Am a teacher by profession. A student of History and international politics. Believe that Bhakti (Devotion) and Humanism can only save Humanity. Revere all creation. My thoughts are influenced by His Holiness Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale
Wishing you all and everyone at home a very Happy Diwali…
In these times of the pandemic, all I ask from God is to bless us all with a very healthy life. May these clouds of fear and danger pass soon and let the Sun shine upon us as always!
Let us all be socially responsible and follow the Covid-19 guidelines to their fullest and spend time with our individual families. Let the time spent be not only of fun and frolic, but also spent on thinking about our responsibilities towards self, family, society, nation and the world as a whole.
Wishing you all and all your extended families a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year.
A son of a Marathi Sardar, Shivaji Maharaj’s triumph over Afzal Khan is one of the notable moments of Maratha History.
The treacherous Khan was killed in broad daylight in sight of his bodyguards, when he tried to act smart and kill Shivaji Maharaj. Maharaj was well prepared and dug his dagger deep into Khan’s abdomen and pulled out his intestines. Yet the Khan fought back and tried to escape, when one of the Maratha Sardar’s beheaded him.
Maharaj won and the tyranny lost.
Khan was tyrannical. He had destroyed Pandharpur and Tuljapur temples and broken the idols installed there, while moving towards Shivaji Maharaj. He had killed a lot of innocent people and plundered their households. Burnt all the fields in his path, just to get Shivaji Maharaj out of his hole, as he put it. But Shivaji was alert and he stayed put at Pratapgad, a fort in the dense jungles of Javali, a fort near Mahabaleshwar hill station now. Slowly Khan drew up nearer and nearer to Shivaji.
At the opportune moment, Maharaj wrote a letter to Afzal Khan and agreed to meet him. But he had his own terms and conditions. They would meet at the foothills of Pratapgad. Accompanied by a few bodyguards and no one else. Khan felt that Shivaji Maharaj was afraid of him and so he agreed.
And this meeting took place on 10th November, 1659
And the rest is history!
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Ki Jay!
JAY BHAVANI! JAY SHIVAJI!
Am sharing the Powada of Afzal Khan vadh. We all have heard it in the movie “Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy” प्रतापगडाच्या पायथ्याशी खान …(३) आला बेगुमान नाही त्याला जाण शिवाजी राजाच्या करामतिची त्याशी नाही जाणीव शक्तिची करील काय कल्पना युक्तिची हा जी जी जी …(३) महाराजानी निरोप घेतला …(२) अन दंडवत घातला भावानीला तसाच आई जिजाऊला वकुत ह्यो वंगळ त्यों कसला पानी आल आईच्या डोळ्याला अन सरदार लागला रडायला अहो हे हे हे सरदार तर रडतीलच पण हत्ती घोड़ शिव ना चार्याला अन गाई बघा लागल्या हम्बराया असला बेहुद वकुत आला दुश्मनाच्या गोटामधी चालला मराठ्याचा राजा अहो राजा हो जी र दाजी र जी जी …(३) खानाच्या भेटीसाठी …(२) महाराजानी एक शानदार शामियाना उभारला होता भेटीसाठी छान उभारीला नक्षीदार शामियान्याला अन अशा ह्या शामियान्यात खान डौलत डुलत आला …(२) सय्यद बंडा त्याच्या संगतीला शिवबाच्या संगती महाला म्हणतात ना होता जीवा म्हणुन वाचला शिवा राजाला पाहून खान म्हणतो आओ आओ शिवाजी आओ हमारे गले लग जाओ खान हाक मारीतो हसरी …(२) रोखून नजर गहिरीजी र जी जी … पण आपला राजा …(२) काही कच्च्या गुरुचा चेला नव्हता राजा गोर पहात त्याची न्यारी चाल चित्याची सावध भारी जी र जी जी … खानान राजाला आलिंगन दिल अन दगा केला खान दाबी मानी मान्याला …(२) कट्यारीचा वार त्यान केला …(२) गर खरा आवाज झाला चिलाखत व्हत अंगाला खानाचा वार फुका गेला खान यडबडला इतक्यात महाराजानी पोटामधी पिसवा ढकलला वाघनखांचा मारा केला हे टरटरा फाडल पोटाला हे तडा गेला खानाचा कोथळा बाहिर आला जी र जी जी …(३) प्रतापगडाचे युद्ध जाहले …(३) रक्त सांडले पाप सारे गेले पावन केला क्रुष्णेचा घाट …(२) लावली गुलामिची हो वाट …(२) मराठे शाहिचा मांडला थाट हो जी जी …(३)
Let us burn the vices of Ravan and embed values of Ram within us…
Let the Ram within, win today and from today onwards forever…
Let us all prepare to welcome Ram into our lives and accept our limitations as Good Humans…
The day of “Seemolanghan” (सीम्मोलंघन). It literally means to cross the borders. Not the borders drawn on the maps but the borders drawn in our society and in our minds.
Biggest border in our life is
“I Can’t Do“.
“I Can’t Accept“.
And the last is
“I Cannot Change“.
We have set these limitations in our lives and live with them. Today is the day to remember that “I CAN”. Let us all recall, remember and understand that Bhagwaan Ram had Vaanar’s to fight on his behalf. Vaanar means the one who is not sure about being Human. Ram took them together, revived their spirit and fought with their help to win the war. We all are like the Vaanars. Let us recognise the Ram within. The day we shed our inhibitions, we too will win the war.
Let us all remember, recite and learn the Shlok given below. It talks about the Surya. The problems he has and yet how He keeps on working. रथस्येकं चक्रं भुजगयमित सप्ततुरङ्गः
(The sun in the sky travels everyday with all odds against him, like a chariot with one wheel, seven horses trod by serpents and the driver without legs. Great people don’t depend on their accessories. They achieve their goal by their spirit and determination)
Let us all remember that it is the spirit within which keeps us going. So on this Dusshara, let us pray to God that He removes this vice of “I Can’t Do” from our lives and lead us to the light of “I Can Do“.
Second I cannot accept. Can we imagine ourselves accepting our own enemy? No we dont. We dont even accept our own, if they do wrong to us. But when we study Ram’s life, we learn to accept. He not only accepted the self doubting Vanars but also the brother of his enemy, Vibhishan. He accepted him with full faith and crowned him the King of Lanka, the day He accepted him. If He can, can we not?
I would say let us begin with accepting our small mistakes in life. Let us begin by accepting the vices within us. Let us accept the people as they are and not what we like them to be. I know it’s difficult but it’s a border which we need to cross in our lives. We need to crossover from I cannot accept to I can accept. Let us keep Bhagwaan Ram as our ideal.
Last is I cannot change. We talk about it next time.
Wishing you and everyone in your family and friends a very Happy Dusshara…
“God wishes that I start my work from this place, through this sign, Nirmala. We will start our Vidyapeeth here,” said Pandurang Shastriji Atahvale.
Pandurang Shastriji Athavale, Dadaji, had just come back from Japan. He had attended the World Religious Conference and propounded the theory talked about in Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. But when asked whether he had something concrete to show, he had returned back to India, to experimentally prove the teachings of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta.
His thoughts during the flight back home, were just about the recent offer by Dr.Crompton, he had declined politely and the challenge he had taken up to prove the thoughts he had put forth in his speeches at the Conference. Impressed by his clarity of thoughts, Dr.Crompton, a Nobel laureate, had offered Dadaji, to come to USA and propagate his thoughts about Geeta and Vedic culture. He was astonished when the young Pandurang declined it with utmost modesty. Dadaji in the flight was thinking that what he did was right. As the people in USA are not aware about Bhagwaan Krishna and so maybe will not have faith in him. So he will have to begin from scratch. Whereas in India, the people know Bhagwaan Krishna and had utmost faith in him. So it would be easier to talk to them and make them understand the thoughts. It is simple logic that a person follows who he trusts or has faith in. So now the first thing on reaching India would be to start looking for a place in and near Mumbai from where he can not only propagate His thoughts, but the place would also initiate experiments based on the thoughts.
On reaching Mumbai, the quest for finding the place began. He along with his consort, Nirmalatai, started visiting places for starting an institution for the above said activity. One day, while visiting a place near Kapurbawdi area of Thane, a district close to Mumbai, Nirmalatai’s chappals (footwear) got stuck in the mud. So taking this as a sign from the Divine, Dadaji laid the foundation stone for the institution on 22nd October 1954, Ashwin Sud Saptami, incidentally his birthday too according to Indian calendar.
Thus began the work on one of the only institutions that teaches how to lead a good life and how to become a good human! I have not heard of any such institution till date whose education is not going to fetch one nothing but knowledge. Yes I reiterate NO job, NO bread, NO fame.
As th work on the building proceeded, Dadaji went through a phase when he did not have any money left to continue with the building work. But God worried for his son and sent the money through people always wishing well for Dadaji. To save on every paise, Dadaji got the bricks made in the place itself. He himself was instrumental in making the bricks. Even today when we visit the place we get to see TVP (Tatvadnan Vidyapeeth) engraved on those bricks there.
The day of formal opening arrived in the year 1958, when the then Vice President, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, an acknowledged philosopher himself, arrived at Tatvadnan Vidyapeeth. It was a sombre occasion with a feeling and a touch of a family and not about protocols at all. After lunch, both Dadaji and Radhakrishnanji started talking about the future of the Vidyapeeth when the issue of economic dependency came up. Radhakrishnanji, being elder and more experienced, asked Dadaji about how he intends to run the Vidyapeeth without asking for funds. He even went further to cite his own experience when he and Madan Mohan Malviyaji asked for funds, for running the Benares Hindu University, from the society. To which Dadaji replied humbly, “Sir, we differ in fundamentals. For you, the society is absolute, whereas for me it is God. This is His institution and l would leave it upto Him to let it run. The day it doesnt, I have kept the lock ready. Will lock it up and go home.” Radhakrishnanji, a senior, was taken aback but admired the love of this young Shastri for his principles, especially faith in God. It is well evident that even in his last days on Mother Earth, Radhakrishnanji was happy to know that the institution he had inaugurated was still working.
Such is the Tatvadnan Vidyapeeth, whose birthday is today.
And such is Pandurang Shastriji Athavale, whose centenary birthday, we celebrate today.
The shlok uttered by Arjun, the disciple of God, talks about Him being the Creator of everything that you and me can see, hear, feel or touch with our senses, again created by Him and he offers a 1000 salutations to Him again and again.
You are Vāyu (the god of wind), Yamraj (the god of death), Agni (the god of fire), Varuṇ (the god of water), and Chandra (the moon-God). You are the creator Brahma, and the great-grandfather of all beings. I offer my salutations unto you a thousand times, again and yet again!
Have purposely taken this shlok today to celebrate the coming of my elder brother, my teacher, the creator of Swadhyay Parivaar, the recipient of Ramon Magasaysay Award for Community Leadership of 1996, the John Templeton prize for Progress in Religion of 1997 and the Padma Vibhusan, the second highest civilian honour in India of 1998, Param Poojaniya Pandurang Shahtriji Athavale ( Dadaji, as he is widely known to Swadhyayees). We celeberate His birthday as Manushya Gaurav Din, “Human Dignity Day“.
It is His 100th birthday and today we sit at His feet, trying to understand His thoughts and His work and His experiments on humanity. The work of human upliftment. Instilling a sense of gratitude towards God, society and self, He has guided millions of people, mainly Indians, across the world.
In the early 1920’s, a feast in the temple in a village of Roha, situated in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The rituals have just finished and people rush towards the area designated for lunch. The Gods have been offered a “bhog” which will be distributed as “Prasad” amongst the devotees. Some people wait at the steps of the temple for the Prasad. A few moments later, the head priest of the temple emerges from temple onto the steps with a few leaf – plates in hand and some morsels of food in it. He throws them onto the group of people waiting there who just grab it and eat out from them. It is an intriguing sight. A boy, very small, is watching this from not so long a distance and feels that something is wrong. He questions, “Why are these people being treated in this inhumanely manner? How come they do not feel bad being treated in this manner?”
The same boy after a few days, asks his grandfather the reason for taking a bath after returning from the so called downtrodden slum after teaching them the Dnyaneshwari. Laxmanraoji, a Brahmin scholar by himself, used to go regularly to the slums and teach the Dnyaneshwari to the people living there. A time when even the shadow of these people falling on oneself was considered inauspicious, he on his own went there and sat amongst them and taught them Dnyaneshwari, which in itself was very revolutionary. But keeping the sentiments of his community in mind, after returning would take a bath and then enter the house. On being explained this, the boy asked a pointed question to his grandfather, “If it is God who has made us all, how can they be down trodden? If God resides in us all, then how can they be considered inauspicious?”
After a few years, the boy is now in his youth, and has come to Mumbai to live with his parents. He has taken up reading at the Asiatic library. One monsoon evening after the library closed, he went and sat at the shores of Gateway of India. The waters of the Arabian Sea have swelled up due to the strong winds. A fisherman in his small boat is trying to balance his boat by resisting those winds and waves and trying hard to sail and save himself. The youth thinks to himself “What a brave man! Just look at the amount of energy he has. And people blame him and his society and look down upon them for all the vices. But if someone sits near this person and makes him realise his strengths and that God resides within him, then he can do anything which people feel is impossible for him to do.”
This youth today has transformed many lives and societies and has given them a self identity. He is none other than Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale, fondly called Dadaji, whose 100th birthday, is being celebrated by the Swadhyay Parivaar today.
An activist philosopher, who has not only propounded , but lived the philosophy of Indwelling God and Universal Brotherhood under the Fatherhood of God. These are not mere concepts, but today have become a way of living for many, who call themselves, Swadhyayees. These thoughts have changed the lives of many a people and society as a whole.
To imbibe and practise these two concepts Dadaji has given a small experiment, amongst his many experiments, a prayer, called Trikaal Sandhya, meaning to remember God, 3 times a day. He calls it an Atom Bomb. A householder might find it difficult to remember God at every instant, but he can do so at atleast 3 important junctures of his everyday life. First, in the morning, when he awakes. God gives us back our memory which we had forgotten when we slept. “SMRUTIDAAN“. Second during lunch/dinner time, when we eat our food and that converts to energy. God is there to oversee this process. “SHAKTIDAAN“. And at night, when God takes away all the thoughts from our mind, so we can sleep well. “SHANTIDAAN“. Being grateful to God slowly helps in experiencing the nearness of God and oneness with God. At the same time it develops an understanding, that what He does to me, He does unto others. So the other is not other. The other may not be related to me by blood, but we are related by the same maker of blood, God. So other is my divine brother. It’s a chain reaction which spread slowly Trikaal Sandhya being the neutron bombarded on the Human, the uranium atom.
This prayer, for you my readers, might sound like another ritual. But it is not so. If done with an understanding, it creates wonders. There are umpteen examples of what started as a ritual, but on understanding brought in transformation. A tobacco addicted man used to say it everyday. One fine morning, he thought that when I say “करमध्ये तू गोविंद ” meaning God resides in my palm, it means that when I rub tobacco on my palm, I rub it into Him. Now this thought changed his whole understanding and he left tobacco that moment itself. Yes, you may ask that this must be taking time. It does. It is slow and gradual, but permanent. And what if he never realises his folly? Then too it’s fine. He may change in his next life.
Let’s also talk about the transformation in the lives of the fisherman folk whom I mentioned about at the beginning of my blog. Dadaji went to them, into their houses and sat with them. He told them to identify themselves and live a dignified life. He told them “You are from the lineage of Vyas and Valmiki. Then why do belittle yourselves? You are following your father’s profession. ( आ पाप नो नहीं, तारा बाप नो धंधो छे।)” Instilling this self identity in them, the fisherman folk today see their lives change and transform. Dadaji calls them “सागरपुत्र”, the sons of the ocean. The relations that Dadaji built with them and their families is unparalled in the recent history. Similar is the case with the other castes and classes. In this modern world, where caste systems are still predominant amongst the society, people from the upper caste go to the houses of the outcastes ( called untouchables). Not only go to their houses, but live with them and share food with them. All this has been possible by a mind boggling thought of Indwelling God i.e. God resides in everyone.
Dadaji has stressed upon building relations. He says when you go to meet a person, first listen to what the person has to say. This is the stepping stone of any relation. Hear them out. You first relate with them. We do not go to them to change them, or give any advice to them or interfere in their ways of living. But we go to them as they too are sons of the same God who takes care of us. We are divine brothers. And It is believed that Dadaji himself has cultivated such relations with more than a lac families personally, transcending caste, class and creed. It’s mind blowing to see a philosopher so down to earth and ready to mingle with the common man.
His experiments of Yogeshwar Krushi, Matsyagandha, Vrikshmandir, Shreedarshanam, Loknath Amrutalayam to name a few amongst the many have brought about transformation in village and society as a whole. It is an alternative society in the already prevailing one. A society with no vices but just pure love and warmth for each other. A society of selfless relationships. It all sounds like an utopia, but one needs to see it to believe it.
But the crux of all this is the transformation of Humanity with God at it’s centre. The change in the individual. The change not through beheading but through the changing of the thoughts in ones minds and brain. This is true revolution. And so Dadaji’s birthday is celebrated as Human Dignity Day. His human centric life is always like a lighhouse in the vast ocean.
Even today his thoughts and methodology are the same which were at the onset of His Godly effort. The family spread across 6 continents and many countries works in the same way everywhere. This universal approach has been a guiding spirit to Swadhyayees through Dadaji’s daughter, Pujaniya Jayshree Athavale – Talwalkar (Didiji). She works with the same understanding as that of Dadaji’s and guides every Swadhyayee to work with the same spirit. As every year, even this year Swadhyayees are meeting their family, friends and relatives with this thought of God to build God centric selfless relations.
So, today Swadhyayees aptly celebrate Dadaji’s birthday as Human Dignity Day – Manushya Gaurav Din.
Wishing you all and your families a very Happy Human Dignity Day.
(Maadi Taaru Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo Jag Mathe Jaane Prabhutae Pag Mukyo Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo.
Mandir Sarjaayu Ne Ghantaarav Gajyo Nabhno Chandarvo Maa Ae Ankhyumaa Aanjyo Divo Thaavaa Mandir No Chando Aavi Pugyo Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo…
Maavdi Naa Rath Naa Ghugharaa Bolyaa Ajavali Raate Maa e Amrut Dholyaa Gagan No Garbo Maa Na Charanomaa Zukyo Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo…
– Avinash Vyas)
A beautiful poem by Avinashbhai comparing the advent of dawn, with the vermilion applied on the forehead of the Goddess. He goes on to describe that it feels as if the feeling of Godliness has taken over. The grandiose of the Goddess as described in the poem is truly the one that need to observe and behold in our eyes. The grand celebrations started two days back.
The Goddess is worshipped in different forms and every form has its own name and characteristic. Of the different forms, the three forms, namely Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha Saraswati represent the Female trinity. Again all the three forms are just one of the different forms of the omnipresent. The three signify destruction, wealth and knowledge as well as death, prosperity and birth respectively. They are also worshipped as consorts of Shiv, Vishnu and Brahma respectively.
These days of Nav Ratri (Nine Nights) actually mean 10 days. The 10 days of the battle between Mahisasur and The Goddess Durga. On the 10th day, the Asur was slained and is celebrated as Dusshara (दशहरा). An Asur is someone who is enjoying life and is completely immersed in one’s senses and worldly gratifications only and denies the existence of anything except self. Here the Asur is named as Mahisasur meaning a person who lives and behaves like cattle. Goddess Durga kills this characteristic found within Humans. The fight is within and without too. To overcome or slay these vices one needs to arouse the feminine characteristic within oneself. And this feminine characteristic is Durga. Durga means to takes oneself beyond all difficulties. It is the divine energy that protects the soul from known and unknown, adversity and opposition. Durga means to deliver oneself across the turbulent ocean of ignorance to the radiant other shore beyond all darkness. To remind oneself a Durga Idol/ Ghat/ Kalash is installed in every household of India.
Many households especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat celebrate the festival as ‘Ghatsthapana‘ or ‘Garba‘. The flame or a Diya (small lamp) is kept in a specially made earthen pot with pores (holes) in it. The pot represents the omnipresent Goddess. The rays of light coming out through the pores signifies the importance of knowledge and strength. The Garba is placed at the centre of a circle and the men and women play a disciplined dance, also called Garba, around it on its periphery. It has many a significance. It reminds us that every action of ours needs to be God centric. And also we need to work in tandem with everyone. There needs to be a rhythm in our movement and we cannot afford to miss one step. The village as a whole comes together to celebrate.
At this juncture, need to talk about today’s Garba played in our cities. The youth today calls it Gujarati Sunburn, which is absolute humbug. They just feel that it is a place for entertainment and fun. A place where we can make friends for fun. A place to pick up boys / girls and to spend the nights with them. And then forget everything and live an uncontrolled and non-obstructive life. My readers, I urge upon you to give a thought about the thoughts and rituals which we have got from our elders through our past generations and would they like the way we celebrate them today?
The blaring music and the obscene dance steps add to the joke we have made out of such divine festivals. It affects the environment too. I myself remember playing Garba, the whole night, but it was quite a smaller scale in those times. Every lane had it’s own Garba celebrations and everyone from children to the elderly, participated. I have vivid memories of the girls and the boys playing at different times. In Gujarat, Girls playing is called ‘Garba‘ and the boys playing is called ‘Garbi‘. It is expected that both the sexes play differently. Also it was played on a single Dhol (drum) accompanied by the singing. Men and Women both sang during their routines. It used to be a grand affair and we all learnt the songs well. There were variations in steps then too. But today, the picture has changed. We just want to dance and vent out our feelings. We too like Mahishasur have started leading our lives for our senses and pleasure. We do not deny the existence of God, but at the same time we behave as if He does not exist. The time has come to arouse the Durga within us.
Let us be environment friendly and at the same time instill faith and devotion towards the Goddess during these days.
Let us learn to develop an outlook of treating every woman with respect, as She is the embodiment of Maa Shakti.
Let us remember to keep God in the centre of our life and plan and execute things around Him.
Today I want to express my gratitude to all my students, past and present who have cooperated with us during all these times. With you all being there has always kept us young and always in the mode of learning.
I dont why but I always wanted to be Teacher,
My parents despised this decision in worry of my future,
The idea of learning, all negativity to withstand,
Is the driving force of my passion, hope all understand…
The smiling face of my kids with questions ready,
Thir opening up with their likes, though slow and steady,
Their dislikes too need to be understood and heard,
So that they do not become the part of the herd…
I just love the days that I spend with my students,
Kids they are, facile, not a hint of fraudulence,
They make me noble and drive out my aggresion
For that’s the reason, that am a teacher by profession…
नमस्तेऽस्तु लंबोदारायैकदंताय विघ्ननाशिने शिव सुताय।
श्री वरदमूर्तये नमोनम:।।
(Namo Vraātpataye Namo Ganpataye. Namah Pramathpataye. Namaste astu Lambodaray Ekdantaay Vighnanashine Shiv Sutaay Shree Varadmurtaye Namo Namah.)
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Ganeshotsav. The days of rejoicement. A time when God arrives at our homes. It’s a beautiful concept in itself that God arrives as a guest at our homes.
Generally every household does have a Mandir (temple), so then why does God need to come home? Just to explain to Humans that every Sarjan (construction) has a Visarjan (destruction). The Ganesh which visits our houses is called the Parthiv Ganesh, Ganesh made from sand.
Today I want to talk about Ganpati as the Devi of Buddhi. What can we as students of life learn from Her? What does the Idol of Ganpati wants to convey? Does the concept of the Elephant headed God have any meaning?
My readers, our seers have done everything which has some logic and wanted to convey some understanding by celebrating a festival. They want us to ponder over many qualities and try to imbibe them into our lives. The festival celebration always has a learning part hidden in it.
Today we just want to dance to the tunes of music and pass our time. At the same time I see people being emotionally attached with Ganpati as the countdown of arrival begins many months before actual arrival, or even in some cases, from the day he leaves. People await the arrival as it liberates us from worries and sorrow and keeps us happy. But will we be stuck in this. Will we not move ahead in our understanding and let ourselves grow. Or just go on doing it the ritualistic way? At the same time am not against rituals. We all do the parayan of Atharvashirsh every year. Many of my friends do get the Parthiv Ganesh Murti at home. But let’s try to understand it today from a student perspective.
The Ganpati word itself has a meaning, the leader of the masses. Ganesh means the Eshwar of the Ganas (leader of the masses). So the Lord exhibits the characteristics of a leader. And to be a good leader, we need to educate ourselves (to draw out the qualities within us).
1. The Ganpati has an elephant head. Elephant signifies wisdom. So we all need to be gaining wisdom through what we study.
2. He has narrow and small eyes. It is not so that the eyes are small, but the face is so big, that the eyes look small. But the best part about the eyes is that they can see even a small needle in their path. As students when we study, we need to understand the smallest of the nuances of the topic which we are learning. We need to be alert for each and every information, and in whichever corner it may be, however small it may be.
3. His ears are like the “Sup” (grain whinning plate). The Sup keeps the grain intact and at the same time removes the dirt from them. The enormity of ears suggest us to be open to listen to all but decide what to discard while we listen. As a student, one needs to be focussed on studies. We may be exposed to various things around us, but we have to decide what to keep and which to blow off. Also at the same time keep our ears open for good thoughts however far they maybe or however faint they may be. In the different thoughts, we need to find out the most important one.
4. A crooked trunk signifies the length and the reach of oneself. The knowledge we get must be kept in such a way (folded) that it does not interfere in someone’s life. But it should unfold at the right time and be used for the rightful thing.
5. Ganpati is Mahakaay. A huge body. A big belly. Big belly is for keeping all things in the stomach. It is a storing place. Similarly we have to gain such huge knowledge that we need a big belly to keep it.
6. He has a small mouth. It signifies to talk less. A student needs to talk less and listen more. Keeping ones mouth shut means concentrating on what is being spoken and taught. At the same time, it also means that open up at the right time, ask questions, discuss, argue and draw conclusions.
7. The modak in his hand has its own significance. It is sweet inside even if tasteless outside. It reminds us, students, that go into the depth of every topic ones learns. Any topic is always sweet and interesting from within. Outside it is always bookish and boring.
8. He rides a mouse. It signifies a control over worldly desires. Similarly a student needs to have his own control over his desires and concentrate on his/ her studies. He needs to ride his wishes and will.
We can go on and on with lots of things about the Lord. But somewhere we need to leave the things for next time. Many thoughts still lie in my mind which need to be emphasized and talk about. But leave to it Ganesha to give me an opportunity to pen them down some other day.
Wishing you all again, a very grand Ganeshotsav.
MAY GANESHA BLESS US ALL WITH LOTS OF INTELLECT AND WISDOM
If knowing or unknowingly, have caused “Dukh” (rough translation “pain”) to any one, living or non living, by my thoughts, words or deed, thenfrom the bottom of my heart, I bow down to you and ask for your forgiveness.
The 8th day also known as Samvatsari. It is a Day to ask for forgiveness from the creatures of the world and the creation itself.
In my last two blogs, we are talking about the ten fold path or the ten virtues we need to imbibe in our lives to be a good Jain, follower of Jin (The Teerthankar). We have talked about 7 virtues till now. Will briefly recap them before moving on to the last three.
Kshama, the virtue of forgiveness. Mardav, to be modest in all situations. And the straightforwardness, Aarjav. Satya to accept one’s existence and the journey of life is to find the truth. Sauch, the purity of body and our thoughts. Sanyam, restraining ourselves and our Panch Indriya. Tap, the art of practising non food intake. These seven if implemented on would help us in our quest to find ourselves. Now, we move onto the last three.
TYAGA (Renunciation) – To leave things behind. Here Tyaga also means keeping the bare minimum and slowly giving away that minimum too. That is what the Jain Sadhu does. Bhagwaan Mahaveer too had a loin cloth when he left the kingdom, and slowly that too wore off. It happened naturally.
Internally renuncing the attachments and emotions is like removing a big hurdle from the path of development.And this is possible by realising the true nature of the soul.
AKINCHANYA (Non-attachment) – This assists the person in detaching from external possessions. Historically ten possessions are listed in Jain scriptures: ‘land, house, silver, gold, wealth, grain, female servants, male servants, garments and utensils’. Being unattached from these, helps control our desires and leads to an influx of meritorious karmas.
Also akinchanya assists us in being unattached from our internal attachments of false belief, anger, pride, deceit, greed, laughter, liking, disliking, lamentation, fear, disgust, sexual desires.The more we are unattached, the more we purify our soul.
BRAHMACHARYA (Celibacy) – It might have been talked about at last but it is equally important as the others. It’s only sexual context needs to be clarified. It means staying away from desires and our wishes. To the extent of staying away from our senses. Not even being led off by the scent of a rose or a cool breeze.
Brahmacharya has two words in it. Brahma + Charya. Brahma here means the soul and Charya means to dwell. It simple means to dwell in one’s soul. When we reside in our soul, we can become the master of the Universe. To reside outside means to become a slave of desires.
All the above ten virtues make us a good Jain or the follower of Jin. Many of you may wonder that we never heard anything like what you have written. But dear readers, we are followers of Jin. Let’s go back to our roots. Follow what Jin Prabhu has said. Our Sadhu and Sadhviji’s are our teachers. They can show us the path and lead us unto it. It is we who need to walk on it.
My student (Khushi Maniyar) had shared with me the meaning of Paryushan which I reproduce here as it.
“Paryushan introduces one to oneself. It reminds us of souls ultimate goal. पर्यूषण is actually made of two words. परि + उष्ण. परि means from outside and उषण means to come home stay. It means to come out of all materialistic things and stay in oneself ie आत्मा मा वास करवो.“
Now if you read all the three blogs together than my writing would make sense. Fasting is good, but at the same time the person who is fasting is thinking about these 10 virtues and is in the thought process of how to imbibe them into our lives. So let us all who fast, pray or ask for forgiveness celebrate the greatness of these days, try and live in the divine and pure atmosphere and immerse ourselves in it.
At the end of this series, I beg for forgiveness if I have hurt any one by my words or thoughts or deeds. I ask for forgiveness from all Guru Bhagwan for any mistakes in these blogs.
Frankly even after writing all the meanings I still feel that the names mean the leader of the masses. Also the different meanings convey the same thought that the one who leads.
The idea itself is so heart warming that the God himself comes to reside with us. We all go to the temples to get a regular Darshan. But today is the day when He comes to our place to meet us, to stay with us, to eat with us, to bless us. This itself is such a beautiful thought.
I always wonder who must have thought of this idea of getting the God home. How that idea must have percolated to the masses! The amount of time and energy spent on this idea is something beyond the pages of history, date and time.
This thought always keeps me trying to find answers to my questions. And I know Ganesh, the Goddess of Intellect helps and satisfies the curious with an answer.
There is a story that when Ved Vyas, decided to write the Mahabharata, he was trying to find a writer who would wite his story. It was a humongous task and the writer too has to be of the same iintellect as the story teller. So Muni Narad suggested that Ganpati, the son of Shiva, can write it.
Ved Vyas did approach Ganpati who readily agreed. They both had an understanding. Once the writing of the book was started, it would not stop till the end and the writer would just not write down the book as a dictation but uunderstand it before writing it down.
Two great personalities, and, one great epic.
Ganpati had decided not to stand up while writing, so sitting in one place would increase the heat within his body and make him uncomfortable. So Ved Vyas came up with an idea of applying mud packs on Ganpati’s body to keep him cool. Ved Vyas served Ganpati food that he loved to eat the most.
As the mud packs were applied, Ganpati’s murti, even today, is made from mud (Shadhumaati). Yet, even after these 10 days when the wrting of the book was completed, the heat had increased inside Ganpati’s body and the mud packs had dried and stuck to his body. So it is said that Ved Vyas took Ganpati to a nearby river to bathe him to soothe his body as well as remove the dried packs from his body.
Thus began the culture of getting Ganpati in the idol form at one’s house for 10 days and immersing them in water on the 10th day. Later, as it was found that it is difficult to get and look after such a big personality at home for 10 days, Rishis must have come up with the idea of keeping Him for 1 and half day or 5 days.
Some may disagree with this story, but it’s a start of the quest to find the reason behind it. Its going to be long journey, but will tread on it slowly and steadily. I trust that Ganpatiji will help me.
Wishing you all a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and a colourful Ganeshotsav.
My readers may ask me how is it that you Jains celebrate Mahaveer Jayanti twice in a year? Actually I too had the same question few years ago. Even many Jains call it Mahaveer Jayanti. But the fact is a little different. It is during these days, the Holy Book “Kalpsutra” is read. The life of the 24 Teerthankars is read and understood. On the 5th Day, the story of Mata Trishala’s 14 dreams (16 according to Digambar sect) and birth of Bhagwaan Mahaveer is read out. So it is called the Mahaveer Janma Vachan. And people celebrate with pomp as Mahaveer Jayanti.
We continue from my last blog about the ten fold path or ten virtues to be imbibed into our lives during these days of Paryushan. Last time, we gave a thought about 3 virtues. Kshama, the virtue of forgiveness. Mardav, to be modest in all situations. And the straightforwardness, Aarjav.
Today we talk about SATYA, SAUCH, SANYAM and TAP.
SATYA (TRUTH) – The only truth in this world is the existence of Self. Every other truth is relative. Excepting our own existence is the one and final step towards self realisation. Being in self denial, living in self denial is not going to help anyone. The first thing in life is to except oneself as one is and then move ahead in life.
At the same time, we can begin with small steps of speaking the truth and living that truth. At the same time being truthful does not mean to hurt others with our truthfulness. In our quest of the truth, we have to see to it that we do not hurt otherswith our truth. सत्यं ब्रूयात्, प्रियं ब्रूयात् . (Speak the truth, speak it with love). Any truth needs to be spoken with love and care. It also means that unless we share a good relation, we should not speak the truth. We need to develop relationships and let them thrive, for the truth to be told or spoken.
Also when we lie, we need to speak a hundred new lies to justify one lie. Which in turn hampers the process of imbibing Satya in our lives. So at the end, I will say one needs to realise the truth hidden within oneself.
SAUCH(Purity/Contentment) – Here the word means purity of body to purity of thoughts to purity of mind/brain. We all are aware about the external purity of our body due to the education, we receive in our schools. But we need to slowly go inwards, towards oneself. Getting contentment from material desires is not the only goal of life, but leading a contented, pure life so that it can be an ideal for generations, constitutes Sauch.
The characteristic of the soul is purity. So it is within us, which we need to find and not get stuck in material gains only. We need to go deep inside oneself and dig out this hidden virtue within us. And for this we need to practise restraint.
SANYAM(Self restraint) – I feel this is one of the virtues with whom Jains are largely identified today. Yes, we believe in restraint, not killing anyone outwardly as well as inwardly. But that is not only Jainism. Not harming anyone, not even the smallest of the creatures, is evident in all thoughts originating from Bharat. But here SANYAM means restraining oneself from desires. It is painful when our desires take over us. These 8 days constantly remind us to be away from desires. So to remember and learn this thought, we need to read the Kalpasutra. Learn from Teerthankar’s life. They never showed off. So should we?
It is also through SANYAM that we can win our desires and tread on the path of Moksh. Lesser we are attached to material things, nearer we are to ourselves and our goals of attaining Moksh. That is the reason Jains take up Sadhu dharm. The road to find one’s true self.
TAP (Austerity) – TAP means fasting, control over food. Restricting the intake of food. But after that do we gain control over our habit of eating food. Are we able to control our desires? Why is there a queue outside restaurants a Day before Paryushan and a Day after Samvatsari/Rishi Panchami? Restricting food also means restricting desires. Do we think about it? Are the celebrations of TAP justified?
Do we meditate during Tap. Do We sit back and introspect? Do we feel the nearness with our self? Our God? Cause after abstinence of food we need to move onto the next step of going towards one self.
I hope, my readers, you will give a thought about what we have read today. I just want to point out that we are becoming too ritualistic. Am not against rituals but we cannot get stuck in the rituals. Jain philosophy is loosing it’s sheen due to this. It is like eating the coconut from outside instead of enjoying the original coconut inside. So my friends, let’s think.
Still have 3 more virtues to go through. But ours is a journey long and slow, so let’s tread on it.
Listen to the Kalpasutra carefully.
Listen to what the learned Sadhu-Sadhviji’s have to tell us.
Listen to the voice within and learn to live by it.
Today is the New Moon Day (Amaavasya) of the Shraavan month. The last day of the month. Month of Bhadrapad begins tomm. Today is celebrated as “Pola” in Maharashtra and South India. Cattles are worshipped today.
And today is Mother’s Day. A day to remember all the great mothers like Jijabai, Kaushalya, Devaki and many more and their contribution towards parenting their kids. Also a day to express our gratitude to the “Gaumata”, “Tulsimata” and “Bharatmata”. By naming them, I just want to convey that every person and every substance which has help us nurture our life, is like our Mother, and today is the day to remember them.
And overall our own Mother, who has not only given us birth but also took care of us and help us grow.Someone can ask me that shouldn’t we remember our Mother everyday? I agree with them. But today is the day to not only remember them but also express our gratitude towards them.
1. Mother, a shade : I still remember my mother standing rigat by my side with a ruler in hand and hitting me when I erred, while learning Gujarati. Coming from a convent school, again her decision to educate me in an English Medium School, she took the pains that I learn my mother tongue Gujarati, when I was in 8th std. She made me do it the whole vacation. Today, I say with pride, that if my language is good and my grammar strong, it is just because of Her. I thank her today for her efforts.
Secondly my English teacher. Can never forget her. Ms A Coutinho. The effports she has taken for my Grammar, rather for the whole class, is showing its effect with our cmmunications today. Every free period of our 9th standard was taken up by Her for grammar. We used to tease her and dislie her for this, but today we all are veRyan grateful to her for her efforts. She treated every child as hers and put in equal efforts in each.
2. Mother, the last resort : I still remember that whenever we siblings wanted to get our things done, my mother was our last resort. Rather when it came to dealings with my father, it was always Her, who stood strogly for us.
I, am a father today, and see the same trait in my wife today. The way she prods our kids, the way She pushes them to exceed their limits and excel in their doings is mind blowing. The way She always stand by them and always there to help them is something we fathers rarely do. And after all this, if the kids feel that She is their last resort, they are right.
3. Mother, a security-giver : Mom is the bst security a child can ever get. The way she takes care of her child can only be compared to a lioness taking care of her cubs. She will go to the extent of fighting and killing the enemy. She will pprotect and teach the kid to protect himself.
Am reminded of Jijabai who took Shivaji under her care and nurtured him to grow up to become a great king. In the initial years of growing up, she has played not only the role of a mother but also protected Shivaji from all the evils of the society.
4. Mother, the ever giving : A child growing up without a mother is a difficult job for a father, but the mother can also fill in for the loss of a father and bring up the child. A mothers showers all her love and warmth and affection on her child and does not leave anything for next time.
There is no great personality who wouldn’t acknowledge the contribution by his/her mother into their lives. Satyakaam Jabaal is known by his mother and so are many. Even today, a childs good mannerisms and characters are attributed to its mother more.
In the end, would just request all my readers to give a thought for what their mothers have done for them and always remember to be grateful to them.
Also that our great culture and civilisation has already given us a Mother’s day, centuries back, so we have been, foremost, in acknowledging the role and contribution of a mother towards building a home, society and country, which the West is acknowledging from last few decades ot maybe a century or two. Let’s not forget that and educate our next generation about it too…
Oh! Forgiving Gurudev, I am giving up all my wrongful acts with all my strength and bow down to you with my head near to your feet.
The festival for asking forgiveness and to forgive.
The festival of celebrating life with a different perspective.
The festival of coming together and abiding.
The festival to follow and uphold the tenfold path of
1. KSHAMA (Forbearance)
2. MARDAV (Modesty)
3. AARJAV (Straightforwardness)
4. SATYA (Truth)
5. SHAUCH (Purity)
6. SANYAM (Restraint)
7. TAP (Austerity)
8. TYAGA (Renunciation)
9. AKINCHANYA (Non-attachment)
10. BRAHMACHARYA (Celibacy)
Before treading on this Ten-fold path, let me share with my non- Jain readers, that Jainism is one of the most scientific way of living and thinking. The way of worship is the same, except for the Sthanakvasi fold of the Shwetambar sect, that is everyone follows Idol worship.
Jainism, itself is divided into two big sects, the Shwetambar’s (the ones whose sadhus clad in white) and Digambar’s (the ones whose clothes are the sky, ie their sadhus accept and live a life without clothes). Shwetambar’s are further divided into 2 folds, the Deravasis (one who go to temples ie follow Idol worship) and the Sthanakvasis, as already mentioned before (one who do not go to temples and do not believe in Idol worship). Even with these outward differences, the thought of Jainism is followed uniformly in any part of the world. It is the uniqueness of the thought process in India, that even after having different ways of worship, we all are one.
Secondly, my readers might know Lord Mahaveer as the one who established Jainism. Again that’s not the complete information. Mahaveer is the 24th Teerthankar belonging to lineage of Rishabhdev or Adinath, as He is called, being the first. A Teerthankar is the one whose soul is sublime and one who has compassion towards all living beings. He is the realised one. And Jainism believes that anyone and everyone can transform his life to become the sublime self. All the 24 Teerthankars command the same devotion as any one of them.
I have decided not to go into the historical part of Jainism nor it’s cultural impact. I want to talk about the Ten-fold path propagated by these 24 men, for which the following eight days/ten days are to be celebrated. I said it’s a celebration of life because during these days one needs to sit back and brood over the above virtues and think about how to imbibe them into our life. All the 10 virtues mentioned above are equal with none more important or less important. All are equally important. We will talk about the first three today and during the course of 8 days, will talk about others, as and when the Lord permits.
1. KSHAMA(Forbearance) – My readers must have read the small prayer at the starting of the blog. It asks for forgiveness. Forgiveness is asked by bowing one’s head onto the feet of the person who is expected to forgive. As a mortal with lots of ego it is difficult for a person to bow down onto the feet of the person whom we have wronged. So we begin by bowing down to our Guru, the Teacher. If this becomes our routine, the person sheds all his inhibitions and attachment to self and will be brave enough to ask for forgiveness from the person whom he has wronged. And slowly we all can ask for forgiveness from all the creatures in the world. He is Mahaveer. This is what is Samyak Darshan. (Right Belief).
Forgiveness is like the oil to the machine, it helps us live in harmony with our fellow beings. Forgiveness begins with self. One should learn to forgive oneself. We all are sometimes too tough with ourselves. It is necessary in today’s world, but at the same time we need to be forgiving ourselves for our own spiritual development. We may be wrong in our way of living and thinking, but the day we realise we have been wrong, we need to forgive ourselves and move ahead in life. Do learn from our mistakes so that we do not repeat them, but forgive oneself too.
Forgiveness is the pain we inflict upon ourselves so that we may learn from it and brighten our lives with better karma. People have a wrong notion about forgiveness. They feel that it means to forgive others. But here the Jain darshan guides us to forgive oneself. It is only then, one can realise his true self.Forgiveness (Kshama Dharm) teaches ones soul to correct one’s identify oneself by encouraging to contemplate its true nature and hence achieve state of right belief (Samyak Darshan).
2. MARDAV(Modesty) – Humility is the diamond amongst the virtues. It is humility that makes great people, great. They never boast of their greatness nor talk about it or even give a hint about it. Sometimes our looks, money, social status, the virtue of forgiveness may make us a little / lot self-centered. Hence Kshama is followed by Mardav. There should be modesty in life after forgiveness. People believe in themselves being superior to others. We all come across such people in our lives. We might be like them too. We measure everything by temporary material objects. But this dents our life in the most dangerous way and makes our penance full of ‘Rajas’ gun. So we need to be very alert about this. The Paryushan days remind us of Humility.
All souls are born equal. No one is superior nor inferior. This is the true nature of our soul, every soul. Each soul is born divine. And the most important aspect is that every soul has a potential within to liberate itself. This belief will lead us to Mardav.
3. AARJAV(Straightforwardness) – People are deceitful. They deceive others and think that they are something great. But in doing so, they are deceiving themselves. One thinks different, speaks different and acts different. Our scriptures tells us to stay away from such people. Deceitful people loose the trust of others and they are considered less credible. Such people are a curse to the society as a whole. Whereas straightforwardness makes a person trustworthy. Such straightforward people are considered to be reliable and slowly they win the hearts of the people around them.
A straightforward person realises that the countless qualities with a being are an instrument to attain his final destination. Again the thoughts, the karma, are different from the realisation of self. So Arjav helps the person to tread on the path of realisation.
My dear readers, it’s a path we have got due to our karma’s of last lives and we need to make everything of this opportunity that we have got. We are on the path of Jin. On the path of Arihant. On the path of Siddh and Upadhyay. Let us all together decide to stick to this path and abide to live by the teachings of the Teerthankars. Then we can become true Jains.
Wishing all the Indians a very Happy 74th Independence Day.
On this day, I first bow down to God as He is the one who got India, Her independence. You, my reader, may ask me, How come God gave India independence? What was His role in it? How come you Indians always get God involved in everything? On the onset let us clarify this point as such. Yes, God is always a part of my writings and our Indian thought cause we believe that we exist because of him. Not only us but the whole creation exists because of Him. And yes we can logically prove that India got independence according to His wishes. Also at this point I should clarify that this thought has been imbibed in me by Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale. The World War II ended on a victorious note for Great Britain and it’s allies. Winston Churchill, the then prime minister, had led his country to victory through one of the toughest wars. It was he who has given the world the sign of Victory as “V”. He had kept up the high morale of the British troops and citizens during the war. The elections were due that same year and after this victory Churchill coming back to power was a foregone conclusion. But the results were surprising. Labour party with Clement Atlee as its head came to power. Labour was of the view of granting independence to British colonies including India. Winston Churchill’s idea and arrogance about India and Indians is well known to us by now. Now how did this happen? How did the electorate change its mind? I feel that God must have changed their minds. God had his own expectations from India, that let Her be free and guide the world over. (Have we been successful in living upto His expectations? is another question). Thus I first bow down to God.
I secondly bow down to the people who left their careers, families and laid down their lives for the independence of our country. My young readers in today’s times, it is difficult for us to imagine the situation or the battle at that time. Whom were we fighting against? A nation on whom the sun never set. Yet these people (freedom fighters) just selflessly offered themselves to the country without expecting. anything in return. Neither success, nor an expectation from Indians to remember their sacrifice. They just jumped into the burning fire of the independence struggle. A 16/17 year kid, Khudiram Bose, went to the gallows with a smile on his face. One 65/70 year man, Lala Lajpat Rai accepted the brunt of the English batons and gave up his life. A youth of an age of 30/35, Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar, accepted a two 50 year sentence in jail with a question “Will British Raj rule India for that much time?”. Our heads are held high even today while taking the names of Bhagatsingh, Rajguru and Sukhdev for their supreme sacrifice. Tatya Tope, Mangal Pandey, Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, Chandrasekhar Azad, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipinchandra Pal, these and many other names make us feel a sense of pride. Let us also not forget the women power of India. Their participation too was to the fullest. Rani Laxmibai, Kittur Rani Chenamma, Kalpana Dutt, Aruna Asaf Ali and many such brave women participated actively in this fight. We can go on and on with these names, but we will just pause here and now bow down to all the known and unknown freedom fighters.
Thirdly I bow down to the person who unified India, as it exists now, and for that he travelled to every nook and corner of India. He is called the Chanakya of Modern India. He integrated more than 500 big and small kingdoms into India with love and understanding and persuasion. Those which could not be pursuaded through understanding and love were then integrated in the way and language they understood well. The person is none other than, the most ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. If Congress was strong then, ready to listen to and follow the Gandhian way, it was because of Vallabhbhai Patel who went around meeting person to person, village to village, city to city to propogate the ideas and ideals of Congress then. It does not matter whether we honour this great man with Bharat Ratna (the highest civilian honour in India), but he is truly a gem produced by Mother India. It is with utmost sadness, Will we be able to understand the sacrifices this man has made? is a question that I leave to my reader to ponder over. Does India know the living generations of his family? The behaviour / treatment with the family of this great martyr makes one think, that did we fight for this? He did not have any expectations, agreed. But the question is that do we have any responsibility towards people like Sardar?
As the day is of celebrations, so is the day to sit back and think about a few things. Where do we stand? Where does Bharat stand today in the world? Are we the torch bearers of humanity for the world? Will only technological development and strong economic policy make us one? There was a time when the world recognised Bharat for its spiritual doctrines and borrowed from them. Swami Vivekanand and Gurudev Aurobindo were it’s guiding light. We had selfless social workers in Vinoba Bhave and Ravishankar Maharaj (Gujarat) who tirelessly worked towards the betterment of the society as a whole. Where are we today? Lest someone understand am against technological development, let me clarify that am not. But only technological development is not going us to lead unto overall development. Don’t we feel that we are taking care of just one part of the developmental process and ignoring others? We, Bharatiya will have to think holistically. That will help us regain our prosperity and respect. We will have to change the way we think. Will have to imbibe love and emotions for our country through our education system. If we do this today, then we will be able to see it’s fruits a few years later, cause change is slow.
Today we need to inculcate one’s love for his country and the pride of being an Bharatiya amongst all of us. We will have to study our true history for this. We will have to come out of the dogmas of left wingers and right wingers and think; write in that manner and live what we write and demonstrate. . त्यजेदेकं कुलस्यार्थे ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् । ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे आत्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् ॥ (For the good of many, we will have to leave out one. For the good of the village we will have to leave out many. For the good of our country we will have to leave our village. And for self development and realisation, leave this worldly pleasures) We all have to rise above the narrow mindedness of selfishness, victory and listen to each and every citizen of India. We do not know, who will be guided by the God’s to suggest or speak the truth!
We will have to take all our decisions keeping Bharat and Her greatness in mind. We have done this before. The best example is our constituent assembly consisting of people coming from different areas, thoughts and leanings. Yet, for India, they all discussed, argued, debated and made unanimous decisions. Every person should know that it is his responsibility, our responsibility to run this country in a proper manner. To take care of it and to carry it forward on the path of progress is my responsibility, our responsibility. The day we realise this and are able to do this, will be the day when we will be democratic and independent in its true sense.
And for this, we will have to reach out to every nook and corner of Bharat. Reach out selflessly to each and every Bharatiya and develop a relationship based on love for our country. Will have to rekindle the fire of Spirituality with love and affection. That will be the rise of true nationalism. From that day onwards, India will again be a true torch bearer of humanity.
My readers, if we are unable to do this, let us all be helpful to people who are into it. If not helpful, let us appreciate the people who are trying to do it.
On this 74th Independence day, let us all pledge to contribute to Bharat in our own small ways, so that our Bharatmata would be happy and would also bless us with Her most valuable blessings.
In context with the current situation, the different experiences of staying at home and spending time with family in this way is something one had never imagined. Later, to some extent, we are going to be reminiscent of these memories.
Intelligence plus Character – that is the goal of true education
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Education means to inculcate good qualities in Human Beings.
Education makes a human being.
Education, today, is bread oriented. It teaches a person to become a good engineer, a good doctor, a good Chartered Accountant. But it does not teach the human being to be a good father or a good son.
They learn from their teachers less and parents more.
Actually when I think that education should imbibe qualities in a human being, in todays context, it becomes quite impossible to do all the things that is expected of it. As kids stay at school for just 6 to 7 hours. The rest of the hours, the kids are at home.
Do parents complement todays education?
Do they give such an atmosphere that the child can grow and develop?
It is always easy to pass on the blame than take it on us. But today we need to think about what we are doing as parents. Paying up the school and class fees just does not suffice.
Spending time with kids and playing with them is also a very important part of their life and upbringing. I still remember my grandmother, my neighbour telling me stories of Ram and Krishna in my childhood days and they have played a big role in shaping my thoughts and life. My mother was always there for me and always helping me find new and new books. She not only inculcate the habit of reading in me, she thought me my mother tongue,(Gujarati) as I studied in a Convent school. I see my wife doing the same for our kids.
After all this, it is also the atmosphere the child stays in and takes decision of what to pick up and what not. He needs guidance even there, and we peers need to be present at all such times.
So, in all, education begins at home and should continue in school and society.
And it is not only the responsibility of the school or school teachers only. Only thing is that we all need to play our part sincerely and honestly. This would help us all to make good citizens and better human beings.
Madhurashtakam is the sweetest description of the sweetness of child God, Shri Krishna by Mahaprabhu Shri Vallabhcharya. Every body part and all the actions of Shri Krishna are sweet and by his sweet contact anything living or non-living becomes sweet. Whatever sweetness we see in this material world should be understood as a small fraction of the sweetness of Shri Krishna. So the devotees of Lord Krishna should continuously remember the butter stealing form of his. It is not possible to describe the sweetness of Madhurashtakam; probably it contains the sweetest eight verses written in worship of Lord Sri Krishna on this earth.
O Krishna! your words are sweet, your acts are sweet, your clothes are sweet, your bent posture is sweet, your movements are sweet, your roaming is sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥2 ॥
O Krishna! your flute is sweet, your garland is sweet, your hands are sweet, your feet are sweet, your dance is sweet, your friendship is sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥3 ॥
O Krishna! your songs are sweet, your drinking is sweet, your eating is sweet, your sleeping is sweet, your beauty is sweet, your mark of forehead is sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥4 ॥
O Krishna! your deeds are sweet, your floating is sweet, your act of stealing is sweet, your love is sweet, your words are sweet, your silence is sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥5 ॥
O Krishna! your berries are sweet, your garland is sweet, your river Yamuna is sweet, her waves are sweet, her water is sweet, her lotus are sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥6 ॥
O Krishna! your Gopis are sweet, your playing is sweet, with them you are sweet, without them you are sweet, your glance is sweet, your manners are sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥ 7 ।।
O Krishna! your friends are sweet, your cows are sweet, your stick is sweet, your creation is sweet, your destruction is sweet, your boons are sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥ 8॥
Now what is given here is the literal translation of the words and verses written. We need to dwell upon every word and find out the reason why Mahaprabhu has written every word and through his learn the Krishna way of life.
After talking about learning and parenting in my last two blogs on Krishna Janmashtami day, today wanna look at all together another aspect of Krishna. His relation with his family. Am going to quote only two poems (pad) written by Surdasji, for the same and leave it upto my reader to find their meaning.
मैं नहिं माखन खायो
मैया! मैं नहिं माखन खायो।
ख्याल परै ये सखा सबै मिलि मेरैं मुख लपटायो॥
देखि तुही छींके पर भाजन ऊंचे धरि लटकायो।
हौं जु कहत नान्हें कर अपने मैं कैसें करि पायो॥
मुख दधि पोंछि बुद्धि इक कीन्हीं दोना पीठि दुरायो।
डारि सांटि मुसुकाइ जशोदा स्यामहिं कंठ लगायो॥
बाल बिनोद मोद मन मोह्यो भक्ति प्राप दिखायो।
सूरदास जसुमति को यह सुख सिव बिरंचि नहिं पायो॥
This is a pad written by Surdas describing the act of stealing curds by Shree Krishna. And when caught by the mother, Jashoda, the different reasons given by Lala how curd is seen on his face.
Another pad where Surdasji describes Krishna’s question to his mother Jashoda, regarding the colour of her skin and His skin. And how it has become a point of mischief for his friends. A beautiful pad explaining the relation of Krishna, his brother Balaram and mother Yashoda
मैया मोहि दाऊ बहुत खिझायौ ।
मोसौ कहत मोल कौ लीन्हौ, तू जसुमति कब जायौ ?
कहा करौं इहि रिस के मारैं खेलन हौं नहिं जात ।
पुनि-पुनि कहत कौन है माता को है तेरौ तात ॥
गोरे नंद जसोदा गोरी, तू कत स्यामल गात ।
चुटुकी दै-दै ग्वाल नवावत, हँसत, सबै मुसुकात ॥
तू मोही कौं मारन सीखी, दाउहि कबहुँ न खीझै ।
मोहन-मुख रिस की ये बातैं, जसुमति सुनि-सुनि रीझै ॥
सुनहु कान्ह, बलभद्र चबाई, जनमत ही कौ धूत ।
सूर स्याम मोहि गोधन की सौं, हौं माता तू पूत ॥
All I want to say is that Krishna, the Divinity Himself, came to earth to guide us, Humanity, on how to live life. Instead of studying and understanding that, we are just interested in dancing, singing and making pyramids to break the pot of curd hanging at great heights. Am not against any form of celebration cause I myself too participate in it, but cannot leave such a great life, limited only to these things.
On this day of Janmashtami, I bow to Krishna, the Purnavtaar, for guiding mankind, on how to live through his life.
I bow to Krishna for giving us Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, a guide to lead a better life.
I bow to Krishna for accepting us as we are and leading us on the oath of finding oneself.
The next part is that education removes vices. Was thinking over it that how can education have a negative definition; actually it should have been education means one which draws out the hidden virtues with a person.
But sometimes to build a positive narrative, we need to understand its opposing negative part. This helps in making our understanding about a subject as a whole.
We begin with a simple vice, laziness. Who doesnt love to be lazy? But it is not a virtue at all. I still remember my dad switching on all the lights of the house early even on a sunday or even in vacation. I didnt like it then, but thank him now at my age for imbibing the quality of diligence, at that age, which is helping me now. Now I feel that early morning schools are always a better option than afternoon schools as they leave the whole day free for kids to play and study.
Let us take another one like anger. But the educationists need to talk about patience and compassion. Patience is the key to success. It is the impatience in today’s lives that is the root cause of major problems in our lives. We need to be taught to learn to be patient. “Jam yesterday, Jam tomorrow, but no Jam today” – is a sentence we all will remember learning at school or home. Compassion comes with maturity, but that is possible if one has learnt to patient.
We can go on discussing many such vices which need to be substituted with a virtue, for example greed – generosity, pride – modesty / humility, jealousy – gratitude and so on.
Now we come to our question that does today’s education helps us do this or rather makes us do this? The clear answer is NO.
Frankly today education has nothing to do with character building, it is just career – making and bread oriented. Ethics and values do not form a part of the curriculum. Economics goes to the extent of saying ethics has no part to play in economics. Now if this is the state of education in our country, why expect loyalty or ethical behaviour in our society.
So we need to find a solution to this. Right now the onus is on the parents to impart value education to their kids which sometimes is overlooked in case of working parents or parents having only a money-minded attitude. Also the society as a whole need to sit back and think about this.
Let us, parents and teachers, together find a solution to this
Let us draw out the hidden qualities with our child so that he / she can become a better son / daughter, a better father / mother , a better brother / sister and so on…
And that is the reason I began my blog with Swamiji’s sentence that these things are already there inside, we need to draw them out…
9th August 1942 – Quit India movement was launched
9th August 1925 – This is an important date in the independence fight of India against the British.
Members of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) looted the government treasury from the mail train near Kakori, 22km away from Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
The members of this association were keen on not only throwing but uprooting the British rule from India, through an armed struggle.
The idea of this robbery was the brainchild of Ramprasad Bismil. It was not for money that they planned this lot but to make the government at that time aware about the problems of the Indian people and their cry for self rule. Agreed that the path taken by revolutionaries was not approved by many Indians, and so they did not support HSRA in any way. So our history teaches us that they did this robbery out of need of money. But people who have decided to die for the independence of India, would loot the train for money is something which does not appeal my mind and conscience.
People involved in this plan were Ramprasad Bismil, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan, Keshab Chakravarty, Sachindra Bakshi, Murari Sharma, Mukundi Lal, Manmathnath Gupta and Banwari Lal.
On 9 August 1925, the Number 8 Down Train travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow was approaching the town of Kakori (now in Uttar Pradesh), when one of the revolutionaries pulled the emergency chain to stop the train and subsequently overpowered the guard. It is believed that they looted that specific train because it was carrying the money bags which belonged to the Indians and was being transferred to the British government treasury. They looted only these bags (which were present in the guards’ cabin and contained more than 100,000 rupees) and escaped to Lucknow.
More than 40 people were arrested from all over India and sent to trial.
Ram Prasad Bismil and some others were charged with various offences, including robbery and murder. Fifteen people had been released due to lack of evidence and a further five had escaped, two of them — Ashfaqullah Khan and Sachindra Bakshi—were captured after the trial.
Chandrasekhar Azad, reorganised the HRA in 1928 and operated it till 27 February 1931, the day he died in a heroic act in Allahabad. On the day, He was surrounded by police and after a long shootout, holding true to his pledge to never be captured alive, he shot himself dead with his last bullet on 27 February 1931 at Chandrasekhar Azad Park, Allahabad.
Charges pressed against a further four men were dropped. Damodar Swarup Seth was discharged due to illness, while Veer Bhadra Tiwari, Jyoti Shankar Dixit and Shiv Charan Lal have been suspected of providing information to the authorities. Two other individuals – Banwari Lal and Indu Bhushan Mitra came to be approvers in return for a lenient sentence.
The punishments given were as follows:
Death sentence: Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqullah Khan
Deportation to Kala Pani (Port Blair Cellular Jail, Andaman and Nicobar Islands): Sachindranath Sanyal and Sachindranath Bakshi
I have purposely highlighted the people who were sentenced and their sentences as the kids today do not know about all this. NO books of history teaches us all this. We do remember different occasions today, but do not recall such events which also are proud moments in our fight for independence.
On this day, when we pay our respects to the people who does in the “Fat Boy” explosion at Nagasaki, or the people who gave their everything for Quit India,
Let us also remember all those who lead and fought an armed struggle for the Independence of our Motherland.
To draw out questions, to draw out vices in life and to draw out the already imbibed yet undrawn (hidden) qualities in a human being.
Keeping in context with the above definition, let us have a fair discussion about the same. First I raise a few questions.
Does our Education encourage curiosity?
Does our Education remove the vices from our life?
Does our education inculcate good qualities in us?
There can be many questions but I will stick to the above mentioned three.
Curiosity (the art of asking questions) is an inborn characteristic of a human being. It is out of curiosity, that human kind has developed and progresses to where it is. From the Stone age to the artificial intelligence age, it is this curious nature which has kept the humankind going and growing.
It is this curiosity which helped man discover the art of lighting a fire to lighting a bulb.
It is this curiosity which helped humankind, transcend the shackles of earth and even the solar system and move beyond it.
It is this curiosity that helped him looked outside as well as inside.
It is this curiosity which helped him to move to broad mindedness from narrow mindedness.
Does today’s education do this? The plain answer is yes and no both. The courses are designed in such a way that they do support a few questions coming to our minds. The teachers are well trained but do not have the time to answer each and every query of their students as they need to finish their portion in a stipulated time. So this acts as a hindrance in teaching.
Some schools, I have seen do not cover the whole portion and do a few chapters during the year, so at least the topics that are taught are taught nicely and at length. But then the other parts not covered are left behind, so the students missed out being exposed to them.
Also students learn in language that they do not speak at home. They think in their mother tongue and learn and write in another language which again psychologically possess a big problem. The problem of finding correct words to express themselves possess a problem due to lack of knowledge of words. At the same time we also know that learning different languages from a small age helps a lot. I know from my own example that from my childhood days, I was exposed to Gujarati (my mother tongue), Marathi, Hindi and English (my medium of learning). Later was exposed to French, Urdu and Kutcchi (a local dialect). Due to this it has helped me communiacte easily with people around me and understand them too.
According to psychologists there are 5 dimensions of curiosity:
1. Joyous Exploration – this is the prototype of curiosity – the recognition and desire to seek out new knowledge and information, and the subsequent joy of learning and growing.
2. Deprivation Sensitivity – this dimension has a distinct emotional tone, with anxiety and tension being more prominent than joy – pondering abstract or complex ideas, trying to solve problems, and seeking to reduce gaps in knowledge.
3. Stress Tolerance – this dimension is about the willingness to embrace the doubt, confusion, anxiety, and other forms of distress that arise from exploring new, unexpected, complex, mysterious, or obscure events.
4. Social Curiosity – wanting to know what other people are thinking and doing by observing, talking, or listening in to conversations.
5. Thrill seeking – the willingness to take physical, social, and financial risks to acquire varied, complex, and intense experiences.
It is education which will help us inculcate these 5 dimensions in ourselves and our kids. The pshycologisys further go on to say that from their experiments, they have found evidence of 4 types of curious people:
1. The Fascinated – high on all dimensions of curiosity, particularly Joyous Exploration
2. Problem Solvers – high on Deprivation Sensitivity, medium on other dimensions
3. Empathizers – high on Social Curiosity, medium on other dimensions
4. Avoiders – low on all dimensions, particularly Stress Tolerance
So now let’s decide how we want to be? How do we want to mould our life and that of our kids? And how can education help us with all this.
Was thinking what to write as the issue has been made political on the terms of being a secular country! And so I decided that instead of touching upon the issue of politics would dwell upon the history a bit.
Yes, the Mandir did exist before the Masjid was built. The Mughals came here to loot India and they knew that temples were places of abundant gold. So they looted temples and took away the gold. They justified it by saying that they are in this world to annihilate the idol worshippers. I have my own version that they justified their loot in the name of religion. So in turn they earned following from the teachers and followers.
The archaeological survey clearly found the remnants of the temple beneath the structure which stood there before 6th December, 1992. For Hindus, it became a battle of their existence or that is the way it was projected. I sometimes wonder that even after 1000 years of loots and raids and the external incursion, the culture has still stood strong as its roots are very deep.
Today it is not the victory of Hindu over anyone, but it is the victory of the Indian identity or Indian culture. It has been consistent in its beliefs and according to the law of the land waited for more than a 100 years for justice to be done. So the celebration today is of the patience that the Hindus have kept for so many years.
It is also a celebration of the acceptance of truth, which was continuously being denied to Ram. The people have the audacity to question their own legacy and heredity and call Ram mythological. But the dumbheads need to know that it is our history. Just because Western history believes in Human existence or culture is from last 3000 years or 4000 years, our people who learn from them also talk in the same sense which is absolute nonsense. We have a very rich history, full of culture and civilisation. And we need to find out about it. We cannot depend upon the non-Indians to do that work for us.
So today we celebrate the rich history, culture of India, that is Bharat, earlier called Aryavarta.
Also we should not forget in the euphoria of building the temple, the qualities of Ram, that He is known for. We need to imbibe those qualities in our lives too. For us, God not only resides in the temple but also in every heart. So in all this excitement, let us not forget the ultimate goal that we have to achieve and got this life for.
Let the political masters fight their petty political fights,
Let the narrow minded religionists quarrel over the structure,
Let the agnostics and the leftist question the very existence of Ram,
Let us all, the believing Hindus, be the followers of any Gods / Godessess, celebrate the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and known over the unknown.
रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नमः | रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोस्म्यहं रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर ‖
Seeing these pics of Ayodhya yesterday evening, am reminded of Tulsidasji’s words from Ramcharit Manas:
अवधपुरी प्रभु आवत जानी। भई सकल सोभा कै खानी।। बहइ सुहावन त्रिबिध समीरा। भइ सरजू अति निर्मल नीरा।।
When Ayodhya comes to know that Prabhu (Ram)is arriving, then She decorated Herself, the atmosphere cleared and the waters of the Sarayu river flowed gently…
Let us remember Ram is no where but within us and Ayodhya too is nowhere but our body, in which He resides…
येन बद्धो बलि राजा, दानवेन्द्रो महाबल। तेन त्वाम् प्रतिबद्ध्नामि रक्षे मा चल मा चल ॥
(O Brother! I tie you (towards your responsibilities) in the same way the King Bali was tied to, by his sister, Goddess Lakshmi. And pray that you may not waver from your path of responsibilities).
Am in two minds from many days whether to write or not on this caring and a beautiful relation. The great poet Valmiki too has refrained from describing Ram’s relation with his sister, Shanta. (Many of my readers may not that Ram too had a sister.) And Vyas too has not written any details about relations shared by Krishna – Balram – Subhadra or 105 Kuru Princes – Dushyala. If these great poets refrain to describe this relation, then I am just a student of this great culture and civilisation. At the same time, it is a relation which I want to write on and let the new generation also know and understand the real meaning behind this relation.
फूलों का तारों का, सबका कहना है एक हज़ारों में मेरी बहना है सारी, उमर, हमें संग रहना
I love these lines as they convey my feelings, or rather every brothers feelings towards his sister/s. Sister is the one and only relation where we can have fun and share what we like and don’t. She takes care of her brother as a protective Mother. She is a guiding force to her brothers. And so She is unique amongst the thousands of women on this Mother Earth.
This relationship is truly unique as there is a Day celebrated for it in our culture. We have Matrudin and Rakshabandhan. Both these festivals celebrate the most important and valued relations in our lives. It is considered a matter of pride to be a brother to a sister. It’s a truly selfless relation which needs to be taken care of and enjoyed.
Then why tie a Raksha (thread) around Brothers wrist? The understanding today is that the sister asks for her brothers protective covering. The brother would help and protect his sister in times of need. I feel this thought become the line of thinking during the last 1000 years of foreign rule. Our women needed to be protected from the foreigners and so who, but her brother. Question that arises to my mind is that in case of married man, what will he do for his wife? And a larger picture today is that woman today is herself quite qualified to take care of herself. And keeping this fact in mind, this festival will loose it’s sheen slowly and fade into memories in the coming years, if this would be our understanding. Or it will become just a ritual or a formality.
This festival is basically not for protection of women, but to develop an understanding amongst men on how to look towards women. Rather what should be a man’s attitude towards a woman. ‘Every other women, other than my mother and wife is like a sister to me,’ is what the festival wants to convey. The sister applying tilak on brothers forehead is giving him this understanding. It’s a third eye (tilak) for the brother through whose lens he learns to see every other woman as his sister. The thread around his hand conveys that the brother promises the same and promises not to deviate from this outlook or path (मा चल मा चल). It’s a Bandhan (commitment) that he is accepting. Hope, my readers atleast will understand this and try to inculcate this understanding in their lives.
I know am talking to a generation which asks “Can a boy and girl just not be friends?”, “My sister is my best friend.” I truly sometimes wonder whether todays generation thinks beyond friends and about the relations they have got. I personally have no such problems with their questions but do they think before they ask is what I ponder over later. My dear readers, let us all learn to enjoy every relation that we have got. Try to understand them and live in that way. And my question is if you both can be friends, then what’s the problem in accepting the girl as your sister or the boy as your brother. I leave this thought for you to think, discuss and debate.
God! Let my bond with my Sister be strengthened more in this coming year and let things get done from me, which will make Her happy.
पापान्निवारयति योजयते हिताय गुह्यं निगूहति गुणान् प्रकटीकरोति | आपद्गतं च न जहाति ददाति काले सन्मित्रलक्षणमिदं प्रवदन्ति सन्ताः ||
Meaning – Wise and noble persons have pronounced that the symptoms of a true friend are that he prevents us from committing sinful deeds and urges us to do things that are advantageous to us, keeps our secrets and brings out our virtues and qualities, does not desert us when we face misfortune, and helps us whenever we are in need of any help.
Do we get to meet such a friend today? And if we meet, will we keep such a friend? Need to ask this question as we every year in India celebrate the first sunday of August as friendship day.
We do give promises to each other but do we keep them? We make promises of being there always in life and death, but do we keep them? Do such friendships truly exist? Yes, they do.
The love and affection of Ram in his friendship with Sugreeva is something unimaginable today. Ram not only befriends the left out Sugreeva, but also gets his wife and kingdom back for him. Their bond of friendship is such that Sugreeva on learning that Rama is giving up his life in the waters of Sarayu, enthrones Angad, and joins Rama and enters Sarayu with him.
So we have many such ideals in front of us as a part of our history (though many foolishly call it mythology). We need to find them out, study them and learn to live like them.
On this day, let us try to find such a friend in our lives who is true. He / she may be only one but we need to have one true friend.
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Friendship Day…
A man is standing in the criminal box in the court, wrongly being indicted for no offence of his. The evidences laid before the court will prove him guilty.what would a lawyer do in such a case? Give up. But he would not get bogged down. As he had complete faith in his clients innocence. So he asks time from court. The court Grant’s permission. Next hearing, the lawyer declares that his client is dead, when he is sitting in front of everyone. The reason given by the lawyer is that He has taken “sanyaas” (renounced the world), so now he does not live according to Hindu scriptures. He has already done his own “pind daan.” (A ritual done after someone’s death and a person taking sanyaas is expected to do so.) The court agrees and let’s the person go free.
The lawyer is none other than Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, whose 100th punyatithi is today.
He was not a strong advocate of non violence and so had his differences with Gandhi. He even urged Gandhi to drop his idea of complete non – violence, to which Gandhi did not agree.
It is also said that he met Swami Vivekanand accidentally while travelling by train and then Swamiji was his guest for a few days too. They held each other in great esteem and had a mutual respect for each other. Again it is said that they both agreed that Tilak Maharaj would work towards nationalism in his own political way and Swamiji would do so in his own religious way.
When Swamiji passed away at a very early age, Tilak Maharaj said thus :
“No Hindu, who, has the interests of Hinduism at his heart, could help feeling grieved over Vivekananda’s samadhi. Vivekananda, in short, had taken the work of keeping the banner of Advaita philosophy forever flying among all the nations of the world and made them realize the true greatness of Hindu religion and of the Hindu people. He had hoped that he would crown his achievement with the fulfillment of this task by virtue of his learning, eloquence, enthusiasm and sincerity, just as he had laid a secure foundation for it; but with Swami’s samadhi, these hopes have gone. Thousands of years ago, another saint, Shankaracharya, who, showed to the world the glory and greatness of Hinduism. At the fag of the 19th century, the second Shankaracharya is Vivekananda, who, showed to the world the glory of Hinduism. His work has yet to be completed. We have lost our glory, our independence, everything.”
(SOURCE : WIKIPEDIA)
His writings and contribution towards the society through his newspapers “Kesari” and “Maratha” and through “Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav” and “Shiv Jayanti” have had a tremendous effect on the masses which lead to a great transformation in the society as a whole.
In 1903, Tilak wrote the book “The Arctic Home of the Vedas”. In it, he argued that the Vedas could only have been composed in the Arctics, and the Aryan bards brought them south after the onset of the last ice age. He proposed a new way to determine the exact time of the Vedas. In “The Orion”, he tried to calculate the time of the Vedas by using the position of different Nakshatras. The positions of the Nakshtras were described in different Vedas. Tilak wrote “Shrimad Bhagvad Gita Rahasya” in prison at Mandalay – the analysis of ‘Karma Yoga’ in the Bhagvad Gita, which is known to be a gift of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
While bowing down to this great towering personality on his 100th Punyatithi, can also ask for the spirit of nationalism to thrive amongst us, like him.
Today is Shitla Saptami. It is the day of non cooking. Food is prepared one day before (yesterday) and is savoured today. Yesterday had its own significance too.
Yesterday was Randhan Chaatth (the day of cooking). It is the day of cooking the best delicacies possible and yeah at the same time, the ones which we can savour the next day. The women of the household start the preparations early morning itself. At some villages in Saurashtra, the women get together to cook. They sing and enjoy this whole process. Some households also offer this food as Prasad to the Annapoorna. This festival (It cannot be called a festival as it is more a gathering) of cooking is always awaited during the year.
Some of my readers may feel it unhygenic to eat food cooked a day before. But frankly we all love cold food. Especially many foods like Khichadi and foods made from spices tastes great when eaten, the next day after preparation. But it is unhygenic and unhealthy to eat it. So our Rishis have kept one day in the whole year when we can satisfy our urge to eat food cooked overnight through this festival. People who regularly eat canned foods need to understand the healthy habits inherent in daily cooked food.
In the morning, the lady of the household, wakes up early and worships the stove. She makes a swastik with red vermilion and put a twig of a mango tree over it as an offering. The mango twig signifies sweetness and it is believed that it imparts coolness. The lady prays to the stove to help her cook food which will be sweet to eat and impart coolness to the digestive system of the one who eats it. Many families chant “Annapoornastotram” as a prayer to the Goddess of Food, who provides and feeds us everyday.
Apart from this, it is also a way of expressing our gratitude to the stove / gas burner who burns the whole year for giving us food. This whole day, the stove is not lit. In our way, we would say that’s it’s a holiday for the stove. It is one way of looking at the presence of Chaitanya in non-living too.
Also it is day to worship Goddess Shitla, the Goddess of cleanliness and health. Goddess Shitala is represented as a young maiden crowned with a winnowing-fan, riding a donkey, holding a short broom (either to spread or dust off germs) and a pot full of pulses (the viruses) or cold water (a healing tool). Sometimes, she is said to be carrying a bunch of neem leaves, a herb used throughout India since ancient times that is believed by some to be an effective remedy to most skin diseases to this day. And so even today in India we keep neem leaves around the patient suffering from Chicken pox. And after 5/7 days, parents take their kids for a darshan of Shitla Mata and worship Her and thank Her for curing the child of the disease. (Medicines are administered regularly, but it is a matter of faith and gratitude towards nature). (Also reading reports nowadays that Neem is effective as a precautionary measure of Covid – 19). On this day, we are expected to offer our gratitude to the broom and every other object which helps to keep our food and surroundings clean. Some people do worship the broom and the winnow on this day.
In these days of Covid-19, hope we Indians atleast understand the importance of cleanliness of ones house, kitchen and surroundings. Also personal hygiene, today signified by taking a bath after coming from outside or back from work; or washing hands after coming from outside was a must in the olden days. These were not habits which consumed time or we did not use any tissues to rub, but it was a compulsory wash which was required. Even today there are many households where the lady of the house does not touch the utensils of her kitchen without taking a bath. There is nothing religious in it, but hygiene. Our Rishis were great enough to male such practices part of our day to day life through activities and giving a religious connotation to it.
Shitala is the also considered as the form of Goddess Katyayani. She gives coolness to the patients of fever. According to Devi Mahatmya when a demon named Jvarasura gave bacterial fever to all the children, Goddess Katyayani came in the form of Shitala to purify children’s blood and to destroy the bacteria of fever in blood. In Sanskrit ‘Jwar’ means “fever” and ‘Shital‘ means “coolness“. She is worshipped all over India by different names.
These days are of showers. Showers heavy and light keep the atmosphere clean and cool. The combination of the showers and these festivals are like a combination of lime and jaggery. They are both good for health and taste.
On these days,
Let us learn to inculcate a feeling of gratitude towards even towards the smallest of the things which make out lives healthy and better.
Let us learn to keep our surroundings clean and keep ourselves clean and healthy, free from diseases.
Let us know our ancestors and their vision and their efforts to keep us civilised.
A day to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice of our soldiers…
My ode to the slain soldier :
When the neighbour back stabbed us in the name of peace,
Let us be prepared to break his house piece by piece,
Let him not forget that he has messed up really bad,
We still remember our jawan bodies being ice clad,
We cannot forget the teary Mother or the widow or the kid,
For the enemy, who killed her son or husband or father, sordid…
One of the bravery stories from many which are a part of Indian history now…
July 7, 1999…
He was assigned the task of taking point 5140. (My readers also need to know that not all mountains are named like the Everest or Kailash or Kanchenjunga, but rather they are given numbers related to coordinates of their position). It was a hill top. The enemy was on the top and it was one of the important hills which needed to be taken for our successful defence and driving the enemy out. The warfare was going to be tough but Captain Vikram, decided to go ahead. Captain Vikram started moving through the rough terrain slowly but steadily and within hours the point 5140 was ours. ‘Yeh Dil maange more’ the code word was transmitted. His commanders were happy about his success when they received the radio message.
Mission accomplished. Vikram and his troops now had to return. But the son of the soil decided to move ahead and take point 4875. There had been casualties in his troop but the spirits were high. So on they went, with the permission from their superiors. Maybe Netaji’s words to his INA “Ab Delhi mein milenge” must be ringing in their ears by now. The task was impossible according to their seniors. But our brave troops tread on.
The enemy was anticipating the attack and was fully prepared. The attack was mounted but the Indian side suffered heavy casualties. One of the soldier was grievously injured and was in the path of the enemy bullets. The soldier was lying near the enemy lines. Captain Batra without even thinking for a moment lept out out from his position and ran towards to soldier. He was fired upon and he took five bullets in his chest and head. The enemy soldiers pounced upon him and in this combat he killed five enemy soldiers. But this assault was lethal. Captain Vikram Batra attained Martyrdom.
Captain Vikram Batra, who led the toughest mountain warfare, was often referred as Sher Shah in the messages intercepted by the Pakistani Army.
He could have had a good and peaceful life in the Merchant Navy, which he had initially joined. But being in the front, to fight for Bharat was his dream, which he fulfilled.
Bharat and Bharatiya’s indeed should be grateful to such soldiers who give up their lives for our peace. People will commemorate this day by wishing each other and changing their DP’s and updating their status, (which I am not against as I myself will also put up one once am done writing this blog) but hope they remember people like Captain Vikram Batra and the other 566 soldiers who attained martyrdom to liberate our Motherland from the enemy.
Lastly let’s end with two lines from the famous song sung by the soldiers of INA
Today we talk and understand, the Vedic way of expressing ones gratitude to Nature. We believe that God resides in everything. Rather it is the will and wish of God, that He created us, the non living and the living. We both co-exist. We believe (even science today believes) that we have come from the non-living. Science believes that there is ‘chetan’ (atoms) in everything and we believe that there is ‘chaitanya'(God) in everything. The Theory of evolution as suggested by Darwin has already been proposed many thousand years back by us in the form of 10 avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu.
So with this broad outlook we will look into the festival of Nag Panchami (नाग पंचमी) being celebrated today. It is a festival celebrated to worship the Serpents. The serpents are representatives of the reptile world.
As civilisation thrived, we had to cut down forests to make big towns and cities to accommodate more and more people. We knowingly had to drive out the reptiles from their natural habitats. As these reptiles cannot speak and express their emotions to us, for a few time they must have resisted but after finding their fight futile, they sacrificed their homes and went deeper into the jungles.
Our Rishis had a great intellect and an emotional heart. They felt that we need to express our gratitude to this class of animals who are sacrificing their homes for Humans. So they inculcated this practise of celebrating Naag Panchami.
On the occasion of Nag Panchami also want to talk about, the Naga people and Naglok, and giving a broader cultural and social outlook towards the society at large.
Were Nag people humans? Were they part of India? Yes 100%. They were humans and they were a part of India. We have had social and cultural relations with all the different tribes which exist in India even today.
Even today, in modern India, we have the Nagaland. The people residing there are called Nagas. It is just one tribe residing there, from many.
From our history we are all familiar with Vasuki, the serpent King. Just feel like sharing an anecdote about Him. Vasuki has played an important part during the churning of the ocean. Vasuki took part in the incident of churning of the ocean (samudra manthan) by allowing both the devas and the asuras to bind him to Mount Mandar, which was used as a blender in the churning of the ocean to extract “amrut” (nectar). Today it is found that Mount Mandaar or Mandar Hill or Mandar Parvat, as it is popularly known, is located in Banka District, in the State of Bihar in India. A the temple of Lord Shiva, called Vasukinath, literally meaning “the Lord of Vasuki”, is just a few kilometres away from Mandar Parvat, in the State of Jharkhand, in Dumka District.
I believe that this is my countries history and the Serpent King must have played an important part during the debates and discussion which the Devas and the Asuras had during the yesterday years. All these serpents, devas and Asuras were basically humans but names of different types of people who got their names from their characteristics. And the Serpents must have been the anchors of the debate or discussion which took place between the Devas and the Asuras.
Lord Krishna in His celestial song, Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta has called the serpent Vasuki as one His “vibhuti’s.” सर्पाणामस्मि वासुकि: (Amongst the serpents, am Vasuki. And it is this Vasuki, which can be seen around the neck of the lord or lords, Mahadev.
We know and have read about the Nagalok and how Arjun was married to a Nagkanya Ulupi, who gave him a son Iravan, who had participated in the Mahabharat war. And also a reference to that when Bheem, the second Pandav, was poisoned in his childhood and was drowned into a river, it was the Nag people who had saved him. Bheem’s strength is attributed to the potions given to him by them.
So friends, Nag people have been an integral part of our civilisation from years and we have had cultural and social relationships with them. We might have adopted this Nag pooja from them.
So, my readers, our festivals have a divine but cultural and social outlook too, which we need to understand and not laugh upon them. The westerners may call us the land of serpents, but we are far more ahead in our understanding about nature and humans, unlike them. Hence, we need to develop our own understanding about all our festivals.
We began the quest to know oneself in the last blog. Furthering the cause to know oneself, we move a step ahead today.
We will sit at the feet of the great Guru of mankind and try and learn from Him.
Jagadguru Shankaracharya answers this question in His own way. The following 6 verses are together known as Atmashtak or Nirvanashtak. It is His own way and philosophy of non-dualism emphasized and explained in the 6 verses. It’s one of the best ashtaks I have heard (though my reading and understanding about the vast Vedic literature has its limitations).
मनोबुद्ध्यहंकार चित्तानि नाहं
न च श्रोत्रजिह्वे न च घ्राणनेत्रे ।
न च व्योम भूमिर्न तेजो न वायुः
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 1 ।।
Mano Buddhi Ahankara Chitta Ninaham
Nacha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre
Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vayu
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 1.
I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego,
nor the reflections of inner self (chitta).
I am not the five senses.
I am beyond that.
I am not the ether, nor the earth,
nor the fire, nor the wind .
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.
न च प्राणसंज्ञो न वै पंचवायुः,
न वा सप्तधातुः न वा पञ्चकोशः ।
न वाक्पाणिपादौ न चोपस्थपायु,
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 2 ।।
Na Cha Prana Samjno Na Vai Pancha Vayu
Na Va Saptadhatur Na Va Pancha Koshah
Na Vak Pani Padau Na Chopastha Payu
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 2.
Neither can I be termed as energy (Prana),
nor five types of breath (vayus),
nor the seven material essences,
nor the five coverings (pancha-kosha).
Neither am I the five instruments of elimination,
procreation, motion, grasping, or speaking.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.
Jagadguru goes in to explain every detail in the remaining 4 verses. Would love if my readers would make an effort to find them out and learn them. As it a quest, we have to make efforts for it too.
Yes, I wrote the month of Shraavan and not the holy month of Shraavan as in our tradition all the months are holy. Who can decide which God of the trinity is superior? Shiv, Vishnu or Brahma? None as they all have their work decided for the and they just follow. So if someone says a particular God is more important and not another, then it’s the impression of the medieval thought that has become prevalent after the rise of Christianity and Islam.
I do not want to belittle even those schools of thought, but what I want to convey is that superiority was never a question which the Vedics had to answer or even tried to answer, as they knew very well that every work / thought has its importance. They believe in
“आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः।”
– Let all the good thoughts from all over the world come to me
And so Bharat never had a problem with welcoming Zorastrians, Arabs or the English. Nor did it have a problem with the rise of Jainism or Buddhism in Bharat itself. Rather it opened up its arms and accepted them with warmth and an open mind.
Let’s come back to our topic of Shraavan. Actually the farmer is now done with his sowing work and now he needs to take care of his growing crops and nurture them. His family is very busy with all this work. And lest they forget the indwelling God or the omnipresence of God in their work, our Rishis must have given these festivals to celebrate so that Work centered life returns / comes back to God centered.
Through these festivals, the Rishis want to inculcate a feeling of Reverence for the Creation and through them, Reverence for the Creator. At the same time, the utilitarian attitude or selfish attitude of humans should also be God centered. So a slow bit gradual change is expected in Humans while celebrating these festivals.
Yesterday I wrote about Deep Amaavasya. The new moon day is considered unlucky by many but the Rishis have given 4 festivals on all 4 amaavasyas of the Chaturmaas. Yesterday was Deep Amaavasya, next would be Matrudin, later Sarva Pitra Amaavasya and last one is Diwali. All 4 festivals have their own importance and also have tried to explain the importance of the festival culturally and emotionally. They do have a spiritual connect but I still have to develop that outlook, understanding and depth.
So next few days will keep sharing about the festivals during these months.
Today is a Tuesday. Shravan Tuesdays hold a different connotation for the newly married women of Maharashtra, especially amongst the women of Konkan. It is the day of “Mangala Gaur Pujan”. It is also known as “Sharavan Mangala Gaur Pujan”. The newly wed girl comes back to stay with her parents for the month of Asadh. Then on one of the Shravan Tuesdays, this puja is performed. The puja is for her well being.
It’s a time for the women of the family to come together and celebrate. Women play the whole night after the puja. The games are itself delightful yet completely physical as it would be evident from the pitcures see above. The women folk are fit and fine and play these games with festivities, laughter and a sense of competition. It’s a time to forget everything and just engross oneself in the game.
After this puja, the girl can now return to her in-laws. This puja is done for 5 years. The next 4 puja’s are performed at the in-laws place itself. At the end of the 5th year, the girl gifts her mother a pot full of cereals. A way to celebrate for the newly wed at her own place till she adjusts herself at her in-laws. Also a time to be oneself cause the bride would still be formal at her in laws but not at home. Just a way to help her adjust slowly to the new environment.
So as we can see that our Rishis have taken a lot of pain to understand the psyche of the people and given us these festivals. We will try to understand this outlook through my blogs in the coming days.
Today is the last day of Asadh as celebrated here in Western India. It is the last day of the month. But for the Northern India it is the 15th day of the 2nd month of Chaturmaas ie Shraāvan. (Why so? is another topic of research and study). In Western India, a month begins after Amaāvasya whereas in Northern India, Amaāvasya is in the middle of the month. So it is Amaāvasya (No / New Moon Day) today all around India.
Today is Deep Amaāvasya. The day to clean all the Diyas (earthern lamps) made of copper, steel, silver and gold. (Or any other metal) All the used and the unused Diyas are thoroughly cleaned today. And then in the evening time, they all are lit with rangolis (geometrical design with different colours) drawn around it. The Diyas are then worshipped and offered flowers. And the family members then share sweets with each other.
The worship has its own significance. It is spreading light in our lives and the lives of others too. Light is considered auspicious. It removes the darkness from the outer world and at the same time enlightens the inner self. We, Indians, light a Diya everyday and say the following shlokas invoking the blessings of the Gods :
शुभं करोति कल्याणं आरोग्यं धनसंपदः । शत्रुबुद्धिविनाशाय दीपज्योतिनमोऽस्तु ते ॥
दीपज्योतिः परब्रह्म दीपज्योति जनार्दनः । दीपो हरतु मे पापं दीपज्योतिनमोऽस्तु ते ॥
(I bow to the Light, which brings abundance and prosperity of Health, and wealth and which destroys the intelligent enemy [darkness]…
It is you O Light! That is the creator and the operator and you will lead me to light away from sins, so I bow down unto you…)
The Mother Goddess (Shakti) is also symbolised by a burning flame of a diya. Fire helps the mother cook the food. At the same time, they both symbolise energy. And so one of the names of the mother is “Shakti”. Will deal upon it in some later blog.
Lastly am reminded of a short story (or maybe it’s a poem). The Sun is ready to set. The Sun asks everyone in the Universe that who will take his place and give light to the world in his absence? No one answers. A small earthen lamp moves upto him and humbly says, that it might not be as large as the Sun and may not have enough energy to lighten up the world but it will try to lighten up the area around, in which it is kept. This makes the Sun very happy. It signifies the importance of small things in life. However small may one be, with determination one can do the work done by the great ones.
Also I understand the Sun as God and the earthern lamp as Humanity. The Human being promises to be His representation in this Universe and it is his/her responsibility to lighten up the world. So let us all try to be small and humble Diya’s and try to enlighten our lives and the lives of the people around us.
Wish you all a Shubh Deep Amaavasyaa.
Tommorrow onwards is the month of Shraāvan. A month of Devotion and Festivals. Naag Panchami, Shitla Saptami, Janmashtami and many others.
Have decided to write a series during these months of monsoon on the different festivals we celebrate. Will write about the known ones and the lesser known ones too as I have done today. Will try to keep them as short as possible.
And he made His image in his dearest creation, the Human!
He bestowed upon his son the best of His blessings in the form of Intellect, Money, Power and Name.
He started using his Intellect, started gaining knowledge, got a lot of money and power. People started knowing him and calling him. His arrogance and ego grew. He started questioning his very own Creator. He didn’t realise that he has started questioning his own existence.
This is the time when the Mother Goddess ‘Maya‘ struck him.
Slowly, she engulfed the little human into her arms and he too lost himself in her, forgetting all his responsibilities and goals of life.
He forgot even himself and his Creator.
He lived in this world of illusion.
The question arose in his mind, Who am I?
One fine day, a Human Being descended on Earth.
Lived a life full of God’s blessings but didn’t entangle himself in the worldly pleasures.
He looked for his Father and looked here and there.
Around him he saw nothing but illusion.
He looked within and lo behold! he found Him! His Creator.
Sitting quietly in his heart and waiting to talk.
As the man sat back and talked, Maya decided that her days are now over and left.
The Human is no one now, but a pure and an infinite soul, a universal soul…
Wish you all, my readers, a very Happy Vruskshmandir Din, Madhav Vrund Din and Yuva Din.
All 3 festivals celebrated by the Swadhyay Pariwaar, across the globe, on the same day, ie today, 12th of July. These 3 days also coincide with the birthday of the current head or the Elder Sister of Swadhyay Pariwaar, Revered Dhanashree Athavale – Talwalkar. She happens to be my mentor and guide too. Will write about the parivaar and its founder Revered Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale (Dadaji – elder brother in Marathi) in another blog some day.
Today wanna talk about the outlook that they both have inculcated into thousands of lives in India and abroad.
The Vedic philosophy believes in the 4 basic principles –Reverence for self, -Reverence for others, –Reverence for Nature; and –Reverence for the Creator.
The Creator himself resides within me as He, Himself said so in Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. “सर्वस्यचाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो ।” sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto श्री मद्भग्वदगीता – अध्याय 15 श्लोक 15 (I reside in every heart) So am divine. In the same way, He resides in every heart. So there is no question of looking down upon others too.
And goes a step forward to say, “अश्वत्थ: सर्ववृक्षाणाम् ।” Ashwathaha sarva vrukshaanaam श्री मद्भग्वदगीता – अध्याय 10 श्लोक 26 (Am the Banyan among the trees) So if the Creator Himself says so, the Nature is divine too. Then how can I even think of harming it!
But Human mind based on reasoning and scientific attitude talks about the need of tree or a cow once it loses it sheen as an object of utility. And slowly loses the feeling of reverence for everything, that has been inculcated in his or her childhood. I need to clarify that am not against the usage of things and objects in our lives, but at the same time it is distressing to see Humans become so emotionless towards fellow human beings, fellow living creatures and nature.
At such a time of distress, comes a Great Man (Human history is full of such great people) who takes us back to our roots and makes us understand to water them, and not bereave them from water. They come out of Law of Universal Necessity, and not out of Law of Attraction and Repulsion or Law of Karma. They teach the Universe about the morals and ethics of life and show the right path to tread on.
Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale, Dadaji, is one such person. He explains that people, that is we, look towards nature with a sense of Utility or a sense of Objectivity (being beautiful). But He further explains that we Humans who can think and reason and feel, should move a step ahead and try to find and see the divinity within everything. It is based on this thought that He has given an experiment called Vrukhsmandir (A temple of forests).
Swadhyayees from 20 villages around plant trees in a barren land. Take care of them as family members and grow them. As it is a community work, no one is the owner of the produce. It’s rightful owner is God, Himself. It may sound like some social experiment, but my readers I should draw your attention to the fact that it is purely divine. Everyone who participates here is learning to see God, even in the trees. Through this, I feel, that Shashtriji has revived the feeling of Reverence towards Nature. There are 27 such Vrukshmandirs in the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
And for this novel experiment of Vrikshmandirs, Shashtriji has been awarded the Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshmitra Award too.
It is an experiment which does have social impact, but Shashtriji explains and propounds that, we do plant trees and take care of them, but we are not environmentalist, we are ‘Bhakts’ (devotees). There are so many instances where lives of people going to Vruskhmandirs have changed and this is the basic idea of what Shashtriji wants to do. He further explains, that if we see changes in the mindset of the society or a positive attitude develops towards nature, for society as a whole, then it is the ‘side effect’ of this experiment. The Vrukshmandir is basically for a human to look into himself and change. This is Swadhyay.
Similarly, the people living in metro cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru or Kolkatta and Delhi and in town and cities have been encouraged to plant a small shrub at home to develop a healthy and a divine attitude towards Nature. Everyday morning, the family members get together and water the plant and utter the ‘Narayanopanishad’ while watering. Two small changes can happen. One is that the family comes closer and their bonding collectively with nature too increases. Singing the Narayanopanishad helps develop the understanding of seeing Narayan, ie God in the tree or sapling planted at home.
This understanding based on the thoughts of Bhakti has transformed lives of people and families. Created a sense of unity amongst society. And yes, indirectly helped in environment conservation too.
Shastriji has also asked upon Swadhyayees to conserve water at home, in fields and in lakes around their villages. Swadhyay parivaar has built thousands of lakes and check dams across many states in India. They call them ‘Nirmal Neer’. Also many Swadhyayees have taken upto rain water harvesting in their individual houses and many villagers have started helping in recharging the ground water levels through an experiment of “Shosh Khadda” (a pit that helps absorb kitchen water into the ground).
My readers might have a question that even after doing all this, we have never heard about it. Because both, Shashtriji and His daughter are of the firm belief that we have to go and share such ideas with people personally. First develop a relationship and then share. It is not a system but their conviction that changes are desirable in the minds of the people. The moment they realise and develop a bond with their God within, then a small Human can do big things. It is this firm belief that has kept the Parivaar together. And so they keep away from Media. There has been no such media propaganda of the ground work that they have done.
Today, also happens to be the birthday of Dhanashree Didi (Didi – elder sister). She has been nurturing the Parivaar with lots of love, warmth and affection. The way She connects with people through Her talks and action is just unbelievable. For people who dont know Her, they would feel that am just exaggerating. So even I would say that Seeing is believing. I have seen it and I believe it.
She has taken a lot of efforts to gather all the different pearls (people of different states, linguistic preferences, castes, creed, nationaities) into a single thread. The youth, in particular, will remain indebted to Her for generations to come. According to the wishes of Dadaji, She has organised the youth and given them dynamic activities through which the generation of today understand the morals, ethics and more importantly, the nearness of God. So the youth on Her birthday, celebrate Yuva Din (Youth Day). It is a way of expressing their Gratitude to both these ‘ Mahamaanavs.’
At the end, I pray to God that
May He, help us to develop strong bondings amongst Humans that these binds transcend faith and uplift Humanity.
May He, help us develop the understanding of oneness with Nature and the Universe as a whole.
May He, take us closer to Himself and bless us with understanding of oneness with God.
Moras Bhaji is a beautiful salty succulent that grows in damp regions like mangroves, dunes, beaches, etc which is mostly available during early monsoons.
It is a perennial creeper with small thick flat leaves. The size of the leaves goes up to 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length.
It is considered as a Halophyte. Halophytes are salt tolerant plants that grow in waters with high salinity, such as mangrove swamps, marshes, seashores and saline semi deserts. Only two percent of the plant species found on the earth are Halophytes.
The reason I planned to write about Moras as I came to know about its importance and use in one of the ‘Vrats’ (penance) done by the unmarried girls of a small age, in Gujarat. It is called “Molakaat”. The girls stay away from use of salt in food for 5 days. It is unimaginable for people like me who like a pinch (a bit large) of salt in their food. But the girls do dedicatedly follow the rules and abstain from salt.
Here is where Moras comes in. As it is rich in salt, some girls consume it during these 5 days. As the vrat coincides with the onset of monsoons, Moras is also available in plenty. They consume Moras in the form of theplas, parathas or falafels. They are very delicious to taste and are eaten by all in the family. Many a girls even abstain from consuming these.
But overall, I was just thinking about the vrats have been made to coincide with the seasons so my Namaskaars to the people who have come up with these novel ideas to make us learn some control in life too.
Well, I was very happy to consume the falafels made at home, which have left a taste to savour more. Will ask everyone of my readers to find out more such local delicacies and enjoy them during this lockdown…
A place of battle for many but a place of utmost devotion for the 300 who gave up their lives for their beloved Maharaj… The history of the place is itself mindblowing… Shivaji Maharaj after killing Afzalkhan did not rest… He conquered territories from Pratapgad to Kolhapur within a span of 20/22 days… He reached Panhalgad… He was surrounded by the armies of Fazal Khan and the Siddi… They laid a seige to the fort… Maharaj’s movement became restricted…
After a gap of 8 months, after the onset of the rainy season… One fine night He thinks of a plan… He sends an emissary to Khan and informs him of surrendering… The Khan’s army is delighted… They relax and loosen up their vigil… Taking advantage of this situation, Maharaj with a band of trusted 600 Bandal mavlas escapes Panhalgad at night… It was pouring heavily which helped in the escape…
But the Khan and Siddi came to know of the escape and they start a pursuit… Rainy night of Amavasya (new moon day) and the eerie and mountainous area of Sahyadri’s… They both run… Shivaji Maharaj and his men on foot and the Khan and the Siddi on their horses… They start catching up…
Shivaji Maharaj and his trusted band reach Ghodkhind, a valley between two mountains… Now the head of the Bandal Mavlas, Baji Prabhu Deshpande, comes forward and requests Maharaj to move towards Vishalgad with 300 of his men and he himself with the remaining 300 will stop the enemy in the valley… Maharaj is not willing but Baji coerces him to do so… Maharaj moves ahead with a heavy heart…
Baji and his band of 300 stand there in the valley and fight the enemy… They fight till they hear the sound of the guns, the signal that Shivaji Maharaj has successfully reached Vishalgad… It takes Maharaj about 8/10 hours to reach… Baji and his men give their ultimate sacrifice… Shivaji Maharaj reaches, the guns boom and hearing these booms, Baji gives up his life… An army of 300 against an army of 1000’s… Valour personified… Today is that day when Baji Prabhu Deshpande and his band of Bandals gave up their life for Maharaj and Swaraj.
Shivaji Maharaj comes to know of this and He names Ghodkhind as Pawankhind… Baji and his men have given their blood and made this valley, pious…
Have been to the valley with my friends first and a second trip with my family… The valley is in shambles… One feels bad when we see that places of history are not looked after nor maintained… We climb down into the valley from one place and we all are lost in that world…
Spontaneously words flow out of the mouth “Kshatriyakulavatansh, Go Brahman Pratipalak, Sinhasandheesh, Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki Jay” “Jay Bhavani, Jay Shivaji”… The sound of the slogans resonates… We spend lots of time down there and after an hour or so, we climb up the hill again… Refresh, rejuvenated, with a sense of pride…
Today, on this day of Pratipada, Bow down before the valour and ultimate sacrifice of Baji Prabhu Deshpande and his followers…
Bow down to Shivaji Maharaj who built a team of most trusted followers to realise His dream of Swaraj.
Bow down to the common people of Maharashtra, who trusted and stood by Shivaji Maharaj in His conquest of His dreams…
A question mark bowing down to an exclamation mark. It’s mind boggling.
At the same time Awesome. Beautiful. Creative.
It wholly explains the openness of Vedic literature in a simple yet lucid manner. Vedas have always given an impetus to asking questions. “Veda” itself means “to know“. This is has been and should be the underlying principle of development of the Human, His soul and the entire Human race.
Who am I?
Where have I come from?
What do I have to do?
Why am I chosen to play my part?
How do I do it?
need to be asked by one and all. Everyone might find a different answer to these questions. But the end result is the salvation of the soul from this circle of life and death.
The quest is the road from life to death to life, till the soul finds it’s rightful place. The day when the soul gets to sit in the lap of God, as “Dhruv” has found it. As many others have found it.
Some go to the extent of saying that stick to a thought and live your life with it and accordingly and you will find your salvation. Though I am no one to disagree with these Great souls, I feel that it is not possible. Say for example Mahatma Gandhi. By sticking to the lone principle of Ahimsa, he might have earned the title of a Mahatma, but if someone tells me that his soul was liberated due to this, is what I am not ready to believe. (Pls try to understand what I want to say and do not argue or counter argue on the example given. It can be anyone else.) I just want to convey that the development has to be whole, entire, complete.
Coming back to the quest, what I am fascinated by is the last question “How do I do it?”. There is no particular answer to this question. It will be varied. A “few” may find their own way to do it. They are the ones who have come, or rather, been sent to Mother Earth out of Law of Universal Necessity. The “many” need to follow them, do what they do and say what they say. Again accepting the master or a teacher is a human choice.
This is where I loved the picture, as for common people like me or rather us, we all need to bow down to these great people of wisdom – accept them as our Teachers, Guru…
Bowing down is to find the answers to our questions.
Bowing down is to signify the acceptance of their being a step ahead of us in the quest of develooment.
Bowing down means ” समर्पण”. I offer myself and my life to you and please guide me.
Bowing down means having full faith in the person we bow down to, after testing and questioning and reasoning every word the person has said.
Bowing down means merging our life into his and walk onto his path.
Here the questions rest.
Here the quest for development not only through thought but action begins.
Here we tread on the path to become an enlightened researcher.
As Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta propounds “बुधा भावसमन्विताः।” (Chapter 10 Verse 8) (a combination of Intellect and Emotions), this can be the only way to find the answers to our questions.
So my readers, let us begin this journey and be blessed by the right teachers who show us the path on which we need to tread on.
असित-गिरि-समं स्यात् कज्जलं सिन्धु-पात्रे। सुर-तरुवर-शाखा लेखनी पत्रमुर्वी।। लिखति यदि गृहीत्वा शारदा सर्वकालं। तदपि तव गुणानामीश पारं न याति।।
Pushpadant in his Shiv Mahimna Stotra has written this Shlok for the Lord. It translates thus:
O Lord! Even if we make paper of the land mass present on earth and ink from the water of her oceans, use the trees as a pen and if Saraswati, intelligence personified, sit backs to write about you for the time infinite, then too, it’s a mammoth and daunting task to describe all your qualities.
Today is Vyas Poornima. People celebrate it as Guru Poornima. Indian culture / civilisation personifies God in the form of a Guru. To lead and follow a spiritual life, a guru is needed. Kabirji in one of his doha’s (couplets) describes the importance of guru thus
गुरु गोविंद दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पाय। बलिहारी गुरु आपकी, गोविंद दियो बताय।।
Both the Guru and the Lord are standing in front of me and am confused whom should I bow down to first?.
The next line can be translated in two ways:
1. As you, my Guru, have shown me this form of the Lord, I bow down to you first
2. You being my Guru, pointed to the Lord saying, bow at His feet first.
It’s such a beautiful feeling that Kabirji has expressed stating that both the interpretations can be right. As they both, the Lord and Guru are no different.
Ved Vyas is the son of Rishi Parashar and Satyavati, a fisherwomen. The story goes that Rishi Parashar was in a hurry to reach a “Yaag” and had to cross a river to reach the other side. At that time, it was Satyavati who helped him cross the river. In lieu, Rishi Parashar gave her a mantra to beget a son. He also told her that the son would be very intelligent and no one would compare to him in intelligence. Satyavati at that moment invoked the mantra and conceived a child. The boy when born was called “Krishna” as he had black skin. The child was born on an island so was known as “Krishna Dwaipayan” (Dwaipayan – island born). [There may be other stories about the birth of Vyas, and I leave it upto my reader to decide which they like, but one thing is a fact that he was a son of Parashar and Satyavati].
As Krishna grew into an adult, he left Satyavati and promised her to return whenever she needed him. He gained knowledge from the four Kumar’s, Muni Narad and Brahma, Himself. After acquiring his education, he took upon a great task of bifurcating the Veda mantras.
Till then, the Vedas were all one. Krishna took upon him the task of understanding each mantra and started dividing them into Rigved, Yajurved and Samved. Rigved has all the mantra’s invoking Mother Nature and the Gods. Yajurved has mantra’s describing rituals and the technical modalities of performing them. Samved has the same mantra’s of Rigved (a few are different), but they are written in a meter and so can be sung.
It is easy for me to describe in three sentences the work he has done. But to be fair and to give you, my readers a fair idea about the volume of work, am just quoting one figure. Rigved had 12/13 shakhas of which only 2 are available today. The available 2 shakhas have more than 10000 mantras. It was a mammoth task. Also it was Krishna, who with a large heart accepted Tantra and Medicine as Vidya and clubbed them together to make a fourth Ved, Atharvaved. It covers many topics from the duties of the king to a common house holder. (Courtesy – Kanhaiyalal Munshi) The contribution of Krishna Dwaipayan cannot be put into words but due to his effort, people started calling him “Ved Vyas”. (One who has bifurcated the Vedas). He is considered by many as the incarnation of the Trinity, of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
अचतुर्वदनो ब्रह्मा द्विबाहुरपरो हरिः ।
अभाललोचनः शम्भुर्भगवान् बादरायणः।।
(He does not have 4 heads yet He is Brahma, He has just two hands yet He is Vishnu, He does not have a third eye, yet He is Shiv, He is none other than Bhagwaan Badrayan)
After his work was complete, which includes the writing of many Upanishads, he has written the 18 Puranas of which Bhagwat Puran is very famous and known to us. He wrote these Puranas as he realised that what he has written is difficult for a common man to understand. So he has written all the thoughts of Vedas and Upanishads as short stories. This is the height of intelligence when one starts thinking about all this mammoth work.
The one thing I should also mention is about Brahma Sutra. A collection of 555 sutras (aphorisms) in which is said to have compiled the whole philosophy of life. Brahma Sutra is associated with Badrayan as Vyas is also sometimes addressed as. It is said that the island in which he was born was covered with “Badara” (ber/ Indian Jujube) and so the name.
Last but not the least, Mahabharat. It is said to cover every relation and emotion under the sun. It has always attracted researchers from every field, be it historical, social, pshycological, archaeological and many more. It is said that when Vyas invited Ganesh to write the Mahabharat, Ganesh put forward a condition that Vyas will not stop when dictating the story. To which Vyas replied that he will not, but Ganesh too will first understand what is being told and then write. And so was written the Mahabharat of which Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta was the heart.
The Prasthantrayi of Upanishads, the Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta and the Brahmasutra is a gift to this world from Ved Vyas. All the Acharyas have written their commentaries on the three. The Trayi holds a very pious place in the Vedic culture.
It is very difficult to write all the work, in one blog cause as a point is written, a new thought arises which can be written about Ved Vyas. So on this auspicious day, believed to be his birthday and also the day when He completed and gave to the world the 4 Veds, I just bow down to Him with humility.
One last thing I wanted to share with my readers some of whom are my students too. I know that we all feel indebted to our school and tution teachers, rather we all should. But today is not the day to wish them. For them, in India, we celebrate 5th September as the Teacher’s Day. Today is a day to bow down to those teachers (guru) who have taught us how to lead a good and humane life and who leads us onto the path of spiritual development. The wishes should be “Guru Poornima ke Namaskaar” or “Bow down to you on this auspicious day of Guru Poornima”.
Let’s end with the Namaskaars to Lord Krishna as he is Jagadguru in the words of Ved Vyas, himself,
A sonnet is a 14 line poem which can be written in different rhyme schemes. I have followed a Shakespearen rhyme scheme of a b a b c d c d and e f e f g g. Its talks about a problem in the first 8 lines and then the solution in the next 6 lines. Have purposely kept my topic away from love and written about a geopolitical issue of my country.
Will be trying to write more sonnets in the near future and maybe a few romantic ones as well…
In the meanwhile, pls comment on the above that you read…
On the 11th day of the month of Asaadh, the Gods are put to sleep. This day is widely celebrated across India as Devshayani Ekadashi. (Do they sleep? Can we exist without them? is another question) But it is such a beautiful concept of “Sagun Bhakti” (Idol worship). As I sleep, so does my God. And our rishi’s have given a thought about people’s pshycology. The agrarian people will be busy with their work in the fields and will not be able to take care of the rituals associated with God’s. So the best way is to put Them to sleep. In this way, people can just concentrate on their work and give it 100% and at the same time do not feel bad or gulity about not doing their regular rituals and religious practises.
It is being celebrated today on 1st of July, this year, without any fanfare, in every simple manner, at Pandharpur, the residing place of Lord Vitthal or Pandurang. Otherwise, normally, Lacs of waarkari’s converge at the banks of Chandrabhagaa river and visit the deity residing in the temple. The waari ( वारी) as called in Marathi begins some 15/20 days before the Ekadashi. The devotees carry the Paduka’s (wooden sandals) of the great saints Tukaram from Dehu and Dnyaneshwar from Alandi, their birth places to Pandharpur for the Darshan of their Lord.
The roads are filled with the chants of
‘DNYANOBA MAULI TUKARAM”
“NIVRUTTI DNYANDEV SOPAN MUKTABAI,
EKNATH NAMDEO TUKARAM”.
All of them converge at Pandharpur on the day before Ekadashi. It is a divine trip from home to the temple, signifying the upliftment of the physical body to the spiritual soul. There are many waarkaris who have been taking this trip for years or from generations now. Their zest and enthusiasm irrespective of age and gender cannot be appreciated, but we can just offer them our ‘Namaskaars’.
The best thing about Warkari’s is that there is no distinction between caste or creed, rich or poor, King or layman and male and female. Not even between the child and the older people. They call each other ‘Mauli‘ and bow down to everyone whom they meet. It is a heartening picture to see a husband bowing down to his wife and a father bowing down to his son. The basic thought behind it is that I bow down to the God (Mauli – Mother) within you.
The saints Dnyaneshwar, Tukaram, Namdeo, Eknath, Gora Kumbhar, Chokha Mela, Muktabai and many others have done a tremendous work through this Bhakti movement in Maharashtra during the Mughal rule. They have visited hut to hut and touched the hearts of many a people and taken their Pandurang into the last person of the society.
Who is this Pandurang?
Who is this Vitthal?
Why does He stand with Hands onto his waist?
He is none other than Krishna who has travelled all the way from Dwarka to meet His Devotee Pundalik. Pundalik is the only son of two parents who have taken utmost care in his upbringing. Pundalik is a “ananya bhakt” of Krishna. He is spreading the word of Krishna to the people around him. His karmayog (work) is very big, but sadly lost today to history. When Shree Krishna hears about Pundalik and his work, He feels an urge to meet him. He rushes to Pandharpur in His chariot. The dusty roads make the dust stick to the skin of Shree Krishna. The already ‘Shyam’ (black) Krishna gets a new skin colour due to this dust. Hence He is called “Pandurang”.
When Krishna reaches the doors of Pundalik, He calls him out. It is said that Pundalik is busy with taking care of his parents, so throws a brick (eint) towards Him and asks him to wait. So Lord Pandurang puts His hands on His waist and waits for Pundalik to come out to meet him. Now this sounds a little weird to us. A devotee would never make his God to wait. Even the parents of Pundalik would have rushed out to meet Him. But due to poverty, there was no proper place to make Him sit, so they must have offered Him the brick shaped stone to sit on or stand on. We see Pandurang still standing on that stone at Pandharpur.
Jagadguru Shakaracharya gives us the meaning of this whole episode in his stotra “Pandurangashtkam.”
The God through this form of Pandurang wants to explain to His devotee thus:
“For those who are mine and reside in my heart, the waters of the Sansaar sagar, the Bhav sagar, are only upto the waist. So there is no question of drowning. One just needs to walk through these waist deep waters to meet me“
My dear readers, isn’t it big thing? It is generally, the devotee who goes to meet his God. Here it is the God, Himself, coming dow to meet His devotee. Namakaars to Pundalik and his karmayog.
From that day onwards till today, Pandurang through His various forms and lives, has guided His devotees to carry His word from heart to heart and hut to hut. It is through this thought, the saints came up with the thought of Dindi, or Wari, where devotees on their way to meet their Lord, walk from village to village. Visit hut to hut. Touch heart to heart. And spread the message of the Lord.
And after seeing, the work taken up and being done by His devotees, the way He wants them to, He goes to sleep. Why so? Is another topic which we will discuss and dwell upon when He gets up 4 months from now, on Prabodhini Ekadashi day.
PUNDALIK VARDE HARI VITTHAL.
SHREE DNYANDEV TUKARAM.
PANDHARINATH MAHARAJ KI JAY.
Today is also National Doctors Day… Wishing all of them a very Happy Doctor’s Day and expressing my gratefulness for taking care of the nation and its citizens….
Today is National CA Day… The Chartered Accountants look after the economic health of our families and society at large. Expressing gratitude towards them as well….
At the onset of my blog itself, wishing all my Kutchhi brothers and sisters a very Happy New Year
असां जे कच्छी माडुओ के नव वर्ष की लख लख वधाई।
मेठो पांजो कच्छडो, मेठा पांजा माडु,
मेठी पांजी गालीयुं, ने मेठी पांजी प्रीत,
हलो हलो रे… आवई अषाढी बीज ।
The 2nd day of the month of Asaadh is a day celebrated as the onset of monsoons in Gujarat and Kutchh. The monsoons bring a smile on everyone’s face and people rejoice and celebrate as if it’s a new year.This day is celebrated all over India, especially Odisha, as the Rathyatra, “the procession of Chariots”. Lord Jagannath alongwith his elder brother Balbhadra and sister Devi Subhadra moves in their chariots around the Odia town of Jagannath Puri. This annual rath yatra attracts tourists from around the world. People get to touch their Lord and pull his chariot which is a one in a lifetime experience.
Jagannath Swami rides in the rath which is majorly decorated in yellow and called the “Nandi Ghosh.” Lord Balbhadra rides in “Tala dhwaj” decorated in green. And Devi Subhadra rides in her “Padma Dhwaj” black chariot. It’s the time when the siblings move out of their temples to meet the people, common folk, of their town. From their temple, they go to Gundicha temple, 3km away. Hence this yatra is also called as the Gundicha Yatra.
The names of the chariots and the colours too have their own significance. The chariots have their own charioteers. Daruka is on the Nandighosh, Matali on Taladhwaj and Arjun on Padmadwaj.
First the Deities are brought out from the temple in a very typical way. The deities do not have full body, but just a the face. So they need to be lifted and got out. This ritual is called the “Pahandi“. When one sees the deities being taken out, it seems as if they are being dragged. The multitudes of people try to catch a glimpse of the Lord and touch Him.
As soon as the Lord settles on His rath with His siblings (note that each deity has His or Her own individual rath), the erstwhile King of the Gajapati clan, arrives in a dress of a sweeper and cleans the rath and the roads with a broom in hand. This ritual is called “Chera Pahara“. It signifies that in the presence of the Lord, everyone is equal. The Kings, too through the years, have been very humble andgrateful to the Lord, to let them serve Him.
Then begins the journey.
The journey of the Lord to see His own people
The journey where the people can see their Lord
The journey of life to eternity.
The common man gets an opportunity to pull the three Raths and carry their Lord to His destination. The millions who have assembled, all, just try to touch the ropes attached to the Rath and feel grateful. The idea of a mere Human pulling the Rath of the Lord is in itself such a beautiful thought. It is He who pulls our lives throughout, but this day we get an opportunity not only to see Him, but pull his Rath as well.
Being elder, Balbhadra leads the triad. Followed by Subhadra and lastly comes Lord Jagannath himself. The idea of the brothers taking care of their sister is so divine. At the same time, it also signifies that Strength (Balbhadra) and Power (Jagannath), need to be balanced in Life. It would be possible only when one has the “bhadra” outlook (Subhadra).
Once the deities reach the Gundicha temple, they stay there for 10 days and will return back to their house after that, in the same manner as today. These 10 days are of Nagar Yatra and Darshan. The people get to see their Lords amongst themselves. The Lord too through this Yatra demonstrates that people in power need to keep their feet firmly on the ground and also keep in touch with the masses living in his or her kingdom.
The Yatra lasts for 6-7 hours and sometimes even takes 15-16 hours depending upon the wish of the deity. It is truly a very divine atmosphere in itself to be witnessed. I would request my readers to atleast visit Jagannath Puri once in a life time and if possible during the Yatra time.
A stotra written by Jagadguru Shankaracharya called Jagannathashtak is worth reciting. Quoting a shlok from it for Lord Jagannath. रथारूढो गच्छन् पथि मिलित भूदेव पटलैः स्तुति प्रादुर्भावम् प्रतिपदमुपाकर्ण्य सदयः । दया सिन्धुर्बन्धुः सकल जगतां सिन्धु सुतया जगन्नाथः स्वामी नयन पथ गामी भवतु मे ॥५॥(“When Lord Jagannatha is on His Ratha-yatra cart and is moving along the road, at every step there is a loud presentation of prayers and songs chanted by large assemblies of brahmanas. Hearing their hymns Lord Jagannatha is very favorably disposed towards them. He is the ocean of mercy and the true friend of all the worlds. May that Jagannatha Swami, along with His consort Lakshmi, who was born from the ocean of nectar, be the object of my vision.”)
Today, in these difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lord will come out to bless us all and the world . Wishing you all a very divine and spiritual Yatra (journey).
The advent of the month of Asaadh (June/July of English calendar) reminds every Gujarati literature lover the above ‘chhand’ (a type of poetry with particular number of letters and maatras) (in music we call it the ‘metre’) which he/she has been hearing from his childhood. It says thus,”With the advent of the month of Asaadh, it is the thundering of the clouds, the clouds condensing and falling down as rain which is witnessed. The frog and the peocock start calling out their mates, and the thin wires of lightening covers all the sky.”
Rains signify new growth.
Rains signify germination.
Rains signify toil.
Rains signify coolness.
Rains signify energy, enthusiasm and verve.
Today is also the day of Kavi Kalidas, the great poet and writer. His treatise Kumarsambhav, AbhidnyanShakuntal, Meghdoot and many more are not only worth a read but are to be understood and savoured. I bow down to this great poet and writer, today. Even he has described rains in his poems.
Am always fascinated by rains and who isn’t? Atleast during the rains, every person turns a poet or a singer during these watery times. And my readers will have no different experience than this. The songs of the Hindi movies start resonating in our ears.
“ओ सजना बरखा बहार आयी”
“बरसात में हमसे मिले तुम सजन, तुमसे मिले हम”
“प्यार हुआ, इकरार हुआ, प्यार से क्यों डरता है दिल”
“टिप टिप टिप टिप बारिश शुरू हो गयी”
And many more which drive in us the urge to dance and sing to their tunes.Am equally fascinated by the 12 types of clouds/rains which are mentioned in the Gujarati literature as follows:
1. ફરફર – फरफर (Farfar) Rain which just stimulates and wettens our hair on the skin. Very Romantic and mind boggling.
2. છાંટા – छांटा ( Chhanta) Rain drops which is a little more then described above, yet less.
3. ફોરા – फोरा (Fora)Rain having drops of size that can wet an area of radius 1 inch on the ground.
4. કરા – करा (Karaa)Rain falling down as ice. We call them hail. Better to stay indoors when it hails.
5. પછેડીયો / પછેડીવા – पछेडियो / पछेडीवा (Pacchediyo – Pacchediva) – Rain from which we can protect ourselves only if we have an umbrella or a covering.
6. નેવાધાર – नेवाधार (Nevadhaar) Rain which will not only wetten the clay roof tiles, but also drip through it.
7. મોલીયો – मोलीयो (Moliyo)Rain which is beneficial to the crops to be grown. This rain is absolutely essential for a farmer.
8. ઢેફા ભાંગ – ढेफा भांग (Dhefaa Bhaang)Rain which will break the pieces of soil formed during the year so that the soil becomes ready for sowing.
9. મુશળધાર – मुशळधार (Musaldhaar) Rain which falls in form of torrents. It prickles us like a pin, when it falls.
10. અનરાધાર – अनराधार (Anaraadhaar) Rain which falls continuously. Drops cannot be seen. It seems as if water is falling like that from a tap.
11. સાંબેલાધાર – सांबेलाधार (Saambeladhaar)Raining cats and dogs. Very heavy rains.
12. હેલી – हेली (Hely) It is a mixture of any of the above mentioned rains which goes on continuously for a week.
The above rains explain to us the life of a lover as well.
It all begins with a very hair raising experience of seeing her and falling for her.(Farfar)The beginning of romance. Then those slow but calculated overtures towards her even without letting her know about one’s own feelings. (Chhanta) Later the first approach for being good friends and the small happiness of being accepted. (Fora). Then those small and petty fights which lead to misunderstandings (Kara). Then keeping away from each other for a few days (Pachhediva)
And slowly as the misunderstandings are removed, the smile and the acceptance of each others mistakes. Love starts blooming (Nevadhar). Then the first step towards a relationship. The proposal. ((Moliyo). Then it just keeps on thriving. Would not write after this describing the later part, as my readers are quite smart
Was watching a live webcam telecast from Rajasthan on YouTube and could not stop myself from clicking the following pics. Just sharing them with you all to enjoy the beauty of the moon coming in between Earth and Sun…
These pitcures of the Solar Eclipse seen at Rajasthan, India. I thank the YouTube channel Cosmo Sapiens for the live webcast.
Have just described a father on job. Both the parents have a 24 hour job of care. Both do it without any cravings and cribbings.
Try to understand the poem from a father’s perspective as he is always fire fighting. In all situations he is the first to stand up to difficulties. Again the difficulties are different so they need different types of tackling. And after this, there is of course no fare / no charges earned for it.
If you ask my kids, their meaning of father is different.
Just a joke to make you all laugh. They just love me.
Came across a group called Symphony during this lockdown period. A group of young and budding musicians, lyricists, technicians who believe in creating music. Music which knows no boundaries, no inhibitions but just love and appreciation.
Was introduced to this group through one of its founding members, Mr.Chintan Parekh when he invited me to a demo session of ‘Writing lyrics and composition’, maybe a first of it’s kind in the musical world today. Before conducting these sessions for common people, the team, themselves had spent 3 days working on its module. They themselves had tried to write lyrics and compose them. They themselves went through the whole process and experienced it.
I did attend a demo and found it to be enlightening. First the participants introduced themselves by singing a song and later the same song had to be sung in a different way as suggested by the team. We played a small quiz related with music. Then we were given a theme, on which we had to write a few lines, as a part of a song. The theme our batch was given was ‘Family’. Music for the song was already decided so the tune was ready, we just had to put in words. It was an invigorating process. Some pens ran fast, some took time, but in a while, everyone around was writing.
As and when a verse was written, Mr Keyur Bhagat, with his sister, Priya Bhagat busied themselves to sing those verses on the tune. It was exhilarating and exciting as we could see what was being written by us, was being sung instantly. This motivated us all and within minutes the verse was written and finalised. It was sung too at the same time. Am sharing the version of the song which we wrote and was sung by the team of Symphony.
The team members of Symphony were continuously chipping in their ideas too. Imagine some 15 odd people together thinking up words and making a verse. One needs to experience this! And within an hour, we had bonded like family. Mr.Chintan has a unique ability of keeping people together, entertained and at the same time getting the required work done. Always a smiling facing, ever encouraging, cracking small witty sentences in between, he kept the environment light yet lively.
The next day, My elder son, Prabhav to attended a demo and he being into lyrics showed some interest in joining the“The Magical Journey of song creation : Lyrics and Composition” course designed by the team of Symphony, which spans over 7 days, 2 hour a day. He enjoyed the whole journey at the end of which he was left yearning for more.
Symphony has just begun the journey of music and its going to be a long but exciting. They are holding Mehfils every now and then so budding artists get to showcase their talent and at the same time be a part of their journey. Today, on World Music Day, I dedicate my post to them and call upon young and budding artists from all walks of life to come together and change the world.
Let us all today, reset the musician within us and sail on the journey towards setting a Paradigm of Life.
Gets us drenched with a feeling of oneness and love…
Let us all dance and talk and play in this first rain,
Let us keep aside our inhibitions and brain…
This is what I had written last year, but the experience this year has been completely different.
Waiting at my window sill,
Watch the water droplets drip,
Dancing as if it is a drill,
Love the drop upon my lip…
I am fine no need of a pill,
The winds blow as they whip,
My life is great, no need of a fill,
Get out and love is the tip…
Am trying to write something in a different way. Maybe the poem might not make sense as a whole, but read the alternate lines and they tell a different story. You will find poem in line 1,3,5 and 7 as well as in line 2,4,6 and 8.
Please drop a message telling me if you liked it or suggesting some other ways to do my poems. Always open for love and criticism.
Just a small state of affairs at all homes during lockdown. The otherwise trifle matter of making tea and washing cups have become a point of discussions with the range from how to wash them and which is the right method to wash the.
Making tea is an art. There are two ways practised in India. One add tea to boiling milk or second add milk to boiling tea. Both have their own different tastes, so I consider making tea an art. Even the Japanese would agree with me!🙃
Regarding washing cups being an art, ask the lady of your house, if you havent understand it till now. No one male would have been left without this experience during the lockdown days.
Today I want to express my gratitude to all my students, past and present who have cooperated with us during all these times. With you all being there has always kept us young and always in the mode of learning.
I dont why but I always wanted to be Teacher,
My parents despised this decision in worry of my future,
The idea of learning, all negativity to withstand,
Is the driving force of my passion, hope all understand…
The smiling face of my kids with questions ready,
Thir opening up with their likes, though slow and steady,
Their dislikes too need to be understood and heard,
So that they do not become the part of the herd…
I just love the days that I spend with my students,
Kids they are, facile, not a hint of fraudulence,
They make me noble and drive out my aggresion
For that’s the reason, that am a teacher by profession…
Am also a proud father of my son as he is my student too. A dedicated boy of this generation who is a normal child and is moulding me to becoming a better dad and a teacher.
Today on the occasion of Ganga Dusshara, I extend my wishes to you and everyone at home.
Let Maa Ganga delivery us from all our sins and so let us understand this utsav in this context.
GANGA DUSSHARA means the one who takes away our 10 sins (Duss + Hara) from our lives.
These 10 sins are ‘Kaayik’, ‘Vachik’ and ‘Mansik’ (physical, speech (thoughts) and pshycological).
अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।
परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
1. To take away even if not offered ie to steal
2. To commit violence for no reason
3. To have adulterous connections
These are the sins committed by the body ie physical self.
पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।
असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।
4. To speak arrogantly,
5. To lie (To spread falsehood)
6. To backbite about others
7. To talk without any reason and what make no sense ie senseless talk
The above mentioned 4 sins are committed through tongue (thoughts)
वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
8. To think about snatching others wealth
9. To think that bad happen to others
10. To wrongly insist / persist
These are the 3, and the last of 10, sins committed in our minds
एतानि दश पापानि हर त्वमथ जाह्नवी।
दशपापहरा यस्मात्तस्माद् दशहरा स्मृता।।
O Ganga ! you are the one who will deliver me from the above said 10 sins and so I remember you (bow down to you) on the Dusshara day as “Duspaaphara”.
While writing the meanings, and you my readers, while reading the meanings must have realised that we do commit some or the other sin/s from the above 10 everyday. These first 3 Shlokas bring inferiority complex in us while reading them, but the last ie 4th shloka installs the confidence that Maa Ganga will deliver us from them.
And for this, Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji suggests thus :
“Human has to bathe / cleanse his body, his thoughts and his mind daily. The body has to be cleansed with water, the thought with ‘Swadhyay – self introspection’ and the mind with ‘Bhakti – devotion’. If we dip in Ganga with this understanding, then Maa Ganga will surely deliver us from our sins”
– Sanskruti Pujan (Utsav Vibhag), based on discourses given by Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale.
Lastly, A humble pray to Maa Ganga to keep blessing all of us in the way She has always.
Pray to God that may India receive the rainfall it needs.
Pray to God that let the world feels it oneness with its Creator
And once again Pray to deliver us from our above said 10 sins.
A person who has been strict and disciplined with himself for life.
A person who loves his Matrubhumi like anything else and would leave everything for Her.
Have already written about this great personality, none other than Savarkar. A basic introduction which I have already given in my preceding blogs yesterday and day before.
Today, we look at this towering personality as a family man.
Son of Damodar and Radhabhai Savarkar (Tatyarao) had three siblings, Ganesh (Babarao), Narayan and a sister, Maina. All dedicated their lives toIndia.
The relationship Tatyarao shared with Babarao is a guiding light to all the siblings around India today. Babarao, himself, is a freedom fighter and is caught for organising the youth against the British and sent to Kalaa Paani at the Andaman and Nicobar cellular jail. Vinayak also reaches the same jail in a few years for plotting against the British. After a few months, Vinayak finds out that Babarao is in the same jail, he longs to meet him. My readers may think, if they are in the same jail, how come they didn’t meet? Well, the interns of the jail are not allowed to meet each other. Even during lunch time, they are not allowed to talk to each other. But Vinayak, finds out a way and meets his brother during lunch. A conversation takes place with the help of the eyes, and the two brothers are united after a gap of many years.Narayan, the youngest sibling, has taken upon himself, the responsibility of the family, when both his elder brothers are in jail. He has been through many hardships too. It was during the time when Tatyarao was in jail, that his young son passes away. It is then, that Narayan takes care of his sister-in-law and looks after the family.
Tatyarao is married to Yamunabai, through whom he has a child, a baby boy. When he hears about the child’s demise, he is pained and it is said that it is during one of these days, he penned the poem “Ne Majshi Ne Parat Matrubhumila”.
ने मजसी ने परत मातृभूमीला सागरा प्राण तळमळला ॥धृ॥ भूमातेच्या चरणतला तुज धूता मी नित्य पाहिला होता मज वदलासी अन्य देशि चल जाऊ सृष्टिची विविधता पाहू तैं जननीहृद् विरहशंकितहि झाले परि तुवां वचन तिज दिधले मार्गज्ञ स्वये मीच पृष्ठि वाहीन त्वरित या परत आणीन विश्वसलो या तव वचनी मी जगद्नुभवयोगे बनुनी मी तव अधिक शक्ती उद्धरणी मी येईन त्वरे कथुनि सोडिले तिजला ॥ सागरा प्राण तळमळला शुक पंजरि वा हरिण शिरावा पाशी ही फसगत झाली तैशी भूविरह कसा सतत साहु या पुढती दशदिशा तमोमय होती गुणसुमने मी वेचियली या भावे की तिने सुगंधा घ्यावे जरि उद्धरणी व्यय न तिच्या हो साचा हा व्यर्थ भार विद्येचा ती आम्रवृक्षवत्सलता रे नवकुसुमयुता त्या सुलता रे तो बाल गुलाबहि आता रे फुलबाग मला हाय पारखा झाला ॥ सागरा प्राण तळमळला नभि नक्षत्रे बहुत एक परि प्यारा मज भरतभूमिचा तारा प्रासाद इथे भव्य परी मज भारी आईची झोपडी प्यारी तिजवीण नको राज्य मज प्रिया साचा वनवास तिच्या जरि वनिचा भुलविणे व्यर्थ हे आता रे बहु जिवलग गमते चित्ता रे तुज सरित्पते जी सरिता रे त्वदविरहाची शपथ घालितो तुजला ॥ सागरा प्राण तळमळला या फेनमिषें हससि निर्दया कैसा का वचन भंगिसी ऐसा त्वत्स्वामित्वा सांप्रत जी मिरवीते भिनि का आंग्लभूमीते मन्मातेला अबला म्हणुनि फसवीसी मज विवासनाते देशी तरि आंग्लभूमी भयभीता रे अबला न माझि ही माता रे कथिल हे अगस्तिस आता रे जो आचमनी एक क्षणी तुज प्याला ॥ सागरा प्राण तळमळला
The bond shared by this couple is itself divine. When Tatyarao was jailed, Yamunabai visits him. Tatyarao, at that time too, emphatically explains to her, that his service to the motherland comes first. The lady, not only understands, but also promises to help him in his fight.
Will cite an incident about the bonding between the two. When Tatyarao was in jail at Andaman, he was made to extract oil from the coconuts in a very traditional way, manually. He has to shred the coconuts with bare hands. And then using the manual machine, which he had to pull with all his might, (say so as he is very frail by then), extract oil. A work of bullocks is got done from humans. Truly inhumane! When Yamunabai comes to know of this, she is ready to go through the same pain. She herself everyday goes down on her knees and walks towards the Tulsi plant to water it and circumnavigate around it. Now imagine a lady (cannot imagine a man even) enduting this pain, just to be close to her husband. Hats off to the lady!
It is only through such dedication that Savarkar is what Savarkar is today. Nowhere do I want to belittle his own personality, but he is lucky to get such an understanding family which stands by his actions so strongly.
On his birthday, I bow to this great personality and pray to God to give us the intellect and emotions to understand him better and better!
A strong proponent of Hindu Philosophy, yet Savarkar was a pragmatic practitioner of the Philosophy. He insisted for validating religious myths/blind faith against the test of modern science. In that sense he was a rationalist and a reformer. While in prison, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva, espousing what it means to be a Hindu, and Hindu pride, in which he defined as all the people descended of Hindu culture as being part of Hindutva, including Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. In 1921, under restrictions after signing a plea for clemency (today the narrow minded make fun of him for writing it, but he had a bigger goal in mind and a better work to do than to churn oil everyday in the cellular jail). He was released on the condition that he renounce all his revolutionary and political activities. Travelling widely, Savarkar became a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Serving as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, a political party, Savarkar endorsed the idea of India as a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation). He even started a temple for the so called untouchables of that time and anointed them as the “pujaris” of the deity of that temple.
Yes, he had his differences with the Congress and its way of working, but he was never personal. He would criticise Nehru and his government’s policies, but never did he personally attack Nehru or any other Congress leader. Yet, he never got pension as a freedom fighter till Nehru was alive. He received it only in the Government of Lal Bahadur Shashtri.
The Congress and particularly, the Gandhi clan hated / hate him to the core and have not left even a single chance to criticise him or politically oppose his thoughts for their own personal gains. He was named in the FIR for plotting to kill Mahatma Gandhi, but acquitted by the Highest Court of our country, the Supreme Court. Yet even today, the so called Gandhi’s blame him for that dastardly act. They even went to the extent of spying on him for years after independence.
He has written many books too. A few but famous amongst them are worth a read. 1857, The First War of Independence, Maajhi Janmathep, The Six Glorious Pages of Indian History, and Hindu-Pad-Patshahi. His poems are still sung by the young and the old with the same fervour and love for country. “Sagara Pran Talmalla” and “Jayostute” imbibe a spirit of Nationalism and love for one’s own country.
On 1 February 1966, Savarkar renounced medicines, food and water which he termed as atmaarpan (fast until death). Before his death, he had written an article titled “Atmahatya Nahi Atmaarpan” in which he argued that when one’s life mission is over and ability to serve the society is left no more, it is better to end the life at will rather than wait for death. On 26 February 1966 at his residence, Savarkar Sadan, in Dadar, Mumbai, he faced difficulty in breathing; efforts to revive him failed and he passed away at 11:10 a.m.
The radiant Sun light merged into the Sun. Today we can just bow down to this Mananshil Vyaktitva and as a tribute try to imbibe atleast one of his thoughts in our life during the coming years.
Plan to write and dwell upon this great thinker from today for next 3 days as 28th is his birthday. Hope you all will love this 3 blog series. In today’s blog, we learn about him being first in many things, relatively unknown to many of us.
अनादि मी अनंत मी, अवध्य मी भला मारिल रिपु जगतिं असा कवण जन्मला ।। धृ ।।
अट्टाहास करित जईं धर्मधारणीं मृत्युसीच गाठ घालु मी घुसे रणीं अग्नि जाळि मजसी ना खड्ग छेदितो भिउनि मला भ्याड मृत्यु पळत सूटतो खुळा रिपू । तया स्वयेंमृत्युच्याचि भीतिने भिववु मजसि ये ।। १ ।।
लोटि हिंस्र सिंहाच्या पंजरी मला नम्र दाससम चाटिल तो पदांगुला कल्लोळीं ज्वालांच्या फेकिशी जरी हटुनि भंवति रचिल शीत सुप्रभावली आण तुझ्या तोफांना क्रूर सैंन्य तें यंत्र तंत्र शस्र अस्र आग ओकते हलाहल । त्रिनेत्र तो मी तुम्हांसि तैसाची गिळुनि जिरवितो ।। २ ।।
(Do exist from existence, and will exist till the existence, Cannot be killed,Do you know of such enemy who has been born anywhere, who can get me killed…।।)
The poet talks about his own existence for eternity and describes the beautiful understanding of death and soul as described by Lord Yogeshwar in Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, in the later verses.
The Poet is none other than
– The only freedom fighter in the world who got 2 life sentences for fighting against the British Raj, and yet continued his socio – politico life for his country
– The only writer in the world whose book, 1857, The first war of Independence, was banned by 2 countries before even it went for publication
– The first graduate whose degree was taken back because of participating in the freedom struggle
– The first Indian student who refused to take the oath of allegiance towards the British Crown and the reigning Monarch and so could not practice law even after successfully completing his degree
– The first Indian freedom fighter to burn the British clothes to stake
– The first Indian freedom fighter to call for, “Purna Swarajya”, complete independence from the British rule
– The first jailed politico-revolutionary whose case was heard at International Court if Justice, Hague and the British Government had to apologise to the French for commuting such an act.
– A person who suggested that the Dharma Chakra should find it’s rightful place, in the centre of the Indian Flag, to which our first President of India, Shri Rajendra Prasad, responded positively.
– A person amongst the few, who thought about the development of India, even before it’s independence and started working for it, just as he was released from Andaman Jail.
– The first poet who wrote his poems on the walls of the Cellular Jail in Andaman with the help of Iron nails and coal, sometime even with his own nails. After gaining freedom from the jail, remembered and wrote all those poems, roughly 10,000 lines, all over again.
Such agreat personality, an intellectual, an unparalleled leader, a visionary and a man who could look into the future, unknown to the masses, is none other than Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also known as “Tatyarao”, to those who know him.
Bow down to this great personality and will talk about his political life tommorrow.
Am writing today’s blog in Hindi as it is my national language. That would be my homage to my country. I hope my readers will accept my decision and give me a feedback. Will surely translate and write the translation at the end of my blog for people who do not understand Hindi. Please forgive my grammatical mistakes, if any.
जहाँ डाल-डाल पर सोने की चिड़िया करती है बसेरा वो भारत देश है मेरा जहाँ सत्य, अहिंसा और धर्म का पग-पग लगता डेरा वो भारत देश है मेरा
ये धरती वो जहाँ ऋषि मुनि जपते प्रभु नाम की माला जहाँ हर बालक एक मोहन है और राधा हर एक बाला जहाँ सूरज सबसे पहले आ कर डाले अपना फेरा
वो भारत देश है मेरा
अलबेलों की इस धरती के त्योहार भी हैं अलबेले कहीं दीवाली की जगमग है कहीं हैं होली के मेले जहाँ राग रंग और हँसी खुशी का चारों ओर है घेरा
वो भारत देश है मेरा
जब आसमान से बातें करते मंदिर और शिवाले जहाँ किसी नगर में किसी द्वार पर कोई न ताला डाले प्रेम की बंसी जहाँ बजाता है ये शाम सवेरा
वो भारत देश है मेरा
— राजेंद्र किशन
आज अपनी इस अंतिम पोस्ट में, मैं सिर्फ भारत पर किए गये उपचारों को याद करना चाहूँगा तथा उन उपकार करनेवालों को नमस्कार करना चाहूँगा।
आज के दिन सब से पहले भगवान को कृतज्ञतापूर्वक नमस्कार करता हुं क्यों कि उन्होंने हमें आजादी दिलाई। आप कहेंगे ऐसा क्यों? भगवान ने कौनसी भूमिका निभाई स्वतंत्रता-संग्राम में? किसीको ऐसा भी लगेगा की आप भारतीय लोग हर बात में भगवान को क्यों बीच में ले आते हो? इसलिए इस बात की स्पष्टता पहले कर लें। हां, हम भगवान को हर बात में ले आते हैं क्यों कि उनके बगैर मेरा, आपका या हमारा अस्तित्व ही नहीं! हमारा क्या, इस सृष्टि का अस्तित्व नहीं! और मैं बौद्धिक तौर पर भी इस बात को कह सकता हुं की भगवान ने हमें स्वतंत्रता दिलाई। यद्यपि यह मेरी जो सोच है, वह पांडुरंग शास्त्रीजी आठवले ने बनाई। द्वितीय महायुद्ध में ब्रिटन और उसके साथी देश विजयी हुए। विन्स्टन चर्चिल, जो उस समय ब्रिटन के प्रधान मंत्री थे, उन्होंने अपने जवानों तथा नागरिकों का मनोबल खुब टिकाया एवं बढ़ाया भी। युद्ध के बाद ब्रिटन में तुरंत चुनाव हुए। स्वाभाविक है जिस व्यक्ति ने आपको युद्ध में जीताया है, वही चुनाव में जीत कर आना चाहिए। अपितु हुआ ऐसा की चर्चिल चुनाव हार गए। एटली की लेबर पार्टी सत्ता में आई। वह भारत तथा अन्य देश, जिन पर ब्रिटीश साम्राज्य था, उन्हें स्वतंत्रता देने के पक्षधर थे। जबकि चर्चिल का दृष्टिकोण भारत के बारे में सर्वविदित है। अब ऐसा क्यों हुआ? लोगों का दिमाग किसने घुमाया? तब मैं मानता हुं की भगवान ने घुमाया। कारण समय अब आ गया था जब भारत स्वतंत्र हो तथा दुनिया का मार्गदर्शन करे। (अब क्या वह कर पाया है? यह एक दुसरा प्रश्न है।) इसलिए प्रथम भगवान को कृतज्ञतापूर्वक नमस्कार।
दुसरा नमस्कार उन सभी लोगों को जिन्होंने इस देश की स्वतंत्रता / देश के लिए अपना सबकुछ, यहां तक की अपना जीवन भी, दांव पर लगा दिया। जिन लोगों ने यह नहीं सोचा की उनका खुदका और उनके परिवार का क्या होगा! वाचक मित्रों, आप जरा सोचिए। लड़ाई किसके साथ थी? एक ऐसे साम्राज्य के साथ जिसके क्षितीज पर सूर्य कभी अस्त नहीं होता था। सफलता मिलेगी या नहीं, कोई हमारे बलिदान को याद करेगा या नहीं, कोई प्रकार की अपेक्षा नहीं। बस, स्वतंत्रता के इस महायज्ञ में झोंक दिया अपने आप को। उपर कविता में कही बातों के लिए ही सिर्फ सोचा और उसी के लिए लडे। एक १६/१७ साल का लड़का, खुदिराम बोस, हंसते हंसते सूली पर चढ गया। एक ६५/७० साल के महामानव, लाला लाजपत राय ने हंसते हंसते अंग्रेजों की लाठी झेली और अपनी जान न्यौछावर कर दी। एक ३०/३५ साल का युवा, स्वातंत्र्यवीर विनायक दामोदर सावरकर, परिवार की परवाह किए बगैर आंदामानमें ५० साल की एक नहीं अपितु दो-दो सजा मुस्कराकर स्वीकार लेता है। आज भी भगतसिंह, राजगुरु तथा सुखदेव के बलिदान को याद कर सर ऊंचा उठता है। तात्या टोपे, मंगल पांडे, वसुदेव बलवंत फड़के, चंद्रशेखर आजाद, रामप्रसाद बिस्मिल, असफाकउल्लाह खान, लोकमान्य बाल गंगाधर तिलक, बिपीनचंद्र पाल यह सारे नाम सुनकर सीना अभिमान से फुल जाता है। इस सारी लड़ाई में हमारी माताएं-बहनें कहीं पीछे नहीं थी। रानी लक्ष्मीबाई, कित्तुर रानी चेन्नम्मा, कल्पना दत्त, अरूणा आसफ अली और उन जैसी कई महिलाओं ने भी सक्रिय भूमिका निभाई। कितने नाम याद करें और कितने लिखें, इसलिए यहीं रूक कर सभी को कृतज्ञतापूर्वक नमस्कार करता हूं।
तीसरा नमस्कार उस व्यक्तिमत्त्व को जिसने सारे भारत को एक करने हेतु सारे भारत का भ्रमण कीया। उन्हें लोग आधुनिक भारत का चाणक्य कहते हैं। ५०० से ज्यादा रजवाड़ों को समझाकर, प्यार से भारत में सम्मिलित कर लिया। जो समझाने पर नहीं माने, उनको उनकी ही भाषा में समझाकर सम्मिलित किया। यह व्यक्ति ओर कोई नहीं अपितु महात्मा गांधी की बातों पर अडिग तथा अविचल श्रद्धा रखनेवाले सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल। उस समय की कांग्रेस का संगठन अगर मजबूती से खड़ा था, गांधीजी की कही हर बात को उठाने तैयार था, तो उसमें इस एक व्यक्ति का बड़ा कर्त्तृत्व रहा है। इस महामानव को हम भारत रत्न से नवाजे या नहीं, वह भारत मां के सच्चा रत्न है। आज हम उनको श्रद्धा सुमन अर्पित कर सके ऐसा कोई स्थान या समाधि नहीं है, यह बात मन को दुखी कर देती है। आज की पीढ़ी उस व्यक्ति के बलिदान को समझ भी पाएगी या नहीं यह सवाल मन को सताता है। क्या उनके परिवार को आज कोई पहचानता है, यह यक्ष प्रश्न है। उनके परिवार के साथ किया गया बर्ताव किसी भी सभ्य समाज को सोचने पर मजबूर करेगा कि क्या इसलिए आजादी के लिए वह सब लड़े होंगे? उनको अपेक्षा भले ही न रही हो, पर हम देशवासियों का उनके प्रति कुछ कर्तव्य है या नहीं?
पर आज भारत विश्वगुरु तो ठीक अपने गली (आशिया खंड) का भी गुरु कहलाने लायक है? तकनीकी विकास एवं आर्थिक सुदृढ़ीकरण से ही क्या हम यह कर पायेंगे? एक समय था जब विश्व भारत से आध्यात्मिक चेतना पाता था। स्वामी विवेकानंद तथा गुरू अरविंद उसकी चेतना थे। विनोबाजी तथा रविशंकर महाराज (गुजरात) जैसै समाज की भावनाओं को टिकाने और बढ़ाने वाले निस्वार्थ समाजसेवी थे। भारत की चेतना हमेशा से भावनिक एवं आध्यात्मिक रही है। आज हम कहां हैं? इसका मतलब कोई यह न समझे की मैं तकनीकी विकास के खिलाफ हुं। पर सिर्फ उसी एक अंग की तरफ ध्यान देकर भी नहीं चलेगा। भारत का तथा भारतीयोंका विकास सर्वांगीण होना होगा। तभी वह फिर से सोने की चिड़िया कहलायेगा। और इस दिशा में पूरे समाज ने काम करना होगा। व्यक्ति की सोच में परिवर्तन लाना होगा। शिक्षा में से भारत के लिए प्यार और संवेदना जगानी होगी। तभी जाकर उसका परिणाम थोड़े सालों बाद दिखेगा।
हमारे जीवन में राष्ट्रप्रेम और राष्ट्रिय अस्मिता यह दोनों को जगाने की अत्यावश्यकता है। सही इतिहास पढ़ाना होगा। वामपंथी तथा दक्षिणपंथी विचारधाराओं से ऊपर उठकर सोचना होगा, लिखना होगा तथा जीना होगा। त्यजेदेकं कुलस्यार्थे ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् । ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे आत्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् ॥ (कुल के हितार्थ एक का त्याग करना, गाँव के हितार्थ कुल का, देश के हितार्थ गाँव का और आत्म कल्याण के लिए पृथ्वी का त्याग करना चाहिए ।) हमने सभी ने अपने कुल, गांव, राज्य से ऊपर उठकर सोचना होगा। अपने मान-सम्मान, जय-पराजय, बड़ा-छोटा इन बातों में से निकलकर हर एक व्यक्ति की बात सुननी होगी। किसके मुंह से कौनसी अच्छी बात कब भगवान बुलवा दे, क्या मालूम!
मां भारती के हित को सर्वोपरि मान सब ने साथ मिलकर निर्णय लेने होंगे।हमारी संविधान सभा ने, हम सब अपने मतभेदों के बावजूद, साथ काम कर सकते हैं, इसका उत्तम उदाहरण हमारे सामने रखा है। हर एक व्यक्ति को जब लगेगा की यह देश मेरा है और इसको सही ढंग से चलाना, संभालना, आगे ले जाना यह मेरी जिम्मेदारी है तभी भारत जनतंत्र होगा। जब हरेक व्यक्ति अपनी राष्ट्र के प्रति जिम्मेदारी समझेगा तभी हमें सच्चे अर्थ में स्वतंत्रता प्राप्त होगी।
इसे करने के लिए हमने भारत भ्रमण करना होगा। भारत के कोने-कोने में जाना होगा। लोगों से यत्किंचीत स्वार्थ के बगैर जुड़ना होगा। लोगों में सोयी भावनिकता तथा आध्यात्मिकता को प्यार से जगाना होगा। तभी राष्ट्रीय चेतना का उदय होगा। तभी भारत महान बनेगा।
हम यह सब न कर सकें तो कम से कम जो यह काम कर रहे हैं, उनके प्रयत्नों में उपयोगी बनें। वह भी न कर पायें तो कम से कम उन प्रयत्नों की सराहना करें। और कुछ नहीं तो उनके काम में रोड़े तो न डालें।
मेरे वाचकों से भी नम्र विनंती है की कुछ छोटी छोटी बातें हम भी अपने जीवन में लाने की कोशिश करें तो वह भी बड़ी देशसेवा होगी। जैसे
१ गाड़ी चलाते वक्त सिग्नल न तोड़ना तथा अपने मोबाइल पर बात न करना।
२ अपने आपको निरोगी रखना। स्वस्थ नागरिक राष्ट्र की संपत्ति है।
३ हर साल अपने घर में अथवा आसपास के परिसर में एक पौधा लगाना और उसकी अच्छी तरह से देखभाल करना।
४ अपने घर के आसपास का परिसर साफ व स्वच्छ रखना।
५ प्लास्टिक का उपयोग टालना।
ऐसी ओर कई बातें हो सकती है, जो वाचक खुद तय कर सकते हैं और अपने जीवन में लाने की कोशिश कर सकते हैं। आओ हम सब मिलकर इतना भी कर सकें तो राष्ट्रदेवता जरूर खुश होंगी और हमें अपना बहुमूल्य आशिर्वाद प्रदान करेंगी।
भारत माता की जय।
Today, in this last post of this series, i would like to remember those who have showered favours on India and express my gratefulness towards them
I first bow down to God as He is the one who got India, Her independence. You, my reader, may ask me, How come God gave India independence? What was His role in it? How come you Indians always get God involved in everything? On the onset let us clarify this point as such. Yes, God is always a part of my writings and our Indian thought cause we believe that we exist because of him. Not only us but the whole creation exists because of Him. And yes I can logically prove that India got independence according to His wishes. Also at this point I should clarify that this thought has been imbibed in me by Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale. The World War II ended on a victorious note for Great Britain and it’s allies. Winston Churchill, the then prime minister, had led his country to victory through one of the toughest wars. It was he who has given the world the sign of Victory as “V”. He had kept up the high morale of the British troops and citizens during the war. The elections were due that same year and after this victory Churchill coming back to power was a foregone conclusion. But the results were surprising. Labour party with Clement Atlee as its head came to power. Labour was of the view of granting independence to British colonies including India. Winston Churchill’s idea and arrogance about India and Indians is well known to us by now. Now how did this happen? How did the electorate change its mind? I feel that God must have changed their minds. God had his own expectations from India, that let Her be free and guide the world over. (Has She been successful in living upto His expectations? is another question). Thus I first bow down to God.
I secondly bow down to the people who left their careers, families and laid down their lives for the independence of our country. My young readers in today’s times, it is difficult for us to imagine the situation or the battle at that time. Whom were we fighting against? A nation on whom the sun never set. Yet these people (freedom fighters) just selflessly offered themselves to the country without expecting. anything in return. Neither success, nor an expectation from Indians to remember their sacrifice. They just jumped into the burning fire of the independence struggle. A 16/17 year kid, Khudiram Bose, went to the gallows with a smile on his face. One 65/70 year man, Lala Lajpat Rai accepted the brunt of the English batons and gave up his life. A youth of an age of 30/35, Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar, accepted a two 50 year sentence in jail with a question “Will British Raj rule India for that much time?”. Our heads are held high even today while taking the names of Bhagatsingh, Rajguru and Sukhdev for their supreme sacrifice. Tatya Tope, Mangalore Pandey, Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, Chandrasekhar Azad, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipinchandra Pal, these and many other names make us feel a sense of pride. Let us also not forget the women power of India. Their participation too was to the fullest. Rani Laxmibai, Kittur Rani Chenamma, Kalpana Dutt, Aruna Asaf Ali and many such brave women participated actively in this fight. We can go on and on with these names, but we will just pause here and now bow down to all the known and unknown freedom fighters.
Thirdly I bow down to the person who unified India, as it exists now, and for that he travelled to every nook and corner of India. He is called the Chanakya of Modern India. He integrated more than 500 big and small kingdoms into India with love and understanding and persuasion. Those which could not be pursuaded through understanding and love were then integrated in the way and language they understood well. The person is none other than, the most ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. If Congress was strong then, ready to listen to and follow the Gandhian way, it was because of Vallabhbhai Patel who went around meeting person to person, village to village, city to city to propogate the ideas and ideals of Congress then. It does not matter whether we honour this great man with Bharat Ratna (the highest civilian honour in India), but he is truly a gem produced by Mother India. It is with utmost sadness, I have to say that we do not have a place or samadhi where we can pay our respects to this great son of India. Will we be able to understand the sacrifices this man has made? is a question that I leave to my reader to ponder over. Does India know the living generations of his family? The behaviour / treatment with the family of this great martyr makes one think, that did we fight for this? He did not have any expectations, agreed. But the question is that do we have any responsibility towards people like Sardar?
But where does Bharat stand today in the world? Are we the torch bearers of humanity for the world? Will only technological development and strong economic policy make us one? There was a time when the world recognised Bharat for its spiritual doctrines and borrowed from them. Swami Vivekanand and Gurudev Aurobind were it’s guiding light. We had selfless social workers in Vinoba Bhave and Ravishankar Maharaj (Gujarat) who tirelessly worked towards the betterment of the society as a whole. Where are we today? Lest someone understand am against technological development, let me clarify that am not. But only technological development is not going us to lead unto overall development. Don’t we feel that we are taking care of just one part of the developmental process and ignoring others? We, Bharatiyas will have to think holistically. That will help us regain our prosperity and respect. We will have to change the way we think. Will have to imbibe love and emotions for our country through our education system. If we do this today, then we will be able to see it’s fruits a few years later, cause change is slow.
Today we need to inculcate one’s love for his country and the pride of being an Bharatiya amongst all of us. We will have to study our true history for this. We will have to come out of the dogmas of left wingers and right wingers and think; write in that manner and live what we write and demonstrate. . त्यजेदेकं कुलस्यार्थे ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् । ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे आत्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् ॥ (For the good of many, we will have to leave out one. For the good of the village we will have to leave out many. For the good of our country we will have to leave our village. And for self development and realisation, leave this worldly pleasures) We all have to rise above the narrow mindedness of selfishness, victory and listen to each and every citizen of India. We do not know, who will be guided by the God’s to suggest or speak the truth!
We will have to take all our decisions keeping Bharat and Her greatness in mind. We have done this before. The best example is our constituent assembly consisting of people coming from different areas, thoughts and leanings. Yet, for India, they all discussed, argued, debated and made unanimous decisions. Every person should know that it is his responsibility, our responsibility to run this country in a proper manner. To take care of it and to carry it forward on the path of progress is my responsibility, our responsibility. The day realise this and able to do this, will be the day when we will be democratic and independent in its true sense.
And for this, we will have to reach out to every nook and corner of Bharat. Reach out selflessly to each and every Bharatiya and develop a relationship based on love for our country. Will have to rekindle the fire of Spirituality with love and affection. That will be the rise of true nationalism. From that day onwards, India will again be a true torch bearer of humanity.
My readers, if we are unable to do this, let us all be helpful to people who are into it. If not helpful, let us appreciate the people who are doing it. Atleast let us not be thorn in their paths.
Lastly a small request to all my readers. Let us all try and inculcate some small things in our lives and try to contribute in the development of Bharat. Following are a few suggestions:
1. Not to break a red signal or talk on mobile phone while driving.
2. Keep ourselves healthy. A healthy person is an asset to his country.
3. Plant a small plant every year in your house or in your surroundings and take care of it around the year.
4. Keep your surrounding clean.
5. Avoid using plastic.
These are just a few suggestions. You can add / make yours and try to follow them. Let us all pledge to contribute to Bharat in our own small ways, then our Bharatmata would be happy and would also bless us with Her most valuable blessings.
The Rishi’s in their invocation to God ask for youth for our motherland.
Isn’t a country known by its youth? Cause they determine the future of country, don’t they? At the same time it comes to mind that isn’t it too much to pressurise youth with these thoughts of being responsible for their and country’s future? Isn’t it that we expect a lot from a generation which is just growing up and learning? And with these expectations aren’t we doing injustice to them? I am trying to find an answer to these questions and in due course will answer them as well. But till that time let us also dwell upon the shloka I have quoted above.
Yuvasyat Sadhu – the characteristic of the youth is one who is a ‘Sadhu’. Here the word ‘Sadhu’ has nothing to do with having long hair and a long beard but it is being “saral, simple, straight forward”. One of the dictionary meaning also says “uncomplicated”. The youth has to be simple and straightforward. Call spade a spade. But that does not mean that one should sound arrogant. Humbleness is a virtue, which today’s youth needs to learn. One needs to sit at the feet of their elders, listen to their experiences, learn from them and chart their way. One should be able bridge the communication gap which is termed as one of the biggest social problems of today. So being uncomplicated plays a larger part too. One should be clear with understanding and at the same time be ready to listen to others views as well. One needs to move ahead in direction in which their future is secure, in turn securing country’s future.
Next, One who is Adhyayakah. One is a student forever. ONE IS YOUTHFUL TILL THEY ARE LEARNING. One needs to be observant and a quick learner/ grasper from / of situations. One needs to learn to tackle the situations that they are put in and ably handle those times. One should not run after happiness alone and keep themselves bereft of the happenings around oneself.
Ashishth – Ashavaan. The youth should be hopeful. Always positive towards life. Always hopeful about oneself and others too. Hope is what keeps life going.
An hopeful person has self respect, self esteem and self resilience.
Self respect calls for respect for others too.
Self esteem means belief in oneself.
Self resilience means to be able to take decisions on your own.
There can be independent blogs written on these three points. But right now their meanings would suffice.
Dradhishth – one who is decisive. It also means one who is not lead, but leads. The youth should be a leader. A leader of his house, street, village, city, state or country. Here let’s not take the literal meaning of leader as a politician. By being a leader, want to convey that they can show the right path to the society as a whole in any field, be it social, economical, Spiritual or other. One can be a good student or a good teacher, a good citizen or a good soldier, a good businessman or a good son. It can be anything which he or she is good at. But one will be decisive. Show the path. And lead everyone onto it.
I CAN DO should be his philosophy of life. Shivaji with his 2-3 mules, 5-7 mavlas and a few ashrafis (currency at that time) was hopeful of building up Hindavi Swaraj. He himself was confident and build up hope in others too. When Chatrashaal, the prince of Bundelkhand comes to him as a servant and ready to work under him, it is Shivaji who instills the confidence in him to fight against the Moghuls and win back his lost kingdom.
Balishth – one who is strong and courageous. One should have a healthy body. A healthy body is full of youthfulness. One needs to excercise everyday as the phrase goes “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Or “A healthy mind in a healthy body”. It is only the healthy body which will have a healthy mind. Stay fit and keep fit is the key. Games need to have a prominent place in life and one needs to play even at 60. One can imagine that it was Bheesma who at an age of 160 or so, blew the first conch on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Surya Namaskaars have no substitute. Pandurang Shashtriji always in his discourses with the youth said, “You can reason with what I say and apply logic to my thoughts and question them, but let you all know that do trust me on one thing and that is to perform suryanamaskaar everyday”. He himself has performed them till His doctors advised him against doing so.
Yoga is also of utmost importance which helps us keep fit. Bhagwaan Patanjali has built up a whole system to keep the generations fit and healthy. There are many different versions of Yoga today and I leave it upto my reader to decide for himself to decide which school to follow.
Sangh Sakhas too insist on a few basic excercises and games. I have a vivid memory of people in their 60’s and wearing their khakhi half pants playing with the flying disc at the Shaka at Shivaji Park. March past and excercises have had an important part in the Sanchalans held anywhere in India.
So to sum it all up, the youth has to be simple and humble, ever ready to learn, hopeful, develop an “I Can do” attitude and be strong.
Is today’s youth of the world living upto this?, is what I leave upon my reader to decide.
Call upon the youth today to give a thought on whatever I have written during these 10 blogs.
This can go on if they wish, but am satisfied that I have been able to put onto paper what I wanted to convey. Have tried to be simple and tried to convey the gist without going into the details. Could have cited many examples but have left it upon my reader to make an effort to dig out their own.
PS : Will end the series tomm in Hindi, my national language, with its translation in English too…
Will be dwelling upon a topic which is a hot topic of discussion always, equality of gender. Equality of Man and Woman. Cause the word above describes the Vedic concept of a lady.
Indian culture has always looked upon a woman to be the half part, equal and important, for the society, not lesser then man, nor better than him. The same applies vice-versa. WE ALL ARE EQUAL. The pitcure created in our society today is that we Indians have been very conservative and do not let our women leave the house. But the truth, is what we all need to dwell upon and find.
The best answer or example about the Vedic thought, we all know is of the “Ardhnarinateshwar” (the form of the Lord who is half Shiv, half Parvati). Vaidiks thought never thinks of the man alone. It has been ever inclusive.
Also let us see all our Goddess from Amba, Bhavani to Kali, except for Saraswati and Laxmi, all have weapons in their hands. And knowledge as well as wealth can be weapons too in a different way. The Goddesses have fought shoulder to shoulder with the Gods against the bad thought (western world will call it evil or the satanic thought) prevailing in our society then. The story of the fight of the Goddess with Mahisasur is still remembered and celebrated as Navratri. Haven’t we all read/heard these stories in our childhood days. Thanks to the Amar Chitra Katha books!!!
Even the Rishi Patnis were equally good administrators. They would manage the whole Ashram when the Rishi was busy with his teaching and research work. Taking personal care of every student and knowing his needs and catering to them was the Rishi Patni’s responsibility. Sometimes it makes me wonder if Rishi’s would have been able manage their Ashram’s on their own? Katyayani, Arundhati, Anusuya are such big names in this lineage. And there have been scholarly women like Maitreyi and Gargi too. Were they the teachers at the Universities of learning for women, is also a big topic for research!
Here the Rishi has asked for a woman who can administer a town. Women in those days were a part of the decision making process. So it is nothing new today for a city to have a lady mayor, or a country to have a lady being it’s defence minister or an external affairs minister and boast about it! But at the same time people need to be proud about it as well. Rather this should have been the way our ancestors would like us to live. The women were also a part of the bureaucracy then. And had an equal say in day to day working of a town or kingdom. Queen always by the side of the King when in audience, is its best example.
Also the women were equally able to fight. We all need to read about the people on the outskirts of North Western India who gave a tough fight to Alexander. After the men, it was the women who took up their arms and gave up their life. Alexander and his soldiers never expected this to happen and were taken aback.
Sometimes when I hear stories of Padmavati and like minded women, am forced to think why did the Rajput’s, the fighting clan perform Jouhar? Couldn’t they have taken up arms and fought? Does it have to do something with taking up services at the darbar of the invaders and becoming slavish? Had Rajputana been independent, and not taken up jobs at Delhi Darbar, wouldn’t they be better with their women? Maybe the atmosphere at that time was such, some people would argue. But from when have we become परिस्थिती वश (dependent on the circumstances)? We have always believed in being परिस्थिती निर्माता (circumstance builders). Yet I leave this to the discretion of my readers to think over.
At the same time, am reminded of Rajmata Jijabai or Rani Chenamma. These women have been the ablest of the administrators of their lands. Even Rajmata Ahilyabai Holkar in this case. All of them have fought against all odds and carved a name in the history of this nation.
Jijabai single handedly brought up Shivaji and turned him into the people’s king. The way she brought up Shivaji and at the same time, sat at her darbar delivering justice is something women of today need to look upto. This administrative aspect of the life of Jijabai when she came to Pune from Karnataka where her husband, Shahaji sent her, has always been overlooked upon. When Shivaji goes to meet Afzal Khan, his ministers ask him about what is to be done in case of something happening to him? Shivaji without hesitating tells them to install Sambhaji in his place and to look after Swaraj under the able guidance of Rajmata Jijabai. This is Jijabai’s work. Even during the siege of Panhalgad, she was very active not only in day to day working of the kingdom but also involved in planning for an escape route for Shivaji. It was She who asks for the Kondana fort to be brought back into Swarajya. She has also brought up Sambhaji the way She did with Shivaji. There are many such things which can be researched on and many work must have been done too.
The cultural work of Rajamata Ahilyabhai, the tough fight given to the British by Rani Laxmibai and the women revolutionaries like Bina Das, Kalpana Dutta and even Captain Laxmi Sehgal need a special mention too.
Even in world of politics, Indira Gandhi sets an example of a tough administrator and not a “gungi gudiya”. She is the only Prime Minister as of date to impose Emergency in India. A very astute politician who faced the bullets face up. We may agree or not agree with her ideology and her way of working but She has set up an example.
I just want to say that instead of discussing and debating upon whether men and women are equal,
-Let us come together and work towards the betterment of society and mankind as a whole.
-Let us shed our inhibitions and looking upon our golden past, taking a clue from it, work together.
-Let us all be equal.
In my next blog wish to talk about the youth, then and now.
The next part of the mantra asks for milch giving cattle, and cattle which can lift heavy weights. It also asks for fast running horses. Both are very important for an agro-based economy. Indians have very well recognised the importance of these animals long back.
This task of Animal Husbandry and Farming was entrusted to a class of people known as the Vaishyas. As Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta says, “कृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम्” (Agriculture, Cattle farming and business are the actions, karma that a Vaishya has to perform).
Rishi Kashyap with the help of such God loving and God centric Vaishyas has taken care of this mother Earth, when Brahmins and Kshatriya’s failed to do so. It is a long story which needs multiple blogs to be told, so if anyone is interested to know about it should read characters of Rishi Kashyap and Parshuram as explained by Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale in his lectures summarised in a book called Rishi Smaran and Dashavataar. Due to the huge work of the Rishi Kashyap and the Vaishyas, our mother Earth is also named as ‘KAASHYAPI‘ and ‘URVI‘.
‘Kaashyapi’ due to the efforts of Rishi Kashyap. He is the Father of the Indian soil. He holds a special place in our lives. During our rituals, Gotra-uccharan (repeating the name of the Gotra one is born in) is of utmost importance. Gotra means lineage or blood line as we call it nowadays. We Indians believe that we all have our common roots and we belong from the lineage of Sapt Rishis, the seven sages, who made a huge contribution towards buildings our civilisation, culture and society. During these many years many of us have forgotten our Gotra’s. Now being an integral part of our life it is a must to know our Gotra. Shouldn’t we know our ancestors and our lineage? Yet if someone forgets, he/she is considered from the Kashyap Gotra and made to say so ‘Kashyap Gotrotapannoham” (कश्यप गोत्रोत्पन्नोहम् – I belong to the lineage of Kashyap) in all the rituals whenever and wherever required. Today, there has been a huge scientific research related to DNA and Chromosomes, and if anyone is interested can research and find it out from the many information already available on the internet.
‘Urvi’ as She has been uplifted by the Vaishyas. In the Purush Sukta, where the Almighty has been described as creator of the Universe, one of the verses describes thus. “राजन्य: कृत: ब्राह्मणोऽस्य मुखामासीद्वाहू। ऊरू तदस्य यद्वैश्यः पद्भ्यां शूद्रो अजायत॥” (“The Brahmins originate from His Mukha (mouth), the Kshatriya’s from His Bahu (shoulder), the Vaishyas from His URU (thighs) and the Shudras from His PAADA (Feet)”. The Vaishyas come from His Uru and thus the name URVI.
While quoting this above shloka there has been a lot of misunderstanding that the caste system originates from this. And the Brahmins have put themselves at the topmost ladder in the hierarchy. But the thing is that while equating every Varna with the different body parts of the Almighty, the important thing is that they belong to the same Almighty.
At this point, the question I like to ask my readers is that whether your mouth is more important than your shoulders or legs? I think it is these different organs that make us an individual. Every part of the body has its own role and significance. Every part is as important as the other. In the same way, every Varna (caste) is distinct and equally important. No one is big or small, more pious or less. Every Varna (caste) is equal.
The fourth pillar of our society is as important as the first. Shudra’s (and not Kshudra) are the people who provide the basic necessities to the whole human race. In today’s world we call them the service providers. And today we all know and accept their importance in our lives. Yes, during the course of our history, the Shudra’s have been trampled upon and subjugated to different types of tortures from the other 3 Varna’s. And the 3 Varna’s need to correct themselves and apologise to them and take due care of each others sentiments.
But, can we imagine a society without cloth makers, shoe makers, jewellers and all such people who not only provide us our basic necessities but also take care of our needs? And if they are so important to us, how can they be outcastes or untouchables? People living in cities, can you imagine your plight when the regular waste/garbage picker does not come to collect your house waste or society waste. We all start cribbing. Then how can he/she be small? Work doesn’t make anyone small or big, does it? Rather I would say that they are the first people, whom we should be grateful to, as they are the ones who clean our houses by taking away the wastes/garbage and helping us create a pollution free environment in our houses and society at large.
After reading my last 3 blogs, my reader might find my writings as a thing of the past or too conservative. But I appeal to you to apply your minds and brain to the things I have shared. We all agree that we don’t want the caste system as it exists today which discriminates amongst humans. But the whole society is made up by its Intelligentsia (Brahmins), Army (Kshatriyas), Economists (Vaishyas) and Service Providers (Shudras). It exists and maybe known to us by different names but it does exist. At the same time, let us understand that every new born has / should have the right to decide, regarding what he/she wants to do.
These four pillars make our country and I bow to each of them for their contributions towards the society.
Next the Rishi asks for पुरन्धिर् .
What does this mean?
A very integral part of our society, the women who can administer, rule and run a kingdom.Coming up tommorrow…
The rishis in this mantra continue with their prayers for this country. After asking for Vedsampann and Brahmanisth Brahmins, they ask for brave and courageous rulers. Rulers who are well equipped not only in warfare but also in running the state. And at the same time be God loving too.
Let my readers understand that We, Indians, are God centric people. So anything and everything in our lives is God centric. Do we believe and live today in this manner is another question! Also we need to understand that we have been God loving, not God fearing. As well let it also be clarified that Indian Culture or Vedic Religion does not have a concept of Satan or Anti-God, as some other thought processes do have in particular. Will dwell upon this subject in my later blogs.
The land of India, is the land of Kshatriya’s. Our country gets its name Bharat from three Bharat’s, two of whom are Kshatriya’s (which I have mentioned in my earlier blog), Shakuntaley Bharat, Ram’s brother Bharat and Jad Bharat.
Shakuntaley Bharat is a personification of courage. Bharat grew up in the care of his mother, as his father King Dushyant refused to recognise Shakuntala as his consort for a few initial years. It is said that Bharat in a very small age had opened a lion’s mouth to count his teeth. He is the first Chakravartin (the almighty emperor with all other kings of India as his vassals) of this Manvantar (era). He won over all the king’s by his love and those who could not be won over by love, by his sword. But he never annexed those kingdoms. They were given back to the rulers with a condition to follow the law of the land put down by Rishis. The King’s reciprocated to adhere to this condition whole heartedly. The reign of Bharat has been one of India’s Glorious and Golden era. Also some people consider King Bharat as Bharat Muni too, who in his later age gave India, the Natyashashtra (The art of stage performance).
Secondly, Ram’s brother, Bharat. Frankly there are no words to describe this personality. We all have heard about him or read about him. His love for Ram is unparallel in human history. The dialogue between Bharat and his mother Kaikeyi, after realising what folly Kaikeyi had done by sending Ram to exile, on returning from his maternal uncle’s place is worth a read. He has taunted and to an extent even abused his mother for doing what she has done. This dialogue has been put in a song, by a recent but a great poet, G.D.Madgulkar (fondly called GaDiMa) in his collection of poems called Geet Ramayan. And after ruling Ayodhya for 14 years, he just gives it up for Ram, without even a thought of continuing or conspiring, when Ram returns from exile fulfilling his promise to Dashrath. We all know about the valour of Shri Ram and Laxman, but Bharat was equally brave and courageous.
As we are talking about Bharat, am also sharing the story of Jad Bharat – He is considered to be an reincarnation of King Bharat. There are many versions to his story. I share one which I like the most. He is born to a farmer who dies in a short time after his birth. Bharat’s mother too passes away when Bharat is still in his teens. His brothers and sister-in-law’s find Bharat useless and send him off to the fields to work. Bharat looks after the fields and the sheep every day and night. He develops a strong body due to this routine. One days it so happens that a king is passing by in his palaquin. One of his palaquin bearers dies and the King asks his servants to look for another. They find Jad Bharat in his fields and get him to lift the palaquin. But Bharat walks slowly, taking utmost care and walking one step at a time. This makes the King uncomfortable in the palaquin, as the palaquin is imbalanced. So the King shouts out at the bearers and they tell the King the situation. King now calls upon Bharat and asks him as to why is he behaving in this manner? And if he wants more money, he was ready to pay more. Bharat explains “O great King! Am not interested in your money. Nothing, neither happiness nor sadness move me. U cannot buy me out by money nor any worldly riches as I know that I am an Atman (soul). By walking slowly am taking care of not hurting the other Atman (the small organisms on the ground)”. This attitude of Bharat earned him a title of Jad (literal English meaning would be staunch). The King on realising his folly got down from the palanquin and accepted Bharat as his Guru.
The two Bharat’s, Shakuntaley Bharat and Ram’s brother Bharat convey to us the characters of Kshatriya’s of India. Our kings have been learned and understanding as well as caring. They have always given patronage to art and artists. Built huge monuments like temples for God and forts for defending their kingdom. The great dynasties of Maurya’s, Gupta’s, Satkarni’s, Satvahan’s, Rashtrakoota’s, Chalukya’s, Chola’s have thrived in India and made Her stronger.
At this point, I also need to mention The Manusmriti, written by Manu, who is a Kshatriya. Manusmriti is a book of code of conduct of human beings. We may have differences of opinions about the things being written in it, but one needs to break the myth of Manusmriti being written by a Brahmin. I repeat it’s a book written by a Kshatriya. Such learned are the Kshatriya’s of India and have held an important position in the development of India.
Regarding the bravery of the Kshatriyas would mention only a few names and leave it upto my reader to find out about them. Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, Arjun, Chandragupta Maurya, Samudragupta, King Pulakeshin, Maharana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Raja Chhatrapati and many more…
Even today the fighting clan is present in the form of our brave Indian Army. The Rajputana Regiment, The Maratha Regiment, The Gorkha Regiment, The Sikh Regiment and all others not only defend our borders but keep our country safe. We sleep peacefully as they are constantly at watch at the borders.
We cannot imagine any country with out an army. Nor can we imagine one without its intelligentsia. So both the Brahmins and the Kshatriya’s are equally important. Both need to respect each other and accept each other’s might. Parshuraam, had worked for this and Ram achieved it. Let us all understand, my readers, that every section of the society has an important role to play in the development of any society.
Now we move towards the third section of the Society, The Vaishya’s, about whom we will continue in the next blog.
This is one of the most read blogs from the day it has been written. I see readers reading it even after 2 years of writing it. I see it as a blessing of my teacher whom I have quoted in the blog. I urge my readers to give me a feedback about this blog, in particular. And thank all for reading the first 6 blogs. The series continues even after this blog
Continuing from last blog, the above Shlok is a prayer for wealth for our (any) country. Wealth of all types. People who will help spread knowledge, people who will rule, people who will fight, women who can administer and rule, healthy cattle, fast horses, swift chariots and above all the youth which is brave and courageous. Also for rains so that we get a good crop and so are carefree about our worldly life. Let us understand it one by one.
It talks about “Aa Brahman Brahmano Brahmavarchashi”. It says God! Please bless our country with Brahmins who are educated in the Vedas and lead a Veda-centric life. They will help our country prosper. The prayer asks for the Brahmins who are learned and work for God, not the ones who are Brahmins by birth or caste.
At this juncture itself, I would like to clarify that am in no way supporting any type of caste system by birth. But at the same time, I also believe that any society, overall, will be divided into 4 main sections. First section will guide it academically and put forth it’s philosophies. Second section, which will rule the country, administer it on the basis of philosophies. Third section, which will take care of countries economy through business and industry. Fourth section but not the least, the part which will look after the basic necessities of the society and provide them to it. Our seers have broadly classified our society thus and named them as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. These sections have their well defined work areas which one cannot transgress and rules which one cannot overrule. But the choice of work was dependent on the person himself/herself who had the liberty to make his/her choice after gaining an understanding about these four sections. At the same time we should know and understand that all these four sections are very important to the structure of the society and in no way is one greater or better than the other. All are equal. Later they have become based on birth, which must have been due to some compulsions. My limitation, today, is not to go into the details of it. But some other day and with some other topic, would surely like to dwell upon it.
Veda, the word comes from “VID” which means “to know”. “Thought” is very important to the Vedas. “Thought with experience” is what is the Vedas. So many thoughts and many experiences make up the Vedas which have been guiding us over centuries. These thoughts were first passed on from the teacher to his student by word of mouth, that is by repeating and learning what the teacher has said. Hearing was an important part of this whole excercise, so the Vedas are called the “Shruti”. They are considered the highest authority as regards to rules and regulations to lead a wholistic life.
And from these came our surnames. The one who learned it directly from the Guru, are called Ek Pathi (one who learns by listening once) who are called ‘Pathak’. The next who learns after hearing it twice, from Guru and from Ek Pathi’s, are called Dwipathi. Then Tripathi, Chaturpathi and so on. The beauty of our surnames is that it has its own history, which some of you my readers, are not aware of. Every surname has its origin related to the characteristic of our genetical lineage.
The next question which comes to our mind Who owns the Vedas then, if written by so many people? It is but obvious question as the world and society we are living in has made us think like this. This question never came up for the Vedic people as the Vedas belonged to everyone. No doubt, the thought is an individual experience, but when shared becomes the property of all who hear it and know it. So the owner of the Vedas is the “Samaaj Purush” (the society). And this Samaaj Purush is God. So God is the owner of these Vedas.
And if these Vedas belong to the Samaaj Purush, then they have to be taken to them, shared with them. This was done by the “intelligentsia” at that time which we call as Brahmins. From this we infer that anyone who does this work of carrying the Vedas to the common people are the Brahmins.
As, Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji explains, that when this class used to work selflessly, they developed a relationship and a strong bond with people to whom they went to. So the people started sharing all good and bad happenings of their life with these Brahmins. The people felt that these people are truly selfless and so people started inviting them to their homes in all good and bad happenings /moments in life. And that is why a Brahmin comes in, in a marriage or a funeral. The people called them to marriages to bless the newly wed couple for a prosperous life and to guide them to lead a pious life. Otherwise the mantras of marriage are to be said by the bridegroom and the bride and not the Brahmins. He was called on the 12th day after the death of a family member so that he will console the family and help them cope up with the loss. Explain the process of death and explain life after death. But today, alas! all this is lost. And we have started worshipping just the outer covering (the tradition and not the thought).
The mantra calls for such Brahmvarchasi Brahmins. Next it asks for the Kshatriyas, ones which are brave and courageous. We will talk about them in my next blog.
Jana Gana Mang-daayak Jay He, Bharat Bhagya Vidhaata,
Jay He, Jay He, Jay He,
Jay Jay Jay He…
Every Indian knows that this is the National Anthem. It resonates the feelings of the great poet Rabindranath Tagore. Rather Tagore resonates the feeling of every Indian through his words. Our modern founding fathers have offered their respect to Tagore by choosing the above words as the anthem.I personally feel as if Tagore is calling up the common man of India as the Bharat Bhagya Vidhaata. And the common man is the one who is asking Mother India for Her blessings and wants to sing Her praise.
At the same time I was compelled, that Bharat has a huge philosophical and spiritual background in the form of Veda’s and the Rishi’s and having a history of more than 10000 years old, to lookout for some thought which would have guided the mankind of Aryavarta. Found many and there must be many more than what I found. But the one’s that touch me personally are two.
1. The Mantrapushpanjali offered at the end of every Aarti
2. The Vedic prayer asking for different class of people and all types of wealth and rains for India’s prosperity.
Let’s begin with the Mantrapushpanjali. It says thus:
My readers after reading this you must have realised that we all have recited or atleast heard being recited after the ‘Aarti’ during Ganeshotsav or Navratri or any pooja at home. It’s an invocation to Kuber, the God of Wealth and also remembers ‘Marut‘ and ‘Avikshit‘. It also makes a note of different types of kingdoms in India ranging from “Samrajyam” to “Maharajyam” which needs an independent blog to be explained.
For me its an ode for a single country. It says “पृथिव्यै समुद्रपर्यंताया एकराळिति” (meaning the land,consisting all the different types of kingdoms, till the ocean is all one).
From the very existence of the Veda’s, Rigved and Atharvaved both have the 1st hymn in them. The second hymn is from the Taitreya Aaranyak and the third and forth hymn from Aitreya Brahman. So from this we know that even years ago, our rishis have nurtured an idea of a single country. We have been repeating it year after year without even thinking what the hymn means. And then, we say that India as a country came into existence in 1947. Our secular historians and government appointed historians have always overlooked the above mantra. The question is Why?
The sad part about history of India is that we always get left leaning historians and right leaning historians but never factual historians. These so called historians have dented the Indian pride in all possible ways, making us aware to different thoughts around the world, but ours. Again I need to caution my reader that am not against any good thought and I believe any good thought can rise in any part of the world and so our (Rishi’s) clarion call is “आ नो भद्रा: क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वत:” – Let all the noble thoughts come to me from all the directions. But the fact is that we lack good historians who will write for the sake of India and to serve India.
History in Hindi has a synonym ‘इतिहास’. इति + हास means ‘this is how it has been’. And true to its meaning our historians have never tried to cover anything. Be it Pandavas were born of the Devas or Dhritrashtra, Pandu and Vidur were born by ‘niyog’ with Ved Vyas. Yudhisthir was good human but had a weak point of playing dice which led to many problems not only in his life but also his brothers, but Vyas Muni has not hidden this part. One can cite many instances from our history. But again Ramayan and Mahabharat, Ram and Krishna are mythology!!! We Indians truly need to understand our roots by finding them and studying them independently.
Back to our topic of One India, United India. This Mantrapushpanjali has been imbibed in our lives in a way that by the time a child grows up, he knows it by heart. But the problem is who will explain it to him as even the ones who are making him recite do not know its meaning! Right now I just want to convey that Bharat is united in letter and spirit from the day She has come into existence.
The second the Vedic prayer asking for everything possible for the growth of a nation.
What work have our rishis and ancestors done to make it a nation?”
Nation the word comes from the root word NAT, meaning ‘to be born‘.
A Nation, as various English dictionaries define, is a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory.
A writer, Ernest Renan in his book “What is a nation?” writes as follows “A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form”, emphasizing the democratic and historical aspects of what constitutes a nation. The nation has been described by Benedict Anderson as an “imagined community” and by Paul James as an “abstract community”. It is an imagined community in the sense that the material conditions exist for imagining extended and shared connections. It is an abstract community in the sense that it is objectively impersonal, even if each individual in the nation experiences him or herself as subjectively part of an embodied unity with others. For the most part, members of a nation remain strangers to each other and are never likely to meet. And herein lies the origin of the phrase ‘strangers in a nation.
Now let us turn to our, Indian, perspective about the nation. We call our nation ‘Rashtra’. Our Vedas have a particular meaning attached to this noun. Atharveda deals with not only the meaning of the word but also how to manage it.
Atharvaveda says “त्वत् जाता: त्वयि चरन्ति मर्त्या: त्वं बिभर्षि”. We are born from you and we play on you, live on you. The first and most important thing about definition of Rashtra is that one needs to love one’s own country to define it, understand it. Country is not mere a piece of land that we fight for it or draw borders. It is a place which is to be loved and worshipped. Many people say “Am Indian, as I am born on this land”. I want to ask them a question “Are you just a citizen because you were born here or as the Constitution of the land says so?” Let me clarify that have the deepest respect for the Constitution of India. But just because the Constitution says so, I believe it! Is there no other reason to believe that one is a citizen of India? So my argument is that if our modern founding fathers would have not stated it, I wouldn’t be a citizen of this country? Is there a feeling, deep inside, that I should have been born in USA or Europe or any other part of the world, but India and lived there? Such people / citizens are more dangerous for the country than Her enemies. So first and foremost one needs to love Her. One needs to feel that I belong to Her.
Next, the Atharvaveda also says, “यस्या: पुरो देवकृता: यस्या: पुरो देवरक्षिता:” This country is made by the Gods and is protected by the Gods. It is the Gods who have made it for me to play on. Only when a person understands and feels this, would he make a good citizen.
Now when we are discussing this, let us also be clear that Veda’s are not talking only about India, but the abovesaid sentences are for each and every citizen of all the countries in the known world. But our common argument is that as it is written in Sanskrit so it is applicable only to India. I ask “Can language be a barrier to any good thought with an universal outlook?”
When we understand and feel the above thoughts, we can define a Rashtra. Am too small to define the same so would take help from my teacher, Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale. He propounds that a country is one which has its own :
1. विशिष्ट विचारधारा (a particular yet outstanding way of thinking / ideology)
2. विशिष्ट परंपरा (a particular yet outstanding tradition)
3. विशिष्ट जीवनश्रेणी (a particular yet outstanding way of living)
4. विशिष्ट धार्मिक दृष्टि (a particular yet outstanding religious view)
5. विशिष्ट आध्यात्मिक कल्पना (a particular yet outstanding spiritual outlook)
So the day we are able to think about our own country in these five aspects we will be able to grasp what our country is. And the need to love it.
An independent blog can be written on each of the above aspects with context to India (and every other country), but maybe later.
I leave it upto my readers to think about these aspects, and will write when my motherland, India, inspires me to write about it.
At the end I just want to emphasize that first we need to love our country. Feel Her. Understand Her. And for this as our seers said “चरैवेति चरैवेति”. (Walk on, Tread on).
Today I make a request to all my readers that before embarking on a trip to any foreign land, let’s go around our own country, first. Let us all admire Her beauty and behold it. There are so many facets of this beautiful land which are still unexplored and should be explored.
We have had a history of more than 10000 years to cherish.
1. What is the one word that describes you the best ? Learner
2. Who are some of your most favourite writers? Ayn Rand, Allwyn Toffler, Fritjof Capra, Ejid Blyton, Ranjit Desai, Shivaji Sawant, Manubhai Pancholi ‘Darshak’ and many more. Have mentioned only the writers and not the poets
3. Tell me about one of the most memorable moments of your life. The best moment is when I met my wife for the first time and we agreed to get married.
4. What’s your outlook / motto in life? Be Happy and spread Happiness. Accept the challenges of life and fight them with a smile on my face.
5. A thing that you aim to convey through your blog. Love for the Nation and its culture.
6. What makes you truly happy in life? When I am able to interpret some things in life considered difficult by the world.
7. What all are you doing in this lockdown phase to keep up the positive vibes? My students keep me positive, so am teaching them online. Read a lot. Write a lot. Am attending a workshop by Mrs. Neerja Gupta on Decoding the Epic : Mahabharat. Have started suryanamaskaars which I had stopped after fracturing my hand at the age of 30.
8. Name one of your all time favourite movies and why do you enjoy it so much? “Navrang”. The music and the songs is what I just love in this movie. My first movie in a theatre.
9. One aspect of your life that you intend to improve upon. My parenting skills. Am a little short tempered and need to work on it. This lockdown phase has helped me understand my kids better.
10. If you could have a superpower then what would it be and why? The power to go back into the past. And listen to the dialogue between Shree Krishna and Arjun. And all other dialogues anywhere in the world, that have taken place for betterment of life
11. What do you like the most about my blogs / writings and any suggestions for me to improve as a blogger? I just love the way you paint the grey part of life. I am learning that. At the same time I know that you can write very positive too.
A simple yet lucid translation into English done by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh is worth a read as well :
Mother, I praise thee! Rich with thy hurrying streams, bright with orchard gleams, Cool with thy winds of delight, Dark fields waving Mother of might, Mother free. Glory of moonlight dreams, Over thy branches and lordly streams, Clad in thy blossoming trees, Mother, giver of ease Glory of moonlight dreams, Over thy branches and lordly streams, Clad in thy blossoming trees, Mother, giver of ease Laughing low and sweet! Mother I kiss thy feet, Speaker sweet and low! Mother, to thee I praise thee. [Verse 1]
Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands When the swords flash out in seventy million hands And seventy million voices roar Thy dreadful name from shore to shore? With many strengths who art mighty and stored, To thee I call Mother and Lord! Thou who savest, arise and save! To her I cry who ever her foeman drove Back from plain and Sea And shook herself free. [Verse 2]
Thou art wisdom, thou art law, Thou art heart, our soul, our breath Thou art love divine, the awe In our hearts that conquers death. Thine the strength that nerves the arm, Thine the beauty, thine the charm. Every image made divine In our temples is but thine. [Verse 3]
Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, With her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned, And the Muse a hundred-toned, Pure and perfect without peer, Mother lend thine ear, Rich with thy hurrying streams, Bright with thy orchard gleems, Dark of hue O candid-fair [Verse 4]
In thy soul, with bejeweled hair And thy glorious smile divine, Loveliest of all earthly lands, Showering wealth from well-stored hands! Mother, mother mine! Mother sweet, I praise thee, Mother great and free! [Verse 5]
It still gets us excited when we read it again and again and again. A feeling of nostalgia and Divine.
People say that it starts with the abstract notion of the Motherland and turns to the praise of Goddess! But who will explain to them that for us Indians, we see no difference between the two. From time immemorial, this land has been our Mother. The comparison to Durga and Laxmi is nothing but a feeling that She is the one who protects us and She is the one who has so much of wealth to take give us and take care of us. People forget that Bharat has never crossed Her borders to conquer the world. Yes, She has conquered the world by Her thoughts of Vedic civilisation and Buddhism, but never their lands. People who look at their countries as mere land/s will never understand this. Their perspective of utility of anything and everything, has killed the emotions within humans. Atleast people born in this land need to understand this. Under the grab of secularism, Reverence for Her cannot be and should not be undermined.
The feelings of She being everything is very well emphasised in the third verse (literally unknown to our generation as only the first two verses make the national song). This feeling of our motherland being everything, is something which one will find only in India. Some may disagree and can argue that my statement is wrong and prejudiced for others but let them answer one question. Will you be able to equate your country with the Divine? This, In Bharat, has been possible due to the efforts and lives given up for this by our rishis and ancestors. And due to the thought that everything, living and non living is divine.
When one learns from modern sciences that even the living have evolved from the non living, it justifies the Bharatiya stand for reverence for the creation. We see Divine in everything. At the same time, we see Divine in each person and country. And herein lies the concept or thought or philosophy of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam”, The whole world is one family.
This is the Bharatiya civilisation.
Who built it? How did they build it? Does the feeling exist today? Is it practical? Is a question I leave to my readers to ponder over and will try to answer it in my upcoming blog/s.
Till then let us just repeat those lines above and try to inculcate a feeling of motherliness for our respective countries. In our daily run of survival let us not forget the love of our country and the care She has taken, is taking and will be taking.
This list is endless (I have missed out many) as the thoughts go on pouring out of my mind into this paper.
My country is what I relate with!
Is it just a piece of land or is it just a handful of states? Is it Her people? Is it the boundaries that mankind has drawn on maps sitting in their cosy rooms? Is it Her thoughts? Is She what I see ? What I hear ? What I know ?
The answer comes back to me and resonates
“MY COUNTRY IS WHAT I FEEL”
She’s my Mother, who in Her bosoms, takes care of me as Her child and looks after all my needs daily. Doesn’t She do it for you too, my reader?
Answer this question and you will know what your country is for you!!!
At the same time I know that it is a piece of land having boundaries, which I have to protect. It is Her people with whom I have to live with. It is Her thoughts which will help me survive. She is what I see, what I hear and what I know.
My country is “Bharat”.
The name derived from :
1. Shakuntaley Bharat
2. Ram anuj Bharat
3. Jad Bharat
Bharat means “devoted to light”, “devoted to knowledge”. Bharat is a land of spiritually self enlightened people.
And hence our seers have rightly said “दुर्लभं भारते जन्म”. It is a rarity to get to spend one’s life in this land called Bharat.
She is diverse, yet united.
She is divided into states, yet one.
Her children speak different languages, yet the language of everyone’s heart is same, the language of love, warmth and affection.
Her children wear different clothes, yet their colours are same, Kesari, White, Green and Blue.
She prays and says
“सर्वे सुखिनः सन्तु, सर्वे सन्तु निरामया:,
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु, मा कश्चिद् दुःख भाग्भवेत्।।
ऊँ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः।।”
It just goes on and on and on, only to make me realise that it will take more than one Life to see Bharat, hear Bharat and understand Bharat.
Friends just 2 years back I had embarked on the journey of expressing my gratefulness towards India, my motherland. I was reading it today and felt that I want to share the whole series (11 blogs) again with all of you. Many must have read it, but how many remember it? So repeating the whole series all over again. There might be a few changes, but those would be nominal.
The next 11 days are a Yadnya (offering myself) for me, which I hope you all will help me complete.
I vow to thee, my country All earthly things above Entire and whole and perfect The service of my loveThe love that asks no questions The love that stands the test That lays upon the alter The dearst and the bestThe love that never falters The love that pays the price The love that makes undaunted The final sacrificeAnd there’s another country I’ve heard of long ago Most dear to them that love her Most great to them I knowWe may not count her armies We may not see her King Her fortress is a faithful heart Her pride is sufferingAnd soul by soul and silently Her shining bounds increase And her ways are ways of gentleness And all her paths are peace
– Sir Cecil Spring Rice…
A poem learnt in the Standard 10 of my school days still resonates at the same frequecy today as it did many years back…
Sir Cecil has written about two countries here, his own motherland (Great Britain) and everyone’s motherland (Kingdom of God). He sets a very sombre tone at the begining and then it culminates into a high pitch by the time it reaches its end. I still remember asking my teacher
“Why has he written about two kingdoms? It’s so confusing,Mam!”
Naturally the question had come out of fear of literature exam then, but my teacher, as experienced as she was, a devout Christian, answered,
“Boy, whatever you want achieve in life you have to strive for it, but at the same time, take care, to serve your nation too. Don’t forget it is Her, your motherland which spends all its time, resources and energy for you.”
“And at the same time also think about life after death. We all believe in it in one way or the other. We all have to strive to enter His Kingdom too, to find eternal peace. Here Sir Cecil through his poem is reminding us about it.”
I frankly didn’t understand about His Kingdom and eternal peace at that time, nor do I do it now as a whole, but the first few verses, just the idea of serving one’s own Motherland, instills a spirit of nationalism in me.
A few years later…
Had grown up. Started attending lectures (Pravachans) of Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale. He while talking about Bhumi (land) as one of the five elements (Panchtatva) while explaining “Panchchame” from one of the verses of Yajurveda explained thus,
“One has to respect the land on which he/she is born and needs to be dedicated to it. All those who learn here and go and earn in other countries find those beautiful and his / her own country unclean and dirty should be drowned into the seas” He went on to explain “How can one forget the love and warmth a person has got from this land! And what about the economic expenses (subsidies) She has borne for you! Forget all that but how can one detach from his / her mother! How can one call mother dirty! All such people are a blot for their own country.”
(Am writing just a gist of what he has said. Any translation mistake is mine alone)
It resonates my feeling that “An Indian should be dedicated to India in the same way as a Brit is to Britain and a American is to America. For Indians, it should be India first”
A few days back…
I come in touch with a student. Know him very well now. The best part is the clarity of thought this boy has. After some initial days of chat he props up a question?
“What is a Pracharak?”
And shares that he wants to be one.
All these everlasting memories and imprints have triggered me to write a blog and express and share my feelings and understanding about my Motherland, our Motherland, India, that is, Bharat….
What is my country?
What is the idea of Bharat?
What is the essence of being an Indian?
What is love for motherland?
And many more…
I plan to write a few blogs and try to find answers to my questions.
I urge my reader to contribute his/her feelings and understandings about the same.
It might be long, so anywhere during this journey if you feel bored then pls share the same