~ Battle for Sanskrit language: Is Sanskrit Dead or Alive, Oppressive or Liberating, Political or Sacred?

West’s recent attempt of Indian Cultural/Social study Colonization (Control) is fully exposed by Mr Rajiv Malhotra in his new book on Sanskrit studies (releasing on 25-Jan-2016)!!

Famous Indo-American bestseller author/ scholar Mr Rajiv Malhotra, in his 20+ years of research, identified 3 level Battle for Sanskrit studies between Western Imperialism/ Colonization/ Orientalist/ Marxist gang of scholars Vs Indian/Hindu/other Sanskrit Scholars in his upcoming book (Harpercollins Press Jan,25th 2016) titled “Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Dead or Alive, Oppressive or Liberating, Political or Sacred?”

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Check before and after book launch lectures, artilces by author Mr Rajiv Malhotra and also book reviews by readers below in two parts.

Latest lecturs on topic scroll down section 2 at end.

Section 1: Before book launch lectures

Indian Hindu Rishis/Scholars invented Sanskrit language (first oral then text) thousands of years back and it is possibly first language ever known to mankind. Hindu holy vedas and scriptures are in Sanskrit. Hindu/Dharma traditions had spread worldwide in past, hence Sanskrit based languages mushroomed in many parts of the world (Europe, Middle East, India, China, East Asia, etc).

Western Imperialists /Orientalist are targeting Sanskrit language since 16th century or before to suit their expansionist/ world control agenda. Yet another western attempt to highjack Sanskrit/Hinduism studies is exposed in his new book by Mr Rajiv Malhotra with his 20 years of extensive research works tracking the hidden trail.

Mr Malhotra exposes three level Battle for Sanskrit–

  • Dead (Classical)  Vs  Alive

  • Oppressive  Vs  Liberating

  • Political  Vs  Sacred

Author also identified two types of Sanskrit scholars who are in battle which are irrespective of their Ethnicity/Nationality but depending upon their Dristi (Gazing) of Sanskrit heritage –

Insiders – who consider Sanskrit is Alive, Liberating and Sacred language

Outsiders – Desperately labeling Sanskrit (since 17th century British/EU colonization of India) with their hidden Geopolitical motives as Dead (Classical), Oppressive and Political language

He also differentiates two types of Outsiders: European Orientalism (followers of William Jones, Max Muller, etc) and recent one – American Orientalism (he will expose many individuals in his new book).

Watch Rajiv Malhotra introducing his new book on today’s Worldwide Sanskrit studies at World Sanskrit Conference, Bangkok, 28-June 2015

-His new book exposes western hidden Geopolitics of Sanskrit studies & motives to highjack Sanskrit/Hinduism/India social studies using western Marxist links and fake experts!

-Attempt to revive Colonization era and making new fake western Sanskrit scholars like William Jones and gang in 17th century ??

Hindi talk- “Are Sanskrit Studies in the West becoming a New Orientalism?” by Rajiv Malhotra at Delhi University – Feb-2015 (Also Dr Subramaniyam Swamy as guest speaker)

See list of Mr Rajiv Malhotra’s bestseller books after the Transcript.

"Battle-For-Sanskrit-By-Rajiv-Malhotra-amazon"Above: Cover Page of book to be release on 25th Jan 2016

In case you like to read rather than watching video, here is :

Full Transcript of above first video (via video subtitles):

“Namaste. Your royal highness, I remember 10 years ago I was here for the world sanskrit congress 2005, in Bangkok and you graced the occasion, inaugurated and sat through the whole three days and I’m so honored to be here again after 10 years. The inaugural session at that time had three of us speakers.

[Read Mr Rajiv Malhotra’s famous keynote paper – “Geopolitics and Sanskrit-phobia”-]

We had Murali Manohar Joshi ji, then myself and Professor Gonbridge from Oxford.and a lot of water has flown down the Ganga since then and it’s a good time to see how we are today, how we have advanced, compared to where we were. I would like to tell you that my area of study in Sanskrit has been focused on how insiders and outsiders see the traditions differently and in which way they are seeing it the same, in which way they complement, and in which way they disagree and even have conflicting ideas.

So, I made a talk.. inaugural talk there which was published in the journal here in the Sanskrit university center for Sanskrit studies in their Sanskrit journal and that discussion about insider and outsiders I have continued researching and my book on that subject is ready with the publisher and will be out in September.

So, I’ll tell you little bit about it because it’s 10 years since I started this thinking about this topic right here for the world congress in Thailand and now that 10 years are over that book is ready. So, I’ll tell you a little bit about it.

Who are Insiders and outsiders?

The idea of insider and outsider is not ethnic or national. It has to do with “Drishti”, perspective, gaze. You can have the insider’s gaze, insider perspective or outsider perspective and many of my western friends are insider, in terms of their perspective.

On the other hand, a very large number of Indian have the outsider perspective when it comes to Sanskrit and Sanskrit because they are very westernized, secularized and do not have the same insider view that we have here.

Insiders Dristi (Gaze):

The insider view of Sanskrit sees it as more than just a language but actually grammar of a civilization, the DNA of the Sanskrit and the insider sees it as a living tradition .living through the Yajnas, through the mantras we use meditation, through the words that arenon-translatables part of our thought process, these non- translatable Sanskrit words contain a lot of meta-physics they contain a lot of practices, sacred practices that we have. So they have Shraddha which is itself a non-translatable, which the outsider do not share.

The insider sees it as a very sacred tradition, a very extraordinary tradition they see it as a meta-language for vernaculars. The meta-language supports and has a two way interaction with all kinds of vernacular not only in south asia but also South East Asia.

They see it as vibrations, the Sanskrit vibrations, which are non-translatables because they are vibrations They are not just conceptual ideas, that you can replace with another language They see Kavya, Natya as an extension of Sanskrit itself because it’s Sanskrit being enacted the Sanskrit meta-physics being enacted. things like Sastra, which are taking the real pattern of Sanskrit thought and putting them into different domains of knowledge from architecture to medicine to you know whatever mathematics and so on. They are all based on Sanskrit basic assumption.

So the insiders are vary.. the insiders also are convinced that Sanskrit has its own systems of interpretation. So when you interpret Sanskrit there are many theories, many alternative views which can compete, disagree, argue, come up with your own interpretation but there are certain principles of interpretation that are within the system itself.

Outsider’s Dristi (Gaze):

Outsiders do not agree with these kinds of things. Outsiders tend to look at Sanskrit mainly as a language, not necessarily as a whole architecture and way of life as the insiders view,may not have the same Shraddha.

I have started focusing on a particular outsider school which is US centered.which I call American Orientalism and in this book I differentiated between the earlier European Orientalism stared by people like William Jones and many many others from Europe.

I differentiate between that and the new American Orientalism because it’s centered in the US not because there’s anything national or ethnic about it in US. And when I study this American Orientalism, and I describe in detail in my book what is different about it and how the traditionalist view is very different how a traditionalist would do a Poorva Paksha on this American Orientalist view and respond on to it.

I look at 3 or 4 major differences that would concern a traditionalist when they look at American Orientalist view. The absence of sacredness, the whole Paramarthika realm is undermined or dismissed, because it’s considered either socially abusive, it’s considered to be something that is supports hierarchy of power, it’s toxic. The words used are toxic poisonous, abusive, social hierarchy these kinds of.. lots of words in this vocabulary of this school.

So, the sacredness is removed.. argued why it should be removed. in terms of what’s valuable and the idea of social, political oppression is added. So, this is the outsider’s lens because the insider who is practicing doesn’t see it that way.

Of Course there are social problems, but there are social problems in very system and these can be also be solved from within. You do not need a Marxist intervention or an outsider intervention to do that. So, what I’m trying to do is a Poorva Paksha of the American Orientalism school. Bring out issues that the insider, the traditionalist should know about. So, far I have found that most traditionalist are unaware of this.

Some of them don’t care, some of them find that the writings of the American Orientalist too difficult too dense, too complicated and not very east for them to understand, because these things are written in western theories.

For instance, I would guess very few people would know a whole lot about a European thinker called Vico. Very few traditional Sanskritists have talked.. know about it.

Yet, dominant school of Sanskrit studies in Chicago, in Columbia and so on. use Vico’s ideas, Vico’s principles to critique the Paramarthika realm.

So, this would be something a traditionalist cannot respond because he doesn’t even know what are they talking about. very few would have understood a whole lot about Benjamin, and his theory of the aestheticization of power. Which is how that school interprets the spread of Sanskrit through South East Asia.

The whole spread of Sanskrit to South East Asia as a sort of conspiracy between Brahmins and Royal Courts to come up with a system of hierarchy and power over the common public such that the Royal Kings would be seen as the divine and the Brahmin as the one who does the black magic of Yagna to make that happen and so both of them support each other and the common public is sort of exploited.

And this is done in a very aesthetic way, aesthetization of power is a theory which says, “You keep your power, in away that people don’t…people don’t think it’s about power… about your power. People think that you are…actually giving them entertainment. You are giving them power.”

So, you do Kavya, you do dance, you do Ramayana, you have architecture you have painting.. and everybody participate.. and they all feel very happy but actually power is with the people who come up with this whole system. So, there’s this theory, that the whole spread of Sanskrit and Ramayana was this kind of a conspiracy to do this throughout SEA.

So, it spread as a sort of franchise. The Brahmins franchised it one king after another. Quickly. That’s why it spread so quickly. So, there are all these theories. And so, for a traditionalist to respond, first you need to understand what the theory is saying. and to understand that you need to go to some university in the US and spend many many years studying western thoughts The Frankfurt school of Marxism, Gramsci-the Italian head of the communist Party,his theories on these ideas.

So, either the person has to submit to years of study of western Marxists, Leftist thought in order to understand what they are saying.. and if he does that he’ll become one of them There’s a whole army of Indians trained now in the American Orientalism lens to come back to India and apply this way of thinking to study and interpret Sanskrit and some of these people are in very powerful position in academia, in media and so you see a very sophisticated view of Sanskrit which says it’s a system of exploitation, it’s a system of.. you have to study as a system of power.

Now, the difference are that we look at it as.. the insiders look at it as a sacred system, as a positive system that gives us value and purpose and so on It has problems like any system has but we can also solve it as.. we have solutions, we have solved problems in the past.

Whereas the outsider doesn’t see it as a system which is positive, they see it as a Marxist class struggle, socio-economic exploitative kind of a system.

So, these are basic differences. The American Orientalist view of Rasa, is not a system of transcendence necessarily but Rasa is some sort of a secular emotion. But that’s.. that’s it.

Whereas we would see it as one aspect of it, but there’s more to it. The idea that the Ramayana is being interpreted by this outsider school as a system Valmiki created to bring Oriental despotism into SA and SEA because this would be.. this would give.. this would justify the kind being divine and the enemy being the Rakshasa.

So, the divine king and the demonic enemy became a kind of story that the kings could apply to fight their enemies by convincing their people that we are the divine and you have to be on our side and we are fighting the enemy, they are demonic. so, using this kind of an interpretation a vast library, a vast inventory of dissertations , journals , conferences.. lot of content has been created in the 25-40.. 30-40 years, which is what I’m going through and giving in my own analysis.

Now, the centers of learning unfortunately of our Sanskrit are outside the SA and SEA. Most prestigious journals are in the west, the most powerful academic chairs are in the west, some of the best libraries, some of the most prestigious appointments are in the west, most Sanskrit traditions I have talked to would rather so on trip to the west and get an appointment there become visiting professor.

Decolonizing Indians:

So, the power structure is there. This means the prestige for.. who speaks with greater Adhikaar, authority. Who controls the research dollars, who controls.. who’s the gatekeeper of distribution of knowledge. Who makes policies on what is right for.. what is the right kind of Sanskrit approach, the lens. These things are not necessarily under the control of people who are insiders because there’s a history of.. colonial history of controlling from the outside is well known.

People in post colonial studies have done a lot of understanding and exposing how this control of Indian civilization, Indian history, interpreting Indian religions, interpreting Indian knowledge was taken over the colonial process because when you can go to people and say I’m gifting you your history… I’m gifting you what your tradition was which you don’t know people feel very happy.. and they are in awe and they saying thank you and that’s how colonialism works.

So, decolonization is more than just getting political and economic freedom. India got political freedom and now thankfully India is also on it’s way of getting economic freedom. But the intellectual freedom, the cultural freedom the academic freedom is still to happen and that decolonization requires doing that sort of things that Krishna Shastri said and therefore I’m really happy that he’s here and he’s helped me in my project in many ways.

So, this decolonization is a process of us doing the Poorva Paksha on the dominant schools That have been studying us, they have been telling and been re-exporting the knowledge back to us and tell us what is what. Now you see, Sanskrit being appropriated into Computational Linguistics. Computational Linguistics is the cutting edge of computer science for natural language translation. and what they are finding is that Panini’s language… Panini’s grammar is a good engine in which various languages can be mapped and used to translate across back from each other.

Now all this is fantastic but in order to make the Sanskrit simple enough for the new sponsors who are all western big companies in computational linguistics, to make it acceptable to them, understandable to them they have also simplified, they have reduced the.. kinds of pronunciation, for example.. the intonations, the character set is less, to make it more computer friendly.

So, Sanskrit has to become computer friendly. in order to expand, so they will say ‘We are doing you a favor. Look.. your language will go everywhere’. But that’s like taking Yoga and collapsing it into exercise and saying, ‘Look we are doing you… a favor because it’s going everywhere’. So, this idea of.. this is a double edged sword. When you give Adhikaar to others, they will take it, digest it, take it further but they will also modify it and distort it.

Exposing cultural Appropriation/Digestion habits of west:

So, this is I give the example of a tiger who eats a goat and digests it and what ever is useful about the goat becomes part of the tiger’s DNA what is not useful he throws it out and there is no more goat left. There’s only a tiger.. stronger. Now a foolish goat would say, ‘You know, it’s good for us.

Because the… tiger can take us further. We sit in the tiger’s stomach and we can… have a good joy ride’. The reason it’s foolish is that there’s no more goat let anyway. So, it’s not that you are sitting in the stomach. So, it’s not that Sanskrit sitting in the belly of the west will go further because then it won’t be Sanskrit anymore. It will have been digested into something else like a large amount of Indian civilization already has been digested into things that are known as western but they are not.

That’s another project that I’m doing to excavate back our civilization which has been digested and which is no longer recognized as ours even by our own people…even by our own people! So, what I need is what I call a home team. We need a home team of traditionalists who also understands the Kurukshetra, the intellectual Kurukshetra who understands what is going on, who’s who, how they are playing this game, what is their strategy, and who to work with who to be careful of.

Importance of this book today:

Now, one of the major improvements to day compared to 10 years ago is a huge scale of Indian participation which was not there at that time In fact, the organizers had a very hard time to motivate and get Indians interested and my foundation.. even though a small foundation was approached to come and be one of the sponsors, one of the two, we and the Thai people together did this, because the Indian government didn’t want to.

But today, I’m very happy that the Indian government has opened the gates and is sponsoring Sanskrit and funding Sanskrit and we have people like Krishna Shastri ji and Kutumb Shastri ji and others who are really understanding this and helping it spread. But when you open the flood gates, all kinds of people get in, you also have to be careful because when word gets around that Indian government got money, Indian government has got position in Sanskrit everybody’s got the motivation to get in.

Good people, bad people, whatever people, everybody wants to get in because who will like to avoid the opportunity to make extra money and of course prestige plus it’s a very good strategy to smuggle in and infiltrate. So, this idea of the insider having a home team doing this Poorva Paksha and uttara Paksha on the others is very important, more important than it ever was.

Ignorant Indian wealthy businessmen funding Western agenda:

I also find.. the reason I got my project reactivated a year ago. This project of studying insider-outsider of Sanskrit which I started 10 years ago you know I put it on the shelf and I was working on other things. A year ago, I suddenly woke up because something very strange happened. Some friends who are wealthy from New York, New Jersey area where I lived called me and said that they are going to create Sringeri Math Peethams.. Sringeri Math branches in US universities. And this is very good because Adi Shankara would become very famous now. All the Americans will be teaching him. My antennae went up I wanted to know who will be in charge? What kind of teaching will they do? Who’s lens will they use, Insiders or outsiders? and sure enough they appointed a person on who’s work my whole book is now based.

A person who’s sort of the head, the most important person in the whole American Orientalism view, who’s own view and who’s student’s view is that Poorva MImansa was something very abusive… socially abusive and toxic and the project he’s on is to detoxify, to get rid of those kinds of idea from Sanskrit and who’s own ideas… their ideas are that Adi Shankara comes and his Uttara Mimamsa response makes it even worse So, I took this and I said to the Shankaracharya, I met the Shankaracharya himself in Sringeri, I talked to the people who are funding this chair in the US, I talked to the US based people in charge of Sringeri Math and I said these are the people, this is their ideology, this is the work they have done.

Outsourcing of Adi Shakracharya’s legacy to west?

These are the people who you will turn over the keys. You are outsourcing the legacy of Adi Shankara to these people. You should do your due diligence, you should do your Poorva Paksha, after that accept it. After you know what they are like you accept it. But don’t do it because of their prestige, because of newspaper articles. Because of very sophisticated speeches. Don’t do it for that reason. You need.. your tradition requires you to do scholarship and Adi Shankara went around and did real serious scholarship against his opponents and debated with them.

It was not based on PR and appearances. And it’s not a question of they are nice guys. The only answer I could got back was, ‘Oh! But they are very nice guys’. ‘We meet them they are very pleasant.. They talk to us nicely’.

Exposing Western hidden agenda of Aestheticization of Power:

But I said that is part of the Aestheticization of power. The very same thesis they have built to explain how Sanskrit spread, that same process they are using to spread their own ideology. It’s called Aestheticization of power meaning you spread your power in a very aesthetically nice way as nice guys. So, I found that are traditional scholars the people who are funding it, some of them are very large industrialists, some of them are government related, media related all sort of people who are funding these kinds of projects were completely ignorant.

 [See Aesthetics of Power by Walter Benjamin (Marxism)]

Beyond the surface levels of what was being presented. So, in closing I want to say that my book which is coming out in 3 months has.. it’s called Battle for Sanskrit’, it could have had the byline ‘Insiders vs. Outsiders’, because that’s what it is all about.. two camps. And I’m not saying that one camp is right or wrong. I’m saying the outsiders cannot have total control.

The insiders need a seat at the table. They need a seat at the table and as long as they are both equally represented and able to debate I’m happy but right now the insiders do not have a seat at the table and that’s all I want. The byline actually is three debates. The byline is ‘Is Sanskrit dead or alive, oppressive or liberating, political or sacred’. These are the three debates. Because the outsider camps says it’s dead and we don’t accept that. And Shastri ji is giving me lots of evidence which I’m going to add that it has..the new knowledge that is being produced.

The outsider camp says it is oppressive and I say it’s liberating. So, that a very big debate we need to have. We cannot just let them go on with this and the third one is political vs. sacred. The American Orientalist camp have come up with a term political philology. They feel that ordinary philology has failed, that it’s a bad idea because ordinary philology romanticize Sanskrit and Sanskriti and allows the abuse to continue.

All the people who are oppressed, the down trodden, all of them by this civilization and this culture are need to be saved and rescued and they need to be liberated. And this liberation can happen if you do political philology which means you look for political power hidden in every text. Every text you look for political power hidden in there and you excavate that and show them that this is how the exploitation was happening.

 So, to counter the theory of political philology, I’m introducing in this book my own term which I call ‘Sacred Philology’. That Sanskrit should also be studies through sacred philology which is a different kind of lens which I explained in this book. Thank you very much.”

….Applause!

Section 2: After book launch lectures /articles

15 Jan 2016-The Importance of Swadeshi Indology, Bangalore

16 Jan 2016-Reversing the Gaze (Purva-Paksha) on Western Indology, lecture at Karnataka Sanskrit University,Bangalore

17 Jan 2016- The Battle For Sanskrit,Samskrit Bharati, Bangalore

Author’s Articles on his new book:

Articles in News papers & Media:

The Battle For Sanskrit: A Battle we cannot afford to lose by Aditi Banerjee (IndiaFacts)

Why the battle for Sanskrit needs to be joined by Rajiv Shrinivasan (Rediff)

Battle for Sanskrit and Sanskriti finally begins by Nitin Shridhar (Newsgram)

NitiCentral interviews author Rajiv Malhotra on his book “Battle For Sanskrit”



 

Other bestseller books by Mr Rajiv Malhotra, exposing western Universalism/Orientilism and India specific studies:

  • Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America- By Krishnan Ramaswamy, Antonio de Nicolas Aditi Banerjee (January 2007)

Free official PDF available here

  • Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines By Rajiv Malhotra + Arvindan Neelakandan (1 February 2011)

  • Being Different: Indian Challenge to Western Universalism By Rajiv Malhotra (12 July 2013)

  • Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity By Rajiv Malhotra (January 2014)

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Indian bloggers and readers voted this post as “Top post on IndiBlogger” Site! Thank you🙂

Image credit: Rajiv Malhotra Twitter,”sanskritonstamps”blogspot. Screen shot ‘History of Yoga‘ by VishuDhhi Films. Sources: Rajiv Malhotra website, tweets and youtube links, NitiCentral,Twitter, google search, and all links in the post.

5 thoughts on “~ Battle for Sanskrit language: Is Sanskrit Dead or Alive, Oppressive or Liberating, Political or Sacred?

  1. A cogent post on Sanskrit, one of the most beautiful languages I know of. My dear, departed father left no stones unturned to make me a Sanskrit scholar but it was not be, greatly due to my own rebellion against the gang of mentors he pressed into service. Yes, I do repent it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you sir for your visit n insights….Yes Sanskrit study is important to understand Dharma civilizations and ancient roots…its never late, you cna start from today….Btw your blog is nice, keep blogging n share your Sanskrit skills soon..cya

      Like

  2. Oh. My. Gosh… Not only is this a great post, but THANK YOU for making Rajivji’s presentation about his book available as a transcript! I am profoundly deaf, and it’s very difficult to lip-read video-quality material. You would be an avatāra just for transcribing this video! Deaf people, especially deaf Sanātananis, are a very underserved population!

    Praṇāma!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pranam 🙂 Thank you for your visit n kind words…I am glad it helped you…Its really well researched book, hope to read it soon.

      There are many who likes to read rather than watch video,as its much faster…So, you’ll find video desciptions for readers in this blog! Kindly go through many relevant posts and if you need more info on perticualr video then comment , will reply summary of it as text.

      Also, Technology is available now to read many videos…Always remember to check “CC” (subtitle) button at Youtube video then see below video “More” click it then read “Transcript” of that video as text…You can also google “name of video + Author name + Transpcript ” to see if its available!

      Keep visiting and keep sharing your insights…you have plenty of stuffs here on Sanatan Dharma and India🙂
      OM….

      Like

  3. Pingback: ~ Hinduphobia: First hand experience of Academic Hinduphobia in USA and India | GLOBAL INDIAN BLOG

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