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Hinduism and Talibanism:Did hindus destroyed Buddhist& jain temples?

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ajtr

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This thread is inspired by debate in Auranzaib thread where Indians were accusing muslim invaders of destroying temples.Well lets now see the other side of the coin too where hindus destroyed and perecuted buddists and dsetroyed their worship place.


Hinduism and Talibanism
By Mukundan C. Menon

Which is more deplorable: destruction of Buddhism in its own birth place in ancient India by Hindus, or of Buddha statues by present day Islamic Talibans in Afghanistan?

Two well known academicians of Kerala - Prof KM Bahauddin, former pro-vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim and Osmania universities, and Dr MS Jayaprakash, professor of history at Kollam - throw some deep insights into the dark history of India when Buddhism was systematically eliminated by Brahminical forces who control Hinduism, then and now.

Says Jayaprakash: ‘The ruthless demolition of Buddha statues by Taliban has courted severe criticism from different quarters of the world. Surprisingly, the BJP-led Indian Government, supported by all Hindutva forces, also condemned the Taliban action. It is a paradox that the forerunners of the present Hindutva forces in India had wantonly destroyed not only Buddhist statues but also killed Buddhists in India. Therefore, any impartial student of history would unequivocally say that these Hindutva forces have no moral right to criticize Taliban now.’

He elaborates: ‘Hundreds of Buddhist statues, stupas and viharas have been destroyed in India between 830 and 966 AD in the name of Hindu revivalism. Both literary and archaeological sources within and outside India speak volumes about the havoc done to Buddhism by Hindu fanatics. Spiritual leaders like Sankaracharya and many Hindu kings and rulers took pride in demolishing Buddhist images aiming at the total eradication of Buddhist culture. Today, their descendants destroyed the Babri Masjid and also published the list of mosques to be targeted in future. It is with this sin of pride that they presently condemn Taliban.’

Prof. Bahauddin elaborates the selfish compulsions of Brahminism to wipe-out Buddhism: ‘Buddhism tried to create a dynamic society in ancient India. Jainism also contributed its share. As Buddhism spread, iron ploughs and implement were used for development of agriculture. As a result, new areas were cultivated and agricultural productivity increased, apart from developing trade centres and road links. Subsistence-level economy changed to a surplus economy with grain storage facilities, exchange of goods, trade and development of bureaucratic administration. This also created social change - from elans consisting several families to tribes consisting several elans of similar socio-economic conditions. The emphasis of Brahmins, on the other hand, was for receiving and giving alms and not on production of goods. Those who give and receive alms were close to Gods and those who produce were considered as inferior. According to Manusmriti, a Sudra should not have wealth of his own. In case he has any, a Brahmin as his master can take it over without any hesitation. ‘Rigveda’ goes a step further to kill those who do not give ‘danam’ to the Brahmins. In other words, someone has to produce goods so that others can give ‘danam’ to the recipient Brahmins. It was against this system of 'downgrading those who produce' that Buddhism came into being.’

Recalls Dr. Jayaprakash: ‘The Hindu ruler Pushyamitra Sunga had destroyed 84,000 Buddhist stupas which were built by Emperor Ashoka. This was followed by the demolition of Buddhist centres in Magadha. Thousands of Buddhist saints were killed mercilessly. King Jalaluka destroyed the Buddha viharas within his jurisdiction on the ground that chanting of hymns by Buddhists disturbed his sleep! In Kashmir, King Kinnara demolished thousands of viharas and captured the Buddhist villages to please Brahmins. A large number of Buddha viharas were usurped by Brahmins and converted into Hindu temples where entry of ‘untouchables’ was prohibited. Notably, Buddhist places were regularized as Hindu temples by writing Puranas, which were invented myths or pseudo history. The important temples at Tirupathi, Aihole, Undavalli, Ellora, Bengal, Puri, Badarinath, Mathura, Ayodhya, Sringeri, Bodhigaya, Saranath, Delhi, Nalanda, Gudimallam, Nagarjunakonda, Srisailam and Sabarimala are some of the striking examples of Brahminical usurpation of Buddhist centres.’

Detailing the divergence in both orientation and essence between Buddhism and Hinduism, Prof. Bahauddin says: ‘Equality, compassion, non-violence, utilization of human abilities for general welfare, etc. were the cardinal principles of Buddhism. According to ‘Sathpatha Brahmanam (22-6, 3-4-14), on the other hand, the whole universe is controlled by God, God is controlled by Mantram and Mantram is with Brahmins and, therefore, Brahmins are God (on earth). They used Mantram and Sapam to instil fear in the people to obey them, while Buddhism encouraged people to observe visible facts, to apply reason to get out of fear. Buddhism also encouraged people to do good things, besides guiding Kings to look after the people's welfare. Buddhism considers the general welfare of the people, while Brahminism considers that the whole world was created for them all along. And, there is bound to be conflict between these two opposite ways of thinking.’

According to Dr Jayaprakash, Sakaracharya had played ‘a demon's role’ in destruction of Buddhist statues and monuments at Nagarjunakonda (in present-day Andhra Pradesh). ‘A. N. Longhurst, who conducted excavations at Nagarjunakonda, had recorded this in his invaluable book, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India No. 54, The Buddhist Antiquities of Nagarjunakonda (Delhi, 1938, p. 6). The ruthless manner in which all the buildings at Nagarjunakonda have been destroyed is simply appalling and cannot represent the work of treasure-seekers alone since so many pillars, statues, and sculptures have been wantonly smashed to pieces. Local tradition relates that the great Hindu philosopher and teacher, Sankaracharya, came to Nagarjunakonda with a host of followers and destroyed the Buddhist monuments. The cultivated lands on which ruined buildings stand represent a religious grant made to Sankaracharya.’

Quoting Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Prof. Bahauddin says that the conflict against Brahmin supremacy had, in fact, started before Buddhist period, between Vasishta Muni, a Brahmin, and Viswamitra, a non-Brahmin. ‘The dispute was about the learning of ‘Vedas’, the right to conduct religious ceremony, to receive gifts, and to perform coronation of King. Vasishta Muni insisted that these were the exclusive privileges of Brahmins, while Viswamitra was opposed to such exclusive rights. This dispute lasted for long period, and even Kings joined in it (Writings and Speeches of Dr. Ambedkar, vol. 7, p. 148-155. It was won by Brahmins.’

Prof. Bahauddin lists the different stages of Brahmin hostility against Buddhism: ‘1) 483-273 BC: The period after Buddha's death upto Ashoka's rule when attempts were made to include Brahminical ideas in Buddhist ideology. 2) 273-200 BC: When Buddhism spread all over India and became a world religion. 3) 200 BC-500 AD: The period when all possible efforts were made to disintegrate Buddhism from within by adulterating Buddhist teachings with Brahminical ideas and also through physical annihilation from outside. As a result, Buddhism divided itself into 18 sects, of which Hinayana and Mahayana were prominent ones. 4) 500-700 AD: Brahminism gained supremacy in North India and efforts began to drive out Buddhism and Jainism from South India. 5) 700-1100 AD: Brahminism gained supremacy in South India and, with added vigour, it moved again to North India to obtain complete supremacy over Buddhism and Jainism. 6) 1100-1400 AD: Buddhism and Jainism were destroyed from the remaining Southern States of Karnataka and Kerala and, thus, total supremacy of Brahminism all over India was achieved.’

Adds Dr. Jayaprakash: ‘Within Kerala, Sankaracharya and his close associate Kumarila Bhatta, an avowed foe of Buddhism, organized a religious crusade against Buddhists. A vivid description of Sankaracharya's pleasure of seeing people of non-Brahminic faith being burnt to death is available in ‘Sankara Digvijaya’. Kumarila instigated King Suddhanvan of Ujjain to exterminate Buddhists. The ‘Mricchakatika’ of Sudraka describes how the King's brother-in-law in Ujjain inhumanly tortured the Buddhist monks, by using them as bullocks by inserting a string through their nose and yoking them to the cart! The ‘Keralolpathi’ documents the extermination of Buddhism from Kerala by Kumarila. About the activities of Sankaracharya, even Vivekananda had observed: ‘And, such was the heart of Sankara that he burnt to death lots of Buddhist monks by defeating them in argument. What can you call such action on Sankara's part except fanaticism’ (Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. III, p. 118, Calcutta, 1997).’

According to Dr. Jayaprakash, there are hundreds of places in Kerala having names ‘palli’ either affixed or suffixed with them. ‘Karunagapalli, Karthikapalli, Pallickal, Pallippuram, Edappally, etc. are some examples of these places. The term ‘palli’ means a Buddha vihara. Notably, Kerala had 1200 years of Buddhist tradition. Earlier, the schools in Malayalam were called as ‘Ezhuthupalli’ or ‘Pallikoodam’. It is also worth noticing that the Christians and Muslims in Kerala use the term ‘palli’ to denote their church and mosque alike. These ‘pallies’ or viharas had been ruthlessly demolished by the Hindu forces under the leadership of Sankaracharya and Kumarila. They could exterminate 1200 years of Buddhist tradition and converted Kerala into a Brahminical state based on the ‘Chaturvarna’ system. Original inhabitants of Kerala, like the Ezhavas, Pulayas, etc., were crushed under the weight of casteism. Many a viharas was transformed into temples and majority of people were prevented from entering temples under the pretext of caste pollution. It can also be noted that the name ‘Kerala’ is the Sanskritised Aryan version of the Dravidian and Buddhist term ‘Cherala’. The Parasurama legend is nothing but an invented myth for regularizing the Brahminical ‘Kerala’ hiding its glorious Buddhist traditions.’

Jainism, too, met with the same fate in South India. Prof. Bahauddin elaborates: ‘Very little information is available about growth of Jainism in South India during 300-400 AD. The Jain book, ‘Digambara Darsana’, recounts the starting of a Sangham at Madurai in 470 AD and Jainism became widespread and strong during 500-600 AD (Kumaraswamy Iyengar, ‘Studies in South Indian Jainism’, p. 51-58)….. The Jains used to instal the images of their saints in their religious places, a practice which was followed by Brahmins. Hindu temples appeared all over Tamilnadu probably after converting the Jain religious places. The idols of 63 Brahmin Sanyasis, who led destruction of Jainism, still adorn the walls of some Hindu temples in Tamilnadu. The remains of destroyed Jain idols, their abandoned religious and living places are scattered all over Tamilnadu to narrate their story. Frescos depicting the kings of Jains could be seen on the walls near the Golden Tank at Madurai Meenakshi Temple where, of the total 12 annual festivals, five depict the killing of Jains according to Kumaraswamy Iyengar (p. 78-79).’

According to Dr. Jayaprakash, a number of Buddha statues have been discovered at places like Ambalapuzha, Karunagapalli, Pallickal, Bharanikkavu, Mavelikara and Neelamperur in Kerala. ‘They are either in the form of smashed pieces or thrown away from viharas. Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala and Lord Padmanabha at Thiruvananthapuram are the proxy images of Buddha being worshipped as Vishnu. Hundreds of Buddhists were killed on the banks of Aluva river. The term ‘Aluva’ was derived from ‘Alawai’ which means ‘Trisul’, a weapon used by Hindu fanatics to stab Buddhists. Similarly, on the banks of the Vaigai river in Tamilnadu, thousands of Buddhists were killed by the Vaishnava Saint, Sambanthar. Thevaram, a Tamil book, documents this brutal extermination of Buddhism.’

Prof. Bahauddin recalls the strong reasons to believe that a large section of Jains had embraced Islam: ‘The spread of Islam in Tamilnadu can be considered in three or four stages. Islam spread in Kerala and Tamilnadu when Jainism was under pressure (650-750 AD). The new religion was received without resistance…. Since Islam considers every human being with equality Jainism and Buddhism had no conflict with it. When Muhammad ibn Al-Qasim attacked Sindh, the Buddhists supported him because they were facing annihilation at that time. A similar situation was prevailing in South India during 650-750 AD…. Muslims in Tamilnadu are called Anchuvanthar, Labba (teacher), Rauthar, Marakar (sailor) or Jonakan (Yavankan). The Anchuvanam is the guild of traders and groups of artisans. The Muslim mohallas of ‘Anchuvan Vamsagar’, ‘Anchuvanathar’, etc. are scattered all over Tamilnadu and seem to be the en bloc conversion of Jain guilds engaged in different activities, especially weaving. Those who ran away from Tamilnadu settled down in Sravanabalagola and Gomatheswaram in Karnataka. And, those who could not leave due to their economic interests converted to Islam. If we analyze the body structure, food, language, dress, ornaments, customs and habits of Anchuvanthar, it could be see that those are a continuation of Jain way of living and customs.

Till recently, the weavers in such Muslim mohallas will not eat at noon or night, and take only one meal before dusk. This was a continuation of Jain habits. There is a separate place in such villages called ‘Odukkam’ where Jain Munist used to sit in prayer. On the last Wednesday of the month called ‘Odukkathae’ Wednesday, the Muslims gather together to sing religious songs, which is also a Jain tradition. When religious functions like Maulood, Rathif, etc. are organized in the house, a white cloth with lotus symbol on it called ‘Mekett’ is tied, which resembles the ‘Asmanagiri’ of the Jains…. The architecture of Muslim stone mosques are completely of Jain architecture. The pillars of earlier mosques have practically no difference with the Jain temple pillars. The close relationship between traders and weavers had probably cemented by conversion to Islam. During 950-1200 AD, there were large number of Sufis, Fakirs, wandering poets, singing minstrels, etc. among Muslims all over Tamilnadu. Nadirshah with 500 disciples settled down in ‘Trichinopoly’ during 1000 AD. Aliyar Shah and his disciples made Madurai as their centre. Baba Fakhruddin travelled all over Tamilnadu. Nagur became another Sufi centre. The Muslim religious literature of Tamilnadu of that period was least different from those created by Jains and Hindus during the ‘Bhakti’ movement.’

Prof. Bahauddin recounts the spread of Jainism and Buddhism in Kerala, thus: ‘Jainism spread in North Kerala around 200 BC. The Jain architectural remains in Canara and Malabar are not available anywhere else in South of Nepal. While Jainism entered North Kerala via Mangalore, Salem, Coimbatore and Wayanad, it entered Southern Kerala from Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, Chitharal, etc. The hill near Anamala, which was an important Jain centre, is still called ‘Jain Durgam’. The close-by Kurumala was also a Jain centre. From Anamala through Munnar, Devikulam, Kothamangalam, Perumbavoor, etc. they reached Neryamangalam, Kothamangalam, Perumbavoor and other places. The ‘Kallil Kshetram’ in Perumbavoor is an important Jain monument as also the ‘Jainmedu’ in Vadakethara village of Palakkad district. Kerala's cave temples at Chitharal, Kallil, Trikur, Erunilamkode (Thrissur district) and Thiruveghapuram (Palakkad district) were constructed during the period of Jain King Mahendra Verman-I (610-640 AD). Temple records of Rameswaram, Sucheendram, Poothadi (Wayanad), Keenalur (Kozhicode) , etc. show that they were part of ‘Kunavai Koottam’ during 10-11th centuries. ‘Koottam’ is the place of living for Jain Sanyasis. Temple records show that all these present-day Hindu temples were Jain religious places till 11th century. Place names with Kallu, Poothan, Aathan, Kotha, Palli, Ambalam, etc. were all Jain centres. Spread all over Kerala, names of these places show that Buddhism and Jainism were widespread. The famous Kalpathi in Palakkad district was a Buddhist-Jain centre. The ‘Ratholsavam’ there is akin to the ‘Kettukazhcha’ of Buddhists. The present Bhagavati temples were also Jain temples. The group, ‘Adikal’, had a prominent position among Jains who became ‘Pisharadi’ after absorption of Jainism in Hinduism.’

‘Similarly, the Buddhist stoopa at Kodungallore, located in Methala village South-East of Thrikanamathilakam, is an important Buddhist ruin in Kerala…. Mahismathi was the capital of Chera King Satyaputran, which shows the relationship of Chera country (Kerala) with Buddhism. There is a reference in ‘Manimekhala’ about a Buddhist Chaityam in Kerala. While Vadakkumnatha Temple at Thrissur and Kurumba Temple at Kodungallore were Buddhist temples, Buddha statues were discovered from Kollam, Alappuzha, Mavelikara, Pallikkal, Karumadi and other places…. Treating mental patients in Thiruvadi temple and leprosy patients in Thakazhi temple shows that they were Buddhist temples since these kind of humanitarian services were not rendered out from Hindu temples…. By 900 AD Buddhism and Jainism were almost wiped out from Tamilnadu. The second settlement wave of Brahmins in Kerala during 900 AD was with Pandyan Kings' support. Karnataka and Kerala were the only two states where Buddhism and Jainism were still surviving and the second immigration of Brahmins might have been for driving out these two religions from the remaining places.’

Prof. Bahauddin recalls: ‘Very few people know that Buddhism and Jainism were the prominent religions of Kerala till 1200 AD. I was also under the impression that Hinduism was in Kerala from the very beginning. When facts were pieced together, a different picture emerged. Only from the end of 1800 AD the evidence became available about Buddha, Buddhism, Ashoka, etc. That fact itself is a pathetic story….’

Adds Dr. Jayaprakash in conclusion: ‘This is what really happened in India, the land of Buddha. But our so-called eminent historians, except a few, are bent upon eclipsing the cruelty done to Buddhists in India. These pseudo historians have succeeded in creating an impression that India is a land of righteousness and toleration. The entire world has been duped by them. The deed on the part of Taliban can be justified on the ground that Islam does not permit idols. But one has to note that Islam does not allow the demolition of other people's religious centres and images. Whatever may be the argument for and against Taliban action, the Hindu atrocities on Buddhism in India has no parallel in the entire world history of religious struggle. Let the world know the cruel and crooked face of the ‘Indian vulture without culture’! q
 

Ammyy

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‘Hundreds of Buddhist statues, stupas and viharas have been destroyed in India between 830 and 966 AD in the name of Hindu revivalism
we can understand frustrated people like you cant find any thing better :tdown:
 

Paan Singh

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The moral of the story is..

Our books have an affect on our identities and same goes in our neighboring country where these islamic invaders are considered as heroes.

Few days back,Zakki posted a video of pakistani show which shown the brainwashing among the nations.
 

INDIC

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Then why majority of ancient Indian architecture are syncretic Hindu and Buddhist including Ajanta caves. Nalanda University too have same which was started by Hindu Gupta Kings.
 

scorpionx

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Utter nonsense. Just present the verse here where it is written to kill those who refuse to give danam to bramhins.
 

Android

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Hindus would never destroy statues of Lord Buddha since we regard him as an avatar of lord vishnu
 

ajtr

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jainism in south india history & its cruel conversion to hinduism

The history of South India is the history of Jains, Jainism and Jain dynasties. The Gangs, Kalabhras, Chalukyas, Rashtrakuts, Kadambs, Kalchuries, Hoysalas, Shilahars, all the great dynasties were followers and patrons of Jainism.

Kalabhras attacked and defeated Tamil Kings who were persecuting Jains .

Kumarpal king (solankhee ) ( from Chalukyas dynasty ),was disciple of Jain Acharya Hemchandra. He became a king by defeating his enemies under guidance of the Jain Acharya.

Bijjal was a Jain king of Kalchuri clan in Northen Karnatak. Basaveshwar, his Bramhin commander in chief killed Bijjal and tried to become a king. There was civil war between Jains and Veershaivs. Jains caught Basaveshwar in a narrow street, but he escaped and suicided by jumping in a well.

Asatkhan, Commander of Badshah of Bijapur had destroyed many Jain temples and converted some to masjids in North Karnatak. As a result Asatkhan was killed by a young Jain.

The Kerala jain Story:
by Dr. Zacharias Thundy, Northern Michigan University



Prince Ilango Adigal, the author of Shilappadikaram, is a Jain. The Jains came to Kerala with the rest of the Chera immigrants starting in the sixth century. The only evidence of their presence in Kerala is the incontro-vertible fact that some Hindu temples of today were originally Jain temples.
In Matilakam was a famous Jain temple which Hindus shunned as late as the fourteenth century according to Kokasandesam, though at present it is a Hindu temple. Today, the presiding deity of Kudalmanikkam Temple near Irinjalakuda is Bharata, the brother of Rama; originally it was Bharateswara, the digambara Jain saint. Kallil, near Perumbavur, has a rock-cut cave in which we can still see the images of Parswantha, Mahavira, and Padmavati; the local Hindus worship Bhagavati in this temple today. Several places in wynad have Jain temples -an indication that North Malabar was once a flourishing center of Jainism.

Historians believe that the decline of Jainism started about the eighth century during the Aryanization period of Kerala when Vaishnavism and Saivism were active and aggressive. Jainism seems to have completely disappeared from Kerala by the sixteenth century; the foreign visitors from Europe do not mention the Jains at all. One lasting contribution of Jainism to Kerala, according to wi'lliam Logan, is that the architecture of the Hindu temples and the Muslim mosques of North Malabar was influenced by the architecture of the Jain temples.
I may add here that there are some old Jain families in the Wynad-Kasargod area even today.
also check : Temples & legends Of Kerala/Introduction-(page4)

The Jain Legacy In Karnataka



Jainism in Karnataka flourished under the Ganga, the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta dynasties. Jainism prospered like never before and what we see today is the exquisite creativity that flowered under these dynasties.In the course of time other kings followed Jainism, notably those of badami and Halebid. A time was there in written history that jainism was a karanataka whole states religion.

The first Kannada poet, Pampa, was a Jain himself. Poets Ranna, Ponna, Janna and Lakshmeesha, who all enriched Kannada literaturee, were Jains.



The Jain legacy in Karnataka can be traced back to a great event that occurred in 297 BC when Chadragupta, the founder of the Mauryan dynasty, abdicated his throne and came to Sravanbelagola in Karnataka to become a Jain ascetic at the instance of his mentor, Bhadrabahu. He breathed his last at this Jain centre and the place where he is said to have sought recluse is appropriately name Chandragiri. A basadi (Jain monastery or temple) at Sravanabelagola also carries his name. In a number of later records he is referred to as Pradbha Chandra Muni.



Soon thereafter the Jain church exhibited a steady growth and succeeded in firmly establishing itself as a vital and powerful force due to its doctrines and asceticism, morality and ahimsa (non-violence). With such lofty notions, Jainism enjoyed the highest repute among the people particularly the ruling classes and the mercantile community thus virtually becoming the state religion. Imbued with an intense religious feeling, lavish patronage was extended towards the building of basadis, temples and magnificent statues. An epoch of literary activities also ensued.



The earliest dated structure is a basadi at Halasi built under the Kadamba dynasty of Banavasi thus laying the foundation for Jain architecture in Karnataka. Besides the Kadambas, dynasties such as the Gangas, the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas made liberal endowments towards the propagation of art and architecture to which the Jain contributions have been of classical significance. The Chalukyas of Badami built cave temples at Badami and Aihole. Puligere was a strong centre of religious activities of the Jain monks during this era. Many Jain basadis erected by them are proof of their secular spirit in encouraging this religion. However, it was the reign of the Gangas of Talkad and the Rashtrakutas, that were very noteworthy in the annals of Jainism.



Jain architecture can be classified into two categories namely basadis and bettas. Basadi is a Jain monastery or temple where an image of one of the twenty-four tirthankaras (saints) is installed and worshipped and most of them are located in Sravanbelagola. They were built in the Dravidian style and the oldest basadi can be traced back to the 8th century AD. Betta is a hill with an open courtyard containing the image of Gommata or Gommateswara. These hills form a special feature of the native art and the most outstanding examples can be found at Sravanbelagola, Karkala, Venur and Mudabidri in south Kanara district. The image at Karkala is nearly 42 ft tall and was erected in 1432 AD, the details of which are described in the work Karkalada Gommateswara Charite by Chandrama. The statue at Venur was set up in 1609 AD and is 35 ft in height. Mudabidri, which is hailed as the Kashi of the South has eighteen basadis, the most important of them being the Tribhuvana Tilaka Choodamani Basadi. Completed in circa 1430 AD after about 50 years of painstaking craftsmanship, this basadi has one thousand exquisite carved pillars each embellished with different designs and with no two pillars alike. The sanctum possesses an image of Chandranatha which is more than seven feet in height and is made of five alloys. In addition, the temple has an invaluable collection of dazzling icons of Jinamurthis made out of translucent marble, raw emeralds and other semi precious stones which, when illuminated, create an ethereal effect. There is also an attractive Manasthamba, the free standing pillar, and a bronze Sahasrakoota Mantapa adorned with over 1000 images of Jinamurthis and 32 hanging lamps. Apart from the above, Lakkundi and Humcha have, over the centuries, been some of the important centres of Jains, in South India. Replicas of the statue of Gommata can also be found at Gommatagijri near Mysore and at Basti, Hosakote and Tipur near Mandya. Panchakuta Basadi in Nagamangala taluk of Mandya district has a group of seven shrines that are considered the oldest Jains monuments of the State.



However, the most magnificent among all Jaina works of art is the colossal rock cut statue of their saint Gommata at Sravanbelagola. It was built in circa 982 AD and is described as one of the mightiest achievements of ancient Karnataka in the realm of sculptural art. Also referred to as Lord Bahubali, the image is nude an stands upright in the posture of meditation known as kayotsarga, reaching a height of nearly 57 ft atop the Vindyagiri of Doddabetta hills accessible through a flight of 500 steps. The image of Gommata has curly hair in ringlets and long, large ears. His eyes are open as if viewing the world with detachment. His facial features are perfectly chiseled with a faint touch of a smile at the corner of his lips and embody calm vitality. His shoulders are broad, his arms stretch straight down and the figure has no support from the thigh upwards. There is an anthill in the background which signifies his incessant penance. From this anthill emerge a snake and a creeper which twine around both his legs and his arms culminating as a cluster of flowers and berries at the upper portion of the arms. The entire figure stands on an open lotus signifying the totality attained in installing this unique statue. Amazingly, inspite of being constantly exposed to weather elements, the image has remained as new as ever.



On either side of Gommata stand two tall and majestic chauri bearers in the service of the Lord. One of them is a yakshi and the other one is a yakshi. These richly ornamented and beautifully carved figures complement the main figure. Carved on the rear side of the anthill is also a trough for collecting water and other ritual ingredients used for the sacred bath of the image. Around the statue is an enclosure of a pillared hall where one can find 43 images of tirthankaras in different cloisters. There is also a figure of a woman called Gullikayajji sculpted with a good built and wearing exquisite ornamentation, typical of the sculptures of the Ganga period. The Akandabagilu or the massive door, carved out of a single rock with an elaborately carved Gajalakshmi in her typical posture flanked by two elephants, is another meritorious work of Jain craftsmanship. This also said to have been under the guidance and inspiration of Chaundaraya, the illustrious minister who served under the successive rulers of the Gangas namely Marasimha II, Rachamalla IV and Rachamalla V.



One of the largest temples in the area is the Chaundarya Basadi dedicated to Neminatha, the 22nd Tirthankara depicted under a seven hooded canopy and flanked by male chauri bearers. This temple is unique in its style. It belongs to the era of the western Gangas and is evolved out of the Chalukyan styles at Badami and Aihole. One the same hill can be seen the Chandraprabha Basadi dedicated to the 8th tirthankara by the same name. It is one of the oldest basadis on the hill and can be assigned to the early 9th century under the reign of Sivamara, a Ganga king.



While at Sravanbelagola one can also gain insights into Jaina mythology through some of the finest paintings depicted on the walls of the Sri Jains matha. Rich in colours and harmonious in composition, these paintings of the 18th century depict royal processions and festivities, monks, women in brightly coloured sarees, forest scenes of wild animals and other topics that shed light on the domestic, religious and social life of the people. Of particular significance is the durbar (court) scene of Krishnaraja Wodeyar indicating the warm relations that the Wodeyars of Mysore enjoyed with this holy pilgrimage.



Another concrete expression of the intensity of Jaina art is the sthambha, the free standing pillar in front of every basadi. Elegantly carved out of granite, these are classified as Brahmadeva Sthambha and Manasthambha. While the former portrays the figures of Brahmanical gods, the latter is depictive of Jaina faith. Manasthambha pillars can be found elsewhere in the country but the Brahmadeva pillars are restricted to the South, a fine specimen of which can be found in front of the gigantic statue of Gommata at Sravanbelagola. Extremely attractive is the Manasthambha at Mudabidri with a small shrine at the apex surrounded by four bells and topped with a gold finial. Such pillars at Karkala and Humcha are equally eye-catching. All these pillars, irrespective of their connotations, are exquisite pieces of art, elegance and decoration. Another pillar of immense interest is the Tyagada Brahmadevara Kamba at Sravanbelagola where Chaundaraya has inscribed his genealogy and his life time achievements. Only segments of the inscription are readable.



The achievements of Chaundaraya are indeed stupendous. Filled with visions of Jaina unity, he was instrumental in carving out the statue of Gommata, one of the engineering marvels of the world at Sravanbelagola. A great scholar, he was the author of Charitrasara in Sanskrit and Chaundaraya Purana or Trishahti Lakshana Mahapurana in Kannada prose thus setting the trend for celebrated works of literature by Jaina scholars. The period of the Gangas also witnessed literary activity in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Kannada. Notable among these are a translation of Gunadhya’s Vaddakatha from Prakrit to Sanskrit as well as a commentary on Kiratarjunaaya by Durvinitha, a learned Ganga king.



The literary zeal of the Jains continued well into the age of the Rashtrakutas, covering not only religion but also embracing many secular branches of learning including mathematics and astronomy. Giant literary figures like Pampa, Ponna and Ranna, thrived under the enlightened rule of the kings of this dynasty. Pamapa’s works included Vikramarjuna Vijaya also known as Pampa Bharata, giving a Jaina version of the Mahabharata Adipurana, narrating the story of Rishabadeva, the first tirthankara. Another Jain, Ranna, was the author of Sahasra-Bhima-Vijaya, describing the fight between Bhima and Duryodhana. Neminatha Purana, a history of the 22nd tirthankara, interprets the story of Krishna and the Pandavas the Jaina way. Ganithasarasangraha was a work on mathematics by Mahaveera, under the patronage of Amoghavarsha I. These are the names of but a few men of letters who adorned the court of the Rashtrakutas.



The fact that Jainism exerted considerable influence over the cultural life of Karnataka during the rule of the Rashtrakutas is borne by the fact that several basadis were erected for the further propagation of the religion in the State. Important among them is the Parsvanatha Basadi at Ron with its exquisitely carved grills depicting gandharvas in scroll work.



The vast inheritance of early and medieval Jaina architecture has been effectively carried into the modern world by Shri Veerendra Hegde by setting up a statue of Gommata at Dharmasthala near Mangalore. This statue is nearly 40ft high and has been carve by Ranjal Gopal Shenoy. To assert thee fact that Karnataka has been and continues to be the adobe of Jaina art and architecture.

Karnataka, in fact, is a treasure house of Jain manuscripts on subjects ranging from philosophy, grammer, vaastu, mathematics and religion. These manuscripts are in the form of paper and palm leaves in several temples and mutts in Bangalore. Some of them are in Halegannada (ancient Kannada) and many in Sanskrit. A national level exercise for surveying and documenting the manuscripts is already on

Chandragupta, a Jain and founder of Mauryan Dynasty was the first emperor of India. He brought almost all of the south Asia under his control. He defeated many kings including .selucos Necoter, General of the great Alexander. Chandragupta became a Jain monk and took sallekhana at Shravanbelgola in Karnatak.

Ashok, the grandson of Chandragupt was also a Jain and the Emperor. He won many kings. I a war with Kaling, there was unbelievable violence killing hundred thousands of soldiers and people. It created a hate against war in the mind of Ashok. So he renounced Jainism and embraced Buddhism.

Kunal, the son of Ashok and Samprati ( again he was a very big chakravarti than ashoka too), son of Kunal also were emperors and Jains, and had involved in wars. Later emperors of this dynasty embraced Buddhism. They were extremely non violent. As a result, last emperor of this dynasty Brahdrat was killed by his bramhin general Pushyamitra Shring. It was the end of Mourayans and rise of Shring dynasty. Shring dynasty was totally against Jains and Buddhists. So both the faith were declined in eastern India.

Mahameghvahan Kharvel was a very brave Jain emperor who rised in 2nd century B.C. in Kaling (Orissa). He was coroneted at the age of 24 and he defeated Satvahan kings of western India when he (Kharvel) was just 26. After two years, he attacked Ratthiks & Bhojaks of western India and defeated them. After two years he attacked powerful Magadh and then North India and then South India. Thus whole of India including present day Pakistan and Afghanistan became under his control.

Adishankaracharya, who had vowed to finish Jains and Buddhists and converted millions of Jains and Buddhists into Hinduism, converted many Jain temples all over India into Hindu temples and put Jain religious literature on fire was killed by two Jain monks, for helpless jain monks found that if they wont then surely he will fully wipe out jainism.

Jainism as per kerala ( http://www.keralaeverything.com/rel.htm)
Though there is evidence of practice of Jainism in Kerala before the arrival of Aryans. History is silent about it. The Famous Jainmedu temple in Palakkad is the manifestation of Jainism in Kerala. Today few families of Jain community are found around Palakkad in Kerala.

As per kerala tourism officials :
Jainism was one of the first to be introduced in Kerala. The Jains who settled in Kerala made little effort to convert the Dravidians residing there. They came looking for a place where they could find an atmosphere of peace and quiet so that they could indulge in their meditation. During the 8th century A.D. Jainism in Kerala started its decline, and many of the Jains were being converted into the Hindu religion.


Evidence of early Jainism Influence

(Early Buddhist and Jain Influence in Goa)

Jainism is another ancient religion of India, similar to but older than Buddhism. Founded and popularized by Shree Mahavir Jain. Unlike Buddhism which has almost no followers in India today, Jainism has a very strong presence in India. Many of its present day followers can be identified by their last name 'Jain".

There are ruins of three Jain temples belonging to Vijayanagar period. The first Jain Basti of Neminath is from Bandivade of Ponda taluka. The other two Jain temples are located in Cudnem and Jainkot area of Narve and both these temples belong to the Vijayanagar period.

Ruins of the Neminath Jain Basti at Bandivade

A stone inscription from Nagueshi exhibited in the Museum of Archaeological Survey of India refers to the reconstruction of this Jain Basti during Vijayanagar period in 14th century. The Neminath Basti of Bandivade is square shaped and built of laterite blocks with grilled windows. An arch is provided at the entrance. It is possible that a dome existed over the structure. Lime mortar has been found to have been used extensively as the binding material.

Ruins of the Cudnem Jain Temple.
The "Garbagriha" as well as the "Mukha Mandapa" are constructed of laterite with Lime mortar being used as the the binding material. The entrance of garbagriha has an arch. The laterite blocks discovered in the excavation clearly indicate that there were arches in the "Mukha Mandapa". These arches were embellished with a laterite floral pendant at the center of the arch. One such floral pendant has been discovered in a recently conducted excavation. The presence of these arches strongly suggest that there was a overlying dome covering the temple. This "Mukha Mandapa" is 8 x 8.30 meters. There are four pillars in the center and four others on each side wall. The "Garbagriha" as well as the "Mukha Mandapa" stand on a 2meter high platform. The octagonal "Shikara" of the "Garbagriha" has five tiers. The lower most is half spherical with a rectangular small entrance for the "Garbagriha". This is the only medieval temple of Goa which has a "Nagara" (Indo-Aryan) architectural features. The high platform and the tall Shikara give a sense of soaring height to the temple. The "Mukha Mandapa" has a gabled roof with tiles. A "Prakara" wall with a base of pillars has also been unearthed. This Jain temple is similar to the Saptakoteshwar temple of Narve and the Chandranath temple of Paroda. It is possible that this temple was the forerunner of these architecturally similar temples. The use of Lime mortar and the architectural features indicate that the temple belonged to Vijayanagar period. A broken stone head of a "Teerathankara" or a Jain saint, with beautifully sculpted curls was also found near the "Garbagriha". A stone torso of another Jain "Teerathankara" with a "Srivasta" symbol was also unearthed. Another find occurred while desilting a nearby well in the vicinity of the temple. At a depth of 5 meters, the right leg of a Statue was discovered. It appears that the broken head and the leg belonged to the same image. This image of a "Teerathankara" belongs to the Kadamba period. It however appears that Jains during the Kadamba period were not prosperous to begin with but in the subsequent Vijayanagar Period, they might have gained prosperity due to their active participation in mercantile activity.

Ruins of the Narve Jain Temple.

The ruins today are called "Jainkot" and are located in the Village of Narve in Bicholim taluka. They lie very near the present temple of Saptakoteshwar . In front of the Saptakoteshwar temple, there is ancient pathway constructed of locally available laterite slabs which lead to the ruins of Jain temple. These consist of mainly door jams, ceiling canopy and lintels chlorite schist. The Jain temple was built of laterite. Lime mortar has also been noted to have been used extensively here also. In an inscription there is only a mention of the name "Sparsvanath" and along with the name of the month and day, corresponding to the English calendar date of March 13th, 1151 AD. During this period the Kadambas were in power and its ruler at that time was King Vijayaditya.

Jain Vestiges in Coimbatore District

--- M. AROKIASWAMI, M.A., Ph.D

"I propose to make an enquiry into a subject which forms part of a larger whole, viz., the cultural development of the Coimbatore region in early times and the particular subject for enquiry here is an estimate of the Jain contribution to this quota. So many vestiges of Jainism are to be found in this district that there is no doubt about the great influence this religion must have exerted over the people of this region in early times. That it must have been much more than any one would suspect is certain. Names of places like seenapuram clearly remaind one of the early jain influent over the region; while old jain shrines found in places like. Vijayamangalam, Tirumurthimalai and Karur bear an equally strong evidence to the same. A figure of the Jain Thrithankara is found in Tirumurthimalai; and a number of Jain beds are found to this day in Arunattarmalai in Karur Taluk while in Arasannamalai near Vijayamangalam the Neminatha temple has been now converted into a Vinayaka temple. Not only this. The district of Coimbatore in early times seems to have been the home of several Jain scholars, not the least of whom was the great Bavanandi, the author of the celebrated Tamil grammar, Nannul, who seems to have lived in the region of Vijayamangalam in Erode Taluk.

It is impossible for us to explain these vestiges unless we postulate a period of Jain glory in the district at some time during its sojourn in South India.

In the reign of the fourth ruler, Govindaraya, a grant to the jain Arishtanna is mentioned and in that of the sixth ruler, Kannaradeva, the names of three great Jain theologians, of whom one Naganandi is mentioned by name, are referred to. (Ibid)

The history of the origin of the Ganga dynasty of Mysore indicates even more clearly how deep-rooted was janism in the district of Coimbatore in early times.

Thus we are able to post it that the region of modern Coimbatore was a central hearth of Jainism in the south at least three centuries before the Christian era and that it continued to be so for a long time afterwards certainly through-our the period of the Ganga rule."
 

Machete

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Stupid article nothing more 2 say.

btw I am from TN I known my state history well enff said.
 

t_for_talli

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Gautam Buddha is considered one of the avatar of Lord Vishnu
Hindus have no hard feelings against Buddhism.....I my self have been to a lot of Buddhist Worship places
 

ares

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‘The Hindu ruler Pushyamitra Sunga had destroyed 84,000 Buddhist stupas which were built by Emperor Ashoka"

This line explains it all...about what modern India teaches its children.

Asoka : A hindu king who converted to Buddhism, and spread Buddhism to all corners of the known world. Regarded by Indians as one of the greatest Emperors to ever rule India. His chakra is in Indian national emblem.

Pushyamitra Sunga : A hindu king, a religious fanatic, who supposedly destroyed many Buddhist stupas...first question that comes to mind " who the Fcuk was this guy..has anyone even heard of his name before this?..I am sure majority wouldn't have."


Indian nation despite being a hindu majority takes utmost pride in deeds of Emperor Asok..despite him being hindu convert but doesnot even remember Pushyamitra Sunga( a Hindu emperor who furthered the Hindu cause in his own twisted way.)
 

Rig Vedic

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Harsha of Kashmir, a Hindu Iconoclast?

Koenraad Elst

Whenever the history of the many thousands of temple destructions by Muslims is discussed, the secularists invariably come up with the claim that Hindus have done much the same thing to Buddhists, Jains and "animists". In particular, the disappearance of Buddhism from India is frequently explained as the result of "Brahminical onslaught". Though extremely widespread by now, this allegation is very largely untrue.

As for tribal "animists", numerous tribes have been gradually "sanskritized", acculturated into the Hindu mainstream, and this never required any break with their worship of local goddesses or sacred trees, which have found a place in Hinduism, if need be in what Indologists call the "little traditions" flourishing in the penumbra of the "great tradition". The only break sometimes required was in actual customs, most notably the abjuring of cow-slaughter; but on the whole, there is an unmistakable continuity between Hinduism and the various "animisms" of India's tribes. Hinduism itself is, after all, "animism transformed by metaphysics" (as aptly written in the introduction to the 1901 census report in a discussion of the unfeasibility of separating Hinduism from "animism").

As for conflict with the Jain and Buddhist sects, even what little evidence is cited, turns out to prove a rather different phenomenon on closer inspection. The very few conflicts there were, were generally started by the sectarian Buddhists or Jains. This way, a few possible cases of Shaiva (esp. Virashaiva) intolerance against Jains in South India turn out to be cases of retaliation for Jain acts of intolerance, if the affair was at all historical to begin with. If there was a brief episode of mutual Shaiva-Jaina persecution, it was at any rate not based on the religious injunctions of either system, and therefore remained an ephemeral and atypical event. Likewise, the well-attested persecution of Brahmins by the Buddhist Kushanas remained exceptional because it had no solid scriptural basis, unlike Islamic iconoclasm and religious persecution, which was firmly rooted in the normative example of the Prophet.

Judging from the evidence shown so far, I maintain that Hindu persecutions of Buddhists have been approximately non-existent. The oft-repeated allegation that Pushyamitra Shunga offered a reward for the heads of Buddhist monks is a miraculous fable modelled on just such an episode in Ashoka's life, with the difference that in Pushyamitra's case, as per the hostile Buddhist account itself (Ashokavadana and Divyavadana), no actual killing took place, because an Arhat with miraculous powers magically materialized monks' heads with which people could collect the reward all while leaving the real monks in peace. Art historians have found Pushyamitra to have been a generous patron of Buddhist institutions.

Next to the Pushyamitra fable, the most popular "evidence" for Hindu persecutions of Buddhism is a passage in Kalhana's history of Kashmir, the Rajatarangini (Taranga 7: 1089 ff.), where king Harsha is accused of looting and desecrating temples. This example is given by JNU emeritus professor of ancient history, Romila Thapar, in Romila Thapar et al.: Communalism in the Writing of Indian History, p.15-16, and now again in her letter to Mr. Manish Tayal (UK), 7-2-1999. The latter letter was written in reply to Mr. Tayal's query on Arun Shourie's revelations on the financial malversations and scholarly manipulations of a group of historians, mainly from JNU and AMU. The letter found its way to internet discussion forums, and I reproduce the relevant part here:

"As regards the distortions of history, Shourie does not have the faintest idea about the technical side of history-writing. His comments on Kosambi, Jha and others are laughable -- as indeed Indian historians are treating him as a joke. Perhaps you should read the articles by H. Mukhia in the Indian Express and S. Subramaniam in India Today. Much of what Shourie writes can only be called garbage since he is quite unaware that history is now a professional discipline and an untrained person like himself, or like the others he quotes, such as S.R. Goel, do not understand how to use historical sources. He writes that I have no evidence to say that Buddhists were persecuted by the Hindus. Shourie of course does not know Sanskrit nor presumably does S.R. Goel, otherwise they would look up my footnotes and see that I am quoting from the texts of Banabhatta's Harshacharita of the seventh century AD and Kalhana's Rajatarangini of the twelfth century AD. Both texts refer to such persecutions."

Let us take a closer look at this paragraph by the eminent historian.

JNU snobbery:

Most space of the para and indeed the whole letter is devoted to attacks ad hominem, much of it against Mr. Sita Ram Goel. In his book Hindu Temples, What Happened to Them, vol.1 (Voice of India, Delhi 1990), Goel has listed nearly two thousand mosques standing on the debris of demolished Hindu temples: nearly two thousand specific assertions which satisfy Karl Poper's criterion of scientific theories, viz. they should be falsifiable: every secularist historian can go and unearth the story of each or any of the mosques enumerated and prove that it was unrelated with any temple demolition. But until today, not one member of the well-funded brigade of secularist historians has taken the scholarly approach and investigated any of Goel's documented assertions. The general policy is to deny his existence by keeping him unmentioned; most publications on the Ayodhya affair have not even included his book in their bibliographies even though it holds the key to the whole controversy.

But sometimes, the secularists cannot control their anger at Goel for having exposed and refuted their propaganda, and then they do some shouting at him, as done in this case by Romila Thapar. It is not true that Sita Ram Goel is an "untrained person", as she alleges; he has an MA in History from Delhi University (ca. 1944). And he has actually practised history, writing on Communism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. I never tested Shourie's knowledge of Sanskrit, but as for Goel, he is fluent in Sanskrit, definitely more so than Prof. Thapar herself. Having gone through Urdu-medium schooling and having lived in Calcutta for many years, he is fluent in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, English and Sanskrit, and also reads some Persian, elementary Persian being traditionally included in Urdu-medium education. In Hindu Temples, vol.2, a book of which Goel sent Prof. Thapar a copy, he has discussed the very testimonies she is invoking as proof (esp. in the second edition in which he reproduces Prof. Thapar's reply with his own comment),-- yet she maintains that he has not bothered to check her sources.

Note, at any rate, Romila Thapar's total reliance on arguments of authority and status. No less than seven times does she denounce Shourie's alleged (and unproven) incompetence: Shourie has "not the faintest idea", is "unaware", "untrained", and "does not know", and what he does is "laughable", "a joke", "garbage". But what exactly is wrong in his writing, we are not allowed to know. If history is now a professional discipline, one couldn't deduce it from this letter of hers, for its line of argument is part snobbish and part medieval (relying on formal authority), but quite bereft of the scientific approach.

Reliance on authority and especially on academic titles is quite common in academic circles, yet it is hardly proof of a scholarly mentality. Commoners often attach great importance to titles (before I got my Ph.D., I was often embarrassed by organizers of my lectures introducing me as "Dr." or even "Prof." Elst, because they could not imagine an alleged expert doing without such a title), but scholars actively involved in research know from experience that many publications by titled people are useless, while conversely, a good deal of important research is the fruit of the labour of so-called amateurs, or of established scholars accredited in a different field of expertise. Incidentally, Prof. Thapar's pronouncements on medieval history are also examples of such transgression, as her field really is ancient history.

At any rate, knowledge of Sanskrit is not the issue, for the Rajatarangini is available in English translation, as Romila Thapar certainly knows: Rajatarangini. The Saga of the Kings of Kashmir, translated from Sanskrit by Ranjit Sitaram Pandit, with a foreword by Jawaharlal Nehru, Sahitya Akademi, ca. 1960. With my limited knowledge of Sanskrit, I have laboriously checked the crucial sentences against the Sanskrit text, edited by M.A. Stein: Kalhana's Rajatarangini or Chronicle of the Kings of Kashmir (1892), republished by Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi 1960. I could not find fault with the translation, and even if there were imperfections in terms of grammar, style or vocabulary, we can be sure that there are no distortions meant to please the Hindu nationalists, for the translator was an outspoken Nehruvian. If I am not mistaken, he was the husband of Nehru's sister, Vijayalakshmi Pandit.

S. Subramaniam's account:

Let us check Prof. Thapar's references, starting with the review article on Shourie's book by S. Subramaniam: "History sheeter. Bullheaded Shourie makes the left-right debate a brawl", India Today, 7-12-1998. This article itself is quite a brawl: "Shourie has nothing to say beyond repeating the Islamophobic tirade of his henchman, the monomaniacal Sita Ram Goel who is referred to repeatedly in the text as 'indefatigable' and even 'intrepid'. Goel's stock in trade has been to reproduce ad nauseam the same extracts from those colonial pillars Elliott and Dowson and that happy neo-colonialist Sir Jadunath Sarkar."

It is, of course, quite untrue that Shourie's book is but a rehashing of earlier work by Goel. As can be verified in the index of Shourie's book, Goel's findings are discussed in it on p.99-100, p.107-108, and p.253-254; that leaves well over two hundred pages where Shourie does have something to say "beyond repeating the tirade of his henchman". Goel may be many things, but certainly not "monomaniacal". He has written a handful of novels plus essays and studies on Communism, Greek philosophy, several aspects of Christian doctrine and history, secularism, Islam, and of course Hinduism. His writings on Islam are much richer than a mere catalogue of atrocities, and even the catalogue of atrocities is drawn from many more sources than just Elliott and Dowson. I am also not aware that he has repeated certain quotations ad nauseam; to my knowledge, most Elliott & Dowson quotations appear only once in his collected works. Finally, Goel's position is not more "Islamophobic" than the average book on World War 2 is "Naziphobic"; if certain details about the doctrines studied are repulsive, that may be due to the facts more than to the prejudice of the writer.

So, practically every word in Subramaniam's evaluation is untrue. No wonder, then, that he concludes his evaluation of Shourie's latest as follows: "But serious thought of any variety has been replaced by spleen, hysteria and abuse." That, of course, is rather the case with Shourie's critics, including Subramaniam himself who keeps the readers in the dark about Shourie's arguments as well as about his own rebuttals. If Romila Thapar refers to his review, it can only be for its "treating Shourie like a joke", but by no means for its demonstrating how history has now become a scientific discipline; all it demonstrates is the bullying rhetoric so common in the debate between the scientific and the secularist schools of Indian history. As a reader (one K.R. Panda, Delhi) commented in the next issue (India Today, 21-12-1998): "The review of Arun Shourie's Eminent Historians ironically hardly mentioned what the book was about. It read more like a biographical sketch of the author with a string of abuses thrown in."

Harbans Mukhia's account:

In his guest column "Historical wrongs. The rise of the part-time historian" (Indian Express, 27-11-1998), JNU professor Harbans Mukhia surveys the influence of Marxism in Indian historiography, highlighting the pioneering work of D.D. Kosambi, R.S. Sharma and Irfan Habib in the 1950s and 60s. He argues that this Marxist wave began without state patronage, in an apparent attempt to refute Shourie's account of the role of state patronage and of the resulting corruption in the power position Marxist historians have come to enjoy. This is of course a straw man: Shourie never denied that Kosambi meant what he wrote rather than being eager to please Marxist patrons. The dominance of Marxist scholarship started with sincere (though by no means impeccable) scholars like Kosambi, followed by a phase where the swelling ranks of committed Marxist academics got a hold on the academic and cultural power positions, and then by a phase where being a Marxist was so profitable that many opportunists whose commitment was much shallower also joined the ranks, and hastened the inevitable process of corruption.

Anyway, the only real argument which Mukhia develops, is this: "To be fair, such few professionals as the BJP has in its camp have seldom leveled these charges at least in public. They leave this task to the likes of Sita Ram Goel who, one learns, does full time business for profit and part time history for pleasure, and Arun Shourie who, too, one learns, does journalism for a living, specializing in the investigation of non-BJP persons' scandals".

It is not clear where Mukhia has done his "learning", but his information on Goel is incorrect. Goel was a brilliant student of History at Delhi University where he earned his MA. In the period 1949-56 he was indeed a "part-time historian", working for a living as well as doing non-profit research on the contemporary history of Communism in the framework of the Calcutta-based Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia. He did full-time business for profit between 1963, when he lost his job after publishing a book critical of Nehru, and 1983, when he handed his business over to younger relatives. Ever since, he has been a full-time historian, and some of his publications are simply the best in their field, standing unchallenged by the historians of Mukhia's school, who have never gotten farther than the kind of invective ad hominem which we find in the above-mentioned texts by Romila Thapar, S. Subramaniam and Mukhia himself.

As for Shourie, Mukhia is hardly revealing a secret with his information that Shourie "does journalism for a living". The greatest investigative journalist in India by far, he has indeed unearthed some dirty secrets of Congressite and casteist politicians. His revelations about the corrupt financial dealings between the Marxist historians and the government-sponsored academic institutions are in that same category: fearless and factual investigative journalism. Shourie has an American Ph.D. degree in Economics, which should attest to a capacity for scholarship, even if not strictly in the historical field. When he criticizes the gross distortions of history by Mukhia's school, one could say formally that he transgresses the boundaries of his specialism, but such formalistic exclusives only hide the absence of a substantive refutation. Thus far, Shourie's allegations against Harbans Mukhia's circle stand unshaken.

Kalhana's first-hand testimony:

Now, let us look into the historical references cited by Romila Thapar. Of Banabhatta's Harshacharita, concerning Harsha of Kanauj (r.606-647), I have no copy available here, so I will keep that for another paper. Meanwhile, I have been able to consult both the Sanskrit original and the English translation of Kalhana's Rajatarangini, and that source provides a clinching testimony.

Harsha or Harshadeva of Kashmir (r.1089-1111) has been called the "Nero of Kashmir", and this "because of his cruelty" (S.B. Bhattacherje: Encyclopaedia of Indian Events and Dates, Sterling Publ., Delhi 1995, p.A-20). He is described by Kalhana as having looted and desecrated most Hindu and Buddhist temples in Kashmir, partly through an office which he had created, viz. the "officer for despoiling god-temples". The general data on 11th-century Kashmir already militate against treating him as a typical Hindu king who did on purely Hindu grounds what Muslim kings also did, viz. to destroy the places of worship of rival religions. For, Kashmir had already been occupied by Masud Ghaznavi, son of Mahmud, in 1034, and Turkish troops were a permanent presence as mercenaries to the king.

Harsha was a fellow-traveller: not yet a full convert to Islam (he still ate pork, as per Rajatarangini 7:1149), but quite adapted to the Islamic ways, for "he ever fostered with money the Turks, who were his centurions" (7:1149). There was nothing Hindu about his iconoclasm, which targeted Hindu temples, as if a Muslim king were to demolish mosques rather than temples. All temples in his kingdom except four (enumerated in 7:1096-1098, two of them Buddhist) were damaged. This behaviour was so un-Hindu and so characteristically Islamic that Kalhana reports: "In the village, the town or in Srinagara there was not one temple which was not despoiled by the Turk king Harsha." (7:1095)

So there you have it: "the Turk king Harsha". Far from representing a separate Hindu tradition of iconoclasm, Harsha of Kashmir was a somewhat peculiar (viz. fellow-traveller) representative of the Islamic tradition of iconoclasm. Like Mahmud Ghaznavi and Aurangzeb, he despoiled and looted Hindu shrines, not non-Hindu ones. Influenced by the Muslims in his employ, he behaved like a Muslim.

And this is said explicitly in the text which Romila Thapar cites as proving the existence of Hindu iconoclasm. If she herself has read it at all, she must be knowing that it doesn't support the claim she is making. Either she has just been bluffing, writing lies about Kalhana's testimony in the hope that her readers would be too inert to check the source. Or she simply hasn't read Kalhana's text in the first place. Either way, she has been caught in the act of making false claims about Kalhana's testimony even while denouncing others for not having checked with Kalhana.

Romila Thapar on Mahmud Ghaznavi:

It is not the first and only time that Romila Thapar is caught tampering with the sources. In her article on Somnath and Mahmud Ghaznavi (Frontline, 23-4-1999), she questioned the veracity of Mahmud's reputation as an idol-breaker, claiming that all the references to Mahmud's destruction of the Somnath temple (1026) are non-contemporary as well as distorted by ulterior motives. It's the Ayodhya debate all over again: when evidence was offered of pre-British references to the destruction of a Ram temple on the Babri Masjid site, the pro-Babri Masjid Action Committee historians replied that the evidence was not contemporary enough, but without explaining why so many secondary sources come up with the temple demolition story. Likewise here: if there was so much myth-making around Ghaznavi's Somnath campaign, even making him the norm of iconoclasm against which the Islamic zeal of every Delhi sultan was measured, what momentous event triggered all this myth-making?

Anyway, in this case the claim that there is no contemporary evidence, is simply false. Though she does mention Ghaznavi's employee Alberuni, she conceals that Alberuni, who had widely travelled in India and was as contemporary to Ghaznavi as can be, has confirmed Ghaznavi's general policy of Islamic iconoclasm and specifically his destruction of the Somnath temple. Alberuni writes (Edward Sechau, tra.: Alberuni's India, London 1910, vol.1, p.117, and vol.2, p.103) that the main idol was broken to pieces, with one piece being thrown into the local hippodrome, another being built into the steps at the entrance of the mosque of Ghazni, so that worshippers could wipe their feet on it. Mahmud's effort to desecrate the idol by all means shows that his iconoclasm was not just a matter of stealing the temple gold, but was a studied act of religious desecration.

He thereby smashed to pieces yet another pet theory of the Romila Thapar school, viz. that the Islamic iconoclasts' motive was economic rather than religious. It is precisely the primary sources which leave no stone standing of the edifice of Nehruvian history-writing.

© Dr. Koenraad Elst, 5 July 1999.
 

INDIC

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‘The Hindu ruler Pushyamitra Sunga had destroyed 84,000 Buddhist stupas which were built by Emperor Ashoka"

This line explains it all...about what modern India teaches its children.

Asoka : A hindu king who converted to Buddhism, and spread Buddhism to all corners of the known world. Regarded by Indians as one of the greatest Emperors to ever rule India. His chakra is in Indian national emblem.

Pushyamitra Sunga : A hindu king, a religious fanatic, who supposedly destroyed many Buddhist stupas...first question that comes to mind " who the Fcuk was this guy..has anyone even heard of his name before this?..I am sure majority wouldn't have."


Indian nation despite being a hindu majority takes utmost pride in deeds of Emperor Asok..despite him being hindu convert but doesnot even remember Pushyamitra Sunga( a Hindu emperor who furthered the Hindu cause in his own twisted way.)
Pushyamitra Shunga is a villian in India, Mahmud Ghaznavi is a hero in our neighbouring countries. And we can see the difference.
 

Bhai Zakir

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@ ajtr

What the obsession of "ajtr" about such low quality thread??????? :tdown:

Why u have made a thread based on 12 year old article????? :woot:

Published in January 2000
:woot:



@ Mods

If ur on holiday u should have some arrangement of a competent person as Mod.

I think religion is a banned topic on PDF.............I am concerned because some trolls will bring Islam into it and start mud sledging.


Plz ban the thread starter for the repeated violation of rules
 
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