Archive for the ‘saraswati’ Category

The 10th National Conference of ABISY was held at Mysore from December 24th to 26th 2015 on “Women in Indian culture: From ancient to Modern” (3)

December 29, 2015

The 10th National Conference of ABISY was held at Mysore from December 24th to 26th 2015 on “Women in Indian culture: From ancient to Modern” (3).

RSS briefed about the conference earlier - Indian Express, Aug 17, 2015

ABISY, RSS and women: In August itself, the RSS briefed about the conference[1] as could be noted from the Indian express. From December 24 to 26, Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana (ABISY) will hold a three-day conference in Mysore, where around 1,000 delegates will discuss “Women in Indian culture: through the ages”. “We will discuss their strength and their importance in various phases of Indian history. Women in Rig Vedic times enjoyed a high status in society but due to several reasons their status began to decline,” said Balmukund, an RSS pracharak working with ABISY. Sources say an RSS meeting in Nainital discussed the gender ratio in RSS affiliates (see chart). “Representation of women is gradually increasing in our organisations. At the Ahmedabad conclave, we will discuss several aspects of women empowerment and their role in our organisations,” said Mahila Samanway chief Geeta Tayi Gunde, who coordinates among the affiliates on women’s issues. Though RSS shakhas don’t allow women, a separate organisation called Rashtra Sevika Samiti holds women’s shakhas on the lines of RSS shakhas[2]. But, RSS has been having dialogue with Christians and Muslims. However, they are not able to counter negative reorting of media, whenever, it is mentioned that they are against so-and-so and so on[3].

Aggressive left historiansThe aggressive domination of the Leftist and Muslim historians: The excessive, extreme and unnecessary domination of the leftists and Muslim groups over the proceedings of IHC has been resented, questioned and examined by neutral historians, archaeologists and other connected experts many times. The way they have been projecting the medieval and modern periods and suppressing the ancient period and also the interpretation of national, social, religious and political issues, problems and controversies in a biased manner much against the interests of common Indians[4]. The IHC coetrie have been authoritatively imposing such one-sided view for the last 60 years, as could be noted not only from the yearly proceedings volumes, but also their interviews, views and comments registered in the media on various occassions. Ironically the charges of so-called elite, eminent and emeritus hisorians have been proved baseless even at the level of Supreme Court, when their own engaged experts filed petitions alleging the saaffronization of educational curriculum, academic and social institutions, the Hon’ble Court ruled out dismissing them. Romila Thapar agitated and openly questioned the judgment dubbing as “Hindutwa judgment” and declared that they would be appealing against the judgment, but noting happened. So in a democaratic country, all views have to be accommodated, naturally, the so-called rightist, nationalist and hindutwa views also be provided space equally. As the dominant leftist and Muslim coetrie does not relish this, the ideological struggle has now been turned into political one and for which they are responsible. This was revealed even during the IHC-2014 jeld at JNU taking the issue of “glorification of Nehruvian era”[5].

marxist-historian-work-together-ideologicallyABISY, RSS and IHC: RSS and IHC were having ideological struggle over Indin history, historiography and methodoloy for the last three decades. While the IHC dominant groups have been moving ahead with the current topics, recent issues and contemporary problems, the rightist, nationalist and patriotic counterparts have not even realized their exisence. Most of them have been almost The IHC ideological bandwagon and aggressive coetrie many times do not recongize peer group experts, only because of the reason that they might be against their ideology. Thus, many prominent, professional and secialized historians, archaeologists, epigraphists, numismaticians and others were / are never invited or allowed to attend the conference by their own “rogue mannerism” but showing off as “expertized professionalism”.  Though RSS has been trying to counter them through ABISY and BISS, their heads, zonal heads and members have been –

  1. Not matching with the professionalism of the leftist and Muslim ideologists.
  2. The vigour started in 1980s died down with changed persons heading[6].
  3. Instead of “offensive”, “defensive” position is taken in the match, however, there have been some individual fighters, but they are ignored by the rightists.
  4. In spite of the judicial victory[7], they could not continue the academic struggle with proficiency, professionalism and practice[8].
  5. inexperienced in preseting papers, if at all, they come forward to present.
  6. read and understand Indian history any perspective.
  7. Ameteurish, unprofessional and incompetent in dealing with their ideological opponents.
  8. Dormant because of excessive patriotism and refused to look at other ideologists in right perspective.
  9. Ignore, sideline and even disregard the exerienced who come to join, work with and get along the ABISY and BISS.
  10. Active only when BJP or NDA is in power and latent during other periods.

Unless, the rightists do not revaluate, reassess and reorganize themselves, they cannot win the battle.

Nehruvian era, IHC, ICHR and RSS (2014): Even as Madan Mohan Malaviya and Shyamaprasad Mookerjee continue to make news headlines, Jawaharlal Nehru dominated a day in New Delhi where historians praised his role, at an event that was sponsored among others by the state governments of Kerala, Karnataka and Assam, all Congress-led administrations. The three-day long Platinum Jubilee edition of the Indian History Congress (IHC), which concluded in JNU last year, also counts the Union government bodies ICHR andUGC among its main sponsors. The IHC Association, which organizes the meet, had set a broad direction for the annual event with the theme ‘Humanism, Tolerance and Reason: Defining the Contours of History’. But two panels under the auspices of the left-leaning JNU and Aligarh Historians’ Society (AHS) expressly focused on discussions and paper presentations concerning the Nehruvian Era and its current relevance, and the past and present forms of inequality in India, respectively[9]. But Dr Rakesh Batabyal, Local Secretary of the IHC, said there was nothing much political to read into the event. “We had written to all state governments for sponsorship and received from these three. Also, the HRD Ministry through UGC and ICHR has also sponsored the event, so there is nothing political about it,” he said. Batabyal pointed out that ICHR head Y. Sudharshan Rao – an appointee of the BJP-led Central government[10] – had also been invited and he attended the event. “The reason for focusing on Nehru was on account of the commemoration of the ex-PM’s Golden death anniversary. Also, we have voices from the economic right to left, it was an open field, he added. He also conceded, though, that finding historians from cultural right was difficult, and thus no presence could be seen,” he said. On its part, the RSS-affiliated history research organization was not too impressed with the event. “We used to go for the event in the past, but now none of our office bearers goes. The IHCA is a communist-leaning organization,” Mukul Pandey (sic), General Secretary of the ABISY, told ET[11].

© Vedaprakash


[1] New Indian Express, Gender balance: RSS working to get more women in its ranks, Written by Shyamlal Yadav | New Delhi | Updated: August 17, 2015 2:27 pm.


[3] The ABISY is working on several projects to rewrite history. Last year the outfit organised a function at National Museum to pay homage to the “last Hindu emperor of Delhi Hemu Vikramaditya”. From December 24 to 26, ABISY will hold a three-day conference in Mysore, where around 1,000 delegates will discuss “Women in Indian Culture: Through the Ages.” – See more at:

[4] The Proceeding volumes sprak the truth and the papers chosen to include expose their bias, prejudice and hatred against others. Many times, very good researched papers, eventhough recommended by the sectional presidents after much appreciated discussion, were not included brcause of such professional, ideological and regional bias.

[5] The Economic Times, Historians praise Jawaharlal Nehru at annual Indian History Congress Association meet,AKSHAY DESHMANE, ET Bureau Dec 30, 2014, 09.33PM IST.

[6] During the New Delhi session, many of the faithfuls simply sent the life membership money with the note, “As per the directions of Mananiya Moropant Pingely, I hereby send the fees”. Alerted and bewildered by them, the ruling IHC bandwagon simply rejected their membership. However, both had been proved wrong, as the Delhi High Court decided differently, when they went to court.

[7] The so-called “Hindutwa” judgment consequent to the NCERT issue and coupled with “saffronization of academic curriculum”, the rightwing ideologists did not pursue the issue professionally.

[8] Note below what Balamkund says about it! . On its part, the RSS-affiliated history research organization was not too impressed with the event. “We used to go for the event in the past, but now none of our office bearers goes. The IHCA is a communist-leaning organization,” Mukul Pandey (sic), General Secretary of the ABISY, told ET.

[9] IHC dominat ideologists manipulate the session by bringing some unassuming paper presenters to force their views on others. This they have been doing in the case of RJM controversy also, making one fellow to present a paper “Ayodhya was in Afganistan”!

[10] This way of reporting has also been biased, because during the non-BJP regimes, the members were only the “appointees” of Communist, Muslim and Congress parties. In fact, the media should be balanced enough to address the issues properly without any pre-conceived notions.


The 10th National Conference of ABISY was held at Mysore from December 24th to 26th 2015 on “Women in Indian culture: From ancient to Modern” (2).

December 29, 2015

The 10th National Conference of ABISY was held at Mysore from December 24th to 26th 2015 on “Women in Indian culture: From ancient to Modern” (2).

1.Shri-Vajubhai-Rudabhai-Vala-Governor-of-Karnataka-inaugurated10th-National-Conference-on-Woman-in-Indian-Culture-through-the-Ages12.18 am (24-12-2015) Senate Hall, Mysuru: M. A. Jayashree sang an inagural song, read “Sankalpa” for the Conference and then, all stood up to sing Janaganamana!

The governors and VIPs arrived and the inagural ritual started.

Those who were on the Dias:

  1. Balamukund.
  2. Prof K. S. Rangappa, VC, University of Mysuru was the Chief Gust of Honour
  3. HE Vajubhai Vala Karnataka
  4. HE Mridula Sihna Goa
  5. Sri Suresh Joshi Bhayyaji, Sarkaryavah, RSS was the guest speaker.
  6. Satish Mittal.
  7. Tontadarya, ex-MLC

ABISY - inagural function Suresh Joshi Bhayyaji, Sarkaryavah, RSS was the guest speakerThe speech of Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi: 12.25 pm: The 10th national conference of the Akhil Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana began here on Thursday with RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi finding fault with the tradition of confining women to household work[1]. Talking in Hindi, he said, family system was the root of the country, that should be protected by ensuring education, health and safety of womenfolk. Delineating on the need to set right the history of the country, Joshi said, the samiti has taken up many works to introduce the core strength of the country to the people. “While Aryans were indigenous people of India, Britishers falsely propagated that they came from outside. The truth was established after researching deep into the issue. The origin of Sindhu-Saraswati River has been traced”, added Joshi[2]. Addressing the gathering at the inaugural of the conference titled ‘Woman in Indian culture through the ages’ by the yojana, Mr. Joshi said there was a need for women to emerge from the confines of their homes and assume roles in industry, education, politics and other spheres of life. If a country were to achieve progress economically, socially and geographically, there was a need to empower women, he said emphasising the importance of creating awareness on the issue. He also said women should populate not only the army, but also the air force and navy. While favouring bringing Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and various adivasis into the mainstream, who he said “may be weak, but not unwise”, Mr. Joshi said that issues relating to rural and tribal women, who comprise 70 per cent of women, should be brought on the agenda of the discussions. He called for the need to establish a just society on the basis of equality that is free from western influence. Mr. Joshi emphasised the need to present correct history. Research helped bust the myth that Aryans had invaded India before the Mughals and the British. That Aryans were not foreigners, but were locals, had been proved by scientific evidence, he claimed[3].

Goa Governor Mridula Sinha speaking at the ABISYs 10th national conference in Mysuru on Thursday 24-12-2015-PHOTO- M.A. SRIRAMWhat HE Mridula Sihna Goa spoke: 12.50 to 1.15 pm: HE Mridula Sihna Goa spoke in Hindi. Referring to the practice among a section of the women to avoid bearing children, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha described motherhood as nature’s best gift to a woman[4]. Speaking after inaugurating the national conference organised by the Akhila Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana here on Thursday, Ms. Sinha said that she still advises her daughter against forgetting to serve her husband his food even if she does not have the time to cook[5]. “But, never should a woman go hungry,” she said. Also, she went on to say that it was important for men to discuss women’s issues[6]…………the three-day meet should discuss the relevance of nature, culture and decency as they are inter-connected with each other. While nature remains intact after being created, the Indian culture is largely dependent on the nature.Describing motherhood as god’s gift to womenfolk, Sinha regretted that new-age women were avoiding motherhood, that was once protected and preserved, equally contributing to the welfare of the society[7].

6.Shri-Vajubhai-Rudabhai-Vala-Governor-of-Karnataka-inaugurated10th-National-Conference-on-Woman-in-Indian-Culture-through-the-AgesHE Vajubhai Vala spoken on the conference: 1.16 to 1.23 pm: HE Vajubhai Vala Karnataka spoke in Hindi. Governor Vajubhai Vala, who presided over the event, said that women, who play a strong role inside their houses, should display their strength even outside. Though he regretted the delay in the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill that seeks to set aside 33 per cent of the seats in Parliament and State Assemblies, Mr. Vala said that many women are now occupying powerful posts in the bureaucracy. ….Women nowadays have taken a lead in many fields, with 70 per cent women bagging top honours on the academic front[8]. Most importantly, it’s women who inculcate culture among children. Be it any women, men should ensure their safety and security[9].On the role of women in politics, Vala said, there are examples of women leaders occupying top posts like president and prime minister in India, while in western countries it is more common to see women leaders occupying key positions. Thus, the entire inagural session was carried on in Hindi. After lunch, the paper-reading session started in different rooms of the building situated next to library. The Kannda and Sanskrit sessions were arranged seperately, whereas, the Hindi and English papers were mixed together and the paper-presenters, particularly, those who presented in English could find difficult, as their papers were interpersed between many Hindi papers.

3.Shri-Vajubhai-Rudabhai-Vala-Governor-of-Karnataka-inaugurated10th-National-Conference-on-Woman-in-Indian-Culture-through-the-Ages25-12-2015 (Friday): Paper reading session. Most of the papers were in Hindi and the delegates who did not know Hindi could not understand what was presented. They felt they missed important information, data and information that might have been contained in such presentation. And many papers were in the form of “articles” and not of the nature of “reseach paper”. The emphasis made the title and the sub-themes made the presenters to repeat, duplicate and even rehash the same points, aspects and subject matter. Of course, the “cut and paste” methodology was also noted and pointed out by the organizers themselves.

2.30 to 4.40 pm: General Body Meeting of ABISY.

5.00 to 7.40 pm: Visit to Mysuru palace lightning.

ABISY 10th National Conference inagurated by Mysuru-Goa Governors-Deccan Herald26-12-2015 (Saturday): Paper reading session continued with the same conditions pointed out above. Had the papers been scrutinized properly, such things could not have been occurred. The corrections, modifications and rewriting could have been intimated so that the quality of paper presentation could have been maintained. Such exercise would be useful and educative for budding researchers in paper preparation and presentation. Women paper presenters had not addressed the issues, problems faced by the Indian women. Some women appeared to have felt that “they are happy” and therefore, other “women are also happy”.  Most of the woman paper presenters had not been aware of the current issues dealt with in India in different spheres and thus, papers had been of “glorification of the past” nature. Even in the globalization context also, though only few papers were presented, they had been in a dilemma as to whether to point out the positive aspects or the negative aspects that affect the Indian society.

ABISY - paper presentation, discussion going onWhy papers deviated much away from the theme taken for the conference: The hospitality had been excellent, but, unfortunately, the academic proceedings had been marred by some inherent factors. The subject matter of the whole proceedings was to concentrate on women-issues focussing on the current relating to ancient moral values. The first circular declared that the central subject proposed was “Women in Indian culture: From ancient to present” adding that research papers were also invited on the following topics such as –

  1. Historiography
  2. History in the Puranas
  3. Vaavasi (Tribal) history
  4. District history
  5. Miscellaneous (Archaeology, inscriptions, numismatics, art and architectue, spread of Indian culture abroad etc)

But, the Second circular still enlarged the topics deviating from the women and women-issues givilng the list as follows:

  1. Origin of Indian culture and women
  2. Women in Saraswati-Sidhu civilization.
  3. Women in epic-age
  4. Women in Puranas
  5. Women in Jaina-Buddhist period.
  6. Women in Mauryan and post-Mauryan period.
  7. Women in Gupta and post-Gupta period
  8. Women depicted in indian art / performing art, paintings, wooden, terracota, stone and metallic art / folklore, music, dance etc.
  9. Women in folk tradition and culture
  10. Women in medieval age.
  11. Role of women in freedom struggle
  12. Globalization and Indian women

Other general topics are also as follow:

  1. Historiography
  2. History in the Puranas
  3. Vaavasi (Tribal) history
  4. Regional history

Other Academic subjects:

Archaeology, Epigraphy, numismatics, art and architectue, Indian culture.

The final circular dated 16-10-2015 repeated the above. Thus, the circulars deviated from the theme of the conference, with the diverged subjects and digressing from the idea of the subject matter conceived. Accordingly, the paper-presenters, particularly, the majority of the casual-types had taken full liberty to take any subject and came with “hurried-haste-rehassed” stuff that was criticized by the organizers and the sectional presidents. As they seperated Sanskrit and Kannda paper presentation, Hindi paper presentation or the English paper presentation could have been held seperately. As most of the paper presenters did not follow any “style-sheet” and research methodology, they can be taught about. Incidentally, as ABISY and BISSs have been working on “history writing and re-writing”, they should conduct some workshop for their “paper-presenters” as to how to prepare a reasearch paper. They should be asked to attend IHC, SIHC etc., to listen to historians, interact with others and get experience.

Valedictory function: The valedictory funstion was held at the A.V. Hall without any lack lusture and the same speakers again dwelt upon the same issues in the same manner. Again, the entire ritual was in Hindi. Instead of getting opinion from the delegates about the academic conduct of the conference, it was wound up in a much routine manner. When a particular person was speaking “over-enthusiastically”, the audience started clapping several times. Instead of getting the hint, he continued to talk with spirit provoking them to clap again. There was no indication as to when the 11th National Conference would be held after three years in 2018.

© Vedaprakash


[1] Laiq A. Khan, Don’t restrict women to household word, The Hindu, Mysuru, December 25, 2015, Updated: December 25, 2015 05:46 IST




[5] Star of Mysore online, Goa Guv opens Women’s Meet, December 25, 2015;



[8] Deccan Herald, Men should empower women, saysGovernor, Mysuru: Dec 25, 2015, DHNS.


The 6th Vedic workshop, 2014 and the Agnichayana, 1974-75 – compared

January 16, 2014

The 6th Vedic workshop, 2014 and the Agnichayana, 1974-75 – compared

Controversies during 1975 Agnichayana

Controversies during 1975 Agnichayana

Indians have been very often accused of forgetting the past, recent past but always harp upon the lengthy past, yet, they are made to forget what happened just 40 years back. Thus, going through a GOOGLE search, my old books and journals, I came across the old issue of Illustrated Weekly dated May 25, 1975, Frits Staal’s book, “The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar”[1] and of course details available from the current website of the Vedic Workshop, 2014[2]. In 40 years, how much the connected people, places and nations have changed is noted. In Indian context, I am surprised to note that even Indians have changed much i.e, westernized, and now Americanized in all aspects.

What is Agnichayana 1975 Illustrated Weekly of India

What is Agnichayana 1975 Illustrated Weekly of India

What is “Agnichayana”[3]: The Illustrated Weekly dated May 25, 1975 stated that in Kerala a “renaissance” in yajnas took place over 1,500 years ago to counteract Buddhist influence. However, it is not known as to Budhhism was so dominant in Kerala during 4th-5th centuries. Some scholars pointed out that it was there till 16th century and then declined[4]. From 16th-17th centuries onwards, the Portuguese and other European and Arab presence started here and therefore, the so-called Vedic / Yajnas cannot be said to be the reason for their decline or any necessity to counter its influence. This movement of performance of Yajnas, was spearheaded by Mezhathole Agnihotri, who conducted over 99 yagnas at Yagneswaram. In the past 75 years, about 150 yagnas were conducted at Sukapuram, Perumanam, Irinjalakuda, Taliparambu and Karikatt in Kerala. However, its response was not felt in north India or others.

J F Staal 1975 Agnichayana

J F Staal 1975 Agnichayana

From Somayaga to Agnichayana: The attempts of westerners or foreigners urging Keralite Nambudris to reenact the Yagnas go back to 1962, when Frits Staal persuaded Ittiravi Nambudri to conduct “Somayaga”, but it could not be materialized due to technical reasons. Later, an “International Agnichayna Committee of scholars” from Holland, America, Britain, Japan, India, Austria, East Germany, West Germany, France, Nepal and Finland was formed. The involvement of the foreigners raised many objections, because of the motives revealed at that time. At one side, the experimentation or reenactment of Vedic rituals for the research or foreigners and the counter effctects produced by them thereafter. The critics and opposing groups explicity pointed out that the films and audio recording would be used against India, Hindus and Vedas themselves. However, Frits Staal, because of his association with South India, that too having a Keralite wife Saraswati, could persuade the Nambudris to conduct Yajnas for him.

Asko Parpola in 1975 attending Agnichayana in Kerala

Asko Parpola in 1975 attending Agnichayana in Kerala

The long standing association of Frits staal with India: Johan Frederik (Frits) Staal was Born in Amsterdam, studied mathematics, physics and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and took his undergraduate degree in 1954. He moved on to studies in Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit at Banaras Hindu University and the University of Madras where he completed his doctorate in 1957. During his long career, Professor Staal served in a number of notable institutions. He was Lecturer in Sanskrit at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London from 1958 to 1962. He was Assistant and Associate Professor of Indian Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania during 1961-62. He was Professor of General and Comparative Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam from 1962 to 1967. He served as Visiting Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during 1967-68. He was Professor of Philosophy and South Asian Languages at the University of California at Berkeley from 1968 to 1991. As a member of Berkeley’s Department of Philosophy, he founded the university’s Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies (originally called the Department of South and Southeast Asian Languages and Literatures) in 1973, and served as its first Chair. He took early retirement from Berkeley in 1991 and served as Visiting Professor in universities around the world[5]. He is survived by his wife Sarasvati of Berkeley, California, a son and a daughter.

Ikari Japanese student 1975 Agnichayana

Ikari Japanese student 1975 Agnichayana

First refusal and then acceptance to perform: J Frits Staal and Asko Parpola requested Ittiravi Nambudri in 1971 to organize more complicated “Agnichayana”. With efforts going on, it was scheduled to be performed in 1974. But, in 1974 some of the ritualists who were supposed to perform Yagna refused to do so. The performance of ritual for the foreigners, recording of the ritual and dramatization were opposed by the traditional Vedic scholars. Therefore, it was postponed, but with the support of and Erkara Ramam Nambudris, the plan was revived to have it in 1975. The sudden change in mind was due to the commitment in performing Yasjnas or money offered by the foreigners was not known explicitly. In any case, Staal was responsible for creating the awareness about the Vedic rituals in modern times[6].

Animal sacrifice opposed 1975

Animal sacrifice opposed 1975

The “foreign connection” was criticized in 1974-75: The connection, promotion and funding of Yagna reenactment activities were criticized by many during the period of 1974-75. N. V. Krishna Warrior[7] (1911-1989) and Thayyat Sankaran[8] (1926-1985) attacked the Indian Yagna performers and commented about “the desire for dollar”. They were noted poets and critics. This only could be taken as the financial influence affecting the traditional scholars. Another well-known poet and the first Jnanapith Award winner, G. Sankara Kurup, popularly known as “G” condemned the animal sacrifice associated with the yagna activities. The usage of animals in the Yagna fires had been the controversial one and the views expressed have been –

  1. Animals were scarified.
  2. Animals not sacrificed.
  3. Only substitutes used.
Krishna Warrior and Thayyat Sankaran opposed foreign contribution and participation

Krishna Warrior and Thayyat Sankaran opposed foreign contribution and participation

The hypocrisy in Ahimsa, etc were revealed in the opposition of animal-sacrifice: Again opposition started, this time from the public on the grounds that the goat would be suffocated to death, even if it was not sacrificed. However, others argued, “Are you not every day dissecting hundreds of animals in the colleges and butchering thousands in the market, including cows?”. The filming of the event was also opposed by the agitators claiming that the films would be used in their part of propaganda against India. Ironically, the Communist Party (Marxist) spoke of “the political penetration of Dollar Imperialism into India”. The Illustrated Weekly added that, “In the mean while, somebody (said to ge a Jana Sanghi) threatened to burn himself in the sacrificial fire!”.

G. Sankaran Kurup criticized the animal sacrifice

G. Sankaran Kurup criticized the animal sacrifice

The Agnichayana conducted from April.12th to 24th  1975: to The controversial Yagna started on April.12, 1975. On April.24, 1975, the Yagna was over and it was reported that an “Awe-Inspiring Sight” occurred! It was claimed that a Kite, Garuda, the divine bird was sighted flying over the Yagnasalas!

1975 and 2014 compared

1975 and 2014 compared

However, now after the rituals were over in the Vedic Workshop 2014, nothing has been reported so far. After 40 years, the delegates have only enjoyed the 5-star hotel accommodation and other facilities.

Panini stamp issued by GOI in 2004

Panini stamp issued by GOI in 2004

Panini rediscovered by the western Indologists[9]: Staal argued that the ancient Indian grammarians, especially Pāṇini, had completely mastered methods of linguistic theory not rediscovered again until the 1950s and the applications of modern mathematical logic to linguistics by Noam Chomsky.  Noam Chomsky himself has said that the first generative grammar in the modern sense was Panini’s grammar[10].  The early methods allowed the construction of discrete, potentially infinite generative systems. Remarkably, these early linguistic systems were codified orally, though writing was then used to develop them in some way. The formal basis for Panini’s methods involved the use of “auxiliary” markers, rediscovered in the 1930s by the logician Emil Post[11]. Post’s rewrite systems are now a standard approach for the description of computer languages. The ancient discoveries were motivated by the need to preserve exact Sanskrit pronunciation and expression given the primacy of language in ancient Indian thought[12]. Now Michael Witzel elaborated this hypothesis and claimed that Panini grammer is known only to him and he can only interpret the Rigvedic verses!

Myth and reality of conduct of yagnas in modern period

Myth and reality of conduct of yagnas in modern period

How AIT nurtured and carried on: As apprehended by the Indian critics, the Vedic chants recorded by John Levy and J. F. Staal was mentioned “Ethnic folkways records” when produced and sold as MP3[13]. The note says, “The four Vedas are made up of a large number of texts, composed nearly two thousand years before Christ, by the poets, seers, sages, and ritualists of Indo-European tribes who invaded the Indian Subcontinent. They are regarded as a sacred revelation and have been transmitted orally and recited faithfully by Brahmin males for a remarkable span of history. Extensive liner notes by noted scholar Frits Staal feature detailed descriptions of each of the four Vedas, including their meaning and musical structure. The album was recorded in South India.”

Vedas mentioned as folklore -Staal

Vedas mentioned as folklore -Staal

Thus, the following ideological orientation could be noted[14]:

  1. The oral tradition of hymns, chants, sacrificial and magical formulas were folklore (myths and legends).
  2. They composed nearly two thousand years before Christ, by the poets, seers, sages, and ritualists.
  3. The poets, seers, sages, and ritualists were Indo-European tribes. This linguistic notion was changed to racial and continues even today.
  4. And they invaded the Indian Subcontinent, i.e, the AIT was stressed.
  5. They are regarded as a sacred revelation and have been transmitted orally and recited faithfully by Brahmin males for a remarkable span of history. i.e, females were prohibited!
Books of Frits Staal

Books of Frits Staal

The Vedic Workshop 2014: Now, Frits Staal is not there, but perhaps taken over Micheal Witzel. He has been showing his peculiar interpretation of Vedas and conveying different attitude towards Vedic studies. Asko Parpola, though has changed much now, he is not found in the Vedic Workshop. Following Vedic procedure, he researched but started interpreting differently changing stands. Such change has been from “Aryan” to “Dravidian”, as his friend Iravatham Mahadevan has been doing. We do not know during the rituals, the foreign participants donned the Indian traditional dress or otherwise. In fact, how the Indian delegates appeared is not known. When I contacted one of the sectional president and paper presenter, he informed that the academic session was conducted strictly without anybody’s interference; even in the selection of papers, there was “peer committee” and it was done carefully, the academic proceedings thus went on well just like an international conference. In comparing the sixth international Vedic workshop held in Kozhiokode from January 7 to 10 2014 and the international conference on Mahabharata  in Tirupati from 7th to 11th 2014, I pointed out the ghost of AIT haunting and daunting the paper presenters[15]. The domination the foreigners has been also pointed out[16].

Books of Frits Staal.2

Books of Frits Staal.2


© 16-01-2014

[1] Johan Frederik (Frits) Staal, The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar, Motilal Banarasidas, New Delhi, 2001, Vol.I and II.

[3] This paragraph is reproduced from the Illustrated Weekly dated May 25, 1975, pp.

V. T. Induchudan, Yajna with Foreign participation, Illustrated Weekly dated May 25, 1975, pp.13-15.

[4] According to K. Sugathan, the Buddhist population had suffered a steady decline over the years. By the 1981 census, there were only 223 in Kerala, which is less than one person in one-lakh population, but the 1971 census showed their number as 605.  Buddhism had a strong presence in Kerala until around 16t{+h} century, but then began a period of steady decline. Historians are divided over the fate of Buddhists after its influence began to wane.

[7] N. V. Krishna Warrier (1911-1989) was an Indian poet newspaper editor and scholar


[10] Advaita and Neoplatonism, University of Madras, 1961.

[11] Kadvany, John (2007). “Positional Value and Linguistic Recursion”. Journal of Indian Philosophy 35: 487–520.