A heinous Crime

Recently, I visited a museum. There I saw many architectural marvels ranging from 8th to 14th century, especially the stone sculptures, deities and statues. I enjoyed reading history during my school days. But yesterday a thought came to me that what if I were allowed to visit some museum at that time; it could have a multiplier effect on my liking towards History.

One mistake that I did during schooling, which I realize now, was that I always considered the accounts of Historians as true. I completely believed in their narratives. But as I grew up, I got to know that “History is always written by the victors or the rulers just to further their interests”. That is why History is replete with stories of Kings and Queens. No one talks about common people; how they lived? What they ate? What they wore? so on and so forth!

Nowadays we read in news papers and listen to the debate that there is an attempt to saffronise history (Bhagwakaran). BJP and RSS are trying to rewrite History where they wanted to portray India as a culturally rich nation and not just a land which was under the reign and subjugation of foreign invaders such as Muslims and Britishers.

I will not go in this debate. But what I can say here is that History has always been manipulated. Interpretations will be there to the same event in two different ways to suit one’s objective.

What I saw in the Museum in my visit was simply devastating for me. I saw many priceless monuments were in dilapidated condition. Most of the deities of Hindu Gods that were from 8th Century to 14th Centuries were damaged and there were a common pattern in them. The common pattern was that most of the deities were beheaded/decapitated. Initially I thought that since they were very old, there are possibilities that they could have got damaged in due course of time. But I could not fathom after seeing many of them have a similar pattern of damage.

I went to the curator of the museum to ask for the possible reasons of the damage. His narration was in similar line of my anticipation. He said that many Muslims rulers were bigot and cruel. Many of them were monotheist and against the practice of the deity worship. So they demolished the temples in thousands and ravaged the deity in tens of thousands. Kashi Vishwanath, Somnath, Dwarkadheesh, Mathura, Ayodhya temples are just some of the prominent examples. Aurangzeb, in particular, was most ruthless among them. He alone killed more than million Hindus and devastated thousands of temples and other cultural monument and belonging to Hindus.

But the thing which I realize now is that I was never taught about these atrocities in my text books. Even if it was there, it was summarized in just one line that “some Muslims rulers were cruel and Aurangzeb was one of them.”

I think it was the duty of the historians that culprits should be presented in the same light as they were. We know about Hitler and how he massacred millions of Jews but the kind of demonization which was needed for some of the fanatic Mughal Ruler, nowhere it is mentioned in History, or even if it is there then there is an covert attempt to hide their heinous acts.

So it’s important to not to hide history, as a famous adage goes “History Repeats Itself”. Knowing history and taking lessons from it essential for survival.

Heritage Sites

Yesterday was International Day for Monuments and Sites or World Heritage Day. The purpose behind commemorating this day is to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.

UNESCO, a cultural wing of UN, declares certain sites as World Heritage Sites according to some set of criteria. Italy has the highest number (53) of World Heritage Site, followed by China at 52. Till now we, in India, have 36 World Heritage Sites.

I like travelling, especially those places which have some natural, historical and cultural significance. I have visited some of the World Heritage Sites of India at different point of time in past. I am also looking forward to visit all those sites which I haven’t visited yet.

To commemorate this day, I am sharing some of the pictures Indian World Heritage Sites,  which I have taken during my visit to these places. Hope you would like it.

Qutub Minar

Red Fort

Shore Temple

Konark Sun Temple

Bhimbetka Rock Shelter

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Sanchi Stupa

Pondicherry: A Short Trip

I had an opportunity to visit Pondicherry in mid January this year. One of my friend Abhishek, was staying there and studying at Pondicherry Central University. He had invited me to visit that place several times, but as this was his last year of academics in that varsity, so I finally decided to go.

Pondicherry was formally a French colony till 1962. When rest of the India was in British occupation, Pondicherry was an exception along with Goa, Daman etc. to name a few.

I landed in Chennai and from there it took another two and a half hour to reach Pondicherry. Though it was January, when rest of the Northern India was in the grip of the winter, days at that place especially in Chennai was hot. Eventually night was very pleasing in Pondicherry as the cold breeze from Bay of Bengal was blowing incessantly. I stayed there for 4 days and visited some Temple, Church, Aurobindo Ashrama, market places, Auroville, a nearby historic place called Mahabalipuram which is nearly 100 Kms from Pondicherry. But in evening I preferred to be in Gandhi beach and enjoyed the song of the waves when it came to meet the shore.

The trip was overall good and enriching, yet my last lap was adventurous. You must have heard that Jallikattu protest was in full swing in Tamlinadu in recent past month. The day when I had to return to Chennai, some political outfits has called complete shutdown of the state including transportation system. So virtually it became impossible to reach to Chennai Airport, yet through the grace of Lord I reached to the Chennai Airport just before boarding time. I came there by hitchhiking all along Pondicherry to Chennai. It’s a very interesting story, which, if I get time, will definitely love to write. Google Map came to my rescue at many occasions 🙂

If you are planning to have a visit in South India or especially in Chennai, do take out at least two days to visit Pondicherry. It’s beautiful. But don’t go in summer. I think November to January will be an ideal time to visit.

Sharing you some of the pictures, which I have taken from my Mobile Camera. Hope you will like them.

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Sunrise and A Trawler

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Other side of the Beach

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Sailing together even on turbulent waves, not only just when water is still & stagnant

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Gigantic Golden Globe. Got to know that people get inside the globe for meditation. Yet I missed it. 😦

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Many Roots of a single tree, Clicked in Auroville

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Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram.  Built in 700-728 AD by Pallav Dynasty. Architecture marvel

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Lord Shiva and Mother Uma inside the temple

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Lord Vishnu

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Guiding Lamp

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Bye Bye Chennai and finally Laut ke buddhu ghar ko aaye 😛

आठ मार्च

wmd
Credit: greatinspire.com

 

आठ मार्च

ममता का ऐसा नज़ारा
क्या दिखता कहीं जहाँ में
स्नेह का सागर उफनते देखा है
मैंने माँ की आँखों में

बहने जब राखी से
कलाइयाँ सजाती हैं
भुजाएं मानों स्वतः ही
असीम शक्ति पाती हैं

कष्टों का पहाड़ जब
सीधे सिर पर आता है
जग छोड़ दे अकेला ,
तब भी वो साथ निभाती है
हाँ वो , धर्म पत्नी कहलाती है

त्याग का ऐसा सामूहिक नज़ारा
शायद ही कहीं नज़र आता है
बचपन से जवानी जिस घर में वो बिताती हैं
एक झटके में सबकुछ छोड़ आती हैं
हाँ वो, बेटी कहलाती है

चेहरा शर्म से झुक जाता है
आँखे नम हो जाती है
जब समाचारपत्र में
भ्रूणहत्या, बाल विवाह, घरेलू हिंसा, और रेप की ख़बरें
अब भी जगह बनाती है
स्मरण रहे कि,

युद्धक्षेत्र में बन
रणचंडी भी वो आती है
शत्रुओं के वक्ष में
अपनी शूल धसाती है

ओलिंपिक में जब हम
मुह लटकाये भाग्य कोसते होते हैं
तो वे कर पराक्रम
भारत की लाज बचती है

भारत सोने की चिड़िया या विश्व गुरु
तभी तक कहलाती है
नारी का सम्मान जब तक
यह धरा कर पाती है
………अभय ……….

Holy Cow!!!

Last weekend I was fortunate to have a visit in a village of West Bengal, few hours away from my home.  As from some of my previous posts, you might have an inkling that I cherish the village life more than the cities, where they claim all the luxuries pervade. Reasons are quite simple: Fresh air, water, pristine environment, lush green fields and more importantly very simple people (in general:)).

Apart from many memorable experiences gathered in this short trip, the one which I would like to share is my time spent in a Byre or Goshala. Many of you must be aware that a Goshala is place where many cows are kept and served. In return, we get milk and other byproducts.

So when I stayed for some time there, I found myself closer to the nature. There were more than 100 Cows and each has got unique name such as Surabhi, Mala, Vasundhara etc. It was very confusing. Yet, the one who takes care of those cows knew each one of them by their name. And I saw when he called their name, they responded too 🙂 It was very thrilling to me.

Cows are companion of humans since ancient time and one species which have served humans more than any other animal. Especially in India, it’s not treated as animal but as mother, and rightly so. The cows are very simple, innocent, gentle, affectionate, emotional and intelligent. When you will see a calf close to her mother, the affection between them will give you peace in the heart, just by seeing how the speechless species responds to each other. In our ancient scripture, which we don’t have the time to read, is full of the glories of the cows.

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Her name is Shambhavi, she loves tickling around her neck. 🙂

Yet, when I come to city and hear that slaughtering of the cows are at full swing all over the world and even in India, just to earn money, it disturbs me. It disturbed Mahatma Gandhi too.

I am quoting Gandhi ji from the tabloid Young India, which he used to edit himself.

…The cow is the purest type of sub-human life. She pleads before us on behalf of the whole of the sub-human species for justice to it at the hands of man, the first among all that lives. She seems to speak to us through her eyes: ‘you are not appointed over us to kill us and eat our flesh or otherwise ill-treat us, but to be our friend and guardian’. (YI, 26-6-1924, p. 214)

…I worship it and I shall defend its worship against the whole world. (YI, 1-1-1925, p. 8)

… My ambition is no less than to see the principle of cow protection established throughout the world. But that requires that I should set my own house thoroughly in order first. (YI, 29-1-1925, p. 38)

Gandhi ji was an avid promoter of cow protection. Even though it got endorsement of Gandhi Ji, there is a common sense so as not to kill cows, just for the sake of eating it and making money .

Cow protection why?

  1. No one would like to kill his/her mother: This is an emotional appeal. Mother gives us milk for only two to three years after child is born. We are served, nourished by the milk of cow for much longer duration. Isn’t she is even better than mom in this aspect?
  2. Economic significance: Even if you will say that, no I am not an emotional Man/Woman I purely believe in the economics, still there are reasons that one should not thrive for killing cows. Cow’s dairy product is an important ingredients in our food chain. From milk to cheese, from Ghee to Lassi and many more dairy products are just due to cow, which are rich in nutrients.
  3. Cow helps in agricultural activity. And especially in India, where people are still deprived of many advances machinery and the size of fields are very small.
  4. Even the waste of cow, such as cow dungs and cow urine is used. Cow dungs are used to produce organic manure. Unlike modern artificial manure, which helps to grow productivity initially and after frequent use it makes the land barren, the organic cow manure is having no ill-impact on the soil.
  5. Cow’s urine is used for medical purposes in Ayurveda, which is gaining acceptance all over the world.
  6. Religious aspect: Yes, since India is a home of world’s ancient religion and they are in a huge number, their religious sentiments matters too. In Hinduism, Lord Krishna is also known as Gopal, means protector of the cow.  In many scripture, killing a cow is considered very sinful and ominous. Hence it’s the responsibility of the state to make such arrangement that cows can be preserved and not slaughtered.

Even though there are so many substitutes to gratify one’s tongue, I don’t find any reason why the people kills such an innocent species. During my visit, I was inquiring about various aspects and functioning of Goshala, then one of them responded to the question of cow slaughtering in a very interesting way. He said Lion or for that matter, any carnivorous animals prey not to gratify their taste, but to satisfy their hunger as, Lord has made them in such a way that they can’t be Vegans. But why humans kill animal is beyond comprehension.

 

भोर की खोज..

आज कल के भागा दौड़ी वाले समय में मुझे संदेह है कि बहुत कम व्यक्ति होंगे जो रोज सूर्योदय देखते हैं. खासकर युवा वर्ग की नींद तो सूर्योदय के बाद ही खुलती है, ऐसा मैं  मानता हूँ. पर मैं यह नहीं कह रहा कि सभी युवा सूर्योदय के बाद ही उठते हैं .

आज सुबह सुबह का अनुभव आप सब से साझा कर रहा हूँ. वैसे तो बसंत का मौषम ही बड़ा सुहावना होता है. सुबह में तो कुछ और ही ज़्यादा. जब ठंडी ठंडी पवन शरीर को छूती है, आम के मंज़र की खुशबु से मन प्रशन्न हो जाता है, कोयल की कुहू, और जब आप उसके स्वर की नक़ल करो तो उसका लगातार दुहराना, मन को मोहित कर जाता है.

तो आज जब मैं उठा तो सोचा कि कुछ टहल लिया जाये. अभी सूरज निकला  नहीं थी तो वातावरण में अँधेरा व्यप्त था. मुझे नदी, तालाब या झील का तट बहुत अच्छा लगता है. और एक नदी घर के कुछ ही दूरी पर है तो उधर हो चला. साथ में फ़ोन और ईयरफ़ोन भी ले लिया. मेरे म्यूजिक प्लेयर में कुछ गीत थे, पर रिलायंस जिओ ने एक काम अच्छा किया है की डेटा की अब चिंता नहीं करनी पड़ती है और आप गाना ऑनलाइन सुन सकते हो. जितनी मर्जी उतनी.

तो मैंने ganna.com पर क्लासिकल भजन टाइप किया और कान में ईयरफ़ोन लगा कर घर से निकला. फिर जो भजन मैंने सुना उससे मंत्रमुग्ध हो गया. वह भजन पंडित भीम सेन जोशी ने गायी थी. उनके स्वर में जादू था. मैं आपको बताऊँ तो मैंने वह भजन सुबह से अब तक १५-२० बार से ज़्यादा सुनी पर फिर भी मेरा मन नहीं भरा. इस भजन की सबसे अच्छी बात मुझे इसकी बोल लगी, हरेक शब्द में भाव, हरेक शब्द का अर्थ. आज कल के गीत की तरह नहीं, बिना मतलब का, फूहर…

तो सोचा की आप सब तक भी पहुंचा दूं. हो सकता है आप में से कइयों ने सुनी होगी, और यदि नहीं सुनी तो आप जरूर सुनियेगा. हो सके तो सुबह सुबह सूर्योदय से पहले, खुले में, ईयरफ़ोन लगा के, तेज स्वर में.
मैंने थोड़ी खोज-बीन की तो YouTube पर मुझे मिला, लिंक शेयर कर रहा हूँ. एल्बम का नाम है “कृष्ण कहिये  राम  जपिये” . इस एल्बम की हरेक गीत बहुत मधुर र और सुन्दर हैं पर “कृष्ण कृष्णा कहिये उठी भोर”  का जवाब नहीं , पर यहाँ यह दो भाग में है .एक साथ सुनियेगा तो और भी मज़ा आएगा
मैं इस भजन का transcript भी ब्लॉग पर शेयर कर रहा हूँ जिससे बोल समझने में आसानी होगी.

 

कृष्ण कृष्ण कहिये उठी भोर…

कृष्ण कृष्ण कहिये उठी भोर
भोर किरण के साथ कृष्णा कह
वन में नाचे मोर

पक्षी के कलरव में वंदन
वंदन लहरें करती
वंदन करती बहे समीरें
गायें हैं पग भरतीं
कृष्ण कृष्ण कह पुत्र जग के माता होये विभोर

गुन गुन कर के कृष्ण कृष्ण कहे
भँवरे डोल रहे हैं
कृष्ण कृष्ण कह कमल पुष्प सब
पंखुड़ी खोल रहे हैं
वंदन की आभा फैली हैं
देखो चारो ओर

फूल टूट के धरा पे बिखरे
इसी भांति है वंदन
दूब के मुख पर ओस पड़ी है
महक उठा है चन्दन
कोयल कूक के वंदन करती
हंस करे किलोर .

 

 

बताना मत भूलियेगा की कैसी लगी 🙂

Why most Hindus are cremated but some are buried?

Why most Hindus are cremated but some are buried?

Recently when Jayalalitha, a very popular leader of South Indian state Tamilnadu, died, it produced unprecedented shock waves across the country. After her demise, unlike most of the Hindus, she was buried and not cremated. It was baffling for me as well as for many others that why there are two pronged approach in same religion. Then I searched for the reason of this exception. Whatever the understanding I got, presenting it in the blog. But you are also entitled to get differed from my opinion

Why Hindus are cremated?

It is important to know that in Hinduism, saints and sages came to conclusion that Jivas (Humans are one of the Jivas) are not their body but the eternal Soul and Soul never dies. It just changes the body. This concept is known as Transmigration of the Soul.

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This is substantiated in one of the most revered scripture of Hinduism,

Bhgavad Gita 2.13

 dehino ‘smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati

As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.

One more essential pillar of the Hindu doctrine is “Moksha”, along with “Dharma”, “Artha”and “Kaam”. Moksha in it’s literal sense means “to be free”. Now the question will be Freedom for whom and from what? So this freedom is for the Soul and from this material conditioning that is from perishable body.

According to Vedic injunction, when a person attains Moksha, then he/she doesn’t come in this material world again and either merges with Bramhan (Super Soul) or resides with the Lord in his abode which is permanent unlike this world.

So when a person dies, he has to leaves his body, but since he has spent a long time with this body, he develops attachment for it. When anyone is attached with any person or object then a desire to associate with it for longer duration of time, remains inside him. But the desire to be in this perishable body is conflicting with the real objective i.e. to be free and attain Moksha. Hence by burning the body, soul can witness and realise the temporary nature of the body and hence the will ultimately crave for Moksha.

But saints and children are cremated

There are some exceptions to it. Saints and Children, when they die, there is a Provision for them to buried. The reason for it, which I have understood after reading some text and hearing from some specialists in this subject, is as follows.

Saints and sages (I am talking about real ones which are few in number yet existing, not the bogus which has proliferated and made religion a business), in their whole life time goes through severe penances, meditations, rituals, sacrifices, association with the pious personality etc. By going through all these process they not only knows but become self realized that the body which they got is perishable and ultimate objective is to attain Moksha. Hence after this realization, the body which they got becomes purified from the material contamination such as lust, greed, anger, enviousness, attachments etc. Since they have no attachment for the body, hence they are buried.

One more consideration which I came across is that, the real Gurus, sages or the pious personality come to this material planet just to relieve the ones which are suffering in this world due to the ignorance that they are soul, not the body. So even though they appear like ordinary human beings, yet they are the direct messenger of the Lord, hence they are not having any longing for their body. They just finish their duty and leave their body.

There is also a provision to bury the children. The reason for this, which I have read is that since they die at very young age and hence they don’t develop so much longing and attachment for themselves. Hence they are buried.

Now coming to the point of why Jayalalitha is buried, I am not able to figure out the real reason other than the whims of her follower, as she was not and ascetic personality and of course, neither a child.

The uniqueness of Hinduism lies in the fact that it is a very liberal. If you are worshiping idol still you are Hindu, not worshiping it makes no difference, even if you are atheist you can accommodate in Hinduism. That’s why Indian Supreme Court termed, Hinduism as a “Way of Life”. This also very much true for the last right. When majority cremates the body, yet you will find exceptions to it.