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DailyBookQuote 17Feb14 : Swami Vivekananda’s Hinduism Vs. Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus : An Alternate History

 DailyBookQuote : 17th February 2014

Swami Vivekananda1

–          Swami Vivekananda (January 12, 1863 – July 04, 1902)


“Bhagavad Gita is not as nice a book as some Americans think. Throughout Mahabharata Krishna goads human beings into all sorts of murderous & self-destructive behaviors such as war. Gita is a dishonest book” 

– Wendy Doniger, Professor of History of Religions,University of Chicago Quoted in Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 Nov’, 2000

–         Swami Vivekananda’s Hinduism Vs. Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus : An Alternate History

It was Swami Vivekananda who gave Hinduism a whole a clear-cut identity and a distinct profile in the eyes of Western thinkers in the late 19th Century. Swamiji was the first religious leader to speak about the common bases of Hinduism and he was the first person, as guided by his Master Sri Ramakrishna, to accept all Hindu doctrines and views of all Hindu philosophies one total view of Reality. In this book, his lectures on Hinduism are discussed and it will help the reader to know Hinduism in a nutshell.

These days when it is fashionable to protest in support of those who are mocking and insulting Hinduism, it may be pertinent to read something that may open the eyes of even the fiercest critics.

Compare this with the pornographic fantasies being passed around as alternate history of Hinduism by Professor Wendy Doniger in The Hindus : An Alternate History. But first it would be pertinent to know who Professor Wendy Doniger is. This following is a small a write-up that accompanied Russell Peters” interview with her, on March 27, 2002:

“Professor Wendy Doniger is known for being rude, crude and very lewd in the hallowed portals of Sanskrit Academics. All her special works have revolved around the subject of sex in Sanskrit texts ranging from Siva: The Erotic Ascetic to Tales of Sex and Violence…Never one to shy away from sex, she threw herself into the job of translating the [Kama Sutra] … She was particularly interested by the parts that justify adultery and the list of ways to get rid of a man … When she was translating it (over a period of a few years and numerous Sanskrit classes), she frequently found herself having to take cold showers.” – Interview with Wendy Doniger, March 27, 2002,, available at:……biogs/wendy_doniger.shtml.%5D

Here is an example, the pearl of Professor Wendy Doniger’s wisdom in The Hindus, Pg 40 – “If the motto of Watergate was ‘Follow the money’, the motto of the history of Hinduism could well be ‘Follow the monkey’ or, more often ‘Follow the horse’.” The book is filled up with many more pearls of wisdom – factual errors and outright lies, misinterpretation of Sanskrit verses in Hindu scriptures, which are direct insult to Hinduism and it is titled as an Alternate History of Hindus. Still the book was never banned in India, it is being published and sold for more than 5 years now. A small organization called Siksha Bachao Andolan (Save Education Agitation) took the the book to court and fearful on being exposed to liability on a book which may not be making any profit, the publisher of the book book Penguin agreed to an out of court settlement to stop selling the book physically in India (electronically it can still be downloaded and read in India) and pulp the remaining copies of the book in its stock. This has resulted in a false charge of victimhood by those who are actually the most powerful people, the main stream English media in India, the Left leaning and all those who do not want to leave any opportunity of maligning Hinduism and India go by. The book is NOT BANNED in India.  Still you will find people shamelessly repeating the lie that the book is being banned under pressure. Penguin showed it has no spine to support the writer and because it is not in the interest of majority of Left leaning frauds to criticize a big publishing house, they are doing what they are best at, spreading lies and maligning Hinduism.

Professor Wendy Doniger fits the description perfectly of what Rajiv Malhotra explains as U-turn theory. According to Malhotra, the Western appropriation of Indic ideas and knowledge systems has a long history, the appropriation occurs in several stages. In the first stage, a Westerner approaches an Indian guru or tradition with extreme deference, and acquires the knowledge as a sincere disciple. Once the transfer of knowledge complete, the former disciple, or/and his/her followers progressively erase all traces of the original source, repackages the ideas as his own thought, and may even proceed to denigrate the source tradition. In the final stage, the ideas are exported back to India by the former disciple and/or his followers for consumption.

Malhotra cites numerous examples to support this theory, dating from the erasure of Upanishadic and Vijnanavada Buddhist influences on Plotinus to the modern day reimportation of Christian yoga into India. Another example is the influence of Vivekananda’s influence on western thought, for example William James and his The Varieties of Religious Experience. Vivekananda’s ideas have continued to exist in the West in various manifestations, there are a number of Western philosophers who were influenced by Vivekananda’s ideas across the generations, and the shaped 20th-century Western thought, but even today his influence remains unacknowledged and unaccredited. One of the bright doctoral student of Professor Wendy Doniger, listed on her Wikipedia page is Jeferry Kripal, his claim to fame is writing defamatory stuff on Ramakrishna Paramhans – the spiritual guru of Swami Vivekananda’s spiritual Guru. Even though the writing is full of errors and appears completely fraudulent even to a cursory reader, written without the basic understanding of Bengali language – he and many others like him are today expert on India and Hinduism – the foot soldiers of Professor Wendy Doniger brand of alternative history.  

Wendy Doniger is not the the poor victim as she is being portrayed in the Left controlled mainstream English media in India, she is undoubtedly the most powerful person in academic Hinduism Studies in USA today, she and and others inspired by her have they media power to mold the media narrative as it suits them. She is a former President of the American Academy of Religion, now leads Religious Studies at the University of Chicago, chairs many academic and powerful bodies, has two PhDs (from Harvard and Oxford) and is a prolific author. She was also a past President of the very influential Association of Asian Studies.The most important leverage she has is that she has given more students their Ph.Ds in Hinduism than any other person in the world and has successfully placed these former students in high-leverage academic jobs throughout the Western world, to carry the torch of her theories and principles of researching Hinduism. There is no place one can go to in this academic discipline without running into the effect of her influence, through her large cult of students, who glorify her in exchange for her mentor-ship.

Freedom of Speech must not have any riders or provisional controls. It must be there for all, Selectively targeting people one does not agree is despicable. This must be guaranteed to all irrespective of the political thinking – Left, Right or Center. Lets answer the books with more books.


2 thoughts on “DailyBookQuote 17Feb14 : Swami Vivekananda’s Hinduism Vs. Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus : An Alternate History

  1. I wish I could hug you my friend for writing this, may god bless you! And your last line said it all! May us all write to flood the world. At one place Swamiji says about the total volume of literature that the Vedas would form, if they were all found, to not allow that hall to hold it. On many occasions Swamiji said things to the effect that the future would be more glorious than even the past, where we will be Rishis. May the Lord give us strength to walk the path and bring out in torrents the real Glory of the Rishis in past. In the absence of that real & genuine literature in the popular space, these cliches take its place.

    • Thanks a lot for your kind words.

      So much negativity is spread in the media (special English media) about Hinduism and people who generally show neutrality jump over each other paint Hindus as saffron fascist at the drop of a hat. It really pains me and that is why I wrote this post, in response to so many posts by people supporting the american writer by abusing Hinduism.


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