India And Japan

Prime Minister Modi’s ongoing visit to Japan is about a new partnership between the two countries. Japan is already a top investor in India, even if China is the leading bilateral trade partner. There are over 1000 Japanese companies in India, and a very significant surge in their number is sure to follow in coming months.

Both the prime ministers at the scheduled bilateral summit are unabashed nationalists and have a hard nose for filling their agenda with decisions that back their vision for their respective countries. Abe and Modi are expected to strengthen security ties and finalise a framework for defence coordination. Supply of US-2 amphibian search and rescue aircraft to India has been discussed since December last and the Abe administration has eased the nation’s long-held ban on weapons exports, including technology transfers, in April this year. The two leaders are expected to continue joint maritime drills in addition to trilateral ones with the United States, possibly on a regular basis.

But the calling of “two major maritime democracies in Asia” is expected to affirm their willingness to work in tandem at ensuring a “peaceful and stable maritime order” to curb Beijing’s increasing activity in the East and South China seas, as well as in the Indian Ocean. Effectively, it is to halt and displace the ambitious Russia – China strategy emerging over the region, largely through an aggressive and belligerent show of power than a genuine desire at cultural appreciation,  economic and technological largesse and trade turnover.

It is a larger shared perspective for the East, South East and South Asia region at work between them. The summit itself coincides with much else : the just concluded visits of India’s Foreign Minister to Bangladesh and Myanmar, Indian President’s call on Vietnam later in September, and the coming visits by Prime Minister Abe to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. An agreement to meet Japan’s most crucial need for rare earth materials has already been signed with India, which is likely to ship over 2000 tonnes by February next year. It is to grow up to 4000 tonnes per year, a substantial bailout considering the intransigence shown by China — Japan’s major supplier — in recent months.

A nuclear deal will be discussed over the table, if not concluded, alongwith availability for huge funds by Japan for a whole array of India’s infrastructure projects, the scale of which is likely to arrest the global attention with surprise. The next week’s developments would also forge a convergence among all countries to the east of india and to the south of Japan.

The India – Japan summit could spell a remarkable momentum to peace and stability, growth and properity, in east, south and south-east Asia.

 

 

New India : Happy India

On the eve of Independence Day — 2014…

The daily I read is a Congress Party mouthpiece, spiritedly in opposition to the ruling National Democratic Alliance. However, going through it today left me palpably happy at how remakably well this country is now governed, thanks to the people of India who chose Narendra Modi to lead the nation’s affairs. The marked degree of difference, compared to how it was during the preceeding decade under the UPA regime, was underscored by an observation of the Supreme Court headlined even by the avowedly antagonistic news and reports the Times Of India routinely carries … ” Stop acting like UPA on Ganga : SC to govt “. To mimick the media, I visualise “sources” reporting Manmohan Singh, the previous captive Prime Minister : “I am delighted and the country is relieved with my (and my Party’s) removal from power …” As I am, and vast majority of people are !

Let me sum up some of the other news that fills me with an euphoric state of well-being :

On his first visit to Kargil as PM, Modi minced no words in stating that Pakistan continues to sponsor terror missions in India, even while emphasising that the neighbour has finally lost the capacity and will for facing a frontal war. Our neighbour has launched four since 1947 and has been soundly, humiliatingly beaten in every one of them. Expectedly, the editorial faults the plain-speak saying, “Modi chiding Pakistan for pursuing a proxy war does nothing to improve bilateral relations.” It would prefer the Indian Prime Minister to adopt a gentler approach, the one which has done nothing to arrest the violence triggered from across our borders and which the people are frankly tired of !

It comforts me that the Govt is now redressing a wrong perpetuated by successive previous regimes that never found it worthwhile to award the country’s highest honour to Dhyan Chand, the hockey wizard who kept India on the top in the game for over two decades. However the cause of my delight is not limited to the person but to the overarching question : What kind of a country do we want ? What national values must we reinforce with our day-to-day decisions ? It rankles that the UPA govt had the great man, the nation’s pride, in its last year’s honours list but went for a promoted candidate instead — the little master of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, who is reported to have gained enough from brand equity garnered from his exploits in the field.

The removal of Gandhi-Nehru name from our national schemes and projects is as a much a matter of my happiness as the hashtags #CongressMuktaBharat and #CorruptionFreeIndia I have actively supported and promoted. A country that has largely shunned such personality intense and cult promotions, the practice reminds me that horribly misplaced slogan coined during the infamous Emergency days : Indira is India — India is Indira … reducing a nation to a person and blowing up a person to equal the oldest nation on earth !

Today, the country premier crime and corruption investigating agency has dared to move a note regarding ‘irregularities’ public sector bank appointments at senior levels and, consequently, the Govt will review several of the suspicious ones. The action would be symbolic of the clean-up this country sorely needs to stem this pervasive corruption that has come to characterise our affairs. The President has given the nod for review of 12 university vice-chancellor appointees, several during the very last days of the previous regime. 

Now even the senior-most founding leader of the much promising and even more abysmally disappointing Aam Aadmi Party has aired his despair of its undemocratic working, inviting all manner ‘sad’ whisperings and lamenting advisories. But the development is exactly along the lines I have viewed the fakeness built into outfit from the start. I am looking forward to its early demise, especially since Delhi has been far better managed since the Party’s govt led by its ‘national convenor’ resigned after merely 49 days at its helm. Look at some of them here below :
 

ON FAST TRACK – Govt sets deadline for 245 services

  • Chasing neighbourhood cops to get a no-objection certificate for a passport won’t be necessary now as Delhi Police has committed to a 20-day deadline for it.
  • This and 244 more services by various state departments, civic agencies and Delhi Police have been brought under the Delhi Time-bound Service Delivery Act as an Independence Day gift. Already , 116 services by 24 departments are covered by the Act.
  • Delhi Police has committed to issuing copies of FIRs to complainants within a day, and complete verification of tenants and servants in 20 days.
  • NDMC has promised to remove obstructions from roads in one day . It will sanction building plans in one day and complete mutation of property in seven days. Even the corporations have agreed to sanction building plans for residential development within 30 days.
  • Bus passes for students, the physically disabled and senior citizens will be issued in a day . The higher education department may agree to issue provisional certificates within 15 days.
  • The department of women and child development has committed to sanction pension to widows and women in distress within 45 days.
  • The notification of these is likely by the end of this week. The law governing time-bound delivery of services prescribes penalties for officers who harass the public with delays.
There is much else to commend the New India : Happy India today. Old boys have now come to join hands to boost infrastructure and the image of govt schools. The judiciary has become extra conscious of their intervention powers : The High Court demanded a report status of kids’ parks by Oct 29. Tourist arrivals remain on the up despite much negative publicity the country has received over the past decade … 
On political front in the states, the mindless ‘minority appeasement’ for vote-bank is coming apart. A quiet campaign to cut the Samajvadi Party leader Azam Khan down to size appears to be at work in Uttar Pradesh. The casteist Bahujan Party’s Mayawati has refused to have any truck with SP, in the latter’s bid to form a joint front against the nationalist BJP. The other ‘joint front’ in Bihar saw a mere few hundred listeners, when the buildup was for hundreds of thousands !

Prime Minister might dare to continue with his habit of speaking extempore while addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort, after his Govt launches state-of-the-art warships INS Kolkata and INS Kamorta. The aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in June this year. There are 44 warships currently on order in Indian shipyards valued at over Rs 2000 billion, These are part of the plan to steadily build a three-dimensional blue-water Navy capable of taking care of India’s huge strategic interests in the region stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait.

Beti (daughter) … drive in 100 dists with worst sex ratio. The Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has set a 2-year deadline for Implementation. It is one of highest national priority : Save Our Daughters – Educate Our Daughters. It assures stringent action against erring medical practitioners and monitoring of health clinics. The government had allotted Rs 100 crore for the scheme in the Union Budget. India has one of the worst sex ratios, earning the dubious title of “country with missing girls“.
 
The Govt has stood by its declared intent of not allowing FDI in multi-brand retail … But you get the streaming causes behind my delight, right ? !
 
Wish you a Happy Independence Day.
 
 

Paan, My Love

Ha – ah – ha … love them both : the man and the outlet !

No one can make a great paan except with love.

Shot in winter time, rather dark evening.

There is a queue, if did not notice.

Ah, Paan, my love !

Have not partaken as frequently

but the feeling for you is undiminshed …

|

The Pan Outlet

Beauty Of The Quest

Cover of "Altai-Himalaya A Travel Diary"

ALTAI-HIMALAYA

A Travel Diary

By Nicholas Roerich

[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]

Part X : INDIA (1924)

The Talmud relates that the dove brought the first olive branch to Noah from Mount Moriah. And Mount Moriah and the mountain Meru both lie in Asia. Here is the beginning of all things. Here is the source for all travelers and all searchers. Here is raised the first image of the Blessed Maitreya—Messiah—Muntazar, the Messiah now awaited by the Mohammedans. Thrice powerful M ! Here, above all disputes, the teachings have raised up the olive branch of the new world. Here is ordained the universal commune.

Some one voluntarily approached and touched our tent ! Who is this man, with his long black braid and a turquoise earring in his ear, and garbed in a white kaftan ? It is the Lama, Pema Don-dub, the local ikon painter. We ask, “Can you paint for us the Blessed Maitreya, exactly like the one in Tashi-lhunpo ?” He consents and now he sits on a tiny rug in the corner of the white gallery, and with various pigments, paints the Image full of symbols. He prepares the fabric for the painting and covers it with levkas (a mixture of chalk on glue), and irons it with a shell. He works exactly like Russian ikon painters. In the same way does he grind his colors, heat them on a coal pan; and thus does he keep an additional brush in his thick black hair. His Tibetan wife helps him to prepare his colors.

And so, in the corner of the white gallery is being conceived the ingenious image, many-colored. And each symbol upon it more clearly defines the Blessed One. Here is the frightful bird-like Garuda and wise Magi and Ganeshi, elephant of happiness, and Chintamani, the Steed, bearing on its back the miraculous stone, Treasure of the World. A sacred cycle of chosen symbols. And upon the image and the hands is laid pure gold.

Like our ikon painters, the artist lama chants hymns as he labors. The chants become more fervent; this means he is beginning upon the Image itself.

And another wonder occurs, only possible in this land. In the deep twilight when the waxing moon possesses all things, one hears through the house the silvery tones of a handmade flute. In the darkness, the artist lama is sitting upon his rug, playing with rapture before the image of Maitreya-Messiah-Muntazar.

The Strings of the Earth !

Talai-Pho-Brang.


Panoramic Kashmir

Panoramic Kashmir (Photo credit: NotMicroButSoft

PIR-PANZAL (1925)

Where have passed the hordes of the great Mongols ?

Where has the lost tribe of Israel concealed itself ?

Where stands the “Throne of Solomon” ?

Where lie the paths of Christ the Wan­derer ?

Where glow the bonfires of the Shamans, Bon-po, of the religion of demons ?

Where is Shalimar, the gardens of Jehangir ?

Where are the roads of Pamir, Lhasa, Khotan ?

Where is the mysterious cave, Amarnath ?

Where is the path of Alexander the Great to forgotten Taxila ?

Where are the walls of Akbar ?

Where did Ashvagosha teach ?

Where did Avan-tisvamin create ?

Where are the citadels of Chandragupta-Maurya ?

Where are the stones of wisdom of King Asoka ? . . .

All have passed by way of Kashmir. Here lie the ancient ways of Asia. And each caravan flashes by as a connecting link in the great body of the East. Here are the sandy deserts on the way to Peshawar; and the blue peaks of Sonamarg; and the white slopes of Zoji-La. And in the flight of the eagles is the same untiring spirit; in the fleet steed is the same unalterable motion. Nor does the world of roses and shawls of Kashmir resemble that forgotten and hidden world of Kashmiri blades.

Sacre du Printemps“— when we composed it together with Stravinsky, we could not conceive that Kashmir would greet us with its very setting. In Ghari, camping out by night, when the vivid spring sky became afire with stars and the mountains were azured, we observed rows of fires upon the mountains. The fires started into motion, separated and strangely circled about. Then the mountain slopes became aglow with these fiery processions. And in the village below, dark silhouettes began to whirl about brandishing resin torches on long staffs. The flaming circles proclaimed the end of winter frosts. And the songs proclaimed the Sacred Spring. This is the festival of the Ninth of March.

Bulbul,” the nightingale, sings on the apple tree. The cuckoo reckons out a long life. White linens are spread on the meadow and a samovar is boiling. Red and yellow apples and sweet cakes are passed around to those seated upon the spring grass. The eyes of the violets and the white and yellow narcissus are woven into a many-hued carpet. At evening, flocks of ducks and geese completely cover the tiny islands over the lakes. Small bears steal out on the spring glades. But none fears them—unless the mother-bear is with her cubs. . . .

The river banks are sloping. A line of boatsmen steer their canopied boats. . . . Upon a broad road the oxen drag themselves and the wheels grind along. Three-hundred-year-old plantains and tall poplars guard the ways. And the teeth of the encoun­tered travelers gleam often in the smile of greeting.

In the sheds lie the sleighs—veritable Moscow sleighs. In the yard, a crane screeches above the well. The straw roof is over­grown with green moss. Along the road are gnarled willow trees. And the greetings of the children are noisy. But where is this ? Is it in Schuya or Kolomna? It is in Srinagar, in the “City of the Sun.”

Tiny, big-bellied pillars—small ornamental designs—steep little steps of stone—the gilded roofs of the temple—creaking, orna­mented window-shutters—rusty locks—low little doors with their “curtesy”—carved balustrades—slanting tiles on stony floors—the odor of old lacquer—small windows with diminutive panes. Where are we then ? Is this the Kremlin of Rostov ? Are these the monasteries of Suzdal ? Are they the temples of Yaroslavl ? And what of the endless flocks of daws ? What of the naked branches behind the windows ? This is the chief palace of the Maharajah of Kashmir. How curious is everything which re­mains from antiquity. But the modern additions are hideous.

Upon the road are many Fords. In the hotel dining room one sees the faces of Americans. In the jewelry shop, side-by-side, hang two paintings—one of the view of Delhi, the other the view of the Moscow Kremlin. Among the crystals into which one gazes for destiny; among the sapphires of Kashmir and the Tibetan turquoises, are shimmering green Chinese jadaites—and like a garden, many-colored are the borders of the embroidered kaftans. Like precious shawls, the rooms of the museum are strewn with minute Iran-designs and “Gandhara,” belabored by destiny, unifies the cleft branches of West and East.

In the styles of the temples and mosques; in the angular carved dragons; in the tentlike, sloping hexagonal tower, is seen an unexpected combination of the old wooden churches of Norway and the Chinese pagodas. Out of one well is drawn the Roman­esque Chimera, the animal ornaments of Altai and the tiny animals of Chinese Turkestan and China. The Siberian paths of the nations have carried afar the same meaning of adornment.

The fort of Akbar stands firmly planted. But after you have climbed the steepnesses and flights, you may perceive that the old bricks and the claybeaten cement barely hold together. The arches are ready to give way.

Nishad, the garden of Akbar, occupies the site from the lake to the hill—a high place. The structures are modest and upon the corners are the little towers so beloved by him. They are characterized by simplicity and brightness.

Shalimar—the garden of Jehangir—is also in character with its possessor, standing “for itself.” There is less of outward show, but more of luxury—of that luxury which brought the descend­ants of the Moguls to poverty. The last Mogul, in Delhi, secretly sold furniture out of the palace and destroyed the valuable fac­ings of the walls of Shah Jehan and Aurungzeb. Thus ended the great dynasty.

The weaver of Kashmir accompanied the making of each of his designs with a special chant. Such a searching for rhythm reminds us of the great harmony of labor.

No song relates why the mountain “Throne of Solomon” bears this name. This is a place of such antiquity. Janaka, son of Asoka, had already dedicated here one of the first Buddhist temples. Seven centuries later the temple was rebuilt and con­secrated to Mahadeva. . . . But whence comes the name of Solomon? The mountain received the name of Solomon from a legend that Solomon, desiring a respite from the conventions of a sovereign’s life and from the burdens of his court, trans­ported himself upon a flying carpet to this mountain with his favorite wife. Here, again, we come upon the mention of that “flying apparatus” possessed by Solomon. A similar mountain is in Turkestan and in Persia.

It is not alone the mountain “Throne of Solomon” which transports the consciousness into biblical spheres. In the valley of Sindh the prophet Elijah is reverenced in a special manner. Most stirring are the legends; how the prophet sitting in his cave saves fishermen and travelers. Under various aspects, at times benevolent, at times stormy, the prophet appears to defend the works of justice and piety. Mohammedans and Hindus, divided by many differences, equally reverence the prophet Elijah.

Purple iris will always recall Moslem cemeteries. They are covered with these flowers. But there is also joy. The lilacs have blossomed, lilies of the valley are nodding and the wild cherry tree glistens.

Mount Moriah Cemetery Gate


A Memory Out Of The Blues

IIT_Kharagpur_Main_Building

I remembered Kiron … #IITKharagpur #PatelHall from 33 years back.

But let me ease you in the context.

I’d cooked “the best fish in the world.”

That’s no hyperbole; there were just two very discriminating palates sharing the half a kilo delicacy

and they didn’t stop raving about it, congratulating each other after dinner. I swear.

It hadn’t been too bad a day too; the day before yesterday was depressing, which I blogged about.

Today was merely warm and humid, a condition that makes me profoundly uncomfortable and unhappy but also brings my immense patience to fore.

So why did I remember Kiron Bhat, and how ? Mind you, the charming person was a “he” proper if the name confounds. And he was not even my friend, one who would be in the group that goes out on “adda” or loafs about for a good glimpse of the female form. He was two years my senior; his mates I remember were Vam, Kunal, Joe, Som …

We lived in the same hostel, Patel Hall Of Residence, during our days in the alma mater. We were friendly if not chums, sharing a high smoke or two and tossing up a glass of drink, which would be always welcome but mostly obnoxious. We would have hailed each other while passing by or would have had a conversation in the foyer or in the canteen on the first floor.

But I did remember Kiron today evening, at great length, beaming some of the sketches across to the goddess spread in the easy chair before me. The trigger was fish; or must have been, from the image I powerfully recalled : Kiron, on the other side of the service slab in the mess, putting marinated pieces of fish ever so tenderly in the boiling curry, not unlike a Master Chef who knew precisely the dish he wanted it to turn out.

We all waited, excited. Back them, I’d have it but had no great love for the aquatic animal. But this was special. And Kiron was kicked happy, smiling, sure and assurance personified. The fish was probably “bhetki” — a delicate one to prepare but not too messy to partake. There was a chatter full of expectation.

Remembering you Kiron Bhat : Your small dark face with a stubble or a frenchie, curly hair, slender build, amiable and always helpful, ready to appreciate a joke with a good laugh. And the charming smile …

Where are you, Kiron Bhat ? Do your mates hear my call ?

Bless you … wherever you are !

And, thank you, even if it is 33 years late.

PT

Light, Beauty And Truth.

ALTAI-HIMALAYA

A Travel Diary

By Nicholas Roerich

[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]

Part IX : INDIA (1924)

Cover of "Altai-Himalaya A Travel Diary"

In the twilight under the flowing stars, in the purple sheen of the mist, sounds the soft voice of the lama, telling his calm tale of the “King of the World,” of His power, of His action and wisdom, of His legions, in which each warrior shall be possessed of some extraordinary gift. And he tells of the dates of the new age of general well-being.

The tale is taken from an ancient Tibetan book, wherein, under symbolic names, are given the future movements of the Dalai-Lama and Tashi-Lama, which have already been fulfilled. There are described the special physical marks of rulers under whom the country shall fall during the reign of the monkeys. But afterwards the rule shall be regained and then will come Someone of greatness. His coming is calculated in twelve years —which will be in 1936.

When the time came for the Blessed Buddha to depart from this earth He was asked by four lords of Dharmapala to bequeath to mankind His image. The Blessed One consented and desig­nated the most worthy artist, but the artist could not take the exact measurements because his hand trembled when he ap­proached the Blessed One. Then said Buddha, “I shall stand near the water. Thou shalt take the measurements from my reflection.” And the artist was thus enabled to do so, and exe­cuted four images, modeled from a sacred alloy of seven metals. Two of these images are now in Lhasa and the remaining two are still hidden until the appointed time.

One Tibetan ruler married Chinese and Nepal princesses in order that through them he might attract to Tibet the two sacred images of Buddha.

Twelve hundred years after Buddha, the teacher Padma Sambhava brought closer to men the teachings of the Blessed One. At the birth of Padma Sambhava all the skies were aglow and the shepherds saw miraculous tokens. The eight-year-old Teacher was manifested to the world in the Lotus flower. Padma Sambhava did not die but departed to teach new countries. Had he not done so the world would be threatened with disaster.

In the cave Kandro Sampo, not far from Tashi-ding, near a certain hot spring, dwelt Padma Sambhava himself. A certain giant, thinking to penetrate across to Tibet, attempted to build a passage into the Sacred Land. The Blessed Teacher rose up and growing great in height struck the bold venturer. Thus was the giant destroyed. And now in the cave is the image of Padma Sambhava and behind it is a stone door. It is known that behind this door the Teacher hid sacred mysteries for the future. But the dates for their revelation have not yet come.

Wherefore do the giant trumpets in the Buddhist temples have so resonant a tone ? The ruler of Tibet decided to summon from India a learned lama, from the place where dwelt the Blessed One, in order to purify the fundamentals of the teaching. How to meet the guest ? The High Lama of Tibet, having had a vision, gave the design of a new trumpet so that the guest should be received with unprecedented sound; and the meeting was a wonderful one—not by the wealth of gold but by the grandeur of sound !

Why do the gongs in the temple ring out with such great volume ? And, as silver, resound the gongs and bells at dawn and evening, when the atmosphere is tense. Their sound re­minds one of the legend of the great Lama and the Chinese emperor. In order to test the knowledge and clairvoyance of the Lama, the emperor made for him a seat from sacred books and covering them with fabrics, invited the guest to sit down. The Lama made certain prayers and then sat down. The emperor demanded of him, “If your knowledge is so universal, how could you sit down on the sacred books ?” “There are no sacred volumes,” answered the Lama. And the astonished em­peror, instead of his sacred volumes, found only blank papers. The emperor thereupon gave to the Lama many gifts and bells of liquid chime. But the Lama ordered them to be thrown into the river, saying, “I will not be able to carry these. If they are necessary to me, the river will bring these gifts to my monastery.” And indeed the waters carried to him the bells, with their crystal chimes, clear as the waters of the river.

Talismans… A mother many times asked her son to bring to her a sacred relic of Buddha. But the youth forgot her request. She said to him, ‘I shall die here before your eyes if you will not bring it to me now.’ The son went to Lhasa and again forgot the mother’s request. A half day’s journey from his home, he recalled the promise. But where can one find sacred objects in the desert ? There is nought. But the traveler espies the skull of a dog. He decides to take out a tooth and folding it in yellow silk he brings it to the house. The old woman asks of him, ‘Have you forgotten again my last request, my son ?’ He then gives her the dog’s tooth wrapped in silk, saying, ‘This is the tooth of Buddha.’ And the mother puts the tooth into her shrine, and performs before it the most sacred rites, directing all her worship to her holy of holies. And the miracle is accomplished. The tooth begins to glow with pure rays and many miracles and sacred manifestations result from it.”

A man searched for twelve years for Maitreya-Buddha. No­where did he find him, and becoming angry, he rejected his faith. As he walked along his way he beheld one who with a horsehair was sawing an iron rod, repeating to himself, “If the whole of life is not enough yet will I saw this through.” Con­fusion fell upon him— “What mean my twelve years,” he said, “in the face of such persistence ? I will return to my search.” Thereupon Maitreya-Buddha himself appeared before the man and said, “Long already have I been with you but you did not see me, and you repulsed me and spat upon me. I will make a test. Go to the bazaar. I will be upon your shoulder.” The man went, aware that he carried Maitreya. But the men around him shrank from him, closing their noses and eyes. “Wherefore do you shrink from me, people ?” he asked. “What a fright you have on your shoulder—an ill-smelling dog full of boils!” they replied. Again the people did not see Maitreya-Buddha, for each beheld only what he was worthy of seeing.

The lama says, “There are three kinds of teaching—one for the stranger, one for our own, and the third for the initiated who can retain. Now through ignorance they slaughter animals, they drink wine, they have property and eat meat and live squalidly. Does religion permit all this ? Where is beauty, there is teaching; where is teaching, there is beauty.

The people here are sensitive. Your emotions and desires are transmitted so easily. Therefore know clearly what you desire. Otherwise instead of Buddha you shall behold the dog.

That which is hidden in the past is not of importance—that which in age-old books, copied and unfinished, lies covered with dust. For the new construction, that which now resolves itself into life is important. Not through library shelves but through the living word is measured the possibility of future structures.

Under Kinchenjunga are secreted the caves in which are rest­ing the treasures. In stone coffins the cave dwellers are praying, torturing themselves in the name of the future. But the sun has already defined the future; not in secret caves, but in full sunlight one perceives the worship and expectation of Maitreya-Buddha. It is now three years since the Tashi Lama solemnly and openly dedicated the great New Image in his Tashi-lhunpo. The intense, invisible work progresses.

The Tashi Lama is now on his way to Mongolia by way of China. Unprecedented through the ages is this event. Mystery ! Incidentally, it may be that through Sikhim passed only the ab­ducting detachment and the Lama himself moved on to Mon­golia.

On a sacred morning upon the mountain started to glow rows of fire—another mystery !

Just now the wave of attention is turned toward Tibet—behind the mountain rampart events are stirring, but Tibetan secrecy is great. Information is contradictory. Whither disappeared the Tashi Lama ? What military manoeuvers proceed on the Chinese border ? What transpires on the Mongolian line ? A year of events !

Sikhim is called the land of lightning. Of course, here also occurs lightning but is it not simpler to call it “the land of future steps” ? For it would be difficult to imagine a better threshold to the mysteries of the future than this unexplored, rarely pene­trated country of rocks and flowers.

As behind a tiny silver apple on a saucer, do the hills and steps of the Himalayas reveal themselves. Hundreds, perhaps more, are the monasteries in Sikhim, each crowning the top of a summit. A small temple in Chakong; a big suburgan and monastery in Rinchenpong. Upon the next mountain appears gleaming white Pemayangtse, still higher, Sanga Chöling. Tashi-ding is almost unseen. On the other side of the valley is Daling and opposite Robling and still nearer Namtse. For a distance of forty miles one may behold the monasteries, for we must not forget that here one sees extremely far.

And again before us is the wall to Tibet. And not the back­bone of the lizard but the snow-white girdle is outlined upon the peaks of this wall—the girdle of the earth. Let us point the arrow northward—there must be the base of Mount Meru.

English: I took this photo of the 110 ft (35 m...

110 ft (35 metre) Maitreya Buddha facing down the Shyok River, Nubra Valley near Diskit Monastery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Award I Cherish …

 

I don’t believe in fairies and angels. But I have one who showers her kindness on the smallest of effort I put in to raise a blog devoted to beauty, happiness and truth. She – Julianne – is far and unseen, unknown and unmet, but one who I imagine hovering close over me, infusing an encouragement I feel happy to accept. The last part is important … because there are many whose words seem so empty and motivated, and merely distractive to the committment I summon while adding a small beam on my blog staff.

Julianne has awarded this blog with The Sunshine Award … It brightens my blogging spirit. I am grateful to her for honouring the author thus … and thank Robin at Whitecrow12013 and Theresa at Soul Gatherings for earlier conferring the same recognition to her blog at Julianne Victoria dot com ! If you haven’t already, please visit their blogs for all their spiritual and soulful insights.

The “rules” for most of the awards can be viewed on the Awards page.

It’s a blogger’s award to a fellow blogger !

For the Sunshine Award the rules are :

blog-wonderful-team-membership-award

1. Display the award logo,

2. Link back to the person who nominated you,

3. State 7 things about yourself, and

4. Nominate 15 (or however many you can)

other bloggers for the award.

blog-influential-award

  Seven new things about myself:

1) My gods are the Sun, Moon and my late parents.

2) I am a recluse, done with the mundane.

3) I live in heaven with a woman who is love and devotion itself,

and who can bite real nasty.

4) My heaven includes two young men who may be a little foolish and lazy at times,

but who can never ever be accused for lying, dishonesty or cowardice.

5) I was a champ at all small town games that children in Railway colonies

used to play in the 1960s and 70s.

blog-awesomeness

6) I used to write in school and college and read writers little known

among students of engineering at my prestigeous alma mater

7) While young, I’d groove on Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Doors, Queens,

Led Zepp, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Joan Baez …

apart from Beatles, Bob Dylan et al.

 

New Nominees: 

Please visit

blog-liebster-award

these interesting blogs

who I choose award because

their efforts mean so much to me.

Nominees, may please honour us 

with their kind acceptance.

blog-loyalty-award

Congratulations !

 1) http://kiwis-soar.com/

2) http://theholisticconsultant.org/

3) http://sreenivasan.ksshouse.com

4) http://wanderingmirages.com

blog-seed-of-light

5) http://worldfalls.wordpress.com

6) http://www.drishtikone.com/

7) http://theethicalwarrior.wordpress.com/

8) http://andidreamed.wordpress.com

9) http://ofthehighest.wordpress.com/ 

10) http://hibamo.wordpress.com/
blog-best-moment
11) http://pukirahe.wordpress.com/
12) http://bchq33.wordpress.com/
13) http://jrfibonacci.wordpress.com/
14) vikramroyblog.wordpress.com

15) http://saminaiqbal27.wordpress.com/

Namaste _/|\_ …………………………..

A Word To Us – In India

In conversation … I have the highest of regard for my elder and friend, Sh Basudeb Sen, a learned soul, a tall human being and an independent director for decades. We have agreed on much and differed occasionally on matters that concerns us as individuals, as people and part of global community. This little conversation took place lately on the ruins of Nalanda !

It started with my observation to a pic you can view down below :

Quote 

How #Islam was advanced … Terribly sad event in 1193 AD, when Nalanda University was ransacked, burnt and thousands of Buddhists beheaded by the #Muslim fanatic Bakhtiyar Khilji , a Turk …

Unquote

The picture of the ruins of Nalanda University was accompanied with a small introduction …

In 1193, the Nalanda University was sacked by the fanatic Bakhtiyar Khilji , a Turk. The event is seen by scholars as a late milestone through the decline of Buddhism in India.

The Persian historian Minhaj-i-Siraj , in his chronicle Tabaqat-I-Nasiri , reported that many of the monks there were burned alive and thousands beheaded as Khilji tried his best to uproot Buddhism and plant Islam by the sword. The library continued to burn for several months and “smoke from smouldering manuscripts hung for days, like a dark pall over the low hills.”

Nalanda was reknowned far and wide … one of the world’s first, perhaps the only residential university then. It had dormitories for students. In its prime, the institution accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers, and was considered an architectural masterpiece. It was marked by a lofty wall and a gate that led to eight separate compounds, ten temples, many meditation halls and classrooms. Within it were were lakes and parks, and a library housed in a nine-storied building that had long rows of books of knowledge and several sections for producing meticulous copies of texts globally in demand.

The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of knowledge, and its portals attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. During the period of Harsha, the monastery is reported to have owned 200 villages, given as grants for its upkeep.

The Tang Dynasty Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang has left for us detailed accounts of the university, as it was in the 7th Century. He described how the regularly laid-out towers, forest of pavilions, harmikas and temples, seemed to “soar above the mists in the sky” so that, from their cells, the monks “might witness the birth of the winds and the clouds.”

The pilgrim states, “An azure pool winds around the monasteries, adorned with full-blown cups of the blue lotus; dazzling red flowers of the lovely kanaka hang here and there; and outside, groves of mango trees offer the inhabitants their dense and protective shade.”

*  *  *

Sh Sen wrote in his comment on my observation :

“Why look at the past ?

“(Today) Terrorists and religious fundamentalists have become much more commercially organised in the business of large scale destruction and killing. We have many many Khiljis and their networks operationg all over the World now.”

Though the thought was very pertinent, I found in it a tiresomeness about our history, those events in our past that “dead and gone.”

I believe looking at the past, as it was, is to look at the truth – our own truth. 

Proliferation of terrorists and fundamentalists today is, to a great extent, a consequence of us, and the world, having satisfied ourselves with little understanding of our historical truths. As a result, we are without crucial information to orient and strategise our collective steps through a complicated present, and to create a preferred future for ourselves.

We have even gone about laying a thick layer of fake and fabricated narrative over the facts in our past … a monumental error that keeps us, as a people and as a nation, in the darkness of mere emotional ding-dongs, without the clarity of evidence and data backed knowledge of how we are placed in the present, and why.

That leaves us with little idea of our real strengths, weaknesses and threats, with an entirely dissipated orientation to opportunities and diffused attention to what could have been certain steps to our desired future.

The word to us – in India – reads thus :

My countrymen, the reason we are very poor at identifying our national projects and strategies rests in great measure to our inability to look squarely into the face of our historical truths ?

I may assure you that if we had been good at driving ourselves with a sense of purpose and direction, our land would have been largely free of these puny but bloated identities – liguistic, regional and religious – we carry to war amongst ourselves … 

May we be blessed !

Ruins Of Nalada

Dare To Know …

What Is Enlightenment ?

Immanuel Kant 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) “Have the courage to use your own understanding,” is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on–then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind–among them the entire fair sex–should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts.

Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas, these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use–or rather abuse–of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting nonage. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from nonage by cultivating their own minds.

It is more nearly possible, however, for the public to enlighten itself; indeed, if it is only given freedom, enlightenment is almost inevitable. There will always be a few independent thinkers, even among the self-appointed guardians of the multitude. Once such men have thrown off the yoke of nonage, they will spread about them the spirit of a reasonable appreciation of man’s value and of his duty to think for himself. It is especially to be noted that the public which was earlier brought under the yoke by these men afterwards forces these very guardians to remain in submission, if it is so incited by some of its guardians who are themselves incapable of any enlightenment. That shows how pernicious it is to implant prejudices: they will eventually revenge themselves upon their authors or their authors’ descendants. Therefore, a public can achieve enlightenment only slowly. A revolution may bring about the end of a personal despotism or of avaricious tyrannical oppression, but never a true reform of modes of thought. New prejudices will serve, in place of the old, as guide lines for the unthinking multitude.

This enlightenment requires nothing but freedom–and the most innocent of all that may be called “freedom”: freedom to make public use of one’s reason in all matters. Now I hear the cry from all sides: “Do not argue!” The officer says: “Do not argue–drill!” The tax collector: “Do not argue–pay!” The pastor: “Do not argue–believe!” Only one ruler in the world says: “Argue as much as you please, but obey!” We find restrictions on freedom everywhere. But which restriction is harmful to enlightenment? Which restriction is innocent, and which advances enlightenment? I reply: the public use of one’s reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment to mankind.

On the other hand, the private use of reason may frequently be narrowly restricted without especially hindering the progress of enlightenment. By “public use of one’s reason” I mean that use which a man, as scholar, makes of it before the reading public. I call “private use” that use which a man makes of his reason in a civic post that has been entrusted to him. In some affairs affecting the interest of the community a certain [governmental] mechanism is necessary in which some members of the community remain passive. This creates an artificial unanimity which will serve the fulfillment of public objectives, or at least keep these objectives from being destroyed. Here arguing is not permitted: one must obey. Insofar as a part of this machine considers himself at the same time a member of a universal community–a world society of citizens–(let us say that he thinks of himself as a scholar rationally addressing his public through his writings) he may indeed argue, and the affairs with which he is associated in part as a passive member will not suffer. Thus it would be very unfortunate if an officer on duty and under orders from his superiors should want to criticize the appropriateness or utility of his orders. He must obey. But as a scholar he could not rightfully be prevented from taking notice of the mistakes in the military service and from submitting his views to his public for its judgment. The citizen cannot refuse to pay the taxes levied upon him; indeed, impertinent censure of such taxes could be punished as a scandal that might cause general disobedience. Nevertheless, this man does not violate the duties of a citizen if, as a scholar, he publicly expresses his objections to the impropriety or possible injustice of such levies. A pastor, too, is bound to preach to his congregation in accord with the doctrines of the church which he serves, for he was ordained on that condition. But as a scholar he has full freedom, indeed the obligation, to communicate to his public all his carefully examined and constructive thoughts concerning errors in that doctrine and his proposals concerning improvement of religious dogma and church institutions. This is nothing that could burden his conscience. For what he teaches in pursuance of his office as representative of the church, he represents as something which he is not free to teach as he sees it. He speaks as one who is employed to speak in the name and under the orders of another. He will say: “Our church teaches this or that; these are the proofs which it employs.” Thus he will benefit his congregation as much as possible by presenting doctrines to which he may not subscribe with full conviction. He can commit himself to teach them because it is not completely impossible that they may contain hidden truth. In any event, he has found nothing in the doctrines that contradicts the heart of religion. For if he believed that such contradictions existed he would not be able to administer his office with a clear conscience. He would have to resign it. Therefore the use which a scholar makes of his reason before the congregation that employs him is only a private use, for no matter how sizable, this is only a domestic audience. In view of this he, as preacher, is not free and ought not to be free, since he is carrying out the orders of others. On the other hand, as the scholar who speaks to his own public (the world) through his writings, the minister in the public use of his reason enjoys unlimited freedom to use his own reason and to speak for himself. That the spiritual guardians of the people should themselves be treated as minors is an absurdity which would result in perpetuating absurdities.

But should a society of ministers, say a Church Council, . . . have the right to commit itself by oath to a certain unalterable doctrine, in order to secure perpetual guardianship over all its members and through them over the people? I say that this is quite impossible. Such a contract, concluded to keep all further enlightenment from humanity, is simply null and void even if it should be confirmed by the sovereign power, by parliaments, and the most solemn treaties. An epoch cannot conclude a pact that will commit succeeding ages, prevent them from increasing their significant insights, purging themselves of errors, and generally progressing in enlightenment. That would be a crime against human nature whose proper destiny lies precisely in such progress. Therefore, succeeding ages are fully entitled to repudiate such decisions as unauthorized and outrageous. The touchstone of all those decisions that may be made into law for a people lies in this question: Could a people impose such a law upon itself? Now it might be possible to introduce a certain order for a definite short period of time in expectation of better order. But, while this provisional order continues, each citizen (above all, each pastor acting as a scholar) should be left free to publish his criticisms of the faults of existing institutions. This should continue until public understanding of these matters has gone so far that, by uniting the voices of many (although not necessarily all) scholars, reform proposals could be brought before the sovereign to protect those congregations which had decided according to their best lights upon an altered religious order, without, however, hindering those who want to remain true to the old institutions. But to agree to a perpetual religious constitution which is not publicly questioned by anyone would be, as it were, to annihilate a period of time in the progress of man’s improvement. This must be absolutely forbidden.

A man may postpone his own enlightenment, but only for a limited period of time. And to give up enlightenment altogether, either for oneself or one’s descendants, is to violate and to trample upon the sacred rights of man. What a people may not decide for itself may even less be decided for it by a monarch, for his reputation as a ruler consists precisely in the way in which he unites the will of the whole people within his own. If he only sees to it that all true or supposed [religious] improvement remains in step with the civic order, he can for the rest leave his subjects alone to do what they find necessary for the salvation of their souls. Salvation is none of his business; it is his business to prevent one man from forcibly keeping another from determining and promoting his salvation to the best of his ability. Indeed, it would be prejudicial to his majesty if he meddled in these matters and supervised the writings in which his subjects seek to bring their [religious] views into the open, even when he does this from his own highest insight, because then he exposes himself to the reproach:Caesar non est supra grammaticos. 2    It is worse when he debases his sovereign power so far as to support the spiritual despotism of a few tyrants in his state over the rest of his subjects.

When we ask, Are we now living in an enlightened age? the answer is, No, but we live in an age of enlightenment. As matters now stand it is still far from true that men are already capable of using their own reason in religious matters confidently and correctly without external guidance. Still, we have some obvious indications that the field of working toward the goal [of religious truth] is now opened. What is more, the hindrances against general enlightenment or the emergence from self-imposed nonage are gradually diminishing. In this respect this is the age of the enlightenment and the century of Frederick [the Great].

A prince ought not to deem it beneath his dignity to state that he considers it his duty not to dictate anything to his subjects in religious matters, but to leave them complete freedom. If he repudiates the arrogant word “tolerant”, he is himself enlightened; he deserves to be praised by a grateful world and posterity as that man who was the first to liberate mankind from dependence, at least on the government, and let everybody use his own reason in matters of conscience. Under his reign, honorable pastors, acting as scholars and regardless of the duties of their office, can freely and openly publish their ideas to the world for inspection, although they deviate here and there from accepted doctrine. This is even more true of every person not restrained by any oath of office. This spirit of freedom is spreading beyond the boundaries [of Prussia] even where it has to struggle against the external hindrances established by a government that fails to grasp its true interest. [Frederick’s Prussia] is a shining example that freedom need not cause the least worry concerning public order or the unity of the community. When one does not deliberately attempt to keep men in barbarism, they will gradually work out of that condition by themselves.

I have emphasized the main point of the enlightenment–man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage–primarily in religious matters, because our rulers have no interest in playing the guardian to their subjects in the arts and sciences. Above all, nonage in religion is not only the most harmful but the most dishonorable. But the disposition of a sovereign ruler who favors freedom in the arts and sciences goes even further: he knows that there is no danger in permitting his subjects to make public use of their reason and to publish their ideas concerning a better constitution, as well as candid criticism of existing basic laws. We already have a striking example [of such freedom], and no monarch can match the one whom we venerate.

But only the man who is himself enlightened, who is not afraid of shadows, and who commands at the same time a well disciplined and numerous army as guarantor of public peace–only he can say what [the sovereign of] a free state cannot dare to say: “Argue as much as you like, and about what you like, but obey!” Thus we observe here as elsewhere in human affairs, in which almost everything is paradoxical, a surprising and unexpected course of events: a large degree of civic freedom appears to be of advantage to the intellectual freedom of the people, yet at the same time it establishes insurmountable barriers. A lesser degree of civic freedom, however, creates room to let that free spirit expand to the limits of its capacity. Nature, then, has carefully cultivated the seed within the hard core–namely the urge for and the vocation of free thought. And this free thought gradually reacts back on the modes of thought of the people, and men become more and more capable of acting in freedom. At last free thought acts even on the fundamentals of government and the state finds it agreeable to treat man, who is now more than a machine, in accord with his dignity.

Resource :  http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/CCREAD/etscc/kant.html

Journal : Legend And Conjuration

ALTAI-HIMALAYA

A Travel Diary

By Nicholas Roerich

[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]

Part VIII : INDIA (1924)

Are the inhabitants of Sikhim poor ?

Where there are no riches there is no poverty. The people are living simply.

Upon the hills, amidst blossoming trees, stand the quiet little houses. Through the colored branches shine the bright stars and glimmer the snow-covered peaks. Here are people carrying their vege­tables; here, they pasture their cattle and smile kindly. Here, with fairylike music they walk along the steep paths in wedding processions. Knowing of reincarnation they quietly cremate the bodies. And they are singing. Mark, they are often singing.

Verily, one can sing under a canopy of various flowers and plants. Orchids, like colorful eyes, cling to the trunks of the giant trees. Pink, purple and yellow bouquets are strewn along the way like bright sparks. And these are not simply plants; many have their ancient powers of healing.

Nature awaits here full of gifts. Come hither and be cured. Charura, Parura, Orrura are the three important curative fruits against cough, cold and fever. Charura is like a yellow cherry; Parura like a green chestnut and Orrura like a yellowish-green crab-apple. All three are sharp to the taste and full of tannin. Here is the red bark of Aku Ombo, to cure wounds. Salve against fever is Sergi Phurba, like a dry giant bean. Chuta, the dry bitter root, will cure swelling and heal the throat. Bassack is a brown powder for colds. The red-stemmed Tze produces magenta; bitter Purma is for incenses. A broth from the roots of Berekuro is effective for women’s ailments. The flowers of Dangero heal the stomach, much like the flower of the red rhodo­dendron; while the leaf of Dysro is a disinfectant for wounds. Memshing Pati is a sacred plant in Nepal, where it is used for head ornaments at festivals. Endless are the useful plants…

The leaves of the herb Ava Duti are said “to soften” stones, just as do the “snow-frogs” * in the Himalayas. Therefore, if upon a stone you see the print of an elk’s foot or the paw of an animal, it seems they have eaten or touched this wondrous herb. Turning again to legends : near Phalut, on the road to Kanchenjunga, grows a precious plant, the black aconite. Its flower lights up at night, and by its glow one locates this rare plant. Here again is the trace of the legend of the Russian fire flower, that enchanted blossom which fulfills all wishes— and which leads us not to superstition but to that same source wherein so much still lies concealed.

* Snow-frogs”—a legend which attributes to snow-frogs the ability to soften stones.

Before our gates was found a strange gift. The branches of a fir tree, rhododendron and some other plants were there, with their leaves pointing to our house, and covered with a flat stone. This is a conjuration (Sunnium) and the man who raises this offering receives upon himself all which is sworn upon it, whether of good or evil, sickness or sorrow, or joy. For many days it lay there and even horses shied at it. The same conjuration we observed in the suburb of Jaipur; there in the middle of a street, in a flat basket, lay a lamb’s liver, flowers and three silver rupees. None touched them. These conjurations are of very ancient origin.

Everywhere are legends of the accidental discoveries of sacred spots, the revelation of which was followed by dumbness and even death. Thus it is told that one Shikari (a hunter) in Assam, accidentally wandered into a sacred place and beheld its mys­teries, and when he attempted to reveal them he was stricken dumb.

On the shore of the sea is moving a stick. It moves on alone and near the top of it is tied a lighted tinder. Thus do the conjurers of the coast of Malabar invoke their conjurations to burn the house of an enemy. Doctor Jones of Calcutta tried to overtake such a stick but it “walked away” beyond his own pace.

A legend from around Mongolia : “A venerated mother died and her son was desirous that a high lama possessed of exalted powers should perform the services over her. But such a lama could not be found. The son at the moment of death deposited the spirit of the departing one into a sandalwood casket, strongly sealed this sanctuary and himself invited the best lamas from Tibet. The lamas concentrated upon the casket; one of them be­gan to change in countenance, first becoming red, then blue from exertion. Then suddenly the casket burst into splinters before the eyes of all. This lama was able to free the spirit and thus could perform the service.”

The people here know everything; they have heard everything. One can remember and disclose all things in the twilight : of “Nam-Yg” (heavenly letters)—the letters and sacred books which are falling from heaven; of rings of silver or turquoise which change their color as a sign of foreboding and warning; of Si, the stone bead, sent from heaven to guard the health; of the finding of objects which disappear afterward. All this is known.

A woman was very pious and dreamt that she might receive the image of Buddha. Working in the morning amid her flowers she discovered an image and brought it into her shrine. But soon she forgot it and Buddha disappeared from the shrine. Next time the woman found in her garden a whirling sparkling stone and put it into a coffer and forgot it. Then the stone disappeared. Neglect always results in the disappearance of the bestowed happiness.

Do not record the things which can be read in books but those which are related to you in person; for those thoughts are the living ones. Not by the book but by the thought shall you judge life.

Understand the sparks of the primordial bliss.

Journal : My Odyssey

Light

Light – Courtesy @Doug88888)

This publication is my tribute  

to  the wayward amongst us;

and especially to ones who outgrew it.

……   ……

This spiritual saga over years score

Shimmers alive at a temple door…

Today, I hold myself erect

Halt at the temple entrance

But skip the practice ancient

I demand my own light

Submission I refuse

And all forms I deny

Here and now, O’ Deity

At your hallowed shrine.

Great you are, same

Being in all

The Master Grand

Cause primordial

But screened in

By our ceremonials.

Thy ritual dos and donts

No more compel, thy priests

With faith without love

Seem just a cartel

In their cloister of sad smiles

Flags, façades and piety.

*  *  *

Now this burden of life

I take upon myself

To costs I agree

Its choices I embrace

I know It’s me…

Small and weak

But the sole thing too

That’s known to me.

It’s where I’ll stay

Whom I’ll discover

Shrink all space

Let Time arch over.

I will break in, O’ Deity

To the depths of peace

And its light revealing.

*  *  *

Sure, it daunts

The vastness barred

In me haunts

Unknown and spread dark.

But the alternates just distract

And I reject yet the game false

Upon all souls hangs its pall –

Our fear masked in playful calls.

I trundle long in black tunnels

Fail to grasp a speck of heaven

Fling off hard and bounce sharp

But crash back in with vengeance

It shocks and tries, draws to test

The mind taut : deny or consent ?

In my eye rise each term and form

As a vagina wet stands in witness

Alluring still, accusing harsh

The dripping penis caught offguard.

And so goes the series march

Boxing me to voluting prompts

Libidinous – the despised rot

Bonds of yore, cravings taunt

Teeming abrim but worth nought

Transitioning nights, vague dawns

On empty core, bombed raw

Vigil in pits … awake now –

Cannot yet embrace myself

With choices diseased

I no longer defend

In that dungeon dark

Though depressed

Transfixed, yes

I refuse to crank

And I frozen face

Edgy sandstorms

Moral marshlands

Whirling sqall

In my mind’s mirror

In which I’m had

My universe

In cloudy bands

Where the soul bleeds

Pinned stiff

Lacerated within

By revelations demonic …

There’s more

Stubbed senses for sure

Of imposing forms

Unblessed, forlorn

The far sound of running tap

Unnerves the neural nap

Dead, dumped odd

Hung estranged, out cast

On just a thought nebulous

Of a hurl sudden, victorious.

I yet honour the memory

Of many a false start

Of fired highs

And puffed starch

So I sit over the furled self

Unharmed by head

Its mingled thoughts

Into feelings on the lurch

Bear unmoved

The throbbing pulse

Alassed recount

Of acts corrupt :

This licentious prisoner hovers

On wracked breath

And draining cough

But is in fact choked

On a past present

Of ambitions frayed.

*  *  *

‘Twas a journey long, my dear

To witness all and keep safe

On the path blank but unclear

For a spark just my trust’d pave

For those late mornings clear

Unencumbered winter delights

With a sun warm and mellow

On lazy cats half asleep alive

Contrary to that unsure bed

To discordant shades my will would take

Spent on view

On the first cue

At body feast, gazing vivid

With overrun sensuality

Chasing the shapely hind

Tinge in fancy nets sweet

” Possess not, O Youth !” I knew

But the sage call seemed so far

Too wrongheaded for my regard !

But then I began to see

With just half a good eye

Wherein it reflected strange

The world, its masks

Its ugly mirage

Stranger ways

Roles – give and take

Swings mighty fake

Without root or heart

Faith or permanence.

‘Twas a blind alley, O’ Deity

But that half eye was yours

Which saw the farce

Lent weight to pause

For the burst of shine

On a cold summit

Impelled glad dance

And bells resonating repeat.

I wait … instead

With familiar anti-self

Same paths of lure

“Not mine,” I sense

Then hold dilemmas clear

In my spirit –

Where light still flickers

In snag heaps

And weaning disunion.

*  *  *

Barely upright, on what I know

I doubt each moment in the flow

Witness, accept and now embrace

The rocky views, their barrenness

Slip, collide, slide into wreckage

Stare close at the mind, incessant

Holding myself with love

Wipe off the damned tears

Pat the fears to sleep

And dress up my own sears

For day next in odyssey

Wade into pains

Burn the same

To be free …

Untill that day, in radiance

Enveloped with transcending sense

I stood high

On the walling fence

Still hauling up

The rest of myself

Eyeing all

The being in morn

Before the rising peer

Basking healed

In its glowing balm

With nothing

Not a trace in between.

Unburdened complete I found myself

Stripped neat

Free of subtexts

Layers mental

And body zones

Sans celebrations then

Just smiles about

Beaming from the sun

And lit I everywhere

No hope or fear

No gain or loss

No being made

… Homogeneous.

I met myself much later

The buddy from start

Then witness dear

Of all that I thought.

There was no being–for–itself ever

The one who lived was a prayer

By whom I know not, O’ Deity

To whom or why is the mystery.

*  *  *       *  *  *

This is an intimate poem, started in late 1980s,

reviewed umpteen times and finished minutes before.

Body-Mind-Spirit s

Journal : Lyrics Of Rebel

The days pass in bits and parts, night avails in shreds n pieces;

We’re each endowed in accord with heaven’s cover, its reaches.

I’ve wished to know this heart of mine

But have heard the laughs on each try

Like a yell on top at my defeat once more

Will in rout and loss, my life down and beat.

But what of defeats, of their attacks oblique ?

Move on I must, keep on walking

I have the beau after my heart

And this unrest too, ever since.

It starts but is without consequence

When my story is without that name…

That co-traveller who dissolves

In the dark folds of my mane.

Ill-repute, yes, I do embrace

But am lost no more, no more misplaced.

Why must I not heed

The calls of youth in heart ?

Pick at its joyous yields

Its smiles and laughs ?

Not all are destined otherwise

To avail in life… those rewards.

Flowing tears pause to tell the eye

It’s not the goblet that melts in wine !

Is the day over ?

Or is the groom’s party

On the boat drowned ?

No dirge from the shores

I hear not a soul’s howl !

~  Meena Kumari

Freely Paraphrased.

Journal : The Self-Denying District Collector !

#Salute this unworldly Civil Servant in a country ridden with corruption, immorality and incompetence … It is these rare instances of steeled moral fibre, honesty and truth, that fill my heart with joy and respect ! Such individuals become mirror to the weak or corrupt, wherever they stand.

“District collector, U. Sagayam of Madurai, Tamil Nadu – By refusing to take bribes, the Madurai collector has earned 18 transfers in 20 years, a modest house and bank balance and lots of respect”

Three years ago, as district collector of Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, U. Sagayam voluntarily declared his assets: a bank balance of Rs 7,172 and a house in Madurai worth Rs 9 lakh. Once, when his baby daughter, Yalini, who had breathing problems, was suddenly taken ill, he did not have the Rs 5,000 needed for admitting her to a private hospital. At that time he was deputy commissioner (excise) in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and there were 650 liquor licences to be given out. The going bribe for each was rumoured to be Rs 10,000.

(He needs a special mention here because the assets of an IAS officer-couple in Madhya Pradesh were valued at Rs 360 crore. They had 25 flats in three cities)

‘Reject bribes, hold your head high’, says a board hanging above Sagayam’s chair in his modest office. That’s the code he lives by, even if politicians are incensed they cannot bend him their way—he’s been transferred 18 times in the last 20 years—and has made enemies of both superiors and subordinates. “I know I sit under a dangerous slogan and probably alienate people,” he says. “But I have been the same Sagayam from Day 1. Standing up against corruption is not for a season. Nor is it a fad. It’s forever”, he says.

On a hot summer afternoon, on Madurai’s busy main road, the district collector, U. Sagayam, saw a young man talking on a cellphone while riding a motorbike. He asked his driver to wave the man down, got down from his car and meted out instant punishment: plant 10 saplings within 24 hours. Somewhat unconventional justice, some might say. But that’s how Sagayam works.

He also took on a mighty soft-drink mnc when a consumer showed him a bottle with dirt floating in it. He sealed the bottling unit and banned the sale of the soft drink in the city. In Chennai, he locked horns with a restaurant chain and recovered four acres valued at some Rs 200 crore.

Sagayam’s masters degrees in social work and law come in useful in his role as an administrator. He knows the rulebooks in detail and is not afraid of using them, however powerful the opponent. No wonder then that Sagayam’s career is marked with the scars of countless battles.

Sagayam’s wife Vimala has stood by him all these years but she was rattled by some of the threats during the elections. “He always says if you are right, nobody can hurt you,” she says. “But sometimes it becomes difficult.”

Sagayam says he learnt honesty on his mother’s knees.

Share it with others.

Source : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150944548480968&set=a.451805420967.234005.314469365967&type=1&ref=nf

ALTAI-HIMALAYA

A Travel Diary

By Nicholas Roerich

[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]

Part VI : INDIA (1924)

Before the New Year, the evil entities are destroyed by con­jurations and dances. In the Dance of the Stags, the effigy of the evil entity is hacked and its parts strewn around. In the midst of the circle proudly walks the Guardian of the Teaching, brandishing his sword — while black-headed lamas whirl around, swirling the wings of their broad sleeves. Musicians in high yellow hats are coming to the fore, like Berendeys in “Snow-maiden.” And above the ornamented cornices of the temple the eagles wheel, while from the turrets of the hill the assembled crowds stand out in colorful relief.

The dances themselves on the New Year’s day acquire signifi­cance, with their frightful symbols of evil entities. How far removed is the impression made by these awe-inspiring masks, against the sunny background of the Himalayas, from the oppres­sive dark corners of Museums where these examples are so often collected, frightening the visitor by the apparition of a conven­tional hell! Of course, this hell is invoked only for the terrifying of the weakly developed souls, and much fantasy is devoted to the intensifying of these hellish countenances.

In the monastery of the Red Caps the impression is not so luminous. In the Red Monasteries of Padma Sambhava, this symbolization is more physically conventional. The play starts with a simple “mystery” of the judgment over the dead. The chief lord of hell approaches with his assistants. The beast-like servitors drag forward the black soul of a dead murderer. They weigh out his crimes. The chalice of his sins weighs down the balance, and the murderer is thereupon thrust into a seething caldron. The same occurs to the soul of a female sinner.

But then there is summoned forth a saint in the vestments of a lama. He is adorned in a white scarf. Of course, the court must be just, so three messengers of joy lead the exalted one into paradise !

Fifteen years ago there died a remarkable lama who came from Mongolia. We saw his image — resembling the type of Russian ascetic. A powerful visage, unconquerably hard are the cheek bones; the eyes are piercing. “During the departure of this strong spirit, a rainbow shone over the monastery founded by him.”

The lama possessed rare books — and it is very difficult to obtain rare books. One must send a trusted person into remote districts. Remarkable books exist; there is the book of one Tashi-Lama, concerning his visit to sacred Shambhala. There are collections of symbolic parables. There is a treatise on the transmigration of souls. They are not translated.

The teachings brought from Shambhala often find their way into the works of European scientists. For instance, in the ceme­tery of Darjeeling is buried an enigmatic man, Hungarian by birth, who lived at the end of the eighteenth century. He came walking from Hungary to Tibet, remaining many years in un­known monasteries. In the thirties of the last century, Csoma de Körös, as he was called, died. In his works he pointed out the teachings from Shambhala, designating the next hierarchy to succeed Buddha. It is very characteristic that this savant came here from Hungary. His activity was entirely enigmatic.

One more spark about Shambhala. A very well known Tashi-Lama often fell into an ecstasy during his talks with his pupils. Sometimes he seemed to disappear altogether, being transported into the sanctuary, Shambhala. These ecstasies vividly transport one to the discourses of the time of Saint John de la Croix with Saint Theresa, when both blessed conversationalists in exultation were raised to the ceiling of the room.

Remembering exalted occurrences, one also recalls the sparks of indignation. “A slanderer once approached Buddha, but the Blessed One was so indignant, that a spark of lightning struck the offender. Of course, the Blessed One arrested the counter­-blow and revived the defamer, but the latter had been so shocked that he forgot his plan of attack. The sparks of the counter-­blow !”

“The case is also told that Sengchen Lama, before his execu­tion in Lhasa, pointed out that he would soon reincarnate again on earth. And truly very soon in Chinese Turkestan was born a boy with the same rare and characteristic physical defect on his knee, which distinguished the late Lama. Now this Mongolian prince is more than twenty years of age. At present in our service is the son of the servant of the late Lama, and he was wont to travel on the errands of his father to the young prince.”

Whoever is acquainted with riding horseback in Caucasia or in the Arizona and Colorado canyons, will know how to climb the steeps of the hills of Sikhim. Only, instead of the colorful tragedy of American wonders, here you behold an ascending garden cultivated by the mysterious rise of exalted teaching. And in its unknown caves sit hermits, who upon the strings of earth are composing the legend of celestial life.

He who has known the approaches to the old monasteries and ancient town sites in Russia with their blossoming hills and fragrant pine groves, will understand the feeling on the approach to the monasteries of Sikhim. I always repeat that if you want to see a beautiful spot, ask the inhabitants of a town to point out the most ancient site. These people of times immemorial knew how to select the most beautiful places.

Every mountain summit is crowned by a beautiful mendong (in the glossary it is spelled mendang), with its wheels of life, its prayers carved in relief and with its niches for seats from which you behold the image of the far-off distances. Here lamas and travelers are meditating. Here ban­ners are fluttering. Here each rider will slow down his horse.

From the mountain summit, you plunge again into the receding hills. The ribs of the checkered hillocks also disappear, like the backs of panthers, tigers and wolves.

After the hills, again the fairy-tales of the forest. Green gnomes and monsters impede the way. The verdant webs intertwine. The snakes wind themselves around the trunks. The moss-like tigers and leopards here are lurking. An enchanted world this !

The most fantastic hills and rocks form themselves into a seem­ing Sacred Chalice — a vast valley. In the center of the valley stands the unapproachable mountain of the White Stone, girded by two rivers. It is crowned by the Monastery Tashi-ding, which means “Valley open to Heaven.” An ancient place this. Try to search the endless wrinkles and cavities of its rocks. Try to unearth the treasures collected by the monastery — the miraculous stone, fulfillment of all wishes; the immortal Amritha and a hundred images of Buddha; as well as all the sacred books tem­porarily hidden; and all else spoken of in the ancient manuscript, “The Voyage through Sikhim.”

The approaches to Tashi-ding are very difficult. Only recently have the impossible trails been transformed into steep footpaths. Verily, the path of the spirit must be traversed by human feet !

One crossing on the suspended bamboo bridge is especially hazardous. Below, the mountain river rushes and roars, bearing down the icy current from Kanchenjunga. And above the bridge, on the steep slope, you pause many times : Shall I at last arrive ? One must hold one’s breath to conquer this age-old mountain.

Upon the upper slope, an honorary reception arranged for us by the land owners. Ale, sugar-cane and tangerines await us under the canopy of rushes, adorned with their yellow garlands. Farther off resound the reverberant drums and silver gongs.

The reception of the monastery. On the last slope we are met by the pipers and trumpeters.

Amidst the rows of a colorful crowd you reach the ancient place. Behind the gates of the monastery, in purple garments, the lamas receive you. In the front row a venerable old man, head lama of the monastery, stands like a delicately carved image of the fifteenth century. Thus you walk up to the spreading turquoise tents in the midst of a forest of stupas and amidst many-colored banners, amidst the sparkling rows of fires.

Journal : There Is A Pause

 

Yes, I am on a sabbatical until the 1st of March !

 

However, there are over 250 posts here, to engage you … keep digging.

It's Family Time ...

It’s Family Time …

Journal : Musings

The year rolls in anew …

There is a countenance in my view when I write … it is always sad and hopeful, looking intently at me. I am wagering the rest of my lifetime to see her one day skipping on the ropes or pushing the flat round “gittee,” the small disc of stone or clay, with her feet and hop on to the next house in the grid sketched by a piece of red brick … with a smile on her face and cheer in her heart, without fear, despair or hope, when she’ll wrap her arms around my wide girth with a child-like abandonment and make me choke on a cry of joy and recalled pain of all that our people, young and old, have suffered and continue to till this day.

*  *  *

Am I a citizen of this land or is this govt going to confer or, more importantly deny me because I have or do not have one document or another ?

It is strange to even contemplate. What is this govt doing with our citizenship ? It would be a good rule that bars a foreign-born from holding public office high enough to lay down policy for the natural-born. The gap in emotional rootedness we feel for the land and its culture is likely to be too wide between the two.

I am inclined to include the foreign-educated under the same bar … How is the layered concept-within-concept of contrived argument to be understood by the farmer, who has tilled his land without a thought along those complicated lines of identity ?

*  *  *

The avalanche of protest against rape and crimes against women is a good thing that is happening, amidst the inane, corrupt and criminal, callous, insensitive and, yes, incompetence. It was charged … in the media, govt corridors, personal discussions and social forums online.

But as someone pointed out : Is policing and punishment the solution ? I’d say, in India, policing is the problem … a long, long way off to becoming part the solution. The Govt ? The less said the better … an overwhelming majority of the lawmakers are millionaires, all tending to becoming billionaires … alongwith a sizeable proportion being actually charged for rape and crimes against women !

It’s all come from the same pool of the general population that, through its growing up years, has lost the capacity to respect for human beings, and for women in particular. Everything conspires to that effect : the society, dog eat dog values, system that prefers and promotes psychopaths to leadership positions, a sea of population that is marginalised and uncared for, with little in the economic loop for them, the pervasive entertainment industry, the imposed western norms in stark conflict with staid native continuity … everything disincentivises sensivity and empathy, and respect, for others.

And that’s the root problem. Women themselves may be a part of the same problem, in common with the society exhorting individuals to push ahead and surge forward, no matter what. Punishments, both the severity and speed of it, is necessary but not enough. It is the Kantian “absolute value” an individual has for himself or herself that needs to be restored in our awareness, recognised, reminded of and remembered, against all factors sustained by the systemic rot and the hormonal factors rising in the individual.

That is the challenge and the task before us. I see the solution in pervasive culture, the sanatan kind that the Hindus have not yet lost or forgotten, and in real education that prepares individuals for conflicts and urges in life ahead. Do I see any emphasis on these two fronts ? The answer is, ” No.”

*  *  *

If you feel like being a monarch in that moment, as you already are, without needing a grain more, without aspiring for or wanting a thing … it is both your good fortune bestowed by the universe and your victory over the forms of self you have lived with ! #Happiness

Some of my best online friends did not wish me on my supposed birthday, perhaps remembering from my advisory the previous year. This year too, I put up a note … but ended up thanking those who did. To someone who questioned my alternate view obliquely, I clarified : I was less bigoted about the matter than find it vain. Hopefully, I’d have more friends next year who’d be more accepting of the seeming inanity I value.

Finally, the old lady in my house beamed in celebration : the hearing aid was perfect to her 90% deaf ears ! The old one had begun to whistle and feed the sounds of a speeding train into her ears. Now she was back in the connect with her daughter, far-away daughter-in-law, and her young grandchild who murders her mother tongue lovingly because he was brought up with another … the one city folks speak in.

Wishing everybody great health and good fortune through 2013 !

– vamadevananda –

PS : ‎#Delhi recorded minimum temperature of 2.7 degree Celsius at 8.30 am !

          A man on the road below hurried as Pinocchio – Chaplin combine would.

Journal : The Modern Contradiction We Live To Chase

All identities, esp religious and political, demand loyalty to a “Super” Order …  a Church, an Ummah, a Socialist Internationale, a Maoist dream, a grand global collective that bars dissent. In aspring to such a grand social or political order, it actually strikes at the *family* affiliation, the first informal institution and nursery of love that has little difficulty in embracing dissent.

But super orders insist on an exclusive affiliation, an uniformity in their ranks, raised along a rather tall hierachical structure, that brooks no deviation. It has set values that deny diversity of human thought and dismiss the creativity that the child in us delights in. The denial rules out a better or improved understanding; the dismissal takes away from our lives our capacity for love, our joy and happiness.

What remains, without the freedom to soar in thought and expand love in our hearts ? A society without family … the one and only collective that includes diversity of human nature, understanding and creativity. That is a recipe to a terrible disorder, not a grand order … for at no time and under no circumstance can human beings live without those freedoms, that allows us to meet again in love after pursuing our diverse ways, however long it takes, and makes reconciliation a natural, pervasive matter of fact in lives.

What remains is what we modern men see about us : failed religious orders, failed political dreams, failed education systems, failed democracies, failed enlightened values, failed behavioural norms, failed … human beings !

It’s the modern contradiction we are living, the chimera we are chasing without the family … that alone will accept us as we are, encourage us however different we seem, imbibe in us that sea of tranquility and rootedness signified in our feeling of love, on which we can build an understanding that is at once beautiful and true, and good for us all.

Let’s embrace the family. Let’s raise one in love, peace and knowledge. Let’s set the tradition, in truth.

Journal : Being Different

This is to introduce Rajive Malhotra’s recent work ” Being Different.”

Source : https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9jySISONeKibTItNU51QU52RkE/edit?pli=1

In the course of it, I would also adapt from observations about Albert Camus‘ works.

Source : http://www.enotes.com/albert-camus-essays/camus-albert-vol-9

And from Kartick Mohan’s article

@ http://www.hinduwisdom.info/articles_hinduism/52.htm

 *    *    *

Rajive Malhotra’s work, ” Being Different,” is a challenging book. If literary classics are especially vested with riches that enable them to be read at different levels, Rajive’s matter-of-fact psycho-spiritual non-fiction demands a subsumation of all levels to a very specific understanding of the Indian way of life and thought, and how if differs from that in the West. The universe he lays on the table has an entire history to contend with, the evolution of values along it and how they express today in acts, thoughts and utterences of typical Hindu and Western or West-imbibed individuals today. 

It reminds me of Albert Camus’ works and my own growing up in a partially Western scheme, if not values. His works show a subjectivity cut off from the supernatural paradigms in Judeo-Christian context and its alienation from the absurd world about him. His protagonist acts but only as drawn by situation and events and, very tellingly, fails to express the being he is privy to, of himself. 

What value abides in a world without order ? What do we make of this existential chaos ? These questions preoccupy Camus through every one of his works, wherein he intuits answers while feeling the presence of the cosmos in his own being, and in the being about him. This mode is extraordinary, compared with how the Western laity and leadership dwell within the monotheistic framework laid out and imposed by the Church. But for the poetic souls who embrace the irrational, with capacity for extended sensibilities, it is especially uncommon among linearly inclined atheists, materialists, logicians and rationalists, scientists, politicians and businessmen. 

Camus is different within the Western mainstream, as is the Hindu without it. Rajive’s Being Different juxtaposes the Western mainstream mind and the Hindu mainstream ways : the former caught up in its imposed Judeo – Christian orientation and Greek linear order, which collapsed with Bruno, and the latter with a sense of continuum anchored to reaffirmed cosmic truths and with guidelines to an illustrated way of life in dharmic tradition. The two are different, as the author details in the following terms : 

  • History Centrism vs Embodied Knowing

  • Synthetic Unity vs Integral Unity

  • Anxiety Over Chaos vs Comfort With Complexity And Ambiguity

  • Cultural Digestion vs Sanskrit Non – Translatables

 

In the Indian context, Dharma is both morals and ethics, and is rooted in Truth that is not apart from our Self, God, Pervasive Energy and Conscious Immanence.

To the Hindu, Truth is said to underlie existence entire; it is consciousness itself, of which our I-sense is constituted and which illuminates our mind and intellect. It is the vitality flowing in the body, operative in sense organs and interfacing the mind with feelings and emotions. It is the undifferentiated bliss we experience in deep sleep and is the undeniable power of existence in each being.

Positioned between the mundane and the divine, the dharmic tradition envelops the Indian soul in the same inclusive reality that at once and directly links him ever with the cosmos and the world about him, even if one has not perceived it for oneself. There is always someone in the present, or not so long ago, who has refreshed the same truth announced in antiquity and has periodocally enunciated it in contemporary terms. In sum, the call is same : We live in truth and die in truth. 

In contrast, truth in the Judeo-Christian scheme is either in the book or equated with phenomenal facts, knowledge about the other – the truth of the moment – discovered and known by those with some claim to scholarship. The Bible is community interpreted, compiled, edited and ordained, though of words issued by supposedly historic individuals. Deviations from the laid terms are generally considered blasphemous. Alternate notions, unless reinforcing that stated in the book, have no validity and acceptance. There are human arbiters, representatives of God whose word is final, with assumed authority of biblical historic characters. They have a right over a fraction of the fruits of one’s income and are empowered to channel the Lord’s forgiveness in confession boxes.

Everybody is a sinner and is exiled in the ungodly realm, to be finally judged at the end of history and take his place in Heaven or Hell till eternity. 

In his works, Camus shows the Western mind in the order that prevails. He does not strive to create an illusion of reality, for it is precisely the real which is being questioned. His strange protagonist is tweaked to reflect the bizarre gulf between the inner self and outward acts. His work gives the sensation of fragmentation, the incoherence of a world which has lost its nuts and bolts… with just a hint of the answer that will later be arrived at in several treatises.

But not everyone is an artist or an intellectual; in fact very few are. How do the rest cope ? By chasing dreams where few succeed, mostly by creating opportunities by hook or crook. It doesn’t really work though : there are 42 – 45 milion poor people in the USA, the land of opportunities ! The West has the best of medical cures but few can afford some of that state of art . The UK is on the way to dismantling its National Health System. And EU will soon find it hard to sustain its mandatory welfare programs. 

Since chaos and uncertainty is forever upon us, insecurity and anxiety is our base human condition. How would the man in psychological exile, without anchor and deeply alienated, handle it ? And that isn’t the end of it, too. God is dead and the world is unforgiving. It is legal to hoard and go for the kill : everybody has the right to make the most of opportunities. It’s a free market. Every cure, pain alleviating advance, or scientific research comes with a mountain of “opportunity” cost or royalty, to people who need them the most but have the least capacity to pay. Typically, cancer treatment drugs in the West cost 50 to 100 times of that which prevails in India. 

A life led by truth, even while striving, is markedly different from a mind lit up to facts. Truth, in its universally inclusive meaning and indescribable form, infinitely deepens the mystery and magnifies the wonder. Facts, the ‘information or knowledge about,’ seek to quench the wonder and kill the mystery.

” It’s a wonder ! It’s a wonder !! It’s a wonder !!! ” says the enlightened one in Chandigya Upanishad. The culture nurtured for the path of enlightenment is quite apart in their values, concerns and behaviour, from one that is restricted to rationality.

“Concepts create idols; only wonder comprehends anything. People kill one another over idols. Wonder makes us fall to our knees,” explains St. Gregory of Nyssa. 

Camus’ narrator has lost the key to his own secret : he has become a stranger to his own life. He holds only facts, and facts are nothing. Therefore, he cannot give his existence a meaning which would establish its unity. Having neither past nor future, he has only a present which is crumbling away and does not become memory. Time, until the final revolt, is nothing for him but a succession of distinct moments, which no Cartesian God pieces together, which no vital impulse spans, which no remembrance transfigures. Camus has rendered admirably this fall of the present into insignificance through a paradoxical use of the first person narrative. 

We would be ascetics though if, I believe, our alienation was complete. A stranger to ourself and others, we forever have a homeland in sensation. Finding nothing within to engage ourself, we still have the body to ourself. We indulge then to find and have our bagful moments of happy sensation, in food and porn. Its excessive pursuit in the West is not only a protest against the false seriousness of pulpit morality but also a proof of the victory of the values – system that the Church, even the catholic one, dare not speak against.

Thus is the injustice of having been cast rootless in spirit, mind and body, addressed. Nothing is sacred anymore before the meaning that sensations offer. It is I and my sensations, my indulgence … take it or leave it. Cultism is preferable, family could be discarded or corrupted, and marriages annuled, but I must have it and you got to take it. In the age of freedom, the world must order itself among feminists, misogynists, sadists and masochists, leaving the middle ground to be ordered by the shrink ! Abuse, violence and arbitrary cruelty is never far away and an unspeakabe slavery, formed of freedom all about it, prevails. 

Individual freedoms anywhere tend to prompt either getting carried away or being rooted in indifference. It gets exacerbated in the West in the absence of something greater than the individual to moderate it, or to urge him to step up. The family makes it clear that it is not going to provide or take care of anybody beyond a point. One needs to do that for himself; others might chip in then, not before.

To that extent, the family in the West is also not heeded to, beyond a point. As to community and society … the less said the better; it’s wholly optional. There are laws but they, as everywhere, would almost always kick in after the horse has bolted. The United States police and FBI do have the vision of preempting the excess, but getting organised and empowered to that extent also brings in the spectre of a Police State. As some will vouch, it already does. 

* * * 

In a direct head on, historically and especially from the Hindu’s perspective, Christianity is hardly a religion – it has a political agenda in spiritual guise. Its end is subjugation of non-Christians, in common with the other Semitic derivative, Islam. To achieve that end, it has relied on propagation of lies and falsification of history – not to mention manipulation of our very notion of what is right and wrong. 

For instance, Judeo-Christian religions cannot get over the idea that Hindus worship the male organ, as the Shiv Ling idol is perceived. The vertical cylindrical form is in fact placed over the Yoni ( vulva ) of Shakti, and the two together symbolise the transcendent Matter-Intelligence power, of which all being is manifest. The symbol connects the individual with the wonder of creation, in very everyday terms, and calls upon each to regard all life as sacred. 

I believe, even Christians and Muslims are exhorted to have the same value; so, why is the most characteristic feature of life, the act of progenition, any the less sacred ? Why do they, in practice, consider it to be sin, dirty and unclean ?

It is not only the act of sex in focus here but the union of vast and qualitatively different energies, male and female, of which the Shiv Ling is a symbol. It acknowledges and celebrates the fact that mankind has two genders, each with its unique attributes and qualities; and, that, when they come together, they create MORE life of their own kind, becoming in the process more than the sum of their individual parts. 

Many ancient civilisations recognised this wonder of creation. The Chinese represent it somewhat abstractly in their symbols of Yin and Yang. Such transcendent and sacred wonderment set in our awareness the idea of something pervasive, with which we can relate to through what we each are and have.

The perspective of someone with such extended consciousness beyond his individual idea of exclusive self, based on biology and not on creed or community affiliation, is wholly different from a faith limited to religious fantasies of a personal God or historical Prophet walking upon water or miraculously curing a cripple or a blind. The former lends to us a unity with faraway cosmos in our very being; the latter wrenches us away from close-at-hand life and baptises us into this belief in fiction. 

Let us consider the assumptions that cause us to think of sex as something “unclean”? Why is a joke about sex or pictures of the naked human body labeled as “dirty” ? Because we have since been conditioned into thinking of it as something wrong and impermissible, by the pervasive manipulations of this nature-abhorring “ethics” imposed by western clerics and brain-washed laity. Islamists, of course, were simply barbaric during their 500 year rule in Indian subcontinent : they destroyed every institution or temple arm remotely connected with education.

However, the British occupiers and Christian missionaries more than made up with their sophisticated cultural onslaught. They started schools, not to teach but to school the unsuspecting young ones into their lies which, among others, included their cardinal belief that sex was evil, unclean and inherently immoral, in and of itself – perhaps their oldest lie of all. And like all of its lies, it was meant to serve a “control” agenda in spiritual guise. 

India since antiquity has always had a central place for Mother Goddess. Hindus know her as Shakti and, in her manifestations, as Durga / Kali / Parvati. Akkadians worshipped Gingira. Sumerians had Inanna. North-eastern Semites knew her as Astarte. In Assyria, Babylon and Egypt, as Ishtar. In ancient Greece, as Hecate or Demeter, and later as Anaitis or Aphrodite. In Persian culture, which widely prevailed before the rise of absurdly puritanical Islam, people knew the Goddess Mother as Anahita. In Rome, as Vesta. Even in the New World, American civilisations of that era had temples and representations of Mother Goddess. 

Israelites seem to be quite the odd tribe there, back then. They had a different kind of god altogether : a male god, with a Capital G. They called him Yahweh, and he is the direct antecedent of the ” Lord Our God ” of the Christians, and Allah of the Muslims. He was not about fertility or caring at all. He was wrathful, vengeful, jealous and angry god, full of violence, hatred and intolerance. He spoke out of a “burning bush” and instructed Moses that his followers must not worship false gods, that HE was the One True God, and then asked Moses to go with his staff and smite another people who believed in false gods.

It was their belief, stronger than any other, that the non-believer is a lesser human being than one of them … a belief that was later copied by Christians and Islamist. This signified a political agenda that was truly unprecedented untill then, exhorting, ” Go forth, multiply, and kill whatever stands in your way, because I Am That I Am and I am on Your Side.” 

We know the bloodshed that followed from Old Testament times, from pages of history after Christ, and upon Mohammed’s proclamation in Mecca. The Jews did not go about converting people with the rabid fervour of Christians, but they had the same political agenda. They reviled other people in neighbouring civilisations of Egypt and Babylon, especially by discrediting their principal deity – the Mother Goddess.

In practice, they brought in their male dominated values and made it popular to despise and subjugate women, than treat them with respect as equals. The culture put an end to worship of any Goddess in societies where Jews and Christians, and Muslims, became predominant. They denounced fertility and procreation itself, declaring it as not miraculous but sinful affair. For them, the male – female intimacy, and sex, was the Original Sin; the human body in its natural state was dirty and unclean. 

The world had not seen a fanatic until the Judeo-Christian paradigm had set in. Slowly but with unmatched doggedness, the anti-female script was enacted … It began with the murder of Queen Jezebel, described in Old Testament. The Temple of Astarte in Jerusalem was razed to ground, and one for Yahweh was raised by King David in its place.

The conversion of Roman Emperor Constantine I to Christianity in AD ca. 300 was a great advance to the cause. He led codification of the Bible as we know it today. However, recent finds have thrown up alternate forms of the gospels included in it and a few that were found as not appropriate.

The fall of Rome in 480 AD was followed by the Dark Ages, rise of Papacy and the blood-soaked Crusade centuries, degrading Colonialism and murderous Inquisition eras. The faith that had sprung from the Israelites spread like a metastizing cancer over the face of the earth and holds its sway even today, despite the feminist movement through the 20th Century … now more particularly in the Islamic world, where a monotheistic intolerant God descended from Yahweh sits high up yonder in his most perverse caricature.

We know how women are treated in Muslim countries : the recent Malala incident is symbolic and the Saudi order, which informs husbands every time the woman leaves or enters the country, is a telling symptom. 

The world knew of the Mother Goddess once. The dharmic tradition in India alone continues with it today. It is the only one that has survived since antiquity. The civilisations of Persia, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Americas, have all fallen to Judeo-Christian uniformity…Later, parts of Asia fell to the Islamic monstrosity.

All those cultures that have disappeared were marked with the same tolerance that makes the Hindu standout today. While the Western and Islamic worlds are today looking to cook up a humanism by the rivers of blood they have caused to flow, the true heirs of the tolerant, accepting and inclusive ways of yore are preserved in India, among the native Hindus who the world knows as “being different.” 

* * * 

And we in India, who follow the dharmic tradition, must never forget this : we are different. We are hiers of this spiritual legacy of the most ancient civilised era, of which we are the last surviving inheritors.

One day, Christianity’s mighty edifice will fall under the weight of its own contradictions, just as Islam is falling today. Till then, we must bear the torch of the legacy of pagan humanism that will ultimately prevail.

From Moses to Jesus to Mohammed to Marx is a logical – and inevitable – progression on the road to tyranny. India and Japan are the only major cultures that have successfully resisted this onslaught.

 *   *   * 

Some Of The Ways We Are Different : 

  • The Dharmic tradition is derived from Truth anchored at once in the cosmos and the humanity at large, in the pre-historic and the pre-mundane man !

  • We are a secure, sharing, tolerant, accepting and inclusive people !

Extending between the ephemeral and the eternal, the Dharmic tradition occupying the Indian mind not only permits but encourages a joyous acceptance of contradictions between potential truths and manifest facts. It has no qualms about setting in our awareness mutating facts, as truths of the moment, and immutable truths, being the facts for eternity. 

The dharmic tradition declares : There is not an iota of diversity, not even the least trace, in the ultimate substratum of all being. And, equally, there is no truth without abundant and unending diversity in the manifest world.

We is free to be calm in truth, with peace deep in our heart, while dancing in step with the rapid transience about us or pacing to moves in an engaging combat with the enemy before us. 

As a consequence, the Hindu is incomparable : there is no soldier like him, none more forebearing under occupation, more gracefully vigourous a dancer or a more completely immersed singer gliding over the scales with restrained speed for hours.

Each one of us are informally skilled at playing with raging waves while being anchored to the depths of the sea. That is the unacknowledged secret behind the unusual success of Indian managers and entrepreneurs globally. On the other extreme, it explains why the Indian remains unmoved despite the ugliness he has and has had to put up with. 

* * * 

Asked what he thought of freedom, Camus said : “What freedom can there be in the fullest sense without assurance of eternity ?” Hence, Camus built up a sense of freedom that lies in an assumed one : as if it were; as if it were already there. 

In contrast, the Hindu’s freedom is for real. The Indian dharmic tradition comes in the wake of infinite – existence, knowledge and bliss – and ushers an unending karmic journey.

It situates the individual in an entire tri-ply scheme : That (mental) is infinite. This (material) is infinite. The Infinite derived of Infinite leaves the Infinite (spiritual). It needs mere observation of the cosmos, and a discovery in oneself, to experience the reality of absolute freedom. 

Of course, the karmic laws are incontrovertible in material space : we are free to act but not free to choose the immutable consequence it invites.

Our freedom in mental space is more liberal : we are free to know and outgrow the limitations that circumscribe our current station.

And, finally, we are free to shed this individuated awareness of our self and cease to be, as we were, for ever. There is nothing anymore, as we ever knew – not the material world of beings and things; not the mental world of sensation, will, meaning and knowledge; and no longer the ego-I-sense dilating through sleep, dream and wakeful being. There is nothing anymore animal, human or divine.

It’s truth itself, alone, without a second. 

This spirit to outgrow is natural to the Indian dharmic tradition. It occurs along various generic attributes. First, in human goal over a lifetime : dharma, artha, kama and moksha … loosely translated as Right Knowledge, Thought and Conduct; Income and Wealth; Sensuous and Sexual Fulness; and, Supreme Yoga and Liberation Absolute … in that general order. The process allows for endless variations of the same theme, because the outgrowing process itself is not strictly compartmentalised in practice. 

The stepping up is more obvious in relief when viewed against the age – axis and values system respective to each :

0 – 7 years, with parents in an atmosphere of love and tender care;

7 – 25 years, celibate life with the teacher, away from parents, in utter simplicity, given to study and service to others, without any priviledge or exceptional treatment over others;

25 – 50 years, leading a vigorous householder’s life, living by right knowledge, honing skills and applying effort to become a useful citizen in the community, with moderated but full-blooded sensuousness, marraige and raising a family in the light traditional morals and exemplary ethics, excelling at one’s chosen profession in accord with aptitude;

50 – 75 years, gradual withdrawal from worldly pursuits and possessions, handing over all to next generation, disengaging from sensuous calls or sexual acts and generally from householder’s duty, engaging in spiritual company, education and practice; and,

75 – 100 years, complete withdrawal from worldly and household affairs, given over entirely to reclusive life, engaged pointedly in prayer, thankfulness and at inviting spiritual fulness, in ever – prepared state of readiness to shed the body and depart for the next. 

The sense of outgrowing pervades a Hindu’s lifetime, even in other ways. It is common for to hear of outgrowing the ways of physical animality and take to mindful human values and pursuits, and then to preparations for inviting the divinity upon one’s heart and mind.

It is common worldwide to see the eagerness to evolve through one’s age while we are young or our worldly stations in adult life. In India, however, sages are on record advising people to outgrow external signs of identity in favour of internal ones; from rituals or audible chant to their mental equivalent; from godhead with form to the truth formless; from religion itself to the a-religious perspective. 

But to outgrow means to give and take anew; and for that to happen, we need to turn away from merely deepening our anchor in history and, rather, to rescue ourself from it and restore ourself to ethics arising from our morals, not merely from the law in our statute books.

That would place us precisely in the otherwise non-linear dharmic tradition, with which the Hindu has remained connected through the millennia after Ice Age,

the Bronze Revolution,

the Great Bharata War,

the end of urban Sarasvati Civilisation,

the rural Arya resurgence, the Iron Age,

Buddhism and Jainism religious reform movements,

transformation of democracies into monarchy,

the great Maurya and golden Gupta eras,

the reign of mighty Harshavardhan and his extreme generosity at Kumbha gathering at Prayag,

the brilliance of pure monism of Adi Shankara,

the centuries of Islamic onslaught and Muslim rule,

the Age of Devotion and poetics,

the British occupation and long period of Christian upmanship,

and the chaos of post-independent India. 

The Indian has seen too much with a surfiet of extreme stupidity and barbarism, of utter beauty and complete harmony. He stands balanced with his wealth and secure in his poverty, patient with peace and hopeful of growth in chaos.

The cosmos is stil there… how wrong can things go ?

Bhimbhetka 2

Journal : The River Sarasvati And Its People

Part I : The Saga Of The Quest

http://www.slideshare.net/jannap/vedic-river-sarasvati

The Saga of the Quest for the River Sarasvati :

M.A. Jayashree, M.A. Narasimhan and Haribhau Vaze

There has been many a saga in the history of mankind that has captured the imagination of generations of humanity. In our millennium we speak of adventures of Marco Polo, Columbus’ discovery of the shores of America, Amundsen’s expedition to the North Pole, Vasco da Gama reaching the shores of Bharata and many more. All these look dramatic and fascinating when we realise they were undertaken more with courage and determination than in the security of reliable information. Yet they succeeded in obtaining for posterity enormous benefits in terms of the perspective about the world that we lived in.

One such saga of recent times is the quest for river Sarasvati. Looking back, we see the formidable obstacles that one faced in trying to investigate the history of a river that was non-existent and believed to be a myth : Was there was a real physical river called Sarasvati or was it just a myth, a poetic creation of the Aryans ? If such a river existed where did it flow ? How are we to trace its source, course and termination ? If it did exist : why, how and when did the river disappear ? If it was an ancient river with claims as the cradle of an ancient civilization, is there any archaeological evidence of the its banks ?

Louis Renous 1947 map of the Sarasvati basin

Added to the confusion was the reverential and emotive association Bharatiyas had with the River Sarasvati, that made them identify every other river, big or small, with the divine river Sarasvati itself. They still have the same inclusive approach and attitude towards the rive Ganga. Thus the Haradvati that flows in the north-west region was also Sarasvati. It was the third (invisble) river at Sangam, the confluence of Ganaga and Yamuna at Prayag. A branch of Ganga near Calcutta, a river flowing from Abu to Khambayat in Gujarat, the river that joins the ocean at the Prabhasa Kshetra … all are called Sarasvati. Under such a condition, in the hostile atmosphere of the world of historians monopolised by western scholars who were bent upon proving that the existence of river Sarasvati was a myth, that all literary evidence were figments of imagination and who, demanding material evidence for proof, declared that the quest and the search for it was an exercise in futility, there were bravehearts who proceeded undeterred.

The “Quest For River Sarasvati” scholars came together under the banner of Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti. Yes, we call them brave because they staked their international academic reputation to chase a myth and to prove that the seeming mirage was in fact a reality. The academic world scoffed at them and laughed at the venture. Well, it did last for more than a decade. Most of them are no longer with us now to celebrate the fruition of their foundational quest. This post is to honour and pay homage to them.

Our deepest appreciation and gratitude goes to pioneer Sri Sridhara Vaman Wakanker and his team Sarasvati Samshodhana Mandal. At the same time we recall that the quest for river Sarasvati has a long history, spanning nearly two centuries. All scholars and lovers of Bharata and its heritage fell under the spell of this mysterious river Sarasvati, after going through the vast Vedic literature. They did their best to verify the physical existence of the river with tools then available. The voluntary attempts of Oldham (1893), Wadia (1938), Amal Ghosh(1960), H.S. Parikh (1965), WilHelmi (1969), Alwin, Goudse, and Dr. Hegde(1978) merit our scholarly attention.

Extensive studies to survey the invisible course of Sarasvati in 1942 by Gen Cunningham, Arthur A. Macdonnel, A.B. Keith and Aurel Stein were well publicized. In 1963, Dr Narasimha Narayana Godbole surveyed the route of the Sarasvati in Rajasthan. Dr. M.A. Krishnan gives us in detail the course of the river in his work, Geology of India and Burma, published in 1968. Dr M.N. Godbole’s monumental work, Rgvedic Sarasvati, based on geological research throws more light on many of the ticklish problems associated with the quest.

The current quest had its origin in 1981, when Babasaheb Apte Smarak Samiti, Nagpur, was celebrating the District History Day at Kurukshetra, in the presence of Sri M.N. Pingale, the Working President of Babasaheb Apte Smarak Samiti, who drew the attention of the audience to the need and relevance of a research work on the lost Vedic river Sarasvati and the possible consequences of that research on the ancient history of Bharata. Dr. Vishnu Sridhar Wakankar, the senior most archaeologist of the country then, explained with great fervor the archaeological importance of the issue. Immediately there was a vociferous demand from the audience for setting up of a Samiti for such a “Quest.” Thus, the All India Project of Sarasvati Shodhan was born.

It took nearly four years to investigate, consolidate, plan and recruit eminent scholars to form a team to launch the Sarasvati Shodhan project. It was termed as Quest Mandal Expedition and was inaugurated on Tuesday, the 19th Nov. 1985 by the steersman of the Quest, Sri M.N. Pingale. The Quest Mandal headed by Padmashri Dr. V.S. Wakankar, with a team of scholars belonging to all branches of knowledge, set out for Adi Badri in Himachal Pradesh, the presumed source of river Sarasvati. Points of fact were jotted down meticulously as and when they emerged during the visits. Photographs were taken wherever they were considered relevant. Audio tapes, about 19, were effectively put to use to collect more important information related to the river. The notes thus prepared covered a wide canvas including literary sources, art, history, poetry, archaeological remains, oral observations, traditional references, etc.

The Quest team also recorded age-old stories and songs which were full of reverential references to the Sarasvati River from the Charans who reside in Palloo, Bikaner and Karani Devi of Rajasthan. The Charans, as is well known, make their living by singing folk-songs with stories of past heroes and legends.

The Quest got a fortunate filip when the team was provided with clinching evidence about the dried-up river Sarasvati. The Arid Zone Research Institute gave authentic data that literally broke through the great haze of obstruction holding up the quest. A NASA satellite launched in 1972 had taken pictures of a dried-up huge river which ran from the Himalayas to the Rann of Kachchh. The images had been analysed by many scientists associated with scientific institutions of India but none had recognised its historic worth. The compiled information handed over by Dr. Agarwal consisted of studies done on this dried-up river bed by Bimal Ghose et al. (1979), Ramasamy, Bakliwal and Verma (1991), Yash Pal et al. (1980).

The accurate scientific data regarding the course of the river and the time when it went dry gave a powerful impetus to the Quest. The images sent by LandSat disclosed the following : The width of the Ghaggar Sarasvati bed was on an average between 6 and 8 km from its entry in Punjab to present-day Marot in Pakistan; the course of Markanda River got diverted to north-east of Kshatrana and even today the river Sarasvati flows through this route during rainy seasons; the dried-up Y-2 route indicated the width of the present day Choutang River and its confluence with Ghaggar near Suratgarh.

It was clear from the received images that the ancient Ghaggar River got bifurcated near Anupgarh, with one branch getting lost near Marot and the other losing itself at Baireena. It meant that during that period the banks of Sarasvati River had spread to these two places. Incidentally, these details point to a possibility of the Vinashana Tirthin Sarasvati, where Balaram of the Mahabharata offered his reverence to his late father, and that it could be situated near about these two places. The Quest team therefore decided to search for :

1. Information about the course of the river from Adi Badri

through the plains and regions close to Sindhusagar.

2. Traces and collections of the remains and reminiscences

in the environment.

But the search route as indicated by the LandSat was a stupendous, as the dried-up bed was expansive. Dr. Wakankar studied the dried-up bed of Sarasvati with his fellow researchers from archaeological point of view. He was thus able to concentrate their month-long quest only on select spots. The Quest team went though Adi Badri, Ambala District, where the Sarasvati slides into the plains after crossing the mountainous area through Kanthghar, and then to the Shivalik mountain ranges starting from Jagadhari(Yugandhara), beyond which stands the mountain Manu, where the Sarasvati, icy and hidden, flows as an undercurrent through the cracks, crevices and cleavages of the mountains.

The team also visited YamunaNagar, Sarasvata Nagar (Mustafabad), and then on to Kurukshetra where the seed of the whole quest had been sown. At Kurukshetra, under the guidance of Pandit Sthanudatta Sharma, the team went to the actual site of the river Sarasvati in the celebrated city. Remnants and reports related to the site gave the team enough information, motivating them to study in depth the city of Kurukshetra in the context of the course of the lost river. Stone implements of the Prehistoric period were collected in a large quantities from all places visited by the team : painted mud-pots of pre-Harappan period, which are also available in the valleys of Sarasvati (Ghaggar) and Drshadvati (Choutang) at Bhagvanpur, Banavali, Sirisha, Mitthal, Raja Karn ka Keela, Doulatpur, Mirjapur, Sudha, Balu, Kudal, Agroha and nearby places. The team also did a close study of 20 to 30 metres long sand-dunes of Bikaner. In Gujarat, the team visited Ambaji mountains, where Bhel trees are in abundance, and then on to Koteshvar where one stream of the Sarasvati flows underneath.

6-f539097c93

The river, after playing hide and seek, finally emerges on the surface at Siddapur to meet the Nala Sarovar. This mountain range, part of Ambaji, is known as Mainaka, the source of Gurjar Sarasvati. Kunwar, on the banks of Nanuran (Nanukaccha), where the Sarasvati enters the ocean in sevenfolds (saptadha), was the next destination of study. Now Nanu is a sandy desert. Near one of the seven streams, Dr. V.S. Wakankar found pieces of an egg of a Shakha Mrga that helped him to conclude the period of Kunwar could be at least 25-50 thousand years BC. Later, the team came across an old ocean coast harbour called Lothal, which was an ancient city of Nanukaccha. A dockyard specially meant for repair of ships was discovered there. Now there has been an in depth study of Lothal showing the maritime capabilities of our ancestors.

Travelling eastward, on the banks of the Gurjar Sarasvati of ancient times, the team came to the vicinity of the holy Somnath mandir at the junction of rivers Gautami, Hiranmayi and Sarasvati. Thus, the Quest pilgrimage covering a distance of about 4000 km came to an end. Curiously, this Quest did not come up with just a report on the course, date and the civilization that prospered on the banks of the fabled river, as it happens with almost all historical expeditions. It also indicated the possible sites on the banks of Sarasvati for archaeological excavation, the study of which would meet the challenge of proving whether this water mass, which was still flowing underground in most of the places, was really the same river that had its source in Himalayan glaciers.

That seeming impossibility evoked worldwide interest. Many teams of scientists came and did their own investigations and confirmed the existence of the river Sarasvati, proving that most of the narrative history of Bharat, be it folk or of the Vedas, was factual. The spin-off of this information was the opening of another avenue which has never been the forte of history : to resurrect the lost river and bring the hidden Gupta Gamini Sarasvati onto the surface !

That was the task taken up, again, by the Akhil Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana under the title Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Prakalpa. The Prakalpa is now engaged in enabling the waters of Sarasvati flow once again along its course, so that millions of hectares of parched land of this blessed country can become green and give life to over 200 million people. It also provides strength to the devout and vindicates their faith when he and she take a holy dip in their sacred river Sarasvati.

The Prakalpa plans to create National Water Grid in order to reach the Brahmaputra flood waters to Kanyakumari, making every river south of Vidhyas in India a perennial one (jeevanadi) and potentially adding 90 million acres of additional wetland, and enabling four-crop cultivation with availability of water round the year. This revolution would empower rural India consisting of more than half a million villages.

The revival of river Sarasvati is proceeding apace, as part of the National Water Grid : inter-linking of rivers, master plan drawn by National Water Development Agency. The waters of Manasarovar flowing through rivers Sutlej and Beas have already been brought to the Rajasthan Nahar (called Sarasvati Mahanadi Roop Nahar). The Sarasvati Nahar waters have now reached up to Gadhra Road in Barmer District, after traversing a distance of about 1000 km. Another 150 km extension of this Nahar will ensure that Sarasvati River waters will reach Rann of Kachchh and Gujarat.

It’s a miracle of gigantic proportion, my dear reader ! Especially when you consider that the desert of Rajasthan was threatening to extend up to Haryana and even Delhi, the capital city, barely a couple decades before.

The Saraswati Basin Civilisation

Journal : Musings

There’s nothing special about today.
It just indelibly seems so, and that has my whole-hearted support.

#Govts need to acknowledge that allowing speculation is inflationery … a -ve in terms of public good and a crime not categorised yet. Buying up natural resources – land, water, forests, coastal fronts, foodgrains, housing, etc – in order to hoard or do as one pleases, or raise a buiness to serve the Profit Motive, should be regulated to ensure ban, moderation or re-orienting the motive. Without delay…

#BigBiz needs to acknowledge that Promoter’s Profit is not a public good of the same order as wages and affordabilty of the products : Wages signify a social value and are the only honourable method to spread surplus income of a collective enterprise.

What ? Every business is one, if you are still wondering.

And affordability, without compromising on quality, expands out real GDP, gives businesses a real footing in the market and not the fake one pushed up by ads and PR taht crashess every couple of years. Above all, that’s eminently is the very purpose of any enterprise … to produce goods and offer services that will bought and subscribed to by greatest numbers.

Again ? If you doubt…

Retweet if you refuse to shop at @Walmart until they pay workers a living wage! #WalkoutOnWalmart
Look at this : People lie as convenient. What a mess ? A man can quote Rs.37000 crores in one place and Rs.2500 crores somewhere else. And, it is allowed !
#Kasab‘s hanging has spurred #Pak dailies and ppl to issue calls 4 speedy conclusion of trial and exemplary punishment to the 26/11 accused. But how wud this rat #UPAGovt have guessed ?
#RBI makes it clear : #IslamicBanking, whatever eff it means, is impossible under existing laws. Thk God, the stupidity will remain @ bay !

Now #RamchandraGuha, the ‘gr8 intellectual’ says democratic institutions have been undermined by successive #Cong govts. N that, #MMS, the 2-term Prime Minister, a doctor of philosophy and widely acclaimed economist, has been tragic !

#Muslim beware ! Circumcision couldd lead to need for surgical bobbitisation. Stories of female clittorical mutilation r too awful to recall !
Good. The public knew and rued. Now the courts have certified : @DelhiPolce2 is poor at collecting evidence n prosecution is awfully stupid.
The infamy I’ve gained, of sleeping soundly in theatres, was acquired during visits to #Calcutta planetorium in 80s. It’s night time there !
All set to watch #LifeOfPi this Sunday. A rare initiative by me.
See ya …
Vamadevananda –

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