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The Dalai Lama is 85 years old. Does India understand the importance of that?

On 6 July 2020, His Holiness the Dalai-lama, turned 85. I scanned the entire Net looking for mention of this extremely important event – but in vain! There was mention of the birthday of actor Ranveer Singh (who ?) – But absolutely nothing about the Dalai-lama and Tibet.

Does India and the BJP government of Narendra Modi understand the extreme importance of that event? The Dalai lama may be the last chance for India to regain a friendly border between herself and the Chinese enemy – and time is running out. You do know, I hope, that out of the 40000 or so kms of border with China, nearly 3300 belong to Tibet ! Tibet was always a friendly and peaceful buffer between the two giants of Asia. When Nehru allowed China to take over this tiny nation, he committed one of his biggest blunders – and India is still paying the price for it.

The Chinese, who are most ruthless and intelligent, are just waiting for the Dalai-lama to die, to nominate their own puppet Dalai lama, the way they named a Panchen-lama. Then it will be not only the end of the possibility of free Tibet, but from a geostrategical point of view, India will have to face in the coming decades not only an hostile border with China, without the buffer of Tibet, but also the disadvantage of China swooping down from the heights of Tibet onto India’s valleys as it did in 1962. Did you also know that according to the CIA, China has placed many of its nuclear warheads in Tibetan caves, where they escape the scrutiny of satellites and that many of them are pointed towards Indian cities? We also know that most of South Asia greats rivers are born in Tibet and that China is building many dams upon them, depriving India and many other countries of this precious water.

Thus the importance of a free Tibet has never been so crucial to India – specially at the time of extreme tension with China on many fronts, whether Ladhak, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, Kashmir, or even on sea, in the Indian Ocean. But do you think that the higher bureaucrats of the External affairs Ministry of India can understand that? No,

not at all. Their minds are frozen in the Nehruvian thinking that one must compromise with China at all costs! It was so in the 50s, it was in the 60s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’S and it is still true unfortunately today. They have not learnt that the Chinese always pretend to negotiate – while preparing for war.

Who will then grasp that the 85 year old Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace prize, is India most powerful weapon against China? Firstly, his very name makes the Chinese shake with anger and they lose – for once -all common sense; secondly, India should respond tit for tat: China says are that Kashmir is a disputed territory; China claims Arunachal Pradesh; China has taken over swaps of Indian territory, whether the Aksai Chin, or bits and bits here and there in Assam, Ladakh, Sikkim or Bhutan. Then why the hell can’t India say that Tibet is a disputed territory??? Why cannot the BJP government of Narendra Modi allow for instance the Dalai-lama to do a teaching in Ladakh, where he has thousands and thousands of followers – right under the nose of the Chinese?

Indeed, India without knowing it, has with his Holiness, not only a friend, but also a Yogi, the spiritual and temporal head of Tibet, as an important ally – and its high time that the Prime Minister uses that dharmic weapon against China. We may quote here Sri Aurobindo, India’s great revolutionary, poet, philosopher and avatar who was also a prophet and wrote in 1949 : “The significance of Mao’s Tibetan adventure is to advance China’s frontier right down to India and stand poised there to strike at the right moment and with right strateg … We must burn it into our minds that the primary motive of Mao’s attack on Tibet is to threaten India as soon as possible. »

Happy Birthday your Holiness. May God grant you long life! May Tibet become free again, so that India regains a peaceful neighbor that will be a buffer between her and the Chinese dragon. Are you listening Mr Prime Minister?

 

François Gautier

 

The coronavirus in the light of Sri Aurobindo

For Sri Aurobindo, behind every event that is happening in the world, there are forces at play. Some of these forces are dharmic, that is they tend towards the good of humanity ; and others are asuric, destructive, striving to disrupt, to bring disharmony, to hurt even, and in general push for regression in human evolution.

This is nothing new : all great Scriptures, whether the Vedas, the Bible, or Buddha’s precepts, have said the same thing – the world is Maya, illusion; look behind appearances, search for Truth. Now if you take a glance at the coronavirus epidemic in that light, it acquires a new dimension. On the medical angle, it is nothing compared to other deadly diseases, such as cancer, heart attacks, or Aids. In India, for now, there are less than 0,0001 per cent of the country infected. But just observe what comes along with the coronavirus : fear, suspicion, mistrust, and a worldwide panic that seems to have gripped all – governments, as well as individuals. This is the very psychosis, which comes with asuric forces. We perceive also that the coronavirus is bringing with it tremendous economic damage to the world: airlines, businesses, governments even, might go bankrupt, and individuals are right now undergoing tremendous financial and psychological stress. This also is the Asura.

Now what Sri Aurobindo also says is that these hostile forces need vehicles, instruments, to do their harm. In the case of the coronavirus, this instrument has been the media, both printed and electronic, which has, with sensationalism, hyperbole, and photoshopping, amplified a million time the fears and concerns of people, putting pressure on governments, which all fell prey to this bloodsucking blackmail.

During the Second World War, Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual companion, the Mother, clearly indicated that Hitler was an asura, an evil force, and they put their spiritual power in play to help the Allies defeat him. It is therefore clear that while taking all hygienic and medical precautions, the coronavirus needs to be fought on a spiritual and occult level.

For having a clear occult indication on how to fight this coronavirus epidemic, we need to look at its origin. Well, it does come from China. We are not anti-Chinese per se, but whether the coronavirus is man-made, because the Chinese eat all kind of animals, from vampires to snakes, which are killed alive before being sold; or if it is biological, which accidentally escaped from a research laboratory, there is no doubt about its source. On a very material level, it is a timely reminder to the West of China’s indomitable thirst for hegemonic dominance of the world. Ninety five per cent of the antibiotics consumed on this planet, for example, are made in China; so are most of the automobiles parts, computer chips, mobile phones such as Apple, etc. The world is therefore totally dependent on China today and this is a signal that it is a dangerous thing and the West needs to delocalize from the Chinese and re-localize – in India, for instance – a much more friendly, spiritual and democratic nation.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama often spoke of a ‘black karma’ of the Chinese, not only because they massacred nearly a million Tibetans but also because Mao-Tse tung, in his megalomania, killed 20 million of his own people. Is the coronavirus which has paralyzed the whole China and which will damage its long-term ambitions, such as a new Silk Road that crosses the Himalayas to reach the Pakistani port of Gwadar, and hence flood the western world with Chinese goods, a consequence of that black karma? The future will say.

At any rate, while India needs to take all sanitary precautions, it is She only who can fight the invisible forces behind the coronavirus. All the great gurus of the moment, HH the Dalai-lama, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amrita Anandamayi, Jaggi Satguru, the Shankarya, Gurumai, etc, should assemble together and performs pujas and yagnas; individually we can also fight the virus by repeating in our hearts the Mother’s prayer:

“In the name of the Divine,

For the sake of the Divine,

By the power of the Divine,

With the strength of the Divine,

To all adverse beings or forces,

I order you to quit this place at once and for ever”….

François Gautier

 

 

 

HINDU TERRORISM

Is there such thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’ ? We know today that Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was to die as Bengaluru’s Samir Chaudhari. Luckily a courageous policeman shot him and he survived so that his true identity could be proved.

Well, I guess I was asked to write this column because I am one of this rare species of foreign correspondents: a lover of Hindus! A born Frenchman, Catholic-educated, non-Hindu, I do hope I will be given some credit for my opinions, garnered after 25 years of reporting in South Asia (for Le Journal de Genève and Le Figaro) – which are not the product of my parents’ ideas, my education or my atavism.

In the early eighties, when I started freelancing in the South , doing photo features on Kalaripayat, the Ayappa festival, or the Ayanars, I slowly realized, on the ground, that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, or rather in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. The average Hindu that you meet in a million villages, possesses this simple, innate spirituality in his or her genes and accepts your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. It is this ‘Hindu-ness’ (which cannot be experienced if you sit in Delhi most of the time) that makes most Indian Christians different, from say a French Christian, or an Indian Muslim unlike a Saudi Muslim. I also learnt that Hindus not only believed that the Divine could manifest at different times, under different names, using different Scriptures, the wonderful avatar concept, the perfect answer to 21st century religious strife, but that they had given refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Syrian Christians, the Parsis, the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted), the Armenians, or today the Tibetans. In 3500 years of known existence, Hindus have also never military invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion upon others, by force or even by induced conversions.

Thus for me, you cannot find less fundamentalist than a Hindu in this world and it saddens me when I see that the Indian and western Press always try to equate terrorists, such as ISIS, who blow up innocent civilians, to angry ordinary Hindus who burn churches without killing anybody. We know that most of these communal incidents often involve persons of the same caste, Dalits and tribals, some of them converted to Christianity and others not. Then, however reprehensible was the destruction of the Babri Masjid, no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this with the ‘vengeance’ bombings of 1993 in Mumbai, which wiped-out hundreds of innocent, mostly Hindus. Yet, the Babri Masjid destruction is often described by journalists as the most horrible act of the two. We also saw how the Indian Media

I have never been politically correct, but have always written – not what is the prevalent trend – but what I have discovered while reporting . Let me then be straightforward about this so-called Hindu terror. Hindus, since the first Arab invasions, have been at the receiving end of terrorism, whether it was by Teimur, who killed 100.000 Hindus in one day in 1399, or by the Portuguese Inquisition which crucified Brahmins in Goa. Today they are still being targeted: there were one million Hindus in the valley of Kashmir in 1900 – but only a few hundred today, the rest having been made to flee through terror. Blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus all over India in the last four years; Hindus, the overwhelming majority community of this country, are being made fun of, are despised, are deprived of the most basic facilities for one of their most sacred pilgrimages in Armanath, when their Government heavily sponsors the Haj; they are witnessing their brothers and sisters converted to Christianity by financials traps, seeing a 84 year old harmless swami and his Mataji brutally murdered, reading of blasphemy about their Gods…

So, sometimes, Enough is Enough. At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, those that the Mahatma Gandhi once called gently ‘cowards’, erupt in uncontrolled fury. And it hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu, then in Khandamal, in Mangalore, and in Malgeaon. And it will happen again elsewhere. What should be understood is that this is a spontaneous revolution on the ground, by ordinary Hindus, without any preplanning from the political leadership. Therefore, the BJP, instead of acting embarrassed, should not disown its brothers and sisters who choose other means to let their anguished voices be heard.

Today there are about a billion Hindus, one in every six persons of this planet, one of the most successful, law abiding and integrated communities in the world. Can you call them terrorists?

Francois Gautier

 

The Greatest (Hindu) literature ?

Mr Basham, author of the “ The Wonder that was India”,  feels that “much of Sanskrit literature is dry and monotonous, or can only be appreciated after a considerable effort of the imagination” (Wonder that Was India, page 401), which shows a total misunderstanding of the greatness of the genius of that « Mother of all languages ». Sri Aurobindo evidently disagrees with him: “the ancient and classical literature of the Sanskrit tongue shows both in quality and in body an abundance of excellence, in their potent originality and force and beauty, in their substance and art and structure, in grandeur and justice and charm of speech, and in the heightened width of the reach of their spirit which stands very evidently in the front rank among the world’s great literatures.” (Foundations of Indian Culture p. 255)

Four masterpieces seem to embody India’s genius in literature: the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata. As seen earlier, the Vedas represent “a creation of an early and intuitive and symbolic mentality” (Foundations of Indian Culture, p.260). It was only because the Vedic rishis were careful to clothe their spiritual experiences in symbols, so that only the initiated would grasp them, that their meaning has escaped us, particularly after they got translated in the last two centuries. “The Veda is the WORD discovering truth and clothing in image and symbol, the mystic significance of life”, wrote again Sri Aurobindo. (India’s Rebirth, p.95)

As to the Upanishads, asserts the Sage from Pondichery, “they are the supreme work of the Indian mind, that of the highest self-expression of genius, its sublimest poetry, its greatest creation of the thought and word.. a large flood of spiritual revelation…” (Foundations of Indian Culture p.269). The Upanishads are Philosophy, Religion and Poetry blended together. They record high spiritual experiences, are a treaty of intuitive philosophy and show an extraordinary poetic rhythm. It is also a book of ecstasy: an ecstasy of luminous knowledge, of fulfilled experience, « a book to express the wonder and beauty of the rarest spiritual self-vision and the profoundest illumined truth of Self and God and the Universe », writes Sri Aurobindo (Found. of Indian Culture, 269). The problem is that the translations do not render the beauty of the original text, because these masterpieces have been misunderstood by foreign translators, who only strive to bring out the intellectual meaning without grasping the soul contents of it and do not perceive the ecstasy of the seer “seeing” his experiences.

 But without doubt, it is the Mahabarata and the Ramayana, which are dearest to all Indians, even today. Both the Mahabarata and the Ramayana are epical, in the spirit as well as the purpose. The Mahabarata is on a vast scale, maybe unsurpassed even today, the epic of the soul and tells a story of the ethics of India of that time, its social, political and cultural life. It is, notes Sri Aurobindo, “the expression of the mind of a nation, it is the poem of itself written by a whole nation… A vast temple unfolding slowly its immense and complex idea from chamber to chamber” (Foundations of Indian Culture, p 287). More than that even, it is the HISTORY OF DHARMA, of deva against asura, the strife between divine and titanic forces. You find on one side, a civilisation founded on Dharma, and on the other, beings who are embodiments of asuric egoism and misuse of Dharma. It is cast in the mould of tales, legends, anecdotes, telling  stories of philosophical, religious, social, spiritual values: « as in Indian architecture, there is the same power to embrace great spaces in a total view and the same tendency to fill them with an abundance of minute, effective, vivid and significant detail ». (Foundations of Indian Culture, p 288).

The Baghavad Gita must be the supreme work of spiritual revelation in the whole history of our human planet, for it is the most comprehensive, the most revealing, the highest in its intuitive reach. No religious book ever succeeded to say nearly everything that needs to be known on the mysteries of human life: why death, why life, why suffering? why fighting, why duty? Dharma, the supreme law, the duty to one’s soul, the adherence to truth, the faithfulness to the one and only divine reality which pertains all things in matter and spirit. « Such then is the divine Teacher of the Gita, the eternal Avatar, the Divine who has descended into human consciousness, the Lord seated within the heart of all beings, He who guides from behind the veil all our thought and action ». (Sri Aurobindo; Essays on the Gita, page 17)

The Ramayana’s inner genius does not differ from the Mahabharata’s, except by a greater simplicity of plan, a finer glow of poetry maybe. It seems to have been written by a single hand, as there is no deviation from story to story… But it is, remarks Sri Aurobindo, “like a vastness of vision, an even more winged-flight of epic in the conception and sustained richness of minute execution in the detail (289). For Indians, the Ramayana embodies the highest and most cherished ideals of manhood, beauty, courage, purity, gentleness. The subject is the same as in the Mahabharata: the struggle between the forces of light and darkness; but the setting is more imaginative, supernatural and there is an intensification of the characters in both their goodness and evil. As in the Mahabharata too, we are shown the ideal man with his virtues of courage, selflessness, virtue and spiritualised mind. The asuric forces have a near cosmic dimension of super-human egoism and near divine violence, as the chased angels of the Bible possessed after them. « The poet makes us conscious of the immense forces that are behind our life and sets his action in a magnificent epic scenery, the great imperial city, the mountains and the ocean, the forest and wilderness, described with such largesse as to make us feel that the whole world were the scene of his poem and its subject the whole divine and titanic possibility of man, imagined in a few great or monstrous figures ». (Found of Indian Culture page 290)

Does India’s literary genius end with the Ramayana? Not at all. It would take too long here  to jot down all the great figures of Indian literature and this is not a literary treatise. But we may mention Kalidasa, whose poetry was imitated by all succeeding generations of poets, who tried to copy the perfect and harmoniously designed model of his poetry. The Puranas and the Tantras, « which contain in themselves, writes Sri Aurobindo, the highest spiritual and philosophical truths, while embodying them in forms that are able to carry something of them to the popular imagination and feeling by way of legend, tale, symbols, miracles and parables » (Found of Indian Culture P.312).  The Vaishnava poetry, which sings the cry of the soul for God, as incarnated by the love stories of Radha and Krishna, which have struck forever Indian popular imagination, because they symbolise the nature in man seeking for the Divine soul through love. Valmiki, also moulded the Indian mind with his depiction of Rama and Sita, another classic of India’s love couples and one that has survived through the myth of enduring worship, in the folklore of this country, along with the popular figures of Hanuman and Laksmanan. “His diction, remarks Sri Aurobindo, is shaped in the manner of the direct intuitive mind as earlier expressed in the Upanishads”.

But Indian literature is not limited to Sanskrit or Pali. In Tamil, Tiruvalluvar, wrote  the highest ever gnomic poetry, perfect in its geometry, plan and force of execution. In Hindi, Tulsidas, is a master of lyric intensity and the sublimity of epic imagination. In Marathi,  Ramdas, poet, thinker, yogi, deals with the birth and awakening of a whole nation, with all the charm and the strength of a true bhakti. In Bengal, there is Kashiram, who retold in simple manner the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, accompanied by Tulsidas who did the same thing in Hindi and who managed to combine lyric intensity, romantic flight of imagination, while retaining the original sublimity of the story. One cannot end this short retrospective without mentioning Chaitanya, Nanak, Kabir, Mirabai…All these remarkable writers have often baffled the Western mind, which could never understand the greatness of Indian literature, forgetting that in India everything was centred around the spiritual.

The genius of (Hindu) Indian politics

Another of these great prejudices with which Indians had to battle for centuries, is that whatever the spiritual, cultural, artistic, even social greatness of India, it always was disunited, except under Ashoka and some of the Mughal emperors -just a bunch of barbarian rulers, constantly fighting themselves -and that it was thanks to the Mughals and the British, that India was finally politically united. This is doing again a grave injustice to India. The Vedic sages had devised a monarchical system, whereby the king was at the top, but could be constitutionally challenged. In fact, it even allowed for men’s inclination to war, but made sure that it never went beyond a certain stage, for only professional armies fought and the majority of the population remained untouched. Indeed, at no time in ancient India, were there great fratricidal wars, like those between the British and the French, or even the Protestants and the Catholics within France itself. Moreover, the system allowed for a great federalism: for instance, a long time after the Vedic fathers, the real power lay in the village panchayats. Sri Aurobindo refutes the charge (which Basham levels), that India has always shown an incompetence for any free and sound political organisation and has been constantly a divided nation. « There always was a strong democratic element in pre-Muslim India, which certainly showed a certain similarity with Western parliamentary forms, but these institutions were INDIAN ». The early Indian system was that of the clan, or tribal system, founded upon the equality of all members of the tribe. In the same way, the village community had its own assembly, the “visah”, with only the king above this democratic body. The priests, who acted as the sacrifice makers and were poets, occultists and yogis, had no other occupation in life and their positions were thus not hereditary but depended on their inner abilities. And it was the same thing with warriors, merchants, or lower class people. “Even when these classes became hereditary, remarks Sri Aurobindo, from the king downwards to the Shudra, the predominance, say of the Brahmins, did not result in a theocracy, because the Brahmins in spite of their ever-increasing and finally predominant authority, did not and could not usurp in India the political power”. (Foundations of Indian Culture p. 326). The Rishi had a peculiar place, he was the sage, born from any caste, who was often counsellor to the King, of whom he was also the religious preceptor.

Later it seems that it was the Republican form of government which took over many parts of India. In some cases these “Republics” appear to have been governed by a democratic assembly and some came out of a revolution; in other cases, they seem to have had an oligarchic senate. But they enjoyed throughout India a solid reputation for the excellence of their civil administration and the redoubtable efficiency of their armies. It is to be noted that these Indian Republics existed long before the Greek ones, although the world credits the Greeks with having created democracy; but as usual History is recorded through the prism of the Western world and is very selective indeed. One should also add that none of these Indian republics developed an aggressive colonising spirit and that they were content to defend themselves and forge alliances amongst them.

But after the invasion of Alexander’s armies, India felt for the first time the need to unify its forces. Thus the monarchical system was raised-up again; but once more, there was no despotism as happened in Europe until the French revolution: the Indian king did enjoy supreme power, but he was first the representative and guardian of Dharma, the sacred law; his power was not personal and there were safeguards against abuses so that he could be removed. Furthermore, although the king was a Hindu, Hinduism was never the state religion, and each cult enjoyed its liberties. Thus could the Jews and the Parsis and the Jains and the Buddhists, and even the early Christians (who abused that freedom), practised their faith in peace. Which religion in the world can boast of such tolerance ?

As in a human being, a nation has a soul, which is eternal; and if this soul, this idea-force, is strong enough, it will keep evolving new forms to reincarnate itself constantly. “And a people, maintains Sri Aurobindo, who learn consciously to think always in terms of Dharma, of the eternal truth behind man, and learn to look beyond transient appearances, such as the people of India, always survives » (Foundations of Indian Culture, p.334).

And in truth, Indians always regarded life as a manifestation of Self and the master idea that governed life, culture and social ideals of India has been the seeking of man for his inner self -everything was organised around this single goal. Thus, Indian politics, although very complex, always allowed a communal freedom for self-determination. In the last stages of the pre-Muslim period, the summit of the political structure was occupied by three governing bodies: the King in his Ministerial Council, the Metropolitan Assembly and the General Assembly of the kingdom. The members of the Ministerial Council were drawn from all castes. Indeed the whole Indian system was founded upon a close participation of all the classes; even the Shudra had his share in the civic life. Thus the Council had a fixed number of Brahmin, Kshatrya, Vaishya and Shudra representatives, with the Vaishya having a greater preponderance. And in turn, each town, each village, had its own Metropolitan Civic Assembly allowing a great amount of autonomy. Even the great Ashoka was defeated in his power tussle with his Council and he had practically to abdicate.

It is this system which allowed India to flower in an unprecedented way, to excel perhaps as no other nation had done before her, in all fields, be it literature, architecture, sculpture, or painting and develop great civilisations, one upon the other and one upon the other, each one more sumptuous, more grandiose, more glittering than the previous one.