Thursday, October 9, 2008
Hidden Origins of the West
As an undergrad,I was required to take a general Western Civilization course over two semesters. A History and a Literature professor teamed up to teach each section, and we were required to read assorted of the so called classics, and were also assigned history readings from the Western Civ. textbook. A pretty typical survey of so called "Western" history and literature over the expanse of a few thousand years.
As a student at a sectarian Christian institution, we were required to enroll in a semester each of Old and New Testament History. Though some of our professors indeed stimulated us to critically question the traditional receptions of both Western Civilization in general, and to a lesser degree, the conventional reception of the Bible, I have since realized the virtual conspiracy of European and American scholars--and not just the religious ones--to conceal the true origins of "Western" civilization and religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to be specific): India.
Abraham and Sarai and Hagar, progenitors of the Hebrew tradition through Sarai, and of the Arab peoples and later Islam through Hagar, were preceded in India by Brahma and his consort Saraswati and Ghaggar (a tributary to the Saraswati river once thought merely mythical by western scholars). According to the Torah, Abraham and his tribe came from Ur of the Chaldese, an area that was unquestionably the site of much activity by Brahmin priests.
Jeshua ben Joseph, who posthumously became known as "Jesus Christ" was preceded historically by Krishna. Krishna's followers are Gopis, his ten-thousand milkmaid lovers. Christ's followers are called the "Bride of Christ," an obvious analogy to "lovers." Stories of Krishna having been crucified upon a tree and rising from the dead purportedly predate Jeshua ben Joseph's time on the cross and purported resurrection (though I have yet to fully research this one).
Several of the primary tenets of Islam are directly analogous to the third person of the Hindu Trimurti (trinity) of Brahma, Vishnu (Krishna), and Siva. Siva wears a crescent moon in his hair. Islam has become represented by the crescent moon. The primary confession of Islam is one of the "kalimas." Kalima is the wrathful form of Siva's co-equal consort. Ummah, or "community" is among the primary tenets of Islam. Uma is the most motherly form of Siva's consort. The Kaaba, once a center of Hindu devotion, still contains a Siva Linga (phallic stone). And I recently discovered that "Allah" is a name applied to Durga, another form of Devi (goddess) that is Siva's consort, yet again predating Islam.
These versions of the divine in the Hindu Trimurti predate all three of these major and contentious world religions whose origin is supposedly in "the West." The Trimurti represents these three aspect of God (Creator, Maintainer, and Destroyer), as three faces on one head. Perhaps if scholarship and the general constituencies of the rather troublesome trio of Western religions were to recognize their various representations of God as but three faces of One Divinity, facets of a balanced understanding of that which is beyond mortal which predates and presages or emanates their own various versions, they might learn to get along, and to be humble in their presumptions of inventing civilization.
Also of note is that the Aryan invasion theory, i.e., that the dark-skinned peoples of India must have been invaded by blond-haired blue-eyed people from the north in order to have developed such a sophisticated civilization, has been largely disproven by recent evidences. Such racist notions from "Orientalist" scholarship, as well as suppression of the clear origins of the three aforementioned "Abrahamic" religions in India seems to convey that in their insecurities, scholars and theologians and historians of the "Western" world have been either systematically hiding something, or have been blind to the obvious. I recently came across a source which tells that one particularly noted Orientalist who lived towards the end of the nineteenth century, Max Muller (touted as the "father of comparative religion"), stated in a letter to his wife that he intentionally gave a late dating to the sacred texts of India and to the dates of Indian civilization in general, as he realized a threat to the underlying myths of Western civilization were he to tell the truth.
I wish to make these things known not to shame the heritage of Europe and America and the Middle East, nor the three religions of the "Western Tradition," from which have sprung much compassionate action and many good works in spite of sometimes violent interactions and whatever injustices sometimes fomented. Rather I would wish to inspire truly free inquiries and criticisms of traditions that, while noble on some fronts, indeed have been hiding no small degree of dishonest scholarship and lies maintained to prop up religious dogma and civic myths. It is my hope not to thus promote some other set of myths to replace these debunked, but to inspire a fearless examination of the past in order to learn how to live better in the present, and to dispense with false mythological constructs that unnecessarily divide peoples, East and West and North and South. Critical introspection and honest assessments of our origins and our common and unique heritages alike might help usher in an era of understanding and healing. This is my reason and want to rock the boat.
ॐ the sacred AUM (the usual English scrpt phonetic spelling, though missing some of the substance of said sound), is the direct source of the mispronounced and derivative "Amen" of the Hebrew and Christian traditions, and somewhat more accurately pronounced "amin" of the Islamic tradition--though I ought to note, even most of the "Hindu" kirtan (call and response chant) leaders I have heard mispronounce ॐ . . .