You, and your clique in the CCP, may not know the Kantian value of every individual human being : It Is Absolute…
Equal to yours, if not more. The reminder becomes necessary because, in your worship at the alter of power, you have forgotten what it is to be a man, even while you act in his name, in his cause.
Why else would kill hundreds of thousands of innocent Tibetan people, as if they were nothing ?
As if they had no purpose of their own …
As if they were not raised by the soft loving touch of their parents on their cheek while they grew …
As if they mean nothing to the children they are raising with tender care …
As if they have no love for the land they tread and nurture and live by …
You presume you know better than the people, whose affairs you rule, when you do not. No one does. Which is why history has consigned all ‘dictatorial’ forms of government to the dustbin and has in its stead fostered democracy … the system in which the rulers must go back to the people and ask to know their will.
You presume, President Xi, and do not know. Or perhaps, you know and do not care. More likely, you know and are afraid to heed, for the wrath of the very people you rule in the name of !
President Xi, Free Tibet today, before it is too late. Before you are chased by the millions and are lynched like ordinary criminals and murderers that your party and your government is.
I have chanced upon this remarkable reduction of Manu Smriti @ http://satyavidya.org … The treatise contains a set of codified, socially agreed laws to regulate human society, right through the reigns of successive Solar dynasty kings upto Rama Daasratha of Ayodhya and thereafter, until the rise of Lunar dynasts that came to overwhelm the subcontinental firmament around the Mahabharata times.
The laws, framed anytime between 12000 – 8000 BC at the origin of Sanatan civilisation, seem astoshnishingly contemporary except for contradictory portions that appear to have been appended later, perhaps after the dominance of Solar kings was on the wane and during the chaos of several rising Lunar principalities around 4000 – 3000 BC.
“But a learned man after full scrutiny with the eye of knowledge should perform his duties in accord with the intent of the revealed texts.”
The exhortation encourages due situational analysis and agreeability with values prevailing in the age.
Let us then inquire into the common unfavourable perception that the Smriti text supports casteism, inferior status of women, meat eating, etc. The book is considered by many as having a bias in favour of the upper castes and is often selectively quoted to establish that women were an inferior gender, to be chastised and put down, and that casteism was prevalent in Vedic times.
Swami Dayanand, the great Vedic scholar of the 19th Century, writes : “I believe in that part of Manu Smriti which is not interpolated (appended later) and is in accord with the Vedas.” He concludes that the Manu Smriti we read today is not as originally laid down by Swayambhu Manu, the first Chief of Humanity. As it now is, he found the text as self contradictory and against the values espoused in Vedas, and hence injudicious. He therefore rejects those prejudicial texts which advocate discrimination against populations with alleged inferior status.
Let us look up the text itself pertaining to women and the “lower” castes …
Smriti Text … On Women
3/56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not, no sacred rite yields the desired result.
9/26. Women who bear (our) children secure many blessings (for the family and the society at large); they are worthy of worship, who suffuse (their) dwellings with prosperity; there is no difference between them and goddesses of good fortune.
2/138. Way must be made for a man in a carriage, one who is above ninety years old, who is diseased, who carries a burden, and for a woman, the learned, the king and for a bridegroom.
3/114. A person may offer food without hesitation, even before serving the guests in one’s house, to newly-married women, infants, the sick, and to pregnant women.
3/60. Where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting in such families.
3/62. Where the wife is radiant and happy, the whole house is heaven-like; but if she is unhappy, all will appear as hell.
3/59. Hence, men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes and food (as desired by them).
3/55. Women must be honoured and well – adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.
9/13. These six causes spell ruin for women : drinking (spirituous liquor), associating with wicked people, separating from their husbands, rambling abroad, sleeping (at unseasonable hours), and dwelling with other men.
3/57. Where the female relatives live in grief, the family wholly perishes soon; where they are not unhappy, the family ever prospers.
3/58. Houses perish completely, as if destroyed by magic, on which female relatives pronounce a curse, upon not being duly honoured.
9/28. Upon one’s wife alone depends the welfare of the offsprings, due and fruitful performance of religious rites, faithful service of all in the family, superior conjugal happiness and the blissful existence of our ancestors in heaven and of ourself.
4/180. Let no man quarrel with his parents, his female relatives, brothers, his son and his wife, and with his daughter and his servants.
8/389. Neither a mother nor a father, nor a wife nor a son shall be cast off; unless guilty of a crime causing loss of caste (or social status earned over one’s lifetime), he who casts them off shall be fined six hundred (panas).
9/130. A daughter, who is even (as) oneself, (such a daughter) is equal to a son; how can another (heir) take the family estate, while such (an appointed daughter who is even as oneself) lives ?
9/131. The property of the mother is the share of the unmarried daughter alone and the son of an (appointed) daughter shall take the whole estate of (his maternal grandfather) who leaves no son of his own.
9/192. But when the mother has passed away, all uterine brothers and sisters shall have equal share of their mother’s estate.
Smriti Text … On Marraige and Remarraige (Of Women)
9/176. If she be (still) a virgin or has returned (to her first husband) after leaving him, such a woman is worthy to again perform the (nuptial) ceremony with her second (or first deserted) husband.
9/90. Three years let a damsel wait, though she is marriageable; but after that time let her choose for herself a bridegroom of her choice.
9/89. (But) the maiden should rather stay in (her father’s) house until death, though marriageable, than that be given to a man without good qualities.
8/28. In like manner, care must be taken of barren women and those who have no sons, as of those whose family is extinct, of wives and widows faithful to their lords, and of women afflicted with disease.
8/29. A righteous king must punish those relatives who appropriate the property of such females during their lifetime, as is due to thieves.
3/52. But those (male) relations who, in their folly, live on their woman’s property, their beasts of burden, carriages and clothes, commit sin and will sink into hell.
8/367. But if any man through insolence forcibly contaminates a maiden, two of his fingers shall be instantly cut off and he shall pay a fine of six hundred (panas).
8/323. Men stealing from a noble family, especially women, and precious gems, deserve corporal (or capital) punishment.
8/352. Men who commit adultery with wives of others, the king shall cause to be marked by punishments which cause terror, and they shall be banished thereafter.
9/232. The king shall put to death forgers of royal edicts, those who corrupt his ministers, who slay women, infants, (learned) Brahmins, and those who serve his enemies.
9/96. Women were created to be mothers and men to be fathers; religious rites, therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed (by the husband) together with the wife.
4/149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, or sons; by leaving them she would make both (her own and her husband’s) families contemptible.
Contradictory Provisions In Smriti Appended Later …
2/213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); for that reason the wise are never unguarded in (the company of) females.
5/ 154. Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.
5/ 157. At her pleasure let her emaciate her body by (living on) pure flowers, roots, and fruit; but she must never even mention the name of another man after her husband has died.
9/ 17. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.
As against these, Manu Smriti mentions equal status, good conduct, equal rights, freedom of choice and the right to remarriage.
Clearly, these interpolations are to be rejected.
Smriti Text … On The Under Privileged
Manu proposes varn vyastha — which was based on merit and not on account of one’s birth.
2/157. As an elephant made of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned Brahmana; those three have nothing but the names (devoid of virtues respective to their kind).
2/28. This (human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman by study of the Vedas, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (recitation of) sacred texts, by (acquisition of the) threefold sacred science, by offering (to gods, sages and manes), by (procreation of) sons, by great sacrifices, and by (the Srauta) rites
(The above texts lays the qualifications to be acquired, with great dedication and effort at specified works, in order to become a Brahmin, and not merely by being born to a Brahmin father.)
The varn of a person (caste or status in society) was decided after completion of his education.
Two births were considered for a person in Vedic period : first, when he was born to his parents, and, next, when he completed his education with due thoroughness. It was after second birth (twice born) that the varn of person was determined.
The following text from Manu Smriti makes it even more clear.
2/148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with Vedas entire, in accordance with the law, procures for him (the student) through the Savitr (Sun), is real and exempt from his birth, age or death.
2/146. Between him to whom one is physically born and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Vedas, the giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for birth through arising in the knowledge of the Veda (ensures) eternal (reward) both in this (life) and that (afterlife).
A person who remained uneducated and devoid of the knowledge of Vedas was considered a Shudra.
That is, the Shudra varn was not based on birth but on merit.
10/4. Brahmana, Kshatriya and the Vaisya castes (Varna) are twice-born (educated) but the fourth, the Shudra, has one birth only; there is no fifth (caste).
2/172. He who has not been initiated with teaching of the Vedas is like a Shudra.
Manu also advises not to insult a person of lower Varna.
4/141. Let him not insult those who have redundant limbs or are deficient in limbs, nor those destitute of knowledge, nor very aged men, nor those who have no beauty or wealth, nor those who are of low birth.
Why Manu started varn vyastha?
1/31. But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya and the Shudra varn origin in form of the body of the society : as its mouth, its arms, its thighs and its feet, respectively.
(Only the ignorant consider the shudra as being originated from the feet of god.)
1/87. But in order to protect this universe He (God), the most resplendent one, assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those as done in a body by mouth, arms, thighs, and feet.
1/88. To Brahmanas He assigned teaching and studying (the Vedas), sacrificing for their own benefit and for the welfare of others, giving and accepting (of alms).
1/89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Vedas), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual pleasures;
1/90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Vedas), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate the land.
1/91. One occupation only the Lord prescribed to the Shudra : to serve these (other) three castes.
Manu considered anyone who is without knowledge or capacity for skilled deeds as a Sudra; so any uneducated person is fit only for being in the service, under the guidance, of others who have the requisite knowledge and skills.
Isn’t that how we are organised even today ?
Manu also advises people to exert in order to acquire a higher varna, and change his or her allotted Varna.
The advisory leaves varn vyastha changeable, fluid, and not based on birth but on merit alone.
10/65. (Thus) a Shudra attains the rank of a Brahmana, and (in a similar manner) a Brahmana sinks to the level of a Shudra; and know that it is the same with the offspring of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya.
9/335. (A Shudra who is) pure, accompanies his betters and is gentle in his speech, free from pride, and always seeks a refuge with Brahmanas, attains a higher Varna (Brahmana, Kshatriya or Vaisya) based on his qualities.
4/245. A Brahmana who always connects himself with the most excellent (ones), and shuns all inferior ones, (himself) becomes most distinguished; by an opposite conduct he becomes a Shudra.
Is it not said : the company one keeps makes a man better or worse ?
2/103. But he who does not worships in morning, nor in the evening, is like a Shudra and he shall be excluded, just like a Shudra, from all the duties and rights of an Arya (one of noble qualities).
2/168. A twice-born man who, not having studied the Vedas, applies himself to other (and worldly study), soon falls, even while living, to the condition of a Shudra; and so do his descendants (after him).
2/126. A Brahmana who does not know the form of returning a salutation, they must not be saluted by a learned man; they must be considered as a Shudra.
A Sudra too can teach the other castes.
2/238. He who possesses faith may receive pure learning even from a man of lower caste (Shudra), the highest law even from the lowest, and an excellent wife even from a base family.
2/241. It is prescribed that in times of distress (a student) may learn (the Vedas) from one who is not a Brahmana; and that he shall walk behind and serve (such a) teacher, as long as the instruction lasts.
Superior rights given by Manu to shudras.
2/136. Wealth, kindred, age, (the due performance of) rites, and, fifthly, sacred learning are titles to respect; but each later-named (cause) is more weighty (than the preceding ones).
2/137. Whatever man of the three (higher) castes possesses most of those five, both in number and degree, that man is worthy of honour among them; and (so is) also a Shudra who has entered the tenth (decade of his life).
In above text Manu gives respect to any Shudra who is in tenth decade of life.
That is, anybody who lives long enough transcends the varna vyavastha.
3/116. After the Brahmanas, the kinsmen, and the servants have dined, the householder and his wife may afterwards eat of what remains.
Householders are advised by Manu to dine after sudras or the servants !
8/335. Neither a father, nor a teacher, nor a friend, nor a mother, nor a wife, nor a son, nor a domestic priest must be left unpunished by a king, if they do not keep within their duty.
8/336. Where another common man would be fined one karshapana, the king shall be fined one thousand; that is the settled rule.
8/337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Shudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya sixteen fold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold …
8/338. … that of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.
Manu advises strict punishment for a higher varna : punishing the Brahman many times more than a lower varn, say, a Shudra.
The above text is evidence of Manu’s unbiased social hierarchy and structure.
He considered a behavioural error as being more unpardonable in case of the learned one than for the ignorant.
Following are the examples of changing of varn vyastha in past.
Rishi Brahma, son Manu Swayambhu himself, was born to a Brahmana but became a Kshatriya king.
Manu’s eldest son, Priyavrat, became a king, a Kshatriya.
Out of Manu’s ten sons seven became kings while three became Brahmanas. Their names were Mahavir, Kavi and Savan. (Ref Bhagwat Puran Chap. 5)
Kavash Ailush was born to a Shudra and attained the highest varna of a Rishi. He became mantra-drashta to numerous hymns in Rig-Veda : 10th Mandal.
Jabala’s son, Satyakaam, born from unknown father became Rishi by his qualities.
Matang became a Rishi after his birth in low varna.
Maharishi Valmiki was born in inferior varna and became a Rishi.
Mahatma Vidur was born to a Dasi (maid) and became the prime minister to king Dhritarastra.
Raja Vishvanath, a Kshatriya, became a Brahmana – Rishi Vishwamitra.
There are many examples of varn vyastha to inferior level.
Ravan king of Lanka was son of a Brahmana Rishi Pultasya became a rakshasa.
Shri Ram’s ancestor, Raja Raghu’s son, Pravidh, was declared of inferior varna due to lack of qualities.
Shri Ram’s ancestor, Raja Samar’s son, Asmanjas, was declared a Shudra due to his bad qualities.
I leave the contradictory appended textsfor now … the ones that make the varna structure hard and fast, as indeed happened later.
I find myself now in the seventh decade of life still asking two questions that in one way or another the great majority of my 165 published books have sought to answer: 1.) Who are we as a species? 2.) What is our destiny?
The basic reason that I wrote Worlds Before Our Own (G.P. Putnam‘s Sons, 1978; Anomalist Books, 2007) is that I have always found it incredible that such sophisticated people as we judge ourselves to be, do not really know who we are.
Archaeologists, anthropologists, and various academicians who play the “origins of Man” game, reluctantly and only occasionally acknowledge instances where unique skeletal and cultural evidence from the prehistoric record suddenly appear long before they should — and in places where they should not. These irritating artifacts destroy the orderly evolutionary line that academia has for so long presented to the public. Consequently, such data have been largely left buried in site reports, forgotten storage rooms, and dusty archives where one suspects that there is a great deal of suppressed, ignored, and misplaced pre-historical cultural evidence that would alter the established interpretations of human origins and provide us with a much clearer definition of what it means to be human.
There is now a basic academic consensus that the “homo” lineage goes back at least three million years, and that an ancestor of modern man evolved about one million years ago. Homo Sapiens, the “thinking man,” (our own species), became the dominant planetary life form on a worldwide basis, about 40,000 years ago.
It is difficult enough to explain the sudden appearance of Homo Sapiens at that time, but it is an even more complex question to ponder why Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man correspondingly disappeared. And academic warfare rages unceasingly over whether or not Neanderthal and our ancestors were two separate species or whether they interbred.
And just as scientists are adding to a growing body of evidence that humankind developed in Africa, a Hungarian excavation surrenders a Homo Sapiens skull fragment in a context more than 600,000 years out of alignment with the accepted calendar of man’s migrations across the planet. Hominid fossils are unearthed in Dmanisi, Georgia, indicative of 1.77 million years old; and a homind tooth found in Niocene deposits near the Maritsa River in Bulgaria is dated at seven million years old.
What happens to Darwinian evolution when there are such sites as the one in Australia, which yielded Homo Sapiens (modern man), Homo erectus (our million-year-old ancestor), and Neanderthal (our Stone Age cousin) in what appears to be a contemporaneous environment? Then there is the Tabun site where Homo Sapiens fragments were found in strata below (which means older than) classic Neanderthal bones. In August 2007, scientists dating fossils found in Kenya challenged the conventional view that Homo Habilis (1.44 million years) and Homo erectus (1.55 million years) evolved one after the other. Dating of new fossil evidence revealed that the two species lived side by side in Africa for almost half a million years.
Somewhere, in what would appear to be a biological and cultural free-for-all, there must lie the answer to that most important question: Who are we?
But just as we are trying our best to fit skeletal fragments together in a manner that will be found acceptable to what we believe we know about our origins, footprints are being found in stone, which, if they are what they appear to be, will make a total shambles of our accepted evolutionary calendar. In Pershing County, Nevada, a shoe print was found in Triassic limestone, strata indicative of 400 million years, in which the fossilized evidence clearly revealed finely wrought double-stitching in the seams.
Early in 1975, Dr. Stanley Rhine of the University of New Mexico announced his discovery of human-like footprints in strata indicative of 40 million years old. A few months before, a similar find was made in Kenton, Oklahoma. At almost the same time, a discovery of a footprint in stone was revealed in north-central Wisconsin.
In Death Valley, there is ample fossil and skeletal evidence to indicate that the desolate area was once a tropical Garden of Eden where a race of giants lived and fed themselves with palatable foods taken from the local lakes and forests.
To speak of a race of prehistoric giants in what is now the desert sands of Death Valley is simultaneously to refute the doctrine which decrees that man is a relative newcomer to the North and South American continents. While on the one hand, new radiocarbon dates demonstrate that the Bering Land Bridge and Cordilleran Ice Corridor were not passable until 9000 years ago, an increasing amount of physical evidence indicates that man was surely in this hemisphere much earlier than that recent date.
For one thing, corn, an American contribution to the dinner tables of the world, is said to be, at 9000 years, our oldest domesticated seed crop. Some agriculturist had to be in the Americas more than 9000 years ago in order to domesticate the seed. Ancient squash seeds, peanuts, and cotton balls dated at 8,500 years old found in Peru’s Nanchoc Valley constitute additional evidence that New World farming was well established. Conclusive proof that such ancient farmers did exist in the Americas was offered when a Humble Oil Company drill brought up Mexican corn pollen that was more than 80,000 years old.
The anomalous Indian blood seration and dentition, and the geographic distribution of the American Indian, demands an impossible genetic time scale in which to transform Asiatic immigrants to distinctive New World inhabitants.
Even if we attempt to keep some kind of peace with the accepted theories of New World habitation, we must grant more evolution in 40,000 years in North America than that which took place in more than one million years in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Skulls found in California, which are clearly those of American Indians, have been dated at 50,000 years old. But we are left with another mystery. A 140,000 year old American Indian type skull (via metric analysis) has been found at an Iranian excavation site.
What of the lost Amerindian civilization of Cahokia, complete with pyramids and a great wall? One site, near the present city of St. Louis, may have contained a metropolis of more than 250,000 North American Indians.
And who constructed the mysterious seven-mile walls of the Berkeley and Oakland, California, hills?
And which pre-Mayan peoples engineered an elaborate waterworks in Yucatan to irrigate crops over 2000 years ago?
The Caracol Tower at Chichen Itza is a remarkable Mesoamerican observatory that seems to have correlated its findings with similar sites in North America, including Mesa Verde, Wichita, and Chaco Canyon.
One of the most heretical theories that I suggest in Worlds Before Our Own is that the cradle of civilization might possibly have traveled from the so-called New World to the Old. Now, in December 2007, years after Ruth Shady Solis found the ancient city of Caral, Peru, scientists have accepted the carbon dating of 2,627 B.C.E., thereby establishing the civilization in South America to be much older than the Harappa Valley towns and the pyramids of Egypt. Caral must now be recognized as “the mother of all civilizations,” the missing link of archaeology, the Mother City.
Scientific knowledge has seemingly been prized by the inhabitants of every culture, known and unknown. Rock engravings, which may be as old as 60 million years, depict in step-by-step illustrations an entire heart-transplant operation and a Cesarean section. The ancient Egyptians used the equivalent of contraceptive jelly and had urine pregnancy tests. The cement used in filling Mayan dental cavities still holds after 1500 years.
No fabric is supposed to have been found until Egypt produced cloth material 5000 years ago. How, then, can we deal with the Russian site which provides spindle whorls and patterned fabric designs more than 80,000 years old?
Not only did the ancient Babylonians appear to use sulphur matches, but they had a technology sophisticated enough to employ complex electrochemical battery cells with wiring. There is also evidence of electric batteries and electrolysis in ancient Egypt, India, and Swahililand.
Remains of a metal-working factory of over 200 furnaces was found at what is now Medzamor in Russian Armenia. Although a temperature of over 1780 degrees is required to melt platinum, some pre-Incan peoples in Peru were making objects of the metal. Even today the process of extracting aluminium from bauxite is a complicated procedure, but Chou Chu, famous general of the Tsin era (265-316 A.D.), was interred with aluminium belt fasteners on his burial costume.
Carved bones, chalk, stones, together with what would appear to be greatly ornamented ”coins,” have been brought up from great depths during well-drilling operations. A strange, imprinted slab was found in a coal mine. The artefact was decorated with diamond-shaped squares with the face of an old man in each ”box.” In another coal-mine discovery, miners found smooth, polished concrete blocks which formed a solid wall. According to one miner’s testimony. he chipped one block open only to find the standard mixture of sand and cement that makes up most typical building blocks of today.
A gold necklace was found embedded in a lump of coal. A metal spike was discovered in a silver mine in Peru. An iron implement was found in a Scottish coal-bed. Estimated to be millions of years older than man is believed to have existed. A metal, bell-shaped vessel, inlaid with a silver floral design was blasted out of solid rock near Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Two hypotheses may explain the presence of these perplexing artifacts: 1) that they were manufactured by an advanced civilization on Earth which, due either to natural or technological catastrophe, was destroyed before our world’s own genesis; 2) that they are vestiges of a highly technological civilization of extraterrestrial origin, which visited this planet millions of years ago, leaving behind various artifacts.
Even if a highly advanced extraterrestrial race might have visited this planet in prehistoric times, it seems unlikely such common, everyday items as nails, necklaces, buckles and vases would have been carried aboard a spacecraft deposited in such widely separated areas; for such artifacts have been found in North and South America, Great Britain, the whole of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Mid-East.
In spite of the general unpopularity of catastrophism, there does seem to be a number of recently discovered “proofs” of ancient cataclysmic changes in the Earth’s crust which may account for the nearly total disappearance of these prehistoric worlds. Geological evidence indicates that these changes were both sudden and drastic might have completely overwhelmed and destroyed the early inhabitants and their cultures.
Perhaps the most potentially mind-boggling evidence of an advanced prehistoric technology that might have blown its parent-culture away is to be found in those sites which ostensibly bear mute evidence of prehistoric nuclear warfare.
Large areas of fused green glass and vitrified cities have been found deep in the strata of archaeological digs at Pierrelatte in Gabon, Africa; the Euphrates Valley; the Sahara Desert; the Gobi Desert; Iraq; the Mojave Desert; Scotland; the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt; and south-central Turkey. In contemporary times, such material as fused green glass has only been known at nuclear testing sites (where the sand had melted to form the substance). It is quite unsettling to some to consider it possible that these sites provide evidence of a prehistoric nuclear war. At the same time, scientists have found a number of uranium deposits that appear to have been mined or depleted in antiquity.
If it is possible that nuclear annihilation of a global civilization did occur in prehistoric times, it seems even more urgent to learn who we really are before we find ourselves doomed to repeat the lessons left to us, by a world before our own.
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 !
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.
What are some objective metrics for quality of governance ?
01 Number and Effectiveness of autonomous institutions directly accessible to public to lodge grievances, complaints, suggestions… pertaining to public admn personnel, machinery, policy and performance.
02 The Ratio of what it costs to avail basic necessities – food, clothes, shelter, health care, transportation – to what is the avg per capita GDP.
03 True Unemployment ratio to employable pool available in different skill, education, age groups.
04 Price rise year -on-year compared to rise in income strata wise.
05 Satisfaction Level of the poorest strata with public welfare and distribution system.
06 Number of health care personnel per 1000 population nationally and region, area, locality wise.
07 Availability and Cost of justice … to common populace.
08 Period it takes to dispose judicial cases.
09 Backlog of cases pending in law courts.
10 Ease of filing FIR with police, its disposal period and rate of conviction.
The colossal calamity due Nature’s fury in Uttarakhand is heart wrenching and the global despair I read in outpourings of minds aware dumps me in darkness. In the celestial underground, Sisyphus eyes the rock before starting to heave against it, in order to roll it back up to the top of the hill.
“The government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP),
which gave banks cash incentives to modify loans under certain standards,
was supposed to streamline the process and help up to 4 million struggling homeowners
(to date, active permanent modifications number about 870,000). In reality, Bank of America used it as a tool, say these former employees, to squeeze as much money as possible out of struggling borrowers before eventually foreclosing on them. Borrowers were supposed to make three trial payments before the loan modification became permanent; in actuality, many borrowers would make payments for a year or more, only to find themselves rejected for a permanent modification, and then owing the difference between the trial modification and their original payment.”
Six former employees and one contractor say Bank of America’s mortgage servicing unit consistently lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications and offered bonuses to staff for intentionally pushing people into foreclosure.
The allegations were made in sworn statements added to a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Massachusetts.
Have we evolved as yet
to having severely punishing laws
against Corporate lies and fraudulent behaviour ?
* * *
Call 1098, if you have after-party food that is likely to be wasted !
It’s the Child Helpline in India. They will come and collect the food. It’ll nourish the starved and the half-hungry; and, perhaps, inform him of how the more advantaged in society, in his very own country, live it off.
Capitalism channelises bothe the strengths and failures of humanity. Unfortunately, the strengths are few; failures more severe and far too many.
But humanity’s misfortune does not end there. It quadruples with capitalist success; for then, they have concentrated the resources and the means of Surround Propaganda, to beat the dead horse to wonderful tunes of intoxicating music !
* * *
In my country …
Several Thousands have been killed.
Hundreds of Thousands are stranded for days …
‘I watched my wife being swept away by the torrent’ …
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.
In one such interaction on Facebook that covered Left extremists and Sustainability issues, I found his views worthy of reiteration here, on my blog. He expresses well …
Compassion and respect, not extremism …
” One could be a tribal sympathiser, critical of Capitalism (not liberal democracy, mind you, which unfortunately has come to be associated with capitalism) and its rapacious destruction of the environment and society, especially that of the tribals, but sympathising with the poor and being critical of those who exploit and oppress them does not mean being sympathetic to the Maoists.
Rapacious Capitalism is a zero sum game …
“There are farmers who have become millionnaires in indore too, and in the vicinity of most cities, but these are still few in number compared to the total number of farmers in and around these cities. The statement holds good for India entire, where farming has become a loss making profession. Even America, which has become 95% urban by looting the whole world, will find it impossible to survive if it stops doing so. Its a zero sum game – urban prosperity for a few is built on misery for the many across the world. It’s an unpalatable truth that cannot be wished away by resorting to sophistry. Gurgaon is sinking under its own load and the day is not far when it will collapse !!
Yes, it’s a zero sum …
“We are going over the same ground again and again. The zero sum game is a very correct depiction of the natural world because it is based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics. I would advise you to do a deep study of those before suggesting me to read more sophistry based on neo-classical economics, which itself is based on unscientific assumptions. Simon’s book is dated and current exorbitantly rising prices of metals in particular, and commodities and food in general, have taken the bottom out of his reasoning. Anyway there is no point in continuing this debate because it is endless. We can debate with each other endlessly without agreeing, but we cannot do so with nature. The time is not far when nature will hit back with a vengeance… The present selfish mode of development is going to lead to disaster then there will be a reversion to communitarian, unselfish and egalitarian modes. If not, we will all perish !!
Tribal rights with self-rule …
“Not just tribal rights but tribal self-rule of a new kind, in which there is equality and justice for women; because the traditional tribal societies are highly patriarchal. Regarding Maoists, the best thing to do is to ignore them altogether. Their locus and modus operandi ensures they will remain peripheral to both the tribal and the country’s future. It is the Indian State, which continually mismanages its responses, that has led to the Maoists being able to do what they are doing.
Churchill’s Secret War, through wreaking famine …
“To understand this one will have to digress first a bit. Madhusree Mukerjee has written an excellent book called “Churchill’s Secret War”, in which she details on the basis of original historiography how the British Government, led by Churchill, deliberately caused the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 in which, according to conservative estimates, 3 million people were killed.
The Just Rebels, possessed and ruthless …
“What is more interesting in this book is her history of the Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar. When the Quit India
Movement was announced on 9th August 1942, the Gandhians in south Bengal region of Tamluk, led by Matangini Hazra, came out onto the streets in large numbers. The British response was to fire on them. Hazra and others died; many were arrested. Those who escaped their fate felt that there was only one way to respond to the British : set aside non-violent methods and take to an underground armed struggle.
“But the only way they could, with their rudimentary arms, was to fight a guerrilla war while ensuring that their movements were not reported to the British. So they conducted a hugely efficient programme of annihilating all the informers. So efficient was this programme that not only were all the informers eliminated but a pervasive fear was created among the people. Effectively, all information flow to the British stopped and the Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar or Tamralipta “national government” was able to rule over their small region for three years. It was only after Gandhi came out of jail and admonished them for what they had done that they gave up their armed struggle and surrendered to the police in 1946.
Recent Darbha Ghati attack by Maoists …
“The important point that comes out of this story is that, for any guerrilla struggle to survive, the rebels
must eliminate all informers, present and potential. And this is what the Maoists have done very efficiently in rural areas; there is little information flow to the Indian State about their local movements. It is inconceivable that, in the recent attack, 200 heavily armed Maoists could have gathered in the Darbha Ghati just 30 kilometers from Jagdalpur without the local people knowing about it. But such is the fear of reprisal on informers by the Maoists that no information of this build up leaked to the police. All they had was an alert from the Centre that Maoist cadre were collecting in Bastar in large numbers for a strike, but nothing about where exactly this was to be executed. Saddled with this information blindness, the team that went to Sukma failed to follow Standard Operating Procedures yet again and came back along the same route, all in one group, and got annihilated. One is left wondering whether the security establishment dealing with the Maoists is a professional institution or a bunch of fools.
How the Maoists succeed …
“That the Maoists do not have an urban connection is a myth. Many politbureau members like Kobad Gandhi have been arrested from urban areas and are now in jail. It is impossible in the present day to conduct an armed struggle in a remote rural area without urban support of various kinds. There is an active urban network of the Maoists that secretly works to provide them with arms and ammunitions, funds, and technical and medical support. While the State may find it difficult to get informers in the rural areas, it is not so in urban areas where the population is too vast and the Maoists operate too secretly for them to be able to eliminate all informers. The State, in its efforts to curtail the Maoists, will obviously crackdown on their urban support lines and in this it has gained considerable success even if tailors, merchants and doctors like Binayak Sen have had to suffer in the process.
Our concern …
“I repeat, the conflict between the State and the Maoists is none of our concern; but for the tribals who die in it, due to operations from both sides, are. We should condemn the murder of tribals regardless of whether it is the State or the Maoists who are killing them, even if it is that of a killer like Mahendra Karma. We should leave both parties to their shenanigans and concentrate on our own struggles.
The immutable laws of thermodynamics …
“I had asked you to study the laws of thermodynamics and not Georgescu Rogen’s suspect attempt at conflating thermodynamics with economics, which has been rightly critiqued by many. That is why I did not mention his name or the later Marxist extensions of his theories or give links to the voluminous literature along these lines. I will now try to show from first principles, in a simple way, that a lay person can also understand how an “anarchist” interpretation can be done of these laws !!
“The first law says that energy is conserved and, due to the fact that energy and matter are interchangeable, matter too is conserved. So the total energy (including matter) in a closed system like the earth is constant and cannot be increased or decreased. Actually, the earth is an open system because meteorites crash into it from time to time, delivering matter, and the sun continually pumps energy into it; but the meteorite contribution is minimal and the sun’s energy is difficult to convert usefully, for machines to do our work.
“Therefore, if one form of energy or matter, especially non renewable energy or matter source, is depleted then it will be converted into another form, limiting the possibilities of its use in future. If soils are exhausted of their natural nutrients and, after some time, artificial nutrients are also exhausted, then it will not be possible to grow food anymore. Similarly, if fresh water sources are exhausted, we will face a more serious crisis. This can be extended to innumerable more examples that are today creating serious problems of sustainability.
“Theoretically, it is possible to convert any form of matter into any other form; there is substitutability potential for energy from matter. But, in practice, this is difficult and requires huge centralised systems which, even if invented, may create their own unforeseen problems. This is why, for all practical purposes, life on earth is a zero sum game.
“Now coming to the more difficult second law : any form of work converts some amount of energy expended into heat energy, which dissipates into the environment increasing disorder due to the increase in temperature within a closed system.
“Fortunately, the earth is not a closed system; it can release the added energy into space. Also, through photo synthesis, plants continually convert solar energy into bound energy we have in wood and food they sythesise. Animals eat this bound energy and do work, producing heat energy in the process. Some of these plant and animal remains have been transformed into fossil fuels, which too have bound energy. However, when we burn these fuels, their energy becomes unbound and contribute heat to the environment.
“Normally, due to the fact that the earth is an open system, the exponentially increasing production of heat energy would not have been a problem because it is miniscule compared to the solar energy added to the earth’s biosphere. But now, due to the increasing concentration of green house gases, especially carbon dioxide, we are slowly converting the earth into a closed system. The pathways to dissipation of heat into space is getting increasingly choked. Simultaneously, we are decimating plant life that convert unbound energy into bound energy. Climate change is a serious reality because of the twin factors we have just described.
The anarchist suggestion …
“We all must pause and seriously ponder over this transition of earth from being an open system it was to being a closed system it is now turning into. The world is experiencing a dangerous rise in temperatures on account of non-dissipation of heat we are adding to our biosphere. Yes, what I am saying is that there is a serious problem and not that there is no solution to it. Since the solution is not yet known, many people are working on it.
“As an anarchist, I feel the solution is in moderating our consumption. Mindful use of matter and energy would regulate the rate of our approach to ecological catastrophy. Ever since the neolithic revolution ten thousand years ago, humans have continually increased their exploitation of nature and it has now reached a crescendo. We need to have a relook at what we are doing. I may be wrong but that is my preference. It is still possible to have a high level of development with environmentally clean technologies, if implemented in a decentralised and egalitarian manner.
“The first ever, and possibly the most succinct, anarchist statement is :
Ishavasyam idam sarvam yat kincha jagatyam jagat
Tena tyaktena bhunjitha maa gridha kasvid dhanam
“Even though this is from the famoust spiritual text Ishavasya Upanishad, as an atheistic anarchist I translate it thus –
All of these in the universe
Belong to Nature;
Partake of it with moderation.
Do do not covet but ponder –
Who do these riches belong to !
“Let us all heed the rational view : There is a severe crisis, of apocalyptic scale, we are building up through our own doing, through the capitalist greed we have allowed for ourselves and the consumerist lifestyle they propagate globally, repeatedly, day in and day out, for their own profit.”
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 :
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 …
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 …
The Jain way of life was contemporaneous with the rise of Buddhism, after the catastrophic developments about 1900 BC, when the Vedic convictions were seriously in question. Yet, it was Buddhism that took to prominence with the advent of the third Buddha, Siddhartha Gautam. There are 24 Tirthankars, enlightened ones, in Jain tradition; but this particular belief system was widely embraced only with rise of Mahavir, about 1200 years after Gautam Budha.
Jain Arhats or Tirthankars reject the Buddhist doctrine of momentariness of everything. They say : If there is no permanent soul, then even attaining worldly fruit in life will be impossible; for, without that individual agency to regulate, the action or effort of one person would have its consequences reaped by another. Because there is a permanent soul, we have this conviction, ” I, who previously did the deed, am the person who now reaps its consequences.”
The soul remains constant through the previous and the subsequent period; the discriminating Jain Arhats reject as untenable the doctrine of momentary existence, in which the soul is said to last only an instant and has no continuity from the previous to the subsequent moments. They define existence as “that which possesses an origin, an end, and an [intermediate] duration.” Therefore, the Arhats exhorted, they who seek the summum bonum of being (human) must not accept the doctrine of Buddha, and should rather honour only the Arhat doctrine.
The Arhat’s nature has been thus described by Arhachchandra-suri : “The divine Arhat is the supreme lord, the omniscient one, who has overcome all faults, desire, etc. He is adored by the three worlds, and is the declarer of things as they are.”
But may it not be objected that no such omniscient soul can enter the path of proof, since none of the five affirmative proofs can be found to apply, as has been declared by Tautatita [Bhatta Kumarila] ? The latter says :
1. No omniscient being is seen by the sense here in this world by ourselves or others ; nor is there any part of him seen which might help us as a sign to infer his existence.
2. There is no injunction (vidhi) of scripture which reveals an eternal omniscient one, nor can the meaning of the explanatory passages (arthavada) be applied here.
3. His existence is not declared by those passages which refer to quite other topics ; and it cannot be contained in any emphatic repetitions (anuvada), as it had never been mentioned elsewhere before.
4. An omniscient being who had a beginning can never be the subject of the eternal Veda ; and how can he be established by a man-made and spurious “Veda” ?
5. Do you say that this omniscient one is accepted on his own word ? How can you establish either when they thus both depend on reciprocal support ?
6. If you say, the saying is true because it was uttered by one omniscient, and this proves the Arhat’s existence, how can either point be established without some previously established foundation ?
7. But they who accept a supposed omniscient, on the baseless word of a parviscient, know nothing of the meaning of a real omniscient’s words.
8. And again, if we now could see anything like an omniscient being, we might have a chance of recognising him by the [well-known fourth] proof, comparison (upamana).
The Jains reply as follows : The supposed contradiction of an Arhat s existence, derived from the failure of the five affirmative proofs, is untenable because there are proofs, as inference, etc, which do establish his existence. In fact, any soul will become omniscient when, its natural capacity for grasping all objects remaining the same, the hindrances to such knowledge are removed.
Interestingly, the Jains hold the soul to be a substance and not a person ! They say, “Whatever thing has a natural capacity for knowing any object will, when its hindrances to such knowledge are done away, actually know it, just as the sense of vision cognises form directly when the hindrances of darkness, etc, are removed. Now there is such a soul, which has its hindrances done away, its natural capacity for grasping all things remaining unchanged; therefore there is an omniscient being. Nor is the assertion unestablished that the soul has a natural capacity for grasping all things ; for, otherwise, it could not be maintained that knowledge can be produced by the authoritative injunction of a text * ; nor could there be the knowledge of universal propositions, such as in our favourite argument, ” All things are indeterminate from the very fact of their existence”. Of course, a follower of Nyaya (logic) will grant that universal propositions can be known, though he will dispute the truth of this particular one, because we [Jains] are convinced that there are certain special means to destroy these obstructions, viz. the three ” gems ” of right intuition, etc. By this charm too, all inferior assaults of argument are also countered.
* The teachers of Purva Mimamsa accept that the soul has a natural capacity for grasping all things ; they allow that the knowledge embracing all things can be produced by the discussion of injunctions and prohibitions, as is said by Sankara in his commentary on the Sutras.
But the Naiyayiks (logicians) may interpose, “You talk of the pure intelligence which, after all hindrances are done away, sees all objects, having sense-perception at its height; but this is irrelevant, because there can be no hindrance to the omniscient, as from all eternity he has been always liberated.” We reply that there is no proof of your eternally liberated being. There cannot be an omniscient who is eternally “liberated.” The very fact of his being liberated suggests that, like other liberated persons, he was previously “bound” ; and if the latter is absent, the former must be too, as is seen in the case of the ether.
“But is not this being’s existence definitely proved by his being the maker of that eternal series of effects, the earth, etc ? For, according to the well-known argument, the earth etc must have had a maker because they have the nature of effects, as a jar.” This argument, however, will not hold, because you cannot prove that they have the nature of effects. You cannot establish this premise from the fact of earth being composed of parts, because this supposition falls upon the horns of a dilemma ! Does this “being composed of parts” mean (i) the being in contact with the parts ; (ii) the being in intimate relation to the parts ; (iii) the being produced from parts ; (iv) the being as the substance in intimate relation ; or (v) the being as the object of an idea involving the notion of parts ?
The Jains continue to decimate the logic behind the premise : Not the first, because it would apply too widely, as it would include ether which, though not itself composed of parts, is in contact with the parts of other things ; nor the second, because it would similarly include genus, etc. as this resides in a substance by intimate relation, and yet is itself not composed of parts ; nor the third, because this involves a term ( ” produced ” ) just as much disputed as the one directly in question ; nor the fourth, because its neck is caught in the pillory of the following alternative : Do you mean by your phrase used above that it is to be a substance, and to have something else in intimate relation to itself, or do you mean that it must have intimate relation to something else, in order to be valid for your argument ? If you say the former, it will equally apply to ether, since this is a substance, and has its qualities through intimate relation with other things ; if you say the latter, your new position involves as much dispute as the original point, since you would have to prove the existence of intimate relation in the parts, or the so-called ” intimate causes,” which you mean by ” something else.”
We use these terms in compliance with your terminology ; but, of course, from our point of view, we do not allow such a thing as ” intimate relation,” as there is no proof of its existence. Nor can the fifth alternative be allowed, because this would reach too far. as it would include soul, etc, since soul can be the object of an idea involving the notion of parts, and yet it is acknowledged to be not an effect. Nor can you maintain that the soul may still be indiscerptible in itself but, by reason of its connection with some thing possessing parts, may metaphorically become the object of an idea involving the notion of parts ; because there is a mutual contradiction in the idea of that which has no parts and of that which is all-pervading, just as the atom which is indiscerptible but is not all-pervading.
And, moreover, is there only one maker ? Or, again, is he independent ? In the former case your position will apply too far, as it will extend erroneously to palaces, etc, where we see for ourselves that it is the work of many different men such as carpenters, etc, and, in the second case, if all the world were produced by this one maker, all other agents would be superfluous. As it has been said in the ” Praise of Jina” :
1 ” It is said, there is one eternal maker for the world, all-pervading, independent, and true. But we have none of these inextricable delusions, whose teacher art thou.”
And again :
2 ” There is here no maker acting by his own free will, else his influence would extend to the making of a mat. What would be the use of yourself or all the artisans, if Iswara (God) fabricates the three worlds ? “
Therefore it is right to hold, as we do, that omniscience is produced when the hindrances are removed by the three means we have alluded to. And an objection cannot be be made that ” right intuition,” etc, are impossible, as there is no other teacher to go to, because this universal knowledge can be produced by the inspired works of former omniscient Jinas. We accept an eternal succession of revealed doctrines and omniscient teachers, like the endless series of seed springing from shoot and shoot from seed. So much for this preliminary discussion.
The well-known triad called the three gems as right intuition, etc, are thus described in the Param-agama-sara (which is devoted to the exposition of the doctrines of the Arhats) … ” Right intuition, right knowledge and right conduct are the path of liberation.” This has been thus explained by Yogadeva :
When the meaning of the predicaments, the soul, etc, has been declared by an Arhat in exact accordance with their reality, absolute faith in the teaching, i.e., the entire absence of any contrary idea, is “right intuition.” And to this effect runs the Tattvartha-Sutra, “Faith in the predicaments is right intuition.” Or, as another definition gives it, “Acquiescence in the predicaments declared by a Jina is called right faith ; it is produced either by natural character or by the guru’s instruction.” “Natural character” means the soul’s own nature, independent of another’s teaching; “instruction” is the knowledge produced by the teaching of another in the form of explanation, etc.
” Right knowledge ” is a knowledge of the predicaments, soul, etc, according to their real nature, undisturbed by any illusion or doubt ; as it has been said, “That knowledge, which embraces concisely or in detail the predicaments as they actually are, is called right knowledge by the wise.”
This knowledge is fivefold : mati, sruta, avadhi, manas-paryaya, and kevala; they mean as stated herebelow –
1. Mati … by which one cognises an object through the senses and the mind, all obstructions of knowledge being removed.
2. Sruta … the clear knowledge produced by mati, all the obstructions of knowledge being removed.
3. Avadhi … knowledge of special objects caused by the removal of hindrances, which is effected by ” right intuition,” etc.
4. Manas-paryaya … clear definite knowledge of another’s thoughts, manifest upon removal of all obstructions raised by the veil of envy.
5. Kevala … pure unalloyed knowledge, for the sake of which ascetics practise penance.
6. The first of these (mati) is not self-cognised, the other four are. Thus it has been said –
True knowledge is proof which nothing can contradict, which manifests itself as well as its object ; it is both supersensuous and is itself an object of cognition.
Right conduct is the abstaining from all actions tending to evil courses that have effects constituting the mundane. This has been explained at length by the Arhat : “Right conduct is relinquishing the entire blamable impulses ; this has been subjected to a five-fold division, as the five great vows – ahimsa, sunrita, asteya, brahmacharya, and aparigraka.”
Ahimsa is avoidance of injury to all life, movable or immovable, by any act of thoughtlessness. Kind, salutary and truthful speech is called sunrita. That speech is not truthful which is prejudicial and unkind to others. Not taking what is not given is declared to be asteya.
The vow of brahmacharya (chastity) is eighteen-fold, viz. abandonment of all desires, heavenly or earthly, in thought, word and deed, whether by one’s own action or consent, or by causing another to act. Aparigraha is renouncing of all delusive interest in everything that exists or not ; since bewilderment of thought may arise from a delusive interest even in the unreal.
7. When carried out by the five states of mind in a five-fold order, these great vows produce the eternal abode.
The full account of the five states of mind has been given in the following passage [of which we only quote one sloka] –
” Let him uphold the vow of sunrita uninterruptedly by abstinence from laughter, greed, fear and anger, and by deliberately avoiding speech;” and so forth.
Convergence of these three – right intuition, right knowledge, and right conduct – produce liberation.
Tattvas or predicaments are two : jiva and ajiva. The soul, jiva, is pure intelligence ; the non-soul, ajiva, is pure non-intelligence. Padmanandin has thus said :
” The two highest predicaments are soul and non-soul ; discrimination is the power to discriminate between the two, while pursuing what is to be pursued and rejecting what is to be rejected. The affection, etc, of the agent are to be rejected ; these are objects for the non-discriminating. The supreme light of knowledge alone is to be pursued, which is defined as upayoga.”
Upayoga or “true culmination of the soul’s activity” takes place when vision truly perceives and recognises the soul’s innate nature ; but as long as the soul, by the bond of pradesa and mutual interpenetration of form it produces between the soul and the body, considers itself as identified with its actions and with the body that they produce and form, knowledge may rather be defined as ” the cause of the soul’s cognition of itself being other than these.”
Intelligence (chaitanya) is common to all souls, and is the real nature of the soul viewed as parinata i.e. as it is in itself. But under the influence of upasamakshaya and kshayopasama, the soul appears in its “mixed” form, as possessing both, jiva and ajiva. Or again, by the influence of actions as they arise, it assumes the appearance of foulness, etc.
Hence has it been said by Vachakacharya : ” The aupasamika, the kshayika, and the mixed states are the nature of the soul. So too are the audayika and the parinamika.”
The aupasamika state of the soul arises when all the effects of past actions have ceased, and no new actions arise to affect the future. The Kshayika state arises when there is absolute cessation of actions and their effects, as in final liberation. The “mixed” (misra) state combines both these, as when water is partly pure. The audayika state is when actions arise exerting an inherent influence on the future. The Parinamika state is the soul’s innate condition, as pure intelligence, etc, and disregarding its apparent states. This nature, in one of the above-described varieties, is the character of every soul, whether happy or unhappy.
It is further explained : ” Not different from knowledge and yet not identical with it ; in some way both different and the same ; knowledge is its first and last form ; such is the soul described to be.”
If you say that, ” As difference and identity are mutually exclusive, we must have it as one or the other; that the soul is both is absurd” ; we reply, that there is no evidence to support you when you characterise it as absurd. Only a valid non-perception can thus preclude a suggestion as absurd ; but this is not found in the present case, since (in our opinion, the advocates of the Syad-vada) it is perfectly notorious that all things present a mingled nature of many contradictory attributes.
Others lay down a different set of tattvas from the two mentioned above, jiva and ajiva ; they hold that there are five astikayas or categories : jiva, akasa, dharma, adharma, and pudgala. To all these five we can apply the idea of “existence” (asti), as connected with the three divisions of time, and we can similarly apply the idea of ” body ” (kaya) from their occupying several parts of space.
The jivas (souls) are of two kinds, “mundane” and “released.” The mundane soul reincarnates from birth to birth ; these are again divided into two : those possessing an internal sense (samanaska), and those without it (amanaska). The former possesses the power of apprehension, talking, acting and receiving instruction ; the latter are without this power. These latter are also divided into two, as ” locomotive ” (trasa) or ” immovable ” (sthavara). The “locomotive” are those possessing at least two senses [touch and taste], as shell-fish, worms, etc, and are thus of four kinds : as possessing two, three, four, or five senses. The “immovable” are earth, water, fire, air, and trees. But here a distinction must be made. The dust of the road is properly “earth,” but bricks, etc, are aggregated ” bodies of earth,” and that soul by whom this body is appropriated becomes ” earthen-bodied,” and that soul which will hereafter appropriate it is the “earth-soul.” The same four divisions must also be applied to the others, water, etc. Now the souls which have appropriated or will appropriate the earth, etc, as their bodies, are reckoned as “immovable” ; but earth, etc, and the ” bodies of earth,” etc, are not so reckoned because they are inanimate. These other immovable things, and such as only possess the one sense of touch, are considered as ” released,” since they are incapable of passing into any other state of existence.
Dharma, adharma, and akasa are singular categories [and not generic], and they have not the attribute of ” action,” but they are the causes of a substance’s change of place. Dharma, “merit,” and adharma, “demerit,” are well known. They assist souls in progressing or remaining stationary in the universally extended sky [or ether] characterised by light, and also called Lokakasa; hence the presence of the category “merit” is to be inferred from progress, that of ” demerit ” from frozen station. The effect of akasa is seen when one thing enters into the space previously occupied by another. Pudgala body possesses touch, taste, and colour.
Bodies are of two kinds, atomic and compound. Atoms cannot be enjoyed; the compounds are binary and other combinations. Atoms are produced by separation of these binary and other compounds, while these arise from the conjunction of atoms. Compounds sometimes arise from separation and conjunction combined ; hence they are called pudgalas, because they “fill” (pur), and “dissolve” (gal). Although ” time ” is not properly an astikaya, because it does not occupy many separate parts of space [as mentioned in the definition], still it is a dravya [or tattva], as the definition will hold ; “substance” (dravya) possesses “qualities and action.” Qualities reside in substance but do not themselves possess qualities, as the general qualities, knowledge, etc, of the jiva, and form, etc, of the body, and the power of causing progress, stationariness, and motion into a place previously occupied, in the case respectively of ” merit,” ” demerit,” and akasa.
” Action ” (paryaya) has thus been defined ; the actions of a substance are, as has been said, its existence, its production, its being what it is, its development, its course to the end, as, e.g., in the knowledge of objects, as of a jar, etc, happiness, pain, etc ; in the pudgala, the lump of clay, the jar, etc ; in merit and demerit, the special functions of progress, etc. Thus there are six substances or tattvas [i.e. the five mentioned above and ” time “].
Others add more tattvas … Asrava is described as the movement of the soul called yoga, through its participation in the movement of its various bodies. As a door opening into the water is called asrava, because it causes the stream to descend through it, so this yoga is called asrava because by it, as by a pipe, actions and their consequences flow in upon the soul. Or, as a wet garment collects the dust brought to it from all sides by the wind, so the soul, wet with previous sins, collects, by its manifold points of contact with the body, the actions which are brought to it by yoga. Or as, when water is thrown on a heated lump of iron, the iron absorbs the water altogether, so the jiva, heated by previous sins, receives from all sides the actions which are brought by yoga (mixing of the soul with the body and actions).
Kashaya (” sin,” ” defilement “) is so called because it ” hurts ” the soul by leading it into evil states ; it comprises anger, pride, delusion, and lust. Asrava is two-fold, good or evil. Thus abstaining from doing injury is a good yoga of the body ; speaking what is true, measured and profitable, is a good yoga of the speech. These various subdivisions of asrava have been described at length in several Sutras. ” Asrava is the impulse to action with body, speech, or mind, and it is good or evil as it produces merit or demerit,” etc. Others, however, explain it thus : ” Asrava is the action of the senses which impels the soul towards external objects ; the light of the soul, coming in contact with external objects by means of the senses, forms the knowledge of respective objects or bodies.”
Bandha, ” bondage,” is when the soul, by the influence of “false intuition,” “non-indifference,” ” carelessness,” and “sin”, and also by the force of yoga, assumes various bodies occupying many parts of space, which enter into its own subtile body and which are appropriate to the bond of its previous actions. As has been said : “Through the influence of sin the individual soul assumes bodies suitable to its past actions; this is, bondage.”
The causes of bondage are false intuition, non-indifference, carelessness, and sin.
(a) “False intuition” is twofold, either innate from one’s natural character, as when one disbelieves Jain doctrines due to influence of former evil actions, or by influence of another’s teaching.
(&) ” Non-indifference ” is the non-restraint of the five senses, and the internal organ, from the set of six, earth, etc.
(c) “Carelessness” (pramada) is want of effort to practise the five kinds of samiti, gupti, etc.
(d) ” Sin ” consists of anger, etc. Here we must make the distinction that false intuition, etc, cause those kinds of bondage called sthiti and anubhava; yoga [or asrava] causes kinds called prakriti and pradesa.
” Bondage ” is fourfold, as has been said : ” Prakriti, sthiti, anubhava, and pradesa are its four kinds.”
I. Prakriti means “the natural qualities,” as bitterness or sweetness in the vimba plant or molasses.
2. Sthiti lasts beyond billions of units of time.
3. Anubhava is effect produced in different material bodies caused by our actions ; there exists a special capacity (anubhava) for producing their respective effects.
4. Pradesa is the entrance into the different parts of the soul by the masses, made up of an endless number of parts, of the various bodies which are developed by the consequences of actions.
Samvara is the stopping of asrava by which the influence of past actions (karma) is stopped from entering into the soul. It is divided into gupti, samiti, etc. Gupti is the withdrawal of the soul from that ” impulse ” (yoga) which causes mundane being. It is threefold, as relating to body, speech or mind. Samiti is acting so as to avoid injury to all living beings.
Moksha ( or Nirvana)
Moksha is the attainment with which there is an entire absence of all future actions, as all causes of bondage (false perception, etc) are ceased forever ; and, since all past actions are abolished in the presence of their causes, there arises the absolute release from all actions. As it has been said : “Moksha is the absolute release from all actions through decay (nirjard} of all actuated and potential causes of bondage and mundane being.”
Then the soul rises upward to the end of the world. As a potter’s wheel, whirled by a stick and by hands, moves on even after these have stopped until the impulse is exhausted, so the previous repeated contemplations of the embodied soul for the attainment of moksha exert their influence even after they have ceased and bear the soul onward to the end of the world.
Others hold moksha to be abiding in the highest regions, the soul being absorbed in bliss with its knowledge unhindered and itself untainted by any pain or impression thereof.
” The doctrine of the syad-vada arises from our everywhere, rejecting the idea of the absolute …” If a thing absolutely exists, it exists altogether, always, everywhere and with everybody, and no one at any time or place would ever make an effort to obtain or avoid it. The whole is thus summed up : Four classes of our opponents severally hold the doctrine of existence, non-existence, existence and non-existence successively, and the doctrine that everything is inexplicable (anirvachaniyata) ; three other classes hold one or other of the three first theories combined with the fourth.
Now, when they meet us with the scornful questions, ” Does the thing exist ? ” etc, we have a ready answer, ” It exists in a certain way,” etc. Syad-vada ascertains the entire meaning of all things. Thus said the teacher in the Syadvada-Manjari :
“A thing of an entirely indeterminate nature is the object only of the omniscient ; a thing partly determined is held to be the true object of scientific investigation. When our reasoning based on one point proceed in the revealed way, it is called the revealed Syad-vada, which ascertains the entire meaning of all things.”
” All other systems are full of jealousy from their mutual propositions and counter-propositions ; only the doctrine of the Arhat has no partiality and equally favours all sects.”
The Jaina doctrine has thus been summed up by Jinadatta-suri :
” The hindrances belonging to vigour, enjoyment, sensual pleasure, giving and receiving, sleep, fear, ignorance, aversion, laughter, liking, disliking, love, hatred, want of indifference, desire, sorrow, deceit … these are the eighteen faults (dosha) according to our system. The divine Jina is our Guru, who declares the true knowledge of the tattwas. The path of emancipation consists of knowledge, intuition and conduct. There are two means of proof (pramana) in Syad-vada doctrine – sense-perception and inference. All consists of the eternal and the non-eternal ; there are nine or seven tattwas. The jiva, the ajiva, merit and demerit, asrava, samvara, landha, nirjard, mukti … we will now explain each.
“ Jiva is defined as intelligence ; ajiva is all other than it ; merit means bodies which arise from good actions, demerit the opposite ; asrava is the bondage of actions, nirjard is the unloosing thereof ; moksha arises from destruction of the eight forms of karma or “action.” But by some teachers ” merit ” is included in samvara and ” demerit ” in asrava.
” Of the soul that has attained the four infinite things and is hidden from the world, and whose eight actions are abolished, absolute liberation is declared by Jina. The Swetambaras are the destroyers of all defilement, they live by alms, they pluck out their hair, they practise patience, they avoid all association, and are called Jain Sadhus. The Digambaras pluck out their hair, they carry peacocks tails in their hands, they drink from their hands, and they eat upright in the giver’s house; these are the second class of the Jain Rishis.
“A woman attains not the highest knowledge, she enters not Mukti, so say the Digambaras ; but there is great division on this point between them and the Swetambaras.”
Though occasioned by a few conversations I had on social media, the topic has been with me for about two decades now : the fallacy in Buddhist thought, if one is looking for truth. For our world of action, there is no better subscription than the Buddhist way. For, it is in the very tenor of what the great Buddha himself presented in the new path : action … terminate absolutely the (lower) desires to end misery in your life and the world about … evolve out of even the (higher) desires to end absolutely the cycle of karma and rebirth.
Keeping the context of cultured thought of the times in which Buddha stood up and presented his own is important, if one is not to merely imagine and project one’s own meaning to what Buddha held forth in his assemblies. He disdains the rituals of Vedic or the later Sindhu-Sarasvati religious culture and he is silent on the ” God ” concept that tradition was then full of. It simplifies much in people’s life, freeing their attention to concentrate on the job at hand : action, on what to do, how to live one’s life, what to believe of what is manifest, which to regard as right or the correct path, how to decide … the entire life and values perspective in short that enables us to critically view our life and situational instance, and act in its accord.
What I see instead is that people, both hard core and romantic subscribers of Buddhist way, are reposing more and more of their quest for truth in it. It just leads to a jumboorie of imagined truths, the kind that Carl Jung warns us about : Enlightenment is not a matter of raising clouds of light within us; it is to illumine the very darkness all about.
Truth, in Buddhist way, can only be speculative, which in itself is a fine thing to do. But since it says, “overcome the self,” its followers presume that the directive means “negate the self.” It implies that the self is either a non-existent entity that we regard as existing through ignorance or that it exists but only until we are able to “eliminate” through our effort.
The first implication is a philosophical one, and still begs the question : So, what exists, in truth ? The second categorically means that the self does not exist in truth, and leads us back to the first. Without attempting to answer the ultimate question, let us revert back to the original directive Buddha proposes : Overcome the self. To me, in its context, it means that we become more powerful than the desiring self, the one which takes us over and commits acts that leads to misery for ourself and the world around us. That, we should win it over and make it subservient to our dictates, to the values perspective that Buddha clearly lays out. It is not a call for negating our very self, for there has to be one even for “overcoming the self.”
To sum : Buddhism could be a great way to action, to live and reduce misery, if not end it. But there is no truth in.
Personally, I find the Buddhist way a trifle too contradictory to something that I regard as non-negotiable : Life is; embrace it.
How is one to embrace life, if all of life and the world is nothing but misery ?
How does the anecdotal Buddha recommend joy, and advise us to enjoy our wealth but with offerings to others ?
Quote : “… a for-profit enterprise lives and breaths profit…its their oxygen… again its not the objective of a for-profit private enterprise to save the world or help the poor…”
Precisely, my point. It describes their world succinctly.
On the other hand, our world and our people
have nothing to do with it; we are not served
in the least by a capitalist’s profit.
We are served by enterprise, inventions,
innovations … not by private profits.
And “for-profit” capitalists are far from being
the only agents for change or at shooting
a new trail for us to take : Marx, Gandhi,
Luther King and Mandela were not.
Dr Norman Borlaug too was not one,
nor were the Curies.
In fact, the capitalist (and their profit) is redundant to our world and the people : it matters little whether they are there or not. They do employ people but most of it is exploitative; it yields money but leaves our people more physically sick, mentally choked and spiritually unhappy than they otherwise would have been.
Haven’t we heard of NikolaTesla ? Nobody has served the world and our people more than his inventions and
innovations in modern times.
And he did not give a damn to profits or creating wealth
You may read up Edison’s bio, for the contrast.
Similar is the story of the inventor of polio vaccine…
* * *
You say, you are shocked …
Well, it’s good if you are shocked into a glimpse of alternate reality — humanism, for us commoners amounting to 6 billion odd !
Rather than us not getting it, you seem pretty much history-blind and perspective-dumb. Let me explain :
1) Profit is not a bad word for me … it’s a necessity but not connected to the megalomania of the “capitalist.” It’s a business or organisation need, to pay for the cost of funding and operation partnerships, and to remain in business in future. That’s about it; nothing more … and surely not all that wealth accumulation romance that is driving more and aspirants crazy.
2) I don’t see why foregoing his royalty on intellectuall property from the least and less developed eonomies isn’t a much better, more efficient and direct proposition for Bill Gates than depriving them of its free use, collecting the royalty on a shrunk base, piling (hoarding) it up, and then issuing it in accord with his will and fancy as charity !
By foregoing his steep fees in perpetuity, the economies will be able to afford early tech-empowerment and surge faster into managing themselves better, usher in transparent governance and, in addition, enabling its people with all manner of direct and indirect spin-off products and services.
As for Gates, he’ll still be richer than 99.9% of earth’s population with returns from North America, Europe, Far East and sundry other economies with the ability to pay.
3) A compelling reason for foregoing tall piles of concentrated wealth in few hands is that it makes them unduly powerful, with their capacity to influence and make governments in accord with their wishes, and not for what govts are supposed to do — taking care of their land, resources and their people. These render democracies with oligarchical character, or to being subverted into the same plutocracy the world has overtly emerged out of.
That vulgar display of earthquake-proof Antila Mansion by Mukesh Ambani – 27 storeys for 5 people, is a case in point.
Did you notice how our Parliament and Legislatures have already been cast in their very image – 70% odd are crorepatis !
No, Parag, I will accept that it takes all kinds to make up this world, and the capitalist too has a place in it. But he isn’t someone who is aligned with what this world and its people need.
However, I wouldn’t want them to go extinct. But that’s only on account of my love for diversity !
Of Religion, Enlightenment and Liberation (Moksha) …
” It’s great to be born into religion but terrible to die in one.” ~ Swami Vivekananda
Religion has connotations :
To the historically aware in the West, it is dogmatic …
and has led to cramping of man’s urge for freedom, Inquisition, Crusades,
social hold to power by the clergy, priviledged heirarchy
of self-proclaimed God representativess … That’s a lot of history to beware of !
In India, on the #Sanatan way, religion has aimed for liberation, of absolute kind …
to freeing the individual of all books, limiting religious practices,
and every other hold on man’s spiritual expansion.
It’s all that man needs for his spiritual, mental and physical well-being !
Hence, “secularism” has a meaning in the Western context,
and our West inspired members of Constituent Assembly included it our constitution.
Indian courts of law have consistently deemed Hinduism to be non-religious, to being a way of life.
The word “secularism” has hence no meaning, no context in the #Sanatan way.
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures (forms) of light, but by making the darkness conscious. ~ Carl Jung
Secular enlightenment sets the human being up with knowledge,
intellectual insight – with humanity and humanism.
Spiritual enlightenment is the next level,
where the entire life and the whole existence is embraced.
Liberation, the summum bonum, is quite quite another …
– where the discrimination between mtl form and ego being is absolute and permanent.
– where the discrimination between mental form and witness being is absolute and permanent.
– where discrimination between spiritual form and pure consciousness is absolute and permanent.
* * *
I’m back to challenge this namby-pamby-ness … (in the Buddhist way of constant prayer to save oneself from the rough impacts of life on our being, cycles of peace and discontentment, agitation and calm, etc.)
One, the mind is agitated not only because of discontentment. Sometimes, life throws up a situation when we have fight for what seems just, or an event is rolling in to harm all that is dear to us … but this love for fake peace will forever throw us into a paralysis, when the need of the hour is that we deliberately allow power to flow into the mind and vitality, and wield it.
Two, even in the case of discontentment, when the mind is agitated, it is good … for that is how it will exhast itself. We only need to be awake while it happens. That capacity to remain wakeful is important, not a constant call for some imagined calm.
Life is … face it with strength, embrace it with love. Come what agitation, we must remain awake to make deliberate choices, love even the enemy we are fighting against, and live through the experience mindfully as it happens.
With that strength and capacity to discriminate, love and struggle, perhaps, life itself will sue for peace that we will gratefully accept with honour, while putting aside our guard and allowing relief to take over. One day … life itself will open the way to peace and contentment — in reality, not just in our wailing imagination.
That is the Sanatan way … as distinct from the Buddhist one.
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.
to raising consciousness right up to the start of Big Bang
and witnessing time and space evolve in form and faculty
What does our readiness to gain the mandate to change or transform mean, and involve ?
Since happiness is the very destination of our quest, we are duty-bound to orient ourselves individually to how it would best serve our own well-being and the common welfare.
Yet how do we proceed, what do we focus on ? Truth-realisation is fundamental to rise of long-scale wisdom, to avoiding that tread on which misery trails our good intentions.
The monotheistic religions have no concern with truth. What they seek is followership, the numbers in submission. Both Christianity and Islam abhor freedom of quest, without acceptance of their tenets that bar such curiosity in the first place, and definitely have no place for the challenging questions.
The Hindu has been fortunate : there is no regulator to pry into or question his individual quest. But the problem of diversity remains before the individual : what and which to pursue ?
In the Vishnu Purana, Lord Vishnu is highly eulogised and a secondary place is given to Lord Shiva. In the Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva is immensely praised whilst Lord Vishnu is assigned a secondary status. In the Devi Bhagavatam, the Divine Mother is given prominence over Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. All this is done in order to create in the aspirant an intense and unswerving faith in his own favourite Deity. It seems to be declaring : there is nothing that is not absolute; pursue precisely what suits you. All Deities are one; they are different aspects of the same truth. It is simply absurd to believe that the anthropomorphic Shiva is inferior to Vishnu, or vice versa.
In the same manner, in Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna praises Karma Yoga in one place : “The Yoga of action is superior to the renunciation of action”—V.2.
In another place, He praises Raja Yoga : “The Yogi is thought to be superior to the ascetics and even superior to men of knowledge; he is also superior to men of action. Therefore, be thou a Yogi, O Arjuna!”—VI.46.
In yet another place, Lord Krishna praises the path of Bhakti Yoga : “The highest Purusha, O Arjuna, is attainable by unswerving devotion to Him alone within whom all beings dwell and by whom all this is pervaded!”—VIII.22.
Again, He praises Jnana Yoga : “Noble indeed are all these; but I deem the wise man as My very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he is established in Me alone as the supreme goal”—VII.18.
But this embracing of diversity, primacy to individual nature and proclivity, becomes a cause for conflict to the linear, logical rationality of the thinking person. A beginner is confused when he comes across these seemingly contradictory verses. It is with some contemplation that we realise … Krishna is praising each path to the same Yoga in order to create interest in the aspirant in his own particular path, as it suits. The Gita is a book for the people of the world at large. It was not meant for Arjuna alone. Each Yoga is as efficacious as the other.
Attachment is due to infatuation. It is the offspring of the quality of Rajas. Detachment is born of Sattva. The former is relatively a demoniacal attribute, the latter a divine one. Attachment is born of ignorance, selfishness and passion and brings with it death; detachment is wisdom and brings with it freedom. The practice of detachment is a rigorous discipline. You may stumble like a baby who is just learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a cheerful heart. Failures are not stumbling-blocks but stepping stones to success.
Just as coloured dye stands out more clearly only when the original material is pure white, so also the instructions of a sage penetrate and settle down only in the hearts of aspirants whose minds are calm, who have no desire for enjoyments and whose impurities have been destroyed. For this reason an aspirant is expected to possess the qualifications of keen discrimination, dispassion, control of the mind and senses, and aversion to worldly attractions, before he can practise the three-fold Sadhana of hearing the scriptures, reflecting upon them, and meditating upon their significance. Discipline and purification of the mind and the senses are prerequisites for aspirants on the path of Truth-realisation.
Even when the nature of Truth is explained, those who have not been purged of their faults and impurities would either disbelieve or misbelieve it, as was the case with Indra and Virochana. Therefore knowledge, as it is, arises only in him who has purified himself by austerity, either in this life or in a previous birth. The man waiting for his libido to crank up will do just that.
Devils can also quote scriptures, as most people in the West and inspired ones in the East are doing. Unwittingly, they are following the Virochana school. They are evil-doing, deluded and the vilest of men. They cannot understand that there is no truth without freedom and diversity.
May Truth grant them a more subtle and purer intellect !
The highest unity is realised only upon embracing the diversity about us.
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.
This is a spin off from a discussion on the web … on God !
“Is this not an important part of the dynamic multidimensional mind …
Can you find nothing of value with meeting this view, at least as a challenge ?”
My response to the plea is that starting any discussion with God is a bad idea.
Perhaps, ending up at that would make for more sensible exchange.
Consider, what God can we really speak of while we know so little about ourselves ? Sharing personal experiences is fine because that would be on an informal and subjective matter. But to write something on stone would be premature without a clear perception in our truth, with which others can relate and which one can stand up and defend using commonly understood terms.
I do speak of bliss and the Self because they are in our experience and notion; it isn’t the same as speaking of God. Is God relevant to the dog sucking on the bone ? I am not sure if he is even aware of God, but it is plain that nobody in the entire universe is more pleased, fed and satisfied than a dog with a bone. And, like it, our senses need their respective objects to home in, not God as a hard, formal entity. Experience is a matter between the world and us, or us and ourself, subject to rules and laws, norm and order. And the Self is indisputably evident to each one of us.
When I broach bliss infinite, I also speak of zero identity, silence and love, and of the process to take ourself from being between the world and ourself, from sense and vanity, to love without object, to silence without thought. What remains is peace that I term as bliss infinite. So when people with vanity speak of God, I instantly choose to be counted with atheists.
It’s impossible to find someone without vanity ordinarily, much less hear him speak… of God. I am fortunate to have met one such and have heard him speak, when it was plain that he was referring to the all-inclusive truth supreme. The common skepticism at any mention of the over-individualised notion of “inner reality” is understandable. I mean, only an overly vain person would com-municate notions of the “inner” to the dog perched on his senses !
The dog is equally an individual and he ‘knows’ that all other individuals are no different. He would be right in wondering what the whole babble and brouhaha was all about. Almost all voluntary attempts by us at introspection are short-lived and prove to be more of fad or diversion, which make no difference to the individual’s spiritual content or moral perspective. Forced attempts, imposed by others, are worse.
There is something fateful or innate at work when the introspection abides for long, deepens with increasing withdrawal from material values, without loss of honesty. There is a surge of courage and quiet determination to live by one’s own accepted truths.
* * *
Dawkins was in Jaipur and I found his view a lot more balanced, less bigoted and militant. All knowledge or realisation must deal with morality. As an aside, that is my compelling argument against intellectual property rights. What damned “rights” on knowledge of any kind ? Or, why must we have to give references, when all of what we wish to say is ours, with us ? If it’s not, we shouldn’t be saying it anyway.
The formal aspect of Truth or truths is onerous. There are libraries out there where it goes dry. It is the informal one that I wish to put across : it is mine… and for that reason could be shared with everyone. That Truth is… my HOME, that which is truly me and mine, which I am, with which I can rest without fear, be absolutely free and fulfilled, which nothing in the whole universe can remove or distort. There is no other Truth than the one which is our Home.
This is no parable I’ve begun. People are spent on a ” home ” forthemselves. They build, buy, rent one for their body… a house or apartment, car or craft. But then the worst amongst us, who constitute the 99%, come to believe that the home they have so invested in is also the ”home” to their emotion, to their thought, their identity, and their happiness !
What is concurrent within us, the ego-person, is a build up and an intensification of vanity… which says : I possess; I win; I acquire; I am successful. It is all a matter of process that is normal to our drive and inevitable in our quest.
But, as surely as sure can be, it is vanity too that blocks our outgrowing, our evolution and progression into the true Home …
for our emotion – which is Love,
for our thought – which is Silence,
for our identity – which is Void, and
for our spirit – which is Bliss Infinite.
The vain phenomenon limits us to what we have, even as it automatically makes us pore over all that we do not have. Without liberating ourself from that acquisitive pitch, we can never give up our right to pride … and can hence never view people with Love or see things with Silence.
To my mind, these are the real aspects and issues to spirituality : Home of the Self and being Void of Vanity. I find these ideals more pertinent to my quest than God. It is these that will address the monstrous twists with which we reduce ourselves to the gutter.
I myself have experience with belief in God … the Hindu way, which posits that God is all there is in eveidence. It served to connect me better with others, the environment around, and with the wider universe. It topped up my capacity to accept life and its experiences, both happy and sad. It also shored up my ability to remain focused on whatever I had set for myself and fortified my moral strength through clarifying my values perspective.
But I’d fully appreciate if one did not believe in God and could still avail the stated capacity, ability and strength for himself.
* * *
Our monstrous idiot, Digvijay Singh of the Congress Party, says :
Can an individual be allowed to hurt the sentiments of the ”people ?”
My answer is a clear ” Yes,” provided the individual is true to himself in intent and the mode and manner is completely non–violent. I can visualise the Charvaka, the Jain, the Advaiti and the Buddhist … standing in the courtyard of a temple, before a Vaishnava shrine or any place of worship or congregation, professing their contrary beliefs without any physical obstruction or violent opposition.
That is the culture of this land from ancient times.
That is what we must all affirm today.
Freedom is above all the freedom of speech and expression… which must allow every person to say what the people do not want to hear, what they disagree with, and what they might find hurtful to their belief.
Of course, I repeat, with the caveat that the expression be accompanied with peace in mode and manner.