Sunday January 21, 2018
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Importance of Wealth in our Indian Culture



One of the main reasons to look westward for answers of financial questions is the fallacious assumption that ‘because Indian culture is centered around spirituality and Dharma, thus it is indifferent towards the problems of the material life’. This misconception is the result of a vitiated propaganda and a misunderstanding of spirituality. This needs to be put in perspective.

History: Philosophical Speculations vs Facts

It’s a fact that much of our perceptions about ourselves today comes from the western thinkers and historians. From Max Muller and Karl Marx to the likes of Michael Witzel and Wendy Doniger, we have let our identities to be defined by the western historians. If we trace back the roots of ‘Western Indology’ our own self-perception was largely created by scholars who actually never visited India, who never dealt with Indians and who never read any Indian literature. Take two scholars, for instance, Karl Marx and Max Weber.

In the year 1853, before he wrote the Das capital, Karl Marx wrote a couple of articles which showed his understanding about India. He said that economically if you look at the country, every village is an economic unit, a tariff unit, and it doesn’t import or export anything. It produces and consumes making the producer the consumer as well and there is no economic inequality because no one has any power over others. This was called the primitive socialism in the communist terminology.

But Marx said there was something very wrong with this society- they worshiped monkeys and cows. He considered man as ‘the sovereign of nature’, and accuses Hindus of degrading that man by ‘worship of nature’. Thus, such a backward society can never progress and carry out a revolution which is necessary for the advancement of human race.

It is necessary to destroy the social base and even though it is a painful destruction, it is a pleasurable destruction as well. This is what Karl Marx said. He never came to India, never read any Indian literature, never met any Indian but he wrote about India. And Marx became one of the most powerful thinkers influencing the Indian intellectual establishment. And our academics are still under the grip of these powerful thoughts.

Another person, Max Weber, a German philosopher is less known but he was a more powerful social thinker. In 1925, Max Weber wrote a book on Hinduism and Buddhism. He said that two societies can never come up- China and India because they believe in Karma and rebirth, which is anti-enterprise, anti-entrepreneurial development, and so these two nations can never develop.

We defined ourselves through Karl Marx, through Max Weber, and then came Professor Raj Krishna. He was asked, “why India is growing so slowly?” He said it is the ‘Hindu rate of growth’. That was 1978.

But a remarkable u-turn took place in the 1970s, when Japan began rising as an economic power. The west was surprised, because economic development, economic progress is supposed to be the preserve of the west. How could Japan, a Buddhist country from Asia, develop?

And so, one Paul Bairoch, a Belgian economist, made a thorough study of the economic development of different nations from 1750 to 1980. He came out with a surprising finding that, in 1750 if you draw a statistical chart of the world, it would look like this: China was the top country in 1750 with nearly 33 percent of world’s GDP and India was second with 24.5 percent of world’s GDP. UK had 1.8 percent of world’s GDP and USA had 0.1 percent of world’s GDP.

He said that these were the structures of the world economy in the 1750s. And India went down from 24.5 percent of the world’s GDP in 1750 to 20 in 1800, 17 in 1830, 8 in 1880, and finally 1.7 in 1900.

In just 150 years, the Indian economy, the Indian polity, the Indian society, Indian civilization crashed. And the same thing happened to China. From 33 percent in 1750, China became 6 percent in 1900. And in the same period, the UK and the USA, which had just about 2 percent between them in 1750, their share went up to 41 percent in 1900.

This information completely transformed our understanding. Paradigm was shifted. Colonialism of 150 years transferred the power, economic , political and cultural power from Asia to the west.

When Paul Bairoch came up with this theory, the west was stunned. To be fully assured the OECD assigned Angus Maddison, the great economic historian to test and verify whether Paul Bairoch’s research was correct or not. OECD is a group of the 26 richest countries in the world and their statistics are very much relied upon.All the 26 countries funded Angus Maddison and he was given a fleet of research scholars to work with. Angus Maddison started his work like this –

If Bairoch is right, then much of the backwardness of the third world, that is Asia, presumably has to be explained by colonial exploitation and much less of Europe’s advantage can be due to scientific precocity, continued slow accumulation of wealth and organizational, financial superiority. You cannot say it happened, our growth happened because of this, it has to be with colonial exploitation.

This is how Angus Maddison started the work and said that Paul Bairoch cannot be correct. Angus Maddison came out with the final conclusion in the year 2001 , and until June 2010, Angus Maddison kept on publishing his researches. He drew a 2000 year economic history of the world starting from the first year of the common era. He said if you look at the economic statistics in the year one of the Common Era, India tops the world with 34 percent of world’s GDP, China next.

In the year 1000, if you draw the economic statistics, India leads with 28 percent. In the year 1400, India again leads, in the year 1500, India again leads, in the year 1600, China overtakes India, in the year 1700, India overtakes China.

Angus Maddison came to the conclusion that Indian economic crash occurred essentially and wholly because of colonial exploitation. The OECD, forum of 26 wealthiest nations, has declared this as the most authentic economic history of the world.

From the factual evidence, we will move on to what the Hindu scriptures actually say, in the next part.



Next Story

Influence of Indians Upon Western Intellectuals

Book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by SalilGewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea.

Einstein_and_Tagore Great Minds on India
Einstein and Tagore Berlin 14 July 1930. Wikimedia

-by Bernie David Holt

  • This fabulous book by Salil Gewali demonstrates to us how old Indians impacted present-day science, mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and others.
  • The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians, no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’.

Sitting on the beach, staring at the pale blue sea, wondering, is the world really spherical? I could clearly see the flat, never-ending sea of water and thought to myself, how did we find out the world was actually a spherical shape? Thanks to my Yoga teacher and my association with this ancient discipline that brought me to lay my hand on the amazing book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by Salil Gewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea. I quickly realized the science and the literature of the Modern times far behind when compared to the ideas expounded by the ancient Indians. This book truly demonstrates that India affected the cutting edge world; these are cases of extraordinary individuals that helped society in different ways, who credited India’s disclosures and speculations.

The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’ on the grounds that without the “numeric framework”, that Indians made, it would not have been conceivable.

ALSO READ: A Look Back In History: Contribution of Indian Mathematicians in the field of Mathematics

Dick Teresi recognized that Indians discovered that the earth circles the sun and realized that a planet’s path is elliptical, a great many centuries previously the thought was acknowledged inside Europe and the created areas. Dick Teresi is an exceptionally famous author and columnist, who was best known for authoring ‘Lost Discoveries’.

Archibald Wheeler trusts that the Indians knew “everything” and in the event that it was conceivable to decipher their old dialect, we would have every one of the responses to every one of our inquiries. He was the co-creator of ‘The component of atomic splitting’ by Niels Bohr.  Wheeler is the researcher and coined Black Hole, who is also instrumental in the development of Hydrogen Bomb.

Erwin Schrodinger, a splendid physicist, trusted that blood transmutation from India is an unquestionable requirement as it spared otherworldly pallor. Schrodinger was the designer of Wave Mechanics, which is one of the best logical creations of the twenty-first century.

Great Minds of India Salil Gewali
Great Minds on India is a book written by Salil Gewali. Facebook

One of the best hypotheses, the ‘Hypothesis of relativity’ is a hypothesis made by the old Indians, and is “light years”. Light years are there utilized as a part of room terms right up till today and is educated in science ponders within school foundations. This was said by Alan Watts, who was a logician and a standout amongst the most productive scholars of the previous century.

Indians also investigated the importance of natural laws, (many yet to be discovered by the modern scientists and philosophers) the nature of the soul, the birth of the universe, and what is past the cycle of life, birth, and demise, the connection between body, mind, knowledge, and soul. Their vision addressed the idea of holiness, the preeminent planning power that may underlie normal laws. To put it plainly, they tried to know everything that the psyche can appreciate — from the particle to unendingness, the making of the universe, and its significance. The source of different branches of science, craftsmanship, and theory ascribed to this human advancement are genuinely exceptional results of India’s “Jijnyasa”, or urge to want to know with clear vision.

But, I’ve found shockingly disturbing contrary fact in India and among Indians. Over 90% of Indian origin do not subscribe to their own rich civilization and spiritual culture. Just going over the news media and acclaimed literary works published from India astonish us that how there certain powerful people openly hate their own cultural values.

Even the half-literate love to quote Milton, Eliot; and shake themselves in a musical beat of rock-n-roll. This country’s government has found itself in the tangle of controversies while convincing its people about the practical benefits of Yoga and meditation.

I believe, the excellent publication of Gewali’s book will serve the purpose since Indians will get to know about Indian wisdom and spiritual knowledge from their Western masters. The research-based book of over twenty-five years, which has been translated into eleven languages, has recently been prefaced by a world-famous NASA scientists – Dr.KamleshLulla of Houston. Finally, I choose to invoke a very profound quote from the book by a pioneering philosopher of German romanticism August Schlegel – ‘Even the loftiest philosophy of the European appears like a feeble spark before the Vedanta’.

(Bernie David Holt 36a Slade Gardens, Erith, England)