Did Russians Hack Buddhism in the 5th Century BCE? Here’s the deal…

IMG_1559NO, this is not click-bait; this is Buddhism, and I’m dead serious. OKAY, so maybe they weren’t Russians exactly, and MAYBE I have a lively imagination, and am an excitable boy from way back, AND you can’t just talk casually about the ‘Aryan invasion’ of India way back when, ever since Hitler crapped on us all with his inimitable armies, half-empty promises and his half-baked theories, BUT there is an element of truth to his Aryan (c)rap…

Hitler just never did his homework really, all bark and no wood, jumping to conclusions and tilting at windmills, and absolutely no desire to make amends with his lessers of men. But now we have genomic research, which lends a strong measure of empirical (not imperial) truth to what used to be wild speculation, whether it be eye-witness testimony clouded by memory, or no-witness history clouded by time… 

The irony is that there most probably was a massive intrusion into India, despite the ‘local Aryans only’ theories propagated by Indian nationalists, and this intrusion by distinct northerners, i.e. Aryans, lording it all over local southerners, though not-exactly lessers, descendants of Harappa, i.e. Dravidians, etc., but that Indo-Aryan language much closer to Slavic than it ever was to German, except maybe way back when on the Pontic Steppes, in the days of Yamana culture, pre-sramana, before the Euro homeboys ever thought about making beakers, or stone-ware with ‘cords’…

…and long before the eastern outliers ever thought about raising cows on endless high plains. But that’s exactly what these Aryan interlopers apparently did, they forever the space cowboys, drinking soma and dreaming of dharma, driving spoked-wheel chariots where few men had ever dreamed of traversing even by foot, hoarding the herds and hording with horses, drinking lots of milk, and often as not interbreeding with the dark-skinned locals, something about war booty…

AND modern genome research seems to bear this out, that the predominant y-DNA (male-descended) haplogroup in northern India to this present day is very close to the modern Russian, both R1a, NOT I-haplogroup ‘Germanic’, found in the far Nordic north, modern Germany itself one of the more mixed of genomes, and as much ‘Celtic’ or ‘Slavic’ as ‘Germanic’, ditto Iceland, so go figure, Hitler…

But the mt-DNA (mitochondrial, from the female descent) tells a bit different story, and for that matter India is still predominantly ‘Dravidian’, though Germany is still all mixed up, as mt-DNA haplogroups tend to be, for reasons of the selective breeding of history. But that’s another story. The point here is that those original northern dark-skinned ‘Dravidian’ Indians likely contributed much of what we consider most Buddhist—meditation—which it took the ‘Aryans’ some 500-1000 years to truly appreciate…

By that time they probably weren’t so white, though, and in danger of losing the special privileges of their Brahmin status. Vedic horse sacrifices and fire ceremonies were becoming old hat by then, and so were chariots and cows—mmmooo! Enter the caste system to put the fix in, and rebirth and karma to ‘prove’ it—how convenient!!! And this all started before 1000BCE, and articulated in the Upanishads, so looong before the Buddha, and with only two varnas–colors–in the caste system at the beginning, Aryan and Dasa, nobles and slaves, light and dark, and all a product of karma, supposedly, depending on whom you ask…

Rebirth serves as the Asian analogy to Heaven and Hell—though Aryans maybe brought that, too—something to scare the living beshiva out of you, so the peasants just love that sh*t, submission to superstition, plenty of reasons for failure so why bother with success, and now you’ve got an immediate greatest hit in the category of fad religion, and it still plays well today, justification for present misery and at least some hope for the future, if you get lucky—win-win!

The only problem, of course, is that it really has no basis in fact, or original Buddhism, and the inherent racism is perfectly obvious to anyone with eyes in the front of their head. The Hindu repercussions are legendary, but even Buddhist texts talk of ‘noble birth’ and how lucky women might be reborn as men. Ahem. At least not all Buddhists believe this, so that puts us one step ahead of the Hindus, but more needs to be done…

And most believing Buddhists can only justify it with reports that Buddha saw his past lives before his final demise into Parinirvana. So we should take the final delirium of our greatest Prophet as evidence for doctrine? Ahem. The Four Noble Truths say nothing of it, nor the Eight-fold Path, and pratitya samutpada (Dependent Arising) has many interpretations…

So rebirth is at the least a sort of child psychology to keep us in line for the present time, though at its worst it’s racism of the most brutal intractable sort, imposed by the Aryan-descended Brahmins who had most to gain from it. I like to think of it in its best light as a folk traditional belief retro-fitted into a new wave of religion–Buddhism–but I’m not sure. It was probably a combination of all three. Or it could have just been another fad like the popularity of this so-called ‘Present Moment’ now… 

Just like Capra and Chopra’s ‘quantum this’ and ‘quantum that’ a few years ago, so was ‘past lives’ and ‘rebirth’ way back when, gotta’ have it to keep up with the Jains and the Hindus. So can we finally lose the karmic prohibitions, and Sunday-school superstitions? It’s time. But it’s ironic that Indian nationalists want Aryan glory all to themselves, when in fact it wasn’t so glorious after all, technology yes, chariots and horses, but the Dravidians had meditation and yoga, so you gotta’ love that. That’s bedrock of my Buddhism, not karma and rebirth…