could be killed at will. The excessive contempt, humiliation and degradation of the Sudra reached its climax in the permanent institutions of untouchability and unapproachableness. 8 The Sudra was prohibited from amassing wealth as it would subject his superiors to him. Sudra was also barred from the realm of religion and prohibited from making religious sacrifices open to other castes.8 The exploitation of the masses reduced them to the level of dumb driven cattle.

    On the other hand any kind of harm or disrespect to the Brahman is unpardonable sin and any type of crime by the Brahman is forgivable.
    According to Manu Smriti all the wealth and resources in the world belongs to the Brahmans because they are created from the mouth of Brahma (God). So it should not be construed that a Brahman is using someone else’s goods when he accepts charity from others or takes goods from others to give to someone else.
    If a king discovers a hidden treasure, he should give half to the Brahman.
    A Brahman may be an idiot or an erudite, he is god (devta).
    The king should not punish a Brahman for committing theft because it is the king’s negligence, which made the Brahman so poor that he is forced to steel.
    According to Brihat Prasar Sanhita if a Brahman wants to be a cultivator, he can have as much land as he wants without paying any kind of tax because every thing belongs to the Brahmans.

    A Brahman remains sin free even after violating the teachings of Vedas as fire destroys combustible matter to ashes or woman remains blemish free after enjoying sex with her lover.9

    Al-Biruni, the celebrated mathematician and astronomer came to India in the wake of the invading forces of Mahmud of Ghazni in the 11th century AD, and he spent several years studying the Indian people and their literature. He is regarded as one of the foremost Indologist. He recorded the following information about caste system.
    The highest caste of Brahmans was created from the head of Brahman (God). The next caste of Kshatriyas was created from the shoulders and hands of Brahman. The next two castes, Vaisya and Sudra were created from the thighs and feet of Brahman, respectively. After the Sudra follow the people called Antyaja (untouchable), who render various kinds of services, who are not reckoned amongst any caste, but only members of certain craft or profession. 10

    He observed that Hindus believe that people are unequal in every respect, whereas Muslims consider all men as equal, except in piety. This is the greatest obstacle, which prevents any approach or understanding between Hindus and Muslims. 11

    Hindus totally differ from Muslims in Religion, as Muslims believe in nothing in which Hindus believe, and vice versa. On the whole, there is very little disputing about theological topics among themselves, at the utmost they fight with words, but they will never stake their soul or body or their property to defend their religion. On the contrary, all their fanaticism is directed against those who do not belong to them¾against all foreigners. They call them mleccha, i. e. impure, and forbid having any connection with them, be it intermarriage or any other kind of relationship, or by sitting, eating, and drinking with them, because thereby they think they would be polluted. They consider as impure any thing which touches the fire and water of a foreigner, and no household exist without these two elements. 12

    The Brahmans teach the Veda to the Kshatriyas. The latter learn it, but are not allowed to teach it, not even to a Brahman. The Vaisya and Sudra are not allowed to hear it, much less to pronounce and recite it. If such a thing can be proved against one of them, the Brahman drags him before the magistrate, and he is punished by having his tongue cut of. 13

    Maitrayani Samhita identifies women with evil. The Satapatha-Brahmana declares woman, Sudra, dog and crow as falsehood. A woman is never fit for independence. Manu made the subjection of woman to man almost servile in character. He laid down the law that husband had absolute rights over the wife to the extent of inflicting corporal punishment and of discarding her immediately if she said any thing disagreeable to him. A wife was to worship her husband as a god, even though he might be destitute of virtue or is seeking pleasure elsewhere, or is devoid of good qualities. Thus the woman is reduced, at least spiritually, to the status of Sudra and this is clearly reflected even in Bhagvadgita. 14

    The system of Sati (one who burns herself alive on her husband’s funeral pyre) is not recommended by Dharmsastra, or by earlier Smritis, but the practice is very old one. It is recorded in the Mahabharta and by Greek writers. Later it received religious sanction, as it is recommend in Vaikhanasa Grihya-Sutra and later Smritis like those of Sankha, Angiras, Dakhsha and Vyasa. This diabolical practice did not excite in the Indian society the same degree disapprobation and disgust as it did among its Greek witnesses. Moreover, this custom was surrounded by a kind of halo and served to raise or maintain the index of social status, as it was more common in the ruling and warrior castes. Among the upper castes, it was considered an outright sin for a girl to reach puberty without being married, and this custom was indicative of social superiority. Manu prescribes that a man of thirty shall marry a maiden of twelve, or a man of twenty-four a girl of eight. Yajnavalyka insists that girls should be married before the age of puberty.Man could marry a woman from his caste and from castes lower than his caste, but not from a caste higher than his caste. Thus a Brahman could marry a woman from any caste. 15

    The heinous crime of infanticide is not peculiarly Indian in its inception, but here again female infanticide was indirectly encouraged by the attitude of Brahmanism toward woman. The birth of a daughter is deplored and regarded as a source of misery. The abnormal climate of status-consciousness created by the caste system further aggravated this evil. Whereas in other countries generally infanticide was often the result of poverty, in India female-infanticide was practiced precisely by the upper castes like Rajputs.15

    Hindu Dharma

    In the ever-changing scene of the shifting importance of deities, creeds, racial antipathies and other considerations, there was one factor, which was persistent and constant. It was the concept of Hindu Dharma. This concept was synonymous, or very closely interwoven with the social order of Brahmanism¾Varna Ashrama Dharma / caste system. Like the banks of a river it determined the limits within which the current of Indian social life must flow and direction in which it must move. So long as the current remained confined within the prescribed social limits, all varieties and sorts of dogmas, ideas, faiths, creeds, customs and practices were tolerated and allowed to be the a part of Hindu Dharma. But any threat to the framework of the social order was frowned upon or combated against, depending upon the seriousness of the threat posed. When a Hindu ignored the duties of the caste of his birth, he destroyed his dharma. It was only through caste that one belonged to the Hindu community, without caste identity one was a pariah.16

    One of the most outstanding features of Buddhism is its compassion and tolerance. Lord Buddha himself showed respect to Brahmans and Asoka the great advocated respect for them in his edicts. Then, why were the Buddhists, of all the creeds of Indian origin, singled out for special punitive treatment, and purged out of the Indian body politic in a manner the human system eliminates a foreign element?

    This hostility could not be because Buddhists were atheists, as other atheistic creeds like the Sankhya were left untouched. Moreover, Buddhism and Jainism are far less divergent than the multitude of widely different paths of Hindu Dharma.

    The Buddhists were singled out for destruction because they did not recognize the authority of Vedas and other Hindu scriptures, and they undermined the supremacy of the Brahmans by rejecting the caste system¾unpardonable sin in the eyes of Brahmans.

    To cover their heinous crimes against the Buddhists and to hoodwink the Indian people and historians, the Brahmans came with a clever idea. After the eradication of Buddhism from the soil of its birth, the Brahmans proclaimed Lord Buddha as an Avatar, reincarnation of Vishnu.

    On the other hand from a purely theological point of view, Jainism was no less heretic than Budhism, but the Jains suffered far less persecution than the Buddhists. It was so because, if the necessity arose, Jainsim was willing to admit a god of popular Hinduism to their galaxy of gods. Besides, it was also not opposed to the theory of caste. It was thus very much less hostile and more accommodating to Brahmans.17

    Al-Biruni wrote that he did not find any Buddhist literature or met any Buddhist during his stay in India.18

    Al-Biruni’s observation is not surprising as by the time of Fa-Hein’s visit to India in the 5th century AD, Kapilvastu had become a jungle and Gaya had been laid waste and desolate. Saivite Brahman king Sasank of Bengal carried out acts of vandalism against the Buddhists, destroyed the footprints of Lord Buddha at Patliputra, burnt the Bodhi tree under which he had meditated, and devastated numerous monasteries and scattered their monks.19

    The rise of Adi Shankaracharya in the late 8th-early 9th century saw the intensification of Brahman-Buddhist conflict. He traveled widely converting Buddhist centers into Brahmanical centers of learning, maths, at Badrinath in the north, Sringeri and Kanchipuram in the south, Puri in the east and Dwarka in the west. The impact of his militant campaign against Buddhism was all pervasive, as Buddhism almost disappeared from India. Over the next couple of centuries, aptly termed Dark Age, it flickered in different regions before it finally became extinct. 20

    Even modern Hindus “Avatars” like Gandhi and Vivekananda were diehard advocates and defenders of the caste system.

    I believe in Varna Ashrama (caste system) which is the law of life. The law of Varna (color or caste) is nothing but the law of conservation of energy. Why should my son not be a scavenger if I am one?
    Mahatma Gandhi, Harijan, 3-6-1947.

    He, Sudra may not be called a Brahman, though he (Sudra) may have all the qualities of a Brahman in this birth. And it is a good thing for him (Sudra) not to arrogate a Varna (caste) to which he is not born. It is a sign of true humility.
    Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, 11-24-1927.
    There is something in caste, so far as it means blood: such a thing as heredity there is, certainly. Now try to [understand]—why do you not mix blood with the Negroes, and the American Indians? Nature will not allow you. Nature does not allow you to mix your blood with them. There is unconscious working that saves the race. That was the Aryan’s caste. … The Hindus believe—that is a peculiar belief, I think; and I do not know, I have nothing to say to the contrary, I have not found anything to the contrary—they believe there was only one civilized race: the Aryan. Until he gives the blood, no other race can be civilized.21

    Strict observance of caste rules and regulations was made the essence of Hindu religion and transgressors were severely punished. To protect Brahmans and their defenders the Kshatriyas from the rage of inhumanely treated masses; it was declared sinful to wear arms and keep arms by people other than the Kshatriyas. Even blacksmiths and carpenters, the so-called progeny of the mythical “supper engineer,” Vishava Karma, who made the weapons, were not allowed to use the weapons. They were not allowed even to fit the plowshare with an iron tip because it could injure the bullock, offspring of the holy cow. After 1947, a large number of Sikh farmers were settled in Haryana and Uttar Pardesh. Their Hindu neighbors were surprised that Sikh farmers were using European style iron plows or iron-tipped plowshares Thus the clever Brahman disarmed the entire Hindu population other than the Kshatriyas. The agriculturist tribes - Jats, Gujjars, Sainis, Yadavs, Ahirs, Patels, Kurmis, Kamas, Reddys and many others were allowed to keep only wooden clubs (luth, lathi, soti, dang), which they used very effectively to split each other’s heads, and beat their animals, wives, children and Dalits.

    Sikh Gurus and Radical Bhagats (Nam Dev, Kabir and Ravidas)

    Professor Mohammed Iqbal was a celebrated poet and a great Islamic thinker of the twentieth century. His understanding of Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak and the plight of Sudras is noteworthy.

    The Indian people did not pay any attention to the message of Gautam. They did not recognize the value of their ‘flawless diamond’. … India is a land of sorrow and suffering for the Shudar. There is no compassion in this place. … Eventually, a voice rose from Punjab proclaiming the unity of mankind under “One and Only God”. A “perfect man” from Punjab awakened the conscience of the Indian people with his message of “universal love and humanism”.
    Poem: Nanak

    Sikh Gurus and radical Bhagats - Nam Dev, Kabir and Ravidas denounced the caste system and rejected scriptures that support this evil system and the pantheon of deities of Brahmanism / Hindu Dharma.

    Nankian philosophy (Gurmat) differs with other religions in the basic premise¾the concept of God. Sure, the concept of one God was known long before Guru Nanak. However, that God is nothing more than a tribal god. In addition to millions of gods, Hindus also believe in a God who communicates only through the Brahmans and then there is a God for the chosen people, the Jews. Christian God is approachable only through His only son, Jesus Christ whereas the Muslim God, Allah is accessible only through Mohammed who is Allah’s last and final Prophet in a long line of Prophets.
    On the other hand Guru Nanak’s God is accessible to all seekers of “Truth” irrespective of their creed, caste, gender, color, ethnicity and geographical consideration.

    Aad Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh scripture) rejects - reincarnation, karma, transmigration, hell and heaven, asceticism, celibacy, clergy and liturgy. Salvation in Nakian philosophy means being one with God by living in harmony with God’s Hukam (Divine law). Also it means freedom from ignorance, and political, religious, economic and social oppression or domination.

    According to Nankian philosophy it is God, Who controls the working of the universe (creation) through Its Hukam (Divine law), which is immutable. Every thing in creation is subject to Hukam and nothing is beyond it.

    On the basis of the information in Hindu scriptures about the deities of Hindu Dharma, they are described in Aad Guru Granth Sahib as mere mortals afflicted with common human problems, not as saviors of mankind. For example, Guru Nanak says that it is the Creator not Ram Chandar, Who controls the process of creation and destruction.

    Nanak, it is the Creator who controls the process of creation and destruction. Ram was distressed when his brother Lachman became unconscious due to curse and his wife Sita was kidnapped by the ten-headed Ravan. He gathered an army to fight against Ravan. The Vanar army was enthusiastic and happy to help him.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1412.

    In exile, Ram bewailed when he was separated from Sita and Lachman. Even the Pandvas who lived in the company their master (Lord Krishna) were forced to do hard labor in destitution.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 953.

    Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are afflicted with self-centeredness (haumain) as the rest of the world. Only those are free from this affliction, who have recognized the need to be one with God through meditation on the Word.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1153.

    Bhagat Nam Dev was tormented by the Brahmans and not allowed entry into the temple because of his birth as a Sudra. He expressed his anguish in a hymn addressed to a Brahman priest (pandey).

    Listen o pandey, I meditate on the Almighty God and I have found Him. O ignorant one, what have you gained from your holy mantras and gods? I have heard that your Gyatri was a cow in previous life. When she strayed into the field of a farmer, named Loda, he broke her leg with a club and she became lame. I have heard about your god Shiv Ji, the rider of white bull. He went to the house of a devotee for a feast. He didn’t like the food, so he killed the host’s son with a curse. I have also heard about your god Ram, who fought with Ravan, who kidnapped his wife.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 637.
    After thinking over the word Ram, Kabir says that it has two meanings. While everyone uses “Ram” for God, the actors use it for Ram Chandar, the son of Dasrath. Kabir dwells on “Ram” Who is God. One Ram (God) is present in all whereas the other (Ram Chandar) was only himself.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1374.
    Hindu is spiritually blind whereas a Muslim is one eyed. Wiser than both is the one who sees God in all. Temples are sacred to the Hindus and mosques are sacred to the Muslims, whereas Nam Dev focuses his mind on the One and Only, Who is not restricted either to the temple or the mosque.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 875.

    We are neither Hindus nor Muslims. Our bodies and breaths belong to the Almighty God, Whom people call Allah or Ram.
    Aad Guru Garnth Sahib, p 1136.

    It is the teachings of Vedas, which has created the concepts of sin and virtue, hell and heaven, and karma and transmigration. One reaps the reward in the next life for the deeds performed in this life¾goes to hell or heaven according to the deeds. The Vedas have also created the fallacy of inequality of caste and gender in the world.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1243.

    O ignorant fool, don’t be arrogant about your high caste as it can lead to degeneration. Everyone talks about the four castes without realising that all are created from the same seed¾God.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1128.
    O Brahman! Inside the womb there is no lineage or caste! All are created from the seed of Brahm (God). If you are Brahman born of Brahman mother then why did not you take birth by some other route? How come you are Brahman and I am Sudar? How come I am defiled (blood) and you are holy (milk)?
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 324.

    Hey brother, there is one Father and we all are His progeny.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 611.

    Nanak will stand by the lowest of the lowest, not with the elite. Where there is compassion and care for the downtrodden, there is Divine grace.
    Aad Guru Garnth Sahib, p 15.

    I have searched many Shastras and Smritis; their teachings do not show the way to God. But the dwelling on God’s attributes is invaluable.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 265.

    Many a Brahma got tired of studying the Vedas, but they could not estimate even an iota of God’s greatness. Ten incarnations of Vishnu and the famous ascetic Shiv, who got tired of smearing his body with ashes, could not fathom God’s extent.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 747.
    O my brethren! Smriti is based on the Vedas. It has brought chains of the caste and ropes of false rituals and ceremonies to entrap you.
    Aad Guru Garnth Sahib, p 329.
    I shall not sing the endless songs and poetry of Vedas, Puranas and Shastras. I shall play a steady tune on the flute of love of the Formless One, Whose abode is Eternal.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 972.

    If one determines good or bad actions on the basis of Vedas and Puranas, one’s mind is filled with doubt and worry. These scriptures do not tell how to cure self-conceit.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 364.

    Guru Nanak was an eyewitness to the invasion of India by Babur. He vividly described the atrocities committed by Babur’s army on civilian population and the defeat of Indian forces. He blamed the Indian rulers for not defending the people and the country.

    O Lalo! Babur has launched an invasion from Kabul with a marriage party of sin and demands a bride (India) by force. Sense of shame and duty has disappeared and falsehood rules. Instead of Brahmans and Qazis, the devil is performing marriage ceremony.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 722.

    The desperate Indian rulers engaged Pirs (holy men) to perform miracles and sorcery to defeat the Mughals. The hollowness of the claims of the supernatural powers of the Pirs was exposed, as they could not blind a single Mughal solider. It was the superior weaponry and determination of Babur’s army, which defeated the Indians.

    When they heard of the invasion of Babur, the officials engaged many Pirs for their protection. The Mughals overran Indian posts, burnt down fortresses to the ground and cut down the princes to pieces. The supernatural power of the Pirs could not blind a single Mughal soldier.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 418.

    It is understandable when equally matched forces fight against each other, but not when one side is like a powerful lion and the other is like a herd cows. In that situation it is the duty of the ruler to protect his subjects like a cowherd protects the cows against the attack of a lion. The rulers have wasted this jewel (India) and no body would mourn the death of these dogs.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 360.

    Here Guru Nanak is commenting on the superiority of Mughal forces and their easy victory and he condemned the Lodhi Pathans and Rajputs for not making adequate preparation to defend the country against foreign attack.

    He denounced the oppression and bigotry of Muslim rulers, cowardice and hypocrisy of Khatris and Rajputs and the tyranny of the caste system. He condemned the discrimination against women and the religious exploitation of masses by Brahmans, Mullahs, Yogis and other religious orders.
    The rulers are like ferocious tigers and their officials as wild dogs, who harass and persecute the innocent subjects.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1288.
    Unless the petitioner bribes, even the king does not accept the petition. If someone petitions only in the name of God (justice), no body listens.
    Aad Guru Granth, p 350.
    The ignorant populace is groping in darkness due to lack of knowledge and victimized by official corruption.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 468.
    The kings perform religious duties for selfish interests and practice charity for heavenly rewards.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1024.
    Qazi (Muslim magistrate) tells lies and accepts bribe. The Brahman priest bathes ceremoniously, but practices cruelty and deceit. The ignorant yogi has lost his way in search of abstract tranquility. All three are spiritually barren.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, 662.
    The one who has control over - lust, anger, greed, attachment and arrogance - should occupy the throne (ruler).
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1039.
    It is the decree of the Merciful God that all are contented and happy and no one is persecuted under a benevolent and just rule.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 74.

    Guru Nanak rejected the idea that woman is inferior to Man. He condemned the persecution and humiliation to which women were subjected. Woman was relegated to the status of a man’s shoe in the Indian society. Both Hinduism and Islam sanction the inferiority of woman. In both religions it is the rulers who protect and enforce religious rules and regulations. In his composition extolling womankind Guru Nanak challenged the custodians of discriminating laws:
    It is the woman who sustains the human race through conception and nurture. It is the woman through whom relations are created. When wife dies, man seeks another one. Every one is dependent on woman except the Creator of all. It is the woman who keeps human race going. How could women of who are born sovereigns be considered inferior?
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 473.
    Guru Amar Das emphasized the same point by saying that in this world there is only one “Man” and all are His spouses. In other words for God man and woman are equal.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 591.

    Due to discrimination and maltreatment women have lost their vitality and become submissive and as a consequence of that men have become brute.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p1243.

    Guru Nanak warned against greed for excessive wealth, disapproved of beggary and urged honest living and charity.
    Wealth can not be amassed without illegal means and it does not go with the dead.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 417.
    Why should he beg who claims to dwell on God?
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 953.

    Never touch the feet of those who claim to be spiritual leaders but live on charity.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1245.

    One who works hard to make an honest living and practices charity finds the righteous path.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1245.

    Truthful is the one who practices truth, compassion and charity.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 468.

    Guru Nanak saw three major problems facing the masses: lack of morality, grinding poverty and the tyranny of the rulers (both political and religious).

    For man the greatest suffering is separation from God, second is the pain of hunger and third is the tyranny of the ruler.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1256.

    Guru Nanak launched a campaign to awaken the people to the reality of their full potential¾to become gurmukhs (Godlike). He set up an egalitarian society¾Sikh Panth (order) outside the caste society and made it a springboard for giving shape to a revolutionary movement to fight against the tyranny of caste system and the oppression of Muslim rulers. He gave a clarion call to the people to join his movement with an explicit warning that the path of righteousness is arduous one and requires extreme sacrifices.

    If you want to play the game of love with God then follow my path and be prepared to make supreme sacrifice. Once you step on this path, do not hesitate to offer your head.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 1412.
    The above proclamation is central to the Sikh Movement¾the basis of Miri-Piri (temporal and spiritual sovereignty) and the evolution of the noble Khalsa. Only a moral person (gurmukh) can be a Mir-Pir ¾Khalsa.
    After rejecting the sacred thread at childhood ceremony (AGGS, p 471), Guru Nanak proclaimed his solidarity with the downtrodden at the very beginning of his ministry: “I will stand by the lowest of the lowest caste rather than with the elite¾ high castes (AGGS, p 15).” Two centuries later, people who had been dehumanized by the tyranny of caste system and the oppression of Muslim rulers¾whose mere shadow could pollute the Brahmans, rallied under the banner of Guru Gobind Singh as a “brotherhood” of the noble Khalsa order. They challenged the mighty Mughals before whom the Rajput warriors used to prostrate 22 and the Brahmans used to sing paeans “Eeshvro va Dilishvro va, (The emperor of Delhi is as great as God).” 23 They carried on the struggle of life and death against injustice and oppression for half a century. The more they were persecuted and killed, the more they joined to fill the ranks of the Khalsa.24 With dogged determination and firm faith in the “sovereignty” 25 bestowed upon them by Guru Nanak, they succeeded in defeating the combined forces of “caste ideology” and Mughals, and establishing the Khalsa (Sikh) rule 26 from Ladakh in the north to Haryana in the south and from Sivalik hills in the east to the Khyber Pass in the west. The remarkable thing is that the Khalsa forces were overwhelmingly made up of people whom the Brahmanical order regarded as Sudras and untouchables.

    The Bitter Fruit of Caste System
    The caste system not only destroyed the vitality and creativity of the people but also the glue of love and compassion for fellow human beings, which is essential for a healthy society. In due course of time India was like giant dead tree whose roots had been eaten by termites and was waiting to be toppled by a wind gust or in Indian parlance like a sick Brahma bull ready to be devoured by wild dogs and vultures.

    In 710 AD, a young Muslim commander, Mohammad Bin Qassem led an expedition to Sindh. After defeating the Indian forces, he marched deep into the Northwest territory meeting very little resistance, because the populace was disarmed due to the imposition of strict caste regulations, which allowed only Kshatriyas (Rajputs and Khatris) to wear arms. He plundered towns and temples, and murdered people by the thousands and went home taking away thousands of Indian men and women as slaves. The news of his victory spread like a wild fire in the Muslim world. Muslim daredevils from Afghanistan and central Asia made their own forays into India. Small bands of Afghans and Turks carved out small and large principalities for themselves all over India, and finally the Mughals established their own empire in India.

    There was essentially very little resistance to Muslim invaders. They marched into India at will. Mahmud Gazhnavi attacked India seventeen times. Neither Ramyana nor Mahabharta nor the bloodthirsty reincarnation of Shakti¾Durga, Kali and Chandi inspire the so-called warriors¾Kshatriyas (Rajputs and Khatris) to take up arm in defense of the motherland.
    Al-Biruni says that no Muslim conqueror passed beyond the frontier of Kabul and the river Sindh until the days of the Turks, when they seized power in Ghazna under the Samani dynasty, and the supreme power fell to the lot of Nasiraddaula Sabuktagin. This prince chose the holy war as his calling, and therefore, called himself Al-ghazi (i.e. warring on the road of Allah). In the interest of his successors he constructed, in order to weaken the Indian frontier, those roads on which afterwards his son Yaminaddaula Mahmud marched into India during a period of thirty years and more. God be merciful to both father and son! Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old in the mouth of the people. Their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion towards all Muslims. 27

    In the history of the fateful forty-five years (1295-1345) traced by us so far, the one distressfully disappointing feature has been the absence, in Maharastra, of the will to resist the invaders. The people of Maharastra were conquered, oppressed and humiliated, but they meekly submitted like dumb driven cattle.28, 29

    What is painful is that, sometimes, a handful of foreigners overran vast tracts of the land without countering any sizable resistance. Shihab-ud-din Gauri won the second battle of Tarain (near Delhi) in 1192, and within fourteen years his Genral, Bakhtiyar Khilji had reached the bank of Brahmputra. Nadiya was occupied with an advance party of no more than eighteen horsemen and this opened the way for the establishment of Muslim rule in Bengal.28, 30

    During the onslaught of Muslims, the Khatris and Rajputs, who used to practice their martial art on the defenseless down trodden lower castes, were nowhere to be found to defend the motherland and its people. The entrepreneurial Khatris offered their services to their conquerors, whom they called malesh (uncivilized, impure, unclean) in private.
    Guru Nanak (1469-1539) rebuked the Khatris for their hypocrisy.

    The Khatris have abdicated their duty of protecting the country, weak and women, instead they have adopted the language and manners of their conquerors, whom they call malesh. As a matter of fact the whole society has degenerated to such an extent that morality has disappeared.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, p 663.

    You are taxing the cow and Brahman whom you worship; you are mistaken if you think that cow-dung coating of your kitchen would absolve you of your sins. You wear a mark on your forehead and a dhoti (cloth worn around the waist) and tell beads, but you are working for the Muslims for your livelihood. Give up hypocrisy!
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, P 471.

    Commenting on the atrocities committed on the Hindu masses by the bigoted Muslim rulers, Guru Nanak exposed the nexus between Muslim rulers and the Khatris and Brahmans in a biting political satire. It was the Muslim ruler, who was responsible for the persecution of Hindu masses, but it was the Khatri officials who executed the orders of their master, and the Brahman priests approved the doings of the Khatris.

    The man-eater performs Namaz (Muslim prayer). The one who carves out the flesh for him wears the sacred thread around his neck (Khatri). The Brahman blows the conch in the Khatri’s house to sanctify his doings.
    Aad Guru Granth Sahib, P 471.

    Earlier pagan invaders from the Northwest like Greeks, Huns (Rajputs), Sakas ( Jats) and Gujjars were easily accommodated in the web of Brahmanism, but Muslim invaders came with monotheistic belief. They were idol breakers, not idol worshipers, so the Brahmans came up with a different strategy to deal with them.

    The Brahmans who lost their position as raj mantri (minister of state), raj guru (religious advisor to the king) and raj prohit (family priest of the king) after the defeat of Rajput rulers devised a clever strategy to get back not only into the Mughal court but also in the Mughal palace. They advised the Rajput rulers to give their daughters in marriage to Emperor Akbar. It was (is) an anathema even for an ordinary Rajput to marry his daughter to a non-Rajput Hindu what to speak of a royal Rajput marrying his daughter to a Muslim, whom he considered as malesh. But this case was different as this matrimonial alliance was blessed and sanctified by the Brahman. The Rajput rulers led by the Ambar family accepted this proposal without blinking an eye. This opened the door for Brahmans, Rajputs, and other Hindus in Akbar’s administration. Many of them held prominent positions, Birbal and Todar Mal were among the “jewels” of Akbar’s court and Raja Man Singh was a very distinguished commander in the army. In gratitude, Akbar cancelled the Jazia (tax on non-Muslims) imposed by the earlier Muslim rulers. The Rajputs played a major role in the expansion and consolidation of Mughal Empire. The Brahmans coined a new mantra “Eeshvro va Dilishvro va, (The emperor of Delhi is as great as God).”23

    Akbar’s Rajput in-laws made it sure that there was no royal Rajput left who would taunt them, “You have sent to your daughter to the haram of a malesh.” The only Rajput sovereign, who refused to kowtow to Akbar, was Maharana Partap. All the Rajput vassals joined Akbar in defeating this valiant man.

    The invasion from the Northwest continued until the Khalsa forces put an end to it. The British who came to India as traders replaced the Mughal Empire. The British work force was never more than 200,000 at any time during their rule over India. It was the Indian elite who supported the British occupation, and ran the lower level administration. The British left India in 1947 after partitioning it into Hindu and Muslim states. The later further split into Pakistan and Bangladesh. The three countries are a living hell for minorities and downtrodden. This is the legacy of Mahan Rishi Manu.

    Thousands of years before the Italian writer and statesman Machiavelli, Kautliya(Chankya) was teaching his “kutil niti” (perverse policy) to the Indian rulers that morality has no place in the affairs of the government. Since 1947 the Indian rulers have been following this policy and this policy is reflected in the thinking of the modern Hindu elite.
    Moreover, this policy is reflected in the sermons of Lord Krishna in Bhagvadgita¾ perverse morality ¾morality turned upside down where good becomes evil and the evil becomes good. Lord Krishna urges the reluctant Pandvas, who not only gambled away their kingdom but also their only wife, to declare war on their cousins, the Kaurvas. When the Pandvas start loosing the war, Lord Krishna urges them to use all means: deception and lies to win the war by breaking all the rules, which both sides agreed to observe before the start of the war. The Pandvas win the war through treachery.

    The hard working and law abiding Kaurvas, who fought fair battles up to the end, are called evil. The high stake gamblers, who sold their only wife to pay their debt, and who won the war through treachery, are called righteous.
    For Lord Krishna, victory is every thing. He teaches that¾ treachery and foul means to achieve victory¾is moral¾and he is regarded as reincarnation of God.

    Dropti is considered a virtuous woman, an idol for young girls to emulate. Her obvious virtue is that she complied with her mother-in-law’s wishes to be a wife to five brothers to keep peace in the family! What kind of a role model is Dropti for any young girl? She accepted to be treated like cattle and was disposed of like cattle to pay the debt!
    Bhagavadgita is a document, which is specifically designed to transform a vulnerable person into a killer. In fact that is exactly what Krishna is doing to Arjuna in Bhagavadgita. Bhagavadgita is a part of Mahabharata (which is a war document) and as such never existed as a separate text until 1785 when it was translated into English under the title Bhagavadgita.

    Krishna’s sermons are considered the essence of Hinduism. Mahatma Gandhi, the so-called apostle of peace considered Bhagavadgita as his most favorite scripture in spite of the fact that the battle of Mahanbharata was fought between kith and kin, and more people were slaughtered in the battle of Mahanbharat than any other battle according to the story. So Gandhi’s pacifism runs parallel to Lord Krishna’s moral teachings. No wonder, the renowned Indologist, Al-Biruni remarked, “The Hindu mind is incomprehensible to non-Hindus.”

    Gurbakhash Singh Kala Afghana has carried out a detailed analysis of the life of Lord Rama (Ram Chandar, son of King Dasrath) described by Goswami Tulsi Das in Ram Chrit Manas Granth.31 Though Lord Rama is regarded as reincarnation of God but he takes advice and directions from Brahmans and Rishis. He does what the Brahman and Rishis ask him to do. Brahmans regard him as Maryada Parshotam (upholder and defender of Hindu Dharma / caste system) and his reign (Ram Raj) is regarded as an ideal form of government. Ram Chandar’s life is not morally inspiring as it is mainly based on myths, superstition, deception and lies. For instance, the story of Lord Rama versus King Ravana is an example of “perverse morality”. Lord Rama’s younger brother Laxman was a bal-jati (born celibate, suffering from congenital sexual dysfunction). It is said that Ravana’s younger sister was charmed by Laxmana’s looks, so she flirted with him casting her amorous glances at him. Feeling insecure and inadequate about his masculinity, he treated her in a cowardly and shameful manner¾ he chopped off her nose. In revenge Ravana kidnapped Sita, Rama’s wife. Being an honorable man Ravana did not cast even an evil glance at Sita.

    Lord Rama and Laxmana who treated Ravana’s sister in a cowardly and shameful manner are considered asrighteous andgreat warriors whereas Ravana who treated a captive woman honorably is called evil!
    Sita suffered for the despicable actions of Laxmana. Back in Ajudhiya, one day Lord Rama overheard the taunt of washerman to his wife: “I wont take you back like Lord Rama took Sita back.” Stung by this taunt when Rama came home, he asked his wife, Sita to prove her chastity through Agni Priksha (throwing oneself into the fire, chaste woman is not harmed by the fire). This is how Lord Rama, the protector of Hindu Dharma treated his innocent and faithful wife, who suffered so much for the misdeeds of his impotent brother! Lord Rama’s cruelty is beyond human comprehension, he sent his innocent pregnant wife into exile.

    Al-Biruni has described how the Sudras, who constituted vast majority of the population were treated under the traditions established during Ram Raj (reign of Lord Rama).

    The Sudra is like a servant to the Brahman, taking care of his affairs and serving him, If, though being poor in the extreme, he still desires not to be without a yajnopavita (sacred thread), he girds himself only with the linen one. Every action which is considered as the privilege of a Brahman, such as saying prayers, the recitation of Vedas, and offering sacrifices to the fire, is forbidden to him, to such a degree that when, e.g. a Sudra or Vaisya is proved to have recited the Veda, he is accused by the Brahman before the ruler, and the later will order his tongue to be cut off. However, the meditation on God, works of piety, and alms giving are not forbidden for him.
    Every man who takes to some occupation which is not allowed to him by his caste as, e. g. a Brahman to trade, a Sudra to agriculture, commits a sin or crime, which they consider only a little less than crime of theft.
    Al-Biruni then recounts one of the traditions of the Hindus, that in the days of King Rama human life was very long and well defined, so that a child never died before its father. Once, however, a son of a Brahman predeceased his father. The father brought him to the King’s palace, bewailing that there is something rotten in the country. Then Rama began to inquire into the cause of this, and finally they pointed out to him a Candala (untouchable) who took the greatest pain in performing worship and self-torment. The King rode to him and found him on the banks of Ganges, hanging on something with his head downwards. The King bent his bow, shot at him and pierced his bowels. Then he spoke: “I kill thee on account of a good action, which thou are not allowed to do.” When the king returned to the palace, he found Brahman’s son alive.32

    The treatment meted out to Sudras by Lord Rama raises serious questions about Rishi Valmiki? According to the legend, Valmiki, the author of Ramayna was a Koli, a member of one of the most despised aboriginal tribes on the Bombay coast.33 When Sudars were not allowed even to pray, how did Valmiki learn to read and write? Moreover, why Valmiki would admire and worship an Aryan king who was so cruel to his people? It was the Aryan invaders who enslaved the aboriginal tribes by making them Sudras and untouchables. I think making Valmiki, an Advasi (aboriginal) as the author Ramayna is a clever ploy by the Brahman to hoodwink the Advasis (aboriginal tribes) into believing that Lord Rama was loved and venerated by them. The story about the offer of tasted sweet berries by Bhilni to Lord Rama was concocted to convey the same message. I urge Dalit scholars to analyze the contents of the so-called Valmiki Ramayna to set the record straight¾who was Valmiki?


    References


    1 Jagjit Singh, The Sikh Revolution: A Perspective View, 4th reprint, Bahri Publications, 1998, p 27.
    2 Ibid, p 31.
    3 Ibid, p 9.
    4 Ibid, pp 9-10.
    5 Ibid, p 10.
    6 Ibid, p 31.
    7 Ibid, p 41.
    8 Ibid, pp 51052.
    9 Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, Ham Hindu Nahin (Punjabi), Singh Brothers, 1995, pp 51-52.
    10 India by Al-Biruni, Ed., Qeyamuddin Ahmad, 3rd reprint, National Book Trust, 1995, pp 45-46.
    11 Ibid, p 45.
    12 Ibid, p 9.
    13 Ibid, p 57.
    14 Jagjit Singh, The Sikh Revolution: A Perspective View, 4th reprint, Bahri Publications, 1998, p 11.
    15 Ibid, p 12.
    16 Ibid, p 22.
    17 Ibid, p 24.
    18 India by Al-Biruni, Ed., Qeyamuddin Ahmad, 3rd reprint, National Book Trust, 1995, p 117.
    19 Sangat Singh, The Sikhs in History, fourth ed., Uncommon Books, 2001, p 4.
    20 Ibid, p 5-6.
    21 G. B. Singh, Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity, Prometheus Books, 2004, pp 239-40.
    22 Jagjit Singh, The Sikh Revolution: A Perspective View, 4th reprint, Bahri Publications, 1998, pp 213-18.
    23 Gokul C.Narang, Transformation of Sikhism, 5th ed., Gujral’s Art Press. 1960, p 98.
    24 Ibid, p 128:

    We are the crop and Mannu the sickle,
    The more he cuts us,
    The more we grow,
    In every house and hamlet.
    Mir Mannu asadi datari asi Mannu de soe, Jion, jion Mannu wadhda gharin gharin asi hoe
    (Ali-ud-Din, Ibrat Namah).
    25 Editorial. Nash Doctrine of Five Freedoms, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July- September 1996, p 1-13.

    26 J. S. Grewal, The Sikhs of the Punjab, 1994, p 62-127.

    27 India by Al-Biruni, Ed., Qeyamuddin Ahmad, 3rd reprint, National Book Trust, 1995, p 10.

    28 Jagjit Singh, The Sikh Revolution: A Perspective View, 4th reprint, Bahri Publications, 1998, p 149.

    29 S. R. Sharma, The Founding of Maratha Freedom, p 480.

    30 The Cambridge History of India, Vol. iii, p 46.
    31 Gurbakhash Singh Kala Afghana, Bipran Ki Reet Ton Sach Da Marg (Punjabi), 2nd ed., Sri Akal
    Sahai Society, 1997, pp 183-210.
    32 India by Al-Biruni, Ed., Qeyamuddin Ahmad, 3rd reprint, National Book Trust, 1995, p 229.
    33 Jagjit Singh, The Sikh Revolution: A Perspective View, 4th reprint, Bahri Publications, 1998, p 49.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Sikh News Pakistan's Sikh Legacy: Beyond Religion, Beyond Borders - Times Of India (blog) Breaking News Aug 7, 2016
    Hard Talk Legacy of Siropa in Sikhism? Hard Talk Feb 3, 2016
    India Legacy Of Manmohan Singh... Breaking News Mar 26, 2015
    SPN Admin, Narayanjot Kaur, Passes Away. Celebrating Her Legacy Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Apr 29, 2014
    How Sikhs Have not Appreciated the Legacy of Bhai Mardana Ji (In Punjabi) Sikh Personalities Jan 2, 2013

  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Radical bhagats and perverse morality! Never though of things in quite those terms. Thanks
     

Share This Page