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Hindu Myths Analyzed
|by Gaurang Bhatt, MD|
Continued from "My Analysis of Hindu Myths"
John Pilger in his article “Flying the flag, faking the news” quotes Edward Bernays, the American nephew of Freud and author of the book “Propaganda”, which he called “Public Relations” and I call brainwashing. “Intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses was an important element in a (democratic) society” and that the manipulators “constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country”. That is why the US under Truman used communism as a red pennant to fool the US public to build up the military industrial complex and Bush Sr. Continued massive defense spending even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union till he found Saddam as his bete noire. Bush Jr. Used Islamist terrorism to take away the rights of US citizens, trash the Constitution and enrich military contractors like Haliburton and Blackwater. The Republican first hijacked the Congress using the fear of Democratic support for civil rights, welfare, abortion and gay rights and after losing the house and senate after the economic meltdown are getting ready to fool the idiotic American public again by morphing into their new avatar of the Tea Party. (Read “What’s the matter with Kansas”).
The main purposes of the Hindu myths apart from informing and entertaining were to influence human behavior to generate an ordered society by sanctioned ethical behavior and consolidate the power of the elite. Ever since the evolution of Homo Sapiens and the enormous paternal investment needed to rear a human child (ranging from protecting and maintaining a pregnant female in her third trimester, looking after a helpless infant and child), males live in morbid fear of being cuckolded and all civilizations have tried to control female sexuality. The means used range from purdah, abaya, harems, chastity belts, female circumcision, husband worship. Even after the death of the husband, the woman is still not free. Below are a few examples of how the myths and stories, condemn, praise and modify female behavior.
Any offense or transgression committed against a husband even unknowingly and without intention is beyond redemption and forgiveness. Ahalya, the wife of Gautama was extremely beautiful and much desired by Indra, the chief of the gods. Indra with his Protean powers like Zeus (the rape of Europa, Io, Callisto and the boy Ganymede– an equal opportunity seducer) changed his appearance to that of Gautama and slept with Ahalya. That is why Ahalya is considered as pure and one of the five virgins (Tara, Kunti, Mandodari, Draupadi, Ahalya). Go figure that and Mary, the Virgin mother of Jesus, too! By the way Ahalya literally means one without a hal or plough (hence untilled). Her so called innocence did not help Ahalya and Gautama turned her into a stone. She was redeemed by the touch of Rama’s foot, eons later. Sita, which literally means a furrow (in the earth) had no such luck and had to seek her final rest in her mother’s furrow or return to her womb. For imagined and unforgiven transgressions in spite of exoneration by fire.
Sati was the daughter of Daksha, who hated his son-in-law Shiva’s taste in dress and make-up and did not invite them to his annual barbecue (yagna). Sati, a woman without guile, took no offense and went to the festival by herself because it was her father’s house, despite her husband’s warning and wish. Daksha refused to make any offering to Shiva in the sacrificial fire despite Sati’s request and demand. Unable to tolerate such an insult and injustice to her husband, she jumped into the fire as a sacrifice to her husband Mahadeva. Hence the custom of the self immolation of widows in India, which was forcibly stopped by the East India Company Viceroy William Bentinck.
Men are not discouraged from fulfilling their sexual escapades by Gandharva Vivaha (marriage for sex). There is a currently prevalent legal agreement called sigeh in Iran (sigeh - a Shiite tradition of temporary marriage permitted in Iran that allows a couple to specify the terms of their relationship; can last from a few minutes to 99 years; "sigeh legally wraps premarital sex in an Islamic cloak" ). If the female makes such a suggestion she could be stoned to death as in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria etc. or have her nose and ears cut offlike the Afghan girl or Ravana’s sister, Surpankha, in the Ramayana. With the permission of the husbands, an elaborate ritualistic charade allowed Draupadi to have a precise timetable and roster for her husbands. A transgression by Arjuna (who had the habit of leaving his arms (Gandiva) in her bedroom) to retrieve his bow led to a punishment of one year’s banishment. This is like lions, tigers and deer marking territories by urine or periorbital secretions and not to be confused with defecating nonsense at websites under the guise of interactive comments.
Those women who stray from the prescribed path because of immaturity of youth, intoxication of power or other causes, pay a price that brings us to the Devayani story. The gods and demons are constantly battling one another and the gods win and kill the demons but the guru of the demons, Shukracharya has the Sanjivani Vidya. He can resurrect the dead like Jesus or Krishna. The Devas go to their guru Brihaspati (from Sanskrit guru-grave-gravid-gravity-gravitas) and ask for help. He then asks his bright and handsome son Kacha to go to Shukracharya and learn Sanjivani. It is like the KGB sending Anna Chapman to America to join the CIA. The US found out and sent her right back. But Shukracharya and Brihaspati were both Brahmins and their allegiance to their Brahmin origins trumped their allegiance to Danavas and Devas. It is like the matrimonial ads in The Times of India by Pakistanis advertising for Indian Muslim spouses or Yorkshire born Pakistani Muslims bombing the London subways to avenge the Israeli occupation of Palestine or the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, because their primary allegiance is to Islam and not their nation state.
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09/08/2010 09:34 AM
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