This is the first of a three-part series in which I cover sexuality. In the first part, I talk about perverted sexuality whose hallmark is shame. The second part discusses various types of sexuality found in the Vedic texts, leading to a perfectional stage whose mark is shyness, rather than shame. The third part will present responses to misinterpretations of sexuality in Vedic texts based on the interpreter’s perverted sense of sexuality rooted in shame. These articles should ideally be read serially.
Table of Contents
- 1 Abrahamic Origins of Sexual Shame
- 2 Suppression of Sexuality Perverts It
- 3 Traditional Indian Society Free of Shame
- 4 Pre-Invasion Sexual Lifestyle of Hindus
- 5 Sexual Shame in Medieval Indian Society
- 6 Various Forms of Shame in Indian Converts
- 7 Suppressed Shame Results in Violence
- 8 Shame Continuously Grows Over Time
- 9 Group Identity Defined by Hatred
- 10 Modification of Foreign-Origin Traditions
- 11 False Narratives on Victimhood
- 12 False Narratives on Religious Exclusivism
- 13 Self-Loathing in Protestant Christianity
- 14 Uses of Religious War to Cover Shame
- 15 Attempts to Reformulate Vedic Science
- 16 Shame Among the Colonizing People
- 17 Shame Among the Colonized People
- 18 Shame Among Modern-Day Hindus
- 19 Shame is a Pervasive Problem Today
- 20 A Solution to the Problem of Shame
Abrahamic Origins of Sexual Shame
The story of human sexual creation begins in the Bible with the narration of Adam and Eve. They have been asked not to eat a certain fruit from the Tree of Wisdom. Nobody truly knows what the Tree of Wisdom and its fruit are. Not eating the fruit of the wisdom tree seems like the recipe for keeping people in ignorance. But anyway, Eve prompts Adam to eat this forbidden fruit, which angers God, and both are sent to Earth. Adam is cursed to till the ground for food, while Eve is cursed to painfully bear children. The boon for Adam is that he has been given power over Eve but Eve is denied any power over Adam.
When God had originally created heaven and earth, every species on earth had both male and female counterparts. Dogs were male and female. Horses were male and female. Donkeys were male and female. But the man living in heaven had no woman. The Bible states that God saw Adam sleeping lonely and morose in heaven and He created Eve out of His ribs. Why God would create dogs, donkeys, and horses in male and female forms but a man without a female companion is not clear. Since dogs, horses, and donkeys don’t have a soul, they should not need a companion. But a man with a soul needs a companion. And yet, God created animals with a companion although man without one.
Before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were unaware of their naked bodies. But after eating the fruit, they feel shame and cover their bodies. Then what happens after we return to heaven? Views are divided on this. Most Christians, Mormons being a prominent exception, say that sexuality doesn’t exist in heaven. But in the Islamic branch of the Abrahamic family, which shares the Adam and Eve story, sexuality exists in heaven but shame goes away. There is an asymmetry between the asexual relationship between Adam and Eve before eating the forbidden fruit and after the eventual ascent to heaven.
God is said to create living entities without a mother. For instance, Adam and Eve are creations of God, but they are not His children. Even when God has a son named Jesus—who is not a creation of God like Adam and Eve—there is no mother. Most Christians say that Jesus was born from the Virgin Mary. The meaning of a son is never clarified without there being a mother. Similarly, even as numerous other species like dogs, horses, and donkeys are created by God, they are not considered His children. There is thus a distinction between some creations that are called God’s children and others that are not.
We cannot say that sex is not heavenly because it is often as common—if not much more—in heaven than in this world. And yet, God is depicted as an asexual being. Although everyone has a companion in heaven, God has no companion. This is also very confusing because God created Adam and Eve without a mother, had sons like Jesus without a mother, then created a female companion for Adam, after which all the children of Adam and Eve have sexual companions, and yet, God forever remains asexual.
Based on all the above considerations, we can understand the paradoxical treatment of sex.
- If Adam and Eve had not eaten the forbidden fruit, then they would have remained asexual. That is expected as the ideal. Their sexual relationship that followed is not ideal. Therefore, sex is eternally tied to the sin of eating the forbidden fruit and hence always shameful.
- Eating the forbidden fruit gave Adam and Eve awareness of their bodies, and they began feeling shame for being naked. However, they also feel simultaneously attracted to each other due to their nakedness. The shame of being naked is inseparable from the attraction of nakedness.
- Since God remains asexual, therefore, sex is an abnormal thing even after a person has been freed of his or her sins. There is a sense in which the asexual state of Adam and Even prior to their eating the forbidden fruit is not attained even after returning to heaven.
- Going to heaven is often presented—at least for men—as opening the door to sex with more and varied types of women. Sacrifices of life are incentivized through promises of more frequent sexual rewards in heaven, even as sex is being described as something shameful.
The double standard of sex is evident from the Adam and Eve story. Since the story is common to all Abrahamic faiths, this double standard is common to all these religions. Sex is accepted and incentivized, even as it is being called shameful and sinful. It is not clear what religion really wants. Should a person abandon sex since it came after eating the forbidden fruit? Or should a person anticipate more sex since that is the expected Godly reward of going to heaven? Abrahamic faiths don’t have a clear strategy on the role of sex in religion. Double standard means that sex is simultaneously loved and hated.
Suppression of Sexuality Perverts It
Sexual perversion results from simultaneous love and hate for sex. Since we love sex, therefore, we want it more. But because it is called shameful, sinful, and degrading, therefore, we develop a tendency to hide our sexuality. When something is suppressed, then it goes deeper and comes out bigger.
The reason is that reality is structured like an inverted tree. Sex may be a leaf in this reality. But when we suppress it, it becomes a twig, then a branch, then a trunk, and eventually the root. When sexuality becomes the root, then it affects all aspects of life. Our profession, intellectuality, creativity, and goals in life are infected by the desire for sex. Now, sex becomes the all-pervasive reality and everything else either becomes a direct manifestation of the sexual desire or is contaminated with that desire.
Sexuality is suppressed because of shame. Therefore, even as sexuality goes deeper, shame goes along with it. As this ashamed sexuality goes deeper and then spread to all aspects of life, everything inherits the duality of desire and shame. You desire your profession as a source of sexual validation and you feel ashamed about using the profession as a source of sexual validation. You love your creativity as a source of sexual validation but you also feel ashamed about using creativity for sexual validation.
When sexual perversity has polluted everything in life, then a person starts seeing everything in the world in terms of that sexual perversity. For example, if a man and a woman stand together to talk, it is perceived as sexual attraction. Of course, they may indeed be standing together due to sexual attraction because their sexuality has infected their profession, although it may not always be the case. However, a person who has suppressed sexuality shamefully will always perceive everything in a perverse way.
Traditional Indian Society Free of Shame
If we study traditional cultures, we don’t see sexual shame in them. In numerous African tribes, women go topless. They dance in groups and live together like that. Even lower parts of their bodies are barely covered. There is no shame in showing a woman’s breasts in these societies. Sexuality was openly shown in Hindu temples before the Islamic and Christian invasions of India. There are depictions of couples engaged in sex, portrayals of bestiality, and images of orgies. People accepted that these tendencies exist in many people. They may be more prevalent in some than others. But there was no need to suppress them. Rather, these sexual tendencies were depicted on the outer walls of temples. Nobody felt ashamed about the presence of people who wanted varied or more sex. They acknowledged it and portrayed it.
The wisdom of Hindu society was that if a sexual fantasy exists in a person, it should not be shamed, because shaming suppresses it, the desire goes deeper and then comes out bigger. By accepting sex as something ordinary, sexuality was not suppressed. Suppression makes sex extraordinary. In all traditional Hindu societies, sexual urges were thought of as an itch to be scratched. You scratch the itch and move on to more constructive things in life. If nobody is hurt in this process, then don’t worry about it.
Sex desire disappears if a superior form of happiness is found. Otherwise, it can never be destroyed. The worship of the Lord is the method of destroying sexual desire. This is why sex is depicted on the outer walls of a temple. The temple is the house of God. There is love inside and lust outside. Lust is the external feature of God and love is the internal feature of God. Even if you engage in lust, always remember the internal feature of love. By depicting sexuality on the outer walls of temples it was implied that if we keep going into the temple, we will enter God’s sanctum sanctorum where sex will not be seen.
Just as people left their footwear outside the temple’s sanctum, they thought of excluding sex from their life. Sex was like footwear. Wearing shoes is not a shameful thing. And yet, shoes are not the ideal thing. We wear shoes outside the temple. But we remove our shoes inside the temple. Simple and easy.
Pre-Invasion Sexual Lifestyle of Hindus
Sex was not a secret among ordinary Hindus either. High-class families that followed the system of Garbhādhāna Saṃskāra (pregnancy ceremony) would invite everyone to a fire sacrifice announcing their intention to conceive a child. After the fire sacrifice, the husband and wife would feed everyone a feast and give them gifts. After the guests were satisfied, the couple would seek everyone’s blessings to beget a good boy or child. Everyone who came to the ceremony would then eagerly await the news of the pregnancy in around a month’s time. After that news, all the previously invited guests would come to the pregnant mother and give her various types of gifts. One by one, each previously invited guest will invite the pregnant couple to their homes and feed them feasts. In this way, all that the couple had earlier given to the invited guests would be returned during subsequent visits and social bonds would grow.
When the child was born, again the invited families would come bearing gifts. Again, the couple would organize a feast. And again, everyone would give their blessings to the child to grow into a healthy and strong boy or girl. During these meetings, the child’s horoscope would be read aloud to understand the child’s proclivities, numerous plans would be made about how to educate the child, and everyone would then help raise the newborn child. It takes a village to raise a child, and so it was for pre-invasion Indians.
As the child grew, he or she played with other children. They were always playing in someone’s home, under the supervision of adults, with every adult fully aware of each child’s proclivities, having heard their horoscopes during childhood. They know what to look for, and what to be careful about.
Then, as children attained the age of 5, they were sent to the Gurukul. Boys and girls had separate Gurukul. Thereby, they were separated from each other as they started growing up. If a qualified teacher was available, then the children were educated at home. Otherwise, they would go to the nearest Gurukul. If that Gurukul was far from home, they would become residents in their Guru’s Āśraṃa. In these places, they learned everything that was required to become a wholesome citizen of society.
When they were old enough, they were married based on their horoscopes and grasp of tendencies. Everyone who watched them from childhood and knew them closely played a key role in the marriage because the goal of marriage was to bring together the most compatible people into a happy life. If anything went wrong, there was a village to solve the problem just as the village had raised the children. The children would listen to the village that had raised them and accept their wisdom and advice.
Sexual Shame in Medieval Indian Society
All these wonderful systems of Indian society were smashed by the invasions of Muslims into India. They brought their sexual shame into Indian society—which meant their simultaneous love and hate for sex. On one hand, they would abduct and rape girls. On the other, they would talk about women’s chastity being protected by strict restrictions on the freedom and conduct of women. All Muslim rulers in India kept harems with hundreds of women over and beyond those they had married. The women in these harems were abducted girls. In the Arab world, abducted girls were sold to rich men. They became sex slaves living in harems. Their children—fathered by harem owners—were never recognized. Castrated men were employed to beat and guard sex slaves just in case they tried to escape the harem.
These things were unheard of in Indian society. The known stories of abduction in India were found in the epics Rāmāyana (Rāvana abducting Sīta) and Mahābhārata (Jayadratha abducting Draupadi). In both cases, the women were abducted while they were living in exile and their husbands were not at home. Therefore, abduction was considered an impotent act of cowardice rather than bravery. Rāvana was killed for abduction and Jayadratha would have been killed if he weren’t married to the sister of their cousins Kauravas. He was beaten mercilessly but his life was spared. He was eventually killed by Arjuna during the Mahābhārata war. There was no prison for molestation. The punishment was death. The molester was urgently dispatched to Yamarāja so that he can determine the appropriate species and place of birth for him because he wasn’t considered fit to live in a civilized human society.
Therefore, when Islamic invaders began abducting and raping women, Hindu families were forced to keep women at home, and slowly women became homebodies. Women could not even go to markets because sexual perverts prowled these markets to abduct women. Wealthy families could afford the home education of women. Poor families could not. Thus, in wealthy families, women were being taught sword fighting, archery, and spear battles. Highly qualified teachers were being called to wealthy family homes to educate the girls in all the traditional Vedic arts and sciences. But most people did not have this flexibility. They could not send women out. They could not send them to residential schools. The rule of sexual perverts preaching chastity in India resulted in the destruction of women’s education.
If women stepped out, they had to cover their faces to avoid being seen, desired, and abducted. A girl became a liability for her parents because as long as she was a virgin, she was a coveted object. She had to be married off as early as possible so that she would no longer be a coveted virgin. If a girl was abducted and converted, most people would blame the parents or the girl or both for not having done enough to protect her. The fear of being forcibly married to the man that had abducted her, made women prefer death over life. Hindu women started Johar or Sati if there was a risk of abduction and conversion. Unable to abduct women, frustrated abductors started saying that Hindus are burning their women. They could not understand that they were so disgusting that a girl would rather die than be with them.
Even if a girl went out, she had to dress shabbily so that she would not be noticed. The more good-looking the girl, the more she had to hide herself. If something bad happened to a woman, people would blame her—she had not done enough to protect herself. A woman’s body was a source of shame for her. When women were abducted and men could not do anything about it, they became ashamed of their impotent masculinity. They thought themselves unworthy of their women and started evading them. This is how initially women and then men came to suppress their sexuality due to foreign invasions.
Various Forms of Shame in Indian Converts
Practically all Muslims in India have been converted from Hinduism. The most vulnerable sections of society who could not protect their women converted to Islam to avoid the shame of not having done enough to protect their women. They found conversion as a face-saving mechanism, as they could say: We are Muslims and our daughter is married in a Muslim family. Hindus failed the oppressed families. Instead of supporting them, they castigated them. The castigated people converted even faster. Christians use alternative strategies for conversion. They entice weaker sections of society with money and jobs. Even if converts realized the problems after their conversion, Hindus did not accept them back, prompting even more of their family members to convert just so that they can stay together.
Hindus are now correcting their mistakes. There is a movement for bringing the forcibly converted people back. There is a movement to inform people about forced conversions. But the damage has already been done because you can only bring back people who have converted recently or in the present generation. Those who have converted over many centuries are not so willing. However, they are leaving their religions—if not vocally then silently. This prompts a backlash from the remaining converts.
All these converted people suffer from immense shame. The women have the shame of abduction and conversion. The men have the shame of not being able to defend their women. They have the additional shame of hiding their sexuality, not getting the desired validation from the opposite sex, and suppressed sexuality going deeper only to come out bigger, exacerbating all their previous shame of conversion.
Religious leaders of converted people shame the converts further by questioning their loyalties to the religion. A European Christian or an Arabic Muslim does not have to prove his loyalty to his religion because he or she is accepted as the “native” Christian or Muslim. A convert, however, is shamed by his leaders because he is not a “native” member of his or her religion. Shaming is used to coerce the converts to prove their loyalty and allegiance to their religion by converting others. Converts are taught that they will go to heaven only if they convert people of other religions. This is their only valor in life.
The converted people are not happy people. They are suffering from extreme shame because they know that they were forcibly converted in the past. They are ashamed that they were rejected by Hindus after their forced conversion. They are told by their religious leaders that their loyalty and allegiance to the converted religion is questionable unless they bring more converts. And there is already the shame of suppressed sexuality. The shame of a religious convert is worse. He or she doesn’t belong anywhere.
Suppressed Shame Results in Violence
Ashamed people assemble in groups to find solace with each other. We call that the herd mentality. They want acceptance and normalcy but they do not get it outside the herd. Whenever their sense of shame is worsened by a public revelation of a problematic aspect of their religion, they incite violence. They don’t want anyone to know the truth. They want to keep it hidden because they are ashamed of it. We have all heard about cartoons resulting in mob violence. A rational person will try to debunk the cartoons. They can launch legal proceedings against false defamation. But what can they do when everything shown in the supposed defamatory article, statement, or cartoon is true?
They cannot rationally defend it. They cannot start legal proceedings on defamation because the court will prove that the claims are true and hence not defamatory. In fact, a rational or legal defense will bring to light many more such problems as people begin investigating even more issues. Therefore, all rational and legal routes are closed. The only route is violence. The ashamed people don’t want to be criticized. It worsens their sense of shame. They resort to violence to shut down the shaming conversation.
Islamic terror was born from the shame in Islam that their erstwhile Islamic civilization was destroyed. At one time, they could take pride in belonging to a large civilization. Today they cannot. Islamic terrorists talk about the restoration of the previously lost Islamic empire ruled by a Caliph. But why don’t they create an empire? There are 26 Islamic countries today. Why can’t they unite into one nation ruled by a Caliph? What prevents their unity? The answer is those nations. The biggest problem is that they cannot agree on what Islam is. Each country is practicing Islam differently (or a different Islam). The thing that prevents an Islamic civilization today is the inability of Muslims to agree on the definition of Islam.
Such is the extent of disagreement between them that Muslims have killed more Muslims than any other religion. Each Muslim sect considers the other sect heretic. Islamic sects frequently bomb the mosques of other sects during or after the Friday prayers. When two Islamic sects that probably agree on 90% of claims bomb each other’s mosques during prayers, then we have to wonder why. What is the reason for such hatred in a religion that it cannot accept people with differences within their religion?
The answer is their shame. When you give someone a choice, you open the doors to the idea that you could be wrong on the 10% that you cannot agree on. The choice is easily accepted by a person who is confident in his faith. He can say: Well, I think it is like this, and you may not agree, but that’s fine. However, this solution is unacceptable to a person suffering from shame. He cannot accept even the remotest possibility of him being wrong. He has to end the uncertainty by ending questions, discussions, or debates. Even a 10% variation in opinion bothers him so much because his shame is accentuated by alternative opinions. The mere existence of other people who disagree with him is a shaming experience for a religious fanatic.
Shame Continuously Grows Over Time
Most Islamic countries are living on borrowed time as they excavate oil out of the ground which is not only finite but also derided as the cause of climate catastrophe. Imagine the shame if your means of livelihood is described as the biggest threat to the long-term survival of humanity. Those who don’t have oil or other types of natural resources are going around the world with a begging bowl asking for money. Everywhere they go, they are humiliated. Their shame grows proportionately. Thereby, shame is not constant. It is not just inherited. It grows continuously in a society suffering from shame.
The ashamed person wants to teach his shamers a lesson. He wants to destroy others’ sense of pride in their civilization to overcome his shame about not being a part of that civilization. Shame about one’s civilization leads to the duality of love and hate for other civilizations. On one hand, the shamed people want to attain the same level of respect as a respected civilization. They want to be part of other cultures and bask in their glories. On the other hand, they want to destroy the other culture to end their shame.
Muslims immigrate to the West so that they can call themselves Europeans and Americans. They want to bask in the glory of the more coveted society by being a part of it. But as they contrast themselves to the coveted society, their shame worsens. They want to destroy the reason that they had previously coveted a society and try to kill the causes that made them previously respect it. Their sense of shame while facing a coveted society transforms their erstwhile desire for that society into its hatred.
When people start destroying the society they had previously coveted, then others are confused. Why did they come here if they do not like what we are? There are two kinds of reasons for this. First, their own places of origin are or have been invaded and destroyed by more powerful societies. The invaded person feels inferior to the invaders. And yet, to cover up his sense of shame, he wants to be just like the invader. Thus, people immigrate to the places of their invaders after those invaders have destroyed their life. Second, even as they covet an invader’s place, they cannot forget their humiliation. They have to destroy the invader’s place in order to restore justice in a world that had previously humiliated them.
Thus, people immigrate to the invader’s heartland because they covet that power, wealth, superiority, and prestige out of their shame at having been defeated. Then they try to destroy the coveted place to overcome the shame of humiliation. Opposite things are caused by the paradoxical nature of shame.
Group Identity Defined by Hatred
Religious identities are shaped at present not by what you love but by what you hate. You cannot belong to more than one group because both groups hate each other. Belonging to one group means hating other groups. You cannot depend on love alone. It has to be accompanied by hatred of other groups. When our identity is defined not by what it is but by what it is not, then it is tied to someone else. We don’t have a self-identity based on what we love. Our identity is defined by our hatred for others.
People in India know about this phenomenon all too well because when Pakistan was created from India through a partition, India focused on its self-identity while Pakistan defined itself by its hatred for India. They defined their well-being on the destruction of India, rather than on nurturing themselves. They fed terrorist activities against India and worshipped their army as the savior of Islam when India was not interested in Pakistan’s imagined greatness and wanted to focus on its development. India focused on what it is, while Pakistan focused on what it is not. When our focus is on destroying an imagined enemy rather than nourishing ourselves, then as time passes, we progress on the path of self-destruction.
Abrahamic faiths hate Hinduism because it is far older and much more versatile. Hinduism is a library of books. Those with one book cannot compete with a library. There is no depth and breadth in a religion with one book, especially if that book contains irrational concoctions, which make the book shallower and narrower. When others appreciate the depth and breadth of the Vedic system, it makes the Abrahamic faiths insecure. They covet the same respect but they go about destroying the respected thing. On one hand, they know that they will never attain such depth and breadth. On the other, they cannot stand the fact that something else is deeper and broader. Their attempts at destroying others are also riddled with the shame of their inferiority. They desire the better and they revile the better.
Modification of Foreign-Origin Traditions
A classic symptom of inferiority is when coveted aspects of other cultures are taken and changed in ways antithetical to the tradition’s goals. An easy example is yoga. Everyone knows that Abrahamic faiths never had clearly defined meditative practices. There was no system of sitting in one place, closing your eyes, or trying to calm your mind. For thousands of years, nobody realized that we can control our minds by regulating our breaths. They did not have any idea of postures that improve our health. All these things came from India.
But after getting all these things for free, the West has replaced the word prāṇāyāma with meditation and āsana with exercise. This renaming is the preliminary step to mixing new things into the traditional practice. For instance, once āsana is called exercise, then it is mixed with other exercises that contract the muscles rather than stretching them and increase the pulse rather than decreasing it. Similarly, as prāṇāyāma is called meditation, it is mixed with observing your thoughts rather than stopping the thoughts by breath control.
A person creates concoctions because he cannot accept that something is already perfect. He has to tell the world that there may be some good things in some tradition, but it is not perfect. He tries to prove his superiority by integrating things that are antithetical or counterproductive to the tradition’s goals. In this way, to the tradition, he becomes an object of mockery. This increases his shame. He would have been respected had he taken the tradition as it was and perfected it before trying to change it. But his premature urge to modify things at the outset destroys his trustworthiness in the eyes of the tradition.
A society that has repeatedly changed things in the past suffers from the illusion that everyone’s past was worse than the present. The tradition is the past. Even if has some good things, it must be overall inferior. The present concoction is better. What comes from it in the future will be even better. In this way, by calling the present better than the past, perfection is traded with imperfection.
The modern concoctions of yoga disregard the prior steps of yama and niyama and the later steps of pratyāhāra, dhyāna, dhāraṇa, and samādhi. The reality is that most people cannot practice prior steps and they will never rise to the later steps. By removing both prior and later steps from the tradition, the practitioner hides their shortcomings and never talks about the ultimate goals of yoga. If he had included yama and niyama, then he would feel ashamed of not being able to execute even the first and second steps. If he had preserved the last four steps, then he would feel the shame that despite his efforts he is unable to attain higher steps. By removing six out of eight steps, the ashamed person hides his inabilities and never faces the fact that his practice is a charade because it won’t reach the pinnacle. He considers his innovations a symptom of progress when they are symptoms of his inadequacies and failures. He uses the same name while changing what it means.
After creating concoctions, people start spreading the concoction all over the world as if it is a good thing. It is not enough that I am inadequate. It is not enough that I will fail to attain the tradition’s goals. I have to ensure that nobody else achieves those goals. Nobody should succeed where I am destined to fail due to my inadequacies. Marketing campaigns on reformulated traditions, such as yoga, claim to serve the tradition when they are actually destroying it. Spreading a concoction that substitutes diamonds with shiny glass pieces makes the concocter feel better about himself. He overcomes his sense of shame at incompetence by bringing others into it.
False Narratives on Victimhood
If a society cannot match the superiority of the coveted society, it sometimes invents victimhood. For instance, the Bible tells a story of how Jews were persecuted by Egyptians, they wanted to leave Egypt but the Pharaoh would not let them go, God then brought a series of ten plagues on Egypt, which forced the Pharoah to allow Jews to leave Egypt, then God parted the seas for Jews to cross over from Africa to Asia, and then the homeless Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years, until God gave the land of Israel to Moses after asking him to follow the ten commandments. It’s a fantastic story. But is it true?
A lot of money has been spent in the last few decades to find evidence of Jews immigrating from Egypt, and wandering in the desert for 40 years, before coming to Israel. It is politically important to say that God gave the Jews the land of Israel because it is surrounded by hostile Muslim nations. But despite decades of search, archeologists have found no evidence of Jews immigrating from Egypt. Instead, the evidence points toward Jews having always lived in Israel. The story of persecution and immigration is false.
But what explains the Biblical story? The likely reason is that Egypt was a superior society and Jews felt inferior to Egyptians. As they learned more about a better society, they started asking questions about why they were inferior. The natural answer, for that time, was that Egyptians were superior because they worshipped a different God. Then why can’t Jews worship the Egyptian God? This type of threat has to be resolved by telling a story of persecution and immigration. Don’t covet the Egyptians. They are our enemies. They persecuted us. We had to run away to survive. Coveting them is desiring the enemy.
By telling false stories of victimization, the inferior society shifts its shame onto others’ persecution. It says: We are great people. But we are persecuted by others. Our problems are due to someone else.
Muslims often feign this victimhood in India. They forget that India was conquered by Islamic invaders, who were ruling India for many centuries. They oppressed Hindus and empowered Muslims. Then came the British. They oppressed Hindus while appeasing Muslims because a divide-and-rule policy always works by empowering the weaker side against the stronger side. Even the British oppressed Hindus even as they empowered Muslims. Then the British laid down varied mechanisms for empowering Christians.
After India’s independence, the government created explicit Muslim and Christian appeasement policies. Post-independence Indian governments gave money, land, and freedoms to Muslims and Christians while denying their money, land, and freedoms to Hindus. At present, Muslims and Christians have full control over their mosques and churches. But old Hindu temples are owned by the government. Muslims and Christians can appoint their religious leaders. But the priests in Hindu temples are appointed by the government. The enormous wealth in Hindu temples is public property owned by the government. But the sizable wealth in mosques and churches is private property owned by Muslims and Christians.
For the last 800 years, Abrahamic faiths have been empowered while Hinduism has been persecuted as a matter of government policy. It was initially a Muslim government, then a Christian government, and then a Socialist government. But today the narrative is that Muslims and Christians are the persecuted people in India when the fact is that the persecution has been the other way around. Then again, why are Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians, not a persecuted minority? They are certainly smaller. They have been around for much longer. Then why is victimhood the exclusive privilege of some religions?
The false propaganda on victimhood is not a new thing. Jews were running the same false propaganda thousands of years ago. It said: Hate the Egyptians. They have driven us into the desert through their persecution. We are not responsible for what we are. Someone else is to be blamed for our problems. This is because ashamed people cannot face the shame of being inferior. They blame others.
False Narratives on Religious Exclusivism
Abrahamic faiths rely on exclusivity. The question is: Why is God so exclusive as to benefit one set of people instead of the others? Is it rational to assume that God is biased against some people and that he will send messiahs only to some people and not to others? Why does one religion claim to have received a special privilege from God when God can send messengers all over the world? Has God run out of truthful messengers who can impart the truth in every society? What is the real foundation for exclusivity?
Factually, Europe and the Middle East were places where people were struggling to survive. Europeans were living on meat and potatoes and Arabs were living on meat and dates. Almost every other place on Earth—North America, South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia—was far more fertile and self-reliant in terms of civilizational needs of food, water, clothing, and shelter. All across the globe, we find bigger, older, and better civilizations that did not want to attack any other civilization. If anything, Europeans and Arabs were the people sent by God to cursed places where they had to struggle to survive.
People in every other place had better resources, economies, cities, and societies to propagate God’s word to other places. They could transmit the knowledge and go back to their homes to live peacefully. Those who could build massive temples and pyramids, organize big cities and societies, and prosper through trade and commerce, could certainly spread the knowledge of God much better than people struggling to survive. Factually, God privileging the strugglers with His exclusive message defies common sense.
The other possibility is that people living in cursed places used a religious pretext to raid, butcher, and steal property from people who had been naturally blessed by God with that property. They were not doing God’s work. In fact, they were going contrary to God’s will of letting people have their property just as God had given them birth in a place where they naturally came to enjoy that property. Why go against God’s will if we know that the birth in a certain place is also according to God’s plan?
The exclusivism of Islam and Christianity has no rational foundation. There are three rational scenarios: (a) God sends messiahs everywhere, (b) God asks the most prosperous people to spread His message, and (c) those who claim that God sent messiahs to cursed places are doing so to steal wealth. Instead of accepting that we are born in a cursed place due to our past misdeeds, the exclusivist religion wipes out its responsibility by saying that this is our only birth and God has privileged us to rule the whole world. People cannot handle the truth when it shames them. To wipe their shame, they wipe the truth.
Self-Loathing in Protestant Christianity
Protestant Christianity is very proud of having produced modern science. But modern science says that my body is moving exclusively by natural forces beyond my control. My mind cannot change this motion because if the mind interferes with the body, then it will violate the natural laws of science. Each person would then be violating the natural laws in different ways and science would be totally worthless.
Since God has left the world to be governed by natural laws, therefore, even He cannot change anything in my life. If God intervenes in my life by answering my prayers or solving my problems, then God would be violating the natural laws of science. Thereby, even God is not in control of the world. Factually, nobody is in control of the world except the inexorable forces of science pushing us around lawfully.
Most people don’t understand how modern science was created from Protestantism that followed Catholicism. To understand this transition, we can contrast Newton with Descartes. Descartes was a Catholic in France. Newton was a Protestant in England. In Cartesian metaphysics, there are two things—mind and body. At the minimum, the mind has some influence over the body, although Descartes could not explain how the mind influences the body. This influence is necessary for religion to talk about sin and piety because if the mind cannot control the body’s urges, then there can be no sin or piety.
The Roman Catholic Church was charging people monetary penalties for sin. If we say that the mind doesn’t control the body, then the sins of the body cannot be penalized. After all, the will is in the mind, which has no control over the body, so what the body has done was done helplessly and lawfully. Protestant theology wiped out the concepts of sin and piety through the doctrine called Sola Fide, which means salvation by faith alone. Catholics also had faith. But it was not faith alone. One also had to do good deeds. Hence, when Protestants claimed that salvation is by faith alone, all bodily deeds became irrelevant to salvation. Faith was in the mind, but it had no effect on bodily sin or piety.
Descartes created the mind-body divide but Newton made it irrelevant. Now the body could move by natural forces, each person became helpless, and salvation was reduced to faith in Jesus Christ.
Then a serious problem arose. Acceptance of Jesus Christ required some conversion ritual, such as dunking people into water with their noses closed. This is body motion. If all body motion is governed by natural laws, then everyone may not be dunked in water with their noses closed due to natural laws rather than our choice. They cannot exercise choice over their bodies because that choice will break the laws of modern science. If the body is fully governed by natural laws, then everyone may not be dunked in water with their noses closed, and thereby they would also not receive Christian salvation.
To align Protestantism with modern science, Protestants created a doctrine called Superdeterminism. It means that every soul is predestined to either go to heaven or hell. Based on natural laws, one body will be dunked in water with his nose closed to take him to eternal heaven. According to the same laws, other bodies will not be dunked in water with the nose closed, and that will take the person to eternal hell. Thus, birth in this world, followed by the ascent to heaven or hell is totally predetermined.
The idea that our life is moving inexorably due to natural forces without free will is not an anti-Christian idea. It is in fact Protestant Christianity. Science arose from the removal of choice in Protestantism. Now there is no mind-body problem. Protestants eliminated the role of choice in the world. If we were following the Cartesian mind-body dualism, then the role of choice in the world would forbid the universality of natural laws. But if the choice is completely removed from the world, then natural laws can be universally true. Newton was right and Descartes was wrong. Protestants triumphed over Catholics.
When quantum mechanics was created in the 20th century, some physicists started talking about the role of choice in collapsing the quantum wavefunction. Choices that had been left out of Newtonian determinism had to be reintroduced into science. Until recently, there were public debates on the role of choice. Science was losing its prestige. Then some physicists started looking for ways to go back to determinism. A Many Worlds Interpretation was revived to say that each collapse splits each person into infinite copies of that person doing different things in different universes. In one universe, you do your day job and don’t get a salary at the end of the month. In another universe, you do nothing and you get a salary at the end of the month. You can’t do anything about it. Injustice is just the quantum way of life.
There is another popular mechanism being talked of these ways. It says that different things in the universe are like statistically correlated coins, such that tossing one coin affects the results of tossing other coins. Therefore, what you are doing is like a coin toss. But you have no choice in the matter because the result of your coin toss is predetermined by previous coin tosses (other people’s actions). This interpretation of quantum mechanics is also called—hold your breath—Superdeterminism. It means that even probabilities do not entail choice.
I cannot imagine why people are hell-bent on destroying choices. Isn’t choice the reason for hope in life? Isn’t it supposed to give each individual the option to improve their life? Why on earth would anyone want freedom from choice? Since when did choice become a burden? The answer is that a self-loathing person hates choice. He cannot make good choices and he hates the idea of being held responsible for his choices. This hatred for choice has been incorporated into the Protestant worldview. It was already the worldview of science. Thereby, when a problem necessitates choice, varied efforts are employed to restore determinism. Science and religion are the best of buddies.
There is a famous song called “The House of the Rising Sun”. It is about a child who is born in a brothel to a prostitute. His father is a gambler who has abandoned the mother and the child to continue his gambling habits. The child grows disturbed and does very bad things. At the end he says: “Oh mother, tell all your children, not to do what I have done. To live a life in sin and misery as God knows I have done.”
This song is so popular and has been done in so many ways, that I think that it is about the abandoned child of Protestantism. Here, God is the gambler who fathered children from a bad mother living in a cursed house and abandoned these children to continue His enjoyment. Their salvation lies in accepting the story of the father who abandoned the mother and the children. Since this story of salvation is being played out within the house called the Rising Sun of Protestantism, the song is called “The House of the Rising Sun”.
The poetry of modern science and Protestantism is filled with self-loathing nihilism. You have no choice. You can bring no change to your life. You cannot decide if you will go to heaven or hell. All that has been predetermined by God. He created you into this world to suffer Adam and Eve’s sins. But He stayed in heaven to enjoy. God shirked His responsibility and wants you to be responsible for His actions. There is nothing you can do about it. You are helplessly moving around due to natural forces. You can only watch the revolting show and hope for the best. Nihilism is not anti-Christian. It is Christianity. The man who kills millions of other people is not necessarily a sinner rejected by God. He is going to heaven, if he has, by the fortune of natural laws dunking him in water with a closed nose, accepted Jesus Christ.
Protestant Nihilism indicates that its creators gave up self-improvement. They concluded that man is so sinful that he cannot be improved. They were tired of being shamed by Catholic priests for their sins. They hated themselves for having to confess their sins over and over. Every confession was a shaming experience. Every confession required them to pay a penalty. They had no hope for improvement. Their only hope lay in saying that God will save us from suffering even if we do nothing. As doubts still remained, as time passed, they said: Whether God will save us or not is also out of our control. Therefore, even if God doesn’t save you, there is no reason for shame because the game was rigged against you from the start. Who can call this an ideology of salvation? It is an ideology of growing shame and its suppression.
Uses of Religious War to Cover Shame
Every person trying to give up his bad habits enters a war with himself. But this war is not opposed to peace because he is not going to kill himself. He will also not pursue a method of giving up bad habits that will elongate the process of giving up bad habits. He is at war with himself but he is also at peace with himself. His war with himself is not self-destructive because he is trying to become a better person. His peace with himself is not contentment because he reviles his bad habits. Once he leaves his bad habits behind, then he will not be at war with himself. He will just be at peace with himself.
If a person tries to give up his bad habits, then his war with himself is not a bad thing, nor is it opposed to peace with himself. But if his shame of bad habits makes him fight a war with others who expose his bad habits just so that he can come to peace with himself, then both war and peace are bad things.
A religious war is valid only if someone is preventing a person from fighting a war of self-correction. If others are forcing bad habits on us, hindering our desire to give up bad habits, or stopping us from becoming better people, then we can wage a religious war. But there is no justification for a religious war if nobody is interfering in our process of self-improvement or preventing us from becoming better people. If a religious war is still fought, against others trying to self-improve, it indicates shame.
The freedom of religion exists to pursue varied methods of self-improvement. Someone can devote their lives to studying. Others can devote themselves to service. Someone can assist others in some spiritual practice. Others can donate their hard-earned money to support all such activities. This is freedom of religion. It helps each person improve themselves. It doesn’t hinder or stop anyone else’s self-correction. There is no shame in anyone because everyone is trying to become a better person in the way that they can.
Shame arises when one knows that their method will never make them better. They try to destroy others who are better and improving. Equating this destruction to a religious war does not fool anyone. We can all see that people who are destroying others are not becoming better people but those whom they are destroying were better and improving. When one tries to destroy better and improving people through violence, then their shame increases. We have seen this all over the world in the last few years. Everyone who engaged in violent Jihad simply brought even greater shame to their religion and its followers.
People might say: Our religion is a religion of peace. But the question is: Why don’t you tell that to the Jihadis? Why don’t you issue a religious decree that proclaims that Jihadis do not belong to the religion of peace? Why don’t you openly condemn violent Jihad as being opposed to the religion of peace?
The fact is that peace in the religion of peace means peace with people of one sect within that religion. It doesn’t mean world peace. It doesn’t mean peace with other sects within that religion. The religion of peace means that one day when that religion has converted the whole world by violence then there will be peace. Until then, violence is the route to establishing peace. These things are evident from history.
Islamic invaders in India were looting gold in Indian temples. Was that gold not contaminated with idol worship? It is not okay to eat food given to the deity but it is okay to steal jewelry given to the deity? That stolen wealth was never called Haram although it was stolen. Therefore, nobody believes that this is a religious war. Everyone can see that this is a war for wealth. We can fool some people for all time, all people for some time, but not all people for all time. Nobody believes in the Jihad narrative today.
Attempts to Reformulate Vedic Science
Science in the Vedic tradition is not confined to the study of matter, separate from a religion that studies the soul and God. These two are integrated into a single principle of self-correction, which involve both war and peace. If one corrects his bad habits, then he is rewarded with peace. But if he indulges in bad habits then he is punished with war. Material reality delivers both rewards and punishment. There is a clear idea of what is good and bad. Material reality is not deaf, dumb, and blind. There is cognition accompanied by action. Nature rewards those who improve and punishes those who worsen.
We cannot fit this idea of matter in science because nature in modern science is deaf, dumb, and blind. There is no understanding of what is good or bad. There is no notion of reward or punishment. Particles are moving in space and time but nobody can say which motion is peace or war. Therefore, there can never be any bonhomie between a science that calls nature deaf, dumb, and blind and the science that says that nature is listening, seeing, and intelligently reciprocating our actions. Anyone who cannot see this basic discrepancy and tries to create bonhomie is either totally ignorant or totally malignant.
And yet, we see people at present trying to reformulate Vedic knowledge in terms of modern scientific principles. This is driven by the shame that there is a Western science but there isn’t a Vedic science. It takes many forms—(a) Claiming that what Western science has discovered recently was known earlier to the Vedic civilization, (b) What is given in Vedic texts can be described using mathematical formulae making it acceptable to Western audiences, and (c) Every worthy thing has to demonstrate its worth in terms of external validation rather than self-correction. The techniques of modern science are the standards in terms of which the science of self-correction must be judged.
What is missing in all such attempts is the deeper levels of reality such as sense perception, mental cognition, the faculties of judging truth, right, and good, how matter is controlled by choice, the notions of sin and piety, and how different choices shape our future through reward and punishment. All the crucial things missing in Western thinking are disregarded. All Western evidential methods—such as mathematical theories or instrument tests—are accepted. The entire attempt can be summarized as the endeavor to overcome shame.
When shame drives our efforts, then shame increases with time. This will also be the fate of people trying to reformulate Vedic science because they will produce neither industrial technology nor self-improvement. They will have nothing to show for their efforts.
We have to know that the truth always wins but the winner is not always truthful. Science won many days, but it is not the truth. The truth will also win more and longer. But success can take time. Progress requires enthusiasm, determination, patience, continuously doing the right thing, associating with those committed to the truth, and giving up attachments to bad academic ideas. But people are doing the opposite. The moment we start on this journey, we are off the spiritual path. We are on a road of our own making. That road is a circle. It goes round and round. However, running on a circular road also creates the illusion of progress. When that illusion is busted, then the shame increases manyfold.
Shame Among the Colonizing People
It is standard practice to call physical theories by the names of their Western inventors. There are Newton’s laws, Maxwell’s laws, Boltzmann’s laws, Plank’s law, Einstein’s theory, and so on. Nobody has tried to change those names to something else. But ashamed people try to change all names. When they go to a new place, they rename all towns, villages, and cities. They don’t want anyone to remember that it was something else before they arrived. If people can recollect the past, then they will ask more questions about it. That inquiry into the past will shame the person who stole it from others. Why go through all this trouble? Just change the name. When people don’t remember the original name, then they will not ask what happened in the past. The history would be erased from everyone’s mind.
Western civilization is built on the theft and plunder of wealth from others, destruction of other societies, and calling theft and murder their superiority. White people suffer from the shame of these atrocities. But they cannot stop calling themselves the superior civilization. They love to lecture others on morality, value, and virtue, even when they have not demonstrated those in the past. Everyone knows the hypocrisy of a person who preaches while not practicing. But this hypocrisy is necessary to cover the shame. One delivers lectures on morals, values, and virtues to obscure his lack of it.
A fact about the West is that any virtue in their society is solely theirs. But any vice in their society is a universal human problem. Science is solely a Western invention. The full credit of science goes to the West. But violence is a universal problem in all societies. Western crimes are universal human traits. All shameful things are trivialized by universalizing them to everyone. A kettle cannot call a pot black. Then you can take the full and sole credit for achievements—which actually rested on shameful actions. A cheater justifies his cheating by saying that everyone cheats. But what he attained by that cheating he attributes to his creativity, hard work, inventiveness, and cultural or civilizational superiority.
Shame Among the Colonized People
Colonization and subjugation over a long time have given people different kinds of shame. It creates the duality in which the colonized love the colonizer’s prestige and yet hate how they got the prestige.
Indians love to immigrate and settle abroad. They have two popular destinations—the Christian world (North America, Western Europe, and Australia) and the Muslim world (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE). We can further narrow this down to a preference for the Protestant world and the Sunni world. Africa, South America, Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Japan, and South-East Asia are not popular destinations for Indians. The places that hurt India are popular and the places that did not hurt India are unpopular.
The same is true for other ethnicities. Africans from erstwhile European colonies want to immigrate to Western Europe—the land of their former colonizers. Arabs from the bombed countries in the Middle East want to immigrate to North America and Western Europe—the land of their former bombers.
What explains the oppressed desiring the oppressor? The answer is their shame. It makes a person covet the society that shamed them even as they remember and recall their humiliation. By moving into the camp of those who colonized, bombed, or oppressed them, they disown their past humiliation. By changing their nationality, they bask in the stolen glory of their former colonizers, bombers, and oppressors.
Shame Among Modern-Day Hindus
We can understand that Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Communists attack the Vedic civilization. But why should Hindus in India do so too? Isn’t the Vedic civilization the oldest surviving civilization today, albeit in an inglorious and dilapidated condition? Isn’t its longevity an indicator of truth and goodness?
In 2019, Luke Kemp published an analysis of historical civilizations and concluded: An average civilization lasts 336 years. He was wondering if the end of Western civilization was near. That was before the CoVID pandemic, the Ukraine war, and the decline of globalization and unipolar Western hegemony. Of course, he doesn’t know why civilizations collapse. Western historians always look for external factors. They never look into the human mind. We do. The reason for the collapse is moral decline. When there is morality there is knowledge. When there is knowledge there is happiness. The converse is also true. All that glitters is not gold. But people who feel ashamed about their lack of glitter hitch their wagons to those who have stolen glitter. They don’t know that those living with stolen glitter are expecting a collapse. Cyclical history has a saw-toothed circumference. It means that we get a slow rise and a sudden collapse.
The shame of colonization has made Hindus hate the Vedic civilization. They covet and emulate richer societies to wash away their shame. They are also ashamed of having left their culture and motherland behind. Their shame doesn’t go away. Only one form of shame is replaced by another. When they are discriminated against in foreign lands based on race or culture, their shame worsens. Now they belong nowhere. Thereby, nothing done based on shame alleviates the shame. Shame only grows with the passing of time.
There is no dearth of people in India ridiculing its past at present. There are people who have converted to Christianity and Islam. There are those who follow Marxist-Communist ideologies. There are people who got modern science education but never studied anything from the Vedic culture. There are those working in a technological job, earning more money than their parents, thinking that this prosperity makes them better. There is a new generation that grew up soaked in false propaganda about Western superiority and just does not know India’s history. All these groups revile attempts to revive the Vedic culture. They are coopted by those opposed to the Vedic culture in their war against the Vedic culture. The ashamed people feel gratified and grateful for being accepted as useful idiots by their former oppressors. They seek validation from their violators and hand them the reins of their destinies.
Shame is a Pervasive Problem Today
Shame is a pervasive fact of modern society. It began with people living in Israel feeling ashamed in comparison to the Egyptians. The imaginative stories they constructed to explain away their shame worsened the shame. They were also told—through the Adam and Eve story—that they are children of a bad mother. They became convinced that their life is a curse from God. They were made to feel ashamed of sex, their primary source of pleasure. All their children were expected to inherit their curse. The story of God’s curse, birth from a bad mother, shame about sexuality, and the evidence of poverty as a result of all the above, created a dichotomy in them—simultaneous love and hate for sex and wealth.
Whatever is suppressed goes deeper and comes out bigger. The ashamed people began proselytizing to overcome their shame because a preacher feels superior to those he preaches to. If others accept our ideology, then we would be considered ideologically, intellectually, morally, and spiritually superior to them. The shameful stories infected other ashamed people. As everyone developed simultaneous love and hate for sex and wealth, they began perceiving salvation from this shameful life through proselytization and violent conversion of people into their ideology to prove their intellectual and moral superiority.
They went out to conquer the whole world and poisoned everyone with their shame. The shame that began in a small place in a desert spread to the whole world over time. That is because whenever a person does something based on shame, he increases the shame. It spreads and grows with time. As we have discussed, shame takes many forms such as denial, violence, hatred, victimhood, modification, whitewashing, and lies. It manifests in the attempt to seek parity with the shamer, the need to overcome the shame by moving into his camp, and the quest for validation, acceptance, and recognition by the shamer. Each of these then results in more shameful deeds that gradually increase the shame.
A Solution to the Problem of Shame
There are many kinds of shame. In its best form, a person takes his humiliation in the world as the grace of the Supreme Lord and becomes attached to Him as the only source of validation and happiness. In a little worse form, a person becomes detached from respect and disrespect and seeks salvation from the repeated cycle of birth and death. In an even worse form, a person tries to reestablish his respect in the world by working hard and attaining success to disprove his shamers. In the worst form, a person tries to destroy whoever shames him, seeking revenge for his shame. Therefore, every form of shame is not the same. The first form of shame is always welcomed. The second form of shame is selectively appreciated. The third form of shame is not endorsed but accepted reluctantly. The fourth form of shame is summarily rejected.
For the last category of ashamed people, by far the most prominent today, we can say: There is no need for shame. We may have temporary suffering as a result of our previous actions, but if we do good deeds now, then the situation will change. If instead of doing good deeds, we start covering up shame and then doing more shameful things to alleviate the shame, then the situation will only get worse. The problem of shame is solved by morality. Understand reincarnation and karma and you won’t be ashamed. Know that the debilitating condition is not permanent. It is not caused by other people. It is caused by one’s own actions. Change the actions and the situation will change.
If we simply understand the philosophy of karma and reincarnation then there will be no shame. There will be positivity, good deeds, betterment, and destruction of shame. The solution is simple and easy. This solution has existed since time immemorial. It has been hidden, obscured, and marginalized for the time being. The truth has been covered by the false propaganda of Abrahamic faiths, modern science, atheism, socialism, and so on. They are not going to deliver humanity from suffering. Those who can understand this simple truth can easily change their life and help everyone else change their life.