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Ram Swarup (राम स्‍वरूप)[1], born Ram Swarup Agarwal (1920 – December 26, 1998) was an independent Hindu thinker and prolific author. His works took a critical stance against Christianity, Islam and Communism. His work has influenced other Indian writers.

Contents

Life

He graduated in Economics at Delhi University in 1941. He participated in the Indian Freedom Movement,[2] and helped Freedom fighters like Aruna Asaf Ali[3]. He started the Changer's Club in 1944. Its members included L. C. Jain, Raj Krishna, Girilal Jain, and historian Sita Ram Goel.[2] In 1948-49, he worked for Gandhi's disciple Mira Behn (Madeleine Slade).[2]

Swarup worked for the DRS, where he wrote a book on the Communist party that was published under someone else's name.[2] In 1949 he started the Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia.[2] The Society published books that were reviewed in the West, and criticized in the Communist newspapers Izvestia and Pravda.[2] [4] It closed in 1955.[2] His early book "Gandhism and Communism" from this time had some influence among American policy makers and Congress men.[2]

In 1982 he founded the non-profit publishing house Voice of India,[5] which published works by Harsh Narain, A.K. Chatterjee, K.S. Lal, Koenraad Elst, Rajendra Singh, Sant R.S. Nirala, and Shrikant Talageri among others .[6]

American author David Frawley wrote, "While Voice of India had a controversial reputation, I found nothing irrational, much less extreme about their ideas or publications... Their criticisms of Islam were on par with the criticisms of the Catholic Church and of Christianity done by such Western thinkers as Voltaire or Thomas Jefferson. In fact they went far beyond such mere rational or historical criticisms of other religions and brought in a profound spiritual and yogic view as well." [7]

Author

Ram Swarup's book "The Word As Revelation: Names of Gods" was published in 1980 by Sita Ram Goel. The book was received favourably by Girilal Jain, and was reviewed by Dr. Sisir Kumar Maitra in the Times of India.[8]

His works on Communism were reviewed and praised in the West and in India by people like Bertrand Russell, Arthur Koestler, Sri Aurobindo, Ashoka Mehta, Sardar Patel and Philip Spratt.[4]

Swarup has written for mainstream Indian weeklies and dailies, like the Telegraph, Times of India, Indian Express, Observer of Business and Politics, Hindustan Times and Hinduism Today.[2]

Influences and opinions

Some of his early influences were Aldous Huxley and George Bernard Shaw.[9][2]

In his later life, Ram Swarup used to meditate for many hours.[10] Swarup was influenced by Sri Aurobindo, whom he held to be the greatest exponent of the Vedic vision in our times.[10]

Sita Ram Goel described Swarup as a person who "had no use for any conventional morality or code of manners and could see clearly how they were mostly used to put the other fellow in the wrong."[11]

European paganism

Ram Swarup also had an interest in European Neopaganism, and corresponded with Prudence Jones (chairperson of Pagan Federation) and the Pagan author Guðrún Kristín Magnúsdóttir.[12]

Christopher Gerard (editor of Antaios, Society for Polytheistic Studies) said: "Ram Swarup was the perfect link between Hindu Renaissance and renascent Paganism in the West and elsewhere."[13]

Swarup has also advocated a "Pagan renaissance" in Europe. He said that "Europe became sick because it tore apart from its own heritage, it had to deny its very roots. If Europe is to be healed spiritually, it must recover its spiritual past--at least, it should not hold it in such dishonor..." He argued that the European Pagans "should compile a directory of Pagan temples destroyed, Pagan groves and sacred spots desecrated. European Pagans should also revive some of these sites as their places of pilgrimage."[14]

Works

  • Indictment, Changer's Club
  • Mahatma Gandhi and His Assassin, 1948. Changer's Club
  • Let us Fight the Communist Menace (1949)
  • Russian Imperialism: How to Stop It (1950);
  • Communism and Peasantry: Implications of Collectivist Agriculture for Asian Countries (1950,1954)
  • Gandhism and Communism (1954)
  • Foundations of Maoism (1956).
  • Gandhian Economics (1977)
  • The Hindu View of Education (1971)
  • The Word as Revelation: Names of Gods (1980), (1982, revised 1992)
  • Understanding Islam through Hadis (1983 in the USA by Arvind Ghosh, Houston; Indian reprint by Voice of India, 1984); The Hindi translation was banned in 1990, and the English original was banned in 1991 in India.
  • Buddhism vis-à-vis Hinduism (1958, revised 1984).
  • Hinduism vis-à-vis Christianity and Islam (1982, revised 1992)
  • Christianity, an Imperialist Ideology (1983, with Major T.R. Vedantham and Sita Ram Goel);
  • Woman in Islam (1994);
  • Hindu Dharma, Isaiat aur Islam (1985, Hindi: "Hindu Dharma, Christianity and Islam");
  • Hindu View of Christianity and Islam (1993, contains also as an appendix Swarup's foreword to D. S. Margoliouth's Mohammed and the Rise of Islam (1985, original in 1905) and to William Muir's The Life of Mahomet (1992, original in 1894)
  • Ramakrishna Mission. Search for a New Identity (1986)
  • Cultural Alienation and Some Problems Hinduism Faces (1987)
  • Foreword to Anirvan: Inner Yoga (1988, reprint 1995)
  • Hindu-Sikh Relationship (1985)
  • Foreword to the republication of Sardar Gurbachan Singh Talib, ed.: Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab, 1947 (1991; the original had been published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar in 1950), and also separately published as Whither Sikhism? (1991)
  • Hindu-Buddhist Rejoinder to Pope John-Paul II on Eastern Religions and Yoga(1995)

References

  1. ^ He never used his surname, Agarwal, in adult life.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ram Swarup (1920-1998) – Outline of a Biography
  3. ^ Hinduism Today, April 1999. The Voice of India By K.Elst. [1]
  4. ^ a b Sita Ram Goel Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993)
  5. ^ Letter by Goel to Hinduism Today, July 1998. Letters [2]
  6. ^ Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 9
  7. ^ Frawley, DavidHow I became a Hindu: My discovery of Vedic Dharma
  8. ^ Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.9. Times of India, March 29, 1981 "The Return of the Gods"
  9. ^ Goel:How I became a Hindu.
  10. ^ a b Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.8
  11. ^ Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.4
  12. ^ Koenraad Elst. Who is a Hindu, 2001
  13. ^ Hinduism Today, April 1999. [3]
  14. ^ Hinduism Today. July 1999. Antaios 1996 (Interview with Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel)[4]
  • Review by Jiri Kolaja. Communism and Peasantry. by Ram Swarup. The American Journal of Sociology > Vol. 61, No. 6 (May, 1956), pp. 642-643
  • Review by G. L. Arnold, Communism and Peasantry: Implications of Collectivist Agriculture for Asian Countries by Ram Swarup, The British Journal of Sociology > Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1955), pp. 384-385
  • Review by Maurice Meisner, Foundations of Maoism by Ram Swarup The China Quarterly > No. 33 (Jan., 1968), pp. 127-130
  • Review by Geoffrey Shillinglaw, Foundations of Maoism. by Ram Swarup, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-) > Vol. 43, No. 4 (Oct., 1967), pp. 798-799

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Ram Swarup (1920 - 1998) was an independent Hindu philosopher and author.

Contents

Sourced

  • The new self-styled social justice intellectuals and parties do not want an India without castes, they want castes without dharma.
    • Ram Swarup: “Logic behind Perversion of Caste”, Indian Express, 13-9-1996.
  • The fact is that the truth of harmony and human brotherhood derives not from an absorbed trance but from an awakened prajñâ or wisdom; and its validity depends not on any dramatic ecstatic visions but it belongs to man’s (…) natural reason unspoilt by theologies of exclusiveness.
    • Ram Swarup: Ramakrishna Mission, p.13.
  • But foreign should not be defined in geographical terms. Then it would have no meaning except territorial or tribal patriotism. To me that alone is foreign which is foreign to truth, foreign to Atman.
    • Sita Ram Goel. How I Became a Hindu (1982, enlarged 1993) ISBN 81-85990-05-0 (ch. 7)
  • Indian spirituality, proclaimed that the true Godhead was beyond number and count; that it had many manifestations which did not exclude or repel each other but included each other, and went together in friendship; that it was approached in different ways and through many symbols; that it resided in the hearts of its devotees. Here there were no chosen people, no exclusive prophethoods, no privileged churches and fraternities and ummas. The message was subversive of all religions based on exclusive claims.
    • Ram Swarup, introduction to Mohammed and the Rise of Islam by D.S. Margoliouth, New Delhi, Reprint, 1985 and 1995, p. xix.

The World As Revelation: Names of Gods

  • The Hindu pantheon has changed to some extent but the old Gods are still active and are still understood though under modified names. Hindu India has a sense of continuity with its past which other nations, that changed their religions at some later stage, lack. It is also known that the Hindu religion preserves many old layers and forms. Therefore, its study may link us not only with its own past forms but also with the religious consciousness, intuitions and forms that prevailed in the past in Europe, in Greece, in Rome, in many Scandinavian and Baltic countries, amongst Germanic and Slavic peoples and also in several countries of the Middle East. In short, the study may reveal a fundamental form of spiritual consciousness which is wider than its Hindu expression.
  • The Vedic approach,” concludes Ram Swarup, “is perhaps the best. It gives unity without sacrificing diversity. In fact, it gives a deeper unity and a deeper diversity beyond the power of ordinary monotheism and polytheism. It is one with the yogic and the mystic approach... In this deeper approach, the distinction is not between a true One God and false Many Gods; it is between a true way of worship and a false way of worship. Wherever there is sincerity, truth and self-giving in worship, that worship goes to the true altar by whatever name we may designate it and in whatever way we may conceive it. But if it is not desireless, if it has ego, falsehood, conceit and deceit in it, then it is unavailing though it may be offered to the most true God, theologically speaking.
  • If there is sufficient aspiration, invoking, and soliciting, there is no doubt that even Gods apparently lost could come back again. They are there all the time. For nothing that has any truth in it can be destroyed. It merely goes out of manifestation; but it could reappear under propitious circumstances. So could the old Gods come to life again in response to new summons.

Buddhism vis-a-vis Hinduism (1958)

  • "Buddhism is returning home to India after a long exile of a thousand years and, like the proverbial prodigal son, is being received with open arms. Religious tolerance of the average Hindu partly explains the warm reception. But a more important reason is the fact that Buddha and Buddhism form an intimate part of Hindu consciousness. Buddha was a Hindu. Buddhism is Hindu in its origin and development, in its art and architecture, iconography, language, beliefs, psychology, names, nomenclature, religious vows and spiritual discipline....Hinduism is not all Buddhism, but Buddhism forms part of the ethos which is essentially Hindu"

Quotes about Ram Swarup

  • I could see that his seeking had taken a decisive turn towards a deeper direction. He [Ram Swarup] was as awake to the social, political and cultural scene in India as ever before. But this vigil had now acquired an entirely new dimension. Political, social and cultural movements were no more clashes or congregations of external forces and intellectual ideas; they had become projections of psychic situations in which the members of a society chose to stay. His judgments had now acquired a depth which I frequently found it difficult to fathom.
    • Sita Ram Goel. How I Became a Hindu (1982, enlarged 1993) ISBN 81-85990-05-0 (ch. 8)
  • Ram Swarup was feeling disturbed. He had no doubt that Hindu society was in for great trouble. He had been studying the scriptures of Islam and Christianity during the past several years, and had gone deep into their most orthodox sources. He had come up with the conclusion that they were not religions but cruel and intolerant ideologies like Communism and Nazism. The spread of these ideologies in India, he said, was fraught with fearful consequences for whatever had survived of Hindu society and culture in the only Hindu homeland.
    • Sita Ram Goel. How I Became a Hindu (1982, enlarged 1993) ISBN 81-85990-05-0 (ch. 9)
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