Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kunal Singh: Reasons why Ramayana and Mahabharata represent actual events and history


While different versions of the Ramayana or even later editing can
explain any mention of Buddhists or Charvakins,I am going to try to prepare a list of reasons why I
think the stories are not fiction:        


          1) The ancestries are longer than necessary for fiction
           Even considering that Rama's descendants forged their identity,
           there is really no need for Rama's ancestry to extend as far back
           as Sagara from the point of view of fiction.  If Rama was
           the King of Ayodhya and an incarnation of Vishnu, he needed
           no further introduction.       
        
           2) Puranic evidence
           Both the Ramayana and Mahabharata overlap with Puranic stories, the
           lineages likewise overlap and are carefully preserved in
           the Puranas well beyond those found in the stories.  The history
           of Magadha and the rule of Jarasandha then quite neatly merges with
           historically confirmed rulers such as Ajatsatru during
           Buddhist times.        

           3) Philosophical evidence
           The Vedas also contain mention of characters such as
           Viswamitra, slokas are attributed to them, as are
           philosophical ideas, their disciples are mentioned.
           Sushruta, considered to be of Viswamitra's "lineage" was
           responsible for the science of Ayurveda, which is quite real.

        4) Physical evidence
           The physical evidence of various locations and their
           recognition by the Bharatiya populace is itself indicative
           that these stories are not myths.  There is only one place
           in Bihar which is known to be Jarasandha's "akhara."  There is only
           one place which is known as Viswamitra's ashram.  There is
           only one place known as the birth place of Sita.
           Lanka is still there, Surprisingly there seems to be
           archaelogical evidence of a submerged city off the coast of
           Gujarat.  The Siva temple attributed to Ravana's stop in
           Bihar is still there and there is only ONE temple claiming
           this.  If fiction was all that was required, one would
           expect other temples to pop up with the same "theme" after
           one was successful!

        5) Divine figures not indicative of fiction
           At one time the British even considered Buddha to have been
           a fictitious character due to the presence of angels etc. in the
           various stories.  By now it should be obvious that the
           description of great men and their life's accounts was always
           accompanied by approval of various deities.  That style of
           writing by itself prevalent at the time cannot be used to
           justify the idea that the accounts were fictitious.
         
          6) The concept of the preservation of lineage natural for people
              It is interesting to note that all people attempt to preserve
              their lineage to some extent, ruling families in
              particular.  Rama and Krishna are one
              link in a very long lineage chain in the Puranas.  If
              all of these lineages are fake, WHERE ARE THE REAL ONES?
              Or can we expect that the ancient KINGS didn't bother
              preserving their lineages ?  A MOST UNREALISTIC AND UNNATURAL
              ASSUMPTION.
                       
           7) Discrepancies can also be explained by gap in written and oral
              traditions
              What we may see as quite unnatural as deification, we
              have to understand that Bharatiya history predates the notion of
              writing.  What do tribes do to preserve their history ?  They
              construct stories!  The stories are not false, they are
              sometimes succinct due to the use of metaphors!  To
              construct stories, people can use things such as deities
              to represent things.

           8) Devtas are representational and not real people
              Quite a few people always ask about all the divine
              figures in the stories questioning the existence of the
              Devtas.  My typical response is that every traditional
              Hindu family has a "kul devta" representing the family
              identity.  Has anyone ever expected that this "kul
              devta" made of soil was actually once a real person ?
              If they don't expect that to have been a real person,
              why do they expect Surya Devta and Agni Devta to have
              been real people and not simply representations used by
              science students of ancient times ?


And last, but not the least reason for believing in the validity of the Hindu scriptures -- can you tell I'm sick of the neo-Hindu viewpoint ?         
THERE IS NO REASON TO PRESERVE ALL OF THIS SHOULD IT HAVE NO HISTORICAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL VALUE!       
These stories are long and at least if passed orally before written down, cannot be fiction because no one would bother memorizing thousands of lines of fictitious Sanskrit to pass it down to subsequent generations.       
The stories contained within the Puranas are NOT all popularly   known, and thus there is no reason for them to be there, had they been fiction! Kings would not pay Brahmins to write long stories in Sanskrit and pass it down when they could have their own stories written by them!  If anything, they would ascribe much lower priority to the latter!

I am well aware of the fact that certain things remain controversial about the Ramayana or the Mahabharata such as dates etc.  But just because some things can't be ascertained should not be considered enough reason to abandon all that we can ascertain.  Even if we have received these in somewhat modified form, they can still serve as valuable information as some of the contents
are quite ingenious and the writer would have to outdo Leonardo Da Vinci in his foresight and would have to have a through knowledge of yoga and martial arts to even predict things like what Bheema did to Jarasandha.  Many of the techniques of martial arts mentioned in the Mahabharata ARE TRUE (i.e. Duryodhana's body becoming invulnerable to strikes by Bheema is considered an advanced/esoteric iron-body technique in China)!  So were the writers fully versed in the arts of war and the art of bridge design?  All of this is simply too much to expect from a writer of fiction!
It took me a while but I finally have a fairly good idea of what Vayu Deva's boon to Bheema was that enabled him to finally rip him in two, of course when Hanuman says that the Agni Deva is a friend of the Vayu Deva before "assuming a huge form with face glowing like a smokeless oven" in preparation for his leap, that seemed considerably easier to understand)

Kunal Singh: Kula Devata/How to determine if you have ancient roots







Mr. Gurupdesh Singh has questioned whether the agrarians of Bihar can prove that they have ancient roots in Bharat, suspecting that we may just be descendants of the Indo-Scythians.  Certainly, proving a descent prior to the arrival of the Indo-Scythians would be quite easy if one accepted the lineages as described in the Puranas.  But being from the northwest, Mr. Gurupdesh Singh has no faith in things like the Ramayana, Mahabharata or the Puranas having any authenticity whatsoever.  According to him all these are figments of Brahmins'imaginations. :-)
So given the above constraint, I have given some thought to how I could determine if I, a Kurmi from Bihar, was descended from some Indo-Scythian (Jats, Huns, Gurjaras) or other people who came later to Bharata (Greeks etc.).  I guess Kurmis from the South would not have
this dilemma. ;-)

I think the term "vratya" denotes anyone not divided into caste-based societies.  The whole caste division thing seems to have started in the northern/central UP area and then continued to the northern regions of Bihar.  It becomes imperative to separate the notion of lineage from "arya" or "vratya."  Apparently the Magadha region was already inhabited by people before the whole "aryanization" process. It was inhabited by people who worshipped their ancestors and those
who worshipped cobras.  During ancient times the Magadhans and the Gandhars were BOTH considered non-arya.  Some even question when the Licchavis began to be considered "arya."
So the term "vratya" is not synonymous with "foreigners" in the strict sense.  It signifies that a people were beyond the "arya" society's folds, which denoted a society divided along caste lines
 
Avoiding all constructs which could possibly be related to Brahmins such as gotra, caste etc., I think I can manage to do it without any of these.

 
The first place to start, ignoring my caste, would be the tradition of keeping a kul devta.  Both my maternal and my paternal parents had a kul devta and the kul devta consisted of a piece of earth and was named after several deities.  Among the deities named as the kul devtaof my family are Lakshmi, and Hanuman among many others.  Now somepeople would object that a kul devta is a Brahmin construct, but such people would be wrong.  Kul devtas were kept in families, quite well
guarded by the women in the family, who offered homage to it in terms of ritualistic worship practically everyday.  In some rituals, the kul devtas participated, particularly marriage etc., and the Brahmin would  have to ask who your kul devta was.  And any new woman who came into
the family would likewise have to offer worship to the kul devta.  I have not met any Jats or even Punjabis who had kul devtas yet, though quite a few were agrarians, not unlike Kurmis.
 
The second place to start would be rites and rituals related to the place where you live.  It is quite easy to distinguish between traditional people of Patna and the newcomers to Patna.  For example,
my wife's family is traditionally from Patna.  Before marriage they are required to pay homage to Devi Ma (a deity of Shakti represented by five stones).  After marriage they are required to pay homage to the deity Patali Devi, the deity associated with the city of Patna whose inhabitants viewed her as their mother, thus the name Pataliputra (sons of Patali).  Needless to say not all people who get married in Patna pay homage to the Patali deity.  But the traditional castes of Patna see it as a ritual that needs to be completed, though they can't explain why.  Even non-believing newer generations in these castes generally end up taking a rather long trip to the temple which is located in the area of "old Patna" or the actual Pataliputra which is rather far away from modern or new Patna.  And once you get to the temple, you can't see a single modern person from the northwest anywhere near the place.  You will only see traditional people of various castes.

 You want an easily identifiable clear-cut sign of Hun/Saka association?  Take the marriage ritual.  In all Vedic communities, the groomnever rides a horse but rides a chariot!  Any horse-riding tradition
is likely associated with the Huns or Sakas.  And the Rajputs in UPand Bihar can't seem to do the bhangra very well!
 
The third place to start would be an analysis of the diet and lifestyle.  The traditional diet of Bihari agrarians, as I've pointed out before, has a greater commonality with the south than the north-west.  Rice and lentils and their respective flours comprise the largest part of the diet.  "Pitthas" and "Littis" of Bihar are similar to "Idlis" of the South.  Various "sattus" are also consumed, particularly by the elderly.  And "besan" and "gud" seem to be a popular combination in Bihar.
 The Vedic society was largely a onions,meat-consuming, liquor-drinking society and that includes both light and dark-skinned people.  You can consult even the Shushruta Samhita on this.
 All three have been taboo since Brahminism has taken over.Some scholars suspect that this appened after the Ashokan period which may have done much to support vegetarianism.
 I had never imagined from reading these ridiculous new books on Ayurveda that its foundations actually recommended meat in its prescriptions!
 
 
In addition, an analysis of the martial arts of the Kurmis of the region would also point to a Vedic heritage.  I have seen Jat swordmanship and the swordmanship of Keralites.  And from the
descriptions of the practices of the various Kurmi swordsmen of the region, I would say that there is greater similarity with the south. Swordmanship in the north-west relies on a standing stance and is
generally geared towards fighting a single opponent.  Though the swordsman spins the sword, the planes of rotation are rather limited. The Vedic martial arts tradition relies on the swordsman not just
spinning the sword, but varying the plane of rotation quite quickly, and also himself rapidly rotating and even taking into the air to strike from above -- a capability for which one of my ancestors is
still remembered today in my father's village.  The most important difference is that the latter tradition requires greater flexibility of muscles and joints -- when you leap above, to have an effective
reach/strike your legs have to be in a split in the air for your arm to strike downwards with any force.
So, given all of the above factors, I am still quite sure that the lineage of the Kurmis of Bihar belongs to the Vedic tradition, and am not at all convinced that I am in any way descended from
Indo-Scythians. :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A crie de couer from a Kshatriya-IV

Kammas were kings belonging to the Solar,lunar and Haihaya clans of Kshatriyas(warriors),who ruled over a famous land called Kamma rashtra or kamma nadu.They were basically an amalgam of the lunar clan Chalukyas and the solar clan Cholas who initially fought ferociously for the coveted land of kamma nadu, and later on made peace by entering into marital alliances.
 
Every one claims such lofty pedigrees but it is difficult to show any continuance from the decline of those dynasties to the establishment of these relatively petty kingdoms.
The only one in Indian history I can think which has any credibility is the Mauryas of Konkan named for the erstwhile Maurya empire 400 years prior.
Interestingly Cholas were Tamil and Chalukyas were Kannada and yet you have a purely Telugu dynasty, odd is it?
 
 
Practically all the ruling families of South India as well as Sri Lanka excepting Kerala were related to the Kammas.
 
More unsubstantiated claims.
 
A clan of chalukyas conquered Gujarat and are known as "Solankis", which is one of the major clans among the Rajputs.
According to the puranas Kammas were descendants of a lunar dynasty king Maharaja Kamra and his 500 brothers.
The Kammas were hailed as kamma Prabhus,kamma Nayakas and Kamma Doras. Their names were suffixed by raju,naidu,needu,neni,deva,verma etc.They were called Manneelu (Mannan or king) in Tamil Nadu.
 
Naidu and Verma et al are titles which can be adopted by those who move up in ranks and prove their mettle on the battlefield.
 
The events of 11th and 12th centuries brought a seachange in the social heirarchy of south India. Due to the rise of veerasaivism, hitherto low castes gained in wealth and power. A dynamic farmer lady Reddi Nagamma was able to become minister in the court of the kings of Palandu. She laid the foundation for politics based on groupism, treachery, propaganda, and assassinations ( akin to the present politics in which her descendants are excelling )
 
Cheap shot.
 
in the place of the cultured, noble politics practiced by the valiant aristocrats.
 
We could've used more treachery and assasinations in dealing with Muslims. We have seen what nobility has led us to.
 
 As she became very popular among the low castes in the soceity including her kapu community, the existing minister Brahma Naidu who was a relative of the royal family and himself a very popular personality, tried to check her by following the method of appeasing the low castes including the untouchables (whom Nagamma left out) by giving them elevated posts like military generals and adopting them and treating them on par with high castes. His efforts to unite the soceity actually fragmented it further like all similar efforts in India did. Seelam Brahma Naidu belonging to the Recherla gothra ( one of the two most famous gothras among the Kammas; the other being Vallutla) of the Kammas was ostracised (or veli)from the community and he became the founder of a new caste, the Velamas
 
And thank you Velamas for bringing the Nizams to power and even now siding with their offspring to create Telengana as your personal fiefdom. Bravo!
 
The various gameplans of Nagamma and Brahma Naidu's efforts to counter them snowballed into a catasrophic war famous as 'Palanati Yuddam' or Battle of Palnadu which was fought between two Kamma brothers of haihaya clan around 1180 A.D.,in which all the royal families of South India Participated. This battle took a very heavy toll of the Kammas and at the same time provided ideal ground for some agrarian communities like Reddis to take up military jobs and climb up in social heirarchy .
The fatal impact of the battle of Palnadu was felt in 1323 A.D.,some 150 years later when the mighty Kakatiya Emperor Pratapa Rudra Deva II,after having thrashed the muslim invaders many a time before,finally succumbed because of the treachery of the low castes in his army, who have attained military status during the tumultuous period of the battle of Palnadu, on the pretext that the Emperor did not treat them on par with the Kamma and Velama generals.
 
There are many differing accounts as to why Prataprudra lost the war. He didn't pay proper attention to logistical matters, he failed to pursue and vanquish the defeated Turks. But this lower caste defection is the first I have heard of. If indeed it was true, it is most likely due to the Velama leadership under whom they defected. Stop covering for the Velamas!

The aftermath of the muslim conquest of Andhra was horrible as was anywhere else. These conquerers were total strangers; their appearence, language, customs everything was strange. While the Hindus were soft hearted,kind even to the defeated enemy, had a code of war which was strictly followed by all, like maintaining scheduled timings, sparing the lives of fleeing or surrendering and unarmed enemy etc., the muslims didn't have any such morals.
 
Hmm, so wouldn't the Reddy approach be more useful in dealing with them than yours?
 
They resorted to all sorts of treacheries, massacred fleeing armies and subjected captured enemy kings to most horrific and barbaric forms of tortures like burning alive, cutting of tongue, deskinning alive etc. Even ordinary people were not spared. Villages were looted, men killed, women raped, temples destroyed. No one was secure. An unprecedented catastrophe, that changed the course of history forever fell over the people of Andhra because of the treachery of a few mean and jealous people.
 
Look history is replete with short sighted and oppressed people who have been well shorted by the powers to be and often these guys end up supporting foreign invaders out of a combination of spite and an entitlement attitude. It is best to learn from such episodes to reduce discontent all around to a manageable level which doesn't seem to be the case with your ancestors and their jealously guarded privileges.

In this dark period, two Kamma brothers Musunuri Prolaya Naidu and Kapaya Naidu rose to the task of saving Andhra. They were relatives of the Emperor and rulers of a province in present krishna district.They regrouped all the scattered generals and soldiers of the defeated army,and started recapturing the lost kingdom. As a classical example of the meanness of Indian rulers, in such dire circumstances, where helping a neighbouring king was most due, the rulers of Oodhra(Orissa), saw an oppurtunity to invade Andhra and avenge previous humiliations.Prolaya Naidu was killed in one such battle with the Kalingas and it was left to Kapaya Naidu to carry on the fight against the muslims.
 
I think it was Sitaram Goel who noted that following the collapse of the Gupta dynasty, Indians had become quite provincial and lacked a wider perspective of the world. This was true more of eastern dynasties like the Andhras ,Oriyas and Bengalis especially in the wake of Chola naval might which gave a sense of security from foreign invaders from that direction. The Chola naval supremacy may be comparable to the American naval forces aircraft carriers stationed in strategic bottlenecks which facilitate world trade by offsetting pirates.
Those on the West coast such Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas who squashed once and for all Arab dreams of an Indian conquest were more cosmopolitan and realistic about world affairs well because they had to be. At the same time, they weren't xenophobes. Rashtrakutas appointed Arab merchants as governers of various regions. And these Arabs didn't dare pull a Hyder Ali or Tipu Sultan on their bosses. Indeed they engaged in hyperbolic praise of them as one of the 4 most powerful kingdoms in the world.
Interestingly Reddys trace descent from Rashtrakutas, wonder what our Kamma friend thinks of that!
 
Musunuri Kapaya Naidu (or Nayaka) waged a relentless war against the muslims and after 13 years of relentless fighting, recaptured the capital city Warangal and freed Andhra soil totally from the conquerers.(It is to be noted that the success of Kapaya naidu was one of the greatest moments in Indian history, where a Hindu king was able to recapture his capital lost to muslims.Even Rana Pratap was able to recapture only a part of his kingdom from Akbar,but failed to take the capital Chittoregarh). He was recognised as the successor to the Kakatiya empire with the titles Andhra Desadheeswara and Andhra Sura Trana .
 
To be fair, Rana Pratap was facing far worse odds than Kapaya Naidu. Though that is certainly not to diminish the Naidu brothers achievements which were formidable.
 
Kapaya Naidu restored order, rebuilt the temples, patronised brahmins and ruled Andhra for 35 years.After his death in a battle, Andhra again fell into the hands of muslims. The Kammas retreated to the south of the river Krishna and were patronised by the newly formed Vijayanagar kings who offered them the highest military and governor posts.
 
Thank you for atleast not claiming that Vijayanagar founders were Kammas!
 
The Vijayanagar Empire was found by two brothers Harihara and Bukka,probably of kannada origin and courtiers of the Hoysala king Veera Bhallala.Veera Bhallala struck terror in the hearts of the muslim invaders.Unable to take him on in a straight battle,the muslims played a game of surrender and deceitfully captured him and put him to a horrific death.
 
More Turko Afghan dirty tricks as a substitute for courage in noble warfare.
 
Harihara and Bukka were said to be closely related to Kapaya Naidu(mentioned as 'Kanhaiyya nayak' by muslim historians) and helped Kapaya in his struggle against muslims.After the demise of Kapayya,the Vijayanagar Kingdom effectively restricted the advance of muslims to the south of the river Krishna for 250 years.The Kammas formed the cream of the Vijayanagar army with majority of the Generals being chosen from them. The Vijayanagar kings followed the Nayankara or feudatory system of the Kakatiyas and honored the Kammas by giving them the lion's share of these feudataries. The supreme commander of the army invariably used to be from the Gandikota royal family, who also had marital relations with the Vijayanagar kings.(Similar to the Jaipur royal family vs the Moghuls).
 
Eh? That it is rather bad analogy!
 
The Gandikota king Pemmasani Bagaru Thimma Naidu,became a folk hero by defeating the combined forces of the Bahamani Sultans(popular in folklore as Bangaru Thimma Raju Katha).Pemmasani Ramalinga Naidu,Ravella Mallikarjuna Naidu etc.,were some other extremely famous supreme commanders of the Vijayanagar army.
After the fall of Vijayanagar in the battle of Talli kota around 1565 A.D., and Gandikota a 100 years later,the Kammas retreated into deep south as the kings of Tanjavur,Madurai,Ginjee,Ramanathapura in Tamil Nadu and Candy in Sri Lanka were Kammas who conquered them under the behest of Vijayanagar kings.
 
The Nayaks in general have a mixed record. More engaged in petty squabbles with each other than any substantial offensive against Muslims. The best that can be said about hem is that they held out for another 150 years or so.
 
The Kammas were reduced to the Status of big Zamindars and landlords by the British after suppressing their revolts and confiscating their armies.
After the fall of the Kakatiya empire in 1323 A.D., a section of the Kammas entered into the deep forests of Bastar in today's Chattisgarh under the leadership of Raja Ammaya Deva, brother of the Emperor Pratapa Rudra. They found a kingdom there which existed till the advent of the Indian independence.
After India attained Independence and Zamindaries were abolished, the social and political clout of the Kammas started to decline as the changed circumstances did not suit them. Neverthless they have become successful farmers, industrialists, doctors, engineers and film heroes and producers. Due to their high success rate because of their sincere and hardworking nature, they are being grudged and envied by other communities.
 
This is what we call in colloquial Telugu as "Sontha dabba" ie beating your own drum while singing your praises!
 
Their aristocratic behaviour and unwillingness to treat others as their equals and mingle with them may also be the reasons. Now, the Kammas are at the crossroads and they have to organise themselves and brace up for the rapidly changing circumstances, if at all they want to keep up their affluence.
 
You can start by not burning bridges left and right with other communities!

Kunal Singh: RAMA NAVAMI: Hanuman and The Vasanta Navaratri

Surprisingly despite the presence of so many erudite religious VHP/RSS Hindu scholars nobody seems to have bothered posting anything regarding Rama Navami.  So I figured I should post it, as apparently it seems quite like 'Chat', 'Rama Navami' is apparently another Hindu festival which can now be termed 'Bihari' as others don't seem to bother celebrating it anymore. I am not talking about high culture of Thyagaraja etc but of common rural folk.

Immediately following the Chata celebrations in Bihar, Ramanavami iscelebrated which marks the birth of Rama.  In the city of Patna duringRamanavami various temples encourage participants to come andcelebrate the event and a small mela is held near the Patna railwaystation near the Hanuman temple.  However, the event seems to be more visible outside of Patna in the rural areas.

Strangely, Ramanavami is marked more by the worship of Hanuman, Rama's greatest devotee, than by the worship of Rama himself.  And as I headed south of Patna towards the rural town of Hilsa, I wouldencounter the many "dhwajas" put up during Ramanavami, the triangularflags fluttering in the wind.  This is indeed the most visible characteristic of the festival.  Very tall bamboo poles are put up
with triangular orange/saffron flags mounted atop the poles. Such flags are a familiar site to most people living in the area as traditionally, most families in the Bihar/UP/MP area used to have a
"dhwaja" in their courtyards. 


Rama Navami is the conclusion of the spring navaratri.  The winter navaratri is observed by the worship of Durga/Kali and the spring navaratri is observed by the worship of  ... Rama ?  No Hanuman!  Because it is said that Hanuman is the only way to acquire the blessings of Rama.  There is a good reason for this, as the sage of the Hanuman mantra is indeed Rama himself.
Thus the navaratri tradition themselves seem to have been put in place by
Rama (Durga is said to have been worshipped by Rama prior to waging battle
against Ravana thus giving rise to the winter navaratri).  And the purnima
which follows is termed 'Hanuman Jayanti.'
Now Hanuman is deemed a part incarnation of Shiva himself.  This may seem confusing, but indeed if one understands the Sanskrit matrkas one can easilysee that the Hanuman mantra has a strong element of Shiva in it. Thus thewinter worship of Shakti and the spring worship of an incarnation of Mahadeva.
 
Hanuman was apparently by present demarcations a Jharkhandi and by former an ex-Bihari who seems to have been born in a village named after his mother 120 km from Ranchi.  He was quite a trouble making youth, and was known to show off his own spiritual prowess and spoil the penance of quite a few rishis, thus one can presume that the natural Bihari influence was quite strong and he likely lived in the jungles in the presence of such rishis.

He showed off his unusual prowess and created so much trouble that one of the rishis finally cursed him to cause him to lose memory of his prowess. As he grew up no rishi would take him as a student due to ill feelings and misunderstandings of his youthful misadventures.  Thus Hanuman was
self-taught or in other words the Surya devata whom he 'followed' (most likely tracked in his body) taught him all the shastras that he needed to know and he became invincible even to the Brahmastra.
 
Thus Hanuman is worshipped during the Rama Navami festival, and this is done with great vigour not only in the large temples dedicated to Hanuman such as  those in Patna, but in the smallest of villages where Hanuman can be seen on all the triangular saffron flags flying atop high flying bamboo poles, one such flag even graced the chariot of Arjuna in the Mahabharata.  It is during this time that they are all replaced and new ones put in their place which makes for quite a colorful landscape in the Bihari countryside.
Hanuman in the countryside is synonymous with strength, prowess and victory and is used even as a warcry quite like 'har har mahadev' in fights between large groups of people..  Every flag of Hanuman echoes with the Bihari rural sentiment: "Jyon Jyon Hanuman Paanva Parantaa Wahi Pataala Chala Jaaye Turantaa!  Jai Hanumantaa, Jai Hanumantaa!
 
The "dhwaja" is a declaration of victory.  Though the idealistic would say that it was a victory of good over evil, I sometimes wonder if it isn't outright a declaration of martial victory.  Typically Hanumana is invoked by the bhojpur populace during fighting.  For example, when two groups in the rural regions around Hilsa would attack each other, such as over a land dispute, they would either call on Shiva for courage, yelling "Har Har Mahadev" or would remind themselves of Hanuman burning the Lanka with "Jai Mahavir Swami!"  Then the two groups would typically charge each other lathis or swords spinning the men hopping and turning quickly like monkeys in the process.

Typically when kids in the region became afraid of either ghosts or some other menace, they would recite the Hanuman chalisa to themselves.  And the chalisa would accompany them on long treks during dark hours of the night.  And then of course there is the fondness of Bihari villagers for that old bhojpur saying expressing admiration for Hanuman's strength which translates into "wherever Hanuman's feet touched the ground, that ground immediately sank into the nether regions."
Thus it seems that the dhwaja has become symbolic of a very ancient victory for the population of the region.  That it is associated with Hanuman seems to give it a more martial interpretation.
 
(What was he doing in what is present day Tamil Nadu)
 
Supposedly the Surya devata told him to go join Sugreeva.  It seems he may have had prior political connections to the region as well.  His father was Pawankumar and his grandfather was the vanara king Prahalada Vidyadhara who in support of Ravana in his fight against Banasur, had sent Pawankumar to assist Ravana.  Pawankumar had in a fit of anger left his wife Anjani in a
remote home and only visited her once during which time she supposedly conceived Hanuman before going off to war in favor of Ravana.  The story regarding Vayu devata is quite interesting.  I suspect that during her time alone, Anjani may have had quite a bit of time to perform 'tapasya' and
became known for it.  At one time, it is said that she felt a touch of 'vayu' but found nobody around.  Eventually, Vayu devata confessed that it was he who touched her but he did not violate her chastity as he was omnipresent in a secret way and was everywhere.  Apparently this seems to be a reference to Anjani's achievement of yogic ability, as in yoga, 'vayu' is associated with the sense of 'sparsha' and thus the special characteristics of Hanuman at a very early age!
 
 I suspect that the undergoing of various religious rituals by queens/mothers in the past may have considerably strengthened the children, the same being true of the men.  It is said in the tantra that the male determines the 'prana' and the mother the 'blood' characteristics.  And spiritually developed parents will not due to any fantastic miracle, but both by birth, and by later repeated contact will lead to children with higher internal energy.  Thus it was said about Buddha's son Rahul that by his mere proximity to Buddha he achieved enlightenment!  It is said that men of higher internal energy have
a stronger energy field which will alter you as well over time.  It's definitely true, as my kung fu instructor who can externalize energy can create a strong enough aura for his devotionally or religiously minded non-kung fu types to describe it as "divine love/bliss" because a sense of
calm overtakes your body quite forcefully, calming all of your nerves.  Of course the Shakti followers know exactly what it is! ;-)

Afghanistan:Graveyard or genesis of empires?



I often wonder if the myth of indomnitable Afghans/Pathans had been fostered by the British to make up for their own lackluster performance in that region. And this had in time turned into some sort of self fulfilling prophecy especially involving super powers such as Russia and now U.S where the opponents use this powerful piece of propaganda to undermine their opponents. But how true is the narrative of the tough and unconquered Afghans?




The earliest ethnic group associated with Afghanistan are the Kambojas who were defeated by Sagara and were forced to maintain short hair and beards as a sign of submission.

They were thus excluded as mlecchas or barbarians to whom Vedic rites and rituals were to be denied.

However that region was deemed strategic enough to maintain a presence of  Kshatriyas from the heartland and the location of Taxila university suggests that it was firmly under Indian political and cultural influence.

Alexander invaded and conquered this area with minimal fuss and discusses with horror at the practices of Bactria (then roughly corresponding to the region of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan) at how they would murder their elderly and  the cities would look presentable on the outside but were full of decomposing bodies and bones lying in the city streets.

He had their number with regard to their fighting abilities. He described them as possessing ferocity which imbued them with courage but it was ultimately ephemeral and they would collapse like a house of cards upon just a little counter resistance.
It reminds me of my high school days in Dubai when a Maharashtrian Brahmin boy 5'6" beat the living hell out of his loudmouth Pushtun classmate-6'4"

Hsuien Tsang had the same opinion of them . He also described the proto Kashmirs and Punjabi (ethnic groups related to Kambojas) as being timid and having pretensions of learning but no real knowledge.

There wasn't really an independent Afghan identity which fought foreign invaders until the Shahi kings who despite their valiant struggles ultimately succumbed to Muslim depradations with the final scion jumping into his own pyre.

In the awful film Bose: A forgotten hero we hear a Pathan tribesman singing about his ancestors had defeated the Sakas, Hunas and the Yavanas(Greeks). Sorry old man, none of those claims hold any water. Indeed Afghanistan was so thoroughly defeated that it provided a very cushy bases for those foreigners to invade and hold onto India.

It was the plains people of Indian river cultures, Guptas,Mauryas and Satavahanas which forcefully evicted these barbarians.
"The Greek sword broken, Greek shield shattered, the Greek army scattered to dust" Savarkar poetically described the trouncing of the hitherto undefeated Macedonian army under Chandragupta Maurya

Those later Kabul based dynasties which came to rule a good chunk of India such as Khiljis, Thuglaks, Ghazni and Mughals themselves were not native to Afghanistan but of Turk or Mongol ethnicities who looked down on the Pushtuns(already an amalgalm of Hindu Kambhoj ,Hunnic and Turkic Muslims). So much so that Pushtuns adopted a foreign title("Khan" from the Mongols) as a symbol of their cultural and military degradation.

Afghans, whether Pushtun or Turkic, were not synonymous so much for courage and valor but as a byword for cruelty, treachery and dirty tricks in warfare such as ambushing unarmed kings during negotiations(Vira Balla), posing as horse traders in order to capture the capital with minimal resistance(Lakshmana Sena) or attacking Indian soldiers during undesignated fighting hours during the night or early morning to take them by surprise.


Later Maharaja Ranjit Singh upon his conquest of Kabul would impose on the Afghans, the clothing of the women of West Punjab as a humiliation. It is a clothing they wear to this day.




To be sure quite a few Afghans managed to carve out fiefdoms for themselves in small chunks of India during the decline of the Mughal empire particularly in Madurai, Bhopal , Haryana and Bengal . Once again using the time honored dirty tricks and broken treaties rather than honorable methods of war.


When Afghans acquired a reputation for courage, steadfastness ,honesty and loyalty is an interesting question. Much of it is to do with Victorian propaganda which craved a face saving measure when their expeditions to Afghanistan were thoroughly defeated.

Add to that the mystique of the Roussean noble savage which had gained prominence amongst all the elites in Europe to which as disparate people as Scots, Turks, Ethiopian highlanders, Native Amerians,Chechens and Pushtuns were (somewhat) unflatteringly cast.

And into this mixture add a dash of martial race and Aryan race theory (due to the fair skinned and light eyed appearance of Pushtuns) and the mythology is complete.

This was propagated not just by the Muslim mafia dominated Bollywood(best typified by the exploitative but delirious Feroz Khan) but also the emasculated and cuckolded Hindus producers such as Kapoors(who had to flee their native Peshawar due to Pathan threats to their life) and the usual Benegal,Nihalani kabal.

The " indomitable Pustun" narrative received another shot in the arm during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan where the CIA found it useful to dust off this colonial era anachronism as valuable psy ops against the enemy.

All in all, the Pushtuns couldn't make much of a dent against the mighty Soviet army and neither could their occasionally daring but tactically useless Arab volunteers and tourists, Osama's hyperbolic boasts to the contrary.

Ultimately the Soviets withdrew due to the economy faltering and discontent due to an aggressive arms race started by Reagan which undid their entire rotten socio political edifice.
Even so they left behind a pro communist figure head which the Afghans didn't dare remove.

Whatever little honor, courage and nobility was remaining in Afghanistan was gone, dead and crushed under the Soviet jackboot. 1/5th of Afghanistan lived in Pakistan with a good chunk of women making a living as prostitutes and the men as heroin smugglers.

The subsequent brutalities of the Taliban and the trauma of the American invasion and occupation only exposed further defects in the Afghan psyche-treachery, corruption, greed and cowardice. The reviews of the Afghan National Army are far from glowing. And neither is anyone particularly struck by Taliban battlefield mettle. The only reason Americans falter is due to a combination of mission creep and fighting under strict rules of engagement enforced by the former general Stanley McChrystal.

However their mythology still lives on in Bollywood where we have as recently a remake of Deewar with Sunjay Dutt filling in for the noble Pathan character Sher Khan, played in the original by Pran ( a character originally based on the Mumbai gangster Karim Lala).

The only challenge to this narrative came for the Mumbai Malayalee Samajam upon the airing of the TV serial Tipu Sultan in 1989 who objected to the glorification of this cruel tyrant and his atrocities. Some Malayalee Kshatriya authors also tore open old wounds and injured Pushtun pride by stating how Tipu Sultan was critically injured by Nair troops in a pitched battle and left for dead by his paniced retreating army but as capturing and executed an injured king was against their Kshatriya dharma, he was returned safely back to his camp.

Seeing how the Mumbai film industry is really a Pushtun and mercenary Punjabi establishment since 1948, I suppose it shouldn't be surprising.

What is surprising is that we root for characters like Badshah Khan in bizarre works such as Khuda Gawah and the dimwitted Hindu audience is manipulated into admiring his Muslim highland bravado by the uber dhimmi director Mukul Anand(may he rot in hell).

It was once said by a wise man that nothing dies in India. Hence we have communist ruled states, patronize religions like Zoroastrianism which is the rough equivalent of breeding pandas only because they are exotic , revived political Islam long before it was in the Middle East , not to mention an aggressive and assertive Christianity which even a hundred years ago were extinct in the Arab world and Europe respectively.
Indeed the Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfooz relates how the Egyptian peasant of the early 1900s considered the Islamic faith to be something a bygone era with the Quran and mosques to be relegated with the Pharoahs,pyramids and Sphinxes).


India seems generous to those even who wish to do it harm. It reminds me of a Buddhist proverb which says the sandalwood tree even scents the axe which tries to fell it.But ultimately cruel ideologies are self destructive and will collapse on the self confidence of Vedic civilization under whose hegemony the Kambojs and Vahlikas were little more than a fringe third rate frontier state. It is only a matter of a time when we are back to that dynamic.







Monday, April 13, 2015

A crie de couer from a Kshatriya III

"Anaganaga Oka Raju".....(once upon a time,there was a king). Thus start all the folk stories of Andhra and describe the various adventures the king accomplishes. All these kings (folkheroes like Bangaru Thimma Raju ) were invariably Kammas.
 
No that is too fantastic a claim.
 
 The Kammas were considered synonymous with bravery and chivalry while the kamma women were icons of beauty and chastity. But, all this was 'once upon a time' i.e. the glory of the past. (It is a different story, that the term "raju" is presently being applied to the Vadde Rajus or Oriyan kings).
 
Well Oriyan kings are still kings.
 
 
If we go through the history of a thousand years, we can easily ascertain that the social status and life style and customs of the Rajputs in the North and the Kammas in the South were one and the same.
 
There is scant evidence of Rajputs being linked to Kammas. However there are quite a few Rajus who may have stronger claim particularly to the clan of Sisodias.
In likelihood it is the reverse, many Rajputs were descended from southern aristorcrats such as those introduced by Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas during the Great Karnata Expansion.
 
 
 
Wherever they went they built forts and started to rule. Their profession was fighting. Their ladies had the customs of gosha and sati. Around 1000 A.D., probably they might have been related. We can note that the Chalukyas who were basically from Kamma Nadu first ruled over Karnataka and Maharashtra and later ruled Gujarat as Solankis (one of the tribes among the Rajputs). Here, we can refer to the stories in a famous book of that times, Suka Saptati Kathalu, where in the Kammas were mentioned among the various kings who came to witness the marriage of the princess of Ujjaini. There was even mention of two sects of Kammas, "Suryanamsi" (Solar clan) and "Chandravamsi" (lunar clan), akin to the Rajputs.
 
Suryanvanshi and Chandravanshi are common to all agrarian yeoman warrior communities. It may just mean the Kammas are an amalgalm.
 
The Kammas follwed vedic traditions like wearing the sacred thread and had rishi gothras. ( e.g. The mikkilineni family of gandikota belongs to the 'bharadhwaja' gothra). But, the Kammas deviated from the vedic tradition in the 12th century due to the social revolutions in south India.
After the fall of Gandikota the Kammas lost a major share of their political power and took to agriculture. A majority of them left their royal customs like the 'gosha' of their ladies during the severe drought conditions of the 1770's. Neverthless, they held an esteemed position in the soceity and referred to as 'Kamma Varu', in the highest degree of reverence. But, due to the unimaginable changes the country (and the world) has undergone in the twentieth century, the status of the Kammas started to deteriorate slowly since the 1930's and it has hastened up after the 80's.
The Indian soceity which stood still since some hundreds of years was set into a turmoil by the developments in educational, technical and communication fields after India attained Independence. New ideals like socialism and communism have started to influence the mindset of the people. The educated persons from the lower sections of the society resented the existing system and started to fight for their rights.
 
Can you blame them?
 
 No one is willing to accept another as 'superior'. People from many ordinary communities have attained the zenith of power and prosperity. But, when it came to their past, every community started to pale before the glory of the Kammas.
 
Far fetched claim.
 
 It is here that the Kammas and the history of Andhra are being targeted and a purposeful confusion is being created systematically with the purpose of depriving the Kammas of their heritage, glory and superiority. What they could not have, let no one else have.
 
That's quite an allegation.
 
Since around the 1930's efforts have began to distort the Andhra history as propaganda started to become more powerful than the facts. Some 'Kingdoms' have been newly created as having ruled Andhra in the 14th century and their role is being blown out of proportion. Today, historians are taking lot of care not to mention the word 'Kamma' when they had to mention the castes of the kings. Wherever the term 'naidu' appears, they are creating ambiguity ( because some castes like the boyas who served in the vijayanagar army as generals or Sena Nayakas also had 'naidu' as title and in the last century many servant and concubine castes of the Kammas and Velamas started calling themselves 'naidus', to boost up their social status ).
 
Look nayaka and Naidu are just title that could be applied to any person who proved his worthiness in battle and it was his to use for him and his posterity. A bunch of these guys came together in couple of generations to form a caste. These titles are not the patented by Kammas or any one else.
 
The brother-in-law of Kakatiya Emperor Ganapati Deva ,Jayappa , despite clearly being mentioned as a Kamma Lord and King of Kamma Nadu, was said to belong to some Ayya caste. (Can anyone tell what was this caste?).
 
Arya Kshatriya? Again probably just a title than an ethnonym.
 
And, Suravaram Pratap Reddy has directly hijacked the great Musunuri Nayakas, claiming them to be reddis. The stories like the "Suka Saptathi Kathalu" are not available today. The inscription of Vemareddi stating that he has served the 'lotus feet of Kapaya Nayaka' is not mentioned anywhere. And historians are overlooking a simple fact that the Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Musunuri Nayakas and later the Vijayanagar kings had a common emblem; Adi Varaha (a wild boar), with a sword and moon crescent indicating they were continuation of the same lunar clan.
 
That's because they all claim descent from Yadavas, especially the Vijayanagar kings. This Varaha was an incarnation of Vishnu.
 
Most of the Kammas had access to the British education because of their financial position. This pseudo education ( the pun "I was born brave and intelligent; my education ruined me" can be aptly applied here ) confused and misguided the very rich and powerful Kammas like the many Rajas and Zamindars due to which they worked against their own instincts, against their own community and traditions and against their own benefits in the illusion of high level thinking and ideals and allowed their sub-ordinates like the kapus and balijas to become rich and powerful which in the long run proved disastrous for themselves in particular and to the total community in general (french-revolution syndrome).
 
Or perhaps given half a chance, the Kapus and Balijas outshined their erstwhile superiors. The French Revolution was much as an intellectual and elitist revolt against the monarchy as it was based on mass discontent.
 
After two or three generations, they became a menace by claiming the glory of the Kammas and Velamas as theirs and started claiming to be 'naidus'. Even politically and socially they became antagonised to the Kammas.
 
Once again the Kammas are simply the cream of the crop of the Kapus and other castes. So in a way they are not really all that incorrect.
 
The dynamics of human psychology and behavior is very complex and it can be read only by instincts and not by any generalised rules. The Kammas learnt it the hard way. Many Kammas entered into the freedom struggle and donated all their properties with the impression that they are promoting the cause of the country and it will be put to good use. And, as we can see today, their sacrifice became meaningless as many oppurtunistic people of low origins have gulped up the properties donated by them (in the form of politicians and corrupt officers) and became millionaires, while their own offspring became paupers. ( Today, we are witnessing thousands of acres of temple lands,worth thousands of crores being encroached or occupied by politicians and corrupt officials utilising the so many loops in the revenue system. At the same time the descendants of the various rajas who have donated those lands are leading ordinary or less than ordinary lives ).
 
 
This is not unique to Kammas or kings in post independence India. The new republic of India which had strong egalitarian instincts took a dim view of monarchies which it saw as anachronistic.
 
 
When the land ceiling act was invoked, the Kammas who were the richest caste then with many families holding thousands of acres of fertile lands, gave up their lands voluntarily beleiving that the government is fighting for a worthy and just cause of bringing about an egalitarian soceity. Despite being aware that such a rule was coming into force, they made no efforts to save their lands or at least distribute it themselves among their near and dear. Being leaders to all, they never thought along caste lines, while others started to think so. The other land owning commmunities like the reddis did not lose much of their holdings as they utilised all the loopholes of the law to retain their lands. Finally, the land ceiling act turned out to be a gameplan to strip the Kammas off their lands (as far as Andhra is considered) and make them look like 'idealistic idiots' .
 
Come now. Kammas did manage to usurp quite a few low caste lands themselves. However much of is due to the establishment of Andhra Pradesh where Kammas thought they would get a quid pro quo in lands vs government representation and power but that was not forthcoming from the Congress/Reddy combine. That much is true.
 
 
Being hot-tempered and fighters for justice, the Kammas are easily influenced by ideals that seem to stand for justice and equality. It was the highly educated Kammas who were first inspired by communism and socialism.
 
More fool Kammas.
 
 Kamma Communists fought with Kamma rajas and zamindars and made their lands to be distributed among the lower castes who were generally serfs, labourers and children of the concubines of the rajas.
 
Again with the concubines, if you super horny Kammas would stop thinking with your dicks perhaps you wouldn't be in this predicament!
 
 In prosperous areas like Diviseema (which was the estate of Raja Yarlagadda Sivaramakrishna Prasad Naidu, popularly known as the Challapalli Raja and ranked no.1 among 'Andhra Pramukhas' of 1950's) these labourers who got into posession of fertile lands became very rich and powerful and started calling themselves 'naidus'. (An essential quality of human psychology which yearns for identity after the basic needs are satisfied; next stage is fighting for supremacy).
 
Nothing wrong with that.
 
 After two generations they kicked out these very communists on caste grounds.
 
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
 
They became so possessive of the word 'Naidu', that they are claiming even historical figures like Raja Venkatadri Naidu, the famous king of Amaravati of 19th century as belonging to their castes. As a climax to such identity-seeking and self-boosting gimmicks, the greatest king of Vijayanagar, Sri Krishna Deva Raya is being claimed by these neo-rich low caste people as belonging to their castes (god only knows the reasons) and his statues are being unveiled in caste meetings.
 
Here I have to agree. For more modern version of this phenomenon all you have to do is check out Wikipedia or the websites of various castes where they don't restrict to their ambitions in laying claim to Krishnadevaraya but go as far as to claim Lord Krishna himself as one of their own.
 
 
During the 1960's and the 70's the 'educated' Kammas considered physical work degrading and it became fashionable to go to clubs, drink and play cards.
 
Hahaha! Then what do you expect your fate to be?
 
And maintaining concubines has come down as an aristocratic custom from generations.
 
Here we go again.
 
Very rich Kamma families became debt-ridden and sold their gold, lands and properties while their uneducated serfs(Paleru) and servants who were accustomed to physical work and their concubines ('bhogam' people) became new masters of the lands and properties and eventually became rich.
 
Who told you  to get sloshed, gamble and spend your cash on mistresses rather than work? What use crying about it now?
 
All these neo-rich people of so many miscellaneous castes started calling themselves 'naidus'. All these miscellaneous communities were initially loyal and respectful to the Kammas, but as generations changed, and the newly acquired riches bloated their egos (There is a saying about the low born;One forgets his caste if his stomach is full )
 
What is low born business?
 
they began to grudge and hate the Kammas, and their anti-kamma feelings are being kept sustained and utilised successfully by the congress party.
 
Caste politics is a dirty business and yes Congress is guilty but neither is our TDP and NTR completely unstained by all this.
 
 
The Kammas being a royal race are endowed with beauty and good physical features so much so they can be recognised by mere appearence on most of the occasions.
 
No, I would have to disagree. There are sure some attractive specimens, but in general they just seem to be a more prosperous and (somewhat) fairer skinned versions of Kapus.
 
 
 Their noble qualities and aristocratic lifestyle which aroused awe and respect among others in the good olden days are at present turning others against them with zealousy and hatred, because nowadays each community is trying to assert itself and elevate its existing status, and no one is willing to accept anothers superiority.
 
I am not aware of an aristocratic lifestyle . Most these days are farmers or small zamindars or at the opposite end engineers and accountants. In other words,the usual middle class Indian.
 
Historically there was never any enmity between the Kammas and the Reddis. There can not be, as their status and professions were different. The Kammas were warriors whose profession was fighting and ruling and they built forts wherever they went, whereas the reddis built tanks and started cultivation.
 
The two are not mutually exclusive.
 
After being introduced into the military service by a reddi woman Nayakuralu Nagamma who shrewdly entered the court of the kings of Palnadu after appeasing the king with her talent and beauty, the reddis served the Kammas loyally in various ranks.
 
Looks like Kamma women were  asleep at the wheel . How did this Reddy woman manage to make her way into the kings bedchamber even as Kamma women were so drop dead gorgeous!
 
And the great Musunuri Kapaya Naidu made Vemareddi (a pantakapu ), who proclaimed himself a servant of his lotus feet, a king, amid strong opposition from the Velamas, because Vemareddi was not eligible for coronation as he was a sudra. Actually this deed of Kapaya Naidu sparked off a Kamma-Velama clash and cost him his life and kingdom and threw Andhra permanently into the hands of muslims.
 
Not entirely true. Prataparudra also made some errors in judgement despite his courage, resolve and spirited resistance. But yes they didn't help.
 
The reddis became dominant after Independence as the changed circumstances superbly suited them. Being land-owners and village heads, they held considerable clout in the village setup and could influence all sections, particularly labourers who are huge in numbers,thus huge votes. Besides, the reddis themselves are numerically strong, one aspect they outright win over the Kammas and the other two royal castes,the Velamas and Rajus. Added to this their utmost loyalty towards the caste and shrewd, cunning and broker skills came in very handy in a democratic setup.
 
Eh? Are you not also loyal to your caste? Isnt it hypocritical when you condemn others for something you practice yourself?
 
The reddis realised that even in these changed circumstances, it is the Kammas who can challenge their political domination. (Acharya N.G.Ranga would have become the first C.M. of Andhra Pradesh instead of N.Sanjeeva Reddy, had prominent Kamma leaders like Kalluri Chandramouli supported him. Chandramouli and others supported Sanjeeva Reddy because they thought he would be a puppet in their hands compared to a stalwart like Acharya Ranga. Of course, they drastically underestimated Mr. Reddy). They analysed the loopholes of the new democratic setup very well and mastered the vote politics.
 
Come off it, it was proportional representation , it would be Kapus or perhaps Yadavs who would be politically powerful. These groups weren't as organized as Kammas or Reddys
 
They started Gerrymandering (a process where the votes of a particular community are scattered so that they become ineffective). At the time the formation of A.P., Kamma dominated districts like Bellary and Raichur were surrendered to Karnataka and Tiruttani and Vellore were given to Tamil Nadu.
 
Yes but these Kammas thought of themselves more as Tamils or Kannadigas than Telugus. It wouldn't surprise if they themselves had a hand in acceding to those states.
 
During the first reservation to the Assembly constituencies the Kamma dominated constituencies were given a cut by reserving some of them. And during the recent delimitation (follwed in 2009 elections), Gade venkata Reddy was made member of the delimitation committee and he very effectively 'gerrymandered' the remaining Kamma constituencies. Almost 25 seats of the Kammas have been either reserved or gerrymandered. The Kammas are no longer a political force now, a far cry from the position they enjoyed under the leadership of N.T.Rama Rao.
 
Prophecy proven wrong. CB Naidu is once again CM.
 
The saddest thing for the Kammas is that their most revered gurus, the brahmins, who thrived under the protection and subsistence offered by the Kamma kings and Zamindars (The story in the puranas itself indicates that the Kammas were created to protect the brahmins) also became antagonised because of certain developments of the 20th century. (That the Kammas have some Haihaya element in them could also be the reason, since Haihayas were considered prime enemies by the brahmins ).
 
Haihayas had an odd habit of supporting foreign invasions. The most notorious one was where they supported the mleccha invasions of the Kambojas and Sakas against King Sagara.
Anyway Brahmins often had a bad habit of supporting who patronized them especially in the Kali yuga. They went as far as to enlist as generals in Ghazni (Tilak),Mughal(Birbal) and Tipu Sultan's(Shyama Iyengar) armies
 
Some elite Kammas under the influence of foreign education began to think radically and questioned the superiority of the brahmins and their propreitry over the vedas. Stalwarts like Tripuraneni Ramaswamy Chowdary preached atheism.
 
More fool Kammas.
 
They learnt all the vedas and to end the monopoly of the brahmins in certain fields, prepared priests from other communities, particularly from the Kammas. And the Kamma Zamindars took lead in the Justice Party which was an anti-brahmin establishment, whereas the Congress party was dominated by brahmins. And after Independence the brahmins met competition from the Kammas in two fields hitherto monopolised by them, films and education. As a result of all these, the brahmins perceived threat from the Kammas and started to oppose and belittle them by devoiding them of their place in the history. But,in the process they themselves lost their protectors and their situation has become rather pitiable.
 
Telugu movies, whether Brahmin or Kamma ,nowadays Kamma, were more often than not the worst major regional industry in terms of quality. It could not match the edginess of Tamil films, the poetic nature of Bengali features or the high brow content of Malayalam. Coarse, vulgar and formula are the adjectives applied to Telugu films alteast from the early 1970s till today. Kamma dominance in this industry is nothing to brag about.
 
The Kammas because of their martial background despise cheating,brokering and begging and are generally very sincere and hardworking like the sikhs. As a result they became very good enterpreneurs, successful industralists and excelled in many fields. They are the leading doctors and engineers. They dominated the film industry as heroes and producers.
 
Mainly by blatant nepotism.
 
They were actually lagging in the political field after Independence where numerical strength rather than bravery and courage, brokering and negotiating skills in the place of sincerity and efficiency are required. But a gigantic force which smashed up all odds called NT Rama Rao (As a coincidence NTR belongs to the same recherla gothra of Brahma Naidu, who was equally worshipped by the masses as an incarnation of god ) rolled into the political scene and made up for the lapse. All these factors further fuelled the hatred and zealousy of the other communities, which were evident in the 1988 riots.
 
More than the changes in the outside world and outsiders, the crucial factor is the change in the Kammas themselves over a span of two or three generations. They became money-minded and gave in to the wordly pleasures. They weaned away from their martial tradition and discouraged their children from entering into any quarrels or fightings, even when they had to. They put their children into residential schools right from their childhood and they have no practical knowledge. The present generation became like parrots in a cage and they don't know their traditions nor their roots and they have become indeed very fragile. Even till the 1980's there was a sense of superiority and strong bonding among the Kammas and when provoked, they were ready to come out into the streets for a fight wielding swords and spears. That generation vanished altogether.
 
Not entirely true, the author will be pleased to know they are still quite a few of these rogues about in Hyderabad and cities in the coastal districts.
 
 
Now, the situation today is such that the Kammas who were once dreaded by the Pathans are fearing street rowdies.
 
Well Pathan fighting skills are quite over rated but I get what you are trying to convey. And as above it will come as a relief to you that your caste is not under represented under the august category of rowdies as well.
 
Their social status and dominance are drastically coming down. But the Kammas are not aware of all these. Actually they have neither time nor interest in such things. Lot of Kammas migrated to the US in the 1970's. Being highly intelligent, they dominated the computer software field in the last decade and migration to the US increased exponentially.
 
More exaggeration, there is no dominance of any single ethnic group in the software industry as it is quite diversified.
 
As it became a craze, even very well-to-do families sent their children to the US leaving no successors for their local domination in the villages, which eventually will pass on to other castes in the coming years. They are so unaware or uncaring about the past that they themselves call others as 'naidus'.
 
If those guys remain back and are taking care of the home turf don't they deserve to be called Naidus rather than these absentee landlord Kammas?
 
They are unaware of the uniquenes and greatness involved in their customs and are reluctant to continue them thinking them as a waste of money or out of fashion or old-traditioned. They fail to understand that heritage is an invaluable wealth which they must pass on to their children (in preference to the bank currency, bungalows or cars) and it is impossible to regain it once it is lost. ( After ten years, there might be no one who knows how to tie the customary Dhoti). Vast majority of the heritage is already lost and it is high time the community acted (that too on a war-footing) so that atleast, the remaining fraction is redeeemed. Otherwise, the coming generations will have to live without any identity, respect or pride.
 
 
Welcome to India where the majority of people live like sheep and slaves thanks to Gandhi Nehru rule.
 
 
 
Eventually, if they do not take any measures to reclaim their glory, they will have to live like the falcon in the story, which accidentally gets into a flock of crows in its childhood and lives with them thinking himself also a crow and wondering at the agility and might of the falcons hovering far up in the sky.
 
 You can thank the martial race theory and British and Thapar renditions of history where Indians were portrayed as passive recipients of foreign invasions ignoring all their glorious histories of resistance and victories. That is a feature not a bug of all post indepence administrations as well. You don't want the masses to start getting ideas of viewing the government as a neo colonial entity and sieze power in order to place a true son of the soil on the throne. No ,better to be crows than falcons is our motto for now.
 

Kunal Singh: On Vedic/Tantric roots of Buddhism



Hinduism, Buddhism included is a meditative
religion and thus it marks meditative progress with the attainment of
various deities.  This has been confused by the non-religious writers as
leading to 'polytheism' and yet Hinduism is a religion that knows the path
well to the one supreme, after attaining to whom, all minor deities are
attained.  Unlike other religions, it also knows what is encountered in the
path.  If you haven't attained to a deity it will naturally be very
difficult for you to relate.  But I'm afraid if as a Buddhist you ignore
attaining to deities then you're the one whose wasting his time.  And at
least you seem to be on a different path from the original 500 Arhats of
Buddhism who discussed the land of Sakra in some detail.

 The statement of 'sense pursuits' has special significance when it is
applied to Indra, maybe one day you'll find out, though given that you seem
to be on the wrong path, it may be doubtful. The more correct statement
would be that there are higher deities than Indra to attain to.  Whatever
you do, do the world a favor and don't write any books on Buddhism until you
attain to a deity.  As until you do, neither your practice nor your beliefs
of any religion are confirmed by experience.  This is why tantra is there to
enable a practitioner to confirm his interpretation of scripture with real
physical experience.

All people will encounter the deities upon death!  But only a few lucky ones
acquire to them while still alive!

Apparently quite a few things have changed since Buddha died and Buddhism
was formalized as a religion afterwards, the first casualty almost always is
the truth, and it is replaced by the perversions of the subsequent followers
with imperfect understanding.  Therefore, it is important to discuss what
Buddha and Jain really preached!  Since both have been blamed/praised
depending on your viewpoint for the spread of vegetarianism in India, I
thought it interesting that neither really advocated vegetarianism, thus
reinforcing that meat-eating is in no way harmful to either the
meditative/tantric practices of Buddha or the fasting/praying practiced
espoused by Jain.

It is fascinating that people who took on the leadership of Buddhism
subsequent to Buddha's death, led by Mahakasyapa held Ananda accountable for
introducing women into the sect, while Buddha himself after expressing
initial reservations before giving into Ananda seems to have praised one of
the women Arhats in his own Sangha for her psychic abilities.  It is even
more interesting that despite Mahakasyapa's love for asceticism, none of the
more accomplished Arhats of Buddhism accepted his invitation, each deciding
to relinquish the world after the departure of Buddha but not before
expressing anguish at what was occurring, a reaction to Mahaksayapa's
politics.  Ananda was severly chastised by Mahakasyapa and excluded from the
initial gathering for not havng achieved enlightenment, and yet when he
finally did achieve it, Mahakasyapa explained it away as having done it to
give him further motivation.  It seems to me that Ananda, having been a
close relative of Buddha, may have been deliberately sidelined by
Mahakasyapa to assume the leadership of the sangha.
The most stubborn proponent of vegetarianism seems to have been Buddha's
evil cousin Devadatta, in an apparent attempt to be more 'religious' and
'enlightened' than even the Buddha himself!  Ha, ha, ha!  Reminds me of
quite a few vegetarians worshipping Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jain, Guru Nanak
etc.  Sometimes you wonder whom they hold in higher regard, their declared
role model or themselves!  But another interesting point seems to be that
evil men often tend to be vegetarians, there seems to be a strong
correlation between religious ignorance and vegetarianism.


The philosophy of the Buddha is contained in the various Sutras declared by
the Buddha himself.  Buddha spent twelve years at Rajgriha, the most sacred
spot in Buddhism due to its tantric nature.  It was here that he expounded
his Sutras (no surprise, Magadhan region was always known for Siddhas).  And
it is here that the spirit of Mahakasyapa awaits the coming of the next
Buddha (Maitreya).
 
What is surprising is that the words the Buddha uses almost describe
Hinduism.  He discusses death and the coming of Yama and the judgement
delivered by Yama.  Yes when I had earlier theorized that Yama represented
judgement day, I finally verified it due to the clear statements of the
Budha and correlating it to the legends of Savitri.
 
It is important to realize that Buddhism is exactly the same as Hinduism.
In sutras such as Bhaisajya Guru, commonly referred to as Medicine Buddha,
what Buddha describes as death and the after-life is exactly the same as
Hinduism.  Other Sutras such as Sukhavati Vyuha Sutras describing the pure
Western paradise, is exactly Hinduism.  Then of course there is the common
trend of people acquiring to birth after death in one of the various
regions.  The realms of the East, the West, the South and the North, are in
full agreement with Vedic Hinduism and indeed the Vedas themselves.  But the
central Sutra in Buddhism is considered the Vajracchedika.  And indeed the
Vajrayoga itself is considered the highest tantra in Buddhism practiced by
the Vajra acharyas of Buddhism, and of the traditional Sakyas of Nepal.
 
Even in the far east, there is the Vajra tradition in Japan of Heruka.
Interestingly, the Sakyas have preserved their ancient Vajra tradition by
ensuring that other Newari ethnicities will not modify their traditions.
Only a Sakya girl for example can be accepted for the Kumari temple and
there are other restrictions on the entry to the Vajracarya profession
ensuring continuity of Sakya tradition over all others.
 
 
Though the Sakyas have preserved their traditional culture, it is
interesting to note that the Buddhist tantra owes its origins to the
Magadhan region.  And this is not simply due to the origin of the Buddhist
sutras spoken by Buddha.  As far as Japan, the temples of Buddhism have the
founder as Hieun Tsang.  And amongst the Sutras taken by Hieun Tsang was the
Vajracchedika and the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra.  Many of the Sanskrit texts were
deemed lost in China and Japan, or so they claimed, until they were found in
Nepal, Kashmir (Gilgit), and many seem to be at least published from Bihar.
But I found it interesting that the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra found in Kashmir,
or at least the reproduction in Sanskrit published, seems to be missing two
very important pages that the Chinese translation seems to have containing
the mantra of the Medicine Buddha and the practice associated with it.
 
The Vajrayogini tradition itself may seem quite foreign or 'Buddhist' to
neo-Hindus due to its repeated association with Buddhism.  But every tantric
Hindu knows that the term Vajra, associated in the Vedas with Indra, when
associated with the word yogini (female deity) means Durga who is referred
to in many tantric Sanskrit phrases as 'vajrayogini.'  Some of her mantras
end in 'vajrayoginyai namaH'.  Even Kali is dismissed at the end of rituals
asking her to protect the ultimate 'vajra sthana.'  And any advanced
practitioner of yoga knows where that vajra sthana is.
THANK THE BUDDHA FOR HIS UNDERSTANDING,
THE LAST INCARNATION OF VISHNU!
HAVE TO COLLECT MORE OF HIS SUTRAS!
 
Some of the text of the sutras are quite amusing, as Buddha asks his
disciples if they will believe him if he told them of a tantric method to
protect the dying.  Ah, the burden carried by the Buddha due to having
perfect understanding, to be always misunderstood and disbelieved.