Tuesday, September 14, 2010



How Hinduism destroyed the Military - Part II

2010-09-14 05:30:00

In the second part of the extract, Air Marshal RK Nehra explains how the wrong interpretation of Hindu scriptures is the main reason behind Hindu military defeats.

See Part I

Taking an overall and long-term view of issues and events, the military downfall of the Hindus during the last one thousand years, could be attributed to the following main factors, largely, due to the wrong interpretation of the Hindu religious scriptures:

• Too much stress on the individual, rather than on the nation. Hindus were obsessed with purifying their individual soul, and trying to merge it with the ‘World Soul Brahman’. There was a fruitless search for an illusory entity called ‘moksha’ (salvation). The Hindus’ priority was to ensure a secure next life, rather than concentrate on the present one. They perhaps considered the present life as transitory, if not actually ‘maya’ (illusion).
Editor’s Pick
Special Powers for Armed Forces
The China factor in Nepal
Parameters for Indian Army 2020

• Under the influence of the preceding factor, Hindus lost the distinction between ‘mastery’ and ‘slavery’. They perhaps argued that due to the transitory nature of the present life, ‘mastery and slavery’ were some concepts largely in the mind. At the practical level, such types of issues did not make much of a difference, and were no reason for dispute, leave alone bloodshed. In the totality of circumstances and events (over 2000 years), it is difficult to avoid the impression that at some level, Hindus might have been even comfortable with their ‘slavery’. Their efforts to get rid of slavery were few and far between, and mostly half-hearted. Even when opportunities for emancipation were presented to them, they failed to exploit these. We have covered those examples in our text earlier.

• At some stage, the Hindus locked on to the nation destroying concepts like ahimsa (non-violence), shanti (peace), satya (truth) — the ‘ass’ syndrome. Whilst these issues might have some sort of a niche in an individual’s life, these can possibly have no space in a nation’s life. Hindus could not distinguish between the individual and the nation. They thought that what is good for the individual, must be good for the nation. The concept of ahimsa was entirely an import from Buddhism; the word does not even appear in the Rig Veda. If the word ‘ahimsa’ appears in some Hindu texts, it does not have the meaning that we are trying to give it presently. We make these comments with due apologies to Mahatma Gandhi.

• In the Vedic times, animal sacrifice was the main means to please the Vedic gods. Animal slaughter was a daily affair. Ashevamedha (horse-sacrifice) was the most exalted ritual, which removed all sin. Under the influence of Buddhism, Hindus became averse to bloodshed (even in the service of the nation). It is possible that, gradually, they perhaps became averse to the very sight of blood.

• The hot and humid climate of India may have been a contributing factor. We may note that all invaders came from cold or very cold climates. Further, the invaders were all fiercely non-vegetarian. Now, nothing can be done about the climatic conditions. However, there may be an occasion to revisit the dietary habits.

• Hindus take pride in saying that their religion is tolerant, all-inclusive, assimilative, lacking assertiveness, etc. The net effect is that Hinduism gets projected as effete, meek and submissive.

• It has been sometimes expressed that a Hindu has the characteristics of daya, karuna and kshama (compassion and forgiveness). From the military angle, these are self-destroying concepts.

The above interpretation of Hinduism emerges out of a gross mis-reading and wrong interpretation of the Hindu scriptures. Hindus also forgot an important principle enunciated in the following couplet:

Kshama sohati us bujangh (snake) ko, jis ke pas garal (poison) hai
Uska kya, jo dant-heen, vish-heen, vineet, saral hai.

(Only that snake can give forgiveness, which has poison in its fang;
What use is the one which is without fangs and poison, is humble and simple.)

Chanakya in his Arthshastra says that a snake even without poison should behave as if he has poison in his fangs.

Aggressive Spirit Missing

In view of the above types of factors, Hindus lost their aggressive spirit; they were overtaken by a defensive mindset. Their central slogan became ‘We will fight only when attacked’; and they stuck to it steadfastly. One irrefutable lesson of military history is that nations and generals without an offensive mindset can do no good even in the defensive mode. World military history proves the inviolability of this dictum. The only way to save ‘Ajmer and Delhi’ (and therefore Bharat) was for Prithviraj Chauhan to go and capture Ghazni and Ghur in Afghanistan. He had the capability and military muscle to do that; but the mindset was missing. But for that type of ‘defensive mindset’ Bharat would never have been a slave.

Closely allied with the aggressive spirit, is the question of attitude towards ‘risk-taking’. There is a famous saying — ‘No risk, no gain’; this dictum is particularly applicable to war situations. Only the bold and daring generals succeed. Fortune helps the brave, who will inherit the earth. In an earlier chapter, we have quoted the Sanskrit shloka ‘Veera Bhoga Vasundhra — the Brave will enjoy the Earth.’ Lord Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita, effectively gave the same message; but, the Hindu antennas did not receive it. Thus, along with the loss of aggressive spirit, Hindus also became ‘Risk-Averse’; ‘Safety first’ became their motto. Otherwise, there is no reason for Prithviraj Chauhan for not mounting a campaign to capture Ghazni and Ghur. If you dither at a crucial point in history, you are likely to be assigned to its dustbin. In view of the totality of the above factors —

• Ask not — ‘Why the Hindus were defeated?’
• But ask — ‘Why the Hindus were never on the OFFENSIVE?’

Unfortunately, this latter question has never been asked of the Hindus; neither by themselves, nor by anyone else. The impression that is sought to be created is that the ‘Offensive’ option was never available to the Hindus, and is not available now. Hindus themselves are at the forefront of creating this impression. Hindu apologists remark that ‘Offensive’ actions are not in Hindu culture. ‘We are not that type of people’ is a phrase often heard. This is a complete distortion of the Hindu religion.

The true Hindu scriptures are all for aggressive and offensive actions, for that one aim of achieving victory. Even the means adopted for that do not matter. We have covered this aspect in detail in our earlier chapters (40 and 41); here we just quote a Rig Veda Hymn (RV 6.75.2):

“With the bow let us win cows, with the bow let us win the contest and violent battles with the bow. The bow ruins the enemy’s pleasure; with the bow let us conquer all the corners of the world."

We must take note of the repeated use of the words ‘Win’ and ‘Conquer’ in the above short hymn; ‘Violent’ battles are recommended. ‘World conquest’ is a slogan given by the Rig at that stage of pre-history. All this establishes great stress of the Rig on ‘Offensive Actions’ and ‘Victory’ — always and under all circumstances.

The Hindus’ problem lay in the fact that at some stage they got confused about their true scriptures. Most of the Hindu religious literature that emerged in the Christian era had a thick coating of Buddhism. That is true of the Puranas that dominate present day Hinduism. The ordinary folk are not able to discern that Buddhist coating; the learned perhaps are not interested.

We conclude this part by recording the following three broad reasons for the Hindu military defeats, especially during the 2nd millennium AD:

— Almost total absence of the ‘Aggressive Spirit’
— General lack of enterprise and aversion to ‘Risk Taking’
— The above two resulting in the absence of the ‘Killer Spirit’

The above attitudes have arisen in the Hindus, out of misreading and wrong interpretation of Hindu scriptures, combined with their inability to identify their true scriptures. Some of that misreading may have been deliberate; it helped the Hindus explain away their prolonged slavery, in rather easy terms.

The overall conclusion that emerges is that Hindus like to blame everyone, except themselves for their woes; this is their trademark. Rather than facing the hard realities of life, they like to live in a cocoon of ‘make-believe’; it helps their ‘self-delusion’. Thus, the cause for Hindu defeats lay in their mind, rather than in their muscle.

Only after Hindus accept and face this bitter truth that any recovery process can start. The issues involved are of such basic nature that the recovery process may extend over many decades, perhaps even a century. However, there is little probability that Hindus will accept this conclusion. Rather, they would attribute unholy motives to anyone talking along these lines, and call him ignorant, naive and prejudiced, and someone who is not acquainted with the great Hindu culture.

Next: Why we lost the war with China

Excerpted with permission from Hinduism and its Military Ethos, By Air Marshal (retd) RK Nehra, Lancer Publications.

Also read:
Also read: Where’s our self-respect?
Did Ahimsa lead to partition?
Demographic invasion of India from the North East
Take the war to the enemy

Hinduism & its Military Ethos
Author: Air Marshal (retd) R K Nehra
ISBN: 978-1-935501-237
Pages: 492
Features: HB
To buy the book, click here



Post a Comment

<< Home