hindu scripture

Bhagavad Gita, 4 Wisdom in Action

13: I am their cause, but I myself am changeless and beyond all action.

14: Actions do not cling to me because I am not attached to their results. Those who understand this and practice it live in freedom.

15: Knowing this truth, aspirants desiring liberation in ancient times engaged in action. You too can do the same, pursuing an active life in the manner of those ancient sages.

22: They live in freedom who have gone beyond the dualities of life. Competing with no one, they are alike in success and failure and content with whatever comes to them.

23: They are free, without selfish attachments; their minds are fixed in knowledge. They perform all work in the spirit of service, and their karma is dissolved.

33: The offering of wisdom is better than any material offering, Arjuna; for the goal of all work is spiritual wisdom.

34: Approach those who have realized the purpose of life and question them with reverence and devotion; they will instruct you in this wisdom.

35: Once you attain it, you will never again be deluded. You will see all creatures in the Self, and all in me.

37: As the heat of fire reduces wood to ashes, the fire of knowledge burns to ashes all karma.

38: Nothing in this world purifies like spiritual wisdom. It is the perfection achieved in time through the path of yoga, the path which leads to the Self within.

-Krishna

The Ṛgveda (ऋग्वेद)

The oldest scripture of Hinduism, the Ṛgveda is compound of the word Ṛc – a hymn of praise, and veda – knowledge.

All Hindu scripture is divided into two categories. The ‘Shrutī’ literature – that which was ‘heard’, and the ‘Smritī’ literature – that which is remembered. Roughly, these two types of literature correspond to ‘revelation’ (Shrutī) and ‘tradition’ (Smritī).

The core of the ‘Shrutī’ literature is the ‘Veda’. Usually when the word Veda is used, it refers to the entire body of Vedic literature (including the Upaniśads). However, when the name of a specific Veda is used, it generally refers to the samhitā, collection of hymns, that comprise the Veda. Thus the term Ṛgveda usually means the Ṛc Samhitā or the Ṛgveda Samhita. The term ‘four Vedas’ thus are the four samhitās namely, the Ṛc, Sāma, Yajus and the Atharva.

Some of the few existing manuscripts of the Ṛgveda, from the archives of the Bhandarkar Institute of Oriental Research, Pune, including one written on birch bark.

The Ṛgveda comprising songs and hymns praising the Vedic deities is the oldest of the samhitās. It is estimated that the Ṛgveda was composed between 1800 BCE to 1200 BCE, a date of about 1500 BCE being the current consensus.

Though writing is found in India in the form of the Brahmi script from the 3rd Century BCE, the Ṛgveda was probably not written down until the late Gupta period circa 6th Century CE.  It is remarkable that was preserved with unparalleled fidelity for more than two millennia by oral tradition alone.

The Ṛgveda has 1028 hymns (the suktas) arranged in 10 books called mandalas. Many of these books are named after the clan of Brahmins descended from the seer (Ṛśī) who ‘heard’ the hymns.

The suktas of the Ṛgveda mostly comprise praises of exploits and achievements of the Vedic deities. A large Vedic mythology can be inferred from the Ṛgveda but is not explicitly narrated. However, some suktas serve as an indication of future developments in Vedic thought along two different lines, ritualism and philosophical speculation – especially the highly popular and often quoted Nāsadiya Sukta and Hiraṇyagarbha Sukta.

Hindu Creation Stories

@randomacts13​ asked:

Hi! So, I’m writing a webcomic and one of my main characters is a Indian American teenager (he’s 14 at the beginning of the comic). As a part of the webcomic chapters are separated by little info pages (to help world build). The first one of these for Avi is a bedtime story told to him by his mom. I’d really love to use the Hindu creation story since Avi’s Hindu and I want to make that super clear to the readers. My issue is, I’m not Hindu and I don’t want to leave an important piece out of it or be unintentionally offensive in how I’m telling it. 

I’ve structured the story like my own mom did when she was telling us religious stories as bedtime tales:

Before there was an Earth or a sky, there was Vishnu and there was a great snake. Vishnu was protected and safe deep within the coils of the snake, who floated upon the waters of the endless ocean that was the universe. Then, energy began to grow and with it, a lotus from Vishnu’s belly button. Inside the lotus was Brahma.

Brahma looked to Vishnu.

“It is time to begin,” Vishnu told Brahma. “Create the world.”

Then, a great wind came and the waters of the Universe grew turbulent. When Brahma next looked Vishnu and the serpent were gone and he was alone.

Brahma, determined to fulfill the orders of his master, took three lotus petals.

He stretched high into the sky and gave one petal to the heavens.

The second petal he formed into the Earth, barren and hard.

The final petal became the skies, the clouds, the stars, and the planets.

Then, satisfied with the canvas he had created, Brahma set to work. He touched the dry earth and rivers flowed, tenders flowers grew, and great trees soared toward the sky. He created animals and insects to live on the land and among the plants. He created birds and fish and laughed when they delighted in the sky and water. To all the creatures of the Earth he gave the senses to see and feel and hear and taste and smell their home.

Soon, the world was as we know it and Brahma was satisfied that he had fulfilled his master’s command.

For visual context: I’ve placed the text over a stylized starry ocean and a snake curled around a lotus.

I guess what I’m asking is this: Do you have any Hindu (or Indian American) mods or followers who could help me out with being culturally sensitive with regards to a pretty important bit of religion?

(Also, Avi’s not crazy religious (no more than any 14/15 year old) but if there are any things that he should be doing in daily life that internet research might talk about that would be awesome too!)

There’s not one single “the Hindu creation story.”  There are at minimum three; two are found in the Rig Veda where 

1) in the Hiranyagarbha Sukta an abstractly-conceived Divinity manifests the cosmos out of itself as a “golden womb” and 

2) my personal favorite, the Nasadiya Sukta, because it’s basically a non-answer that shrugs and says “meh, who knows what happened?”  (There are probably other Vedic creation stories I can’t remember right now, in addition to post-Vedic versions where it’s a goddess or divine feminine power responsible for creating the universe as opposed to a god.)  

In addition to those there are the stories found in the Puranas, which involve personified deities like Vishnu and Brahma (and Shiva if the destruction of the previous universe is told of as well), and more closely resemble what you outline in your question.  The common elements are: Vishnu lying on Sesha (the serpent), when the lotus emerges from his bellybutton, which unfolds, revealing Brahma, who creates the universe.

This is where you start to lose the established mythological thread, or at least diverge from what I personally know (so take what follows with the caveat that I don’t know every single Hindu scripture and version of a creation story—to do so may be impossible due to the sheer volume of the literature).  I don’t recall anything specific about the lotus petals being used for definite purposes in the creation process.  The actual process of creation is usually left vague; Brahma’s purpose is to create the universe so that’s what he does—how he does so is mostly irrelevant and left up to the imagination (so using the petals like you do isn’t necessarily wrong, you just may want to mark it as poetic license taken by the person who tells this story within your story).

The one detail you have that I would say is generally regarded as incorrect is referring to Vishnu as Brahma’s “master.”  Vishnu is rarely considered to be Brahma’s “master,” although he’s typically depicted as more powerful and is usually the one who fixes things when Brahma screws up (such as by granting superpowers to demons and such).  In Hindu cosmology, gods often pray to each other, which can be confusing but the implication is not that there’s a consistent power imbalance between two gods just because one prays to the other sometimes. It’s not like western or Abrahamic religions in that regard. 

  When depicted together, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are usually considered to be kind of the “holy trinity” of Hinduism, and are co-equal.

~Mod Nikhil

Important Hindu Deities

Since Hinduism is often not really talked about in terms of pantheon (”all the rage” is with Greek/Roman/Egyptian, MAYBE Norse, depending on the circle you’re talking to), I wanna take the time to discuss some important deities within the Hinduism pantheon. There are other important ‘mythical’ type figures in Hinduism, so this list does NOT include everyone.

My information for this list was taken from the amazing book The Little Book of Hindu Deities by the great author, Sanjay Patel.

  • Ganesha: Best known for ‘good luck’, Ganesh/Ganesha is often spoken to when someone is asking for good luck. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He loves sweets! He is the brother of Karttikeya, and is the son of Shiva and Parvati

The Hindu Trinity (trimurti)

  • Brahma: Creator of the world and all living things, he designed the goddess Sarasvati. She was very shy and when she tried to avoid his gaze, he sprouted another head (coming to four heads in total). He can commonly be seen riding a goose or swan. He is the keeper of the Holy Vedas (the story of how the world was created according to Hinduism)
  • Vishnu: He is known as the ‘invisible protector’. He preserves justice and has 10 avatars. He is very popular in Hinduism
  • Shiva: He is known as a meditator, yogi (someone who acts as an inspiration for all is the simplest way to describe this; the Bhagavad Gita, which is a famous holy piece of text in Hinduism, describes it as: fearlessness, purity of heart, strives for wisdom, studies Hindu scripture, is self disciplined, straight forward, is truthful, does not hold grudges against someone, promotes peace, shows compassion for all creatures, does not exhibit greed, is gentle and modest, is not restless, is forgiving and patient and does not hold onto hatred and is not conceited). Shiva is the god of destruction, transformation, and regeneration. Deer and snakes are often associated with him. He is the dad of Ganesha and Karttikeya and husband to Parvati. He can often be seen with a trident next to him, the trident symbolizing creation, protection, and destruction of the universe

Mahadevi (mother goddess)

  • Sarasvati: Goddess of knowledge and arts, she was the first goddess ever to be worshipped in Hinduism. She is the sister of Lakshmi and Parvati. She is a symbol of being a great thinker, a gifted creator, and an independent woman. It is believed that mortal musicians, artists, writers, and students are part of her family. Her companion is a white swan. She is also NOT interested in romance with others.
  • Durga: Shiva suggested to create a new god, and thus Durga was made. She is known to be pretty, fierce, and a great warrior. Hindus celebrate her with Durga Puja, which is a 10 day celebration. She fights suffering and injustice and brings harmony and kindness. She is known to feed animals and people and is a fearless goddess. She can commonly be found riding on lions or tigers. 
  • Lakshi: She is the goddess of wealth and happiness. The Hindu gods fell in love with her when she emerged from the ocean. Shiva claimed her as his wife, but she was only interested in Vishnu. Shiva also already had a wife, so Lakshi became his consort (life partner). She is known for good luck, but she does NOT have tolerance for those who wish to use her for money (such as luck with gambling). Lakshi is known to gift prosperity and often carries an ancient symbol of well being. 
  • Parvati: Parvati has numerous names: Uma, Guari, and Shakti. She was born into royalty. She fell in love with Shiva and visited him often, gifting him with flowers and fruit. Shiva, however, was deep into meditation and never noticed her. Parvati grew extremely frustrated and threw herself into seclusion, going into her own meditation. She wanted to create enough energy from the meditation to force Shiva to noticed her. It worked and he accepted her as his wife. Parvati is the mother of Ganesha and Karttikeya. Parvati is the goddess of fertility, love, divine strength, and devotion.
  • Sita: Sita is said to be made from the earth and be the child of an earth deity because of that. She is an avatar of the goddess Lakshmi. Sita was kidnapped from her beloved. When she was returned to her husband, Rama, people questioned her “purity”. To prove it, she walked through fire, and remarkably, she went unscathed! 
  • Kali: Known as the “black one”, Kali is known to encompass paradoxes. She is not the goddess death (this is a common misconception with her). However, she is the goddess of time, liberation, and is considered to be a loving mother goddess to her devotees. An extremely fierce fighter, Kali defeated a supposedly ”unbeatable” enemy that was causing the other Hindu gods trouble!

Animal Gods

  • Nagas: they were semi-divine beings and were commonly depicted as half-cobra and half-human (and handsome!). Nagas held a dual identity - semidivine and semidemonic. They were known to protect the Earth’s treasures. They were commonly seen as symbols of creation, life, and fertility. They were known to help the Hindu gods on different quests and sheltered Buddha from a terrible storm.
  • Garuda: Known of the kind of birds, he moved at the speed of light! Garuda was known as the messenger to rely messages between gods and humans. He is also known to have a huge appetite. So much so, that Vishnu asked him if he wanted to peck at his arm and eat his flesh. Garuda attempted to peck him, but saw that the god’s skin was impenetrable, and realized he was asked a question by a god! Since this incident, Garuda promised to serve Vishnu
  • Hanuman: He is the son of Vayu and is known as the Monkey King. He can greatly expand his size or shrink to a very small size. He is known to be strong, clever, loyal, and a very faithful friend. He was good friends with Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu). Rama had a younger brother, named Lakshmana, who was injured in battle. Hanuman went to find herbs to help him heal, but was unsure of what to grab. To rectify this situation, he brought the whole mountain of what the herbs were on! 
  • Surabi: She is the mother of all cows. She is a symbol of abundance, nonviolence, respect, prosperity, generosity, help purifies bodies, and blesses people with good health. According to Indian law (India), cows can NOT be harmed. 

I have left off the 10 avatars of Vishnu, demigods, the nine planets, and summaries of some important holy texts in Hinduism. I felt like this list served as a good general introduction to the Hinduism pantheon. This list was NOT supposed to be an ‘in depth’ review of the Hindu pantheon! Again, much thanks to The Little Book of Hindu Deities by the great author, Sanjay Patel.

That which makes the tongue speak but cannot be spoken by the tongue
That alone is God, not what people worship

That which makes the mind think but cannot be thought by the mind
That alone is God, not what people worship

That which makes the eye see but cannot be seen by the eye
That alone is God, not what people worship

If you think that you know God, you know very little
All that we can know are ideas and images of God

I do not know God nor can I say that I don’t know God
If you understand the meaning of, I neither know nor don’t know
You understand God

Those who realize that God cannot be known, truly know
Those who claim that they know, know nothing

The ignorant think that God can be grasped by the mind
The wise know it beyond knowledge

When you see that God acts through you at every moment
In every movement of mind or body you attain true freedom

When you realize the truth and cling to nothing in the world
You enter eternal life.

10

“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remember the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.“

- J. Robert Oppenheimer

anonymous asked:

have you ever wondered if all asuras are actually just from southern parts of south asia? Mahabali was Mallu and Ravana was singhalese, and the way they're depicted reminds me a lot of south indian men. I always thought it was some kind of ancient PIE racism against dravidian populations echoing into the present through my own faith. It hurts to think that maybe I'd just be a demoness in the pages of the scripture unless I was a deity to assimilate.

I’ve noticed that too !!! From what I’ve looked into, ancient southern versions of the same stories are often different. Just to give a small example, according to the 4000 Divya Prabandham, Krishna was not born in Mathuraa but was born in Madurai; similarly, the Radha-figure was replaced with a southern princess named Nappinnai. Kusha, Rama’s son, is who Tamils know as Karuppannaswamy, and Draupadi is a form of the Tamil deity Amman. Ravana is half-Brahmin (this is mentioned in certain mainstream versions of the Ramayana too) and so he is naturally inclined to be a shit, and Bali is painted as a victor in Southern versions because of his submission to God (plus he has his own holiday in Kerala), while Indra is still haughty about how he can “control” God and thus spirals into self-centeredness. 

Northern tellings of stories don’t acknowledge that Narasimha took his Avatara in Andhra, that Parashurama’s mom is Mariamman, and that the Varaha Avatara is Tamil.

There’s definitely racism playing into what we deem “official” scripture because we really don’t know what’s legit and what’s just another Brahmin-centered, Northern revision. (For example, Draupadi was married to the five Pandavas just ‘cus–there was nothing wrong with polyandry in ancient South Asia; the modern “official” version of the Mahabharatha, however, weaves a very complex scheme of how Draupadi is an “eternal virgin” and regains her “purity” after each menstrual cycle. Also…Draupadi is very, very dark-skinned, but in mainstream art she’s usually depicted as pale.) 

A lot, A LOT of modern Hindu scripture has been rewritten and retold through a northern perspective–so it’s definitely hard for southern South Asians to find representation. But looking into southern folk tales and official unaltered scriptures like the 4000 Divya Prabandham (which is a collection of 4000 poems from 12 different saints of different castes and classes) can really provide a perspective on the lost aspects of modern Hinduism. 

Brothers, Sisters and a Celluloid Goddess.

August 7th 2017 marks Raksha Bandan, a celebration of the loving bond between brothers and sisters by Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities around the world. Interestingly the Raksha Bandan festival gave the backdrop to a film that seemingly gave birth to a new Goddess within the Hindu faith, the phenomenon that is Santoshi Maa.

The 1975 Bollywood film Jai Santoshi Maa tells the story of a then little known Goddess, Santoshi Devi. The film starts with Lord Ganesha celebrating Raksha Bandan with His sister Manasa Devi, seeing the festivities, the two sons of Lord Ganesha request a sister who they can join in the celebrations with. Lord Ganesha and His wives then create a daughter, Santoshi Devi, the film then goes on to tell the story of this ‘new’ Goddess and Her ardent devotee Satyavati. Jai Santoshi Maa became a phenomenal success in India, and temples dedicated to Santoshi Devi began to spring up all over the country. Though the Goddess has no mention in the Hindu scriptures, it seems modern media had done what previously would be considered unthinkable, Bollywood had created an actual celluloid Goddess, ritually worshiped in the traditional sense and part of everyday religious practice for thousands of Hindus.

The actual film is based on the Vrata/Katha pamphlet literature that became popular among women of lower income Hindu communities as an alternative to costly temple rituals or priestly intervention. Vrata/Katha literature gives a cheap, simple process of worship and a story relating to a particular divinity that’s easy to follow and accessible. It appears the Santoshi Devi pamphlet became popular among women of North India in the early 1960’s, and Her worship spread gradually. The Santoshi pamphlet gives no mention to Santoshi Devi being the daughter of Lord Ganesha, this is an embellishment of the film. It seems Santoshi Devi was probably a form of the Divine Mother worshiped among poor communities as 'the Mother of Satisfaction’ as Her name suggests, understandable in the circumstances. Vrata/Katha literature doesn’t just spring up out of nowhere, they are generally very old stories and rituals handed down word of mouth by religious women who previously suffered from widespread illiteracy, there’s probably nothing particularly 'new’ at all about Santoshi Devi.

The film Jai Santoshi Maa is now a cult classic, in many places it’s still shown to this day on Fridays, the special day dedicated to the Goddess. Images of Santoshi Maa are now common place in religious poster and calendar art, and She can be found in Hindu temples and Shrines around the world. The debate around Santoshi Maa being the product of a Bollywood film or the prayers of lower income women concerned for their families and loved ones is an ongoing one, personally I’d go for the latter suggestion, in that sense a real victory to the Mother of Satisfaction.

3

Gangavatarana - descent of Ganga. Nandala Bose mural from Vadodadar Palace,

The story of Gangavatarana, descent of the River Ganga, is mentioned in various ancient Hindu scriptures including the Ramayana written by the Hindu sage, Valmiki. The descent is associated with Lord Shiva, the Lord of Destruction.

Replete in rich iconography, Shiva is represented here with three faces symbolising the three aspects of time: past, present, and future. His five hands hold the trident, a bowl of nectar, poison, conch, and a damaru. The sixth hand is extended in a consoling gesture. A garland of human skulls resembling flowers drapes around his arms and waist.

To the right of Shiva is Brahmas Kamandalu, a vessel for carrying water. From it ganga jal cascades over Shiva’s head, down to his feet. Ganga herself is shown in multiple forms. Firstly over Shiva’s head, secondly in the middle as Bhogavati, the Ganga which flows underground and Mandakini, the Ganga which remains in heaven, and lastly kneeling down at Shiva’s feet.

 Photos and text by Rama Arya

The dancing Shiva is known as Nataraj.

The term ‘Nataraj’ means ‘King of Dancers’. This cosmic dance of Shiva is called Anandatandava, meaning the Dance of Bliss, and symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death. The dance is a pictorial allegory of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy:
•Shrishti - Creation.
•Sthiti - State, or preservation.
•Samhara - Destruction.
•Tirobhava - Illusion.
•Anugraha - Release, Emancipation.

In the form of Nataraja, Shiva depicts all of these elements.

Shiva has four arms:
•He holds a Damaru or a drum in his upper right hand. It symbolizes sound originating creation or the beat of the drum is the passage of time.
•He holds fire in his upper left hand, which characterizes destruction. Mostly accepted as destruction of all that is bad. Both these hands are on the same level or, on the same line. This shows that creation and destruction are both equal.
•The lower right hand shows Shiva’s protection from both evil and ignorance to those who follow the righteousness of dharma. This gesture is known as the Abhaya Mudra.
•The lower left hand is pointing towards His feet. It signifies upliftment and liberation. It also points to the left foot with the sign of the elephant which leads the way through the jungle of ignorance. Here, the attention is drawn towards the fact that life is graceful.

His right foot is pressed downward, expressing Tirobhava, or illusions in life; whereas, the left foot is drawn upwards, depicting Anugraha, or release from the illusions of the world towards enlightenment. The right leg is at the middle of the figure, which shows the preservation of a state, or Sthiti. It also holds down a demon, which can be perceived as the demon in all of us that shall be suppressed.

As in Hindu scriptures, “It is a continual dance of creation and destruction involving the whole cosmos; the basis of all existence and of all natural phenomena.”

6

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.

The Daughters of Chandikā.

During the annual Durgā Puja, deities of Mother Durgā are made and worshipped accompanied by Her children, Lakshmī, Saraswatī, Ganesh and Kartikeya. The birth of Ganesh and Kartikeya are well known stories from the Hindu scriptures, but hardly anywhere do we find information about Lakshmī and Saraswatī being the daughters of Durgā, even more confusingly, Durgā, Lakshmī and Saraswatī are considered to be manifestations of the one Goddess, how then can Saraswatī and Lakshmi be considered daughters of Mother Durgā?

The answer comes from an appendage of the Devī Māhātmya known as Prādhānika Rahasya, this small scripture translates roughly as ‘the preeminent secret’, it’s really trying to explain the unexplainable, how primary matter comes into manifestation. Here it’s described how the primal power Adya Śākti manifests first as Mahālakshmī, from Her comes Mahākālī and Mahāsaraswatī, these three represent the three modes of nature, sattvā- goodness, rajas-passion/activity and tamas-darkness/ignorance, these three make up the play of creation, preservation and transformation, the realm of phenomenal existence

Interestingly Prādhānika Rahasya then goes on to describe how these three Goddesses expand again. From Mahālakshmī comes Brahmā and another Lakshmī, from Mahākālī comes Śiva and another Saraswatī and from Mahāsaraswatī comes Vishnu and Gaurī. Saraswatī was married to Brahma, Vishnu to Lakshmī and Gaurī to Śiva. Brahmā & Saraswatī produce a cosmic egg, Śiva & Gaurī break it releasing unevolved matter, Vishnu & Lakshmī then protect the creation. It’s an odd tale, but it’s basically emphasising the Goddess as the source of existence, it’s ever changing forms and the formlessness of pure being. The same story is repeated in Srimad Devī Bhāgavatam.

In the Devī Māhātmya the Durgā in the second carita is none other than a manifestation of Adya-Śakti Mahālakshmi the first form of the Goddess described in Prādhānika Rahasya, therefore She is quite rightly depicted as the 'mother’ of both Lakshmī and Saraswatī. The Goddess is always one, Her forms and manifestations are many, be it Durgā, Lakshmī or Saraswatī, She is Śakti, energy in constant motion. She is inconceivably Her own mother, Her own daughters and everything else, like She says Herself in Devī Māhātmya 10.5, “I am alone here in the world, who else is there besides me?”.

DEAR CULTURAL APPROPRIATION BRIGADE

So it has been decided that locks cannot be worn by Asian men so reggae lover HaHa be warned. We know this because in Jackson Wangs Pepsi ad he’s seen with locks & poc k-pop fans were in attack mode on IG quickly typing that familiar excuse when ‘that’s cultural appropriation’ & if in my country I get dirty looks for wearing my natural hair than you sure as hell can’t show your love for it. Yes, it’s another nontroversy, but perhaps it’s time to stop this before it mutates into something more dangerous. So let’s get really pedantic: what ownership do African Americans actually have on locks? Answer is none, besides making it trendy for hippies, crusties & tramps locs have been around even before the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. The first literary mention is said to be in the Hindu Vedic scriptures dating from around 1700BC. The God Shiva wore ‘matted’ dreadlocks. So it is perhaps the Asians who have the dubious honour of ‘inventing’ locks, and we could reasonably conclude that the Ancient Egyptians culturally appropriated locks from them. The ancient Greeks. In the Archaic period of 800-480BC, sculptures show men wearing dreads like the Spartan Hoplites & Ephors the Pre Columbian Aztec priests & Native Americans in also had them. In the Bible, James the Just 1st Bishop of Jerusalem was said to have his to his ankles I’m sure if he had IG back then we’d know for sure & Samson, perhaps the most famous of them all, had ‘seven locks’. Next came the Vikings, proving dreads weren’t always about peace and love, man. And Rastafarianism wasn’t even created until the 1930s in Ethiopia & they got their inspiration from The Nazarites of the bible. Locks have been worn for various reasons in each culture whether it be religious & spiritual or ethnic pride then for political reasons by the Rastafarians & Americans in the 70’s to modern times as a representation of a person’s free, alternative or natural spirit & don’t come with that mess that other cultures were invalid because they were dirty or didn’t have brushes, the comb has been around for about 5,000 years.

Originally posted by got7-garbage

The Dalit-Bahujan Guide to Understanding Caste in Hindu Scripture

by  Valliammal Karunakaran

“Because it is crucial that we refrain from using the oppressor’s language to articulate the social structures that violate our communities, I first identify two terms that may still be be new to a western or diasporic audience. For example, I believe the term Bahujan, simply meaning “the majority of the people”, brings to attention to the reality that caste is not a “Dalit problem”. 

While Dalit and Adivasis are some of the most vulnerable communities in a caste society, the majority of the people of the subcontinent are caste-bound and ruled by “upper”-caste minorities. The term Bahujan refers to present day Scheduled Castes (Dalits), Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis/indigenous) and Shudra (peasant) castes — cutting across religion, ethnicities and geographies. 

In addition, the use of words Brahminism/Brahminical in the place of “Hinduism/Hindu” is also intentional. These are the appropriate term for the religion of ancient (and modern) India — at the core of which is the morality of a Brahmin-conceived institution, the Varnashrama Dharma ( the system of 4 varnas and laws and practices related to it ). The term “Hinduism” is actually a contemporary political term constructed through the mass appropriation and erasure of several distinct indigenous tribes, outcastes, religions and microcultures throughout the subcontinent for the sake of usurpation of post British-colonial land and electoral power.

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