Between 1757 and 1947, British colonials starved to death more than 60 million Indians – Ramtanu Maitra

Between 1757 and 1947, British colonials starved to death more than 60 million Indians – Ramtanu Maitra
— Read on

BEATLE’S PLEA FULFILLED – 50 YEARS LATER – City of Seattle Resolution offers Condemnation

Written in January 2020

August 1st, 1971 represents a turning point in the history of Progressive Humanitarianism. For the first time name and fame were harnessed for the direct benefit of the nameless and forgotten. This was the Concert for Bangladesh and it was the first major benefit concert in history.

Former Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr along with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and the band Badfinger along with Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Alla Rakha Qureshi and Kamala Chakravarty gathered together on behalf of the suffering people of Bangladesh. Working with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) the effort raised millions of dollars on behalf of the refugees of the 1971 Bangladesh war and famine.

It was a truly historic moment that has been recognized as “a brief incandescent revival of all that was best about the Sixties” Rolling Stone Magazine. Billboard magazine, “no politics involved. What is involved is starving children and for once, relief through 35 musicians who should represent the feeling of anyone who loves their music.”

Bangladeshi historian Farida Majid,”the “warmth, care and goodwill” of the August 1971 concerts “echoed all over the world.” Many were inspired to volunteer with UNICEF while others offered private donations to the Bangladesh disaster fund.

In June 1972 UNICEF honored George Harrison and Ravi Shankar with the “Child Is the Father of the Man” award for their ‘pioneering’ fundraising efforts for the refugees of Bangladesh. Bob Geldof also publicly acknowledged The Concert for Bangladesh as the inspiration for his 1985 Live Aid event recently highlighted in the film Bohemian Rhapsody.

In the aftermath of the Concert for Bangladesh, however, politics and the US government reared their ugly heads. Thus a majority of the charitable funds were held up in an IRS escrow account for 10 years before being released to the refugees of Bangladesh. Now on Feb 3rd, this coming Monday, the City of Seattle may add its dose of cold cynical dehumanizing politics to the lives of these very same refugees.

Read on to connect the dots.

Despite the efforts of George Harrison and company, the suffering and trauma has not ended for the victims of the Bangladesh crisis. 49 years later, thousands of Bangladeshi Refugees have remained Stateless. The Indian Government and the world’s various Human Rights organizations seemed powerless to help.

As an avid Beatle’s fan, amateur historian, community organizer and cultural activist I was keen to investigate the conditions of the people Harrison was so moved to help. Beyond sitting comfortable in Seattle, scanning Wikipedia for information, I personally went to Kolkata and West Bengal, India. Travelling the Indo-Bangladeshi border regions i met these people face to face. I saw the ground reality and put the faces of real human beings to the reports and statistics.

Screen Cap from my interview video with the Bangladeshi Hindu Refugees

During my 3 weeks there, I met hundreds of Hindu refugees living in squalor. With no land of their own, to this day they live in ramshackle structures hanging shelf-like above sewage clogged streams and river canals. I interviewed many victims of ethnic cleansing, rape and genocide. Heartbreaking scenes of helpless people holding pictures of murdered loved ones, copies of police and news reports confirming their accounts of violence, rape, land-loss, ethnic cleansing and mass murder. I was ashamed to the point of helplessness.

As a White American they assumed help was finally on its way for undoubtedly I could share their reports with the US President. I cried with them as they cried helplessly. Through the interpreter I had to gently reveal my inability to do anything beyond record their information and hopefully get the attention of others capable of helping to take note of their plight.

This was nearly 8 years ago. Beyond uploading their interviews to Youtube, I have been unable to help them.

Last December the Indian Government passed the CAA or Citizen Amendment Act. Finally the Indian Government was giving them full citizenship! My heart jumped for joy. Finally these suffering people for whom a Beatle appealed and the world soon forgot not only have a chance to live but can now thrive in their adopted homes.

Yet the world being what it is, and Indian politics, perhaps the world’s most tumultuous and chaotic, began to convulse. The Indian Government for its part clumsily enacted the bill ignoring the bad optics of the easily misconstrued Religious identity clause. Yet despite this, in the end, for all intents and purposes, the bill directly and positively impacts the lives of the Bangladeshi Refugees.

While the Muslim Bangladeshis gained an entire new country, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the worlds 8th most populated country, it is overwhelmingly Muslim and is politically and socially Islamic. It is in fact the site of the 2nd largest Islamic religious gathering in the world. Obviously Bangladeshi Muslims have a safe place to call home.

Meanwhile the non-Muslim minorities that fled Bangladesh remained stateless. This CAA bill once and for all finally addresses this disparity.

Despite the great strides made by the Bangladeshi Government, Bangladeshi minorities continue to flee to India. There is obviously no safe space for them thus they flee.

Even today as the world rallies to the support of the Rohingya Muslims, Burmese Rohingya Hindus are denied help in Bangladeshi refugee camps for they rank lowest on the social totem pole. And in India thousands upon thousands of Bangladeshi Hindus remained Stateless, landless, forgotten living in squalid refugee camps. Finally more than 49 years after the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, this CAA bill represents the first glimmer of hope in their lives.

Thus for me, having actually met these people, having seen their plight and knowing their suffering first hand, I can accurately recognize this as a true fulfillment of the Humanitarian promise initiated by George Harrison’s concern made real by his Concert for Bangladesh.

In the 1970s and 1980s the US Government and IRS cold-heartedly withheld millions of dollars of Bangladeshi refugee funds. Now once again a branch of the US government is set to proclaim to the entire world and to these very same suffering Refugees that they do not count. In fact, in the words of the refugees, they see it as ethnic and ideologically based hatred coming from the USA. Good going Seattle!

How is this happening?! A resolution to be voted on Feb 3rd by the Seattle City Council is the culprit. Council member Kshama Sawant’s cold hearted politically calculated bill, while speaking high sounding words of concern and humanitarianism is in fact a cynical weaponized tool that dehumanizes an entire people. Beyond that it enables mass rape, ethnic cleansing and genocide for it attacks the final positive resolution that has finally brought hope into the lives of the victims involved.

By totally ignoring the Bangladeshi Refugees, Sawant’s resolution dehumanizes them for it loudly proclaims that their concerns are irrelevant and their suffering unworthy of mention what to speak of mitigation.

While the Indian Government was admittedly clumsy in its presentation of the CAA bill, if Progressive Seattle wants to respond, it can and must do better.

As the largest US city named after an Indigenous personality, Chief Se’ahl, Seattle is currently a leader in promoting equality and justice for all and in the recognition of the tragedies experienced by indigenous people. And these Bangladeshi Refugees are as indigenous as one can get.

Will Seattle now be at the forefront of condemning a living Indigenous community to irrelevance? Will the City of Seattle put the knife in their hearts by condemning their chance for a life of dignity by officially censuring the CAA as an act of hatred? Will the City of Seattle allow itself to be abused as a weapon in the ideological rivalries of chaotic and traumatised South Asian politics? Is the City of Seattle about to enact its own form of official dehumanization exemplified by the US Federal governments seizure of Bangladeshi charitable funds for these very same refugees?

It is a fact that strong emotions can cloud the mind and hijack reason. This resolution presented by Kshama Sawant appears to count on that. It is unscrupulous for it abuses our collective sense of fairplay and compassion in an attempt to punish Sawant’s ideological rivals in India.

Yet when seen through the prism of the thousands of very real human beings I met who are now benefiting from the CAA it is imperative to recognize what it truly means on the human level.

Therefore I urge the City of Seattle to reject this bill. Kshama Sawant is misleading our community in her attempt to harness our goodwill as a political weapon. Her resolution de-personizes an entire people. It is not representative of our Seattle. If passed it will represent a tragic betrayal of the humanitarian and compassionate ethos at the heart of our city.

It is in fact a direct rejection of the 1960s peace and love anti-war and Universal Goodwill exemplified by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s Concert for Bangladesh for it condemns the upliftment of the very same people their concert was meant to help.

If the city of Seattle truly wants to address the various humanitarian traumas that have long plagued South Asia, and if the City of Seattle is truly sincere about the human rights of all people, then the city of Seattle must officially offer these long-suffering Bangladeshi refugees asylum.

The current resolution as it stands now, is severely flawed and if passed will be trumpeted throughout India causing further anguish and traumatization of the Bangladeshi refugees. Is that truly the message the City of Seattle wants to send them?

Seems impossible for it is not a true reflection of our Seattle. Clearly it would be a heart breaking step backwards in our Collective efforts towards building a truly compassionate and socially responsible Society.

Ancient Syria’s Hari Culture & Akhenaten’s Eye of God

Note: Originally compiled and written in 1999, the article has been updated with relevant data and images.

Around 4,000 years ago,the Hurrians (The Hari) controlled an important empire called Mitanni. Known as the ‘nhrn’ (Naharin) by the ancient Egyptians, it is principally among the Mitanni that Vedic Aryan names and words occur. The Mitanni Capital City was known as Wasukanni or Vasukanni, a Sanskrit word translated as ‘mine of wealth’, but is in fact related to a Sanskrit name of God Vasudeva.

Mitanni capital was Wassukanni / Washukanni and its location has been determined by archaeologists to be on the headwaters of the River Habur, a tributary of the Euphrates. Washukanni is similar to the Kurdish word bashkani, bash meaning good and kanî meaning well or source (Kurdish has the same name, kani, for well and source). The Luwian word vasu also means good. The name is similar to the Sanskrit word vasukhani meaning ‘mine of wealth‘. Source

In a famous treaty between the Hittite ruler Suppiluliuma and the Mitanni king, Mattiwaza,(Mattiraja) about 1370 BC, the Aryan gods Mithra, Varuna, Indra and the twin Nasatyas are mentioned. Thus in the Mitanni kingdom Aryan gods were worshipped as well as Mesopotamian deities, which indicates an “Aryan Vedic element.”

Suttarna, son of Kirta, King of Mittani Cylinder seal impression of Suttarna, son of Kirta (Collon 1975) (Legend; Suttarna, son of Kirta, King of Mittani)

In this particular treaty, between the Hittite King Shuppilulima and Mattiwaza (Mattiraja), king of the Hurrian (Hari)kingdom of Mitanni circa 1350 BC, listed among the divine witnesses “Mitra-ash, Uruwana, Indra, and the Nashatiyanu gods, the very Mithra, Varuna, Indra, and the Nasatya gods of the Vedic/Hindu pantheon”

Two lions are defeated by a central single human-headed lion-man in bird costume; A Dynastic Emblem of Mitanni King Shaushtatar, 1450 BC. Note the Winged Disc overhead. This was ancient humanity’s visual symbol of Hari (God), Sudarshan = auspicious vision with the Eagle Garuda

Another treatise from the State Archives of the Hittite Empire was discovered in Boghaz-keui in modern Turkey. It is a treatise on chariot racing and it uses Sanskrit words such as “Aikavartana=One Turn, Teravartana=Three Turns, Panzavartana=Five Turns, Sattavartana=Seven Turns.”

Mitanni Seal 1500–1350 B.C.

“The Hittite archives of Hattusa, near present-day Bogazkale contained what is the oldest surviving horse training manual in the world. The elaborate work was written c. 1345 BCE on four tablets and contains 1080 lines by a Mitanni horse trainer named Kikkuli. It begins with the words, “Thus speaks Kikkuli, master horse trainer of the land of Mitanni” and uses various Indo-Iranian words for horse colours, numbers and names. Examples: Assussanni a form of Sanskrit asva-sani meaning ‘horse trainer’, aika wartanna meaning one turn (cf. Vedic Sanskrit ek vartanam),
tera wartanna meaning three turns (cf. Vedic Sanskrit tri vartanam),
panza wartanna meaning five turns (cf. Vedic Sanskrit panca vartanam),
satta wartanna meaning seven turns (cf. Vedic Sanskrit sapta vartanam), and navartanna meaning nine turns (cf. Vedic Sanskrit nava vartanam).” Source

Mitanni Divinities. Source: The Hurrians – William Gerhot

Excavations in El-Amarna, Egypt have revealed that during the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, Kings and Princes with typical Vedic names were ruling in the region of modern day Syria. Some of these names are Artamanya, Aryavirya, Yashodatta, Barattarna, Dushrata and Suttarna.

The royal seal of the King of Mitanni Sauššatar or Shaushtatar (late 15th century BC-c. 1440-1410 BC) was a winged eight-pointed sun disk, flanked by two lions and two eagles.

From Mitannian proper names such as Shuwardatta one can also infer the presence of the Vedic Sun God Surya in the Mitanni pantheon. Surya was also worshiped by the Vedic Aryan Kings of Babylon, the Kassites, by the name of Suryash.

The so-called Sun worshipping ‘heresy’ of Pharaoh Akhnaton was in fact a revival movement. It was an attempt to return to Egypt’s original religious tradition. This tradition was centered upon the worship of God through the Sun. As an obvious visual manifestation, the Sun was recognized as an ‘Auspicious Vision’ or Su Darshan of God. Thus rather than the sole object of devotion, the Sun served as a via medium between the worshipper and God.

Akhnaton was born in the beautiful Charuk palace, in Thebes, in or shortly after 1395 B.C., (some scholars place his birth a few years later.) At the young age of 12, Akhnaton was crowned King of Egypt. Records show that in the beginning, he merely reigned, while his Mitanni Mother, Queen Tiy, actually governed.

The King of the Mitanni, King Dashratha (Dushratta),writing to congratulate him on his accession, addresses himself to Queen Tiy, not to Akhnaton directly. Even in later letters of this period, Dashratha writes to Akhnaton advising him to “refer to his mother” about important matters.

At the age of eighteen years, he came into complete power of the Kingdom. It was at this time that he proclaimed his faith in One God-The Sun, which he designated by the name of Aton, ie. The Disk or Fiery Orb. He publicly proclaimed his faith in Aton, as the God of Gods.

Akhnaton’s Symbolism of God represented by the Sun as an Auspicious Vision Disk or Su-Darshan Chakra. The Sun’s Rays or Corona, reach down giving Mercy or Karuna. The Ankh or Egyptian Cross is also a variation of the Sudarshan Disk as is the Swastika. Thus all these emblems and traditions have been identified as Solar Cults. Yet ultimately they are all rooted in worship of the Supreme God Hari.

Some have claimed that as a Sun worshipper, Akhnaton was more of an Animist Nature worshiper rather than a devotee of A Supreme Godhead. However Akhnaton’s own words confirm that this is not the case. Akhnaton spoke of the Sun disk as being the Eye of Aton and a representative of Aton’s Power.

In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna or Hari directly identified Himself with the various archetypes at the foundation of creation

In the Bhagavad Gita, the Sun is also described as one of the unlimited eyes of God’s Universal form. In the Brahma-Samhita the Sun is also described as the Eye of God. Akhnaton’s reverance of the Sun is properly understood in this context.

Great Source of Mittani related Artifacts and Information from the University of Pennsylvania

UK 1969: Finding Krishna & Prabhupad with the Beatles

By Colin Jury/Kulashekar

“This article, published in the January 2013 edition of UK’s Hindu Today Magazine, represents a rare historic first hand account of Britain’s late 1960s popular cultural phenomenon. The intersection between ancient Vedic transcendence and the West’s vibrant 1960s cultural youth rebellion is rarely understood. Here, the author, Colin Jury/Kulashekar, Iskcon’s first British initiate, provides an intimate and accurate look into the era from the perspective of an active participant. Colin shares his role in those historic days with his Gurudev, Srila Prabhupada, the Beatles and his role in recording the ‘Top of the Pops” Radha Krishna Temple Album.

Colin Jury (center) during the recording of the Radha Krishna Temple Album

Colin Jury, was in fact, not only Srila Prabhupada’s first British disciple, but he was also his first initiated European disciple. Before joining Iskcon (the Hare Krishna Movement) he had been a lighting engineer for some of Britain’s top Rock bands such as Pink Floyd. After becoming a devotee, he dovetailed his expertise and ‘street cred’ into his service to his Gurudev, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

This article is also rare for it represents the one and only ever published by the author. He personally told me this was intentional. He said he wanted to save his story for an intended book. He in fact only agreed to publish this article as a favor to me, “a younger God brother Gurukuli veteran starting on a potentially promising new gig.” It was Lord Krsna’s Grace, for a month after publication, Colin Jury/Kulashekar left this world to join his beloved Srila Prabhupad and Sri Sri Venkateshwar. Hindu Today’s tribute to Kulashekar follows his article. BP

Note: The article was published during an Editorial transition period. Not wanting to skip a month, the edition was published despite being short-staffed. Thus the typos. The title and opening paragraph were not written by either the author nor myself. Also the picture of Yoko & John Lennon holding a much later Prabhupad picture is photoshopped.

Hindu Today’s Tribute to Colin Jury/Kulashekar Prabhu

Beikthano or ‘Vishnu City’ – Myanmar’s Most Ancient Urban Center – Burma’s Vaishnava Foundations

Original Source Airavat on Google Pages no longer available. This a combination of my research along with other sources. I actually worked on this months ago forgot it in the drafts. Though it is incomplete I feel it important to share at this time. I apologise for any errors.

Lakshmi at center and Vishnu on the right. Interior Sculptures – Shittaung Paya (en:Shite-thaung Temple) – Mrauk U (Myuhaung) – Arakan State – Myanmar (Burma). Photo by Adam Jones. NOTE; In Vietnam, very late and false claims identify obvious Shiva Linga worship as being the worship of a former Champa King. This same process of usurpation and erasure of Vedic history is found in Burma as well. Thus the above obvious Lakshmi Narayana sculpture is claimed to be a depiction of a former Burmese King. For centuries Theravadin extremists have attempted to erase Myanmar’s Vedic Vaishnava past. This effort rages on today.

The earliest human settlements in ancient Myanmar were along the coastline, in the fertile plain along the Irrawady River, and probably in the remote mountain ranges. As per local chronicles the first historic kingdom was established by Hindu immigrants, led by Prince Abhiraja of the Sakya warrior clan that ruled Kapilvastu. He founded the city of Sankissa (modern Tagaung), and also conquered the Arakan region.

The Mon people living in the coastal districts have a tradition that Hindus from southern India, specifically from the lower courses of the Krishna and Godavari Rivers, crossed the sea in ancient times and settled on the Irrawady delta. Their culture and language migled with those of the Mon.

The Thirty Seven Nats – Thurathadi (Saraswati), Sandi (Chandi), Paramethwa (Shiva), Mahapeinne (Ganesha), Beikthano (Vishnu) in Burmese representation. 1906 painting

Indigenous Burmese word ‘Nat’ is mistranslated as ‘spirit’. It is in fact the Sanskrit ‘Natha’ meaning ‘Lord’. This is a self-evident fact confirmed by the name of Bagan, Burma’s oldest sole remaining Vedic Temple, Nathlaung Kyaung. Modern translations such as, ‘shrine confining the spirits’ reflect Theravadin Buddhist hegemonic policies that attempted to weaken and erase rival ‘devotional’ religious traditions. The impact of atheistic doctrines are at times subtle. Yet when investigated, they reveal an outlook cold and stark. Thus we see today ‘Nat’ is translated as ‘spirit’ yet the original word Natha, often translated as ‘Lord’, in fact comes from ‘nathate’ “he helps, protects,” from the Proto-Indo-European root *nā- “to help.” Original religion is based upon such divine help, love and affection – the full emotional involvement of the Soul with the Supersoul.

According to the traditional history of Arakan, the first king of the province came from Benares on the Holy Ganga in India.

The discovery of stones inscribed with the ancient Indian Brahmi alphabet, used in the records of the Maurya Empire (326-185 BCE), prove that these traditional accounts have a basis in fact. Archaeological remains prove that the Sanskrit and Pali languages of India’s Vedic Civilization were cultivated in Myanmar, and that its people had adopted the Brahmanical and Buddhist religions then prevailing in India. Moreover the rulers of different kingdoms in Myanmar all had Sanskrit names.

Vishnu (Beikthano in Burmese) on his Eagle mount, Garuda, in a traditional Burmese depiction

Historic Kingdoms

Bagan, Myanmar ( Burma) Nathlaung Kyaung Vishnu Temple allegedly built by King Taungthugyi (r. 931-964 AD) yet dated earlier by some scholars. Nathlaung Kyaung Temple is the only remaining Hindu temple in Bagan and the most ancient Temple of any kind in Bagan. The structures of the original temple have disappeared, although the main hall remains. Originally, the temple contained statues of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu, including Gautama Buddha; however, today, only seven remain. The brick temple was isolated and unrepaired for many years, damaged by earthquakes.
The temple is set on a square template with steep-rising upper terraces. It may have been built by Indian artisans brought into Bagan (Pagan), during the 10th century AD, to work on it and other temples. As the oldest temple in Bagan, its style influenced and inspired the numerous other Buddhist structures that followed.

At the time of the Buddha, a Kshatriya clan form North India ruled upper Myanmar for 16 generations. Later this kingdom was lost and the clan founded a new state in lower Myanmar, with Sri-Kshetra (modern Prome) as capital. Here they merged into the original inhabitants, the Pyu people. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India in the 7th century CE mentions this kingdom of Sri-Kshetra in his book. A Sanskrit inscription on the pedestal of a Buddha image bears the local ruler’s name: Jayachandra-varman.

Beikthano, named after Lord Vishnu, is the oldest urban site so far discovered in Myanmar/Burma. It’s remains—the structures, pottery, artefacts, and human skeletons—date from 200 BCE to 100 CE. Vishnu city was the first capital of a culturally and politically uniform state in the history of Burma and it was a Vaishnava based Civilization

Hiuen Tsang mentions another kingdom to the south of Sri-Kshetra called Dvaravati. This was ruled by the Hinduised Mon people. The Mons also inhabited the coastal regions of lower Myanmar, which were known as Ramannadesa.

As per epigraphic records a Hindu dynasty called Sri-Dharmarajaniya-Vamsa ruled in Arakan between 600-1000 CE. Coins found in the region have the names of rulers like Dharma Chandra, Niti Chandra and Vira Chandra. The capital of this kingdom was Vaisali whose ruins (modern Vethali) are found near Mrohaung.

The greatest of all these historic states was the Pyu Kingdom of Sri-Kshetra. It had 9 fortified garrison towns, while the capital Sri-Kshetra was over 40 km in circumference. It was protected by a moat and a wall built of glazed bricks, which had 12 gates and towers at the four corners. Within the city lived thousands of families, with over a 100 Buddhist monasteries, and an opulent royal court awash with gold and silver.

Lord Vishnu Carving at Myanmar’s Ancient Nat-Hlaung Kyaung Vishnu temple. It is one of the oldest temples in Bagan at dated 11th Cent AD but it’s original foundations are much more ancient

The significant absence of Buddhist statuary and relics of Pyu inscriptions fixes Beikthano (Vishnu) culture at an earliest stage of Pyu chronology. Clearly the city named after Vishnu was founded by Vaishnavas – Followers of Vishnu. As an Avatar of Vishnu, Buddhism developed as a new Dharmic Flowering within the same Culture Milieu

On the east of the Pyu Kingdom lay the Thai Kingdom of Nan-Chao—its rulers claimed descent from Ashok of the Maurya Empire and its Sanskrit name was Gandhara. In 754 CE the Thai king defeated the Chinese and invaded Sri-Kshetra, receiving the submission of the Pyus. A branch of the Thais, the Shan, settled in upper Mynamar and gave their name to the region. Again in 832 CE the Thais invaded, this time entering the capital city, plundering its wealth and taking 3000 prisoners.

But the Pyu Kingdom survived this blow. A new capital was established at Arimardanpura (Pagan) in 849 CE, which continued till the 11th century. By this time a new power was making its presence felt in Myanmar.

The Myamma People

The Myamma (modern Bamar)trace their original home to Tibet and, passing through India, reached the forested regions of Myanmar at a remote period. Their being no substantial local population, the Myamma multiplied rapidly and probably also recieved a small infusion of Indian immigrants into this mass.

Front view of Lakshmi Narayana Sculpture from Shittaung Paya Temple, Myanmar

The Myamma were tough and warlike, when compared to the Pyus or Mons, and the decline of the Pyu Kingdom was their opportunity. They established their own rule over Pagan—in 1044 CE Aniruddha, the greatest ruler of Myanmar, ascended the throne. He conquered and annexed the Mon Kingdom, in the process embracing the Hinduised Mon culture, adopting the Mon religion (Theravada Buddhism) and scripture, and adopting the Mon script for writing. Aniruddha’s conquests covered the whole country, including parts of Arakan. Even the proud Shan princes had to submit to Aniruddha.

The earliest forms of Sri Lankan Indigenous Helabasa that survives today is spoken by the ‘Veddha’ Hela people. It is said in the oral tradition that the Buddha spoke Helabasa on his three separate visits to the Island. A written record of Buddha’s first discourse to the Hela in the original Helabasa text was found recently and has subsequently been published. Although some may argue otherwise, it is inconceivable to think that the Buddha would speak any other language when he specifically instructed the Dhammadutha (‘missionary’) sages to impart the Dhamma (i.e. the teachings of the Buddha) in the mother tongue of the people so they may absorb the Dhamma in its entirety. Around the 5th century AD, a group of Buddhist monks whose intentions were to re-introduce Buddhism to the birth place of the Buddha in India (which by this time had declined) decided to translate all the old Helabasa Dhamma text into Pali (the language of the Buddha’s birth place). It is said in the oral tradition that after everything was translated into Pali; the original Helabasa texts were heaped into a pile ‘seven elephants high’ and burnt. From this point onwards, Buddhism had to be taught in the Pali language. The Hela who knew nothing of Pali were now unable to make use of all the wisdom of Buddhism. This misguided act of burning texts was a great injustice to the Hela and a gross insult to the Buddha and his teachings.” This was most likely the era when the original Buddhism of Lord Buddha was replaced by the ‘Atheistic’ doctrines of ‘Theravada’ Buddhism. The very act of ‘book burning’ is a clear indication of the mindset involved. It is based upon the denial of truth and ignores the spirit at the heart of the original template of religion.

His son Tribhuvanaditya-dharmaraja (1084 CE) built the famous Ananda temple, inspired by the designs of contemporary Indian temples. He also sent funds for the repair of Bodh Gaya in Bihar, and married a Chola princess. South Arakan acknowledged his supremacy. His grandson was married to an Indian princess from Pattikhera (Tripura).

Internal dissensions and intrigues plagued the ruling family for the next few generations. At this time a new danger was looming on the horizon. In 1254 CE Kublai Khan, the Mongol ruler of China, conquered the Thai Kingdom of Gandhara (Nan-Chao) and scattered the Thai people—branches entering the Shan region and others going south into Siam (modern Thailand).

In 1271 CE Kublai demanded the submission of Myanmar. The latter retaliated by boldly sending an army into the borderland, which was defeated. Revolts broke out across the country, and the king was murdered, but the knockout blow was delivered by the Mongols. Kublai Khan’s grandson marched into Pagan and completely destroyed it. The Mongols though did not stay to rule the country, which entered a phase of political disintegration and cultural decay for the next three centuries.

Modern and ancient names

The name Burma, familiar to people from the colonial period, was a corruption of Brahma (Bramma) and was initially believed by philologists to be derived from the Vedic God of that name. Given the Indian influence on South-East Asia in those times this appeared logical.

But from inscriptions it becomes apparent that it was the tribal name Myamma, which was Sanskritized to Mramma, and later became Brahma or Bramma. This is because of the adoption of the Sanskrit and Pali languages by the various peoples of Myanmar in ancient times.

This name Bramma was later anglicised to Burma, and continued through the colonial and post-colonial periods till it was changed to Myanmar. This change harks back to the glorious period of Myamma rule and the political unification of the country. And since the Myamma tolerated and openly embraced the cultures of the various peoples of the country, it’s fitting to revert to the old name for the country. 

Philippines- A Golden Heritage

Note: This article was originally compiled and published on in 2010. Due to it’s being compiled from various sources, some going back to the 1800s, not all the information is accurate. However the overall conclusion confirming the prehistoric Vedic foundations of Philippine Civilization are undeniable. Long discredited and minimized as an uncivilized backwater, the islands now known as the Philippines, were in fact the epicenter of High Civilization. Sanskrit, the Vedic Traditions and Deities were indigenous throughout the archipelago. It is no exaggeration to call them the ‘Golden Isles’ for it once was home to a vast network of Gold mining, crafting and trade.


When the Philippines drafted its Constitution, it placed the statue of Manu in the Assembly Hall with this inscription on its base: “The first, the greatest and the wisest law-giver of mankind.” Researches into the racial and cultural origins of the Philippines increasingly prove that it was colonized by some people in South India. In fact, the script of the Filipinos has some obvious similarities with that of South India. “Our dialects belong to the Dravidian family.” says Justice Romualdez. “The names of some places on the shores of Manila Bay and the coast of Luzon show their Sanskrit origin.”

Source: Pre-Colonial Philippines
Collection by Jacob Walse-Dominguez·
Pre-Colonial Indic Philippine Culture (clothing, dance, etc)

Indian influence is most patent in handicrafts and the old names of coins used there. Many social customs current there show a likeness to the Indian ones. Saleeby says, “The head-gods of the Indian Triad and the earliest Vedic gods had the foremost place in the minds and devotion of the hill-tribes of Luzon and Mindanao. A Ganesha statue too was found there. Indeed as Beyer says, “India has most profoundly affected the Philippine civilization.” 

Even the national flower of Philippines is the Indian Champaka. The Indian influence on Philippines is explicable by the fact that it was that it was for 150 years a colony of a Java-based Hindu Empire of Sri Vijaya. (source: The Soul of India – By Satyavrata R Patel p. 30).

Indigenous Filipino Vedic Ceremony

“It is impossible to believe that the Hindus, if they came only as merchants, however great their number, would have impressed themselves in such a way as to give to these islanders, the Philippines, the number and the kind of words, which they did give. These names of dignitaries, of caciques, of high functionaries of the court, of noble ladies, indicate that these high positions, with names of Sanskrit origin, were occupied at one time by men, who spoke that language. The words of similar origin, for objects of war, fortresses and battle songs, for designating objects of religious beliefs, for superstitions, emotions, feelings, industrial and farming activities, show us clearly that the warfare, religion, literature, industry and agriculture were at once time in the hands of the Hindus and that this race was effectively dominant in the Philippines.” (source: El Sanscrito en la langua Tagalag – T H Pardo de Tavera Paris 1887; The Philippines and India – Dhirendra Nath Roy Manila 1929 and India and The World – By Buddha Prakash p. 119-120).

Source: 10 Reasons Why Life Was Better In Pre-Colonial Philippines

In the early stages of this lecture, I have already referred to the Iron age finds in the Philippines bearing close resemblance to objects found in South India about the same period, more than a thousand years before Christ, and also to other evidences of trade contact with Malaya, Indo-China North Borneo and Philippines in those remote times. The Spanish who dominated the Philippines in recent centuries are not likely to have preserved religious and cultural antiquities of other faiths.

Source: Pre-Colonial Philippines
Collection by Jacob Walse-Dominguez·
Pre-Colonial Indic Philippine Culture (clothing, dance, etc)

In 1820, however, a copper image of Siva was discovered in one of those islands which points to a remote period in which the worship of Siva had been introduced by South Indian merchants.

That these facts are by no means unsupported by other evidence may be shown by the remarks made by Mr. Phiroz Kutar, Technical Director, which were reported in the Madras ‘Hindu’ (October 1954):

“Researches into the cultural and racial origins of the people of Ceylon and of countries lying eastward have shown that they were once colonised from South India and in particular the Filipino script has striking similarities with that of Tamilark. These researches have also shown that Filipino dialects belonged to the Dravidian family.”   


Glittering Evidence    

By Ric Vil Hori

Here is a shining, and literally so, presentation produced by the Probe Team, a local video documentary show, entitled Gintong Pamana (Golden Heritage) about the discovery of excellent gold artifacts and jewelries dating from 10th to 13th century in Surigao, Mindanao island, in what could be one of the most important, tangible heritage not just of this country, which for decades had been groping in the dark as to the legacies of pre-colonial history, but in Asia as well that could rewrite history like never before.

Gold Sacred Brahmin Thread

This may also be the a glittering evidence mentioned from my previous blog, of spices and empires, that indeed this nation was once a place renowned in the ancient times for its unusual abundance of gold mentioned from the account of ancient Greeks (known as Chryse, the Golden One), Indians (Suvarnadvipa, Islands of Gold), Chinese (Chin-chou , Isle of Gold, Lusung Dao or “Luzon daw”), and even in biblical account to the court of King Solomon (Ophir)!

Even the Spanish historian who sailed with Magellan’s expedition, Pigafetta, exclaimed that gold in the islands were so abundant that just a simple dig could produce gold nuggets the size of walnuts.

The sudden disappearance of such treasures upon the arrival of colonizers were enigmatic, but the discovery of the Surigao gold artifacts provided clue that unlike ancient mainstream practices, the natives of these islands buried their gold even when the owners were yet alive (and in connection with previous discussions, sought the aid of their anitos or Elemental deities for safeguarding of such treasures from vile agendas, a practice that mainstream “modern” paradigms exacerbated by bigotry may not comprehend as to the reality it once held in the lives of these ancient, prosperous ancestors).

The whole documentary is generally presented in the local language, Tagalog. Even for foreigners who may not understand the tongue, witnessing the sheer excellence, intricate craftsmanship, priceless historical value, almost ethereal quality of the ancient golden artifacts may still leave anybody speechless.



Vedic Philippines: 900 AD – Earliest known Calendar-Dated Filipino Document

Note: I published this on the old back in 2010 with another article entitled ‘Philippines- A Golden Heritage‘. Inspired research of Native Filipino scholars and activists has revealed a tremendous historical past. Rather than an illiterate isolated island group, the ancient Philippine Civilizations were in fact highly cultured, literate and part of a vast trade network spanning half the globe.

It is the earliest known calendar-dated document used within the Philippine Islands.[1]

Kasulatang tansong natagpuan sa Laguna

A document was found in 1989 that was written in a much older and more complex writing system ever seen in the Philippines before.

On that day in 1989, a man in the concrete business was dredging sand at the mouth of the Lumbang River near Laguna de Ba’y when he uncovered a blackened roll of metal. Usually he would just throw away such junk, as it tended to get jammed in his equipment, but when he unfurled the roll he saw that it was a sheet of copper with strange writing on it, about the size of a magazine.

He offered the copper sheet to one of the antiques dealers in the area who bought it for next to nothing. The dealer, in turn, tried to sell it for a profit but when he found no buyers, he eventually sold it to the Philippine National Museum for just 2000 pesos.

In 1990, Antoon Postma, a Dutch expert in ancient Philippine scripts and Mangyan writing, and a long-time resident of the Philippines, translated the document that came to be known as the Laguna Copperplate Inscription (LCI). When he saw that the writing looked similar to the ancient Indonesian script called Kavi, and that the document bore a date from the ancient Sanskrit calendar, he enlisted the help of fellow Dutchman, Dr. Johann de Casparis, whose area of expertise was ancient Indonesia.

Casparis confirmed that the script and the words used in the Laguna document were exactly the same as those that were used on the island Java at the time stated in the document, which was the year 822, in the old Hindu calendar or the year 900 C.E. (Common Era) on our calendar.

In 1996, a Filipino history buff in California, Hector Santos, precisely converted the Sanskrit date over to our calendar by using astronomical software and some historical detective work. He determined that the Sanskrit date written on the plate was exactly Monday, April 21, 900 C.E.

swasti shaka warsatita 822 waisakha masa di(ng) jyotisa.

caturthi kresnapaksa somawara sana tatkala dayang angkatan lawan dengan ña sanak barngaran si bukah anak da dang hwan namwaran dibari waradana wi shuddhapattra ulih sang pamegat senapati di tundun barja(di) dang hwan nayaka tuhan pailah jayadewa.

di krama dang hwan namwaran dengan dang kayastha shuddha nu diparlappas hutang da walenda kati 1 suwarna 8 dihadapan dang huwan nayaka tuhan puliran kasumuran.

dang hwan nayaka tuhan pailah barjadi ganashakti. dang hwan nayaka tuhan binwangan barjadi bishruta tathapi sadana sanak kapawaris ulih sang pamegat dewata [ba]rjadi sang pamegat medang dari bhaktinda diparhulun sang pamegat. ya makaña sadaña anak cucu dang hwan namwaran shuddha ya kapawaris dihutang da dang hwan namwaran di sang pamegat dewata.

ini grang syat syapanta ha pashkat ding ari kamudyan ada grang urang barujara welung lappas hutang da dang hwa

From Laguna Copperplate Inscription Wikipedia

The plate was found in 1989 by a labourer near the mouth of the Lumbang River in Wawa, LumbanLaguna in the Philippines. The inscription was written in Old Malay using the Kawi script with Sanskrit and Old Javanese influences. 

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription, among other recent finds such as the Golden Tara of Butuan and 14th century pottery and gold jewellery in Cebu, is highly important in revising ancient Philippine history, which was until then considered by some Western historians to be culturally isolated from the rest of Asia, as no evident pre-Hispanic written records were found at the time.

The inscription is a document demonstrative of pre-Hispanic literacy and culture, and is considered to be a national treasure. It is currently deposited at the National Museum of Anthropology in Manila.[25]