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jeudi, 22 septembre 2016

The Indo-European Concept of Cyclical History and the Quest to Acquire Lost Wisdom


The Indo-European Concept of Cyclical History and the Quest to Acquire Lost Wisdom

Ex: http://www.geopolitica.ru

Despite all of the bad things one could say of Hitler’s Germany during the Second World War (and there are plenty of “bad things” to be said!), it is a fact of history that prior to the war (from 1933 to 1939) the German government pursued a scientific-cultural quest for lost knowledge which was unprecedented in the annals of recorded history. Specificallythe German Reich sought to acquire as much of the lost knowledge orwisdom of the ancient Indo-European peoples as possible. It was the special task of the Ahnenerbe (the cultural and scientific division of the SS) to research and investigate all aspects of the Indo-European or, as they put it, the“Aryan” past.

Needless to say, this massive scientific undertaking was by no means confined to the European continent, but spanned an area encompassing the entire globe. From Germany to Tibet to South America and beyond – wherever a great civilization was said to have arisen and mysteriously vanish – the Ahnenerbewas there “on the scene,” as it were, conducting extensive archeological fieldwork and employing other integrated methods of scientific research.

This admirable if not entirely praiseworthy endeavor, regardless of the variousideologically-based shortcomings of the National Socialist regime itself, is what prompted Eurasianist leader Alexander Dugin to say in his 1997 article “Fascism – Borderless and Red” that the Ahnenerbe was “an intellectual oasis in the framework of the National Socialist regime.”In fact, this statement is entirely accurate. In great contradistinction to the undeniablyethno-chauvinist and hyper-militarist aspects of the National Socialist regime – and the overtly boorish culture of bureaucracy which therefore emerged and was typified by the likes of Martin Bormann – the Ahnenerbe was indeed a great “intellectual oasis”which accumulated a vast wealth of scholarly information that the Western allies either ignored or openly refuted. The result is that, to this day, the majority of people in the West remain totally ignorant of many of the proven historical findings which were “common knowledge” to the cutting-edge scholars of the Third Reich (most of whom are now deceased).

revmodwelt.jpgOne thing which became clear to the Ahnenerbe, early on, was that all pre-Christian Indo-European cultures seemed to conceive of history as being cyclical rather than linear. In other words, all ancient “pagan” Indo-European cultures believed in an organic rhythmical order to both Time and Space. This conception of cyclical history – first expounded upon in modern times by Nikolai Danilevsky (1822-1885) and then Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) – stands in stark contrast to the Semitic-derived, “Abrahamic” belief in a purely linear or teleological conception of Time.

Perhaps the most convincing evidence supporting the cyclical conception of Time is the recurring “Four Ages of Man” theme which appears in many of the world’s ancient Indo-Europeancultures. The great Italian mystic and self-designated “Radical Traditionalist”Julius Evola is to be credited for his scholarly study of the Four Ages, most notably in his Revolt Against the Modern World (first published in 1934).

As Evola points out in his work, the Greco-Roman description of the Four Ages comes down to us from the ancient Greek and Roman authors Hesiod and Ovid, who associated each period with a particular metal. They outlined the Four Ages thus: (1) the Gold Age, (2) the Silver Age, (3) the Bronze Age, and (4) the Iron Age. The reader should note that these last two epochs bear no relation whatsoever to the mainstream historical Bronze and Iron ages. Rather they correspond to the cyclical periods of Indo-Aryan (Hindu) cosmology known as Yugas, which are (in order): (1) Satya or “Krita” Yuga, (2) Treta Yuga, (3) Dvapara Yuga, and (4) Kali Yuga or the “Dark Age.” In Hesiod’s model, a fifth “Age of Heroes” was inserted between the Bronze and Iron Ages. Evidently the Age of Heroes was a partial yet short-lived restoration of the high primordial state (the Gold Age) as recounted in the numerous heroic tales of mythology, which all point to a deeper esoteric meaning. Our own present epoch, which includes both modernity and postmodernity, is that of the Kali Yuga or Dark Age – the era of unbridled human degeneracy.

The Doctrine of the Four Ages fundamentally supports the concept of humanity’s devolution or “fall” from a primeval state of higher consciousness. In fact both devolution and evolution (in the non-Darwinian sense) are in complete harmony with the beliefs of most traditional cultures worldwide. Indeed both evolution (i.e. the quest for higher spiritual awareness) and devolution (submission to materialist degeneracy) are viewed organically, as continually interacting positive and negative charges to Nature’s cosmic balance or “dance.”Thus, the concept of devolution maintains that as spiritual decadence set in among the original Hyperborean and Atlantean races, their respective cultural declines also ensued. Such devolution can be found in many other civilizations known to the historical record, perhaps most famously in the Egyptian civilization which, many Egyptologists insist, mysteriously began at its apex.

Devolution is essentially the concept behind the biblical story of the fall of man. This “fall,” famously described in the Book of Genesis, is a metaphorical reference to the literal separation of man from the Spiritual realm. In other words, the fall of man symbolized the separation of original mankind, created in God’s image, from its spiritual Source. As man deviated further and further from hisoriginal godly or “Hyperborean” source (during the Golden Age), man became more hybridized and animalistic, both spiritually and physically. Man became more human.

The many similar stories of conflict between the primordial race of men descended from the gods and the rest of animalistic humanity, as described in the Indo-European epics, confirm the quintessential truths of devolution, though in a highly mythologized form. For example, the Norse tradition tells of a great battle between the divine Aesir and the nefarious Giants. The Hellenic tradition depicts the Olympians and Heroes fighting the various Titans and monsters. In the East, the Aryan devas battle against the materialistic asuras. In Celtic lore the noble TuathaDéDanann triumphed over the Fomorians. All of these legends are still greatly relevant to people of Indo-European stock, as they speak to the absolute essence of what it means “to be” – i.e. to be created in the image of the Divine Source or Deity.

Below is a concise description of the Four Ages as they relate to the various Indo-European peoples and the lands associated with them:

I. The Gold Age

The Gold Age or “Golden Age” represents the primordialcivilization which was in total harmony with the traditional spirit. It was an era of Being, not becoming. In the words of Evola, “Purity of heart, justice, wisdom, and adherence to sacred institutions are qualities that characterized every caste during the first age.”[1]The Hindu name for the Golden Age is Satya Yuga (or Krita Yuga). Satya means “being” and “truth”; the Roman Saturn, Father of the gods and King of the Golden Age, is derived from the older Sanskrit root. This was an Age of Ur, which is to say of Or-igin, not derivation. Hence the oldest of the gods have their roots in the Golden Age, and consequently their names reflect a common Indo-European origin – e.g. Ur-anus, Sat-urn, Buri, Pur-usha, etc. In the terminology of the late Russian esotericist Nicolai Levashov (1961-2012), this was an Age of “Urs” and “Ruses.”


The Gold Age is a time in which both men and gods shared one immortal life – when Kings or Leaders embodied the gods and had no need to communicate their divine authority via a caste of high priests. It was an Age of polar unity, and not “polarization.” Attached to the primordial polar epoch are the supreme gods of the Indo-European pantheon which include: Dyeus (Proto-Indo-European), Dyaus Pita (Indo-Aryan), Zeus (Hellenic), Deus or Dis Pater or Jupiter (Roman), TiwazorTyr (Norse) – again, these are all etymologically related names for the same supreme “sky deity” or force which is scheduled to return at the start of the new Golden Age.

The primordial Northern Land, Hyperborea, is associated with the Golden Age. Fundamentally, the legend of Hyperborea is characterized by a polar, arctic, celestial, “Uranian” spirituality – a primordial spirituality of the greatest purity, above the solar and degenerated lunar/Demetrian tradition of the Silver Age.

All of the ancient divine centers of the gods – Mount Meru, Olympus, Asgard, Agartha, AiryanaVaejo, Ultima Thule, etc. – are referring to the same primeval Hyperborean Land, the same polar center inhabited by the otherworldly ancestors of the Indo-Europeans or Aryans:the Aesir/Olympians. In fact, the word “polar” (consisting of the two syllables “pol” and “ar”) literally means “pole of the Aryans.” The current lands bordering the “Ar-ctic” Ocean are said to be the geographic remnants of the ancient polar continent of Hyperborea. This includes Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, northern Canada, and northern Eurasia.

As for the primordial Hyperborean “race” or people: they were at the same time kingly and priestly, regal and ascetic, warrior-like and spiritual. The Hyperboreans (aka “Boreads”) were of a tall stature and Nordic in appearance. Some traditions state that they were androgynous, possessing a semi-etheric/semi-physical body type and had many superhuman qualities. The Arcane Tradition connects the Hyperborean stock to the transcendental “Great White Brotherhood.”

In any caseit is clear that the Hyperboreans (original mankind), at some point, devolved from their original godlysource and did not evolve from apes as suggested by the thoroughly materialist adherents of Darwinism. As the Hyperborean species strayed spiritually and physically from its original Arctic/polarorigin and as it was drawn more and more toward the demonic energy of the South (toward Materialism), it began its downward descent toward the ape, which is to say toward humanity. This highlights the great geographic/geomantic divide which exists on this planet (to this day) between North and South (Spirit and Material).

II. The Silver Age

The Silver Age is associated with Atlantis and the “mystery of the West,” as opposed to the Golden North. The Atlantean Civilization epitomized the Silver Age, with its solar symbolism in contradistinction to the Hyperborean symbolism of the immobile Pole. Whereas Hyperborea represented a superior state of Being, Atlantis symbolized the inferior state of becoming. Atlantis is also characterized by an eventual descent from (and abandonment of) the solar tradition, as the Silver Age is symbolic of a reflective/feminine lunar light. As the Masculine Force gives life, the Feminine Force receives life.

And so, prior to the total collapse of Atlantis, a degenerate lunar tradition took root: the Cult of the Mother Goddess or “Demetrism” as Julius Evola described the phenomenon. Geographically, it is difficult to say with certainty where Atlantis was located. Perhaps in the Atlantic or Mediterranean, or perhaps it was more immediately connected to Hyperborea as a distorted continuation of that original Northern Civilization.It is difficult to determine. What is certain, however, is that the Atlanteans inhabited Atlantis (wherever it might have been located), and they had degenerated considerably from the original Hyperborean stock.

Here it is important to mention that the Atlanteans were neither “Mongolian” in appearance nor the progenitors of the Mongoloid race, as traditional Theosophists have consistently claimed. Rather the Atlanteans developed, as a result of a spiritual/biological metamorphosis, out of the least tainted or diluted segment of the old Hyperborean race. For example, the Atlanteans preserved the golden hair, light eyes and fairappearance of the Hyperboreans. They also retained much of the mental capabilities and thus the inherited wisdom of the Hyperboreans. Nevertheless they were not completely free of baser elements or what could rightly be called “Lemurian” characteristics.


By all accounts, the Atlantean Civilization (as a more physical/materialist offshoot of the Hyperborean) was truly remarkable. Many technological marvels were achieved that have not been replicated since. Through the efforts of their divinely inspired scientists who had tapped into the universal Akashic Records, the Atlanteans acquired the secrets of universal energy. The universal knowledge of the five elements – earth, water, fire, air, and cosmic ether – formed the basis of a global sustenance. Mirroring the universal five elements are the five dimensions of all existence. Here, the Atlanteans understood and harnessed the power of pyramidal structures.

Pyramids were constructed on geomantic gates of energy in order to mark the power-centers of the earth. The High Priests of Atlantis used pyramids as natural portals or gateways. Symbolically, pyramids reflect the divine mission of mankind to progress upward through four dimensions, and finally into the fifth dimension which is the dimension of Cosmic Completion. This fifth dimension is perfectly symbolized by the center of the Swastika – the fifth point from which the four arms (twelve points and eight directions) of the Cosmos derive their collective energy.

Human beings have five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot, and also four limbs projecting from a central body simply because we descend from – and were created for – the fifth dimension. As bearers of the hidden Akashic knowledge, the Atlanteans understood that they were an extension of the Supreme God Force on earth, and that absolutely nothing exists separately from this Almighty Force.

III. The Bronze Age

Sometime during the latter part of the Silver Age there was a polarizing shift in the moral outlook of the Atlantean Civilization and society. It was at this time that the malevolent effects of the Bronze Age began to appear. The Bronze Age was defined by “violence and injustice, [a] yearning for power, and covetousness.”[2]It was an era of lawlessness and pride, exhibiting all the degenerative features described by Plato in his Critias.The majority of the Atlantean population became selfish and materialistic, using their technology for evil endeavors rather than for the common good.

And so, the Atlanteansdescended into pitiful, abject materialism. Eventually a cataclysmic set of disasters (earthquakes and floods) wiped out Atlantis and its civilization. Again, the biblical account is not to be dismissed, as the story of Noah corresponds to the submergence of Atlantis beneath the sea – even though the biblical account is obviously flawed in its claim that only a handful of people were said to have survived and also in the suggested time period of the cataclysm.

In any event, the forces of Light represented the last hope of the Atlantean Civilization in all things good and spiritual, while the forces of Darkness were agents of immorality and materialism. Theforces of Light would later be remembered as the Aesir, Olympians and Heroes of the various Indo-European traditions, and the forces of Darkness would be associated with the ever-subversive Giants or Titans. The Aesir/Olympians/Heroes represented the Golden cycle and the Giants represented the sinister usurpers. The Aesir embodied the spiritual-kingly element, and the Giants embodied the temporal-priestly. It was during the Bronze Age, this time of epic schism, that the priestly caste (the Giants) rebelled against the superior regal-warrior caste (the Aesir) and for the first time endeavored to usurp the latter’s powers.


This marked the beginning of a power-struggle that has erupted time and again between Pharaoh and Priest, Emperor and Pope, legitimate ruler of a masculine-solar essence and illegitimate pretender of a feminine-lunar essence – between those who stand for Authority, Hierarchy, Tradition and Order versus those who stand for mass-leveling, chaos and decadence. In esoteric circles the Bronze Age is known as the Age of the Giants – the Age in which materialism and usurpation ultimately triumphed over the Atlanteanand higher traditions. Overall, the Age was characterized by a population that no longer valued the spiritual principle as it related to a masculine warrior caste. And so, the decadence of the Giants effectively brought the polar and solar traditions to an end.

From Atlantis the “Atlanto-Aryan” race spread all over the world, as did the rival factions of Light and Darkness. The war between these two diametrically opposed sides continues to this day. It has been waged covertly by competing secret societies who, through their “moves” on the Great Geopolitical Chess Board, have manipulated the course of world history, and for thousands of years.On one side is the Darkness, manifesting itself in International Banking and Freemasonry – two offshoots of the same brazen international scheme of the medieval Knights Templar, now championed by the Atlanticist powers (the United States and Britain).And on the other side is the remnant of the True Light of Hyperborea (i.e. Eurasia), comprised of all those forces which stand for continental values such as Truth, Order and Tradition – those fighting to restore the warrior-principle as it existed in its purest state during the Golden Age.

IV. The Iron Age

After the chaos of the Bronze Age, which stretched into the postdiluvian world, the Iron Age or Dark Age began – this still remains the current epoch of our planet’s history. The Iron Age is characterized by a total lack of any earthly connection to the divine element. The wolf of Norse tradition swallowed the Sun and caught the Moon – meaning that both the solar and lunar spiritual cycles of the Silver and Bronze Ages were finished. And so, lacking any higher guidance, the earth was abandoned to its own internal anarchy. The Iron Age is equivalent to the Hindu tradition’s Age of Kali Yuga. The defining feature of the Age has been mankind’scollective Struggle against the forces of darkness in order to push back the murky tide of decadence.The Crusades represent one such period of “push back” in the history of the Dark Age. They were initiated, on the esoteric level, as a great rebellion against the Darkness or rather Ignorance of the time. Sadly, this rebellion was doomed to fail due to the overwhelming greed and vanity of all the parties involved.

During the Crusades, the various knightly brotherhoods and orders were primarily on a quest for spiritual and scientific truth – or rather, a quest for the lost “Science of the Spirit” which thegreatest philosophers have sought to recapture since time immemorial. The exoteric mainstream belief that the knights were formed simply to “fight the Muslim Infidel” is wrong. The various knightly orders were instead searching for truth, as they disagreed with the unruly and degenerate head of the Roman Catholic Church: the Pope. This is especially true of the Teutonic Knights who upon reaching Syria met an old esoteric master called the “Elder of the Days.” He revealed to them the lost wisdom, history and traditions of Atlantis and Hyperborea.

The new revelations greatly impacted Europe, ultimately leading to massive building programs, a great technological boom, an increase in exploration, and the establishment of the modern banking system. Since it was the knightly brotherhoods that were in sole possession of this vast amount of wisdom, they came to be viewed as dangerous by the Pope and were subsequently persecuted and disbanded. Thus, the knights had no choice but to go underground, forming secret orders with various new names. Of course the most famous Order to go into hiding was the Knights Templar which eventually allied itself to the forces of World Zionism and, through proxy organizations (like the so-called “Order of Christ” in Portugal),went on to found various other black magician orders such as the Rosicrucians, Jesuits, Freemasons, Ordo TempliOrientis, Church of Satan and other derivative Satanic groups which happen to wield a great amount of power in the nations of the West and especially in the United States – a country which, it could accurately be said, was founded on the intertwined “Templar”principles of commerce, militarism and occultism.

Of the Templars it could be saidthat they originally set out on their great journey as legitimate Christian warrior-ascetics, however they returned to Europe as little more than money-lending vampires. Somewhere along the way the Templars became totally corrupt, adopting the wicked, usurious ways of the money-lending Levantines with whom they came into contact in the Holy Land. The Teutonic Knights, on the other hand, remainedtrue to their ancient “white magician” (i.e. Christian) roots.A Teutonic capital that survived well into modern times was Vienna. At Heiligenkreuz, the Teutonic Knights established several monasteries and castles on sacred geomantic energy sites. There they kept part of their newly acquired knowledge and scriptures upon returning from the Levant. For centuries, much of the wisdom acquired by the Teutonic Order was hidden in and around Vienna.

Theozoologie - Electron of the Gods - Deutschland und Ostmark - Peter Crawford - copy.pngAt the turn of the twentieth century there was a Catholic monk in Vienna who was a member of the old Teutonic Order. Disillusioned and disgusted with mainstream Christian dogma, he eventually left the monastery and assumed the name of “Lanz von Liebenfels.” He is most famous for writing Theozoology – a philosophical work that centers on the perennial earthly Struggle between Man(created in the image of God) and the hominid/apeling masses of the soulless, material world. It is said that von Liebenfels had an epiphany in his native Austria upon seeing a statue of a knight standing victoriously on top of a primate. Of course the knight symbolized a Noble, a true Man, a Man of the divine – and the primate symbolized the great bulk of animalistic humanity.

Von Liebenfels realized the great fact of Nature that the biological aristocrat (the God-man) is designed and destined to stand in unabashed superiority over the degenerate materialistic masses, as symbolized by the primate. It should be noted that, through the ages, human degenerates or animalistic “sub-humans” have also been depicted as serpents, dragons, demons, and other such reptilian creatures. In any event, it is the God-man’s responsibility to crush all those that seek to drag the God-man downward and ultimately destroy him through wanton immorality. Hence the reality of a spiritually-oriented God-like race existing in perennial opposition to a thoroughly materialistic, degenerateand animal-like human race. Although perhaps radical by nineteenth century standards, Lanz von Liebenfels’ philosophy was merely a reiteration of a much older spiritual philosophy. This philosophy, also prevalent in the fin desiècle works of Nietzsche, is part of a much broader tradition stretching all the way back to the epics of Aryan India.

Aware of the older traditions, von Liebenfels mingled his preexisting Teutonic knowledge with the spiritual/historical truths of the Bhagavad Gita, which describes the great battle of Atlantis. He thus came to the conclusion that the “Aryan Race” was in fact descended from the original God Race, and that the Chandalans were degenerate animal-men. Both sides were involved in endless battles throughout history, as confirmed in Hindu mysticism. The ancient Zoroastrian tradition also makes use of a similar theme describing the relationship between the Ashavan and the Anashvan. The Ashavan represent the pure, faithful and blessed on earth and in heaven – those who boost the power of the principle of light – and the Anashvan represent the impure ones opposed to the principle of light.

Von Liebenfels further taught that the Aryansare the descendants of the original Hyperborean-Atlantean god-men, and their noble origin can be discerned from their physical characteristics – i.e. their blond hair, blue eyes, fine features and fair skin. And so here we are, at the end of the Iron Age or Dark Age (i.e. Kali Yuga) – here we are, fighting as ever against the advances of the infernal Materialist Enemy.

To the fatalistic adherents of priestly/monastic prayer, these are the famous “End Times” of Revelation. To those who hold true to the primordialWarrior Wisdom, this is the era of Kali Yuga – an era that will soon give way to the new Golden Age or Krita Yuga. Regardless of one’s spiritual/religious inclination, this much is clear: the many disasters which currently threaten humanity – the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mysterious animal deaths, famines, diseases, miscegenation, immorality, unbridled avarice, widespread violence, wars – all these things have been predicted by countless seers and spiritual men through the centuries.They accurately foresaw the tumultuous events unfolding in our own time. So take heed and take solace! These things must come – the darkness must come into the world (and as black as night!) before the New Dawn can commence.

According to the ancient Vedic tradition, the end of the Dark Age does not translate to mean the destruction or “end of the world,” but rather the end of a long, dark epoch in world history and the correspondingly dark world order. More so than the Christian Bible, the Mahabharata outlines the dark period of Kali Yuga (our current age) quite vividly. It is a period defined by quantity, not quality – a time in which the majority of the earth’s inhabitants are Sudras, or materialistic slave-like people. They are wicked, deceitful, quarrelsome, vulgar, parasitical and beggar-like. They value the degraded and live in cities full of thieves. The men are dominated by their womenfolk who are shallow, garrulous, lascivious, and who bear too many inferior children. During this time, there are many famines and wars. Great migrations occur during this period as well; it is a time of uprooting and unfamiliarity, as opposed to kinship, localism and permanence. Rulers levy taxes unfairly, and abandon any interest in the spiritual or religious life of their people. Greed, lust, drug-addiction, anti-natural behavior, criminality – all these are just some of the evil pursuits indulged in by man. Does any of this sound familiar? It should. For this is the current age in which we live: the Kali Yuga. And the Mahabharata predicted it all.


In the Indo-Aryan tradition the end of our current era shall witness the return of God to earth. A new glorious Golden Age shall then be upon us. His coming will initiate a Great War, and then he will set up his millennial kingdom on earth. This is the Age of Krita Yuga described in the ancient Hindu texts – an age of justice, duty, virtue and happiness; a time when the “Great White God” of the heavens reigns supreme on earth. In the Hindu religion it will be the tenth and final avatar of Lord Vishnu who returns: Kalki the Destroyer.

[1]Evola, Julius. Revolt Against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995, p. 184 (see footnote 1).

[2]Ibid., p. 219.


mardi, 20 septembre 2016

Rightist Critique of Racial Materialism


Rightist Critique of Racial Materialism

Ex: http://www.katehon.com

While France and England gave materialistic, anti-traditional expressions to the concept of “the people” that was taking shape since the French Revolution, German Idealism was a return to a spiritual, metaphysical direction. The German Revolution moved in a volkish direction, where the volk was seen as the basis of the state, and the notion of a volk-soul that guided the formation and development of nations became a predominant theme that came into conflict with the French bourgeois liberal-democratic ideals derived from Jacobinism. Fichte had laid the foundations of a German nationalism in 1807-1808 with his Addresses to the German Nation. Although like possibly all revolutionaries or radicals of the time, beginning under the impress of the French Revolution, by the time he had delivered his addresses to the German nation, he had already rejected Jacobinism. Johann Heder had previously sought to establish the concept of the volk-soul, and of each nation being guided by a spirit. This was a metaphysical conception of race, or more accurately volk, that preceded the biological arguments of the Frenchman Count Arthur de Gobineau. Herder stated that the volk is the only class, and includes both King and peasant, and that “the people” are not the same as the rabble that are championed by Jacobinism and later Marxism. 

Houston Stewart Chamberlain - Occult History Third Reich - Peter Crawford.jpgFrench and English racism was introduced to Germany by the Englishman Houston Stewart Chamberlain who had a seminal influence on Hitlerism. English Darwinism, a manifestation of the materialistic Zeitgeist that dominated England, was brought to Germany by Ernst Haeckel; although Blumenbach had already begun to classify race according to cranial measurements during the 18th century. Nonetheless, biological racism reflects the English Zeitgeist of materialism. It provided primary materialistic doctrines to dethrone Tradition. Its application to economics also provided a scientific justification for the “class struggle” of both the capitalistic and socialistic varieties. Hitlerism was an attempt to synthesis the English eugenics of Galton and the evolution of Darwin with the metaphysis of German Idealism. Italian Traditionalist Julius Evola attempted to counter the later influence of Hitlerian racism on Italian Fascism by developing a “metaphysical racism,” and the concept of the “race of the spirit,” which has its parallels in Spengler, whose approach to race is in the Traditionalist mode of the German Idealists.

Because the Right, the custodian of Tradition within the epoch of decay, has been infected by the spirit of materialism, there is often a focus on secondary symptoms of culture disease, such as in particular immigration, rather than primary symptoms such as usury and plutocracy. “Race” becomes a matter of skull measuring, rather than spirit, élan and character. Hence the character of a civilisation and of a people is discerned via the types of bone and skull found amidst the ruins. History then becomes a matter of counting and measuring and statistics. How feeble such attempts remain is demonstrated by the years of controversy surrounding the racial identity of Kennewick Man in North America, having first thought to have been a Caucasian, and now concluded to have been of Ainu/Polynesian descent. The Traditionalist does not discount “race”. Rather it plays a central role. How “race” is defined is another matter. 

Trotsky called “racism” “Zoological materialism”. As an “economic materialist”, that is, a Marxist, he did not explain why his own version of materialism is a superior mode of thinking and acting than the other. They arose, along with Free Trade capitalism, out of the same Zeitgeist that dominated England at the time, and all three refer to a naturalistic life as struggle. The Traditionalist rejects all forms of materialism. The Traditionalist does not see history as unfolding according to material, economic forces, or racial-biological determinants. The Traditionalist sees history as the unfolding of metaphysical forces manifesting within the terrestrial. Spengler, although not a Perennial Traditionalist, intuited history over a broad expanse as a metaphysical unfolding. Although a man of the “Right”, he rejected the biological interpretation of history as much as the economic. So did Evola.

The best known exponents of racial determinism were of course German National Socialists, the reductionist doctrine being expressed by Hitler: 

“…This is how civilisations and empires break up and make room for new creations. Blood mixture, and the lowering of the racial level which accompanies it, are the one and only cause why old civilisations disappear…” 

The USA provided a large share of racial theorists of the early 20th century, whose conception of the rise and fall of civilisation was based on racial zoology, and in particular on the superiority of the Nordic not only above non-white races, but above all sub-races of the white, such as the Dinaric, Mediterranean and Alpine. Senator Theodore G. Bilbo of Mississippi wrote a book championing the cause of segregation, and more so, the “back-to-Africa” movement, stating that miscegenation with the Negro will result in the fall of white civilisation. He briefly examined some major civilisations. Bilbo wrote that Egyptian civilisation was mongrelised over centuries, “until a mulatto inherited the throne of the Pharaohs in the Twenty-fifth dynasty. This mongrel prince, Taharka, ruled over a Negroid people whose religion had fallen from an ethical test for the life after death to a form of animal worship”. This should be “sufficient warning to white America!” Because Sen. Bilbo had started from an assumption, his history was flawed. As will be shown below, it was Taharka and the Nubian dynasty that renewed Egypt’s decaying culture, which had degenerated under the white Libyan dynasties.  Sen. Bilbo proceeds with similar brief examinations of Carthage, Greece, and Rome. 

julius%20evola%20sintesi%20e%20dottrina%20della%20razza%20heopli.jpegJulius Evola, while repudiating the zoological primacy of “racism” as another form of materialism and therefore anti-Traditional, suggested that a “spiritual racism” is necessary to oppose the forces seeking to turn man into an amorphous mass; as interchangeable economic units without roots; what is now called “globalisation”. 

Evola gives the Traditionalist viewpoint when stating that there “have been many cases in which a culture has collapsed even when its race has remained pure, as is especially clear in certain groups that have suffered slow, inexorable extinction despite remaining as racially isolated as if they were islands”. He gives Sweden and The Netherlands as recent examples, pointing out that although the race has remained unchanged, there is little of the “heroic disposition” those cultures possessed just several centuries previously. He refers to other great cultures as having remained in a state as if like mummies, inwardly dead, awaiting a push “to knock them down”. These are what Spengler called Fellaheen, spiritually exhausted and historically passé. Evola gives Peru as an example of how readily a static culture succumbed to Spain. Hence, such examples, even as vigorous cultures such as that of the Dutch and Scandinavian, once wide-roaming and dynamic, have declined to nonentities despite the maintenance of racial homogeneity. 

The following considers examples that are often cited as civilisations that decayed and died as the result of miscegenation.


A case study for testing the miscegenation theory of cultural decay is that of the Hellenic. The ancient Hellenic civilisation is typically ascribed by racial theorists as being the creation of a Nordic culture-bearing stratum. The same has been said of the Latin, Egyptian, and others. Typically, this theory is illustrated by depicting sculptures of ancient Hellenes of “Nordic” appearance. Such depictions upon which to form a theory are unreliable: the ancient Hellenes were predominantly a mixture of Dinaric-Alpine-Mediterranean. The skeletal remains of Greeks show that from earliest times to the present there has been remarkable uniformity, according to studies by Sergi, Ripley, and Buxton, who regarded the Greeks as an Alpine-Mediterranean mix from a “comparatively early date.” American physical anthropologist Carlton S. Coon stated that the Greeks remain an Alpine/Mediterranean mix, with a weak Nordic element, being “remarkably similar” to their ancient ancestors.

American anthropologist J. Lawrence Angel, in the most complete study of Greek skeletal remains starting from the Neolithic era to the present, found that Greeks have always bene marked by a sustained racial continuity. Angel cited American anthropologist Buxton who had studied Greek skeletal material and measured modern Greeks, especially in Cyprus, concluding that the modern Greeks “possess physical characteristics not differing essentially from those of the former [ancient Greeks]”. The most extensive study of modern Greeks was conducted by anthropologist Aris N. Poulianos, concluding that Greeks are and have always been Mediterranean-Dinaric, with a strong Alpine presence. Angel states that “Poulianos is correct in pointing out ... that there is complete continuity genetically from ancient to modern times”. Nikolaos Xirotiris did not find any significant alteration of the Greek race from prehistory, through classical and medieval, to modern times. Anthropologist Roland Dixon studied the funeral masks of Spartans and identified them as of the Alpine sub-race. Although race theorists often stated that Hellenic civilisation was founded and maintained by invading Dorian “Nordics”, Angel states that the northern invasions were always of “Dinaroid-Alpine” type. A recent statistical comparison of ancient and modern Greek skulls found “a remarkable similarity in craniofacial morphology between modern and ancient Greeks.”

If miscegenation and the elimination of an assumed Nordic (Dorian) culture-bearing stratum cannot account for the decay of Hellenic civilisation, what can? Contemporary historians point out the origins. The Roman historian Livy observed: 

“The Macedonians who settled in Alexandria in Egypt, or in Seleucia, or in Babylonia, or in any of their other colonies scattered over the world, have degenerated into Syrians, Parthians, or Egyptians. Whatever is planted in a foreign land, by a gradual change in its nature, degenerates into that by which it is nurtured”.

tarn-2.jpgHere Livy is observing that occupiers among foreign peoples “go native”, as one might say. The occupiers are pulled downward, rather than elevating their subjects upward, not through genetic contact but through moral and cultural corruption. The Syrians, Parthians and Egyptians, had already become historically and culturally passé, or Fellaheen, as Spengler puts it. The Macedonian Greeks in those colonies succumbed to the force of etiolation. Alexander even encouraged this in an effort to meld all subjects into one Greek mass, which resulted not from a Hellenic civilisation passed along by multitudinous peoples, but in a chaotic mass from which Greece did not recover, despite the Greeks staying racially intact. Unlike the Jews in particular, the Greeks, Romans and other conquerors did not have the strength of Tradition to maintain themselves among alien cultures. Dr. W. W. Tarn stated of this process:

“Greece was ready to adopt the gods of the foreigner, but the foreigner rarely reciprocated; Greek Doura (the Greek temple in Mesopotamia) freely admitted the gods of Babylon, but no Greek god entered Babylonian Uruk. Foreign gods might take Greek names; they took little else. They (the Babylonian gods) were the stronger, and the conquest of Asia (by the Greeks) was bound to fail as soon as the East had gauged its own strength and Greek weakness.”

Spengler pointed out to Western Civilisation and the current epoch that one of the primary symptoms of culture decay is that of depopulation. It is a sign literally that a Civilisation has become too lazy to look beyond the immediate. There is no longer any sense of duty to the past or the future, but only to a hedonistic present. Polybius (b. ca. 200 B.C.) observed this phenomenon of Hellenic Civilisation like Spengler did of ours, writing: 

tarn-1.jpg“In our time all Greece was visited by a dearth of children and generally a decay of population, owing to which the cities were denuded of inhabitants, and a failure of productiveness resulted, though there were no long-continued wars or serious pestilences among us. If, then, any one had advised our sending to ask the gods in regard to this, what we were to do or say in order to become more numerous and better fill our cities,—would he not have seemed a futile person, when the cause was manifest and the cure in our own hands? For this evil grew upon us rapidly, and without attracting attention, by our men becoming perverted to a passion for show and money and the pleasures of an idle life, and accordingly either not marrying at all, or, if they did marry, refusing to rear the children that were born, or at most one or two out of a great number, for the sake of leaving them well off or bringing them up in extravagant luxury. For when there are only one or two sons, it is evident that, if war or pestilence carries off one, the houses must be left heirless: and, like swarms of bees, little by little the cities become sparsely inhabited and weak. On this subject there is no need to ask the gods how we are to be relieved from such a curse: for any one in the world will tell you that it is by the men themselves if possible changing their objects of ambition; or, if that cannot be done, by passing laws for the preservation of infants”.

Do Polybius’ thoughts sound like some unheeded doom-sayer speaking to us now about our modern world? If the reader can see the analogous features between Western Civilisation, and that of Greece and Rome then the organic course of Civilisations is being understood, and by looking at Greece and Rome we might see where we are heading.


Another often cited example of the fall of civilisation through miscegenation is that of Rome. However, despite the presence of slaves and traders of sundry races, like the Greeks, today’s Italians are substantially the same as they were in Roman times. Arab influence did not occur until Medieval times, centuries after the “fall of Rome”, with Arab rule extending over Sicily only during 1212-1226 A.D. The genetic male influence on Sicilians is estimated at only 6%. The predominant genetic influence is ancient Greek. The African have a less than  1% frequency  throughout Italy other than in , , and where there are frequencies of 2% to  3% . Sub-Saharan, that is, Negroid, mtDNA have been found at very low frequencies in Italy, albeit marginally higher than elsewhere in Europe, but date from 10,000 years ago. This study states: “….mitochondrial DNA studies show that Italy does not differ too much from other European populations”. Although there are small regional variations, “The mtDNA haplogroup make-up of Italy as observed in our samples fits well with expectations in a typical European population”. 

Hence, an infusion of Negroid or Asian genes during the epoch of Rome’s decline and fall is lacking, and the reasons for that fall cannot be assigned to miscegenation. What slight frequency there is of non-Caucasian genetic markers entered Rome long before or long after the fall of Roman Civilisation. There was no “contamination of Roman blood”, but of Roman spirit and élan.  

declinerome.jpgAlien immigration introduces cultural elements that dislocate the social and ethical basis of a Civilisation and aggravate an existing pathological condition. The English scholar Professor C. Northcote Parkinson, writing on the fall of Rome, commented that the Roman conquerors were subjected “to cultural inundation and grassroots influence”. Because Rome extended throughout the world, like the present Late Western, the economic opportunities accorded by Rome drew in all the elements of the subject peoples, “groups of mixed origin and alien ways of life”. “Even more significant was what the Romans learnt while on duty overseas, for men so influenced were of the highest rank”. Parkinson quotes Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referring to the Roman colony of Antioch: 

“…Fashion was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of luxury were honoured, the serious and manly virtues were the subject of ridicule, and the contempt for female modesty and reverent age announced the universal corruption of the capitals of the East…” 

Roman historian Livy wrote of the opulence of Asia being brought back to Rome by the soldiery:

“…it was through the army serving in Asia that the beginnings of foreign luxury were introduced into the City. These men brought into Rome for the first time, bronze couches, costly coverlets, tapestry, and other fabrics, and - what was at that time considered gorgeous furniture - pedestal tables and silver salvers. Banquets were made more attractive by the presence of girls who played on the harp and sang and danced, and by other forms of amusement, and the banquets themselves began to be prepared with greater care and expense. The cook whom the ancients regarded and treated as the lowest menial was rising in value, and what had been a servile office came to be looked upon as a fine art. Still what met the eye in those days was hardly the germ of the luxury that was coming”.

The moral decay of Rome resulted in the displacement of Roman stock, not by miscegenation, but by the falling birth-rate of the Romans. Such population decline is itself a major symptom of culture decay. The problem that it signifies is that a people has so little consciousness left as to its own purpose as a culture that its individuals do not have any responsibility beyond their own egos. Professor Tenney Frank, foremost scholar on the economic history of Rome, also considered the results of population decline, from the top of the social hierarchy downward: 

“The race went under. The legislation of Augustus and his successors, while aiming at preserving the native stock, was of the myopic kind so usual in social lawmaking, and failing to reckon with the real nature of the problem involved. It utterly missed the mark. By combining epigraphical and literary references, a fairly full history of the noble families can be procured, and this reveals a startling inability of such families to perpetuate themselves. We know, for instance, in Caesar’s day of forty-five patricians, only one of whom is represented by posterity when Hadrian came to power. The Aemilsi, Fabii, Claudii. Manlii, Valerii, and all the rest, with the exception of Comelii, have disappeared. Augustus and Claudius raised twenty-five families to the patricate, and all but six disappear before Nerva’s reign. Of the families of nearly four hundred senators recorded in 65 A. D. under Nero, all trace of a half is lost by Nerva’s day, a generation later. And the records are so full that these statistics may be assumed to represent with a fair degree of accuracy the disappearance of the male stock of the families in question. Of course members of the aristocracy were the chief sufferers from the tyranny of the first century, but this havoc was not all wrought by delatores and assassins. The voluntary choice of childlessness accounts largely for the unparalleled condition. This is as far as the records help in this problem, which, despite the silences is probably the most important phase of the whole question of the change of race. Be the causes what they may, the rapid decrease of the old aristocracy and the native stock was clearly concomitant with a twofold increase from below; by a more normal birth-rate of the poor, and the constant manumission of slaves 

While allusions to “race” by Professor Frank are enough for “zoological materialists” to spin a whole theory about Rome’s decline and fall around miscegenation of the “white race” with blacks and Orientals, we now know from the genetics that despite the invasions over centuries, the Italians, like the Greeks, have retained their original racial composition to the present. What Frank is describing, by an examination of the records that show a disappearance of the leading patrician families, is that Rome was in a spiritual crisis, as all civilisations are when they regard child-bearing as a burden. Traditionalists such as Evola pointed out that the “secret of degeneration” of a civilisation is that it rots from the top downward, and as Spengler pointed out, one of the primary signs of that rot is childlessness. That there were Roman statesmen with the wisdom to understand what was happening is indicated by Augustus’ efforts to raise the birth-rate, but to no avail. Of this symptom of moral decay, Professor Frank wrote: 

“In the first place there was a marked decline in the birthrate among the aristocratic families. … As society grew more pleasure-loving, as convention raised artificially the standard of living, the voluntary choice of celibacy and childlessness became a common feature among the upper classes. …”


Urbanisation, the magnetic pull of the megalopolis, the depopulation of the land and the proletarianism of the former peasant stock as in the case of the West’s Industrial Revolution, impacted in major ways on the fall of Rome. A. M. Duff wrote of the impact of rural depopulation and urbanisation:

“But what of the lower-class Romans of the old stock? They were practically untouched by revolution and tyranny, and the growth of luxury cannot have affected them to the same extent as it did the nobility. Yet even here the native stock declined. The decay of agriculture. … drove numbers of farmers into the towns, where, unwilling to engage in trade, they sank into unemployment and poverty, and where, in their endeavours to maintain a high standard of living, they were not able to support the cost of rearing children. Many of these free-born Latins were so poor that they often complained that the foreign slaves were much better off than they, and so they were. At the same time many were tempted to emigrate to the colonies across the sea which Julius Caesar and Augustus founded. Many went away to Romanize the provinces, while society was becoming Orientalized at home. Because slave labour had taken over almost all jobs, the free born could not compete with them. They had to sell their small farms or businesses and move to the cities. Here they were placed on the doles because of unemployment. They were, at first, encouraged to emigrate to the more prosperous areas of the empire to Gaul, North Africa and Spain. Hundreds of thousands left Italy and settled in the newly-acquired lands. Such a vast number left Italy leaving it to the Orientals that finally restrictions had to be passed to prevent the complete depopulation of the Latin stock, but as we have seen, the laws were never effectively put into force. The migrations increased and Italy was being left to another race. The free-born Italian, anxious for land to till and live upon, displayed the keenest colonization activity.” 

The foreign cultures and religions that had come to Rome from across the empire changed the temperament of the Romans masses who were uprooted and migrating to the cities; where as in the nature of the cites, as Spengler showed,  they became a cosmopolitan mass. Frank writes of this: 

“This Orientalization of Rome’s populace has a more important bearing than is usually accorded it upon the larger question of why the spirit and acts of imperial Rome are totally different from those of the republic. There was a complete change in the temperament! There is today a healthy activity in the study of the economic factors that contributed to Rome’s decline. But what lay behind and constantly reacted upon all such causes of Rome’s disintegration was, after all, to a considerable extent, the fact that the people who had built Rome had given way to a different race. The lack of energy and enterprise, the failure of foresight and common sense, the weakening of moral and political stamina, all were concomitant with the gradual diminution of the stock which, during the earlier days, had displayed these qualities. It would be wholly unfair to pass judgment upon the native qualities of the Orientals without a further study, or to accept the self-complacent slurs of the Romans, who, ignoring certain imaginative and artistic qualities, chose only to see in them unprincipled and servile egoists. We may even admit that had these new races had time to amalgamate and attain a political consciousness a more brilliant and versatile civilization might have come to birth.” 

Fall-of-the-Roman-Empire.jpgWhat is notable is not that the Romans miscegenated with Orientals, but that the uprooted, amorphous masses of the cities no longer adhered to the Traditions on which Roman civilisation was founded. The same process can be seen today at work in New York, London and Paris. Duff wrote of this, and we might consider the parallels with our own time: 

“Instead of the hardy and patriotic Roman with his proud indifference to pecuniary gain, we find too often under the Empire an idle pleasure-loving cosmopolitan whose patriotism goes no further than applying for the dole and swelling the crowds in the amphitheatre”. 

The Roman Traditional ethos of severity, austerity and disdain for softness that Emperor Julian attempted to reassert was greeted by “fashionable society” with “disgust”. Parkinson remarks that “there is just such a tendency in the London of today, as there was still earlier in Boston and New York”. These “world cities” no longer reflect a cultural nexus but an economic nexus, and hence one’s position is not based on how one or one’s family unfolds the Traditional ethos, but on whether or how one accumulates wealth. 


social_pyramid_f02.jpgIndia is the most commonly cited example of a civilisation that decayed through miscegenation, the invading Aryans imparting a High Culture on India and then forever falling into decay because of miscegenation with the low caste “blacks”, or Dravidians. However, Genetic research indicates that the higher castes have retained to the present a predominately Caucasian genetic inheritance.

“As one moves from lower to upper castes, the distance from Asians becomes progressively larger. The distance between Europeans and lower castes is larger than the distance between Europeans and upper castes, but the distance between Europeans and middle castes is smaller than the upper caste-European distance. … Among the upper castes the genetic distance between Brahmins and Europeans (0.10) is smaller than that between either the Kshatriya and Europeans (0.12) or the Vysya and Europeans (0.16). Assuming that contemporary Europeans reflect West Eurasian affinities, these data indicate that the amount of West Eurasian admixture with Indian populations may have been proportionate to caste rank.

“…As expected if the lower castes are more similar to Asians than to Europeans, and the upper castes are more similar to Europeans than to Asians, the frequencies of M and M3 haplotypes are inversely proportional to caste rank.

“…In contrast to the mtDNA distances, the Y-chromosome STR data do not demonstrate a closer affinity to Asians for each caste group. Upper castes are more similar to Europeans than to Asians, middle castes are equidistant from the two groups, and lower castes are most similar to Asians. The genetic distance between caste populations and Africans is progressively larger moving from lower to middle to upper caste groups. 

“…Results suggest that Indian Y chromosomes, particularly upper caste Y chromosomes, are more similar to European than to Asian Y chromosomes.

“…Nevertheless, each separate upper caste is more similar to Europeans than to Asians.”

Citing further studies, “…admixture with African or proto-Australoid populations” is “occasional”. 

The chaos that afflicted India seems to have been of religio-cultural type rather than racial. Despite the superficiality of dusky hues, the Indian ruling castes have retained their Caucasian identity to the present. The genetic contribution of Australoids and Africans was minor. 


Like India, Egypt is often cited as an example of a civilisation that was destroyed primarily by miscegenation, with Negroids. However, despite the myriad of invasions and population shifts, today’s Egyptians are still more closely related genetically to Eurasia than Africa. Migrations between Egypt, Nubia and Sudan have not been extensive enough to “homogenise the mtDNA gene pools of the Nile River Valley populations”, although Egyptians and Nubians are more closely related than Egyptians and southern Sudanese. However, significant differences remain. Even now, today’s Egyptians have primary genetic affinities with Asia, and North and Northeast Africa. The least affinity is to the populations of Sub-Sahara.  The Haplotype  M1, with a high frequency among Egyptians,  hitherto thought to be of Sub-Saharan origin,  is of Eurasian origin.  

Miscegenation with Nubian “slaves” and mercenaries seems unlikely to have caused Egypt’s decay. While a Nubian or “black” pharaoh is alluded to by racial-zoologists as a sign of Egyptian decay, the Nubian civilisation had an intimate connection with the Egyptian and was itself impressive and of early origins. 

Nubian civilisation, with palaces, temples and pyramids, flourished as far back as 7000 B.C. 223 pyramids, twice the number of Egypt, have been found along the Nile of the Nubian culture-region. The Nubian civilisation was of notably long duration surviving until the Muslim conquest of 1500 A.D. The Egyptians have viewed the Nubians either as a “conquered race or a superior enemy”. Hence, Egyptian depictions of shackled black slaves, give a widely inaccurate impression of the Nubian.  Nubians became the pharaohs of Egypt’s 25th dynasty, providing stability where previously there had been ruin caused by civil wars between warlords, ca. 700 B.C. The Nubians were the custodians of Egyptian faith and culture at a time when Egypt was decaying. They regarded the restoration of the faith of Amun as their duty. It was the Nubian dynasties (760-656 B.C.), especially the rulership of Taharqa, which revived and purified Egyptian culture and religion. It was under the “white” rule of the Libyan pharaohs of the 21st dynasty (1069-1043 B. c.) that Egypt began a sharp decline. Ptolemaic (Greek) rule (332-30 B.C.) under Ptolemy IV (222 to 205 B.C.) brought to the rich and sumptuous pharaohs’ court “lax morals and vicious lifestyle” ending in “decadence and anarchy”. Byzantine rule (395 to 640 A.D.) through Christianisation wrought destruction on the Egyptian heritage, which was succeeded by Islamic rule. Of the long vicissitudes of Egypt’s rise and fall, it was the Nubian dynasty that had restored Egyptian cultural integrity. References to Nubians on the throne of the pharaohs tell no more of the causes of Egypt’s decay than if historians several millennia hence sought to ascribe the causes of the USA’s  culture retardation to Obama’s presidency as a “black”. 


We see in Egypt as in Rome, the Moorish civilisation, India and others, the causes of culture decay and fall as being something other than miscegenation. The contemporary Westerner should look for answers beyond this if only because he can see for himself that the West’s decay has no relationship to miscegenation. The number of Americans describing themselves as “mixed race” was just under 9 million in 2010. Of the 3,988,076 live births in the USA in 2014  368,213 were non-white.  The USA did not become the global centre of culture-pestilence because of its mixed race population. What is more significant than the percentages of miscegenation, are the percentages of population decline caused by such factors as the limitation of children, and the rates of abortion. Twenty-one percent of all pregnancies in the USA are aborted. Such depopulation statics are an indication of culture pathology. 

gallery-1431027249-122315523.jpgOf Egypt’s chaos contemporary sages observed, as they did of Rome and India, a disintegration of authority, traditional religion, and the founding ethos and mythos around which a healthy culture revolves. Egypt was often subjected to invasions and to natural disasters. These served as catalysts for culture degeneration. The papyrus called The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage, state that after invasions and what seems to have been a class war, Egypt fell apart, there was family strife, the noble families were dispossessed by the lowest castes, authority was disrespected and overthrown, lawlessness and plunder were the norm, and the nobility was attacked: “A man looks upon his son as an enemy. A man smites his brother (the son of his mother)”. Craftsmanship has become degraded: “No craftsmen work, the enemies of the land have spoilt its crafts”. There is rebellion against the Uraeus or Re. “A few lawless men have ventured to despoil the land of the kingship”. It appears that the foundations of Traditional society, god, monarch, family and land, have been caste asunder. Further, “Asiatics” have seized the land from the ancestral occupiers, and have so insinuated themselves into the Egyptian culture that one can no longer tell who is Egyptian and who is alien: “There are no Egyptians anywhere”. “Women are lacking and no children are conceived”. Evidently there is a population crisis; that perennial symptom of decay. The political and administrative structure has collapsed, with “no officers in their place”. The laws are trampled on and cast aside. “Serfs become lords of serfs”.  The writings of the scribes are destroyed. 

What is being described is not a sudden upheaval, although the allusion to natural disasters and Asiatic invasion would imply this. The breakdown of regal authority, civil authority, depopulation, laws, family bonds, religious faith, agriculture and the social structure, imply an epoch of decline into chaos. The social structure has been inversed, as though a communistic revolution had occurred. “He who possessed no property is now a man of wealth. The prince praises him. The poor of the land have become rich, and the possessor of the land has become one who has nothing. Female slaves speak as they like to their mistresses. Orders become irksome. Those who could not build a boat now possesses ships. “The possessors of robes are now in rags”. “The children of princes are cast out in the street”. 

With this inversion of hierarchy has come irreligion and the degradation of religion. The ignorant now perform their own rites to the Gods. Wrong offerings are made to the Gods.  “Right is cast aside. Wrong is inside the council-chamber. The plans of the gods are violated, their ordinances are neglected… Reverence, an end is put to it”.

Ipuwer’s admonition was not only to rid Egypt of its enemies but to return to the Traditional ethos. This meant the reinstitution of proper religious rites, and the purification of the temples. “A fighter comes forth,” Ipuwer prophesises, to “destroy the wrongs”. “Is he sleeping? Behold, his might is not seen”. The Egyptians await an avatar, the personification of the Sun God Re (which Tradition states was the first of the Pharaohs) an Arthur who sleeps but will awaken, a redeemer that is a universal symbol from the Hindu Kalki, to Jesus in the vision of John of Patmos, the Katehon of Orthodox Russia, and many others across time and place. 

Nefertiti2-Re_158267t.jpgIpuwer avers to Egypt having gone through such epochs, alluding to his saying nothing other than what others have said before his time.

The Pharaoh is castigated for allowing Egypt to fall into chaos, with his authority being undermined, and without taking corrective actions. The Pharaoh as God-king, in terms of Tradition, had not maintained his authority as the nexus between the earthly kingdom and the Divine. The Pharaoh had caused “confusion throughout the land”. Certainty of the social hierarchy, crowned by the God-king, is the basis of Traditional societies. It seems that Egypt had entered into an epoch of what a Westerner could today identify in our time as that of scepticism and secularism. Chaos follows with the undermining of Cosmos.

Nefer-rohu warned Pharaoh of similar chaos. Likewise there would be “Asiatic” invasions, natural disasters, Re withdrawing his light, and again the inversion of hierarchy: 

“The weak of arm is now the possessor of an arm. Men salute respectfully him whom formerly saluted. I show thee the undermost on top, turned about in proportion to the turning about of my belly. It is the paupers who eat the offering bread, while the servants jubilate. The Heliopolitan Nome, the birthplace of every god, will no longer be on earth”.

It is notable, again, that Nefer-rohu identifies the chaos with the breaking of the nexus with the divine, and the social order that has become “the undermost on top”. Also of interest is that Nefer-rohu refers to a redeemer, who has a Nubian mother, uniting Egypt and driving out the Asiatics, and the Libyans (the whitest of races of the region) and defeating the rebellious.  Chaos resulted not from bio-genetic-race-factors but from a falling away of the regal and religious authority. If there is a race-factor it is in regard to Nubians being the custodians of Egyptian culture in periods of Egyptian decay, analogous to the revitalising “barbarians” who wept over the decaying Roman Empire.


Islam had its Golden Age and rich civilisation, centred in Morocco, and extending into Spain.  It is in ruins like civilisations centuries prior.  The cultures that flourished in Morocco, both Islamic and pre-Islamic, were Berber. The Islamic civilisation they established with the founding of the Idrisid dynasty in 788 A. D. was ended by the invasion of the Fatimids from Tunisia ca. 900 A.D. Chaos ensued. Although there was a revival of High Culture during the 11th and 14th centuries, dynasties fell in the face of tribalism.  The 16th century saw a revival initiated by al-Ghalin, several decades of wars of succession after his death in 1603, and continuing decline under Saadi dynastic rule during 1627 to 1659. 

stanlane.jpgCaucasoid mtDNA sequences are at frequencies of 96% in Moroccan Berbers, 82% in Algerian Berbers and 78% in non-Berber Moroccans. The study of Esteban et al found that Moroccan Northern and Southern Berbers have only 3% to 1% Sub-Saharan mtDNA. Although difficult to define, since “Berber” is a Roman, not an indigenous term, the estimate for present day Morocco is 35% to 45% Berber, with the rest being Berber-Arab mixture. The primary point is that the Moroccan civilisation had ruling classes, whether pre-Islamic or Islamic, that remained predominantly Berber-Caucasian for most of its history, whether during its epochs of glory or of decline. Miscegenation does not account for the fall of the Moorish Civilisation. 

The High Culture of Moorish Spain (Andalusia) was brought to ruin and decay not by miscegenation between “superior” Spaniards” and “inferior” Moors but by the overthrow of the Moorish ruling caste. Friedrich Nietzsche had observed this culture denegation with the fall of Moorish Spain (Andalusia). Stanley Lane-Poole wrote of the history of decay:

“The land, deprived of the skilful irrigation of the Moors, grew impoverished and neglected; the richest and most fertile valleys languished and were deserted; most of the populous cities which had filled every district of Andalusia fell into ruinous decay; and beggars, friars, and bandits took the place of scholars, merchants, and knights. So low fell Spain when she had driven away the Moors. Such is the melancholy contrast offered by her history”.

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a well-travelled sage, grappled with the same problems confronting Islamic Civilisation as those Spengler confronted in regard to The West. A celebrated scholar, political adviser, and jurist, Ibn Khaldun’s domain of influence extended over the whole Islamic world. His major theoretical work is Muqaddimah (1377), intended as a preface to his universal history, Kitabal-Ibar, where he sought to establish basic principles of history by which historians could understand events.  His theory is cyclic and morphological, based on “conditions within nations and races [which] change with the change of periods and the passage of time”. Like Evolahe was pessimistic as to what can be achieved by political action in the cycle of decline, writing that the “past resembles the future more than one drop of water another”.

Ibn Khaldun stated that history can be understood as a recurrence of similar patterns motivated by the drives of acquisition, group co-operation, and regal authority in the creation of a civilisation, followed by a cycle of decay. These primary drives become distorted and lead to the corrupting factors of luxury and domination, irresponsibility of authority and decline.

Like Spengler, in regard to the peasantry, Ibn Khaldun traces the beginning of culture to group or familial loyalty starting with the simple life of the rural - and desert – environments. The isolation and familial bonds lead to self-reliance, loyalty and leadership on the basis of mutual respect. Life is struggle, not luxury. According to Ibn Khaldun, when rulership becomes centralised and divorced from such kinship, free reign is given to luxury and ease.  Political alliances are bought and intrigued rather than being based on the initial bonds and loyalties. Corruption pervades as the requirements of luxury increase. The decadence starts from the top, among the ruling class, and extends downward until the founding ethos of the culture is discarded, or exists in name only.

timbre-citation-ibn-khaldoun_les-arabes.pngIbn Khaldun begins from the organic character of the noble family in describing the analogous nature of cultural rise and fall, caused by a falling away of the original creative ethos with each successive generation:

“The builder of the family’s glory knows what it cost him to do the work, and he keeps the qualities that created his glory and made it last. The son who comes after him had personal contact with his father and thus learned those things from him. However, he is inferior to him in this respect, inasmuch as a person who learns things through study is inferior to a person who knows them from practical application. The third generation must be content with imitation and, in particular, with reliance upon tradition. This member is inferior to him of the second generation, inasmuch as a person who relies upon tradition is inferior to a person who exercises judgment.

“The fourth generation, then, is inferior to the preceding ones in every respect. Its member has lost the qualities that preserved the edifice of its glory. He despises those qualities. He imagines that the edifice was not built through application and effort. He thinks that it was something due to his people from the very beginning by virtue of the mere fact of their descent, and not something that resulted from group effort and individual qualities. For he sees the great respect in which he is held by the people, but he does not know how that respect originated and what the reason for it was. He imagines it is due to his descent and nothing else. He keeps away from those in whose group feeling he shares, thinking that he is better than they”.

For Ibn Khaldun’s “generation” we might say with Spengler “cultural epoch”. Ibn Khaldun addresses the causes of this cultural etiolation, leading to the corrupting impact of materialism. Again, his analysis is remarkably similar to that of Spengler and the decay of the Classical civilisations:  

“When a tribe has achieved a certain measure of superiority with the help of its group feeling, it gains control over a corresponding amount of wealth and comes to share prosperity and abundance with those who have been in possession of these things. It shares in them to the degree of its power and usefulness to the ruling dynasty. If the ruling dynasty is so strong that no-one thinks of depriving it of its power or of sharing with it, the tribe in question submits to its rule and is satisfied with whatever share in the dynasty’s wealth and tax revenue it is permitted to enjoy. ... Members of the tribe are merely concerned with prosperity, gain and a life of abundance. (They are satisfied) to lead an easy, restful life in the shadow of the ruling dynasty, and to adopt royal habits in building and dress, a matter they stress and in which they take more and more pride, the more luxuries and plenty they acquire, as well as all the other things that go with luxury and plenty.

“As a result the toughness of desert life is lost. Group feeling and courage weaken. Members of the tribe revel in the well-being that God has given them. Their children and offspring grow up too proud to look after themselves or to attend to their own needs. They have disdain also for all the other things that are necessary in connection with group feeling.... Their group feeling and courage decrease in the next generations. Eventually group feeling is altogether destroyed. ... It will be swallowed up by other nations.

Ibn Khaldun refers to the “tribe” and “group feeling” where Spengler refers to nations, peoples, and races. The dominant culture becomes corrupted through its own success and its culture become static; its inward strength diminishes in proportion to its outward glamour. Hence, the Golden Age of Islam is over, as are those of Rome and Athens. New York, Paris, and London are in the analogous cultural epochs to those of Fez, Rome and Athens. The “world city” becomes the focus of a world civilisation that ends as cosmopolitan and far removed from its founding roots. Our present “world-cities’” – in particular, New York and The City of London - are the control centres of world politics, economics, and mass-culture by the fact of their also being the centres of banking. These world-cities are the prototypes for a world civilisation that continues to be called “Western”, under the leadership of the USA, a rotting centre like Fez and Rome.

The Muslim determination of what is “progress” and what is “decline” has a spiritual foundation:

“The progressiveness or backwardness of society at any given point of time is determinable in relative terms. It can be compared to other contemporary societies [like the Spenglerian method] or to its own state in the past. … for Muslim society although economic progress is not frowned upon, it is placed lower on the order of priorities as compared to other factors; e.g. the acquisition of knowledge or the provision of justice. There is also a tradition (Hadis) of the Holy Prophet that lists the symptoms of society that is in a pathological state of decline. These outward symptoms point to an underlying malaise in the society but can also provide a useful starting point for corrective actions for stopping or reversing the onset of decline”.  The high and low points of Muslim civilisation can be identified as those of a “Golden Age” or of an “Abyss”.

Comparable to the warnings of other sages, in an epoch of decline again there is an inversion of hierarchy, or more specifically here, of character, the Hadith stating that those in such a society would be corrupted, while others might resist within themselves:

“There will be soon a period of turmoil in which the one who sits will be better than one who stands and the one who stands will be better than one who walks and the one who walks will be better than one who runs. He who would watch them will be drawn by them. So he who finds a refuge or shelter against it should make it as his resort”.

Hebrew “Race”

A Traditionalist “race”, conscious of its nexus with the Divine as the basis of culture, endures regardless of contact with foreigners because of its inward strength. This allows it to accept foreigners not only without weakening the cultural organism but even strengthening it; because it accepts foreign input on its own terms. A Traditionalist “race” surviving over the course of millennia without succumbing to the cyclical laws of decay is the Jewish. They are the Traditionalist “race” par excellence. No better example can be had than this People that has maintained its nexus with its Divinity as the basis of cultural survival, whose religion is a race-founding and race-sustaining mythos. 

Phineas.jpgContrary to the beliefs of certain racial ideologues, including extreme Zionists and ultra-Orthodox Jews, this survival is not the result of bans on miscegenation. The Jewish law as embodied in the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, is based not on zoological race but on a race mythos. The Mosaic Law demands “race purity” in the Traditionalist sense; that of a community of belief in a heritage and a destiny. 

Bizarrely, some white racists have adopted the Torah commandments as being based on genetic purity, in their belief that whites are the true Israelites. For example the priest Phineas, at the time of Moses is held in esteem by such white supremacists because he speared an Israelite and a Midianite in the act of copulation. At this time apparently the Midianites were seducing Israel away from its God, towards Baal. A purge of Israel took place. However the chapter in its entirety makes plain this was a matter of religion, not miscegenation. The nexus between Israel and the Divine was being broken by the influence of “the daughters of Moab.” Israel’s Divinity is recorded as having threatened wrath because of “my insistence on exclusive devotion.” The Divine nexus was established for eternity with the line of Phineas because he had “not tolerated any rivalry towards his god”.  Moses himself had married the daughter of a Midianite priest, so the issue with the Midianites was clearly religious, and specifically that such foreign influences would break Israel’s nexus with the Divine that renders them a “special people”. Where marriages with Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, et al are prohibited it is because this nexus would be subverted. However, in the same book Deuteronomy, where the Israelite war code is being established, when a city has been defeated the adult males are to be eliminated, and the women and children are to be taken to be grafted on to Israel. The commandments for this type of “scorched earth policy” were based on preventing foreigners from teaching Israel their religions. There are precise laws as to marrying a non-Israelitish captive woman, who after a month of mourning for the deaths of her family, will have the marriage consummated and thereby become part of Israel. 

Jeremiah (ca. 600 B.C.), son of the high priest Hilkiah, was one of the most significant voices against culture-decay, analogous to Ipuwer the Egyptian sage,  Titus Livius, and Cato the Censor, in Rome, and our own Spengler and Evola. He warned that Israel would prosper while the nexus with Tradition and ipso facto with the Divine was maintained; Israel would fall physically if it fell away morally from that Tradition. Jeremiah saw the destruction of the Temple of Solomon and the carrying into Babylonian captivity of Judah. As with the other Civilisations that have fallen, the first symptom had been a subversion of its founding religion. Interestingly, religious decay would be quickly proceeded by an invasion of foreigners, reminiscent of Ipuwer’s warning of Egypt’s invasion by “Asiatics”. Hence, Jeremiah warns that invasion is imminent as a punishment for Israel’s departure from the Traditional faith: “I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made”. From their self-styled role as a Holy People, they had fallen from the oath of their forefathers, Jeremiah/YHWH admonishing: “The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. ‘Therefore I bring charges against you again,’ declares the LORD. ‘And I will bring charges against your children’s children’”. Jeremiah states that the priesthood has become corrupted, from whence the rot proceeds downward. “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” Specifically, all of Israel had become motivated by greed. The admonition was to stand at the “crossroads” as to what paths to follow, and choose “the ancient paths”. 

“From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD. This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it’”.

Greed, or what we now call materialism, has been the common factor of the fall of Civilisations, referred to by sages and philosophers up to our own Spengler, Brooks Adams, and Evola. The other common factor, as we have seen, has been the corruption of religion and the priestly caste, the priests and the prophets being condemned by Jeremiah.

The perennial survival of the Israelites is based on their adherence to Tradition. Prophets such as Jeremiah are the Jews’ constant warning to stay true to their “ancient paths” or destruction will result. The Jews worldwide have had, when not a King over Israel, the focus of a coming King-Messiah, Jerusalem, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Temple of Solomon (including the plans to rebuild the Temple as another focus for the future) as their world axial points, and the Mosaic Law as a universal code of living across time and place.These axial points have formed and maintained the Jews as a metaphysical race. Whatever others might think of some of their laws and beliefs their maintenance of a Traditional nexus has allowed them to supersede the cyclic laws of decay perhaps like no other people, to overcome decline and be restored, while paradoxically being the carriers of cultural pathogens among other civilisations (Marxism, Freudianism). 

What the genetics of races shows, past and present, is that miscegenation has not been a cause for the collapse of civilisations. Perhaps dysgenics might cause such a collapse, but hitherto there seems scant evidence for it. By focusing to the point of ideological obsession and dogma on the assume causes of culture-death being that of miscegenation, the actual causes are overlooked. Perhaps civilisation, theoretically, might die through dysgenics, whether racial or otherwise, but it seems that before such a dysgenic process has ever taken place the morphological laws of organic life and death have intervened as witnessed by those such as Livy, Cato, Ibn Khaldun, and in our time Spengler, Evola and Brooks Adams.

jeudi, 28 janvier 2016

¿Combatir o no combatir?


¿Combatir o no combatir?

Beatriz Calvo Villoria

Ex: http://blog.ecocentro.es

En estos días se debate en los foros, en los muros de las redes sociales, en la prensa, en el alma de muchos sobre las distintas actitudes ante la guerra, ¿combatir o no combatir?, ¿la violencia se aplaca con violencia? ¿El amor es la respuesta, la compasión de liberar de la ignorancia? Este es un tema realmente complejo, donde se entremezclan muchos niveles, que pueden fácilmente confundirse y no sé ni como me atrevo a abordarlo, sabiendo que mi ignorancia dejará fuera miles de matices, que muchos lectores añadirán internamente a su lectura, para completar si pudiéramos escribir un texto a varias voces esta aproximación sobre la guerra nuestra de cada día.

Como siempre busco refugio intelectual en las Doctrinas Tradicionales donde uno encuentra posiciones para todos los carismas humanos que pueblan este planeta, como si la luz de la Verdad, pura e incolora por su inafección se convirtiera en un arcoiris al tocar la joya de la madre tierra  -que pende como símbolo cósmico privilegiado de la manifestación- y los colores más diversos que surgen de la refracción se hubieran adaptado a distintas geografías, épocas y tipologías de hombres, reflectando la misma luz, pero adaptada, por esa misericordia que tiene la luz de iluminar a todos los seres adecuándose a su forma.

Doctrinas tradicionales cercanas como la del Judaísmo, el Cristianismo y el Islam han contemplado la posibilidad de la guerra en aras de restituir la justicia perdida, la balanza del justo equilibrio, guerras que se regían por reglas estrictas de caballerosidad espiritual, y donde el enemigo era respetado y se luchaba cuerpo a cuerpo, buscando ser honorable y valeroso en la batalla.

La guerra exterior como un simulacro de la guerra interior que todo héroe ha de librar en su corazón por la constante tensión entre lo que aparentamos ser y lo que realmente somos, por la necesidad de superarnos a nosotros mismos venciendo los miedos, los fantasmas, las heridas que nos impiden avanzar y tomar mejor posición ante la vida con el fin de “llegar a ser lo que somos”. 

Pronto esa posibilidad degeneró e inundó el mundo de sangre usando el Nombre de Dios en vano, cuando era en nombre de sus intereses mundanos por lo que forzaban la interpretación de Su mensaje. Las doctrinas Abrahámicas son ya propias de un final de un tiempo, de un ciclo en el que el hombre transita desde hace miles de años, tan alejado de las verdades espirituales que vive en una falta total de equilibrio y de paz.


Pero si estas doctrinas son propias de una edad de hierro en que el desequilibrio acentúa la ciclidad vertiginosa entre la paz y la guerra rastreemos en las doctrinas más cercanas a edades más doradas del hombre, donde éste todavía recordaba su filiación con el Origen de todo lo creado -el que da la medida exacta de lo que un ser humano es-, cómo se trataba el tema de la guerra.

Según el Mahābhārata la era de Kali (la era de la riña y la hipocresía) comenzó en la medianoche del duodécimo día de la guerra de Kurukshetra, la noche en que los dos ejércitos se negaron a detenerse al atardecer para orar y siguieron matándose en la oscuridad, hasta el amanecer.

En el Baghavadd Guîtâ, se relata con belleza descomunal el dilema del guerrero Arjuna cuando en el campo de batalla ve al ejercito enemigo formado por sus seres más queridos, muchos de los cuales se han alejado del equilibrio que da el desapego, la renuncia a los infinitos deseos; la templanza; el contento con la sencillez, hija de la Unidad; la generosidad con Dios y por lo tanto con el prójimo, que ha sido creado para gestar comunidad y amor; el discernimiento, y todas las virtudes que permiten vivir la danza de los opuestos sin quemarse, pues el fuego tiene su correspondiente agua para danzar sin incendiar el mundo.

Esos seres alejados de los principios conmueven a Arjuna y en medio del campo de batalla le entra la flaqueza, pues no quiere matar a quienes ama y clama: “¡Oh, Krishna! viendo a mis familiares preparados para la batalla, mis párpados desfallecen y se cierran; y mi boca se seca y queda amarga, temblores recorren mi cuerpo y mi cabello se eriza con horror. La desgracia recaería sobre nosotros, si matamos a estos hombres; aunque sean malos. ¿Qué gozo encontraríamos en su muerte, oh Krishna, liberador de las almas?Como tu discípulo, vengo a Ti en súplica, en Ti busco refugio; por favor, sé la luz que aparte la oscuridad de mi confusión.”

El Señor Krishna, que en este texto inspirado, además de una encarnación divina es también Brahman, la Realidad última, le instruye sobre la guerra, nos instruye sobre la realidad y la ilusión en la que vivimos los hombres dormidos:

“Tanto el que piensa que el alma mata, como el que cree que puede ser muerta, ambos son ignorantes. Ni puede matar ni puede ser muerta.El Espíritu nunca nace y nunca muere: es eterno. Nunca ha nacido, está más allá del tiempo; del que ha pasado y el que ha de venir. No muere cuando el cuerpo muere.

El Espíritu inmortal mora en todos los seres y la muerte no puede afectarlo. Reponte, pues, de tu tristeza.  Por esto, piensa en tu deber y no dudes. No hay mayor honor para un guerrero que participar en una lucha por el restablecimiento de la virtud. Y no luchar por la justicia es traicionar tu deber y tu honor; es despreciar la virtud.”

Quizá es esta una de las claves principales para abordar esa pregunta que anda en el corazón de muchos ¿debemos de combatir a esas bestias asesinas que surgen de la ignorancia de lo que somos, pontífices entre la Tierra y el Cielo?, ¿combatir ese terrorismo tanto de estado como de facciones de personas profundamente desequilibradas que vehiculan el mal con mayúsculas?

Krishna dice que no luchar por la justicia es traicionar nuestro deber, y quizá ese idealismo de que el conflicto en ciernes que occidente ha ayudado a cocinar en los fogones de este tramo de historia, se resolverá con oraciones, cuando además sólo una parte muy reducida de la población está capacitada para orar ofreciendo al mismo tiempo el sacrificio del ego que la oración demanda, para irrumpir ésta con su sobrenaturaleza en la naturaleza tiene que dejar paso a una posición más ponderada, la de nuestra realidad de almas tibias y adocenadas por la confortabilidad incapaces de convocar el milagro que necesitamos.

Y quizá esto nos obligue a reconocer que no somos Brahmanes, sacerdotes con capacidad de intermediar entre el cielo y la tierra y que quizá, si algo queda, es nuestra capacidad de acción y, quizá, de lucha recordando las enseñanzas del Señor Krishna de que ni quien mata ni es matado son reales, sino una representación relativamente real de un drama cósmico que se nos escapa y que no puede no acontecer. Y que ya está aconteciendo.

arj33783582.jakarat494.JPGPues el hombre separado, sin unidad activa la dualidad, el árbol del bien y el mal y la alternancia entre la paz y la guerra se convierte en el reflejo extremo de la danza en la que el universo manifestado reescribe en cada instante su equilibrio.

La economía de lo divino se nos escapa, una no deja de sorprenderse cuando lee las visiones insólitas de Sor Consolata en la que Jesús le dice que la Segunda Guerra Mundial no la han creado los gobiernos sino que es una posibilidad divina que permite la salvación por la heroicidad que inspira la guerra ante la constatación de que la muerte puede acontecer en el siguiente segundo; y que esa guerra salvó para el “Tiempo Real”, que es el de la eternidad, a millones de jóvenes que inoculados del veneno de la tibieza por la decadencia de sus sociedades, culturas y religiones despreciaban la preciosa y frágil vida, acumulando en un gesto de heroísmo y de grandeza todos los méritos necesarios para salirse incluso del samsara, al dar la vida por los amigos, que es el máximo acto de amor que un ser humano puede hacer sobre la tierra.

La paz es inconcebible sin la guerra, y lo contrario también es cierto. La guerra siempre seguirá siendo una posibilidad, porque nunca se podrá eliminar aquello que la provoca, a saber, la diversidad virtualmente antagonista de las aspiraciones y valores, intereses y proyectos de hombres no realizados en la Unidad, en la hermandad, por tanto, con todos los humanos y por ende con todos los seres que habitan la tierra, todos los reinos a los que también estamos diezmando por esa ignorancia.

Es como si la textura del propio universo se tejiese a golpe de ying y yan y a medida que avanza el tiempo los ciclos traen, como en nuestra propia vida, procesos de nacimiento, madurez, enfermedades, que nos obligan a combatir el mal, el envejecer y finalmente el morir. Este ciclo viejo está llegando a su muerte, de nosotros depende como combatimos su achaques, sus dolencias, sus enfermedades y sus pestilencias.

Ojalá que el amor incendiase los corazones de la gente de esta época y diésemos a parir un nuevo ciclo de posibilidad, de renacimiento, de la mano de menos sufrimiento; que pudiésemos anular nuestros egos fusionándonos en la Unidad Principial en vez de esta inversión en la que la disolución está siendo en el Caos.

Pero no podemos dejar de observar que el horror que estamos viendo ha salido de las cloacas de almas, que como diría de nuevo Krishna pertenecen al hombre de naturaleza demoníaca, “que careciendo de principios, ignora qué es lo que se debe hacer y qué es lo que no se debe hacer; su corazón está empocilgado con todo tipo de impurezas, su conducta es irreverente y miente sin reparo./ Acuciados por cientos de deseos y vanas esperanzas, se esfuerzan denodadamente por acumular riquezas y bienes.

Viven con el único propósito de satisfacer sus deseos egoístas, siendo el odio y la lujuria su único refugio./ Violentos, iracundos, lascivos y sumidos ya en la más insolente arrogancia, estos hombres malvados llegan a odiarme: Me odian en ellos mismos y en otros igualmente. / Estos seres malvados, crueles y llenos de odio, son los hombres en el estado más bajo. En el inacabable ciclo de las reencarnaciones, inexorablemente Yo condeno a estos hombres a la destrucción./

El problema principal que esta naturaleza demoníaca no solo lo representan los grupos terroristas que occidente pretende combatir, sino que son las oligarquías financieras que manejan los gobiernos de occidente las que son demoníacas en sí mismas, por lo que el el campo de batalla no está alienado como en las guerras del Baghavadd Guîtâ. El Bien en un lado, el mal en el otro. El mal está en todos los frentes.

Todo es demasiado confuso, pero si a alguno nos tocase finalmente combatir en un escenario de guerra externa, en la interna es contínuo el combate, quizá todo esto debería de matizarse con un recuerdo sobre cuál es la actitud de un guerrero del espíritu en un campo de batalla, sea interior, sea exterior: “Permanece en paz, tanto en el placer como en el dolor; en la victoria, tanto como en la derrota; tanto si ganas como si pierdes. Prepárate para la guerra con tu alma tranquila; si estás en paz, no hay pecado. Más allá del poder del fuego, de la espada, del agua y del viento, el Espíritu es eterno, inmutable, omnipresente, inamovible, y siempre uno.” Krishna.

Y quizá un último abordaje de ese recuerdo de como se lucha en las batallas de la vida podríamos hacerlo desde el concepto coránico de yihad tan mal entendido. El yihad vehicula principalmente la idea de esfuerzo y expansión en el camino de Dios.

Según los sufíes, que expresan la dimensión más espiritual del Islam, se traduce como aquel esfuerzo que se realiza en el alma de cada hombre contra la ilusión de un yo separado de lo único real, que en su individuación, en su vestirse este cuerpo nuestro de cada día va construyendo a medida que surge la idea de un yo, sistemas defensivos y/o agresivos por la indefensión que siente ante la rotundidad de la existencia, que juega con miles de escenas y escenarios cambiantes que se suceden en un aparente falta de coherencia interna, falta de sentido abrumador.

Toda esa maya, ese galimatías experiencial fortalece la idea de un yo separado y abrumado que va encerrando en la caverna del olvido al único órgano que puede iluminarle su ceguera: el corazón, primer escalón de la escalera de Jacob que sube hasta el cielo de la Pureza, de la Verdad del Padre, del Amor de la Madre, si se me permite expresarlo así.

En ese olvido que le atemoriza el hombre intenta llenar su vacío con el cumplimiento de una infinidad de deseos que le llevaran a entrar en guerra con el otro yo que también desea, a veces lo mismo, la misma esposa, el mismo reino…. Y se pierde finalmente en el laberinto de la multiciplicad sin centro, careciendo de la firme determinación necesaria para hacerse uno con el Uno.

kshadb56b069.jpgLa polisemia de la palabra yihad, comprende otros dos tipos de esfuerzo menores, además del interno que es el Esfuerzo Mayor -el único que es santo- (el esfuerzo por mejorar la calidad de vida en la sociedad, esfuerzo en el campo de batalla en defensa propia, o luchar en contra de la tiranía y la opresión). El Islam fundamentalista, que por lo tanto no es Islam, pues no es equilibrado, ha ido desposeyendo y distorsionando este sentido interior y se ha quedado con una interpretación sesgada del esfuerzo menor para justificar religiosamente sus afanes políticos y dinerarios, de nuevo el pecado (error de tiro) de usar en Nombre de Dios en vano.

Esa guerra Santa es el arquetipo, el molde del que toda guerra menor debiera de beber, de emerger cuando en la historia las circunstancia de injusticia y violencia son tan atroces que se justifica este esfuerzo menor, pero siempre con las mismas virtudes que en la Gran Guerra Santa atemporal. Y con la comprensión que nadie mata, nada muere, solo Dios es Real y Él sabe más.

Así que humildemente comparto ese alto y dificultoso ideal a cumplir en el tiempo y espacio de una guerra en el mundo, en el mundo del alma, en el mundo del mundo: no es el ego  el que debe luchar sino la conciencia continua de una justicia que desde el Cielo de los principios nos induce a actuar.

Como el ejemplo de uno de lo compañeros del Profeta del Islam, que cuando a punto de asestarle un golpe fatal al enemigo que yacía en el suelo, éste le escupió a la cara, el semblante del compañero mudó y entonces dejó la espada y liberó de su golpe al enemigo, esté preguntó conmovido porque le perdonaba la vida y él le contestó porque la santa cólera había sido sustituida por la cólera de su ego ofendido, y no había de ser ése quien ejecutase la justicia sino el Único hacedor, para lo cual el ego no puede estar en medio reaccionando a sus propios intereses.

Si seguimos viajando por las Doctrinas que alumbran el camino como mapas que debemos reactualizar a cada instante nos encontramos a un Maestro del Amor como Jesús hablando también de la guerra: «No penséis que he venido a traer paz a la tierra. No he venido a traer paz, sino espada». (San Mateo 10, 34).

Y como dice Ángel Pascual Rodrigo: “De nuevo encontramos la misma paradoja expresada en los evangelios donde “el sufrimientos por las guerras y penalidades son como “upaya” para lograr la catarsis y la paz; para lograr la victoria en las batallas espirituales: la paz del espíritu. En tiempos de paz, el orgullo y la avidez, las afrentas mutuas y las pasiones desbordadas fraguan la guerra. En tiempos de guerra, la catarsis y la lucha por el ansiado bien fraguan la paz.”

Mientras estemos en la dualidad del bien y del mal la paz seguirá a la guerra y ésta a la paz, el ying contendrá un punto blanco del yan y el yan un punto negro del ying y rodarán entretejidos creando los mil universos, sólo quien trasciende los pares de opuestos bueno-malo, positivo-negativo, placer-dolor se libera.

«Las lámparas son diferentes pero la Luz es la misma; viene del Más Allá. Si te quedas mirando a la lámpara estás perdido, pues entonces surge la diversidad y la dualidad. Fija tu vista en la Luz y te sacará de la dualidad.» Jalal al-Din Rumi.

Si no queremos combatir en la siguiente guerra, quizá la más loca de todas por las que ha transitado la humanidad sólo nos queda redoblar el yihad interior, el hombre espiritual muere a esta vida para dejar de soñar y despertar a esa Realidad que es el origen de todas las realidades, para contemplar esa Belleza de la cual toda la belleza terrenal es sólo un pálido reflejo, para lograr esa Paz que todos los hombres buscan más allá de la inevitable guerra entre los pares de opuestos…. Esa pura ilusión que se desvanece ante el rostro del Amado, el único lugar donde no hay guerra.

Beatriz Calvo Villoria

jeudi, 12 novembre 2015




Quando un indù aggredisce un unno, non vale perché è indù contro unno

Nel pantheon degli autori di riferimento del panorama comunitarista, spicca certamente il sociologo ed antropologo Louis Dumont (1911-1998): studioso al confine tra l’interesse per le scienze sociali e gli studi legati alla Tradizione, in particolare nel contesto induista ed in parte buddhista.

Perché Il Talebano ha deciso di interessarsi a questo intellettuale? Anzitutto perché il pensiero di Dumont mette in discussione l’intero impianto culturale della postmodernità, attaccando in particolare la visione progressista che vorrebbe interpretare la storia come un lungo cammino di affinamento delle possibilità umane: al contrario, la contemporaneità viene vista come solo una fra le diverse possibilità della società e, anzi, per molti versi rappresenta un’eccezione assoluta rispetto alle civiltà tradizionali. In secondo luogo la conoscenza approfondita dello spirito indiano da parte di Dumont ci consente di dare uno sguardo lontano dagli stereotipi occidentali sulla società indù, una realtà ricca di contraddizioni che però rappresenta ancora oggi uno dei pochi esempi rimasti di civiltà in cui ancora vivono le vestigia della tradizione indoeuropea.

Louis-Dumont_7567.jpegDumont, nato a Salonicco nel 1911, si trasfersce successivamente in Francia, dove negli anni giovanili militerà nel Partito Comunista Francese, occupandosi delle varie sollecitazioni innovatrici della vivace realtà politica parigina. Presto si interessa di etnologia al punto di frequentare i corsi di Marcel Mauss al College de France, contro la volontà dei suoi genitori che lo avrebbero voluto ingegnere. Arruolato nell’esercito francese durante il secondo conflitto mondiale e finito prigioniero in un campo di detenzione tedesco, Dumont nel dopoguerra continua ad approfondire i suoi studi. Nel 1949 fa il suo primo viaggio in India, dove tornerà periodicamente per tutto il corso della sua vita. A partire dal confronto con l’India, comincia a sviluppare la dicotomia fondamentale tra l’Homo Aequalis, tipico dell’Occidente moderno, e l’Homo Hierarchicus. Proprio attorno a questa tematica, Dumont struttura alcuni dei suoi saggi più importanti e riconosciuti (si segnalano in particolare “La civiltà indiana e noi” del 1964 e “Homo Hierarchicus, saggio sul sistema delle caste” del 1966). Svincolando la sua analisi dal pregiudizio secondo il quale la società individualistica rappresenterebbe l’apice di un progresso (da leggere in contrapposizione alla barbarie di un sistema arcaico come quello delle caste), Dumont concentra la sua attenzione su uno dei testi più importanti della tradizione induista: il Sanathana Dharma.

Sarebbe veramente impossibile descrivere in un articolo la potenza del concetto di Dharma, ma approssimando in poche righe per darne un’idea al profano, qui basti sapere che con Dharma si intende l’equilibrio cosmico ispirato alle verità contenute nei Veda, un ordine trascendente che, se rispettato, è garante del Bene. La civiltà indiana ha alimentato per secoli la sua spiritualità di questa sacra legge universale, stratificando attorno ad essa una comunità organica fatta di ruoli e responsabilità, dal cui rispetto è sempre dipeso l’equilibrio della società. In questa totalità ognuno trova un posto correlato alla sua natura: il vertice della gerarchia è rappresentato dai Brahamini, una tipologia umana che vuole dedicare la sua esistenza alla ricerca del vero e del divino, viene poi la casta dei guerrieri (a cui apparteneva lo stesso Gautama Buddha) ovvero i guardiani della comunità, infine troviamo i commercianti. All’interno di questa piramide sociale che a noi occidentali ricorda così da vicino – non casualmente – la Repubblica platonica, è importante sottolineare come ad ogni ruolo corrisponda un determinato carico di responsabilità/doveri: se è vero che il brahamino riveste una posizione di grande prestigio e rispetto da parte delle altre caste, è anche vero che egli sottopone la sua intera esistenza al rispetto di una disciplina rigidissima che governa con codici di comportamento ogni aspetto della sua vita. Al contrario alla base della piramide incontriamo ruoli sicuramente più umili, ma – al di là del rispetto dello spirito comunitario – maggiore libertà di azione individuale.

A questo Homo Hierarchicus Dumont contrappone l’Homo Aequalis, punto di arrivo di un percorso le cui radici affondano forse nella rottura del cristianesimo col mondo antico; uno strappo che si rinsaldò almeno parzialmente col medioevo, ma da cui successivamente si sviluppò l’eresia protestante e tutto ciò che ne è derivato. Facendo riferimento agli studi di Karl Polany, Dumont analizza il percorso di progressivo svincolamento della sfera economica da quella comunitaria, fino alla trasformazione in realtà autoreferenziale ed autonoma tipica della modernità. In questo senso il pensiero espresso da Adam Smith nel suo saggio sulla “Ricerca sulla natura e cause della ricchezza delle nazioni” è forse l’esempio più sintetico della visione propria alla nascente scienza economica: questa nuova scienza si traduce nell’esaltazione del comportamento egoistico dell’individuo, un agire cieco nei riguardi del prossimo e senza riguardi per le ripercussioni sociali, ma che – nel sistema di Smith – è garante di un equilibrio provvidenziale in cui i vizi privati diventano sostanzialmente benefici pubblici.

homo70286492FS.gifSi comprende bene come un tale individualismo si ponga agli antipodi con la concezione olistica/tradizionale: questo non vuol banalmente significare che in passato la totalità delle persone fosse altruista, ma che la comunità viveva coesa attorno a dei valori universalmente riconosciuti. Nell’induismo, per esempio, non esiste l’idea che per essere felici bisogna gratificare il proprio ego, ma vige, piuttosto, il pensiero per cui ognuno debba scoprire il ruolo assegnatogli dal destino e vivere in armonia con esso e ciò che si ha intorno: ciò che gratifica veramente l’esistenza della persona è insomma trovare il proprio posto all’interno della comunità, non emanciparsi da essa. L’individuo induista si concepisce infatti come parte del cosmo e non come un atomo portatore di valori naturali, privo di interdipendenza. Lo stesso asceta che si allontana dalla società non lo fa in nome di un ripiegamento individualista: si tratta piuttosto dell’aspirazione ad una realizzazione metafisico-cosmica superiore a quella basata su una vita comunitaria, ma in cui trionfa sempre lo stesso spirito olistico (non si mette in discussione il valore della comunità in quanto tale), distinto sia dall’individualismo extramondano sia da quello mondano.

Louis Dumont è stato un grande studioso, capace di mostrare come l’Occidente contemporaneo non sia il culmine dell’evoluzione umana, quanto, invece, un’anomalia rispetto alle altre società. Per quanto esso voglia porsi come civiltà universale, in realtà, il suo sapere è “provinciale” ed incapace di comprendere altri orizzonti. Nel rapporto con l’India vediamo, per esempio, due tipi di reazione: da un lato c’è chi è vittima di un complesso di superiorità e non perde occasione di far notare quanta strada la barbara società indiana debba ancora fare sulla grande scala del progresso, di cui noi naturalmente rappresentiamo l’apice; dall’altro osserviamo improbabili fascinazioni new age in cui la grande sapienza indiana si svilisce in una serie di letture maldigerite e pallide imitazioni rituali. La tradizione indù invece, seppur sbiadita, rappresenta di fatto ancora oggi un sistema alternativo in cui si possono udire gli echi di un passato che infondo appartiene a tutte le civiltà indoeuropee, compresa la nostra.

Daniele Frisio

jeudi, 22 octobre 2015

Las raíces religiosas del pacifismo


Las raíces religiosas del pacifismo

por Manuel Fernández Espinosa

Ex: http://culturatransversal.wordpress.com

La insustancialidad del pacifismo rebañego

El pacifismo viene definido por el diccionario de la RAE como: “Conjunto de doctrinas encaminadas a mantener la paz entre las naciones”. Pero esas doctrinas de las que se nutre el pacifismo son muy variadas y es por ello que me propongo hacer una inspección sobre este asunto.

Aunque se pueden traer a colación muchos antecedentes del pacifismo diremos que el pacifismo tiene una médula religiosa, como vamos a tener ocasión de ver abajo. Sin embargo, en un occidente desacralizado, el pacifismo que se estila prescinde de esta dimensión religiosa, ofreciéndose una versión apta para todos los públicos, sin que comporte mayor compromiso que la escenificación más o menos patética de un deseo de paz evanescente.

A falta de un compromiso real que sí puede encontrarse de forma plena en lo religioso hasta el “heroísmo pacifista” (sea la religión que sea), el “pacifismo” occidentalista no deja de ser una ideología que sirve como instrumento de dominio de masas. Su funcionalidad está desnaturalizada y no deja de ser un recurso que el poder económico y político emplea a su conveniencia. Y el mecanismo que este “pacifismo rebañego” sigue es tan simple como lo podemos ver en no pocas de sus manifestaciones de la historia más reciente.

Image: Gandhi en Italie dans les années 20, conversant avec des jeunes garçons du mouvement "Balilla"

BalillaGandhi1931-30b19.jpgUn suceso trágico de índole bélica impacta en la opinión pública, mediante los medios de intoxicación de masas (llamarle “medios de comunicación” sería convertirse en cómplices de las conspiraciones del poder), inmediatamente se desencadena un efecto sobre las masas, recogiéndose lo que se había calculado recoger: lo mismo la adhesión masiva a una intervención militar que la recepción de “refugiados”. El pacifismo fue empleado magistralmente por el comunismo soviético que, durante la Guerra Fría, lo exportó a sus sucursales en todos los países que permanecían bajo la férula estadounidense: se minaba así la combatividad de la opinión pública de los países capitalistas y se neutralizaba cualquier esfuerzo bélico procedente de los gobiernos. Dábase el caso paradójico de que, mientras en occidente los comunistas reclamaban la “paz”, los países comunistas seguían rearmándose. La lección ha sido aprendida por las demás potencias, independientemente de su signo político.

El pacifismo de las religiones de extremo oriente

Prevalece una enorme ignorancia en cuanto a las religiones y no parece que nadie quiera remediarla. Es por ello que se tiende a generalizaciones totalmente equivocadas. Se ha llegado a admitir una clasificación de las religiones en:

Religiones violentas.

Religiones pacifistas.

Entre las religiones violentas, el Islam y el Cristianismo cargan con la peor de las famas: el Islam por su “yihad” y el Cristianismo por sus “Cruzadas” de antaño. Y esto se hace con el máximo desdén intelectual hacia la complejidad que podemos hallar tanto en el Islam (sunnitas y chiítas) como en el cristianismo (protestantes, ortodoxos y católicos). Por ser enormente problemático, este tema lo dejamos a un lado, para centrarnos en el “pacifismo religioso” que es el que nutre al “pacifismo rebañego”. Éste, el rebañego, tiene una imagen parcial de la realidad de las religiones consideradas como “pacifistas”, las de Extremo Oriente y, como es de esperar, no actúa en consecuencia como sí que actuaron los grandes ejemplos del “pacifismo religioso”, el mismo ejemplo que -sin “religión” y degradado a icono o eslogan publicitario- reclama para sí.

Las religiones del Extremo Oriente son conceptuadas como “pacifistas”, lo que muestra el abrumador desconocimiento que el occidental tiene de las mismas.

He dicho más arriba que el pacifismo, en efecto, es de índole religiosa. Puede verse en sus dos figuras mundialmente más representativas: Lev Tolstoi y Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi ha sido convertido en un icono del pacifismo rebañego, prescindiéndose de sus motivaciones y, por supuesto, sin animar a nadie a reproducir el ejemplo de su determinación.


Gandhi y la “Ahimsa”

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) empleó el pacifismo por razones estrictamente religiosas, sin dejar por ello de perseguir una finalidad política: luchar incruentamente por expulsar a Gran Bretaña de la India y alcanzar la independencia de su nación. Y este pacifismo gandhiano nunca fue obstáculo para que Gandhi admirara a Benito Mussolini y al fascismo italiano (algo que ignora la mayoría de pacifistas de rebaño). Es cierto que Tolstoi ejerció una formidable influencia sobre el pensamiento de Gandhi, pero la inspiración de Gandhi no hay que encontrarla en el “El Reino de Dios está en Vosotros” de Tolstoi, sino en el concepto religioso y filosófico de la tradición india: la “Ahimsa”. Y aquí debemos aclarar un poco la procedencia de este término sánscrito.

La “Ahimsa” suele traducirse como “no-violencia”, pero sería más apropiado traducirlo como “no hacer daño”. Puede encontrarse en los textos de la “Upanishads”, pero la “Ahimsa” fue asimilada por algunas modalidades del hinduísmo, del budismo y del jainismo. Sin embargo, es tal el desconocimiento de las diversas tradiciones de Extremo Oriente que se considera que todo el hinduísmo, todo el budismo y todo el jainismo la acepta con el mismo rigor. Eso ha dado una imagen de “benevolencia” (muy buen rollo) a estas religiones que está muy lejos de hacerles justicia.

Ahimsa en el hinduísmo

Estas tres religiones son tan antiguas como para haberse ido complicando en su despliegue y su complejidad es más de la que puede sospechar el necio occidental, ese que se apresura a identificar hinduísmo y budismo con la “no-violencia”.

El hinduísmo fue el suelo sobre el que surgieron tanto el budismo como el jainismo. Pero en el hinduísmo la “Ahimsa” no puede entenderse como un concepto permanente en el tiempo ni tampoco generalizado socialmente, dado que la doctrina de las “varnas” (las castas) establece con claridad meridiana que la sociedad hindú se halla estratificada en cuatro órdenes sociales con obligaciones y derechos muy distintos: los brahmanes, los ksatryas (guerreros), los vaisyas (mercaderes) y los siervos (sudras). Atendiendo a la segunda de las castas hindúes vemos que esta religión antiquísima admite la función militar como algo necesario para la defensa de la sociedad. A lo largo de su historia, el hinduísmo ha manifestado que, si bien es cierto que existe una tendencia por el “no hacer daño”, la violencia es algo necesario. Lo vemos clamorosamente en el “Bhagavad Gita” (perteneciente al Mahabharata, aproximadamente siglo III a. C.) En el “Bhagavad Gita”, Krisna (avatar de Visnú) le dice a Arjuna (que duda si combatir a sus parientes):

“¿De dónde este decaimiento
te ha invadido en el riesgo,
impropio de un noble, que aleja del cielo,
que no trae gloria, oh Arjuna?

No vayas a caer en cobardía, hijo de Prtha.
Es algo que no es propio de ti.
La vil debilidad del corazón
arrojando lejos, yérguete, Destructor de enemigos”.

Krisna termina convenciendo a Arjuna de la necesidad de entrar en batalla y aniquilar físicamente a sus adversarios mediante la guerra, en la persuasión de que los muertos que siembre sobre el campo de batalla, bien mirado por encima del mundo de las apariencias, no mueren, puesto que se reencarnarán.

Según el cómputo de las edades que rigen para el hinduísmo, estamos (en nuestros presentes días) en el llamado “Kali Yuga” (la edad oscura) en que abunda la contienda, la ignorancia, la irreligión y el vicio y se vaticina en el hinduísmo que para dar fin al colmo de este exceso del mal vendrá otro avatar de Visnú, Kalki, que destruirá a los demonios para abrir la siguiente edad llamada “Satya Yuga”. Es interesante reparar en el asombroso parecido que muestra la iconografía del Kalki hindú con nuestro Santiago Matamoros.



Ahimsa en el budismo

El budismo que goza en occidente de tantas simpatías y una proyección considerable no puede tampoco decirse que sea pacifista en bloque. Si bien es cierto que la “Ahimsa” es el primero de los diez preceptos y el primer elemento de la disciplina moral, sería imposible comprender el fenómeno de los samuráis japoneses (budistas) si la “Ahimsa” fuese un precepto practicado en toda su radicalidad. Esto se debe al mismo despliegue del budismo que tan diversos frutos ha dado dependiendo del terreno sobre el que ha florecido, hasta tal punto que no puede decirse que el budismo zen o el budismo tibetano sean lo mismo, por mucho que participen de una base común. La tendencia occidental de considerar el budismo como algo “puro” es un error de enfoque. El budismo tuvo sus propios sincretismos allí donde aterrizó, como ocurrió con el Bön (chamanismo prebudista) tibetano y el shintoísmo japonés.

Ahimsa en el jainismo

Si hinduísmo y budismo son bastante desconocidos en occidente (ver una fotografía del Dalai Lama no es comprender el budismo tibetano, p. ej.), mucho más se ignora el jainismo, cuyo fundador Mahavira (llamado Jina, el Conquistador) fue contemporáneo de Buda. Los jainas están divididos desde el año 79 d. C. en “svetambaras” (tradición más relajada) y los “dighambaras” ´(los más estrictos) que practican el nudismo. Los jainas tienen, a modo de mandamientos, los Grandes Votos (mahavratas) para los religiosos y los Pequeños Votos (anuvratas) para los laicos y aquí la “Ahimsa” se estipula para ambos.

Gandhi encontró en su propia tradición la inspiración para su “Ahimsa”, elemento fundamental del “pacifismo” religioso de Extremo Oriente, pero -como podemos ver- se trata de una de las muchas vías que se proponen en el abigarrado y complejo mundo donde tienen arraigo aquellas religiones. Y, lejos de ser una actitud ampliamente generalizada, el pacifismo religioso es una vía muy particular, abrazada por algunos singulares personajes, no por la sociedad en su conjunto; lo que nunca se les ha ocurrido a los hindúes y budistas es practicar a rajatabla el “pacifisimo religioso”, pues ello, ante la amenaza de un enemigo violento, significaría el exterminio de sus feligresías.


El pacifismo puede dividirse, a nuestro juicio, en dos grandes clases:

-El Pacifismo religioso que nos merece todo el respeto en sus grandes figuras, algunas veces heroicas, pero que es un fenómeno bastante extraño incluso en las religiones que son consideradas como sustancialmente “pacifistas”.

-El Pacifismo rebañego que no es más que la occidentalización del pacifismo religioso, desustanciado y convertido en ideología que sirve a intereses políticos, sobre todo para dominar y debilitar a las masas. Y que no nos merece ningún respeto, como no nos lo merece cualquier cosa que ha dado esa perversión de la Cristiandad que se llama “occidente”.

Fuente: Raigambre

mercredi, 17 juin 2015

René Guénon et Alain Daniélou


René Guénon et Alain Daniélou

par Jean-Louis Gabin

Ex: http://bouddhanar.blogspot.be

« Dans le monde moderne où les voies de la transmission normale de la connaissance ésotérique sont fermées pour la plupart, les livres jouent un rôle très différent de celui qu'ils jouaient dans des circonstances normales, de sorte que certains enseignements jusque là préservés sous forme orale se mirent à circuler sous forme écrite, constituant ainsi véhicules d'enseignement et de guidance pour ceux qui se trouvent privés de tous les autres moyens. Cette manifestation compense la disparition des voies traditionnelles de transmission de la connaissance, au moins dans son aspect théorique, sans que cela implique que cette situation elle-même puisse entraîner la manifestation de l'intégralité de la connaissance traditionnelle dans les livres sous une forme facilement accessible à tous. » 
Seyyed Hossein Nasr


Daniélou a témoigné plusieurs fois de l'importance qu'avait représentée pour lui la lecture de l'Introduction générale aux doctrines hindoues de Guénon. Il en traduisit des passages en hindi dans les années 40, car les milieux traditionnels dans lesquels il avait été accueilli à Bénarès étaient intéressés par la façon dont Guénon présentait le Sanâtana Dharma et la « crise du monde moderne ».

Dans le Dossier H consacré à Guénon, Daniélou aborde la question de l'accès à l'intégralité du Sanâtana Dharma, à propos du Védisme. Le Védisme, précise Daniélou, est « censé représenter la tradition primordiale d'un point de vue, disons, officiel. Mais, du point de vue ésotérique, il apparaît comme une religion qui en est devenue, à un certain moment, le véhicule ». Daniélou s'étonne que Guénon n'ait pas eu accès au Shivaïsme, car les plus hauts degrés de l'initiation ésotérique, transmis « presque exclusivement par les Sannyasis, sont shivaïtes. Ils sont en dehors du Brahmanisme, comme d'ailleurs de toute religion, et représentent en fait ce que Guénon appelle la Tradition primordiale ». Mais Daniélou considère que l'Introduction aux doctrines hindoues est le premier ouvrage à avoir tracé un tableau authentique du Sanâtana Dharma, « cette conception d'une révélation première transmise à travers les âges par des initiés, telle qu'elle apparaît dans l'hindouisme mais dont les traces doivent inévitablement se retrouver, sous une forme plus ou moins cachée, dans toutes les civilisations puisqu'elles sont la raison d'être de l'homme ». Comme souvent avec Daniélou, tout est dit en très peu de lignes ; notamment le fait que cette révélation première affleure dans toute société humaine, mais que sa signification intégrale n'est transmise que par des voies initiatiques, lesquelles ne sont pas faciles d'accès, ne sont pas destinées à tout le monde et, pour commencer, ne sont pas présentes partout. Afin d'éviter autant que se peut toute méprise, Daniélou reprend, dans le même texte, la question de l'origine transcendante, supra-humaine dirait Guénon, du Sanâtana Dharma :
« La première révélation de ce que l'homme doit connaître des lois qui régissent l'Univers et des destinées des êtres vivants a été donnée à des Rishis (Voyants), des sages des premiers âges. Leur enseignement a été ensuite transmis par des initiés, des hommes jugés dignes d'assurer la continuité de cette fonction essentielle, à travers toutes les mutations, les alternances de décadence et de progrès, les changements de religion, de langue, de société. Ceci n'exclut pas que des révélations ultérieures viennent parfois rafraîchir la mémoire des représentants de la Tradition ».
danielou-200po.jpgSur ces questions, alors que, sur d'autres points, Daniélou émet des réserves sur telle ou telle attitude, ou sur tel écrit de Guénon, l'accord entre les 2 auteurs est total, comme en témoigne cet extrait d'une lettre de R. Guénon à A. Daniélou, en date du 27 août 1947 :
« Je ne puis laisser dire que je suis “converti à l'Islam” car cette façon de présenter les choses est complètement fausse ; quiconque a conscience de l'unité essentielle des traditions est par là même inconvertissable à quoi que ce soit, et il est même le seul qui le soit ; mais on peut “s'installer”, s'il est permis de s’exprimer ainsi, dans telle ou telle tradition suivant les circonstances, et surtout pour des raisons d'ordre initiatique. J'ajoute à ce propos que mes liens avec les organisations ésotériques islamiques ne sont pas quelque chose de plus ou moins récent comme certains semblent le croire ; en fait ils datent de bien près de 40 ans... ».
Accord total, aussi, sur ce que Guénon nomme, dans Le Règne de la Quantité, la pseudo-initiation et la contre-initiation. Daniélou écrit, toujours dans ce témoignage du Dossier H : « Guénon, qui avait pris contact avec les diverses organisations initiatiques, les Rose-Croix, les Francs-maçons, les Théosophes, etc., en avait aussitôt avec justesse décelé les artifices. Certains de ces ouvrages, tels que Le Théosophisme, histoire d'une pseudo-religion, et L'Erreur spirite en sont une condamnation très bien documentée ». Daniélou ne cite pas Le Règne de la Quantité qui me semble, personnellement, un ouvrage de tout premier plan pour la quête du Sanâtana Dharma, du moins pour nous aujourd'hui, en Europe, qui cherchons à travers les livres et n'avons pas bénéficié d'un enseignement régulier dans une instance traditionnelle, comme ce fut le cas pour les 2 auteurs dont nous parlons. Le Règne de la Quantité consacre plusieurs chapitres aux organisations syncrétiques et aux sectes, permettant de mieux identifier les culs-de-sac et les pièges de l'entreprise anti-traditionnelle multiforme qui marque la dernière période du Kali Yuga.
Un vrai trousseau de clefs pour aujourd'hui que Le Règne de la Quantité et les Signesdes Temps, d'autant plus stupéfiant qu'il fut publié pur la première fois en 1946. Je me contenterai d'une brève citation, en rapport avec ce que disait Coomaraswamy tout à l'heure des chemins où se sont perdus tant d'artistes et de “poètes maudits”, ces martyrs météoriques de la modernité :
« Certains recherchent avant tout de prétendus “pouvoirs”, c'est à dire, en somme, sous une forme ou une autre, la production de phénomènes plus ou moins extraordinaires (..). Bien entendu, il ne s'agit aucunement ici de nier la réalité des “phénomènes” (..) ils ne sont même que trop réels, pourrions-nous dire, et ils n'en sont que plus dangereux (..). En général, l’être qui s'attache à ces choses devient ensuite incapable de s'en affranchir et d'aller au-delà, et il est irrémédiablement dévié (...). Il peut y avoir là une sorte de développement “à rebours” qui (...) éloigne toujours davantage de la réalisation spirituelle jusqu'à ce que l'être soit définitivement égaré dans ces prolongements inférieurs (…) par lesquels il ne peut qu'entrer en contact avec “l'infra-humain” ».
Il y a ainsi dans Le Règne de la Quantité des mises en garde nombreuses et détaillées contre l'action des organisations pseudo-traditionnelles, qui d'ailleurs se haïssent entre elles avec une virulence que Guénon compare aux haines qu'on observe entre des chapelles politiques rivales. J'emploie d'ailleurs à dessein l'expression “chapelle politique”, parce qu'à mes yeux, j'y reviendrai dans un instant, la politique et “l'actualité”, si importantes dans la vie de nos contemporains, me semblent fonctionner comme de véritables substituts du religieux. Daniélou, lui aussi, met en garde expressément contre toutes les formes d'enrôlement, particulièrement contre les pièges dans lesquels tombent en Inde les Occidentaux trop crédules, « parfois attirés par des sectes prétendues initiatiques ou enrôlés par des aventuriers pseudo-mystiques, en particulier certains Indiens qui diffusent un Védanta très simplifié et exploitent leur crédulité ». Il faut remarquer qu'A. Daniélou a cru nécessaire de revenir sur ces questions à la fin de sa vie, lors de la réédition du Chemin du labyrinthe, comme si les illustrations terrifiantes contenues dans « Le Maître des Loups » et « Le bétail des dieux » ne suffisaient pas à dessiller nos yeux occidentaux, imbus de positivisme et du sentiment de supériorité que décerne si prodigalement l'enseignement massifié de nos Universités. On pourra se reporter en particulier à ce que Daniélou écrit à propos de « Wolfgang », qui « confondit, comme beaucoup, la fumée du haschich et la spiritualité indienne » et se laissa entraîner par un de ces « ascètes hirsutes qui, par des pratiques liées au yoga, acquièrent d'étranges pouvoirs qui vont de la lévitation à l'hypnotisme, en passant par la vision à distance, l'insensibilité à la chaleur et au froid, l'envoûtement, l'asservissement de leurs victimes, etc. J'ai toujours eu très peur de ces êtres étranges dont le regard fulgurant fait aussitôt vaciller votre raison et votre volonté, et dont il vaut mieux s'éloigner sans délai ». On peut aussi faire son profit, dans ces ultimes pages d'A. Daniélou, des précisions qu'il apporte au sujet de prétendues activités politiques qu'il aurait eues en Inde, ou de sympathies politiques qui auraient été les siennes en Occident. On ne voit pas très bien pour quelle raison A. Daniélou, qui n'a jamais été effrayé d'assumer son anticonformisme, aurait dissimulé au soir de sa vie des appartenances ou des sympathies, dans une biographie qui est à mille lieues du nombrilisme mais dont la sincérité ne fait aucun doute. Contrairement à Julius Evola, mais proche encore sur ce terrain de Guénon, Daniélou s'est toujours tenu volontairement à l'écart de la politique. Le dernier texte du Chemin du labyrinthes'intitule symboliquement « le choix du libre arbitre » :
« Dans la société orthodoxe où je vivais (pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, à Bénarès) s'affrontaient subtilement et se mêlaient une orthodoxie védique sympathisant avec les théories aryennes du nazisme et une tradition shivaï'te profondément opposée aux aryens. Swamy Karpâtrî, dont je suivais fidèlement les enseignements, avait créé un mouvement culturel, le Dharma Sangh (association pour la défense des valeurs morales et religieuses) afin d'opérer un retour aux valeurs de la culture et de la société traditionnelle. Il critiquait les idées socialistes représentées par le Congrès national de Gandhi et Nehru mais aussi les réformateurs pseudo-traditionnels comme Aurobindo ou Tagore, qui prétendaient revenir à une tradition idéalisée, mais étaient très imbus d'idées occidentales. Par ailleurs, Karpâtrî était très hostile aux idées du Rashtrya Svayam Sevak Sangh (association pour la défense des valeurs nationales) qui préconisait des méthodes inspirées du fascisme dans la lutte contre le Congrès et les idées modernistes (...). De par mon opposition à la domination anglaise et mon attachement à l'Inde, j'avais des rapports très proches avec les dirigeants du mouvement indépendantiste, avec Nehru et sa famille et aussi avec la célèbre poétesse Sarojini Naïdu, tous membres influents du Congrès (…). À aucun moment et en aucune façon je n'ai voulu me mêler des mouvements politiques, ni d'un côté ni de l'autre ».


On ne saurait être plus net, surtout en 1992, à l'ultime page de son autobiographie. Et je voudrais à présent citer presque intégralement la fin de ce « choix du libre arbitre », non par une sorte de culte, que Daniélou eût été le premier à tourner vertement en ridicule, mais parce qu'il serait vain de vouloir rivaliser avec lui dans la concision, la précision du détail, et l'adéquation avec ce thème de la recherche du Sanâtana Dharma que j'ai essayé d'aborder aujourd'hui :
« Je n'ai jamais voulu m'affilier à aucune secte religieuse ou croyance, jamais voulu perdre mon libre arbitre. Mais, frondeur de nature, j'ai toujours tendance à m'opposer à l'idéologie dominante, à contrecarrer ce que les gens prennent pour des vérités établies, à toujours remarquer que l'enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions, à penser que la remise en question de toute affirmation est le seul moyen de faire évoluer la connaissance. La discussion est un élément de recherche et non point d'assertion ».
C'est bien dans le domaine des prétendus “débats” politiques que la discussion est vraiment stérile, la règle du jeu consistant à ne pas écouter l'adversaire, à l'empêcher de parler, les moyens les plus malhonnêtes n’étant pas les moins indiqués. Dans notre société, où il semble que la parole soit avant tout un pouvoir qui se nourrit de lui-même, les marionnettes-héros de la télévision rivalisent avec celles de la politique dans une sorte de clôture narcissique sur le vide. Penser la discussion comme un élément de recherche légitime à l'époque où le dogme du politiquement correct la considère comme un indice d'éducation inconvenante, ne peut qu'attirer des représailles de la part des tenants de la langue de bois. Cela n'a pas manqué pour A. Daniélou, à propos de qui on affirme dur comme fer dans les officines indianistes et les parkings de méditation des ashrams qu'il fut au minimum, sinon le fondateur, du moins l'idéologue du RSS qu'il citait tout à l'heure. Mais continuons à lui laisser la parole :
« Le paradoxe, la remise en question des évidences qui semblent les mieux établies est un exercice salutaire, le seul capable défaire avancer les choses et de ne point rester figé sur des dogmes. Ce qui m'a fait souvent attribuer une appartenance à des théories auxquelles je ne souscris en aucune façon. La liberté d'esprit a difficilement sa place dans une société infectée par des conflits et des appartenances idéologiques également arbitraires ».
Il me semble que le propos ne peut pas être plus clair au sujet des prétendus engagements politiques d'A. Daniélou. À propos du rôle de gourou qu'il s'est toujours refusé à tenir, il n'est pas indifférent que plus de la moitié du dernier paragraphe du Chemin du labyrinthe, dans un passage qui suit immédiatement celui que nous venons de lire, lui soit consacré : 
« Je ne suis pas prophète, d'ailleurs ma barbe se refuse à pousser. Mon âge fait que les gens attendent de moi des directives ou des oracles, ce à quoi je me refuse ; je ne suis pas un guru. Je continue toujours à chercher à comprendre le mystère du monde et, pour cela, je suis prêt, chaque jour, à tout recommencer, à réexaminer mes convictions, à rejeter toute croyance, à m'avancer seulement dans la direction du savoir qui est le contraire de la foi. Ma méfiance reste entière vis-à-vis de tout rite ou cérémonie qui m'apparaît comme du théâtre dès qu'il y a des témoins. Je me refuse à faire une puja pour des dévots toujours fanatiques (nous dirions aujourd'hui des “fans”) ».
On a trop peu souvent l'occasion de saluer la probité intellectuelle pour ne pas être heureux que, dans des temps comme les nôtres, il reste de ces esprits présentant ce curieux mélange de goût du paradoxe, de liberté, de souveraineté, en même temps que d'une forme d'humilité devant la connaissance, et de distance un peu moqueuse vis-à-vis de ce qui occupe tant d'occidentaux depuis Descartes : leur propre ego. Mais il ne faut pas croire que cette légèreté de bonne compagnie ait été synonyme de superficialité ou de scepticisme. Daniélou nous le rappelle dans la péroraison de son texte que je vais à présent citer jusqu'à la fin, lui laissant d'une certaine façon le dernier mot avant de conclure :
« La seule valeur que je ne remets jamais en question est celle des enseignements que j’ai reçus de l'hindouisme shivaïte qui refuse tout dogmatisme, car je n'ai trouvé aucune forme de pensée qui soit allée aussi loin, aussi clairement, avec une telle profondeur et une telle intelligence, dans la compréhension du divin et des structures du monde. Aucune forme de pensée n'approche de près ou de loin cette merveilleuse recherche qui nous vient du fond des âges. Aucune des idéologies, aucune des théories qui divisent le monde moderne ne me semble mériter que je m'y associe, que j'en prenne la défense. Elles me paraissent puériles, quand elles ne sont pas simplement aberrantes ».
Le chemin pour retrouver une sagesse oubliée n'est pas toujours facile à suivre, mais il est à présent bien tracé.
« Dans le monde moderne où les voies de la transmission normale de la connaissance ésotérique sont fermées pour la plupart, les livres jouent un rôle très différent de celui qu'ils jouaient dans des circonstances normales, de sorte que certains enseignements jusque là préservés sous forme orale se mirent à circuler sous forme écrite, constituant ainsi véhicules d'enseignement et de guidance pour ceux qui se trouvent privés de tous les autres moyens. Cette manifestation compense la disparition des voies traditionnelles de transmission de la connaissance, au moins dans son aspect théorique, sans que cela implique que cette situation elle-même puisse entraîner la manifestation de l'intégralité de la connaissance traditionnelle dans les livres sous une forme facilement accessible à tous ».
Pour l'approche intellectuelle de cette sagesse, les langues occidentales, requalifiées métaphysiquement, en quelque sorte, par tous ces auteurs extrêmement attentifs à la précision du vocabulaire, disposent à présent d'un grand nombre de textes fondamentaux, aisément accessibles. S'agissant du désir de “pratiques”, en revanche, on peut noter les mises en garde répétées de tous ces auteurs. On a oublié dans notre monde profane combien toutes les sociétés traditionnelles étaient attentives aux questions de purification, de qualification, aux instants favorables et défavorables, aux précautions pour neutraliser les forces dangereuses, grâce à des “techniques de pointe”, si l'on ose dire, dont l'origine et l'inspiration, analysées comme “primitives” par les ethnologues positivistes, sont toujours présentées comme “non-humaines”.
La recherche du savoir est toujours légitime, mais l'utilisation de ce savoir pour jouir d'un pouvoir est un obstacle, une disqualification dans cette sorte de jeu de l'oie qui consiste à retrouver patiemment le chemin du divin. Et quant à l'incorporation effective dans une tradition régulière, ce qui peut être également une aspiration légitime, les auteurs traditionnels sont encore unanimes : la première règle consiste à accepter de devenir ce que l'on est, accepter sa naissance hic et nunc, car si l'esprit souffle où il veut, on sait qu'invariablement, du point de vue initiatique, « c'est en réalité la voie qui choisit l'homme et non l'homme qui choisit la voie ».
Il semble qu'au fur et à mesure que le monde moderne descend plus bas dans l'inharmonie et l'empoisonnement de la planète, des lumières apparaissent, différentes comme sont différentes les voies. Les auteurs traditionnels du XXe siècle ont en commun des connaissances immenses et des clés pour l'interprétation des grands symboles qui soudain se répondent et correspondent dans une unité éclatante — et non plus ténébreuse comme chez Baudelaire. Ils ont en même temps des styles très différents et même des formulations qui pourraient sembler contradictoires : Nasr se réfère au Dieu de l'Islam et du Christianisme, alors que le mot “Dieu” est beaucoup moins prononcé dans l'œuvre de Guénon ; Coomaraswamy traduit “Deva” par “Anges”, alors que Daniélou, qui a consacré un ouvrage entier à la réhabilitation intellectuelle du polythéisme, parle évidemment de Vishnou et de Shiva comme d'autant de Dieux ou d'aspects du divin.
Nous avons donc de quoi lire, relire, débrouiller l'écheveau. La floraison d'ouvrages traditionnels, dont l'authenticité ne fait aucun doute et qui s'épanouissent depuis le début du XXe siècle en Occident, compense jusqu'à un certain point l'absence à peu près certaine de voie initiatique dans le Catholicisme, l'absence de cultes maintenus vivants autour des Déesses et des Dieux gréco-romains. Rien ne nous empêche de vénérer les Principes organisateurs de l'harmonie du monde, de bâtir des enclaves d'harmonie, modestes mais incommensurables, d'attendre la lumière au fond de notre cœur.
Jean-Louis Gabin, Pondichéry, Shivaratri 2001. 
Source : Antaios, revue d'études polythéistes fondée en 1959 par Mircea Eliade et Ernst Jünger.

vendredi, 22 mai 2015

A Vedic Examination of Abrahamism


A Vedic Examination of Abrahamism

The following article is from chapter 3 of the groundbreaking new work The Dharma Manifesto“, by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya.

By Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya

The Abrahamic worldview is today represented by five closely aligned ideological tendencies: 1) Judaism, 2) Pauline Christianity, 3) Islam, 4) Marxism, and to a less significant extent 5) the Baha’i movement. Of these Abrahamic tendencies, Marxism is the only self-stated atheistic one, the others being religious in nature. The greatest real-world challenge and exact philosophical juxtaposition to the entire Dharmic worldview has historically been, and continues to this day to be, the Abrahamic mentality and worldview.

While some very important theological and ritual distinctions can be seen between them all, nonetheless the specifically religious-oriented aspects of Abrahamism – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – share a common worldview, psychological make-up, and guiding ethos. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are historically referred to as the “Abrahamic” religions because all three religions trace their origins to the prophet Abraham, and can thus be seen to be quite similar in many aspects of their respective outlooks. The following are only a few of the similarities that they all share.

1. All three religions have a shared acceptance of the teachings of the Old Testament prophets (Christianity, in addition to the accepting the Old Testament prophets, also accepts Jesus. Islam, in addition to the Old Testament prophets and Jesus, also accepts Muhammad).

2. Anthropomorphic monotheism. The supreme god of Abrahamism is seen in very human terms, including in his exhibition of such very human emotions as anger, jealousy, prejudice and vengeance.

3. A profound sense of religious exclusivity, creating two strictly delineated camps of “believers” in opposition to everyone else.

4. The belief that there is only the sole true faith, and that any other form of religious expression external to the “one true faith” is necessarily wrong.

5. The acceptance of terrorism, violence, mob action, looting and aggressive missionary tactics to spread their religion.

6. A common sense of being at a war to the death with the Dharmic (“Pagan”) world that preceded Abrahamic ascendency.

7. The centrality of unidirectional prayer to commune with their god, with systematic meditation practice playing either little or no part in the practice of their respective religions.

8. A belief in the existence of angels, the devil, demonic spirits, etc.

9. All three teach the bodily resurrection, the Final Judgment, the creation of the soul at the time of conception or birth (as opposed to the soul’s pre-existence, which all Dharmic spiritual traditions teach), the binding effects of sin, etc.

10. The importance of a specific holy day of the week set aside for prayer and rest: For Jews – Saturday. For most Christians – Sunday. For Muslims – Friday.

These are only a few of the elements of the Abrahamic worldview, of which mainstream Christianity is an integral part.

Up until 2000 years ago, the Dharmic worldview was by far the predominant worldview for most of humanity – from Ireland in the West to the Philippines in the East. Though there were thousands of diverse individual cultures, languages, foods, customs and traditions among the ancient Indo-European peoples, most of these ethnically varied cultures were united in their deep respect for, and attempted adherence to, the Natural Way (Dharma).

This ancient uniformity in adherence to Dharma was the case for tens of thousands of years until the radically anti-human and anti-nature Abrahamic ideology suddenly burst upon the world scene 4000 years ago with an evangelical fury, religiously-inspired violence, and zealous civilization-destroying vengeance the likes of which the civilized world had never seen previously. Never before had the multiple ancient and noble pre-Christian cultures of the world ever experienced such massive destruction, death, persecution, forced conversion, and cultural annihilation performed in the name of an artificially expansive religion as it witnessed at the hands of the new Abrahamic ideology that had arrived, seemingly out of nowhere, onto the world stage. It was in the wake of this never before experienced juggernaut of Biblically inspired destruction that the light of Dharma began to swiftly wane, and that Reality as it was known up till then was turned literally on its head.

Religiously inspired imperialism began with the more localized expansion of the Israelites in the Levant region two thousand years before the birth of Christianity.[1] However, it was soon after the appropriation of the original teachings and spiritual movement of Jesus, and the massive expanse of this later, corrupt form of post-Constantine Christianity, that the expansion of the Abrahamic ideology began to take on truly global proportions. As the French thinker Alain de Benoist explains this catastrophe in the context of European history,

“. . . the conversion of Europe to Christianity and the more or less complete integration of the European mind into the Christian mentality, was one of the most catastrophic events in world history – a catastrophe in the proper sense of the word…”[2]

With the ascent of the Abrahamic onslaught came the counter-proportional descent of the Indo-European world’s traditional Dharmic civilizations.


Christianity, in retrospect, was but one of several artificially constructed, new movements that all fall under the general term “Abrahamic”, named after the infamous founder of fanatical religious exclusivity, Abraham (1812 BC – 1637 BC).  These four anti-nature ideologies are 1) Judaism, 2) Christianity, 3) Islam, and 4) Marxism.  Whether we speak of Judeo-Christian “holy wars” and Inquisitions, or the bloody and unending Islamic jihads against “infidels”, or the genocide of over 100 million people in the name of Marxist revolution, all four of these Abrahamic movements have been responsible for more destruction, loss of life, and social mayhem than all other ideas, religions, and ideologies in world history combined.

The Abrahamic onslaught has been an unparalleled juggernaut of death. More, while all four ideologies have remained seemingly divided by dogmatic, sectarian concerns, all Abrahamic movements have been fanatically united in both their common origin, and in their shared aim of annihilating their perceived enemy of Dharma from the earth, and seeking sole domination of world power for themselves alone. While Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been at war with each other for millennia, they are all united in their insistence that Dharma is their principal hated enemy. The essential driving principle of Abrahamism is to bring about the immediate death of Dharma.

Dharma and Abrahamism are exact opposites in every way.  Dharma and Abrahamism stand for two radically opposed visions for humanity’s future. Dharma stands for nature, peace, diversity, and reason. Abrahamism stands for artificiality, war, uniformity, and fanaticism. They are the only two real ideological poles of any true significance in the last two-thousand years. There has been an ongoing Two-Thousand Year War between these two opposing worldviews that has shaped the course of much of human history since this conflict’s start. Every philosophical construct, religious denomination, political ideology and general worldview of the past two millennia falls squarely into one camp or the other. Every human being living today falls squarely into one camp or the other. Dharma and Abrahamism are the only two meaningful ideological choices for humanity today. And for all too much of the duration of this Two-Thousand Year War, Dharma has been on the losing end as Abrahamism has continuously succeeded in its unrivalled ascendancy.

The destructive ascendancy of Abrahamism is, however, about to come to an end. We are now about to witness a period of Dharmodaya – of Dharma ascending – in this very generation. As is explained in thorough detail in the two books “The Dharma Manifesto” and “Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Natural Way”, we are about to experience the rebirth of Dharmic and Vedic civilization throughout the totality of our world.

The Dharma world-view represents a positive moral and philosophical alternative to the many ills and cultural distortions of Abrahamic modernity. Vedic culture is human culture, because Vedic culture is the model of spiritual civilization. Our world is not without meaning. Our future is not without hope. Though the darkness of the Kali Yuga (our current “Age of Conflict”) and a civilizational crisis has now descended upon us, the Sun of Dharma will soon be seen again. No cloud can obscure our vision of the Sun forever. We will live to see Dharma triumphant again, and to see a Golden Age of compassion, true culture, and the Natural Way be firmly established.

[1] One of the prime example of such Abrahamist expansion was the conquest of Canaan (circa 1400-1350 BC), described in the Book of Joshua and the first chapter of Judges.

[2] Alain de Benoist, On Being a Pagan, ed. Greg Johnson, trans. Jon Graham (Atlanta: Ultra, 2004), p. 5.


This article is from chapter 3 of the groundbreaking new political work “The Dharma Manifesto“, by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya.

The Dharma Manifesto serves as the first ever systematic revolutionary blueprint for the nascent global Vedic movement that will, in the very near future, arise to change the course of world history for the betterment of all living beings. The Dharma Manifesto signals the beginning of a wholly new era in humanity’s eternal yearning for meaningful freedom and happiness.

About the Author

Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya has been acknowledged by many Hindu leaders throughout the world to be one of the most revolutionary and visionary Vedic spiritual masters on the Earth today.

With a forty year history of intensely practicing the spiritual disciplines of Yoga, and with a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Sri Acharyaji is one of the most eminently qualified authorities on Vedic philosophy, culture and spirituality. He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Dharma and Civilization.

His most historically groundbreaking politico-philosophical work, “The Dharma Manifesto“, is now offered to the world at a time when its people are most desperately crying out for fundamental change.

samedi, 20 décembre 2014

La renaissance orientale

Rig Veda And Yoga(1).jpg

Son apport à la philosophie et la spiritualité occidentale

Rémy Valat
Ex: http://metamag.fr

schw9782228910569.jpgLes éditions Payot viennent de rééditer La Renaissance Orientale de Raymond Schwab, le livre de référence sur les débuts et l’impact des études indiennes et orientales sur les sociétés européennes aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles. Raymond  Schawb (1884-1956) était un authentique humaniste aux multiples facettes : il était traducteur (il pratiquait l'hébreu, le hongrois et l'anglais), romancier et poète. L’Orientalisme a été précédé par un mouvement précurseur, dit pré-indianiste, mouvement animé par des missionnaires ou des fonctionnaires portugais, italiens ou français (en particulier, Anquetil-Duperron, 1731-1805) puis par le pouvoir colonial britannique établi dans la péninsule indienne. Pour ce dernier, l’intérêt linguistique était considéré comme une arme politique pour asseoir sa domination sur le pays.

La société de Calcutta, créée par William Jones en 1784 rassemblait des hauts-fonctionnaires du pouvoir colonial, souvent des juristes, épris de culture indigènes. On leur doit les premières traductions des textes sacrés indiens, en particulier la Bhagavad-Gîtâ par Charles Wilkins (1784), mais aussi les premières parutions scientifiques sur la culture indienne et les premiers pas de l’archéologie, de la numismatique et de l’épigraphie dans le sous-continent. Guidés par des intérêts politiques, l’Angleterre se désintéresse rapidement des études orientales, l’Orientalisme sera essentiellement un mouvement français et allemand (en particulier le mouvement indo-germanique). 

En France, le Directoire fonde l’École des Langues Orientales Vivantes (actuel Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales – INALCO) en 1795 ; cette création précéde de peu l’expédition de Bonaparte en Égypte qui donnera une impulsion significative aux études orientales et en particulier l’égyptologie. L’Orientalisme est en quelque sorte un avatar des guerres napoléoniennes puisque Alexandre Hamilton (1762-1824), officier de la Royal Navy et ancien membre de la Société Asiatique de Calcutta, s’est trouvé assigné à résidence à Paris au moment de la rupture de la paix d’Amiens. Cet officier, qui étudiait des textes indiens conservés au département des manuscrits bénéficia de la bienveillance et de la solidarité scientifique d’érudits de la Bibliothèque Nationale. Reconnaissant, Hamilton leur enseigna la langue sanskrite.

Parmi ces passionnés et privilégiés se trouvait le philosophe et écrivain allemand Friedrisch Schlegel, qui sera l’un des animateurs du « Cercle d'Iéna » et du romantisme allemand. La première chaire de sanskrit sera créée quelques années plus tard au Collège de France en 1814 : Eugène Burnouf, qui a fondé la Société asiatique en 1822, y professera à partir de 1832. Eugène Burnouf a contribué au développement des études bouddhiques en Occident, il a notamment traduit l’un des plus beau texte du bouddhisme : le Sutra du Lotus (1852). Des bancs des universités, l’orientalisme se répand dans les mouvements littéraires et philosophiques, les plus grands auteurs français y ont été sensibles (Alphonse de Lamartine, Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Edmond Michelet, Saint-Simon, Gérard de Nerval, Gustave Flaubert, les Parnassiens, les symbolistes....).

La Renaissance Orientale : un ouvrage capital pour saisir les représentations et les interprétations des cultures asiatiques par les Européens et leur apport à la philosophie et la spiritualité occidentale.
La Renaissance Orientale , de Raymond Schwab, Editions Payot ( réedition) , 688 pages, 32€.

vendredi, 24 octobre 2014

Alain Daniélou’s Virtue, Success, Pleasure, & Liberation

Alain Daniélou’s Virtue, Success, Pleasure, & Liberation

By Collin Cleary 

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

Alain Daniélou
Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation: The Four Aims of Life in the Tradition of Ancient India [2]
Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1993.

danndex.jpgOne hears a great deal today about “multiculturalism,” and the multicultural society. We (i.e., we Americans) are told that ours is a multicultural society. But, curiously, multiculturalism is also spoken of as a goal. What this reveals is that multiculturalism is not simply the recognition and affirmation of the fact that the U.S.A. is made up of different people from different cultural backgrounds. Instead, multiculturalism is an ideology which is predicated on cultural relativism. Its proponents want to convince people that (a) all cultures are equally good, rich, interesting, and wholesome, and that (b) a multicultural society can exist in which no one culture is dominant. The first idea is absurd, the second is impossible.

The apostles of multiculturalism are moved less by a genuine desire to “celebrate diversity” than by a hatred for Northern European culture, which is the semi-official, dominant culture of America. Indeed, multiculturalists generally nurture the most naive and simplistic ideas of what a culture is. Their conception of “culture” is fixated at the perceptual level: culture is costume,music, dance, decoration, food. What is essential to culture, however, is a certain Weltanschauung: a view of the world, and of human nature. It is in their response to these world views that multiculturalists reveal their true colors, for they tolerate and permit only those elements of a culture’s world view that do not conflict with liberal ideology.

Out of one side of their mouths, the multiculturalists tell us that one cannot judge a culture, that morality is culturally relative, that cultures are not better or worse, just “different,” and that we must revel in these differences. Thus, the English do not drive on the “wrong” side of the road, merely the left side. But when it’s not a matter of traffic laws, but a matter of severed clitorises, then the other, louder side of the multiculturalists’ mouths open, and they tell us that this sort of thing isn’t just different, it’s evil. In addition to this, one also sees that multiculturalism involves a relentless trivialization of important cultural differences. Thus, college students are encouraged to see religion almost as a matter of “local color.” Isn’t it wonderful that the Indians cook such spicy food, and worship such colorful gods! Isn’t it all terribly charming? They are further encouraged to view religion as a thoroughly irrational affair. Rather than encouraging an appreciation for different faiths, what this produces is a condescending attitude, and resistance to taking the claims of religion seriously when they conflict with the “rational” agenda of modern liberalism.

Indeed, multiculturalism is so anti-cultural that one is tempted to see behind it an even deeper, more sinister agenda. Perhaps the whole idea is to deliberately gut the world’s cultures, reducing their differences to matters of dress and cuisine, and to replace those earthborn guts with a plastic, Naugahyde culture of secularism, scientism, and egalitarianism. Why? Because real, significant cultural differences make it very hard for our corporations to do business overseas and to sell their wares. Solution: homogenization masquerading as “celebration of diversity.” The multiculturalists are right when they declare that de facto, the United States is a multicultural society. But there has never been a multicultural society in the history of the world in which there was not one dominant culture which provided a framework allowing the others to co-exist. To the multiculturalist, the unacknowledged framework is modern liberalism. I will assume that I do not have to rehearse for my readers the many arguments for why modern liberalism is untenable as a long-term societal framework.Where should we look, then, for a framework for a multicultural society? Why not look to the Indian caste system? It was the caste system that allowed Aryan and non-Aryan to co-exist peacefully in India for centuries.

The liberals will immediately object that the caste system is oppressive and unjust. In Virtue, Success, Pleasure and Liberation, however, Alain Daniélou argues that the caste system is actually a supremely just and peaceful arrangement. It is just because it is built on a recognition of real human difference; a “celebration of diversity,” if you will. Aristotle held that justice is treating equals equally, and unequals unequally. If people are not the same, then it is a mistake to treat them as if they are. The caste system is built on the idea that some human beings are born to work, others to fight and lead, and others to pray. The caste system gives to each human being a place, a community, a code of ethics, and a sense of identity and pride. Daniélou points out that although the system involves hierarchy, each level of the hierarchy is regarded as intrinsically valuable and as essential. Each plays a role that is regarded as important and indispensable. Thus, it is the caste system which truly affirms that different groups are merely different, not better or worse.

Is Daniélou whitewashing the caste system? Consider the words he quotes from the Mahabharata: “There is no superior caste. The Universe is the work of the Immense Being. The beings created by him were only divided into castes according to their aptitude.” But what of individuals born to the wrong caste? For example, what of a child born to the merchant class who shows aptitude to be a priest or scholar? Such things happen. Daniélou tells us that exceptional individuals are allowed to live “outside” the caste system, and are accepted as valuable members of the society as a whole. Modern society is structured on the premise that everyone is exceptional and can make up his mind what he wants to do. Given that sort of freedom, most people get lost — as witness the modern phenomenon of the “slacker,” or the flotsam and jetsam going in and out of psychiatrists’ offices every day.

Despite what I have said, this book is not a treatise on the caste system, but on the four things that all human lives must possess or achieve in order to be complete. In discussing virtue, success, pleasure, and liberation, Daniélou quotes extensively from ancient Indian texts, offering us an abundance of excellent advice about how to understand life and to live well. Indeed, this is really a book about how to lead a truly human life. Daniélou places the four aims in a cosmic context, showing how the same fourfold division is present in all levels of reality. It is present, of course, in the four castes (worker/artisan, producer/merchant, warrior/aristocrat, priest/scholar), and in the four stages of biological development (childhood, youth, maturity, old age), the four seasons, the four elements, the four races of humanity (black, yellow, red, white), the cycle of ages (yugas), the four bodily functions (digestion, assimilation, circulation, excretion), and the four points of the compass (in this order, significantly: south, east, west, north).

This is an excellent companion volume to Daniélou’s The Myths and Gods of India [3].

Source: Tyr, vol.. 1 (Atlanta: Ultra, 2002).


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[3] The Myths and Gods of India: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005PQUZ3G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005PQUZ3G&linkCode=as2&tag=countecurrenp-20&linkId=7R45BK5EQM4HKVC3

Alain Daniélou’s The Myths & Gods of India


Alain Daniélou’s The Myths & Gods of India

By Collin Cleary

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

Alain Daniélou
The Myths and Gods of India [2]
Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1991.
(Originally published as Hindu Polytheism by Bollingen Foundation, New York, 1964.)

Typically, those who profess an interest in what might be called “Indo-European spirituality” gravitate toward either the Celtic or Germanic traditions. The Indian tradition tends to be ignored. In part, this is because present-day Indians seem so different from us. We think of their culture and philosophy as “Eastern,” as alien. Physically, the Indians look very different from those of European descent (though higher caste Indians tend to look very European, right down to lighter skin and hair, and sometimes blue eyes). But if we wish to rediscover the religion and traditions of our ancestors, what better place is there to begin than with India? The oldest Indo-European texts are the Vedas, after all. To be sure, it is hard to separate what comes from the ancient Aryans in Indian religion, myth, and mysticism, and what was contributed by the indigenous peoples conquered by the Aryans. But the same problem exists with respect to the Celtic and Germanic traditions. In addition, we know far more about the culture and religion of the ancient Aryans who invaded India, than we do about the culture and religion of the Celts and the Vikings. For one thing, more ancient texts survive in India. Therefore, anyone wishing to re-construct the “old ways” must become deeply immersed in all things Indian.

It is a cliche to state this in a review, but I write the following with total sincerity: if you read only one book on Hinduism, it must be Daniélou’s Myths and Gods of India. Indeed, it is hard to imagine why one would need to read any other. Danielou’s account of Hinduism is exhaustive, profound, and detailed. The book contains, first of all, cogent arguments on behalf of polytheism.

It details the Indian cosmogony and cosmology; the nature of Space, Time, and Thought; the nature of Brahman and Maya. Daniélou gives a complete description of every major Hindu divinity in terms of his or her function, myths, and symbolism. He details the minor gods and genii. He discusses the theory behind Mantras and Yantras. There is even extensive coverage of ritual, and the manner in which the gods must be worshiped. Alain Daniélou was born in 1907 in Paris. He was a true Renaissance man, trained in music, painting, and dance. He gave recitals and exhibited his paintings. Daniélou was also an avid sportsman: a canoeing champion, and an expert race-car driver.

He was also homosexual. Daniélou and his gay lover ventured to India, traveling around in a deluxe, Silverstream camper imported from southern California, photographing erotic sculpture. They later settled down in a Maharajah’s estate on the banks of the Ganges and devoted themselves to Sanskrit, Hinduism, music, and entertaining. Daniélou gradually “went native” and stayed in India many years. In time, he became known throughout the world as an authority on Indian music and culture. He published works dealing with Hindu religion, society, music, sculpture, architecture, and other topics. It was Daniélou, more than anyone else, who was responsible for popularizing Indian music in the West (among other things, he was the “discoverer” of Ravi Shankar). Daniélou died in 1994.

The Myths and Gods of India is a delight to read, but it can also be treated as a reference work for those needing a clear and accurate account of various gods or Hindu religious concepts. For the student of Inda-European culture, the book is a treasure trove. Indeed, those who are familiar with the Inda-European comparativist school of Georges Dumézil, Jaan Puhvel, and others, will get the most out of this book. I will offer a few brief examples here.

Daniélou writes on page 27 that “Human beings, according to their nature and stage of development, are inclined toward . . . different aspects of the Cosmic Being. Those in whom consciousness is predominant worship the gods (deva); those in whom action or existence predominates worship genii (yaksha) and antigods (asura); and those in whom enjoyment or sensation predominates worship ghosts and spirits (bhuta and preta).” This suggests, of course, the Inda-European tripartition identified by Dumézil. On page 66 we learn that Soma was “brought to earth by a large hawk,” just as Odin, in the form of an eagle, brought mead to the JEsir. On page 87 we are told that “The earth is also represented as a goddess, or as a cow that feeds everyone with her milk. She is the mother of life, the substance of all things.” What can this remind us of, except the Norse Audumla?

There also seem to be parallels between Agni (the god of fire) and Loki. Like Loki, Agni is an outcast among the gods. Daniélou tells us further that, “The fire of destruction, Agni’s most fearful form, was born of the primeval waters and remains hidden under the sea, ever ready to destroy the world” (p. 89). This is reminiscent of the Midgard Serpent, the progeny of Loki. Page 151:
“When Vishnu sleeps, the universe dissolves into its formless state, represented as the causal ocean. The remnants of manifestation are represented as the serpent Remainder (Sesa) coiled upon itself and floating upon the abysmal waters.”

Daniélou tells us (p. 92) that “the sun . . . is envisaged [by the Hindus] under two aspects. As one of the spheres, one of the Vasus, the physical sun is the celestial form of fire, of agni. As the source of light, of warmth, of life, of knowledge, the solar energy is the source of all life, represented in the twelve sons-of-the-Primordial-Vastness (Adityas), the twelve sovereign principles.” In Futhark (pp. 51-52), Edred Thorsson tells us that “The sun was known by two special names in the North . . . Sol represents the phenomenon, while sunna is the noumenon, the spiritual power residing in the concept.” Also, the “twelve sons-of-the-Primordial-Vastness” immanent within the solar energy must remind us of the twelve sig-runes that make up the Wewelsburg “sun-wheel” of Karl Maria Wiligut.

Page 99: “When the gods were receiving the ambrosia of immortality, the Moon [Soma; equivalent to Mead] detected the anti-god Rahu disguised as a god. Because of the Moon Rahu had to die, but although his head was severed from his body, he could not truly die, for he had tasted the ambrosia. His head remained alive.” Mimir?

Page 103: “Rudra, the lord of tears, is said to have sprung from the forehead of the Immense-Being (Brahma) and, at the command of that god, to have divided himself into a male form and a female form . . . “Athena?

Page 103: “The Maruts (immortals) are a restless, warlike troupe of flashy young men, transposition in space of the hordes of young warriors called the marya (mortals). . . . They are the embodiment of moral and heroic deeds and of the exuberance of youth.” Maruts = Einherjar; Marya = Indo-European Männerbünde. Page 104: “The Maruts are the friends of Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt . . .” Thor? Page 110: Indra’s thunderbolt is “shaped like a mace … ”

Page 111: “Indra had been the deity worshiped among the pastoral people of Vraja.” Again, just as Thor was.

Page 118: Varuna “is the ruler of the ‘other side,’ of the invisible world.” He is “said to be an antigod, a magician.” Odin? Page 119: “He catches the evildoers and binds them with his noose.” Criminals sacrificed to Odin were hung. Varuna also “knows the track of birds in the sky,” just as Odin knows the track of Huginn and Muninn.

Page 132: The god of death is named Yama, which means “Twin” (Ymir). “Yama’s brother is the lawgiver, Manu, who shares with him the title of progenitor of mankind.” Yama “owns two four-eyed dogs with wide nostrils . . . They watch the path of the dead.” What can this remind us of except the Greek hellhound, Cerberus?

Page 138: “In contrast to the gods, the antigods [asura] are the inclinations of the senses which, by their nature, belong to the obscuring tendency, and which delight in life, that is, in the activities of the life energies in all the fields of sensation.” This is an accurate description of the Norse Vanir. Asura is cognate with Aesir, so, oddly enough, the term shifts meaning either in the Norse or the Indian tradition.

Page 159: The four ages (yugas) are represented as white (the golden age), red, yellow, and black (the dark age). The stages of the alchemical process (as represented in the West) are black, white, yellow, and red.

Pages 243-45 detail the Upanishadic account of creation out of the primal man Purusha: “He desired a second. He became as large as a woman and man in close embrace. He divided himself into two. From him arose a husband and a wife. Hence it is that everyone is but half a being. The vacant space is filled by a wife.” This is extraordinarily similar to the account of the creation of
men and woman given by Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium. The world is then created out of Purusha’s body-just as the world is created out of Ymir’s body in Norse myth. “The virile member was separated; from this virile member came forth semen and from semen the earthly waters.” This is identical to the account of the creation of the ocean in the Greek myth of the sacrifice of Ouranos by Kronos.

The account of the hero Kumara/Skana (pp. 297-300) is strikingly like the saga of Sigurd, and also similar in some respects to the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach. The “essences” (apsaras; pp. 304-305) are “water nymphs, eternally young women who are the courtesans and dancers of heaven.” Rhine Maidens? “They are depicted as uncommonly beautiful, with lotus eyes, slender waists, and large hips. By their languid postures and sweet words they rob those who see them of their wisdom and their intellect.” Sirens? “One can master them by stealing their clothes while they bathe. They choose lovers among the dead fallen on the battlefield.” Valkyries?

The above merely scratches the surface of this immensely rich text, which demands careful study and multiple readings.


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vendredi, 10 octobre 2014

Bhagavad-Gîtâ - Le Chant du Bienheureux


Bhagavad-Gîtâ: le Chant du Bienheureux

108 pages. Traduit du sanskrit par Emile Burnouf et présenté par le Pr. Jean Haudry.

Elément central du Mahâbhârata, connu pour être la plus grande épopée de la mythologie hindoue, la Bhagavad-Gîtâ (« Chant du Bienheureux ») est un des écrits fondamentaux de l’Hindouisme qui s’inscrit dans la tradition héroïque indo-européenne.

Il s’agit d’un dialogue dans lequel le Seigneur Krishna, 8e avatar de Vishnou, tend à dissiper le doute chez le kshatriya Arjuna au moment d’une bataille qui risque de faire nombre de morts parmi ceux que ce dernier aime.

Composé de 18 chapitres et vraisemblablement rédigé entre les Ve et IIe siècles av. J.-C., l’intérêt capital de ce texte sacré tient du fait qu’il invite à dépasser le brahmanisme sans le répudier pour autant.

Au-delà de toutes les sensibilités spirituelles, la Bhagavad-Gîtâ nous enseigne avant tout la dévotion et le détachement pour lesquels le verset II.38 semble parfaitement convenir : « Tiens pour égaux plaisir et peine, gain et perte, et sois tout entier à la bataille : ainsi tu éviteras le péché . »

Pour commander auprès des Editions du Lore: http://www.ladiffusiondulore.fr/antiquite/379-bhagavad-gita-le-chant-du-bienheureux.html

mardi, 09 septembre 2014

Inde : vers le grand conflit hindouistes/islamistes


Inde : vers le grand conflit hindouistes/islamistes

Al Qaïda et le califat du sous-continent indien

Jean Bonnevey
Ex: http://metamag.fr

Revendiquant depuis près de 20 ans son autorité sur les jihadistes du monde entier, Al Qaïda est en perte de vitesse. Fragilisé par l’émergence de l’EI en Syrie et en Irak, le réseau fondé par Oussama ben Laden  tente de revenir en ouvrant un nouveau front.

Cette nouvelle branche est nommée en anglais « Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent » (« Al-Qaïda en guerre sainte sur le sous-continent indien »). Elle est déjà active en Afghanistan et au Pakistan, sous l’autorité du Pakistanais Assim Oumar, un Pakistanais lui-même subordonné au mollah Omar, le chef des talibans afghans. La création d'«al-Qaida en guerre sainte sur le sous-continent indien» est le fruit de deux ans de travail, précise al-Zawahiri. Le chef du mouvement islamiste, déclare que la naissance d’Al-Qaïda en Inde est une bonne nouvelle pour les musulmans « de Birmanie, du Bangladesh, de l’Assam, du Gujarat, d’Ahmedabad et du Cachemire » afin de faire face à l’ «injustice » et à l’ »oppression ». Le chef de la nébuleuse islamiste entend mener le combat pour faire renaître un califat sur des terres considérées comme musulmanes par Ayman al-Zawahiri.

On sait peu de choses sur le chef de la nouvelle branche indienne d'al-Qaida. Assim Oumar lit assurément le pachto, la langue du peuple pachtoune, qui forme l'ossature du mouvement taliban. Mais il parle et écrit surtout en ourdou, langue nationale du Pakistan, qui se rapproche de l'hindi indien. Turban de charbon enroulé autour de la tête, barbe hirsute, Assim Oumar apparaît dans des vidéos de propagande diffusées notamment par al-Qaida. «Pourquoi les musulmans de l'Inde sont-ils totalement absents du jihad», s'interrogeait-il l'an dernier dans une vidéo en ourdou diffusée sur internet par Al-Qaida. Il appelait les jeunes musulmans indiens à faire preuve «d'honneur» et de «zèle» afin que l'Inde soit dirigée à nouveau par sa minorité musulmane et non sa majorité hindoue. «Ne forcez pas les infidèles à prononcer la profession de foi... C'est à eux de décider s'ils veulent devenir musulman ou continuer à pratiquer leur ancienne religion. Mais puisque cette planète est celle d'Allah, il est nécessaire d'y établir le système d'Allah», disait-il en ourdou. Ses allocutions sont truffées de références à l'empire moghol, musulman, qui a régné sur l'Inde du 16ème à la moitié du 19e siècle, et au califat ottoman. Il appelle ainsi à un «renouveau» islamique en Inde, au moment où les djihadistes prennent le contrôle des régions entières de l'Irak et de la Syrie.
Par cette déclaration, Al Qaïda remobilise ses forces, alors que l’Etat Islamique, qui a crée un califat avant elle, ne cesse de multiplier les actions et s’est sérieusement implanté en Irak, territoire de création d’Al Qaïda par Abou Moussab al Zarkaoui, tué par les forces américaines en 2006. Suite à la diffusion de la vidéo, les services de renseignement indiens ont demandé aux gouvernements provinciaux de plusieurs Etats de se placer en état d'alerte.

«Nous prenons le sujet très au sérieux. De telles menaces ne peuvent être ignorées», a déclaré à l’AFP une source des services de renseignement indiens. «Nous avons demandé aux Etats, en particulier au Gujarat, au Madhya Pradesh, à l’Uttar Pradesh et au Bihar, de se mettre en état d’alerte». Déjà actif en Afghanistan et au Pakistan, Al-Qaïda revendique depuis longtemps avoir autorité sur les jihadistes qui luttent pour rétablir un califat sur les terres considérées comme musulmanes.

«C’est un coup publicitaire qui montre un certain désespoir, car l’EI est désormais la vraie menace mondiale», estime Ajit Kumar Singh, du groupe de réflexion Institute of Conflict Management, dont le siège est à New Delhi. «C’est une bataille pour la suprématie entre Al-Qaïda et l’EI». Parmi les Etats cités dans la vidéo par Ayman al-Zawahiri, le Cachemire, seul Etat indien en majorité musulman, est depuis longtemps en proie à un mouvement séparatiste, mais les représentants de ce dernier soulignent que la nébuleuse jihadiste ne joue aucun rôle sur ce territoire.

mardi, 20 mai 2014

Modi et le nouvel empire des Indes

modi inde.jpg

Le tsunami hindouiste : un événement mondial majeur
Modi et le nouvel empire des Indes

Jean Bonnevey
Ex: http://metamag.fr

L’occident, fasciné par l’image de Gandhi et le mythe du libérateur anti-colonialiste non violent d’une Inde opprimée par les Anglais, a toujours cultivé le culte d’une dynastie démocratique et laïque, celle des Nehru Gandhi. Au delà des clichés de la récupération politique, des scandales et des échecs, la dernière élection marque objectivement la fin d’une mainmise d’un clan sur le deuxième pays le plus peuplé du monde. C’est la sanction d’années de ralentissement économique, d’effacement politique, de retard vis-à-vis de la Chine et d’humiliations face au Pakistan et au terrorisme musulman.

L’Inde signe une volonté de retour en force qui va changer l’équilibre du sous-continent indien, de l’Asie et du monde. La plus grande démocratie du monde est également le plus grand pays païen de la planète, la seule grande puissance nucléaire non monothéiste, comme on l’oublie trop souvent. « Le Congrès a réalisé une mauvaise performance, nous devons beaucoup réfléchir sur cette défaite cuisante. En tant que vice-président du parti, je me tiens responsable  », a dit Rahul Gandhi aux journalistes réunis dans la capitale indienne. Agé de 43 ans et héritier de la famille Nehru-Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi est le fils de l'ancien Premier ministre Rajiv Gandhi et de l'actuelle présidente du Congrès Sonia Gandhi. En tant que candidat du parti à la Primature, il a affronté Narendra Modi, candidat du principal parti d'opposition, le Parti Bharatiya Janata(BJP), aux élections générales. Félicitant le BJP pour sa victoire écrasante, Sonia Gandhi, idole déboulonnée, a dit que « gagner et perdre font partie de la démocratie, nous respectons le verdict » . Cependant, elle a ajouté que « nous espérons également que le nouveau gouvernement ne va pas compromettre l'unité du pays » .

Le nouveau pouvoir indien est démocratique, mais sous surveillance des Usa car nationaliste. Mais les indiens n’en ont que faire. L’immense victoire du parti nationaliste hindou de Narendra Modi lors des législatives en Inde s'est jouée, comme prévu, sur des questions de politique intérieure et notamment celle de la relance d'une économie en berne. Mais ce succès pourrait aussi aboutir à replacer le pays sur la scène internationale. Le Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) et le futur chef du gouvernement vont d'abord concentrer leurs efforts sur une nécessaire relance de la croissance. Les relations commerciales et économiques avec les Occidentaux auront à coup sûr une incidence sur la politique que va devoir mener Narendra Modi. Avec la Chine dont l'économie est désormais quatre fois plus importante, le déficit commercial indien s'établit à 40 milliards de dollars,  faute à la politique d'exportation menée par Pékin et un certain immobilisme indien.

Les données de l'équation diplomatique ont  changé récemment au détriment de l’Inde: la Chine affiche ses ambitions de grande puissance et les Etats-Unis lorgnent de plus en plus du côté de l'Asie quand ils évoquent leur avenir, tout en se retirant d'Afghanistan. L’Inde de Modi sera plus active. L’Inde va devoir affirmer plus clairement son statut de puissance régionale.

Le principal sujet de préoccupation concerne les relations avec le voisin pakistanais à propos du Cachemire, région à majorité musulmane dont Islamabad revendique la possession. Les services pakistanais du renseignement et de la sécurité considèrent  le président Modi comme un adversaire potentiel et le tenant d'une ligne dure dans les relations bilatérales. « Modi a toujours pris parti contre le Pakistan », rappelle un haut responsable de la défense. « La politique indienne va être beaucoup plus musclée avec lui . »

En politique, les nationalistes convergent sur une idée: la « hindutva », c'est-à-dire la «  hindouité » : le conservatisme social, le rejet de l'influence occidentale, le nationalisme économique par l'autosuffisance, l'affirmation aux frontières, et surtout et avant tout l'hostilité envers l'islam. Sans doute est-ce par sage précaution que Modi vient déjà d'être invité par Nawaz Sharif, Premier ministre du Pakistan ! Tout est là, pour la paix régionale. La relation New Delhi-Islamabad déterminera le niveau de tension dans cette Asie du Sud. Narendra Modi,  a été au pouvoir comme ministre en chef de l'État du Gujarat depuis 1998. En 2002, un pogrom anti-musulman eut lieu principalement dans la mégapole d'Ahmedabad, un millier de morts, surtout musulmans, face à l'indifférence de la police gujarataise. Mais il y eut, avant cela, des violences anti-hindoues de la part de fanatiques musulmans.



Le terrorisme musulman est un défi majeur pour l’Inde avec de nombreux attentats très meurtriers depuis des années. Des groupes seraient liés à des organisations islamistes basées au Pakistan, le Lashkar-e-Taiba et le Jaish-e-Mohammed, luttant contre la présence indienne au Cachemire. Mais des diplomates indiens et étrangers pensent que le géant asiatique, devenu la 10ème puissance économique mondiale, est désormais la cible de groupes islamistes locaux et non plus seulement d'organisations venues du Pakistan ou du Bangladesh voisins. Pour le terrorisme islamiste comme pour le Pakistan ou la Chine la donne vient de changer radicalement dans le sous-continent indien.

Illustration en tête d'article : Narendra Modi saluant ses partisans après la victoire.

En savoir plus : lire nos articles consacrés aux élections en Inde :Les élections les plus longues du monde ont débutéUn cas particulier : le BiharLes musulmans courtisés et Maladresse de Rahul Gandhi ,premiers sondages sortis des urnes. 


dimanche, 05 mai 2013

Semitic Monotheism


S. Gurumurthy:


S. Gurumurthy argues that the monotheistic Semitic religions of what he calls "the West" brought intolerance to India. Traditionally, Gurumurthy argues, Indian culture was characterized by a liberal pluralism stemming from the polytheism of Hindu beliefs.


In the history of human civilization there have been two distinct ways of life -- the eastern and the Semitic. If we look at the history of India and of its people on the one hand and at the history of Semitic societies on the other, we find a glaring difference. In India the society and individual form the center of gravity, the fulcrum around which the polity revolves, and the state is merely a residuary concept. On the other hand, in the Semitic tradition the state wields all the power and forms the soul and the backbone of the polity. In India, temporal power was located in the lowest units of society, which developed into a highly decentralized social network. This was the very reverse of the centralized power structures that evolved in the Semitic tradition of the West. We had decentralizing institutions, of castes, of localities, of sects belonging to different faiths; of groups of people gathering around a particular deity or around a particular individual. Society was a collection of multitudes of self-contained social molecules, spontaneously linked together by socio spiritual thoughts, symbols, centers of pilgrimage, and sages. In the West the most important, and often the only, link between different institutions of the society was the state.




Of course, the state also existed in India in the past, but only as a residual institution. It had a very limited role to perform. Even the origin of the state is said to be in the perceived necessity of an institution to perform the residual supervisory functions that became necessary because a small number of people could not harmonize with the rest in the self- regulating, self-operating and self powered functioning of the society. The state was to look after the spill-over functions that escaped the self-regulating mechanisms of the society. The Mahabharata, in the Santiparva, defines the functions of the state precisely thus. The state was to ensure that the one who strays away from public ethics does not tread on others. There was perhaps no necessity for the state at one point in our social history. The evolution of society to a point where certain individuals came to be at cross purposes with the society because of the erosion of dharmic, or ethical values, introduced the need for a limited arbiter to deal with "outlaws" who would not agree to be bound by dharma. That task was entrusted to the state. This appears to be the origin of the state here. So the society or the group, at whatever level it functioned, was the dominant reality and the state was a residual authority. The society had an identity distinct from the state. Social relations as well as religious and cultural bonds transcended the bounds of the state.




People in the Semitic society, on the other hand, seem to have burdened themselves with the state the moment they graduated from tribalism and nomadic life to a settled existence. Thus the Semitic society never knew how to live by self-regulation. People never knew how to exist together unless their lives were ordered through the coercive institution of the state. The concept of self-regulation, the concept of dharma, the personal and public norms of action and thought that we have inherited from time immemorial, did not have any chance to evolve. Instead what evolved, for example in the Christian West, was the "social contract" theory of the state. And this became the basis of the nation state that dominated during the era of Western hegemony. But even before that, a mighty state, a nation-less state, had already evolved in the West. It was a state that cut across all nations, all societies, all ethnicities, all faiths, all races. This was the kind of state developed by the Romans. The statecraft of the Romans purveyed power and power alone. Later, after the collapse of the nationless state, tribal nationalism began to be assertive. This nation state, whose power was legitimated according to socio-religious criteria, became the model for the Semitic society. Far from being an arbiter, the state became the initiator, the fulcrum of the society.




Western society thus became largely a state construct. Even geography and history began to follow state power. In the scheme of things, the king symbolized total power, the army became crucial to the polity, and the police indispensable. The throne of the king became more important than the Church, and his word more important than the Bible, forcing even the Church to acquire stately attributes and begin competing with the state. That is why the first Church was founded in Rome. Because of the social recognition of state power and the importance that it had acquired, religion had to go to the seat of the state. That is how Rome, and not Bethlehem, became the center of Christian thought. The Church developed as a state-like institution, as an alternative and a competing institution. The Church began to mimic the state, and the Archbishop competed with the King. And finally religion itself became a competitor of the state. Naturally there were conflicts between these two powerful institutions -- between the state and the Church, and between the King and the Archbishop. Both owed allegiance to the same faith, the same book, the same prophet -- and yet they could not agree on who should wield ultimate power. They fought in order to decide who amongst them would be the legitimate representative of the faith. And, in their ^ght, both invoked the same God. The result was a society that was at war with itself; a society in which the stately religion was at war with the religious state. The result also was centralism and exclusivism, not only in thought, but also in the institutional arrangements. Out of such war within itself -- including between Christianity and Islam -- Semitic society evolved its centralist and exclusivist institutions that are now peddled as the panacea for the ills of all societies. As the monotheistic civilization rapidly evolved a theocratic state, it ruled out all plurality in thought. There could not be any doubt, there could not be a second thought competing with the one approved and patronized by the state, and there could not even be a second institution representing the same faith. The possibility of different religions or different attitudes to life evolving in the same society was made minimal. No one could disagree with the established doctrine without inviting terrible retribution. Whenever any semblance of plurality surfaced anywhere, it was subjected to immediate annihilation. The entire social, political and religious power of the Semitic society gravitated toward and became slowly and finally manifest in the unitary state. Thus single-dimensional universality, far more than plurality, is the key feature of Western society. The West, in fact, spawned a power-oriented, power-driven, and power-inspired civilization which sought and enforced thoughts, books, and institutions.




This unity of the Semitic state and the Semitic society proved to be its strength as a conquering power. But this was also its weakness. The moment the state became weak or collapsed anywhere, the society there also followed the fate of the state. In India, society was supported by institutions other than the state. Not just one, but hundreds and even thousands of institutions flourished within the polity and none of them had or needed to use any coercive power. Indian civilization -- culture, arts, music, and the collective life of the people guardianship of the people and of the public mind was not entrusted to the state. In fact, it was the sages, and not the state, who were seen as the guardians of the public mind. When offending forces, whether Sakas or Huns or any others, came from abroad, this society -- which was not organized as a powerful state and was without a powerful army or arms and ammunition of a kind that could meet such vast brute forces coming from outside -- found its institutions of state severely damaged. But that did not lead to the collapse of the society. The society not only survived when the institutions of the state collapsed, but in the course of time it also assimilated the alien groups and digested them into inseparable parts of the social stream. Later invaders into India were not mere gangs of armed tribes, but highly motivated theocratic war-mongers. The Indian states, which were mere residues of the Indian society, caved in before them too. But the society survived even these crusaders. In contrast, the state-oriented and state-initiated civilizations, societies and cultures of the West invariably were annihilated with the collapse of the state. Whether the Romans, the Greeks or the Christians, or the later followers of Islam, or the modern Marxists -- none of them could survive as a viable civilization once the state they had constructed collapsed. When a Semitic king won and wiped out another, it was not just another state that was wiped out, but all social bearings and moorings of the society -- all its literature, art, music, culture and language. Everything relating to the society was extinguished. In the West of today, there are no remnants of what would have been the products of Western civilization 1500 years ago. The Semitic virtue rejected all new and fresh thought. Consequently, any fresh thought could prevail only by annihilating its predecessor. At one time only one thought could hold sway. There was no scope for a second.




In the East, more specifically in India, there prevailed a society and a social mind which thrived and happily grew within a multiplicity of thoughts. "Ano bhadrah kratavo yantu visatah" ("let noble thoughts come in from all directions of the universe") went the Rigvedic invocation. We, therefore, welcomed all, whether it was the Parsis who came fleeing from the slaughter of Islamic theocratic marauders and received protection here for their race and their religion, or the Jews who were slaughtered and maimed everywhere else in the world. They all found a secure refuge here along with their culture, civilization, religion and the book. Even the Shia Muslims, fearing annihilation by their coreligionists, sought shelter in Gujarat and constituted the first influx of Muslims into India. Refugee people, refugee religions, refugee cultures and civilizations came here, took root and established a workable, amicable relationship with their neighborhood. They did not -- even now they do not -- find this society alien or foreign. They could grow as constituent parts of an assimilative society and under an umbrella of thought that appreciated their different ways. When first Christianity, and later Islam, came to India as purely religious concerns, they too found the same assimilative openness. The early Christians and Muslims arriving on the west coast of India did not find anything hostile in the social atmosphere here. They found a welcoming and receptive atmosphere in which the Hindus happily offered them temple lands for building a church or a mosque. (Even today in the localities of Tamilnadu temple lands are offered for construction of mosques). It was only the later theocratic incursions by the Mughals and the British that introduced theological and cultural maladjustments, creating conflict between the assimilative and inclusive native ways of the East and the exclusive and annihilative instincts of Islam and even Christianity. Until this occurred, the native society assimilated the new thoughts and fresh inputs, and had no difficulty in keeping intact its social harmony within the plurality of thoughts and faiths. This openness to foreign thoughts, faiths and people did not happen because of legislation, or a secular constitution or the teachings of secular leaders and parties. We did not display this openness because of any civilizing inspiration and wisdom which we happened to have received from the West. Yet, we are somehow made to believe, and we do, that we have become a somewhat civilized people and have come to learn to live together in harmony with others only through the civilization, the language, the statecraft and the societal influence of the West! It is a myth that has become an inseparable component of the intellectual baggage that most of us carry.




Religious fanaticism, invaded us and extinguished our states and institutions, our society could still survive and preserve its multidimensional life largely intact. Our survival has been accompanied, however, with an extraordinary sense of guilt. In our own eyes, we remain a society yet to be fully civilized. This is because, as the state in India quickly became an instrument in the hands of the invaders and colonizers, we were saddled not just with an unresponsive state, but a state hostile to the nation itself. A state-less society in India would have fared better. Such a paradox has existed nowhere else in the history of the world. When we look at the history of any other country, we find that whenever an overpowering alien state came into being, it wiped out everything that it saw as a native thought or institution. And if the natives insisted on holding on to their thought and institutions, then they were wiped out. But the Indian society survived under an alien and hostile state for hundreds of years, albeit at the price of having today lost almost all initiative and self confidence as a civilization.




How did the assimilative Hindu cultural convictions fare in practice, not just in theory and in the archives? This is probably best seen by comparing the Iranians of today with the Parsis of India. A few thousand of them who came here and who now number 200,000 have lived in a congenial atmosphere. They have not been subjected to any hostility to convert, or to give up their cultural or even racial distinction. They have had every chance, as much as the natives had, to prosper and evolve. And they did. They have lived and prospered here for 1500 years, more or less the same way as they would have lived and prospered in their own lands, had those lands not been ravaged by Islam. Compare an average Parsi with an average Iranian. Does the Persian society today display any native attributes of the kind that the Parsis, living in the Indian society, have managed to preserve? One can ^nd no trace of those original native attributes in the Iranian society today. That is because not only the native institutions, native faiths and native literature, but also the native mind and all vestiges of native originality were wiped out by Islam. That society was converted and made into a uniform outfit in form, shape and mental condition. On that condition alone would Islam accept it. What Islam did to the natives in Egypt, Afghanistan and Persia, or what Christianity did to the Red Indians in America, or what Christianity and Islam did to each other in Europe, or the Catholics did to Protestants, or the Sunnis did to Shias and the Kurds and the Ahmedias, or what the Shias did to the Bahais, was identical. In every case the annihilation of the other was attempted -- annihilation of other thoughts, other thinkers and other followers. The essential thrust of the Semitic civilizational effort, including the latest effort of Marxist monotheism, has been to enforce uniformity, and failing that, to annihilate. How can the West claim that it taught us how to lead a pluralistic life? If you look at history, you find that they were the ones who could not, and never did, tolerate any kind of plurality, either in the religious or the secular domain. If it has dawned upon them today that they have to live with plurality, it must be because of the violence they have had to commit against themselves and each other. The mass slaughter which the Western society has been subjected to by the adherents of different religious thoughts and by different tyrants is unimaginable, and perhaps they are now sick of this slaughter and violence. But the view we get, and are asked to subscribe to, is that the "civilized" West was a peaceful society, and that we brutes down here never knew how to live at peace with ourselves and our neighbors until liberated by the literate. What a paradox!




The foundation of the Semitic system is laid on temporal power. For acceptance and survival in this system even religion had to marry and stick to temporal authority at the cost of losing its spiritual moorings. It was with this power -- first the state power, which still later was converted into technological power -- that the Christian West was able to establish its dominance. This brute dominance was clothed in the garb of modernity and presented as the civilization of the world. The aggressively organized Western society, through its powerful arm of the state, was able to overcome and subordinate the expressions of the self- governing decentralized society of the East that did not care to have the protection of a centralized state. Our society, unorganized in the physical sense, although it was much more organized in a civilizational sense, had a more evolved mind. But it did not have the muscle; it did not have the fire power. Perhaps because of the Buddhist influence, our society acquired disproportionately high Brahmatejas, Brahminical piety and authority, which eroded the Kshatravirya, the temporal war-making power. So it caved in and ceded temporal authority to the more powerful state and the statecraft that came from outside. The society that caves in is, in terms of the current global rules, a defeated society. This society cannot produce or generate the kind of self-confidence which is required in the modern world.




The nation-state was so powerful, that other countries, like India, could not stand against it. And when the nation-state concept was powered by religious exclusivism it had no equal. When religion acquired the state, the church itself was the first victim of that acquisition. Christianity suffered from the Christian state. It had to struggle not only against Islamic states and Islamic society, but also against itself. As a consequence, it underwent a process of moderation. First, it experienced dissent, then renaissance through arts, music and culture. Thus Christianity was able to overcome the effect of theocratic statecraft by slowly evolving as a society not entirely identified with the state. First the state began to dominate over the Church on the principle of separation between the religious and temporal authorities. The result was the evolution of the secular state. Thus the King wrested the secular power from the Archbishop. Then through democratic movements following the French Revolution, the people wrested power from the King. Later commerce invaded public life as the prime thrust of the Christian West. The theocratic state abdicated in favor of a secular state, the secular state gave way to democracy and later democracy gave way to commerce. Then power shifted from commerce to technology. And now in the Christian West, the state and the society are largely powered by commerce and technology. The Christian West today is even prepared to give up the concept of the nation-state to promote commerce fueled by technological advance. Look at the consolidation that is taking place between Mexico, Canada and the United States of America around trade, and the kind of pyramidal politico economic consolidation that is taking place in Western Europe. All this is oriented towards only one thing West.




While the Christian West has evolved dynamically over the past few centuries, the story of Islam is one of 1500 years of unmitigated stagnation. There has never been a successful attempt from within Islam to start the flow, so to speak. Anyone who attempted to start even a variant of the mainstream flow -- anyone who merely attempted to reinterpret the same book and the same prophet -- was disposed of with such severity that it set an example and a warning to anyone who would dare to cross the line. Some, who merely said that it was not necessary for the Islamic Kingdom to be ruled by the Prophet's own descendants were wiped out. Some others said that the Prophet himself may come again -- not that somebody else might come, but the Prophet himself may be reborn. They were also wiped out. The Sunnis, the Shias, the Ahmedias, the Bahais -- all of whom trusted the same prophet, revered the same book and were loyal to the same revelation -- were all physically and spiritually maimed. From the earliest times, Islam has proved itself incapable of producing an internal evolution; internally legitimized change has not been possible since all change is instantly regarded as an act of apostasy. Every change was -- and is -- put down with bloodshed. In contrast, the Hindu ethos changed continuously. Though, it was always change with continuity: from ritualistic life, to agnostic Buddhism, to the Ahimsa of Mahavira, to the intellect of Sankara, to the devotion of Ramanuja, and finally to the modern movements of social reform. In India, all these changes have occurred without the shedding of a single drop of blood. Islam, on the other hand retains its changelessness, despite the spilling of so much blood all around. It is the changelessness of Islam -- its equal revulsion towards dissent within and towards non-Islamic thoughts without -- that has made it a problem for the whole world.




The encounter between the inclusive and assimilative heritage of India and exclusive Islam, which had nothing but theological dislike for the native faiths, was a tussle between two unequals. On the one side there was the inclusive, universal and spiritually powerful -- but temporally unorganized - native Hindu thought. And on the other side there was the temporally organized and powerful -- but spiritually exclusive and isolated -- Islam. Islam subordinated, for some time and in some areas, the Hindu temporal power, but it could not erode Hindu spiritual power. If anything, the Hindu spiritual power incubated the offending faith and delivered a milder form of Islam -- Sufism. However, the physical encounter was one of the bloodiest in human history. We survived this test by fire and sword. But the battle left behind an unassimilated Islamic society within India. The problem has existed since then, to this day.




The Hindu renaissance in India is the Indian contribution to an evolving global attitude that calls for a review of the conservative and extremist Islamic attitudes towards non-Islamic faiths and societies. The whole world is now concerned with the prospect of extremist Islam becoming a problem by sanctifying religious terrorism. So long as the red flag was flying atop the Kremlin, the Christian West tried to project communism as the greatest enemy of world peace. It originally promoted Islam and Islamic fundamentalism against the fanaticism of communism. The West knew it could match communism in the market-place, in technology, in commerce, and even in war, but it had no means of combating communism on the emotive plane. So they structured a green Islamic belt -- from Tunisia to Indonesia -- to serve as a bulwark against Marxist thought. But that has changed now. When communism collapsed, extremist Islam with its terrorist tendencies instantly emerged in the mind of the Christian West as the major threat to the world.




We must realize that we have a problem on hand in India, the problem of a stagnant and conservative Islamic society. The secular leaders and parties tell us that the problem on our hands is not Islamic fundamentalism, but the Hindutva ideology. This view is good only for gathering votes. The fact is that we have a fundamentalist Muslim problem, and our problem cannot be divorced from the international Islamic politics and the world's reaction to it. To understand the problem and to undertake the task of solving it successfully, we must know the nature of Hindu society and its encounter with Islam in India. As a nation, we are heckled by the secularist historians and commentators: "You are caste-oriented, you are a country with 900 languages, and most of them with no script," they say. "You can't even communicate in one language, you don't have a common religious book which all may follow. You are not a nation at all. In contrast, look at the unity of Islam and its brotherhood." But the apparently unorganized and diverse Hindu society is perhaps the only society in the world that faced, and then survived, the Islamic theocratic invasion. We, the Hindu nation, have survived because of the very differences that seem to divide us. It is in some ways a mind- boggling phenomenon: For 500 to 600 years we survived the invasion of Islam as no other society did. The whole of Arabia, which had a very evolved civilization, was run over in a matter of just 20 years. Persia collapsed within 50 years. Buddhist Afghans put up a brave resistance for 300 years but, in the end, they also collapsed. In all of these countries today there remains nothing pre- Islamic worth the name save for some broken down architectural monuments from their pre-Islamic past. How did our society survive the Islamic onslaught? We have survived not only physically, but intellectually too. We have preserved our culture. The kind of music that was heard 1500 years ago is heard even today. Much of the literature too remains available along with the original phonetic intonations. So the Indian society continued to function under a hostile occupation even without a protective state. Or rather, we survived because our soul did not reside in an organized state, but in an organized national consciousness, in shared feelings of what constitutes human life in this universe that happens to be such a wonderfully varied manifestation of the divine, of Brahman.




The assimilative Hindu cultural and civilizational ethos is the only basis for any durable personal and social interaction between the Muslims and the rest of our countrymen. This societal assimilative realization is the basis for Indian nationalism, and only an inclusive Hindutva can assimilate an exclusive Islam by making the Muslims conscious of their Hindu ancestry and heritage. A national effort is called for to break Islamic exclusivism and enshrine the assimilative Hindutva. This alone constitutes true nationalism and true national integration. This is the only way to protect the plurality of thoughts and institutions in this country. To the extent secularism advances Islamic isolation and exclusivism, it damages Hindu inclusiveness and its assimilative qualities. And in this sense secularism as practiced until now conflicts with Indin nationalism. Inclusive and assimilative Hindutva is the socio-cultural nationalism of India. So long as our national leaders ignore this eternal truth, national integration will keep eluding us.


Center for Policy Studies, Madras.

dimanche, 24 février 2013




Kashmir Shaivism and Slavic-Russian Mysticism

Acharya Peter Wilberg

Ex: http://granews.info/

1.       Historical Introduction and Background

This essay will seek to show that here is no more profound and powerful counterpart and complement to Indian wisdom traditions than Slavic-Russian Mysticism and its relation to Nordic-Arctic climate and culture. There is now both archaeological and linguistic evidence to show that  the Vedas and Upanishads and Tantras (including those of Kashmir Shaivism) all had their roots in a highly advanced pre- or proto Indo-European and Arctic civilisation covering the entire area known as Eurasia and with centres not only in the Indus Valley but in many other ancient civilisations such as Sumeria and also Russia and the Arctic.  This pre-historic or ‘primordial’  civilization was founded by ruler priests and teachers from other planets and/or planes of consciousness called ‘Urs’ in the Nordic-Arctic region (‘Ur’ being cognate with the German prefix ‘Ur-’ which means ‘primordial’ – and recalling also both  the Urals in Russia and the name of the Sumerian city called Ur, Uru or Urim. 

According to Levashov (The Untold History of Russia)

“Urs became tutors and guides to the rest of the people. They protected an initially rather small number of settlements of ‘ordinary’ people both from wild nature and ‘biped predators’. Urs trained people and helped them to master primary technologies, and gave them the knowledge necessary for them at that moment as well as knowledge that would be called for only in millennia.

Urs taught them and gave them into the charge of a special caste of keepers – volkhvs[1], who in due time were to convey conserved knowledge, having carried them through millennia and preserved as much of it as possible.

For this purpose those keepers-volkhvs received two runic alphabets, each of them was used by volkhvs of different levels of initiation. Those alphabets were da’Aryan and h’Aryan letters[2].

The memory of Urs, the teachers, has remained in language, for example, in the word ‘cult-ur-e’, which means a system of moral and spiritual concepts, which were transferred by Urs to their wards, the Ruses.

The two-caste system of the ancient Slavs reverberated in the names given them by their neighbours. For instance, the majority of Asian neighbours called an inhabitant of the Slavoniс-Aryan Empire as ‘ur-rus’, uniting the self-names of these two castes in a single word. Even now many Asian neighbours call Russians in the old fashioned manner, as ‘Urruses’.

There was a time when the names of the Slavonic tribes were formed by the addition of prefixes to the root ‘rus’, reflecting distinctive features of these tribes of Ruses, for example, Et-rus-can, P-rus-sian. The prefix ‘et’ before the self-name of Ruses means ‘elucidated Ruses’ – the carriers of highcult-ur-e. The proof of their existence has been found in the north of Italy in the form of inscriptions on stones and works of art. The name ‘Prussian’ meant ‘Ruses of Perun’[3], their other self-name was Venedas[4] (bellicose tribes of western Slavs), was kept in the self-name of the territory where they lived up to the 19th-20th centuries even after the German (gothic) tribes seized this land in 9th-10th  centuries A.D. The gothic tribes destroyed the majority of Prussian-Slavs, assimilated the rest amidst them and borrowed their name. After that one of the German tribes that lived on this territory began to call themselves ‘Prussians’; in the 19th century they played a key role in the merger of German tribes into a united state.

During the thousands of years of history of the Slavs, who initially had a united culture and language, the formation of self-names of the different Slavonic tribes was influenced by different factors. In the Urs’ time all Slavonic tribes have the second name ‘Ur-rus’. After the Urs’ disappearance their functions had to be distributed between their wards, Ruses.

This led to the formation of several castes: a caste of Volkhvs, carriers of knowledge and traditions; a caste of professional warriors, defenders from external enemies; a caste of handicraftsmen, grain-growers and cattlemen. At the top of all castes was a patrimonial aristocracy.

After the Urs’ disappearance, Ruses added to the common tribal name (Rus) one or another prefix reflecting their basic type of activity (Et-rus-can, P-rus-sian).”

The ancient pre- or proto-Aryan civilisation that Levashov describes, with a caste system clearly similar to that of Vedic civilisation, was essentially a Eurasian civilisation with multiple centres, not only in the Indian sub-continent, but also in Sumeria (whose language was neither Indo-European nor Semitic), Babylon and Assyria, the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, Minoan Crete, Troy and Mycenae – and as recent  discoveries show it also had centres in Russia and the Arctic. Evidence for this was found in 1987, when archaeological discoveries were uneathed in the Southern Urals (the so-calledARKAIM site) of an earlier ‘Arctic’ civilisation. This was referred to by Herodotus, Hesiod, Homer and Pindra as Hyperborea (‘beyond the North Wind’ or Boreas) and by Virgil as Thule. It corresponds also to Asgard – the land of the Norse gods or Aesir, one of the nine worlds unified by the world tree called Yggdrasill  and described in the Nordic Eddas as the abode of the  god Odin and his wife Frigg and the site of his fortress – Valhalla. What has since come to be known as the Slavic Vedasshare a similar script to Sanskrit, similar scriptures to the Vedas, and similar sagas to the Eddas – describing a migration south from the Arctic as climatic conditions changed from temperate to glacial.  The singular of aesir is ás related  to the  Sanskrit word asura – referring to the ‘anti-gods’ opposed to but inseparable from their half-brothers, the celestial sura – known in Sanskrit as devasor ‘shining ones’ (from the root *diw meaning “to shine”).

What united all the centres of this proto-Indo-European or Eurasian civilisation was both the ‘pillar’ connecting Sky (ARKA) and Earth (IM)  - also one important meaning of the Shivalingam – and theswastika/svastika symbol  found in so many ancient cultures. This is now understood not as a solar or sun symbol alone but as representing a spiralling or spinning galaxy. In this context it is interesting to note that the Slavic svastika symbol, called kolovrat means ‘spinning wheel’ – just as the Sanskrit chakra also means a ‘wheel’ which turns or spins.   

Neither svastika nor kolovrat essentially symbolise the sun however. For ancient Eurasian religious cultures worshipped the pole star rather than the sun – that star, close to the constellation of the bear (URSA) which lights up the darkness of the night sky and points us North i.e.  towards the planet Nibiru from which the Sumerian ruler-priests were thought to have come, toward the pole star – and toward the giant ‘black hole’ or ‘black sun’ at the very centre of our galaxy around which both the earth and the entire solar system turns or ‘spins’.  All the different geographical centres of the Eurasian civilisation however were seeded and guided long ago in the past by the advanced knowledge of their extra-terrestrial ruler priests or Urs. Conversely however, the rebirth in Russia of a future Eurasian culture and civilisation - one that will replace the currently dominant global capitalist culture of the U.S.A. - was anticipated by the German theosophist Rudolf Steiner. One of the chief current advocates of spiritual-political Eurasianism in Russia is Aleksandr Dugin – erstwhile organiser of the now-banned National Bolshevik Party and National Bolshevik Front in Russia, and founder of the Eurasia Party – now called Eurasia Movement and now leader of the International Eurasian Movement. 

“In principle, Eurasia and our space, the heartland Russia, remain the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution …The new Eurasian empire will be constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us. This common civilizational impulse will be the basis of a political and strategic union.” Dugin —The Basics of Geopolitics (1997)  

2. The Metaphysics of Light and Darkness

As early as 1903, Lokamanya Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak (then proprietor of the Kesari and the Mahrattanewspapers, author of the Orion or Researches into the Antiquity of the Vedas) wrote a book presenting evidence of clear reference to an ‘Arctic Homeland’ in the Sanskrit Vedas and Zoroastrian Avestas.  This in turn formed the basis of a work by J.G. Bennett (metaphysical interpreter of the ‘4th Way’ spiritual movement of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky) entitled ‘The Hyperborean Origin of Indo-European Culture’.  A key argument that Tilak offers are numerous temporal indications in the Vedas of a ‘year’ in which, as is the case above the Arctic circle, the sun rises only once – making it the equivalent of a ‘day’. Nordic-Arctic countries in general are influenced culturally and psychologically by long periods of sunless winter darkness, interspersed with only brief summers in which the sun shines through the night.

This brings us to the central metaphysical theme of this essay – namely that there is no more profound and powerful counterpart  and complement  to both the Vedas, Upanishads  and Kashmir Shaivism itself than Slavic-Russian Mysticism and its relation to Nordic-Arctic climate and culture.

For whereas Kashmir Shaivism places special emphasis on the ‘light’ of awareness, Russian mysticism and even the Russian Orthodox Church has always emphasised the ‘darkness’, ‘dark light’ or ‘luminous darkness’, as expressed in the blackness of the night sky and long winters, rather than the blue sky of summer. Inward depth and darkness of soul go together, just as outward expansiveness of soul goes together with light.

“The divine darkness is not the kind of blackness we experience stumbling into an underground room with no lights. This darkness is a positive reality that helps us to discover God, and hence is called “luminous.” Although it sounds like a contradiction in terms, a luminous darkness is one filled with God’s presence, and by faith, the soul can begin to perceive God in darkness. In fact, the closer that God comes to the soul, the more intense the darkness becomes; it is then that all other things of this world are cleared away. The soul looks up to the Lord and never ceases to desire him.”

St. Gregory of Nyssa

If, as in Kashmir Shaivism, we understand God (Shiva) as ultimately identical with awareness as such or ‘pure awareness’ – and awareness as the ultimate sole reality (what I call The Awareness Principle) then we must also recognise that awareness itself is first and foremost an awareness of the ‘dark’ realm of ‘non-being’ constituted by infinite potentials of awareness – infinite potential consciousnesses or ‘beings’.  It is the very awareness of these potentials that ultimate leads to their actualisation and birth – like the birth of stars in the darkness of the cosmos.

Similarly, The Awareness Principle understands the key Kashmiri Shaivist term Spanda as a primordial tension (German ‘Spannung’) that literally spans the dark realm of potentiality (symbolised by the blackness of Ma Kali) and the light of awareness by which alone all things actual – including the sun and stars – become visible.  Spanda can be compared to a stretched string or ‘monochord’ strung between the twin poles of dark potentiality and illuminated actuality. The chord not only has a fundamental tone – the OM sound or Omkara, but also countless harmonics – each a unique tonal quality or ‘colouration’ of awareness. The Awareness Principle also recognises the universe as amultiverse – a multitude of parallel space-time universes all of which open up like bubbles of space and light within the darkness of a wholly non-extensional ‘space’ of potentiality. For just as light and ordinary ‘extensional space’ are inseparable, so also are ‘intensional’ space and darkness. Within any space-time universe light is what rays out from a centre towards a cosmic circumference, like light raying out from stars in the night sky. Darkness or ‘dark light’ on the other hand, is ‘light’ raying in from that cosmic circumference we behold as the blackness of the night sky itself and its ‘luminous darkness’ – illuminated at all times by the pole star.

According to the colour theory of both Goethe and Steiner, redness is light beheld through darkness. Blueness, on the other hand is darkness behold through light. Hence the two colour poles of the spectrum of darkness and light are red and blue. As the blue-throated one, Shiva has come to be associated with blue.  Yet as we know, one of the principal Vedic gods associated with Shiva isRudra – which is cognate with words such as ruddy or reddish. Similarly the syllable ‘rus’ in Russia is a proto-Slavic word for both bear and ‘reddish-haired’, cognate with ursus or ursa – the constellation of the Bear whose name combines the words ‘ur’ and ‘rus’.  Furthermore, the Slavic ‘s’  in ‘rus’ corresponds to the ‘d’ in the name Rudra itself, which also means ‘to howl’ – like a bear or wolf. Indeed, the Sanskrit ‘Shiva’ may itself be a loan word from the Tamil-Dravidian civa – meaning ‘red’ or ‘angry’. Blue and red have become of course powerful colour symbols in politics. Communists or those on the political left are ‘reds’. Conservatives or those on the political right on the other hand, are signified by the colour blue. Interestingly, since the collapse of the Soviet Union the flag of the Russian Federation is no longer purely red but red, white (the colour of the anti-Bolshevik ‘White Russians’) and… blue.  But let us return to Levashov:

“At the end of the 20th century, people got access to the Slavoniс-Aryan Vedas, which contained a lot of very interesting information that was vainly ignored by modern science. These unique manuscripts translated into modern Russian reveal that last glacial age was a consequence of the war between the Great Russenia and Antlania[5] (Atlantis). This war happened more than 13,000 years ago. Then people moved large distances of planetary scale by means of Vaitmans  [Sanskrit Vimanas]. So, those mysterious rhombic platforms on the three-dimensional map of Western Siberia are nothing else but landing grounds for Vaitmars. The last Vaitmars [travelers in the Vaitmans] left our planet Midgard-Earth about 3500 years ago when the Night of Svarog[6] began.

There is another interesting document – the Book of Veles. The last records in it were made by volkvs of Novgorod at the end of the 10th century. This book covers more than 20,000 years of Slavic history.

To learn something useful is always welcome, but did it happen like this in reality? Let us remember, that in the middle of the 11th century (according to the Christian calendar) a daughter of Jaroslav Mudry, princess Anna became the French queen. Arriving from the «wild» Kievan Rus, the princess did not consider that arrival as entering into civilized Europe but considered Paris a big village. This has documentary acknowledgement in the form of her letters.  She brought with her to the remotest depth of the provinces, which France was then, a part of the library, some books from which returned to Russia only in the 19th century and were found in the library of Mr. Sulakadzaev. It was he who made the first translation into modern Russian of the Book of Veles, which was composed of wooden plates with runic letters on them. After Sulakadzaev’s death his widow sold the greater part of his library to the Romanovs, and after that nobody heard anything about these books. The most interesting fact is that after the appearance of these copies, all originals without exception have disappeared – they either were burned down in bonfires of the inquisition, having been declared as heretical books, or were lost in ‘accidental’ fires and epidemics ‘affecting’ all ancient libraries.The libraries of Alexandria, Athens, and Tzargrad (Constantinopol), along with the Etruscan library in Rome, were burned down almost simultaneously. The libraries of Yaroslav I the Wise (978-1054) and Ivan IV the Terrible (1530-1584) disappeared without a trace. All originals were burned or disappeared, while the copies made from them so «opportunely» have been kept and cherished. Old books were destroyed; new ones were written. They were adjusted so that in new ‘history’ there was no any mention about the Slavonic-Aryan Empire. The period of history before the 10th century in Europe was declared as dark, barbarous centuries, which were illuminated by the light of education brought with the culture of the Sacred Roman Empire.”

Note firstly that the 10th century marked both the apotheosis and the beginning of the decline of Kashmir Shaivism. Note also that the very term ‘dark ages’ places a negative connotation on darkness. Then again, the Bible itself  (Genesis 1) admits that ‘darkness was over the surface of the deep’ even before God said ‘Let there be light’ and supposedly created heaven and earth.  Still today, however, inner knowing or gnosis is associated almost exclusively with ‘illumination’ or ‘en-lightenment’. This is paradoxical given that modern scientific and atheistic ‘rationalism’ had its source origin in the European ‘Age of Enlightenment’.  Yet the modern scientific mode of ‘rationality’ it gave rise to however, is now confronted with an ‘occult’ mystery that threatens to undermine its entire theoretical framework – the mystery of what physicists and cosmologists term ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ – whose nature is completely unknown but which is nevertheless acknowledged to make up 90% of the mass and two thirds of the ‘mass-energy’ of the universe. Levashov:

“…the last record in the Book of Veles and christening of Kievan Rus falls on the same time – the end of the 10th century according to contemporary chronology … What are these Days and Nights of Svarog? These words are mentioned in the Slavonic-Aryan Vedas quite often. It is time to understand what these concepts mean. There are several types of star accumulations in our Universe, such as spiral and spherical galaxies, star nebulas, etc. Our Sun is located in one of four sleeves of our spiral galaxy, in the «backyards» of this sleeve. Every spiral galaxy rotates around its nucleus while traveling on the star roads of our Universe. Seven primary matters form our Universe. The so-called, physically solid matter, which everybody is used to see as galaxies, nebulas, stars, planets, etc., appeared as a result of the merging of these primary matters in the areas of space, where necessary terms for this merging were observed. As proved by ‘scientists’,’physically’ solid matter makes only 10% of the whole matter of the Universe, and the rest (90%) is so-called ‘dark matter’. However, they do not specify what this “dark matter,” which can not be registered by any known modern scientific tool, is; we will forgive them this ‘insignificant misunderstanding’ and will move on to business.”

The galactic ‘nucleus’ that Levashov refers to is recognised to be a huge ‘black hole’ – itself a portal linking our universe to other universes in the ‘honeycomb’ plurality of multiple universes or ‘multiverse’. The types of ‘primary matter’ that Levashov refers to are what is now ‘scientifically’ termed ‘dark matter’. He refers also to the ‘psi-generators’ used in early civilisations, and those which he himself employs as medium of both healing and natural growth and regeneration. These he sees as “made of dark matter” and therefore essentially neither detectable by or requiring any technical or physical instrumentation, except as outward symbols for the subjective manipulation of the dark matter in its different forms.

The Awareness Principle understand the forms of ‘dark matter’ that Levashov refers to as specific potentialities and qualities of awareness - and their dark power or ‘energy’ as the capacity or power (Shakti) for the actualisation of these potentials – itself released by interaction with the invisible lightof awareness (Paramashiva). On the physical plane, this interaction plays itself out as an interaction between solar and earthly magnetism – what we call ‘magnetism’  being itself a bipolar spatial flow pattern of the all-pervasive ‘aether’ of pure awareness known in Sanskrit as Akash.

In modern translations the tantric term Shakti is almost invariably translated as ‘energy’. A closer translation would be ‘power’ or ‘power of action’ (Shak). Indeed this translation of Shakti accords with the root meaning of the term ‘energy’ itself – not as some ‘thing in itself’ but as pure action – the actualisation of those powers or potentialities of action latent in space itself as the ‘aether’ of pure awareness. What I call ‘The Awareness Principle’ is the metaphysical understanding that awareness is ultimate reality – that ultimately ‘awareness is everything’ and ‘everything is awareness’. The Awareness Principle stands in direct contrast to ‘The Energy Principle’ shared by modern science and ‘New Age’ pseudo-science alike – namely the principle that ‘energy is everything’ and ‘everything is energy’. As a ‘Theory Of Everything’ (TOE) ‘The Energy Principle’ is a highly questionable one, resting as it does on an unquestioned notion of energy as some ‘thing in itself’, a notion that is at the same time a distortion of its root meaning as that ‘formative action’ (energein) through which all forms are actualised in awareness. Pure awareness then, like the seeming emptiness of space itself, is no mere formless void but a plenum of formative potentials.  ‘Energy’ in the root sense is the actualisation of these potentials – the emergence of form from the apparent formlessness of space.

The Sanskrit term akash is translated both as ‘space’ and ‘aether’, sometimes spelled ‘ether’. It is understood in Indian thought as pervaded by countless basic units or “animations of consciousness” (Seth) which constitute the very ‘air’ or ‘breath’ of awareness called Prana – and the quintessence of air as such. The Sanskrit term prana is etymologically cognate with the Latin-derived terms ‘spirit’ and ‘spiral’ (from spirare – ‘to breathe’). It is also cognate with the root meanings of the Greek words for ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ – pneuma (meaning air or wind) and ‘psyche’ (‘vital breath’). To be ‘spiritual’ in the root sense of this word therefore, is to be capable, quite literally, of a wholly different type of re-spiration or breathing – a type of whole body ‘transpiration’ of the clear, luminous expansiveness of the space around us – not through our lungs alone but through every pore of our felt body surface. It is the long-lost experience of breathing the clear, luminous ‘air’ or ‘aether’ of awareness itself that lies concealed behind both the otherwise wholly vague Western notion of ‘spirit’, as well as different classical and modern-scientific notions of a cosmic ‘aether’. Its secret is that invisible breath or ‘air’ of awareness (Prana) that pervades the entirety of space (Akash), both the space around us and the space which pervades and makes up by far the largest proportion of each and every atom of ‘matter’. This space vibrates with spanda – the fundamental tensing spanning the realm of the potential and the actual, together with the vibration of the actual within the potential and of the potential within the actual. Spanda is also what resounds with the inner sound ‘OM’. Hence also the association in Indian thought of the Akash with the element of sound or vibration. The double meaning of the Sanskrit Akash as both ‘space’ and ‘aether’ goes together with the Greek meaning of the word aether itself – as that ‘upper’, less gaseous, purer and thus morespacious air of the sort we breathe at Himalayan mountain summits – or in Nothern polar regions such as the Arctic.  For aether was the ‘higher air’ breathed by the gods themselves in their uppermost abode – whether we call this Olympus, Hyperborea, Thule or Asgard.

Dark Forces?

“I’m not the Devil. I’m much, much older. I watched the beginning and I will see the end. I am the dark behind all the stars. I am the dark inside you all.”

…from the screenplay of the film ‘Event Horizon’

The Greek word Khaos refers to a gaping dark void or chasm. It is cognate with Sanskrit Kha andAkash – referring to space itself, understood as the womb of all things – including the gods. In contrast, the Sanskrit kala means ‘time’ As such it is connected with the name of the great black Indian mother goddess Kali (kal – black / kala – time). Metaphysically, she can be understood as both, the ultimate temporal circumference or ‘event horizon’ of this spatial womb (kala – time) and as an ultimate ‘black hole’ or ‘singularity’ at its heart. Put in other terms, the realm of pure potentiality symbolised by Kali is a realm of unbounded inwardness – an inwardness that cannot be perceived by looking out from some localised centre of consciousness in space, but only by looking inwards from an infinite periphery, circumference or ‘horizon’ of awareness.

If the actual physical universe is a realm of spatial and material extensionality, then the primordial realm of potentiality is a non-extensional realm – a realm of pure intensionality. As such, it is made up not of extensional material bodies in space-time but of pure intensities of awareness in an unbounded ‘time-space’. The massive density of intensities that constitute this realm of unbounded inwardness – deified as Kali – find manifestation only through gravitational densities of matter so great, that they have collapsed themselves into ‘black holes’ with a so-called ‘singularity’ at their core. In physical-scientific terms, a black hole is ‘black’ because at its ‘event horizon’ the gravitational pull of the ‘singularity’ is so great as to bend space itself around itself – allowing no light-information to escape  – only sound in the form of a fundamental tone (the primordial sound of silence known as the Omkara or ‘OM’ sound).

From a metaphysical perspective however, the apparent outer surface of every visible body in space is also an event horizon. For like the visible outer surface of the human body, every ‘physical’ body conceals an unbounded and invisible psychical interiority along with invisible psychical ‘events’. These can never be perceived from without, no matter to what degree the physical interiority of the body is opened up and physiologically examined. For, what we perceive as fleshly bodies, cells and organs too are but outer surface appearances or ‘event horizons’ concealing an invisible psychicalinteriority and invisible psychical events.

When the crew on board the fictional movie spaceship  called ‘Event Horizon’ start ‘hallucinating’ terrifying images of bodies invisible to others (and later perceive each other’s bodies in horrific form) is this because they have entered ‘hell’ in the Christian sense or because, under the influence of the ship’s black hole, they have also unconsciously penetrated the event horizon of their own and each other’s bodies – perceiving events and images within their otherwise invisible psychical interiority in outward bodily form? The root meaning of ‘hallucinate’ is ‘to wander’. The crew’s ‘hallucinations’ are an expression of their wandering into and within the realm of ultimate inwardness associated with the primordial “agony” of creation as described in ‘The SETH Material’ by Jane Roberts – in which what Seth calls ‘All That Is’ (in essence the ultimate and universal awareness) sought a way to release all the potential consciousnesses embraced but still contained in His nebulous, dreamlike awareness into that state of autonomous actuality or being into which they “clamoured to be released”.   

In reality then, every outwardly perceived body is an Event Horizon. And at the core of all material bodies is a ‘black hole’ or “Singularity of Awareness”. This singularity at the core of all material bodies is both a central point (Sanskrit Bindu) and a central tone linking that unit of extensional matter to all other bodies through that dark, intensional realm of unbounded inwardness and inexhaustible potentiality that “flows through and forms all matter”.

This flow is that of the higher air or aether of awareness itself in its twin but inseparable aspects of light and darkness. Darkness is the in-flow of an invisible and wholly translucent ‘light’ of awareness from the cosmic circumference towards a centre just as light is the outward radiance of that invisible light of awareness from a centre. If we learn to sense the entirety of ‘empty’ cosmic space above and surrounding the entire surface of our heads and upper bodies, we can come to to experience ourselves breathing in its innate aetheric vitality of that invisible light and feel its countless centres – each of which have the character of miniature, light-emitting ‘white holes’ – revitalising the inner spaces within every atom, cell and molecule of our body.

If, on the other hand, we sense our lower bodies and let awareness flow inwards from our abdominal surface towards the singularity of awareness at its centre – or a few inches below and behind our navel – we will experience that inner space of our abdomen or hara (Japanese) as filled with inner darkness or blackness. Each out-breath can then be experienced as both an inward and downward flow of a ‘dark light’ of awareness – one that not only rays inwards from the abdomen or toward itshara centre or tanden but also flows downwards from our lower body and abdominal centre to yet lower centres. This dark inward and downward flow of awareness ultimately reaches and roots down below the very ground beneath our feet and  towards the fiery core of the earth itself. Here we contact the ‘dark force’ known in occult literature as Vril or Kundalini – the fire of awareness that then rises from that molten and fiery core – whose spinning is known to be responsible for the earth’s magnetic field.

The felt surface of our bodies then, both unites and distinguishes two spaces or fields of awareness – one extending outward and upward to a heavenly cosmic circumference, the other downward and inward towards a bodily and earthly centre or ‘singularity’ of awareness. The relationship between these two different flows of awareness is essentially a relation between the invisible space or light of awareness in its dual character – as both light and darkness. It also finds expression as the relation between polar or axial magnetism on the one hand and ‘spherical’ magnetism or ‘magnetospheres’ on the other. Thus, like the earth itself, the body has both axial magnetic poles (North and South)  and a ‘magnetosphere’ – the outer surface or ‘event horizon’ surrounding the black hole at its gravitational centre and the fiery core into which it can lead – demonised as the ‘underworld’ or ‘hell’ in both religious mythology and science fiction. The word ‘hell’ however derives from the German Halle (hall) and the verb hallen – to echo or resound, as the  Omkara does from within the event horizon of a black hole.  Polar axial and vertical dimensions of light and darkness, space and gravity, electricity and magnetism are all expressions of axial and vertical flows of awareness – corresponding to the Shivalingam and the vertical axis of kundalini within our body of awareness.  On the other hand, spherical dimensions of light and darkness, space and gravity, electricity and magnetism – all express spherical boundaries, spaces and centres of awareness.

Beyond space, time and ‘space-time’

Time too has a spatial dimension – including a spherical one and not just a linear one. Like a sphere, time (Seth) has an outside and an inside. Behind and beyond ‘space’ ‘time’ and ‘space-time’ as physicists conceive it is a “spacious present” (Seth).  This is ‘space-time’ understood and experienced as a spherical time-space of awareness embracing and yet ‘outside’ all ‘space-time’ universes and embracing also all actual and potential pasts and futures – both of the cosmos and of human civilisation. The interweaving of the actual and potential in the realm of dreams and mythical possibilities – like the interweaving of dreams and mythologies that opens up new possibilities for humankind – are themselves nothing mythical but the ‘dreamtime’ and very loom or tantra of time-space. It finds expression today in the mythological history, credible actuality and futural possibility of the civilisation called ‘Eurasia’ – with both its multiple geographical centres and its single axial pole – pointing to the pole star and to the ‘black hole’ at the centre of our spinning galaxy or kolovrat.


By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named Night,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule –
From a wild weird clime, that lieth, sublime,

Out of Space – out of Time.

Edgar Allen Poe 1844

3. Personal Postscript

I might not have come to write this piece were it not for the fact that, lying down on my mother’s sofa one afternoon in the late seventies or early eighties – and despite being wholly ignorant of what was then the still-undiscovered ARKAIM site -  I entered a hypnagogic state in which I experienced the strong but invisible presence of Rudolf and Marie Steiner beside me. Accompanying this, I had a most vivid and lucid dream of an isolated citadel of the future – from within which I found myself peering out at a vast steppe land, one which I knew from the Steiners to be somewhere in Russia – and the centre of a future civilization.


ARKAIM – ancient Russian city

Michael Kosok  The Singularity of Awareness





Lokamanya Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak – THE ARCTIC HOME IN THE VEDAS





EVENT HORIZON – the film


[1]A Volkhv is a cleric, the Supreme priest, and a keeper of ancient sacred texts.

[2] Da’Aryan and h’Aryan characters (letters) are two of four kinds of writing of the Great Race: da’Aryan Trags, h’Aryan Runes, Sviatorussians Images (bukvitca, runica, cherty and rezy) and Russenian Molvitca.

[3] Perun was the god-patron of all soldiers, the defender of the land and the clan of SviatoRuses (Russians, Byelorussians, Asts, Lits, Lats,  Latgalls, Zemgalls, Polans, Serbs, etc.)

[4] Venedas were inhabitants of the Great Venea where Clans and tribes of Venedas migrated. It corresponds to the territory of modern Western Europe.

[5] Antlania was an island in the Atlantic Ocean where Slavonic clan of Ants was lodged. Then their land began to be called as Ant-lan, i. e., the Land of Ants. Ancient Greeks named it Atlantis and its inhabitants – atlantes (modern Ukrainians; U-krai-ne means in Russian outskirts («krai») of the Land of Holy Race).

[6] The Night of Svarog, according to Slavonic tradition, is the name of a dark difficult time when our solar system passes through spaces of the Dark Worlds; or Kali-Uga in Aryan or Indian tradition.

vendredi, 23 novembre 2012

Inner Revolutions and Kindred Souls


Inner Revolutions and Kindred Souls:
A Review of Indo-Europe Rising and Atoms of Kshatriyas

by Gwendolyn Taunton

Ex: http://shunyarevolution.wordpress.com/

“Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.” — Nietzsche

Azsacra Zarathustra’s work always makes for an interesting read, and his latest books (Indo-Europe Rising and Atoms of Kshatriyas are no exception. Since these books are related in terms of content, I will review them both together in this article). In these texts Azsacra Zarathustra continues to expand on the themes developed in earlier works and a number of concepts presented in these titles are covered extensively and explained in earlier books. As such, I would to stress here that Zarathustra’s work can be intellectually challenging for beginners and people whom are not well versed in traditional metaphysics and philosophy. Therefore it is essential for readers to familiarise themselves with his earlier works in order to understand his writing in the full context. Azasacra Zarathustra: Creator of ShunyaRevoution and Absolute Revolutionis recommended as an introductory text for those who are unfamiliar with the concepts introduced by Zarathustra. For those who are already loyal readers, no such introduction is required and they will thoroughly enjoy immersing themselves in the pages of his latest writing.That being said, like Nietzsche whom I quoted above, I have no time for the idle readers — and it is the readers who appreciate different ideas and perspectives who will experience the greatest rewards from Zarathustra’s books. Here, at last we see some new ideas emerging in Traditionalism — rather than reciting Traditionalists, Zarathustra develops of some of their ideas — and challenges them when need be. In this regard, Zarathustra’s latest book Indo-Europe Uprising is unapologetically addressed to the Hindu and European Traditions (which are linked by linguistic and religious heritage).

It is from this perspective that they need to be understood — the revolution and uprising of which he writes is one rooted in tradition and spirituality, and is not politically motivated. It is a revolution that is rooted deep in the roots of the psyche of India and Europe, and like all good books it speaks not to the head but direct to the heart and to the blood. The Absolute Revolution is an interior one, not an exterior revolution — thus like Krishna’s instructions to Arjuna, it is a spiritual process. This instruction to the Ksatriya is echoed in Zarathustra’s works, who like Evola adopts the perspective that the Ksatriya caste has its own set of spiritual teachings which differs from that of the religious code of the Brahmins. This is readily supported by the Upanisads, to which Ksatriya authorship is attributed, and even to the Buddha who was born into the Ksatriya caste. It is to those people who identify with the Ksatriya role (for caste is not determined by birth in his works, but by temperament and natural inclination) that Zarathustra addresses his works and expounds the theory of the Shunya Revolution; an interior and psychological process weaving together thoughts from Hinduism, Buddhism and Nietzsche — all of which Zarathustra does not merely cite, but actively develops upon, adding new teachings to the old ones to develop a new level.

What is of special interest in Zarathustra’s latest book, is that it offers a new model of Tradition which places emphasis on the ties between Europe and India, in contrast to the older Traditionalist model which favours the Abrahamic Traditions of Christianity and Islam. In terms of the history of religion, this perspective is academically correct as Vedic India and the old gods of Europe come from the same religious family, the Indo-European genus of religion. Christianity, Islam (and also Judaism) originate instead from Abraham, and form a triad which scholars refer to as the Abrahamic Tradition. The remaining Traditions fall under the rubric of Taoic, Dharmic (Hindu), Pagan (European) and Shamanic. Recent developments in the studies of religion such as the reconstruction of the Proto Indo European language and consequential dialect shifts suggest that the Dharmic Traditions and the Pagan Traditions stem from a common heritage in the pre-Vedic era, thus indicating that they are in fact related, and therefore the association of India with Europe is a genuine one which is easily backed up by historical facts.  The bond between the Hindu Tradition and the European Tradition is therefore a natural one which is rooted deep in the past where it has existed since the dawn of history. The Indo-Europe Uprising of which Zarathustra writes is one which unites both Hinduism and the indigenous spiritual traditions of Europe at the core of this ancestry, and therefore it is a  shared kinship between two cultures. This is the new element of Traditionalism which speaks to the Hindu and Pagan audiences, who have previously been under represented in Traditionalism and have previously occupied only a secondary role to that of the Abrahamic Traditions. Also of interest here is that Zarathustra correctly identifies Tibet as having a religious connection with Hinduism and it is included as part of the theory — thus forming a religious triad of its own as part of the Indo-European Tradition: Hinduism, the European Traditions, and Buddhism.

Into this vision of a shared ancestral past is woven an intricate dialogue of Ksatriya mysticism, the metaphysical state of emptiness and the detachment from the karma-phalam advocated by Krishna. These Hindu and Buddhism thoughts are then coupled with the ideas of Europe’s greatest thinker and philosopher, Freidrich Nietzsche to create a perspective which is not only unique and original, but also profoundly Indo-European in this combination. Much of Nietzsche’s thought expresses an admiration for the Vedic past, and he too advocated the warrior temperament above that of the priest, for he saw it as a more vital mode of life and being, rather than the mode of renunciation which represents a withdrawal from life rather than engaging and conflicting with it head on. It is obvious that Zarathustra is highly influenced by Nietzsche, but he does not merely cite Nietzsche’s works — rather he develops on them by adding layers of mysticism and spiritual development drawn from the esoteric doctrines of India and Tibet, to develop a new teaching for those who identify themselves as Kstariya, in order to fight the great internal war and overcome the flawed human nature which separates them from the numinous essence of the divine which is the great spiritual uprising and the esoteric doctrine of the Absolute Revolution and the forms the Atoms of Ksatriyas.

Gwendolyn Taunton was the recipient of the Ashton Wylie Award for Literary Excellence in 2009 for her work with Primordial Traditions and is a well-known author on Hinduism and Heathen/Pagan Traditions:  Her most recent work is ‘Mimir — Journal of North European Traditions’:


dimanche, 20 novembre 2011

India's only communalist A short biography of Sita Ram Goel

India's only communalist
A short biography of Sita Ram Goel

Ex; http://koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/

Koenraad Elst

1. Is there a communalist in the hall ?

A lot of people in India and abroad talk about communalism, often in grave tones, describing it as a threat to secularism, to regional and world peace. But can anyone show us a communalist? If we look more closely into the case of any so-called communalist, we find that he turns out to be something else.

sitaramgoel.jpgCould Syed Shahabuddin be a communalist? After all, he played a key role in the three main "Muslim communalist" issues of recent years: the Babri Masjid campaign, the Shah Bano case and the Salman Rushdie affair (it is he who got The Satanic Verses banned in September 1988). Surely, he must be India's communalist par excellence? Wrong: if you read any page of any issue of Shahabuddin's monthly Muslim India, you will find that he brandishes the notion of "secularism" as the alpha and omega of his politics, and that he directs all his attacks against Hindu "communalism". The same propensity is evident in the whole Muslim "communalist" press, e.g. the Jamaat-i Islami weekly Radiance. Moreover, on Muslim India's editorial board, you find articulate secularists like Inder Kumar Gujral, Khushwant Singh and the late P.N. Haksar.

For the same reason, any attempt to label the All-India Muslim League as communalist would be wrong. True, it is the continuation of the party which achieved the Partition of India along communal lines. Yet, emphatically secularist parties like the Congress Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have never hesitated to include the Muslim League in coalitions governing the state of Kerala. No true communalist would get such a chance.

On the Hindu side then, at least the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, "National Volunteer Corps") could qualify as "communalist"? Certainly, it is called just that by all its numerous enemies. But then, when you look through any issue of its weekly Organiser, you will find it brandishing the notion of "positive" or "genuine secularism", and denouncing "pseudo-secularism", i.e. minority communalism. Moreover, in order to prove its non-communal character, it even calls itself and its affiliated organizations (trade-union, student organization, political party etc.) "National" or "Indian" rather than "Hindu". The allied political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, "Indian People's Party"), shows off the large number of Muslims among its cadres to prove how secular and non-communal it is. Even the Shiv Sena shows off its token Muslims. No, for full-blooded communalists, we have to look elsewhere.

There is only one man in India whom I have ever known to say: "I am a (Hindu) communalist." To an extent, this is in jest, as a rhetorical device to avoid the tangle in which RSS people always get trapped: being called "communalist!" and then spending the rest of your time trying to prove to your hecklers what a good secularist you are. But to an extent, it is because he accepts at least one definition of "communalism" as applying to himself, esp. to his view of India's history since the 7th century. Many historians try to prove their "secularism" by minimizing religious adherence as a factor of conflict in Indian history, and explaining so-called religious conflicts as merely a camouflage for socio-economic conflicts. By contrast, the historian under consideration accepts, and claims to have thoroughly documented, the allegedly "communalist" view that the major developments in medieval and modern Indian history can only be understood as resulting from an intrinsic hostility between religions.

Unlike the Hindutva politicians, he does not seek the cover of "genuine secularism". While accepting the notion that Hindu India has always been "secular" in the adapted Indian sense of "religiously pluralistic", he does not care for slogans like the Vishva Hindu Parishad's advertisement "Hindu India, secular India". After all, in Nehruvian India the term "secular" has by now acquired a specific meaning far removed from the original European usage, and even from the above-mentioned Indian adaptation. If Voltaire, the secularist par excellence, were to live in India today and repeat his attacks on the Church, echoing the Hindutva activists in denouncing the Churches' grip on public life in christianized pockets like Mizoram and Nagaland, he would most certainly be denounced as "anti-minority" and hence "anti-secular".

In India, the term has shed its anti-Christian bias and acquired an anti-Hindu bias instead, a phenomenon described by the author under consideration as an example of the current "perversion of India's political parlance". Therefore, he attacks the whole Nehruvian notion of "secularism" head-on, e.g. in the self-explanatory title of his Hindi booklet Saikyularizm: râshtradroha kâ dûsra nâm ("Secularism: the Alternative Name for Treason"). The name of India's only self-avowed communalist is Sita Ram Goel.

2. Sita Ram Goel as an anti-Communist

Sita Ram Goel was born in 1921 in a poor family (though belonging to the merchant Agrawal caste) in Haryana. As a schoolboy, he got acquainted with the traditional Vaishnavism practised by his family, with the Mahabharata and the lore of the Bhakti saints (esp. Garibdas), and with the major trends in contemporary Hinduism, esp. the Arya Samaj and Gandhism. He took an M.A. in History in Delhi University, winning prizes and scholarships along the way. In his school and early university days he was a Gandhian activist, helping a Harijan Ashram in his village and organizing a study circle in Delhi.

8185990239.jpgIn the 1930s and 40s, the Gandhians themselves came in the shadow of the new ideological vogue: socialism. When they started drifting to the Left and adopting socialist rhetoric, S.R. Goel decided to opt for the original rather than the imitation. In 1941 he accepted Marxism as his framework for political analysis. At first, he did not join the Communist Party of India, and had differences with it over such issues as the creation of the religion-based state of Pakistan, which was actively supported by the CPI but could hardly earn the enthusiasm of a progressive and atheist intellectual. He and his wife and first son narrowly escaped with their lives in the Great Calcutta Killing of 16 August 1946, organized by the Muslim League to give more force to the Pakistan demand.

In 1948, just when he had made up his mind to formally join the Communist Party of India, in fact on the very day when he had an appointment at the party office in Calcutta to be registered as a candidate-member, the Government of West Bengal banned the CPI because of its hand in an ongoing armed rebellion. A few months later, Ram Swarup came to stay with him in Calcutta and converted him as well as his employer, Hari Prasad Lohia, out of Communism. Goel's career as a combative and prolific writer on controversial matters of historical fact can only be understood in conjunction with Ram Swarup's sparser, more reflective writings on fundamental doctrinal issues.

Much later, in a speech before the Yogakshema society, Calcutta 1983, he explained his relation with Ram Swarup as follows: "In fact, it would have been in the fitness of things if the speaker today had been Ram Swarup, because whatever I have written and whatever I have to say today really comes from him. He gives me the seed-ideas which sprout into my articles (...) He gives me the framework of my thought. Only the language is mine. The language also would have been much better if it was his own. My language becomes sharp at times; it annoys people. He has a way of saying things in a firm but polite manner, which discipline I have never been able to acquire." (The Emerging National Vision, p.1.)

S.R. Goel's first important publications were written as part of the work of the Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia:

·        World Conquest in Instalments (1952);

·        The China Debate: Whom Shall We Believe? (1953);

·        Mind Murder in Mao-land (1953);

·        China is Red with Peasants' Blood (1953);

·        Red Brother or Yellow Slave? (1953);

·        Communist Party of China: a Study in Treason (1953);

·        Conquest of China by Mao Tse-tung (1954);

·        Netaji and the CPI (1955);

·        CPI Conspire for Civil War (1955).

Goel also published the book Blowing up India: Reminiscences of a Comintern Agent by Philip Spratt (1955), who, as an English Comintern agent, had founded the Communist Party of India in 1926. After spending some time in prison as a convict in the Meerut Conspiracy case (1929), Spratt had come under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi, and ended as one of the best-informed critics of Communism.

Then, and all through his career as a polemical writer, the most remarkable feature of Sita Ram Goel's position in the Indian intellectual arena was that nobody even tried to give a serious rebuttal to his theses: the only counter-strategy has always been, and still is, "strangling by silence", simply refusing to ever mention his name, publications and arguments.

An aspect of history yet to be studied is how such anti-Communist movements in the Third World were not at all helped (in fact, often opposed) by Western interest groups whose understanding of Communist ideology and strategy was just too superficial. Most US representatives starkly ignored the SDFA's work, and preferred to enjoy the company of more prestigious (implying: fashionably anti-anti-Communist) opinion makers. Goel himself noted in 1961 about his Western anti-Communist contacts like Freda Utley, Suzanne Labin and Raymond Aron, who were routinely dismissed as bores, querulants or CIA agents: Communism was "opposed only by individuals and groups who have done so mostly at the cost of their reputation (...) A history of these heroes and their endless endeavour has still to be written." (Genesis and Growth of Nehruism, p.212)

3. Sita Ram Goel and the RSS

gagon.jpgIn the 1950s, Goel was not active on the "communal" battlefield: not Islam or Christianity but Communism was his priority target. Yet, under Ram Swarup's influence, his struggle against communism became increasingly rooted in Hindu spirituality, the way Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's anti-Communism became rooted in Orthodox Christianity. He also co-operated with (but was never a member of) the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, and he occasionally contributed articles on Communism to the RSS weekly Organiser. In 1957 he contested the Lok Sabha election for the Khajuraho constituency as an independent candidate on a BJS ticket, but lost. He was one of the thirty independents fielded as candidates by Minoo Masani in preparation of the creation of his own (secular, rightist-liberal) Swatantra Party.

In that period, apart from the said topical books in English, Goel wrote and published 18 titles in Hindi: 8 titles of fiction and 1 of poetry written by himself; 3 compilations from the Mahabharata and the Tripitaka; and Hindi translations of these 6 books, mostly of obvious ideological relevance:

·        The God that Failed, a testimony on Communism by Arthur Koestler, André Gide and other prominent ex-Communists;

·        Ram Swarup's Communism and Peasantry;

·        Viktor Kravchenko's I Chose Freedom, another testimony by an ex-Communist;

·        George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.

·        Satyakam Sokratez ("Truth-lover Socrates"), the three Dialogues of Plato centred round Socrates' last days (Apology, Crito and Phaedo);

·        Shaktiputra Shivaji, a history of the 17th-century Hindu freedom fighter, originally The Great Rebel by Denis Kincaid.

There is an RSS aspect to this publishing activity. RSS secretary-general Eknath Ranade had asked Goel to educate RSS workers about literature, and to produce some literature in Hindi to this end. The understanding was that the RSS would propagate this literature and organize discussions about it. Once Goel had set up a small publishing outfit and published a few books, he had another meeting with Ranade, who gave him an unpleasant surprise: "Was the RSS created to sell your books?" Fortunately for Goel, his friend Guru Datt Vaidya and son Yogendra Datt included Goel's books in the fund of their own publishing-house, Bharati Sahitya Sadan. This is Goel's own version, and Ranade is not there to defend himself; but Goel's long experience in dealing with the RSS leadership translates into a long list of anecdotes of RSS petty-mindedness, unreliability and lack of proper manners in dealing with fellow-men.

In May 1957, Goel moved to Delhi and got a job with a state-affiliated company, the Indian Cooperative Union, for which he did research and prospection concerning cottage industries. The company also loaned him for a while to the leading Gandhian activist Jayaprakash Narayan, who shared Goel's anti-Communism at least at the superficial level (what used to be called "anti-Stalinism": rejecting the means but not the ends of Communism).

During the Chinese invasion in 1962, some government officials including P.N. Haksar, Nurul Hasan and the later Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, demanded Goel's arrest. But at the same time, the Home Ministry invited him to take a leadership role in the plans for a guerrilla war against the then widely-expected Chinese occupation of eastern India. He made his co-operation conditional on Nehru's abdication as Prime Minister, and nothing ever came of it.

In 1963, Goel had a book published under his own name which he had published in 1961-62 as a series in Organiser under the pen name Ekaki ("solitary"): a critique of Nehru's consistent pro-Communist policies, titled In Defence of Comrade Krishna Menon. An update of this book was published in 1993: Genesis and Growth of Nehruism. The serial in Organiser had been discontinued after 16 installments because Eknath Ranade and A.B. Vajpayee feared that if any harm came to Nehru, the RSS would be accused of having "created the climate", as in the Gandhi murder case.

In it, Goel questioned the current fashion of attributing India's Communist-leaning foreign policy to Defence Minister Krishna Menon, and demonstrated that Nehru himself had been a consistent Communist sympathizer ever since his visit to the Soviet Union in 1927. Nehru had stuck to his Communist sympathies even when the Communists insulted him as Prime Minister with their unbridled scatologism. Nehru was too British and too middle-class to opt for a fully authoritarian socialism, but like many European Leftists he supported just such regimes when it came to foreign policy. Thus, Nehru's absolute refusal to support the Tibetans even at the diplomatic level when they were overrun by the Chinese army ("a Far-Eastern Munich", according to Minoo Masani: Against the Tide, Vikas Publ., Delhi 1981, p.45.), cannot just be attributed to circumstances or the influence of his collaborators: his hand-over of Tibet to Communist China was quite consistent with his own political convictions.

While refuting the common explanation that the pro-Communist bias in Nehru's foreign policy was merely the handiwork of Minister Krishna Menon, Goel also drew attention to the harmfulness of this policy to India's national interests. This critique of Nehru's pro-China policies was eloquently vindicated by the Chinese invasion in October 1962, but it cost Goel his job. He withdrew from the political debate, went into business himself and set up Impex India, a company of book import and export with a modest publishing capacity.

In 1964, RSS general secretary Eknath Ranade invited Goel to lead the prospective Vishva Hindu Parishad, which was founded later that year, but Goel set as his condition that he would be free to speak his own mind rather than act as a mouthpiece of the RSS leadership; the RSS could not accept this, and the matter ended there. Goel's only subsequent involvement in politics was in 1973 when he was asked by the BJS leadership to mediate with the dissenting party leader Balraj Madhok in a last attempt at conciliation (which failed); and when he worked as a member of the think-tank of the Janata alliance before it defeated Indira's Emergency regime in the 1977 elections. As a commercial publisher, he did not seek out the typical "communal" topics, but nonetheless kept an eye on Hindu interests. That is why he published books like Dharampal's The Beautiful Tree (on indigenous education as admiring British surveyors found it in the 19th century, before it was destroyed and replaced with the British or missionary system), Ram Swarup's apology of polytheism The Word as Revelation (1980), K.R. Malkani's The RSS Story (1980) and K.D. Sethna's Karpasa in Prehistoric India (1981; on the chronology of Vedic civilization, implying decisive objections against the Aryan Invasion Theory).

4. Sita Ram Goel as a Hindu Revivalist

hsus.jpgIn 1981 Sita Ram Goel retired from his business, which he handed over to his son and nephew. He started the non-profit publishing house Voice of India with donations from sympathetic businessmen, and accepted Organiser editor K.R. Malkani's offer to contribute some articles again, articles which were later collected into the first Voice of India booklets.

Goel's declared aim is to defend Hinduism by placing before the public correct information about the situation of Hindu culture and society, and about the nature, motives and strategies of its enemies. For, as the title of his book Hindu Society under Siege indicates, Goel claims that Hindu society has been suffering a sustained attack from Islam since the 7th century, from Christianity since the 15th century, this century also from Marxism, and all three have carved out a place for themselves in Indian society from which they besiege Hinduism. The avowed objective of each of these three world-conquering movements, with their massive resources, is diagnosed as the replacement of Hinduism by their own ideology, or in effect: the destruction of Hinduism.

Apart from numerous articles, letters, contributions to other books (e.g. Devendra Swarup, ed.: Politics of Conversion, DRI, Delhi 1986) and translations (e.g. the Hindi version of Taslima Nasrin's Bengali book Lajja, published in instalments in Panchjanya, summer 1994), Goel has contributed the following books to the inter-religious debate:

·        Hindu Society under Siege (1981, revised 1992);

·        Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1982);

·        How I Became a Hindu (1982, enlarged 1993);

·        Defence of Hindu Society (1983, revised 1987);

·        The Emerging National Vision (1983);

·        History of Heroic Hindu Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders (1984);

·        Perversion of India's Political Parlance (1984);

·        Saikyularizm, Râshtradroha kâ Dûsrâ Nâm (Hindi: "Secularism, another name for treason", 1985);

·        Papacy, Its Doctrine and History (1986);

·        Preface to The Calcutta Quran Petition by Chandmal Chopra (a collection of texts alleging a causal connection between communal violence and the contents of the Quran; 1986, enlarged 1987 and again 1999);

·        Muslim Separatism, Causes and Consequences (1987);

·        Foreword to Catholic Ashrams, Adapting and Adopting Hindu Dharma (a collection of polemical writings on Christian inculturation; 1988, enlarged 1994 with new subtitle: Sannyasins or Swindlers?);

·        History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1989, enlarged 1996);

·        Hindu Temples, What Happened to Them (1990 vol.1; 1991 vol.2, enlarged 1993);

·        Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993);

·        Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Agrression (1994);

·        Time for Stock-Taking (1997), a collection of articles critical of the RSS and BJP;

·        Preface to the reprint of Mathilda Joslyn Gage: Woman, Church and State (1997, ca. 1880), an early feminist critique of Christianity;

·        Preface to Vindicated by Time: The Niyogi Committee Report (1998), a reprint of the official report on the missionaries' methods of subversion and conversion (1955).         

Goel's writings are practically boycotted in the media, both by reviewers and by journalists and scholars collecting background information on the communal problem. Though most Hindutva stalwarts have some Voice of India publications on their not-so-full bookshelves, the RSS Parivar refuses to offer its organizational omnipresence as a channel of publicity and distribution. Since most India-watchers have been brought up on the belief that Hindu activism can be identified with the RSS Parivar, they are bound to label Sita Ram Goel (the day they condescend to mentioning him at all, that is) as "an RSS man". It may, therefore, surprise them that the established Hindu organizations have so far shown little interest in his work.

It is not that they would spurn his services: in its Ayodhya campaign, the Vishva Hindu Parishad has routinely referred to a "list of 3000 temples converted into or replaced by mosques", meaning the list of nearly 2000 such cases in Goel, ed.: Hindu Temples, vol.1. Goel also published the VHP argumentation in the government-sponsored scholars' debate of 1990-91 (titled History vs. Casuistry), and he straightened and corrected the BJP's clumsily drafted White Paper on Ayodhya. But organizationally, the Parivar is not using its networks to spread Ram Swarup's and Sita Ram Goel's books and ideas. Twice (1962 and 1982) the RSS intervened with the editor of Organiser to have ongoing serials of articles (on Nehru c.q. on Islam) by Goel halted; the second time, the editor himself, the long-serving arch-moderate K.R. Malkani, was sacked along with Goel. And ideologically, it has always turned a deaf ear to their analysis of the problems facing Hindu society.

Most Hindu leaders expressly refuse to search Islamic doctrine for a reason for the observed fact of Muslim hostility. RSS leader Guru Golwalkar once said: "Islam is a great religion. Mohammed was a great prophet. But the Muslims are big fools." (Delhi ca. 1958) This is not logical, for the one thing that unites the (otherwise diverse) community of Muslims, is their common belief in Mohammed and the Quran: if any wrong is attributed to "the Muslims" as such, it must be situated in their common belief system. Therefore, Goel's position is just the opposite: not the Muslims are the problem, but Islam and Mohammed.

In the Ayodhya dispute, time and again the BJP leaders have appealed to the Muslims to relinquish all claims to the supposed birthplace of the Hindu god Rama, arguing that destroying temples is against the tenets of Islam, and that the Quran prohibits the use of a mosque built on disputed land. In fact, whatever Islam decrees against building mosques on disputed property, can only concern disputes within the Muslim community (or its temporary allies under a treaty). Goel has demonstrated in detail that it is perfectly in conformity with Islamic law, and established as legitimate by the Prophet through his own example, to destroy Pagan establishments and replace them with (or turn them into) mosques. For an excellent example, the Kaaba itself was turned into a mosque by Mohammed when he smashed the 360 Pagan idols that used to be worshipped in it.

Therefore, S.R. Goel is rather critical of the Ayodhya movement. In the foreword to Hindu Temples, vol.2, he writes: "The movement for the restoration of Hindu temples has got bogged down around the Rama Janmabhoomi at Ayodhya. The more important question, viz. why Hindu temples met the fate they did at the hands of Islamic invaders, has not been even whispered. Hindu leaders have endorsed the Muslim propagandists in proclaiming that Islam does not permit the construction of mosques at sites occupied earlier by other people's places of worship (...) The Islam of which Hindu leaders are talking exists neither in the Quran nor in the Sunnah of the Prophet. It is hoped that this volume will help in clearing the confusion. No movement which shuns or shies away from truth is likely to succeed. Strategies based on self-deception stand defeated at the very start."

Goel's alternative to the RSS variety of "Muslim appeasement" is to wage an ideological struggle against Islam and Christianity, on the lines of the rational criticism and secularist politics which have pushed back Christian self-righteousness in Europe. The Muslim community, of course, is not to be a scapegoat (as it is for those who refuse to criticize Islam and end up attacking Muslims instead), but has to be seen in the proper historical perspective: as a part of Hindu society estranged from its ancestral culture by Islamic indoctrination over generations. Their hearts and minds have to be won back by an effort of consciousness-raising, which includes education about the aims, methods and historical record of religions.

5. Conclusion

One of the grossest misconceptions about the Hindu movement, is that it is a creation of political parties like the BJP and the Shiv Sena. In reality, there is a substratum of Hindu activist tendencies in many corners of Hindu society, often in unorganized form and almost invariably lacking in intellectual articulation. To this widespread Hindu unrest about the uncertain future of Hindu culture, Voice of India provides an intellectual focus.

The importance of Ram Swarup's and Sita Ram Goel's work can hardly be over-estimated. I for one have no doubt that future textbooks on comparative religion as well as those on Indian political and intellectual history will devote crucial chapters to their analysis. They are the first to give a first-hand "Pagan" reply to the versions of history and "comparative religion" imposed by the monotheist world-conquerors, both at the level of historical fact and of fundamental doctrine, both in terms of the specific Hindu experience and of a more generalized theory of religion free from prophetic-monotheistic bias.

Their long-term intellectual importance is that they have contributed immensely to breaking the spell of all kinds of Christian, Muslim and Marxist prejudices and misrepresentations of Hinduism and the Hindu Revivalist movement.

mardi, 09 novembre 2010

Invocation aux Dieux

« Je me souvins de ma visite à la Godafoss, dans le nord de l’Islande, en juin 1947.

On m’avait dit que quelque temps après l’an 1000, un homme nommé Thorgeir, qui était un «godi» — un prêtre des dieux nordiques — dans la région de Ljosvatn, au nord de l’Islande, devint un chrétien. Et que, comme démonstration spectaculaire de son allégeance à la nouvelle foi étrangère — et peut-être, dans son esprit, comme un «exemple» — il avait pris les images des anciens dieux et les avait publiquement jetées dans la chute d’eau de la rivière Skjalvantaflyot, connue depuis lors sous le nom de Godafoss: la Chute d’Eau des Dieux.

Profondément émue, je m’étais rendue sur les lieux, et je me tenais devant la chute d’eau et je pensais à ces dieux — Odin, et Thor, et Baldur le Beau et les autres, que mes ancêtres vikings adoraient jadis — gisant, depuis plus de neuf cents ans au fond des eaux glacées de la Skjalvantaflyot, attendant l’aube des temps nouveaux, la grande Renaissance Païenne; nous attendant nous, m’attendant moi. J’avais apporté avec moi un papier sur lequel j’avais copié les paroles que le poète français Leconte de Lisle avait mis dans la bouche d’un dieu nordique s’adressant au doux Jésus, venu pour renverser son pouvoir:

… Tu mourras à ton tour:
J’atteste par neuf fois les Runas immortelles.
Tu mourras comme moi, Dieu des âmes nouvelles,
Car l’homme survivra! Vingt siècles de douleurs
Feront saigner sa chair et ruisseler ses pleurs
Jusqu’au jour où ton joug, subi deux mille années
Fatiguera le cou des races mutinées;
Où tes temples, dressés parmi les nations,
Deviendront en risée aux générations;
Et ce sera ton heure!

–Leconte de Lisle, Poèmes Barbares, «Le Runoïa»

Mon bras droit tendu vers l’Orient, j’avais récité ces vers, et ensuite jeté le papier dans la cataracte grondante. Et ensuite — bien que je n’avais pas encore repris espoir; bien que le désastre [de 1945] avait, à mes yeux, retardé, peut-être pour des années et des années, la grande Renaissance païenne de mon rêve — j’avais parlé aux anciens dieux. «Dieux du Nord, frères des dieux védiques que l’Inde vénère encore», avais-je dit, «dieux aryens, dieux de ma race, vous savez que pendant toute ma vie j’ai défendu les valeurs que vous incarniez jadis dans le cœur de vos adorateurs. Oh, quel que soit le destin que vous me réservez, vous que les ancêtres de ma mère invoquaient au milieu des éclairs et du tonnerre, sur les vagues furieuses de la Mer du Nord, aidez-moi à ne jamais cesser de combattre pour nos grands idéaux; à ne jamais cesser de combattre pour le culte de la jeunesse, de la santé, de la force, pour le culte du Soleil — pour votre vérité, notre vérité — où que ce soit dans le monde, jusqu’à ma mort!»

Et ayant dit cela, j’avais senti courir un frisson glacé le long de mon dos, et j’avais été submergée par la conscience d’une solennité infinie, comme si je venais d’être l’instrument d’un rite préparé et attendu depuis longtemps; comme si les dieux nordiques, rejetés par leur prêtre Thorgeir, avaient réellement attendu mon geste symbolique. Il était 10h30 du soir mais il faisait plein jour, comme c’est naturel en juin sous cette latitude. Et je m’étais soudain souvenue que c’était le 9 juin, le septième anniversaire du jour où, également à 10h30 du soir, un brahmane, représentant de l’aryanité la plus à l’Est, avait pris ma main dans la sienne au-dessus du feu sacré et m’avait donné son nom et sa protection. Et j’avais senti que ma visite à la Chute d’Eau des Dieux, et mon geste symbolique en un tel jour, avaient un sens dans l’invisible; qu’il y avait là davantage qu’une simple coïncidence. Maintenant, je me souvenais de cet épisode, qui prenait, à la lumière de l’histoire entre ces deux années, une valeur symbolique plus grande que jamais. «Dieux du Nord, dieux des forts», pensais-je, «dieux aryens, enseignez-moi ce détachement sans lequel il n’y a pas de force véritable, pas d’efficacité durable! Faites de moi un témoin digne de votre vérité — de notre vérité. Débarrassez-moi de toute faiblesse!»

Savitri Devi.

lundi, 18 octobre 2010

Ayodhya ou l'honneur perdu des historiens...



 Koenraad Elst:

Ayodhya ou l’honneur perdu des historiens


Dans la querelle historique entre les prédicateurs islamistes et le reste du monde, il y eut un grave moment de crise, lorsqu’il s’est s’agi, pour les premiers, de contester la légitimité d’un temple hindou ou d’une mosquée musulmane à Ayodhya. Cette querelle a connu son apogée entre 1986 et 1992. L’édifice contesté s’est retrouvé sous les feux des médias quand des militants hindous l’ont rasé le 6 décembre 1992.

Ayodhya est un important centre de pèlerinage hindou. Selon la tradition, c’est le lieu de naissance du héros Rama, incarnation du dieu Vishnou. Un temple y avait été édifié jadis et, plus tard, il fut remplacé par une mosquée, construite à partir de 1528 selon une inscription sur le portail d’entrée. La mosquée se trouvait donc là depuis plus de quatre siècles. Dans l’architecture de cette mosquée, on avait inclus des colonnes provenant de l’ancien temple, afin de bien mettre en exergue la victoire de l’islam sur le paganisme indien. En 1885, les Hindous entamèrent une procédure, afin de récupérer le site mais en 1886, un juge britannique a tranché comme suit : « C’est grave qu’un temple ait été détruit pour édifier cette mosquée, mais vu que cela s’est passé il y a plusieurs siècles, il est trop tard désormais pour y remédier ». En 1934, les autorités britanniques font fermer la mosquée à la suite d’émeutes organisées par les fidèles de la religion hindouiste. En 1949, les Hindous placent un autel avec des effigies de leurs dieux dans l’édifice. En 1950 commence un nouveau procès où les Hindous, puis, plus tard, les Musulmans, vont exiger que le site leur soit octroyé.

A titre temporaire, le tribunal, en charge de juger l’affaire, n’a ordonné que quelques mesures pratiques. Pendant une seule journée par an, un prêtre hindou pouvait avoir accès à l’édifice, y officier et y pratiquer les rituels traditionnels. De ce fait, l’édifice  se trouvait rouvert en tant que temple hindou. Les Hindous, cependant, voulaient, sur le site de la naissance de Rama, un véritable temple de leur religion, construit selon des critères architecturaux propres à la tradition indienne, ce qui impliquait la destruction de la mosquée musulmane. Quand la mosquée s’y trouvait encore, les Hindous ont décidé de placer la première pierre du futur nouveau temple, précisément à la date du 9 novembre 1989, le jour même où tomba le Mur de Berlin.


Cet acte symbolique a eu lieu avec l’approbation du Parti du Congrès, alors au pouvoir. Celui-ci procéda à un véritable maquignonnage, en prévoyant d’accorder une grande faveur aux Hindous et un éventail de petites faveurs pour les Musulmans (notamment  la réforme de la législation sur le divorce, en l’infléchissant dans un sens carrément musulman). Les intellectuels de gauche, dominants dans les secteurs académiques, ont entamé, à ce moment-là, une campagne pour un « sécularisme dur » ; il faut savoir que la notion de « sécularisme », en Inde, équivaut à la notion de « multiculturalisme » que l’on cherche à imposer en Occident. Le « sécularisme » multiculturel indien a pour corollaire automatique le soutien à l’islam. Dans le cadre de cette campagne séculariste, multiculturaliste et islamophile, l’intelligentsia de gauche a commencé à nier de manière systématique et à grands renforts de discours tonitruants le récit hindou, qui se voulait reflet de la réalité historique, sur la destruction effective du temple. Ce qui avait fait jusqu’alors consensus et qui se basait sur le témoignage unanime de nombreuses sources, a été, du jour au lendemain, considéré comme une aberration et comme le produit d’une « propagande haineuse des fondamentalistes hindous ».  

Les médias indiens et, à leur suite, les médias de la planète entière, ont adopté cette vision négationniste. Les historiens se sont tenus cois ou se sont pliés à la ligne que leur dictait leur parti. Un indianiste néerlandais qui, peu de temps auparavant, avait effectué des recherches à Ayodhya même, et avait confirmé dans l’un de ses ouvrages la thèse de la destruction du temple de Rama, fut accusé de faire le jeu des fondamentalistes hindous et se récusa misérablement. L’Encyclopaedia Britannica, dans son édition de 1989, rappelait encore les faits et expliquait sobrement et sans emphase que le temple avait été détruit, a changé son fusil d’épaule dans ses éditions ultérieures et évoqué les « affirmations des fondamentalistes hindous ».

A la fin de l’année 1990, le gouvernement invite les deux parties à mandater des savants et des érudits pour participer à un débat. Les représentants de la partie musulmane sont arrivés sur le podium de discussion totalement impréparés, tout en étant sûrs et confiants que leurs adversaires n’allaient évoquer que des « mythes ». Malheureusement pour eux, les défenseurs de la partie hindoue sont arrivés munis d’un dossier bien étayé de documents historiques et de rapports d’archéologues, qui confirmaient les anciennes thèses, qui avaient toujours fait consensus. Après le débat, l’alliance musulmane-marxiste des adversaires de la thèse du temple ont encore composé vaille que vaille un opuscule qui devait servir de réponse aux Hindous. Dans ce petit ouvrage, ils n’avancent pas le moindre fait qui soit en mesure de contredire le scénario mis en avant par les Hindous ou qui pourrait constituer l’amorce d’un scénario alternatif. Leur argumentaire se bornait à essayer de minimiser les preuves pourtant patentes avancées contre eux, en n’en sélectionnant que quelques-unes et en ne les présentant que de manière schématique, tandis qu’ils laissaient la grande majorité des arguments de leurs adversaires sans la moindre réponse. Les médias ont passé totalement sous silence cette victoire hindoue dans la querelle où, pourtant, les défenseurs de l’iconoclasme musulman ont été mis échec et mat.

La preuve par l’archéologie

Et pourtant, fin septembre 2010, la vérité a éclaté au grand jour. Le jeudi 30 septembre 2010, le tribunal d’Allahabad a enfin prononcé ses conclusions dans cette affaire qui traîne maintenant depuis plus de soixante ans. L’affaire avait rebondi lorsque le gouvernement du premier ministre Narasimha Rao avait demandé à la Cour Suprême de donner son avis sur le fonds historique de la question. Au contraire du grand public qui ne s’abreuve qu’aux journaux, Rao était parfaitement bien au courant du résultat du débat entre experts et il s’attendait à ce que les juges du plus haut tribunal indien, après étude du dossier, donnassent raison à la thèse des défenseurs du temple, afin que l’on puisse enfin procéder à la reconstruction de celui-ci et que la question en suspens soit réglée. La Cour Suprême a transmis l’affaire au Tribunal d’Allahabad, qui, lui, n’a eu qu’une envie : se débarrasser de ce dossier fort épineux.

Les juges d’Allahabad ont donné pour mission à l’instance principale des archéologues indiens, l’ « Archeological Survey of India » (ASI), de procéder à des fouilles extrêmement précises. En 2003, l’ASI mettait à jour les soubassements d’un vaste édifice ancien qui, vu le nombre d’objets d’art à fonction cultuelle qui y furent exhumés, ne pouvait être rien d’autre qu’un temple. Ces fouilles ont confirmé les résultats de travaux archéologiques antérieurs et corroboré les témoignages offerts par d’innombrables documents : et, bien entendu, sur le site préalablement présumé du temple de Rama, contesté par les Musulmans, il y a bel et bien eu un temple.

Koenraad ELST.

(article paru dans « ‘ t Pallieterke », 6 octobre 2010).

jeudi, 16 septembre 2010

In Memoriam: Jean Varenne (1926-1997)

jean_varenne-f86c2.gifArchives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1997


In memoriam:

Jean Varenne (1926-1997)


Indianiste célèbre dans le monde entier, explorateur de l'Inde védique, Jean Varenne replaçait ce formidable héritage indien-védique dans la culture indo-européenne, dont les cosmogonies védiques, objets de sa thèse de doctorat, étaient une expres­sion sublime. Les amis de l'Inde éternelle, qui sont nombreux parmi nous, nombreux à avoir explorer cet immense fond de sagesse, nombreux à avoir fait un pélérinage là-bas, sur les rives du Gange ou sur les hauteurs de l'Himalaya, connaissent très bien l'œuvre de Jean Varenne, qui fut un de leurs maîtres. Jean Varenne est l'auteur d'une quinzaine d'ouvrages sur l'Inde ancienne, depuis Cosmogonies védiques jusque Aux sources du Yoga, ou sur l'Iran préislamique, avec Zoroastre et Zarathustra et la tradition mazdéenne. IL nous lègue là un formidable corpus, pour étayer, dans la sérénité, notre vue-du-monde traditionnelle. Jean Varenne nous a quitté silencieusement en juillet dernier, sans que la presse français ne rende l'hommage que méritait ce grand savant, qui fit vraiment honneur à son pays et qui était sans doute l'homme capable de rap­procher l'Inde non alignée de la France sortie de l'OTAN, une politique que la Vième République après De Gaulle a négligée honteusement, pour se vautrer dans un occidentalisme vulgaire. Comme pour le politologue Julien Freund, disparu en sep­tembre 1993, les canailles incultes du journalisme parisien n'ont pas cru bon de saluer dignement cet indianiste hors pair. Notre collaborateur Pascal Garnier a eu le bonheur et la joie d'être l'un de ses étudiants. En hommage à son professeur, il a rédigé ce texte spontané et amical, au-delà de la vie et de la mort:


JVdicoHind.jpg«C'est avec stupéfaction que j'ai appris le décès de notre ami Jean Varenne. J'avais connu Jean Varenne au cours de sa der­nière année d'enseignement à l'Université de Lyon III en 1986-87, alors que je préparais ma licence d'histoire. Pour moi, Jean Varenne était plus qu'un simple professeur, c'était aussi le Président du GRECE et le directeur de la revue éléments, organe d'un milieu que j'apprenais à connaître à l'époque. Chose étrange pour un si grand savant  —en dehors des cours d'histoire des religions et d'histoire de l'Inde que je suivais, il était professeur de sanskrit—  c'était un pédagogue remarquable ayant une facilité déconcertante à expliquer d'une manière simple des concepts compliqués. Je n'avais jamais pu observer auparavant chez aucun professeur une telle gentillesse et une telle sérénité: il arrivait les mains dans les poches, sans aucune note et parlait pendant deux heures sans jamais se tromper dans le déroulement de son plan et toujours avec une grande jovialité, prompt aussi à répondre aux interrogations des étudiants d'une manière décontractée: il adorait ce jeu, l'immense puit de cul­ture qu'il était n'étant naturellement jamais pris en défaut. C'est grâce à lui que j'ai découvert un certain nombre d'auteurs comme Mircea Eliade ou Louis Dumont, dont la lecture a été capitale pour ma formation. Je n'ai jamais pu comprendre com­ment la mouvance néo-droitiste n'a pas donné dans ses structures une place plus importante à cet homme serein, simple, immensément cultivé, calme et posé. Jean Varenne passait partout, tant chez ses pairs de l'université que chez les gens simples. Cette mouvance, où il a pourtant assuré une présidence hélas formelle et “décorative”, aurait améliorer son image de marque, serait sortie de la psycho-rigidité et de la forfanterie de faux savants qui l'ont hélas trop souvent marquée. Je retien­drais à jamais l'image du savant souriant et débonnaire, qui parlait avec tant d'aisance et d'élégance, qui était reconnu au ni­veau international, qui était célébré par l'UNESCO, qui, fait quasi unique, aimait la vie et donnait de la culture une image si originale et attrayante à la fois. Car ses cours étaient aussi le reflet de sa personnalité riche et brillante, mais qui a pu susciter chez certains esprits médiocres pas mal de jalousie. Peu en sont capables, mais, lui, c'était un professeur qui savait faire un travail métapolitique intelligent...» (Pascal GARNIER).


mardi, 27 avril 2010

Le monde du tantrisme indien

couple-01.jpgArchives de SYNERGIES EUROPEENNES - 1999

Le monde du tantrisme indien


Analyse : Helmut UHLIG, Das Leben als kosmisches Fest.

Magische Welt des Tantrismus, Gustav Lübbe Verlag, Bergisch Gladbach, 1998, 304 p., ISBN 3-7857-0952-8.


Né en 1922 et décédé en 1997, Helmut Uhlig, historien de l’art, a été pendant toute sa vie fasciné par l’Inde. On lui doit des ouvrages remarqués sur des thèmes aussi diversifiés que la route de la soie, sur le Tibet, sur l’Himalaya, sur l’Anatolie, sur la Grande Déesse, sur le bouddhisme et le tantrisme, etc. Jochen Kirchhoff vient de publier son dernier livre sur le tantrisme, resté inachevé, en le complétant d’une postface remarquable, branchant les réflexes mentaux que nous enseignent les voies tantriques sur les acquis de la physique et de la biologie contemporaines.


Premier constat d’Uhlig : le monde occidental est atomisé, handicapé psychiquement. Les Occidentaux et les Asiatiques qui les imitent vivent désormais dans un monde d’illusions et de falsifications, où l’esprit de carrière, l’envie, l’obsession de l’avoir et l’orgueil tiennent le haut du pavé. Il écrit (p. 9) : «…l’homme a perdu son fonds originel (Urgrund) religieux et noumineux, est victime d’une attitude purement matérialiste et pragmatique, qui domine le monde occidental, qui a ses racines intellectuelles dans cette vita activa, issue de l’esprit greco-romain et du christianisme paulinien». Exactement comme Evola, il constate que ce double héritage de l’hellénisme (qui n’est pas la Grèce dorienne des origines, précisons-le ! !) et du paulinisme distrait dangereusement l’homme, qui devient incapable de saisir le noumineux : «Ce sont des éléments que nous pouvons considérer comme des représentations originelles de l’esprit et de la dignité humains qui, au cours des millénaires, n’ont rien perdu de leur force, de leur signification et de leur pouvoir fondateur de sens. Nous les résumons sous le concept de “tantrisme”, un concept encore et toujours mystérieux, à la fois magique et cosmique» (p. 10). Le tantrisme est donc la religiosité qui se réfère immédiatement au “vécu primordial” (Urerlebnis), et n’est nullement cette pâle caricature que certains tenants du New Age et de la spiritualité de bazar en font. Le boom ésotérique de ces récentes années a fait du vocable “tantrisme” un article de marché, une fadeur exotique parmi tant d’autres. Ceux qui l’emploient à tort et à travers ne savent pas ce qu’il signifie, n’en connaissent pas la profondeur.


«Je vais tenter dans ce livre d’aborder et de révéler le tantrisme comme un phénomène cosmique, comme l’un des vécus primordiaux de l’homme. Ce qui est nouveau dans mon approche du tantrisme, c’est que je ne vais pas le réduire à ses manifestations historiques, comme celles qui nous apparaissent dans l’espace culturel indien et himalayen mais je vais poser la question des origines et de la puissance de la pensée et du vécu tantriques. Car je crois que, dans le tantra, se cache l’un des phénomènes primordiaux de l’Etre de l’homme. Ainsi, mon texte est une tentative de retrouver la trace de ce phénomène primordial et de sa constitution cosmique, de la rendre visible, car, dans les dernières décennies du deuxième millénaire, elle acquerra une importance toujours croissante et une puissance réelle, y compris pour le monde occidental» (p. 11). Ensuite, il précise son approche du noumineux : «Il existe des aspects de la réalité qui ne sont ni spatiaux ni temporels. Ils n’ont pas de dimension historique. Ils agissent (wirken), mais restent pour nous invisibles, ils viennent du Tout, du cosmos, et sont reconnaissables de multiples manières» (p. 19).  


C’est en 1960 que Helmut Uhlig débarque pour la première fois en Inde. Le Brahmane qui le reçoit et le guide lui déclare, quelques jours après son arrivée : «Nous les Indiens, nous sommes assez tolérants. Le mot de Yahvé qu’on trouve dans la Bible : “Tu n’auras pas d’autres Dieux que moi”, personne ne le comprend ici. Et personne ne le suivrait d’ailleurs, vu le très grand nombre de Dieux qui sont enracinés dans la psyché de notre peuple. C’est aussi la raison pour laquelle les missionnaires chrétiens ont à peine été acceptés en Inde» (p. 14). Le culte de Shiva et des autres divinités indiennes prouve combien profondément enracinée dans l’âme hindoue est la propension “à être toujours bien disposé à l’égard de tous les Dieux à la fois, à ne pas se couper d’eux” (p. 21). D’où la religiosité tantrique repose sur une acceptation du monde tel qu’il est dans sa pan-imbrication (Allverflechtung), où monde visible et invisible sont unis par mille et un fils (de tapisserie). Uhlig en conclut que des éléments tantriques ont été présents dans toutes les religions primordiales. Mais cette idée centrale de pan-imbrication de tout dans tout est difficile à expliquer et à comprendre, surtout pour les Occidentaux, habitués à penser en termes de césures et de cloisonnements. Le terme “tantra” lui-même dérive d’une racine étymologique, tan, qui signifie “élargir”, “accroître en dimension et en étendue”. Quant à tana, cela signifie tout à la fois “fils” (au pluriel) et “étendue”. Tantawa signifie “fait de fils”, “tissé”. Le tantrisme indique donc ce qu’est la texture du cosmos : un tapis immense fait de milliards et de milliards de fils (p. 28).  Uhlig : «Nous ne pouvons comprendre et juger correctement le tantrisme que si nous nous libérons de l’emprise des commandements et des principes qui nous sont conventionnels et que l’Etat et la religion ont imposés chez nous depuis la fin du moyen âge. Les critères de valeurs que nous a transmis le christianisme clérical, notamment la doctrine des catégories du bien et du mal, du moral et de l’immoral, troublent notre regard et le grèvent de préjugés, ne nous permettant pas d’entrer dans le monde tel que le saisit et le réalise le tantrisme. Cela vaut surtout pour le jugement que porte l’Occident sur la sphère sexuelle, ses formes d’expression et ses pratiques. Les relations sexuelles entre les personnes ne sont soumises à aucun tabou dans le tantrisme, car elles y sont considérées comme des fonctions centrales et naturelles, qui sont effectivement traduites en actes. Pour la plupart des auteurs occidentaux, qui ont écrit sur le tantrisme depuis une centaine d’années, la sexualité tantrique a suscité d’âpres critiques, formulées dans une terminologie chrétienne, dévalorisant tout ce qui touche à la sexualité. Ainsi, le tantrisme a été dévalorisé sur le plan éthique, ses cultes ont été diabolisés ; les textes critiques des Occidentaux ne tentaient même pas de comprendre le contexte du tantrisme» (pp. 26-27). Cela vaut également pour le contre-mouvement, où une mode pro-tantrique, portée par des oisifs californiens ou des décadents des beaux quartiers de Londres, a superficialisé les dimensions sexuelles, les faisant basculer dans un priapisme vulgaire et une pornographie bassement commerciale. Le tantrisme ne vise nullement à favoriser une promiscuité sexuelle de nature pornographique, à transformer la Cité en lupanar, mais, plus fondamentalement, à appréhender les secrets les plus profonds de la conscience humaine. Uhlig rend hommage au premier Européen, Sir John Woodroffe (alias Arthur Avalon) qui a traduit et explicité correctement les textes tantriques, si bien que les Indiens adeptes du tantrisme le considèrent comme un sauveur de cet héritage.


Les pratiques tantriques ont un lointain passé, affirme Uhlig, y compris hors d’Inde. La religiosité visant à appréhender les plus profonds secrets de l’âme humaine se retrouve partout : elle a été occultée par le christianisme ou la modernité. Ainsi, pour Uhlig, est tantrique le mythe sumérien d’Inanna et Tammuz, où une hiérogamie est réalisée au sommet d’un zigourat à huit niveaux (dans bon nombre de traditions, sauf dans le judaïsme pharisien et le christianisme, le “8” et l’octogone indiquent l’harmonie idéale de l’univers ; cf. le château de Frédéric II de Hohenstaufen, Castel del Monte, les Croix de Chevalier inscrites dans un motif octogonal de base et non sur la croix instrument de torture, les plans des églises byzantines, de la Chapelle d’Aix/Aachen ou de la Mosquée El-Aqsa à Jérusalem, le Lotus à huit feuilles de l’initiation à la Kalachakra ou “Roue du Temps”, la division de l’orbe terrestre en quatre fois huit orientations chez les navigateurs scandinaves du haut moyen âge ; pour Marie Schmitt, la religion pérenne privilégie l’harmonie du “8”, les religions coercitives et messianiques, le “7”).


Revenons au mythe d’Inanna et de Tammuz. Dans la chambre hiérogamique se trouvent simplement un lit, avec de belles couvertures, et une table d’or. Il n’y a pas l’image d’un dieu. L’essentiel du culte vise la préservation et la revitalisation de la fertilité. Ce culte a frappé les Israélites lors de la captivité babylonienne, ce qui s’est répercuté dans le texte du fameux “Chant des Chants”, où, en filigrane, il ne s’agit nullement de Yahvé, mais bel et bien d’une hiérogamie, tendrement sexuelle et sensuelle. Martin Buber l’a traduit, restituant sa signification originelle, au-delà de toutes les traductions “pieuses”. Pharisaïsme et christianisme paulinien/augustinien s’ingénieront à occulter ce “Chant des Chants”, joyeuse intrusion pagano-tantrique dans l’Ancien Testament. Ainsi, en 553, lors du deuxième concile de Constantinople, Théodore de Mopsuestia, interprète “sensuel” du “Chant des Chants” est banni, son interprétation ravalée au rang d’une hérésie perverse. «… les zélés pères de l’église ont tout fait pour combattre les interprétations mystiques du “Chant des Chants” : à leur tête Origène, suivi plus tard de Bernard de Clairvaux, de Bonaventure et de François de Sales, qui ont rivalisé pour en donner une interprétation dépourvue de fantaisie, fade» (p. 71). «Ici se révèle l’un des fondements de l’attitude anti-naturelle du christianisme, qui détruit l’holicité des sens et de l’Etre, qui débouche sur un ascétisme qui condamne les corps, et auquel l’église tient toujours, puisqu’elle continue à imposer le célibat des prêtres. Non seulement cela a conduit à faire perdre toute dignité aux prêtres, mais cela a rejeté la femme dans les rôles peu valorisants de la séductrice et du simple objet de plaisirs. La dégénérescence de l’antique union sacrée des corps, don de soi à l’unité mystique, dans la vulgaire prostitution en est le résultat, car la femme n’est plus considérée que comme une prostituée» (p. 71). En revanche, Inanna/Ichtar était la déesse des déesses, la reine et la conductrice de l’humanité entière. Ce passage du rôle primordial de “déesse des déesses” à celui de vulgaire prostituée constitue le fondement de l’âge sombre, du Kali Yuga. Il y a assombrissement parce que le culte de la Reine Conductrice est progressivement ignoré, parce qu’il n’y a plus d’hiérogamie sacrée possible car tout accouplement est désormais démonisé.


Enfin, après avoir exploré le tantrisme dans toutes ses dimensions, Uhlig rend hommage à Plotin (pp. 214-222). Plotin était également opposé à la gnose et au christianisme, rejetant leur “religiosisme”, leurs simplismes de “croyeux”, hostiles à la philosophie grecque. Plotin commence sa quête en 233, année où il rencontre le philosophe Ammonios Sakkas, dont il sera l’élève pendant onze ans. Pendant cette période, à Alexandrie, il entre en contact (tout comme Origène !) avec des représentants de la spiritualité persane et indienne. Leurs enseignements le fascinent. Si bien qu’il veut aller à la rencontre de leur culture. Il suit l’Empereur Gordien III dans sa campagne contre les Perses, espérant atteindre leur pays et découvrir directement leur religion. Uhlig écrit à ce propos (p. 218) : «L’historiographie de la philosophie en Europe n’a consacré que trop peu d’attention à ce fait et n’a jamais étudié l’influence indienne sur la philosophie de Plotin». Gordien III est assassiné en 244 sur les rives de l’Euphrate par un de ses généraux. Plotin doit fuir vers Antioche puis vers Rome. Son enseignement influence la famille impériale. Il est holiste comme sont holistes les enseignements tantriques. Ses Ennéades évoquent une Gesamtverwobenheit (un tissage cosmique), très proche de la vision tantrique originelle. L’élimination violente des filons néoplatoniciens et plotiniens dans la pensée européenne a commencé par l’horrible assassinat d’Hypathie, philosophe néoplatonicienne d’Alexandrie, par une foule de chrétiens furieux et délirants qui ont lacéré son corps et en ont traîné les lambeaux dans les rues. Elle se poursuit par l’occultation systématique de ces traditions dans nos principaux établissements d’enseignement. Cette élimination est aux sources du malaise de notre civilisation, aux sources de notre nervosité et de notre cinétisme insatiable, de nos désarrois, de notre incapacité à nous immerger dans l’organon qu’est le monde. La tradition néoplatonicienne chante, comme les filons panthéistes et pélagiens celtiques, la “merveilleuse variété” du monde et de la nature (poikilè thaumatourgia). «Il y a aussi des dieux dans la cuisine», disait Héraclite à des visiteurs inattendus, qui l’avaient trouvé près de son feu, sur lequel cuisait son repas.


Dans sa postface, Jochen Kirchhoff nous rappelle les exhortations de David Herbert Lawrence dans son plaidoyer pour les religiosités païennes et cycliques, intitulé Apocalypse (1930). Pour Lawrence, il fallait retourner à la cosmicité, raviver nos rapports avec le cosmos. Ensuite, Kirchhoff rappelle les tentatives de Nietzsche de restaurer les dimensions extatiques et dionysiaques de l’Etre pour les opposer au christianisme, ennemi de la vie. L’Etre doit être une “fête cosmique”, entièrement, sans partage, sans dualité.


Kirchhoff explore ensuite toutes les possibilités de restaurer la vision tantrique du monde (la pan-imbrication) via les pratiques sexuelles, complétant et actualisant ainsi La Métaphysique du sexe et Le Yoga tantrique d’Evola. Il salue un ouvrage à succès de Margo Anand dans les milieux “New Age” (The Art of Sexual Ecstasy. The Path of Sacred Sexuality for Western Lovers) mais constate rapidement les limites philosophiques de la démarche de cet auteur. Le New Age a produit peu de bonnes choses en la matière. Le travail de Margo Anand est bon, écrit Kirchhoff, utile pour une thérapeutique sexuelle, mais reste superficiel, ne permet pas un approfondissement philosophique et métaphysique. Quant à l’Américain Franklin Jones (alias “Da Free John”, “Da-Love Ananda” ou “Adi Da”), il a poussé la caricature du tantrisme jusqu’au ridicule (cf. son ouvrage le plus connu : Dawn Horse Testament). Finalement, le freudo-marxiste Wilhelm Reich a élaboré une théorie et une thérapeutique de l’orgasme plus valable (Kirchhoff est moins sévère qu’Evola), car sa vision de la bio-énergie ou orgon était au moins omni-compénétrante. Kirchhoff souligne toutefois bien la différence entre les rituels sexuels tantriques et l’obsession moderne de la performance (orgasmique ou non, mais toujours multi-éjaculatoire).  Car, dit-il, «il existe des rituels tantriques qui freinent effectivement l’orgasme féminin comme l’orgasme masculin, visant de la sorte une prolongation contrôlée ou un retardement de celui-ci pour atteindre des objectifs (spirituels) supérieurs ou pour obtenir un accroissement du plaisir» (p. 278). En effet, poursuit-il, l’orgasme et/ou l’éjaculation masculine mettent un terme à l’étreinte sexuelle, limitant la durée du plaisir et des caresses partagés. Retenir ses énergies (et son sperme) permet de jouir du plaisir sexuel et de donner à la femme davantage de joie. C’est dans cet exercice, cette ascèse (ce yoga), que réside la qualité inégalée du tantrisme sur le plan sexuel, le hissant très au-dessus du stupide priapisme rapide et bâclé que nous servent les médias contemporains, véhicules de la pornographie populaire.    


Mais c’est dans la physique moderne que Kirchhoff place ses espoirs de voir réémerger une vision tantrique de l’univers. Depuis la consolidation de la physique quantique, le monde apparaît à nouveau comme “pan-imbriqué”. Dans les colonnes d ’Antaios, Patrick Trousson avait déjà démontré l’étroite similitude entre les acquis de l’antique mythologie celtique et ceux de la science physique actuelle. Kirchhoff répète ces arguments, citant Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (Zeit und Wissen, 1992), Frithjof Capra (Le Tao de la physique), le physicien indien Amit Goswami (qui a comparé la philosophie du Vedanta et les acquis de la nouvelle physique), le théoricien systémique Ervin Lazslo, le biochimiste Rupert Sheldrake, etc. L’essentiel dans cette physique est de refuser les dualismes segmenteurs, de réfuter les pensées de la césure.


En philosophie, Kirchhoff cite l’Américain Ken Wilber (Eros, Kosmos, Logos. Sex, Ecology, Spirituality), qui lutte contre tous les réductionnismes et les dualismes. Wilber est influencé par le bouddhisme tantrique, mais aussi par les Vedanta.


Le livre d’Uhlig nous dévoile de manière très didactique tous les aspects de la merveilleuse vision du monde tantrique. La postface de son ami Kirchhoff nous ouvre de très larges horizons : en physique et en philosophie. La lutte d’Uhlig (et la nôtre…) contre les mutilations de la pensée n’est pas terminée. Mais nos adversaires doivent désormais savoir une chose : nos arsenaux sont mieux fournis que les leurs…


Detlev BAUMANN.  


samedi, 30 janvier 2010

Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy


Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism:

Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy


Dr. Koenraad Elst





Friedrich Nietzsche greatly preferred the ‘healthier, higher, wider world’ of the Hindu social code Mânava-Dharma-Shâstra (‘Code of Human Ethics’), also known as Manu-Smrti (‘Manu’s Classic’), to ‘the Christian sick-house and dungeon atmosphere’ (TI Improvers 3). We want to raise two questions about his eager use of this ancient text:


Firstly, a question of historical fact, viz. how correct was Nietzsche’s understanding of the text and the society it tried to regulate?  The translation used by him suffers from some significant philological flaws as well as from interpretative bias, to which he added an agenda-driven reading of his own.


Secondly, to what extent did Nietzsche’s understanding of Hindu society play a role in his socio-political views? At first sight, its importance is quite limited, viz. as just an extra illustration of pre-Christian civilization favoured by him, as principally represented by Greece. Crucial pieces of Manu’s worldview, such as the centrality of a priestly Brahmin class and the notion of ritual purity, seem irrelevant to or in contradiction with Nietzsche’s essentially modern philosophical anthropology. To others he didn’t pay due attention, e.g. Manu’s respect for asceticism as a positive force in society, seemingly so in conflict with the Nietzschean contempt for ‘otherworldiness’, resonates with subtler pro-ascetic elements in Nietzsche’s conception of the Übermensch. Yet, a few specifically Indian elements did have a wider impact on his worldview, especially the notion of Chandâla (untouchable), to which however he gave an erroneous expansion unrelated to Manu.



1. What is the Manu-Smrti?


Friedrich Nietzsche greatly preferred the ‘healthier, higher, wider world’ of the Hindu social code Mânava-Dharma-Shâstra, the ‘Textbook of Human Ethics’, also known as Manu-Smrti, ‘Manu’s Classic’, to what he called ‘the Christian sick-house and dungeon atmosphere’ (TI Improvers 3). In a letter to his friend Peter Gast, he wrote:


This absolutely Aryan testimony, a priestly codex of morality based on the Vedas, of a presentation of caste and of ancient provenance – not pessimistic eventhough priestly – completes my conceptions of religion in the most remarkable manner. (KSA 14.420)


To his mind, the contrast between Manu’s classic and the Bible was so diametrical that ‘mentioning it in one breath with the Bible would be a sin against the spirit’ (AC 56). So, at first sight, he was very enthusiastic about this founding text of caste doctrine, though we shall have to qualify that impression. We want to raise two questions about his use of this ancient text, one of historical accuracy and one of the meaning Nietzsche accorded to this acknowledged source of inspiration in his view of society. But first of all, a few data about the Manu-Smrti must necessarily be stated before we can understand what role it could play in Friedrich Nietzsche’s thinking.



1.1. Manu, the patriarch


There is no indication that Nietzsche had much of an idea about who this Manu was after whom India’s ancient ethical code had been named. In Hindu tradition as related in the Veda and in the Itihâsa-Purâna literature (‘history’, comparable to Homer or to the Sagas, and ‘antiquities’, i.e. mythohistory comparable to Hesiod or the Edda), Manu was, through his numerous sons, the ancestor of all the known pre-Buddhist Indian dynasties. He himself is often described as a ‘son of Brahma’, though his full name, Manu Vaivasvata, implies that he was one of the ten surviving sons of Vivasvat, himself a son of Sûrya, the sun.


During the Flood, Manu had led a party of survivors by boat up the Gangâ to the foothills of the Himâlaya, then founded his capital in Ayodhyâ. His son Ikshvâku founded the ‘solar dynasty’ which retained the city of Ayodhyâ. Ikshvâku’s descendent Râma, hero of the Râmâyana epic, ruled there. The Buddha belonged to a minor branch of the same lineage, the Shakya clan which was so jealous of its noble ancestry that it practised the strictest endogamy. The later Gupta dynasty, presiding over India’s ‘golden age’, likewise claimed to be a branch of the solar dynasty. Another of Manu’s sons, Sudyumna, or alternatively his daughter Ilâ, founded the ‘lunar dynasty’ with capital at the Gangâ-Yamunâ confluence in Prayâga. His descendent Yayâti established himself to the west in the Saraswatî basin, present-day Haryânâ, where his five sons founded the ‘five nations’, the ethnic horizon of the Vedas.


Yayâti’s anointed heir was Puru, whose Paurava nation was to compose the Rg-Veda, the foundational collection of hymns to the gods. The Vedic age started with the Paurava king Bharata, after whom India has been named Bhâratavarsha or just Bhârat (as on India’s post stamps). In his clan, dozens of generations later, an internal quarrel developed into a full-scale war, the subject-matter of the Mahâbhârata, the ‘great (epic) of the Bhârata-s’. A key role in this war, which marked the end of the Vedic age, was played by the fighting brothers’ distant cousin Krishna, a descendent of Yayâti’s son Yadu. Yet another son of Yayâti’s, Anu, is said to be the ancestor of the Asura-worshippers, i.e. the Iranians, who were at times the enemies of the Deva-worshipping Vedic people..


So, Manu is known as the ancestor of all the Ârya people (vide §1.2), preceding all the quasi-historical events reported in Sanskrit literature. The account by Seleucid Greek ambassador Megasthenes of Hindu royal genealogy, where Manu is identified with Dionysos, times his enthronement at 6776 BC (Arrian: Indica 9.9, Pliny: Naturalis Historia 6.59, in Majumdar 1960 223 and 340), an intractable point of chronology that we must leave undecided for now.


The Vedic seers repeatedly call Manu ‘father’ (1.80.16, 1.114.2, 8.63.1) and ‘our father’ (2.33.13), and otherwise mention him over a hundred times. They pray to the gods: ‘May you not lead us far from the ancestral path of Manu’ (8.30.3).  They address the fire-god Agni thus: ‘Manu established you as a light for the people’ (1.36.19).  The Vedic worship of ‘33 great gods’ (often mistranslated as ‘330,000,000 gods’, koti meaning ‘great’ but later acquiring the mathematical sense of ‘ten million’), mostly enumerated as earth, heaven, eight earthly, eleven atmospheric and twelve heavenly gods, is said to have been instituted by Manu (8.30.2). Moreover, one common term for ‘human being’ is manushya, ‘progeny of Manu’.


Because of his name’s prestige, the ancient patriarch is also anachronistically credited with the authorship of the Manu-Smrti (‘Manu’s Recollection-Classic’) or Mânava-Dharma-Shâstra (translatable as both ‘Manu’s Ethical Code’ and ‘Human Ethical Code’), a text edited from slightly older versions in probably the 1st century CE. Friedrich Nietzsche exclusively refers to Manu as the author of the Mânava-Dharma-Shâstra, seemingly unaware of his legendary status as the progenitor of the Ârya-s.



1.2. The Code of the Ârya-s


For at least two thousand years, the word Ârya has meant: ‘noble’, ‘gentleman’, ‘civilized’, and in particular ‘member of the Vedic civilization’. The Manu Smrti uses it in this sense and emphatically not in either of the two meanings which ‘Aryan’ received in 19th century Europe, viz. the linguistic sense of ‘Indo-European’ and the racial sense of ‘white’ or ‘Nordic’. Thus, MS 10.45 says that those outside the caste system, ‘whether they speak barbarian languages or Ârya languages, are regarded as aliens’, indicating that some people spoke the same language as the Ârya-s but didn’t have their status of Ârya. As for race, the Manu Smrti (10.43f.) claims that the Greeks and the Chinese had originally been Ârya-s too but that they had lapsed from Ârya standards and therefore lost the status of Ârya. So, non-Indians and non-whites could be Ârya, on condition of observing certain cultural standards, viz. those laid down in the MS itself. The term Ârya was culturally defined: conforming to Vedic tradition.


But at least in the two millennia since the Manu Smrti, the only ones fulfilling this requirement of living by Vedic norms were Indians. When, during India’s freedom struggle, philosopher and freedom fighter Sri Aurobindo Ghose (1872-1950) wrote in English about ‘the Aryan race’, he meant very precisely ‘the Hindu nation’, nothing else. In 1914-21, together with a French-Jewish admirer, Mirra Richard-Alfassa, he also published a monthly devoted to the cause of India’s self-rediscovery and emancipation, the Ârya. In 1875, a socially progressive but religiously fundamentalist movement (‘back to the Vedas’, i.e. before the ‘degeneracy’ of the ‘casteist’ Shâstra-s and the ‘superstitious’ mythopoetic Purâna-s) had been founded under the name Ârya Samâj, in effect the ‘Vedicist society’. If the word Ârya had not become tainted by the colonial and racist use of its Europeanized form Aryan/Arier, chances are that by now it would have replaced the word Hindu (which many Hindus resent as a Persian exonym unknown to Hindu scripture) as the standard term of Hindu self-reference.


Against the association of the anglicised form ‘Aryan’ with colonial and Nazi racism, modern Hindus always insist that the term only means ‘Vedic’ or ‘noble’ and has no racial or ethnic connotation. This purely moral, non-ethnic meaning is in evidence in the Buddhist notions of the ‘four noble truths’ (chatvâri-ârya-satyâni) and the ‘noble eightfold path’ (ârya-ashtângika-mârga). So, the meaning ‘noble’ applies for recent centuries and as far back as the Buddha’s age (ca.500 BC), but not for the Vedic age (beyond 1000 BC), especially its earliest phase. Back then, against a background of struggle between the Vedic Indians and the proto-Iranian tribes, the Dâsa-s and Dasyu-s, we see the Indians referring to themselves, but not to the Iranians, as Ârya; and conversely, the Iranians referring to themselves, but not to the Indians, as Airya (whence Airyânâm Xshathra, ‘empire of the Aryans’, i.e. Iran). And if we look more closely, we see the Vedic Indians, i.e. the Paurava nation, refer to themselves but not to other Indians as Ârya. So at that point it did have a self-referential ethnic meaning (Talageri 2000 154 ff.).


Possibly this can be explained with the etymology of the word, but this is still heavily under dispute. Köbler (2000 48 ff.) gives a range of possibilities. It has been analysed as stemming from the root *ar-, ‘plough, cultivate’ (cfr. Latin arare, aratrum), which would make them the sedentary people as opposed to the nomads and hunter-gatherers; and lends itself to a figurative meaning of ‘cultivated, civilized’. Or from a root *ar-, ‘to fit; orderly, correct’ (cfr. Greek artios, ‘fitting, perfect’) and hence ‘skilled, able’ (cfr. Latin ars, ‘art, dexterity’; Greek arête, ‘virtue’, aristos, ‘best’), which may in turn be the same root as in the central Vedic concept rta, ‘order, regularity’, whence rtu, ‘season’ (cfr. Greek ham-artè, ‘at the same time’). Or from a root *ar, ‘possess, acquire, share’ (cfr. Greek aresthai, ‘acquire’), an interpretation beloved of Marxist scholars who interpret the Ârya class as the owner class.  Or, surprisingly, from a root *al-, ‘other’ (cfr. Greek allos and Latin alius, ‘other’), hence ‘inclined towards the other/stranger’, hence ‘hospitable’, like in the name of the god Aryaman, whose attribute is hospitality. It is the latter sense from which the ethnic meaning is tentatively derived: ‘we, the hospitable ones’, ‘we, your hosts’, hence ‘we, the lords of this country’. The linguists are far from reaching a consensus on this, and for now, we must leave it as speculative.


At any rate, the form Ârya, though probably indirectly related with words in European languages, exists as such only in the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. The common belief that Eire as ethnonym of the westernmost branch of the Indo-European speech community is equivalent with Ârya, is etymologically incorrect, as is the eager linkage of either with German Ehre, ‘honour’. This is one reason why the use of the English word ‘Aryan’ for the whole Indo-European language family was misconceived and has rightly been abandoned.


The main point for now is that the legendary Manu was the patriarch and founder of Vedic or Ârya civilization. His name carried an aura, so the naming of a far more recent book after him was merely a classic attempt to confer more authority on the book. The name of the book’s real author or final editor is unknown, but he must have lived at the very beginning of the Christian age. Older versions of the Dharma-Shâstra-s have been referred to in the literature of the preceding centuries, citing injunctions no longer extant in the classical versions. This confirms to us moderns, though not to the disappearing breed of traditionalist Hindus, that the law codes including Manu’s are products of history, moments in a continuous evolution, rather than an immutable divine law laid down at the time of creation.



1.3. Is the Manu Smrti a law book?


In 1794, Bengal Supreme Court judge Sir William Jones (1746-94), discoverer or at least herald of the kinship of the Indo-European languages in 1786, translated the Manu Smrti in English. Soon the British East India Company made the Manu Smrti the basis of the Code of Hindu Law in its domains, parallel with the Shari’a for Muslim Law. Colonial practice was to avoid trouble with the natives by respecting their customs, so British or British-appointed judges consulted the MS to decide in disputes between Hindus. But this was the first time in history that the book had any force of law.


It is an important feature of the Manu Smrti that it explicitly recognizes that laws are changeable. That doesn’t mean that anything goes, for the right to amend the laws is strictly confined to Brahmins well-versed in the existing law codes (12.108), so that they will preserve the spirit of the law even while changing its letter. Nonetheless, this provision for change helps to explain why Hindus have been far more receptive to social reform than their Muslim compatriots, for whom Islamic law is a ‘seamless garment’: pull out one thread and the whole fabric comes apart. On the other hand, this openness to reform never led to serious changes in social practice until the pressure from outside became immense, viz. under British colonial rule with its modernizing impact. But at least the principle that the Manu Smrti was perfectible and changeable was understood from the start and is implied in its classification as a Smrti, a man-made ‘memorized text’ or ‘classic’, or Shâstra, a man-made ‘rule book’, in contrast with the Shruti literature (‘glory’, often mistranslated as ‘heard text’ in the sense of ‘divinely revealed text’, like the Qur’ân), i.e. the Vedas, which had by then been exalted to divine status, and which don’t have the character of rule books but of hymns addressed to the gods.


Manu (as we shall call the anonymous author) explicitly acknowledges the validity of customary law: ‘He must consider as law that which the people’s religion sanctions’ (7:203). Much of what he describes was nothing but existing practice. Until the enactment of modern laws by the British and the incipient Indian republic, the final authority for intra-caste disputes was the caste pañchâyat (‘council of five’), for inter-caste disputes the village pañchâyat, in which each local caste was represented and had a veto right. These councils were sovereign and not formally bound by the Manu Smrti or any other Shâstra-s, though these could be cited in the deliberations by way of advice.


Apart from Manu’s own Shâstra, there were quite a few rival texts written with the same purpose. In anti-Hindu polemics arguing for the utter inhumanity of the caste system, Manu is often accused of laying down the rule that ‘if an untouchable listens attentively to Veda recitation, molten lead must be poured into his ears’ (because his unclean person would pollute the Vedic vibration, with detrimental consequences for the whole of society…). This rule is nowhere to be found in Manu. Yet it is authentic, but it is from the less prestigious Gautama-Dharma-Sûtra (12.4). The most famous Dharma-Shâstra apart from Manu’s is probably the one credited to Yajñavalkya, the Vedic philosopher who introduced the crucial notion of the Self (âtman) in the Brhadâranyakopanishad. But here again, the extant text, more streamlined and contradiction-free than Manu’s, is a number of centuries younger than its purported author.


Though not law books stricto sensu, these Shâstra-s (presented exhaustively in Kane 1930 ff.) do communicate a legal philosophy and directive principles for how people should conduct themselves in society and how rulers should organize it. Their most striking feature when compared with modern law, though not dissimilar to most pre-modern law systems even in West Asia and Europe, is that they allot different rights, prohibitions and punishments to different classes of people. In particular, and to Nietzsche’s great enthusiasm, it thinks of the social order in terms of the varna-vyavasthâ, approximatively translated as the ‘caste system’.


Thus, the murder of a Brahmin is punished more heavily than the murder of a low-caste person. For theft, a high-caste person received a heavier punishment than a low-caste person (Gopal 1959 190). And in a rule to which Friedrich Nietzsche alludes (14[176] 13.362), a labourer is not punished for drunkenness, but a Brahmin is, because according to Nietzsche, ‘drunkenness makes him sink to the level of the Shudra’. From the Hindu viewpoint, the rationale for the latter rule was more probably that a drunken Brahmin might desecrate the Vedas by reciting them in a jocular or mocking manner, which would be highly inauspicious, whereas a labourer’s loss of self-control is less consequential. So, while Manu is unabashedly non-egalitarian, Nietzsche overdoes this focus on inequality because he doesn’t empathize with other, religious considerations that were crucial to Manu.


In Manu’s view, everyone has to do his swadharma, ‘own duty’, which implies distinctive rules as well as privileges. This is not conceived in an individualistic sense (as in Nietzsche’s Zarathustra calling to ‘walk the one road no one can walk but you’) but as one’s caste duty. It is mostly because of its casteism that the Manu-Smrti is abhorred by Indian and Western egalitarians, and that it was admired by pro-aristocratic thinkers such as Nietzsche.



1.4. Reconciling Vedic theory with Hindu practice


In his letter to Peter Gast of 31 May 1888, Nietzsche called the Manu-Smrti ‘a priestly codex of morality based on the Vedas’ (KSA 14.420).  Manu’s understanding of ‘Vedic’, like that of modern Hindus, and like Nietzsche’s borrowed idea, is not certified by scholars as historically Vedic. More than a thousand years had elapsed between the final edition of the Vedas and the composition of the Manu-Smrti, and society had evolved considerably. One of Manu’s self-imposed tasks was to offer justification from the Veda-s, then already an old and little-understood corpus, for the mores and social ideals of his own day.


Nietzsche thought these ancient laws, Manu’s as much as Moses’, were endowed with authority through the pious lie of divine sanction. In fact, Manu does not claim a divine origin for his code the way Moses did, but the distinction is only technical; the attribution of the MS to the ancient patriarch and the mere fact of its use of the sacred Sanskrit language gave it a religious aura. Manu was a great trend-setter for the later and current Hindu tendency to back-project all later Hindu practices (e.g. idol-worship, astrology) and beliefs (e.g. in reincarnation, inviolability of the cow) unhistorically onto the Vedas. In particular, Manu’s account of caste relations has no precedent in the Vedic corpus, which apparently reflects the simpler social structure of a simpler age.


The Rg-Veda, and then only its youngest book, mentions the four varna-s (castes) as springing from the different body-parts of the Cosmic Man: the Brâhmana from his face, the Kshatriya from his upper body, the Vaishya from his lower body, the Shûdra from his feet (RV 10.90.12).  It is thus literally a corporatist explanation of society, with the social classes united in purpose as the limbs of a single body, similar to the corporatism found in Titus Livius’ account of Menenius Agrippa’s speech against class struggle, and in Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 12). This founding text is of course quoted approvingly by Manu (1:93).


However, the Rg-Veda doesn’t yet mention the really operative units of Hindu society, the thousands of jâti-s, or endogamous groups. Nor does it link the varna-s to hereditary profession, another important feature of caste. It is merely stated that these four functions exist in late-Vedic society, as they do in most developed societies. Presumably, just as the relation between the sexes was demonstrably more flexible in the Vedic as compared with the classical Hindu period (Altekar 1959), the relations between the social strata was likewise not as rigid yet. The Manu Smrti marks the phase of crystallization of the system of caste segregation.


The notion of inborn ritual uncleanness or untouchability (asprshyatâ) doesn’t figure in the Rg-Veda either. That is why modern Hindu social reformers could appeal to the Rg-Veda as scriptural justification for abolishing untouchability. The first apparent mention of untouchables is probably in the Chândogya Upanishad (5.3-10), where the Brahmins Uddâlaka Gautama Aruni and his son Shvetaketu find that they don’t know the answer to questions about life after death on which a prince has quizzed them. They go to the king who tells them that his own Kshatriya caste wields power thanks to the secret knowledge which until then they never shared with the Brahmins, viz. that man reincarnates. At once he adds the retributive understanding of reincarnation: ‘Those who are of pleasant conduct here, the prospect is, indeed, that they will enter a pleasant womb, either the womb of a Brahmin, the womb of a Kshatriya, or the womb of a Vaishya. But those who are of stinking conduct here, the prospect is, indeed, that they will enter a stinking womb, either the womb of a dog, or the womb of a swine, or the womb of a Chandâla’ (5.10.7).  


In theory, the meaning of Chandâla in this early context is open, it could be an ethnonym for some feared or despised foreign tribe (arguably the Kandaloi mentioned in Ptolemy’s Treatise on Geography 7.1.66) which got incorporated only later as a lowly caste. However, the term’s appearance in contrast with the explicitly named upper castes indicates that it already refers to an unclean or untouchable caste. By Manu’s time, the Chandâla’s or ‘fierce’ untouchables (possibly a folk etymology for what was originally a non-Sanskritic ethnonym) were an established feature of Hindu society. They were also called avarna, ‘colourless’, ‘without caste pride’. But it would be wrong to translate this as ‘casteless’, for they too live in endogamous jâti communities.


Nowadays, jâti is often infelicitously translated as ‘subcaste’, but ‘caste’ would be more accurate, i.e. endogamous group. The British colonizers initially translated this term as ‘tribe’ (as in ‘the Brahmin tribe’), which inadvertently held the key to the jâti-s’ historical origin. As a general rule, jâti-s originated as independent tribes that got integrated into the expanding Vedic society, whose heartland was limited to the region around present-day Delhi. It was part of the Brahminical genius to let them keep or even strengthen their separate identities, founded in their endogamy, all while ‘sanskritizing’ them, i.e. bringing them into the Vedic ritual order (somewhat like the Catholic Church facilitated the christianization of the Pagans in the Roman Empire by integrating some of their customs and institutions). Secondarily, some specific jâti-s originated by division (or, in the modern age, fusion through intermarriage) of pre-existing jâti-s.


The four varna’s were originally not endogamous by definition. They were hereditary, but only through the paternal line, as we see in a number of inter-varna couples in the Vedic literature and the epics. A man could marry a woman from any caste (though preferably not from a higher caste), she would move into his house and his varna community, and their children would naturally become part of their father’s varna. However, intermarriage between varna-s also went out of use, and Manu reports the practice but expresses his disapproval. The effective unit of endogamy was the jâti, not the varna, but since most jâti-s were classified under one of the varna-s, any inter-varna marriage would be an inter-jâti marriage and hence forbidden. While a hypergamous marriage between a higher-born man and a lower-born woman would be frowned upon but often tolerated (though least so in the Brahmin caste), a hypogamous union was strictly out of bounds: ‘If a young girl likes a man of a class higher than her own, the king should not make her pay the slightest fine; but if she unites herself with a man of inferior birth, she should be imprisoned in her house and placed under guard. A man of low origin who makes love to a maiden of high birth deserves a corporal or capital punishment’ (MS 8.365f.).


Hindu reformists often claim that caste was never hereditary, and that the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, the most authoritative source in everyday Hinduism, edited in about the same era as the MS, defines a person’s varna by his guna, ‘quality, aptitude’ and karma, ‘work’ (4.13). But those criteria are not given in opposition to heredity, on the contrary: in terms of work and aptitude, people in pre-modern societies tended to follow in their parents’ footsteps, statistically speaking. Moreover, the Gîtâ itself is explicit enough about the understanding of caste identity as hereditary and implying endogamy. When its hero Arjuna shies away from battle and displays a failing in the martial quality (guna) befitting a warrior, his adviser Krshna does not tell him that by guna he clearly isn’t a Kshatriya and hence free from military duty, but instead tells him to overcome his doubts and do his Kshatriya duty, for regardless of his personal traits he just happens (viz. by birth) to be a member of the Kshatriya caste.


When the two argue opposing positions regarding the justice of waging the fraternal war, they do so with reference to the same concern, viz. the need to avoid varna-sankara, roughly ‘mixing of castes’. Both say that the other’s proposed line of action, viz. fighting c.q. avoiding the war, would lead to the ‘immorality of women’ and thence to breaches of caste endogamy. (BG 1.41-43, 3.24).  When in a society two opposing arguments are based on the same value, you know that that value is deeply entrenched in that society,-- i.c. caste as an hereditary communal identity guarded by endogamy.



2. Nietzsche’s understanding of the text


Friedrich Nietzsche didn’t share the enthusiasm for all things Indian evinced by many of his contemporaries. Thinkers critical of Christianity from Voltaire to Arthur Schopenhauer and Ernest Renan had been using the glory of Indian civilization as a counterweight against the ideological influence which Christianity still wielded even among nominal unbelievers. Indology had been arousing a lot of interest in its own right, but was also instrumentalized in Europe’s self-discovery and self-glorification through the study of the Indo-European language family and the presumed civilization underlying its original expansion. Moreover, there was always the titillating element in India’s exotic features, charming or horrifying, such as the much-discussed custom of widows’ self-immolation (satî). All this seems to have left Nietzsche cold. At any rate none of it figures in his published works, except for his references to Manu’s thinking on caste.


The extant literature on the understanding of Manu in Nietzsche’s work is limited in quantity. This is logical, given that Nietzsche’s own discussion of Manu amounts to only a few pages in total. In a short but important paper, Annemarie Etter (1987, further built upon by Berkovitz 2003 and 2006, Smith 2006, Bonfiglio 2006; while Lincoln 1999 101-120 seems to have worked independently on the same theme) draws attention to the poor quality of the Manu Smrti translation which Nietzsche used, viz. the one included in Louis Jacolliot’s  book Les Législateurs Religieux: Manou, Moïse, Mahomet (1876), to be discussed here in §2.4. But apart from flaws in the text version used by Nietzsche, there are three more sources of distortion in his understanding of caste society, viz. Manu himself, Jacolliot’s personal additions to his translation of the received text, and Nietzsche himself.



2.1. Errors in Manu


The Manu Smrti is usually referred to, especially by its modern leftist critics in India, as the casteist manifesto pure and simple. This is fair enough in the sense that there is no unjustly disregarded anti-caste element tucked away somewhere in Manu’s vision of society; the text is indeed casteist through and through. However, the scope of the Manu Smrti is broader, dealing with intra-family matters, the punishment of crime, the king’s (in the sense of: the state’s) duties, money-lending and usury, et al. Matters are further complicated by the fact that the text itself contains contradictions, e.g. allowing niyoga or levirate marriage (9.59-63) only to disallow it in the next paragraph (9.64-69, as pointed out by Kane 1930.I.331); recommending meat-eating on certain ceremonial occasions (5.31-41) yet imposing strict vegetarianism elsewhere (5.48-50); describing the father as equal to a hundred Vedic teachers, then reversing this by calling the teacher superior to the father (2.145f.).


Part of the treatise’s self-imposed mission was to reconcile ancient Vedic injunctions, then already obsolete, with social mores actually existing in India around the turn of the Christian era. This seriously muddles Manu’s account of caste, e.g. first allowing a Brahmin man to marry a Shûdra woman (2.16, 3.12f.), as was clearly the case in the Vedic age, then prohibiting the same (3.14-19).


In order to fit the observed reality of numerous jâti-s into the simple Vedic scheme of four varna-s, Manu develops a completely far-fetched theory that each jâti originated from a particular combination of varna-s through inter-varna marriage. This makes no historical or logical sense. In fact, many jâti-s were tribes whose existence as distinct endogamous groups predated the Vedic age, let alone the MS’s age, and even the more recently originated jâti-s didn’t come into being the way Manu suggested.


Manu despises the lowest jâti-s not on account of race, nor ostensibly because of unclean occupations, but because they were born from sinful unions. Most of all he condemns the marriage uniting people from the varna-s at opposing ends of the varna hierarchy and thus most contrary to the ideal of varna endogamy. Not always consistently, but the general thrust of his teaching on endogamy is clear enough. And as if in punishment for their parents’ sins, the children of inter-caste unions became the people performing the lowliest and most unclean tasks.


The Dharma-Shâstra–s give a completely far-fetched theory of the origins of the castes, e.g. the Gautama-Dharma-Shâstra (4.17) relays the view that the union of a Shûdra woman with a Brâhmana, a Kshatriya or a Vaishya man brings forth the Pârashava c.q. the Yavana (‘Ionian’, Greek or West-Asian) and the Karana jâti. Likewise, Manu claims that ‘the Chandâla-s, the worst of men’ are the progeny of a servant father and a priestly mother (10.12).  Clearly, the Chandâla-s were looked down upon already, mainly because of their unclean labour (any work involving decomposing living substances, esp. funeral work, sweeping, garbage-collecting, leather-work), possibly also because of a memory of them as originally being subjugated enemy tribes, decried for having first terrorized the Ârya-s and thus ‘deserving’ their reduction to the lowliest occupations. Manu then used this existing contempt in his plea against caste-mixing, by depicting the latter as the cause of the well-known degraded state of the Chandâla-s.


Here, Manu gives in to a typically Brahminical (or intellectuals’) tendency of subjugating reality to neat little models, in this case also with a moralistic dimension. Practice of course is both simpler and more complicated than Manu’s model of caste relations. Low-castes are typically the children of low-castes, not of mixed unions between people of different higher castes. And children of mixed unions do not form new castes, they are accepted into one (usually the lower) of the two parental castes. But Nietzsche is not known to have taken an interest in such historical and sociological detail, neither for its own sake nor for the purpose of giving a verified groundwork to his Manu-based speculations.



2.2. Manu and race


In one respect, Manu’s idea of blaming social disorder on intermarriage seemed attractive to Western readers in the late 19th century, for it agreed with one of the tenets of the flourishing race theories, viz. that race-mixing has a negative effect on the individuals born from such unions. Better a negro than a mulatto, for the latter may have inherited a share of ‘superior’ Caucasian genes, but he will be plagued by an internal conflict between the diverging ‘natures’ of the two parent races. Likewise, the promiscuous servant woman described by Manu may have felt flattered by the interest her Brahmin lover took in her, but for her offspring it would have been better if she had restricted her favours to someone of her own caste. So, a pure low-caste ends up superior to a mixed offspring of high and low castes.  While it remains absurd to posit that sweepers and funeral workers (the lowest castes) came into being as children of unions between priests and maidservants, or between the princess and the miller’s son, Manu’s little idea resonated with a cherished belief of Nietzsche’s contemporaries.


In another respect, though, this contrived idea of Manu’s, and Nietzsche’s injudicious acceptance of it, conflicts with 19th -century racial thought. It was then generally believed that the ‘Aryan race’ had invaded India, bringing the Sanskrit language and proto-Vedic religion with them, then subjugated the natives and locked them into the lower rungs of the newly-invented caste system, a kind of apartheid system designed to preserve the Aryan upper castes’ racial purity. (For a critical review of this theory, vide Elst 2007).


In that connection, the reading of varna, ‘colour, social class’, as referring to skin colour, was upheld as proof of the racial basis of caste. To put this false trail of 19th -century race theory to rest, let us observe here that neither the Rg-Veda nor the Manu Smrti connects varna to skin colour. The term varna, ‘colour’, is used here in the sense of ‘one in a spectrum’, just as the alphabet is called varna-mâla, ‘rosary of colours’, metaphor for ‘spectrum (of sounds)’. So, the varna-vyavasthâ is the ‘colour system’, i.e. the ‘spectrum’ of social functions, the role division in society. Just as the existence of social classes in our society doesn’t imply their endogamous separateness, the Vedic varna-s were not defined as endogamous castes.


Physical anthropology has refuted the thesis of caste as racial apartheid long ago (Ghurye 1932), refuted at least according to the scientific standards of the day. Today the science of genetics is fast deepening our knowledge of the biological basis of caste, including the migration history involved in it. As the jury is still out on the genetic verdict, we cannot use that fledgling body of evidence as an argument in either sense here. But the use of colours as a purely symbolical, non-racial marker of social class is attested in several other Indo-European-speaking societies, the closely related Iranian society but also the distant and all-white Nordic class society of jarl (nobleman) with colour white, karl (freeman) red, and thraell (serf) black, as described in the Edda chapter Rigsthula.


In the predominant racialist view of the 19th century, the lowest castes were the pure natives, the highest the pure Aryan invaders, and the intermediate castes the mixed offspring of both. But Manu’s view, though often decried as ‘racist’ in pamphlets, is irreconcilable with this, for it classifies the lowest castes as partially the offspring, even if the sinful offspring, of the highest castes. The caste hierarchy as conceived by him is not a racial apartheid system. As an aspiring historian of caste society, Manu may have been seriously mistaken; but if read properly and not judged from simplifying hearsay, he was not an ideologue of racial hierarchy.


However, though the castes may not have originated as genetically distinct groups, their biological and social separation by endogamy over a number of generations was bound to promote distinctive traits in each. Nietzsche sees Manu’s proposed task as one of ‘breeding no fewer than four races at once’ (TI Improvers 3), each with distinct qualities. As a classicist, Nietzsche was certainly aware of the eugenicist element in Plato’s vision of society and he hints at the similarity with Manu: ‘[…] but even Plato seems to me to be in all main points only a Brahmin’s good pupil’ (letter to Peter Gast, KSA 14.420).  As for the medieval European society with its division in endogamous nobility and commoners: ‘The Germanic Middle Ages was geared towards the restoration of the Aryan caste order’ (14[204] 13.386).  Indeed:


Medieval organisation looks like a strange groping for winning back those conceptions on which the ancient Indian-Aryan society rested,- but with pessimistic values stemming from racial decadence. (letter to Peter Gast, KSA 14.420)


It was mainly European nostalgics of the ancien régime who got enamoured of the caste system. Yet, the rising tide of modern racism also managed to incorporate its own analysis, unsupported by the Hindu sources, of the Hindu caste ‘apartheid’ as a design to preserve the ‘Aryan race’. Nietzsche remained aloof from that line of discourse.



2.3. Manu, priest-craft and legislation


One element in Manu which isn’t easy to fit into Nietzsche’s viewpoint, is his pro-Brahmin bias. On the one hand, Nietzsche couldn’t fail to appreciate the determination of a whole society to set aside resources for a separate caste fully devoted to spiritual and intellectual work. Could a non-caste society have achieved the Brahminical feat of transmitting the Vedas and the ancillary texts and sciences through several thousands of years’ worth of all manner of turmoil?  On the other hand, he couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for a system placing the priestly class on top.


Manu is candid and explicit about this: ‘The priest is the lord of the classes because he is pre-eminent, because he is the best by nature, because he maintains the restraints, and because of the pre-eminence of his transformative rituals’ (10.3).  In theory, and because it was Brahmins who did all the writing, the Brahmins were the highest caste, and Nietzsche doesn’t seem to question this. But the tangible power in Hindu society lay with the Kshatriya-s, the counterpart of the European aristocracy, which enjoyed Nietzsche’s sympathy far more than any priestly group. For all his sympathy with Manu’s vision, Nietzsche had to criticize Manu’s ‘priest-craft’, debunking it as just a ploy for wresting power:


Critique of Manu’s law-book. The whole book rests on a holy lie: […] Bettering man – whence is this purpose inspired?  Whence the concept of the better?  We find this type of man, the priestly type that feels itself to be the norm, the peak, the highest expression of humanity: out of itself it takes the concept of the ‘better’. It believes in its superiority, and wants it in fact: the cause of the holy lie is the will to power. (15[45] 13.439)


Nietzsche, however, fails to question Manu’s implicit and explicit claims for Brahminical legislative authority. Through the format of his book, Manu creates an impression (which Nietzsche swallowed whole) that he is laying down a law, but when read more closely, his work proves in fact to be more descriptive than normative, not a law book but rather a treatise on existing social norms and values. ‘Manu prohibits X’ should in most cases be replaced with ‘Manu disapproves of X’ or ‘Manu notes that X is prohibited’. The many contradictions are also quite misplaced in a law book, but perfectly normal in a treatise dealing with the sometimes irregular or conflicting customs in a living society and with ideals versus realities. Moreover, Manu enjoins the ruler to restrain his zeal for law-making and instead respect existing customs in civil society. Manu’s treatise is antirevolutionary, holding off all revolutionary changes whether imposed from above or from below.


Therefore, it bears repeating that Manu with his limited ambitions was not a law-giver gate-crashing into society to impose his own designs. Once caste went out of favour, Manu and the Brahmins were often blamed for having created and imposed the caste system. Yet in fact, as B.R. Ambedkar, a born untouchable who became independent India’s first Law Minister, observed, it was quite outside their power to impose it:


One thing I want to impress upon you is that Manu did not give the law of caste and that he could not do so. Caste existed long before Manu. He was an upholder of it and therefore philosophized about it, but certainly he did not and could not ordain the present order of Hindu Society […] The spread and growth of the caste system is too gigantic a task to be achieved by the power or cunning of an individual or of a class […] The Brahmins may have been guilty of many things, and I dare say they were, but the imposing of the caste system on the non-Brahmin population was beyond their mettle. (Ambedkar 1916 16) 


Ambedkar held that castes had evolved from tribes, self-contained communities that maintained their endogamy and distinctness after integrating into a larger more complex society. This continuity has been confirmed from the angle of anthropological research (Ghurye 1959). Nietzsche speaks of the caste system as a grand project of breeding four different nations, but the system simply didn’t come about as the result of a project. Then again, Manu’s choice to preserve and fortify a system already in existence, was also a ‘project’, the alternative being to allow for negligence in caste mores ending in the mixing of castes, of the kind that in the 19th and 20th century started drowning the distinctive identity of the European nobility through intermarriage with the bourgeoisie.


Yet, in other places, Nietzsche drops the idea of a ‘project’ and acknowledges that Manu’s caste scheme is little more than an explicitation and perhaps a radicalization of an entirely natural and spontaneous condition. Like seeks like, people avoid intermarriage with foreigners or with people located much higher or much lower in the social hierarchy, so there is a natural tendency towards endogamy (jâti). Even more natural is the differentiation of social classes (varna) in duties, rights and privileges, i.e social inequality:


The order of castes, the highest and dominant law, is only the sanction of a natural order, a law of nature of the first rank, over which no arbitrariness and no ‘modern idea’ has any power. (AC 57).


In Nietzsche’s books, this counts as a plus for Manu: the Hindu lawgiver didn’t go against the way of the world, whereas Christianity intrinsically militates against nature.



2.4. Jacolliot’s errors


When Nietzsche quotes Manu in his Antichrist and Twilight of the Idols, and in loose notes from the same period (Spring 1888), it is from the French translation by Louis Jacolliot, included in his book Les législateurs religieux, Manou, Moïse, Mahomet (Paris 1876). He says so himself in his letter to Peter Gast. Colli and Montinari  remark that ‘the book of Jacolliot about the Indian Law of Manu made a big, indeed exaggerated impression on him’ (6.667). 


Jacolliot had served as a magistrate in Chandernagor, a small French colony in Bengal (later he also served in Tahiti), and claimed to have travelled ‘all over India’ in the 27 months he spent in the country. In his attempts at scholarship, he was an amateur and inclined to far-fetched speculations, especially tending to derive any and every philosophy and religion in the world from Indian sources. In his own account, he made his translation with the help of South-Indian pandits. The text from which they worked (and which is apparently lost) was fairly deviant, missing more than half of the standard version, and was apparently already a Tamil translation from Sanskrit. Though his travel stories were very popular among the greater reading public, Jacolliot was not taken seriously by the philologists, finding himself openly denounced as a crackpot by such leading lights as Friedrich Max Müller.


Some parts of Jacolliot’s rendering, including two passages quoted by Nietzsche, do not appear in the standard version of the text. Moreover, in his list of ‘protective measures of Indian morality’ (in TI Improvers 3), Nietzsche makes the additional mistake of quoting as Manu’s text what is in fact a footnote by Jacolliot. This faulty reading is so significant for Nietzsche’s thought that we will consider it separately in §2.5.


Etter notes that until 1987, for a whole century, no Indologist seems to have noticed the textual errors in Nietzsche’s quotations from Manu, though at least Nietzsche’s friend Paul Deussen and later Winternitz (1920) did care to mention Nietzsche’s enthusiasm for Manu. Doniger (1991 xxii), though unaware of Etter’s work, does note a faulty quotation (in Antichrist 56) from Manu 5.130-133, where Nietzsche cites Jacolliot’s non-Manu phrase: ‘Only in the case of a girl is the whole body pure’, as illustration of Manu’s sympathy for women. However, she doesn’t look in a systematic way into the problem of Nietzsche’s source text. This indicates that the eye of the Indologists had not been struck by any serious injustice done to Manu’s message by Nietzsche. Even if the letter of his text was flawed, it did nevertheless carry the gist of Manu’s social vision.


So we shouldn’t make too much of his reliance on a distorted text version, at least in so far as he deals with Manu’s ideology of caste. Indeed, as we shall see, Nietzsche’s faulty understanding of a particularly strange claim made by Jacolliot does not pertain to Manu’s own subject-matter, the caste system, but to a subject entirely outside Manu’s horizon, viz. a supposed role of emigrated Chandâla-s in the genesis of West-Asian religions.


One reason why, in spite of relying on Jacolliot’s flawed translation for quotation purposes, Nietzsche doesn’t do injustice to Manu’s thought, is that he must have been familiar with Manu’s outlook through indirect sources. Indo-European philology was a hot item in 19th century Germany, partly because it had ideological ramifications deemed useful in the political struggles of the day. Indocentrism was most strongly in evidence in Arthur Schopenhauer, a principal influence on Nietzsche. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had propagated Kâlidâsa’s play Shakuntalâ in Germany. Even G.W.F. Hegel (1826), by no means an Orient-lover, had written a comment on the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, including reflections on the caste system.


So, it is likely that Nietzsche had had a certain exposure to the then-available knowledge of the caste system as outlined by Manu. In particular, he may have already been exposed to Johann Hüttner’s German translation (Die Gesetze des Manu, Weimar 1797, based on William Jones’s English translation, 1796), at least indirectly. If only through his Indologist acquaintances and through general reading, he must have acquired  a broad outline of Manu’s caste philosophy.


Nietzsche’s preference for Jacolliot’s over more scholarly Western editions of the MS is a bit of a mystery. He had sufficient training in and practice of philology, as well as philologist acquaintances, to see through Jacolliot’s amateurism. This strange error of judgment remains unexplained, short of the rather sweeping solution of seeing it as a prodrome of his loss of sanity, which befell him only a year later.



2.5. Jacolliot and the Jews


There is one very serious mistake in Jacolliot that seems to have made an important difference to Nietzsche’s thought: his far-fetched speculation that the Chandâla-s left India in 4000 BC (Jacolliot dates the Manu-Smrti itself to 13,300 BC!) and became the Semites. The point here is not the eccentrically early chronology. The exact age of the Vedas was a much-discussed topic, still not entirely resolved, and dating at least the Rg-Veda to beyond 4000 BC, as against Max Müller’s estimate of 1500 to 1200 BC, was not uncommon even among serious scholars like Hermann Jacobi (1894). The point is the alleged Indian and low-caste origin of the ‘Semites’.


Nietzsche hesitates whether to believe Jacolliot on this:


I cannot oversee whether the Semites have not already in very ancient times been in the terrible service of the Hindus: as Chandalas, so that then already certain properties took root in them that belong to the subdued and despised type (like later in Egypt). Later they ennobled themselves, to the extent that they become warriors […] and conquer their own lands and own gods. The Semitic creation of gods coincides historically with their entry into history. (14[190] 13.377f.)


To the ignorant reader, this hypothesis is strengthened considerably by Jacolliot’s additional claim, uncritically quoted in full by Nietzsche (TI Improvers 3, referring to the demeaning features of Chandâla existence enumerated in Manu 10.52), that the Chandâla-s were circumcised. This is based on a mistranslation of daushcharmyam in a verse (MS 11:49) which strictly isn’t about Chandâla-s but about the karmic punishment for the student who has slept with his guru’s wife, either in this or a former lifetime. The mistranslation first appeared in a commentary on Manu by Kullûka from the 13th century, when Northern India had been conquered by Muslims. The word means ‘having a skin defect’ but was reinterpreted as ‘missing skin (on the penis)’, hence ‘circumcised’. The medieval Hindu commentator’s purpose clearly was to classify Muslims as contemptible Chandâla-s. Some Hindu scribes were very conscientious in rendering texts unaltered, others felt it would be helpful for the reader if they updated the old texts a bit, which seems to have happened in this case.


An anomaly in Nietzsche’s reference to male circumcision as an alleged link between the Chandâla-s and the Jews is that he extends the alleged Chandâla observance of ‘the law of the knife’ to ‘the removal of the labia in female children’ (TI Improvers 3). Female circumcision, in origin a pre-Islamic African tradition, is a common practice in some Muslim communities. Among South-Asian Muslims, it is rare but not non-existent. However, it is not a Jewish practice, certainly not among the Ashkenazi Jewish communities Nietzsche knew in Germany, and it is not part of the commandments in Moses’ law. So, his own assumption that the Chandâla-s (with whom Kullûka associated the Muslims) practised female circumcision should have put him on guard against the deduction of a connection with the Jews.


At one point in his unpublished speculations about Manu’s caste rules, Nietzsche actually uses the term ‘circumcised one’ where the context indicates that he means someone at the bottom end of the caste hierarchy:


The killer of a cow should cover himself for three months with the skin of this cow and then spend three months in the service of a cowherd.  After that he should make a gift to the Brahmin of ten cows and a bull, or better even, all he possesses: then his fault will have been evened off.  He who kills a circumcised one, purifies himself with a simple sacrifice (whereas even killing a mere animal demands a penitence of six months in the forest, unshaven). (14[178] 13.363)


Through Jacolliot’s clumsy translation, this seems to refer to the authentic passage listing the different punishments for killing people belonging to different social classes, as well as for killing different categories of animals (MS 11.109-146).  There, for instance, the punishment for killing a member of the servant class is candidly evaluated as rather unimportant: it is fixed at one-sixteenth of the punishment for killing a priest (11.127). Nietzsche’s information that a cow-killer should cover himself with the cow’s skin as part of his penance is also correct (MS 11.109). That killers doing penance should live in the forest unkempt and with matted hair is stipulated in MS 11.129. So, in broad outline, Nietzsche is conveying a genuine tradition. However, this passage from Manu doesn’t specify any particular level of punishment for the case of untouchables, the lowliest subset within the ‘servant’ class. Even conceding that Nietzsche correctly renders Manu’s general intention in allotting only a minimal punishment for the killing of people with minimal standing in the caste hierarchy, the fact remains that the authentic passage contains no reference to ‘skin-defective’ people, let alone to Kullûka’s and Jacolliot’s interpretation of that term, viz. ‘circumcised ones’. But Nietzsche had genuinely interiorized the notion that Indian low-castes in the first century CE were circumcised. In calling them ‘circumcised ones’ off-hand, he treats the alleged circumcision of the Chandâla-s as a given.


Compounding this important mistake, Nietzsche (TI Improvers 3) further quotes from Jacolliot’s Manu version an insertion by the medieval commentator to the effect that the Chandâla-s used a right-to-left script, allegedly because writing from left to right like in the Sanskritic script, and even the use of the right hand, was forbidden to them. Like circumcision, the leftward script is a feature of Muslim culture. But to confuse matters further for Nietzsche, both features are also in evidence among the Jews, whose alphabet has a common origin with the Arabic one. Joining the dots, Nietzsche concludes that: ‘The Jews appear in this context as a Chandala race’, and explains the Jewish people’s alleged priestly leanings from their supposed origins as a class of underlings of the Hindu priestly caste, ‘which learns from its masters the principles by which a priesthood becomes master and organizes society’ (letter to Peter Gast, KSA 14.420).


As an exercise in genealogy, this hypothesis of Nietzsche’s is highly unconvincing. If something is to be explained about the Jews by their purported provenance from specific Indian low-castes, wouldn’t it be more logical, and certainly simpler, to let them continue the cultural features of low-caste life, as is effectively the case with the Gypsies?  Conversely, if the Jews had to be of Indian origin and if they were suspected of ‘priest-craft’, shouldn’t they rather be descendents of the Brahmin caste? 


The question is all the more poignant when we consider that the idea of a Jewish-Brahmin connection was already quite ancient. In his plea Contra Apionem (1.179) the Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus quotes Aristotle’s pupil Clearchos of Soli as having claimed that Aristotle had been very impressed once with the discourses of a Jewish visitor, and more so with the steadfastness of his dietary discipline, and had concluded that in origin the Jews had been Indian philosophers. A similar claim is found in the Hellenistic-Jewish philosopher Aristoboulos. So, two millennia before Nietzsche, an Indian origin was already ascribed to the Jews. (A Brahminical connection is still attributed to the Jews in today’s India, both by Hindu nationalists who believe everything of value originates in India and invoke the superficial phonetic similarity between ‘Brahma/Saraswati’ and ‘Abraham/Sarah’, and by low-caste activists whose anti-Brahminism borrows the rhetoric of international anti-Semitism, attacking the Brahmins as ‘Jews of India’, e.g. Rajshekar 1983 2.)


Unlike Jacolliot, Nietzsche was interested in Judaism and its purported Chandâla origin mainly as an angle from which to attack Christianity. As Lincoln (1999 110) observes,


he came to be infinitely more critical of Christianity than of Judaism, and he saved some of his most scathing contempt for those (like Wagner, Bernhard Förster, and others of the Bayreuth circle) who were only anti-Semites in the narrowest sense, that is, Christians who failed to realize that everything wrong in Judaism was amplified and exacerbated in Christianity.


So, in Nietzsche’s view, the alleged Chandâla traits, especially resentment against the noble and the successful, though carried over by Judaism, were in fact at their most powerful and noxious in Christianity:


Christianity, which has sprung from Jewish roots and can only be understood as a plant that has come from this soil, represents the counter-movement to every morality of breeding, race or privilege:- it is the anti-Aryan religion par excellence: Christianity the transvaluation of all Aryan values, the victory of Chandala values.  (TI Improvers 4)


Though not very important in quantity, the Chandâla statements in Nietzsche’s work have made a mark on his whole anthropology, with the Chandâla as the lowest extreme in the range of human diversity. Sentences like the one just quoted corroborated the emerging dichotomy of ‘Jewish’ and ‘Aryan’, which was by no means intrinsic to the concept of ‘Aryan’ even after its somewhat distortive adoption into European languages from Sanskrit. They also helped make Nietzsche’s image as an incorrigible anti-egalitarian who burdened the lower classes with a caste-like inborn inferiority. Even if his anti-egalitarianism was not of the racist or anti-Semitic kind, it was nonetheless in sharp conflict with the rising tide of liberalism and socialism. Any ‘leftist Nietzscheanism’ was thereby forever doomed to a contrived denial or uneasy management of this contradiction between the freedom-loving element in Nietzsche and his condemnation of certain communities to a permanent position of contempt. That is one reason why Monville (2007) speaks of ‘the misery of leftist Nietzscheanism’. As his book’s reviewer in the Belgian Communist Party paper Le Drapeau Rouge (Oct. 2007) sums it up: ‘This German philosopher was openly racist and endowed with a remarkable and odious contempt for the social condition of the losers in the caste struggle.’



2.6. Nietzsche’s errors


Nietzsche has been accused of being very selective in what he retained and quoted from the Manu Smrti, especially its most un-Christian pieces of praise for the female sex, e.g. that all good things including access to heaven ‘depend upon a wife’ (MS 9:28). On that basis, he waxes eloquent about the woman-friendliness of the Hindu sages:


I know no book in which so many gentle and nice things are said to women as in Manu’s law book; these old greybeards and saints have a manner of being kind to women that has perhaps not been outdone. (AC 56)


The quotations are by and large genuine, but ought to be counterbalanced by far less flattering quotations from the same text. Wendy Doniger (1991.xxi) chides Nietzsche for this one-sided representation and quotes Manu (9.17): ‘The bed and the seat, jewellery, lust, anger, crookedness, a malicious nature and bad conduct are what Manu assigned to women.’ 


However, Nietzsche’s selectiveness doesn’t really misrepresent Manu’s attitude in what was to him the relevant issue, for this much remains true, that Manu genuinely values the role of women as wives and mothers. They were not equal with men (‘It is because a wife obeys her husband that she is exalted in heaven’, 5.155), just like in most other cultures, and Manu too considered them fickle and untrustworthy and what not, but fundamentally they were a very auspicious part of the cosmic order. The good thing about women was not their equality with men, which would have been a ridiculous notion to Manu just as it was to Nietzsche, but that they provided pleasure in life and perpetuated the species. For the same reason, sex is treated in a matter-of-fact manner because even if a delicate subject with problematic ramifications in day-to-day human relations, in essence it is an auspicious cornerstone of the cosmic order. Nietzsche contrasts this with an alleged woman-hating and anti-sexual tendency in Christianity as well as in Buddhism.


On the whole, Nietzsche does justice to Manu’s view of man and society. His main error does not consist in false or mistaken assertions about Manu’s position, only in a limited grasp of the Indian historical context. He was too much in a hurry to enlist Manu in his own ideological agenda to familiarize himself with the actual reality as well as with the philosophical background of caste society.



3. Nietzsche’s use of Manu


To what extent did Nietzsche’s idealized view of Hindu caste society play a role in his views of socio-political matters and of religion?



3.1. Favourable contrasts with Christianity


For Nietzsche, Manu’s vision contrasts favourably with Christianity in several specific respects. Firstly, its goal is not to deform mankind and clip its wings, but to ‘breed’ it, to direct its natural growth and evolution in a certain direction. Consistently with this difference in goals, there is a different approach: while Christianity ‘tames’, Manu ‘breeds’, i.e. he manipulates natural tendencies in a chosen direction. He does not destroy but shapes up. He shows no resentment against the existing order but tries to preserve and ‘improve’ it (AC 56f.).


Secondly, Nietzsche applauds Manu’s candid acceptance and promotion of inequality, which follows naturally from an acceptance of life:


And do not forget the central point, the fundamental difference between it and every type of Bible: it lets the noble classes, the philosophers and warriors, stand above the crowd; noble values everywhere, a feeling of perfection, saying yes to life,- the sun shines over the entire book. All the things that Christianity treated with its unfavourable meanness, procreation for instance, women, marriage, are here treated with seriousness, with respect, with love and trust. How can you really put a book into the hands of children and women when it contains that mean-spirited passage: ‘To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and every woman her own husband: it is better to marry than to burn.’ [Paul: 1 Cor.6:2-9 - KE] (AC 56)


Thirdly, he welcomes Manu’s intolerance towards pessimism: even the ugly and lowly are part of the world’s perfection. There is no need to ‘cure’ the world of their presence, they are given a place somewhere in the system.


Fourthly, asceticism is present in Brahmanism as much as in Christianity, but its outlook and motivation is radically different. It does not stem from nor aim at life-denial, it is the joy of the strong who thereby feel and enjoy their strength of character. It is significant that the ascetic tradition originated in the martial Kshatriya caste, to which the Buddha and Mahâvîra Jîna, founders of the surviving ascetic sects of Buddhism and Jainism, belonged by birth. The Indian ascetic’s striving is of the heroic type, seeking to achieve liberation by conquest of the self, not by imprecating divine favours. His celibacy is not a matter of prudery or distrust of sexuality, but of preserving one’s sexual energy and of not diluting masculine standards by symbiosis with women and children.


And whereas these ascetic traditions would still fail to earn Nietzsche’s full approbation because of their hostility to the worldly vale of tears (though their assumption of suffering as the profound nature of all experience might also resonate with the sceptical-pessimist streak in Nietzsche), the Brahminical ascetic tradition as expressed in the Upanishads bases its inner quest on the perception of joy as the intrinsic nature of all experience. According to the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.5), the innermost level of consciousness, underneath the physical, energetic, mental and intellectual ‘sheaths’ covering the Self (âtman), is the sheath consisting of bliss (ânandamaya kosha):


Verily, other than and within that one that consists of understanding [= the intellect – KE] is a self that consists of bliss. […] Pleasure is its head; delight, the right side; great delight, the left side; bliss, the body; Brahma, the lower part, the foundation.


So, the level of consciousness into which the yogi sinks when he stills his thought processes, is one of natural bliss. This illustrates how asceticism as a practice of profound self-mastery need not be based on a sense of tiredness and loathing of the world. The focus in this case is not on the painful experiences from which yoga delivers us, but on the joy which is ever-present and can be awakened further by yoga. To complete this more positive conception of asceticism, Manu does not define the ascetic as one who rejects family and society (the way the Buddha did, or the way Christian monks do), nor as one who spurns normal life for the ascetic life; but as one who completes normal life with an ascetic phase, one who fulfils his social duties first and then, in middle age, crowns his career with the promotion to the ascetic’s lifestyle:


When a man has studied the Veda in accordance with the rules, and begotten sons in accordance with his duty, and sacrificed with sacrifices according to his ability, he may set his mind-and-heart on freedom. (MS 6.36)


Eventually, Nietzsche never got farther than a mere glimpse of this alternative view of asceticism, which contrasts so promisingly with the Christian one of self-punishment. He was locked in his European freethinker’s struggle with the Christian heritage. In the brief months of mental clarity that remained, he didn’t find the time or the appetite to explore the potential help that Hindu thought could have offered him in resolving his very European questions.



3.2. Goddamn this priest-craft


Anything good that may have sprung from Manu has come about thanks to the cunning schemes of Hindu priest-craft, for Nietzsche invariably a vector of the ‘lie’. Given Nietzsche’s views on ‘the uses and drawbacks of truth for life’, the use of this despised priest-craft becomes acceptable because it ends up serving the aims of life rather well. That’s better than the alleged life-denying impact of the Christian lie, but it’s still a lie. Only with that limitation can we say Nietzsche was enthusiastic about Manu.


While Christianity keeps its flock in check with promises and threats of the consequences in the afterlife, Manu achieves the same control with promises and threats of the karmic results in the next incarnations. That at least was and is the common view, and Nietzsche was not sufficiently versed in the subject to know and point out that among Hindu classics, Manu stands out by making only  a limited use of the reincarnation doctrine and actually making much more reference to the promise of achieving, or the threat of withholding, access to swarga, ‘heaven’. Numerous times heaven is held up as reward, hell as punishment, only rarely is karma invoked, e.g. an unfaithful wife will be reborn as a jackal (9.30). This afterlife with heaven and hell is the old view of the Vedas, where the heroes go to some kind of exuberant paradise, the way the Greek warriors went to the Elysean Fields, the Germanic ones to the Walhalla, or the Islamic jihâd fighters to Jannat where numerous houri-s (nymphs) shower them with their attentions. By contrast, the notion of reincarnation was a later Upanishadic and Shramanic (i.e. monastic, principally Jain and Buddhist) innovation. Both views of the hereafter get mixed up in Manu, e.g. the punishment for perjury is that the culprit is ‘helplessly bound fast by Varuna’s ropes for a hundred births’ (8.82, meaning he will suffer dropsy during that many incarnations, vide Doniger 1991 160), but also that he ‘goes headlong to hell in blind darkness’ (8.94).


From Nietzsche’s distant viewpoint, however, this made little difference, for either way, priests were exploiting supernatural beliefs about people’s invisible fate after death to impose their law on their people: ‘Reduction of human motives to fear of punishment and hope for reward: viz. for the law that has both in its hand’ (14[203] 13.385).


In this respect, Nietzsche classifies Manu along with Moses, Confucius, Plato, Mohammed as just another religious law-giver, i.e. an immoral liar who tricked his society into a certain morality by means of a pious fantasy. They were all the same, e.g.: ‘Mohammedanism has learned it again from the Christians: the use of the hereafter as organ of punishment’ (14[204] 13.386).


It is the way of priests to present the mos maiorum, or whichever innovation they wanted to introduce into it, as divinely revealed:


A law book like that of Manu comes about in the same way as every book of law: it summarizes the experience, shrewdness and experiments in morality of many centuries, it draws a conclusion, nothing more. (AC 57)


To prevent further experimentation by communities affirming their human autonomy,


                a double wall is set up […]: first, revelation, that is the claim that the reason behind the law is not of          human provenance, has not been slowly and painstakingly looked for and discovered, but instead has a               divine origin, [arriving] whole, complete, without history, a gift, a miracle, simply communicated…     And second tradition, that is the claim that the law has existed from time immemorial, that it is                 irreverent to cast doubt on it, a crime against the ancestors. The authority of the law is founded upon       the theses: God gave it, the ancestors lived it. (AC 57)


Therefore, Nietzsche rejects a certain anti-Semitic rhetoric then common in ex-Christian circles, and pleads that in this respect, the Aryan Manu is no better than the Semitic Bible, whose priestly vision actually had Aryan origins:


There is a lot of talk nowadays about the Semitic spirit of the New Testament: but what one calls by that name is merely priestly,- and in the Aryan law book of the purest kind, in Manu, this type of ‘Semitism’, i.e. priestly spirit, is worse than anywhere.  The development of the Jewish priestly state is not original: they got to know the blueprint in Babylon: the blueprint is Aryan. If the same returned to dominate again in Europe, under the impact of the Germanic blood, then it was in conformity with the spirit of the ruling race: a great atavism. (14[204] 13.386)


Once, in an unpublished note, Nietzsche expresses a healthy modern scepticism towards the pious caste order with its touch-me-not-ism:


[…] the Chandala-s must have had the intelligence and the more interesting side of things to themselves. They were the only ones who had access to the true source of knowledge, the empirical. Add to this the inbreeding of the castes. (14[203] 13.386)


So, to the modern man Nietzsche, the uptight purity rules against inter-caste contact and the distance which the upper castes kept from activities that would get their hands dirty, remains too stifling for comfort. While generally inclined towards the aristocratic system, he did not want to spend his energies campaigning against class- or race-mixing, unlike many Europeans and Americans during the century preceding 1945. Indeed, his ‘genealogical’ speculations largely aimed at disentangling the different components of Europe’s culture and value system, for he was fully aware of the mixed character of the European civilization and nations. In the caste system, he admired the elitist spirit, but not to the extend of trying to uphold its obsessive purity rules in modern society. And while caste ensured stability, a condition cherished by priestly types, Nietzsche was temperamentally more favourable to scenarios of upheaval. In that respect, the modern world was more congenial to him than medieval European or ancient Indian hierarchies, which he preferred to admire from a comfortable distance.



3.3. The racism Nietzsche didn’t borrow from Manu


In Nietzsche’s day, racism was a fully accepted and even dominant paradigm. Nietzsche himself was not its champion or its mastermind, but neither did he stand as a rock against the racially-inclined spirit of the times. The term ‘race’ had a wider range of meanings then, from ‘family’, ‘clan’ and ‘nation’ to phenotypical ‘race’ to the ‘human race’ (exactly the range of meaning that jâti has in colloquial Hindi). In Nietzsche’s case, it only rarely seems to have the fully biological sense that was gaining ground then:


His not infrequent use of the expressions ‘classes’ and ‘estates’ along with ‘races’ strengthens the suspicion that Nietzsche saw the ‘Aryans’ and ‘Semites’ in the first place as social units, rather as ‘peoples’ or societal ranks, less as ‘races’ in the modern sense. They are what they are because they have lived in specific ‘environments’ for a long time. (Schank 2000 60)


Nietzsche shows some knowledge of the findings of Indo-European philology, especially the theories about the wanderings of the ‘Aryans’ and the resultant substratum effect of pre-Indo-European native languages on the language of the Indo-European settlers (Schank 2000 54). Thus, non-Indo-European roots borrowed from lost substratum languages account for nearly 30% of the core vocabulary in Germanic and nearly 40% in Greek, and the differentiation of Proto-Indo-European into its daughter languages is partly due to the respective impact of different substratum languages on its dialects. Nietzsche fully accepted the then-common view that the native Europeans had adopted their Indo-European languages from tribes immigrating from the East, an Urheimat located anywhere between Ukraine and Afghanistan.


Early in the 19th century, this line of research originally had a fairly Indocentric focus, with India itself being the favourite Urheimat, but as India’s status declined from a mystical wonderland to just another colony, the preferred homeland moved westward. The quest for the early history of Indo-European was interdisciplinary avant la lettre in that it brought proto-sociological insights into its historical-linguistic speculations. Thus, what is now called the ‘elite dominance’ model of language spread, in which the dominant Indo-Europeans imparted their language to the substratum populations, included considerations of the caste system.


The Hindu caste system was widely interpreted in racial terms, viz. apartheid between Aryan conquerors and pre-Aryan natives. Likewise, the situation of the Greeks in Greece, with a vocabulary including numerous pre-Indo-European loanwords and the coexistence of free Greeks with a lower class of helots and slaves, was commonly understood as reflecting the subjugation of a native race by the superior invading Aryan race. Nietzsche accepted this racial scenario to an extent in the case of Europe, but most remarkably did not apply this paradigm to Indian society. Adopting Manu’s view, he saw the difference between high and low castes as not being one between superior and inferior races, but between pure and mixed lineages: ‘good proper marriages bring forth good children; a bad one, bad ones’ (14[202] 13.385). To Manu, good marriages are endogamous marriages, e.g. a marriage between two low-caste people is good.


It is only in a very loose sense of the term that Manu could still be described as a racist, viz. in the sense that he did derive people’s rights from the kinship group to which they belonged. These groups need not be distinguished by phenotypical traits, as races in the modern conception are, but just like races they are communities to which one belongs through birth. That is why recent UN campaigns against racism have tended to include casteism as a peculiar case of racism.


Where Nietzsche did (unsystematically) espouse ideas that were later incorporated in the prevalent racist discourse, he definitely didn’t get them from Manu. Thus, the notion of the ‘blonde Bestie’, which, according to Lincoln (1999 104 ff.), cannot be uncoupled from racial thought, has nothing whatsoever in common with Manu’s view of mankind. Firstly, Nietzsche goes along with the then-common identification of ‘Aryan’ with ‘blond’, as when he speaks of ‘the blond, that is Aryan, conqueror-race’ (GM I 5). This idea was totally unknown to Manu, who may well never have seen a blond person in his life yet lived in the centre of what he called Ârya society. But let us add that Nietzsche doesn’t go all the way in this identification of blondness with superiority, for in the same paragraph he goes on to include the warrior aristocracies from Arabia and Japan.


Secondly, Nietzsche’s glorification of the unbridled norm-breaking wildness as a privilege of the conquerors and ruling class, personified as the ‘blond beast’, is without parallel in Manu or the other masterminds of Hindu civilization. In Nietzschean terms, Manu stands for the ‘Apollinian’ values of order, balance, clarity and stability, not at all for the disruptive ‘Dionysian’ exuberance of the ‘blond beast’.



3.4. The antisemitism Nietzsche didn’t borrow from Manu


Nietzsche did not posit a simple division of the world’s religions in two categories, such as ‘Abrahamic’ vs. ‘Pagan’. Even in typologically similar and genealogically related religions, he sees the opposition between deeper psychological tendencies. Thus, both the ‘Aryan’ and the ‘Semitic’ religions show the same division in ‘yes-saying’ and ‘no-saying’ attitudes:


What a yes-saying Aryan religion, born from the ruling classes, looks like: Manu’s law-book. What a yes-saying Semitic religion, born from the ruling classes, looks like: Mohammed’s law-book, the Old Testament in its older parts. What a no-saying Semitic religion, born from the oppressed classes, looks like: the New Testament, in Indian-Aryan terms a Chandala religion. What a no-saying Aryan religion, grown up among the ruling classes, looks like: Buddhism. It is perfectly in order that we have no religion of oppressed Aryan races, for that would be a contradiction: a lordly race is either on top on going extinct. (14[195] 13.380f.)


Note that his judgment of the Jewish Old Testament, with its wars and love stories, is less negative than that of the Christian New Testament. Not that he failed to share some of the common opinions about the Jews, e.g. that they are only middlemen, not creators: ‘The Jews here also seem to me merely “intermediaries”/“middlemen”, they don’t invent anything’ (KSA 14.420).  He also seems to have seconded the ancient view that the Jews were motivated by hatred of the rest of mankind:


These measures are instructive enough: in them we have at once the Aryan humanity, wholly pure, wholly original,- we learn that the concept of ‘pure blood’ is the opposite of a harmless concept.  On the other hand, it is clear in which people this hatred, the Chandâla-hatred of this ‘humanity’, has been eternalized, where this hatred had become a religion, where it has become genius. (TI Improvers 4)


And though Judaism was less harmful to man than Christianity, the latter’s Chandâla resentment has ‘sprung from Jewish roots and is only understandable as a plant from that soil’ (TI Improvers 4).


Yet, it bears repeating here that Nietzsche refused to conclude from these common opinions that an anti-Jewish mobilization as envisaged by the rising (self-described) anti-Semitic movement was necessary or even desirable. In a letter to Theodor Fritsch, a declared anti-Semite, he stated:


Believe me: this terrible eagerness by tedious dilettantes to speak up in the debate on the value of people and races, this subjugation to “authorities” which are rejected with cold contempt by every thinking mind […], these continuous absurd falsifications and applications of the vague concepts ‘Germanic’, ‘Semitic’, ‘Aryan’, ‘Christian’, ‘German’ -- all this could end up seriously infuriating me and bringing me out of the ironic benevolence with which I have so far watched the virtuous velleities and phariseisms of the contemporary Germans. -- And finally, what do you think I experience when the name Zarathustra is uttered by anti-Semites? (KSA 14.420f.)


On the other hand, Nietzsche’s linking the Jews with the lowly Chandâla-s, though borrowed from Jacolliot (and unknown to  Manu), remains largely his own original contribution to modern anti-Jewish thought. Many things had been said against the Jews, but that one was quite new. It is simply counter-intuitive. If at all Jews, with their distinctive dress and hairdo and cumbersome ritual observances, had to be linked with any Hindu castes, then the purity-conscious and ritual-centred Brahmins (apart from the money-savvy Vaishyas) would seem a more logical choice.


Chandâla-s are the people who do deeply unclean work involving intimate contact with decomposing substances. While notions of clean and unclean exist in many cultures, the specific institution of untouchability is peculiar and is foreign to most societies, probably including the ancient Vedic society of North India. Its origin arguably lay in the Dravidian-speaking society of South India, where the lowest caste is called the Paraiya-s, famously anglicised as Pariah. According to Hart (1983 117):


Before the coming of the Aryans […] the Tamils believed that any taking of life was dangerous, as it released the spirits of the things that were killed. Likewise, all who dealt with the dead or with dead substances from the body were considered to be charged with the power of death and were thought to be dangerous. Thus, long before the coming of the Aryans with their notion of varna, the Tamils had groups that were considered low and dangerous and with whom contact was closely regulated.


The Jews, far from seeing themselves as similarly unclean, had their own set of cleanliness rules protecting their religious personnel from polluting contacts. Thus, the hereditary priestly clan, the Kohanim, have to stay away from funerals to protect their religious charisma from the uncleanness of death. Nor are they allowed to marry converts to Judaism, let alone non-Jews. There is nothing Chandâla-like about this pattern, which closely resembles the Brahmanical attitude. Conversely, orthodox Judaism practises a certain discrimination, though nothing quite as deep and permanent as with the Indian untouchables, against people doing unclean work.


Thus, it has been argued that Saint Paul, who made his living as a tent-maker working for the Roman army and frequently using animal skins, became so eager to renounce Jewish law precisely because by occupation he was unclean under that law (Wilson 1999 43). Even today, missionaries recruiting converts among the Dalit-s (‘broken’, oppressed, the current self-designation of  militant ex-untouchables) and trying to make the Gospel relevant to their situation, typically tell them that the shepherds tending the cattle that was to be sent for sacrifice to the temple in Jerusalem, the ones who came to praise Christ in His cradle, were themselves barred from entering the temple. This way, they establish a parallel between Christianity’s superseding Moses’ law with the Indian convert’s emancipation from Manu’s law.



3.6. The politics Nietzsche doesn’t discuss


Nietzsche discourses in general terms about a system of law but doesn’t pay the least attention to the actual laws (or proposals of law, or law-recipes) enumerated in the Manu Smrti or implemented by rulers who took inspiration from this classic. Worse, he pays no attention to the institutions that make caste society possible, e.g. the authority vested in caste pañchâyat or intra-caste council governing caste matters and internal disputes; or in the village pañchâyat, the inter-caste council in which each caste, even the lowest, had a veto right. A consensus had to be reached between the castes, which meant in practice that the harshest discriminations were somewhat mitigated. (Likewise, the ruling council of ancient India’s ‘republics’, composed exclusively of Kshatriyas, had to decide by consensus.) 


Conversely, Nietzsche was apparently also unaware of the attempts to reform or abolish the caste system by the Ârya Samâj and other contemporaneous movements. In his own day, the institution of caste was under attack, both from low-caste rebels and from high-caste nationalists who sought to unite their nation across caste divisions. This led to a whole pamphlet literature by reformers and also by defenders of the old system, to court cases and legislative initiatives in British India. In short, for a student of the pros and cons of caste, there were plenty of revealing polemics with freshly mustered data for the taking. And there was an implicit appeal to take sides in that social struggle.


In spite of this, Nietzsche never discussed the actual politics of the caste system. In the ongoing debate on whether he was a political or a non-political thinker, his treatment of Manu weighs in on the side of the second position. His fondness for Manu was a purely theoretical position, less concerned with India’s quaint social divisions as with the underlying spirit of elitism and of accepting the inequality that nature has imposed on mankind.



3.7. The Übermensch connection


With his merely incipient knowledge of Hindu tradition, Nietzsche missed a number of links between his own philosophy and Hindu tradition. His friend Paul Deussen saw a resemblance between the notion of ‘eternal return’ and the Hindu cyclical view of the universe. He rejected Nietzsche’s ‘eternal return’, though, on grounds that are not specifically Hindu. Whereas Nietzsche deduced the inevitability of eternal return from the finiteness of the number of possible combinations of all particles in the universe, Deussen in his Erinnerungen an Friedrich Nietzsche (1901) argues against this that, on the contrary, ‘the game of evolution of the world will have infinite variations’ (quoted in Smith 2005 147).


Likewise, others have seen the potential conceptual kinship between Nietzsche’s notion of the Übermensch and the ‘awakened’ yogi:


Both understand human being as an ever-changing flux of multiple psychophysical forces, and within this flux there is no autonomous or unchanging subject (“ego”, “soul”). Both emphasise the hierarchy that exists or can exist not only among individuals but among the plurality of forces that compose us. For Nietzsche the pinnacle of that hierarchy is the Übermensch, a goal not yet achieved although a potential at least for some; for Buddhism that potential was attained by Shakyamuni Buddha, and at least to some degree by many after him, for it is a potential all human beings are able to realise. (Loy 1998 129)


In Hindu tradition, the sannyâsin or ascetic stands outside the caste order. In spite of all his regulations for a caste-based society, Manu provided for a position outside the caste order. Upon being initiated, the sannyâsin performs his own funeral rites, gives up his name and caste and family ties, and becomes free. That is the job of the Hindu ascetic: to be free. The only ‘work’ he is expected to do, is to subdue in himself all his weaknesses and attachments. The royal road to achieve this is yoga, i.e. quieting the mind, disciplining the monkeys of our thoughts.


The common denominator with Nietzsche’s ideal is self-overcoming, in combination with a spurning of the comforts and certainties of ordinary life. Nietzsche did not explore or develop this connection: ‘To use [the concepts of Übermensch and eternal return - KE] the way he did shows Nietzsche to have been oblivious of the obvious Indian parallels’ (Smith 2005 147). It could have saved him a lot of misinterpretation by admirers who conceived of the Übermensch in eugenic terms.



3.8. Missed opportunities regarding God


Deconstructing God and rethinking the universe as godless were among Nietzsche’s central projects. From Voltaire onwards, many European freethinkers had used India in their personal freedom-struggle as a reference for counterbalancing Christianity. In that light, it is surprising how Nietzsche failed to exploit data from the history of Hindu philosophy in his anti-Christian crusade.


In the period of the late-Vedic handbooks of ritual, the Brâhmana-s, i.e. the apogee of Brahmanical ritualism, the idea dawned on the ritualists that the gods they invoked weren’t really heavenly persons who were listening at the other end of the line and then responded to the human imprecations by granting the hoped-for boon, but mere name-tags for the unseen phases of the magical mechanism which led from the performance of the ritual to the materialization of the requested boon (Clooney 1997). This idea was theorized further by the Mîmânsâ school of philosophy. Likewise, the subsequent shift from ritualism to asceticism (tapas, ‘heat’) proclaimed man’s supreme power to subject the gods to his own will.


The point is illustrated in the life-story of many ascetics including the Buddha, where Indra and Brahma and the other gods come and congratulate him for achieving his awakening (bodhi). In many stories, the gods are afraid of the increasing power of the ascetic and send seductresses to make him abandon his practice. Tapas or asceticism is a Promethean exercise, in which man steals the gods’ thunder. The ascetic schools in the pre-Christian centuries were mostly inclined towards atheism. In the philosophical schools of Sâmkhyâ and early Vaisheshika, and in the non-Vedic school of Jainism, the gods disappear from sight.  The Manu-Smrti obliquely testifies to this climate of theism’s lowest ebb. That gods are worshipped is a fact which Manu acknowledges as part of the human landscape, but he hardly concedes any agency to them. The envisioned rewards and punishments for good or evil conduct are not conceived as handed out by a heavenly person, but rather as mechanical (karmic) results of one’s own actions.


Though Nietzsche never published any reflections on this genesis of a kind of atheism within the late-Vedic tradition, his Nachlass indicates he was summarily aware of it:


‘With God, nothing is impossible’, the Christian thinks. But the Indian says: ‘With piety [for] and knowledge of the Veda, nothing is impossible: the gods are submissive and obedient to them. Where is the god who can resist the pious earnestness and prayer of a renouncing ascetic in the forest?’ (14[198] 13.382)


Or, more forcefully: ‘The Brahmin is an object of worship for the gods’ (14[178] 13.363). Like modern man, the sages of India believed in themselves rather than in God.


However, in dealing with ancient Hindu atheism, Nietzsche would also have had to face the subsequent resurgence of theism. Not just in popular religion did theistic devotion (Bhakti) gain an all-India upper hand in the course of the first millennium CE, it also conquered philosophical systems which had started out as atheistic. Consider the increasing impact of a doctrine of a supreme God in the successively emerging schools of Sâmkhyâ (‘enumeration’ of the universe’s components), Vaisheshika (‘distinction-making’, atomism) and Nyâya (‘judgment’, logic):


It hardly had any access into the classical Sâmkhyâ system which at that time was already paralysing and declining. And the branch of the school which accepted the notion of a supreme God, did not attain any great importance. […] In [Vaisheshika - KE] we see clearly how the doctrine of a supreme God gradually forced its way and became established. […] The matter is again quite different with the youngest of these systems, the Nyâyah. In it the concept of God appears in the sûtras themselves and quickly gains importance. (Frauwallner 1955.35-36)  


Likewise, in Patañjali’s Yoga Sûtra, the non-theistic core text which describes yoga practice as a purely human endeavour, is overlaid with theistic additions to the extent that modern teachers of Hindu philosophy classify Yoga as a theistic system. Even Buddhism often ended up replacing its original emphasis on individual effort with devotional surrender to a quasi-deity like the Amitabha Buddha (‘of the infinite light’). The monistic Vedânta philosophy initially rejected the distinction between sentient beings down here and a supreme being up there, but in the Middle Ages, it developed theistic variants which are now completely dominant in numerical terms.


Modern Hindus who want to flaunt the liberal virtues of their religion, like to say that ‘a Hindu can even be an atheist’. That may be true in theory, but today, a Hindu is typically a devotional theist. So, in the polemic over the death of God, religious people could take heart from the Hindu precedent of God’s resurrection.





At first sight, the importance of Nietzsche’s discovery of the Manu-Smrti is quite limited, viz. as a collateral illustration of pre-Christian civilization glorified by him, principally represented by Greece but now also found to have flowered in the outlying Indian branch of the Indo-European world. Crucial pieces of Manu’s worldview, such as the centrality of a priestly class (Nietzsche’s sympathy being more with the martial aristocracy) and the notion of ritual purity, seem irrelevant to Nietzsche’s ultimately very modern philosophical anthropology. They are sometimes mentioned disparagingly, while other Hindu ideas are not given due attention, e.g. dharma as caste-specific duty. In particular, the transparently priestly character of Manu’s code, with its dangling of supernatural rewards (c.q. punishments) after death in order to keep people in line, is dismissed as but a variation on similar ‘tricks’ in the much-maligned Judeo-Christian tradition. Yet, a few specifically Indian notions did have a wider impact on Nietzsche’s worldview.


Principally, the notion of Chandâla became a cornerstone in Nietzsche’s view of mankind, representing the most lowly and contemptible type of man, who broods on revenge against superior types. In a far-fetched departure from Manu’s use of the term, he relates the concept of Chandâla to the psycho-sociological origin of the Jewish national character and thence to the psychology of resentment allegedly underlying Christianity. Secondly, Manu’s strict opposition to caste-mixing tallied with Nietzsche’s aristocratism, which values people’s genealogy and encourages the differentiation of mankind into specialized classes. In the spirit of the times, however, it was also susceptible to co-optation into the then-emerging racialist reading of human reality as well as of Nietzsche’s own work. But the philosopher never committed himself to any Manu-inspired politics.


Finally, Manu’s respect for asceticism as a positive force in society (though best left to a class of specialists, not a norm for all), seemingly so in conflict with Nietzsche’s contempt for ‘otherworldliness’, resonates with subtler pro-ascetic elements in Nietzsche’s philosophy, especially in his conception of the Übermensch. But this, along with the budding atheism in ancient Hinduism, was to remain one of the potential Hindu sources of inspiration that Nietzsche left unexplored.





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jeudi, 12 novembre 2009

L'"Arthasastra" de Kautilya: aux sources de la pensée politique indienne

kautilyas_arthasastra_and_social_welfare_idi618.jpgL'«Arthasastra» de Kautilya: aux sources de la pensée politique indienne


L'Arthasastra de Kautilya est un grand texte classique indien en sanskrit consacré à l'art de gouverner. Il fut traduit intégralement en anglais pour la première fois en 1915. Les éditions du Félin viennent d'en publier une partie en français. Gérard Chaliand écrit dans son avant-propos: «L'Arthasastra  est un monument considérable qui témoigne de la puissance et de l'originalité de la pensée politique indienne. L'Arthasastra est un traité sur l'Etat, le pouvoir et l'usage de la force. Ecrit matérialiste, pourrait-on dire, aux antipodes d'une conception théocratique, le traité de Kautilya pourrait être qualifié de machiavélien si l'anachronisme n'était flagrant, le discours indien précédant la réflexion du Florentin d'environ quinze siècles (...). Selon la tradition, le traité serait l'œuvre du ministre et conseiller du premier empereur de la dynastie des Maurya, contemporain d'Alexandre le Grand, qui régna au dernier quart du VIième siècle avant notre ère. En fait, la datation de l'œuvre est incertaine (elle varie du Iier avant au IVième après notre ère). On tend aujourd'hui à la situer aux alentours du Iier siècle. Bref, l'ouvrage a environ deux mille ans et son titre, Artha,  désigne la prospérité et sa recherche, quête éminemment matérielle, qui, pour l'Etat, consiste à acquérir et conserver richesse et puissance. L'Arthasastra, ou science du politique, est un traité comprenant quinze livres  —soit cinq cents pages—  dont on ne trouvera ici qu'une modeste partie, mais qui me semble essentielle si l'on veut saisir l'essence de ce chef-d'œuvre politique. Car l'Arthasastra  est à la naissance du politique ce que Sun Zi est à la naissance de la stratégie: une élaboration d'une originalité absolue» (J. de BUSSAC).


Kautilya, Arthasastra. Traité politique et militaire de l'Inde ancienne, Editions du Félin, 1998, 122 pages. 100 F.


mercredi, 11 novembre 2009

"Kamayani": mysticisme de la "bakhti"

12848.jpg«Kamayani»: mysticisme de la “bakhti”


Dans leur collection d'oeuvres représentatives, les éditions de l'UNESCO publient Kamayani de Jay Shankar Prasad (1889-1937). Nicole Balbir écrit dans sa préface: «Le mysticisme de la “bhakti”, ce partage direct de l'individu avec la divinité en l'approchant par l'amour en dehors du système de la caste et du rituel traditionnel, renforce l'approche non dualiste d'une certaine philosophie hindoue. L'âme individuelle fait partie intégrante de l'âme universelle. Ces caractéristiques se retrouvent dans l'épopée de Jay Shankar Prasad, Kamayani. Au milieu du XIXè siècle, le hindi, langue urbaine à peu près standardisée par rapport aux variétés régionales de la plaine indo-gangétique et dont le langage parlé, l'hindoustani, est commun aux musulmans et aux hindous, devient une langue littéraire à part entière. Le vocabulaire abstrait s'enrichit de mots sanskrits et de mots nouveaux formés sur la base du sanskrit pour exprimer des concepts abstraits. La prose se développe rapidement et donne naissance à des genres littéraires plus ou moins inspirés de l'Occident, tels essais, nouvelles, romans, etc. Cependant la poésie reste la grande favorite. Elle n'est plus nécessairement chantée ou psalmodiée, et, s'inspirant des poètes occidentaux par l'intermédiaire de l'anglais, elle utilise des mètres nouveaux. Il en est ainsi pour Kamayani. Sur le fond, on peut y déceler, bien qu'assez indirectement, l'influence venue de l'Occident illustrée par la fierté nationaliste en plein essor, une relation plus personnelle avec la nature environnante, l'idée plus chrétienne qu'hindoue de mettre l'Homme au centre de l'univers. Mais, clairement, l'œuvre plonge dans la philosophie hindoue et l'auteur, adepte du shivaïsme, reste fidèle à ses croyances. Sa culture sanskrite très authentique transparaît dans la plupart des images, métaphores et comparaisons qu'il utilise. Les ornements qui font la richesse poétique du kavya (poésie de haut niveau) en sanskrit sont pleinement employés, même s'il n'est pas toujours facile de les rendre perceptibles dans une traduction puisqu'ils sont intimement liés à la syntaxe, à la morphologie et à la phonétique de la langue source» (J. de BUSSAC).


Jav Shankar PRASAD, Kamayani, Editions UNESCO/Langues et mondes, 1997, 254 pages, 180 FF.

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mercredi, 29 juillet 2009

Réflexions sur le destin de Dara Shukoh


Réflexions sur le destin de Dara Shukoh


Un musulman peut-il être tolérant? Faire preuve de tolérance d’esprit? Etre sincèrement intéressé aux autres cultures? Oui, bien sûr, il existe indubitablement de tels musulmans. La seconde question que nous posons: quel a été leur sort?


Dara Shukoh (1615-1659) était le fils aîné de l’Empereur moghol Shah Jahan et de son épouse favorite Mumtaz Mahal. Lorsque celle-ci mourut à la suite de son quatorzième accouchement, son époux fit construire pour elle un superbe monument funéraire, en dehors de sa capitale Agra, le fameux Taj Mahal. Après l’achèvement du bâtiment, il fit trancher la main à tous les maîtres d’oeuvre de cette merveille architecturale, de façon à ce qu’ils ne puissent pas en reproduire de pareilles ailleurs. Le Prince héritier Dara Shukoh reçut une bonne éducation, large d’esprit, que nous aurions qualifié d’“humaniste” en Europe. Il devint adepte du soufisme, une branche mystique à l’intérieur de l’islam. Il était un élève du saint soufi Mian Mir de Lahore. En disant cela, je n’ai pas dit grand chose car le soufisme présente un vaste éventail de variétés et de tendances.


On dit souvent que le soufisme est plus tolérant et plus large d’esprit que l’islam ortohdoxe. C’est partiellement vrai. Certains soufis ont été d’effroyables fanatiques. Comme, par exemple, Mouïnouddin Tchichti  qui, en tant qu’espion, a préparé la plus sanglante invasion de l’Inde par Mohammed Ghori (en 1192). Même Faridouddin Attar, connu comme doux poète, a écrit un chant à la louange de Mahmoud de Ghazni, autre grand massacreur d’“infidèles”. Dara Shukoh lui, était d’une toute autre trempe. Il cherchait une base commune à l’hindouïsme et à l’islam. Dans ce but, il traduisit pour la toute première fois en persan les textes  qui forment le noyau de la philosophie indienne, les Upanishads (“l’enseignement confidentiel”). Il expliqua les conclusions de ses recherches dans un ouvrage intitulé “Madschma al-Bahrain”, ou “Le confluent de deux mers”. Oui, concluait-il, de fait, l’hindouïsme et l’islam dans sa variante soufie, sont une seule et même chose. Tous deux valorisent l’“unité de l’Etre”. En posant ces conclusions, Dara Shukoh donnait une base philosophique à la politique que menait la dynastie moghole depuis près d’un siècle: faire cohabiter dans l’harmonie hindous et musulmans en arrondissant les angles du principe musulman d’inégalité entre croyants et idolâtres. Contrairement au régime tyrannique et fanatique du Sultanat de Delhi (1206 à 1526), qui avait sans cesse été confronté à des révoltes hindoues et des vendettas entre divers partis musulmans, l’Empire moghol, à partir du grand-père de Dara Shukoh, Akbar (1556-1605), reposait sur un compromis avec les Hindous, notamment par l’abrogation de l’impôt de tolérance que devaient payer tous les non-musulmans, par l’autorisation de rebâtir les temples qui avaient été détruits et par l’intronisation de princes hindous dans l’appareil administratif de l’Empire. Ces princes devaient servir de contre-poids pour le régime du Padishah (l’Empereur moghol), qui avait bien des ennemis dans le camp musulman: certains seigneurs et les clercs les plus radicaux, sous la houlette de Ahmad Sirhindi (mort en 1624), qui condamnaient sa politique de compromis. Le plus jeune frère de Dara Shukoh, Aurangzeb, appartenait, lui, à l’école de Sirhindi. Aurangzeb fulminait contre la politique d’apaisement de Dara Shukoh, avec son principe de dialogue inter-religieux et sa valorisation de la spiritualité par-delà l’exotérisme des pratiquants. Aurangzeb reprochait également à son frère de pratiquer l’art de la peinture et de favoriser les arts de la scène. Reproduire le visage humain est explicitement interdit par la religion islamique, bien que les princes les plus éclairés l’aient toujours toléré, du moins tant qu’on ne cherchait pas à peindre ou dessiner Dieu ou le Prophète.


Aurangzeb était un homme de stricte obédience. Il fit tout ce qu’il put pour décourager des pratiques non islamiques comme le théâtre, la danse et la musique. Plus tard, quand il fut devenu Padishah, il congédia les musiciens de la cour; ceux-ci manifestèrent alors devant le palais, en trimbalant un cerceuil pour simuler l’enterrement de la Muse. Aurangzeb leur cria alors de l’enterrer bien profondément pour qu’il n’ait plus jamais à entendre parler d’elle dans l’avenir. Il voulait ainsi se montrer féal disciple du Prophète qui se bouchait les oreilles lorsqu’il entendait jouer de la musique. Ce fut donc Aurangzeb qui devint Padishah et non Dara Shukoh. En 1657, Shah Jahan tomba malade et, aussitôt, une querelle éclata entre ses quatre fils pour sa succession. Dara Shukoh, qui était l’aîné donc le prince héritier en titre, bénéficiait du soutien de son père. Dans un premier temps, il vainquit son frère, Shah Shuja, qui s’était proclamé Padishah. Mais il fut vaincu  à son tour le 8 juin 1658, lors de la Bataille de Samogarh, près d’Agra, où il faisait face aux troupes d’Aurangzeb. Dara Shukoh put prendre la fuite et commencer à lever une nouvelle armée lorsqu’un traître le livra à son frère. Les juges islamiques le condamnèrent à mort pour hérésie. On le couvrit de chaînes, on le promena à travers la ville pour l’humilier et on le tortura jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive. De sa propre main, Aurangzeb trancha la tête de Dara Shukoh, son frère, et l’envoya à leur père, qu’il avait fait enfermer dans une tour, où il resta les huit dernières années de sa vie, avec toutefois une faveur: il bénéficiait d’une vue sur le Taj Mahal. Le monument dédié à l’amour...


“Moestasjrik”/ “ ’t Pallieterke”  (Anvers, 21 juin 2006, trad. franç.: Robert Steuckers).