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.”

*

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

 * * *

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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Mihyar (1000 AD) : The Bad Muslim

Abu ‘l-Hasan Mihyar Ibn Mirzawaih

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” The travellers who have just set out,

From whom you are now separated,

Have left behind them

Hearts which shall ever refuse

To admit of consolation

For their loss. “

Thus wrote Abu ‘l-Hasan Mihyar Ibn Mirzawaih, or simply Mihyar, a native of Dailam who gained great reputation as a poet. He had been a Zoroastrian, a ” fire-worshipper ” as they were called, who later converted to Muslim ( Shia Islam ) faith.

He saw…

In the aftermath of Arab victory over Persia in 7th Century, Zoroastrian places of worship were desecrated, fire temples were destroyed and mosques were built in their place. Many fire temples, with their four axial arch openings, were usually turned into mosques simply by setting a mihrab (prayer niche) on the place of the arch nearest to qibla (the direction of Mecca). Zoroastrian temples converted into mosques in such a manner could be found in Bukhara, as well as in and near Istakhr and other Persian cities. Urban cities, where Arab governors made their quarters, were most vulnerable to such religious persecution : the citizens were forced to conform or flee. Many libraries were burnt and much cultural heritage was lost.

Over time, persecution of Zoroastrians became more common and widespread, and the number of believers decreased significantly. Many converted, some superficially to escape the systematic abuse and discrimination by the law of the land. Others accepted Islam because their employment in industrial and artisan work would, according to Zoroastrian dogma, make them impure their work would involve defiling fire, which they held as sacred.

These factors continued to contribute to increasing rates of conversion from Zoroastrianism to Islam. A Persian scholar commented,

“ Why so many had to die or suffer ?

” Because one side was determined to impose his religion upon the other… “

The contempt for the Arabs that brought forth Islam on to the Persian populace was famously captured in the following verse from Firdausi’s Shahnameh, Iran’s national epic written around 1000 AD :

” Damn this world… damn this time… damn this fate…

That uncivilized Arabs have come to make me a Muslim.”

In the centuries that followed, Zoroastrians faced much religious discrimination and persecution, including forced conversions, harassment, as well as being identified as najis (polluted) and impure to Muslims, making them unfit to live alongside Muslims… therefore forcing them to evacuate from cities and face major sanctions in all spheres of life. Zoroastrians have been subject to public humiliation through dress regulations, to being labeled as najis and to exclusion in the fields of society, education and work.

Great Poet, Bad Muslim

It was around A. D. 1003-4, and Al-Kasim Ibn Burhan said to Mihyar :

” Mihyar, by becoming a musalman you have ( merely ) passed from one corner of hell to another.”

” How so ? ” asked Mihyar.

Al-Kasim replied :

” Because you were formerly a fire-worshipper and now you revile the companions of our blessed Prophet in your verses.”

The rebellion and critical assessment of his new found religion must have shown in Mihyar’s compositions.

He is often referred to as a ” bad Muslim ! “

Mihyar writes :

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[ Once a Zoroastrian family converted to Islam, the children had to go to Muslim religion school and learn Arabic and the teachings of the Quran and these children lost their Zoroastrian identity. Those who had converted just for the convenience could not revert back to Zoroastrianism because the penalty for renouncing Islam was death.]

” May a persisting rain-cloud

whose waters bear the sand

even into people’s dwellings

refresh and reanimate with its contents

the abode which my mistress occupied

at Rakmatain.

How can I renew

my intercourse with Omm Malik

now that the places in which we reside

are separated by ( the country of ) Zarud

and its two mountains ?

My heart, though far from her,

sees her with the eye of desire

and is happy;

but who will enable my eyes

to see her in reality ?

How pure, good God ! And yet

how troubled is our mutual love !

how far is she from me every morning

and yet how near ! “

And, again :

[ When persecution, suppression and oppression of dhimmis and najis reigned… ]

” O for the night I passed

at Zat cl-Athel ( the tamarisk grove ),

when her image came

( to visit me in a dream )

and rendered that night so short !

O, how dear that remembrance !

O, how dear ! The Fear ( of discovery )

treading in the foot-steps of love,

approached me in all its terrors;

May God not diminish

the length of their road !

They had nearly gone astray,

in the darkness of the night,

but they were directed ( towards us )

by the brilliant lustre of my beloved’s teeth. “

And yet, again :

[ While departing from his land of birth, to far off Baghdad… ]

” And my heart remained at the sand-hill,

in the reserved grounds of the tribe.

Turn, ( my friend ! )

towards those grounds

and say to my heart : “Fare well !”

Then pursue your journey

and relate a wondrous tale;

say, that a heart went away

and left the body standing up.

Say to neighbours

who dwell at al-Ghada :

“How sweet would be the life

one leads at al-Ghada,

were it to endure !”

India’s Mainstream People

Hindus, India’s mainstream people, rarely congregate or unite for a Hindu cause. That is their non-communal nature, by their upbringing and way of life. They give people with different colour, beliefs and ways, a long rope of welcome even, as it turns out, at much cost to their own life, economy, and onslaught on their long cultured values.

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Our 1000 year history in immediate past offers enough, enough evidence of :

a) how much we will tolerate and forebear,

b) the nature and extent of what we will still preserve and out-survive, and

c) how well we will adapt and build our strength, without terrorising or imposing upon others, and spring back to top.

Today the mainstream people of India have much to reclaim, wrest back … history, culture, ways, values, language, perspectives, family foundations, and geography. It is a nation wide cause, to push back the rootless secularists, imagination powered liberals, and communal aggressors alien to self restraining and self correcting ways of Dharma tenets and Karma demarches.

It is a historically crucial juncture for our nation, our people, their present and their future. We’ve given enough and are depleted of our own essence. We’ve tolerated enough and now find ourselves driven to the edge. We deserve our present unapologetic poise and our collective right to acquire, reclaim, take back and reincubate, rebuild and resurge.

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Henceforth, the Hindus will congregate for their own cause, unitedly act in every which way to throw off these ideological aggressors, for one fundamental reason : the aliens, to us in the mainstream, each are jostling to establish worse options — uncivil, inhumane or subhuman — amidst the continuously evolving ways we have been raised on, in our homes and our society.

Both Christians, represented by their staging missionaries and crotch hot parsons, and Muslims, who’ve lent their identifying mark on global terror and local crime alike, are demograpgy subversives. There is little liberating religion in them; just a quest for numbers and political votebank power.

To us, the Hindus, there are no minorities in the mainstream. Our Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists and Jains, and tribes with every conceivable variety defined and not, are just the diversity essential to spell the universal truth : the One, manifest variously.

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President Trump

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It’s begun. All those who must write to put bread on their will pen thousanda of articles to predict behaviour, bring in quote from past, and raise fears… mostly in very respectable mental projections, analyses, fiberal values and ideological beats.

I have my eye on Trump, too, but without forebodings, without that psychological conditioning of having been for or against. I wait for what he says and what he does, and not necessarily from what he’s said in past. He’s the POTUS now. There are matters he now has to decide upon, directions he has to give. That really should begin the recording of consequences and our assessment of what his presidency means for America and the world.

I am definitely not among those who are still crying about a fair electoral result and even more removed from those who want him to fail.

May God be with him.
May he make wise decisions through his tenure.

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Love, Language And Libido

The neighbour’s little kid was shown the door because it was late and he refused to heed his mom’s repeated call, to call it a day. The mention of going to his playschool next morning brought out a fierce negation. He is all of two and a half years, barely.

The women conspired to rope me in because he values my stand on any matter, for or against. But I refused to play the women’s game. At the same time, I said, “But you, young man, has to leave now. Come again tomorrow.”

The boy retorted, “I will not.” His voice was heavy even as he looked me in the eye, face contorting, eyes moistened.

“What, not go now or not come the next day ?”

He paused reflecting, and replied, still looking at me in the eye, “No. I will come.”

He felt relieved, let out his breath with a smile, collected the little plastic toy chair, his shoes and wollen cap, and walked out proudly without looking back. His mother reminded him, “Say goodnight.” He did, adding “sweet dreams”. Still without a turn to face me.

I was dazed at his courage, intelligence to reflect and choose the right things to say, and his love. He was a man at his small size and age. One of the finest I have met in my 60 years.

* * *

There are English equivalents to tastes expressed in Hindi language : meetha (sweet), teeta (chilly), khatta (sour), etc. But what is the equivalent for “kasaav” ?

Kasaav is a common taste we find in ayurvedic herbs harad and baheda. It is felt in raw eggplant, shimla or degi mirch, even fish. It is what we feel grinding on small, unripe, shelf old guavas. In food preparations, this taste is frequently covered by khatta additives like aamchoor or tomatoes, by adding a sweet agent or pungent mustard.

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Kasaav is somewhat bitter and has a harsh feel to the pallette. Now then, what equivalent do we have in English language ?

What do you say ?

* * *

Sex or, more exactly, hunger for sex is an universal emotion humans share with the animal world. Sure it is more complex than the felt organic heat of hunger in the loins, since it metamorphoses from very affectionate feelings kids have for their parents at young age. Yet, among late teen and older adults, it is the overpowering emotion associated with body hunger when we utter the phrase.

The hunger is triggered by the gender form, physically before us or shaped in the mind from memory, and primes up of its own to an intensity that demands behavioural release or diversion in order to cope with it. Which needs capacity to control on our part, to moderate or choose an appropriate action acceptable to us and to our environment. And, if we indulge, to draw and ensure the partner’s consent.

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Trigger and control. The first is mostly beyond us and the latter requires training, mostly informal and personal. For all-season animal that man is, the capacity for control is necessary and exclusive to mankind. Empirical facts render the simply described phenomena more complext : for instance, men dress up to appeal and women to provoke attention. That skews the environment in favour of sexual encounter. Indded, the first impressions of each other people have, when they meet and interact, is sensually felt. Regardless of what they’ve sorted and believe, their healthy vitality is always open to trigger.

Normally, the control too is never far, unless we are in a private space where control becomes exponentially challenging, and risk of failure increasingly heightens. Groping and inappropriate touch is commonly heard of but rape and molestation, mostly by a mob, is not unknown in public places. The situation spells a breakdown of moral and ethical facade of man, overcome by loin wrenching hunger.

Modernity has increasingly spiked the triggers. Feminists demand rights to their freedom to do so. That is counterweighed by pragmatic conservatives who not only call for more muted sartorial covers but also for stiffer kangaroo court punishments on those who fail at controls over their hunger. Both the extreme stance need a moderated, more understanding of the real ground, on which men want women but without committments and women want men but without a baby.

Society itself is more accepting overall of these attitudes but real psychological and material consequences to unconsenting or unprepared adults, men and women, even minors, must still forbid failures to fight off seduction, honey trapping, outright forced or baited intercourse. Whilst we all might be happy if there was nothing in the environment to fight against, I am not sure if everyone would agree nor that it would be possible anytime soon. As it is, with few having an unbreakable moral fiber in their loinous mesh, everyman is a lone wolf in this context whose behavioural failures can neither be predicted nor prevented, nor deterred by police or punishments by law.

I wish our public places would become more safe and secure, and accepting of adult volition. That is, to start with. I wish more strength to all of us, to remain greater than our moral conflicts, to be as respecting of others, adults and minors, in our private spaces too. There will never be an era in which none of us would ever fail but let not us be the ones to do so.

There are proven ways to succeed at building our capacity against such failures. I know of many who have walked the path and have experienced evidence of the fruit at end of it.

My Daily Cup

It, amongst other things, makes my morning. I associate it with the morning sunlight that diffuses across light orange curtains on wide glass walls before the balcony my bedroom opens out to. It is my daily cup of cheer, joy, and dose of addiction I happily look forward to.

It isn’t easy to write about something so personal, like the jaggery-coated sesame rounds we ritually consume this time of the year. How do I share my experience of that, and the love it fills me with ? Plainly, I can’t. So, I’ll do the next best thing here : tell you how I prepare the cup, in its two avatars.

Light, Subtle and Simple (anyday)

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1 Pour water in a large cup, full.

2 Transfer to a saucepan and switch on the induction heater, set at midway of its 2 KW rating range.

3 Bring over the Darjeeling tea and unflavored condensed milk jars, and a saucepan lid, close to the induction heater.

4 When the water boils, pause the induction and pour into the cup. Wait for half a minute and pour back 3/4 of the water in cup into the saucepan.

5 Restart induction. Water will come to boil shortly. Keep a loaded regular-spoon full of Darjeeling tea leaves in readiness.

6 Switch off the induction as water comes to boil, pour the tea leaves into the water and place the lid over the saucepan. Note 2-3 minutes after mark on the clock.

7 Empty the cup of the 1/4 water into the sink. Take a stirring spoon (small), dip its tip into the unflavoured condensed milk jar, raise it back up vertically, wait till just about a drop remains on the spoon, and put the spoon into the cup.

8 Note it’s about 2-3 minutes after the tea leaves were put in the water. Pour the brew over filter into the waiting cup, with the stirring spoon.

9 Stir the brew in the cup. Give it another couple of minutes, munch a piece of plain cookies if you will, before sipping twice in succession.

10 Say “Aaahh.” Wait, feeling the light into the room, before taking your next two-sips…

II  Dense, Strong And Bursting With Complex Flavours

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1 Pour boiled over double-toned milk in a large cup, full.

2 Transfer to a saucepan and switch on the induction heater, set at midway of its 2 KW rating range.

3 Bring over the Darjeeling tea, CTC tea, and a saucepan lid, close to the induction heater.

4 When the milk boils, lower the induction to lowest rate and add a regular-spoon full of CTC tea. Let it rise to boil thrice, in less than half a minute.

5 Now switch off the induction, add a loaded regular-spoon full of Darjeeling tea leaves to the decoction, and place the lid over the saucepan. Note 2-3 minutes after mark on the clock and wait

6 Note it’s about 2-3 minutes after the Darjeeling tea leaves were put in the milk. Pour the brew over filter into the waiting cup.

7 Give yourself a few minutes, munch over plain cookies, before taking two quick slurping sips in succession, and say “Aaahhh.”

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India’s War : Mainstream vs The Islamic Scourge

Admittedly, it’s a war out here that has prevailed since a thousand years. It’s a war of preserving a way of life that espouses humane diversity, freedom for individual enterprise and thought, liberty to be and let others be, to love with respect without causing harm or encroaching upon others, to reinforce an environment in which unconflicted families and children are raised, which promote the capacity to discriminate and uphold the right, aspire for peace on land and prosperity among people, holding all life sacred everywhere, without bigoted attitudes.

It’s a war between ways of life : of values systems humane vs inhumane or subhumane, and life perspectives karma here and now vs an imagined paradise of milk and virgins to be had. In India, it’s a war between the generous, humane and karma believing mainstream, who’d evolved beyond the ‘ideologically born-equal, liberal’ rights to freedoms, onto to a way of festive living found on instituting freedom itself in the heart of each one of us. From that culture, which prompts members of the mainstream to rise and raise, we were all pushed back, regressively, into this borrowed ideologically constituted morass since independence, based on a book of laws and principles and judicial arguers and prophets to interpret them.

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The similarity our modern state has with religio-social polities, structured and regimented as in Christianity and Islam, does not end there. Gone were the soft, flowing, self shaping but deep rooted people of before, with which inner asset they could withstandsuccessive tyrannies over a millennium. What has made inroads into their polity, especially since 1947, are people who are mere armies of politicised communities structured to enforce conversion through fear and lure, blasphemy and apostasy laws, falsehood and deceit, and to motivate mobs and hordes through organised, megaphonic charity touted in churches and mosques.

The takeover of State machinery, institutions and politics, by church-worshippers and mosque-goers was masked but complete. They aligned themselves with liberals and leftists, prominently labelled as progressive, who suddenly proliferated with State patonage and diverted taxpayer largesse. Much of the 100-year lease of vast land holdings of sectarian institutions — Christian and Muslim — has since lapsed but the properties bestowed have yet to be restored. There are several other grants to rank religious and communal beneficiaries : Haj, madrassa, wakf, etc. that seem conspicuous beside laws establishing State control over temples endowed by personal contributions of mainstream people.

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How then do these State carryovers from jezia centuries, and the politics of divide and rule policies from colonial era, appear to the mainstream people of India ? A deep, deep sense of loss of their cultured pagan freedoms designed to rise in truth, art and craft, and raise in compassion and love, through self effort and self-empowered enterprise. All that stared at them, through post-independence decades was an environment that promoted materialised alien ideologies, superficial and uprooting, which caused them to fall and fail, while non-native social morphs structured around religious politicism, indoctrinated missionaries and directed soldiers, creeped over them and succeeded.

India’s mainstream people remember that loss too vividly and painfully, and will always do until their entire collective experience finds a satisfactory, openly acknowledged closure. To cite an intense impact, it was once normal to nonchalantly lookover even the most bizarre of faiths people kept, and find them acceptable. More remarkably, everyone without exception enjoyed the right to be free from religion, to extents determined by their individual preference. These native societies were never organised or led by hundreds of thousands of networked tinpin god’s reps, daily applied for their own great convenience, around books and prophets and dominating men, as it happens in Christendom and the Islamic world.

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Like all things today, this war in India is being politically fought and faced everywhere. However, the comeback of its mainstream people, after a long long slumber, harkens to a continuity that is almost hoary but well preserved in their texts which, to their surprise, do not appeal to any religious identity nor exhort them to any communal behaviour whatsoever.

It is that spritually cleansing heritage in their root that called the rise of Indian mainstream against sullen Islam and sullying Christianity. It will only end with countrywide acceptance of universal values and truly humane ways.

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Guru Gobind Singh Uses Both His Sword And His Pen To Make The Most Powerful Tyrant Pay Dearly And Reflect With Remorse

What happened after Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom …

The Guru’s sacrifice had symbolically but completely smashed the arrogance of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. It proved to be a great event that galvanized the nationalist forces politically. It led to a surge of pride and self-belief that swept over the entire length and breadth of India. Apart from firming directions for Guru Gobind Singh’s opposition in Punjab, it engendered the rise of several formidable forces against the Mughals, under whose patronage the native people suffered religious oppression and administrative tyranny : Rana Raj Singh in Rajasthan, Shivaji in Deccan, and Chhatrasal in central India. Much later, towards the end of 19th Century, Swami Vivekananda would often fill his eyes with fire and express aloud the wish for such martyrdom at the hands of British occupiers of the land.

In sum, inspired insurrections and collected mobilisations broke the back of Mughal forces in the subcontinent and finally, barely five decades after Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom, drove the myth of Muslim supremacy and Islamic grandeur into the ground.

The Emperor’s Lament … in his last hours :

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During his last days Aurangzeb came to realize that the days of the Mughal dynasty were numbered and that he himself was responsible for sowing the seeds of destruction.

“Azma fasad baq !” were his words, which means, “After me, the chaos !” The last words of Aurangzeb, addressed to his sons from death-bed, echo mournfully…

“I came a stranger to this world and a stranger I depart. I know nothing of myself – what I am and what I was destined for.

“My back is bent with weakness and my feet have lost the power of motion. The breath which rose is gone and has not left behind even a ray of hope.

“The agonies of death come upon me fast. My vessel is launched upon the waves !

“Farewell, Farewell !”

* * *

Guru Gobind Singh’s Letters To The Emperor … one of which was clearly written from Machhiwara, after the battle of Chamkaur when the Guru had seen the brave sacrifice of his two elder sons in the battle field. It also reveals that though Guru Gobind had suffered heavy losses in men and material, he was in no way overcome or feeling vanquished but was instead full of confidence, faith and courage. The Guru chastises, shames and reprimands the Emperor for is deceit and unbecoming conduct…

1 In the name of the Lord of Sword and Axe.
In the name of the Lord of Arrow and Shield.

2  In the name of the Lord of Men of Heroic Deeds.
In the name of the Lord of Speeding Steeds.

3 He, who has given you kingship, has entrusted to me the task of defending Dharam and Righteousness.

4 Your frantic activities are confined to deceit and diplomacy, whereas my efforts are based on faith and truth.

5 The name of Aurangzeb hardly behoves you, for kings should not indulge in deceiving others.

6 Your rosary is nothing more then a collection of beads and thread… the beads to ensnare and the thread as a net to enslave others.

7 You kneaded the earthly remains of your father with evil deeds and with the blood of your brothers.

8 And with that mud you built your house to live in.

9 I will now storm you like rain water and deal with you with the sharp edges of my steel arms.

10 You have met with failure in the Deccan and are coming back thirsty from Mewar.

11 If you now turn you eyes to the north then you will find your thirst quenched and parched throat set right.

12 I will place fire under your feet and will not allow you to drink water of the Punjab.

13 What if the sly fox has killed the two cubs of a lion with deception.

14 The lion itself is alive and will wreak vengeance.

15 I do not now ask you for anything in the name of your Allah and your scripture.

16 I have no faith in your word. Only the sword will now serve its purpose.

17 Even if you claim to be a clever leopard, I will ensure the lion remains outside your net.

18 Even when you talk to me, if you will, I will always speak of the path which is pious and straight.

19 Let the armies on both sides draw up opposite to each other.

20 And let there be a distance of three miles between them.

21 There, then, I will come alone and you may come along with your horsemen.

22 You have had easy fruits and enjoyed the unusual gifts but have never met the warriors, in person.

23 Come forward yourself, armed with a sword and axe, for a duel and kill no more the innocent people in God’s creation.

Bhai Dhaya Singh had taken this letter to Aurangzeb on December 26, 1704. By the time he arrived, Aurangzeb had been briefed about the Guru having suffered being uprooted from Anandpur Sahib. He felt the injustice done on his part, especially since he had been promised on solemn oath to Quran a safe passage to the Guru from Anandpur.

The Emperor assured Bhai Dhaya Singh that he would make ample amends and extended an invitation to the Guru to meet him in the Deccan. Bhai Dhaya Singh shrewdly suggested that a written letter would be more appropriate. The Emperor agreed and sent two messengers with Bhai Dhaya with his letter to the Guru. The return journey of 900 miles lasted three months.

The Guru heard Bhai Dhaya Singh’s report, of how sympathetic and remorseful the Emperor was while penning the reply. There was a mixed light of magnanimity and sombreness on the Guru’s face. He decided to send another, even more detailed, letter to the Emperor, in which he neither accepted nor refused the invitation.

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The ‘Zafarnama’ by Guru Gobind Singh :

Salutations to God…

O Master of miracles, O Eternal and Beneficent One, O Provider of sustenance, O Deliverer, Bestower of Grace and Mercy ! (1)

O Giver of Bliss, O Great Pardoner, Who holds me by the hand, O Remitter of sins, O Bestower of daily bread, O Charmer of our hearts ! (2)

O King of kings, O Giver of Good, O Guide of the Way. O One without colour, without form, without equal ! (3)

He who has no material possessions, no army, no ground to stand upon, Him too, Thou blessest with Heavenly Bliss. (4)

Separate from the world yet most powerful, Thou O Presence, Who givest Thy gifts as if Thou wert here before us. (5)

O Thou Pure One, our Cherisher, our only Giver. O Thou Merciful One, who givest to every land ! (6)

O Greatest of the great, Thou art the God of every land : Of Perfect Beauty, Merciful and Giver of sustenance ! (7)

O Master of intellect, O Embellisher of the meek, O Refuge of the poor, O Destroyer of the tyrant ! (8)

O Protector of the faith, Fountain of eloquence, O Knower of the Real, O Author of revelation ! (9)

O Master of intelligence, O Appreciator of Wisdom, O Diviner of secrets, O Omnipresent God ! (10)

Thou knowest all that happens in the world, And Thou resolvest all its problems and doubts. (11)

O Thou all-knowing God, O Great One, Thou alone art the organiser of our lives. (12)

The Guru’s Memorandum to Aurangzeb :

I have no faith in thy oaths, even if thou bringest in God as thy witness. (13)

I haven’t even an iota of trust in thee, for all thy ministers and thy courtiers are liars. (14)

He who puts faith in thy oath on Quran, he comes to ruin in the end. (15)

But beware; the insolent crow can lay not its hands upon one whom Huma, the Bird of Heaven, protects. (16)

He who seeks the refuge of the tiger, can he be harmed by a goat, a deer or a buffalo ? (17)

Had I vowed on the book of my faith, even in secret, I would have withdrawn the infantry and cavalry from the field. (18)

And, what could my forty men do (at Chamkaur), when a hundred thousand men, unawares, pounced upon them ? (19)

The oath breakers attacked them, of a sudden, with swords, arrows and guns. (20)

I had perforce to join battle with thy hosts, and fought with muskets and arrows as best as I could. (21)

When an affair is past every other remedy, it is righteous, indeed, to unsheathe the sword. (22)

Hadn’t I taken thee to thy word upon the Quran, I wouldn’t have chosen the path I did. (23)

I knew not that thy men were crafty and deceitful, like a fox. else I wouldn’t have driven myself to this state. (24)

He who swears to me on the Quran ought not to have killed or imprisoned my men. (25)

Thy army dressed like blue bottles, charged us, of a sudden, with a loud bang. (26)

But they who aggressed not against us were left unhurt, unmolested by us. (28)

But, he who advanced from thy ranks beyond his defenses was hit with such deadly aim of my single arrow that he was deluged in blood. (27)

When I witnessed thy general, Nahar Khan, advancing to war, I gave him the taste of a single deadly arrow. (29)

And many of his men, who boasted of their valour, fled the battlefield in utter shame. (30)

Then advanced another one of Afghan blood, rushing forth like flood, like a gun-ball, or a deadly arrow. (31)

He made many assaults with great courage, sometime with conscious skill, and at others like a mad man. (32)

The more he attacked, the more he was mauled, and then while killing two of my ranks, he too fell dead in the cold dust. (33)

But the cowardly and contemptible Khwaja came forth not like a man, and hid himself behind a wall. (34)

Had I but seen his face, I could have helped him too with an arrow of mine. (35)

At last, many on their side fell on the ground, hit by arrows and our death dealing bullets. (36)

There was, indeed, an overpowering rain of these, and the earth turned red like the lalla flower. (37)

Torn heads and legs lay in heaps,
As if the earth was covered with balls and sticks. (38)

The arrows whizzed, the bows twanged, and it brought forth from earth only cries and yells. (39)

There were other dreadful, vengeful noises too, of weapons and men, when men, the bravest of brave, battled like mad. (40)

But, what kind of chivalry is this in war, that countless hosts should pounce upon a mere forty of us ? (41)

When the lamp of the world veiled itself, and the queen of night came forth with all her splendour.(42)

He who trusts, however, in an oath on God, his Protection too is on Him; in need, He shows the Path. (43)

So, not even a hair of mine was touched, nor my body suffered, for God, the Destroyer of my enemies, Himself pulled me out to safety. (44)

I knew not that you, o man, was a perjurer, a worshipper of self and a breaker of faith. (45)

Nay, you keep no faith, nor mind religion, nor know God, nor believe in Mohammed. (46)

He who observes the tenet’s of his faith, he never breaks a promise, after he makes one. (47)

You have no idea of what an oath on the Quran is : nay, you have no faith in the one God. (48)

Now, even if you were to swear a hundred times on the Quran, I’d regard not thy word, not an iota of it. (49)

Had you ever a mind to keep thy faith, you would have taken courage and come to me. (50)

From when you gave your word, swearing in the name of God’s Word, it was incumbent on you to keep your faith. (51)

If your majesty were to be present here before me, I would have with all my heart posted you with your treachery. (52)

Do now what is enjoined upon you, and stick to your written and plighted word. (53)

Both the written word and the verbal promise of your envoy, should have been fulfilled by you. (54)

He alone is a man who keeps his word : not have one thing in heart and another on his tongue. (55)

Your promise was to honour the Qazi’s word, if that be true, then come thou to me. (56)

If you want to seal thy promise on the Quran, I would for sure send the document to thee. (57)

If only you were gracious enough to come to the village of Kangar, we could see each other face to face. (58)

On the way, there will be no danger to your life, for, the whole tribe of Brars accepts my command. (59)

Come to me that we may converse with each other, and I may utter some kind words to thee. (60)

I’d send thee a horseman like one in a thousand, who will conduct thee safe to my home. (61)

I’m a slave of the King of kings, and ready to obey His Call with all my heart. (62)

If He were to order me thus, I’d with utmost pleasure present myself to thee. (63)

And if you are a believer in one God, tarry not in what I ask you to do. (64)

It is incumbent upon you to recognise the God, for He told you not to create strife in the world. (65)

You occupy the throne in the name of God, the one Sovereign of all creation, but strange is thy justice, stranger thy attributes ! (66)

What sense of discrimination is this ? What regard for religion ? O fie on such a sovereignty ! Fie, a hundred times !! (67)

Stranger than strange are thy decrees, o king, but beware : broken pledges boomerang on those who make them. (68)

Shed not recklessly the blood of another with thy sword, lest the Sword on High falls upon thy neck. (69)

O man, beware, and fear thy God, for, with flattery or cajolery He can be deceived not. (70)

He, the King of kings, fears no one, and is the True Sovereign of heaven and earth. (71)

God is the Master of earth and the sky : He is the Creator of all men and all places. (72)

He it is who creates all – from the feeble ant to the powerful elephant, and is the Embellisher of the meek and Destroyer of the reckless. (73)

His name is : “Protector of the meek.” And He is dependent upon no one’s support or obligation. (74)

He has no twist in Him, nor doubt. And, He shows man the Way to Redemption and Release. (75)

You are indeed bound by your word on the Quran, let therefore the matter come to a good end, as is your promise. (76)

It is but in abiding that you act wisely, and be discreet in all that you do. (77)

What if you have killed my four tender sons, when I remain like a snake coiled. (78)

It is not brave to put out a few sparks, and stir up a fire to rage all the more ! (79)

What a beautiful thought has Firdausi, the sweet-tongued poet, expressed : “He who acts in haste, plays the devil.” (80)

When both you and I will repair to the Court of God, you will bear witness to what you did unto me. (81)

But, if you forget even this, the God on High will also cast you off from His Mind. (82)

God will reward you amply for your misdeed, which you launched with all your recklessness ! (83)

This is the keeping of faith, the act of goodness : To put God above love of one’s life. (84)

I believe not that you know God, since, from you, have come only acts of tyranny. (85)

The Beneficent God also will know thee not, and will welcome not thee with all thy riches. (86)

If now you swear a hundred times on the Quran, I will not trust you, even for a moment. (87)

I will enter not your presence, nor travel on the same road, even if you so ordain, I would oblige you not. (88)

O Aurangzeb, king of kings, fortunate are you, an expert swordsman and a horseman too : (89)

Handsome is your person and your intellect high, master of lands, the ruler and the emperor. (90)

A skilled wielder of the sword and clever in administration, a master-warrior and a man of charitable disposition. (91)

You grant riches and lands in charity, O one of handsome body and brilliant mind. (92)

Great is your munificence, in war you are like a mountain, of angelic disposition, your splendour is like that of Pleiades. (93)

You are the king of kings, ornament of the throne of the world : Master of the world, but far from religion ! (94)

I warred with the idol-worshipping hill chiefs, for, (you think) I am the breaker of idols and they their worshippers. (95)

Beware, the world keeps not faith with any: he who rises also falls and comes to grief. (96)

And look also at the miracle that is God, that He may destroy a whole host through a single man ! (97)

What can an enemy do to him whose has God as friend ? For the function of the Great Bestower is : To Bestow. (98)

He grants Deliverance and shows too the Way. And He teaches the tongue to utter His praise, in love. (99)

In times of need, He blinds the enemy, and protects the helpless from injury and harm. (100)

And he who acts in good faith, on him, the Merciful One, rains His Mercy. (101)

He who serves Him with all his heart, God blesses him with the Peace of Soul. (102)

What harm can an enemy do to him, with whom God, our Supreme Guide, is pleased. (103)

The Creator-Lord is ever his refuge, even if tens of thousands of hosts were to proceed against him. (104)

If you have the pride of your army and riches, I bank upon Praise of God, the Almighty. (105)

You are proud of your empire and material possessions, while I am proud of the Refuge of God, the Immortal. (106)

Be not heedless : for the world lasts but a few days, and man will depart, one knows not when. (107)

Look at the ever changing faithless world : And see what happens to every house, every denizen. (108)

If you are strong, torture not the weak, and thus lay not the axe to thy empire. (109)

If the one God is one’s Friend, what harm can the enemy do, even if he multiplies himself a hundred times ? (110)

A thousand times let an enemy assault him, and yet touch he would not even a hair of his head. (111)

This letter is called “Zafarnama” – the Epistle of Victory. Written in Persian verse it was sent from Dina in 1705 through two Sikhs, Bhai Dhaya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh. It was not entrusted to the Emperor’s messengers because of the nature of its content and because the Guru wanted to know from his Sikhs the instant reactions of the Emperor upon reading it.

Although Bhai Dhaya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh travelled with great speed they could not get an early audience with the emperor. They stayed at the house of Bhai Jetha. It was some months before the Sikhs met the Emperor. The Guru had instructed Bhai Dhaya Singh to speak boldly and fearlessly to Aurangzeb when handing over the Guru’s letter.

The Emperor read the letter and felt that the Guru was highly intelligent, truthful, and a fearless warrior. He was nearly 91 years of age and his body started to tremble with feelings of remorse and regret of what he had done in his life time. Again, he put pen to paper and wrote a letter to the Guru, stating his inability to come to the north and requesting the Guru to meet him in Ahmadnagar at his earliest convenience. The letter was sent through royal messengers.

The Emperor’s peace of mind was lost. He wrote another letter to his sons in which he states : ” I do not know who I am, where i am, where i am to go and what will happen to a sinful person like me. Many like me have passed away, wasting their lives. Allah was in my heart but my blind eyes failed to see him. I do not know how I will be received in Allah’s court. I do not have any hope for my future : I have committed many sins and do not know what punishments will be awarded to me in return.”

The Zafarnama had a demoralising effect on Emperor Aurangzeb, who saw his end looming over the horizon. The future seemed so very bleak. He saw Guru Gobind Singh as his only hope… the only one who could show him the right path in truth, as was hinted by the Guru in his epistle. Although he had greatly wronged the Guru, he now knew the latter to be a man of God and wanted to meet the Guru in person, to seek his own redemption. He issued instructions to his Governors to withdraw all orders against the Guru. He instructed his minister, Munim Khan, to make arrangements for the safe passage of the Guru when he came to meet.

The Guru was not willing to go to Delhi yet and, instead, stopped outside the town of Sabo Ki Talwandi. According to Sikh chronologists, it was at Sabo Ki Talwandi that Guru Gobind Singh untied his waist band after a period of nearly eighteen months, and breathed a sigh of relief. This is why Sabo Ki Talwandi is known as Damdama Sahib (place of rest). It was at Damdama Sahib that Mata Sundri, the Guru’s mother, learned of the fate of four Sahibzaday – sons of the Guru and Mata Gujri. And, it was here that Guru Gobind Singh re-wrote the Adi Guru Granth Sahib from memory and added the Gurbani of his father, the martyred Guru Teg Bahadur.

Upon receiving the Emperor’s letter, Guru Gobind let the matter rest for a period before deciding to meet the Emperor in Deccan. He felt that Aurangzeb’s invitation was extended with due humility and concluded the time was right to accept it in view of the Emperor’s old age, without compromising on his oath to mete out justice to anyone who resorted to acts of barbarity.

Unfortunately, by the time the Guru entered Rajasthan, news came of the Emperor’s death at Aurangabad. Historical records, kept by Bhai Santokh Singh, show that the Emperor had lost all appetite, capacity to digest, and could not expel waste. Whatever he consumed acted as poison in his body. He remained in great pain and torment for several days, terrified, as it were, by ‘angels of death.’

Born in 1616, Aurangzeb had lived for about 91 years, his last Will (appended below) confirms the degenerate state of his physical and mental health.

What The Emperor’s Last Will Reveals …

The Emperor’s last will was recorded by Maulvi Hamid-ud Din in chapter 8 of his hand-written Persian book on the life of Aurangzeb.

1 There is no doubt that I have been the emperor of India and I have ruled over this country. But I am sorry to say that I have not been able to do a good deed in my lifetime. My inner soul is cursing me as a sinner. But I know it is of no avail. It is my wish that my last rites be performed by my dear son Azam. No one else should touch my body.

2 My servant, Aya Beg, has my purse in which I have carefully kept my earnings of Rupees 4 and 2 Annas. In my spare time, I have been writing the Quran and stitching caps. It was by selling the caps that I made an honest earning. My coffin should be purchased with this amount. No other money should be spent for covering the body of a sinner. This is my dying wish.
By selling the copies of Quran I collected Rupees 305, which is also with Aya Beg. It is my will that poor Mohammedans should be fed with sweet rice procured with this money.

3 All my articles – clothes, ink stand, pens and books should be given to my son Azam. The labour charges for digging my grave will be paid by Prince Azam.

4 My grave should be dug in a dense forest. When I am buried, my face should remain uncovered. Do not bury my face in the earth. I want to present myself to Allah with a naked face. I am told, whoever goes to the supreme court on high with a naked face will have his sins forgiven.

5 My coffin should be made of thick Khaddar. Do not place a costly shawl on the corpse. The route of my funeral should not be showered with flowers. No one should be permitted to place any flowers on my body. No music should be played or sung, I hate music.

6 No tomb should be built for me. Only a chabootra or a platform may be erected.

7 I have not been able to pay the salaries of my soldiers and my personal servants for several months. I bequeath that after my death at least my personal servants be paid in full, even as the treasury is empty. Niamat Ali has served me very faithfully : he has cleaned my body and has never let my bed remain dirty.

8 No mausoleum should be raised in my memory. No stone with my name should be placed at my grave. There should be no trees planted near the grave. A sinner like me does not deserve the protection of a shady tree !

9 My son, Azam, has the authority to rule from the throne of Delhi. Kam Baksh should be entrusted with governance of Bijapur and Golconda states.

10 Allah should not make anyone an emperor. The most unfortunate person is he who becomes one. My sins should not be mentioned in any social gathering. The story of my life should not be told to anyone.

(Translated from a history article published by Sh Ajmer Singh, MA, in the Fateh weekly Nov. 7th, 1976.)

According to wishes of the emperor, his grave made of ‘kuccha’ bricks can still be seen in Aurangabad.

And thus ended Emperor’s Aurangzeb’s reign of fifty years. He was over 90 when he died.

His death marked the beginning of the decline and fall of the Mughal dynasty.

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