Racism through Advaita Philosophy

HinduAccording to scholars racism developed in the world society only from the 19th c.A.D. Even though the development of racism in the world is a recent phenomena, the root cause for this racism is Advaita philosophy which was developed in India in 9th c.A.D. Another face of racism is casteism that can be seen in India for a long period of time. Casteism is also known as Varnashrama Dharma.

Varnashrama Dharma

Kundra explains the term ‘Varna’ as follows:

‘It is now generally believed that first of all on the basis of ‘Colour’ there arose this question of caste between the white complexioned Aryans and the dark colored non-Aryans (or Dasyus). The very use of the word ‘Varna’ which means ‘Colour’ for caste by the Aryans would lend support to this theory of the origin of the caste system on the basis of color’(1)

There are fundamentally two distinct races in India, the native Dravidians and the immigrant Aryans. It has been historically proved that the Dravidians are the original inhabitants of India and the sons of Indian Soil. Hence, Aryans are obviously not the original inhabitants of India and they are various groups of foreigners who came into India from outside at various periods of time. They can be classified as follows:

  1. The group of foreigners who came with religions
  2. The group of foreigners who came without any religion.

The groups of foreigners who came with religions are Israelites, Jews, Zoroastrians, Syrian Christians, Muslims and European Christians. The Muslims captured the political power around 12th c. A. D. and the European Christians began to capture power around 18th c. A. D. in India. The group of foreigners who came without any religion are known as the Aryans.

The Dravidian king Brihathratha, a descendent of the Mauryan king Ashoka, was treacherously assassinated in the year 185 B.C. by his own Commander-in-Chief Pushyamitra Sunga, a foreigner, at the culmination of a silent war between the Dravidians and the foreigners. The Dravidian rule in the North came to an end and the foreign Sunga dynasty began to rule. The foreigners thus conquered the Dravidians and captured the political power in 2nd c. B.C.(2).

After some years the Kanvas in 73 B.C treacherously conquered the Sunga rulers. The Kanvas were also foreigners. The Kanva dynasty came to an end in 28 B.C.(3) Thus the Dravidians in the North came under the control of the foreign rulers for about 157 years.

Though the descendants of the Sungas and the Kanvas could rule only for a period of about 157 years, they strove cunningly to retain their hold over the Dravidians by extending their support voluntarily to the later invaders of India, viz. Sakas, Kushans and Huns when they came into power and gained their favor. These foreign rulers did not hesitate to make use of the 157 years of administrative experience of the Sungas and the Kanvas, in subjugating the Dravidians from gaining political power. These foreign rulers recognized the Sungas and the Kanvas as their counselors, and the Sungas and the Kanvas recognized these foreign rulers as ‘Kshatriyas’ which meant the rulers.

Another group of foreigners who already came to India for commercial purpose were also recognised by the Sungas and Kanvas and used by them to take control over the Dravidian commerce and trade. These foreigners who were involved in trade were later known as ‘Vaishyas’. The descendants of Sunga and Kanva dynasties not only became counsellors of the foreign rulers and traders, but also took over the control of religion of the Dravidians by portraying themselves as Purohits. Their ancestors, as nomads, coming through Persia, had gathered much of the local forms of worship and songs. These were later given a written form and classified as the Vedas by Vedavyasa, a Dravidian. As the descendants of the Sungas and the Kanvas, they were once rulers of the country portrayed themselves as Purohits instead of Kshatriyas. In the book ‘Indika’ written by Megasthenes (350-290.B.C), there is no reference about casteism. Hence, the traces of the origin of casteism are only found in the later period when the Purohits started to organize the caste system under the guise of religion.

Amongst the foreigners, the Purohits, the descendants of Sungas and Kanvas and who later styled themselves as Brahmins after the period of Adisankara claim that they belong to the first caste and gave second place to the Kshatriyas and third place to the Vaishyas and these three groups of people were known as Aryans. The Aryans not only took control of the Dravidian political, religious and commercial powers but also divided the Dravidians into two classes, one called the Sudras (Slaves) and the others the Panchamas (Untouchables).

Amongst the Dravidians those who did not show much interest in the politics and did not have concern for whether Rama rules or Ravana rules, were known as the Sudras. They were made slaves to the other three so called upper classes. They were assigned the fourth place in the caste system.

‘…. the fourth class (the sudras), whose sole duty it was ‘to serve meekly’ the other classes…(4)

Amongst the Dravidians those who did not accept the supremacy of the Aryans, but fought against them to defend their own culture, religion, language etc., so they were excluded from these four divisions in the caste system (Chathurvarna), and classified as the Panchamas – fifth caste (enemies or untouchables). Since they were enemies to the Aryans they were branded as untouchables. This caste system had finally reached its culmination during the Rajputs hegemony(5) between the 7th and 12th c .A.D. Thus, while the Varnashrama Dharma system elevated the Aryans as Purohits, Kshatriyas,and Vaishyas, it degraded the Dravidians as Sudras and Panchamas.

The influx of various foreign invaders was conducive to the Aryan Brahmins and joined hands with them, to keep the Indians slaves forever. The following quotations expose the cruelty of the Huns and exposes the relationship that occurred between the new influx of foreign invaders and the foreigners who had already settled in India.

“—towards the middle of the 5th century A.D. they (Huns) poured in to India in large numbers. These Huns were very cruel people and were nothing short of demons. They took pleasure in looting the people, burning their villages and towns and slaughtering both men, women and children. Wherever they went, they carried fire and sword. They had no regards for any religion and any nation whatsoever.”(6)

“The Huns entered into matrimonial alliance with the Indians, and as a result of these intermarriages the racial composition of the Indian people was greatly affected and the number of castes increased many-folds.

Some historians, like Havell would suggest that the Huns and their intermarriages resulted in the origin of the Rajputs…

‘The numerous Rajput clans of the present day are the result of many foreign elements which were assimilated by Indo-Aryan society from the fourth to the sixth centuries and in later times’.

The settlement of the Huns in India affected adversely the Indian society. ‘They lowered the high ethical standards of Indo-Aryans and favored the growth of many vulgar superstitions’.

Not only this, the Hun occupation of India proved nothing less than a curse as far as its culture is concerned. Those barbarians butchered a large number of artists and scholars, burnt various literary works of great value and destroyed many big town and cities. They ruthlessly destroyed some of the unique specimens of art, architecture (including temples, viharas, monasteries and stupas) and literature. In this way the Hun occupation of India, culturally proved very disastrous for her.“(7)

Thus the native Dravidian Indians who observed non-violence since they followed Jainism, Buddhism, Saivism and Vaishnavism which teach non-violence, tolerated the sufferings, tortures and murder cruelly rendered by the foreigners.

Also, in the name of religion, they imposed inhuman cruel rules on the Dravidian Indians and they emphasized that everyone should follow the Dharma of his caste (Varnashrama Dharma) and no one should violate this Dharma.

“If a man of the lowest caste injures a man of a higher caste with some particular part of his body, that very part of his body should be cut off; If a man raises his hand or a stick, he should have his hand cut off; if in anger he strikes with his foot, he should have his foot cut off. If a man of inferior caste tries to sit down on the same seat as a man of superior caste, he should be branded on the hip and banished, or have his buttocks cut off. If in his pride he spits on him, the king should have his two lips cut off; if he urinates on him, the penis; if he farts at him, the anus. If he grabs him by the hair, or by the feet, the beard, the neck, or the testicles, (the king) should unhesitatingly have his hands cut off.”(9)

Their efforts amounted to formulating the political code that emerged into a full-fledged one (code of Manu) during this period (Huns) and the hierarchy of Caste system or Varnashrama Dharma was imposed meticulously into the society of Dravidian India.

The Aryan Brahmins preceived that the development of the Six-fold religion was detrimental to their supremacy in every hemisphere in Dravidian India. So, they made use of the concept of Advaita ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ (‘I am God) as their trump card to make the Dravidians remain slaves politically as well as religiously for ever.

At first they succeeded in destroying Buddhism and then they succeeded in suppressing Jainism and finally they succeeded in subjugating the Six-fold religion under the Advaita philosophy by using their political influence.

Recently a Hindu religious leader said,

‘When there is adharma, physical violence is okay at the body level but not at the mind level.’(10)

The religious minded Indians who are religious have accepted this evil concept since it is in the guise of religion, without knowing the conspiracy behind it, and till date they accept it. Hence they have become slaves in the name of religion and have accepted the caste discrimination as a Dharma. To impose this concept in the minds of the Indians for ever, the Sankara Mutts are working perfidiously in many ways through the Advaita concept.

Advaita Philosophy

The Indians were thus enslaved by the Aryan Brahmins who are the foreigners, and by the new influx of foreigners through the ages. In order to keep this slavery forever, the Aryan Brahmins not only utilized the political power but also took control of the religious power and this was a very effective medium for them to enslave the Indians forever.

They enslaved the Indian religion that is the Six-fold religion (Saivism, Vaishnavism, Saktham, Gowmaram, Ganapathyam and Sowram), through the Advaita philosophy, and after having subjugated the Six-fold religion, the Advaita philosophy acquired a religious colour.

They devised the Varnashrama Dharma concept under the guise of religion and philosophy and this has to be rightly termed the ‘Brahman Concept’.
The Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the Sudras were deemed to have been come forth from the mouth, the arms, the thighs and the feet of the Brahman respectively. There was no place for Panchamas in the Brahman concept since they were the enemies to the Aryans. The Brahmins were at the top of this hierarchy, and after the emergence of Brahman concept, the Purohits styled themselves as Brahmins since the Brahman concept was their contribution to society.

This deceptive Brahman concept (Brahminism) was introduced by Adi Sankara, an Aryan Purohit under the name of ‘Advaita’ philosophy in the 9th c. A.D. By writing voluminous distorted commentaries to the works of the Dravidian Vedavyasa, he brought the ‘Six-fold’ Dravidian religion viz. Saivism, Vaishnavism, Saktham, Gowmaram, Kanapathyam and Sowram into the Brahman concept, and got them under the control of the Brahmins. This is presently known as Hindu religion.

‘Aham Brahmasmi’ is the basic concept of Advaita philosophy. According to Adi Sankara’s Advaita, Aham Brahmasmi means ‘I am God’. Adi Sankara who gave philosophical explanation to the casteism and devised this Advaita concept explains that ‘all is God, and God is all and everything is the manifestation of Brahmam.’ He also explains that though it can be said that all are Brahmam, it is a fact that Aryan Purohits (later known as Brahmins) alone can claim that they are Gods. Thus he elevated the Brahmins to the status of God. In order to protect and propagate this concept, Adi Sankara had established 4 Sankara Mutts (Joshi math (U.P.), Dwaraka (Gujarat), Puri (Orissa) and Sringeri (Karnataka) in the Four Corners of India and later on Kanchi Sankara Mutt was also established.

Adi Sankara’s Advaita philosophy is anti-theism and it not only opposes God but also takes the position of God in making the people believe that Brahmins are Gods.

In the Six-fold religious temples Brahmins are the priests since they have captured the religious power and they are sitting in the temples like gods and claim that they are the gods of earth.

It is already pointed out that the Aryan Purohits incarcerated the Dravidians and the Dravidian religions through the Advaita concept.

In order to maintain this slavery forever, they always gained the support of the rulers of India perfidiously, whoever the ruler may be. Hence the enslavement was able to survive even during the period of the Muslims and the Europeans, untouched by their rules for a period of over 800 years.

The Aryan Brahmins wanted to maintain their power over the ruling authorities and others and they succeeded in their objective by utilizing the concept of cycle of birth, which does not occur in the Vedas or form a part of the Aryan belief, giving a religious color to it. Hence the Brahmins with an ulterior motive twisted the cycle of birth, which was devised by the Jains and the Buddhists with good intentions, on the basis of the beliefs of the Indians in order to enslave them forever. Till date they are perfidiously utilizing this concept to enslave the Dravidian Indians.

The people were made to believe that those who did good deeds in their previous birth are born as Brahmins and those who did evil deeds in their previous birth are born as lower castes and untouchables. Also they made the Dravidians or the Indians accept this concept without any contrition by saying that no one should be jealous on seeing the Brahmins and no one should feel sorry for seeing the untouchables who are ill treated and degraded since one being born in high caste or low caste is based on their deeds they did in their previous birth.

“By his very birth a priest is a deity even for the gods and the only authority for people in this world, for the Veda is the foundation in his matter.”(8)

The political leaders as well as the Six-fold religionists say that the caste discrimination should be extirpated from the society. But in their practical life they do not follow it and do not want any other caste to be superior to them. Hence they do not like to give liberation to the lower castes but like to suppress them.

This kind of satanic nature (‘I am god’ or ‘I am superior to others’) is seen not only amongst the Brahmins but also amongst other castes. Even amongst the untouchables, the most suppressed classes are not allowed to enjoy equal rights, even though every one says that casteism should be eradicated. They like to abolish the higher castes which are counted as superior to them and at the same time like to maintain their superiority over the lower castes by denying their basic rights.

Thus treating inhumanly the castes lower to them while speaking about the eradication of casteism is the devilish nature, and it is injected by Brahminism in the name of Advaita philosophy.

Even though the Dravidians form 88% of the Indian population, they are being perfidiously kept as slaves till date by the Brahmins who form only 4.6% of the Indian population, using this satanic concept, and the Dravidians who lived as the children of one mother and as loving brethren were segregated into hundreds of castes.

This shows the culmination of the efforts of the Advaitic concept and the cunningness of the Brahmins. This has been in practice till date even after 50 years of India’s political liberation.

Owing to this satanic nature, the foreigners who came into India as a small group captured the political power and were able to subjugate the Indians with the help of the Brahmins. Thus the Indians have been living as slaves for a long period of time.

What are the means to emancipate the Indians from this pathetic condition?

Since this satanic concept has taken root in the minds of the Indians a drastic change has to take place in the Sankara Mutts which are the fountain heads of this concept which enslave the Indians and their Six-fold religion, to extirpate from the minds of the Indians.

Racism

Racism11 in the world society as a well-developed theory is a fairly recent phenomenon. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that,

The 18th century was predominantly environmentalist in its outlook; the science of that day tended to attribute social behavior either to climatic and geographical environment or to sociocultural factors. Racism as a widely accepted “scientific” theory of behavior did not appear until the 19th century, which was the age of racism par excellence. Although Charles Darwin himself was not a racist, his theory of biological evolution was extended to social evolution, giving birth to the theory of social Darwinism. Mankind was regarded as having achieved various levels of evolution, culminating in the white-European civilization. These stages of evolution were thought to be related to the innate genetic capabilities of the various peoples of the world. By the second half of the 19th century, racism was accepted as fact by the vast majority of Western scientists, and various forms of it were popularized through the writings of Joseph-Arthur, comte de Gobineau. Houston Stuart Chamberlian, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Rosenberg, and Adolf Hitler.

A question naturally rises as to why racism arose in the world society in the 19th century, though it has been prevalent in India from about the 8th century, that is from the time of Adi Sankara. The answer is found in the fact that in 1794 William Jones started publishing his translation of Manu Dharma which was in Sanskrit into English. The British Dictionary of National Biography states,

As a great Jurist Jones understood that the power of England in India must rest on good administration, and that the first requisite was to obtain a thorough mastery of the existing systems of law in India, and to have them codified and explained. In short, in his own words, ‘he purposed to be the Justinian of India’ (TEIGNMOUTH, ii. 88). With this idea in his mind, he decided to prepare a complete digest of Hindu and Muhammadan law, as observed in India : and to assist him in the colossal labor he collected round him learned native pundits and Muhammadan lawyers. He did not live long enough to complete this task, but he was enabled to publish the first stages in his masterly rendering of the ‘Institutes of Hindu Law, or the Ordinances of Menu (Manu), 1794………

The Brahmins were quick to portray Manu Dharma as the Hindu law, and through the translation of William Jones this poison entered the society of the world from India. As stated earlier racism was accepted as fact by a vast majority by the second half of the 19th century and many European scholars under it’s influence started identifying with the Brahmins. A.A. MacDonell in his book titled ‘India’s Past‘ (Oxford, At the Clarendon Press, 1927) writes,

“This work summarizes India’s intellectual history, which in its various aspects has been the subject of my studies for slightly more than half a century (1875 to 1926). It sets forth in nine chapters the mental development of the most easterly branch of Aryan civilization since it entered India by land till it came in contact by sea with the most westerly branch of the same civilization after a separation of at least 3,000 years. The four centuries that have since elapsed (1498 to 1926) are here touched upon only as showing the most recent distribution of the Indian vernaculars and the rise of their literature, as well as the process by which the development of the purely indigenous period gradually became known to the new-comers from the west….These two civilizations, starting from a common source, have after a separation of at least 3,000 years again become united during the last four centuries, representing together a quarter of the total of the earth’s inhabitants. During these four centuries the new-comers from the west have gained acquaintance with and recovered the history of India’s past mental development. At this, as set forth in the following pages, will, I trust, contribute something to clearer mutual understanding by two civilizations which in their origin were one and the same“.

Remember Hitler who identified himself with the mythical Aryan race and massacred the Jews, and the world is yet to recover from Nazism. Thus, racism is destructive to the world society and is on the rise again, and it is the responsibility of every person who has humanism to strive against this poison.

Conclusion

Since Manudharmasastra or Varnashrama Dharma which is the root cause of all racism is sustained by the Sankara Mutts using Advaita philosophy, our movement is striving against the Sankara Mutts in order to eradicate racism and casteism from the world society.

References

  1. D.N. Kundra, History of India, Gur Das Kapur & Sons (p) Ltd.- Delhi
    – 1977- P.50.
  2. Ibid, P.145
  3. Ibid, P.147
  4. (i) Manava Dharmashastra 1,91
    (ii) Deva Asirvatham, Mooventhar Yaar?, Rama Devan Pathippagam,
    Tanjore-7, f.p. 1977, P.222
  5. 5) M. Deivanayagam, Why Confrontation with Sankara Mutt? (In Tamil),
    Meipporul Pathippagam, Chennai – 1996 – Pp.7,8
  6. D.N. Kundra, Op.Cit., P.197
  7. Ibid, Pp.198-199
  8. The Laws of Manu, Wendy Dongier, Brian K.Smith (Trans), Penguin Books, New Delhi, F.P.1991, chapter 11:85
  9. Ibid, Chapter.8:279-283
  10. This information was given by Dr. Alexander Harris, to us and he said that, it took
    place on May 7th, 1996 at the premises of Chinmaya Mission, No.2, 13th Avenue, Chetpet,
    Chennai, over a conflict that happened the previous day.
  11. Dr. Alexander Harris, web site http://www.oocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/2104
    and http://www.angelfire.com/al/appiusforum

Dr. M. Deivanayagam
Dr. D. Devakala
The Revival Movement of Dravidian Religion

27 Responses to “Racism through Advaita Philosophy”


  • Well, this has been my position for quite a while. The British did not randomly select the group they would bring to replace the emancipated labor force in the Caribbean and South America. They were conscious of the risk of a coalition between the recently freed Africans, and a new Group, especially since Africans were agitating for rights the British, still in psychological slave master mode, did not accept they were entitled to.

    It was with this thinking that they decided to bring indentured labor from India, understanding quite clearly that centuries old cultural induction in a belief system that stratified people according to color and other physical appearance, would naturally become a barrier against any coalition of Interest. Of course when these Indentured laborers, themselves victims of a discriminating caste system in India, arrived and saw people who fit the description of those who were considered to be the lowest of the low in the land they had recently departed, that inherent human capacity to inverse proportionally uplift ones sense of self by distancing ones self from status of another, took shape and has become the acceptable form of interaction between many Indians and Africans in places like T&T and Guyana. In a nutshell, in a society in which there existed a human form considered to be the lowest of low in the land they had just departed, they self elevated their status to the rank that looked down on them while they were in the Mother land.

  • An interesing dissertation and a summary of Mahatma Gandhi’s writing in the Satya Graha that “Politics and Religion is inseparable”. Looking at the birth of such what can we say of Feudalism and the genesis of ‘divide and rule’philosophy? Is that Aryan derived? When we see the slaughtering of Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda and the capturing of slaves in the African continent would that be classified as racism? as well as Eric Williams employed the need to have shades of colour replacing Whites and Chinese in the banking industry. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/454112-martin-luther-king-jr-quotes-33-quotes-on-education-courage-love-racism-violence-and-service/

    • as well as Eric Williams employed the need to have shades of colour replacing Whites and Chinese in the banking industry

      So why can’t Afro and Indians worked at the banks. They were the majority. Why can’t they work in the banks. They had their money there. So why can’t their children work there.

      • None whites were not allowd to work in banks till 1970. Eric did not encourage non Whites, but encouraged the racist conrolers of the Bank. He mad the Struggles of the 1970 revolution like Makandal Dagger, and many other villians and he ordered the killing of some. Williams used race to stay in power. this article above, the Main one is poor in facts.

  • Yes, it is true that Hinduism is nothing but the racism in another form of advaita i.e Brahmin supremacy attained through religion by inducing fear of rebirth in wrong manner.

    Rebirth is concept of Shraman religion basically.

  • I fail to see the connection between the genocide in Rwanda and the involvement of some Africans in the capturing and selling of slaves, and a dissertation that examined where racial prejudice became a leverage of power in human interactions. But of course the attempt to obfuscate and make dim the focus of examinations like these is something we have become accustomed to. Indians and Pakistanis, Sri Lankas, you name it, have been killing one another for hundreds of years. So have whites and every other group. Indian men in crowds rape and brutalize Indian women across India. There is no exception to the callousness in human behavior and conduct.

    What the dissertation outlines, is when and how racial prejudice found its origin, and of course, those who have long been repositories of this and have been trying to hide it on under a variety of guises, would engage in the most ludicrous and acrobatic logic to steer attention away from that focus.

  • Adi Shankaracharya’s philosophy never opposed god…Adi Shankara was born around 2000 BC not in AD as told by western scholars…

  • So what. I am not arguing the morality of Christianity. Your mindset, that which attempts to deflect understanding of the authors examination of where race became a stratifying social instrument, with references to atrocities that occur across all groups is what is acrobatic, and that is a euphemism. The article was on the origin of racism, not the fact that it has now been proliferated across the world.

    Further here is a link you might find interesting.

    http://anindianchristian.blogspot.com.br/2012/06/dark-side-of-hinduism-aghori-human.html

  • Caste is all but dead among Indo-Trinidadians. Mixing of caste, religion and race has occurred in the Indo-Trinidadian community on a scale that would be unimaginable in India.
    Let us allow this process to continue gradually. Race-baiting and polarization will only server to retard the assimilation.

  • Many Trinidad Hindus are Saivites of mixed, indeterminate and/or Dalit origin, and their religious practices (worship of Lord Shiva and the black mother goddess Kali) do not incorporate the race/color concepts outlined in the article above.
    Such traditions are compatible with, or can be made compatible with, racial harmony and assimilation into the wider multiracial and multireligious Trinbagonian culture.

  • Nice article , hellow I am from India.
    You only talk about racism , Hinduism is source of all -Isms
    1) Color based descrimination
    2) race based descrimination
    3) Caste based descrimination
    4) gender based descrimination
    5) Hindu ( upper caste ) are constantly waging wars inside India against Aadivasis (you can all call them native Indians who live in jungle mineral rich area ) , Hindu again upper caste are constantly persecuting Christians , Sikhs , Muslims and other minorities .

    The position of Indian women is not good , as Arans picked “local” ie dasyu ie shudra women , those men never treated women properly , they started burning women in 400 centurey BCE and continued it till 20th century- the porcess is called Sati ritual. Its still alive and breathing in the name of Dowery , sex selective abortions , Honor Killing and other type of descrimination against women.

    Its all chaos here. I don’t even talk with Hindus these days ( i used to be hindu ).
    and there are issues like Arranged marraiges and Forced marraiges , its funny that women don’t even have right to choose their husband .

  • It is the most guarded secret in the world. The visceral and ignorant prejudices of Indians. And no one screams louder about racism when any issue erupt involving them and another group. I mean they Indians accused the US of being racist in its treatment of an Indian Diplomat while the most visceral racist acts are being perpetuated against Africans in India. talk about hypocrisy.

    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-others/tp-blink/the-colour-of-my-skin/article5641225.ece?maneref=https://m.facebook.com

  • There are a few points in this post that are seriously flawed.

    First, the interpretation of ‘varna’ as colour is loose. In Sanskrit, ‘varna’ means to describe. The Varna system (called varnashrama dharma in this post) is a categorisation of humans according to his/her describable quantities. While ‘varna’ means colour, it does not refer to physical colour here. Instead, in this context, it means that the Varna system categorises humans according to the colour or the quality of his/her mind.

    Similarly, the interpretation of ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ is horribly twisted from its true meaning.

    I suggest that the authors of this post improve their primitive understanding of Sanskrit. Though the history may be right, the conclusions on the philosophy have become perverted as a result of this paltry command of Sanskrit. This post encourages the phobia of Advaita philosophy which, in my opinion, is a large step backwards for humankind.

  • It is historically accurate that Dravidians were first present in the Indus Valley region as given by Mohenjo-Daro and Harappan accounts. What isn’t fully accounted for is the introduction of the Aryan culture into India. There are two theories: a) the Aryan migration thesis and b) the cultural transformation thesis; none of these have been confirmed as true and there is constant debate of which one really happened. The former simply meaning that the Aryans entered India, somewhere around 1600 BCE, and the latter saying that the Dravidian culture changed into some form that has resulted in the modern day Aryan culture.

    Clearly, your knowledge of caste is incomplete and based on your lack of understanding, you have made certain inaccurate assumptions on this social order. Caste was not introduced by Aryan culture but was clearly explained much before in the time of the Mahabharata (Srimad Bhagavad Gita). It is true that some castes are perceived to be more ‘important’; this still happens today. This naturally will lead to social divides where the ‘higher’ castes are well off and the ‘lower’ castes are not so well off. Furthermore, any human in a state of power and authority with a clouded, egoistic mind will always seek to maintain that status and will ensure that no-one else can be better than him. Thus, the ‘higher’ castes became higher and the ‘lower’ castes became lower and then you see the social divide prevalent today. This is the caste system today as we know it but a wrongly practised system. Firstly, no caste is higher than another simply because all four varnas are needed for the proper functioning of society. A simple example: if the garbage collectors for a neighbourhood don’t pass for one month, what will happen? All the garbage will pile up, give rise to disease and pests and people will die eventually. Similarly, if one caste is absent, havoc will reign while at the same time, no one caste is better than another. So, if you want something to blame, don’t blame the philosophy but the people who wrongly interpreted the system.

    The author wrote that the native Dravidians observed non-violence as they followed Jainism, Buddhism etc. According to his article, the Aryans invaded India and spread their culture at the expense of the Dravidians. Buddhism rose to prominence during the time of Ambedkar and Gandhi when the former was fighting for rights for ‘lower’ caste people. Buddhism was a recent religion (around 500 BCE) that Ambedkar looked towards for his people to follow to avoid having to be called ‘low’ caste. My point here is that how can the Dravidians follow a religion that came after their decline between 1800 and 1700 BCE when Buddhism was founded around 500BCE? This now makes two points in the author’s article worth questioning. A third is his explanation of ‘Aham brahmasmi’. He said that the philosophy is to see God in all and then immediately in his next paragraph, he quoted the same philosophy as being anti-theistic and opposing to God. This is a clear contradiction. Simply, it is to know that God is in all and the God in me is no different to the God in you; it’s just one God.

    Gandhi fought for the lower castes in India, the ‘Harijans’, and help institute political and social reforms for them so that they could live more comfortably. If anybody is unhappy with racism and caste misunderstanding, then we should just as willing as Gandhi to fight against it. Again, if the author wishes to blame something, don’t blame the philosophy but those who have misunderstood it and implemented their own social bias.

  • The historical evidences are collective in nature from various sources, but are interpreted, primitive in understanding and only partly true. The Advaita philosophy to my knowledge exists before Adi Sankara. Any body can say Aham Brahmaasmi [I AM GOD] not like the author says only brahmins can say. Advaita philosophy is much bigger concept and intellectual approach is needed to understand. No second thought to eradicate Racism and casteism from the world society, Sankar Mutt, as the author concludes is not the only one that propagates racism and casteism… Parting human society in the name of religion is also deep rooted. Mankind lost several million lives over centuries in the name of religion. Indians are very well civilized and becoming superior day by day. Those who read this article can mistake that all Indians are divided. The author to his knowledge attempts to show one portion but that does not reveal the Truth fully.

  • Don’t underestimate creolization. Indo-trinis aren’t even considered Indian by most Indians.

  • Dear Mr. Paton
    The point you make about India as a hotbed of prejudice shows how far Indo-Trinis have come in the process of integration and creolization.
    Early 20th century- inter-caste mixing. Little if anything remains in terms of traceable caste origins, names or customs.
    Mid 20th century- inter-religious mixing. People with Hindu first names and Muslim surnames, or vice versa, are not rare in T&T but unheard of in India and Pakistan.
    Mid 20th to early 21st century- interracial mixing. The census shows the percentage of Indians declining and that of mixed races increasing.

  • It is not so much what the ancient scriptures say, but how they are interpreted to rationalize the prejudice and racism of those so inclined. There is no phobia when there is living examples and proof of behaviors all over India, and among many in the diaspora along these lines. In every society where the demographics come together, the related experiences are the same. That is not a coincidence.

    • There are also living examples and proof of behaviours both within India and in the Indian diaspora of other races living in harmony with and fully accepted by the Indians. Most recently, I read about Jews (who were, for the most part, non-Indian) that live comfortably in India and call it their home. Surely, not all Indians are racist.

    • The same fire that cooks food can also burn valuables to ash. However, one neither gives credit to nor blames the fire for the result. In the same way, we cannot blame the Advaita philosophy for any of the wild allegations in the article above. However, the article insinuates that Advaita is the cause of racism. This is completely illogical.

  • Mr. Ravi Singh those behaviors highlighted in India also exist among significant segment of the Indian Population in Guyana, T&T, Suriname, Fiji, Kenya, South Africa etc. Even in the US where Indians today enjoy rights and freedoms that were products of African American sacrifice and struggle, you witness exhibition of the same prejudice.

    I have witnessed people boasting on this page about how much Indians have accomplished in comparison to blacks, with innuendos and implications that progress is a product of some kind of racial or ethnic superiority. When the progress you masturbate is circumstanced by struggle and sacrifice, and you evidence racial prejudice against the group that largely waged that struggle and made those sacrifices, there is not much left to be said, or to prove. It is what it is.

  • The author misses a very important point when he tries to equate the Brahmin (the caste) with Brahman (the ultimate reality). Advaita means non-dualism or monism. Where in Dickens name does that idea connote anything about racism. If anything it makes it clear that there is only one entity in this universe – the creator and the created is one, there is no differentiation. Most eastern religions share this basic concept about the universe. Hence the reason for yoga and meditation, we are a way for the universe to know itself. Since we are from it and of it, we are indeed it. Aham Brahman Asi or Tat Twan Asi – are very basic mantras affirming who we are. There is nothing Shaitanic about that (to use a muslim term). When folks write this kind of fibble, not understanding and not capable of understanding great traditions such as Sanatan Dharma and other Indian religions, its a travesty. One gets the feeling that he is an agent of another faith. Indian Scoietey is stratified in four classes, teachers admin, nobility and the military, farmers and businessmen and laborers. If one were to look at the feudal system in Europe in the middle ages and after, one would see a similar arrangement and you could not break out of it. The much vilified caste system is exactly that – set up for an agrarian society, where you took your fathers job and no one else could compete. Christ took his fatherès job as a carpenter – so whats wrong with that. The concept of untouchability arose with what to do with the tribals and people who did not fit into this arrangement because they performed works that was frowned – dealing with the dead, etc. They were beyond the pale of Hindu Society and were never acculturized into one of the four classes. In Trinidad, the caste system is observed only in the selection of pandits and in no other forum but even that is passing by. If someone is looking to knock another religion they can find a million ways of doing so – the least of it is calling them racists. There is a certain measure of universality to all religions but none does it in the way that Sanatan Dharma does it: it says that all rivers lead to the sea, all faiths have validity, in my fathers house, there are many rooms and there is no exclusivity about. Only in the Abrahamic (note its similarity to Brahman) faith does there is certainty about who is going to heaven or paradise or not. In the East, people talk about finding balance, finding yourself, god-realisation, self-actualization, nirvana, Samadhi, extinguishment, emptiness, etc. They are in no hurry to convert others, except to share a great tradition. All of mankind has something to teach us, let us all put away our pride and be willing to learn.

  • The fact that there is Harmony between Indians and other non black groups is more proof of Indian racism than anything else. Indian racism is targeted against Africans. Jews are not a race, it is a religion, and of Course Indians and Jews get along, most of those Jews are white.

    The fact that Caribbean Indians leave nations governed by Indian Governments like in Guyana, to go seek betterment in nations that are overwhelmingly black, like Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua etc, and those from the Subcontinent are hustling in their thousands to get to Africa suggest that they expect to find equity there.

    I mean, the evidence is overwhelming. Indians do not hurl racial slurs at whites when Australia, England and New Zealand visit to play cricket, but if any blacks are on that team, they will descend to what lies just beneath the surface of their psyche. Give me a break!! Most of you want to have two bites of the cherry. To hide and silence exposure of a nasty cultural trait of prejudice, while being able to shout and point fingers whenever an Indian meets with similar treatment in white countries. But those days are past, the news is spreading.

    • Isn’t it more likely that Caribbean Indians leave their country to seek better jobs etc.?

      You are free to think whatever you like. People even thought that the world was flat at one time. You claim to have evidence for this strong accusations against Indians but they seem to be flimsy at best. It seems like Roger’s advice in his last line is worth following.

      I strongly disagree with what you’re saying as I’ve met too many good (meaning non-racist too) Indian (and other non-Indian, if I may add) people to really believe anything that you’ve said.

      I also think it is unfair to paint everyone with the same brush.

  • Look, Caribbean Indians do leave to seek better jobs. That is not the point. The point is T&T and Guyanese Indians claim that black people are racist while fleeing to ostensibly black countries from Indian run countries to better themselves.

    Mine is not an argument about what religion says. mine is an argument about how groups behave and attribute their prejudice to religious interpretation. The racial prejudice of Indians against blacks assumes a superiority position based on group stereotypes of blacks. I mean this is the same pattern white racism assumes. If it is racist when whites do it, it is racist when Indians do it. It is as simple as that.

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