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Gandhi February 26, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in General.
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We’ve received a lot of comments about Gandhi, who appears in our current issue, on our Who Are We? page. We’ve moved all these comments over here to open up the discussion.

- Philip Ryan, Web Editor

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1. Saint - February 26, 2008

Editor James Shaheen,
Dear Editor of Tricycle and Associate Editors,

I was shocked and speechless at the out set to see a pciture of “Gandhi’s” and article related to him on the latest issue of Tricycle. I would like to ask you a simple question, please help me understand “is this tricycle” a buddhist Journal/magazine or a Hindu periodicle or are there efforts to sabotage “Tricycle by Hindus”??.

No conscious human on earth will ever make any effort to write about Gandhi on a Buddhist literature, as it is demeaning and betrayal to our great Lord Buddha and certainly a great insult to Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the greatest Buddhist revivalist after Lord Buddha.

This man Gandhi believed, practiced and preached human discrimination based on color, job and families??. He believed in preserving and practicing caste based society, where one human claims to be higher than the other, he strongly believed in untouchability where people treat other human as a creature below animals. Gandhi strongly believed in Caste discrimination and Varnashrama.

The amount of literature available on every evil aspect of Gandhi, his own words and own writings are available everywhere on the internet, besides books and documented texts, images and videos.

A man who is 360 degrees apart to the Buddhist believes dusted off from shelves to decorate a Buddhist magazine run by respected people of America in itself is a great insult me and millions of my fellow Buddhists and Buddha’s followers.

Buddhism was constantly attacked, Buddha’s teachings were constantly sabotaged by Hindus throughout the human civilization. Hindu’s like muslims and other invaders of India in the ancient period destroyed Buddhist shrines, burned the buddhist monks alive, sangaha’s were brought to ground, buddhist people were chased out of their domiciles besides got killed in huge numbers.

In such cruelty and savagery hindu’s will take the top place, besides all of those invaders who attacked Buddhists.

Hinduism in truth was always sabotaged Buddhist teachings and practices, they always try to own Buddhist belongings as if it belongs to hindus. And one of such people is Gandhi, he was without any doubt belong to a society that is a constant threat and humiliation to Buddhists.

If there is a celebration or tribute that Tricycle wants to promote, you must take Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the true Buddhist revivalist of India and the world, the savior of Dalits and poor in India and the most importantly a great Human, almost considered as the modern Buddha by hundreds of millions of Indians.

Leaving Dr.Ambedkar behind and putting up Gandhi on your frontpage is just a shame to this humanity let alone to the Buddhist society. I hope, I can be of any help to further provide you all the evidences you may need to understand about why this is not good for Tricycle like magainzes.

I sincerely hope you will consider my appeal to avoid Gandhi on Tricycle, a Buddhist should believe and practice what our Lord Buddha taught us, I am hopeful to see your response and immediate actions in this regard.

Many thanks,

In Dhamma,
Dr.Saint, USA

Whether you are going to accept or ignore, I will post this in my blog as thousands of the world Buddhists are going to read it over there, but I believe you will be Buddhist enough to give it a thought.

2. Lalit Khandare - February 26, 2008

Let world knows if we apply Gandhi’s thoughts in humanistic context , Gandhi can be termed as one of the biggest racist and castiest .

M.Gandhi on caste and related matters
– extracted from various sources

If the Shudras (low castes) leave their ancestral profession and take up others, ambition will rouse in them and their peace of mind will be
spoiled. Even their family peace will be disturbed. (Hind Swaraj).

I believe in Varnashrama (caste system) which is the law of life. The law of Varna (color and / or caste) is nothing but the law of conservation of energy. Why should my son not be scavenger if I am one? (Harijan,3-6-1947).

He (Shudra, low caste) may not be called a Brahmin (uppermost caste), though he (Shudra) may have all the qualities of a Brahmin in this birth. And it is a good thing for him (Shudra) not to arrogate a Varna (caste) towhich he is not born. It is a sign of true humility. (Young India, 11-24-1927).

According to Hindu belief, he who practices a profession which does not belong to him by birth, does violence to himself and becomes a degraded being by not living up to the Varna (caste) of his birth. (Young India,11-14-1927).

As years go by, the conviction is daily growing upon me that Varna (caste) is the law of man’s being, and therefore, caste is necessary for Christians and Muslims as it has been necessary for Hinduism, and has been its saving grace. (Speech at Trivandrum, (Collection of Speeches), Ramanath Suman (1932)).

I would resist with my life the separation of “Untouchables” from the
caste Hindus. The problems of the “Untouchable” community is of
comparatively little importance. (London Round Table Conference 1931.)

I call myself a Snatana man, one who firmly believes in the caste system. (Dharma Manthan, p 4).

I believe in caste division determined by birth and the very root of caste division lies in birth. (Varna Vyavastha, p 76-77).

The four castes and the four stages of life are things to be attained by birth alone. (Dharma Manthan, p 5).

Caste means the predetermination of a man’s profession. Caste implies that a man must practice only the profession of his ancestors for his livelihood. (Varna Vyavstha, p 28, 56, 68).

Shudra only serves the higher castes as a matter of religious duty and who will never own any property. The gods will shower down flowers on him. (Varna Vyavastha, p 15).

I have noticed that the very basis of our thought have been severely
shaken by Western civilization which is the creation of the Satan. (Dharma Manthan, p 65).

How is it possible that the Antyaja (outcastes) should have the right to enter all the existing temples? As long as the law of caste and ka rma has the chief place in the Hindu religion, to say that every Hindu can enter every temple is a thing that is not possible today. (Gandhi Sikshan, Vol. 11, p 132).

There are I am sorry to say, many Hindu temples in our midst in this
country, which are no better than brothels. The caste system can’t be said to be bad because it does not allow inter-dining and inter-marriages in different castes. (Gandhi by Shiru, p129).

The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has disadvantages. Caste creates a social and moral restraint – I can find no reason for their abolition. To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma (caste system). I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it. (Harijan, 1933).

3. Lalit - February 26, 2008

Gandhi’s thoughts are against Buddhist basic pretext of equality and justice.

4. Pardeep S Attri - February 26, 2008

Untold truths about Gandhi

1. Gandhi used to sleep with girls of aged between 18 to 25. Very few people know about this but its true (for detail you can read books by Dr L .R. BALI named “RANGEELA GANDHI” & “KYA GANDHI MAHATMA THE”) the girls who slept with Gandhi accepted this. Gandhi used to say that he is doing all this for his BRAHMCHARI Experiments. What from his experiments he was wanted to prove nobody knows? Gandhi himself accepted this that at the time of going to London for higher studies he decided to keep himself away from MEAT, DARU and SEX, but he accepted that he could not control himself in the matter of SEX.
2. Gandhi went to South Africa just for earning money and name because here in India he could not do well(flop) there he went mainly to save Abdullah &co. whose business was of smuggling and charged very much for this.
3. In 1932, Gandhi collected 1crore & 32 lakh Rs in the name of “TILAK SWRAJ” fund, which was collected for the use of DALITS. However, he did not spend even a single penny on DALITS.
4. In his whole life Gandhi kept on shouting that, he is in the supports AAHINSA. However, at the time of Second World War he himself sends Indian army for the fight from England side. AAHINSA kaha geye uss waqt?
5. During daytime, Gandhi spent the day in the Jhugis but he spent the night in the rest house of Birlas.
6. Gandhi advised people to live a simple life, but his simplicity was that when he was in jail there were three women in the jail to serve him for his simplicity!
7. Gandhi did not open a single door of a Hindu temple in Gujrat his home province in India for the UNTOUCHABLES.
8. Gandhi used to say that Subhash Chander Bose is like his own son, but Gandhi went on hunger strike until Bose leave his post in congress. Gandhi promised to British govt. that if we found Bose we will handover him to you (Bose was wanted in those days).
9. Gandhi kept people in dark that he is trying to save Bhagat Singh. However, the truth is that he never tried to contact VICEROY about Bhagat Singh issue. This all is said by the friend of VICEROY & Bhagat Singh named MANMATH NATH in his writings. Gandhi was feared about the popularity of Bhagat Singh because the popularity of Bhagat Singh was increasing of which Gandhi felt nervous.
10. Gandhi was saying that if the Pakistan would made it will only happen after his death. However, it was Gandhi who signed 1st on the proposal of making Pakistan.
11. Gandhi cheated all Indians at ROUND TABLE CONFERENCES by not giving the details in proper & those details, which were true.
12. Gandhi started so many ANDOLANS & LEHARS against British govt. but after a month or after 2 months he withdraw he all those ANDOLANS & LEHARS. Then what was the use of starting all those? What about the sacrifice of all those people who took part in all those ANDOLANS? In addition, he never went to lead people in those ANDOLANS. Even Gandhi’s own sons were against him but I do not know why all people were following him.
13. Now a days almost all Hindu people say Gandhi as a revolutionair, but what he said” I have come here on earth to fulfill the laws of caste.” How can one say such a person as a revolutionair? A true revolutionair never thinks according to caste line, not according to rich, poor etc.

These are very few points there are many more truths about Gandhi. In addition, from above point’s you people can decide about Gandhi. In BABA SAHEB’s own words “Gandhi Age is the Dark Age of India”. BABA SAHEB has also said in interview to BBC that “A PERSON WHO CHEATS AND KEEP OTHER PEOPLE IN DARK TO THAT PERSON IF YOU SAY A MAHATMA THEN GANDHI IS A MAHATMA.”

5. Konica Moon - February 26, 2008

GANDHI ON BLACKS AND RACE RELATIONS

• “A general belief seems to prevail in the colony that the Indians are little better, if at all, than the savages or natives of Africa. Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir.”

»Reference: The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Government of India (CWMG), Vol I, p. 150

• Regarding forcible registration with the state of blacks: “One can understand the necessity for registration of Kaffirs who will not work.”

»Reference: CWMG, Vol I, p. 105

• “Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian Location should be chosen for dumping down all the Kaffirs of the town passes my comprehension. ..the Town Council must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location.”

»Reference: CWMG, Vol I, pp. 244–245

• Regarding the Hindu Theological Seminary: “I only wish that such institutions will crop up all over India and be the means of preserving the Aryan religion in its purity.” – Oct. 2, 1896

»Reference: CWMG, Vol IV, p. 93

• His description of black inmates: “Only a degree removed from the animal.” Also, “Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilized – the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals.” – Mar. 7, 1908

»Reference: CWMG, Vol VIII, pp. 135-136

• Concerning South Africa’s White League fears of mass Asiatic immigration: “We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race.” – Sept. 24, 1903

»Reference: CWMG, Vol I, p. 105

6. David - February 26, 2008

Gandhi was Criminal…

7. Pardeep S Attri - February 26, 2008

Editor has used “Gandhi was fearless.”

Totally wrong, he was coward, why he didn’t saved Bhagat Singh’s life? Has Gandhi opened ever a single School or opned door of temples for Dalits which were always closed..

Shameful….

8. Pardeep S Attri - February 26, 2008

Interview of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar about Gandhi (Showing the reality of Gandhi)

9. Satish - February 26, 2008

British didn’t leave because of Gandhi

They were too embarassed to admit that they had become financially weak bcoz of World War 2 – so they performed a face saving act to tell people that they were ‘inspired’ by the thoughts and deeds of Gandhi…

10. nitin - February 26, 2008

Gandhi is idolized by people of all political stripes around the world, and his life is popularly considered a model for the American Civil Rights Movement.

U.S. Senator Harry Reid called Gandhi “a giant in morality.” Former U.S president Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a “National Day of Recognition for Mohandas K. Gandhi.” South African leader Nelson Mandela called Gandhi “the archetypal anticolonial revolutionary” whose “nonviolent resistance inspired anticolonial and antiracist movements.” African-American Senator Obama reportedly keeps a picture of Gandhi in his office.

Martin Luther King, Jr. associated Gandhi with the African-American struggle against inequality, segregation, and racism. Reverend King believed Gandhi was “inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward…peace and harmony.” When the Indian government paid to place a statue of Gandhi at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center in Atlanta, Mrs. King spoke about her husband’s admiration for Gandhi, saying, “It is gratifying and appropriate that this statue is installed in this historic site.”

Unfortunately, these people were never acquainted with the real, historical Mohandas Gandhi, who was a virulent racist.

Gandhi was hired to work as an attorney for wealthy Indian traders in South Africa. He moved there in 1893 and soon helped establish the Natal Indian Congress. The goal of this Congress was to “promote concord and harmony among the Indians and Europeans residing in the colony [of South Africa].” Instead of concord and harmony with the blacks, however, Gandhi promoted racial segregation. The major achievement of the Congress was the successful attempt, spear-headed by Gandhi, to fix the Durban post office “problem.” This issue is discussed in-depth here.

In 1904, Gandhi founded The Indian Opinion, a newspaper which he used as a political tool to promote his personal views. It is in this paper, which Gandhi edited until 1914, that we find a record of his extensive anti-black activism and opinions. A list of anti-black quotes from his writings, in which he invariably refers to the South African natives as “Kaffirs,” can be found here. Gandhi’s opinion of the native is best summarized when he calls them people “whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

Finally, in 1906, Gandhi cheered on the British as they waged a war on the black Zulus. He then volunteered for military service himself, attaining the rank of Sgt. Major in the British Army and assisting the war on blacks in every way he could. You can learn more about this here.

One of the best-known heroes of the American Civil Rights Movement was Rosa Parks, the black lady who refused to sit at the back of the bus. While Gandhi is upheld as a champion of equality, the truth is that he probably would not even have allowed Mrs. Parks on the bus in the first place. He proudly said that among South African Indians, the “co-mingling of the coloured and white races…is practically unknown.” Gandhi also boasted, “If there is one thing, which the Indian cherishes, more than any other, it is the purity of type.”

People remember Rev. King for his most famous speech, in which he said: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” To associate Martin Luther King, Jr. with Mohandas Gandhi, whose dream was to clear the way for Apartheid in South Africa, is an insult to the memory of Rev. King.

MOREOVER THE ATROCITIES ARE COMMITTED ON DAILY BASIS ON DALITS(every day a dalit is killed, a woman is raped pl visit http://www.atrocitynews.wordpress.com) IN INDIA IS SILENT OUTCOME OF VARNASHRAMA THEORY CONCRETISED BY GANDHI AND HIS FOLLOWERS THRU PANCHAYATI RAJ MECHANISM…NETIZENS, PLEASE BEWARE OF GURUs&MAHATMA BRANDS< THEY ARE CURRUPTING HUMANISM

11. Snehal Fulzele - February 26, 2008

As the previous post sheds light, Gandhi isn’t really what has been depicted in the contorted history books.
Its intolerable to see Gandhi – the discriminator to find a place in tricycle.com.
This is what Gandhi had to say during the 2nd world war: “As to whether the Jews should have committed “collective sucide” by offering
themselves to Hitler: “Yes, that would have been heroism.”

I am a preacher of Buddhism. As a Buddhist, Its sad to see such irrational and sham personality on tricycle.com.

12. kirit - February 26, 2008

I spend my ten years in Gandhi Asram during my childhood. Asram was based on Gandhian philosophy and ideologies. This Asram has been funded by state and centre government to uplift untouchables and tribals along with upper caste Hindus. Even lots of international funding agencies have been financially supporting this asram with assumption that this Gandhian ideology is only ideology to eradicate discriminatory caste based hierarchy from Hindu caste system. In reality, rather helping students to understand discriminatory caste system as inhuman and barbaric practice, it helps to inculcate discriminatory castes system in their life.

I come to know caste system when I was just six years old. I thought Gandhi have said that caste system is the main pillar of Hindu religion therefore, we have to follow whatever upper castes students or teacher says. We used to be given toilet cleaning work because we have been told by true gandhian followers that Gandhi said that untouchable and tribal were created by god to do dirty work. When I saw Gandhi’s picture on our respected website, I remembered all sort of discrimination and humiliation which I have faced during my stay at Gandhi Asram. Therefore, I strongly believe, your website would not let people to feel sorrow, pain and get humiliated. It was not core base of Buddhism. I am in process to understand Buddhism but when I saw Gandhi’s picture, I started feeling that there is no space in the religion for people who have been discriminated by generation, not even Buddhism.

13. Gary - February 26, 2008

Editor has very poor knowledge of Buddhism and Gandhi. He needs to read a lot about Gandhi. Gandhism and Buddhism are two opposite faces of a coin. He was Nazi in white clothes and a stick in his hand.

14. Saint - February 27, 2008

HOW DANGEROUS GANDHI’S THOUGHTS WAS & IS:

HERE ARE GANDHI’S OWN WORDS:
Gandhi Quotes:
If the Shudras (low castes) leave their ancestral profession and take up others, ambition will rouse in them and their peace of mind will be spoiled. Even their family peace will be disturbed. (Hind Swaraj).
I believe in Varnashrama (caste system) which is the law of life.

The law of Varna (color and/or caste) is
nothing but the law of conservation of energy. Why should my son not be scavenger if I am one? (Harijan,3-6-1947).

He (Shudra, low caste) may not be called a Brahmin (uppermost caste), though he (Shudra) may have all
the qualities of a Brahmin in this birth. And it is a good thing for him (Shudra) not to arrogate a Varna (caste) to which he is not born. It is a sign of true humility. (Young India, 11-24-1927).

According to Hindu belief, he who practices a profession which does not belong to him by birth, does violence to himself and becomes a degraded being by not living up to the Varna (caste) of his birth. (Young India, 11-14-1927).

As years go by, the conviction is daily growing upon me that Varna (caste) is the law of man’s being, and
therefore, caste is necessary for Christians and Muslims as it has been necessary for Hinduism, and has been its saving grace. (Speech at Trivandrum, (Collection of Speeches), Ramanath Suman (1932)).

I would resist with my life the separation of “Untouchables” from the caste Hindus. The problems of the “Untouchable” community are of comparatively little importance. (London Round Table Conference 1931)

I call myself a Snatana man, one who firmly believes in the caste system. (Dharma Manthan, p 4).

I believe in caste division determined by birth and the very root of caste division lies in birth. (Varna
Vyavastha, p 76-77).

The four castes and the four stages of life are things to be attained by birth alone. (Dharma Manthan, p 5).
Caste means the predetermination of a man’s profession. Caste implies that a man must practice only the profession of his ancestors for his livelihood. (Varna Vyavstha, p 28, 56, 68).

Shudra only serves the higher castes as a matter of religious duty and who will never own any property. The gods will shower down flowers on him. (Varna Vyavastha, p 15).

I have noticed that the very basis of our thought have been severely shaken by Western civilization which is the creation of the Satan. (Dharma Manthan, p 65).

How is it possible that the Antyaja (outcastes) should have the right to enter all the existing temples? As long as the law of caste and karma has the chief place in the Hindu religion, to say that every Hindu can enter every temple is a thing that is not possible today. (Gandhi Sikshan, Vol. 11, p 132).

There are I am sorry to say, many Hindu temples in our midst in this country, which are no better than
brothels. The caste system can’t be said to be bad because it does not allow inter-dining and inter-marriages in different castes. (Gandhi by Shiru, p129).
The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has
disadvantages. Caste creates a social and moral restraint – I can find no reason for their abolition.

To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma (caste system). I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it. (Harijan, 1933).

Nations are tired of the worship of lifeless machines multiplied ad infinitum. We are destroying the matchless living machines viz., our own bodies by leaving them to rust and trying to substitute lifeless machinery for them. It is a law of God that the body must be fully worked and utilised. We dare not ignore it. The spinning wheel is the auspicious symbol of Sharir Yajna— body labour. He who eats his food without offering this sacrifice steals it. By giving up this sacrifice we became traitors to the country, and banged the door in the
face of the Goddess of Fortune. (Gandhi’s presidential address at the Kathiawad Political Conference held on 8th January 1925).

The booklet is a severe condemnation of ‘modern civilisation.’ It was written in 1908. My conviction is deeper today than ever. I feel that, if India would discard ‘Modern civilisation’ she can only gain by doing so. (Mr. Gandhi’s booklet on Hind Swaraj (Indian Home Rule), 1921)

Gandhi’s quotes from his own mouth.

collected and compiled by Vivek Nirala.

Dr.Saint, USA

15. Pardeep S Attri - February 27, 2008

In 1921, Gandhi delivered violent speeches inciting racial hatred against the British. During bloody demonstrations and riots against the visit of Prince of Wales, William Francis Doherty, an American citizen working in Bombay was murdered. Gandhi personally got involved in the cover up of this gruesome murder through bribery and intimidation, as he was concerned that the details of this murder would tarnish Gandhi’s image in the West.

It is a cruel joke and one of the biggest fabrications of the twentieth century that Gandhi won Indian freedom without spilling a drop of blood. The truth is that it was the devastating effect of World War II that forced the British government to dismantle its Colonial Empire. Moreover, it was Gandhi and his Hindu dominated Congress party that engineered the partition of the country on communal lines, as the Muslim dominant states stood in the way of high caste Hindus to set up their Ram Raj (mythical Hindu kingdom) based on caste ideology. Additionally, the Partition of India in 1947 is one of the major upheavals of the twentieth century. In the State of Punjab alone, 11-12 million people lost their homes and hearths where their ancestors had lived for centuries. May be as many as one million people perished in the communal frenzy and thousands of young women were kidnapped while Gandhi was reciting the murderous sermons from his favorite scripture – Bhagvad Gita. He kept insisting up to the last moment that the country would be partitioned only over his dead body!

–Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity
by G. B. Singh

16. Pardeep S Attri - February 27, 2008

GANDHIAN HUMBUG This Gandhian humbug should be revealed to prove that Gandhi was not a mahatma in the strict sense of the term. Gandhi opposed all the movements for social equality and justice. Gandhi’s “Poona Pact”, fast-unto death was nothing but a declaration of war against the Untouchables and not against untouchability. He helped hit the last nail on the coffin of the Untouchables’ future. That is why Dr. Ambedkar declared that Gandhi as the Enemy No.1 of the Dalits. Gandhi cannot be a mahatma because he brought no transformation in the lives of the deprived and the dehumanized. His salt satyagraha is included in all the history textbooks but the “Poona Pact” fast unto death is being cunningly excluded from the books given to our children. This should be exposed in our new history for new India.

17. Pardeep S Attri - February 27, 2008

Wonder whether there was joy or sorrow on 30th January 2008, after 60 years, on immersing Gandhi’s ashes. Must be joy! as it is Freedom at last after 60 years. Here is Epitaph on his murder by Babasaheb Ambedkar, (extract from his writing and letters)

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——-
(Alipur Road)
Dated Feb.8,1948

I have been the greatest champion of the elevation and emancipation of women … I have done my best to raise the status of women and I am very proud of it.

I entirely agree with you that Gandhi should have not met his death at the hands of a Maharashtrian. I May go further and say that it would have been wrong for anybody to commit such a foul deed. You know that I owe nothing to Gandhi and he has contributed nothing to my spiritual, moral and social make-up. The only person to whom I owe all my being is Gautama Buddha. Nonetheless, I felt very sad on hearing of his assassination. Notwithstanding his antipathy to me, I went to the Birla House on Saturday morning and was shown his dead body. I could see the wounds. They were right on the heart. I was very much moved on seeing his dead body. I went with the funeral procession for s short distance as I was unable to walk and then returned home and again went to the Rajghat on the Jamuna but could not get to burning place being unable to break the ring formed by the crowd.

My own view is that great men are of great service to their country but they are also at certain times a great hindrance to the progress of their country. There is one incident in Roman History which comes to my mind on this occasion. When Caesar was done to death and the matter was reported to Cicero, Cicero said to the messenger, “Tell the Romans your hour of liberty has come”

While one regrets the assassination of Gandhi, one can’t help finding in his heart the echo of the sentiments expressed by Cicero on the assassination of Caesar. Gandhi had become a positive danger to this country. He has choked all free-thought. He was holding together the Congress, which is combination of all the bad and self-seeking elements in society who agreed on no social or moral principles governing the life of society except the one of praising and flattering Mr. Gandhi. Such a body is unfit to govern a country. As the Bible says ‘that sometimes good cometh out of evil,’ so also I think that good will come out of the death of Mr Gandhi. It will release people from bondage to a superman. It will make them think for themselves and it will compel them to stand on their own merits.

Yrs
Bhimrao Ambedkar

18. Pardeep S Attri - February 27, 2008

Mahatma divided country on caste lines: Maya

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20071028/punjab1.htm#3

Chandigarh, October 27

Outrightly rejecting Gandhism, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today said she was following political philosophy of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. While Mahatma Gandhi created a division in the country on caste lines, Ambedkar made a provision of reservation for poor sections of society to raise their level and standing in society and for their ultimate merger in the mainstream, she added.
It is true that the Mahatma did struggle for freedom, but he made no struggle for the assimilation of poor sections of society, especially Dalits in the mainstream to bring about a social cohesion in society. “In fact Gandhi divided the country on caste lines by coining a new term of Harijan for Dalits to keep their separate identity,” said Mayawati, replying to a question that earlier she was deadly against ‘manuwad’ but now it appeared that she was following the political philosophy of Gandhi.
“I am against the system that perpetuated casteism but not against any individual who conceptualised theories like manuwad,” she added. “I am not following Gandhism,” she asserted. “I am a firm believer in what Ambedkar did for the country, especially for weaker sections of society,” she added. “Harijan, a term coined by Gandhi, was never included in the Constitution which only recognised the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes for whom Ambedkar had sought special concessions in 1928 from the then British rulers,” she said.
“I am working hard to free the country from all sorts of social divisions”she asserted, adding that the concept of social engineering was being used to achieve this.

19. Pardeep S Attri - February 27, 2008

“His Principle of Peace Was Bogus”
Gopal Godse, co-conspirator in Gandhi’s assassination and brother of the assassin, looks back in anger–and without regret

http://dilip-acharya.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/10/his-principle-of-peace-was-bogus.htm

http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/2000/0214/india.godse.html

Hemant Pithwa/India Today

Fifty two years ago, on Jan. 30, 1948, Mohandas Gandhi was shot dead by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. Godse believed that the Mahatma, or great soul, was responsible for the 1947 partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. Godse and his friend Narayan Apte were hanged. His brother Gopal and two others were sentenced to life imprisonment for their part in the conspiracy. Gopal Godse remained in jail for 18 years and now, at 80, lives with his wife in a small apartment in Pune. He is still proud of his role in the murder. Although Godse is largely ignored in India and rarely talks to journalists, he agreed to speak with TIME Delhi correspondent Meenakshi Ganguly.

TIME: What happened in January 1948?
Godse: On Jan. 20, Madanlal Pahwa exploded a bomb at Gandhi’s prayer meeting in Delhi. It was 50 m away from Gandhi. [The other conspirators] all ran away from the place. Madanlal was caught there. Then there was a tension in our minds that we had to finish the task before the police caught us. Then Nathuram [Gopal's brother] took it on himself to do the thing. We only wanted destiny to help us — meaning we should not be caught on the spot before he acted.
TIME: Why did you want to kill Gandhi?
Godse: Gandhi was a hypocrite. Even after the massacre of the Hindus by the Muslims, he was happy. The more the massacres of the Hindus, the taller his flag of secularism.

TIME: Did you ever see Gandhi?
Godse: Yes.

TIME: Did you attend his meetings?
Godse: Yes.

TIME: Can you explain how he created his mass following?
Godse: The credit goes to him for maneuvering the media. He captured the press. That was essential. How Gandhi walked, when he smiled, how he waved — all these minor details that the people did not require were imposed upon them to create an atmosphere around Gandhi. And the more ignorant the masses, the more popular was Gandhi. So they always tried to keep the masses ignorant.

TIME: But surely it takes more than good publicity to create a Gandhi?
Godse: There is another thing. Generally in the Indian masses, people are attracted toward saintism. Gandhi was shrewd to use his saintdom for politics. After his death the government used him. The government knew that he was an enemy of Hindus, but they wanted to show that he was a staunch Hindu. So the first act they did was to put “Hey Ram” into Gandhi’s dead mouth.

TIME: You mean that he did not say “Hey Ram” as he died?
Godse: No, he did not say it. You see, it was an automatic pistol. It had a magazine for nine bullets but there were actually seven at that time. And once you pull the trigger, within a second, all the seven bullets had passed. When these bullets pass through crucial points like the heart, consciousness is finished. You have no strength.

When Nathuram saw Gandhi was coming, he took out the pistol and folded his hands with the pistol inside it. There was one girl very close to Gandhi. He feared that he would hurt the girl. So he went forward and with his left hand pushed her aside and shot. It happened within one second. You see, there was a film and some Kingsley fellow had acted as Gandhi. Someone asked me whether Gandhi said, “Hey Ram.” I said Kingsley did say it. But Gandhi did not. Because that was not a drama.

TIME: Many people think Gandhi deserved to be nominated TIME’s Person of the Century. [He was one of two runners-up, after Albert Einstein.]
Godse: I name him the most cruel person for Hindus in India. The most cruel person! That is how I term him.

TIME: Is that why Gandhi had to die?
Godse: Yes. For months he was advising Hindus that they must never be angry with the Muslims. What sort of ahimsa (non-violence) is this? His principle of peace was bogus. In any free country, a person like him would be shot dead officially because he was encouraging the Muslims to kill Hindus.

TIME: But his philosophy was of turning the other cheek. He felt one person had to stop the cycle of violence…
Godse: The world does not work that way.

TIME: Is there anything that you admire about Gandhi?
Godse: Firstly, the mass awakening that Gandhi did. In our school days Gandhi was our idol. Secondly, he removed the fear of prison. He said it is different to go into prison for a theft and different to go in for satyagraha (civil disobedience). As youngsters, we had our enthusiasm, but we needed some channel. We took Gandhi to be our channel. We don’t repent for that.

TIME: Did you not admire his principles of non-violence?
Godse: Non-violence is not a principle at all. He did not follow it. In politics you cannot follow non-violence. You cannot follow honesty. Every moment, you have to give a lie. Every moment you have to take a bullet in hand and kill someone. Why was he proved to be a hypocrite? Because he was in politics with his so-called principles. Is his non-violence followed anywhere? Not in the least. Nowhere.

TIME: What was the most difficult thing about killing Gandhi?
Godse: The greatest hurdle before us was not that of giving up our lives or going to the gallows. It was that we would be condemned both by the government and by the public. Because the public had been kept in the dark about what harm Gandhi had done to the nation. How he had fooled them!

TIME: Did the people condemn you?
Godse: Yes. People in general did. Because they had been kept ignorant.

20. ShrinivasanTN - February 27, 2008

WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE

TO

THE UNTOUCHABLES

_____________________________________________

CHAPTER X
WHAT DO THE UNTOUCHABLES SAY?

Beware Of Mr. Gandhi

Congressmen never hesitate to impress upon the Untouchables that Mr. Gandhi is their saviour. Not only do Congressmen all over India hold out Mr. Gandhi as a real saviour but they go forth to persuade the Untouchables to accept the fact that he is their only saviour. When pressed for evidence, they tell the Untouchables that if any one ever took a vow to go on a fast unto death for the sake of the Untouchables it was Mr. Gandhi and none else. Indeed, without any compunction they tell the Untouchables that whatever political rights the Untouchables have got under the Poona Pact, they are the result of Mr. Gandhi’s efforts. As an illustration of such propaganda I refer to what one Rai Bahadur Mehrchand Khanna is reported[f.1] to have said at a meeting of the Untouchables held at Peshawar on April 12, 1945 under the auspices of the Depressed Classes League :

“Your best friend is Mahatma Gandhi who even resorted to a fast for your sake and brought about the Poona Pact under which you have been enfranchised and given representation on local bodies and legislatures. Some of you, I know, have been running after Dr. Ambedkar, who is just a creation of the British Imperialists and who uses you to strengthen the hands of the British Government in order that India may be divided and the Britishers continue to retain power. I appeal to you in your interests, to distinguish between self-styled leaders and your real friends.”

If I refer to the statement of Rai Bahadur Mehrchand Khanna it is not because he is worth taking notice of. For there cannot be any one guilty of bigger blackguardism in Indian politics than this man. In the course of one year—not in very remote time but in 1944—he successfully played three different roles. He started as Secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, turned agent of British Imperialism, went abroad to explain India’s war effort to the British and American people and is now agent of the Congress in N.W.F. Province. The opinion of a man like Rai Bahadur Khanna, who, to use Dryden’s language, is so various as to be everything by starts, and nothing long, and who in the course of one revolving moon, can be a chemist, fiddler, statesman and buffoon, must be beneath contempt. If I refer to him it is only because I wish to illustrate what sort of propaganda [f.2] friends of Mr. Gandhi are carrying on in order to beguile the Untouchables.

I do not know how many Untouchables will be found prepared to swallow such a lie. But this much I think has been proved by the Nazis that if a lie is a big lie too big for the common man’s intelligence to scrutinise and if it is repeated continuously, the lie has all the chances of being accepted as truth and if not accepted as truth has all the chances of growing upon, the victims of propaganda and win their acquiescence. It is, therefore, necessary for me to expose the part played by Mr. Gandhi in the movement of the Untouchables and to warn the Untouchables against succumbing to this propaganda.

I
In making a survey of the part played by Mr. Gandhi it is well to begin by ascertaining when Mr. Gandhi for the first time realized that Untouchability was an evil. On this point, we have the direct testimony of Mr. Gandhi himself. In an, address delivered as President of the Suppressed Classes Conference, held at Ahmedabad on the 14th and 15th April 1921, Mr. Gandhi said :—

“I was hardly yet twelve when this idea had dawned on me. A scavenger named Ukha, an Untouchable, used to attend our house for cleaning latrines. Often I would ask my mother why it was wrong to touch him, why I was forbidden to touch him. If I accidentally touched Ukha, I was asked to perform ablutions, and though I naturally obeyed, it was not without smilingly protesting that untouchability was not sanctioned by religion, that it was impossible that it should be so. I was a very dutiful and obedient child and so far as it was consistent with respect for parents. I often had tussles with them on this matter. I told my mother that she was entirely wrong in considering physical contact with Ukha as sinful.

“While at school I would often happen to touch the ‘Untouchables’ and as I never would conceal the fact from my parents, my mother would tell me that the shortest cut to purification after the unholy touch was to cancel the touch by touching any Musalman passing by. And simply out of reverence and regard for my mother I often did so, but never did so believing it to be a religious obligation. After some time we shifted to Porebandar, where I made my first acquaintance with Sanskrit. I was not yet put to an English School, and my brother and I were placed in charge of a Brahmin, who taught us Ram Raksha and Vishnu Punjar. The texts ‘Jale Vishnuh’ ‘Sthale Vishnuh’ (there is he Lord (present) in water, there is the Lord (present) in earth, have never gone out of my memory. A motherly old dame used to live close by. Now it happened that I was very timid then,’ and would conjure up ghosts and goblins whenever the lights went out, and it was dark. The old mother, to disabuse me of fears, suggested that I should mutter the Ramraksha texts whenever I was afraid, and all evil spirits would fly away. This I did and, as I thought with good effect. I could never believe then that there was any text in the Ramraksha pointing to the contact of the ‘untouchables’ as a sin. I did not understand its meaning then, or understood it very imperfectly. But I was confident that Ramraksha which could destroy all fear of ghosts, could not be countenancing any such thing as fear of contact with the ‘untouchables.’

“The Ramayana used to be regularly read in our family. A Brahmin called Ladha Maharaj used to read it. He was stricken with leprosy, and he was confident that a regular reading of the Ramayana would cure him of leprosy, and indeed, he was cured of it. ‘How can the Ramayana,’ I thought to myself ‘in which one is regarded nowadays as an ‘untouchable,’ took Rama across the Ganges in his boat, countenance the idea of any human beings being ‘ untouchables ‘ on the ground that they were polluted souls ? The fact that we addressed God as the ‘ purifier of the polluted ‘ and by similar appellations, shows that it is a sin to regard any one born in Hinduism as polluted or untouchable—that it is satanic to do so. I have hence been never tired of repeating that it is a great sin. I do not pretend that this thing had crystallised as a conviction in me at the age of twelve, but I do say that I did then regard untouchability as a sin. I narrate this story for the information of the Vaishnavas and orthodox Hindus.”

It is no doubt very interesting to know that in that age of blind orthodoxy Mr. Gandhi should have become aware that Untouchability was a sin and that too at so early an age as 12. What the Untouchables, however, want to know is what did Mr. Gandhi do to remove the evil. I give below an extract from a biographical note about Mr. Gandhi by the publishers, Tagore & Co., of Madras to their volume called Young India, issued in, 1922, to show the principal activities, which Mr. Gandhi launched since the time he started his public career. This is what the note says :—

“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 5, 1869. Caste Bania; son of Karamchand Gandhi, Dewan of Porebunder, Rajkote and some other Kathiawar States; He was educated at the Kathiawad High School, later at London University and the Inner Temple. On return from London was enrolled as advocate of the Bombay High Court. Went to Natal and thence to the Transvaal on a legal mission. Was enrolled as advocate of the Natal Supreme Court. Decided to remain there. Founded the Natal Indian Congress, 1894. Returned to India, 1895. Agitation in India on behalf of the Natal and Transvaal Indians. Return to Durban. On landing attacked by the mob and narrowly escaped death; led an Indian Ambulance Corps in the Anglo-Boer War 1899 ; Returned to India in 1901 to recoup his health. Again returned to South Africa to lead the Indian deputation to place the Indian view of the South African Indian trouble before Mr. Chamberlain. Enrolled as attorney of the Supreme Court of Transvaal and founded the Transvaal British Indian Association and was its Honorary Secretary and Principal legal adviser. Founded the Indian Opinion in 1903 and the “Phoenix” Settlement. Led a Stretcher Bearer Corps in the native rebellion in 1906; Agitation against the Anti-Asiat Act 1906 ; Deputation to England for the repeal of the Act ; Passive Resistance movement begun against the Act; Negotiations between General Smuts and Mr. Gandhi and compromise. Smuts later denying the promise of repeal of the law, and again commenced passive resistance. Imprisoned twice for breaking the law. Again went to England in 1909 to lay the Indian case before the British public; Provisional Settlement in 1911 Mr. Gokhale’s visit to South Africa. On the Government declining to fulfil the settlement of 1911 organised a revival of the passive resistance movement. Final settlement in 1914. Visit to England ; Raised an Indian Ambulance Corps in 1914.”

From this biographical note, it is clear that Mr. Gandhi began his public life in 1894 when he founded the Natal Indian Congress. From 1894 to 1915, he was in South Africa. During this period, he never thought of the Untouchables and never even inquired after Ukha.

Mr. Gandhi returned to India in 1915. Did he then take up the cause of the Untouchables ? Let me again quote from the same biographical note which says:—

“Returned to India 1915; Founded the Satyagrah Ashram at Ahmedabad. Took part in the Settlement of the Champaran Labour troubles in 1917 and Kaira famine and Ahmedabad mill strike, 1918 ; Recruiting Campaign 1918 ; Agitation against the Rowlatt Act and the inauguration of the Satyagraha movement, 1919; Arrested at Kosi on his way to Delhi and sent back to Bombay ; Punjab disorders and the official atrocities 1919; Was member of the Congress Committee of Enquiry into the Punjab atrocities ; Took part in the Khilafat Agitation. Inauguration of the Non-Co-operation campaign, 1920; Interview with Lord Reading May 1921 ; appointed sole executive authority of the Congress in 1921 Session of the Congress; Civil Disobedience Programme, February 1922; Suspension of Civil Disobedience campaign on account of Chauri Chaura riots, February 1922; Arrested on March 10, 1922 tried and sentenced to six years simple imprisonment.”

This note is obviously incorrect. It omits some very significant and quite well-known events in the life of Mr. Gandhi. To make it complete, the following items must be added :—

“1919 declared readiness to welcome Afghan invasion of India to Free India from British Imperialism ; 1920 put before the country the Bardoli Programme of Constructive work; 1921 started Tilak Swaraj Fund and collected one crore and 25 lakhs to be used for preparing the country for winning swaraj.”

In these five years, Mr. Gandhi was completely absorbed in transforming the Congress into a militant organisation—a war machine fit to fight and shake British Imperialism. He took up the cause of the Khilafat with a view to bring the Muslims to join the Congress and did his level best to rally the Hindus for the support of the Khilafat.

What did Mr. Gandhi do for the Untouchables during this period ? Congressmen will of course refer to the Bardoli Programme. It is true that in the Bardoli Programme the uplift of the Untouchables was an item. But what is important is to know what happened to it? To tell the story in a summary[f.3] form the Bardoli Programme was not a programme for the removal of Untouchability. It was a programme of amelioration which was defined by Disraeli as a combination of ancient institutions and modern improvements. The pro-gramme,openly recognised Untouchability and planned to do no more than provide separate wells and separate schools for the Untouchables. The Sub-Committee appointed to draw up a programme for the uplift of the Untouchables consisted of persons, who had never shown any interest in the Untouchables and some of them were even hostile to them. Swami Shraddhanand, the one and only person in the Sub-’ Committee who can be said to be charged with the desire to do something substantial for the Untouchables, was forced to resign. A paltry sum of money was allotted for carrying on the work of the Committee. The Committee was dissolved without meeting even once. The work of the uplift of the Untouchables was declared to be a work best suited to the Hindu Mahasabha. Mr. Gandhi took no interest in that part of the Bardoli Programme, which related to the Untouchables. On the contrary instead of siding with Swami Shraddhanand he sided with the reactionaries and opponents of Swami Shraddhanand, knowing full well that they did not want anything on a big scale done for the Untouchables.

So much for what Mr. Gandhi did in 1921 in connection, with the Bardoli Programme.

What did Mr. Gandhi do after 1922 ? The publication from which the previous extract from the biographical note was taken is dated 1922. It is necessary to make the following additions to bring the biographical note up to date :—

” 1924 was released from prison; Forged a compromise between the two wings of the Congress who in his absence were fighting over the issue of Council Entry versus Constructive programme; 1929 proclaimed complete independence as the political goal of India ; 1930 launched Civil Disobedience movement ; 1931 went to London to represent Congress at the Round Table Conference. 1932 was imprisoned. Declared fast unto death against the Communal Award of His Majesty’s Government and saved his life agreeing to the Poona Pact 1933 planned a campaign in favour of temple-entry for Untouchables and established the Harijan Sevak Sangh; 1934 ceased to be a member of the Congress; 1942 planned ‘Quit India’ movement and was imprisoned; 1934 went on fast and was released; 1944 engaged in correspondence with Lord Wavell and in issuing statements explaining away the 8th August 1942 Resolution; 1945 occupied with Kasturba Fund.”

The year 1924 gave Mr. Gandhi another opportunity to push forth his campaign for the removal of Untouchability and make it effective. What did Mr. Gandhi do ?

The years between 1922 and 1944 have a special significance in the history of Congress politics. The Programme of non-cooperation was accepted by the Congress at a special session held in Calcutta in September 1920. The programme included the well known five boycotts : the boycott of the Legislature, boycott of foreign cloth etc. The resolution on non-cooperation was opposed by the leaders of the intellectual classes, namely Bepin Chandra Pal, C. R. Das, Lala Lajpat Rai to mention only a few names, but was passed notwithstanding their opposition. The regular Annual Session of the Congress was held in Nagpur in December 1920. The resolution on non-co-operation again came up for discussion. Strange as it may seem the same resolution was moved by Mr. C. R. Das [f.4] and seconded by Lala Lajpat Rai and confirmed. The result was that 1921 saw non-co-operation galore. On 19th March 1922, Mr. Gandhi was tried for sedition and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. Immediately Mr. Gandhi was put behind the prison bars, Mr. C. R. Das seems to have recovered his balance and started a campaign to lift the boycott of the Legislature. In this he was joined by Vithalbhai Patel, Pandit Motilal Nehru and Pandit Malaviya. This move was opposed by the followers of Mr. Gandhi, who were not prepared to abate a jot or a tittle from the terms of the resolution on non-co-operation passed in Calcutta and confirmed in Nagpur. This led to a schism in the Congress. In 1924, Mr. Gandhi on account of his illness was released from gaol, before his time. When he came out, Mr. Gandhi found that the Congress was divided into two warring camps on the issue of the boycott of the Legislature. The quarrel was a bitter one and both sides were engaged in slinging mud at each other. Mr. Gandhi knew that if the quarrel continued the Congress would be weakened and wanted to patch it up. Neither side was prepared to give in. There were statements and counter statements. Ultimately, Mr. Gandhi made certain proposals for restoring peace between the two wings which were accepted by both sides. The proposals were intended to please both sides. To please the protagonists of Council Entry he proposed that the Congress should recognise entry in the Legislatures as legitimate part of Congress activity and the opponents of Council Entry should stop their propaganda against it. To please the opponents of Council Entry he proposed that the Congress should accept a new basis for franchise namely: {i) the Congress franchise instead of being 4 annas per annum should be a tender of 2,000 yards of hand-spun and self-spun yarn with the penalty clause attached to it by which any default in this behalf would automatically disqualify a person from being a member of the Congress and that (ii) the observance of five boycotts, of foreign cloth, Government Law Courts, schools and colleges, and of titles should be deemed as a qualification for a post within the Congress organisation and any person who did not believe in the principle of boycott and who did not carry them out in his own person must be deemed to be disqualified as a candidate.

Here was an opportunity for Mr. Gandhi to advance his anti-Untouchability campaign. He could have proposed that if a Hindu wishes to enroll himself as a member of the Congress he should prove that he does not observe untouchability and that the employment of an Untouchable in his household should be adduced in support of his claim in this behalf and that no other evidence would be allowed to be tendered. Such a proposal could not have been impracticable for almost every Hindu, certainly those who call themselves high Caste Hindus, keeps more than one servant in, his household. If Mr. Gandhi could make the Hindu accept spinning and boycott as franchises for membership of the Congress he could also make acceptable the employment of an Untouchable in a Hindu household a franchise for membership of the Congress. But Mr. Gandhi did not do it.

After 1924 till 1930 there is a complete blank. Mr. Gandhi does not appear to have taken any active steps for the removal of Untouchability or got himself interested in any activity beneficial to the Untouchables during this period. While Mr. Gandhi was inactive the Untouchables had started a movement called the satyagraha movement. The object of the movement was to establish their right to take water from public wells and public temples. The satyagraha at the Chowdar Tank situated in Mahad, a town in, the Kolaba District of the Bombay Presidency, was organised to establish the right of the Untouchables to take water from public watering places. The satyagraha at the Kala Ram Temple situated in Nasik, a town in the Nasik District of the Bombay Presidency, was organised to establish the right of the Untouchables to enter Hindu temples. There were many minor satyagrahas. These were, however, the two principal ones over which the efforts of the Untouchables and their opponents, the Caste Ilindus, were concentrated. The din and noise caused by them were heard all over India. Thousands of men and women from the Untouchables took part in these satyagrahas. Both men. and women belonging to the Untouchables were insulted and beaten by the Hindus. Many were injured and some were imprisoned by Government on the ground of causing breach of the peace. This satyagraha movement went on for full six years when it was brought to a close in 1935 at a Conference held in Yeola in Nasik District in which the Untouchables as a result of the adamantine attitude of the Hindus in refusing to give them equal social rights resolved to go out of the Hindu fold. This satyagraha movement was no doubt independent of the Congress. It was organised by the Untouchables, led by the Untouchables and financed by the Untouchables. Yet the Untouchables were not without hope of getting the moral support of Mr. Gandhi. Indeed they had very good ground for getting it. For the weapon of satyagraha —the essence of which is to melt the heart of the opponent by suffering—was the weapon which was forged by Mr. Gandhi, and who had led the Congress to practise it against the British Government for winning Swaraj. Naturally the Untouchables expected full support from Mr. Gandhi to their satyagraha against the Hindus the object of which was to establish their right to take water from public wells and to enter public Hindu temples. Mr. Gandhi however did not give his support to the satyagraha. Not only did he not give his support, he condemned it in strong terms.

In this connection reference may be made to two novel weapons for redressing human wrongs. Mr. Gandhi claims exclusive credit for forging and perfecting them. First is satyagraha. Mr. Gandhi has put into action this weapon of satyagraha many a times against the British Government for the removal of political wrongs. But Mr. Gandhi has never used the weapon of satyagraha against Hindus to get them to throw open wells and temples to the Untouchables. Fasting is another weapon of Mr. Gandhi. It is said that there have been altogether 21 fasts to the credit of Mr. Gandhi. Some were for the sake of Hindu-Muslim unity and quite a number as atonements for the immoralities committed by the inmates of his Ashram. One was against the order of the Government of Bombay refusing to give the work of a scavenger in the gaol to a prisoner by name Mr. Patwardhan although he demanded it. In these 21 fasts there is not one undertaken for the removal of Untouchability. These are very significant facts.

In 1980 came the Round Table Conference. Mr. Gandhi joined the deliberations of the Conference[f.5] in 1981. The Conference was concerned with a vital question of framing a constitution for a self-governing India. It was unanimously held that if India was to be a self-governing country then the government must be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Everybody agreed that only when a government is in a real sense a government by the people that it could be a government of the people and for the people. The problem was how to make it a government by the people in a country rent into communities, majorities and minorities, who are charged not merely with social cleavages but also with social antagonisms. Having regard to these circumstances it was agreed that in India there was no possibility of government by the people unless Legislature and the Executive were framed on the basis of communal representation. The problem of the Untouchables loomed large at the Conference. It assumed a new aspect. The question was; Should the Untouchables be left as they were to the tender mercies of the Hindus or should they be given the means to protect themselves by extending to them the principle of communal representation? The Untouchables strongly objected to be left to the pleasure of the Hindus and demanded the same protection as was given to the other minorities. The contention of the Untouchables was accepted by all. It was just and logical. They contended that the chasm between the Hindus and Muslims, between Hindus and Sikhs, between Hindus and Christians is nothing as compared with the chasm between the Hindus and the Untouchables. It is the widest and the deepest. The chasm between the Hindus and the Muslims is religious and not social. That between the Hindus and the Untouchables is both religious and social. The antagonism arising out of the chasm existing between Hindus and Muslims cannot spell political disaster to the Muslims because the relationship between the Hindus and the Muslims is not that of master and slave. It is one of mere estrangement. On the other hand, the chasm between Hindus and the Untouchables must spell political disaster for the Untouchables because the relationship between the two is that of master and slave. The Untouchables contended that the attempts to close the gap between them and the Hindus by means of social process had been tried for ages. They had all failed. There was no hope of their success. Since power is being transferred into the hands of the Hindu majority they must have political safeguards of the same sort as, if not better, than those conceded to the Muslims and other minorities.

Here was an opportunity to Mr. Gandhi to show his sympathy to the Untouchables by lending his support to their demand and thereby strengthen their power of resistance against the tyranny and oppression of the Hindus. Instead of showing his sympathy, Mr. Gandhi used every means in his power to defeat them. He made a pact with the Muslims with a view to isolate the Untouchables. Failing to win the Musalmans to his side, he went on a fast unto death to compel the British Government to withdraw their decision for give to the Untouchables the same political rights as given to the Muslims and other minority communities. When the fast failed and Mr. Gandhi was obliged to sign a pact -called the Poona Pact—which conceded the political demands of the Untouchables he took his revenge by letting the Congress employ foul electioneering tactics to make their political rights of no avail.

In l933, Mr. Gandhi took up two movements. First was the Temple-entry Movement. [f.6] He took personal responsibility for seeing through these two measures. One was the opening of the Guruvayur temple. The other was the passing of the Temple-entry Bill sponsored by Mr. Ranga Iyer in the Central Legislature. Mr. Gandhi said that he would fast unto death if the trustee of the Guruvayur temple did not throw it open to the Untouchables by a certain date. The Guruvayur temple still remains closed to the Untouchables but Mr. Gandhi has not fulfilled his vow of going on, fast. Surprising as it may be he has done nothing to get the temple declared open to the Untouchables although it is now thirteen years since he took the vow. Mr. Gandhi virtually coerced the Governor-General to give his sanction to the introduction of the Temple-entry Bill. The Congress party in the Central legislature which was pledged to carry through the Bill refused to support it when the stage of referring it to a Select Committee came on the ground that the Bill gave offence to the Hindus and in the election that was pending the Hindus would seek revenge on the Congress and defeat it at the poll if the Congress supported the Bill. To the great chagrin of Mr. Ranga Iyer, the Congress party let him down, by leaving the Bill to die. Mr. Gandhi did not mind this. He even went to the length of justifying the conduct of the Congress Party.

The other movement which Mr. Gandhi sponsored in 1933 was the establishment of the Harijan Sevak Sangh[f.7] with a net-work of branches all over India. There were three motives which lay behind the organisation of the Sangh. First was to prove that Hindus had enough charitable spirit towards the Untouchables and that they would show it by their generous contributions towards their uplift. The second motive was to serve the Untouchables by helping them in the many difficulties with which they were faced in their daily life. The third motive was to create in the minds of the Untouchables a sense of confidence in the Hindus from whom they were estranged in matters political. None of the three objects has been. realized. In the first flush the Hindus contributed a total of about 8 lakhs of rupees for the Sangh which is of course nothing as compared to the crores they have contributed for general political purposes. After that they have gone dry. The Sangh is now depending for its finances either on Government grants or on the income derived from the sale of Mr. Gandhi’s autographs or on the munificence of some wealthy merchant who makes a contribution, to the Sangh, not because he loves the Untouchables but because he thinks it profitable to please Mr. Gandhi. The branches of the Sangh are being closed every year. The Sangh is contracting and contracting so rapidly that very soon it will have only a centre and no circumference. That the Hindus have lost interest in the Sangh is not the only regrettable aspect of this activity of Mr. Gandhi. The Sangh has not been able to secure the good will and the co-operation of the Untouchables for whose benefit it is supposed to have been, started. This is due to various reasons. The work of the Sangh is of the most inconsequential kind. It does not catch anyone’s imagination. It neglects most urgent purposes for which the Untouchables need help and assistance. The Sangh rigorously excludes the Untouchables from its management. The Untouchables are no more than beggars mere recipients of charity. The result is that the Untouchables feel no concern for the Sangh. They look upon. it as a foreign body set up by the Hindus with some ulterior motive. Here was an. opportunity for Mr. Gandhi to make the Sangh a real bridge between the Hindus and the Untouchables. He could make it a virile institution by improving its programme of work and by allowing the Untouchables to participate in its working Mr. Gandhi has done nothing of the kind. He has allowed the Sangh to languish. It is dying peacefully and may perish even during the life-time of Mr. Gandhi.

There need be no surprise if this survey of Mr. Gandhi’s anti Untouchability campaign, of his sayings and his doings baffles and puzzles the reader. There need be no wonder if the reader were to pause and ask a few questions on the lines set out below to clear his own mind :

(1) In 1921, Mr. Gandhi collected 1 crore and 35 lakhs of rupees for the Tilak Swaraj Fund. Mr. Gandhi insisted that there was no possibility of winning swaraj unless Untouchability was removed. Why did he not protest when only a paltry sum of Rs. 43,000 was given to the cause of the Untouchables ?

(2) In 1922 there was drawn up the Bardoli Programme of constructive work. Uplift of the Untouchables was an, important item in, it. A Committee was appointed to work out the details. The Committee never functioned a lid was dissolved and the uplift of the Untouchables as an item in the constructive programme was dropped. Only Rs. 800 were allotted to the Committee for working expenses. Why did Mr. Gandhi not protest against this niggardly and step-motherly treatment of the Committee by the Congress Working Committee ? Why did not Mr. Gandhi support Swami Shradhanand who was fighting with the Congress Working Committee for large funds being assigned to the Committee ? Why did not Mr. Gandhi protest against the dissolution of the Committee ? Why did not Mr. Gandhi appoint another Committee ? Why did he allow the work for the Untouchables to drop out as though it was of no importance ?

(8) Mr. Gandhi had at the very outset of his campaign for Swaraj insisted that there were five conditions precedent for winning swaraj: (i) Hindu-Moslem Unity; (ii) Removal of Untouchability; (iii) Universal adoption of hand-spun and hand-woven khadi; (iv) absolute non-violence and (v) complete non-co-operation. Mr. Gandhi had not only laid down these conditions but had told Indians that without the fulfilment of these conditions there could be no Swaraj. In 1922, he fasted for the sake of Hindu-Moslem unity. In 1924, he made production of hand-spun yarn the basis of franchise for Congress membership. Why did he not make non-observance of Untouchability the basis of Congress franchise in 1924 or at any time subsequent thereto ?

(4) Mr. Gandhi has gone on fast many a time to achieve a variety of objects which are dear to him. Why has Mr. Gandhi nut fasted even once for the sake of the Untouchables ?

(5) Mr. Gandhi has devised satyagraha as a weapon to redress wrongs and to win freedom and has practised it against the British Government. Why has not Mr. Gandhi started satyagraha even once against the Hindus on behalf of the Untouchables for securing admission to wells, temples and other public places to which access is denied by the Hindus ?

(6) Following Mr. Gandhi’s lead the Untouchables started satyagraha from 1929 onwards against the Hindus for admission to wells and temples. Why did Mr. Gandhi condemn their satyagraha ?

(7) Mr. Gandhi declared that he would fast if the Guruvayur temple was not thrown open to the Untouchables by the Zamorin. The temple has not been thrown open. Why did not Mr. Gandhi go on fast ?

(8) Mr. Gandhi in 1982 threatened the British Government with dire consequences if the Governor-General did not give permission to Mr. Ranga Iyer to introduce his Temple-entry Bill on behalf of the Congress Party in the Central Legislature. As fresh elections to the Central Legislature were announced the Congress Party withdrew its support to the Bill and Mr. Ranga lyer had to drop it. If Mr. Gandhi was earnest and sincere about Temple-entry, why did Mr. Gandhi support the action of the Congress Party ? What was more important— Temple-entry for the Untouchables or Electoral victory to the Congress ?

(9) Mr. Gandhi knows that the difficulty of the Untouchables does not lie in their not having civic rights. Their difficulty lies in the conspiracy of the Hindus who threaten them with dire consequences if the Untouchables dare to exercise them. The real way of helping the Untouchables is to have some organisation for the protection of civic rights which will undertake the duty of prosecuting Hindus who assault the Untouchables or proclaim social and economic boycott against them and thereby prevent them from exercising their civic rights. Why did not Mr. Gandhi include this as one of the objects of the Harijan Sevak Sangh ?

(10) Before Mr. Gandhi came on the scene the Depressed Classes Mission Society was formed by the caste Hindus for the uplift of the Untouchables. The moneys were subscribed by the Hindus. Yet the Society’s affairs were conducted by Joint Boards consisting of Hindus and Untouchables. Why has Mr. Gandhi excluded the Untouchables from the management of the Harijan Sevak Sangh ?

(II) If Mr. Gandhi is the real friend of the Untouchables, why did he not leave it to the Untouchables to decide whether political safeguards were the best means for their protection ? Why did he go to the length of making a pact with the Muslims in order to isolate and defeat the Untouchables ? Why did Mr. Gandhi declare a fast unto death the object of which was to deprive the Untouchables of the benefit of the Communal Award by this extreme form of coercion ?

(12) After having accepted the Poona Pact, why did not Mr. Gandhi keep faith with the Untouchables by telling the Congress not to despoil the politics of the Untouchables by contesting the seats reserved for the Untouchables by getting such Untouchables elected as were prepared to become the tools of the Hindus?

(13) After having accepted the Poona Pact why did not Mr. Gandhi keep up the gentleman’s agreement and instruct the Congress High Command to include representatives of the Untouchables in, the Congress Cabinets ?

(14) Why did Mr. Gandhi disapprove of the appointment by Dr. Khare of Mr. Agnibhoj—- a member of the Scheduled Castes—as a minister in the Congress Cabinet in the C. P. when Mr. Agnibhoj was in every way qualified to be a Minister ? Did Mr. Gandhi say that he was opposed to the creation of such high ambitions among persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes ?

III
What is the explanation that Mr. Gandhi has to offer ? What is the explanation that Mr. Gandhi’s friends have to offer? Mr. Gandhi’s anti-untouchability campaign is marked by so many twists and turns, inconsistencies and contradictions, attacks and surrenders, advances and retreats that the whole campaign has become a matter of mystery. Few have a belief in its efficacy and quite a large number hold that there is not enough earnestness and sincerity behind it. Some explanation is therefore necessary. It is more for the sake of Mr. Gandhi’s reputation for earnestness and sincerity that for the sake of giving a. clear understanding of Mr. Gandhi’s aims and methods to the reader that one would like Mr. Gandhi and his friends to explain the points raised in the foregoing questions.

It would no doubt be interesting to know what Mr. Gandhi and his friends may have to say in reply to these questions. Everybody interested in. this question will naturally be looking forward to it. It will not however do for anyone else to anticipate the reply and then dead with it. They ‘must be left to frame it in their own way and select their own time to do so. ln the meantime one may well ask what the Untouchable have to say about Mr. Gandhi and his anti-untouchability campaign. It us not difficult to state what view the Untouchables take of Mr. Gandhi’s anti-untouchability campaign.

Do the Untouchable regard Mr. Gandhi as being in earnest? The answer is in the negative. They do not regard Mr. Gandhi as being in earnest. How can they? How can they look upon, a man being in earnest who when in 1921 the whole country was aroused to put the Bardoli programme in action remained completely indifferent to the anti-untouchability part of it ? How could they look upon a man as being in earnest who, when out of 1 crore and 25 lakhs of Swaraj Fund, found that only 43 thousands rupees were allotted to the cause of the Untouchables did not raise any protest at this niggardly treatment of a long neglected cause ? How can they regard a man as being in earnest who when, in 1924 he got an opportunity to impose upon the Hindus the obligation to remove Untouchability did not do so even though he had the power and the occasion to enforce it ? Such a step would have served three purposes. It would have put the nationalism of Congressmen to test. It would have helped to remove Untouchability, and it would have proved that Mr. Gandhi was sincere in his talks about the evil of Untouchability and its being a sin and a stigma on Hinduism. Why did not Mr. Gandhi do it ? Does this not show that Mr. Gandhi was more interested in the spread of spinning than in the removal of Untouchability ? Does this not show that removal of Untouchability was the least part of Mr. Gandhi’s programme and that it was not even last ? Does it not. show that the statements by Mr. Gandhi that Untouchability is a blot on Hinduism and that there will be no Swaraj without the removal of Untouchability were just empty phrases with no earnestness behind them ? How could they believe in the earnestness of a person who takes a vow to fast if the Guruvayar temple is not opened to the Untouchables but will not go on fast even when the temple remains closed ? How could they accept a. man to be in earnest when he sponsors a Bill for securing Temple-entry and subsequently becomes a party to dropping it. ? How could they accept the earnestness of a man who contents himself with saying the he will not go into a temple if it is not open to the Untouchables when what is required of him is to adopt every means to get the temples thrown open tp the Untouchables? How could they believe in the earnestness of a man who is ready to fast for everything but will not fast for the Untouchables? How can they believe in the earnestness of a man who is prepared to practise dstyagraha for everything and against everybody but who will not practise it against the Hindus for the sake of the Untouchables? How can they believe in the earnestness of a man who does nothing more than indulge in giving sermons, on the evils of Untouchability?

Do they regard Mr. Gandhi as honest and sincere ? The answer is that they do not regard Mr. Gandhi as honest and sincere. At the outset of his campaign for Swaraj Mr. Gandhi told the Untouchables not to side with the British. He told them not to embrace Christianity or any other religion. He told them that they could find salvation in Hinduism. He told Hindus that they must remove Untouchability as a condition precedent to Swaraj. Yet in 1921 when only a paltry sum out of the Tilak Swaraj Fund was allotted to the Untouchables, when the Committee to plan the uplift of the Untouchables was unceremoniously wound up Mr. Gandhi did not raise a word of protest.

Mr. Gandhi had under his command a sum of Rs. 1 crore and 25 lakhs belonging to the Tilak Swaraj Fund. Why did Mr. Gandhi not insist upon a substantial portion of this amount being ear-marked for the uplift of the Untouchables ? That Mr. Gandhi showed almost complete indifference to the cause of the Untouchables is beyond dispute. What is surprising is the explanation which Mr. Gandhi offered for his indifference. He said that he was busy in planning a campaign to win swaraj and that he had no time to spare for the cause of the Untouchables. He not only did not blush at his explanation but he offered a moral justification for his indifference to the cause of the Untouchables. He took the stand that there was nothing wrong in his devoting himself entirely to the political cause of India to the exclusion of the cause of the Untouchables for in his opinion the good of the whole includes the good of the part and that as the Hindus are slaves of the British, slaves cannot emancipate slaves. Phrases such as ‘slaves of slaves’ and ‘greater includes the less’ may be admirable dialectics, though they cannot have more truth than the saying that because the country’s wealth has increased, therefore everybody’s wealth has increased. But we are not considering Mr. Gandhi’s ability as a dialectician. We are testing his sincerity. Can we accept a man’s sincerity who evades his responsibility and contents himself with an excuse ? Can the Untouchables believe that Mr. Gandhi is the champion of their cause?

How can they regard Mr. Gandhi as honest and sincere if they consider Mr. Gandhi’s conduct towards them and towards the Muslims and Sikhs in the matter of constitutional safeguards?

Mr. Gandhi used to justify his discrimination between the Scheduled Castes and other Minorities in the matter of constitutional safeguards by another plea. The plea was that there were historical reasons, which compel him to recognise the Muslims and the Sikhs. He has never explained what those reasons are. They cannot be other than those, which hold the Muslims and the Sikhs as the fragments of old ruling communities. One does not mind Mr. Gandhi having succumbed to such puerile and undemocratic arguments, though he could have insisted that he would treat all minorities on equal basis and would not give any weight to such illogical and irrelevant considerations. The question is : How could the admission of such a plea have prevented Mr. Gandhi from opposing the demand of the Scheduled Castes ? Why did Mr. Gandhi regard himself as bound by no other reasons except the historical reasons ? Why did not Mr. Gandhi think that if historical reasons were decisive in the case of Muslims and Sikhs, moral reasons were decisive in the case of the Untouchables ? The fact is that the plea of historical reasons is a hollow plea. It was not a plea at all. It was an excuse for not conceding the demand of the Untouchables.

Mr. Gandhi is never so much disgusted as he is when he is confronted with the question of Majority versus Minority. He would like to forget it and ignore it. But circumstances will not let him do either and he is often forced to deal with the issue. The last time he dealt with it was on the 21st October 1989 in the form of an Editorial in the Harijan under the heading “The Fiction of Majority.” The article is full of venom and Mr. Gandhi has not hesitated to pour all the ridicule he could on those who were constantly raising the question. In the article he vehemently denied that the Muslims are a Minority. He denied that the Sikhs are a Minority and denied that the Indian Christians are a Minority. His contention was that they were not minorities in the technical sense of Oppressed Communities they were minorities they were to in the numerical sense only, which meant that they were no minorities at all. What did Mr. Gandhi have to say about the Scheduled Castes ? Could he deny their contention that they are a Minority? Let me quote Mr. Gandhi’s own words. Mr. Gandhi said :— “I have endeavoured to show that there is no such things as real minorities in India whose rights can be endangered by India becoming independent. With the exception of the Depressed Classes there is no minority which is not able to Take care of itself.”

Here is an, admission, on, the part of Mr.Gandhi that the Scheduled Castes are a minority in, the real sense of the word and that they are the only minority in India who will not be able to take care of themselves in, a free India governed by a Hindu Communal Majority. Notwithstanding this inner conviction Mr. Gandhi maintained in a most vehement manner that he would not concede any political safeguards to the Untouchables. How can the Untouchables accept such a man as sincere and honest ?

Mr. Gandhi opposed the demands of the Untouchables for political safeguards at the Round Table Conference. He did everything to defeat the object of the Untouchables. To weaken, the force behind their demand and isolate them he tried to buy over the Muslims by offering to concede the whole of their fourteen demands. Mr. Gandhi at the meeting of the Minorities Sub-Committee had said: ” Who am I to oppose the demand of the Untouchables if the Committee gave it its approval.” It was wrong for Mr. Gandhi to have tried to defeat the verdict of the Committee by offering to give the Muslims their full demand formulated in. Mr. Jinnah’s fourteen points in return for their agreeing to oppose the demands of the Scheduled Castes!! His was a most subtle piece of strategy. He offered the Musalmans a most difficult choice between having their 14 points and withdrawing their support to the demand of the Untouchables or siding with the Untouchables and losing their 14 points. In the end Mr. Gandhi’s strategy failed and neither did the Musalmans lose their 14 points nor did the Untouchables lose their case. But the episode remains as a witness to Mr. Gandhi’s perfidy. What else can be the appropriate description of the conduct of a man who offers criminal inducement to another for getting him to break his promise, who calls a person his friend and then contrives to stab him in the back ? How can such a man be regarded by the Untouchables as honest and sincere ?

Mr. Gandhi left the decision of the communal question to the arbitration of the British Prime Minister. Notwithstanding Mr. Gandhi’s efforts to defeat the Untouchables His Majesty’s Government conceded them their political demands. As a party to the arbitration Mr. Gandhi was bound to abide by the decision. But Mr. Gandhi decided to defy it and he did it by going on a fast unto death. Mr. Gandhi shook India and the the world outside by his Fast unto Death. The object of the Fast was to compel the British Government to withdraw the Constitutional Safeguards which the British Prime Minister had proposed in his Award for the protection of the Untouchables under the new Constitution. One of Mr. Gandhi’s disciples has described the fast as an Epic Fast. Why it should be described as an Epic Fast it is not easy to follow. There was nothing heroic about it. It was the opposite of heroic. It was an adventure. It was launched by Mr. Gandhi because he believed that both the Untouchables and the British Government would quake before his threat of fast unto death, and surrender to his demand. Both were prepared to call off his bluff and as a matter of fact did call it off. All his heroism vanished the moment Mr. Gandhi found that he had overdone the trick. The man who started by saying that he would fast unto death unless the safeguards to the Untouchables were completely withdrawn and the Untouchables reduced to the condition of utter helplessness without rights and without recognition was plaintively pleading “My life is in your hands, will you save me ?” Mr. Gandhi’s over impatience to sign the Poona Pact—though it did not cancel the Prime Minister’s Award as he had demanded but only substituted another and a different system of constituent safeguards—is the strongest evidence that the hero had lost his courage and was anxious to save his face and anyhow save his life.

There was nothing noble in the fast. It was a foul and filthy act. The Fast was not for the benefit of the Untouchables. It was against them and was the worst form of coercion against a helpless people to give up the constitutional safeguards of which they had become possessed under the Prime Minister’s Award and agree to live on the mercy of the Hindus. It was a vile and wicked act. How can the Untouchables regard such a man as honest and sincere ?

After having gone on a fast unto death, he signed the Poona Pact. People say that Mr. Gandhi sincerely believed that political safeguards were harmful to the Untouchables. But how could a honest and sincere man who opposed the political demands of the Untouchables who was prepared to use the Muslims to defeat them, who went on a Fast unto Death, in the end accept the. very same demands—for there is no difference between the Poona Pact and the Communal Award—when he found that there was no use opposing, as opposition would not succeed ? How can an honest and sincere man accept as harmless the demands of the Untouchables which once he regarded as harmful ?

Do the Untouchables regard Mr. Gandhi as their friend and ally ? The answer is in the negative. They do not regard him as their friend. How can they ? It may be that Mr. Gandhi honestly believes that the problem of the Untouchables is a social problem. But how can they believe him to be their friend when he wishes to retain caste and abolish Untouchability it being quite clear that Untouchability is only an extended form of caste and that therefore without abolition of caste there is no hope of abolition of Untouchability ? It may be that Mr. Gandhi honestly believes that the problem of Untouchables can be solved by social processes. But how can the Untouchables regard a man as their friend who develops a fanatic and frantic opposition to political processes being employed when everyone was agreed that the use of political processes cannot mar the effect of social process and may be depended upon to help and accelerate the solution of the problem. How could a man be regarded as the friend of the Untouchables when he does not believe the Untouchables reaching to places of power and authority in the State. In this controversy over political safeguards Mr. Gandhi could have pursued any of the following courses. He could have been the champion of the Untouchables. As such, he should not only have welcomed their demand for safeguards but he should have proposed them himself without waiting for the Untouchables to do so. Not only should he have proposed them himself but he should have fought for them. For, what could give greater happiness to a genuine champion of the Untouchables than to see that provision was made to enable them to become members of the Legislature, Ministers of Executive, and occupants of high offices in the State ? Surely, if Mr. Gandhi is a champion of the Untouchables these are the very provisions he should have fought for. Secondly, if he did not wish to be the champion of the Untouchables, he could have been their ally. He could have helped them by giving them his moral and material support. Thirdly, if Mr, Gandhi did not like to play the part of a champion and was averse to be even an ally of the Untouchables, the next thing he could have done consistent with his proclaimed and much advertised sympathies for the Untouchables, was to be their friend. Again as a friend he could have taken up the attitude of benevolent neutrality—declining to fight but ready to render all help for getting the demand for safeguards accepted. Failing benevolent neutrality he could have taken the attitude of strict neutrality and could have told the Untouchables to get the safeguards if the Round Table Conference was prepared to give them and that he would neither help nor hinder. Abandoning all these sober considerations Mr. Gandhi came out as an, open enemy of the Untouchables. How can the Untouchables regard such a man as their friend and ally?

IV
That Mr. Gandhi’s anti-untouchability campaign has failed is beyond cavil. Even the Congress papers admit it. I give below a few quotations from some of them :

On 17th August 1939 Mr. B. K. Gaikwad, a member of the Scheduled Castes in the Bombay Legislative Assembly, asked a question as to how many temples in the Bombay Presidency were thrown open to the Untouchables since 1932 when. Mr. Gandhi started, his Temple-entry movement. Accord.ing to the figures given by the Congress Minister the total number of temples thrown open was 142. Of these 121 were ownerless temples standing on the wayside. which were under the care of nobody in particular and which nobody used as places of worship. Another fact revealed was that not a single temple wa.s thrown open to the Untouchables in Gujarat, the district which is the home of Mr. Gandhi.

Writing on 10th March 1940 the Harijan Bandu, Mr. Gandh’s Gujarathi paper, said;

“The Untouchability of the ‘Harijans” in the matter of entry into schools persists nowhere so much still as in Gujarat.” [f.8]

The Bombay Chronicle in its issue of 27th August 1940 reproduced an extract from a monthly letter of the Harijan Sevak Sangh. It

“States that Harijans of Godhavi in Ahmedabad District were so persecuted by caste Hindus for sending their children to Local Board School that ultimately 42 Harijan families left that place. . .and went to the Taluka town of Sanand.”

On 27th August 1948, Mr. M. M. Nandgaonkar, a leader of the Untouchables residing in Thana in the Bombay Presidency and ex-Vice President of Thana Municipality was refused tea in a Hindu hotel. The Bombay Chronicle commenting upon this incident in its issue dated 28th August 1948 said :

“When Gandhiji fasted in 1932, some feverish attempts were made to have some temples and hotels opened to Harijans, Now the actual position is nearly what it used to be before with regard to temple entry and access to, hotels. The cleanest Harijan is not admitted to temples and hotels. Yet many anti-Untouchability workers take a complacent view of these disabilities and patronisingly talk of ‘uplift first’ for Harijans, saying that when Harijans learn to be clean, their civic disabilities will fall off automatically. This is rank nonsense.”

Writing on the proceedings of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation held in Cawnpore in January 1944 the Bombay Chronicle in its issue of 4th February 1944 said :

“But such is the passivity of Hindu society that both caste and Untouchability still thrive. Nay, several Hindu leaders. . . misguided by the interested propaganda by certain Britishers, still plead that there is some mysterious virtue in caste because Hindu culture has remained today. Else, they argue, caste would not have survived the shocks of centuries… It is most tragic to find that, in spite of all that Gandhiji and other reformers have done, Untouchability still persists to no small extent. It is most rampant in villages. Even in a city like Bombay, a person known to be a sweeper, let alone a scavenger, however clean dressed he may be, is not allowed to enter a caste Hindu restaurant, nay, even an Iran’s restaurant for tea.”

The Untouchables have always said that Mr. Gandhi’s anti-Untouchability campaign has failed. After 25 years of labour, hotels have remained closed, wells have remained closed, temples have remained closed and in very many parts of India— particularly in Gujarat—even schools have remained closed. The extracts produced from the papers form therefore a very welcome testimony especially because the papers are Congress papers. As they fully corroborate what the Untouchables have been saying on the point, nothing further need be said on the subject except to ask one question.

Why has Mr. Gandhi failed ? According to me, there are three reasons which has brought about this failure.

The first reason is the Hindus to whom he makes his appeal for the removal of Untouchability do not respond. Why is this so? It is a common experience that the words a man uses and the effect they produce are not always commensurate. What he says has its momentum indefinitely multiplied, or reduced to nullity, by the impression that the hearer for good reason or bad happens to have formed of the spirit of the speaker. This gives a clue to know why Mr. Gandhi’s sermons on Untouchability have completely failed to move the Hindus, why people hear his after-prayer sermons for few minutes and then go to the comic opera and why there is nothing more to it. The fault is not entirely of the Hindu public. The fault is of Mr. Gandhi himself. Mr. Gandhi has built up his reputation of being a Mahatma on his being an harbinger of political freedom and not on his being a spiritual teacher. Whatever may be his intentions, Mr. Gandhi is looked upon as an apostle of Swaraj. His anti-Untouchability campaign is looked upon as a fad if not a side-show. That is why the Hindus respond to his political biddings but never to his social or religious preaching. The momentum of his anti-Untouchability campaign must therefore remain a nullity. Mr. Gandhi is a political shoe-maker. He must stick to his political last. He thought he could take up the task of solving the social question. That was a mistake. A politician is not the man for it. That is why the hope held out to the Untouchables that Mr. Gandhi’s sermons will do the trick has failed.

The second reason is that Mr. Gandhi does not wish to antagonise the Hindus even if such antagonism was necessary to carry out his anti-Untouchability programme. A few instances will illustrate Mr. Gandhi’s mentality.

Most of Mr. Gandhi’s friends give credit to Mr. Gandhi for sincerity and earnestness for the cause of the Untouchables and expect the Untouchables to believe in it on the mere ground that Mr. Gandhi is the one man who keeps on constantly preaching to the Hindus the necessity of removing Untouchability. They have lost sight of the old proverb that an ounce of practice is worth a ton of preaching and have never cared to ask Mr. Gandhi to explain why does he not cease to preach to the Hindus the necessity of removing Untouchability and launch a campaign of satyagraha or start a fast. If they would ask for such an explanation they would know why Mr. Gandhi merely contents himself with sermons on Untouchability.

The true reasons why Mr. Gandhi will not go beyond sermons were revealed to the Untouchables for the first time[f.9] in, 1929 when the Untouchables in the Bombay Presidency opened a campaign of satyagraha against the Hindus for establishing their civic rights in the matter of temple-entry and taking water from public wells. They hoped to get the blessings of Mr. Gandhi in as much as satyagraha was Mr. Gandhi’s own weapon to get wrongs redressed.. When appealed to for support, Mr. Gandhi surprised the Untouchables by issuing a statement condemning their campaign of satyagraha against the Hindus. The argument urged by Mr. Gandhi was very ingenious. He stated that satyagrahs was to be used only against foreigners ; i it must not be used against one’s own kindred or countrymen and as the Hindus were the kindred and countrymen of the Untouchables by rules of satyagraha the latter were debarred from using the weapon against the former ! ! What a fall from the sublime to the ridiculous ! By this Mr. Gandhi made nonsense of satyagraha. Why did Mr. Gandhi do this ? Only because he did not want to annoy and exasperate the Hindus.

As a second piece of evidence, I would refer to what is known as the Kavitha incident Kavitha is a village in the Ahmedabad District in Gujarat. In 1935, the Untouchables of the village demanded from the Hindus of the village that their children should be admitted in the common school of the village along with other Hindu children. The Hindus were enraged at this outrage and took. their revenge by proclaiming a complete social boycott. The events connected with. this boycott were reported by Mr. A. V. Thakkar, who went to Kavitha to intercede with the Hindus on behalf of the Untouchables. The story told by him runs as follows :—-

“The Associated Press announced on the 10th inst. that the Caste Hindus of Kavitha agreed to admit Harijan boys to the village school in Kavitha and that matters were amicably settled. This was contradicted on the 13th instant by the Secretary of the Ahmedabad Harijan Sevak Sangh, who said in his statement that the Harijans had undertaken (privately of course) not to send their children to the school. Such an undertaking was not given, voluntarily, but was extorted from them by the Caste Hindus, in this case the Garasias of the village; who had proclaimed a social boycott against poor Harijans-weavers, chamars and others, who number over 100 families. They were deprived of agricultural labour, their animals of grazing in the pasture land and their children of buttermilk. Not only this, but a Harijan leader was compelled to take an oath by Mahadev that he and others would not hereafter even make an effort to reinstate their children in the school. The so-called settlement was brought about in this way.

“But even after the bogus settlement reported on the 10th and the complete surrender by poor Harijans, the boycott was not lifted up to the 19th and partly up to the 22nd from the weavers, it was lifted somewhat earlier from the head of the chamars, as Garasias themselves could not remove the careasses of their dead animals, and thus had to come to terms with. the Chamars earlier. As if the enormities perpetrated so far were not enough, kerosine was poured into the Harijans’ well, once on the 15th instant, and again on the 19th instant. One can imagine what terrorism was thus practised on poor Harijans because they had dared to send their children to sit alongside of the ‘ princely ‘ Garasia boys.

“I met the leaders of the Garasias on the rooming of the 22nd. They said they could not tolerate the idea of boys of Dheds and Chamars sitting by the side of their own boys. I met also the District Magistrate of Ahmedabad on the 23rd with a view to finding out if he would do something to ease the situation, but without any result.

“Harijan boys are thus practically banned from the village school with nobody to help them. This has caused despondency among the Harijans to such an extent that they are thinking of migration in a body to some other village.”

This was a report made to Mr. Gandhi. What did Mr. Gandhi do ? The followings 64 [f.10] is the advice Mr. Gandhi gave to the Untouchables of Kavitha:-

”’There is no help like self-help. God helps those who help themselves. If the Harijans concerned will carry out their reported resolve to wipe the dust of Kavitha off their feet, they will not only be happy themselves but they will pave the way for others who may be similarly treated. If people migrate in. search of employment how much more should they do so in search of self-respect ? I hope that well-wishers of Harijans will help these poor families to vacate inhospitable Kavitha.” Mr. Gandhi advised the Untouchables of Kavitha to vacate. But why did he not advise Mr. Thakkar to prosecute the Hindus of Kavitha and help the Untouchables to vindicate their rights?” “Obviously, he would like to uplift the Untouchables If he can but not by offending the Hindus. What good can such a man do to promote the cause of the Untouchables ? All this shows that Mr. Gandhi is most anxious to be good to the Hindus. That is why he opposes satyagraha against the Hindus. That is why he opposed the political demands of the Untouchables as he believed that they were aimed against them. He is anxious to be so good to the Hindus that he does not care if he is thereby becoming good for nothing for the Untouchables. That is why Mr. Gandhi’s whole programme for the removal of Untouchability is just words, words and words and why there is no action behind it.

The third reason is that Mr. Gandhi does not want the Untouchables to organise and be strong. For he fears that they might thereby become independent of the Hindus and weaken the ranks of Hindus. This is best illustrated by the activities of the Harijan Sevak Sangh. The whole object of the Sangh is to create a slave mentality among the Untouchables towards their Hindu masters. Examine the Sangh from any angle one may like and the creation of slave mentality will appear to be its dominant purpose.

The work of the Sangh reminds one of the mythological demo-ness Putana described in the Bhagvat—a companion to the Mahabha

21. ShrinivasanTN - February 27, 2008

The Brahminical Media alongwith historians potrayed the image of Mr.M K Gandhi as a Great leader of India,follower of Buddha,Peace,ahnisa etc.But in reality the most dangerous culprit for the oppression of millions of untouhables in India was Mr Mk Gandhi.
These people are very smart they know India is recognised as land of Budhha in whole world so whenver any foreigner will visit india the hypprocatic Congressman will tell them that Gandhi was follower of Buddha.Congress and Gandhi have ruined this country.So Mr Editor when you put any article or photograph do some basic reasrch and then publish it.

22. Pardeep S Attri - February 27, 2008

This is height of stupidness, how can editor of a magazine be of so poor knowledge ? Editors seems to very much attracted by Stupid Gandhi without knowing facts.

Mrs. Editor open your eyes & read all the above posts before publishing anything on Gandhi (Stupid, ohh… one can call Stupid or Gandhi, one is the same thing) in Buddhist magazine.

And may you be blessed with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do things which others tell you cannot be done..

23. Saint - February 27, 2008

Dear Shrinivasan TN,

Let me thank you profusely for publishing the “TRUTH” and the evil side of Gandhi, what a Royal betrayer of Untouchables in India.

When I opened this blog to see some new comments made, I just browsed accross but preplexed when I read your comments and compilation on Gandhi.

I was aware of some of the evil facts about Gandhi, but a comprehensive compilation of it through your article and the chapter X of the book must be read by the whole world. It is insightful and painful at the same time to see that how dangerous the educated people are in this world to keep wasting their time on evil man like Gandhi?.

The effort to publish Gandhi on a Buddhist magazine like Tricycle is not an idea of the current editors alone!!??.

It is rather a brainchild of the founder and president of this Tricycle, she even has a plan to have a big Gala, she is organizing a Gala with mela, called Gandhi Mela.

She is been engulfed and suffocated by hindus of India when she visited New Delhi, may be also by some Hindus who live in New York ( the millionaires and Billionaire hindus of New York!?, who can pay money to the editor to run her Tricycle and other organizations), but she must have been forced to do this by diplomatic officials of India too is a possiblity??. And, there could be any other possiblities too. Unless she writes here, we will never know how this woman got into this pathological idea of writing about Gandhi, she seems to be very impressed by him.

If she is a real Buddhist and a person who seek truth, she should remove Gandhi’s picture and cancel the Gala, this shame and pathology is going to ruin several young and old minds who constantly seeking truth in this world, who go to Buddhist places to seek Buddha’s teachings to learn about this world. The founder’s effort is going to destroy lots of new Buddhists minds.

How sad?, we have learned people making such a huge blunder like this magazine.

Mr.Shrinivasan, I thank again and I have learned so much in one day (today) through your writing about the tragedy of India than I would learn in months and months.

Saint

24. vijay - February 27, 2008

Dear Editor,
Why this tricycle is silent over these comments, not a single reply on any of these comments.Then what is the meaning of blog and discussion. This looks like a following gandhi’s principle of don’t hear wrongs in society, do not speak any wrong in the society and do not see (read here in this cotext) what wrong gandhi has committed ???
Gandhi’s three monkeys ??? speak up editor please say what you feel on these comments if you are really buddhist? please say truth as truth and untruth as untruth after rational understanding of what is right and what is wrong.

25. Pardeep S Attri - February 27, 2008

Editor is hibernating in Gandhi’s dreams :) :) :)

Wake Up dear Editor…

26. A - February 28, 2008

No editor is visiting hell to meet Gandhi :)

27. Raja - February 28, 2008

To be Buddhist you have to be Human first and that to with ability to think in unbiased way which require lot of courage and daring.Which they (editor and company lacs)

28. Saint - February 28, 2008

One of may ultimate objective is to bring the “Truth” about “Why” a Buddhist magazine talks about the most dangerous human on earth Gandhi and equate him to Buddhist’s principles?.

Gandhi knows nothing about Peace and non-voilence. Both Peace, Love and Non-Voilence is the Original creation and preachings of Lord Buddha.

If you made a mistake, just comeout and say why you are corrupting and contaminating the Buddhists world.

If you are forced to do so, who is behind you. Is it Dalai Lama or any other Lama’s, or what is the Truth. I need the truth and We Need the truth from you. Come out. I will not stop writing until I speak to you in person, or phone or via e-mail or through this blog.

Saint
http://upliftthem.blogspot.com

29. Pardeep S Attri - February 28, 2008

I think we should again post these comments on the previous page of Tricycle from where these have been shifted to here.

I think editor made this blog & have forgotten about this or might be on on some Satyagraha :)

30. Raj - February 28, 2008

It is pathetic to see Gandhi’s picture especially on the cover of the magazine that promotes Buddhism and appreciates Buddhist way of life. Gandhi was a social discriminator, casteist and believer of having a society where people are treated differently based on their birth/caste/varna.
He never followed or supported Buddhism in his life. He even criticized religious conversion and supported discrimination against fourth varna of Hindu religion hierarchy.

Gandhi borrowed the term ‘Non-violence’ from Buddhism and never lived to it. He used the term of non-violence in a violent way to deny separate electorate rights for depressed classes of India by fasting to pressure Dr. B.R.Ambedkar who was representing depressed classes.

The most deserving person to be on the cover of all magazines that promote Buddhism is Dr.B.R. Ambedkar, chief architect of Indian constitution, savior of human rights who revived Buddhism in India by embracing Buddhism with his 500,000 followers in 1956.

It is an insult to Buddhism by publishing Gandhi’s picture on the cover of Tricycle.

31. Marcus - February 28, 2008

“editor is visiting hell to meet Gandhi”

I don’t know about that. I suspect that the editors of Tricycle magazine are somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer size and forthright tone of these comments.

Faced with such a response I suspect that they are doing what I’d do in this case…..wait till the cut-and-paste comments come to end, wait till people tire of telling them that they have insulted Buddhism, and then prepare a full response.

Someone on this thread has suggested that the editors lack courage. I think the fact that they have allowed this thread to continue is proof against that.

Like most western Buddhists I have never given Gandhi more than the briefest of passing thoughts. I’d always assumed (it’s what we’re taught here) that he was some kind of saint, and this thread is the first time that my ideas have been challenged.

I feel, however, that it’s such a pity that that challenge has been wrapped in such emotive and angry language against a magazine and website that has always (and is) doing so much to support English-speaking Buddhists all over the world.

32. Pardeep S Attri - February 29, 2008

Sometimes to wake up ignorants we need to tell them the reality & their place. The all cut paste is that my dear friends is saying is the reality.

Ya the editor gave a chance to discuss & forgotten this page created by them. Also this page can anyone create, even a ignorant kid will make much better page on wordpress.com

Is this a courage?

Simply editor don’t wanna accept reality & hiding herself behind Gandhi’s statue !!! If editor don’t can’t analyze things well, she has no right to publish Gandhi on Tricycle- A Buddhist Magazine. Come out dear editor & have courage to face reality.

Nobody criticize you +vely, but you can take/learn how to take criticism +vely.

Do editor know Buddhism?? Learn –

Living in a grateful world

Be grateful to those who have hurted or harmed you,
For they have reinforced your determination.
Be grateful to those who have deceived you,
For they have deepened your sight.
Be grateful to those who have hit you,
For they have reduced your karmic obstacles.
Be grateful to those who have abandoned you,
For they have taught you to be independent.
Be grateful to those who have made you stumble,
For they have strengthened your ability.
Be grateful to those who have denounced you,
For they have increased your wisdom & concentration.
Be grateful to those who have made you Firm & Resolute & Helped in your Achievement.

~ From the teachings of Ven. Master Chin Kung~

Dear editor think over this..!! All friends here are telling you the reality, it’s upto you to accept the reality after realizing yourself…

33. Pardeep S Attri - February 29, 2008

I invite Editor to come India, where Gandhi used to live. See reality with your own eyes from the people of India.

Editor sitting abroad & publishing or preaching Gandhism to Buddhists, shameful… come to India i’ll show you the reality.. Dear Editor don’t accept what these terrorist organizations like RSS, BJP tell you.

In Indian society Gandhi have no place & till now Gandhi is being remembered as Congress or other political parties announce Public holiday on his b’day… otherwise people might have forgotten Gandhi.

See this

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/qotd-gandhi-vs-ambedkar/27864-3-single.html

Final Verdict: Has Ambedkar’s legacy proved more durable than that of Gandhi?

81 per cent of the viewers said ‘yes it has’ and 19 per cent of them said ‘no’.

Perhaps Ambedkar’s legacy needs to be re-looked and rediscovered to understand it in its true form. Remember Babasaheb said, “Social democracy and political democracy must go hand-in-hand. And that can happen only if we manage to create a truly equitable society.”

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/qotd-gandhi-vs-ambedkar/27864-3-single.html

34. Marcus - February 29, 2008

Thank you

Thank you Pardeep S Attri for telling me a good deal about Gandhi that I never knew before.

And thank you to the Tricycle Blog too for allowing this thread to run and run, I think that you’ve shown very well indeed how to take criticism with nobility and patience.

With loving kindness to all,

Marcus

35. Saint - February 29, 2008

Dear Marcus,

The individuals who have made comments here are making their efforts to reach the Editor or Founder of Tricycle, because he or she is derailing the Buddhists principles, Buddhists way of life and the Lord Buddha’s very teachings.

We are all perturbed by just the thought of an evil man like Gandhi is associated with Buddhism in any ways, let alone equating him to the peace lover and non-violence.

Such understanding and perception is a great danger to the world and especially to the Buddhist society. Because these good people were perturbed by “Tricycle’s recent publications, it is a genuine and natural expression of those Buddhists to warn the editor of his/her mistakes or blunder.

If you considered this as angry writing, that is how you perceived it, but that is not a Buddhist way of looking at?, if you make efforts to “See as it is (Lord Buddha’s teachings)” you would not have felt they were angry writings, they were expression of disgust against a perturbed writings of your editor.

Yes, we all thank this blog and the opportunity to provide space for discussion and to continue it, but is again is nothing unusual for Buddhists to do so, “Even the most enlightened Buddha said, just because I am Tathagata saying, you should nod your head and walk away, you must ask question”?.

If we are following such greatest teacher of the world’s teachings we better behave ourselves to listen to the concerns of the world.

Lord Buddha dedicated his life for the miserable and unfortunate people of India 2500 years ago, why?. Not because he wanted to be enlightened and enjoy with such insights, but because he was so terrified and sad inside that there was so much violence in India, there was so much poverty in India, there was so much miseries in India, so much killings and sabotagery, all these miseries were directly stemming from people of those years (hindus) “Discriminated, humans as low, high, untouchable and useable and what not?.
This has been going on to some extent even before Lord Buddha’s time, but it was getting worst and worst, the so called Caste system of today existed in a different format and terms those days, not able to tolerate and see such cruelty and inhumane behaviors of hindus or Indians of that time, Buddha decided to find out why such miseries (all those mythical reason given by some books are simply silly and decorated reasons?), the real reason for Buddha to seek for the truth of the matter at that time was why so much of such miserable life mainly due to human discrimination among themselves.

There was no medicine to treat, no book chapter to teach, no money would have solved, no job opportunity would have solved it, and instead, he realized that something within individuals must be a causative factor or a solution, so he went on to discover what is known today as “Mind”.
Just about 60-70 years ago, we did not know much about Mind or we did not know how to explain what is mind, so, imagine 2500 years ago, someone was able to find and reach the mind that was and is Lord Buddha.

Due to enormous research on Brain, we know quite a lot of about Mind and consciousness now, but no body knew anything about mind or for that matter about Brain during Buddha’s period.

It was Lord Buddha who discovered Mind. He also discovered that for all those miseries and miserable life events that lead to violence and discrimination, reaching the mind can be one of the best solutions.

Millions and Millions of the Indians understood what Lord Buddha discovered and they followed his path to help themselves, it continued. So much of India benefited from such mind discovery, people’s lives got better, violence and atrocities gone down and even rulers and kings started following Buddha’s way of life, the greatest King Ashoka even abandoned all wars and stopped attacking nations and people, he became one of the most powerful and influential Buddhists several centuries ago. Though the human discriminating other humans as low or higher was not completely removed, so much of Indians life got better due to Lord Buddha’s teachings. However, India was again, again and again under attack of different Kingdoms, this continued wars and violence destroyed Buddhism and Buddhists stronghold. India from Buddhist nation again became a hinduized!! Nation, again became a violent nation!?, the hindus killed monks, destroyed Buddhist Sanghas, killed and chased Buddhists out to the southern India…..during all these times, the human discrimination became so worst that upper caste people started killing lower caste (this pathology of caste system in India-is a creation by hindus to subjugate people, so that those who have money and power can rule the others, they classified Varnashrama, classification based on various traits, such as color, stature, what job one is engaged in, which locality, which tribe a person belongs to which region a person belong to etc etc etc…) than they made it a religious belief (all meaningless, ruthless and insane hindu beliefs became a religious and state sponsored law of the time (manusmiriti)-it exists in a large scale even today than anytime of the Indian history). Most of those lower castes (untouchables) are the Buddhist people of ancient time, or their descendents or distantly related to those Buddhists people. They were pushed to the loweliest of low by people like Gandhi (if not physically or directly, by his politics, by his involvement with other barbaric human discriminators, including British ruling party during british invasion of India).

Those (dalits, lower class or untouchables) are actually the true Indians, the original Indians, the majority in number of 360 million, trashed to a minority and lower castes. The were treated like dogs, or much worse than animals in India today, they are under constant attack by hindus to which Gandhi belonged. He was and is, is one of the most dangerous power of hindus or India. Throughout his life, Gandhi used every single opportunity came in his way in the name of untouchables to his own benefit and casteistic people’s benefit and destroyed India to an extent that about 56% people in India live below poverty line, direct result of discrimination, caste system and atrocities from people like Gandhi.

Even the most notorious minds of today, will not advocate or spread such evil Gandhi and his life to the world, let alone talk about him as a saint or whatever.

Now, tell me, how on the earth a Buddhist editor or founder publish such an article or images of such a man in a Buddhist place, this magazine is simply taking the millions of people back to animal savagery era, where Gandhi ruled and Gandhi like people ruled, and infact such people rule in many parts of India even as we speak!, you are simply giving them more and more fodder to keep continuing the human atrocity in India by promoting such people like Gandhi. He deserves no respect, especially he deserves no place among Buddhists and Lord Buddha’s principles.

Saint ( in Tamil: MUNI )
USA

36. Marcus - February 29, 2008

Thank you Muni.

37. Pardeep S Attri - March 1, 2008

Bad condition of Dalits due to Gandhi ….

Latest official police reports on average over last 5 years shows that (many crimes remain unnoticed as a fear of dominant castes or of police) daily almost 27 officially registered atrocities are being committed against Dalits, see reports below:-

• 13 Dalits are murdered every week,
• 5 Dalits home or possessions are burnt every week,
• 6 Dalits are kidnapped or abducted every week,
• 3 Dalit women are raped every day,
• 11 Dalits are beaten every day and
• A crime is committed against a Dalit every 18 minute.

Also one recent study of untouchabilty in rural India covering 565 villages in 11 states found that

• Public health workers refused to visit Dalit homes in 33% of villages,
• Dalits were prevented from entering police station in 27.6% of villages,
• Dalit children had to sit separately while eating in 37.8% of Govt. schools,
• Dalits didn’t get mail delivered to their homes in 23.5% of villages &
• Dalits were denied access to water sources in 48.4% of villages because of segregation & untouchabilty practices.
• The conviction rate under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act is 15.71% and pendency is as high as 85.37%. This when the Act has strict provisions aimed as a deterrent. By contrast, conviction rate under IPC is over 40%.

38. Pardeep S Attri - March 1, 2008
39. Raj - March 1, 2008

My dear editor,

You are trying to represent Buddhist way of life by holding your so called post of editor for your magazine but it appears that you have not taken the pain or pleasure to learn Buddhism. Let me tell you dear editor; Buddhism is the only religion that you can’t represent unless you learn and practice by yourself.

I am going to share these verses of Lord Buddha which will prove what I am trying to explain here. I am sure you will get it and you will never ever in your life will market Gandhi or his corrupt, inhumane ideology.

Here is what Lord Buddha preached to his disciples who were known as Kalamas (a tribe):

“Yes, O Kalamas, it is right for you to doubt, it is right for you to waver. In a doubtful matter, wavering has arisen,”
remarked the Buddha and gave them the following advice which applies with equal force to modern rationalists as it did to
those sceptic brahmins of yore.

“Come, O Kalamas, Do not accept anything on mere hearsay (i.e., thinking that thus have we heard it from a long time).
Do not accept anything by mere tradition (i.e., thinking that it has thus been handed down through many generations). Do not
accept anything on account of rumours (‘i.e., by believing what others say without any investigation). Do not accept anything just
because it accords with your scriptures. Do not accept anything by mere supposition. Do not accept anything by mere inference.
Do not accept anything by merely considering the appearences. Do not accept anything merely because it agrees with your
preconceived notions. Do not accept anything merely because it seems acceptable (i.e., should be accepted). Do not accept
anything thining that the ascetic is respected by us (and therefore it is right to accept his word.)

“But when you know for yourselves–these things are immoral, these things are blamewothy, these things are censured
by the wise, these things, when performed and undertaken, conduce to ruin and sorrow–then indeed do you reject them.

“When you know for yourselves–these things are moral, these things are blameless, these things are praised by the
wise, these things, when performed and undertaken, conduce to well-being and happiness–then do you live and act accordingly.”

The Buddha and His Teachings
By: Narada

40. lalitkumar - March 2, 2008

Let world know about Gandhi
Please have a look at Columbia University website and see in the end when Dr. Ambedkar founder of modern India wrote this classic essay on Annihilation of caste, see how Gandhi critically was against it. See their communication in the end.
Ambedkar’s Ideas on annihilation of caste along with debate with Gandhi -published by Columbia
Please also reflect on Oxford Published book. Reconstructing the World B.R. Ambedkar and Buddhism in India. With articles from World renowned Buddhist scholars Prof. Christopher Queen from Harvard University. Prof. Jonannes Beltze, Prof. Eleanor Zelliot, and others.

I wonder what can happen with such a silence on truth and reality on the part of American Magazine like Trycle. Such events will keep world ignorant about “why Buddhism started in India in India but died in India many times due to violent efforts of Hindus. Support of magazine in the crimes of Gandhi and other Hindus to sabotage Buddhism is being partner in leading world on the path of destroying the Buddhism. If that is the aim of this magazine, then I can’t wish you best.

If it is not your aim, then this magazine will have to invite articles and special issue from people like Prof. Jonannes Beltze, Prof. Eleanor Zelliot, Prof. Gail Omvedt, Prof. Christophe Jeffrelot, and Prof. Surendra Jodhale who wrote extensively on Buddha and knows about Gandhi . Or and the magazine can contact jambudvipa organization who are extensively engaged in Buddhist activities, last International Engaged Buddhist Conference was organized by them.

I would be happy to contribute you in this endeavor if you ready to have rational discourse on Gandhi.

41. Bhikku Sariputra - March 3, 2008

It is really sad to see so many people abusing Gandhi. Gandhi was a human and he had many defects. But he was no evil minded demon as these people are making it out. Gandhi was also to some extent a victim of the political manveouring of his times. But a good study of Gandhi’s writings and his life will clearly show his Humanism. I have worked in India in sabarmathi ashram and among gandhians. I know first hand the kind of work that these selfless people have done and doing for the most discriminated people on earth. The Gandians have been motivated by the ideas of social work, justice and welfare.
However there are no takers for Gandhism in India. The Hindu right wing hate Gandhi and so are the subaltern dalits. The Christians and Muslims join hands in their abuse against Gandhi. It is quite clear that abusing Gandhi helps the cause of the casteist politicians (both upper and lower caste) of India.
On most occassions of his public Gandhi rose above and cut across racial, social and religious prejudices. Quoting selectively and out of context from Gandhi can help people in scoring some Brownie points and help them in their violent political cause. But as Buddhists we need to be wary of such politically motivated backlash against a multifaceted personality like Gandhi. Gandhi was not Buddhist in his belief and practices and he was emotionally drawn towards the devotional practices of Hinduism which some call by the name of Bhakthi Yoga. The arguments in the blog to pigeon whole a powerful leader and multifaceted personality like Gandhi as racist is extremely weak. Unlike armchair intellectuals Gandhi practically worked for the well being of untouchables and the dispossesed sections of Indian soceity. He identified with them and even tried to live like them and understand them. Of course Gandhi had an element of showmanship and exhibitionism in him but it was for a good humanitarian cause. The overall message of Gandhi which can be evidenced in his followers (they are a dwindling number, who cares for Gandhi in this modern consumerist capitalistic world) is that of simplicity, equality and fraternity betwen people of all races, religions, creeds and castes. There are many who have been inspired and continue to be inspired by this great soul. The essential need for Buddhists is to recognize humanism and its practice as preached by great leaders like Gandhi. As buddhists it is important that we do not get sidetracked by hate politics and machieavillian politiciking. If Gandhi does not confirm to Humanism as taught by Buddha let us reject him. But let us not fall a prey to this hate speech and politics.

42. Shannon Amerman - March 3, 2008

The status of legendary cultural heroes is always in doubt. Whether in the arena of sports, politics, or peace, once put on a pedestal they become targets of debunkers and deflators, eager to show the hero’s mere humanity. The higher such a person is held in public esteem, the seemingly greater the satisfaction of bringing that person low. This can be clearly seen in the comments above in this blog.

Perhaps no one has flown higher in public regard than Mohandas K. Gandhi, who became the living embodiment of activist Humanist ideals: selfless sacrifice, principled nonviolence, and unwavering commitment to social justice. His name, inspite of so much sullying is still cultural shorthand for such values.

We find here in this blog that Gandhi the man is portrayed as an impostor who harbored racist attitudes toward South African blacks and whose efforts on behalf of Hindu “untouchables” were misguided half-measures, designed merely to build his own reputation,political influence and further oppressive caste system. This is being done by using dozens of quotes taken out of context. One such topic is Gandhi’s service as the leader of an Indian stretcher-bearer corps during the 1906 “Zulu rebellion” in South Africa. The generally accepted account is that Gandhi acquitted himself honorably, helping to bring desperately needed medical attention and transport to wounded Zulus who would otherwise likely have perished. Not so, says the critiques: the laudatory accounts of Gandhi’s service are lies. According to the anti Gandhi lobby, Gandhi really had no concern or sympathy for blacks but, rather, sought military service for Indians alongside white Africans simply to advance the status of the Indians. More generally, and evidence for Gandhi’s racism is largely the fact that Gandhi never took up the cause of black liberation in South Africa, instead concentrating his efforts on behalf of his fellow Indians. What some might see as a forgivable sin of omission, these people interpret as equivalent to racism.

Imprisoned with black convicts for his activism, Gandhi wrote in a newspaper account of his experience: “They are troublesome, dirty, and live almost like animals.” This hardly seems the Mahatma (Great Soul) who later in life claimed solidarity with all oppressed peoples, and indeed many of his Indian compatriots in South Africa were deeply prejudiced against blacks and made no secret of it. But in the same article Gandhi also said, “It was, however, as well that we were classed with the Natives. It was a welcome opportunity to study the treatment meted out to Natives, their conditions and habits.” Here we have evidence of an empathetic, inquiring individual, someone who would eventually come to epitomize universal compassion, not racism. For sub-alterns, this sort of evidence doesn’t count, and they make claims that Gandhi harbored lifelong prejudice against blacks. This is too far fetched and a product of their own prejudices rather than a balanced reading of the record.

For those who relish the debunking of religious impostors, the sub-alterns contentious litany of Gandhi’s real and imagined faults may provide some satisfaction, but for most people their conclusion that Gandhi was a “thug” no better than Stalin or Hitler will seem overwrought and unnecessarily inflammatory. B. R. Ambedkar’s 1945 classic, What Gandhi and the Congress Have Done to the Untouchables, offers a far more substantial and balanced account of some of Gandhi’s shortcomings. It is quite shocking to see purported followers of Ambedkar do not see this.

In many respects Gandhi was deeply conservative in his views, constrained by his Hindu heritage.But through even a cursory look at the Gandhian body of knowledge we can see a gradual, albeit incomplete, movement toward a secular, progressive Humanism. The picture emerges of a man, immersed in a spiritual quest to save the downtrodden, who discovers his humanitarian instincts at war with the dictates of his hierarchical cultural tradition. Over the course of Gandhi’s philosophical evolution , we see the development of an increasingly humanistic Gandhi. And since Gandhi was a tireless publicist for his causes, we have a wealth of material to draw upon in documenting what changed and what didn’t in his views. Anyone with a brief aquantance to Gandhian thought can point out that he was an inveterate self-critic, always willing to reexamine his philosophy in the pursuit of truth and to engage in continual give and take with his many correspondents and associates. Among these was Gora, a well known progressive atheist and social activist who was well ahead of Gandhi in advocating a complete dismantling of the caste system. In their meetings and letters, Gora challenged Gandhi’s conservatism in regard to caste and thus played a role in Gandhi’s liberalization and secularization during his later years.

It can be said without doubt that Gandhi’s lifelong concerns were: moral truth, religion, self-discipline, nonviolence, Indian self-rule, the mitigation of poverty, and the quest for moksha (spiritual enlightenment). Although Gandhi never disowned his Hindu roots, and remained spiritual in a way that Buddhists find overly theistic, through the writings of Gandhi over the years we can see his worldview gradually became more ecumenical, less supernaturalist, and more explicitly secular. This evolution seems to have been closely linked with an increasingly progressive stance on a number of social issues.

In the 1920s Gandhi rejected unequivocally the caste-based principle of untouchability but still upheld the Hindu varna precept of four inherited kinds of vocations (priest/ sage, soldier/administrator, merchant/landowner, servant/ laborer). Although he argued that this precept could coexist with equal social status for all, the reality was that varna perpetuated class divisions and economic inequality. Eventually, influenced by Ambedkar, Gora, and other progressives, Gandhi in his last years favored an altogether casteless India, realizing that his humanitarian ideals could never be achieved in the context of varna. The shows Gandhi’s openness to change in controversies where lesser minds might have sought refuge in dogma.

We can also see a similar evolution in Gandhi’s views on religion, atheism, and secularism. Wanting to unite his country, and having witnessed Hindu-Muslim violence, Gandhi became less sectarian in his own spirituality, and the many of his close associates conjectured that at the end Gandhi “would not be satisfied to die merely a Hindu-Moslem, but would die instead a universal humanist.” Gandhi has written about his acceptance of diverse religions and beliefs as his moral peers in the fight for social progress, and indeed his own conception of divinity became increasingly abstract, ending up in the aphorism that “God is Truth.” During the year before his assassination in 1948 he took a strong stand for a secular Indian state, with religion to be left as a strictly private matter. Gandhi As We Have Known Him gives us fresh insight into the development of the thought of a man many called Mahatma but who would not accept that name for himself, leaving us with a picture of a man perpetually in quest of moral truth. Ultimately, Gandhi arrived at a largely Humanist understanding of the basis for human rights. This makes him especially relevant to buddhists and humanists working for social justice. Merely a man, his extraordinary tenacity and dedication to the ethical life, informed by an open and self-critical mind, confirms Gandhi among the great Humanists of the twentieth century.
I commend tricycle for putting this great man on its Cover. Let us see goodness wherever it is found and stop wallowing in negativity.

43. Shobha Kandasamy - March 3, 2008

The people here are overreacting and blaming the atrocities and voilence in India on Gandhi. Nothing can be more ridicolous than this. There is a claim that Gandhism has failed in India and also a contradictory claim by the same person that the increasing violence in the soceity is because of Gandhism. Gandhi is as much responsible for the violence in India as much as Buddha or Mahavira was responible for the unending wars and Invasions which followed after Buddha. There is a always a difference between percepts and practice. Gandhism could not survive because of the viciousness and hatred that exists in politics. The caste and communal elements in the indian polity would not want a Gandhi as he cannot be used by one caste/community/religion to pitch them against another caste/community/religion. Gandhi is of no use to them. They need Mayavathis and Modis to create caste and religious divides. The successful leaders in Indian politics are those who pitch one community against another and thereby breaking the unity and fraternity of the country. Gandhi stood against all this.

44. Chandramohan - March 3, 2008

A blogger here in the name of Gandhi has started to abuse Hinduism and claimed that Hindus destroyed the Buddhists. There is no historical proof that Hindus ever vandalized or destroyed buddhists. There are several instances of Hindus – Saivaites and Vaishnavaites who have lived in amity with Buddhists and Jains (refer: Badami-Ihole caves in S India). Also, it is amply clear that the cultural symbols of Hinduism was exported into Buddhist countries like Thailand, Tibet, Burma and Ceylon by Buddhist Monks themselves. All major historians including the Muslim historians agree that Buddhism which was the most organized religion in India became an easy target to the medeival islamic invaders. The organized monkhood crumbled under this assault and most elements of Buddhism merged into popular indian culture (hinduism) as splinter groups. Hinduism with no central organization, structure or cannon is ill equipped for such targeted designs.
There is a well orchestrated and devious campaign to malign Hinduism. I hope the tricycle magazine do not get caught in these devious designs and focus on the teachings of Buddha and his cannon and not get involved in abusing and demonizing other sects and religions. This would result in the defeat of the very purpose of Buddha’s teaching.

45. Saint - March 3, 2008

Dear Bhikku and Shannon,
This is a Buddhist Magazine and we are here to talk about lord Buddha’s teachings, preachings and his great upliftment service to the entire human society.

I will forgo all those arguments and evidences provided in those comments above to get some enlightenment from you two and your knowledge about Buddha, in what context is Gandhi relevant to us Buddhists???.

1. Lord Buddha was loved, adored and respected by all humans in the world except Hindus (some exceptions)

2. Lord Buddha discovered and taught, peace, non-voilence.

3.Lord Buddha taught this world how to live and respect other humans as equals, he did not believe in myths, classifying humans and unscientific believes.

4. Lord Buddha discovered the mind and helped us understand how to look into things in this world as it is through his disciplined meditation practices, mainly aimed to understand one’s own mind.

5. Lord Buddha did not believe nor he adovacted for discrimination of humans in any format, all humans are equal and have rights.

6. Lord Buddha did not involve or propagate discriminatory or subjugating behaviors on certain people or sects…

and there are so many aspects as above are the pure qualities and gems of Buddha and Buddhists life,

Gandhi has no place in any of these qualities. Neither in real life nor in political life that he carried such relevance as above, he was completely opposite of all the above mentioned aspects.

He is of no relevance to Buddhists, let the world trumphet about him, we are not in any way against it or in favor of it, but in a Buddhist place, there should not be any room for people who discriminate humans as upper, lower or whatever.

Buddhists do not believe in Mahatmas, but simply we believe in humans, tthose humans who can uplift their own mind and those of others minds, such humans help make this world to be peacefull and live better. We can accept anyone who has those qualities or who wanted to follow to inherit those buddhist qualities1.

Shannon, from your comments it is very obvious that you did not even care to read Gandhi’s own words, as to how discriminatory and how inhumane his approach to a large section of people.

If we need to discuss here with some morality, my suggestion to you both is to read Gandhi’s own words (just right here in this blog), whether to reject or to accept Gandhi on an individual basis it is left to you. But on a society level or a public forum like this, unless you carry some relevance to Buddhism, it makes no sense to bring those textbook Mahatma’s.

Thanks for joining this discussion,
Saint

Note:
In the very first comment, I made it clear that Gandhi has no attributes even distantly bear any relation to Buddhists principles or practices. It is not a question of hate or like that matters in our clarification, what is important is Gandhi has no humanitarian values, he was a betrayer of 360 plus million Indians, about46-50% of the population of India lives below poverty line because of the hindu beliefs and Caste pathology that is practiced and upheld by Gandhi.

46. Charon Raj - March 3, 2008

Prof. Jonannes Beltze, Prof. Eleanor Zelliot, Prof. Gail Omvedt, Prof. Christophe Jeffrelot, and Prof. Surendra Jodhale

All the people mentioned here are in a hate campaign to malign Hinduism and Create divisions in India. Some of these people are open supporters of Terrorism in Kashmir, North East India and in Sri Lanka. SO much for their Humanism.

47. Bhikku Sariputra - March 3, 2008

Saint,

1. Lord Buddha was loved, adored and respected by all humans in the world except Hindus (some exceptions)

There was no such thing as Hinduism at the time of Buddha. There were many different groups of people with divergent beliefs and different spiritual practices in India. Buddha had many people who were his opponents and many many more who loved and revered him. He had Kings who got converted to Buddhism. There were people from all walks of life who got attracted to Buddhism including the Brahmins, Jains, Ajivikas, Shramanas etc. Even a public woman like Amarapali and a thugee like Angulimala was a disciple of Buddha. It is indeed reprehensible to generalize hatred on a huge community and religion. Most modern day Hindu Gurus in the tradition of yoga and vedanta revere Buddha as an Ideal. This has no political overtures but comes from a deep seated reverence for a meditative life.

2. Lord Buddha discovered and taught, peace, non-voilence.

This would be a spurious claim. Buddha himself never claimed to have discovered peace and non-violence. Buddha said ‘Aesa Dhammo Sanathano’ – This Dharma is eternal. Meaning that which existed in the past and that which will be existent in the future. Gandhi also mentioned in his autobiography that the ideals of truth and non violence are as old as the hills. Buddha’s contemporary Mahavira also taught peace and Non-violence as did the Yogis and shramans.

3.Lord Buddha taught this world how to live and respect other humans as equals, he did not believe in myths, classifying humans and unscientific believes.

Yes true Buddha stood for equality and respect of all Humans. Not just Humans but also compassion for animals.

4. Lord Buddha discovered the mind and helped us understand how to look into things in this world as it is through his disciplined meditation practices, mainly aimed to understand one’s own mind.

There were philosopers in India, Greeece and China who were ancient and contemporaries to the Buddha who spoke of Mind and Self Exploration. Even as a disciple and Bhikku of the Buddha and inspite of great love towards him I tend to disagree that Buddha exclusively discovered these. Buddha also was influenced by the Sankhya classification of Mind and Matter, he was influenced by the yogis, ajivikas, aranyakas (vedantists) and shramanas in their ascetic and meditational practices. However his exposition of dependent origination and annatta is unique. In Greece there were socrates and china we had lao tzu who was a contemporary of Buddha. SO essentially it is the wisdom that matters and not from where it comes. The buddha himself gives the example of the doctor who treating a wounded patient is more concerned about the treatment and its immediate cause rather than its remote causes.

5. Lord Buddha did not believe nor he adovacted for discrimination of humans in any format, all humans are equal and have rights.

Yes true.

“In the very first comment, I made it clear that Gandhi has no attributes even distantly bear any relation to Buddhists principles or practices. It is not a question of hate or like that matters in our clarification, what is important is Gandhi has no humanitarian values”

To make a blanket statement that Gandhi has no humanitarian values is fallacious. Gandhi and Gandhians have many attributes which bear a relation to the Buddha. The key principles of Ahimsa and Satya. Truth and Non Violence is a core buddhist principle and practice. Gandhi did practice and inculcate this in great detail unless you have other versions of histories and stories which claim he did not. Gnadhi was not a perfect man and he never claimed to be one. He did make many political mistakes but the core of his philosophy is highly humanistic and inspiring. I have met many groups in India who claim that they have been meted with injustice because of Gandhi. Chief among them are the RSS and the Dalits. The RSS claims that Gandhi gave in too easily to the muslims and the Dalits claim that Gandhi belived in the caste system. Each are right in many ways. It is clear from Gandhi’s writings and actions that he did not belive in inequality and he encouraged by his actions many notable things like the emancipation of the downtrodden masses of India. Blaming Gandhi for all the ills of India is extremely reductionist and silly. Thanks for the invitation to read the words of Gandhi. I have read many works of Gandhi and also many anti works against him. I personally and like many other Buddhists find a great inspiration in Gandhi for keeping up the buddhist moral percepts and feel a great connection towards him. There are few examples of people in public life who have held up to those Buddhist ideals. If Gandhi is not of much help to a Buddhist maybe they probably should forget and move on. Thats what I think the Buddha would have probably done.

48. Jason Parks - March 3, 2008

What is indeed reprehensible in this blog is the political engineering and attempt to control the Tricycle blog to publish only what a certain group of Political Buddhists in India consider their version of History. I congragulate the editors of the tricycle magazine to have not fallen prey to the designs of this faction of people who want to control, direct and propogate their version of sectarian Buddhism. Please get your politics out of this noble magazine. Watch your breath and feel the peace. Hopefully you can get more space for insights into reality due to this anapanasati.

49. Saint - March 3, 2008

Where is Jason Parks comes with this idea of political enginnering, no body here in this forum is a politician or with political inclination, a true Buddhists do not assume or have such irrational thoughts about what is said,

Let me ask you, what do you about Buddhisms existence in India and the world?

What do you know about how Buddhism was destroyed time and again in India?

What do you know about Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the greatest of all scholars and humanitarian of India, about whom not even many casteistic Indians do not know or act like they do not know, what do you about him?.

what do you know about Dr.Ambedkar’s contribution to Buddhism and it’s great revival in the last 70 years?.

What do you know about so called Mahatma’s and their actions destroyed a great majority of society in the name of stratification, classification and casteism?.

Are you intellectually blind about what the arguments and points are made here?.

What kind of insights you have to say that this is politicized and people wants to control, no body wants to control no one. That is not the way Buddhists work and live their life.

Why do not you go sell this Buddhism to hindu’s who time and again claim that Buddhism is part of hinduism, are you one among them?, or simply trying to turn your head and disregard a serious concerns raised by genuine, truth seeking Buddhists.

What kind of Nobility do you have to talk about a Buddhist magazine portray the images and articles of a political leader of controversy and pitpalls, you’r own words are so much of betrayl to this magazine, a nobel magazine has to reasearch on issues and matters before making it public, is it worthy of time and energy and resources of this nobel magazine.

You have no idea of the nobel work and dedication of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar that has brought the almost dieng Buddhism in India, you can’t even make an acknolwedgement of such a great human and argue here is that this is noble and one must apprehensible, yes dear, thanks for your insightful abuse of truth seekers.

50. Saint - March 3, 2008

Thanks Bhikku,

you made some comments that make sense and some are not?, but atleast I found it to be a rational discussion than abusing, such as like Jason Parks who wants to blame and trash those expressions of people as politics, what a pity.

Saint

51. lalit - March 3, 2008

Charon raj above writes some international renowned scholars who writes for oxford, columbia press and hold prominent positions in academia are engaged in promoting terror. These statements are with sheer ignorance and hatred against the humanity.

I would like to know a single quote from these scholars which proves your statements. At least read something about these people first before making any comments. Christophe Jefrelot is the director of CERI, one of the prominent center in Europe. Dr. Gail is faculty at Pune University. Dr. Jondhale is faculty at Mumbai University, Prof. Jonannes Beltze is faculty from Europe, and most importantly Prof. Eleanor Zelliot is one of most revered faculty who is crucial in establishing south asian studies centres in US Universities.

Shobha Kandasamy should know Mayavati is uniting all caste people together, working toward humanity and development of all, and she is ranked as the one of eight top women in the world by Newsweek, USA magazine. When majority of castes people came to know about Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh they voted against Gandhi’s political party Congress, established Mayavati’s government which supports social reformers and India’s unity.

Comments made against the truth mentioned above from references of Gandhi and government publications is not considered as truth but as politics. This too without having a discourse against any of the facts mentioned about Gandhi.

Obviously few people for whom Gandhi’s ideology helped keeping them on top positions under Hindu social order would certainly talk for him.

But oppressed people believe in Buddha and Ambedkar and hate Gandhi’s who propagated Hindu social order and was against inter caste marriages and inter caste dining.

World should know Gandhi’s word “Harijan” for untouchables in India is officially made illegal in India as it is derogatory.

People who read and know history of Buddhism in INdia there should not be any question not knowing how it was demolished under attacks from Hindus. This does not mean all Hindus were bad but the oppressive system.

Please encourage dialogue and let us talk rationally for the welfare of masses and just society.

Please do not violet the right to dignity of oppressed communities in India by encouraging Gandhi who never stood for the rights of oppressed population India.

52. NISHIKANT UKEY - March 3, 2008

Dear Editor,
I happen to see the tricycle magazine current issue.
I assume tricycle believes in Buddhist principles of compassion, equality, non-violence, truth, justice and peace.
I am alarmed to see picture of Mr. Gandhi on the front page of the magazine.

Looking into his life and work, it does not take time to know that

1. He is the greatest believer and implementer of INEQUALITY.
He believes in the Brahmanical social order of Varna system. Varna system maintains airtight hierarchical division of Hindus into Brahmins, Kshtriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Brahmins being on the top of heirarchy, Shudras being at the bottom and untouchables find no place in the system. The untouchables {also called as Dalits} for several centuries were kept without education, social interaction. Heinous crimes like mass murder, rapes, ghettoization has been committed on them for several centuries.
He quotes saying untouchables should not leave their present job, and keep doing the menial job.
In the British age untouchables got opportunity to serve in military, take education in English.
British govt awarded separate electorate to the untouchables,
Mr. Gandhi systematically thru’ his fast-unto death build pressure on Bodhisatta Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Ultimately Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had to reluctantly sign the Poona pact.
Mr. Gandhi is a FOX in ‘Mahatma’ clothing who would go to any level to restrict the progress of the suppressed people of humanity.

2. Mr. Gandhi is the killer of suppressed masses. Thru his so called non-violence means{fast unto death} brought death to the suppressed masses {untouchables}. He systematically segregated untouchables by calling them ‘Harijans’.

3. Mr. Gandhi finds nothing wrong in having sex with children of the age of his daughter{Read his autobiography}. Though married himself, he is involved in serveral sexual relationship with girls half his age.

4. For the untouchables and downtrodden people of India, his freedom struggle means nothing but transfer of power from British to the socially advantageous people in India.
Through various so called non-violence means, SAINT LIKE image, media management he is systematically butchered the downtrodden.

I would like to understand, if the above qualities are the part of Buddhist principles. After analysing his life and work, does the editor feels he is an BUDDHIST icon. If his picture should be printed on the first page?

I greatly doubt the knowledge/intentions of the editor or ‘Tricycle’ if they fail to understand the REAL BUDDHIST icon, the crusader of slavery, THE apostle for equality, humanity, peace and justice, …BODHISATTA DR. BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR.
How can the editor/Tricycle fail to understand who is the true Buddhist icon?

SOME OF MR. GANDHI’S QUOTES

1)
I believe in Varnashrama (caste system) which is the law of life. The law
of Varna (color and / or caste) is nothing but the law of conservation of
energy. Why should my son not be scavenger if I am one? (Harijan,
3-6-1947).

2)
The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not
revolt against it. It has disadvantages. Caste creates a social and moral
restraint – I can find no reason for their abolition. To abolish caste is
to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma
(caste system). I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and
vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing
sinful about it. (Harijan, 1933).

3)
If the Shudras (low castes) leave their ancestral profession and take up
others, ambition will rouse in them and their peace of mind will be
spoiled. Even their family peace will be disturbed. (Hind Swaraj).

The article has brought a real shame and hurt the feelings of millions of Buddhist especially those who know and are part of the REVIVAL of Indian Buddhist movement.
I hope as a true Buddhist, editor / Tricycle understand the truth and come forward with an apology.

With Metta,
Nishikant

53. vagbhatta - March 4, 2008

Tricycle welcome to the world of Murky Indian caste politics.

Ambedkar’s buddhism is the very anti-thesis of the actual Buddhism taught by Gautama the Buddha and his enlightened followers in the different traditions.

The unequivocal first premise of Buddhism that can be explicitly deciphered from the tripitaka pali canons and the later scriptures in the theravada and mahayana traditions is that hatred can never be conquered by hatred and the end do not justify means. This is the unique message of the Buddha. Ambedkar buddhism is highly steeped in hatred, revenge and victim conciousness. Ambedkar’s buddhism is much closer to marxist interpretation of relgion with the substitution of class with caste than with Buddhism. Ambedkar cleverly disguised the marxist interprestation of religion to apply to Buddhism. Ambedkar literature is rife with hate speech, machiavellian politiking and sectarian propoganda to garner power than with genuine concern and compassion for the weak and suffering.

A myth perpetuated by Ambedkar and his followers is that the Buddha never beleived in the Law of Karma. The law of karma is the cornerstone of Buddhism as can be evidenced from the traditional buddhist literature and also through the current living traditional teaachings in the different schools of buddhism in china, thailand, Sri lanka, tibet, japan, korea and many others.

The third myth perpetuated by Ambedkar and his followers is that Buddhism was a social movement against Brahmins. Indeed Buddha condemned the rituals, practices of discrimination in any form and the caste system. However majority of the buddha’s disciples were from the Brahmin Clergy as they were more exposed to the theological discourses of the times and were the first people to accept and follow the Buddha. Also among the later Buddhist masters we find many Brahmins like Nagarjuna, Bodhidharma, Buddhagosha, Naropa, Saraha, TIlopa and many others. Esentially Brahmin was a caste of the clergy and the theologicians and Buddhists were the Monks and Nuns. The people who were drawn into the fold were brahmins, kshatryias and many other castes. Read also the ‘Canto of the brahmin’ from the Dhammapada, wherin the buddha extols the ideals of a Brahmin and also condems the false practices of purported Brahminism. Infact the lifestyle and rituals of so called Brahminical yogis, vedantis, Jains and some other sects have an overbearing similarity with the buddhist asceticism. Buddha is held in most of the ancient and modern yogic, vedantic and tantric traditions of Hinduism with awe and respect even by schools who are critical of Buddhist thought.

The fourth myth is that ‘hinduism’ or the culture of indians at that time which worshipped such gods as indra, brahma, shiva were antithetical to the Buddha’s teachings. Infact the Buddhist worldview and cosmology is quite similar to the popular traditions of vedas, yoga, sankya except for finer technical details which can be no subject for political discourse but rather belongs to the realm of ontology. This can be evidened in places where buddhism was exported from India like in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, China and Japan. They have a host of ‘hindu’ gods, myths, stories which is also part of the buddhist package.

The essence of buddhism is social transformation through individual transformation by trancending the conditioning imposed by soceity like caste, class, creed, nationality, ethnic identities and so on. Ambedkar’s Buddhism just reinforces conditionings to a far greater extent and can be no means of liberation to either the followers or the ones who are targetted by them.
In a nutshell the Buddhism of Ambedkar is a sham.

54. Johnston - March 4, 2008

Who shouts loudest wins.

55. Thapar - March 4, 2008

“Buddhism was constantly attacked, Buddha’s teachings were constantly sabotaged by Hindus throughout the human civilization. Hindu’s like muslims and other invaders of India in the ancient period destroyed Buddhist shrines, burned the buddhist monks alive, sangaha’s were brought to ground, buddhist people were chased out of their domiciles besides got killed in huge numbers.”

Can anyone provide some credible proof and evidence for this claim of Hindus destroying Buddhist Shrines and Burning Buddhists. In sri lanka Tamil hindus are fighting the sinhala buddhists but that is not about religion. Its an ethnic warfare.

56. Thapar - March 4, 2008

“Mr. Gandhi finds nothing wrong in having sex with children of the age of his daughter{Read his autobiography}. Though married himself, he is involved in serveral sexual relationship with girls half his age.”

Gandhi had strange views on Celibacy and was very open about his (non) sexual life. After the age of 36 Gandhi took the vow of Brahmacharya and never had sex. He did sleep with naked girls as an experiment to test his chastity. But there is no evidence that he had sex with them. He even mentions in his writings that he had a wet dream at the age of 70.
Gandhi himself was candid and honest to admit his crazy spiritual practices. There is also reference in the Tantras and the Vajrayana about a practice similar to Gandhi’s practice of sleeping with naked women. Unlike the middle path of the Buddha, Gandhi had extreme views about celibacy.

57. Thapar - March 4, 2008

“Mayavati is uniting all caste people together, working toward humanity and development of all, and she is ranked as the one of eight top women in the world by Newsweek, USA magazine. When majority of castes people came to know about Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh they voted against Gandhi’s political party Congress, established Mayavati’s government which supports social reformers and India’s unity. ”

Mayavathi is just using caste divsions and reinforcing them to gain power. A few years ago she was banking on SC, ST, Muslim and OBC votes. Now she has come up to a new equation as the other backward classes in UP are against her. She has tied up with the Brahmins her arch enemies who are a sizable population in her state to attack the OBCs. It is all vote bank politics and all this talk of social reforms is nonsense. She is one of the most corrupt politicina in india involved in the taj corridor case. It is rubbish to talk about these oppurtunistic politicians as social reformers. UP is one of the worst governed states of India. George Bush was voted as the man of the year in the time magazine what about it. Please dont compare Ambedkar with Mayavathi.

58. nomessaih - March 4, 2008

Gandhi and Ambedkar were politicians and social reformers. They headed political factions. Their support base were sectarian and they played to the gallery and crowds notwithstanding their intellects and great writings. This discussion is just dragging Buddhism to political discourses where numbers and majority speak.
If you want to understand the essence of Buddhism from a modern context sanely and rationally please read the works of J Krishnamurthi. You will find the answers.

59. Aryansangha - March 4, 2008

The egoic sense of self needs conflict because its sense of a separate identity gets strengthened in fighting against this or that, and in demonstrating that this is “me” and that is not “me.”
Not infrequently, tribes, nations, and religions derive a strengthened sense of collective identity from having enemies. Who would the “believer” be without the “unbeliever?”

60. Aryansangha - March 4, 2008

All evils are the effect of unconsciousness. You can alleviate the effects of unconsciousness, but you cannot eliminate them unless you eliminate their cause. True change starts from within, not without. If you feel called upon to alleviate suffering in the world, that is a very noble thing to do, but remember not to focus exclusively on the outer; otherwise, you will encounter frustration and despair. Without a profound change in human consciousness, the world’s suffering is a bottomless pit. So don’t let your compassion become one-sided. Then let your peace flow into whatever you do and you will be working on the levels of effect and cause simultaneously. This also applies if you are supporting a movement designed to stop deeply unconscious humans from destroying themselves, each other, and the planet, or from continuing to inflict dreadful suffering on other sentient beings. Remember: Just as you cannot fight the darkness, so you cannot fight unconsciousness. If you try to do so, the polar opposites will become strengthened and more deeply entrenched. You will become identified with one of the polarities, you will create an “enemy,” and so be drawn into unconsciousness yourself. Raise awareness by disseminating information, or at the most, practice passive resistance. But make sure that you carry no resistance within, no hatred, no negativity. “Love your enemies,” said Jesus, which, of course, means “have no enemies.” Once you get involved in working on the level of effect, it is all too easy to lose yourself in it. Stay alert and very, very present. The causal level needs to remain your primary focus, the teaching of enlightenment your main purpose, and peace your most precious gift to the world.

61. Aryansangha - March 4, 2008

Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. You don’t need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity. That is unconsciousness. Above all, don’t forget to observe your own mind. Seek out the root of the insanity there. On the other hand, if action is required, you will no longer react from your conditioned mind, but you will respond to the situation out of your conscious presence. In that state, your mind is free of concepts, including the concept of nonviolence.

62. Yomama - March 4, 2008

The assasin of gandhi claims Gandhi betrayed Hindus. The muslims claim Gandhi betrayed muslims. The british called him a tyrant. The untouchables say Gandhi deprived the lower classes and enriched upper classes Hindus. Some even have called the author names and threatned the author to talk to them as they feel hurt because Gandhi is put on the cover of a Buddhist magazine but they want ambedkar on the cover.
My two cents:
Stop being so touchy about being hurt. You are fooling no one here. Buddhism is not your monopoly. Be more civilized and try to see alternate view points. If you find something not good reject it. For the author – please run a cover story on Ambedkar to please this lobby.

63. shoman - March 4, 2008

Yomama looks like Gandhi has conned everyone.

64. crazy monk - March 4, 2008

It is time now to start the Buddhist moral police force. Lets have the buddhist blacklist. Gandhi is number one on the list. Put your creative energies and post the blacklist here.

65. Panchen Lama Too Young for Politics, Burmese and Sri Lankan News « Tricycle Editors’ Blog - March 4, 2008

[...] may have noticed some intense activity on the blog post Gandhi. The complicated issue of how Gandhi is viewed by various constituencies in India and around the [...]

66. Joshi - March 4, 2008

A Fourth Turning of the Wheel?
Ambedkar Buddhism
by Christopher Queen

From a talk given at BCBS on July 3, 1997

One way of looking at the coming of Buddhism to the West, and the beginnings of the true interpenetration of these profound world views, is to see it as a fourth yana [vehicle]. If we look at “Buddhism” as a tradition and we use that term in the singular we’re really covering a multitude of practices and beliefs. To focus on the kinds of beliefs and practices that people like ourselves are attempting in the name of Buddhism raises fundamental questions about whether we’re doing something brand new, or whether in fact the seeds of what we’re doing were planted by Shakyamuni Buddha twenty-five hundred years ago.

To my way of thinking, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) is the most articulate and perhaps radical spokesman for a new turning of the wheel. Ambedkar, I think, really went to the heart of this problem, and left us all with a provocative vision of Buddhism for the modern world.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
He was born among the so-called “untouchables” in India, but through his remarkable genius he became one of the most prominent personalities of his time. After India achieved independence in 1947, Ambedkar became the first law minister in independent India (what we might call the Attorney General). As such, he was the principal architect of India’s Constitution. It’s the world’s longest democratic constitution, and includes many articles against the practice of untouchability. It also provides for what we call affirmative action; people from all backgrounds should have access to education, scholarships and government jobs, but the preferences would be given to the lowest people in society. Ambedkar was responsible for all that.

In the last five years of his life he made good on a promise he made in 1935, “I was born a Hindu, but I’m determined not to die a Hindu. I’m going to figure out which of the religions offers me and my community the most dignity and humanity.” Many who knew him and study him think Ambedkar had Buddhism in mind all along, because he was deeply moved by a book on the life of the Buddha given him upon graduation from high school. But if he had declared himself a Buddhist in the 1930s he would have lost a lot of his clout as a negotiator with the British and with other Hindus like Gandhi in the drama of emerging independence. So he held off until 1951 when he retired from the government, and spent the last five years of his life preparing for a huge conversion ceremony on October 14th, 1956 which is the traditional date of Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism.

The year 1956 saw the worldwide celebration of the twenty-five hundredth year of the birth of Buddha Shakyamuni. So the date and the place—Nagpur in central India, a city which was associated with the preservation of Buddhist teachings by the Nagas, the serpent people— was highly symbolic of the rebirth of Buddhism in a land which had seen no Buddhism for virtually a thousand years. Nearly a half-million untouchables took refuge at Ambedkar’s conversion ceremony; and then six weeks later, he died of a long-standing illness.

In the years since his great conversion, Ambedkar had become a symbol of hope for low-caste people throughout India but his Buddhist movement since then has had to struggle along with support from outsiders like Sangharakshita and his British Buddhist followers, though it also attracted some talented leaders within India and the untouchable community. Where it’s going, and whether it’s growing and flourishing, is anybody’s guess. But we have Ambedkar’s own thoughts and writings to consider for our purposes today.

Choice and Adaptation
I’d like to mention two proposals that he made in his effort to adapt Buddhism to modern circumstances—not just for the untouchables, but really for the modern world. The first is that one must choose what religion one will follow, and the second is that one must adapt it to fit one’s needs.

One premise of Ambedkar’s religious sensibility was that as modern (or even postmodern) people we are forced to choose our belief system. It’s not only possible for people to become heretics, but we have what Peter Berger called the “heretical imperative.” (The word heresy, by the way, comes from the Greek root which means simply “to choose”; it means to choose a belief and a lifestyle.) We really are forced by the world today to choose who we will be and what we will believe, because the grip of tradition on our minds has now been loosened by modern education, by science, by travel and by global communication. We are now faced with so many options for belief and practice that we have to sit down quietly with ourselves and say, “What do I believe? What shall I do with my life? Who will be my friends and allies? Where should I put my extracurricular energies?” These are things that all people in the world are now facing. (There are certainly repressive countries where those options are limited, but I think most in the world today recognize the goal of being able to make yourself, remake yourself, and point yourself in some direction.)

Following his dramatic announcement in 1935 that he would adopt a new religion, Ambedkar considered Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism as possible options for him in India. They were all active religions, except for Buddhism, which, although originating in India had vanished by the twelfth century. Ambedkar asked, “Which of these traditions offers my community the most dignity, the most inspiration, the most empowerment to move ahead and to realize a good life or a good future or a good symbolic universe, a universe that makes me feel that life is worth living and there’s a future for the world?”

Buddhism seemed to offer the most for Ambedkar and his followers because it was an indigenous religion; it wasn’t, like Christianity or Islam–something imported. It also offered something unique, a kind of reticence to lock onto fixed beliefs or practices. There was this notion within Buddhism that you must experiment within the laboratory of your own life to see what works and what makes sense.

This helped with Ambedkar’s second principle: the notion that once I’ve chosen a major tradition or body of thought, I must adjust it so that it works in the circumstances that I face or that my community faces. Ambedkar echoed the discourse in the Kalama Sutta in which the Buddha said, “Don’t blindly trust teachings and writings, but test them in your own life.” This idea of testing for yourself and questioning authority has become a hallmark of Western or modern Buddhism.

The heart of Buddhism was an attitude, or, perhaps, Buddhism was an attitude of heart. The Buddha, of course, was a human being representing a potential that all human beings have. So all of that went into Ambedkar’s search for a tradition that could be adaptable to a culture in which pluralism was present, but in which a significant proportion of people felt disempowered and dehumanized. Buddhism, for Ambedkar, emerged as a model for becoming a full human being. Yet it was a model still in need of some changes.

The Limitations of Buddhism
In his final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar pointed to four problems he saw with the Buddhist tradition as received from the past, four issues that conflict with our modern sensibility. We should not forget that Ambedkar was trained in the West; he was a follower of John Dewey, the eminent American pragmatist philosopher.

1) The first thing that Ambedkar questioned was the legend of the Buddha’s isolation, as a prince, from normal human experiences. How could a twenty-nine year-old man suddenly discover illness, suffering, and death, and then abandon his family in a fit of existential angst? Wasn’t that a little late for someone to discover these things? So there’s something about the Buddha’s story that’s a little odd to our way of thinking, because we know that young people today confront these realities of life during their adolescent years and we encourage them to wrestle with these things and resolve them in certain ways.

2) The second issue has to do with the causes of suffering. The second noble truth says that suffering is a result of craving and ignorance; therefore if someone is suffering we have to say, “Change your attitude. Practice meditation. Practice morality and your life will improve.” But might there be circumstances in which there are innocent victims? There are children or whole communities who are marginalized and oppressed by social, political and economic forces that are essentially beyond their control, unless they somehow collectively organize a resistance to oppression. Can Buddhism encompass the notion of social change, which has both victims and oppressors?

3) The third problem was the question of karma and rebirth. Do we really believe in rebirth? Do we really believe that karma is a kind of ongoing accumulation of energy that will dictate not only the quality of our life but cause us to be reborn again and again? Must we conclude, for example, that a handicapped person is serving a sentence for past indiscretions or crimes? Ambedkar had difficulty with the place of traditional teachings of rebirth in our modern world view, not only in terms of what we now know about psychology and physics, but in light of the social issues surrounding the life of untouchables in India.

4) The final contradiction or problem Dr. Ambedkar saw in Buddhism was the role of the monk or the ordained person. What is the true role of the ideal practitioner of Buddhism? Should it be one who is renouncing and retreating from the life of family responsibilities, work, and society, living essentially apart, except for the ritualized contacts of the begging rounds or teaching? Or should those ideal practitioners of the Buddha’s teaching be seen not as sitting but as walking; that is, walking out into the community and trying to help people improve their material circumstances as well as their spiritual condition? Shouldn’t the monks be trained as social workers? This was one of Ambedkar’s core questions. And his model was the Jesuits, the Benedictines and Protestant missionaries who founded clinics and literacy programs and helped people to dig wells, build roads, and otherwise improve their situation through engaged activity.

Modifications
In looking at these issues and other basic notions of Buddhism, Ambedkar modified the tradition quite freely. One of the most important changes he made was a rather radical re-interpretation of what was meant by nirvana. According to Ambedkar, nirvana is not a metaphysical or psychological state or attainment, but a society founded in peace and justice. He brought a transcendent view of nirvana down to earth.

This is an important feature of engaged Buddhism as manifested in many parts of Asia today. A common feature of this movement is to disregard notions of another world, whether it’s a psychological world or a metaphysical world, and to translate that into a society based on equality and the free exchange of ideas and goods. This is a kind of socialism, and Ambedkar himself, though not a socialist per se, was significantly influenced by socialist thinkers.

With this different understanding, the discussion of nirvana becomes analogous to the discussion in Christianity about the kingdom of God or heaven. Is it an afterlife, or is it an ideal community on this planet? Ambedkar and his followers would vote for the latter concept. We need to create communities that unlock human potential and dignity—that’s nirvana.

If you look at the Satipatthana Sutta or the Visuddhimagga you find texts setting forth a complex set of meditation skills and ethical practices which the tradition offers us as the path to awakening. That is largely de-emphasized in Ambedkar’s writings and in his thought. For him the pursuit of education at all levels was a form of meditation and mental cultivation. This in turn supplemented the institutions of a free society–representative government, due process, and an impartial judiciary when an untouchable can go to a court and have a judge actually award the verdict to him or her. This is nirvana. All this has nothing to do with the traditional wealth of meditation practices available.

It is important to keep in mind that Ambedkar’s primary teachers were books. In this sense he shares something with Western “Buddhists” who have been brought to Buddhism by reading Alan Watts, D.T. Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki, or Trungpa Rinpoche, rather than being trained in Buddhism by a personal teacher who is devoting his or her life to practice and teaching meditation. There are many people in America who call themselves Buddhists because they’ve read books about it—the “bookstore Buddhist” or the “nightstand Buddhist,” as Tom Tweed calls them. Ambedkar had thirty thousand books, including a huge collection on Buddhism; these have marks all over the margins and underlines and crossings out, agreeing and disagreeing with elements of the tradition and deciding how Buddhism would work for him. These books were his teachers.

As a personality, Ambedkar was certainly volcanic; he didn’t have the calm demeanor of Thich Nhat Hanh. It wasn’t breathe and smile for Dr. Ambedkar. Ambedkar was deeply scarred by being an untouchable in his society all his life, and he brings the passion of that experience to his understanding of Buddhism. Educate, Agitate, and Organize—this was Ambedkar’s slogan during his years as a civil rights leaders in India. Today it is still used by his followers as Buddhists, which really irritates other Buddhists who say that agitation has no role to play in Buddhism. Well, does it? Should Buddhists be, in a certain sense, agitators for a better society, for reconciliation, or are these irreconcilable concepts?

Ambedkar’s Challenge
Given the way Buddhism is evolving in the West, with its strong emphasis upon meditation and psychology, Ambedkar’s perspective is very provocative. Many of us are drawn to Buddhism because it offers peace—inner peace and world peace. We would like to be more unperturbable, loving, compassionate and joyful, rather than the crusading radicals some of us were in the sixties. If Buddhism has to do with stilling the fires of passion, then metta bhavana [the cultivation of lovingkindness] is probably the best and highest practice for engaged Buddhism in the traditional mold—achieving peace and then projecting that peace to others. If this attainment of peace has some ripples in the world, great; but the world is really not the primary concern of a traditional Buddhist. It is rather training the monkey mind to settle down.

But it may be worth looking closely at Ambedkar’s idea that Buddhism is something we receive and then have to work with. Buddhist teachings invite us to take responsibility for ourselves, and this is being interpreted in engaged Buddhist circles as taking responsibility for the entire sangha, the larger community, and ultimately, our eco-system on this planet Earth. Ambedkar’s approach tells us that if we spend too much time in personal meditation practice, and in retreat from the world of social relationship, we will be irresponsible to our community. So we need to get off the cushion, get out of the house, get out there and start to educate, agitate and organize. This is a collectivist notion of sangha as people working together for a society of justice, wherein our Buddhist practice becomes the engaged activity of social change.

Dr. Queen is the co-editor, with Duncan Ryuken Williams, of the forthcoming American Buddhism: Methods and Findings in Recent Scholarship from Curzon Press, U.K.

67. Vimal - March 5, 2008

Gandhi’s erratic policies were criticized by his contemporaries like Annie Besant, Sri Aurobindo, Bhimrao Ambedkar, and many others. And none of them went out to kill Gandhi, so there is nothing violent about these arguments per se. They correctly predicted that under his irrational leadership, the strategy of mass mobilization and “non-violence” would yield very bitter fruits, as it did during the Khilafat riots in 1922 and again during the Partition. Indologists like Alain Daniélou and historians like Paul Johnson have also demythologized the Mahatma. One of the perverse effects of the assasination of Gandhi was precisely that in India this criticism of Gandhi suddenly became taboo, and that the myth of his centrality in the achievement of independence became unassailable. But however in Modern India Critizing Gandhi has become the favourite pastime of all from the extreme right to the left except perhaps the congress party.

68. Sambodhi - March 5, 2008

Koenard Elst in Bharat Vani

On 2 October 1956, two months before his death, the former Law Minister Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar led several hundreds of thousands of followers, mostly belonging to his own ex-untouchable Mahar caste, into conversion to Buddhism. He extracted twenty-two promises from his followers. We will list them here with their original numbers but regrouped in two categories. The first category consists of positive expressions of commitment to the Buddhist way:

7) I will never act against the tenets of Buddhism;

11) I will follow the Eight-fold Path of Lord Buddha;

12) I will follow the ten Paramitas of the Dhamma;

13) I will have compassion on all living beings and will try to look after them;

14) I will not lie;

15) I will not commit theft;

16) I will not indulge in lust or sexual transgression;

17) I will never take any liquor or drink that causes intoxication;

18) I will try to mould my life in accordance with the Buddhist preachings based on Enlightenment, precept and compassion;

20) I firmly believe that the Bauddha Dhamma is the best religion;

21) I believe that today I am taking a new birth;

22) I solemnly take the oath that from today onwards I will act according to the Bauddha Dhamma.

It is debatable whether the firm belief that the Bauddha Dhamma is the best religion was ever part of the formal resolutions taken by the Buddhas disciples, but let us not pick on this; we may accept that these promises by Ambedkars followers are just an emphatic expression of their entry into Buddhism. It is a different story with those promises which articulate Ambedkars own social and anti-Hindu agenda:

1) I will not regard Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh as gods nor will I worship them;

2) I will not regard Rama and Krishna as gods nor will I worship them;

3) I will not accept Hindu deities like Gauri, Ganapati etc., nor will I worship them;

4) I do not believe that God has taken birth or incarnation in any form;

5) I do not believe that Lord Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu, I believe this propaganda is mischievous and false;

6) I will never perform any Shraddha nor will I offer any Pinda [i.e. Brahminical funeral and post-funeral rites];

8) I will not have any Samskara [ritual] performed by Brahmins;

9) I believe in the principle that all are equal;

10) I will try to establish equality;

11) I embrace today the Bauddha Dhamma, discarding the Hindu religion which is detrimental to the emancipation of human beings and which believes in inequality and regards human beings other than Brahmins as low-born.

This list of promises is unique in the history of Buddhism, in that it not only professes to follow the Buddhist way, but also attacks a non-Buddhist tradition and rejects the devotion to a number of Gods whose worship was propagated outside India by Buddhism itself. The Japanese-Buddhist Goddess Benzai-ten is none other than Saraswati, the Chinese-Buddhist God Shui-tian is Vedic Varuna, etc., all imported by Buddhism without the help of a single (non-Buddhist) Hindu. As D.D. Kosambi notes: Pali records started by making Indra and Brahma respectful hearers of the original Buddhist discourses. The Mahayana admitted a whole new pantheon of gods including Ganesha, Shiva and Vishnu, all subordinated to the Buddha.

An additional reason for his choice of Buddhism was his highly unsubstantiated belief that Buddhism, an elite religion thriving on patronage, had been the original religion of the Dalits. in Ambedkar?s view, the Dalits should not seek a new religion but return to their original religion. Instead of conversion, it is advertised as a homecoming.

Today, there are about 6 million neo-Buddhists, most of them from Ambedkar’s own Mahar caste and related Scheduled Castes. Occasionally, local mass conversions to Buddhism still occur in these communities. Unlike the Dalai Lama, who emphasizes the closeness of Hinduism and Buddhism before his Indian hosts, the Ambedkarite tendency in Buddhism is overtly anti-Hindu and tries to maximize the separateness of Buddhism.

Nevertheless, renowned author M.V. Kamath quotes a testimony by social scientist Neera Burra, who found many people who claimed they were Buddhists but had not taken the vows because they would not be allowed to eat meat and would have to give up all their gods and goddesses.

Dr. Ambedkar candidly admits that his own Buddhism has little to do with the Buddhist doctrine as laid down in the Pali Canon. When we turn to the indicated passage in Ambedkar’s book The Buddha and his Dhamma, we do come across statements which are rather surprising under the pen of a convert to Buddhism. He writes that the Nikayas (the core literary testimony about the Buddha) are unreliable, and that the story of Siddhartha Gautama leaving the world at 29 after seeing a dead, a sick and an old person for the first time, is absurd. He rejects the four Aryan Truths, because they deny hope to man. The four Aryan Truths make the Gospel of the Buddha a gospel of pessimism. Do they form part of the original gospel or are they a later accretion by monks.

Questioning the historicity of the founding narrative of a religion is certainly a permissible and even a commendable exercise, but it is hard to reconcile with being a propagator of that same religion. Unless, of course, one chooses to redefine that religion completely, without reference to its founders original intentions. While the Buddha (at least the only Buddha we know, the one attested in Buddhist Scripture) was quite unambiguous about the futility of worldly pursuits, Dr. Ambedkar would want Buddhism to focus on the pursuit of social reform:

“What was the object of the Buddha in creating the Bhikkhu. Was the object to create a perfect man. if the Bhikkhu is only a perfect man he is of no use to the propagation of Buddhism because though a perfect man he is a selfish man. If, on the other hand, he is a social servant he may prove to be the hope of Buddhism. This question must be decided not so much in the interest of doctrinal consistency but in the interest of the future of Buddhism.”

Ambedkars attempt to turn Buddhism into a philosophy of worldly social action necessarily implied a departure from the Buddha’s programme of non-worldly liberation.

Ambedkar was seriously criticized by authentic Buddhists for mixing Buddhism with what Ambedkars book describes as social reform, but what these Buddhists considered a message of hatred and separatism.

The Mahabodhi, a famous Buddhist journal in India, opined that The Buddha and his Dhamma is a dangerous book. Ambedkars interpretation of the theory of karma, the theory of ahimsa and his theory that Buddhism was merely a social system, constituted not the correct interpretation of Buddhism but a new orientation. Indeed the whole of the book, observed the reviewer, explained the hatred and aggressiveness the neo-Buddhists nourished and displayed. Ambedkar’s Buddhism, added the reviewer, is based on hatred, the Buddha’s on compassion The title, pleaded the reviewer, should be changed from The Buddha and his Dhamma to that of Ambedkar and his Dhamma; for Ambedkar preached non-Dhamma as Dhamma for motives of political and social reform.

Another paper, The Light of Dhamma (Rangoon), observed that although this was a book by a great man, unfortunately it was not a great book. Dhananjay Keer explains: The reviewer pointed out that the great Doctor tampered with the texts and whenever he found views in Buddhism inconvenient to his own, denounced them as later accretions made by monks. The author was nevertheless a great and good man; the tragedy was that it was neither a great book nor a good book, concluded the reviewer.

Buddhist monk Jivaka wrote: In India the movement started by Ambedkar was not Buddhism but a campaign for social reform under the name Buddhism, and he has promulgated the idea that bhikkhus are for the purpose of social service. But his book. The Buddha and His Dharma is misnamed for he preaches non-Dharma as Dharma, even sweeping away the four Aryan Truths as a later addition by scholar-monks, maintaining that the Buddha distinguished between killing for a good reason and purely want only, and saying that He did not ban the former; and to cap it all he writes that the Dharma is a social system and that a man quite alone would not need it. Hence the so-called New Buddhists or better named, Ambedkarists, surround bhikkhus aggressively and tell them what they should do and abuse them if they are not actively engaged in social work or preaching reform. The result is seen in the acts of violence they have committed, the rioting that has taken place in Nagpur and Jabbulpur and other places. For Ambedkar entered on his new religion with hate in his heart and his followers are still nourishing and fanning the flames of hate in the uneducated masses they lead.

In a report to his Government in 1992, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Mr. Neville Kanakaratne, noted the regrettable fact that a great majority of Indian Buddhists were members of the Scheduled Castes who converted under Dr. Ambedkar’s leadership in order to assert their political rights rather than through honest self-persuasion and conviction?. By contrast, the effort by the Mahabodhi Society to spread Buddhism through proper information and teaching had achieved very little, according to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner.

If we accept the High Commissioners assessment of such purely political conversion, implying that there is little genuine enthusiasm for the Buddhas spiritual message in these Ambedkarite conversions, we must notice at the same time that in the margin of the politically Buddhist community, centres of genuine spiritual Buddhism are evolving, to the dismay of purely political converts. Thus, the Leftist commentator Gopal Guru complains that Ambedkarite Buddhists are starting to take an active interest in Theravada Buddhist meditation: Some of the Buddhist organizations are busy spiritualising Ambedkars Buddhism with a view to supplanting the need to look at Ambedkars Buddhist conversion movement as an emancipatory, critical concern.

A Scheduled Caste convert explains: The Dalit movement lacks the positive approach of Buddhism. I no longer call myself a Dalit. I consider myself a Buddhist. By contrast, another one complains: Sangharakshita came to turn us into good Buddhists. But the problem is not becoming a good Buddhist, but a combative Buddhist. How can one obtain mental peace if there is no peace in society To which the Buddha, who lived in an equally turbulent age, might have said that if you want to wait for peace in the outside world before starting to make peace inside, you will wait forever.

A less controversial but essentially similar Buddhist presence is the Vipassana association of the Burmese master Sayagyi U Ba Khin as represented by S.N. Goenka. As I have been able to see for myself, this tradition of Buddhist meditation has struck firm roots in Ambedkars own Maharashtra, mainly through its Vipassana International Academy in Dhammagiri near Jalgaon where 10-day courses for laymen are offered. This way, a process of rapprochement between traditional Buddhists and Ambedkarite neo-Buddhists is already visible, so that we are probably witnessing the genesis of a genuine new Indian Buddhism.

69. Sambodhi - March 5, 2008

Ambedkar was extremely critical of Hindu philosophy. First of all, he thought that it had nothing to offer, on the contrary. He approvingly quotes Thomas Huxley describing Upanishadic asceticism as reducing the human mind to that condition of impassive quasi-somnambulism, which, but for its acknowledged holiness, might run the risk of being confounded with idiocy. Unfortunately, whoever equates the concentrated mental alertness developed in meditation with somnambulism and idiocy, can hardly extol Buddhist meditation which develops a very similar state of mind. But the point is precisely that Ambedkar did not see Buddhism as a system of meditation.

Ambedkars most direct attack on Hindu sensibilities was his merciless pamphlet Riddles in Hinduism. Its central thesis is the absolute reduction of Hindu culture to a mere cover for caste and untouchability. That part was largely ignored by the public, because it was the type of thing which so many westernized writers and Christian missionaries had been saying for some time. The part which really caused offence was the chapter Riddles of Rama and Krishna, which contains a lot of ordinary scandal-mongering. We learn that Ramas associates, the Vanaras, are conceived in general debauchery by the gods with all kinds of nymphs and goddesses and mortal women, and that Rama himself seems to have been conceived illegitimately by the sage Shrung on Kaushalya, wife of Dasharatha. Similar things are explicitly said about the Pandavas in the Mahabharata, and about many worthies in the Vedic, Epic and Puranic lore. Krishna was the greatest lecher of his age, doing it with whole villages of girls and married women.

All this was taken from Scripture and hard to refute. However, the exercise can also be tried on the Buddha. Indeed, one V.N. Utpat wrote a booklet Riddles of Buddha and Ambedkar in reply. It points out that the Buddhas conception was even more illegitimate than that of Rama and Krishna: his mother was visited at night by a white elephant. Heartless as the Buddha was, he left his wife and child behind without asking their opinion, to set out on his selfish quest for personal liberation. By giving up his throne, he also robbed his own son of the inheritance of the throne, and when later his son came to ask him for his rightful inheritance, the Buddha cynically offered him initiation into his miserable monk order. And so on: people (including the human being Siddhartha Gautama the Shakyamuni) have to make choices in life, and in their decisions there will always be a dark side available for foul mouths to pick on.

70. Sambodhi - March 5, 2008

Ambedkarites of the Dalit Panther movement have allegedly made two failed attempts on the life of the late Jeevan Kulkarni, an amateur-historian belonging to the Hindu Mahasabha. His crime was that he had developed a critique of Dr. Ambedkar’s understanding of Buddhism, along the same lines as that quoted above from Buddhist sources.

71. Sambodhi - March 5, 2008

Arun Shourie on Ambedkar

Arun Shourie on Ambedkar

On 26 February 1996, Ambedkarites roughed up Arun Shourie, literally tarring his face during a speech of his in Pune.37 In his weekly syndicated column, published in the Observer of Business and Politics and in thirty provincial newspapers (and now available in book form), he had scrutinized Ambedkars record and questioned a number of now-common notions about him. He had refuted the popular description of Dr. Ambedkar as the father of the Constitution or modern Manu (in a reference to the ancient patriarch Manu, to whom the lawbook Manava-Dharma-Shastra is attributed) by showing that Dr. Ambedkars contribution to the writing of the Constitution was in fact very limited, and that Ambedkar himself had never claimed otherwise.

Shourie had also highlighted the fact that Dr. Ambedkar never won an election, not even when he stood for a seat reserved for Scheduled Caste members. On top of his individual defeat, his Scheduled Castes Federation in 1945-46, and his Republican Party in 1952, were utterly routed at the polls. In the 1937 elections, Ambedkars British sponsors were gravely disappointed to see the landslide victory of Congress in the reserved constituencies. Ambedkars electoral record certainly belies the routine description of him as the leader of the Untouchables: during his lifetime, most untouchables looked to Mahatma Gandhi as their benefactor in spite of Ambedkars scathing criticism of the Mahatmas paternalistic approach. In respect of religion, Scheduled Caste people often venerated their own Hindu Sants rather than awaiting Ambedkars (or in the South, Periyars) directives on conversion..

What seems to have hurt the Ambedkarites most is Shouries highlighting Dr. Ambedkars consistent collaboration with the colonial authorities, his opposing the National movement throughout his public career right up to and including 1946, the fact that throughout those vital years 1942 to 1946-while the nationalist leaders languished in prison, Ambedkar was such a loyal and enthusiastic minister in the Viceroys Council, and that as late as April 1946 Ambedkar was telling the Viceroy, Lord Wavell, that if India became independent, it would be one of the greatest disasters that could happen. Eventhough Shouries position is well-documented, he stands practically alone with his demystification of Ambedkar.

One thing in Ambedkars career which Shourie has not criticized, is his conversion to Buddhism, except to say that Ambedkar had developed a rather personal version of Buddhism. Shourie himself is a practitioner of Buddhist Vipassana meditation, and as a crusader for political morality, he has no inclination to criticize a tradition which teaches a practical path to self-improvement, and which stresses the need to take responsibility for ones own life rather than blaming society or the other community for ones own sufferings.

72. P.P.Lakshamn - March 5, 2008

THE REVIEWERS AT 92 VANDAM STREET

Dear Ms Helen Tworkov,

In my audacity, I venture to say that it is time that the reviewers at 92 Vandam Street re-view their business of reviewing Buddhism as they claim to do for their subscribers with a magazine called Tricycle.

Their imaging of Gandhi just recently has raised protests from some of its readers. Obviously, the reviewers see Gandhi as is put forth by the heavily funded Gandhi industry, beginning with the Gandhi film a few decades ago. Even a cursory glance of Larry Collins’s “Freedom at Midnight” on which the Gandhi movie is based will give the reader a lot more about Gandhi that are not presentable to the world at large.

Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the great Buddhist revivalist, who had been a severe critic of Gandhi is perhaps even now an untouchable pariah to the Tricycle columnists. How beneficial it would be for the editor and staff of your magazine to review the recently released movie on Dr Ambedkar producd by Jabbar Patel. Would they care to review a biography of Dr Ambedkar by Dhanajay Keer, an Indian author, unlike the Gandhi story which had to be told by Western authors Collins and Lapierre?

Again, would the Tricycle readers be averse to know more about the great Emperor Asoka who became a passionate Buddhist missionary after a bloody war? Or to the great scholars like Ashwa Gosh and their commentaries on Buddhist canons ? Is there no one at Vandam Street familiar with Dhammapada? While Philip Glass extols Bhagwat Gita, is there no one to tell him that 45 per cent of it came from Dhammapada?

You are aware that there are many, many current topics to write on, to review on, like the Hindu ideologues considering Buddhism as part of Hinduism, the Hindu hold on the holiest of holy Buddhist temples at Bodh Gaya, the Buddhist sites being excavated all over North India and even South India. They seem to matter little to the reviewers at Vandam Street.

There are equally fascinating stories from other Buddhist countries in the East like China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, and now from countries in the West like U.S.A, U.K. etc., some of which you do cover. The selective approach you follow at Vandam Street is your choice and your choice alone. I am only voicing the agony of some of your readers like myself who look upon Tricycle you founded as a leading Budhist review magazine of the world. I must confess here that I am not a subscriber, but I was once and a keen reader, but no more. I know I would be guilty of the crime of not being a regular reader, but only a reader at random from secondary sources, missing out the totality of your coverage.

I shall be happy to know that this letter of mine has received your attention.

Best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Bodhiratna P.P. Lakshman
March 1, 2008

E-mail : lakshmanpp@hotmail. com, pplakshman@aol. com
Tel: 04936-276 966; 04936-329 905 (India)
Tel: 1-917-664-6566 (USA)

73. Gowtham Kamath - March 5, 2008

It is extremely funny that the neo-buddhists in India claim that Buddhism was the origninal religion of the Dalits and the Brahmins destroyed Buddhism. I for one never bothered about caste, ethnicity or any such claim to lineages which go to the antiquated past. This was until the violent dalit buddhists started attacking and propogating their hatred against hindus in general and brahmins in particular in our university campus. These attacks are moddeled on the similar lines of the anti semetic Nazi propoganda against the Jews.

As a result of this, I did some study into our past and we belong to a Saraswath Brahmin sect which came from the community of such sages like Gaudapada and Chandrakirti. Chandrakirti was a mahayana Buddhist. Gaudapada was considered a disquised buddhist and also the forerunner of adi shankara the founder of Advaitha vedanta school. Scholars still debate whether Gaudapada’s Karika is buddhist or vedantic. All these of course does not hold any value for me as a person living in this age. Of course in a way I am quite happy to know that our ancestors were such illustrious scholars. And contrary to the claim of these so called Dalit scholars, If at all anyone can claim the mantle of Buddhism in India it is our community. Because our ancestors were Buddhists and some of them great Buddhist masters. A cursory glance at the Buddhist sutras show how many Brahmins were the disciples of Buddha. Buddhism was the monkhood which depended on state patronage and was in a way elitist. We have evidence in India where Jains, Brahmins and Buddhists lived together and there was lot of intermingling between them. If at all anyone should be troubled by the disappearance of Buddhism it should be the Brahmins and Jains. As it is part of their ancestral culture. The brahmins like Shankara, madva and ramanuja critiqued on Buddhists, Jains, Ajivakas, Sankhya and many other philosophies. There was healthy debates and lot of brainstorming of ideas. We have a text from the 12th – 14h CE century ‘Sarva Darshana Samagraha’ where the Vedantin madhvacharya expounds 14 different philosophies in India which includes jaina, baudha, sankya, yoga, charvaka atheists etc and provides a rebuttal on these philosophies. We can also see the great respect in which Madhva addresses his opponents in their theological debates. Many Buddhists in the 7th century who found the views of Shankara persuasive and joined his fold. The shankara digvijayam a recorded text has a mention of these. In none of these any violence was involved except if you consider ontological debates as violence.

The Dalits claim that they were Buddhists long ago until Brahmins took away their religion is one of the most idiotic and unsubstantiated claims. Most accounts of ancestral lineages of Dalits point to the worship of Zoomorphic and animist deities. There are several instances of Brahmins, Buddhists and Jains providing a philosophical structure of either Buddhism, Vedism or some such thing to incude these beliefs in their body of Knowledge.The dalits claim that they were Buddhists can probably give them a sense of self esteem. I have nothing against anyone claiming anything but again they use this claim as a means to attack some communities and certain sections of the people which is wrong. And I am not sure whether Buddha or Buddhism ever worried about such things as religious ancestry. What mattered to the Buddha was what you are NOW. I am not sure why we should worry about our ancestry and we should be free to choose, believe, disbelieve or practise what makes sense to us as long as it does not impinge on the fundamental rights and privacy of others.

74. Gowtham Kamath - March 5, 2008

P.P.Lakshamn

“While Philip Glass extols Bhagwat Gita, is there no one to tell him that 45 per cent of it came from Dhammapada”

Again an instance of psuedo history concocted by subaltern missionaries. Bhagwad Gita has no elements of Buddhism or Jainism in it. It is a synthesis of the Sankhya cosmology and classification , a new interpretation of Yoga and the Vedanta of Upanishads. There is no mention of the Anatma / non-self theory of Buddhism or the anekantavada of Jainism in the Baghwad Gita. Why would the Gita have shied away from mentioning Buddha or Mahavira if it had to make a strong point, it does mention the sankhya philosophy and yoga but why not the Buddhist tenets. Because it was know during those times. Mr Laksman this is just one of the many instances of pure lies and malicious propoganda. Anyway Gita has many similariteis between the Dhammapada because they talk of universal truths like non violence (set in a battlefeild though), brahmacharya, control of senses and many others. Gita is more upanishadic which talks of an immutable and eternal Self – this is something the Buddha refuted.

75. Gowtham Kamath - March 5, 2008

45% I am amazed at this precision. Why not 50 or 55. If it is more than 50 % then probably Bhagawd Gita will become a full blown Buddhist scripture so it just stops at 45%. Also ‘Sermon on the Mount’ is many % found in Upanishads and Dhammapada. How many I leave it to thesegreat scholars to figure out. And what abt the the Koran and torah.

76. Milinda - March 5, 2008

Buddha or Karl Marx
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Contents

I. THE CREED OF THE BUDDHA
II. THE ORIGINAL CREED OF KARL MARX
III. WHAT SURVIVES OF THE MARXIAN CREED
IV. COMPARISON BETWEEN BUDDHA AND KARL MARX

V. THE MEANS

VI. EVALUATION OF MEANS

VII. WHOSE MEANS ARE MORE EFFICACIOUS

VIII. WITHERING AWAY OF THE STATE

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Editorial Note in the source publication: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. 3:

The Committee found three different typed copies of an essay on Buddha and Karl Marx in loose sheets, two of which have corrections in the author’s own handwriting. After scrutinising these, this essay is compiled incorporating the corrections. The essay is divided into sub-topics as shown below: Introduction

1. The Creed of the Buddha

2. The Original Creed of Karl Marx

3. What survives of the Marxian Creed?

4. Comparison between Buddha and Karl Marx

5. Means

6. Evaluation of Means

7. Whose Means are More Efficacious?

8. Withering away of the State

— Editors.

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A comparison between Karl Marx and Buddha may be regarded as a joke. There need be no surprise in this. Marx and Buddha are divided by 2381 years. Buddha was born in 563 BC and Karl Marx in 1818 AD Karl Marx is supposed to be the architect of a new ideology-polity a new Economic system. The Buddha on the other hand is believed to be no more than the founder of a religion, which has no relation to politics or economics. The heading of this essay ” Buddha or Karl Marx ” which suggests either a comparison or a contrast between two such personalities divided by such a lengthy span of time and occupied with different fields of thought is sure to sound odd. The Marxists may easily laugh at it and may ridicule the very idea of treating Marx and Buddha on the same level. Marx so modern and Buddha so ancient! The Marxists may say that the Buddha as compared to their master must be just primitive. What comparison can there be between two such persons? What could a Marxist learn from the Buddha? What can Buddha teach a Marxist? None-the-less a comparison between the two is a attractive and instructive Having read both and being interested in the ideology of both a comparison between them just forces itself on me. If the Marxists keep back their prejudices and study the Buddha and understand what he stood for I feel sure that they will change their attitude. It is of course too much to expect that having been determined to scoff at the Buddha they will remain to pray. But this much can he said that they will realise that there is something in the Buddha’s teachings which is worth their while to take note of.

I THE CREED OF THE BUDDHA

The Buddha is generally associated with the doctrine of Ahimsa. That is taken to be the be-all and end-all of his teachings. Hardly any one knows that what the Buddha taught is something very vast: far beyond Ahimsa. It is therefore necessary to set out in detail his tenets. I enumerate them below as I have understood them from my reading of the Tripitaka :

1. Religion is necessary for a free Society.

2. Not every Religion is worth having. 3. Religion must relate to facts of life and not to theories and speculations about God, or Soul or Heaven or Earth.

4. It is wrong to make God the centre of Religion.

5. It is wrong to make salvation of the soul as the centre of Religion.

6. It is wrong to make animal sacrifices to be the centre of religion.

7. Real Religion lives in the heart of man and not in the Shastras.

8. Man and morality must be the centre of religion. If not, Religion is a cruel superstition.

9. It is not enough for Morality to be the ideal of life. Since there is no God it must become the Jaw of life. 10. The function of Religion is to reconstruct the world and to make it happy and not to explain its origin or its end.

11. That the unhappiness in the world is due to conflict of interest and the only way to solve it is to follow the Ashtanga Marga.

12. That private ownership of property brings power to one class and sorrow to another.

13. That it is necessary for the good of Society that this sorrow be removed by removing its cause.

14. All human beings are equal.

15. Worth and not birth is the measure of man.

16. What is important is high ideals and not noble birth.

17. Maitri or fellowship towards all must never be abandoned. One owes it even to one’s enemy.

18. Every one has a right to learn. Learning is as necessary for man to live as food is.

19. Learning without character is dangerous.

20. Nothing is infallible. Nothing is binding forever. Every thing is subject to inquiry and examination. 21. Nothing is final.

22. Every thing is subject to the law of causation.

23. Nothing is permanent or sanatan. Every thing is subject to change. Being is always becoming.

24. War is wrong unless it is for truth and justice.

25. The victor has duties towards the vanquished. This is the creed of the Buddha in a summary form. How ancient hut how fresh! How wide and how deep are his teachings!

II THE ORIGINAL CREED OF KARL MARX

Let us now turn to the creed of Karl Marx as originally propounded by him. Karl Marx is no doubt the father of modern socialism or Communism but he was not interested merely in propounding the theory of Socialism. That had been done long before him by others. Marx was more interested in proving that his Socialism was scientific. His crusade was as much against the capitalists as it was against those whom he called the Utopian Socialists. He disliked them both. It is necessary to note this point because Marx attached the greatest importance to the scientific character of his Socialism. All the doctrines which Marx propounded had no other purpose than to establish his contention that his brand of Socialism was scientific and not Utopian.

By scientific socialism what Karl Marx meant was that his brand of socialism was inevitable and inescapable and that society was moving towards it and that nothing could prevent its march. It is to prove this contention of his that Marx principally laboured. Marx’s contention rested on the following theses. They were:—

(i) That the purpose of philosophy is to reconstruct the world and not to explain the origin of the universe.

(ii) That the force which shapes the course of history are primarily economic.

(iii) That society is divided into two classes, owners and workers. (iv) That there is always a class conflict going on between the two classes.

(v) That the workers are exploited by the owners who misappropriate the surplus value, which is the result of the workers’ labour.

(vi) That this exploitation can be put an end to by nationalisation of the instruments of production i.e. abolition of private property.

(vii) That this exploitation is leading to greater and greater impoverishment of the workers.

(viii) That this growing impoverishment of the workers is resulting in a revolutionary spirit among the workers and the conversion of the class conflict into a class struggle.

(ix) That as the workers outnumber the owners, the workers are bound to capture the State and establish their rule, which he called the dictatorship of the proletariat.

(x) These factors are irresistible and therefore socialism is inevitable.

I hope I have reported correctly the propositions, which formed the original basis of Marxian Socialism.

III WHAT SURVIVES OF THE MARXIAN CREED

Before making a comparison between the ideologies of the Buddha and Karl Marx it is necessary to note how much of this original corpus of the Marxian creed has survived; how much has been disproved by history and how much has been demolished by his opponents.

The Marxian Creed was propounded sometime in the middle of the nineteenth century. Since then it has been subjected to much criticism. As a result of this criticism much of the ideological structure raised by Karl Marx has broken to pieces. There is hardly any doubt that Marxist claim that his socialism was inevitable has been completely disproved. The dictatorship of the Proletariat was first established in 1917 in one country after a period of something like seventy years after the publication of his Das Capital the gospel of socialism. Even when the Communism—which is another name for the dictatorship of the Proletariat—came to Russia, it did not come as something inevitable without any kind of human effort. There was a revolution and much deliberate planning had to be done with a lot of violence and blood shed, before it could step into Russia. The rest of the world is still waiting for coming of the Proletarian Dictatorship. Apart from this general falsification of the Marxian thesis that Socialism is inevitable, many of the other propositions stated in the lists have also been demolished both by logic as well as by experience. Nobody now I accepts the economic interpretation of history as the only explanation of history. Nobody accepts that the proletariat has been progressively pauperised. And the same is true about his other premises.

What remains of the Karl Marx is a residue of fire, small but still very important. The residue in my view consists of four items:

(i) The function of philosophy is to reconstruct the world and not to waste its time in explaining the origin of the world. (ii) That there is a conflict of interest between class and class. (iii) That private ownership of property brings power to one class and sorrow to another through exploitation.

(iv) That it is necessary for the good of society that the sorrow be removed by the abolition of private property.

IV COMPARISON BETWEEN BUDDHA AND KARL MARX

Taking the points from the Marxian Creed which have survived one may now enter upon a comparison between the Buddha and Karl Marx.

On the first point there is complete agreement between the Buddha and Karl Marx. To show how close is the agreement I quote below a part of the dialogue between Buddha and the Brahmin Potthapada.

“Then, in the same terms, Potthapada asked (the Buddha) each of the following questions:

1. Is the world not eternal?

2. Is the world finite?

3. Is the world infinite?

4. Is the soul the same as the body?

5. Is the soul one thing, and the body another?

6. Does one who has gained the truth live again after death ?

7. Does he neither live again, nor not live again, after death ? And to each question the exalted one made the same reply: It was this.

“That too, Potthapada, is a matter on which I have expressed no opinion “.

28. ” But why has the Exalted One expressed no opinion on that ? ” (Because) ‘This question is not calculated to profit, it is not concerned with (the Dhamma) it does not redound even to the elements of right conduct, nor to detachment nor to purification from lust, nor to quietude, nor to tranquillisation of heart, nor to real knowledge, nor to the insight (of the higher stages of the Path), nor to Nirvana. Therefore it is that I express no opinion upon it. ” On the second point I give below a quotation from a dialogue between Buddha and Pasenadi King of Kosala:

” Moreover, there is always strife going on between kings, between ‘ nobles, between Brahmins, between house holders, between mother and son, between son and father, between brother and sister, , between sister and brother, between companion and companion. . .” ‘ Although these are the words of Pasenadi, the Buddha did not deny that they formed a true picture of society.

As to the Buddha’s own attitude towards class conflict his doctrine ”. of Ashtanga Marga recognises that class conflict exists and that it is ; the class conflict which is the cause of misery.

On the third question I quote from the same dialogue of Buddha with Potthapada;

” Then what is it that the Exalted One has determined? ” ” I have expounded, Potthapada, that sorrow and misery exist! ” I have expounded, what is the origin of misery. I have expounded what is the cessation of misery: I have expounded what is method by which one may reach the cessation of misery.

30. ‘And why has the Exalted One put forth a statement as to that?’

‘ Because that questions Potthapada, is calculated to profit, is concerned with the Dhamma redounds to the beginnings of right conduct, to detachment, to purification from lusts, to quietude, to tranquillisation of heart, to real knowledge, to the insight of the higher stages of the Path and to Nirvana. Therefore is it, Potthapada that I have put forward a statement as to that. ‘

That language is different but the meaning is the same. If for misery one reads exploitation Buddha is not away from Marx.

On the question of private property the following extract from a dialogue between Buddha and Ananda is very illuminating. In reply to a question by Ananda the Buddha said:

“I have said that avarice is because of possession. Now in what way that is so, Ananda, is to be understood after this manner. Where there is no possession of any sort or kind whatever by any one or anything, then there being no possession whatever, would there, owing to this cessation of possession, be any appearance of avarice? ” ‘There would not. Lord”.

‘Wherefore, Ananda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of avarice, to wit, possession.

31. ‘I have said that tenacity is the cause possession. Now in what way that is so, Ananda, is to be understood after this manner. Were there no tenacity of any sort or kind whatever shown by any one with respect to any thing, then there being whatever, would there owing to this cessation of tenacity, be any appearance of possession? ‘ ‘There would not. Lord.’

‘Wherefore, Ananda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of possession, to wit tenacity. ‘ On the fourth point no evidence is necessary. The rules of the Bhikshu Sangh will serve as the best testimony on the subject.

According to the rules a Bhikku can have private property only in the following eight articles and no more. These eight articles are: —

1 I

2. } Three robes or pieces of cloth for daily wear.

3. I

4. A girdle for the loins.

5. An alms-bowl.

6. A razor.

7. A needle.

8. A water strainer.

Further a Bhikku was completely forbidden to receive gold or silver for fear that with gold or silver he might buy some thing beside the eight things he is permitted to have.

These rules are far more rigorous than are to be found in communism in Russia.

V THE MEANS

We must now come to the means. The means of bringing about Communism, which the Buddha propounded, were quite definite. The means can he decided into three parts. Part I consisted in observing the Pancha Silas. The Enlightenment gave birth to a new gospel, which contains the key to the solution of the problem, which was haunting him.

The foundation of the New Gospel is the fact that the world was full of misery and unhappiness. It was fact not merely to be noted but to be regarded as being the first and foremost in any scheme of salvation. The recognition of this fact the Buddha made the starting point of his gospel.

To remove this misery and unhappiness was to him the aim and object of the gospel if it is to serve any useful purpose.

Asking what could be the causes of this misery the Buddha found that there could be only two.

A part of the misery and unhappiness of man was the result of his own misconduct. To remove this cause of misery he preached the practice of Panch Sila.

The Panch Sila comprised the following observations: (1) To abstain from destroying or causing destruction of any living things (2) To abstain from stealing i.e. acquiring or keeping by fraud or violence, the property of another: (3) To Abstain from telling untruth: (4) To abstain from lust: (5) To abstain from intoxicating drinks.

A part of the misery and unhappiness in the world was according to the Buddha the result of man’s inequity towards man. How was this inequity to be removed ? For the removal of man’s inequity towards man the Buddha prescribed the Noble Eight-Fold Path. The elements of the Noble Fight-Fold Path are:

(1) Right views i.e. freedom from superstition: (2) Right aims, high and worthy of the intelligent and earnest men; (3) Right speech i.e. kindly, open, truthful: (4) Right Conduct i.e. peaceful, honest and pure; (5) Right livelihood i.e. causing hurt or injury to no living being; (6) Right perseverance in all the other seven; (7) Right mindfulness i.e. with a watchful and active mind; and (8) Right contemplation i.e. earnest thought on the deep mysteries of life.

The aim of the Noble Eight-Fold Path is to establish on earth the kingdom of righteousness, and thereby to banish sorrow and unhappiness from the face of the world.

The third part of the Gospel is the doctrine of Nibbana. The doctrine of Nibbana is an integral part of the doctrine of the Noble Eight-Fold Path. Without Nibbana the realisation of the Eight-Fold Path cannot be accomplished.

The doctrine of Nibbana tells what are the difficulties in the way of the realisation of the Eight-Fold Path.

The chiefs of these difficulties are ten in number. The Buddha called them the Ten Asavas, Fetters or Hindrances.

The first hindrance is the delusion of self. So long as a man is wholly occupied with himself, chasing after every bauble that he vainly thinks will satisfy the cravings of his heart, there is no noble path for him. Only when his eyes have been opened to the fact that he is but a tiny part of a measureless, whole, only when he begins to realise how impermanent a thing is his temporary individuality can he even enter upon this narrow path.

The second is Doubt and Indecision. When a man’s eyes are opened to the great mystery of existence, the impermanence of every individuality, he is likely to be assailed by doubt and indecision as to his action. To do or not to do, after all my individuality is impermanent, why do anything are questions, which make him indecisive or inactive. But that will not do in life. He must make up his mind to follow the teacher, to accept the truth and to enter on the struggle or he will get no further.

The third is dependence on the efficacy of Rites and Ceremonies. No good resolutions, however firm will lead to anything unless a man gets rid of ritualism: of the belief that any outward acts. any priestly powers, and holy ceremonies, can afford him an assistance of any kind. It is only when he has overcome this hindrance, that men can be said to have fairly entered upon the stream and has a chance sooner or later to win a victory.

” The fourth consists of the bodily passions… The fifth is ill will towards other individuals. The sixth is the suppression of the desire for a future life with a material body and the seventh is the desire for a future life in an immaterial world.

The eighth hindrance is Pride and nineth is self-righteousness. These are failings which it is most difficult for men to overcome, and to which superior minds are peculiarly liable a Praisaical contempt for those who are less able and less holy than themselves.

The tenth hindrance is ignorance. When all other difficulties are conquered this will even remain, the thorn in the flesh of the wise a.nd good, the last enemy and the bitterest foe of man.

Nibbana consists in overcoming these hindrances to the pursuit of the Noble Eight-Fold Path.

The doctrine of the Noble Eight-Fold Path tells what disposition of the mind which a person should sedulously cultivate. The doctrine of Nibbana tells of the temptation or hindrance which a person should earnestly overcome if he wishes to trade along with the Noble Eight-Fold Path

The Fourth Part of the new Gospel is the doctrine of Paramitas. The doctrine of Paraimitas inculcates the practice of ten virtues in one’s daily life.

These are those ten virtues—d) Panna (2) Sila (3) Nekkhama (4) Dana(5) Virya(6) Khanti(7) Succa(8) Aditthana(9) Mettaa-nd (10) Upekkha.

Panna or wisdom is the light that removes the darkenss of Avijja, Moha or Nescience. The Panna requires that one must get all his doubts removed by questioning those wiser than him self, associate with the wise and cultivate the different arts and sciences which help to develop the mind.

Sila is moral temperament, the disposition not to do evil and the disposition to do good; to be ashamed of doing wrong. To avoid doing evil for fear of punishment is Sila. Sila means fear of doing wrong. Nekkhama is renunciation of the pleasures of the world. Dana means the giving of one’s possessions, blood and limbs and even one’s life for the good of the others without expecting anything in return.

Virya is right endeavour. It is doing with all your might with thought never turning back, whatever you have undertaken to do.

Khanti is forbearance. Not to meet hatred by harted is the essence of it. For hatred is not appeased by hatred. It is appeased only by forbearance.

Succa is truth. An aspirant for Buddha never speaks a lie. His speech is truth and nothing but truth.

Aditthana is resolute determination to reach the goal. Metta is fellow feeling extending to all beings, foe and friend, beast and man.

Upekka is detachment as distinguished from indifference. It is a state of mind where there is neither like nor dislike. Remaining unmoved by the result and yet engaged in the pursuit of it.

These virtues one must practice to his utmost capacity. That is why they are called Paramitas (States of Perfection).

Such is the gospel the Buddha enunciated as a result of his enlightenment to end the sorrow and misery in the world.

It is clear that the means adopted by the Buddha were to convert a man by changing his moral disposition to follow the path voluntarily.

The means adopted by the Communists are equally clear, short and swift. They are (1) Violence and (2) Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

The Communists say that there are the only two means of establishing communism. The first is violence. Nothing short of it will suffice to break up the existing system. The other is dictatorship of the proletariat. Nothing short of it will suffice to continue the new system.

It is now clear what are the similarities and differences between Buddha and Karl Marx. The differences are about the means. The end is common to both.

VI EVALUATION OF MEANS

We must now turn to the evaluation of means. We must ask whose means are superior and lasting in the long run. There are, however some misunderstandings on both sides. It is necessary to clear them up. Take violence. As to violence there are many people who seem to shiver at the very thought of it. But this is only a sentiment. Violence cannot be altogether dispensed with. Even in non-communist countries a murderer is hanged. Does not hanging amount to violence? Non-communist countries go to war with non-communist countries. Millions of people are killed. Is this no violence? If a murderer can be killed, because he has killed a citizen, if a soldier can be killed in war because he belongs to a hostile nation why cannot a property owner be killed if his ownership leads to misery for the rest of humanity? There is no reason to make an exception in favour of the property owner, why one should regard private property as sacrosanct.

The Buddha was against violence. But he was also in favour of justice and where justice required he permitted the use of force. This is well illustrated in his dialogue with Sinha Senapati the Commander-in-Chief of Vaishali. Sinha having come to know that the Buddha preached Ahimsa went to him and asked:

“The Bhagvan preaches Ahimsa. Does the Bhagvan preach an offender to be given freedom from punishment? Does the Bhagvan preach that we should not go to war to save our wives, our children and our wealth? Should we suffer at the hands of criminals in the name of Ahimsa.?”

” Does the Tathagata prohibit all war even when it is in the interest of Truth and Justice?”

Buddha replied. You have wrongly understood what I have been preaching. An offender must be punished and an innocent man must be freed. It is not a fault of the Magistrate if he punishes an offender. The cause of punishment is the fault of the offender. The Magistrate who inflicts the punishment is only carrying out the law. He does not become stained with Ahimsa. A man who fights for justice and safety cannot be accused of Ahimsa. If all the means of maintaining peace have failed then the responsibility for Himsa falls on him who starts war. One must never surrender to evil powers. War there may be. But it must not be for selfish ends….”

There are of course other grounds against violence such as those urged by Prof. John Dewey. In dealing with those who contend that the end justifies the means is morally perverted doctrine, Dewey has rightly asked what can justify the means if not the end ? It is only the end that can justify the means.

Buddha would have probably admitted that it is only the end which would justify the means. What else could? And he would have said that if the end justified violence, violence was a legitimate means for the end in view. He certainly would not have exempted property owners from force if force were the only means for that end. As we shall see his means for the end were different. As Prof. Dewey has pointed out that violence is only another name for the use of force and although force must be used for creative purposes a distinction between use of force as energy and use of force as violence needs to be made. The achievement of an end involves the destruction of many other ends, which are integral with the one that is sought to be destroyed. Use of force must be so regulated that it should save as many ends as possible in destroying the evil one. Buddha’s Ahimsa was not as absolute as the Ahimsa preached by Mahavira the founder of Jainism. He would have allowed force only as energy. The communists preach Ahimsa as an absolute principle. To this the Buddha was deadly opposed.

As to Dictatorship the Buddha would have none of it. He was born a democrat and he died a democrat. At the time he lived there were 14 monarchical states and 4 republics. He belonged to the Sakyas and the Sakya’s kingdom was a republic. He was extremely in love with Vaishali which was his second home because it was a republic. Before his Mahaparinirbban he spent his Varshavasa in Vaishali. After the completion of his Varshavasa he decided to leave Vaishali and go elsewhere as was his wont. After going some distance he looked back on Vaishali and said to Ananda. “This is the last look of Vaishali which the Tathagata is having “. So fond was he of this republic.

He was a thorough equalitarian. Originally the Bhikkus, including the Buddha himself, wore robes made of rags. This rule was enunciated to prevent the aristocratic classes from joining the Sangh. Later Jeevaka the great physician prevailed upon the Buddha to accept a robe, which was made of a whole cloth. The Buddha at once altered the rule and extended it to all the monks.

Once the Buddha’s mother Mahaprajapati Gotami who had joined the Bhikkuni Sangh heard that the Buddha had got a chill. She at once started preparing a scarf for him. After having completed it she took to the Buddha and asked him to wear it. But he refused to accept it saying that if it is a gift it must be a gift to the whole Sangh and not to an individual member of the Sangh. She pleaded and pleaded but he refused to yield.

The Bhikshu Sangh had the most democratic constitution. He was only one of the Bhikkus. At the most he was like a Prime Minister among members of the Cabinet. He was never a dictator. Twice before his death he was asked to appoint some one as the head of the Sangh to control it. But each time he refused saying that the Dhamma is the Supreme Commander of the Sangh. He refused to be a dictator and refused to appoint a dictator.

What about the value of the means? Whose means are superior and lasting in the long run?

Can the Communists say that in achieving their valuable end they have not destroyed other valuable ends? They have destroyed private property. Assuming that this is a valuable end can the Communists say that they have not destroyed other valuable end in the process of achieving it? How many people have they killed for achieving their end. Has human life no value ? Could they not have taken property without taking the life of the owner ?

Take dictatorship. The end of Dictatorship is to make the Revolution a permanent revolution. This is a valuable end. But can the Communists say that in achieving this end they have not destroyed other valuable ends ? Dictatorship is often defined as absence of liberty or absence of Parliamentary Government. Both interpretations are not quite clear. There is no liberty even when there is Parliamentary Government. For law means want of liberty. The difference between Dictatorship and Parliamentary Govt. lies in this. In Parliamentary Government every citizen has a right to criticise the restraint on liberty imposed by the Government. In Parliamentary Government you have a duty and a right; the duty to obey the law and right to criticise it. In Dictatorship you have only duty to obey but no right to criticise it.

VII WHOSE MEANS ARE MORE EFFICACIOUS

We must now consider whose means are more lasting. One has to choose between Government by force and Government by moral disposition.

As Burke has said force cannot be a lasting means. In his speech on conciliation with America he uttered this memorable warning:

” First, Sir, permit me to observe, that the use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again; and a nation is not governed which is perpetually to be conquered. ”

” My next objection is its uncertainty. Terror is not always the effect of force, and an armament is not a victory. If you do not succeed, you are without resource, for, conciliation failing, force remains; but force failing, no further hope of reconciliation is left. Power and authority are sometimes bought by kindness; but they can never be begged as alms by an impoverished and defeated violence.

A further objection to force is that you impair the object by your very endeavours to preserve it. The thing you fought for is the thing, which you recover, but depreciated, sunk, wasted and consumed in the contest. ”

In a sermon addressed to the Bhikkus the Buddha has shown the difference between the rule by Righteousness and Rule by law i.e. force. Addressing the Brethren he said:

(2) Long ago, brethren, there was Sovereign overlord named Strongtyre, a king ruling in righteousness, lord of the four quarters of the earth, conqueror, the protector of his people. He was the possessor of the celestial wheel. He lived in supremacy over this earth to its ocean bounds, having conquered it, not by the courage, by the sword, but by righteousness.

(3) Now, brethren, after many years, after many hundred years. after manu thousand years, king Strongtyre command a certain man, saying:

“Thou should est see, Sir, the Celestial Wheel has sunk a little, has slipped down from its place, bring me word. ”

Now after many many hundred years had slipped down from its place On seeing this he went to King Strongtyre and said: “Know. sir, for a truth that the Celestial Wheel has sunk, has slipped down from its place. ”

The king Strongtyre, brethren, let the prince his eldest son be sent for and speak thus:

‘ Behold, dear boy, my Celestial Wheel has sunk a little, has slipped down from its place. Now it has been told me; If the Celestial Wheel of a wheel turning King shall sink down, shall slip down from its place, that king has not much longer to live. I have had my fill of human pleasures; ‘It’s time to seek after divine joys, Come, dear boy, take thou charge over this earth bounded by the ocean. But I, shaving, hair and beard, and donning yellow robes, will go forth from home into the homeless state.

So brethren. King Strongtyre, having in due form established his eldest son on the throne, shaved hair and bearded, donned yellow robes and went forth from home into homeless state. But on the seventh day after the royal hermit had gone forth, the Celestial Wheel disappeared.

(4) Then a certain man went to the King, and told him, saying: Know, 0 King, for a truth, that the Celestial Wheel has disappeared!

Then that King, brethren, was grieved thereat and afflicted with sorrow. And he went to the royal hermit, and told him, saying, Know, sir, for a truth, that the Celestial Wheel has disappeared.

And the anointed king so saying, the royal hermit made reply. Grieve thou not, dear son, that the Celestial Wheel has disappeared, nor be afflicted that the Celestial Wheel has disappeared. For no paternal heritage of thin, dear son, is the Celestial Wheel. But verily, dear son, turn thou in the Ariyan turning of the Wheel-turners. (Act up to the noble ideal of duty set before themselves by the true sovereigns of the world). Then it may well be that if thou carry out the Ariyan duty of a Wheel-turning Monarch, and on the feast of the moon thou wilt for, with bathed head to keep the feast on the chief upper terrace, to the Celestial Wheel will manifest, itself with its thousand spokes its tyre, navel and all its part complete. (5) ‘Put what, sire is this Ariya duty of a Wheel-turning Monarch?’ This, dear son, that thou, leaning on the Norm (the law of truth and righteousness) honouring, respecting and revering it, doing homage to it, hallowing it, being thyself a Norm-banner, a Norm-signal, having the Norm as thy master, should provide the right watch, ward, and protection for thine own folk, for the army, for the nobles, for vassals, for brahmins and house holders, for town and country dwellers, for the religious world, and for beasts and birds. Throughout thy kingdom let no wrongdoing prevail. And whosoever in thy kingdom is poor, to him let wealth be given.

‘ And when dear son, in thy kingdom men of religious life, renouncing the carelessness arising from intoxication of the senses, and devoted to forbearance and sympathy, each mastering self, each claiming self, each protecting self, shall come to thee from time to time, and question the concerning what is good and what is bad. what is criminal and what is not, what is to be done and what is to be left undone, what line of action will in the long run work for weal or for woe, thou shouldest hear what they have to say and thou shouldest deter them from evil, and bid them take up what is good. This, dear son, is the Ariyan duty of a sovereign of the world.’

‘ Even so, ‘ sire, answered the anointed king, and obeying, and carried out the Ariyan duty of a sovereign lord. To him, thus behaving, when on the feast of the full moon he had gone in the observance with bathed head to the chief upper Terrance the Celestial Wheel revealed itself, with its thousand spokes, its tyre. its naval, and all its part complete. And seeing this is occurred to the king: ‘ It has been told me that a king to whom on such a occasion the Celestial Wheel reveals itself completely, becomes a Wheel-turning monarch. May I even I also become a sovereign of the world.’

(6) Then brethren, the king arose from his seat and uncovering his robe from one shoulder, took in his left hand a pitcher, and with his right hand sprinkled up over the Celestial Wheel, saying: ‘ Roll onward, O Lord Wheel! Go forth and overcome, O Lord Wheel ! ‘ Then, brethren, the Celestial Wheel rolled onwards towards the region of the East. and after it went the Wheel-turning king, and with him his army, horses and chariots and elephants and men. And in whatever place, brethren, the wheel stopped, there the king, the victorious war-lord, took up his abode, and with him his fourfold army. Then the all, the rival kings in the region of the East came to the sovereign king and said ‘Come, O mighty king! Welcome, O mighty king! All is thine, O mighty King! Teach us, O mighty king! ‘

The king, the sovereign war-lord, speak thus: ‘Ye shall slay no living thing. Ye shall not take that which has not been given. Ye shall not act wrongly touching bodily desires. Ye shall speak no lie. Ye shall drink no maddening drink. Enjoy your possessions as you have been wont to do.’

(7) Then, brethern, the Celestial Wheel, plunging down to the Eastern ocean, rose up out again, and rolled onwards to the region of the south…. (and there all happened as had happened in the East). And in like manner the Celestial Wheel, plunging into Southern ocean, rose up out again and rolled onward to the region of the West. . . and of the North: and there too happened as had happened in the Southern and West.

Then when the Celestial Wheel had gone forth conquering over the whole earth to its ocean boundary, it returned to the royal city, and stood, so that one might think it fixed, in front of the judgement hall at entrance to the inner apartments of the king, the Wheel-turner, lighting up with its glory the facade of the inner apartments of the king, the sovereign of the world.

(8) And a second king. brethern, also a Wheel-turning monarch,. . . and a third. . . and a fourth. . . and a fifth. . . and a sixth. . . and a seventh king, a victorious war-lord, after many years, after many hundred years, after many thousand years, command a certain man, saying:

‘If thou should’est see, sirrah, that the Celestial Wheel has sunk down, has slid from its place, bring me word.’ ‘Even so, sire.’ replied the man.

So after many years, after many hundred years, after many thousand years, that man saw that the Celestial Wheel had sunk down, had become dislodged from its place. And so seeing he went to the king, the warlord, and told him.

Then that king did (even as Strongtyre had done). And on the seventh day after the royal hermit had gone forth the Celestial Wheel disappeared.

Then a certain man went and told the King. Then the King was grieved at the disappearance of the wheel, and afflicted with grief. But he did not go to the hermit-king to ask concerning, the Ariyan Duty of sovereign war-lord. But his own ideas, forsooth, he governed his people; and they so governed differently from what they had been. did not prosper as they used to do under former kings who had carried out the Arivan duty of a sovereign king.

Then, brethren, the ministers and courtiers, the finance officials, the guards and door keepers and they who lived by sacred verses came to the King and speak thus:

‘Thy people, O king. whilst thou governest them by thine own ideas differently from the way to which they were used when former kings were carrying out the Arivan Duty prosper not. Now there are in thy kingdom ministers and courtiers, finance officers, guards and custodians, and they who live by sacred verses—both all of us and others—who keep the knowledge of the Ariyan duty of the sovereign king. to ! O king. do thou ask us concerning it: to thee thus asking will we declare it.’

9. Then, brethren, the king, having made the ministers and all the rest sit down together, asked them about the Ariyan duty of Sovereign war-lord. And they declared it unto him. And when he had heard them, he did provide the due watch and ward protection, but on the destitute he bestowed no wealth and because this was not done, poverty became widespread.

When poverty was thus become rife, a certain man took that which others had not given him, what people call by theft. Him they caught, and brought before the king, saying: ‘This man, O king has taken that which was not given to him and that is theft’.

Thereupon the king speak thus to the man. ‘Is it true sirrah, that thou hast taken what no man gave thee, hast committed what men call theft.’ It is true, O king.’ ‘But why?’

‘O king, I have nothing to keep me alive.’ Then the king bestowed wealth on that man, saying: ‘With this wealth sir, do thou both keep thyself alive, maintain thy parents, maintain children and wife, carry on thy business.’ ‘Even so, O king,’ replied the man.

10. Now another man, brethren, took by theft what was not given him. Him they caught and brought before the king and told him., saying: ‘this man, O king, hath taken by theft what was not given him’.

And the king (spoke and did even as he had spoken and done to the former man.)

II. Now men heard brethren, that to them who had taken by theft what was not given them, the King was giving wealth. And hearing they thought, let us then take by theft what has not been given us.

Now a certain man did so. And him they caught and charged before the king who (as before) asked him why he had stolen. ‘Because, O king I cannot maintain myself. Then the king thought: If I bestow wealth on anyone so ever who has taken by theft what was not given him, there will be hereby and increase of this stealing. Let me now put final stop to this and inflict condign punishment on him, have his head cut off!

So he bade his man saying ‘ now look ye! bind this man’s arms behind him with a strong rope and tight knot, shave his head bald, lead him around with a harsh sounding drum, from road to road, from cross ways to cross ways, take him out by the southern gate and to the south of the town, put a final stop to this, inflict on him uttermost penalty, cut of his head.’

‘ Even so, O king ‘ answered the men, and carried out his commands.

12. Now men heard, brethren, that they who took by theft what was not given them were thus put to death. And hearing they thought, let us also now have sharp swords made ready for themselves, and them from whom we take what is not given us—what they call them— let us put a final stop to them, inflict on them uttermost penalty., and their heads off.

And they got themselves sharp swords, and came forth to sack village and town and city, and to work highway robbery. And then whom they robbed they made an end of, cutting off their heads.

13. Thus, brethren, from goods not being bestowed on the destitute poverty grieve rife; from poverty growing rife stealing increased, from the spread of stealing violence grew space, from the growth of violence the destruction of life common, from the frequency of murder both the span of life in those beings and their comeliness also (diminished).

Now among humans of latter span of life, brethren, a certain took by theft what was not given him and even as those others was accused before the king and questioned if it was true that he had stolen. ‘Nay, O king,’ he replied, ‘they are deliberately telling lies.’ 14. Thus from goods not being bestowed on the destitute, poverty grew rife… stealing… violence… murder… until lying grew common.

Again a certain man reported to the king, saying ‘ such and such a man, O king! has taken by theft what was not given him ‘— thus speaking evil of him.

15. And so, brethren, from goods not being bestowed on the destitute poverty grew rife… stealing… violence… murder… lying… evil speaking grew abundant.

16. From lying there grew adultery.

17. Thus from goods not being bestowed on the destitute, poverty… stealing… violence… murder… lying… evil speaking. . . immorality grew rife.

18. Among (them) brethren, three things grew space incest, wanton greed and perverted lust.

Then these things grew apace lack of filial piety to mother and father, lack of religious piety to holy men, lack of regard for the head of the clan.

19. There will come a time, brethren, when the descendants of those humans will have a life-span of ten years. Among humans of this life span, maidens of five years will be of a marriageable age. Among such humans these kinds of tastes (savours) will disappear; ghee, butter, oil of tila, sugar, salt. Among such humans kudrusa grain will be the highest kind of food. Even as to-day rice and curry is the highest kind of food, so will kudrusa grain will be then. Among such humans the ten moral courses of conduct will altogether disappear, the tenimmoral courses of action will flourish excessively; there will be no word for moral among such humans, the ten moral courses of conduct will altogether disappear, the ten immoral courses of action will flourish excessively, there will be no word for moral among such humans—far less any moral agent. Among such humans, brethren, they who lack filian and religious piety, and show no respect for the Head of the clan—’tis they to whom homage and praise will be given, just as to-day homage and praise are given to the filial minded, to the pious and to them who respect the heads of their clans.

20. Among such humans, brethren, there will be no (such thoughts of reverence as are a bar to intermarriage with) mother, or mother’s sister, or mother’s sister-in-law, or teacher’s wife, or father’s sister-in-law. The world will fall into promiscuity, like goats and sheep, fowls and swine, dogs and jackals.

Among such humans, brethren keen mutual enmity will become the rule, keen ill-will, keen animosity, passionate thoughts even of killing, in a mother towards her child, in a child towards its father, in brother to brother, in brother to sister, in sister to brother. Just a sportsman feels towards the game that he sees, so will they feel.

This is probably the finest picture of what happens when moral force fails and brutal force takes its place. What the Buddha wanted was that each man should be morally so trained that he may himself become a sentinel for the kingdom of righteousness.

VIII WITHERING AWAY OF THE STATE

The Communists themselves admit that their theory of the State as a permanent dictatorship is a weakness in their political philosophy. They take shelter under the plea that the State will ultimately wither away. There are two questions, which they have to answer. When will it wither away? What will take the place of the State when it withers away? To the first question they can give no definite time. Dictatorship for a short period may be good and a welcome thing even for making Democracy safe. Why should not Dictatorship liquidate itself after it has done its work, after it has removed all the obstacles and boulders in the way of democracy and has made the path of Democracy safe. Did not Asoka set an example? He practised violence against the Kalingas. But thereafter he renounced violence completely. If our victor’s to-day not only disarm their victims but also disarm themselves there would be peace all over the world.

The Communists have given no answer. At any rate no satisfactory answer to the question what would take the place of the State when it withers away, though this question is more important than the question when the State will wither away. Will it. be succeeded by Anarchy? If so the building up of the Communist State is an useless effort. If it cannot be sustained except by force and if it results in anarchy when the force holding it together is withdraws what good is the Communist State. The only thing, which could sustain it after force is withdrawn, is Religion. But to the Communists Religion is anathema. Their hatred to Religion is so deep seated that they will not even discriminate between religions which are helpful to Communism and religions which are not; The Communists have carried their hatred of

Christianity to Buddhism without waiting to examine the difference between the two. The charge against Christianity levelled by the Communists was two fold. Their first charge against Christianity was that they made people other worldliness and made them suffer poverty in this world. As can be seen from quotations from Buddhism in the earlier part of this tract such a charge cannot be levelled against Buddhism.

The second charge levelled by the Communists against Christianity cannot be levelled against Buddhism. This charge is summed up in the statement that Religion is the opium of the people. This charge is based upon the Sermon on the Mount which is to be found in the Bible. The Sermon on the Mount sublimates poverty and weakness. It promises heaven to the poor and the weak. There is no Sermon on the Mount to be found in the Buddha’s teachings. His teaching is to acquire wealth. I give below his Sermon on the subject to Anathapindika one of his disciples.

Once Anathapindika came to where the Exalted One was staying. Having come he made obeisance to the Exalted One and took a seat at one side and asked ‘Will the Enlightened One tell what things are welcome, pleasant, agreeable, to the householder but which are hard to gain.’

The Enlightened One having heard the question put to him said ‘ Of such things the first is to acquire wealth lawfully.’

‘The second is to see that your relations also get their wealth lawfully.’

‘The third is to live long and reach great age.’ ‘Of a truth, householder, for the attainment of these four things, which in the world are welcomed, pleasant agreeable but hard to gain, there are also four conditions precedent. They are the blessing of faith, the blessing of virtuous conduct, the blessing of liberality and the blessing of wisdom.

The Blessing of virtuous conduct which abstains From taking life, thieving, unchastely, lying and partaking of fermented liquor.

The blessing of liberality consists in the householder living with mind freed from the taint of avarice, generous, open-handed, delighting in gifts, a good one to be asked and devoted to the distribution of gifts.

Wherein consists the blessing of Wisdom? He know that an householder who dwells with mind overcome by greed, avarice, ill-will, sloth, drowsiness, distraction and flurry, and also about, commits wrongful deeds and neglects that which ought to be done, and by so doing deprived of happiness and honour.

Greed, avarice, ill will, sloth and drowsiness, distraction and flurry and doubt are stains of the mind. A householder who gets rid of such stains of the mind acquires great wisdom, abundant wisdom, clear vision and perfect wisdom.

Thus to acquire wealth legitimately and justly, earn by great industry, amassed by strength of the arm and gained by sweat of the brow is a great blessing. The householder makes himself happy and cheerful and preserves himself full of happiness; also makes his parents, wife, and children, servants, and labourers, friends and companions happy and cheerful, and preserves them full of happiness. The Russians do not seem to be paying any attention to Buddhism as an ultimate aid to sustain Communism when force is withdrawn.

The Russians are proud of their Communism. But they forget that the wonder of all wonders is that the Buddha established Communism so far as the Sangh was concerned without dictatorship. It may be that it was a communism on a very small scale but it was communism I without dictatorship a miracle which Lenin failed to do.

The Buddha’s method was different. His method was to change the mind of man: to alter his disposition: so that whatever man does, he does it voluntarily without the use of force or compulsion. His main means to alter the disposition of men was his Dhamma and the constant preaching of his Dhamma. The Buddhas way was not to force people to do what they did not like to do although it was good for them. His way was to alter the disposition of men so that they would do voluntarily what they would not otherwise to do.

It has been claimed that the Communist Dictatorship in Russia has wonderful achievements to its credit. There can be no denial of it. That is why I say that a Russian Dictatorship would be good for all backward countries. But this is no argument for permanent Dictatorship. Humanity does not only want economic values, it also wants spiritual values to be retained. Permanent Dictatorship has paid no attention to spiritual values and does not seem to intend to. Carlyle called Political Economy a Pig Philosophy. Carlyle was of course wrong. For man needs material comforts” But the Communist Philosophy seems to be equally wrong for the aim of their philosophy seems to be fatten pigs as though men are no better than pigs. Man must grow materially as well as spiritually. Society has been aiming to lay a new foundation was summarised by the French Revolution in three words, Fraternity, Liberty and Equality. The French Revolution was welcomed because of this slogan. It failed to produce equality. We welcome the Russian Revolution because it aims to produce equality. But it cannot be too much emphasised that in producing equality society cannot afford to sacrifice fraternity or liberty. Equality will be of no value without fraternity or liberty. It seems that the three can coexist only if one follows the way of the Buddha. Communism can give one but not all.

77. Milinda - March 5, 2008

Read above classic on Buddha or Karl Marx by Dr. Ambedkar

78. Milinda - March 5, 2008

Dr Vasu is a voracious fan of Atrocitynews articles. We would like to bring in front of larger audience his angered comments on Dr Ambedkar’s leadership in contemporary world wherein Dr Vasu castigates Dr Ambedkar’s approach towards Buddhism as ’sham’. NO wonders; Dr Vasu represents elite (celebrated brahminical) Buddhist camp who have least time to see change that is been brought in the lives of millions of millions by Dr Ambedkar’s deeds. His life and thoughts will continue to inspire modern world as a Modern Buddha; despite elite Brahminical clouds casting on the way.

Here Atrocitynews EDITOR of the WEEK clears the clouds set in by Dr Vasu’s ignorance. ATN Editor replies him pointwise; readers may add on:

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ATN Editor: It is good to read your comment, Dr VAsu on Atrocity News. Thank you so much, but without knowing your position and sources of your information on Dr. Ambedkar, Indian Buddhist movement, Indian ‘classed and treated as the untouchables’ and Indian situation, we did not publish it on the public forum. Your content is highly biased and in this light, it will be very important to deal with it on a personal basis first as one of the factors in writing that content can be your ignorance about situation in India and also lack of practice and study of “Buddhism”, needless to say, that of Dr. Ambedkar and his movement. Please follow my comments in blue below:

Dr Vasu: Ambedkar’s Buddhism is the very anti-thesis of the actual Buddhism taught by Gautama the Buddha and his enlightened followers in the different traditions.

ATN Editor: The myth of actual Buddhism: No one can safely claim what is the “actual Buddhism”, there is a basic Buddhism, which one can begin to use in one’s life to further one’s progress on the path of enlightenment. Even it is very difficult to come to “Basic Buddhism” and it will need a lot of digging in the debris of accumulated from the past and interpretations and commentaries by many individuals. In this light, if as a Buddhism, we should see what works for us in a given situation, which will help us to free from the “nagative” and “destructive” emotions. However, it is also important to deal with the ideas that entrap us perpetually and bind us to the speculative theories of “origin of the world” and “God” and “Soul”. This is what the Buddha is doing in many Sutras, including the famous Kalama Sutta in which the Buddha is asking humanity to look into their beliefs. The Buddha is also challenging us to look into how the languages and words can tyranise the humanity. Therefore, the basic Buddhism, is something that challenges our intellect, ideas and concepts and makes us deal with the real situation, which is the “existence of suffering” and way out of it. The Buddha asserted that suffering is not something personal, but it is also social and spiritual (Spiritual in terms of our inability to see the things the way they are). Gautama Buddha was a practical man and concerned with ending the suffering of humanity on various levels. And so was Ambedkar, however the reality of suffering that Ambedkar was dealing with was very different from that of the time of the Buddha. In a way, Dr. Ambedkar’s whole life and mission is nothing but fight against ending suffering of humanity. As a Metta Bhavana practice, here is an exercise for you. Imagine yourself carrying human excreta on your head and feel the feeling that might well in your heart. Try to bear with it. Try to deal with it and you will realise the brilliance of Ambedkar as to how he was dealing with the problem in India. If you say that Ambedkar’s Buddhism is anti-thesis ro actual Buddhism, the same statement can be easily extended to Nagarjuna, who made so many speculations about Shunyata, when the historic Buddha did not really talk much about it. Same with the Zen Buddhists, who would ask you to “kill” the Buddha. My point is to explain that there are various modes of communication, depending on the audiences and situation. Had this not been the case, the Buddha would have given only a few discourses. Buddha gave discourses in order to make people enlarge their experiences.

About Basic Buddhism, I have my own set of ideas and you can share your own set of ideas as to what might be the “actual Buddhism”. The threefold practice of ethics, concentration and wisdom is the basic. Not believing something which can not be experienced directly, such as God and Bramhan and Atma. Not to speculate but deal with how suffering originates and how it can be dealt at that instant of time, without speculating about the “arrow” and also make arrangements that “the arrow” will not hurt the humanity again and again. The “arrow” of caste is affecting Indian minds and even today many people are dehumanised and killed in the name of caste. The study published in 2006 proved that untouchability is still practiced in India. It will be wonderful to see how you will aproach the situation as it is today.

Dr Vasu: The unequivocal first premise of Buddhism that can be explicitly deciphered from the tripitaka pali canons and the later scriptures in the theravada and mahayana traditions is that hatred can never be conquered by hatred and the end do not justify means. This is the unique message of the Buddha. Ambedkar buddhism is highly steeped in hatred, revenge and victim conciousness. Ambedkar’s buddhism is much closer to marxist interpretation of relgion with the substitution of class with caste than with Buddhism. Ambedkar literature is rife with hate speech, machiavellian politiking and sectarian propoganda to garner power than with genuine concern and compassion for the weak and suffering.

ATN Editor: This is begging the question and a case of creating a strawman. Had Ambedkar wanted not to cease hate by non hate, he would have as a reactionary methods, converted to Islam or Christianity and the whole Indian subcontinent would have been a zone of unending hatred. When Ambedkar is talking about caste system, he is very direct to speak against such an inhuman institution that dehumanises humanity and also treats human beings less than the animals. Ambedkar never justified violence, he said it time and again and you can refer to his famous speech “Buddha or Marx”. He criticises Marx for supporting violence and in fact he called Marxism, to use, Carlyle’s term, Pig’s philosophy, however he did not oppose Marx on “Exploitation” of one class by another class, but Ambedkar enlarged the scope and said that more than exploitation the Buddha is concerned about “Dukkha” or “human suffering”. If we accept the testimony of Tripitaka, the way our historic Buddha criticised the bad practices in the society can be just like Ambedkar’s so called hate speech and sectarian propaganda. The purpose of the historic Buddha and in our times that of Ambedkar is to awaken the humanity from its “deep slumber”. You cant be compassionate and sleeping at the same time.

Dr Vasu: The next myth perpetuated by Ambedkar and his followers is that the Buddha never beleived in the Law of Karma. The law of karma is the cornerstone of Buddhism as can be evidenced from the traditional buddhist literature and also through the current living traditional teaachings in the different schools of Buddhism in china, thailand, Sri lanka, tibet, japan, korea and many others.

ATN Editor: Ambedkar very much supported the doctrine of Karma, but it was a doctrine of Karma taught by the Buddha and not by other teachers of his times. The interpretation of Ambedkar makes Buddhism more practical and brilliance of Ambedkar lies in making Karma (ethical action/ or unethical action) a practical teaching. For him the Karma is not a ritual action, or not a residue of past that is clinging to you like a muck all the time, but it is a dimension of your consciousness that can be effectively used to make oneself an instrument of removing suffering of one’s own and that of society. Traditional Buddhists have begin to understand this now, I would like you to refer you to the great Thai Bhikkhu, Buddhadasa, who wrote a criticism of Buddhaghosha and tried to make even ‘Paticcasamuppad’ into a practice of ending suffering. Buddhists are now asserting that the consciousness is natural and the birth is biological and not just karmic!! A Buddhist will not accept the transmigration of “substance” from one birth to another at all.

Dr Vasu: The third myth perpetuated by Ambedkar and his followers is that Buddhism was a social movement against Brahmins. Indeed Buddha condemned the rituals, practices of discrimination in any form and the caste system. However majority of the buddha’s disciples were from the Brahmin Clergy as they were more exposed to the theological discourses of the times and were the first people to accept and follow the Buddha. Also among the later Buddhist masters we find many Brahmins like Nagarjuna, Naropa, Saraha, TIlopa and many others. Esentially Brahmin was a caste of the clergy and the theologicians and Buddhists were the Monks and Nuns. The people who were drawn into the fold were brahmins, kshatryias and many other castes. Read also the ‘Canto of the brahmin’ from the Dhammapada, wherin the buddha extols the ideals of a Brahmin and also condems the false practices of purported Brahminism. Infact the lifestyle and rituals of so called Brahminical yogis, vedantis, Jains and some other sects have an overbearing similarity with the buddhist asceticism. Note also the respect, awe and reverence that Buddha is held in the ancient and modern yogic, vedantic and tantric traditions of Hinduism.

ATN Editor: One of the aspects of the movement was against discrimination and it is still against the discrimination. The Buddha would have not founded the Sangha, had he not dreamt of an ideal society, which is casteless and classless. This is evident in one of the five dreams that Siddhartha saw before his enlightenment. The four birds of different colours (symbolising the four Varnas) coming in contact with the Buddha and becoming “white” birds. This is a Buddha’s dream of a casteless and classless society, we can further say that it is also a dream of raceless and genderless society. The Buddha described the Bramhins as the Kutadanta means sharp teeth-ed ones, just like vampires who suck the blood of the common people. Far from awe, the Bramhins hated Buddha so much that they have often called him thief and maya.

Dr. Vasu: The fourth myth is that ‘hinduism’ or the culture of indians at that time which worshipped such gods as indra, brahma, shiva were antithetical to the Buddha’s teachings. Infact the Buddhist worldview and cosmology is quite similar to the popular traditions of vedas, yoga, sankya except for finer technical details which can be no subject for political discourse but rather belongs to the realm of ontology. This can be evidenced in places where buddhism was exported from India like in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, China and Japan. They have a host of ‘hindu’ gods, myths, stories which is also part of the buddhist package.

ATN Editor: One can clearly note that the Buddha was up against the supernatural powers and the self proclaimed gods on the earth. Wherever possible he used the helpful myths of his time to communicate the highest truth to the masses, per se he never advocated that they are essential elements in the process of enlightenment. In short, it can be said that its a brilliance of enlightened mind to use and also not use what is beneficial for the humanity. This is what Ambedkar did. In the modern society, these myths are not helpful at all, because the scientific methods teach us the most uptodated cosmology. We can not say that Mt. Meru is the centre of the universe, it is a mythical cosmology. The sooner the humanity gives it up, the better. We should examine the past clearly and let it not become the rival of the present.

Dr Vasu: The essence of Buddhism is social transformation through individual transformation by transcending the conditioning imposed by society like caste, class, creed, nationality, ethnic identities and so on. Ambedkar’s Buddhism just reinforces conditioning to a far greater extent and can be no means of liberation to either the followers or the ones who are targeted by them. In a nutshell the Buddhism of Ambedkar is a sham.

ATN Editor: You are right in pointing to the essence of Buddhism very clearly. However without a particular society, individual transformation is an impossibility for the masses. Had Buddha not created a society, it would have been difficult for us to even walk the path of the enlightenment. If you see it clearly, then you will realise that “outer” conditions are very important, if not essential for individual liberation and therefore right form of society or creation of it is as important as individual transformation. The Buddha was a social critique and he challenged all the notions that entrapped humanity, he was also called sham by the people, who could not understand his vision, of his times. You are right in judging Buddhism of Ambedkar as “sham” because it is clearly evidenced from your content that you have not read Ambedkar fully, nor you are aware of Indian situation, even if you are, you might have a very limited experience.

We would like to invite you to India and see for yourself what Buddhism really is.

79. Saint - March 5, 2008

Milinda,
Thanks for the insight on Buddha, John Dewey and Dr.B.R.Ambedar (I am familiar with and have great respect to these great humanitarians), also about Marx (I am not so much familiar with Marx nor I read about him, so I can’t comment on Marx).

Here we are talking about the “human sufferings” the means and ends of it at a time point of the human civilization where we can reach a single gene and modify a behavior or treat a disease or change a trait of a cell or a living organism (just the amount of knowledge we developed in the recent centuries).

We have reached a stage where we can use a single gene transfer or eliminate a gene to carry out gene therapy for some debilitating disease (we are close to)!?, at such a time point of the history of this world or universe, at this same era, there are uncivilized society, a society riddled with human discrimination (suffering of the highest order) in the name of caste, religious belief and god worshiping, that is not only unacceptable to Buddhist but this is one of the major area of Buddha’s work, he preached and practiced that all humans are equal. The Hindus and some Indians (whether Hindu, Christian or Muslim, they are all hinduised to a greater extent and practice caste discrimination in India and abroad, even today!?).

This very practice that is ongoing full pledged at this era of human civilization should not be tolerated by any humans, let alone by Buddhists- the peace lovers and good humanitarians.

The extent and severity of hindu’s practice of human discrimination and the ill treatment and humiliation they perpetuate on poor and innocent Indians and woman is just beyond any words can express (which is the greatest form of human suffering forced upon by ill minded people).

More than half of India lives below poverty line, besides being subjugated and humiliated as lowly creatures in the name of caste and barbaric religious beliefs. The hindu’s continue to do everything possible to oppress further, Vasu like people with there shallow knowledge, lack of grasp of truth, narrow understanding and lack of insights will do their best to make derogatory remarks on such a great scholar and humanitarians like Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, if he or she opens up their mind and read about Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, their whole life will change for better and they can make a difference in other’s lives, but I am certain that their corrupted mind is destined to believe in certain things is hard wired, there is no room for change, improvement or reorganization as to respect other humans with dignity, but only belief they have is to to believe as upper and lower castes, they can not make a single progressive step further with such attitudes and mind framework. They would come here to even stop such an open and democratic discussion of issues of what is relevant to a Buddhist and what is not?.

People like Vasu and few more disguised with Buddhists names like Bhikku and Gowtham cannot imbibe the truth, ongoing reality and current happenings right in front of their eyes.

The Buddhism revival was set in India by these great dalits long time ago, first it was set by Iyothi Dasar from Tamil Nadu, later it was set by Dr.Ambedkar and others, this revival process is a growing exponentially in the Indian continent as we speak and so outside India too!, while Buddhism became a national religion in many south east Asian countries that was brought from India, it is almost facing a demise in the native of India where the Buddhism was born.

Thankfully, the effort and perseverance of great humans like Iyothi Dassar and Dr.B.R.Ambedkar who dedicated their life to bring the Buddhism back to India is full pledged now…!!. This fact/truth is not tolerable to hindus and even many Buddhists are not aware of this progress in India, they do not know how important it is to revive the Buddhism in India. It is of great importance mainly because of the extent of suffering that these innocent Indians undergo in the name of caste system, this is happening even after 2500 years after Lord Buddha’s death. Who spent his major part of life to civilize the Indians to not to hurt each other in the name of mythical believes and insane god beliefs, we need to bring the Buddhism back to this land, we need to alleviate the human suffering in this land, whatever the suffering format may be, it should be in every Buddhists mind.

It is perplexing to see how severely disabled the hindu’s mind, a non-working hindu’s mind is more dangerous than a beast (saint). After all these years of experiments, growth, progress, scientific advancements, hindu’s cannot understand the basics of suffering, but they will go to any extend to disguise, mask and sabotage the brilliance of great people like Ambedkar, the modern Buddha. If Vasu or some disguised Buddhist’s named hindu’s on this message board really think for one minute by putting themselves into the 360 million dalits shoes who undergo the most dangerous atrocities ever committed on the earth such as carrying out works like “human scavenging (carrying human excreta), laboring and toiling in the agricultural lands as bonded labors for pennies, sweating in the middle of the day in construction sites for pennies, and those thousands and millions working in the man holes and janitorial jobs, they will at least know what is suffering means?. Will they, I doubt, what are they doing here in a place where mind, ethics, humanity and suffering is being discussed?. What are they doing here?. Hope they actually go through the enriching amount of information put together in this message board.

Again, Thanks for your brilliant compilation Melinda and Atrocity News.

Saint

80. Gowtham Kamath - March 5, 2008

The post above by Saint is steeped in contradictions. It is again a representation of the hate politics he subscribes to. In all your posts you display a violent sectarianism. Claiming to represent athe downtrodden and suffering and abusing those whom you perceive as meteing out this injustice.

Just examine some of your generalized comments on Hindus (A huge community of

millions of people amounting to a substantial amount of world population) and you

are creating a strawman out of them.

“People like Vasu and few more disguised with Buddhists names like Bhikku and

Gowtham cannot imbibe the truth, ongoing reality and current happenings right in

front of their eyes.”

First on the names, I am not sure about the others, this is the first time that I am

hearing that my name is a disguised buddhist name. I was named after my Grandfather

whose name was Gowtham Kamath, Gowtham is a common name in India and I am not sure

how people like saint claim a monopoly on those names. There are many popular

Gowtham’s in India. The Buddha was called the Gowthama. There is also a famous vedic

rishi called Gowthama. Anyway whats in a name. And Mr. Saint under what name are you

disguising your Saint(hood).

Next,You say “Gowtham cannot imbibe the truth, ongoing reality and current

happenings right in front of their eyes “-

An ad hominem argument, you know nothing about me, the work I do or have done. Neither do you know about what is happening right in front of my eyes. You are trying to abuse and project something upon me for which you have no proof or idea. So much for your purported rationalism and where is Mr John Dewy’s pragmatism and empiricism here. You are once again proving again and again how much of hatred you are espousing on a huge group of people. Anway what makes you think you have a monopoly over imbibing truth and ongioing reality. Even the Buddha never made such an exclusive claim.

“The Buddhism revival was set in India by these great dalits long time ago, first it

was set by Iyothi Dasar from Tamil Nadu, later it was set by Dr.Ambedkar and others”

I would be the happiest if Buddhism and Buddha’s teaching became pervalent in India.

I have respect for Ambedkar as a great thinker and I have read quite a lot about

him. But I tend to disagree that AMbedkar’s version of Buddhism has the eminent

qualities of Buddhism that the Buddha preached. HE misrepresented many things and he also gave in to a lot of cheap scandal mongering and was quite abusive (I can provide you many instances where he has abused the physical chareacterstics of many sections of Indians in his ‘annhilation of caste’). But since Ambedkar was born in an “oppressed and backward caste” community all this was absolved.

I saw in our university ‘an ongoing reality’, ‘right in front of my eyes’ of the violent acts and attacks based solely on caste carried out by these neo-buddhist followers of ambedkar. These have been even reported in the newspapers and television. Again, these people might be a few factions among the neo-buddhists. But a survey of their literature provides a straight forward claim and a call towards violence and so called retribution.

There are many groups involved in the ‘actual’ Buddhist renewal in India – The mahabodhi soceity (which is increasingly being targeted and tured into a hate group of sectarian buddhism), the dalai lama and S.N. Goenka who started the vipassana meditation movement in India. There are many non denominational Gurus and sects who have increased the awareness of Buddhist teachings in India. Ambedkar Buddhism has created a sectarian movement which goes by the name of Buddhism.

“It is perplexing to see how severely disabled the hindu’s mind, a non-working

hindu’s mind is more dangerous than a beast (saint). After all these years of

experiments, growth, progress, scientific advancements, hindu’s cannot understand

the basics of suffering, but they will go to any extend to disguise, mask and

sabotage the brilliance of great people like Ambedkar, the modern Buddha.”

ANother instance of your hatred and name calling – “disabled”, “beasts”. “Hindu’s

cannot understand suffering”. Again I don’t want to venture and try to prove and

give instances of “Hindu’s” who are not beasts and who have understood suffering.

What makes you think you have the monopoly over not being ‘disabled’, ‘a beast’ and

understand suffering. Just being born in a certain community or caste or social

circumstance or adhering to a philosopy of ‘ambedkar buddhism’ would not enable a

person to be insightful. It takes more than that.

In fact I was surprised that your post doesn’t have at the end (after all the

violent abuses) with “Metta, saint”. Lot of people in this blog have used the metta and we can hardly see any maitri in their words. This is unconcious behaviour where your words and intent do not match.

“If Vasu or some disguised Buddhist’s named hindu’s on this message board really

think for one minute by putting themselves into the 360 million dalits shoes who

undergo the most dangerous atrocities ever committed on the earth such as carrying

out works like “human scavenging (carrying human excreta), laboring and toiling in

the agricultural lands as bonded labors for pennies, sweating in the middle of the

day in construction sites for pennies, and those thousands and millions working in

the man holes and janitorial jobs, they will at least know what is suffering means?.

What makes you think you have answers for the suffering of these people. Again, what

makes you think that “disguised buddhists” like me haven’t really put one minute

into understanding the injustice and atrocities meted out against people. I don’t

want to give any proof in this regrad other than letting you know that apart from my

day job I work for an organization present in four indian cities which run a Blind

school and three orphanages. This is again not aligned to any religious or

sectarian philosophy. The modern social structure in which I am accidentaly born into can be predominantly described as a democratic capitalistic system and I am quite aware that this soceity results in oppression in many quarters and sections of soceity. I am also of the opinion that most of the commentators here belong to this same society of free market economy and capitalism. I am still trying to figure out as an Individual how as being part of this structure I contribute towards social oppression. Of course I do not have the courage of a Buddha to radically drop greed and desire of security and money. This is one reason why I have a fascination for people like Buddha, Mahavira, Gandhi (quite questionable but atleast he tried), many ascetics, saints and sanyasis who dropped out and adopted voluntary poverty and a simple lifestyle. The main point Ambedkar missed in his analysis of Marx and Buddha is that Buddha tried to find answers from within and marx from the without. Ambedkar equated the Buddha’s sangha as a kind of marxist eaglitarian commune. However in reality (reality as we read from the core buddhist texts which is part of accepted history – not the ‘buddha and his dharma’ of ambedkar) the Buddha’s sangha was predominantly an order of male monks (Women were in very less numbers and came much later into the Sangha) involved in meditational practices. They lived by begging for food and were not productive.

That apart, what makes you think you represent the manual scavenger, and

the labourer toiling in the soil. Does subscribing to your view absolve me of the

guilt tyou are trying to create in me of not “giving one minute” for these people. Your talk reminds me of the corrupt indian politicians who have epiteths like ‘the “son of the soil” and “lower caste politicain” and all the while wallowing in their millions of rupees of ill gained wealth. I have also evidenced in india people who run organizations and NGOs exploit the atrocities on people to score political points and obtain funds and gain political power. There are some genuine NGOs though who have done great work in India for abolishing manual scavenging like sulabh toilets and legally fought for the marinalised and victims of crime. Anyway why do you want to use the suffering and atrocities on people to abuse me and a huge group of people. Let me ask you this what are you doing for the millions of people suffering, oppressed and killed in India, Iraq, Bosnia, Serbia and all over the world. What have you done for millions of farm animals killed everyday. What can we all do. Other than being not part of it and render service possible within our capacity.

“a society riddled with human discrimination (suffering of the highest order) in the name of caste, religious belief and god worshiping, that is not only unacceptable to Buddhist but this is one of the major area of Buddha’s work, he preached and practiced that all humans are equal.”

There are many saints and sages who have practised that all humans are equal. They have belonged to all religions Hinduism (yes yes I can give you a lot of instances) included. Buddha is not exclusive in this he has many who will support it from different religions, traditions and no-religions as well.

“We have reached a stage where we can use a single gene transfer or eliminate a gene to carry out gene therapy for some debilitating disease (we are close to)!?”

we are not close. The genome is too complex and we are still in the very beggining of this. Still a long way to go before Genetic engineering gets into altering human behaviour and become the world religion. Where is Buddhism here. If this happens maybe the majority christians would alter our genes to impose christianity through gene mutation. Hard wire the ten commandments in our genes.

81. PRAVIN KR - March 6, 2008

Could you pl. explain what do you mean when you say
> “Just examine some of your generalized comments on Hindus (A huge community of millions of people amounting to a substantial amount of world population)”

Does it mean that he took your name, so it has become hate politics and affected ALL Hindus?
Pl. give specifics.

>”representation of the hate politics”.
Could you explain how has Babasaheb Ambedkar[Babasaheb] spread hatred?
With context to 22 vows of Babasaheb also, I would like to understand hatred politics.

>Hindu saints have worked ‘very’ hard to remove untouchability. Pl. give details to what they have done, and what made the suppressed people of ‘Divine slavery of Hinduism’ to become man.

>I understand you are the TRUTH seeker.
Do you think any religion or its scripts are infalliable?
Do you mind testing the religion you follow in scientific the way?

> You have undergone thru’ the message of Milinda and Christopher Queen. Could you comment on it?

82. Saint - March 6, 2008

This is a Paragraph from the Book:

WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE

TO

THE UNTOUCHABLES

everyone who is illustrious about Gandhi as a saint or savior must read this book, for your convenience and benefit, I think, the whole book is available online at the following url.

http://www.ambedkar.org/ambcd/41A.What%20Congress%20and%20Gandhi%20Preface.htm

Thus ended the second chapter of what the Congress has done to the Untouchables. The regrettable part of this tragedy is the realisation of the fact how Mr. Gandhi has learned to find unction in illusions. Whether Mr. Gandhi likes to live in a world of illusions may be a matter of doubt. But there is no doubt he likes to create illusions in order to use them as arguments to support his cherished proposition. The reason he has given for not taking personal responsibility for the uplift of the Untouchables furnishes the best evidence of this habit of Mr. Gandhi. To tell the Untouchables that they must not act against the Hindus, because they will be acting against their kith and kin, may be understood. But to assume that the Hindus regard the Untouchables as their kith and kin is to set up an illusion. To ask the Hindus to undertake the removal of untouchability is good advice. But to go to the length of assuring oneself that the Hindus are so overwhelmed with a sense of shame for the inhuman treatment they have accorded to the Untouchables that they dare not fail to abolish untouchability and that there is a band of Hindu Reformers pledged to do nothing but remove untouchability is to conjure an illusion to fool the Untouchables and to. fool the world at large. It may be sound logic to argue that what benefits the whole also benefits the part and that one need not confine himself to looking after the part. But to assume that a piece, as separate as the Untouchables, is a part of the Hindu whole is to deceive oneself. Few know what tragedies the Untouchables as well as the country have had go through on account of the illusions of Mr. Gandhi.

B. R. AMBEDKAR.

24th June 1945.

22, Prithviraj Road,

New Delhi.

83. nonseriousguy - March 6, 2008

Get a life Guys

Osho on Ambedkar and Gandhi
http://www.barnett.sk/software/sos/osho/osho-talks/person05.htm

Mahatma Gandhi was the uncrowned king of India. For the simple reason that he was able to torture himself more than anybody else could. For any small reason he would go on a fast “unto death.” Every fast was “unto death,” but within three, four days, it would be broken — there were methods to break it — and soon there would be a breakfast; everything was arranged.

But people can be deceived very easily…. He goes on a fast, and the
whole country prays to God that he should not die. All the great leaders rush towards his ashram and pray to him to stop but he won’t listen unless his conditions are accepted — any conditions,
undemocratic, dictatorial, idiotic — any conditions.

For example he fasted against Doctor Ambedkar who was the head of the untouchables. Ambedkar wanted the untouchables to have their own constituencies and their own candidates, otherwise they would never be represented in any parliament anywhere. Who would give votes to a shoemaker? In India a shoemaker is untouchable — who is going to give him the vote?

Ambedkar was absolutely right. One fourth of the country is
untouchable. They are not allowed in schools because no other student is prepared to sit with them, no teacher is ready to teach them. The government says the schools are open, but in reality no student is willing…. If one untouchable enters, all thirty students leave the class, the teacher leaves the class. Then how are these poor people –one fourth of the country — going to be represented? They should be given separate constituencies where only they can stand and only they can vote.

Ambedkar was perfectly logical and perfectly human. But Gandhi went on a fast, saying, “He is trying to create a division within the Hindu society.” The division has existed for ten thousand years. That poor Ambedkar was not creating the division, he was simply saying that one fourth of the people of the country had been tortured for thousands of years. Now at least give them a chance to advance themselves. At least let them voice their problems in the parliament, in the assemblies.
But Gandhi said, “I will not allow it while I am alive. They are part
of Hindu society, hence they cannot have a separate voting system” -and he went on fasting.

For twenty-one days Ambedkar remained reluctant, but every day… the pressure of the whole country. And he started feeling that if this old man dies then there is going to be great bloodshed. It was clear — he would be killed immediately, and millions of the untouchables would be killed everywhere, all over the country: “It is because of you that Gandhi died.” When the whole arithmetic of how it would work out was explained to him — “You figure it out soon, because there is not much time, he cannot survive more than three days” — Ambedkar hesitated.

He was perfectly right; Gandhi was perfectly wrong.

But what to do? Should he take the risk? He was not worried about his
life — if he was killed it was okay — but he was worried about those
millions of poor people who didn’t know anything about what was going on. Their houses would be burned, their women would be raped, their children would be butchered. And it would be something that had never happened before.

Finally he had to accept the conditions. He went with the breakfast in
his hand to Mahatma Gandhi, “I accept your conditions. We will not ask for a separate vote or separate candidates. Please accept this orange juice.” And Gandhi accepted the orange juice.

But this orange juice, this one glass of orange juice, contains
millions of people’s blood.

I have met Doctor Ambedkar. He was one of the most intelligent men I have ever met. But I said, “You proved weak.”
He said, “You don’t understand: the situation was such that I knew I
was right and he was wrong, but what to do with that stubborn old man? He was going to die, and if he died then I would have been responsible for his death, and the untouchables would have suffered.”

I said, “That is not the point. Even an idiot could have suggested a
simple thing to you. You should have gone on a fast unto death. And
you are so overweight.” He was a fat man, four or five times heavier
than Gandhi. “If you had asked me…. A simple solution: just put
another cot by the side of Mahatma Gandhi, lie down, and fast unto
death. Then let them see! I promise you that Gandhi would have
accepted all your conditions within three days.”

Ambedkar said, “But this idea never occurred to me.”

I said, “You are a fool if this idea never occurred to you! That was
the idea with which that man was controlling the whole country — and
it never occurred to you. The only difficulty would have been to go on
a fast — particularly for a man like you: fat, eating four times a
day. Naturally you would not have been able to manage it. Gandhi has practiced his whole life, he is an experienced faster; and you may not have ever missed a single breakfast.”

He said, “That is true.”

I said, “Otherwise if it had been my problem and he was being so
illogical, I would have just lain down, even if I was going to die,
and let him be responsible. He would not have allowed that, because my death would have taken away all his mahatmahood, all his aura, all his leadership of the people. He would not have allowed me to die; he would have accepted my conditions.

“But unfortunately I am not an untouchable, and anyway why should I be bothered with you two idiots? To me both of you are idiots. You have one fourth of the country in your hands and you can’t do anything; that man has nothing in his hands — but just by fasting…. He has learned a womanly trick. Yes, I call his whole philosophy a feminine psychology.”

That’s what women do every day. Gandhi must have learned it from his wife. In India women do it every day. The wife will fast, she won’t
eat, she will lie down. And then the husband starts shaking. He may be right, that is not the point.

Now there is no point of right or wrong; now the point is how to
persuade her to eat? Because she is not eating, the children are not
eating — and who is going to do the cooking in the first place? Is he
also going to fast? And the children are weeping, and they want food,
and the wife is on a fast — so you agree. She needs a new sari, you
bring it. First you bring the sari, then she goes into the kitchen.
This is an old Indian strategy of all women in India. Gandhi must have
learned it from his wife, and he used it really very cleverly.

But there is some strange side of the human mind which is impressed by anybody who is capable of torturing himself.
For some strange reason…. I know what the reason is. The reason is
your own fear — you cannot do it. You go to the circus to see a man
jumping from sixty feet high, pouring spirit on himself, setting fire
to the spirit. Burning, he drops from sixty feet; he falls into a
small pool of water, and you see it with your breathing stopped. At
that moment nobody breathes.

I have watched it — people were watching a poor circus fellow; I was
watching the people — was anybody blinking, anybody breathing? No, nobody blinks an eye, they completely forget. Even an unconscious process that goes on automatically — you need not blink, your eye blinks; you need not breathe, your chest breathes. But even the automatic processes of blinking and breathing simply stop, you are in awe.


“I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend to death your
right to say it.” – Voltaire

84. nonseriousguy - March 6, 2008

Osho on Ambedkar Buddhists

The Republican Party of India and the Dalit organization – both are organizations of the neo-Buddhists – have made a similar resolution to the government of India, that action should be taken against me because I have been comparing myself with Buddha. In the first place, I have never compared myself with Buddha. I have always said definitively that he is life-negative, and I am absolutely life-affirmative. There is no possibility of any comparison.He is a bullock cart, and you want it to be compared with my Rolls Royce? Of course, the basic principle of a bullock cart is the same – the four wheels – but still you cannot compare it with a Rolls Royce.
These organizations have told the government that their religious feelings are very much hurt.
In the first place, if you understand religion… it is in the transcendence of thoughts and feelings. There are no religious feelings at all! Only idiots have religious feelings.I have loved Buddha, just as I would have loved the inventor of a bullock cart; it was a great revolution. Buddha is the beginning of a great revolution, but only the beginning, not the end. Looking backwards, I can see he managed a little bit to go against the tradition, but not wholeheartedly.
I am absolutely against the past.

Although Buddha tried in every way… but he was at the beginning point; you could not expect him to create the whole science of transcendence. He has my respect, my love – but I cannot tolerate to
be compared with Gautam Buddha!

In fact, the government has to take action against these two organizations. Gautam Buddha is an escapist, and it is Gautam Buddha who is responsible for the poverty of this country. If so many thousands of people renounce the world, they become parasites on the society.

I don’t want you to renounce the world. My whole teaching is: Rejoice in the world. What comparison can there be between me and Gautam Buddha? Gautam Buddha is twenty-five centuries behind me. And as far as the allegation is concerned, that I have compared myself, it is an absolute lie! These organizations should understand that if even a little bit of Buddha’s experience had been their
experience, then this revengeful resolution asking the government to take action against me does not show compassion, does not show meditation. I want the government not to take any action against these two organizations. I, with all my friends, forgive them. The blind need forgiveness, the ignorant need compassion.
One thing should be understood definitively: I am a buddha in my own self – and the word ‘buddha’ is not the monopoly of anybody. It simply means the awakened one. It was not Gautam Buddha’s
name; his name was Gautam Siddharth. When he became awakened, those who understood his enlightenment started calling him Gautam Buddha. But the word buddha, according to Gautam Buddha too, is simply inherent in every human being, and not only in every human being, but every living being. It is the intrinsic quality of everybody.

Everybody has the birthright to become a buddha. These poor Buddhists don’t understand at all the message of Gautam Buddha. How can they understand me? I have gone far beyond Gautam buddha. I have been teaching you all to be buddhas, but nobody as to be a Buddhist. To be a Buddhist is again falling into another prison. They have escaped from the Hindu fold, and now they have fallen into another fold. The names of the prisons are different, but you are all the same a prisoner. You were a Hindu, you were a prisoner; you can be a Christian… The prison will change, but not your slavery, not your consciousness.
People go on changing their prisons. That does not help any transformation in your being. You don’t achieve freedom by changing prisons.I teach my people freedom as the ultimate value. You should not belong to any organization, to any organized religion. It does not matter whether it is Buddhism, or Christianity, or Hinduism – these
are different names. Perhaps the architecture of the prisons is different, but you will be all the same a prisoner.

85. Aryansangha - March 6, 2008

The outer and the inner cannot be separated and kept in watertight compartments, for they are constantly interacting upon each other; but the inner craving, the hidden pursuits and motives, are always more powerful. Life is not dependent upon political or economic activity; life is not a mere outward show, any more than a tree is the leaf or the branch. Life is a total process whose beauty is to be discovered only in its integration. This integra- tion does not take place on the superficial level of political and economic reconciliations; it is to be found beyond causes and effects. Because we play with causes and effects and never go beyond them, except verbally, our lives are empty, without much significance. It is for this reason that we have become slaves to political excitement and to religious sentimentalism. There is hope only in the integration of the several processes of which we are made up. This integration does not come into being through any ideology, or through following any particular authority, religious or political; it comes into being only through extensive and deep awareness. This awareness must go into the deeper layers of consciousness and not be content with surface responses.

86. Raj - March 7, 2008

To Message # 84: nonseriousguy March 6, 2008

You have not understood “Osho’. Don’t just cut and paste Osho’s speech. Try to give some thoughts before you share with others.

Osho is not only talking about neo-buddhists here. In fact, he is talking about all including you too who don’t try to develop their inner consciousness regardless of which religion they belong to. Each and every religion has people who are not at the same level of their religious head i.e Jesus, Mohammed, Guru Nanak etc. You can’t expect each Buddhist to be at the level of Lord Buddha either.

Try to read rest of the speech of Osho on this too and also similar speeches of Osho on religion. If you don’t know, let me tell you there are almost 3000 titles of books under Osho’s name. You can start with anyone of his books you prefer and you will learn about ‘RELIGION’ which will help you to become ‘SERIOUSGUY’ instead of your title nonserious. You can’t judge Osho from one page of his speech.

87. Shankara - March 9, 2008

The “HINDU” profanity as used, as I myself have heard countless hundreds of times over the years, needs scrutiny. These so-called ‘buddhists’ use the term HINDU in the same manner the Nazi SS officers used the term JEW; not in referring to a peoples or (incorrectly in the case of the term HINDU) a religion, but something foul, unsavory, lowly, profane, miserable, disgusting.
These same ‘buddhists’ fear their precious faith would sink into the grounds of ancient Vedanta like water into the dirt, if they were to come close to even partially admitting Buddhism is absolutely no more anti-Vedic than Jesus was a Jew hater. One might equally and heretically proclaim that Martin Luther was against the Bible, or Christianity in that he but only spoke coarsely against the Catholic Church’s position, which he demonstrated via the Bible, was a commentarial religion too often adversarial to the principles in the Bible itself, such as confessions, relic-worshiping, fetishisms, and, in Luthers time, literally buying Heaven-insurance by donating coin to the Church.

It is a well established fact by experts in the religious history of India, that of Gotamas time, circa 500 B.C.E., the meaning of the already old-and-dusty principle Upanishads (much less the Vedas) was long lost and overcovered, as is the case in his admission: .” “I have seen” says Buddha, “the ancient path, the old road that was taken by the former all-awake Brahmins, that is the path i follow, lost long ago. Just like an overcovered path lost long ago is that which i have discovered” (SN 2.106). The only denial Gotama ever made in the suttas, was that one was never BRAHMABANDHU (born a Brahmin), but rather was one by wisdom, as Brahmin was not a birthright, but a spiritual marker of ones status for sake of wisdom.

88. nonseriousguy - March 9, 2008

To Raj,

“You have not understood “Osho’. Don’t just cut and paste Osho’s speech. Try to give some thoughts before you share with others. ”

How have you understood that I have not understood Osho? Just curious to know if there is any kind of extra sensory perception is involved in your understanding. Would definetly like to know rational explantations for your judgement on your claim that I haven’t read much about Osho before sharing his thoughts here. I have read in some other posts above from a ‘Raj’ who has quoted Kalama sutra of Buddha to not accept any thing on hearsay and pre conceived judgement. Are you the same person. If yes can you please explain your judgements about me in a rational and sane manner.

“Osho is not only talking about neo-buddhists here. In fact, he is talking about all including you too who don’t try to develop their inner consciousness regardless of which religion they belong to.”

Osho is talking about the Neo buddhists here surely if you care to read and as per my normative cognitive faculties. He was not talking about me though as I was sitting in the Buddha hall in pune in 1988 while Osho was delivering this talk and was part of this drama. The neo-buddhists organizations issued death threats to Osho and we sanyasins living in the osho commune. They took out a procession in pune with an effigy of Osho sitting on a donkey. Osho in another subsquent speech requested not to torture a poor Donkey, which he called as a Bodhisatva. He also called for a debate with the Neo-buddhists for which these neo-buddhists chickened out.

“If you don’t know, let me tell you there are almost 3000 titles of books under Osho’s name.”
Thanks for the information. But I already know this, I have involved in editing a website of Osho and partly instrumental in putting across 500 titles of Osho infringing copyright laws. You can reference that in the oshoworld website.

“You can start with anyone of his books you prefer and you will learn about ‘RELIGION’ which will help you to become ‘SERIOUSGUY’ instead of your title nonserious. You can’t judge Osho from one page of his speech.”

Actually I took your advice ‘Seriously’ and picked up some books of Osho and started reading them seriously. These are some of the words I found there:

“Seriousness is a deadly disease. If you get it, your life is doomed”

“I have to tell jokes because you are all religious people, you tend to be serious. I have to tickle you so you forget your religiousness, you forget all your philosophies, theories, systems, and you fall down to earth. I have to bring you back to the earth again and again, otherwise you will tend to become serious, more and more serious. And seriousness is a canceric growth.”

Needless to say I started dancing and fell down to earth. That was an hour ago. Now I want you to tell me whether I should be Serious or Non serious.

89. PRAVIN KR - March 9, 2008

In #83, I guess a good attempt is made to understand the context of Poona Pact and the pressures underwent by Babasaheb Ambedkar.

How Gandhi sipped in blood of millions of untouchables with one glass of orange juice very well brought up.
Yes, it is very true that Gandhi learned this “womanly trick”, could be from his wife or could be from his “experiments”.

Having read 83, my opinion is #84 seems to be some personal grudge against organizations.
Before we proceed ahead, just a request to the several posts on this blog claiming Buddhist A, Buddhist B.
A kind suggestion is, pl. keep these groups/sects within your religion.

Buddhist principles anywhere in the world are based on liberty, equality, truth, justice and peace.

Regarding #84
> Could you pl. give details that just because 2500 years difference exist between Buddha and Osho, does it mean that one
is ‘Bullock cart’ and other is ‘Rolls Royce’? Pl. bring out clear distinction between ‘Bullock cart’ and ‘Rolls Royce’?

> There is a mention of conversion of several millions of untouchables, suppressed people from Hinduism to Buddhism is
MERE ‘Change of Prison’.
It is very important to understand the context, life of people under the tyranny of “Divine slavery of Hinduism” for several 1000s years.

After going through the following speeches Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, I leave to the understanding of everyone, if it was a
-mere ‘Change of Prison’ OR
-A change from a ‘Concentration camp’ to ‘Freedom, Equality, Manhood’.

The famous speeches by
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar
[M.A,Ph.D(Coumbia,USA),D.Sc.(London,U.K),
LL.D (Columbia,USA),D.Litt.(Osmania,India),Bar-at-Law(London,U.K)

> ‘Why go for conversion’?
http://www.angelfire.com/ak/ambedkar/BRwhyconversion.html

> Speech at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur on 14 Oct, 1956
http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/txt_ambedkar_conversion.html

———————————————————————————————————-
WHY GO FOR CONVERSION?

In 1935 at Nasik district, Maharashtra, Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar had declared his firm resolve to change his religion. He had declared that he was born as a Hindu but will not die as Hindu. About a year later, a massive Mahar conference was held on May 30 and 31, 1936, in Mumbai, to access the impact of that declaration on Mahar masses. In his address to the conference, Dr.Ambedkar expressed his views on conversion in an elaborate, well- prepared and written speech in Marathi. Here is an English translation of that speech by Mr.Vasant Moon, OSD to the committee of Govt. of Maharashtra for publication of Writings & speeches of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar

Conversion is not a game of children. It is not a subject of entertainment. It deals with how to make man’s life successful. Just as a boatman has to make all necessary preparations before he starts for voyage, so also we have to make preparations. Unless I get an idea as to how many persons are willing to leave the Hindu fold, I cannot start preparations for conversion.

For a common man this subject of conversion is very important but also very difficult to understand.

Class Struggle

There are two aspects of conversion; social as well as religious; material as well as spiritual. Whatever may be the aspect, or line of thinking, it is necessary to understand the beginning, the nature of Untouchability and how it is practiced. Without this understanding, you will not be able to realize the real meaning underlying my declaration of conversion. In order to have a clear understanding of untouchability and its practice in real life, I want you to recall the stories of the atrocities perpetrated against you. But very few of you might have realized as to why all this happens! What is at the root cause of their tyranny? To me it is very necessary, that we understand it.

This is not a feud between rival men. The problem of untouchability is a matter of class struggle. It is the struggle between caste Hindus and the Untouchables. That is not a matter of doing injustice against one man. This is a matter of injustice being done by one class against another. This “class struggle” has a relation with the social status. This struggle indicates, how one class should keep its relation with another class. This struggle starts as soon as you start claiming equal treatment with others…

Conversion not for slaves

The reason for their anger is very simple. Your behaving on par with them insults them. The untouchability is not a short or temporary feature; it is a permanent one .To put it straight, it can be said that the struggle between the Hindus and the Untouchables is a permanent phenomena. It is eternal, because the religion which has placed you at the lowest level of the society is itself eternal, according to the belief of the Hindu caste people. No change, according to time and circumstances is possible. You are at the lowest rung of the ladder today. You shall remain lowest forever. This means the struggle between Hindus and Untouchables shall continue forever. How will you survive through this struggle is the main question. And unless you think over it, there is no way out. Those who desire to live in obedience to the dictates of the Hindus, those who wish to remain their slaves, they do not need to think over this problem. But those who wish to live a life of self-respect, and equality, will have to think over this. How should we survive through this struggle? For me, it is not difficult to answer this question. Those who have assembled here will have to agree that in any struggle one who holds strength becomes the victor. One, who has no strength, need not expect success. This has been proved by experience, and I do not need to cite illustration to prove it.

Three types of Strength

The question that follows, which you must now consider, is whether you have enough strength to survive through this struggle? Three types of strength are known to man: (i) Manpower, (ii) Finance and (iii) Mental Strength. Which of these, you think that you possess? So far as manpower is concerned, it is clear, that you are in a minority. In Mumbai Presidency, the untouchables are only one-eighth of the total population. That too unorganized. The castes within themselves do not allow them to organize. They are not even compact. They are scattered through the villages. Under these circumstances, this small population is of no use as a fighting force to the untouchables at their critical moments. Financial strength is also just the same. It is an undisputed fact that you at least have a little bit of manpower, but finances you have none. You have no trade, no business, no service, no land. The piece of bread thrown out by the higher castes, are your means of livelihood. You have no food, no clothes. What financial strength can you have? You have no capacity to get redress from the law courts. Thousands of untouchables tolerate insult, tyranny and oppression at the hands of Hindus without a sigh of complaint, because they have no capacity to bear the expenses of the courts. As regards mental strength, the condition is still worst. The tolerance of insults and tyranny without grudge and complaint has killed the sense of retort and revolt. Confidence, vigour and ambition have been completely vanished from you. All of you have been become helpless, unenergetic and pale. Everywhere, there is an atmosphere of defeatism and pessimism. Even the slight idea, that you can do something does not enter your mind.

Muslim Example

If, whatever I have described above is correct then you will have to agree with the conclusion that follows. The conclusion is, if you depend only upon your own strength, you will never be able to face the tyranny of the Hindus. I have no doubt that you are oppressed because you have no strength. It is not that you alone are in minority. The Muslims are equally small in number. Like Mahar- Mangs, they too have few houses in the village. But no one dares to trouble the Muslims while you are always a victim of tyranny. Why is this so? Though there may be two houses of Muslims in the village, nobody dares to harm them, while the whole village practices tyranny against you though you have ten houses. Why does this happen? This is a very pertinent question and you will have to find out a suitable answer to this. In my opinion, there is only one answer to this question. The Hindus realize that the strength of the whole of the Muslim population in India stands behind those two houses of Muslims living in a village and, therefore, they do not dare to touch them. Those two houses also enjoy free and fearless life because they are aware that if any Hindu commits aggression against them, the whole Muslim community from Punjab to Madras will rush to their protection at any cost. On the other hand, the Hindus are sure that none will come to your rescue, nobody will help you, no financial help will reach you. Tahsildar and police belong to caste Hindus and in case of disputes between Hindus and Untouchables, they are more faithful to their caste than to their duty. The Hindus practice injustice and tyranny against you only because you are helpless.

Outside Support

From the above discussion, two facts are very clear. Firstly, you can not face tyranny without strength. And secondly, you do not possess enough strength to face the tyranny. With these two conclusions, a third one automatically follows. That is, the strength required to face this tyranny needs to be secured from outside. How are you to gain this strength is really an important question? And you will have to think over this with an unbiased mind.

From this, you will realize one thing, that unless you establish close relations with some other society, unless you join some other religion, you cannot get the strength from outside. It clearly means, you must leave your present religion and assimilate yourselves with some other society. Without that, you cannot gain the strength of that society. So long as you do not have strength, you and your future generations will have to lead your lives in the same pitiable condition.

Spiritual Aspect of Conversion

Uptil now, we have discussed why conversion is necessary for material gains. Now, I propose to put forth my thoughts as to why conversion is as much necessary for spiritual wellbeing. What is Religion? Why is it necessary? … ‘That which govern people is religion’. That is the true definition of Religion. There is no place for an individual in Hindu society. The Hindu religion is constituted on a class-concept. Hindu religion does not teach how an individual should behave with another individual. A religion, which does not recognize the individual, is not personally acceptable to me.

Three factors are required for the uplift of an individual. They are: Sympathy, Equality and Liberty. Can you say by experience that any of these factors exist for you in Hinduism?

No Equality in Hinduism

Such a living example of inequality is not to be found anywhere in the world. Not at anytime in the history of mankind can we find such inequality, which is more intense than untouchability… I think, you have been thrust into this condition because you have continued to be Hindus. Those of you who have become Muslims, are treated by the Hindus neither as Untouchables nor as unequals. The same can be said of those who have become Christians…

That God is all pervading is a principle of science and not of religion, because religion has a direct relation with the behaviour of man. Hindus can be ranked among those cruel people whose utterances and acts are two poles apart. They have this Ram on their tongues and a knife under their armpits. They speak like saints but act like butchers…

Thus we are not low in the eyes of the Hindus alone, but we are the lowest in the whole of India, because of the treatment given to us by the Hindus.

If you have to get rid of this same shameful condition, if you have to cleanse this filth and make use of this precious life; there is only one way and that is to throw off the shackles of Hindu religion and the Hindu society in which you are bound.

The taste of a thing can be changed. But the poison cannot be made amrit. To talk of annihilating castes is like talking of changing the poison into amrit. In short, so long as we remain in a religion, which teaches a man to treat another man like a leper, the sense of discrimination on account of caste, which is deeply rooted in our minds, can not go. For annihilating caste and untouchables, change of religion is the only antidote.

Untouchables are not Hindus

What is there in conversion, which can be called novel? Really speaking what sort of social relations have you with the caste Hindus at present? You are as separate from the Hindus as Muslims and Christians are. So is their relation with you. Your society and that of the Hindus are two distinct groups. By conversion, nobody can say or feel that one society has been split up. You will remain as separate from the Hindus as you are today. Nothing new will happen on account of this conversion. If this is true, then why should people be afraid of conversion? At least, I do not find any reason for such a fear…

Revolution – Not Reform

Changing a religion is like changing a name. Change of religion followed by the change of name will be more beneficial to you. To call oneself a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist or a Sikh is not merely a change of religion but also a change of name.. Since the beginning of this movement of conversion, various people have raised various objections to it. Let us now examine the truth, if any, in such objections…

A congenital idiot alone will say that one has to adhere to one’s religion because it is that of our ancestors. No sane man will accept such a proposition. Those who advocate such an argument, seem not to have read the history at all. The ancient Aryan religion was called Vedic religion. It has three distinct characteristic (features). Beef-eating, drinking and merry-making was part of the religion of the day. Thousands of people followed it in India and even now some people dream of going back to it. If the ancient religion alone is to be adhered to why did the people of India leave Hinduism and accept Buddhism? Why did they divorce themselves from the Vedic religion?… Thus this Hindu religion is not the religion of our ancestors, but it was a slavery forced upon them…

To reform the Hindu society is neither our aim nor our field of action. Our aim is to gain freedom. We have nothing to do with anything else.

If we can gain freedom by conversion, why should we shoulder the responsibility of reforming the Hindu religion? And why should we sacrifice our strength and property for that? None should misunderstand the object of our movement as being Hindu social reform. The object of our movement is to achieve social freedom for the untouchables. It is equally true that this freedom cannot be secured without conversion.

Caste can’t be destroyed

I do accept that the untouchables need equality as well. And to secure equality is also one of our objectives. But nobody can say that this equality can be achieved only by remaining as Hindu and not otherwise. There are two ways of achieving equality. One, by remaining in the Hindu fold and another by leaving it by conversion. If equality is to be achieved by remaining in the Hindu fold, mere removal of the sense of being a touchable or an untouchable will not serve the purpose. Equality can be achieved only when inter-caste dinners and marriages take place. This means that the Chaturvarnya must be abolished and the Brahminic religion must be uprooted. Is it possible? And if not, will it be wise to expect equality of treatment by remaining in the Hindu religion? And can you be successful in your efforts to bring equality? Of course not. The path of conversion is far simpler than this. The Hindu society does not give equality of treatment, but the same is easily achieved by conversion. If this is true, then why should you not adopt this simple path of conversion?

Conversion is a simplest path

According to me, this conversion of religion will bring happiness to both the Untouchables as well as the Hindus. So long as you remain Hindus, you will have to struggle for social intercourse, for food and water, and for inter-caste marriages. And so long as this quarrel continues, relations between you and the Hindus will be of perpetual enemies. By conversion, the roots of all the quarrels will vanish… thus by conversion, if equality of treatment can be achieved and the affinity between the Hindus and the Untouchables can be brought about then why should the Untouchables not adopt the simple and happy path of securing equality? Looking at this problem through this angle, it will be seen that this path of conversion is the only right path of freedom, which ultimately leads to equality. It is neither cowardice nor escapism.

Sanctified Racism

Although the castes exist in Muslims and the Christians alike, it will be meanness to liken it to that of the Hindus. There

is a great distinction between the caste-system of the Hindus and that of the Muslims and Christians. Firstly, it must be noted that though the castes exist amongst the Christians and the Muslims, it is not the chief characteristic of their body social.

There is one more difference between the caste system of the Hindus and that of the Muslims and Christians. The caste system in the Hindus has the foundation of religion. The castes in other religions have no sanction in their religion …Hindus cannot destroy their castes without destroying their religion. Muslims and Christians need not destroy their religions for eradication of their castes. Rather their religion will support such movements to a great extent.

Conversion alone liberates us

I am simply surprised by the question, which some Hindus ask us as to what can be achieved by conversion alone? Most of the present day Sikhs, Muslims and Christians were formerly Hindus, majority of them being from the Shudras and Untouchables. Do these critics mean to say that those, who left the Hindu fold and embraced Sikhism or Christianity, have made no progress at all? And if this is not true, and if it is admitted that the conversion has brought a distinct improvement in their condition, then to say that the untouchables will not be benefited by conversion, carries no meaning…

After giving deep thought to the problem, everybody will have to admit that conversion is necessary to the Untouchables as self-government is to India. The ultimate object of both is the same. There is not the slightest difference in their ultimate goal. This ultimate aim is to attain freedom. And if the freedom is necessary for the life of mankind, conversion of Untouchables which brings them complete freedom cannot be called worthless by any stretch of imagination…

Economic Progress or Social Changes?

I think it necessary here to discuss the question as to what should be initiated first, whether economic progress or conversion? I do not agree with the view that economic progress should precede…

Untouchability is a permanent handicap on your path of progress. And unless you remove it, your path cannot be safe. Without conversion, this hurdle cannot be removed…

So, if you sincerely desire that your qualifications should be valued, your education should be of some use to you, you must throw away the shackles of untouchability, which means that you must change your religion…

However, for those who need this Mahar Watan, I can assure them that their Mahar Watan will not be jeopardized by their conversion. In this regard, the Act of 1850 can be referred. Under the provisions of this Act, no rights of person or his successors with respect to his property are affected by virtue of his conversion…

Poona Pact

A second doubt is about political rights. Some people express fear as to what will happen to our political safeguards if we convert…

But I feel, it is not proper to depend solely on political rights. These political safeguards are not granted on the condition that they shall be ever lasting. They are bound to cease sometime. According to the communal Award of the British Government, our political safeguards were limited for 20 years. Although no such limitation has been fixed by the Poona Pact, nobody can say that they are everlasting. Those, who depend upon the political safeguards, must think as to what will happen after these safeguards are withdrawn on the day on which our rights cease to exist. We will have to depend on our social strength. I have already told you that this social strength is wanting in us. So also I have proved in the beginning that this strength cannot be achieved without conversion…

Political Rights

Under these circumstances, one must think of what is permanently beneficial.

In my opinion, conversion is the only way to eternal bliss. Nobody should hesitate even if the political rights are required to be sacrificed for this purpose. Conversion brings no harm to the political safeguards. I do not understand why the political safeguards should at all be jeopardized by conversion. Wherever you may go, your political rights and safeguards will accompany you. I have no doubt about it.

If you become Muslims, you will get the political rights as Muslims. If you become Christians, you will get the political rights as Christians, if you become Sikhs, you will have your political rights as Sikhs. In short, our political rights will accompany us.

So nobody should be afraid of it. On the other hand, if we remain Hindus and do not convert, will our rights be safe? You must think carefully on this. Suppose the Hindus pass a law whereby the untouchability is prohibited and its practice is made punishable, then they may ask you, ‘We have abolished untouchability by law and you are no longer untouchables…

Looking through this perspective, conversion becomes a path for strengthening the political safeguards rather than becoming a hindrance. If you remain Hindus, you are sure to lose your political safeguards. If you want to save them, leave this religion. The political safeguards will be permanent only by conversion.

The Hindu religion does not appeal to my conscience. It does not appeal to my self-respect. However, your conversion will be for material as well as for spiritual gains. Some persons mock and laugh at the idea of conversion for material gains. I do not feel hesitant in calling such persons as stupid.

Conversion brings Happiness

I tell you all very specifically, religion is for man and not man for religion. To get human treatment, convert yourselves.

CONVERT -For getting organized.
CONVERT -For becoming strong.
CONVERT -For securing equality.
CONVERT -For getting liberty.
CONVERT -For that your domestic life may be happy.

I consider him as leader who without fear or favour tells the people what is good and what is bad for them. It is my duty to tell you, what is good for you, even if you don’t like it, I must do my duty. And now I have done it.

It is now for you to decide and discharge your responsibility.
————————————————————————————————————————–

90. shams-e-tabriz - March 10, 2008

Osho tried to bring in true religious mysticism and meditation to the masses. He was against politicians and organized religions. He was also against Gandhi. But one thing about Osho is that he can critize a person in some context and also praise him in another. There are many occassions where he has praised Gandhi. Unlike politicians Osho did not have firm views on people and contexts. He was completely against the politics of identity. Osho understood that reality is multifaceted and not just Black and White. Osho made sure that it becomes impossible for exploitative politicians to use his teachings to create religious and sectarian identities which create more violence. Hence his teachings looks jumbled up and incoherent for many people who try to seek religious and sectarian sanctions by taking his teaching out of context. But in a way Osho has done a great service by upholding the ideal of the ‘New Man’ who is free from the shackles of caste creed religions and political dogmas. I am firmly of the opinion that if Gautama Buddha had lived in this age he would have agreed with Osho. He would not have been caught up with ‘isms’.

91. shams-e-tabriz - March 10, 2008

Methinks Osho should be featured in Tricycle Blogs. He was instrumental in popularizing several Buddhist tradions and strains especially Zen. Maybe the editor can discount his teaching of sexual indulgence and affluence. Even the sixth dalai lama was highly indulgent. As buddhists we should focus on meditation and Osho was one of the finest teacher of Mindufullness and meditation in our age.

92. Om Shanti - March 10, 2008

My Daddy can lick your daddy.

93. Anand Rao - March 10, 2008

Any religion, along with many political ideologies, can lead to barbarism because they enshrine certain concepts as being more important than the life and well-being of a single individual.

All religions (including Buddhism) share at least some common traits that can have negative social consequences, including: the rise of a privileged priest-class, the demand for large amounts of people’s time and money with little social benefit, and the proscribing of genuinely beneficial social activities because they contradict some article of faith.

Adherence to a religion also creates one more group-label whereby people can indulge the natural human tendency towards tribalism. Creating divisions between neighbours who otherwise have everything in common.

In short, it is almost irrelevant how noble or innocuous the central tenets of a religion are. By implicitly rejecting the yardsticks of rationality and utilitarian ethics, believers can quickly turn them into weapons of oppression.

94. Anti - March 10, 2008

Osho was no more other than an idiot & criminal. I just saw the posts on Osho, has Osho ever thought what would have been the condition of untouchables if Dr Ambedkar also went on fast like idiot Gandhi, as suggested by Osho? What if Gandhi or his followers didn’t accepted the conditions of Dr Ambedkar? Osho is only watching one side of coin n ignoring other.

One more hidden fact about Osho is he never wrote or gave his own ideas as he was very much rich & was having many educated people those gave him ideas & thoughts which Osho used to speak.

Another thing he was no other than a porn star, he was desiring person & Buddha said not to desire so its rubbish to talk about Osho- a criminal.

95. Reality of Osho - he was an idiot - March 10, 2008

“Rajneesh/Osho is the worst thing that ever happened to spirituality in the west. He rode herd over a mob of naive, idealistic spiritual seekers, but definitely lacked the traits of an enlightened master.

“Enlightened masters are not drug addicts. They do not turn Dharma on its head — like calling “sannyasins” those who adopt a path exactly opposite of Indian sannyas. They generally don’t get arrested and have their mug shots taken, and ignomiously deported — especially the Indian saints. (Christ was one notable historical exception to this rule.) A true saint, by his spiritual power, is never humiliated or bested. He has sufficient merit to receive protection and his honored in his lifetime.

“More to the core, an enlightened master does not encourage his disciples to abandon time-honored moral norms — especially the dharma concerning sex restraint. Osho was basically a kind of pimp who used the base desires of average people, along with their beautiful hunger for real spirituality, to build a financial empire and a following of worshippers who would do whatever he asked.

“When I think back about that ‘baby boomer generation’ of sincere spiritual seekers — all those intelligent, skilled young men and women of European descent like me — it makes me so sad. What a harvest of potential saints that was! How much good might have arisen if all those young, idealistic westerners could have fallen in with a legitimate spiritual master — say, a Vivekananda or a Ramakrishna. We will never know! I look at them today, and their condition, and they have missed the boat.

“Thousands of sincere western seekers were misled and harmed by the novel teachings of Osho. I have seen many of them in the aftermath. They always lack the satvic glow that comes from yogic sex restraint; they look like spent rakes aged well beyond their actual years. Even in their age — when they might show some spiritual attainment — many still crave sex, and all the ordinary base things. Despite Osho’s “indulgence technique,” they never got over sex addiction and lust.

“This was one of the Big Lies that Osho told: That by indulging your sex desire you would transcend it. The great sages of Yoga spoke the real and opposite truth: You get over sexual lust not by feeding it, but by restraining it until you encounter the higher thrill of meditative bliss. Meanwhile, it is only that renunciation — the storing of the sexual energy — that enables one to contact the transcendental bliss. This has been the message of the sages through all time, including Lord Buddha, who was frequently ripped off by “the Bhagwan.” Osho’s teachings, though sprinkled here and there with mystical truths, were dead wrong in the most basic ways, and ultimately spiritually destructive.

“The proof is in the pudding. Christ said that one can know a true Master by the “fruit” that emerges from him. Through his disciples Osho gave us moral and family breakdown, drug addiction, a disturbed childhood for many, and crime — even terrorism. Osho set Yoga back in the west perhaps hundreds of years.

“The saddest thing is what happened to all those children of Osho followers. Osho wanted them to grow up not knowing who their Fathers were; raised by a mob, with no particular person as Parent. I can’t think of anything much more ignorant, or more cruel. Krishnamurti was right: Osho was a criminal.”

http://rajneesh.info/

Anonymous - April 30, 2011

lol! The rules you set for an ideal saint?? which was the commitee tht drafted the rules? this whole world is relative…u cannot be judgemental abt anything…n y would u go away from sex like typical indian sanyasins? y u blindly following something? its there for u to enjoy it and transcend it! i agree with u in one thing..tht osho n his ideas cannot be applied in present day world…cuz idiots like me n u have been conditioned to some synthecially designed walls around us…that do not let us live as individuals…you cannot blame osho if his disciples mistook what osho was trying to say..just like how u misunderstand his way…iam not a follower of osho…but being some1 who have read almost all of his books..i realised this…a lot of ppl tend to misundrstand his teachings…n finally end up screwing up their lives…so its btr we stay away from him…he is dangerous!
But he is awesome!!

96. The Rise & Fall of Osho - A criminal - March 10, 2008

Seeing Red In Cattle Country

The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (later known simply as Osho) was born Chandra Mohan in the village of Kuchwada in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on 11 December 1931. Due to the grace with which the young boy carried himself, his family began calling him “raja” or “king.” By his own account, he attained the state enlightenment on 21 March 1953, though he kept it a secret for many years after. He taught briefly at a Sanskrit university and began traveling the country teaching. By the early 60’s he was conducting large meditation camps at locations such as Mt. Abu in 1964. In 1970, Rajneesh settled in Bombay where he began to give regular discourses to a growing number. It was in Bombay that Rajneesh initiated his first disciples giving his twist on the ancient India tradition of sannyas.

In 1974, the movement, under the management of Ma Laxmi bought land in the Indian town of Pune, north of Mumbai (Bombay). Laxmi was the first in a line of powerful female “personal secretaries” that would hold despotic control over the management of the business of running the religious movement. Rajneesh and his group of early disciples moved to Pune compound, located in the Koregon park neighborhood, and established the Acharya Rajneesh Ashram.

At the ashram, Rajneesh gave daily morning discourses (alternating Hindi and English) and held evening meetings, darshans, where he initiated new disciples and answered personal questions. Throughout the 70’s, the ashram attracted increasing numbers of international visitors and became one of the focal points of the spiritual tourism that flourished throughout the decade.

The topics of Rajneeh’s talks ran the breadth of the religious spectrum—from Indian teachers, through Jewish mystics to the wisdom of the Zen Masters. He introduced several revolutionary “active” meditation techniques, designed specifically for the western mind combining exorcise and mindfulness. In addition to a wide and varied selection of meditations, a multitude of therapy techniques and workshops arose at the ashram. By the late 70’s the “therapists” had become something akin to a priestly class within the movement.

In 1981, another female disciple, Ma Anand Sheela, displaced Laxmi as Bhagwan’s secretary. Under Sheela’s direction, they began searching for land large enough to establish a commune. Laxmi was effectively banished from the ashram, sent out to search for possible sites in India. Meanwhile, Sheela funneled several million dollars to a small New Jersey meditation center, Chidvilas. Later in that year, Rajneesh flew to the United States on a medical visa granted under the pretext that he was to receive treatment for his back. The group remained in New Jersey for a few months and then moved to Oregon where Sheela had purchased a defunct ranch known locally as “the Big Muddy.” The ranch consisted of 64,000 acres (126 square miles) of Oregon desert land and very few buildings. Though Sheela presented herself a shrewd business person, she paid $5.75 million for land that was assessed for the previous year’s taxes at only $198,000.

Over the course of the next three years, Rajneesh sannyasins would transform this unpromising parcel into a city that supported at its height 7,000 regular residents with 15,000 annual visitors (mostly concentrated into annual July-August “World Celebrations”). The city, incorporated briefly as Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, had its own post office, school, fire and police departments, downtown malls and restaurants. Its state-of-the-art reservoir even won an award for its innovative ecological design.

Change of this scale, of course, put stresses on the local community. The commune residents, especially the management, were very quickly at odds with the near-by town of Antelope. The Attorney General of Oregon, David Frohnmeyer maintained throughout that the incorporation of Rajneeshpuram violated the constitutional separation of church and state. His action against Rajneeshpuram was still working its way toward the Oregon Supreme Court in 1985. An “environmental” group 1,000 Friends of Oregon also fought the incorporation of Rajneeshpuram from the first public hearing onwards. Due to the questionable standing of Rajneeshpuram and the objections of 1,000 Friends to commercial use of the Ranch, the Oregon Land Use Commission suggested that the sannyasins locate their publishing and distribution business in the closest town, Antelope. The commune began to purchase real estate in the town and sannyasins registered to vote. Before sannyasins relocated there, the population of Antelope, OR was 40 mostly elderly and retired. Due to the influx of new residents, 3 sannyasins were elected to the 6 person town council. The 3 older councilors refused to sit in the same room with the newly elected sannyasins and effectively resigned their seats. Through default the Rajneesh followers took over the city government. Around this time the 40 original Antelope residents attempted unsuccessfully to disincorporate the town.

A similar chain of events occurred with the town school board. At the resident’s request, the sannyasins had agreed to educate their children at Rajneeshpuram and not Antelope schools. The school tax the residents of Rajneeshpuram paid, however, continued to support the Antelope school. Sannyasins were then elected to the Antelope school board. The previous board had gerrymandered the school district in an attempt to keep Rajneeshpuram outside of its boundaries. The county invalidated the election of the non-sannyasin board members, because in the redrawing of the district they had mistakenly drawn their own homes outside the new district. Not residing in the school district they were no longer eligible to be on the board. Again, the sannyasins “took over” by default.

Both of these occurrences and the sannyasin purchase of real estate in Antelope—the mayor herself working as real estate agent for most of the transactions—were used against the Rajneesh sannyasins. Attorney General Frohnmeyer, state congressmen, state senators Hatfield and Packwood as well as the “concerned citizens” of Oregon viewed these actions as a take-over and argued that the aggressive sannyasins would not stop short of attempting to take over the county and then the state. The sannyasin presence was quickly characterized as a threat to the very way of life of eastern Oregon. Sannyasin control of Antelope was seen as a coup de tat and not the democratic process at work. By many of the government players, the taking over of the school board was the moment that the tide turned completely against the commune and its residents.

Throughout this period, Rajneesh himself was entirely silent. When he came to America, he had entered a silent period—never speaking publicly, instead, he said, teaching through his presence. As the Oregon battle began to hit the national media, first appearing on an episode of ABC’s Nightline in 1983, the U.S. immigration service began arguing the invalidity of Rajneesh’s visa. His medical visa had been renewed as a teaching visa and, the authorities argued, one could not be a teacher if one did not teach, i.e. talk publicly. Ironically at the same time Oregon’s Attorney General was arguing that Rajneesh and his followers were a religion and as such were violating the constitutional separation of church and state.

Rajneeshpuram exemplifies both the best and the worst of modern cult phenomenon. The collective activity of the commune residents gave rise to the greatest intentional community experiment the modern age has seen. In an article in The New Yorker, journalist Frances Fitzgerald detailed some of the accomplishments the commune had managed by 1983: cleared and planted 3,000 acres of land, built a 350-million-gallon reservoir and 14 irrigation systems, created a truck farm that provided 90% of the vegetables needed to feed that Ranch, a poultry and dairy farm to provide milk and eggs, a 10 megawatt power substation, an 85-bus public transportation system, an urban-use sewer system, a state-of-the-art telephone and computer communications center and 250,000 sq. feet of residential space.

On the other side, the commune was a complex business structure built to centralize absolute power in one person, Ma Anand Sheela. She and her band of loyal supporters ran the commune with an extremely heavy hand and provided a combative public face that was readily and appreciatively displayed by the media. By 1985 there was increased hardship and unrest within the commune itself. Sheela and her coterie of female managers, known collectively as the “Mas,” created what Rajneesh himself would later refer to as “a fascist concentration camp.” Upon entering the U.S., Sheela had established the religion of Rajneeshism, created a bible in the three volume Book of Rajneeshism and began to style herself a high priestess. By 1984 she had begun wearing “papal” style robes. Bhagwan’s own silence lent de facto support to Sheela’s transformation of the movement.

It is without question, that power corrupted Sheela. She described herself as Queen (and Rajneesh was her king) and started to speak of sannyasins as “her people.” She relished confrontation and pursued rather than backed down from a fight—whether with the media, local officials, INS inspector or a fellow sannyasin. When she spoke, it was taken as if Rajneesh spoke. She was the metatron speaking for the silent, remote godhead.

During the later period of Rajneeshpuram, a tension arose between Jesus Grove, Sheela’s compound and Lao Tzu House, Rajneesh’s residence. In late 1984 Rajneesh began speaking again to small groups of sannyasins invited into his house. When Rajneesh informed Sheela he would begin speaking, witnesses report, she begged him no to. When he finally did begin talking publicly again, Sheela spent days in her room crying. Rajneesh’s talks were video-taped and later played to the full commune. During the summer of 1984, Sheela attempted to cancel the public display of the talks, claiming that they were interfering with the work of building the commune. A minor rebellion erupted and she relented, allowing the videos to be shown late at night when few of the exhausted sannyasins could manage to stay awake to view them.

Satya Bharti in her book Promises of Paradise, describes one night where the video was not shown. Sheela announced that the tape had been accidentally destroyed. In this talk called simply “number 20,” Bhagwan spoke out against Sheela and her management of the commune, saying that she had transformed paradise into a “fascist concentration camp.” He also outlined his concept of a world filled with autonomous communes where no person would have absolute power.

Ma Nirgun (Rosemary Hamilton), Rajneesh’s cook during the later commune period, relates her experiences of living in Lao Tzu House in Hellbent for Enlightenment. Under the pretext of security Sheela ordered the construction of a large fence, complete with guard towers, around Rajneesh’s residence. Guards armed with Uzi’s followed Rajneesh and his entourage everywhere. No one entered or left Lao Tzu without Sheela knowing about it. Nirgun tells of one day walking outside the house and realizing that the fence was not to keep attackers out, but to keep the residents in. “When I got back to LaoTzu, I suddenly saw it with new eyes: a prison. The high link fence, the gates that delivered a powerful shock; the guardhouse towering over us, manned round the clokc by two still figures holding guns—until this moment I had seen them as a deterrent to hostile outsiders. Now they seemed to be directed against us.” She also tells of a conversation she had with one of the sentries, a sannyasin who had previously been a friend of hers. She asked why the sannyasin attitude toward her had grown cold and distant. He replied, “Sheela’s orders.” Nirgun asked if Sheela had explained her order. “She says it isn’t good to get friendly with people you might have to shoot.”

During this time Rajneesh issued lists of “enlightened” sannyasins. These lists were interesting more for the people that they excluded rather than included. Sheela and her group were conspicuously absent. It’s my feeling, that Rajneesh was using these lists as a means of destabilizing Sheela’s power, which rested ultimately on her connection to the guru. Simultaneous with this, Rajneesh orchestrated a relationship between his personal physician Amrito and Ma Prem Hasya. The latter was a member of a wealthy clique of Hollywood-connected sannyasins. In this way, Rajneesh established a connection with an alternative to Sheela’s management team.

In September 1985, Sheela and a small group of core supporters abruptly left the commune for Europe. The day of her departure, Rajneesh held a press conference where he accused Sheela of stealing millions of dollars and attempting to murder him, several sannyasins and local politicians. He publicly repudiated Rajneeshism and his role as guru. “I don’t give them any commandments,” Rajneesh in a 17 July 1985 interview with Good Morning America. “I insistently emphasize that they are not my followers, but only fellow travelers.” He also called on the FBI to conduct and independent investigation. The FBI quickly found an extensive eavesdropping system that was wired throughout the commune residences, public building, offices and even Rajneesh’s own bedroom. Authorities also uncovered a secret lab where, according to later testimony, Ma Puja, the commune nurse referred to by some as “nurse Men gale,” had run a poison lab experimenting with biotoxins—including HIV and salmonella.

It was later revealed in court testimony that Sheela’s group had attempted to poison two local communities by dumping salmonella into salad bars of several local restaurants. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the true cause of the mysterious outbreaks would never have been discovered if it were not for the testimony of conspirators. Salmonella sample disks discovered at Rajneeshpuram were subsequently matched to the strain of bacteria isolated from the salad bars. This episode has the unfortunate distinction of being the first instance of modern bioterrorism in the U.S. Sheela’s group also allegedly fire-bombed a county records office in The Dalles. One of the charges most heavily investigated was the poisoning of Swami Deveraj (later Amrito), Bhagwan’s personal physician. After the July 6 discourse, Ma Shanti Bhadra hugged Deveraj and jabbed him with a needle. The syringe contained a still unidentified poison concocted by Rajneeshpuram nurse Ma Puja. Deveraj became gravely ill and almost died at the Madras hospital.

In October 1985, Rajneesh himself was on a private plain headed secretly out of the country accompanied by his physician Amrito and new secretary Hasya. The plane was seized while refueling in Charlottesville, North Carolina, and all on board were arrested. This began a long process of returning him to Oregon to face immigration charges for allegedly arranging sham marriages. Rather than flying him to Oregon, federal authorities opted for driving him across country. For several days during the journey, even his attorneys did not know where he was.

Within a month, Rajneesh was again on a plane headed out of the country having entered an Alford plea to two counts of immigration fraud. He briefly returned to India and then onto Kathmandu. This began what his followers term his “world tour” which included refusals from more than 17 countries and forcible deportation from two, Greece and Uruguay. He and his followers maintained that the resistance of countries to allow his entrance was due to secret behind-the-scenes pressure from the Reagan administration—a charge not entirely lacking in credibility.

By the end of the Oregon experiment 25 sannyasins were charged with electronic eavesdropping conspiracy, 13 immigration conspiracy, 8 lying to federal officials, 3 harboring a fugitive, 3 criminal conspiracy, 1 burglary, 1 racketeering (RICO), 1 first degree arson, 2 second degree assault, 3 first degree assault and 3 attempted murder. A complex series of plea bargains followed. Sheela was fined $400,000 and ordered to pay $69,353 in restitution. She was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 20 years for the attempted murder of Sw. Deveraj, 20 years for first degree assault in the poisoning of county commissioner William Hulse, 10 years for second degree assault in the poisoning of commissioner Raymond Matthew, 4ý years for the salmonella poisoing, 4ý for wiretapping and 5 years probation for immigration fraud. She served only 2ý years in a federal medium security prison and was released for good behavior in December 1988. Ma Puja also received concurrent sentences: 15 years for the Deveraj murder attempt, 15 for the Hulse poisoning, 7ý for the Matthew poisoning, 4ý for her role in salmonella poisonings and 3 years probation for wiretapping conspiracy. Puja also served only 2ý years of her sentence. Like Sheela, she served her sentence at the federal prison in Pleasanton, CA and was released in December of 1988. Rajneesh was charged with one count of criminal conspiracy (RICO) and 34 counts of making false statements to federal officials (INS officers). He entered his plea on two counts of immigration fraud and agreed to pay $400,000 fine. He was given a 10 year suspended sentence and ordered to leave the country and not return for a minimum of 5 years. Rajneesh corporations agreed to drop all appeals to the ruling that Rajneeshpuram’s incorporation was unconstitutional, abandon all claims to the money and jewels impounded in North Carolina, to pay $400,000 to the State of Oregon in compensation for investigative costs, $500,000 to the settle the claims of four restaurants who suffered losses due to the poisonings, an additional $400,000 to the restaurant owners, $5 million to the Oregon state victim’s fund and to sell the ranch. In exchange Dave Frohnmeyer agreed to drop all RICO charges against the corporations. (Carter, pp. 236-238)

Sannyasins in India finally reached a settlement with the Indian government concerning back taxes on the Pune ashram and Rajneesh returned to his homeland. Through the late 1980’s, Rajneesh dropped off the spiritual radar. He dropped the title Bhagwan and, later, even the name Rajneesh. His followers began calling him simply Osho, a Japanese honorific used when referring to a Zen master.

In 1989 Bhagwan again stopped talking publicly due to his failing health. His final discourse ended with the last word of the Buddha, samasati, “remember that you are all Buddhas.” In that year he instructed his followers to build him a new marble bedroom following his detailed design. He spent only a short time in this new space, before saying he preferred his old bedroom. In January 1990, Osho passed from his body instructing his physician to place his favorite socks and hat on him. When asked what they should do with him after he died, he said simply, “Stick me under the bed and forget about me.”

Through the course of the 1990’s, Rajneesh, now packaged as Osho, became again an important figure in the spiritual and New Age landscapes. His ashram in Pune transformed into a meditation resort (complete with an air-conditioned modern hotel and zennis courts) is now, once again, a popular destination for Western seekers. His books are again available in U.S. bookstores. The Indian government, once his adversary, now respects the potential tourist dollars represented by Osho and his resort. The library of the Indian congress has established a separate Osho collection, an honor only held by one other, Mahatma Ghandi. The Times of India named Osho one of its 10 most influential Indians of the 20th century.

The events that comprise the rise and fall of Rajneeshpuram raise many more questions than can be answered in a single introductory article such as this. Rajneesh stated that he wanted everything that happens after a religious teacher dies to happen while he was still alive. He often spoke of the mechanism that led from a Buddha to the creation of a religion and how that process destroyed the religiousness of the teaching. I think that the Oregon experiment was an attempt by Rajneesh to facilitate this process through the simulated death of his silence and ceding control to Sheela. In this way he could himself short-circuit the development of a religious orthodoxy and protect his sannyasins, later termed “fellow travelers,” from the deadening of meditative/devotional religiousness.

This obviously leaves many larger questions unaddressed. Most notably among these is the question of the responsibility of a master for his disciples. Rajneesh himself asked pointedly after the departure of Sheela, why the sannyasin residents of Rajneeshpuram had not done anything to stop her.

Perhaps the facts, lies and enigma surrounding Rajneeshpuram will permanently occlude the full appreciation of what attracted thousands of people to him. All else aside, Rajneesh’s teachings represent a post-modern synthesis neither equaled nor paralleled in the 20th century. The breadth of his knowledge and his deft interpretation of ancient masters is unique. His influence, mostly unacknowledged, has been wide spread throughout both modern devotional spirituality and the New Age movement. Many a Rajneesh therapist, dehypnotherapist, has become popular guru or teacher. When one reads in a biographical sketch that the teacher spent years in India studying under an unnamed guru, it is more often than not, Rajneesh to whom they refer.

The Pune resort is now run by a group called the Inner Circle, a body designed by Osho prior to his death. A second group of sannyasins have coalesced around the Delhi meditation center, led by Indian disciples Swami Chaitanya Keerti and Ma Yoga Neelam (Hasya’s successor as personal secretary and form Inner Council member). A multitude of issues mark the divide between these two groups over the role of the guru, devotion vs. meditation (“path of love” and “path of meditation”), the copyright of his books and art, the access to his teachings, the management of the commune/resort, etc. The articles collected in this issue, reflect voices from across the spectrum of sannyasin experiences centering both on the ranch experience and the time that followed.

Better Dead Than Red

In the course of four years, the followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh did what no one thought they could. They raised a city from the desert. They established an almost completely self-sustaining community of several thousand on land that was though capable of supporting only nine head of cattle. Now almost 20 years later, it is evident that the episode of Rajneeshpuram stands for other things as well. The events of 1981-1985 expose the pervasiveness of American xenophobia and the potential for the American legislative and judicial systems to be used by a few, with the backing of the masses, to destroy a foreign, unfamiliar, minority.

Even before coming to the United States, Rajneesh was on the radar screens of the U.S. State Department. After the murders and mass-suicide at Jones Town, the U.S. government began to monitor gurus and religious groups that attracted a large American following. In the late 70’s, CIA agents were often rumored to be among the visitors at the Rajneesh ashram. At the very least, the American consulate in Bombay sent reports to Washington regarding the activities of Rajneesh and his Pune ashram. Those reports contained specific references to State Department concerns that Rajneesh would try to relocate to the United States.

In 1981 Rajneesh and a small selection of sannyasins rented the entire first class section of a commercial airliner and flew to New Jersey. Notable for her absence was Ma Laxmi who had been left behind in India with a directive to look for land suitable for building a large commune. At the time that Rajneesh traveled to the U.S., everything points to his visit being temporary and actually related to the medical concerns which had provided the reason for his visa. Ma Anand Sheela appeared to be the only person then working toward making Rajneesh’s stay permanent. Soon after the group arrived at the New Jersey meditation center, the recently purchased “castle,” Sheela set off to find land for a commune in North America.

From the moment that Rajneesh first stepped foot on American soil, he was a matter of “concern” for the U.S. government. By 1984, 17 different local, state and federal agencies were actively investigating the activities at Rajneeshpuram. White House documents show that Edwin Meese III, the “shadow president” of the Reagan administration, noticed the Rajneesh “situation” as early as 1982. The presence of the Rajneesh commune almost immediately created fear among the local Oregonians—especially the few remaining residents of Antelope. Destruction of the commune became a crusade for Oregon Attorney General David Frohnmeyer and the private activist group 1,000 Friends of Oregon (coincidentally founded by the Attorney General’s brother). In a 1984 interview in The Oregonian, congressman Bob Smith stated he had begun “pounding” the INS to resolve the Oregon-Rajneesh “issue” in April 1982.

As the old saying does: Just because you are paranoid, does not mean they aren’t out to get you.

From very early on, the town of Rajneeshpuram was tied up in a constant barrage of litigation. Numerous lawsuits were filed by 1,000 Friends, the Attorney General’s office and private citizens. In April 1983, a horse owned by Harry Hawkins, a former Jefferson county sheriff who had been hired as Rajneeshpuram’s first police officer, was killed by buckshot. On 29 July 1983, three bombs exploded at a Rajneesh owned hotel in Portland. Oregonians began wearing T-shirts that had a picture of the Bhagwan driving a Rolls Royce caught in the cross-hairs of a riflescope while another shirt read “Not Wanted Dead Or Alive.” The bumper sticker “Better Dead than Red” became a common sight throughout eastern Oregon. In 1985 several attempts were made to enact legislation that specifically attacked the legitimacy of Rajneeshpuram and sannyasin activity. The Oregon Secretary of State authored a ballot question, wording approved by Attorney General Frohnmeyer, that read “Shall City of Rajneesh (Antelope) charter be repealed, city cease to exist, and Wasco County assume city’s assets and liabilities?” (The Bend Bulletin, July 3, 1985)

One of the most persistent myths of Rajneeshpuram over the years following it’s dissolution is the assumption that the commune blew apart from the inside. This notion, that the commune simply disintegrated due to internal fractures and tensions, fits snugly within the popular conception of cults, that they are inherently fleeting, frenetic, fluid and unstable. The truth is that the commune suffered an unremitting and coordinated harassment from the local, state and federal government. This coupled with the tide of resentment and distrust in the local communities created a situation of extreme pressure on Rajneeshpuram and its residents. Sheela’s tactics and combativeness rose in direct proportion to the pressure exerted on the commune from outside. Her reactions, increasingly ludicrous, were generally the result of new attacks from authorities. Her strangle hold on control of the commune also increased in relation to these external forces. These threats also, ironically, became an element in her power providing the important element of us-against-them paranoia necessary for the success of an absolutist regime. This was only exacerbated when Rajneesh began speaking again in 1984—a fact which immediately began to work against Sheela’s power base.

Rumors and myths about the strangers in red began immediately after their arrival at the Big Muddy. The commune was spending tremendous sums of money on development and the creation of city infrastructure. This seeming limitless supply of ready-cash convinced federal law enforcement officials, that the money stemmed from illegal activity such as drug smuggling, gun running or both. In fact the cash was coming from a series of lucrative and highly successful business ventures abroad. Sannyasins operated almost half the vegetarian restaurants in Germany and Rajneesh discotheques were springing up all across Europe. These businesses coupled with the growing number of meditation centers and local communes were sending millions of dollars to support Rajneeshpuram.

Another persistent rumors of illegal activity at Rajneeshpuram remains that the sannyasins were stockpiling weapons. Media reports of the day often focused on images of Uzi toting sannyasins. By 1985 Sheela was always shown wearing a gun on her hip. The reports all failed to mention that the photographed sannyasins were members of the Rajneeshpuram police force—a state recognized law enforcement agency whose members had been trained at the State Police Academy. Sheela and other sannyasin spokespeople, such as mayor Krishna Devi, did nothing to dispel these rumors. Instead through 1984 and into 1985, they stepped up the rhetoric and counter-threats. Newspapers quoted Devi as warning that they would take 15 Oregonian heads for every sannyasin killed. Sheela repeatedly asserted that the residents of Rajneeshpuram were ready to defend themselves—use of the words “war” and “blood” were common. When federal agents searched Rajneeshpuram after the Bhagwan’s departure, no stockpile of weapons was discovered. Divers from the Navy Seals were brought in to search the two lakes at Rajneeshpuram. Media reports of the searches failed to mention that no cache of weapons was present. According to subsequent reports, the Rajneesh sannyasins did not possess any weapons inconsistent with a municipal police force.

In his book Passage to America, Max Brecher interviews two soldiers-for-hire who allege that they were offered money for killing Rajneesh. In both instances, the individuals were sure that the CIA was ultimately behind the payment offers. John Wayne Hearn, now serving three life sentences for three gruesome murders for hire, admits to working for the CIA on several covert operations, including running guns to Nicaragua and assisting in a plot to overthrow the government of French Guyana. Hearn claims to have been offered a significant amount of money to blow-up several trailers at Rajneehpuram in an attempt to scare the sannyasins. The second man Don Stewart recorded his conversations with his contact who went by the name Wolfgang. In these conversations, Wolfgang specifically mentions government agencies targeting Rajneesh. Wolfgang’s plan was to assassinate the Bhagwan during one of his daily drives. Once a day Rajneesh would drive his car along a commune road and sannyasins would line up to watch their guru drive by. For Wolfgang, and presumably his backers, the killing of a couple of hundred devotees was more than acceptable if Rajneesh was taken out. It is ironic that in both these instances, the soldiers turned down the offer due to the rumors they had heard about the commune being an armed camp. The prospect of being trapped by a couple of thousand armed zealots proved an unacceptable risk.

Under the guise of fighting terrorism, the President authorized the CIA to investigate foreign entities on U.S. soil, thus sidestepping the congressional mandate against domestic CIA operations. In December 1981, President Reagan signed Executive Order 12333 which authorized federal law enforcement agencies to hire outside people to conduct illegal break-ins for the purposes of obtaining evidence. The executive order specifically allowed that evidence thus collected could be in turn used to obtain a legitimate search warrant.

Beginning in 1983 and increasing through to the dissolution of the commune in 1985, military jets from Whidbey Island Naval Base conducted regular flyovers of Rajneeshpuram. In violation of FAA regulations, the plains routinely flew extremely low over the commune disrupting daily life and, in several instances, jeopardizing civilian air traffic at the Rajneesh airport. These flights were ostensibly routine training missions—at times even using the commune buildings as fake targets for bombing runs. The flights also included reconnaissance and surveillance. Twin-engine Mohawk surveillance plains from the reconnaissance unit in Boise, Idaho also conducted recons over the commune. In the taped conversations with Wolfgang, he also mentions participating in aerial surveillance. Both the INS and U.S. attorney’s office conducted aerial recons over Rajneeshpuram in 1985 as part of their preparation for arresting Rajneesh.

On 13 May 1985, the police of Philadelphia, PA dropped a C-4 bomb onto the headquarters of M.O.V.E., a back-to-Africa movement. The police had attempted to serve warrants on members of the movement and they were allegedly fired upon during the attempt. After a brief siege, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor ordered the dropping of a bomb onto the headquarters building—one of several row houses in the Philadelphia residential neighborhood. (The New York Times, 14 May 1985) The ensuing fire destroyed 61 row houses and left 251 people without a home. (CNN, 24 June 1996) Following the bombing, Commissioner Sambor was reelected and U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III applauded the operation as a superb success for American law enforcement. By 1996 the city of Philadelphia had paid out almost $30 million in lawsuits resulting directly from the M.O.V.E. operation.

In the summer of 1985, Sheela retained a top immigration lawyer, Peter Schey, to represent Rajneesh in his ongoing battle with INS. Schey immediately began negotiating with U.S. District Attorney Robert Turner, who had already secretly convened a grand jury to investigate alleged immigration fraud at Rajneeshpuram. Schey wanted to insure that if indictments were handed down that the indictees would be allowed to surrender themselves to authorities at a location outside of Rajneeshpuram. Schey was confident that he had an agreement to this affect with Turner and that he, Rajneesh and any others indicted would be notified 24 hours in advance and be allowed to turn themselves in to the court house in Portland. Despite this, according to INS deputy counsel Mike Inman, Turner had no intention of allowing Rajneesh or anyone else to surrender peacefully. Instead, in Inman’s words, Turner was set on “storming the Bastille.” According to Inman, Turner wanted “to utilize the Oregon National Guard, the FBI and the Immigration Services Border Patrol, and storm the compound with force, and go through the barricades and fences.” (Brecher, p. 275) Turner had developed a plan, according to Inman and others involved, of serving the warrants unannounced. INS agent Joe Greene testified under oath that Turner no intention of allowing the Bhagwan to surrender at a neutral location. According to the plan, state and federal law enforcement, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, would show up unannounced at Rajneeshpuram and on a bull-horn inform the residents that they were surrounded and that the indictees had 1 minute to surrender. National Guard troops would be concealed in the nearby hills to provide back up if necessary. Given the then generally accepted rumors that the commune was a “militarized camp,” this plan would seem to have been intended to provoke an armed confrontation.

The government’s plan for Rajneeshpuram eerily foreshadows the later federal assaults on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas and Randy Weaver’s cabin at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. In these two instances, similar tactics, to those proposed by Turner, were employed with very tragic results. In these cases, the fear that stockpiles of weapons were present was used to justify the excessive force employed. Through the period leading up to the arrest of Rajneesh and again during the siege at the Branch Davidian compound, media pundits repeatedly raised the specter of Jonestown. The deaths of the Davidians is still often represented as mass suicide, rather than the consequence of the government’s assault. It is not difficult to imagine what would have happened, if Robert Turner had been able to proceed with his surprise entrance into Rajneeshpuram. One can also assume who would have been accused of “firing first.”

Turner’s plan was unexpectedly thwarted before it could be implemented, when on the afternoon of Sunday 27 October 1985, two privately chartered planes departed Rajneeshpuram Airport and began to make their way across the continent. Rumors were flying that arrests were imminent. In actuality sealed indictments had been handed to Turner the previous week. Rajneesh’s non-sannyasin attorney Peter Schey twice flew from Los Angeles to Oregon to discuss the rumored warrants and to arrange for the peaceful surrender of Rajneesh. On both occasions Turner denied the existence of warrants for Rajneesh or anyone other sannyasin. Turner claimed that he believed that a peacefull surrender was impossible and that by telling Schey he would be tipping Rajneesh off and allow him time to flee. Sheela had departed the commune the month before under a cloud of accusation and suspicion—the Bhagwan, himself, her principle accuser. Despite the fact that no indictments had been announced nor warrants served, frantic calls went out to law enforcement agencies across the country to apprehend the “fugitives.” The planes landed at a small airport outside of Charlotte, North Carolina for refueling. Agents were waiting and the Bhagwan and his entourage were arrested without incident. Though they had been warned that the passengers would be heavily armed with automatic weapons and armor-piercing bullets, the agents found only one small handgun on the planes. At Rajneesh’s bail hearing the next day, prosecutors were unable to present an arrest warrant from Oregon. Despite this discrepancy, the judge denied Rajneesh’s bail. An unsigned, incomplete Oregonian warrant was later presented to the Charlotte court. Court records in Oregon hold a different arrest warrant, however, one that appears to have been forged after the fact and pre-dated.

In a jailhouse TV interview conducted by Ted Koppel and aired live on ABC’s Nightline, Rajneesh asserted that he was not leaving the country or fleeing impending arrest. When asked by an incredulous Ted Koppel, if the Bahamas (their flight plans indicated North Carolina, but sannyasins were reported to have been inquiring about renting a plane capable of over-sea flight) was now part of the United States, Rajneesh claimed to not know where the planes were headed. He said, instead, that he trusted in his friends and all he knew was that they were taking him to some place safe. Given Rajneesh’s apparent lack of involvement in his travel decisions during his post U.S. “world tour,” it is not out of the question that he did not know where the plains were headed. He would simply go where they were headed like a Zen sage, he was where ever he was. One thing is certain, Rajneesh’s departure from Rajneeshpuram stemmed off the government’s plan for a major assault on the commune and, thus, likely spared several hundred lives. By late September 1985, 15 National Guard armored personnel carriers were positioned in the hills surrounding Rajneeshpuram. In addition to the many FBI agents investigating the allegations made by Rajneesh, the state was ready to commit 800 state troopers if conflict erupted and the National Guard had another 600 guardsmen on standby as backup. By September 30, the National Guard had three HUEY helicopters at Redmond airport ready to carry FBI agents and Oregon State Police SWAT teams into Rajneeshpuram. Turner also unsuccessfully requested U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Investigative Search Teams (FIST) and Border Patrol from the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with “mass arrests.”

Even if one rejects his claim that he was not fleeing the country, one question does remain about this mysterious flight: why did they turn east rather than west? If they had chosen to fly out over the Pacific Ocean they would have very quickly been over international waters outside of U.S. jurisdiction. A Passage to America author Max Brecher asked this question directly to Rajneesh in 1989, “I left for Charlotte,” Rajneesh answered, “because for six weeks previously the National Guard was on standby around the commune, ready to enter the commune. Obviously, if they had arrested me there, the 5,000 sannyasins would not have tolerated it. There would have been bloodshed. To avoid this, I went to Charlotte. It was just to avoid bloodshed of the sannyasins. There was no sannyasins in Charlotte to be involved if I was arrested there. And there was a beautiful house in the mountains there for me to stay.” (Brecher, p. 289) When Weaver was asked about the government’s concern about a bloodbath of innocent sannyasins at Rajneeshpuram, if the commune was stormed by force, he simply stated, “It’s not the government’s job to make those guy’s jobs easier.”

In retrospect, Rajneesh’s cross-country flight did not meet the legal definition of fleeing prosecution and he and the other passengers could not rightly be considered fugitives. U.S. District Attorney conceded in the Charlotte court that he lacked the evidence to support his claim that Rajneesh and co. were attempting to evade arrest. Despite Turner’s contention to the contrary in court, the pilots filed flight plans that listed Charlotte as their final destination. According to account of the air traffic controller on duty that night, the pilots did not behave in a fashion consistent with someone who was either nervous or paranoid. Above all else, they could not be called fugitives since at the time of their arrests no warrant existed for any of them. The following morning, the federal indictment was unsealed but there is still no evidence that an arrest warrant was issued for Rajneesh or anyone else on the plane. The warrant that is currently on file in Oregon, though dated Oct. 28, was not clerked into the court house until two weeks after the arrest. The warrant also lists the North Carolina arresting officer, a fact that could not have been known at the time the warrant was supposed to have been issued, since Rajneesh was still in Oregon at that time. Despite these facts, Rajneesh’s attorney’s conceded that a warrant existed, without having seen it, and the magistrate denied Rajneesh’s bail on the grounds that he was a flight risk.

A theory proposed by Max Brecher, and supported by the account of deputy INS council Inman, is that the federal authorities–the INS and the State Dept.–wanted Rajneesh to flee the country. Then they could use the existence of indefinitely active warrants to keep him from ever returning. This plan would have effectively prevented Rajneesh from ever entering the United States again without having to go through the process of lengthy deportation proceedings and the possibility a court could rule in his favor. This would help explain why the INS pulled their support for the U.S. District Attorney’s investigation and ordered their field operatives not to assist in the arrest of Rajneesh, despite the fact that all the charges against her were for immigration violations. Turner takes full credit for the arrest. He and a Charlotte INS agent, working against the directives of his superiors, coordinated the bringing in of the U.S. Marshals and the subsequent arrests. It appears that Turner in his zeal to prosecute Rajneesh may have thwarted the governments quiet solution to the Rajneesh problem.

In 13 July 1986 a monument was dedicated outside the Wasco County Court House. Beneath the statue of a stately Antelope read the inscription “Dedicated to all who steadfastly and unwaveringly opposed the attempts of the Rajneesh followers to take political control of Wasco County: 1981-1985.” Below this, the plaque carries a quote from Irish politician Edmund Burke “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Above the statue flew a flag that had once flown above the U.S. Capital Building—a gift from Congressman Bob Smith. Were the residents of Rajneeshpuram really “evil” and were the Oregonians really “good”? What is true of erecting monuments is also true of history, they are constructed by the victors. The defeated almost without exception go down as villains within the orthodox historical record. Only two members of the commune could rightfully be described as “evil”—Ma Anand Sheela and Ma Puja. A few others committed evil acts.

Studies like the Zimbardo experiment have shown that even red-blooded, all American college students can commit the most atrocious acts if given absolute power over another. In the experiment designed by Philip Zimbardo, a group of male college student volunteers were randomly separated into two groups—prisoners and guards. The guards were given uniforms and dark glasses and no one was permitted to address another by name. A long list of petty prisoner regulations was provided to the guards. The experiment originally designed to last a fortnight had to be ended after only one week, due to an unexpected level of violence and humiliation inflicted on the prisoners by the guards. In his analysis of the experiment, Zygmunt Bauman observes, “clearly and unambiguously, the orgy of cruelty that took Zimbardo and his colleagues by surprise, stemmed from a vicious social arrangement, and not from the viciousness of the participants.” (Bauman, p. 167) In a separate study conducted by Stanley Milgram at Yale University, Milgram demonstrated that most humans possess the capacity of harming another if the instruction to do so comes from one that the subject holds as an authority figure.

Were all sannyasins indeed “evil”? This is certainly the explicit message of the Antelope monument. When the sannyasins first moved to Eastern Oregon, buying land that no one else wanted, they made serious efforts towards creating a positive impression on their neighbors. Sheela regularly held information meetings in 1981, where she presented a pleasant face and attempted to charm the wary Oregonians. The sannyasins went above and beyond in complying with local laws and state land use regulations throughout the creation of their city—a fact that infuriated their opponents in the 1,000 Friends of Oregon and the Oregon Attorney General’s office. Their comprehensive plan was even held up as an example for other municipalities to follow. At it’s outset the commune developers tried to get along with their neighbors and comply with all U.S. laws. They only moved into the neighboring town of Antelope when pushed by 1,000 Friends lawsuits and at the suggestion of the state Land Use Commission. At the time that the sannyasins began buying property in Antelope, the town was listed prominently on the list of Oregon ghost towns.

Throughout the creation of Rajneeshpuram, Sheela’s arguments and public appearances became increasingly vitriolic and provocative. Also through this time, the commune and its residents were the victims of an escalating bombardment of harassment and threats of harm. The threats and intimidation came from multiple directions and was fully supported by several arms of the federal government. Against this opposition and with the backdrop of the unwelcoming sagebrush desert, it is amazing that the Rajneesh sannyasins accomplished what they did—creating a sustainable, ecologically friendly city capable of supporting thousands of residents.

The history of the United States began with religious dissent—the puritans forging a life in the wilderness of New England to escape persecution. It is also a history of repressing religious difference. The same puritan pilgrims established a cluster of communities ruthlessly intolerant of religious difference—Cotton Mather and the Salem witch trials being but one example extreme among many. Attorney General Frohnmeyer asserted that a city founded by adherents of one particular religion was unconstitutional. If American history is to suggest anything, the opposite would certainly seem to be the case. Many U.S. cities were established by religious followers in an attempt to establish their own area where they could freely practice their faith. The settling of Utah and the incorporation of Salt Lake City is an obvious example. The anti-cult movement has been an equal and counter-running force within the history of religion in the United States. Just as so-called “new religious movements” have been common since before the revolution, anti-cult movements have been equally ubiquitous. It was this strain of intolerance that necessitated the moves which led to the establishment of new cities based on religious communities. Philip Jenkins argues in his book Mystics & Messiahs that anti-cult paranoia has frequently taken hold of the American mass psyche. Phillips notes that the arguments of this reactionary movement were solidly in place by the late 19th century—lurid stereotypes, xenophobia, accusations of mind-control and stories of sexual scandal. We can see all these elements displayed in the concerned voices speaking out against Rajneeshpuram. “When a modern critic attacks a deviant religious group as a cult,” Jenkins writes, “the images evoked are ultimately a mélange of rumors and allegations variously made against Catholics, Masons, Mormons, Shakers, radical evangelicals, and others.” (Jenkins, p. 25) He further argues that the concern over cults does not necessarily correlate to actual threats posed by the cult’s activities. Jenkins observes that “the level of public concern about cults at any given time is not necessarily based on a rational or objective assessment of the threat posed by these groups, but rather reflects a diverse range of tensions, prejudices, and fears.” (Jenkins, p. 20)

So, again, one has to ask, were the Rajneesh sannyasins “evil” for attempting to build their City on a Hill? Or were they simply victims of a cyclic resurgence of the pernicious hatred of difference that has run through the darkness of America since it’s earliest days?

The following books were used in the preparation of this article:

Bauman, Zygmunt. Modernity and the Holocaust. Cornell University: Ithaca, NY, 1989.

Brecher, Max. A Passage to America. Book Quest, Bombay, 1993.

Carter, Lewis F. Charisma and Control in Rajneeshpuram: The Role of Shared Values In the Creation of a Community. Cambridge University: Cambridge, 1990.

Fitzgerald, Frances. Cities On a Hill. Simon & Schuster: New York, 1987.

Franklin, Satya Bharti. The Promise of Paradise. Station Hill: New York, 1992.

Hamilton, Rosemary. Hellbent For Enlightenment: Unmasking Sex, Power, and Death with a Notorious Master. White Cloud Press: Ashland, OR, 1998.

Haney, Craig, Curtis Banks & Philip Zimbardo. “Interpersonal Dynamics in a Simulated Prison,” International Journal of Criminology and Penology vol. VI. (1968), pp. 69-97. Cited in Bauman.

Jenkins, Philip. Mystics & Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History. Oxford University: Oxford, 2001.

Joshi, Vasant. The Awakened One: The Life and Work of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Harper & Row: New York, 1982.

Milgram, Stanley. Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. Tavistock: London, 1974.

Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree (Osho). Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy. Rajneesh Foundation International: Rajneeshpuram, OR, 1985.

_____. The Last Testament: Interviews with the World Press, volume I. Rajneesh Publications, Inc.: Boulder, CO, 1986.

_____. The Perfect Way. Motilal Babarsidass: Delhi, 1993.

Shunyo, Prem. Diamond Days With Osho. Motilal Banarsidass: Delhi, 1993.

97. Osho - A criminal - March 10, 2008

Yet former disciple Christopher Schnelle, in a long post on March 3, 2006 for the generally pro-Rajneesh forum rebelliousspirit.com, has written, in part, “What is more important – truth or feeling good?… I am writing about Osho because his lies and his deceit caused an enormous amount of pain for a lot of beautiful people. Most of these beautiful people have no idea that a sophisticated fraud was perpetrated on them and blame themselves for their deteriorating mental and physical health. Many of my sannyasin friends have great trouble sustaining this illusory happy fog and are taking more and more desperate measures to continue feeling good.” (For the entirety of Schnelle’s post, see further on, below.) At the same forum, Christopher Calder, Rajneesh’s second Western disciple in the early 1970s, wrote on Oct. 19, 2005 and Aug. 18, 2007, “The Web is full of phony Osho propaganda sites that simply ignore all the scandals and the history of the cult. Most of the tell-all books are out of print and hard to find…. Will the next big cult use germ warfare as the Osho cult did, chemical warfare as the Aum Shinrikyo cult did? Or perhaps the next religious cult will graduate to nuclear warfare? Who knows? If human beings never learn that blind and unquestioning obedience to one ‘perfect Master’ or leader is dangerous and anti-evolutionary, then we will only have more disasters. [...] I am not saying Rajneesh was a complete fraud in the sense that he had nothing to offer. I just draw a clear line between what was good about him and where he went wrong, so that others in the future will not make the same tragic mistakes..”

98. Saint - March 10, 2008

Posts on Osho criminal and osho is an idiot!.

Thanks for your deligence and painful reading over those references to bring some insight about a Fradulant hindu man called Osho to this forum. Hope those Osho worshippers and lovers read all these real life events happened in Oregaon and Pune during1980s. Let us not waste our time in taling about Osho or such unrelated issues here.

This discussion is about Lord Buddha and Buddhism, we should not be sidetracked by talking about cults and frauds, ofcourse the Gandhi cult and Gandhian fraudulism is an exception, because, the very reason we are here to ask the founder and editors of this magazine about what is the relevance of publishing Gandhi in an Buddhist magazine.

Let us not deviate from this focus point, though it is good to know all other issues in the world.

I wish someone will do their deligence(like the author of Osho did) on Gandhi’s involvement in murder of an American, Gandhi’s racist involvement and Gandhi’s so called pasting unto death (drama) and his sexual indulgence in the disguise of father of India, all these areas are all important issues to discuss, because an insight of all this topic will make a better understanding about this man, especially for those who believe he was a Maha….aatma (to someone like the founder of this tricycle!).

Thanks for the decent discussion and non abusive approach to this forum, except couple of of them here who is trying their hindutuva dramas, to the most part, this discussion is very frutiful and decent.

Saint

99. Rahul - March 10, 2008

Mr Gandhi supported khilafat movement but opposed babasaheb as he was becoming more influential in fight against untouchability.
This khilafat movement’s success led to partition of India. This prove that Gandhi was not at all patriot. For him cast system more important than country.
As all friends have mentioned he tried his best to suppress all his opponents inside (ex Subhash Chandra bosed) and outside(bhagat singh , babasaheb ambedkar ) of congress by his blackmailing techniques
He was cunning he used gullible Indian mass to become famous after his death Indian leader used his name to fool mass.

100. Anand Rao - March 11, 2008

Gandhi is a prominent poster boy of the western media. Media needs poster boys who symbolize a certain ideal. Gandhi played the part so well that he has become synonymous with peace and non-violence.

There are certain aspects of Gandhi’s life which were carefully forgotten when the legend of Gandhi was created. One of them is his tacit support of the caste system. Gandhi did not have the courage of conviction to ask for the abolision of the caste system as he would then alienate his main political support base of upper caste Hindus. He maintained that the caste system was a great institution and only the superiority and inferiority associated with the caste system should be abolished. However some marks need to be given to Gandhi for his work with the oppressed people whom he patronisingly renamed as Harijans. Although Gandhi maintained that his core teaching is equality, peace, reconciliation and non-violence, it did not manifest in some of his actions. The word is not the thing and ideals are not reality.
It should also be understood that Gandhi had undeniably the biggest following as compared to any other national leader (Nehru, Patel, jinnah, Ambedkar, Subash Bose or Bhagat Singh) of India during his times. Jinnah’s support base was restricted to the Muslims, and some among the muslims supoorted Gandhi. Ambedkar’s following was restricted to the Dalits and Gandhi had taken a major share of dalit (Harijan as he called them; the word Dalit came into prominence in recent times) followers from Ambedkar. Gandhi’s main threat was Subhash Bose who he carefully aliented and voted him out to support his yes man Nehru. Gandhi patronised his disciple the atheist Jawahar Lal Nehru. Although there is nothing in common between these two. One a frugal irrational ascetic and the other a bohemian skeptic rationalist. Gandhi used Nehru as a shield to remove Subash Bose from the political arena. Subhash Bose left the anglophile congress party and went to Germany to get the Nazi hitler’s support and he set up the first Indian National Army. The Hindu Mahasabha the original right wing Hindutva Brigade was almost a nonentity during the times of Gandhi. The Hindu mahasabha and RSS felt so powerless due to Gandhi’s popular following and personal charishma that they finally resorted to killing him. Gandhi not asking for the pardon of Bhagat Singh’s death sentence turned his whole philosophy of nonviolence upside down.

One of the key questions in this blog is why did Ambedkar commit the blunder of accepting the Poona Pact. He should have held to his convictions and not yeilded to the blackmail of Gandhi. But we should understand the way Gandhi used his charishma and following to get the things done his way (in a so called nonviolent way). Ambedkar could do little except yeild. Gandhi used this strategy on many ocassions to get his things done. An irrational religious nut case Gandhi easily got his way through and won against the rational, intellectual and skeptic ambedkar. This is the tragedy of India.

The story of Gandhi is the story of charishma, irrational beliefs and emotional power over poeple. The use of religious symbolism and catering to the herd instinct of the ignorant Indian masses made Gandhi into the popular leader that he was. He took his sexual experiments to strenghten his chasity and maintenance of Celibacy to great heights. His acceptance of the sins he commited ( a la roman catholic saint augustine style confessions in his autibiography) added to his saintliness and charishma. Gandhi like many religious nut cases beleived that even natural calamities are preordained and due to the karmic effects. He proclaimed that a major earthquake in eastern India which caused large scale destruction was caused due to the ill-treatment meted to the untouchables. His irrational beliefs was poohpoohed by the poet Rabindranath Tagore. We also see that Gandhi was opposed by all the major thinkers and Intellectuals in India on many counts. But they had no answer for his power over mobilising people and all their dissent was quitened down.

Gandhi had little understanding of Buddhist teachings, its metaphysics and theology. Either way he could fit in his belief system into the Buddhist religious teachings by selectively picking up verses from the Buddhist scriptures and mapping it with his own self made religious system. He had done a similar exercise with other religions like Islam, Christianity, Jainism and Hinduism.

In the intrests of Rationality and Humanism Gandhi should not be made into a patron saint of the religion of non violence and peace.

101. dalitnation - March 11, 2008

From Dalitnation the only authentic voice of Dalits

Many forests of paper has been spent in trying to find out why Babasaheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar converted to Buddhism and not to Islam or Christianity. We at Dalit nation have done research for 22 years on this subject. Babasaheb loved islam and loved Christianity also. They were his object of admiration all the time. But Babasaheb knew that without both the help of christianity and islam we could never defeat Hinduism. Babasaheb knew it very well. If Babsaheb had become muslim then we would have the christian against us and same thing if he had become christian the muslims would be against Babasaheb. Babsaheb then disvcovered Buddha. This buddha is not the Buddha created by Brahmins. But the real buddha. The brahmins had swallowed up Buddhism and ascribed to him all the qualities he did not preach. They taught meditation and non violence. But Babasaheb was the first person to show the world that Buddha was a social revolutionary and not a meditative non voilent saint. This is what the Brahmin pervesion had made buddhism into. Babasaheb hence converted all of us into real Buddhists. Because real Buddists beleive in equality which Hindu caste system does not. Even Islam and Christianity beleives in equality. Therefore they are all the same religions. Look at the genius of Ambedkar. He knew all the schemes and tacticts of Brahmins. Now Brahmins have no option. Babsaheb hats off to you, you have cornered them and they have nowhere to go. Jai Bhim

102. Abhi - March 11, 2008

Mahatma Gandhi explained the importance of studying the world’s religions as a way to better understand our fellow humans. He wrote: “I hold that it is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others’ religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world’s religions is a sacred duty.”

Gandhi specifically wanted us to use the insiders’ perspective to study each faith: “If you read the Quran, you must read it with the eye of the Muslim; if you read the Bible, you must read it with the eye of the Christian; if you read the Gita, you must read it with the eye of a Hindu. Where is the use of scanning details and holding up a religion to ridicule?”

103. Abhi - March 11, 2008

This is an old saying, O Atula; it is not of this day only. “They blame him who sits silent, they blame him who talks much, they blame him who speaks moderately in measured terms.” There is not any one in the world who is not blamed.
There never was, nor will be, nor is there now to be found any one who stands wholly praised or utterly condemned.

– Gautama the Buddha

104. Restora - March 11, 2008

I was introduced to Gandhi and Buddhism through the writings of Mary Byles of australia. Mary Byles a gandhian was the first westerner to study Vipassana meditation in traditional Buddhist Monastery of Mandalay in Burma. You can read her book the “Journey into Burmese Silence”. Marie lived both in Gandhi’s commune and in the Mandalay Monastery. We also notice the existence of Caste system in the Buddhist Monastery in Burma where the clergy has special priveleges unlike in Gandhi’s ashram where everyone were equal. In Mary’s world the philosophy and practices of Gandhi complimented the practice of Buddhist meditation. Why do many people here want to deny this privelege to people like me to use the core of Gandhi’s philosophy and ethical teachings and use it in my Buddhist practice. It all depends from what colour of glasses you see.

105. Ma prem Papaya - March 11, 2008

To all those folks calling Osho a cult leader, Idiot and a fraud. Osho was so true that Buddha’s teaching would not work for the traumatised, violent and tortured people. This blog is a mirror which showcases this. He had devised many meditations knowing fully well that the traditional means had failed.
Try some of Osho’s meditations it might help in getting out of superiority complex, victim conciousness, povery conciousness and other cankers of the mind. You might even realize the noble truths the Buddha foretold.

106. Pardeep S Attri - March 11, 2008

Why ambedkar rejected Hinduism?

Hinduism is the only religion in the world which divides it’s people authentically in the name of god. Our for fathers Ambedkar n Periyar had a thorough research over this religion n found some astonishing facts.

First, they stated that it is necessary that any belief which claims itself to be a religion should have facets like rituals, ethics etc. more so any religion generally has one scripture, one temple, one god n a process of conversion. None of these things r there in the so-called Hinduism. Each Hindu chooses his own scripture. Process of conversion was never there in its long history except the one called shuddi of the arya samaj which came into existence in late 19th century. There is no one central organization maintaining the purity n sanctity of its original n only one doctrine. Furthermore there is no god n joke on Hinduism is that there are so many gods n goddesses as the total number of people. Thus nobody has moral right to claim that there is only one pure Hindu religion vision.

A learned, scholar like S.Radhakrishnan went on record stating that Hinduism is a way of life n nothing more n nothing less. Swami Vivekananda remarked that “to talk of religion or god is insulting the poor man”

The difficulty with Hinduism is that it has no monolithic answer to the problem of suffering. By declaring everything in physical world to be nonreal, illusory, changing, transitory, it ends up with philosophical problems beyond measure…

Baba Saheb questions as, what has brought on this “illusion” of evil, if everything is part n parcel of the divine reality/ they do try to answer that…

Humorous story told by Sankara , India ’s leading philosopher. He had just finished his teaching the king on the deception of the mind n its delusions of material reality. The next day, the king let loose an elephant that went on rampage n the Sankara ran up a tree to find safety. When the king asked him why he ran if the elephant is nonreal, Sankara, not be outdone, said,” what the king actually saw was a nonreal me climbing up a nonreal tree!” one might add,” that’s a nonreal answer”.

Shocking verse in Upanishad:
Accordingly, those who are of pleasant conduct here- the prospect is , indeed they will enter a pleasant womb, either the womb of a Brahman, kshatrya or womb of vaisya. But those who are of stinking conduct here- the prospect is indeed, that they will enter a stinking womb of dog, or womb of swine or womb of shudras or outcast.
Chandogya Upanishad 5.10.8

Baba Saheb was infuriated with above verse n demanded explanation from Hindu scholars. But those people doesn’t have any answers.
Saheb questioned that

1.is the outcast people r equal with dogs n swines
2.what is the karma for the first janma
he says that Hinduism here conveys an inherited sense of wrong, which is lived out in the next life , in vegetable, animal, or human form. This doctrine is nonnegotiable in Hindu philosophy. There are passages in Upanishads that are rather jolting, when one reads them.

Here the evolutionary theory fails

Especially those who are given to vandalizing places of worship of other religion- may take Rama to be divine, but in much of the Ramayana , Rama is treated primarily as a hero- a gr88 epic hero- with many good qualities n some weaknesses, including a tendency to harbor suspicion abt his wife sita’s faithfulness. A pundit who gets considerable space in the Ramayana, called JAVALI, not only does treat Rama as a god, he called his actions ‘foolish’. before he is persuaded to with to withdraw his allegation, javali gets time enough in the Ramayana to explain in detail that ‘there is no after world, nor any religion practice for attaining that, n that ‘the injuction abt the worship of gods, sacrifice, gifts n penance have been laid down in the sastras by clever people, just to rule over other.” Ref (argumentative Indian by Amartya sen)

Many facts to come…

107. osho was criminal - March 11, 2008

We don’t need a culprit to know Buddhism or Buddha. Keep that sex guru to yourself & don’t try to make people fool.

108. osho was criminal - March 11, 2008

We (at-least i ) know Osho better, i have read much more on Osho, i agree that he has spoken much on Buddha. But how stupidly Osho claim that he is much more than Buddha!! No way he (a desirous person for sex, name etc ) can be near to Buddha.

People like Osho (desirous one) can never attain Nirvana. Take a simple example…

Suppose you have a container filled with water and you heat it up.The water after attaining a boiling point turns into water vapor and starts evaporating. Now suppose that you place a lid on the top of the container the water vapor cannot escape in the free space, instead gets condensed on the top of the lid and falls down as a water drop again in the container. If there is no lid placed on top of the container, the water vapor escapes and never returns back into the container.

Now suppose that the container is the world. The water is your life. The boiling point is the time you die. The water vapor is your consciousness. The lid placed on the top is your desire or Moha. Since you have desire in your mind you cannot attain enlightenment , instead you get trapped in the container as the water vapor and again become water. But if you remove the lid on the top of container, i.e., remove desire from your mind you will escape in free space and will escape the cycle of birth and death.

Water->vapor->lid-> come back to Container = It is rebirth,

Water->vapor->no lid-> not coming back to Container = It is Nirvana,

Osho might be running in some animal’s life here on earth!!!

– P.S.A.

109. Milinda - March 11, 2008

Dear Restora

Please read autobiography of Gandhi, see how inequality, violence, sexual indulgence and hatred was practiced by himself.

He use to stay in Ashram in day and night time he use to stay at Birla’s guest house(five star place).

In his Ashram he propogated the inhuman ageold pychological slavery for the “untouchables” through this Hindu religion.

He propogated division agenda, did not wear cloths to keep illussions for lower castes showing how much he cares for them. He asked people to perform the caste based (by birth decided )occupations with perfection to attain nirvana or birth in higher caste family in next life. So “untouchable” should take clean the shit of higher caste all the life. If Mr.Restora if you are from this “untouchable” caste will you take this shit from Gandhi. One need to wear unbiased glasses to understand the plight of victims.

Gandhi also says intercaste marriages and intercaste dining will pollute the Hindu religion. I do not understand where are Buddhist ethics here.
People in India who are victims of gandhis propogation of hinduism will understand how he manupulated the system to maintain the hierarchy. Under this gandhi’s ethics every year around 30k cases of atrocities are committed by caste hindus. Gandhi strongly propogated these ideals.

Please come to India see wht is happening there, use your unbiased glasses and keep your mind open.

Milinda

110. John Preston - March 11, 2008

Milinda,

“Please read autobiography of Gandhi, see how inequality, violence, sexual indulgence and hatred was practiced by himself.”

Where does Gandhi preach inequality, violence, sexual indulgence and hatred in his autobiography. I have read this book several times and Gandhi comes out as a man of honesty and compassion atleast from this book. One of the core messages of his autobiography is the idea of self restraint and it is quite far from the sexual indulgence you accuse him of.

“In his Ashram he propogated the inhuman ageold pychological slavery for the “untouchables” through this Hindu religion. ”

Have you stayed in Gandhi ashrams and Kendras, where is discrimination practised there, do you have any proof. I have stayed and worked in more than ten Gandhi centres in India and I can without doubt tell from first hand experience that what you have said holds no substance. Gandhi had ensured by his actions and words that there is absolutely no discrimination in his ashram based on caste, creed, religion or color. This is followed quite religiously from the time of Gandhi till date.

“Gandhi also says intercaste marriages and intercaste dining will pollute the Hindu religion. I do not understand where are Buddhist ethics here”

There are atleast three instances of Inter-caste marriages which Gandhi presided. There might be more. Gandhi himslef dined and lived with all people irrespective of any caste or relgious bias. These are clearly recorded and part of known history with ample evidence.

“Under this gandhi’s ethics every year around 30k cases of atrocities are committed by caste hindus. ”

This is a baseless accussation. Gandhi or Gandhian ethics are no way involved in any of the atrocities committed on Dalits. Not one of these perpetrators would probably even have known about Gandhi. Gandhi is not followed in India at all except the meaningless ceremonies on his Birthday by the politicians. The accusations on Gandhi can be made on great teachers of compassion like Buddha, Jesus ot Mahavira. They are also part of our history as much as Gandhi is. This shows you have clearly no understanding of Gandhi or Gandhian ethics and have selectively taken incidence and quotations out of context from Gandhi and created a propoganda of hatred against him. This exercise can be done on any of the famous saints and religious people. It is very easy to see the negatives in a person. A charachter like Gandhi, whose life was a open book had many flaws. But he did accept many himself and worked towards his goal of equality, compassion, non-violence and humanism. He ha also in turn inspired many people who have tread this path of equality and compassion.

111. Lokamitra - March 12, 2008

To Osho was a criminal

“Osho might be running in some animal’s life here on earth!!!”

Osho was a crook no doubt. But it is clear that Buddha never believed in re-birth. Read the original pali sutras and you will know how fallacious this idea of rebirth and transmigration is. The idea of rebirth was introduced by Brahmins into the pali cannon after the first buddhist council. This was later elaborated in texts such as Vishuddhimagga by the Brahmin Ashvagosha. It is this belief in reincarnation and past lives that has resulted in the scourge of inequality and violence in India and elsewhere.

112. Amaran - March 12, 2008

Yes Lokamitra. And buddha was your uncle who told you all this in Secret.

113. PRAVIN KR - March 12, 2008

Yes Amaran. You are absolutely right.
Buddha has told us to see truth as truth and untruth as untruth.
Test it yourself.

Are you ready for it?
What kind of proof your ‘Uncle’s spoken words do you have for your beliefs?

114. Raj - March 12, 2008

I agree with Dr. Saint. The purpose of this discussion is not to prove if people are pro or against Osho. I just responded to nonserious guy because Osho was quoted about neo-budhdists in his comments.

We can talk about Osho some other time. The ones who are criticising him have never read him, never understood him and most probably have not even thought about walking a single step to search spirituality. Result of their comments is their borrowed knowledge about Osho and we must stop Osho’s topic here.

Let’s focus on our purpose of what justifies to have Gandhi’s picture on a Buddhist Review magazine

115. PRAVIN KR - March 12, 2008

Exactly Raj and Saint.
Dear Editors. Entire Buddhist community here is eagerly awaiting your views.
If this magazine stands for equality, Panchasheel, Nobel Eightfold path,
justice, compassion, peace, truth OR
grave inhumanism, Slavery, Atrocities, Sexual pervertism.

116. Nagasena - March 13, 2008

Dear Editors,
Your article is a severe setback to Buddha Dhamma and all the values it contains. Our meditation has been disturbed by the images of Gandhi sleeping with naked women, the atrocities he commited and his inhumanism. Yes Editor. We Buddhists have been extremely disturbed and waiting for your apology. You owe us one. Please come out of your shell and tender an apology. After the apology you would need to take the Patimokka vows once more to be recognised by us as a Buddhist. Your apology will help stem the great and collosal damage you have inflicted on Buddha Dhamma.
If the apology is not tendered we Buddhists will boycott the Tricycle magazine and treat you as an Apostate. Imagine how much following and money you are gonna loose. Henceforth the name of Gandhi should be made Taboo and should never be mentioned in a positive light by all Buddhists in their publications all over the world. If at all Gandhi is to be mentioned it should be qualified with all the bad things he has done. Let us take this vow now and make it part of our daily ritual tilll it becomes a habit.

117. Mystic Montage - March 14, 2008

The so-called “Paradoxical Commandments” below were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 when he was an undergraduate at Harvard. He wrote them as part of a booklet for student leaders. Interestingly, with some small changes, these words have been attributed (much later) to Mother Teresa. But Kent Keith wrote it first. Here it is:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

118. PRAVIN KR - March 14, 2008

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
- Albert Einstein

119. Rohit Jadhav - March 15, 2008

Einstien on Gandhi

“Mahatma Gandhi’s life achievement stands unique in political history. He has invented a completely new and humane means for the liberation war of an oppressed country, and practised it with greatest energy and devotion. The moral influence he had on the conciously thinking human being of the entire civilized world will probably be much more lasting than it seems in our time with its overestimation of brutal violent forces. Because lasting will only be the work of such statesmen who wake up and strengthen the moral power of their people through their example and educational works.
We may all be happy and grateful that destiny gifted us with such an enlightened contemporary, a role model for the generations to come.”

“I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time.

We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.”

After Gandhi’s death, Albert Einstein said of Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.”

We sure believe that Gandhi did walk on this Earth in flesh and blood but only after making a demon out of him.

120. Giovanni - March 15, 2008

Einstien himself was the greatest criminal of our age. He was partly instrumental in the creation of the Atomic Bomb through his mass-energy convertion equation. The world has never been the same after this. After his monstrous discovery he waxed eloquent about peace and non-violence. It is not quite surprising that most of these sceintists especially the nuclear physicists like Einstien and Oppenhiemer found their inspiration and solace in scriptures like Baghwad Geeta, a text so full of contradictions. After the first ever atomic explosion Oppenhiemer was found Quoting words from the Gita – ‘I am become Death, the Shatterrer of Worlds’. And Tricycle writes a feature on Gita. We have to find out where Buddha is hiding in Tricycle. He hardly exisits in this magazine. It is sold over to Hinduism.

They could easily relate themselves to the knowledge in these texts.

121. Rohit Jadhav - March 15, 2008

His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Nov 19th 2007 inaugurated the Satyagraha Centenary International Conference on “Globalization of the Gandhian Way: Sociology, Politics and Science of Satyagraha” organised by Jawaharlal Nehru University. The seven-day conference was partly held in Bithiharwa, the village where Gandhi trained satyagrahis on Indian soil. Gandhi said that the root of every Violence or Conflict is Untruth and that the only permanent solution of Conflict is Truth. Consequently, to resolve conflicts he conceived of a novel technique that he called Satyagraha. Literally it means Satya (Truth) With Agraha (Firmness) or, the Unwavering Search for the Truth. And since the only way of getting to Truth is by Non-Violence (or Love), it follows that Satyagraha implies an Unwavering Search for the Truth using Non-Violence

The programme started with the offering to His Holiness of a poster of the Burmese Nobel Laureate Aung San Su Kyi by a Burmese Satyghari.

The Dalai Lama said that he admired Gandhi’s political struggle, and the importance of dialogue in resolving issuses as violence creates more violence. He expressed his pleasure in young people taking interest in Gandhian philosophy.

122. Rohit Jadhav - March 15, 2008

The self-exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama says he once met Mahatma Gandhi – in dream.

‘In this lifetime, I never met him. But at least on one occasion during a winter in Potala palace (in Lhasa), in my dream, I met Mahatma Gandhi,’ he said after inaugurating the Satyagraha Centenary International Conference here Tuesday.

‘As Buddhists, we believe in the rebirth theory. So, I feel that in previous lifetime, I had some contact with Gandhiji,’ he added.

Illustrating the global legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, he told the audience of Gandhians and students that American civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s widow had told him that her husband was so attracted by Gandhi’s philosophy that he wanted to dress in his manner.

‘Can you imagine, an American black in dhoti?’ he said, with his characteristic infectious giggles.

He pointed out that non-violence was not ‘mere absence of violence’.

‘The absence of violence could also be due to fear. Genuine non-violence is related to sincere motivation (of the practitioner),’ said Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan leader, who has been in exile in India since 1959, pointed out that non-violence, compassion and religious tolerance were India’s ancient values that it has exported to the rest of the world.

‘I tell my young Indian friends that they should realise their richness and keep them as living tradition,’ he said.

123. Rohit Jadhav - March 15, 2008

Gandhians on Gandhi

Five Leaders who prevailed with the spirit of non violence

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet: “The place of Gandhi’s cremation was a calm and beautiful spot. I felt very grateful to be there, the guest of a people who, like me, had endured foreign domination, grateful also to be in the country that had adopted ahimsa, the Mahatma’s doctrine of nonviolence. As I stood praying , I experienced simultaneously great sadness at not being able to meet Gandhi in person and great joy at the magnificent example of his life. To me, he was and is – the consummate politician, a man who put who put his belief in altruism above any personal considerations. I was convinced, too that his devotion to the cause of nonviolence was the only to conduct politics”

Nelson Mandela, First President of Post- Apartheid South Africa : “Gandhi remains today the complete critique of advanced industrial society. Others have criticized its totalitarianism, but not its productive apparatus. He is not against science and technology, but he places priority on the right to work and opposes mechanization to the extent that it usurps this right. Large-scale machinery, he holds concentrates wealth in the hands of one man who tyrannizes the rest. He favors the small machine, he seeks to keep the individual in control of his tools, to maintain an interdependent love relation between the two, as a cricketer with his bat or Krishna with his flutes. Above all he seeks to liberate the individual from his alienation to the machine and restore morality to the productive process.”

Martin Luther King Jr :minister and civil rights activist: “Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress , Gandhi is inescapable. He lived , thought and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving towards a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore him at our own risk.”

Aung San Suu Kyi, Founder of Burma’s National League for Democracy: “The life and works of Gandhiji as I was taught to refer to him even as a child, are both thought provoking and inspiring for those who wish to reach a righteous goal by righteous means. I would like to focus on two short comments by Gandhiji on compulsion and discipline. In the April 17, 1930, issue of Young India he wrote: ‘We may not use compulsion even in the matter of doing a good thing. Any compulsion will ruin the cause.’ Gandhiji further wrote in the December 20, 1931, issue of the same publication, ‘We cannot learn discipline by compulsion’. These simple statements reach to the very heart of our attempts to build a strong and united Burma based on the consent and goodwill of the people”

Cesar Chavez, founder of United Farm Workers: “Gandhi is an example. He showed us not by talking, not by what he wrote as much as by his actions, his own willingness to live by truth and by respect for mankind and accepting the sacrifices. You see, nonviolence exacts a very high price from one who practices it But once you are able to meet that demand then you can do most things, provided you have the time. Gandhi showed how a whole nation could be liberated without army. This is the first time in the history of the world when a huge nation occupied for over a century, achieved independence by nonviolence. It was a long struggle, and it takes time.”

124. Sanghamitra - March 15, 2008

After the apology from tricycle editors we need to go after Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Chavez. Me thinks we should boycott these people as well, they are part of the same do-gooders conspiracy of not walking the talk.
King junior and Einstien are not alive anymore we can’t do much to their works. Maybe erase those words from their writings so that Gandhi does not get positive coverage.

125. Rohit Jadhav - March 15, 2008

Sangamitra,

Maybe the tricycle magazine should stop featuring all these people like Dalai Lama, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Albert Einstien, Nelson Mandela, Maha Goshananda – the Gandhi of Cambodia, Martin Luther King Junior, and famous scientists like Nikolai Tesla,Neil Bohr, Schordinger etc who had many good things to say about Gandhi.

Instead the Magazine should feature the enlightened views of people like Winston Churchill who described the ‘Half Naked Fakir’ Gandhi in such exalted terms most endearable to the Buddhists protesting against Gandhi here – “It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer…this malignant subversive fanatic…striding half-naked up to the steps of the Viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor…The truth is that Gandhiism and all it stands for will, sooner or later, have to be grappled with and finally crushed. It is no use trying to satisfy a tiger by feeding him cats meat…it must be made plain that the British nation has no intention of reliquishing its mission in India…we have no intention of casting away the most truly bright and precious jewel in the Crown of the King, which more than all our other Dominions and Dependencies constitutes the glory and strength of the British Empire” – Winston Churchill, 1932

126. milinda - March 15, 2008

Mr. John Preston,

Please do not interpret what is India, I have seen most of the foreigners are illusioned with biased due to company of gandhian or fundamentalists who are from caste hindu communities. To have a balanced view please sometime attempt to interact with Indian Buddhists and oppressed communities.

It seems you have not read all these posts above posts. This has happening first time in the history so rapidly because one will need to listen to truth as truth and untruth as untruth. Now marginalized people who were “untouchables” under 3000 year old caste system are raising their voice. Thanks to Internet revolution, but still people like you would support the fundamentalists like gandhi who did not nothing but propogated Hindu ideologies.

If you are supporting him so much then you should answer why he did not accept buddhism or supported Dr. AMbedkar who revived Buddhism in India.

You asked if i stayed in gandhi ashrams. Yes i stayed and seen what is happening in Gandhi Ashrams where they preach orthodox village economy advocating for “go back to villages” and decentralization.

Gandhi was a rural romantic, who wished to make the self-governing village the bedrock of free India; Ambedkar an admirer of city life and modern technology who dismissed the Indian village as a den of iniquity. Gandhi was a crypto-anarchist who favoured non-violent protest while being suspicious of the state; Ambedkar a steadfast constitutionalist, who worked within the state and sought solutions to social problems with the aid of the state.

About Intercaste marriage. You site number 3 marriages attended by gandhi, i dont know any. Please write specific. atleast quote one intercaste marriage with “untouchable” or any other kind of intercaste marriages.
Gandhi said, “I consider the four divisions to be fundamental, natural and essential.”6 At this time Gandhi envisaged an India with four castes of equal status separated only by their traditional occupations. In “Young India”6 October 1921 he wrote, “Hinduism does most emphatically discourage interdining and intermarriage between divisions… Prohibitions against intermarriage and interdining is essential for the rapid evolution of the soul.”

He was also against his own son (business caste) to get married to Bhrahmin girl. After 5 years they got married.
Gandhi was fundamentaly believer in inequality.
It was only before his death you can his statement sanctioning the marriages amongst caste hindu castes but rejecting intercaste marriage between caste hindu and “untouchable” castes. In the Hindu Standard January 4th 1946 gandhi wrote, “I therefore tell all the boys and girls who want to marry at Sevagram Ashram unless one of the parties is a Harijan (untouchable).”

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” – George Orwell

127. Rohit Jadhav - March 15, 2008

Thich Nath Hanh on Gandhain means of struggle adopted by the Buddhist Monks in Vietnam:

“The nature of the struggle is not a doctrine to be materialized by a program of action; it is communication and love. Thus, its leaders must create and inspire love for the masses in the hearts of their people. They touch the people by altruistic acts born from their own love. When Nhat Chi Mai burned herself because she wanted to be a “torch in the dark night,” she moved millions of Vietnamese. The force she engendered was the force of love for non-violent action.” [Side note from Start Loving: I always felt more horror than anything at the self immolation of Buddhist monks in Vietnam. Last month in reading Dellinger, and close advisor of King, I learned that such an immolation by a Buddhist Monk was largely responsible for Dr. King coming out against the Vietnam war. It touched Dr. King’s heart as nothing else had”
“Another means – the one most often used by Gandhi to communicate with the people – has been fasting. Thousends of Vietnamese, both as individuals and in groups, have fasted to try to end the war. One fasts to pray, to purify one’s heart and strengthen the will – or to arouse the silent awareness and compassion of the population. In 1966, Venerable Thich Tri Quang fasted for 100 days, deeply affecting the people of Vietnam.”

“The non-violent struggle in Vietnam goes on – amid vast pain and hardship. The world is just beginning to understand that peace everywhere, as well as the future of Vietnam, is linked to this movement. Its success and its contribution to the humanist revolution throughout the world depends upon your understanding and your help.”

128. Radha Jagtap - March 15, 2008

The past is no more – Gandhis and Ambedkars are dead and gone. We have to take the best these great men hd to offer and then move on. Why bother about fighting on what they said or did now, you can’t change any of those. The only sane voices coming out of India are from people like the Dalai Lama and Sri Sri Ravishankar. Sri Sri Ravishankar has created a revolution in India both in Urban and rural areas by effectively bringing knowledge of spirituality and meditation and use them as forces for social transformation. I request Tricycle to feature Sri Sri Ravishankar. Sri Sri Ravishankar through the art of living foundation and International association of Human values has been working towards a stress free and peaceful world.

129. Songotha - March 15, 2008

As a Buddhist, one of the reason why Ambedkar never appeals to me on a personal level is because of the vengeance and hatred he expressed in his writings and its reading generates.

Even though Ambedkar was a party to Poona Pact, he was never reconciled to it. He was as much responsible for the Poona pact as Gandhi was. His contempt against Gandhi continued even after his assassination. On the death of Gandhi he expressed, “My real enemy has gone, thank goodness the eclipse is over”. He equated the assassination of Gandhi with that of Caesar and the remark of Cicero to the messenger – “Tell the Romans, your hour of liberty has come”. He further remarked, “While one regrets the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, one cannot help finding in his heart the echo of the sentiments expressed by Cicero on the assassination of Caesar”. Considering Gandhi as a “positive danger to this country”, he quoted from Bible that “sometime good cometh out of evil, so also I think good will come out of the death of Mr. Gandhi”.

The reaction of Ambedkar over the death of Gandhi may be viewed as a politics of negation for vengeance against the caste Hindus and also for political power for Dalits. But he systematically disregarded any progressive elements among the Hindus and constantly focussed on the negatives. This is typical among many of the radical sub-alterns who try to demonize their opponents beyond realistic proportions. The converted buddhists even claim Buddha was involved in such an exercise but through the study of the Buddhist sutras we never get that sense of hatred against any sect or community irrespective of whether they were oppressive or not.

Contrast this to Gandhi’s views on Ambedkar. Gandhi said he had “the highest regard for Dr. Ambedkar. He has every right to be bitter. That he does not break our heads is an act of self- restraint on his part.” Writing to an English friend two years later, he said he found “nothing unnatural” in Ambedkar’s hostility to the Congress and its supporters. “He has not only witnessed the inhuman wrongs done to the social pariahs of Hinduism”, reflected this Hindu, “but in spite of all his culture, all the honours that he has received, he has, when he is in India, still to suffer many insults to which untouchables are exposed.” In June 1936 Gandhi pointed out once again that Dr. Ambedkar “has had to suffer humiliations and insults which should make any one of us bitter and resentful.” “Had I been in his place,” he remarked, “I would have been as angry.”

Gandhi had the element of empathy and compassion in him which made him dear to many people and hence we witness the huge following he had in his lifetime. Gandhi’s following was not confined just to upper caste hindus as many people claim here. As a matter of fact he had strong opposition from upper caste Hindus and was eventually killed by one. He had a following cutting across class, religion, caste, gender and racial divides. There is an universal appeal about Gandhi which is missing in sectarian philosophies and leaders.

130. Shambunath - March 15, 2008

Songotha,
Ambedkar is not a self help guru. He was a revolutionary leader fighting for human dignity against atrocities. He himself had bitter experiences in life due to caste discrimination.
If you want to read sweet goody goody things and get inspired by them read self help books. Most self help books quote Gandhi. You can read all these people like Deepak chopra, Dalai lama and Thich Nath Han. If you really want to change soceity then you might need Ambedkar’s teachings.

131. Ashwagosha - March 15, 2008

I am not sure why we should be so disparaging of Self Help gurus. Most of them prescribe practices and knowledge which help us live in a peaceful, compassionate and sane way. There are several reasons why Ambedkar cannot be remodeled as a self help guru. Unlike the self help Gurus (most of them) who teach that the external problems can be resolved through internal means, Ambedkar holds that the external factors is what creates the self, identity and models the internal psyche. Any change to the internal world cannot be brought about without a change in the external world. Ambedkar adopted the cartesian, mechanistic view of the world as taught by John Dewy and this view was popular amongst many of the western philosophers in America during those times. Most post modern philosophers since the 17th century Kant had seen through the folly of this worldview and adopted a view which gave credence to the metaphyisical and provided a critque of linear reason. The cartesian and mechanistic view is in contradiction to the organic wholistic view of the world which the eastern religions including Buddhism upholds. Hence Ambedkar had to rewrite the story of the Buddha in order to fit it into this philosophical worldview. However the Buddhist path is the path of Individual nirvana and not exclusively a social movement. The social movement was a consequence and not the primary driver. Ambedkar interpreted the Buddhist Sangha as an exclusive social movement against oppression. However the Buddhist Sangha was predominantly a group of people who relinquished social heirarchy and also occupational Identity – not just in the context of caste but in a much more radical way of being out of the functional social heirarcy. This is also evidenced in most monastics from the ancient shramans, jain ascetics, hindu sanyasis, christian gnostics and sufi dervishes. They also were non productive people from a cartesian viewpoint and spent and focussed all their energies towards meditation and awareness. This the Buddha clearly encouraged and motived through his huge body of talks which we can see in the tripitaka.

The biggest folly of the cartesian worldview is how much can the external world be changed to create an internal reality, how long can you blame others for all the problems. The Buddha’s message was ‘if the path is full of thorns then use sandals rather than picking on the thorns”. The cartesian view also supposes that human nature is homogenous within a sectarian and tribal context and therby fosters an ‘us versus them’ paradigm. However the buddha maintained and gave high importance to individual differences in samskaras and never appropriated a behaviour or characterstics on huge groups of people. Buddha maintained that the sanskaras had to be dealt with on a individual context sensitive way. The sanskaras among individuals are different even in between blood brothers and it can be similar between people seggregated by the most divisive races or tribes. This kind of teaching is what makes something which has an Universal appeal and we see this is what many humanistic self help teachers preach. Hence even in Gandhi’s teaching we find the sounds of universal truths to some extent.
We can also see in India the kind of leaders the Ambedkar movement has spawned. There have been many leaders, ploiticians, ministers, and even a chief ministers who belong to the dalit community. We can see Orwell’s animal farm repeated all over again. The hatred and greed cannot so easily resolved just through political machinations.

132. Nagarjua - March 15, 2008

DEEPEST RESPECT TO REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. , NELSON MANDELA. THEY FOUGHT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, SLAVERY. THEY FOUGHT FOR HUMAN DIGNITY, EQUALITY, TRUTH.

It’s an INSULT TO THEM if racist, casteist, womaniser Gandhi is compared with them.

Simple following questions could clear the doubts about Gandhi’s work. What he preached and what he acted
What courage and actions did he undertake to “Fight against Caste system”?
Did he have courage to go against Hinduism and its religious scripts that are the root cause the Slavery of Hinduism?

To all western media and people involved in crusader of ‘Slavery’.
It’s not new. The Brahmanical media has always created a illusion leaders, hid the crimes of Hinduism against humanity.
Do not fall prey to the Brahmanical media who have kept the world in dark about the heinous slavery of ‘Hinduism’? They have kept in dark for several centuries, created a illusion of Gandhi.

Come to India. Stay for few years.
Experience the ‘Slavery in Hinduism’ even today.
Experience the suffering of millions of untouchables. They are subject to unspeakable crimes and atrocities e.g gangrape, mass murder, social boycott. Their life is worse than animal.
http://atrocitynews.wordpress.com/
http://atrocitynews.wordpress.com/bbc-world-interview-snapshots/

Do not forget to see how many Indians, Buddhists, untouchables go to pay homage to Gandhi on his birthday, death anniversary.

Do not forget to see How many millions Indians, Buddhists, untouchables go pay homage to Dr. Ambedkar on his death anniversary Dec 6 Chaityabhoomi, Mumbai.
Do not forget to see the Buddhist revolution ‘Dhamma Chakrapravartan Din’ in Nagpur on VijayaDashmi day in Oct. This is the day when close to million untouchables embraced Buddhism along with Dr. Ambedkar on Oct 14, 1956.
See for yourself the respect
And yes, this is after 50 years these events happened.

You would have guessed it right.
Probably the answers to the questions lie with people for whom they fought for.

From #10 posting
=================================

Gandhi is idolized by people of all political stripes around the world, and his life is popularly considered a model for the American Civil Rights Movement.

U.S. Senator Harry Reid called Gandhi “a giant in morality.” Former U.S president Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a “National Day of Recognition for Mohandas K. Gandhi.” South African leader Nelson Mandela called Gandhi “the archetypal anticolonial revolutionary” whose “nonviolent resistance inspired anticolonial and antiracist movements.” African-American Senator Obama reportedly keeps a picture of Gandhi in his office.

Martin Luther King, Jr. associated Gandhi with the African-American struggle against inequality, segregation, and racism. Reverend King believed Gandhi was “inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward…peace and harmony.” When the Indian government paid to place a statue of Gandhi at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center in Atlanta, Mrs. King spoke about her husband’s admiration for Gandhi, saying, “It is gratifying and appropriate that this statue is installed in this historic site.”

Unfortunately, these people were never acquainted with the real, historical Mohandas Gandhi, who was a virulent racist.

Gandhi was hired to work as an attorney for wealthy Indian traders in South Africa. He moved there in 1893 and soon helped establish the Natal Indian Congress. The goal of this Congress was to “promote concord and harmony among the Indians and Europeans residing in the colony [of South Africa].” Instead of concord and harmony with the blacks, however, Gandhi promoted racial segregation. The major achievement of the Congress was the successful attempt, spear-headed by Gandhi, to fix the Durban post office “problem.” This issue is discussed in-depth here.

In 1904, Gandhi founded The Indian Opinion, a newspaper which he used as a political tool to promote his personal views. It is in this paper, which Gandhi edited until 1914, that we find a record of his extensive anti-black activism and opinions. A list of anti-black quotes from his writings, in which he invariably refers to the South African natives as “Kaffirs,” can be found here. Gandhi’s opinion of the native is best summarized when he calls them people “whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

Finally, in 1906, Gandhi cheered on the British as they waged a war on the black Zulus. He then volunteered for military service himself, attaining the rank of Sgt. Major in the British Army and assisting the war on blacks in every way he could. You can learn more about this here.

One of the best-known heroes of the American Civil Rights Movement was Rosa Parks, the black lady who refused to sit at the back of the bus. While Gandhi is upheld as a champion of equality, the truth is that he probably would not even have allowed Mrs. Parks on the bus in the first place. He proudly said that among South African Indians, the “co-mingling of the coloured and white races…is practically unknown.” Gandhi also boasted, “If there is one thing, which the Indian cherishes, more than any other, it is the purity of type.”

People remember Rev. King for his most famous speech, in which he said: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” To associate Martin Luther King, Jr. with Mohandas Gandhi, whose dream was to clear the way for Apartheid in South Africa, is an insult to the memory of Rev. King.

MOREOVER THE ATROCITIES ARE COMMITTED ON DAILY BASIS ON DALITS(every day a dalit is killed, a woman is raped pl visit http://www.atrocitynews.wordpress.com) IN INDIA IS SILENT OUTCOME OF VARNASHRAMA THEORY CONCRETISED BY GANDHI AND HIS FOLLOWERS THRU PANCHAYATI RAJ MECHANISM…NETIZENS, PLEASE BEWARE OF GURUs&MAHATMA BRANDS< THEY ARE CURRUPTING HUMANISM

133. Milinda - March 15, 2008

To all Indian Caste HIndus/non Indians who are supporter of Gandhian subtle philosophy of hatred and oppression,

One cant forget the basics, we need to understand what is truth gandhi propogaged Hinduism.

Obviously Buddha was unhappy and had got engaged against inhuman inequal vedic religious practices.

If Dr. Ambedkar was against spreading Hinduism a mental dieases amongst Dalits what was wrong he being angry with gandhi tried keep Dalit under the Hindu illusion and kept them mentally unhealthy.

It was great act of reembracing the Buddhism by Dr. Ambedkar who relieved the “untouchables” from the age old caste slavery and which had eroded the psychic health of caste hindus.

But gandhi was coward and perisite like other caste hindus who were dependent on maintaining the caste hierarcachy for their future generations.

Now you see it is getting very difficult for them to see what is infront of their nose.

It needs courage and ethics to talk truth and face untruth.

Best wishes keep ruling and oppressing the masses under illussions of Hinduism.

People who suffered from gandhis philosophy would understand what does it mean to be oppressed and remain untouchables.

Such discussions on blog will continue with strong support for gandhi from his followers from India and their fellow culprit non-indian friends.

Enjoy remaining blind or pretending to be blind and let people suffer miseries. Be happy !!

But people who follow engaged Buddhism who are and will keep fighting for their dignity and justice !!!

They dont expect support from people who are coward and slaves of their own mind!

’Freedom of mind is the real freedom. A person, whose mind is not free though he may not be in chains, is a slave, not a free man. One whose mind is not free though alive, is no better than dead. Freedom of mind is the proof of one’s existence’.
– Dr. Ambedkar, Founding father of Modern India

134. Chandramohan - March 16, 2008

Read the works of Swami Vivekananda for a true understanding of Hinduism.

135. Roshan - March 16, 2008

In the late 70s and early 80s, there was a huge propoganda in India and abroad that the Sikhs in india were discriminated by the Hindus. This propoganda plus the arms pumped in from across the borders created lot of terrorist atrocities on Hindus. Ironically it was the Sikhs who stood behind the Hindus and were in lot many ways Hindus in their religions. The Sikhs were a marital and patriotic race who were held in high esteem by all Indians. They were also rich with punjab being one of the richest state in India. But goebellian propoganda plus the arms and ammunition across the border created the state of social unrest. The Sikhs also got support from abroad by publishing stories of atrocities.UK, cannada and Norway supported them. We can see a some of those mastermind sikhs used this propoganda to leave India and settle down in Southall in London and Cannada. But because of this malicious propoganda they were alienated and there were several terrorist attacks by Sikhs which finally culminated in the assasination of Indira Gandhi and the subsequent killing of Sikhs in delhi. After the end of the afghan – russian war the arms from across the indain border stopped. So has all this propoganda against Sikh atrocities have died down as it lacked any substance. However there are even now some minor sections of Sikhs in London, Cannada and america who benefitted from this propoganda by their western masters and they hold conferences on Hindu atrocities on Sikhs. This notwithstanding the fact that the prime minister of India is a Sikh.

On exactly a similar vien, my country Sri Lanka was a peaceful Island in the 70s. The Sinhalese who were buddhists were in a better social scale and conditions than the Tamil Hindus in the north of the island. The Tamils who were fisherman and farmers were poorer than the sinhalese. The Tamils did not have much representation in the government. Apart from this they were localized in the northern part of Sri Lanka which was close to India. Instead of going for a democratic and peaceful way of addressing the problems the Tamils took to violent warfare. There were papers published on the atrocities on Tamils, these publications were circulated in europe and america. The prime message of these propoganda generators was the Sinhalese were demons sucking the blood of Tamils. These were again supported by nations like UK, Cannada, Norway and lately Israel. Some of the clever ones among the Tamils benefitted through this propoganda and they settled down in developed countries in Eastham of London, Cannada and Switzerland. Meanwhile Sri Lanka has been ripped apart. The Tamil tigers who are fighting there don’t even know how it all started. The Tamil Tigeers also have been instrumental in killing prominent politicians including prime minsters of India and Srilanka through Suicide Bombing. When I see my War ravaged country now I always wonder if there could have been a better solution. The Tamils are no better as a result of this violent conflict so are the Sinhalese. Our whole country has suffered.
Whenever I see places like Southhall or Eastham, I always wonder how these settlements came about and how much blood was spilled for these minority who stay here and enjoy the benefits of modern western soceity. How much malicious propoganda have been written in the hate philosophies of these people.
I always wonder could there have been a better solution for these problems. Can peace be given a chance. Would passive ressistantance, non-violent protests and non cooperation be a better way to handle these. I have always wondered if these people could have given a chance to peace and non-violence they would have benifitted much more. Obviously the propoganda machinery was so strong no one even ventured to heed the message of peace and non-violence.

136. Saint - March 16, 2008

Comment #135, Roshan.

Roshan, I have no idea about what is your message here on this board. I
I wish that people read the earlier comments to get an idea about what is the relevance of thier arguments or point of concern in this message board. We are not here to talk about sikhs, srilankans.

We are here to find out the truth, the background forces behind “Buddhist magazines” propagating and trumpheting” hindu perpetrators of Buddhism, such as a personality like Gandhi.

Would you please go through all those comments above 1-134 and see if there is anything relevant you can offer here.

Whatever Sikhs or the state of Punjab is, they are no different than hindus when it is concerned to humanity and approach of another human, they discriminate and indulge in activities similar to hindus.

Let us not waste our time on talking about those, do you have anything to say why Buddhists are sabotaged or beeing targeted by hindus?. Then say, we can learn something from what you know.

Saint

137. Saint - March 16, 2008

Giovanni, comment#120.

Yes, whether Einstein is a criminal or not, he is certainly not relevant to peace or love. In his own personal life he betrayed his wife immensley, a significant portion of his Nobel Prize work was actually belong to his wife. Both academically and in family life he was a betrayer, let along talk about him on the national or international or humanitarian level. People like him quoted Gandhi’s name for the lack of understanding, bias and political mileage. India’s slaversim to the British was the highest point of the world’s history, anything happened in India was the talking point of the world, so ironically India became synonymous with the evil Gandhi’s name, it was no surprise that so called leading personalities around the world used his name in their views and in their writings.

Comment #121 and other Comments of Rohit Jadhav,
You are bringing excellent information, thanks for the insights.

Comment#124
Your dream is a reality, all those names will be erased in the future generation, the social understanding and progress aided by technological progress brings a new thinking.

A new thinking embedded with asking a question of what is truth and what is not?.

The younger generation will not be easily swayed by religious stupidity, false propagandas, inhuman and insane beliefs, as a result, all those names such as Gandhi (which is already an erased names except you see or hear some whisperings!?), Mandela, King, Chavez…..will be erased.

I am not surprised why King used Gandhi’s name, but I am very surprised and shocked why Nelsan Mandela used Gandhi’s name and his self-procalimed non-voilence…….

Gandhi made disgusting statments about African blacks, he hated them and talked about them venomously, he wrote about it and he made stage talks about it.

Mandela is a intellectually blind man!, I am amazed a personality so big, so moving and powerful like Mandela praising a devil like Gandhi. For a personality of his stature and great service he has done to Africa and black people of his country and the world, he is way bigger and greater than Gandhi, terribly sorry that he utters the word Gandhi.

As far as King concerned and why he has used Gandhi’s name………King understood that any means to get the attention of whites or American administrators to liberate the blacks from slaverism is by non-voilence.

However, King’s understanding of where the peace and non-voilence concept came to this world was poor or blind folded by Gandhian activities, because King and Gandhi were contemporaries fighting against slaverism (one was against race and human rights, the other was against freedom of India and hinduism from Britishers, not humanity or human rights???……so contrasting but the end means are similar….to get out of the hold of rulers?).

King’s usage of Gandhi’s name is again for great political leverage, King had no idea about Buddhism, and he had poor understanding about Lord Buddha, not only just King, his entire family is still talking about Gandhi.

The whole of King’s family knows nothing about Buddhism and Buddha, what can you expect from them. Several decades after King’s Death, his wife or daughter went to the Gandhi’s meetings and talked about him, that is the nature and depth of their lives on the truth?.

Chavez, I have no idea who is he/she. Let me not waste time on writing about him.

About Aung San Suu Kyi,
I am not sure if she is a Gandhian talker or can be put along the names of King or Mandela, though her fight is similar to them, she is a Buddhist.

Her knowledge and practice on Buddhism is of importance to us, but personally I have no knowledge that Suu Kyi’s is linient towards hindu thoughts or Gandhian thoughts………she is much more closer to India geographically and culturally than King or Mandela, I am interested to learn about what would be her inclination on this issue. I wish she is a good and true Buddhist like Dr.B.R.Ambedkar

Yea, this is going to my most favorite comment:
About Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama, though I like him as an individual or as a practicing Buddhist. But, he is no way can influence me as a true Buddhist. He is far more distanced from real Buddhism than what our savior Dr.B.R.Ambedkar or the Goenka’s mentor did to this world.

Both Dr.B.R.Ambedkar and Goenka’s Mentor (sorry, I do not have the name on top of my head, but I will mention it later), are great modern Buddhists of practical in nature. What Buddha did in his entire life by teaching, preaching and practicing along non-voilence and peace worked for Buddha and that time of the civilization very well. The other reasons why Buddha did what he did during those days is that Buddha was not a public personality or figure like Ambedkar, Buddha was seculuded man while he was a King’s son (his interactions were utterly limited to the King’s family and sorroundings), when he left the house to find out the truth, it was similar there too.

Even at this juncture he lived a very seculuded life with meditation, monks and limited followers while preachings.

There was no way Buddha would have experienced a life similar to working or running a law firm, a fedral government or a ministry, a university professor, a research scholar, a political leader or a greate speaker and writer like B.R.Ambedkar.

Under those circumstances, they made strategies accordingly to the society that would work and benefit people. Intellecually blind, morally deviated, humanely distanced hindus can never understand or talk about those intricacies, their perpetrating and hard wired to implict harm on other’s will never allow them to see such a great insights of B.R.Ambedkar. I am not saying all hindus are like this, there are good hindus and great people, but overall, the majority of hindus concerned, they are incredebly blind about truth and reality. Ask them to stop making pampous statements about India is great or hindus are great?, you will know what would be the response, why ask them those questions……just read the types of comments they make here?. It is pathologic, besides they will blame the dalits and others, saying they are responsbile for their life, this and that……….some one is saying here that they have to look into the self and discover…..discover what?. While the self is destroyed by a 3000 year old subjugation and suppresive hindu behaviors, what would you look inside a self to realize. Mind is a interactive one dear friend, without interacting with brain and it’s functions, mind would be meanigless even at theoritical level. Let us not go to practical level, as we did not reach a stage where we can provide practial explation for for mind, so do not come here and through your hindu sh…t…..we are not going to buy those ruthless and meaningless ideas.

Ask, those people who argue or putforth points if Ambedkar ever invloved or connected to any voilence or individual attack?. On the other hand, ask them another question, how is Gandhi’s involvement in Voilence, killing and massacre?. Let us see how much true knowledge they possess?.

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar’s life and his work cannot be, cannot be even distantly related to voilence, he was never known to even abuse an individual by words, neither in his family nor outside………….., despite personaly tarmented by hindu’s.

Dr.B.R. was attacked by hindus in almost every single ways possible by hindus, he was not allowed to drink water, he was not allowed to rent a room, he was not allowed to travel in a cart….so on and so forth, with all those hurts, humiliations and damages to his physical and emotional compents, he never involved in hurting people.

Ofcourse his stage talks and writings have strong words and language against hinduism, that is how it should be. I write so strongly about hinduism even though I never, ever had even a single such episode of what Dr.B.R.Ambedkar underwent in hindus hands. [Saint: That does not stop me from writing against or about hindus, because, I know the truth and I wanted to tell the truth to this world].

Dr.Ambedkar’s mind is the ultimate example for humanity, peace, love, compassion or whatever you call it. Gandhi on the other hand, directly involved in killing, just browse over the comments in this blog and other blogs, with evidence and supporting documents, one can learn about this evil person.

So, Dali Lama is no way a representative true Buddhism. He is a Buddhist I know and you know, but not to an extent like Dr.Ambedkar or some true Buddhists, who truely represent the thoughts and workings of Lord Buddha himself. Besides, Buddha would have disgusted to see Dalai Lama’s escape to India and living a fugitive’s life, besides satisfying hindus by trumpheting Gita, Gandhi and Government of India, otherwise, they will through him out of India. What would have Lord Buddha done under this circumstances (think——you can see the truth about Dalai Lama). While China is sabatoging the lives of Nepalis and Buddhist monks, Dalai Lama did not have the abilities and strategies to find out a solution rather escaped and living in India, there is no way he can stay away from talking about Gandhi. Well, there is, even if Dalai Lama is in Nepal, he might talk about Gandhi, Dalai Lama after all is from what background (?????). So, what Dalai Lama practices and preaches is not my Buddhism nor the real Lord Buddha’s Buddhism. I am not surprised why the author of this magazine is following Dalai Lama and portray Gandhi on this cover?.

Comment # Songotha, I merely wasted few minutes of my time reading your’s, make no sense. Dr.Ambedkar or true Buddhists will not represent Gandhi, nor they are intend to, so, go keep this to yourself and do some veda/gita’s worshiping on it. We are wide awake people, we wanted to aks questions, we do not blindly believe cow is sacred, or gandhi is great. If there is no scientific or rational or reasonable explanation that cannot be provided, it makes no sense to us: and We are Engaged Buddhist and we can challenge a person like Dalai Lama!.

Truth?, what is it, where is it? and who sabatoged it?.

Ask yourself this question, seek for it. And, come here and write about it when you find it.

Comment # 126, great message Milinda.

Thanks,
Saint

138. Saint - March 17, 2008

WHAT DO YOU REALY KNOW ABOUT DR.B.R.AMBEDKAR & His Buddhism?.

Here it is, just hear from his own words:
UNPUBLISHED

PREFACE

April 6, 1956

[Text provided by Eleanor Zelliot, as prepared by Vasant Moon]

A question is always asked to me: how I happen[ed] to take such [a] high degree of education. Another question is being asked: why I am inclined towards Buddhism. These questions are asked because I was born in a community known in India as the “Untouchables.” This preface is not the place for answering the first question. But this preface may be the place for answering the second question.

The direct answer to this question is that I regard the Buddha’s Dhamma to be the best. No religion can be compared to it. If a modern man who knws science must have a religion, the only religion he can have is the Religion of the Buddha. This conviction has grown in me after thirty-five years of close study of all religions.

How I was led to study Buddhism is another story. It may be interesting for the reader to know. This is how it happened.

My father was a military officer, but at the same time a very religious person. He brought me up under a strict discipline. From my early age I found certain contradictions in my father’s religious way of life. He was a Kabirpanthi, though his father was Ramanandi. As such, he did not believe in Murti Puja (Idol Worship), and yet he performed Ganapati Puja–of course for our sake, but I did not like it. He read the books of his Panth. At the same time, he compelled me and my elder brother to read every day before going to bed a portion of [the] Mahabharata and Ramayana to my sisters and other persons who assembled at my father’s house to hear the Katha. This went on for a long number of years.

The year I passed the English Fourth Standard Examination, my community people wanted to celebrate the occasion by holding a public meeting to congratulate me. Compared to the state of education in other communities, this was hardly an occasion for celebration. But it was felt by the organisers that I was the first boy in my community to reach this stage; they thought that I had reached a great height. They went to my father to ask for his permission. My father flatly refused, saying that such a thing would inflate the boy’s head; after all, he has only passed an examination and done nothing more. Those who wanted to celebrate the event were greatly disappointed. They, however, did not give way. They went to Dada Keluskar, a personal friend of my father, and asked him to intervene. He agreed. After a little argumentation, my father yielded, and the meeting was held. Dada Keluskar presided. He was a literary person of his time. At the end of his address he gave me as a gift a copy of his book on the life of the Buddha, which he had written for the Baroda Sayajirao Oriental Series. I read the book with great interest, and was greatly impressed and moved by it.

I began to ask why my father did not introduce us to the Buddhist literature. After this, I was determined to ask my father this question. One day I did. I asked my father why he insisted upon our reading the Mahabharata and Ramayana, which recounted the greatness of the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas and repeated the stories of the degradation of the Shudras and the Untouchables. My father did not like the question. He merely said, “You must not ask such silly questions. You are only boys; you must do as you are told.” My father was a Roman Patriarch, and exercised most extensive Patria Pretestas over his children. I alone could take a little liberty with him, and that was because my mother had died in my childhood, leaving me to the care of my auntie.

So after some time, I asked again the same question. This time my father had evidently prepared himself for a reply. He said, “The reason why I ask you to read the Mahabharata and Ramayana is this: we belong to the Untouchables, and you are likely to develop an inferiority complex, which is natural. The value of [the] Mahabharata and Ramayana lies in removing this inferiority complex. See Drona and Karna–they were small men, but to what heights they rose! Look at Valmiki–he was a Koli, but he became the author of [the] Ramayana. It is for removing this inferiority complex that I ask you to read the Mahabharata and Ramayana.”

I could see that there was some force in my father’s argument. But I was not satisfied. I told my father that I did not like any of the figures in [the] Mahabharata. I said, “I do not like Bhishma and Drona, nor Krishna. Bhishma and Drona were hypocrites. They said one thing and did quite the opposite. Krishna believed in fraud. His life is nothing but a series of frauds. Equal dislike I have for Rama. Examine his conduct in the Sarupnakha [=Shurpanakha] episode [and] in the Vali Sugriva episode, and his beastly behaviour towards Sita.” My father was silent, and made no reply. He knew that there was a revolt.

This is how I turned to the Buddha, with the help of the book given to me by Dada Keluskar. It was not with an empty mind that I went to the Buddha at that early age. I had a background, and in reading the Buddhist Lore I could always compare and contrast. This is the origin of my interest in the Buddha and His Dhamma.

The urge to write this book has a different origin. In 1951 the Editor of the Mahabodhi Society’s Journal of Calcutta asked me to write an article for the Vaishak Number. In that article I argued that the Buddha’s Religion was the only religion which a society awakened by science could accept, and without which it would perish. I also pointed out that for the modern world Buddhism was the only religion which it must have to save itself. That Buddhism makes [a] slow advance is due to the fact that its literature is so vast that no one can read the whole of it. That it has no such thing as a bible, as the Christians have, is its greatest handicap. On the publication of this article, I received many calls, written and oral, to write such a book. It is in response to these calls that I have undertaken the task.

To disarm all criticism I would like to make it clear that I claim no originality for the book. It is a compilation and assembly plant. The material has been gathered from various books. I would particularly like to mention Ashvaghosha’s Buddhavita [=Buddhacharita], whose poetry no one can excel. In the narrative of certain events I have even borrowed his language.

The only originality that I can claim in [=is] the order of presentation of the topics, in which I have tried to introduce simplicity and clarity. There are certain matters which give headache[s] to the student of Buddhism. I have dealt with them in the Introduction.

It remains for me to express my gratitude to those who have been helpful to me. I am very grateful to Mr. Nanak Chand Rattua of Village Sakrulli and Mr. Parkash Chand of Village Nangal Khurd in the district of Hoshiarpur (Punjab) for the burden they have taken upon themselves to type out the manuscript. They have done it several times. Shri Nanak Chand Rattu took special pains and put in very hard labour in accomplishing this great task. He did the whole work of typing etc. very willingly and without caring for his health and [=or] any sort of remuneration. Both Mr. Nanak Chand Rattu and Mr. Parkash Chand did their job as a token of their greatest love and affection towards me. Their labours can hardly be repaid. I am very much grateful to them.

When I took up the task of composing the book I was ill, and [I] am still ill. During these five years there were many ups and downs in my health. At some stages my condition had become so critical that doctors talked of me as a dying flame. The successful rekindling of this dying flame is due to the medical skill of my wife and Dr. Malvankar. They alone have helped me to complete the work. I am also thankful to Mr. M. B. Chitnis, who took [a] special interest in correcting [the] proof and to go [=in going] through the whole book.

I may mention that this is one of the three books which will form a set for the proper understanding of Buddhism. The other books are: (i) Buddha and Karl Marx; and (ii) Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India. They are written out in parts. I hope to publish them soon.

B. R. Ambedkar
26 Alipur Road, Delhi
6-4-56

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/ambedkar_buddha/00_pref_unpub.html

139. Abhinavagupta - March 17, 2008

Dear Saint,

I was indeed sad to know that majority of the Hindus are “intellectually blind, morally deviated and humanely distanced”. I never realized it until I read your comments. Also I failed to grasp how a hindu like me and the near and dear Hindus around me who live in Chennai and Tamil Nadu and elsewhere in the country were violent, blind and Humanely distanced. But your next sentence gave me comfort where you mention that there are some good Hindus and even great people. Thanks a ton for your largesse and compassion shown to some of us Hindus. These minority Hindus are indeed priveleged to be recognised by you.

But also it is really painful for me to know from you that majority of my fellow Hindus are incredibly blind about truth and reality. Would you be able to share some of those features and characterstics of people of other religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism,Jainism and Judaism which Hindus like me can adopt so that we cannot be blind to Truth and Reality. As a Hindu I have encountered innumerable reform movements in our religion to rectify social ills and evils and I and most of my ilk would not have much of a problem in incorporating further reforms so that we not be blind to the Truth and Reality you refer to. Also I have increasingly found that majority of the people of my ilk are not so fixated about different forms of beliefs and worship and feel that Human nature being so varied they feel there are different paths to truth and reality.

Something about me, I am a practitioner/follower in the Vedanta tradition and consider myself as a man in search of truth and reality. My gurus Ramakrishna, Ramana, Vivekanda, Rama Thirtha, Nisargadatta are my guiding light and I have found great inspiration in their teachings as well as in Hindu texts like Upanishads, Baghwad Gita, Astavakra Gita, RIbu Gita, Yoga Vasishta, Patanjali Yoga Sutras, viveka chudamani, Vijnana Bhairava Tantra and many others. Among other things I also find many of my Hindu brethren intrested in the meditational practices as taught in Trika Saivism.

Also, I like many other hindus have been inspired by the teachings and lives of great hindu saints like Tukaram, Kabir, Jnanadev, Haridasas and veerashaivas of Karnataka, the Bauls of Bengal. Also like many Hindus I find solace in the Buddhist texts and traditions, the compassionate teachings of Jesus and mysticism of Islamic Sufism and Jewish Hassidism. As a student of Vedanta I find many similarities between these traditions and some of our Base texts. Sometimes I feel even to call it ours and theirs is a misnomer as it is part of the world heritage belonging to us all. I for one can read a verse from the Masnavi of Jalalud-din Rumi and correlate easily with a shloka from the say the Isha Upanishad, read a Zen anecdote and corelate easily with the astavakra gita and this applies to many other traditions like the Buddhist mahayana, vajrayana and so on.

I am also in the publishing business in India, with a keen eye on the market segement and readership and if you go to any of the Bookshops in India you can find the Books of all the above mentioned texts, traditions and teachers are widely available and well sold. I have done some reserch and have statistical models built in to analyze the readership patterns in India. India being a majority Hindu country I am sure with all the statistics at my command that these books are read by a great many educated Hindus like me. I feel the problem in India as elsewhere is a problem of wrong education and some of us Hindus through our indological publications are providing a great source towards a positive perspective of Human reality, social welfare and spiritual growth.

I would like to know from you how other religions and their publishing, propoganda and dissmentation mechanism are working in this regard. I would also like to know what the core values these people and movements are preaching vis a vis Hinduism.

140. Abhinavagupta - March 17, 2008

Also, just one more thing I happen to view the Cow as a sacred animal like many other Hindus. Well infact not just the cow, I view like many other folks of my ilk that all the creation as sacred. To this effect I am also a Vegetarian. I also find that the highest number of Vegetarians and Vegetarian restraunts are found in India. In my several years of stay in the west, I really found great difficulty in locating vegetarian restraunts and vegetarian items in hotel menus. My biggest problem was in the countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and China where it is too very difficult to find vegetarian food. I was just wondering from your words why such malicious people like Hindus adopted vegetarianism, at least some of them if not all.

141. Anirudha - March 17, 2008

Dear Abhinava,
I am very sad about your self loathing attitude. Why do you have to knock at the doors of a fanatic hate monger to find truth and reality. It is no one’s monopoly least of all a political and religious fundamentalist even if he be a Buddhist.
I can very well guess Mr. Saint’s answers, Anyone Hindu who hates being a Hindu is a good hindu and anyone who accepts his hate philosophy is a good Hindu. Simple and in a nut shell – My way or the high way.

142. Nagarjua - March 17, 2008

There are a lot of philosophies, theories of Hinduism. Lot of Mahatma’s, Sri Sris, Guru’s come, talk about God but do nothing about the sufferings of people.
The reality is daily several atrocities, crimes happen on Buddhist, untouchables in India.
Can we see what actions all the Guru’s , Sri Sris and Mahatma’s take? Can we see what actions the so called ‘Independent voice of Buddhism’ takes? Or are they busy with ‘Mahatma’s’ or serve to their masters ‘Hinduism’.
Here are the latest victims of the ‘Slavery of Hinduism’.
Come see the reality.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/indiaabroad/20080317/r_t_ians_nl_general/tnl-dalit-families-tense-after-maharasht-b9e311f_1.html

Dalit families tense after Maharashtra blinding incident

Mumbai, March 17 (IANS) Several Dalit families are said to be fleeing their villages in Nanded district of Maharashtra after the January incident in which two boys from socially marginalized communities were virtually blinded by upper caste people.
The shocking aftermath of the incident was highlighted in a report of the fact-finding committee of the Dalit Intellectuals Collective (DIC), which has several Dalit groups and personalities as its members. The DIC submitted its report last week to the state home ministry.
‘Several Dalit families have started fleeing from villages in Nanded district, following the gouging out of the eyes of their two community members,’ former judge B.H. Gaikwad who was part of the committee told IANS.
‘We are making efforts to get the statistics of the families that have already left, but given the tense scenario, it will take some time.’
Gaikwad along with other DIC members like academics Sanjay Moon and activist Mangal Khinwasara visited the Sategaon village in Nanded district in Marathwada, the south central part of the state bordering Karnataka, where the incident took place.
Gaikwad said: ‘We can actually feel the fear pulsating among the lower strata of society and the Dalits. They usually live in small hamlets in poor conditions on the banks of the Godavari river.’
In the village of around 1,250 people, the community break-up, according to the study, is Maratha 84.91 percent, Matang 7.08 percent, Buddhists 5.66 percent, Gosavi and other backward class 1.89 percent and Muslims 0.95 percent.
Matangs along with converts to Buddhism are Dalits.
‘Our fact-finding mission has revealed that one of the victims, 20-year old Chandrakant Gaikwad, had a close friendship with an upper caste girl, Premala Jadhav, residing in the same village. This was resented by a section of the so-called upper castes as they not only harbour casteist sentiments but also exercise control over the local economy and administrative set-up,’ Gaikwad said.
According to Gaikwad, Chandrakant and his friend Milind Jondhale, a Buddhist from the Matang community, were allegedly attacked by members of a Maratha community organisation called Chaava. They were brutally assaulted for running away with Premala to another village.
The members of Chaava went to the other village, caught the youths and tried to gouge out their eyes. The boys are now battling to get their eyesight restored partially.
Police too have been accused of adopting a partisan approach in the sensitive matter, which has further infuriated the Dalits.
‘Under pressure from certain groups, police have filed a case of kidnapping and molestation against the youth. They have ignored the girl’s repeated statements that are contradicting the police version, the fact that she is a major and that it was her own decision to run away from the village,’ said Khinwasara, a member of the local Women’s Vigilance Committee.
When news of the horrifying incident started trickling in, a local NGO, Vikas Adhyayan Kendra (VAK), set up an independent committee of prominent individuals to ferret out the truth behind the incident that has sent shockwaves among Dalits all over Maharashtra.
‘In fact, it has revived memories of the atrocities and massacre of four members of a Dalit family in Khairlanji in the nearby Bhandara district of Vidarbha in eastern Maharashtra, ‘ Khinwasara said.
In September 2006, a mob of upper caste people had attacked four members of a Dalit family, stripped a woman and her daughter naked, and killed them along with her two sons in Khairlanji.
‘So far the state government has not bothered to even look into the Sategaon matter, even though we have submitted our report with eye-opening facts. As was the case in Khairlanji, Dalit families are fleeing the villages and the so-called local self-government based committees have done nothing to build confidence among community members,’ according to Gaikwad.
‘It is precisely for this reason that we have demanded not just a separate inquiry to be conducted in the functioning of the Sategaon Gram Panchayat but we also want civil rights training to be imparted to Dalit women, members of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and other backward communities, ‘ said Khinwasara.
Women activists in Maharashtra have also demanded that the state Women’s Commission and Women’s Protection Force be ordered to visit the girl, Premala, and find out her condition.
They also want rehabilitation of the victims of caste violence, heavy penalties and punishment to those guilty and investigation into the role of people fomenting caste clashes.

143. Radha Jagtap - March 18, 2008

To Nagarjuna,

It is really unfortunate to know about the displacement of Dalit familes who are living in such fear in Maharashtra. I hope the NGOs working in these areas take up the cases of these people to provide them justice and their freedom.

On another note, you have questioned what Sri Sri’s have done as they just talk and do nothing. The Sri Sri you are probably referring to is Sri Sri Ravishankar. I am part of the art of living family and we are working in rural development and empowerment of Women in rural India.

The Art of Living Foundation is one of the world’s largest volunteer-based educational and humanitarian organisation. Through his personal interactions, teachings and humanitarian initiatives, Sri Sri has reached out to an estimated 300 million people worldwide. From over 25,000 villages in India to the ghettos of South Africa to more than 150,000 prisoners incarcerated around the world, Sri Sri is transforming lives. His wisdom, his legendary charisma and his selfless service have inspired farmers, students, housewives, professionals, social workers and thinkers alike.Touching upon every section of society and addressing every aspect required to build a violence-free, crime free and stress-free society, Sri Sri’s work covers the areas of conflict resolution, trauma relief and disaster management, stress elimination, prisoner rehabilitation, youth & women empowerment, education, community development, empowering individuals and the revival of ancient wisdom.

Please do not make baseless accusations on an enlightened master and social reformer like Sri Sri Ravishankar. I would welcome you to come and view our work first hand before writing these stuff. We are aware that India as elesewhere has deep rooted problems and we are working towards eradicating all those things.

“Non-violence and compassion should be the guiding force. If this is prevalent in our society, we can definitely make a difference. It may sound very impractical, but we will have to move in that direction because non-violence is — nobody likes violence for themselves, but we need to bring those values in life. It has to come from education and from culturing” – Sri Sri Ravishankar

144. Anirudha - March 18, 2008

Hi Radha,

Your words would not convince the fundamentalist and fanatic Buddhists here. They have concluded that all Hindus except some minority who think like them are malicious and evil people. So whatever work you do or whatever social welfare activities that people like Sri Sri Ravishankar does are meaningless to these people. Their agenda is not social welfare but political vendetta and capture of power. It is indeed ironical that people like Saint and Nagarjuna hide their hatred and violence under the garb of Buddhism or neo-Buddhism. Any one doing positive work in soceity is hated by these people. They don’t even spare even the likes of Dalai lama or Thich Nath Han. They exhibit high level of intolerance in their views and bracket a huge population of 0.8 billion Hindus as evil. And we are told by these people that we need to learn to see truth and reality from them.

145. Chermila - March 18, 2008

Hi I happen to read this blog. Some people here have said ambedkar is modern buddha. My question to people – did ambedkar got nirvana like Buddha. Was ambedkar enlightened and got enlightenment experience.

146. Nagarjua - March 18, 2008

Regarding 143.
Thanks for the post.
I hope you have understood the question and context. Does not seem so from the reply though.
“Can we see what actions all the Guru’s , Sri Sris and Mahatma’s take?”
Pl. explain what is the accusation.
Pl. explain if the question means “they just talk and do nothing.”
It’s good to see some of the good things done.
However what about basic thing? Does this humanitarian have time, energy, courage to work on the ‘Slavery of Hinduism’?
I hope he understands the intensity of the issue thru his spiritualism, meditation.
I guess you have already answered the question.. NGO’s are there to take up the issue.

144 is not worth answering.
Everyone one can see if it is ‘Buddhist Fanatism’ or ‘Caste Hindu fanatism’.
There is not even a small mention about the blind victims and several Buddhist running away from rural areas.
These atrocities news happen on a day today basis for several thousand years on Buddhist, untouchables. Can anyone say these are not real?
Only now due to advent of technology, internet and courageous people working towards Buddha’s teaching of equality, liberty, truth, justice and peace these are gruesome, shameful acts are brought to the world.
They are giving their lives for it.

147. Radha Jagtap - March 19, 2008

The international association of human values and the art of living foundation have adopted villages in India and provide /providing empowerment and training to the underpriveliged. If you want to know more about the core values taught by Sri Sri Ravishankar you can visit the http://www.artofliving.org. YOu can also contact any of the art of living centres around 144 countries to know the kind of work they this is being done.

Sri Sri Ravishankar’s movement is driven by the motto ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’, the ‘whole earth is one’s family’ . In his vision, mission and practice there is no place for any discrimination based on caste, creed, color or race. This knowledge is being taken across through many villages in India and also in strife torn places across the world. The Art of Living Foundation is one of unique organzation whose following cuts through all religions, cultures and backgrounds, a very, very difficult thing to do in today’s world.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s soldiers of peace have adopted 25,300 Indian villages in 25 states, trained thousands of village youth in youth leadership training programme and conducted over 75,000 villages courses benefiting more than 2.3 million people. There is no place for the caste differences in Sri Sri’s movement and initiatives.

His Prison SMART programme (Prison Stress Management and Rehabilitation Training), has helped prisoners throughout the world in rehabilitation and in reducing violence and drug dependency. It also teaches the inmates skills that enable them to accept responsibility for their past actions and handle future conflict and stressful situations successfully.

His post-traumatic stress alleviation courses have helped to bring peace to victims of war in Kosovo (80 per cent of Kosovo’s population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Harvard Medical Group), in Israel, the Balkans, Sudan, Afghanistan, the United States, Iraq and Pakistan.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s teachers and volunteers are from all religions – Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs etc.

“We can all work toward a dual goal. One is to protect our environment, our planet Earth. The second thing is to protect human values — compassion, friendliness, cooperation, and a sense of belonging to each other. This will protect our minds, save our hearts — the soul of the planet. These human values need to be nurtured so we can have a stress-free, violence-free society. It is time to honour the ethical values from religions and discard the unscrupulous practices. Instead, people have discarded ethics and allowed the unscrupulous practices to continue.” – Sri Sri Ravishankar

Sri Sri is indeed a great social reformer very rarely seen in our long History.

148. Anji Cherian - March 19, 2008

It is the incessesant teachings of Meditation, Karma and re-birth by Buddhism which has resulted in the fatalism by Birth and passiveness of India. I wonder why these religions need to be considered at all. Buddha was as much a culprit as anyone else. The centuries following Buddha’s emergence turned the geographical land mass of India into a passive weak state. Invasions upon invasion followed. If Hinduism is poison, Buddhism is a main ingredient in this poison. Buddhism from its foundation is an elite religion. The pali suttas for example provides abundant instances and anecdotes depicting city life, highly developed trade and and luxiorious habits of living. It is highly questionable whether this elite philosophy of Buddhism can do much to alliveate the suffering of the oppressed.

149. Milinda - March 20, 2008

All the castiest Mahatmas like Hindu Gandhi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, or Asaram Bapu and others though their main purpose is not to abolish caste and untouchability but they do raise some dust on this issue.
It would be important to understand the meaning of following word by Dr. Ambedkar

“There have been many Mahatmas in India whose sole object was to remove Untouchability and to elevate and absorb the Depressed Classes; but every one of them has failed in his mission.

Mahatmas have come and Mahatmas have gone. But the Untouchables have remained as Untouchables.

Reformers who in moments of crisis prefer to sacrifice their principles rather than hurt the feelings of their kindred, can be of no use to the Depressed Classes.”

150. Radha Jagtap - March 20, 2008

Milinda,
Sri Sri Ravishankar is not a casteist. I think you are a victim of preconceived judgements without knowing anything about Sri Sri Ravishankar or his movement. Sri Sri stands for equality, justice and freedom both in percept and practice. The art of living foundation has touched and transformed millions of people cutting across all stratas of soceity, religions, castes, creeds.

Sri Sri Ravishankar has been instrumental in spreading the values that Buddha stood for – peace, truth, non violence. Please do not make baseless accusations on a great human being like Sri Sri Ravishankar.

151. Anirudha - March 20, 2008

I think one of the basic tenets of these people like milinda here is to always blame it on others. Now he is blaming those saints and mahatmas who tried to remove evil practices like untouchability. My way or the high way. Okay now please extend your logic to Buddha, Mahavira as well. They were also well meaning mahatmas.

“The mote in thine own eye thou seest not…..” – Jesus

152. Realbuddha - March 20, 2008

From the article from Dalit Voice – March 16 2008
http://www.dalitvoice.org
Buddhism hijacked by Brahminism

FIVE STATEMENTS
This is a response to the criticism on the following five statements of Dalit Voice:

1. Who says Budhism stands for peace, nonviolence, vegetarianism, meditation? Nonsense. Gautam Budha did not say all this nor Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.

2. What then are the facts? Budha preached and trained his followers on two things: (a) fighting practices and (b) peaceful practices. The first to be used against the cruel Brahminical enemies of the Dhamma and the second to strengthen innocent people. In other words, Budha asked his followers to be fully armed to fight and finish Brahminical enemies of Budhism.

(3) The Budha also identified only the Aryan Brahminical people and declared a war against them.

(4) Good men, defenders of the correct teaching need not observe the five precept or practice the rule of proper behaviour. Rather they should carry knives and swords, bows and arrows, halberds and lances.

(5) When I recall the past, I remember that I was the king of a great state in this continent of Jambudvipa, my name was Sen’yo and I loved and venerated the great vehicle scriptures.

Budha’s fundamental doctrines are anitya, anatma, anishwarvad, pratyutyasamutpada, law of kamma (effects of human deeds on society social order, good or bad), equality and justice in society. Dukha (sufferings) and its removal (nirvan) come under pratyutyasamutpad.

The object of the Dhamma is how to remove (annihilate) the dukha — sufferings and those practices that work to remove the Dukha is called Dhamma. Budha had coded Astang marg, panchasila (dassila for bhikhus) and Das paramitas as the principles (practices) to remove the dhukha. All these practices or principles depend upon the existing social order to be on the foundation of justice and equality but the rich always discarded them.

NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE
(1) Take the first point. Peace, meditation, nonviolence and vegetarianism are not the natural nor absolute doctrines/principles of Budha’s Dhamma. Will peace, meditation, nonviolence and vegetarianism help establish justice and equality in today’s social order? Peace is possible only within equal classes/communities. Lambs and lions can never live together peacefully. Can the oppressed and the oppressors live peacefully together without violence between them? Budha said there would not be peace without removal of private property (Ambedkar – The Buddha & His Dhamma, p.424, People’s Education Society, 3rd edition).

Babasaheb also said: I am for peace which is based on justice —not the peace of the graveyard. There cannot be any peace without justice (Oct.15, 1956).

All creatures may live peacefully without attack. But in practical life one creature is the food for the other. This is the law of nature. Without violence or killing how they will live/survive?

Budha banned only unnecessary killing of creatures like in yagna and unnecessary wars.

JAINISM USED TO KILL BUDHISM
When Budha permitted eating meat as food its meaning is he permitted killing/violence also.

Budha said:

Those who attack these living beings either because of greed or of hostility and always bent upon evil, they go to darkness and fall into hell; this is amagandha, and not the eating of flesh. It is evil action which constitute amaganda and not the eating of fish or flesh. (B&HD p.295).

Budha did eat choice dishes made with flesh of birds (p.293). He stood for ahimsa. He denounced himsa. But he did not deny that himsa may be the last resort to save good beings destroyed by evil (p. 369). Every individual may decide by this pradnya whether the need to kill is there (p.250).

Ahimsa Permo Dharma is a Jain doctrine used by the Brahmanvadis to defeat Budhism. We found in Vinaypitak that Budha had made rule for bhikhus not to eat flesh of some animals like elephant, nag, lion etc. But he never banned flesh of all kinds animals.

MEDITATION REJECTED
In Astangmarg, Budha preached samma-samadhi which means right thinking.

Whenever Budha or Babasaheb used the word meditation, concentration, contemplation its meaning is only right thinking and not yoga meditation or vipassana. Budha never taught any technique of yoga meditation or vipassana.

All yoga or vipassana meditations are Brahminical/vedic techniques now propagated in the name of Budha to weaken the Ambedkarite/Budhist movement of revolution.

Don’t confuse people in the name of meditation or vipassana. Yoga meditation or vipassana is only for relaxation therapy and kasin mediation is hypnotic which leads to hallucinatory effects whereas samma-samadhi is right thinking which creates reasoned mind and good deeds.

2. Take the second point. Why peaceful and fighting practices are necessary? Why and how Budha and Babasaheb used them? Budha told Anand about Pratyutya-samutpada that:

“Deep is this doctrine of events arising from causes. It is through not understanding this doctrine, through not penetrating it, that this generation has become a tangled skein, a matted ball of thread, unable to overpass the way of woe. I have said that, craving is the cause of grasping. Where there is no craving of any sort or kind whatever by anyone for anything, would there be any arising or grasping?” “There would be no lord”.

“Craving gives rise to pursuit of gain. Pursuit of gain gives rise to desire and passion. Desire and passion give rise to tenacity. Tenacity gives rise to possession. Possession gives rise to avarice and more possession. Possession lead to keeping watch and ward over possession. Many a bad wicked state of things arise from keeping watch and ward over possession, such as blow and wounds, strife, quarrelling, slander and lies. This is chain of causation, Anand”.

BUDHA ADVOCATED CLASS STRUGGLE
Above is the correct analysis of class struggle.

If there was no craving would there arise pursuit of gain? If there was no pursuit gain, would there arise passion? If there was no passion, would there arise tenacity? If there would be no tenacity, would there be love for private possession? If there would be no possession, would there arise avarice for more possession? “There would be no lord”. “If there would not be love of private possession, would there not be peace”? “There would be lord”. (B&HD, p.424 and p.168).

This is the fundamental doctrine of class struggle (causes of dukha) under pratyutya-samutpad but both Budha and Babasaheb failed badly to establish their doctrine — justice and equality in the society but Marx-Lenin and Mao have succeeded because they used force.

That is why Rahul Sankrutyayan while propagating Budhism criticised Budha for disobeying and discarding his own doctrine to enforce it on society. The titan like Babasaheb Ambedkar could not get incorporated his state socialism in the constitution of India even when he was the architect of the constitution.

Budha succeeded in establishing communism only within the (bhikhu) Sangha. What is the use of this communism within the sangha when there was already a rule of possessing only eight articles by bhikhus?

Babasaheb was never against communism. He said that Soviet dictatorship would be good for all backward countries. The Russian revolution brought equality.

In India, Budha to Babasaheb used only peaceful practices and achieved some success but they miserably failed to establish justice and equality.

Our Mulnivasi Bahujan movement is also using peaceful practices to “educate, agitate and organise” the Bahujans but the enemy (BSO) is so powerful that we failed.

Democracy failed in India to establish justice, equality, liberty and fraternity for want of fighting practices by Bahujans.

VIOLENCE NEEDED TO ENFORCE JUSTICE
That is why both Budha and Babasaheb recommended fighting practices to the oppressed against their oppressors (BSO). Babasaheb said:

“Violence cannot altogether be dispensed with… Why cannot a property-owner be killed if his ownership leads to misery for the rest of the humanity? There is no reason to make an exception in favour of property owner. The Budha was also against violence. But he was also in favour of justice and where justice is required he permitted the use of force (W&S, Vol.3 p.450).

Budha sanctioned warfare for a righteous cause. He said he who deserved punishment must be punished. Evil should not be allowed to overpower good (B&HD p.368-369). Where virtue is in danger do not avoid fighting, do not be mealy-mouthed (B&HD p.327).

How then to fight without having weapons? Every Budhist/Ambedkarite/oppressed should note that Manu/BSO had completely disarmed the shudras to enforce varna/caste system on them.

(3) What is wrong in point No. 3 ? Are not the Brahminical people the enemy No.1 of Mulnivasi Bahujan Samaj? Who brought the caste system to India? Who are its defenders? Who are against social and economic justice, equality and casteless society? It is the Aryan Brahminical people.

Budha allowed Brahmins also to work for the welfare of the society. But the Brahmins conspired and ruined Budhism.

WHERE CHRISTIANS FAILED
That is why Babasaheb said in his memorandum given to the Budhist Sasana Council of Burma in 1954 that:

The Sasana Council must not make the mistakes which the Christian missionaries in India made. The Christian missionaries began by attempting to convert the Brahmins. Their strategy was that if the Brahmins could be converted first, the conversion of the rest of the Hindus could not be difficult.

For they argued that if the Brahmins could be converted first they could go to the non-Brahmins and say, “When the Brahmins have accepted Christianity why do not you, they are the heads of your religion”. This strategy of the Missionaries proved fatal to Christians…. I feel that I must also set out what precautions must be taken in launching the movement for the revival of Budhism in India, if Budhism is not to disappear again….

The danger to Budhism from Islam no longer exists but the danger from Brahminism exists. It will be its toughest opponent.

EXCLUDE BRAHMINS
A Brahmin will remain a Brahmin no matter what colour he assumes or what party he joins. That is because Brahmins want to maintain the system of graded social inequality.

Budhist strikes at the very root of their prestige and power. That is why the Brahmins hate it.

It is quite possible that if the Brahmins are allowed to lead the movement of revival of Budhism they may use their power to sabotage it or misdirect it. The precaution to exclude them from position of power at least in the early stages of our movement is, therefore, very necessary (W&SVol.17, part-3, p.507-511).

The Aryan Brahminical people are the natural enemy of Mulnivasi Bahujans, according to Budha’s law of kamma. That means those who are the defenders of casteism, injustice, inequality, discrimination, oppression and refuse the human rights or opportunities to the weakers are the enemies of the oppressed people.

(4) For the bhikhus, observance of the panchasilas is compulsory. Their observance by the upasakas is voluntary. That means the bhikhus are forbidden from using arms/weapons even when they are beaten or killed by the enemies like killing by Pushyamitra Sung, Mihirkul, Shashank etc.

How such a rule can help defend the survival of Budhism? Never. How Budha could make this rule which could not defend Budhism? How the mealy-mouthed bhikhus can defend the dhamma? What is the role of bhikhus to establish these high value-virtues? Vinaypitak proves that Budha changed the rules frequently. Budha permitted change of rule for right cause when you are in danger or if it is necessary.

BUDHA WANTED WAR AGAINST BRAHMINISM
Budha said that we could wage war for lofty virtue, for high endeavour, for sublime wisdom. Where virtue is in danger do not avoid fighting, do not be mealy-mouthed (B&HD p.327). A bhikhu who is indifferent to the owes of society, however perfect in self-culture, is not at all a bhikhu. He may be something else but he is not a bhikhu. A bhikhu leaves his home so that he may have the freedom and the opportunity to serve those who are attached to their homes but whose life is full of sorrow, misery and unhappiness and who cannot help themselves (B&HD p.319).

Babasaheb also gave the same message as point no.4 explains. Babasaheb said:

Violence cannot be altogether dispensed with… If a murderer can be killed in war because he belongs to a hostile nation, why cannot a property owner be killed if his ownership leads to misery for the rest of humanity? There is no reason to make an exception in favour of property owner… The Budha was against violence. But he was also in favour of justice and where justice was required he permitted the use of force (W&S, Vol.3, p.450).

WEAPONS NEEDED TO FIGHT OPPRESSOR
How a good man (King Pasenadi) can defeat a wicked man (King Ajatsatru) in war/struggle without possessing superior arms and weapons to fight? Budha indirectly confessed for this by saying that the slavery gets a slayer in his turn, the conqueror gets one who conquers him, a man who spoils is spoiled in his turn (B&HD p.300-301).

Without possessing arms or weapon how it is possible to use force against enemies. Then what is wrong in point-4?

MEDITATION KILLED BUDHISM
(5) The editor of SOP by using Babasaheb’s words from B&HD criticised that — these lines unfold that it is based on the Jataka stories which are not the words of Budha. It may be wrong because the name of king Sen’yo for which the SOP editor criticised as false story, may be the name of Seniya Bimbisar, King of Magadha, which is true and to whom Budha permitted punishment for criminals (oppressors) and wage war for righteous cause (B&HD p.366-368).

Supposing the criticism is correct as per Jatak stories, but what Babasaheb saying in that chapter (B&HD part-4/4 p.56-57) about Bodhisatva’s 10 births/life is also taken from jataka stories which is wholly wrong, false and unscientific.

WHERE BUDHA FAILED
Budhism in India declined due to such meditational practices where bhikhus were engaged in meditation neglecting the real problems (sufferings) of the society.

Ideology alone is not enough to win without right strategies and tactics. Budha used various strategies and tactics to propagate his Dhamma. Budha converted women of 122 hunters when their husbands were not at home. Budha converted the 500 robbers.

Budha advised people to acquire wealth legitimately and justly, in righteous way and expend it for welfare of self, family and his workers and labourers (B&HD p.333 & 423). Which rich person listened to Budha’s advice? Bahunjans are suffering from centuries because of such exploiters or BSO. How to overthrow this capitalism and Brahminism?

Babasheb fought for separate electorate but failed. He demanded separate settlement but failed. As the chief architect of constitution, he failed to incorporate state socialism in the constitution. Finally, he denounced Hinduism and embraced Budhism. Here also his own people betrayed him and went into the camp of his enemies like Osho Rajnish, Goenka, TBM.

Babasaheb said on Oct.15, 1956 at Nagpur:

With the education, intelligence, knowledge and experience that I have, it is not difficult for me to oppose or fight against any evil. But there is a mountain, a colossal mountain of caste hierarchy; Vaishyas, Brahmins, Kshatriyas sitting on our heads. The question before us is, how to topple it down and blast it. It is for this reason that I wanted to acquaint you fully with the religion of Budha.

We want Budhism for justice and equality to secure our due rights, share and equity in the resources and property of the country which assures the well-being and development of our people and future generations and not the false satisfaction in the slavery or destitution. Are the tall-talkers and preachers of Budhism striving to achieve Budha’s object?

CASTE IDENTITY
The Mulnivasi Bahujanvadi Movement using “caste identity” thesis can alone help polarise and strengthen the oppressed communities against the BSO. No other movement will become successful in India where caste is the basic building block of fraternity (love) and unity.

Budha and Babasaheb lived and died for establishing justice and equality. Don’t kill them in idol worship and prayers or in meditation and false satisfaction or in sant and panth. Don’t force Budhist Ambedkarite movement to commit suicide.

We all have one common enemy and a common cause. Why our hands do not raise jointly against this common enemy? Why our people are beaten up by their own people? Because our people are made idiots who love their enemies and help enemies but not their co-brothers or sufferers. How to finish such internal contradictions within us?

We must love all our greatmen (not only Budha) who fight for the cause of the poor and oppressed and removal of casteism. Babasaheb struggled to make us lions — not sheep.

After finishing Budha’s Dhamma, driving it out of India and then co-opting Budha as the 9th avatar of Vishnu, India’s principal enemy has almost swallowed Dr. Babasaheb’s Budhism. Millions of rupees are being spent to see that Brahminical Budhists infiltrate Ambedkarite Budhism. Vegetarianism, meditation, non-violence, bhajans, idol-worship — all enemies of Budhism — are sold to our innocent Ambedkarites so that their anger against the Brahminical oppressors will not make them fight against injustice, inhumanity and naked exploitation of Untouchables.

Vegetarianism: Even as our Brahminical rulers are using all sorts of violence against the native Bahujans, they have already groomed thousands of vegetarian Budhists to fight, character assassinate and destroy genuine revolutionary Ambedkarites.
Budhism, so much so, has become a big business.
Dr. Ambedkar too faced similar threats from Dalits only acting on behalf of the enemy. Within an year of embracing Budhism, he was killed by the very forces, according to his followers.

153. GB Singh - March 20, 2008

Dear All,

I am the author of Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity. I am glad that so many of you have aired your views about Gandhi. Please keep up the great work you guys are doing. I suugest you might visit http://www.gandhism.net. Also feel free to reach me if you must ar GB7495@hotmail.com

154. Anonymous - March 23, 2008

Looks like the last message was either deleted by the blog moderator or it was never published due to some error??.

Saint

155. Milinda - March 23, 2008

Radha and Aniruddha

Please read my previous posts, where I had mentioned about Buddha who rationally questioned caste inequalities and he never claimed himself Mahatma. But he was great human being whose philosophy has great role in eradication of caste, likewise Ashoka understood it, and in 1956 Dr. Ambedkar re-embraced to Buddhism along with millions of followers.

I am pointing out all people who claimed or claiming themselves as great Mahatmas who raise dust but has not been successful in eradicating caste.

If one read the classic “Annihilation of caste” published at Columbia University, Dr. Ambedkar has appealed the people who want to eradicate this caste and untouchability, one will have to eradicates its sanctity given by Hindu religion, and the this religions has basic foundation of caste. I have not seen any HIndu without caste, as it has remained basic foundation of religion.
One cant explain why one Hindu is Hindu, except the uniform answer
of caste identity. eg. i belong to this caste so i am hindu, but there wont be any other uniform answer.
It follows sanctity to the Hindu caste hierarchy and untouchability practices.

Last week my friend called me up and told in Aurangabad town one “untouchable” caste boys eyes were taken out because he tried to marry higher caste girl(with her will). All caste hindus got together and beaten this boy and blinded him.

This is one of the 30000 (reported) incidences of caste atrocities sanctioned by the HIndu religion. One can read the classic religious law of Hindu, Manusmruti, which is religiously followed with examples like mentioned above(most of the time without consciousness ), but the given caste identity of higher ups gives them authority to oppress others below them.

I dont blame these people personally, but the system of hierarchy. I will praise who quetioned it rationally but not people like gandhi who make this hierarchy more strong again sanctifying this religious caste identities.

Ravi Ravi Shankar, I dont know why he should support Hindu religious sentiments, if he is useing buddhist values, then he should not merely use it behind the curtain of hinduism or any other religion. But openly become buddhist and practice it. Leave apart this, I do not know if he has intervened in any atrocity cases, or any initiative to annihilate the caste. Whosoever Mahatma or others will sanctify the Hindu religious with its in seperable caste hierarchy, will need to question their own freedom of mind if it is slaved.

Best wishes !!!

Milinda

156. Radha Jagtap - March 24, 2008

“Ravi Ravi Shankar, I dont know why he should support Hindu religious sentiments, if he is useing buddhist values, then he should not merely use it behind the curtain of hinduism or any other religion. But openly become buddhist and practice it. Leave apart this, I do not know if he has intervened in any atrocity cases, or any initiative to annihilate the caste. Whosoever Mahatma or others will sanctify the Hindu religious with its in seperable caste hierarchy, will need to question their own freedom of mind if it is slaved. ”

Sri Sri ravishankar teaches Human Values not Hindu or Buddhist or Christian values. Sri Sri has basically taken the best out of all the religious and secular traditions as far as the value systems are concerned. There is no need for Sri Sri Ravishankar to become Buddhist or vedantin or christian or any thing else. He describes himself with a simple man with no labels. As he says, “Religion is the banana skin and spirituality is the banana. The misery in the world is because we throw away the banana and are holding on to the skin.” Sri Sri believes that all religions and traditions have a common value system, and these shared values have to reach every corner of the world in order to make it a better place for all.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) in 1997, which has undertaken development projects in thousands of villages, bringing self-reliance to millions of people from India to Afghanistan to Bosnia, Iraq to New York.

157. Thipperudraswamy - March 24, 2008

“One cant explain why one Hindu is Hindu, except the uniform answer
of caste identity. eg. i belong to this caste so i am hindu, but there wont be any other uniform answer.”

There are many Hindus who do not identify with Caste System. They are still Hindus. I belong to a community who follow the teachings of the great teacher and social reformer Basavanna. Our community is a very big community (15 Million) in a southern Indian state. Basavanna was a social reformer who never believed in caste. There are many other sects and communities like the Radhasoami’sin the North who never beleive in discrimination. There are hardly any modern Hindu movements or Gurus which condone caste system or oppression. Hinduism has existed and can exist without the caste system. Manu dharma shastra is something which is reviled by every Hindu organization.

Even the much hated Hindu organization RSS is open to all people of all castes and never ever condoned the caste system. There are some people here who have vested intrest to malign Hinduism and appropriate on it all the evils of Indian soceity. This can be done for any religion. You do not apply the kind of atrocities happening in Buddhist, islamic and christian countries on these religions. In fact these countries have far higher atrocities than India.

158. Thipperudraswamy - March 24, 2008

“This is one of the 30000 (reported) incidences of caste atrocities sanctioned by the HIndu religion. One can read the classic religious law of Hindu, Manusmruti, which is religiously followed with examples like mentioned above(most of the time without consciousness ), but the given caste identity of higher ups gives them authority to oppress others below them. ”

This is a strange accusation because Hinduism as such is a conglomerate of many belief systems and there is no central church or authority dictating anyone to commit any atrocities. That said I am not sure whether Manusmrithi is a law book followed by hindus. Amicro minority Brahmins used to read this sanskrit text. In modern India manusmrithi is read more by people who are against Hinduism than Hindus.
These unfortunateincidents of atrocities in India are sectarian violencewhich is pervalent in most fuedal soceities in asialike pakisthan, bangladesh, burma, cambodia, china and many many others. It is not specific to India or Hinduism.

159. rana pratap - March 24, 2008

To Thiperudraswamy,

You should understand that you are talking to some violent sectarian people with vested intrests to demonize hinduism. There is no use talking to these people as they have a very clear agenda and set mind set about Hindusim. They have also made a good career out of this by running NGOs and so called Human Rights organizations with good funding from vested intrests from outside India. There careers will be jeopardized if they realize that Hindus are humans like everyone else.

160. Raj - March 25, 2008

to # 148. Anji Cherian – March 19, 2008

“Buddha was as much a culprit as anyone else. The centuries following Buddha’s emergence turned the geographical land mass of India into a passive weak state. Invasions upon invasion followed. If Hinduism is poison, Buddhism is a main ingredient in this poison. ”

Dear Anji,

Please read the following to have real facts about why India was invaded again and again. It was not due to Lord Buddha’s teachings; it was due to the Hindu social system.

“Ninety per cent of the Hindus— Brahmins, Vaishyas and Shudras—could not bear arms under the Hindu social system. How can a country be defended if its army cannot be increased in the hour of its peril? It is not Buddha who, as is often alleged, weakened Hindu Society by his gospel of non-violence. It is the Brahminic theory of Chaturvarna that has been responsible not only for the defeat, but for the decay, of Hindu Society.
Some of you will take offence at what I have said about the demoralizing effect of the Hindu socio-religious ideal on Hindu Society. But what is the truth? Can the charge be denied? Is there any society in the world which has unapproachable,, unshadowables, and unseeables? is there any society which has got a population of Criminal Tribes? Is there a society in which there exist today primitive people, who live in jungles, who do not know even to clothe themselves? How many do they count in numbers? Is it a matter of hundreds, is it a matter of thousands? I wish they numbered a paltry few. The tragedy is that they have to be counted in millions, millions of Untouchables, millions of Criminal Tribes, millions of Primitive Tribes!! One wonders whether the Hindu civilization is civilization, or infamy.” Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah by Dr. Ambedkar

161. kureela - September 13, 2008

Hinduism was a never RELIGION,Hinduism was created by dwarf adi shankracharya,time has come we should librate the bodh gaya and other buddhist temple which was converted to hindu temple.to defeat the hinduism we should throw hindus from USA and Europe who are transfering dollor to kill dalits,christian and muslims in India.missionaries should approach the Bush administration to show the picture of christian genocide in orissa and burn the all hindu temple in USA and europe.

162. Anonymous - October 27, 2008

Gandhi became a leader in a complex struggle, the Indian campaign for home rule. Following World War I, in which he played an active part in recruiting campaigns, Gandhi, again advocating Satyagraha, launched his movement of non-violent resistance to Great Britain. When, in 1919, Parliament passed the Rowlatt Acts, giving the Indian colonial authorities emergency powers to deal with so-called revolutionary activities, Satyagraha spread throughout India, gaining millions of followers. A demonstration against the Rowlatt Acts resulted in a massacre of Indians at Amritsar by British soldiers; in 1920, when the British government failed to make amends, Gandhi proclaimed an organized campaign of non-cooperation. Indians in public office resigned, government agencies such as courts of law were boycotted, and Indian children were withdrawn from government schools. Throughout India, streets were blocked by squatting Indians who refused to rise even when beaten by police. Gandhi was arrested, but the British were soon forced to release him.

Economic independence for India, involving the complete boycott of British goods, was made a corollary of Gandhi’s Swaraj (from Sanskrit, “self-governing”) movement. The economic aspects of the movement were significant, for the exploitation of Indian villagers by British industrialists had resulted in extreme poverty in the country and the virtual destruction of Indian home industries. As a remedy for such poverty, Gandhi advocated revival of cottage industries; he began to use a spinning wheel as a token of the return to the simple village life he preached, and of the renewal of native Indian industries.

Gandhi became the international symbol of a free India. He lived a spiritual and ascetic life of prayer, fasting, and meditation. His union with his wife became, as he himself stated, that of a brother and sister. Refusing earthly possessions, he wore the loincloth and shawl of the lowliest Indian and subsisted on vegetables, fruit juices, and goat’s milk. Indians revered him as a saint and began to call him Mahatma (great-souled), a title reserved for the greatest sages. Gandhi’s advocacy of nonviolence, known as ahimsa (non-violence), was the expression of a way of life implicit in the Hindu religion. By the Indian practice of nonviolence, Gandhi held, Great Britain too would eventually consider violence useless and would leave India.

The Mahatma’s political and spiritual hold on India was so great that the British authorities dared not interfere with him. In 1921 the Indian National Congress, the group that spearheaded the movement for nationhood, gave Gandhi complete executive authority, with the right of naming his own successor. The Indian population, however, could not fully comprehend the unworldly ahimsa. A series of armed revolts against the British broke out, culminating in such violence that Gandhi confessed the failure of the civil-disobedience campaign he had called, and ended it. The British government again seized and imprisoned him in 1922.

After his release from prison in 1924, Gandhi withdrew from active politics and devoted himself to propagating communal unity. Unavoidably, however, he was again drawn into the vortex of the struggle for independence. In 1930 the Mahatma proclaimed a new campaign of civil disobedience, calling upon the Indian population to refuse to pay taxes,

163. pushpa - October 31, 2008

gandhi was a monster in hindu clothes who should be killed long ago.he was the traitor of dalit cause.time has come to show the true color of gandhi and their clan who are hiding their face in name of ahimsa.He was the pedophile who was protected by terrorist patel who was the home minister of India.to kick the gandhi you have to kick the ass of hindu toilet papers(Indian news papers) who are making the fool of world medias.

164. kureela - December 15, 2008

Shri shri Ravishankar is men eater tiger in sheep skin ,recently he was invoved in giving mony and place to Purohit and their party who are are malegaon bomb accused.Ravi shankar should be in jailed and their offsore account should be blocked so he would not be financed any other muslim killing in India.

165. Vivek - January 9, 2009

Osho said: the moment you become aware that to be a part of any society, any religion, any culture is to remain miserable, is to remain a prisoner- that very day you start dropping your chains. Maturity is awareness. The most fundamental thing to be remembered is that life is dialectical. It exists through duality, it’s rhythm between opposites. You can not be happy forever otherwise happiness will lose all its meaning. Every pleasure has its own pain, and every pain has its own pleasure. Let good works come out of your being good.

In existence, nothing begins and nothing ends. Just look all around … the evening is not the end, nor the morning the beginning. The morning is moving toward the evening and the evening is moving toward the morning. Every thing is simply moving into different forms. There is no beginning and there is no end.

I can renounce religion but I can not renounce life, because life has been given to me by existence itself. And religion is just man-made, manufactured by the priests and the politicians – manufactured to deprive man of his joy, to deprive man of his dignity, to deprive man of his humanity itself. Gods are all been criminals in the sense that they have deprived you of life and they have filled your hearts with fear.

Mind knows the world, mind is a way to understand the object; meditation is a way to understand the subject.

A famous actor and atheist, W. C. Fields was doing a tour of the United States. One day his manager came into his hotel room and was shocked to see him reading a copy of the Gideon Bible. “Bill” he said, “What the hell are you doing? I thought you were an atheist? Fields replied, “Just looking for loopholes, just looking for loopholes.”

Yes you can look for loopholes in Jesus, there are many – because Jesus believes, trusts, he has faith. There is no argument within him. The proof exists, but there is no argument for it. His whole being is his proof.

But you can not look for a loophole in the Buddha. It’s not so with Buddha. You may not be all in harmony with his heart, you may not believe him at all, you may not look at the proof he is, but you will have to listen to his argument. He has both the proof and the argument.

Even a man like Bertrand Russell, who was an atheist, purely logical, has said, “Jesus I can fight – with Buddha I start feeling hesitant”. He has written a book, “why I am not a Christian” – a great and argumentative book. Christians have not yet replied to it; his argument still holds. But faced with Buddha he suddenly feels hesitant, he is not so certain of his grounds – because Buddha can convince him on his own ground. Buddha is analytical. You need not be a religious person to be convinced by Buddha. You need not believe at all. You need not believe in God, you need not believe in soul, you need not believe in anything –still you can be with Buddha. No belief is required to travel with Buddha.

Because of the Buddha’s rational approach he never brings in any concept that cannot be proved. He never talks about God. The famous English historian H. G. Wells has said about Buddha, “His is the most-godly and the most godless man in the whole history of man.”
Buddha is not an atheist but he never talks about God. Buddha believes in logical analysis. He goes to the very root of everything. His analysis is profound and perfect, so he goes very deeply into details.

You do not know God – how can you pray? You have never seen God and what type of communication is possible? You must be just talking to empty sky. It’s mad and crazy.
Do you know God exists? If you know God exists, then there is no need to pray. You are praying in order to know God? We can know God only by prayer, then how can you pray? This is a vicious circle, this is illogically. The flaw in the reasoning is very clear, the loophole is apparent.

This is problem with the ordinary religious person – he can not argue. The atheist can destroy your argument in a second. Religious people avoid debate because they know they do not have any base from which to argue. Prayer needs a belief in God, meditation needs no belief. Meditation is purely scientific. Meditation is training of mind to achieve happiness in life. Nietzsche says “God is dead and man is free”. If a faith can be destroyed, it is not worth much. If a faith can be destroyed, it must be a faith in lies. A faith that is really a faith in truth is never afraid of being destroyed; it cannot be destroyed because truth cannot be destroyed.

Hindus are afraid, Christians are afraid, Muslims are afraid, Jains are afraid, everyone is afraid – don’t destroy our faith! In their faith they are just hiding their lies, their magic worlds, their dreams, their expectations. They are very touchy. Do not worry about these faiths and let one thing be your goal: to know what is this consciousness, who I am?

The difference has to be understood. Jews, Christian, Mohammedans, Hindus believe in Gods. You can pray to God and you can persuade him, that is dangerous. If you do not pray you will be thrown into hell. To think in these terms about God is human, but very unscientific. That means God enjoy your flattery and your prayers. So if your praying person and you go regularly to the church, temple, Mosque etc., then he will help you; otherwise he will be annoyed by you.

Hindus destroyed Buddhism in India but they accepted Buddha as their 10th avatar. Why? Because he was greatest Indian ever and Hindus want share of the greatness. They denied heritage of Buddha when he was live. Now if you deny him your ego will fall short and now go on claiming him that he was wisest and greatest man ever. He transformed the face of Asia. He is light of the world. When he was alive Hindus were throwing stones at him. Now they are claiming him.

Almost always it happens that people who have failed in their life start going to the temple and to the church. Of course, they bring their empty hearts… completely dry, not ever tears in their hearts. Then they pray and nothing happens. People surrender only when they have become absolute failures.

The way of Buddha is not a religion in the ordinary sense of the term, because it has no believe system, no dogma, no scripture. It does not believe in God. It does not believe in the soul. God is nothing but a search for security, a search for shelter, a search for safety. You believe in God not because God is there; you believe in God because you feel helpless without that belief. Man has created God on his own image. The truth has to be brought to you, howsoever hard, howsoever shattering, howsoever shocking. Even if you are annihilated by the impact of the truth it is good. Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism are the religions with no scientific facts. These religions fulfill whatever are your imaginations; they are not too worried about the truth. Buddhism opened the door of reality so deeply, so profoundly to become more conscious, become more courageous. Do not go on hiding behind beliefs, masks and theologies.

Buddha says he is not a metaphysician with ultimate explanation but he gives you an impetus, a thrust, a tremendous passion to become aware, conscious, and alert and live your life so consciously, so full of light and awareness. The creation of heaven and hell is nothing but your unfulfilled desires, unfulfilled instincts being projected into the other life, the life beyond, the life after death. People say, “you can fulfill your desires – work hard”. That’s what the whole world goes on doing. Struggle, compete, cheat, by any means and methods acquire more wealth, more power. Buddha says desire can not be fulfilled because it is against the nature of desire. In fact, religious beliefs are the barriers to the real change. Buddha says all your scriptures are nothing but your desire, instinct, greed, lust, and anger. All your scriptures are nothing but creations of your mind and man-made. Christians say the Bible is not man-made; Muslims say the Kuran descended on Mohammed from heaven above; Hindus say the Vedas are not man-made. Why do all these religions insist that their scripture only and not anybody else come from God? Hindus are not ready to accept that the Koran and Bible are God-made. Christians are not ready to accept that the Koran and Vedas are God-made. Why because all these scriptures are imprint of man’s mind and man’s desires. The so-called religions are just out of fear and anything based on fear can never be beautiful. Your Gods, your churches, temples and masjid …if they have come out of fear they stink. Buddha’s religion is not based in fear at all. That’s why he says the first step is to drop all beliefs. Those beliefs are there because of the fear. Dropping the beliefs you will become aware of your fear, aware of your death, aware of infinite cosmos.

Truth has nothing to do with your belief! Whether you believe or not makes no difference to truth. The man of intelligence is open to recognizing whatsoever is the case. One can write books, one can have degrees and still one can remain the same ignorant, stupid person one has always been. Those degrees do not change you. In fact your stupidity becomes stronger, it has degrees now. The path of Buddha is the path of intelligence because it helps you to become aware of your being. Truth is very difficult to accept. Truth is not rewarded in this world. On the contrary truth is punished in a thousand and one ways. Buddhism is revolution in the world of religions. Buddha created a religion without God. For the first time God was no longer at the center of religion. The human being becomes the center of religion.

Buddha says, “There have been millions of buddhas before me and there will be millions of buddhas after me”. This seems to be truer. He does not say anything about God because it is pointless to create a theory. Buddha has not created any mythology. He tries to open eyes. This is something very new in the world of religions. Mahavira says, “There have been only twenty-three tirthankaras before me, and there will be no tirthankara any more.” Mohammed says, “There have been only four Prophet before me and there will be no prophet any more after me.” Jesus says, “I am the only begotten son of God.” This seems absurd, that God should have only one son. What has he been doing afterward, using birth control? That creates ego, a feeling of superiority. Christians say Jesus is the only son of God – and the Jews crucified him. How do you decide? They thought he was a cheat. Hindus say they have only twenty-four avataras. Few century ago they had the idea of ten avataras, and then they expanded it a little because Jains were claiming twenty-four tirthankaras. There was great competition.

The prayer can be nagging. What are your prayers? – your prayers are your intentions, the desires that you would like to be fulfilled. Prayers are always against what is. You are praying to God, and the prayer is basically against God because if it is not against what is happening then there is no point in praying. You are ill – if you trust God that means you know that God wants you to be ill. Is your prayer a sort of bribery? Do you praise God just to persuade him to fulfill your desires? Many religions in the world are mostly fiction and in the name of religion fictions can continue; all sort of foolish things can be said in the name of religion. There is no way to judge whether they are true or not. All sort of nonsense continues. Ordinary religions are based on fear and greed, just the ordinary trick of reward and punishment.

The Eightfold path – right view, right intention, right speech, right morality, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right Samadhi – of Buddhism is practical. The word “right” means balanced, centered, honest, authentic, sincere, harmonious, natural, tranquil i.e. “Samyak” Be factual, not fictitious. Buddha says life should be based on needs, not on desires. Needs are perfectly okay: you need food, you need clothes, you need shelter, you need love. Needs can be fulfilled. One should be creative not destructive in one’s livelihood. You should remain alert, watchful, sharp consciousness, and maintain awareness.

Gandhi was a disaster at the time Indian people needed true direction but at the same time Dr. Ambedkar had great ideas such as equality, justice, liberty and direction for the whole country. But the ignorant Hindus didn’t realize the noble thoughts and logic of Dr. Ambedkar during that time and even in the 21 century the Hindus are against Dr. Ambedkar in some sense (i.e. they didn’t recognize Dr. Ambedkar as a real and true father of modern India). India could have achieved much more development in science, industries, economics and equality in the Indian society by adopting modern ideas of Dr. Ambedkar but they followed Gandhi’s ill economics, cotton-spinning idea (charkha) and many primitive and bizarre social systems. Gandhi’s idea of Satyagraha was a fake and double standard (i.e. one standard for Dalits and another for Brahmins). Gandhi’s non-violence idea was borrowed and he didn’t know how to implement it.

Vivek Nirala

166. john gould - January 21, 2009

i think you should be proud of your self kids can look this up if need for homework like i needed it today thank john gould

167. john gould - January 21, 2009

i think you should be proud of your self kids can look this up if need for homework like i needed it today thank you john gould

Vivek - September 14, 2009

John:
I do not know how old your are but some people may be over 50 years in this blog with long social work experiences over 20 years, PhDs, lawyers, doctors, engineers, scientists and many more. So it sounds like …you are NOT taking the messages posted in this blog seriously by saying…kids to them.

Here it is in your words “I think you should be proud of your self kids can look this up if need for homework like i needed it today”

The discussions in this blog is dead serious. Please take it seriously because hundreds of thousands people had died in India fighting evil Hindu system, injustice, still fighting caste system and fighting the fake Mahatma (Mr. Gandhi). The evil caste system is also migrated to UK, USA and other counties.
With respect,

168. Vivek - February 26, 2009

To those Hindus, who still have problems/issues understanding the founding father of modern India Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar, here is some questions/comments:
(1) Many people know that Manu and the Manusmriti is the symbol of inequality and injustice. Name any Mahatma, who is Hindu and practically (not just talking but have done something) opposed Manusmriti (some excerpts of Manusmriti is given below)? Gandhi supported Hinduism, caste system and the Manusmriti.
(2) Why the statue of Manu still standing in front of Rajasthan High court today? Even now Rajasthan is ruled by Hindu national party (BJP) and they can remove the statue, if they want but have never done so, why? That proves Baba saheb’s words that many mahatmas came and gone but conditions of untouchables are same, not improved.

Hinduism is the name of inequality and injustice. No Hindus opposed Manu or No Hindu worked honestly to establish equality in India. It was only Dr. Ambedkar, who burned Manusmriti in public and worked entire his life to establish equality in India and around the world. The legacy of Dr. Ambedkar is far better than Gandhi’s, as shown in the recent TV poll that people of India (more than 75%) said Ambedkar’s legacy is ever lasting while below 18% supported Mr. Gandhi’s. More importantly, Dr. Ambedkar worked very hard entire his life to bring equality and justice in India. What Gandhi was doing…. sleeping in Birla house and testing his celibacy with young girls, fasting for things do not make any sense (Poona pact), doing Satyagraha for himself but denied Satyagraha to Dalits etc. while Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was busy writing letters to lady Moutbetain, as history shows he wrote thousands of letters to her.
What you learn from true Indian history? In summary, Dr. Ambedkar was true patriot with great vision, much bigger and taller leader than Gandhi and Nehru combined.
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Manusmriti – Law book of Hindus ( Some excerpts)
I – 91. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the shudra to serve meekly even these other three castes.
I – 93. As the Brahmana sprang from (Prajapati’s i.e. God’s ) mouth, as he was first-born, and as he possesses the veda, he is by right the lord of this whole creation.
II – 31. Let (the first part of ) a brahmin’s (denote) something auspicious, a kshatriya’s name be connected with power and a vaishya’s with wealth, but a Shudra’s (express something) contemptible.
II-32. (The second part of) a brahmin’s (name) shall be (a word) implying happiness, of a kshatriya’s (word) implying protection, of a Vaishya’s (a term) expressive of thriving, and of a shudra’s (an expression) denoting service.
II – 100. Whatever exists in the world is the property of the Brahmana; on account of the excellence of his origin the Brahmana is indeed, entitled to it all.
Regarding the study of Vedas by shudras:
IV – 99. He (the twice born) must never read (the vedas) —– in the presence of the shudras.
VIII – 37. When a learned Brahmin has found treasure, deposited in former (times), he may take even the whole (of it); for he is the master of everything.
VIII – 270. A shudra who insults a twice born man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin.
VIII – 271. If he mentions names and castes of the (twice born) with contumely, an iron nail, ten fingers, shall be thrust red hot into his mouth.
VIII – 410. King should order each man of the mercantile class to practice trade, or money lending or agriculture and attendance on cattle; and each man of the servile class to act in the service of the twice born.
About the status of women:
IX – 3 . Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.
IX – 18. Women have no business with the text of the veda.
IX – 189. The property of a Brahmana must never be taken by the king, that is a settled rule; but (the property of men) of other castes the king may take on failure of all (heirs).
IX – 317. A Brahmin, whether learned or ignorant, is a powerful divinity.
X – 121. If a shudra (unable to subsist by serving brahmanas) seeks a livelihood, he may serve kshatriyas, or he may also seek to maintain himself by attending on a wealthy viashya.
X – 122. But let a shudra serve brahmans, either for the sake of heaven or with a view to both this life and the text, for he who is called the servant of a Brahmana thereby gains all his ends.
X – 123. The service of the Brahmana alone is declared to be an excellent occupation for a shudra; for whatever else besides this he may perform will bear no fruit.
Dealing with the question of wages to the shudras:
X – 124. They must allot to him (shudra) out of their own family property a suitable maintenance, after considering his ability, his industry and the number of those whom he is bound to support.
X – 125. The remnants of their food must be given to him, as well as their old clothes, the refuge of their grain and their old household furniture.
X – 129. No collection of wealth must be made by a shudra even though he be able to do it; for a shudra who has acquired wealth gives pain to Brahmana.
XI – 6. One should give, according to one’s ability, wealth to Brahmanas learned in the veda and living alone; (thus) one obtains after death heavenly bliss.
XI – 261-62. A Brahmana who has killed even the peoples of the three worlds, is completely freed from all sins on reciting three times the Rig, Yajur or Sama- Veda with the Upanishad.
Thus in Hinduism, there is no choice of avocation. There is no economic independence and there is no economic security. Economically, speaking of a shudra is a precarious thing.
Successors of Manu made the disability of the shudra in the matter of study of veda into an offence involving dire penalties as:
XII. 4. If the shudra intentionally listens for committing to memory the veda, then his ears should be filled with (molten) lead and lac; if he utters the veda, then his tongue should be cut off; if he has mastered the veda his body should be cut to pieces.
FOR DETAIL READ BOOK BELOW
The Laws of Manu,
translated by G. Buhler
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169. Saint - September 13, 2009

Great work Vivek, thanks.

170. Saint - September 5, 2010

Some Recent Activities and Shocking Revealation the Editor of this Magazine must read, oh my goodness, after going through, if the Editor and publisher of this Buddhist magazine do not make a justification by removing gandhi and put the real Buddha Dr.Ambedkar on their magazine, it will be a cleansing effort for them.

First, it is a must you read the website:
http://www.gandhism.net/index.php
Many years ago, the lack of efficient methods of communication and documentation allowed Gandhi to effortlessly create a convincing but false image of himself. People had no way to adequately investigate his past or properly track his present activities, so the truth remained hidden for decades.
The popular image of Gandhi is a myth. This site is dedicated to factually refuting that myth and publicizing the reality. Gandhi was deeply prejudiced against all minorities, from black Africans to low-caste Hindus. He also demonstrated a shocking lack of morality, from sleeping naked with young girls to employing nonviolence merely as a tool of political expedience.
It is said that the truth shall make you free. Only through knowing the truth about Gandhi can people can be truly enlightened, knowledgeable, and free of both the embarrassment and danger involved in perpetuating his myth.
To start learning about the “hidden” Gandhi, we recommend you first read the Gandhi Today section.

and then the following Links:

171. Malena Dottavio - June 19, 2011

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172. pushkaraj - February 18, 2012

hi guys, i just read some of d articles posted here by lots of people against Gandhi………im really shocked by every word written here n im really not able to believe any of these words….plz if u hv any reference regarding this or anythin which can be accept as a truth..pls suggest i would like to go through resources u guys r folllowing ………may be sources r not trust worthy….

Vivek Nirala - February 18, 2012

pushkaraj: I am not surprised by your comment but I am sure you are misguided by the state media, government of India propaganda and marketing Gandhi by Hindus and others. Most of the people in this blog gave true references but it seems you have not read any of these references. Here are some more references (from http://www.gandhism.net/resources.php):

Articles on Gandhi -

“Thoughts on Gandhi” ~ Alain Danielou
“The Gandhi Nobody Knows” ~ Richard Grenier
“Reflections on Gandhi” ~ George Orwell
“Gandhi and Modern Nuclear Ambitions” ~ Sikh Information Centre
“Gandhi Interrogated” ~ Cornelia Sorabji

Recommended Books -

“Gandhi and Gandhism” ~ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
“What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables” ~ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
“The Myth of Mahatma Gandhi: Gandhi, the British and the Raj” ~ Michael Edwardes
“After Mother India” ~ Harry H. Field
“A Week With Gandhi” ~ Louis Fischer
“That Strange Little Brown Man Gandhi” ~ Frederick Fisher
“The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi ~ Mohandas Gandhi
“Gandhi: A Sublime Failure” ~ S.S. Gill
“Gandhi: Saint or Sinner” ~ Fazlul Huq
“Mother India” ~ Katherine Mayo
“Mahatma Gandhi & his Apostles” ~ Ved Mehta
“Gandhi and Anarchy” ~ C. Sankaran Nair
“Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity” ~ Col. G.B. Singh
“Gandhi: The South African Experience” ~ Maureen Swan
“India Against the Storm” ~ Post Wheeler
“Gandhi As I Know Him” ~ Indulal Yajnik

pushkaraj - February 19, 2012

hmm…….i will read them….its really shocking

173. Saint - February 18, 2012

That’s a nice compilation, thanks Vivekji.

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