CALL OF SHRI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE IN MADURAI SOUTHERN BHARATAVARSA
OR / AND THE BEGINNING OF A SEARCH A DOCUMENTARY FILM ON ANCIENT HISTORY
Call of Shri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai southern Bharatavarsa
or / And
The beginning of a search
A documentary film on Ancient History
Synopsis, treatment, Protagonists, Locations and Organisation-plan
A time will come when this ambitious project will be materialized. It needs besides governmental support also funds. We have not been able to mobilize funds. We do not claim copyright. I publish the project also as a call for forthcoming social scientists. It is a challenge for all seeking truths.
The major objective of this empirical research project is to initiate a discussion on the ancient history of a vast area stretching out from the Himalayas to the Pacific Ocean. In this project we will make use of audio-visual media in the field of research instead of pen and paper to collect data. We shall select our protagonists, we shall put questions to them, but we shall refrain ourselves from expressing our own views or drawing conclusions. The whole material will then be processed and edited. The outcome is of course a documentary film with very few verbal commentaries.
Now, what is history? The mainstream of modern historians does claim that history is a part of empirical social science. The philosophy of empirical science is based on mathematical theories of probability. Even if empirical findings appear to be identical throughout a period of continuous observation, they do not prove anything. If continuous observations are made in identical situations, i.e. when all variables are kept under control, it can be assumed with high probability that the next observation will be identical to as it had been so far. For natural sciences there is an advantage that in a laboratory more and more variables can be kept under control and thus having facilities of experiment.
But human society is not a laboratory. Therefore there is no facility of experiment. Accordingly, social events and social processes have to be observed as exactly as possible, defining variables in the process of observance of similar events and processes. No social process can be repeated. Therefore, the evaluation of social events and processes does not and cannot achieve a similar degree of precision as in natural sciences. On the top of it, the chance of observation of social events and processes for social scientists is extremely limited.
But social scientists do have facilities to collect narrated perceptions of social events and processes, to get statements on motivational drives of participants and to locate their interest, to assess and weigh statements of those who gain and of those who loose in those events and processes. It is equally valid that there are too many possibilities of committing uncontrolled mistakes. In case of historians, by its very nature, things become more complicated. Historians have to work on the basis of available documents of the past without knowing exactly whether they have access to the totality of available documents. Moreover they never know whether the totality of available documents is a biased selection of the totality of ever produced documents. Generally they are tempted to be satisfied with accessible documents only, and more so, if they can construct a certain degree of plausibility in their own understanding of social processes and in communicating it to others.
To cut a long story short, we are trying to point out that the so called science of history is mingled with subjective perceptions and social prejudices, wishful thinking, speculations and ideologies. The probability is indeed very high that the available documents are distorted and/or manipulated. And the probability is even higher that the available documents are partially selected. Unfortunately the historians who have contributed to the ancient history of the region stretching out from the Himalayas to the Pacific Ocean have not been rigorous enough to examine their sources, as we shall see. And we are apprehensive that in general modern historians do not examine their sources of information rigorously enough. Methodologically they could at least assume that all available documents are fakes till it can be assumed after rigorous scrutiny that there is a high probability of genuineness. This would correspond to the basic philosophy of empirical science. But the methodological practice of historians is exactly the opposite of it. They assume that all documents they can get hold of are genuine, till the one or the other can be proved to be fakes.
Thereby they forget one basic fact of life. History does not evolve by itself; it is made by persons in a society. Documents are also manufactured by persons. The producers of documents have to live and survive. They get material returns for their work from those who are in a position to engage them to manufacture documents. They buy those documents only if the orders are being executed to their satisfaction, if the documents are acceptable and palatable to them. So the producers of documents, the story tellers, the historian, have always to keep an eye on the sellable qualities of their documents. Whether we like it or not, whether the historians like it or not, this is life.
Keeping this in mind we have focused our attention on modern history in general and on the history of this vast area, once called Bharatavarsa, which is now almost universally called India. Since when? No one knows exactly. Foreigners have given this name to this ancient land in the past and only about fifty years ago it was also adopted officially. Not even the “historians" are eager to discover, when, how, why and by whom ancient Bharatavarsa was renamed and what the consequences of this remarkable metamorphosis are. What had been the history of the country prior to this metamorphosis? It has almost become a non-issue. We are tempted to make an issue out of this. Therefore we shall not refer to “India", we shall refer to Bharatavarsa, as this region was called in ancient times.
What do we learn from modern history? We ( Late Dr. Gisela Aich, economist, German national and Dr. Prodosh Aich, social scientist, “Indian" national, university-teacher in Oldenburg, Germany), we learn, first of all that there are two major epochal periods in the development of human beings: pre-historical and historical. Modern history begins for all practical purposes after the emergence of the Semitic “religions“. More precisely, after the emergence of Christianity. Historical dates are fixed as before or after Christ (BC and AD). A world-wide spread of this practice cannot be denied.
As regard to Bharatavarsa we learn from all world-wide recognised reference books as well as from standard volumes in history, anthropology and indology that the vast area stretching out from the Himalayas to the Pacific Ocean was inhabited by a human race called Dravidian. Since when? No one tells us. And this question has also not been an issue yet. This period falls into the darkest category of pre-history. Modern historians are occupied with history only and not with “pre-history”, because only history is a part of social science and science do not deal with speculations. Science deals with proofs. So, what we learn from modern history about Bharatavarsa is that approximately 3500 years ago a superior race called Aryans, belonging to a culture of pastoral nomads, living in the steppes of central Asia, had arrived from the north conquering the land of the Dravidians. How was this dating fixed? We do not know. No one tells us. Does it matter?
These falling-in Aryans were tall, fair-skinned and blue or grey-eyed people. The Dravidians were of small stature, dark-skinned and dark-eyed. The superiority of the Aryans were proved by the fact that they were able to drive out the Dravidians from the entire north to the south and then take possession of the whole of the north. Is it important to figure out the size of the Dravidian population or that of those new-comers? Obviously not. No details of this incident are known. There is no history, no literature, no mythology, and of course there are no archaeological evidences of this so important historical event. Modern historians do not miss them and consequently are not perturbed. It would be waste of time to get involved in pre-historical periods. Therefore our questions regarding details of the war remain unanswered.
It is almost universally accepted that high quality of literature like Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmanas, Sutras, Puranas, epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana were created during the pre-historic period in this vast region. These works are in Vedic “Sanskrit” or in Sanskrit. And Sanskrit were not be the language of the Dravidians. How could it be determined? We do not know. But this is what we learn from modern historians. And they do not tell us, how they could have determined this. Once this premise is accepted, it logically follows that this literature could have been created by Aryans only, naturally after their arrival nearly 3500 years ago. Consequently the accountable cultural history of Bharatavarsa had begun thereafter, so we are taught by modern history. And there is another remarkable date.
There are quite a few indications in different areas and at different levels that around 2600 years before our time a “teaching” called Jainism had emerged. It is told in reference books that Vardhamana, who is also known as the first Mahavira (“Great Hero“), is considered to be the founder of Jainism. It is also said that Vardhamana was almost contemporary to another renowned historical figure, Siddhartha Gautama, though senior by around 40 years. Siddhartha Gautama, the later Buddha, is the founder of a “teaching“ which has later been called “Buddhism". Siddhartha Gautama also belonged to the same region of Bharatavarsa, not very far away from the place where Vardhamana had lived, in the State of Bihar. It appears to have been universally accepted that both of these two “teachings“ are post-vedic. Jainism has been propagated in Prakrit language and Buddhism in Pali. We learn from the same sources that both these languages were spoken Sanskrit. How do they know? We don’t know. No one tells us.
From there, it has been logically concluded by modern historians that the ancient literature in Bharatavarsa had been created at least 2600 years ago. No other conclusion is possible as the history thereafter - at least of the northern part of Bharatavarsa - is well documented. So the implicit conclusion is that Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmanas and Sutras had been accomplished in Vedic “Sanskrit” or in Sanskrit during a period of around 3500 and 2600 ago. The other implicit conclusion is that both Vardhamana, the first Mahavira, and Siddhartha Gautama, the later Buddha, were offshoots of Aryan invaders, as Sanskrit had been their language.
Having arrived at this point of historical account given by the modern historian our curiosity was directed to the question: Who are the Dravidians? Normally we should have assumed that the Dravidians were inhabitants of a region called “Dravidia". But we learn from books in modern history that Dravidian is the name of a race that lived in an area, from the south of Himalayas down to the Pacific Ocean. Then the Aryans came from the north and conquered them. And we remember that these invaders were tall, fair-skinned and blue or grey-eyed people. The “Dravidians", so to say the “aborigines", or “primitives“, were obviously defeated by the superior Aryan race. Later this theory of invasion had to be refuted due to archaeological evidences. Instead of discarding the whole theory of the superior Aryan race, the modern historian had taken resort to an amendment. Invasion was replaced by migration. Thereby one obvious question did not come to their mind. How the new-comers could have been able to displace the Dravidian so radically from the north to the south of Bharatavarsa? Why did they not give thought to this obvious question? We don’t know. No one tells us. Thereafter the Aryans settled down comfortably, displaced or ousted the Dravidians to the south, and then were able to accomplish cultural achievements like composing Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmans, Sutras, Puranas, epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, studies in Nature and Cosmos in around nine centuries. All these in Vedic “Sanskrit” or in Sanskrit languages which they had brought with them. So the historical narration continues.
As this historical account has not yet been challenged by outstanding modern historians we had also accepted the theory of Aryan invasion or migration, the theory of two races and the theory Aryan-Dravidian divide in Bharatavarsa. Till, yes till, we had visited the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai in the remote south of Bharatavarsa. We were told and later we also found in the literature concerned that this temple is one of the finest specimen of “Dravidian architecture of temple building“. It naturally struck us that logically there should be a counterpart, namely, „Aryan architecture of temple building“. And we were extremely surprised to note that there had not been even a hint of such a category in the literature. Then we started a journey through the recently published books on history of Bharatavarsa. Thereby we undertook a rather simple exercise. We wanted to know from the scholarly authors how they knew what they believed to know. What had been their sources of information and of knowledge? Who were their authorities? The same procedure we have applied to the bibliographical references as well to those books.
The result of our exercise is depressing, though also revealing. The methodology of the modern historians is rather plain. Accept the published facts as facts. Accept the established theories as final. If there is a new aspect, prove your ability in producing history as social science by integrating the new aspect into the established historical theories. Get hold of as many books as necessary and be satisfied with them. Get hold only of the books you think you need and which you consider necessary, not of all books, not even of as many books as possible. Don’t be after inaccessible sources. Make economic use of even of the accessible sources to be fast enough to be competitive. You have to be selective, depending on the special purpose, and as soon as certain aspects appear to have gained enough sellable qualities, go and publish it. Publish it without much discriminations and scruples. After all, scientific works do not carry any value unless they are published. And publishers depend on judgements of established experts. If one questions the works of these experts, there would be no publication. No publication means no career. Validity tests? Does it matter? Once it is published, it is also valid.
Modern historians are masters of selective scribing and copying from old sources. The so called science-based history does reproduce itself. This specific culture of writing history has become universal thanks to the norms and values of the prevailing institutions of higher education, of the universities. World wide. This culture of the universities is a part of the overall culture which has been dominating us for about 250 years. This culture has been named and renamed so often.
One may recall the various names. For example: Christian, Occidental, European, Western, Modern, Democratic, Industrial, Post-Industrial, Information-based and so on, and so on. The invention of names had depended on specific purposes. Though this list is incomplete, it shows that this culture is still being in search of an identity, because none of the names have been able to characterise it adequately. None of those names actually describes this culture. Therefore we have adopted a different approach. We were in search of the basic constitutive elements of this culture. We have identified four basic features. Accordingly we prefer to call this “blonde-blue- eyed-white-Christian” culture. These four basic characteristics describe this culture unambiguously, as we feel. All other names, which had been or have been given to this culture, do conceal these constitutive elements and thus make it vague, make it false.
We would like to exemplify our statement by sticking to the history of Bharatavarsa. This history had been written and been successfully propagated under the control of British colonial rulers. How do we know? Well, it may be recalled that the history of Bharatavarsa is well documented over quite a long period. At least since the emergence of “Jainism” about 2600 years ago. There are literal as well as archaeological evidences over continuous changes in society and lives since then. Many foreign travellers had been in Bharatavarsa since centuries. Their reports are universally considered to be authentic and valid. Amongst them, for example: The Greek Megasthenes, the Roman Pliny, the Alexandrian Ptolemy, Persian Al - Biruni. There is no mention of “Aryans or Dravidians“.
Then, in Jainic, in Buddhistic literature beginning about 2600 years back there is no mention of “Aryans or Dravidians”. During the last 1400 years Islamic invaders had appeared in Bharatavarsa to rob accumulated wealth and then ultimately had established their reign around 600 years ago. In their literature also there is no mention of “Aryans or Dravidians”. And roughly 500 years before our time Christians had started to come to Bharatavarsa.
Therefore we have to make a caesura between the last 500 years and the earlier period. The Aryan-Dravidian issue is entirely absent prior to the arrival of persons belonging to the blonde-blue eyed-white-Christian culture in Bharatavarsa. During our library studies and in the process of systematic trace-back to the original source of information used by modern historians we did not find any older source beyond the letters of Filippo Sassetti (“1540 - 1588“), a trader, left Florence at the age of 38 for Seville, Madrid and Lisbon, reached ultimately the Malabar coast 5 years thereafter, i. e. in „1583“, 415 years ago. His letters carry information on the richness of languages in the south of Bharatavarsa, especially of Sanskrit and on some affinity of these languages with Latin, so it is said. But in the original letters there is no mention of affinity at all. Filippo Sassetti mentions that a few numbers and “snake” are similarly pronounced in and around Goa as in his language. He also mentions that vast literature is available in a language which is no longer spoken, but is recited at all important social events by learned people, who learn this language in seven/eight years similar to the contemporary Italians who acquire Latin.
Traders like Filippo Sassetti were followed by missionaries, mainly sent out by the Jesuit Order. This Order was founded in Rome in “1534“. One of these first missionaries, Roberto De Nobili (“1577 - 1656“), is considered to be an authority. At the age of 28 only he arrived in the south. He was so impressed by the prevailing culture and literature there that he had started to collect materials on culture and literature of the south, an activity which was publicly condemned in Rome, because knowledge of such materials could become a danger for Christian belief. He is however considered to be one of the early experts of Tamil, Telegu and Sanskrit.
Heinrich Roth (“1620 - 1668“), German born and brought-up, another Jesuit missionary, also reached the Malabar Coast. His curriculum vita reveals how narrow the demarcation lines are between adventurers and scouts, mercenaries and missionaries. After fleeing the Swedish army at the age of 19 he entered the Jesuit Order. He left for Ethiopia by sea route via Smyrna (Turkey), and an overland route to Isfahan (Persia). As Ethiopia’s boundaries were closed for Catholic missionaries, he incidentally reached Goa in “1652“. Ultimately he was able to enter the Mogul court of Agra around “1660“ where he learnt Sanskrit. So it is said.
Heinrich Roth had working contacts with fellow Jesuit fathers who were engaged to explore China, Tibet and Nepal. He and one Johannes Grueber, explorer of Tibet, later reached Rome on foot exploring a land route and reported to the Vatican. Unfortunately the Portuguese had already established a sea route by then. Heinrich Roth was the first European to write a grammar for Sanskrit. It was a simpler version of Panini’s grammar. Panini would not have felt an urge to claim “Copyright” as it was not a practice within the culture of ancient Bharatavarsa. This rather a little lengthy example should also indicate the interaction of institutions and individuals leading ultimately to colonisation with all known implications.
Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg (“1682 – 1719”), German by birth and education, was on the payroll of King Frederick IV in Denmark and Norway, posted in “a military colony leased to the Danish East India Company by the Raja of Tanjore”, thereafter founded an orphanage and a school and learnt indigenous languages. He wrote a Tamil grammar and the first Tamil dictionary in “1716”. His writings were not very palatable to Europeans, as he felt and expressed his view, that “Hindu books should be studied with as much profit as Aristotle’s”. Mission authorities asked him to “propagate Christianity in India and not Hinduism to Europe”. He died quite early just like Heinrich Roth. Though Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg’s books were not published during his lifetime, his contributions to the development of colonialism had not been less valuable as warning example for others.
The French Jesuit Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux (“1691 - 1779“) wrote the first Telegu dictionary and had also found out analogies between Sanskrit and Latin, Greek, German and Russian. It is remarkable to note that of all those later authorities for the modern historians, who had arrived in Bharatavarsa up to the end of the “17th century”, did have their first encounter with the south. Another striking fact is that an obvious question has not been put yet. Why these traders, missionaries, adventurers, mercenaries and scouts got interested in a language which had not been spoken for at least 2600 years? Spoken Sanskrit during the period of emergence of Jainism and Buddhism were Prakrit and Pali. We would like to leave it at that. We don’t want to speculate over an answer or divert our attention to the fact, that an obvious question has not been put yet.
We have also not yet come across a discussion on the qualities of dictionaries which were coming up rather systematically. Had they been adequate? Did the authors possess qualifications to write dictionaries? What had been their psycho-social background, their prejudices, their interest, their ideologies? Had they been conscious of the responsibility of possible inadequate or wrong standardisation? What had been their cultural background? What had been the relationship between this missionary zeal and other passions on the one hand and the tradition of the Christians on the other hand manifested in crusades (specially between “11th and 13th century“), in reconquista (specially between “13th and 15th century”), in Inquisition, in genocide (between “16th and 18th century”) in the continents called “America" and “Australia" or a sub-continent called “Newseeland", and in slave-trade?
The next century is characterised by the appearance of soldiers, administrators and so called diplomats on the scene. But surprisingly enough, they did not have any impact to strengthen the influence of those who had been collecting first hand experiences in Bharatavarsa. A new interest-group had emerged at home who were diligently engaged in producing translations of Sanskrit literature on the basis of rapidly composed dictionaries and grammars. We have not been able to find any discussion on the quality, on probable inadequacy of these works.
The French Abraham-Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron (“1731 – 1805”) did not complete his theological training. Instead he learnt languages: Hebrew, Arabic and Persian. Later he picked up the language of the Parsis in the western part of Bharatavarsa. The English William Jones (“1746 – 1794”) obtained a judgeship in the Supreme Court of Judicature in Bengal. He devoted himself to Sanskrit whose “startling resemblance(It is remarkable to note that the false term ‘affinity’ has been transformed to ‘analogy’ and then to ‘resemblance’!) to Latin and Greek he was the first to point out” in “1787“, only four years after his arrival. How did he find time? The English Shoemaker William Carey (“1761 - 1834“) became a Baptist missionary to arrive in Bengal in “1793”. He wrote grammars and dictionaries for Bengali, Sanskrit and Marathi (How did he manage to do it?). The English Henry Thomas Colebrooke (“1765 – 1837”) came as a colonial “writer” and also composed a Sanskrit grammar in “1805”.
There was a significant change thereafter. Wilhelm von Humboldt (“1767 – 1835”), a German diplomat, picked up Sanskrit in Paris and in London together with Franz Bopp (“1791 – 1867”), another German around “1822”. August Wilhelm von Schlegel (“1767 – 1845”), a German academic and a renowned translator of Shakespeare into German, was Press Secretary to the Swedish crown prince Bernadotte. Then at the age of 48 years he met Franz Bopp (“1791 – 1867”),picked up Sanskritto become a renowned indologist within five years. His younger brother Friedrich (“1772 – 1829”) started to study law and then turned to philosophy and philology. He was 34 when he met “a prisoner of the Napoleonic wars, British naval officer Alexander Hamilton, was the only person in Paris who knew Sanskrit”. And this Friedrich von Schlegel is the father of the theory of “Indo-German linguistic”. In his “third book Schlegel deals with older migrations of people and the ‘Indian colonies’, as he called people with languages related to Indian language.” This was in “1808“. How did he know? Is it important to know how he knew?
The period thereafter can be characterised as an era of ideology-production and the era of consolidation of blond-blue eyed-white-Christian culture. Antoine Léonard de Chézy (“1775 – 1832”), a French diplomat, an expert of Egyptian manuscripts, must also have learnt Sanskrit from the same British naval officer, Alexander Hamilton.He became a teacher of Sanskrit in “Collége de France”, and he taught such renowned persons as August Wilhelm Schlegel, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Franz Bopp and Eugéne Burnouff (“1801- 1852”). Franz Bopp became a central figure as he was recognised as the best Sanskrit scholar of that period. All these scholars did not feel any urge to meet scholars in Bharatavarsa and get firsthand experience and knowledge of the language.
The bachelor Thomas Babington Macaulay (“1800 – 1859”) was to develop as the “intellectual parent” of the theory of Aryan race: At the age of 34 he became legal advisor to the Supreme Council of India with a salary of 10000 British pounds and sailed to Bengal. A year later he delivered quite a few speeches on Indian Education. There we find the purpose of educational institutions and of education in the colonies precisely worded:
"We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and intellect."
This policy was implemented through the introduction of blond-blue eyed-white-Christian educational institutions, supported by many aristocrats within the country, especially by Bengali aristocrats like Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Another year later Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote in a letter to his father:
"It is my belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence. And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytise, without the smallest interference with religious liberty, by natural operation of knowledge and reflection."
Thomas Babington Macaulay was knighted in 1857 and died in 1859 as the 1st Baron Rothley. In Chambers’s Biographical Dictionary we can read about him: “Maccaulay’s reputation is not what once was - he has been convicted of historical inaccuracy, of sacrificing truth for the sake of epigram, of allowing personal dislike and Whig bias to distort his views of men and incidents. But as a picturesque narrator he has no rival.” And in Encyclopaedia Britannica: “Macaulay’s reputation, immense during the last decade of his life, fell steadily in the 50 years that followed. His undisguised political partisanship, his arrogant assumption that English bourgeois standards of culture and progress were to be forever the norm for less favoured nations, and the materialism of his judgements of value and taste all came under heavy fire from such near-contemporary critics as Thomas Caryle, Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin.”
Though there had been quite a few British “academics“, attached to the colonial administration as advisers, who had acquired workable knowledge of the Sanskrit language, a few of them had also been engaged in translating Vedic literature, Thomas Babington Macaulay, was in search of an appropriate academic personality, in search of the "right" scholar, all over Europe, who was to be commissioned to translate the Vedas. After a long search he was able to identify the right person about 134 years back (“in 1846“), a young man 23 years of age only. Where dd he acquire his knowledge of Sanskrit? He was not asked to visit the country and meet the indigenous scholars of Sanskrit to become proficient in the language. Obviously this exercise was not needed to fulfil his explicit assignment. His task had been to “translate" Vedas in such a way that the newly educated Indian elite would see the difference between the inferior Vedas and the superior New Testament of Bible.
This young scholar was a German. His name: Frederick Maximilian Müller (“1823 - 1900“). He was also funded with a princely sum of 10000 British pounds, paid by the East India Company. Only 5 years later he had already successfully established and propagated the theory of “Aryan race“, theory of “Aryan invasion“ on the basis of available “linguistics findings“ and had attributed to the Vedic adjective “arya" racial connotations by converting the adjective to a noun “Arya“, connotations of that kind, which ultimately lead to the genocide of Jews in Germany.
After Macaulay’s death he was “convicted of historical inaccuracy of sacrificing truth for the sake of epigram, of allowing personal dislike and Whig bias to distort his views of men and incidents. But as a picturesque narrator he has no rival”. At a later period, after the damage was complete, Frederick Maximilian Müller had to withdraw the racial part of his propagated translation publicly. Naturally with no effect whatsoever. The theory of “Aryan race“ is still going strong, as ever.
Till the “14th century“ the word “race", etymologically still obscure, meant movements, different types of speedy movements, strong current in river, channel in which something moves or slides, contest of speed between runners, ships, horses dogs, etc. and later: “race" was combined with other words also, like racecourse, racehorse, racemeetings and so on. Then the word was used as a noun, as a verb and as an adjective. From “racehorse" to horse bred or kept for racing purpose was a tiny step. From that point on it was quite logical that the different “racing quality" of different breeds of horses or dogs came into focus. “Race" was also used in the area of mechanics meaning move at full speed, go at full speed, move, revolve with full speed, and so on.
Early Biologists started using the term “race“ to characterise a group of animals or of plants of common stock, to characterise any great division of living creatures, as a matter of convenience, as a matter of analytic differentiation, as nothing really existing, just for analysis only.
Race as sub divisional characteristic of one species, race as a category to differentiate Mankind, was introduced by the French Nobles in the “14th century“ to justify their privileges, their supremacy in comparison to other social segments. From here to racism, to theories, that distinctive characteristics, abilities etc. are determined by race, was again a tiny step, almost inevitable in societies with extreme unequal distribution of wealth, societies producing members with weak ego, producing members with inferiority complex, members obsessed to prove their superiority knowing exactly - definitely subconsciously, very often consciously - that they were inferior, obsessed to perform any exercise which could be quoted to prove their superiority, though in reality it took around 5 centuries.
Joseph Arthur Gobineau („1816 - 1882“), a French noble, orientalist and diplomat, wrote “The Inequality of Human Races“ at the age of 40 and it was picked up by the German August Pott („1802 - 1887“) who wrote, though partly disagreeing, “The Inequality of Races from the point of view of Linguistics“. This is the spirit of the culture which we describe as blond-blue eyed-white-Christian culture, manifested in the crusade, reconquista, Inquisition, genocide and slave-trade on the one hand and preoccupation and prejudice, opportunism and untruthfulness, brutality and greed, urge to manipulate and to lay wrong track on the other hand.
In Vedic as well as in classic Sanskrit the word “arya" had (and has) nothing to do with the concept of race in Europe. “Arya" meant and means only individual and personal attributes like civilised, cultured, humble, noble, gentle and has nothing to do with common physical heredity leading to common physical attributes; not only in Sanskrit, also in all regional languages in Bharatavarsa up to our time. But in the area of blonde-blue eyed-white-Christian culture obviously a specific need was felt to differentiate Mankind according to the physical features and appearances. And then individuals, academics in the main, were set to work on that. The results are known. A whole branch of so-called science was created. Unfortunately we and our contemporaries are always too busy or too forgetful to enquire, how it started, who pushed, who financed, what the purpose was and what qualities of individuals were to be set to fulfil the purpose. In fact, there is no specific need for such questions and therefore, there is no demand. A law of market economy.
There should not be any misunderstanding on one point. We, the authors, do belong to the blonde-blue eyed-white-Christian culture and have internalised the values of this culture. Unlike Gisela Aich my physical appearance does not show any of the three given characteristics and I am not a Christian. Yet I belong to this very culture. Culturally. Adolf Hitler and Josef Göbbels were extreme examples of “Arian“ personalities formed by blond-blue eyed-white-Christian culture. I was culturally cloned during my school and college years in the educational institutions installed by the British colonisers. One last example to show the efficiency of these educational institutions.
Though there is no mention of anything like “Dravidian race“ anywhere in the literature prior to the ascendancy of historians belonging to blonde-blue eyed-white-Christian culture, we can read in “Dravidian Encyclopaedia", published in 1995 by “The International School of Dravidian Linguistics" in Madras, under the heading, “Dravidian Civilisation“: "The Dravidians with an ancient civilisation were in India long before the advent of Aryans. The Rig Veda gives a record of Aryan tribes, their cultural ideals, and social system. When the Aryan arrived a virile people were living in a well organised society with ideals and pursuits of a progressive race, in thought and in organisation and had certain peculiarities of their own. (...) Dravidian civilisation is akin to and part of the Mediterranean civilisation. When a branch of these people came to India, they brought their native civilisation also with them to their new homes. (...) The Dravidian civilisation has contributed to the growth and advancement of the composite Indian culture from the beginning of history."
Here is the complete bibliography which has served as a source of knowledge for the writer of this item: A. L. Basham, A cultural History of India, Oxford University Press, Madras, 1971. And we learn from “Dravidian Encyclopaedia 1995”: The present population of Bharatavarsa is a composition of foreigners only. This learning is reinforced, when we consult the latest edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica to deepen our knowledge in history of Bharatavarsa: "The population of present-day India thus includes a number of ethnic groups - descended from several different ancient racial stocks - that collectively have come to be called the Indian or Indic geographic race. This designation is based primarily on biochemical means (e.g. blood types) rather than on external physical attributes (skin colour among Indians, for example, ranges from fair to very dark). Within the larger whole, groups maintaining a certain degree of breeding isolation (e.g. the Dravidian speaking peoples) constitutes local races and microraces."
To cut a long story short, since our visit to the Meenakshi Temple we have been afflicted by many doubts and many unanswered questions which have been fixed in a long synopsis describing the paths and passages of our search for identity. All questions which could not be answered by scholarly literature would be put to the following four protagonists. As it has already been stated, the answers would be recorded in audio-visual media. The evaluation of this audio-visual material will naturally result into a documentary film, which we would like to title: Call of Shri Meenakshi Temple. It is an endeavour to get answers to questions related to the ancient history of Bharatavarsa as well as a history of writing history.
1. Our 1st Protagonist is:
The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
We have come to know that Madurai is an ancient city which has been mentioned in many different documents at least since the last 2400 years. Madurai is mentioned in the great ancient epic Ramayana and in Kautilya's ancient Arthashastra (science of wealth). Megasthenes (“302 BC“), Pliny (“77 AD“) and Ptolemy (“140 AD“) have mentioned Madurai as the kingdom of the Pandyas. It was the most important city in the south under the Pandyas to become the capital of the Pandyan Kingdom. The Pandyas had succeeded the Cheras and Cheras had succeeded the Cholas.
Even today, the city of Madurai is dominated by the Meenakshi Temple. The streets run in concentric circles around it. Though it has grown and expanded through the centuries, the pattern of its growth has remained the same. It has evolved around the Meenakshi Temple. This temple has remained the heart of the city. And then the perfect architectural proportions of the whole complex of Meenakshi Temple, also the perfection of the original modest structure of the Meenakshi Temple, location being fixed and built according to Agamic guide-lines. Agam is one of the four headings under which the Vedic literature has been grouped: Nigam, Agam, Purana and Darshan. Agam deals with the principles based on the relationship of mankind and the forces of nature. Agamic principles in general remain a closely guarded secret and were transmitted from generation to generation. Therefore, we have to assume that the south was integrated into the “Aryan culture“ earlier than 2400 years ago, as the highest standards of selecting in regard to auspicious location and architecture were applied.
Unless we find archaeological proofs and other further reminiscences - like puranic literature, narrations preserved by communications from generations to generations, folk tales, folk songs, which have been discriminated by “modern scientists“ as legend, myths, mythologies - unless we find proofs of the second “Aryan conquest” over the “Dravidian race” in the south, we shall have to conclude that the southern part has always been culturally identical to the northern part of Bharatavarsa. If solid indications of the “second Aryan conquest" 2400 years ago do not emerge, it would become evident that there has never been anything like an “Aryan invasion“ and Bharatavarsa has never been a land of two “races".
This Temple in Madurai has always been dedicated to Meenakshi (another name for Parvati) and Sundareswarar (another name for Shiva). And this is very intriguing: Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are Sanskrit names, both are Vedic characters as well. Now, Sanskrit is supposed to be the language of "Aryan", of "Indo-German", of "Indo-European" origin, which were brought by the “Aryan invaders“ into the land of the “Dravidians". Accordingly, the “Dravidians" were not aware of a language alike Sanskrit. Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and all other ancient literature in the country were written in Sanskrit. Therefore, we have to conclude that at some period between the invasion of the “Aryans" into northern Bharatavarsa 3500 years ago and 2400 before our time (foundation of Meenakshi Temple) the “Aryan invaders“ must have also conquered the south of Bharatavarsa, subjugated all the “Dravidians", a large part of which was once driven from the north, converted and successfully assimilated them into in the “Aryan culture“ and into all that goes with it. When did it happen?
The original Meenakshi Temple has grown with time into an enormous complex extending over an area of 65,000 sq. metres, rectangular in shape. The temple-complex is however dominated by four enormous towers (gopurams) in the four cardinal directions. The oldest of the large four towers which can be observed today, 700-year-old Eastern gopuram, opposite the Sundareswar shrine, built by Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan. However, the credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes also to the Nayaks who ruled Madurai from around 500 to 300 years ago. The Southern gopuram was built about 500 years ago. It is the tallest (49 m), the only one that may be climbed. From the top of this tower one can get a panoramic view of Madurai and of the 11 other gopurams of the temple.
All twelve gopurams are also story-telling towers. They are richly decorated with compositions of sculptures, stone carvings and frescos and they narrate stories at different levels. Within this enormous complex of the temple there is a large Hall, called “The Thousand-Pillar Mandapam", which has in fact 985 beautifully sculptured stone pillars. A temple museum is housed here. The Pudhu Mandapam with 124 sculpted stone pillars was built by Thirumalai Nayak. In the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, which was built about 400 years ago, there is a museum dealing with the history of Madurai and the art and architecture of Tamil Nadu.
We are surprised to note that the Meenakshi Temple is less than under-researched. We are surprised because this temple is the most visited in the country. In this temple and in its compound differences in Art- and Architecture-Styles are so obvious, also for non-scholars, and there is a complete infra-structure for research facilities within and around the temple. Madurai, also a University, Meenakshi Temple has not been a subject of comprehensive research yet. We have referred this contradiction to quite a few scholars in the country. Silence of embarrassment. But there was one rather casual remark that appeared to be witty in the beginning. But later, this remark captured our mind: “Because this temple is too complicated for historical, art and architectural research. There are so many other temples to keep yourself busy.”
Our 2nd Protagonist is:
Selected excavated sites, mostly in the north-western region of the country
Roughly 80 years ago archaeologists discovered by excavations Harappa and Mahenjo-Daro, ancient townships, which had to be dated much earlier than 3500 years, i.e. before the “arrival of the Aryans” to Bharatavarsa. In the light of these archaeological discoveries there have not been any notable discussions on a thorough rethinking and revision of the “Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory". Instead of serious rethinking a tremendous amount of skill and energy has been invested to adjust and mould every new fact into this “Theory". Even up to date. Why?
So, it could not be denied that before the “arrival of the Aryans" those small statured, dark-skinned and dark-eyed people had been able to build up a sophisticated civilisation in the “Valley of Indus". Archaeologists have established beyond doubts that this civilisation was characterised by advanced urban clusters with carefully planned roads, with magnificent public buildings, public bathing places, drainage systems, water supply and everything that goes with an advanced civilisation.
But yet, in spite of all these skills, this civilisation must have been inferior to the “race of Aryans", so it has been maintained by modern historians. Otherwise they could have not been defeated or thoroughly displaced by the “Aryans”, a pastoral nomadic tribe coming from central Asia. That the “Aryans" were racially superior is being proved alone by the facts that they had the courage and capability to set out on an adventure, to invade or migrate, to displace the civilised “Dravidians", and ultimately destroyed their civilisation and culture.
During the last 80 years quite a lot of archaeological excavations have been carried out, not only around the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in western Punjab, now in Pakistan, but practically all over the country, especially in the northern half. Excavated sites in Banawali and Mitathal in the Union state of Haryana, Kalibangan in the Union state of Rajasthan and Lothal in the Union state of Gujarat are of special interest in our context, as the townships and cities indicate that Harappa was rather a periphery of a civilisation and culture, which had a much larger expansion. Sites of this civilisation have been excavated up to the Ganges in the east, up to Godavari in the south, up to the coast of Iran in the west and up to Turkestan in the north.
As no one can deny that this civilisation was built up by Dravidians only, and as no one denies that the Meenakshi Temple is at least one of the highlights of “Dravidian architecture of temple building” we should be able to find at the sites of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat remains and signs of “Dravidian architecture of temple building“, or “Dravidian architecture“, at least in its basic style. Are there temples at all?
Our 3rd Protagonist is:
Majority of the People in Bharatavarsa
We have to explain our difficulty to call this majority by a name. This majority of the people is generally called “Hindus". We are also avoiding this term, because before the arrival of Islam in Bharatavarsa this name was unknown. It is not a Sanskrit name. In fact, we shall avoid quite a few very familiar words and terms. Some of them are false, some of them carry ideologies, and some of them are systematically misleading, for example, “Americans” or “America”. It may be recalled that the so-called Americans are children of violent Christian Europeans intruding a continent, which had been occupied by those intruders and who has committed genocide for the first time in history. They have named this continent “America", propagated successfully this name and to call themselves “Americans". Though this happened so recently modern historians have almost successfully made us forget this sinful act. We are not inclined to reinforce such forgetfulness by using such propaganda words or terms. We will also avoid some words and terms which are wrong and/or inadequate translations of Sanskrit language, words and terms, which distort and falsify factual realities. We shall rather prefer to use concrete and undiplomatic descriptions in daily language than to take refuge to a system of terminology of “modern science".
We could have described this majority of the people in Bharatavarsa by negations like non-Jain, non-Buddhist, non-Muslim and non-Christian. But this could lead to misunderstandings as we are aware of the fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity as part of the Semitic stream of teachings based on revelation and the teachings of Vardhamana and Sidhartha Gautama emerging from the main stream of “Sanatana Dharma“. Sanatana means eternal and Dharma means principles and guide-lines of actions towards nature, society, family, own spirituality, way of life, "Weltanschauung". Dharma is being translated not only by “indologists“ as “religion”. Dharma is a comprehensive and complicated term, as we have just indicated.
In our context we cannot go deeply into the meanings of Dharma. But it is definitely wrong to translate Dharma into „religion“. We avoid the term “religion“ also. We are also aware of the activities of many agents, especially in the tradition of British colonialism and Christian missions, trying to drive a wedge between Jainism and Buddhism and the main stream of Sanatana Dharma. At present we are just pointing out that the term “Hindu" is absent also in pre-Jainic and in pre-Buddhistic literature.
Bharatvasi could have been an alternative as people living in Bharatavarsa, as inhabitants of Bharatavarsa. But then this would include also those persons who follow teachings of Vardhamana and Sidhartha Gautama or followers of Islam and Christianity. Therefore, we leave it to this description and to the following explanations only.
Since the “eighth century AD“ (about 1400 years before our time) Islam and since the “sixteenth century AD“ (about 500 years before our time) Christianity have been carrying out continuous missionary activities to influence the mind of the people of Bharatavarsa, to convert them. Prior to them, similar exercises were performed by so-called Jainism and by Buddhism around 2600 years ago according to modern historian. According to modern historians the “Aryan invaders“ became sober and contemplative after hounding the “Dravidians" from the north to the south. (Unfortunately these historians do not tell us anything about the people in the south, before “Dravidians“ of north had to suffer forceful migration to the south!) Thereafter they found enough time to develop a highly sophisticated language like Sanskrit. Panini's grammar shows its complexity. They accomplished works like Vedas and Upanishads, books of highly developed philosophy and sciences, and Puranas, literature of splendid heights and thereafter degenerated gradually - by yet unknown reasons - to an extent that Vardhamana and Siddhartha Gautama, obviously of "Aryan" origin, started reform movements. They introduced new organisational structures to propagate and spread their central “teachings“ with remarkable success. Up to this point there should not be any contradiction from any corner of established modern historians about our rapport.
The logical implication of these factual statements would be that the cultural practice prior to and also during the spread of “Jainism“ and “Buddhism“, “Aryan or non-Aryan", did not require a central “teaching“, did not establish any type of organisation to spread cultural or other messages or to maintain any kind of “teachings“. It did not feel any need for collective ritual activities and therefore did not build public places for collective worship.
Apart from the logical consequences of a “single and central teaching“ - intolerance towards the “rest of other teachings“ -, there is no archaeological or other evidence of violence along with the spread of Jainism in the country and there is little archaeological evidence of violence along with a thorough spread of “Buddhism“ over vast areas of Bharatavarsa. The Jains built temples. We have to ascertain their starting point. The Buddhists did not build temples, but the Viharas and the Stupas. It is remarkable to note that since this spread of “Buddhism“ the “Hindu Temples" have started to emerge at a large scale. Should this be established beyond any doubt, then the question will automatically arise: Had these temples been offensive reactions towards the vigorous spread of “Buddhism" or had they been vehicles of revival, when the Vedic culture was on the verge of total degeneration, disintegration and/or destruction?
It seems that temples like the Meenakshi Temple were only built after the emergence of "Jainism" and "Buddhism". Why? A reasonable conclusion could be: There was no need in this society for collective worship or for collective rituals in public, which was obviously felt as a deficiency by individuals like Vardhamana and Siddhartha Gautama. If we follow “modern Historians“, both of them were offshoots of “Aryans" and belonged to the prevailing Vedic culture. Vedic culture was dominated by Sanatana Dharma as it can be derived from the Vedas.
These two teachers obviously became critical to the Vedic “mainstream of the society" existing then. In course of time their encounter with the “mainstream" of Vedic culture had set them on a search for and led them to different paths of self-fulfilment within society. These paths, these ways of life became subsequently the “teachings“ of Vardhamana and Siddhartha Gautama and then emerging as “Jainism“ and “Buddhism“ respectively. While becoming established as “teachings“, these paths were also being claimed as singular.
Obviously there had been thorough organisational efforts to spread both “Jainism“ and “Buddhism“ over vast areas of Bharatavarsa, setting out from the north-east. The followers of these two teachers, the later "missionaries", were trained as monks in more or less centrally organised monasteries, in masonry constructions. So we are told by modern historians. There are obvious archaeological proofs of this spread. For Jainism there are Jain-temples almost all over Bharatavarsa. During our search and research we have to try to find out the first Jain-temple built in the country. There is a high probability that the first ever built temple in Bharatavarsa was a Jain-temple.
Apart from our immediate interest to compare its architecture with the Meenakshi Temple, we have to focus our thought on the functions of temples in general. For Buddhism, there are "edicts" of Ashoka in addition to the monasteries and other masonry constructions. In this context we would ask the questions: Was this spread of Jainism and Buddhism in the south directed towards the less-superior “Dravidians" or had the “Dravidians" already been converted and successfully assimilated into the “Aryan culture“? Are there any archaeological indications or any other references of “Aryan missionary activities” in the south more than 2600 years ago similar to the spread of Jainism and Buddhism to the south after their emergence?
The people of Bharatavarsa had produced a vast amount of literature dealing with all walks of life during the pre-Jainic and pre-Buddhistic period. None of the different segments had ever felt an urge to formulate a dogmatic approach to the fulfilment of life. None had claimed to discover a way of life superior to all others, a single way for each and everybody to the fulfilment of life. None had felt an urge to formulate the one and only goal in life for all time to come. There was no dogma as a “teaching“, similar to scriptures of the Semitic stream, which claims to carry the eternal truth and propagate this truth through a central organisational power-base, defining roles and duties for each and everybody, to follow the wisdom of one individual only. At Present we are not enquiring why it was not done in the culture dominated by Sanatana Dharma, we are just ascertaining the fact that there is a cultural caesura, a distinct demarcation line between the pre-Jainic, pre Buddhistic period and the period thereafter.
About 600 years back ( “fourteenth century AD“) Muslim reign was established in the country. Being intruders, invaders and conquerors these followers of Islam were naturally minority rulers. As such they had instinctively developed many of those strategies as colonisers always have to develop to gain and keep control over the vast majority of the people. One of the vital strategies was missionary activities with more or less political and social pressures (Where does social pressure cease and violence start?).
The other effective strategy was to distribute privileges to the converts. Another effective strategy was the introduction of new educational and cultural institutions at various levels to alienate the subjugated people from their traditional culture, to cut them off from their roots. In spite of all these strategies the Muslim rulers were not able to convert much more than around 20% (before the partition of the then “British India” by the British rulers) of the population in six centuries.
The Christian colonisers did follow the same strategies as colonisers always have to follow, after they had defeated the Muslim rulers. Yet there was a distinct difference in the quality of colonisation between the Islamic and the Christian intruders. The Islamic colonisers had settled down in Bharatavarsa and got themselves subsequently assimilated. The Christians colonised with the explicit purpose of exploitation of the colonies, to establish new markets for goods produced and to transfer all kinds of resources from the colonies to their homelands. This led to the structure of imperialistic exploitation. “Modern scientists“ of our time have renamed the same structure to the term “international division of labour". Renamed as an instrument of camouflage, as an instrument of manipulation, as an instrument of brain-washing, as an instrument to delete our memory.
In about two centuries the Christian colonisers of Bharatavarsa managed to convert around 3 % of the total population to Christianity. We can add another 2 % to 3 % who have passed through those educational institutions created and established by the new colonisers. Though they were and are not converted to Christianity, they became the real caretaker for the interests of the Christian colonisers. This “educated" section of the people of Bharatavarsa has proved itself to be more reliable as caretakers of coloniser’s interest than the converted section. This “educated” section has been extremely effective in maintaining and in reinforcing the colonial socio-economic structure even years after the “independence”.
From our 3rd Protagonist we would like to know the source of their strength not to have been alienated from Sanatana Dharma. Is there a correlation between their strength and temples like the Meenakshi Temple with their architecture outside and the rituals inside?
Our 4th Protagonist is:
Scholars belonging to the “blond-blue-eyed-white-Christian” culture inside and outside the country
The history of Bharatavarsa was written under the control of British colonial rulers and successfully propagated by British colonial rulers. Thanks to the educational institutions, installed by those new rulers and gradually extended all over the country. These institutions are still going strong even up to this date, without any fundamental change being implemented after the “independence” 50 years ago, neither in organisational structure nor in the contents of education, i.e. in its ideological base.
The established scholars will be confronted with all those questions, which may not be exhaustingly answered by our first three protagonists. In addition to them there will have to be a lot of questions in regard to the history and to the tradition of the blond-blue eyed-white-Christian culture.
In this search and research we will listen to the stories that are told by the excavated sites of Sarasvati Valley, describe that ancient culture and civilisation, describe the Meenakshi Temple, observe the rituals within the temple and listen to the recitations, collect the stories and episodes sculptured on the "gopurams". The search and research to discover the sources of strength of the people, who – “Aryans or non-"Aryans" - has given an insoluble riddle to Islam and to Christianity, is also a search of identity, not only for ourselves.
Locations of our search and research as well as locations of shooting
1. Locations in and around the City of Madurai and Shri Meenakshi Temple.
Protagonists in these locations are:
2. Locations in excavated sites of
Protagonists in these locations are:
3. A few places yet to be identified
Protagonists in those locations:
Organisational schedules (without budget calculations)
1. Final search and research as preparations for shooting by the directors (two persons)
a. Flight from Germany to India
b. Expenses for a stay of six weeks
c. Board and lodging in India for six weeks
d. Travel expenses in India
2. Shooting Schedule
a. Total 60 (sixty) days
b. Total crew members 6 (six):
Camera/light Assistant and
c. Camera Equipment & Accessories for 60 (sixty) days
d. Board and lodging for six persons for 60 days in India
e. Travel expenses in India
f. Local conveyance
g. Aerial Shooting
h. Travel expenses from Germany to India (two persons)
i. Remuneration of the crew members
3. Post Production schedules
a. Editing period of 60 days
b. Editing crew (Directors and the editor)
c. Editing room for 60 days
d. Betacam to VHS transfer for preparation of editing
e. Travel expenses for the directors
f. Remuneration of the crew members
4. Sound-Studio for three days
a. Sound recording
b. Sound mixing
c. Titles and tricks
d. Remuneration of the crew members
5. Length of the report in film (documentary film): 90 to 120 minutes