Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Many Indians have simply been lied to about their own religious history and the importance of Tantra

Mind you, I’m not sure who treats women worse, Muslim men or Aryan men. Open Integral India - a different moral universe. » Tantra and the Arya June 15th, 2007 (posted by ray harris)
What’s the moral of this story? Many Indians have simply been lied to about their own religious history and the importance of Tantra. There was (and still is) a major attempt to Aryanise Yoga - and it would seem to me that several modern Indian thinkers were and are part of that project, including Aurobindo (and Shankara).
Btw, I don’t want to suggest that there is nothing of value in Aryan philosophy. It has made some important contributions. What I am saying is that they are often prejudiced against Tantra and often give a distorted picture of what it is.
Oh, and the naked dancing girl and yogi with an erection? An intriguing suggestion that indigenous Indian religions were sex positive and that all of this puritannical bullshit in modern India is Aryan prudishness. What I’d like to see is a movie that accurately portrays a Northern Indian kingdom under the influence of genuine indigenous Tantric traditions, with none of this puritannical Bollywood revisionism. This entry was posted on Friday, June 15th, 2007 at 9:04 pm and is filed under Ray's Integral Blog.
ray harris Says: June 16th, 2007 at 4:15 pm During the Tantric revolution women were given a high place. You cannot understand Padmasambhava without understanding Yeshe Tsogyal. The problem is that Aryans have downplayed the role of women and deliberately ignore their contribution. There were female Tantric adepts. But they suffered the same fate the goddess did. Dr Giti Thadani points out that the Indian goddesses were changed to suit patriarchal ideology. The goddess was often worshipped on her own, under the Aryans she was made a consort of a god. This was a fate that befell Saraswati and Kali-Durga. Thadani tells of the absurd situation where Aryan priests tell their flock that the image of Kali standing on Shava has a completely different meaning to the original. They say that the reason her tongue is pocking out is to indicate remorse for standing on her husband. What revisionist bullshit. The tongue is a mudra that indicates ferocity and Shava is nor her husband, she stands on him to indicate her complete dominance of Shiva.
goethean Says: June 18th, 2007 at 12:10 pm Incidentally, I recently attended a lecture by Wendy Doniger. She was asked about the asceticism and sensuality in Hindu culture and she said that it’s been a tension throughout Indian history, referring to Gandhi’s asceticism and the Upanishads on the one hand and the sculptures of Khajuraho on the other. She didn’t connect this with the North/South or Sanskrit/Dravidian division or with the Aryan migration.
Your account seems to be imputing everying admirable to the indigenous people and everything unfortunate to the late-comers (or nearly so), which strikes me as unlikely to turn out to be accurate when more evidence is in. History is rarely so black and white. Aurobindo rejected the notion of an Aryan invasion or migration, right? And Georg Feuerstein believes that the Aryans refer to upper-class people of the same ethnic mix as the non-Aryans.

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