The Bhagavad Gita a Neo-Brahmin propaganda
I actually managed to obtain a copy of Prem Nath Bazaz’ The Role of the Bhagavad Gita in Indian History, a book we discussed last year, with some passages scanned from some xeroxed pages.
The book actually made it to Amazon, but no copies on sale at the moment.
The role of ‘Bhagavad gita’ in Indian history [Import] (Unknown Binding)
~ Prem Nath Bazaz (Author)
They had one copy costing a fortune.
I scanned up the introduction as an experiment to see if there is any hope of doing the whole book and putting it online. For all the poor idiots being duped by Hindu religious propaganda.
Twenty minutes for ten pages, too long, and too much misscanning. I fear the amount of bad scan material is too large, so it doesn’t look like a good prospect.
At some point Google books will come across this, so there’s hope.
This book is a reminder of the mythology of Neo-Brahminism that wrote/writes the narrative of Hinduism, and Indian spirituality whole cloth.
The author tries to focus on the history of Buddhism in the context of reactionary Neo-Brahminism taking over slowly in the AD period and the place of the Gita as a form of propaganda. A modern leftist tries to paint Buddhism as an egalitarian revolutionary Axial Age movement against Hinduism.
Suspicious anachronistic, yet obviously a bull’s eye insight, and an immense clarification of the Axial period in India.
His effort to hybridize naturalistic Samkhya and a vague historical materialism is a neat scheme, but it won’t quite work, all prakriti, what of purusha? Still, it is a great perspective.
But his own research has problems I suspect. Who the blazes can do research here!!! It would only be fair to hear from a scholar for the defense, who could point to some problems with Bazaz’s brilliant but very erratic scholarship.
We don’t have a true record with which to compare sources!!!
Consider Wendy Doniger’s recent book: either she is oblivious to everything or Bazaz made up a lot history!
I think he got the gist of the fraud in motion, e.g. as the caste system is foised on a culture that never had any of that.
Recall also our discussion of Danielou.
All this material from a leftist who knows Sanskrit and the rest of the languages can give one a few hints, however distorted in turn. But the basic outline rings true.
What’s the truth of the matter????
Noone should ever get involved in these traditions without considering this kind of protest history, which unmasks the coverup of monumental proportions. Which doesn’t mean that this is necessarily the final history here in this strange book with its own strange quirks.
The Gita as a form of propaganda: it takes one’s breath away.
Meanwhile, I doubt I can scan this much material. To have a hope the pages have to be perfect without needed corrections, a minute or less per facing pages. Otherwise the time wasted on corrections explodes unreasonably. But the garbled material adds up, I am not sure why: the old print and too many years sitting in a library somewhere.
(Cheap) scanners are getting better every year. Maybe next upgrade we’ll make it!
Meanwhile there is quite a lot of the material already on this blog. Use the search box with the author’s name. You can get the gist of his argument with that material, despite a lot of garbled miscan passages, even worse scan material due to the underlined passages that confused the scanner.
NEVER AGAIN do truck with a brahmin guru or ashram until you know something of the real history of Indian religion, and the absurd frauds of Hindusim and Vedism.
© Prem Nath Bazaz
First Edition, 1975
Printed in India
In the enormous Indian literature, both sacred and profane,
produced from pre-historic age to contemporary times, no .other
book has earned such a tremendous reputation as the poem of
seven-hundred verses entitled the Bhagavad-Gita (Lord’s Song).
Not long after it appeared in its present form, in the early
centuries of the Christian Era, the philosophy of life contained
in the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna fascinated the
Hindus steeped in social malaise. The poem became the subject
of special study by intellectuals and, in course of time, the most
adored scripture of the Hindu community.
Whether or not a Hindu has had the opportunity to read
the Bhagavad-Gita, or even to have seen a copy of the sacred
poem, his ideas, conduct and behaviour are deeply influenced
by its teachings because the prevalent Hindu culture is founded
on them and the Hindu moral life draws sustenance from them.
Aurobindo Ghosh says that the influence of the Bhagavad-Gita
“is not merely philosophic or academic but immediate and
living,” and that “its ideas are actually at work as a powerful
shaping factor in the revival and renewal of a nation and a
Any book to have become so popular and powerful in
shaping the destiny of a people must have responded to their
inner urges and fulfilled their vital social needs. Popular
literature is an echo of national life. If the Bhagavad-Gita
secured the highest position in Hindu religious literature,
practically excelling even the Vedas, it must have ably presented
crucial human problems as well as given vent to the excruciating
anguishes of the society of the age in which it was composed
and put into circulation. Those problems and agonies must
have continued unresolved through the centuries to maintain
the undiminished popularity of the philosophic lore. What are
those ~ave problems and intense feelings and why did the
remedies proposed by the Bhagavad-Gita fail to resolve them?
This book tries to answer these momentous questions.
No sooner had the Gita achieved the unique distinction of being treated as sacred revelation of the highest doctrine, than
innumerable commentaries, some of them quite ingenious, came
to be written on its contents. It has been translated not only
in all regional languages of India, but also in most of the
civilised languages of the world. Hardly a year passes by
when a new translation or commentary is not published here or
Broadly speaking, Indian scholars have little to offer by way
of criticism in their commentaries; their remarks are usually
laudatory and if occasionally some one among them raises a
doubt on a point he immediately covers it up by long explana-
tions to uphold the integrity and sublimity of the holy teachings.
Hindu writers find the most advanced philosophy in the
scripture; to them it is the last word in human wisdom.
Foreign scholars are not uncritical though some of them are
equally lavish in its praise. In his introduction to a translation
of the Bhagavad-Gita produced jointly by Swami Prabhavananda
and Christopher Isherwood in 1945, Aldous Huxley says: “The
Gita is one of the clearest and most comprehensive summaries
of the Perennial Philosophy ever to have been made. Hence
its enduring value, not only for Indians, but for all mankind.”
But some European commentators have brought a sense of
objectivity to bear on their views of the poem, and while paying
tributes to the divine teachings, they have pointed out that the
holy text is not free from those blemishes which are more or
less characteristic of all other scriptures. On the whole,
however, it may be stated that there is not a single thoroughly
critical study of the Bhagavad-Gita available for an accurate
assessment of the historical role that the great poem has played
in Indian society.
It is generally claimed that the Bhagavad-Gita is a treasure-
house of profound knowledge and great wisdom; that it contains
the mysterious secrets of spiritual life and is the best moral code
for the guidance of a cultured society. Some of the more
enthusiastic Indian writers, endowed with imagination, have
even suggested that the teachings of the sacred poem can help
the world, especially Western nations, now plagued by intractable
social and moral problems born of scientific advance and
technological progress. Neither any Indian teacher
nor any foreign scholar, however, has taken the trouble of telling the
suffering humanity why the Indians detenorated, mtellectually
and morally, lost freedom, and suffered for hundreds of years
after they had given unstinted allegiance to the doctrines of the
There is, I suppose, concensus on two points or facts of
history: One, that the Gila has been the most venerated
scripture of Hindus from the fourth century A.C., if not earlier,
and two, that India plunged into a dark age at almost the same
time from which she mayor may not have emerged in 1947,
when the British power came to an end.
Jawaharlal Nehru has drawn a clear picture of the Indian
society in the pre-Gila and the post-Gita periods, though he does
not allude to them as such. Dividing the first thousand years
of the Christian Era into two, he says about the earlier
centuries: “It is a period of a vigorous national life, bubbling
over with energy and spreading over in all directions. Culture
develops into a rich civilization flowering out in philosophy,
literature, drama, art, science and mathematics. India’s eco-
nomy expands, the Indian horizon widens and other countries
come within its scope.” And what happened in the second
half of the millennium when the Gila doctrines had gained the
wide acceptance of the people? Nehru answers: “Yet for all
these bright patches, an inner weakness seems to, seize India,
which affects not only her political status but her creative
activities … as the millennium approached its end, all this appears
to be the afternoon of a civilisation, the glow of the morning
had long faded away, high noon was past…the heart seems to
petrify, its beats are slower, and gradually this petrification and
decay spread to its limbs…. The sense of curiosity and the
spirit of mental adventure give place to a hard and formal logic
and a sterile dialectic. Both Brahminism and Buddhism
deteriorated and degraded forms of worship grow Up.”2 Why
did this dismal fate overtake the country when it had welcomed
~d chosen for its guide the exalted doctrines of the Bhagavad-
Gita? Unless and until this riddle is solved any study of Indian
history must remain unintelligible.
Contrary to the view sedulously fostered by Brahmin writers
after the downfall of Buddhism that the idealist or the so-called
spiritualist philosophy is the only system of thought evolved by
Indian thinkers since the Vedic Age, the fact remains that for a
long period stretching roughly from 500 B.C. to 500 A.C. the
widely accepted philosophy in this country was rationalist-
materialist. It had bred a radically different outlook and
effected basic changes in the primitive social structure raised
earlier by Brahmin theology. Notwithstanding persistent efforts
made to ignore or underrate the importance of this revolutionary
development, its positive achievements form an inalienable
part of Indian culture. To accurately assess the historical
significance of the Gila doctrines, it is essential to have an
understanding of this deliberately neglected part of Indian
study. I have, therefore, endeavoured to shed some light on
the thought-processes which led to the unfolding of that glorious
era and the main intellectual, social and political features which
The Bhagavad-Gita represents only one aspect-the idealistic-
religious aspect-of Hindu culture. The claim that the poem
contains a synthesis of all ancient Indian philosophies is not
borne out by a critical study of the scripture. Moreover, it
mostly ignores other aspects of Indian thought not liked by the
author. If, and wben, any opponent’s views are referred to,
they are distorted and presented in a way as to support the
author’s cherished assumptions. I have, therefore, deemed it
necessary briefly to narrate, in the first part, the history of
Indian thought from the early age, which makes it easier to
grasp the underlying purpose of the Gita teachings.
Indian idealist philosophy has developed more from
mysticism than common sense, and is generally beyond the
comprehension of the average intelligent person. I have taken
pains to summarise the main theories of the different idealist
schools and reduce them to terms which J can understand,
and which, I think, the reader also will be able to understand.
The argument that whereas the Hindus accepted the
Bhagavad-Gita as their supreme scripture and unquestioned
guide, they failed to act upto the ideals preached by Sri Krishna
does not hold water. When members of a society apotheosize a person they have the ambition to emulate him and to fashion
their lives in accordance with the prlnciples taught by him,
They cease to do so only when the hero loses charm and fails
to captivate. If there is agreement on the statement that the
Bhagavad-Gita has been the most popular scripture of the
Hindus for the past fifteen centuries, it is absurd to hold that
the sufferings of the community have been caused not by the
doctrines venerated by them but because they acted in defiance
of tbose doctrines.
A dispassionate and objective study of the Bhagavad-Gita
will show that despite the extravagant claims made on its behalf,
it is not an unfailing guide to spiritual freedom or worldly
advancement. It is true that the holy poem mentions some
lofty ideals, puts forth a few sublime thoughts on different
aspects of human culture and lays down certain noble precepts
for success in mental discipline. But, on the whole, its
teachings can help (and have helped) only to subvert human
progress and nourish social evils. It is a philosophy of the
upper classes meant to be utili sed by them as a weapon for
maintaining a frustrated society in some sort of stability and
equilibrium by inculcating ideas of patience and contentment in
disinherited, exploited and down-trodden millions.
Since its appearance the Bhagavad-Gita has been repeatedly
invoked to fight against the forces of revolution. If Shankara-
charya sought its assistance in the ninth century A.C. to deal
a death blow to declining Buddhism, Mahatma Gandhi utilised
its teachings to annihilate the rising tide of secular democracy.
This is true even though Shankara was dubbed as a crypto-
Buddhist and Gandhi acclaimed as the champion of democratic
Not only have the medley doctrines of the holy poem to be
properly analysed by application of reason which is, after all,
the o~e reliable criterion as well as the supreme court of
authority, but we have also to see how Hindus fared in their
personal lives and dealings among themselves and with others,
after they came fully under the influence of the Gila philosophy.
F:om day to day and year to year, for at least fifteen centuries
t e v~nerated scripture has been powerfully exercising the mind
of Hindus and making them think and function in a certain
manner, thus leading them towards particular ends. Therefore,
the relevance between the divine teachings and the life lived by
Hindus during this long period has to be brought out in bold
relief in order to make history a profitable study.
The history of India written and taught in the past is the
history as studied by Brahmin intellectuals. No efforts have
been made to present the common man’s viewpoint in it because
it would have been ridiculed and fiercely opposed. When, for
the first time, in the beginning of the present century, T.W.
Rhys Davids made an attempt to describe the period during
Buddhist ascendancy from the kshatriya (warrior caste) angle,
he was afraid that “it would be regarded by some as a kind of
lese majeste.” His Buddhist India, however, has become a
classic which shows that the time has come when we may
interpret the entire Indian history from a non-Brahmin stand.
The change from the Brahmin stance to the common man’s
stand in the study of our past makes every event, development
and person in Indian history look entirely different. Leo
Tolstoy (1828-1910) describing the consequences of a radical
change in his outlook stated; “What had previously seemed to
me good seemed evil, and what had seemed evil seemed good.
It happened to me as it happens to a man who goes out on
some business and on the way suddenly decides that the
business is unnecessary and returns home. All that was on his
rightis now on his left, and all that was on his left is now on
his right…. The direction of my life and my desires became
different, and good and evil changed places.”3 While compiling
this unconventional study of India’s past I have had the same
experience as the Russian sage.
Like some other advanced languages, Sanskrit can be very
difficult and, indeed, many books, religious and secular, written
in it are not easy to understand. The Bhagavad-Gita, happily,
is composed in easily intelligible language; it abounds in poetic
art; and its lucid style and musical sound add to its charm.
Probably, apart from its religious merit, its linguistic beauty
helped it to become so popular. The German Indologist, M.
Winternitz, observes: “It is on the strength of its poetic value,
the forcefulness of its language, the splendour of the images and
metaphors, the breath of inspiration which pervades the poem,
that it has made such a deep impression on the impressionable
minds of all ages.”4 But the commentators have not
infrequently projected their own notions and concepts into the
verses of the poem. By doing so they have made the text
mystifying and inexplicable. They have a purpose in doing so.
If studied without aids, while the main theme of the
Bhagavad-Gita becomes manifest, its contradictions and
inconsistencies can not remain conceaied from an intelligent
student. By giving far-fetched meaning to words and reading
what is not given in the text, the commentators try to cover up
the defects and establish the integrity of the author. Sanskrit
is a rich language, and many words carry dozens of meanings
which are sometimes opposed to each other. By taking
advantage of the richness of language the commentators can
interpret the poem as they like and, as a matter of fact, many
of these works are full of the preconceived views and strongly
cherished beliefs of the devoted Gila-lovers. While this device
may strengthen orthodoxy and preserve the sanctity of the
scripture, it can not help in estimating the historical importance
of the poem and its contribution to Indian social life.
The Bhagavad-Gita has in the past played a great role in
shaping the mind and character of Hindus and thereby in
making the history of India. As long as the social conditions
prevail which gave birth to Gita doctrines, the scripture will
continue to play the same role and exercise a powerful influence.
We can discover the nature of this role and its effectiveness by
studying the sacred poem in an unbiased manner. The poem
is entitled to highest respect which it deserves as the adored
scripture of the millions of Indians. But regard for truth
demands that we should rationally analyse the declarations
made and the theories adumbrated in the holy poem. It will
be strictly in accordance with our past cultural traditions.
Besides, the findings thus arrived at alone can be conducive to
the future welfare of the Indian society.
I was a lad of fourteen years when I first secured a copy of
the Bhagavad-Gita with a simple translation by Mrs. Annie
Besant. For the last fifty-three years I have carefully gone
through scores of translations and commentaries which were
available to me. I have had discussions with friendly scholars,
both orthodox and liberal, on the philosophical and religious
themes dealt with in the scripture. The conclusions set forth
here are the outcome of these studies and discussions.
Being the first attempt to write a critical commentary on the
Bhagavad-Gita after hundreds of books have been brought out
by Indians and foreigners eulogizing it, some-circles may regard
my endeavour as presumptuous. It would be an unfair charge
and by no means justifiable. As a free nation we need to
develop in us the faculty to criticise not only others (in which we
are lavish and specially adept) but also ourselves-our politics,
our religion, our culture, our institutions and our traditions.
We are woefully lacking in this and have therefore failed to
develop on healthy lines and produce the expected results in
various fields of social activity. To be thoroughly self-critical
was a trait of intellectual thinking in the Upanishadic age. It
has to be fostered again with the purpose of guiding India
towards an intellectual revolution which is a sine qua non for
long-needed social transformation. Self-criticism is the lever of
In critically examining cherished beliefs, hoary traditions
and age-old customs one cannot avoid treading on corns of
orthodox scholar and religious-minded devotee. But the
intention far from being to offend anyone is solely to arrive at
the truth by sifting the grain from the chaff. In undertaking
tbis arduous task I have drawn inspiration from the venerable
Upanishads. In the Taittiriya the sage says; ritam vadishyami
Sat yam vadishyami tanmamavato (I will speak of the right; I will
speak the truth; may that protect me). Following in the
footsteps of the bold tbinkers who proved to be the harbingers
of the great revolution India has ever witnessed in its history,
I venture to present this study in the hope that it might help in
instilling a healthier outlook on life among the Indian people
than the prevailing one laboriously nourisbed through the past
ages by tbe Brahmins currently called Indian nationalists.