Monday, June 25, 2007

Spirituality Beyond Religions

Spirituality beyond Religions


1. Major Religious Populations of the World. 1
2. Religious, Ethical and Spiritual Values. 1
3. Religious Values and Practices. 2
4. Good and bad Aspects of Religious Practices. 2
5. Secular Scientific, Ethical Values and Practices. 4
6. Spiritual Values and Practices. 4
7. Steps for World Peace. 4
8. Spiritual Values are the answer for World Peace and Progress. 6

1. Major Religious Populations of the World
The major religious populations of the world today approximately are as follows:

2.1 Billion Christians, (1 Billion Catholics, 350 million Protestants)
1.3 Billion Muslims, (940 Million Sunnis, 170 Million shites)
1.0 Billion Hindus and people following Ancient Religions of the world,
1.0 Billion Atheists and non-religious people,
400 million People of Traditional Chinese Religions,
400 million Buddhists

2. Religious, Ethical and Spiritual Values
Most of them follow one or more of the following three values and practices.
Religious values and practices,
Secular scientific, ethical or moral values and practices,
Spiritual values and practices,

These three values have played a great role in the long human history. War, peace, administration, development, happiness and human life has progressed around these values and their practices.

3. Religious Values and Practices
So long as man is afflicted with disease, death and uncertainties in life, he will always need religion and God. To combat fears, worries, accidents and uncertainties in life man needs hope; and hope comes from faith and faith from religion. Some of the major religious traditions are, Monotheism (belief in only one god), Polytheism (belief in many gods), Vedic theism (belief that every soul is potentially divine and that there is oneness in the universe), Paganism (beliefs and practices associated with the worship of nature), Pantheism (belief that the whole of reality is divine), Animism (belief that natural features of the world are invested with divine power) and Agnosticism (doctrine that the existence of God and other spiritual beings is neither certain nor impossible).

Religious Values are essentially based on what the religious teachings are. These teachings are inscribed in their respective holy books or in their traditions. Celebrations of religious festivals, prayers and worships, wearing certain types of dresses on different occasions, visiting religious places, attending mosques on Fridays, synagogues on Saturdays and churches on Sundays, are some of the common religious practices. Religious practices may or may not be ethical. They may not even be spiritual.

4. Good and bad Aspects of Religious Practices
Prayers and worship:These have done more good than the world has understood. They help to calm thedisturbed mind.

Yoga and meditation
These are now widely accepted as alternative medicinal practices. Manypsychosomatic diseases can be treated successfully employing these methods.

Celebration of festivals
Festivals provide an opportunity for the elders to pass on their culturalknowledge and the meaning of lore to younger generations. Modern festivals andfeasts centering on the customs of national or ethnic groups enrich understandingof their heritage.

Crusade against Pagans
Nobody can deny the good the modern church did in today’s troubled world and yet undeniably the church had a deceitful and violent history. Their brutal crusade in Europe to re-educate the pagan and feminine worshipping religions spanned three centuries employing methods as inspired as they were horrifying.

Malleus Maleficarun – or The Witches’ Hammer
Torturing and executing free thinking women in the name of witch hunting got impetus by the papal bull Summis Desiderantes issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484. It was included as a preface in the book Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches), published by two Dominican inquisitors in 1486. It indoctrinated the world to the dangers of free thinking women and instructed the clergy how to locate torture and destroy them. The book was translated into many languages and went through many editions in both Catholic and Protestant countries, outselling all other books except the Bible. (Microsoft Encarta). Those deemed witches by the church included all female scholars, priestesses, gypsies, mystics, nature lovers and herb gatherers.

Midwives also were killed for their heretical practice of using medical knowledge to ease the pain of child birth – a suffering the church claimed, that was God’s rightful punishment for Eve’s partaking of the Apple of Knowledge, thus giving birth to the Original Sin. During three hundred years of witch hunts, the church burnt at the stake an astounding five million women.

Several ancient humane, unorganized cultures, religions, languages and traditions especially in Africa, Australia, South, Central and North America have been wiped out by evangelists.

International Terrorism
Today our civilization has been threatened by religious terrorism. This also has its roots in the minds of people strongly believing in Semitic religious doctrines like jihad and crusade.

Religious values and practices can bring peace at home and in the world only if they accept universal values and be pragmatic in accepting new scientific concepts.

5. Secular Scientific, Ethical Values and Practices
The ethical and moral beliefs stress goodness and truth, law and order, justice and freedom, wisdom and learning, courage and loyalty and mercy and compassion. Special protection is accorded to widows, orphans, refugees, the poor, and the oppressed.

Ethical practices are born out of man’s extension of logics in life to humanity. Thus having experienced hunger for ourselves, we want to help all those who are victims of starvation. We like to be loved and respected. When we extend this feeling, we begin to love and respect others – “Do unto others what you would want them to do unto you”.

Growth of science and scientific thinking since the Renaissance period has made people indifferent towards organized churches. People found a new hope in secular ethical values. Today most educated and democratic societies have begun to appreciate these moral values. Even one billion strong non-religious and atheist people around the world accept the importance of moral values.

6. Spiritual Values and Practices
Spiritual values are experienced when man begins to see divinity in all creations in the universe and find his own relations with each and every aspect of creation. He begins to feel connected not only with men of all races and religions but also with animals, nature and even inanimate things. In ancient times most men experienced this divinity in nature. But with the advent of more organized faith-based Abrahamic religions, these experiences were replaced by very rigid religious tenets and dogmas.

7. Steps for World Peace
Limitations of Religious Values
Semitic religions have wrought havoc in this world by dividing the world into believers and non-believers. In the first millennium they destroyed the pagan religion in Europe. Very few Pagans are now living but there is a greater awareness amongst the Europeans about their ancestors and it is being revived.

In the second millennium, the Semitics decimated the ancient civilizations of the American Aztecs, Mayans, Incas, Red Indians, and aborigines of Australia. Only the Maoris of New Zealand could offer a tough resistance and win. The second millennium also saw the much discredited slave trade under which millions of African natives were reduced to worse than the animal life. This millennium also witnessed the two world wars.

Many scientists and scholars like Copernicus, Galileo, Bruno, Hypatia and Joan of Arc were humiliated, tortured and brutally murdered as their scientific investigations led them to believe facts that were contradictory Biblical ideas. They paid the price with their lives for believing that the earth is round, that earth moves around Sun, that the earth is older than 6004 BC etc.

Limitations of Secular Ethical and Moral Values to bring World Peace
Due to holocaust, world wars and genocides common man in Europe has turned away from church and religion. He now believes more in ethical and moral values and practices. These values have no doubt enriched his life but they also have brought untold miseries to many in the form of consumerism, permissive societies, alcoholism, individual freedom, increasing divorce rates and unwed mothers, single parent families, homicides and suicides.

World Wars
The unbridled greed in man resulted in the two world wars. The numbers of casualties in these wars were:
World War –I: 8.5 million dead and 21million wounded.
World War –II: 55 million dead both military and civilian.
Of these 5.5 million were innocent Jews and Roma (Gypsies).

Civil War in Rwanda in 1994
More recently in 1994 the civil war erupted in Rwanda resulted in an estimated death toll of between 500,000 and 1 million Rwandans, mostly members of the Tutsi ethnic group. On December 15, 1999, an independent panel commissioned by United Nations (UN) secretary general Kofi Annan submitted a report on the UN's response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The report concluded that the UN and its member states could have stepped in and stopped the killing, but failed to do so. Many church members including nuns played an active role in the genocide. Bill Clinton while inaugurating the Genocide museum has shed tears for doing very little while the butchery was in progress.

Ecological Disaster
Global warming, the depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, destruction of the world’s rain forests, depletion of fossil fuels are just some of the problems that are now critical. These are a consequence of our style of living causing air and water pollution, groundwater depletion and contamination, chemical and nuclear toxins.

Evil effects of Globalization
Economic consideration is rapidly moving the world into one market. But this globalization will have a bad effect on many treasured values of ancient and universal religions and cultures. Materialism will replace spirituality. It will spell a loss of ancient religious, health and cultural practices such as traditional ways of prayers, fasting, rites, naming ceremony, house warming, birthdays, cremation rituals in different ancient cultures giving way to the Western Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP) customs and traditions. Ancient traditional food habits, fasts, medicines, games, exercises, recreations will be phased out. Spiritual practices like observing silence, celibacy, meditation, will give in to discos, pubs, picnics, night clubs consequentially resulting in sharp increase in drug abuse, alcoholism, obesity, aids, divorces, premarital sex, abortions and increasing number of unwed mothers and breaking down of families. Ancient cultures in the vein of kindness, truth, sincerity, honesty, are replaced with thrust on profit, publicity, anger and authority. A successful man in modern days is one who possesses more and more. The passion to “Get, get and forget will replace Hindu and ancient values of give, give and forgive”. Service, charity humility, seeing Divinity in others will loose their battles against pride, vanity, hypocrisy and authority.

8. Spiritual Values are the answer for World Peace and Progress
The answer to above problems can be found only in the scientific, universal, spiritual values and practices of the ancient religions. Pagans, aborigines, Maoris, Native Indians and Hindus have always seen divinity in others and even in inanimate things. Every thing that is of use to mankind has been revered by Hindus as equivalent to mother, the symbol of ultimate sacrifice for the common good of the family. Thus the earth which bears us, rivers that sustain us, cow that gives milk, scriptures that teach us universal brotherhood and their likes are all honored as mother. True spirituality proclaims universal oneness. Upanishads talk of consciousness in the singular and this is the basis of peace.

Moreover Hindus perceive the world as one family and not as one market. In a market the foremost thought is that of profit and exploitation of the weak. But in a family the foremost thought is to love and serve all members especially the weak. Thus wherever the Hindus went they went with the message of peace and benediction. History of Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia for 1,500 years since the beginning of Christian era is full of such enduring and inspiring exchange of cultural ethos. Their mission was “Let everyone be happy and let every one be free from afflictions. Let everyone hear the auspicious and let no one suffer”. With their sharp intuitive mind they realized that “Truth is one though scholars may call it variously”. They saw unity in the midst of diversity and happiness in the midst of sufferings.

At this extremely dangerous moment in human history, when any one mad man can press the nuclear button and wipe out entire civilization several times, the only way of salvation for mankind is the path of spirituality beyond religion. Hinduism with its well defined philosophy and past experience is best suited for this purpose.

As Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger has said, modern world needs some transfusion of blood from ancient religions to save western science from spiritual anaemia.

(2,030 words)

- 1 - Feb 2006

Pagan Origin of Easter Festival

Significance of Easter to Indians


1. Mother Goddess Eostre. 1
2. The Date of Easter Festival 1
3. What is Easter Egg and Easter Bunny?. 2
4. Spring Festival Celebrations Around the World. 2

Easter Friday this year falls on 5th April 2007. It is one of the few festivals celebrated round the globe as a holiday. Easter is one of the most ancient festivals of the world and has been celebrated in Europe by the pagans for more than 2500 years. Later Christians in order to get popular acceptance in Europe adopted this Pagan festival around 10th century. Easter is closely associated with the Hindu New Year festival known as Varsha Pratipada which heralds the coming of Vasant Ritu or spring season.

1. Mother Goddess Eostre
Eostre is the spring goddess of ancient Anglo-Saxon people. She is the goddess of fertility and ensures progeny and continuity of the race. This is similar to the Indian spring festival Varsha Pratipada also known in different parts of India as Gudi Padwa, Cheti Chand, Yugadi or the Hindu New Year. It fell on 19th March this year and proclaims the coming of spring season after the cold winter months. The planet which was covered by snow and appeared brown now becomes green with many plants sprouting all over. It falls around spring equinox.

2. The Date of Easter Festival
Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs upon or next after the vernal equinox (taken as March 21). Easter therefore can fall between March 22 and April 25. Easter following the phases of the moon is not a new phenomenon to Indians. Most Indian festivals also follow the course of the moon. Varsha Pratipada falls on the first day after Amavasya in the month of Chaitra. We also have festivals like Akshaya Tritiya, Ganesh Chaturthi, Naag Panchami or Rang Panchami, Skanda Sashti, Ratha Saptami, Gokul Ashtami, Ram Nawami, Vijaya Dashami, Vijaya Ekadashi, Vinayak Chaturdashi and Guru Purnima falling on different phases of the moon.

3. What is Easter Egg and Easter Bunny?
Millions of eggs and egg-shaped replicas are bought, decorated, given as gifts and happily eaten every Easter by millions of people all over the world.

Why the egg? To understand the egg’s prominent place in Easter celebrations we need to go far back in history to the origins of the festival. The name Easter is derived from Eostre, the ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility whose rebirth after the dark northern winter was heralded by feasting, bon-fires and various rituals involving the egg. The Anglo-Saxons believed Eostre was reincarnated in the form of a hare, since it was widely believed that when hunted, the mother hare would sacrifice itself so that its offspring could escape. The cute little Easter bunny that today pops up on greetings cards or in chocolate shops is a survivor of those beliefs. The ancients saw life and continuity of offspring in the eggs and hence it finds a place in this festival. In the Indian epic Mahabharat, to the question by yaksha as to what has life but does not move Yudhishtra answers as “Egg”. Hindus use paddy and cereals as a sign of life and continuity in their New Year rituals.

In former Yugoslavia, children still design nests for hares in their gardens and next morning find brightly painted eggs deposited there. In Germany and Hungary children carry baskets decorated with painted hares, in which they collect chocolate eggs and other small gifts on Easter Sundays.

While the Anglo-Saxons were wrong in assuming hares hatched from eggs, they were right in associating eggs with Spring renewal.

4. Spring Festival Celebrations Around the World
The rebirth of a spring deity has been celebrated through rituals and feasting not only by Anglo-Saxons but by other cultures all around the world.

Hindus have been celebrating this festival as Chaitra Varsha Pratipada or Yugadi or Cheti Chand or Gudipadwa since times immemorial. This is followed by eight days of fasting for Goddess Parvati. This is followed by feasting for Rama Nawami, the birth of Lord Ram of Ayodhya.

The ancient Egyptians marked the rebirth of the God Osiris with eight days of celebrations.

It is from these celebrations that we get the eight days of Easter, known as Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday and finishes on Easter Sunday.

In ancient Rome, an annual festival was held for the rebirth of the God Attis, whose return was celebrated with banqueting, processions and sporting events. This festival was held just after the spring equinox, and it is from here that we derive the date of Easter, which always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. This means Easter can fall any time between March 21 and April 25;

In China people were offering each other painted red eggs during the Ching Ming (Pure Brightness) festival as far back as 3,000 years ago.

Central to all ancient spring festivals are huge feasts celebrating the fact that the spring was return to abundance after long, lean winters without fresh food.

(This article is based on details available in Encyclopedia Britannica and Microsoft Encarta)

-1- March 2006

Ways to Tackle Global Terrorism - Lessons from Hindu Scriptures

Ancient Wisdom vis-a-vis Global Terrorism
Ways to tackle as reflected in the Indian Classical Literature

1. Ways of the Terrorists. 1
2. Ancient Hindu Texts and Scriptures. 1
3. Leaders who used Strategic thinking to good use. 2
4. Lessons to solve modern day problems. 2

1. Ways of the Terrorists
Who uses modern technology to maximum advantage? none so effectively as the modern day terrorists. They are technology savvy. They use mobiles, computers, automatic rifles, AK-47, hand grenades etc. They are well trained in ways of treachery, sabotage and brutal killings. They have the advantage of striking first. They have no sympathy for women, children and innocent men. They will hide behind burqas and lady agents. They use the naïve and innocent captors as shields and before they escape leave many innocent people bleeding. Hence the battle against them is difficult and long-drawn and needs intensive training.

2. Ancient Hindu Texts and Scriptures
Ancient Hindu scriptures and texts abound in ways to tackle terrorism. Rajadharma of sage Manu, Puranas by Veda Vyasa, Bheeshmaparva in Mahabharat, Panchatantra stories by Vishnu Sharman, Artha Sastra by Sage Kautilya and the chapter on Arthasastra in Tamil text Tiruk-Kural by Sage Tiru Valluvar give insight into terrorist behaviors, their strengths and weaknesses and ways to defeat them by using valor, intelligence, spying, and intrigues.
In the Puranas there are many stories where Lord Vishnu vanquishes rakshas who are similar to terrorists of these days, well equipped with powerful weapons and boons of near immortality obtained from other devas. In Bheeshma Parva Bheeshmacharya the doyen of Mahabharat educates Yudhishtra on war strategies through illustrations and stories. In Panchatantra Vishnu Sharman tells many animal stories to bring home the point that wit is superior to brute force. Kautilya or Chanakya classified foreign agents and spies as thieves and barbarians. Undoubtedly, Kautilya was the first person who endeavoured to re-interpret and re-orient the Indian perspective of power so as to make it capable of handling the barbaric warfare model of the Hellenistic and Abrahamic civilisations. Sage Tiru Valluvar has elaborated the preparations needed by a leader combating terrorism.

3. Leaders who used Strategic thinking to good use
Lord Krishna in Dwapar Yuga, Chankaya in the 4th century B.C. Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century used the lessons from ancient wisdom successfully to annihilate the wicked and evil forces. Lord Krishna helped Pandavas to defeat the much more powerful kauravas on the battle of Kurukshetra. Chanakya was able to defeat the Greek invader Selucas Nicader the army commander of Alexander, the vanquished. Shivaji, the inventor of guerilla warfare liquidated the Bijapur sulans in the south and the mighty Moghuls in the north by his tactful and intelligent war plans. More recently Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Arora and Vice Admiral N.S.Krishnan used strategic plannings and dare-devil acts to defeat the combined forces of Pakistan, China and USA with its much dreaded Seventh fleet during the famous 1971 war that freed Bangladesh in a matter of just 20 days. Gen Niazi and his army of 95,000 Pakistnai soldiers surrendered in what can be called the biggest defeats in the annals of modern war history.

4. Lessons to solve modern day problems
Ancient texts are full of wisdom and lessons for several modern day problems. Hence we should go back to the Vedas, the oldest and yet most modern text of the human race. If we do not forget the continuity, we may find solutions to the present troubles. The continuity of history can become a binder for the present and help us stamp out the present stand-off as it did in the days bygone.

Diwali Around The World

Thoughts on Diwali Day

1. Deepavali Observations Held In White House. 1
3. Deepavali Observations Held In British Parliament 2
4. Australia, NZ light up for Diwali 2004. 2
5. In Singapore, 4
6. Efforts by Overseas Hindus to popularise Diwali 4
7. Diwali as a National Holiday in many countries. 4
8. Legends connected with Diwali Celebrations – Lord Krishna. 5
9. Legends connected with Diwali Celebrations – Lord Ram.. 5
10. The day after Diwali Day is Amavasya. 6
11. The third day, i.e., the first day of Kaartik, is Balipratipada. 6
12. Govardhana Pooja and Anna Koota. 6
13. The fourth and final day is Bahu beej. 7
14. The Massacre of 800 Melkotte Hindus on Diwali Day. 7
15. Pope John Paul II Curses Hindus on Diwali day. 7
16. Jagad Guru Shankaracharya Arrested on the eve of Diwali Day. 8
17. Nirvaana of Mahaveera. 8
18. Aapko is Diwali aur Naye Saal mein ... 8
19. Diwali Greetings. 10

Deepavali, the festival of Lights, falls in October or November every year.

Here are a few highlights of Diwali celebrations.

1. Deepavali Observations Held In White House

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 11, 2004: US President George W Bush has sent his greetings to the Indian community on the occasion of Deepavali, the festival of lights, the first celebration to be held in the White House after his re-election. "I send greetings to all those celebrating Deepavali, the Festival of Light. Observed by millions round the world, Deepavali is a time for the Hindus to give thanks for their knowledge, happiness and other blessings received," Bush said in his message. "Laura joins me in sending our best wishes. May the coming year be filled with goodwill and prosperity," he said.

Several Indian community leaders attended the White House festivities yesterday, during which former US Ambassador to India and a senior official in the National Security Council Robert Blackwill assured the community that President Bush plans to visit India next year. During the invocation, Deepavali blessings were bestowed upon President Bush, his family, and the people of the USA and the prayer was offered for the world peace and the prosperity of the mankind. Praising the Indian American community, he said Indians must now move beyond writing the checks to the politicians and start asking for return on their investment and begin to participate in the political process more than what was being done currently. The traditional lamp was lit in the presence of about 150 invited guests by Ambassador Blackwill, and the Community leaders.

Diwali marked yet another milestone for Indians when the Prime Minister joined the celebrations for the first time in Parliament ON November 12th, 2004.

This year, Diwali was a full-fledged celebration in Parliament - a sort of mini-mela. Prime Minister Paul Martin walked in to join his ministerial colleagues, Opposition leader Stephen Harper, and MPs in wishing the Indo-Canadians a happy Diwali.
The celebrations began with Martin and Harper lighting the lamps with candle amid applause. People watched the ceremony on TV across the country. In his brief speech, the Prime Minister paid tributes to the burgeoning Indian community for their contribution to the multicultural mosaic of Canada. It says a lot about today's Canada that “twenty years ago, we would not have been celebrating Diwali on Parliament Hill (building),” Martin said.
Conservative Party MP Deepak Obhrai, who is the brain behind the Diwali celebrations in Parliament, dwelt on the importance of the festival and thanked the distinguished gathering.

3. Deepavali Observations Held In British Parliament

4. Australia, NZ light up for Diwali 2004

IANS[ SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2004 09:11:18 PM ]
SYDNEY: The governments of Australia and New Zealand joined the resident Indian community in celebrating Diwali by illuminating their parliament houses in a rare gesture.

In Australia, the northern façade of the gigantic parliament building at Canberra was illuminated at an impressive function Saturday. The Australian Parliament House would be illuminated for three nights.

In Wellington, capital of New Zealand, it was Prime Minister Helen Clark who lit the traditional lamp to inaugurate the first ever Diwali function to be celebrated in parliament house. Clark had visited India only last month.

At the Canberra illumination, around 1,000 people attended the event which was inaugurated by Senator Gary Humphries by lighting a traditional lamp. The Liberal senator was representing the Australian Prime Minister John Howard who is on an overseas trip. Senator Joe Ludwig represented the opposition leader Mark Latham.

"The illumination of the Federal Parliament to celebrate Diwali represents acceptance of Hinduism as a major religious denomination in Australia," A Bala Subramanium, head of the Hindu Council of Australia, said on Sunday. The Hindu Council has organised the illumination.

A number of other parliament buildings have also been illuminated for the first time to celebrate the Festival of Lights.

The exterior of the oldest parliament building in the region, New South Wales (NSW) Parliament House, has also been lit for Diwali. This is the first time the NSW Parliament House has been illuminated for any occasion.

The legislative house building of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has joined the growing list of parliament and legislative assembly buildings to be illuminated for the purpose.

Across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand, the historic Town Hall in Auckland and the Parliament House in Wellington have also organised events to mark Diwali.

A number of cultural events marked the occasion. While Sydney's well-known Indian classical dance artiste Raghvan Nair gave a presentation of his "Ram-Lila", a troupe of Bhangra folk dancers, aptly named "Rangla Punjab" impressed the audience with their scintillating oeuvre.

In New Zealand, Prime Minister Clark said: "The Indian community is of long standing in New Zealand and it is wonderful to see the celebration of Diwali becoming a significant event in New Zealand's cultural calendar."

"I have just returned from a very exciting visit to India - the first New Zealand prime minister to go there in almost 20 years," she said.

"New Zealand and India have traditionally had a close relationship, and I want to see these ties grow even stronger. I acknowledge the efforts and dedication of Indians to making a new life and contributing to New Zealand society," Clark was quoted as saying.

5. In Singapore,
Deepawali is celebrated as one of the Public holiday in Singapore. The entire Serangoon street is lit up by the government and has a festive outlook.

6. Efforts by Overseas Hindus to popularise Diwali

Over 15,000 Hindus gather at the Sydney Diwali celebrations organised by Hindu Council of Australia. Many Federal and NSW ministers, Indian High Commissioner and many VIPs attend this colourful function. Impressed by this, the Australian Government has agreed to illuminate the Parliaments in Federal Capital, Canberra and NSW state capital Sydney. Efforts of Hindus and Hindu organisations in Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Trinidad are responsible for Diwali being celebrated there as an official festival.

Hindus have been celebrating Diwali in more than 50 countries where they live in fairly large numbers. The latest to join this group are the Hindus of China – Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Yi Wu to mention only a few.

Hindus in other countries should unite and make this happen in their countries.

7. Diwali as a National Holiday in many countries

Diwali is celebrated as a National Holiday in the Republic of Singapore, Malaysia, Fiji, Trinidad and Mauritius. (Will some one check if Diwali is a holiday in other countries especially Sri Lanka, Guyana, Surinam, Nepal, Bangladesh, Burma, South Africa etc). In Kenya where over 60,000 Hindus reside, Deepavali is an optional holiday for the Hindu community.

In Malaysia, apart from being a national holiday, people of various ethnicities visit the home of their Hindu friends. They call this practice 'Open House' and state/national level open houses are also held whereby the state or federal govts hold Deepavali open houses for the masses. The homes of the Indian leaders are also thrown open to a throng of people who represent the diverse ethnic make-up which is what Malaysia is all about.
”Last Friday the entire advertising dept of the org I work in dressed in Indian clothes regardless of what their ethnicity was." quotes one of the Malaysian Hindus.

In Singapore, the entire Serangoon street is lit up by the government.

8. Legends connected with Diwali Celebrations – Lord Krishna

Narakaasura was a demon king ruling over Praagjyotishapura (the present-day Assam). By virtue of his powers and boons secured from God, he became all-conquering. Power made him swollen-headed and he became a menace to the good and the holy men and even the Gods. The Gods headed by Devendra implored Sri Krishna who was at Dwaaraka (in the present-day Gujarat) to come to their rescue. Sri Krishna responded. He marched from the western end of the country to its eastern end, Praagjyotishapura, destroyed the huge army which opposed him finally beheaded Narakaasura himself.

The populace was freed from the oppressive tyranny and all heaved a sigh of relief. The 16,000 women kept in captivity by the demon king were freed. With a view to removing any stigma on them and according social dignity, Sri Krishna gave all of them the status of his wives. After the slaying of Narakaasura Sri Krishna bathed himself smearing his body with oil in the early morning of Chaturdashi. Hence the invigorating vogue of taking an early morning `oil-bath' on that day.

And all this illumination and fireworks, joy and festivity, is to signify the victory of divine forces over those of wickedness.

9. Legends connected with Diwali Celebrations – Lord Ram

In northern parts of Bharat, Deepaavali is associated with the return of Sri Rama to Ayodhya after vanquishing Raavana. The people of Ayodhya, overwhelmed with joy, welcomed Rama through jubilation and illumination of the entire capital. Well has it been said that while Sri Rama unified the north and south of our country, Sri Krishna unified the west and the east. Sri Rama and Sri Krishna together therefore symbolize the grand unity of our motherland.

10. The day after Diwali Day is Amavasya

Diwali is followed by Amaavaasya, the new moon day, auspicious for offering prayers and gratitude to the bygone ancestors of the family and invoking their memories and blessings for treading the path of right conduct. This is also the sacred occasion for the worship of Mahaa Lakshmi, the goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. The business community open their New Year's account with Her worship. This reminds us of the famous saying of the sage Vyaasa, 'dharmaadarthashcha kaamashcha...' - it is through right conduct that wealth and fulfilment of desires also accrue.

11. The third day, i.e., the first day of Kaartik, is Balipratipada

The third day, i.e., the first day of Kaartik, is named Balipratipada, after the demon king Bali, the ruler of Paataala (the netherworld), who had extended his kingdom over the earth also. On the day, Sri Vishnnu, taking the form of a dwarfish Brahmin by name Vaamana, approached Bali, for a boon of space equal to his three steps. Bali, known for his charity, gladly granted the boon. Vaamana now grew into a gigantic form; with one step he covered the entire earth, with the second he covered the outer sky, and asked Bali where he should keep his third step.

Bali, left with no other choice, showed his own head. Sri Vishnu placed his foot on Bali's head and pushed him down to the netherworld, the rightful territory of Bali's reign. However, Bali prayed to the Lord that he might be permitted to visit the earth once a year. Now it was the turn of Vishnu to grant the boon. And the people too offer their and respect to him on this day.

The annual visit of Bali is celebrated in Kerala as Onam. It is the most popular festival for Kerala where every Hindu home receives him with floral decorations and lights and festoons adorn all public places. Onam, however, falls on the 16th day of Aavani (Sowramaana) in september.

12. Govardhana Pooja and Anna Koota

The pratipada is also the day for Govardhana Pooja and Anna Koota (heap of grains), the former signifying the Govardhana episode in Sri Krishna's life and the latter conveying affluence and prosperity.

13. The fourth and final day is Bahu beej.

The fourth and final day is Yama Dwiteeya, also called Bahu beej. It is a most touching moment for the family members when even distant brothers reach their sisters to strengthen that holy tie. The sister applies tilak and waves aarati to her brother, and the brother offers loving presents to the sister.

Some of you might argue that the origins of these festivals are deep rooted in our mythology. But a myth, it may be noted, is no yarn. It was Ruskin who described the myth as a story with a meaning attached to it other than what is apparent, and a characteristic feature of it, he went to add, is something extraordinary about its circumstances.

14. The Massacre of 800 Melkotte Hindus on Diwali Day

In nearer history, Melkote had been ruled by a dynasty founded by Yaduraya. His clan had built several water retaining structures --kalyanis-- of great effectiveness and beauty. A small scholarly community had thriven there. In early 19th century, Tipu Sultan's army descended on a Deepavali day and massacred 800 citizens, mostly of a sect known as Mandyam Iyengars. Sanskrit scholarship had been their forte. [To this day Melkote does not celebrate Deepavali]. That slaughter rendered Melkote a near ghost town. Its environmentally connected life was broken, kalyanis went to ruin, water shortage became endemic, the hills went brown. Sanskrit lost a home.

15. Pope John Paul II Curses Hindus on Diwali day

In Ecclesia on Asia released in Delhi on the eve of Diwali, in November 1999, Pope John Paul declared:

“Just as in the first millennium, the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the third Christian millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent. He fervently endorsed the call of his Bishops, the heart of the Church in Asia will be restless until the whole of Asia finds its rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.”

Many Hindu organsiation resented this message as they thought this as an attempt by the Vatican to uproot Hinduism; a well founded fear. Pope wants to deliver the Hindu community from the darkness of Hindu false Gods or Devils to the bright light of the only True Christian God. This is his Diwali message.

16. Jagad Guru Shankaracharya Arrested on the eve of Diwali Day

The arrest of HH Jagad Guru Shankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt, at the dead of the night, that too on the eve of the Diwali festival, when he was engaged in a special pooja, and then forcing him to travel overnight hundreds of miles (from Mehboob nagar in AP to Chennai), placing him in a lock up as if he is an ordinary culprit, ruling out a request made on his behalf to place him in house arrest – all this makes one to smell a well organized plot. It is really painful that the administration did not feel like showing the ordinary curtsy to such an elderly, revered head of an important religious institution, when he was being taken into custody.

Never in the history of India has an institution of high reverence been so recklessly and disrespectfully dealt with. Compare this with what happened when the Islamic institution of Deoband at Nadwa revered by millions of Muslims was raided, by the Central and state police, in the 1990s for harbouring ISI agents, an act endangering national security.
The raid was called off midway, yes midway, and Narasmha Rao, the then Prime Minister, had to send two of his senior ministers, one a Hindu and another a Muslim, to apologise to Ali Mian, the head of the Nadwa institution. So the law takes `its course' at Kanchi and `another course' at Nadwa.

17. Nirvaana of Mahaveera

To the Jains, Deepaavali has an added significance to the great event of Mahaaveera attaining the Eternal Bliss of Nirvaana. The passing into Eternity on the same Amaavaasya of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, that leonine sanyasin who was one of the first to light the torch of Hindu Renaissance during the last century, and of Swami Ramatirtha who carried the fragrance of the spiritual message of Hindu Dharma to the western world, have brought the national-cum-spiritual tradition of Deepaavali right up to modern times.

18. Aapko is Diwali aur Naye Saal mein ...

Chanakya Ki Buddhi
Bharat Ratna Ki Siddhi

Vajpayee Ki Maryada
Kuber Ki Sampada

Michael Jordan Ki Salary
Abdul Kalam Ki Vocabulary

Bhagat Singh Ka Deshprem
Sweetheart Ka Amarprem

Microsoft Ke Share
Rupiyo Ke Dher

Tata Ke Senses
Ambani Ke Licenses

Birla Ka Bangla
Daler Ka Bhangra

Amitabh Ki Style
Madhuri Ki Smile

Bhagwan Ram Ki Personality
Ramdev Maharaj Ki Popularity
World tour Ka Ticket
Tendulkar Ka Wicket
Mercedez Ki Car
Diamond Ka Haar
Aur Logon Ka Dher Saraa Pyar Prapt Ho...
Wish you all Happy Diwali & a Prosperous New year
From Ketan Devani

19. Diwali Greetings
Dear Sir or Madam:
Subject:Diwali Greetings
12th October, 2005
One more year has passed and if we look back the entire year has been full of sad events like natural calamities, accidents, violence etc. Not only that on each and every front whether it is political, economical, business, finance, social, religion, society, things have deteriorated and in certain spheres the developments have been very shocking, disturbing, upsetting, disappointing, disgusting, depressing and frustrating. I am sure all of us would acknowledge this and hence the need of the day is to exchange and share our views, ideas, share affection, convey best wishes, pray and contribute constructively for the coming year.
If a free society cannot help the many, who are poor, it cannot save the few whoare rich.
Democracy demands discipline, tolerance and mutual regard.
The trouble with future is that it usually arrives before we are ready for it.
You can’t change people. But you can channel them your way.
Never find your delight in another’s misfortune.
Home is not where you live but where they understand you.
When all else is lost, the future still remains.
There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience.
An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
Evil is not in the atom, it is in the person.
The tragedy of human history is decreasing happiness in the midst of increasing comforts.
Every noble activity makes room for itself.
Health is not valued till sickness comes.
A man without patience is a lamp without oil.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Glimpses of Hindu Genius

Hindu Genius

By Chanakya

Suruci Prakashan
New Delhi – 110055

Glimpses of Hindu Genius …….
Hindu Genius is Universal
Section – 1
Impact Of Guru Puja On The West And East
1. Gurukula: Ancient Indian System of education. 2. Impact of Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita (Guru Sishya dialogues), 3. Impact of Lord Buddha in the East (sishya Ananda), 4.Impact of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya (Guru Chanakya), 5. Impact of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on Vietnam (Guru Samartha Ramdas ji), 6. Impact of Swami Vivekananda on Indonesia (Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa), 7. Impact of Swami Vivekananda on the West, 8. Impact of Guru Puja in recent times, 9. Impact of Doctorji and sishya Shri Guruji
Section – 2
Mega Changes In Hindu Society in Recent Years
1. From a colonial slave to a Super Power,
1. From a colony to a superpower, 2. From coffee percolators to missiles – India’s Military Power, 3. Economic Power- Bharat vanshis march shoulder to shoulder with Bharat vasis, 4. From rags to riches - India’s Economic Power, 5. From agriculture to Technology, 6. From Village View To Global View,
2. From An Introvert Society To Extrovert Society
1. Extroverts Abroad, 2. From Cocoons to World Trend Setters, 3. From Major Blows To Minor Setbacks, 4. From Self-emancipation To Self-less Service, 5. Welfare Activities Outside Bharat, 6. Embracing Indigenous Faiths, 7. From Men Only To Men And Women
3) From Hindu Meekness to Hindu Pride
1. Magic of Hindu Pride, 2. From Temple Decline To Temple Revival, (International Hindu Conferences, Attracting Western And Non-Indian Audiences), 3. From East only to East and west (1. Influence In Japan, 2. Influence in Thailand, 3. Influence in Malaysia, 4. Influence in Indonesia, 5. Hindu Influence In The West-(i) Ancient Period, Medieval Period – Worship of Mother Mary introduced by Hindu Gypsies, Modern Period – Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita, Yoga, Mediation, Sanskrit, Ayurveda, Family Values, France as a Centre of Hindu Studies, Sanskrit Studies in Germany, Hindu Influence in England, Hindu Influence in America, 4. From Limited Tools to Greater Resources
4. Our Short Comings
5. Conclusion
Annexure I to XIII

Glimpses of Hindu Genius
Hindu Genius is Universal
By Ravi Kumar
This is an expanded transcription of a lecture at Chennai in July 2004 (First published in 2005. Second Revision in July 2007)
Today is a very auspicious day. We are connected back to one of the oldest traditions of this human race. No one knows how old Guru Pooja is. In Sangh, we adore the Bhagwa Dhwaj (the saffron flag) as Guru. How old is Bhagwa Dhwaj? Guru Pooja and this Bhagwa or saffron flag go back to Vedas.
Age of Vedas, Bhagwa Dhwaj and Max Muller
No one knows how old the Vedas are. HMV had once published a pamphlet giving the history of gramophone record. Gramophone was invented by Thomas Alva Edison in the 19th century. Edison, who had invented many other gadgets like electric light and the motion picture camera, had become a legend even in his own time. When he invented the gramophone record, which could record human voice for posterity, he wanted to record the voice of an eminent scholar on his first piece. For that he chose Prof. Max Muller of England, another great personality of the 19th century. He wrote to Max Muller saying, “I want to meet you and record your voice. When should I come?” Max Muller who had great respect for Edison asked him to come at a suitable time when most of the scholars of the Europe would be gathering in England. Accordingly Edison took a ship and went to England. He was introduced to the audience. All cheered Edison’s presence. Later at the request of Edison Max Muller came on the stage and spoke in front of the instrument. Then Edison went back to his laboratory and by afternoon came back with a disc. He played the gramophone disc from his instrument. The audience was thrilled to hear the voice of Max Muller from the instrument. They were glad that voices of great persons like Max Muller could be stored for the benefit of future generations.
After several rounds of applause and congratulations to Thomas Alva Edison, Max Muller came to the stage and addressed the scholars and asked them, “You heard my original voice in the morning. Then you heard the same voice coming out from this instrument in the afternoon. Do you understand what I said in the morning or what you heard in the afternoon?” The audience fell silent because they could not understand the language in which Max Muller had spoken. It was ‘Greek and Latin’ to them as they say. But had it been Greek or Latin, they would have definitely understood because they were from various parts of Europe. It was in a language which the European scholars had never heard. Max Muller then explained what he had spoken. He said that the language he spoke was Sanskrit and it was the first shloka of Rig Veda, which says “Agni Meele Purohitam.” This was the first recorded public version on the gramophone plate.
Why did Max Muller choose this shloka? Addressing the audience he said, “Vedas are the oldest text of the human race. And Agni Meele Purohitam is the first verse of Rig Veda.” In the most primordial time when the people of Europe were still jumping like Chimpanzees from tree to tree and branch to branch, when they did not know how to cover their bodies, but with fig leaves, did not know agriculture and lived by hunting and lived in caves; at that remote past, Indians had attained high civilization and they gave to the world universal philosophies in the form of the Vedas.
According to Max Muller, Vedas are the oldest texts of the human race. The antiquity of the Vedas is appreciated by Max Muller and HMV. Guru Pooja and the Bhagwa Dhwaj are part of this Vedic tradition. The HMV passage goes on to say that Max Muller asked Edison to play this passage once again. This time when Agni Meele Purohitam was re-played, the entire audience stood up in silence as a mark of respect for the ancient Hindu sages; this time there were no claps, there was only a mark of respect.
(Swami Ranganathananda mentioned this while delivering the chairman’s benedictory address at a seminar held on December 15 and 16, 2000, at the Ramakrishna Institute of Culture, Kolkatta, India. The theme of the seminar was ‘Maxmuller and His Contemporaries’. All these can be seen in the book ‘Maxmuller and His Contemporaries’ by Swami Prabhavananda, The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkatta-700 029. India)
About the antiquity of the Vedas, Max Muller admitted the purely speculative nature of his Vedic chronology, and in his last work published shortly before his death, The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, he wrote: "Whatever may be the date of the Vedic hymns, whether 15 hundred or 15,000 B.C.E., they have their own unique place and stand by themselves in the literature of the world."
The antiquity of the Vedas is also confirmed by the NASA photos of the ancient river Saraswati mentioned in the Vedas. The course of the river as mentioned in the Vedas matches that taken by NASA. The age of this river which is now sub-terrain according to modern archeologists is 8,000 BC. Hence the Vedas which describe this river must be at least 8.000 B.C.
In the Vedas we have the description of this Bhagwa Dhwaj. Since the Vedic period, we have both the Guru Sishya and the Guru Puja parampara (tradition). We can legitimately feel proud that we belong to such a hoary past. “The country whose young men are inspired by the glory of the past, pain of the present and dreams of the future always moves on the path of progress.” Yogi Aurobindo.
Bhagwa Dhwaj is not a mere piece of cloth
Some of the intellectuals of Bharat would like us to believe that Bhagwa Dhwaj is just a piece of cloth and to regard it as a guru is height of superstition. Let them ponder over recent incidents involving flags of different nations.
American flag on the moon - year 1969
On 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the Moon. Millions of people around the world especially the Americans watching this rare feat on their TVs cheered the moment he placed his foot on the lunar surface. But their celebrations - beers and cheers came to a halt when the Americans saw him hoisting the American flag on the moon. They all stood up in their apartments, clubs and offices in silence and saluted the flag seen on the TV screens. For them it was not a mere piece of cloth but the pride, history and achievement of America. If America with a history of 230 years (4th July 1776 was America’s Independence Day) can feel so strong about its flag how much Hindus should feel proud about their Bhagwa flag, several millennium old.
Flag Controversy in World Chess Championship - year 1979
The World Chess Championship match of 1978 was held in Baguio in the Philippines, and rightly deserves its reputation as the most bizarre World Championship match ever played. Viktor Korchnoi, a Russian Grand Master had defected to Netherlands in 1975. He therefore used Netherlands flag while playing. His match against Russian champion was marred because of the protests about the flags used on the board.
Flag Controversy in Sydney Olympics - year 2000 AD
Cathy Freeman (born February 16, 1973) is an Australian athlete who is particularly associated with the 400 m race. As an Aboriginal, she is regarded as a role model for her people, and by many in the non-Aboriginal community as a symbol of national reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. At the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she created a great deal of controversy by waving the Aboriginal flag as well as the Australian flag during her victory lap of the arena. Normally, only the national flag is so waved. She did the same after winning her gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, even though the use of non-national flags at the Olympics is officially forbidden.
(I am expected to address you today on this occasion of Guru Puja. It is said that generally a speech should be long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting. I do not know whether my speech will be long or it will be short. One thing I definitely know- your heart is very large enough to pardon me if I prolong or bore you).
The coming together of the Guru and the Sishya has transformed the course of history not only in Bharat but also the events of the world. The following few incidents will illustrate the impact of Hindu tradition of Guru-Sishya combination on world events.
1. Impact of ancient Guru Kula System of education on the world,
2. Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita (Guru Sishya dialogues) shape modern Europe and US
3. Lord Buddha and sishya Ananda – their impact in Eastern countries
4. Emperor Chandragupt Maurya and Guru Chanakya
5. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Vietnam (Guru Samarth Ramdas)
6. Swami Vivekananda on Indonesia’s freedom struggle (Guru Ramakrishna Paramahams)
7. Swami Vivekanand’s impact on the West
8. Impact of Guru Puja in recent times
9. Dr. Hedgewar and his disciple Shri Guruji
Chapter 1 Guru Kula: Ancient Indian Education System and its Contribution to the World.
“If I am asked which nation had been advanced in the ancient world in respect of education and culture then I would say it was – India”, so said Max Muller (1823 – 1900) (German Indologist). The Gurukulas are ancient Indian universities where the Hindu sages and seers researched endlessly on knowing Truth, Moral Values and Welfare of the World. Hence Vedas are a treatise on science and universal philosophy.
“From the Vedas (ancient Indian Scriptures), we learn a practical art of surgery, medicine, music, house building under which mechanised art is included. They are encyclopedia of every aspect of life, culture, religion, science, ethics, law, cosmology and meteorology”, Sir William Jones (1746-1794 A.D.), English philologist and student of ancient India, particularly known for his proposition of the existence of a relationship among Indo-European languages.
Vedic Literature
Through Guru Kula system of education and passing the wisdom from teacher to students, Vedic seers understood the universal laws that govern the creation of this cosmos. These laws are contained in an encyclopedia called the Vedas. By Vedic literature we mean a collection of 18 books namely 4 Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas), 6 Vedangas (Siksha, Vyakarna, Chhandas, Niruktam, Jyotisham and Kalpam), 4 Upa-Vedas (Ayur Veda, Dhanur Veda, Gandharva Veda and Stapathya Veda) and 4 Upangas (Mimamsa, Nyaya, Puranas and Dharma Sastras). These 18 books contain all knowledge - secular, moral and philosophical. It is generally believed that the Vedic knowledge was revealed by Almighty God to Vedic seers in their periods of deep meditation.
Vedic Genius of Ghanapath
The four Vedas namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva were committed to memory and passed on from Gurus to sishyas for over 8,000 years – a rare world phenomenon. 5,000 years before Veda Vyasa compiled the Vedas but these were recklessly destroyed by the Arab invaders in the 12th century. Yet it is the Hindu Genius that the Vedas have survived in their pristine form in spite of the onslaught for centuries by a rare method of memorization called the Ghanapath. It is still an incredible and astounding feat of human endeavor that the Vedas from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari are recited in exactly the same way (even though no written text was available). Human history is yet to come across a method as fool proof as Ghanapath to communicate error free over a large area, vast population and over a period of 8,000 years. One can better understand the Genius of the ancient Hindus when we see that Bible even though only 2,000 years old could not be preserved in one form. Today Bible exists in many forms, at times contradicting each other. This Ghanapath code of the Vedic period has been used now in sending error free emails all over the world. Vedic scholar Panini’s grammar for Sanskrit, which is equivalent in its computing power to the most powerful computing machine, has not yet been matched for in any other language. Pingala described the binary number system which is now used widely in all computers.
Sanskrit is also the most beautifully structured language best suited for Natural Language Processing. Hence most suited for future computer developments. NASA has praised Sanskrit in the following terms, “Sanskrit is the only unambiguous language on the planet”.
Scientific Temperament, Freedom of Beliefs and Practices during Vedic Times
Vedic seers were concerned primarily with knowledge, ethics and welfare of the entire universe. For this they developed a scientific and transparent system of education. Rig Veda says “Let noble thoughts come to us from everywhere”. Noble laureate Amartya Sen has lauded this quality of the ancient Hindus in his book “The Argumentative Indian”.
But in the West, opinion has caused more trouble than plague or earth quake. Many scholars, scientists and philosophers were crucified and burnt at the stakes for holding views different from the Bible and the Church authorities. When anesthesia was first used to diminish the pains of childbirth in the late 1840s, churchmen (all male) objected because in the Bible Eve was told, “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children,” as one of the punishments for eating the forbidden fruit. In 1853, however Queen Victoria allowed herself to be chloroformed while giving birth to her seventh child and all criticism stopped. None of the churchmen had the nerve to criticize the queen.
Archimedes, the ancient Greek scientist believed that women had only 28 teeth while men had 32 teeth. If only he had opened his wife’s mouth and counted them he would not made such a foolish statement.
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) one of the most influential thinkers of his time in the west, proclaimed Equality, Fraternity and Liberty for all men and clearly excluded all women.
In the 17th century Europe was under the influence of Pope and Bible and they believed that the earth was created in the year 4004 BC, that the earth was flat, had four corners, stood on four pillars and was stationary, that Sun revolved round the earth, that women being inferior to men had only 28 teeth, that pain was caused by God as a punishment for eating the forbidden apple and so on.
In 1642 AD Italian physicist and astronomer, Galilei Galileo said “E pur si mouve” meaning there by that the earth goes round the sun. He was tortured to death by the orders of Pope Urban VIII and condemned to eternal hell. Giordano Bruno the Italian philosopher and poet, was burned alive at the stakes by Roman Church on February 17, 1600 A.D. by the orders of Pope Clement VIII, for rejecting geo-centrism of the universe. Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus who wrote the book “Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies” had no courage to publish his book and the same was published only on his death bed in 1543 AD. He dedicated his book to the then Pope and yet it was banned. In 400 AD the church authorities paraded the female mathematician and principal of a college, Hypatia naked on the streets of Alexandria and stoned her to death because she was teaching mathematics to male students. Now that the revolutions of the earth round the sun has been proved beyond any doubt, the European scientists appealed year after year to the various popes to allow the soul of Galileo to enter heaven. Only in October 1992 a papal commission acknowledged the Vatican’s error.
Just consider this with the Indian counterpart. Vedic Rishi Kanad was an atomic scientist who did not pray to Vedic gods. But he was not crucified, nor burnt at the stakes. The Vedic seers still regarded him as a Rishi for his contributions to science. Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita and all ancient Hindu texts are full of intellectual and spiritual discussions. Sage Ashtavakra was welcomed at the discussion chamber of Raja Janak in spite of his ugly look. The philosophical contest between Adi Shankara and Mandana Mishra perhaps has no parallel in European medieval history.
Vedas a vast Store House of Knowledge
Scientific Knowledge in Vedic Times
The Europeans believed in Geo-centrism (earth to be the centre of the universe) before 16th century. After Copernicus and Galileo they started believing in Helio-centrism of universe (Sun as the centre of the universe). Harlow Shapely (1885-1972), an American astronomer gave a big blow to it. He showed that the sun was not the centre of our galaxy and that it was far on the outskirts of the galaxy (about 26,000 light years from the centre). According to him, our position in our galaxy (Milky Way) and the then supposed universe was eccentric. Now the scientists believe that the universe is ever expanding and that it has no known centre.
(Milky Way has at least 200 billion stars like our sun. Milky Way is but one of billions of galaxies in the universe. Milky Way is part of the Local Group which is part of the Virgo Cluster and which in turn is part of Virgo Super Cluster. This is part of the visible universe which is up to 14 billion light years from earth).
The ancient Vedic seers said the universe is “Ananta Koti Brahmanda” or universe is made of billions of galaxies and heavenly bodies. Hence we can understand how primitive science was in Europe before 17th century.
In this context it is amazing to note how ancient India’s Guru Kula System produced mind boggling knowledge base for the use of the entire world. The ancient Vedic seers had three main objectives in mind –
i. to seek the ultimate truth governing the outer and the inner world (Rig Veda says, Anobhadraha Krutavo Yantu Vishwatah: Let noble thoughts come from every where),
ii. to make every one happy and free from afflictions (Vedas say, Sarvepi Sukhinah Santu), and
iii. to culturise the world through ethical and moral values (Krinvanto Vishwam Aryam).
Thus the ancient Indians laid the foundation of mathematical, scientific, spiritual, medical, ethical and psychological knowledge. They measured both time and space and mapped out the heavens. They analyzed the constitution of matter and understood the nature of spirit. They conceived and developed the sciences of logic and grammar and made great advances in fields so divergent as anatomy and astronomy, aeronautics and architecture, music and magic, medicine and mathematics, mythology and martial arts, philosophy and physics, religion and rational logic. In the words of Einstein, “We owe a lot to Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.” India invented the zero and shared it with the world. Without zero there would be no binary systems and no computers; counting would be clumsy and cumbersome. Can we conclude the contribution of Hindus to science and technology is “Zero?”
Sanskrit is the mother of Indo-European languages
The ancient wisdom is expressed in Sanskrit one of the oldest languages of the world and mother to most languages in India and the world. Languages in South East Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia and as also many languages in Europe (Greek, Latin, Scandinavian and Slavic languages, German and French), Japan, China, Korea, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have been influenced and enriched by Sanskrit. According to Will Durant (1885-1981), American historian, whose works on philosophy and world history have been read by millions of people, “Sanskrit is the mother of Indo-European languages”.
Besides Asia, Sanskrit and Sanskriti influenced Europe’s modernity, and Sanskrit Studies became a large-scale formal activity in most European universities since 1790. These influences shaped many intellectual disciplines that are (falsely) classified in modern times as “Western”. Even today Sanskrit and Vedas are taught in more universities of USA and Europe than in Bharat.
In the field of spiritual thoughts Sanskrit is the only billionaire in the world. Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita, Yoga Vasishta, the works of Yogi Patanjali and Adi Shankara contain unique and irreplaceable knowledge that this materialistic world desperately needs to find lasting peace. Joseph Campbell (1904-1987), American writer, editor, and teacher, known for his writings on myths, pronounces, “Sanskrit is the great spiritual language of the world.”
Sanskrit has the power of expressing all types of thought in appropriate terminology: In the words of the eminent lawyer Nani Palkhiwala “The richness of Sanskrit is almost beyond belief. Many centuries ago our language contained words to describe states of the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious mind and a variety of other concepts which have been evolved by modern psychology, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy”. Further it has many a word, of which there is no exact synonym even in the richest modern languages e.g. Shraddha, Satva, Rajas, Tamas, Punya etc. That is why some of the most enlightened modern writers have been driven occasionally to use Sanskrit words when writing in English. Consider for example the following words by J.Robert Oppenheimer (American nuclear scientist who developed the first atomic bombs) in Einstein: A Centenary Volume: “Einstein is also and I think rightly, known as a man of very great goodwill and humanity. Indeed if I had to think of a single word for his attitude towards human problems, I would pick the Sanskrit word Ahimsa, not to hurt, harmlessness.” Sir William Jones (1746-1794) considered the father of Asian studies in Britain writes of Sanskrit as “The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of wonderful structure, more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin and more exquisitely refined than either.” Here are a few examples to show the richness of the language and the sages who patronized Sanskrit. Sanskrit has an amazing wealth of words and synonyms. It has 65 original words for earth and 70 original words for water. Tatitreeya Samhita mentions various powers of ten namely ekam, dasam, shatam, sahasram up to Tallaakshanam which is 10 to the power of 53 (1053). In today’s mathematics the highest prefix used for raising 10 to a power is D which is 1030.
It is unique to Sanskrit wisdom that it has two words for Zero – Shunyam and Pujyam and two words for infinity – Purnam and Anantam, to describe their two different properties. Shunyam means the absence of matter and hence zero as understood when we subtract one from one. Pujyam is that power of zero which makes five become fifty and ten become hundred. Pujyam also means “Respectful”. Similarly Purnam or fullness is that concept of infinity where nothing can be added and is an attribute of the Omnipresent God. Anantam means unending as we have in infinite series like ½ + ¼ + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/32 ….. which totals to approximately 1. Though this series is infinite its value is finite and it is called Anantam.
Ancient Hindus had also contributed in other branches of mathematics like algebra, trigonometry, geometry, quadratic and higher degree equations and calculus. The famous Pythagoras theorem is explained several centuries before in the Shulva Sutras of the Vedas. It is believed that much traveled Pythagoras was a student in the ancient Takshashila University in Bharat and he carried with him knowledge of mathematics, medicine and transmigration of the soul to the western world. Australian Indologist A.L.Basham in his book, “The Wonder That was India” rightly states, “... the world owes most to India in the realm of mathematics, which was developed to a stage more advanced than that reached by any other nation of antiquity. The success of Indian mathematics was mainly due to the fact that Indians had a clear conception of the abstract number (Algebra) as distinct from the numerical quantity of objects or spatial extension.”
Vedas, Anatomy and Medical Sciences
Our present knowledge of the nervous system fits in so accurately with the internal description of the human body given in the Vedas (10,000 years ago). Then the question arises whether the Vedas are really religious books or books on anatomy of the nervous system and medicine.
The word for human body in Sanskrit is Deha and Shareera. Deha comes from Dahyati which means consumed by fire and Shareera is derived from Shara which means that which will decay. Hindus Buddhists and most modern Europeans and Americans cremate the body after death and most Semitics bury the body which decays after some time. Thus in lighter vein we can say that the Hindus, Buddhists… have deha and the Semitics have sharira.
The word for heart in Vedic Sanskrit is “Hridaya”. It is made of three parts - Hri, Da, Ya. Hri comes from Harati which means to receive, Da is short form of Dadati which means to give and Ya stands for Ayati which means to go, to move or to circulate. It is amazing to know how the Vedic seers coined this word since heart has only these three functions. Millenniums later William Harvey in 1628 A.D. was the first European to discover the circulation of blood.
Plastic surgery performed today in the most modern hospitals is similar to the one performed by Sushruta 3,000 years ago. Early Hindu doctors knew bone setting, arresting of blood flow, cataract operations, cure for most ailments and so on… Yogasan and meditation which are very ancient, are sought by over 10% populations in America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Vedic Astronomy
Indian astronomers have been mapping the skies for over 8,000 years and had reached a very high degree of proficiency in astronomy. The six Vedangas deal with six different subjects namely Siksha (phonetics or speech sounds), Vyakarna (grammar), Chhandas (meters or music), Niruktam (etymology or origin and developments of words), Jyotisham (astrology), and Kalpam (ceremonies). Vedic ceremonies are to be performed at specified periods of time and hence accurate measurements of time became imperative.
Exact calculations of amavasyas, purnimas, solar and lunar eclipses, solstices, and equinoxes were known during the Vedic times. In the Vedic times each grahasta was required to do Sandhya vandanam three times a day and on some special days like amavasyas, eclipses etc. During sandhya vandans he has to recite the date of that day since creation. Jyotish Shastra which is part of the Vedangas contains many books that give the position of the planets and moon. Most Hindu ancient books contain references to planetary positions. Mahabharata, written more than 5,000 years ago, has more than 150 references to astronomy. According to the Hindu calendar we are in the 52nd Century of the 28th Kaliyuga in one of many cycles of creation. Hence we have nothing euphoric about 21st century.
Vedic Cosmology is yet another ancient Vedic science which can be confirmed by modern scientific findings and this is acknowledged by well known scientists and authors, such as Carl Sagan and Nobel laureate Count Maurice Maeterlinck, who recognized that the cosmology of the Vedas closely parallels modern scientific findings. Carl Sagan stated, "Vedic Cosmology is the only one in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology." Count Maurice Maeterlinck wrote of "a Cosmogony (the study of the origin of the universe or of a part of it) which no European conception has ever surpassed."
French astronomer Jean-Claude Bailly corroborated the antiquity and accuracy of the Vedic astronomical measurements as "more ancient than those of the Greeks or Egyptians." And that, "the movements of the stars calculated 4,500 years ago, does not differ by a minute from the tables of today."
The ninety foot tall astronomical instrument known as Samrat Yantra, built by the learned King Suwai Jai Singh of Jaipur, measures time to within two seconds per day.
Cosmology and other scientific accomplishments of ancient India spread to other countries along with mercantile and cultural exchanges. There are almost one hundred references in the Rig Veda alone to the ocean and maritime activity. This is confirmed by Indian historian R. C. Majumdar, who stated that the people of the Indus-Sarasvata Civilization engaged in trade with Sooma and centers of culture in western Asia and Crete.

Maha Kalpa or Brahma Ayu is the largest Unit of Time = 311,040,000,000,000 solar years. And “TRUTI” is the smallest Unit of Time = 33,750th part of a Second. According to modern science the known universe is 13.7 billion years old with a diameter of at least 20 billion light years (and probably much larger). Certainly the world was not created in 4004 BC as believed by the Europeans until a few centuries ago.
Shani in Sanskrit means slow and it is the name of planet Saturn. It is so because Shani or Saturn takes 29.46 years to go round the Sun once. Jupiter is called Guru which means the leader or biggest or heaviest (Its radius is 11.21 times and mass is 317.8 times those of earth). Sun itself is called Mitra (friend), Khaga (roams in the sky), Sapta Ashwan (rider of seven hoses) etc. Lord Vishnu the protector of the universe is called Jagadish which is made of two words Jagat and Ish meaning there by Lord of Universe. Jagat it self is made from two words Ja and Gata which means “That which moves”. Hence Lord Vishnu is Lord of only that which moves and not a lord of that which does not move. But in this universe from the tiniest atom to the farthest star there is nothing that does not move. Hindus were so sure of the universe that they called their God Jagdish.
The richness of ancient Sanskrit language and the incredible wealth of knowledge in the Vedas can be inferred from the words they were familiar with.
· Hiranyagarbha = Cosmic Egg
· Neeharika = Nebula
· Krishnatara = Black Hole
· Dhumaketu = Comet
· Griha = Planet
· Upa-Griha = Satellite
· Ulka = Meteorites

Hindu genius produced many astronomers, mathematicians, and physicists like Baudhayana, Apastamba, Katyayana and Umaswati during Vedic period. Later period scientists include Aryabhata (476- 550 AD), Varahamihira (505- 558 AD), Brahmagupta (598- 670 AD), Govindaswami (800-850 AD), Mahavira (Mahaviracharya) (850 AD), Pruthudakaswami (850 AD), Sridhara (900 AD), Manjula (930 AD), Aryabhata II (950 AD), Prashastidhara (958 AD), Halayudha (975 AD), Jayadeva (1000 AD), Sripathi (1039 AD), Hemachandra Suri (1089 AD), Bhaskara (1114-. 1185 AD), Cangadeva (1205 AD), Madhava of Sangamagramma (1340-1425 AD), Narayama Pandit (1350 AD), Paramesvara (1360-1455 AD), Nilakantha Somayaji (1455-1555 AD), Sankara Variar (1500-1560 AD), Narayana (1500-1575 AD), Jyesthadeva (1550 AD), Acyuta Pisarati (1550-1621 AD), Putumana Somayaji (1660-1740 AD), Jaganath Pandit (1700 AD) and Sankara Varman (1800 AD).
“Many of the advances in the sciences that we consider today to have been made in Europe were in fact made in India centuries ago”, so said James Grant Duff (British Historian of India) (1789 -1858). He was an Indian soldier and statesman who served in the army of the East India Company. It is said that ‘everything has been said in the Vedas, and we are more than ten thousand years of human thought too late’.
Vedic Physics
Classical Physics consists of measurements of length, mass, time and temperature. All physical quantities like velocity, acceleration, force, viscosity etc are obtained from these four measurements. Velocity = distance ÷ time; acceleration = velocity ÷ time; force = mass x acceleration and so on. Vedic seers had tables for all these four measurements. (see appendix on Vedic Measurements).
In the 5th century Aryabhatt discovered many laws of physics which we today attribute to Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). He knew the value of pi. He knew that the earth revolves round the sun, that earth is spherical, that earth rotates on its axis, that earth is suspended in space and that lunar and solar eclipses occur by interplay of the sun, moon and earth. He also knew the laws of gravity, circumference of the earth, distance between the planets and the sun, revolutionary movement of the earth around the sun and so on. Aryabhatta in his Aryabhateeyam in the 5th century at least 1100 years before Galileo and Newton, has said, “Just as a person traveling in a boat feels that the trees on the bank are moving, people on the earth feel that the sun is moving”. Hinduism and Vedic thoughts are criticized by people who only imperfectly understood them, who were incapable of the great effort required to grasp them in their relationship to larger truths.
Vedic Hindu Calendar (Panchanga) and Its Contribution to the World
Vedic rituals are very particular about muhurta or auspicious times. Hence they had accurate measurements of years, seasons, dates and minute fractions of a second. Panchang or Vedic calendar gives much information on all these aspects.
We also see that calendars all over the world bear significant similarities with the Hindu Vedic calendar used in Bharat since times immemorial. The Western Gregorian calendar that we all use today was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 AD. Before 1582 AD, Europe followed Roman calendar, Julian calendar and a correction to Julian calendar by the Roman abbot Dionysius Exiguus in 525 AD. In Europe and their colonies prior to 1582 AD it was common for March 24 of one year to be followed by March 25 of the next year. One can see how close this date is to Hindu New Year day of Chaitra Varsha Pratipada. Again we see that calendars all over the world have seven days in a week similar to Hindu practices. In the Vedas one of the names for Surya Bhagwan is “Sapta Ashwan” or rider of seven horses. In Hindu pantheon Sun God is shown as riding a chariot driven by seven horses. Hindus call Sunday as Ravivaar, Bhanuvaar (or Nyayitru Kizhamai in Tamil). Ravi and Bhanu in Sanskrit and Nyayiru in Tamil mean Sun. Similarly Monday or Moonday is called Somavaar (or Tingal in Tamil). Soma in Sanskrit and Tingal in Tamil mean moon. Saturday is Shanivaar and Shani is the name of the planet Saturn. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are named in English after the Norse Gods Tiu, Woden, Thor and Freya which are similar to their equivalents in Sanskrit namely Mangal, Budh, Guru and Shukravaar. Romans had only ten months in a year but the Hindus had 12 months starting from Chaitra in end March and ending in Falguni. Abbot Dionysius Exiguus in 525 AD added two months to Roman calendar and named them July and August in honor of Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar. The nomenclature of Roman calendar months bears similarities to Sankrit language. Starting from their first month March, the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months are September, October, November and December. These must have been derived from Sanskrit words Sapta for seven and hence September, Ashta for eight and hence Ashtober or October, Nava for nine and hence November and Dasa for ten and hence December. The clock changes its date at midnight 12 O’clock because when it is mid night in Europe, it is early morning 5.00 O’clock in Bharat when we start our new day. Thus we see that most parts of the world followed Bharat in astronomy and calendar. As we have already seen Europe was not aware till 17th century that the earth was round and that it revolved around the sun. In the absence of these details it is impossible to arrive at a proper calendar and hence it is logical that they all followed the Hindu calendar.
In the Julian and modified Julian calendar till 1582 AD, 1st January and 1st April fell on Hindu festivals namely Makara Sankranti and Besakih the Hindu solar New Year. The influence of Hinduism can be easily appreciated from the fact that these days are declared holidays in Europe.
On 24th February 1582 Pope Gregory issued a papal bull, Inter Gravissimas, establishing what is now called the Gregorian calendar reform. The Gregorian calendar is the calendar which is currently in use in all Western and Westernized countries. One of the Gregorian reforms was the shifting of New Year Day from 25th March to 1st January. The other was to delete 10 days in 1582 (and one day each was deleted in 1700, 1800 and 1900). Initially most countries in Europe continued to observe March 25 as their New Year which was very close to Hindu lunar New Year day or Varsha Pratipada.
Only Catholic countries of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland readily adopted the Gregorian calendar upon the promulgation of Pope Gregory’s decree in 1582. France and Luxembourg followed shortly. During the next two years most Catholic regions of Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands came on board. Hungary followed in 1587. The rest of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland made the change during 1699 to 1701. The Gregorian calendar was adopted in Britain (and in the British colonies) in 1752, with September 2, 1752, being followed immediately by September 14, 1752. Sweden adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1753, Japan in 1873, Egypt in 1875, Eastern Europe during 1912 to 1919 and Turkey in 1927.
Vedic Architecture and Vastu Shastra
Vastu Shastra was codified by Vedic God Vishwakarma, the Lord of engineering and constructions. Mohan-jo-daro one of the most ancient cities of the world had underground sewage system, unthinkable even today in major cities of the world. It had well laid out streets, public libraries, swimming pools, water treatment plants and buildings and unlike most ancient monuments does not glorify graves of monarchs (pyramids, Chinese graves etc). Some of the old structures in India like the Brahadeeshwara temple in Tanjavur, Madurai Temple and the ancient pillar in Delhi falsely called the Kutub Minar boast great engineering skills. The iron pillars built by emperor Ashok in the fourth century BC have not rusted. Ajanta, Ellora and Elephant cave temples are rare master pieces in engineering and paintings. The fort of Kumbalgarh, the Dilwara Jain temples in Ajmer, Gomateshwara rock carvings near Mysore, rock carvings at Mahabalipuram, Sun temple in Konark, Belur and Halebedu temples are among the less known wonders of the world.
Ancient India had several world renowned universities like Takshashila, Nalanda, Vaishali, Kanchipuram, Ujjain and Madurai that attracted scholars from world over.
Scientific Contribution in Modern Days
The scientific temperament of the Vedic period continues this day. Many Hindus have contributed to science and technology in modern times. Here is a brief list of such torch bearers.
Shri Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858-1937) proved that plants too have life. Actually Bose was the first in 1899 to fabricate the device that generated radio waves of very short wave length but Marconi, patented this invention 2 years later in 1901.
Prafulla Chandra Ray (1861-1944). Acharya P.C. Ray’s contribution to chemistry was the discovery of mercurous nitrate in 1896. He wrote ‘The history of Hindu chemistry’ which is acclaimed as the best book of its kind. Ray is called the Father of India’s chemical industry.
Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887 – 1920). S. Ramanujan was a genius in mathematics. His contributions to the theory of numbers include pioneering discoveries of the properties of the partition function. He worked out the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, hyper geometric series, the functional equations of zeta function and his own theory of divergent series.
1729 is called Ramanujan number. While he was undergoing treatment n a hospital in London Hardy paid him a visit. Ramanujan though sick asked him the Taxis number. Hardly said it is not a good number and is 1729. But Ramanujan suddenly said it is the smallest number which can be expressed as the sum of cubes of 2 numbers in two different ways.
Sir C.V. Raman (1888-1970). C.V. Raman is the first Nobel Scientist of India. He won Nobel Prize in 1930 in physics for his discovery ‘Raman Effect’.
Meghnad Saha (1893-1956). Saha put forward an ‘ionization formula’ that explained the presence of spectral lines. The formula helped an astronomer to know the temperature, pressure and other aspects of the interior of the Sun or any other star. It was a major discovery in astrophysics.
Satyendranath Bose (1894 – 1974). Bose was an Indian physicist who put forward a theory explaining the behavior of subatomic particles. The methodologies adopted by Bose to explain the behavior of radiation was called Bose Statistics. The elementary particles such as photons and alpha particles which obeyed Bose statistics were called ‘Bosons’.
Einstein further developed Bose’s ideas into a set of calculations which later came to be known as Bose – Einstein’s statistics.
Shantiswaroop Bhatnagar (1894 – 1955). Bhatnagar is well known for his contributions to the chemistry of magnetism and emulsions. He developed accurate and simple methods of determining small changes occurring in the magnetic properties of materials. The method has been used to solve many complex problems connected with colloids, alloys, atomicity of mercury, iodine and selenium under different conditions.
Krishnan K.S. (1898-1961) Krishnan worked on crystals. In 1955 K.S. Krishnan was invited by the U.S. national Academy of sciences to deliver lecture at its annual function.
Sheshadri T.R. (1900 – 1975). Sheshadri is one of the founders of organic Chemistry in India. He did research on hundreds of plants which led him to discover many new chemical compounds. He was an expert in the chemistry of lichen. He studied how the new compounds damage Sandal trees and archaeological monuments. He evolved methods to prevent such damages.
Vikram Sarabhai (1919 – 1971). Sarabhai worked primarily on time variations of cosmic rays. He was a pioneer in space research in India. He set up the space science and Technology centre near Thumba and an experimental Satellite communication Earth Station at Ahmedabad.
C.N.R. Rao (B.1934). Ramachandra Rao is an Indian chemist who has contributed to the fields of solid state chemistry, chemical Spectroscopy, molecular structure and surface science. Rao’s studies in solid state chemistry enable in creating totally new types of solids. These solids will have new properties for use in industries.
The Unrecognised NRI scientists
Yallapragada Subbarao: A poor Andhra boy Subba Rao came to the US in the 1920s. He is credited with the synthesis of Folic acid, Aureomycin, the first of the tetracycline antibiotics that have saved millions of lives since its introduction in 1948, and Methotrexate, which is used to alleviate several types of cancer, including childhood leukemia. The discovery of Folic acid helped a medical company to discover Vitamin B12. The medicines found by Subbarao helped the doctors to control Filariasis, a killer disease. Subbarao was instrumental in establishing a cancer research unit.
In fact, it is said that Aureomycin, presented to the medical world in 1948, should have won him the Nobel Prize. Subbarao did not like advertising of himself. He was not known to many Indians. His work was selfless. He worked in USA at the time when eminent scholars and doctors didn’t allow Indian to do research in medicine. Of him it was said, because he lived, you may live longer.
Dr Rangaswamy Srinivasan, the little known pioneer of Lasik eye surgery, who is the only Indian to feature in the US National Inventors Hall of Fame in the company of greats such as Edison, Ford, Disney, Nobel and the Wright Brothers. After he engineered the technique to correct shortsightedness that has enabled millions to get rid of eyeglasses, Srinivasan wrote out the patent to IBM, the corporation he worked for. His reward: A measly $10,000.
In a recent interview Dr Praveen Chaudhari, the Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory, who was also Dr Srinivasan’s colleague at IBM, when asked how it felt to have such achievements go unrecognised by the media and unrewarded financially in an age when people were patenting age old inventions and milking millions. “The joy lies in the discovery, not in the reward,” he said.
Dr Praveen Chaudhari should know better. He engineered the rewritable compact disc (CD), and like Dr Srinivasan, wrote out the patent for IBM for a fraction of the billions Big Blue, Sony, Phillips and other corporations got from the invention.
But neither Dr Rangaswamy nor Dr Chaudhari display the slightest sign of rancor at IBM’s profits or envy at the fame and fortune of today’s NRIs.
“Between a billion dollars and the pleasure of giving perfect eyesight, what do you think I will choose?” asks Dr Srinivasan.
These men never send out press releases or talk to the media. They are not rich or famous. They are sacred and profound. They are the true representatives of Vedic way of living for the welfare of mankind.
Vedic Influence of other Religions
Ideas from India reached the corners of the globe. Philip Rawson, the British Orientalist said, “There can no longer be any real doubt that both Islam and Christianity owe the foundations of both their mystical and their scientific achievements to Indian initiatives.” Christian and Islamic prayers contain the words Amen and Amin which are so similar to Hindu sacred word Aum used in all our prayers. Crescent moon and star are holy symbols of the Muslims. In nature there is no star within the circumference of the moon. The only place where these can be seen together is in the Hindu holy symbol Aum \.
Hindus worship Sun God on 14th January every year. This day is called Makara Sankranti day. This day used to fall on 1st January before 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII by a Papal Bull, made changes in the European calendar. Earlier Europe had Julian calendar which was based on Hindu, Egyptian and Babylonian calendars. Sun God worshipped by Hindus was worshipped by ancient Persians some 3,500 years ago as Mitra Day on December 25th. The Egyptian pharos followed suit and worshipped their Sun God Amon on 25th December and the Romans following the Egyptians and Persians celebrated December 25th as Natal Solis Invicti or the festival of the invincible Sun God. The European Christians absorbed this festival and called it as the Christmas day. Similarly Easter is the resurrection of Anglo-Saxon pagan spring goddess Eostre and is similar to our Yugadi or Gudi Padwa or Varsha Pratipada. All these details can be seen in Britannica Encyclopedia and Microsoft Encarta. European gypsies also called Romas or Sindis who migrated from Bharat in the 10th – 12th centuries in the wake of the Islamic invasions were worshippers of Mother Goddess Parvati and the Christians absorbed this as Mother Mary after the gypsies saved the Christians in France from a deluge. One sees another similarity too. Mother Parvati is the virgin mother of Lord Ganesha and this concept is seen in Mary being called the virgin mother of Jesus.
Muslims on a pilgrimage to Mecca during Ramadan wear seamless cotton white dhoti similar to South Indian traditional dress. Circum-ambulating the black stone in Mecca and washing their feet and face with the Zamzam water are also similar to rituals in going round Shiv-lingas in a Hindu temple. Fasting, charity, penance and singing in temples are common to Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.
The ancient Vedic Aryan Hindus (Indus Saraswati) spoke about a series of Ten Pitris who ruled before the global Flood. Ancient Babylonian legend speaks of a pre-Flood series of ten kings. The ancient Egyptians described Ten Shining Ones who ruled consecutively before the Deluge. The last of these kings in the aforementioned lists was the hero who led seven others aboard a vessel in which they survived the global Flood.
In ancient India, the hero was Manu who survived the global-Flood “pralaya” with the Seven Rishis. In ancient Babylon, the hero’s name was Zisudra who spear-headed the survival on the Ark of seven other humans, the Seven Apkallu. In ancient Egypt, the Flood hero was Toth who survived the Deluge along with the Seven Sages. In Bible it was Noah.
Lord Ram was educated in the Gurukula of sage Vasishta. Ramayan is the perennial source of influence in South East Asian countries of Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei etc. Tulsi Ramayan has sustained the life style and preserved Hinduism amongst the uneducated, poor Indian indentured laborers who were taken by the British masters in the 19th century to distant lands like Trinidad, Guyana, Surinam, Mauritius, Fiji and South Africa.
While Vedic seers put our religion and philosophy on a firm substratum of science, west was steeped in ignorance and bigotry till 17th century. The benefits of the Guru Sishya Parampara initiated at the Vedic times, have entered into our genes and are bearing fruits in the modern days of Information Technology.
Vedic Moral Values
Vedic seers laid great stress on moral values and this has been the hallmark of Indian society the world over. Number of Hindus in jails the world over as compared to their total population is far lesser than any other community. Often comparison is made amongst Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and here the gap is too obvious to ignore. Both Indians and Pakis are famous all over the world in the field of IT; Indians in Information Technology and Pakistanis in International Terrorism.
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800 – 1859), British historian, essayist and politician, spent four years in India. Let us see what he has to say about Indians of 19th century. “I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country.” Megasthenes, the ambassador of Seleucus Nicator (4th century BC) at Pataliputra, has recorded that “the Hindus honoured truth and virtue and that, thefts in the country were rare.” The Chinese traveler, Hsuan Tsang, the 7th century celebrated Chinese Buddhist monk and pilgrim, has recorded that “although the Indians are of a mild temperament, they are distinguished by the straightforwardness and honesty of their character.” Abu Fazl, (16th century), Akbar’s minister, has stated that “the Hindus are religious, affable, cheerful, lovers of justice, admirers of truth, gratefulness and of unbounded fidelity; and their soldiers know not what it is to fly from the field of battle.”
Vedic Teachings have always emphasized Satyam Vada – speak truth and Dharmam Chara – adhere to Dharma or universal and ethical values. Warren Hastings, (1732-1818), the first governor-general of India, remarked, “The Hindus are gentle and benevolent, more susceptible to gratitude for kindness shown to them, and less prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted than any other people on the face of the earth; they are faithful, affectionate, and submissive to legal authority.” Colonel W.H. Sleeman, who put down the thugs in 1830, recorded that “he had seen hundreds of cases in which a man’s property, liberty and life depended upon his telling a lie, and he refused to tell it.”
Eric Miller (, is a Ph.D. candidate in Folklore in the University of Pennsylvania, USA. His dissertation is on Tamil children’s songs and games and language learning. Writing on Silappathikaram, the story of Kannagi, he writes, “all of the political leaders of the world should know the story of Kannagi and of the Pandian king, Nedunchezhiyan. For the great hero of the Silappathikaram – after Kannagi - is the Pandian king. He punished himself when he realized he had made a mistake. Such self-punishments by leaders, is a tradition in South India – another example being the king Manuneedhi Cholan, who punished his son for killing a calf. This tradition of justice and selflessness is one reason that India is a moral leader of the world.”
Manimegalai the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavi (and the step daughter of Sati Kannagi) traveled to many South East Asian countries with an Akshay Patra (a vessel containing food and medicine) to feed the poor and the afflicted some two thousand years ago. Dr Dwarakadas Kotnis of Sholapur served the sick and wounded soldiers of the Chinese army during the Sino-Japanese war (1937 to 1945). He died in China while treating the Chinese troops fighting the Japanese army. Every Chinese head of state visiting Bharat since then including Zhou-En Lai, Li Peng, Zhu Rongsi and Hu Jintao have made it a point to visit the siblings of Dr Dwarkanath to pay their respects to his sacrifice. Chinese government has also brought out a stamp in honor of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis. Film Producer V.Shantaram has immortalized Dwarkanath by bringing out a movie in the name of “Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani”.
Relevance of Vedic Teachings to Modern World
Vedas talk of ultimate knowledge, moral values and happiness of all. So long as there is death and disease humanity will need hope. Hope comes from faith and faith from religion. Hence mankind will always need religion. But our civilization has also made tremendous progress in science. Humanity therefore needs a religion that gives him hope and at the same time does not clash with scientific progress. The Semitic religions talk only of faith and have a long history of conflict and blood bath with science. They also have a long history of rabid intolerance with people of other religions thus endangering world peace every now and then. They believe that men are meant for doctrines and movements. This is in sharp contrast to Vedic theism where dharma is for human beings.
Hinduism with its firm base of scientific thinking, universal peace and moral values can give scientific faith to all mankind. Consequently Sanskrit, Bhagwad Gita, yoga, ayurveda, vegetarianism and Vedic universalism are gaining grounds in most of the advanced scientific societies.

Chapter 2
Influence of Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita on the West
“India is eternal, everlasting. Though the beginnings of her numerous civilizations go so far back in time that they are lost in the twilight of history, she has the gift of perpetual youth”, so said Nani Palkhiwala is his book “India’s Priceless Heritage” (published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan). During that prehistoric Vedic Age, the discussion between the Guru and Sishya gave the world the interminable, sublime philosophy of the Upanishads about which German scholar Schopenhauer (1788-1860) exclaimed, “In the whole world there is no study … so beneficial and so elevated as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life; it will be the solace of my death.” Max Muller, who translated the Upanishads, described them as “the light of the morning; like the pure air of the mountains, so simple and so true, if once understood.”
Five thousand years ago, on the Kurukshetra battle field, Guru and sishya in the persons of Lord Krishna and Arjuna discussed, debated and deliberated on issues so vital to humanity. The world benefited by the book Bhagwad-Gita, “The Song Divine”. Gita forms the basis of Indian civilization. Many have propounded the Gita from time to time. Even in the thick of India’s freedom struggle against the British, at least four great freedom fighters, Lokamanya Tilak, Arobindo Ghosh, Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave felt it necessary to advocate Gita’s sublime teachings to inspire the nation and prepare it to fight injustice.
Influence of Bhagwad Gita & Upanishads in Europe
There are universities around the world that teach various subjects on arts, science, commerce, medicine, engineering, technology, management, administration and journalism. But there is no university that teaches man “what happiness is and how to be happy over a long period”. The only book that teaches this is he Upanishads and yet it is a distressing fact that Upanishads are not taught in any of the modern universities, India including.
Yet Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita on their own have transformed many civilizations around the world. The 1st prose translation of Bhagwad Gita by Charles Wilkins, published in London in 1785 AD under the aegis of the British East India Company, best conveyed this universal spirit. Warren Hastings the then British governor general of India between 1772 and 1785 AD took pains to see it published in London by East India Company. In a pregnant preface to this book he wrote, “Long after the British Empire has been wiped out from the face of the earth, the Gita will continue to give consolation and peace to mankind.” By 1790s Bhagwad Gita was translated into French, German and Russian. Several centers for Sanskrit and Indian studies were opened all over Europe. By 1832 Bhagwad Gita was translated into Latin. Great romantic poets of Europe like Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats had not only read Wilkins Gita, but imbibed its universal spirit. It found creative expression in their poems in the 18th and 19th centuries. The concept of rebirth, “Karma”, universal soul, immortality, incarnation, God as omnipotent and omnipresent, spirit as the ultimate reality, true human selfhood as divine and divinely attuned thought as a positive force for good – all that Gita taught – fascinated romantic poets. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) German writer and Leo Tolstoy of Russia in particular emphasized the message of the Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita in most of their writings.
A course was offered on “the living Universe” in the Schumacher College in UK. This concept of a living universe is explained in the Vishwa Roopa chapter in Bhagwad Gita and also through Purushasooktha in the Vedas.
Bhagwad Gita and USA
By early 1800s there were already scholars in America- variously called the Boston Brahmins, Transcendentalists, Concord Movement and New Thought Movement discussing Bhagwad Gita and the Upanishads. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888), Sarah Fuller (1810-1850), Walt Whitman (1819-1892)), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) who were the founding, seminal figures in the history of American thought and literary expressions drew enormously from Bhagwad Gita and Upanishads.
Today, the concept given in Bhagwad Gita – as the duty bound performance, is attracting the attention of academic community in the management subject to be precise. Indian cultural concepts are making new waves in different countries, which is clear from the high level of acceptance that Dr. Deepak Chopra’s book ‘Return of the Rishi’ and Robin Sharma’s book, ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ received.

Chapter 3
Influence of Lord Buddha in the East
(The everlasting teachings of Lord Buddha have come down to us through the writings of his illustrious sishya Ananda)
Buddhism, the Light of Asia
Buddhism is Mother India’s spiritual gift to the world. The combination of Buddha and his diligent Sishya Ananda gave to the world the wisdom and anecdotes of Lord Buddha. Ananda was a man of organization par excellence as well. He translated into action the philosophy of Buddha “Sangham Saranam Gacchami” and laid the foundation for Buddhist Sangha. From this organized group of Buddhism, several monks went to different countries. By 7th century, Buddhism had become the religion of entire Asia. Buddhism had spread to areas now known as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Korea right up to Japan, thus accounting for nearly one-fourth of the world’s population.
How India conquered China without sending a single -soldier
Hu Shih (1891-1962), Chinese educator, scholar, philosopher and former Ambassador of China to USA from 1938 to 1942, said: ’India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border’.
One incident that is related to Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu is as follows. One of the three sons of Suganda, a Brahmin king of Kanchipuram of 6th century took to Buddhist monk hood to avoid conflict in the race for royal succession. His master having trained this young prince now called Bodhi Dharma (470 – 543 CE) asked him to go to China and strengthen Buddhism. Bodhi Dharma arrived in China after a brutal trek over Tibet’s Himalayan Mountains surviving both the extreme elements and treacherous bandits. The emperor of China Wu Ti, a devote Buddhist himself welcomed Bodhi Dharma. He posed him three questions. “How many Buddha Viharas or Temples have you built?” Bodhi Dharma replied “None”. Then he asked Bodhi Dharma, “What is the central theme of Buddha’s teachings?” (There are several aspects of Buddha’s teachings. Some may say compassion as the central hallmark, some may say Ahimsa as the cardinal teaching of Buddha. In the philosophical world, Buddha’s teaching was shoonya vada which means to negate the worldly things or to crush the mind and remove all the thought process in it. Stilling the mind or vast emptiness is the essence of shoonya vada). Hence Bodhi Dharma replied “‘nothing’ is the essence of Buddha’s teachings”. The third question the king posed was, “Who are you?” Again Bodhi Dharma replied, “I do not know”, because in philosophy, the moment you come to know who you are, you get liberated. All the three answers of Bodhi Dharma did not satisfy the worldly king who therefore ordered Bodhi Dharma to leave his court.
Poti Daruma as he is more popularly known in China, left the court, crossed the very turbulent, river Tse River on a leaf, and climbed Bear’s Ear Mountain in the Sung Mountain range where the Shaolin Temple was located. He meditated there in a small cave for nine years and his meditative image got impregnated on the wall of the Shaolin Cave. Most foreign visitors to China are drawn towards this miraculous image of Poti Daruma.
Bodhi Dharma, in true Mahayana spirit, was moved to pity when he saw the terrible physical condition of the monks of the Shaolin Temple. Likening them to the young Shakyamuni, who almost died from practicing asceticism, he informed the monks that he would teach their bodies and their minds the Buddha’s dharma through a two-part program of meditation and physical training. Bodhi Dharma, a master of staff fighting, developed a system of marital arts style called Gung Fu, the rules of which were printed in 550 A.D. Today gung fu, karate, tae-kwon-do, jujitsu, aikido, t’ai Chi and other forms of martial arts which owe their origin, fame and reputation to Bodhi Dharma, are popular world over and included in many world sports events like the Olympics.
His meditation was called Chan Buddhism (derived from Sanskrit word DHYAN). Chan is the most common family name in China. Jackie Chan is a name popular around the globe. When Chan Buddhism reached Korea and Japan the same was called Zen Buddhism. Today Zen Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the world. Every household in China has an image of Bodhi Dharma. In China and Japan there are thousands of temples with the statue and image of the bearded Bodhi Dharma. It is ironical indeed that in Bharat, nay, in Kanchipuram even, none know of him.
Chinese scholar Huang Tsuang spent 17 years in India visiting places of learning across the country and collecting rare manuscripts in Sanskrit, Pali etc. His spent his last few years in Nalanda University. When he left for China, Nalanda University -vice-chancellor bade four young sturdy students to accompany the Chinese pilgrim safely to the borders of China. Along the way they had to cross the mighty Brahmaputra river. Their ship ran into a whirl pool and the captain warned them to off load a few cartons containing books collected by the Chinese scholar during his rendezvous in Bharat. Huang Tsuang was petrified because some of these manuscripts were rare and the only source available. He had collected them through extraordinary hardships and travels across India. He prayed and pleaded to the captain to save the rare books. But the current was so awful, appalling and terrible that the captain had no option and he ordered the four Indian body guards to throw a few cartons into the river. The students went to the cargo room and all the Chinese scholar heard were thud sounds. The ship then reached the other bank safely where the Chinese guards received the scholar and his bounty of books received as gifts. To his great surprise Huang Tsuang saw that all the cartons had arrived safely but the four duty-bound Indian youth were missing. This is the message of Bharat. India lives through not only precepts but practices.
India and China have a common border 3,000 kilometers and a common known history of 5,000 years. In these 5,000 years and 3,000 kilometers there has never been a major war between India and China except in 1962. It is necessary to note that this war too took place when India deserted her Hindu Rashtra for secularism, a western concept and China deserted its traditional Chinese belief system and became communist, another western notion.
Buddhism gives cultural identity to Thailand
Thailand is also called Siam, the country of Lord Vishnu. Theravada Buddhism is the prevailing religion in Thailand, with about 95 percent of the Thai majority being Theravada Buddhist. Many Buddhist ceremonies include elements of Hinduism. Thai language is predominantly influenced by Sanskrit and Thai alphabet is derived from the Indian Devanagari script.
The king is the head of state. Since 1946 the king of Thailand has been Bhumibol Adulyadej, or Rama IX. Although he has very little direct power, he exercises considerable influence on political leaders and moral influence on society as a whole. In the last 70 years of democracy, Thailand has witnessed over 20 democratically elected governments and an equal number of military take overs. Yet there has never been any bloodshed, thanks to Buddhism and Hinduism in practice there. Even when military tanks surround the parliament and struggle is going on there for the take over (many times shown live on TV) life goes on as usual on the busy streets of Bangkok just three kilometers away. The deposed Prime Minister is given a large sum and flown away to another country and is allowed to re-enter Thailand after six months. The king does not interfere in these changes of governments. He blesses who-so-ever comes to power.
In the late eighties, General Suchinda had taken over the reins of power. Soon the administration deteriorated into corrupt practices and the students organized protest marches. General Chamlong Srimuang, a democratically elected Member of Parliament supported the students’ unrest. Unable to control the strife, Gen Suchinda ordered police firing in which many students died. The students went on hunger strike. His Majesty the King who was silent all these days said he was deeply distressed by the unprovoked police firing resulting in the death of the unarmed youth. On hearing his statement, an incredible episode took place to the full view of millions of TV viewers around the world. Both Gen. Suchinda and Gen. Chamlong went to the Royal Palace on their knees and submitted their resignations to the king who is also the constitutional head of the state. Both of them have never returned to politics since then.
It may also be of interest for us to note that the king is well versed in four languages namely Thai, French, German and Sanskrit. His daughter Princess Mahachakri Sirindhorn is also an expert in Sanskrit and has composed poems in the Deva Bhasha (language of the Gods). This is the power of Lord Buddha and Hindu culture.
Chapter 4
Impact of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya (Guru Chanakya)
The coming together of Chandragupta and Chanakya produced the great Magada Empire, which defeated the Greek invasions under Alexander and Seleucus Nicator. Chandragupta’s grandson Emperor Ashoka sent emissaries to spread Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand, thereby making Buddhism the citadel of the East.
Guru Chanakya’s book ‘Artha Shastra’ is a rare ancient treatise on dharma based or value based economic and political system.
Chapter 5

Shivaji Maharaj’s Influence Chhatrapati Shivaji -Inspires Unification of Vietnam
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1627- 1680) destroyed the mighty Mogul kingdom in the north and the Bhamini Sultans in the south and established a great Hindu empire under the guidance of his mentor Saint Samarth Ramdas. He is also respected the world over for his ingenuity of guerilla warfare by which method he could defeat armies very much larger than his own.
North Vietnam was engaged in a war from 1955 to 1975 against the wealthiest and most powerful of all nations – America. In the end North Vietnam succeeded in defeating America in that war of 20 years and united the country. Their defense minister Madame Binh visited Bharat in 1977. Our defense minister Jagjivan Ram received her. Whenever such foreign dignitaries visit India, government of India arranges their visits to Raj Ghat, Shanti Van, Kutub Minar and Taj Mahal in Delhi and Agra. But Binh had her own priorities. She expressed her keen desire to garland the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This created some embarrassment to the Indian government as it had to clean and get the statue in Delhi ready for her and to arrange for a suitable crane to take her that height. When asked why she was so particular about garlanding an Indian hero, she replied that during the bitter war against the Americans, the Vietcong soldiers narrated the heroic saga of Shivaji Maharaj and of his military generals who made mincemeat of the mighty Moguls. By this they were able to inspire and instill a sense of confidence among the young Vietcong soldiers, leading them ultimately to victory in war. Also Shivaji was the inventor of guerilla warfare, a technique the Vietcong soldiers used successfully against the American armies. Latin American military leaders like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara too used Shivaji’s guerilla war techniques in their freedom struggle in Cuba.
Shivaji true to his Hindu spirit attacked only the enemy soldiers and never assaulted innocent men, women or children, which most coward terrorists today resort to!!
How Small was Shivaji
May be he was the greatest military general
It is agreed by most historians that, in the annals of world history, Shivaji is one of the most powerful military generals for the following reasons. Most generals like Alexander and Akbar were born to kings and hence had inherited their vast armies and administrations. Commoners like Julius Caesar, Napoleon or Hitler inherited the vast armed forces and administrations that already existed in their empires. Many of the famous generals like Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Aurangazeb, Hitler and Che Guevara had humiliating defeats and ignoble deaths at the end of their military careers. Shivaji on the other hand did not have the benefit of a ready strong militia, administration or organization. He had a humble beginning in the forests of Maharashtra, started from scratch and created his own army, administration set up and judiciary. When he died at the age of 53, he was the sovereign of an enormous territory and his followers went about expanding the already vast empire. When the French and the Britishers came to India in the 17th century, they were fighting against the Maratha forces and not the Moguls in most parts of Bharat.
Religious Tolerance
In his book ‘The Grand Rebel’, Dennis Kincaid has praised Shivaji in the following words: “In spite of the long struggle, it is remarkable how little religious animosity or intolerance Shivaji displayed. His kindness to Catholic priests is an agreeable contrast to the proscriptions of the Hindu priesthood in the Indian and Maratha territories of the Portuguese. Even his enemies remarked on his extreme respect for Mussulman priests, for mosques and for the koran..”
Shivaji was gracious to other religions. On that account some may compare him with Akbar. But Akbar slaughtered 30,000 Rajputs after the battle of Chittor on 24 February 1568. Moreover Akbar had a great harem. Akbar had Meenabazar. Akbar inherited the throne when he was still a young boy. General Bairam Khan protected the throne till Akbar came of age and Akbar had Bairam Khan executed lest he may become a power center.
Shivaji had not given free reign to lust and hatred. Many kings had an overflowing, ever youthful choice taste for collection of women in their prime, diamonds and cruelty to slaves, victims and prisoners of war. That was lacking in Shivaji.
Abiding by moral values
Another unique quality of Shivaji was that while he deceived many enemies, he never tricked an ally, colleague or a sub-ordinate. He was religious but not fanatic. Although iron hearted, he was not cruel. He was daring, yet not impulsive. He was practical; but not unambitious. He was dreamer who dreamt lofty aims and had the firm capacity to convert them into reality. His lifestyle was not simple. Having adopted a choice of rich lifestyle, he was not lavish.
Shivaji ranks among the greatest men of the world. Since we were a slave country, our great men have been somewhat played down in world history. Had Shivaji been born in a European country, he would have been praised to the skies and known everywhere.”
Chapter 6
Impact of Swami Vivekananda on Indonesia
Swami Vivekananda Inspires Freedom Movement in -Indonesia
The coming together of a saint and a disciple in the form of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Narendra gave us a dynamic philosopher Swami Vivekananda, whose speech at Chicago is still remembered after one hundred years. While centenaries of birthdays or anniversaries are celebrated, in the case of Swami Vivekananda the centenary of his Chicago address was celebrated as an International event in 1993. The Guru -Sishya combination of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda has inspired and influenced hundreds of men and women in East and West. Jamshedji Tata set up the Indian Institute of Science on the Swamiji’s advice. Indian National Youth Day is celebrated on Swamiji’s birthday.
Romain Rolland (1866-1944), French author and noble laureate has said “Vivekananda was energy personified, and action was his message to men. For him as for Beethoven, it was the root of all virtues.”
There is an incident from the freedom struggle of Indonesia. General Sukarno was fighting for the freedom of Indonesia from the Dutch rulers. Once Sukarno and his friends were arrested and they were kept in various cells in different islands. Being separated from all his colleagues and kept isolated in an island, Sukarno started loosing faith in himself and his mission. At that moment he came across the Dutch version of Swami Vivekananda’s teachings. In particular, he was inspired by his words: “We have wept long enough; no more weeping. Stand on your feet and be men!” This rekindled his freedom struggle and eventually won freedom for Indonesia. Years later, as president of Indonesia, he once phoned his colleague and freedom fighter Bhagwan Das in Surabaya to request him to spare his books on Swami Vivekananda so that the President could find some stimulation to solve the pressing national problems.

Chapter 7
Influence of Swami Vivekananda on the West
Swami Vivekananda was the first Asian to be invited to accept the chair of Oriental Philosophy at Harvard University. Swamiji stirred the western audience at the World Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893 with his very first statement “sisters and brothers of America”. Swami ji who was earlier denied even five minutes of speech was called to make speeches again and again to keep the restless audience glued back to their seats. Many of his western disciples and admirers like sister Nivedita, Christopher Isherwood and Noble laureate Romain Rolland have contributed enormously to Bharat and the spiritual world.
Another incident that occurred in Chicago is worth mentioning here. U.S. industrialist and one of world’s wealthiest men, John D. Rockefeller called on Swami Vivekananda who was then resting for a while at a house in Chicago after going through his strenuous and triumphant lecture programs at Detroit and elsewhere.
Swamiji made Rockefeller understand that “he was only a channel and that his duty was to do good to the world – that God has given him all his wealth in order that he might have an opportunity to help and serve the people”. About a week later, when Rockefeller met Swamiji again the second time, he told Swamiji of his plans to donate an enormous sum of money towards the financing of a public institution. Three years hence (1897) Rockefeller devoted himself completely to philanthropy. He spoke his philosophy as follows: “There is more to life than the accumulation of money. Money is only a trust in one’s hand. To use it improperly is a great sin. The best way to prepare for the end of life is to live for others. That is what I am trying to do.”
At his peak, Rockefeller’s personal fortune was estimated at almost $1 billion. The total amount of his philanthropic contributions was about $550 million; about 80 percent of these funds were given to four charitable organizations founded by Rockefeller. These were the Rockefeller Foundation; the General Education Board; the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University); and the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, established in 1918 and incorporated into the Rockefeller Foundation in 1929. (From ‘Vivekananda: His Gospel of Man Making’ compiled and edited by Swami Jyotirmayananda, pages 497-498).

Chapter 8
Effect of Guru Puja in recent times
More recently a unique incidence occurred when India’s President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma visited Sultanate of Oman. The Sultan made Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma sit on the royal throne and he himself sat at his feet. This was his way of repaying his debt to Bharat. The Sultan had studied in one of the universities of Bharat and Dr Sharma was himself an educationist.
Back in Bharat, Sangh swayamsewak and Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi in November 2005 publicly felicitated all the teachers who had taught him from primary school to college level, in a colorful and well attended public function in Karnavati. The function was presided over by the state governor, a veteran Congress leader Pandit Navalkant Sharma.
Thus we can rightly feel proud that our ancient Guru Sishya Parampara has stirred the entire world in many ways.

Chapter 9
Relevance of Doctorji-Guruji combination -
Hindus changed from introvert to extrovert society
The coming together of RSS founder Dr. Hedgewar and its second chief Shri Guruji Golvalkar rendered our introvert Hindu society into one endowed with extrovert lookout as well. It has given us today a mammoth organisation, the RSS, an organisation that holds more than 50,000 daily, weekly or monthly gatherings throughout the length and breadth of Bharat. Taking inspiration from RSS in Bharat, 750 daily and weekly shakhas are organizing Hindus in 40 countries around the world under banners like Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh. The members-called swayamsevaks, come together, play together, sing together, discuss together in front of the Bhagawa Dhwaj, the saffron flag. One may wonder, in what way the society benefits by their coming together in such large number of places? These swayamsevaks have translated their philosophy into action by running more than 70,000 seva karyas-welfare activities- of all sorts in every nook and corner of Bharat.
When a few misinformed and a few Macaulayan upstart historians write articles describing Guruji as a fascist, swayamsewaks reply them by running more and more welfare projects. In 2006 – 2007 Tamilnadu Sewa Bharati started one sewa project everyday and completed over 365 welfare projects to commemorate the centenary celebrations of Shri guruji Golwalkar. As revered Swami Chinmayananda once mentioned, “You name it, and they have it”. These welfare activities may be classified into four categories.
Educational and youth development activities,
Health care and medical activities,
Self Employment initiatives,
Disaster Management - Rescue, Relief and Rehabilitation.
In education, the seva activities include thousands of free schools, One Teacher schools (Ekal Vidyalaya), hostels, libraries, orphanages etc. Under health Seva Bharati runs thousands of hospitals, dispensaries, mobile medical vans, ambulances, blood banks (There are two blood banks in Tamil Nadu, one in Chennai and the other in Salem); medical camps etc. Self-employment is provided to the weaker sections through free tailoring classes, computer classes, classes on basket weavings, honey collection, industrial training centers, cottage industries like making soaps, chalks, agarbattis etc.
Whenever, there are accidents, floods, fires, earthquakes, tsunami and storms, people in khaki half pants are seen there within a few minutes of the calamity working selflessly till the entire society overcomes that tragedy. At 8.45 AM on 26th of January of 2001, in Kutch (Gujarat) there was one of the worst earthquakes that our country has ever faced. By 9.15 AM RSS volunteers were at the heart of this tragedy in Bhuj, Bachao, and Anjan serving the victims. RSS has earned a new name by these altruistic acts - Ready for Selfless Service.
Dr. Hedgewar, who founded this organisation in 1925, was a great man of vision. Generally we meet people with vision or action. Vision without action is only a daydream and action without vision is nightmare. Karl Marx was a visionary without action. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao Zedong were men of action with little vision. They left millions dead. Communism of Marx has become redundant today. But in the true Hindu tradition a visionary must be a man of action too. Whether it was Buddha, Adi Sankara or Dr. Hedgewar, everyone translated his vision into action. Thus, they were able to change the society without blood shed.
Dr. Hedgewar in his vision did not name any individual as the guru of RSS but placed the Bhagwa Dhwaj in that august pedestal.
What does Bhagwa Dhwaj signify and what does the Vedas talk about the very name Bhagwa Dhwaj?
Bhagwa means Bhagwan, Lord (Divine) and Dhwaj means flag. Hence this Bhagwa or Saffron Dhwaj is the flag of the Gods. The very color signifies many universal principles and values. When we light fire for Yajna, the flame has this color. Fire denotes Purity and Sacrifice. Prior to sun rise, the sky is lit with this saffron color. This light dispels darkness or ignorance. Bhagwan Buddha, Adi Sankara and Swami Vivekananda traveled the length and breadth of this country wrapped in clothes of saffron hue. Bhagwa color represents purity of thought, speech and action. It represents supreme sacrifice. It represents knowledge. And above all this Bhagwa Dhwaj represents the antiquity of our Hindu dharma. Bhagwa Dhwaj existed during the earliest Vedic period. This flag fluttered right on top of Arjuna’s rath during Kurukshetra war, and millions of years ago atop the rath of Lord Surya Narayan. The same Bhagwa Dhwaj exists even today. Hence the Bhagwa Dhwaj is a witness to tens of thousands of years of Hindu history. Even the flag committee appointed by Indian National Congress during the 40s said that the true flag of Bharat is the Bhagwa flag.
Guru Sishya example from Mumbai Shakha
Dr. Hargobind Singh Khorana received the Nobel Prize in the year 1968 for his work on genetic engineering while residing in America. Government of India invited him to visit Bharat. His accomplishment was a matter of pride for all Indians. When he landed in Bombay airport, the Maharashtra Governor went to receive him. Many leading celebrities of India and Mumbai including press reporters welcomed him. But Dr. Khorana had set priorities for himself in Bharat. He wanted to meet urgently one Dr. Abasaheb Gunde. Every one was wondering who this Dr. Abasaheb Gunde was! A Nobel laureate comes all the way from America, meets the Governor at the airport and says, “Please give me some time. Let me meet a special person and come back”. Dr Khorana met Dr. Abasaheb Gunde who was the Sangh-Chalak (President) of RSS in Chembur a suburb of Mumbai. What was the urgency in meeting him? Dr. Hargobind Singh Khorana explained. An eminent professor and scientist in UK once told him that whenever he would visit Bharat, he must meet Dr Abasaheb Gunde and convey his wishes. When Dr Khorana asked the professor what was so special about Dr Gunde, the UK scientist replied that while many brilliant scientists have done research under him, Dr Gunde was his best student. Abasaheb learnt the spirit of Guru-Sishya relation in the RSS shakha. No wonder, he was able to make such an impact on the UK Professor.
Another incident pertains to the year 1975. Thanks to Prime Minister Smt. Indra Gandhi, thousands of social workers were thrown in jail all over Bharat. In the Yeravada (Pune) jail, there were about 2,500 of them. Around 2000 were from RSS Parivaar. The others belonged to various political parties, including the Socialist groups. As days passed, some detainees asked RSS activists to teach them yoga. A pracharak, Dr. Madhav Paralkar, expert in Yoga, gathered the Socialists and tried to teach them meditation. Among those who learnt Yoga and meditation under him was one Shri Keshavrao Dhondge, an MLA belonging to Shetkari and Kamgar Paksh. (Party of Peasants and Workers). Dr Madhavrao Paralkar said, “I will teach you meditation, because you want to calm down your mind. It will help you to overcome grief, tension and anxiety”. He went on: “All of you sit down. Close your eyes. They closed. “Think of any personal god, it can be Lord Ganesha, Allah, Jesus or Krishna”. Shri Dhondge got up and said “I don’t believe in any god”. Dr. Paralkar said, “Ok, ok please sit down. Close your eyes”. He did. “You think of any great man. It can be Buddha, Shivaji or Vivekananda”. The leader again got up and said, “I don’t consider any one as great”. Now what to do? He has decided to disrupt this meditation class. Dr. Paralkar said, “Ok, ok you sit down. Close your eyes”. He did. Then Dr. Paralkar said, “Ok, you think of your mother”. Again the MLA got up. This time, he went straight to Paralkar and stared at him for a few seconds. Next minute he fell at his feet and said, “Nobody has ever taught a lesson in my life as clearly and as curtly as you have done. It has been my habit to disrupt every meeting. But when you said, “think of your mother”, I had no answer. I accept you as my Guru”.
All these qualities come to us when we attach ourselves to one of the oldest and noblest traditions of the world. Bhagwa Dhwaj, is a witness to what has happened in Indian history for the past 10,000 years. Let us focus on the great changes that have taken place in the Hindu society in the last few decades say since the inception of RSS.

Section – 2
Mega changes in Hindu Society since the inception of RSS
Several mega changes that our Hindu society has witnessed in the past 80 years can be classified into three categories.
The three important changes are:
1) From a colonial slave towards a Super Power,
2) From an introvert society to a society imbued with extrovert outlook as well.
3) From Hindu Meekness to Hindu Pride
Hindu society in general, several Hindu organizations and RSS in particular, Indian scientists and professionals, industrialists, political leaders and dharmacharyas have played a significant role in bringing about these changes.
First mega change: Sixty or seventy years ago we were a slave country, a colony of the British Empire. From a slave colony we have now risen to almost a super power status. Our ever rising Sensex index, rate of growth at around 9%, our world standard productions in steel, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, our leading position in software business, our successful nuclear tests, launching of satellites, missiles, remote sensing, rapid growth in food production speak for themselves.
Second mega change: From an introvert society we are donning an extrovert attitude as well. For the past 100 years, we have been receiving several major blows and now we have now come to minor setbacks. Time and again many people insult Hindus; some incidents in Punjab, some incidents in Kashmir and terrorism in many cities - all these definitely are a cause of concern for every Hindu. But when these are compared with the major blows that we received at the time of Mohammed bin Kasim, Gazini, Ghori, Balban, Khilji, Tuglak, Timur, Babur, Aurangazeb, Nadir Shah, Mohammed Shah Abdali between 8th and 18th century and more recently due to Mohammed Ali Jinnah at the time of India’s partition, the present events will appear only as minor set backs.
Third mega change: The Hindu society has changed from Hindu meekness to Hindu pride. The Hindu resurgence in Bharat and overseas is to be seen to be believed. Many times overseas Hindus are more assertive in their expressions of Hindu identities. Sunita Pandya Williams conveys this spirit emphatically when she carried with her a statue of Lord Ganesh, sacred book Bhagwad Gita and a letter in Hindi written by her father into outer space.
Chapter - 1
First Mega Change
From a colonial slave towards a Superpower
1.1: From a Colony towards a Super Power
In 1925 when Sangh was started, India was a colony of the British Empire. They described us as just snake charmers, a hungry, poor illiterate nation. We were pointed as baking our daughters-in-law, burning our widows, a mutually quarrelling lot, spilling our blood on caste and religious lines, a nation waiting to break up. This was how the West perceived and projected us for centuries, till a decade back,
We became a free Nation in 1947. But we feared the US and the West for long. Even couple of years back, we were scared that they would devour us, in the WTO and elsewhere; that they would cripple our business and trade. They did frighten us for long, far too long. Those who imitated the West also counseled us to do what the West wanted and not to defy them. For, our growth depended upon them, they argued.
But today we are a Super Power in the making and the world including the influential West is watching us with keen interest. How did we become a super power in such a short time? When we were a colonial slave, Veer Savarkar had said, if all Indians stand up and spit at the same time, the whole of England would be drowned. But we did not have that unity. From there how did we become a super power?
Are we a super power? That seems to be the first question? Many people want to know what the attributes of a “Super Power” are.
Independent military agenda, History of having won a major war, military power, economic power and technological power are the five major criteria for being a super power. How many countries have waged war independently? How many countries in the world have independent military plans? Very very few.
India is one such country which has got its own military schedule. America, China and Russia are the other major countries that have an independent military program. All other countries are members of organizations like NATO, SEATO, CENTO, Warsaw Pact, ANZUS Pact and so on. And therefore they are dependant on China, Russia or America. But India does not depend on others for its military agenda.
We won a major war in 1971 when Pakistan armed with US Sabre Jets, Patton Tanks, sophisticated radar systems, backed by the mighty Seventh Fleet and supported by China’s vast army placed along Indian borders, attacked India. India comprehensively defeated the 3 enemy combinations and liberated entire Bangladesh within 14 days. This swiftness of victory is a world record in the annals of warfare. We also captured Gen. Niazi and 95,000 Pak soldiers as prisoners of war - another world warfare record. Let us salute the valor of the Indian military forces –air force navy and army. Our air force pilots smashed the sophisticated Sargodah air surveillance system to pieces and shot down their Sabre jets. American nuclear carrier Enterprise or Seventh fleet which had entered the Bay of Bengal with a mission to drop nuclear bombs on India retreated quickly when our naval officer warned that Seventh fleet would be shattered to pieces by our suicide bombers if it entered the Indian seas. Submarine Gazi an American gift to Pakistan was very cleverly misguided, trapped and destroyed by our naval intelligence. Our army jawans made a mince-meat of American Patton tanks, liberated Bangladesh within 14 days and captured Gen Niazi and 95,000 Pak soldiers. It was one of the great victories any where in the world. Pakistan president Gen Musharaff in an interview in April 2006 has admitted how ashamed he was of the degrading defeat and how he wept for long.
Not many of us are aware that Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo on 18th June 1815 AD, was himself defeated earlier by Kerala’s Pazhassi Raja when he was a commander in India. Raja Raja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola had conquered parts of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar and China in the 11th century, Bappa Rawal of Rajasthan defeated the Afghans, Persians, Arabs and the Turks in the seventh century, Kambu and Kaundinya established Hindu empires in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand two thousand years ago. If only we Indians had translated our military victories into territorial gains, a trait so common with Raja Shivaji, Chanakya and Lord Krishna, our history would have been different.
In our military triumphs and territorial expansions, India in 10,000 years never colonized or enslaved any country. In 10,000 years we never looted, plundered and exploited any country economically, never condemned other religions as false religions and converted them to Hinduism, denigrated others saying their Gods were devils and inferior to ours, never destroyed and razed to ground temples of other religions, never called people from other religions as Sinners and condemned them to eternal hell, never crucified or burnt alive any one whose ideas have been different from our own – a feature exceptionally unique to Hindus in the entire human history. Even today, the record of Indian soldiers sought by UN as peace keeping forces in Africa and else where has been exemplary.
Now let us examine India’s Missile Power, Economic Power and Technological Power base.
1.2 : From coffee percolators to missiles – India’s Military Power
When we won our independence in 1947, our founding leaders under the illusion of Ahimsa and Panchasheela dismantled many defense factories. These plants instead of producing gun powder were producing coffee powder and percolators. But we learnt a bitter lesson in 1962 after the Chinese attack.
Today we are very much advanced in Missile technology. Missile technology is all about attaining superiority in Nuclear technology, Rocket technology, Satellite technology, high resolution cameras and in Super computers. In all these, India is sharing the topmost positions with just 4 or 5 other nations. That India has reached this top position, without any support from the Western nations is a matter of pride to the Indian scientists.
May 11 and May 13, 1998 made history. On those days India launched a project called ‘Laughing Buddha’ or Pokhran –II. It conducted successfully nuclear tests in the desserts of Rajasthan. Several opinion polls have been conducted in modern India. But no opinion poll has ever got 96% vote in favor as was the case in Pokhran tests. Every Hindu in India and outside was extremely proud when India conducted successfully 5 nuclear tests within a space of two days.
India is one of the four countries that have Fast Breeder Reactor Technology – USA, France and Japan being the other three.
India is one of the three countries that have produced Super Computers – America and Japan being the other two countries. People are still talking whether to include India in G-11 or G-8. They forget we are already in G3.
While the American Super Computer costs Rs. 450 crores, Indian Param costs less than Rs. 22.5 crores. Many countries including Russia have placed orders on India to make Super Computers for them.
In Satellite and Rocket Technology too India is among the best six nations. We are launching satellites even for advanced European countries like Germany, Belgium and Hungary. Very recently on October 28, 2006, our scientists in ISRO successfully tested indigenously built cryogenic rocket engine that is needed in Space technology.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is called the missile man of India. Dr Kasturi Rangan, another space scientist was denied visa to address a science conference in USA. But ISPRS the world body of scientists has awarded him with the prestigious Brock medal for his work on Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. He is the first Asian and the 11th in the world to be honored by ISPRS in 48 years.
Our TES (Technology Experiment Satellite) is designed and built by Indian scientists. It has cameras with a resolution of 1 meter that can pick an umbrella from up the skies. Just a few months before, the US had denied India access to the 1 meter images of Afghanistan from its Ikonos satellite. TES was now in effect saying, ‘Never mind - we can manage quite well, thank you’ [Incidentally India too will not share TES images with US; they are for our defense purposes only].
India’s space work horse, the PSLV C3 lifted off and soared into space in October 2001. Then it performed a copy book launch, placing India’s TES and two paying customers’ satellites, Belgium’s PROBA and Germany’s BIRD into the prescribed orbit. Our unmanned flight to moon Chandrayan is also getting ready and many leading countries are competing with each other to give their components to have a share in our success.
Coming to Rocket Technology, the role of NRIs and PIOs is outstanding. India has been celebrating what is called the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya (NRI) day since January 2003. The present mood of the people, the BJP government and every other government is that overseas Indians are no more strangers to us. They might have left Bharat (India) 100 years back to Malaysia, Trinidad, Guyana, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Fiji or South-Africa. Still they are of Indian origin and so we are all one big family. Every year January 9 we have a big NRI celebration in Bharat, an occasion when every achievement of overseas Indians, makes every one feel proud. Otherwise, Hargobind Singh Khorana would not be invited to deliver a lecture at Bombay University.
In the development of rocket technology, America has reached a stage of ‘Mach-7’. It means the rocket will travel at the speed of 7 times the speed of sound, i.e., 8000 kilometers per hour. Presently, it takes two and a half hours by flight from Chennai to Delhi. At Mach 7 speed you will be in Delhi within a matter of few minutes. You can reach any part of the world in a matter of few hours. Who is the director of Mach-7 aerodynamics at NASA? The scientist is Shri Ajay Kumar from Meerut, Bharat. And he is now in charge of the next project. Having completed Mach -7 successfully, he has been made in charge of Mach-10 Project. He will be designing rockets that will be traveling at the speed of 12,000 kilometers per hour.
For over 20 years Dr. Shiva Subramanya was the Joint Coordinator of all Space Projects of USA and he had a direct hotline to White House. (Dr Shiva Subramanya is a Third year trained swayamsewak and has been serving Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America as its senior vice-president for over 3 decades).
If you take a look at the scientists’ list at NASA, 33% of them happen to be from India. Not only NASA but multinational giants like the Intel, the IBM, Microsoft, Dell computers, Hewlett Packard, Standard Charted Bank, First City Bank and General Motors are flooded with large percentage of Indians professionals.
After the Pokhran Nuclear Tests, President Bill Clinton wanted to punish India with three sanctions.
1. No country should give foreign exchange to India,
2. No country should give any scientific instrument or its part to India because they may use it for military purposes,
3. No visas should be given to Indian Scientists to enter US.
India overcame the monetary sanctions through India Resurgent Bonds purchased by overseas Indians.
Indian Prime minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee called a meeting of Indian scientists to discuss the effects of the second sanction. He said, “The western powers have put a blanket ban on any technology transfer to India. They have even made Russia cancel the supply of Cryogenic engines for which we have already made payments. So you may have to reschedule your nuclear and space programs. Have you anything to say?”
Our scientists told prime minister, “Please make one special request to Clinton on our behalf”. Atalji said, “How can I go and request him any thing. It is a question of India’s self respect. I can’t go to him with any request”. But the scientists insisted, “You have to talk to Bill Clinton about the scientific sanctions and request him to extend the sanctions from 2 years to 20 years. We do not want any help from them. We are capable of upgrading our technology by ourselves. You tell us what you want. We can produce the Cryogenic engines on our own and be cost effective. We can take you to moon in the stipulated time.” Atalji smiled and said, “I am still a bachelor. I cannot enjoy the Honey Moon.” This is the confidence of the Indian scientists. Our record in making weapons has also been very creditable. Most nations respect and fear our missiles Trishul, Prithvi, Agni, Akash, Astra, Naag, Dhanush, Tejas, Sagarika etc.
The third ban imposed by Bill Clinton was that no Indian will be allowed to come to America. This did not affect India at all. Within three days, chairman of leading companies and banks like Microsoft, INTEL, IBM and Standard Charted Bank met President Clinton and said, “If you put a ban on Indian scientists coming to America, India will not be the loser. Because, Japan and Germany, our competitors will absorb them. Very soon Japan and Germany will lead the world in technology with the support of these young Indian scientists and their products will be in greater demand. America will no more be a leader in the world market. If you want America to be on the top in the computer field, in information technology and in other hi-tech fields, 70,000 Indian scientists have to come here every year. Or else we will consider shifting our operations to India.” This third ban was lifted immediately.
Hailing these achievements our Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee rightly remarked ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan’.
1.3 Economic Power- Bharat vanshis march shoulder to shoulder with Bharat vasis
Many overseas Indians have established their financial superiority. Laxminivas Mittal of Mittal Steels is the richest person in United Kingdom. He is followed closely by Swaraj Paul, Hindujas Jatania Brothers, Tom Singh, Bhikkubhai Patel and a few others. On per capita income basis ethnic Indians are the richest or among the richest communities in USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany and other European countries, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. In USA an average Indian earns 25% more than the national average.
Laxmi Niwas Mittal today is the world’s largest steel producer and the third richest man in the world (net worth: $32 billion, or Rs 1, 44, 000 crores). Arcelor Mittal is the world’s number one steel company, with 320,000 employees in more than 60 countries. Arcelor Mittal Pro-forma revenue in 2005 showed combined revenues of 62.2bn euro (77.5bn$) and approximate production capacity of 113 million tonnes, which represents about 10% of the world’s crude steel output. He produces more steel than what is produced by most countries in the world. Senior politicians from France and Luxembourg had initially rallied against the takeover of Arcelor by Mittal, a 26.9 billion-euro ($34.4 billion) merger.
“If the shareholders and if the regulators in charge are going to accept what was concluded today, then I think this will be a truly extraordinary situation for Luxembourg, to have by far the biggest steel maker here and to have its headquarters and decision-making center here,” said Luxembourg’s economy minister, Jeannot Krecké. “It’s a great victory.”
Mittal owns the world’s most expensive private residence (which he bought for $128 million or Rs 576 crores).
Aditya Birla company in Thailand produces maximum carbon black in the world. Shri Manilal Chandaria of Kenya has his business empire spread over 45 countries. The Gujarati Hindu Khimjis of Oman are so rich that Sultanate passed a law banning them from purchasing any more land. They were already occupying one third of the country. In one of their lands their ancestors built a temple for Lord Shiva one hundred and fifty years ago and on a Shivratri day the queue of Hindu devotees winds to miles and miles in this Gulf kingdom. Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest twin towers in the world belongs to Ananta Krishnan.
From Not Required Indians NRIs or Non Resident Indians have become “Noble Resurgent Indians” and “Needy Required Indians”. Bharat-Vasis and Bharat Vamshis together have made Bharat the third largest economy in the world next only to USA and China on Peoples Purchase Parity counts.
1.4: From rags to riches - India’s Economic Power
To be a super power a country must be very rich. Ours is a fairy-tale story of rags to riches. Just a few examples will suffice. In 1991 when Shri Chandrasekhar was the Prime Minister, he pledged 23 tons of our gold in the world market to buy much needed foreign exchange to pay salaries to the government staff in Delhi, to pay interests on loans taken from several countries and to import much needed petrol. At that time, we did not have enough foreign exchange. We had been begging and taking loans from all the countries and financial institutions around the world. Whenever a new country was formed our Finance Minister would go there seeking loans.
When India conducted nuclear tests in 1998, (Pokhran –II) in the deserts of Rajasthan, there was an immediate uproar from most countries. America, Australia and various other countries imposed a blanket ban on loan or aid to India. They told all nations and financial institutions that India is misusing their loans and hence not a single cent should be given. Without foreign exchange, India cannot buy petrol. Petrol is the life line of India. Without petrol India will be crushed. So India will not exist as India. India needed 1 billion dollars to import petrol. Government of India needed foreign exchange urgently. So India Resurgent Bonds scheme was launched. Appeals went forth to overseas Indians to purchase these bonds. Within one month the overseas Indians deposited 4 billion dollars to India. The crisis of petrol and the crisis of foreign exchange were thus averted. Thus in the year 1998, we did not have 1 or 2 billions dollars. But in a matter of 5 years, today we are having 120 billion dollars as foreign exchange reserve. Where to keep so much of dollars is the talk now. Of these 50 billion dollars was kept in American Treasury. i.e., American Reserve Bank. But the value of the American dollar and the interest rates are both going down. So some body in Indian government was thinking why not invest this amount in Euro dollars. Euro dollar was appreciating at that time. The Chairman of the America Treasury became jittery. He requested the Indian counterpart, “Please don’t withdraw the 50 billion dollars. This will shake our economy”. In 5 years we have grown enough to ‘shake’ American economy. That is our monetary strength today. Every month we are adding 5 billion dollars to our reserves.
Three cheers for Resurgent Hindu Rate of Growth
In the midst of all challenges we have been growing very fast. We now enjoy money power too. We have even given a loan of 300 million dollars to IMF to help other poor nations. Our BSE SENSEX index has crossed 12,000 points (April 2006), our rate of growth is over 9% consistently (It is the second highest in the world), inflation rate low at 4%, employment is increasing and illiteracy rate is diminishing rapidly at 10% rate. Foreign Direct Investment is ever on the increase. Overseas Indians are investing over 22 Billion dollars a year which is highest in the world for any overseas community including overseas Chinese.
Added to all these, is the healthy contribution of Gross Domestic Savings. For the year 2004-05 our Gross Domestic Savings was 29.1% of our GDP. Of this GDS, contributions from Government and Private sectors were mere 2.2% and 4.8% respectively. The major contribution of 22.3% was from household sector. Foreign investment of Rs. 67,249 crores (Direct Investment Rs. 25,395 Crore and Portfolio Investment Rs 41,854 Crores) for the same year period was a mere 7.4% when compared with GDS. Thus we have the astonishing, active positive role played by our housewives - so called illiterate, unintelligent, poor housewives living in rural Bharat. Let us thank the frugal attitude of housewives who wage a battle day in and day out against inflation. (Reference: article by R.Vaidyanathan, Professor of Finance and Control, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore. He can be contacted at
Pakistan which got freedom one day before Bharat chose to be an Islamic state. It is now burdened with a massive foreign debt. It could not evolve into a democracy, an efficient economy, or a civilized polity, without undermining the religious rationale for its very existence. Our rate of growth of GDP increasing at over 9% can now be safely called the Hindu Rate of Growth. Many foreign experts who have researched into India’s present economic development have attributed this phenomenal growth mainly to Hindu Family values.
Both NRI remittances and savings by common Indians are much higher than Foreign Direct Investment and hence FDI cannot damage our economy as it happened to many countries during the great Asian economic crisis in the 1990s.
The demand for smart Indians is increasing not only in developed nations of US, Europe and Japan but also in most of the developing and underdeveloped nations. The presence of Indian experts and Indian businessmen in most countries has reduced the gap between the rich and the poor. The world has become flat according to three times Pulitzer award winner Thomas Friedman mainly due to India becoming a global player. Even George Bush rates his India visit in 2006 a great landmark.
1.5: From agriculture to Technology
A Super Power must have superior technological power. There are two Technologies - defense technology and industrial technology. We just now saw our advancements in military and missiles technology. We also saw how the sanctions against importing scientific instruments did not affect India’s progress in science and technology. From an agricultural society we have become a technological society, not only in warfare technologies but also in agricultural, industrial and information technologies.
In the 1960s we imported wheat and food grains from various countries including USA. In the wake of the 1964 Pakistan aggression on our country, USA threatened India of suspending the food export. Our then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri ji gave a slogan Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan and urged the Indians to forego one meal a week on Mondays. Many patriotic Indians continue to observe fast to this day. Thanks to internationally repute agricultural scientist Dr Swaminathan and Food Minister Bharat Ratna C. Subramaniam, India succeeded in the Green Revolution. Today in agriculture India is among the top five countries. It is number one in rice and milk production and number two in wheat and vegetable production. It is not only self-sufficient but also exports food products. In August 2005, India air lifted food, medicines and relief materials to the Katrina cyclone victims in Florida, USA. India has provided Afghanistan with satellite uplinking and down linking facilities, modern printing press, TV Studio and high powered TV transmitter. For the first time since the Taliban rule, Afghanistan with its numerous tribal dialects will be reached through a single shortwave radio service, thanks to India. India also plans to install 5 TV stations and 20 relay centers. From a borrowing country we have become a surplus country, all for a peaceful and blissful world.
Indian scientists have already invented nano-technology products like Carbon nano tube water filter at the Benaras Hindu University, Typhoid detection kit by a Defense lab in Gwalior and drug delivery system by Delhi University. India will bring world class nano-technology products in the global market within next four years. These products will be people oriented and cost effective. Indians are also in the race for research and manufacturing bio-technology, bio-diversity and super conductivity products.
In day to day technology too we have progressed in a big way. India produces spare parts for all the leading automobile manufacturers of the world. Every car manufacturer in the world depends on India for one part or the other. In motor bike, Hero-Honda is number one in the world. A car factory in Korea, said that “We are closing down the factory and shifting the entire production to India. From India we will export the cars back to Korea for our consumptions”. So much faith they have in Indian manufacturers and Indian technologists. Once TATA-Indica, was manufacturing 1 lakh cars for Indian consumption. Today it is selling more than 1 lakh cars in UK, Europe and South Africa. All these facts were conceded by a Pakistani journalist, Shri Masood Hasan of Lahore, who writes: ‘Pakistan got independence on August 14. India got independence one day later. Pakistan should have been the elder brother in its path of technological growth. But it is always India that is first. “It is lamentable” he says, that India is progressing in all industrial products. It is depressing that India is progressing in pharmacy. In pharmacy India is 4th in the world. Ten years back, pharmaceutical MNCs were holding 75% of the flow here. Today they are reduced to just 30%. In a few years more, it will be still less. Similarly India has progressed in different fields in the last 5-10 years. (See Masood Hasan’s article in Annexure – V).
Dr Reddy’s Lab, Ranbaxy, Biocon and Torrent Pharmaceuticals have been making waves with their big ticket acquisitions in Europe and US. Many other Indian companies like Videocon, Tatas, Birlas, Asian Paints and Essel Propack have also become multinational companies.
According to Boston Consulting Group’s findings in 2006, 21 Indian industries are among the rapidly developing economies of the world that will make “Brand India” in near future. These are Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS Motors and Bharat Forge in the automotive industries, Tata Consulting Services, Satyam, Infosys and Wipro in the IT & BPO sectors, Larsen & Toubro in the engineering & constructions, Ranbaxy, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in the health-care and pharmaceuticals, Hindalco, Tata Steel and Crompton Greaves in steel and industrial goods and ONGC, Reliance, Videocon VSNL and Tata Tea.
Mega Trends in Indian Economy and Hindu Economics
15 years ago, the Indian economy, Indian companies and Indian markets were mostly small or tiny. The telecom market was 5 million connections 15 years ago; now it is over 180 million, and the fastest growing in the world. In commercial space, all of India’s cities used to have office space totaling 40 million square feet. Now we are adding that much as new commercial space every year. The total Indian car market was half a million vehicles in 2000; by 2010, a single company will be turning out twice that number, and India will be a small car manufacturing hub for the world.
From 5 million phones and 10 million TV sets a few years ago, we are now connected with 180 million phones and 120 million TV sets. Our trucks move at 50 km per hour in stead of 25 km per hour on the highways. This results in better quality of decision-making, higher speed of response, better supply chain management, just in time delivery, and therefore higher scale of Production.
In 2001-02, there were 61 million Indians belonging to families that earned more than Rs 2 lakh (Rs 200,000) a year; by last year (2005-06), that number had crossed 100 million. In 2009-10, the National Council for Applied Economic Research forecasts it will be 173 million. This will lead to a different type of politics and politician, because the educated, urban, middle class voter is usually not thinking caste? The middle-class will expect (and increasingly demand) reliable power, clean water, comfortable mass transport systems. . .
Look at the pressures on the government in Delhi in recent years, to provide clean air, uninterrupted power, fast traffic, and responsive government-and you can see what could happen elsewhere in the coming years.
The number of US visas issued in India doubled in 2006, to over 800,000 – more than in any other country, barring Mexico. More Indian students are studying in other countries than those of any other nationality, barring perhaps China. Neither of these was remotely true 15 years ago.
The foreign trade component of India’s GDP (including trade in both goods and services, like software) is now about 55 per cent — nearly three times what it used to be. And Indian firms were buying three overseas companies a week, through 2006.
A country that is open to the world reacts in fundamentally different ways from a closed system (of the kind that India used to be). There is greater self-confidence, faster acceptance of new influences and ideas, a willingness to accept global benchmarking, and a speedier response to changing circumstance. It is simply a more adaptive and therefore a more efficient system and more productivity growth.
Dark side of Development: Problems related to environment, energy, disparity and cultural degradations are the negative aspects of any fast developmental activity. The increasing pollution of air with those additional cars, the dropping of the groundwater level and the failure to renew resources like forests will weigh heavily on our society. World oil market will go hay-wire if we treble our consumption. We do not wish to cut down our wants because everyone wants the western middle-class dream. Disparity is almost certain to increase with executive jets, golf clubs, luxury watches and multi-crore apartments on one hand and starvations and suicides on the other.
In such a situation politicians will mess up with reservations of seats and jobs and concessions of various kinds to finance big spending programmes. TVs and movies corrupt our youth with western vulgarities and values like disco dance, Saturday night fever, Miss India contest, Valentine day, friendship bands, cake cuttings and so on. Tennis player Sania Mirza says there is nothing wrong in having sex outside and before marriage and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says Sania is the role model for youth. Hindu wisdom like Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (world is one family), Sarva Bhuta Hitah (serve every living being), Tat Tvam Asi (That Thou Art) and Tena Tyaketana Bhunjeeta (enjoy with restraint) can help us overcome these hurdles. Now is the time to remember the wisdom of our great men. Gandhiji said, ‘We have enough for man’s need but not for his greed’, Swami Vivekanand said, “Service and renunciation are the twin messages of India”, Shri Guruji said, “In a world so full of misery of all kinds, there can be no nobler ideal than to serve the weak and downtrodden” and Yogi Aurobindo had said, “The country whose young men are inspired by the glory of the past, pain of the present and dreams of the future always moves on the path of progress”. After all Vedas have told us that Arth and Kama should be moderated by Dharma and Moksha (economics, political power and entertainment should be moderated by ethics and spirituality). Ancient rishis had said, ‘earn with thousand hands and distribute with two thousand hands’.
If we adhere to our own age old culture, tradition, heritage and family values, then this in fact is Hindu economics.
The global Indian takeover
(Based on articles that appeared in Times of India and Economic Times)
The Tata Group is celebrating its acquisition of the Anglo-Dutch steel firm Corus and the catapulting of Tata Steel into world steel’s big-five status (by revenue). It should. The $12 billion deal is the biggest deal out of India and is done by a private sector entity of its own volition away from the shadow of state influence. The Tata group has been easily the most aggressive globaliser. Tata Tea set the ball rolling by acquiring Tetley Tea, which was double its size. Later, Tata Tea acquired Eight O’clock Coffee, USA, for $220m, and last month acquired 30% of Glaceau, a US speciality waters company, for $677 m. Tata Motors has acquired the truck assets of Korea’s Daewoo Motors and design-engineering firm. A third of the Tata group’s revenues already come from abroad and with the Corus acquisition the ratio will go up sharply.
The AV Birla group’s takeover of the U.S. based aluminum products manufacturer Novelis for a consideration of approximately $6 billion came within two weeks after the Tatas inked their deal with Corus.
Hindalco, the flagship company of the Kumar Birla group, acquired two copper mines in Australia — Mount Gordon and Nifty. Sterlite has become a true multinational by acquiring copper mines in Australia. Sterlite has also taken over Konkola, Zambia’s biggest copper mine, from Anglo American.
The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has made acquisitions in Brazil, Colombia, Sudan, Angola and Syria.
The Ambanis, Birlas, Mahindras, Videocon and most other Indian majors have made foreign acquisitions.
When India began globalising in 1991, many Indians felt that this would mean the wholesale takeover of Indian companies by foreign multinational companies (MNCs). But today takeover of foreign companies by Indian multinationals is the order of the day. Essel Packaging , owned by Subhash Chandra, took over Propack of Switzerland to form Essel Propack. The merger created the biggest producer in the world of laminated tubes, and an Indian MNC became global number one. His Zee TV has already taken over ICO, the global satellite communications company.
According to one source, more than 40 foreign companies were taken over by Indians in 2002 and the trend continues.
Ranbaxy, our biggest pharmaceutical company, has just acquired RPG Aventis , the French generic wing of the multinational Aventis. Here again, an Indian minnow has acquired part of a global whale. they have also acquired Terapia for $324 m. Wockhardt, owned by the Khorakiwalas, acquired CP Pharmaceuticals of UK. The Khorakiwalas had already made a minor foreign acquisition, of Wallis Laboratories, in 1998. Dr Reddy’s Labs has acquired Betapharm of Germany for $572 million.
Many middle-sized companies, which readers may not even have heard of, are becoming multinationals through foreign acquisitions. Sundaram Fasteners, whose production-line includes humble items like radiator caps, nuts and bolts, has acquired Dana Spicer Europe, the British arm of a global multinational. Separately, Sundaram Fasteners is setting up a plant in China to take on the mighty Chinese. Even Pidilite, maker of Fevicol, has operations in several countries. Amtek Auto, another auto ancillary that came up in the 1990s, has just acquired the GWK group in the UK, which is twice its size. Indian auto ancillary companies are sweeping world export markets and in the process acquiring MNC rivals that cannot compete.
After 30 years of supplying components to UK-based SPP Pumps, Kirloskar Brothers has now acquired a majority stake in the British company. Truly, this is a case of the empire striking back.
Small software companies have become big buyers: Subex Systems has acquired Azure Solutions, UK, for $140 m; and Sasken Tech has bought Botnia of Finland. The top software companies have made multiple acquisitions.
Some years back when Ramesh Chauhan sold his Parle brands to Coca-Cola amidst much criticism, he got a reported Rs. 180 crore. Now Infosys and Wipro propose a takeover of foreign companies of Rs 44,000 crore each ($10Billion each). This is more than the combined GNP of several African and even European countries. The GNP of Guinea Bissau is $ 0.2 billion, of Gambia $ 0.4 billion. The GNP of Armenia is $ 1.7 billion, Albania $ 2.7 billion, Estonia $ 4.9 billion, Latvia $ 5.9 billion. All major Indian software companies are already MNCs. All of them have branches abroad; all do most of their high-end work abroad using foreign employees, and then do the low-end work very cheaply in India. No foreign companies can match this. So suddenly Indian companies look like world-beaters. Infosys is valued in the US stock market at $ 40 billion, more than traditional MNCs like Dow Chemicals, or military-industrial-complex giants like Raytheon and Northrop-Grumman. In the new knowledge economy, brains matter more than physical assets. And it seems Indians can match the world’s best in brain power. This brain power comes to us from our ten thousand year Vedic life style taught to us by our Rishis. If modern India forgets Bharatiya tradition, culture and heritage (as seen in our TVs and movies), Indians in another 500 years will become the dullest people on the globe.
It is not just a question of Indian companies expanding abroad. Simultaneously there has been greater foreign interest in India than at any time before. As the Vodafone offer for Hutch-Essar shows, foreign interests are not shy to invest in India even if the valuations are steep.
So India, which failed to catch the global manufacturing bus, has finally latched onto the global knowledge bus. And that is taking us places in the new knowledge economy. The Indian corporate sector learnt to withstand fierce competition from abroad and then took the battle to the most advanced countries. This is East India Company in reverse.
How are Indian Prahlads and Vamanas conquering foreign Hiranyakashipus and Balis?
In the first nine months of 2006, Indian companies have made foreign acquisitions worth a whopping $7.6 billion, and the money for these acquisitions has come substantially from global financiers. How do Indian Davids manage to acquire foreign Goliaths? Through leveraged buy-outs, getting foreign loans for takeovers. Banks, hedge funds, private equity funds and many other financiers are eager to provide money to Indian businessmen. In some cases Indian companies have raised money from foreign capital markets by issuing Global Depository Receipts. The global financial system now believes that Indian companies will add value to MNCs they acquire abroad, and so, is keen on accelerating the process.
Ten years ago, only the best Indian companies would have been able to borrow abroad, and only on stiff terms. Today, they can get astonishingly low rates. Tata Motors was able this year to issue 5-year convertible yen notes at, effectively, a negative rate of interest!
The notes carried zero interest, and would be redeemed after 5 years at 15% less than face value. Why then would anybody buy these? Because they were convertible into equity shares, at a price 30% higher than on the issuing day. On such soft terms, Indian companies can take over the world.
Earlier, financiers would ask very tough questions about the viability of any Indian proposal. But today companies like Wockhardt and Bharat Forge can simply say that they want the money for foreign takeovers, and the dollars come pouring in.
Why? Because Indian companies are now seen as globally competitive, even as some western MNCs are not. Reliance has a higher international credit rating than General Motors or Ford. It’s clear who should take over whom.
Salute the Indian caste system for India’s business success
The way we are treating our own dalits is a shame for a civilized society. Caste hatred and caste discriminations must go lock stock and barrel. RSS chief Balasaheb Devras has said, “If untouchability is not a crime, nothing in this world is a crime”.
Let us remember what Periyar EVR Ramaswamy Naicker had said, “We have some problems in our caste system. But I am against converting to another religion. I am here to clean my house rather than to burn it or seek shelter in another house”.
One of the great acts of cleaning the caste system was carried out by India’s former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
When India became free, Congress leaders overwhelmingly voted Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for the post of Prime Minister. Sardar Patel had his roots in Indian heritage and would have made India a Super Power long time back. But heeding to Gandhi ji’s appeals Sardar Patel gracefully offered Prime Minister’s post to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and even accepted to remain in his cabinet as deputy Prime Minister. Pandit ji’s sacrifice for the cause of India’s freedom will remain a source of inspiration for generations to come. But he was a wrong choice for the post of Prime Minister. He was apologetic about his Hindu Heritage and never lost any time to belittle his own religion and culture, while going out of his way to appease minorities. Ideologically Nehru was a communist. He was full of admiration for the Soviets and followed all their five year plans. Later Prime Minister Indira Gandhi too went about nationalising banks and other private enterprises. These steps chocked Indian economy. A proverb in Hindi says, ‘Raja Bane Vyapari, Praja Bane Bhikari’, i.e. when the rulers handle business, people are driven to poverty. In Hindu Bharat, caste system ensured that business was in the hands of Vaishyas and administration in the hands of kshatriyas.
When Atal Behari Vajpayee became Prime Minister in the 90s, the NDA government disinvested many banks and business ventures and gave Indian entrepreneurs more freedom to do business. This is what Hindu India was practicing for thousands of years before the advent of the British. Hindu caste system ensured that business was handled by the vaishya community and they in turn ensured that India was the richest country in Gross Domestic Products, in per capita income and in foreign trade surpluses. India returning to the time proven Hindutva philosophy and the Indian manufacturers proving the validity of caste system and the values of Chanakya and Thiruvalluvar is one of the crowning successes of this era.
India Fast Becoming the Knowledge Centre of the World
India is fast emerging as the global online tutoring hub by delivering top-notch teaching services at down-to-earth rates. Similarly Bharat is also becoming the on-line medical hub. ‘Break a bone in new York, see the X-Ray in Bangalore’ is what they say. Besides being the Call Centre and the Business Process Outsourcing of the world, Bharat is fast becoming the Knowledge Process Outsourcing of the world. General Electric (GE) in India employs 16,000 staff, 1,600 R&D staff that is qualified with PhD’s and Master’s degrees. This is its largest research outfit outside USA. Fundamental research work are done in areas such as nanotechnology, hydrogen energy, photonics, and advanced propulsion. Some of the leading American companies have large presence in Bharat. As on 2002, General Electric employs 17,800 employees. Hewlett Packard – 11,000, IBM - 6,000, American Express – 4,000 and Dell - 3,800 employees. The domestic BPO sector which was $ 4 billion in 2004, is projected to increase to $65 billion by 2010. (McKinsey & Co.). The outsourcing includes a wide range of services including design, architecture, management, legal services, accounting and drug development and the Indian BPOs are moving up in the value chain. There are about 200 call centers in India with a turnover of $2 billion and a workforce of 150,000. 100 of the Fortune 500 are now present in India compared to 33 in China. Cummins of USA uses its R&D Centre in Pune to develop the sophisticated computer models needed to design upgrades and prototypes electronically and introduce 5 or 6 new engine models a year. Business Week of 8th December 2003 has said “Quietly but with breathtaking speed, India and its millions of world-class engineering, business and medical graduates are becoming enmeshed in America’s New Economy in ways most of us barely imagine”.
35% of Silicon Valley start-ups are by Indians. The numbers of patents filed in USA by the Indian entities of some of the MNCs (up to September, 2002) are as follows: Texas Instruments - 225, Intel - 125, Cisco Systems - 120, IBM - 120, Phillips - 102, GE - 95. (about 800)
Indian students are the largest in number among foreign students in USA. 80,000 young Indian professionals are in demand every year in US to maintain US’s leading position in world technology market. Of the US H1-B Visas issued Indians form 44% and rank the highest. Chinese form 9%, Britain 5%, Canada 3%, Taiwan, Japan, France, Germany and Pakistan 2% each. In 2007 USA has decided to issue visas to 8,00,000 Indians next only to Mexico. Imagine India does not share any border with America and imagine what will happen to US economy if Indians decide to migrate out of USA.
IIT = Harvard + MIT + Princeton says CBS ‘60 Minutes’
CBS highly-regarded ‘60 Minutes’, the most widely watched news programme in the US, told its audience of more than 10 Million viewers that “IIT may be the most important university you’ve never heard of. The United States imports oil from Saudi Arabia, cars from Japan, TVs from Korea and Whiskey from Scotland. So what do we import from India? We import people, really smart people,” co-host Leslie Stahl began while introducing the segment on IIT. He further added,
“…the smartest, the most successful, most influential Indians who’ve migrated to the US seem to share a common credential: They are graduates of the IIT.”
“…in science and technology, IIT undergraduates leave their American counterparts in the dust”.
There are “cases where students who couldn’t get into computer science at IIT, they have gotten scholarships at MIT, at Princeton, at Caltech.”
1.6: From Village View To Global View
From a slave colony we are progressing towards a super power status. To be a super power one more factor is in our favor. With over 6 crore Indian Hindus living in over 100 countries, we are the largest and most widely spread community in the world.
Indian Heads of States
We had only a village view 100 years back. But today we have a global view. Our people went to Fiji, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Trinidad, Guyana, Surinam, Jamaica and other countries 100 years ago. But majority of them served as slaves and as contract laborers and had only a limited village view. But today we are the rulers. A few years back, Shri Mahendra Chowdhry became the Prime Minister in Fiji. In Trinidad we had Basdev Pandey as the prime minister. Anerood Jugnauth is the president of Mauritius. In Singapore, S. R. Nathan and in Guyana Bharat Jagdev are the Presidents of their Republics. They decide the destinies of those countries. Similarly in the 1980’s Shri Devan Nair was the president of Singapore and late Sir Sewasagar Ramgoolam was the first Prime Minister of Mauritius and today his son Dr Navin Ramgoolam is the prime minister. Cheddi Bharat Jagan became the first popularly elected prime minister of Guyana in 1953. In Malaysia we have Minister Datto Sri Samivelu as a senior member in the cabinet. Smt. Kamala Prasad is the leader of opposition in Trinidad. Sri Lanka, South Africa and Canada also have Cabinet ministers of Indian origin. Indians grace the Upper House in England. Smt. Sukhinder Kaur was mayor of Dunedin in New Zealand for two terms. Sridath Ramphal rose to become the Secretary General of Commonwealth organizations. Now since Aug 2006, Justice Anand Satyanand, born and raised in New Zealand by Indian and Fiji Indian parents, is the Governor General of New Zealand, the first person of Asian descent appointed to that role. Swati Dandekar (D-Iowa), Nikki Randhawa-Haley (R-South Carolina) and Shinku Sharma (Calif.) are among the eight Indian American candidates who won the state elections in 2004.
Indians hold key positions in universities around the world
On the economic and education fronts too overseas Indians have conquered many frontiers. Over 8,000 Indian professors are enriching university campuses all across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and other advanced countries with many holding top positions in their respective fields and making their mark. Several Indian professors and professionals are being invited to Chinese universities these days.
In an era of the global economy some of the brightest minds shaping international economics include Amartya Sen of Harvard University and Jagdish Bhagwati of New York’s Columbia University. The impact of Indian academics is being felt all the way to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where Raghuram G Rajan is economic counselor and director of research. Rajan is the first person of Indian origin - and the youngest ever - to be chief economist at IMF.
More important, Indian-born strategists also are helping transform corporations. Academics and consultants such as C. K. Prahalad, Ram Charan, and Vijay Govindrajan are among the world’s hottest business gurus. About 10% of the professors at places such as Harvard Business School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business are of Indian descent—a far higher percentage than other ethnic groups. “When senior executives come to Kellogg, Wharton, Harvard, or [Dartmouth’s] Tuck, they are exposed to Indian values that are reflected in the way we think and articulate,” says Dipak C. Jain, dean of the Kellogg School.
Business guru CK Prahalad, professor of business administration at the University of Michigan, has been named among the top 10 management thinkers of the world and is recognised as a specialist on corporate strategy, according to Little India, a South Asian magazine.
Indian academics are making their mark in every discipline. “You take any field and the top people are Indian,” said Bhagwati, who has authored several books and articles.
Dr Ved Nanda, Sanghachalak (President) of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS) of America teaches Law in Colorado University. Three of his students are central cabinet ministers and they include Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice, one of the most powerful ladies today. Students of Dr. Ved Nanda have raised millions of dollars to install two chairs in the university in his name.
Rich Indians
Laxmi Niwas Mittal has climbed the ladder to become the richest Indian in UK and the third richest in the world. Shrichand Hinduja and Swaraj Paul are some of the other richest ten men in UK. Indian community in Hong Kong, Thailand, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries are among the richest on the basis of per capita income. Google Inc founder-director Kavitark Ram Shriram and Bose Corporation chairman Amar Gopal Bose have moved up the rankings in the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans. Mr. Bose and Mr. Shriram, who are now US citizens and worth $ 1.5 billion each, have beaten Robert William Galvin of Motorola, Robert Drayton McLane Jr of Wal-Mart and Roy Edward Disney of Walt Disney. Similarly Murli Kewalram Chanrai, Sudhir Gupta and Kartar Singh Thakral have made it to the Singapore’s richest 40 list compiled again by Forbes list. (Ref. Agencies [Saturday, September 23, 2006], published in Sandesh Bharati, Hong Kong, Vol. IX No.4, Oct / Nov / Dec 2006).
So from a small village view, we have progressed to a worldview. Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka celebrate Deepawali festival with declared government holidays and illuminating main streets. Parliament Houses in Canberra (Australian capital), Sydney, London, Ottawa and the senates House in Washington are lit up and Indian cultural shows are staged on the occasion of Deepawali festival. So much for the clout overseas Indians enjoy in these countries.

Chapter - 2
Second Mega Change
From Introvert To “Also Extrovert” Society
The gigantic labors of Doctor Hedgewar, Shri Guruji and RSS workers have been exceptional in transforming the centuries of introvert Indian society into an extrovert one as well. According to BBC, RSS with over 50,000 daily and weekly shakhas all over Bharat and in 40 countries is the largest non-governmental youth organization in the world. RSS has also inspired Vishwa Hindu Parishad the largest Hindu organization in the world, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad the largest student organization, Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh the largest labor organization and Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram the largest organization working for the welfare of poor and needy people living in hilly forest areas. Seva Bharati and Seva International which run more than 80,000 welfare activities like schools orphanages, medical camps, hospitals, dispensaries, self-employment projects and disaster management programs all over Bharat and in Kenya, Malaysia, Burma, Sri Lanka and Nepal is one of the largest welfare organisations of the world. Many swayamsewaks have excelled in seva work and in public services. Sewa Bharati Delhi was awarded best service organization in Delhi. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat received Rajiv Gandhi Award for excellence in governance. Dr Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh will received United Nations award for the ‘best nation achieving creation and participation’ in 2007. Jayakumar, a scientist and a sangh pracharak working for Vigyan Bharati received the award for the best scientific magazine produced in Kerala state.
2.1: Swayamsewak and other Hindu Extroverts Abroad
Swayamsewaks are active in many social fields overseas and have made the Hindu community active. This has also raised the image of overseas Indians in the eyes of the locals.
In 1984 India’s Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi was assassinated. The Indian Consulate General in Hong Kong Hon. Dodamani appealed to all Indian organizations to hold at least one public condolence meeting but none was coming forth for fear of repercussions. Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh immediately organized a public program inviting all the Hindus. Soon other Indian organizations took courage and followed suit.
India Club is a pride of the Hindus of Hong Kong. It has tennis courts, badminton courts, pool tables, conference halls, private rooms etc. For expansion of its facilities, India Club used to raise funds by organizing Fun-Fairs every year. The local Pakistani boys started coming to these events and harassed Hindu girls. When complaints started coming from parents, India Club stopped this function. Money was hard to come by and so many developments were stalled. HSS Hong Kong approached the India Club authorities and ensured full security protection. Young Swayamsewaks wore HSS badges and went around the place and when they found Pakis creating nuisance they were quick to apprehend them. Sensing trouble, the mischief-mongers took to their heels.
Nirmal Launganey who lives in Hong Kong since his childhood came in contact with Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh at the age of 11 years. Inspired by Sangh he learnt Hindi and Indian history on his own. He now teaches Hindi to other swayamsewaks in Hong Kong shakha. He is very pro-active whenever the local South Morning China Post and Hong Kong Standard publish any derogatory news about Bharat or Hinduism. His letters to the editor on Punjab and Kashmir issues have made Indians feel very proud.
In Malaysia, Hindus of Cameron Highlands had the highest suicide rates in South East Asia. Many attempts by Malaysian government and United Nations agents had not produced any positive result. Gunaseelan, Bala Murali, Ramachandran, Karuppan and a few Hindu youth thought seriously and started visiting Cameron Highlands regularly. They organized several youth camps, weekly yoga and bhajan classes and Hindu family camps. The Hindu awareness and self confidence thus generated resulted in the 60,000 vast Hindu populations overcoming the dangerous habit of suicides. Even UNO appreciated Malaysian government on this rare achievement.
Young Saravanan was one of the key soccer players in a factory which won the inter-factory football tournament. The factory management decided to celebrate this victory by sending all the players on a picnic to Thailand entirely at their cost. But Saravanan refused to go with others to Phuket and Pattaya beaches. He had committed to take leave for one month and help Hindu organizations run youth camps. When the management pressurized him to go to Thailand, he offered his resignation. Seeing his unswerving devotion and dedication, the management allowed him to pursue his Hindu activities.
When floods broke out in Gemas, Paranthaman led a team of Hindu youth volunteers to serve the victims. Ramalingam and Subramaniam of Taman Karuppiah in Padang Jawa created a miracle by bringing together Hindus belonging to two different castes to celebrate Diwali in the village temple. A fire broke out in a chemical factory near Kuala Lumpur badly injuring workers who were mostly Tamil Hindus. Appeals were made on TV channels to donate blood and the Government Hospital within few minutes was filled with hundreds of Hindu volunteers ready to donate blood.
Malaysia Hindu Sangam conducts Hindu Heritage competitions like Thevaram, Ramayan and Bhagwad Gita recitation contests and over 20,000 youth and children participate every year. All these years, the Christian missionaries were very active with their conversion activities. But with the advent of Hindu awareness in the last decade the conversion rate amongst Hindus has come down and now the Hindu volunteers of several Hindu organizations are busy reconverting Christians back to Hindu-fold.
Our swayamsewak brothers in New Zealand planned Raksha Bandhan utsav as Universal Brotherhood day. They wrote to one of the mayors of Auckland that they would like to meet him and tie rakhi as a sign of brotherhood. New Zealand believes in multi-culturalism and the government encourages ethnic immigrants to pursue their cultural traditions. Mayor highly appreciated the spirit of Universal brotherhood symbolized in the form of Rakhi or the thread. He spoke to the media officials and the whole function was shown on the national TV channel and colorful photos appeared on the news papers the next day. Soon HSS organizers received enquiries from other Mayors why they were left out of such a rare, colorful and distinctive function.
Over 20,000 Hindus assemble at Fairfields Grounds every year in Sydney, Australia to rejoice Diwali festival. Many organizers of this event are our swayamsewaks. Australian federal and provincial ministers, officials of the Indian High commission and other Australian elites grace this celebration.
Shri Guruji Janma Shatabdi Celebrations in 2007
In USA Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh organized Surya Namaskar Yagna from 13 to 28 January 2007. During the two weeks, through the country from the San Francisco Bay area to Boston to Houston, mainstream Americans joined with Hindu-Americans in learning about and performing the yoga postures of “Surya Namaskar”, or “Sun Salutations. The physical, mental and spiritual heath benefits of doing the Surya Namaskar were directly experienced by individuals from four to 70 years old at 106 centers from 30 states throughout the United States. Local print media and local affiliates of ABC and NBC covered this innovative national project. 4364 participants completed 477,169 Surya Namaskars during this period. Governor Brad Henry pronounced January 28, 2007 as “Yoga Awareness Day” for Oklahoma and Mayor Kathy Taylor did the same for her city, Tulsa.
Large Hindu conferences were held in six centers of USA in September 2006 to mark the centenary year of Shri Guruji Golwalkar. 40 Hindu organizations and temples in San Francisco, USA came together to organize one of the largest Hindu Sangams in North America. Sarkaryavah Mohanrao Bhagwat addressed a large gathering of 16,000 Hindus. He also addressed three more Hindu Sangam gatherings in USA (Los Angeles, Boston, New Jersey). His message was ‘Accept Unity in Diversity for Peace and Progress’. Ravi Kumar addressed Hindu Sangams at Atlanta and Tampa. 4,000 children participated in Ganesh Puja and 500 children in Ramayan skits. Bal Sangam, Youth Sangams, Matru Sangams and Cultural Exhibitions were part of the Hindu Sangam Celebrations.
HSS brings Hindu thoughts to American Universities
The students from various Midwestern and Southwestern universities felt rejuvenated after successfully organizing Speaker on Campus events at their campus in 2006 as part of Shri Guruji Janma Shatabdi Celebrations. While the words of speakers - Shri N.V. Raghuram, Shri Ravi Iyer, Dr. Yashwant Pathak and Shri Srinivas Tilak added to the knowledge of audience, their enthusiasm, tireless efforts and engaging schedules motivated the organizers. Shri Raghuram, co-founder and international coordinator of SVYASA University in Bangalore India (, brought with him the vast knowledge of “Science of Yoga”. While Shri Ravi, a long time social reformer and thinker, shared the principles of “Vedic Mathematics” and sciences in ancient India. Shri Tilak, an independent research scholar from Montreal, provided deep insight into understanding ‘karma’ and the pillars of Hinduism to southwestern universities. To sum up the quality of their lectures, it is worth quoting a doctoral student from University Of Minnesota referring to Raghuram ji’s event - “This is one lecture in which I did not even think of sleeping!”. Similarly, Ravi ji who shared platform with eminent mathematicians like Prof Greg Lupton of Cleveland State University, witnessed full house for his all lectures in Ohio Universities. The unique presentation style of Dr Tilak was hailed by students and academia alike. “It helped me better understand the Hindu Dharma”, was the remark after the lecture in University of Texas Austin by Girija, a student in UT who comes from Trinidad.
Parliaments Light up for Diwali
Since 2004 Parliaments of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and United Kingdom, and White House in USA have been lit to celebrate Diwali. Prime Ministers of Canada and New Zealand lit the Diwali lamp to inaugurate the celebrations. President George Bush of USA, Tony Blair and John Howard, Prime Ministers of UK and Australia sent their greetings and their messages were read out to the gatherings. Pope Paul-II while visiting India in 2001, cursed the Hindus on the eve of Diwali that they are living in darkness. He must be turning in his grave at this sudden turn of events.
Deepavali Observations Held In White House
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 11, 2004: US President George W Bush has sent his greetings to the Indian community on the occasion of Deepavali, the festival of lights, the first celebration to be held in the White House after his re-election. “I send greetings to all those celebrating Deepavali, the Festival of Light. Observed by millions round the world, Deepavali is a time for the Hindus to give thanks for their knowledge, happiness and other blessings received,” Bush said in his message. “Laura joins me in sending our best wishes. May the coming year be filled with goodwill and prosperity,” he said. Several Indian community leaders attended the White House festivities.
Diwali in Canadian Parliament and British Parliaments
Diwali marked yet another milestone for Indians in Canada when the Prime Minister joined the celebrations for the first time in Parliament on November 12th, 2004. Diwali was a full-fledged celebration in Parliament - a sort of mini-mela. Prime Minister Paul Martin walked in to join his ministerial colleagues, Opposition leader Stephen Harper, and MPs in wishing the Indo-Canadians a happy Diwali. Conservative Party MP Deepak Obhrai, was the brain behind the Diwali celebrations in Parliament. British parliament is lit on the occasion of Deepawali for the past few years.
Australia, NZ light up for Diwali 2004
The governments of Australia and New Zealand joined the resident Indian community in celebrating Diwali by illuminating their parliament houses in Canberra and Wellington.
The Australian Parliament House was illuminated for three nights. The Canberra illumination event was inaugurated by Senator Gary Humphries by lighting a traditional lamp. The Liberal senator was representing the Australian Prime Minister John Howard who is on an overseas trip. Senator Joe Ludwig represented the opposition leader Mark Latham. “The illumination of the Federal Parliament to celebrate Diwali represents acceptance of Hinduism as a major religious denomination in Australia,” Dr. Bala Subramaniam, head of the Hindu Council of Australia, said on Sunday. The Hindu Council has organised the illumination. The exterior of the oldest parliament building in the region, New South Wales (NSW) Parliament House, was also lit for Diwali.
Across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand, the historic Town Hall in Auckland and the Parliament House in Wellington had also organised events to mark Diwali. In Wellington, capital of New Zealand, it was Prime Minister Helen Clark lit the traditional lamp to inaugurate the Diwali function. Prime Minister Clark said: “The Indian community is of long standing in New Zealand and it is wonderful to see the celebration of Diwali becoming a significant event in New Zealand’s cultural calendar.”
Diwali in other Countries
Deepavali is celebrated enthusiastically by Hindus all over the world. Governments in Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Mauritius, Trinidad, Guyana and Fiji celebrate this festival by declaring holidays. Singapore government lights up the entire Serangoon road on this occasion. Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers in Malaysia partake in Diwali celebrations by visiting the homes of their Hindu colleagues
2.2: From Cocoons to World Trend Setters
For centuries Hindus have been living as cocoons, unmindful of foreign invasions, attacks, foreign despotic and repressive rules, slavery, rape of Hindu women, and desecration of temples, beheading of their seers and untold miseries to innocent Hindus.
Emperors of Vijay Nagger Satrapy, Rama Prate Singh, Shiva Maharaja, Guru Gavin Singh, Maharaja Ramjet Singh, Janis Rain, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Armiger Naval, Swami Dynode Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, Lokamanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and most of other freedom fighters fought against these barbaric oppressions and tyranny. Had they received much needed support from the Hindu masses, for whose honor they laid down their lives, history of our country would have been different! We would not have had a slave history of thousand years. The Hindu society by and large remained indifferent and apathetic.
Slowly, the society is coming out of its cocoon and changing for the better. Dr Har Gobind Khorana, Dr Subramaniam Chandrasekhar, Prof. Amartya Sen and V.S.Naipaul have been decorated with Noble Prizes. Dr Shiva Subramanya (Vice President Vishwa Hindu Parishad America), Dr Sudarshan and a few others in USA missed Noble Prizes for want of strong recommendations by other governments. ‘Lagaan’, ‘Shwaas’ and Ramayan cartoon were nominated for Oscar awards. Manoj Nelliattu Shyamalan born in Puducherry is the highest paid script-writer in Hollywood. Sashi Tharoor is secretary of United Nations and Bawa Jain successfully organized the UN world summit of Religious leaders.
Scientists and professional like Vinod Khosla (co founder of Sun Microsystem), Vinod Dham (Pentium Chip creator), Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail creator), Arun Netravali (President of AT & T-Bell Labs), Rajiv Gupta (Gen Mgr Hewlett Packard), Sanjay Tejwrika (Director Microsoft Testing), Rajat Gupta and Rana Talwar (Mckensey and Stanchart), Raghuram Rajan (IMF Chief Economist) and so many others have brought exceptional laurels to our Hindu community. USA would not have been what it is without the active participation of Hindu intellectuals who moved out there as late as the sixties. 100 Indian owned companies in USA generate 2.2 billion dollars and employ 21,000 people. 25% of all Hotels and motels are owned by Patels. US government has allotted 12 million US$ for the teaching of Hindi language in US schools.
HSS USA Sanghachalaks Dr Bhishma Agnihotri and Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda are among the Americans “who is who” list. Three of Prof. Ved Nanda’s students are central cabinet ministers and that includes Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice, one of the most powerful ladies today. The University of Denver has honoured him by establishing the “Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law” in Denver. Dr Bhishma Agnihotri received the International Peace Prize from Israel government in the presence of Presidents of Israel and USA. Dr. Usha Ramkisoon a sevika samiti active member was the Mauritius ambassador to USA and attended all government functions in White House and United Nations wearing the traditional Indian sari. Sri Arulananthan a philanthropist and a guide of HSS Sri Lanka received the Desh Ratna award from the Sri Lankan government. Shri Vinod Patel of VHP New Zealand owns the biggest hardware shop in New Zealand. Shri K.Sital, President VHP, Asia Pacific region, fought against heavy odds to obtain UK citizenship for 8,000 Indians who had become stateless after Hong Kong was handed over to mainland China on 1 July 1997.
Hindu Youth and Children Power
Child wizard Ajay Puri of Bangkok became the youngest Microsoft executive when he created his own Home Page on the website. He demonstrated his excellence in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and emails at the strange age of four years. 14 year-old Murali Ambati of USA became the youngest doctor. Gaurav Raja, a 15 year-old Indian high school student in Virginia, USA has memorised 10,980 digits of pi, a mathematical term representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to the diameter, to break a 27 Year-old North American record. One weekend he memorized the capitol of every country in the world, said his father. Gaurav’s next project is memorizing the names of all the winners of the Nobel Prize. 17 year Kavya Viswanathan became a famous writer and her novel has been purchased by a company to make a movie. President George Bush often reminds US children to complete their mathematics homework or else they would lose lucrative jobs to Hindu children. The academic excellence of Indian children both in Bharat and overseas is attributed again to Hindu family values. Experts say a Hindu child returns to a home where both his biological parents live together.
In sports Vijay Singh of Fiji in 2004 has emerged as the world No. 1 in Golf relegating Tiger Woods to the second position. At the age of 41 he became the first player to earn more than $10 million in a single PGA tour season. The globetrotting Fijian belongs to a middle class Hindu family. Similarly Vikash Dhorasoo an Indian from Mauritius and now representing France demonstrated his skills in the 2006 World Cup Football championship in Germany. Mohini Bharadwaj won the Silver medal for USA for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics at the Athens Olympics in the year 2004. Sherpa Tensing from Nepal made every Hindu feel proud when he hoisted the flag on top Mount Everest.
Most cricket playing nations have one or more players of Indian origin. Of these Rohan Kanhai, Kalicharan, Shivnarain Chanderpal and Nasser Hussain rose to become the captains of West Indies and England teams. Kum. Sthalekar a student from Sydney University is the vice-captain of Australian women’s cricket test and one day teams. Muthiah Muralidharan the match winning spin bowler of Sri Lanka is the only bowler in the world to have taken over 1,000 wickets in International cricket matches (Test matches and one day Internationals together).
Kapil Dev won the ICC World Cricket cup in 1983 and Sachin Tendulkar is being compared with legendary Don Bradman. Gopichand of Andhra Pradesh is the world champion in Badminton. He also epitomised Indian nobility when he refused million of dollars worth of advertisements by Pepsi and Coca cola as these drinks are harmful to youth and students. Narain Karthikeyan has a world ranking in car race and Mahesh Bhupathy is a world doubles champion in tennis for a long time. 23 year old young college girl from Mumbai, Kumari Anuja Thakur is already world number one in Snooker and world No. 3 in Billiards; nineteen year old Pankaj Advani has created world record by winning world championship in two world games namely Billiards and Snookers. Most recently in March 2006, Samresh Jung was adjudged “Best Athlete” of the 18th Commonwealth games at Melbourne. Like Pele and Don Bradman, Indian hockey wizard Dhyan Chand has a seat reserved for him at the table of legends. It was during his time that we saw The Golden Era of Indian hockey from 1928 - 1956 when India won 6 consecutive gold medals in the Olympics. During the Golden Era, India played 24 Olympic matches, won all 24, scored 178 goals (at an average of 7.43 goals per match) and conceded only 7 goals. The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
At 13 years of age Parimaranjan Negi became the youngest Grand Master in chess. Viswanath Anand, teenage sensation Koneru Humpy and over 40 youngsters are Grand Masters and International Masters in Chess. Chennai which has produced more than half of them is considered the Chess capitol of Asia. The four-and-a-half-year old former slum boy from Bhubaneshwar, Buddhia Singh the kid marathon runner from Orissa has enrolled his name in the record books on Tuesday 2 May, 2006 by running 65 KMs without a break in 7 hours and 2 minutes. 94 year old Fauja Singh is the oldest marathon runner in the world. 9 year old Kishen Shrikant became the youngest film director in the world in the year 2006. Bhakta Prahlad, Dhruv, Nachiketa, Shravan Kumar, Veer Abhimanyu, Ekalavya, child saints Thiru Jnana Sambandar and Sant Jnaneshwar must be feeling immensely proud in their heavenly abode that the seeds they had sown is yielding good fruits and enriching the world.
Our introvert nature is being overcome and is giving way to aggressive international campaigns and competitions.
2.3: From Major Blows To Minor Setbacks
We know the major blows. When Nalanda University was attacked by Allaudin Khilji, 10,000 professors and students were slaughtered in a matter of few hours. Even sanyasis and Buddhist monks were not spared. Entire university and its vast library were consigned to flames for 6 months. Similarly when Vijayanagar Samrajya was defeated over 1, 00,000 soldiers and innocent Hindus were killed on that day and Humpi, the capitol city was set on fire. Marco polo who visited various parts of the world, had rated Humpi as the splendor capital of the world. When the last Afghanistan Hindu ruler lost to Muslim invaders, 1, 00,000 Hindus were slaughtered every day. That is why that place is called Hindu Kush. Sikh Gurus and their followers were also butchered in large numbers. More recently during the Khilafat movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhiji and Ali Brothers in 1920s and during the regrettable partition of Bharat in 1947 over 5,00,000 Hindus in Punjab, Sind, Bengal and UP were massacred. According to many military sources, the Hindu casualty figures would have been four times more but for the sacrifice of many young swayamsewaks from Punjab, Sind, Jammu Kashmir, Bihar and Bengal who gave up their lives in the prime of their youth to save thousands of Hindu refugees trying to cross-over to Bharat.
From such major blows we have now come to a few setbacks. Still Hindus in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Guyana, Trinidad and Jammu and Kashmir in Bharat live in miserable conditions always at the mercy of war hungry bigots, extremists, diehards and Jihadis. The conspiracies behind militant attacks on our parliament, serial bomb blasts in Mumbai and Coimbatore are to be crushed bravely.
We have to overcome our century old weaknesses and failings. Major blows are not taking place these days because, Hindu society immediately responds. When 59 Hindus were roasted alive in a train compartment near Godhra, there was an immediate reaction. Hindus have shown their will to fight for Ram Janma Bhumi. Our Jawans have staved off Pakistan attack on Kargil.
Hindu society is able to take up these challenges. From introvert society we have come to be an extrovert society.
2.4: From Self-emancipation To Self-less Service
Swami Vivekananda gave a clarion call to the Hindu nation to serve the poor and the needy. He proclaimed, “so long as millions of our countrymen live in poverty and illiteracy, I hold every Indian responsible, who having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them”. For Swamiji, service to humanity was service to God. Was it not he who said that “they alone live who live for others; the rest are more dead than alive” and “even if a dog in my country is without food, the entire of my religion is to feed him”. He made Daridra Narayano Bhava and Murkha Narayano Bhava as his mission.
RSS, inspired by Swamiji’s powerful words, is in the forefront of service projects in Bharat. 70,000 welfare projects in education, medical, self-employment and disaster management fields have enabled lakhs of Hindus to find a more fulfilling meaning in their lives. Free schools, ekal vidyalayas, orphanages, libraries, student hostels, hospitals, dispensaries, medical vans, blood-banks, tailoring classes, basket weaving, honey collection centers, computer classes, and selfless service during calamities like accidents, earth quakes, cyclones have brought relief to millions of needy people and have earned for RSS the epithet Ready for Selfless Service.
2.5: Welfare Activities Outside Bharat
Suicide among Hindu women was at its peak in Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. Since insecticides were available in plenty among the estate workers, they would end any family dispute by consuming these fatal chemicals. Even school- going girls would end their lives under flimsy pretexts. Young swayamsewaks Ramachandran, Bala Murali and Gunasekaran went from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands on weekends and started many shakhas and camps. Later young Karuppan from Kulala Lumpur came out as a pracharak and was posted in Cameron Highlands. Within a few years the curse of suicides was erased from Cameron Highlands, a fact recognized by the local government agencies.
In Gemas, Malaysia, there was a sudden outburst of rains and poor Hindus living in low lying areas were inundated. Young swayamsevak Paranthaman and his friends rushed there with rice and bread to help the affected Hindus and to move them to safer premises. The flood victims felt strange at this help. The floods were a regular feature of their lives at least once in 3-4 years. Generally the municipality workers would come after 3-4 days and the political party leaders with their volunteers, journalists and photographers would come after 5-6 days. But never before they had the experience of a helping hand coming from their own Tamil brothers saying ‘We are Hindus and you are Hindus and so we have come here to help you’.
Similarly when there was a major fire explosion in a factory near Kuala Lumpur many HSS volunteers were pleasantly surprised to see that many swayamsewak brothers from other shakhas had come to government hospital to donate blood. All these happened spontaneously without any word from adhikaris.
In Malaysia in Taman Karuppiah in Padang Jawa one Hindu temple was shared by Hindus belonging to two different casts on two different days in a week. Hindu festivals like Deepavali, Dussehra, Ganesh Chaturthi and Sri Ram Nawami would be celebrated on different days by the two communities. But ever since young Ramalingam and Subramaniam attended a camp of HSS, they started free tuition classes and yogasan classes in the temple for all the children and started visiting Hindu families from both casts. Slowly the two communities started coming together and now they all participate in the temple activities and festivals together.
Swayamsevaks all over the world have been writing new chapters in organizing the Hindu society and raising it to regain its past glory and self respect.
In Myanmar (Burma) our swayamsewaks were running an orphanage for Burmese children for many years before the government took control. They are running Sanskrit and Hindi classes for Buddhist monks and scholars who want to visit Bharat for higher studies. In Kenya Sangh workers run medical camps for the African tribals. Blood donation drives are carried out on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti in Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok etc. Cleaning public parks and planting native trees by Sewa International are well appreciated programs in Australia and New Zealand. For Kargil war victims Sewa Intl in Sydney collected over 25,000 Au$. This is the largest collection by any Australian organisation for any cause in Bharat. In Sydney over 15,000 Hindus gather on the occasion of Deepavali every year. Both federal and state governments are represented by honorable ministers who are very appreciative of the Hindus. They openly acknowledge that the Hindus are among the best professionals contributing to the intellectual capital of the country.
Hindu society has once again woken up to their ancient concept that the hands that help are holier than the lips that pray. Many spiritual other religious organizations, Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Divine Life Society to name only a few have shown the path of selfless service as a way for Moksha or self-emancipation. In Durban, South Africa, Sivananda Society is doing excellent work amongst the tribal Africans. Swamiji Sharadananda is running more than 40 schools for the African tribes. Government there has recognized his services by naming one of the airports in Natal province after Swami Sivananda. Thai Bharat Cultural Lodge, Bangkok has built several schools in remote tribal areas of Thailand. Satya Sai Foundation in Thailand runs residential school for Thai children. Hindu Samaj, Gita Ashram, Sindhi Samaj and Indo-Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok give scholarships to deserving Thai students. They are also in the fore-front of service activities during floods, fire-accidents or other disasters in their country.
2.6: Embracing Indigenous Faiths A step towards Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
Dr Yashwant Pathak one of the International Joint Coordinators of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh who is based in USA has added one more dimension to Sangh work by contacting the people of Indigenous faiths all over the world. He has successfully organized several joint conferences of such people and two large 7- day international workshops at Mumbai in 2002 and at Jaipur in 2006. It is accepted by the civilized society that people derive their individual identity and sense of dignity from their own cultures. But the intolerant, narrow-minded and well organized church has destroyed many ancient tolerant, broad minded but loose civilizations. The Semitic religions have caused irreparable damage to these native Indian cultures in North, Central and South Americas, Aborigines of Australia, Maori of New Zealand, African natives, tribal population in Bharat, European Pagans and indigenous people in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and other remote islands by annihilating many races and by forcible conversions. Most of these people live in degrading living conditions and in utter poverty. Many of them are on the brink of extinction.
More recently in 1994 the civil war in Rwanda resulted in an estimated death toll of between 500,000 and 1 million Rwandans, mostly members of the Tutsi ethnic group. On December 15, 1999, an independent panel commissioned by United Nations (UN) secretary general Kofi Annan submitted a report on the UN’s response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The report concluded that the UN and its member states could have stepped in and stopped the killing, but failed to do so. Many church members including nuns played an active role in the genocide. Bill Clinton while inaugurating the Genocide museum has shed tears for doing very little while the butchery was in progress.
Dr. Yashwant Pathak who was earlier a pracharak in Assam has a first hand knowledge of such tribes and their problems. By organizing such workshops and conferences he has brought a sense of dignity and self-respect to them. The indigenous people have many things in common with Hindus. They worship various elements in nature like Sun, River, Mother Earth, Fire etc. They want Hindus to extend a more helpful hand in their quest for knowledge about their own cultural moorings. Hindus can do this because they believe that Hinduism alone is peaceful, non-violent, non-aggressive and non-converting religion.
2.7: From Men Only To Men And Women
“India of the Vedas entertained a respect for women amounting to worship; a fact which we seem little to suspect in Europe when we accuse the extreme East of having denied the dignity of woman, and of having only made her an instrument of pleasure and of passive obedience. What here is a civilization, which you cannot deny to be older than your own, which places the woman on a level with the man and gives her an equal place in the family and in society”. -Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890) French writer who translated Manu Smriti. He lived several years in India. Vedic rishi Manu had said, ‘Gods dwell where women are respected’.
Women always held a place of respect in the Hindu society. Of the 407 Sages of Rigveda, 21 are women. Many significant hymns are by women. Recitation of Atharvaveda starts with invocation to Devi: “shanno devirbhishtiye…”. Recitation of Samaveda is often accompanied by playing of instruments by women. Several mantras from Yajurveda (e.g. Sukla YV 5.17) are specifically recited by women. Hinduism is the ONLY major religion that worships God also as a woman. All other major faiths see God as a ‘Fatherly’ figure only. In Hindu Dharma, Wisdom, Knowledge, Prosperity, Power etc., are represented symbolically by feminine Hindu deities. It is not surprising that words denoting the Feminine Power of God, such as Shakti, Kali and so on have become a part of the New Age vocabulary because there is a deficiency of such terms in other organized religions. There is even a perfume launched by the name ‘Kali’ in the west.
But with the advent of Muslim invaders, our women had to be protected against onslaught on their modesty and so they had to remain within the four walls of the house. Many unnatural restrictions like child marriage, caste rigidity, limitations on education of women and prohibition on crossing the ocean were introduced to protect the Hindu society against conversions to the foreign culture and life style. Rajasthan Governor and UPA Presidential candidate Mrs. Pratibha Patil on June 17, 2007 said that the purdah (veil) system was introduced in India to protect women from Mughal aggressors. She was addressing a function marking the 476th birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap at the Nagar Parishad Auditorium in Udaipur,
Hundred years ago, very few women were seen active in society. But today they lead the men in many fields. India produced women graduates and post graduates much before England and other western countries did. Women Pilots of Indian Airlines were the First women pilots on international flights and in 2003 Indian Airlines created a new record when it flew to Mauritius with an all women crew.
When Sarojini Naidu became the President of Congress in 1925, she was the first woman President of any major political party in the world. Britain had the first women President 50 years later in 1975. The second woman president of the Congress, Nelli Sengupta was elected in 1933.There were more women in Indian National Congress Movement than in the Chinese and Russian revolutionary movement put together.
The position of women in Hindu society should be seen in global perspective. Somalian writer Ayaan Ali Hirsi who was born in Somalia and who grew up in Somalia, in Saudi Arabia, in Ethiopia, in Kenya and came to Europe in 1992 when she was 22 and became a Member of Parliament in Holland, has this to say in her hot-seller autobiography Infidel: My Life, “in this day and age, even in some homes in Europe, girls are circumcised on kitchen tables. A girl who chooses her own boy friend is often beaten half to death or even killed. Women are denied their social and economic rights. Ignorant women bring up ignorant children. The resulting unemployment leads to crime and social problems observed among Muslims all over Europe. In Saudi Arabia, women are still enslaved as well as punished by being stoned to death”. While at school in Saudi Arabia, Ms Ali and her sister were called "abid", a word which locally meant "slave". In Europe and America women had to wage relentless battles through centuries to gain equality before law and respectability in society.
Hindu Women Achievers
Mata Amritanandamayi draws unprecedented number of devotees all over the world. Over 10,000 non Indian devotees congregated in Kerala on her 50th birthday celebrations. She took the world by surprise when she announced the allocation of 100 crore Rupees (1 billion Rupees) for Tsunami Relief works.
Fortune magazine has rated Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the chairman and MD of Bangalore-based biotech company Biocon, as the 44th most powerful woman in the international business arena in 2005. About Mazumdar-Shaw, the magazine says, “Mazumdar-Shaw, 52, became India’s richest self-made businesswoman last year when her biotech company went public. Having founded Biocon in a Bangalore garage in 1978, she’s now worth about $440 million and is working on the world’s first oral insulin for diabetes patients. Biocon, India’s largest biotech firm, had sales last year of $167 million.”
In the “Women to Watch 2005” Survey by US based Advertising Age, Ms. Rohini Miglani, 40, Associate Directors, Proctor and Gamble, is ranked fifth. As a guiding force for Procter & Gamble Co.’s health and beauty brands in several major Asian markets, Rohini Miglani has helped the U.S. company transform the region from a problem zone into a profit center through her understanding of low-income consumers.
Time Magazine, News Week, Sunday Observer, London, BBC, Daily Telegraph, AFP and many other media watch groups have not stopped praising Ritu Beri, the Indian designer from Delhi. She is called Pierre Cardin and the Donatella Versace of India. Even Hollywood Academy award winner Nicole Kidman and of course our own Madhuri Dixit commission Ritu Beri.
Seven semi literate and poor women with no special skills but a strong determination to earn dignity as individuals borrowed Rs. 80 to launch Shri Mahila Griha Udyog way back on 15 March 1959 in Girgaum, Mumbai using the only skill they had, cooking. Today, Lijjat Papad, the cooperative employing over 42,000 women in 62 divisions all over India has annual sales exceeding Rs 301 crore (Rs 3.1 billion) and exports worth Rs 100 million. What's more stunning than its stupendous success is its striking simplicity. The seven women were Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat, Parvatiben Ramdas Thodani, Ujamben Narandas Kundalia, Banuben. N. Tanna, Laguben Amritlar Gokani, Jayaben V. Vithalani, and one more lady whose name is not known.
In the Indian medical establishment where commercial profiteers and ‘connected’ cash-rich patients call the shots, Dr V. Shanta, chairperson of the Cancer Institute at Adyar, in Chennai, is a miraculous symbol of hope for the nameless Indians. She received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in Manila for public service on August 31, 2005. In 1883 Kadambini Ganguly and Chandramukhi Basu became the first women graduates in the British colony far before Cambridge and Oxford universities could do so.
Hindu women in sports and adventures
Weight lifting champion Karnam Malleswari won a medal for India in the Olympics. Manipur’s Marykom became the first women boxer in the world to win the world title three years in a row after the championships were introduced in United States in 2001. P.T. Usha held a pride of place in Asian athletic competitions for a long period. Young Anuja Thakur has excelled in two international sports. She is world champion in Snooker and world ranking No: 3 in Billiards. 23 year old Sheetal Mahajan is the only woman in the world to jump over the North and South Poles. Teenage sensation Koneru Humpy is a Grand Master in Chess. She even competes for men’s Grand Master.
Rani Verma of Dallipur Village, Badagaav, Varanasi lost both her hands in an accident when she was studying in the fifth standard. Despite the severe handicap, she continued her education and the 14-year-old has passed the matriculation exam in first class in 2007 using her feet to write the exams. At the age of 7 years and 3 months Sushma Verma became the youngest student to pass class X Board exams obtaining 354 marks out of 600. Ashika an LKG student from Chennai can recall the capitals of 132 countries and all the states of India.
Women are serving the civil services, police and armed forces; now there are women Lieutenant Generals in the Army. Our women pilots are flying airbuses as smartly as their male counter parts and have conquered Mount Everest.
Achievements of Overseas Hindu women
In USA Space astronaut Kalpana Chawla has become a legend of our times. In 2006 November Sunita Pandya Williams became the second Indian origin woman to fly into outer-space. She carried with her an idol of Lord Ganesh, Bhagwad Gita book and a letter in Hindi from her father Dr Deepak Pandya. She now holds the longest space walk for a woman in her name (29 hours 17 minutes). She surpassed the 188 day four hour mark for the longest uninterrupted space flight by a woman and in April 2007, and in April 2007, she became the first astronaut to run a marathon in orbit, finishing it in four hours and 24 minutes.
Fortune magazine has recognized Indira Nooyi, International President of Pepsi-cola as the third most powerful women in the world next only to Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany and Condoleezza Rice of USA.
Preeta Bansal is the advisor to White House. Arti Prabhakar is Director National Institute of Standards there. Teenage author spectacle Kaavya Viswanathan got a book-deal worth half a million dollars from an American publisher. In February 2006, Dream Works bought the movie rights to her first novel. In 2006 young writer Kiran Desai became the youngest woman in the world to receive the Booker prize. Chitra Bharucha has risen to second position in BBC management.
Born in Kenya and came to UK with her parents in 1961, Gurinder Chadha began her career as a BBC news reporter. She went on to direct award-winning documentaries for the British Film Institute, BBC and Channel 4. Her movie, “Bend it like Beckham” was released in the UK in April 2002, and earned over 11 million pounds at the UK box-office, the most ever for a British financed, British distributed film. The film topped the box-office charts in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, won audience favorite film awards at the Locarno, Sydney and Toronto film festivals, and received a European Film Academy Nomination for Best Film in the 2002 European Film Awards.
The musical trajectory of 26 year old Asha Srinivasan of Maryland, is undoubtedly an inspiration for a new generation of American women composers. No wonder that the juxtaposition of "female" and "composer" is something that even those considered to be culturally savvy find difficult to assimilate. And when it involves computer music it becomes even more problematic. One important step in Srinivasan's career was etched in June 2007 when her musical composition "The River Near Savathi" (an allusion to Herman Hess's Siddhartha) was premiered to mark a "Celebration of Women Composers" at the Notable Women Festival in New York City. And that was because, last December, during a competition involving 74 American women composers between the ages of 20 and 30, the first Women's Music Commission was awarded to this Indian-American doctoral candidate in Music Composition at the Univ of Maryland. The award, was given in cooperation with the Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL), and included a commission to create a new chamber music work. The Orchestra of St. Luke's is America's foremost chamber orchestra showcasing the hallmark collaborative spirit that has garnered critical acclaim for vibrant music-making of the highest order. This latest honor has catapulted her into the ranks of the top 15 women composers in America.
Honors keep rolling in for Australian Women’s Cricket Club captain Sthalekar in a 2006-07 season she’ll long remember. Having already been named International Women’s Cricketer of the Year at the annual Alan Border Medal awards, Sthalekar was named NSW Women’s Cricketer of the Year at the Steve Waugh Medal awards night. The 27-year-old NSW captain began a busy season leading Australia to a five-nil win over New Zealand in the Rose Bowl series. Sthalekar was thrust into the role of captaining Australia during the second match of the series last October when captain Karen Rolton left the field with a knee injury. Mohini Bharadwaj won the Silver medal for USA for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics at the Athens Olympics in the year 2004.
Hindu women in politics and administrations
Swati Dandekar (D-Iowa), Nikki Randhawa-Haley (R-South Carolina) and Shinku Sharma (Calif.) are among the eight Indian American candidates who won the state elections in 2004. Smt. Kamala Prasad is the leader of opposition in Trinidad. Smt. Sukhwinder Kaur was mayor of Christchurch in New Zealand for two terms. In UK Conservative party has chosen Priti Patel as the candidate for MP seat. She is expected to become Britain’s first Asian woman MP. The list goes on…….
Sirimao Bhandaranaike of Sri Lanka (1960) and Smt. Indira Gandhi of Bharat (1966) became the world’s earliest women prime ministers. They inspired Golda Meir of Israel (1969), Margaret Thatcher of United Kingdom (1979), Maria Liberia-Peters, Netherlands (1984), Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan (1988), Begum Khaleeda Zia (1991) and Sheikh Hasina (1996) of Bangla Desh, Jenny Shipley of New Zealand (1997), Angela Merkel of Germany (2005) to rise as heads of states. The wealthiest and most powerful nation USA is yet to have a lady President or Vice-President. It may also be noted that most European nations including France and Italy gave women the right to vote only around 1945 after the Second World War. USA gave universal franchise or equal status to women in politics in 1920 and UK in 1928. The condition of women in African countries and Arab world are too pathetic to describe.
Woman Pope
In the one thousand five hundred year long history of Christian Popes, there was only one woman Pope. Pope Joan the woman Pope, female pontiff who reigned for slightly more than 25 months, from 855 to 858 AD, between the pontificates of Pope Leo IV (847–855) and Pope Benedict III (855–858).
It may be noted that sale of daughters was practiced in England for seven hundred years. “The Church treats the Mother of Christ with reverence but He Himself showed little of this attitude. ‘Women, what have I to do with thee’ (John ii 4) is His way of speaking to her”, so said Nobel Laureate Bertrand Russell in his book ‘Why I am not a Christian’. He further added, “The clergy objected to giving pain killers to women during child birth, lest she escape pain ordered on Eve”. The doctrine of the Virgin Birth brands every natural mother as impure. It is fortunate for Christians that Hindus have forgotten Portuguese atrocities on Hindu men, women and children in Goa and Gujarat.
Malleus Maleficarun – or The Witches’ Hammer
Torturing and executing free thinking women in the name of witch hunting got impetus by the papal bull Summis Desiderantes issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484. It was included as a preface in the book Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches), published by two Dominican inquisitors in 1486. It indoctrinated the world to the dangers of free thinking women and instructed the clergy how to locate torture and destroy them. The book was translated into many languages and went through many editions in both Catholic and Protestant countries, outselling all other books except the Bible. (Microsoft Encarta). Those deemed witches by the church included all female scholars, priestesses, gypsies, mystics, nature lovers and herb gatherers. They all were killed in masses.
Midwives also were killed for their heretical practice of using medical knowledge to ease the pain at child birth – a suffering the church claimed, that was God’s rightful punishment for Eve’s partaking of the Apple of Knowledge, thus giving birth to the Original Sin. During three hundred years of witch hunts, the church burnt at the stake an astounding five million women.

Chapter – 3
Third Mega Change
From Hindu Meekness To Hindu Pride
Third important thing that has happened in 100 years is the change from meek Hindus to proud Hindus. One may say that Swami Vivekananda heralded this change. He told again and again, “Garv se kaho, hum Hindu hai. Say proudly, I am a Hindu and every Hindu is my brother”. Today we see slogan stickers every where that says “ I am proud to be a Hindu” Even in a taxi in Bombay, we see “OM” stickers. The other two mega changes are in fact due to this change. India and the world will witness many more changes as Hindu pride expresses itself more significantly.
3.1 : Magic of Hindu Pride or Swadeshi Spirit
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. As a professor at Oxford University, Prof. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan had to eschew many racial comments and discriminations. Prof. Radhakrishnan, besides being an outstanding scholar, had the Hindu pride in him and also a sense of ready wit and humor. British would now and then make fun of Indians skin color, saying that white is superior to the brown color of the Indians. To this he retorted that once when God was baking bread, the first bread was raw and still had the white unbaked flour on it. He threw the bread and it fell on Europe. Next bread got over heated and He threw the black bread and it fell in Africa. By now God had mastered the art of bread making and made proper baked bread and He threw it this time on Bharat. That is why the Indians are brown. The White audience went speechless. Next they came with another story that all Europeans are just in one color namely white whereas the Indians are of mixed color – white, brown, black and a mixture of these. Radhakrishnan quickly snapped that while horses are of different colors – white, brown and black, the donkeys are just of one white color.
Swami Vivekananda was once traveling by train in first class. He sat at an empty seat between two whites. The whites not liking a strangely dressed mendicant next to them started abusing India and Indians at length. Swami ji heard all their insults without any comment. Finally one of the whites remarked, “I think he is a donkey”. The other white said, “No he is a monkey”. Swami ji at once commented, “No I am in between the two”. This put them to shame. They left the seat and settled down elsewhere. Sir C.V.Raman was the first Asian to receive the Nobel Prize in physics. A reception of several elite leaders was organized in London in his honor. As was customary wine, whisky and alcohols were supplied to all the guests. Being a teetotaler he refused any hard drink. When persuaded by the organizers he quickly remarked, “The world has honored me for my work Raman Effect on Alcohols. I do not want them to know alcohol effect on Raman”. During our freedom struggle, some students in England remarked we are ruling India. Shyam ji Krishna Verma quickly replied “Ancient India had defeated the Greeks, Greeks defeated the Romans who in turn ruled over England. Hence the cycle is complete”. Ilaya Rajah is one of the greatest music directors in South Indian movies. Crores of rupees were offered to him, but he refused to compose music for the movie on Peryar (Tamil leader who ridiculed Hindu Gods). Shrichand Hinduja, chairman of Global Hinduja Group proudly says he goes to temple every day and meditates twice a day. (Times of India, Mumbai edition, page 3 of Times Life section, March 25, 2007).
This Hindu pride had its effect on non-Hindus as well for India’s development. Yusuf Khan prides himself as Dilip Kumar and other artists Ajit, Meena Kumari, Madhubala and Sanjay Khan followed suit.
Pride in Sanskrit Names
Dr Verghis Kurien is considered the father of white revolution in modern India. Today AMUL the company he registered for producing milk on a cooperative basis has 2.41 million (24,10,000) milk-producing members in 11,615 village units producing 50,71,000 liters of milk everyday. When Dr Kurien succeeded in getting together large number of milk producers to form the cooperative movement, he had to name the association. He was very clear that the name should reflect India’s age-old culture and hence he chose the name, AMUL (Anand Milk Union Limited) because Amul also means priceless in Sanskrit.
Prof. Satish Dhawan and Dr Abdul Kalam are called the missile men of India. The weapons they produced bare pure Sanskrit names based on our ancient culture and ethos - Trishul, Prithvi, Agni, Naag, Akash, Astra, Tejas, Marut, Brahmos, Surya, Sagarika, Dhanush, Arjun, Vijayanta, Ajay, etc. Our satellites are called Aryabhatta, Rohini, Baskara. Our Super computers are called Param and Param Anant. The nuclear tests in Pokhran in May 11 and 13, 1998 were known as Shakti-1 and 2.
Indian Railways have done excellent home work in finding cultural names for trains that makes us all feel very proud – Mahalaxmi express, Satpura express, Ahimsa, Akal Takhta, Brindavan, Chalukya, Deekshabhumi, Devgiri, Godaan, Jnaneshwari, Kamyani, Konark, Konkan Kanya, Magadh, Mahabodhi, Matsyagandha, Navjivan, Netravali, Panchavati, Pandiyan, Pragati, Rajdhani, Sahyadri, Sampoorna Kranti, Shatabdi, Shramjeevi, Simhagad, Tirukkural, Upasana, Vaishali and Vikramshila expresses to name only a few. Several prestigious awards by government of Bharat have very attractive and significant Sanskrit names - Param Vir Chakra, Ashoka Chakra, Param Vishishta Sewa Medal, Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shree, Arjuna award, Dronacharya award, Khel Ratna, Gyanpeeth award, Sahitya Ratna and so on. Vishwa Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), Hindustan Petroleum, Doordarshan, Akashwani and many such names are familiar to us and they all are successful in their ventures. Even in the private sector we have Indian entrepreneurs who have earned international fame and recognition while maintaining Hindu names for their companies and products like Hindustan Computers, Satyam Computers, Bharati Telecoms, Nirma, Mayura Fabrics, Santoor soap, Moti soap, Amrutanjan etc. One really wonders if it was necessary to name Wipro, Infosys, Reliance, Empress mils and their likes to attract foreign attention.
Role of Spiritual Masters in enhancing Hindu Pride
Devotion, spiritual awakening and knowledge about our great heritage are spread across the country by the pravachans and ceaseless travels of spiritual masters like Swami Prabhupada , Swami Sivananda, Chidananda, Chinmayananda, Dayanand Saraswati, Tejomayananda, Swaroopananda, Satya Sai Baba, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Prema Pandurangan, Mata Amritananda, Sant Morari Bapu, Rameshbhai Oza, Assaram Bapu, Ramdev Maharaj, Sadhwi Ritambhara, Pandurang Shastri Athavale, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Acharya Mahapragya, Kripananda Variar, Haridoss Giri, Swami Chidbhavananda and a host of several self-effacing spiritual beacons.
A young engineering graduate from Chennai was crestfallen when he was not selected for a job in Delhi. He went with a heavy heart to Rishikesh the spiritual abode of Bharat. There he met Swami Sivananda who seeing his state of mind consoled him saying that a very prestigious job that will change his career is awaiting him. The young engineer felt very much relieved and was pleasantly surprised to see another job waiting for him when he returned home. This new opportunity not only changed his vocation but also the destiny of our motherland. The young engineer blessed by Swami Sivananda is none other than the missile man and President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
3.2 : From Temple Decline To Temple Revival
In these days of international traveling and global villages, Hindus are the most widely distributed race in the world and we see majestic Hindu temples built in almost all international cities. Swami Narayan Sampradaay and International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) are literally in a rat race to build stunning, spectacular Hindu temples worldwide. Malaysia has over 10,000 large and small temples. A mile long queue is seen at the 200-year-old Lord Shiva temple in Muscat on any festival day. It is the same story in Hindu temples in Dubai, Bahrain and all over the world.
In spite of exciting football or baseball matches in their premises and offer of free beer bottles many churches in the western world are not able to attract enough followers. Unable to maintain huge churches these are being auctioned. Many of these churches are bought by Hindus and converted into temples for Lord Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, Tirupati Balaji and so on. In Sydney too, the grand Swami Narayan temple was once a church. Once converted to Hindu temples these are well attended not only by Indians but also by western devotees. The golden temple at New Brindavan, USA is a shining example. (When a person has health problems he first goes to allopathy; when that does not work, he goes to homeopathy and when that too fails he goes to Tirupathy).
In Myanmar (Burma) the dictatorial regime of General Ne Win had closed down all temples in 1964. Now the present military regime has handed over the dilapidated temples back to Hindu community. The rich business communities like Marwaris, Chettiars, Gujaratis and Punjabis migrated to neighboring Thailand, Hong Kong and Bharat immediately after the Ne Win military coup in early sixties. The rest of the poor Hindu communities who had nowhere to go are now collecting millions of rupees to rebuild the huge temples. Even in Cambodia and Indonesia the ancient Hindu temples of Angkor Wat and Prembanan are being renovated.
Half a million Hindu, Chinese and Western devotees congregate every year at Batu Caves Lord Subramaniam temple on the occasion of Thai Pusam. Similarly half a million devotees turn up at the Ganga sagar in Mauritius on the occasion of Shiv Ratri. About 1,00,000 Thai and Chinese devotees partake in the Vijaya Dashami Ratha Yatra celebrations of the Maha Mariamman (Mata Parvati) Temple on Silom Road, Bangkok.
There are over 100 major newly built Hindu temples across USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, Kenya, South Africa etc. These are multi-million dollar structures that have been designed and built by shilpis (artisans) flown in from Bharat. Large temples like Chicago’s Lord Venkateswara Temple, Pittsburg’s Balaji Temple, New York’s Mahavallabha Ganapati Temple, Houston’s Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Fiji’s Siva Subramaniam Temple, Sydney’s Lord Venkateswara Temple, Auckland’s Bharateeya Mandir, Singapore’s Siva Temple and Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Swaminarayan Temples in London, Atlanta, Houston, Nairobi and Auckland, ISKCON Temples, Gurudwaras, Jain Temples and Bali style Hindu temples in Jakarta, Bali and around the world are now part of International pilgrim circuit. Grander ones are being built all the time. ISKCON has embarked on a $61 Million Jagannath Cultural Project in Sedona Arizona.
Most temples are centers of Hindu learning – classes for Bharata Natyam, classical music, tabla, are held; seminars and workshops on Hinduism are organized the year round. Religious and Vedantic discourses by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Tejomayananda, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Morari Bapu, Asaram Bapu, Sudanshu Maharaj and Swami Swaroopanand are attracting large number of Hindus.
International Hindu Conferences
International Hindu conferences and Vishwa Dharma Prasar Yatras organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Bali, Sydney, Auckland, Fiji, Mauritius, Trinidad, Guyana, Durban, London, Toronto, and several cities of USA were attended by thousands of Hindus. Many camps and functions of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh have attracted large number of well wishers. Prominent world leaders like Father of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta, South African President Nelson Mandela, UK Prime Minister Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, New Zealand former Prime Minister Mr. David Lange, Thailand Privy Council Chief Sanya Dharmasakti, Governor of Bali, Singapore President Devan Nair, Singapore Senior Minister Rajaratnam, Trinidad Prime Minister Basdeo Pandey, Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chowdhary have addressed these conferences. Very recently on 12 May 2007, New Zealand Prime Minister Ms. Helen Clark inaugurated the 1st Hindu Conference organized by VHP of New Zealand. 70 large scale Buddha Exhibitions organized by HSS workers in Thailand and Burma has brought the local Buddhists closer to the Hindu community.
At the Copenhagen Europe zone Hindu conference in 1986, some of the Danes recollected how their civilization was influenced by ancient Hindu visiting scholars and sages, who taught them about seven days in a week and twelve months in a year. After a while those ancient Hindus left Denmark for good. Danes emphasized that the present generation Hindus should continue their stay in Denmark and enrich their culture.
Attracting Western And Non-Indian Audiences
His Holiness Dalai Lama is a phenomenon by himself. He draws lakhs of ardent followers in most of the Western countries. More recently during 17-19 February 2006, Sri Sri Ravishankar of Art of Living had convened at the Jakkur airport ground, Bangalore, a mammoth gathering of 1 million devotees from some 140 countries including heads of states of many countries. Several luminaries of Bharat Including President Abdul Kalam and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani graced the occasion. There was a galaxy of over 4,000 famous artists belonging to both Carnatic and Hindustani streams of music on the stage to entertain the devotees with bhajans, classical music and devotional songs.
Similarly Ramakrishna Ashram, Sivananda Ashram, Saiva Siddhanta Church (based in Hawaii), International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Satya Sai Samaj, Chinmaya Mission, Rajyoga Centre, BKS Iyengar Yoga Center, Sahaja Yoga Foundation, Swami Muktananda Ashram, Mata Amritanandamayi Foundation, Thai-Bharat Cultural Lodge and the like are branching out all around. The universal and useful Hindu principles are attracting large non-Indians towards different aspects of Hinduism. “Hinduism Today” brought out by Saiva Siddhanta Church of Hawaii is one of the best International magazines reporting Hinduism and current events among the world-wide Hindu community.
An interesting development of recent origin is the fact that while in India there may be a handful of temples for Lord Brahma, over hundred temples and shrines can be seen in Bangkok. The Brahma temple of Wat Erawan in Bangkok is not only the most sought after temple but also the richest one. Several welfare projects like schools and hospitals for poor are run based on the temple income. The popularity of the four faced Brahma is growing and shrines and temples for the Lord of creation are coming up in Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, and Las Vegas. Recently in 2006 a Muslim fundamentalist attacked the shrine and broke the idol. Immediately the government made a new idol and the then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra participated in the consecration ceremony. Karline McLain of the University of Texas is doing Ph.D. thesis on Indian identities in Amar Chitra Katha book series.
Gita in Management
Swami Parthasarathy, one of India’s best-selling authors on Vedanta, an ancient school of Hindu philosophy scribbled the secrets to business success (“concentration, consistency, and cooperation”) on an easel pad. The executives – heads of midsized outfits sat rapt. “You can’t succeed in business unless you develop the intellect, which controls the mind and body,” the swami said in his mellow baritone.
At the Wharton School a few days earlier, Parthasarathy talked about managing stress. During the same trip, he counseled hedge fund managers and venture capitalists in Rye, N.Y., about balancing the compulsion to amass wealth with the desire for inner happiness. And during an auditorium lecture at Lehman Brothers Inc.’s (LEH ) Lower Manhattan headquarters, a young investment banker sought advice on dealing with nasty colleagues. Banish them from your mind, advised Parthasarathy. “You are the architect of your misfortune,” he said. “You are the architect of your fortune.”
Bhagwad Gita and Karma Capitalism are the key words these days in many leading schools of Management.
Religious fervor in Bharat
In Bharat there has been a sharp rise in the devotees undertaking pilgrimages, kavadis, Vratas, and taking a holy dip on Makara Sankranti day at Triveni Sangam. The several crore-strong Holy congregations at Prayag Kumbha Mela happen to be the largest gathering any where on Planet Earth and the annual Sabari Malai yatra is the largest annual gathering in the world. Kavadi carrying Hindu youth in north India is ever on the increase. Even during busy hours the traffic comes to a standstill in a modern city like Delhi even when a single kavadi-carrying devotee is trying to cross the street. Religious gatherings on Purnima days are also increasing all over Bharat and overseas.
3.3: From East only to East and west.
Hindus in 10,000 years have never colonized any country. They have never looted, plundered or enslaved any country economically. They have never condemned other religions as false religions and converted them to Hinduism. They have never destroyed temples of other religions. They have never called people from other religions as Sinners, heathens or kafirs and condemned them to eternal hell. They have never crucified or burnt alive any one whose ideas have been different from their own and yet Bharat has influenced the eastern countries of Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Burma and Sri Lanka, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, not to mention Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangla Desh for the last two millennium years. This is one of the miracles of human history.
Influence In China
Hu Shih, the Chinese ambassador to America has said, India conquered China for 1,000 years without sending a single soldier. This was mainly due to the contributions of saints like Bodhi Dharma of Kanchipuram in the 6th century and Chinese traveler and scholar Huang Tsuang who visited many parts of Bharat in the 7th century. In 2006, Chinese government sent scholars from China to walk on the path traversed by Huang Tsuang 1300 years before.
Chinese forms of exercises, martial arts and meditative Chan or Zen Buddhism owe their origin to Bodhi Dharma. Chinese version of Ramayana is currently shown on their TV channels and as usual Hanuman, the monkey God is the most alluring character in the serial.
Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author, wrote that: "India was China's teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics... " and so forth.
Influence In Japan
The history of Japan is no different. In 736 AD a Hindu Brahmin Bharadwaj once again, from Kanchipuram reached Japan. He was popular in Japan as “Baramon”. He taught them Buddhism, Ramayana, Sanskrit, Dharma, Hindu Philosophy, and gave them culture, art and music in the then capital of Japan. Today everything with which Japanese rightly feel proud of as their ancient heritage and culture was given to them by this monk. The Japanese have three scripts one of them based on Tamil and Sanskrit was given by “Baramon Bharadwaj”. This is enough to show, how Buddhism which is the dynamic form of Hinduism, has influenced one-third of the entire world. The Guru Sishya Parampara of Buddha and his various disciples from Ananda onwards has played a big role in this manner.
Hindu Influence in South East Asia
The first chapter of Kampuchia or Cambodia starts with a Brahmin King Kaundinya arriving on their shores with gifts of Indian dresses, ornaments and eatables. The ruins of Wat Angkor and Prembanan temple in Central Java stand testimony to the great Hindu influence in the last fifteen centuries. Most of these countries were ruled by Hindu empires.
Hinduism in South East Asia influenced the Champa kingdom in Vietnam from 192 A.D through 1697 A.D; influenced the Srivijayan Kingdom in Sumatra from 200 AD to 1400 A.D; the Singhasari kingdom and the Majapahit Empire in Java, Bali and a number of the islands of the Philippines archipelago. The civilization of Bharat influenced the languages, scripts, calendars and artistic and culinary aspects of these people. Ramayana and Hindu culture has been the source of inspiration throughout the history of South East Asian countries.
In most of South East Asian countries, people do not give any thing with their left hands, they do not walk between two persons, passengers will stand up and offer their seats to saffron-clad monks, people feed the monks with freshly cooked food at early hours of the dawn. Cities bear names like Ayodhya, Lavapuri, Kanchanapuri, Chandrapuri, Vishnulok, Singapore the city of lions, Jayakarta, the city of victory (Capitol of Indonesia), Bandar Sri Bhagwan (capitol of Brunei) and so on. Laos is named after Lav, the son of Ram and Burma after Lord Brahma, the God of Creation.
Influence in Thailand
A leading Buddhist monk in Thailand told his followers that all aspects of Thai Culture beginning from the birth of a child to his death are a gift from Mother Bharat. Oriental Hotel in Bangkok is for many years, the award winning best hotel of the world. The hotel staff, very proudly wear, the Indian attire of dhoti and kurta Indian-like. The kings of Thailand are called Rama and the present king is Bhumipal Atulya Tej, Rama IX. Both he and Princess Mahachakri compose poems in Sanskrit.
Ramakeerti, the Thai Ramayana composed in 17th century is taught in schools. World’s largest Ramayana painting can be seen on the walls of Emerald Buddha temple in Bangkok Royal Palace. Thai boxing which has now entered the Olympics is based on the fighting skills of Hanuman, Angad, Vali, Sugreev as the Thais claim.
Many streets and prestigious buildings in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia bear Sanskrit names. All rivers are reverently addressed as Mae which is Maa or Mother. Thus the river flowing through Bangkok, the capital of Thailand is Mae Chaophraya. The river that flows from the Himalayas through Burma, China, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia is called Maa Ganga pronounced incorrectly by the French rulers as Mae Kong.
In spite of 20 military coups and another 20 democratically elected governments in the past 70 years, there have been no death punishments, blood spilling or political vendettas. For all these amazing cultural traits they thank Mother India. The country itself is called Siam Desh in the local language, which means the land of Lord Vishnu.
Influence in Malaysia
In Malaysia the Prime Minster and his cabinet ministers take oath of office by pronouncing the words “URUSAN SERI PADUKA BEGINDA” which means by the orders of Lord Ram’s Paduka (as was done by Bharata in Ramayana). All government orders are issued in the name of Sri Paduka. The name plate at a mosque in Penang translated into English reads “This mosque has been built by the orders of Seri Paduka in 1974.”
In Malaysia there are nine sultans. One of them is installed as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or President of the country. He takes oath office in the name of “URUSAN SERI PADUKA DHULI BEGINDA” which means by the orders of the Dust of Lord Ram’s Paduka. Like us Indians, they too consider the dust of the Paduka to be holier than the Paduka itself.
The Malay version of Ramayan, “Hikayat Seri Rama” composed in the 13th century is among the earliest Malay literatures and is studied in the universities as a piece of classical literature. Ramayana shadow plays and dance drama are still a craze in north and eastern provinces. Malay language too has many words of Sanskrit and Tamil origin. Sanskrit words like bhakti, Shakti, sodara, sodari, kadai, guru, siswa, surya, swami, bhasa, jiva, vamsa, varta etc are in common usage. Prestigious newly constructed buildings bear Sanskrit names like Chhaya Surya, Wishwa Putra, Anatara and Vishwa Duta.
The Sultan is entitled as Raja Parameswara and the queen is addressed as Raja Parameswari. Their second son is addressed with respect as Lakshmana. “Vanita Pushpavalli” is the name of the organization floated by the wives of cabinet ministers and they do social work for the poor and the needy.
Western dress code has been replaced with Malay dress code during University graduation ceremonies. The dress code includes Hindu items like kurta, angavastra around the waist and a black cap. Initially many Hindus opposed the black cap, but the minister clarified that it is not the Arabic Fez cap but an Indian one.
Ramli Ibrahim and Chandra Bhanu are accomplished Bharat Natyam dancers of Malay descent. They perform before distinguished audiences in five star hotels and International conferences. In spite of threats from their Muslim Malay brothers, Ramli and Chandra perform pujas for Lord Natraj and prostrate before the idol in full view of the audience. Faced by bitter criticism the local authorities advised the artists to do the puja and prostration behind the screen. Confronted by the authorities the artists replied, they would rather relinquish their Malaysian and take up Australian citizenships than change their worship.
Influence in Indonesia
Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. But their names contain names of Hindu gods and goddesses. Thus names like Winawati (Veenavati) Husman, Sudarshan Rehman (customs officer at the airport), Savitri Yani are very common. Some of their Presidents and vice-Presidents were Sukarno, Sukarno-Putri Megawati, Veera Hari Mohammed and so on. Buildings, hotels and other places bear names like Citra Graha (Art Gallery), Swargi (Heaven) Plaza and Arya Duta. They have islands like Sumatra, Bali, Madura, Irian Jaya, Kalimantan and towns like Jayakarta, and Yogyakarta. University campuses have idols of Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesha at the entrance. ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandun) is ranked number one technology institute in Indonesia and their logo is “Sri Ganesh”
A massive sculpture of Lord Krishna driving an eight horse drawn chariot is seen right in front of the Parliament of the “largest Islamic country in the world.” One of their currencies depicts the pictures of Lord Ganesha and Garuda. In fact Garuda is their national symbol and Air Garuda the name of their national aircraft carrier.
The real name of the capital of Indonesia is Jayakarta, the city of victory but wrongly pronounced as Djakarta by the Dutch rulers. Indonesia was ruled by ancient Hindu Majapahit rulers. The history is taught to the children in schools. Sanskrit, Ramayana, Mahabharata and meditation have enriched Indonesian culture. Bali is entirely a Hindu island with a population of 30 lakhs. Bali Hindus are the most friendly and loving people any where in the world. In their 150 years of regime, the Dutch rulers have not recorded any theft, loot, arson or mischief among Bali Hindus.
While in Indonesia, I was told of an incident. Once, Indonesia invited Pakistan President Gen. Zia-ul Haq to preside over the passing out parade of their military officer trainees. Gen. Zia was visibly angry that all the officers were parading in front of a tall statue of Hanuman ji in their military academy premises and also took oath of office in front of the same statue. When questioned the officials proudly proclaimed, “We have changed our religion but not our culture or our fore fathers.” The same answer was given by Indonesian vice-President Wira Hari Mohammed when he was questioned in an international conference of the organization of Islamic countries as to why many customs and practices in Indonesia are on lines of the Hindus.
When Indonesia organized an International Ramayan festival and invited all Asian countries to send their Ramayana dance troupes, many Buddhist and Muslim countries sent their Ramayana artistes. Indian (Nehru) government refused to send any troupe saying that India is a secular country. (Same Indian government under Smt Indira Gandhi sent a delegation under Union Minister Fakruddin Ali Ahmed to Rabat in an International summit of Islamic nations even though no invitation was sent. This time the government explanation was that India has a bigger Muslim population than Pakistan, Bangladesh or most Islamic countries).
Hindus of Bali
Once I went to Bali for a National Hindu conference. Indonesian Hindu delegates from Java, Borneo, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Madura and other islands had assembled at the Bali Hindu University campus for the 2 day conference. When the morning bell rang, I closed my room door and went for breakfast. One of the delegates introduced himself and told me in an assertive tone, “I am sure you are visiting Bali for the first time”. I asked him how he could say so emphatically. He said that ‘I had closed my room’. I closed my room because I was carrying passport, US dollars, camera and tape recorder. He said all the delegates who have come from different parts of Indonesia also carried valuables and he asked me to see if anyone else had closed his room. To my great surprise all the other doors were open. At that point, the Indonesian delegate told me, ‘this is Bali where theft is unheard of’. All this is due to the influence of karma Siddhartha of the Vedic heritage. We in Bharat have forgotten our priceless legacy and the people of South East Asia have preserved them in spite of many years of separation.
In Bali I noticed one more astonishing fact. I was staying at the residence of a local Hindu leader Prof. Dr Ida Bagus Oka Punyatmadja. He said he is a Brahmin but his elder brother who was Brahmin till last year has become a vaishya this year. I was utterly confused. In Bharat one could change his religion but not his caste. Prof. Punyatmadja clarified that among Bali Hindus the caste goes with ones profession. His elder brother was Brahmin as long as he was in the teaching profession. But as soon as he started a hotel business he became a vaishya. The mother temple of the Bali Hindus is called Besaki temple and here I saw that while the Bali Hindu priest goes inside the temple precincts for doing pujas, he cannot enter the innermost garba griha. Only a shudra is allowed to enter the garbha griha. I also found a big list of aspirant devotees who wanted to change their caste to shudra caste to serve the Lord once the post becomes vacant.
In fact this is exactly the message of Bhagwad Gita “Chaturvarnyam Maya Shrishtam Guna Karma vibhagashaha.” (The four varnas created by me are according to Guna and Karma). I was delighted to see it being practiced to its spirit in Bali Island.
Lessons to learn from South East Asia
Ramayan, Sanskrit, Ayurveda, Hindu values, meditation, Hindu festivals, Hindu almanac, our puranas, dance, music, sculpture and arts remain the bedrock of the culture and existence of South East and Far East Asian countries for the past two thousand years. Many times it appears that they are more proud of this culture and value systems than we Indian Hindus. Here in South East Asia Hinduism is not a religion it’s their daily routine (culture). I am sure one day every Indian will realize the value of Hinduism as a Way of living. This will enable them to contribute more effectively to their adopted countries.
Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad in different countries are striving to promote Universal values of Hinduism for the peace and prosperity of the world.
Hindu Influence In The West
(i) Ancient Period
Hinduism is fast influencing the modern western world in the form of yoga, Bhagwad Gita, vegetarianism, Ayurveda and Sanskrit. In the ancient past too Hinduism influenced pre Greek and pre Roman Etruscan civilization. Wall frescoes and terracotta portraits of 700 BC show scenes from Ramayana. Extensive practice of divination, concepts like God permeates entire universe were due to Hindu influence. Later Etruscans passed on these values to Greek and Roman civilizations and it is no wonder that Greek and Roman languages and later many European languages like German, French, Scandinavian, Slavic languages have rich Sanskrit content. This richness of Sanskrit words in European languages gave a false impression to a few Western scholars to put forth their Aryans invasion theory. In 600 BC, Greek scholar Pythagoras studied at Takshashila University. He carried with him three main branches of Bharateeya knowledge – ancient Indian mathematics (including the famous Pythagoras theorem), ancient Indian medical system and Transmigration of the soul. These are known as Pythagorean school of thought and form the foundation of European knowledge base. Greek and Roman legends run parallel to legends found in Hindu Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata. If Achilles had weakness in his heels, Duryodhana had it in his thighs. The adventures of Ulysses and Hercules can be compared to those of Arjun and Bhim.
The ancient and most fascinating animal stories narrated by Vishnu Dutt Sharma in Panchatantra are famous in the west as Aesop tales. These tales have influenced many intellectuals including Greek writers Plutarch and Lucian and Roman scholars Horace, Demetrius Phalareus and Phaedrus in the 1st century and the 17th-century French poet and fabulist Jean de La Fontaine and the Russian Ivan Andreyevich Krylov.
Alexander the defeated (was he not defeated by a small king in Bharat) told his guru Aristotle that he wanted to conquer the world. Aristotle replied he can understand when one says he wants to conquer Egypt or Arabia or Persia since these are known landmasses. But there is no place called the world and where will he go to win the world. Alexander replied that when he will conquer Bharat he can be called the conqueror of the world. That was the esteem they had for Bharat. On hearing this Aristotle asked Alexander to bring from Bharat six objects of veneration – Vedas and Bhagwad Gita, Ganga Water, Indian cow and yoga teacher, Hindu Brahmin and Ayurveda doctor. Very recently in 2006 AD ancient Vishnu idols have been excavated from Russian sites. Further archeological investigations may change our understanding of the ancient world and throw more light on the Hindu centric history of Europe.
Concepts like twelve months in a year, seven days in a week, twenty-four hours in a day, sixty minutes and sixty seconds, twelve zodiac signs, Pythagoras theorem, geometry, geography, herbal medicines, transmigration of the soul, animal stories for children all traveled from Bharat to the west.
Christmas and Easter are Hindu Festivals
Hinduism has influenced Western calendars and festivals. The religion of Persia 4,000 years back was known as Mithraism and they were Sun worshippers. Makar Sankranti the Hindu festival of Lord Sun, which used to fall on 25th December was a holiday and known as Mithra day. Around 1000 BC the Egyptian Pharos ruler made sun worship compulsory and made 25th December a national holiday. From there it traveled to Europe. The Romans celebrated 25th December as ‘Natalis Solis Invicti’ or the Day of the Invincible Sun God. According to Microsoft Encarta 2007 the Romans held a festival on December 25 called ‘Dies Natalis Solis Invicti’, “the birthday of the unconquered sun.” The use of the title Sol Invictus allowed several solar deities to be worshipped collectively, including Mithras, a soldiers’ god of Persian origin. Emperor Elagabalus (218-222) introduced the festival, and it reached the height of its popularity under Aurelian, who promoted it as an empire-wide holiday. The Sol Invictus festival has a “strong claim on the responsibility” for the date of Christmas, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. Solar symbolism was popular with early Christian writers. In the 10th century Christians took this festival from Scottish pagans and called it Christmas day.
Similarly Easter is a pre-Christian European pagan festival in honor of the spring goddess Eostre and has many things in common with Hindu spring festival Yugadi or Varsha Pratipada.
Playing tricks on the first day of April a custom among European peoples is also taken from Hindus. In France the victim of such practical jokes is called an April fish; and in English-speaking countries, an April fool. Hindu Solar New Years called Besaki used to fall on 1st April before Pope Gregory XIII introduced his Christian calendar in 1582.
Europe got the concepts of 7 days in a week, 12 months in a year, 365 days in a year, the concepts of 60 seconds, 60 minutes and 24 hours a day, 12 zodiac signs and 360 degrees for a circle from the Hindu almanac called pancanga. New date for Hindus begins early in the morning at 5 O’ clock. It is midnight 12 O’ clock in Europe at that time and hence they change their dates at midnight.
ii) Medieval Period – Worship of Mother Mary introduced by Hindu Gypsies
During the Islamic aggression period between 9th and 12th centuries, scores of Hindu Banjaras (nomads) from Sind and Rajasthan left their lands in search of more peaceful areas. They reached Europe by land route. Today in Europe they are called the Gypsies, Romas or Sindis. Gypsy groups left India in repeated migrations. They were in Persia by the 11th century, in southeastern Europe by the beginning of the 14th, and in Western Europe by the 15th century. By the second half of the 20th century, Gypsies had spread throughout North and South America and to Australia. Today they number 2 to 5 millions.
Gypsies are worshippers of Mother Parvati. When a coastal town in France was deluged again and again, the local inhabitants sought the super natural powers of the Gypsies to pacify nature. The Gypsies placed a statue of their Goddess Mother Parvati in a local church and worshipped it for several months. The sea was peaceful all the time. When their time for migration came, the residents of the town fearing the fury of the sea, pleaded with the Gypsies to leave the statue in the church and called this statue of Mother Parvati as Mother Mary.
Before the advent of veterinary medicine, many European farmers looked to Gypsy livestock dealers for advice on herd health and husbandry. Damaged pots, pans, and metal utensils were saved for repair by the Gypsy tinker.
By nature they are peaceful, nomadic people well versed in music, and hence have influenced several countries of Europe. Many of the European folk music and village sports have been adopted from Gypsy traditions.
[During World War II the Nazis murdered an estimated 4,00,000 Gypsies. French laws in modern times forbade them campsites and subjected them to police supervision, yet the Gypsies were taxed and drafted for military service like ordinary citizens. During the Bosnia conflict between 1992 and 1994 thousands of Gypsies were shot dead both by Muslim and Christian fighters. Unfortunately no one pleads, supplicates or prays for these hapless innocent Hindu gypsies.
Traditionally Gypsies have pursued occupations that allowed them to maintain an itinerant life on the perimeters of settled society. The men were livestock traders, animal trainers and exhibitors, tinkers (metal-smiths and utensil repairmen), and musicians; the women told fortunes, sold potions, begged, and worked as entertainers. Before the advent of veterinary medicine, many farmers looked to Gypsy livestock dealers for advice on herd health and husbandry. Damaged pots, pans, and metal utensils were saved for repair by the Gypsy tinker.]
(iii) Modern Period – Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita, Yoga, Mediation, Sanskrit, Ayurveda, Family Values
With the advent of waves of brutal Islamic invasion, Bharat was engaged in near life and death struggle against the barbaric aggressors for about 800 long years and lost touch with Europe. This contact was re-established when the Europeans established trade with India and formed the British East India Company in 1600, Dutch East India Company in 1602 and French East India Company in 1664.
Although early indologists, in their missionary zeal, widely vilified the Vedas as primitive mythology, many of the world’s greatest thinkers admired the Vedas as great repositories of advanced knowledge and high thinking. The German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer stated that the Sanskrit understanding of these Indologists was like that of young schoolboys.
Bhagwad Gita was first translated into English in prose-form by Charles Wilkins in 1785. Two years later in 1787 this book was re-translated into French language by Abbe Parraud and into Russian by N.I. Norikov. This Russian version influenced Lev Tolstoy as evidenced in most of his novels. August Wilhelm von Schlegel in 1823 AD produced the Latin translation of Bhagwad Gita.
France as a Centre of Hindu Studies
After Abbe Parraud’s translation of Bhagwad Gita into French, Louis Matthieu Langles, curator of Oriental manuscripts at the Bibliothèque Nationale, documented Indic Research. In 1832 Bhagwad Gita was translated directly from Sanskrit original text into French by Jean-Denis Languinais. Henri Frédéric Amiel, a contemporary of Victor Hugo, saw the need of “Brahmanising souls” for the spiritual welfare of humanity. All these were possible due to the presence of Alexander Hamilton, a British Lieutenant and a Sanskrit scholar who had served in India. He took up a job in Paris Library. Francois Voltaire stated: "... everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges."
Sanskrit Studies in Germany
By the year 1800, Sanskrit or Oriental studies centers were functioning in at least 10 cities of Germany. In 1803 and 1804 German scholar Fredrik Von Schlegel (1772 – 1829) translated Indian epics and Laws of Manu. Indian works were taught in schools of higher learning in Europe by the early part of 19th century. It may be noted that Schlegel brothers inspired the German Romantic movement along with Goethe.
Another German writer to be inspired by the study of the Vedas was Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). He was one of the greatest philosophers of the 19th Century. He wrote: “From every sentence (of the Upanishads) deep, original and sublime thoughts arise, and the whole is pervaded by a high, holy and earnest spirit…. In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. They are destined sooner or later to become the faith of the people….. These have been the solace of my life and will be the solace of my death.”
In 1827 Wilhelm von Humboldt gave lectures on the Bhagwad Gita. He said of the Gita as the “most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue.....perhaps the deepest and loftiest thing the world has to show.”
Humboldt’s discourse on Gita caught the attention of George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel published a review of it in 1827 that contributed a critical and appreciative analysis. Hegel felt Humboldt’s lecture to be “an essential enrichment of the knowledge of the Indian way of concepts of the highest spiritual interests” and his penetrating review served to promote Humboldt’s work. Inspired by Bhagwad Gita, Hegel’s philosophy that “self-consciousness is the highest manifestation of reality” has influenced most scholars in Europe since then. Most important among them was Karl Marx.
1750 to 1870 is regarded as the Romantic Era of European literature. This era was highly influenced by Bhagwad Gita, Upanishads and Mahakavi Kalidas.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) German writer and the greatest figure of the Romantic period and of German literature as a whole, was inspired by the Latin version of Shakuntala of Maha Kavi Kalidas. He strongly advocated receptivity to Indian literatures and sought a rapprochement with Eastern culture. He in turn influenced the European romantic poets like William Wordsworth, John Keats and PB Shelly. Kalidasa’s philosophy that ‘all life from plant to God, is one’ began to haunt the western poets and intellectuals.
Max Friedrich Muller (1823 – 1900) popularized Vedas to the west through his well researched commentaries and translations. For his massive contribution to Sanskrit studies in the west, Swami Vivekananda compared him to sage Vidyaranya. In the name of Bible and proselytizing Hindu India, Thomas Babbington Macaulay (1800 – 1859) was able to persuade Max Muller to write for some years, many articles condemning and criticizing Hinduism.
Hindu Influence in England
After translating Bhagwad Gita in 1785, Charles Wilkins also translated Sanskrit grammar in 1787 and later Hitopadesa. In 1784 William Jones formed the Asiatic Society. Sir Edwin Arnold composed “Song Celestial” a poetic translation of Bhagwad Gita in 1885 exactly one hundred years after its first prose translation. In 1891 George Augustus Jacob compiled an alphabetical index of the main words of sixty-six principal Upanishads and the Bhagwad Gita. Romantic poets like William Wordsworth, John Keats, PB Shelly and William Blake appreciated the Hindu views of divinity in nature and respect for womanhood and glorified these values through their poems. The concept of rebirth, ‘karma’, universal soul, immortality and incarnation make the fascination of romantic poets with the Gita quite apparent. Other famous personality who spoke of the greatness of the Vedas was Alfred North Whitehead (British mathematician, logician and philosopher), who stated that: "Vedanta is the most impressive metaphysics the human mind has conceived."

Hindu Influence in America
America’s poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) resigned from his pastoral appointment as minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) of Boston in 1832 because of personal doubts about administering the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. He toured England, where he met several British writers, including Walter Savage Landor, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Carlyle, and William Wordsworth who introduced him to Charles Wilkins translation of Bhagwad Gita. This had a deep influence on him. In 1836 he published essays, such as Nature and formed the Transcendental Club in Boston based on the universal principles contained in the Bhagwad Gita and the Upanishads.
Transcendentalism opposed the strict ritualism and dogmatic theology of established religious institutions. Primarily, the transcendentalists were influenced by romanticism, especially such aspects as self-examination, celebration of individualism, and extolling the beauties of nature and humankind. Consequently, transcendentalist writers expressed semi-religious feelings toward nature, as well as the creative process, believing that divinity permeated all objects. Intuition, rather than reason, was regarded as the highest human faculty.
In 1845, Emerson’s Journal records that he was reading the Bhagwad Gita and Colebrooke’s Essays on the Vedas. On Gita he said: “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagwad Gita. It was the first of books ; as if it were an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large serene consistent voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us”.
R.W. Emerson is regarded as the central figure of American transcendentalism. His poems, orations, and especially his essays, such as Nature (1836), are regarded as landmarks in the development of American thought and literary expression.
American writer Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) is also respected as a seminal figure in the history of American thought. He spent much of his life in Concord, Massachusetts, where he became associated with the New England transcendentalist movement formed by Emerson. He read Vedas and appreciated the universal spirit contained in it.
American Philosopher - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) on Hinduism:
(i) “Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climes and nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. When I am at it, I feel that I am under the spangled heavens of a summer night”......
(ii) “I cannot read a sentence in the book of the Hindus without being elevated as upon the table-land of the Ghats. It has such a rhythm as the winds of the desert, such a tide as the Ganges, and seems as superior to criticism as the Himalayan Mounts. Even at this late hour, unworn by time with a native and inherent dignity it wears the English dress as indifferently as the Sanskrit.”
(iii) “I would say to the readers of the Scriptures, if they wish for a good book, read the Bhagavad-Gita.... translated by Charles Wilkins. It deserves to be read with reverence even by Yankees....”Besides the Bhagavad-Gita, our Shakespeare seems sometimes youthfully green... Ex oriented lux may still be the motto of scholars, for the Western world has not yet derived from the East all the light it is destined to derive thence.”
Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) another transcendentalist was yet another great American poet who believed in the self, viewed death as a process of life and universal brotherhood. Mrs. Sarah Margaret Fuller another activist of the Transcendentalist movement organized a gathering of women beginning from 1839 in Boston to argue for women’s rights in Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845). Fuller gained recognition as one of the foremost critics in the United States.
Boston Brahmins, a circle of intellectually and socially cultivated Bostonians was another influential group that shaped the early days of American thoughts. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), Oliver Wendell Holmes 1809-1894 and James Russell Lowell (1819 – 1891) were among them. Transcendentalists and Boston Brahmins are regarded as the founding fathers of American philosophy, thought process and heritage.
Ever since West woke up to the thought that disease is mental in origin and right attitude has a healing effect, Yoga and meditation have been growing by leaps and bounds. There is no missionary zeal by Indians to spread Yoga, Christian churches are hell bent against it and yet Yoga and meditation have been on the rise exponentially. Over 10% in most Western countries practice meditation for the simple fact that it works. No doubt BKS Iyengar stands tall in its promotion. He ranks one amongst 100 most outstanding personalities who have influenced USA in the last 100 years. In fact yoga is more popularly known there as Iyengar Yoga. Recently Australian cricket team defeated India in India after a long gap of 30 years. The secret of their success was the practice of Yoga as explained by Justin Langer, their opening batsman. Space astronauts are taught lessons in Yoga before they embark on the journey into regions where there is no gravity and hence any other form of exercise is not possible.
Ever since medical field has coined the word ‘Cholesterol’ and found its evil effects on health, vegetarianism is growing and vegetarian cuisines have become most sought after diets in the Western world. Here too 10 to 15% youth in America practice vegetarianism. With AIDS and HIV threatening to wipe out mankind from the face of this globe, large size bill boards proclaim Ramayana message of “one man one wife.” Hindu practice of cremating the dead is more in vogue all over the developed nations. Great advancements made in medical fields confirm the Ayurvedic principles of Tridoshas and trigunas. Hinduism is entering every sphere of the Western world even though there has been very little campaign on the part of Indians Hindus.
In the computing field, scientists working on Artificial intelligence have stumbled upon the fact that Sanskrit is the most friendly computer language in the world because of the way the Sanskrit alphabets are formed.
Nuclear scientists trying to find that one principle that governs the entire universe, are studying Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita with great devotion. They are busy trying to find an equivalent of Brahman on the physical plane.
After the first successful nuclear explosion on July 16, 1945, at Alamogordo, USA, journalists and scientists who had gathered wanted to hear from Dr Julius Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist and science administrator, and director of the atom bomb project. Dr Oppenheimer took every one by surprise by quoting several verses from Bhagwad Gita – “DIVI SURYASAHASRASYA BHAVED YUGAPADA UTTHITA YADI BHAH SADRSI SA SYAD BHASASTASYA MAHATMANAH” (If the light of a thousand suns were to blaze forth all at once in the sky that might resemble the splendor of that Exalted Being), [Bhagwad Gita 11-12]. When he was asked if this is the first nuclear explosion, he significantly replied: "Yes, in modern times," implying that ancient nuclear explosions may have previously occurred. (Mahabharat and many Puranas talk about nuclear explosions and nuclear wars). He further stated that "The Vedas are the greatest privilege of this century."
German Physicist W.HEISENBERG (1901-1976), a 1932 Nobel laureate who worked on sub-atomic particles widely acknowledged as one of the seminal thinkers of the 20th century, has this to say on Hinduism.
“After the conversations about Indian Philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics, that had seemed so crazy, suddenly made much more sense.”
Dr. Albert Einstein was a passionate follower of Hindu philosophy: “I have made the Gita as the main source of my inspiration and guide for the purpose of scientific investigations and formation of my theories.” said Albert Einstein.
Edwin Schrödinger, (1887-1961) Nobel Laureate in physics best known for his discovery of wave mechanics said: “Some blood transfusion from the East to the West” to save Western science from spiritual anemia.”
“In the entire world,” writes Schrödinger in his book, My View of the World (Chapter iv), “there is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction....The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.”
Huston Smith, born in China to Methodist missionaries, is a philosopher, most eloquent writer, world-famous religion scholar who practices Hatha Yoga. He has taught at MIT and is currently visiting professor at Univ. of California at Berkley). He says,
“When I read the Upanishads, I found a profundity of world view”.
If with very little efforts from the Hindus, various aspects of Hinduism are catching the imagination of the educated and unbiased Western thinkers, how much more can be achieved if only Hindus become aware of its intrinsic values and feel rightly proud of it!
In the present decade we observe that Hindu practices in the form of Sanskrit, Hindi, Yoga and meditation, Bhagwad Gita, Ayurveda, Vegetarianism, Vedic arts, Vastu Sastra, Bharateeya music and films are invading the west as never before. The days when westerners will come to Bharat to teach these lessons to our children are not far. Some one has composed a couplet that depicts these changes. {SanYoGiSeAaVe Sangeet Bhajan Gave. San=Sanskrit, Yo=Yoga, Gi=Bhagwad Gita, Se=Seva, Aa=Ayurveda, Ve=Vegitarianism and Vedic Arts, Sangeet=Indian Music, Bhajan=Meditation}
2.4 : From Limited Tools to Greater Resources
Just read some of the news items in the year 2007.
Thirty manuscripts of the ancient Hindu text Rig Veda dating from 1800 to 1500 BC are among 38 new items that have been added in 2007 to the United Nations heritage list to help preserve them for posterity.

Oxford University will invest ₤10 million to set up a Business Research Centre in India to study the country’s rapidly expanding economy.

BRITAIN backed by $19.5 million (Rs 100 Crores) in aid will start a State Funded Hindu school. Krishna-Avanti primary school would be based in the northwest London suburb of Harrow, with space for 240 children. Pupils will study the national curriculum but there will be a strong emphasis on Hindu ethos and worship.

Hindu University of America, California College of Ayurveda and University of Washington offer courses and Master’s Degree in Ayurvedic Science.

USA takes up Hindi studies in its universities. India’s rapidly growing industry and business is attracting large Americans to Bharat.

Deepawali was celebrated with lighting the parliaments in London (UK), Canberra and Sydney (Australia), Wellington and Auckland (New Zealand), Ottawa (Canada). In Washington, the White House was also lit.

Hindu priest offered prayer at the legislative sessions in in the Iowa and Nevada House and Senates in USA.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, UK Members of Parliament and mayor of London condemned pulling down of Hindu temples in Moscow and Khazhkhistan.

Thailand Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra carried the newly made idol of Lord Brahma on his head and went around the Shrine in a religious ceremony marking the restoration of the statue to the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. It was earlier damaged by a Muslim fanatic.

Chinese version of the Mahabharata sold out last December. Second edition of the six-volume translation of the epic is now under print and would be out in a few weeks.

Bhagwad Gita is taught in leading management universities of USA. Terms like Karma Capitalism are gaining usage and popularity.

An interesting development is taking place these days: Many foreigners have taken inspirations from Bhagwad Gita and they are putting their efforts to promote it. Once upon a time we Hindus were fighting our battles all alone. But now with these educated and resourceful persons from the West joining Hindu forces, our strength has increased. Every time some one utters uncharitable remarks on India or Hinduism Francois Gautier (the French journalist based in India) gives a fitting reply. Some of our people have been sold out to the foreign media. But Francois Gautier is there. Koenraad Elst and Michel Danino are there. They are a special breed of people who have been inspired by Hindu philosophy and Hindu way of life.
Some years back, Bettino Craxi, the prime minister of Italy was to come to India. Rajiv Gandhi was worried. He had not invited him. According to international protocol, unless a prime minister invites another prime minister he cannot enter another country. But here Italy’s Prime Minister was coming to India uninvited. And any prime minister who comes to Bharat should come to Delhi first. But he was going straight to Bangalore. Rajiv Gandhi, made a phone call and asked, “How come you are coming to India when I have not invited you? Please let me know what your agenda is?” Italy’s Prime Minister replied, “I am not coming for any political or economic activity. I am coming to meet my spiritual master and seek his blessings. I am going to Puttaparthi to meet Shri Satya Sai Baba, because elections are round the corner in Italy”.
Martin Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada, had another predicament. He said, “America is in cold war with Russia and all those who support Russia. India is a supporter of Russia and therefore, I, as a prime minister of Canada, a good friend of America, cannot go to India. Therefore I am not going to contest next election. For, as long as I am Prime minister, I cannot visit India”. When asked why he was so desperate to visit India, he replied, “Two of my sisters, Margaret and Katherine have become Hindus. They are serving their spiritual master in Himalayas. Margaret has already become Madhurima and she is a sanyasinee there. I asked her to return to Canada. But she said, “I have taken Diksha. I have to be here for some more years. Till I complete my course I cannot return. So it is better you come to Bharat”. I want to meet my sisters. I have to go to India. I cannot go there as prime minister of Canada and so I am refraining from contesting the next elections”.
Whenever Swami Chinmayananda went to Bahrain, the family members of Sheikh arranged special discourses exclusive for them in the palace premises. Mrs. Anwar Sadat of Egypt comes to Mount Abu, Bharat regularly to specialize on meditation and spread the same globally. World’s richest industrialists Alan Ford and Rockefeller are active members of ISKCON and have donated a large part of their wealth and properties for the propagation of Hinduism. Alan Ford got married in Sydney in a typical Hindu style sporting a white dhoti. His wedding video is being circulated to stress the point that happy married life is possible only by following Vedic principles.
Before China’s Premier Wen Jiabao left for India in April, 2005, China’s state-controlled media, such as the People’s Daily, had highlighted his terming of the impending visit to India “historic” and emphasised Wen’s recitation of a Sanskrit shloka from the Upanishads “Aum Sahana Vavatu …” to call for closer ties.
On Feb 20, 2006, French First Lady Bernadette Chirac packed her bags and quietly left for Varanasi on a spiritual journey, while her husband was busy discussing the finer points of bilateral relations with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “She is spiritually inclined and greatly interested in Indian art and culture. The trip will bring India closer to her,” added a French diplomat.
Singer Britney Spears is seeking spiritual guidance in a bid to become a better mother to her four-month-old son.
Amid chants of Sanskrit prayers on a bright and sunny morning, some 2,300 students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) received their graduate and undergraduate degrees in Cambridge in June 2005. “May we come together for a common purpose - common be our prayer, common our goal,” “May the one and the same divine reality lead us. May we be granted clear understanding and the courage to pursue the goals of social justice, non-violence, harmony and peace,” “Peace. Peace. Peace be unto all.” so said Swami Tyagananda, the institution’s Hindu chaplain at the institution’s 139th commencement exercise.
On 6th Sept, 2003, President of the Republic of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, addressing the Durban university students, said, “Through our actions together, all the people of South Africa will be able to live up to the wise words from the Rig Veda:
Come together, talk together,
Let our minds be in harmony.
Common be our prayer,
Common be our end,
Common be our purpose,
Common be our deliberations,
Common be our desires,
United be our hearts,
United be our intentions,
Perfect be the union among us.
(10 - 191:2)
David Frawley and Stephen Knapp are very learned scholars of Vedic lore. They are also well versed in the Western art of impressive writing. When Goh Chek Tong, the prime minister of Singapore, addressed the joint session of Senators of USA in 2003 he dwelt on the economic and political importance of Bharat.
BKS Iyengar has many trained Arab yoga experts who start their yoga classes in Arab countries with a prayer to Rishi Patanjali. Many Chinese disciples of Swami Satchitananda (himself a disciple of Swami Shivananda) in Hong Kong propagate yoga, meditation and Hindu bhajans to Chinese people. Over 10% people in US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand practice yog and meditation. Some churches have started teaching yog and meditation to attract followers. Similarly over 10% in the advanced countries are practicing vegetarianism which too has its origin in Bharat. Kellogg is a leading company that makes several vegetarian snacks and breakfast items. Hindi films are also attracting several thousand viewers around the world for their family values, cultural songs and dances and eye catching Indian dresses. Satya Sai Baba, Mata Amritananda, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Dalai Lama attract millions of western devotees to their philosophical discourses and bhajan sessions.
Eric Miller (, is a Ph.D. candidate in Folklore in the University of Pennsylvania, USA. His dissertation is on Tamil children’s songs and games and language learning. To conduct research on the ancient Tamil epic Silappathikaram (the Epic of the Anklet), he walked in the footsteps of Kannagi – from Poompuhar to Madurai to the western mountains. Writing about Silappathikaram, Eric says that, “all of the political leaders of the world should know the story of Kannagi and of the Pandian king, Nedunchezhiyan. For the great hero of the Silappathikaram – after Kannagi - is the Pandian king. He punished himself when he realized he had made a mistake. Such self-punishment by leaders is a tradition in India – another example being the king Manuneedhi Cholan, who punished his son for killing a calf. This tradition is one reason that India is a moral leader of the world.”
Sanskrit in your pocket
The Clay Sanskrit Library, an ambitious project, initiated by John Clay of USA, has introduced Classical Sanskrit literature to a wide international readership. This literature combines great beauty, enormous variety, and more than three thousand years of continuous Hindu history and development.
The new Clay Sanskrit Library makes everything easier: the Sanskrit text, written in familiar Roman letters, faces the English translation, and the convenient pocket size is both elegant and practical. Two dozens volumes of a projected 100 titles have been printed. These include 30 volumes devoted to Mahabharat, Kalidas’s great plays, Abhigyanashakuntala, or The Recognition of Shakuntala and Meghadoot or Messenger Poems, What ten young men did by Dandin, Love lyrics by Bharatrihari, Much ado about Religion by Jayanta Bhatta and The Emperor of the Sorcerers by Budhaswamin.
Forty-five leading scholars from ten countries are cooperating to produce fresh new translations that combine readability and accuracy. The first fifteen titles appeared in 2005, co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation. Nine volumes were published in 2006. They will be followed by six more in 2007. Within the next four years the Clay Sanskrit Library will grow to about a hundred titles. The selection will focus on drama, poetry and novels, together with the famous epics Ramayan and Mahabharat.
The great German poet Goethe was struck by the beauty of Kalidasa’s verse and enthused, “if you want heaven and earth contained in one name, I say Shakuntala and all is spoken. Goethe put into his play, Faust, a prologue similar to the one in Shakuntala, in which a director and an actress mull over what to play for an audience of ‘sophisticated spectators’, before deciding on a play with a plot ‘devised by Kalidas’.
Besides Kalidasa, The CSL thus will bring to the English speaking reader many other delights like the earthy verse of Bharatrihari, the pungent satire of Jayanta Bhatta and the roving narratives of Dandin among others. All these writers belong properly not only to Indian literature but also to world literature.
So, from small tools we Hindus have acquired great resources. Now Hindus are asserting themselves more openly. Seventy years back, a prominent person of this country Motilal Nehru said, “I am a Hindu. I am ashamed of it. I am a Hindu because of the crimes committed by me in my previous birth. His illustrious son Jawaharlal Nehru said, “I am a Hindu by accident of birth.” But things have changed later. Whenever Indira Gandhi had a problem, she used to go to Tirupati temple or she would go rushing to Kanchipuram, to get the blessings of Paramacharya. Her son Rajiv Gandhi, released the election manifesto in the 1990s not from Delhi but from Ayodhya.
Our Short Comings and What we can learn from the West
In spite of our rapid achievements in several fields, we have our own weaknesses and we have a lot to learn from the West. Many Sangh adhikaris and social thinkers like Shri Guruji, Balasaheb Devras, Rajjubhaiyya, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, Dattopant Thengadi, Sudarshan ji, S.Guru Murthy, President APJ Abdul Kalam and Narayan Murthy have given ideas about what we can learn from the western society.
Public Apathy
In the west, the people care a lot for society and public good than we do. In India we keep our houses clean and water our gardens regularly, but when we go to a park, we do not think twice before littering the place or spitting on the streets. Public apathy in solving community matters has held us back from making progress, which is otherwise within our reach. We see serious problems around us but do not try to solve them. We behave as if the problems do not exist or are somebody else’s. On the other hand, in the West, people solve societal problems proactively. There are several examples of our apathetic attitude. For instance, all of us are aware of the problem of drought in India. More than 40 years ago, Dr KL Rao - an irrigation expert, suggested creation of a water grid connecting all the rivers in North and South India, to solve this problem. Unfortunately, not much has been done about this. Only Narendra Modi a swayamsewak Chief minister has brought Narmada water from Surat to Sabarmati in Karnavati and from there to north Gujarat and further to Kutch. This has solved both drought and floods in Gujarat. We have lost the will to proactively solve our own problems and have got used to just executing someone else’s orders.
Corruption, tax evasion, cheating and bribery have eaten into our vitals. Corruption, as we see in India, is another example of putting the interest of oneself, and at best that of one’s family, above that of the society. In Bihar railway stations it is commonly said, “Aana free, Jaana free, Pakde gaye to khana free.” Society is relatively corruption free in the West. It is very difficult to bribe a police officer into avoiding a speeding ticket.
Our Icons and Role Models
We revere film actors and cricket players more than Kargil heroes, freedom fighters, social workers, scientists and industrialists. These film artists and cricket legends have shown very little concern for the problems of the Indian society. When Indira Gandhi imposed emergency in 1975 and put behind bars all national leaders, 100,000 social volunteers mostly belonging to RSS protested against unlawful excesses. If only the icons who mint millions of dollars by their glamour had expressed dissent, history of emergency and our society would have been different.
Political Wisdom
The decision-makers in our society are not trained for solving problems. Our decision-makers look to somebody else to take decisions. Unfortunately, there is nobody to look up to, and this is the tragedy. It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities. Irrespective of our position, in the West, we are held accountable for what we do. However, in India, the more ‘important’ one is, the less answerable he is. For instance, a senior politician once declared that he ‘forgot’ to file his tax returns for 10 consecutive years — and he got away with it. Unfortunately, these behaviors are condoned by almost everyone.
Value of Labor
In the West, each person is proud about his or her labor that raises honest sweat. In India, we tend to overlook the significance of those who are not in professional jobs. We have a mindset that reveres only supposedly intellectual work. For instance, many engineers, fresh from college, only want to do cutting-edge work and not work that is of relevance to business and the country.
Yet another lesson to be learnt from the West is about their professionalism in dealings. The common good being more important than personal equations, people do not let personal relations interfere with their professional dealings. We are the most ‘thin-skinned’ society in the world — we see insults where none is meant. We do not seem to respect the other person’s time. The Indian Standard Time somehow seems to be always running late. As we increasingly start to benchmark ourselves with global standards, we have to embrace meritocracy.
The Western value system teaches respect to contractual obligation. In the West, contractual obligations are seldom dishonored. This is important — enforceability of legal rights and contracts is the most important factor in the enhancement of credibility of our people and nation.
Creative Thinking
In the West, right from a very young age, parents teach their children to be independent in thinking. Thus, they grow up to be strong, confident individuals. Lack of self-assurance and original assessment is seen pathetically in our politicians and in those running news papers and TV media. Day in and day out they blame the Hindus as fundamentalists and hold them responsible for all the attacks on the society by others. For every solution they seem to be having a problem.
Our Western educated so-called secularists and politicians talk of caste system and untouchability, dowry Practice and bride burning, superstitious practices and sati, thereby dividing the society. They hardly talk or even know about universal teachings of Vedas, Bhagwad Gita and Upanishads, Hindu influence in the world in the past and today, great scientific advances in the Vedic period, relevance of Hinduism today to bring peace, prosperity, ecological balance, family & moral values. Today our country is facing the onslaught of terrorist attacks and is trying to find ways to fight the same. Our Vedas, Puranas, Mahabharat, Panchatantra, Dharma Shastra, Artha Shastra of Chanakya and Tirukkural of sage Tiruvalluvar are full of war strategies much needed for today’s evils. Young Shivaji was nurtured on the inspiring stories of Ramayan, Mahabharat and Puranas from his childhood and he rose to become one of the greatest military strategists of all times. He was able to fight the mighty Moghuls under Aurangazeb and crush him due to the teachings of the ancient wisdom. The same can be of use to us in these days of enemy attacks.
What Every Hindu Ought to do
Remember that during the Vedic period, we were far more organized, disciplined and socially conscious. We lack knowledge of our achievements, our ancient glory and therefore we lack self esteem. Surely there are better things to do than to insult, belittle, vilify, ridicule, humiliate, attack, demean and deride Hindus. Those who forget the past & fail to act in the present have no future. Let not the world accuse us as the piteous and lamentable posterity of glorious ancestors of vast magnitude and stature.
Let us therefore, resolve and accept ethics and integrity as basic principles. Let us respect to the laws & rules and respect to the rights of other citizens. Let us be punctual and work loving. Let us accept social responsibilities and imbibe the spirit of super action and strive for saving & investment. Let us resolve “to pay labor a little more, to use dustbins, not to spit in public, to be a little more charitable, to be a little more punctual, to be a little more proactive and positive, not to deride India and demean Hinduism”.
Today we are living in a unique world. Some years back we had two super powers – Russia and America. People used to remark, if America sneezes the entire Europe will catch cold, because they were its satellites. But today with America being the only super power, if America sneezes the whole world will catch flue. Most people are wary of power mongering America and communist China. They will prefer India to emerge as a balancing power. India in 10,000 years has not colonized any country, nor has it exploited any country economically nor degraded other cultures or religions. India has always stood for peace and hence people world over want a strong Bharat. Distinguished historian Arnold Toynbee has said that India should take the lead if the world is not be destroyed by nuclear holocaust.
The overall picture of the Hindu society is bright and positive. India is on the verge of becoming a super power. Today America is afraid of outsourcing to India and China is afraid of Indian goods capturing Chinese market. Our society has woken from its thousand year of slumber. Hindus are asserting themselves as Hindus and are excelling in many international fields. 200,000 Hindus in America are millionaires. America cannot maintain its superiority and advancements in several fields without Indian scientists and intellectuals. Hence the talk of India being invited as a permanent member of UN Security Council is very thick in the air.
Now, the frequently asked question is, what should we do henceforth? There are two things we have to do in a planned way – first to remove poverty and illiteracy from Bharat and second to ennoble the world with Hindu values. To enable us to realize these goals, knowledgeable persons should support the sincere efforts of RSS, VHP, Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, Ekal Vidyalayas Seva Bharati and Sewa International. Let us be a little more altruistic.
See how Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of United Nations had advised the Hindus at the Millennium Religious Peace Summit in August 2000.
United Nations had organized the Summit in the year 2000 to herald the new millennium. 2000 religious leaders from across the globe belonging to all major religions were invited and were asked to say how peace can be achieved on this planet. Muslim and Christian leaders said that peace is possible if all the people convert themselves to their religions. Hindu and Buddhist religious seers opposed this idea and said according to their religious tenets peace can be achieved without conversions, by educating mankind on universal moral and ethical values. They said that if there is pollution in the mind of an individual, there will be crisis in the community and chaos in the world and on the other-hand if there is harmony in the individual’s mind, there will be progress in society and peace in the world. No wonder today the fastest growing nations in the world namely China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand are Buddhist and Hindu countries which for centuries have been giving the message of universal love, harmony and peace.
Ted Turner, the CNN chief, was the main sponsor of this prestigious gathering. After listening to the talks of all the religious leaders Ted Turner spoke his heart out. He said when he was a small boy of 10 years, he once asked a priest, “father, what about millions of good people who were born before Christ was born; will they go to heaven?”. The revered replied in the negative. Ted again asked father what their fault was and the father replied they are being punished to eternal hell for being born before Jesus was born. Then he asked the priest, “Father what about millions of good and noble persons who belong to other religions; will they go to heaven?” Again the father replied in the negative and asserted that the gates of heaven are open only to those who have accepted Jesus as their savior. On hearing this, 10 year old Ted said, “Then heaven will be a lonely place and I will be missing many of my friends. I do not want to be in such a forlorn place.”
Concluding the summit, Kofi Annan said that while Hinduism has many universal and sublime principles, Hindus have kept these values to themselves. In the interest of world peace he urged the one billion Hindus to educate the rest 5 billion non-Hindus on the universal and transcendent principles of Hinduism without converting them. The same faith was reposed by the English historian, Arnold Joseph Toynbee, (1889–1975) when he said,
“It is already becoming clearer that a chapter which has a western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race... At this supremely dangerous moment in history the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian Way. Here we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together in to a single family”.
This, in fine, is the expectations of the world leaders. Our world mission enshrined in our primordial holy Vedas “Krinvanto Vishwam Aryam” – (Let us ennoble this world). The task is easy now. When the Middle East countries were strong, they gave impetus for Islam to spread far and wide. Similarly when Europe became strong militarily, it helped Christianity to spread its wings. Now that Hindus in India and overseas are fast becoming rich, strong, and world power house in science, technology and manufacturing, it should help advance the noble and universal Hindu values.
The world is looking for peace and benediction. Over a period of years of slavery, we Hindus have forgotten our world mission. We have to save this world from war mongering politicians, despotic dictators and religious bigots. This Bhagwa Dhwaj or the saffron flag is a symbol of this primeval world mission. Let us imbibe a little self-pride. Let us resolve to educate the 5 billion non-Hindus on the noble values represented by Bhagwa Dhwaj. Let us remind ourselves of our duty on this auspicious occasion of Guru Puja day to make Bhagwa Dhwaj the Spiritual Flag of the world.


1) Maxmuller and His Contemporaries, Swami Prabhavananda, The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkatta – 700 029. India.
2) India’s Priceless Heritage by N.A.Palkhivala, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publications, Mumbai
3) Impact of Hindu Thoughts Upon the West – edited by Gurunathar S. Nadarajah, Released by Malaysia Hindu Sangam, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia.
4) Journey of the Upanishads to the West by Swami Tathagatananda, Copies can be had of Advaita Ashrama, 5 Delhi Entally Road, Kolkatta, 700 014.
5) Hinduism Today,,
6) Microsoft Encarta
7) Britannica Encyclopedia
8) The World is Flat – a Brief History of The Globalized World in the 21st Century by Thomas Friedman, Published by the Penguin Group, London,
9) Woman, Church and State by Matilda Joslyn Gage Published by Voice of India, New Delhi
10) Problems in Paradise by Umesh Patri, Published by Hindu Writers Forum, New Delhi
11) Indianised States of South East Asia by George Coedes, East West Publications
12) Articles by S. Gurumurthy, Francis Gautier,

Mega Trends in Hindu Society
1. Hindu Meekness to Hindu Pride
Though Swami Vivekananda began this trend a hundred years ago, even up to recent times Hindus were afraid to identify themselves as Hindus, or as members of a particular Hindu sect. Through the effort of many people, organizations, people’s movements like the Liberation of Shri Ram Janma Bhumi and Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Hindu pride and self-confidence have replaced the self-doubt and timidness instilled during centuries of foreign rule. Native dress becomes fashionable.
2. Village to Global Awareness
Hindus have lived outside of India in countries such as South Africa, Fiji, Mauritius or Trinidad for over a century, but only now are we reaching beyond a limited village worldview, achieving a global consciousness and establishing worldwide communication. Among other results of this trend, Hindus are taking a prominent place among the other world religions in every forum.
3. East Only to East and West
Not only have our people moved from East to West, but our Hindu truths have found welcome homes in many corners of Western life. The civil rights movement, the health/vegetarian movement, the ecumenical movement, the “New Age” movement, the concern for the environment and modern management concepts are all deeply affected by Hindu thinking. Subtle Hindu ideas like Sankrit, Yoga, Gita, Ayurveda, Bharata Natyam, Indian arts and music find their way into mainstream world thought.
4. Men Only to Men and Women
Reflecting a global trend among all nations, Hindu women are rapidly becoming more involved at all levels of the society. Some are influential religious leaders; others are instrumental in running large corporate organizations. Hindu women are joining the work force and confronting “feminist” issues from an Eastern point of view. They no longer tolerate unfair treatment, such as forced marriages, abuse by their husbands or economic disadvantage.
5. Temple Decline to Temple Revival
Ever since the last Hindu kings lost power, Hindu temples and our priesthood have deteriorated. Right now, we are rediscovering their intrinsic value and religious necessity. Not only are new temples being built in many places outside of India, old temples in India are being renovated and the problems of the priesthood addressed. Likewise, other traditional family observances like samskaras are being revitalized.
6. Introverted to Extroverted
Responding to internal pressure and outside threats, Hindus creatively reach out to help and serve others. Various forms of institutionalization like Sewa Bharati, Sewa International, Ekal Vidyalaya, Vidya Bharati, Sanskrit Bharati, Sanskar Bharati, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, Vidyarthi Parishad and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh reflect stronger Hindu social consciousness. Our introverted village awareness has extroverted, leading to aggressive solutions to our challenges and difficulties.
7. Limited Tools to Great Resources
Increased literacy in India and the need to teach Hinduism in multi-religious environments in other countries all lead to the development of sophisticated teaching tools—children courses, Hindu schools and universities, academies for art, dance and music, Hindu encyclopedias, Sanskrit studies and more. Talented western scholars provide unexpected resources with unbiased and in-depth studies of Hinduism. Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh with 750 shakhas in 32 countries and Hindu University of America can be sited as good examples of this path breaking process.
8. Colony to Superpower
India is emerging as the world’s newest superpower. This augments Hinduism’s new-found strength and unity, just as the success of western countries lent strength and authority to Christianity in the past. Our successful nuclear tests at Pokhran in 1998 are red letter days in modern history. This is what happens when a Swayamsewak becomes Prime Minister of India.
9. Agricultural to Technological
Rapid technological advancement in Asia permanently transforms India and thus Hinduism. India’s mastery of nuclear power, space and computers will bring modern conveniences into even remote areas of India with unprecedented speed, bypassing some stages of development experienced in other parts of the world. The broadcasting of the Ramayana throughout India is just one example of how this affects Hinduism. The contributions of Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Dr Vijay Bhatkar M.Visveswaraiyya Dr MS Swaminathan Dr. Verghese Kurien in science and technology and JRD Tata, GD Birla, Dhirubhai Ambani and many others in industries is remarkable.
10. Major Blows to Fewer Setbacks
Sporadic abandonment of Hindu ideals causes localized setbacks, but nothing such as we’ve suffered in the past. The occasional adoption of violence to achieve some ends is the most obvious compromise of our ideals. Other negative trends include the neglected religious education of children in the West (which has possibly caused the loss of an entire generation); the failure to encompass the inevitable intermarriages outside Hinduism; and the tendency to give up the vegetarian ideal. External hazards may continue along the lines of the failed attacks upon us by “anti-cult” movements.

Men of Eminence amongst People of Indian Origin
Hon. S.R.Nathan
President of Republic of Singapore
Hon. Devan Nair
Former President of Republic of Singapore
Hon. Raja Ratnam
Senior Minister of Republic of Singapore
Hon. Dhanabalan
Senior Minister of Republic of Singapore
Hon. Anerood Jugnauth
President of Mauritius
Sir Sewasagar Ramgoolam
Former President of Mauritius
Dr Navin Ramgoolam
Prime Minister of Mauritius
Hon. Bharat Jagdev
President of Republic of Guyana
Cheddi Jagan
Former Prime Minister of Republic of Guyana
Basdeo Pandey
Former Prime Minister of Trinidad
Mahendra Chaudhary
Former Prime Minister of Republic of Fiji Islands
Girija Prasad Koirala
Prime Minister of Kingdom of Nepal
Dato’shree Samy Vellu
Cabinet Minister of Malaysia

Cabinet Minister of Sri Lanka
Harbans Singh
Cabinet Minister of Canada
Anand Satyanand
Governor General of New Zealand
Sukhinder Kaur
Mayor of Christchurch New Zealand
One of the Chief Justices of Thailand, a cabinet minister of South Africa, several Members of Parliament both in the House of Lords and House of Commons in UK are of Indian origin. 3 women are among the eight Indian American candidates who won the state elections in 2004.
Indian Noble Laureates
1913 Rabindranath Tagore Literature
1930 Sir C.V.Raman Physics
PIO / NRI Noble Laureates
1968 Dr Har Gobind Khorana Genetics
1983 Dr Chandrasekhar Astro Physics
1998 Dr Amartya Sen Welfare Economics
2001 Sir Vidia S.Naipaul Literature
Indian Scientists of International Repute
Shri Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858-1937)
Life in Plants, Radio Transmission
Prafulla Chandra Ray (1861-1944).
Discovery of mercurous nitrate
Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887 – 1920).
a genius in mathematics.
Sir C.V. Raman (1888-1970).
First Nobel Scientist of India.
Meghnad Saha (1893-1956).
Put forward an ‘ionization formula’
Satyendranath Bose (1894 – 1974).
Bose – Einstein Statistics
Shantiswaroop Bhatnagar (1894 – 1955).
chemistry of magnetism & emulsions.
Krishnan K.S. (1898-1961)
worked on crystals.
Sheshadri T.R. (1900 – 1975).
Research on hundreds of plants
C.N.R. Rao (B.1934).
Solid State Chemistry,
Modern and Recent Scientists, Professionals and Entrepreneurs in Bharat
Nuclear Scientists:
Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, Dr. Homi Sethna, Dr Raja Ramanna, Dr Chidambaram, Dr. Anil Kakodkar,
Space Science and Missiles:
Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Dr. Satish Dhawan, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Dr. Kasturi Rangan, Dr. Madhavan Nair,
Super Computers:
Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, Dr. Narendra Karmarkar,
Milk and Green Revolutions, Roads and Railways:
Dr Verghese Kurien, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, M. Visveshvaraiyya, T. Sreedharan,
J.R.D. Tata, Ratan Tata, G.D.Birla, Ardeshir and S.P. Godrej, Dheerubhai Ambani,
The Unrecognised NRI scientists in USA
Yallapragada Subbarao:
It is said that Aureomycin, presented to the medical world in 1948, should have won him the Nobel Prize.
Dr Rangaswamy Srinivasan,
Lasik eye surgery, (His statue is included in US Hall of Fame of Scientists along with statues of Thomas Alva Edison, Wright brothers etc).
Dr Praveen Chaudhary
Rewritable compact disc (CD),
Prominent Indian Scientists/ Professional in USA / UK
Laxminivas Mittal Largest Steel producer
Shrichand Hinduja UK Based Industrialist
Swaraj Pal UK Based Industrialist
Kalpana Chawla Astronaut Space
Indira Nooyi President Pepsi Cola
C.K. Prahlad Management Guru and World’s 3rd most Intelligent Person
Vinod Khosla Sun Micro-systems Co Founder
Vinod Dahm Pentium Chip creator
Sabeer Bhatia Hotmail creator (world’s No 1 web based email program)
Arun Netravalli President AT & T Bell Labs C, C++, unix
Rajiv Gupta Hewlett Packard GM
Sanjay Tejwrika Director Microsoft Testing
Victor Menezes CEO of Citi Bank
Rajat Gupta Former CEO of Mckensey /
Special Advisor on Reforms to UN Secretary General Koufi Annan
Rana Talwar CEO of Stanchart
Ajay Kumar NASA, Director of Aerodynamics
Sashi Tharoor United Nations
Vedic Physics
Classical Physics consists of measurements of length, mass, time and temperature. All physical quantities like velocity, acceleration, force, viscosity etc are obtained from these four measurements. Velocity = distance ÷ time; acceleration = velocity ÷ time; force = mass x acceleration and so on. Vedic seers had several tables for all these four measurements. Here we give one example of each measurement.
Measurement of Length
8 Paramanu = 1 Trasarenu 8 Trasarenu = 1 Renu
8 Renu = 1 Balagna 8 Balagna = 1 Likhya
8 Likhya = 1 Yuka 8 Yuka = 1 Yava
8 Yava = 1 Angula 24 Angula = 1 Hasta
4 Hasta = 1 Danda 2000 Danda = 1 Krosha
4 Krosha = 1 Yojana
1 Danda = 1 Meter
1 Angula = 1.0416 cm
Circumference of earth Sulva Sidhanta agrees with Modern Science
4.02x107 Danda 4 X 107 Meter

Measurement of Mass
10 Krishnala = 1 Maasha
16 Maasha = 1 Suvarna Pala (Gold Pala)
32 Maasha = 1 Raupya Pala (Silver Pala)
48 Maasha = 1 Lauha Pala (Iron Pala)
Many other Forms of Weight were also in usage

Measurement of Temperature (Linka)
1 Pralinka = 1 Padakakshya = 0.885o C
4 Pada Kakshya = 1 Kakshya = 3.54 o C
6 Kakshya = 1 Linka = 21.24 o C
113 Pada Kakshya = Boiling Pt of water = 100 o C
101 Kakshya = Boiling Pt of Mercury = 357 o C
50 Linka = Boiling Point of Gold = 1062 o C
The temperature between Freezing Point of Water and Melting Point of Gold is divided into 50 Linkas

Vedic Units of Time
(a) Smaller Units of Time
TRUTI = 33,750th fraction of a second is the smallest unit of time
100 Truti = 1 Tatpara
45 Tatpara = 1 Nimesha
30 Nimesha = 1 Prana = 4 seconds
3 Nimesh = 1 Vipala = 0.4 seconds
60 Vipalas = 1 Pala = 24 seconds
60 Palas = 1 Ghatika = 24 Minutes
60 Ghatikas = 1 Divas = 1 day or 24 Hours
7 Divas = 1 Saptah = 1 week
15 Divas = 1 Paksha = 1 Fortnight
2 Paksha = 1 Maas = 1 Month
2 Maas = 1 Ritu = 1 Season
6 Ritu = 12 Maas = 1 Varsha = 1 Year
100 Years = 1 Shatabda
10 Shatabda = 1 Sahasrabda =1 Millennium
= 1,000 years
(b) Higher Units of Time
432 Sahasrabda = 1 Kali Yug or Yug = 432,000 years
2 Yug = 1 Dwapar Yug = 864,000 years
3 Yug = 1 Treta Yug = 1296,000 years
4 Yug = 1 Satya Yug = 1728,000 years
10 Yug = 1 Maha Yug = 4.32 Million Years
1000 Maha Yug = 1 Kalpa = 4.32 Billion Years
= Morning of Brahma
2 Kalpa = 1 Day of Brahma = 2,000 Maha Yug
= 8.64 Billion Years 360 Days of Brahma= 1 Year of Brahma = 3110.4 Billion Years
= 3.1104 Trillion Years 1 Maha Kalpa or Brahma Ayu = 100 Years of Brahma
= 311.04 Trillion Years
= 3.1104 X 1014 Solar Years = 311,040,000,000,000 solar years.

Thus the Vedic Seers had thought of the smallest and the largest units of time namely, TRUTI , the smallest Unit of Time = 33,750th part of a Second Maha Kalpa or Brahma Ayu, = 311,040,000,000,000 solar years, the largest Unit of Time.

Other Fractions of time
2 Ghatkas = 1 Muhurta = 48 Minutes
60 Ghatikas = 30 Muhurtas = 1 Day
2.5 Ghatikas = 1 Hora = 1 Hour
2 Paksas = 1 Maas = 1 Month
- Shukla Paksha (Bright Half of Moon)
- Krishna Paksha (Dark Half of Moon)

12 Maas: Months
Chaitra, Vaishakh Jyeshtha Ashaadh
Shravan Bhadrapad Ashwin Kartik
Margasheersh Paush Maagh Falgun
6 Ritus Seasons
Vasant, Gresshma, Varsha,
Sharad, Hemant, Sishir

2 Ayanas Uttarayan Dakshinayan

A Pakistani Journalist admires Hindustan’s excellence
Masood Hasan, the writer, is a Lahore-based columnist and a well-known journalist
The sight of Indian actress Urmilla on the rooftops of the old city of Lahore is a sight for sore eyes anytime of the day. This week another 270 delegates from India among which are Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi, are expected to cross over into Pakistan. As both countries take a series of steps, gingerly to start with, there is just that little light at the end of the dark and endless tunnel that has held us “prisoners of our own device” - as The Eagles put it in the famous number Hotel California. Will these measures lead to peace is a question for which even Tauqir Zia has no answers. All we can do is hope, pray and contribute in whatever way we can to normalise relations and bury the many hatchets that we have brandished for the last half-century.
Traveling last week on the Wazirabad-Sambrial road towards Sialkot, the potholes and bumps on that narrow ribbon strip road began to revive memories of long forgotten journeys made on that same road. I could have, after a few violent and rib-shaking miles, sworn these holes and craters were the same when one was in Kindergarten. Nothing seemed to have changed except that the dust was thicker, the pollution dismal and the people in numbers too large to comprehend. Perhaps in most of India the situation is not very much different and our much-touted smirking observations that India has huge problems might have given us years of self-induced smugness, but things across the divide are changing at a speed that baffles the mind. Some years ago, an Indian said to a Pakistani, “It is true we are both in the gutter. The difference is, we are looking at the stars. You are looking at the gutter.”
Many of us associate India’s new progress with its IT revolution and it is partly true. Indian companies like Moser-Baer located in an equally unknown Noida are now the world’s third largest optical media manufacturer and the lowest-cost producer of CD-Recorders. Exports? Only Rs 1,000 crore - Indian rupees I might add. This firm sells data-storage products to seven of the world’s top 10 CD-R producers. There is another unknown. Tandon Electronics. Its hardware exports are Rs 4,000 crore.
There is more depressing data, all of it quite true and impartial. 15 of the world’s major automobile makers are obtaining components from Indian companies. This business fetched India $375 million last year and in 2003 the number will be $1.5 billion. In half a decade, they will reach $15 billion. Hero Honda with 17 lakh motorcycles a year is now the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. The prestigious UK automaker, Rover is marketing 1 lakh Indica cars made by Tata in Europe, under, wait a minute, its own name. Bharat Forge has the world’s largest single-location forging facility. It produces 1.2 lakh tonnes per annum and its clients include Honda, Toyota and Volvo among others. Asian Paints now owns 22 production facilities over 5 continents and is the market leader in 11 of these countries. Hindustan Inks has the world’s largest single stream fully integrated ink plant of 1-lakh tones per annum capacity and 100% owned subsidiaries in USA and Austria. Essel Propack is the world’s largest laminated tube manufacturer with presence in 11 countries and a global marketing share of 25% already. Ford has just presented its Gold World Excellence Award to India’s Cooper Tyres.
Other industries are winning equally prestigious awards all the time. While on cars, Aston Martin has contracted prototyping its latest luxury sports car to an Indian-based designer and is set to produce the cheapest Aston Martin ever. Suzuki, which makes Maruti in India has decided to make India its manufacturing, export and research hub outside Japan. Hyundai India is set to become the global small car hub for the Korean giant and will produce Santros 25,000 to start with. By 2010 it is set to supply half a million cars to Hyundai Korea. HMI and Ford India are leaping ahead, posting astonishing results in the global markets from Brazil to China.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is blazing ahead too. At $6.5 billion and growing at 8-10% annually, it is the 4th largest pharmaceutical industry in the world. Its exports are over $2 billion. India is among the top five bulk drug makers and at home, the local industry has edged out the MNCs whose share of 75% in the market is down to 35%. Trade of medicinal plants has crossed Rs 4,000 crore already.
As for technology, India is among the three countries that have built supercomputers on their own. The other two are USA and Japan. Not a bad club to be in, is it? India is among six countries that launch satellites and do so even for Germany and Belgium. India’s INSAT is among the world’s largest domestic satellite communication systems. Here are more depressing facts. India is one of the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centers. About 9 out of 10 stones sold anywhere in the world, pass through India. With China, India’s arch enemy, trade has grown by 104% in the past year and in the first 5 months of 2003.
India has amassed a surplus in trade close to half a million dollars. In the recession-hit West, Indian exports are up by 19% this year and the country’s foreign exchange reserves stand at an all-time high of over $100 billion. India is dishing out aid to 11 countries, pre-paying their debt and loaned IMF $300 million!! And since we think banning fashion shows is the way ahead, it might be interesting to know that Wal-Mart sources $1 billion worth of goods from India - half its apparel, GAP about $600 million and Hilfiger $100 million.
These success stories are not propaganda and haven’t happened overnight or by good fortune. The Indians have the same bureaucracy and many of the politicians simply play politics, the infrastructure creaks and poverty abounds, corruption flourishes and there are huge pockets of inefficiency and walls that block meaningful progress. Sure, it has an army that is not bursting with power-grabbing and subjugating its people every few years, but India’s success can no longer be denied and the gap between us and them grows wider by, if I may use my childhood idiom, leaps and bounds.
What makes them tick? The answers are not simple and require great space and analysis by minds far superior to that of a weekly hack, but Cost and Brains are two factors. Add to that, a determination to rise above what faces you everyday, a vision of the stars as the man said. India provides IT services at one-tenth the price. No wonder more and more companies are basing their operations in India. An Indian MBA costs $5,000. An American MBA $120,000. Development of an automobile in the US costs $1 billion. In India, less than half. A cataract operation costs $1500 in the US. In India, $12. Bypass in the US anywhere up to Rs 6 lakhs. In India, it is Rs 40,000. Over 70 MNCs have set up R&D facilities in India in the past five years. 100 of the Fortune 500 are now present in India vs 33 in China. Intel’s Indian staff strength has gone up from 10 to 1,000 in four years. GE with a $60 million invested in India employs 1,600 researchers, while it has only 100 in China. With better systems comes efficiency. The turnaround time in Indian ports is down to 4 days from 10 and its telecom infrastructure in 1999 provided a bandwidth of 155 Mbps. Today, it is 75,000 times more and with fiber optic networks in 300 cities, it will change the face of business. Mobile phones are growing by about 1.5 million a month. Long distance rates are down by two-thirds in five years and by 80% for data transmission. The facts go on and on.
So what are the answers? They lie in the way we look at things, our discourse, our vision, our ability to look ahead and our desire to genuinely put our country on the right road. The people of the subcontinent are naturally talented and bright. When will we unleash the great potential of our people that lies dormant, crushed by the forces of evil that stop our progress for their personal agendas?
(Courtesy: THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL (Pakistani Newspaper) DECEMBER 14, 2003)

Father of Telecommunication - Bose or Marconi ?
Around 2001 Australian Broadcasting Corporation announced one week celebration in honor of Father of Telecommunication – Marconi. One of our Sydney swayamsewaks Dinakar, challenged the ABC network saying that Jagdish Chandra Bose and not Marconi was the father of telecommunications. ABC replied that they would acknowledge Jagadish Chandra Bose’s contribution provided Dinakar could produce proper evidences to this effect.
Being a true s/sewak Dinakar ji contacted various electronic and telecommunication organizations around the world and he collected enough material to prove the contribution of Jagadish Bose. Finally he was able to get the confirmation from IEEE also. Convinced by the facts provided by Dinakar, ABC made announcements in favor of Jagadish Chandra Bose.
More interestingly, please go through the following
available at web site:
You can also go to and also and type his name to find out
more about this person.
Source: The Telegraph, Calcutta; Oct 31, 1997
Nearly 100 years after Guglielmo Marconi’s first transatlantic wireless communication, it has come to light that the detector he had used to pick up the signal was invented by Professor Jagadish Chandra Bose. The discovery made by a group of scientists of the US-based IEEE proves what has been a century-old suspicion in the world scientific community: that the honor of being the pioneer in wireless communication should have gone to Bose and not Marconi.
Bose’s invention of the mercury coherer with a telephone, which Marconi used, was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, on April 27, 1899, over two years before Marconi’s first wireless communication on December 12, 1901, from Newfoundland, now in Canada. In January, IEEE will publish a special issue, where evidence will be presented to show that Marconi had used the sensitive semiconductor diode device invented by Bose.
Investigations by the IEEE group show that both Bose and Marconi were in London in 1896-97. The Italian was conducting wireless experiments for the British post office and Bose was on a lecture tour. Both scientists were interviewed by McClure’s Magazine (now defunct) in March 1897. In the interview, Bose came out with high praise for Marconi, then under attack from established British scientists who doubted his credentials. Marconi never could make it to college because of his poor high school record. Bose also said he was not interested in commercial telegraphy and that others could use his research work.
In 1899, Bose unveiled his invention of the mercury coherer with the telephone detector in a paper at the Royal Society. In a curious coincidence, Bose lost his diary containing an account of the invention and a prototype of the detector during a lecture tour in the same year. Brilliant Marconi quickly grasped the commercial importance of Bose’s invention and began to explore it secretly. His childhood friend Luigi Solari started experimenting with Bose’s invention and presented Marconi with a slightly modified design in the summer of 1901 for use in the upcoming transatlantic experiment.
The Italian scientist then went on to apply for a British patent in his name, never acknowledging his debt to Bose. Securing Bose’s place in the history of long-distance communication, the IEEE paper will narrate how the truth was suppressed all these years, even though it was there for all to see in the 1899 Proceedings of the Royal Society. A combination of factors like naiveté about patenting, plain misfortune and politics of the contemporary times weighed against Bose, said a scientist associated with the IEEE project.
“Bharat will overtake China”
The prestige of Bharat rose manifold overnight after Bharat -exploded the Atom Bomb circumventing the US satellite surveillance on May 11, 1998 at Pokhran, Rajasthan. The 2 crore Indians living abroad began feeling proud of being Indians. The then US Ambassador -commented on India going nuclear thus: “The culture suppressed for one thousand years bursts forth and it cannot be stopped”. World media started -saying that India would overtake China. Press in India began writing in similar vein only after that. US Ambassador to China once remarked, “India has never invaded any country so far. But it ruled over the hearts of the Chinese for 1,000 years”. A trade delegation that visited China in 1952 met Chairman Mao Zedong. Mao asked the members of the -delegation what was their impression of the Chinese. They replied that -Buddhist influence is prevalent among the people of China. On this, Mao informed, “The average Chinese wants to be born in India in the next birth”, leaving the Indian delegation pleasantly surprised.
Colman Sox, a US analyst says, “India will overtake China in -economics in 2045”. But ‘London Times’ adds, “India will overtake not only China but all the countries in the world by 2045. Not only in economy but in every sphere”.
(Based on a report published in ‘Vijaya Bharatham’, Chennai – 31, dated July 30, 2004 of Shri. S. Gurumurthy’s lecture in Tamil at a Guru Pooja Utsav of RSS at Chennai).
A Hindu concept transforms western lives
Dr. Brian Weis is a Miami-based psychiatrist. He is also a past -president of the Mount Sinar Medical Centre, Miami, an institute of Psychiatry. He has authored a book ‘MANY LIVES MANY MASTERS’ in 1988. It has undergone 12 editions since. A million copies of the book have been sold out.
This book is a record of an experience that changed his life. He was giving treatment to a patient by name Katherine -suffering from nightmares. He -resorted to hypnotism as all other methods failed. In the hypnotised state, details of Katherine’s previous births were -revealed to her. The book is just a record of all those findings.
A few samples: Katherine says, ‘I had taken 86 previous births. In BC 1863 (that is 3,846 years ago), I was Aronada. Cleostra was my daughter. In this birth, she is Rachael (her elder brother’s daughter). In AD 1756, I was born in Spain. I was a prostitute. In another birth, Dr. Weis was my teacher’. (This reminds the doctor of the fact that souls take rebirth in groups and settle their Karma accounts in subsequent births).
Says the doctor, a scientist and agnostic, that his life underwent a -thorough change, on learning of the rebirth experiences of his patient, a Catholic who does not know anything about the Hindu concept of rebirth. The patient was relieved of her pestering stress and nightmares. The -doctor too has “started practicing Dhyan like Hindus”. He says he has -overcome greed and fear of death now. (Based on an article by Shri S. Gurumurthy in his column in THUGLAK, Tamil Weekly, dated July 2, 2003)

It was a death wish that did not go unfulfilled. Born in Germany and suffering from cancer, Smt. Hildegard Jacob (48) took final rest at ‘Swargadwar’. After her body was consigned to the flames on Wednesday, December 22, 2004, her ashes were immersed in the sea as per her last wish, a ritual hitherto done only for Hindus. Her sobbing mother said Jacob’s wish was to lie in peace in Puri, Orissa, Bharat. At an advanced stage of cancer, Jacob knew her end was nearing, says Nalini Barik, a guide who was with Jacob till her death. Everyday she used to offer prayer to Lord Jagannath from outside the temple. And she never missed visiting Swargadwar at night. She had installed idols of Devi Mangala, Radhakrishna and Lord Jagannath in her house and was conducting bhajan sessions, herself playing the cymbal. Her pain turned acute towards the end, and she breathed her last on December 19. When her family at Friesothe in Durach, Germany, was informed, the parents said they were aware of her desire to be cremated at Puri. In a fax message to Puri police, the German consulate also gave permission for the cremation. Nalini, along with locals, took her body to Swargadwar and consigned it to flames.
(Based on a report in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, -December 24, 2004)

IT: India’s key is quality
As Americans fret about cheap labor abroad, the real issue has become not one of lower price but quality and scale - India is on the move to -outmaneuver its US competitions on a stunning array of fronts, says a new book.
As more and more US firms turn to India, outsourcing has begun to shake the foundations of the American upper middle class. In a twist that highlights the new era, Americans are now even beginning to select India as the place for quality medical care, at a much lower price,’ says the book ‘Rising -Elephant’ by Ashutosh Sheshabalaya.
Starting out as service providers for American customers some 15 years back, domestic Indian software firms paid great attention to the quality of their work. By 1996, there were more software firms in India certified to ISO-9000 quality norms of the International Standard Organisation than there were in the US, says Sheshabalaya, a Europe-based technology consultant. -However, the best indicator of India’s quality lead is the massive lead they obtained in acquiring Capability Maturity Model (CMM) certifications from the US Defense Department backed Software Engineering Institute at —-Carneige-Mellon University, billed as the ‘global standard’ for defect-free software, he says. Way back in 1999, Business Week had warned, ‘If US software -companies don’t get with it in terms of quality - they could kiss big chunks of business good bye. India’s competitive advantage will be quality - the virtual examination of software bugs that infest US made packaged software’. A year later, a paper from University of Virginia observed that an Indian company had developed a CMM process which was better than the Space Shuttle’s software. The paper also observed that this process had enabled American corporations like Raytheon to slash the cost of quality from 60 per cent of software development costs to just 10 percent.
Seshabalaya says India’s overwhelming lead in software quality remains. According to figures from US Software Engineering Institute (SET), IT firms in India accounted for 50 out of 74 CMM level 5 certificates worldwide in 2003.
This is in spite of the fact that American firms made six time higher -applications for CMM certification - 1671 against 238 from India, says the book. SEI figures also show that several American software giants have their CMM level in the US. This also indicates the core nature of their Indian effort and their inextricable commitment to the country. It also underscores the irreversibility of India’s ascension in software, says the book.
‘This, then is the crux of Indian challenge’ says the author. It cites a report in Daily Telegraph, ‘It is attacking the US economy where it hurts, slap-bang in the middle of its technological supremacy’.
(About the Book: Rising Elephant; By Ashutosh Seshabalaya;
Published by Macmillan India Ltd; Price Rs. 275, PP 322)
(From a book-review in News Today, December 24,2004)
Global Hindutva
The anecdotes in this section, throwing light on the Hindu genius that enriches life, heightens awareness and ennobles mankind around the globe, are selected from PanchaamrItam, a fortnightly online newsletter of good news anecdotes -circulated by Media -Centre, Chennai ( I am in particular thankful to Sri Mahadevan, Uttar Tamilnadu Prant Prachar Pramukh.
1. While the microbiology department of the University of Kuopio in -Finland is doing an impact assessment of cow urine on allergies -induced by animal allergens, Shri. Virendra Jain of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Bharat, buys 50 liters of cow urine from dairies, filters it by distillation and distributes it to the persons with various ailments from ‘stomach trouble’ to cancer who queue up in front of his house every morning. Three years back, Shri. Jain says, he had treated his mother’s cancer after ‘doctors’ gave up all hope. She survived and got rid of the cancer completely.
(Based on an OFFTRACK item carried by
INDIA TODAY, May.21, 2001).

2. During World War II, in early 1940s, Japanese forces bombarded Burma(Myanmar). Among several sections of the population which fled in haste was the Nagarathar community originally hailing from Chettinadu in Tamilnadu, Bharat. The main occupation of many -belonging to Nagarathar community was pawn broking (money lending against mortgaged jewels). While fleeing for life, Nagarathar men -carried along ornaments mortgaged with them by the Burmese. They trekked nearly 1,000 miles. Once in their native Chettinadu, these -pawnbrokers appointed Gorkhas as security persons and protected the jewels -during riots and robberies rampant in Chettinadu in 1942. Later, with -permission from the Reserve Bank of India, they carried the jewels back to Rangoon and other places in Burma and meticulously returned every piece of jewellery to its owner to the utter surprise of the latter. For all this, it must be pointed out, on mere trust most money lending transactions had been going on! It is a rock edict commandment in Velangudi, a village deep inside Chettinadu (now in Sivaganga district) that has instilled the inspiring trait of honesty in those Nagarathar -moneylenders.
(Based on a reference in ‘CHETTINADUM SENTAMILUM’, a book by Somale published in 1984 by Vanathi, Chennai -600 017; Page 601).

3. The following letter appeared in “Dear Abby,” a syndicated -column -published in hundreds of U.S. newspapers: “Dear Abby, I am a Hindu woman living in the ‘Bible Belt’ [southern USA]. Many of my friends and -acquaintances are Christians, and they are all wonderful — except for one thing. Some try in small, subtle ways to convert me to their faith. With Christmas approaching, I know what’s coming — boxes of baked goodies with little brochures and pamphlets tucked inside all about Jesus and the Christian faith. I wish you would remind people that all of us in this diverse nation should respect the faiths of others. To try to convert someone to your faith implies that you consider your religious beliefs superior, and that is just plain wrong. I know these gestures are well meant, but I wouldn’t dream of sending Hindu -brochures with my holiday goodies. Abby, what is a tactful, but firm, way of dealing with this?” Signed, Happy Hindu In The Bible Belt. Abby’s response: Dear Happy Hindu, much as you would like, you are not going to change people who feel its part of their religious commitment to “save” you. Ignore the brochures and enjoy the goodies.
(Based on a CHICAGO TRIBUNE (December 21, 2002) feature under headline ‘American Advice Columnist Responds To A Hindu’s Concern’).

4. A Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh, Bharat) boy has literally had his niche carved in the galaxy for his brilliant invention. The -Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US, has named ‘12509 Pathak’ - a -recently spotted minor planet between Mars and Jupiter - after Madhav Pathak - a Class X student. “We feel proud to name the minor planet -discovered by LINEAR programme in honor of students and teachers recognised by Science Service Programmes”, says a letter from the Lincoln -Laboratory, US. Pathak has earned the rare honour for his innovation ‘Nova Front Face Braille Writer’ that helps the visually handicapped to read and write from left to right like a normal person. The visually -impaired person writes from right to left and then turns over the punched paper sheet to read what is written. The Council of Scientific and -Industrial Research (CSIR) of India has got this invention of Madhav -patented as co-assignee. Pathak is being awarded first prize, carrying Rs 50,000 cash at the CSIR Diamond Jubilee Awards, for ‘Invention of School Children’. He has also bagged the World Intellectual Research Organisation (WIPO) Award for the “Outstanding Student Inventor”. (Yoga master of world renown, Shri. B.K.S. Iyengar too had been honoured likewise years back. The Ministry of Federal Star -Registration, USA, had named a star in the northern hemisphere after the master).

5. There are more than enough signs pointing to India Inc taking its place on the global map. Take for example the recent case Dr Reddy’s Lab won against Pfizer challenging its patents for Norvasc (a billion $ drug). The victory of Reddy’s was written about by every Wall Street pharmaceutical analyst of significance. It also had an impact on Pfizer’s share price. AN Indian -company today has the audacity and resources to challenge a global industry leader over a billion dollar product in the US courts, to win a summary judgement and to knock billions of dollars off the market capitalization of the global leader.

6. ‘’Namaste,’’ Om Dutta Sharma, 65, said standing at the gate of his school, sweetly bidding farewell to 180 little girls returning home after school. For 20 years, Mr. Sharma has been a taxi driver in New York. He has been saving his tips; has never taken his wife out to eat; the couple sparingly spent on new clothes for their sons Mrs.Sharma packs lunch for her kids when they go to school so that they need not spend anything at the canteen – all this to make this act of goodness possible: Mr. Sharma has given his village Dhoober Kishenpur in Saharanpur district near Delhi in Bharat, a school for girls. He has named it after his illiterate mother, Ram Kali. Mr. Sharma and his wife, Krishna, a nurse at Bellevue Hospital Center, contribute the $2,500 a year it costs to run the school. The two-story brick house, Mr. Sharma’s ancestral property, is now filled with first to fifth graders laboriously scratching out their lessons in chalk. The Sharmas can afford to -educate and care for these farmers’ daughters because money buys more here than in New York. To hire a local doctor to give the girls regular -check-ups, Mr. Sharma spent $500 more from the earnings of a mango -orchard he planted years ago when he and his brother inherited the family plot. The Sharmas live in Woodside, Queens, USA. In New York, Mr. Sharma is just a cabby. In India, a school’s hero.
(From a NEW YORK TIMES article (January 23, 2000)

7. Let us listen to Lord Navneet Dholakia, Member, House of Lords, -Britain: “On 21 October 1997, I was elected to the House of Lords, the upper house in the British parliament. When I reached the House of Lords, a friend of mine, an Englishman, said, ‘Please give your bag to me, I shall carry it’. I handed him the bag. Observing a smile on my face, he asked ‘why are you smiling?’ ‘Not because you have lessened the load by carrying the bag, but because I feel particularly happy today’, I told him and continued, ‘our forefathers used to carry the bags of you people 250 years back. Now, you are carrying the load for me. Today, we all have become equals’.” Shri. Dholakia was recently in Bharat to receive the honour at the Pravasi Bharatiya (NRI) conclave in Delhi. “I value this honour as far more than the Order of British -Empire that the Queen of Britain has awarded to me. I am proud to be a British citizen, but the pride of being a Bharatiya is far greater,” the Lord -further observed after receiving the honour.
(Courtesy: RASHTRA DEV, a Hindi fortnightly of Dehradun, Uttaranchal, Bharat; dated February 15, 2003).

8. Plug your TV into the WICE box and a fluorescent green menu prompts you to select from live channels, Video-on-Demand (VOD), MP3 music, chat and learning, email and SMS. The joy comes from knowing that you pay only for the TV channels you watch! VOD lets you watch your choice of movie at your convenience. You can —-fast-forward, rewind or pause, as if it’s your own mini-movie theatre. Stunned yet? There’s more. Such as unlimited MP3 titles. You can also use the Karaoke function and re-record classics using your own voice. The icing on this huge cake is the email and chat without an Internet -connection. When Anupam, Divinet’s multilingual software expert (and also the brain behind CDAC’s GIST technology), actually sent an email to me on my cellular phone using the TV set I was viewing, I began looking at it as if it were the eighth wonder of the world. The email can be in any Indian language, you can chat online (when you’re not -actually ‘online’), and even see the person you’re talking to if you choose -video-conferencing. Your email -address is, incorporating a unique -identification number for every user. Developed by P R Eknath, Sanjay Wandhekar and B P Narayan (founder members of CDAC, brains behind India’s PARAM-supercomputer, and currently the management team at Divinet Access Technologies Ltd, Pune) this little gizmo is no larger than an overhead projector. Called the WICE (Window for -Information, -Communication and Entertainment) Box, or WICEMAN, it is Eknath’s brainchild; his dream of creating a generic platform that can run any application. The best thing is, it is a boon to India’s Net users. Divinet received USD 150,000 as prize money, thanks to the first E-Biz challenge award instituted by Dubai Internet City for -world-class innovative e-business ideas. “We do not have any competitors yet. This technology is the first of its kind”, says Narayanan, CEO-MD, Divinet. If it works, our TVs will never be the same again.
(Based on a ‘Rediff on the Net’ news item. Author: Nikita Agarwal. Date: March 20, 2003).

9. At the Hanover fair in Germany, one of the largest engineering fairs in the world which opened on Monday, April 7, 2003. ELGI Equipments Ltd (EEL), one of the largest manufacturers of air compressors in Bharat, is -showcasing what it claims to be “the world’s smallest screw air compressor.” Air compressors are used in sectors such as -engineering, automobile, -railways, defense, mines, textiles, construction, etc that needed air compressors to operate pneumatic tools, to start engines, lift, etc. Since the new screw air compressor is portable, companies can save on the infrastructure needed for operating conventional air compressors. The manufacture of such a -compressor, which weigh only about 2 kg and is 4x4x4 inches in size, proves that Bharat can achieve a high level of sophistication in product development, an -official of EEL asserted.
(Based on a The Hindu BUSINESS LINE news item.)

10. Adam Osborne, as you may know, was the co-founder of Apple -computers (along with Steve Jobs). A few years back, he wrote for Dataquest magazine, inter alia, thus: “I was raised in Tamilnadu in South India, in the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, My English father and Polish mother were dedicated followers of Sri Ramana Maharishi. After all, how could anyone, even an English boy, grow up in Tiruvannamalai, in the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, and not acquire a pride in his roots? I was surrounded by Indians who were proud of their nationality and heritage. They believed they had a lot to teach us Europeans. (Here the reference is to the ordinary Indian, the Indian proud of his nation). It is therefore with some misgivings that today I find myself dealing with Indians, many of whom do not feel proud of their Indian-ness. Indian Americans represent the wealthiest minority in America, ahead of Jewish Americans and Japanese Americans. This is a statistic and not an opinion. Indians are recognized throughout America as -technically superior. Since the day Indians learn pride, India will rapidly move out of its third world status to become one of the world’s industrial powers.”(Osborne returned to Bharat in search of solace and died in Kodaikkanal near Madurai).
11. March 12, 2003 was proclaimed Narayan Kataria Day in Queens County, New York. The office of the President, Borough of Queens, Helen M. Marshall, issued a Declaration of Honor in favor of Shri. Narayan Kataria, a Hindu leader, a freelance writer and an organizer who has worked for the last 25 years selflessly to promote and propagate Hindu view point in USA. Narayan is fired with zeal to unite and -organize Hindu society. Narayan is connected with a dozen organizations in New York City. He is the founder of Indian American Intellectual Forum, a group based in New York, which has been organizing seminars and serving to strengthen Indo-American ties. The Declaration -acknowledges Narayan Kataria as a dedicated community organizer. This was at the Hindu festival of Phagwah (Holi) organized by the -Caribbean -Hindus at Queens Borough Hall. Through his outstanding work, Narayan has made lasting contributions to the social, cultural and economic fabric of the -borough and beyond. Messages from the Mayor of the New York City and the -Governor of the New York State were also read.
(Courtesy: ORGANIZER (May 4, 2003) Weekly,
New Delhi)
12. One of the central messages of the management guru, C.K.Prahalad, to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) during the first week of May, as on previous occasions, was that India Inc’s -biggest problem is that it has -consistently been underestimating its own -potential. Dr Prahalad’s way of pressing his point home is to present a series of examples in order to show just how competitive Bharat can be. For those who say Bharat simply cannot develop new products since it does not have the technological skills, he cites the examples of Telco’s Indica and Mahindra & Mahindra’s Scorpio - both are new -pro/ducts developed autonomously, at a fraction of the cost of buying finished technology overseas, and in a sense these have catapulted Bharat into the league of countries where advanced engineering can be done at low cost. Indeed, the prospectus for the public share offers by Maruti Udyog talks of how Suzuki plans to use Maruti as one of the only R&D centers that it has outside of Japan. For those who say Bharat cannot compete with China’s low costs since it doesn’t have a large enough domestic market, Prof. Prahalad cites the example of Aravind Netralayam (he calls it Aravind Eye Hospital) where the cost of a lens implant is just $16; this compares with more than $1,000 in US -hospitals. Similar is the instance of the Jaipur Foot, which fits prostheses for as little as $30 (against $10,000 in the US). Dr Prahalad -argues that Bharatiyas don’t celebrate their small victories enough, certainly not publicly, and that’s why good ideas don’t spread and/or inspire others. That’s true too; too many Indians spend more time on the bad news than on the good.
From a report in the BUSINESS STANDARD of
May 1, 2003.
13. “The angles of the pyramid are the same as angles of the -ancient Sri Chakras,” explains R.K Muthukrishnan, Founder of the Sri Chakra’s Anthro Uni Biometric Research and Development Center, Chennai, with an air of authority and confidence. Muthukrishnan hails from Bodinayakanoor, Tamilnadu. He enrolled for a course on -draftsmanship. It took him hardly 2 months to crack the Sri Chakra puzzle. One of his early researches revealed that in all ancient temples, the original -measurements of the prakarams and the size of the idols have been retained. This helped permeate positive -vibrations. That is why they say that visit to a temple would help acquire positive energy. Muthukrishnan traveled to Egypt to study the Pyramids and their angles. “One look at the Pyramids and I knew that my theory was right. I knew instantly that the angles of the Pyramids are the same as the angles of the nine triangles of the Sri Chakra”, he says. The ancient Egyptians chose the angles of the triangle to form Pyramids. This he explains thus: They were aware that the pyramids give out bio-energy fields similar to those found in the Sri Chakra installed in the temples of Bharat. (The draftsman today earns his daily bread by offering advice to -corporate houses and individuals on how they can work towards -attaining positive energy).

14. Today, an IIT degree is held in the same reverence in the U.S. as one from MIT or Caltech, and India’s extraordinary leadership in the software -industry is the indirect result of Jawaharlal Nehru’s faith in scientific -education. And yet the roots of Indian science and -technology go far deeper than Nehru. I (Shashi Tharoor) was reminded of this yet again by a remarkable new book, Lost Discoveries, by the American writer Dick Teresi. Teresi’s book studies the ancient non-Western -foundations of modern science, and while he ranges from the Babylonians and Mayans to Egyptians and other Africans, it is his -references to India that caught my eye. And how astonishing those are! The Rig Veda asserted that gravitation held the universe together 24 centuries before the apple fell on Newton’s head. The Vedic civilisation subscribed to the idea of a spherical earth at a time when everyone else, even the Greeks, assumed the earth was flat. By the Fifth Century A.D, Indians had calculated that the age of the earth was 4.3 billion years; as late as the 19th Century, English scientists -believed the earth was a hundred million years old, and it is only in the late 20th Century that Western scientists have come to -estimate the earth to be about 4.6 billion years old. If I were to focus on just one field in this column, it would be that of mathematics. India invented modern -numerals (known to the world as “Arabic” numerals because the West got them from the Arabs, who learned them from us!). It was an Indian who first conceived of the zero, shunya; the concept of nothingness, shunyata, integral to Hindu and Buddhist thinking, simply did not exist in the West. The Sulba Sutras, composed between 800 and 500 B.C., demonstrate that India had Pythagoras’ theorem before the great Greek was born, and a way of getting the square root of 2 correct to five decimal places. (Vedic Indians solved square roots in order to build sacrificial altars of the proper size.) Archaeologists also found a “ruler” made with lines drawn precisely 6.7 -millimeters apart with an -astonishing level of -accuracy. The “Indus inch” was a measure in consistent use -throughout the area. The Harappans also invented kiln -fired bricks, less -permeable to rain and floodwater than the mud bricks used by other civilisations of the time. The bricks contained no straw or other binding material and so turned out to be usable 5,000 years later when a British -contractor dug them up to construct a railway line between Multan and Lahore. And while they were made in 15 different sizes, the Harappan bricks were amazingly consistent: their length, width and thickness were -invariably in the ratio of 4:2:1.
(From an article by Shashi Tharoor in THE HINDU)

15. Reuters Health has reported that many people turn to yoga to relieve stress, and new study findings suggest they’re doing the right thing. U.S. researchers discovered that after a single session of yoga, levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped, even in people who were trying yoga for the first time. Dr. George Brainard of the Center of Integrative Medicine of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and colleagues measured cortisol levels before and after a 50-minute yoga session. Brainard and his team found that cortisol levels decreased more after a session of yoga than after the rest period, even on the first day of practice. Further research will have to -determine whether the decrease in cortisol after yoga is sustained, and whether that hormonal change has a positive effect on health. “My suspicion is that the answer to all that may well be yes,” Brainard said. The research is being presented this week in Philadelphia at the 85th Annual Meeting of The -Endocrine Society.
(Based on a dispatch by Shri. Alison McCook,
June 19, 2003.)

16. Carl Belle was the First Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His mother was seriously ill and the -doctors gave her just 6 weeks. Carl took refuge in Hinduism and became Vadivela. He performed the Kavadi vrata with all devotion at a Karthikeya temple in Malaysia. His mother lived for another 3 years. He renamed his -daughter as Valli, the consort of Karthikeya and his son as Ganesan. -Australian authorities gave him the choice: ‘Religion or Job?’ Vadivela gave up his job rather than Hinduism. A contented man, now he lives in Adelaide, Australia. (Source: A social worker based in Sydney).

17. In a significant development, India today (June 2) decided to stop taking bilateral aid from most countries, except a few major ones, and prepay Rs. 7,490 crore worth of external debt this year in the face of ballooning foreign exchange reserves, now at over $80 billion. “The Finance Ministry has decided to discontinue receiving aid from partners other than Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, the European Commission and the Russian Federation,” an official announcement said. This is a follow-up of the budget announcement. It said adding that smaller bilateral aid from 14 -countries totaling Rs. 7490.77 crores would be prepaid. The 14 countries comprise the -Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, -Kuwait, Spain, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the Russian Federation, Czech and Slovak. India’s total outstanding bilateral debt from 20 -countries as on March 31, 2003, stood at Rs. 66,316.07 crore. Barring outstanding from -Japan, Germany, the United States and France -totaling Rs. 58,825.30 crore, the remaining Rs. 7490.77 crore worth of aid is being prepaid. There were no outstanding bilateral debt -liabilities to the United Kingdom and Norway, the statement said.
(PTI / THE HINDU (June 3, 2003)

18. As New York reeled under a severe power cut, the action of an Indian restaurant owner there earned much praise for traditional -Indian Hospitality. When the lights failed Thursday (August 14) night, several restaurants downed their shutters. Those that remained open doubled or tripled their prices but the stranded had nowhere else to go. As ATM Machines did not work and credit cards became useless, those with a little cash had a tough time. But in the greedy jungle, ‘MADRAS MAHAL’ on Lexington Avenue owned by NITIN VYAS offered free meals to the hungry. More importantly, it provided FREE cold water when the going rate for a small drinking water bottle was 5.Dollars compared to usual 1 Dollar. The restaurant served rice with Punjabi dish ‘Channa Battura’ and tea that was much in demand. Even on Friday -afternoon, there was a queue of hungry people outside the restaurant waiting for a free meal.
(THE TIMES OF INDIA, Bangalore Edition,
August 17, 2003. )

19. According to Romain Rolland, Vivekananda had said that being itself a science, Vedanta gives an honoured place for all physical -sciences, whether physical sciences accept Vedanta or not. A few -physical scientists of the West respond to Vedantic truths today. Nuclear scientist Schrödinger quotes the profound dictum of the Chandogya Upanishad (6th Chapter) which says, ‘You are That (infinite Atman) – Tat twam asi.’ So also, Professor J.B.S.Haldane, an agnostic British microbiologist who went to India and settled down, worked and died in Bhubaneswar, said in a lecture that when he went to Germany, he went to a microbiological laboratory of his friend. At the entrance he saw inscribed this Upanishadic message ‘Tat twam asi – You are That’, and he (Haldane) said that if any one in the audience could understand this truth and live it, he would be happy, and he would consider his lecture there as -rewarded.
From a 1981 lecture of Swami Ranganathananda in Chicago (Courtesy: An Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta, publication THE APPROACH TO TRUTH IN VEDANTA ).

20. Kids in school learn that the sun is 93 million miles from the earth and that the speed of light is 1,86,000 miles per second. Yoga may teach us about our Higher Self, but it can’t supply this kind of information about -physics or astronomy. Or can it? Professor Subhash Kak of Louisiana State -University recently called my attention to a -remarkable statement by Sayana, a -fourteenth century Indian scholar. In his commentary on a hymn in the Rig Veda, the oldest and perhaps most mystical text ever composed in India, Sayana has this to say: “With deep respect, I bow to the sun, who travels 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha.” A Yojana is about nine American miles; a nimesha is 16/75 of a second. Mathematically challenged readers, get out your -calculators! 2,202 yojanas x 9 miles x 75/8 nimeshas = 1, 85,794 miles per second. Basically, Sayana is saying that sunlight travels at 1, 86,000 miles per second! How could a Vedic scholar who died in 1387 A.D. have known the correct figure for the speed of light? If this was just a wild guess it’s the most amazing -coincidence in the history of science! The yoga tradition is full of such coincidences. (‘Yoga at the speed of Light’ By Linda Johnson, Courtesy Yoga -International).

21. The physiological effects of reading Sanskrit (Samskritam) are similar to those experienced during the Transcendental Meditation® technique, according to research recently completed by Dr. Fred Travis, director of the ERG/psychophysiology lab of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. Dr. Travis asked his test subjects to read passages from the Bhagavad-Gita in Sanskrit and in modern foreign languages (Spanish, French, or German). In each case they could pronounce the sounds but did not know the meaning. He measured brain wave patterns (ERG), heart and breath rate, and galvanic skin resistance during two reading sessions and during a 15-minute session of the Transcendental Meditation technique. He found that while they read Sanskrit, their physiology was similar to those measured during the Transcendental Meditation technique, but significantly different from reading a modern language. Their skin resistance steadily increased during reading Sanskrit and during practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique (showing greater stability in their physiology) but remained the same during the reading of a modern language. Dr. Travis said that these findings support Maharishi’s predictions on the effects of reading Sanskrit. Maharishi, in Vedic Knowledge for Everyone, predicted that reading the Vedic Literature, as it flows and progresses in perfect sequential order, has the effect of regulating and balancing the functioning of the brain physiology and training consciousness, the mind, to always flow in perfect accordance with the evolutionary direction of Natural Law.
By Shri. Brynne Sissom (From www.

22. Meet Shri J.Sundaresan, 48, a professor in the Georgia -Institute of Technology, Atlanta, US. He has designed a T shirt that tells a -physician all about the wearer’s body temperature, blood pressure level, pulse rate, -Oxygen level, etc., via a monitor attached to it. The T shirt is manufactured using cotton-polythene yarn, with optic fibre filaments criss-crossing the fabric. The tips of the optic fibre filament act as -sensor spots. They measure and -communicate the wearer’s clinical -particulars to an attached pocket size control box, which, in turn, passes on the data to the hospital monitor. The wearer too can read those on the monitor of the control box itself. Thus, a son sitting in the US could read the blood pressure of his father in Bharat who wears the T shirt with the help of an internet connection. This way, the unique T shirt helps save lives by constantly monitoring the various body functions of patients. Sundaresan says he is now at work on developing a T shirt that accommodates a camera and a mike. TIME and NEWSWEEK have hailed his invention. Sundaresan is a native of Salem, Tamilnadu, Bharat. He did B.Tech at the Alagappa Chettiar College of Technology, Chennai. After his M.Tech, he did his Ph.D. in US, where he lives now.
(Based on a DINAMANI report on July 17, 2003)

23. A sustained public and political campaign by two small regional -Australian towns has resulted in the 13-year-old son of an Indian -doctor couple being granted a visa. Treating Shivam Agrawal’s application for ministerial intervention as the rarest of rare cases, Australian -Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has overruled an earlier decision by her- -department and granted visa to the Indian teenager. The Agrawals are overwhelmed by the public campaigns to keep them in Australia. -Earlier the rural community -living in and around Wellington and Dubbo in New South Wales was up in arms against an Australian Immigration -Department decision to deny visa to Shivam Agrawal as he suffers from hemophilia. The non-extension of the Indian youngster’s visa would have forced his parents, general practitioner Sunita and pediatrician Rajiv Agrawal, to leave their jobs as doctors in two public hospitals and return to India with Shivam. Such scenario enraged the -residents of Wellington and Dubbo who already suffer from an acute shortage of -competent medical staff in their rural community. The -doctor couple is being referred to as “valued” doctors in the regional media. Australian Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson and the federal MP from Parkes, John Cobb, -approached -Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone for extension of visa to young Agrawal. Various community groups, meanwhile, lodged signature -campaigns supporting his -endeavor. “The concern and support everyone has shown has been overwhelming,” Sunita Agrawal told Dubbo Liberal Times after the decision was conveyed to her. “Patients have been -asking me what is happening and offering to sign petitions,” Dr. Sunita said. Support -extended to her pediatrician husband was of a different hue. “They said they would chain me to a hospital bed if I tried to leave,” Agrawal jocularly told reporters about his supporters’ sentiments. “I have never seen such support for a family and this is further evidence of just how valued they are,” Cobb told a local newspaper, Wellington Times. The intensity of the campaign is gauged from the fact that all the -schoolmates of Shivam, Shivi to his friends, signed a petition and -submitted it to the local MP requesting him to get his visa -extended.
(Based on an IANS report in The New Indian Express, -November 1, 2003).

24. It was a three-nation affair. Philip of Paris (France) adopted Sudarshan of Jafna (Sri Lanka) as his son. Sudarshan married Aneus of Puducherry (Bharat) in September 2003 in Paris before a registrar of marriages. On -December 4, 2003, however, Philip (now Mahesh) performed their marriage in accordance with Hindu traditions at the Karthikeya temple in Thiruchendur in Tamilnadu, Bharat. Mahesh is a devotee of Karthikeya and is a regular annual visitor to the temple for the last three years (DINAMANI Tamil Daily, -December 6, 2003).

25. Smt. Linda Johnson quotes Professor Subhash Kak of Louisiana State University (USA) in her book Yoga at the speed of Light and writes: “The Surya Siddhanta is the oldest surviving astronomical text in the Indian -tradition. Some Western scholars date it to perhaps the fifth or sixth century A.D., though the text itself claims to represent a tradition much, much older. It explains that the earth is shaped like a ball, and states that at the very opposite side of the planet from India is a great city where the sun is rising at the same time it sets in India. In this city, the Surya Siddhanta claims, lives a race of siddhas, or -advanced spiritual adepts. If you trace the globe of the earth around to the exact opposite side of India, you’ll find Mexico. Is it -possible that the ancient Indians were well aware of the great sages/astronomers of Central America many centuries before Columbus discovered America? Does this sound unlikely? Yoga Sutra 3:26-28 states that through, samyama -(concentration, meditation, and unbroken mental absorption) on sun, moon, and pole star, we can gain knowledge of the planets and stars”.
Courtesy: Yoga International, English Bi Monthly
26. A team led by Shri. N.D.Hari Dass of the Chennai-based -Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) has put together Bharat’s fastest -academic computer KABRU (name of a Himalayan peak so far unclimbed). KABRU has a sustained computing speed of 951 gigaflops (that is, up to a peak of 1,382 billion calculations per second).In June 2004, it will vie for a ranking in the global “Top 500” list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Says Prof. Hari Dass, “One of the greatest challenges in Theoretical Physics is to -understand what constitutes particles like protons and neutrons.” KABRU is to probe this mystery. This supercomputer has been made at a cost of Rs. 2.5 crores – a mere fraction of what supercomputers of this pedigree would cost if one were to import it. If KABRU makes the climb to the “Top 500”, it will be the third India-based supercomputer in that list. The other two are, PARAM PADMA (speed: 594 gigaflops) by Pune’s C-DAC (Rank 258) and an IBM cluster (1,105 gigaflops) by Bangalore-based Intel (Rank 105).
Based on a report by Shri. Anand Parthasarathy in
THE HINDU of April 28, 2004.

27. Approaching 60, Shri. Virendra ‘Sam’ Singh is full of energy. Just the other day, he made the 100-km rib-cracking journey from Delhi on a -monsoon-ravaged road to bring 35 sewing machines in his Toyota Qualis. They are meant for his Pardada Pardadi Vocational School, Bichaula, near Anupshahr in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, Bharat, where he was born and where nothing much had changed since he left. Many of the 350 village girls’ lives have changed since Singh’s return. He has set up the school for them. Why not boys? “If you teach a girl, you teach a family,” he says. These are the daughters of landless farmers. If they were not coming to his school, they would either be stealing grass or firewood. It all began three years ago. His two daughters had been married. His career at DuPont had peaked (He was head of DuPont’s South Asia operations). He returned to his motherland after 35 years in the US. The girls are trained in stitching, weaving and chikan embroidery work for a year, then they are taught marketing skills. Singh’s teachers come from all over the country — from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. They are skilled and committed to his social experiment. The girls get breakfast, lunch, tea and snacks. They get uniforms, and bicycles when they grow up. Also, each girl gets Rs 10 a day and the money is put into a fixed deposit. “A 10-year-old girl will have about Rs 1,00,000 in her account when she is 21. If she leaves school early, she will still get her money,” he says. So far he has spent Rs 1.2 crore. His village is richer by that.
Based on a report in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS of
August 18, 2003

28. …………….

29. A clause in the Education Reform Act of 1988 and the new -education Bill stipulate that all state schools (in Britain) should provide religious -education and a “daily act of collective worship, wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character” (Most of the 7,390 voluntary schools in Britain are run by the Church of England, Roman Catholics, Jews and Methodists). Alarmed that their -children would be taught only about Christianity, some Sikh families decided to take matters into their own hands. Funded by Sikhs in Britain, Europe and the United States and run by the Punjab-based Namaskar Organization, Guru Nanak Sikh College in Hayes, west London, aims to take Sikh Children back to their roots. The children begin their day at 8.30 a.m. with prayers from the Guru Granth Sahib and kirtans. The key word in the school is -discipline. “I have been teaching for more than 30 years. This is the first time I have seen children aged 12 or less leading an assembly of 400 students. It’s truly -amazing”, says George Hamilton who teaches the primary sections. Another feature that sets it apart is that there is no fixed fee. “Everybody pays -according to his ability”, says Principal Rajinder Singh Sandhu. For instance, Satwinder Singh Dhillon, whose children attend the school, is paying for their fees in kind by paving the premises and helping in the kitchen.
Based on a report by Sushri. Nirupama Subramaian
in the INDIA TODAY (English) of April 30, 1991.

30. India has consolidated its position as the world’s fourth -largest economy in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) at $2,778 billion behind US, China and Japan. The Purchasing Power Parity is arrived at by pricing all goods and services at US prices and treating America as standard, instead of converting Rupees into dollars at foreign exchange rates. According to the World Bank’s World Development Indicators 2004, released on April 23 and based on 2002 figures, the PPP of United States is put at $10,414 billion, followed by China at $5,792 billion and Japan at $3,481 billion. Germany is placed fifth at $2,226 billion, according to the report. In the G-7, only two — US and Japan — are ahead of India. The PPP figures for the other five members of the G-7 are: Germany $2226 billion; France $1,609 billion; the United Kingdom $1,574 billion; Italy $1,510 billion and $Canada 907 billion. The PPP of Russia (which makes it G-8) has improved to $1,165 billion, reflecting the rapid improvement in the Russian economy.
(INDIAN EXPRESS, April 24, 2004.)

31.A. Out of the seven lucky gods that the Japanese worship, three have Indian origins. Daikokuten the Japanese god of wealth and -prosperity, -originated from the Indian god of death, Mahakala. Benzaiten (Benten), the only woman among the seven Japanese gods, originated from Saraswati (the Hindu goddess of music, fine arts, eloquence and -literature). And Bishamonten, the Japanese god for -doctors, soldiers and priests, has its origins in India where he was known as Vaisravana, a Buddhist missionary (Information obtained by the staff reporter of THE HINDU (June 11, 2004) at the Numismatics Exhibition of -Japanese Coins and -Currency held in Chennai). The coins were the collection of Shri. Sathish Kumar, a young software marketing executive based in Osaka, Japan. B. Shravya, a Class VIII girl of Indian origin studying in Bishop Middle School in Florida, USA, recently bagged the -coveted first prize in a contest organized for junior scientists at Florida. Her discovery was a gene which when fed into fruits like oranges or lemons will help them successfully withstand the heavy winter snowfall. This news caused so much of a thrill that one media outfit named its satellite KEREMANE, after a village near Sringeri in Karnataka, Bharat, that the girl hails from. Dr.Seetharam (VSK, Karnataka).
All anecdotes courtesy: PANCHAAMRITAM

Einstein inspired by Gita
“The importance of spiritual organisations and institutions can by no means be underestimated in the matter of building and shaping a country, or for that matter, the society. Sometimes, attempts are made to depict the spiritualism as an antithesis to scientific thinking. However, if one reads what Albert Einstein, a scientist of the highest order said, it would be evident as to how shallow, such an approach, is. He observed, “I have made the Gita and -Sanskrit Literature, the main source of my inspiration and guidance for the purpose of scientific investigations and formation of my theories”. The contribution of such institutions in the field of character building and preaching of morals, irrespective of the religions, to which they belong, hardly needs any -emphasis”
(From a judgement delivered by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy of Andhra Pradesh High court on December 29, 2004)

How Patanjali influenced T.S. Eliot
That Thomas Sterns Eliot (T.S.Eliot) was the literary dictator of the 20th Century is just a commonplace now. Consequent on his early exposure to Indic thought through Edwin Arnold’s The Light of Asia, Eliot resolved to go on a passage to India and imbibe deep the native spring of the Vedas. At Harvard, Eliot took four courses in Sanskrit and Pali and an advanced course in “Philosophical Sanskrit”. He absorbed the Mantric tradition from the Vedas and the Upanishads that assisted him in developing what he calls “the -auditory -imagination which helps in building up through rhythm an incantatory effect that penetrates “far below the conscious levels of thought and feeling, -invigorating every word.” Imagery and dialectic are clearly drawn from the Indic texts, which fashioned his outlook and faith. The moral implications of the doctrine of karma find a powerful evocation in Eliot’s Murder in the -Cathedral. The concept of the nature of true action that does not show any concern for the fruits of action is quite a rendition from the Bhagwad Gita. In “The Dry Salvages” there are explicit echoes from the Gita. On the “Tradition and -Individual Talent” essay, the influence of Patanjali’s Yogasutra is -unmistakable. The central idea of the Yogasutras is the attainment of concentration through the separation of the body from the mind. No wonder T.S. Eliot said, “Their (Indian Philosophers’) subtleties make most of the great European -Philosophers look like schoolboys” (in After Strange Gods).
From a book review in The HINDU of January 25, 2005 by Shri. M.S Nagarajan (The book: T.S. ELOT AND INDIC TRADITIONS : Author: Shri. Cleo McNelly Kearns; Samvad India Foundation, Rs. 450
How Vivekananda transformed Rockefeller
U.S. industrialist and world’s wealthiest man, called on Swami Vivekananda who was then resting for a while at a house at Chicago, after going through his two strenuous and triumphant lecture programmes at Detroit and -elsewhere.
Swamiji made Rockefeller understand that “he was only a channel and that his duty was to do good to the world - that God has given him all his wealth in order that he might have an opportunity to help and serve the people”. About a week later, when Rockefeller met Swamiji again the second time, he told Swamiji of his plan to donate an enormous sum of money -towards the financing of a public institution. Three year hence (1897) Rockefeller -devoted himself completely to philanthropy. He spoke his philosophy as follows: “There is more to life than the accumulation of money. Money is only a trust in one’s hand. To use it improperly is a great sin. The best way to prepare for the end of life is to live for others. This is what I am trying to do.”
Rockefeller is believed to have given away some 550 million dollars in his lifetime, including major endowments to the University of Chicago (1890) the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1901), and the General Education Board (1902). He also established the Rockefeller Foundation in 1913, to promote well-being of mankind throughout world. His and his son’s -benefactions totalled more than $ 3,00,000,000, (Rs. 13,500 crore).
(from ‘VIVEKANANDA: HIS GOSPEL OF MAN MAKING’; compiled and edited by Swami Jyotirmayananda, pages 497-498)
This American psychologist researches on the life saving Agnihotra
On the night of December 2-3, 1984, S.L.Kushwaha (45), a teacher living in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Bharat, started performing his usual Agnihotra and in 20 minutes the symptoms of MIC gas poisoning were gone. Agnihotra is the smallest form of Vedic Homa (sacrifice). This sacrificial fire is based on the biorhythms of Nature. American psychologist Barry Rathner -conducting research in Agnihotra at Pune University says, “Agnihotra has made many conquests so far. Today, there is not a language spoken on earth that doesn’t number practitioners of Agnihotra.” People in several countries began experiencing increases of harvest up to 800 percent with Agnihotra.
Based on a report in THE HINDU of April 7, 1985.
When Chinese found their savior in ‘OM’!
Swami Vivekananda was on his way to America in July 1893. His ship was berthed in Hong Kong, for a few days. Swamiji went to Canton, inside China, 80 miles away. As a monk, his earnest desire was to visit a Chinese monastery. Unfortunately, these monasteries were forbidden ground for -foreigners. What could be done? When he asked the interpreter, he was told that a visit was impossible, but this served only to intensify his desire: he must see a Chinese monastery! He said to the interpreter, “Suppose a -foreigner should go there, what then?” and received the reply, “Why, Sir, they would be sure to maltreat him!” The Swami thought that if the monks knew him to be a Hindu sannyasi, they would not molest him. So he persisted , and finally induced the interpreter and his fellow passengers to tread “forbidden ground” saying laughingly, “Come, let us see if they kill us!” But they had not gone far when the interpreter cried out, “Away! Away gentlemen! They are coming, and they are infuriated!” Two or three men with clubs in their hands were approaching rapidly. Frightened at their menacing appearance, all but the Swami and the interpreter took to their heels. When even the latter was on the point of fleeing, the Swami seized him by the arm and said with a mile, “My good man, you must not run away before you tell me the Chinese word for Indian Yogi”. Having been told this, the Swami loudly called out that he was an Indian Yogi. And lo, the word for “Yogi” acted like magic! The angry expression of the men changed to that of deep reverence and they fell at his feet. They rose, stretched out their joined palms in most respectful -salutation, and then said something in a loud voice, one word of which the Swami understood to be “Kabatch”. He thought it was undoubtedly the Indian word -meaning amulet; but to be sure of what they meant, he shouted a question to the interpreter, who stood at a safe distance, confounded at these strange -developments – as well he might be, for, never in all his experience had he -witnessed such a spectacle like this. For an explanation he said, “Sir, they want amulets to ward off evil spirits and unholy influences. They desire your protection.” The Swami was taken aback for a moment. He did not believe in charms. Then he took a sheet of paper from his pocket, divided it into several pieces and wrote on them the word “OM” in Sanskrit, the most holy word of the Vedas and the symbol of the highest truth. He gave them the pieces of paper, and the men touching them to their heads, led him into the monastery.
In the more isolated portions of the building he was shown many Sanskrit manuscripts, written, strange to say, in old Bengali characters. And then it occurred to him that when he had visited the temple dedicated to the first Buddhist Emperor he had been struck with unmistakable resemblance -between the faces of the Blessed One’s five hundred followers and those of Bengalis. These evidences, as also his past study of Chinese Buddhism, convinced him that Bengal and China had at one time been in close communication, that there must be a great influx into China of Bengal Bhikkhus (Buddhist monks), who brought to that distant country the gospel of the Blessed One, and that Indian thought had influenced Chinese civilization to a significant extent.
Page No: 397)

New Panchaamritam bits for Hindu Genius book (Feb 2007)

1. Dr. Edward Jenner (1749-1823) invented vaccine for small pox in 1798. But physicians in ancient India used inoculation as a protection against small pox. His Excellency Lord Ampthill, Governor of Madras, while opening the King’s Institute For Preventive Medicine in February 1905, said, “It is also very probable, as Colonel King assures me, that the ancient Hindus used animal vaccination secured by transmission of the small pox virus through the cow. He bases this interesting theory on a quotation from a text (Saakteya Grantah) by Dhanwantari, the greatest of the ancient Hindu physicians. It would seem from it that Jenner’s great invention was actually forestalled by the ancient Hindus”.
Based on an entry INOCULATION, on page 309 of BHARATIYA VIGYAN MANJUSHA, an encyclopedia (Price: Rs. 600) by Shri. M.S. Sreedharan and published by the Publications Division, I& B Ministry, Government of India.

2. Scientist Shri. Roddam Narasimha, Former Director, National Aeronautics Limited, and Smt. Helaine Selin, science librarian and faculty associate in Hampshire College, Massachusetts, have edited THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF CLASSICAL INDIAN SCIENCES. The 492-page book is an attempt to provide an authentic account of natural science, technology and medicine racticed by Indians and other South Asians. Prof. Narasimha said that the idea to edit the book struck to him 50 years ago when he visited the U.S. for higher studies. Why had India remained backward while other countries such as the U.S. were advancing rapidly? This inspired him to trace the evolution of science in India, he said. Ms. Helaine said that she had worked on the encyclopaedia for six years. Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Shri. Kasturirangan hailed the effort by the authors. “For the first time, a comprehensive account of vast spectrum of science in India has been made available”, he said. The book was released on January 8, 2007 by scientist Shri. C.N.R.Rao. Those interested in buying the encyclopedia, priced at Rs. 925, may contact Orient Longman Pvt. Ltd., on phone: 080 26690258.
Based on a report in THE HINDU of January 9, 2007.
3. Though the family structure has been changing, the family and a spiritual bent of mind would be two critical factors in caring for elders, Peter Whitehouse, Director Integrative Studies, Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, U.S., said while delivering the Eighth E.S. Krishnamoorthy Memorial Lecture on November 12 in Chennai titled, ‘Whose life is it anyway? Ethical issues in caring for elderly people’. The programme was organised by the Neurosciences India Group. Prof. Whitehouse said, as opposed to the western notions of a highly individualistic family, it was the eastern model of the “self, embedded in relationship with others” family and community, which would play a crucial role in taking care of the aged. Based on a report in THE HINDU, November 13, 2006.

4. The wedding of Shri. George Wanderword of USA with Smt. Elena Patrona of Russia was performed at Agra, Bharat, on November 19 in true Hindu style with chanting of Vedic mantras. 62 year old George and 53 year old Elena are meteorological researchers. It was when George was in Russia on an assignment, that he fell in love with Elena. On an earlier visit to Bharat 4 years back, he was impressed with the Hindu marriage rituals and hence opted for a Hindu wedding, says George. DINAMANI November 21, 2006.

5. A contrived mariner’s compass was used by Indian navigators nearly 1500 to 2000 years ago. This has in fact been the suggestion of a European expert, Mr. J. L. Reid, who was a member of the Institute of Naval Architects and Shipbuilders in England at around the beginning of the present century. This is what Mr. Reid has said in the Bombay Gazetteer, vol. xiii., Part ii., Appendix A. “The early Hindu astrologers are said to have used the magnet, in fixing the North and East, in laying foundations, and other religious ceremonies. The Hindu compass was an iron fish that floated in a vessel of oil and pointed to the North. The fact of this older Hindu compass seems placed beyond doubt by the Sanskrit word Maccha Yantra, or fish machine, which Molesworth gives as a name for the mariner’s compass”. It is significant to note that these are the words of a foreign Naval Architect and Shipbuilding Expert. It is quite possible that the Machha Yantra was transmitted to the west by the Arabs to give us the mariner’s compass of today.

6. A. Industrialist Ratan Tata has been appointed to an influential advisory council set up to advise the British government on business-related issues. Besides Mr. Tata, the first 12 members of the International Business Advisory Council include Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and James Wolfensohn the former president of the World Bank. The council will advise the British government over the next three years on how to respond to the challenges of globalization to ensure that Britain continues to be a top location for international companies. (SANGH SANDESH, London, March-April 2006). B. In a rare distinction, the House of Commons (UK) has congratulated NRI industrialist Lord Swaraj Paul on his appointment as the first Chancellor of the prestigious University of Westminster.The House also applauded Lord Paul for becoming the first person to be Chancellor of two Universities simultaneously — Westminster and Wolverhampton. It wished him well in his tenure as chairman of the London 2012 Olympic Delivery Committee. The Westminster University has some 24,000 students including many from India and other 150 countries. (THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS, October 19, 2006).

7. From Tiger Varadachari of yesteryears to Unnikrishnan of today — you can listen to almost all Vidwans. Cassette players, ear-phones, apt cubicles, etc., add to the listening pleasure. Yes, there is an excellent collection of Carnatic music audiotapes (over 3,000) at Sampradaya (on Kalakshetra Raod, Thiruvamiyur, Chennai). The voices of S.G. Kittappa, N.C. Vasanthakokilam, Ariyakudi, Semmangudi and D.K. Pattammal are easily identifiable. Smt. Geetha, Director, Sampradaya Trust (Phone: 044-24521217) and Shri. Govindan are ever willing to help music lovers in their pursuit. Some 25 years back, Shri. Ludwig Paesh, a German, and Shri. Michael Nicholson of USA, both students of Smt Savithri Rajan (a disciple of the soulful gayaka M.D.Ramanathan) began this service in an empty garage in Chennai. Max Mueller Bhavan of Chennai pitched in with recording facilities. Ford Foundation of USA funded the project for some time. As told by Smt. Geetha to Team Panchaamritam

8. Bharat carried out the first test of a cryogenic rocket engine at Mahendragiri (near Kanyakumari) in Tamilnadu on Saturday, October 28, 2006. That put the country in a select club of 6 nations possessing such a capability. The test lasting 50 seconds was conducted at the Indian Space Research Organisation‘s liquid propulsion systems center. It was “very successful”, said ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair. This cryogenic rocket engine will enable India to launch heavier satellites. India need not rely on other countries for this purpose hereafter. This is another proof of the capability of Indian scientific community to accept challenges. Earlier, Russia had signed an agreement with India to transfer this high-energy knowhow. But the US thwarted this attempt and made Russia to pull back. But Indian space scientists built this Cryogenic Rocket Engine indigenously after ceaseless efforts. In an earlier episode, Indian computer scientists had accepted a similar challenge and built a supercomputer indigenously.
Based on an editorial in VIJAYABHARATAM, November 10, 2006.

9. Sri Lankan refugees, under the banner of the Organisation for Eelam Refugee Rehabilitation (OfERR), have set up 25 livelihood training centres for the tsunami-affected people in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari districts. The OfERR has planned to provide 504 women with skills that offered alternative sustenance avenues. In Cuddalore district, 204 women underwent training in tailoring and handicrafts. At a function organised at Chinnur near Parangipettai on November 2, 2006, Tamilnadu State Fisheries Minister Shri. K.P.P.Sami gave away certificates to those women who had successfully completed the training. Shri. S.C.Chandrahasan, OfERR treasurer, said the refugees had taken up this service to express their gratitude to the host country (Tamil Nadu in India) that provided them with shelter, food and education when they landed here in a destitute condition. A total of 75,737 refugees (most of them Tamil speaking Hindus) are living in 131 camps in the State, and of them, 2,500 obtained degrees he informed.
Based on a report by Shri. A.V.Raghunathan in THE HINDU, November 3, 2006.

10. “We have 16 Shakhas (for Hindu men) and 5 Samitis (for Hindu women) in Mauritius. The overall population of Mauritius is approximately 16 lakhs million of which 51% is Hindu. Mauritius is the only country outside India to have known a ‘Hindu regeneration movement’. The movement ‘Jan Andolan’ was headed by Professor Basdeo Bissoondoyal following his return from his studies in Bharat in December 1939. When he passed away in 1991, his movement covered 50 years of existence, having succeeded in preventing Mauritius from becoming an outpost of Christianity as wished by Rev. Patrick Beaton in the 19th Century. Currently we have a Hindu Prime Minister belonging to the Mauritius labour party. According to the ‘proportional representation’ political system, Hindus would be given 51% of the seats in parliament, even if a lesser percentage of Hindus is elected”.
Shri Ramkisson Jeethah of Mauritius in an interview to Shri. Nilkesh Mehta of SANGH SANDESH of March – April, 2006. Idea: Shri. Raveendra Surange, UK.

11. If you look up the pages of the Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of France published in May 1911, you’d come across a paper by Venkatesh Ketakar on an as-yet unknown planetary body that was exerting a gravitational pull on the neighbouring planet Neptune. Ketakar’s paper featured orbital and other key calculations of this strange new planet. He named it Brahma. Almost 20 years later, in 1930, American scientist Clyde Tombaugh discovered it and called it Pluto. As textbooks around the world change with the recent demotion of Pluto from a planet to a ‘Pluton’ or a ‘dwarf planet’, perhaps Ketakar’s name could be added as well along with Tombaugh. A leading American college textbook Universe by Roger Freedman and William J Kaufmann III did that in 1968. The Indian Journal of History of Science recognised him in 1984.
Based on a report in by Shri. Sachin Kalbag on August 25, 2006.

12. More than 16,000 people poured into De Anza College, Cupertino (“Silicon Valley” USA) to be part of an exciting day, to celebrate the Hindu way of life. Hindu Sangam, a one-day grand cultural program aimed at displaying the various Hindu intellectual, cultural and spiritual contributions made over thousands of years, was organized by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh with support from over 40 SF Bay Area organizations including Sunnyvale Hindu Temple as one of the Grand Sponsors. This event was organized on occasion of the first birth centenary of Shree Golwalkal Guruji. The day started with a yagna (offering and prayer) for world peace on the background of September 11. Attendees then participated in programs that took place on eight parallel tracks . Ayurvedic medicine, cultural program, Dharma Vedika (religious philosophy), exhibition, Hindu theme park, Samskritam, Yoga, and youth activities. This was followed by a grand Ramayana play enacted by over 300 children. Shri. Mohan Bhagawat, General Secretary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the chief guest at Hindu Sangam, addressed the huge gathering and implored everyone to show unity in diversity. The day ended with Smt. Anuradha Paudwal entrancing the audience with her melodious music. Ms. Cindy Chavez, Vice-Mayor of San Jose inaugurated the Parallel Track Programs and said that she was honored to be present at such a grand cultural event.

13. These pieces of information are from a recently published volume PRIDE OF INDIA: Sushruta Samhita (an Ancient text on Medicine) details procedures for the use of leeches for blood letting. Today, therer are at least Two US Compaines that supply Leeches to US Hospitals. Leeches are now classified as ‘medical equipment’ by the US FDA. ?In 1553 A.D. Michael Servetus, a Spanish Physician postulated that blood circulated from the heart to the lungs and back. In 1628 A.D, an English Physician, William Harvey Published a book describing the circulation of blood as accepted now. Harvey is usually credited as the discoverer of Blood Circulation. However, Sushruta (6th Century BC) and Bhela as well as Charaka clearly indicate not only the existence of blood circulation, but also the purpose of the blood circulation, i.e, supplying nutrition. Bhela even describes the blood circulation in the foetus. ?Bricks were found in 15 different sizes in Harappan sites. The length, width and thickness of the bricks were always in the ratio of 4:2:1 The 5,000 year old bricks from the Harappan excavation were used as ballast for the 100 miles of railway track between Multan and Lahore. (Source: PRIDE OF INDIA;
Publishers: Samskrita Bharati, New Delhi 110 055; Price: Rs. 2,000)
14. Ustad Bismillah Khan died in his beloved Varanasi, early on August 21. He was 90. Music lovers insist that the Ustad enjoyed spiritual experiences, playing shehnai at the temples of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges. “Idhar Ganga bahti hai kya?” (Does the Ganges flow here?), the Ustad asked friends and sponsors in the United States when they offered him money and migration. He was an ardent devotee of Saraswati too, the Hindu goddess of music. The maestro never knew a life of comfort commensurate with his fame and worldwide concerts. He supported a joint family of close to 70 members, including nine sons and daughters, and many grandchildren. After he lost his wife he began to call his shehnai “my Begum.” He lived till his end at a dilapidated house and always travelled by the cycle-rickshaw.
From a tribute by Shri. R.C.Rajamani, a former Deputy Editor of PTI, in ‘The Hindu BUSINESS LINE’, August 23, 2006.

15. The India story gets stronger on the global arena. (1) Bharat expanded its presence on the elite list of Fortune Global 500 companies, as the State Bank of India has become the sixth BHARATIYA firm to feature in the league. Besides SBI’s grand entry to the list, all five current incumbents — Reliance Industries Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp — have scaled up the ranking on the list of world’s biggest 500 companies. Among the six Indian companies on the list, IOC holds the top rank at 153rd position, followed by RIL at 342nd rank, BPCL at 368, HPCL at 378th, ONGC at 402nd and the new entry SBI has been placed at 498th rank. RIL has scaled up 75 ranks on the list from the previous year, while IOC has gained 17 positions, BPCL has jumped 61 ranks, HPCL has moved up 58 positions and ONGC has scaled up 52 positions. RIL figures among the top 25 climbers on the list. Based on a report in rediff NEWS, July 13, 2006.

16. Yoga classes based on ancient Hindu practices of meditation through controlled breathing, balancing and stretching, are catching on in military circles in the USA. The August edition of FIT YOGA, the US’ second largest Yoga magazine with a circulation of 1,00,000, features a photo of two naval aviators doing yoga poses in full combat gear aboard an aircraft carrier. “At first it seemed a little shocking – soldiers practicing such a peaceful art”, writes editor Rita Trieger. Upon closer inspection, she said, she noticed “a sense of inner calm” on the aviators’ faces.
Based on an AP report in The Hindu BUSINESS LINE of July 18, 2006.

17. “Iran’s fastest growing faith seems to be Hinduism of the New Age guru variety. (Buddhism comes a close second) Sathya Sai Baba, Rajneesh, Mahesh Yogi and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are familiar figures in the middle class drawing rooms. For many in the elite, yoga is far more important than Haj. The Forum of Artists in central Tehran, close to what was the US embassy building is a wonderful public space with galleries and auditoria. Its café is strictly vegetarian. One’s Salaam is greeted there with Hare Krishna. The menu’s star attraction is Gita Thali.”
(Do you believe that the lines are from “Three Vignettes from Iran” by Praful Bidwai, published in THE HINDU, June 11, 2006, asks Shri Shyam Parande).

18. Bharat’s scientific community does not brook belittling of Ayurveda of the Rishis by any power in the world. Read on: Use of the Indian system of medicine is not harmful and it is quite safe, claims Victor Rajamanickam, Dean, Centre for Advanced Research in Indian System of Medicine, SASTRA Deemed University, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu, Bharat. Prof. Rajamanickam questioned the scientific validity of an article that appeared in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) in December 2004. The authors had analysed 14 Ayurvedic formulations manufactured in India and concluded that they contained heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic and lead. Prof. Rajamanickam said the authors had failed to analyse the different forms by which the elements are bound but have projected only the quantum of elemental distribution. This was critical since these elements could be chelated in the formulation and will be safe to use. Moreover, the final product in Bhasmas and Rasa yogas are different from the raw materials since they would be transformed to therapeutic compounds by different processes like detoxification, titration, heating, etc. Hence it is unlikely that free elements would be present in these products that may cause damage as claimed by the authors. The study at SASTRA was conducted in collaboration with Prof. G. P. Dubey and his team at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and Prof. R. Venkatakrishnan Murali and his team, at the University of Madras. “The findings of our experiments were presented to an expert committee constituted by the Department of AYUSH, Government of India, New Delhi, comprising members from CSIR, AIIMS, ICMR and the Department of AYUSH at New Delhi on May 8. The committee expressed its appreciation and wanted the findings to be published,” said Prof. Rajamanickam. Based on a report in THE HINDU of May 23, 2006

19. Pan Am flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who died fighting hijackers at Pakistan’s Karachi airport in September 1986, will be honoured with the second highest award in the US for crime victims. Bhanot, who hailed from Chandigarh, Punjab, Bharat, will be posthumously conferred the 2006 Special Courage Award by the US Department of Justice. Other attendants of the flight will also get the same award, said a statement from her family. Bhanot died while trying to save five children when the hijackers opened fire inside the Pan Am flight 20 years ago. The award will be received by Bhanot’s brothers, Aneesh and Akhil, at Washington DC April 21 (2006). They have left for the US. US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will give away the award. The Special Courage Award recognises individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary bravery in the aftermath of a crime or those who have performed a courageous act on behalf of a victim or potential victim., April 18, 2006.

20. A meeting of all-party MPs and peers in Britain has unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the Moscow Government to end ‘harassment and discrimination’ against Russian Hindus by sections of the Russian Orthodox Church and give them land to construct a place of worship. The meeting held in the Committee Room of the House of Commons on January 18, 2006 and presided over by Lord Navneet Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, decided to have a three-pronged plan to communicate the situation of Russian Hindus through media, community and political networks. Prominent among those who attended the meeting included Shri. Ashok Kumar, MP (Conservative), Baroness Shriela flather, Shri. Tony McNulty, MP, Minister in charge of Immigration, Shri. Phyllis Starkey, MP, among others. Representatives of Jewish, Christian and other communities were also present on the occasion.
NEWS TODAY(English evening Daily from Chennai), January 19, 2006.

21. Panini’s grammar rules are found to be most advanced to his times and are considered to be vital factors for a universal language suitable for Artificial Intelligence(AI), which is why Sanskrit is regarded as the most suitable language for AI. Father of Lbrary Science Dr. S.R.Ranganathan’s deep knowledge of Panini and Mathematics led to his propounding the famous Five Laws of Libbrary Science and Colon Classification theory. Says Shri. T.R.N. Rao, PhD, Center for Advanced Computer Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, “Backus-Naur Form (BNF) should be truly called Panini- Backus Form (PBF), as “we must give credit where credit is due.”
Paninian grammars, which consisted of over 4,000 algebraic rules and metarules have been studied by a number of scholars. Kak (1987), reviews the Paninian approach to natural language processing (NLP) and compares it with the current knowledge representation systems of Artificial Intelligence, and argues that Paninian-style generative rules and metarules could assist in further advances in NLP. Another article by Staal discusses the consistency of the system of rules of Panini, as tested by Fowler’s Automaton. These are among the marvelous contributions of ancient India to computing sciences”.
Contributed by Shri. Kalivaradhan

22. What, anyway, is the Indian science whose history needs to be known? A) Take, for instance, zinc. Europe learnt to produce it in 1746, but it was distilled in India more than 2,000 years ago through the use of a highly sophisticated pyro-technology. Distillation of this metal in India was brought to light through a series of nearly intact structural remains of ancient Indian zinc distillation furnaces at Zawar near Udaipur in Rajasthan. In late 17th century, zinc was imported in small quantities from the East and used in the production of brass. After all, before the advent of present-day high-pressure technology, zinc had inevitably to be produced as a vapour because of the vast difficulties in its distillation process at Bristol in Britain in 1747. The discoveries at Zawar nevertheless prove that Indians knew the process some 2,000 years ago. B) Dr Rick Briggs, an American computer engineer, in a paper published in the 1985 issue of “Artificial Intelligence”, said that ancient Indians had developed a method for paraphrasing Sanskrit “in a manner that is identical not only in essence but also in form with the current work ofartificial intelligence”. According to him, “Sanskrit grammarians had already found a way of solving what is perhaps the most important problem in computer science — natural language understanding and machine translation.”
From an article entitled ‘Who remembers ancient India’s scientific wealth?’ by Md. Vazeeruddin in ASIAN TRIBUNE of January 26, 2006. Full text at:

23. Kum. Neeta Chaudary, the London – based great-granddaughter of Bharat’s nationalist poet Rabindranath Tagore, is a student of Sociology. Neeta was in Bharat two years back on a research assignment. Smt. Manju, who does coordination work for Ekal Vidyalayas run by Vishwa Hindu Parishad throughout Bharat, happened to meet Neeta. Like any media-fed person, Neeta began expressing her reservations about social service by Hindu organizations. Manju took Neeta to a village in a very backward locality of Rajasthan state where a team of VHP workers are engaged in making people’s lives bearable. Neeta was won over by this exposure to reality. She stayed on for a year more after her assignment was completed and served the needy in her ancestor’s motherland. Manju’s dictum is : “Youth are not to be preached, they are to be reached”. Rightly so, is it not?
Based on a write up in VIJAYABHARATAM,
Tamil weekly, Chennai – 31, dated February 24, 2006. (Idea: Shri. Srihari)

24. BOOK EYE is the name of a scanner. It is a German product. In Indian currency, it costs about Rs. 25 lakhs. The specialty of this scanner is that it can scan manuscripts (on ancient palm leaves, birch bark, etc.) without physically disturbing the manuscript as the UNESCO convention demands. CDIT, Kerala-based IT organization (supported by the state government) focusing on heritage informatics, was given the responsibility of digitizing manuscripts by various government undertakings such as the National Manuscript Mission, Oriental Research Institute, Kerala, etc. Now, the CDIT faced the challenge of adhering to the UNESCO convention. But the cost of importing the German scanner was found prohibitive. So, CDIT team decided to go Swadeshi and they did it. The CDIT scanner costs just Rs. 3 Lakh.
VIJAYABHARATAM, April 28, 2006.

25. BOOK EYE is the name of a scanner. It is a German product. In Indian currency, it costs about Rs. 25 lakhs. The specialty of this scanner is that it can scan manuscripts (on ancient palm leaves, birch bark, etc.) without physically disturbing the manuscript as the UNESCO convention demands. CDIT, Kerala-based IT organization (supported by the state government) focusing on heritage informatics, was given the responsibility of digitizing manuscripts by various government undertakings such as the National Manuscript Mission, Oriental Research Institute, Kerala, etc. Now, the CDIT faced the challenge of adhering to the UNESCO convention. But the cost of importing the German scanner was found prohibitive. So, CDIT team decided to go Swadeshi and they did it. The CDIT scanner costs just Rs. 3 Lakh.
VIJAYABHARATAM, April 28, 2006.

26. We are proud of him: An elderly gentleman was driving through Australia. He saw a war memorial. He got down and went near it. The place was in a state of neglect with wild bushes and plants all around, the engravings on the tablet covered with dust. Next Sunday this man came back with garden implements and started clearing the bushes and plants. Seeing this, an Australian who went that way, came to him and enquired as to who he was. The elderly man took out his visiting card and gave it to him. Once he eyed it, he came to attention, saluted the ‘gardener’ and introduced himself as Captain so-and-so of the Australian army. The volunteer-gardener was none but Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, the first Bharatiya to become the Chief of Staff of Indian Army after Independence. He was at that time working as Bharat’s High Commissioner to Australia. For Cariappa, all war memorials were equally sacred.
From UTTANA, Kannada monthly, Bangalore, December, 2005.
(Idea: Manthana).

27. The first ever Ram Navami celebration in the House of Commons (London. UK) was attended by 240 guests. Shri. Tony McNulty (MP), the Minister of State, was the host. Smt. Anuja Prashar, Hindu Council UK Executive, welcomed the guests. Shri. Bankim Gossaiji from Mahalakshmi Mandir, Lewisham, enthralled the room with a recital of the Ramayana. The Rt. Hon. Hillary Benn(MP), Secretary of State for Culture, welcomed the opportunities for forging greater understanding between Hindu and British cultures. Students of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan gave a dance performance in classical Kathak and Bharata Natyam styles with an introduction by Dr. Shastri. The audience, made up of several community leaders and a significant number of Mpssuch as Home office Minister Fiona Mactaggart, Adrien Bailey and lord Navneet Dholakia. Smt. Jayalakshmi, Hindu Council UK Executive, congratulated the British government for its foresight by inviting Hindus to celebrate Ram Navami at the Houses of Parliament (a thing not possible in the Indian parliament). Shri. Stephen Pound (MP), the Chair of Labour Friends of India at the Parliament, confirmed that Hinduism had a lot to teach to the world. He ended his speech by greeting everyone with a ‘Namaste’. Tony McNulty declared to the rapturous delight of all guests, that Ram Navami and Krishna Janmashtami would be celebrated every year at the British house of Parliament. Shri. Rajinder Chopra of Finchley Hindu Society, extended a vote of thanks.
From SANGH SANDESH (March-June 2005), Leicester, UK (English Bi Monthly published by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, UK).

28. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have been declared the third best technology universities in the world for 2005. According to the Times Higher Education supplement, which conducts the annual research: “Our per review of the world’s top technology universities shows that in 2004 the high praise for the Indian Institutes of Technology was no fluke. Up to third position in 2005 from fourth place last year, the IITs are a source of Indian national pride as well as innovation and wealth”. The head of the table is dominated by the US, with the world – renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, retaining their top two slots.
From DECCAN CHRONICLE, Chennai, October 11, 2005.

29. A PANCHAAMRITAM reader has forwarded this: “Dear Friends, Here is a personal experience, as well as a moment of national pride, which I want to share with you. Hope you find it worth the time you put in reading it : “In the middle of 1965 India-Pakistan war, US govt - then a close friend of Pakistan - threatened India with stopping food-aid (remember “PL-480”?). For a food deficient India this threat was serious and humiliating. So much so that in the middle of war, Prime Minister (Late) Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Ram Leela Grounds in Delhi and appealed to each Indian to observe one-meal-fast every week to answer the American threat. As a school boy, I joined those millions who responded to Shastri ji’s call. I continued the fast even when the war was over and India became self sufficient in food. Hurt deep by the national humiliation suffered at the hands of the US govt, I had vowed to stop my weekly fast only when India starts giving aid to USA. It took just 40 years. Last week THE day arrived. When Indian ambassador in Washington DC handed over a cheque of US$ 50 million to the US govt, two plane loads of food, medical aid and other relief materials were waiting to fly to the USA. Time to break the fast? With no bad feeling about the USA, and good wishes for the Katrina victims, this humble Indian feels proud of the distance India has covered in 40 years. Let’s celebrate a New India!” - Vijay Kranti.”

Quotes about India
1. India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition. Mark Twain
2. l If there is one place on the face of earth where all dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India. French scholar Romain Rolland.

3. l India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries- -without ever having to send a single soldier across her border. Hu Shih. (Former Chinese ambassador to USA)

These facts were recently published in a German magazine, which deals in WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT INDIA:
1. India has invaded and conquered many lands but never colonized any country in her last 10,000 years of history.
2. India invented the Number system including Shunya or zero during Vedic period. Aryabhatta used ‘zero’ in many calculations.
3. The world’s first University was established in Takshashila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
4. According to the Forbes magazine, Sanskrit is the most suitable -language for computer software.
5. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.
6. Although Western media portray modern images of India as poverty stricken and underdeveloped through political corruption, India was once the richest empire on earth.
7. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 5,000 years ago. The very word ‘Navigation’ is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH.
8. The value of pi was first calculated by Bodhayana, and he explained the concept of what is now known as Pythagorean Theorem. British scholars have last year (1999) officially published that Bodhayana works dates to the 6th Century, which is long before the European mathematicians.
9. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th Century; the largest numbers the Greek and the Romans used were 106 whereas Indians used numbers as big as 1053.
10. According to the Gemological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds to the world.
11. USA and IEEE has proved what has been a century-old suspicion amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless communication was Professor Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi.
12 The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.
13. Chess was invented in India.
14. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2,600 years ago he and health -scientists of his time conducted surgeries like caesareans, cataract, fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India.
15. When many cultures in the world were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5,000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilisation) or better, the Saraswati River Civilization.
16. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.
From the Internet