This month the Hindus celebrate two of their main festivals: Dashahra and Diwali. The Buddhists celebrate Vijayadashmi and Deepdan-utsava respectively on the same days. The Brahmanist scholars claim that on the day of Dussehra, Rama, one of their Avatars, had assassinated the King Ravana who had abducted his wife Sita. As per the legend, Shrupnakha, sister of King Ravana had made an offer of marriage to Ram and Laxman. In ultimate response, the duo cut her nose, ears, and the breasts. (lPphjkek;.k 37) In retaliation, the King took away Sita and kept her in ‘safe custody’ in Ashokavan. They claim that on the day of Dussehra the ‘evil’ Ravana was defeated by the ‘good’ Ram.
I make no comments as to who was good or evil. I leave it to the prudence of the wise readers.
The Hindus also claim that after 20 days of assassination, the trio returned to Ayodhya after completing punishment of exile of 14 years. Hence the people of Ayodhya lit lamps to express their joy.
I have been a student of Law and also a lay disciple of the Buddha. Both of them command that nothing should be accepted as truth unless and until reliable evidence is produced in support of the claim. All courts of the world act upon this principle. Hence let us examine the evidence available.
The first claim of the Brahmanists/Hindus:
They have one epic namely Ramayana written by Sage Valmiki. It is generally believed and accepted that Ramayana is the first book on the story of Ram-Ravana. Its Balkand contains the full episode of imposing a punishment of 14 years exile on Ram. Sumantra (an all in one: Minister, driver, cook, servant) of Dashrathvouched: it is the pleasant month of Chaitra and that Bharata too is out of Ayodhya so it is an appropriate time to do coronation of Ram. Dashrath readily accepted the proposal. When preparations were in full swing, Kakeyi them other of Bharat and the 3rd wife of Dashrath came to know of their secret plan.
Rama was fully aware of the fact that he was not legal heir to the throne as his father had married Kakeyi on the pre-condition that only a son born out of the womb of Kakeyi would occupy the throne. (Balkand-107) Naturally, Kakeyi got furious over this plan of Dashrath and Rama who were conspiring to deprive her son of his legitimate right. Hence she demanded punishment of 14 years exile for Rama. The very next day Rama was exiled.
The Balkanda does not mention the day of the month of Chaitra when Rama was exiled. However, Yudhkanda (Chapter on battle-127) says that Rama came back on 6th Day of the month. Here it is appropriate to mention that Bharat son of Kakeyi and legitimate heir to the throne had vowed to end his life if Rama delayed his return even by a single day. Hence, analyzing these facts, Rama was exiled on 6th day of Chaitra and he returned only on 6th day of Chaitra after 14 years. As per the story, Rama assassinated King Ravana 20 days prior to his return. If we deduct 20 days from 6thChaitra, it comes 16thday of Phalguna month.
The months of Phalgun and Chaitra always correspondence to the period of February to April whereas Dussehra and Diwali are always celebrated in the months of Ashwin and Kartik i.e. September and October.
Moreover, the 16th day of lunar month is always a day after Amavasya (no moon night) whereas Dussehra is always celebrated on 10th day!! In no way, the next day after amavasya could be the 10th day of the month. Even in Georgian calendar 10th day can never happen on the 16th day of the month!! Thus the events of exile, assassination, and return occurred in the months of March April only.
Is it not the largest fraud by which 50 crore Hindus are made to believe that the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali held in September-October are connected wit the murder of King Ravana and thereafter return of Rama in March-April? Sadly, all Brahmanists; right from the Radhakrishanan like scholars to roadside fortune teller conspire to make fool of the Hindus!!
Thus the Brahmanic festival of Dussehra is baseless, bogus and fraud with the public.
So far as the claim of burning lamps due to return of Rama is concerned, the Yudhkanda (130) contains the episode of Rama’s return to Ayodhya. It nowhere mentions even the slightest enthusiasm in the public due to Rama’s return. Not a single person went to receive the trio, what to talk of burning of lamps in joy!! Ultimately Shtrughan (the youngest stepbrother of Rama) had to issue decree that the Minister should carry Brahmins and the Ganikas (prostitutes) to receive the trio.
Not only the Yudhkanda, but also the whole of the Ramayana does not contain a single occasion, say birth marriage etc of Rama, when public ever lit a single lamp to commemorate the event related to Rama. It appears the custom of burning of lamps to express joy was not a part of Aryan life.
The burning of lamps for his return is simply a concocted claim!! Perhaps it will be most appropriate to echo one of the dialogues of an ad : No Uloobanaying!! Don’t make fool of us.
At some places like Bengal, the people worship “Goddess of Power” (Durga, Chandi, Kali, Chamunda, Vaishnoetc) on the day of Dussehra as they claim/believe that on this day their goddess assassinated Mahishasur or Rakatbeej or such other Asuras. One story says that whenever drops of Rakatbeej’s blood touched the earth, anew soldier grew up from each droplet. Hence one of the goddesses drank whole of the blood from his severed neck before even a single drop could ooze out!! Hence, at some places, the devotees (shaakat) build cutouts of their goddesses sipping blood from the severed neck as we sip juice thru a straw.
So far as this event is concerned none claims that Dussehra got started due to such heinous sipping of blood by their Devis. All Hindus relate it with the assassination of Ravana.
Dr Ambedkar commented (Writings and SpeechesVol-III) that it is strange that the Brahmins sidelined their male gods and brought forth their female counterparts to fight against the Asuras. Another strange point is that the Brahmins have three main Gods ; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv but they coined stories that these goddesses are married to Shiv only who is a god of Shudras. He found it a riddle as to why did Brahmins do so. I think the Brahmins have done so with an ulterior motive that the Shudras should get a message that the killers of their heroes have been ladies of their god. Hence they should accept the murders as legitimate godly action and should not raise any voice of protest against the heinous murders. Undoubtedly they succeeded in their designs.
So far as calling these women as “Goddess” is concerned, Guru Granth Sahib (P. 871) gives the most appropriate answer. It says “Shaakatki uhpindpayan, hamaridrishtipadetrikhdayan” i.e. she is body and soul of the shaakat (devotee of goddess of power) but in our view she is a bloody witch.
The cutouts of these blood sipping Devis, displayed in Puja-pandals prove the words of the GGSto be true.It is otherwise very shocking that the peace-loving Hindus celebrate the events of murders or blood sipping as their festivals!!
This point is also worth mentioning here that the murder of the King Ravana was planned much before the birth of Sita. (Balkand 15) Abduction or no abduction, King Ravana was going to be finished by all means like the story of The Wolf and the Lamb. Rama was specifically produced for this specific purpose. (ibid)
The above said is what is mentioned in the mythology. Now let’s examine what history points out about these festivals.
The first book available on history of India is “Indika” written by Megasthenese, the Greek ambassador in the court of Emperor ChandergupatMaurya. He writes that Brahmins came to India under the leadership of Divodasabout 2 centuries before the Buddha. They settled near Indicus (a hilly area in Afghanistan), then border of India.They came to plains but could not bear the heat. Hence they settled their colonies in the foothills of the Himalayas. A few of them reached up toKapilvastu also.
Alexander conquered this area and appointed Saluecus as Governor of the area. When Emperor CGM defeated Saluecus, he married his daughter to the Emperor and donated this Brahmin colonyas dowry to the couple. Thereafter, the Brahmins entered India with impunity. The result was astounding one. The Buddha encountered only 2-3 bloody yags in his 45 years Dhamma-prachar stintbut after the dowry event the spread of Brahmins and their bloody yags was so fast that Emperor Ashoka had to issue decrees specifically banning slaughters in the yags!!
As far as festivals are concerned, Megasthenese wrote that Beas was considered as sacred river and people used to take holy dip on the full moon day. He also mentioned Ganga and Jamuna rivers but he did not mention them as sacred. Also he mentioned no pilgrimage on their banks. The Buddhist and Jain monks were given respect in the society. Only name of any religious personality he mentioned is that of the Buddha. He did not mention anything like Dussehra Diwali Vijayadashmi or Deepdanotsava. Hence it is presumed that no such festival had startedby that time.
Next books available on Indian history are the travel records of the Buddhist monks of China who visited India from 399 CE to 695 CE. First came Bhante Fahiyan (399-414 CE) then came Bhante Huen Tsang (629-645 CE) then came Bhante Itsing (671-695 CE).
They all visited each nook and corner of India but none mentioned any festival like Dussehra or Diwali been celebrated by the Brahmanists. They did mention in detail the grand celebrations made on the 10th day of Ashwin and gifting of lamps to the Buddha Viharas (Bhikkus) by the general public. So it is evident that till 700 AD no Brahmanic Dussehra nor Diwali had taken birth.
In 1000 CE came Al-Baruni, a real historian who travelled throughout India and wrote in great detail each and every habit of the Indians in his book Kitab-ul-Hind. He went to the extent of writing that Indians seek permission not to enter the house of known fellow but while leaving the house. And that when a boy is born, it is the husband who is given nourishment and not the wife who gave birth!!
He mentioned as many as 32 festivals which Indians used to celebrate. Surprisingly Dussehra does not find a place in the list. Dipawali is mentioned but reason is an astonishing one. People lit lamps on the night of Amavasya (no moon night) of Kartik (Oct/Nov) because on that day Emperor Bali escaped from the prison of the Devas. People lit lamps not only on their homes but also on the road-crossings so that the Emperor could see the path to his palace or a house of any of his subject!!
Thus by that time, the burning of the lamps had not been concocted with the arrival of Rama. And burning of effigies of King Ravana and his family members too had not started by that time.
It will not be out of context to mention here that King Bali was great grandson of King Harinyakashap and son of Bhante Virochan. The Buddhist literature mentions Bhante Virochan as an Arhataandgreat scholar of Dhamma. King Bali followed path of his sage father. Even today laity of India sing prayers on the day of Dipawali requesting King Bali to return to his empire and do justice to all. Thus till 1000 CE, burning of lamps on Diwali day had related with Buddhist tradition only.
About 500 years later came the Mughals. Babar wrote Babarnama. He made no mention of Dussehra or Diwali or Vijayadashmi. Yes, he did mention a tradition performed by females on the evening of Kartikamavasya (no moon night of Oct/Nov month). The ladies used to lit lamps under the Peepul (banyan) tree. Needless to mention here what relation Peepul tree has withBuddhism. It is as sacred to them as cow is to the Hindus.
Thereafter, his grandson Akbar wrote Akbarnama. He mentioned in detail playing Holi but made no mention of Dussehra or Diwali or Vijayadashmi. He enjoyed Holi not for religious fervour but just to enjoy the company of the gopis.
Only when Tulsi wrote Ramcharit in Hindi dialect, Rama gained popularity among the masses. It was just like Dr Ambedkar gained popularity after Sahib Kanshiramfounded DS4 and BSP in 1980s. History bears evidence to the fact that the Brahmans of Varanasi did not allow Tulsi to sit on the banks of the Ganga river and write his poem in Hindi. He had to seek asylum in a Mosque and write Ramcharit there. Even food too was provided by the Muslims to him during his stay there.
In 1625 one Meghbhagat, a disciple of Tulsi wrote the drama which is now played as Ramlila. In that drama, the event of the burning of lamps on Rama’s return was inserted. Sadly, in the initial times, the actors were sacrificed in the name of the deity whose role one performed. However, later on, this custom was discontinued. (India and Its Inhabitants P. 285)
When the European scholars came to India, they were amazed to see strange customs and festivals of India. They wrote extensively with minute details of the rituals performed in celebrating these festivals. The book written in 1854 mentions playing of Ramlila but not burning of effigies i.e. Dussehra. The book written in 1904, for the first time, mentioned burning of effigies fitted with crackers.
Here this point is worth noting that in 1925 RSSS was founded. Hence there is every possibility that those who started burning of effigies, had founded the RSSS.
Thus the Dussehra is just a century old festival. The Diwali has no link, whatsoever, with the story of Rama of theso-called Dwaparage. The dates mentioned in Ramayana very explicitly establish this fact.
Let us now examine the evidence available in Buddhist literature.
Baba Sahib Dr Ambedkar, the most brilliant scholar of Buddhsim, regained refuge in Buddhism on the day of Vijayadashmi. While explaining why did he choose this particular day, he stated that on this day of Vijayadashmi, Emperor Ashoka had formally adopted Buddhism and solemnly affirmed to spread the message of humanity as taught by the Buddha.Hence he chose the same auspicious day for home-coming i.e. adopting path shown by the Buddha.
If we go by the history, the Edicts engraved by the Emperor on rocks and pillars, are evidence to the fact that the festival of Vijayadashmi was initiated by him. Rock Edict (8) states (also mentioned by Megasthenese in Indika) earlier the Kings used to go out for hunting or on luxurious tours. Now I discontinue that practice. Henceforth, I shall proceed on Dhamma journey.
Every fourth year, after celebrating the anniversary of his adopting the Buddhism, he would set out for Dhamma journey i.e. moving out of the palace and meeting general public and Bhikkus and listening to their experiences of Dhamma. Gradually this custom became an annual function and spread to the whole of the Buddhist world.
When Bhante Fahian started his journey in 399 CE, for the land of the Buddha, he found this festival being celebrated with great enthusiasm in Khotan itself, a famous province of China. Right from Khotan to Madras and from Sindh to Bengal, he found this festival being celebrated on the day of Vijayadashmi i.e. 10th day of Ashwin month.
While giving details of the festival he writes that almost in every big city a Rath-yatra is performed. (RathYatra = A procession in which devotees place idols of their Heroes on chariots and pull them thru the streets). At different places the festival continued for a different period ranging from 3 days to 30 days. In Khotan it was celebrated for a week, in Patliputra for 3 days and in Mathura, Jallandhar etc places for a month.
The grandest function was held at Palimbuddha (in SanskritPatliputra, now Patna). It was known as Capital of Dhamma like Vatican. The Chinese Bhikkus wrote that on the 8th day of Aswin month the procession used to start from the Vihara where the Emperor had been solemnized in Dhamma. The main chariot had a 30-40 feet wide square base. A 70 feet high and seven storey Vihara of the bamboos was built over it. At the top storey three idols were placed, one each representing the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha. The idol of the Sangha was placed in the shape of a Boddhistava as it was the endeavour of every Bhikku to achieve the stage of Boddhistava. The idol of the Dhamma was placed in the shape of a woman because it is the mother who initiates the child on the path of morality.Many more chariots were also built by different Viharas.
On the start of the function, the Emperor, Ministers and family members would reach the DeekshaVihara. They would take off their crowns and jewelry outside the Vihara and enter it like a common man. They would draw the chariot out of the Vihara and hand it over to the public. Thereafter, the public would pull it to the main Vihara, singing and dancing thru the streets. For three days people would assemble in the main Vihara where Bhikkus would arrive from all over the world. Discussions used to be held and the Bhikkus would answer the queries. After 3 days i.e. on the 10th day of the month, the chariot was pulled back to the Deeksha Vihara. This chariot was called the “Vimana”
This practice was in vogue even during 7th century when other Bhantes visited India.
The Bhikkus used to stay at main centers/cities till the comingAmavasya (no moon night) after Vijayadashmi. They used to discuss their experiences with the gathering of the Bhikkus. Next day after the Amavasya, the Varshavasa was deemed to be over. That day the Bhikkus used to formally leave the place of their stay and start wandering again. (In India during rainy season, all the rivers were flooded. During Buddha’s times there were no metalled roads. Hence he had directed all the Bhikkus to stop wandering for 4 months and stay at one Vihara. This four months period is called Varshavasa.)On that day people used to donate lamps in the Viharas and it was called Deepdan-utsava i.e. Festival of Gifting Lamps.
Chinese Bhantes wrote that the lamps donated by the laity were such that their flame would not put out by the wind or rain. Prima facie, it would appear to be a false tall claim as no glass covers were used in those days. BUT we Indians have always been expert in making wonderful objects. See the Ashoka-pillar built of pure iron, standing opposite the Qutub Minar in Delhi. Rust has failed to touch it though it has been standing for 2300 years in rain, sun and dust!!
So the people of India designed a lamp that would keep burning even in rain and wind. It is called “Ghudla”. Even today, it is sold with the earthen lamps at the time of Diwali/Deepdan-utsava..Surprisingly, the Brahmanists spared Ghudla from tagging any of their fables.Ghudla is made in the shape of a Satupa with one side opening. A burning diya/lamp can placed there safe from wind and water.
As per ancient Buddhist literature, Emperor Ashoka too gifted such lamps to the Bhikkus/Viharas. Though the Brahmanists completely uprooted Buddhism from India, the custom of gifting lamps continued in two ways. First one in the shape of Ghudla. Even today people do purchase a Ghudla. As no Vihara exist, they gift it to the female children. (Notable point : Female representedDhamma in Rath-yatra). Almost in every house the lighting begins afterburning of lamps in the Ghudla. First of all, people pay reverence before it and then lit other lamps.This is the same practice as our Buddhist forefathers used to observe in ancient times.
The second custom is visible in the shape of burning of lamps in ruins or open ground. When Sankar razed BuddhistViharas in 800 CE, people used to go there, arrange a few bricks and lit lamps over them. Today people go out in open ground, collect a few bricks, arrange them in the shape of a wall/room and lit lamps over them. They sit there silently. The long time of 12 centuries has erased from their memories the actual purpose of lighting the lamps. Earlier they used to pray for the restoration of the Vihara, now they pray for their own house.But they follow their ancestors’ custom!!
Thus the festivals of Vijayadashmi and Deepdan-Utsava are purely Buddhist festivals. As the Brahmanists have concocted a story of Vishnu (the rapist of Ma Vrinda) taking avatar as Buddha, so have they concocted stories about these festivals also. There is one filmy song:“Kapdahaidesi, muharlagi Japan ki, Jai Bolo Beyimanki.” i.e. the cloth is Indian but the cheats have fixed stamp of Made in Japan over it. Similarly, the beyimans have put theirs stamp over the Buddhist festivals.
Before closing my submissions, I would like to make another revelation about the Beyimans who distorted name of the Buddhist Emperor. The full name of the Emperor is “Devaam-nampiya Piyadassi Ashoka”. Throughout the whole worl, this is the Rule of Grammar that proper name cannot be translated. But while translating his Edicts, the Beyiman scholars translated, also the name of the Emperor!! First they Sanskaritized it as DevanaamPriyaPriyadarshi Ashok, then they translated it as Beloved of gods Ashok.
Thus the Beyimans fixed their stamp of gods over the most rational King of the world. He is the only Ruler who could dare uproot the religious place where the priests of his own religion have made a concocted claim about the Buddha. There is one SankasiyaVihara. The monks of the Vihara spread a concocted story that the Buddha descended from the heaven thru a stair. On reaching the Earth, the stair submerged in the ground of the Vihara and a few steps were visible. The rationalist Emperor did not like such lies. So he ordered to dig out the full stair. Only a few more steps were found.
And the Beyimans translate his name as Beloved of gods!! Whereas the Dhamma he followed does not believe in any God or gods. Being a Buddhist, such acts of cheating hurt me to the core of my heart. I have no malice against anyone but when Beyimans put their stamp over my forefather, it is my pious obligation, as a true son, to put an end to the stamp itself.
Author – Kuldip Kumar