Asia Indian fans may find my article interesting

Discussion in 'Asia & Africa General Discussion' started by CieSharp, Apr 4, 2003.

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  1. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    I would have rather provided a mere HTML link, but thejediplanet.com recently went down, so nobody is hosting my article anymore. Here it is;

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    More Hindu Themes in the "Star Wars" Saga
    Cie Sharp

    Before I begin writing, I must say I do object to the term "Hinduism" being applied to the primary religion of India. This was a term coined by the European colonists and never used by the actual believers prior to the colonists' arrival. A more appropriate term would be "Varnashrama Dharma", "Sanatan Dharma", or "Vedic". However, for the sake of easy reading and familiarity, I will use the term "Hindu" in this essay, but will use "Vedic" as often as possible. And for that matter, "Bharata" is a more appropriate name than "India". At the risk of becoming excessively politically correct, I shall stop here.

    In 1994, Rajan Rajbhandari wrote an essay entitled "Star Wars and Hinduism", which dealt with several Hindu themes embedded in the original three movies of the Star Wars trilogy. Although people have cited many other cultural origins to "Star Wars" names and themes besides India and Hinduism, I am particularly attracted to the Hindu elements, and personally believe they outshine all others.

    Rajbhandari's essay was written five years before the first of the prequel trilogy movies was released, and as such, it is bereft of the themes and terms embedded in Episodes One and Two. I attempted to write to Rajbhandari several times about this, to see if he ever intended to write a "sequel" about his essay, but have yet to receive a response. I hardly consider myself qualified to undertake such a task, but through my sheer enthusiasm, sparked by the insightful "Star Wars and Hinduism" essay, I am strongly compelled to write such a "sequel" myself. My only hope is that my words are found to be accurate, thought provoking, and devoid of bias and "delusions of grandeur".

    To reiterate, the following were the key themes from the Original Trilogy as cited by Rajbhandari:

    Yoda concealed himself in the forest, like a Rishi (the venerable sages of Vedic society), or similar to how the Pandavas spent part of their time when they were in exile from the Kauravas (from the "Mahabharat", India's foremost epic which features the "Bhagavad Gita"). In addition, Yoda attempted to fool Luke Skywalker into thinking that he was just a simple sentient creature with no higher abilities, a tactic often used by Rishis, Sadhus, and some Gurus, in order to weed out the true aspirants from the pretenders.

    The nature of the Force and its close similarity to Brahman. In the Empire Strikes Back, Yoda says the Force "surrounds us ... and binds us" and then says "luminous beings are we, not this crude matter". This mirrors the Hindu concept that we are not synonymous with the body, but rather we are higher. The "matter" we are composed of externally is "crude" and therefore, unreliable at best. Obi-Wan Kenobi's quote in "Star Wars: A New Hope" "Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them" is a further assertation that matter can be deceiving. The "Hindu" equivolent of this matter is known as "Maya", or illusory energy.



    The position that Luke was forced into, i.e. having to do battle with one's own father, brings to mind Arjuna's early predicament in the Bhagavad Gita. He was to do battle with his relatives the Kauravas, but in the beginning, refused to do so. Krishna told Arjuna to remove himself from the attachment, and to complete his warrior caste duty as a ksatriya. Similarly, Obi-Wan Kenobi compells Luke Skywalker to fight his father on very similar grounds.

    With the introduction of the prequel trilogy, we are introduced to a few new themes, terms, and information in general. To start with, we have a slew of new names with Sanskrit origins. The following is a list:


    "Shmi" Skywalker - The mother of Anakin Skywalker, her name is widely accepted to be a halved version of "Lakshmi", who is the Consort of Lord Vishnu. Those who worship Lord Vishnu exclusively consider Lakshmi devi to have motherly "shakti" or potency, among
  2. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    "Duel of the Fates" refrain in Attack of the Clones (found in Track 10 "Return to Tatooine") consists of

    Korah Rahtahmah
    Korah Rahtahmah
    Niha ...

    The stress on "Niha" ("loss" in sanskrit) appears to be slight foreshadowing of Anakin's two impending losses, both internal and external. The impending loss of his mother, as well as his loss of grace and control when he fell to the darkside and slaughtered everyone in the Tusken Raider camp.
  3. Nath Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2002
    star 1
  4. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks, Nath! (King?)

    My above essay is finally being hosted!

    http://www.hrafn.btinternet.co.uk/StolenOnes/essays/hindujedi.html

    Of course, it's the same text as you see here, but I was just pleased to announce, tis all. :)
  5. Anakin_Padme4ever Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 6
    This is interesting CieSharp! :D
  6. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Pretty good read. :)

    I'm not Indian, but it's interesting anyway ;)
  7. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    UPDATE (Names section):

    Pooja Naberrie: Padme's niece (Luke and Leia's cousin) who later becomes an Imperial senator (EU/SWG). Pooja roughly means "worship". Pooja appeared as a young child in one of the cut scenes from Episode II where Anakin met Padme's family.
  8. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    UPCOMING UPDATE:

    Luke endeavoring to save his father despite getting attacked by him mirrors the struggles of Prahlad against his father Hiranyakashipu (Srimad Bhagavatam AKA Bhagavat Purana, 7th canto). All through the suffering inflicted by his father, Prahlad only wants the best for him, and goodness triumphs. Hiranyakashipu gets moksha. Darth Vader was also saved.
  9. openmind Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2003
    star 4
    Well not sure if this has been mentioned but its just an observation and possibly unintentional.

    Queen Jamila (obviously the name is Indian and the actress as well) mentions to Padme :

    The day we stop believing democracy can work is the day we lose it

    And as we know India is the world's largest Democracy

    What do you think?

  10. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    What does Jamila mean exactly, if it's of Indian origin?

    The democracy connection may be bonefide, but it's a bit of a stretch. Already my "Star Wars and Hinduism" essay has been called a stretch by some of my more jaded friends, so I don't want to add things unless I truly believe in them. If someone in Indian politics uttered the same quote as Queen Jamila, I'd be very interested. And the actress does appear to be Indian herself, eh? Can anybody confirm any of this?
  11. Jedi_Humaira_Blaine Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2003
    star 5
    Yes the actress is Indian! :D

    She's Ayesha Dhakar who acts in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bombay Dreams as well as a host of other movies.

    She appeared, as a young girl, in City of Joy and also in the movie Terrorist, I believe. :)
  12. openmind Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2003
    star 4
    Some how I knew my compatriot JHB :D would mention about Ayesha. I couldn't get the actress' name at that moment. Yes, she was also in The Terrorist. What a different role from being Queen eh?

    But pardon me from straying away from the subject matter, but Natalie being in The Professional, has a interesting "ring" to it. [face_devil] The Professional taken over by the Terrorist. Okay, Im asking for trouble I know. ;)


  13. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Not to skew the subject, but speaking of Natalie Portman, apparently she is a vegetarian. There has to be some eastern influence there, there simply has to :D
  14. Jedi_Humaira_Blaine Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2003
    star 5
    Okay, Im asking for trouble I know

    ;)

    CieSharp, perhaps Natalie's reason for being vegetarian is due to health issues. Some people become vegetarians early on. Or perhaps they just don't like killing animals.

    Could be that they simply don't like the slaughter of animals for food. Or perhaps..an eastern influence. ;) :)
  15. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Good point, Jedi_Humaira_Blaine, it could very well be health or simply not liking to kill animals (in fact, several parenting magazines have published articles on how to get kids to eat meat even though they don't like eating animals).

    Still, I believe vegetarianism was extremely rare until various eastern religions were introduced to the west in the mid 20th century ... correct me if I'm wrong, anyone.
  16. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Could somebody please confirm if Dooku or Dukhu means dacoit (rogue) in any Indian language?
  17. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    I heard that one track on the SOTE soundtrack might be a chorus chant in Sanskrit. Can anyone confirm?
  18. Jedi_Humaira_Blaine Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2003
    star 5
    Erm I'm not sure what the abbreviation means Ciesharp. :confused:

    Can you explain? :)

    Sorry, I'm wracking my brain and it's just not processing today. Must be the weather! :p
  19. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    7 months late, sorry :p

    SOTE = Shadow of the Empire
  20. Sykes Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2000
    star 1
    Wow that's truly fascinating. I think all Hindus should unite and file a big law suit against Lucas. :)
    Seriously I really can't see how this can be coincidence. Ajamila and Anakin; the nature of the force and its similarity to the brahmin..!

    Damn good essay! I really enjoyed reading that.
  21. Heru_Morna Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 1
    Well, Im Indian AND Hindu.

    I dont think I can disagree with any of those name comparisions. E'cept, I think you meant 'Padma' for Lotus.


    And yes CieSharp, 'Daaku' means Dacoit in Hindi.

    Damn, this is interesting. Im forwarding this link to my friends. Maybe we WILL file a lawsuit :)

    Good job.
  22. Heru_Morna Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 1
    Not roughly, it does mean worship. There is no other meaning.
  23. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks for your comments, Sykes and Heru_Morna :)

    I'll make the necessary changes should I ever make an update version of the essay. Sorry about the confusion in my Pooja definition. I honestly don't know why I added the word "roughly", it must have been late at night when I was writing that.

    We really haven't seen too many new names in Episode III (aside from Grievious, Polis Massa, and Mustafar), but I do feel Episode III has a Mahabharat type feel to it, in regards to all the destruction and death.

    In the opening crawl, we see the phrase "There are Heroes on both sides". The same is true of the great Mahabharat Battle of Kurukshetra. Although the Kauravas were foes of the Pandavas, and essentially the villains of the story, they are act honorably compared to any sovereign king in the next age of Kaliyuga, and there is great cause for mourning when such heroes as Bhishma and Drona (on the Kaurava side) are killed.

    Although we don't see literal parallels to this in Episode III, we do see heroes on both sides, and the process by how many many heroes are killed, and we see the end of an era of "old world" peace and prosperity. Even when the Pandavas win the Battle of Kurukshetra, the age of chaos (KaliYuga) sets in and we never see the just rule seen in Dvarpara Yuga until the cycles start over again.

    The ending of RotJ is a little more positive and implies things will at least be going back in the direction of the old times of the Old Republic. And the 20 years of Obi-Wan and Yoda going into exile is similar to the 13 years of when the Pandavas went into exile from the Kaurava rule.

    Now Anakin's fall and redemption remind me not only of Ajamila, but of Chitraketu as well.

    Anyway, this is not so much a new essay or even an addendum (although I may integrate these ideas into the essay in an updated version once I can clarify and refine my thoughts into something coherent that makes decent sense), just me discussing things informally. How do you all feel?
  24. Quruli Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    There are so many martial art, Hinduism, Buddhism, Wungshixa etc. references in SW, wowzers.

    (But not an equal number of Asian actors? ;_;)
  25. Im_but_a_padawan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2005
    so can anyone help me find the meaning of naberrie....I've been looking all over...and it seems that I can find NOTHING...

    p.s. - I'm new here.
    <3
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