Questioning Western or Non-Practitioners’ Translations of Hindu Scriptures

There are many versions of different Hindu texts translated across the globe, and we could see that Western scholars have a deep underlying interest in Hindu dharma too. They have attempted to bring the light upon some of the texts. However, there are many problems with these versions.

First, we see that they have translated Svarga is the same as the heaven and Punyapaap as the sin. In Hindu dharma, there is no devil in the system like in Christianity. There is no anti-Brahma or anti-Shiva like the anti-christ. Swami Nithyanandha believes that the western translations thought currents are not equivalent to the Vedic and Hindu thoughts. It means that the western scholars have no interest in deeper and larger dimensions of Vedic, Agamic literature and their thought currents. For instance, God is not the same as ‘Sadashiva’. When we talk about God, it is either a generator, an operator or a destroyer, but Sadashiva is involved with five things: generation, operation, managing, delusion, and liberation. Life cannot be detached from the concept of delusion and liberation. But, westerners have only portrayed the three operations of life – generation, operation, destruction. And thus, God has been portrayed as a generator, operator, and destroyer. God is rather a projection of mind, and Sadashiva projects us from his mind.


There is a different understanding for each term. When you talk about Svarga, it means what you want, you wanted, the Sva, which then becomes the reality, the arga. Svarga is not the same for all. Everyone has different svarga.

You can compare svarga with a private reality, just like your home. The frequencies are in one plane, and that is why Trishanku can visit Varuna, Varuna can visit Agni, Agni can visit Vanyu, but the thing is that they have independent svargas.

Thus, svarga is a bit different from the concept of heaven. Heaven is more of a multiple-apartment complex with all the lavish features where all common utility is common.

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In the western scholars’ translations, svarga is heaven for them. But as you might now have gotten this idea, it is not the same and we should not be swallowing everything that we get from the translations. Swami Nithyananda believes that the reason for the limited understanding of non-practitioners and western scholars’ might be two – first, ignorance; second, “cunning, purposeful wage of war through intellectual distortion.” If you read much of Max Muller’s versions, you do find the problem, and Swami Nithyananda insists that we should not be blinding following his versions.


He even believes that Hindu dharma has taken a damage as some Hindu institutions have accepted these translations, and believes that the neo-Vedanta sampradaya and neo-Vedantians are the products of this distortion.

(based on Swami Nithyananda’s interview with Rajiv Malhotra )

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