Similarities between Buddha and Christ

similar teachings
similar teachings

People say,  core message of all religions is one . At times,religion may also be termed as Philosophy.Common men and women, who are involved in their everyday grind of life- i.e.  earning,love making,kids(buying diapers),may not get time to delve on the deeper tenets of religion or its preachers.They almost more often rely on saints,mahatmas or noble men to help them, guide them,make them understand the true meaning of  life,which kind of helps the common man, to think or help divert the mind towards the spiritual side or may help them come closer to God.So, primarily,they act as messengers or catalyst.Common man may know Prakrit,but may not know Sanskrit,so the noble men,may translate the some interesting stuff, in the language,which people can understand and grasp easily(It is like letting everybody enjoy the  fruits of knowledge tree).May be that is one reason why Mirza Galib, though a known name now,did not get as much recognition as was given to his compatriots,while he was alive.

Like Jesus-Buddha spoke in parables.

Attributed to Buddha are many miracles,a number of which are very similar to those described in the new testament.

Buddha begins to teach at the age of 30,similar to Jesus.Like Jesus Buddha had 12 principal disciples .Jesus first lights up Nathanael sitting under afig tree,Buddha had a bo tree.

Both Buddha and Christ have one favorite disciple and one who betrays.Both of them rejected blood sacrifices.The parallels in teachings are many, some texts of both faiths coincide word by word.Like Jesus,Buddha called himself the son on man.Buddha performs miracles.he walks across the Ganges in flood,like Jesus walks across the waters of the lake.(Walking of water is mostly unheard of custom in Jewish traditions).

There is a story of a poor widow,which is both in Buddha texts and Marks Gospel.In both cases disciples failed to establish any religious community for the faith,instead they operated in small numbers.As theological disputes broke out between Sthaviras and Mahasanghikas,and between Jewish Christians and Hellenist Christians.

In both, councils are convened,one in Rajagriha and one in Jerusalem.The earthly existence of a Bodhisattva has the single purpose of leading all souls on to the path of release,the path that constitutes liberation from the cycles of rebirth.Mahayana school,had just evolved from self oriented Hinyana. Yazidi tribes who are called the devil worshipers by orthodox Muslims,It is possible that these remote communities might have preserved the original Christian doctrine in a far less adulterated form,than did the Church of Rome with all its emperors,popes and rituals.The tribal communities represent direct descendants of the Essenes and Nazaranes,who opposed the dominant Hellenistic St Paul group.

An interesting revelation: The man who laid down the social and religious laws was Manu,the law giver of the Egyptians was Manes.Person who codified the Greek laws was Minos and the leader of Hebrew tribes and author of ten commandments was Moses.

Text is inspired from the Book: Jesus Lived in India

Crusades-Battle between religious zealots

In the name of crusades
In the name of Christ and Mohammad

Since almost two years I have been tempted to write about crusades,which have captured the imagination of Islamic and Christian communities(and some history zealots like me) since almost a 1000 years.The word crusade became popular or at least I came across a lot during the second Iraq war, or I should say post Sept 11.Public interest,was probably resurrected in context of Americans trying to avenge the attacks of Sept 11.

I remember also listen to a song as a child “Jerusalem is lost”.And Yes, also heard that people are interested to know how the crusades really started.So according to one reliable source,of which I trust,it all started during the time,when Islam had already been in its Prime.

Jerusalem- is considered to be a holy place for Jews,Muslims and Christians as well.Some say,crusades were started byone person Pope Urban II.The way Pope Urban tried to mobilise people and raise passions,it kind of comes across as Christian version of Jehad.

Jerusalem was projected as a holy city supreme shrine and celestial Kingdom.Security of Holy Sculpture was at stake.Crusade was being portrayed as Salvation point on the battlefields of Jerusalem.It was also the war for money and power,as lands towards east were considered rich.

Crusader's journey map
Crusader’s journey map

As the first wave of crusaders(Led by Godfrey) crossed Europe to Constantinople,they forced conversion and massacre thousands of Jews, to avenge the killing Christ.During  the same period Arab world was divided and fighting among themselves.They could not provide good resistance to the invading army.

The time crusaders were in Jerusalem,they were exhausted and each crusader was promised possession of any house marked by his shield and arms,hence the crusading army searched Jerusalem and boldly killed the citizens,culling wives,children whole households.

Though- something to be noted- Crusader chronicles for propaganda exaggerated the scale of their crimes.

The second crusade was when Saladin(some say a noble and just ruler) recaptured Jerusalem.

The third Crusade was between Saladin and Richard the Lion Heart.On 4th July 1190,Richard the Lion Heart,King of England and Philip II king of France set out for the third Crusade to liberate Jerusalem.On Sep 1192 and almost a year at war,Saladin and Richard the Lion heart entered truce with Saladin still keeping Jerusalem, but allowing Christians to pray and make Pilgrimage.

Interestingly on his way home Richard was captured by the German King and was only released after one year,when a huge ransom was paid for him.

After Saladin died there was another attack on Jerusalem by Frederick II,who at that time was the most powerful ruler of Europe.(Damn the images of game of thrones are coming to my mind)

I was inspired from-Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

 

Gurus-Mughals- Sikhism

History is always contentious .To some it is fact,while for rest, is a bunch of lies but for some it is an eye opener.At most times, only the winners of battles and Kings get the opportunity to write the history and they show what they think needs to be shown.

So making an opinion after reading history books or articles can be a deadly sin.Therefore, request all to do your own research, and at least try and read two books on one topic to come any close to forming an opinion.

History hasn’t been kind to any one religion or race.To be able to write on a religion can be tricky,however our history is so entangled with religion that one cannot just skip them,it is only now that fewer countries of the world have State religion.

I happen to have recently visited Bangla Sahib Gurudwara to help pray for a Friend’s Father survival.(who was fighting for his life)

It was also the anniversary of Operation Blue Star and a lot was written in  media about Operations blue star.I remember as a six year old, the repercussions of state policies changed the outlook of how people viewed each other.My Grand parents lived in Delhi-Karol Bagh and we did visit them,immediately after the Mayhem.

Follow that ,we had a decade long insurgency-I read a lot of violence in Punjab.So, later when ever I would visit Delhi from Bhopal and see the Turban clad Sikh men,would get scared.(Ironically, this could have been the idea of Guru Har Govind, to install fear in Mughal soldiers -Psychological warfare)

Baba Nanak, was a Hindu reformer from Punjab,born in Khatri community in 1459 at  Talwandi(now- Nanakana).Guru Nanak believed in one living God.Gurus from Nanak till Arjun Dev the fifth guru,won accolades from Mughal emperors by their saintly lives.Before Aurangzeb, their was no religious persecution of gurus.

Under Arjun,the fifth Guru, the number of sikh converts increased and also Guru’s wealth.Guru ji organsized a permanent source of income.Agents were posted in every city from Kabul to Dacca,to collect tributes from followers and have it sent to Amritsar(central treasury).Guru was treated like a King.For some reason Guru supported Prince Khusrau(Shahjahan) in his fight against his father Jahangir and gave him monetory help as well.Shahjahan was defeated and Guru was asked to pay a fine of 2 lakh rupees.Arjun refused to pay the fine and was then given punishment,out of which he died.After his death,Guru Har gobind(1606) became the guru and started to train himself in martial exercises and raised a small army.

While in Amritsar,Gurus forces and imperial forcesof new ruler ShanJahan fought each other over some game bird,there was a slaughter and Guru’s forces won.When reinforcements came,they too were beaten back.Lot of people from far and wide became his followers and then more Mughal forces were sent to crush him.His property and house in Amritsar was seized and Guru fled to Kiratpur in Kashmir hills.(1945)

Guru Teg Bahadur became the seventh guru.It was Aurangzed time and mass conversion were happening.Guru Tegh opposed it and encouraged people to resist it.He was taken as prisoner and was tortured for 5 days,before beheaded on his refusal  to accept Islam(1675)

So finally open was broke out between Sikh and Islam.It was under tenth Guru Govind rai(1676-1708),that Mughal faced their most fierce enemy.Guru fought from Anandpur fort.He fined Hindus around 125 rs for saluting any Mohammdan saint’s tomb.He lived in a princely state. He fought the Rajas of J&K and Mughals alike.

Eventually Guru had to leave Anandpur fort and leave for South India.While on his way,his four sons perished fighting.The Guru reached Nander on the Godavari, and after staying there for a year and having made peace with the new Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah I,he was stabbed to death by an Afghan.

Inspired by text from -A short history of Aurangzib-Jadunath Sarkar.

Good Friday!

Jesus christWhy is it that the day,when Jesus Christ was crucified is called Good Friday,and not anything else.Probably,the day when good sacrificed for the greater cause of manhood/womanhood,people may call it good.Though a religious force/clerics conniving with the rulers to have somebody crucified just because they don’t follow the beaten path,speaks of less faith and a sense of insecurity, in their own faith.(samaj ke thekedar)

Very rare do we have examples when new thoughts have been welcomed without bloodshed and violence(eg Buddhism/Jainism)I don’t recollect a violent reaction when these religions started.(or any act of crucification).May be because these religion or say “way of life” were started by all powerful princes.

I think the time when Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem,Judaism was under attack for sometime and Romans had  occupied the mind/body and soul of the city and its  people.Romans had their own set of god and goddesses.So it seemed society was craving for change and change is what they got.

Recently I came across some videos,which talked about life of Jesus Christ.The video states that Jesus Christ probably studied in India.(the time he was born in bible,it is mentioned that angels(Buddhist monks) from east visited mother Mary.Probably they took the silk route as Buddhism was the most popular religion that time. Infact, it also states that from the age of 14 till i think 28-27, Jesus was travelling in India learning ancient texts/meditation and being a saint was also able to heal people.The lost tribes of Israel, it seemed travelled all the way to India/Kashmir- Features/language match with Jewish features.

As per the video, the way Jesus was crucified, people don’t die,they continue to live on for hours.So probably resurrection could be the way how Jesus with his meditation powers might have come back to life and considering the threat to him and his followers decided to spend the rest of his life in the familiar environment ie in India.(Interesting theory) Check out these videos.

Gupta Empire-Golden Age of India

Gupta Empire
Gupta Empire

We don’t have many people these days talking about Gupta period.Neither, there are enough history books exclusively available covering their period,unlike what we have for Mughal time,Mythology(Mahabharataa) or even about King Ashoka times.Some how Gupta period has been completely forgotten by historians.I mean, what is being spread more prominently  is the negative aspect of their rule -extinct of Buddhism in India,centralization of power among higher castes,and off course land grants based on caste system.So quite a few ills which our society is struggling  have come from or probably originated during Gupta empire.Gupta empire was considered the golden period of India.However,if we talk to people today,they struggle coming up with a single name of ruler from its period.They might at least remember one or two rulers from Mughal,Mauryan but Gupta period,they just don’t.So, probably it has been deliberately ignored.

Therefore, attempt in this blog is made to revive this period of excellence and phenomenal growth.

Sri Gupta, was the one from whose reign we can say that Gupta as an Empire took off.(240-280 AD).After, Sri Gupta came Ghatohkacha. It was in 319 AD that King of Kings Chandragupta became the ruler of Oudh,Gangetic plain and Magdha.Lichchhavi’s(modern day Nepal border areas) played a significant role in the making of the Empire.Lichchhavi daughter was married to Chandragupta.

Samudra Gupta, became the ruler in 335, AD.The name meant, he was protected by sea, or his rule spread till sea.The Allahabad pillar has all details.Samudra Gupta had to fight his elder brother for the succession of the throne.Brother’s name was Kacha.

At Allahbad pillar,Samudra Gupta inscribed the details of his conquests and achievements.This was in stark contrast to how the pillar had details of Asoka.It showed that two kings were poles apart in content and character.

Samudra Gupta,after defeating his nearby kings.ie mordern day Barelli,Mathura started his South Campaign.He fought and conquered territory till Vishakapatnam.

Chandragupta II reigned from 375 AD -414 AD.Chinese Traveller Fa Hien travelled to India,from China via famous Buddhist places.He reliased that Buddhist traditions in China were imperfactly followed, so he traveled with fellow scholors via  cities like Khotan, Kushgar.Hiyana form of Budddhism was followed there.The religion was called Shamanism.(The religion which was followed by Chengez Khan).

After crossing Indus the monks from China came to a place called Udyana(where the language spoken was of central India or Middle Kingdom).After that, they reached Taxila & Peshawar,where King Kanisha had built a grand monument.Crossing the range,they came up the region where both Himyana and Mahayana flourished.Even Punjab had lot of Buddhist monasteries.

It was in the middle Kingdom(the  land of Bramanas),where people were prosperous and happy.Throughout the country,no one killed anyone,thieves were merely fined,people did n’t drink,they didn’t even  have onion or garlic.Only the Chandalas would go hunting and fishing.Evidently Patliputra didn’t enjoy as much prime a position as it enjoyed during the Mauryan times.People of Middle Kingdom were rich and involved in a lot of charity and philanthropic activites.

Chandra gupta II or Vikramaditya ,had his elder brother killed,Who was willing to give his wife Dhruva devi to a Saka ruler.Vikramaditya went to SAKA ruler’s palace as a disguise of the queen and killed the King.He came back to his Kingdom and killed his coward brother  and married his wife.(I mean, which kingdom would want to have a spineless ruler,who is giving his wife, to protect his own rule)

Kumara Gupta came to rule in 415 AD.

During Skand Gupta’s time,he fought with Huns in North and Pushyamitras in south.He restored the lost pride of the Empire.Gupta rulers appointed kings based on merit .(It was done by the father)

Buddhism and Jainism still flourished under Gupta rule,however the Gupta’s were followers of  Brahminical religion.Sanchi continued to be a great place for Buddhist learning.During those days, there were no libraries.

FYI -Brahminical religion insisted on the contemplation of formless,in which art could not originate(Therefore, Budh Poja or image worship was probably an import from Hellenistic civilization) .Perhaps the earliest form of Brahminical stone structure is the Vishnu shrine at Besnagar near the Heliodorous pillar,second century BC.Satpatha Brahmana describes as Hindu Shrine consisting of two sheds forms of pots and beans and covered with reeds and mats.Religious services and rituals were performed in open air.

Information source is RadhaKumud Mukheerji’s Book on Gupta Empire

Mahabharata-Draupadi-Govinda-Suyodhan

Aryavarta realm
Aryavarta realm

Recently watched some episodes of New  Mahabharata coming  on TV.

Initially the new version of Mahabharata on TV,turned out to be interesting enough.However,over a period of time it  became a drag,much like popular Hindi Soap operas currently on air and back ground sounds enamating, reflected a Diwali night.So have quit watching it,I think the old version was much faster.The new version started with a lot of promise as I liked their attention to details in dressing etc, but later a big bore.

Inspired  and bored by the TV show, went ahead and purchased a book called Govinda’ the Aryavartta Cronicles.

I believe three names/characters greatly influenced the story of  Mahabharata  and they were largely responsible for The Great Mahabharata war.

Consider Draupadi first- She was one fiery out spoken lady.Her so called  sharp remarks,time and again fuelled the fire already burning among rulers and brothers at large.

Govinda-The greatest architect and so called means to end gentleman.He orchestrated the greatest assassinations of that era(I would say one man Mossad-The Israeli secret service)

Suyodhan(Duryoudhan)- No story is complete till you have a villain defined.So, he was happy to take the mantle of anti-hero and went full throttle with his perceived sense of righteousness.

I loved reading it,went like a racy thriller.The book has its own, some interesting revelations on Mahabharata.

Consider this one,Jayathratha, the mightiest of the kings during that period, and had a garrison stationed close to Hastinapur.Bhisma,Dhrathrashtra and other nobles of Hastinapur were all scared of him.Jayadratha,ruled from Magdha,modern day Patliputra.

He was an emperor,whom the rulers of Aryavartta would bow.If we remember the folktale,it says he was killed and had his body parts  thrown in two separate directions.But,as per the author he was defeated in a duel,with Bhim and killed,instead of any theatrics.

One of the most amazing characters at display was of Draupadi.She appeared to be in love with Govinda,like most girls of that era.

She seemed to be a woman with her own mind.Her inability to have any choice in choosing her husband speaks of the social climate of that period. Infact,she was actually married to Yudhisthir and not Arjun, in the Palace of her father.What we commonly call the Kaurava Prince as ” Duryodhan”, his name could probably been  Suyoddhan(cannot imagine parents giving their child a name starting by Dur-or bad),and he seemed to be a mature politician, statesman and good human being.Infact,Yodhisthir used to often ask for money,to place bets and at times to pay off debts.Suyodhan seems to have been more peaceful,though Dhatrashtra appears to be one power hungry person,who loved the throne,and wouldn’t relinquish it even though his son, the Prince was 46 yrs old.Suyodhan apparently wasn’t really jealous nor insecure.Infact, it was Dharma raj Yodhistar,who could not compare himself with his warrior brothers.

An interesting bit is about,Vyasa,who was the grandfather of Pandu and Dhratrashtra,he himself  was a love child.So when the daughters of Kashi,were married to both Hastinapur princes,non of them was able to concieve a child.It was such that fertility of the Princes was in doubt.So Vyasa was called to help produce the lineage of Hastinapur and carry forward the bloodline of King Hastin.It is difficult to believe the folktales,which say that since looking at Vyasa, the princess closed her eyes and that was why a blind son was born.

It seems these were Great men and warriors,who walked the lands of Northern India.The book tries to explain the reason why there was a war.It took place between two sets of people,one who controlled the science and engineering and who wanted to dominate vs the other group,who controlled the scriptures.

I think I might want to recommend people to read Govinda/Kaurava and visit http://www.aryavartachronicles.com/default.html

Babur’s invasion of Hindustan!

Babur's area of influence.
Babur’s area of influence.

Last few posts have been of Mughal emperors,who ruled India for close two centuries.However, we need to remember that all this might have started somewhere.Therefore, tracing the roots became extremely important.So, the buck stops or you can started from Babur.

Babur,who was the father of Humanyun and Akbar’s grandfather,was born in a ruling family based out of central Asia region called Samarkand.His region comprised of the tough terrain from where Timur had come to India.The environment and the time he was born in very extremely fragile and there was constant war in that region.Cities and regions were being lost and won every season and I would say there were a lot of small rulers governing those small territories.

Having read Babur Nama, his own memoirs, I realize that he was always fighting for his survival.And many a occasions he was thrown out/lost wars of his own territories.So, it was only when he came to Kabul,he was able to relax and establish himself a little.His warriors were tougher than Afgan tribesmen and were more disciplined and offcourse, had better techniques for fighting.It was his third invasion of Hindustan that they were able to capture Delhi & Agra.And  defeat Abraham lodi in the first battle of Panipat.Babur was a seasoned campaigner,while Lodhi, was foolishly brutal. Babar had in total 12000 troops,Matchlock while Ibrahim Lodhi’s army comprised of more than a 100000 soldiers and close to a 1000 war elephants.After the defeat,where Lodhi was killed in the battle field,Humanyu was able to get hold of Koh-i-Noor diamond,which presumably was brought from South India, by Alauddin Khilji.

Read babur,was a heavy drinker of his times.According to one statement of his,only 4 days are allowed for him to drink,so during those days Babur wold drink at night,while in rest of the days,since it was not allowed Babur and his group would drink in the mornings.

Recently came across from Bharat Ek Khoj, episode on Babur,where they say that it was Rana Sanga,who too invited Babur to invade India.But then, further in the serial,that invitation did not have much impact since Rana Sanga fought with Babur,but was defeated.

Akbar! Who built the Moghul Empire

 

Akbar,Mughal,Son of Humayun

Been reading about Akbar the Great.Couldn’t stop myself from share some interesting reads written about his life and reign.
He never thought himself of being an invader.Had his first wife a Rajput Princess(Hira bahi and not Jodha bai), and his son from Her as Salim(Salim’s wife was Jodha) as the next Moghul Emperor.

Akbar was the first ruler to have banned  Sati Pratha .He built Fateh Pur sikri in Honour of sufi, Salim Chisti, and for the love of his wife,which apparently he could never receive.
He used to lead from Front in War and peace.Though did not know how to read or write, but was always surrounded in the company of learned men.In his court he would listen to debates and religious discussions coming from Muslim scholars,Christen missionaries both Catholic and protestant,Jews,Zoroastrians and offcourse from Hindu learned lot.
He realized that unlike his great grandson that in order to rule and have a long dynasty you needed to win the hearts of his people,especially majority community,therefore had Jazia banned as well as religious tax on Hindu pilgrimage sites taken off, in his Empire.
He would not hesitate to argue with Ulema and made sure they understood, that Emperor is supreme and his word is final!
He would at times listen to the advice of his mother and other women folk.

Off course he had many wives, most of them for strategic alliances,though had a huge set of concubines to fulfill his carnal desires.The story about Anarkali, is that she was an Italian merchant’s daughter whose father was murdered by pirates and then she was sold as a slave, and brought up by some guy who run a harem,who then gifted it to Turkish Sultan as a virgin.This King of Turkey then presented her to Akbar.
Akbar really liked her as she was beautiful, but then Salem also fell for her.So basically, both had the opportunity to make love with her.
Akbar’s personal life was not that great though, his two sons died early in front of him ,because of drinking problems.Infact, Salim too had issues with drinking and opium, but still could manage to hang on,compared to Daniyal and Murad.

Also realised that Khurram( Shan Jahan) was favourite of Akbar, and it was he who took care of him.Khurram was the youngest of the three sons of Salim and was born on an auspicious day.Hence Akbar decided that he would bring up the child in his care.
Inspiration has come from the author Alex Rutherford,who wrote the book, Empire of the Moghul Ruler of the world!

Shivaji,Master of Guerrilla Warfare!

I remember Amar Chitra Katha comic books,which my Father will buy for me,from railway stations and his other travels,when we lived in Bhopal.Every six months, journey to our Fatherland(New Delhi & Western UP) would provide an opportunity for me to lay my hands on some amazing comic story books.I read about some great warriors of our past,one of them was off course the Great Maratha, “Shivaji”.

Shivaji’s life consisted of many adventurous  military campaigns which lasted through out his life.I think most of  us might remember his use of Tiger Claws against Afzal Khan,Commander from Bijapur.Let me share one of his audacious night attack on Mughal Viceroy of Deccan,Shaista Khan.

Tiger claws,Dagger

Shivaji, wounded the Viceroy in his bed chamber,while his guards were still around.The story goes like this,Shaista Khan was living in Lal Mahal in Pune,where Shivaji had spent his youth.Across the road from Mahal,a Mughal contingent of 10000, men under Jai Singh was camping.On April 5th,1663, Shivaji with 400 men(disguised as Mughal soldiers),entered Pune, telling Mughal forces that they were reinforcements from the other province.It  was the day of Ramzan,most of the people had fallen asleep,after having heavy meal. Shivaji,since he knew in and out of the palace,entered the Kitchen,killed few cooks and broke through the wall(wall was newly made) to enter into the Harem of Shaista Khan. 200 Hundred of Shivaji men,who were outside the Harem,entered the band room and ordered the Band members to play. The rest 200 along with Shivaji, entered the bedroom of  Shaista Khan, and before Shaista Khan could move,Shivaji jumped on him,and cut off his thumb,fortunately a smart slave girl,quickly put the lights off the Chamber,what followed after that was Mayhem.In the attack,Marathas lost only six men,while they slew a son and a captain of Shaista Khan, forty attendants,six wives and slave girls,wounding Shiasta Khan himself.This daring attack greatly increased the prestige of Marathas.

Those were the times,when nobody was saint.As practice,plundering and looting  rival villages and forts was a way to earn quick money for further battles and wars.On one such expedition Shivaji, attacked and his forces ransacked Surat(richest port in Mughal Empire) for days.During those days Surat probably had the richest merchants in the world.Merchant Baharaji Borah’s house was attacked, he had property worth 80 lakh.Surat was a town spread across 7 sq km with a population of 2 lakh,but was not well defended.It’s Mughal commander was corrupt and coward.It was the English merchants who with its small contingent could protect their factory,from the onslaught.Plunder of Surat was an audacious attack and yielded more than one crore to Shivaji and directly challenged the might of Mughals.

Once when in Agra court of Aurangzeb,Shivaji was not only humiliated but was also arrested and put in a gaurded house.But Shivaji made an escape plan.He feigned illness and everyday began to send out sweetmeat and other stuff to be distributed to Brahmans and other religious people.These were carried in huge baskets slung from pole managed by two people.

Escape from Agra
Escape from Agra

Soon the guards stopped checking those baskets everyday, On 9th August,Shivaji orderd his half brother to lay instead of him on the bed while he and his son Shambhoji sat in the basket. Shivaji gave his gold bracelet to Hiraji Farzand(his half brother)while he moved out in the baskets.So,whenever the guard saw his hand on the cot(rest of the body was covered), they thought it was Shivaji. By the time Mughal guards realised, Shivaji was 14 hrs ahead of them,and on the run.

Inspiration to write this small note on Shivaji has come from book written by Jadunath Sarkar, “A Short History of  Aurangzeb”.

 

 

Genghis Khan and Muslim Holocast!

genghis khan soldiers imagesMost of us relate to Genghis Khan as a Muslim ruler,who was brutal, barbaric and apparently, whose genes are found in 16 million men living today.But he wasn’t a Muslim.He prayed in the mountains to sky God and Khan title has Mongol origin,given to warrior or  head of all tribes.Genghis is said to have believed in Shamaism.Can be co-related to Arab word for buddhists-Samani,which was derived from the Sanskrit Shravana.

 How Genghis Khan,a warrior and one of History’s Immortals decides to take revenge from the Muslim world beyond Altai mountains and conquer territories is stuff history is made of.It is surprising to read that an all conquering religious force and a civilization so advanced,could be crushed with such ruthlessness.

To give a background of Genghis Khan or Temujin(his original name)initial years,he was born in an extremely inhospitable environment,in an area which was South of Siberia(close to Lake Baikal and North of Mongolia).

As a thirteen year old he had his half-brother brother killed,by shooting him with an arrow,all planned,in cold blood over a piece of meat.

During 1219 AD  Part of Muslim world ie Khwarazm comprised of Modern daymap courtesy silkroutes.net

Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan,Kyrgyztan, Kazakhstan were divided among smaller kingdoms and most of the cities( Samarkand ,Bukhara,urgench,nishapur,Otrar,Merv etc between Amurdarya or Oxus valley(Tansoxania/Jaxartes) and Syr darya lay within the Dominion of Khwarezm Shah,Mohammed.This region was supplied well from Pamirs,and was a fertile land and part of the silk route.

Genghis by now ruling Mongolia & parts of  Northern China ( Beijing,Manchuria),had sent a delegation of 450 merchants along with his ambassador to the court of Khwarezm Shah, to build trade and commerce relations.He was a haughty,unscrupulous ruler who did not see what was coming.

This ruler not only refused the offer of trade,he also initially imprisoned those merchants and later got them, all killed(apparently most of those merchants were Muslims).Knowing this,Genghis got furious and decided to march to the Islamic world.(We need to remember that by this time he had the expertise of defeated Chinese army and its vast resources at his disposal)

The march started in 1219, led his army west,with close to one hundred and fifty soldiers and each soldier with atleast 2-3 horses,with its ability to cover 100 kms in a day.They also had the best of Seige machinery .Catapults(modern day artillery) with capability to fire 3 arrows in one go ,naphta bombs and other Chinese inventions,accompanied by finest battle hardened nomadic cavalry.

Mongols used Composite bow,which was lighter and easy to manage than your English longbow.

So,what rolled for 2700 kms from Mongolia to Kharwzem was a Juggernaut.Mongols could cover 800kms in 60 days,Compare this with mechanised army on the move at speed.In Aug 1944, after D day landings of June,Americans under General Patton rolled along at 30 kms a day for 3 days,with virtually no opposition,over the long straight paved roads.. Invasion_of_Khwarezmia

Mongols,initally attacked a city by the name of  Otrar,whose commander had killed their merchants and ambassador.After having defeated the city and pouring molten gold down the throat of its commander,Genghis, ordered all the rich people of the city to gather in courtyard,and announced to them, that he is the curse of God!

Now he attacked the confederation of four cities, Samarkand,Bukara,Merv &Gurganj.

Silk route Map, courtesy silkroutes.net
Silk route Map, courtesy silkroutes.net

These four cities,all located on rivers running from Pamirs.All were trade Emporia linking East and West.

Juvaini(a traveller and author) says 7 thousand soldiers killed 1.2 million citizens of Merv- this city was pearl of central Asia.More than 3 million people were massacred in a span of a year,while the remaining population turned into slaves.

For a Mongol,an unresisting prisonar was easier to kill,than a sheep.You can cut a small hole in the chest,reach inside,grab the heart and stop it.To kill a man, was not more than a second’s job.Its possible for 7000 men  to slaughter of a million would have been hard day’s work. Khwarezmian massacres can be easily equated to Nazi Holocaust,as there were similarities in the attitude of Mongol generals and the final solution.

Genghis believed Man’s greatest fortune is to chase and defeat his enemy,seize all his possessions,leave his married women weeping and wailing,use the body of women as night shirts and supports,gazing upon and kissing there rosy breasts,such their lips which are as sweet as the berries of the breasts.

To capture fleeing Mohammed, task was given to Jebe and Subutai(Two splendid generals of Genghis Khan’s army),was hounded across present day Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan and Iran.

Genghis Khan, while chasing the son of Shah Mohammed arrived till the banks of Indus,however did not cross the river, he saw a Rhinoceros,was told is a bad omen,and he turned back !

Mongol Empire was twice as large as the Roman Empire, Empire of Alexander(probably Alexander did was to defeat just one big ruler) and they conquered Russia in winters which neither Napoleon nor Hitler could do.(Russian story would be told sometime later in future).

The inspiration to write this blogpost has come from John Man.

Mongol Empire Map, courtesy wikipedia
Mongol Empire Map, courtesy wikipedia
Life Death resurrection,John Man
Life Death resurrection,John Man