Why and how a Hindu Brahmin became an atheist.


  • Arun Njanappilly Madhavan is a medical doctor living in Kerala, India. He is an atheist. We hear a lot why Christians or Jews or Muslims become atheists, but we do not hear much about Hindus, why a Hindu becomes an atheist. I requested Arun Madhavan to write about his story for my blog. The busy doctor kindly wrote why he became an atheist. His twitter account is @charakan.

    ‘How I became an atheist?

    Actually I do not remember much about my Theist life.
    Was I ever a Theist?
    Probably yes.
    I was born into an upper caste Hindu family in Kerala, in south India. My family was not very religious, and routine visits to temples and special offerings to gods to get something done were rare. My parents did ask me to pray to gods, and I must have done that till I reached the age of 14-15. But my overall impression was my parents did not really believe in a typical Theist god, who controls everything in your life. They encouraged us children to work hard in school , and made us think that its your work that counts more than your offerings/prayers to gods. We celebrated the usual Malayali festivals like Vishu, Onam and Pooja.
    My earliest introduction to Hinduism was through Mahabharatha and Ramayana , the big Hindu (Indian) epics. I liked the Mahabharatha very much because it was a gripping tale with huge variety of characters, umpteen number of sub plots and a mega scale. My mother encouraged me to read alternate view points about the epics in which the ‘good’ guys like Pandavas and Rama were not that good and the ‘bad’ guys like Kauravas and Ravana clan were not that bad.
    Gods like Rama , who readily sends his wife to the forest, because there was a doubt about her chastity,and cunning Krishna with 16008 wives never deserved worship from me.

    Curious about Hinduism, I read some selected verses from its holy grail, the Vedas.
    Vedas probably were created between 1500 and 500 BC. They are a collections of hymns of Aryans, a clan of pastoralists. Rig Veda is considered the oldest. Vedic literature was preserved for hundreds of years by reciting and remembering orally before it was written in Sanskrit, the language of the Aryans.The Vedic hymns are mostly verses recited in praise of Aryan gods, which they called devas.At the sacrifices where Rig Veda hymns were recited, the devas were invited to come and sit around the sacrificial fire, to receive the hospitality of the Aryans who sacrificed animals in their honour.

    Apart from verses praising gods, Rig Veda also has verses which are used to ensure the social inequality of the society.
    Here is an example from Purushsooktham from Rigveda 10.90 about creation of humans and caste system.
    11.1: What did the Purusha (i.e. Virat) hold within Him? How many parts were assigned in His Huge Form?
    11.2: What was His Mouth? What was His Arms? What was His Thighs? And what was His Feet?
    12.1: The Brahmanas were His Mouth, the Kshatriyas became His Arms,
    12.2: The Vaishyas were His Thighs, and from His pair of Feet were born the Shudras.

    I can’t see how some one can believe in such stupidities about origin of human beings. We can easily see through it as a vain attempt to justify and perpetuate cruel caste system.

    Then I turned to Bhagavad Gita, the book some Hindus consider as The Holy book. There also I could not find anything inspiring. It is just a collection repetitive, incoherent and many a time self contradictory verses.

    The whole Hindu system of beliefs looked very shady. I had no difficulty in realising that a religion which wholly supports the oppressive caste system and Patriarchy is a sham.

    By the time I was 15, I started standing outside when our family visited temples. Still I used to take part in religious family rituals, so as not to offend the elders. When some one smeared sandal paste on my forehead, I used to clean it off as soon as possible!

    My feeling initially was all those who believe in gods were weak minded and could not survive without god belief. So I never questioned their beliefs , though I never allowed them to impose it on me.
    Later, in last few years , I realised that no one needs a god-belief , and such a belief is so prevalent because of childhood conditioning. Propagation of reason and rational thinking can help in de-conditioning. I realised it is ok to offend family elders so that one can drive your point of view of logic and reason forcefully.

    Humans created god myths as an explanation for the things that they could not explain. Religions were created by the powerful to retain control on others using god myth. As more and more things are being explained by Science, the space for gods are shrinking fast. There may be still a lot of things which we cannot explain, but that does not mean we should invent an illogical answer of god for the gaps in our knowledge.

    The way things are progressing, atheism may become the default position of all human beings. The question of why some one became an atheist may be irrelevant soon. Then the more logical question will be for the theist to explain why some one believes in a myth without any evidence.’

  • Comments

    1. ProudIndian says

      But Taslima pl notice there will be no major protests, no name calling and certainly No Fatwas, will not be hounded out of the country. You know why ? It is because his is a Hindu and his giving up his belief is considered to be his personal. He can peacefully live without having need of any security.That speaks volumes of Hindu religion. Dont you think so ?

      • Raghu says

        @ ProudIndian, forget about protest for Dr. Arun becoming an Atheists; there were no protests in Kerala when well known Author, Ms. Kamala Das (aka Madhavi Kutty) converted to Islam and also when her body was buried as per Islamic Customs.

        You can very well imagine what would have been the reaction if any Muslim Writer had converted to Hinduism/Christianity and her rites were conducted according to the customs of those Religions!!

        Btw more than 25% of Keralites are Atheists due to influence of Communist Parties and well known Rationalists hailing from the State. World renowned Rationalist, Dr.A.T. Kovoor, who challenged any one to prove any miracles and declared a standing reward of One Lakh Sri Lankan Rupees (in the late 1960s) which is equivalent to more than Rs. 1 Crore of today’s money. Nobody could prove any “Miracle” to him in 23 years!! Pl read his book: “Gods, Demons and Spirits” if you can get a copy of the same.

        • Mohan says

          And yet the Vatican doesn’t anoint one to SAINTHOOD unless the person has performed ‘miracles’. But Kovoor like many other leftist was just a hindu hater so I can understand. Interestingly, a religion (Hindusim) which preaches to respect all religions -inclusive – is abhorred by secularists and Islam which preaches exclusive- even to the extend of ordering to slaughter all non-muslims is pampered by them!!

          But Arun has not made attempt to understand Hindu philosophy..Out of the six philosophical streams – Sankhya and Yoga are purely atheist. As a matter of fact Hinduism itself is atheism. There is NO GOD that controls the world. ‘The essence of Hinduism is ‘THAT ARE THOU’. You are ‘that’. That is the Brahma (not GOD).

          Arun n others would do well to first read 101 Intro to Indian Philosophy by Chatterjee and Datta

      • Mohan says

        Also There was NO protest when 1000s of years back Mahavira and Buddha rebelled against Veda..or for that mater Charvak. Hindus actually believe that Buddha is the 10th avatar of Vishnu and worship Buddha and Mahavira as they do Rama or Krishna.

        After hearing his discourses on Advait Vedanta.. Adi Sankara was asked by a person from another religion how to convert to Hinduism. His reply was your religion is equally good. No need to convert. Just follow its true tenets. WHich other religious leader any where in the world has such a large heart?

        The doctrine that my religion is the ONLY WAY. sows the seeds of conflict which Adi Sankara nipped in the bud

      • Arun NM says

        Proud Indian, as Hinduism is not really a religion anyone going out of it will not be a big issue. But if some one broke the caste barrier everything will break loose. Remember Sambuka of lower caste origin in Ramayana who was slain by the so called god Rama for doing penance in violation of caste code. What an oppressive culture ?

        • Dushyant Chauhan says

          Mr. Arun Its OK if you left the Hindu faith….I wish you a happy life….but the Shambuk chapter that you quoted is controversial and many scholars have the following views on it:

          “The story is considered to be of dubious origin due to the following reasons:

          -The story does not find mention in summaries of Ramayana in puraNas or the Mahabharata.
          -Hindu texts have never cited the episode of Shambukavadha to debar Sudras from tapasyaa.
          -The entire Uttarakanda itself is suspected to be a later addition due to:
          *Inferior poetic quality of the verses.
          *Occurrence of the phala-shruthi at the end of the sixth kANDa.
          *The text of Ramayana, as reflected in the 70 or so existing commentaries varies highly. The story does not appear in any of the other 14 or so Sanskrit versions of Valmiki Ramayana.”

          I dont have a problem with aethists that is their business but there is one thing that I find strange that aethists dont belive in religious texts but are prompt to give references for the same in order to prove them right…..anyway thank god Arun was born in India and in a Hindu family had it been Iraq or Iran we knew what would have haooened.

          • Arun NM says

            Dushyanth, issue is not whether Ramayana is a true story or not. It’s about the cruel caste prejudice prevalent even now in India, for which even the authorised epics testify and sanction.

            • Dushyant Chauhan says

              You are absolutely wrong…..the vedas have been corrupted pretty badly and the original ones are not to be found and have been burned by islamic invaders and christian missionaries….ved vyas was not a brahmin but born to a fisherman family and yet became a reverred rishi that is brahmin…….this is just one example…..the caste system was very flexible and was occupation based……It was Lord Priesley or wesley, i am forgetting the name, who introduced race science during the british raj…and this has been taught to us since child hood…..Please read breaking India and being different from Rajiv Malhotra….and see the below video for more clarity on the caste system….
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3WepPgvKJk

              BTW I am a devout hindu and I dont care about caste and those practice it strongly despise…..How many of us practice the caste system? atleast I dont….and I dont know anyone who cares for somebody’s caste before making friendship or even falling in love….

            • Amit Shukla says

              Dear arun,
              here i am presenting a different view towards religion, religion is in no case related to gods, religion is just a way of living a social life and it was dependent on the climatic conditions, availability of natural resources like water, fertile land comfortable living conditions and i think it was all planned and written by some intelligent people so that a normal life can prevail on earth and humanity can co-exists with humans.
              1) Hinduism- In ancient time the bharat varsha was not the current india but was expanded vastly in all direstion with easy living conditions, to imply any rules of society and make peple to obey, the best way is to connect it with religion, if you look at ramayana and connect it to social life these are my conclusions and below message should go to society, and i strongly believe that having these kind of people in society we can have peace –
              a)A son who cares for his parents- Shravan Kumar
              b)A son who obeys his parents- Ram like son
              c)For a happy couple- Ram-Sita ki jodi
              d)For brothers having great bonding – Ram-Laxman ki jodi
              e) Respecting relation of your family member- Bharat Milap

              f)Fighting with ravan was to give a message that man should protect his wife.
              g)Agni pariksha was not focused to prove chastity of a women but it was to prove that women is powerful and she can perform duties of husband in his abscence like raising childrens (like sita did for luv and kush).

              Now for krishna lila and further connection with mahabharat, krishna was avtar of god and rest were heroes or evils
              h) In almost all of the hindu families the activities of babies are compared with krishna, every family expects to see small children of their family to act like krishna (means cherishing natkhat shararatein)
              g)Maa yashoda-sometimes in some families where there were less resources and there was some extraordinary child then parent would sent him her to any close relative in developed areas or having resources and the immediate close lady to act as guardian is expected to act as Maa yashoda.

              there is a lot more to say but i want to tell something about Islam too.

              Islam originated in Arab and if you imagine about those deserted land i hope same picture come to your mind like a habitat around an oasis and people living in surroundings, as you know that arabian women were astoundingly beatuiful so they have to make certain rules so as to protect their women from intruders so make basic laws like having more and more children , keeping women in veils started, something like bakrid might have started to make them strong for bloodshed to protect society but at this time of society it is no more required because we have totaly different society with government to protect us.

              i have lot more to say but i think at this time its sufficient because this is first conversation i am having with you.
              Regards,
              Amit Shukla.

    2. Pierce R. Butler says

      Hardly any of the polytheistic religions produced such fanaticism as we see routinely in the monotheistic creeds.

      Does the one-answer-for-everything approach create extreme zealotry, or simply attract it?

      • says

        Not sure about that. One might argue that a polytheistic system allows people of differing priorities to worship different gods in different rituals and leave each other alone; while a monotheistic system gets all those different people under one roof, where they end up fighting over who is the true representative of the One And Only True God.

        OTOH, it’s been quite some time since any polytheistic religion held enough power that they could ignore reason with impunity, as today’s Abrahamic fanatics do. So our means of answering your question are rather limited. Could Wiccans or Druids instigate a pogrom if we had the numbers? I hate to say this, but I don’t see why not.

    3. Raghu says

      Hinduism is not a Religion in its narrow sense. It is a conglomeration of various beliefs and even non-belief (Atheism). Atheists existed even in Vedic Era and were called Carvakas.

      I am also an Upper Caste Hindu and an Atheist. Nobody can declare me or Charakan (Dr.Arun) or millions like us as “Non-Hindus” just for not believing in some God. The followers of other Religions (especially the three West Asian Religions) do not have that freedom. They are at the mercy of their Priestly Class right from birth (Baptism/Sunnat/Etc) till last rituals (the Church/Mosque authorities can deny permission for burial of dead bodies).

      The first elected Communist Govt in the world was formed in Kerala by the late EMS in 1957. Majority of Communists were/are Atheists. Also world renowned Rationalist, Dr. Abraham Thomas Kovoor hailed from Kerala (though settled in Sri Lanka). He and his compatriots like Pavanan (P.V.Narayanan), Joseph Edamaruku, etc had played a good role in promoting Rationalism in Kerala.

      Btw the Aryan Invasion theory was a figment of Max Muller’s imagination and was discredited during his life time itself. Now only a few JNU “intellectuals” uphold that.

      • Arun NM says

        Raghu, I did not mention any Aryan invasion. Current consensus among historians and archeologists is an Aryan migration theory as opposed to the previous invasion theory. There are linguistic genetic and archaeological evidences for this.

    4. Mahesh says

      A bit childish, I would say. Atheism is not anti theism as this story would like us to believe. Atheism is absence of belief, it is not anti belief.

      My experience is that being anti religion as one cannot relate to the descriptions of ancient texts or rituals or some other aspect of religion is just being rebellious and will always keep the being in an agitated state, at war with something. Whereas being an atheist brings peace, a sense of calm as one understands that whatever It is, is not relevant. One can even participate in the rituals (for the sake of not offending others) and remain an atheist. (Its like watching a movie you don’t like but someone you love wants to watch).

      And no, the situation described above “atheism becomes the default position of all human beings” is not likely to happen. Not any time soon, probably never. Atheism is not a cult which would suddenly become popular and get devotees (or whatever you call them). Atheism is a state of mind and it belongs to an individual.

      • Arun NM says

        Mahesh, What I have described is my journey from being anti- religion to becoming a non believer. Participating in rituals is not as passive as watching a movie. You are cheating your conscience by chanting praying or doing things in which you do not have any belief.

        • Mahesh says

          To me atheism means detachment. detachment from belief as well as anti belief. Which means that my conscience would not prick me even if I have to participate in a pooja at home (My wife is a believer). I know I am doing it for her, not for any belief and she knows it. Nor would it prick when I am discussing by beliefs here.

          This pricking of conscience is similar to a believer doing something (by mistake) which he knows is sin. So we have moved, to opposite direction.

          Love & hate, both are attachments. All attachments are emotive. When I said rebellion, I meant this attachment i.e negative one.

          • UJJAL says

            @ Mahesh – Many have settled their marriages on dowry exchange.
            To maintain the sentiment without wanting to hurt the parents, should their son also take dowry ?

            • Mahesh says

              False equivalence.

              If you want to equate, then the two options would be different. First would be if you don’t believe in dowry, you won’t take it. Even at the cost of offending someone. Second option is of attending your cousin’s marriage who is not greedy but not very particular about this belief. Would you attend the marriage ceremony or not. You may be required to be part of some activities, remember! Off course you would attend, may even smirk at the stupidity of it but you would even try to look happy.

              My point is that belief or non belief (detachment from belief, in my view) are strictly personal. You practice it yourself. But if you impose it on others just because you feel strongly about it, you become like religious bigots. There is a lot of difference between being anti theist and atheist.

            • UJJAL says

              @ Mahesh – I got my answer. I agree that even at the cost of offending someone, one should not accept dowry.

              The meaning of ‘athiest’ and ‘belief’ are best found in the dictionary, and best option is to follow it unless one is a philologist attempting to write a new dictionary.

              It is common and a very confusing position in the the making of an athiest to see stupid rituals being performed around, understanding its uselessness and bad effects may be, and still having to participate because someone near and dear may get offended. In this fancy to choose to participate in such social / family rituals what happens is, the stupid rituals and inhumane after effects continues to persist and develop.

              Personal belief – NONE of the religious beliefs are personal. There is extreme discharge of publicity in every manner for every religion. Right from publishing a religious book, keeping even a very small puja corner at home, hanging a calender to prey with mikes, taking out procession, etc are nothing personal. If it is truly personal, how would anyone know at all ? ( personally if I wish to marry the recent miss world and keep it personal no one would ever know.) The moment by some means I happen to communicate it is not personal and no one keeps their religious bekiefs ‘personal’.

              Finally, I do not attend ANY functions where there is even slighest chance of religious rituals. Thanks to my family and friends, I have lost relation with NONE. An interesting incident happened, a friend of mine arranged his marriage as per special marriage act in India, so went to attend his marriage. After registration when meeting, greeting and eating was all happening, the boys side snd girl’s side elders sourrounded my friend and under their emmence pressure my friend gave in and applied vermilion ( sindoor) on his wife’s hair partition as a hindu believer does. You can imagine the situation. On seeing this, without telling my friend, bidding farewell to other friends I left the venue, without having meal which was a part of the invite. To cut the long story short, even after this my this friend and his wife still continues to be my very good friend. He works with the Central Govt of India, I can happily share his name and contact to recheck with him directly. I mean to say one need to conduct one’s own self properly, thats the key.

    5. Mohan says

      Well said Mahesh.. The ignorance in Hindus about what this religion is all about is shocking..thanks to Nehru that religious studies was never taught in India. if it was not only Hindus but others would have also come to know about it.

      Anti Hindus need to read 101 of Introduction to Indian Philosophy by Chatterjee and Datta to understand it.. Ramayan n Mahabharat are epics of India they are NOT religious texts or philosophies. Further, over more than 10,000 years many people have inserted stuff in Gita and Vedas that is in congruent with the main theme.

      Bhandarkar Institute of Oriental Studies did monumental work of researching and deleting verses that did n’t jell with the main theme. But there publications though available to scholars are not available to masses. Secular govt in India doesn’t care to publish them

      • Arun NM says

        Mohan, 10000 yrs,!!!!! Lol! Vedas are only about 3000 to 3500 yrs old. Epics came still later and Gita was the last.

        • Dushyant Chauhan says

          Yuo dont have a historical clue of what your saying……The oldest ved is the rig veda which was written in 5000 BC or before.

        • UJJAL says

          It is natural for a believer to imagine whatever. Some believe 10,000 years and some believe 5000 years. Some believed man and different castes were born out of different limbs and parts of brahma, some other believed that human was born out of a virgin.

          The most hilarious part is, all of them think they were right and the rest does not have a clue :)

            • UJJAL says

              Dear Dushyant history is being challenged nowadays by political motives and not by historians. All dead people are themselves history but all dead are not historians.

    6. UJJAL says

      ‘Hindu’ religion does not have ONE book from which the followers follow.
      There are various books preaching the religion which the ‘hindu’ believers admire. But these books are NOT the guideline for the ‘hindu’ religion per say. ‘Hindus’ follow the preachings from these books sometimes collectively, sometimes from any as choice.
      During various religious festivals ( poojas ) some main priest chant some sankrit verses picked up from somewhere of his choice or there is a book available by itself for the festival. Example – Durga puja, Kali puja, Saraswati puja, Laxmi puja, Ganesh puja, Kartik puja, Monosha puja, Sitala puja, Shiv puja…and so on. Each of these pujas have seperate books and merger from other books also. Example – ” Om Namayaha….” is common for every ‘hindu’ prayer chant.
      ‘Hindus’ commonly say there are 33 crore gods. 33 Crore different prayer books are certainly not available.

      Narendranath Dutta, alias Naren, alias Bibishananda, alias Vivekananda is considered a great ‘hindu’ leader / saint / philosopher and what not. He wrote a book called Vivekananda Rachanabali. He was disciple of an illiterate person Gadadhar Chatterjee, alias Ramkrishna Paramhansha. Ramkrishna also has a book to his name called Ramkrishna Kathamrita. ( It is well understood that he being illiterate someone else had written the book on his behalf. A larger part of information to the book was contributed by his maternal nephew Hriday a young restless school failed candidate was a shadow to Ramkrishna. )

      I mentioned all the above to come to the point that ‘hindu’ religion is mixed hoch-poch idea from ‘hindu’ leaders and the followers as well. I could see the same reflection while I was reading the above comments. Similarly, the above two books are pure hoch-poch and in many cases Vivenandas life was very controversial.

      Tolerence – It is fruitless to argue whether muslim religion is more in-tolerant than hindu. As like other religions, ‘hindu’ supporters are equally in- tolerant. One example only should be blatantly sufficient – the destruction of Babri Masjid. Just because of writing against islam they announced various killing ‘fatwas’ against Taslima. But till today NO muslim imam / priest dare not announce any ‘fatwa’ against ANY ‘ram sevak’. Why ? Because of the fear of in-tolerant ‘hindus’.

      I do not want to lengthen my post.
      ( I was born out of hindu parents in Bengal, India. Surely an atheist today without any adulteration AT ALL )

    7. Raghu says

      @ Arun NM, so you want me to believe that a dark-skinned EMS was an Aryan but a fair skinned Kanshiram was a Dravidian? Can you pl name five prominent Aryans in present day India?

      • Dushyant Chauhan says

        Dear Raghu,

        The Aryan Dravidian theory is bullshit. There was no Aryan invasion of India and it has been discarded in the entire world through DNA tests and other scientific and historiical findings. I dont understand why Indians believe it.

        • Yashna says

          You are wrong, Dushyant, I live in the US and study there and all the anthropology classes I have taken have been fairly consisent on that, the genetic diversity of India indicates that there were two groups of people who mixed at some point, Linguistic evidence is also fairly consistent, India has two language familes, Indo-European and Dravidian. Here’s some more information if you want to read about it:

          http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/study-throws-light-on-genetic-diversity-of-indian-population/article24239.ece

          • Dushyant Chauhan says

            So what if you stay in the US and are studying there???? My dear we have science in India too….Not all science by white is right….and you have given science a nationality great….read books by subramniyam swamy and rajiv malhotra….you’ll come to know things…and these are learned people and not religious fanatics… The AIT theory has been discarded now its that simple….romila thapar who once went on to saying ashoka was of greek origin and who is a hardcore marxist has now debunked this theory…….

            • Yashna says

              Uh I mentioned the US because you claimed the theory has been discarded in the entire world when it’s accepted by most anthropologist here, that’s also why I sent you an article from an Indian newspaper, you are wrong, Modern DNA analysis has proven beyond a doubt that the population of India is composed of 2 distinct groups that merged a few thousand years ago it has not been discarded, far from it, I suggest you read up on newer scientific articles, you are just wrong on this,

              Here’s another paper from Nature, one of the most highly regarded scientific journals that says this
              http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090922/full/news.2009.935.html

              Here’s a different paper that explains the two separate waves of migrations that reached India:
              http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/nov2012/911.pdf

              That’s 3 different modern scientific papers published in reputable journals that I have shown you. DNA does not lie, and modern DNA analysis has proven beyond a doubt that modern Indians are the result of two different populations intermixing.

          • Dushyant Chauhan says

            See my point is imposing your belief on other people is wrong…..you dont believe it that is ok but why nag some other to believe in ur beliefs…..BTW my point was of the aryan dravidian theory and nothing else…..

            • Dushyant Chauhan says

              The only people who are ethnically different are the people in the extreme eastern parts of india else all indians have the same DNA….and the below comment was not for you;

              “See my point is imposing your belief on other people is wrong…..you dont believe it that is ok but why nag some other to believe in ur beliefs…..BTW my point was of the aryan dravidian theory and nothing else…..”

    8. Raghu says

      Dear Dushyant Chauhan, though I am myself an Atheist I marvel at the Atheists who believe that:
      1) Ravana had an aircraft which he used for kidnapping Sita
      2) A flying Monkey went all the way to Sri Lanka and located Sita sitting under some tree
      3) Rama built a bridge with the help of his Monkey brigade and went all the way to Sri Lanka and recovered Sita from custody of Ravana
      4) Sambuka of lower caste origin in Ramayana who was slain by the so called god Rama
      And a host of BS like these to ridicule the culture & civilization of their own ancestors.

      Ramayana and Mahabharata are Epics (stories) containing some good morals and universal truths. They are not records of Historical events.

      • Dushyant Chauhan says

        See my point is imposing your belief on other people is wrong…..you dont believe it that is ok but why nag some other to believe in ur beliefs…..BTW my point was of the aryan dravidian theory and nothing else…..

    9. Dushyant Chauhan says

      @ Arun:

      I cant see ur comment which said pleas come out of sanghi history….I request u to please come out of the marxist propaganda…..People even didnt believe in the existence of river saraswati….now by satellite images and other geographical studies it has been proven it was there….which was a tight slap on the face of marxists and communists….and it flowed precisely as mentioned in the rig veda….So by knowing the time when it flowed by scientific methods by studyin the river bed one can find the authenticity of age of Rig veda….BTW it is scholarly research that shows it is 4000 BC to 5000 BC as some astronomical star constellation combinations are mentioned in the Rig veda and they occur in a couple of thousand year….for ex- some orientation of the orion belt…..

      • Yashna says

        My other comment hasn’t been posted yet, but’s pretty clear that you don’t know anything about how science works. Scientific papers are only considered reputable if they have been published in a reputable scientific journal. Here are several research papers that have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378111912008980
        http://genomebiology.com/2010/11/11/r113
        http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090922/full/news.2009.935.html

        The human/pig hybrid theory has not been published in any peer-reviewed scientific journals and all other geneticists think it’s a hoax, so it’s considered fake. I guess I shouldn’t expect a non-scientist to distinguish between peer-reviewed and disreputable news sources as far as science is concerned.

        • Dushyant Chauhan says

          We might not be knowing anthropology but know how science works when long term politics is combined with it…..And we can see it working right now. Below are also some abstarcts from universities. I took them as they are on their websites and no university will print baseless myths unless they have some grounds:

          * http://www.uwf.edu/lgoel/documents/AMythofAryanInvasionsofIndia.pdf
          * https://www.iitkgp.org/index.php/event/iit-events/695-aryan-invasion-myth-or-reality-institute-lecture-by-prof-amitabha-ghosh-on-16-1-2012
          * https://www.iitkgp.org/index.php/event/iit-events/695-aryan-invasion-myth-or-reality-institute-lecture-by-prof-amitabha-ghosh-on-16-1-2012

          “””””Can you please give the **funding detail**s of the reseacrh conducted by these fellows as in where did they get the funds from, that’ll lead to much better understanding of this research””””

          I dont belong to the genetics profession but belong to a profession related to science. If you dont want to let go of ur pet Aryan theory that is fine (I believe u wont be funded if u do :P) but there is ample and strong proof that contradicts and dismisses the Aryan Invasion theory.

          Below is a proper research paper for you:

          The American Journal of Human Genetics, Posted: Dec. 16, 2005 This finding complements the earlier genetic studies summarised by Dr. Chandrakant Panse (16 Sept. 2005).

          Polarity and Temporality of High-Resolution Y-Chromosome Distributions in India Identify Both Indigenous and Exogenous Expansions and Reveal Minor Genetic Influence of Central Asian Pastoralists by Sanghamitra Sengupta,1 Lev A. Zhivotovsky,2 Roy King,3 S. Q. Mehdi,4 Christopher A. Edmonds, 3 Cheryl-Emiliane T. Chow,3 Alice A. Lin,3 Mitashree Mitra,5 Samir K. Sil,6 A. Ramesh,7 M. V. Usha Rani, 8 Chitra M. Thakur,9 L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza,3 Partha P. Majumder,1 and Peter A. Underhill3

          1 Human Genetics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India; 2N. I. Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow; 3Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford; 4Biomedical and Genetic Engineering Division, Dr. A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories, Islamabad; 5School of Studies in Anthropology, Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur, India; 6University of Tripura, Tripura, India; 7Department of Genetics, University of Madras, Chennai, India; 8Department of Environmental Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India; and 9B. J. Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India

          Received July 26, 2005; accepted for publication November 3, 2005; electronically published December 16, 2005.Although considerable cultural impact on social hierarchy and language in South Asia is attributable to the arrival of nomadic Central Asian pastoralists, genetic data (mitochondrial and Y chromosomal) have yielded dramatically conflicting inferences on the genetic origins of tribes and castes of South Asia. We sought to resolve this conflict, using high-resolution data on 69 informative Y-chromosome binary markers and 10 microsatellite markers from a large set of geographically, socially, and linguistically representative ethnic groups of South Asia. We found that the influence of Central Asia on the pre-existing gene pool was minor. The ages of accumulated microsatellite variation in the majority of Indian haplogroups exceed 10,000-15,000 years, which attests to the antiquity of regional differentiation. Therefore, our data do not support models that invoke a pronounced recent genetic input from Central Asia to explain the observed genetic variation in South Asia. R1a1 and R2 haplogroups indicate demographic complexity that is inconsistent with a recent single history. Associated microsatellite analyses of the high-frequency R1a1 haplogroup chromosomes indicate independent recent histories of the Indus Valley and the peninsular Indian region. Our data are also more consistent with a peninsular origin of Dravidian speakers than a source with proximity to the Indus and with significant genetic input resulting from demic diffusion associated with agriculture. Our results underscore the importance of marker ascertainment for distinguishing phylogenetic terminal branches from basal nodes when attributing ancestral composition and temporality to either indigenous or exogenous sources. Our reappraisal indicates that pre-Holocene and Holocene-era not Indo- Europeanexpansions have shaped the distinctive South Asian Y-chromosome landscape.

          http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2005/11/new-paper-on-indian-y-chromosome.html

        • Dushyant Chauhan says

          Even my comment hasnt being relating to the your research papers. I found a couple of them which indicate something different.

      • Dushyant Chauhan says

        Raghu: leave religion but our great Indian Civilzation which gave the world mathematics, chemistry, metallurgy, physics, philosophy, medicine etc. etc. has been reduced to a civilization where people did nothing other than fighting like rats…..Just for the “Being Indian chauvinism” information Panini’s laws of Sanskrit are being implemented in computing and NASA is also implementing them in certain projects and I believe hardly any Indian knows about it…….A couple of decades down the line they will say Panini was born in Los Angeles and Sanskrit was born in California…..The evangelists have started doing this with “Christian Yoga” so that they can bring yoga into the white christian fold……and we dumb wits continue to follow them like orphans……

    10. Dushyant Chauhan says

      Dear yashna,

      From the paper you showed it only points out to some ancient migration which happened before the time of the vedas and Not the Aryan Invasion theory below is text from it:

      8. Was there an Aryan invasion?
      It is commonly believed that there was an Aryan invasion/ migration to India from the west. However, there is prolonged debate on this topic. It has been well established that various castes and tribal populations of India have a common late Pleistocene maternal as well as paternal ancestry and minor east and west Eurasian ancestries. Most of these studies presumed that the detected west Eurasian genepool may be
      the Aryan component. Interestingly, both the ANI and ASI ancestry components of the Indian populations are found to harbour higher haplotypic diversity than those predominant in west Eurasia. The shared genetic affinity between the ANI component of northern India and west Eurasia was dated prior
      to the Aryan invasion (Metspalu et al. 2011). “These realities suggest the rejection of the Aryan invasion hypothesis but support an ancient demographic history of India.”

    11. Yashna says

      I never said there was an invasion, I said that the Indian population is made up of two different populations from two different waves of migration. One was more closely related to Europeans and their language shares similarities with Sanskrit hence the term indo-european language, the other one is the Dravidian based languages. Which is what the study says. Of course, modern Indians are a mixture of both these lineages. The term Aryan isn’t used by modern anthropologists, the terms ANI(ancestral north Indian) and ASI(ancestral south Indian) are used. If by Aryan invasion, you are referring to some 3000 year old invaders from Europe, then yes, that never happened. But there were two genetically and linguistically distinct groups that merged in India about 30000 years ago.

      • Dushyant Chauhan says

        Lady we are arguing on the Aryan Invasion theory which is what I said never took place and u too agree with. So end of argument.

        By “something different” I mean that previously aryan invasion theory was considered the truth before now has been rejected…..may be some more revelations will point to a different point of view……and it can be possible that the entire north Indian and european population were one once…..that means a civilization from india to the entire europe……..ASI and ANI were part of India as a nation is proved by this……

        My point was the Aryan Invasion theory that they brought the vedas and all which has been proven never took place…..I was not here to argue that whether early man and neanderthels were indians or europeans…..So let us wait untill ANI ASI theory that u tell currently is the term used is proven otherwise or the way u think it to be……

        I am related to the computer field. I always knew I have chosen the wrong one…..And m happy the Indian civilization is almost 30000 years old…..

      • Yashna's Skeptic says

        You also have to keep in mind that the mere conceptual notion of an “Aryan-migration/invasion” was never in Indian thought or consciousness until Orientalists expounded by their own Euro-centric form of eugenics propounded further into racio-ethno-linguistic diatribes.

        If a migration or an invasion was evident (only scriptural citations have been offered, but no “end all, be all” archaeological [see Kazanas and Thomson] evidence yet has been uncovered), it would have remained intact within the Indian psyche. In other words, along with a horrid caste system being at the forefront of Hindus’ cognition, the memory of a “migration” or an “invasion” would have also been there alongside it.

        However, not once do I or will I dispute the genetic facts that India is housed of extremely diverse ethno-linguistic groups, and to deny those facts is intellectual dishonesty, IMHO.

        Lastly, invasion or migration, one literary fact is evident, the “Aryans” were frequent engagers of inter-cine warfare. But, they were not “racially” white-skinned, because no attestation even in their Rig Veda (the “Aryan” magnum-opus, if you may call it) is an “Aryan” identified with white-skin (in the Europid sense). And, to have Agastya (a Rishi known for his extremely dark-skin) as an author of many hymns and mentioned in Mandala 7 as being the same stock as that of Vasishtha, it puts the whole “white skin vs black skin” debate into a headlock, because Indologists have been unable to address these issues with firm conviction, since they themselves attest that all of their current “conclusions” are short-term and awaiting further correction if those corrections arise from further research.

        The Rig Veda is a powerhouse of not “us vs them” in a racial context, but in a religious context. The Vedic tribes would have rather accepted an African of the darkest hue that offered the proper yajna and mantras than they would have accepted a Northern European that consumed the flesh of the female cow (that which is “aghnya”).

        And, that, theologically, as it pertains to the Rig Veda, says quite a lot.

    12. ananya says

      Hindusm z a way of lyf n nt a relign…..m an athest nd critical of charactr Ram n Krishna in respctv epics…..I oppose caste systm tooth n nail bt dst ds nt mk me a No Hindu…..u need nt b a followr of books wrtn long ago to b certified a Hindu……to me Hindusm means a search for d self……:)

    13. surya says

      Upanishads deal with science of existence not just spirituality; whereas vedas are step 1, the upanishads make step2 in ones graduation to god ralization.. The 3rd and final step is Self reallization, which is identifying ‘ the oneness with the god (brahman)’ that dwells inside of all sentient beings (atman). There is a bold research carried out by ancient hindu scholars over a period of thousands of years that is available for all humanity to draw wisdom from. BTW no one (hindu or not) is assigned to hell fire.Vedas are about worship to get into a meditation mode. As above said by one poster the 6 schools of hindu philosophy covers many diverse philosophical thoughts of Sanatana Dharma. So long as one doesnt STUDY these texts one will be living with a skewed perspective about the faith. No wonder this physician has no high value for hinduism, he just read two epics and was equating hinduism with caste system. That kind of analysis is wrong.Google western hindu and explore the chain blogs run by western hindus given on the home page there. Hindu philosophy of advaita (non dualism) is a compelling rason these wessterners started loving hinduism and even praying hindu way as a part of sadhana to eneter upasana. Surya Prakash MD, USA

    14. surya says

      My point is Dr Madhavan can be all the atheist he wants , we hindus have no issues with his choice. He wont be lynched (as often happens in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan happens). But his premise on which he wants to leave hinduism makes me feel sorry for him, he didnt explore the philosophy and the doctrinal construct of karma siddhanta the skeleton on which hinduism was woven. He was revolving around caste and mandir worship calling it hinduism. Niether of them make a serious presence in Gita or Upanishads. The Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra were varnas and are not castes. Varnas are stages that an individual earns AFTER birth. Caste is by birth and sadly entered the scene much later (by vested interests). Books on hindu faith are available in many bookstores, please read them before making a judgement call. Namaste. Surya Prakash MD, USA

    15. aman says

      First of all irrespective of my political views and opinions (I am not a great fan of feminism and I strongly believe in God), I really appreciate Tasleema’s literary work and a picture perfect depiction of sub-continental geopolitical issues..(Amar Meye Bela is my favourite). Regarding God is there or not?? Whether it is a Hindu/Islamic or Christian God, is an age old debate and humanity is not likely to find any logical answer any sooner. God if believed to be the source of all energy of cosmos, then he/it/she is beyond the logics and reasoning potentials of human mind as many other cosmic objects such as black hole. And regarding the popular cults/religions, they are all bound to have their own drawbacks as they are solely designed by human society. Every ancient text, religious or otherwise is subjected to interpretations; with respect to the observers/readers own background and mindset. Ex. Interpretation of same literature like holy Vedas or Quran-e-sharif will vary significantly depending on whether the interpreter is a follower of Mr. Zakir Naik or Sri Sri Ravishankar ji. So it’s purely personal what you make out of what text. Books are always source of wisdom irrespective of their cover design or political colour (Saffron, Green or White). And thanks to the west-copycatted educational system, most Indians (they politically identify themselves as Hindus), compare the greatest culture and heritage of Indian subcontinent with any popular religion. They are either ignorant or choose to ignore the fact that the basic of logical education i.e digits/mathematics and countless other inventions/discoveries summing up the base of this civilization are made by this PASTORALIST INDIGENOUS HORDE. Our western slave-masters have re-engineered and doctored our academia in such a way that it is really difficult for any truth seeker to find wisdom. And the real question we should ask ourselves as a civilization (to my believe) is whether we need religion/God or we don’t need them. As per recent documented human history, Most godless social structures (be it capitalist USA or communist Russia) have experienced no less vendetta or savagery. In fact it is the Godlessness and extreme materialism of present day society that ensures a wreckage of social morals hence a future apocalypse. Finally Hinduism or the Sanatan dharma relates itself to so many books in spheres of Literature, Law, diplomacy, Medicine and Mathematics that it will be foolish for anyone to declare he understands the entire culture, just by googling or browsing few cheap English/vernacular translations/transliteration of any locally printed Sanskrit book.

      • John Morales says

        God if believed to be the source of all energy of cosmos, then he/it/she is beyond the logics and reasoning potentials of human mind as many other cosmic objects such as black hole

        But also as irrelevant as they are to our daily lives or social structures.

        And the real question we should ask ourselves as a civilization (to my believe) is whether we need religion/God or we don’t need them.

        The answer is evident: no. There are many examples, such as the Brahmin who became an atheist.

        (As an aside: not all religions require belief in magical beings, either)

        As per recent documented human history, Most godless social structures (be it capitalist USA or communist Russia) have experienced no less vendetta or savagery.

        If you imagine the USA has a godless social structure, you are either confused or ignorant of the reality.

        More to the point: you confuse secularism with godlessness.

    16. Surya says

      I am starting about that stage. I stopped prayer couple of years ago. My patience for the menstrual cycle hocus pocus in regards to hinduism is reaching the limit. Also, I find the “Can’t play mridangam due to cycles because of it being a god instrument under Saraswati” rather stupid. An instrument is an instrument. No one is going to tell a singer to stop singing for a few days because your voice is also an instrument (This is mentioned by vocal majors and those in choir when asked). Also, no one is going to stop a bharatanatyam dancer to wait for a few days either (Evident from a dance teacher who is wife of my mridangam teacher) cause in that context the movements portay an instrumental and drama values in the art form. I wish my female relatives understand they made such rules because lack of hygiene back then. Nowadays, it is not necessary because proper hygiene products cover them from causing a disturbance like it probably would back then. Besides, I doubt any lady learning instruments back then would want blood on their instruments, especially when pads, tampons, and cups were not invented by those days. There is no excuse in a modern day sense anymore to remain practicing this. It might sound rather a minor issue. I also don’t like the bigotry from the people despite vedic texts keeping neutral grounds in terms of LBGTQA people to begin with.

      I don’t mind taking interest in songs, stories and such of cultures. I do play a mridangam often and dabble on vocalizing practices from time to time. And after looking at plotholes (Thank you fictional novels) within the stories read, I’m pretty much shrugging them off. Also, too much Patriachy storylines, monarch, yada yada boredom. Shikandi and Karna were the only characters I bothered to have had interest in anyway cause they stand out against the “norm” in terms of societal views in regards to caste system and such despite Karna revealed to be known as a warrior caste by birth (doesn’t change the treatment he got from being raised by two people under sutras and wanting to learn weapons). Though Shikandi’s purpose was out of revenge, she was infuriated in her previous birth because she couldn’t marry the prince she wanted to be with since she was taken to be wed for another like the two sisters of hers. And she learned weapon arts from a non-discriminatory place. * V * Also, http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:wrlXaqz1g6wJ:devdutt.com/articles/mahabharata/on-krishnas-chariot-stands-shikhandi.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us But if anyone were to ask me favorite characters throughout stories that are not carnations of Shiva or Vishnu, I will say Karna and Shikandi. Aside from that, I’m really leaning to a non-theistic point of lifestyle but will dress accordingly based on religious occasions of family and friends of a different culture (like a tux/dress in a church with friends for example). Another example is I remember watching a performance with a muslim Karnatic singer. Unlike most people who put religion as excuse for small things, she dressed in the sari with her hair tied up for just such occasions, no different than the outfits female hindu vocal performers wear.

    17. Radhakrishna says

      Who cares what this person thinks, the fact is that BRAHMINS have survived every onslaught from the MLECHHAS itself shows that BRAHMANISM is the only truth alive. JAI BHAGWAN PARASHURAMA

    18. Nick Sydney says

      This is an opinion from an Australian – Indian some 5 or 6 generations since my great grandparents left the Gujarat so Indian in name but not much else. Having been born in Africa raised in England and living in Sydney my experience mirror’s the good doctor. My mother was of a background where, god (read stone idols), temple and cow worship along with ritual offerings (food for the gods) was a way of life. Yet no understanding of why any of this was done.

      Hinduism for me works best as a philosophy for how to lead life and enjoy it. The intelligence in Hinduism appeals. Speaking to a statue of Krishna, making a a sacrifice of food and milk and hoping that the Lord Krishna helps me get and stay ahead……hmmmm. Yet my mother has spent her entire life doing this. She was devout in the extreme but her devotion was matched by a complete inability to convey this to a son raised in the West. To this day my relationship remains fractured.

      My reasons for moving away very early from Hinduism (The Ritual Ceremonial) School to Hinduism (Philosophy) has left me in a situation where I am considered an atheist in the eyes of my family and yet I consider myself a Hindu who is studying the vedas and other teachings and seeking understanding through this avenue. Does ritual worship make my mother a more devout observant Hindu but one who has never read any of the text or studied Hinduism? Can I find understanding by study and reflection? Hinduism, in my opinion, can allow for both only if both sides accept that this can happen.

    19. chotu says

      When you read ramayana, did not you read atheist chapter 108 (sarga 108) where Brahmin Shiromanai (the great) who was atheist argues rama. When you read Mahabharata did not you find that Krishna was agonist at most time? Did not you read Nasdiya sukta of rigveda or that atheist verses in Brihadaranyaka upanisad. Have you never find that 5 out of 6 orthodox school of hinduism are atheistic? Did you not know that social injustice was practiced by Brahmins who were adherent mimamsak which is atheist school? Are you unaware of the fact that theist revolution of india was socialist revolution against cast ism and misogyny ? Kabira, Mira, Eknatha, Ravidasa were from bhakti school (i.e. theist school) which promoted equality? Are you aware of all of these? have you not heard of sages like Kapila (if you read Gita you might know who Kapila was, btw he was atheist of Samkhya school), Jaimini? Kumarila, Prabhakara, jayrasi? Murari? IshwarKrishna?

      The social justice of theist hinduism? the Female supremacy of Tantra and Shakta? The atheism of Brahmin orthodox school (which is also sociably injustice)?

    20. Sundar Raj says

      Rig Veda is about facts independent of time, place and person. Nothing in it favours anyone.
      ‘Purusha’ in Sanskrit means ‘Man’. Our muscular system can unify into a single muscle, which in Hinduism is called Purusha.
      Varnas have nothing to do with occupations. They refer to four grades of efficiency in the same individual. Here, the efficiency is compared, using eating as an example.
      1. Eating is most efficient when some one puts food into our MOUTH (Brahmana Varna)
      2. It is less efficient if we use our ARM also to take the food (Kshatriya Varna)
      3. It is still less efficient if we use our THIGH also to lean to take the food (Vaishya Varna)
      4. It is least efficient if we use our FEET also to reach the food (Shudra Varna).
      If the Shudras are inferior because they originate from a part lower than the other three Varnas, then it should be noted that according to 1.10.90-14 the directions too have the same origin as Shudras i.e. from the feet of Purusha.

    Trackbacks

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>