HITLER, BUDDHA, KRISHNA -- AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE FROM THE THIRD REICH TO THE PRESENT DAY
by Victor and Victoria Trimondi
(Ueberreuter Verlag – Vienna – 2002)
The Nazi "myth makers" were especially fascinated by the Far East. It was there - more so than in the cultural roots of Europe - that they hoped to find the foundations of a "political theology", which the gigantic regime which was the Third Reich could use as its metaphysical basis. In the philosophies, mythologies, visions and dogmas as well as in the religious practices and texts of the spiritual traditions Asia had to offer they found the models for glorifying war, for the deification of the "Führer" and the white race. They discovered the spiritual remnants of a long-lost indo-Aryan and anti-Semitic primeval religion which they now wanted to reconstruct in the sign of the swastika. Fascinating portraits of the "Fathers of the Nazi Church".
Recent years have seen a marked rise in public interest in National Socialism, with fresh research carried out and new interpretations arrived at. Hitler’s private life and his relations with women continue to occupy the media. Noteworthy too is the growing attention being given to interpretations of Nazism as a “political religion” and a “cult movement”. It is less widely known, however, that the content and structure and foundation of a “Nazi Religion” were often discussed within the SS in general and it’s Ahnenerbe [Forefathers Heritage Society] in particular. The SS, headed by Heinrich Himmler, considered itself to be the “advance guard of German research into religion. All the leading figures in this “religion smithy” based their work on the assumption that a racially pure Aryan faith had existed in prehistoric times and should therefore be rediscovered and resurrected.
After sifting through archival material, secondary literature and Nazi documents the authors have been able to demonstrate that this restoration of an Aryan religion drew on ideas, philosophies, mythologies, visions, dogmas and sacred practices pertaining to traditional Oriental belief systems. A coterie of fascist cultural scholars sprang up asserting that Buddhism, the Vedas, the Puranas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, yoga and even Tantrism were intellectual remnants of a vanished, global, indo-Aryan, anti-Semitic religion. There were also borrowings from Tibetan culture and especially from Japanese Zen and Samurai traditions. The archaic cultural legacy of a despotic and warlike Orient provided Nazi ideologues with their theories for:
the apotheosis of the ‘Führer’
a social caste system based on race
the enshrinement of war and warriors
mastery over ones feelings
the manipulation of consciousness
the political exploitation of symbols and rituals
the significance of archaic sacrificial rites
The book has two sections. The first focuses on religious and political activity within the SS-Ahnenerbe. The aspects of Eastern religions that were influencing Nazi thought were discussed and debated from an esoteric as well as an academic stance since Heinrich Himmler, the Society’s leader, encouraged both approaches to the subject. The authors were surprised to uncover here discussions on:
Bhagavad Gita warrior mysticism
Hitler as sacred ruler of the world (Chakravartin)
Truly astonishing is the extent to which Himmler’s world view ‘think tank’ applied itself so assiduously and comprehensively and with such foresight to the subject. This section of the book also studies the Nazi-Tibet-Connection.
The second section sets out the fateful legacy left by the SS-Ahnenerbe and offers an insight into post-war religious neo-Fascism. We are confronted here with an occult subculture wielding substantial power, a school of thought in which myths, religious paradigms, dogmas, conspiracy theories, esoteric doctrines, superstition, visions, illusions and the stuff of fables and science fiction all merged so seamlessly with Nazi ideologies and Nazi history that they could no longer be distinguished one from the other. The Indo-Tibetan element, however, is sufficiently prominent to justify talk of “Indian teachings with National Socialist content”. Hitler appears here as an avatar, the incarnation of the Indian god Krishna, the Bodhisattva, the Chakravartin (sacred ruler of the world). The second section also considers the interest shown by fascists in the Tibetan Kalachakra Tantra ritual.
Who are the key exponents of theories featured in the book?
“Hitler, Buddha, Krishna” sets out the biographies and ideas of important Nazi ideologists, highlighting the Asian and in particular the Buddhist influence on their thought and vision. Pre-1945 personalities covered are:
Heinrich Himmler, SS Reich Commander, architect of mass murder and admirer of Asian philosophy. A quotation from Himmler: “I marvel at the wisdom of the founders of Indian religions.” Himmler was a follower of the Buddhist doctrine of Karma and incarnation.
Walther Wüst, SS colonel, curator of SS-Ahnenerbe, vice chancellor of Munich University, Orientalist. Wüst has to be viewed as the driving force behind the SS-Ahnenerbe’s endeavours to forge a religion. He operated on the assumption that the Nazi religion under construction should be rooted in the Vedic and Buddhist writings of India.
Founder of the “German Faith Movement” and later SS captain Jakob Wilhelm Hauer. Scholar of Indian culture and Sanskrit expert, he drew on Bhagavad Gita and Buddhist texts in an attempt to elaborate the typology of an invincible war machine.
SS brigadier Karl Maria Wiligut (“Himmler’s Rasputin”), occultist in the SS-Ahnenerbe. He claimed to be in spiritual contact with Tibetan Lamaist monasteries.
SS Tibetan researchers Ernst Schäfer and Bruno Beger saw Lamaism as a treasury in which the core Aryan knowledge was stored. The book also looks at the relationship of Sven Hedin to the Nazi regime and Hitler.
Japan expert, geopolitician and Deutsche Akademie President Karl Haushofer. He emphasised the appropriateness of Shinto state fascism as a model for National Socialism.
The German teachers of Zen Buddhism, Eugen Herrigel and Karlfried Dürckheim, propounded a link between National Socialism and Zen philosophy.
The fascist philosopher Julius Evola, whose ideas were much more influential on the SS than first thought and whose traditionalist system of theories is based largely on Buddhist and Tantric doctrines.
The SS mystic Otto Rahn and the neo-Buddhist circles he frequented in France. Their influence led Rahn to claim that the “Grail of the Cathars” was a “symbol of the soul adopted [!] straight from Buddhism”.
The French specialist on the Orient, Jean Marquès-Rivière, head of the French secret police (S.S.S.) and SS collaborator. One of the leading western scholars on Tibetan Kalachakra Tantra.
The first part of the book also deals with the anti-Buddhist movement in the Third Reich. The chapter entitled “Collaborators, condoners or victims?” considers the role of Buddhists in the Nazi period.
The protagonists of religious neo-Nazism are studied too, with particular attention being paid to the effect on their thinking of Indo-Tibetan ideas and philosophy.
“Hitler’s High Priestess”, Savitri Devi. Was instrumental in the consecration of Hitler after the war and the establishment of National Socialism as a quasi Indian sect.
The inventors of the “Nazi mysteries”, French occultists Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels, and the Englishman Trevor Ravenscroft. All three authors saw National Socialism inextricably linked to the Indo-Tibetan Shambhala myth.
The “Black Sun” ideologues, Viennese authors Wilhelm Landig and Rudolf J. Mund, and Jan van Helsing. These writers work from the premise that Tibetan / Mongolian Lamaism and the esoteric teachings of National Socialism both have their source in Atlantis.
Miguel Serrano, Chilean diplomat and founder of “esoteric Hitlerism”. Serrano is an expert in Tantric doctrines. The cornerstones of his system of racist theories are Indo-Tibetan in origin.
Why the title of the book: “Hitler, Buddha, Krishna” ?
Even before the outbreak of war attempts were made by a number of the above-mentioned Nazi ideologues to identify Hitler as the latest link in an Indo-Aryan chain of divine kings and philosophers. Indian religion founders such as the “Buddha” and Indian hero divinities like “Krishna” were proclaimed pioneers and heralds of the dictator. This apotheosis reached its climax in the work of the Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano, who revered Hitler as the 10th avatar of the god Krishna/Vishnu. For Serrano the German dictator is immortal and will reappear as “avenger” to bestow global supremacy on the Aryan race in an apocalyptic war to end all wars.
What did Nazi ideologues look for in India, and what did they find ?
In their eyes the classical culture of India was a reserve in which knowledge of an Aryan stem civilisation was supposed to have survived.
They saw the Indian caste system as providing a social orientation model that fitted their racialist ideology.
They linked the Indian idea of the “global ruler” to their own “Führer principle” and applied it to Hitler.
From the Tantric systems of India and Tibet they developed their own fascist sexual theory.
What was the Nazi ideologues’ particular interest in the Bhagavad Gita ?
Heinrich Himmler is said to have always carried a copy of the Bhagavad Gita on his person. He compared Hitler with the god Krishna who features in the poetical work.
The Bhagavad Gita was read like a catechism for the SS. Consequently many of the above-mentioned Nazi ideologues referred continually to this Indian war manual.
The Bhagavad Gita’s philosophy is used by rightwing extremists after the war to legitimise Auschwitz.
What was the Nazi ideologues’ particular interest in Buddhism ?
In their eyes Buddha was an “Aryan” and Buddhism an “Aryan doctrine”.
They emphasised the warlike and virile elements of Buddhism.
Nazi ideologues hold Buddhism to be a doctrine pertaining solely to power.
Buddhist meditation and yoga techniques are recommended for the spiritual discipline of the “warrior”.
What did Nazi ideologues look for in Tibet and what did they find ?
The Nazi ideologues were convinced that remnants of an original Aryan race had survived in Tibet. They organised an expedition to locate these vestiges.
They believed the ancient Aryan knowledge to be preserved in Lamaist texts and in Tibetan monasteries. It was intended that SS-Ahnenerbe Tibetologists decipher this knowledge using translation and text analysis.
The Tibet researchers of the SS were in thrall to the magic, occult nature of the Lamaist culture. The occultist within the Ahnenerbe even believed themselves to be in spiritual contact with Tibetan lamas.
The two leaders of the SS Tibet expedition, Ernst Schäfer and Bruno Beger, were both especially drawn to the morbid, warlike elements of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Himalayas were a key objective for Nazi mountaineers.
What did Nazi ideologues look for in Japan and what did they find ?
Japanese Samurai war philosophy (Bushido) fascinated the SS. Himmler wrote the foreword for a brochure on Samurais, 52,000 copies of which were distributed throughout the SS.
A variety of themes connected to the Samurai tradition were discussed within the SS.
German Japanologists and Japanese scholars of German culture made “theological” comparisons between the National Socialist “Führer principle” and the Shinto belief of “imperial divinity”.
The German protagonists of Zen Buddhism, Eugen Herrigel and Karlfried Dürckheim, tried to bind together Zen philosophy and National Socialism.
What do the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala have to do with National Socialism ?
SS-Ahnenerbe researchers were especially interested in the Kalachakra Tantra.
The Shambala vision recorded in the Kalachakra Tantra has become a central pillar in the mythology of religious neo-Nazism.
Many of the themes raised in the Kalachakra Tantra (a cyclical view of the world, global domination, the use of super weapons, magic and ritual in sexual practices etc) are key themes in religious fascism.
The Kalachakra Tantra challenges the monotheistic religions, all three of which are Semitic in origin. For this reason it was harnessed by extreme rightwing, anti-Semitic circles for their racist propaganda.
Contact between the XIVth Dalai Lama, as the supreme Kalachakra master, and representatives of religious fanaticism and former SS men.
Which philosophical themes are treated in the book ?
National Socialism as “political religion”
The attempt to consecrate the “Führer”, the “race” and the “war”
The creation of a National Socialist “divine warrior” and the mythologizing of the SS
The sacrifices represented by the Second World War and Auschwitz as foundation stones for a Nazi religion
The phantasm of religious neo-Fascism
A comparison of Asian religions with the Nazi world view
Why is the book topical ?
Religious neo-Nazism, as an extension and development of the Indo-Aryan religious construct forged by the SS-Ahnenerbe, is spreading to other countries at an alarming rate.
The “importing” of Eastern religion systems is increasing rapidly without prior investigation being carried out into their inhuman content, atavistic practices, political power aspirations and warlike history.
Religious fundamentalism and fascist totalitarianism have many things in common and tend to join forces. Acutely topical concepts such as “divine warrior”, “theocracy” and “war of religions” are also present in the neo-Nazi model. The sources of inspiration for these concepts stem less from the “Semitic” religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) than from Asian faiths.
Who is this book aimed at ?
Anyone who has even a peripheral interest in the “Hitler issue” and the history of the “Third Reich” is presented here with a new interpretation of National Socialism based on material hitherto overlooked or otherwise ignored.
Furthermore, the book targets all those readers who feel in any way connected to the issues of religion, conflict between cultures, fundamentalism, religious terror, “divine warriors” and Eastern spirituality (Lamaism, Buddhism, Tantrism, Zen etc), cultural philosophy, politics, psychology, esoterics, ideological criticism and cultural studies in general.
Book Review of “Hitler-Buddha-Krishna” Fascist Occultism and it’s Close Relationship to Buddhist Tantrism
Asia as a topos of Fear and Desire for Nazis and extreme rightists in the case of Asian Studies in Sweden: http://orient4.orient.su.se/personal/tobias.hubinette/asianists.pdf
Press reviews of "Hitler, Buddha, Krishna" Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19th May 2003 (Germany)
The combination of Buddhist, Hindu and neo-Nazi mysticism on the one hand and right-wingers’ blatant propensity to violence on the other presents a real danger to the free world, in the opinion of the authors. They see their treatise as contributing to an open and detailed discussion of the content of imported Asian religions. The objective of the Trimondis’ work is as simple as it is all-encompassing: it aims to assist in the salvation of the value system of Western civilisation.
Der Standard, 31st August 2002 (Austria)
A new book of provocative theses is confronting head-on the success enjoyed by Eastern religions in the West: in their book Hitler, Buddha, Krishna Victor and Victoria Trimondi describe what they perceive as an unholy alliance stretching from the Third Reich to the present day.” – “The Dalai Lama: many people await his appearances in eager anticipation, yet in the opinion of Victor and Victoria Trimondi his message of peace is founded on problematic rituals.
Der Standard, 5th September 2002 (Austria)
In the occult circles of the extreme right top-level National Socialists have long been conferring their own interpretations on the religions of the Far East: Satanist sects and Nazi heavy metal bands think nothing of reducing the tenets of these religions to war and ‘final struggle’. Hitler, Buddha, Krishna provides the material for this thesis – and ample food for discussion.
Rheinischer Merkur, 5th September 2002 (Germany)
Spirituality and struggle - in their latest book Victor and Victoria Trimondi have assembled a mass of facts affording new insights into the intellectual fundaments of Eastern religions. The material extends from the Kshatriya philosophy and its direct association of war and spirituality to the Kalachakra Tantra and the idea of a worldwide ‘warrior religion’.
Bild, 19th September 2002 (Germany)
They were obsessed with the idea of a party, a people, an empire, a Führer and – a church! This is the revelation of a new book [Hitler, Buddha, Krishna]. Adolf Hitler and his SS chief Heinrich Himmler borrowed from many a different creed in assembling the building blocks for a ‘Nazi religion’. Designed as a collage faith, mild-mannered Buddhism, of all religions, was to be the cornerstone of a belief system gathering and swelling into an Indo-Aryan mania based on race and violence.
Aargauer Zeitung, 25th September 2002 (Germany)
Is the portrait of Eastern holy men hanging crooked? Dark clouds are gathering in the firmament above the religions of the East. [Victor and Victoria Trimondi] warn that Eastern doctrines could be instrumentalised for religious fanaticism.
Die Presse, 5th October 2002 (Austria)
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna is a detailed analysis of the influence exerted on National Socialism by Eastern religions. An exciting read, perhaps also since the signs are that the authors’ attitude to their subject is far from distanced and emotionless.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 14th October 2002 (Germany)
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna “reads like an appeal to an entire generation to foreswear its allegiance to the East rooted in its rejection of the affronts of modern Western society. The one-time publisher of Mao’s ‘little red book’ has returned, via Tibet, to the informative literature of the Judeo-Christian tradition. This is the wake-up call to those who regard Buddhism as a self-service counter offering ‘post-modern hedonism’ (Slavo Zizek).
Universum Magazin, October 2002 (Austria)
In writing their exhaustively researched book Victor und Victoria Trimondi have triggered a debate over the “unholy alliance” between Western fascism and Eastern warrior religions. Serving as background to this is the fact that, although the National Socialists were able to justify violence, murder and war as a ‘struggle in the name of God and Faith’, there is a long-standing history of misusing faith as a driving force behind radical ideology.
Factum Magazin, September 2002 (Switzerland)
Was Hitler’s world view modelled on Buddhism? A comprehensively researched book reveals that Hitler’s followers, inspired by ancient texts of the Far East, built him up to be the Chakravartin, the worldly and other-worldly global ruler within the context of a Nazi religion. […] The bibliography on which the authors base their work is remarkable and is liable to make any refutation of its claims a difficult task. […] This book has succeeded in removing the mask of peace from the religions and rituals of the Far East.
Sandammeer - Die virtuelle Literaturzeitschrift, October 2002 (Austria)
With their book the Trimondis hereby declare the culture debate open. We can look forward to a new chapter in the war of cultures as the begetter of all things. All those who shirk conflict should maintain their composure and consider that positive cultural developments have always been the result first and foremost of a clash between competing cultures, where the relativity of ones own set of beliefs was revealed and showed the way forward.
Nürnberger Zeitung, 8th November 2002 (Germany)
Victor and Victoria Trimondi provide convincing evidence that the ‘Ahnenerbe’ was the ‘think tank’ of the SS, an ideas factory not only for esoterics like Wiligut but also for world class academics, most of them ideologues. […] The SS favoured Buddhism. This will be unfathomable to the fashionable Buddhists of today since they regard Buddhism as an international peace movement and the Dalai Lama as its figurehead. In actual fact Buddhism, seen through the eyes of the SS, is the perfect candidate.
Evangelische Informationsstelle Kirchen-Sekten-Religionen, November 2002 (Switzerland)
The questions raised by the Trimondis are topical questions relevant to our time and as such demand answers. Reappraisal, both individual and collective, of the Nazi past is necessary and, all things considered, the Trimondis’ book is calculated to do all aficionados of Eastern mysticism a bitter but necessary service. All those who carefully peruse the Trimondis’ work will still be able to love the East, but wholehearted enthusiasm for the East is no longer possible.
Rheinische Post, 27th January 2003 (Germany)
The cross-referencing to the attacks of September 11th is interesting since the debate over Western fascism and Eastern warrior religions is echoed in the aggressive warrior myths and teachings, the very sources of inspiration for religious fundamentalism.
Weltwoche, 7th March 2003 (Switzerland)
More than this the Trimondis’ achievement is to have brought the Tibetans back down to the level of all peoples: Tibetans too – a historical fact – have waged war, murdered, slaughtered each other in internal struggles, even if the Western media have often portrayed it differently. Depending on how the political wind is blowing Buddhism, like any other religion, will be seen either as a pacifist path of enlightenment or as a militant liberation theology. Even if, in the transfiguring fog of cultural distance, we choose to see things differently, Buddhism is a religion like any other.
Connection, March 2003 (Germany)
The authors introduce the reader, step by step, to the mania of National Socialist domination that enlisted the services of top India experts and scholars of Asian religions as a way of bolstering its claim to leadership. In justifying their policy of destruction and conquest the Nazis cited directly from the Bhagavad Gita.
Book review by Prof. Manuel Sarkisyanz
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna: An unholy alliance from the Third Reich until the present day
(Victor and Victoria Trimondi, HITLER, BUDDHA, KRISHNA, EINE UNHEILIGE ALLIANZ VOM DRITTEN REICH BIS HEUTE, Wien, Ueberreuter, 2002)
This book can be considered as marking an epoch in the intellectual history of cross-cultural links of Neo-Fascism. It deals chiefly with Himmler, Tantric "Buddhism" and Krishna, a "blockbuster" surpassing in geo-cultural scope by far previous continental books about "aryosophic" esoterics. (1)
In discussions about "political religion" of "National Socialists" their notions about India's "primeval Aryan wisdom" had not yet received sufficient attention of historians. These were supposedly "archaic" esoterics within SS occultism of the so-called Ancestral Heritage "Ahnenerbe"), a particular concern not so much for Hitler (who pragmatically preferred to follow English models (2) but very much for Heinrich Himmler who headed the SS: In contrast to the "Semitic" associations of Christianity, a primeval "Aryan" religion was to be "more appropriate to Germanic nature". Thus Himmler's "Ahnenerbe", the central institution for systematic construction of an "Aryan" faith, apparently was meant to receive its "SS-Vatican" in the castle Wewelsburg, Westphalia (p. 100).
An intellectual father of it became the Dutch philologist Herman Wirth (18851981). Having initiated, in 1919, the "National Socialist" movement in the Netherlands, he propagated ever since 1920 the Germanic-"Aryan" Swastika. Insisting that the Aryans descended from the polar "Hyperboreans" (who had allegedly inhabited first the lost Continent of Atlantis and then the Nordic Thule, ("aryosophic" and supposedly Runic notions, inherited from the Theosophy of Helena Blavatsky), Wirth maintained that the primordial wisdom from Atlantis had been preserved (by the "Mahatmas") in Buddhist Tibet. Such Theosophy was combined even further with Nordic mythology from the Edda (and with "Runic wisdom") by Rudolf Gorsleben (1883-1930) to the effect that in Tibet was to have been preserved something of the occult abilities to dominate nature, abilities once in the possession of the Arctic "primordial race" (Urrasse) of Aryans. And this became gospel truth for the occultist faction of Himmler's SS-"Ancestral Heritage". In particular the SS-"Sturmbannführer" Karl Maria Wiligut (1866-1946), an Austro-Hungarian colonel (locked up in a psychiatric clinic in 1924-1927), had, under the pseudonym of "Weisthor", that is "Wise [Nordic God] Thor", influenced Himmler to believe that the refuge of Aryans from "northernmost Thule", with parapsychological medium-life "memories" about their inheritance was to be sought below the earth in Buddhist Tibet. Thus, to "early Buddhism" were attributed particularly "Aryan qualities" (p. 100, 90). Nevertheless, it came to be doubted that Buddha's ethos of self-renunciation could possibly be considered "Aryan". Accordingly, Buddhism was assumed to be a degeneration of the genuinely Aryan Vedic religion of Power. Meanwhile the warlike Vedic Aryans had become the pride of certain anti-British Indian nationalists, after British images of subjugated Indians had attributed to them effeminate qualities and pragmatically irrelevant otherworldliness.
Because of pragmatically obvious successes, far greater prestige than India had in Himmler's Germany triumphant Japan of the Samurai with their Bushido ethos. (In private Hitler counted the Japanese among the ‘lacquered half monkeys who want to feel the knout’. ) And victorious Japanese militarism had instrumentalized a particular Zen school of meditation to drill devaluation of life, discipline, will power and the suppression of emotions. (This went much further than the British models for strengthening the will power, admiration for which had a much longer history in Germany (4) Thus Himmler himself recommended the model of Japan's Samurais to his SS, the "Samurais of Hitler", the elite of the elites, swayed by lower middle-Class upward mobility. (And the children of Germany's post-war Economic Miracle there were, still in 2000, recommended "the Road of the Samurai" for professional and private "success": pp. 194-195).
It had been the Count Karl Friedrich Dürkheim (no stranger to killing a family of squirrels for pure joy) who contributed Zen "Buddhist" ethics to make contempt for life and death in Hitler's Germany intellectually respectable. Japanese models of sacralization of power through Shinto mythology impressed Karl Haushofer, the mentor of Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.
However, for practical purposes, there sufficed the Lutheran notion that all governing authorities ("Obrigkeit") came from God ... It was in spite of this that SS Chief Himmler promised to get rid of Christianity ("We must finish with Christianity. This great plague ... which has weakened us for every conflict.” ) But Nietzsche's declaring that "God is dead" was not enough: Alternatives to the Christian religion, so "alien to the Nordic race", were required to give notions inculcated into the SS a metaphysical foundation:
A sacralization of the warrior caste's duties was expected from the caste ethos of the Bhagavad Gita, the sacralization of race purity through the Brahmanic Code of Manu. For this the rational findings of Indology were put "into the service of the irrational" (p. 524), Indological findings of seriously qualified specialists into the service of Himmler to elaborate an esoteric mythology for his SS. Thus Wilhelm Wüst (1901-1993), prominent in the philology of Indo-European languages, became Curator in Himmler's "Ahnenerbe" ("Ancestral Heritage") after 1936, 1939 SS-Standartenführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and the man of confidence of the SS Intelligence Service (SO) at the University of Munich, in 1941 its Rector. His kind of Indologists made essential contributions to the "Aryan religion" of the SS as the central Order of Warriors, acting as if the Aryan faith were both inherited and constructable (“machbar”). It was to provide cosmogonic bases for Leadership through archetypes of Vedic gods like Indra and Varuna.
Consistently with this, Himmler's expedition to Tibet (in 1938/9) was interested more in its pre-Buddhist religion (Bon) than in Tibetan Buddhism. It sought proofs that Tibet once sheltered a high "Aryan" culture and that its Lamas were administering something of primeval Aryan wisdom (p. 158). Nordic remnants, supposedly going back to "Thule" of the mythic North, to the Hyperboreans and the "Continent" of Atlantis, were looked for in Tibet by Himmler's men. And yet this SS ("Ancestral Heritage") expedition to Lhasa was directed by the qualified Tibetologist Ernst Schäfer (1910-1992), who had previously participated in an American Tibet expedition. He too was impressed by the four Swastika ornaments on the throne of Tibet's Regent Reting Rimpoche. Impressive for the SS expedition was Tibetan furniture made from parts of human bodies, particularly bones (p. 152f. Skulls and skin from the corpses of Concentration Camp prisoners of the SS were subsequently made into "gift articles" [Geschenkartikel].) Buddhist reminders of the impermanence of all life, of the world of suffering to be overcome by non-attachment, were "understood" (that is misunderstood) to suit a "morality" for the Survival of the Fittest, to suit the will to create a world where the weak would have no right to survive. Thus the SS race specialist Bruno Beger was deeply impressed by the Tibetan procedure of cutting dead bodies into pieces for birds' prey, "one of the most impressive experiences in Tibet's mysterious capital". (Later Beger organized a collection of skeletons of extermination Camp victims from Auschwitz, Central Asian Red Army prisoners of war. For participating in at least 86 murders he was sentenced to just three years, and that not before 1971 p.135f). What Hitler stopped was Himmler's plan to use the Tibetans -- after the model of Lawrence of Arabia -- for a military attack on British India (p.122). His decision resulted from insight into the impracticality of this (and from his admiration for the British Master Race).
Hitler was obviously not impressed by alleged military potentialities of occult abilities to dominate nature -- allegedly preserved in Tibet -- nor by the "polar powers centred there". This, precisely this, came to be believed, in Neo-Nazi literature, just after Hitler's "right of the stronger" turned out to be an illusion of the weaker. Such Fascism, which according to the Law of the Survival of the Fittest had lost all rights to survive, did survive by virtue of esoteric mvthology, a consolation for failure of biology (of social Darwinism).
Thus Baron Giulio Evola (1898-1974) did derive from the Vishnuite Bhagavad Gita a sacralization of Sadism in terms of the divine will of destruction of everything mortal, the Endlessness of the Divine meaning the perennial destruction of everything temporal: Thus the sacralized sadism of the Kshatrya warrior celebrates the Blood Sacrifice of Life-transcending the mere perversions of "profane" sadism. Accordingly, Murder becomes a holy sacrifice (246). Evola's publications of 1953 and 1961 made him the chief "philosophical authority", the Guru of today's Black Order of spiritual fascism (257), of the New Elite proclaiming anew more than merely Hitler's New Order: It is more explicit about the destruction of modern society. Evola was calling for precisely this ever since his main work, "The Revolt against Modernity" of 1935. Nevertheless, in spite of this admiration for the 55, the Kshatrya Warrior Order, he is but rarely mentioned in its literature of the 55 although he did influence its self-image (particularly the "Ancestral Heritage" of the "Grail Mystery" of the Templars). Better known is his influence on Fascism's "afterthought", the Italian race legislation since 1937.
Evola's "L'Uome come Potenza" ("The Male as Might") is a glorification of power generated through sexual energy, following models of Indian Tantric cults, associated particularly with the Female Energy (Shakti) of Shiva Rudra and Kali, Indian deities of destruction and regeneration. Among Evola's "applications" of them was killing – sacrificing -- the Female (the female principle comprising both Compassion and Bolshevism) as its energy is to strengthen the Male, the Aryan Masculinity (p.234) which accumulates its own power by sacrificing the "Other".
These notions Evola derived from the Vajrayâna School of Tantric Buddhism. And with concepts from Tantric texts concludes his most influential work: The concept of Shambhala, symbolized by the Swastika pointing to, a center of Hyperborean traditions "of Aryan origins." Images of this mythic realm derive from the Tantric Kalachakra tradition. Its main texts have been made accessible in the post-war period, also by Jean Marquès Rivière, a French Sankritist, specialized in police persecution of secret societies, Masons and Jews in the semi-Fascist France of 1941-1944.
Of more popular influence in Latin esoteric post-war Fascism was the Chilean Miguel Serrano (born in 1917): Since 1938 he joined Chile "National Socialists," and subsequently became their Fuehrer (after experiences as Chile's ambassador in India and in Communist Balkan states). In 1978, under the dictatorship of Pinochet, appeared his book "Hitler esotérico" and, in 1982, "Hitler el último Avatar", then, in 1991, "Manu por el hombre que vendrá". These he called expressions of "esoteric Hitlerism". To Serrano is attributed the culmination of SS-mysticism. He assimilated most notions from Himmler's ancestral Heritage and the writings of Evola. Serrano's books are reported to circulate now among Skin Heads, Satanists, and Nazi Metal Music fans. Hitler's birth in 1889 meant for him the beginning of a new Era (p. 425); Hitler was for him more than only a Superman but the Nordic god Wotan and also Kalki, the last incarnation of Vishnu, and the "Manu of the Future". For, as an archetype, according to Serrano, Hitler could not possibly die, and was carried away on an "UFO" (Unidentified Flying Object) to "Shambhala" (where reside his God-Men: pp. 436, 438). Behind what this Chilean Nazi offered is essentially Tantric instruction (p. 493). Indeed, he was, like Evola and Marquès-Rivière, practicing Tantric rituals. And Tantrism meant for Serrano the main "wisdom" of the Hyperborean (Polar Nordic) Warrior Caste. Following Tantric "ethics" he supposed the deeds of the SS to be "beyond Good and Evil," justifying the extermination of "Lower races" as fulfilment of "cosmic laws". (Not effect but motivation matters in Tantrism -- the motivation of most terrible deeds in it can be "Enlightenment" -- which is potential Power (5A.) And the will to (absolute) Power of the "Aryan" is, according to Serrano too, generated by erotic vitalism. In fact, Tantric sex magic is considered to be the "mystical center" of Serrano's fascism (p. 441), including the Tantric sacrifice of the Female: Woman was to be killed (at least "symbolically": p.442). In the Tantric context killing may result to be "unreal". (About the seeming "unreality" of modern racial genocide on the Black Continental Hannah Arendt noted: "Native life anyhow looked a mere play of shadows, so that when European men massacred them [these shadows, the natives], they somehow were not aware that they committed murder.) (5a)
And the living woman Serrano venerated he associated with the Nordic god Odin. She was Savitri Devi (Maximiliani Portas, daughter of an Englishman, born in France in 1905), venerated in the international Nazi subculture as Hitler's high priestess, "Prophetess of Aryan Revival". She had evolved from Greater Greece, through Theosophy, to the race cult of the "genuinely Aryan", that is to the "only surviving Aryan culture": Brahmanic India. There the Brahman Srimat Swami Satyananda, President of the Hindu Mission of Calcutta, revealed to her that Hitler would become the next incarnation of Vishnu. Similarly, the Pandit Rajawade of Poona identified Hitler with the Chakravartin of the Vishnu Purana scripture, destined to rule the world, the god Vishnu previously incarnated in Krishna. And Krishna Mukherji married Savitri Devi. He recognized the Kshatrya tradition of the Indian epic Mahabharata in the militancy of Hitler's Germany. Upon its collapse of 1945, Savitri Devi called upon Kali, the Goddess of Destruction, to destroy those who destroyed Nazi Germany (p. 346f). To this "priestess of Hitler" the hymns to Kali's fearsome consort Shiva, the male divinity of "creative destruction" I merged as a "Mantra" with "Heil Hitler" (pp. 347, 349): For Hitler was to become the coming Kalki (pp. 351, 358), destroyer of those who caused the degeneration of the World Age. And, in 1958, Savitri Devi came to attribute the sacralization of the extermination of Jews to the Bhagavad Gita (p. 356) years after Austria's Lanz von Liebenfels, "the man who gave the ideas to Hitler", demanded that the Jews become a human sacrifice (p.334).
From occultism derived such "Aryosophic" predecessors of Nazism as the Thule Society of the Bavarian capital. And towards the Occult tends what survives of SS-mythology. The crisis of world economy promoted Nazism from obscurity into mass politics. And the prosperity that followed its military collapse pushed it back into obscurity of present day SS occultism.
Post-war SS mysticism of the Evolas and the Serranos derives its "Aryanism" more from Indian and Tibetan than from Teutonic sources. In the wake of the French Revolution the appeal to the Germanic (that is pre-medieval) past had been directed against the absolutist restoration, and the encouragement of Indology, of studies about the wisdom of the Brahmans, served against Democracy. For mass consumption, Hitler pretended to defend the Occident against the onslaught of the Asiatics. After this military "defence of the Occident" collapsed, what survived of the SS-Ancestral Heritage took refuge in the Occult, increasingly borrowed from Southern Asia: Present day esoteric Hitlerism is Tantric (p. 441). After Hitler, as if by "meta-electric" energy, having excluded the left, included Austria, switched on all the mass media, isolated Germany, ranged the whole of Europe into maximal tension, and finally brought: about his short circuit (5 B), he was made to mutate into an archetype of something like divine energy. Hitler has been converted esoterically into a myth, to be rooted in the transcendental -- beyond all History. And up to the present day such esoteric Hitlerism is reported to grow (p. 526). In its subculture the SS is symbolized by the Black Sun. And its Sieg Heil ("Hail Victory"), after ending in defeat, was projected into becoming the chief Mantra of occult Power (p. 399, 411, 442) of the Black Sun, symbolizing the end of the World in the Nordic Edda, converted into the Solar Power of the "New Age".
At present, in the mysticism of the traditionally necrophile SS, with its Skull emblem, associated with mountains of corpses, are venerated the icons of Violence and Death. Some of the Rock music groups in this international subculture of Neo-Fascism have CD of 100,000 copies. And among their titles are: "Born in order to hate"; "Gospel of Inhumanity". Some of their bands are named "Spear of Longinus" [killer of Christ] and "Blood Axis", something of Satanism evolving into Pop culture, into the Rock music of Skin Heads (p. 451). According to Goodrick-Clarke, the Neo-Nazi Satanists and their Heavy Metal Rock groups among the Skin Heads in Europe and America are associated with "Kshatrya" notions about "Aryan" India's warriors. The song "Hitler as Kalki [future incarnation of the god Vishnu]" was created by the composer and rock music star known as "David Tibet". He calls himself "sympathizer of the Devil" - in the context of Tantric "Buddhism" (p. 451f). In the Satanist literature the Nordic "Thule" and the SS Ancestral Heritage have become metaphors of the Underworld -- with Heinrich Himmler as a Satanist adept. (A political joke from the Third Reich prophesied that -- after its final victory -- Himmler would become Underworld Marshall when Goering, the Reich’s Marshall, shall have been promoted to world Marshal.) According to Trimondi, even in purely Satanist circles have been absorbed ideas of the Fascist myth makers, of Evola, Miguel Serrano and Savitri Devi. After all, the place of Satan came since more than two centuries to be occupied by nefarious secret societies. And the book "Secret Societies and their Might in the 20th Century" by Jan van Helsing, appearing in 1993, was banned in Germany within three years under a law against inciting the public ("Volksverhetzung"). However, in 1998 he published "The Mysteries of the Black Sun". Thus, mainly through him Esoterics have become "the most important route of penetration for extreme rightist cosmovision" (p. 398).
Thus the claim that the Third Reich had been conceived by German Templar Knights, as well as by Tibetan lamas, is no longer news. News is that the "gasoline" for the Neo-Nazis UFO's (Unidentified Flying Objects) shall henceforth consist of "Vril" [Virile?] Energy. Indeed, "Vril" is meant to be the "Metaphysical Gasoline" from the Atlantis, the lost Continent, particularly for the UFO's from a "National Socialist" engineering firm ... All this according to Wilhelm Landig's creation, titled "Idols against Thule, a novel full of reality". His Thule Trilogy (from the Vienna of 1971, 1980 and 1991) elaborated notions of Helena Blavatsky and of Evola. It is considered a mixture of science fiction, pseudo-scholarly monograph and "National Socialist" history on a mythical pattern (p. 392f). In contrast, more recent publications of SS mysticism are indebted more directly to Tibetan Tantric notions (pp. 402f). "Notions about Might and Supermanhood (Maha Sidha) from Tantric Buddhism ... could supply attractive doctrines for a world wide Kshatrya culture, sacralized techniques ... to convert a soldier into a holy killing machine. This is why the SS Ancestral Heritage and surviving "SS mysticism" attempt to give themselves points of support in Tantric notions (p. 531). It is Tantrism that had been called, by its English advocate, "The way to Power."
Particularly in regard to such present day SS esoterics the Trimondi's brilliant book has unusual scope. It takes the place of an entire library. Its bibliography alone would be worth the price of the book. To read it is a genuine intellectual experience. The authors make rich use of Tantric texts of the Kâlachakra School.
Yet, it has to be reminded that the Kâlachakra System remains marginal even in Tibetan Lamaism, just as Lamaism remains marginal in the Buddhist world as a whole. Helmut Hoffmann (otherwise cited in the book) has pointed out Tibetan historical resistance against Tantrism; the rise of Tibet's dominant "Yellow Church" did involve reactions against it. [AB-1] Hoffman had called attention to Iranian dualist -- that is non-Buddhist -- origins of precisely the Kâlachakra. (6) Although the authors rightly point out the primacy of compassion in the social ethics of Buddhism and themselves mention that "the Kâlachakra Tantra is in sharp contradiction to the originally pacifist tradition of Buddhism" (p. 513), they generalize from the Tantric Kâlachakra about Buddhism as a whole (p. 254). Thus in the heading "Buddhism as a doctrine of Power" (p. 254), as well as in the reference to militarist Buddhism, by "Buddhism" is meant its Tantric degeneration. Unfortunately, Volker Zotz's (author of a book about Buddhism in German culture) attribution of "amorality" to Buddhism "from its very beginnings" is repeated uncritically (pp. 456ff), particularly in the unfortunate subtitle "Foundations of Buddhist thought and the ideology of National Socialism" (p. 454).[AB-2]
Thus the main problem with the book is its attempt to characterize Buddhism as a whole, its conclusions from particularities of SS mystery literature to generalities about Tibetan culture. In reality, the qualities attributed by "National Socialist" thinkers to Buddhism are no basis for its characterization, no matter how convincing points of departure Fascism finds in Tantric phenomena of Buddhism's decline. In fact, the Kâlachakra similarities to esoteric Fascism (p. 463) came about by Fascist imitations of Tantric categories of Vitalism and Power, which in themselves had been inherent in Nazi sentiment (not without impacts from Bavarian folk-vitalism). Even the famous [Fascist] Tibetologist's, Tucci's rhapsodies about "heroic Buddhism" (p. 193) cannot be accepted uncritically, just as War Sermons (usually on the text of Christ bringing not Peace but the Sword) could never characterize Christianity as a whole. (Logically Fascists have rejected its message while emulating its institution: the Church with its Hierarchy and Discipline.) Obviously the SS's film about its expedition to the Dalai Lama's realm (pp. 155f) showed only what its chief desired to be seen, just as the exiled 14th Dalai Lama's Buddhist messages to the democratic world leave out what has been undemocratic in Lamaism. To such present day uncritically unilateral images of exclusively humanitarian and pacifist Tibet this book is a most healthy corrective. Thus the authors point out that a public discussion about the Buddhist Tantrism of Tibet by the Dalai Lama would prevent its misuse and distortion by SS esoterics. But they can be easily misunderstood to the effect that there was nothing humanitarian and nothing pacifical about the Dalai Lama's realm, considering that among his friends was the SS auxiliary Jean Marquès Rivière as well as Guru Shoko Asahara who (in 1995) caused poison gas injury to more than 5000 victims in the Tokyo subway -- as sacrifice to Shiva Rudra-Chakrin, apocalyptic world ruler in the Kâlachakra Tantra (pp. 505, 518). Such an "Aryan Priest-King" of post-war Nazi mysticism (p. 469f) -- and not the specifically Buddhist universal ruler (Chakkavattî) is rightly compared with the Japanese Tenno -- and wrongly with the ideal Buddhist emperor Ashoka of the third century B.C. (pp. 469f).
Most absurdly, Himmler's Indologist Wüst and the Fascist Baron Evola, as well as protagonists of postwar SS mysticism, saw precisely in Ashoka the great power political model ... of "the Aryan Priest-King". Their absurdities about Ashoka should have been contradicted most definitely. After all, he recorded his unforgettable regret even about "one thousandth part of those who were slain". "And this has been recorded in order that ... whoever they may be, may not think of new conquests as worth achieving ... through arrows." And that the only "real conquest is a Conquest through Dhamma [force of Morality." Ashoka's pride was that he "achieved conquest through Dhamma ... a conquest flavoured with love” (7). And yet, with Ashoka remaining unmentioned in the context of oriental ideals of universal empire, the Chakkavattî/Chakravartin (prototype of Buddhist kingship) appears under the subtitle "Apotheosis of the Führer" (p. 328). Among the numerous references to this Indian embodiment of absolute power remains unmentioned the Chakkavattî-Sutta, one of the earliest Buddhist texts, stating that to the Chakkavattî the East, South, West and North shall submit voluntary: He shall declare that no living being is to be injured. (8) In contrast, the Chakravartin meant by the authors is Kalki from the Brahmanic Vishnu Purana (with reference to whom concludes Evola's "Revolt against Modernity"), Aryan world ruler, symbolized by the Swastika (p. 256). In reality, Kalki in India and the Chakravartin in Buddhist Burma had inspired politically opposite phenomena too:
It was precisely from Kalki that same Pariah groups expected their emancipation against the caste hierarchy. In same rural areas Gandhi was identified with such a future incarnation of Vishnu. About the Chakkavattî Sutta's description of the ideal future state reminded in 1959 U Nu (Burma's Prime Minister 1947-1958 and 1960-1962), with reference to his anti-imperialist Buddhist socialism. (9) In the name of the Chakkavattî (Burmanized as "Setkya Min") repeatedly revolted Burma's peasants (as recorded after 1837). With this ideal Buddhist ruler was identified the central figure of the Burmese Peasant War of 1930-1932. (10)
This shows how much more correctly than by Fascist Indologists and their subsequent esoterics was Buddhism understood by Hitler's inspirer, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, and the Führer's rival Ludendorff. Chamberlain saw that Buddhism “was moved by humanitarian reverie, proclaiming the equality of all human beings” (10a). Ludendorff reminded that it "preached self-extinction ... spiritual and bodily disarmament" (p. 295), both comprehending its ethos better than Himmler's Professor Wüst and Mussolini's Baron Evola. A "Duce from Bengal" can be seen in Subhas Chandra Bose (pp. 93) only disregarding that a Soviet alliance would have been his first choice. As vanished Redeemer he "is biding his time ... Millions of Indians believe ... he is hiding in Moscow, being instructed in the principles of revolution ... Eagerly they await[ed] him ..." (11)
And archetypically less remotely from Communism than from Fascism led historically that "Gnosis", Satanizations of which are inherited in Political Science since Eric Voegelin (and echoed on p. 537): By "Gnosis" is usually meant its Manichean current. In fact, its vision of all material world, with all established institutions, being in the power of Evil, stimulated revolt rather than conservation of the established order. And that class distinctions and hierarchies have no meaning at all for the truly Initiated is among the messages of the Bhagavad Gita too. In the Brahman and in the [despised] cook of dog meat the wise ones behold the same. Already here [on earth] is Heaven won by those whose mind rests upon this Equality ... That they are rich and noble think those blinded by ignorance. (12)
That the SS Chief invoked one passage from this Song Divine is no more a reflection upon this scripture (that was being invoked again and again by India's social reformers -- not only in pacifist Gandhism (13) but also in "Hinduized Communism” (14) than the "socialist" name of Hitler's party is a reflection upon Socialism. It was not so much that Savitri Devi found in the Bhagavad Gita principles that lend themselves for a convincing integration into SS ideology (p. 360); it was rather that she insisted on having found them. Her conclusions are not covered by the texts she quoted (p.357), about fulfilling duty without regard for the outcome, about a just fight, about Heaven for the fallen warriors and the Earth for the victorious ones. Actually, the texts this "Priestess of Hitler" emphasized lend themselves in general to hopeless, heroic resistance against powers of this world, resistance that has been much less offered by Fascists (under whom the weak had no claim to survival) than by anti-Fascists with their faith in a world that shall belong to the weak. (15)
On the other hand, not to every Professor is given the character of professing convictions: Thus it is more the adjustment of certain German Indologists to financial incentives offered by 88 institutions than "affinities" of the Gita and of Buddhism to Fascism that is proved by 88 appropriations of "Oriental" thought.
The weakest text in the book might be that "a Buddhist dissolves his Ego for the 'Liberation' of all suffering beings and a National Socialist for Nation and Race, but this could again and again in the history of Buddhism mean the precept of killing out of compassion and wisdom" (p. 458).
1) Jean-Michael Angebert, The Occult and the Third Reich (New York, 1974); François Ribadeau Dumas, Hitler et la sorcellerie (Paris, 1975); RR Carmin, "Guru" Hitler, Die Geburt des Nationalsozialismus aus dem Geist von Mystik und Magie (Zürich, 1985); Jean Robin, Hitler, I'élu du dragon (Paris, 1987)
2) Hitler's speech of 28. April 1939: Deutscher Kurzwellensender; Hitler, Monologe im Führerhauptquartier, edit. W. Jochmann (Hamburg, 1980), pp. 48, 62 f.; W. Maser, Das Regime. Alltag 1933-1945 (Manchen, 1983), p. 259; J.H. Voigt, "Hitler und Indien": Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, IX (1971), pp. 33, 49
3) Hitler, Speech of 22. August 1939 to the supreme commanders; L.P. Lochner, What about Germany? (New York, 1942), p. 3
4) Gerwin Strobl, The Germanic Isle. Nazi perceptions of Britain (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 41, 42
5) Heinrich Himmler, Geheimreden und andere Ansprachen (Frankfurt, 1974), p. 159: Speech of 9th. June 1942
5a). Hannah Arendt, Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft (Frankfurt, 1955), pp. 307, 313
5A). S.B. Dasgupta, An introduction to Tantric Buddhism (Calcutta, 1958), p. 179 f; John Blofeld, The Way of Power (London, 1970)
5B) "Die Linke
ausgeschaltet, Osterreich eingeschaltet, die Massenmedien gleichgeschaltet,
Deutschland isoliert, ganz Europa in Spannung versetzt und schließlich den
7) Ashoka's 13th Rock Edict: D.R Bhandarkar, Asoka (Calcutta 1925), pp. 300-303; J. Bloch, Les inscriptions d'Asoka (Paris, 1950), pp. 125-132
8) Cakkavatti-Sîhanâda-Sutta, Diaha Nikâva, XXVI, 6: Translation by Rhys Davids, Sacred Books of the East, IV (London, 1957), p. 63f
Monier-Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism. (London, 1889), p. 114; Bharatan Kumarappa, introduction to: M.K. Gandhi, Hindu Dharma (Ahmedabad, 1950), p. VIII; U Nu's Speech of November 16th, 1959 before the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (Burmese typescript given by U Nu to the author), pp. 17f, largely reprinted in Bama-hkit of 17. XI 1959, p. 8; Sarkisyanz, Buddhist Backgrounds of the Burmese Revolution (The Hague, 1965), p. 224
10) Cf. Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma (London, 1938), pp. 129, 273f.
10a) Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Briefwechsel mit Kaiser Wilhelm II (Munich, 1929), Vol. 11 p.152
11) J. A. Michener, Voice of Asia (New York, 1952), p. 265; of. NA Chadhuri, "Subhas Chandra Bhose, his legacy and legend": Pacific Affairs (1955), p. 356. All italics are mine.
12) Bhagavad Gita, V, 18f; XVI; 12-17; XIII, 29: translation by R Garbe (Leipzig, 1905), pp. 94, 140f, 132
13) W. Roland Scott, Social ethics of modern Hinduism (Calcutta, 1953), p. 109: "Gandhi maintained that non-violence was... a central teaching of the Gita" (sic); "the Gita ... does not teach, according to his opinions, violence": Wilhelm Mahlmann, Mahatma Gandhi, der Mann, sein Werk und seine Wirkung (Tabingen, 1950), p. 140
14) H.S. Sinha, Communism and Gita, A philosophico-ethical study (Delhi, 1979), pp. 264, 262: "The Gita would always ... shake hand [sic] with communism and bring out a workable synthesis...", "a valuational synthesis of these two systems can save humanity..."
15) There was no Nazi Leningrad that held out against a siege lasting nine hundred days of near starvation (in 19411944). On the Fascist side there was no Madrid that withstood more than two years of almost daily bombardments by aviation and artillery (in 1936/8); no [Basque] fishery launch !hat resisted an enemy battleship during an entire hour (on 5. March 1931) before sinking itself (having received about 200 impacts of naval cannon): It was but the Ocean that extinguished the fire of its last machine gun. (Sarria, De arrantzales a gudaris del Mar [Bermeo, Vizcaya, n.n.], p. 108)
Manuel Sarkisyanz (born 1923) had been a subject of the Shah of Iran. He studied at the University of Tehran and then at the University of Chicago. There, he wrote his first book, “Russia and the Messianism of the Orient”. Upon its publication in German he was immediately invited to Germany – initially as visiting professor in Freiburg und then in Kiel. Hs main interests lie in the comparative history of independence movements. Among his dozen of books are “History of the Oriental Peoples of the Russian Empire” (in German), “Rizal (national hero of the Philippines) and Republican Spain”, “Buddhist background of the Burmese Revolution”. His publication on historiography as apology for British rule in Burma (Ohio University Press) has also appeared in the Burmese language. The books of Sarkisyanz on the “American Resurgence in Peru” and on “Felipe Carrillo, the ‘Red’ Apostle of the Mayas” were published in both German and Spanish. The latter is now being translated into the language of Mayas of Yucatán (Mexico) where the author now lives most of the year.
American-Buddha Librarian's Comments:
[AB-1] Tantra is not peculiar to the Kalachakra. All four lineages of Tibetan Buddhism do tantra. Yes, there were reactions by the other lineages' lamas against the "Yellow Church," but not against tantra. All the lineages are basically the same as to doctrine, which is vague at best in all four. What is enlightenment? Don't ask them! Everyone thinks their own lama is enlightened, but nobody else is. Claiming to be enlightened is simply a matter of chutzpah: your guys are and their guys aren't. The only real question is, "Who will rule the country, the Gelugs, Sakyas, Kagyus or Nyingmas?"
[AB-2] Was it moral for Mahakassapa to launch a huge power grab while the Buddha's body was still warm in the grave? Was it moral for him to name himself THE authority to establish "the truth" of the dharma which the Buddha said was everywhere, when Buddha refused to name a successor? Was it moral for him to bring charges against Ananda for not getting enlightened and stepping on the Buddha's robe while he was sewing it, forcing him to get enlightened overnight? Was it moral for him to politicize the Buddha's teachings, and write them down after the Buddha expressly forbade it? Was it moral for him to cause a huge schism in the sangha and banish the so-called "heretics" to the forest? Yes, Buddhism was immoral from the very beginning, if you count Mahakassapa and the Buddhist Councils as the beginning. Certainly, Buddhism reflects very little of the Buddha's morality as expressed in his rejection of tradition, authority, hierarchy and asceticism.
Further, is it "moral" to renounce the world and seek "compassion" in one's own enlightenment? Oh, sure, after you get enlightened, if you're lucky at the moment of death or hopefully in the bardo, you're going to come back and save humanity! The best you can say is that Buddhism is ignorant of the realities of life and death. I don't think "immoral" is unfair. What's "moral" is to serve humanity now, in this life. Show me the Buddhist charity before Asians came to the West and learned what the word "charity" means for the first time. As to the smaller Buddhist community of Tibetan Buddhists, certainly sewing people into leather bags and cooking them in the sun is not moral. Cutting people's limbs off for petty criminal offenses is not moral. Having sex with little girls is not moral. Brutally subjugating a peasant population is not moral. Demanding total subservience to tradition and authority is not moral.
Well, at least you can't say I was "uncritical."