This piece is excerpted from Chapter 26 of Krishna Yogeshvara, its piece de resistance, that details the fraud and deception that marks the spread of prophet-based religions — the context is Mahabharata era, but one can find the contemporary resonance, specially in Asia and Africa. The book is available at

Dhritarashtra had been continuing as the caretaker Maharaja ever since his brother Pandu went away to the forest to atone for his inability to give an heir to the throne of Hastinapura. Providing an heir to the throne was an important part of Rājya Dharma.

Shakuni and Duryodhana met at Kanika’s place. Duryodhana wanted to call Karna as well, but Shakuni stopped him.

‘I don’t want a fracas on the definitions of Dharma and adharma. Karna is with you only because he thinks that he owes you a debt. That is a purely Sanatana position. He is also nursing a big grievance towards Arjuna because of Dronacharya. So do not involve him in some of the larger strategy sessions. He is fine to be involved in tactics. His devotion to you is exemplary.

He may go against his better judgment to oblige you, but he will not oblige Kutil Dharma. For you and me, this dividing line between the staff of Dharma (Dharmadanda) and the staff of State (Rājyadanda) must be obliterated.

Shakuni paused for a while thoughtfully and then continued. ‘Even though we have removed the Pandavas physically, their shadow is still present in the minds of the public. You have already seen how hugely popular they were. Moreover, as long as Devavrata Bhishma and Dronacharya are in the mix, you cannot even have your own father side with you openly. He is a weak character and would be swayed in their presence. We have to ensure that we somehow manage to make our philosophy mainstream.’

Kanika was listening to them intently. He stroked his beard thoughtfully. ‘There are larger issues involved. We may have eliminated the enemy physically, but the narrative of the enemy lives on. This obsession with duty-based living in the name of Dharma is the real enemy of our larger intention to convert this land into the land of Jhankal. I am well aware of the route adopted by Kutil Muni. His methods were brutal and violent. The population in these fertile lands is simply too large to be converted by force. We have to change the narrative in a very subtle manner. I think we need to take Duryodhana to the master himself. Let us quietly go to Jatil Muni and prepare a long-term strategy so that when Duryodhana does take over the reins of power in Hastinapura, he is not hemmed in by the staff of Dharma that is wielded by some rishi or other assorted wise men. The king must be at the apex of both political and spiritual power. How to build that narrative is the question.’

The three of them set out for Rakshagriha the very next day. They were in an expansive mood. They had eliminated the impediment to the ascension of Duryodhana to the throne. Since Dhritarashtra was only a caretaker, that day could dawn early, but they still needed to firm up their plan for building a narrative platform on which the rule would become permanent and an empire of Jhankal could be created, with Jatil Muni as the prophet and Duryodhana as the agent. Shakuni nursed a deep desire in his evil heart that he would ultimately replace his nephew, either by himself or by his son Uluka.

Reaching Rakshagriha after two days of chariot ride, Kanika took Duryodhana and Shakuni to Jatil Muni’s palatial house. It did not have the trapping of austerity that one would expect a Sanatana muni to have. Sanatana Dharma exacted a very heavy cost from its thought leaders in terms of personal sacrifices. Unless one could prove one’s unconditional commitment to total self-abnegation and voluntary, deep commitment to the minimum requirement from nature and society, one could never be honoured as a muni. Here was a Kutil Dharma prophet living life king size.

Deep intonations to Jhankal having been made by all, including Duryodhana, they were admitted into Jatil Muni’s presence. He sat on a large golden throne, gifted to him by Shakuni, and behaved like a spoilt king.

Shakuni informed Jatil Muni, formerly Banakantaka, of his great achievement. He profusely thanked him for providing an invaluable resource like Kanika. ‘If not for Kanika, we would never have been able to get the consent of Maharaja Dhritarashtra for such an action. He is a worthy disciple of a great guru indeed.’

Kanika bowed before his guru and submitted, ‘I begin by salutations to Jhankal. With the grace of Jhankal, we have eliminated the main stumbling block. Yet, the public is very hostile to us. They are convinced that the Pandava’s death is not a natural occurrence. Vidura is behind these whispers, and Bhishma is the main factor in whatever happens in Hastinapura. Even now, nothing would move without him. If he vetoes a proposal by Duryodhana, it will stay vetoed. We have to change the narrative as you had directed us initially. We need your guidance in the matter. We do not know how to go about this and not just secure the throne for Duryodhana, which is the easier task, but to also change the narrative in a manner that his throne is secure and he is able to serve the cause of Kutil Dharma.’

Jatil Muni was more patient than usual. It was after a long time that he had heard some good news. Ever since his flight from Mathura, it had been a long deep struggle. Manimālā had softened towards him considerably and his alliance with the Nagas was about to be strengthened with wedlock. With the news of this breakthrough in Hastinapura, Jatil imagined a situation of being able to have his rule over the entire Bharatavarsha through agents like Duryodhana and Shakuni. Just an association with Shakuni had given him immense leverage, including a palatial house in the Kuru country of Rakshagriha. Yet, he knew that if ever the Kauravas were to lose control, he would have to retreat to Khandavaprastha.

Jatil Muni reflected over the reports he was fed. He needed to ask a few searching questions.

‘Are you sure that this public is not going to be with Duryodhana even if he wins the throne through the primogeniture rule?’

Shakuni was forthright even though Duryodhana was sitting next to him. ‘No, the public does not like Duryodhana and I see no pathway to making him popular through the conventional route. We have to invest in changing the Sanatana narrative.’

Jatil Muni sat pensively for some time and then slowly proceeded to let out his thoughts.

‘First, the thing you should do is to study the methods adopted by Kamsa and Kutil Muni. Those methods must not be used. Any use of those methods would mean giving one more opening to Krishna. We have to be very careful of him. I had sent Chandrachuda to Ujjayini to change Krishna’s mind. He has come back, but rather than changing Krishna, he himself has got changed. I have seen that brilliant mind at work, so the first point is to study Kutil Muni’s methodology and avoid it. That does not change our commitment to Kutil Dharma and its essential philosophy.

‘Second, we need to change the narrative through deception, lies and allurements. So, we may pretend to follow Sanatana Dharma outwardly, but we replace the deities with our symbols and create Kutil Muni as a deity. The word Kutil does not go well with the Sanatanis, so we may change the name to Saumya Dharma for the public. The term Kutil Dharma may be used only among ourselves. We will create Saumyeshvara as a new deity. There is no bar in Sanatana Dharma on having your own new deity. Remember, destroy the habitat and the species automatically gets destroyed. We need not brutalise the people directly. We will brutalise the habitat in which Sanatana Dharma thrives.

‘Third, we create a cult around Saumyeshvara, using our essential symbol of reverse Swastika and a murti. We will not oppose idols. Instead, we will install idols of Kutil Muni as Saumyeshvara.

‘Fourth, we will adopt all the symbolisms and outward features of Sanatana, we will also adopt their singing and dancing. We will just make subtle changes in the names of the practices. We will do Saumya Arati, we will perform Saumya Nātyam dance. We will create different manifestations of Saumyeshvara. So, we will have a Saumya Linga, a Chaturbhuja Saumya, a Saumya Rāma and a Devi Saumyā too. However, the concept of Time and Logic shall remain ours behind all the rituals that we perform to fool the people.

‘Fifth, now that Duryodhana has his pathway cleared, he shall provide funds to Kutil Dharma’s central Pralayalaya here. Anyone who comes to any of the Saumya temples must not go without having a sumptuous meal and without receiving a handsome stipend. We shall run free schools and free health clinics for everyone who accept the membership of a Saumya temple. Make it so alluring that the population drifts from their traditional temples to Saumya temples. Bribe and buy thought leaders with handsome gifts and permanent remuneration.

‘Sixth, create a miracle-making wing. Carry out miracles in the name of Saumyeshvara. Create a trope that Saumya does miracles. All the other Sanatana practices should be labelled as superstition and heavily condemned in seminars and gatherings of lay people.

‘Seventh, denounce and vilify the Brahmins and build a narrative that they have come from outside Bharatavarsha. This may be difficult, but I have experts here who can always supply justifications, and even produce false roots of Brahmins being from some other foreign land. Brahmin is the bulwark of the Sanatana system, and we have to do our utmost to weaken their hold on the population.

‘Eighth, sow the sin and salvation philosophy. Create fear of the eternal hellfire. Pronounce a curse on cyclical Time or Kāla Chakra. There can be no successful closed religions without the fear of the Master and his God. Be careful that you do this only with care. This is something that we need to convince our own intellectuals.

‘Ninth, target the Sanatana women. Every man who converts to Kutil Dharma with a proper baptism shall be permitted to marry at least three women. Then persuade, threaten or buy three women for each one of them. I need to increase the population of Kutil Dharmis.

‘Tenth, create a superiority complex around Kutil Dharma. Revile Sanatana Dharma in intellectual gatherings, especially among Brahmins. Declare their scriptures as inferior and arrange for a bonfire of their scriptural books. remember, killing the books means killing an entire culture.

‘These are the ten commandments on which Kutil Dharma would have to be founded. I have personally seen how intractable Sanatana Dharma can be,’ Jatil Muni paused.

‘Make it look as if it is a religion of love, but once someone has accepted your kiss, he should not be allowed to go back to Sanatana, by hook or by crook. Kill a man or woman who tries to go back after joining Kutil Dharma. Jai Jhankal.’

‘Jai Jhaṅkal,’ all of them shouted in unison with the one finger salute of Kutil Dharma or Saumya Dharma, as it was supposed to be called from now on.

Jatil Muni then directed them to go back quickly to Hastinapura and convert at least one major elite to Kutil Dharma. ‘Can you convert your sister secretly, Shakuni?’ Jatil Muni asked.

Shakuni was shaken to the core. ‘I will try, Master. She is too much under the influence of Vidura.’

Shakuni and Duryodhana left for Hastinapura, leaving Kanika with his guru.

Shakuni smiled absent-mindedly and muttered to Duryodhana, ‘If your mother had got even a whiff of our plot, the Pandavas would still be alive.’




IAS//DMET//BITS Pilani Open//Fighter of the bigger battles// Curates Jaipur Dialogues// Spirituality// Techie//Ex-Prez, Raj Cricket Asso

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Sanjay Dixit संजय

Sanjay Dixit संजय

IAS//DMET//BITS Pilani Open//Fighter of the bigger battles// Curates Jaipur Dialogues// Spirituality// Techie//Ex-Prez, Raj Cricket Asso

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