Thoughts in the atmosphere

Things of the world, and out of it.

Why Indians were colonized

Posted by desicontrarian on July 13, 2010

We would not have been so impotent if our country had understood Krishna rightly. But we have covered our ugliness with beautiful words. Our cowardice is hiding behind our talk of non-violence; our fear of death is disguised by our opposition to war. But war is not going to end because we refuse to go to war. Our refusal becomes an invitation to others to wage war on us. War will not disappear because we refuse to fight; our refusal will only result in our slavery. And this is what has actually happened.
It is so ironic that, despite our opposition to war, we have been dragged into war again and again. First we refused to fight, then some external power attacked and occupied our country and made us into slaves, and then we were made to join our masters’ armies and fight in our masters’ wars. Wars were continuously waged, and we were continuously dragged into them. Sometimes we fought as soldiers of the Huns, then as soldiers to the Turks and Moghals and finally as soldiers for the British. Instead of fighting for for our own life and liberty we fought for the sake of our alien rulers and oppressors. We really fought for the sake of our slavery; we fought to prolong our enslavement. We spilled our blood and gave our lives only to defend our bondage, to continue to live in servitude. This has been the painful consequence of all our opposition to violence and war.
Osho Rajneesh In “Krishna”
I have been enchanted by Osho’s writings for a long time. His lectures on Zen Buddhism attracted me first. No one explained the unexplainable as well as he did. The quality of freshness was there in his words, like morning dew on a newly blooming flower.

The way he weaves in stories, parables, jokes (vulgar or sophisticated) into his themes are absorbing. There is never a dull moment in the passages. The lectures are actually answers to questions asked by various people in gatherings. They have been recorded and transcribed later.

The inspired insight in passages like these,  feels like a great truth. It cannot be empirically validated, and proved. Nevertheless, I remembered this passage when reading this remarkable study by Anuraag Sanghi.

I used to believe that our Anglophilia and slavish mentality was a result of the Macaulayite Education System. It is true enough, but what caused us to succumb to it in such a wholesale manner – slavishness above and beyond the call of Macaulay 😦  ? What is the force that continues in our collective mind?

Many people have gone deeper into it and found causes in the recesses of our collective mind. The Saraswathi-like insights of   Ms. Bachelet comes to mind.  I do not find any one to compare in depth of root cause analysis on this question.

Yet I am undecided. As a fan of Bhagwan Buddha, I am uncomfortable with a rather strident and negative view of Him as the cause of this decline. Sometimes he is described as a Ruse of the Supreme in the line of 10 Avatars of Vishnu. Sometimes even as a Deluder – which actually describes  Maara in traditional Buddhism! These words are unfortunate, to say the least.  It seems to me that the idea of The Buddha as an opponent of Vedic Hinduism is at work here. I don’t agree with that view. I think that He  found that the Vedas were being ritualized, and Knowledge was becoming  fossilized  under the priesthood.  So any mention of the Vedic truths would have  been trapped in the same mind set.  Thus it was wise to refrain from commenting on the Vedas. He was never against the Higher Hinduism and the Doctrine of Atman. Shoonya Vaada and the Doctrine of Non-Self was an invention of the later Buddhists. This cannot be held against Him.

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2 Responses to “Why Indians were colonized”

  1. gajanan said

    Buddha says seeing is believing , whereas Vedas or Vedanta or the philosophy of Vedas says that there is something called “Maya”. In a broad sweep one can say Buddhism is like classical mechanics , very Newtonian , whereas Vedanta goes to Quantum Mechanics, where an entity has dual nature of a wave and particle. Einstein had difficulty in accepting Quantum Mecahnics , but later accepted it, even though Einstein has relativity theory proposed.

    Now we have the string theory which describes the ommipotence of an entity in many variables. This theory has still to be proved experimentally, which is a very big ask.

    This was understood by the great Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrodinger , who had eulogised Vedanta , the Brahman and Maya in his classic ” “What is life”? This book is the basis which inspired modern biologists and lead to marvels in modern biology. Please download this book and keep as a copy. Such a short treatise and plenty of inspiration , true genius, Erwin S.

    http://whatislife.stanford.edu/Homepage/LoCo_files/What-is-Life.pdf

    It is in epilogue of the above web site. page 30.

    “The earliest records to my knowledge date back some 2,500 years or more. From the
    early great Upanishads the recognition ATHMAN = BRAHMAN upheld in (the
    personal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian
    thought considered, far from being blasphemous, to represent the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was, after having learnt to pronounce with their lips, really to assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts. Again, the mystics of many centuries, independently, yet in perfect harmony with each other (somewhat like the particles in an ideal gas) have described, each of them, the unique experience of his or her life in terms that can be condensed in the phrase: DEUS FACTUS SUM (I have become God). To Western ideology the thought has remained a stranger, in spite of Schopenhauer and others who stood for it and in spite of those true lovers who, as they look into each other’s eyes, become aware that their thought and their joy are numerically one – not merely similar or identical; but they, as a rule, are emotionally too busy to indulge in clear thinking, which respect they very much resemble the mystic. Allow me a few further comments. Consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular. Even in the pathological cases of split consciousness or double personality the two persons alternate, they are never manifest simultaneously. In a dream we do perform several characters at the same time, but not indiscriminately: we are one of them; in him we act and speak directly, while we often eagerly await answer or response of another person, unaware of the fact that it is we who control his movements and his speech just as much as our own. How does the idea of plurality (so emphatically opposed by the Upanishad writers) arise at all? Consciousness finds itself intimately connected with, and dependent on, the physical state of a limited region of matter, the body. (Consider the changes of mind during the development of the body, at puberty, ageing, dotage, etc., or consider the effects of fever intoxication, narcosis, lesion of the brain and so on.) Now there is a great plurality of similar bodies. Hence the pluralization of consciousnesses or minds seems a very suggestive hypothesis. Probably all simple, ingenuous people, as well as the great majority of Western philosophers, have accepted it. It leads almost immediately to the invention of souls, as many as there are bodies, and to the question whether they are mortal as the body is or whether they are immortal and capable of existing by themselves. The former alternative is distasteful while the latter frankly forgets, ignores or disowns the fact upon which the plurality hypothesis rests. Much sillier questions have been asked: Do animals also have souls? It has even been questioned whether women, or only men, have souls. Such consequences, even if only tentative, must make us suspicious of the plurality hypothesis, which is common to all official Western creeds. Are we not inclining to much greater nonsense, if in discarding their gross superstitions we retain their naive idea of plurality of souls, but ‘remedy’ it by declaring the souls to be perishable, to be annihilated with the respective bodies? The only possible alternative is simply to keep to the immediate experience that consciousness is a singular of less is never which the plural is unknown; that there is only one thing and Even in the that what seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different personality aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception (the Indian MAJA); the same illusion is produced in a gallery of mirrors, and in the same way Gaurisankar and Mt Everest turned out to be the same peak seen from different valleys.

    Please note.
    MAJA is MAYA. printing error in the book.
    DEUS FACTUS SUM ( I AM GOD) is quasi AHAM BRAHMASMI.

  2. desicontrarian said

    Dear Gajanan,

    Thank you for the thoughtful and penetrating reply.

    Some caveats. I am still reading the PDF source you have kindly given in your comments. Until I digest that, my comments here may be inadequate.

    1. “Buddha says seeing is believing”. I don’t find anything objectionable in this. It is what is called a Darshana in the Vedas. You seem to imply that we see is Maaya, illusion. In many Buddhist texts like the Tibetan book of the Dead, this view is confirmed and accepted. The “Seeing” that the Buddha talks about is the Reality behind the the Maaya. In fact, it is Buddha’s great opponent, Maara, who is responsible for the Maaya.
    2. Your view on the Singularity of Consciousness is similar to Advaita of Shri Shankara. All is One. As long as we feel divisions inside, we are not Conscious. Only when we feel one with All, are we Conscious. Is that right? I have no problems with this formulation.

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