Monday, June 7, 2010

What Dan Brown did not know

What were the facts left out of the "Da Vinci Code"?

Over the last weekend, I picked up and reread  my copy of Dan Brown's sensational bestseller novel , " Da Vinci Code ". As usual, it was an addiction compulsion syndrome with such books. It just could not be kept down despite the telephone interruptions and my wife's continuous calls  and threats. This is my second reading and this time I made several new conclusions. I assure you that these have a good connection with Bharat and Hinduism that is, Sanatana Dharma.

Many of you might be aware that the book " Da Vinci Code" is the severest yet indictment of Christianity by a Christian himself.  The author Dan Brown has compiled an excellently researched  book and 80 million copies were sold.

For those who haven't read it,  I will recommend reading this book online or download it from this site.

Dan Brown has presented a well argued case of how Christianity in its 'Church first' form has usurped from the Europeans and many natives a far more beautiful, thoughtful, insightful and tolerant religion and replaced  a priest friendly setup that is based on a  doctrine , later to be called the bible. Dan argues through the characters that the new testament is a carefully compiled version of gospels that an emperor thought will be useful for consolidating his territory. And it worked so well that people so well advanced in spiritual pursuit were  turned into sheep. That same strategy, Dan says, is being  followed by the Catholic Church and other churches to brainwash the billion odd Christians worldwide.

Well, these are known facts. My essay is about what Dan Brown did not know (or did not say ?).

The most stunning revelation of the book is about  the religion that  predated the current Christianity. He says that the people practiced a mystic way   which evolved around the male- female axis of creation. He goes on to say that a form of Goddess worship prevailed which had its origins in Judaism. Rites like sun worship , mystic sexual union were all part of that religion. The symbolism of a 'V' shape and the inverted 'V' emerging from Da Vinci's stucco " The last Supper" are clear pointers to the practices of that society.

In one place Dan Brown talks about the 'pagan mantras' inside  temples of the mystic societies. It was precisely here that I started looking at the pagan religion differently. The sun worship, the mantras, the mystical sexual union all rang a familiar tune. I have heard and read it being practiced in India even today- The Tantras !!! In fact, so many are the variations of Tantra in Bharat that comparing them to the acts of the pagan religion is like  an ocean compared to a bucket.

From the snow clad Kashmir to the tropical south, the tantras had held sway sometime before the Bhakti Period to be merged into the vast body of Hinduism later. The tantric depiction of male- female axis is clearly taken from the Tantric Shiva- Shakti concept at the macro (cosmic) level and the Nada- Vindu concept at the micro (individual) level. This has beautifully been portrayed in the Ardhanareeswarar story of Lord Shiva as told in Puranas. Look at the statue symbolizing the male female balance in life in this spell binding depiction of Ardha nareeswara . (Lord with the female half). The left is female.

A secret sect called Priory de Sion believed in a similar theory and has carried forward the original  teachings for close to two millennia. These people were so much prosecuted by the marauding Church and its patron kings that these societies worked underground or in carefully assumed disguises. Dan brown describes the Priory de Sion   as a Goddess worship sect just because they glorified feminism.It is here that he has gone wrong. First, because he did not understand the principles of Tantra.

Above : The symbol of the Free Masons. the V showing the female and the inverted V showing the male. The masons to this day have been very secretive about their mystic practices.

Tantras hold that the Siva (or the primordial Purusha) and Sakti (the primordial energy or Prakriti) are eternal and without beginning or end. It is their interaction that paved the way for the manifest universe.  Note that I am not talking of creation. This is just talk about manifest to unmanifest. Creation is a dirty word in philosophy that makes a teacher  uncomfortable since it tosses the God theory which further paves the way for  'chicken or egg first' question. That was the reason why the secret societies despised the Christian doctrine which said the world was created and even gave a date to it !!

Vedic and Tantric Philosophies hold that time is a cyclic one. But , with a 'created world' theory, Christianity taught it as a linear one. Modern science is in perfect harmony with Vedic teaching that there is no destruction of matter but simply a rearrangement. Also, Eisntein  gave us a theory that the sum total of all energies in the universe at any point is the same at all times. Christianity directly contradicts this with its 'created world' theory. Creation means new energy and new matter without anything to emanate from. Classical situation to ask how God came into being. Chicken or egg first ?   No wonder Christianity was a hated and feared religion of its times

Recently many articles have appeared analyzing the similarity in the names of Abraham  to that of Indian Puranic 'Brahma'. Similarly stunning is the name of Abraham's wife Sara. It resembles the name of Saraswati , the consort of Brahma. Brahma and Saraswati are mythological characters in India but their name sake counterparts are supposedly historic characters in Israel.

Tantra is a post Vedic teaching that has liberally borrowed from Sankhya philosophy. They deviated from the Nidhidhyasana path of Vedism and introduced a new upasana based on symbology. Thus were born the six tantric religions of Saiva, Vaishnava,  Sakta, Saura, Ganapatya and Kaumara. Fundamentally they accepted the 24 principles of Sankhya but added twelve more. Thus the 36 tattvas of Saiva Siddhanta were born. The first Tattva is Shiva and the next is Shakti. It is the interaction between these two that results in the manifestation of the gross universe, as per tantra. It is these two tattvas, that are depicted in the so called pagan religions as the yin and yang or male and female.

At every turn of the novel " Da Vinci Code", as Dan goes on describing the religion of pagans, I could clearly see the stamp of tantras. One may ask, how tantra spread as early as 2000 years before Christ ? The pagan religion of Europe was a sophisticated one handed to them from the Sumerian civilization. The Sumerians spoke a language very closely related to the Dravidian languages like Tamil and Telugu. A Sumerian city called 'Ur' (place) is clearly recorded in History. 'Ur' is still used in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada to denote a village or town. Writers like Srinivasa Iyengar aver that it was the Tamils who travelled along the Konkan coast and established the Sumerian civilization. Since Tamil is a prehistoric language and supposedly spoken across the length and breadth of India, this is a clear possibility.

There is another hitch. Tantras are post Vedic. When the Vedas themselves are dated to 1500 BC by the current indologists, how come the tantras  predate the Sumerian Civilization which flourished in 4000 BC ? This is because of the bogus 'Aryan Invasion Theory" coined, propagated and maintained by a coterie of western indologists. Only now, some honest research has found that Vedas are in fact older than Sumerian period.

Osho, in one of his speeches, said that the 'Vigyana Bhairava Tantra' the oldest existing tantric script, is over 5000 years old. Subbaraya Sastry of Mysore, in his book 'Vaimanika Sastra' which, he said was received by him in a meditative state, says that in Satya Yuga people were adept in   tapas , in Treta yuga they were proficient in Mantras, in Dwapara yuga they were  good in Tantric practices. So that explains how Tantric exercises  were found to be  practiced in far off places at such old dates.

But, what made me sad was that, despite a thorough research, Dan Brown did not give credit to India that is Bharat, the birth place of the religion and  ideology which he proudly eulogised. Not only the Priory de Sion, but also the Masons are living heirs to the mystical tantric religions of pre Christian era. When the politically motivated Church raided their temples and started killing the so called pagan people, they went underground and formed secret societies. That they have continued their existence well into the 21 st century,without any royal patronage  is a proof of their superior doctrines than their aggressor counterpart.

Look at the above pictures. They show a priestly man with the familiar Vedic tilak applied all over his body. This statue is in Egypt and the man is a pyramid designer. Also, the Pharoah is seen with similar Vedic marks. All these go to show that the religion predating Christianity was Vedic Tantrism. It is precisely this that Dan Brown did not know (or did not say).


Right Angle said...

Excellent post venkat.. particularly the photos at the end of the post..

I saw rituals of the khaba in NDTV two years back.. and i was very surprised that till today, the priests in khaba, wear white dhoti without any shirts, and some even shaved their head.. their attire resembled the brahmins of india..

while i would desist from concluding from where did tantra emerge, i would focus on how different civilization would have imbibed values from one another..

The tantra is a natural evolution of humans just because, sex is NOT an enigma in all non-semitic societies.. when sex is considered part of nature, then there is a possibility of people engaging in it positively.. a few might have explored further on it, and the tantra should have evolved, albeit with different names at different places..

Secondly, people lived as communities on those days.. so based on the collective experiences over the period of years, they would have acquired a collective wisdom of optimal time to plan for their child.. For example, people procreated actively during a particular season (probably winter or spring).. this might have evolved in to the tantric rituals.

Thirdly, unlike today, sex is NOT seen as a thing to enjoy nor exploit.. bcoz, when people live together as community or family, there is less incentive for individual exploration of pleasures.. If we look at world history, all those communities which gets atomised, pushed people to become slaves of their pleasures.. in india, the buddhists later degraded much.. in west the christian community is the most pleasure seeking one too much obsessed with it..

Also, we have to note that, Budhism, Jainism and christianity are the three major religions, which consider sex in negative perspective..

PS: i may have deviated much.. but my core point is that the perspective of sex plays an important role in evolution of tantra..

Muralidharan said...

Great article. Very informative and an eye opener in many respects.

River of Karma said...

Hi Venkat,
Good body of post, as usual.

While I may have read your blog from time to time, I'll comment now.

Dan Brown did not speak of the points you speak of from a general, pluralistic manner. Instead it was in reference to Jesus Christ as it relates to Judaism.

Not Jesus Christ as it relates to a general comparison to all religions that has ever existed.

Also, keep in mind, this is by large a work of fiction (the case brown makes is something I still look into from time to time).


Varadharajans said...

Your post was fwded to me and I am now in Bay area (California) but normally I live in Chennai. Let us assume that Tantric religion preceded Christianity and subsequently Islam. The new avatars do not give credence to their origins in any branch of human activity and Religion is no exception.
The question we Hindus have to ask ourselves is if we our original was so good, why it did not protect us from invaders? Why it did not help us develop Modern Science and become an Industrail Society so as to conquer the world like the way British & Americans have done.

Venkatasubramanian said...


You may call me one sided, but the river of spirituality flowed from the land of Bharat to all sides of the world. But, it went in bits and pieces. The bed remained here. By the bed I mean, the achievables (purusharthas) viz., Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.

In Christian and Judaist doctrines, you see the truncated portions of wisdom of Vedas, but they are finding it extremely difficult to sustain the limbs without the roots. That is why the Yogic teachers are such a hit in Americas and Europe.

Venkatasubramanian said...

Namaste RoK

Welcome. Good points. I will take up the "Ah, this is fiction" pretence by Dan Brown. Through and through, except the lead characters, all the matter they discuss are clearly historic. The comments they make and affirmations they arrive are never fictional.

Dan has very cleverly couched his work in fictional format obviously fearing the reaction from orthodox quarters. Teabing's first comment " The bible was not received by fax from heaven" is one such stunner of declarations albeit buried in conversations between imaginary characters.

The implied meaning of Dan's work is that Jesus Christ is a mystic like scores that lived around in that period. Christianity is obviously a Paulian fiction.

Venkatasubramanian said...

Varadharajan Ji

Whenever I think of Hinduism , I always think of a great decline only. We have lost many- be it the mighty soldiers of yore, the courageous and bold thinkers, the techniques of releasing weapons of mass destruction by the mere power of a spoken mantra, the list is endless.

The Puranas also contributed to this fall by predicting the rise of Kaliyuga thereby making Hindus pessimistic. But, I see a great hope now in this internet yugam when all our remaining wisdom are enough to catapult Bharat to spiritual eminence.

Ram said...

Dear Venkat,

Wonderful writings. Dan Brown looks to be a sincere soul, to whom your blog may be shared. Remember, he refers to Hatha Yoga in his novels (more than one...!). Looks like he understands that Bharat was the cradle for many religious paths...! Keep up your blogging, you've a silver pen..!

Cheers / Ram

Ramakrishnan T.M. said...

About the age of Vedas, Please read Graham hancock's Under world. He has dealt with it extensively and says that at 1500 BC only a compilation happened. The creation of vedas is far older, my be 10000 BC.

prashant boorugu said...

Sir, pls inform source of images of Egyptian statuettes. I surfed the internet , could not find the same.

Prashant boorugu