Saturday, December 8, 2012

Brazen attempt by a Christian Father to convert a Vedic scholar – reader Ramanathan recalls his horrible experience.

Regular readers of this blogspot must be aware of our learned reader cum contributor of articles on Vedic Yajnas, Mr Ramanathan. A traditional follower of Vedic customs and life style, this young scholar met with a strange experience of being coaxed by a Christian priest to convert to Christianity. When none of his arguments could succeed, he retorted by asking why our scholar was worshiping Shiva in spite of he being an Aryan!!!!

Read on to know what he replied….

Musings on the "Dravidian" god shiva


Ramanathan Ramakrishnan.

This is not yet another article on the Aryan/Dravidian debated. It is due to some personal experiences I write this. As a layman in history, the Aryan invasion theory and its polemics were a non-entity to me. I remember studying in my 6th class (in 1986) history text book the following, what sounds now to me too ridiculous.

1.      A group of people called the Aryans came thundering down the Khyber Pass and invaded India, which was originally inhabited by the ancestors of the present Dravidians (who were sophisticated urban people). 

2.      They were pastoral tribals and had little culture (but a sophisticated language???) and wandered on the Eurasian steppes on horses prior to the invasions. They drank Soma and Sura and in their drunken stupor wrote primitive praises to natural gods, which was the Rig veda.

3.      When they invaded India they came on horse drawn chariots with iron spoke wheels and Iron weapons (???). As per Witzel (whom I came to read about only recently, as will be explained going further) these thundering chariots struck terror in the poor Harappans. Though the Harappans had sophisticated & highly planned towns, they did not have horses and chariots and no Iron weapons. They had only bullock carts with solid wheels!!!. Thus they were no match for the Aryans and were routed. From that fateful day the entire Bharath was overwhelmed by tribal soma drinking Aryans!!!.

I studied all these with a view to just pass exams and all these childish theories had no personal impact on my personal life. Also as a part of being born and brought up in Madurai in Tamil-Nadu, I also witnessed many street corner meetings conducted by the D.K (Dravidiar Kazhagam). In these meetings, the "Bread and Butter" speeches of the speakers were invariably against the "Aryaa Parpanargal (Iyers)" and their "Cunning ploys" and how they screwed up things and made life miserable in TN. This was a practical example of the impact the theory had. But even here I did not care and it had no impact on me at all. In fact one of the boys in my street had an uncle who spoke in those meetings. I even met him a couple of times at this boy's house and he spoke very jovially and sounded friendly.  So to me the Aryan invasion theory and Aryan/Dravidian divide meant nothing. 

I did not care to follow all the debates and discussions from my school days till as recently as last week. I had never really known names like Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, Witzel, Rajaram, Mahadevan Irawadam and so on. It was last week when I was going to a friend's wedding in Trivandrum from Bangalore that my interest in this theory was piqued up. It happened in this way.  

On the railway journey a Christian father who sat opposite to my seat got into a chat with me.
It started with small talk: Who I was?,
What was my Name and Native?.
What was my profession?.
Well "you seem to be a smart young man, are'nt you?" kind of stuff.

All this seemed to be unnatural to me. Then as I suspected the million dollar question came.
"Why don't you believe in "Jesus" as your savior and redeem yourself from sin?.".  
I said I was not interested, thank you. But he would not have no for an answer and continued saying that he understood and sympathized with me. I was a confused Hindu.

He condescended to "understand" that since we Hindus worshipped 33 million "False" gods I was not clearly understanding "Christ" and his love.
At this, I got a little irritated and asked him that if Christians only believed in one god and one savior and one book and one heaven, why the hell were there innumerable denominations like Catholics, protestants, Lutherans, Mormons etc?.
It is natural to have such conflicts in "polytheistic" religions like Hinduism with 4 vedas, 2 Ithihasas and 18 puranas,  but why, in the "Only true" religion?.
Why one sect did not respect the other?.

For example as per the Seventh day Adventists Sabbath is not on Sunday but Saturday.  Also the pope says that the Roman Catholic faith is the only true faith for salvation and he does not accept the Anglican Church.
In England and Europe either the Catholics persecuted the Protestants at some period and in some other periods it was the reverse.
Also in the US the Mormons are not a recognized proper Christian denomination.

This irritated him and out of the blue he asked me "Why was a Vedic Aryan Brahmin (I have a shika & study the yajur veda) like me, worshipping Shiva (I had ashes on my forehead), a Dravidian god?".

This totally stumped me. Shiva a Dravidian god?.  None of my elders told me this. None of my friends (Brahmin or otherwise) considered me an Aryan.
Then I asked him what gods he thought as Aryan.

He told that It was mainly Indra, Vishnu, varuna etc who were Aryan and he was categorical in stating Shiva as Dravidian.

I asked him what about Rudra?. This god appears in the Vedic hymns frequently?. He said that Rudra was not shiva and Shiva was a Dravidian god.

Now this statement made me take up the study of the entire Aryan Invasion theory(AIT) on the net the entire last week. During this I came to know about the names I mentioned at the top. As far as I read, this theory is slowly getting debunked by multipronged evidence. But the AIT has changed to AMT(Aryan migration), trickle migration and what not!!!. One queerer thing I found is the language spoken by the Aryans before invasion. It seems to be called PIE (Proto Indo European). This language also seems to be as fictitious as the Aryans themselves. Looks like the AIT is slowly out on its way into oblivion

Some fundamental doubts

But before this I want to understand some points in the AIT debate that are not answered clearly. Some help needed here. AIT scholars?

1.     Why are western Indologists only obsessed about the Rig veda alone and not the Yajur veda or the samans?. They consider these "later" which means it is un-important?.  The Rig Veda has a very advanced Sacrificial culture in it. In fact all the 3 Vedas mention each other within themselves and I do not see why one is less or more. Traditional scholars, who have dedicated their lives for Vedic study, do not say that the Rig is better than the Yajus or vice versa. Has the opinion of traditional Vedic teachers who really have lived a Vedic life and breath it, ever been collected?. As far as I know each veda is functionally different that's it.

2.     How did Max Muller date the Vedas?. I read that is was based on linguistic conjectures. Some conjectures and speculations based on the rate at which language usage changes. Also some biblical events seemed to have influenced him. Has there ever been any real Mathematical/Scientific dating done by him?.

3.     Did Max Muller ever come to India to get an experience of Indian culture?. Yes according to some and no according to some others. I had the opportunity to talk to Rig vedic Ganapaatis who have studied it with all 6 Veda Angas. They all say that one of the worse Bhashyas they ever read was Max Mullers. In many ways it violates standard grammer rules and Swara rules is what they say.

4.     Why would in the first place the Aryans choose to migrate? Any drastic changes in living conditions in their primary homeland?.

5.     Has there been any archeological evidences for such a migration?.

6.     As for this mythical PIE, has any piece of literature in this language found?

7.     Last not least, how could a primitive Aryan race who just herded cattle riding on horses in the steppes produce such prodigious volumes of literature, whose quality is unparalleled in any civilization yet?. On the other hand the sophisticated urban dwelling Harappans did not have any great literature. All so contradicting.

Is shiva really a Dravidian god?.

I have some knowledge of the Yajur veda and the Rig veda. With that I started analyzing this statement. The only reason which I saw why Lord Shiva is not accepted as an Aryan gods is that the word "Shiva" does not appear in the Rig veda but only the term "Rudra" occurs.

But the Yajur Veda has Shiva repeating multiple times as Rudra's equivalent. Why on earth based on this on word alone should this be denied?. And also why would the Yajus be rejected here?. Also some suggest "Siva" & "Shambu" originated from Tamizh words "Sivappu" and "Chembu". But I do not think it is right because there is a distinct difference in the "Sha" consonant which is an Ushma consonant from Sanskrit grammer.  "Chembu" would use "Cha", which is distinct from "Sha".
God knows how one was derived from the other. So based on the non-occurrence of "Shiva" in the Rig Veda alone Shiva is called a Dravidian god.

Also since Vishnu was an Aryan god I started looking into the Shaiva-Vaishnava debates and what they had to say about this. Nowhere did I find that Shaivaites reject Vishnu because he is an Aryan god. Or Vaishnavaites reject Shiva saying he is a Dravidian god.  The entire debate is based on either the deeds of the gods based on the puranas and their appearences. Also some vaishnavaites claim that the word "Shiva" in the vedas, did not mean "Rudra". But it meant "Auspiciousness". Since Shiva was a god who hobnobbed with ghosts from the graveyard he cannot be auspicious. Thus nowhere in the Shaiva & Vaishnava rivalry we this Aryan/Dravidian divide.

Also the Thillai Vaazh Andanar (Ancint saivite Brahmins in  Chidambaram) study the veda seriously. They are also staunch Shaivites. They don't say Vedas or Vishnu is Aryan or Shiva was Dravidian. They say Vishnu was one of the minor deities with Shiva being the supreme.

Tamizh Shaivite saints like Gnanasambandar have sung
"Long live righteous Vedic Brahmins, whose penance are needed for a proper bountiful rainfall. Long live the king to protect dharma. Let the name of Hara spread". As seen here he does not consider Brahmins "Aryan" and shiva a "Dravidian" god. He himself was a shaivite Brahmin and his father had performed a Vedic soma sacrifice. All the 4 great shaivaite saints have sungs very beautiful and highly devotional songs on shiva but none disparage the vedas as Aryan.

Now consider the "Divyaprabandam". It consists of 4000 beautiful hymns packed with devotion to Vishnu. It was considered as Tamizh Vedam. One of the composers was a devotee called Nammazhvar who belonged to the fourth Varna. As per the Aryan Dravidian divide he should be Dravidian. But he composed this wonderful work and compares it with the Vedas. He a "Shudra" singing praises of an Aryan god?  

This also goes to show that the 4th Varna did not think of themselves as Dravidians and were separate from Aryans. In the same mould are Thirupanazhwar, who was outside the pale of the four castes. He was highly devoted to Vishnu.  He did not consider himself an Adivasi.

Also one more point quoted here is that a "Linga" was found in the Harappan civilization. This proves that it was Dravidian as this "Linga" worship is predominant in the south. But in the Mahanarayana Upanishad of the Krishna Yajur Veda, there is a mantra beginning with "Nidhanapathayee namaha" and ending with "Sarvalingam sthapayati pani mantram pavithram". This is a mantra for linga pratishta. So where is linga worship absent in the Veda?.

In innumerable shiva temples in Tamil Nadu (all the ones in the Nava kailasam temple series on the Thamiraparani), the lord is named "Kailasa Nathar". If shiva was Dravidian why is he named after a place, northern most in India?

Also the Shiva yogi Thirumoola who composed the great "Thirumandiram" of 3000 verses, says that he was a yogi in the Himalayas and Nandikeshvara's shishya. The Thirumandiram is a canonical Shaivite text in Tamizh. Why would they want to choose a book written by a person from the "Aryan" North?.

Also reference to shiva with his consort Ambika occurs in the Yajur veda samhita frequently.
Also again in the Yajur Veda there is a reference to shiva wearing a tiger cloth and having pinaka club In hand. 

Also sometimes Rudra is extolled as Agni and Agni as Rudra in the Yajur veda. Sometimes Indra too danced as Shiva of the puranas.


All these show that shiva was never a Dravidian god or Vishnu Aryan or vice versa. There is no scriptural (Vedic or Agamic) evidence for this. It was just that the father I mentioned above was quoting blindly, something he read somewhere and did not understand. He just wanted to confuse me. The Aryan/Dravidian theory refuses to die fast and it is been exploited by missionaries to the hilt for conversion by resorting to theories of 19th century "Imperialistic", "Missionary minded" Indologists.


ಕಾರ್ಯಕರ್ತ said...

I was reading a Book in Kannada on Agasthya by Sri. Narayanacharya Ji. He explains a lot about so called Dravidian and Aryan difference that we talk about today.

Balaji said...

I too had such experiences on different occasions, though I am not a Vedic scholar. Like the narrator here, I too studied the Aryan/Dravidian hoax in my 6th class (1997), but it was nothing more than a 10-mark question to me. Ten years later, this idiotic theory was kindled by a Christian classmate of mine during college days. Though he did not have a serious quest to convert me like the priest in this article, he was using it politically as he was a supporter of the Dravidian parties. Initially I didn't know how to respond to his accusations, but later I started giving fitting replies after I came to know of the truths behind this. "When the real thieves are shamelessly accusing us, why we innocents remain quiet for no fault of ours?".
Regarding the blatant lie that Shiva was a Dravidian God, there are so many questions to be asked to the culprits who propagated this lie. Since there is no place to quote all these, I quote one of Koenraad Elst's questions:- "Propagators of the Aryan/Dravidian fraud aren't clear how to explain why the Aryans who were victorious as the theory claims, suppressed their powerful leader-god Indra, and started worshiping Shiva, the God of the community whom they defeated?".
His entire article can be read below:-

Isn't it cunning that a group of merchants who came for trade started teaching the people of the cradle of the civilization, their own history and that too in their own concocted way??

My God, the answer shall be received when Shiva becomes Rudra!!

Nagarajan said...

I would say, this is a very decent attempt by that so called priest since I have seen & experienced some worst ploys! They send their girls to mingle with guys and invite those "impressed" boys to the prayer meets. We know what will follow! They come, smile, talk and many boys are hallucinated. During my college days I have witnessed many such events. I have seen many guys falling prey to such devious girls.

Having seen such things, I would say this attempt by one Father asking our friend Ramanathan point blank, seems a very decent approach! Saying this in exasperation

Jayasree Saranathan said...

--Forwarded message --

From: mkrishnaswamy

Date: Sat, Dec 8, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Subject: Re: Non-random-Thoughts:Brazen attempt by a Christian Father to convert a Vedic scholar – reader Ramanathan recalls his horrible experience.

To: jayasree

I have had many encounters with Evangelican preachers who feel they have to "win" heretics to Jesus's care; the fact that many popes and church priests who are already practising christians have gone astray, are paedophiles molesting children, invade countries & kill civilians in large numbers and engage in war using sophisticated arms including atom bombs (Nagasaki/Hiroshima) - these are sufficient references to conclude that not only Christ/Popes/Bishops, but our own enlightened selves leading Dharmic lives according directions in one's own religious books can save us. In the final analysis it is not the religion but the message of peace be it from Gita, Bible or other religions that is relevant.


Sri Rama said...


One way to put across the point is...

There is no timeline for Jesus between his age 12 and 30. It is widely believed that Jesus himself came to India, learned Vedas and went back to preach the knowledge to his folks but since the people over there were very simple people like shepards, farmers, etc., they were not in a position to understand the highly evolved and subtle truths of the Vedas. So Jesus simplified the truths to preach to them and in many instances he does say there is lot more to convey but his disciples are not in a position to absorb such knowledge.

The above should be communicated to the preachers that Jesus teachings were simplified truths of the Vedas and they should be told to feel proud that Jesus was enlightened in India by learning Vedas.

And also Jesus was strictly against the ritualism in the Jewish temples of Jerusalem but the Vatican and their sister churches in India are involved in the same kind of ritualism and that too in the name of Jesus which Jesus himself tried to abandon. What most of the present Christians are following is not the bonafide teachings of Jesus. They are only trying to spread the fradulant power tentacles of the Vatican and present preachers trying to gather bits and pieces of such greedy power for themselves.

Enlightenment is no-body's patent. Truth is one and the wise call it by many names. Unfortunate that our converted folks are stuck in a narrow tunnel vision.

Jai Shree Ram.

Dinipc said...

Great write-up!

ASHISH said...

I came across the following from an eminent astrologer Anil Aggarwala "astrological combinations is that Modi may not been able to win convincingly and BJP will find itself in disappointment."

Could you shed light on the above comment. I think this will be a jolt for Indians who are desperate to unshackle India from the present day kleptocrats at the helm of the nation.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Give me the link to that article. Let me first know on what basis that astrologer made this prediction.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

A reasonable argument from

// If one really wants to have a finger on the pulse of Gujarat elections, one needs to answer a question. Has Modi done anything really stupid to make his loyal voters turn their face on him? And if one fails in finding a logical answer to this question, read further. For argument’s sake, one can accept that people might be looking for a change after a fair overdose of Modi – for over a decade. But in that case, has the Congress or former BJP chief minister Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party provided an option? To encash fatigue of seeing the same face for over a decade and other disenchantments, Congress needed to project a face which can replace a face. Congress has failed so miserably in putting up a strong opposition for the past 20 years or more in Gujarat that one gets a feeling that they have gift-wrapped Gujarat to Modi in all the three elections.

And a politician of Modi’s calibre wouldn’t let go of such an opportunity. He positioned himself above ‘petty’ state issues. On almost every count he elevated his position by targeting the Gandhi family and the Prime Minister – no small fries please! Liberal Gujarati voters who never thought in parochial terms until Modi happened, found his pro-Hindutva, Gujarati pride and a macho posturing an irresistibly deadly cocktail.

This saw him ride to power very easily in 2002. In 2007, he elevated himself to the next level – development agenda.

This overcame whatever second thoughts his loyal fans would have had in 2007. And in 2012, the quiet and subtle message of his imminent march to Delhi, will make many overlook everything else, once again.

Interestingly, Keshubhai factor has certainly fomented a feeling of hurt in Saurashtra. Which means the region which was once a catalyst of BJP’s prowess in Gujarat, is now giving faint signals of change after three-decades of unquestioning loyalty to the party. And hence the anti-incumbency trend will firmly establish and consolidate here, but only on an extremely local level. But at the same time, in urban areas where his showcase projects have delivered and changed the city landscapes, his vote is only going to consolidate further.

This leaves us with one more question. If he has done nothing stupid enough to lose faith of his nearly zealot of fan-followers, why would they go looking for and vote for a non-existing alternative of Modi? In this scenario, why would one expect a change happening on Gujarat’s political landscape?//

I don't see any reason for a debacle for Modi either by voter logic or by astrology.

ASHISH said...

Respected Madam,

You have clarified viz. "You don't see any reason for a debacle for Modi either by voter logic or by astrology" before I could inform of the reference you had sought.

The article under reference is Second fort-night of December 2012 and astrological forecast by Anil Aggarwal

Hope you find same of interest as it makes prediction beyond Gujarat elections.

Ashish Raje

Jayasree Saranathan said...

The article in on mundane astrology. The methodology is not valid for judging poll outcome in Gujarat. If at all any applicability is for the New Moon chart, it is applicable to Central Government and not Gujarat.

For the outcome of the Gujarat elections, Modi's natal chart, Tajaka annual chart and the current transits must be read together to assess his winnability. He has all of them advantageous for him as of now. The transits of yesterday (first phase which perhaps unnerved Modi- supporters like yourself due to Patel factor) had all planets except Ketu in good position to him. The most crucial factor for governance namely sun was in auspicious Golden murthi yesterday.

His annual horoscopy has Mercury Patyayini dasa running at the time of declaration of results. In his annual horoscope, Mercury is lord of both lagna and 10th house of Rajya and it is exalted in Lagna and posited in the asterism of the Sun. All these make me say that he will form the next government.

Now looking at this Patel factor. The region under focus is Saurashtra. In mundane astrology, Saurashtra is governed by Swati. Presently Saturn is transiting Swati nakshatra which (as per Brihad Samhitha) would cause sufferings to reporters, messengers, charioteers, mariners, dancers and the like. This transit of saturn is not good for Magadhas as well (Bihar).

Interpreting on the basis of Swati, the janma shani would bring miseries to saurashtrians. There are 2 opposites currently operating for Swati sign. One is that saturn is Yoga karaka for Libra (where Swati is located)and its exaltation in Swati shows the power of 4th (home grown people (Patels). The other is that the 6th lord from Libra is in 8th which shows some terrible fate.

Based on these factors of Swati's current position, I do expect the Patels could have gone away form Modi in the election and would pay for it subsequently. But since Modi's horoscope is overwhelmingly strong, he will won though he may have upsets in saurashtra.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Modi would not be a Prime Ministerial candidate. The probables are Salman Kurshid, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Mamata banerjee. An analysis that made me derive these names is due to appear in a magazine in January. Therefore it is not right on my part to reveal it here. I will upload that article in my scribd in Feb and inform here once uploaded.

Anonymous said...

//Shaiva-Vaishnava debates and what they had to say about this. Nowhere did I find that Shaivaites reject Vishnu because he is an Aryan god. Or Vaishnavaites reject Shiva saying he is a Dravidian god. //

A very valid argument. When I was confronted with the Rudra - Shiva issue, I gave them the same answer. If Rudra and Shiva are different or dravidian in nature, Vaishnava scholars would have definitely brought up the point and dismissed Shiva as a non-vedic God. Thats also the reason why Vaishnava scholars do not consider Pillaiyar or Ayyappa as they have more puranic presence than vedic.
And most of them fail to see the continuity in Rudra - Shiva context.
A more easier way to tackle such attempts of conversion is based on Karma framework. If their God is so loving as per them, why give only one chance to live.Why not forgive and give a second chance? Why condemn to eternal hell? Why do we jail somebody for a crime and release them. It's because we believe in second chances. If we humans believe so, the all merciful God who is more wiser than us, will be kind enough to grant as many chances as we need.
And countering the 33 million Gods question is also easy. We believe only in one Supreme God without denying the existence of other Gods called heno-theism. And why other Gods is because we believe in divinity whom we can reach out to help us minimize the suffering due to karmic bondage and for other material benefits. We reach out to the Supreme for salvation only. Though it is possible to reach out to the Supreme for all benefits, the belief is that if we are able to reach the Supreme, why ask for material benefits, better ask the greatest benefit - moksham.


Jayasree Saranathan said...

@ Ashsih,

My article on shortlisting the PM probables based on a statistical analysis of horoscopes of prominent political leaders interfaced with the destiny of India as shown by Indian Independence chart, published in the Jan 2013 issue of the astrological magazine edited by the son of Dr BV Raman is now available in stands. Click this link to order a copy.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Dear Mr Ashish,

Have you read my article in the astrological mag? If not, leave your email ID here. I will send you the copy of my article.

Madhu said...

There are no "Sacrificial Rituals" in vedas.
Vedas condemn killing or sacrificing of animals.
Watch this video "No Beef in Vedas – 20 Min Crash Course"