BrownCast Podcast episode 23: Dr. Jeffery Long on Hinduism, history and politics

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Today we talk to Jeffery Long, a professor of religious studies at Elizabethtown College. A practitioner of Vedanta, he is also the author of Historical Dictionary of Hinduism, Jainism: An Introduction, and A Vision for Hinduism: Beyond Hindu Nationalism. Dr. Long is also an editor of Buddhism and Jainism.

We discussed a variety of topics, from the nature of Hindu philosophy, the interaction with Islam, the distinction between astika and nastika schools, as well as Dr. Long’s impressions of Tulsi Gabbard (someone who he actually met at some point).

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80 Replies to “BrownCast Podcast episode 23: Dr. Jeffery Long on Hinduism, history and politics”

  1. The democratic 2020 lineup is so fucked up that i feel just by process of “woke”-elimination, Tulsi might rise to like semi final and stuff. Might even become a VP candidate. As time passes It seems more like, make less mistakes then your opponent and you should be though.

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  2. Who are everyone’s finalists for Democratic Nominee? [Especially Saurav!]
    I currently like three finalists:
    —Tulsi Gabbard
    —Andrew Yang
    —John Delaney

    Most of the rest . . . Allah save us if they become the nominee.

    I hope Brown Cast gets to interview Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang.

    Of these three John Dalaney probably lacks the money, name ID, publicity and physical attractiveness to win the Democratic nomination.

    This leaves Tulsi and Andrew . . . both are deeply intelligent (which is rare in this field of candidates), physically attractive, and have chosen to focus on a small number of messages for now in an attempt to break out. Both do not play with cultural marxism, post modernism and identity politics. Both embody classically liberal ethos.

    Both of them have the best chance of beating Trump. And could be exceptionally good presidents if elected.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Don’t think Bernie can beat Trump. Trump would rip him apart. And accuse him of being old, senile and in bad health in a very nasty way. And nasty . . . that is his specialty.

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  3. FYI. To help follow Prof Long’s interview, it might be useful to see the various Darshanas of Hinduism or Sanathana Dharma written down. One way to think about Darshana would be a family of religions. With Sanathana Dharma being a family of families of religion. Most Darshana have many different religions (sometimes called sampradayas or paramparas) inside them. There are 10 Darshanas that are close to (but not quite) universally accepted:
    —Buddhism
    ——two main branches Teravada and Mahayana [Sam Harris has elements of these)
    —Jainism
    —Chaarvaaka [Kushal Mehra belongs to this. Sam Harris has elements of this]
    —Ajivika [Sam Harrris has elements of this ]
    —Samkhya
    ——Samkhya’s subset Yoga (applied Samkhya) [Sam Harris has elements of this]
    —Purna Mimaamsa
    ——Purna Mimaamsa’s subset Uttara Mimaamsa (also called “Vedanta”) [Sam Harris has elements of the Advaita sampradaya inside Uttara Mimaamsa] [over 100 Sampradayas or religions inside Uttara Mimaamsa]
    —Vaisheshika (emphasis on atoms, nature and science)
    —Nyaya (related to but not a subset of Vaisheshika).

    Hinduism generally has two popular definitions. One is a geographic marker. The other is Sanathana Dharma.

    Is this background helpful to people?

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  4. 1.) Regarding Tulsi Gabbard, the Intercept did an excellent story on her Hindu Extremism. I’m linking the article below, but to summarize, she defended the 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, is financially subsidized by Hindu groups the CIA called, “militant religious organizations”, and has supported efforts to edit American text-books to portray a Hindu-Nationalist version of South-Asian history.
    I am not at all being hyperbolic when I say she is a lunatic. https://theintercept.com/2019/01/05/tulsi-gabbard-2020-hindu-nationalist-modi/

    2.) Dr. Long says he doesn’t know much about the Aryan issue, which was plain, but he curiously seems to be advocating the latest pet-theory that liberal/educated Hindus have retreated to (after being forced to discard OIT), when discussing this topic in India. Namely, that the Aryans quietly arrived in India, gently assimilated, and along with other communities, contributed to the creation of Hinduism.

    The truth of course, is the Aryans violently conquered India (and imposed their religion/language). We know this primarily from the Vedas (which describes extensive warfare against the dark-skinned natives) and genetics (showing hugely disproportionate male-admixture into Indians). Long seems confused visa-vis the “Invasion Theory”, as what has been discredited is the idea that the Aryans wiped out the IVC and replaced the population; not that the Aryans did in fact invade and conquer India.

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    1. ” Namely, that the Aryans quietly arrived in India, gently assimilated, and along with other communities, contributed to the creation of Hinduism.”

      What percentage probability would you assign to this hypothesis?

      “The truth of course, is the Aryans violently conquered India (and imposed their religion/language). ”

      What percentage probability would you assign to this hypothesis?

      “We know this primarily from the Vedas (which describes extensive warfare against the dark-skinned natives)”

      For clarification, are you referring to Samhitas? Presumably to events before the war of 10 kings in the narrative history?

      This implies that you interpret the Samhitas as referring to homo sapiens rather than to subtle aspects of mystical experience? Or referring to subtle beings (some say aliens)?

      Very interesting.

      “genetics (showing hugely disproportionate male-admixture into Indians).”

      This is explained in narrative stories. Often the new people who showed up would be deeply respected as great saints. Many of the greatest saints suddenly show up. And they were (and continue to be) regarded like a type of super human spiritual figure [Kind of like Mohammed pbuh]. Their Jatis are many of the most respected Jatis among Dharmics.

      “what has been discredited is the idea that the Aryans wiped out the IVC and replaced the population; not that the Aryans did in fact invade and conquer India.”

      What percentage probability would you assign to this hypothesis?

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Are there any ancient eastern texts that you enjoyed reading? [If the answer is no . . . that is perfectly okay.]

      Are there any religious or spiritual texts from any part of the world that you enjoyed reading? [If the answer is no . . . that is perfectly okay.]

      Did you enjoy listening to episode 22?

      Thanks for listening in and sharing your perspectives. 🙂

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      1. 0% chance that the Aryans peacefully interacted with India and that the Vedas are the result of equal syncretic cultural exchange.

        100% chance they violently conquered India and imposed their Vedic religion (and language) on Indians.

        20% chance the Aryans destroyed the IVC (or at least some of the subcultures that began to arise during its decline), though there is evidence they absorbed at least one of these sub-cultures, and that there were alliances between different Indo-European groups and Indus peoples in the Punjab that fought with/against each other.

        I don’t really read any religious texts for enjoyment. Just to sniff out the truth whenever I feel like I’m being bullshitted by a believer (whether Muslim, Hindu, or Christian).

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        1. “0% chance that the Aryans peacefully interacted with India and that the Vedas are the result of equal syncretic cultural exchange.

          100% chance they violently conquered India and imposed their Vedic religion (and language) on Indians.”

          Well you clearly do not know Hinduism or have not read any of the major scriptures in entirety.

          Hinduism is a fusion between the thin Arya religious superstate and the core native Indus religion.

          Yes the Arya invaded and initially tried to impose their religion, but they were not successful, probably because of the sheer numbers they had to face. Instead an eventual reconciliation and compromise took place (which we have allusions to in the Rig Veda), with the native Indus religion emerging as by far the dominant component of Hinduism. So yes it was not an equal exchange, the original Arya religious practices could not supersede the native Indus practices, despite the Arya descended people becoming the new elite.

          It is a completely different situation when Islam arrived and tried in many cases to annihilate the native religions, as only Muhammad’s thoughts are acceptable in true Islam. No syncretism or fusion is allowed in Islamic fundamentalism.

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          1. Or maybe they were successful. In the sense that Vedic rituals were taken up, but the native core Indus religion was not given up. A very easy compromise in hindsight. Two polytheistic religious traditions merging.

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          2. This is a standard tactic employed by Hindus to try and salvage what they can after being forced to discard OIT. The problem is there’s no good evidence that the Indus Valley Civilization contributed anything significant to the Vedic religion, and there is good evidence that the Aryans regarded the IVC peoples religion as barbaric infidel nonsense.

            Regarding Islam, no, there was never any serious attempt to destroy the “native” religions, which Hinduism is not, if you consider the Vedas to be the core authority of Hinduism (which most Hindus do).

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          3. “This is a standard tactic employed by Hindus to try and salvage what they can after being forced to discard OIT. ”

            LMAO. I have never believed in OIT. And I’m a staunch atheist. And i’m not from the North, I have no reason to defend OIT.

            “The problem is there’s no good evidence that the Indus Valley Civilization contributed anything significant to the Vedic religion, and there is good evidence that the Aryans regarded the IVC peoples religion as barbaric infidel nonsense.”

            Says the person who has never read the Vedas. Do you think the hymns of Agastya in the later layers of Rig Veda have nothing to do with Indus religion and yogic philosophy? Laughable.

            “Regarding Islam, no, there was never any serious attempt to destroy the “native” religions”

            So Nalanda university was destroyed by aliens? Somnath got hit by a lightning bolt? You may have left the faith, but you still have the brainwashing that prevents you from criticising it objectively.

            “which Hinduism is not, if you consider the Vedas to be the core authority of Hinduism (which most Hindus do)”

            There is a clear Indus substrate in the Hindu religion from the temple tanks (great bath – water rituals), yogic philosophy and deities (Pasupati seal is clearly proto-Siva). This is the mainstream scholarly opinion not fringe Hindutva OIT apologists.

            The Vedas are not like the Koran, they are just blindly accepted. They really offer no ideological foundation to mainstream Hinduism (you will find that in the upanishads and later scriptures like the Gita). The Hindu mainstream have no idea what the archaic vedic hymns mean (the majority of rig vedic hymns are to extinct deities, some asking for things like horses, which in the modern era have no relevance).

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          4. Ok I think I was being too harsh on you. It really is impressive that you managed to get out of the Islamic indoctrination, which is no easy feat.

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          5. Indthing’s attitude attitude is Islamic imperialism with a overlay of Western Imperialism. The former destroyed religious places because Unbelievers stop worshiping false gods and goddesses. Western Imperialism does not give even give credit to the natives of anything original as it is west’s prerogative to define where they came from and who they are . Islamic imperialism considered Hinduism original and rubbish , while western imperialism does not even consider it original and native to the land and therefore no loss in destroying it.

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          6. Karan, briefly because im on mobile:

            Most scholars absolutely do not agree that the IVC had a kind of proto-Hinduism.

            Regarding the seal from the IVC, most scholars agree that this COULD be a yogic pose, or a diety of some type, but most do not equate this to early Hinduism, for two main reasons.

            Firstly, its not clear this is yogic or a Hindu diety, as this type of figure is common in many ancient pagan traditions.

            Secondly, even if it is yogic, this does not make it Hindu, as yoga is generally accepted to be a native Indian tradition developed by those who rejected the Vedas (like Buddhists, heretical Hindu schools), and was only later co-opted by the Brahmins.

            Regarding Islam, nobody denies they occasionally attacked Hindu/Buddhist places of worship, but this does not equal attempts to destroy the religion. Unless you think centuries of Hindus attacking Hindu/Buddhist temples means they were trying to destroy those religions.

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          7. “Regarding the seal from the IVC, most scholars agree that this COULD be a yogic pose, or a diety of some type, but most do not equate this to early Hinduism, for two main reasons.”

            Read ‘Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization’ by Kenoyer. Multiple iconography with yogic poses. People are clutching at straws trying to deny this (for whatever ulterior motive they have).

            Also the head god of the IVC has many characteristics common to Siva:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pashupati_seal

            The Indus script strongly suggests that this deity was regarded as the ‘great god’ of the Indus pantheon (through use of the sumerian symbol for ‘great’).

            Siva is also known as the great god both in Sanskrit (Mahadeva) and Dravidian (Nilakanda) :

            http://www.rmrl.in/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/papers/31.pdf

            “Secondly, even if it is yogic, this does not make it Hindu, as yoga is generally accepted to be a native Indian tradition developed by those who rejected the Vedas (like Buddhists, heretical Hindu schools), and was only later co-opted by the Brahmins.”

            I define Hinduism as the ‘mainstream Hinduism’ that has been practised by the majority of Indians from the historical period onwards.

            Yoga is an accepted part of mainstream Hinduism. The later layers of the Rig Veda, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads all have clear yogic philosophy and practices. The latter predates Buddhism and Jainism. These scriptures are part of mainstream Hinduism. That is an undisputed fact.

            Yoga is not the exclusive preserve of those who rejected the Vedas. It is a common tradition of the mainstream Dharmic religions.

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        2. “Regarding Islam, nobody denies they occasionally attacked Hindu/Buddhist places of worship, but this does not equal attempts to destroy the religion. Unless you think centuries of Hindus attacking Hindu/Buddhist temples means they were trying to destroy those religions.”

          Yes some Hindus did attack and destroy competing religious temples.

          However, the difference is this. There is no justification in mainstream Hindu doctrine for religious intolerance.

          Islam on the other hand is viciously anti-kuffar that openly encourages hate for Hindus, Buddhists and other ‘idol worshippers’. This ideology is repeated multiple times in multiple suras.

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        3. Anyone who is interested to learn about hybrid society in the later layers of the Rig Veda (and who can’t be bothered to read the Rig Veda) can read these passages:

          https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gwUF11NRyT4C&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=yadu+and+turva+dasa&source=bl&ots=x8c3NzmSoG&sig=ACfU3U2WNy2SFtVrAm_ghmkDhPM8fb2faA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjlitn4l4ThAhVTtHEKHWlzBgYQ6AEwAHoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=yadu%20and%20turva%20dasa&f=false

          The Yadu were originally a Dasa tribe (Likely Dravidian speaking) who were co-opted into the Arya once they adopted their religious rites.

          Yadu has a clear Dravidian etymology:

          https://dsalsrv04.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/app/burrow_query.py?qs=yāṭu,%20āṭu&searchhws=yes

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          1. Hello Karan,

            Please see my latest comment on the Open Thread if it is okay for you.

            Thank you!

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          2. Karan, I am interested and the first book says I have reached the limit of the free pages I can read.

            By Yadu I assume you are referring to the son of Yayati and Devayani (of Chandra Vamsha)? And referring to the Yadu vamsha or Yadavas. Or Krishna’s people.

            Are you saying that Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra were originally Dasu or Dravidian speaking? This is an interesting theory and merits further exploration.

            “Yadu has a clear Dravidian etymology:”
            Fascinating. I see where you are coming from. Hmmm. Could Krishna’s people really be Dravidian? Wow.

            Can you clarify that type of DNA haploid gene admixture you suspect Krishna’s people may have had? [ With the caveat that you are proposing a hypothesis verses asserting something of course 😉 ]

            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

            ‘Anyone who is interested to learn about hybrid society in the later layers of the Rig Veda (and who can’t be bothered to read the Rig Veda) can read these passages:’

            ++++++++++++++++++++++++

            You are going to have to help me with this.
            Are you familiar with Anurkamani?
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anukrama%E1%B9%87%C4%AB

            By Rig Veda are you only referring to the 10 Rishi families in the Rig Veda Samhita? For your convenience they are listed below as per wikipedia:

            Family Āprī Ṛcas[31]
            Angiras 1.142 3619 (especially Mandala 6)
            Kanva 1.13 1315 (especially Mandala 8)
            Vasishtha 7.2 1276 (Mandala 7)
            Vishvamitra 3.4 983 (Mandala 3)
            Atri 5.5 885 (Mandala 5)
            Bhrgu 10.110 473
            Kashyapa 9.5 415 (part of Mandala 9)
            Grtsamada 2.3 401 (Mandala 2)
            Agastya 1.188 316
            Bharata 10.70 170

            Note that the Rig Veda Samhita are generally thought to have been composed by the 10 great saints listed above.

            Buddha said that the ancient wisdom came from 10 great saints, whom he named. They are with a few exceptions the same 10 saints who composed the Rig Veda Samhita.

            Can you share your thoughts about the order in which each of the 10 saints composed their respective parts of the Rig Veda Samhita?

            ” hybrid society in the later layers of the Rig Veda”

            Which Rishi family (families) of the Rig Veda Samhita are you referring to?

            Within Sanathana Dharma three Darshanas are considered very old:
            —Jainism
            —Samkhya (founded some say by Kapila . . . who Buddha said he was in a previous birth) {Yoga Darshana or applied Samkhya is a subset within the super set of Samkhya Darshana}
            —Purna Mimaamsa (I think Buddha implied that this emanated from 10 great saints who Buddha named. These 10 saints [maybe 10-15 saints] and their families/students composed the Vedic Samhitas. ) {Uttara Mimaamsa Darshana [also called Vedanta Darshana] is a subset within the superset of Purna Mimaamsa Darshana}

            Which Darshana does “hybrid society in the later layers of the Rig Veda” refer too? My guess is that you mean Purna Mimaamsa?

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      2. ANAN, this might be a dipstick test. But, if Aryans were this powerhouse of knowledge and experts ‘internal’ practice, wouldn’t some of their traditional techniques of devotion, meditative techniques, schools of thought which are similar to Hindusim survived? I’m not talking about the outer similarities of pagan gods with some hindu gods/asuras/gandharvas/devas.

        Were their systems so shaky that they were conquered and wiped out by abrahimic religions which were very different, dogmatic and promoted one track forced thinking? Just think, India has survived years of attacks primarily because its sanatana dharma philosophy/system is rock solid. Its systems provide an very strong sheath against dogmatic systems. Would anyone disagree on that?

        Is someone hypothesizing that Aryans came to India, had this bulb go off in their heads and created remarkable things from something, yet they couldn’t compete against abrahimic religions? The supposition would be the so called Aryans didn’t have any sort of these capabilities.

        Again, thinking from a different angle.

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        1. “But, if Aryans were this powerhouse of knowledge and experts ‘internal’ practice, wouldn’t some of their traditional techniques of devotion, meditative techniques, schools of thought which are similar to Hindusim survived? I’m not talking about the outer similarities of pagan gods with some hindu gods/asuras/gandharvas/devas.”

          Very interesting perspective. Trying to understand it.

          Why do you think the pan Arya semi globalized faith system was subsumed by Christianity and Islam?

          Honestly I don’t know.

          What do you think happened to Indonesia/Malaysia (use to be Hindu Buddhist for thousands of years)?

          Do you think Sufism and Sufi Irfan Shiism would have flourished without the support of Sanathana Dharma (and Zorastrianism, Bon, Toaism etc.)?

          Several scholars have speculated that the east was absorbing Islam into itself. Which manifested itself as Sufism and Sufi Irfan Shiism.

          Do you hold this view?

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          1. My thinking is that, Buddhism, Sufism etc needed shelter in benevolent religions cause they lacked a powerful kshatriya varna. Am I wrong to say, the wave of Buddhism that swept through India weakened it further, or Buddhism is a bit aloof from the realities of society. No karma yoga concept? Strangely, buddhism is now severely damaged in China and Japan. On the other hand, abrahimic religions don’t have any spirituality but have the other 3 varnas. India under Islamic rule, had waves of fighters against in every state at regular intervals. The greatest damage to the internal nature of dharma was caused by the British though. Now there is a different field of intellectual kshatriya which needs to be strengthened against western countries.

            As far Sufism is concerned, it’s almost extinct and inconsequential now, right?

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          2. “My thinking is that, Buddhism, Sufism etc needed shelter in benevolent religions cause they lacked a powerful kshatriya varna.”

            Fascinating. A Tibetan Bon was asking me about this today. He asked me if the reason Buddhist parampara sampradayas are mostly extinct in India today because of the muslim invaders? I said that I did not know the status of India circa 630 AD. I suspected that there were several Buddhist sampradaya paramparas in 630 AD that are now extinct in India.

            {FYI, I think Bon should be the 11th Darshana. Perhaps Brown Pundits should have a podcast on Bon. Much of the other 10 Darshanas might have come from the Bon. He said that the Bon “history” has events from 18,000 years ago and that some of them went to North America over the land bridge. This Bon practitioner said he would connect me with several Bon masters and scholars.}

            “Am I wrong to say, the wave of Buddhism that swept through India weakened it further, or Buddhism is a bit aloof from the realities of society.”

            There is an emphasis on Jnaan maarg in most sampradayas that I have observed. Secondary focus is on Raja Yoga (including several Tantrik paths). This is great for people like Sam Harris. But for most people this path is very hard.

            “No karma yoga concept?”

            Buddha in canon texts revered by both Teravada and Mahayana said that there are many paths depending on the person. Buddha pointed out that different types of people were gathering around four of his disciples (each of which emphasized different paths) and this was as it should be. In this particular story the four paths described were:
            —Jnaaana maarg
            —Raja yoga
            —karma maarg
            —bhakti maarg

            Buddhism clearly discusses these four paths.

            “Strangely, buddhism is now severely damaged in China and Japan.”

            I think this is an exaggeration. But there is something to what you say. I think we should do multiple podcasts on Buddhism/Toaism/Shintoism on Brown Pundits.

            “On the other hand, abrahimic religions don’t have any spirituality but have the other 3 varnas.”

            Trust me the three Abrahamic religions have a lot of spirituality. Can elaborate on this later.

            “India under Islamic rule, had waves of fighters against in every state at regular intervals. The greatest damage to the internal nature of dharma was caused by the British though. Now there is a different field of intellectual kshatriya which needs to be strengthened against western countries.”

            Perceptive. The issue is not “western countries” or the “west” per say. The issue is cultural marxism and post modernism “woke” SJW. This requires a very deep Vijnaya maya kosha (Buddhi) and Ananda Maya Kosha (causal body) response.

            “As far Sufism is concerned, it’s almost extinct and inconsequential now, right?”

            No dude . . . it is thriving in India, America and Canada. It even thrives in Pakistan and the UK.

            Would you be interested in podcasts with important Sufi leaders?

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    2. You can see how different standards of evidence are employed when commenting on ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ histories.

      When Al-Biruni (an actual person writing in recorded confirmable history) says: “Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became atoms of dust…” [and more in like vein] or accounts of Aurganzeb destroying major Indian temples we have leftist apologist experts who explain it all away as hyperbole, an Islamic version of ‘political correctness’ explaining what was normal among warring Indian kingdoms and not indicative of any unusual religious bigotry.

      But when it comes to proving the violence and religious hostility of supposed Aryan conquest, a reference to scarce mythological accounts suffices.

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      1. Arjun, you are attacking a position nobody holds.

        Everyone agrees Muslims invaded India, attacked temples, and disliked Hindus. The arguement from acamdeics is their actions weren’t markedly different from Hindus who did the same (minus some extra dislike Muslims felt for infidels).

        On the other hand, most Indians refuse to accept that the Aryans invaded India, even though its virtually a proven certainty at this point.

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        1. most Indians refuse to accept that the Aryans invaded India,

          this is wrong. most indians don’t have an opinion. a vociferous minority has strong opinions. and a lot of people are vague. even a lot of hindu nationalists privately think OIT is crazy, but they don’t want to get attacked by the crazies (even a lot of OIT ppl aren’t that worked up over it).

          trust me, i’ve seen the whole gamut.

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          1. Also lets just sort of address this whole “violent invasion” of aryans part.

            Most of the sources which are being cited are texts like Rig Veda which talks about battles b/w Aryans and Dasas. No archaeological/historical(indus valley script) text is there to prove what battles are we referring to. What was the nature of violence etc. Was it “Charlemagne conquering Saxons”? Was it “Huns conquering Germans”? Where is the “teutoburg” /Battle fields? What excavation are we talking about.

            But instead we are referring to text like Vedas which we our self cast aside as soon as it doesn’t match our inferences. “Do Vedas talk about migration/invasion of Punjab . No? Then they must be wrong.” but “Do Vedas talk about Aryan vs Dasus? . Yes. Of course they are right. Aryan–Invaders. Dasus–>Indus Valley. Look they are talking about battles.”
            So suddenly now it becomes accurate history. If the Vedas are inaccurate ,then everything (historically) written in it is inaccurate. Why pick and choose as long as it proves your point.

            Apart from that we have no other evidence of battles., right now Does it mean there were no battles? No. We just don’t know enough. But because we have to draw a parallel to Islamic invasion now we will make up our own “proofs”. This is a joke.

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          2. What do OIT people believe?

            Do they believe that AASI people began what is now called Sanathana Dharma?

            Do they believe that R1 people began what is now called Sanathana Dharma?

            Is there such a thing as OIT people? Or are there thousands of theories which share certain characteristics? If so, what are these shared characteristics?

            ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

            If anyone has seen Babylon 5; here is an imprecise analogy.

            Almost all of early Sanathana Dharma can be linked to ten sages that Buddha describes and people connected to them. [Maybe one to five other sages can be added to the list.]

            If someone wishes to see it this way; the 10 sages might be described as ten Vorlons who interact with homo sapiens.

            The rest of early Sanathana Dharma flowed out of that.

            Later on there were others who changed things. Three time periods in particular:
            —Rama
            —Krishna
            —Buddha and his contemporary Mahavira.

            Note that Buddha claimed in the Jataka tales to have been Kapila and Rama in previous births. Tying himself directly to the ancient Vedic sages [10 -15 sages and those connected to them] and Rama.

            Mahavira claimed to be Marichi in a previous birth. There is controversy over whether this is really the same Marichi who is one of the big 10 sages.

            Mahariva claimed that Kapila was his disciple when Mahavira was born as Marichi. Therefore tying Mahavira directly to Buddha and the 10-15 famous sages. Since Kapila is one of the big 10-15 sages, and Buddha claimed to have been Kapila in his previous birth.

            This is why ancient Jain and Buddhist schools claim close affinity and connection with each other. And why Jains and Buddhists claim close affinity to Samkhya Darshana (founded by Kapila–who Buddha claimed to be in a previous life, and who Mahavira claimed was his student in a previous life) and her subset Yoga Darshana. And is another way the 10 Darshanas are tied together. [Some say that Chaarvaaka was taught by Brihaspati, son of Angiras. Angiras was one of the 10 great sages Buddha described.]

            My understanding is that the Jains (joined by Buddhists in the first 1 1/2 K years of the faith) generally claimed that there were 9 Astika Darshanas of Sanathana Dharma.

            The early formation of all ten Darshanas is connected to the 10 ancient sages [plus possibly 1 to 5 others] that Buddha described.

            Would anyone disagree with any part of the above?

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          3. Saurav, all the Vedic Samhitas were initially sung and revealed by 10 (maybe 10-15) Vedic sages and people connected with them.

            Do you associate the Vedic Samhitas with the 10 (maybe 10-15) Vedic sages?

            What do you think the Samhitas are about?

            I don’t know any practitioners in the 10 Darshanas who believe the Devas and Dasus refer to human beings. [Practitioners disagree with each other regarding what they are. Some say subtle parts of the subconcious experienced through the brain and nervous system. Some say other things.]

            Why do some non practitioners think that Devas and Dasus are human beings? I have never been able to figure this out.

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        2. Indthings, if you read my post again, it is the standards of what constitutes ‘evidence’ that is being compared – not any particular thesis. Your quoting of the Vedas as “100% proof” was its proximate cause.

          But to apply it to your case, we can compare respective evidence that Muslim destruction of temples was of the same kind and degree as Hindu destruction of temples. Can you state your evidence about “the argument from academics” that you quote above ? Not editorial comments from academics (e.g. Romila Thapar saying Aurangzeb was no different from Shivaji) but actual evidence about the temple destruction in question ?

          It is human to read up on a subject dismissing evidence that contradicts one’s preferred position but a serious student would look at inconvenient facts (or absence of facts) as well. In this vein, have you asked yourself why North and East India have such a scarcity of temples of the prominence and architectural significance as Konark, Meenakshi, Tirupati, Sabarimala etc. ?

          A related question to ponder is whether there are significant examples of Hindu armies destroying mosques even when in a position to do so – e,g, under the Marathas or Sikhs. I know the use of the Lahore mosque as a stable comes up a lot but did Ranjit Singh actually pull down mosques ? Did he burn people for refusing to convert to Sikhism ?

          These are not rhetorical questions as I do not presume to be an expert on all these matters. Perhaps we can all – me included – learn something here. For much too long in India (not sure about other countries) even asking such questions was considered evil. But these are question of historical truth and there is no reason why people of goodwill cannot debate them.

          2+
        3. I was comparing standards of evidence, not defending (or attacking) any thesis. Case in point: your repeated assertions about violent Aryan invasions.

          Can you quote actual evidence of these equal opportunity temple destructions your academics argue about ? What comparable evidence of mosque destructions is there ?

          2+
    3. Indthings,
      Regarding your point #1, Dr. Bhagwati and Panagariya wrote this in the letters to the editor of The Economist, in 2014. It’s precise and addresses your misunderstanding of events in India in 2002, and so I just reproduce it here:

      SIR – Your leader on Narendra Modi, the front-runner to be India’s
      next prime minister, repeated accusations that have been thoroughly
      investigated and found to be without basis by no less than a Special
      Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Indian Supreme Court (“Would
      Modi save India or wreck it?”, December 14th).

      You said that Mr Modi refuses to atone for a “pogrom” against Muslims
      in Gujarat, where he is chief minister. But what you call a pogrom was
      in fact a “communal riot” in 2002 in which a quarter of the people
      killed were Hindus—170 of them from bullets fired by the police. By
      contrast, the more numerous 1984 killing of Sikhs after Indira
      Gandhi’s assassination was indeed a pogrom, directed exclusively at
      the Sikhs. With not a single charge against Mr Modi standing up to the
      SIT’s scrutiny, it is absurd to ask him to atone.

      JAGDISH BHAGWATI
      ARVIND PANAGARIYA
      Professors at Columbia University
      New York

      3+
  5. indthings, you should speak more tentatively about historical things. you write like a funhouse inversion of an internet hindu. i hope you don’t think like that. it’s like your version of zach’s tick about muhammad the pedophile 😉

    anyway, a lot of the ‘liberals’ actually agree with your view. tho some do not. muslim south asians in particular seem to like the super violent view from what i can tell on twitter.

    i dispute the point about the imposition of religion. i think indo-european elements persist, but i think it’s relatively superficial, and a lot of the deeper concepts are either native or emerge later on along the eurasian oikomene. puranic hinduism, the shramanic cults, etc., have all been suggested to be ‘indigenous’ revolts against the blood sacrifice ritualism of the pastoralist aryans. i think this is oversimplifying, but it gets at something very real. the non-aryans conquered the aryans culturally, just as many (most?) features of hellenic culture are not indo-european despite the indo-european patina of the greek language.

    tl;dr the brahmins are the spiritual heirs of the dasas, and suppress the true religion of indra’s sons!

    7+
    1. “the brahmins are the spiritual heirs of the dasas, and suppress the true religion of indra’s sons!”

      Which Darshana is this? Three ancient Darshanas jump to mind:
      —Jainism
      —Samkhya
      —Purna Mimaamsa

      Sanathana Dharma or Hinduism was transformed by the arrivals of:
      —Rama (if you believe he lived)
      —Krishna
      —Buddha

      Buddha transformed most aspects of Hinduism across most schools. It is hard to understate his influence.

      “think indo-european elements persist, but i think it’s relatively superficial,”

      Maybe not. All the 10 Darshanas other than Chaarvaaka were heavily influenced by Dyeus:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyeus

      Dyeus is synonymous with the most subtle of the 5 elements (ether or space). It also represents the sky father witness. It is from Dyeus that the other four elements come (Wind/energy/life force, fire, water/liquid, earth/solid).

      3+
      1. Your link requires a longer elaboration but in brief – you can see that wiki mentioned ‘slav’s div’. There were no any ‘slavs’ at that time, there were only Serbs. DIV is a Serbian word which was thousands years later adopted by other civilizations (e.g. Roman Latin – divus). Zeus and Jupiter are replicas of deities in Serbian mythologies (I will explain next time). Div is still used in modern Serbian meaning – the Giant. Divine is one word (there are many other) originated from the original word DIV.

        1+
      2. Anan, there is a wiki excerpt:

        “Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́ is deity of the Vedic pantheon derived from the Proto-Indo-European Sky father god, Dyeus, who appears in hymns with Prithvi Mata ‘Mother Earth’ in the ancient scriptures of Hinduism. He is significant in comparative philology scholarship of Proto-Indo-European religion as similar vocative and nominative concepts share a similar derivation from the Indo-European language, such as Dies Pater and Jupiter (Latin), Zeus Patér (Zεύς πατήρ, Ancient Greek).

        The name Dyauṣ Pitṛ is etymologically connected to theonyms such as the Greek Zeus Pater, and closely related to Roman Jupiter. Both Dyauṣ and Zeus stem from a Proto-Indo-European *Dyeus. This, and many other parallels such as the similarity of Vedic rain god Parjanya to Slavic Perun, Lithuanian Perkūnas, and Norse Thor and Fjörgyn, led 19th-century scholars to comparative mythology studies and a conjecture that Vedic, post-Vedic, Greek, and Roman rituals likely had more ancient Proto-Indo-European roots.”

        If you replace the meaningless ‘Proto-Indo-European’ with ‘Serbian’ everything becomes logical and very simple, especially the last sentence.

        1+
      3. \“the brahmins are the spiritual heirs of the dasas, and suppress the true religion of indra’s sons!”

        Which Darshana is this? \

        Genetics Darshana – version 2019

        5+
    2. ” and a lot of the deeper concepts are either native or emerge later on along the eurasian oikomene”

      What are these deeper concepts?

      Are you referring to very subtle tattvas, very subtle heavens, very subtle levels of meditation/samadhi, various levels of self actualization?

      “puranic hinduism, the shramanic cults, etc., have all been suggested to be ‘indigenous’ revolts against the blood sacrifice ritualism of the pastoralist aryans”

      All the stories of the Puranas that I have read describe times and places where blood sacrifice ritualism were common.

      Plus they are all compiled by Veda Vyasa (it wasn’t really one person in my opinion). Veda Vyaasa is deeply revered by all the orthodox schools of Hinduism (except for perhaps some minority of Jains and Buddhists). Veda Vyaasa “IS” orthodoxy.

      Sanathana Dharma or Hinduism was transformed by Krishna and Veda Vyaasa.

      1+
  6. p.s. from what we know about human nature…the replacement of one male lineage with another has an element of force. so i think it is hard to avoid the fact that the indo-aryan arrival was disruptive and probably involved some violence. there are interpretations of who the aryans and dasas were (eg were dasas iranians?)…but in the context of genetic structure we see in india and the time transect, the ‘older’ view indthings outlines is not unreasonable.

    0
    1. Parpola has been completely proven wrong about the Indian Dasa being Iranian/BMAC people by the Narasimhan paper. They were clearly referring to native Indians.

      However, the word Dasa for ‘outsider’ has a longer history in Proto Indo-Iranian and was likely adopted by the invading Indo-Aryans as a general word for all non-arya and applied to the Indus people. It is also attested in Avestan as Daha for a different population to the Indus people.

      0
  7. also indthings, when it comes to the aryans vs. dasas you present a stark cultural divide. but later on in india history the muslims were not that different from the natives in their self-conception, huh? 😉 #wellAckhuallyForMe but not for thee? 🙂

    1+
    1. Depends on which period we’re talking about.

      There’s a certain amount of time following the invasions into India where both Aryans and Muslims considered themselves as a foreign, superior group, coming to dominate inferior Indians and extract wealth. After acculturation, both became more Indian (though not entirely).

      So during the formation of the Vedas, during the early Vedic period in Punjab where the Aryans were still pastoral nomads, yeah, they were foreign invaders (and thought of themselves as such). Centuries later once they had become sedentary and were spreading across the subcontinent, they were probably a lot more “Indian”, though I don’t know enough about the late/post Vedic period to say for sure.

      0
  8. ” you write like a funhouse inversion of an internet hindu”

    I try to make sure what I’m saying is actually true though, which I think, is a crucial difference. You seem to agree with what I’m saying (you yourself have expressed exasperation at the idea that the Aryan intrusion into India was benign).

    Regarding the point you disagree on (imposition of religion), I think we’re talking about two different things.

    I agree that “Hinduism” as we know it today is a collection of native rituals/beliefs that gradually were added onto the original Vedic religion, this is pretty well established. I just think its also pretty well established that the Vedic religion itself (Vedas) was an entirely Aryan production, and along with proto-Sanskrit, came to dominate the native Indian culture as a direct result of Aryan invasion.

    1+
    1. came to dominate the native Indian culture as a direct result of Aryan invasion.

      that’s the point. the language did dominate. but i don’t think the religion did. i think the vedic religion was superseded. indo-european motifs do persist, especially in the older corpus. but they’re like fossils. the original organic tissue has been replaced and calcified.

      living hinduism is arguably not very aryan at all (vishnu devotionalism, karma, elaborated jati, vegetarianism, etc.)

      3+
      1. “The Vedic religion was superseded”

        So this is how you or I may see it, as non-Hindus. But Hindus don’t see it this way.

        For Hindus, the Vedas are the well-spring from which all Hinduism flows. You’ve had two guests now that say virtually all schools of Hinduism agree on the central authority of the Vedas as their unifying factor (as opposed to Buddhism which rejects the Vedic authority).

        So yes, a number of local Indian traditions were absorbed by the Vedic pantheon, which resulted in what we call Hinduism today. But if you’ll permit a strained analogy, to say this is superseding the Vedic religion, is akin to saying the development of Hadith and later sects/schools in Islam superseded the Quran (in the eyes of the believer).

        Its blasphemy, basically. Yes, new ideas (even to the point of contradicting the old ones) emerge over centuries as these religious traditions develop, spread, and grow. But these developments are seen as natural manifestations/accentuation of truth, inspired/derived from the original well-spring (Quran, Vedas).

        0
        1. For Hindus, the Vedas are the well-spring from which all Hinduism flows.

          you are talking about sanata dharma and related sects. hindu is probably a bigger category tbh. dharmic?

          Vedic pantheon,

          hindus can correct me, but my understanding is that the pantheon important in the vedas is pretty marginal today.

          is akin to saying the development of Hadith and later sects/schools in Islam superseded the Quran (in the eyes of the believer).

          i believe that this did happen to a great extent.

          4+
          1. “hindus can correct me, but my understanding is that the pantheon important in the vedas is pretty marginal today”

            True. Vedic pantheon was superseded long ago. I cannot explain why the vedic chanting is important, because it praises a pantheon long superseded, but others can explain better.

            “the Vedas are the well-spring from which all Hinduism flows”

            Untrue, but people more knowledgeable than me, can explain BETTER. It kind of, and kind of, not.

            My only point here is that there is a feeling among commentariat that they are more knowledgeable on any subject than everyone else. Unfortunately, as I noted elsewhere, expertise is now, something to be mocked and rejected, and what you read in one article published, is parroted. And I say this, as a person, who thinks the religion is ultimately, an onion: nothing inside.

            3+
          2. The Hadith and subsequent sects in Islam absolutely contradict/overrule the Quran. The Islam practiced in 1000 AD was different than Muhammad’s primordial Islam. But Muslims don’t see it this way. Differences, when admitted, are explained away as, “the true original message manifesting in the same way, but with a different coating”. They consider secular observers to be small-minded and disingenuous for focusing on the, “small, irrelevant” details that lead us to our conclusions.

            Its similar for Hinduism.

            So while we (outsiders) may say, “sure, the Vedic religion may have been a product of foreign imperialism, but it was drastically changed and nativized over the centuries”, it has no play with actual Hindus, because they cannot divorce Hinduism from the Vedas.

            Why this is so is just a guess, but I think similar to Muslims and the Quran, Hindus view the Vedas as their connection to an ancient, supernatural kind of truth. These primordial texts give a weight/authenticity that later added traditions can’t mimic, and thus rejecting them is seen as rejecting the entire body of Hinduism/Islam.

            Also, I’d be wary of asking what random Hindus think of this, as similar to Muslims, the ones who tend to frequent forums like this are very unrepresentative of their global populations, and will give answers that would be called blasphemy by most of their compatriots.

            0
        2. The truth is Hinduism as we known it for the last 2500 years or more, is completely different from the religion of the original Aryans.

          Anyone who reads the early Vedas, and then reads the upanishads, Vedanta, Mahabharata, Ramayana, puranas, bhakti literature etc will see that the latter represents mainstream Hinduism. There is a huge difference between the original Arya religion and the native Indus religion, no one can escape this conclusion when reading all of the above.

          I define the original Arya religion as the original religion of the steppes people prior to their invasion of India.

          0
        3. The problem is you are looking at Hinduism through an Islamic or even abrahamic lens. Both traditions are completely different in outlook.

          Comparing a blasphemy in Islam with a ‘blasphemy’ in Hinduism is completely different.

          The Koran is a completely different world from mainstream Hinduism (it probably shares more in common with the aggressive anti-dasa early layers of the Rig Veda which are redundant now).

          I’ve read the Koran and am so thankful I was born into a Hindu family (though I’m an atheist), rather than into a faith of
          a fraud who posed as God. No apostasy in Hinduism.

          4+
    2. You seem to agree with what I’m saying (you yourself have expressed exasperation at the idea that the Aryan intrusion into India was benign).

      the ‘invasion’ part i think our difference is of style not substance at this point.

      0
    3. This is not my intention to argue if Vedic Hinduism vs. modern (the vedic concepts have largely receded to a priestly class, while the origins of the trinity and avatars of the Vishnu who are primarily worshiped, have a history before and after the aryan spread) but an idea that has taken root that the knowledge of experts are not relevant when contrasted with own belief. The history of the “Vedic” versus “Hindu” is not settled.

      Dr. Long has published three books, and now has the capability to read Sanskrit and translate. We have to respect expertise, but commentary talks about his lack of understanding of Aryans! He has papers published about the Vedic versus Hindu, and other papers. Why would be difficult to read and understand, but speak with one’s own prejudices?

      This seems to be a reflection of modern era prejudice against expertise. Tom Nichols “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters ” discusses the why. The rise of higher education, the internet, and the variety of media options, actually leads to rise of the anti-expertise and anti-intellectual sentiment. Experts do sometimes fail, but Tom says the best answer to this is the self-correcting presence of other experts to recognize and rectify systemic failures. The second reason is that the South Asian intelligentsia does not recognize anything outside STEM as expertise, and gives low grades to people of the west commenting on what they believe to be “local” expertise. Similar visceral opinions have been raised against all western scholars of Islam. In some examples, “Hindus” are visceral towards muslim knowledge and I”Muslims” are viscerally against “Hindu” research, not to mention prejudice from each group against “foreign” research into their own cultures.

      1+
      1. Long’s expertise is in theology, not history, genetics, linguistics, or archaeology. He himself stated he doesn’t know much about the Aryan issue, and was only giving his opinion. Scholars who are experts on the issue have written a bunch about the topic, and more or less agree with what I posted.

        0
        1. Scholars who are experts on the issue have written a bunch about the topic, and more or less agree with what I posted.

          who are you thinking?

          (you refer to ‘scholars’ a lot. it is better that you just state who you are talking about. since i an analyze the genetic data i don’t rely too much on scholars on this topic as i can’t follow philology or archaeology too well)

          0
          1. Almost all the info I get on this subject comes from individual papers I’ve read. The only scholars off the top of my head I know who have discussed this topic with consistency are David Reich and Tony Joseph.

            I do have disagreements with some of Tony’s stuff, but it seems generally solid, and most of the serious stuff I’ve seen on this topic all agree the above two are legit.

            I’ve very recently (last 6 months or so) discovered this field, and the consistent, solid scholarship on it seems relatively scant (could be because its so fast-moving).

            2+
    4. Well that’s nonsense. The Vedas were not an entirely Aryan production. Only the earliest layers of the Rig Veda are Aryan exclusive. The later layers are clearly by a hybrid population (mixed arya-dasa progeny).

      This is even more so for the later Vedas.

      1+
  9. There is something correct from all commentators but there are also some apparent mistakes. Speculations about ancient past are also ok but they do not contribute to our common knowledge. Hypotheses are also ok although they should be supported by some evidences.

    Well, we should already know that Aryans were Serbian speaking tribes, that Sanskrit is the language brought by these people so as (at least) some Vedas. We already mentioned that the term ‘Indo-EUropean’ is stupid and that science has been trying for 200 years to locate IE people and making gymnastics with IE and Proto-IE languages. Razib had good expression ‘indo-european PATINA of greek language’. What does it mean? Greek language was NOT Indo-European (again this expression without any substance) until was heavily influenced by Serbian language and now it is considered as ‘Indo-European’ (let ignore for a moment taking territory, mythology and history from indigenous Serbs). The name ‘greek’ is given by Serbs in ancient times and it is not very positive, because Greeks try to use the term ‘(h)elenic’.

    The fact is that Serbs had the most superior weapons at that time (metallurgy was developed much earlier in Vinca) but there are no evidences that it was much used during their invasion/migration to SA.

    https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEA_enAU795AU795&q=serbian+arms+baghdad+museum&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi-nIOZuIDhAhUFfysKHfsBCAYQsAR6BAgDEAE&biw=1366&bih=657#imgrc=DvCKhPGa4DyU0M:

    1+
    1. Milan, thanks for sharing. Given the deep connections between Serbia and eastern philosophy, I would not be surprised at all if some Jatis (ancestry) are connected.

      Some of the “great sages” [interpret that as you will] might have came from the far west.

      Do you think that some people from SAARC, Xinjian, Tibet, Turan, Iran also visited or moved to Serbia?

      I would love to learn more from you about the ancient Serbian religion. And to compare contrast it with the 10 Darshanas discussed above.

      What were the pramanas (means of knowledge) in the ancient Serbian religion? Into what elements and sub-elements did they divide up the universe?

      [In the 10 Darshanas they divide it up into between 20 and sixty some elements. Hare Krishnas believe in sixty some subelements.]

      0
  10. INDTHINGS,

    we are both atheists. so what if hindus or muslims believe this or that? christian fundamentalists believe that the bible is inerrant blah blah.

    that’s an anthropological fact. so? we both know the likely truth.

    here’s an analogy: a weird subset of hindus now believe that ancient indians had nuclear weapons and airplanes based on bizarre stuff made up in the 20th century. their views are sincere. but we both know the truth: ancient hindus didn’t have airplanes, and premodern hindus didn’t believe they had airplanes or nuclear weapons. these beliefs are an artifact of reaction to modernity (just like protestant fundamentalism).

    many ppl of many religions also believe that the primordial religion was their religion. this is also almost certainly false.

    so yes, some hindus think the religion they practice is that of the aryans. that is manifestly false from where i stand. and it seems where you stand. anan will probably disagree. that’s fine. do you care more what anan thinks than what i think?

    4+
    1. “some hindus think the religion they practice is that of the aryans”

      I am caught in a linguistic trap. I don’t understand what people mean by “Aryan” or “Arya” in Sanskrit.

      If someone defines what they mean by the word, I might be able to share my perspectives on the questions. Which are almost certainly mostly wrong by the way!

      “many ppl of many religions also believe that the primordial religion was their religion. this is also almost certainly false.”

      I don’t think this is what most Hindus believe. It is that they are trying to find out the truth. Trying to find out the “primordial”? The primordial cannot be described in all the paramparas of the 10 Darshanas that I am aware of. I believe the Chaarvaakas also claim not to know.

      Hindus even disagree on if there is primordial. My understanding of at least 8 Darshanas is that they believe in something akin to what physics scientists call the multi-verse.

      Maybe this is a truth claim. I am not sure. But most or almost all the traditions believe in the possibility of something that transcends time space. I guess the word might be nonlinear time? I am not describing it very well.

      Sanathana means eternal (maybe primordial?). Dharma means way of things perhaps? I don’t know how to describe it.

      The Buddha, a majority of the paramparas of Buddhism, a majority of paramparas of Jainism and a majority of paramparas of the 8 other major Darshanas describe what they believe as:
      “”Sanathana Dharma”
      But that does not mean sameness. There isn’t consensus on what Sanathana Dharma means.

      At this point I am just sharing confusion.

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      “ancient indians had nuclear weapons and airplanes based on bizarre stuff made up in the 20th century”

      This question is not aimed at you Razib, but at people who have read the scriptures.

      Where in the scriptures is it stated that human beings could build flying aircraft 5,000 years ago or during the time of Krishna?

      The weapons described during the life time of Krishna are what they are. The texts describe them as being able to destroy vast numbers of soldiers.

      Someone can just call them unproven truth claims and ignore them if they wish, I think?

      I honestly don’t know what the mantras they refer to did or how they worked. The claim is that the sounds (mantras or naad) work as a type of sound brain/nervous system therapy that causes measurable changes in people or their external environment.

      My hope is that these truth claims are extensively scientifically tested. To date this has only slightly been done.

      Several neuroscientists say we are close to procedures that can change IQ, memory, big 5 psychological factors, and other things. We need to see where this goes.

      At some point like several months from now . . . it would be nice to interview neuroscientists and ask them about brain therapy, growing and installing tissue, gene editing, AI/human computer interface etc.

      1+
  11. I do have disagreements with some of Tony’s stuff, but it seems generally solid, and most of the serious stuff I’ve seen on this topic all agree the above two are legit.

    this is my general assessment of the book.

    i have read some non-genetic stuff. the philology is hard for me to evaluate. translations of vedas here and there. the genetics i can analyze myself so i know it’s veracity. the archeology is pretty theory-poor so hard to make sense of. the corpus of literature is beyond me though i can read the digests.

    1+
  12. “Also, I’d be wary of asking what random Hindus think of this, as similar to Muslims, the ones who tend to frequent forums like this are very unrepresentative of their global populations, and will give answers that would be called blasphemy by most of their compatriots.”

    I am unaware of a concept of “blasphemy” per say in the 10 darshanas. Everyone has freedom of art, manas (thought), buddhi (deep intuition), ananda maya kosha (very deep feelings) in almost all sampradayas in the 10 Darshanas:

    The only concept is:
    “speak the truth”
    “speak sweetly”
    “do not speak truth in a way that is not sweet”
    “do not speak sweetly in a way that is not true”
    “this is Sanathana Dharma”

    At least 8 Darshanas (Buddhism, Jainism, 6 others) have something similar to this.

    But in the large majority (albeit not all) Sampradayas there is a strong emphasis on the value of inquiry and asking tough questions.

    Indthings is in many ways behaving as a good Hindu student would [although I would love more detailed researched responses. I am having difficulty following your line of thinking at high resolution.]

    Much of the Vedas are discussions where saints ask each other very hard questions. Or where students ask Gurus incredibly tough questions. This is the eastern way.

    Indthings, we need to ask better questions. For example if you asked what does a specific sampradaya within a specific Darshana think about this . . . well that could be researched or guessed. Each sampradaya might provide a different perspective on the answer. The large majority of these would likely be complimentary. But some might seem to contradict each other.

    And that is as it should be. Shankaracharya won debates with around 100 or more religious orders and became the head of them. He, as their collective head, kept them as is, even though they seemed to contradict each other. Suspect that he might have felt that all the schools had part of the truth and that people benefited from following all of them.

    We need to keep improving our questions. And keep raising the resolution of our hypothesis. And keep testing our hypothesis. And keep increasing our intelligence. That is if we want to find out the truth.

    1+
  13. “So while we (outsiders) may say, “sure, the Vedic religion may have been a product of foreign imperialism, but it was drastically changed and nativized over the centuries”, it has no play with actual Hindus, because they cannot divorce Hinduism from the Vedas.”

    You would be surprised. Are you referring to the 10 Vedic sages Buddha spoke about?

    Because they “ARE” thought to be outsiders. I mean really far out outsiders :LOL:

    They are generally believed to have come from specific stars in the sky (that I can elaborate on if you wish). Again, I am not sure they really came from those specific stars!!! :LOL:

    Many of the Darshanas have calendars of time that extend billions, trillions, quadrillions and quintilian of years ago. So much so that only a multi-verse concept can make sense of it.

    According to many/most of the 8 major Darshanas (excluding Ajivika and Chaarvaaka), earth or prithvi is relatively recent. There are hundreds or more other worlds. [In fact the number of other worlds is described as endless in some texts.]

    Life flourished elsewhere before earth bloomed. And life will exist elsewhere when earth ceases to bloom.

    You can dismiss this as a truth claim.

    But the narrative traditions describe almost all the major saint figures of the ancient narrative stories as coming from elsewhere.

    Many if not most Jatis are related to the 10 Vedic sages Buddha spoke of (or their spouses, families, student succession lines).

    I honestly don’t know how to map their genetics. Because “their children” might not be their biological descendants.

    I have many theories on AASI, RI, and other haploid admixture groups. But honestly I know nothing. I need to know a heck of a lot more to even propose possible hypothesis that connect them to narrative stories.

    I have one guess. [Almost certainly wrong.] Most people get wiped during Krishna’s life. Population shrinks. Few males.

    Two DNA haploid admixtures are described as surviving:

    –line of Krishna
    –line of Krishna’s sister Subhadra (who married Arjuna)

    Persians claim descent from Subhadra. From Iran Subhadra’s line might have reentered India.

    Both Krishna and Subhadra and Arjuna are semi mythic beings. Their DNA was probably quite a bit different. [Another way of saying that they were not from here.]

    Through Krishna and Subhadra/Arjuna a new DNA admixture might have come. Many/most probably wanted their descendants to have these very high quality genes (as they saw them).

    This is a narrative explanation for new DNA patterns entering circa 4 K to 4.5 K years ago. Narratives indirectly tell history though allegory and story.

    Again this is total SWAG. Almost certainly wrong.

    2+
  14. One possible interpretation of what the 33 Vedic Gods are is described:

    https://www.brownpundits.com/2018/07/18/kailasha-and-narodnaya-central-to-arya-culture/

    The article needs massive editing. It has already been ripped apart.

    The 33 Gods are not what they appear to be. They still play in important role in many of the Sampradayas and temples in Sanathana Dharma. But it would take a book to describe many of the ways they intersect with the various schools of thought and lived practices.

    The Buddhists identify them and then try to transcend them through deeper Samadhis.

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    1. Razib,
      There are challenges in communication.

      There is an important point relevant to DNA haploid admixture.

      Are you familiar with Niyoga? Under this system a great saint would be asked by a couple to pass on their genes to the married female. Because of this it is possible that many of the Y chromosomes today are those of great saints.

      Most of these saints are described as living austere lives in the forest. Saints rarely engaged in business, product development, process innovation (Vaishya). And Kshatriya related activities (politics, governance, military, judges, lawyers) were an anathema too them.

      Note that many Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, Avarna by birth also became great saints.

      Niyoga is described as happening en mass many times over many thousands of years in the 18 Maha Puranas, Mahabharata, Hari Vamsha, Ramayana.

      Is this information useful?

      Another piece of information:

      Each part of the Vedas were revealed by a great saint. The saint who first recited that section is recorded in the Vedic literature.

      Several traditional scholars have tried to date the sequence in which various verses in the Vedas were added. [Mayuresh Kelkar knows quite a bit about this.]

      Most of the passages of the Vedas were first sung by the ten great saints mentioned by Buddha, or someone connected to them.

      For this reason I associate the old Samhitas of the four Vedas (5 if you split Yajur Veda into Shukla and Krishna) with the ten great saints mentioned by Buddha.

      Is this useful information?

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  15. It was perhaps one of the most uplifting episode, even the cynical me turned optimistic for a while. Perhaps he sees(and has read) stuff in Hinduism which i frankly haven’t come across. Good for Dr Long, perhaps just “theological Hinduism” itself has some uses.

    ‘There’s a certain amount of time following the invasions into India where both Aryans and Muslims considered themselves as a foreign, superior group, coming to dominate inferior Indians and extract wealth. After acculturation, both became more Indian (though not entirely).”

    “100% chance they violently conquered India and imposed their Vedic religion (and language) on Indians.”

    😂😂😂 I mean even Tony doesn’t say that, and he is a Dravidian(the supposed other).

    This whole thing reminds me of 1940s Jinnah. When he started with the whole Hindu-Muslim thing, he for some time started copying Ambedkar by calling Congress “caste-hindu party” rather than “Hindu party” , perhaps feeling it will add some browny points with dalits or whatever. But after sometime he ditched it(because it wasn’t coming naturally to him) and returned to Hindu party thing. The Jinnah-ists of today use that “caste-hindu party” utterance to showcase that Jinnah understood caste and all.

    its seems this same thing with Pak folks (mindfull of the fact that they are called invaders and colonizers) suddenly getting so worked up and finding that “original invaders” perhaps feeling that might reduce this stigma. Here by trying to copy the Dravidians. But since it doesn’t come naturally to them i feel that soon they will give up and resort back to the whole “yeah we are invaders, we are better” like the rhetoric was for last 70 years or so.

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    1. “There’s a certain amount of time following the invasions into India where both Aryans and Muslims considered themselves as a foreign, superior group, coming to dominate inferior Indians and extract wealth. After acculturation, both became more Indian (though not entirely).””

      By Aryans do you mean the 10 great Vedic saints that Buddha spoke of?

      They taught that everyone can become enlightened or self actualized. The 10 great saints might have been “foreign” from a certain point of view. But did they ever consider themselves superior to anyone else?

      In all the texts I have read from eastern philosophy I cannot remember ever coming across a saint who claimed that he is superior to anyone else or that others cannot achieve enlightenment/self actualization. Not saying it has never happened. I just don’t know about it.

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  16. “hindus can correct me, but my understanding is that the pantheon important in the vedas is pretty marginal today”

    Being from N-India( the Arabia of Hinduism 😛 ), let me point out that common practicing Hindus don’t have time or wavelength to sit and thrash out what’s vedic/non vedic parts of hinduism . For them its all one, its for thelogian, historian to discuss and all. As i have said before history is where you stand today and who you are. So it doesn’t matter for hindus whether for example Aryans ate beef or not (which the marxist historians go on and on ) Vast majority of hindus (including upper castes) have not read either Vedas or Upanishads or whatever. For them their forefathers didn’t eat beef , so it doesn’t matter what texts said what. What matters is the “perception” they have of their religion.

    For them what pantheon was superseded, why they chant Vedic mantras , all this doesn’t matter. Hinduism is what they practice and what Aryans,Indus Valley folks practiced and for them both are one and the same. They dont discuss what schools they are practicing, nor is their some tests like “Do you accept the Vedas, if not how are you a Hindu?” . In short what matters is the practice rather than texts.

    Finally “India”/Bharat IS a Indo-Aryan construct, just like Hungary/Turkey/Pakistan are constructs of the last people who moved into it.

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    1. Saurav, your comment is very interesting and I mostly agree!

      “Being from N-India( the Arabia of Hinduism 😛 )”

      We don’t agree. Most of my Indian friends are South Indians. I consider Tamil Nadu and AP (I refuse to say Telangana in protest 😉 ) to be the Arabia of Hinduism! Not joking!

      “let me point out that common practicing Hindus don’t have time or wavelength to sit and thrash out what’s vedic/non vedic parts of hinduism .”

      Yup. The very question would confuse them. Everyone has their favorite practice, path, song or scripture. The basic Sanathana Dharma corpus might have millions of holy books. No human can possibly read them. This is why there is no blasphemy. No one knows enough to accuse someone else of blasphemy!

      “Hinduism” is like saying all the scientific, romance, non fiction, philosophy and fiction books in the world are “bookyism”.

      “For them its all one”

      Yup.

      “its for thelogian, historian to discuss and all”

      Yes. But the theolgians and historians only know their very tiny slices and feel deeply uncomfortable sharing perspectives on what they do not know.

      “As i have said before history is where you stand today and who you are. So it doesn’t matter for hindus whether for example Aryans ate beef or not (which the marxist historians go on and on ) Vast majority of hindus (including upper castes) have not read either Vedas or Upanishads or whatever. For them their forefathers didn’t eat beef , so it doesn’t matter what texts said what. What matters is the “perception” they have of their religion.”

      True Dat!

      “For them what pantheon was superseded, why they chant Vedic mantras , all this doesn’t matter.”

      99% true. The reason people chant I think is because they feel something in their brain and nervous system. The chanting is a brain sound therapy that for them has a large measurable affect. But 98% only slightly know the meaning of what they chant.

      My hope is that neuro-scientists study this phenomenon in great detail.

      “Hinduism is what they practice and what Aryans,Indus Valley folks practiced and for them both are one and the same.”

      True.

      “They dont discuss what schools they are practicing, nor is their some tests like “Do you accept the Vedas, if not how are you a Hindu?” . In short what matters is the practice rather than texts.”

      True. But it isn’t hard to figure out what sampradaya (can be multiple simultaneously) they are practicing.

      It is also meaningless to ask people about the Vedas . . . because almost no one has carefully studied the whole thing.

      What might be meaningful to ask is what verses in the Vedas do you like and why. Many Hindus have one or more favorite verses.

      ‘Finally “India”/Bharat IS a Indo-Aryan construct, just like Hungary/Turkey/Pakistan are constructs of the last people who moved into it.

      1+”

      Couldn’t agree more! Bharat is a recent name. It use to be called something else before.

      King Bharata after whom “Bharat” is said was not yet born during the Ramayana time period.

      Saurav, you are remarkably well informed on a great many topics. Not just this one. I learn a lot from reading your comments. Thanks!

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    2. Yes, it doesn’t make sense to call whoever the aryans invaded “indian”, much like the the romans didn’t subjugate the french. There are other more suitable terms. There’s also the possibility that upper-caste north indians are the most aryan derived existing population in the world, even if that proportion is well below 25% on average, and high church hinduism, though a product of and perhaps overwhelmed by subsequent influences, is the surviving religion with a direct genealogy to the steppe culture. Throw zoroastrianism in there too i suppose.

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  17. Indthings:

    “The problem is there’s no good evidence that the Indus Valley Civilization contributed anything significant to the Vedic religion, and there is good evidence that the Aryans regarded the IVC peoples religion as barbaric infidel nonsense.”

    By Aryans do you mean the 10 Vedic sages that Buddha spoke of and the various songs and scriptures they and people connected to them recited?

    What does the word “infidel” mean?
    What does the word “barbaric” mean?
    Are these concepts related to “Dharma” and “Adharma”?

    I have only seen a few IVC artifacts online and in books. Maybe I am projecting. But the architecture, deities and symbols are awfully similar to temples I visit.

    Having said this, if you have seen many IVC artifacts and they don’t appear similar to temples you visit–this is a legitimate perspective.

    “Regarding Islam, no, there was never any serious attempt to destroy the “native” religions, which Hinduism is not, if you consider the Vedas to be the core authority of Hinduism (which most Hindus do).”

    According to most Hindus the Vedas do not belong to SAARC folks or even homo sapiens. They ultimately come from the “Om” pranava sound vibration. Some think this is reference to the big bang (but others don’t). The Vedas belong to the universe or the multi-verse.

    The truth claim for 9 of the 10 Darshanas is that humans were taught various things by special beings. You can reject the truth claim if you wish.

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  18. girmit are you defining Aryan as a DNA haploid admixture? If so, which one?

    What is “high church hinduism”? Which sampradaya(s) or Darshana(s)?

    Do you believe that Zorastrianism is closely tied to the 10 Darshanas? [I suspect this might be the case.]

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  19. Milan Todorovic, I would be deeply interested in a series of deep dive articles about the ancient Serbian religion.

    Does Dyeus in ancient Serbian religion refer to the most subtle of the five elements (space or ether . . . from which four less subtle elements emerge)

    Is Dyeus the sky father?

    In the Vedas Dyeus + Earth or Dyeus + Pritvi is referred to as Dyavapṛthivi.

    Is there an equivalent of “Dyeus Earth”?

    Is Dyeus the witness?

    Is Dyeus connected to the planet Jupiter?

    Is Dyeus connected to the purest form of Aham kara or “I”ness?

    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom Milan 🙂

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    1. Anan, will come with what I know about this and what is common for ancient Serbs and SA. I use this opportunity to say…

      I think that we (Benetton Pundits) collectively made a significant progress in this Thread. There is almost consensus that Aryan existed, they came with their language, mythology and some Vedas. We came to this based on basic facts, elementary logic and by not pushing head in the sand. Of course, these things continued to develop in the following 3-4000 years. Aryans became locals and, as we found, they had significant role in Mahabharata (I am starting to reread this carefully). I must remind all about your and Arjun’s discovery that Iliad and Mahabharata most likely came from the same source (I give you two guys until the end of the year to publish this, otherwise I will do myself). We should not forget a wider context that Aryans came also to China, Tibet, Turan, Iran, even Sri Lanka. In China founded at least one dynasty (Chinese are more open to write about this).

      What is the next?

      The first problem is taxonomy and many meaningless terms. I mentioned already (Proto)IE, steppes, Balto-Slavic, etc. They only make confusion. The other important thing is that SA scholars don’t know or don’t question EU history which is heavily falsified. The most cannot see further from their nose or the nearest field (i.e. steppe). Who could bring the most superior weapons, developed language and mythology, metallurgy, Vedas? Nomads? No! It must come from some urban environment with developed technology and culture. Some mentioned the language. It is the central topic for further discussions. There were not modern nations in ancient time, the language was a key thing (together with genetics) which defined the common belongings to certain groups. Which language existed at that time? Which modern language is the most similar to Sanskrit? Which language gave thousands of toponyms in SA?

      This language is Serbian. Aryans were Serbian tribes. In ancient time they occupied almost whole Europe, Asia Minor, Russia. Later, they came to the edge of their extinction. Many cannot overcome mental barriers to accept this fact. Some are maybe disappointed because they still consider that Vedas are God’s gift. Some are irrationally irritated. Others are rationally irritated for the same reasons why European history is falsified and these fabrications still persist. Indians scholars should turn their sights away from former colonial masters and make a step further in their research.

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  20. Great episode. Thank you in particular for asking questions about the historical dynamics between the historical elite of Hinduism and the historical lower castes and classes in terms of exchange of religious ideas and influences. The answers were very informative for me. It may probably be worthwhile to consider – as Xerxes of the East perhaps also alluded to – a future episode done again on Hinduism that concentrates on Hinduism traditionally practised by the historical lower castes and classes which is not known to a lot of people because – as the guest also mentioned – transmission happens mainly through lived tradition and not textually and thus the internet could not succeed in capturing it very much yet. Also definitely helpful would be some sort of questions concerning the proper application of the desha-kAla concept (of Hindu law?), the Hindu reform of the last century, views of proponents of its continuation, stopping, etc. may also be worthwhile to be considered. Also if there are any religious guidelines that help some kind of aspiring reform-intelligentsia identify something as needing reform and something as not necessarily (pursuing dismantling of which might even end up being needlessly destructive), and proceed accordingly, etc.

    Overall, I learned a lot – rather, recollected a lot from the period before the Lord has forsaken me (probably it is I who has distanced him (but in my defense it is him who made me this way and he has subject me to tremendous suffering which is again through his own creation whatever it is called avidyA or mAyA or whatever)) – from this episode.

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