Bryan McMohan has an interesting game for his Indian guests in the motel in County Kerry in Ireland. He starts humming an Irish folk tune and then stops. Almost on every occassion, the Indian guests burst out into a song, as if they had known the song for ages. The Irish music critic, Fanny Feehan wrote in a paper entitled “Suggested Links Between Eastern and Celtic Music” (1981) (Karen Ralls):
…In the area of vocal ornamentation East and West come close. I once played a Claddagh recording of Maire Aine (Ni Dhonnacha) singing `Barr an tSleibhe’ for an Indian Professor of Music who refused to believe, until I showed her the sleeve of the record, that it was an Irish song. She claimed, and demonstrated by singing to me, that the song bore a strange resemblence to an Indian (North) raga about a young girl being lured toward a mountain. The Professor was interested in the mode, the pitching of the voice, and certain notes which were characteristic of both the raga and `Barr na tSleibhe’…
Druids were members of the learned class among the ancient Celts in the modern Ireland. Druid is a combination of Dhru and Vid – Dhru in Sanskrit means “Firmed up/Enconsed” (same root as Dhruv – North Star) and Vid means knowledge – so Druid really means Firmed up in Knowledge. Very little is known of Druids because they had a tradition of Oral History as opposed to Written History. Therefore, when first, the Romans under Ceaser conquered the Celts and then Christianity wiped out Druidism – a Earthy religious/spiritual practice from Ireland – the details on Druids and Celtics were distorted by the evangelists.
The urge to make Druids look uncivilized because they followed rituals, practices, chants and even sacrifices (sometimes Human) to play with energy, health and powers – little understood (and feared) outside a certain circle – was strong for the Romans. A practice which the Christian invaders and evangelists carried on and used profitably in India as well.
Christians – in a complete reverse of what they had suffered at the hands of Romans – became the persecuting force in Europe until Druids and all the Pagans were finished.
It is no coincidence that flags of Ireland and India bear such resemblance. The Spiritual foundation and many practices, rituals as well as philosophies built on top of that foundation were very similar. And, had it not been for some tenacious resistance of the Hindus in India, even the fate may well have been the same. For, the foes and their tactics, even arguments (of barbarianism) were eerily similar.
Celtics are widely believed to be polytheistic, although under this diversity of deities runs a common and homogenous philosophical stream. Interestingly, most deities in the Gaulish and the Celtic culture appear as couples: such as Rosmerta and ‘Mercury’, Nantosuelta and Sucellos, Sirona and Apollo Grannus, Borvo and Damona, or Mars Loucetius and Nemetona.
Matres or Mother in Celtic culture (similar to the Sanskrit word) referred to the Mother Goddesses in that culture which was a recurrent feature in the pantheons of deities. Many of the Goddesses were actually river deities who were venerated for their life-giving qualities. Even in the Vedic culture, from Saraswati to Ganges to Gomti to Kaveri to Godavari – all the rivers have been revered as Goddesses. In other cultures, however, the rivers took male names in most cases.
Druids also believed in reincarnations, transmigration of souls and also cause and effect laws like Karma. The Universe has a balancing mechanism, Druids believed, and is the Rule, Judge and the Juror – reminiscent of the conception of Sanatan Dharma – the Eternal Law of the Universe. Karma, reincarnation and transmigration, all fit in together with the Vedic concept.
Given how the march of Christianity (and its transformation into a persecuting force – quite in contrast with its persecuted character) and Islam as they conquered one Pagan religious culture after another and thoroughly annihilated these cultures from Europe (Ireland, Germany, Greece etc) and Asia (Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia) – means that Evangelism enforced with historical baggage of hatred for Pagans (and extending to Hindus) is not a thing of the past. This is reinforced by the rhetoric of the Evangelists and the newly converted who target Hinduism in India by using EXACTLY the same story line as was used by the Romans and the Christians against Druid in 5th and the 6th century.
Christian Evangelist forces along with the Islamic forces have been very potent against multi-theistic and diverse societies in tune with nature, with reverence for Feminine Divinity and appreciation for diversity in religious and spiritual thinking. The Evangelist forces, by their very nature, are exclusivist; while Pagan cultures are inclusivist by design. There is a remarkably natural dichotomy between the two. One is a force of acquisition and the other a culture of Liberation. One thinks of imposition of its design, while other strives to explore nature and everything in it and have complete reverence to it.
Given that God is a man-made conception and is constructed by every society in its own image, it is probably better to have an Open Ended articulation of God which is synonymous with the Nature and Universe, as opposed to a set idea in stone. For, whatever has been decided and made to impose on everyone else can only lead to atrocities, as has been the case.
In US, Walmart has been successful in annihilating the local and diverse businesses which enjoined local character to the location. These small businesses were more humane and in tune with the local society, whereas Walmart follows the tune of the World Stock Market.
March of Evangelist Global forces have had the same effect and same potency. It would have been fine if the purpose of the Religion and God was commerce, but it is about finding the very Truth of our Source. An exploration that can only be undertaken by everyone personally.
But what the Evangelist forces – with simplistic and aggressive intent – give out are cookie cutter “answers” and stories, which are in the end … also into Commerce for the Vanquishers. It is no wonder that all the Colonists and Invaders – from Mohammad Ghori (Khwaja Chisti) to the East India Company – used Missionaries as a means of conversion and way to propagate and colonize the people and their lands. Extraction of wealth was the ultimate purpose. Its not that the newly converted Christians did not face the damning effects of poverty that was imposed on India during the looting and plunder of the country’s economy during the British (Two Millenia of India’s Economic Journey), but then the Vanquisher didn’t care less. The job had been done. Thank you very much. Hallelujah!