The East bowed low before the blast,
In patient deep disdain;
She let the legions thunder past,
And plunged in thought again.
In the previous two essays, we have shown many Hindu-Slavic religious connections and presented more-or-less convincing evidence on, firstly and foremostly, Hindu-Iranian ancestry of the Slavs and the Slavic pre-Christian religion. We have used various scientific methods in proving Hindu-Slavic connections – comparative mythology, linguistics, archaeology, genetics etc.
In the third and final text on this subject, we will consider a few other notable similarities between the historical fates of Slavic and Indian people. The accent shall be placed on genocide that these two peoples have been subjected to throughout history, on the multimillennial hatred towards anything Indian and Slavic by forces that invaded India and Slavic lands during different time periods.
In the Indian case, we are primarily talking about Islamic (but also Christian) invaders, and in case of the Slavs, about western Europeans, especially Germans (but also others, such as the French, Britons… We will not dwell on the two centuries of Russian slavery under Mongolians nor on the relationship with central Asian people during the Russian invasion into those territories.)
A European, or a Westerner with average education, might know a bit about Alexander the Great’s conquest of India and his army’s clash with the army of King Porus whose “artillery” consisted of war elephants. Greek Hoplites, armed with long spears, managed to overcome the giant beasts; the Hoplites aimed for the animals’ eyes which would cause an all-out mayhem and the elephants’ retreat through their own army instead of the invading one. (Another fact from ancient chroniclers: the tremendous strength of the Greek phalanx, the best army of the old world, came, among other things, from the fact that the first two battle lines of Hoplites were comprised of homosexual couples; so, in addition to all other motivations for battle, the Greek command added an ancient, most potent, emotional weapon: the lifelong connection between human beings. And thus, while crossing thousands of miles, the ancient army defeated all enemies before them.)
A well-read European knows that there is a rule in a war-like Gurkha tribe, which lives beneath the Himalayas, that once a dagger is pulled from a scabbard, it may be sheathed again only if it’s stained by human blood. (Ancient war customs, the cult of honor and “blood vengeance” similar to this one are still present in Europe today, though only in some mountainous regions: Corsica, Sicily, Montenegro and in one area of continental Greece.)
An educated European also knows about the unspeakably brutal, three centuries-long ruling and economic exploitation methods of the East Indian Company – which is a shame on the European civilization.
But even the most educated European, let alone an average American, doesn’t know anything about the Muslim conquest of India, which lasted for centuries, nor about the resistance given during those centuries.
Will Durant called the Muslim conquest of India “probably the bloodiest story in history”. “The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they had failed to organize their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals
(Durant, Will (2014) [first published 1935], The Complete Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage, Simon and Schuster, pp. 458, ISBN 978-1-4767-7971-3).”
The Indian historian Professor K.S. Lal estimates that the Hindu population in India decreased by 80 million between 1000 AD and 1525 AD, an extermination unparalleled in World history. This slaughter of millions of people occurred over regular periods during many centuries of Arab, Afghan, Turkish and Mughal rule in India. Francois Gautier in his book ‘Rewriting Indian History’ (1996) wrote:
“The massacres perpetuated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese.”
The Muslims have been led by Quran (9:5): “Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem till they repeat and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity.”
One of the most prominent historians of today, Koenraad Elst, wrote in his book Negationism of India: The Muslim conquests, down to the 16th century, were for the Hindus a pure struggle of life and death. Entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves.
Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus skulls. Thus, the conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e. Hindu slaughter.”
Nader Shah built a mountain from skulls of Hindus he had slain in Delhi. (Similarly, in the beginning of the XIX century, the Turks built the famous Ćele-kula near the city of Niš from the skulls of the Serbian rebels they have slain; it is the only such tower in the entire Europe.) The Mughal emperor Babur (who ruled India from 1526 -1530 AD) writing in his memoirs called the Baburnama – wrote : ” In AH 934 (2538 C.E.) I attacked Chanderi and by the grace of Allah captured it in a few hours. We got the infidels slaughtered and the place which had been Daru’l-Harb (nation of non-Muslims) for years was made into a Daru’l-Islam (a Muslim nation).”
In Babur’s own words in a poem about killing Hindus (From the ‘Baburnama’ ) he wrote :
“For the sake of Islam I became a wanderer;
I battled infidels and Hindus,
I determined to become a martyr;
Thank God I became a Killer of Non-Muslims!“
Babur built towers from Hindu skulls in Khanua when he defeated Rana Sangha in 1527. Akbar ordered an all-out slaughter of 30.000 Rajput after he conquered Chithorgarh in 1586. Bahaman sultans had a plan to kill at least 100.000 Hindus each year. Irfan Husain in his article “Demons from the Past” observes:
“While historical events should be judged in the context of their times, it cannot be denied that even in that bloody period of history, no mercy was shown to the Hindus unfortunate enough to be in the path of either the Arab conquerors of Sindh and south Punjab, or the Central Asians who swept in from Afghanistan…The Muslim heroes who figure larger than life in our history books committed some dreadful crimes. Mahmud of Ghazni, Qutb-ud-Din Aibak, Balban, Mohammed bin Qasim, and Sultan Mohammad Tughlak, all have blood-stained hands that the passage of years has not cleansed…Seen through Hindu eyes, the Muslim invasion of their homeland was an unmitigated disaster.
Timur Lenk (Timur the Lame; he was lame in one foot; Taimur Lengde 1336. – 1405.) was a Turkish-Mongolian conqueror and founder of the Timurid Dynasty. Timur’s Indian campaign (1398 – 1399 AD) was recorded in his memoirs, collectively known as ‘Tuzk-i-Timuri.’ In them, he vividly described probably the most gruesome act in the entire history of the world – where 100,000 Hindu prisoners of war in his camp were executed in a very short space of time. Timur, after taking advice from his entourage, says in his memoirs:
“They said that on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war to set these idolaters and foes of Islam at liberty. In fact, no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword’. He proclaimed :
“Throughout the camp that every man who has infidel prisoners was to put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasir-ud-din Umar, a counselor and a man of learning, who, in all his life had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives“.
These lines are undoubtedly torturous to read.
To us, the people of today, these scenes are very hard to imagine: that flood of spilled blood, turning into mud that is being trodden through; the nightmare and confusion of prisoners who are, before their own execution, watching the deaths of their friends; the rampage of the frenzied killers…
However– from historical sources we also know about the many examples of a heroic Hindu resistance against the Islamic invaders.
Timur, who we were just discussing, was responsible for one of the biggest genocides in the world – his army killed 5% (17 million people) of the world population, mostly in central Asia; he had conquered Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Mongolia and other regions. And then he turned towards his greatest prize, Bharata/India. However, it turned out he was late.
His time had ran out. He was defeated, deadly wounded and cast out of India. This had consequences. For the following 150 years, the conqueror sdidn’t dare attack this country. Timur’s great-grandson, Babur, was the one who had finally returned to attack India once more –unfortunately, at that time there was no powerful, united Hindu army to stop him.
Let us also remember the following: one hundred years earlier, the army under Veer Gurjar Jograj Singh Pawar had defeated and cast out Timur, the most dangerous conqueror in the world, in 1398. Also, that was the first time in recorded history – aside from the Amazon myths – that a female warriors brigade was formed. There were 40.000 of them, under the command of Rampyari Gurjar Chauhan.
They fought in Hindu army. This female wing of the Hindu army completely turned the tide of battle. Upon seeing the enemy soldiers coming down to the river to drink they decided to poison the river upstream unnoticed. Which is what they did. Timur’s soldiers used that river on the way to Hardwar for their water supply and they died from it. The women won that battle with a cruel and cunning maneuver.
The Rajput Dynasties which ruled the northern and western India fought the Mughals and the Sultanates bravely. The names of some of them became famous due to their war victories; Rana Kumbha, a very educated and artistically inclined ruler of the kingdom of Mewar in western India from the XV century who, among other things, defeated the joint forces of the Malwa and Gujarat Sultanates; Rana Sanga, who was noted to have fought in 100 battles and lost an eye, an arm and a leg in various encounters and who fought against the Delhi Sultanate with great success; Maldev Rathore, “The Greatest Hindu Raja”, “the most Potent Ruler of Hindustan”; Chandrasen Rathore, who resisted the attacks of the Mughal kingdom for two decades; Maharana Pratap…
Other Indian heroes emerged during these dark times –including the tenth guru of the Sikh – Guru Gobind Singh, as well as the Hindu king Maratha – Shivaji Maratha – who led the resistance against this tyranny and eventually led to its defeat at the end of the eighteenth century – after centuries of suffering, devastation, non-stop deaths and destruction.
Mahmud Ghaznavi, who inherited his father Sabuktigin in 997. AD gained fame with, according to some chroniclers 12 or, according to others, 17 invasions of India. Mahmud led his first invasion on the Shahis of Udbhandapur in 1001. when he advanced towards Peshawar. Raja Jayapala was caught by surprise, before he could muster all his forces. Mahmud Ghaznavi then released Jayapala in return for fifty elephants. Mahmud understood and experienced Hindu bravery and understood the how much that hero “differed” from the typical military and warrior view on things.
The only thing that mattered to Mahmud was to win. But for the Hindus, there is Indra Loka, the real place of bravery. Jayapala considered himself unfit for his throne and condemned himself to a hard, but dignified death: he burnt to death on a funeral pyre he lit with his own hands. This was a demonstration of the Hindu sense of honor which no Muslim warrior, who went plundering and killing relentlessly, could fathom.
We can also add that, despite their non-unity, no Indian state ever sided with the conquerors nor failed to determinedly resist them whenever it could, even alone, left to fend for itself. Before Gory, the Islamic armies of Arabs and Turks fought from decade to decade.From century to century, for nearly 540 years, in order to take the heart of India and turn the entire country into Dar-ul-Islam.
But they only met with success in border regions; Kabul, Zabul, northwestern border provinces, Multan and parts of Punjab and Sindh fell. This was small consolation compared to other victories of Islam, spread through vast territories which, from times immemorial, belonged to the Hindu civilization.
“Beginning with the first Arab expedition against Thana near Bombay in A.D. 636, the Muslims only succeeded in establishing the Delhi Sultanate in AD 1206; that is, after prolonged and relentless efforts lasting as many as 570 years. The magnitude of the resistance offered by Indians can be easily comprehended if we remember that the duration of the effective Muslim rule over northern India, not to speak of the whole of India which was much less, if ever, lasted on 500 years (upto the death of Aurangzeb in AD 1707).” (Heroic Hindu Resistance to Muslim Invaders (636 AD to 1206 AD) Sita Ram Goel Voice of India, New Delhi, p. 29) Alas – only five hundred years!
Everything we are saying about India and its conquerors looks exactly like any other story of the conquerors and the conquered except in one thing. The difference is in the enormous number of victims, the scope of battles, suffering, destruction and plundering. According to some data, the Hindu civilization lived to see over 60.000 of its temples torn down. There is nothing like it in the history of any other nations and regions.
But the Hindus didn’t suffer only the Muslims. Western Christians proved themselves to be even worse conquerors, especially the Portuguese and the Brits.
Francis Xavier, a famous Jesuit missionary from the XVI century and a saint of the Catholic Church on whose request the Inquisition was established in the Portuguese colony of Goa, on Indian territory, said the following:
“Hindus are an unholy race. They are liars and cheats to the very backbone.
Their idols are black – as black as black can be – ugly and horrible to look at, smeared with oil and smell in an evil manner…” Over 1000 ancient Hindu temples were destroyed during the rule of the Portuguese Inquisition in Goa, and keeping the idols of deities at home was forbidden by law (just like what the Christians did to the Slavic people of Pomerania in northern Europe during the Baltic Crusades, as evidenced by the chronicles of Ebbo and Herbord, which we translated in our book “Fall of Arkona, or The Twilight of Slavic Paganism”)
A marked description of the Indian people’s reaction to the Portuguese-Christian terror looked like this, according to the eye witnesses:
“…The inquisition, this tribunal of fire, thrown on the surface of the globe for the scourge of humanity, this horrible institution, which will eternally cover with shame its authors, fixed its brutal domicile in the fertile plains of the Hindustan. On seeing the monster everyone fled and disappeared, Moguls, Arabs, Persians, Armenians, and Jews. The Indians even, more tolerant and pacific, were astounded to see the God of Christianism more cruel than that of Mohammed, deserted the territory of the Portuguese…” (Memoirs of Judges Magalhães and Lousada: (Vol 2, Annaes Marítimos e Coloniais,page 59)
Thus, regardless of everything, India managed to defend itself. And, through many centuries of unimaginable terror and violence of the barbaric Islamic and Christian invading hordes,succeeded inpreserving its ancient religion, which almost no other great Hindu-European or other civilization (Persia,Iraq,Babylon,Egypt, Greece, Rome, Germanic peoples, Celts, Baltic Slavs, South-American Mayas, Aztec, Toltec, Incas and so on) managed to achieve.
And to even preserve religions such as Buddhism and Jainism in those circumstances: it’s almost unbelievable. Even in the XX century, the most bloody one thus far, India had shown its flawless ethical preponderance and a higher civilization level than the rest of the world, and managed to create a leader like Mahatma Gandhi, who fought for liberation (in the time of violent, criminal world leaders like Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, to say nothing of the multitude of European, Latin American and African dictatorial creatures). Gandhi himself was inspired by Jainism especially and said:
“No religion in the World has explained the principle of Ahiṃsā so deeply and systematically as is discussed with its applicability in every human life in Jainism.
As and when the benevolent principle of Ahiṃsā or non-violence will be ascribed for practice by the people of the world to achieve their end of life in this world and beyond, Jainism is sure to have the uppermost status and Mahāvīra is sure to be respected as the greatest authority on Ahiṃsā.”
Even George Orwell who had a negative opinion about Gandhi wrote after his death the following words:
“ One may feel, as I do, a sort of aesthetic distaste for Gandhi, one may reject the claims of sainthood made on his behalf (he never made any such claim himself, by the way), one may also reject sainthood as an ideal and therefore feel that Gandhi’s basic aims were antihuman and reactionary: but regarded simply as a politician, and compared with the other leading political figures of our time, how clean a smell he has managed to leave behind!” (George Orwell, Reflections on Gandhi, (1949.)
When it comes to the Slavs, they have shared the fate of their Indian ancestors for centuries. From its first appearance in history in the VII century, western Christians made no effort to hide their disdain and hatred towards Slavic people. In 745-746, Saint Boniface writes the following about the Wends (Slavs) in his letter to the English king Eltibald against the Wends’ wanton way of life: “And in Wends, those worse and most foul of people, men and wives respect and love one another so much that the wives, when their husbands die, do not wish to live anymore.
And if a respected woman among them who dies by her own hand and is burned on the same pyre as her husband”. (Here, we recall the words of the Slovakian linguist from the XIX century, Pavel Šafárik, who says that: “…then it is at least not improbable that one separated branch of the great archtribe, the Japhetites, which gave themselves a newer, local name, is later on known by Celts and Germans, their distant relatives by language and ancestry, a general name Hindu (Heneti, Vindi, Wends), either because they originated from the common arch-tribe, or because they stemmed directly from the Hindu people” (underlined by R.K.) ).
Even in the earliest middle ages, the Germans had a saying “Slaven sind Sklaven” (“Slavs are slaves”). The Crusades against the Slavs, which begun in the VII century AD, are the bloodiest and the most long-lasting examples of racial and religious Holocaust in European history.
It would be proper to call them a Holocaust against the Slavs. If we consider the number of victims of these conquests, we can conclude that the Slavic Crusades are the greatest crime in history alongside the Hindus genocide, the genocide of the southern and middle American people and the genocide of the Congo Africans by Leopold II of Belgium and his troops.
However, the history of Slavic genocide by the western European conquerors did not end with the medieval Crusades; only in the previous, XX century, during the two World Wars, between 30 and 35 million of Slavs were killed, mostly by German aggressors who were, especially during the World War II, led by the ideological concept of Drang nach osten (“Advance to the east”) which denotes German expansion towards Slavic countries.
Drang nach osten combines the tradition of the medieval military expeditions and Germanization policies of Germanic people against the Slavs with the wars of modern Germany, such as the Nazi concept of Lebensraum. Russians, Belarus, Ukrainians, Poles and Serbs took the most casualties in the name of Lebensraum. During the World War II, Germans had the idea that the Slavs are “Untermenschen” (subhuman).
The exact number of Slavic victims in the past millennia’s wars had never been historically established. Some sources mention as many as 100 million people. But we do know for certain that in World War I, the number of Serbian victims was 1.3 million (35% of the country’s population), who mostly fell to the Austrian and German aggressors / alongside, of course, the usual war plagues such as famine, illnesses, wounding etc. / under the slogan of “Alle Serben müssen sterben” (“All Serbs must die”). During the World War II, around 27 million people from the former USSR died, most of them Russians, Also, during the World War II, around 3 million Poles were also killed.
The number of victims of the Slavic Holocaust far outnumbers the widely acknowledged and known number of victims of the Jewish Holocaust (around 6 million), as well as the largely hushed up one of the Romani (around one million victims); and, also, the less-investigated modern genocides in Korea, Vietnam and Rwanda. We deeply believe that none of this would have been possible if the Slavs as a whole and their education systems had a more developed awareness of their common ancestry and the unity of belonging to a Slavic family of nations.
More than a thousand years ago, the Spanish-Jewish traveler from the X century, Ibrahim ibn Yakub, one of the chroniclers whose writings are included in the book The Fall of Arkona, or The Twilight of Slavic Paganism, wrote:
“In general, Slavs are brave and aggressive men, and if not for their disunion on the account of their splitting into numerous branches and tribal dispersion, no nation in the world could equal them in power.”
It’s interesting to note that during the short period between 1945. and 1948, the Slavs were united for the very first time after these words of Ibrahim ibn Yakub, more than a thousand years later (after probably the most impressive victory in the history of the world). Even the organizer of the largest ever military conquest against the Slavs, the German leader Adolf Hitler, whose armies at one point were at mere 19 miles from Moscow, wrote in his testament that: “the Slavs are a higher race, whose tenacity and war prowess brought them to the gates of Berlin.” (The mention of this fact is, by the way, being carefully avoided by the official western historiography).
After 1948 and the conflict between Tito and Stalin, the Slavic lands were united until 1991 (with the exception of Yugoslavia). The Warsaw Pact was, in military terms, the most powerful pact in the world and the third economic force on the planet; but it completely broke down after the fall of communism (the ideology which is, paradoxically, anti-Slavic at its roots – one only needs to read what Marx and Engels wrote about the Slavs.) During the period between 1991. and 1993. three Slavic federations fell apart: Czechoslovakia, USSR and Yugoslavia. It should be noted that some sort of historical justice had been achieved when the Slavic USSR helped India win a war in 1971.
Concerning Yugoslavia, it, too, was India’s ally in the Non-Aligned Movement formed in 1961, as well as one of the founding members of said movement. (There were three leading persons involved in its formation: Nehru, Tito and Naser –later on, they were joined by Kwame Nkrumah, the leader of the African state of Ghana, as their fourth equal)
The German chronicler from the X century, Widukind, who we already quoted in our previous essay /the quote is from our book Fall of Arkona / gives an exceptional description of the Slavs at one point: “But still they preferred war to peace, esteeming every misfortune as less dear than their liberty. For they were of a race of men that is hardy and patient of labor, accustomed to the most meager diet,and what was usually a great burden for the soldiers, the Slavs took a certain pleasure in.
” It is as if this description brings modern history to mind, the siege of Leningrad in WWII which lasted for full four years, the Polish victory against the Turks in the battle for Vienna in 1683. under Jan III Sobieski, or the exploits of the Serbian army and its crossing of Albania near the end of 1915 and in the beginning of 1916.
Like other German chroniclers, Widukind, too, shows shrewdness in his characterization of the Slavs and the perceived Slavic characteristics which are still present to this very day.
Be that as it may, it is a fact that no one today dares to publicly examine the huge historical question (of the centuries-long genocide against the Slavs); due to explosive political connotations, it would be, to put it mildly, scandalous. More than any other group of European peoples, the Slavs deserve not only a public apology for the horrific crimes done against them by the western aggressors but also the complete revision of the entire history up until today and the acknowledgement of their uniqueness.
Unfortunately, we don’t believe anything like that will happen in the near future, especially considering that at this moment the Slavic world is almost completely divided into Russia and other Slavic countries which have, with two exceptions, all adopted an extremely pro-western and anti-Russian ideology and political stance.
Christianity today is in great crisis, especially in Europe, but despite that, it doesn’t seem like it intends to forego its plans of Christening the Indian sub-continent. Pope John Paul II once said (1999) that the failure in Christianizing India is “the greatest failure of the Catholic Church in history”. He added that the Catholic Church rooted itself in Europe in the first millennium, in Africa and South America in the second. “Let the third millennium bear witness to the grand harvest of faith on this vast and vital continent (India),” he added.
However, it seems that the Catholic Church is failing to spread in India. Even the most subtle Christian philosophers, such as Gustav Jung, do not acknowledge the obvious supremacy of Indian religion over the western one and hope “that Christianity will produce its own yoga.” (C. G. Jung, Psychology and Religion) /By the way, C. G. Jung was, as a student of A. Schopenhauer, a great admirer of Indian civilization and had spent some time in India./
Unfortunately, we also must mention at this point one of the most instructive stories about Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Christians. The story is unpleasant and sad, but it does provide an accurate insight into the true position of Orthodox Christianity in relation to western Christianity and Eastern religions. There are plenty of discrepancies regarding this issue.
As a rule, the suffering of the Orthodox Christians caused by the Catholics is often pointed out. For example, facts such as the slaughter and the unprecedented plunder of Constantinople in 1204 by the aggressive Catholic Christians, the Polish occupation of Moscow in 1610-1612, the concentration camp for murdering Orthodox Christian children – unique in the world – in Jastrebarsko in the Independent State of Croatia during the World War II etc. Both older and newer history are full of such atrocities.
But the story which clarifies the relationships between the Orthodox Christians, the Catholics and the Hindus begins in the IV century in the Zoroastrian Iran, during the war between Persia and Rome. The Syrian Christians, who lived in the Persian Kingdom, betrayed king Shapur II. Because of that, he banished them from the land and doubled the taxes on the remaining ones, ordering them to return to their native, Zoroastrian faith. Due to these circumstances, Syrian Orthodox Christians sought refuge in India on the Malaber Coast of Kerala. They went there because that is where an ancient Jewish community had been situated since the I century BCE.
How were these Syrian Eastern Christians, or Nasaranis, as the locals called them, treated in India upon their arrival? The same way India always treated religious communities in this country, with complete respect, tolerance and freedom of religion. The Indian king received them with great kindness. As George David Malech wrote: “At the Kotem school in Malabar there are still some copper tablets in existence on which there are written messages from the king to the Christian leader, permitting him and his followers to settle in some places and recommending them to neighboring chiefs.”
For the full eleven centuries, Syrian Orthodox Christians lived peacefully in India, not as second class citizens, but as equal to the locals. Then the Portuguese, headed by Vasco da Gama, enter the scene. How did the Syrian Orthodox Christians repay India’s generosity? In 1502, at da Gama’s second arrival, they sent a delegation to meet him. They proclaimed themselves as Orthodox Christians to him and invited him to begin a war against the Indian kings. They swore fealty to the Portuguese king and asked for Portuguese protection. Moreover, they themselves suggested to da Gama to conquer Hindu kingdoms with their aid and invited him to build a fortress in Kodungallur, where the Portuguese colonization of India began.
After the colonization, fanatical Portuguese Catholics, who cynically made use of the traitorous community, put the Syrian Christians to a choice – either they will renounce their ancestral Orthodox faith or they shall all be killed. The Syrians, who had once already betrayed their benefactors, protectors and neighbors– have, of course, chosen the former.
Still, what we are witnessing in our times is that – against all expectations – Slavic neo-paganism woke up and gained millions of followers in a very short time, especially in Russia. And that happened with shocking speed. Just how alarming this fact is can be confirmed, firstly, by the census from the beginning of this century; that neo-paganism exploded in modern Russia is also confirmed by the fact that the Russian Patriarch himself had to give a statement on it.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said that the Orthodox church had not initially believed reports of paganisms growing influence. However, “a large body of information was collected” about the trend, leading to concern. Apparently, according to the patriarch, an increasing number of athletes are adopting pagan ways.
“The church’s inaction often turns the promotion of a healthy lifestyle into a revival of pagan cults, including a pagan attitude toward the human body,” Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church said this week.
The patriarch added that “defenders of the fatherland, especially those who participate in dangerous military operations, need spiritual support” and that “nothing good will come” of increasingly trendy pagan beliefs… The Christian leader also felt it necessary to remind everyone that “man cannot turn into an animal.”
He said this fact is “what always distinguished an Orthodox warrior from a pagan one.”
But while we’re evaluating the values of a Christian and a pagan soldier, it is good to remember: the Russian ruler who first made that country great was not a Christian but a pagan.
He was Sviatoslav I Igorevich, Sviatoslav the Conqueror, the destroyer of the Khazar Empire in 965, who arrived at 60 kilometers from Constantinople in 970. before he was finally defeated. At the same time, he was the first ruler of the Kievan Rus’ who bore a Slavic name.
And the last one who determinedly refused Christianity, remaining loyal to the pagan god of thunder, Perun, to the end. He created a vast empire, from the Baghdad Caliphate, across Kievan Rus’, and all the way to Constantinople. Before every battle, he would send a rider to his enemies, always with the same message, consisting of a single phrase: “I want to come at you!”
For the ending of this story about India and Slavs, which we told in three parts, let us consider one more small and certainly interesting curiosity: the hidden, but deeply religious connection between Slavic peoples and India, based on two news articles. Recently, in North Paravur in India, a 700 years old banyan tree, which was a part of that city’s identity, had fallen. It fell by itself and was burned afterwards.
As we read in the news on www.thehindu.com from 21. April, 2021, a little away from where the ancient banyan tree stood, its remains (branches, trunk and roots) were wrapped in fine muslin cloth. It was laid with reverence on a bamboo frame and decorated with garlands. The priests then performed the final rites before lighting the pyre. People of North Paravur, the northern suburb of Kochi, looked on as flames engulfed their dear tree which was called Nambooriyachan aal, and which fell on April 3, in the middle of the day, without causing harm to people or property. It was cremated with ceremony.
“This tree was almost a part of our lives; it has been there forever,” said P Madhu, a resident of North Paravur and one of the founder-members of a Trust that was formed in 2005 to protect the tree.
“Banyan trees are considered sacred and are usually cremated,” he added.
Religious respect of nature, especially trees, which are planet’s lungs, as established by modern science, is still a part of religious life in India today, as it has always been.
And in Serbia in 2015 an event which gained the attention of the local public occurred, even though it remained without a proper comment. The event of which I speak was cutting down a six hundred years old oak in Savinac by Gornji Milanovac.
The oak was felled after two years of controversy because it was in the way of the new highway route. But how did the locals react? We quote: “The locals are still hoping for some other solution and fear that cutting down the oak will bring misfortune, according to the folklore. It has been announced that the ancient oak will be cut down after all. These days, the locals don’t approach the Zapis-Oak (“Zapis”: the very old tree).
They think the tree should be preserved, for it is a sacred tree, and the folk belief is that whoever attempts to harm it will bring a curse upon themselves”’. I wouldn’t cut it down for the whole world. I believe that there is something, but what that something is, I cannot explain’, said one of the locals”. We see in this example just how powerful and deep the roots of pagan religion are in our people. It is certain that these people, who are so convinced that the tree is sacred, are neither experts in religious history, nor do they know anything about it. But we can see that this hidden but powerful religious layer rooted under the otherwise thin veneer of Christianity made the Ministry cut the oak in secrecy, during the night, when no one could see and stop the act. But who decided the oak’s fate? Who went public with the announcement that believing in a sacred oak is “superstition”?
The Orthodox Church, of course. We quote a part of the announcement regarding the cutting of the oak by a certain protoiereus-stavrofor: “Even while He was creating the world, the Creator placed plant and animal life in the service of man, who should honor his past, but also think of the future. No one should boast about keeping his old, derelict house out of respect for his grandfather, but should instead build a new house, thus showing that he thinks of his grandchildren. It is important to divide the religious from the superstitious in this manner. An oak cannot be either a church or a saint. An oak cannot be considered holy. Holiness belongs to people, for they are the ones blessed with the Holy Spirit.”
As the great historian of religion, Mircea Eliade, wrote in his History of Religious Ideas about Jewish prophets and their – almost complete – desacralization of nature and cyclical forms of divinity in nature as sacred: that cosmic, agricultural, Canaanite religion is truly identical to Slavic and Brahminic religions, it is “one of the most widespread forms of cosmic religiosity.” That is the root of intolerance of all Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) towards all religions which recognized holiness in nature and its rhythms.
There is a footnote in Eliade’s work which says how “Christian priests in India did not want to use flowers from Hinduist ceremonies, meaning the most beautiful flowers.” Here, we can truly see the real ideological conflict between two concepts of sacred and divine: the exclusive and intolerant principle of Abrahamic religions, who find only a desert holy and all other nature desacralized, and the principle of nature religions, which find divinity in all that is the most beautiful in nature.
Considering that India is the last predominantly Hindu-European country in the world which is not spiritually conquered by Abrahamic religions, we hope that, in the future, it shall remain an inspiration to that part of humanity which seeks to awaken everything ancient, forgotten and positive from the spiritual history of human kind, including the deeply rooted ecological consciousness.
/Belgrade. Finished on 31.6.2021./.
Everything that this text mentions is much more extensively written about in the book The Fall of Arkona or the Twilight of Slavic Heathenism which can be found in English online platforms Amazon, Google Play, Apple Books as well as in paperback from the Belgrade-based publisher ATOS-DK. There are, of course, other relations between the Vedic religion (and culture) of India and the ancient Slavic culture but we shall limit ourselves to what has already been said for this the purposes of this short study.
by Rastko Kostić