Re:Great Contribution of Backward Classes to Hinduism - Replies to Qs.
Subject: Re:Great Contribution of Backward Classes to Hinduism - Replies to Qs.
From: Posted by Editor: Name Withheld by Request
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 94 10:22:10 EDT
The intent of the original article was to show that all sections
of Hinduism contributed to its greatness and its survival during the
1000 plus years of aggression. This is particularly true about the
so called backward classes. There are many GREAT heros who can serve
us all as role models and give us a sense of pride. This sense of pride
in ones heritage can transform one's life.
The original thought of this belongs to Rev. Pandurang Shastri Athavale
(lovingly called Dada). Dada has enlivend Vedic sanskriti in all sections
of society. He is heading a SILENT REVOLUTION on which Shyam Benegal
made a factual movie "ANTARNAAD". Rev. Athavale's SWADHYAY movement
has over 6,000,000 followers and has transformed life in 15,000 villages.
Thru bhakti he has transformed villages of smugglers (fishermen who were
smugglers) and robbers. SWADHYAY is effectively removing the caste system
and rebuilding our sanskriti a very contructive way.
I request you to see the "Antarnaad" movie to get more info.
Now let me address some questions raised by few posters by the article
Q.1) Vyas, Valmiki, Vidur, Matang, Shabari are all mythological figures,
so how can you use them as examples ?
A.1) Mahabharat's original name is Jay and in Mahabharat the author
explicitly claims that it is Itihas (Iti Has means So it was).
You can question the exact date of the occurance and say many
things were distorted over time. But you cannot say that these
people simply did not exist.
Let me take a simple example (Please, I mean no offence )-
have you or I seen our great-great-great grandparents ? Have we
seen any written account of their biography ? But they DID exist,
even though you or I don't have any written or material evidence
as such. If this is the case of some one who existed merely
200 or so years, just imagine the difficulty preserving evidence
over thousands of years. Incidently there may have been evidence
but that was wiped out in the 1000 years of aggression on India.
Muslim invaders burnt libraries of the kaffirs. They destroyed
Hindu / Buddhist universities. When Bakhtiar Khilji detroyed
Nalanda in 1200 AD, it is said the libraries were burning for many
months. If you think that is an exaggeration, perhaps one more
fact should help. Greek records indicate that Takshashilla had
over 3,000 students. Imagine a university of international repute
(many Greeks, persians learnt there) with over 3,000 students
functioning for over 1,000 years.
So all we have left now are traditions and we still have places
which bear names commemorating these great places.
ex. Beas river is really 'Vyas' river
Dehradoon is really Dera DroN (akin to Dera Baba Nanak)
If 1,000 years from now some one claims that Gandhiji never existed
would that be true. You may still have Gandhigram by then. Places
are often named after great people and (some times not so great
such as Aurangabad after Aurangzeb).
Also Dwarka, Ayodhya, Kashi, Vidarbha (Rukmini's father's kingdom)
Ujjain, Manipur, Naglok (Nagaland), Rameshwar, Lanka, Kailas
these places mentioned in the epics do exist even now.
I am sure you won't question Guru Nanak's existence.
After the destruction of our own libraries, manuscripts, our source
of knowledgeof history is mainly accounts by foreigners.
Hence history in the Maurya dynasty is well known (due to Greeks).
But till 18 th century the west did not even know about Ashok's
empire. The Buddhist accounts from Sri Lanka revealed that to the
west. Does this mean Ashok did not exist before knowledge about him
Ramayan and Mahabharat became 'mythology' only when McCaulay called
them so. Before that all Indians considered them as history.
Net, Vyas, Valmiki, Vidur etc did exist because we have many written
accounts that say so.
2. Why Dr.Ambedkar is included in the list ?
If you look at the title it talks about contribution to Hinduism and
India. Yes, Dr.Ambedkar criticised Hinduism. But if we look at his
work on Hinduism it is monumental. You may not agree with it all (and
I don't) but you must agree that the effort is trmendous. Some of his
findings can be used to cleanse Hinduism of its moribund defence
mechanisms. The defence mechanisms resulted from 1000 years of
aggression and some bad things crept in. Since Hinduism is not dogmatic,
we can use his criticism to rejuvenate the religion and its followers.
Dr. Ambedkar was offered crores of rupees to convert to Islam or
christianity. But he followed advice of a Marathi sant Gadge Baba who
said 'Do not become a Murti-Bhanjak (idol destroyer- iconclast,
butshiken)' and hence he became a Buddhist. On his conversion Savarkar
said that Dr.Ambedkar's conversion is a sure jump back into Hinduism.
If you study history, you will find that Buddhism did not renounce
the Hindu philosophy. Buddhism only took away animal sacrifice which
had become ritualistic and focussed instead on providing relief to