Journal : First Social Nursery

The family is like a lamb or cow you could easily slaughter. If we do not, at least among Hindus, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, it is because they give us more while they are alive, healthy and strong.

People in other cultures constantly invoke individual rights to disown and deny, and walk away from the cohesive ambit of their respective families. Also, parent’s make a life in togetherness difficult by attaching conditions; and marraiges today, with or without pre-nuptial agreements, already envisage a separation sooner or later. As a result, families keep getting dysfunctional all the time and are destroyed within the span of a few generations.

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

Source: Journal : First Social Nursery

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There Are Two Worlds

Believe me, there are two worlds : material and spiritual. The first is objective; the second, subjective. Material accomplishments help us survive, live, leisure and pleasure better. Spiritual negotiations free us of our irrationalities, bias and prejudice, binding habits and false moral supports, unexamined acts and uncritical thinking. The material enhances the availability of time; the spiritual determines its value and utility. The material gives the tools; the spiritual leads us what we will do with them.

Practically, the entire history of civilised people can be seen as seesaw movement between periods of spiritual surge and eras of material accomplishment, with short balanced interregnums of golden eras in between. Mostly, as it happened, the overly spiritual periods were marked by rise of mediating religions, which in the Abrahamic world did little justify their claim as spiritual disciplines. Accomplishments during materially advancing eras were midwived under the patronage of individuals with concentrated wealth, who proliferated in the West during colonial centuries spanning the 17th and the 20th.

In India, the religious mediation to spiritual courses was mostly benign on account of solid empirically validated sutra enumerations under very categorical disciplines such yoga, bhakti, sankhya, vedanta, advaita, etc. Contrary to what happened in the West, Hindu religion metamorphosed into an inclusive way if life, becoming more and more secular and less uniform or regimented and ceding space to practitioners to live as they will within overall values system and perspectival bounds. The religious authorities or ordainers receded into the background and limited themselves to designated monasteries or eshtablishments attached to well-endowed places of worship.

India’s economic solidity however was greatly undermined over the last millennium with foriegn invasions, loot, institutionalised occupation and systematic destruction. During this vast period, the country’s share of global GDP fell from around 25% to 1 odd percent. It has turned itself around since independence and today has a share of about 3% of global trade.

A simple chart of the bottomline status of India and the West could be represented thus :

Clearly, India will need to move vertically up, to the top-left corner of chart. It is not an easy road ahead; but the country has its moorings right and firm, on its solid spiritual foundation.

The West has a desperate need to move to its left on the chart, into the Hi-Hi corner. With its material accomplishments, it may be thought that attaining a high spiritual quotient will be relatively easy. But it is not, because upon a close look we find that significant parts of the population has spurned their native religion — Christianity, and have either adopted the de-spiritualised Islam in vogue or have subscribed to other creed, secular or otherwise.

There is an obvious synergical need for India and the West to embrace each, giving to the other their respective expertise and abundace in stock to urgently meet the shortfalls.

The Abominy Of Khomeini’s Iran

  1.  “…music engenders immorality, lust, licentiousness, and stifles courage, valor, and chivalrous spirit…”

  2. “Whatever good there exists is thanks to the sword…! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword !”

  3.  “#Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males…to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries…”

 

Source: The Abominy Of Khomeini’s Iran

Indian Muslims … Predictable !

Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the economy without any competition from capable rivals.”

 

Source: Indian Muslims … Predictable !

What Is The Law, My Lords !

One : I suppose a man may say, Supreme Court justices are idiots. That would be his opinion. But if the man puts a hoarding to inform the public about his “opinion,” would it still be regarded as an opinion in law ? For the sake of argument, let me present a scenario in which such an “opinion” is plastered on multiple hoardings in every city in the country. What then, my lords ?

Well… ? Likewise, my lords, comments on a fundamental structural matter of national import, in a movie that is potentially meant for audiences all over, may not be considered just an “opinion.”

Two : A woman who conceives on her own, as an adult, is free to abort or not, as she chooses. But a married woman is subject to adultery laws and cannot do as she pleases. I might wonder and question : why ? But the Supreme Court justices ought to know.

Conception in marraige is an event in partnership. Marraige is about extending lineage, in a primary sense. So, why does the woman alone have an unfettered choice in abortion, my lords ?

Three : This is peculiarly an administrative stance, proper to the Executive, my lords, on the premise that if it does as a duck, then it is the duck.

What is the law, my lords, and whither may I find it ?

Dear Mr Rahul Gandhi …

It’s rant with much recall value !

“Dear Rahul, to refresh your memory, you were arrested/detained by the FBI the BOSTON Airport in September 2001.

“You were carrying with you $ 1,60,000 in Cash. You couldn’t explain why you were carrying so much Cash.

★ Incidentally He was with his Columbian girlfriend Veronique Cartelli, ALLEGEDLY, the Daughter of Drug Mafia. 9 HOURS he was kept at the Airport. Later then freed on the intervention of the then Prime Minister Mr. Vajpayee.. FBI filed an equivalent of an FIR in US and released him. ★

“When FBI was asked to divulge the information, by Right/Freedom to Information Activists about the reasons Rahul was arrested … FBI asked for a NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE from Rahul Gandhi.

“So Subramaniyam Swami wrote a Letter to Rahul Gandhi, ” If you have NOTHING to HIDE, Give us the Permission”

“HE NEVER REPLIED !”

Source: Dear Mr Rahul Gandhi …

It’s A Global Conspiracy Of The Few Alright … ( I )

An allied Freeman study relates to increasing corporatisation of national governments. A stream in it pertains to business dynasties, which it describes as a “fraudulent flock of conspiring cohorts.” It points to a very directed process that has formed corporations aggregate, as distinct from corporates sole … a development that has lent greater muscle to finance and the wealthy, and has brought in the presence of “too big to fail” perception in governments and national regulatory bodies. It points out that, in 2009, 18 of the top 20 global corporations, by assets they possess, were in banking or diversified financials business; the remaining 2 were insurance companies. The top 7 in UK had assets exceeding that of the entire country. The Freeman page @http://www.projectfreeman.com/dynasties-business.htm offers more interesting information.

Source: It’s A Global Conspiracy Of The Few Alright … ( I )

Human Enterprise : To Promise Or Futility ?

The world’s tale is of the dog’s tail.

It wouldn’t straighten, no matter all the mega hullabaloo in science, biz, politics or economics. The momentum of feudal and alpha rot in our psyche will remain.

The proletarian purity of Marx remains a charming chimera. And democracy, that promised crowning of the ordinary man … * sigh*

 

 

Source: Human Enterprise : To Promise Or Futility ?

“It’s Not About Sexuality. It’s About Power.” Really ?

This celebrity #MeToo comment on #HW saga is wrong. Not because it is not about power but because sexuality is about power, existentially speaking. It is always about domination and supplication until sex is in the middle, between them. Even otherwise dominating or subservient characters would end up playing their respective roles as master and slave, perhaps alternately, while they couple with sex in their eyes.

People might have legitimate romantic notions of approaching each other sexually in the flow of deep goodwill and love, after interacting with dilated intimacy, understanding and feeling of togetherness, but that flow does not become an overpowering need without wanting something from the other for oneself. It is no longer the want for the other person, as one might have felt in the flow, but for something that the person must yield to the other. Nothing changes in the best of concurrent circumstance, when the wanting is equally intense in both. Right then, it is that respective something wanted by each from the other that is of utmost value to them individually, overriding the personal respect and regard the best of lovers would otherwise have for each other.

Things worsen if the players get too involved with their drive for that “something from the other.” Then, it launches the existential self onto an overdrive, charged with superior notions about oneself, or into a relentless act of burrowing to compensate for their accumulated sense of inadequacy and dissatisfaction. They both bring out the worst manifestation of power into the sexual act. Which is why and how the sexual relation comes to be defined by the overt display of power in one and of subservience or rebellious agony in the other.

The evolved form of the play does not descend into sexual considerations at all, as it is in the drive of wanting for something from the other. It could continue interactively even through the physical exploring, and the act if invitational, marked by ever present readiness to stop and revert away from the body. Such evolved beings are scarce; hence, such loving is practically unheard of. Above all, it has no reason  to be in the news.

If only people understood their selves… Sex does not respect the person. It values something that the person is known or presumed to have, which what the other seeks to to obtain, with that intense expectation that the person would yield.

The Absent Narrative In Indian History When Mughal Delhi Sponsored Terror In Kashmir And Guru Teg Bahadur Stood Tall, Heavier Than A Mountain

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.’

The Emperor 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” would imply that about 7000 of them had been either converted or killed

One of the 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 was intolerable.

Muhata Khan’s charter of demands included the following :

  1. Hindus should not be allowed to ride a horse.
  2. They should not permitted to wear the “jama” (a type of Mughal dress).
  3. They should not keep, carry or handle any kind of weapon.
  4. They should not visit the public gardens.
  5. They should be barred from wearing vermillion (Tilak) on their forehead.
  6. 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 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.”

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; nor would the Saint who holds it in his 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 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 !

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 sacrifice his own life for the sake of another religion, for their rights and freedoms.

This is history that our historians have weaned away from their narratives; it is what our history texts do not carry. It is these details that clarify the genocidal purge of Kashmiri Pundits since late 1970s, three centuries after the evil was seeded by a Mughal emperor from Delhi, from that line of Islamic invaders who trooped in with bigoted fervour from Central Asia.

Journal : Sartre On A Pink Monday

It’s not Monday blues. The moment is early, clear and happy. A why is needless. If I did allow one, it will fill a whole library.

Is existentialism the last of all philosophical statements made in the West ? Properly, it is more an observation than a philosophy. It brings thought to focus on the phenomenal condition of man. As did Marx, about half a century before. The previous one was wholly materialistic; the last presented its spiritual depth. It is easy to see them as integral to each other.

Sartre, the most well-known face of existentialism and its chief ideologue, was more ambitious than what he roundly presents in the tome Being And Nothingness, if you remember its footnotes. He promised to write about the offshoots indicated therein but never did. Contemporaneous with his last days, I recall his perpetual rebellion that led him to compare his Nobel with a sack of potatoes. I empathise with his nausea but still find it pathetic, as a half blind man distributing leaflets in the street.

What was amiss in both the thought and the man ? Happiness, it is plain. And nobility, I suspect.

*

I watch this video in mute mode. It emits happiness. I live with her.

 

Then there was this quote I append below. It compares the given animal ways evident in rats and roaches with what is possible among humans.

On Competition.jpg

The author is a noble thought leader, as are most common folks in this net age. But ask the economists and the legions in our economy : the businessmen and their manfridays in PR & Advertising. And watch the honourable justices in our courtrooms, I dare say. Most among them can’t bear with the possibility. Their impatience shows the contempt.

I sign off with bringing today’s alltime stats for this blog :

Over 150,000 views and 100,000 visitors.

Cheers !

Flowers Pink And White

This potted plant is amazing. At first, early in the year, it had pink flowers. In summer, it bore only white. In autumn, it bears both pink and white.

Color is in the genes. Its variation over time is also in the genes.

Racism, on the other hand, is an insistent psychological bubble blown up on exclusivist cultural subscription to one way of life and its particular set of values.

Racism abhors diversity, which is a lot worse than having the constricted frog-in-the-well view of the world our belief is limited to. It disbelieves, then fears and rejects, all things beyond.

Colours inevitably signify multiplicity of forms and hues, an openness to possibilities, and being as it comes.

Putting Logic Into Sex : Wed And Unwed

The Supreme Lordships have decided on the minimum age for penetrative sex within marriage. It shall be 18, below which a sexual act with one’s sub-18 wife would be a crime that could see one put away into caged isolation for years. It makes for consistency, the justices announced, alongwith the minimum age for marrying your lover, for giving consent and now for enjoying the act…all at 18 or later.

The judgement itself celebrates logic, rationality and “harmonising” the process for young people to marry, consent, and have the pleasure. However, the reality captured in available data is disconcerting : overall, about 30% of women marry before they turn 18 and, by 2011 census, about 8 million had coupled before they were 10. Further, the Muslim Personal Law in India allows girls to marry after they turn 15.

Even globally, there nothing universal about 18 as the age for sexual consent and in general, except for Middle East Islamic nations, it is not the same as the legal age for marriage. Refer data link here. Have our Lordships discovered the rationale for this offset between the age of consent and the age for marriage ? Apparently the two, consent and marriage, are different things : one is hormonal and rooted in irrepressible juvenile biology; the other is institutional, for the purpose of forming a family, pooling personal income and labour economics, raising kids, and continuing the lineage. Or, did the exalted justices make marriage inseparably align with the sex need alone ?

It’s raining questions, in fact. In view of such large numbers of sub-18 girls currently married, tens of millions if not more, what should they do ? Will they have to go without the pleasure until they are 18 ? And consider the constant dread of their husbands even their minor wives beseech : it is a crime they are committing everytime they engage sexually. It could alright while the affection lasts; but what happens if the disaffected ones should one day decide to use one more handle in law to extract undue favours ?

The Sharia provisions are social norms that Muslims generally abide by, which fact the Personal Law in the statute acknowledges. Did the logically harmonising Supreme Court judgement today amend the provisions in Muslim Personal Law ? It stands amended anyway. Or, is it part of the wise Lordships’ plan to usher in the Uniform Civil Code ?

I hope we know more in days to come, not years.

Civil Wooing For Sexual Consent 6000 Years Ago : A Mahabharata Story

It is civil but no less lusty or viscous, from what has been very vividly described in Devi Bhagavata Purana (II.2.1-36). The encounter took place over six millennia before our present day, between Sage Parashar and Satyavati, variously referred in ancients texts as Kali, Matsyagandha, and half a dozen other names. The narration herebelow freely adapts the textual content in the book to present the story in a more contextually meaningful and interesting way.

*

The Sage was relatively young and a scion of great Vedic seer Sage Vashisht’s lineage. Satyavati was well formed but barely sixteen, who rowed a small boat to ferry travellers across river Yamuna. She was the future stepmother of grand warrior Bheeshma and the powerful matriarch of Hastinapur-based mighty Kurus, which later split into Kauravas and Pandavas during decades preceding the apocalyptical Mahabharata War.

But there were no superlatives about our protoganists when the incident took place : the Sage was greatly honoured in niche quarters but relatively unknown otherwise among common folks. Locally, the ordinary-looking but well-worked girl was better recognised, both as the Chief’s daughter and as a girl who was sharp, smart and voluptuous.

The story is but a tiny snippet within a mammoth epic. However, the unique sexual encounter of a virgin with a non-husband is neither rape nor adultery, and is teeming with information about the status of women, even minors, in the later Vedic age society prior to the Sindhu Sarasvati civilisational explosion of urban settlements in northern half of the Indian subcontinent.

The story of that day, mid-river, on the ferry…

On the boat, midway through the crossing, Sage Parashar was overcome by lust and, desiring the boat-woman, he grasped the young girl’s right hand and held her from her rowing with entreating eyes, “Please…”

Kali smiled. “Sir, what are you about to do ? Please consider, does it befit your glorious lineage descended from Sage Vashisht ? And your own ascesis and the scriptural demarche ?

” O Knower, what is this you wish, enslaved by desire ? You are the best of brahmins; rare is human birth on earth and rarer still as a brahmin. You know it all.

“O Exalted One, you notice my body is fish-odorous. Why yet do this un-aryan feeling arise ? I doubt not your wisdom, but what auspicious marks in my body do you see that you crave to possess me ? Does the desire so possess you that you forget to discriminate between what befits and what does not ?”

Thus saying , the dark-complexioned Satyavati mused : Oh, my ! In his madness to possess me this twice-born has lost his senses. He’ll upset the boat and drown me with it. He’s desperate; his heart is pierced by his want for me. None can prevent him from acting under its influence.

The girl however continued to address the great sage, in her bid to avoid the tragic event that she felt is sure to follow :

“O Great one, be patient till we reach the other bank.”

Suta, the narrator of tale in the epic, extends the story thus : Sage Parashara heeded her well-meant advice. He let go of her hand, quietened, and sat through rest of the way over the waters.

But reaching the other side, tormented by the same desire, he seized Matsyagandha again beseeching an intercourse.

Quivering with apprehension, and greatly annoyed, she spoke to the sage before her, “O foremost amongst the best of sages ! My body stinks; can you sense it not ? Making love ought to equally delight both the souls through its process to quench their wanting.”

And even as she spoke, in a flash, she turned fragrant, a sweet and pleasant presence, lovely to hold and beautiful to behold. Making his beloved musky and enchanting, the sage seized her right hand and, pulling close, squeezed her into his bosom.

But Satyavati instantly recoiled back and told the sage bent on coitus, “We are visible to everybody on the bank, O Sage, and by my father in particular. Coitus in broad daylight, in the open, would be a most beastly conduct, the thought of which disgusts me. Hence, O best of sages, wait till nightfall. It is prescribed for men to restrict the act to night time, under cover. Doing in daylight would be a grievous sin; if seen by others, it would bring great disrepute. Grant this desire of mine, o wise one.”

Finding her words logical, the generous sage at once shrouded all in mist by his yogic power. But while the riverbank was shrouded by deep darkness, Satyavati spoke to sage in a sweet, dulcet tone :

“I’m a virgin, O chief among the twice-born ! Enjoying me, you’ll depart where you will. But infallible is your seed, O Great Knower. What of me? If today I become pregnant, what shall I tell my father ? How shall I explain ? What shall I do if he casts me away ? Pray, tell me.”

The sage assuringly responded to her fears, “Beloved, today, having delighted me, you shall be restored to your virgin state. You shall regain your virginity, as of yore. Yet, woman, if you fear, ask what boon you will.”

Satyavati said, “Best of twice-born, you ever honor others. Hence act, that my father nor anyone else would know about it. Act, that my virgin status is not destroyed. And, as it happens, may your son be like you, as wondrously gifted. May my body be forever fragrant. And, may my youth be forever fresh, ever new.”

Assuring her of her son’s fame as Ved Vyas, the immortal sage with millennial reknown as compiler of Vedas and author of Puranas, Parashar swoops upon the consenting maiden. Having sated himself, the sage bathes in the Yamuna and departs, never to have any contact with her again.

The clever young girl was more than consenting and even more delighted. She bore the divine son and delivered the baby during the same shrouded while, on that isle in the river, and set the baby afloat and off. The day cleared when she reached the bank and was met by her father, who noticed nothing amiss.

The same woman drew the amorous attention of the mighty Kuru king, Shantanu, who married her. The kingdom rose in power under her deft matriarchal lead, overshadowing every other, with her gifted, undefeated warrior stepson Bheeshma at the head of the  Kuru army.

But that was when the tragic consequences of the act on the river isle were yet to unfold, leading to the apocalyptical Mahabharata War…

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