Before starting this essay, I would like to give a big shout-out to Shri Pratik Borade – YouTube. If it had not been for him, I would not have discovered this powerful, gripping, moving and gut-wrenching movie. By the way, if you want to watch the movie, it’s freely available for now on Dailymotion.

I will be discussing the story, characters and philosophy of the movie. So, if you want to watch and experience the movie without any pre-thoughts, spoilers, you should watch the movie first and come back later to read this essay. And one thing be sure about, the movie is extremely well-made and you’ll not get bored even for a moment.

Agora is “A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.” From IMDB descriptions.

Christianity had a dark, anti-scientific history almost right from its very inception. In fact, the same can be said about all the Abrahamic faiths & communism (their son of God is Marx, their holy book is the communist manifesto). Judaism is a slight exception because Jews were not as eager in spreading their faiths as the other Abrahamic faiths turned out to be. At the core of all these conflicts in the Western philosophies, religions, and deep-seated superiority complex and intolerance of these religions is the flawed two-valued logic system, these philosophies and the whole Western civilization has been based upon. Sanjay Dixit ji has explained this flawed logic system in contrast to Indic multi-valued logic system clearly in his blog post: All Religions Are Not The Same Series – Part 3 – Logic System In Hinduism — How It Differs From The West – Indic Corner (

Before the dominance of Christianity in the West, there was Greek, Roman civilization. Before the dominance of Islam, there was Persian, Egyptian civilization. There was a Mesopotamian civilization. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Xinxiang once were inhabited by peaceful, flourishing Buddhists, Hindus. Kashmir was the land of Hindu Kashmiri pandits and the source of unparalleled scholarship in arts, science, philosophy, literature. Of all the great empires, civilizations, philosophies that have encountered this onslaught of Abrahamic faiths, only Bharatiya Sanantan civilization has survived, won and stood tall. And that’s why I say this with a conviction that even if a tenth of Hindus today follow their Dharma, Kashmir will soon become the land of Kashmiri pandits again.

However, the Pagans went extinct. And this movie Agora is set in the times of the extinction of Pagan faith and Roman Egyptian culture due to the onslaught of Christianity. The movie revolves around the historical female philosopher and mathematician Hypatia of Alexandria. She was a free, independent, scientific thinker. She would question even the philosophical giants of her time such as Aristotle, Plato if the evidence goes against the pre-established notions. She was tolerant towards other faiths, beliefs and even taught Christian students in her class. To sum it up, she would have perfectly found herself at home amongst Vedic Harappans or amongst the people of Bharatvarsh of her time i.e. during 4th century CE. However, she was caught in the phase of the rising dominance of Christian thoughts and beliefs. And as shown in the movie, as people following a book gets to the dominance, the free-thinkers, scientists, philosophers, anyone who can potentially challenge what’s in their book becomes their arch enemy. This is despite the fact that Hypatia who was turned into an enemy of Christianity in this movie was a harmless, benevolent, beautiful woman whom these people themselves admired and respected before converting to Christianity. This change in behaviour and loss of humanity by turning into a blind follower is beautifully depicted in this movie through the character of Davus who was a slave of Hypatia, but converted to Christianity due to the short-term sense of power that he experienced in the rising tide of the new faith. He, however, was distraught, broken, hating himself in the end when he himself had to murder Hypatia to save her from being stoned naked to death.

The character of Cyril in the movie was another historically inspired character. He was the bishop who commanded Christians and turned them into a narrow thinking, ruthless, inhumane mob. Such characters have dominated the history of Abrahamic faiths & communism and they still exist to this day. The reason why believers of such faiths give in so easily to these evil, inhumane leaders again come downs to the unquestioned authority of the book and their two-valued logic system. This ultimately results in the situation of either my way or highway. And that’s what happened in the movie also. This bishop openly declared a well-respected woman as a witch. Witches, by the way, are viewed in Christianity as a threat, kind of Satanic and a perfect excuse to lynch a woman or burn her alive most often by first stripping her off and inflicting as much pain and humiliation upon her as possible. This, by the way, happened a few year’s ago in Afganistan where a Maulavi accused a woman of insulting the Quran and a frenzied crowd lynched her in the public and celebrated her death. Things don’t change so easily in Abrahamic faiths and their fundamentals are remarkably very similar.
The movie also shows how quickly these Abrahamic sects turn intolerant towards other Abrahamic sects when there are no non-Abrahamics left to attack. Christians turned quickly against Jews when Pagans were almost extinct. Sunnis against Shias and vice-versa, communists against everyone. Again the pattern repeating again and again in the dark history of Abrahamic faiths & communism.
Another truthful, painful aspect of the Christianity and other Abrahamic faiths beautifully depicted in this movie is the destruction of the library, temples, statues of Alexandria by the Christian mob. The narrow-minded, two-valued logic of these believers makes them so blind and intellectually dead that they ecstatically destroyed their own heritage, culture, and civilization. This is the true concept of conversion. And this concept never existed in Bhartiya civilization. Here, even when people accepted faiths, philosophies of Sanatana Dharma, they were never forced to give up their previous worshipped, venerated deities. In fact, in many cases, the local deities of these people started being worshipped by the Hindus outside that community. Such is the beauty of Sanatana Dharma and hence, the reason for its incredible diversity, acceptance. Sanatana Dharmis, however, shouldn’t make a mistake of regarding Abrahamic faiths & communism as unharmful, benevolent, free-thinking philosophies like theirs. We already have made that mistake repeatedly in the past and have paid very dearly for it.

Another powerful aspect of this movie was how people were shown to be converting to these Abrahamic faiths. In the beginning, they are converted by deceit, miracles. Then, the poor are targeted by economic incentives to boost their numbers. With numbers, they start humiliating, mocking other sects. As soon as they get power and dominance, they go all out to establish the dominance of their faith by destroying other places of worship, knowledge systems, rape-plunder and forceful conversions. In this adverse tide, some power-hungry weak-minded give in quite easily while many have to convert just for the sake of survival. Only the bravest, original, free-minded people like Hypatia can resist this tide. The fact that Hindus survived and remained dominant in India despite years of Islamic, Christian rule tells a lot about the grit, bravery, free-minded nature of our ancestors.

One aspect of this movie which was so beautifully developed was the scientific temper and aptitude of Hypatia. She was questioning the established notions, giant philosophers freely. She was developing new original ideas. She was not just tolerant but respectful to other faiths. She wasn’t fazed by insults. She never gave in to the Christian mob and faced them bravely. This all sounds so familiar. Well, this is the story of millions of Hindus who faced the Abrahamic faiths bravely despite losing the political power and then, faced persecutions in their own homeland of Bharatvarsh. There is one learning lesson. Don’t become too respectful to the intolerant for the intolerant will take advantage of this and will readily and happily wipe you out at the first instance of gaining power.

Pagans were not Hindus. They had some superficial similarities with the Hindu civilization but Bharatiya culture and philosophies are vastly different and again the difference goes to the fundamental levels of logic, time concepts, etc. However, as bad as the many Christian intellectuals today try to portray Pagans, they still produced scholars like Hypatia shown in this movie. Pre-Christian Western civilization was a flourishing civilization. But the rise of Christianity only took the West into the Dark Ages. Renaissance in the West was an anti-Church movement and ultimately forced the Church to rebrand and remarket themselves suitably for the people of the “Modern” ages (even that took centuries). In the meantime, other sects emerged from the fundamental Western notions of logic, time concept and authority of the divine book. Even the Western science world so admires today still has some flawed Christian elements at the fundamental levels. We all have seen this played out in the fight for credit, discoveries during the time of Classical Physics or the fights amongst scientists during the phase of development of Quantum physics. In fact, it was the Quantum physics that ultimately dealt blow to the two-valued deterministic logic system of the West and that deeply troubled even an agnostic genius like Albert Einstein. This failure of the two-valued deterministic logic system at the face of the discoveries of Quantum Physics forced many physicists to look East and discover the glory of Indic philosophies and multi-valued logic of the Upanishads, Vedas. Neils Bohr, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, the three giants in the fields of Quantum physics all had found Vedanta to be in the harmony with philosophies of Quantum physics while the Church based deterministic Western thoughts again found itself in crisis. But as has happened time and again, the Church cunningly digests popular ideas, emerging philosophies conveniently without giving the original source due credit, respect and recognition. This strategy of digestion by the Church has been explained in details by Rajiv Malhotra ji in his book “Being Different.” Many Western philosophers such as Carl Jung and Jordan B Peterson have tried their level best to salvage Christianity from the crisis it faces again and again.
“This is not to say that Christianity was without its problems. But it is more appropriate to note that they were the sort of problems that emerge only after an entirely different set of more serious problems has been solved. The society produced by Christianity was far less barbaric than the pagan-even the Roman-ones it replaced.” From pg 187 of 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson.
Now, like many people on the non-left side of the political spectrum, I also admire Jordan Peterson. But that is one appalling argument in his book where he kinds of justifies or at least give value to the ruthless extinction of pagans carried out by the Christians. I am no expert in pagan civilization but I do know for sure that Church and Christian society largely discouraged free-thinking and engaged in active proselytization. The Christian priests have committed ghastly, unspeakable, horrendous crimes against non-believers, women, philosophers, non-whites, believers of other faiths and particularly idol worshippers. Their acts in Konkan India can make even a bigoted Islamist like Aurangzeb look tolerant. Today, there is comparatively peace and prosperity in the West mainly because of the dilution of many aspects of Christianity due to Renaissance and anti-Church movements and rebellious, the free-thinking attitude of the new age scientists, scholars, philosophers. But they still haven’t completely come out of the two-valued logic system and there is superiority complex in the attitude of the West even in their so-called charitable works such as the fight against global warming.
My point is whenever there has been the dominance of an Abrahamic faith (or communism) anywhere in the world, it has only brought troubles, misery, death, destruction and even extinction of scientists, free-thinkers, knowledge systems, artisans, and ultimately whole civilizations. Agora is a powerful, gripping narration of one such true story that you should definitely watch & write and talk about it.

Originally published for personal blog.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.