By Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd
The ritual of throwing food into fire started during the Rig Vedic times, continues to this day and nobody challenges it.
In my earlier article “Shudras, not Aryans, built the Indus Valley Civilisation”, I have argued that the Agni and Vayu worshipping Rig Vedic Aryans might have caused the destruction of 1,500 years of Harappan and post-Harappan civilisation.
My broad analysis that South Indian names and spiritual cultures match the productive and spiritual cultures of Harappan civilisation is confirmed by the DNA analysis of the Rakhigarhi skull (The Explosive Truth, by Kai Friese, India Today, September 10, 2018). It is now well established that the Indo-African DNA and Indo-Aryan DNA have significant differences.
The Indus Valley Civilisation was built by Indo-Africans.
The Rig Vedic Aryans never believed in worshiping the God who created the universe. Their devotion for fire and air indicates that they believed in material reality, not the spiritual abstractness of God.
It is in Rig Veda that they constructed the theory of varna (colour and caste) in what is known as Purusha Sukta (there is no God Sukta in that book), as they never believed in God as created by humans. Though in Rig Veda, Brahma appears as the Purush who created a varna-based society in India, his presence in the text is minimal. The real Purush (the heroic man), who significantly figures in Rig Veda, is Indra.
Apart from Agni and Vayu, the text is full of references to Indra, who is presented as a hero capable of causing a lot of destruction, but there is no moral strength and constructive energy in him. May be because of that he was never projected as part of the Aryan Hindu Gods like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were projected.
The Rig Vedic priests worship Agni, Vayu and Indra in that order. Soma was the Rig Vedic intoxicant that gets lot of adulation.
The Agni worshipping culture of Aryans, who called themselves Brahmins in the post-Rig Vedic period, saw to it that all the roots of productive and scientific cultural values of India were undermined with massive promotion of fire worshipping spiritual practice called performing Homam. They have thrown tonnes of food material into the fire and systematically developed a spiritual culture that denied people food for survival.
This is how poverty got institutionalised. The practice continues to this day in the name of yagnas and kratus. The Brahmins continue being semi-naked while performing these yagnas and kratus. This reflects their primitive brains and body culture.
Since Shudras follow Brahmins in the spiritual domain their move towards modernity is also in crisis. The Shudras have accepted the religious practices and dress code of the Brahmins despite being denied an equal status in the religious, social and economic domain.
They remain an uncritical social mass without a unique spiritual thought process.
They follow the Brahminsim that came into being with the writing of the Rig Veda and continue that life even under a modern political democracy.
It has institutionalised a structure of spiritual fascism that resists change and transformation. In this spiritual system, the Shudras live as spiritual second-class citizens.
Brahmins have always opposed the right of Shudras and OBCs to study Sanskrit in ancient times and English in modern times.
The Brahmins in the days of Jawaharlal Nehru supported private English medium education only for Brahmin-Bania children by enrolling them in schools. By and large, they opposed the reservation system put in place by Dr BR Ambedkar, the modern Messiah of the Shudras and Adivasis.
Unfortunately, many Shudras trust Brahmin spiritual and political pundits but do not trust themselves.
From the days of Rig Veda to the current times, all major institutions have remained under the control of Brahmins, and the Shudras could not challenge them in any sphere. They could not challenge them in the spiritual and philosophical realm because they accepted the Brahmin superiority as God-given.
After the BJP came to power in 2014, the Bania-Brahmin control of central institutions became more pronounced as a result even the top layer of Shudras comprising Marathas, Jats, Patels, Gujjars and others began to fight for reservations in central jobs. They have woken up to the realisation that there is no place in Delhi’s power structures for them.
What has worked against the Shudras and OBCs is that earlier they were well versed in Sanskrit and now they are not as good as the Brahmin-Bania intellectuals in English.
To ape Brahmins, the Shudras today participate in yajnas which is a ritual that involves throwing food into fire at a time when thousands of kids die of malnutrition in the country.
The Rig Vedic Aryans, who perhaps would have been much like the Greek and Roman slave owners, gave shape to a four-fold Varna system. Shudras, who fall at the bottom of the Varna order, must have been the real descendants of the Harappans. A whole mass of people would have been forced to become slaves of the Aryans over a period of time.
By 1500 BC around when Rig Veda was written, the enslavement must have been complete. This is exactly what Rig Veda says about the fourfold Varna system.
brāhmaṇo”உsya mukha’māsīt | bāhū rā’janya’ḥ kṛtaḥ |
ūrū tada’sya yadvaiśya’ḥ | padbhyāgṃ śūdro a’jāyataḥ ||
(From His face (or the mouth) came the brahmanas. From His two arms came the rajanya (the kshatriyas).
From His two thighs came the vaishyas. From His two feet came the shudras.)
These two lines decided the fate of the people in the Indian society for the times to come, the brunt of which is being borne by people even today.
Even the Post-Ambedkarite Hinduism follows the same Rig Vedic ideology. Though Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, the Shudras hanged on to Hinduism, which treats them as second-class citizens. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its political wing, the BJP, mobilise hundreds of Brahmins to perform such food wasting rituals and Banias give hundreds and thousands of rupees to be spent on it. The practice is now spreading across the world including the US, Europe, Australia and Canada.
The Shudras living in the foreign countries are also not in a position to challenge them.
The Rig Vedic culture served as a huge setback to Harappan economy pushing it back to pastoralism, which was non-productive.
To take India out of that backward anti-urbanisation mindset, a Buddhist school of thought had to emerge which rebuilt Indian economy and agriculture by re-connecting Harappan civilisation of city building to Buddhist urbanisation.
If Gautam Buddha hadn’t been born back then, perhaps India would have remained a pastoral economy for several hundred years. No urbanisation would have returned to build cities such Pataliputra and Hastinapur.
While Brahmins never worked on the fields, they kept throwing food in the fire. The Shudras kept following the bidding of the Brahmins.
The agrarian Shudras like Marathas, Patels, Jats and Gujjars (all descendants of the Harappan civilisation) are fighting for reservation but they may not win the battle as hardly any of their representatives are in the higher judiciary, top bureaucracy or English-speaking political and academic intellectuals.
That is why India continues to remain stuck in the past.