There is a Professor of History of the University of Arizona – Richard Eaton who in his essay “Temple Desecration and Indo-Muslim States” says that one can identify only 80 instances of temple desecration whose historicity appears reasonably certain. This, when most Bharatiyas claim that atleast 60,000 temples have been desecrated by Invading cults all over Bharat. Of course he is also the one who said, “The decennial census data for the Naga Hills (later, Nagaland) between 1881 and 1981 shows that the most dramatic religious change occurred after 1947, when foreign missionaries had left the field. Moreover, some communities of Nagas who were least exposed to foreign missionaries were among the earliest to convert to Christianity.” This is just to show how easy it is for anyone to say that raiding and plundering invaders did not really create any much damage in Bharat. After all we are still alive and around! Why wouldn’t they say this? We have never really tried to teach our own people the true extent of damage that the invaders did. How many know that the idols that were desecrated in Elephanta caves near Mumbai, were done by the Portuguese? In Aurangazeb’s own official chronicle, describing just one year of his rule, it is written that at least 132 temples were destroyed in 1679. He ruled for over 50 years in total. Mohammed Ghazni, Tipu Sultan, Muhammed Bin Qasim in Sindh, Ghori, Qutub-ud-din Aibak … so many plunderers, murderers … and yet, here in Bharat, we talk about Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb without so much as batting an eyelid on the figures of destruction and killing. An inscription at Qutb Minar describes how a mosque there, named Quwwat-il-Islam (glory of Islam), was built with the ruins of 27 Hindu and Jain temples.
What kind of helplessness stops us from accepting openly that anywhere between 40,000 to 60,000 temples were destroyed by the Islamic and Christian forces? What kind of blindness stops us from seeing the beauty of the Taj Mahal, but not seeing the visible signs of a Hindu past there or reading about it atleast? What kind of affliction ails us which stops us from openly stating that Islamic invaders only cared about killing us ruthlessly and converting us with force and/or bribes & Christian invaders also did the same. Today when I see Whatsapp messages floating about how we are a nation which works on bribes, because we Hindus are used to bribing our Gods to get our work done, it enrages me no end. Because when ours was a Hindu country, our temples had no Hundis at all. We did not have special fees for special Darshan. A gratitude or thankfulness for divine grace cannot be called a bribe. So who started this & when? Worth thinking over… Even today if a question is randomly put forth in a gathering as to how many temples were destroyed by Islamic invaders, not one Muslim will stand up and accept that it happened. In fact they will produce proof how Islamic rulers granted land and jagirs for building or maintenance of temples and Mathas, how they gave money to learned Brahmins and such. The Christians will keep quiet saying that it is none of their business and the Hindus will be the most confused lot wondering whether they should tell the truth & be called Sanghis or be diplomatic about their answer & be called Intellectuals. Why have we failed to teach real history to our people?
A few days back I saw a video of Sadhguru talking about a huge Shivling which was lying in a garden in Turkey. He claimed that it still had vibrations emanating from it. Now imagine those thousands of Vigrahas which are lying in the steps of the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. It is known that Jahangir and Aurangzeb used to pillage temples and use to put the Vigrahas below the steps so that people would step on it everyday – this was done to insult Hindus and Hinduism. So my question is – alright we can’t demolish the mosques, but can’t we even demolish these steps, take out the vigrahas and build new steps for the Mosques? The Vigrahas can then be given a decent jal or bhoo Samadhi. The reason I am saying this is that if these vigrahas still have life or energy in them, we are causing them trouble and hence troubling ourselves too. The other thing is that our Mandirs too were not just a place of worship or prayer. Most of them were constructed on energy points from where positive energies emanated, keeping our country peaceful and prosperous – Sattvik. When these places were destroyed, it is obvious that the energies could not have been completely destroyed, but negative energies were created there, blocking out the positive ones, which would have otherwise been channeled via these vigrahas which had Puja-archana done to them. It is time we worked on restoring the glory to these abandoned temples and thus restoring the glory of our Bharat. There are some cases of restoration and revival of temples in South India where the villages have become bustling centres after such revivals. In case of places where there are no Vigrahas now to worship, other Pujas such as Yagyas or Satyanarayan Puja, etc. should be done so that the surrounding areas benefit from the Vedic chants and the positive vibrations that rise from such Puja viddhis.
Coming to Kashmir, if Bharat were visualized as a Mata, the head would be Kashmir. Even otherwise Kashmir is Saraswati Mata’s land – She is KashmiraPura Vasini. Can we run around like a headless chicken – not knowing which path to take? No – we cannot. We need to reclaim our land, revive our temples in Kashmir with a sense of urgency. Without wisdom, without Buddhi, we cannot hope to have Siddhi at all. Today, the land which is Swarg on Prithvi has people killing others in the hope to have Jannat elsewhere. What can be a better example of lack of Wisdom and Vivek? When you cannot recognize the Swarg in front of your eyes, will you recognize Swarg or Jannat when you don’t have eyes at all after death?
Today, before I stop I want to ask all of you a question. Yudhishthir dreamt of following Dharma always. Shivaji’s mother Jijabai gave Shivaji the dream of Hindavi Swaraj. Guru Gobind Singh’s Sahibzades knew the meaning of sacrifice for a cause. The Jihadis of today dream of 72 hoors in Jannat. The Missionaries dream of a world where their Lord is the Sheppard and humans as his flock. What dream are you giving your children? Is it money? Is it a life abroad? Is it education? Have we given our children dreams of a land of revived Dharma or Sanskriti? Have we given our children dreams of rebuilding our temples and reclaiming our Sattvikta? If not, the time to start is now.
(The article is a transcript of the speech delivered by the author at the “India 4 Kashmir Conclave” in Pune on 29th June, 2019)