We Indians are in a habit of undermining our own culture and call our country weak. Today we Indians are hesitant to endorse that our Nation was a Hindu kingdom. Hinduism today is only followed in India and a small percentage of people in a few other countries. But the Hindu kingdom until 900 CE was spread to a vast area including Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Yes, Afghanistan was a Hindu kingdom which was dominated by Hindus and Buddhists. The Muslim invasion of the Hindu region began as early as 980 CE when Raja Jaya Pal was attacked by Sabuktagin. During the rule of Jaya Pal, Shiva worship was dominant in all places of Afghanistan. The places had hundreds of Shiva temples with prayers, chants on Shiva.
The name Afghanistan was also derived from a Sanskrit word which means Upa-Gana-Stan which means ‘The place inhabited by allied tribes’. In fact, it was the same place from where the famous character Gandhari of the Mahabharat came from, Ghandar whose king was Shakuni. Today the place Ghandar is called Kandahar. Kusham and Kidara were other two noted kings of the region, during which the Afghan region extended up to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Even today Tashkent has a very old Shiva temple.
Sir Estine, who was a British Archaeologist had conducted excavations in the Afghanistan region and had found numerous temples, shrines and inscriptions. Sir Estine had recorded his findings in four books which described the existence of the famous Sun temple, a statue of Ganesha. Afghan professor Abdul Rehman in the University of Islamabad has also described in his books the glory and prosperity of the Nation in those times. He also described how the Bukhara region was called as the Shah Vihar which was ruled by a Hindu King. When the Arabs invaded the region the queen had escaped from the atrocities of Arabs and fled into Kashmir region seeking military help.
This story has been recorded by a Hindu historian Kalhan, in which he describes how the Kashmir ruler had fought a war against the vast army of Arab Khalifa Mamoon. By then, the Arabs had even conquered the Bukhara region and made Baghdad as their capital. The Hindus were considered very trust worthy and humble those days. Even though the Arabs had attacked and destroyed many Hindu temples, the Ayurveda practitioners in Varanasi were said to have treated ailing Kings and taken care of their health. The Arabs were so inspired by the Ayurvedic treatments that they had translated many Ayurvedic procedures into Arabic which are even today available in a volume called ‘Frisht’.
Baku the capital of Azerbaijan region which is famous for petroleum fields has an underground Shiva temple. It is said that a Punjabi priest officiated this temple which has been recorded in the Punjabi Gurmukhi script. Kabul and Gandhar region during 7th century was ruled by Shahi Kings who were related to Kashmir rulers. The region was regarded as very prosperous and wealthy during this time. The place where Kabul’s main mosque stands today was the place of an ancient Hindu temple.
During the period 660 AD to 850 AD, the Khingla dynasty and the Kalkaa Brahmin Kings ruled the region which was again destroyed by the Arab invaders. But the biggest jolt to Hindu dynasty came after the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni, the son of Sabuktagin who invaded India during 10 century. Jaipal Dev could not withstand the attack of Ghazni and lost the war badly. Unable to bear the defeat he committed suicide.
Mahmud of Ghazni was the person who named the mountains in Afghan as Hindu Kush which means ‘Killer of Hindus’ to describe the number of Hindus who died on their way to Afghanistan into the life of captivity!
Mahmud of Ghazni extended his kingdom eliminating many Hindu kingdoms and destroying every city murdering thousands of people and destroying the temples and shrines. He extended his territory up to Lahore and Kangra in the Himachal region.
A Hindu ruler called Veka was said to be most powerful during those days and had eightfold forces who conquered the earth, the markets and the forts by his forces. He was even successful in stopping the Arabs in southern Afghanistan. So India was not just restricted to Kashmir region or Punjab but extended beyond the borders of Afghanistan and Hinduism was the major religion until the Arabs and Mughal invaders crossed the borders and destroyed the existence of Hinduism in Afghan region. This beautiful Nation which was once ruled by most humble Kings was invaded by the butchers of Taliban, who destroyed every bit of the country
Unfortunately, no history books teach us these hard facts in school. But we are instead taught to glorify the butchers who murdered thousands of Hindus just because they refused to disown their beliefs
Source and Credit: Sanskritimag.com