Monday, January 31, 2011

TM organization leader reads from the Laws of Manu

Some years ago, back when the TM movement's Natural Law Party was fielding candidates for election to various offices here in the U.S. and elsewhere, this essay, at John Knapp's website, pointed out that "Natural Law," to movement insiders, actually referred to the "Laws of Manu," or "Manusmriti," a Hindu text that dates to at least 400CE.  

Evidence that the Laws of Manu are specifically central to the belief system of the people who run the "Global Country of World Peace" (GCWP) that sells TM throughout the world has been a bit hard to come by. It may be referred to explicitly, in one of their publications somewhere, but very seldom online, and then only to refer to something rather benign or trivial, like "Speak the truth that is sweet" or “The world is my family.”

During the birthday celebrations for  "His Majesty Maharaja Adhiraj Raja Raam," the leader of the GCWP, one of the other officials of this alleged government/country read at length from the Laws of Manu, in the course of pointing out that "His Majesty" "is a great deity in human form." References to Vedic gods populate the Laws, and such gods are described as the precursors of this earthly king.

You can follow along with Eike Hartmann, the "Minister of Architecture" of the GCWP, at this page from a website hosting various Hindu texts. The transcript follows the video, below. The meaning of these verses is discussed in two books available online: A History of India by Burton Stein and David Arnold, and Ancient India by R.C. Majumdar.

At this stage we may not be able to fully grasp Maharaja's supreme status in the world, one who holds the rule of Raam according to the Constitution of the Universe. Such a Maharaja is not an ordinary human being. (giggles from the audience) In this regard Manusmriti [the Laws of Manu] says,

(2) A ruler who has received according to the injunction the Rajabishek mahayagya as prescribed by the Vedas must duly protect this whole world.

(3) When these people being without a King were dispersed in all directions, the Lord created a king for the protection of the whole creation.

(4) Taking for that purpose eternal particles of Indra, of Vayu [wind/air], of Yam, of the sun, of Agni [fire], of varuna, and of Soma, the moon,

(5) because a King has been formed of particles of these lords of Gods, he therefore surpasses all created beings in luster.

(6) And like the sun he burns eyes and hearts. Nor can anybody on Earth even gaze at him.

(7) Through his supernatural power he is Agni [fire] and Vayu [wind/air], he is Sun and Moon, he is the Lord of Justice, Dharmaraj, he Varuna, he, the great Indra.

(8) Even an infant king must not be despised from a preconceived idea that he is a mere mortal, for he is a great deity in human form.


John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Does anyone want to imagine what it would be like if King Tony and his royal buddies actually had authority over the rest of us?

Go to this link and read the next 20 or so verses:

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

BRILLIANT! Zebra this is beautifully and truthfully written. I wish you WOULD send it as it cuts like a knife through the lard of nonsense right to the heart of the matter. I enjoy your writings so much on this blog...(and if you are who I think you are, on your other blog as well.)

I suppose if you did send this letter a Vedic, lower-caste secretary would open it and discard it...but there is always a tiny chance it might be read by the actual man himself.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I am a new TMer and after reading some of you posts and you blog on mantras, I have many questions. For instance how could one go insane simply from the practice of 'thinking a thought'?I am more interested in how it can be harmful since I have also had my daughter taught. I feel improved clarity of mind and a incredible relief of stress since I have started doing it(2wks) so i need to know how this can be harmful to me & my daughter?I would be open to a different form of mediation if there is a form that is not harmful. I do believe that meditation is good for the mind & body I am simply struggling to find the right kind. All replies are greatly appreciated.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Hi Sudarsha, I bow to your greater experience. I only initiated around 200. Don't know how my life would have turned out if I had not wanted to "go deeper". Life became so much better after starting TM. I had tried to do Zen prior to starting and couldn't feel comfortable in it. Likely I would have remained trapped for a longer time in the narrow Christianity I was raised with. But the greed for more was already in me when I came into contact with TM. Can't blame that on Maharishi. He may have been a con artist but the con does not work without the willing and the self motivated mark. I don't know if there is any choice in these things. I might have ended up a wealthier person if I had not spent so many of those early years fascinated with my own mind but I doubt I would have become a happier person. At 60 I am sure I look like a sour puss to many who meet me but I feel the joy and the peace deeper down. I am sure than meditation has helped tremendously with that. I certainly wouldn't have my wife and our sons without having been part of the TM community. So I am grateful in a way for my own greediness for more and for Maharishi, and for being able to leave him behind. It's a good life as is.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Well Said, Indeed, JB! I'm used to your brand of excellant 'negativity entertaining' and snark, so this was a very delightful pause from that!

I agree that we can all get into our schtick on here...but for me at least, I like to hear each persons VOICE no matter how repetitive of theme because as you know, one's own INDIVIDUAL voice was completely negated when deep within the Movement. If it takes a person 4000 posts that are themey and one-pointy, I'm all for it. I think it's how we heal.

Now! I am longing to hear how and what you needed to add to your practice to straighten yourself out. That is of interest to me because that seems like the fine line we may have all faced: More courses to fix what TM possibly broke, or go outside the TMO to find alternative fixes. That was drummed into us as possibly deadly for us so it's a big deal! (or it was back then I should say.)

As for the well articulated thoughts about getting stuck on the meaning of mantras...I would venture to say that the people this bothers the MOST are the people least likely to be swayed by your good point. The point of "All Gods are the same what difference does a name make?" would be a great decider if the persons were spiritual and holistic.

For Athiests, or for those who are truly committed to their OWN Godhead, the knowledge that one has been praying to a 'false god' or even just a concept of god is deeply disturbing and not lightly thrown off.

Christians, being sold a bill of goods, taking up worship of a Hindu deity when they thought they were just getting a little light Stress Management 101, can be thrown into paroxysms of paranoia and really believe they are running the risk of condemning their immortal soul!

As we know, beliefs come in all sizes and all DEPTHS of commitment.

And as for people on here being an anti-cult cult...I doubt it. It's a clever remark but I'm sure you know this is more of a click than a cult any old day. For me, just finding other intelligent people gathered in one place who have shared that common TM background is like a freakin' Holiday in Goa!

It's FUN to dish the dirt, because with each dishing the plate gets lighter.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...


I hear ya. The mantra thing is complex. And, yes, that they do seem to be based on well known Sanskrit terms is problematic. The excuse that it is just sounds could be true, but won't sell. What they can do is just be honest for once and just say what the situation is. These words came from the Hindu/Vedic/Yogic/... tradition. The words do have a meaning in their original context and deal with the esoteric anatomy wherein everyone has charkras with seed mantras, and so forth.

The thing is, if the intent was not to "worship" an Eastern deity or deity of a chakra, is it still being done. If you say yes, then what the heck does that mean, that words do have there own intrinsic non-contextual meaning? That just leads to irrational magical thinking, exactly what we were complaining about. Doh!

Or in a Hatha Yoga exercise class, do you excuse yourself when the Sun Salutation is being done? In a karate class do you not bow at the line of teachers? When a pledge is being recited, do you cover your ears at any mention of God or faith?

Which came first the association of a sound with a Hindu God, or the experience of the sound and its appropriation with religious symbols. Is now God Santa Claus? Originally he was the real person of Saint Peter (I visited his resting place in Italy, btw).

There is a religion that takes Christian Saints and images and combines them with an African religion. Does that mean that now, since the association has been made, when some little old lady is praying to Saint Mary, she is invoking some vast nature God in Africa. Sounds dumb, cause it is. (how this is relevent is long, or I'm stretching it too far. :) )

Anyway, as I wrote, it doesn't bother me. I can sing "Om Namah Shivaya" or "Hail Jimi Hendrix". Jeeeessh, humans are so silly.

I'm reminded of the A.C. Clark short story, "The Nine Billion names of God". Lets say you build a program and run it on a supercomputer and all it does is randomly create words and using a text to speech device says them. Eventually, like the monkeys typing, it will invoke every God in human history. Will the world end, is it praying, will those Gods respond? How is that different then our meat brain using a group of sounds to do some self-akido?

Sorry, can't tell you what I added. What if someone reads it, does it and goes lunatic?

Is this forum a cult? "The word cult pejoratively refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered strange". Some of the stuff that is written here sounds strange to me. lol!

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Oh, then I made an error. Then again, maybe I do know something. God works in mysterious ways!

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

So they had formulas and procedures. Hmmm. Smells like science to me. Maybe not the quantum-chemistry good ole F=ma kind, but a type of psychology or exploitation of neural behavior. And, if the next cave on the other side of the mountain could duplicate it or disprove, .... Yeah, science. I wouldn't use it to build an automobile though.

So, these yogis, saints, monks, etc. did and believe all these things. Yet we are destroying our planet, killing its creatures, build unsustainable economic systems, foster consumer cultures where brain rot is the norm. We know it all. Ok.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

David, great points. I agree. I just stress the negatives of Scientism. Yes, it is great. But it is also part of the same animal omnivore breakthrough that humans made. By knowledge, prediction, and control we have made great strides, yes. But, it is still subservient to pure fear and survival.

The antidote is not more science, it is more heart.

What kind of forum software is this? Will posts eventually be one letter columns? Slashdot doesn't have this problem, afaik.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I’ll reply to both you and Charlie under his latest comment.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Just sound vibrations in a limited frequency bandwidth. Interesting modulation of some resonant notes. However, pretty limited, just shifts from frequencies in a very predictable mathematical series. Certainly no microtones from Eastern music or multiharmonics like Australian aborigines or Tibetan throat singers.

Btw, after winning Jeopardy, Watson will be taught to Moon Walk so it can take over Broadway too. Science rules! Doubt everything!


John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I don't think anyone posting here can be labeled as having "this anti-scientific, contemptuous, and basically ignorant and illiterate attitude toward science and rationality". Rather, I think people are just expressing different levels of skeptism. For example, I certainly don't fall into that category. I hold multiple views. I'm great, so I can contradict myself :).

Also, I don't know your training, but in mine I can recognize that science is indeed the greatest achievement of womankind, but also know that it has not given answers that many people require. I know the refrain, but but. That is not the point. It has not. Absolutely not. The big bang answers nothing, there is no TOE, consciousness is still a mystery. Etc. The differential forms, spinors, tensors, and string formulas have not brought us closer yet. The quantum paradoxes are still generating many research papers. And, a surfer almost brought beauty to the whole.

But, that spiritual views are non-provable is nonsense. Perhaps it is just a projection of human neural organization or whatever, religion and similar things, resonate with what many internally intuit (perhaps incorrectly) what their psyche is.

There is no contradiction really. But, you can't lump the bozos with the truly interested and informed. That is so elitist. But, then again, on tm-free you all know what is good for everyone.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I miss the joke. ???

Or was that an attempt to lump everyone who doesn't bow down to the science god a dummy.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

You ever try to have a dialog with a born-again tobacco chewing gun-toting fundamentalist. Not possible. Defenders of Scientism are like that.

It is possible to have dialog between religion/science, smart people do that all the time. There are great books that discuss this.

One thing that is required is respect. Hard to have that on anonymous forums. You can't discuss mysticism with the Dalia Lama if you think he is a fruitcake. (the lama appears to be interested in western science, btw, even a pope was).

Besides, people here are heartbroken over there former love MMY. (couldn't resist).

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Can't reply sequentially.
". . .no microtones from Eastern music or multiharmonics. . ." I take it you were implying my arguments were lacking in subtlety and depth. -predictable cliches. I was attempting to suggest you could look a little beneath the surface and address my content rather than my style.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

David said... "What makes you think it is necessary to tell me that integrity and wisdom is required? Where do you think one gets these qualities and why do you imply that they are absent from the scientific worldview? Watch the whole of "Cosmos" and get back to me."

No thanks, David.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

There is nothing funny about it.

And you will keep my digestive system out of it.

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