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Hindu Economics

And the art of civilisation

Hindu civilisation in India preceded the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome However the further one travels from India, the weaker its influence and modern humanity more corrupted.

The purpose of this paper is to describe the evolution of money, capitalism and its influence on not only Hindu culture, but on global civilisation.

Introduction

The word Hinduism is a misnomer coined by invaders as a derivation on Hindustan reflecting a failure to grasp the significance of the Hindu way of life although it may be more accurate to say that Hinduism is a term given as part of the effort to break the spirit of India by the most recent invaders, the British.

To many India is a mysterious land, it has an ancient and continuous civilization extending back before 30,000 BC and not only does it survive into the present era, Hindu culture is taking root in many other countries. Evidence of early human occupation in India is supported by the archaeological finds of tools dating back more than 3 million years, continuity of existence before and after the Toba eruption around 74,000 BC.

Hindu knowledge, science and technology is also ancient. They had a comprehensive knowledge of our place in the universe, the nature of our solar system, planets and the surrounding galaxies, knowledge that would only be validated by Europeans in the 19th and 20th centuries. In ancient times, Hindus and I use the term Hindu as a geographic reference, influenced the way of life across Eurasia, furthermore the concepts and technology within Sanatana Dharma are present in the archaeological record of the Americas and indeed all the known world. Just a thousand years ago, India was dotted with universities across its length and breadth, where international students flocked to gain credentials in advanced education.

We are still left with many mysteries such as the sameness of the Indus Valley script and Easter island scripts, the fact we have pyramidal structures on all continents. We wonder at the technological achievements of the Egyptian pyramids, Hindu, Mayan and Aztec constructions that are impossible with today's technology. It is as if sometime around 14 or 1500 A.D. all that ancient technology disappeared.

The modern history of India has been totally fabricated mostly by the British who coined the idea of the Aryan invasion because to their minds the 'detestable wogs' weren't capable of developing a civilisation or even having original thoughts although they were extremely quick and thorough in capitalising on Hindu knowledge and technology. When the British first arrived in India even though it had been occupied by the Moslems for almost 1000 years, they systematically set about dismantling the social structure, pitting peoples against each other, crushing education, industry and stripping the wealth of the nation.

Before the British, India was never one nation as we think about nations today, it was a collection of kingdoms underpinned by the current of Sanatana Dharma. Despite being overrun by numerous invaders and domestic squabbles between kingdoms, India did not lose the continuity of its culture and civilization, but improved and grew continuously. Obviously, there were periods of decline, but they are normal to each civilization.

India today is recovering from the British brutality that turned the richest country in the world into one of the poorest and most impoverished. But thanks in part to modern technology the true history of India is being revealed through its ancient texts and archaeological evidence. Before continuing, let's look more deeply into:

Sanatana Dharma.

At some point in time the ancient Hindus began asking why. Why the seasons, climate and environmental changes, why the abundance or shortage of food, what makes me happy and what makes everyone happy and what is human nature?

By asking questions, answers eventually arise and Sanatana Dharma was given a boost around 14,000 years ago by a man known as the first yogi who clarified the technology of being human. He clarified that there are only two directions in life, outwards and inwards, everything else has no basis in absolute reality although our tangible reality is real.

By asking why individually and collectively we have learned that we don't know how our universe began, where we exist within it and what the/our purpose of life is. We generate many ideas and theories about all these things but fundamentally we do not know yet one thing that we do know is that we want to be happy and to be happy we have to be successful.

The most fundamental teachings of Sanatana Dharma are that if we want to be successful and happy, we must live according to certain principles that actually form the basis of many of our laws. The bottom line coined by the Buddhists is that if you are not sure what to do in life, the absolute minimum you can do is to cause no harm.

To put this more simply; 'since we don't know why we are here but we are learning; to be successful we need to ensure the successful continuation of our species who at some point in time may find an answer'. Sanatana Dharma supported by the technologies found within the various forms of yoga is a guide to happiness and a way of sustainable living for all life on earth into a future beyond our imagination. To live a life according to Sanatana Dharma is to live a spiritual life not believing in any thing or isim, but to be aware of the life within and around you.

The evolution of money

We all evolved from tribal cultures where every member of the tribe was valued, some perhaps more than others. Most individuals would have had some basics of understanding and self-discipline to regulate desires and do what was needed to be done for the sake of the community after all, it's much easier to be successful as part of a group unless food and the necessities of life are particularly abundant for the duration of a lifetime.

We know through the archaeological record and to some extent from the written histories that there was some communication and trade across Eurasia, Africa and perhaps to the Americas over the past 40,000 years and across the Middle East probably for much longer. Small bands of travellers exchanged ideas on the basis of goodwill so that when arriving in perhaps a new village or what we would today refer to as a different country, strangers would be welcomed and cared for from a natural sense of compassion and a curiosity about what could be learned or shared.

This raises the question of language. Some historians and researchers reckon that 10,000 years ago people's vocabulary was limited to some 200 words which seems erroneous because studies of the Sami languages of Norway, Sweden and Finland have anywhere from 180 snow and ice related words with as many as 300 different words for types of snow, tracks in snow, and conditions of the use of snow. So one would expect there would have been words for the seasons, words for tools and tool making, housebuilding, edible things et cetera.

It's thought that the modern language of Sanskrit emerged around 8000 BC and became the basis of all modern languages indicating transmission across the world. Along with the transmission of Sanskrit, Sanatana Dharma had a stronger influence across all of Asia at a time when Europeans were emerging from the Stone Age. The temple iconography from Java to Japan and Korea are Hindu as are the great temples of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

Money, the root of all evil

For many of our so-called primitive ancestors life was about sharing and the joy acquired through giving and receiving. It was also about achieving happiness through success and food gathering, pleasant relationships and perpetuating one's genetics.

During periods of perhaps complacency there may have been a reduced sensitivity after all we are emotive creatures often affected by the behaviour of others as well as other external and internal phenomenon whereby the value of humane exchange was diminished which led to bartering within groups. This would have expanded to between groups as the distinctions between us and them evolved, a degree of separation.

Perhaps we have a longish period of many thousands of years during which trade evolved, the increased use of horses and other pack or riding animals, the first use of metals and manufactured goods with a perceived higher value. We see the introduction of seals in the Indus Valley believed to signify value tokens and the first coins around 3000 BC in Persia which was a hub for East-West trade.

Another factor in the evolution of money was the replacement of matriarchy with patriarchy, the reverence and respect for the feminine in all its forms that gives rise to all life fell to the masculine that seeks to dominate and control life. Perhaps in some ancient time men's souls were appeased when they bowed down to the Divine feminine but then along comes money and instead of resolving his grievance, the man turns his attention to getting money and getting things he wants in life (consolation by financial reward) opening a new chapter in human suffering.

So far in this story the idea of money and the values of goods is still little abstract and the greater population would have been penniless and required no form of money although they would have required the goodwill of those they lived amongst. The IVC is thought to have had a population of some 5 million people leading to speculation that the Indian subcontinent may have had many times that population around 2000 BC.

The idea of money and it really is only an idea without any substantive independent value may have only been a token record in the beginning between producers. But tongues wag creating curiosity (advertising), demand and middlemen who discover that money equates to power and increasingly fantastic desires that we see in the world today where the 20 richest individuals are accounted as having the equipment wealth to the poorer half of the entire human population. In perspective that's 20 people having the equivalent wealth to 360 billion people.

So while money at face value is completely valueless and worthless, we agree to give it value and it has become an essential commodity in daily life even though it is only an idea. Yet that idea is uppermost in many peoples minds and in the modern world one cannot live without it.

The ancient Indian economy as in most places in the world functioned nearer to human values where praise was reward enough and people did what needed to be done out of a genuine emotive concern for individuals and the welfare of the community. The most basic and deeply rewarding payment is the joy of doing what needs doing to improve the welfare of another. The idea of money circumvents this and damages the soul.

Structuring wealth in early India

The basic premise shared by all parents is a need to invest in the welfare and education of the next generations. This premise has been around since time immemorial and is shared by all life on earth because there is no living thing that does not invest heavily in the next generation. A modern exception to this are the corporations and political administrators who in-debt youth and cause widespread impoverishment in the world.

Part of the Hindu investment in the future is to create a comfortable and sustainable standard of living with the temple as a community centre in which people could go any time to re-energise themselves. The Hindu temple was never a place for prayer, there were places of spiritual power and adjacent to the temple were spaces for learning.

As such the people who produced food and goods would give them to the temples in part to sustain the temple and priesthood, and in part to support the teachers. It is thought that rote learning developed in India and this method was used to transmit the sacred and technological books of ancient India into the modern era. It is still used today complimenting the great volumes of texts that remain exceedingly relevant. They carry not only a chronology of Hindu history, they are encoded with the technology of being human, astronomy and physical sciences.

The people give to the temples that
provide spiritual needs
The kings collect taxes
protect the realm and means of livelihood

Having the temple as a community focal point supporting all life in the region is a basis for a stable and healthy lifestyle. The ancient books comprise more information than any one person can comprehend but the spiritual community around the temple was there to advise on adverse climatic changes, provide medicines and distribute aid as needed.

In terms of social structure with the temple-community life, there were the priests who maintained the integrity of the temple and supported the people in bettering themselves. On the other hand there is a social structure referred to as Varna. This is simply a natural division of labour according to aptitude and was very flexible in ancient times. (Caste is a British invention to create social upset.)

At the top of the social heap there is generally an authority figure as in any tribal culture. Some of these kings had great wealth and enjoyed the finest trappings in life but while some lived a self-centred lifestyle others practised humility and went to great lengths to protect the realm and serve their people.

Outside of King and court, the warrior class was charged with protecting Sanatana Dharma or the way of life of the people. In the era before money those that produced food and tangible goods would have been more important in social function than those who swept the streets although in the temple all would have been equal.

After the arrival of money and a hefty increase in population, the traders became more prominent and social life more complex. Vested interests in different powers and controls formed as the first corporates which are groups of people cooperating to increase personal wealth and influence as opposed to kingdoms and countries where everyone cooperates in the national best interest, and also with one's neighbours.

Taxation

As far as is known there have never been any taxes on production (income tax) in India. All taxes were on consumption typically with the Kings or political administrators taxing imports thereby supporting local producers.

Modernisation

Over the centuries we have the lawbook of Manu. No one seems to be quite sure when he lived but he speaks of money and taxes so therefore he came sometime after the advent of money, perhaps at or near the end of the Indus Valley era?

Today money is essential for life, the only thing the corporations don't control is the air we breathe but even that is heavily polluted. For everything else, food, water, shelter and protection from man-made phobias, we all need money. Money itself has become a commodity and subject to market manipulation meaning the money we have today could be worth less tomorrow depending on the behaviour of some unknown in the marketplace.

Crypto currencies have emerged and this is exchanging one idea for another idea that really is no better because its subject to market forces and the dictates of governments should they choose to exercise some control.

In addition everyone is taxed on their production and its quite common to have taxes on top of taxes, in other words we can be double or triple taxed on some purchases and that money goes into the government coffers to beef spend sometimes in the public interest and sometimes on flights of fantasy in which the people being taxed have no say in these they can amass a collective voice which is becoming increasingly harder as we are manipulated into believing increasingly more nonsense.

In conclusion

The ancient Hindus have understood the nature of existence and shared it freely with the world yet this ancient knowledge and the wisdom stemming from it has been corrupted by money and greed which has caused a degradation of the human psyche. Even though our earth is set to continue for another 4 billion years, based on the current trend all life on earth could be extinct within the next hundred years or so representing the grandest failure possible for humanity.

Without money of course what we think of our civilisation would probably tear itself apart as people grasp for stuff and pieces of the planet, a actual impossibility because it's not in anyone's nature. This combination of patriarchy and economics is destroying us and it can be stopped but only if everyone takes responsibility.

We clearly can't do without money, but we can modify our lifestyle to consume less and produce more. We can share our produce with our neighbours and cooperate to a certain extent but what is really needed is the transformation of our education system so that children learn the truth of history, and potential of being human instead of just learning about greed, manipulation and coercion along with a few tools about how to stay alive.

The technology of temple building has almost died out in India, this art needs to be revived not only in India, but in all corners of the world, and people above all need to be educated to know the real from the unreal enabling them to dispense with beliefs.

We must remember that the British corporations exploited India depriving it of its wealth and means of sustenance and this economic/corporate life dominates all life on earth forcing India to in a sense capitulate more fully yet a part of India enjoys that timelessness as do those who explore their internal universe and bring forth that joy from within. What sort of world do you want to live in?

Footnote:
This is a response to a paper titled The Hindu Economic System published by Andreea Grădinaru, Alexandru Ioan Cuza and Mihaela Iavorschi from the University of Iasi, Romania

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