Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Traditions of India – a Dharmic approach to reformation

There has been lot of debate on various Hindu and Bharatiya traditions as Bharat started to shake off the Secular shackles and particularly since Sri Narendra Modi’s election as Prime Minister of Bharat in 2014. Various Special Interest Groups and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are filing Public Interest Litigations (PIL) in courts to discontinue various traditions on flimsy grounds. In almost all cases this well coordinated high-decibel debates and PILs are only against Hindu traditions; and nothing against even more distasteful and eco-hazardous traditions of non-Hindu religions. The rare exceptions to this rule are the Triple Talaq bill and the Mehram criteria for Hajj pilgrims, which are actively contested by the associated religious organizations as well as self-declared atheist, secular, communist groups, organizations and parties. 

Often, these instances of contest against prevailing Hindu traditions are coming into public knowledge very late in the process; just before a court verdict or, in worse cases, after the court verdict leaving Hindus very little time and legal space to present their case and get a judicial outcome. Few examples of this challenge are to do with ban on Jallikattu, Sri Krishna Janmashtami Dahi Handi, entrance rules to Garbha Gruha of Shanisinghapur temple, entrance rules to Ayyappa temple and so on. In all these scenarios, the Hindu groups are left with post-verdict protest articles explaining the Hindu rationale behind these traditions and in some cases voluntary movements to continue a given tradition (Ex: women entering Ayyappa temple). This process is not only un-democratic and unjust to Hindu majority, but would slowly kill the Hindu Dharmic ethos that are enshrined in our society as traditions.

Does it mean Sanatana Dharma is against honest debate on traditions and discontinuing them if found to be unsuitable for a given region (dEsa) and time (kAla)? 

The answer is an emphatic NO. One of the key foundations of Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism is to have a continuous awareness, observation and debate on all traditions and to discontinue or start traditions to fit into a given dEsa/kAla (region and era). That is why unlike non-Hindu religions, Sanatana Dharma delivered numerous Dharma Sastras written by various Rishis to suit a specific region and era. These Dharma Sastras are infinite even though many of us know very few of them like Manu Dharma Sastra, Parashara Smriti, Yagnavalka Smriti, Aapastamba Sutra, Chanakya Artha Sastra etc. 

Is there a preferred approach to study, debate and transform Hindu traditions? 

Before going into this, it is important to touch upon a key aspect of Hinduism/Bharatiyata. This is called Dharma. Dharma has two aspects to it; the first one is eternal; as in Sanatana Dharma and the second one is contextual; suitable to dEsa/kAla as in Dharma Sastras. A Dharma Sastra must pass the criteria of Sanatana aspect of Dharma for it to be accepted by the society. In many scenarios, a Dharma Shastra was adopted as the constitution of Bharat of that era. It is important to understand the Sanatana (eternal) aspect of Dharma before defining contextual Dharma. 

Eternal Dharma is often personified as the four legs of a Cow or Bull; because Dharma gives the society nourishment as Cow’s milk and keeps us eternally faced /focused towards Shiva (universal consciousness) as Nandi does in all Shiva temples. The four legs of this Dharma are described as Satya, Saucha, Bhuta Daya and Nishkama Karma. A quick description of these are:
  • Satya = sarvam khalvidam brahma - All of this is brahman (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 3.14.1) combined with tat tvam asi - "YOU are THAT" (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
  • Saucha = Bhagavad-Gita explains that Saucha as combination of Shubhrata, Swachata, Sundarata and Pavitrata. Shubhrata means getting rid of filth and corruption amidst us. Swachata is the process of adopting the set of practices that help maintain health and prevent corruption. Sundarata is the body of aesthetic knowledge that makes our surroundings and society a celebration. Finally, Pavitrata brings the sense of reverence towards our own surroundings, society and nation
  • Bhuta Daya = Kindness towards all (non-human) beings & non-violence towards helpless
  • Nishkama Karma = Emphasis on Duty/Action combined with non-emphasis on results.

As one can see, the above four legs of Dharma are applicable in all contexts and regions; thus eternal. One can easily apply this Dharmic Test and to verify if a given idea or tradition is Dharma or not. 

By using the Dharma structure above, Hindus can analyze any tradition to check if it passes the eternal aspect of Dharma and decide if it is in Bharatiya Interests to continue that tradition. If a given tradition fails the Dharma test then laws to discourage and penalize those obsolete traditions can be formulated.

A methodology to study Bharatiya traditions:

1. Purva-Paksha: Study and summarize a given tradition in terms of its context, usage, region and timing. Explain in what socio-economic-political background and circumstances that tradition came in to being and who are prescribed to follow it and at what time and location. Identify the people, places, flora-fauna, if any, that are adversely impacted by the tradition. 

2. Dharma Test: Conduct a dharma test against the subject tradition using above model. If a tradition passes the above four aspects, then it is a Dharmic sampradaya; and it must be encouraged. If a tradition fails the Satya test then it is Adharmic and must be discontinued immediately. If a given tradition passes Satya test but fails one or more remaining aspects of Dharma, then it is Aapaddharma; a temporary deviation. This must be corrected as soon as the underlying root-cause is removed from the society. This author believes that most of repugnant traditions that exist in Bharat today must have come into being as Aapaddharma (temporary compromise) during the 1300-year triple-colonization (by Islam, Christianity and Secularism) era.

3. dEsa/kAla analysis: Describe how contemporary socio-economic conditions make a given tradition unnecessary to continue. Explain how these new socio-economic factors pass the Dharma test themselves. Summarize how a given Aapaddharma tradition can be discontinued to reestablish Dharma.

4. New Dharma Sastra: Draft laws to penalize the continued use of Aapaddharma law so the society moves out of survival (Aapaddharma) mode to progressive mode (Dharma). Develop social awareness and seek Rashtra (Parliament, Govt of India) help to formalize this law and overall implementation.

In summary, neither Sanatana Hindu Dharma nor the Bharatiya civilization is averse to a structured debate on any of its traditions. In fact, Bharatiya civilization thrived by continuously rewriting Dharma Sastras (Contextual Dharma that passes Sanatana Dharma tests) to meet challenges thrown at it in every era. At the same time, it is important for Hindu majority to demand that any study and reformation of Bharatiya traditions is done based on Sanatana Hindu Dharma and not on Asuric agendas. Each tradition must be studied and tested for its compliance to Sanatana Dharma. Traditions that fail Sanatana Dharma test must be considered for reformation. At the same time, it is important to verify that current socio-economic and political environment and instruments of governance pass the Dharma test themselves. Laws must be formulated with the sole aim to lead the great Bharatiya civilization from Aapaddharma (survival mode) to Dharma (progress and celebration). 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Rohit Vemula & Modern Karnas

Recently I got a WhatsApp forward on a dialogue between Karna and Sri Krishna. It goes like this.

***
Karna asks Krishna - "My mother left me the moment I was born. Is it my fault I was born an illegitimate child? 
I did not get education from Dhronacharya because I was considered a non-Kshatriya. Parshuram taught me but then gave me the curse to forget everything since I was a kshatriya.
A cow was accidentally hit by my arrow & its owner cursed me for no fault of mine. I was disgraced in Draupadi's swayamvar.
Even Kunti finally told me the truth only to save her other sons. 
Whatever I received was through Dhuryodhana's charity. So how am I wrong in taking his side?"

Krishna replies,
"Karna, I was born in a jail. Death was waiting for me even before my birth. The night I was born I was separated from my birth parents. 
From childhood, you grew up hearing the noise of swords, chariots, horses, bow and arrows. I got only cow herd's shed, dung and multiple attempts on my life even before I could walk!
No army, no education.
I could hear people saying I am the reason for all their problems.
When all of you were being appreciated for your valor by your teachers, I had not even received any education. I joined gurukula of Rishi Sandipani only at the age of 16!
You are married to a girl of your choice. I didn't get the girl I loved & rather ended up marrying those who wanted me or the ones I rescued from demons.
I had to move my whole community from the banks of Yamuna to far off Sea shore, to save them from Jarasandh. I was called a coward for running away.

If Duryodhana wins the war you will get lot of credit.
What do I get if Dharmaraja wins the war? Only the blame for the war and all related problems.

Remember one thing Karna....
Everybody has challenges in life.
*LIFE IS NOT FAIR ON ANYBODY..*
Duryodhana also has a lot of unfairness in life and so has Yudhishthira.
But what is Right (Dharma) is known to your Mind (Conscience)....
No matter how much unfairness we got, how many times we were disgraced, how many times we were denied what was due to us, what is important is how you REACTED at that time...
Stop whining Karna.
Life's unfairness does not give you license to walk the wrong path of *अधर्म.*

***

I got irked at the logic attributed to Sri Krishna because the Jagadguru who gave us BhagavadGita never speaks in fatalistic language. Sri Krishna taught us Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Action. Of course, all actions will result in consequences and Sri Krishna asked us to be equipoise about these results. But the emphasis is always on Karma to be done.

The Sri Krishna of Mahabharata was very clear on Dharma and never minced words to stand for it irrespective of the occasion, circumstances and opponents. The Sri Krishna that I know would have answered Karna as below:

Stop talking nonsense Karna, you are out and out Asuric person. Here is why...

1. Karna, you didn't know you are an illegitimate child until I told you so just before Kurukshetra. By which time, you are at least 50Yrs old, got married, have kids and so on... so all your Asuratva so far has nothing to do with your birth. You were known as Radheya and a very well-loved son of a charioteer (suta) family. Blaming it on Kunti at this point is nothing but krutaghnata/ingratitude to the parents that raised you with so much love & affection.

2. Karna, you did get admission into Drona's university of Astra & Sastra. It is your jealousy towards Arjuna & Asuric temperament that made you go on your own to Duryodhana's camp. You left Drona varsity on your own just because Drona refused to teach you Brahmastra as you weren't qualified to learn it. Like today's secular & (self-declared) Dalit students, you demanded professors to give Brahmastra even if you are unqualified and blame them instead of working hard to get qualified. It's like an IAS student blaming the professors for his failing in exams.

3. Karna, you went to Parasuraman fully knowing well that it is a restricted entry University. You put fake caste certificate like Rohit Vemula & got expelled unceremoniously as they found the truth. So, you don't mind breaking rules for your selfish benefits but cry victim when found...

4. Karna, you were made Anga Raja by Duryodhana even before he himself or Pandavas became kings. As on that day you, as a Suta putra, got best parental love & care even Pandavas didn't get (there were life threats for them from Kauravas), got admission into Drona Versity that even Ekalavya didn't (he was son of a kirata king), training under none other than Parasuraman (an Avatara himself), got to become a king of Anga. And you are telling us that you didn't have proper childhood and opportunities & career growth? That alone is enough reason to determine your Asuratva.

5. Karna, even your loyalty to Duryodhana is not honest because it is based on your common hatred towards Pandavas and the wealth donated by Duryodhana. Do you think your loyalty lasts a single minute if Duryodhana were to take back the Anga Rajya given to you?

6. Karna, consequences must be faced even if you didn't commit a crime intentionally. Fire will burn you if you touch it even if you were a child. You aren't the first one in the world to pay for unintended consequences. We all knew very well the story of Dasharatha & the curse he got for (unknowingly) killing Sravana Kumara? Did you forget the curse king Pandu got for killing a mating deer? And the story of Mandavya? Did any of them blame others for their misfortunes?

7. Coming to Draupadi, I am glad that she rejected an Asuric like you. She must be extremely wise to assess your Asuratva within a minute of seeing you. Karna, you have no right to demand Draupadi select you. She has a right to disqualify anyone from swayamvar and definitely a selfish Asura like you; most likely she heard about your arrogance, Asuric entitlement & fake caste certificate from her brother Drishtadyuma who too was an alumni of University of Drona. You complaining about her and later disrobing her is similar to a criminal stabbing or throwing acid at a girl who rejected his marriage proposal. Like all the criminals, you too must perish Karna...

8. Finally a word about your charity... Karna, Dana is something that you must earn dharmically to give to needy. All your wealth (Anga Rajya) is a Dana that you got from Duryodhana. Yes, it's noble that you are a beggar who donates part of his begging income to others. You taking Sakti from Indra in return for Kavacha-Kundala made it a business transaction, not charity. So, Karna, stop gloating about your Dana quality.

Karna, like all Asuras in history, you must pay for your Asuratva. You shall die a helpless death. If you die in war, at least you get veera-swarga. Dear Karna, always be grateful to Kunti for passing her & Surya 's veeratva in your genes.

** Conclusion
Karna is just a well-known character in Mahabharata to be sympathized and lionized by anti-Hindu ideologies such as Baudha, Atheist and later socialist and secular in their altered and plagiarized rendering of our great epic Mahabharata. Not just commoners, but even learned people such as Dharmaraja himself felt sympathetic toward Karna. Great sages like Sri Krishna, Bhishma, Narada etc explain the Asuric nature of Karna to Dharmaraja so he would understand that Dharma took its course on Karna and no injustice is done to him from any angle of life.

Recently we have seen a new narrative being created by current anti-Hindu forces under the garb of Dalit rights. People like Rohit Vemula are imposed on Bharatiya consciousness using fake caste-certificates and fake narrations. Gullible Hindus spend more time (repeatedly) arguing and self-flagellating on these obvious matters instead of factually and logically studying and understanding our own Puranas and Epics.

If only Rohit Vemula is given a dharmic understanding of Mahabharata, he wouldn’t have tried to steal others’ opportunity using fake certificate nor he would waste his precious life for perceived injustice.


Thus, it is in the interests of all Hindu parents to themselves study our Puranas and Epics and give dharmic guidance to their progeny. The ultimate beneficiaries of this investment will be our own progenies/Kula/caste. 

Swasti!

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Pakistan Solution: Part 1 - Origins

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  - Santayana (in The Life of Reason, 1905)

The raising specter of Islamic Terrorism across the world once again brought Pakistan into the center stage of world discussion. Investigations are proving direct or indirect connection to Pakistan in almost every lone-wolf terror attack anywhere in the world. Yet Pakistan is being allowed to put a mask of normal nation-state by a facade of democratically elected civilian government, functioning army and alas a quasi-nuclear-state. Various world powers are allowing this menace to survive in the hope to use it to subvert their strategic competitors, albeit with steeply raising costs to their own national-security interests.


India has a vital interest in addressing this Pakistan problem because every aspect of Pakistan equation has a direct bearing upon India’s national interests. Pakistan openly declared India to be its existential threat and sole-target of its nuclear weapons. So it is in core Indian interests to address Pakistan problem head on and in a timely manner.


Solving Pakistan conundrum is not a simple affair. Pakistan is epicenter of clash of civilizations under nuclear umbrella with use of terrorism as state policy that can blow up into the worst humanitarian crisis the human race has ever witnessed. Perhaps this is the main reason why many strategic analysts recommend status-quo or worse rent-paying solutions when dealing with Pakistan. 


This doesn’t mean humanity cannot solve Pakistan problem with minimal costs. However, such a solution requires a clear understanding of idea of Pakistan and how it came to existence in the first place.


SOUL OF PAKISTAN

Pakistan might have taken the form of a modern nation-state on 14th August 1947 but its seeds were sown many centuries ago in faraway regions as part of Islamic invasions into Bharat. While other civilizations like Persia succumbed to Islam quickly (within 60 years), the Hindu Bharatiya civilization is the only one that Islam failed to conquer despite the biggest and longest holocaust in history. 

The civilizational fight between Islam and Bharat started in 640AD and has been continuing since then. In the past 1370 years of this war, many battles have been won by either side and the winning side establishing states (or kingdoms) reflecting their power. In this process various western-Bharatiya regions succumbed to Islam and created new Islamic invaders like Ghaznis, Ghoris, Khiljis, Tuglaqs, Mughals etc. Irrespective of nativity (as these regions fell to Islam) of these sultanates the underlying factor of every sultanate is persecution and subjugation of native dharma a.k.a Hinduism and its followers. 


“The Mohammedan conquest of India (Bharat, as India was not born yet) is probably the bloodiest story in history. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period.” - Will Durant "The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage" (page 459) [1]

As a typical invasive ideology/empire, Islam retracted to safe areas when in defeat and expanded when enemy is overwhelmed. We can see this in the expansion and demise of various sultanates in Indian-subcontinent between 640AD till 1670s as the native Bharatiya civilization refused to succumb to Islam. The sword of Islam (Zulfiqar) was blunted and broken by the coherent Hindu resurgence under the leadership of Marathas by end of 17th century. By 1760 the Maratha empire [2] extended to nearly 40% Bharat and was on its way to wipe out Islam from entire Indian sub-continent.


As fate had it, Bharat attracted the attention of European colonial powers at this juncture and as they say, the rest is history. Eventually the British came out as victors and they built an intricate model of governance that brought almost entire Bharat (Afghanistan, Parts of Thailand remained out of British control) under quasi-British rule. Islam had to retreat into survival mode in the face of a more powerful colonial empire during British era. However, this didn’t stop Islam from persecuting Hindus wherever it held the power as we can see from how Hindus were systematically harassed in Nizam empire. 


IDEA OF PAKISTAN


In the background of two world wars, the Indian Independence movement gained strength and Subash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army became an existential threat to British empire. The second world war not only broke Britain’s war fighting capacity but also its finances. As independence from colonial era became evident, the Hindu majority opted for ancient Bharatiya ideas like democracy, universal suffrage and uniform civil code as foundations of independent Bharat to much discomfort and existential threat to Islamic colonialism that is built on savage dictatorship, subjugation and exploitation of non-Muslims and sharia law that systemically enslaves non-Muslims. 


From this ideological friction came the idea of Pakistan as a separate nation-state as homeland for the sub-continental Muslims [3][4] where they can restart the Islamic conquest of Hindu Bharat. Thus Pakistan is presented as a political solution to help restart Islamic conquest of Hindu Bharat where Islamists are not subjected to Hindu hegemonic imposition of democracy, universal suffrage and uniform civil code.  The core rationale for a separate homeland for Pakistan is given by various Islamic thought leaders. Some of them are:


  • “Hindus and Muslims differed in all matters and habits” - Al-Biruni (973-1048) [5] summarizing the impact of Islam on its converts; that it would completely and absolutely removes and separates the convert from his or her native civilization.
  • “Islam has taught us this and I think you will agree with me, for whatever you may be and wherever you are, you are a Muslim. You belong to a nation now. You have carved out a territory, a vast territory, it is all yours; it does not belong to a Punjabi or a Sindhi or a Pathan or a Bengali, it is yours” – Muhammed Ali Jinnah 1948 [3] calling Indian Muslims to shun their regional and linguistic identities and submit to Islam and Islam alone. 

Britain, as the defeated colonial power happily embraced the idea of a separate Muslim homeland in Indian subcontinent for it served two key purposes. One is a natural desire to deny the victor, Bharat, a complete victory. The second purpose is more sinister where the British colonial empire saw no basic conflict between Western imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism [6]. The British secretary of state John Foster Dulles opined “The religions of the East are deeply rooted and have many precious values. Their spiritual beliefs cannot be reconciled with Communist atheism and materialism. That creates a common bond between us, and our task is to find it and develop it” [7]. Olaf Caroe, the architect of partition, advocated turning Pakistan into a base for a community of Muslim states that “would show the way for reconciliation between the Western and Islamic models”.

It is no strange that Pope Francis echoed this sentiment by proclaiming Islam and Christianity share an (sic) ‘idea of conquest’ [8] as he advised European Nations to allow Muslim immigration to repopulate Europe. One has to see no further than the commonality between these Abrahamic religions to understand the “idea of conquest” as they pillaging and genociding native populations and cultures wherever they set foot.


EXISTENCE OF PAKISTAN

Past seventy years of Pakistan’s existence is a testament to the fact that it is nothing but continuation of Islamic conquests of Bharat. Even an auspicious moment such as birth of a new nation (Pakistan) couldn’t hide this underlying pursuit of Islam to genocide and enslave Bharatiya civilization. The partition riots where ~2million killed (~8million deaths in today’s numbers) were nothing but a civilizational war of historic proportions. 

As soon as the military resources are split between the newly born nations, Pakistan jumped into action to conquer Bharatiya territories in the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir; which ended in a stalemate with Indian and Pakistan holding onto half of the territory. 


By 1950s Pakistan became a western ally and signed a mutual defense agreement with USA (1954), and joined Anglo-American sponsored Bagdad pact (1955) along with Turkey, Iraq and Iran fulfilling John Foster Dulles’ vision for an alliance between Western imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism. 


The first victim of new Islamic sultanate of Pakistan are the core values of native civilization – democracy and culture. The sultanate of Pakistan opted to adopt an artificial language Urdu with Arabic script and Persian words over a plethora of native languages its population spoke, be it Bengali in East-Pakistan or Punjabi of West-Pakistan. Even its national heroes and icons have to be non-native Islamic conquerors such as Ghazni and Ghori to reinforce the invasive characteristic of Islam is maintained. This civilizational conflict of Islam with Bharat in (then) Pakistan prime minister (sic) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto words - "Pakistan will fight, fight for a thousand years. If.. India builds the (atom) bomb.... (Pakistan) will eat grass or (leaves), even go hungry, but we (Pakistan) will get one of our own (atom bomb).... We (Pakistan) have no other Choice!" [9]

Year 1971 saw another victim of Islam in the existence of Pakistan. Democracy had to be killed in order to ensure the idea of Islam triumphs over cultural identity and regional assertiveness, even at the cost of losing nearly half territory. Whatever be the reason, the Hindu majority India had to intervene and help creation of Bangladesh for the clash of civilization is yet to be over.


The paranoia of Islam reached its peaks after 1971 defeat in the hands of Hindu-majority India and Pakistan became a client state of its sibling western imperialism. By 1980s Pakistan became the epicenter of new Islamic revival in the name of Afghanistan Mujahedeen which evolved into purer versions of Islam; Taliban, Al-Qaeda and now Islamic State.


Bolstered by the success of mujahedeen in Afghanistan, Pakistan introduced this model against its civilizational enemy Bharat in the states of Punjab (Khalistan movement) and Jammu & Kashmir (Kashmir insurgence). Tens of thousands of Indians have been killed in these Pakistan sponsored terrorist acts (Terrorism is peacetime equivalent of war crime [10]).
The finger prints of Islam clearly visible in every aspect of Pakistan’s approach to Bharat; from its demands of Sikhs to pay jizya to visit Sikh pilgrimage places to its suicide terror attacks in Bharatiya cities to its sadistic mutilation of dead bodies of Indian Soldiers and so on. This sadism gets into ISIS proportions to the minorities living in its captive territories; all in the name of blasphemy. Pakistan is Islam manifested in Bharatiya territories.

Reciprocating India’s nuclear tests, Pakistan demonstrated its own capability to produce nuclear weapons in 1998. This ushered a new era – Islam under nuclear-umbrella.  Lt General Khalid Kidwai, the longtime head of Strategic Planning of Pakistan’s National (Nuclear) Command Authority, declared that “Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were aimed solely at India”. This classification makes real sense nearly two decades since then as Pakistan declares India capturing Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) as a threshold that would trigger a nuclear attack but didn’t have any problem donating part of (same) Kashmir territory to China in 1963 or ceding strategic control over PoK to China as part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Similarly, Pakistan doesn’t have any problem with USA bombing various groups using drones in the name of Global War On Terror (GWOT) and doesn’t consider it threat to its sovereignty. This is very important to note because Pakistan’s sovereignty comes under threat only when Hindu Bharat violates it but not from western imperialism.

True to its Islamic foundations Pakistan started to bite the very hands that feed either to demand more Jizya (the tax non-Muslims must pay to live in a Muslim world) in the name of aid or out of the natural desire to cause mayhem. Over the past two decades Pakistan evolved into the terrorism epicenter of the world, exporting Islamic foot soldiers to all four corners. Today there is not a single terrorist event anywhere in the world that doesn’t have Pakistan connection, directly or indirectly. 


By gaining a sanctuary in fertile regions of Indian Subcontinent, Islam thus built a terrorist empire under nuclear umbrella over past 70 years of Pakistan’s existence. It threatens to commit a nuclear suicide by constantly reducing its nuclear-threshold as India becomes stronger. Soon one shouldn’t be surprised if Pakistan threatens a nuclear attack if India tries to respond to Pakistani terrorist attacks.


Does this mean the Indian subcontinent has to live with Pakistan’s Islamic terrorism even at the cost of thousands of lives and $billions of economic costs? Should the world community accept Islamic sadism on Pakistan’s own citizens in NWFP, Gilgit-Baltistan, PoK, Baluchistan, Sindh? 


This author doesn’t think so. We will explore the costs of Pakistan problem from various angles and explore how the Idea of Pakistan can be turned on its head to prepare civilizational solutions to Indian-subcontinent ending the 1300-year clash of civilization.



References:

1.  The biggest holocaust in World History...whitewashed from history http://bnp.org.uk/news/national/biggest-holocaust-world-historywhitewashed-history
4.  The Idea of Pakistan – Stephen B Cohen https://www.brookings.edu/book/the-idea-of-pakistan/
5.  Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan
6.  Imperialism, the Cold War and the Creation of Pakistan http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1016/pakistan.html
7.  The Political Economy of Growth, 1957 - Paul Baran
10.COMBATTING TERRORISM PROTECTING BY RIGHTEOUSNESS Administrative Reforms Commission, Government of India (June 2008)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Swa, Para Ramayanas

Ramayana is said to be the Soul of Bharat, the united India extending from today’s Afghanistan to Vietnam. Over millennia, Srimad Ramayana stood for the ultimate pursuit of every Bharatiya to be like Sri Rama, embodiment of Dharma. Given that Sanatana Hindu Dharma emphasized in punar-janma (rebirth), every Bharatiya took each life time as a step towards self-realization, which is becoming the Atman that is Sri Rama (TatTvamAsi).

The origin of Ramayana maha-kavya itself is worth learning about. In a conversation with sage Narada, maharishi Valmiki asks if there exists (currently) a person with 16 virtues or characteristics (Balakanda 1-1-2 to 1-1-5); considered to represent a self-realized embodiment of Dharma. To that question Narada answers affirmatively and briefly narrates the story of Sri Kausalya-putra Rama, son of Dasaradha. Then Brahma proposes maharishi Valmiki narrates the story of Sri Rama in detail, which leads Valmiki to write the story of that Dasaradha Rama as Ramayana (Rama + Ayana = Journey of Rama).

At this point, it is important to note that Kausalya-putra Dasaradha Rama was not the first Rama of Bharatiya puranic lore. There were many Ramas before Dasaradha Rama. In fact, there was a Renuka-putra Jamadagni Rama (famously known as Parasu Rama), who was also an avatar of Sri Vishnu and a chiranjivi (immortal), who would live till end of time (this sweta-varaha kalpa). But none of their autobiography will ever be called Ramayana in Bharatiya puranic lore.

If Ramayana (Rama + Ayana) means Rama’s journey, why can’t the journey of any and every Rama be Ramayana? It can be in a literal sense. But that will lead to two problems. First, it will lead to plagiarism of Valmiki’s intellectual property. Secondly, it will be an Asuric-wart on Bharatiya civilization. If an author persists to do it, it reflects the author’s prejudices not Ramayana nor Bharatiya civilization.

Then what is the essence of Valmiki Ramayana? Bharatiya Rishis used two tools to explain a scripture’s essence or purpose. First tool is called “Anubandha Chatushthaya”, which explains 
  1. Adhikara – the required qualification of a reader of that scripture
  2. Vishaya – The object or body of knowledge presented in the book
  3. Prayojana – The purpose or result the reader would get out of the book
  4. Sambandha – how the reader is expected to approach the body of knowledge in the book 


The second tool is phala-shruti of a given scripture. For example, Valmiki explains the phala-shruti of Ramayana in shlokas 6-128-108thru 6-128-125. Interesting minds can read.

Many seekers, poets and authors took inspiration from Valmiki Ramayana and retold that story in their own words and prejudices. We can group all these non-Valmiki Ramayanas into two groups. First group of authors merely retold Valmiki Ramayana as a celebration of Sri Rama without altering the Anubandha Chatushthaya. Few examples of these Ramayanas are Agastya Ramayana, RamaCharitaManas by Sant Tulasi Das, Kamba Ramayana in Tamil, Ramayana Kalpavriksha by Sri Viswanatha Satyanarayana in Telugu etc. It is important for readers to note that such Ramayanas exist even outside todays nation-state called India.

The second group of Ramayanas are distortions of Valmiki Ramayana to fit into a non-Hindu religious or ideological perspective. Examples of these Ramayanas are Dasaradha Jataka in Buddhism, Paumachariyam in Jainism and a communist distortion of Ramayana called Ramayana Visha-vriksha by Muppalla Ranganayakamma in Telugu.

Perhaps an analogy would help better understand these distortions of Ramayana. Imagine a sugar-cane juice center on the road side, a common scene on Bharatiya roads. Often it is a family enterprise; a woman acting as table-server and running cash counter while her husband or a man running the hand-operated sugar-cane mill to extract juice. We can observe all kinds of people in such a shop; all came to enjoy the juice but make different observations. 

Few enjoy the juice as if it is amruta, oblivious to the surroundings or few ogling at the beautiful woman at the counter, few others jealously wondering how much profit this family must be making, few feeling disgusted at the not-so pristine environment, few others getting upset at the socio-economic exploitation of this poor family and a beggar hoping to catch the magnanimity of the shop-owners for a free juice and so on.  But the family running the shop are detached from all these feelings, unless expressed aggressively, as they are busy with their swadharma.

Similarly, Valmiki’s Ramayana swadharma is its Anubandha Chatushthaya. Any translation or re-rendering of Ramayana that honored the original Anubandha Chatushthaya is considered as Swa-Ramayana (our Ramayana) by Bharatiya civilization and celebrated as thus. 

Any Ramayana that distorted this Anubandha Chatushthaya of Valmiki is considered as para-Ramayana (not Ramayana) by Bharatiya civilization even if it tells the story of that very Kausalya putra Dasaradha Rama. Reading a para-Ramayana is like a seeker eating the sugar-cane trash without juice in the above analogy.

Thanks to triple colonization of Bharat by Islam, Christianity and Secularism, a new wave of Ramayanas are being unleashed on Bharatiya consciousness. These renderings are neither the stories of Kausalya-putra Sri Rama, nor they honor the Anubandha Chatushthaya of Valmiki Ramayana. They are stories of non Bharatiya individuals packaged as Ramayana with a single motivation to distort and confuse. If there ever was another hero like Sri Rama, who demonstrated the 16 virtues described by Valmiki, it is our dharmic duty to recognize those individuals as avataras of Vishnu in their own names without any shame. If they do not demonstrate those qualities, then applying Ramayana name is nothing but plagiarism of Valmiki’s work and insulting Sanatana Hindu Dharma. 

There is little one can do to stop such deceptive, unethical authors from plagiarizing Ramayana, our Bharatiya dharmic and cultural heritage. It does not matter if the author is erudite or even Veda-acharya. Almost all of our Puranic asuras, such as Trishira and Ravana were great Veda panditas themsevels, but were killed as they misinterpreted, mis-lived Veda vangmaya.

However, we can warn the readers on avoiding such distortions and ku-panditas.

As individuals do a critical study of Dharma, thru Ramayana or other Sanatana Dharmic scriptures, there will be two outcomes. One is the seeker gets results of their pursuit (called Tapas if done individually and Yajna if done collectively) in physical, conscious and causal realms. This also includes the impact of the seeker’s pursuit on surroundings (environment, society and other seekers). Mind you, a wrong seeker can get right followers and vice-versa. In the past, a seeker didn’t share his/her methods and observations until one got Siddhi (fulfillment) or concluded their pursuit for lack of Siddhi. Few shared their failed methods and failures as a warning to others.

In the current era, the environment and tools (such as internet and social media) permit a seeker to share their study and methods in real time as they plan, prepare and do their pursuit. We can’t be sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it is very important (for the followers) to know that the seeker is still on their own journey and haven’t concluded their pursuit or got Siddhi. Another important fact to note is that many followers are following a seeker while the seeker himself/herself is in the journey without knowing to what purpose the pursuit is, at what stage the pursuit is, for how long it will continue and to where it goes and so on.


This is like people running behind Forest Gump in that famous Hollywood movie. One fine day the seeker (Forest Gump – a humble person literally running away from his own fears) will stop running and goes home leaving his followers stand confused in a road to nowhere.

Swasti!