The last 3 days we have been talking about the different physical sins which we commit as humans and how Maa Ganga delivers us from them. Today we try to understand the different sins in words by us. These are such sins that we do not even realise that we are doing them.
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)
This is a topic which is the most sensitive to all our relations which we try to make and sustain. A small word here and there can break the relations. The bonds of relations are very delicate and they can be broken easily with even a single wrong word.
May a people have a habit of speaking very arrogantly. Their arrogance arises either from their intellect, wealth or the position they have in the society. Sometimes it comes very naturally to all of us and makes such a dent that it becomes difficult to repair.
Let us begin with an example of a person scoring good marks or ranks in the exams they appear for. After such consistent effort and performance, it happens that the person develops a feeling of knowing everything under the Sun and starts looking down towards people not scoring good mark’s or ranks. Now this alienates them from their surroundings and creates another problem of aloofness.
Sometimes the wealth plays a big factor in how we speak. A wealthy person starts feeling that he or she owns everything due to their wealth and they start treating people very arrogantly and by belittling them. People start staying away from such people thus creating the class war in the society.
And for people with power, there is need of any description about this for people in India. How power is abused by people in power is no secret! Even the smallest of people in power (for example – the hawaldaar); their tone is very arrogant.
Maa Ganga, through Her flow guides us with a soft and melancholy sound. Even after helping a civilisation to grow on Her banks, She has been very humble. She doesnt make any arrogant noises of helping someone grow or being the most important person around. She is very “HUMBLE“.
Humility after attaining power is the most important value which one needs to imbibe in life. A humble person is not only loved by everyone but also wanted by everyone, in case of need. A person who is humble can help the society to its fullest and can be a shining armour in the otherwise dull and arrogant world.
While taking this fourth dip today, let us pledge to be humble in life even when we reach the highest echelons of life.
We are trying to understand the “Paap” which Maa Ganga removes from our lives. We are now at a node where we need to think about the third “Kaayik” paap.
अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।
परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal.
HIMSA CHAIVAVIDHANATA – To commit violence for no reason.
The third sin “Pardaropaseva ch” – To commit adultery or To have adulterous relationships. With the growing influence of “Being open minded” and “It’s a free world” we, humans have transgressed a path from “Shame” to being “Shameless”. Commiting adultery has become so common that it has become a topic of discussion from a topic of gossip.
The way, we, the society is behaving and opening up is just not distasteful but a disgrace. The way a man looks towards a woman, as an object of lust and propriety is something which one cannot even imagine. The mental state of the youth of our country in this regards, though still under wraps, is disillusioning. The days ahead will be of utter chaos and disbelief regarding relationships.
At this juncture, when we see Maa Ganga and Her pious flow, it leads us to a divine outlook of Motherhood. She holds us in Her bosoms very gently and awakens a emotion of reverence for the creation. She gently carries us on Her back and nurtures the quality of “Brahmacharya” within us.
Brahmacharya not only means abstinence from physical relations but it also means to walk on the path of God. To keep on walking continuously to spread His name far and wide. It also means to become one with God.
Maa Ganga too from Her emergence to Her submission is a Brahmacharini, spreading the message of God to every part of land and to every living being encountered in Her path.
Today as we take out third dip, let us today rise above the petty thoughts of adultery and pledge to live a life of Brahmachari and make efforts to spread the word of God far and wide.
Now as we discussed about the Kaayik (physical) paap, we shall move to the next mantra and try and understand the four “Vaachik” (Spoken) paap…
We started yesterday with the aim to develop an understanding about how Maa Ganga is Das (10) “Paap” Haarini. And we began with the 3 “Kaayik” paap.
अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।
परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
We tried to understand the first one yesterday : ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal
Today we talk about Himsa Chaivavidhanata – To commit violence with no reason.
I think Himsa or Violence is the most spoken and thought after word or “paap” in today’s world. We all understand that Himsa means violence and it is done with no reason. From assaulting kids to wives to friends and today even countrymen, the word Himsa needs no description. The morning newspapers carry only the news of violence all over the world.
The word Himsa includes all acts of violence and destruction. All the types of activities that lead to violence should also be termed as Himsa.
Even when one starts to think negatively about oneself and demotivates oneself is also a type of Himsa – destroying one’s esteem, self confidence. The biggest Himsa we do to ourselves is when we say “I can’t do.”
When one sits at the banks of Maa Ganga, in Her lap, Her flow removes all these negative thoughts of demeaning and demotivating oneself and rejuvenates, recharges us with positive thoughts and motivates us for action. This is the true “Ahimsa“
Friends, when one talks of Ahimsa it means Non Violence. And people take it as way of not doing anything – Nivrutti. To that extent that one should take care while walking too as it may kill the ants and the microbes around. Cover the mouth while talking so that the sound waves do not kill. And so walk less or talk less. Am not against this understanding but we need to move a step ahead. Ahimsa – means to spread the love all over. To love every part of the creation selflessly. And this is what all the Avatar’s born anywhere on Earth have propagated.
Similarly Maa Ganga too loves Her children. Maa Ganga and Her flow have always been non destructive. She flows so smoothly and elegantly from the Gomukh to Ganga Sagar. She just cleanses all the lands and their people and leads them to prosperity.
Today when we take a dip at the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini, let us pledge to understand the right meaning of Ahimsa and spread the love of Maa Ganga and through Her, the work of the Avatars and the greatness of this Holy land unto the last person on Mother Earth.
With the dip, let us leave the thought of Himsa behind and give prominence to the phrase ‘I can do’ in our lives.
We will take our third dip at the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi tomm…
On the auspicious occasion of Ganga Dusshara falling on 20th June this year, am planning a series of blogs explaining the meaning of the word “Dusshara”
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).
We begin with the first of three physical sins today. But first what are they? A shlok describes them as thus:
अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।
परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal
I think it is the biggest problem we all are facing today, STEALING. Steal things, Steal the process, steal the thought to Steal someone’s peace. The question which comes to my mind is that how can one think of getting something which is not theirs. Isn’t it uncivilized?
Let us also understand that there is nothing wrong in copying someone’s method or process or experiment, but calling it, one’s own is stealing. We see many such people who behave in this manner. Also calling someone’s idea or thought one’s own is also stealing.
Again accumulating thoughts or amassing wealth and also not sharing with anyone is stealing. So in itself the word stealing has a huge or a very broad meaning which we all need to think about.
Maa Ganga takes away this sin from our lives. When we see Her flow and hear Her soft and tinkling sound, the thought to steal just goes away. Rather looking at Her flow, just removes the thought of belongingness towards things, processess and thoughts. The soft sound of the flow instills harmony in our thoughts and strikes a balance of “Aparigraha“.
What does Maa Ganga take from us? Nothing. Rather She gives us everything from life, water and alluvial soil which in turn helps us grow crops for our food. Learning from Her, we too can remove the vice of stealing from our life. We can live our life like Her sharing our most prized possessions with others.
Today when we take our first dip in Maa Ganga let us all pledge to give up this sin of Adattanamupadanam (stealing).
We continue our journey along the banks of Maa Ganga tommorrow…
The mankind celebrating environment day is the way of expressing gratefulness towards the environment. Today, the importance of the environment need not be told or explained as Mankind understands its mistakes and is trying to correct them. The way we have tried to disturb the ecological balance has brought us to the brink of self destruction, but we have woken up from our slumber. Better late than never.
Let us learn to not only preserve the environment but also revere it. It’s the Vedic way to revere everything animate or inanimate as we see God in everything. God in Bhagwad Geeta Chapter 11 has called the Sacred Fig as one of its divine forms. “अश्वत्थ सर्व वृक्षाणां”.
We will get to see the reverence in many of the ways of Vedic culture. From worshipping a broom to worshipping different forms of animals as in cow and others. Vedic outlook is not only utilitarian, it is of reverence. At the same time reverence also does not mean that it can only be worshipped and not used. It simply means be grateful towards the thing one uses.
So on this Environment Day, let us learn to live in harmony with nature.
Let us learn to not only utilise nature for our own development but also let it develop with our help.
Let us learn the Vedic way of reverence for Nature and imbibe it in our lives to live and enjoy the life to the fullest.
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.
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. Am citing one of the poems and the way it expresses the love for one’s Motherland is unparallel.
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
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” which I have cited above.
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!
We can go and on and on like this for many a time. But let us remember that it is only through such dedication towards family, literature and country; that Savarkar is what Savarkar is today.
Let us all try to understand the dedication of Savarkar for the Motherland and try to imbibe it in our lives.
Let us all try to develop a scientific temperament that Savarkar had in his times.
Let us all devote our time to quality literature in whichever way we can – as a listener, reader or writer.
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!
The Avatars come to Earth to maintain a balance between Optimism and Pessimism, Action and Non- Action, Pravritti and Nivrutti. The world moves like a pendulum from one end of “Action – Pravrutti” to the other end of “Non Action – Nivrutti”. Mankind always loves extremes but does not understand that both are detrimental to its growth and development. A balance needs to struck between the two and the Avatar comes to strike that balance. An Avatar demonstrates how to lead a balanced life.
Today we talk about Kurm Avatar. The form of Tortoise. The story goes as such:
One day the Devas and the Asuras decide to come together to churn the ocean and obtain the nectar – an elixir of life. Asuras are humans like you and me. Just that they have decided to spend their life in Eat, Drink and Be Merry, lead a life involved only in sensual happiness. “असुषु इन्द्रियेषु रमन्ते इति असुराः। So they are not considered bad by humans.
Now the ocean is big body of water and we need a big churner so they approach the Mandrachal Parvat (mountain) to be their churner and the King of Snakes; Vasuki to be the thread bare to move the churner. They both readily agreed and so began the churning of the ocean.
The churning with Devas on one side and the Asuras on the other side was a sight to see. But the Mandrachal Parvat began sinking as the ocean was deep and the mountain had no base to rest upon. At that time it is said that Vishnu took the form of a tortoise (kurm) and gave a base to the mountain and took it upon it’s back with which the process of churning took place. Many a things came up during churning like Kalpvriksh, Laxmi, a bowl of poison and lastly the Nectar. Naturally there were discussions on who should have what.
Amongst the things that came out during the churning, the most wanted by both the parties was the Nectar and the most unwanted was the bowl of poison. Poison was taken by Bhagwaan Shiv and it is said that He drank it and stopped it in his neck, did not let it go down below His neck. So His neck turned blue and He is called Neelkanth.
Next was the discussion and fight for Nectar as the one who drinks it will become immortal. What is the secret to immortality? Something which Kurmavtaar has explained to Humanity.
Now let us look at it with a perspective that will help us understand better. A society is always made up of people with good thoughts and work and people with lots of wealth and a little lax about life. Now there is always a fight amongst the two about who is better? Both shun each other, one the other for their wealth and the other, the one for its intellect. Can they coexist? This is an eternal question which the Human race has tried to find an answer to. Here Kurmavtaar shows us the right direction.
When the fight reached its pinnacle and it started hurting the development of mankind, people from the above groups came together at the foot of the Mandrachal hills to find out a solution. At that time, the people who had developed and understood the importance of both intellect and wealth mediated and made both the groups understand the importance of each other. At that time different questions were discussed and the poison of accepting wealth as an important proposition of life was accepted by the group who considered it lowly. Thus balance was struck. The people realised the nectar of accepting both wealth and intellect as well as each otherand living with each other.
The person / s who mediated showed great skills and adaptability during the discussion and demonstrated the skills of withdrawing and appearing at the right time. The way a tortoise does in different situations. So all of them started calling him / them “Kurm” (tortoise). We can find these descendants of Kurm, known as Kurmis, even found today in and around the state of Bihar. This is the Kurmavataar.
Bow down to this person / s on his / their birthday.
Let us all decide to strike a balance between wealth and intellect and accept them both as a part of peaceful living.
Let us all decide to be ready to drink the poison of our egos and wishes and whims for the betterment of Humanity as whole.
Let us all decide to be slow but firm like a “Kurm” as well as learn the art of adaptability in life.
I bow down and go to the Sangh, Dhamm (Religion) and Buddha for enlightenment.
Buddha means the enlightened one.
Buddha means unattached.
Buddha means the great leader.
An individual who guides lacs and crores of people to lead a simple and an austere life should be accepted as an Incarnation of God. And Buddha is no different. From the days of His sermons till today, He guides Humanity onto the path of peace and tranquillity. And till date and many years in future will He be the guiding light for Humanity.
Son of Mayadevi, Gautama is said to become either a great King or a great Monk. The parents are worried and are said to have kept him in the four walls of the grand palace built for him. Got him married at the age of 16 and had a son Rahul. But Gautama is inclined towards finding the way or the path of renunciation from miseries. His chatioteer Channa might have led him to those famous night trips around the city where he is said to have discovered old age, disease and death. And so he leaves his wife, kid and palace to find the path of greater good.
Sometimes I wonder can a prince be kept away from the truth of life? Can any person be kept away from it rather? I feel that Gautama always knew all the misery and he was continuously trying to find a path to come out of all this. And one fine day, he decided that enough is enough and left the palace with due permission from his wife. How can a Mahatma who leads an austere life forget his duty towards his consort? And Yashoda must also have consented to let him go and find his goal. I say so, cause once when Gautama became Buddha and He visited His father’s kingdom, it was Yashoda who urges her son Rahul to take up the life of a monk with the Sangh and a few days later, with due discharge of duties and permission of elders, herself joins the Sangh.
Also those who have come to guide the world, can they be stuck in all the worldly matters? Is a question which I always have. He got married and fulfilled his duties towards his wife, son and parents and left to find his own self.
The tree, under which He is said to have attained enlightenment, the Bodhi tree, still stands there with it’s full grandeur as a witness to the divine phenomenon. People all over the world today visit the place, to find peace and solace.
His philosophy, “Sarvam Dukham, Sarvam Kshanikam” explains to us the basic principle of Science, that the world is continuously fleeting and changing. And it is fact that everyone needs to acknowledge that there needs to be rationality behind any and every thought one propagates.
He talks about ‘Shunyatva (nothingness)’, not even emotions. Was there any reason for an enlightened soul to live on Mother Earth. But He not only did live but went around meeting people across villages, janpadas and kingdoms. Its was selfless love in action. His action is not out of pitiness towards our lives, but out of pure selfless love towards us, his brethren. People today have belittled Him and His philosophy and mould it according to their whims and wishes.
Another question which people frequently ask; Why are the followers of Buddha, a proponent of Ahimsa (non – violence), fish eating or meat eating? Has He allowed this? Friends, let us go back to the era when He lived. To propagate His thought, he approached the intellectual class at that time. This class did not respond to His call. So He accepted whosoever responded to His call. He accepted them as they are and yes believed that slowly they would change their ways of eating. And change, they did. But if it is translated as meat eating is allowed by Buddha, then it’s our misconception about Him. He cannot be blamed for the misinterpretation.
I purposely began with Sangham Sharanam Gacchami as opposite to what people say. Cause I believe that even He, The Enlightened One, will agree with it. Go the the Sangh first. Follow your “Dharma” second. And then come to me.
Buddha, as history tell us, is the first to establish a Sangh, for propagation of religion. He gave a very well designed way to spread religion through the Sangh. India will always be indebted to Him for this. And as a result, we see that Buddhist thought and philosophy has not only spread all over Asia, but also dominates the thinking process of Asia in a way.
On His Birthday, bow down to Him and may we be blessed to be accepted in the Sangh, He established.
Let us all set upon the path to find ourselves, answer our questions and attain Enlightenment
Let us all learn to understand in the right perspective, the work of the Buddhavtar.
Let us all together wake up and arise and keep on working for the upliftment of the Human race as a whole.
Today is the Vaishakh Sud Chaturdashi, Narsimha Jayanti.
The day Hiranyakashyap was killed by the Avatar of Vishnu known as Narsimha, half lion, half man.
The day Prahlad was saved from the wrong ways of his father.
The day people realised the strength within them and banished / killed an autocratic King.
Let us take ourselves back to a time, more than 15000, maybe 17000 years back, (a time I leave upto historians and archaeologists to decide) when Man had learnt agriculture and started settling down. The Varah Avtaar had started a civilisation. The Avtaar of Vishnu had just killed Hiranyaksh (the one whose eyes see Gold everywhere and in every thing). People were moving from an only materialistic outlook to a spiritual one. From looking outside to looking inside. For that they needed to settle down, and not move from one place to another like nomads in search of food. Vishnu, the Operator, had taught his people to sow and cultivate and this led to their settling down at a place. Once the problem of basic necessities was solved, people started looking inwards. Now it is very easy to write the whole transformation in a few sentences, but it must have taken years of toil to do this. Imagine how much time we take when we want to change one habit! But, the road to civilisation is always filled with obstacles.
There were many people who just loved the life of a Nomad and just loved accumulating wealth. Their leader at that time was Hiranyakashyap, the brother of Hiranyaksh. He did not believe in the ways of Vishnu and did not want a civilisation to thrive. He believed that action is the highest good and sitting back, looking inside oneself, would make people, lazy and overdependent on a God who is never seen nor heard. So he simply didn’t believe in God and tormented and tortured people who believed. He had built his empire on the basis of Action, Action and only Action to earn Gold, Gold and only Gold.
Many people despised him and his ways but did not have the courage and strength to fight Hiranyakashyap. Such people like Hiranyakashyap have been called “Rakshas”, the one who believes that one can take care of oneself. They did not have any horns on their head or have any long teeth like the ones shown in serials or as articulated in books and by “kathakaars”. They were normal people like you and me, dressed in their best attire and ornaments. Only difference was they believed only in today and worked for today. They did not believe in the authority of the Vedas. They did not believe in Life after Death. They believed in “Aham Rakshyami” ( I can take care of myself)
But Nature has its own ways.
Hiranyakashyap had a son “Prahlad”. He was an ardent devotee of Shree Vishnu. He believed in civilisation and used to go house to house to spread His thought. He was a small kid so used to share his thoughts with his friends. Some elders found this irritating so they complained to Hiranyakashyap.
The King tried many methods of changing Prahlad’s way of thinking. The first being through education. He sent Prahlad to the best teachers in town. Prahlad would question and counter question them, leading to the other kids gathering around Him and slowly they started doing what Prahlad said. The teachers tried to drive sense in this boy! But he was very firm with his thoughts. The kids in turn would go home and share these thoughts with their parents. The thoughts spread like wild fire and slowly the tide started changing. The believers of Vishnu started gaining strength. Now all this must have taken some years to happen. At last the teachers became completely frustrated and sent back Prahlad to Hiranyakashyap citing their inabilities to teach him.This enraged Hiranyakashyap.
It was like the whole world listened to him and did his biding, except his son. He tried various methods to kill him. Throwing him down a cliff and setting the most poisonous of the snakes onto him. He also planned to get Him killed by intoxicating an elephant, which failed. The people who were given the tasks loved Prahlad so much that they either refrained from performing the tasks or went underground to escape the wrath of Hiranyakashyap. This torture by Hiranyakashyap slowly started increasing the already growing love, of the people, for Prahlad. Cause even in all difficulties Prahlad stood firm in his belief. The anger against Hiranyakashyap started brewing inside the hearts of the people.
The torment reached its pinnacle when Hiranyakashyap with his sister Holika planned to burn Prahlad to ashes on a pyre. It is said that Holika had some kind of technology (maybe what the fire fighters wear today, a coat of asbestos which does not burn) with which she could stay alive in fire and not get burnt. They both decided to make a spectacle of this. So, in midst of the town, Prahlad was asked to sit on the lap of Holika on a wooden pyre and the pyre was lit. But the winds that day were so forceful that the coat which Holika wore to save herself from fire, blew off and killed her before she could even get Prahlad on her lap. The people rejoiced. But the anger witihin had reached its peak.
One day, Hiranyakshyap was sitting in his palace courtyard with Prahlad bound in chains. The people had gathered at the palace. He shouted at Prahlad to show him his God. Prahlad said that He is everywhere. Hiranyakashyap took his mace in hand and pointing to the people standing there asked whether God existed in those people who stood in front of him like dead pillars? And Prahlad replied in positive. This enraged Hiranyakashyap who lifted his mace to kill Prahlad. But this time, the people had seen and heard enough. They just lost all their senses and in a bid to save Prahlad, pounced upon Hiranyakashyap and killed him. The “nar” (people) had turned to “simha” (lion). Thus Narsimha was born.
After killing Hiranyakashyap, they just went on a rampage. Prahlad approached them and asked them to come back to their senses. People realised that it was only Hiranyakashyap who was to be blamed and not others, accepted their folly and apologised. They lifted Prahlad on their shoulders and crowned him their King. And they celebrated the Day with colours and ashes left from the pyre lit to kill Prahlad. From that day, Holi is lit to remember the trouncing of evil and the advent of the good.
Let us all awaken the lion within us and fight to defend ourselves, our country, our Dharma.
Let us all understand the importance of the strength within us and learn to grow it day by day.
Let us all become the hidden Narsimhas and devour the bad found in the society with our sharp minds (claws) and establish a Dharm Rajya in our country.
Totally there are 76 verses which the Charan, without any fear, has sung them in from of Akbar.
Will urge all my readers to find these verses and learn and appreciate the poetry of the Charan. We come to know the true history of our great Kings and our ancestors.
Rana Pratap had defeated Akbar’s forces many a times but it is not known to us as the history we study does not tell us. Historians call Akbar the Great and as a saviour of all, then why did Rana have to live in the jungles of Aravalli? Had he gone there for a picnic? Modern history is quiet about this. Why? Can we not tell the truth about Maharana Pratap and stop glorifying the Moghuls? The FACT is that Rana had taken a pledge to live in the jungles and sleep on the floor and eat simple food till He drives Akbar and his forces out of India.
And our modern day historians, the Nehruvians and the Communists tell us that we have to keep some portions of history out of reach of common man to stop the hatred spreading between two communities. Nonsense, does fighting for Motherland lead to hatred? Does fighting for ones freedom lead to hatred? Does not accepting slavery of the so called Masters lead to hatred? But they will follow their own set agenda.
So readers we need to find our history on our own. And we all will learn from history. Maharana Pratap has never hated anyone but at the same time not spared anyone who comes in between him and his freedom, him and his motherland. And no thinking and rational person would deny that.
Today on the birthday of Maharana Pratap, I bow down before him that we Hindus survived because of him and many great kings like who did not get into serving their masters over their Motherland.
Today will share a few poems written by some of the poets about Mothers.
Mother o’ Mine
If I were hanged on the highest hill, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine! I know whose love would follow me still, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
If I were drowned in the deepest sea, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine! I know whose tears would come down to me, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
If I were damned of body and soul, I know whose prayers would make me whole, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
– Rudyard Kipling.
Gods Special Creation
The hand that rocks the cradle also makes the house a home. It is the prayers of the mother that keeps the family strong.
Mother rises early in the morning and bathes her day in prayer. She talks to God about her family and places them in His care.
Mother communicates her love in a thousand different ways. When there’s a need, she is there, whether it is night or day.
Mother seasons life with love and gives so much of herself. God placed in her the best He had and made her unlike anyone else.
When challenges come our way and when trials block our view, Mother kneels down beside her bed and prays the family through.
Mother is God’s special creation. She is a light shining in the dark, illuminating the path for her family and pointing them toward God.
– Lenora McWhorter
Thank You MOM
You tell me that you love me when I don’t love myself. You’re the one who holds my hand when I need the most help. You smile when you’re sad to make me smile too. You make my life so much better by everything you do.
The first time you held me, I knew I was safe. Being in your arms is still my favorite place. Every second of my life I know that I will be loved, Because God sent his most loving angel from above.
Your heart is so pure, your smile is so genuine. You taught me how to love and how to be a gentleman. You’re the only girl in the world that I will ever need. Thank you for teaching me how to love and believe.
You make my life so easy by making your life tough. I could give you the world for that, but that wouldn’t be enough. Every day of my life I try to be like you, Because the world would be a better place with someone else like you.
– Miller Motla
Friends I reiterate myself that Everyday is a Mother’s Day.
Many of you might have felt that why begin with wishes for May Day first and Maharashtra Day the last! Cause that answer lies in its history.
My kid that day morning asked me, “Pappa what is the importance of this day? Why is it celebrated as international workers day and Maharashtra day?”
An unexpected question from a 10 year old made me think. I did explain to him about the socialist revolution and their fight for the cause of workers. A lot of workers blood was shed while fighting for their rights. How 1 May was chosen to be International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. In that year beginning on 1 May, there was a general strike for the eight hour work day. On 4 May, the police acted to disperse a public assembly in support of the strike when an unidentified person threw a bomb. The police responded by firing on the workers. The event lead to the death of eight and injury of sixty police officers as well as an unknown number of civilian killed or wounded. Hundreds of labour leaders and sympathizers were later rounded-up and four were executed by hanging, after a trial that was seen as a miscarriage of justice.
And also how India after independence was divided into linguistic states. How Maharashtra and Gujarat were born! How there was bloodshed for the same! Some politicians just for their own selfish motives dividing India on basis of language. India after being divided on basis of caste, class, kingdoms (small and large); now was Her turn to be divided on basis of language. The founding fathers of India never have envisaged India divided on language and history will never forgive the leaders who fought for such petty political gains. Yet we citizens accept this division and will wish each other Jay Maharashtra and Jay Gujarat as if we are different. It is a day to think that are we different? Aren’t we all Indians? Having an identity with language is not a problem, but dividing people on basis of language is. Indians need to get out of this mentality, respect each other’s language and rise above the narrow minded borders that have been created. Yes let the borders exist for administration and better working of a country and now after all the carnage lectures accept these borders. As trying to draw new borders will come up with new problems.
While explaining all this I was lead to think that, is this the only reason to celebrate / commemorate 1st May? Or is there some other reason too? Can our human history be so narrow-minded? So took to the internet to find my answers. And I was proved right. History is always broad minded, not like humans who write it.
Sharing a few excerpts of what I found on the internet…
“The earliest May Day celebrations appeared with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with theWalpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries.
The day was a traditional summer holiday in many European pagan cultures.
While February 1 was the first day of spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) wasMidsummer.
As Europe became Christianised, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration.
A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of several days on which St. Walburga, credited with bringing Christianity to Germany, is celebrated.
The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and North America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around the may pole and crowning the Queen of May.
Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps”.
(Source – Wikipedia).
Humans have been naturalists from the very beginning. The last few hundred years have made them more aggressive towards nature and environment. Human wants to control nature. But the last 14 months have proved otherwise. Let us accept our limitations and not try to ride nature. So, on this very day, let us all pledge to take care of our environment and love the nature.
Let’s save Mother Earth not out of necessity but love for her.
She is our mother and takes care of Her Children without any expectations.
Let us coexist and thrive to achieve what the Creator has made us for.
Last 4 years the one character whom I am continuously writing upon is Hanuman, Maruti.
An embodiment of strength and valour
An epitome of devotion and dedication
An unbiased and transparent intellectual
An observant messenger and conveyor
Bow down to such a servant of Ram – Shree Hanuman.
Today on His Birthday, am at a loss of words and thoughts when I realise that I need to imbibe in my life what I write about Shree Hanuman. And so am just sharing the links to my last 4 blogs on Maruti. Would request my readers to go through them again and together let’s pray to Ram to help us imbibe the qualities of Hanuman discussed in them, into our lives.
Today is World Book Day. The books shape us and our thinking. They help us grow and learn.
First and foremost let me state emphatically that am an avid reader. Was exposed to books at a very small age as was a loner in my childhood days. Loved to live with myself and so my best friends at that time were books. Read a lot of Champak and Chandamama, which people of my genre will recall. The early 80’s were the beginning of Tinkle and Amar Chitra Katha for me. Shikari Sambhu was my favourite at that time. So was Supandi. The characters portrayed by Amar Chitra Katha were the guiding force at that time. I still remember reading Sons of the Pandavas with Abhimanyu and Ghatotkacha covered in them. There were small libraries being run at every nook and corner of the main roads of Mumbai and I very vividly remember kids thronging them to borrow books.
I frequently visited the school library after Standard 6th. Our School Librarian was very helpful. Our library had a vast collection of books covering topics that my generation would need, from Study books to novels to fiction to mythology and philosophy. Out teachers used to coax us to read a book a week and I am grateful to them. The books I read in those years includes the Hardy boys, Famous Five, Agatha Christie and Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Lest I forget I should also mention Noddy, which we read in School in our library period in Standard 3. The Adventures of Tintin also played a very important part in my life. Still recall Snowy, his dog, the absent minded Professor Calculas, the twin policemen Thompson and Thomson and the bold and courageous Captain Haddock and his phrases like Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons and Blistering Barnacles.
As age passed by I was more inclined towards history. Reading Indian History of Indian Independence and learning from the people who fought for our independence is what attracted me the most. Subhashchandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, Chaphekar brothers, Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Senapati Bapat, Sardar Patel, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Mahatma Gandhi are still the bright lights of my life. Very little was available about the revolutionaries then or maybe I knew little but tried and still try to gather from wherever and whomsoever I could and read.
Then when I came in contact with Swadhyay, my reading took another turn. Took to reading philosophy and trying to understand the meaning of life. It attracted me the most as the way Dadaji (Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale) expounds the concepts of Vedas and Upanishads logically and based on reason. The best thing about Him is that He made me learn to look at both the sides of the coin. That slowly broadened my way of looking at the world. And through His lectures was tempted to read more and more books related to History, Philosophy and Psychology and different studies. And so it continues till today.
Today am making a list of books which I have read. The list is quite huge but am sharing the books which made impressions on my life… Am just sharing their titles with you all..
1. Geetamritam – A treatise on the Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta by Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale
1.a. Bilvapatra, Pandurangashtakam, Madhurashtakam, Shree Krishnashtakam, Homage to Saints Part 1/2, Shree Krishna Jeevan Darshan, Valmiki Ramayan Darshan, Rishi Smaran, Dashavataar, Divine manifestations of Lord Shiva, Murtipuja, Ganga Lahiri, Vedsaarshivastav, Anandlahiri, Thoughts on Ancient Indian Heritage, Geeta Simhaavalokan, Sanskruti Pujan – all by Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale.
2. Geeta Pravachane – Shri Vinoba Bhave
3. Geeta Rahasya – Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
3.a. Orion, The Arctic Home of the Vedas – Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
4. Raj Yoga and Bhakti Yoga – Swami Vivekanand
5. Manache Shlok – Swami Ramdas
6. Future Shock, Paradigm Shift, The Third Wave – Allwyn Toffler
7. The Tao of Physics – Fritjof Capra
8. Raja Shivchhatrapati – Lokshahir Babasaheb Purandare
9. Shakuntaleya Bharat – Babubhai Vaidya
10. Gujarat no Nath, Patan ni Prabhuta, Jay Somnath, Prithvi Vallabh, Krishnaavtaar Vol 1–8, Bhagna Paduka, Lopamudra, Lomharshini, Bhagwaan Parshuraam – Kanhaiyalal Munshi
11. Parth ne kaho chadhave baan – Pannalal Patel
12. 1857- the first war of Independence, Mazzini, Majhi Janmathep, 6 golden pages of Indian History, Hindu Rashtra – Swatantryaveer Savarkar
A small movement which began in 1970 is now celebrated worldwide to create an awareness about Our own Earth and the efforts we need to make to save Her. I pay my respects to Mother Earth, today with this small poem.
Readers I plan to write on a topic which is very close to my heart – The Avatars of Vishnu.
Let me at the beginning itself clarify that I do not equate Avatar as an incarnation. As there is a difference between the meaning of the 2 words itself. Avataran for me is प्रादुर्भाव। Incarnation is an embodiment of a deity/ spirit or quality in the flesh. When we Indians say Avataran we mean that the “परब्रह्म” takes a form. Simple logic being that one who made these different forms, cannot He decide and take a form for Himself!
I know that when I speak this, am from the minor few in this world who believe in any form of “परब्रह्म”. But I have my strong convictions about the same. In the same breathe I respect those who do not believe or are not ready to accept any form of “परब्रह्म”. Cause they believe anything which has form, needs to be born. Once born, it has to deteriorate and later at some time die. But “परब्रह्म” is never born. Respecting this point of view, I quote Whitehead – ” Human form is the most intimate form for me”, meaning that we all need someone or something in whom we can confide and trust. Then why not confide and trust in the “परब्रह्म” I believe in. And so if I need to talk and share, I need HIM to be in some form. That’s the need of a Human form.
Avatar means to “come down”. But that makes HIM different from me. And I cannot exist without HIM. So I like the word प्रादुर्भाव – HE rises from me, from amongst us. And I will narrate the story of Matsya (Fish) keeping this meaning in mind.
Today is Matsya Jayanti. The day when “परब्रह्म” took the form of a Fish to save the mankind.
At this juncture should also clarify the Shlok which is always quoted for Avatar. The most famous Shloks of Chapter 4 of the Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta :
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत | अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् || 7||Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness, O Arjun, at that time I manifest myself on earth.
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् | धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे || 8|| To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked, and to reestablish the principles of dharma I appear on this earth, age after age.
In the reasons of HIS coming to the Earth, “परब्रह्म” says the main reason is to increase the righteousness. Also people generally believe that the Avatar is to annihilate the wicked but let’s read the understanding of the shlok 8 again. It says – to protect the righteous परित्राणाय साधूनां. This is the first reason behind the Avatar. Yes while protecting the righteous if the wicked need to be annihilated, then they will be annhilitated. But the reason of coming is not only annihilation.
So all those who say that let the world deteriorate and the “परब्रह्म” will come and save this world are wrong. The basis of Avatar is “प्रयत्नवाद”। HE comes to save the people who are making efforts – to save the Civilisation, Humanity and Righteousness. In the middle ages when India was being ruled by the Moghuls and the British, our History has been changed or twisted in a wrong way. And we the people of our Motherland have stopped thinking critically about our own History and are just learning what our rulers told us then and tell us now.
So as I said that I take the meaning of Avatar as प्रादुर्भाव and keeping HIS promise (Geeta Chap 4 Shlok 7-8) in mind will write about Avatar.
Also our Purans have many different Avatars of Vishnu, Shiv and other Gods. But I will be sticking to the different Avatar of Vishnu – 10 to be specific. We begin with the first Avatar of Vishnu – Matsya Avatar.
The following is an imaginative monologue by a great Rishi born in Modern India who installed Bhagwaan Yogeshwar in a form He envisaged…
Bhagwan, these are testing times for devotees like us who see and worship you in an idol and believe in you and your words. I still cannot come to terms that the rational people of my country have countered Moorti Puja (idol worship) without even going into the rationale behind it. This unreasonable following of the white man is mind boggling and creates an atmosphere of non adherence to the Vedic philosophy and thought process. No doubt the way Moorti Puja is being done today has to be thought about, but in no way can it be out rightly damned or removed from daily life.
Bhagwaan, they call Your form an imagination. Yes it is. But Imagination has many types. Creative Imagination, Aesthetic Imaginatiin and Reconstructive Imagination. You are my Reconstructive imagination. I have seen you during my concentration and now am reconstructing back your form in a stone. I just hope that people some day realise that all the idols world over, whosoever has got them done, have been someone’s respective Reconstructive Imagination too.
Some of your devotees object to giving you a form arguing that one which has form has to take birth. And then later deteriorate to one’s death. Bhagwaan is beyond life and death. Hence our Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh is ‘ajanma’ (without birth) too. It is truly their utmost love for You, that they think so. But a common man like me and thousands like me need your form to talk too, to find solace in. I always wonder and say to myself, that the one who has given birth to so many different spieces with such vivid forms, cannot decide a form for Himself.
As Whitehead says, “Human form is the most intimate form for me.” It is easy for humans like us to relate with another Human. Confide in him and share with him. But Humans have their own vices, then why not confide in You! But how can this be done in a formless being. So you need to take a form. And what better form than a human form.
I call you out, O Yogeshwar, from whom every living and non living manifests and the one who is eternal, to take a form and stay back at a destined place to take care of your devotees who believe in You, which have faith in you and who want to do your Work. With You being around, nothing will be impossible to achieve, including a permanent peace and serenity in this world. Astu
મારા પ્રિય વાચક મિત્રો ને આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય માતૃભાષા દિન ની ખૂબ ખૂબ વધામણી. આ મારો ગુજરાતી માં પહેલો બ્લોગ છે. તેથી મારી વ્યાકરણની જે પણ ભૂલો થાય તે બદલ હું ક્ષમાપ્રાર્થી છું.
મને હંમેશા પ્રશ્ન રહ્યો છે કે બોલાતી ભાષા ને માતૃભાષા જ કેમ કહેવાય? પિતૃભાષા કેમ નહીં? જો પુરૂષ પ્રધાન સમાજ હોય તો તેમજ હોવું જોઈએ, નહીં? લગ્ન પછી ખ્યાલ આવ્યો કે ઘરે ક્યાં પુરૂષોને બોલવા મળે છે! સ્ત્રીઓ જ બોલે. તો એને માતૃભાષા જ કહેવાય ને. આમેય રોજ સવારે મુંબઈ ની લોકલ ટ્રેન માં સવારી કરતા અને વિધ વિધ વિષયો પર મોટે મોટે થી ચર્ચા કરતા પુરૂષોને સાંભળો એટલે દરેક ની સ્થિતિનો ખ્યાલ આવે. જોકે એક વાત ની સ્પષ્ટતા કરી લઉં કે મારા ઘરમાં અમે ત્રણ પુરૂષો જ વધુ બોલીયે છીએ. (આ સ્પષ્ટતા મારા સાંજ ના જમણ માટે આવશ્યક છે.)
મસ્તી ને બાજૂ પર મૂકીને ફરી પાછા આપણા પ્રશ્ન પર આવીયે તો મને એકજ વાત નો ખ્યાલ આવે કે આપણા કોઈના પણ બાળપણમાં આપણી માતા જ આપણને બોલતાં શિખવાડે છે. તે સમય પણ એવો હતો કે પિતાજી વહેલી સવારે કામે નિકળી જાય તે ઠેઠ સાંજે પાછા ઘરે આવે. એટલે આપણે તો આપણી માતા સાથેજ. એજ આપણી વિકીપીડિયા. (હવે આજના જમાનામાં જ્યારે ઘણા પિતાઓને ઘરેથી કામ કરતાં જોઉં છું ત્યારે મારી આ વાત ઘણાને અપ્રસ્તુત પણ લાગશે). તેથીજ વડીલોએ ઘરે બોલાતી ભાષાને માતૃભાષા કહી હશે.
તો ચાલો માતાઓ ને યાદ કરીયે. દામોદરભાઇ બોટાડકર ની કવિતા ને ફરી એક વાર સાથે ગાઇએ. આપ સહુને ફરી એક વાર આજના દિન ની વધાઈ આપતાં મારી વાણીને વિરામ આપું છું.
મીઠા મધુ ને મીઠા મેહુલા રે લોલ એથી મીઠી તે મોરી માત રે જનનીની જોડ સખી! નહી જડે રે લોલ.
Wishing all My readers a very Happy International Mother Language Day. This is my first blog in Gujarati and I ask for forgiveness for all the grammatical mistakes that I will make.
One question has always tormented me right from my childhood, why is the language we speak at home called the mother tongue and not the father tongue? If this is male dominated society shouldn’t it be so. But I got my answer after my marriage. Men seldom get a chance to speak at home. It is the lady of the house who domaintes the talks. And so we call it Mother Tongue. People who travel like me in train everyday and listen to the men talking and discussing loudly on different topics would easily understand their plight. But I should clarify at this instance itself that at our homes it is we 3 men who speak the most. (This clarification is needed to confirm my dinner today at home)
Let us keep aside the fun part but I still have those memories of spending most of my childhood with my mother and learning to speak from her. Dad used to leave early in the morning and come back late in the evening. So seldom we spoke. It was our mother who was our Wikipedia then. (Today when I see father working from home I have my own reservations about what I shared above). Hence the elders must have decided to call the language we speak, the mother tongue.
And so, on his remembering all the mothers and wishing you again an Happy International Mother Language Day, am quoting a poem on Mother by Damodar Botadkar
Sweet is the honey, the rains,
But my mother is far more sweeter,
And so one cannot find an option for His mother…(Am not going to translate the whole poem in English as, first, I know that it will loose it’s charm. And second every poem should be read and understood in the language it is written)…
Today is the day that the brave Maratha’s fought Abdali and forced him to retreat. Sadashivrao Bhau, Vishwasrao, Tukdoji Scindia, Jankoji, Gayakwad gave up their lives to save Delhi. It is known as the Battle of Panipat.
This part of history is known and we are taught that the Maratha’s lost and their downfall began. But then why did Abdali sign a treaty with Nanasaheb Peshwa and return back to his native and give the reins back to the Marathas? If they had been beaten black and blue, how did the Maratha’s fight back and in a decade install Shah Alam II back on the throne of Delhi.
I sometimes fail to understand that the so called Historians, (I call them the “Wendyputra’s) can write such a history which is bereft of truth and logic. And we too like dumbass fools agree with what they say and believe what they say. Is it possible that the Maratha’s who were defeated and grounded, just rose from the ashes and fought against the Abdali. There is no problem thinking likewise, but it does not appeal the logic of a person.
The Maratha’s did loose on the Uttarayan Day, in Panipat. But that did not start their downfall. Mahadji Scindia was saved that day and he got all the Maratha’s togther and fought against Abdali. Nanasaheb Phadnavis too helped in all this. And both together with the Maratha army installed Shah Alam II back on the Delhi throne. The Mughal Emperor and his Empire was reinstalled by the Marathas. And so the line of the Maharashtra Geet “दिल्ली चे ही तख्त राखतो, महाराष्ट्र माझा”.
So my dear readers we need to have a relook at our written history and need to correct it wherever needed. Let us remember that “ईतिहास” means “this is the way it happened”. So let history be the way it has happened and not be coloured with the likes and dislikes of a few government sponsored and communist historians.
On the day of Supreme sacrifice by Bhau, Vishwasrao and others, let us all decide to shun the untruthful historians and the history written by them and decide to research and read our true history.
This is the most important lesson of the lesson. As we all were at home, working from home, there was no watch to look at. The schedules fitted in and not the other way round, as it always.
The best thing about the last year is “Keep Going”. We had many tough times to go through. Many of us lost someone close. Many of us themselves went through the ordeal of being unwell. But we all kept going.
Was reading the articles on net the other day. Was a little shocked to learn that the amount of wife abuse and the cases for divorce too have gone up during this time. A question which came to my mind is that what has happened to the people? We are always looking for time to spend together and when we got this oppurtunity, we are drifting apart. How silly the ways of life are! But we have kept going.
Many of us lost our near and dear ones. This loss is irreplaceable and the void it has left us with is simply which cannot be filled. We did mourn, we did felt bad, but we kept going.
Many of us discovered a new way of life and work. The work from home has been a boon to many who realised how good it is to be able to work in a cosy atmosphere of a house than an office. And we kept going.
There will be many different experiences which people may have gone through, which would surely like to hear. So if you have read till here, please spare a few minutes from your life and share them.
That day, 12 years ago, I had just reached home around 9.15pm and as per my habit started the television set to watch the news. My neighbour called out and asked me to watch the Doordarshan channel as it was flashing some breaking news about a gun fight. I immediately switched to DD News and started listening to the news. As the time passed it turned from bad to worse to worst and grim, eventually by 10.30 or so, we all realised that they were the dastardly attacks on the fragile fabric of Mumbai.
The horrendous scenes on TV for the next 3 days were mind boggling and invoking anger as day by day the death toll just rose up. Many policemen and soldiers bravely gave up their life in defending the economic capital of India. The gross indecisiveness by the Central Government as well as the State Government led to chaos and anguish amongst the citizens. Only when the Army Commandos flew down to Mumbai, people breathed a sigh of relief.
What followed was the courageous display of skill and commitment, one by one the terrorists holed up at the Chaddar House and The Taj were killed and Mumbai was finally liberated.
But the way a few eminent journalists behaved and transmitted live pitcures raises questions about their integrity and commitment towards India. Their live telecast was watched by the handlers in Pakistan and they guided the terrorists to locations where they wouldn’t have gone and do what they wouldn’t have dared to do. It’s a shame that some Indians still eulogise such reporters even today in the name of freedom of speech.
Also the later attempts by a few people from a particular political class to colour these attacks “Kesari” and call it a “RSS sazish” need to be equally looked down upon. The attempt to portray Hinduism and Hindus as terrorists and justify their own stand for ‘Terrorism has no religion’ is disgusting and need to be called out. Such class of people are not only enemies but the back stabbers of their own country. There are no words to despise them and their action.
But today is the day of remembering the heroes, who gave up their lives to save Mumbai and its citizens, rather took care of the fine thread of harmony of Mumbai.
I dedicate this blog today to Shri Tukaram Omble, the police Havaldar who took 40-odd bullets from the gun of Ajmal Kasab but caught Kasab alive.
I bow down to the General Manager at Taj, Mr Karambir Kang, who sacrificed his wife and children, as he took care of the guests in the hotel. My condolences to him and his family.
Also my salutes to the young Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who fought the terrorists in the Taj Hotel and was shrewdly killed with a bullet in his back.
Today even after 12 years of those dastardly attacks, feel ashamed that the main perpetrators are still not brought to the doors of justice. They find safe havens in a neighbouring country and the politicians and the media out here in India, still acknowledges them by adding a ‘Shri’ to their name. We truly do not have any sense of respect for the dead!
At the same time feel angry with myself, with my fellows Indians that why does this feeling of Indianness comes alive only particular days? Why is it that we realise that we are Indians on a Republic Day or a day such as this? Will we be part time countrymen? Truly feel frustrated at times that even in a democratic set up we are tied down to the rule of law and fight against people who do not believe the law.
Hope that some day we all will live upto the idea which are fathers of the constitution have called India, that is Bharat!
Hope that some day we will be prepared to give up our lives for our motherland India!
Hope that some day we will realise that money, power are nothing as compared to self respect and country’s respect and stand strong on our two feet to fight for the idea that is India!
Hope that we will instill a feeling of “Being Indian” in our future generations and trian them to become more better and disciplined citizens.
Hope that the world unites in the fight against terrorism and defines terrorism in it truest sense and not only condemn their doing but take action against them!
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)
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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…