Six Glorious Epochs of History: An Account of Wonderful India

suzerainty of Chanakya- Chandragupta: Invaders to Bite Dust

Legendary Vinayak Damodar Savarkar aka Veer Savarkar was not only a revolutionary history maker for which he will always be remembered by posterity but was also a historian of great perspicacity. His book on ‘Indian War of Independence of 1857’ has already acquired the status of a classical book. His other book ‘Six Glorious Epochs of History’ is, without doubt, an eye-opener for all those who want to understand the history of India from the time of Chanakya-Chandragupta Maurya till almost to the end of the British Rule. Veer Savarkar himself has elucidated in this book that ‘there are hundreds of glorious epochs in the history of our nation which have undergone through the tests of poetic exuberance, music, prowess, affluence, the height of philosophy and depth of theology and many other criteria’. However, here the glorious history means the history of brave leaders and successful warriors who inspire and lead it on to a war of liberation in order to free their nation from the shackles of foreign domination, whenever Mother India has the misfortune to fall prey to such powerful fatal aggression and to grovel abjectly under it, and who ultimately drove away the enemy making it to an absolutely free and a sovereign nation.
Savarkar has traced the authentic history that how Greeks like Alexander had to face very tough challenges from Indian rulers and as a result that he had to leave India. It was Chandragupta Maurya under the guidance of the Chanakya, who proved to be more than a match for the Greek invaders. It was Chanakya who emphasised that military might is necessary for maintaining political stability. Chandragupta had extended the boundary of his empire from Indus to Hindukush, which was then under the control of Seleucus Nicator, who was one of the bravest commanders of Alexander.
Pushyamitra Shung and Vikramaditya: Jewels of Hindus

The second glorious chapter of the book deals with Pushyamitra Shung, who was also known as the destroyer of the Yavanas. According to Savarkar the decline of the Mauryan empire can largely be attributed to Ashoka, who after embracing Buddhism, had forgotten the elementary principles of the statecraft to maintain a strong army. He became such a great zealot of his new religion that he imposed rigorous penalties on all those who did not conform to Buddhism. He forbade even the killing of fish and fowl, depriving millions of people of their staple food. The horrible effect of Buddhism was that it dealt a heavy blow to the imperial might. This led to the rise of the revolt by the courageous commander Pushyamitra Shung against the effete king Brihadratha, who had succeeded Ashok. Shung beheaded King Brihadratha at the time of an army parade. Pushyamitra Shung was hailed by the people as their leader for this act of bravery.
The third chapter navigates us through the reign of Vikramaditya, who has been described as the annihilator of the Saka and Kushan menace. Saka lived in Central Asia beyond Bactria (Baltic)in large wild gangs. The Sakas, Kushans and Huns entertained bitter enmity towards one another and were constantly at war. Around this time the naval strength of Indian kings, right from Kalinga to the Pandyas, the Cheras, the Cholas, and other south Indian rulers, was very strong. At this time the Malwa region had seen the rise of a powerful king like Vikramaditya, who started Vikram Samvat after his name. The emergence of Kanishka, his loyalty to Buddhism and thereafter abandoning of Buddhism by his grandson, Havishka is given in good detail in the book. The fourth epoch of the book narrates the Hunish onslaught and victory of Yashodharma. This period glitters in the lustrous martial achievement of the most daring and successful emperor Yashodharma.
The fifth chapter is the longest one. Veer Savarkar has been very trenchant in criticising the ‘perverse virtuosity’ of Hindus vis-a-vis the knavery and deceitful nature of Muslims, which was mainly responsible for the hegemony of the Muslim rule in India. The first known attack of Muslims on India was by Mohammad Bin Qassim in A.D. 711. According to him Buddhists sided with Muslim invaders in the hope that they will embrace their religion as their forerunners, the Greeks under Menander or the Kushans under Kanishka had done. So their role was very reprehensible, who went and greeted the Arabian-Muslim leader when he (Qassim) captured Port Deval from the hand of King Dahir of Sindh. How shameful it was on the part of the Buddhist preachers that ‘we have nothing to do with Dahir and his Vedic cult. Our religious faith differs very widely from theirs. Lord Buddha has taught us ‘Ahimsa’ i.e Total Abstinence from Violence’. Whoever wins can be the ruler of the state, we obey him in all temporal matters. You are now victor, so now you are our King. Never suspect of a moment that we shall even enlist ourselves in Dahir’s armed forces or help him in any way. So, we pray that Buddhists should not be subjected to any indignities or troubles at your hands’.
Treachery by the Followers of Non-violence

The treachery of Arab platoons which were in the service of King Dahir rebelled and informed him that they would not fight against Mohammad Bin Kasim, since the latter was Muslimas, they themselves were, and that it was a religious crusade against Kafirs. Sadly, but predictably, what Buddhists thought to be a boon for them proved to inexorable curse for them. After winning the final battle when the Muslims rushed violently, like a stormy wind throughout the Sindh, they went on beheading these Buddhists even more ruthlessly than they did the Vedic Hindus. Only those Buddhists who took to the Muslim faith were spared, while their Vihars throughout Sindh were knocked down and hammered to pieces. Muslims hated these Buddhaparasthas-shrine worshippers. In fact, the very word Buddhaparastha found its way in the Islamic tongue is itself a corrupt form of the original Sanskrit word of Buddhists, Buddhprastha (Butparasta).
Apart from the high treason of Buddhists, excessive emphasis on Ahimsa was put by them and other Jain kings, who were responsible for strengthening the roots of Muslim rule. It may sound ridiculous that King Harsha was so intolerant that anybody slaying any animal or using the flesh as food in any part of his dominion was inflicted with capital punishment. Kumar Pal was a Jain king of Gujrat who also used to impose savage penalties upon violators of his rules. It is said that an unlucky merchant’s all properties were confiscated because he had committed the crime of cracking a louse. It is like for saving a louse in the hair of a man, the very head of the man was cut off, that too, in the name of Ahimsa.
Islamic Rule: Darkest Epoch of Indian History
Hindus, because of their inherent weaknesses, could not bring back the millions of Hindus, who were converted to Islam willy-nilly. It resulted in the loss of the numerical population of Hindus. But the bigger loss was that those who converted to Islam became more loyal to their new religion than their homeland. Savarkar has written in appreciation of Rani Durgawati, Guru Gobind Singh, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj but his special praise is reserved for a convert Naseer ud din Shah, who reconverted himself to Dharmarakshak, who was from Gujrat. Savarkar has proved it with factual evidence that except this Dharmrakshak Naseer Ud Din and queen Deval Devi, also from Gujrat, all those who converted to Islam proved to be the biggest and ferocious enemies of Hindus. All Muslim rulers who were born of Hindu mothers or connected with Hindu parents were crueller to the religion of their mothers. Be it, Jahangir, Shahjahan, Aurangzeb, Ghiyasuddin or Mohammad Bin Tughlaq. The history of Islam is replete with debauchery, insensitivity, and unimaginable cruelty. Incidents of loot, murder, violence, killings of fathers and brothers and despicable physical relations with mother, sister, and daughters. Humayun was a drug addict, Akbar had sexual relations with his mother like bairam Khan’s wife and Shahjahan had sexual relations with his real daughter, Jahan Ara. Thus, Islamic rule was the darkest period in the history of India.
Savarkar: A Patriot to the Core
The sixth chapter is the description of the war of India, mainly Hindus, against Britishers. In between, he has criticised Hindus for giving undue importance to vegetarianism, tolerance, abhorrence of retribution etc. The addenda of his letters to his younger brother are highly moving. This shows the height of sacrifices he had made for the sake of his motherland. He was allowed to write only one letter in the year to his brother. While other prisoners were given amnesty after a certain period, he was consistently denied. In one of the letters, he wrote to his brother that even if amnesty was not given to him, at least his co-prisoners should be given amnesty as per the rule and the same will give him immense satisfaction. If the addenda of the book are read by all those who have been his armed chair critics will come to know about the rigours and endurance of Savarkar that he made for the country. Even after his release, he was at the forefront of guiding the youth of the country. His love for Hindutva and Hindus needs no elaboration. The book should be read to understand the history of the country from the angel of Savarkar. One may agree or disagree with him on certain points, but he cannot be ignored. The book shows how broad and insightful an understanding he had of the country.

By Parmanand Pandey