Race, Soul, and Indo-Aryan Religion

Alfred Rosenberg

RosenbergWhen the first great Nordic wave rolled over the high mountains into India, it had already passed through many hostile races. Instinctively, as it were, the Indo-Aryans separated themselves from the dark alien peoples they encountered. The institution of caste was the outcome of this instinctive aversion. Varna means caste, but it also means color. The fair Aryans thus linked themselves to an acceptable version of the human type, and created a gulf between themselves as conquerors and the black-brown natives of pre-Aryan India. According to this opposition of blood and blood, the Aryans evolved a world-view which, for depth and range, cannot be surpassed by any philosophy even today, although admittedly this was only after a long battle against the constantly intruding ideas of the racially inferior aborigines. [Image: Alfred Rosenberg.]

The period, for example, which lies between the heroic songs of the Vedas and that of the Upanishads is one both of expansion and of a simultaneous struggle against sorcery and degenerate ecstasies. The sacrificial cult of spirits and gods had begun to infiltrate. The priest, with his sacred ladle and firebrand, was not immune to these magical ideas. Every touch of the hand, every gesture, acquired a mystical significance ...

Ritualism developed between the mythological and the philosophical periods. Prayer, which with the true Brahman was only a powerful elevation of the heart, became an incantation to compel the gods by magic. In the midst of this murky process, the Atman doctrine appeared to light a ray of hope. It was not "an act of psychological development," which would be utterly meaningless ... but represented a new awakening of the Aryan soul in the face of the superstitious and magical beliefs of the subjugated non-Aryans.

This interpretation is at once confirmed when it is established that the great doctrine of the personal value of the spirit -- devoid of magic and the demonic -- originated in the courts of the kings and was diffused from the warrior caste. Although the Brahmans were later to become the teachers of the new idea of the essential Oneness of the world-soul and the individual soul, they were never able to conceal the origin of the new concept. Thus it comes about that instruction concerning Atman is given by King Ajatacatru to the Brahman Gargya Balake; by King Pravahna to the Brahman Aruni. Thanks to this aristocratic reassertion, the un-Aryan magic cult retreated further and further and did not proliferate once more until later when racial decay overtook even the India of the Kshatriyas.

As a born master, the Indian felt his individual soul expand into the Atman which pervaded the entire universe and lived within his own breast as his innermost self. The concept of an impersonal nature, rich and virtually all-provident, could not divorce him from this metaphysical union. An active life, which was always demanded as an ineluctable duty of the world-renouncing thinker, gave place more and more to the aim of journeying into the universe of the soul. This transition to the pure light of knowledge led to the noble attempt to overcome nature through reason. There is no doubt that many Indians, as individual personalities and aristocrats, were successful in this quest. But for later men only the teaching remained, devoid of its vital racial prerequisite.

Soon the rich, blood-based meaning of Varna was entirely lost. Today it is only a division between technical, professional, and other classes and has degenerated into the vilest travesty of the wisest idea in world history. The later Indian did not comprehend the three-fold significance Blood, Self, and Universe. He saw only the last two. And he perished in the attempt at isolated contemplation of the Self and in racial pollution, whose modern products are wretched mongrels, seeking healing for their crippled existence in the waters of the Ganges.

After he had "overcome" the polarized ideas of self-universe by a rational choice in favor of the one part, the Indian monist also endeavored to eliminate the antithesis between them and violently to attain freedom through nature and master nature through freedom. He, therefore, was inclined to regard race and personality as being aspects of a higher concept and as illusionary. The late Indian monist came to see nature as something unreal -- an evil dream. The only reality for him was the world soul (Brahman) and its eternal reoccurrence in the individual soul (Atman). With this turning away from nature in general, the once clear idea and concept of race became ever more hazy. Philosophic dogma uprooted instinct from its earthly basis. If the only reality is the world-soul and if Atman is essentially one with it, then individuality vanishes and an undifferentiated universal oneness is achieved.

The result was that Indian thought ceased to be creative. It grew rigid. The alien blood of the swarthy Sudras, who were now thought of as equally valuable bearers of Atman, seeped in. Thus was destroyed the original concept of the identity of caste and race. Bastardization was inevitable. Serpent and phallic cults of the aborigines began to flourish and spread. Symbolic interpretations of the hundred-armed Siva, like creeping vines in the primeval forest, begin to appear in a horrible bastard art. Only at the courts of the kings were the old heroic songs still heard and the lyricism of such as Kalidasa and other, mostly unknown, poets still honored.

Shankhara attempted a new refurnishing of Indian philosophy. But it was in vain. Through too deep an intake of breath, the arteries of the race were ruptured. Aryan blood flowed out and trickled away. Only here and there, where the dark soil of ancient India sucks it up, does it still fertilize. But it leaves only a cultivated philosophical and technical orthodoxy which, in its later insane distortion, rules Hindu life today.

We must not shortsightedly assert that the Indian first polluted his race and then surrendered his personality. It is rather the case that a metaphysical process took place and that this was manifested in a passionate yearning for the abolition of dualism as well as the reciprocally-conditioning lower forms of polarity.

Viewed from the outside, philosophical acceptance of an equation of Atman-Brahman engendered racial decay. In other cultures, this decay was not consequent upon the establishment of a pervasive philosophy but was, simply, the result of uninterrupted miscegenation among two or more races. In such cases the essential characteristics of the various races were neither elevated nor strengthened but ended in mutual annihilation.


Alfred Rosenberg, The Myth of the Twentieth Century, trans. Vivian Bird (Newport Beach, CA: Noontide Press, 1983), 8-10. Rosenberg, the NSDAP's official party ideologist, was hanged at Nuremberg in October 1946. His Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts was first published in 1930. The title above is editorial. For more on Rosenberg, read Peter Peel's introductory essay at Website Berlin. Also see Gnostic Origins of Alfred Rosenberg's Thought at the IHR site. Myth of the Twentieth Century can be purchased from Noontide Press.