Ramdev’s Image Credit: Tehelka Magazine http://www.tehelka.com/story_main49.asp?filename=Ne040611GODFELLAS.asp
Cartoon Credit: Ajit Nainan
Truck Graffiti Credit: http://www.thingsasian.com
Ramdev’s Image Credit: Tehelka Magazine http://www.tehelka.com/story_main49.asp?filename=Ne040611GODFELLAS.asp
Cartoon Credit: Ajit Nainan
Truck Graffiti Credit: http://www.thingsasian.com
According to staunch Hindus every day is a festival howsoever small or big one. Only exception is Pitru Paksha in Kunwaar month (dark fortnight of the Ashwin month) of Vikram Samvat calendar in which there is no festivities. Some celebrate Deepawali, some Holi, some Navratras, some Ganesh Chaturthi, and some Maha Shivratri with religious fervour. Few others celebrate Ram Navmi and Janamashtami and wait for these festivals whole year.
Two days earlier I witnessed Janamashtami in ISKCON Delhi, it is biggest festival for ISKCON people. What surprises me is that no one is interested in reading holy scriptures like Mahabharata or Vedas but they tend to apotheosis Krishna as Lord Krishna or misspelt Krsna (even Microsoft word recognises it as a bad spelling) as a supreme Godhead. But friends wait have a look on what is written in Mahabharata. Krishna was a Shiva devotee like other characters in Mahabharata.
Text is from Vyasa’s Mahabharatam by Bharadvaja Sarma, page no. 746-747, “Anusasana Parva – The Book of Precepts, Chapter I, (f) Boon obtained by Krishna from Shiva and Parvati”
Yudhisthira said to Bhishma, “Grandfather, you know all the names and attributes of the lord of the world, the great god Shankara (another name of Shiva). I would very much like to hear those names.” And Bhishma said, “I am not really competent to do that. Sitting with us here is Vasudeva; Krishna himself. Once he propitiated the great god by doing penance at the hermitage in Vadarika. He alone is capable of telling us all about him.” Bhishma then requested Krishna to recount the greatness of Shiva. And Krishna said, “Even the illustrious gods like Brahma and Indra and eminent sages do not know all about the manifold qualities of the great god – let alone men. I can only touch on this vast subject.”
Krishna then purified himself by touching water and began his discourse on the great god Shiva.
“Long ago I had the privilege of seeing him in person. My wife Jambavati once asked me, “Give me a son as desirable as any of the sons you have given Rukmini. You have given her as many as eight – Charudsena, Sucharu, Charuvesa, Yasodhara, Charusrava, Charuyasa, Pradyumna and Sambhu. Give me just one like any one of them.”
To fulfil her wish I took leave of my father and mother, the king Ahuka and my brother Balarama and then riding my mount Garuda I came to the Himalayas and then dismissing Garuda I found my way through lovely surroundings to the forest retreat of a sage called Upamanyu, son of the great sage Byaghrapada and told him about the purpose of my visit. He said, “You can accomplish your purpose by worshipping the great god Shiva. He is at the present moment living close by together with his consort Parvati. You know, Krishna, when I was mere a boy, I wanted very much to have a taste of a delicious dish prepared with milk and rice and I asked my mother to give it to me. And she prepared for me a dish with flour and water which barely resembled milk pudding. Earlier I had tasted rice pudding and knew how rice pudding should taste and I found out immediately that my mother did not give me what I had asked for, and I complained about it and my mother pitifully said, “My son, we are poor hermits, we do not have cows, how can I prepare the dish you ask for? You can have your wish fulfilled if you can please the great god Shankara.” After what my mother told me I did penance for many years. You can see what I got by his grace. I have become handsome, ever youthful, omniscient and immune to diseases and now with all my kinsmen and friends I can have rice pudding every day – rice cooked with milk and it tastes like ambrosia. The great lord is living very close to my hermitage and I have the wonderful privilege of seeing him every day and night. I can see with my divine vision that after only six months you will see him and obtain from him and his wife Parvati as many as twenty-four boons.”
Krishna counted the story saying, “I was so very amazed hearing about Shiva’s greatness. I asked the sage Uapamanyu to have me as his disciple and having initiation at his feet I had had my hair shaved, smeared myself with ghee, and wearing the customary rags woven of grass, the appropriate attire of a hermit, I performed severe austerities for six months.
For one month I lived on fruits; in the second month I lived on water only. In the third, the fourth and the fifth month I survived consuming only air. All these months I stood on one leg only, with my arms raised upwards and without any sleep at all. And then I saw a circle of radiance, as dazzling as thousand suns put together in one cluster, and in the centre a huge mass of blue cloud encircled by many rainbows. And within that cloud stood Shiva with his spouse Parvati by his side. I fell at their feet and recited verses in praise of him and then related to him my purpose. He granted me eight boons – firm faith in righteousness, the power to destroy the enemy in battle, great fame, supreme strength, complete control over the practise of Yoga, popularity among people, closeness to the great god and hundreds of sons. And his consort Parvati also granted me eight boons I asked for. Freedom from anger towards the Brahmins, father’s blessings, hundreds of sons, supreme enjoyment, love for my kinsmen, mother’s love, peace of mind, and skill – were the eight boons she gave me, and moreover she said that I would have one thousand and eight loving wives, I would have unending supply of rice and other grains, I would be beloved of friends, I would have a supple body and that I would feed everyday seven thousand guests at my home.
Having obtained all these boons I came back to Upamanyu and told him about them. He was very happy and related at length the greatness, grandeur and glory of the great god Shiva and sang in praise of him reciting all the one hundred and eight names by which he is known including the not so familiar ones like, Sthira, Sthanu, Prabhu, Pravara, Varada, Vara Sarvatma, etc. By the way, I got Samba by my wife Jambavati as a result of my prayer and devotion to the great god Shiva.”
So, it has been proved that Krishna was just an incarnation who got a boon by Mahadeva and he (or He) got it by doing penance and severe austerities.
Disclaimer: So-called Krishna devotees please don’t argue. Any religious discourse would not be entertained.
Image Credit: Amar Chitra Katha
What is the most sought after topic to discuss between a group of people? Most of the time men tend to talk about money and politics and women are more inclined to talk about relations. When the talk becomes twosome or threesome it becomes centred to theme of sex and infidelity in a manner similar to the saying that – all roads lead to Rome.
The Sanskrit word Artha has become synonyms to money but in reality it was more close to prosperity and wealth. Kama means fulfilment of sexual desire. Dharma was totally different from today’s meaning – religion, it was meant to be truth, righteousness, virtues and upright conduct sanctioned by Vedas.
Which is the most important thing in life is always debated because Artha or money is no more used for the benefit of others. It is only used for sense gratification and living a life with a motto that you have to live once only so work hard and party harder. Kama or sex is the most occupied thing in a human mind even in dreams and men is always said to bent knees for sex. Dharma or something which was most sacrosanct in ancient days has become a slave of religious bodies and cumbersome rituals which lesser mortals thinks that a Hindu would get salvation only in temples, a Buddhist in a monastery, a Christian in a church, a Muslim in a mosque, a Jew in a synagogue or for a Sikh in a Gurudwara. But dear friends I am not discussing here the misnomer ‘religion’ word but the word Dharma which is completely different from religion.
So, one day Pandava brothers were discussing this topic with Vidura. The conversation begins with Yudhishthira asking:
धर्मे चार्थे च कामे च लोकवृतिः समाहिता ।
तेषां गरियान् कतमो मध्यमः को लघुश्च कः ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.२ ।।
कस्मिंश्चात्मा निधातव्यस्त्रिवर्गविजयाय वै ।
संहृष्टा नैष्ठिकं वाक्यं यथावद् वक्तुमर्हथ ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.३ ।।
People are generally motivated by dharma, by the desire for material prosperity, artha, and the desire for sexual fulfilment, kama: of these three which one is of the highest value, which is of the middling value, and which is the lowest?
Examine this question, and say only what you truly believe.
This ‘say only what you truly believe’ pervades the whole of the Mahabharata. Nothing is asked, and nothing answered, from a passing curiosity only.
Vidura, the detached observer in the Mahabharata, advocates in a few quick steps the primacy of dharma.
बाहुश्रुत्यं तपस्त्यागः श्रद्धा यज्ञक्रिया क्षमा ।
भावशुद्धिर्दया सत्यं संयमश्चात्मसंपदः ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७. ५ ।।
एतदेवाभिपद्धस्व मा तेभूच्चलितं मनः ।
एतन्मूलौ हि धार्मार्थवेतदेकपदं हि मे ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.६ ।।
It is in dharma that all beings are established.
Study and reflection, devotion, sacrifice, forgiveness, compassion, truth and self-control: these constitute the real wealth of the self. They are the roots both of the right ordering of relationships, dharma, and material prosperity, artha. Thus, material prosperity is always assumed in dharma.
धर्मो राजन् गुणः श्रेष्ठो मध्यमो ह्यर्थ उच्यते ।
कामो यवीयानिति च प्रवदन्ति मनीषिणः ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.७ ।।
Those who are wise say that dharma is the highest; material prosperity and wealth middling; and the fulfilment of sexual desire inferior in comparison to these two.
तस्माद् धर्मप्रधानेन भवितव्यं यतात्मना ।
तथा च सर्वभूतेषु वर्तितव्यं यथात्मानि ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.९ ।।
So, the right ordering of relationship should be one’s highest aim, behaving towards all beings in the same way as one would towards oneself.
Arjuna settles for the incontestable supremacy of material prosperity and wealth in human affairs. His main argument is:
This world is the field of action, and all things are done here as a means of livelihood. Without economic prosperity and wealth, neither can dharma be had, nor kama. Indeed, they are the subsidiary attributes of wealth itself, and cannot survive independent of it.
अप्रज्ञानं तमोभूतं प्रज्ञानं तु प्रकाशिता ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.१९ ।।
Not to know the primacy of wealth is the darkness of ignorance; to know the importance of wealth is to have the light of knowledge.
Nakula and Sahdeva, the twins, support Arjuna, but with a significant shift. ‘There is no question that wealth is as rare as it is most desired; there is no doubt whatever, that on obtaining wealth a person can fulfil all his desires, and this is proved by direct experience.’ But they point also to the unity between the two, dharma and artha, and do not grade one over the other. They say:
अनर्थस्य न कामोस्ति तथार्थोधर्मिणः कुतः ।
तस्मादुद्विजते लोको धर्मार्थाद् यो बहिष्कृतः ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.२५ ।।
A person who is poor has not means of fulfilling his desires; and nor can a person who is bereft of dharma be prosperous; and he who has not the wealth combined with dharma, is treated as an outcast.
तस्माद् धर्मप्रधानेन साध्योर्थः संयतात्मना ।
विश्वस्तेषु हि भूतेषु कल्पते सर्वमेव हि ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.२६ ।।
Therefore what one should aim at is to earn wealth combined with the right ordering of relationships, and have the right ordering of relationships combined with wealth.
धर्मं समाचरेत् पूर्वं ततोर्थं धर्मसंयुतम् ।
ततः कामं चरेत् पश्चात् सिद्धार्थः स हि तत्परम् ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.२७ ।।
Exercising self-control, and keeping dharma foremost in the mind, let one earn wealth that is combined with dharma; and maintaining the harmony between the two, fulfil one’s erotic impulse.
Bhimasena upholds what he says is the demonstrable primacy of kama in life, which means, in the first place, the primacy of desire as the motivating force. There can be no arguing about it. It is evident, he says that: ‘Every act begins with a desire for something. In the absence of desire, there would neither be any effort at earning wealth, nor any interest in the ordering of relationships; nor would there be even any impulse towards sexual pleasure. Then he quickly lists very many human activities, from the highest form of spiritual effort to the most ordinary acts of commerce and agriculture, each one of them motivated evidently by the desire for one thing or another.
समुद्रं वा विशन्त्यन्ये नरः कामेन संयुताः ।
कामो हि विविधाकारः सर्वं कामेन संततम् ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.३३ ।।
And of desire, there are many different forms, and every act is suffused with desire.
नास्ति नासीन्नाभविष्यद् भूतं कामत्म्कात् परम् ।
एतत् सारं महाराज धर्मार्थावत्र संस्थितौ ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.३४ ।।
There is not one human being, nor there ever was, nor will there be in the future, who is without desire. Therefore, kama is the essence of life, and dharma and artha have only that as their foundation. Indeed, they are only the other expressions of kama, which should be regarded as the substance of life.
He even advises his elder brother Yudhishthira, light heartedly of course,
सुचारु वेषाभिरलंकृताभि –
र्मददोत्कटाभिः प्रियदर्शनाभिः ।
रमस्व योषाभिरुपेत्य कामं
कामो हि राजन् परमो भवेन्नः ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.३८ ।।
Seek the company of women who are beautiful, are dressed elegantly, and are intoxicated with their beauty, and make merry with them. Kama alone is the highest.
But, after saying that he has thought on this question, he concludes that the most important of all is:
धर्मार्थकामः सममेव सेव्या
यो ह्येकभक्तः स नरो जघन्यः ।
तयोस्तु दाक्ष्यं प्रवदन्ति मध्यं
स उत्तमो यो भिरतस्त्रिवर्गे ।। शान्तिपर्व १६७.४० ।।
One should enjoy all the three, dharma, artha, and kama, together. He who worships only one of them is the most pitiable; he who is an adept in enjoying two is of the middle class; but he who enjoys all the three in a harmonious way is the best.
Disclaimer: Except first three paragraphs, all text is reproduced from Chaturvedi Badrinath’s Sahitya Akademi award winning book – The Mahabharata An inquiry in the Human Condition. No copyright violation is intended and the text is used only for fair use and for the purpose of spreading education and enlightening lesser mortals for much lesser explored treasure of Mahabharata. All glories to Ved Vyasa and Chaturvedi Badrinath. All faults are mine.
Image Credit: www.columbia.edu
Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/byronic501/55833692/
If you have a friend worth loving,
Love him! Yes, and let him
That you love him, ere life’s
Tinge his brow with sunset
Why should good words ne’er be
Of a friend – till he is dead?
If you hear a song that thrills you,
Sung by any child of song,
Praise it! Do not let the singer
Wait deserved praises long.
Why should one thrills your
Lack the joy you may impart?
If you hear a prayer that moves
By its humble, pleading tone,
Join it! Do not let the seeker
Bow before its God alone.
Why should not your brother share
The strength of “two or three” in
If you see the hot tears falling
From a brother’s weeping eyes,
Share them! And by kindly sharing
Own your kinship in the skies.
Why should anyone be glad
When a brother’s heart is sad?
If a silvery laugh goes rippling
Through the sunshine on his
Share it! ‘Tis the wise man’s
For both grief and joy a place.
There’s health and goodness in
In which an honest laugh has
If your work is made more easy
By a friendly, helping hand,
Say so! Speak out brave and truly
Ere the darkness veil the land.
Should a brother workman dear
Falter for a word of cheer?
Scatter thus your seeds of kindness
All enriching as you go –
Leave them! Trust the Harvest-
He will make each seed to
So, until the happy end,
Your life shall never lack a friend.
I was utterly unaware of what happened in the first phase of Anna Hazare movement in April, 2011. The nation shook by the call of another freedom from corruption, anarchy and callousness of Congress led UPA government. We saw the undemocratic, inhumane throttling of Baba Ramdev’s agitation in June, 2011. There was lots of politics and drama from both Baba’s side and government’s side. The escapade of Baba in a woman’s attire was much debated and ridiculed but the general perception of common men was that Baba is raising a valid point of bringing back Black money amassed in Swiss Bank which is a darling bank of corrupt politicians from every national party.
Then came August and there was huge support from person of every walk of life and every corner of world watched closely what is happening in India like Tahrir Square of Egypt. The author himself had seen foreigners lending unconditional support and waving Indian flag to a non-violent agitation called as Anshan or Hunger Strike, a powerful weapon used by Mahatma Gandhi against mighty British Empire. Well, August 2011 was most successful phase of Team Anna movement and then began the real roller coaster ride for this movement. Team Anna members started behaving like political pundits having opinion on every little or big thing possible in world or even in human imagination. Their later phase of agitation/hunger strike was a complete disaster in December, 2011 in Mumbai and led to a deep thinking of developing a business module for what to do and not to do to get a movement successful.
Team Anna member had anti-Congress campaign in a bypoll election of Hisar, Haryana where Congress lost the election and this campaign was drawn flak from its founding member Rajender Singh and Aruna Roy who are no more attached to this Team Anna. After the defeat of Congress in Haryana bypoll election, Arvind Kejriwal received stiff resistance and violent protest wherever he went and this stopped him to utter anti-Congress campaign in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections which is a non-attractive destination to Congress since two decades. I am not a Congressi and I don’t support any political ideology in India because of personal hatred to the words ‘politics’ and ‘politicians’ alike.
What I am writing is just a record of matter of facts like an observer. I may be wrong or may be right, it hardly matters. What matters is that Team Anna has raised the voice of middle class of urban India, they neglected rural India and problems of Naxalism affected areas. They simply ignore important issues like terrorism in J&K and insurgency in North-Eastern States. They never raise the cause of labour issues; they never spoke to injustice meted to Dalits, women and minorities. They have only one agenda to emotionally charge urban middle class about corruption. It may be a personal and political vendetta of Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal for their grudge against government.
What prompted me to write this post is that it might be possible that average Indian may think that Team Anna as a group of swans but they have their own histories of corruptions like getting unfavourable admission of one’s daughter in a medical college, siphoning money for airlines tickets, buying bungalows at throw away prices to evade stamp duty (yet another serious charge), running ghost NGOs and Trusts, accepting funds from Ford Foundation and even accepting money from corrupt people to raise a fight against corruption!
Nevertheless, I want to end my post by saying just one line that those who doesn’t support and respect electoral process by boycotting to cast a vote, they should have no business to raise a political party, not even in their dreams.
© Sushil Kumar
1 a person seeking a job or position.
2 a person taking an examination.
3 a person or thing regarded as suitable or likely for a particular fate or position: someone who smokes, drinks, or eats too much is a candidate for heart disease.
WORD HISTORY –
Candidatus in Latin means ‘white-robed’. In ancient Rome, candidates for public office wore white togas.
(Collins international edition dictionary, page no. 114-115)
Now Mr Kejriwal has worn white kurta (don’t know about dhoti or pajama because I am not watching TV since a week). I saw his pic on page no. 12, The Hindu.
All the best for corrupt people fighting to eliminate corruption. I read in Dainik Jagran that Mr. Kejriwal had said in his speech a week ago that he welcomes Anna-Team funding from corrupt friends just because it is a fight against corruption.
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