Monday, August 20, 2018

1192. Man Made Misfortune.....

Our WhatsApp and Facebook are filled with heart-wrenching images and mind-shattering videos of the recent floods in Kerala. The intensity and the impact of this tragedy is beyond words and imagination, both in terms of loss of life and livelihood. Surely the consequences and future shock-waves of this destruction will be felt for many more months to come.

Regrettably, in the midst of the rescue operations and nationwide relief aids the natural disasters of this magnitude bring out another heartless and destructive wave, a blast of accusations and allegations against people of faith, and ultimately against God Himself. I do not understand why we bring God or even religion here.

The Supreme Court order on allowing woman to enter Sabarimala or the Bishop misdeeds does not cause Natural Disasters. Evangelist Lazarus Mohan wagging his tongue on “certain Hindu practices” for the cause of floods simply creates tension and disturbs the communal harmony. Rain is a natural phenomenon it happens irrespective of whether God wants it to happen or not. But Rain turning out to be a Natural Disaster is purely because of our irresponsibility. It is recorded that in the year 1924 southwest monsoon rainfall was the highest. A total of 3,368 mm water poured from the sky for a continuous three weeks and most parts of Kerala at that time were submerged. This year monsoon has not yet poured as much as it did in the year 1924. 

According to the Meteorological Department, the cumulative rainfall for Kerala between 1st of June to 15th of August this year was 2,087 mm. This is just an increase of 30 per cent from the normal 1,606 mm rainfall which Kerala receives every year. With a few days of monsoon still to go there are chances that the 1924 record could be breached. But the major question that needs to be answered is why has this simple rain turned out to be a Natural Disaster???

Western Ghats also known as Sahyadri mountain range is believed to be Parashurama Kshetra. Western Ghats is spread over six states with end-to-end length of 1,490 Kms and minimum width being 48 km to maximum width of 210 km. This hill range which is the backbone of Kerala is not only taken for granted but also is hugely exploited. In order to provide ecological security to this hill range the “Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel” was formed under Sri. Madhav Dhananjaya Gadgil, founder of the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

The committee also called “Gadgil Committee” suggested that this hill range be classified in three zones as per the requirement of environmental protection in the areas. The committee strongly recommended restrictions on mining, quarry, use of land for non-forest purposes and construction of high raised buildings. The irony is that of the six states Kerala reacted wildly against the report. 

Between the year 1920 and 1940 a large-scale migration of Syrian Christians took place from Central-South Kerala to northern regions of Kerala, this phenomenon is known as “Malabar Migration.” They acquired forest land in Wayanad and other areas by taking the revenue officials into confidence. Forest and waste land in huge volumes were converted into farms and plantations during this period and this became a threat to the ecosystem of Western Ghats. Keralites especially Christian organisations strongly protested the implementation of the report since most of the farmers in the hilly regions were Christians, especially in Wayanad region. Amidst the agitation against the Gadgil Committee Report, the Catholic Bishop of Idukki threatened, “in Kerala they will create another Kashmir” if the Kerala Government did not discard the proposals of Gadgil. This threat is still alive. 

Owing to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church pressure the Kerala Government rejected the committee report and did not adopt any of its recommendations to safe guard our Western Ghats.

Now, simple Rain has turned into Natural disaster here……who is to be blamed???

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

1191. My Motherland Bharata

To express something which I can only feel has never been easy as I run the risk of trying to describe that which my words fail to convey. One such feeling is when I dare to explain how my Motherland Bharata is embodiment of abundance. Last week I happened to watch a program on agriculture on one of the regional channels a program. I was surprised to know that a progessive farmer from Vijayapura, in Uttara Karnataka has made an effort to cultivate Dragon Fruit. Dragon fruit belongs to cactus family from North America and now grown in Southeast Asia. Very recently I came to know that in my native Gauribidanur Dates are cultivated. With a climate that ranges from Himalayan to tropical, my Motherland Bharata has much to offer in terms of diversity in agro products. Also my Motherland Bharata is so Phalavat (fertile) that it is the origin to one of the widest arrays of foods ranging from varieties of rice, millets and pulses to various tubers like taro and yams. Amazingly some of the most popular foods which is now part of the staple diet has not originate here. Onions came from Central Asia, potatoes and tomatoes are from the Peru and Mexico, chillies has its origin from Central America, rapeseed and mustard seed from the Mediterranean region, garlic and apples from Central Asia. Even the biggest staple of them all wheat originally developed in Turkey and came to my Motherland Bharata thousands of years ago.

Now for what my Motherland Bharata is given to the world the list is endless from Banana, Chickpea, Cinnamon, Clove, Coconut, Cucumber, Eggplant, Ginger, Lemon, Lentils, Mango, Melon, Millets, Rice, Sesame, Sugarcane, Tea, Yam, Turmeric and lot more.

Along with being a fertile land to let all kinds of vegetation to grow my Motherland Bharata is also know for being a “land of spirituality and philosophy”. The vast range in display of culture, languages, religion and celebrations. The varying spiritual beliefs threads an unbelievable fabric of harmony. For centuries, religious diversity is a way of defining religious characteristics of my Motherland Bharata. When it comes to relations, my Motherland Bharata is the one which keeps the social connections very strong. A secular state where all religions of the world are let to practice.  “Unity in Diversity” is the motto that has connected people of different religion here. One can get the message of love and brotherhood from all the regions and cultures here.  The fascinating statistics of our population depicts the picture of religious unity. No matter whether it is a celebration of Deepavali, Eid or Christmas all are celebrated with a shared emotion to bring people together.
Ultimately it is my Motherland which makes me feel a true Bharathvaasi. Every true big hearted inhabitant can feel the same in this land..........



“Lakshmana, even this golden Lanka does not appeal to me; Mother and Motherland are higher than even heaven.”

After the Lanka war Vibheeshana requested Shri Rama to stay back in Lanka. Lanka which was called Swarna Lanka and designed by Vishwakarma on the behest of Maharudradeva to gift it to His beloved Parvathidevi did not enchant Shri Rama hence He uttered so to His brother Lakshman.

I love my Motherland and live here it I die…….

Sare Jahan se Accha.....

Happy Independence Day to all my friends.....

Saturday, August 11, 2018

1190. A Courageous Woman.....!

When I posted a write up on “Maha Vishnu as Bauddha” a few days ago, there were a few who insisted that Gautam Buddha was different from the one which many Vaishnavas like me believe to be one among the ten incarnations of Maha Vishnu. Not going in details about the authenticity or contesting their views there was this one question which always haunted me.

Why did Prince Siddhartha leave behind his wife Yasodhara and son Rahula???  

The story says He left her in the middle of the night all of a sudden. How could Yasodhara have felt when she heard that He had left, the news must have been devastating for her. Yet, she did not blame anyone and never thought her life lost all meaning. Her son Rahula was everything for her from then on. She was advised by many of her friends and relatives to forget about the man who had left her and start life again. She was still young and most beautiful they all insisted that she marry again but she refused. She wanted to mould her son in such a way that the world would look up to.

Years rolled by……  

Then one fine day Prince Siddhartha came back as Gautama Buddha!

Gautama Buddha stood in front of Yasodhara and she could hardly remember him as the man who had left her.

“Now you are called “Buddha” isn’t it?” she asked him gently.

“I hear them call me so,” he answered in a politely.

“What does it mean?” she further inquired.

“I think it means the Enlightened One,” he informed.

Yasodhara smiled and then there was silence.

She then asked him, “Just tell me one thing, whatever they say you have attained. I can see you have attained whatsoever it is. I don’t know what it is, just tell me one thing: was it not possible for you to attain it here right in this palace?”

Gautama Buddha had no answer to it. He stood still. He knew now that it was possible to attain it right in that palace. He was advising all His disciples that to experience the stillness in the seat of silence it doesn’t matter if you are in a forest or in a royal palace, with family or in ashram. It was something to do with just being in the innermost core and that could have been done anywhere. Even in the palace and in the arms of Yasodhara.

To break the silence, Yasodhara continued, “I suppose we have both learned something. Your lessons, O! Buddha, will make the world richer spiritually, but my lesson will unfortunately remain largely unknown.”

“And what lesson is that?” Gautama Buddha asked her.

There was a spark from the light that reflected on her unshed tear, “That a courageous woman does not need anyone to complete her..... She is complete on her own.”

I bow to the womanhood for the Yasodhara!!! 

1189. WhatsApp Forward menance....!

“My son is unable to attend his kindergarten classes! The moment we drop him at the school, somebody brings him back home.” The father of 5 year old was wailing unable to find a solution. It so happened that a few months back this kid was missing and one of his relative had uploaded the photo of the kid with the address requesting anyone who finds the kid to get him to the address. That was about 8 months back but the message is been forwarded even to this day among the WhatsApp users. 

It is found that we Indians are the most who forward the messages, share the photos and videos on WhatsApp than people of any other country. But the app now plans to bring in some restrictions on these to curb the menace of fake and provocative messages. Last month I received a B + blood request message forwarded to me. It had a contact number I called the number to know which hospital I had to rush to. The person on the other side said that the request was place two months before and now the patient had recovered and back home. I called back my friend who had sent me the message. “I just forwarded it, yaar!” was the replay. I don’t say it was irresponsibility of my friend, as it would be difficult for him to go for the authenticity of the message before forward it to others as the requirement of blood was the priority. 

Now with the Independence Day around the corner there is this message which is circulating, UNESCO has declared the Indian National Anthem “ana Gana Mana” to be the best in the world. This message is been circulated since March 2016 and it becomes more active among the WhatsApp users when Republic Day or Independence Day is nearing. And what a patriotic lot we are that we forward it even after knowing that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have clarified that they don’t declare best national anthem, best P.M or best Religion. They had to come up with this declaration after a series of declarations in their name went viral in India.

Recently there were false rumours forwarded about child abduction which spread virally over WhatsApp, leading to several lynching incidences. A photo of a man molesting a woman that was circulated on WhatsApp triggered communal riots in West Bengal last year. Ironically the photo that was in circulation was a screenshot from a Bhojpuri movie. There is no need to confirm the authenticity most people don’t want to. It is called Confirmation Bias; if the message suits their ideology they just forward it.

Added to this we have Parody Accounts on Twitter and Facebook and a screenshot of this is used to trick the public. In a classic example a parody page of Republic TV was shared by Shehla Rashid, the former JNU student union leader which was then forwarded on WhatsApp. After the truth came out and she and those who forwarded it had to face backlash and the page was taken down, but as long as it was there, it created a lot of fake news mischief.

Now what is the solution???

How about charging Rs. 10 for each message that is forwarded……just a thought…! 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

1188. Debt towards Security Forces.....!

In Hinduism there is a belief of Three Debts of Gratitude know as RNatraya, which implies more of Dayittva (Responsibility) than Bahdyata (Obligation). Every individual is born with three RNas namely Rishi RNa (Debt towards Preceptors), Pitru RNa (Debt towards Ancestors) and Deva RNa (Debt towards Divinity).

Rishi RNa accumulates when an individual as a Brahmachari (Student) acquires the knowledge passed on to him by his Guru. When the individual uses that knowledge constructively for the welfare of the society or if he passes on the knowledge to the generation next this Rishi RNa gets discharged.

An individual owes his existence to his ancestors. As a Grihasta it becomes his responsibility to extend the lineage by begetting children and sustain the family by take care of his parents. Thus the Pitru RNa is taken care off.

A Wiseman experiences God in Nature. This nature emanated from God and nature is sustained by Him. Whatever we receive from nature, is the due which we need to give back. Deva RNa is repaid when we nurture the nature.

An individual is free from these three Debts of Gratitude when he gives back to the society, ancestry and nature. But there is one RNa which he cannot repay, that is “Matru RNa” the Debt towards Mother and it is the highest RNa. Even taking care of her in her old age cannot dissolve it, unless Mother herself liberates us with her blessings.

In the times of Monarchy in India there were Kings going on war to extend their supremacy. War takes away the life of many Sainik (Soldiers) and the Kings were the Ashrayadaata (Protector) of the soldier’s family. In recent times we have Army which stand guarding our borders. In safe guarding us from the potential enemies from across the border some of our army men are martyred. Yes, Army does take care of their family but we the citizens accumulate what is called “Sainika RNa” for spending our day without fear and worry. We have to discharge our responsibility too in this regard.

In a most unfortunate incidence a soldier loses his life and becomes a martyr. Army provides the family from Army Group Insurance Fund, Army Wives Welfare Association, Army Officers Benevolent Fund and the State Government also provides job guarantee to a family member and Monetary Compensation. My friends whatever that the Army or Governments (Central and State) is providing is to little to compensate for the LIFE of a solider. Though it is a wonderful gesture, will the family of a martyr know that there are citizens who are concerned about the loss of that life??? Our present Government has given us an opportunity to discharge our “Sainika RNa” by sharing the responsibility of the families of the martyred soldiers.

Friends, please visit this web site initiated by our beloved Pradan Sevak Modi ji to honour the martyred who served for our nation. Media is not interested to enlighten us with such sites let us share to the maximum.

We can contribute any small amount directly to the account of the martyred. One small percentage of amount that we spend at malls can work wonders…… Nothing by force let it be from the feel…!!!    

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

1187. Self Resilience......!

There is a Sanskrit saying “Paradhinam Prana Sankatam” it vaguely means “Dependence constrains the Vital Breath.” Here if we observe the word used is “Prana” and not “Atma” Why have they used Prana???
Our scripture says that Prana (Vital Breath) is the last to leave the body and along with it, it takes the Chaitanya (Consciousness). Hanuman is called Mukhya Prana in Dvaita Philosophy. He is termed “Jeevottama” the best among Jeevis. Why is he called Muhkya Prana? If contemplated deep there are Abhimana Devathas for all our organs. Surya is the devatha for sight, Ashwini twins for smell, Varuna for taste, Saraswathi for speech, Kubera for touch, Bruhaspathi for hearing, Maharudradeva for mind and so on. If either of the devathas leave the body the physical body does exist, but if Mukhya Prana (Vital Breath) leaves the body, Sri Hari who is the Chaitanya (Consciousness) in us depart.

We are asked to recite “Hanuman Chalisa” to gain Self-Resiliency. Self-Resiliency is a trait by which we are able to psychologically prepare our mind and have a sense of meaning and purpose to face all challenges that we may encounter in our life. Hanuman is embodiment of Self-Resiliency.

Now, this Self-Resilient should not be confused with Self-Dependent. To be Self-Dependent is to go through life without a need to depend on others, be it financially or emotionally. Self-Resilient is to have the zeal to recover from setbacks and have an ability to bounce back quickly. Actually the word Resilience is used to any material which has the capability to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressed stress. Rubber is one such material, it bounces back to the original shape and size as soon as the stress is removed.

Hanuman was one such character in Ramayana which made Sage Valmiki call him “DhIra”. In Sanskrit this word can be analysed as “Dhi Sa Ramante itti DhIra” meaning one who is delighted to go with what the Dhi says is DhIra.”  

Now what is this Dhi???   
Dhi is the highest power a human being possesses and it has its dwelling in the Ajna Chakra (Pineal Gland). Using of this power is the one which differentiates a human from an animal. An animal in its entire lifespan is after SEED namely Sleep, Eat, Enjoy and Defend. There is one trait in humans which highlights the distinction and that is the use of Dhi, the Intellect. With this ever bright and glowing Dhi Shakti it is possible to discriminate what to do and what not to in accordance with Dharmic sense or if you want me to say in modern language Ethical sense. Hanuman was Self-Resilient and hence he was DhIra.

A prime cause for losing peace of mind is dependence on others. As far as possible, of course if we earnestly try, we will discover that there are no hurdles to become Self-Resilient. Being Self-Resilient boosts us to go after our responsibilities at ease. Just as the responsibility to find Sitadevi and bring Sanjeevini was successfully handled by Hanuman.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

1186. Inshallah......Allah Willing???

“Inshallah” (Allah Willing) was a phrase I heard from my Muslim friends when I was in college. It was used the same way that we would use “hopefully” at the end of a sentence. Later on a few of my Non-Muslim friends also sometimes use this phrase to be said as a positive thing. Now this phrase is abused and now ISIS terrorists also end their threats with this phrase. Last year in a threat video to Pope an ISIS criminal looked straight at the camera and said, “We will be in Rome, Inshallah” the video shows them vandalising the church in Marawi city, Philippines. How could it be “Allah Willing” to vandalise a place of worship??? Is it the Allah inspiration for these ruthless criminals to go about conquering what they call “Kafir” territory??? Does every atrocity these warmongers indulge in have the willingness of Allah???

In every act that we decide to perform, there will be two forms of Svatantrya (Independence) we get to use. One is Datta Svatantrya (Granted Independence) and Svagata Svatantrya (Inherent Independence).  Datta Svatantrya is the freedom we have to thinking what is right and which is wrong in context to our future actions. Svagata Svatantrya is our inbuilt characteristics of spiritual awakening. It is to have an open and unlimited mind which does not depend on external conditions hence no longer emotionally and mentally tied to the action coming from it. 

In Mahabharata, Yudhishtira also gets confused like the ISIS militant about “God’s Will” but in a different sense though. After losing the Game of Dice the Pandavas are sent to forest for 12 years. After spending a year Bhimasena, tells Draupadi that he is doubtful about the intention of Duryodhana. He says, "There is every chance that Duryodhana might not give us back the Kingdom after we return back finishing our 12 years of exile and 1 year in incognito". Bhimasena asked Draupadi to talk to Yudhisthira in this regard and convince him to give and get his permission so that he can trounced the Kauravas and get back the Kingdom. 

When Draupadi placed this most likely situation before Yudhishtira, the embodiment of Righteousness said, “If it so happens, it must be the will of God, and we need to accept it.” Hearing this Draupadi reprimands him and wants to know if the brutality displayed at the Kuru Sabha where she was disrobed was also the will of God???

Draupadi further enlightens us about “Kartuttva” (Doer-Ship). An individual cannot attribute his every act as “God Willing” if he is aspiring to enjoy the Bhogattva (Enjoyer-Ship). The Kartuttva is a Bhava (Emotion) which when uses the Svagata Svatantrya (Inherent Independence) it does not have the Bhogattva, if it is filled with Mamattva (Owner-Ship) it falls to Datta Svatantrya (Granted Independence). 

Every individual is bestowed with Svagata Svatantrya from Paramatma (Absolute Consciousness), but due to the blaze of Jeevatma (Individual Consciousness) we tend to use Datta Svatantrya also. Sometimes even while using Datta Svatantrya we might choose the right path but occasionally due to situation or sense gratification we could opt the unwanted wrong path. It is here we should not accredit our foolhardy actions on to God.  

A terrorist cannot proclaim the heinous crimes that he does is in accordance to “God’s Will” and at the same time a terror victim who has suffered due to terrorism should not meekly say “Ascribe to the Lord”.