Journal : Sunday, 23rd April, 2017

Temperatures have shot up to 43 deg C during daytime. Nights are still somewhat bearable, between 23 to 27 deg C. People have begun to prefer the pavement outdoors for that open space and slight breeze, even for that whiff as cars whiz by; that is, not everyone out there is homeless. Speaking of which, there was a storm yesterday which raised some thanks to the lips, despite it being a dusty and dirty one. As a result, it a notch cooler today, humid but the sun less beating and scorching. Weather woes shall continue through burning May, sweaty June, hot humid interregnums in rainy July and August, followed by the second, shorter summer in September and October, tapering into cooler November days. This different kind of abundance, of excessive heat will borne in languidity. The showers, usually sporadic in these parts around the national capital, should bring some poets to life.

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It is indisputable, India needs to keep its guard up against an expansionist China. The good thing is that Chinese leadership is not warmongering. It will not go to war until it is inevitable and unless it is winnable. That however is no cause for comfort or relaxation in peace. It will always test for opportunities to expand its agenda envelope materially, psychologically and militarily.

What I emphasise is that if we keep building our state of preparedness to a triumphant strategy, such that China knows that a war with India is not winnable, and do not stop meeting and looking into their eye, we would be attack proof.

That preparedness is going strong, well on the way, in India, strategically as well as assetwise. Where we still appear weak in this context is cyber warfare, both in disseminating information and in systems hacking of assets on land, sea and space. At least there is little info on our capacity in this regard.

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The post and comments by an FB friend gathered perception to what things mean to us, why and how. The perception domain is like the tip of an iceberg, of which just one-tenth is exposed or objective and nine-tenth is subjective, of which none is better placed to look into than the person himself. Yet, this major part remains unexamined, as it happens.

Our perception domain extends from material object, just so many points in the gross space, to the endlessly vast inner, progressively subtle extension in which the subject’s self could be situated. The inner domain extends along a vertical axis and is actually an asymptotal cone, expanding infinetely at the subtle-most abode of the Self.

The inward axis is symbolically denominated by the seven chakras, each qualifying the perceiver with capacity for ever more subtle sight … defining the meaning of what is in our eye. They are : Base, which qualify us with survival concerns including food and organic or physiological processes; Pleasure, Self-Serving and -Satisfying concerns; Competitive Status, Strength and Power concerns; Heart, Love and Happiness concerns; Spiritual, Unworldly concerns; Spiritually Attained, Post Fulfillment concerns; and Liberated, Spiritually Quenched, Total Freedom from all concerns. Thereupon reigns the indescribable Witness Self –within — Self Infinite experience of I-without-another.

Here on, I can only indicate the many dimensions of gathered thought pithily :

1 Hume’s Empiricism has just one dimension, that of gross present. It is incapable of reflecting upon all those subjective, subtle and causal extensions no human being is without but which, as it happens, remains unexamined. The three terms — Gross, Subtle and Causal — are denominative of different Spaces with their respective universes, which is before, within and behind every person, as a matter of fact. Not everybody is aware of the Subtle phenonomena and none that I know, including myself, is privy to the Causal. These three Great Spaces have different nature, objects and laws.

2 Kant’s apriori categories of subjective knowledge very partially cover the subtle domain explained above. It suffers the same shortcomings as Hume’s in the Western mind… We tend to look upon Kant’s proposition objectively, when the presentation regards wholly subjective matters. Rather, we better understand it when we read up and imbibe the reality circumscribed by (A) Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras that mention … Panch Pramana; Threefold Samadhis — Vitarka, Vichaar and Kaivalya; Word–Meaning–Knowledge; Place — Species — Time (or Age), etc. etc… and (B) say, Durga Stuti, which goes on to fetch universal subtle constituents of Manifest Being in the series “या देवी सर्वभूतेषु…” or in BhagvadGita, where the Supreme Being attempts to point to his own presence in diverse things, people, and ways.

3 It’s only when the entire asymptotic expanse is traversed, offering all possible views — true, truer and supreme, would a man rest in knowledge that is the Truth of truths, and can thence intuit the truth of all things, completely and immutablly. That’s how the Vedic seers perceived the universe in a single of sand, the Kenopanishad answers to “What is that, knowing which all this is known ?”, and the Mundaka wraps up all Being in three letters of AUM, with fourth (.) as the abode of Immanent Supreme.

There is no clarity of any thing, being, person or event, and any time. We will have to think up meanings as we go along until then, and believe in them.

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A neighbourhood gossip I heard that you might find entertaining as well :

A husband wrote back to his wife that hasn’t received his salary this month, so he is sending a hundred kisses instead, and that he loved her very much.

After about ten days, his wife replied that she had paid those they owed with the kisses, particularly how the landlord had insisted on a tight embrace in addition, with her up against the wall, to square up on his dues.

She further informed her husband that she had only ten more kisses left with her against the twelve that would be required for what was due to the gardener. The man was an unruly rustic, more like a wild bull. “But you, dear husband, need not worry,” assured the wife, for she would give back to him no less and actually looked forward to the transaction. Finally, she wrote, she loved him very much too.

I would not be able to recount what happened thereafter, dear reader, because I did not hear that part. What do you think would have happened ? Did the husband fall ill ? Did he scramble to send the salary amount by express transfer ? Or, did he himself actually rush back home ?

Do let me know.

Reason The Truth Into Experience

Nan yar ? Who am I ? This one question was Raman Maharishi‘s constant advice to everyone who sought their way to identifying with the supreme truth.

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One implication in what the master suggests is obvious. To ask, “Who am I ?” of myself is to admit that I am not what I think or believe I am. But before we broach upon the positive and unspoken content within that suggestion, there is a need to understand the whole method by which our questioning and reasoning about the truth also leads us to the experience of the supreme truth. It is the summum bonum of all yoga practice — karma, bhakti, raaj and gyan.

The Method

1  Dreamed In 

A man’s life, his daily and extraordinary experiences, are his mind that sucks the person into itself and keeps him, like the dreamer inextricably absorbed in his dream. The dream and the dreamer are inseparable until the dream is suffused with his subjectivity, lending reality to people, things and events occuring in the dream, making them really happen to oneself. One then eats the mango in the dream and feels happy of its flavour. It fills our appetite. Or, one would walk miles and feel tired in his bones. One would take care at a river bank to avoid slipping into the water and getting wet. And we would be frantic, miserable with fear facing a lion staring at us while letting out a bone chilling roar. Our cries for help and our prayer to be saved would be real. The suffused subjectivity is psychologically viscous enough to absorb us into the dream, trapping our self in the thick of the dream.

2  Dreamed At

Sometime, I or someone will find this dream defined being unsatisfactory. We would make an effort to reclaim ourselves for our own self, perhaps at creating an objective way to be in, and as I choose for myself, or be at our own leisure without anything or anyone other than myself to qualify my being. While thus applied, one of the first result of our effort gathers our subjectivity back to oneself, as it happens in a half dream state when we know we are the audience to this objectively perceived dream playing out before us, like a moving picture on celluloid screen or a drama enacted on stage. Then, just then, I know that I am apart from the dream, which however affects me because of habitual associations I passively allow to remain in effect, to continue to lend reality to the play, until I hear the alarm or otherwise decide to heave myself up.

3  Dreamed Out

Our self effort to reclaim ourselves would one day result in us being adequately empowered against every cause affecting our self, every effect they might impress on myself, feelings, emotions and will, thoughts or ideas, and potential to resurface as memory at a moment in future. to qualify my feelings once again. But no more. As a result of my self effort, I am sharply aware at all times of what is I, me and mine, and all that is non-I. I can feel and watch the latter come in every one of their myriad forms and it particular power to affect me. There is never a time when I am un- or ill-prepared to deal with their approach, their power to claim my subjectivity and decide for myself. As a result, I am fully awake to myself and every thing or person in my environment, what they truly mean to me in terms of value, relevance and irrelevance, and obligations due to each. The critical eye is all time open, awake and available to me. There is never a possibility, even remotely, of an error on my part in setting my priority or of failing to act as appropriate when due. I am not assailed by the thought of any happening or event in future nor does the past mean anything other than what I choose for it to be. There is never a dream in my life anymore. There is a mind I constantly watch over, and use as I will, but not a faintest chance of me being sucked into it.

4  Dream Free

Finally, I am ever away from all things and people, feelings and emotins, mind and will and thought. Even the thought of myself, of being local to a body form, disappears. There is nothing dead anymore, nothing alive, nothing other than I, which I am pervading all, being all, and immanent. I am the Self, being and witnessing the Self. I am One without a second.

* * *

To illustrate the method…

There was a time when I’d concentrate on a hypothetical situation : say, travelling at speed of light.

One, I — the observer — would have a rest mass extended to infinity, regardless what I weighed on earth.

Two, I would be a photon — light — for nothing else is known to move at the speed of light.

Given one and two above, I would be diffused all over the universe, illuminating every point of space (and every speck of matter) in it.

But where then would I be moving from or to ? Since I would be already be everywhere, my own speed (at that of light) makes no sense just then, even while the hypothesis has ordained that phenomenal event.

Reasonably, one, I would be in a state of infinite rest, forever exceeding all bodies that would have disappeared into irredeemable past.

Two, I would ever precede all forms that now fill the universe and all events which then seemed to be in endless future.

Thus, there is I and nothing other than I; never was otherwise, ever will thus be.

I immanent, without a second.

* * *

Well, what do I apply the method on ?

I  What am I when I am dead ? It was famously the first realisation of Raman Maharshi, in his actually simulated experience while chose to lay dead, breathless and totally withdrawn, without sense, feeling or thought. Dead yet conscious as a witness but without a sense or even the faintest of memory of what or who I thought I was.

II  What am I while I am deep asleep, without a sense or a dream ? I am one with Vitality Universal, Prana, of which all body is infused with life, the heart beats and organs works, and of which every life is powered. It is I, all life, exceeding each and all collectively, making time in the biological clock ticking in every being.

III  What am I while I dream in ? I am the lord of this body-mind-karma complex unit, creating all by myself these animate and inanimate forms in the dream for karmic experience of the one who is caught in the dream. I am the Soul or Atman, the reflection of One Universal in this body mind unit, witnessing and aiding the entrapped ego-for-itself-being to experience, learn, and liberate itself.

IV  What am I while I am dream at ? I am the ego-for-itself-being, then caught while dreaming in, with the sense of who I am in this body, with this mind, these thoughts and impressions of experiences from before. I inexhaustably desire to be happy, joyous and pleased, and am forever daunted by the electable task of attaining resolute equanimity, fixed calm and abiding peace. I bring my disquiet and my dissatisfactions to this being, this world of mine, while I am awake. I tire of them and go back to dream and fall deep asleep but begin anew when I am awake with the same desires, same thirst for more of the same.

 V  What am I when I have dreamed out ? I have empowered myself against the hold and power of desires upon myself, against passing frames of affections, emotions and wills. I have acquired the capacity to unwaveringly focus on chosen goals, values — justice, beauty and common good than personal pleasure or indulgence — and I firmly keep a clear perspective of life in view to direct myself to the right path, with decisions proper by my moral and ethical expectations.

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When we stand beside our new, gorgeous looking car, beaming with pride, to pose for the camera, we identify ourself with our valuable possession saying to ourself, “I am the owner of this beauty.”

The onlooker can see the car and the man, err, the clothed body of the man. He is not able though to see the “I” the man is silently alluding to.

Where is the I ?

What is the stuff it is constituted of ?

Admittedly, it impossible to place it on the table in order to study it. It will still prove elusive even after the man is carefully disected into pieces. Yet, as sure as sunrise on eastern horizon in the morning, there is this I we are certain of before all else, of this mind, its feelings and thoughts.

Happy discoveries !

Savitri : Part II

Savitri : The Mahabharata Story

… Continued …
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That evening, returning home after her first encounter with Satyavan and knowing of Satyavan’s blind father’s story, Savitri’s first care was to share with her mother those strange overpowering emotions she had felt for the young Prince and her deeply felt affinity for his old parents, for the sad happenings in the life of the old King who now lived as a hermit in the anchorage she often visited. The queen understood how affected her daughter was and shortly rushed to her husband, the king of Madra, to communicate her own fears.
“Now what is it, my gentle queen, that makes you feel so rushed ?” She told him, between smiles and tears, all she had heard from Savitri. The Madra king sighed and replied, “I fear much, of our daughter’s future, my dear. What are this Satyavan’s family’s antecedents, their belief and values system ? Not knowing aught, can we discuss with them our Savitri’s future ? It is such a delicate matter.”
A few days after, as if to allay the king’s doubts, Narad Muni came to Madra palace. Old and gray but of cheerful countenance, everybody loved to see the gossip gathering and freely spreading son of Great Brahma. Yet Narad Muni’s visit was never without serious significance for the individual or family he visited. The Madra monarch too hoped that he would be benefited by the Muni’s ability to look into the future and by his sage advice.
“Now welcome, welcome, dear old friend ! All hail, and welcome you once again !” Barely were the greetings exchanged when in glided Savitri like a strain of beautiful music, filling the room.
“And who is this bright one, say, whose radiance dispels the chamber’s gloom ? Is she an Apsara or fay ?” The Muni enquired, though he well knew Savitri’s identity.
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“No Sire, this is my one, my only child.”
“And… married ?”
“No. Sire.”
“The seasons pass, so make haste, O King,” the Muni remarked with a smile.
“That is the very matter, O Sage, on which I urgently need your wise counsel. Savitri has seen a youth at the hermitage, to whom in very deed her heart inclines.”
“And who is he ?”
“My daughter, tell the Sage his name and family. Speak as to men who best love thee.”
Savitri turned to them her modest face and answered calm and clear, while the sage listened with animated interest.
“Ah, no ! Ah, no,” cried the Muni. “It cannot be. Choose another, my dear !”
“And why should I ? When I have given my heart away, though in thought, how can I take back ? Forbid it, Heavens ! I know no crime in him or his.”
“Believe me, Child, my reasons shall be clear in time. I speak not wildly. Trust me on this.”
“No, I cannot break a plighted faith and I cannot bear a wounded conscience.”
“Oh, forsake this fancy, my dear. Of it spring dark forebodings and my despair.” The Sage was visibly perturbed as he intensely beseeched.
“It may not be…” The King of Madra opined with a faraway look but stopped to hear the speakers by turns, doubt writ large on his face. He tentantively interposed, “O Sage, you mean well. But is this young man, Satyavan, entirely unworthy of my daughter ? Tell me, in some detail.”
“No, I must clarify, Satyavan would be a very capable and worthy groom. He is more godly than mere human but is still not suited for your daughter. The great Soor Sena was his ancestor and no king has been as good and kind as Dyaumat Sena, his blind father. Yet, this relationship between Savitri and Satyavan would bring great misery on her, as their stars are heavily mismatched by the heavens.”
“What exactly, O Muni, is the bar ? Even if his father’s kingdom is lost, even while his family’s wealth is gone, Satyavan’s merit still remains as a shining star. None of their misfortune takes away the greatness instituted in his lineage. I care not for riches, worldly power, or rank of the youth who my daughter finds worthy enough to serve. I will accept him as my son who is well brought up, who is pure, wise and brave. And in this instance, thanks to Fates, I see no hindrance; no, not one.”
“Since you insist, O King, hear the truth, fated and fatal. On this day a year later, the young Prince shall die, leaving the happy child bereaved for the rest of long life. Hence I suggest…”
The monarch was stunned into silence through a long pause in the conversation. But he knew, the future was an open book to Brahma’s son. Sweat broke on his brow as he shuddered at the thought of her widowed daughter. Coming from the great sage himself, the King knew, the jinx was certain to happen. No, he resolved, even the possibility of such a mishap cannot be brought upon his child.
The King of Madra gently took Savitri’s palm into his own and said, almost pleadingly :
“Savitri, my dear, no child can give away her own hand into marraige. A pledge, as you have made, is nought while it remains unsanctionèd. And here, if I correctly understand, there was no pledge at all. It was but a thought, a shadow that barely crossed your mind. You are therefore free to review and reform your view upon hearing our good counsel. What has been on your may hence be clean forgot and cannot be binding in the eyes of the gods.
“And think well you must upon the dreadful curse of widowhood : the vigils, fasts and penances; no life is worse than the hopeless one of a widow. For while it lasts, days follow, one after another, in one long monotonous circle, blank and drear. Less painful would it be to be bound on some bleak rock, without a chance of ever becoming free, with just the ocean’s melancholy voice for company. No, my dear, no ! You must make a different choice amongst the several already before us. If that be a sin, let the sin be upon me.”
Hearing her father speak with weakness out of concern for her fated future, young Savitri stood up to face him with unblanched cheeks and clear eyes, like a statue come alive strong and firm. Even in the meek grace of her virginhood, her words were somewhat austere :
“Father, once and only once do all submit to Destiny. Such is God’s command for us humans and the gods in heaven. Once, and only once, so it is writ, does a woman pledge her faith and hand. Once, and only once, can a sire say unto his beloved daughter in presence of the Great Witness of the Sacred Fire, “I give thee away to this man.”
“Once, and only once, Father, have I given my heart and faith, and it is now past recall. With conscience, none have ever striven without failing, and none may strive without a fall. My vow for Satyavan was not the less solemn because it was not uttered before others and thus remained unheard. And oh! my dear father, my sin will not be less, if I should now deny the feeling I then felt and now feel within. I may remain unwedded to my dying day, my father dear, but I shall not vow for another. It is well, if so thou will. But, say, can a man balk Fate, or break its chain ?
“If Fate so rules, that I should feel the miseries of a widow’s life, can man’s device repeal the doom ? The strife between Humanity and Fate seems unequal : none have on earth what they desire; death comes to all, soon or late. And peace is but a wandering fire; expediency leads the wild astray. What is right must be our guiding star; duty must be our watchword, come what may. Judge for me, Father ! Godfather Narad Muni ! Judge for me the wise course to take.”
Silence descended in the hall after Savitri concluded her thought on the matter. She meekly looked up to both. Her father, though he patiently heard her, still seemed loathe to give his sanction to her pledge for Satyavan. But Narad Muni found the words to exclaim : “Bless thee, my child ! ‘Tis not for us to question the Almighty will, though cloud on cloud loom ominous. In gentle rain they may distil.” At this cue, the monarch too agreeably spoke : “Be it so ! I sanction what my sage friend approves. All praise to Him, whom praise we owe. My child shall wed the youth she loves.”

Justice Is Beauty That Laws Try To Sketch.

Justice is the beauty of people to be human, to remain humane.

What else can a human be ? He can be subhuman, beastly; perhaps, out of anger or outrage at first and then because of a certain inability to control oneself, check the momentum and rise back to regain the ground of trust, love and compassion.

Justice does not just lie in the beauty of loving and trusting people; it is the beauty itself, of man. It is rooted in that beauty and takes all its justification from it, both in all that needs to be done to create a just environment, so that men are not pushed into becoming beasts, and all that must be avoided, its excesses and its dicatates to serve itself regardless of the beauty it is meant to protect and serve. The lines it must scrupulously contain itself within set up justice for what it is, as an essential means at serving the beauty our humanity could rise or evolve into.

Beauty is the truth of man and justice the goal of our polity. It is not a thesis and has less to do with philosophy than with peace in our hearts. Justice is more of a spiritual pursuit than a legal argument. It is the truth that laws try to sketch; the latter rarely come close to delivering the beauty in our maker’s intent.

Beauty is the maker’s program for man.

Justice is dharma, the adjunct within that encompassing truth of man.

The Wheel Of Dharma

SamVed : A Prayerful Song For Oneself

03 A Prayerful Song For Oneself

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Aurangzeb : The Vile Muslim

General Order for the Destruction of Temples… 9th April, 1669 

“The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Thatta, Multan, and especially at Benaras, the Brahmin misbelievers teach their false books, in their established schools, to admirers and students, both Hindu and Muslim, who come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire their vile learning.
 
“His Majesty, eager to establish Islam, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels, and with utmost urgency, put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these unbelievers.”

This is not the only instance when Aurangzeb prevented Muslims from acquiring knowledge and wisdom of the Hindu philosophical works and other Sanskrit and Bhasha classics, or people-to-people sharing of spiritual and intellectual experience. He thus stifled the process of fusion, or at least bridging of the gulf between the two creeds of very different approach, principles, values, levels of intellectual attainments and period over which their ideas evolved.

Instead, a ‘ general order ‘ of this type is issued to put down the teaching and public practice of religion by Hindu. There is no intelligible reason for such a senseless act, except profound hatred and fear or absence of critical capacity to examine and discriminate.

All along, the inferior mental assets of Islamist occupiers in India proved very costly to the natives, right upto the present. They demolished some of the most lofty, beautiful and venerable shrines in the country during the next few years !

However, nothing they could do took a speck away from Benares its unique position and prestige as the chief Vedic centre of learning, dharma shastras, the six philosophies, Sanksrit language and literature, and astronomy.

In the sketch above, the artist shows the destruction of  hugely regarded temples at Somnath, Jagannath Puri, Benaras (Kashi Vishwanath) and  Mathura (Keshava Rai)… all highly respected places of worship of some antiquity.  
In the centre is a portion of the infamous order of the 9th April.
One could add scores of other very well regarded places of worship demolished by the vile zealots during this period, including the Kalka Temple in Delhi.

Journal : The Whole Problem

Let me deal with it the last — the whole problem, I mean.

It is New Year Day in India. Or rather was, until 8.30 am today. Incomprehensible ? Quite. It is frequently described as a luni-solar calendar. Its start is equinoxal, March 28 this year, which is not the equinox proper.

The Indian New Year starts with a nine-day festivity of prayers, fasts and offerings to the deity. Which one ? Commonly, it is dedicated to the Great Mother of the universe, a form of Her for each of the nine days. Or, one could be rejoicing in the memory of a 7000 year old event — return of Ayodhya Prince Ram after 14 year exile — described in the classic epic, the Ramayana. He is none other than the Great Lord, incarnated to destroy evil forces and ameliorate people’s sufferings through his blessed ideal persona and his reign as the King of Ayodhya.

      Luv and Kush being taught by Sage Valmiki.
              Pic : Courtesy Keshav @keshav61

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The mercury is shooting up and up – 40/23 C. Sunday is predicted to be a tiny shade cooler : 38/21 C. It affects the body, by need for greater intake and loss to ambience. The seasonal adjustment is stressful to the organs and physiological processes. Which in turn would impact on inner disposition, mental and emotional, and our behaviour if one is not watchful.

Happily, for the rest, all is well. As in, there are capable and conscientious people at work…in the government, judiciary, the parliament, and sports. That shows. The trouble makers in media and politics have receded to darker confines. Criminals are more and more finding the environment less conducive to their trade.

Some bright sparks in sports : CricketIndia won over the Aussies, dramatically I must say. Saina Nehwal, the ace shuttler, is getting more and more confident through her comeback after knee surgery. PV Sindhu is brimming with belief. Even the footballers scored over Myanmar. And the country is priming up for FIFA U – 17 World Cup.

Those familiar would recognise the name : Carolina Marin, the Spaniard who is current world champ of badminton. Her despatches are a pleasure to read, especially when she shares about her other-than-court experience. They are light, transparent with just that little gush to breezily touch you.

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The renowned liberal icon Bertrand Russel says, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”

As I understand, it is lamentable that decent folks are frequently unsure and the bigots are so totally convinced. The liberal rangers however present a different interpretation : that, everybody who is clear and firm in his knowledge of things is a fanatic, a fool who has yet to evolve into the meritorious state of doubt.

And that is the whole problem. Is it that people do not have knowledge of avenues to evolve from that inevitable state of doubt to a state of knowledge ? Or, are they simply lazy, merely inhibited for one reason or other ? Or, is it that they are just terrified of becoming clear, of finding answers that can no longer be refuted ?

I do not know. But, most certainly, I am reminded of the whole problem everytime I hear learned blokes waxing on their intellectual moons, with little regard for tons of historical evidence and empirical clues about the real phenomena happening on the ground. Apparently, they find no cause to move against forces, way of life or belief system, that are heaping misery on millions of people on earth.

That indeed is the whole problem.

Let’s hear what Ian Andersen has to say in his Jethro Tull song : No Lullaby.

Success Agrees And Disagrees

With me. It disagrees when it appears in its narrow, limited connotations : material, self-serving with delusional gains. It agrees when it pertains to aspirations, application and attainment, for improved life and personal capacity for making things happen.

So you may find me shaking my head at a Dalai Lama quote that pitches successful people against compassionate human beings, and emphasises his preference for the latter. I do not see the premises it is based on as correct. There is no real reason why agreeable success and compassion must be mutually exclusive. On the other hand, such a position is so far divorced from our real world, of real people situated from one end of personal evolution and attainment scale to the other, that the harker must be moved far into the sidelines.

The disagreeable aspect to success is inevitable to the phenomenal package, and hence must be accepted. People will err but, then or later, will ultimately learn; those who have not caught on the agreeable part cannot be faulted or denied of their urge to attain and succeed.

“May you succeed,” is one ancient-most blessing elders in India still shower on their protege in this day.

Vijayi Bhava !

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Spirit And Spirituality

Spirituality is about you, I, the spirit we are. We have an apriori sense of our self, primarily by our bouyancy, happiness, enthusiasm, brightness and cheer, and sharpness for observation, analysis and perspectival interpretation.

Our spirit pre-exists our thoughts, the running frames of emotion, the many wills charged or not, and our actions that others behaviourally assess for themselves.

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Spirituality, therefore, involves you and I with knowledge and methodical means to raise our cheer and brightness index despite our experience, condition and life situations that are usually adverse and, more or less, traumatic in nature.

How to raise our cheer and brightness index is a primal query and an indispensable quest, and keep it high and substantial all the time. It is the most fundamental of all self-empoering life skills, which gives to us the power to regulate the mind and direct our behaviour.

It all starts with recognising the questions, accepting the quest, and adopting the answers or solutions we come across.

Cheers.

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Pain And Deliverance

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Pain = Suffering felt, emotion it draws

Hate = Ego, self coated in emotion, wielding directed will, apparently to address the pain)

That is how phenomenal being-for-itself works. Howsoever the individual secures or protects itself against it, deep hurt and lingering pain are primary to life, inseperable from this fated human condition. Some are fortunate enough to have enough pleasing distractions to mollify, enable them to take in their stride their share of persistent personal dissatisfactions, causes for their unceasing unhappiness, as life deals.

In our modern era, we have more and more means to make our lives more and more bearable. There are even lines of beliefs which encourage us to think of ourselves as mere automatons, a chemical product that walks on unfeeling of mental stakes our life situations drive into us. That, to me, seems like an attempt to make our despair the new normal, negating the spiritual capital of which the felt richness of our being springs, leaving us impoverished from within, as shells with dry crusted cysts on its inner walls.

All oriental ways of life deal with this vexed quest for deliverance from pain.

Buddha says : Life is a heap of pain.

Vedanta says : Ego is ignorance.

Buddha says, life can be relieved of pain by ending desire. He proposes all the reasons that link the two. There are hundreds of libraries dedicated to ways of bringing desire to its end. People however are unsure at every step, at all levels : how to end desire, to end the pain ?

Vedanta says, ego is formed consciousness, within a hard cover precipitated in ignorance. Freedom lies in countering ignorance with its exact antidote : knowledge. It suggests that imbibed truth melts the hard cover of ignorance that entitifies the ego-form; that, right knowledge liberates consciousness from its cage formed due to absence of knowledge in truth. And that it eliminates pain forever.

It is upto us to, one, raise this burning zeal for deliverance from a life full of pain and, two, choose a path consistent with our life perspective and our understanding of its goals.

Existence, You Amaze Me Completely !

It was a festive moment three years ago : the Holi morning… 150 ft up in air, with a heart full of heaps of good wishes and happiness. Little kids from across the lobby on the 14th floor troop in with beaming faces, coloured and joyous, while I was still having a private moment with the goddess.

I worked on materials spread before me, for mandatory samosa preparation, when the younger one joins in. The woman’s joy is palpable and effusive. Was I humming ? The beauty which rose within is wondrous. Adults come visiting, laughing, sat over a spread of home-made eats…

We remember the elder one, now lounging in Cape Town … I come back to my reclusive station with thanks in my heart, savouring the moment. The glass door is shut to keep out the raucous drumbeats from ground below. The radio is on. Bhang waits. The goddess is gone to absorb and spread the sea of cheer of this day.

Existence, you amaze me completely !

O Soul !

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People, Press And Perspective

It is more common for people to feel than perceive. This part in our evolutionary heritage, from being animals, is still the basics by which we survive and procreate. Perception requires thinking : analysing our feelings, integrating our thoughts, a good measure of reading to know and observing to validate. Historically, people with power have ruled by making us feel miserable; and rebels with perspective have led organised opposition. Both have been concerned with people and, lately, especially concerned with people’s perspective, with information they have and use of disinformation in armed and political wars.

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People in good stead have the leisure to perceive but few do, to improve or rise from wherever they are. The poor have a reason to perceive, not only to rise above their peripheral condition but to change the depressive social and political environment that keeps them marginalised. Colonial powers kept themselves in good stead at the cost of the natives. Marx and Mao, both of humble background, thought of change.

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In the post-revolution and post-War era, democracy became widespread and MNCs proliferated. They both spawned the opinion-making industry : PR, Press, Media, Advertising and Public Address Campaigns. Each worked to affect their target audiences emotionally. They spoke in aspirational terms, status, relationships, longetivity and abundance, freedom and happiness, love and concern.

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The opinion making industry is both ubiquitous and powerful. It categorised people who took their bait with rewarding memes : progressive, liberal, good-consuming, freedom-loving and status-aspiring. The memes were adopted by politicians for their reach and effect, to obtain the affinity of groups and communities. These memes, their campaign designers and carrier media, became far too valuable to state heads for safekeeping their seat to power and to political parties for returning them to it. The MSM-BigBiz-Politician cronyism exploited the people for mega gains for themselves signified colonialism by other means and the same well-recognised despair amongst people who could perceive but had no avenues open to usher in change in our post-revolution, legitimacy certifying democratic system, which has learnt impeccable ways to subvert the “of the people, by the people, for the people” spirit enshrined in the state constitution.

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It was a helpless environment for honest perceivers until the web world bloomed with numerous social media platforms, with a reach comparable to opinion-making MSMs. It had seemed impossible to push back the deleterious, wholly imaginary, clique-designed narrative of progressive and liberal memes but the deeply concerned social warriors found battlefield sanctuaries on the web to launch their plainspeak in opposition. They found their supporting public and champions-in-team who perceived alike the liberal nexus and were as intensely concerned about their self-serving game.

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It’s taken a decade to set the conservatively balanced counter narrative high and flying. The popularity of Russia’s Putin, Japan’s Abe administration, conservative winners of India’s 2014 general election, Brexit, and the success of Donald J Trump in the US 2016 presidential election are evidence of this contrary avalanche. The ball in the power game is wrested from motivated, clique- and crony-serving meme designers. It is back with avowed people-warriors in mission mode. All because there are today a million times as many individuals with perception than were there in the 19th Century and infinitely more ubiquitous and powerful media platforms on the 24/7 web than the mainstream media at the turn into 21st Century.

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Today, the victory of real, grounded perspective, conservative and balanced, over the concocted, masked agenda of the liberal left seems decisive. India’s impressive turnaround during mere three years of PM Modi’s government is proof that the change is here to stay.

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Blessed India : Modi Era 2014 ~

It’s another movement now rollong out, in people’s interest : affordable health.

That’s been the hallmark of PM Modi’S NDA coalition govt… People And Country Centered Movements : Swaccha, Farmer Services and Insurance, Girl Child, DBT, Jan Dhan, Ujjwala, Black Money, Digitisation, Defence, Anti Terror, Space, Bureaucracy Performance, Bank NPAs, Make In India, MSME, Jan Aushadhi, Judiciary, International Relations…

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“We have repealed 1,200 laws. There were so many laws. We are in the process of cleaning the system so that the burden of judiciary goes down.

“Efficient governance can lessen the burden of judiciary to a large extent. And when I say efficient governance, then I see the link from the drafting of the law to its implementing authority,” he said in presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar besides others.

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Power Plants now carry 50% less inventory of coal. Can you imagine what it means in terms of cost reduction and cash flow in hundreds of units across the country ?

That’s good governance :
Eliminating supply uncertainties.

That’s quite apart from all the gains through transparent auction of coal fields and action against crony capitalists like Naveen Jindal !

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India tells : CPEC violates our sovereignty.

I remember Salman Khurshid’s wet-in-the-pant visit to China during Mauni UPA term.

We’ve come a long, long way :

Now India tells…

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Adding to India — China affair now hot : Taiwan.

China fumes, warns and hopes… Playing the Taiwan card is akin to playing with fire, it says, and hopes its core concerns will be understood and respected by India.

I think of decades long insurgencies it has directly funded in East and NorthEast and through proxy all over. I also recall NSG membership and Masood Azhar vetoes. And its brazenness in East and South China seas.

Whose core concerns has China understood and respected ?

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Economy And The Damned Economists

No, this essay by a friend on medium. com is not, thankfully, about Amartya Lecher Sen. It about undue role economists have usurped for themselves among appointee leaders and managers of people affairs. Economy modeling typically uses statistical methods to generate inputs for mathematical equations that are then presented as science. But are they ?

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The fundamental issue is highlighted by Tyler Durden. “As someone who rather enjoys voyages of the imagination, the use of mathematical models in economics is intriguing. The pretension that through using formal mathematical techniques and process we can not only accurately understand, but accurately predict the result of changes in the economy is highly seductive. After all, we can accurately predict the future, right ?

“Wrong. The wonderful and terrible and confounding thing about our world is that it is a deeply unpredictable place, at least in the economic sphere where each number (for instance “aggregate demand” or “aggregate supply”) in an equation may loosely refer to millions of huge, complex and dynamic events. When you’re using huge simplifications to describe reality, those simplifications may miss the important details, and your projections may go askew.”

Not all modelling is equal. Newton’s model of gravitation (since superseded by Einstein’s relativity) makes relatively accurate predictions about how gravitation works, and what would happen to an object dropped 500 metres above the Earth. NASA used Newton’s equations to fly to the Moon.

The key qualitative difference (from Physics, for example), though, is that mathematical economic theories don’t accurately predict the future. Ben Bernanke — the chairman of the Federal Reserve, and one of the most-cited academic economists in the world told the world that subprime housing was contained. That is the economic equivalent of Stephen Hawking telling the world that a meteorite is going to miss the Earth, when it is really going to hit. Physicists can very accurately model the trajectories of rocks in space. But economists cannot accurately model the trajectories of prices, employment and interest rates down on the rocky ground.

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Sociological goodness spells a good polity. A good polity has great and firm institutions; and good people-centred politics that enables good, responsive governments to emerge. And good governments establish a secure environment, manage resource mobilisation, its application and distribution, and allow citizen enterprise to flourish.

It takes great common sense to understand and helm this grand iteration that begins with people and ends at serving them. It’s a dynamic, mutating affair : blooming in a virtuous, well marshalled polity or shrivelling in an uncared, dog-eat-dog world.

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Wisdom : What ‘s That ?

It’s apparently a secular thing. But we wouldn’t really know enough to conclude without also knowing what the term means in real ways, as an attained capability.

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We could write a shelf full of dissertation to helm the topic. But we will not because thereafter we would still feel the need to modify, edit and write some more. That’s the secular way, with thought and word,  that is perpetually afflicted with inadequacy.

I will instead quote three pithy verses of 15th Century mystic Kabir :

1  साधु ऐसा चाहिए, जैसा सूप सुभाय।

    सार सार को गहि रहे, थोथा देइ उड़ाय।।

“The wise is like a winnow : he retains the substance and let’s the chaff fly away.”

2  मन के मते न चालिये, मन के मते अनेक।

    जो मन पर असवार है, साधु कोई एक।।

“Do not be moved or driven by the mind. It changes in endless ways. He is wise who rides and reigns over the mind.”

3  जब मैं था तब हरी नहीं, अब हरी है मैं नाहि।

    सब अँधियारा मिट गया, दीपक देखा माहि।।

“While I was, the Knower wasn’t; now the Knower is and I am not. All darkness (of ignorance) disappeared, after I sighted this flame (of knowledge) within.”

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The translations should be understood with ease. And if they aren’t, it is we who need to read it again, contemplate and assimilate until they light up our within.

What can be readily observed is that “wisdom” is an unworldly attainment that flows from the Knower-Self, in which the ego-self is entirely subsumed. It is the latter which empowers us to ride over and reign the mind, with which capability one is able to constantly separate the grain from the chaff.

How secular is that when wisdom is not attained simply by more worldly occupation or mere increased exercise in thought and speech ?

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Journal : Dharma, The Orient And The Preserved Indian Way

Truth is not spanned with science, logic, arts, democracy, material development or law and order in society, though every one these are historically part of the human pursuit to create an environment that would universally unshackle the individual and empower him or her.

It is peace alone that alternates with truth : the two arise and beget each other in the human heart. Families and communities enable and nurture a stream of aspirants after the quest for truth, though few attain it in any era, by cultivating beauty and goodness in their midst.

Whilst the fundamentals of such an environment crystallise out universal love for life and liberty, such as they resonate with needs and drives embedded deep in human nature, they each require a long qualification encompassing “go” and “no go” behavioural codes suggesting equally universal restraints and polity-wide moderation for the community to evolve onto a trajectory of a glorious past paving constantly the ways in the present, shaping the polity towards a nebulous future and assuring the individual of a household atmosphere in which people still remember to love.

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That is what Dharma aims to ensure in a nation, communities and families, for the benefit of individuals, life and environment. It is inscrutable to personal vision, not only on account of second or third order causes that are far too subtle to fathom but also because Dharmic codes must build into itself suggestions that do not auto-recommend themselves to common men. Only the wisened would decipher the reasons to appreciate Dharma tenets; for the rest, it must be borne on ubiquitous traditions at first, to which people are conditioned into following in their mundane lives.

Dharma is a compile of social and personal solutions that prempt irreconciliable problems in the collective and wasteful conflicts in individual lives. Both Hinduism and Buddhism are Dharma-Karma-based ways of life and have together shaped the values systems and life perspectives peculiar to the Orient.

In contrast, the Occident including Europe, the Mediterranean, Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, shed its “barbaric” ways with Abrahamic fervour. The Christian part evolved through centuries of bitter strife : first through secularisation of the State and then to democratic ideals and universal suffrage. These were changes induced by thought, secular theories and socio-political ideas. The Islamic part has in the main refused to embrace secular ideals except superficially and has more or less retained the religious social structures and sharia laws as prevailed in the Caliphate.

* * *

I speak of the Indian way with some intimacy because I have lived it. Its uncorrupt form is an integral package that seems to have solved most of man’s civilisational problems — its material and vital needs, mental aspirations, and spiritual yearning. It incorporates a lot of slack to allow choose or leave preferences and is easily adoptable by every growing individual, in manners that suit.

Filial piety and respect for elders and all being are its important tenets. Indian marriages are not give and take contracts, with an annullment clause; they are lifetime committments. And everybody is encouraged to look upon the world, the universe and natural manifestations, as the body of God or the One reality that fosters us all. Its vegetarian cuisines are exhaustive; no one needs to kill anytime in order to eat, if one so chooses.

It is a culture of restrained, moderated, festive living, not of merely fine speech and suave table manners.

Consider for instance the very serious and widespread issue of gender objectification, which causes much of behavioural warps and twists that make places unsafe to women and children, and men collaterally. The process perpetuating it is this filling of attention with gender form, organs, and the experience they yield upon owning contact… It is the juvenile, libertinous way of miscultured people extolled in the name of Freedom of Expression by advertisers, filmmakers, the porn world, politicians and businessmen looking for quid pro quo with women willing or not, and by powerful religious clerics, pastors and bishops.

That is the liberal secular promise to its subscribers and of wolf-in-sheepskin conservatives to their followers. Always masked, rationalising, legally contesting, and on the sly. Because the sensory associations with the object runs an overpowering script, against which the ill-schooled mind is powerless, when the person finds it easier to release that build up within, those drives coiled up of dissatisfactions and failed overreaches, than to succeed at virtuous restraint, to respect oneself and have it reflect upon others.

The world is filled with talk by people who do not walk it.

* * *

Delhi honors a great Muslim and dumps a killer of Shias and Sikhs : Aurangzeb Road is gone. It is now named after Darah Shikoh, who deeply studied and translated several Indian texts including Upanishads and BhagwadGita.

Darah Shikoh was the willed heir of Emperor Shah Jahan.

* * *

छोटा करके देखिये जीवन का विस्तार
आँखों भर आकाश है बाहों भर संसार

~ निदा फ़ाज़ली

Reduce life’s expanse and look :

The eyes fill with sky

And world embraced in arms.

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Mir : The Shamed Witness To Subhuman Muslim Hordes

Khwaja Mir Dard

In 18th Century, Post Aurangzeb India

” After being rescued by Nadir Shah in 1738, Ahmad Khan (later known as Ahmad Shah Abdali) consequently fell into his services.

” Nadir Shah was known to be a child molester and it was no surprise that he took 12-year old Ahmad Khan under his wing and the two had a very close physical relationship. He gave Ahmad Khan command over a group of Abdali tribesmen. Nadir Shah had many servants but Ahmad Khan was favored above the rest because of his young, handsome features.

” All the servants of Nadir Shah wore pearl earrings, a feminine touch that he was very fond of. He gave Ahmad Khan the title “Dur e Durrani” (Pearl of Pearls) and which would later on lead Ahmad Khan into changing the Abdali tribe name to the Durrani tribe.”

On 11th of March 1739, citizens of Delhi were plundered and slaughtered, some historians say that nearly 200,000 people were killed.

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Nadir Shah on his return after plundering and slaughtering Delhites for 57 days, took with him the famous ‘Peacock throne’ built by Shahjahan and the legendary ‘Koh-i-noor’ along with 600 million rupees worth of jewellery, gold worth 10 million rupees and coins worth 6 million rupees. His total collection of booty was worth 700 million rupees and also took care to include in his train 100 elephants, 7000 craftsmen, 100 stone-cutters and 200 carpenters.

Nadir Shah’s invasion did irreparable damage to the Mughal empire. Mughal provinces across the Indus seceded to the Persians. Later on, inspired by the antics of Nadir Shah, his successor Ahmad Shah Abdali too invaded India several times between 1748 and 1767 and plundered Delhi.

Ahmad Shah forced himself upon those areas, moving in like a parasite to deplete the regions. His invasions brought forth waves of chaos and havoc. The people of Ghazni and Kabul— later on Herat as well as other regions—desperately fought back as they did during the invasions of Changez Khan. For those people, there was no difference between the atrocities committed by Changez Khan and those committed by Ahmad Shah about six centuries later.

Ahmad Shah murdered innocent women and children, destroyed families and homes, and stole everything in sight because he had no honor. Human life meant nothing to him as he left piles of dead bodies in his wake. In a civilized society, a criminal like Ahmad Shah would have been punished for his crimes. Instead, the Pashtuns bestow a twisted tribute to him, celebrating his inhumanness and taking pride in his barbaric, animal behavior. People became destitutes, were killed, and unnecessarily suffered greatly because of his greed and cruel behavior. And these actions are respected and admired by many Pashtuns today.

His raids would last for days with unending turmoil; nobody was left with clothes to wear or food to eat; many died from inflicted wounds or even by committing suicide, while others suffered in the harsh climates because they had lost their homes. Their livelihood, their grains, their possessions were taken by the looters and sold back to them at exorbitant prices.

Aside from monetary possession, he was also fond of possessing women. In 1756 – 57 Ahmad Shah sacked Delhi during his fourth invasion of India and burgled every corner of the city. He arranged marriages for himself and his son, Timor, into the Imperial Mughal family. Ahmad Shah had many wives to begin with but he just couldn’t resist adding the princess from the Imperial family into his collection.

He had no respect for anybody and the only way he received respect was through leading looting sprees for his tribesmen, encouraging them to steal as much as they could from India and taking any woman they desired. His gang of barbarians would dig up people’s houses to find hidden treasures, leaving the residents homeless and in despair. Torture and beating were common practices to extort booty which consisted of jewels, diamonds, ornaments, etc.

Leaving Timor behind as in–charge, Abdali left India and returned to Kandahar. On his way back, he couldn’t resist attacking the Golden Temple in Amristar and filled its sarovar (sacred pool) with the blood of slaughtered cows and people. The Golden Temple is to the Sikhs what Mecca is to the Muslims; so his transgressions were of great in proportion. He knew that cows were considered sacred by the Sikhs but he disregarded their beliefs and their values.

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On January 6, 1761, the Marathas lost to Ahmad Shah in the great battle of Panipat. It was a tortuous time for the inhabitants of the region. The plunder and the savage slaughtering began once more. Ahmad Shah’s tribes went home to home, breaking down doors, capturing those inside and burning them alive or cutting off their heads. There was bloodshed and destruction everywhere and nothing and no one was spared. Men of esteem disintegrated into being nothing overnight, noblemen were left destitute, wives and children made captive or killed.

In a later raid, Ahmad Shah inflicted a severe defeat upon the Sikhs but had to immediately head westward back to Kandahar to quell a rising insurrection. Meanwhile, the Sikhs rose again in power and Ahmad Shah was forced to abandon his hopes of retaining his command over Punjab.

During those 25 years, Ahmad Shah weakened India, the prevailing Mughal regime and local governments. He ventured into India numerous times and each time, he returned with gold, camels, women, etc. He left a great number of people dead, destroyed cities and lives and families. All of this seemed like fun to him and adventure to his people.

Upon his death in 1773, his descendants began fighting over the throne. The British took this moment of weakness to step in and create more division. Abdali’s sons were busy fighting against and killing each other, and the British aided the brothers in slaying their enemies, which gradually weakened the state, before taking over.

It is because of Ahmad Shah and his gang of marauders, who crushed the indigenous people of the regions—the Marathas and the Mughuls—that the entire subcontinent of India including today’s Afghanistan was colonized by the British during 19th Century and well into the 20th.

* * *

Mir, the sensitive soul, writes upon witnessing the happenings during the period :

O Thou, who serve !

Have you ever quenched a thirsty heart ?

Come, put the flask to my lips

Till it fills and flows over.

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There’s not a moment’s relief

To this soul rushed of life

In haste are we fated

To try our tasks assigned.

Who so ever I approched

Had his own woes to tell

Before I could give voice

To the wrenching pain

In my own heart.

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O Dard

You’ve not yet seen the ways

And the razing might

Of this world about us.

It fells the blood

Of every parched soul

On these particles of dust.

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We hear echoes of the same human reaction that led to the rise of Sufism, as a response to increasing material power of Islamic leaders while the religion spread during the 8th Century, through corresponding shift in focus to political and self-serving concerns and all the violent, life demeaning and debauch trappings it brought in its wake.

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Men without count

Have gazed in wonder

At this world before us.

But none who passed on

Ever came to look back on it.

The breeze carries my dust

From one door to another.

O Tear Laden Eye

What’s happened ?

Why linger…

And hold yourself thus ?

They, oblivious of their self

Really know the ways of world.

He indeed is awake

Who sleeps with eyes bunged.

Noah’s flood submerged the earth.

I too, shame of a man

Have wrecked the heavens.

O the little bird

In love with the rose

May you be safe…

For I fear the cruel

Sharp-tongued beauty

Who is in the grove today !

O Preacher, frighten me not

With your story of Judgement Day ?

I have washed clean with tears

The scroll of my deeds.

In these words will blossom too

Many smiles, much laughter…

For I sow the seed of verse

On this very soil today.

The world’s temper

Does not moderate

Though I did absorb in me

The heat and the cold

Of the times I have seen.

Jhansi – Dec 14, 1835 : A Testimony

Truth Within, Shines Without

It’s a window into those times about 200 years ago, generations before Rani Laxmibai entered the royal house of Jansi. Captain Sleeman, discharging magisterial duties, traveled to Jhansi and met the “Chiefs of Jhānsī” in the matter regarding succession dispute that then prevailed. As it obtains from his testimony, the State was blighted since the times of Raghunath Rao I at the turn of century before. The British Indian official records in his memoirs :

RAMBLES AND RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN OFFICIAL
On the 14th Dec 1835, we came on fourteen miles to Jhānsī. About five miles from our last ground, we crossed the Baitantī river over a bed of syenite. At this river we mounted our elephant to cross, as the water was waist-deep at the ford. My wife returned to her palankeen as soon as we had crossed, but our little boy came on with me on the…

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Hallaj : The Outsider To Islam

Mansur al-Hallaj

(c. 858 – March 26, 922 AD)

A Persian mystic, revolutionary writer, and a pious teacher of Sufism … most famous for his poetry.

During one of these trances, he would utter : Anā l-Ḥaqq … “I am The Truth,” which was taken to mean that he was claiming to be God, since al-Ḥaqq … “the Truth” … is one of the Ninety Nine Names of Allah.

In another controversial statement, al-Hallaj claimed : “There is nothing wrapped in my turban but God.”

Similarly he would point to his cloak and say, Mā fī jubbatī illā l-Lāh … “There is nothing in my cloak but God.”

Who amongst the Islamists, then or now, will appreciate the man who found the truth in own form, not in the Book nor in an usurper prophet ?

Mansur’s utterances led to a long trial and his subsequent imprisonment for 11 years in a Baghdad prison. He was publicly executed on March 26, 922.

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Mansur or Hallaj Came From…the Fars province of Persia, from the family of a cotton-carder.

(Hallaj means “cotton-carder” in Arabic).

His grandfather was a Zoroastrian. His father lived a simple life, and this form of lifestyle greatly interested the young Mansur.

He wrote : ” If you do not recognize God, at least recognise His sign… I am the creative truth —Ana al-Haqq— because through the truth, I am eternal truth.”

Even beyond the Muslim faith, Hallaj was concerned with the whole of humanity, as he desired to communicate to them “that strange, patient and shameful desire for God…”

This was the reason for his voyage, beyond the Muslim world (shafa’a)… to India and China.

Today, many honor him as an adept who came to realize the inherent divine nature of all men and women. The Islamists though continue to see him as a heretic deserving death by every means approved amongst Muslim clerics.

To me, Mansur’s fate reminds me of several others in Christendom… of those heretics who were put away “without shedding of a single drop of blood.”

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