Foundations of Indian Culture – a weekend course in English

by Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh held at Gokhale Institute of
!ublic "ffairs #GI!"$ %R Colony &angalore
Note: This document contains the following:
1. Brief summary of all six sessions of lectures by Shatavadhani Dr. R. anesh.
!. "R#$s to download the audio recording of all sessions
%. &ull list of boo's and other resources referenced(recommended by Dr. R anesh during
the lectures.
Su''ary of session(I #"ug )* )*++$
Dear friends)
&irst of all) big than's to all those who turned u* for Dr. anesh$s tal' today. +e had about !,,
*eo*le in the -./ auditorium. 0ere is a 1uic' summary of today$s tal'.
- thin' it was a very informative and valuable tal'. Dr. anesh ably articulated the breadth and
de*th of the to*ics. - thin' he is building u* the to*ic of 2&oundations of -ndian 3ulture2 bric'
by bric'. /s this first lecture demonstrated the sub4ect is very vast and dee*. The introductory
session today introduced us to such critical conce*ts of our culture li'e) 5a6 the role and influence
of -ndian geogra*hy) seasons) rivers and such on our culture) 5b6 culture and civili7ation) 5c6
dharma and difference between dharma and religion 8es*ecially the true difference between
sanatana dharma and other religions9) 5d6 universality of *urusharthas) 5e6 varNa and ashrama
systems) 5f6 ruta:ruNa:yagna) and 5g6 the 2dharma:brahma:rasa2 the essential triad of -ndian
culture. -t was a s*ectrum of core conce*ts. iven the vastness of the sub4ect) - believe we will
need to stay committed and engaged till the end so that the conce*ts will all add u*. During the %
hour lecture today) Dr. anesh answered as many as ; 1uestions and dealt with them at length. -
*ersonally li'ed the way Dr. anesh handled the <=/ session.
Audio recording of session-1 can be downloaded from the GIPA website.
Available in 3 parts: .art1:1, .art1:! and .art1:%.
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age 1
Su''ary of session(II #"ug )+ )*++$
Dear &riends)
ood afternoon and 0a**y >rishnashtami.
0ere is a short summary of session:! 5yesterday6. -t was very ins*iring to see the D? hall
*ac'ed on a Sunday morning. Than' you for your continued *artici*ation and su**ort. +e ho*e
you are finding the course beneficial.

- believe the session yesterday *rovided a much clearer vision on how Dr. anesh is a**roaching
the to*ic. 0is extraordinary erudition in the sub4ect was at its full dis*lay. /lthough we s*ent
more than @, minutes towards 1uestions - believe it was worth it. An the fli* side) though) he
couldn$t cover the listed to*ic of 2-ndian Schools of #earning2 fully. So) we need to twea' the
*rocess a little. +ill do) effective next wee'.
&ollowing are some of the conce*ts Dr. anesh elaborated yesterday.
• Tradition = ReligionB tradition = heritage
• -ndian caste system : Dr. anesh said) 2differentiation is the way of nature) while
integration is the way of the s*irit. Duality is the way of the mind) while e1uality can be
achieved at the highest *lane.2
• Sanatana Dharma = Democracy : Dr. anesh stressed that old civili7ations li'e the
ree' and the Roman came to an end due to their em*hasis on individual rights. -n
-ndian tradition) the stress is more on the duties.
• The cyclical nature of the $agni:shomiya mandala$ where $agni is the consumer and $soma$
is the consummate. -t was *articularly enlightening to understand the $artha:'ama$
conce*ts within the boundaries of 2dharma.
• 0ow the -ndian culture is 2trans:texual2 : beyond the boo'. Dr. anesh$s noted that even
the vedas themselves negate the vedasC Datra vedaah avedaah bhavantiE
• Dr. anesh stressed again on the critical combination of braahma and 'shatra. 2Dharma is
not goodness without s*ine and mightC2 he said.
• 2Sat:chit:ananda2 or 2absolute existence) absolute awareness and absolute bliss2 is the
bedroc' of the -ndian culture. 0e also narrated how the triad of 2shiva:rama:'rishna2
form the ideals for hindus at 2individual level 5Shiva6) family level 5Rama6 and societal
level 5>rishna62.
• -ndian cultural history lays more em*hasis on the s*iritual and emotional connectivity
thru the ages. 20ow can you write a biogra*hy or history of a living *ersonF -ndian
culture is a living *henomenon. So cannot ex*ect the histories similar to that of ree' or
Roman which are extinct)2 articulated Dr. anesh.
• Dr. anesh introduced the 1; schools of -ndian learning. They are:
1. &our vedas 8rig) ya4us) saama) athar9
!. &our u*a:vedas 8ayurveda) arthaveda) gaandharva veda) stha*atyaveda9
%. Six sections of veda 8Shi'sha) vya'arana) niru'ta) 'al*a) 4yotisha) chandas9
G. Dharshana
H. /gama
I. -tihasa
J. *urana 81; *uranas9
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age !
Audio recording of session- can be downloaded from the GIPA website.
Available in 3 parts: .art!:1, .art!:! and .art!:%.
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age %
Su''ary of session(III #"ug )0 )*++$
Dear &riends)
Than' you for your continued *artici*ation and su**ort. +e are thoroughly en4oying this
o**ortunity to networ' with li'e minded *eo*le and to be learning from a scholar li'e Dr.
&ollowing are brief notes from today$s session.
• Dance of Shiva : Dr. anesh used the o**ortunity *rovided by a 1uestion on 2Dance of
Shiva2 to articulate on the conce*t of 2#eela2 : actions of S*irit without any *ur*ose
• Tal'ing of 2?edic Kathematics2) Dr. anesh strongly felt that the revered swami4i who
invented the 2sutras2 in ?edic Kathematics had demonstrated utmost humility by attributing
his creation to the vedas. The ?edic Kathematics do not ex*and on any new dimension of
mathematics) Dr. anesh said 1uoting .rof. Bhanumurthy$s wor' on this sub4ect.
• 2Si'hism and 0indusim2 : Dr. anesh articulated the conce*ts of 2?astu Tantra2 and
2.urusha Tantra2 to demonstrate how the social order of Si'hism 5or buddhism6 was different
from Santana Dharma while the Soul of both are the same due to the same 2?astu Tantra2.
Dr. anesh tal'ed about the H basic 1uests that any religion should answer:
1. Nature of the soul 54eeva6
!. Nature of the world : both animate and inanimate 54agat6
%. Nature of od 5-shwara6
G. Nature of *ain(bondage(birth(death 5bandha:swaroo*a6
H. +ays and means to come out of *ain(bondage(birth(death 5mo'sha6
• .aa*a:.unya : The Lnglish language does not have a word for 2*unya2) while 2Sin2 is
e1uated with .aa*a. "sing an analogy from the theory of thermodynamics) Dr. anesh
defined *aa*a as 2any action that contributes to entro*y 5loss of energy62.
• 2/*aurusheya2 nature of ?edas: Dr. anesh showed how the s*irit of the vedas is eternal
5artha nityatwa6 while the structure is tem*oral. Thus) vedas are non:human made in the
sense of the artha nityatwa. The s*irit of the vedas is 2Sat chit aananda2.
• Dr. anesh continued his tal' on 21; vidyasthanas2 and s*ent considerable amount of time
on the u*avedas 5G of them : ayurveda) arthaveda) gandharva veda and Stha*atya veda6) and
shaDangaas 5I limbs of vedas6.
• The ?edangas are:
1. Shi'shaa : considered the 2nose2 of the veda *urusha
!. vya'arana : the 2mouth2
%. >al*a : 2hands2
G. chandas : 2feet2
H. 4yothisha : 2eyes2
I. niru'ta : 2ears2
• The 2'al*a2 of vedas have various sutras. They are G in number:
1. grihya sutra
!. dharma sutra
%. shulba sutra
G. shrauta sutra
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age G
• Tal'ing extensively about how the 2rasa *ragnye2 5aesthetics6 is an essential *art of Sanatana
Dharma) Dr. anesh *ut it very succinctly when he said) 2you need some *sychic distance to
a**reciate arts2. Be it the use of Sans'rit or the *oetic language) one must recogni7e the $rasa
*ragnye$ in the wor's and allow for *oetic ex*ressions.
• Tal'ing of 2-tihasa2 : Dr. anesh said it is not entirely correct to e1uate 2-tihasa2 with history.
Because) in -ndian tradition the history is always lin'ed to *hiloso*hy and essentially the
2*urusharthas2. The *ur*ose is to relate everything to 2.urushartha2 5what does it mean to
meF is the *ers*ective6
• /nother as*ect of Sanatana Dharma tradition is to 20umani7e2 everything. ods) nature)
everything is made 2human2 by attributing human forms and feelings to them. No other
tradition does this as beautifully and holistically.
• Tal'ing of values) Dr. anesh *ut it thus: that which is *ursued for its own sa'e is ?alueC So)
values reali7ed in the bac'dro* of actuality is Ramayana and Kahabharata.
• Dr. anesh *ut the dates of Ramayana and Kahabharata as) roughly) G,,, B3 and %,I, B3
• -ndian 3ulture is a continuous one. -t is continuous because it is not closedB it is o*en ended
and inclusive. 0ad it been exclusive and closed then it would have been history by now.
0ence there is no history of Sanatana DharmaC
Audio recording of session-3 can be downloaded from the GIPA website.
Available in 3 parts: .art%:1, .art%:! and .art%:%.
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age H
Su''ary of session(I1 #"ug )2 )*++$
Summary of session:-? on 2&oundations of -ndian 3ulture2 : held on /ugust !;) !,11 at -./:
Dr. anesh continued his tal' on the M1; vidya sthanasN and in this fourth session tal'ed more on
the remaining three) namely) the .uranas) Darshana and /gama. &ollowing are some salient
*oints made by Dr. anesh in his fourth lecture) on /ug !;.
1. Dr. anesh tal'ed at some length about the 0indu theory of creation. 0e touched u*on
the various schools of thoughts including the saan'hya theory. 0e suggested reading
M?ishnu *uraanaN for a fuller treatment on this to*ic.
!. /nswering another 1uestion) Dr. anesh strongly discouraged the audience from ta'ing
the literature from the -S>3AN organi7ation as the basis of -ndian *hiloso*hy. 0e urged
*eo*le to read the originals or other more honest writers with a dee*er understanding of
the -ndian thoughts and the all inclusive mindset.
%. Tal'ing of >rishna) Dr. anesh remar'ed that Mif >rishnaOs character is understood well)
then the *ast) the *resent and the future of -ndia will be understood correctly.N -n this
context he recommended boo's by David &rawley) Ban'imOs Mmeaning of >rishnaN) ?S
Su'htan'arOs Mmeaning of mahabharataN) and also D?Os MSree >rishna .aree'shanamN.
G. 3ontinuing his tal' on the .uranas) Dr. anesh said the following.
a. .uranas show the H characteristics:
G.i. .uranas tal' about MSargaN P creation
G.ii. .rati:sarga P diluge or secondary creation
G.iii. ?amsha P devarshi:ra4a vama : dynasty(lineage of 'ings and sages
G.iv. ?amshaanucharita P achievements of dynasties
G.v. manvantaraaNi P time(choronology
b. .uranasamhita was created by Sage .arashara) father of ?eda ?yasa. 0owever)
?yasa taught the samhita as 1; different *uranas.
c. Dr. anesh strongly argues that M.uranas are the real fol' literature 54ana*ada
sahitya6 of Sans'rit.
d. Due to its sheer variety and diversity) the Sanatana Dharma cannot be easily
com*rehended in its entirety. 0owever) on the other hand) starting with ay view
*oint would be 4ust fine as it too would lead one to the true meaning.
e. .uranas should be ta'en at the Martha vadaN P at the level of meaning and s*irit.
f. +hen understood from the *oetic view *oint) .uranas are wonderful *ieces.
g. To a**reciate *uranas better) one needs to em*loy Maaharya sattaN P meaning)
Mthe art of willing sus*ension of disbelief.N M+e 'now it is not that but we
acce*t itCN 5li'e while watching a drama) or 'idsO *laying6. This is true for
a**reciating all forms of art and creative writing.
h. .uranas cover the Maadhi daivaN realm of -ndian culture. That is) the realm of
i. .uranas miss the element of human feeling. 0owever) a believer is consoled to a
great extent.
H. Then) Dr. anesh tal'ed about the Darshanas) or *hiloso*hy.
a. Darshanas are: san'hya) nyaya) vaisheshi'a) yoga) *oorva:meemaamsa and
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age I
b. Darshanas deal with the H basic 1uestions : 4eeva) 4agat) eeshwara) bandha and
mo'sha 5life) creation) od) *ain and salvation6.
c. -n -ndian 3ulture) the only and ultimate value to be attained is Mmo'shaN. Thus)
everything leads to this *arama:*urushartha.
I. #astly) Dr. anesh tal'ed about the MaagamasN P or) also 'nown as MTem*le TraditionsN.
a. There are H aagamas: 4ainaagama) baudhaagama) shivaagama) shaat'aagama and
b. The dictum of the aagamas is enshrined in the shlo'a that goes Mdeham
devaalam *ro'to) devo 4eevah sanaatanahQ.. soham bhaavena *oo4ayetN.
c. Stresses tem*les and traditions more. /rcha'a 5*riest6 is very im*ortant.
Marcha'asya *rabhaavena shilaa bhavati shan'arahN P it is due to the *riest that a
mere stone becomes ShivaC
J. Dr. anesh touched u*on the H maha:yagnas and said they show how one should behave
in different contexts.
;. The -ndian 3ulture can be divided into % s*heres :
a. The realm of ex*erience P bhaava *ra*ancha
b. The realm of belief P daiva *ra*ancha
c. The realm of facts P 4eeva *ra*ancha.
Audio recording of session-! can be downloaded from the GIPA website.
Available in 3 parts: .artG:1, .artG:! and .artG:%.
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age J
Su''ary of session(1 #Se3t 4 )*++$
Autlining the to*ics being covered as *art of the current series) Dr. anesh reiterated that the
*ur*ose of the series is toward *roviding an a**roach to com*rehending the -ndian 3ulture.
0el*ing listeners a**reciate the fundamental values and the all inclusive nature of the -ndian
3ulture is also an aim. Thus) he was not able to get into many details of every to*ic.
• 3ontinuing from the *revious sessions) Dr. anesh hel*ed establish how the ods and
oddesses of .uranas are no different from the %% ods found in the ?edas. 0e
beautifully showed how the conce*t of trinity 5trimurthy tatwa6 of *uranas is e1uivalent
to *ra4a*athi:aditya:rudra found in the vedas.
• Tal'ing of the I:enemies 5ari:shad:varga R set of I enemies6) Dr. anesh *ointed out how
$>ama$ or desire is the fundamental one. Ather H are 4ust manifestations of the 'ama
de*ending on whether it was fulfilled or unfulfilled.
1. +hen fulfilled) the 'aama gives raise to *ride) greed and *ossessiveness 5mada)
lobha and moha6
!. +hen unfulfilled the same 'aama manifests as 4ealousy or anger 5maatsarya and
• Dr. anesh then returned to the to*ics introduced in first and second sessions and dwelt at
some length on the meaning of vedas) the art and science of swara mantras) different
su'tas in vedas) main ty*es of sacrifices 5yagnas6) u*avedas) the central themes of 1,
u*anishads 5he listed 1G) G more than the famous 1,6 and also the list of *uranas and
some conce*ts.
• The fire sacrifices 5yagna hereafter6 are of ! ty*es: 'shatriya yagas and braahmana yagas
5for the warring and brahmana classes res*ectively6
• >shatriya yagas: there are mainly G of them:
1. Sautramani yaga : yaga done for getting friends and allies 5alcoholism is *art of
the yagna *rocedure6
!. vaaya*eya yaga: yaga done for building the army 5charriot racing is a *art of the
%. raa4asuya yaga: for establishing 'ingdom : ra4a nirmana 5*laying dyuta or game of
dice is *art of the yagna6
G. ashwamedha yaga: for ex*anding the 'ingdom : raa4ya vistara 5hunting and meat
eating or *art of yagna6
• -t was an eye:o*ener when Dr. anesh showed how the vices li'e alcoholism) gambling)
hunting and meat eating had been accommodated as *art of the yagna itself.
• Dr. anesh was em*hatic when he said) 2the vices cannot be eliminated from the society.
Thus they need to be suitably *rovided for and thus moderatedC2
• Braahmana yagas: there are three sets of J a*iece
1. *aa'a yagnas : 2coo'ed rice2 or 2charu2 is the main offering. There are J of them.
!. havis yagnas: 2aa4ya2 or 2ghee2 is the main offering. These are also J.
%. soma yagnas: 2soma 4uice2 is the main offering.
• "nli'e the 'shatriya yagnas) the brahmana yagnas do not include any vices as *art of the
yagna *rocess.
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age ;
• -n this context) Dr. anesh stressed that meat eating was *revalent in vedic times.
0owever) vegetarianism was always acce*ted as more desirable.
• Dr. anesh showed how the different *ractices and customs had the ability to include one
and all) and also cater to all variety of *eo*le. 0e remar'ed that 2only that which caters to
variety will stay. Rigidity is not the answer2.
• Next) Dr. anesh listed the famous u*anishads and 1uic'ly showed their central theme.
1. -saavaasya u*anishad : deals with 2res*ect for creation2) 2res*ect for duty2.
DBhagavadgita has been greatly ins*ired by -saavasyaE
!. >ena u*anishad: Res*ect for in1uiry
%. >aTha u*anishad: covers the *o*ular Nachi'eta story. /nd elaborates two vidyas
5a6 agni vidya and 5b6 brahma vidya. The agni vidya covers the matter 5consumer6
*art while the brahma vidya covers the nivritti 5s*irit6 *art.
G. *rashna : covers the conce*t of inter connected nature of the world 5agni:soma
H. munda'a : deals with renunciation 5nivritti6B in -ndian tradition the sanyasins
recite munda'a u*anishad everyday.
I. maandu'ya : covers the avastha:traya 5the three states of existence: wa'e) dream)
dee* slee*6
J. aittareya : covers the brahman and atman
;. taittareya : the conce*ts here are a combination of what are found in 'aTha and
-shaavasyaB taittareya covers the famous 2*ancha 'osha2 *aradigm 5*hysical
layer) *raaNa layer) mind) intellect and ananda layer6. /lso covers the ananda
conce*t in great detail. Tal'ing of this u*anishad) Dr. anesh drew our attention
to the convocation address 5graduation ceremony6 and showed how relevant they
are today. satyam:vada) dharmam chara) ... and maatri:devo bhava) *itru:devo
bhava and acharya devo:bhava are all from this convocation address. That is how
the teachers used to instruct their students at the time of them leaving the school.
@. brihadaaranya'a : the biggest u*anishad. -t covers the *ancha mahaa yaagas. The
1Hth cha*ter of Bita is nothing but brihadaaranya'a.
1,. chaandogya u*anishad : This u*anishad has % famous conversations. 5a6 between
shweta'etu and udhala'a) 5b6 narada and sanat'umara) and 5c6 virochana and
indra. Dr. anesh recommended reading 2%! vidyas2 a boo' *ublished by the
/dyar #ibrary to 'now more about the different 'nowledge streams that
Shweta'etu tal's about.
• Dr. anesh then tal'ed about how the Santana Dharma lays a lot of stress of sublimation.
This is very uni1ue to our culture. 0ere) 2water2 becomes 2theertha2) a sim*le *ot
becomes 2'alasha2) a mere fire is 2agni2) food becomes 2*rasada2 and so on. oing
beyond the utility is sublimation. To consume is 2bhoga2 while to en4oy is 2ananda2.
• /nswering a 1uestion on methodologies to be ado*ted to 'ee* the -ndian culture live at
home) Dr. anesh insisted that -ndians should learn at least their mother tongue well.
3hildren should be able to read) write and converse in at least one indian language well.
That is the first ste* towards learning the -ndian culture) he em*hasi7ed.
• Tal'ing about the 2niru'ta2 or the etimology section of the vedas) Dr. anesh showed
how it is im*ortant to 'now the 2commonly and traditionally 'nown meanings 5rooDhi:
arthaS2. 0e said rooDhi:artha should always be ta'en as higher than the yoga:artha. 0e
gave exam*les of how 4ala4a is always understood as 2lotus2 although even other *lants
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and animals on water 5li'e mos1uitos6 can also be Tala4a if one were to go strictly by the
• Tal'ing of 24yothisha2 or astronomy section of the vedas) Dr. anesh said it was used
mainly for 'nowing the right time for *erforming the yagnas.
• /nswering a 1uestion) Dr. anesh said 2>arma and rebirth2 theory is not a fundamental
conce*t of Sanatana Dharma. Lx*laining why so) Dr. anesh said the 2'arma2 5or wor'6
is itself a relative one which de*ends on the tri:*uTi 5'artru) 'arma and 'riya6. So) it is
the conce*t of 2ananda2 5sat:chit:ananda6 that is the central conce*t of Sanatana Dharma.
Anly that is considered absolute. /ll) everything) in the end should lead one towards
ananda or unchanging ha**iness.
• Dr. anesh then tal'ed about dharmasutras ) shodasha sams'ara 51I sams'ara6) u*a:
vedas 5ayurveda) artha veda) sthaa*atya veda and gaandharva veda6.
• Dharma:sutras cover the following:
1. aachaara : self conduct : how one is answerable) honest to oneself
!. vyavahara : social conduct : how one is answerable and honest to others
%. *raayashitta : atonement : ways to cleanse oneself when going against 2aachara2
G. danda : *unishment : conse1uences of going against the established social
conduct or 2vyavahara2.
• Self accountability is acharaB hence the line that goes 2aachaaro *aramo dharmah2 5self
conduct is the highest dharma6.
• 1I:sams'aras : Uomitting the details here for *aucity of timeB *lease as' if you need
details. Dr. anesh himself has recorded a well researched lecture series on this sub4ect in
>annada. 3D is available at -./V
• The 1; .uranas : he listed them. They are matya) mar'andeya) bhagavata *urana)
bhavishya *urana) and others. The list is available at htt*:((en.wi'i*'i(.uranas
• Tal'ing of arthaveda or artha shasta) Dr. anesh showed how scholars li'e 3hana'ya had
*rovided designs to run and moderate even brothels and *rostitutes. 0e said 2that which
cannot be eliminated from the society should be suitably accommodated. So) a minister
for *rovisioned by 3hana'ya2.
• /ll said) Dr. anesh said) the real aim of all wor's is to remove the dichotomy 5dwandwa
or samshaya6. Santana Dharma achieves that in very many ways.
Audio recording of session-" can be downloaded from the GIPA website.
Available in 3 parts: .artH:1, .artH:! and .artH:%.
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age 1,
Su''ary of session(1I #Se3t 5 )*++$
/ryan -nvasion Theory:
This theory is a *ure concoction. -t was an entirely foreign idea. There was no oral or texual
tradition which recorded the /ryan -nvasion myth in any of the -ndian or foreign languages *rior
to the advent of Lnglish in -ndiaC The *uranas or vedas or any other tradition had any mention of
this theory.
+hen the British discovered Sans'rit and observed the similarities between Sans'rit and their
own old traditions and languages) they concluded MSans'rit can only be our *roductN. Racial
su*eriority P the whiteman$s burden P cou*led with the religious and *olitical su*eriority led
them to not only believe in this theory but also *ush that forcefully in -ndia.
oing into details) Dr. anesh outlined the following facts:
1. L*ic and literary wor' by 0omer go bac' as far as @,,B3 while ?edas go bac' between
%,,, and G,,, years B3
!. During the erman movement of the 1;
century they wanted something more ancient
identity. They wanted to disown the semitic origin. So they created this. The British too'
this u* ha**ily.
%. The British started using the line that Myour ancestors were /ryans. +e belong to that. +e
are not invaders. +e are here to u*lift you) and teach you. Wour ancestors came from
central /sia.N.
G. -t was established by com*arative sociology. There were no archeological evidences.
H. There was also the religious interest) to *ro*agate 3hristianity. >ittel$s wor' in >annada)
Brown$s wor' in Telugu and were all created to aid the wor' of the missionaries to
*ro*agate 3hristianity.
I. So) the /ryan theory was *ushed to further their *olitical and religious interests.
J. The 0ara**a archeological findings of 1@!,:!! dealt a death blow to the /ryan -nvasion
theory. The findings did not show any *roof of any 'ind of invasion) war or such. There
were no mass graves) bro'en s'ulls or ribs) and so on. +hen the $-nvasion$ theory
wouldn$t hold water) the *ro*onents changed that to M/ryan Kigration TheoryN. Dr.
anesh called this tactic the Mstrategy of changing groundsN.
;. The British ra4 and the 3hurch threw their full might behind this /-T and *ublished so
many MscholarlyN research wor's ridiculing the vedas and -ndian traditions. Wet) a lot was
not lost. This is because) luc'ily) the *eo*le were illiterate and did not 'now LnglishC
@. The communists found this theory very convenient to *ush their Mclass conflictN theory.
So they became the trustees of establishing the /ryan theory. The Kuslims too found this
useful to argue that M-ndia) after all) is a land of invasions. /ryans came first) we came
next and British have come nowN. The #eftists then started ex*laining everything as an
/ryan invasion *roduct.
1,. /*art from the -ndian classical music and dance every other form of the tradition was
corru*ted by the /ryan invasion(migration myth. Lven the dance was also corru*ted to
some extent 5as we witness in the wor's of the li'es of the Sarabhai$s6. Such has been the
ram*ant corru*tion unleashed by the communists in -ndia.
11. The satellite *ictures establishing the existence of the river Saraswati was another fatal
blow to the /ryan theory. Rigveda mentions the river Saraswati over IG times.
1!. The -ndian mathematics found in very early texts such as the shulba sutras of the vedas
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age 11
went to Kesa*atomia. &rom there it went to Lgy*t and aided in the construction of the
egy*tian *yramids.
1%. During the vedic *eriod) the northern -ndia was chiefly divided into ! areas: aryavartha
and brahmavartha. The land to the right of the Sindhu and between the 0imalayas and
?indhyas was called the /ryavartha. The word $/rya$ comes from the Sans'rit root $ru$
which means to $*lough$. So) the fertile land suitable for agriculture was called /ryavarta.
The land around Saraswati was called Brahmavarta. The vedas ha**ened in the
1G. Saraswati had two big tributaries which em*tied their waters into Saraswati thus ma'ing
her a mighty river. They were Wamuna and Sutle4. Due to the geological changes in the
earth$s *late) both Wamuna and Sutle4 changed their course. Wamuna turned eastwards and
em*tied itself into anga 5in .rayag6. /nd) Sutle4 flew westwards and 4oined Sindhu.
Thus) Saraswati dried u*. .eo*le started migrating into all directions. Kahabharata has
references to this historical event) Dr. anesh said. 0e then identified the five ma4or clans
of *eo*le who migrated to the +est) east) south) coastal and northern *arts of -ndia. #i'e
the $aanaas$ who went to reece. So) yes) it is an aryan migration theory. But) the
migration was from the Last to the +est and not other way around.
1H. Thus) /ryan is not a race or a religion. -t is a way of life. /nd) it is our own. -t is -ndian.
1I. Tal'ing briefly about the dates of -ndian history) Dr. anesh summari7ed as below:
 Lnding of the -ce age : 11,,, P 1,),,, B3B resulted in rivers and civili7ation
 ?eda *eriod began: ;,,, B3 5about !,,, years after the ice age6
 Battle of the 'ings: G,,, B3 5this battle of the vedic *eriod has been noted as
daasharaagni yudha or the battle of ten 'ings. ?ishwamitra and ?asishtha were
contem*oraries and lived during this time. Rama) since he was a student of both
sages) he too lived around this time.6
 Ramayana$s time: G,,, B3
 Kahabharata war: %,,, B3 8roughlyB this mar'ed the end of the vedic *eriod with
?eda ?yasa dividing the vedas into G9 Saraswati was already drying u* by this time.
Balarama saw this when he went on the *ilgrimage.
 Sutra *eriod: %,,, to !,,, 5shulba sutra) etc. Kathematics6
 reat draught: !!,, B3 P 1@,, B3 5a good !,, to %,, years of draught6
 .anini existed before Budha: before J
 Shan'ara: I%, and II! /D 5%! years6
1J. #isten to Dr. anesh$s tal' on /ryan -nvasion err... Kigration Theory: htt*:((*a:*ic(*artSIS1.m*%
IG:/rt forms and Sans'rit:
1. Then) Dr. anesh tal'ed briefly about Sans'rit language) its relevance to -ndian culture.
0e was em*hatic when he said Sans'rit was a normal conversational language and it was
not 4ust confined to a section of the society. 0e as'ed if *eo*le 'new of any e*ic or novel
in Ls*aranto language. No one creates *oetry and *rose in a language not used by *eo*le.
So) Sans'rit was a $bhasha$ P s*o'en language.
!. .ra'rut is 4ust a s*o'en dialect of Sans'rit. -t is no different from Sans'rit. Shauraseni)
lateeya) maagadhi) ardha maagadhi... and so on. /ll these are 0indi only. Ald hindi and
new hindi have no similarities between them but yet *eo*le acce*t them as 0indi only.
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age 1!
Similarly with old >annada and new >annada. Both are acce*ted as >annada. Then why
not agree that .ra'rut and Sans'rit are similarly associatedF That is where the influence
of the so called secularists is very clear.
%. Then Dr. anesh clarified about the age of Tamil vis:a:vis Sans'rit. The Tamil is no
different from the -ndian tradition and sans'rit. The word Tamila is from Dravila. The
word Dravida came from the word $Dravila$ as according to Sans'rit grammar rules there
is no difference between $la$ and $da$. Thus Dravila became Dravida. The word Dravila
comes from the root $dru$ which means woods) forest. So) the deccan land full of forests
was called $Dravila$ which came to be 'nown as Dravida. This land of forests was called
$danda'aaranya$ in Ramayana.
G. Kore on Sans'rit and IG:arts at : htt*:((**ic(*artSIS!.m*% and
Audio recording of session-# can be downloaded from the GIPA website.
Available in 3 parts: .artI:1, .artI:! and .artI:%.
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age 1%
$oo%s and other sources referenced&recommended b' (hatavadhani
)r. * Ganesh on +,oundations of Indian -ulture+
Shortlisted books and other resources6
1. Bhaaratiya Sams'riti P a boo' by Dr. S. Sri'antha Shastry of Kysore 8>annada9
!. ?aidi'a Sahitya 3haritre P a boo' /nantha Ranga charya 8>annada9
%. .re'sha Blog 8-ntroduction9
G. &A"ND/T-ANS A& S/N//T/N/ D0/RK/ 8/ blog by Shatavadhani Dr. R anesh9
H. / 3oncise Lncyclo*edia of 0induism P a boo' by Swami 0arshananda of Rama'rishna
I. An Introduction to .indu -ulture / a boo' by Swami 0arshananda 8*ublished by
Kotilal Banarasidass9
J. 3all of ?edas P a boo' by /3 Bose 8*ublished by Bharatiya ?idya Bhavan9
;. The ?edas P a boo' by >anchi Kahaswami
@. /udio 3D$s of Shatavadhani Dr. R anesh P all in >annada and are available from -./
i. Bharatiya Sams'rutiya moola tatwaga#u
ii. ashtadhasha *urana *arichaya
iii. 'aa#idasana 'aavya sams'riti
Full list of books and other resources6
1. +or's of .rof. K 0iriyanna
!. 0istory of Dharmashastra : .? >ane
%. .olitics of 0istory : NS Ra4aram
G. +onder that was -ndia : /# Bhasham
H. /rtha Shastra : >autilya
I. Raghuvamsha : >alidasa
J. Kanusmriti
;. .a*al Bulls
@. 0indu Resistance to -slamic Anslaught : Sitaram oel 8and his other wor's9
1,. 3handogya "*anishad
11. Taittireeya "*anishad
1!. Beautiful Tree : Dharma*al
1%. +or's of Dr. D? unda**a 8D?9
1G. .rof. Su'tan'ar$s #ectures on the meaning of Kahabharata 8his last G lecturesF9
1H. +or's of Sri Sachidanandendra Saraswati Swami4i of 0olenarasi*ur 8a. .aramartha
3hintamani) and 5b6 /vasthaa:traya9
1I. +or's of >/ >rishnaswamy -yer
1J. /vasthatraya by Sri. Kadhusudana Saraswati swami4i
1;. /ntaryaga : /nand >umara Swamy 8very heavy readingC9
1@. ?aidi'a Sahitya 3haritre : /nantha Ranga charya 8'annada9
!,. 0indu Dharma : Sri Sri. 3handrase'hara Bharati swami 8*eriya acharya9 of >anchi math
!1. +or's of N 3ha'ravarthy 8es*. 2?isha saamarasya2 and 2dharma cha'ra29
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age 1G
!!. 3all of ?edas : /3 Bose 8*ublished by Bharatiya ?idya Bhavan9
!%. 0indu Sams'ara : Ra4abali .andey
!G. &oundations of -ndian Lthics : -lla Ravi 56
!H. haasu:beesu 5devalaya tatva6 : Dr. R anesh
!I. 0indu Tem*les : Stellar' 5s*F6
!J. /agama 'osha : S> Ramachandra Rao
!;. /anand 3oomera Swamy : Dance of Shiva
!@. Natara4a : Dr. K Shivaram Kurthy
%,. ?eda mantra *arichaya 53D6 : Dr. R. anesh
%1. Bharatiya Sams'rutiya Koola tatwaga#u 53D6 : Dr. R. anesh
%!. Sandhya Darshana : Dr. R. anesh
%%. Bhagavata Sam*radaya : Sachidanandendra Saraswati 5Swami4i of 0olenarasi*ur6
%G. .uranic Lncyclo*edia : >rishna mati vattam
%H. Small boo's) J,:;, *ages a*iece) on .uranas from Taico .ublications.
%I. .ublications of ?oice of -ndia 5htt*:(( +or's of Sita Ram
oel) Ram Swaru* and /run Shourie.
%J. +or's of David &rawley
%;. Sri'ant Talageri P Rigveda / 0istorical /nalysis (
%@. BB #al P /rcheological notes
G,. Dr. S. Sri'antha Shastry of Kysore
G1. Tathya Darshana 5'annada6 P Sediya*u >rishna Bhatta
G!. +or's of Navaratna S Ra4aram 5htt*:((en.wi'i*'i(N.SS.SRa4aram6
G%. Lminent 0istorians P /run Shourie
GG. ?S ?a'an'ar P archeological notes
GH. #etters of Kax Kuller to his wife 8since *ublished as ! volumes by his wife9
GI. Brea'ing of -ndia by Ra4eev Kalhotra
GJ. +or's of >oenrad Llst
G;. B# Swamy Dhtt*:((en.wi'i*'i(B.S.S#.SSwamyE
G@. Dr. S. >alyanaraman : Saraswati River ?alley 3ivili7ation
H,. "mesh P Date of Shan'ara
H1. &estivals) S*orts and .astimes of -ndia P .rof. Raghavan
H!. "seful websites and other resources 8courtesy: 3ourse *artici*ants9:
-. htt*:((**h*(gi*aS*ic.*h* D#ive recording of Dr. R aneshOs lecture
series) titled) M&oundations of -ndian 3ultureN. I daysE
--. htt*:((
---. htt*:((bharateeya.word*!,,@(,I(1!(rig:veda:a:historical:analysis:shri'ant:
-?. htt*:((**an:myth.html
?. htt*:((!SsatishSSaraswatiRiver?alley3ivili7ati
?-. htt*:((o* Dthe site has rich collection of various noted
authors from all around the worldE
?--. htt*:((o*'s(A#G!GGG@IK(&estivalsSs*ortsSandS*astimesSofS-ndia
?---. htt*:(( D-t has a nice collection of the *rimary
sources in roman scri*t.E
-X. htt*:((*(dating:San'ara.html
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age 1H
X. Becoming -ndian 5The unfinished revolution of culture and identity6 by .avan >. ?arma
8This boo' tal's about how our forefathers over last !,, years were drifted towards
english language and how we started loosing our own ground and the author also ex*ands
on what we can do to address this today9
X-. Brea'ing -ndia 5+estern -ntervention in dravidian and dalit fault lines6 By Ra4iv
Kalhotra and /ravvind Neela'andan. 8This boo' tal's about aryan myth and how it was
effectively used by foreigners to brea' india.]
,uestions or co''ents about these notes- .rite to indianculturecourse/g'' !age 1I

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