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A Few Good Things

"Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." – Ibn Battuta

A Few Good Things

Brainwashed

During WW II London was bombed , almost all of Europe was demolished, Japan was nuked – yet in  a short span they rebuilt their cities and went to on to become great countries. All this thanks to the leadership of some great people and the hard work of  the common man. Europe has a history that can be traced back 2000+ years to the time of the Romans, Greek’s , Spartans , Vikings , Gauls…. the US has literally no history and is a country of immigrants. The point that needs to be made is whether its a company or a country good capable people  make all the difference. Lets keep this point in mind as we move on.

London Bombed

Whats the history of our country in a few lines. A great civilization , probably the oldest , home to some of the oldest scriptures and holy writings which supposedly have a wealth of information written in such a cryptic manner that only a blessed few can understand them ,  a Religion which is more a way of life , great stories like the Ramayana & The Mahabharata which every kid knows from his childhood. A clear demarcation of what is good (Gods & Deva’s) and what is bad (Asura’s) , Millions of God’s, a strong caste system that is accepted and rarely contested – and then the external invasions and how all the greatness was stomped out and we were relegated to poverty and strife.

I dont know if the above is true or if its a holy brainwash – like every kid in India I have heard the same stories , read the same Amar Chitra Katha’s and as a parent propagated the same information to my children. But I now have a few questions. Every story has two sides to it – the version of the winner that projects him to be the greatest and everything else as evil. Have we tried to find out the other side of the story ? There are hardly any facts and historic data to prove the veracity of the stories we have heard – but there are many questions in my mind.  In the last few months I have visited the Louvre & the British Museum – right when you enter both is the entrance to the Egyptian Section – you will see hall after hall , row after row of artifacts that date back 2000 – 3000 years old.

Egyptian Section

Surprisingly none of the worlds greatest museums have any section of ancient India. What you will get to see of India is mainly the Chola Bronzes that date around 800 – 1200 AD and then the Mughal Miniature paintings. The oldest structure we see in India are probably 500 BC and they represent some ancient Buddhist Temples , Fresco Cave paintings , Stone Edicts . From Egypt we have proof that stone statues can survive over 3000 years , so what happened – did we lose all the ancient palaces, building , structures of the great old days ? Many of them would have got submerged – but excavations could have revealed them like they revealed the Indus Valley Civilization.

Lets step back and look at the story of Ramayana. Yes Rama vanquished Ravana – and since then poor Ravana has been the symbol of a perfect Villain. But was Ravana indeed a villain as he is portrayed. Is there a second perspective to this. Were the Asuras really demons and the “Bad people” and the devas the greatest. The word Asura has a close resemblance to ” Ahura” which comes from the Persian Language and means great warriors. Ravana , Bahubali were all Asura kings who were known for being great administrators and valiant warriors. Ravana is portayed as an egoist with 10 heads  – but maybe he had the valor & the intelligence of 10 people , you just need to step into Sri Lanka and the stores of Ravana there are very different from what you hear this side of the border.

4040-Ravana-Ten-headed-King

Was Indra a great king of the Deva’s ?  or was he in charge of a brigand that used to attack the existing rulers (Asura Kings) and the innocent citizens – If he was indeed a great king of the Deva’s how come there are no temples or hymns in his praise that we chant every day.

indra

Was Kubera the king of wealth or just a shrewd Shylock ? who made money out of others not always with principles.

Was Kumbakarna addicted to drugs which caused him to be drowsy all the time ?  and maybe the poppy plant  grew for only 6 months – hence he was awake the rest of the 6 months

Was Varuna the king of the Seas or just a pirate who controlled the seas thru his power ?

Were the great Asuras slowly but surely pushed back by the terrorists and their women & children slaughtered & raped ?

The Samnudra Manthan could well have been a period when mankind learnt to domesticate cows , horses, elephants – learnt the usage of medicines to prolong life (Nectar of life) and all this could have happened when the three races that existed Asura , Deva’s and Nagas lived peacefully for a few hundred years without any in fighting .

Is there Heaven , Earth & Patala or were they three regions on adjacent to the other starting from deep S to the North towards the Himalayas. And if the Deva’s ruled the Norther most area did that automatically qualify as Heaven and Naga’s of extreme S become “patala”. Was there a land mass where the current Indian Ocean exists that extended almost all the way to the Antarctica ?

Geologists say that the Anadaman & Nicobar islands are actually peaks of mountain ranges which was submerged in the ocean thousands of years back. Was there a land mass there that existed – which sometimes finds mention in old Tamil Sangam Literature ? If Tamil is indeed a language as old as Sanskrit how come the history books at school don’t even talk about it ?  Is the history we know the real History or is the history that was crafted by the British along with the Aryan Invasion Theory

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Nobody knows the answers but we believe what we have been told over the years, they make great stories and there is no need to question them – so we continue to be brainwashed.

If we were a great civilization and world beaters 5000 years back then a short period of domination by invaders would not have changed our DNA – if Europe and Japan could rise from the ashes so could we  – but we haven’t and we still cling to the past as the present is mired in scams & controversies resulting in abysmal poverty and lack of infrastructure.

Last few years there have been many books and discussions on this topic and its good to see questions being asked. Lets hope we see more research on these topics and hopefully get to see light at the end of the tunnel , which will eventually ensure that we are not brainwashed.

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4 Comments

  1. eash

    Study Japan

  2. Gautam

    Good topic to discuss (and never ending) my favorite one. In the mean time please refer one more book “Hints for Self culture” by Lala Har Dayal written in 1934. Also OMG was a great movie it takes lot of courage to make that kind of movie specially in India. Hats off to
    Akshaya Kumar and Paresh Rawal.

  3. -Hari

    Over the years I thought on these lines too. The conclusion, I inferred is thus :
    Those are all abstract concepts in the form of stories for kids. As we grow up we are supposed to debunk the concept held by these stories deep within. For example, the Ravana with 10 heads are “dasha indiriyas” got attached to Sita (the mind) . Then is carried away by Ravana (“Dasha indriyas”). Rama (“the atman/Brahman”) liberated Sita (the mind) from Ravana (“Dasha indriyas”) because of Sita’s (the mind) attachment towards Rama (“the atman”),and detach herself from materialistic possessions that Ravana had offered her.
    I am not sure if we are “brain washed” ,I consider this as an entry towards the Vedantic philosophy. Those are my 2 cents. As I am writing, I am thinking that a separate discussion on “Vedantic philosophy and its relationship to material world” makes it more interesting. “Banjai” can continue. . .

    Anyway, nice to hear from you,
    Regards
    Hari

  4. karthik rukhman

    Thanks for discussing about this topic, it was quite informational. I would like to add one more point , “who is Adam and eve” there is no traces of them in the history.

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