The word 'Indian', derived from the Sanscrit Sindhu, was a geographical definition which became that of all the inhabitants of the modern nation of Indian. Hindu was a Western name for most Indians except Muslims, though it has now come more to be applied to Indian nationals in general. The word 'Hindu' represents no distinct religion, because it virtually includes the followers of such religions as those of the Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Parsees and the tribals, along with the hundreds of different traditions and many kinds of worshippers who trace their origins back to the Vedas and are thus more strictly Hindu in the traditional or Aryan sense.

"Throughout their existence in India the Aryan Hindus have never wavered in their loyalty and adherence to four things. In fact, they have worshipped all four in different ways, and these loyalties are basic to their way of life. The things in question are the Vedas, fair complexion, the rivers and the cattle." (Ch. 8. The Continent of Circe. Nirad C. Chaudhuri 1965)

The Aryan Hindus, who probably originated in the Middle East, either invaded or colonised India, which was then populated by less civilised dark-skinned peoples. It is generally agreed that the Aryans came from Mesopotamia (Irak), via Persia (Iran), and previous to that quite likely from the area between the Danube and the Volga. Western-influenced historians reckon their arrival in India as having been somewhere between 1000 and 1500 BC. Their own texts and traditions put their presence in Bharat (India) very much earlier indeed, some putting it at anything from 5000 BC to tens of thousands of years earlier!

According to Chaudhuri, the Middle Eastern influence brought with the Aryans is clearly seen, for example, in their having been 'bow and chariot people' and in their flat-roofed Middle Eastern architecture (so eminently unsuited to the Indian monsoon).


A widely-held view among empirical historians is that the ancient Ramayana and the Mahabharata are myths thinly based on historical and geographical facts. One view is that the two opposing 'races' of the Ramayana were two branches of the same Aryan clan then living in Persia (Iran) which came into conflict with one another on religious and other grounds. The losing party, the Devas, were driven East to India, where they settled and gradually embroidered the complex myth of a 'paradise lost' and a demonic race, the Asuras, which remained on the earth.

Hindus of a traditional and dogmatic leaning - including the fanatical branches that assert the absolute superiority and purity of those of Aryan descent - inist that the Aryans have lived in India 'eternally' and they reject any notion whatever of Aryans' having come from elsewhere. This is typical of chauvinistic racism everywhere, yet it has been maintained for a longer time and more fiercely than in any comparable instances. These persons even tend to support the thesis that the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam are literal accounts of historical events. The literalist interpreter of these major epics, however, must therefore accept the actual existence of a 'sea of milk', the lifting and moving about of whole mountains en bloc, the existence of one-eyed ogres, evil giants and Titanic persons of over double present-day normal human height, such as Rama and his brothers.

In these and other epics, however, many other remarkable phenomena are described, some of which can be argued to have existed, though the knowledge behind them has been lost. This cannot so easily be discounted because many of these are very similar to the result of scientific know-how we either already possess today or seriously regard as likely in the near future.


India today might well be regarded as consisting in two largely distinct kinds of society living side by side; nine-tenths is still rural and traditional in character while the remaining tenth consists in the all city-dwellers with Westernised attitudes, the ruling class, the military, the entrepreneurs and the middle-class. The concentration of wealth is found almost totally within the latter.


According to scholars of history, the (four chief) Vedas were a set of prayers and hymns to God – never originally being God-revealed scripture at all. Though possible revised, their language is dead, but even today the rituals are recited by priests at marriages, funerals and the like and not least at many official (even governmental) functions. The later doctrine introduced about the Vedas that they exist ‘eternally’ and were saved from a world-enveloping deluge is sheer myth, of course.
('The Continent of Circe' p. 184-5)

“I know of no sacred books or scriptures which have the same prestige as among the Hindus these books, especially the Rigveda… The Vedas present an exceptional phenomenon. Their prestige is not accounted for either by their contents or by the use that has been made of them. They are not the word of any God or gods, but mostly words addressed to gods.“

"Many of the beliefs now looked upon as basic to Hinduism are not even adumbrated in the Vedas.” “… the Vedas have never been read as devotional books for their contents, and not even as literature.” “…their language became wholly obsolete. For their devotional reading the Hindus chose later books, and these are read even now – not the Vedas.”

“The only part of the Vedic religion which survives in India is some of the liturgy and ritual, belonging to the Karma-Kanda, or the chapter of ‘works’, which were specially denounced by the Hindu devotional schools and the Vedanta school of philosophy. But these also have remained only mechanically alive. They are performed, but there is no consciousness of their doctrinal significance, and no understanding even of the words as such. The oblations are still offered to the departed ancestors in an unmodified Vedic manner, but the ceremony bears no relation whatever to the later and present-day beliefs of the Hindus about after-life. The Vedic concept about the dead and the belief in Karma and rebirth are utterly irreconcilable, and the contradiction is not perceived only because nobody understands the Vedic rite."

"To the Hindu the Vedas always were and even now are the fons et origo of his entire way of life. Theoretically, at least, everything in it must be derived from them, and even when many things he does or believes in cannot be connected with any Vedic text, he will say that these are implicit in the Vedas. He would add that when properly interpreted the Vedas were bound to disclose them. During the last one hundred years or so this belief that the Vedas contain everything has been carried to the length of absurdity in the face of the challenge of European science. I have heard scholars who are otherwise quite respectable, say that evidence for the existence, not only of firearms, but even of aeroplanes in ancient India is to be found in the Vedas. This is a new aspect of the worship of the Vedas."

"This prestige, which has nothing to do with the contents of the Vedas and is purely mythical, cannot be explained on any rational ground except one: that they were the original scriptures of the Aryan way of life and were brought into India as such. I do not deny that in their existing form the Vedas may have been partly recast and rewritten in India, but there can be no doubt that substantially they come down from the pre-Indian existence of the Aryans, One aspect of the Vedic faith can be said to be decisive for this conclusion. It is the dogma that the Vedas and existed since the beginning of time, taken with the connected belief that they were saved from the Deluge by being carried on a leaf by the first incarnation of Vishnu, the preserving god. It is quite improbable that the Aryans could have evolved the concept of the Deluge in India.""…the modern Hindu interest in the Vedas is wholly artificial, and is a creation of Western scholarship. It is an academic interest. but not competent academic interest, for most of the Indian scholars and historians who deal with the Vedic age cannot read Vedic Sanskrit, and are wholly dependent on Western translations and exegesis. "(NIRAD CHAUDHURI 'The Continent of Circe' Chapter 8).

COMMENT: Progressive, realistic, forward-looking Indians surely cannot but side more with Chaudhuri’s interpretation than with thoe of India's gurus and Hindu priests. Vedic rituals have most evidently not hindered India’s constant decline into what the self-proclaimed God Avatar characterised as follows:-
“…Bhaarath which earned such eminent renown in the spiritual field is today (is) in the throes of a devil dance of vice and wickedness, in the background of falsehood, injustice, hatred and faction. The land is sunk in anxiety and fear.” (Sai Baba)


"Fair complexion is preferred by a majority of Indians to darker skin tones. The lighter the better and the more prosperous in marriage. Much has been written about the origin and persistence of this degradation of people in India (the discriminated Dalits – once called ‘untouchables’ or sudras – and most of the pre-Hindu tribes that have survived are notably dark-skinned). The British rulers were very fair and greatly colour prejudiced, but the ‘white sahibs’ had to be obeyed by Indians who otherwise despised them but themselves failed to correct the colour mote in their own eyes." (ibid p. 188)

River cultism: "The veneration of rivers in religion and cyclical bathing festivals are still visited at auspicious times even by presidents and prime ministers. When the Prime Minister and President visited the Kumbha Mela at Allahabad in 1954 – thus diverting police away from crowd control – the result was a major tragedy with hundreds of deaths. The supposed amazing qualities of the Ganges and its water is but one of many extremes of the river cult. Chaudhuri traces river worship back to pre-religious times and considers that the identification of Indian rivers with Gods and Godesses happened because of the popularity of rivers in that otherwise dry, parched and – above all – dust ridden country… not the other way round."  (ibid 197-8)"

The cult of the rivers is much older in our country
man many other cults supposed to be very ancient. The big rivers are sacred all over the country. and they were sacred even before the great gods migrated to their banks.

As a matter of fact, they migrated to take advantage of a preexisting holiness.‘
days that the word tirtha which in the Sanskritic languages of the country now means ‘a place of a pilgrimage‘, originally denoted only ‘a bathing place on a river bank' in Sanskrit.

Yet the clue to the worship of rivers seems obvious
enough. The Aryans in their original home, where they had already evolved into a selficonscious human group. had broad rivers - the Danube. Drieper, Don, or Volga, and they could not feel happy without such rivers.

Cow worship is still prevalent everywhere among Hindus in the shape of a non-beef diet and regular worship of cows at festivals and in religious literature. It is still also being most dangerous to harm or kill a cow that roams the streets where Hindus are prevalent. Killing of cows was normal in Vedic times when guests visited and for sacrifices… so non-violence against animals has no Vedic authority. That evolved later."

I come last of all to cow-worship, which I consider as the fourth loyalty to Auld Lang Syne. This is a paradox of the Hindu system of values and behaviour which baffles all Occidentals. Of all the irrational Hindu obsessions, none appears more irrational than the fanatical and ferocious determination not to permit the destruction of
superfluous and useless cattle, even when the animals cannot be properly fed or cared for. This is a negation of every principle of economy and efficiency in animal husbandry, and all the more so because in India there never is any regular allocation of land for pasture. From the moral point of View, it appears to be a very repulsive form of hypocrisy to worship cows and yet starve them.

Alien domination has also afiiliated the Hindu worship of the cow and opposition to cow-killing with the anti-Muslim and anti-British nationalism. Already, even before the coming of the Muslims. the question of protecting cattle had entered both Hindu ethics and Hindu religion. The foreign conquests made it a part of nationalism, because both the sets of hated foreign rulers were given to killing and eating cattle. This injection of politics made the old Hindu feeling for the cowcontentless, disembodied fanaticism. more hatred of the Muslim and British cow-killer than love for the animal. No generous sentiment could remain generous and no human «motion
could remain human. once it got enmeshed in Hindu xenophobia.