Monday, August 13, 2018

Arya Chanakya - Takshashila University

Disclaimer: This series of blog posts are a free translation of Arya Chanakya novel written by Sri Vedula Suryanarayana Sharma garu. If anyone has any Copy Right objections, please email to

Part 1: Arya Chanakya - Authoring Arthashastra, A Revolutionary insight

The city of Takshashila was so called as it was built with cut stones. The university was established between the Sindhu and Vitasta rivers by SriRama’s brother Bharata, according to the Mahabharata. It rose to fame as the central university to supervise over all the other ancient universities in the Hindu country. This university was renowned many centuries prior to Christ’s birth. Students from many foreign lands studied here as well.

Students learnt the VedaShastras under the guidance of expert Maharshi Pandits. This was a university that was revered by people from all religions. There were also teachers belonging to other religions. Subjects like Vedas, Vendangas (auxiliary Vedic sciences), Darshanas (philosophical guides), Ayurveda, Ganita Shastra (Mathematics), ArthaShashtra, RajyangaShastra (constitutional science), AyudhaShastra (weapons science), Geography, Astronomy, MantraShastra (science of Mantras), Gandharvam etc. were comprehensively taught with a practical approach.

The sixty four arts were all taught with perfection. The methods and approaches were such that the students believed that all sciences and arts they studied were aligned with the Arya Sanatana Dharma. Nothing that doesn’t abide by Dharma was taught. Knowledge that would make living in a society comfortable was imparted. Only because the correlation between society and knowledge was distinctly stated, the university gained such respect and renown. Rather than working towards financial ascent or towards attaining fame, it adhered to its quest for truth.

Jeevaka and Buddha also studied here. Atreya Rishi was Jeevaka’s guru. One of Atreya’s disciples, Charaka was a Physician who taught the Ashtanga medicinal science here. The first of the five hundred students In Varanasi, SwetaKetu entered Takshashila for advanced education in the field. Panini Acharya authored the Ashtadhyayi, Dhaatupatha, and Unadi Sutra in the Vyakarana Shastra while in this University.

Each sect is taught their respective Veda entirely as it should be. Every subject has seven levels within it. Only the worthy students for advanced education are admitted into the university. Primary and secondary level education isn’t available here. This is an esteemed education center. Students from all over the world who have familiarized themselves with the subjects up to the age of sixteen come here for the next level education. When a student completes his seven years of education in a Shastra here, there is hardly anything left for him to learn in it. Not only does every student gain immense knowledge in the subject he has taken up, but also considerable knowledge in three other related subjects.

All Gurus were unbiased Maharshis. Some were wandering ascetics. Dharmics who lived solely to spread knowledge. Students were those who set out for to protect Dharma and those who solely lived to attain knowledge. It is not an exaggeration to say that the students would have exceeded their Gurus at the end of the seven years.

As the protection of Dharma is the foremost priority of every Guru in Takshashila, certain appointed wanderers introduced Anga Samudrika scholars to foreign lands to inspire and send any child that had the characteristics of a future king, an emperor, a religious leader, or a great scholar to the Gurukula. To put in huge efforts into nurturing these promising students through education and making them brilliant protectors of Dharma is Takshashila’s primary endeavor. The university’s plenipotentiary takes special interest in these students as well.

When the education is complete, the students are provided with an ace level examination to test their expertise. In certain Shastras, not only is the knowledge/conceptual understanding tested, but also their ability for practical application. These examinations were conducted using the best methods. Without letting the students realize that they were being tested, the Guru’s observed their students learning and declared whether they passed. For a test on medicine, students were required to list the properties of the leaves, herbs, creepers, climbers, roots, and grass in area surrounding the university. When the students passed the practical tests, they would be blessed to travel around the world and win royal accolades, also be reminded to never forget the protection of Dharma, and then be graduated. Some would remain and research their subjects, discover great things and give them to the world in the form of Granthas. For their contributions to their subject, they would be given the title of ‘Maha Parangata’. Some others would teach within institution.

Even though the university taught the Chaturvedas, Shadangas, Shatshastras, Chatushashtikalas as well, it gave the foremost priority to strategically producing efficient leaders, kings, and ministers who would protect Dharma. For this reason, they picked well-gifted students to make them efficient. They were taught the entire DhanurVeda, and made successful in Shastra Vidyas. As it majorly relied on kings and ministers to protect VaidikaDharma, it took their oaths to do so. Kings and emperors of different regions sent their princes to be educated here. A hundred and three such princes studied and learnt various administrative strategies here and ruled their kingdoms.

Of all its important repositories, Takshashila’s treasury of the palm leaf manuscript Granthas is its most prized. This is the residence of the students who have attained the title of ‘Parangata’ and continue to carry on research in their fields. This repository stands in a cave carved to be around a half-mile wide on the hillside. Here and there were ruby columns that were like lamps that didn’t need oil, shining light untouched by shadows. Vents were made for fresh air circulation. Inside racks made of polished marble slates were the Granthas neatly and orderly arranged in rows in different sections according to the respective Shastras. Each section’s title was mentioned above it in Devnagari script. Ladders and ropes appeared intermittently to be used to place and retrieve Granthas from the higher shelves.

The granthas belonging to a particular Shastra were all under the supervision of the assigned master of the Shastra. This person sat across the section of his Shastra, facing it on a tiger skin Asana. He would have studied all the Granthas, passed a special examination, and knew what information was available where. Researching students just needed to tell him their topic of research for him to be able to point them to Granthas which they needed to study for that sake. He was also able to tell them which parts of these Granthas they were likely to find the necessary information in. He would get someone to retrieve necessary Granthas and give them to the students. Apart from this person, in between sections of Shastras were emerald elevations, on them were deer skins spread, and on which sat the advanced researchers, facing North. He would suggest possible paths of research, explain the intentions and perspectives of the authors of the Granthas, clear doubts, and guide of the researching students. This Acharya argued with the students and encouraged their radical thoughts despite them being against the religion he practiced for the sake of progress and prosperity. He also cautioned them on their efforts. He would have done his own research on the Shastra, authored Granthas with new theories, and be titled as a ‘Maha Parangata’. Mostly such Acharyas were wanderers who relinquished all comforts and pleasures, or devout life-long bachelors.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Arya Chanakya - Authoring Arthashastra, A Revolutionary insight

Disclaimer: This series of blog posts are a free translation of Arya Chanakya novel written by Sri Vedula Suryanarayana Sharma garu. If anyone has any Copy Right objections, please email to

It is more than 2300 years before present day. There are five to six hours to go before sunrise. It is Visakha Shudda Panchami. In the section of political treatises in the huge repository of palm leaf manuscripts inside Takshashila Vidyapeetha, in a corner is a radiant young man of age twenty three years, surrounded up to ten feet by ancient manuscripts lying open, carefully consulting and comparing manuscripts to arrive at meaningful conclusions, writing them down on leaves, absorbed in the gathering of information for the composition of a new text. To his left is another young man of his age, leafing through more manuscripts, occasionally sharing something insightful with his companion, discussing, and being helpful. The first is Chankya, and the latter is named Indusarma. Beside them is the researcher and their teacher, Sukalpaswami, testing and commending their knowledge and skills. 

Sukalpaswami: Chana! How far has your composition of the Arthashastra come?

Chanakya: Swami! Currently I am researching about encampment.

Su: It means it is mostly done. It won’t take much longer to complete the text. Why have you chosen to author Arthashastra rather than a discourse on the first Purushartha? A discourse on Dharma would also be your duty as a Brahmin, wouldn’t it? 

Ch: Guruprabhu! Artha (material means) is necessary for Dharma (duty). Artha helps realise Kama (desire). Since the other two are tied to Artha, attaining it would help attain the other two. This is why I am focussing on the second Purushartha as the first and fourth have been extensively discoursed and written about. 

There are only a few texts on Arthashastra. It can be said that there is no text on Kamashastra. I will attempt to fill this deficit.  I am currently working on Arthashastra, and with time if God desires so, I shall also write on the art of Kama. 

Su: Your intention is good. Are your studying the texts on the Arthashastra written by our ancestors and following their footsteps? None of them cross the limits of Dharma. These limits aren’t to be crossed.

Ch: Guruprabhu! I am researching all ancient texts – Barhaspatya, Manava, Aushanasu, Aambhiya, Visalaksha, Vatavyadhi (Uddhapa), Pisuna (Narada), Bharadwaja (Dronacharya), Kounadampata (Bheeshmacharya), Baahudanti Putra (Indra) are all my sources. I have absorbed all knowledge that is available regarding administration and ruling. All such texts put Dharma before Artha. I think that the Dharmarthas in the texts do not concur with today’s circumstances. For this reason, I have made changes that I have deemed fit. 

Su: How come Chana? You are making changes to Dharma according to the times? Isn’t Dharma constant with time, similar to the substance that the soul is made of? 

Ch: Yes. The core principles of Dharma do not change. But the paths on takes to follow Dharma have to be changed with the times, Swami! So these changes were necessary.

Su: What? Are you capable of showing better ways to follow Dharma in comparison to those shown by our ancestors? 

Ch: It is true that our ancestors had shown optimum ways to follow Dharma. They were the right paths for their times. Today, they fail. No one today can reach the destination if they follow those paths. So these ways had to be changed. Today’s people require paths to be thornless even if they are long and meandering. 

Su: So you have shown twisted ways to Dharma in your book. Acharya  Kalyanaswami had already forewarned me of your unconventional approaches, said that you could appeal to the people according to the times. You Telugus don’t seem to blindly follow. You use your ability to discern the truth and scrutinise all knowledge that has been passed down. You are skilled in reasoning. I’ve heard that Kalyanaswami had named you ‘Kautilya’. 

Ch: Yes. It is the pet name Kalyanaswami Guru has given me. I have practiced Artha and Dharma at his feet. He loves me like a father. He initially didn’t think much of me for not understanding Dharma and interrupting his lessons with constant queries. That was when he jested, ‘You are not Kautalya, but Kautilya.’

Su: I see! So your Gotrarshi is Kutalya Maharshi! Then you become a Kautalya, but Guru has added an ‘i’. 

Ch: Since that day, all my companions have addressed me with the ‘i’ sound.  Later on, Guru came to take to me since being able to change his opinions finally. “Your ways might be unconventional, but suitable to our times. Write Arthashastra your way and bring the world together,” saying so, he gave me his blessings and led me here to research under your guidance. 

Indusarma: I see! So that is how you acquired your name. I was unaware of the story behind it. I did not study Mantra, Ayurveda, and Jyotishya with you under Kalyanaswami Guru, so I wasn’t aware of the origin of your altered name. So, Kautalya became Kautilya because of Guru. You are Chanakya because you are Chanaka’s son. What is your actual name?

Ch: Vishnugupta. My mother Devaki, is a devotee of MahaVishnu. She routinely recited Vishnusahasra. I was born to my parents late in life. Unable to tolerate the pains of childbirth, my mother prayed to Vishnu that she’d name me after him. 

Su: You have other names as well. They call you Pakshiswami as well. I guess you are also called Mallanaga. 

In: Yes. Right from the start, he cultivated the hobby of petting doves, pigeons, parrots, eagles, monkeys etc. and using them as messengers to deliver messages to other regions and to gather information. No one can match him at it. As he is the Swami of those who catch birds, he came to be called ‘Pakshila Swami’ (Swami of birds). There are people eager to learn this art from him. Mallanaga is a cultural name. Mayaandhras are a Nagajati. This region of Takshashila was their first residence. Mallanaga is also a title given in praise to a person of eminence from the Nagajati. It refers to our Jati’s culture.  

Su: I had forgotten, Chana! Isn’t your gothra Srivatsa? You mentioned Kautala? Then, why are you called Vatsayana? 

Ch: As my maternal grandparents did not have any sons, I’m the only son to both families, so I’ve attained both Gothras. My maternal Gothra is Srivatsa. So I am also Vatsayana. 

Su: You have many names! Your mother, father, race, Guru etc. gave you your names. Your enjoyable nature has gained you another name. There seem to be more titles waiting for you. But why are you missing teeth at such a young age? Have you been ill?

Ch: I haven’t lost my teeth to any illness, Swami! This is the result of my father’s deeds. Unlike everyone, I came out of the womb with milk teeth already grown. My father was anxious and consulted Physiologists. They said, “You are very lucky. Your son could become a sovereign man. Even if it appears to be a deformity, from looking at his other features, it can be said that he could become a great protector of dharma, a King.” Since I was the only for both sides of the family, they couldn’t tolerate that my teeth suggested that I’d become a King despite being a Brahmin. ‘Rajyante Narakam Dhruva’, they said. Both families would be corrupted and the Pitaras on both sides would find no peace and be left without any place to go to. They investigated Dharma Shastras and decided to get my teeth removed at that tender age and performed Shanti Karmas. At the age of eleven when I grew my wisdom teeth, my mother followed my father and convinced me to get them removed. 

Su: Ah! Even if your parents were not so bent on Swadharma, you do possess the ability to make a king and rule through him. You could then be the prime minister. Then it would not clash with your duties as a Brahmin. Both the astrologer’s foretelling and your parents’ concern would be met this way. But I digress. Your book seems to elevate Artha over Dharma. Ancestors have preserved the various Dharmas in Shastras and carefully passed them down through the ages. Our university’s foremost duty is to preserve this Dharma. You are attempting to destabilize the foundation and setting out to deprioritize and argue against it. How can your work be respected when you don’t concur with the source material? 

Ch: Forgive me Guru! It is true that all ancestors have given Dharma the top priority. But with passing time, the Dharma bound in those texts came to be out of reach for the commoners. The people have slowly side-tracked from Dharma and have become desirous of Artha. It is not possible now to turn them away from the aspiration of comfort and pleasure, and put them on the path of Dharma through force. Our ancestors had written the Dharmic texts so it would attract the common folk of those times. They wrote the texts and cemented the Dharmas without considering the inconstant nature of the minds of people. They had not taken into account the changing times and prescribed punishment if the mind lost track. Acharya had written that there isn’t a better way than the method of punishment to the end of attaining control over the elements. Do you agree? Everyone has a different personality, and not everyone has a natural affinity for Dharma. And when such people find it difficult to follow Dharma to a tee and are consequently punished, they become frustrated gradually avoid Dharma. Acharya hadn’t considered it. Such harsh punishment makes people resentful. That doesn’t mean that mild punishment is effective.  It would make the king appear ineffective. The punishment should be in accordance with the crime. Such well-suited and considerate punishment makes people want to behave according to Dharma. Inconsiderate punishment as a consequence of Kamakrodha (desire and anger), or Agyana (ignorance) angers not only those in the Gruhasta Ashrama, but also those in the Vanastha Ashrama. In the absence of punishment, the strong will abuse the weak. A punishment should be such that it imparts culture and humility to one. That is when it is beneficial. Do you think my argument is wrong? If you are ready to forgive, I would like to explain some of my other thoughts on the issue of Dharma. 

Su: Chana! What about this do you have to ask forgivance for? Even though we are used to the trodden path and are somewhat hesitant, your thoughts are well-articulated and meaningful. You can fearlessly speak your mind. It would conflict with the researching spirit for one to suppress individual opinions. 

Ch: As the chief researcher you have accepted me, but not everyone has been so graceful to me. I implore to you, Dharma that is against justice has to be shed. A very important Dharma cited in the Veda is ‘Satyam Vada (speak truth)’. At times when it clashes with justice, this truth has to be compromised. The word ‘Satya’ in Veda originally means Nyaya (justice). This wasn’t grasped, so it came to mean ‘the truth exactly as it happened’. This is a misconception. Let me present an example. A hunter is chasing a cow. The cow runs to an ashram that belongs to a man who has vowed to only speak the truth. When the hunter arrives at the ashram and enquires about the cow, should the man utter the truth about the cow, or try to protect it and preserve justice by lying?  Dharma Shastra was written to protect Nyaya in the first place, so when Dharma and Nyaya clash, why is it that Nyaya should be forsaken for Dharma? It should be Dharma that is forsaken for the sake of Nyaya. Dharma Sutras should be taught based on the context of Nyaya. Nyaya should be imbued into people’s hearts. It is impossible to make people follow Dharma that appears to be conflicted with Nyaya. One has to bring out the Nyaya immersed within the Dharma and present it while commenting on the Sutras. This will bring people together. This new trend is necessary for our times. 

Su: How So, Chana! This is odd. You are ascribing a difference between Dharma and Nyaya. What is the difference between the two? 

Ch: You are right. There is no difference between the two. Our ancestors have written the Dharmas with Nyaya in mind. But with the time and use, a difference has been introduced; it has been meddled with to present it in a perspective that focuses on the manner of ruling. But the intention behind such ruling hasn’t been explained. The Nyaya part that rationally presents this has been forgotten with time. As the people who came after followed in their footsteps and meaning faded, commenters have failed to understand the intention behind the manner of ruling and relied on the blind notions of the day to spread the autocratic propaganda. When the Maharshis themselves failed to understand the basis on which the Dharma Sutras were written, the kings also relied on the beliefs of their time and used punishments to protect Dharma. In this manner with the passage of time, Nyaya came to be buried under Dharma. Reasoning went out of practise. Several wrongs have happened due to blindly following. It is now necessary to bring a timely revisal to Nyaya. Isn’t it improper to comment on Nyaya with blind beliefs and without the prerequisite understanding? 

Su: Your argument makes sense. I would like you to give an example of how a Dharma Sutra has been misunderstood by our ancestors and also to see how you would interpret it. 

Ch: Look how this Dharma Sutra had been distorted by blind beliefs. Dandasmruti states a Sukta that goes “Yukta Karmani Chayuktanya’ (When a person performs a karma he is ineligible for, he should be punished). It was interpreted as, “Shudras and the others who are unfitting should be punished for performing the pious acts meant to be performed by the worthy Brahmins and others”.  When such tyrannical statements are made and followed, won’t people be offended? How can Dharma be understood by them? Scholars have only written the Sutras, they should have been well-intentioned. Gradually, they have been misinterpreted by the commentators. As they based their comments on the blind beliefs of their times, differences appeared. This is why I myself am commenting on my Sutras. 

Su: The Sutra seems to me to be rightly interpreted. Why do you disagree? 

Ch: Blind beliefs passed down for generations can prevent even those who are intelligent from being touched by the rays of wisdom. It is only an Arthashastra Sutra that prescribes punishment; it has nothing to do with caste. An ‘Ayukta’ is someone who isn’t deemed fit by the king to perform the task. He then is ineligible. ‘Yuktakarmanu’ means that when a person other than the person who has been picked by the king to perform a task does it, he is to be punished. So an ineligible person isn’t to perform a task that an only eligible person is to do.  This is my interpretation. There are many such misinterpretations.

Su: Oh, I see! Your interpretation is right. I like your unconventional thoughts. It is hard for me to shed my beliefs, but your thoughts provide fresh light. If you continue down this path, you will definitely benefit the world. Why don’t you write a commentary on the entire Dharmashastra in this manner?

Ch: Guruprabhu! I do not want to attempt such a feat at this moment. I am studying only that which I require from among the Dharmasutras to be able to understand and form my thoughts on the Rajyanga Neeti (Constitutional ethics).However brief I intend to be, my Shastra already seems to come upto six thousand manuscripts. The elders are already angry with me as they think I misinterpret and misrepresent the DharmaSutras conveniently. Would they let me live if I were to comment on the entire DharmaShastra?

Su: Yes, there is always the blind faith. Once you introduce changes in the administration, the rulers that implement them will soon be able to bring light to a new perspective on the societal norms. The elders should rather blame their own blindness that is obstructing your fresh approach. 

Ch: In my ArthaShastra I’ve written that the kings should maintain a spy organisation, should lure their enemies and defeat them, should create a rift between the enemy king and his people. The elders are dissatisfied as they consider this to be deviant. There were also some necessary changes to be made to the king’s council to maintain balance. All these changes are just. Even then, the elders are propagating that the changes go against Dharma.  I’ve also written other things to provoke such a response –divorce, remarriage for those who were married to outsiders and those with deceased partners, Swayamvara for pubescent women, ways to remove hindrances, supress/kill slanderers, confiscate/draw excess wealth from the rich etc. All this could have caused displeasure. DharmaSutras have to be viewed from the perspective of justice. None of the discussed changes go against Dharma. I stand by this despite all the opinions circulating against me. 

Su: Chana! I would have agreed to their views had I not personally heard it come from you, but now I can see that your thoughts aide and seek justice, so I wholeheartedly agree with them. If wise men contain their thoughts in fear of ridicule and opposition, it would be a disservice to the society. The world can decide for itself what justice is. Why point fingers at each other then? Anyway, it would be good if you could take a suitable king under your wing, teach him your ArthaShastra, and counsel him closely. It will be seen how much of your vision can be implemented. Your writings might benefit when implemented.  

Ch: You have spoken my mind, GuruDeva. I am on the lookout. I’ve written it for the right ruler to be able to implement and benefit from it. I too wish to witness their fruit when implemented. It shall unfold as per God’s grace.   

Su: Chana! Your wish shall come true for sure. You are capable of realising your plans. You were supposed to be a king. Your parents might have gotten rid of the signs, but your destiny hasn’t been erased by just that. If not the king, you will at least have to become the prime minister. I bless you so. 

Ch: I am grateful. Your blessings are unfailing. Although, I am sometimes discouraged when I think that I am wasting time over worldly matters and therefore obstructing spiritual Dharma instead of performing penance.  

Su: Do not think so. This is divine work. By protecting Dharma, you will become the one to have shown the spiritual path to many. If you were to perform penance, only you would benefit from it. Isn’t it wrong for the able to sit and wait out the decline of Dharma? What takes priority for a Brahmin over the protection of the Vedic Dharma?  Isn’t this what Vasishtha and the others have done? It isn’t new for Brahmins to establish Dharma through kings. Any work done for the world’s well-being is God’s wish. Unselfish deeds enlighten one. Enlightenment is what leads to Moksha (liberation). Shed your doubts. You have thoroughly researched thus far. I might be the research guide here, but you have become my guide now. I am very happy. There are no bounds to the happiness of a teacher whose student surpasses him. Live long! May your wishes be granted!

Chana: I am blessed! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Traditions of India – a Dharmic approach to reformation

There has been lot of debate on various Hindu and Bharatiya traditions as Bharat started to shake off the Secular shackles and particularly since Sri Narendra Modi’s election as Prime Minister of Bharat in 2014. Various Special Interest Groups and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are filing Public Interest Litigations (PIL) in courts to discontinue various traditions on flimsy grounds. In almost all cases this well coordinated high-decibel debates and PILs are only against Hindu traditions; and nothing against even more distasteful and eco-hazardous traditions of non-Hindu religions. The rare exceptions to this rule are the Triple Talaq bill and the Mehram criteria for Hajj pilgrims, which are actively contested by the associated religious organizations as well as self-declared atheist, secular, communist groups, organizations and parties. 

Often, these instances of contest against prevailing Hindu traditions are coming into public knowledge very late in the process; just before a court verdict or, in worse cases, after the court verdict leaving Hindus very little time and legal space to present their case and get a judicial outcome. Few examples of this challenge are to do with ban on Jallikattu, Sri Krishna Janmashtami Dahi Handi, entrance rules to Garbha Gruha of Shanisinghapur temple, entrance rules to Ayyappa temple and so on. In all these scenarios, the Hindu groups are left with post-verdict protest articles explaining the Hindu rationale behind these traditions and in some cases voluntary movements to continue a given tradition (Ex: women entering Ayyappa temple). This process is not only un-democratic and unjust to Hindu majority, but would slowly kill the Hindu Dharmic ethos that are enshrined in our society as traditions.

Does it mean Sanatana Dharma is against honest debate on traditions and discontinuing them if found to be unsuitable for a given region (dEsa) and time (kAla)? 

The answer is an emphatic NO. One of the key foundations of Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism is to have a continuous awareness, observation and debate on all traditions and to discontinue or start traditions to fit into a given dEsa/kAla (region and era). That is why unlike non-Hindu religions, Sanatana Dharma delivered numerous Dharma Sastras written by various Rishis to suit a specific region and era. These Dharma Sastras are infinite even though many of us know very few of them like Manu Dharma Sastra, Parashara Smriti, Yagnavalka Smriti, Aapastamba Sutra, Chanakya Artha Sastra etc. 

Is there a preferred approach to study, debate and transform Hindu traditions? 

Before going into this, it is important to touch upon a key aspect of Hinduism/Bharatiyata. This is called Dharma. Dharma has two aspects to it; the first one is eternal; as in Sanatana Dharma and the second one is contextual; suitable to dEsa/kAla as in Dharma Sastras. A Dharma Sastra must pass the criteria of Sanatana aspect of Dharma for it to be accepted by the society. In many scenarios, a Dharma Shastra was adopted as the constitution of Bharat of that era. It is important to understand the Sanatana (eternal) aspect of Dharma before defining contextual Dharma. 

Eternal Dharma is often personified as the four legs of a Cow or Bull; because Dharma gives the society nourishment as Cow’s milk and keeps us eternally faced /focused towards Shiva (universal consciousness) as Nandi does in all Shiva temples. The four legs of this Dharma are described as Satya, Saucha, Bhuta Daya and Nishkama Karma. A quick description of these are:
  • Satya = sarvam khalvidam brahma - All of this is brahman (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 3.14.1) combined with tat tvam asi - "YOU are THAT" (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
  • Saucha = Bhagavad-Gita explains that Saucha as combination of Shubhrata, Swachata, Sundarata and Pavitrata. Shubhrata means getting rid of filth and corruption amidst us. Swachata is the process of adopting the set of practices that help maintain health and prevent corruption. Sundarata is the body of aesthetic knowledge that makes our surroundings and society a celebration. Finally, Pavitrata brings the sense of reverence towards our own surroundings, society and nation
  • Bhuta Daya = Kindness towards all (non-human) beings & non-violence towards helpless
  • Nishkama Karma = Emphasis on Duty/Action combined with non-emphasis on results.

As one can see, the above four legs of Dharma are applicable in all contexts and regions; thus eternal. One can easily apply this Dharmic Test and to verify if a given idea or tradition is Dharma or not. 

By using the Dharma structure above, Hindus can analyze any tradition to check if it passes the eternal aspect of Dharma and decide if it is in Bharatiya Interests to continue that tradition. If a given tradition fails the Dharma test then laws to discourage and penalize those obsolete traditions can be formulated.

A methodology to study Bharatiya traditions:

1. Purva-Paksha: Study and summarize a given tradition in terms of its context, usage, region and timing. Explain in what socio-economic-political background and circumstances that tradition came in to being and who are prescribed to follow it and at what time and location. Identify the people, places, flora-fauna, if any, that are adversely impacted by the tradition. 

2. Dharma Test: Conduct a dharma test against the subject tradition using above model. If a tradition passes the above four aspects, then it is a Dharmic sampradaya; and it must be encouraged. If a tradition fails the Satya test then it is Adharmic and must be discontinued immediately. If a given tradition passes Satya test but fails one or more remaining aspects of Dharma, then it is Aapaddharma; a temporary deviation. This must be corrected as soon as the underlying root-cause is removed from the society. This author believes that most of repugnant traditions that exist in Bharat today must have come into being as Aapaddharma (temporary compromise) during the 1300-year triple-colonization (by Islam, Christianity and Secularism) era.

3. dEsa/kAla analysis: Describe how contemporary socio-economic conditions make a given tradition unnecessary to continue. Explain how these new socio-economic factors pass the Dharma test themselves. Summarize how a given Aapaddharma tradition can be discontinued to reestablish Dharma.

4. New Dharma Sastra: Draft laws to penalize the continued use of Aapaddharma law so the society moves out of survival (Aapaddharma) mode to progressive mode (Dharma). Develop social awareness and seek Rashtra (Parliament, Govt of India) help to formalize this law and overall implementation.

In summary, neither Sanatana Hindu Dharma nor the Bharatiya civilization is averse to a structured debate on any of its traditions. In fact, Bharatiya civilization thrived by continuously rewriting Dharma Sastras (Contextual Dharma that passes Sanatana Dharma tests) to meet challenges thrown at it in every era. At the same time, it is important for Hindu majority to demand that any study and reformation of Bharatiya traditions is done based on Sanatana Hindu Dharma and not on Asuric agendas. Each tradition must be studied and tested for its compliance to Sanatana Dharma. Traditions that fail Sanatana Dharma test must be considered for reformation. At the same time, it is important to verify that current socio-economic and political environment and instruments of governance pass the Dharma test themselves. Laws must be formulated with the sole aim to lead the great Bharatiya civilization from Aapaddharma (survival mode) to Dharma (progress and celebration). 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Rohit Vemula & Modern Karnas

Recently I got a WhatsApp forward on a dialogue between Karna and Sri Krishna. It goes like this.

Karna asks Krishna - "My mother left me the moment I was born. Is it my fault I was born an illegitimate child? 
I did not get education from Dhronacharya because I was considered a non-Kshatriya. Parshuram taught me but then gave me the curse to forget everything since I was a kshatriya.
A cow was accidentally hit by my arrow & its owner cursed me for no fault of mine. I was disgraced in Draupadi's swayamvar.
Even Kunti finally told me the truth only to save her other sons. 
Whatever I received was through Dhuryodhana's charity. So how am I wrong in taking his side?"

Krishna replies,
"Karna, I was born in a jail. Death was waiting for me even before my birth. The night I was born I was separated from my birth parents. 
From childhood, you grew up hearing the noise of swords, chariots, horses, bow and arrows. I got only cow herd's shed, dung and multiple attempts on my life even before I could walk!
No army, no education.
I could hear people saying I am the reason for all their problems.
When all of you were being appreciated for your valor by your teachers, I had not even received any education. I joined gurukula of Rishi Sandipani only at the age of 16!
You are married to a girl of your choice. I didn't get the girl I loved & rather ended up marrying those who wanted me or the ones I rescued from demons.
I had to move my whole community from the banks of Yamuna to far off Sea shore, to save them from Jarasandh. I was called a coward for running away.

If Duryodhana wins the war you will get lot of credit.
What do I get if Dharmaraja wins the war? Only the blame for the war and all related problems.

Remember one thing Karna....
Everybody has challenges in life.
Duryodhana also has a lot of unfairness in life and so has Yudhishthira.
But what is Right (Dharma) is known to your Mind (Conscience)....
No matter how much unfairness we got, how many times we were disgraced, how many times we were denied what was due to us, what is important is how you REACTED at that time...
Stop whining Karna.
Life's unfairness does not give you license to walk the wrong path of *अधर्म.*


I got irked at the logic attributed to Sri Krishna because the Jagadguru who gave us BhagavadGita never speaks in fatalistic language. Sri Krishna taught us Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Action. Of course, all actions will result in consequences and Sri Krishna asked us to be equipoise about these results. But the emphasis is always on Karma to be done.

The Sri Krishna of Mahabharata was very clear on Dharma and never minced words to stand for it irrespective of the occasion, circumstances and opponents. The Sri Krishna that I know would have answered Karna as below:

Stop talking nonsense Karna, you are out and out Asuric person. Here is why...

1. Karna, you didn't know you are an illegitimate child until I told you so just before Kurukshetra. By which time, you are at least 50Yrs old, got married, have kids and so on... so all your Asuratva so far has nothing to do with your birth. You were known as Radheya and a very well-loved son of a charioteer (suta) family. Blaming it on Kunti at this point is nothing but krutaghnata/ingratitude to the parents that raised you with so much love & affection.

2. Karna, you did get admission into Drona's university of Astra & Sastra. It is your jealousy towards Arjuna & Asuric temperament that made you go on your own to Duryodhana's camp. You left Drona varsity on your own just because Drona refused to teach you Brahmastra as you weren't qualified to learn it. Like today's secular & (self-declared) Dalit students, you demanded professors to give Brahmastra even if you are unqualified and blame them instead of working hard to get qualified. It's like an IAS student blaming the professors for his failing in exams.

3. Karna, you went to Parasuraman fully knowing well that it is a restricted entry University. You put fake caste certificate like Rohit Vemula & got expelled unceremoniously as they found the truth. So, you don't mind breaking rules for your selfish benefits but cry victim when found...

4. Karna, you were made Anga Raja by Duryodhana even before he himself or Pandavas became kings. As on that day you, as a Suta putra, got best parental love & care even Pandavas didn't get (there were life threats for them from Kauravas), got admission into Drona Versity that even Ekalavya didn't (he was son of a kirata king), training under none other than Parasuraman (an Avatara himself), got to become a king of Anga. And you are telling us that you didn't have proper childhood and opportunities & career growth? That alone is enough reason to determine your Asuratva.

5. Karna, even your loyalty to Duryodhana is not honest because it is based on your common hatred towards Pandavas and the wealth donated by Duryodhana. Do you think your loyalty lasts a single minute if Duryodhana were to take back the Anga Rajya given to you?

6. Karna, consequences must be faced even if you didn't commit a crime intentionally. Fire will burn you if you touch it even if you were a child. You aren't the first one in the world to pay for unintended consequences. We all knew very well the story of Dasharatha & the curse he got for (unknowingly) killing Sravana Kumara? Did you forget the curse king Pandu got for killing a mating deer? And the story of Mandavya? Did any of them blame others for their misfortunes?

7. Coming to Draupadi, I am glad that she rejected an Asuric like you. She must be extremely wise to assess your Asuratva within a minute of seeing you. Karna, you have no right to demand Draupadi select you. She has a right to disqualify anyone from swayamvar and definitely a selfish Asura like you; most likely she heard about your arrogance, Asuric entitlement & fake caste certificate from her brother Drishtadyuma who too was an alumni of University of Drona. You complaining about her and later disrobing her is similar to a criminal stabbing or throwing acid at a girl who rejected his marriage proposal. Like all the criminals, you too must perish Karna...

8. Finally a word about your charity... Karna, Dana is something that you must earn dharmically to give to needy. All your wealth (Anga Rajya) is a Dana that you got from Duryodhana. Yes, it's noble that you are a beggar who donates part of his begging income to others. You taking Sakti from Indra in return for Kavacha-Kundala made it a business transaction, not charity. So, Karna, stop gloating about your Dana quality.

Karna, like all Asuras in history, you must pay for your Asuratva. You shall die a helpless death. If you die in war, at least you get veera-swarga. Dear Karna, always be grateful to Kunti for passing her & Surya 's veeratva in your genes.

** Conclusion
Karna is just a well-known character in Mahabharata to be sympathized and lionized by anti-Hindu ideologies such as Baudha, Atheist and later socialist and secular in their altered and plagiarized rendering of our great epic Mahabharata. Not just commoners, but even learned people such as Dharmaraja himself felt sympathetic toward Karna. Great sages like Sri Krishna, Bhishma, Narada etc explain the Asuric nature of Karna to Dharmaraja so he would understand that Dharma took its course on Karna and no injustice is done to him from any angle of life.

Recently we have seen a new narrative being created by current anti-Hindu forces under the garb of Dalit rights. People like Rohit Vemula are imposed on Bharatiya consciousness using fake caste-certificates and fake narrations. Gullible Hindus spend more time (repeatedly) arguing and self-flagellating on these obvious matters instead of factually and logically studying and understanding our own Puranas and Epics.

If only Rohit Vemula is given a dharmic understanding of Mahabharata, he wouldn’t have tried to steal others’ opportunity using fake certificate nor he would waste his precious life for perceived injustice.

Thus, it is in the interests of all Hindu parents to themselves study our Puranas and Epics and give dharmic guidance to their progeny. The ultimate beneficiaries of this investment will be our own progenies/Kula/caste. 


Monday, May 1, 2017

The Pakistan Solution: Part 1 - Origins

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  - Santayana (in The Life of Reason, 1905)

The raising specter of Islamic Terrorism across the world once again brought Pakistan into the center stage of world discussion. Investigations are proving direct or indirect connection to Pakistan in almost every lone-wolf terror attack anywhere in the world. Yet Pakistan is being allowed to put a mask of normal nation-state by a facade of democratically elected civilian government, functioning army and alas a quasi-nuclear-state. Various world powers are allowing this menace to survive in the hope to use it to subvert their strategic competitors, albeit with steeply raising costs to their own national-security interests.

India has a vital interest in addressing this Pakistan problem because every aspect of Pakistan equation has a direct bearing upon India’s national interests. Pakistan openly declared India to be its existential threat and sole-target of its nuclear weapons. So it is in core Indian interests to address Pakistan problem head on and in a timely manner.

Solving Pakistan conundrum is not a simple affair. Pakistan is epicenter of clash of civilizations under nuclear umbrella with use of terrorism as state policy that can blow up into the worst humanitarian crisis the human race has ever witnessed. Perhaps this is the main reason why many strategic analysts recommend status-quo or worse rent-paying solutions when dealing with Pakistan. 

This doesn’t mean humanity cannot solve Pakistan problem with minimal costs. However, such a solution requires a clear understanding of idea of Pakistan and how it came to existence in the first place.


Pakistan might have taken the form of a modern nation-state on 14th August 1947 but its seeds were sown many centuries ago in faraway regions as part of Islamic invasions into Bharat. While other civilizations like Persia succumbed to Islam quickly (within 60 years), the Hindu Bharatiya civilization is the only one that Islam failed to conquer despite the biggest and longest holocaust in history. 

The civilizational fight between Islam and Bharat started in 640AD and has been continuing since then. In the past 1370 years of this war, many battles have been won by either side and the winning side establishing states (or kingdoms) reflecting their power. In this process various western-Bharatiya regions succumbed to Islam and created new Islamic invaders like Ghaznis, Ghoris, Khiljis, Tuglaqs, Mughals etc. Irrespective of nativity (as these regions fell to Islam) of these sultanates the underlying factor of every sultanate is persecution and subjugation of native dharma a.k.a Hinduism and its followers. 

“The Mohammedan conquest of India (Bharat, as India was not born yet) is probably the bloodiest story in history. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period.” - Will Durant "The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage" (page 459) [1]

As a typical invasive ideology/empire, Islam retracted to safe areas when in defeat and expanded when enemy is overwhelmed. We can see this in the expansion and demise of various sultanates in Indian-subcontinent between 640AD till 1670s as the native Bharatiya civilization refused to succumb to Islam. The sword of Islam (Zulfiqar) was blunted and broken by the coherent Hindu resurgence under the leadership of Marathas by end of 17th century. By 1760 the Maratha empire [2] extended to nearly 40% Bharat and was on its way to wipe out Islam from entire Indian sub-continent.

As fate had it, Bharat attracted the attention of European colonial powers at this juncture and as they say, the rest is history. Eventually the British came out as victors and they built an intricate model of governance that brought almost entire Bharat (Afghanistan, Parts of Thailand remained out of British control) under quasi-British rule. Islam had to retreat into survival mode in the face of a more powerful colonial empire during British era. However, this didn’t stop Islam from persecuting Hindus wherever it held the power as we can see from how Hindus were systematically harassed in Nizam empire. 


In the background of two world wars, the Indian Independence movement gained strength and Subash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army became an existential threat to British empire. The second world war not only broke Britain’s war fighting capacity but also its finances. As independence from colonial era became evident, the Hindu majority opted for ancient Bharatiya ideas like democracy, universal suffrage and uniform civil code as foundations of independent Bharat to much discomfort and existential threat to Islamic colonialism that is built on savage dictatorship, subjugation and exploitation of non-Muslims and sharia law that systemically enslaves non-Muslims. 

From this ideological friction came the idea of Pakistan as a separate nation-state as homeland for the sub-continental Muslims [3][4] where they can restart the Islamic conquest of Hindu Bharat. Thus Pakistan is presented as a political solution to help restart Islamic conquest of Hindu Bharat where Islamists are not subjected to Hindu hegemonic imposition of democracy, universal suffrage and uniform civil code.  The core rationale for a separate homeland for Pakistan is given by various Islamic thought leaders. Some of them are:

  • “Hindus and Muslims differed in all matters and habits” - Al-Biruni (973-1048) [5] summarizing the impact of Islam on its converts; that it would completely and absolutely removes and separates the convert from his or her native civilization.
  • “Islam has taught us this and I think you will agree with me, for whatever you may be and wherever you are, you are a Muslim. You belong to a nation now. You have carved out a territory, a vast territory, it is all yours; it does not belong to a Punjabi or a Sindhi or a Pathan or a Bengali, it is yours” – Muhammed Ali Jinnah 1948 [3] calling Indian Muslims to shun their regional and linguistic identities and submit to Islam and Islam alone. 

Britain, as the defeated colonial power happily embraced the idea of a separate Muslim homeland in Indian subcontinent for it served two key purposes. One is a natural desire to deny the victor, Bharat, a complete victory. The second purpose is more sinister where the British colonial empire saw no basic conflict between Western imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism [6]. The British secretary of state John Foster Dulles opined “The religions of the East are deeply rooted and have many precious values. Their spiritual beliefs cannot be reconciled with Communist atheism and materialism. That creates a common bond between us, and our task is to find it and develop it” [7]. Olaf Caroe, the architect of partition, advocated turning Pakistan into a base for a community of Muslim states that “would show the way for reconciliation between the Western and Islamic models”.

It is no strange that Pope Francis echoed this sentiment by proclaiming Islam and Christianity share an (sic) ‘idea of conquest’ [8] as he advised European Nations to allow Muslim immigration to repopulate Europe. One has to see no further than the commonality between these Abrahamic religions to understand the “idea of conquest” as they pillaging and genociding native populations and cultures wherever they set foot.


Past seventy years of Pakistan’s existence is a testament to the fact that it is nothing but continuation of Islamic conquests of Bharat. Even an auspicious moment such as birth of a new nation (Pakistan) couldn’t hide this underlying pursuit of Islam to genocide and enslave Bharatiya civilization. The partition riots where ~2million killed (~8million deaths in today’s numbers) were nothing but a civilizational war of historic proportions. 

As soon as the military resources are split between the newly born nations, Pakistan jumped into action to conquer Bharatiya territories in the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir; which ended in a stalemate with Indian and Pakistan holding onto half of the territory. 

By 1950s Pakistan became a western ally and signed a mutual defense agreement with USA (1954), and joined Anglo-American sponsored Bagdad pact (1955) along with Turkey, Iraq and Iran fulfilling John Foster Dulles’ vision for an alliance between Western imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism. 

The first victim of new Islamic sultanate of Pakistan are the core values of native civilization – democracy and culture. The sultanate of Pakistan opted to adopt an artificial language Urdu with Arabic script and Persian words over a plethora of native languages its population spoke, be it Bengali in East-Pakistan or Punjabi of West-Pakistan. Even its national heroes and icons have to be non-native Islamic conquerors such as Ghazni and Ghori to reinforce the invasive characteristic of Islam is maintained. This civilizational conflict of Islam with Bharat in (then) Pakistan prime minister (sic) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto words - "Pakistan will fight, fight for a thousand years. If.. India builds the (atom) bomb.... (Pakistan) will eat grass or (leaves), even go hungry, but we (Pakistan) will get one of our own (atom bomb).... We (Pakistan) have no other Choice!" [9]

Year 1971 saw another victim of Islam in the existence of Pakistan. Democracy had to be killed in order to ensure the idea of Islam triumphs over cultural identity and regional assertiveness, even at the cost of losing nearly half territory. Whatever be the reason, the Hindu majority India had to intervene and help creation of Bangladesh for the clash of civilization is yet to be over.

The paranoia of Islam reached its peaks after 1971 defeat in the hands of Hindu-majority India and Pakistan became a client state of its sibling western imperialism. By 1980s Pakistan became the epicenter of new Islamic revival in the name of Afghanistan Mujahedeen which evolved into purer versions of Islam; Taliban, Al-Qaeda and now Islamic State.

Bolstered by the success of mujahedeen in Afghanistan, Pakistan introduced this model against its civilizational enemy Bharat in the states of Punjab (Khalistan movement) and Jammu & Kashmir (Kashmir insurgence). Tens of thousands of Indians have been killed in these Pakistan sponsored terrorist acts (Terrorism is peacetime equivalent of war crime [10]).
The finger prints of Islam clearly visible in every aspect of Pakistan’s approach to Bharat; from its demands of Sikhs to pay jizya to visit Sikh pilgrimage places to its suicide terror attacks in Bharatiya cities to its sadistic mutilation of dead bodies of Indian Soldiers and so on. This sadism gets into ISIS proportions to the minorities living in its captive territories; all in the name of blasphemy. Pakistan is Islam manifested in Bharatiya territories.

Reciprocating India’s nuclear tests, Pakistan demonstrated its own capability to produce nuclear weapons in 1998. This ushered a new era – Islam under nuclear-umbrella.  Lt General Khalid Kidwai, the longtime head of Strategic Planning of Pakistan’s National (Nuclear) Command Authority, declared that “Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were aimed solely at India”. This classification makes real sense nearly two decades since then as Pakistan declares India capturing Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) as a threshold that would trigger a nuclear attack but didn’t have any problem donating part of (same) Kashmir territory to China in 1963 or ceding strategic control over PoK to China as part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Similarly, Pakistan doesn’t have any problem with USA bombing various groups using drones in the name of Global War On Terror (GWOT) and doesn’t consider it threat to its sovereignty. This is very important to note because Pakistan’s sovereignty comes under threat only when Hindu Bharat violates it but not from western imperialism.

True to its Islamic foundations Pakistan started to bite the very hands that feed either to demand more Jizya (the tax non-Muslims must pay to live in a Muslim world) in the name of aid or out of the natural desire to cause mayhem. Over the past two decades Pakistan evolved into the terrorism epicenter of the world, exporting Islamic foot soldiers to all four corners. Today there is not a single terrorist event anywhere in the world that doesn’t have Pakistan connection, directly or indirectly. 

By gaining a sanctuary in fertile regions of Indian Subcontinent, Islam thus built a terrorist empire under nuclear umbrella over past 70 years of Pakistan’s existence. It threatens to commit a nuclear suicide by constantly reducing its nuclear-threshold as India becomes stronger. Soon one shouldn’t be surprised if Pakistan threatens a nuclear attack if India tries to respond to Pakistani terrorist attacks.

Does this mean the Indian subcontinent has to live with Pakistan’s Islamic terrorism even at the cost of thousands of lives and $billions of economic costs? Should the world community accept Islamic sadism on Pakistan’s own citizens in NWFP, Gilgit-Baltistan, PoK, Baluchistan, Sindh? 

This author doesn’t think so. We will explore the costs of Pakistan problem from various angles and explore how the Idea of Pakistan can be turned on its head to prepare civilizational solutions to Indian-subcontinent ending the 1300-year clash of civilization.


1.  The biggest holocaust in World History...whitewashed from history
4.  The Idea of Pakistan – Stephen B Cohen
5.  Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan
6.  Imperialism, the Cold War and the Creation of Pakistan
7.  The Political Economy of Growth, 1957 - Paul Baran
10.COMBATTING TERRORISM PROTECTING BY RIGHTEOUSNESS Administrative Reforms Commission, Government of India (June 2008)