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Schism in Human Motivations

There is fundamental difference between western society and the Indian one. Primarily it is that western society has been developed under monotheistic systems- be they the military state such as that of Roman Empire and other empires that claimed divine right to rule, with everyone owing allegience to one supreme ruler and dynasty, or in the form of monotheistic church, where everyone is sheep, and should follow their shepherd unquestioningly.

In India, on the other hand, there was no mono-way of living that everyone had to comply with. There were many panchayats, many janapadas and at times many kingdoms that administered the land. Unlike in western society, here people were not expected to, nor made to, follow one particular way. Most importantly, people were not considered sheep to be led by a shepherd, many people realized themselves as brahma, and people engaged in pursuits that helped actualize karma.

purushartha

bharatiya samskriti recognizes four purusharthas – dharma, artha, kama, moksha, that motivate individuals based on their varna– expression of inherent motivation.

Depending on the varna, that again depends on the proportion of gunas- sattva, rajo, tamo, individual’s motivation changes.

The variation in the gunas is more a function of time, as well as samskara.

atman takes birth, extingushes karma samskara in pursuits suited for the purpose, sometimes accrues more, to be exhausted later, sometimes having exhausted karma attains moksha.

Thus in Indian context, there is no hierarchy. A common man may have exhausted karma and may be a mumukshu, as in the case of Raikva, mentioned in chandogya upanishad. A brahmana, learned in veda and having attained high spiritual insights, may yet accrue karma samskara, as in the case of Ravana, when he abducted Sita devi.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow, based on his study of western society, proposed  a Theory of Human Motivation based on a Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s theory, though finding relevance  in the context of an oppressive society, does not have relevance in a dharmik society.

The primary motivator in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Physiological needs- food, air, water, sleep, are available in Nature. In normal circumstances, these needs are automatically met.

The Safety need requirement arise only when there is adharmikata, when aggrandizing people expropriate from others. In dharmik society, such needs are also automatically satisfied as conscious kshatriyas uphold dharma.

Social needs are also automatically satisfied in a society that values family and extended family including that of animals and environment, as in the case of bharatiya samaj.
It is when people are made to consider themselves as individual units limited to within their physical bodies and its immediate needs, that the resulting emaciated sense of self seeks compensation by way of social distractions.

Engaged in pursuits leading to atma sakshatkara, recognizing physical body as temporary vessel for purpose of exhausting karma, dharmik people do not seek recognition, attention, or applause. They engage in nishkama karma.
It is when people are made to consider themselevs as selfish individualistic entities and treated as automations that the resultant lack of self-esteem drives them to seek it outside.

In bharatiya samaj, the ‘Self-actualization’ needs- ‘Truth, Justice, Wisdom and Meaning’, are also automatically experienced.

Theories in Context

A person, using color, canvas and brush, produces a painting, should not expect others using the same implements to produce the same painting. Skill, temperament, talent, creativity and motivations lead individuals to produce unique paintings. Societies, based on their value systems, create unique realities. Theories developed based on realities created by one society are inapplicable on others.
Western theories find relevance only in the self-aggrandizing adharmik environment of western society.
In the real world of dharma, western society, their selfish narrow outlook, their systems of rapacious exploitation and resulting theories do not have relevance.
Like, the anxieties experienced during a nightmare do not have relevance upon waking up.

India’s current situation, of more than 70% people living in material poverty, is caused by the implementation of western exploitative systems in society for the past millennium.
The solution is simply in removing the exploitative structures.

In most cases Nature heals when the injury causing foreign object is removed from the body. In India’s case, the western structures and systems of exploitation that mughals and british imposed and continued with by current rulers.

bharatiya samskriti and dharma have the vitality to rejuvenate and re-establish itself if each of the aggrandizing western structures are identified and removed.

Instead, if we choose to live the nightmare, we will experience new anxieties and continue sweating, fabricating fancy theories that have just as much endurance as the nightmare itself.

Rajiv Malhotra’s article “Can Hindus Self-Govern Competitively? Lessons from the Nithyananda Scandal” was criticized in the previous blog  for its adharmikata  and indiscriminate admiration of ‘church’. It was also noted that the object of any study affects the student in subtle ways and that this may explain the considerable influence of ‘church’ in Malhotra’s positions, which, as per his article, has been the object of his study for over a decade.

The subsequent comments received on that blog reveals that intolerance to criticism, a hallmark of ‘church’, has been faithfully imbibed by the student alongwith other tools of subterfuge.

Instead of focusing on the adharmik positions he had taken in his article and introspecting, Malhotra starts off by questioning whether his critic wants to abandon what he ingeniously terms ‘tradition’, referring to purva-paksha.

purva-paksha has been explained in simple terms by a commenter Divya at unrelated discussions elsewhere on the web in the following manner-

“There was also an important concept of purva-paksha or studying your opponents viewpoint thoroughly before engaging in debate and thus the level of debates was very sophisticated.”

“About purva-paksha. This is a tool used within the various indigenous darshanas. While I seriously recommend that all hindus try and understand the nature of xtianity and islam, I also hold that no argument or debate is possible between the indic traditions and the abrahamic traditions since they are faith-based. How can you possibly argue with a claim that God made the world and this is true because the Bible says so and the Bible is the word of God? So I’m delighted that you remembered the point about purva-paksha, but it is applicable only within the indic traditions since a dialog with faith-based traditions is sterile from the indic point of view. The other point about purva-paksha to note is that this tool was employed with the purpose of winning a debate. If you are interested in purva-paksha it will only serve your purpose if you tackle the solid points of the philosophy and not just go looking around for stuff to ridicule.”

In short, purva-paksha is the arguments from the opposing side that a debater puts forth, which he then refutes using reasoning to consolidate his position.

Malhotra attempts some skillful jugglery to suggest that (a) his study of ‘church’ is for purva-paksha, (b) that by disparaging his study his critics may be going against traditions and (c) that his study is the sole means by which a proper response can be made to ‘church’.

Citing some ‘authority’ to justify their mis-deeds is a frequent technique of church people. The student here emulates his teacher, attempting to use ‘tradition’ as the authority, to justify his study of ‘church’.

What he fails to note is that whatever means he uses to justify his pursuit, the fact that he is considerably influenced by the church system, his object of study, evident in his article, cannot be wished away. That is the reality he has to face and remedy, which he fails to do when he instead chooses to launch attack on critics.

The study of the ‘other’ may be useful. What needs to be kept in mind is that at the end of it the student should not be so influenced that he loses his sense of dharma.
Guidance or monitoring by somebody who is not directly involved in the study may be necessary whenever such endeavours are undertaken, in order to forestall adverse results.

Further, at the end of it the student must let go of the others’ tools, methods and perspectives that he may have adopted during his study, in order to gain back dharmic perspective.

While the study of church system may increase knowledge of the student, the contention that it would help in doing purva-paksha of church position is contestable, because the church is built upon false claims to being the sole representative of one ‘almighty’ ‘god’. All their positions, floating on this lie, are chimeric and meant to mislead. Effective purva-paksha is not possible with such illusory positions.

Putting up straw man arguments and countering them is a deplorable tactic that the ‘learned student’ indulges in as he condemn what he calls ‘closed minded Indians, who have very little understanding of the external world discourse other than pop culture and superficial ideas heard through casual contact – from barber shops to TV news to desi parties’. He mentions what some such ‘supposed intellectuals’ had ‘felt’ regarding the study of others when he raised the matter at an event in Delhi. The learned student’s depreciatory efforts in that direction turns out to be a poor parody of purva-paksha.

Specific lines from Shri Malhotra’s article were cited in the previous blog to substantiate the conclusions there. Yet he refused to consider them and repeatedly asked for further ‘proof’ for the conclusions. Pakistan too asks for ‘proof’ perennially from India for their complicity in terrorist acts.

He also displayed deficiency in discernment by equating purva-paksha with competitor analysis that US and Al Qaeda does on each other and that companies do in the market. This tendency to relate totally different concepts to make fanciful connnections is peculiar to west-inspired ‘intellectuals’, who have been known to equate brahma and ishwara to the christian concept of ‘god’. This is similar to the mistake made by the blind men who concluded variously that elephant is like a rope, wall, tree, snake, fan and so on, depending on which body part of the elephant they put their hands on. This tendency also motivates some people to seek a counterpart for western concept ‘religion’, such as christianity, in bharatiya samskriti; and failing to find any, they create something called ‘hinduism’ which they then go on to consider as substantial, indigenous, authentic and representing bharatiya samskriti. Some of these people then go on to organize a stucture ‘Hindu Acharya Sabha’ which is then expected to pontificate and herd its hindu sheep like its source of inspiration-the popes of church. Deracination and western influence seems directly proportional.

Yet another western influence that Malhotra displayed in his comments is an apparent obsession with physical identity and unduly high opinion of himself. He feels that his critics may have complexes that manifest in jealousy towards him because he is doing things they aren’t. He also thinks that they may be disgruntled because he does not give them importance and that is why they criticise him- to gain a sense of self importance. This assumption leads him to overlook the merit of the criticism and to seek the identity of the critic in order to justify his imaginative reasonings. It also prevents him from understanding that the criticism is of his position more than of his person.

He also displays, by repeating the same questions/aspersions in different comments, the western approach of demanding answers in the format they are comfortable with or reducing the answers to force fit their limited perspective. Similar to the kupa manduka who demanded that the vastness of ocean be demonstrated within the limited space of his well.

Launching proxies and introducing false fronts to harass and gain more knowledge of opponents and to wear them down through attrition are well known techniques of war that church people have mastered and employed through the centuries. Malhotra also shows that he has learnt those lessons well by making use of apparent acolytes who come in the guise of a ‘desi’ who seems to be more videsh-influenced and a ‘Ms Jain’ who is obviously a dig at Sandhya Jain, editor of www.vijayvaani.com.
Since ‘Ms Jain’ has made the appearance, it is assumed that ‘Ms Rajan’ is not far behind!

The commenter Karigar then attempted to box in and label everybody for easy reference. So Malhotra got ‘pragmatic realism’ and other ‘claimants of Hindu intellectual leadership today’ got ‘idealism’. In the process he forgot that bharatiya samskriti has always chosen dharma over ‘pragmatism’/ ‘realism’/ ‘idealism’ or any other boxed in ‘-ism’.

Thereafter he ‘identified’ the ‘flaw’ that caused ‘foreign domination’ over India ‘twice’, which, as per the unanimous view of all ‘historians’ is due to “ignoring the developments in the rest of the world, being so wrapped up in their own sense of inviolable superiority”!
Having thus identified the ‘flaw’ he also appropriated the authority to preach to the ‘flawed’ people. He solemnly advises- “Ideals are one thing, and reality is another”.
This videsh residing desi thus took up the ‘white man’s burden’ of educating his country cousins. ‘anpad gawar desis’ who may consider brahma as reality and everything else as another thing has a lot to learn from this ‘learned person’.

Karigar’s complete faith in intellectual honesty of ‘his-storyians’ is commendable. Curiously though, he does not entertain similar notions about the intellectual ability of his desi country men.
He may like to console the everyday victims of terrorist brutality in India by explaining to the victims that they were victimised because they ‘ignored the developments in the rest of the world, being so wrapped up in their own sense of inviolable superiority’, not because the terrorist happened to be a ruthless, inhuman, barbarian with an AK-47 influenced by a west created system of insatiable self-aggrandizement. Here Karigar plumbs the depths that marxist apologists go to come up with excuse for inhuman acts of barbaric brutes.

He then observes that the ‘whole social / legal / political system in India today is based on western systems’, tilted in church’s favour, and that the way forward is to adopt church’s way of functioning. Now, that is telling the patient- “your disease is incurable, give up all hope of getting well and learn to live with your disease, come back for check up next week and pay the bill”.
Karigar fails to note that Indians have been following this exact ‘prescription’ for centuries now, adapting to ‘changing realities’ and ‘power structures’ created by adharmik people. It is precisely these ‘adaptions’, discarding dharmik considerations that have brought them to the depths of deracination seen today. Any further regress in the same direction will only make them lose whatever little sense of dharma they hold now. Inability to distinguish between right and wrong means only that their power of discrimination is hampered- unrighteousness will still remain unrighteousness, it will never form sufficient excuse for swapping right and wrong.

Before concluding Karigar makes yet another preposterous statement that to criticize Malhotra is to betray (a) lack of confidence in the strength of hindu thought itself, and (b) shows a certain preconceived ‘guilty as charged’ mindset before assembling theories to prove the charge”.

Summing Up

Freedom to criticise should not be stifled.
Shri Malhotra, who has in the past extensively, and correctly too, questioned the western hegemony in academic discourse, their cartelization tendencies and penchant to use power to impose their view on others, would be doing the correct thing if he takes criticism against his own positions wholeheartedly.
It is not the identity of the critic that should qualify the criticism, it should be its merit alone.

During the encounter with chandala, Adi Shankaracharya recognised the import of chandala’s words and accorded deserving respect regardless of physical identity.

There is the well known episode of Sri Ganesha winning a contest with his brother Sri Karthikeya by circumambulating their parents which is considered equivalent to going around the world. The point is that, study of your own culture and traditions, represented as parents in that narrative, is superior to study of the world.

Further, in chandokya upanishad, there is the story of Uddalaka who asks his son Swetaketu, who has just returned from a long period of study, whether he knows That by knowing which everything is known. Swetaketu answers in the negative and later goes on to learn about That from his parent.

To answer Malhotra’s question in the title of his article, self-governance is possible only by discerning dharma and upholding it, never by emulating adharmis. Discovering ourselves, taking guidance from our samskriti, is the way forward.

 

 

 namaste and dhanyavaad

Rajiv Malhotra starts off his latest article admiring Christian Church, its longest history of continuous governance, tremendous track record of protecting its interests under all circumstances, its invention of corporate management procedures and floating of the first commercial multinationals, such as the Knights Templar.

It is said that whatever we give attention to, is reinforced in our minds. There is the sory of Maricha who wanted to stop thinking about Sri Rama and in the process tried to avoid using even the words having ‘ra’ alphabet. He only ended up reinforcing Sri Rama’s memory in his mind, went on to get killed by Sri Rama and achieved moksha.

Malhotra says he studied with interest the governance systems of various Christian denominations, both formally in seminary courses and through attendance of various Church conferences. It is possible that the long hours spent in such study will influence the mind of a person on those lines. Malhotra’s earlier articles available at www.rajivmalhotra.com show significant influence of dharmik thoughts even though mixed with a tendency to enter into dialogues with the adharmik people. His latest article shows enamoured admiration of christian church and compulsion to adopt their practices. This seems to be the story of a person who went to study the tactics of the enemy in order to fight them effectively, but ended up becoming like them. 

A sample of the influence of adharmik is seen in the way the enemies’ way of viewing things have been adopted by the student. He says ‘The Church has learned a great deal through trial and error and has thus become robust’. Here he personalises the Church, as a being with cognitive abilities that learns lessons and takes corrective measures and becomes robust in the process.

What is Church actually ?

A front for self-aggrandizing individuals to indulge themselves, protected from scrutiny of inquiring minds using the deceptive cover of godly sanction.

By seeing the ‘Church’ as an individual, who acquired the ability to survive many scandals through learning from trial and errors and developing robustness and resilience, the student loses sight of the bunch of selfish, self-aggrandizing individuals who constitute this organisation, who often work at cross purposes, who are themselves indoctrinated and brainwashed into losing all sense of righteousness and who perpetuate a continuous line of similar rapacious zombies. This delusion of the student in not noticing the true constituent of Church leads him to admire that mirage.

Under this delusion, losing sight of dharma, the student sees admirable qualities in the chimera, which he feels compelled to adopt. So he wants to ‘professionalize the governance of Hindu institutions’, which in effect means ‘ape the working of the Church’ in order to be as ‘robust and resilient’.

This leads the student to observe that ‘Indian laws require compliance with regulations pertaining to trusts, societies and associations that are based almost entirely on Western corporate rules of governance which originated in the Church’. In other words, he says, it is not Dharmashastras or Arthashastras that provide the legal methods for governance in India.
Obviously he fails to note that perhaps this is precisely the reason why the Indian legal system and administration is so pathetic, why corruption is so rampant.
When the system is shaped on the lines of example set by self-aggrandizing, selfish minds, what else can be expected ?
What else can result, but rampant corruption that is seen.

The student plumbs new depths with this statement – ‘there is much our gurus can learn from modern corporate governance’.
Sure, it will help them peddle their wares profitably.

He says – ‘our tradition has a long history of assimilating new ideas from everywhere and adapting itself’.
Last known, the fundamental text, the srutis, are the same as they were millenniums ago. Apart from parashara smriti no other smriti has been formulated for this yuga. Puranas, itihasas that provide guidance remain unadulterated, so far.
The deluded student has bitten the fancy line propagated by the british and later continued with by the marxists, that Indian culture is a thorough mixture of ideas ‘contributed’ by different invaders to this land and that it is these ‘contributions’ that makes it rich. That it has always been willing to accept ‘ideas from everywhere’ and to ‘adapt itself’!
By parrotting these lines of the invaders, the students shows the extend to which he has been indoctrinated.

He then claims- ‘There is a clear history of dharma that shows change and evolution’.
It is not dharma that changes. It is the perception and cognition of dharma that does. And the results are obvious in the state of affairs today.

He further claims- “The scandal of SN provided an opportunity to test how Hindus might collectively respond in crisis management”
Really ?
One crook caught with his pants down(figuratively) is a crisis for ‘Hindus’ ?

The delusion of seeing organizational entity in the place of bunch of crooked individuals carrying out their own nefarious designs was displayed by the student earlier in the case of Church. Here he does it again, seeing in the discomfiture of one crooked individual, a crisis for the majority of this one billion plus country and its diaspora.
The cause for this delusion is easy to find- his admiration for World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church whom he had credited with resilience and robustness earlier, for thriving despite scandals involving sexual abuse of even children. He would like to see played out, a similar performance by his chosen collective of ‘hindus’ in this hour of ‘crisis’.

A tendency displayed by those bitten by the bug of such delusion is to try and appropriate organisations for personal aggrandizement. The Gramscian ideas of influencing academic institutions and media as means to gain societal control stems from that. So he calls for a Hindu body to be brought in to play a responsible role, either an institution or a panel of elders, such that there would be fair play by the system and not prosecution by an utterly biased and corrupt media.
Effective skill in wordplay to obfuscate issues is frequently practiced by crooks. Those who draw inspiration from such crooks inevitably acquire similar characteristics. In effect what is being proposed is an organisation that will provide unscrupulous crooks such as Rajasekara a.k.a SN, support and legitimacy. Later such organisations will conveniently form platforms for further deplorable deeds on the pretext of lofty and altruistic reasons, like its source of inspiration- Church. 

The student then introduces a favored tool of his teacher into the article- the element of fear. His worst fears came true when he discovered the absence of any such mechanism like World Council of Churches with hindus!

He appreciates the several individuals who, like him, ‘performed commendably’ in their personal capacities trying to help bring ‘dharmic justice.’ by coming out in support of a crook! Fortunately,  such ‘noble attempts’ failed.

He admires the Church for developing its robustness, even though it took centuries to do so, ‘with considerable enterprise by numerous risk takers’. All that the enterprising people of church probably risked and lost were their sense of righteousness and morality, which fact the devout student overlooks in his eagerness to mold HDAS in Father Church’s image.
 
So he asks rhetorically, ‘are Hindus willing to go through such processes that are not instant successes and bring no personal benefit ?’,  it may be added, forgoing considerations of dharma, morality and letting HDAS and its Popes set corporate agendas.

Even though Malhotra admits that ‘SN did not make his position clear enough, and nor was he consistent in what he said to various persons from one day to the next’, he does not recognise precisely this moral vacilitation on part of SN as the primary cause of the crisis. This inability to distinguish adharma led him to come out in support of that charlatan when the scandal broke.
 
But the trained businessperson that he is, appreciates the ‘corporate’ style Non-Disclosure Agreement(NDA) drafted by an American corporate lawyer and signed by lots of persons as a standard corporate NDA. This evident weakness for ‘corporates’ leads him to champion the idea of ‘Hindus Inc.’ in the guise of being concerned about self-governing competence of ‘hindus’.

The deterioration in this student’s ability to discriminate the right from the wrong  is starkly evident when even after  some parents told him of their daughters being compromised by SN, he only wonders whether the NDA will provide legal protection as proof that any alleged sex was between consenting adults.

This self-appointed spokesman for ‘Manu and other past leaders’  says the goal to unify Hindu groups in social-political matters is necessary if Hinduism is to survive. The student has learnt well from his padre teachers whose refrain for each of their selfish acts are- ‘This is what God wants done’.

Revival of hinduism entails inculcating kshatriya competence among a large number of individuals, he notes, but conveniently forgoes the fact that kshatriya is also about upholding dharma. Morality is integral part of dharma. Also, kshatriyas, vyshyas and sudras are to be guided by brahmanas for proper running of society, person’s varna being based on behaviour, independent of parentage.

Then rhetoric – ‘Such a revival entails courageous experimentation, risk taking, enterprising attempts to engage the real issues as and when they happen’ – to justify his recent ‘education’ in the hands of church,  ‘It also involves getting inside the large scale institutional management of other religions in order to learn their strengths and weaknesses as well what we could borrow from them.’

Before concluding he introduces the insinuation that his critics may well be double agents engaged in feeding material to opponents of ‘hinduism’, which is a rehash of George Bush’s memorable- ‘If you are not with us, then you are with them’ line, one step away from ‘If you are not a believer like us, then you are a kaffir, heathen, fit to be killed off in the name of my one and only true God/Allah’.

What stands out in Malhotra’s article is the influence of church, which he seems unaware of.
 
Indians in the past have been known to shun the company of the unrighteous- mlecchas, and to engage in purifying acts if interacting with them became inevitable. The adharmic influence from mlecchas affects those who interact with them. Rajiv Malhotra’s article shows the effects of this.

Untouchables are the unrighteous, adharmis– those who have suppresed their moral compass or have abandoned it altogether. It is not a genetic trait. Environment and upbringing does influence it. But it is possible for a person born to an unrighteous person to become a brahmana, similarly, the progeny of a brahmana may also grow up to be unrighteous. Besides, an unrighteous person himself could later become righteous and vice versa. Ratnakara who became Maharshi Valmiki, Prahlada, son of Hiranyakashipu, Ravana, son of Vishravas, are examples.

It is consciousness of dharma and the willingness to adhere to dharma at all cost that differentiates the righteous from the unrighteous. Just as a body without atman is a dead body, material success without dharma putrifies. While kama and artha are essential for dharma to manifest, pursuing either at the cost of dharma is counterproductive.

Those who seek to learn from the unrighteous may realise late that the lessons are unrighteous, developed and perfected for unrighteous purposes, and that, by imbibing the unrighteous lessons they themselves become unrighteous.

When the sex scandal of Rajasekaran a.k.a. Swami Nithyananda erupted, Shri Rajiv Malhotra was in Delhi as part of a group to go to Kumbh Mela. He was also “finalizing a new book which deals specifically with Tamil Nadu religious politics, and in particular with the role of various nexuses based overseas“. So he decided to “jump into the eye of the storm of this scandal in order to investigate whether similar nexuses were at work in this case“. With that he reveals the tint of his investigating lens that perhaps colours his report.

He found that “the sensationalized media reports were too one-sided, and none of them had a single statement to report from the swami himself“. How could they report anything from the so-called ‘swami’ when he had gone into hiding ?

Also, “another interest of mine has been to extrapolate important lessons from this episode for other Hindu organizations, which I predict will face similar scandals as and when their weaknesses become understood by those opposed to them.” By ‘weakness’ does he mean the urge to teach ‘tantra’ to actress disciples ?

After a two week long investigation during which he has been, in his own words, “loyal to my pledge to give Swami Nithyananda’s organization the benefit of doubt and to report their side of the story“, he “personally recommended to Swami Nithyananda that the best course at this stage would be for him to resign completely from his organization“. Because- “the head of any organization must accept responsibility that “the buck stops here,” only such a move can salvage the organization and the reputation of dharma at large“. So far so good. The only question that remains is whether Rajasekaran’s ‘resignation’ (if it happens), will be similar to Shri Advani’s ‘resignation’ , wherein he ‘resigned’ the opposition leader position and went on to become the chief patron of sorts of BJP.

Shri Rajiv Malhotra then goes on to ask Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ‘provocative’ questions- “The first provocative question I asked Sri Sri concerned the nature of yogic powers: What is the relationship between siddhis and morality?”. BTW what is ‘provocative’ about that common sensical question, unless Malhotraji’s intention is to shore up his credentials as ‘investigative researcher’ ?

Sri Sri seemed impressed by this question, and agreed with my overall position..“. !!!

Then Malhotra sets a pre-condition for his investigation- “the issue of his (Rajasekaran’s) morality must be pursued separately and independently from whether his siddhis are genuine“. As far as the scandal is concerned, it was about morality, not siddhis. Then what is the need to bring in this talk of siddhis unless it is a red-herring to divert attention from the uncomfortable but inescapable issue of morality ?

After going to Kumbh mela, naga sadhus and Tantra, he claims to “address the issue of Swami Nithyananda’s morality” with this ‘recap’-“My first point… has been that the morality issue about Swami Nithyananda does not impact the effectiveness of the meditation techniques he has taught very successfully.” That is like saying the issue of ethical sensitivity and morality, or lack of it, of ‘mf’ hussain does not impact the effectiveness of his painting strokes which he has peddled very successfully.

My second point was that there is nothing inherent about sex that is rejected by Hinduism across the board..” Another red-herring to divert attention from morality ?

Next, about Rajasekaran, “for a small number of persons, he feels that the 6 sutras involving sexual Tantra need to be tested and perfected for modern times, before they can be safely taught more widely. This he considers like any R & D done in a lab for developing a product.” R & D is when something is being developed from scratch. Tantra have been practiced for millenniums in India. All he had to do was become a shishya of tantric guru.

Some nuggets of wisdom is thrown in, which may come handy later- “My ‘sense’ is that he did practice Tantra with a very small number of persons, and I ‘believe’ that he even entered into written legal contracts… “

Followed by speculations about Ranchita- “Based on third party reports from some persons who are in touch with her,… She took the sexual initiative with him on the occasion shown in the videotape (was it different on other occasions ?), at a time when he was not fully alert (true. he seemed to be engrossed in televison). But this activity did not proceed to intercourse. It was terminated.” So essentially Ranchita, in absentia, is the sacrificial goat, ‘She did it!’.

So in the worst case, this was consensual sex between adults, and that too backed by a formal written contract between the parties.” Actually, it is in the best case that it is consensual sex. In the worst case it is very many other things; such as adultery(with a married woman), duplicitous behavior (showing the face of brahmachari to millions outside and going against that in private) etc. But there is another plant here, which is- “that too backed by a formal written contract between the parties“. What was earlier speculated by Mr Malhotra as “I believe that he even entered into written legal contracts” is now taken as proof enough.

At the end of these speculations Rajiv Malhotra has the good grace to admit that “my moral issue is about the lack of transparency before the public. there could also be the alternative scenario, namely, that this was mere lust packaged as Tantric spirituality” Wonder why the investigative researcher did not then probe that scenario deeper. Does it have to do with the fact that his forthcoming book is all about how ‘hinduism’ is under attack from outside, and not how it is being hollowed out from within by ‘practitioners’, due to which he will turn a blind eye to the latter ?

About his first meeting with Rajasekaran-“I found him to be very sharp, a great listener, and in agreement that we must engage social issues rather than pursuing the “world negating” or “escapist” paths that are typical of many gurus today“. Point may be noted- if you are in agreement with Shri Malhotra, you may escape being termed ‘world negating’ or ‘escapist’.

On a weekend course in USA “Swami Nithyananda gave the attendees their own personal inner experience“. If it was “their own personal inner experience“, is it correct to say Rajasekaran gave it? Or if Rajasekaran gave it, then how would it be “their-own-personal-inner-experience” ? Or is it that Rajasekaran is considered here as ‘God’, capable of giving people “their own personal inner experience” ?

Some self-congratulatory nuggets- “It was a two-way street. While he taught me meditation, I brought to him my scholarship …” “I felt that he and I had a peer relationship, each side being an expert in his domain to teach the other.”

And perhaps the reason why he felt to rush to the aid of Rajasekaran. “No other guru in the world has invested so much time with me to try and learn these global issues so deeply.” and “my primary interest in Swami Nithyananda was as a vehicle to spread greater awareness of the kinds of issues that I was researching“. So it was truly a two-way street. Birds of a feather flock together ?

Explaining why he chose to focus on the criminal charges in his interview with Rajasekaran avoiding the more infamous issue of sex tapes- “ I was unable to discuss the sexual acts shown in the videotapes. I had to respect the policies of his people….” Fine, and what were those policies ? “Their policy on the sex tapes was that Swami Nithyananda would directly explain his acts.” Duh! Then why wasn’t the Reverend asked the relevant questions ?

Tamil actress’ … sensitivities had to be respected. The sensitivities of the 140-strong ashramites had to be protected .” Nice to have ‘investigative researchers’ respecting sensitivities so much as to leave important questions unasked. By the way the said actress’s sensitivities were ‘respected’ by Rajivji a while back in this manner- “Based on third party reports… She took the sexual initiative with him on the occasion shown in the videotape, at a time when he was not fully alert.

According to him criminal charges became the focus of his interviews instead of the sex tapes for two reasons-“The evidence was more clear-cut than the evidence on what exactly happened in the videotapes.” How much more “clear cut evidence” of an event can there be other than its video recording, Mr Investigative researcher ?

Secondly, the consequences of criminality would be far more severe than mere moral fallibility.” Isn’t ‘criminality’ itself a consequence of ‘moral fall’ ?

While immoral conduct is a big concern for the devotees, it is not enough grounds by itself for the state to confiscate the entire property that runs into very large sums of money.” Therefore is it “the entire property that runs into very large sums of money” that is more important than morality ?

YouTube wrote to him that he was the most watched of all Indian spiritual leaders on the Internet and proposed a closer collaboration for their viewers.” Nowadays it is of course YouTube and Twitter that provide standards for legitimacy, not the integrity of the person.

Then follows some promotion of his forthcoming book “Since I had arrived at the scene while writing my book on the conspiracy in Tamil Nadu religious politics, it was natural to start with that as my emphasis for the investigation…“.

For instance, one of his top devotees got a phone call from someone based in New York describing the media and police attack that was to come. His predictions turned out to be accurate.. He said that… He claimed that ….He mentioned that … A lawyer contacted them and claimed that … There were warnings given to individuals… One friendly man based in Pune …told the ashram a week in advance of the attack… Another publisher in Hyderabad … called three times to warn… There were constant threats received to harass the ashramites and scare them away…”
Essentially it was all a conspiracy. and sex was tantric.

Then some gems regarding varna- “The Brahmin job description focuses on spirituality and research…”. ‘Job description!’. Being a brahmana is a job. Not a pursuit, not a way of life, not about realization of brahma. Only a job. And he gets paid for it. And perhaps, there is pension too. That is the ‘modern’ thinking.

Then,- “Swami Nithyananda had persons with Brahmin qualities performing duties that demand Kshatriya and Vyshya skills.” How was this conclusion arrived at ? Surely not based on what followed the expose-” his organization was in utter chaos, reacting to each “hit” by the other side. Its leaders were running scared, driven by one rumor after another. Decisions were being made in desperation and panic. The group was cognitively disoriented and many of its members were psychologically breaking down.” That description seems to fit people caught with their pants down (figuratively speaking), not people focussed on spirituality and research, the job description of ‘Brahmins’.

Further- “The organization was too much of a one-man show with the leaders operating like children dependent on the swami for every decision.” That sounds more like how Sudra behave, not spiritual researcher ‘Brahmins’. So on what basis did Shri Malhotra conclude earlier that “Swami Nithyananda had persons with Brahmin qualities” in his ‘ashram’ ?

Then he touches the core issue- “This is classical cult-like behavior..it also can also get into the leader’s head and make him power hungry. Especially when the guru has siddhis, this power can easily become co-opted by his ego into a dangerous mixture… I noticed this in the form of the inner circle’s inability to make common sense judgments, and their misrepresenting the facts to their leader …the honest truth did not come out fast enough …I had a difficult time to get dependable information, and the stories kept changing not only over time but also between one person and another within the group. I could not tell if there was a cover up and if new lies were fabricated to cover prior lies..” Are these the same people who were earlier described as having ‘Brahmin’ qualities ?

He winds up thus-“being a global guru is very demanding today, given that one has to represent a very old tradition authentically and yet in a manner that appeals to modern people. This is why Hindu leaders need a crash course on matters that are well beyond the traditional education in their own sampradayas“. In short, do they need to enter into a ‘peer relationship’ with Mr Malhotra to live up to the “very demanding” job of representing a very old tradition authentically in a manner that appeals to ‘modern’ people ? Few points may be noted here- (1) Regarding the job profile of a guru- A guru today has to represent ‘a very old tradition authentically’. So if you are not representing ‘a very old tradition’ (old enough to meet Malhotraji’s standards), you probably do not make the cut. (2) ‘And yet in a manner that appeals to modern people’. There you go. Wanna be new age guru, make it appealing to ‘modern people’ (‘modern’ as in ‘worker bee for western conglomerates’). (3) The traditional education in their own sampradayas being what it is, Hindu leaders need a crash course on matters that are well beyond its boundary walls. A preliminary reading of ‘Invading the Sacred’ (purchased at full price, mind you) may help. Later, wait for Malhotraji’s new book release.

He reveals- “My overriding concern throughout this investigation has been to find a way to do damage control in order to protect the broader interests of dharma.” The broader interests of Dharma, it may be noted, depends on ‘damage control’ efforts.

Of course “This requires a pragmatic approach“, not dharmic approach. Thus the pragmatic approach is that “Swami Nithyananda should resign immediately and hand over all his organizations to senior spiritual masters“. Why because- “it would be a better outcome than the likely alternative of the government stepping in to take over the ashram“. Thus dharma is in ensuring that the ashram properties are not lost to government, which is what is material anyway.

He finishes with some rhetoric- “Hinduism has survived for many millennia and faced many kinds of crises, just like all the other major religions of the world.” Many millennia means at least two millenniums or more. Is there any record of anything called ‘hinduism’ being present at that time, that lends credibility to such a statement? Such as, does Ramayana or Mahabharata or the Vedas mention about ‘hinduism’ ? Further, is there any record that this so-called hinduism faced many kinds of crisisses, or is it Malhotraji’s conclusion on somebody’s say so ?

just like all the other major religions of the world“. If he means it is like the cults of christianity and islam, that is reason enough to discard it.

“…they need to become modernized.” Modernized, as in ‘civlized’ ? Did the white man’s burden change hands to the NRI ?

This is not the last such scandal Hindu groups are going to face in the near future“( Buy my forthcoming book to know more).

BTW, Shri Rajiv Malhotra’s various contributions towards rejuvenation of indic traditions is probably unparalleled in recent times, at least on the net. Nevertheless, if this article is any indicator, his west-influenced approach towards solutions may turn indic traditions into, like what he mentioned above in his article-“just like all the other major religions of the world”. Thing is, the so-called major religions of the world, particularly, christianity and islam, have a bloody history of subversion, cult-like behaviour, dogmatism, deception and zero contribution towards realization or empowering people (as different from mobs). The same is the case with capitalistic or communist tendencies, both of which survive on brainwashing people (yes, capitalism too, through advertisements. Moreover, it was capitalists like East India Company, Hudson Bay Company etc., that created imperialism and slavery).

So it is unavoidable that dharma be given the deserving consideration in all matters over the so-called ‘pragmatic’ or ‘modern’ approaches, which are essentially poor excuses for ‘adharma’. dharma is concerned with morality more than siddhi, with integrity, more than material property, and with the rot within as much as with the attack from outside.

Rushing to the defence of swamis is noble. However, it should be genuine swamis. Integrity should be the criteria. Fighting for indic traditions against external forces is noble. Strengthening it from within, removing rot within is also necessary, else only the outer shell will be left with hollow inside. Engaging foes is necessary, becoming like them inadvertantly is not.

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