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About Hindu Education Foundation and Vedic Foundation



IN DEPTH:
Vedic Foundation, a project of Barsana Dham temple, Austin, Texas formed in 2003. 

Connections: 

The Vedic Foundation works closely with Hindutva groups like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), a U.S. affiliate of the RSS,1 and hosts numerous events, meetings and youth camps for them including the Dharma Sansad2, attended by senior RSS functionaries from India.3  HSC annual camps are also held at this location. 

Theology as History: 

The Vedic Foundation’s view of history is indistinguishable from its theology.  The following excerpt from a book written by its founder and spiritual leader (Swami Prakashanand) provides what amounts to a creationist argument for the production of history.4   The book titled “The True History and the True religion of India” was announced as the Foundation’s “first initiative” in 2003.  

In it, the author claims that the history of India is 155.521972 trillion years. It declares “Eternal Saints” (such as the author) to be the authorities on history since they are allegedly unaffected by Maya (cosmic illusion) and they remain faithful to the “eternal” scriptures written in “eternal” Sanskrit.  It also condemns secular academic history as “tinged with the thoughts of the western writers; and thus (especially through the English books) it is not possible to obtain the correct information about the true Divine aspects of Bhartiya religion and scriptures which are the soul of Hinduism.”5 

This animosity to scholarly investigation is evidenced throughout the “True history” text:  

“They (historians) think that they are trying to be logical in their historical research, but they forget this fact that one cannot determine the history of Bharatvarsh on meager archaeological findings of coins, toys and pots. Whereas the general history of Bharatvarsh is already written in its scriptures and the Puranas whose texts and the philosophical descriptions are the outcome of the Gracious and benevolent minds of eternal Saints.”6 

This blend of theology with politics is markedly antagonistic to academia and is driven not by a desire to advance knowledge, but to suppress it.  The Vedic Foundation offers “study courses” in the “Science of Creation, Origin of Life and Karma” alongside “An Introduction to Authentic Hinduism.” It declares: “The history of Bharatvarsh (which is now called India) is the description of the timeless glory of the Divine dignitaries.7  Its “Bhartiya Chronology” seamlessly weaves mythology as “history” placing “The descension of Bhagwan Krishn (on earth planet)” in 3228 BC, “The Great War of Mahabharat” in 3139 BC alongside Gautam Buddha in 1894 BC.8   

Supremacist worldview 

Supremacist ideas are prevalent in the writings of the Vedic Foundation.  For instance the “True history” book maintains that "Bhartiya Religion is universal and applies not only to Hindua (sic?) but to the entire world"9 which distinctly echoes the sentiments expressed by the RSS chief K. Sudarshan when he claimed recently that “every individual was born as Hindu and it was the religious rituals of various religions like sunnat or baptism that made one Muslim or Christian"10 

Sanskrit is declared to be “The Mother of All Languages,” divine in origin, “absolute in perfection” and unchanged throughout history!  Accordingly, all other languages came into existence since non-Bhartiya people (ie. the rest of humanity) mispronounced Sanskrit words.  The “True History” text of the Vedic Foundation is not simply making claims about the relative antiquity of Sanskrit as a language. It claims with conviction that “Sanskrit is the Divine mother language of the world.”11 

The exaggerated dates and claims noted above are meant to convey one overarching theme of the Vedic Foundation’s interest in history – to establish by assertion and repetition, the antiquity of Hinduism.  By doing so it also declares the superiority of Hinduism and its adherents over all others, notably religious and cultural minorities, and with its intensely orthodox outlook, marginalizes socially marginalized people like Dalits and women.  None of its assertions can be substantiated by historical research, hence the intense animosity to scholarship as noted earlier.  This is a position that the Hindutva movement amplifies in its hate-filled rhetoric – constantly asserting the antiquity, superiority and worth of Hindus against religious and cultural minorities who are cast as “outsiders” (since in this view, they supposedly arrived after the Vedic Hindus), and against those who rely on secular and rational approaches to the study of history, based on meticulous peer-reviewed research, not the dogmas of supremacists masquerading as “Eternal Saints.”

1 RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) – core Hindu supremacist (Hindutva) organization in India, notorious for organized violence against Muslims and Christians, and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
2 http://www.vhp-america.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=4
3 VHP is the religious wing of the RSS, implicated in paramilitary violence, notably in Gujarat, 2002. see International Religious Freedom Report 2003, Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24470.htm 
4 The True History and the True religion of India, Swami Prakashanand, http://thetruehistoryandthereligionofindia.org
5 http://thetruehistoryandthereligionofindia.org/th_synopsis.htm
6 http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/bhartiya_history/
Bhartiya_Civilization_after_Mahabharat_War.htm 
7 http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/bhartiya_history/index.html
http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/bhartiya_history/chronology.htm
http://web.archive.org/web/20030803191007/http://thevedicfoundation.org/
communities/do_you_know.htm
10 http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&
pa=showpage&pid=112&page=31
11 http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/valuable_resources/
Sanskrit-The_Mother_of_All_Languages_partI.htm



 

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