Wednesday, February 26, 2014

the Sanskrit tongue was chilled at 500metres

Also how India's population density while extraordinarily high wasn't necessarily conducive to economic growth.
Interesting thoughts about on Sanskrit and how Indian civilisation was essentially a lowland phenomenon. 
 Also from a couple of pages later we see Pakistan and Iraq as the two most illogically drawn states in the Ummah?

The four great Civilisations of Eurasia. The pre-Ummah (increasingly homogeneous Greater Middle East) flanked by Greece (the West), India & China.

Tibet may orient towards China but appeals to India as a balancing Great Power.


  1. I will bite:

    Why is Pakistan illogical geographically? It is a direct descendant of a 7000 year old indus valley civilization. Punjab and Sindh have always been united as a culture or civilization for several 1000 years.

    500 m sanskrit is also nonsense. LLarge parts of central India are elevated above 1600 ft like Ujjain, Bhopal, and also Bangalore. Sanskrit was spoken there. Differences in languages between the mountain people and plains people are owing to differences in crops and to the genetic ability acculture with elevation.

    Finally, I think the author is confused about central india. Central India is Madhya Pradesh which, untl this century was heavily forested and had population densities less than 30 people per square k,. If he means the Indo-Gangetic plain was poor because of distance away from the sea, then explain the poverty of Bengal and Orissa?

    Of late, there has been a bunch of authors like Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell who have been writing low science content essays for jet-setting people to read while waiting for their flights. Unfortunately, most of their books are just wrong. At the worst, it spreads a breezy, unscientific, cocktail party banter among their readers.

  2. The most nonsensical part is "Tibet appeals to India". Tibet as a separate kingdom has existed from 1st century BC; the Buddhism of Tibet was received from the backdoor through China, Mongolia and the silk road. Tibet and Mongolia had fused them together such that, the fourth Dalai lama was a grandson of Mongolian Altan Khan, and Mongolian kings used Tibetan practices of Buddhism for legitimization of power. Such was the influence of Tibetans, that Mongolia converted to Budhism by 1600s. In the 13-17 century, this alliance was bitterly opposed by the Yuan dynasty and chinese kings were afraid of the Tibetan-Mongolian alliance at their boundary. Tibetans felicitated Mongolian movement to Yunnan and subsequent attacks on the Central Burma.

    If anything, Tibetans have made no use of India as a counter to China until 1959, and have used alliances with Mongols, to keep China at an edge. The Tibetan and Indian versions of Buddhism are so far apart that we can claim no evidence of India-Tibet direct exchange of religion and culture.

    1. That Tibet could depend on India for anything, is patently untrue. When Tibet was invaded in 1951 by PLA, Nehru claimed it was by invite. The combination of Nehru, Panikkar and Krishna Menon was so vested in Korean war.

      On November 18, 1950, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to the Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, saying, "We cannot save Tibet, as we should have liked to do, and our very attempt to save it might well bring greater trouble to it. It would be unfair to Tibet for us to bring this trouble upon her without having the capacity to help her effectively. It may be possible, however, that we might be able to help Tibet to retain a large measure of her autonomy." He does not say how that will be the case.

      Nehru's two closest advisors at the time were the socialist-leaning Krishna Menon and India's then Ambassador to China during the Communist Revolution, K. M. Panikkar. They were responsible for Nehru's decision to recognize Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Panikkar, when called upon by Nehru, went so far as to lie that there was a "lack of confirmation" of the presence of Chinese troops in Tibet and argued that to protest the Chinese invasion of Tibet would be an "interference to India’s efforts on behalf of China in the UN." Panikkar was more interested in protecting Chinese interests in the UN than India’s own interests on the Tibetan border. Amazingly Nehru concurred with his Ambassador. He wrote, "our primary consideration is maintenance of world peace... Recent developments in Korea have not strengthened China’s position, which will be further weakened by any aggressive action [by India] in Tibet." So Nehru was ready to sacrifice India’s national security interests in Tibet so as not to weaken China’s case in the UN! He also was unclear about how his "primary consideration" of maintaining world peace would be served by the Chinese invasion of an independent Tibet.

      In summary, depending on these two faced Pandits, Menons and Panikkars to save Tibet, is at the best, a joke.

    2. @Kodhambo So many errors...

      Tibet owes much of its Buddhism practices to the Pala civilization based in Bengal. But this nonsense of the Dalai Lama did come from Mongolia.I dont know if you are Tibetan or not but I am not sure on what basis you can afford to deride's India''s contribution to the Tibetan cause. I would like to remind that Dharmashala was not created in Ulan Batoor or Rangoon but a few 100 km away from Delhi

      Also Nehru naivety ,cowardice and pro Chinese credentials were the real reason for India's non participation. Interesting how you absolve Nehru of all the blame and place it on Menon and Pannikar who were brought in by Nehru precisely for their views. You remind of the desperate apologists of Obama that who claim that his socialist corporatist policies are because of his advisors not him.

      Also it was Nehru who was a (Kashmiri) Pundit. Not Menon or Pannikar who were Nair Kshatriya who apparently are descended from Nepali/Tibetan immigrants.

      Of course we are just as upset as you for Nehru's betrayal of Tibet for the sake of China(which was going to stab him in the back more than a decade later) but to project such flaws amongst the entire intellentsia and military establishment is inaccurate
      The famous Coorgi generals Thimayya and Cariappa loathed Nehru and wished to fight for Tibet
      Hindu revivalist Sita Ram Goel wished to launch a low scale guerilla war to liberate Tibet and torment China.

    3. The above is nonsense, and not historically correct.

      Essentially, Buddhism in Tibet is a reincarnation and extrapolation of the earlier "Bon", an animistic religion which had the bells, etc. The history of Buddhism in Tibet begins with Bon. The Bon religion of Tibet was animistic and shamanistic, and elements of it exist today, to one degree or another, in Tibetan Buddhism.

      The history of Buddhism in Tibet effectively begins in 641 CE. In that year, (d. ca. 650) unified Tibet through military conquest and took two Buddhist wives, Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal and Princess Wen Cheng of China. The princesses are credited with introducing their husband to Buddhism.Songtsen Gampo built the first Buddhist temples in Tibet, including the Jokhang in Lhasa and the Changzhug in Nedong. He also put Tibetan translators to translate the Sanskrit scriptures. If you see the "old" pictures of Jokhang, you can see the structure of both, the temples, and the Buddha are diffferent from Indian.

      King Trisong Detsen, 755 CE, invited famous Buddhist teachers such as Shantarakshita and Padmasambhava to Tibet.Padmasambhava, remembered by Tibetans as Guru Rinpoche ("Precious Master"), was an Indian master of tantra whose influence on the development of Tibetan Buddhism is incalculable. He is credited with building Samye, the first monastery in Tibet, in the late 8th century. Nyingma, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, claims Guru Rinpoche as its patriarch. However note that this was BEFORE THE PALA Dynasty. Gopala reigned from 750-770 consolidated his position by extending his control over all Bengal. His successor. Dharmapala ruked from 770-781 There is no clear evidence that PALA kings were greatly versed in Buddhism when it was flourishing in Tibet.

      The biggest interaction between the Pala kingdom and Tibet occurred during the "second dissemination", when Dipamkara Shrijnana Atisha arrived at 1042 CE. However, there is no evidence that Athisha was well known or well regarded in the Pala empire. The Pala dynasty is itself, very poorly documented, and seems to have fragmented between 1023-1077 due to a Chola attack from the south.

      The present form of the Tibetan Budhism arrives from the third and fourth enlightenment, both of which arrived after the period of interaction with mongols. They were found by Sahkya Pandit, and Tsongkhapa in 1073 CE and 1409 CE. They were formed by Mongol interaction, patronage. Almost nothing of Athisha remains in Tibetan Budhism.

      The entire Tibetan canon is now digitally available; you can read them in the entirety at the Tibetan research center main office located in Harvard Square, Cambridge Massachusetts, USA. It is not like Hinduism where people make up some vague kings, ages and throw out words with no historiacl background or significance.

  3. I think I have posted this before.

    Nehru was very much pro China whereas Ceylon at that time was more pro West.
    How the tables have changed.

    Anyway excerpts

    But Nehru was soon in trouble again. Ceylon's Kotalawala proposed a twin vote of censure against colonialism and "aggressive Communism." in place of Nehru's resolution. Nehru, who has always fought Communism at home, angrily retorted that Asians should not disturb external relations "with friendly powers." Once more Pakistan's Ali lashed at Nehru: "We can rid ourselves of colonialism," he said, "but any country that is overrun by Communism may be lost forever."

    Lordly, India's Jawaharlal Nehru surveyed the gathering of delegates sipping their tea. He drew delicately on his black bone cigarette holder, waited for lesser delegates to approach and pay their respects. Nehru had the air of a man in undisputed command of the Asian-African Conference of 29 countries, and with his plans all laid. Red China's Chou En-lai was to be introduced to international society under his chaperonage, and shown to be a harmless fellow. Controversy was to be avoided, debate held to a minimum, only agreement sought.

    The Man from Ceylon. Nehru's greatest irritant came from a restive member of his own Colombo powers, Ceylon's Sir John Kotelawala. While Nehru debated how to approach Chou over the Formosa question, Sir John plunged ahead on his own. Meeting Chou early in the week, he demanded cheerily: "Why don't we try to settle this Formosa problem?" Three times Kotelawala set up a luncheon meeting for Chou to discuss Formosa with the five Colombo powers and Romulo and Prince Wan. Chou begged off, once was whisked off to a dinner given by Nehru to which Sir John was not invited. Sir John lost patience.

    More at

    Stomping into the conference room in his black coat and jodhpurs, he announced his own plan: withdrawal of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, abandonment of Quemoy and Matsu, a trusteeship for Formosa either under the U.N. or the Colombo powers.

    Nehru was scornful. "Why under the United Nations?" he asked with heavy sarcasm. "I should think Ceylon would be quite enough."

    Annoyed, Sir John furiously delivered himself of the conference's plainest talk. If Chou really believed in coexistence, said Sir John, why did he not call off the subversive activities of the Communist parties throughout Asia? (see box next page). From that moment on, any move at Bandung to denounce "Western colonialism" while ignoring Communist imperialism was doomed to failure.