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.

Transient World

An American tourist visited a sadhu.He was astonished to see the Muni’s room which was plain and simple. The only furniture was a mat and wooden pots.

Tourist :”With due respect, may I ask where’s your furniture and other household things?”

Muni: “Where is yours?”

Tourist : “Mine? But I’m only a visitor here.”

Muni: “So am I !’

Busting Myth..

Election time is going on and so are the battery of false claim and propaganda. Though it is in no one’s capacity to eradicate all the false stories or fake news from the social media, but it is important for the common people that if they find something fake, they should not circulate further, or if they can, even they should expose it as well

So, I was surfing Twitter and came across a bizarre Tweet from a very prominent leader from Indian National Congress. Generally I don’t care much about the claims of politicians especially during election time, but since it was associated with Bhagvada Gita, I found it as my duty to bust his false claim and propagation of myth.

So first kindly read his tweet, which was originally in Hindi, then followed by its translation.

In one of my previous post, I have requested you all to not only revere Gita for just being a Holy Book, but also read it. But I think the gentleman, of whose tweet I have embedded hasn’t also read it at ones. If he would have read Gita, he would not have misattributed it. He says that Gita appeals everyone to be Hindu!!!

I would love to ask him, that which Gita has he read, and even if he had read then certainly it was not spoken by Krishna.

The word “Hindu” has nowhere been mentioned in Bhagavad Gita. Gita is a book for whole humanity and its content is completely secular. But those who are of parochial mindset and try to make things equal even when it is not only to settle his political interest. They are doing a great damage to humanity. This misattribution could demarcate a line that only Hindus should read Gita as it is their book. Gita is a great service to humanity, those whoever has approached it with right intention, it never has disappointed them.

In fact if you will read all the Vedic Scripture, no where you will find mention of the word “Hindu” and hence no where it appeals people from other religion to become Hindu. Rather in one of the oldest book of the World, Rigveda, following verse can be found

“manur bhava janaya daivyam janam

Rigveda 10.53.6

Which means be the human and create divine beings (Not Hindu but Human)

Not just as the other morning..

Today’s morning was very fine here in my city and it became even more gorgeous when I had a south Indian meal in breakfast at one of my friend’s home. 😛 Knowing my likings, he had invited me on several occasions, but somehow or the other I kept delaying it. But today was the day. I love South Indian cuisine, especially the Dosas and Uthapam along with the Sambhar and Chatani.

To tell you the fact, my friend is not from South India. Yet the taste of Dosa was so delicious and sumptuous that I can bet that any South Indian cook would be proud of it. I had the breakfast as in the manner that I am having lunch. One after another, I devoured three Dosas one by one, partly due to the reason that I like it and partly due to the immense pressure from his family especially from his granny.

After having breakfast, I chatted for some time with his family members. His family is having same place of origin as I am having and we both speak same beautiful language “Maithili”. I find his family very decent and everybody in my surrounding having a word of praise for them. I spoke with uncle but the best part during my conversation was with his granny. She would be around mid 70s. She is quite religious and very soft spoken. She speaks in so humble way with me that sometime I wonder how someone can be so modest. Every time I talk with her, I get some life lesson.

As I had some other engagements later in the morning, so I asked permission from them to leave. They all seemed to be very happy that I came there and so was I. When I was leaving, out of respect I bent down to touch the granny’s feet, but she moved backward with a shudder and said “No, no, no, no….don’t dare touch my feet. Do you want that I commit sin?”

I said with anguish, “Why you never let me touch your feet Dadi and what sin are you talking about? Don’t you want to bless me?” Her response was “ You are bigger than me”. I said “Wow!  How could that happen! Do I look older than you?” She said smilingly “Beta! You are Brahmins and we are not suppose to let you touch my feet, it’s considered as one of the great sins, which has been taught to us by my ancestors and I am not going to disobey them like your uncle”. I was shocked, ashamed. Uncle never resisted me from touching his feet. Her statement was probably a dig at him. Since I was running out of time I did not plead much and with folded hand I said Namaste and returned back to home.

On returning home, I got to know that my further engagement which I had, got cancelled. So I had free time. The sound of the granny “you are bigger than me” reverberated in my ears. I was forced to contemplate about the caste systems in India among Hindus. I never experienced this divide in recent times and unheard of this untill this moment. Yet the response of granny was shocking to me. I thought in those old days this divide must be very rigid, as much so that it had an indelible imprints on her mind.

I find this cast system as one of the reasons why foreign powers and their culture attacked us from centuries. It was one of the most debilitating factors of backwardness of our society. It is the phenomena which militated against the dignity of the humans.

And I find this caste system in today’s context as pernicious as it was ever before. Some political outfits are using this divide to gain their political leverage. Some netas, like Britishers, believe in the philosophy of “divide and rule”. They want that whole population should be divided on the cast line so that they could not stand together on the developmental issues. With this they are able to maximize their interest. Now is the time when we should relinquish all our identities and should stand for the cause of building a more secular, tolerant and accommodating society and nation.

Although the Constitution of India guarantees that there should be no discrimination of the basis of caste, gender, religion, place of birth etc. but these things has to be dealt on the societal level, and cannot be completely enforced by law alone. The onus is on current generation, we should thrive for a society where no elder should feel blessing the younger as sin and prevents touching feet.

Qualities of Lord

Namaste to readers and fellow bloggers,

Today I chose to write something different than my usual content. Let me know, if you enjoyed reading.

There is hardly any doubt that whenever anyone in India would be asked to recite some verse from Bhagavad Gita, majority of them would land up in mentioning below two verses

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

 paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya
sambhavami yuge yuge

I am not sure that how many of them will know the real meaning of these verses. For that matter, even I was oblivious of the meanings till few years back. But somehow got to know  and on this auspicious day of Ramnavami, when Lord Ramchandra manifested himself in this world, I thought of writing about it.

In these two slokas (verses) Lord mentions the reason why he appears in this material creation. The reasons why He came can be concluded from the verse as..

Lord comes,

  1. Whenever there is decline in religiousness and irreligion rises
  2. To deliver those who are pious and
  3. To annihilate the miscreants

So in Hinduism, we are aware that Lord had ten incarnations called as Dashavatar. If we would study a bit it about these incarnations, then we will surely find that every time when he came,  above three criterion were satisfied.

Lord Ramchandra came in Treta Yuga, and whatever happened after that, is an epic and known to all Indians (not only Hindus), at least the overall story. So I am not going to tell you about the story of Ramayan. My purpose of this writing is to remember the qualities that Lord had displayed during his stay on this planet. He was an ideal as He was Lord himself. So we cannot imitate or emulate him, but by knowing his qualities, surely we can try to follow his footstep. So today is Ramnaumi and taking the cue from the Ninth day of the Chaitra Month, I tried to write nine out of innumerable qualities of Lord in short. However I am not competent to describe the glory of him, yet I gave it a try.

ram ji
Credit: ISKCON

  1. A Perfect Son: Nowhere in the world you wouldcome across a story where a son in his youthful stage left all his lavishness and luxuries of kingdom and spent 14 years in exile, faced innumerable hardship as Ram did and that too just for the sake of keeping his father’s word. Even though he knew his stepmother is the culprit for all his adversity, yet no where we come across an incident where he has raised a voice of disrespect against her.
  1. A Perfect Brother: When Lord Ram got to know that her stepmother wanted to coronate his son Bharat as Crown prince of Ayodhya, even though Lord had exclusive right over throne. Yet, he readily agreed to the proposal and left for the forest as if he was relinquishing a blade of grass. The same love was from the other side too. All three younger brothers were so attached to Ram that they were even ready to accept death but not the separation from him. Till today the brother’s relationship between Ram and Bharat is revered in India.
  1. A Perfect Student: Ram had formal education in ashram of Vashishta and Vishwamitra. Both the teachers taught the intricacies of diplomacy, weaponry, politics etc. Lord Ram excelled in all the discipline and was revered by them as well.
  1. A perfect Husband: Lord Ram is known as Maryada Purushottam, a supreme in Virtue. When polygamy was prevalent in that era especially among the Kings and Kshatriya (warrior class), he vowed and later observed that he will have only one wife in his life. When Mother Sita was taken away to Lanka by Ravana, Ram was so tormented and agonized that he saw her in trees, in stones, in rivers etc. As her presence was unknown, he was helpless and asked about her from birds and the animals of Dandakaranya. Later when he got to know that Ravan has kidnapped her, with meager of resources and army of Monkeys and Bears he attacked mighty Ravan(from whom even Indra, king of Demigods, was affraid) and defeated him in war and brought back Maa Sita home
  1. A perfect Friend: His friendship was conspicuous when he assisted Sugriva, who was on the weaker side and made him the King of Kiskindha. The story of his friendship with the King of Nishad is well known and highly revered.
  1. A perfect Enemy: As we know that he was a perfect friend, at the same time he was a perfect enemy of the devils and miscreants since the childhood. As stated earlier one of the reasons that he came to the earth was to destroy the evil force. So he killed many demons who used to trouble the Sadhus or the Saints . Some of them were so powerful that they had even defeated Demigods. Ram killed many demons during his stay.
  1. A perfect warrior: Ram was a perfect Kshatriya and a valiant warrior. On one hand Ravan had well equipped with all the mysterious weaponry, yet Lord defeated him with handful of army which manly comprised of Monkeys and Bears.
  1. A Perfect Master: There is a very interesting past time of Lord Ram, when he eat the berry given by Sabari, a lower caste women in her old age, who herself has tasted them before giving to Lord. In Indian context, it is an offence to give something to the master after first consuming or defiling it. But she was so engrossed in the love of lord that she did not wanted to give a sour berry to Him. And Lord was so generous that he accepted and consumed all the berries.
  1. A perfect King: In Ramayan we come across an ideal world, where a king used to go in disguise to see the wellbeing of his countrymen. It is said that in his state no person was in distress. His reign was so celebrated that till today politicians cutting across the party lines claims before the election that they will bring Ramrajya, yet they had no intention to follow the footsteps of him.

Although, my words will not do justice to the describe the qualities of Lord, yet I am hoping that you have enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading.

अनन्त नामों में से कुछ..

krishna
Credit: ISKCON

सनातन धर्म में चार युग बताये गए हैं. सतयुग, त्रेतायुग, द्वापरयुग और कलयुग. अलग-अलग युगों में ईश्वर प्राप्ति की अलग अलग विधियों का वर्णन है. सतयुग में ध्यान, त्रेता में यज्ञ, द्वापर में अरचा विग्रह(मूर्ति पूजा) और इस कलयुग में यदि भव सागर को पार करना है, तो भगवान का नाम ही एक मात्र उपाय है.

भगवान के अनन्त नाम हैं, और हर नाम का कोई अर्थ. मैं उन नामों को देख रहा था और सोचा कि क्यों न इनको एक स्वर दिया जाये. पढ़िए और भगवान का स्मरण कीजिये.

अनन्त नामों में से कुछ…

केशव माधव मदन मुरारी
दयानिधि द्वारकाधीश बिहारी

यशोदानंदन मदनमोहन
देवकीनंदन घनश्याम

मुरलीधर श्याम मनोहर
मधुसूदन बलराम

विश्वरूप वासुदेव विश्वनाथ
जगद्गुरु जयन्ताह श्रीजगन्नाथ

लक्ष्मीकांत कंजलोचन
कमलनयन श्रीराम

अचल अजन्मा आदिदेव
पद्महस्ता परमपुरुष हिरण्यगर्भ

कृष्ण कन्हैया गोवर्धनधारी
मधुसूदन हरी मुरलीधारी

 

……….अभय………..

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.

immm

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.