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APPG Religious Education launch inquiry into Religious Literacy.

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Fiona Bruce MP launching the Inquiry stated “It is becoming increasingly clear to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education that improved Religious Literacy could make an invaluable contribution to promoting understanding between individuals and groups and cultivating positive community relations in Britain today.We would particularly welcome constructive and practical comments and ideas as to how Religious Literacy can be improved for the benefit of everyone” .
 

However, the former chair says that the group is "in danger of turning into a religious sect overwhelmingly directed by the fundamentalist Christian wing of the Conservative parliamentary party, which I think is utterly deplorable." Since the 2015 General Election, the APPG has been chaired by Fiona Bruce MP, who has said that "Being a Christian in Parliament means I focus on issues that I believe matter to Christ".

 

The RE Council criticised the manner of her appointment, and wrote that while a process was underway to reform the group in the aftermath of the election, "Fiona Bruce MP decided to hold an AGM for the group, securing her own election as Chair, without notifying the REC of the event until after it had occurred. She also did not notify some of the other officers of the fact that they had been elected alongside her."

Lloyd said the RE Council was "highly respected" as an "umbrella body for those who teach or have an interest in RE" and that he was "profoundly disappointed" by Bruce's takeover of the APPG and her unilateral decision to remove the RE Council as the secretariat for the group. (http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2016/04/former-chair-of-parliamentary-re-group-says-its-turning-into-a-religious-sect)

 

Since Christ is not a constituent and presumably doesnt contribute to Fionas salary, Religious Literacy in Parliament shoud reflect perspectives of all faiths; the presence of a fundamentalist evangelical committed to conversion should raise concerns especially in the non conversionary Dharmic traditions. The NCHT(UK) contributed the following.

 

Contribution by the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) to the above APPG Inquiry

The current developed position of humanity's advancement has occurred by the application of its faculty of reasoning, guided by its faculty of ind marscompassion. The Mars orbiter is a testament to the vast ability of the human faculty of reasoning and the open sharing of the benefits of this endeavour is a testament to the human faculty of compassion. The teachings of Christianity as proliferated by the Churches of Empire and Islam as proliferated by Islamists both undermine both faculties and the true threat is that we may be about to plunge into yet another theocratic dark age.

The device with which you are probably reading this, the technology which is being relied upon to enable us to connect, are all tangible products of our reasoning. ....  the clothes which you are wearing are made of colour, fabric and cut based upon reasoning and the route you have taken to get to work today is again based upon reasoning. And yet the highly valued fruits of the divine faculty of reasoning are being deliberately detached from their source and the very validity of human reasoning itself is being denied. Why? Because reasoning is the enemy of theocracy. Therein lies the true existential threat no matter what mask or gold embellished hat it wears.

The people of Britain have been intellectually, emotionally and physically abused by generations of hereditary theocrats whose influence on the British citizen waxes and wanes. The House of Commons itself was established to help the general public challenge with reasoning and evidence the perpetual onslaught of theocracy and as a result our nation has been periodically purged of the violence of the theocrats, despite the House of Lords with its 26 Bishops being a voice for irrationality and theocratic force ever since.

The British Public of today are an internationally connected people, the Church no longer has the power to limit the information available to them and many of them have travelled the world and experienced many religions including the most ancient Eastern traditions; traditions which challenge the emotional violence that is rooted in depicting a human being as a sinner by birth. The British people have access to the internet and are self-informing, both with regard to the atrocities which have been perpetrated by British spawned theocracies and theology-supported colonialists, and are also self-informing concerning the tangible ,reproducible benefits of Eastern, especially Dharmic religious and spiritual teachings and practices. They are responding with their feet and we see diminishing numbers of indigenous British citizens in Churches and increasing numbers practicing the harmonious and tranquil spiritual practices such as Kirtan, Yoga and meditation, which have their origins in India and are borne out of the Dharmic traditions.

lady carrying man smlIt is notable that India, which is guided by the oldest religious and spiritual scriptures, has never been ruled by a theocracy. The fact that India has also never engaged in religious conquest by violence or war for over 7,500 years may have something to do with this fact. 

After 1400 years of peddling religious illiteracy, the teachings which have abused the intellectual and emotional development of generations of British children, bedevilling them with guilt and beguiling them with fear of reason from an early age, todays educational system has an opportunity to truly explore the wiser and more harmonious understandings, most of which predate the religious fumblings of newer concocted  ideologies, especially ideologies based upon the three guiding principles

  • “We’ll steal what we can from other older teachings and then try and denigrate and destroy them”
  • “lets see what we can get away with and for how long”
  • “we’ll make it up as we go along”

Hindus can state with certainty, on the basis of over 7,500 years of harmonious tranquil exuberant existence (marred only by the relatively recent upheavals of firstly Arab desecration, destruction and devastation, followed rapidly by the rape of resources and peoples by the British colonialists and now being subjected to waves of Theocratic “conversionaries” intent on colonising and seizing by stealth where they failed by force) that protecting children from guilt based ideologies and irrational belief systems is critical to the wholesome development of a fully composed, tranquil, harmonious and happy person. Such an upbringing equips a child with the tools necessary to separate reality from falsehood, to discriminate between a charlatan and a guide, to distinguish between an abuser and a friend. Such an upbringing will equip the British child of the future to live as a strong and loving, compassionate and disciplined, tranquil and rational member of any society in which he or she finds themselves, much like the Hindu diaspora the world over.

Although it’s far from the best endorsement, eventrump01 Donald Trump remarked last month that he “wanted to keep the Indians”, echoing the sentiments of many global leaders who value the Hindu community’s contribution to any community they live in.

Children already arrive equipped with a sense of natural justice, a faculty of reason and a desire for love and friendship with all of life. It takes religious abuse masquerading as religious teaching to compromise the innate faculty of reason, usually by insisting that they accept as truth that which is irrational and false, that they accept guilt as the natural state of being as opposed to innocence, that they accept doubt and mental turmoil as natural as opposed to tranquil clarity. Hindus would struggle to equate this with Religious literacy, we would see it as intellectual, emotional and spiritual violence. It is hardly surprising that Clerics whose personalities have been tortured for decades resort to physical abuse, when they themselves have been the victims of institutionalised, systematic multi-dimensional abuse, masquerading as Religious literacy.

The consequences of the Hindu philosophy are manifold and obvious, disruptive of Theocracy but evolutionary and, above all, lead to tranquillity in the body, followed by the mind and then a revelation of our shared humanity and then our shared Divinity. Another consequence of these holistic understandings is the permanent destruction of theocracies and other power hungry oppressive institutions.

In Britain, we exist in a climate where the “right to believe nonsense” is protected, as it should be but this right has been manipulated to preserve theocracies whose very survival depends upon their ability to prevent their actions and their histories from being scrutinised. Coupled to this is the fiction that the “right to believe nonsense” is connected with the right to assert and impose belief, but in a manner which is also protected from criticism, scrutiny and question. The Evangelist can assert that the Hindu is destined to burn in hellfire when Christ returns on the earth, the Islamist can assert his religious belief that decapitation by striking the infidel at the neck, is a surefire ticket to Heaven and yet neither the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Sikh, the Ahmaddiya, the atheist, the agnostic, nor the innocent child has the right to challenge these beliefs, for their innate irrationality.

It’s clear that here in Britain, this is an achievement of the Bishops’, historically designed to protect their franchises and misdemeanours, but it is NOT a recipe for healthy happy and harmonious children and citizens.

1 "Religious literacy" for Hindus means the knowledge and understanding with which to identify the paths by which every human, in every society and every nation, since humanity arrived on this planet, can connect with the experience of Divinity within.

2 Religious literacy ceases to be religious literacy, when the teaching is divisive, supremacist, elitist, exclusivist, irrational or violent (intellectually, emotionally or physically). With these present either directly, subliminally or implicitly, we are no longer dealing with religious literacy but with manipulation, violence and abuse.  It is therefore only possible to “enrich the lives of individuals and positively affect their engagement with their local community, society and public life” by protecting the vulnerable from the above thereby allowing their innate divine nature to emerge. In the Britain of today, the capacity of a person to fulfil the above purpose is directly connected to the degree by which they can protect themselves from the seeds of violence inherent in the conversionary enslaving ideologies upon which theocracies are built and by which they are sustained.

papal pear3 Learning to be a good healthy human is a prerequisite for genuine religious literacy and this first requirement can be comfortably achieved without ANY religious literacy, and yet is a critical foundation upon which religious literacy as opposed to “religious illiteracy” can be subsequently developed. Human history teaches and statistics support, that uneducated uncultured emotionally disturbed humans who are “religiously literate” repeatedly perpetrate the worst atrocities.  Human history teaches and statistics support the assertion that infidels, unbelievers, and agnostics, as well as the heathen Aboriginals and the untutored African and the Amazonian savages, all allegedly religiously illiterate, seem to avoid this desire to cause violence. We would suggest that there may be a statistically significant correlation here.

4 If we can teach children to be wholesome, fearless, compassionate, free thinkers, they will discover a connection with divinity automatically. The Theocracy’s who claim ownership of this ability, those who peddle “visa rights to Heaven” seem to have failed in their endeavours as demonstrated by the roll call of millions of religiously inspired murders, the hundreds of thousands of cases of horrific, sustained abuse of the vulnerable globally, and the tens of thousands of cases of Clergy themselves being the greatest failures as role models, after sustained exposure to their own religious ideologies, often for a lifetime. If their product doesn’t work for them, if their teachings have a history of failure worse than any drug which has failed drug trials, why would we want it taught to children?

5 Consenting adults are more than qualified to pursue religious understanding as long as they are protected from theocracies, whilst vulnerable. It is an affront to reason and mental stability to continually present vulnerable persons (including adults) with a teaching whichmonktorture says that the earth is flat and another which says that the earth is tetrahedral when reason, science and personal circumnavigation in a boat all indicate otherwise. Why must falsehood be dressed up as religion, protected as belief when it offends both reason and experience? Of course the theocracies which have wheedled their way into tax free statuses, legal invisibility and invulnerability, free land and other perks for their franchisees over millennia, would not wish to have their comfortable lifestyles endangered.  Expecting them to abandon their livelihoods, which have been largely built on multi dimensional violence and more recently, sustained fraudulent embezzlement from the public purse, is to expect the irrational to act even more irrationally. Teach British adults the unadulterated history of Theocracies – teach them how religious literacy was taught at the sharp points of the Papal Pear, thumbscrews and racks not to mention ducking stools and the unrestrained misogyny behind witch burnings, certainly un-tempered but possibly even propelled by “religious literacy”. Teach them about their own ancestors’ experience with theocracy here in their own land, as well as overseas in the “Colonies” as they are romantically referred to. That should help greatly.

cognitivedissonance6 If religious literacy is truly and genuinely the objective, we should teach about the religious literature already existent in the world, almost exclusively oriental in origin, which has already delivered the objectives being sought. One can’t use sandpaper to soothe one’s eyes in the manner of a silk handkerchief, no matter how much you try to convince yourself that it’s not sandpaper. Similarly theocratic ideologies which were formulated to inflict slavery, to perpetrate abuse, yet “Trojan Horse-like” laced with just sufficient goodness to undetectably gain access to vulnerable individuals, families, communities and nations, can’t be used to deliver the stated objective of “enriching the lives of individuals and positively affecting their engagement with their local community, society and public life.”

Pure reasoning cannot fail to lead one to connect with Divinity, ”first hand” and without an intermediary, but this is 'Divinity without theocracy' and that's why Theocracy insists on irrationality. .. without irrationality Theocracy withers and democracy flourishes.

The British people realise this, unconsciously if not yet overtly and this recognition is becoming more apparent on a daily basis. The key issue is whether the political classes will seek to protect the theocracies as they become increasingly violent and deceitful or seek to protect the citizens. In Britain of the 21st Century, with austerity and an ever more informed and critical public, these are mutually exclusive objectives. Lets stop teaching our children and vulnerable adults to believe in absurdities. voltaire absurd sml

 

 

Hindu Temples & Guide Dogs for the Blind

The following statement was issued to the BBC in respnse to a request for an interview on the subject of Blind dogs and Hindu Temples.

 

From: General Secretary  -  NCHT(UK)
To: 'Siobhann Tighe' BBC
Sent: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 14:13
Subject: RE: BBC looking to interview: the guide dog refused entry to the BAPS temple


Dear Siobhann,

The Neasden Temple is known to us and is one of the most highly regarded Hindu Temples in the UK and internationally. They are a deeply spiritual and
religiously sensitive order who are guided by a universally acknowledged spiritual preceptor, one who has utilised his life to alleviate suffering of
all beings all over the world. I am personally acquainted with their philosophy of humility and service and have the honour of counting many
members of their temple volunteer community as gentle, greatly valued friends.

Turning to the incident I have spoken to the Temple Committee and have a clear understanding of the specific incident and I would strongly recommend
that that no adverse or negative comments be broadcast without first having direct communication with the temple. On the basis of what you shared with
me, I can confirm that you are not in possession of the full facts and any act of denigration, direct or implied would at best be a disservice to all
us at worse slanderous. As I mentioned, Nihaals wholly unpleasant, one sided and disrespectful treatment of this event (and indeed other incidents) has
to some degree established the ground rules in terms of the BBC's stance on all things "Hindu" and I can completely sympathise with the Temples possible decision not to wish to engage with your organisation in an unmanaged manner.

By way of background, please understand the following. It is commonplace in our Temples for there to be areas where cleanliness is practiced as a
spiritual practice, as an act of worship and only those who have performed cleansing practices are permitted to enter these sanctums. In the same way
that access to an operating theatre requires "scrubbing down" and is limited to suitably prepared medical practitioners, so it is with our temples where
not even devotees enter into these areas. I would emphasise that it is nothing to do with discrimination and to suggest otherwise is an act of
wilful mischief. Similarly traditional Hindu households do not permit animals in to Kitchens and cooking areas again with regard to considerations
of cleanliness. You will possibly be aware that Hindus remove their shoes to enter into a place of worship, again an acknowledgement of the principle
that the soil of the outside world should not enter the Temple premises. Our perspective of the principle of cleanliness is pertinent to an
understanding of this issue.

With these principles in mind, I can see clearly how the Temple team may have asked for the guide dog to remain outside the inner sanctum but I am
certain that the Temple helpers would then make adequate support available to ensure that the visitor/devotee would be able to perform their worship
with dignity, safety and courtesy and that the guide dog would be made comfortable whilst the devotee engaged in his worship, which I understand is
what actually happened and would most probably happen in our Temples up and down the country. The specific areas would vary from Temple to Temples but the principles are the same.

A long standing practice of conversionary and evangelical religions, institutions and subscribers to such supremacist ideologies, is to denigrate
and vilify other ideologies and the BBC clearly has severe governance issues in this regard and indeed other regards, please ensure that this issue is
dealt with on the basis of facts. That is all we ask, a sympathetic hearing is not what we have come to expect from your organisation.

Kind regards

Satish K Sharma B.Sc. (Hons) Econ MBCS FRSA General Secretary, National
Council of Hindu Temples (UK) Chair, British Board of Hindu Scholars
Director, InterFaith Network UK www.nchtuk.org

An Audience with Dr Subramanian Swamy

 Dharma Rising.... again !

 

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***VIDEO AND MORE PICTURES ***

ON THE WAY THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

 

 dr swamy nchtuk

 

A Unique opportunity for a small group of passionate young Hindus to have a personal interaction with one of the greatest Hindus of our time. "Driven by Dharma" Dr Swamyji will be speaking of the personal philosophy and convictions which have given him the courage to repeatedly "stand alone" often against overwhelming odds. Central to the message will be the question "What does Britian need from British Hindus". Perhaps the intuition and deep understanding of Dharma which has guided and driven Dr Swamy, has a message or teachings for all British Hindus.

 

A glimpse from 1982 ........

 

drswamy 1982 med

 

 

The Gospel of Christ & the Church of Empire

 Dharma Rising.... again !

 

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Conference for General Synod

The Gospel of Christ and the Church of Empire:  Racism, Sexual Abuse and Bullying in the Church of England

OPEN TO DELEGATES FOR THE GENERAL SYNOD AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC

TUESDAY 16 FEBRUARY AT 7.15PM ARRIVAL FOR 7.30PM PROMPT START, UNTIL 9.00PM, METHODIST CENTRAL HALL (JOHN TUDOR ROOM), STOREYS GATE, LONDON  SW1H 9NH (NEAREST TUBE STATIONS:  WESTMINSTER, VICTORIA, ST JAMES' PARK)


 

CHAIR: Canon Dr Chris Sugden, Secretary of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life

Revd Graham Sawyer, Chair of the Church Reform Group

Pandit Satish K Sharma, General Secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples and Executive Committee of the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom

Mr Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society

Christian convert from Islam, on the experience of racism faced by converts

Bishop Riah Abu El Assal, Emeritus Bishop of Jerusalem


This historic meeting for the first time explores with prayer and truth-speaking the teaching of Christ’s Gospel for the oppressed, and sets this against shocking personal testimonies from Anglican and non-Anglican clergy of systematic persecution, racism, sexual abuse and bullying perpetrated against them by some in senior leadership of the Church of England.

How has the Established Church of the land responded to the witness of clergy and lay people who have suffered such abuse? Indeed, have we properly acknowledged the conflict between the primitive Christian faith of slaves and the persecuted, and the colonialist history of an Anglican Church linked to worldly power and the British Empire?

How can Anglicans and others work practically together to bring about repentance and reform?

When
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 from 19:15 to 21:00 (GMT) - Add to Calendar
Where
Methodist Central Hall (John Tudor Room) - Storeys Gate. Westminster. London SW1H 9NH GB - View Map

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Hindu Temples' Presidents Conference

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ganesh chauth

Dear Elders, Brothers and Sisters and members of the Southall Hindu community,

 

Over the last two months, NCHT(UK) have been speaking with many potential speakers and young Hindu leaders and Hindu youngsters about our forthcoming conference and its format and content, and of the many contemporary issues which were suggested, one issue was Racist attacks on Hindus and Sikhs and Temples, Gurudwara’s and places of Worship,”

 

All were sensitive issues in one way or another but this one issue, to do with “Racism-driven anti Hindu/Sikh Violence” was becoming increasingly important. We regularly hear reports of our Temples being "graffiti-ed" and windows broken, of our elders being intimidated by racist youths, in and around temples as well as the knee-jerk blind, violence which follows a terrorist attack almost like clockwork. Hindus & SIkhs are targeted and attacked because we are all “Asians”.

To the best of our knowledge no-Hindu group has worked to address this issue with any creativity and we felt that perhaps it was time that we should. It is tragically probable that extremist attacks in Europe are going to increase, it is predictable that the uninformed far right will respond with uncontrolled rage as we are already seeing now in France, and whenever this happens, they do not ask whether that young brown person is Hindu or Muslim or Sikh, they do not ask whether that building is a Gurudwara, Mosque or a Temple. As people of Dharmic traditions we become targets for the racist right, the prosletysing Church and the Extremist bent on establishing an ideology by using force. With the so-called "right wing" again on the rise, with ISIS already here in the UK, the future for all looks challenging.

 

In this regard, we had been contacted by Tommy Robinson who you will all have heard of and who has a very troubled past. He was the lead for the "right wing" and in recent years, has engaged increasingly in inter religious dialogue. In my dialogue with him (I interviewed him two weeks ago and then researched his current position) he often expressed regret over some of his earlier actions. I found him to be direct, frank, occasionally apologetic and positive, possibly little more than a young man with a very challenging upbringing, with hostile surroundings shaping his world view, but also possibly a young man who has begun to also study Dharmic leaders and holistic eastern philosophies. On the basis of the evidence of the last couple of years we see that he has spoken at Oxford University, is scheduled to speak at Cambridge University and at many other legitimate forums. More importantly our Hindu and Sikh youngsters are already engaging with him, are aware of him and several have expressed a desire to debate with him directly.

 

To invite an opposing viewpoint to the debating table and to communicate and to befriend on the basis of our Dharma and Vidya, is quintessentially Hindu, to see him as flawed as we all are, as a flawed young person struggling on a life journey like the rest of our youngsters, is essentially Hindu and it was he who first extended a desire to engage. Namaste captures the essence of acknowledging that whenever persons meet with respect, any person, Divinty is present .. quintessentially Hindu.

 

Being guided by our three Hindu A's ie is it Asat or Sat, is it Avidya or Vidya and is it Adharma or Dharma, we arrived at a conclusion whereby he should be engaged with. We have no Dharmic definitions for such terms as “right wing” or “left wing” etc etc all of which are non Hindu labels and do not fit in with our traditional way of choosing action or indeed of viewing the world and so an opportunity was created for this issue to be advanced, for everyone’s benefit.

 

sahanavavatuHindu Temples are oases of tranquility where for millennia men annd women of wisdom have gathered to discuss and address the thorniest of subjects and challenges, in an atmosphere of safety and respect, focussing only on seeking solutions and putting aside all prejudices. Hindus have understood that without tranquility there can be no progress and thus every temple has priests chanting Shanti (tranquility) Mantras on a daily basis.

 

Unfortunately, groups and individuals opposing Tommy Robinson have threatened to directly disturb the tranquillity of the Temple Venue, inside and outside and this we cannot permit. Strangely these groups and individuals who claim to be offended by aggression and hatred, did not ask to be present, they did not ask for details regarding the context, they chose to immediately threaten the tranquillity of a place of worship, of a long established centre of interfaith harmony a centre which is widely respected as an example of grass roots co-operation between faiths.

 

We advised Tommy Robinson of this unpleasant and hostile aspect and he immediately offered to withdraw so that the remainder of the Conference would be able to continue. The tranquillity of the Temple had however already been disturbed to such a degree that the Temple Committee have felt obliged to ask that the event be cancelled and the NCHT (UK)  have indeed decided to postpone the Conference, in its entirety for the time being.

 

So we have a situation where allegedly Hindu groups and individuals, purporting to be the ”Voice” of British Hindus, trumpeting their desire to defend Hindus from the far right, themselves openly threatened to disturb the sacred tranquility of a Hindu Temple, and in doing so prevented a dialogue, carefully cultivated specifically to challenge attacks on Hindu temples and places of religious worship, attacks perpetrated by the very same "far right". Irony indeed.

 

The questions which are left are for all to consider. Who is the aggressor in this instant, whose behaviour is consistent with the changing needs of the times, whose actions have caused real harm to intercommunity dialogue and who are the real losers. Perhaps all of us.

 

Thank you to the courageous and passionate younger Hindu groups who have supported us and wished to engage. We would conclude with a sincere thank you to our speakers all of whom are committed to improving our mutual understanding of each other in the most genuine and deeply Dharmic traditions and to our delegates who also have a great desire to see harmony and dialogue extended whenever possible. Finally, I would pay tribute to our NCHT(UK) executive whose commitment to engagement and dialogue, to friendship and sharing is unwavering.

Once again we would express our regrets to the Executive and Devotees of the Vishva Hindu Kendra in Southall who are without any fault and who have become the unwitting targets of hostile and unpleasant individuals whose purpose seems to have been to prevent dialogue, no matter the harm to tranquility and indeed with little regard for the principles which are destroyed in the process.

 

Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti, Aum

PM Modiji says it best ....

With warmest regards

Satish K Sharma B Sc(Hons) Econ MBCS FRSA
General Secretary
National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)
www.nchtuk.org

 

 

 

Vedas and Beef, or Meat in general

Compiled and passionately written by "Agniveer"

The material presented here is based on a thorough and objective analysis of roots of Vedic words, the context in which they appear, Vedic Vocabulary,  Philology, Grammar and other tools critical for correct interpretation of the Vedic mantras. Thus this research series does not merely rely on blind reproduction of works of Max Muller, Griffith, Wilson, Williams and other indologists on Vedas and Vedic language. While they are more popular in contemporary western academia, we have objective reasons to conclude that their works are far from authoritative. We shall explore this facet in more detail in this research series.

Welcome to this first part of the research series on critical evaluation of Misconceptions surrounding the Vedas – the first books of knowledge on earth.

For centuries aspersions have been cast upon the Vedas; the primary holy scriptures of the Hindus of having unholy contents. If one really started believing in those aspersions, the entire Hindu philosophy, culture, and traditions would reduce to nothing but savagery, barbarism and cannibalism.

The Vedas – the very roots of Hinduism, rather the first source of knowledge on earth – are meant for guiding the actions of human being in order to lead a blissful life.

This slanderous campaign has been unleashed by different vested interests to embarrass Hindus around the world citing specific references from the Vedas.

This also comes handy in convincing poor and illiterate Indians to give up their faith on the grounds that their fundamental holy books – the Vedas – contain all the inhuman elements like denigration of women, meat-eating, polygamy, casteism and above all – beef eating.

The Vedas are also accused of animal sacrifice in sacrificial ceremonies popularly known as the YAJNA. Interestingly a section of home-bred intellectuals claiming to have deep study of ancient India has also come up, who cite references from works of western indologists to prove such unholy content in the Vedas.

Saying that the Vedas permit beef-eating and cow-slaughter amounts to striking a lethal blow to a Hindu’s soul. Respect for cow forms a core tenet of Hinduism. Once you are able to convince him of flaws in the foundation of this core tenet and make him feel guilty, he becomes an easy prey for the predator faiths. There are millions of ill-informed Hindus who are not empowered to counter argue and hence quietly surrender.

The vested interests that malign the Vedas are not confined to foreign and home-bred indologists alone. A certain class among Hindus exploited the rest of the population including the socially and economically weaker sections by forcing them to believe and follow what they said in the name of Vedas or else face the wrath.

All the slanders heaped upon the Vedas can be attributed mainly to the interpretations of commentaries written by Mahidhar, Uvat and Saayan in the medieval times; and to what Vam-margis or the Tantra cult propagated in their books in the name of the Vedas.

In due course the falsehood spread far and wide and they became even more deep rooted when western scholars with their half baked knowledge of Sanskrit transliterated these interpretations of commentaries of Sayan and Mahidhar, in the name of translating the Vedas.

However, they lacked the pre-requisite understanding of Shiksha (Phonetics), Vyakarana (Grammar), Nirukta (Philology), Nighantu (Vocabulary), Chhanda (Prosody), Jyotish (Astronomy), Kalpa and so on that are critical for correct interpretation of the Vedas.

The purpose behind Agniveer movement is to objectively evaluate all such misconceptions about the Vedas – the foundation of human knowledge and establish their piety, sanctity, great ideals and philosophy that cater not only to Hindus but to every human being without bars, bias or discrimination of any kind.

Section 1: No  violence against animals

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Yasmintsarvaani bhutaanyaatmaivaabhuudvijaanatah
Tatra ko mohah kah shokah ekatvamanupasyatah
Yajurveda 40.7

“Those who see all beings as souls do not feel infatuation or anguish at their sight, for they experience oneness with them”.
How could people who believed in the doctrines of indestructibility, transmigration  dare to kill living animals in yajnas? They might be seeing the souls of their own near and dear ones of bygone days residing in those living beings.
———————————————
Anumantaa vishasitaa nihantaa krayavikrayee
Samskartaa chopahartaa cha khadakashcheti ghaatakaah
Manusmrithi 5.51
Those who permit slaying of animals; those who bring animals for slaughter; those who slaughter; those who sell meat; those who purchase meat; those who prepare dish out of it; those who serve that
meat and those who eat are all murderers.
———————————————
Breehimattam yavamattamatho maashamatho tilam
Esha vaam bhaago nihito ratnadheyaaya dantau maa hinsishtam pitaram maataram cha
Atharvaveda 6.140.2

O teeth! You eat rice, you eat barley, you gram and you eat sesame. These cereals are specifically meant for you. Do not kill those who are capable of being fathers and mothers.
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Ya aamam maansamadanti paurusheyam cha ye kravih
Garbhaan khaadanti keshavaastaanito naashayaamasi
Atharvaveda 8.6.23

We ought to destroy those who eat cooked as well as uncooked meat, meat involving destruction of males and females, foetus and eggs.
——————————————-
Anago hatya vai bheema kritye
Maa no gaamashvam purusham vadheeh
Atharvaveda 10.1.29

It is definitely a great sin to kill innocents. Do not kill our cows, horses and people.

How could there be justification of cow and other animals being killed when killing is so clearly prohibited in the Vedas?
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Aghnyaa yajamaanasya pashoonpahi
Yajurveda 1.1

“O human! animals are Aghnya – not to be killed. Protect the animals”
———————————————
Pashunstraayethaam
Yajurveda 6.11

Protect the animals.
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Dwipaadava Chatushpaatpaahi
Yajurveda 14.8

Protect the bipeds and quadrupeds!
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Kravy da –kravya[ meat obtained from slaughter] + Ada [ the eater]—the meat eater.

Pisacha — pisita [meat] +asa [eater]—the meat eater.

Asutrpa — Asu [breath of life] + trpa [one who satisfies himself on]—one who takes others life for his meals.

Garba da and Anda da – the foetus and egg eaters.

Mans da – the meat eaters

Meat eaters have always been looked down in Vedic literature. They have been known as Rakshasas, Pisacha and so on….All these words are synonyms of demons or devils that have been out-cast from the civilized human society.
——————————————–
Urjam no dhehi dwipade chatushpade
Yajurveda 11.83

“May all bipeds and quadrupeds gain strength and nourishment”

This mantra is recited by Hindus before every meal. How could the same philosophy which prays for well-being of every soul in every moment of life, approve of killing animals?
———————————————–

Why-I-don't-eat-meat
Section 2: No  violence in Yajna

Yajna never meant animal sacrifice in the sense popularly understood. Yajna in the Vedas meant a noble deed or the highest purifying action.

—————————————–
Adhvara iti Yajnanaama – Dhvaratihimsaakarmaa tatpratishedhah
Nirukta 2.7

According to Yaaska Acharya, one of the synonyms of Yajna in Nirukta or the Vedic philology is Adhvara.

Dhvara means an act with himsa or violence. And therefore a-dhvara means an act involving no himsa or no violence. There are a large number of such usage of Adhvara in the Vedas.
———————————————

In the post-Mahabharata period, misinterpretation of the Vedas and interpolations in other scriptures took place at various points intime. Acharya Shankar reestablished the Vedic values to an extent.

In the more recent times, Swami Dayanand Saraswati – known as the grandfather of modern India – interpreted the Vedas as per thecorrect rules of the language and authentic evidences. His literature, which includes commentary on the Vedas, Satyarth Prakash loosely translated as Light of Truth, An Introduction to the Vedas and other texts led to widespread social reformation based on Vedic philosophy and dispelling of myths surrounding the Vedas.

Let us discover what the Vedas have to say on Yajna.

————————————–
Agne yam yagnamadhvaram vishwatah pari bhuurasi
Sa id deveshu gacchati
Rigveda 1.1.4

O lord of effulgence! The non-violent Yajna, you prescribe from all sides, is beneficial for all, touches divine proportions and is accepted by noble souls.
—————————————-

The Rigveda describes Yajna as Adhvara  or non violent throughout. Same is the case with all the other Vedas. How can it be then concluded that the Vedas permit violence or slaughter of animals?

The biggest accusation of cattle and cow slaughter comes in the context of the Yajnas that derived their names from different cattle like the Ashwamedh Yajna, the Gomedha Yajna and the Nar-medh Yajna. Even by the wildest stretch of the imagination the word Medha would not mean slaughter in this context.

It’s interesting to note what Yajurveda says about a horse
——————————————————–
Imam ma himsirekashafam pashum kanikradam vaajinam vaajineshu
Yajurveda 13.48

Do not slaughter this one hoofed animal that neighs and who goes with a speed faster than most of the animals.
———————————————————-

Aswamedha does not mean horse sacrifice at Yajna. Instead the Yajurveda clearly mentions that a horse ought not to be slaughtered.

In Shathapatha, Ashwa is a word for the nation or empire

The word medha does not mean slaughter. It denotes an act done in accordance to the intellect Alternatively it could mean consolidation, as evident from the root meaning of medha i.e. medhru san-ga-me

Raashtram vaa ashwamedhah
Annam hi gau
Agnirvaa ashwah
Aajyam medhah
(Shatpath 13.1.6.3)

Swami Dayananda Saraswati wrote in his Light of Truth:

A Yajna dedicated to the glory, wellbeing and prosperity of the Rashtra the nation or empire is known as the Ashwamedh yajna.

“To keep the food pure or to keep the senses under control, or to make the food pure or to make a good use of the rays of Sun or keep the earth free from impurities[clean] is called Gomedha Yajna”.

“The word Gau also means the Earth and the yajna dedicated to keep the Earth the environment clean is called Gomedha Yajna”

“The cremation of the body of a dead person in accordance with the principles laid down in the Vedas is called Naramedha Yajna”.
———————————————–
Section 3: No beef in Vedas

Not only the Vedas are against animal slaughter but also vehemently oppose and prohibit cow slaughter.Yajurveda forbids killing of cows, for they provide energizing food for human beings

———————————
Ghrtam duhaanaamaditim janaayaagne maa himsiheeh
Yajurveda 13.49

Do not kill cows and bulls who always deserve to be protected.

—————————————-
Aare gohaa nrhaa vadho vo astu
Rigveda 7.56.17

In Rigveda cow slaughter has been declared a heinous crime equivalent to human murder and it has been said that those who commits this crime should be punished.
—————————————–
Sooyavasaad bhagavatee hi bhooyaa atho vayam bhagvantah syaama
Addhi trnamaghnye vishwadaaneem piba shuddhamudakamaacharantee
Rigveda 1.164.40 or Atharv 7.73.11 or Atharv 9.10.20

The Aghnya cows – which are not to be killed under any circumstances– may keep themselves healthy by use of pure water and green grass, so that we may be endowed with virtues, knowledge and wealth.

—————————————
The Vedic Lexicon, Nighantu, gives amongst other synonyms of Gau[ or cow] the words Aghnya. Ahi, and Aditi. Yaska the commentator on Nighantu, defines these as-
Aghnya the one that ought not to be killed
Ahi the one that must not be slaughtered.
Aditi the one that ought not to be cut into pieces.

These three names of cow signify that the animal ought not to be put to tortures. These words appear frequently throughout the Vedas in context of the cow.

——————————————–

Aghnyeyam saa vardhataam mahate soubhagaaya

Rigveda 1.164.27
Cow – The aghnya – brings us health and prosperity

Suprapaanam Bhavatvaghnyaayaah
Rigveda 5.83.8
There should be excellent facility for pure water for Aghnya Cow

Yah paurusheyena kravishaa samankte yo ashwena pashunaa yaatudhaanah

Yo aghnyaayaa bharati ksheeramagne teshaam sheershaani harasaapi vrishcha
Rigveda 10.87.16

Those who feed on human, horse or animal flesh and those who destroy milk-giving Aghnya cows should be severely punished.

Vimucchyadhvamaghnyaa devayaanaa aganma
Yajurveda 12.73
The Aghnya cows and bulls bring you prosperity

Maa gaamanaagaamaditim vadhishta
Rigveda 8.101.15
Do not kill the cow. Cow is innocent and aditi – that ought not to be cut into pieces

Antakaaya goghaatam
Yajurveda 30.18
Destroy those who kill cows

Yadi no gaam hansi yadyashwam yadi poorusham
Tam tvaa seesena vidhyaamo yatha no so aveeraha
Atharvaveda 1.16.4

If someone destroys our cows, horses or people, kill him with a bullet of lead.

Vatsam jaatamivaaghnyaa
Atharvaveda 3.30.1
Love each other as the Aghnya – non-killable cow – loves its calf

Dhenu sadanam rayeenaam
Atharvaveda 11.1.34
Cow is fountainhead of all bounties

The entire 28th Sukta or Hymn of 6th Mandal of Rigveda sings the glory of cow.
Aa gaavo agnamannuta bhadramakrantseedantu

Bhooyobhooyo rayimidasya vardhayannabhinne

Na taa nashanti na dabhaati taskaro naasaamamitro vyathiraa dadharshati

Na taa arvaa renukakaato ashnute na samskritramupa yanti taa abhi

Gaavo bhago gaava indro me achhaan

Yooyam gaavo medayathaa

Maa vah stena eeshata maaghanshasah

    Everyone should ensure that cows are free from miseries and kept healthy.
    God blesses those who take care of cows.
    Even the enemies should not use any weapon on cows
    No one should slaughter the cow
    Cow brings prosperity and strength

    If cows keep healthy and happy, men and women shall also keep disease free and prosperous

    May the cow eat green grass and pure water. May they not be killed and bring prosperity to us.

———————————————-

What more proofs does one need to understand the high esteem in whichnot only the cow but each living being is held in the Vedas.

The learned audience can decide for themselves from these evidences that the Vedas are completely against any inhuman practice… to top it all the Beef and Cow slaughter.
There is no Beef in Vedas.

——————————————
Bibliography:

1.    Rigveda Bhashya – Commentary on Rigveda by Swami Dayanand Saraswati

2.    Yajurveda Bhashya – Commentary on Yajurveda by Swami Dayanand Saraswati
3.    No Beef in Vedas by BD Ukhul

4.    Vedon ka Yatharth Swaroop (True nature of Vedas) by Pt Dharmadeva Vidyavachaspati
5.    All 4 Veda Samhita by Pt Damodar Satvalekar

6.    Pracheen Bharat me Gomamsa – Ek Sameeksha (Beef in Ancient India – an analysis) by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur
7.    The Myth of Holy Cow – by DN Jha
8.    Hymns of Atharvaveda – Griffith
9.    Scared Books of the east – Max Muller
10.    Rigveda translations by Williams/Jones
11.    Sanskrit English Dictionary – Monier Williams
12.    Commentary on Vedas by Dayanand Sansthan
13.    Western Indologists – a study of motives by Pt Bhagvadutt
14.     Satyarth Prakash by Swami Dayanand Saraswati
15.     Introduction to Vedas by Swami Dayanand Saraswati
16.     Cloud over understanding of Vedas by BD Ukhul
17.    Shathpath Brahman
18.     Nirukta – Yaska Acharya
19.     Dhatupath – Panini
————————————————————

Addendum on 14 April 2010:

After this article, there was severe reaction from various sources who cannot live with the fact that Vedas and ancient culture of our nation could have been more ideal than their current communistic ideals. I received several mails that tried to refute the articles by citing additional references that support beef-eating. These include 2 mantras from Rigveda, and some Shlokas from Manu Smriti and a few other texts. An example is the comment from Avtar Gill on this page itself. On these, I have to say the following:

a. The article has given evidence from Manu Smriti itself which states that even one who permits killing is a murderer. Thus all these additional shlokas are either from adulterated Manu Smriti or misinterpreted by twisting of words. I recommend them to read Manu Smriti by Dr Surendra Kumar.

b. A typical example of foul play by those hell-bent on justifying their obsession with beef in ancient texts, is to translate Mansa as ‘meat’. In reality, ‘Mansa’ is a generic word used to denote pulp. Meat is called ‘Mansa’ because it is pulpy. So mere presence of ‘Mansa’ does not mean it refers to meat.

c. The other texts referred by them are among dubious ones not considered authoritative evidence. Their modus operandi is simple – state anything written in Sanskrit as Dharma and translate the way they want to prove whatever they want. This is how they have been fooling us all by filling our textbooks with all unverified demeaning claims.

d. With regards to Vedas, they could come up with two mantras that supposedly justify beef eating. Let us evaluate them:

Claim: Rigveda (10/85/13) declares, “On the occasion of a girl’s marriage oxen and cows are slaughtered.”
Fact: The mantra states that in winter, the rays of sun get weakened and then get strong again in spring. The word used for sun-rays in ‘Go’ which also means cow and hence the mantra can also be translated by making ‘cow’ and not ‘sun-rays’ as the subject. The word used for ‘weakened’ is ‘Hanyate’ which can also mean killing. But if that be so, why would the mantra go further and state in next line (which is deliberately not translated) that in spring, they start regaining their original form.

How can a cow killed in winter regain its health in spring? This amply proves how ignorant and biased communists malign Vedas.
Claim: Rigveda (6/17/1) states that “Indra used to eat the meat of cow, calf, horse and buffalo.”

Fact: The mantra states that brilliant scholars enlighten the world in the manner that wood enhances the fire of Yajna. I fail to understand from where did Avtar Gill and his friends discover Indra, cow, calf, horse and buffalo in this mantra!

In summary, I continue the challenge to everyone – cite one single mantra from Vedas that justify beef-eating and I shall be eager to embrace any faith that he or she may decide for me. If not, they should agree to revert back to the Vedas.

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