Not Everyone Snoring is Asleep

There’s something about the Osama bin Laden saga that makes me immensely sad. I will come to that presently. But first, are people really so dumb as to believe that the Pakistani leaders did not know precisely where OBL was? They must be. Why? Because some people are earnestly writing in widely read journals that the Pakistanis must have known. Such articles indicate that there are people who are clueless enough to believe that the Pakistanis did not know and the US trusted the Pakistani claim that they did not know. Take Salman “Satanic Verses” Rushdie’s column “Time to Declare Pakistan a Terrorist State“.

The summary says, “Are we really supposed to believe that Pakistan didn’t know Osama bin Laden was living there for five years? Salman Rushdie on why it’s time to declare the country a terrorist state.”

To answer Rushdie’s question (rhetorical though it is): Depends on what you mean by “we” — if it means the average guy on the streets who votes for war-mongering presidents, then yes. They are the same ones who believed that “weapons of mass destruction” story, and the story that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with oil and it was only to bring “democracy” to Iraq and liberate the Iraqis.

Yes, “we” are supposed to believe that, and “we” do indeed obligingly believe because “we” are the idiots that the powers that be find very useful.The question for the rest of us, though, is why do they want the “we” to believe the unbelievable. My answer follows.

The Pakistani claim that they did not know is an useful one — and not just to the Pakis. That claim is also useful for the leaders of the US. The US and Pakistan are in this together. The US needs Pakistan as much as Pakistan needs the US. I have argued why previously on this blog and therefore I will not repeat myself.

Here’s the short version of the story. Osama bin Laden had been living in Pakistan for the last five or six years. The Pakistanis (by that I mean the ISI and other leaders) had to know where OBL was because how else would they protect him from some who would want him dead. Lots of people sincerely wanted him dead and a lots more people claimed that they wanted him dead. The latter knew that he was more useful alive than dead, and that when they really wanted him dead, they would know where to find him and finish him off.

The Pakistanis kept OBL safe and loudly proclaimed for all to hear that they had no idea where OBL was. That’s for the public — the “we” — to hear and swallow. The US (by that I mean the leaders of the American military-industrial complex) knew that the Pakis knew but were willing to go along with the publicly claimed ignorance of the Pakis because it helped the US. Not just in this matter of OBL, in other matters as well, it helps the US to pretend to believe the Pakis. Let’s stick to the OBL story for now.

Pretending to believe the Pakistanis was the only way for the US to not be forced to demand that the Pakistanis hand over OBL. Why would the US not want to grab OBL as soon as possible? Haven’t they been trying to do that for years? What about the billions — actually trillions — of dollars that the US has spent on fighting the war on terror?

Yes, indeed, the US is spending trillions on waging the war on terror. And the wages of that war is counted in trillions. Ask yourself who gets those wages, and you will have your answer to why that war has to be continued and cannot be terminated too soon.

If the US had not pretended to believe the Pakistanis, as I was saying, it would have had to force the Pakis to hand over OBL. That would have meant that the US would have to declare Pakistan a terrorist state, instead of an “ally” in the “war against terror.” That would have meant that the US could not continue to pour billions of dollars in “aid” to Pakistan. The words within quotation marks do double duty — they are not what they appear to be.

As a Russian proverb puts it, not all who snore are sleeping. The snoring was deafening but that does not mean that the Pakis and the US were asleep. Both were wide awake.

The Pakis lied that they didn’t know. The US knew that the Pakis knew but pretended to believe in the Pakistani lies. The Pakis knew that the US knew that the Pakis knew. The US knew that the Pakis knew that the US knew that the Pakis knew . . . ad infinitum. It was common knowledge to them. After all, it’s the business of the ISI to know what is going on in Pakistan. And it is the business of the CIA to know what the ISI knows.

Only the “we” don’t know that the ISI knows everything that is going on in Pakistan. Not only does the ISI know but it’s the one giving orders for what is to go on in Pakistan — and in some cases, as in the 26/11 terrorist attack on India, outside Pakistan. Only the “we” don’t know that the CIA can kill anyone anywhere any old time they want. Micheal Corleone’s realization, “If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone,” applies to the CIA (and by extension to the US) more than any other organization in the world, even more than to Al Quaida. (Remember the Al Q would certainly do the POTUS in if they could but they can’t.)

It’s all a big “let’s pretend” game. The Pakis pretend to be innocent; the US pretends to believe the Pakis. It’s like in a bad marriage where the woman pretends to be chaste while sleeping around and the cuckolded husband pretends to others that she is faithful. You have to wonder what is in it for the husband because it is certainly not just for the neighbors that this game of pretend is played.

For answers, follow the money. Trillions spent on the “war against terror.” One person’s spending is another person’s earnings, remember? Those predator drones don’t come for a song. Neither do the bombers and the fighters. Those million-dollar cruise missiles don’t grow on trees. The billions that the US gives to the Pakistanis for “fighting terrorism” does not go to Pakistan — they go to American arms manufacturers. The arms manufacturers buy the senators (the best money can buy) and the payback comes in the form of “aid to front line non-NATO allies” such as Pakistan.

The major portion of the trillions spent on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq ends up in the pockets of American arms manufacturers. The war on terror (let’s do away with the scare quotes) has to go on because otherwise it would hurt the American economy. That’s why the US finds it convenient to believe the lying Pakistanis, and the Pakistanis have to keep lying because if the war on terror were to stop, the Pakistani nation — the economy has died a long time ago — would collapse.

The US cannot afford to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. Salman Rushdie, you may come to the belated realization that it is high time it was declared such but it will be a cold day in hell before the US does that. Remember that even India — which is victim numero uno of Pakistani terrorism — does not declare Pakistan a terrorist state because it is useful to the movers and shakers in India. Pakistan is far too useful to the US for the continued war on terror. The most terrifying things for the US would be if the war on terror were to end.

Which makes me immensely sad. I love the US. More accurately, I love the ideals that the US once stood for, the ideals enshrined in its constitution. I love the land and the people who call it home. So it is sad for me to see what it has been reduced to by the narrow-minded greed and myopic self-interest of a powerful few. Where once it fought and won the last world war for free people all over the world, now it is pretending to fight a battle that belittles it.

Seeing all the triumphant chest thumping over the killing of Osama bin Laden brought to mind Rainer Maria Rilke’s words —

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.

Killing OBL is at best a small triumph over a very small man, and that too with the “help” of people who are even tinier. What saddens me is how the US has diminished itself by pitting itself against an almost inconsequential enemy while the greater enemies are roaming unheeded. The US has lost moral might and instead prides itself for having the world’s greatest military force. It is like the schoolyard bully who has failing grades and knows it, and to prop up its self-image goes around beating up weaklings during recess.

What the world needs is enlightened leaders. The fact is that the US is the most powerful nation on earth — scientifically, technologically, economically, and militarily (all of which are necessarily related.) The US needs to take moral leadership because no other country has the capacity to do so. Only it can do what no other nation can do — bring about peace and prosperity on earth. But the sad thing is that it does not even name the enemy, and merely pretends to be asleep. It is time for the US to stop pretending.

Notes:

1. Common knowledge. This is distinct from “general knowledge.” I have explored the term in two previous posts that I consider worth re-reading.

The Theater of the Absurd: The War Log Edition. Aug 2010. And the part two of that post.

It beggars belief that the government of the US does not know that the money they ship to Pakistan is being used by Pakistan to kill American soldiers. It is absurd to imagine that the US government does not have access to its own secret war logs. The US administration is pretending that it did not know, and only after the leaks it knows that Pakistan is a double-crossing nuclear-armed scum of a nation, and it is pretending to talk tough. Hillary Clinton, the US Sec of State, said the other day that someone in the Pakistani government must know where Osama bin Laden is.

Shocking!! I am shocked. I say I am shocked. Not.

I am not shocked because I think what Hillary Clinton said is common knowledge.

Slight digression on “common knowledge.” I may know something and you may also know the same something. But when I know that you too know, and you know that I too know, and moreover, if I know that you know that I know, and you know that I know that you know, and moreover, I know that you know that I know that you know . . . ad infinitum, then it becomes common knowledge.

Hillary Clinton knows that the Pakis know where OBL is; the Pakis know where OBL is; Clinton knows that Pakis know that Clinton knows that Pakis know; the Pakis know that Clinton knows that the Pakis know that Clinton knows . . . you get the picture.

33 thoughts on “Not Everyone Snoring is Asleep

  1. One of my professors recently posed a question in a different context, but he would not disagree if I used it here. He asked: “While we accept that the edifice on which we live is hypocritical, what can we do to lessen the hypocrisy?”

    Is there an honorable way out for the current people at the helm of affairs to make their common knowledge as general knowledge to all people? Is there a way of imagining a prayaschitta for those people who are currently at the helm of affairs but are forced to run the show in spite of their disagreement with what they are doing?

    Do the common people have it in them to take the truth?
    As Anthony de Mello put in his story on “The Truth Shop” from ‘The Song of the Bird’, how about many who think: “I still need the safety of my unquestioned beliefs”?

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  2. “But the sad thing is that it does not even name the enemy, and merely pretends to be asleep. It is time for the US to stop pretending.”

    That’s all well and good, but you’ve left out the most important parts – how and why will US stop pretending? You’ve explained the vicious cycle/circle that everyone is a part of, but you haven’t even touched upon how to break that cycle. Is there any chance that the CEOs of corporations that manufacture missiles and bombs will one day wake up and realize that they’ve been doing wrong acts, and come around? What would need to happen for them to change their behavior and their very livelihood? Seems to me that whatever rude awakening will happen to the US, it will be some external event, and the change will be forced on them and not willingly adopted.

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  3. Is there any chance that the CEOs of corporations that manufacture missiles and bombs will one day wake up and realize that they’ve been doing wrong acts, and come around?

    Kaffir,

    No chance. If the CEO wakes up realizing his wrong acts, he would loose this job the next moment.The only king the world ever knew woke up after having seen plunder of more than 100000 people in the battle of Kalinga was king Ashoka the Great. While be become a Buddhist unable to bear the sight of misery around, his ministers didnt like the idea of a weak kingdom. Battles and conquests continued for another 40 years till Ashoka’s death. The Mauryan dynasty, notably the largest, richest and most powerful empire before much before the Christ was born, lasted for 50 more years. We all know what happened to India since then. Everyone raped India and it continues to be raped until now. Pakistan didnt exist then.

    Can the US afford to have people like Ashoka ?..in present world. It may be a loose-loose situation. What’s called a zero sum game.

    What have I done? If this is a victory, what’s a defeat then? Is this a victory or a defeat? Is this justice or injustice? Is it gallantry or a rout? Is it valor to kill innocent children and women? Do I do it to widen the empire and for prosperity or to destroy the other’s kingdom and splendor? One has lost her husband, someone else a father, someone a child, someone an unborn infant…. What’s this debris of the corpses? Are these marks of victory or defeat? Are these vultures, crows, eagles the messengers of death or evil?

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  4. Brilliant and very well written

    Seems the looser in this game is India and our sardar and antonio is busy with aman ki tamasha

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  5. The comments here are very amazing. Loknath is asking questions like Arjuna asked to Krsna in The Bhagavad Gita. The questions are simply beautiful.

    I guess we can look up for the answers in Bhagavad Gita. 🙂

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  6. since you say that there is a need for enlightened leaders,what is your take on Ron Paul. honestly,he is one guy who has never been bought by lobbysit money.he doesnt support the military industrial complex,is against money printing and is the biggest free market supporter ever.he might even sound like a 1776 ideals follower.

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  7. Reptilian competitiveness programmed into their brains. Fierce struggles for supremacy and mates. Evolutionary benefits of deceit. Greed that exceeds infinity itself. A finite, wasted planet. A failed species. Never destined to leave their speck of dust and explore the cosmos in wonder. Curtain.

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  8. >>>“Reptilian competitiveness programmed into their brains. …….Never destined to leave their speck of dust and explore the cosmos in wonder. Curtain”

    Pity is that the commentator identifies entirely with the greedy west, oblivious to his own bharateeya heritage of realizing brahma. How distant you have travelled from your heritage, TiredProf.

    >>>“The only king the world ever knew woke up after having seen plunder of more than 100000 people in the battle of Kalinga was king Ashoka the Great. While be become a Buddhist unable to bear the sight of misery around, his ministers didnt like the idea of a weak kingdom.

    The ‘great’ asoka however did not relinquish his kingdom. he continued to be king till death by old age. He also got his third and youngest wife killed a year before he kicked the bucket. So much for being a true follower of Buddha. perhaps our modern day politicians learnt lessons from him.
    The degeneracy set in by asoka by his self-aggrandization was a primary reason for decline of bharateeya society. Yadha raja, tadha praja.
    Oh, he was also a great one to advertise himself, calling himself beloved of gods ‘devanam piya’, erecting self-promoting edicts in stone across the land.

    >>>“The Mauryan dynasty, ….. We all know what happened to India since then. Everyone raped India and it continues to be raped until now.

    That is the history the rapists propagated, to justify themselves. And parrotted by their sepoys and brown sahibs, the romila thapars and digvijay singhs.

    Conscious bharateeya always resisted the greedy mlecchas. That is the history of bharat. from kings to ordinary subjects, sages to poets, Rani Laxmibai to Bhils of forest, Rana Pratap to Aurobindo, Guru Nanak to Bankim Chandra. That is the tradition conscious bharateeya find pride in.

    Yes, their memory lives within us and gives us goosebumps, they live within us and inspires us, despite the rape of history and everything else that mlecchas have done.

    >>>“Which makes me immensely sad. I love the US. More accurately, I love the ideals that the US once stood for, the ideals enshrined in its constitution. ………..The US needs to take moral leadership because no other country has the capacity to do so. Only it can do what no other nation can do — bring about peace and prosperity on earth. But the sad thing is that it does not even name the enemy, and merely pretends to be asleep. It is time for the US to stop pretending.

    This was the line adopted by MK Gandhi towards the british. He called upon their ‘lofty ideals’, ‘christian values’ and implored them to behave themselves, to aid in uplifting the poor indians who deserved their helping hand instead of looting the country.

    Schooled in british ways, MK Gandhi perhaps could not see another way.

    But the british never relented. They continued to loot till WWII exhausted them and the rebellion by sepoys of Royal Indian Armed Forces in 1946 made them adopt a dignified retreat as better option to being driven out.

    The US would never oblige Atanu.
    They will stop their duplicitous loot only when their sepoys rebel.
    Sepoys, who are employed by the western firms, conglomerates, the modern day East India Companies.

    It was always the sepoys/slaves that held up empires and allowed the loot and plunder.

    Good slaves have always been well paid. House niggers always enjoyed the crumbs master threw his way.
    Some, like the progenitor of slave dynasty were even gifted kingdoms.

    Modern day sepoys are also very well paid.
    Too well paid, to service their masters, to lose their conscience. To sell their heritage and themselves.

    The solution Kaffir wanted is this- modern day sepoys to realize that they are brahma. Not objects that need to slave entire lives to build up heavy bank balance or pension fund. To realize themselves, their heritage, the importance of dharma.

    To twist Obama’s campaign slogan-
    “Yes, you Are (That)”

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  9. Winston Churchill once said: “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing – after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”

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  10. Really tortured logic to come to your preconceived conclusion.

    From your logic the richest people in the US should be the Arms manufacturers. Yet that’s not the case. Richest people are financial “engineers” who made finance and related “services” 25% of US economy while Defense even after two wars (one hugely misguided and criminal) did not cross 5%.

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  11. “Pity is that the commentator identifies entirely with the greedy west, oblivious to his own bharateeya heritage of realizing brahma. How distant you have travelled from your heritage, TiredProf.”

    Chamka nahin, Mr. X. Please make yourself easier to understand to one not as well steeped in bharateeya heritage of complex allegorical prose. Do you know me in person, to figure out how far I am from my heritage?

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  12. @RC – Your statistic about US MI complex being less than 5% of the GDP is tempting. But one has to realize that it is 5% of a very big pie, which includes the like of Google, Microsoft, Exxon etc. US businesses provide all sorts of value to the world, and the MI complex is 5% of that, and provides almost nothing to enhance economic value or welfare, except perhaps some actual policing it supports for well meaning people and accidental usage of military tech for non military purposes. Also, finance is an essential part of an economy, just as insurance is, but at what point do these become a leach without adding value is unclear. It seems clear that 25% of the economy is perhaps a bit too much, like you mentioned.

    @x – Gurudev, mujhe apni sharan me le lo. Can you please enlighten how we can use our Bharteeya heritage to get rid of endemic poverty of the vast majority of our people (which I understand is the prime concern of the writer of this blog) without studying how the West got rid of its poverty? Can you please share some details about how we can realize that we are Brahma, and then how shall we use that realization to lessen the suffering in this world? You mentioned that we should realize our dharma, but isn’t what Atanu has realized, that his dharma is to contemplate what makes us poor, how we can change that, and spread the message through, among other means, this blog? If following his dharma led him to the conclusion that West has done a few things right in treating its own people with dignity, does it make him a Western stooge who has lost touch with Bharteeyata? Also, if you read Western history, you will realize that a lot of westerners that laid the foundation of that civilization were actually following their dharma, without using the word. Gurudev, main chhota muh aur badi baat, mujhe kshama kar dena agar aap ke paas jawab nahi ho to.

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  13. >>> “Can you please enlighten how we can use our Bharteeya heritage to get rid of endemic poverty of the vast majority of our people (which I understand is the prime concern of the writer of this blog) without studying how the West got rid of its poverty?”

    A good starting point is to see that India was the world’s biggest economy, few thousand years ago. That led to millions of people coming to this land attracted by its wealth- Shakas, Huna, Kushana, Yavana, Turk, Mongol, Pashtun, Arab… The weakening of society due to malpractices by the likes of asoka and the difference in value system with these newcomers diluted the societal strength. There were also many jaichands who facilitated the eroding of dharma.
    Despite the subsequent plunder over many centuries by islamic invaders, bharat was still the world’s biggest economy accounting for a quarter of word GDP till mid 1800s. It was the systematic pillaging by the CAPITALIST East India Co and subsequently, the british kingdom that drained wealth, destroyed village industries, destroyed education system, starved people, that brought about the so-called “endemic poverty of the vast majority of our people”.

    >>> “…without studying how the West got rid of its poverty?”

    West ‘got rid of its poverty’ by looting the rest. Please study it well, but don’t implement it. Because, that is not a lasting solution.

    coming to >>>”how we can use our Bharteeya heritage to get rid of endemic poverty”

    The point is that ‘endemic poverty’ did not happen by itself. It was the result of aggrandization by west.
    So long as there is aggrandization, there will be poverty.

    The city living folks may pat themselves on the ‘progress’ they make, oblivious to the fact that their development is built up by the poor folks who slave away their lives for pittance, living in the city slums, having to leave their small holdings in their villages because the governmental system established by the westernized city dwellers does to them what the british and east india company and the islamic marauders did in the past.

    So long as you city dwellers hold on to western systems, of governance, of business, of education, poverty will always exist.

    The economic prosperity brought about by NaMo in Gujarat is no better than how it was a thousand years ago. Then too the economic prosperity of Gujarat was known world over. But economic prosperity did not prevent the subsequent decline .

    What will prevent economic despair is strengthening of dharma in society.
    It was that alone that made bharat the world’s premier economic power once- the wealth that, both materially and knowledgewise, made the west rich; and it was the dilution of dharmik consciousness in society that led to its decline.

    artha draw sustenance from dharma.

    >>> “Can you please share some details about how we can realize that we are Brahma,…”

    Ask that question yourself and you will find the answer, ’cause, of course, you Are that.

    >>> “…and then how shall we use that realization to lessen the suffering in this world?”

    Thats like asking-“after drinking up all that water, how shall I quench my thirst?”
    Or… “after waking up, how shall I kill the demon in my dream ?”

    Never mind, the point is that “suffering in this world” is not a given. It does not exist by itself. It is created by the aggrandizing behaviour of certain people upon others.

    The antidote to aggrandizing behaviour is realization of self as not limited to physical body and consciousness of dharma.

    Seeking to find solution to poverty or suffering without removing western systems- of economics, governance, politics, education, is like seeking solution to the dung in the room without removing elephant from the room.

    >>> “You mentioned that we should realize our dharma, but isn’t what Atanu has realized, that his dharma is…………a lot of westerners that laid the foundation of that civilization were actually following their dharma, without using the word. ”

    dharma, is that which sustains.

    ‘our’ dharma, ‘his’ dharma, etc., are qualifications that do not endure, for, the ‘we’ or ‘he’ involved is transient.
    dharma endures beyond qualification.

    The westerners who laid foundation of that ‘civilization'(!!) did so standing over the bodies of millions of Native Americans and Africans and their civilizations. Some of them showed compassion towards fellow christian whites, some extended compassion towards their negro slaves too, to the extend that served their selfish interest, yet, invariably, they were uncivilized towards the natives and native culture.

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  14. @x – Various people have told me that India was majority of the world’s GDP until very recently, and I am inclined to believe it until proven wrong, although I have not seen references that prove or disprove it. The question is why was India wealthy? Your answer seems to be that because people realized their “dharma”. That sounds very unconvincing on two grounds. Neither is there evidence that people really realized their dharma to the extent that is claimed, except certain sages or a handful of kings, nor is it convincing that it leads to poverty eradication. For example, many kings fought each other for personal reasons such as deciding inheritance or extending their territories. For example, if Mahabharata is a true narrative and not a work of fiction (I mean which mother would call her son Dur-yodhan instead of Su-yodhan, which indicates that someone wrote fiction, or at least distorted facts such as names of the losing side of the battle), such a large scale war that was primarily to decide who should inherit Hastinapur, must have wiped out a good portion of accumulated wealth and productive population. Neither side was completely playing by the rules, and we are supposed to believe that the Pandava side was only following its dharma. Who gambles his wife to his cousin anyway? Also, there is no mention of the values of the common people in the narratives. So, my first point is that by absolute standards, no one in our epics is an ideal person. This actually is in a way a strength of our epics because we can learn to interpret reality in its proper context rather than passing absolute inanity such as “Thou shall not kill”, and then look for qualifiers when it comes to self defense, euthanasia, suicide, self-sacrifice in battle etc. My second point is that although you mention this as if it is self evident, it is not – that following one’s dharma leads to wealth accumulation in society. Can you please elaborate with some economic reasoning? Perhaps we are looking at wealth in different ways. So, let me clarify- to me wealth means the ability to do things such as survive diseases, eat good food, not be killed by vagaries of nature, travel to distant lands, connect with loved ones, enjoy arts etc without harming fellow humans. Perhaps by wealth you mean something else, hence we are not understanding each other. The wealth that I mentioned is created when people produce more goods and services. To produce these things, they need security that what is theirs will not be snatched from them, that is their life and property. If dharma means respecting the life and property of others, then that can definitely make a land wealthy. Is that what you mean?

    There could be several other reasons contributing to why India was (materially) wealthy. The most plausible explanation is that agriculturally it has large fertile plains with several rivers, and suitable climate. This made agriculture very productive in India until recently when we have taxed our land and water resources a lot with overpopulation, or at least sufficient for feeding the masses. This freed up people from hunting gathering to develop metallurgy, construction, arts, and also mathematics and ayurveda. Of course, this and the fact that there were long times of relative peace and justice.

    Also, your claim that the Western civilization became wealthy only because of exploitation is false. Yes, exploitation of Asia, Africa and Americas was part of it, but there are Western countries that did not have any substantial colonies but they still don’t have the heart breaking poverty of Africa and India. Also, we have been free of the Westerners for 65 years, and we don’t have a whole lot to show for it. And you also need to read some history. The capitalist East India Company was nothing in comparison to the British crown in terms of looting India. The East India company was merely a trading company. Indians willingly supported it when it ran into problems with the local rulers because it gave them more able administration. Indeed, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai were nowhere on the map before the British, now that they are centers of wealth and good life, or at least were until they started collapsing from the Indian administration. It was only during the later part of the Company rule and then actually under Crown rule that things got a lot worse for us. I am not advocating a return to the Company rule, but I want to tell you that your reading of the history is simplistic, colored and biased by limiting yourself to an uncritical pride in something you think is “heritage”. I also suspect that you have only a cursory notion of “Western Civilization” equating it with some of its distasteful offshoots such as corporate immorality. This is similar to how semi-literate Westerns equate Indian philosophy with only its rituals and caste system. Perhaps you should do a little more reading of Western philosophers.

    Heritage is also the Indus valley civilization, an epitome of a good life of its time. It had modern cities with methodical planning, and no hint of a grand ruler. Many Indian heritage thumpers forget to take pride in something so concrete as the Indus valley civilization and restrict themselves to fables and rituals. Another part of the Indian heritage that I find great, but suppressed are the non-Vaishnavite traditions, where there were no guilt about pleasure, including sex.

    I find your line “dharma, is that which sustains” insightful, and can be a basis of a moral compass. So, I will give you full marks there.

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  15. >>> “The question is why was India wealthy? …If dharma means respecting the life and property of others, then that can definitely make a land wealthy.”

    aye.

    >>> “if Mahabharata is a true narrative and not a work of fiction (I mean which mother would call her son Dur-yodhan instead of Su-yodhan,…”

    ‘Duryodhan’ means one who is difficult to beat in battle.

    >>> “…must have wiped out a good portion of accumulated wealth and productive population”

    The ensuing many years of dharmik rule by Pandavas regenerated it.

    Your body suffers an injury, yet recovers in time and regains past health, of course, conditions being conducive.

    >>> “Neither side was completely playing by the rules”

    what rules ?
    There is really only one rule in that context. That was reinstatement of dharma in society. The means to that was removal of the adharmik elements from occupying position of ruler. That rule is what led Sri Krishna to advise Pandavas on how to win the war. Every other subordinate rule was also followed, though by a thin margin.
    Equating the two sides in that context is untenable. Like equating India with Pak.

    >>> “Who gambles his wife to his cousin anyway?”

    A fellow who was caught up in the web of gambling and lost his sense. And he suffered for it.

    >>> “Also, there is no mention of the values of the common people in the narratives.”

    You are treating Pandavas and Kauravas as uncommon people, and expects them to perform to some standards that you set for them(but what are those standards, even you will find difficult to explain), such as Yudhishtir should not have gambled away. Hello, he was a common man like you and me, so were the Kauravas. It is the story of common human beings, and that is its value. It deals with behaviour of common human beings like us so that we can relate to what happened and draw lessons.
    puranas and itihasas are meant for that purpose.

    >>> “So, my first point is that by absolute standards, no one in our epics is an ideal person.”

    What are these ‘absolute standards’ ?

    This absolute standard stuff has western origin, where there is supposed to be one gawd in a place called heaben that is supposed to be ‘absolutely’ bunderful, who is berfect, immaculate, blah blah, the gawld standard. Oh, and his son and his messenger are also considered matching this absolute standard.
    It is that line, fed to people from childhood, to make them feel inferior, because they don’t match up to that ‘absolute std’, that is used to control people and society for selfish purposes.
    That line also helps, to some extent, to take away guilt/conscience/consciousness/accountability for one’s own actions, because the gawld standard is set outside of you, meant for somebody else- the gawd, who is never held accountable any way, conveniently.

    This stuff pervades all western origin systems, even those non-religious.

    >>> “This actually is in a way a strength of our epics because we can learn to interpret reality in its proper context rather than passing absolute inanity such as “Thou shall not kill”, and then look for qualifiers when it comes to self defense, euthanasia, suicide, self-sacrifice in battle etc.”

    ya.

    >>> “My second point is that……that following one’s dharma leads to wealth accumulation in society. Can you please elaborate with some economic reasoning?”

    dharma sustains the system, vyavastha, that enables artha for society, in renewable and sustainable way.

    >>> “There could be several other reasons contributing to why India was (materially) wealthy. The most plausible explanation is that agriculturally it has large fertile plains with several rivers, and suitable climate.”

    “fertile plains with several rivers, and suitable climate” are there in other parts of the world too especially near equator.

    >>> “This made agriculture very productive in India until recently when we have taxed our land and water resources a lot with overpopulation”

    ‘overpopulation’ excuse is falsity. The amount of arable land left unused is enormous. The inefficieny of the system is enormous. The unsustainability of the system is phenomenal. The system of over-exploitation implemented by the brutish and carried fwd by post independence administration is what has made agriculture unsustainable. The indigenous system of sustainable agriculture has been given the go by for extraxting maximum from soil. The depleted soil requires more and more fertilizers, more and more water, especially imported species. The ground water level is depleting fast. Pesticides and weed removing chemicals has wrecked havoc on environment entering food chain. The unconcerned way in which agriculture systen is being exploited is posing grave threat.
    And they sell lemons to people about overpopulation!

    >>> “but there are Western countries that did not have any substantial colonies but they still don’t have the heart breaking poverty of Africa and India.”

    Was it those countries that dominated western ‘civilization’ ???

    Alexander’s Greece, Scandinavian Vikings and Imperial Rome set the tone for exploitation, carried fwd by Catholic Church, Spain-Portugal, France-Britain, Germany-Italy, Belgium-Dutch, US-USSR.

    ‘heartbreaking poverty’ they don’t have because they were not at the receiving end of their depravations.

    That is exactly the point being made. The dung is there because the elephant is there.

    >>> “Also, we have been free of the Westerners for 65 years, and we don’t have a whole lot to show for it. ”

    Have we been.
    We have continued with the system established by the westerners for looting this country.
    We have installed west-influenced, west-tutored western policy implementing sold-outs to run this country. And you cry that we don’t have a whole lot to show for it.

    >>> “The capitalist East India Company was nothing in comparison to the British crown in terms of looting India. ”

    Motivated as they both were by the same purpose, made from the same mould. The same that produced Imperial Rome, Catholic Church, Spanish Conquistadors, Colonizing Whites in Americas and Australia, Slave Traders and Pirates financed by European rulers, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia…..

    Don’t try selling the lemon that CAPITALIST East India Co was better in any way, or that any of the present day capitalists function very differently.

    >>> “Indians willingly supported it when it ran into problems with the local rulers because it gave them more able administration”

    Jaichands were always there. It was the sold-out indian sepoys that made company sarkar possible. Don’t find excuse for them about ‘administration’, the false justification spread by the british themselves.
    Like the rapist says- ‘the woman welcomed me with open arms, starved of sex as she was, then she committed suicide after the act because she couldn’t face the fate that awaited her in the hands of the cruel moralizing hypocritic society.’
    Anybody that sells that lemon should be kicked in the butt.

    >>> “Indeed, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai were nowhere on the map before the British, now that they are centers of wealth and good life”

    Yes, like A Raja was a poor man twenty years back. Now he is rich, although in jail.

    What you overlook is that these centers of ‘good life and wealth’ is made by the toils of the slumdwellers who migrated from villages that were made unsustainable through an taxing system by the british. It was the starving indians that built all the large buldings that you see in Mumbai Kolkatta, Chennai and Delhi. The famines engineered by the british over decades ravished indian villages, but you wouldn’t hear it from sepoys’ mouths.

    Just like the ‘developed world’ that enjoys wealth and good life do so on to the centuries loot from the rest.

    >>> “but I want to tell you that your reading of the history is simplistic, colored and biased by limiting yourself to an uncritical pride in something you think is “heritage”. ”

    Know history beyond what sepoys taught you, then speak. Thanks.

    >>> “I also suspect that you have only a cursory notion of “Western Civilization” equating it with some of its distasteful offshoots such as corporate immorality. ”

    western ‘civilization’ starting from Alexander’s Greece…. to United States stands testimony to what it is. Only an ostrich can manage not to see it.

    >>> “This is similar to how semi-literate Westerns equate Indian philosophy with only its rituals and caste system.”

    like how some lemon eating indians ascribe ‘modernity’ and ‘development’ to westerners.

    >>> “Perhaps you should do a little more reading of Western philosophers.”

    Perhaps you should do that. suggest Thoreau, Scopenhauer, Voltaire, Spinoza, Emerson.
    And the rest.
    And you should understand veda, bhagavad gita, yoga vasishta, ashtavakra samhita.
    And if you find one iota of anything superior, or anything that even comes close, in western ‘philosophers’ or their philosophy, be my guest.

    >>> “Heritage is also the Indus valley civilization”

    More accurately, Saraswati valley.

    >>> “…an epitome of a good life of its time.”

    Of any time. They had excellent drainage system, agriculture, safe living, ordered layout of living places. Excellent places.

    >>> “and no hint of a grand ruler”

    The panchayat system of india is derived from people governing themselves, deciding local matters among themselves rather than on any centralised power. bharat consisted of janapadas, sharing common value system based on dharma.

    >> “Another part of the Indian heritage that I find great, but suppressed are the non-Vaishnavite traditions, where there were no guilt about pleasure, including sex.”

    Sri Krishna is of Vaishnavaite tradition. There is no ‘guilt’ involved in Krishna Leela. Of course, it is not about sex.
    Nor are non-vaishnavaite traditions about sex.
    sex is one of the aspects of kama, which has its proper place in the system. kama being second to artha– the productiveness of the system, which is, in turn, second to dharma, that which sustains the system’s productivity, which again is second to moksha, the ultimate purpose of the whole system.

    Like

  16. @x

    >>> “…must have wiped out a good portion of accumulated wealth and productive population”

    > The ensuing many years of dharmik rule by Pandavas regenerated it.

    Really? Pandavas fought to establish dharmik rule, like the US fights to establish freedom and democracy. Pandavas wanted the kingdom, which they believed was their right. There is no mention of the subjects being happier or wealthier under them compared to Kaurava’s rule.

    > There is really only one rule in that context. That was reinstatement of dharma in society.

    And why should we buy that? The only rule was to get the kingdom back, and give that purpose a face of fighting for dharma, like US’ version of freedom and democracy.

    > A fellow who was caught up in the web of gambling and lost his sense. And he suffered for it.

    Well, a lot of people today and presumably in that day are not caught in such webs. And those who are, usually end up paying for it. What entitles Yudhishthir to be called “Dharmraj”?

    > What are these ‘absolute standards’?… It is that line, fed to people from childhood, to make them feel inferior … to control people and society for selfish purposes …
    That line also helps, to some extent, to take away guilt/conscience/consciousness/accountability for one’s own actions, because the gawld standard is set outside of you.

    Hmmm, makes sense to a large extent, except that there are some absolute standards such as not forcing or cheating people who do not intend to force or cheat you. Such absolutes based on moral symmetry are different from the the Abrahmic absolutes that you rightly pointed out as control tactics.

    > “fertile plains with several rivers, and suitable climate” are there in other parts of the world too especially near equator.

    Nope. These have been near the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, or slightly above them. And indeed, these have all sustained advanced civilizations of their times. Ref: “Guns, Germs and Steel.”

    > You are treating Pandavas and Kauravas as uncommon people … Yudhishtir should not have gambled away. Hello, he was a common man like you and me, so were the Kauravas.

    Notice that the story is filled with people of extraordinary capabilities, such as seeing the battlefield without being there, or making their son’s body unbreakable if they could see it etc. etc. All the warriors had extraordinary capabilities as well, such as producing fire from arrows etc. These were not common people. On the other hand, I have no such ability, and I have never gambled, at least not substantially, yet no one calls me Dharamraj, because I am a common man.

    > ‘overpopulation’ excuse is falsity … The inefficieny of the system is enormous.

    While I agree with your second point, it is unclear that there was ever a lot of “efficiency” in the Indian system throughout pre-British or pre-Islamic history, or whatever is your Golden Past. An inefficient system can survive when there are not many mouths to feed.

    > Was it those countries that dominated western ‘civilization’ ???

    No, even the other ones, such as the Swedes, Swiss, Norway or even present day Singapore that never exploited anyone, has a high population density, yet managed to eradicate poverty.

    > Alexander’s Greece, Scandinavian Vikings and Imperial Rome set the tone for exploitation…

    Like our kings never conquered their neighbours. Also, the history of the last 500 years has been such: Europe came out of dark ages by thinking relatively liberally, Europe got industrial revolution, Europe started trading far, Europe realized that it can easily defeat and exploit others, Europe did so, Europeans became even wealthier at the cost of others, and some Europeans started calling themselves Americans and Australians. Notice that it did not start with exploitation, but with an inquisitive thought process that was missing elsewhere in the world at that time.

    > Don’t try selling the lemon that CAPITALIST East India Co was better in any way, or that any of the present day capitalists function very differently.

    As if we never had traders and capitalists of our own. How do you differentiate between “capitalism” and say our Marwari business community’s culture? Isn’t that capitalistic too? What does capitalism mean to you?

    Of course, capitalism has to be within morals, like I mentioned, it should not force or defraud anyone. Or like you mentioned, dharma above artha. The reasons for corporate folly lies in the convoluted rules created by the powerful that shield shareholders and CEO’s from damages caused to others by the corporations. And also from the fact that shareholders are actually “traders” with short horizons of expected returns, yet they have the voting power, unlike when privately owned, the owners’ reputation is in business for the long term. I have consulted for both publicly traded and family-owned US businesses, and can vouch for the difference in cultures. Family owned businesses tend to have nicer working environment and more corporate responsibility. (See also: http://www.nbs.net/family-owned-firms-pollute-less-than-non-family-owned-firms/). Capitalism is not about buying out the rule maker, but sadly it has happened.

    > Perhaps you should do that. suggest Thoreau, Scopenhauer, Voltaire, Spinoza, Emerson.

    Then perhaps you have also read Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Bastiat etc. building up to classical liberalism. What was your conclusion of the writings of Western philosopher that you have read? Did anything suggest that one can exploit other people to make yourselves wealthy? Perhaps I missed a few things, so kindly explain how their philosophy leads to the history of the last 500 years of exploitation of the rest of the world by the Europeans.

    > Jaichands were always there. It was the sold-out indian sepoys that made company sarkar possible.

    En masse? This tells something about both the British and/or the Indians groomed in whatever they were groomed in.

    > It was the starving indians that built all the large buldings that you see in Mumbai Kolkatta, Chennai and Delhi.

    Let me be explicit. I did not praise these large buildings, just like I cannot praise the Taj Mahal, as those reek of exploitation. Rather, I praised the vibrant business scene in these cities. Such scenes were non existent in these places before the East India Co. Also, when these cities came up, the East India Co had not started “engineering famines” yet. They were merely trading and administrating. I am not defending the subsequent evil of the empire.

    > Nor are non-vaishnavaite traditions about sex.

    Yup, you got it. They are not about sex alone. Many of them are about accepting reality as it is and living a guilt free life (of which sex is an aspect) and not running away from it to some Heaven. BTW, god took the kingdom away from Mahabali for what? For being an asura, even though his subjects were happy with him. That is, they forgot god, and were enjoying a good reality of peace and prosperity. God (or people who create god) revel in other people’s miseries so that they can reminded of god rather than pondering about or enjoying reality. This is done by creating an anchor to focus when the reality is made unbearable in reality or in perception. To me the Vaishnavite philosophy is more akin to the Abrahmic ones, where a “Special” person (Krishna, Rama) shows an ideal path based on some claim to divinity. Our other non-Vaishnavite or pre-Vaishnavite narrative has less emphasis on divinity of one special person.

    Like

  17. >>> “Pandavas fought to establish dharmik rule, like the US fights to establish freedom and democracy. ”

    US told you this or did Pandavas tell you this ?

    >> ” There is no mention of the subjects being happier or wealthier under them compared to Kaurava’s rule.”

    No mention where ?

    Sri Krishna, the dharmik man was the guiding force for Pandavas.
    Need anything more be said ?

    >>> There is really only one rule in that context. That was reinstatement of dharma in society.And why should we buy that?”

    Because it has ISI mark.
    Read Bhagavad Gita.

    That war was directed by Sri Krishna with that purpose.

    >> “The only rule was to get the kingdom back, and give that purpose a face of fighting for dharma, like US’ version of freedom and democracy.”

    Did Obamma Uncle disclose this, sonny ?

    >>> “What entitles Yudhishthir to be called “Dharmraj”?

    Because 1., he was highly knowledgeable on the subject of dharma. The most important quality reqd for a king. One that was severely lacking in Duryodhana.
    So he was most ideally suited to be king, not only because he was the elder.
    Even among Pandavas too, though he was not the strongest or most skillful in weaponry, he was the best suited due to this reason.

    2. Secondly, and more importantly, he endeavored to live life dharmically. There were men like Bhishma, Drona, or Karna, who too were very knowledgeable on dharma, but did not diligently apply it.

    Dice game was an event in which he expected his cousins to play fairly. Secondly, he got caught in the expectation that his luck will turn in the next roll of dice and would get back everything that he had lost.

    >>> “Notice that the story is filled with people of extraordinary capabilities, such as seeing the battlefield without being there, or making their son’s body unbreakable if they could see it etc. etc. All the warriors had extraordinary capabilities as well, such as producing fire from arrows etc. These were not common people”

    When all the people are displaying extraordinary capabilities, does it not mean that such may have been common at that time ?

    Take the case of vedas. or yoga vasishta or ashtavakra samhita, or bhagavad gita.
    They may seem to be product of not common people.
    Then who is common ?
    Ratnakar turned Valmiki ? Is Ramayana a product of a common man ?
    Perhaps it is necessary to revisit the notion of commonness that is ascribed to man in todays’ world. Our parampara suggests a different notion, perhaps, that what is common about man is the dormancy of realization (of his true nature).

    >>> “On the other hand, I have no such ability, ..”

    You know all about yourself.(!)

    >>> “While I agree with your second point, it is unclear that there was ever a lot of “efficiency” in the Indian system …. An inefficient system can survive when there are not many mouths to feed.”

    Study the indigenous agriculture techniques, methods, of water harvesting, water conservation, natural fertilizers, pesticides, farming methods, rotation of crops,… there are so many methods of preserving soil fertility, renewability of soil.. You will also come to know the painful fact of how such sustainable systems have been destroyed mercilessly.
    Those techniques point to the high level of knowledge they had developed.

    >>> “No, even the other ones, such as the Swedes, Swiss, Norway or even present day Singapore that never exploited anyone, has a high population density, yet managed to eradicate poverty.”

    Scandinavians trace their history to Vikings who had the colonizing nature. Swiss ? ask Sonia to withdraw her savings and probably you will see them begging in streets.
    If they have managed to avoid poverty thats because they were not colonized, unlike Africa/India.

    >>> “Like our kings never conquered their neighbours”

    Like.

    >>> Also, the history of the last 500 years has been such: Europe came out of dark ages ….. and some Europeans started calling themselves Americans and Australians. Notice that it did not start with exploitation, but with an inquisitive thought process that was missing elsewhere in the world at that time.”

    Europe came out of dark ages ? when ?

    The buggers, when they couldn’t stand the heat in their own backyard due to the continuous fights over one millennia (since the time of Roman Empire through Catholic Church and its crusades), they unleashed their demons on Americas, Africa, India, because they wanted money. The pirates such as Vasco da gama, Christopher Colombus, Francis Drake etc., were commisioned to loot from these places. Piracy and Loot sustained the lavish lives of the European rulers. Then the industries of india were shut down and moved lock stock and barrel to britain and then started their industrial revolution. The knowledge of bharat was copied to produce ‘Enlightenment’. The buggers couldn’t control their greed and megalomania and some of them started believing their own fabrication of Aryan race and ended up destroying much of their power to harm others.

    ‘Inquisitive thought process’ ? that what they told you ?

    ‘some Europeans started calling themselves Americans and Australians’. What about the butchering of Native Americans and Aborigines of Australia ?

    Slavery of Africans ?

    It did not start with exploitation ? It was nothing but exploitation all throughout.
    Are you in the habit of hoarding lemons ?

    >>> ‘As if we never had traders and capitalists of our own.’

    As.

    >>> “How do you differentiate between “capitalism” and say our Marwari business community’s culture? Isn’t that capitalistic too? What does capitalism mean to you?”

    CAPITALISM, like Communism, like Christianity, like Islam, like Nazism, is a thinly disguised system to exploit. Exploit people, Nature, resources. Now some people say Christianity is a religion, or communism is a economic system. Those who are fond of lemons will buy into that.
    They are all systems for exploitation because the underlying theme behind them is the urge to self-aggrandize- the result of viewing the self as this body, and its immediate greeds. The exploitation and aggrandization flow from that limited narrow view of self. And it takes a toll on the rest.

    The indic system, followed four purusharthas as mentioned in previous comment. The artha vyavastha was subordinated to dharma and thus was sustainable, renewable, unlike the policies of CAPITALISTS that are completely exploitative, draining Earth and Environment.

    Marwari business community ? Ambani is a good CAPITALIST! he wouldn’t know what is artha.

    Of course our four purusharthas flowed from a view point of self as not just this physical body, and the associated realization.

    >>> “Of course, capitalism has to be within morals, like I mentioned, it should not force or defraud anyone. ”

    Like christians should follow teachings of Christ- love everyone, show other cheek. ya. absolutely. they’ve been doing just that. so what were you saying…?

    >>> “The reasons for corporate folly lies in the convoluted rules created by the powerful that shield shareholders and CEO’s from damages caused to others by the corporations…. Family owned businesses tend to have nicer working environment and more corporate responsibility. ”

    like the Protestants say- the convoluted rules created by the powerful shield the colluding bishops and popes of the Catholic Church and make them unaccountable for their omissions and commissions that occur while they play with altar boys…..so come, join my New Pentecostal Church of the Shepherd- a nice family church, mind you, where you will definitely find our dear Lard.

    >>> “Capitalism is not about buying out the rule maker, but sadly it has happened.”

    Religion is not about buying out the dear` Lard, but sadly it haj happened.
    Thats the excuse they give.

    >>> “Then perhaps you have also read Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Bastiat etc. building up to classical liberalism……Perhaps I missed a few things, so kindly explain how their philosophy leads to the history of the last 500 years of exploitation of the rest of the world by the Europeans”

    Perhaps I missed a few things, so kindly explain how Christs’ loving teachings leads to the history of the last 500 2000 years of exploitation, crusades, inquisitions, paedophilia by church fathers, conversions, massacres of heathen pagans of the rest of the world by the Christians

    Christ was a tool, a false flag used by Church. That is not the only false flag in the hands of the greedy.

    >>> Jaichands were always there. It was the sold-out indian sepoys that made company sarkar possible. En masse? This tells something about both the British and/or the Indians groomed in whatever they were groomed in.”

    one jaichand is enough.

    En masse ? Shivaji, the Marathas, Sikhs.
    Always there was resistance from bharateeyas. Thats why brutish required to buy up sepoys.

    Nowadays it is getting to look like en masse. So it does say something about the Indians today, groomed ‘in whatever they are groomed in’.

    >>> “Rather, I praised the vibrant business scene in these cities. Such scenes were non existent in these places before the East India Co.”

    Nice scenes. They were selling India there. Shipping away the wealth of this Nation. Shipping away grains leading to famines killing millions, importing the same grains at high cost after millions died of famine. Shipping away raw cotton, destroying our textile industry, starving our artisans, and importing manufactured clothes. Nice scenes.

    Btw, Indians had vibrant business with Arabian, African and East Asian countries and even parts of Europe at least two millennia before brutish loot.

    >>> “Also, when these cities came up, the East India Co had not started “engineering famines” yet.”

    They did not engineer famine to the scale of what they did later, you mean.

    >> ” They were merely trading and administrating. ”

    merely.
    Are you always like this or does it take special effort ?

    >>> “BTW, god took the kingdom away from Mahabali for what? ”

    god is a concept of westerners. you are confusedly applying that concept in indian context.
    Mahavishnu is one of the Trimurtis (now, don’t go about saying Trimurtis are the Trinity of westerners- there they have a farter, son and some holey ghost for dog’s sake!)

    Mahabali started self-aggrandizing. That had to be stopped, for dharma.

    >>> “God (or people who create god) revel in other people’s miseries so that they can reminded of god rather than pondering about or enjoying reality. This is done by creating an anchor to focus when the reality is made unbearable in reality or in perception. ”

    What are you talking about ?
    what you have learnt about dawg in western setting you should not apply to indian context. and grapple with some imagined solution.
    The dawg concept of westerners is meant to mislead. Don’t go there and try to make sense of indic ideas using those constructs. You will only deceive yourself.

    >>> “To me the Vaishnavite philosophy is more akin to the Abrahmic ones, where a “Special” person (Krishna, Rama) shows an ideal path based on some claim to divinity. ”

    This is what happens.

    You start imagining connections that start to make sense, only to confuse you if you delve further. So you think it more prudent to leave it at that and thats it.

    >>> “Our other non-Vaishnavite or pre-Vaishnavite narrative has less emphasis on divinity of one special person.”

    Not demarcating Vasishnavaite/non-Vaishnavaite may help.

    Like

  18. @ x

    >>> “Pandavas fought to establish dharmik rule, like the US fights to establish freedom and democracy. ”

    > US told you this or did Pandavas tell you this ? … Did Obamma Uncle disclose this, sonny ?

    Stay on the point. I can also quip, “Did the Sangh or SSB tell you this or that.” You are only hiding your weakness in debate by using such tone.

    > Sri Krishna, the dharmik man was the guiding force for Pandavas … That war was directed by Sri Krishna with that purpose.

    That is your simplistic interpretation of the fable because you were told so by perhaps “Yada yada hi dharmasya…” by whoever wanted you to hear that, not mine. Any claim to divinity, weather of a Christ, a Muhammad, or a Krishna must be scrutinized, heck, rejected as unnatural and a product of vested interests, or at least as a shoddy explanation of how to find a moral compass or dharmic path. Such reasoning goes “X has divine connect, so listen to him.” instead of “You should listen to him because he makes sense”. Granted, Geeta goes to a longer length in trying to explain its reasoning and pushing people to think on their own than compared to the Bible or Koran, but then why take the crutch of a divine connection and incarnation?

    > Our parampara suggests a different notion, perhaps, that what is common about man is the dormancy of realization (of his true nature).

    Sounds good. But it does not refute my argument that our two most well known epic were about people who could perform supernatural tasks, such as viewing a battle without being there or spitting fire from arrows, or making their sons near immortal just by seeing their half-naked bodies. I may or may not have realized my true nature, but I can for sure not defy physics.

    > Marwari business community ? Ambani is a good CAPITALIST! he wouldn’t know what is artha.

    And your point is? Marwari business community has existed long before Ambani. Are you saying that they were not part of Bhartiya samskriti, or are you saying that they were not capitalists? Take your pick.

    Actually, I am done arguing with you. You seem set in your ways, and don’t really refute anything substantial.

    Have a nice day.

    Like

  19. Actually, Mr. X is fairly accurate in his description of the occident and how it messed up the world while hoarding resources. But 1. there is no conflict between that and my postulating that humans are a failed species (otherwise, an antidote to the occident virus/cancer would have been found), and 2. Mr. X has no idea where I am located, physically, culturally or ideologically. For all he knows, I may be standing right behind him as he types. That being said, 3. gloating on ancient glory will only take us so far.

    Like

  20. @ Amit S

    >>> “Stay on the point…”

    The point is that you are making statements that are not substantiated in MB.

    >>> Sri Krishna, the dharmik man was the guiding force for Pandavas … That war was directed by Sri Krishna with that purpose. That is your simplistic interpretation of the fable..”

    You need a better reading of MB.

    >>> “Any claim to divinity, weather of a Christ, a Muhammad, or a Krishna must be scrutinized, heck, rejected as unnatural …..”

    based on actuals or ‘subliminal’ imaginations ?

    another point- Sri Krishna was not adjectivised as ‘divine’ in earlier comment. that is the product of your subliminal imagination.

    yet another point- any person can be considered ‘divine’ in bharatiya context(that does not mean that every person is considered ‘divine’, just that it is possible for you to realize yourself, realize your divinity if you want to put it that way). a chandala was divine to Adi Shankaracharya, to give just one example.

    >>> “X has divine connect, so listen to him”

    That is the way of west. X is professor in history/comparative religion, listen to her!

    bharatiya listen on actuals, the content of the message. So a chandala is also respectworthy, while a PhD Mammonmohan is contemptworthy.

    >>> “But it does not refute my argument that our two most well known epic were about people who could perform supernatural tasks, such as viewing a battle without being there or spitting fire from arrows, or making their sons near immortal just by seeing their half-naked bodies.”

    It is this thought process that prompts westerners to consider themselves superior to tribals- because the westerner is able to, say, make electricity, use flying machines or drop nuclear bomb.
    These abilities of the westerner does not make him/her anyway special, no more than the abilities listed in MB makes those people supernatural.

    Your ignorance of something does not make a person who knows it super human to you.
    Such thoughts are due to the western way of considering things in terms of superiority or inferiority, the result of identifying too narrowly with physical appearances.

    >>> “I may or may not have realized my true nature, but I can for sure not defy physics.”

    your understanding of physics may not be all that is there.

    >>> “Marwari business community has existed long before Ambani. Are you saying that they were not part of Bhartiya samskriti, or are you saying that they were not capitalists? Take your pick.”

    a label ‘marwari business community’ does not put everybody in one basket, no more than the label muslim puts Osama and APJ Abul Kalam in one. It is the individual’s actions that determines whether he is a mleccha westerner or a dharmik bharatiya.

    @ TiredProf

    >>> “there is no conflict between that and my postulating that humans are a failed species ”

    ‘species’ is a fabrication.
    ‘human’ is a blanket application. The motivations of a Mata Amritanandamayi is different from that of a Mullah Omar and the effects are also different. putting them in one blanket is incorrect.
    This fallacy is due to the western fixation with physical appearances.

    Regardless, the essence remains unchanged.
    what the rishis realizied is realizable today and ever.

    Like

  21. @x

    > a label ‘marwari business community’ does not put everybody in one basket

    Let me break it down for you. Let us say we pick a random sample of 100 Marwari businessmen, say from a time before the Westerners “corrupted us with Western philosophy, which includes everything from Christianity to Communism to Capitalism”. Surely, this sample of Marwari businessmen will have varied inclinations, like you pointed out. Now, I repeat my questions:

    1. Were these businessmen not a product of Bhartiya samskriti?
    2. Were these businessmen not capitalists?
    3. If the answer to #1 is no, because I believe in all good sense it is very difficult to say no to #2, then how do you decide who is a product of Bhartiya samskriti and who is not?

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  22. >>> “Were these businessmen not a product of Bhartiya samskriti?”

    what do you think, bharatiya samskriti is a company that produces businessmen ?

    Prahalad was son of Hiranyakashipu, both ‘products’ of bharatiya samskriti.

    Does the meaninglessness of your question become apparent ?

    bharatiya identify a person based on his actions, not on what label he sprouts- that is western characteristic. Ravana was a ‘product’ of bharatiya samskriti, well learned in vedas, devotee of Shiva bhagavan.

    Like

  23. > bharatiya identify a person based on his actions

    Aaah! Very convenient. So, anyone from the Indian landmass, who did not perform “dharmic” actions, even before the people of the landmass was operating under “Western” influence, would not be true “bhartiya”, according to you. For example, no true bhartiya would follow capitalism, which is “adharmic” and robs people of their dignity, according to you. You give the example of British East India Co. as capitalists who robbed people, but you forget thousands other capitalist businesses that do not rob (i.e. do not use force to extract money) and provide things of great value, such as cars, mobiles, computers etc. I could pick one criminal from any period in Indian history who performed “adharmic” actions, but then you would say that he/she was not “bhartiya”. Very convenient indeed. Classic “No True Scottsman” fallacy. Tussi great ho! 🙂

    And the definition of capitalism that I use here is what is commonly understood, i.e. amassing capital for investing in businesses based on speculation of where value can be provided to others and money can be made in return, where such a business may include employing workers who are paid a part (but not the whole) of profit. Included here for your convenience. Please note that a return on investment is important for future investment. How you make those returns (does that include cheating or use of force), what you do with those returns or how much return you try to extract based on the situation of the consumer can be considered from the point of view of value and dharma, but the Capitalism and Dharma are neither the same nor polar opposites. Indeed, all businessmen are capitalists, while they may or may not be dharmic. If the business (which by definition is a capitalistic venture) is sustainable for both the business and its consumers and rest of the world, then it should be dharmic, as per your own definition of dharmic. I hope I clarified your understand by distinguishing between and outlining the interplay between Capitalism and Dharma.

    You are welcome.

    Like

  24. >>> “So, anyone from the Indian landmass, who did not perform “dharmic” actions, even before the people of the landmass was operating under “Western” influence, would not be true “bhartiya”,”

    The tendency to label, categorise, is establishedly western. the bharatiya way is to identify based on the person’s actions.
    It is obviously difficult for you to comprehend. Your tendency is to stick labels and classify people. That is not how it works in real life. That illusion only exists in the minds of west influenced. So these west influenced, when they see the label, do not wait to see what is the content. For e.g., when they see the label ‘secular’, they take it for granted that it is something good or bad according to what lemon they were sold on- a religious chritian, one who is sold on the lemon of a heaven and afterlife with angels waiting for him, would look at it with suspicion, a deracinated indian would look at it as something good. The same ‘religious’ christian would accept the label christian as good and that of ‘pagan’ as bad. He doesn’t wait to check the background of ‘christians’ and what they did and continue to do to ‘pagans’. Just the label is enough for him to shut his eyes to the harm christians have done and are doing. Similarly a religious muslim will overlook all the criminal acts done by muslims in the name of ummah against ‘kaffirs’. The label is enough for them. There is no consideration of dharma. In the case of a follower of ‘capitalism’, all the wrongs done by those people are excusable for the sake of development and progress. whose progress ? the selfish greedy individual’s progress. The cost is conveniently ignored. For him his car is important. How much pollution every bit of it is causing to World is conveniently ignored. The refining process of metal, the paint manufacture, the tyre manufacture, the petrol, the A/C refrigerant, the synthetic resin seats, the plastic parts, the glass. Each part manufactured contributed its bit to destroying livability on this planet and continues to do so throughout the life of the car and even after that also. The capitalist is unconcerned, unbridled in his greed. He uses the car to reach more places, to extend the reach of his grabbing greedy claw.
    In the case of bharatiya- those who live by the principle of giving priority to dharma over artha, and artha over kama, and moksha over dharma; there are no labels. Only realities. realities of performance, based on actions that happen. There are no ‘faith’ or ‘belief’ or ‘hope’ , only realization. Realization of what is happening, why it happens as it happens.

    >>> “interplay between Capitalism and Dharma”

    please don’t give rein to ur imaginations. It will take you places that only exist in your mind. don’t have basis on ground. Don’t use bharatiya words with what you imagine. capitalism that you defined have zero relevance or meaning in bharatiya samskriti. It will be difficult for you to understand, because your motivations are maximising profit for your selfish self that you consider defined by your physocal body. So anything that provides comfort to your body or maximises your power, is good, whatever may be its cost to Planet.
    The bharatiya way, as said before, is to give prominence to artha over kama, dharma over artha, moksha over dharma.
    It is based on the purpose of life, realization, moksha. It is based on healthy sustainablity of creation, the system. It is based on sustainable productiveness. It is based on actualisation of desires. It is based on realization, of self as not limited to this physical body.
    It is difficult for you to understand because it is not understood, it is realized. You will realize when you seek to realize, when you burn the fire of enquiry within yourself, that burns away your vasanas. In that fire opaqueness of your thoughts disappear and they become like clarified butter over a homa kundh.

    You are not ‘welcome’, you Are (that)

    Like

  25. The deputy air chief had been bombarded with constant questions by charged politicians whether or not the Pakistan Air Force was capable of shooting down intruding unmanned US aircraft.

    Finally, the deputy air chief interjected: They have the capability of doing so, if asked. But, the leaders should understand the repercussions before debating this, such as a US attack.

    After this analysis, when deputy air chief sought the permission of the parliamentarians to shoot USA drones, he found no takers. Sources said that, afterwards, the parliamentarians did not press the issue of shooting down drones.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/169003/in-camera-session-isi-chief-shot-back-at-favour-seeking-nisar/

    Like

  26. @x

    > capitalism that you defined have zero relevance or meaning in bharatiya samskriti.

    He he… Here are a few definitions of capitalism for you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/capitalism
    http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/whatiscap.html

    Notice that there is no mention of “profit maximization at all costs” in these definitions, only private (as opposed to public) ownership of production and trade. Private ownership of production and trade has been the root of Indian prosperity, whenever or wherever we were prosperous, since time immemorial.

    Maximization of profit at all other (social) costs is surely practiced by many corporations and capitalists, but that is not the definition of capitalism. That is the definition of social insensitivity in capitalism, or “adharma” in capitalism. I repeat myself by saying that Capitalism is not inherently good nor evil. Capitalism needs to be supplemented with an understanding of society and an intention to sustain it.

    The difference between Western and Indic approaches to understanding the world is that the former isolates the world into simpler parts or systems (such as economics or malaria) and endeavors to build clear pictures about each part or system, while the latter tries to build a holistic picture without going into details about each part or system in an organized manner or detail. The advantage of the former is clarity about parts or systems while its disadvantage is lack of clear understanding about interplay of different parts or systems, and vice versa for the latter. Take the example of Western medicine vs. Indic medicine. In Yoga, everything is related to breath and is impacted by Pranayama, while the Western medicine needs to see real symptoms of something being wrong to cure it effectively through drugs with side effect management being an afterthought. The advantage of the Pranayama is general good health, but it cannot cure you once you have an acute condition, such as malaria or certain types of cancer, which the Western medicine can. I think that we need both coupled with a dispassionate understanding rather than painting either system as “evil” or “useless”. To put it in Hindi, dono main se kisi ne bhi ghode nahi beche hain, dono ne dimaag ladaya hai… alag alag disha main. (Neither people just wasted their time, they just thought in different ways).

    Like

  27. @x

    > capitalism that you defined have zero relevance or meaning in bharatiya samskriti.

    Here are a few definitions of capitalism for you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/capitalism
    http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/whatiscap.html

    Capitalism only means private (as opposed to public) ownership of production and trade. Private ownership of production and trade has been the root of Indian prosperity, whenever or wherever we were prosperous, since time immemorial. So, this is definitely relevant, even if the word doesn’t exist in Indic vocabulary.

    There is a common misunderstanding that capitalism means “profit maximization at all costs”. Maximization of profit at all other (social) costs is surely practiced by many corporations and capitalists, but that is not the definition of capitalism. That is the definition of social insensitivity in capitalism, or “adharma” in capitalism. I repeat myself by saying that Capitalism is not inherently good nor evil. Capitalism needs to be supplemented with an understanding of society and an intention to sustain it. That is the difference between a large corporation trying to do an honest business for eternity, and a small time shopkeeper trying to sell adulterated food for a quick buck. (Sorry, could not resist pulling a fast one on those who usually associate dishonesty with large corporations and honesty with “mom-and-pop” stores. 🙂 )

    The difference between Western and Indic approaches to understanding the world is that the former isolates the world into simpler parts or systems (such as economics or malaria) and endeavors to build clear pictures about each part or system, while the latter tries to build a holistic picture without going into details about each part or system in an organized manner or detail. The advantage of the former is clarity about parts or systems while its disadvantage is lack of clear understanding about interplay of different parts or systems, and vice versa for the latter. Take the example of Western medicine vs. Indic medicine. In Yoga, everything is related to breath and is impacted by Pranayama, while the Western medicine needs to see real symptoms of something being wrong to cure it effectively through drugs with side effect management being an afterthought. The advantage of the Pranayama is general good health, but it cannot cure you once you have an acute condition, such as malaria or certain types of cancer, which the Western medicine can. I think that we need both coupled with a dispassionate understanding rather than painting either system as “evil” or “useless”. To put it in Hindi, dono main se kisi ne bhi ghode nahi beche hain, dono ne dimaag ladaya hai… alag alag disha main. (Neither people just wasted their time, they just thought in different ways).

    Ab bhi nahi samajh aayi then I am a failure as a teacher. My hope definitely is that even if you don’t concede today, you will think about it when you go to bed until the day you have some clear understanding perhaps leading to the moksha that you aspire. I would consider your abuses and your defiance of reason as a small price in increasing understanding (vidya) in the world. Because, Vidya dadati vinayam, vinaya dadati paatrataam, paatratva dhanamaapnoti, dhanaat dharmam tatatsukham.

    Like

  28. >>> “capitalism that you defined have zero relevance or meaning in bharatiya samskriti. Here are a few definitions of capitalism for you:…”

    Your definition of capitalism is not faulted. Providing addl definitions of crapitalism is meaningless. What is stated is that crapitalism, as you have defined it, does not have relevance or meaning in bharatiya samskriti. Perhaps your ‘faith’ in universal applicability of crapitalism prevents you from recognizing the import of that statement, like a true muslim blinded to any possibile alternative to islam, like a missionary convinced that the heathen just have not understood the finer aspects of christianity.

    >>> “Notice that there is no mention of “profit maximization at all costs” in these definitions”

    Noted. So is there no mention of “power maximization at all costs” stated in definitions of xianity or islam or commieism. But that is what it is.

    >>> “Private ownership of production and trade has been the root of Indian prosperity, whenever or wherever we were prosperous, since time immemorial”

    Just one mention of that in any of the indic texts from time immemorial ?

    They mention the relation between dharma and prosperity. no private ownership.

    A commie will find justification for commieism in indian prosperity.

    >>> “So, this is definitely relevant, even if the word doesn’t exist in Indic vocabulary.”

    Yeah, like Zakir Naik sees validation of koran and mohammed in bhavishya purana and other indic texts.

    >>> “Maximization of profit at all other (social) costs is surely practiced by many corporations and capitalists, but that is not the definition of capitalism. That is the definition of social insensitivity in capitalism, or “adharma” in capitalism.”

    Just like deceitful conversion practiced by missionaries is not the definition of christianity. Its also about loving thy neighbour, showing other cheek, etc., tell that to your farter in heavin.

    >>> “I repeat myself by saying that Capitalism is not inherently good nor evil.”

    Every missionary and mullah repeat this, when confronted with evil deeds of xianity and islam.

    >> “Capitalism needs to be supplemented with an understanding of society and an intention to sustain it.”

    What needs to be done gets submerged in selfish aggrandizement. Crapitalism, like the other western systems, facilitates that submergence and provides justification under the cloak of development, progress and modernity.

    >>> “The difference between Western and Indic approaches to understanding the world …. latter tries to build a holistic picture without going into details about each part or system in an organized manner or detail.”

    It is arrogant western attitude that considers that you know everything that is there to be known, and that your way of organizing is the only way to organize or detail.

    western approach is to discount everything but the physical, commensurate with their approch of giving prominence to only physical body and its needs.

    Your ignorance of details about indic approach does not make those details non-existent.

    >>> “Take the example of Western medicine vs. Indic medicine. In Yoga, everything is related to breath and is impacted by Pranayama,…”

    Indians were doing surgery as early as 3000 years ago, including what is known as plastic surgery.

    >>> “Pranayama is general good health, but it cannot cure you once you have an acute condition, such as malaria or certain types of cancer, which the Western medicine can.”

    Pranayama is all that you know of indic medical system ?

    >>> “I think that we need both coupled with a dispassionate understanding rather than painting either system as “evil” or “useless….Neither people just wasted their time, they just thought in different ways”

    Western way of medicine is also relfected in the way they approach any problem, i.e., by treating symptoms.
    This approach leads to more problems invariably. Take the case of secularism developed to counter church influence, nowadays it is a problem by itself. Take the case of communism, medicine developed to counter the evil results of capitalism, that itself has become a disease now.
    Take the case of endosulfan, applied to counter pest, it is much more deadly than any pest ever was.

    East and West should not be blindly considered equal or useful.

    >> “Ab bhi nahi samajh aayi then I am a failure as a teacher.”

    This is the arrogance of the westerner who has appropriated for himself the white man’s burden, of educating ignorant heathens, bringing the good word of the Lard to the pagans. The missionary works, like you, with complete faith in the universal applicability of his gospel, its global relevance and eternal validity of its dogmas and considers himself qualified to teach all that to the rest of the world. You have blind belief in the universal applicability of capitalism, which, like xianity, is nothing but a pig with lipstick, only the color of lipstick is different. See the destruction it has caused in its wake, that is if you are capable of opening your eyes and seeing.

    >>> “My hope definitely is that even if you don’t concede today, you will think about it when you go to bed until the day you have some clear understanding perhaps leading to the moksha that you aspire.”

    So like a missionary selling snake oil to questioning pagan.

    “moksha that you aspire”. a snakeoil selling missionary does not have sufficient intellect to guage what a bharatiya aspires. so don’t assume.

    >>> “I would consider your abuses and your defiance of reason as a small price in increasing understanding (vidya) in the world”

    Yeah, the persecuted missionary considers it a small price to face ridicule, in the name of the only son and his Lard farter in heaven. amen.

    Sure you don’t want to approach IMF, your equivalent of USCIRF ?

    >>> “Vidya dadati vinayam, vinaya dadati paatrataam, paatratva dhanamaapnoti, dhanaat dharmam tatatsukham.”

    the fox in hitopadesha also mentioned vasudhaiva kutumbakam to hen that was sitting on tree.

    xians preach ‘love’. islamis ‘peace’, commies ‘equality’, crapis ‘free market development’, snake oil salesmen ‘health and prosperity’.
    reality show how much understanding these people have of the words and phrases they use.

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