Saturday, 16 November 2013


Now we come to the degradation of thoughts and morals that had enveloped the people of the time, which necessitated the coming of another Preacher. This is evident in Buddha’s cousins’ penchant for game and hunting. This is also evident in the hard labour that masters made their servants do. Even the priests, at the time of indulging in the ritual sacrifices, thrashed the servants or made them perform acts beyond their capacity. Greater example is that of the family priest Udayin, who gave the idea of construction of a harem to Buddha’s father Suddhodana “with very beautiful inmates” “to prevent the prophecy (regarding Siddharth Gotama becoming Buddha) from coming true.” This shows that the prophecy regarding Buddha was widely known among those who called themselves believers of Veda. This also confirms that Buddha and Veda are from the same source.

The priest, in order to prevent Siddharth Gotama from proceeding ahead with spiritual learning gave long lectures to him and tried his best to make him fall to beckoning of all the beautiful women in the harem. And Siddharth Gotama’s chief sin was that he “was addicted to the company of saints and sages”. Does this not show the degradation in morals and a very materialistic outlook of the priests and people of the period, including Siddharth Gotama’s father. Will any priest today suggest that a harem be built for a person indulging in spiritual learning? Or will any father of today go on to build such a harem for his son? This shows that the society had reached its nadir or lowest point. How could the Manifest Self viz. Paramatma remain a passive witness without attempting to rectify this by sending another Preacher? Thus another birth of Bodhisata, named Sumedha, as Mahamaya’s child, who was called Siddharth Gotama became inevitable.

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Family priest Udayin’s words to the inmates of the harem built specifically for Siddharth show how the graceful movement, how the coquetry, grace and beauty of women have brought to naught all the penance, all the spirituality of great sages who have succumbed to the desires. Read the words of Udayin and see how Satanic forces have used women’s sensuality time and again to disrupt man from attaining closeness to God. Likewise, men’s ego and anger too has always worked against them and against mankind. See whether it is more apt in today’s world of peeping cleavages and displaying of physical contours. It is unfortunate that all this is being promoted in the name of equality whereas the real equality in terms of social benefits, etc. is being denied.

This the reason why nearly all the scriptures, including the Puranas, the Vedas as well as the sayings of Prophet Mohammad and Ali have repeated time and again that, towards the end of the world and prior to the appearance of the Divine Saviour, it would become extremely difficult for adherents to abstain from sins.

Udayin said: “Ye are all skilled in all the graceful arts, ye are proficient in understanding the language of amorous sentiments, ye are possessed of beauty and gracefulness, ye are thorough masters in your own styles.

“With these graces of yours, ye are able to move even sages who have lost all their desires, and to ensnare even the gods, who are charmed by heavenly nymphs. [The word in original text is 'deva' which has been translate as 'gods', thus confirming that Siddharth Gotama's family were worshippers of Veda.

“By your skill in expressing the heart’s feelings, by your coquetry, your grace, and your perfect beauty ye are able to enrapture even women, how much more easily men.

“Thus, skilled as ye are, each set in your own proper sphere, it should not be beyond your reach to captivate and capture the prince and hold him in your bondage.

“Any timid action on your part would be fit for new brides whose eyes are closed through shame.

“What though this here be, great by his exalted glory, yet ‘great is the might of woman.’ Let this be your firm resolve.

“In olden times a great seer, hard to be conquered even by gods, was spurned by a harlot, the beauty of Kasi, planting her feet upon him. [Again the word used us deva. This shows how people had developed wrong notions about the devas.]

“And the great seer Viswamitra, though plunged in a profound penance, was carried captive for ten years in the forests by the nymph Ghritaki.

“Many such seers as these have women brought to naught, how much more than a delicate prince in the first flower of his age?

“This being so, boldly put forth your efforts that the prosperity of the king’s family may not be turned away from him.

“Ordinary women captivate simple men; but they are truly women, who subdue the nature of high and hard.”

Does this speech not reveal the mindset of men who have used women for their own advantage, at times to subdue other men? It is this nature of women why we find some Buddhist sages speaking so ill of women on the whole. Christian priests tried to further suppress woman so much so that in the post-Jesus society there was a time when Christian women were to observe such staunch purdah that even the presence of another man in the house of a married woman was looked as sin. This was the other extreme. Islam tried to rectify this and give a middle path where the sensuality was to be subdued in the strictest terms and attempt was made to bring out the positive features of a woman’s personality. Unfortunately, the Muslim clergy misunderstood the Islamic teachings and attempt was made to make women a household slave, much on the lines of what was happening in Christian Europe at that time.

However, curtailing the sensuality necessitated that a dress code be made obligatory. Please remember, the dress code was never to wear a burqah or confine women to the interiors of the house but to wear clothes where the physical contours or too much of skin was not visible. The male dominated society of the Muslims couldn’t understand this and instead of making her work shoulder-to-shoulder with men, while adhering to the dress code, they confined her to the house, thus hampering her development. The result was that women who rebelled against this treatment started wearing clothes that left little to imagination.

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In spite of all their attempts to wow and seduce Suddharth, his thoughts show that he understood that winning the world through physical beauty or trying to accomplish selfish goals through use of physical beauty which is temporary, is despicable. See Siddharth’s words: “What is it that these women lack that they perceive not that youth is fickle? For old age will destroy whatever beauty has?”

This is the reason why later day Messengers never allowed visual display of physical features even though women were free to do business or earn a living as Mohammad’s wife Khadija herself used to do. This is an evident example if you wish to see why the teachings of the Preachers should not be understood through the practice of the adherents. Mohammad married a woman who was the richest woman of the time and who had built her business through her own efforts. There was lot of mutual respect between Mohammad and Khadija and there are several evidences where they not only discussed the affairs but also helped each other. On the contrary, you know the present state of Muslim women.

Following are some of the terms used to entice Buddha. Is it not true that the same modes of enticement continue to remain in vogue even today? If religion puts a check on it, why blame it?

See: With their brows, their glances, their coquetries, their smiles, their delicate movements; urge by passion, pressed him with their full, firm bosoms in gentle collisions; leaning on him with their shoulders drooping down, and with their gentle-creeper-like arms; mouths spelling of spirituous liquor, their lower lips red like copper, whispered in his ear; with her blue garments continually slipping down in pretended intoxication, stood conspicuous with her tongue visible like the night with its lightning lashing; with their golden ones tinkling, wandered about here and there, showing him their bodies veiled with thin cloth; leaned, holding a mango bough in hand, displaying their bosoms like golden jars; another sang a sweet song easily understood and with proper gesticulations, rousing him…”

If all these are banned, why have problem or reasons to complain? Only one religion viz. Islam bans doing all this for men other than husbands. But yes, even the men are not allowed reveal their physical contours or sexual parts in front of women. This is conveniently forgotten.

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Prince Siddharth’s response is noteworthy and we all need to salute him for his steadfastness in front of all attempts by the most beautiful women of the time. See what he said:

“This speech manifesting affection is well-befitting in thee; but I will convince thee as to where thou wrongly judgest me.

“I do not despise worldly objects, I know that all mankind is bound up therein. But remembering that the world is transitory, my mind cannot find pleasure in them.

“Yet even though this beauty of women were to remain perpetual, still delight in the pleasures of desires would not be worthy of the wise man.

“And as for what thou sayest as to even those great men having become victims to desire, do not be led away by them; for destruction was also their lot.

“Real greatness is not to be found there, where there is destruction, or where there is attachment to worldly objects, or a want of self-control.”

“And when thou sayest, “’Let one deal with women by guile,’ I know about guile, even if it be accompanied with courtesy.
“That compliance too with a woman’s wishes pleases me not, if truthfulness be not there; if there be not a union with one’s soul and nature, then ‘out upon it’ say I.

“A soul overpowered by passion, believing in falsehood, carried away by attachment and blind to the faults of its objects, what is there in it worth being deceived?

“And if the victims of passion do deceive one another, are not men unfit for women to look at and women for men?

“Since then these things are so, thou surely wouldst not lead me astray into ignoble pleasures.”

We invite you to read this statement of Buddha again? Is it not clear that he has very clear views about existence of soul and its role? I fail to understand why people get misled into saying that Buddha denied the existence of soul. There is no doubt that Buddha’s true views are yet to be understood.

B.R. Ambedkar himself is perplexed at his. He writes: “The third problem relates to the doctrines of soul, of karma and rebirth. The Buddha denied the existence of the soul. But he is also said to have affirmed the doctrine of karma and rebirth. At once a question arises. If there is no soul, how can there be karma? If there is no soul, how can there be rebirth? These are baffling questions. In what sense did the Buddha use the words karma and rebirth? Did he use them in a different sense than the sense in which they were used by the Brahmins of his day? If so, what sense? Did he use them in the same sense in which the Brahmins used them? If so, is there not a terrible contradiction between the denial of the soul and the affirmation of karma and rebirth? This problem needs to be resolved.”

There seems no doubt about Buddha’s belief in the presence of soul. As you progress reading, we will give several more examples to prove this. Our view is that there is not an iota of difference in this regard, between the theory propounded by Krishna and Rama and that propounded by Buddha. Did Buddha say that his God was different from the God of Krishna? Did he ever say that his path was different from that of Rama and Krishna? Is it not sad that we take them to be preaching two different religions? If Krishna and Rama owed their origin to one source and clearly it must be as we all believe that there is but One God, their definition and understanding too must be the same. Problem, if any, lies with the self-proclaimed experts who sit down to write commentaries on their respective subjects of expertise.

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This is one more thing we wish to highlight. Imagine a man living in present society who is fully given up to materialistic pursuits. There can still be found men who maintain harems. But do such men boast about it in front of the society, more importantly, their sons. Even in the present society, when morals are fast loosing ground, it will be difficult to find a person who talks about his own carnal life to his son, lest make preparations to have his son succumb to the lust of a carnal life. On the contrary we find Suddhodana and his ministers spend a great deal of their time “in consultation hoping to find some means to draw Siddharth to the pleasures of carnal life and thus to dissuade him from the likely turn which he may give to his life.”

This example shows the extent to which materialism and pleasure exploits had enveloped the society at that time. Therefore, it was but natural that Buddha would have addressed this problem with great intensity. When materialism existed to such extent, it was but natural that people be asked to leave all and proceed to forest. This was the only solution available. But we must remember that all the messengers gave solutions to the problems that were more topical in nature during that particular period. It is this reason why we find Krishna criticizing the evils of sanyas and ritual worship in Gita. Because in Krishna’s period the basic problem facing the people in general was not materialism alone but also wrong understanding of the Vedic teachings and false rituals that got attached to societal living as well as to the lives of the sanyasis.

This is the reason why these messengers appear to be saying different things. Otherwise, if you go deeper into what they have to say, you will find all saying one and the same thing.

It is this reason why we find that when the sanyas itself got misunderstood, Messengers had to work to bring the people back to living in the cities. We find one such incident in an Upanishad where the forest of Bimbisara is described to be buzzing with people who had brought all their materialistic evils to the forest and Narada had to tell them to first go and live for a particular period in the city and then come to live in forest. Remember, Messengers also have to keep in mind the mindset of the people and the affect of their teachings would have on them. When all the people had come to live in the forest, then if Narada had ordered them to go back to city life, nobody would have obeyed. Such was the intensity with which people adhere to their beliefs, even if they are on wrong. Our role is to find the truth about the ideal way that God wants us to lead – the right path – that we are supposed to tread from the teachings of these messengers. Go deeper and you will find that all talk of one and only one path.

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Leaving Kapilavatsu, Siddharth Gautama halted at the hermitage of a Brahmin woman Saki, then at the hermitage of another Brahmin woman by name Padma and then at the hermitage of the Brahmin sage Raivata. This is interesting indeed. That was the time when while there were harems, with multitude of women ready to present themselves to the desires of men, existing on one side, there were also women who lived in hermitages or rather had their own hermitages. We know from history that the quick rise of Buddhism was followed by an equally quick decline in India. This was followed by centuries of waywardness during which time there was no religion whatsoever existing in general and only a handful managed to keep the teachings of their respective religions intact. It was only in the ninth or tenth century A.D., nearly 300-400 years after coming of Mohammad and his assertion that he was the last of the Prophets, that attempts were made in India at reviving Hinduism and commentators like Ramanuja and others sat down to reinterpret Vedas and Gita and rewrite Puranas and other religious scriptures. But during these centuries of collective waywardness or lack of religiosity, the system of women running hermitages slowly got extinct and all we know about women during these dark centuries is again in the form of erotica from the innumerable temples like Khajuraho and several others that suddenly appeared during the 9th and 10th centuries A.D.

But why erotica on temples too? Judging by the sheer number of these temples which came up, it appears that they may have been a byproduct of vengeance or vehemence to a certain way of life. If this is not true, then the other logic can be that there were a certain segment of people who wanted the public to remain engrossed in materialistic pursuits, just as Suddhodhama wanted from his son Siddharth so as to shield him from the call of his conscience or the call of truth.

To be continued...

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