01.11.09

“The Role Of The Bhagavad Gita In Indian History”

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:49 pm

I have completed putting up the scanned chapters (not the whole book) from Prem Nath Bazaz’ The Role Of The Gita In Indian History. I will put up a link index soon. Til then scroll down.

The quality of the scanned text is not good, but the process of putting the result on WordPress is useful to homogenize it a little. The point of the exercise was therefore not to produce a final result for you the reader, but to begin getting the pages in shape, so sorry for the poor quality. I plan to repair what is there, and then make them webpages when time permits. In fact, you can get the point of this underground text clearly enough from the text as is, from a rare book from someone with the nerve to dig for some facts, perhaps in the process producing his own myths. A strange book.
You might be wary of this book, then, but you will be wary of the Gita from now on, that much is clear.
This interpretation is open to possible objections, but it is unique in cutting through the myths, and leaving a question with a demand: what is the real history of Indian religion? And how can we demand of historians to start doing some real research here.
The first few chapters are linked here:
http://www.gurdjieff-con.net/2009/01/05/selections-from-bazaz/

13 Comments »

  1. Darwiniana » Scanned book and expose of the Bhagavad Gita said,

    01.11.09 at 5:22 pm

    […] at The Gurdjieff Con there is a scanned book, “The Role Of The Bhagavad Gita In Indian History”, a fascinating history of Indian religion in the period from Buddhism onward. Although the scanjob […]

  2. nemo said,

    01.12.09 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks for these comments.
    I am having a crisis at Darwiniana, so we’ll talk about this later.

  3. The Gurdjieff Con » Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism said,

    01.12.09 at 7:41 pm

    […] James comments on Bazaz selections James said, 12.01.09 at 12:07 am · […]

  4. nemo said,

    01.12.09 at 9:39 pm

    I have no idea. I am some good outside help, and the webhost has some finicky requirements, so I tend to think the webhost is overextended and can’t handle the traffic the darwiniana blog generates. Or it might be some unknown mischief trying to crash the site, who knows.
    I am completely the requirements, which includes upgrading, which is a good thing.
    Darwiniana is doing well, with over two plus thousand visits a day, and 8-10000 page views a day. And increasing. Don’t tell anyone or say anything at the D blog.
    Everytime I put the stats online they go down. So cool it.
    I have to worry that someone is going to sabotage Darwiniana.

  5. nemo said,

    01.13.09 at 10:01 pm

    That’s a sign they know who I am! The strategy is systematic: those who have wide publicity are the only threat, e.g. creationists, or the ID people, and vice versa.
    Anything outside that is totally ignored.
    That silence is also fear of being wrong, totally wrong, so far wrong that to have it pointed out by an outsider would be a calamity. They would rather be wrong, and it makes no difference for cynics, as long as the reign of propaganda holds strong.

  6. nemo said,

    01.13.09 at 10:15 pm

    The reason the system can have a problem is that my blog has a main page of about twenty posts. So any visit to ‘darwiniana.com’ generates twenty database calls. If a thousand visit, that’s twenty thousand database calls, ten thousand that’s two hundred thousand database calls. plus spam, plus, plus…. A lot, although the system should be able to handle that and much more (a database call is in the micro to millisoeconds I guess), so who knows.
    Anyway, my outside help upgraded the system, and also installed a cache, which will reduce the activity drastically.
    I am still wary of everyone, even the people renting the space.

  7. nemo said,

    01.13.09 at 10:18 pm

    One reason it isn’t denounced as crackpot is that it isn’t crackpot! Very logically set out. But two of the one star reviews at Amazon were indirectly from science blog types, talk.origins people like the guy at Evolving Thoughts.
    Many of the science blog types masquerade at Amazon and do the one star attacks. Great scientists!

  8. mybrainisafleamarket said,

    01.14.09 at 9:44 pm

    Here are some comments about the Bhagavad Gita by an Austrian born Sanskrit scholar and anthropologist, Agehananda Bharati.

    Bharati eventually became an ordained sanyassi in the Shankara Dasanami Bharti lineage. Prior to that, he had spent 2 to 3 years as a novice in the Ramakrishna Order and was kicked out, among other things, for catching preceptors in textual errors and refusing to let them get away with it.

    Bharati discovered that Hinduism as presented to Westerners and learned by many Indians, is all too often filtered through the biases of the Hindu reform movement, of which Vivekananda was a prime exponent. The Bhagavad Gita has become the favorite text of that movement, almost a badge of identity. Gita classes were compulsory each morning at the Ramakrishna monastery.

    Bharati did not approve of that, one bit. Concerning the Bhagavad Gita, he writes:

    “I view this particular piece of scripture with much reserve…My gravest misgivings about the poem derive from its inane eclectism and its blatant moral contradictions.

    “It preaches violent Junkerism in one place, and extols complete withdrawal from worldly affairs in another; it propounds a half hearted absolutism, avoiding offense to the monistic teachers who seem to have dominated the theological academies of the time, and then it disports a naive theological dualism with a strong sectarian flavor as its doctrinal consummation. Samkaracharya had a hard time to explain away the fundamentally dualistic purport of this scripture and he did not really succeed.

    ‘Later rationalizations were legion and today the apologetic tells us that the recipient of this teaching starts off as a crude mind and is taken into the deepest truth step by step, so that the doctrines of the later sections supersede the earlier ones. This is an argument that I find not only unhelpful but decidedly nauseous, for if the earlier teachers, especially the ones entailed in such a charming deal as – ‘if you are killed in action, heaven will be your lot; if you survive, you will rule the world, hence fight!’ –are directed to a crude mind, why should they (that is, these very same lines?) be quoted as profound wisdom whenver they are expedient?

    ‘Finally the Bhagagadgita is not a canonical text in teh strict sense, but it has become one of the emblems of the Hindu Renaissance, and it is hardley any use resenting its popularity. Politicians and saints (Bhartis term for professional religious in India), philosophers and secular teachers have been editing it, rendering it into their own idiom, commenting on it, emphasizing those aspects that corroborated or condoned their particular interests.

    ‘That is the main difficulty. the text lends itself to any theological slant.’

    Later, Bharati referred to an annoying evasion tactic his preceptors resorted to when he caught them in textual or logical errors:

    “The moment discursive arguments would jeopardize the axiomatic perfection of the text, the critic is given a simple line:

    “Your argument may be valid, but what of it? Only those who have seen the light can see the consistency of the text. Only those who have experienced the truth from within can see that intellectual argument is to no avail in the end…’

    Bharati commented, ‘This would hardly be objectionable were the atmosphere among Indian theologicans purely non discursive. But this is not true. They avail themselves of refined discursive scholastic argument all the time and jettison it, the moment their axioms are impugned.’

    (Bharati, The Ochre Robe page 131-133)

    In his native Austria, our author had witnessed the Nazi occupation, seen its moral corruption and knew fascism from the inside. Only the good luck of having a single Jewish ancestor saved Bharati (nee Leonard Fischer) from being compelled to join the Hitler Youth movement. He survived the war and emigrated to India. Later, he was horrified when in India to discover that a good number of people considered Hitler an avatar, on the ground that anyone who attained so much power had to have earned fortunate karma in previous lifetimes. Power equalled legitimacy.

  9. The Gurdjieff Con » Sinha on Gita said,

    01.21.09 at 3:08 pm

    […] Comment on ‘Role of the BG in Indian History James said, Is Phulgenda Sinha’s book public domain? Would you mind posting it? I was reading Barbara Stoler Miller’s translation of Patanjali recently and she acknowledges how much the work has been distorted by Vedantists. She also acknowledges that it doesn’t seems to be compatible with Vedantic philosophy. […]

  10. innaiah narisetti said,

    11.28.16 at 11:22 am

    Premnath Bazaz has put the role of Gita in proper perspective. Similar approach was also given by late V R Narla in his Truth about Gita ( published by Prometheus books USA)
    It is a must read for the modern youth to have proper perspective.

  11. nemo said,

    11.30.16 at 6:16 pm

    I am an admirer of Bazaz’s book which was scanned onto this site years ago. I have actually changed my perspective but the overall discussion in that book remains with me. I will try to discuss this later…The point is that we can jump into the world of Advaita and find ourselves in the world of the ‘villains’ portrayed by Bazaz: it is a complex and tragic history and Bazaz’ take on the Gita was very daring.

  12. Soundaran said,

    12.19.16 at 3:31 am

    Hi Vidiyal Pathippagam, a small publisher in Coimbatore, is brining out the original version of the Bazaz book. Hope it will be available on Amazon.in

  13. nemo said,

    12.19.16 at 7:35 am

    That is good. I first read a copy at the Columbia University Library and then many years later ordered a copy second hand from Amazon: it cost me a fortune…I am not sure if I may keep the scanned text online??? (my scanner was so primitive the result is poor and it may not matter)…

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