Dualism!

This world is nothing but full of duality. The phone which I had bought two years back gave me immense happiness at that time, but now it doesn’t give me the same pleasure because it’s not up to the standards which are prevalent in the market. “Remember the phone is same”. The ecstasy which one may have when being in certain kind of relationships with someone, may turn into a constant source of agony when it falters. “Remember the source of pleasure and pain is the same person.” The moon, the rain, the flowers or any other aspects of nature can make someone fall in love, but for someone who may have separated from his/her love, the same moon, same rain, same flower seems like forest fire.  The water is same everywhere with same Chemical Formula H2O. Parched land of deserts and people living there desperately hankers for it, but the same water has created much havoc in God’s Own Country. “Remember water is same”. In Sanskrit, there is very popular section of verse “Sa Vidya ya Vimuktaye” meaning knowledge is one that liberates. But many a times the knowledge becomes the source of bondage.

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Day-Night, Happiness-Sorrow, Cold-Hot, Weak-Strong, Love-Hate, Victory-Defeat, Birth-Death……… Oh the list of duality in this creation is endless. I may not be able to list it down all and frankly speaking it will not be of great use. Through analogy we can easily relate this. What is important, in my view, is to understand this deeply because understanding this nature of the world in quintessential to live peacefully.

Just before the War of Mahabharata, Arjuna was in complete delusion about his action. He pleaded Lord Krishna to enlighten him with transcendental knowledge. Then a song, or Geet in Sanskrit, came in to existence, which later became popularized as Bhagvad Gita. In second chapter of this book, this dualism is discussed in details by Krishna to make Arjuna aware of his duties. Out of many instructions…one goes as…..

“Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat…….”

Everyone of us is fighting our own battle in our own capacities…Understanding the plot is helps a lot.

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Being Lakshman

So, when demon Marich came in a disguise of a magnificent golden deer and roamed around the hermit, where Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshmana were staying, Sita immediately became magnetized by seeing her beauty. She made a request to Lord Ram that she is so moved by the exquisiteness of that deer that she wants it immediately. Lord Ram, knowing that it may be an illusion, tried to convince Her about its futility and possible consequences but Devi Sita’s was unappeasable. She argued, “I have spent nearly thirteen years of my youthful life in the forest, caves, mountains and away from any form of luxuries without any regret, I never requested anything except your company, this is my only desire that I am extending to You, please accept it.” Lord Ram was touched by Her plea and agreed to chase down and bring that golden deer. He cautioned Lakshman to guard Devi Sita and not to leave the place until He returns.

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Credit: Internet

The chase began. The deer was fast and frantic, but it was chased by none other than the Supreme Being. After going deeper in to the forest, by taking appropriate position, Ram shot an arrow and it pierced the heart of the deer. But to the amusement of Lord Ram, the deer suddenly turned in to a Demon and started wailing and calling “Oh! Lakshman Oh! Site!!! Oh Site!!! Oh Lakshman!!!”

Sita and Lakshman who were still in the hermit, heard the excruciating voice in which their name were being called. Sita immediately became anxious, perturbed and thought that Lord must have been fallen in a great danger and hence He is calling for help. She was in tears and asked Lakshman to leave immediately and go for help to his elder brother.

Lakshman was unusually very calm 🙂 and told her to not worry as no one in this three worlds can inflict any pain and danger to Sri Ram. In front of His strength even the demigods would not withstand, what to speak of the species of this planet. But Sita was unmoved by the argument and was constantly thinking that Her husband must be in great danger. She was constantly making request to Lakshman to go for the search of Ram. Lakshman was constantly reminding Her that Lord has told him to not to leave Sita alone, as this can be a trap.

At last Sita became furious and enraged on the arguments of  Lakshman and chastised and labeled atrocious allegations. She rebuked Lakshman “Even after my constant request to go for the help of your elder Brother, who seems to be severe in danger, you are in constant mode of denial. Now I got to know the real purpose why you came with us all along the forest leaving a Royal life. You had an attachment towards me and you must have thought that in forest when Lord Ram will not be there with me, you could enjoy me. Now that time has come. Even you are listening the desperate call of your brother for help, but you are so fallen that you are not willing to leave me!!!You are attracted by my beauty and have lost all your morality ”

I will stop the narration here. Everybody knows the story (at least Indians) what happened after that.

I was just thinking how it would be like “Being Lakshman” in that situation? A devoted brother, who left a royal and luxurious life a prince of a Chakravarti Kingdom, was faced an allegation of moral misconduct and lose character from none other than the lady whom he consider as mother throughout his life. How much pain he would have gone through, when these charges were labeled against him.

I was just thinking that even when we commit mistakes or any offence against other of any kind, and when someone admonishes us we feel so much burdened disheartened. And there in Lakshman, innocent of any crime and an epitome of sacrifice, how he could have tolerated those harsh words.

Ram is real. Ramayan is not out dated. It has several stories and characters which is even more relevant these days, when society is grappling with so many gruesome, atrocious, despicable, heinous, monstrous and abhorrent events. You know what I mean, Don’t you?

If time permits read Ramayan. Listen the Stories of Ramanyan from bonafide source. Discuss it. Deliberate on it.  Things will happen, either good or bad. It’s up to us to be a participant, in either good or bad.

Thank You!

On the floor..

Ananda was the dear most and very prominent disciple of Gautam Buddha. Many scriptures are filled with their conversations. Through their conversations, we got to know some of the basic teachings and doctrines of Buddhism.

The relationship between Guru and his disciples has always been a revered one in India. The place of Guru has always regarded as on top in Indian society. Even Ram and Krishna who is God himself has to go to their respective Gurus, who imparted in them the real Knowledge.

Recently I came across, one such instance where this tradition was on full display and it was awe striking to me.

One Guru (in His late 60s) was traveling in First Class AC compartment along with one of his dearest disciple (in his 40s). Both got their seats in the same compartment. The seat was allocated in such a manner that the upper berth was for the Guru and the Lower Berth was for the disciple.

As the night arrived, Guru told his disciple that even though the berth allocated to him was Upper One, yet since he was feeling body pain hence he wanted to sleep in lower berth and asked His disciple to take the upper seat. The Disciple, who has relinquished all his material possession and a lucrative career of a Doctor only to serve his Spiritual Master, would have hardly disagreed to this insignificant proposal. He massaged the feet of his Spiritual Master till he felt asleep.

Night was passing as if it is in competition with the speed of the train. Sometime in mid night eyes of the Guru opened and he saw his disciple was lying on the floor of the train and was in deep sleep. The upper berth was empty. Since he saw his disciple  in deep sleep ,the Guru didn’t disturbed him but he himself, was unable to sleep whole night.

At 3:30 AM, as usual, the disciple woke up to engage himself in the service of the Supreme and His Spiritual Master.

But as soon he turned towards his master, he saw him already woken up. He felt ashamed. He asked to his master, was he facing any problem in sleeping? Did he needed something? Why didn’t He woke him up?

His master asked to him “why you slept on the floor and not on the reserved upper berth as I told you?”

Disciple initially remained silent but the Guru again asked the same question. The the disciple replied, “how could I take or sleep on a position which is in elevated position than you, I found the floor of the train much comfortable than the upper berth of the First Class of the train. I had a very sound and blissful sleep, which probably couldn’t have on the upper berth”.

Seeing the dedication and surrenderness of his disciple, the Guru became ecstatic and embraced his disciple and told “please forgive me, because of me you have to sleep on the floor.” Disciple also became delighted.

Sleeping on the floor may not be as bad as it seems. It depends on the purpose.

मधुराष्टकम्/ Madhurashtkam

नमस्ते मित्रों !

गीत या काव्य अभिव्यक्ति की वह विधा है जिसमें लेखक या कवि विषय भाव के सागर में डूब कर अमूल्य मोती बाहर ले आता है! जो चीजें दिखती हैं, उसके बारे में लिखना आसान होता है, परन्तु मैं यह सोचने पर विवश हो जाता हूँ कि कोई व्यक्ति भगवान कि विषय में इतना कैसे डूब जाता है कि वह उत्कृष्ट रचनाओं का सृजन सुगमता से मार्मिकता के साथ करने में सक्षम होता है.
आज मैं आप सब के समक्ष श्रीपाद वल्लभाचार्य द्वारा रचित भगवान श्री कृष्ण को समर्पित एक गीत या भजन को प्रस्तुत कर रहा हूँ. वल्लभाचार्य 15 वीं शताब्ती के भक्ति मार्ग के आचार्य थे और प्रसिद्ध शासक राजा कृष्णदेव राय के समवर्ती थे.
किसी भी गीत का life cycle कितना हों सकता है, इस विषय पर हम यदि सोचे तो अलग अलग उत्तर मिलेगा, पर यह भजन 500 साल से ज़्यादा प्राचीन है और अब भी प्रचलित है, इसकी महत्ता बताने के लिए काफी है
हो सकता है आप में से कईयों ने इसको सुना या पढ़ा हो, पर जो व्यक्ति इससे वंचित रह गए हों, उनके लिए यह आनंद का श्रोत हो सकता है.
इस भजन का नाम “मधुराष्टकम” है. मधुर मतलब मीठा और अष्टकम मतलब इसमें आठ छंद या stanza हैं. इसमें भगवान के विभिन्न पहलुओं का वर्णन किया गया है.

मूलतः यह रचना संस्कृत में है, पर जो व्यक्ति हिंदी समझ सकते हैं उनको अधिकांश शब्दों के अर्थ आसानी से समझ आ जायेंगे, और जिन शब्दों के अर्थ समझ न आये उसके लिए उन्हें थोड़ा परिश्रम करना होगा. Internet पर आसानी से अर्थ मिल जायेंगे, और शायद से Wikipedia पर भी इसका अर्थ है . इस भजन को कई प्रसिद्ध गायकों ने स्वर दिया है परन्तु मुझे Pandit Jasraj और  M.S. Subbulakshmi की आवाज़ में यह रचना काफी अच्छी लगती है. आप भी आंनद ले सकते हैं

मधुराष्टकम्

अधरं मधुरं वदनं मधुरं
नयनं मधुरं हसितं मधुरम् ।
हृदयं मधुरं गमनं मधुरं
मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥ १ ॥

वचनं मधुरं चरितं मधुरं
वसनं मधुरं वलितं मधुरम् ।
चलितं मधुरं भ्रमितं मधुरं
मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥ २ ॥

वेणु-र्मधुरो रेणु-र्मधुरः
पाणि-र्मधुरः पादौ मधुरौ ।
नृत्यं मधुरं सख्यं मधुरं
मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥ ३ ॥

गीतं मधुरं पीतं मधुरं
भुक्तं मधुरं सुप्तं मधुरम् ।
रूपं मधुरं तिलकं मधुरं
मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥ ४ ॥

करणं मधुरं तरणं मधुरं
हरणं मधुरं स्मरणं मधुरम् ।
वमितं मधुरं शमितं मधुरं
मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥ ५ ॥

गुंजा मधुरा माला मधुरा
यमुना मधुरा वीची मधुरा ।
सलिलं मधुरं कमलं मधुरं
मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥ ६ ॥

गोपी मधुरा लीला मधुरा
युक्तं मधुरं मुक्तं मधुरम् ।
दृष्टं मधुरं शिष्टं मधुरं
मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥ ७ ॥

गोपा मधुरा गावो मधुरा
यष्टि र्मधुरा सृष्टि र्मधुरा ।
दलितं मधुरं फलितं मधुरं
मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ॥ ८ ॥

 

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स्मरण

स्मरण

आशंकाओं से घिरे पहर में ,

   दुविधाओं के बीच भंवर में,

     दर्द भरी आहों में,

      या सूनी राहों में

         मरुभूमि के टीलों में

           नेत्र बनी जो झीलों में

             या बंजर मैदानों में

             सूखे खेत खलिहानो में

                स्वजनित विपदाओं में

                 या प्राकृतिक आपदाओं में

जब जब हम खुद को

   हारा हुआ पाते हैं

     नेत्र स्वतः बंद हो जाते हैं

       वंदन को हाथ जुड़ जाता है

         कभी अहम् से था जो मस्तक ऊँचा

          वह  भी झुक जाता है

            दुःख की घड़ी में तो अनायास ही

              ध्यान प्रभु का आता है

                पर सुख के पहर में स्मरण ईश्वर को

                     शायद ही कोई कर पाता 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.