Guru Gobind Singh : Growing Up On Moments Of Truth

GURU TEG BAHADUR, The Ninth Guru,

Father Of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

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His is one of the grandest stories ever happened anywhere on earth, from the annals of Indian history… a real tale of transcendent courage in the cause of universal human values and rights, of unflinching compassion for the oppressed and the downtrodden, and of one man’s infinite commitment to his conviction of truth. My salutations… again and again…

“… Guru Teg Bahadur lapsed into deep thought after listening to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, some 500 hundred of whom led by Kripa Ram met the great warrior saint with woes of great suffering at loss of their freedom to keep faith and their religious beliefs. They pleaded for the Guru’s intervention with Emperor Aurangzeb to put a halt to this tyranny.”

The Guru knew that this was not a problem of Kashmiri pundits alone. Their cries of pain were screams of humanity all over the subcontinent under the hidebound and crude Islamist regime. Nor was it a mere political matter. Their calamitous misfortune was reflective of the senseless adversity which the entire Hindu society was groaning under. Nor was it a case of social repression or economic oppression. It signified a collective indignity that drew the lion in the Sikh Guru to the fore. It was a moment of truth, an issue that concerned the very future of humanity, in the way people of the land would live and believe, look upon themselves and their fellowmen, through centuries to come !

When the Guru emerged from his reverie, his face shone bright as the sun. The call of duty was upon him, and the ringing of truth was clear in his heart. The entire might of the bigoted savagery of the Mughal Emperor had to be opposed, here and now. The Guru’s son, Gobind Rai, barely nine year old, was seated close to him. He asked the Guru about the cause that had sent him into such deep contemplation. The Guru cheerfully told his inquisitive son that there was need of sacrifice from a great man, someone exceptionally holy, for protecting the Hindu society from its misfortune. Gobind Rai, who was brought up in the same spirit of universal love and spiritual regeneration, instantly suggested, “Father, who else is greater than you ?” It sealed the Guru’s steel resolve.

The Background

Guru Teg Bahadur, the son of the sixth Sikh Guru, was anointed the ninth in line in the year 1665 AD. As was the custom since Guru Har Gobind, the Guru kept a splendid lifestyle. He had his royal attire, armed attendants and a seat to suit when holding court. He himself led an austere life and there is no historical mention of any conflict or clash with powers ruling during his lifetime. He travelled a lot to different parts of the country, including Dacca and Assam, to preach the teachings of Guru Nanak and resolve conflicts between neighbouring states when invited. It was during one of these tours, in 1666, that Gobind Rai was born.

These were one of the worst of times in Indian history, when people were driven to the very pits of despair. Four years through his “padshahi”, Guru Teg Bahadur was informed of Emperor Auragzeb’s general decree, authorising and charging every State official of note with the ‘pious’ duty of demolishing all native places of worship and education, converting as many of them into mosques, and prosecuting the persistent non – believers as if they were “persona non grata.” After Aurangzeb’s 1669 order to demolish non-Muslim temples and schools, a Sikh temple at Buriya was converted into a mosque, which the Sikhs then demolished. The Emperor visited Punjab in 1674, and his officials forced many people to convert to Islam. The Guru gave a call to Sikhs everywhere to withstand these persecutions.

Aurangzeb was a terror even to his co-religionists and members of his own family. He had imprisoned his sister and his father, Shah Jahan, and had all his brothers murdered to become an unrivalled authority unto himself. Perhaps to wash his sins in his own eye, he presented himself to the people as being a good Muslim, offering prayers five times a day, leading a simple and frugal life, and defering to the advice and ruling of the Islamic clergy, who thence endeavoured to bestow on him his very elusive ‘peace of mind.’ He sent gifts to rulers of Mecca and Medina in 1659. That year he appointed a muhtasib as a censor to enforce Islamic laws. His main advisors became the chief judge (qazi) and supervisor of ‘pious’ charity. In 1672, he took back all grants that had been given to Hindus. In his zeal to reinforce the ‘pious Muslim’ face in public, he sought to please the fanatic Islamists by converting the native non-believers, especially Hindus, through making their keeping of faith impossible, prohibitive and fatal. His method of measuring the success of his ‘conversion program’ was to weigh the sacred thread worn by Hindus, a “maund” of which would imply that about 7000 of them had been either converted or killed

With major centers of learning then, Kashmir was governed by a liberal Subedar, Mir Ahmed Khan, who restricted his administrative machinery to maintaining law and order and implementing the taxation policy of the State. The smooth functioning however was soon disrupted by an overzealous Islamist, Muhata Khan, who was a powerful Islamic scholar of repute. The latter had been sidelined by the coterie whom the brutal Emperor courted, and was hence in dire need of establishing his ‘holier than thou’ upmanship over others in order to tide over his discontentment and regain the Emperor’s favour.

Muhata Khan submitted to the Subedar of Kashmir a list of measures the State must take to penalise, indignify and pauperise the Kashmiri pundits. He was bitterly critical about the liberal policies of Subedar Mir Ahmed Khan and his treatment of the Hindus. He had made it clear that any avenue or opportunity available to the Hindus, to advance and progress their lot, was unacceptable.

Muhata Khan’s charter of demands included the following :

Hindus should not be allowed to ride a horse; not permitted to wear the “jama” (a type of Mughal dress); not keep, carry or handle any kind of weapon; not visit the public gardens; be barred from wearing vermillion (Tilak) on their forehead; and their wards should not be receive education of any kind.

The Subedar Mir Ahmed Khan refused to entertain any of the proposals submitted by Muhata Khan. He instructed Muhata Khan to keep his distance from affairs of the State in Kashmir.

Attack On Hindu Function

But Muhata Khan decided to have his way, by taking the law in his own hands. He set up a centre in a mosque for carrying out his plan. He incited people, who used to come for Namaz, and exhorted them to remain steadfast on tenets and proclamations of Islam, and to bring the Hindu idol worshippers within the ambit of declared Islamic policies of the Emperor. He roused a following of Muslim youth with his discourses, and raised a group of young men who were ready to to do his bidding. Muhata Khan issued instructions for implementing the resolutions he had submitted to the Subedar. As a result, any Hindu found with Tilak on his forehead was mauled badly, even killed, his home vandalised and women folk abducted, molested and raped. The Hindu could no longer ride horses, a speedy means of transport in those days. And he could hardly carry on with his trade or profession, or official duties of the State, without being presentable enough in a decent dress !

An attack on a well-known trader, Majlis Rai Chopra, took a historical turn. Majlis Rai had arranged for community luncheon in connection with a religious function, to which thousands came. While they were having their lunch in a garden, Muhata Khan, with a band of bigots, attacked them with weapons. Majlis Rai managed to escape and took shelter in the house of Mir Ahmed Shah. But that house too was srounded and picketed by the blood-thirsty rowdies. Mir Ahmed Khan made good his escape by a secret door and took refuge in the nearby cantonment. He waged a battle against Muhata Khan with the help of a company of troops, but was defeated. Muhata Khan arrested and jailed the Subedar, denouncing him as a Hindu supporter, and took over the powers of the State.

Majlis Rai was mercilessly killed and all his property was confiscated. It was followed by many more instances of shameless atrocities on the Hindu community in Kashmir. The new Subedar of Kashmir, Iftikhar Khan, took to the task of forcibly converting the Hindu population to Islam by the sword. The Hindu Brahmin Pandits of Kashmir were among the most learned and orthodox of Hindus and Aurangzeb felt that if they could be brought to accept Islam the rest of the country would easily follow. He decided to strike at their exalted identity by barring the practice of wearing tilak (holy mark on the forehead) or janaeu (sacred thread). There was turmoil among Kashmiri pundits and their families lived in fear of their lives. They bore an ultimatum upon their head : convert or die.

In that conspired atmosphere of terror, many Hindus gave in and were converted to Islam. Among the rest was Pundit Kripa Ram, who had met the Guru several times. He led the pundits to the assuring sanctuary of the Sikh Guru, Teg Bahadur, whose very name meant, “Brave of the Sword.” Pandit Kirpa Ram Datt would later become the Sanskrit teacher of Guru Gobind Singh and eventually a Khalsa, and would die fighting in the battle of Chamkaur against Mughal forces led by Wazir Khan.

The Guru Stands Tall

And Proves Heavier Than A Mountain…

The Guru soon appointed his son, Gobind Rai, as the tenth Guru of Sikhs and thus addressed the Pandits, “Go, my esteemed friends, and tell the Emperor that if he can cause Guru Tegh Bahadar to change his faith and accept Islam, you will all follow suit in his footsteps. If not, he should leave you alone.”

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The Pandits rejoiced at the resolution and duly informed Emperor Aurangzeb of the decision. Aurangzeb was delighted with the reduced task of having to convert just one person in order to obtain the cooperation of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs, and the way to bring millions of willing infidels into the folds of Islam. He summoned his officers to arrest Guru Tegh Bahadar and present him in the royal court.

Meanwhile, the Guru left Anandpur Sahib with Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Dyala and Bhai Sati Das, to seek an audience in Mughal court. He was arrested soon after on the way and brought to Delhi in chains. In the royal court, reminiscent of Jesus’ interrogation by the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate, Aurangzeb asked him why he was hailed as the Guru or the Prophet, addressed as the ‘Saccha Padshah’ or the True King. The argument between Guru Teg Bahadur and the Emperor went on for days. Finally, the Emperor posed to the Guru the plain course, and his Islamist sycophants echoed in unison : “ If you really are the One, as addressed, perform a miracle for us to believe the truth.”

Guru Tegh Bahadur was unmoved and in fact reprimanded the Emperor for his blind orthodoxy and his persecution of people of other faiths. He said, “Hinduism may not be my faith, and I may not believe in the supremacy of Vedas or the Brahmins, nor in idol worship or caste, in pilgrimage or other rituals, but I would stand for the right of all Hindus to live with honour and dignity, and freedom to practice their faith according to their own beliefs.” The Guru further suggested : ” Every ruler of the world must pass away but not the Word of God, which will not, nor would the Saint who holds it in heart. This is how people call me a “ True King “ and that is why they have done so through two preceding centuries, in respect of my “ House “ and also in respect of all those others who came before and identified themselves not with the temporal and the contingent, but with the eternal and the immortal.”

The Guru refused to perform any miracle, saying, “this is the work of charlatans and mountebanks to hoodwink the people. Men of God submit ever to the Will of God.” Guru Tegh Bahadur refused to embrace Islam, saying “For me, there is only one religion – of God – and whosoever belongs to it, be he a Hindu or a Muslim, him I own and he owns me. I neither convert others by force, nor submit to force. I will not change my faith.”

Aurangzeb was enraged and ordered Guru Tegh Bahadur to be forced to accept Islam as his faith through torture, or be killed. It led to a period of great cruelty on Guru Teg Bahadur’s body, and of his colleagues. The Guru and his companions were tied to hot pillars and heated sand was poured over their bodies, which were scalded and covered with wounds. The torment, in some form or other, became a routine. Guru Tegh Bahadur was kept in an iron cage and starved for many days. When even the intolerable pain and physical afflictions heaped on them proved ineffective, orders were issued to kill each, one after the other for appropriate effect.

The Fatwa or decree of the Royal Qazi specified the precise manner in which the life of each one was to be taken, with maximum brutality : Bhai Dayal was to be thrown in a boiling pot; Bhai Sati Das, to be packed in a bale of cotton and set ablaze; and, Bhai Mati Das to be sawed into two. The Guru was made to watch as Bhai Mati Das, the devoted Sikh, was tied between two pillars and his body sawed into two, as Bhai Dayal was boiled alive in a cauldron of heated water until he died, and, as Bhai Sati Das was wrapped in cotton wool and set on fire.

The Guru bore these cruelties without flinching or showing any anger or distress. Finally, having put these orders into effect, Guru Teg Bahadur was publicly beheaded on November 11, 1675. Before his head was severed from the body, the Guru had enough to recite the first five lines of the sacred book, Japuji.

The Gurus body was left to lie in dust, in Chandni Chowk, the area right in front of the Red Fort, where no one dared to approach for fear of the Emperor’s reprisal. But a severe storm swept through the city and, while it raged, a Sikh named Bhai Jaita managed to collect the Guru’s sacred head under the cover of darkness. He brought the Guru’s precious remain to Anandpur Sahib, where Guru Gobind waited for the latest to happen. Another Sikh, Bhai Lakhi Shah, smuggled the Guru’s headless body in a cart and brought it to his house nearby, where the Gurudwara Rakabganj today stands. Since a public funeral would have been impossible, Bhai Lakhi Shah cremated the body by setting the entire house on fire !

GURU GOBIND SINGH

At Anandpur Sahib, on November 16, 1675, the young Guru Gobind Singh and the grief stricken widow, Mata Gujari, placed the late Guru’s “head” on a pyre of sandalwood, covered it with roses. Guru Gobind lit the pyre to complete the cremation rites of the departed saint

Never before in the annals of history, or after, has a religious head of one faith stood so tall and heavily steadfast, as to sacrificed his own life, for the sake of another religion, for their rights and freedoms.

Thus ended the mortal saga of the Ninth Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur. It was the unforgettable legacy in the heritage of the Tenth Guru : Govind Singh Ji.

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Action : Rubbing Firestones

Action, its need, gathers the self to a point. In its absence, the moment diffuses without meaning. BhagvadGita, the celestial Sanskrit poem, lauds the man absorbed in his quest for knowledge but is more partial towards those who do not shirk from doing what needs to be done. That is because, for one awake and aware, the need for action grounds the body and mind, the factors involved cause the mind to spread into the environment, to analyse and assess, and the concern for making our action meaningful reflects the controls we require over our self. It is a complex thing, without doubt, made even more so if we are to avoid the imagined superpositions from the real face of how our action is to work.

All action needs the will for action. But if action is to like rubbing of firestones, to cause an illuminating fire in darkness, the will for action must be cultured, elevated from its bed in emotion to one flowing from our understanding of our need for action, its factors and process-bound consequence. Our action must first be in our mind, in the light of what we know, what we believe and what we understand.

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Finally, the will for action must strengthen in our breath, which must have the capacity for fire, now simmering and still and then moving in the light summoned within, as needed. The nurturing of will is in effect the culturing of our elan vital, the life force strummed and tightened with our breath, to ready ourselves for the act.

The capacity we build and possess is more valuable than our action. It makes things happen both without and within.

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Mistakes : Correction And Punishment

Mistakes are common facts. Everyone commits them, be one pauper or king. The wise have the knowledge and experience to have learnt from them; the ignorant repeats them. We each may expect our next one sooner than the time we’ve spent regarding a mistake by another.

Mistakes have consequences; otherwise, they wouldn’t be categorised as such. They injure our time, effort, money, body or soul, more or less, and are notoriously repetitive if unchecked. Therefore, it is rational that they be corrected, learnt from, and not repeated. It means that mistakes, and our learning from them, need to be remembered.

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The liberal theory is that punishment is unnecessary to a mistake; we just need to correct it. It is widely propagated that punishments inflict a psychological trauma. That isn’t true, we’ll soon dwell on why. The debilitating effects of extreme punishment, such as was rigorously enforced by medieval Christian institutions everywhere, is fairly well documented. We only have to refer to historical reports and gory tales of “Inquisition” tribunals in Europe and colonised countries… Joyce brings that out well and Dickens follows its social pervasiveness in their respective works.

But punishments aren’t extreme in unregimented societies, such as it prevailed among Hindus, in India and it’s diaspora, except as excesses committed by individuals because of personal suffering or failure. There are graded punishments that parents and teachers are allowed in the process of correcting one’s mistakes and impressing the experience package in memory, so as not to repeat the same mistake in future.

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This introduces a vast consideration in our understanding : all punishments are not traumatic; only extreme, loveless ones are. I remember, one of the first serious punishment I would suffer for my transgressions in childhood : withdrawal of love. It would torment me, prompting prolonged introspection and bringing up that clarity and resolve to correct and remember. It would be elevated to corporal kind only rarely, when it was established even in my realisation that I had been blunderous or had repeated the same too many times.

I hope Child Welfare authorities in Europe, especially Scandinavia, read up this blogpost and desist from treating cultured child raising norms in Indian immigrant families with their own “evolved” socialist christian values.

Christian Offensive In India

A Christian, 30 years in India, writes…

“… If ever there was persecution, it was of the Hindus at the hands of Christians, who were actually welcomed in this country, as they have been welcomed in no other place on this planet. Indeed, the first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians, was established in Kerala in the first century; they were able to live in peace and practice their religion freely, even imbibing some of the local Hindu customs, until the Jesuits came in the 16th century and told them it was ‘heathen’ to have anything to do with the Hindus, thereby breaking the Syrian Church in two…”

Truth Within, Shines Without

Will Hinduism survive the present Christian offensive ?

Text Source : http://www.rediff.com/news/2000/oct/25franc.htm

When Prime Minister Vajpayee was in the US in September, the National Association of Asian Christians in the US (whom nobody had heard about before), paid $ 50,000 to the New York Times to publish ‘an Open Letter to the Hon’ble Atal Bihari Vajpayee, prime minister of India.’

While ‘warmly welcoming the PM,’ the NAAIC expressed deep concern about the ‘persecution’ of Christians in India by ‘extremist’ (meaning Hindu) groups, mentioning as examples ‘the priest, missionaries and church workers who have been murdered,’ the nuns ‘raped,’ and the potential enacting of conversion laws, which would make ‘genuine’ conversions illegal. The letter concluded by saying ‘that Christians in India today live in fear.’

The whole affair was an embarrassment (as it was intended to be) to Mr Vajpayee and the Indian delegation, which had come to prod American…

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Notes India : My FB Page

Seems like yesterday when I’d celebrated this page-community of 200+ …
It’s now 300+. Happy Me.

Thank you, dear members, for your interest and support. Reminds me of the origin when I’d thought of putting up a pagefull of reads for just five interested readers !

To All My Friends On WP Or G+ …
— Please visit the curated page on Facebook. Click Here.

— Suggest fine content writes, poems, photo features I could reblog or post on the FB page.

Happy Holidays !

Journal : Into The Winter Season

It is difficult to encapsulate my feel of the moment this early December evening except perhaps in images, each emblematic of long narration behind them : a spearheading Modi disrupting India multidimensionally, a Trump making Americans feel collosally stupid, a burning Middle East, a flexing China and crouching Russia, pouting Europe, clearing Africa, sliding Latin America, grasping Japan and a clutching, sputtering and misfiring, Pakistan.

There is a small window of gray before darkness descends on the moment. The TV screen lights up in its forlorn corner while the woman grates veggies for dinner and the young man, just in from work, munches over baked potato twirls. The crassy emptiness of the image threatens to smother another, more real, within. Will it; won’t it ?

Images in sight and images in heart. Images with one image. One versus many images. Until the writer intervenes to develop a third, the philosophical one, occasioned but absorbing of all that select themselves in the process. Such as we have in The Fall, crafted by Albert Camus. There is a narration that is almost intellectual, in there. But wouldn’t you agree, the most powerful were those objective images in its backdrop ? The shops in fleamarket, the restaurant frequented by sailors, the foggy pathways by the canals, the sea and the shiphorns. And those images of mankind. And that one which Jean Baptiste Clemence carries of himself, in his heart. And, finally, the one he’s hung in his closet, of the presiding judges.

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It isn’t just this one work, dominated by circular images. I am reminded of Camus’ other works well : The Outsider, with a linear trail, and The Plague, which has both straights and eddies. In fact, there isn’t a single writer of eminence who hasn’t penned his own take of images before and within himself. All of whom, of which, I recall.


Speaking of images, the soft power of a country lies in its current consistency with its heritage, traditions and views on globally important issues. In the US, where the term was formed, softpower was defined as the ability of a country to persuade others to do what it wants without resorting to force or coercion.

I do not agree with this hard Harvardian definition, “to persuade others to do what it wants.” I find softpower in the nature of appeal … the way a life issue, a nourishment then in people’s want, resolves itself through autoselection of one geospecific practice, example or offering, amongst more than one choices before the globally aware individual. However, thoughts on the matter clarify with what the experts elaborate : Soft power lies in a country’s attractiveness culturally, politically as it plays out within it, and by the legitimacy and moral appeal of its international policies.

India is not the biggest tourist destination on planet earth. Its people are not best known for keeping their environment clean, as perhaps Europe does. Its rural communities are not as alive as depicted in Fiddler On The Roof. It does not have noodles and the range of non-veg cuisines, easily handled with spoon and fork, as the Chinese or the Japanese can rustle up. Nor does it have a showcase of technology and infrastructure of everyday use.

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What India has is an antiquity rich with civilisation, an unbroken line of examples in inner courage, uniquely developed spiritual sciences and native medical knowledge, a truly chaotic rainbow nation that still makes sense together, regional diversities that emerge every 100 miles any which way, a plethora of “pagan” beliefs that have gone under or virtually vanished elsewhere, a history marked with longest dark age, a milling population that still breathes hope over myriad deities, each sensed here and now, a riotous range of languages, festivities, dialects, sartorial colours, cuisines largely vegetarian, and an adaptive way-of-life compass that corrects itself without much intellectual discourse.

Today, India is not only the birthplace of all extant panentheist and atheist religions, it is hegemonistically speaking the least aggressive powerhouse nation on earth. Since millennia, it has been home to persecuted refugees from far off lands — Jews from Syria and Parsis from Iran — and a potboil of people with every racial hue. It is a country that is willing to pay in order to maintain the diversities on its bosom. And, above all, it has the genes to check the religious regimentation that Christianity and Islam bring in their wake.

Freedom, in India, is the very warp and woof of a common man’s life : in the way he survives, celebrates, and protests.

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Hindu — The Word

#Hindu — the word — is identifying of us, the mainstream people of India. It is a hard identity only while facing the political, predatory, spiritually cipher Abrahamic religions — Christianity and Islam. Events in India’s thousand year long past, reinforced in the present, has convinced us that indiscriminate, soft, embracing sense for other belief systems is misplaced and self destructive.

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Hindu — the word — is not a particular hard descriptor otherwise. That indescribable fluidity is still etched in how we accept ourselves regardless of the apparent strangeness we present amongst us on account of diversity in evidence — languages, deities, clothes, food and rituals. This acceptance of differences in ways of life is not intellectual but found on an inalienable softness built into inner structures that form our very being as individual people.

Hindu — the word — is hence more enigmatic, wonderfully undefined but pregnant with meanings, than any other I have come across. Which, of course, is transcendental to how the word is regarded by linguists : as an adaptation of Sindhu, the River Indus in the north west of the country.

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America, The Idea Liberals Puff Up

“For those Americans—Democrats and Republicans—who cherish America’s global role as a beacon of freedom and democracy, a Trump presidency presents a clear and present danger. Leaders in both parties must meet this challenge head-on before Mr. Trump irreparably damages our cause.”

So, the WSJ carries. That the writer is personally anti-Trump, in thought or pathology, would not have arrested my surf on web. It is this idea projected on America, as beacon of freedom and democracy, that reminded me for long how the US bedded dictators and junta rulers everywhere, how it fomented trouble in sovereign countries and caused utter disasters on account of the liberal “mission,” not unlike the missionaries who take on the “white man’s burden” and leave people in superstition, ignorance and colonised.

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The US — America — turned into a big dog international bully under that unbridled mantle of beaconous ideology, which was misused and worse by its delusioned champions. It seeded intentions divorced from reality, from the fraternity common amongst equals, the friendliness and humility we bear for people in various climes and polity, who are the same striving and aspirational but appear and seem so different. America, if it had not ideologically tippled over, would have gathered the world around itself.

I hope the Trump presidency will keep America on real grounds and not be rushed by slogan shouting in its streets, media, or in invitations from politicking opportunists abroad.

#Demonetisation To Several Cures

It’s an angry post directed against economic thiefs and robbers, and those who peddle counterfiets to finance deadly disturbances to impede propagation of law and order in society.

What does a physician do to a patient that refuses the cure and instead prefers to leaps for indulgences that would fatally harm him ? What if a few of such patients group together, grow loud and prevent dispensing medication to very many who understand their situation and the need for bitter, even painful, antidotes ?

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All naysayers a la MMS, and the paw-pawing politicians materially affected by current note ban, are speaking of its impact on the economy and on us citizens. But do they even understand the negative impact of black or fake currency on our lives, on our economy and national security, against which the demonetisation decision has been taken :

One, an economy with large parallel economy preferentially serves those with unaccounted cash, who have stolen from the Treasury and not paid for their share of use of public sevices and infrastructore; they warp and skew the marketplace, that is every sector of industry, to their own favour, against the interest of common people.

In addition, large concentrations of such stash pose give their holders inconceivable and unpredictable power to pose threats to national security and manipulate the market, cause stampede, cheapen the value of money owned by honest earners, fund disruptions, etc.

Two, the impact of fakes and counterfiets in promoting terror and maoist activities is all too clear : Kashmir is peaceful, 98% attended their school exams, maoist surrender in hordes… All leading to fewer loss of lives of our citizens working for our security.

Will the naysayers quantify the value of all those lives saved ? How much does it mean, in their estimate, to have order and development prevail once again in all the “disturbed” areas marked by mayhem, rape and murder ? What is the value of reinstating honest values and ethical standards in our societies everywhere ?

Those who oppose PM Modi’s note ban announcement made on Nov 8 must answer these questions before they understand the full value and base imperatives behind the decision. It only thereafter that merits of this radical promulgation, to demonetise higher currencies, can be weighed.

Demonetisation, after 70 years of misrule, half-hearted administration and rank corruption, is truly of a kind at this point in the history of our young nation : One Measure, Several Essential Cures. The difficulty and inconvenience, some factual much pedalled, is small small price to pay for us citizens to have a more secure nation, less manipulated markets, uniform and honest value of money in marketplaces all over, restoration and propagation of mainstream values and ethics, promotion of cashless society and availability of factual data for administering our nation and economy.

But do these ill motivated and misguided ignorants even get it ?

Be Glad To Follow…

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Not Meanings But Truth

We are used to decoding meanings from anything we see, read or hear. What does it mean to, and for, us ?That is the question which pops up within, in respect of the thing that comes to hover in our attention.

Yet, however profound the meaning we are capable of forming or extracting, that is not the intended end of statements compiled in the Upanishads. They each state the truth, or fact when it is less fundamental to our reality.

We are free to think and contemplate over the meaning of a particular expression in an Upanishad. Indeed, the book encourages us to do so. But that isn’t the accomplishment they ask us to rest on. It is “nidhidhyasan,” realisation of the truth, real and palpable, here and now.

Let me illustrate with an instance :

    Mundaka Up. Verse 3.1.1

द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वृक्षं परिषस्वजाते ।
तयोरन्यः पिप्पलं स्वाद्वत्त्यनश्नन्नन्यो अभिचाकशीति ॥ १ ॥

Freely translated, it states :

Two identical birds, companions inseparable and eternal, perch on the very same tree.

One hops successively, partaking the differently flavoured fruits sour, bitter or sweet.

The other sits unmoved, witnessing, and eats not.

That is what forms as we read the verse. Now, the literal must lead to what it means to us, in accord with the context. The vivid imagery allows us to think of the individual self and the supreme self as two birds, a duo inseparable and eternal, it is impressed on the reading and contemplating self. The self couple are described as perched to the same world particular to the individual being.

As a statement not encountered elsewhere or otherwise, the pondering self has not only found it but has also arrived at its correct, literal and consistent meaning. Under the circumstance, then, it is easy to understand how we would feel flooded with this sense of profundity, upon the rise of the discovered meaning of the verse.

But that profound sense of the Upanishad statement, though correct and encouraged, is only a mirage reflecting in the intellect of the person compared to the transcendent, transforming truth embedded in the Upanishad verse. It states the real, the self as it actually is in the mind-body complex devolved in its world. It is that — the self duo — which is to be known first hand and be perceived directly by us, palpably, within this very individual being — the tree — we are.

In other words, the intellectual, profoundly seeming meaning is a trap. It is the truth, expressed in the verse, that must be witnessed, must become real.

Y I Rooted For Trump

All along, when the mainstream media was plastering headlines of a landslide Hillary Clinton victory, I had rooted for Donal Trump, less at first for his positive than in clear opposition to who the challenging candidate was and what she represented.

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A virulently anti–Trump thought–holder voiced in an online post, post-Hillary-defeat, that seems almost calamity-calling and expressive of deep wounds the Trump win has caused among some people.

No, I know the online friend is a liberal and has been against Trump for the “values” that the man, and his then unlikely Presidency, seemed to deny. The fears my friend now voiced were expected, again on account of loss of the same enlightenment values he sincerely champions.

I believed that the real issues before the American people, the fears they held, could not be addressed by a candidate who was a huge part of the problem, a leading figure in all that had caused them in the first place :

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Well, post Trump win, I hold no fears, at least not any more than any Presidency might draw. Trump is no butcher, a rape wave raising debauch. There are the same controls and checks he will have to face, even from within his ownparty. I am so sorry that institutions like FBI proved so easy to corrupt and manipulate, as pre-election events did prove. But the laws of the land are still there, firm and clear as ever.

Apart from the routine (State policies are not changed by a single man in the US, even if he is the POTUS), Trump holds the most promise to disrupt the status quo. That’s my sincere belief. I like the fact that he questioned the slow growth rate of US economy. That’s the reality closer to American people than all the fiberal narrative peddled by MSM, through their sponsored and, if I may unreservedly say, corrupt covering of the sins of Her Masters Voice.

I hope Trump kickstarts US attention to real issues, matters close to real people, and find solutions to the problems now staring into the faces of the people and the United States of America.

Let’s get down to the real world than manipulative abstracts, lip served for selfish ends for long.

Hip Up, World, Let’s Get Real !

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The Self Rises To Where It Ever Was

It sure seems a paradox — that definitive rise of being at the same place ? What and from where ? To where all and how ? It appears to violate all laws of natural science and forces us conjure several alternate, creative models in mathemagical terms such as the theory of relativity, and its rather bizarre conclusions, once demanded of us, and pondering over the origin and constitutional nature of our universe still forces.

Re-reading the above paragraph, it is dense even for me to comprehend. So, to communicate this inner sight of self-free over the self-in-action during samadhi — self in yogic bliss, I will come back to yogic terminologies proper.

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The Mool centre glows white as our forever anchor, the Svadhishthan self-disssatisfaction centre is quenched cipher, and the Naval Prana centres with Vyana, in volumetric expansion and stable dilatory cycle, beyond the linear rise and descent of Prana and Apana, and even beyond their fleeting concurrence in the Heart.

In that configuration of inner forces, awakened and in sight, the top three are open, the unmoving Vishuddha blinking to long dilatory cycles, the Aagya lit wide from between the brow, holding the inner vision itself, and the self-free looking over this wondrous self-in-action, the backend of the individual being which remains commonly veiled to the materially grappling, selfishly grasping and spiritually gasping person-in-the-world.

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This then is the yogic bliss in that stable, absorbingly felt vision : self-free over the self-in-action. This self-free is forever the witness, reflecting in the intellect and causing self conflictions perceived as our conscience. As for the self-in-action we are, immersed in the world, it is commonly centred in the gray Svadhisthan streaming rising dissatisfaction and fleeting contentment, and corresponding emotional webs with their own wills into which the individual self arrestingly cascades. In between, it has thoughts and ideas, few of which he then delights in and one or two he may commit to in the short term. Long term committments are rare, extremely rare, to this individual self.

The whole of these observations must considered as personal, as they are in my own experience.

Yet wasn’t I collating and witnessing the Being and its Self ? As they are. In me.

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Sun : The Primordial Face Of Being

I am awake when the alarm started unusually early. It was also rare that mylady promptly heeded the iterating calls of her smartphone. Up and about she was, without that mandatory curled up, pillow smooching delay until the sexond call beckoned exactly half hour later. The voice was still laden with sleep; but the wakefullness was smiling bright. She was off to the first offering to the rising Sun God, this day in the  early morning, which will be followed by the second offering later the same day, in the evening, to the setting Sun.

I reckon this to be the oldest worship man ever perfomed : to the most primordial face of Being — the Sun. The spirit is “pagan” … from the preparatory, deep felt purity the performers beckoned from within themselves, to the rituals readying the body for one of the most ardent of fasts they kept on several such festive occasions through the year, filling carefully their offering basket with  fruits and special cookies, carrying these on head to river bank, or canal or reservoir as might be nearest, and waiting knee deep in the water … for Sun to rise. Along the way, the women, always in a group would sing… Nothing fancy, arty or literary, but melodiously about their very going, specially in praise of their male members who usually carry the heavy offering baskets, and of the Sun… whose face they would especially behold.

It’s a day I vividly remember from my childhood days when we brothers will lead the way, ahead or surrounded by the group of females singing melodiously right through until we reached the thronging location, by the lockgate on a canal that meandered from River Sone, a tributary of River Ganga, on to Gana itself.

It’s past seven… The worship would be shortly over and the lot would be back. They who’ve kept fast (nobody who hasn’t is a worshiper proper) would rest. Many would resume at the daily household chores, devoted and praying, and humming melodiously. Groups will again converge about ten hours later, for evening repeat, accompanied with much joy and blowing of conch shells.

The fast however would be broken in the morning next.

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Oh, Why , Why Support Trump ?

This is a rant in New York Times that is pretty informative and interesting. It lays out well illustrated “truth vs lies” thesis only to lament, “Why, why do people still support Trump ?”

That is mystery, unacceptable mystery behind this now open fact : Trump has support of the American people. But why, when he lies 3 times more than Hillary, he’s already an announced groper, and is an obnoxious personality with a bundle of ill-considered views on very important American policies and matters of grave consequence for both the US and the world.

My answer to this indecipherable “why” is that the common American senses that he can do it. What ? What can he…do ?

In a word : disrupt.

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Trump can disrupt the elites now ruling America and their opaque elitist ways. The American people want to disrupt the manner in which they have so far been governed, the way their lives and their economic environment has been managed, and the way American democratic and transparency institutions have been subverted to serve self not-people interests.

The unraveling email dumps have only confirmed the muck the people of this country has been covered with by just a few, who have persistently pursued their personal interests and their political warchests from huge special interest funds that seek persons in power to do their bidding. The current President Obabama has done that right through his two. The grant of amnesty to Monsanto, support to barbaric Saudi govt, Libya tragedy and fiasco, regime change goals in Syria, double speak on Iran, Ukraine potboil and breakdown of relations in Russia, approval of oil pipeline in complete disregard to Native American sentiments, persecuting whistleblowers of what is all that wrong with the US Govt over the decades… to name a few.

Donald Trump’s actions and views, and his frontal demeanor, seems to say to the American people that he can disrupt the opaqueness in both the government and the Republican party he is a nominee of. That would be a huge beginning. The fact that he funded his relatively small electoral campaign expense majorly with his own money adds to his uninfluenced persona and credibility.

That is what the Americal people want, at this stage. Nothing less, not all the political correctness and think tank word gymnastics. Not any more any of this facade of facetious anouncements in journalistic dailies and 24 hour radio and brodcasting channels anchored by greatly applauded minds. Not the deviousness, cunning, and myriad dubious special interest obligations, which takes the governance away from focus on people issues and twists it all into the same entrenched labyrinthine arteries of dark corruption.

No sir, no madam, the American people are sick and tired of these duplicitous governance ways that fills all their holes with hopes that do not materialise, that only make their own lives worse while the elites shine with more bubble.. No, not any more of this that just does not deliver.

That is what Trump, the off the cuff guy, promises to disrupt.

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Clarifying Secularism, For Nth Time

When the nation’s Apex Court says, #secularism is not aloofness from religion, it misses both the tree and the forest because it is following the muddled up wheel-ruts to the meaning of the word.

Historically developed in Christian world, which saw a centuries long war between the Papal Authority and the local chief or king, SECULARISM was indeed coined to enforce an aloofness of the State from religion.

It is another matter that it also led, especially in modern decades, to atheism — a totally religion neutral personal belief system — voluntarily embraced by hundreds of millions in the same Christian world.

In India, SecuralisM as an ideology was championed mostly by communist ideologues drawing inspiration from Russia and China. It spawned left aligned artists, scientists, commited avant garde niche, people movements and criminal antinationalists, maoists, and people who advocated fence squat openness, doughting thomases, and a whole bunch of disaffected materialists content with fime food, good wine ang long empty speeches.

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Alongside, secularism was political espoused for vote bank formation through minority appeasement, fanning spurious fears and hardening minority identities that led to social rife, incidental and convenient opportunism, and rank anti mainstream.

That is where we are.

That is from where the Supreme Court could have used the opportunity to clarify and simplify jarring, politically much-milked issues like :

— State Haj subsidy,

— RTE and Hindu Temple Endowment Act that discriminates between mainstream and minority institutions,

— constricted public freedom in major minority dominated areas within the Republic,

— state administration policies that look away from festive rioting by particular vote bank communities, as it happens in WBengal, Kerala, Bihar, UP and UK.

Your Lordships !
It is the State administration, public policies, and its implementation on the ground on every inch of nation’s territory, which needs to be religion neutral, or be “aloof” as you express.

The people, especially in our spiritually suffused country, must be allowed full freedom to practice their ways, their colouful and beautifully pagan tradtions, and their ancient overwhelmingly fulfilling body of life perspectives, thought or philosophies, and deeply evolutionary inner world practices.

It should be the State’s duty to ensure that through both affirmative and negating actions, real-time.

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Who’s Stalling, Your Lordship ?

Media Headlines screamed :

#CJI Thakur “Slams” the govt for “stalling” judges appointment (through its opaque collegium system that the Court itself has faulted) …

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Here are the bare facts though, quoted in govt’s response :

“The government is keen to expedite appointment of judges and as explained in the court, 86 fresh appointments have been made in the high courts. 121 additional judges have been made permanent, 14 chief justices have been appointed and four chief justices transferred…”

Besides, 18 additional judges have been given extension and four judges to the apex court were also appointed and 33 judges of high courts have been transferred.

The govt pointed out that there is a judicial direction to finalise the MoP – a document to guide appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges – to make collegium more transparent and objective and to make the the zone of consultation wider.

The direction was given because the existing system was found to be flawed. The MoP, as per the direction of the apex court, should be finalised by the Chief Justice of India with a unanimous view of the fellow members of the collegium.

“The government’s view is pending before the SC for two months now. That also needs to be expedited now,” the govt said.

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Mr PM, Are Families Legal Entities ?

Our cultural drift in recent decades prompt a gathering of thought on  ” Family,” especially for the youth and the younger ‘ professionals ‘ who are most empowered in the society, physically and financially.

It is easy for them to ignore the others, because they can. But as a direct consequence of their short-sight and their emotional self – absorption, which they can afford, they reinforce and aggravate faultlines in the collective that includes them. In addition to the misery and overall loss their attitude causes, the impact of backwaves reverberating from without often leaves them too deplete, both materially and mentally.

We may ignore or force our way against such after-effects of attitudinal change while we are still in our twenties and thirties, but the loss and negativity keeps building up and crashes upon us when it becomes unavoidable and can no longer be prevented. What is at stake here is the care, love and happiness we all have in our lives, individually and as a group.

A bad mother is likely to raise a rapacious warped mind; a selfish father, without respect for common decency, will spawn a monstrous progeny. It is families that constitute our larger social collectives : locality, town, state, diverse communities religious or secular, province, professional groups and the nation.

THE FAMILY

I take no religious cues and quote no reference text in saying that a Family is an institution. It has a purpose or mandate, an organisation and structure, values and attitudinal norms, and behavioural processes to abide by. But mostly, it is not a formal or legal entity, has no documented basis to existence and functioning, and hence can be easily flouted and transgressed. They keep getting dysfunctional all the time and are destroyed within the span of a generation or two.

But the family is the closest and the most important group, of which each one of us are a part. To avoid going generic, I would present my view of a ‘ fictional ‘ family as it would be in Indian context and as, perhaps, I myself would be happy to have despite the imperfections and peculiarities of its individual members !

Values, Organisation & Roles

Purpose, Values & Rules :

01 To Pursue Collective Material Abundance and Emotional Happiness

02 To Promote Personal Growth and Intellectual Evolution

03 To Honour Individual Goal of Spiritual Fulfillment

Not every member of the family would be inclined or capable of furthering along the stated purposes and values. There would be those who would stop at the material and the emotional. Others would be more willing to put in the effort for educating themselves further and a rare one might pitch for more morally evolved strengths and awareness.

The personal values and rules of behaviour however is set for all by the instituted purposes : at cooperating among themselves for collective material abundance and behaving with sufficient care and mindfulness, especially towards the weak and more disadvantaged, to allow collective emotional happiness. The family could have additional commandments in their values system… say, ” We will never wrong others,” ” We will respect facts and truths against our opinions or assumptions,” ” We will always restore trust amongst each other and act in fairness,” etc.

Father :

The Father in the family is the head of the institution, above all, by virtue of his being in a position to best represent the family values, guide it through the present and keep its future in his trust.

Mother :

The Mother, again, is a position in the family that keeps it together, serves its vital needs and answers the emotional call of individuals in the family.

It is clearly important that the Mother and Father have open and smooth communication line between them. They must have the maturity to come into conflict on occasions, even rage at each other on issues, but withdraw sufficiently well in time to reassess and cool off enough to understand the other’s stand. It is necessary to appreciate that what is on table is institutional in nature and not a matter of mere personal preference. For instance, a member’s need for food cannot be ignored just because one is busy or does not feel like it. Similarly, a decision to invest cannot be taken at the cost of essential need of a member or if it makes the family’s material life miserable.

Members :

All members are to be as children of the family. The adult must add to the family’s purposes to the best of their abilities. They also have a responsibility towards themselves which, if not attempted for, would adversely affect the family as a whole.

Children yet growing up must obviously strive to add to their learning, awareness of facts, experience and knowledge.

All children however, regardless of age, must defer to the Father and Mother of the family, which is working towards its purposes on behalf of all.

Personal :

A family that does not have a place for personal imperfections and peculiarities, even vice, of individual members is heading for extinction. Institutionally, it should be able to encourage the individuals with patience and love, for them to establish a moderation in respect of such deviations. The other members, despite their conflicting personal values, should be able to accommodate the departing behaviour and accept the person for what he or she means to the family in institutional terms.

No member of the family, including the Father and the Mother, should be expected to be a paragon of ALL personal virtues at ALL the time. And, it is actually easier to accept the odd weakness or failing of anyone when the our primary identity is institutional, rooted in the family.

Inviting you all to raise a happier family and to contribute better to the happiness of one you are already a part of !

We, The Good And The Bad…

The modern saga is about both liberty or freedom and collossal governance verticals to segregate, punish or remove the bad.

That’s a tall order, not only because the bad persist and even flourish but because those charged with the first order task, of catching, punishing and removing them, are themselves bad. Removing them becomes the second order task for govt verticals.

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The tasks are nonetheless ours to persist at with accuracy and vigour. But it is obvious that any puritanical ideology, religious or secular, will exacerbate the natural, commonly existing situation, and be self defeating. There is no way we’ll have all good someday; the bad will forever remain in our midst.

It is inescapable hence that we all need to be capable of embracing both bad and good. The least we demand of bad people is to aspire to be good, to not harm any other by their persisting badness.

The Kaveri Water War

#Kaveri issue … is a complex one :
How did the SC adjucate, 15000 cusecs award to TN or reduced it to 12000 cusecs upon representation by Karnataka ?

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Curiously, the SC found it fit to preface its reduced award with a sermon on obedience expected of people and how its solemn pronouncements should be considered sacred. The bases of its judgement in this instance should fill it with enough merit instead, to seem transparently equitable and just to people of both the states.

— One, Karnataka is both the upper riparian state and the state with river catchment areas at its origin. It therefore has a natural right over the Kaveri River waters.

— Tamilnadu is lower riparian state in need of Kaveri River water for drinking and agriculture — lifeline, in short — for large number of its people. It also has catchment areas from which water drains into the Kaveri River.

— A just award for water distribution would vary with the total flow into the River from catchment areas in Karnataka and those in TN. If, say, the total flow through Karnataka is very low, in a drought year, the natural right of its people, as being in an upper riparian state, would gain primacy over the right of people in TN.

So, a just award of distribution of waters must not be a single figure for all months and years but in the form of a table, listing the total flows of waters measured in the river, as recorded from catchment areas in Karnataka and TN respectively, over the months in an year and over the years during monsoon adequacy and deficient seasons. The award of waters to be released by Karnataka may then be determined in each case, in order to seem equitable enough to TN people and just enough to people in Karnataka.

God knows, how the SC of India has gone about in granting its award of Kaveri waters to TN. It needs measured facts of actual water flows to seem equitable and just. The nonchalant manner in which it decided to reduce its award from 15000 to 12000 cusecs, just upon reports of mayhem in Karnataka, makes it seem too adhoc, too lottery like. That isn’t a just pronouncement, solemn and sacred, but more like escapist tomfoolery played by minds under pressure, if you ask me.

Maya : Oh, Dear…

Oh, dear, what would we be without it ? Generations of Brahmn obsessed truth seekers have lampooned this “causal veil” even while breathing and eating, and doing oneself to life, by its fundamentally empowering effects.

Every initiate to Vedic practice is shown the ultimate to be achieved (realised) : Brahmn, the supremely pervasive substratum to all realities in our experience and being. And Maya is posited as the mother of all obstructions in the way.

Enter the philosophising intellectuals and the morphs harden in their sermons : Brahmn is the desired God and Maya the devilish Satan to be broken and shunned. This sense then enters our vocabulary, language and expressions of what is spiritually good and what is bad.

In a post- scientific age, the missionary mascots take stage to dwell on “frontiers” of science to impress upon us how new research reconfirms the sanatan saying, ” Brahmn satya, jagan mithya.” That is, Brahmn alone is truth, all else is not. The particle physicists go about presenting the God particle while the rest of us still unsure of that one which was Brahmn. Of course, Maya, fie upon her, we sing in chorus, remains the primary accused for everything that fails us from clarifying and fixing the truth absolutely.

Let me get off this ignorance, dark and deep, and join the commoners — the farmers, painters and musicians, the workers with immediacy in thought, and the historians who know the entire event-filled journey we have travelled. It doesn’t take much science for us to know that there is no blueness in the sky. That, in fact, all colours and smells, and sensed presence of things, are in the way our brain and nerves work, and our mind consequently feels and understands : to keep us alive and be.

It’s plain that both flowers and crap have no smell in them. But aren’t we glad to have this Maya effect within us that enables us to distinguish the two ? We would find every Maya effect similarly fundamental to our being; and yes, there is no Maya other than in its effects.

It is then plain : there is this being, Brahmn, and all things fundamental to our being, Maya. That is us. Which shall we choose, and how ? It is One.

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