“What will the world think of us….”

The panel discussions in the English news channels in India are amazing. It keeps amazing me how panelists manage to reply at length to a straight forward question without giving an answer. Usually, the anchor shifts his position, asking the questions that would make the person targeted most uncomfortable. However, on 18th October 2013, the anchors of both Times Now and Headlines Today did not shift their position. They took a clear stand on whether there is merit in following up on the dream of a ‘Baba’. The stand was: definitely not!

Usually anchors talk a lot, but on this occasion they were truly fired up, almost hysterically laughing and shouting. Their verdict was that it is absolutely ridiculous, even outrageous, to dig for gold because a ‘Baba’ had a dream that there are tons of gold hidden under the earth in the old fort at Dondia Khera village. It was an irresponsible waste of tax payers’ money. The way they pronounced ‘Baba’ brought up the typical portrayal of Babas in Bollywood movies – vile and evil with a big red tilak on their forehead. Even a sane question from a panellist about the track record of the Baba regarding other prophecies was at first acknowledged as valid, then however the laughter resumed.

“What will the world think of us?” they asked and came to the conclusion, “We will be a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.” They reminded the viewers that the founding fathers of the nation wanted Indians to develop a scientific temper and here we go again – back to superstition. They made however one point clear: they, the anchors and several of their guests, do not belong to these superstitious Indians. The world should take note. There are progressive Indians in India, but unfortunately, the masses still have a long way to go to reach their level.

In their zeal to be seen as persons with scientific temper they overlooked a few points. Scientific comes from ‘knowing’ and knowing is not restricted to reason and logic. In fact, the Indian rishis explored thought and consciousness deeply. Inspiration comes from beyond thoughts. So developing a truly scientific temper might just mean that Indians should become more spiritual and follow the advice of their rishis.

The reason why Indians are considered intelligent and are doing exceptionally well in science compared to people from other countries might well have to do with the fact that many Indians are still rooted in their spiritual tradition and therefore are, in all likelihood, more satvic than others. From my own experience, I am convinced that vegetarianism for example is beneficial not only for a cleaner body but also for a cleaner mind. Not eying ‘others who don’t believe what we believe’ with suspicion (so typical of societies with Abrahamic religions), and having trust in Bhagawan /God (so typical of Indians) might also help to create space for inspiration from that great intelligence that is in all of us, irrespective of country or religion.

Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), the great Indian mathematician, credited openly his talent to the family goddess Namagiri. Imagine he would show his notebooks to all those ‘modern’ Indians who claim to have a scientific temper that everyone should cultivate, and explain, that he received in his dream visions of scrolls of complex mathematical content unfolding before his eyes. I wonder whether he would emerge a broken man from the TV studio. Probably not, as he knows it is true what he experienced.

Indians often don’t realize that the world is actually greatly interested in the knowledge and power of genuine Indian yogis or sadhus, often called ‘babas’. And yes, the police in western countries does occasionally employ the services of clairvoyants to locate missing persons. Consciousness studies are considered the next scientific frontier and have taken off all over the world and sadly, least of all in India, where the principles on which those studies are founded originated. It is acknowledged that certain yogis have remarkable abilities that were considered impossible in the west. Tests have been done on Indian yogis and Buddhist monks already since the 1970s. Typically, the western researcher, who measured the feats of the yogis, will be remembered as a great scientist, whereas the yogis who actually did the impossible, fall by the wayside. One can be sure that the west will try to exploit Vedic knowledge for its own advantage and not for the benefit of all humanity.

Back to the Baba Shoban Sarkar, who had the dream. It certainly would be worthwhile to find out whether he is genuine and a good person. The people around seem to be certain about it.It is said that since the 1980s, he has done great community service by building eight inter colleges and one polytechnic. He renovated a temple and built several new ones, and even sourced all the building material for the Buxar bridge, when the government had refused to take up the project.

Since it is common knowledge that dreams ‘can’ be prophetic, since Rajas were known to own a lot of gold (and Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh who was killed by the British might not be an exception), and since anyway the area was already demarcated as worthy of excavation since decades, why was there this fury on TV? If nothing else, the Baba has only catapulted the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) into action that was long overdue. The west probably considers those modern Indians as a laughing stock, who would, if they could, forbid the digging, and nonchalantly forego a chance, however small, of finding a treasure. Meanwhile the west may hold its breath and hope the dream of the Baba does not come true.

By Maria Wirth



  1. The one most important point you have missed in your blog is the fact that this is not just empty hysteria or a dream…..throughout the invasions of islamists since 7th century AD…muslims have looted and pillaged….it is written in several records that the temple valuables including gold idols were buried by the priests or the gold owned by the maharajas was hidden in secret places or buried….this was to prevent the muslims looting everything from India. That is why, whether it be a dream or a foresight, it is worth everyone’s while to dig or inquire into buried treasures as history tells us these could be buried.

    The western society or Abrahmic religions have always tried to destroy hinduism or India for that matter….islam and christianity are still attacking hindus….but not a word anywhere of the sufferings, the rape and torture. Kashmir is a present day example but I am sure you will not understand as you want kashmiri rugs in your home and pashmina shawls to drape round your neck….not once has the west thought of our suffering but promoted idiotic conspiracies like Malala.

    1. Vandanaa Sridhar · · Reply

      Yes, you are right. It is amazing how the media and the intellectuals of our country keep harping about the Gujarat riots or any other riots where Muslims or Christians have been the casualty. Hardly nothing is written about the Godhra train victims or the sufferings of the Kashmiri Pandits during the 1989-90 period. Unfortunately if you notice it is mostly the Hindu intellectuals and a so called secular media who don’t acknowledge these things. And when this is pointed out to them they are quick to call us fundamentalists and non- secular. This is probably the irony of being a Hindu in India.

    2. Perhaps you did not read the full article. Maria Wirth, the author of this blog is actually SUPPORTING the mystic dreams and visions of yogis and saints. She is a German lady who is speaking FOR Hinduism. so I’m surprised at the tone of your response. Please don’t blindly lash out without reading the article properly.

    3. Brother could you tell me what do you mean when you used promoted idiotic conspiracies like Malala.I will be glad if you reply me

  2. kalyanaswamy · · Reply

    respected one,
    In India most of the sadhus are fake/ not fully sadhus. Besides many Indians
    do not go beyond a certain level in spirituality. As swamy Vivekananda said once:’ Going to temples is like getting primary education (bala pada or initial education). one should move further.
    As one travels inwardly (mind) , one may do many illogical things. When you churn up the ‘milk sea’ of mind, there are going to be lot of debris & desirable
    things will be thrown out. Only finally you can get ‘amirtha’.

    In general nobody is willing to do a long & demanding work that is mandatory.
    Well, dreams can be out of intuition or caused by subconscious mind. As you have said , there is nothing wrong in trying.

    The last sentence sums up many things.

  3. Amit Kumar · · Reply

    Really impressive blog. One thing to which I can personally relate is the education part. Indeed, contrary to the stupid beliefs of some people, Indians have succeeded so much in science and technology because of their religion and culture. It’s well known that we Indians place a premium on education. My own father could have lived a comfortable life and retired by now. But he keeps spending money on us so that we study and do something. I’ve seen innumerable examples of the benefits of a family oriented culture and society. And there are many who think that being more western and enjoying life is the better way. I’m reminded of small kids who think watching cartoons is the best thing and studying is not important. It’s only Hinduism and associated offshoots which place heavy premium on yoga and controlling mind. Myself, I have succeeded in life when I have respect to the culture, not the rituals but the softer aspects like yoga and mediation and

  4. I discovered your blog today, and I am well into my third hour of reading and re-reading several articles. It may appear to be a coincidence that I discovered your blog today, but it is not. In light of my own dream last night, it makes sense that this had to happen today. But my comment here is not about that dream. It is not even about dreams or visions as experienced by many, including Srinivasa Ramanujan. It is about the title of this article.

    The title, “what will the world think of us”, as used by the television anchors in their talk shows and what-not, is the bane of India. I use the word India as an English translation of ‘bhaarata-varsa’, and not the political nation state in its current form. Introspection and insight, the precursor to a scientific temper,does not arise from mollifying others. It comes from moving away — as completely as possible — from any external locus of identity. The current nation state has been doing the exact opposite. I often wonder if there is any internal focus left in India at all.

    An internal focus is not by itself a solution to anything. Until, that is, we realize that the internal is the only truth. Everything else is ephemeral. The world, their thoughts, their laughter, their laughing stock, and of course, the panelists so scared of all of the above — none of that is true.

    As an addendum, I want to say that just like I used “India” in a different sense, I also used “scientific” and “truth” differently. I have no doubt that you already know all this and much more, but I still would like to overcome the handicap of English:
    (1) Science is “vignaana” in Sanskrit, which expands as “vishesha gnaana” (specific knowledge).
    (2) Truth is “satyam” in Sanskrit, which is not the same as immediate factual correctness. It indicates that which is constant and pervades all.

    If you have read upto this point, I thank you for your patience.

    1. thank you. Just read a quote by Swami Vivekananda “You4r Atman is the support of the whole universe. of whose support do you stand in need of?”

      1. Tama Shah · ·

        I was thinking of Swami Vivekananda while typing out my first comment. He always taught us to be fearless. I read most of his work as a teenager, even if I had limited understanding of the more serious topics. But this simple idea of being fearless, it stayed with me, and I feel that I get closer to being in that state of mind as I grow older.

        On a related, but slightly different note, have you read “Swaraj in Ideas” by Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya? It is a lecture published in the Vishwa Bharati Quarterly in 1954 (possibly a reprint of an earlier lecture, since Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya passed away in 1949). It is a powerful essay touching on the same topics you have written on, and definitely pertinent in this age of Macauley’s children. By the way, did you come up with the phrase “Macauley’s children”? I had not encountered until earlier today, and the first time I read it, it hit me. It hit me in a way language had not hit me in a long, long while. I hope it hits a few more readers the same way.

      2. no, i didn’t coin Macauleys children. read it don’t remember where, but more than once.

      3. it is very difficult or impossible to know the truth.

  5. […] The article first appeared as- https://mariawirthblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/what-will-the-world-think-of-us/ […]

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