We speak to Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) regarding UP politics and the recent appointment of Yogi Adityanath as the CM of Uttar Pradesh, and he explains his viewpoints in detail. Dr. David Frawley is a western born teacher and guru in the Vedic tradition. In Bharat, Sh. Vamadeva is recognized as a Vedacharya (Vedic teacher), and includes in his unusual wide scope of studies Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedanta and Vedic astrology, as well as the ancient Vedic teachings going back to the oldest Rigveda. Sh. Vamadeva is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, one of the highest civilian awards granted by the government of Bharat, “for distinguished service of a higher order to the nation,” honoring his work and writings as a Vedic teacher, which he received in March 2015. He has a rare and prestigious D. Litt. (Doctor of Letters), the highest educational title possible in the field of Yoga and Vedic sciences, from SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana), the only deemed Yoga university recognized by the Government of Bharat. He is one of the most senior authorities on Vedic teachings, Astrology and Ayurveda today. We thank Vamadeva ji for speaking to us.
Listen to his viewpoints :
Below is the transcript mentioning the key points expressed by Dr. Frawley :
–Namaskar sir, thank you for speaking to us. The UP election verdict has come out and there has been a lot of noise around it. Sir, I wanted your opinion on it since a lot of people (even from so called right wing) have expressed concern on appointment of CM, and the ground reports suggest that the local UP cadre strongly wanted/projected him as CM. What do you think about this decision sir?
Vamadeva ji –
- You are speaking of Yogi Adityanath, the main thing is, you have to give him time to do his work and see what he is going to do.
- You know in Bharat, many of political leaders have even had criminal records, even chief ministers for that matter. For ex – there was this chief minister of Bihar who got convicted, then propped up his wife as incharge of the state.
- Certainly there have been worst political manipulations of government positions.
- There are a couple of questions that have arised here, one is if it is suitable for a yogi or head of a muth to be a chief minister… I’ll try to address the issue both from Hindu and secular sides..
- From the Hindu side, there is no restriction for a sanyasi wanting to do a work of benefit for the society.
- We have to understand the role of sanyasans, there’s the famous Swami Vidyaranya, who help start the Vijayanagara empire. He set up the two kings who eventually started and headed that particular empire.
- We also have a long history of the connection of spiritual figures and influence on the society. And in Bharat itself, we have of course the figure of Mahatma Gandhi as Father of the Nation, who wore the dress of a sadhu, he had a religious authority, though he never took on a political job, but then his picture is on your money! So, there is a recognition that spiritual teachers can have an influence on the society and be honored as the father even of the nation.
- The question is, if it is wrong for Yogi Adityanath to be an actual Chief Minister. Even though his influence as Chief Minister is going to be less than that of Mahatma Gandhi as a non-political politician!
- Now, relative to the secular society, you have a secular society founded by a sadhu Mahatma Gandhi. Secularism in Bharat is not really secular as it is in western sense of the word. But we have had quite a role in west too, of various religious and semi-religious figures having an influence on the government, generally not in a position of power directly. We have to understand that the Hindu sanyasi is not a priest and he cannot be equated with the western religious leaders.
–Sir, there’s a query here, the term ‘sanyasi’ means the one who has renounced the family and relations, that’s it, is it?
Vamadeva ji –
- Many sanyasans were involved in the Bhartiya Independence movement also. And the interesting thing is, that Yogi Adityanath comes from Gorakhpur, Gorakhnath tradition and Nath Yogis, that gave us Hatha Yoga, siddha Yoga and were very much warrior yogis. They were very much involved in the defense of temples and holy sites in Bharat during the periods of foreign invasion and unrest. So, there’s nothing in the Hindu side that says that a sanyasi cannot be involved in such a position.
- The other point is that, there’s so much corruption in UP, so to have a CM who doesn’t have to represent a family, who is outside of a particular caste, who is not a part of this whole money based thing, is important.
- And then, you have Maulana Azad in Bharat who was the first Education Minister for 12 years! He was trained as a Mulla / Maulana.
- So we cannot just simply say on religious grounds that such a person should not be allowed a position of power.
- If we can tolerate Lalu rasad Yadav as a Chief Minister and even defend him for so many years, which the media did… even when his corruption was well known… then we should give someone like Yogi Adityanath a chance particulary in UP..
- Another question that comes up is, causing communal disturbances…
–… that Yogi has always retaliated verbally, in terms of verbal speech, whenever provoked…
Vamadeva Ji –
- We have to see at what stage he is speaking, relative to a particular issue.. There are definitely big problems in the state of UP. And there’s also been infiltration by ISI, Islamic State groups, terrorist groups, there has also been propagation of Wahabbi form of Islam. We need to give Yogi a chance.
- Communalism should not be allowed but that doesn’t mean that certain communities cannot be criticized or held accountable for their particular actions. And even the Islamic community in Bharat has been struggling with the Saudi and Wahabbi influence, see in Kerala.
- Even the majority community has human rights, not only minority communities. Even minorities can perpetrate violence. There need to be human rights for all.
- Also, there was a very bad human rights, communal & law and order record under previous UP government. The people who lost election were on the downward side of law & order.
- And BJP has got such a majority, they have a right to put their own people in there. If the other side had won three-quarters mandate, no one would be doubting their right to put someone like Lalu Prasad Yadav..
–Sir, news is doing the rounds that Illegal slaughterhouses are being shut in UP…
Vamadeva ji –
- We found out, and in fact most of the slaughterhouses in UP are illegal. Something that is illegal would also be unhygienic. So illegal slaughterhouses should be shut down. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that..
- The previous government has let them go on for years, and it should be them who should be blamed for having done that. Now naturally, if they have been free to operate for years, they will be upset when law takes its course. Its the same like black money. The illegal slaughterhouses are also products of black money and they also promote black money. We don’t know where all that black money goes.. so legal ones shouldn’t be a problem.
–Sir, don’t you think there is a general prejudice against people who wear saffron robes..I mean, all that the people want from them is ‘retire to the forest’. How do we address this, doesn’t the Dharma evolves / changes with the situations? Could you explain a bit …
Vamadeva ji –
- Yes, the sanyasans also have certain responsibility towards the society, to teach , help people and other things..
- And there’s a kind of demonization of saffron in Bharat, we can compare the treatment of Yogi Adityanath with Afzal Guru, who was a convicted terrorist, yet the media was much softer on him. Or this Burhan Wani, these were people involved in killing other people and these often have their religious backgrounds. So, there is an unfair negativity about sanyasans and the saffron color. Its not so much for priests and mullas. In fact, its often that the Hindu priest is shown as the bad person in the movie… this needs to be addressed.
- Saffron people have done great in the history of Bharat. You have Shankaracharya, you have the history of Independence movement, you have Swami Vivekananada, Swami Dayananda of Aryasamaj…. throught out the world, there are different colors that different religious leaders wear, so saffron is the color that is associated with Bharat and its traditions. So, there should be no prejudice against saffron.
- I have been involved in educational things, there has been criticism that this government is saffronizing the education. And my comment is, ‘they are not saffronizing the education, they are getting the red out‘. Because Bhartiya education is too much dominated by the communists, marxists, radical leftists of various types. Why should the marxists write about the vedic period, they are not promoting Dharma! They are promoting their caste divisions, class divisions, their particular social and political values.
- Today Hindus are being oppressed in places like Kerala, where communists do have power. And that chief minister seems to have eliminated various people, and there has been little media outrage as compared… and in that respect, Kerala has become a very unsafe place.
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