Category Archives: RELIGION/HINDUISM

Varanasi: The City Of Moksha (Salvation)-Photo Feature

Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities in world. A city which believes in living life to its fullest. It teaches us the art to associate with life in a fun-filled way. It’s a city which is sandwiched between traditional values and modern beliefs, wherein traditional vibes enjoy an upper hand over global ideas! It’s also a city where life enjoys a wide space even in most congested lanes. The city cries foul about encroachments yet congested lanes constitute the heart of city pulsating with cultural, spiritual, literary and colourful happenings. Needless to state its popularity has transcended national boundaries. It’s one of the cities which enjoy constant arrival of foreign tourists from distant lands. It’s strange to notice that dusty lanes do not disappoint such sophisticated and sensitive foreign visitors, who are really overwhelmed and impressed after interacting with so many unique shades of life at Lord Shiva’s abode! It’s hard to decipher why this city, also known as Kashi, enjoyes so much respect among foreign visitors, but for Indians the reason of its popularity within themselves is so evident: It’s a city which belongs to Lord Shiva known as Vishwanath- the one who rules over the entire universe. He is the one who promotes nothingness yet never allows the colourful life to lose its relevance as long as one finds meaning in it! That’s the reason why people wish to breath their last breath in this city even as the city never misses to offer enough food to every hungry person who happens to venture into this city. And that too everyday-thanks to Goddess Annapoorna who happens to be the giver of food and nourishment! 

My Train To Varanasi  Just Left  Allahabad Junction's paltform :-)

My Train To Varanasi Just Left Allahabad Junction’s Platform :-)

Beautiful and serene Ganges :-)

Beautiful and serene Ganges :-)

And Arrives Varanasi-The City Of Lord Shiva :-)

And Arrives Varanasi-The City Of Lord Shiva :-)

 

The City Close To My Heart :-)

The City Close To My Heart :-)

Varanasi : One of the oldest living cities in the world :-)

Varanasi : One of the oldest living cities in the world :-)

The Square (read crossing) always enjoys a heavy traffic in Varanasi :-)

The Square (read crossing) always enjoys a heavy traffic in Varanasi :-)

You will not find streets empty in Varanasi :P

You will not find streets empty in Varanasi :P

Mall Culture Also Prevails In Varanasi :-)

Mall Culture Also Prevails In Varanasi :-)

Photogenic Kids Playing In One Of The Lanes In Varanasi :P

Photogenic Kids Playing In One Of The Lanes In Varanasi :P

Varanasi Breathes In Lanes :-)

Varanasi Breathes In Lanes :-)

Every time I Visit Varanasi I Always Notice Streets In Making :P

Every time I Visit Varanasi I Always Notice Streets In Making :P

Benaras Hindu University Hospital

Benaras Hindu University Hospital

 

Roads Spread On The Campus Of Benaras Hindu University Were Not Only Clean But Also Empty!

Roads Spread On The Campus Of Benaras Hindu University Were Not Only Clean But Also Empty!

A Beautiful Road Leading To New Vishwanath Shiva Temple situated on the campus of Benaras Hindu University :-)

A Beautiful Road Leading To New Vishwanath Shiva Temple Situated On The Campus Of Benaras Hindu University :-)

Benaras Hindu University Has A Huge Campus :-)

Benaras Hindu University Has A Huge Campus :-)

New Vishwanath Shiva Temple :-)

New Vishwanath Shiva Temple :-)

Myself Outside The Temple :-)

Myself Outside The Temple :-)

My Brother-in-Law who works at BHU Hospital Happily Played The Role Of Lensman For Images Which Feature Myself :P

My Brother-in-Law Who Works At BHU Hospital Happily Played The Role Of Lensman For Images Which Feature Myself :P The Statue Behind Him Belongs To Sri Madan Mohan Malviya Ji Who Was The Founder Of This Great Benaras Hindu University (BHU)

Beautiful View Of New Vishwanath Temple :-)

Beautiful View Of New Vishwanath Temple :-)

Inside The Temple :-)

Inside The Temple :-)

Extremely Beautiful Ceiling :-)

Extremely Beautiful Ceiling :-)

Beautifully Built Temple :-)

Beautifully Built Temple :-)

The Temple's Walls Are Full Of Inscriptions Carved On It Over Marble Slabs :-)

The Temple’s Walls Are Full Of Inscriptions Carved On It Over Marble Slabs :-)

Nandi The Bull : Vehicle Of Lord Shiva :P

Sri Nandi The Bull : Vehicle Of Lord Shiva :P

Greenery Is In Abundance :-)

Greenery Is In Abundance :-)

Nand The Bull Also Acts As Transmitter :P Devotees Of Shiva Believe That Whatever One Speaks Into The Ears Of This Bull Reaches Straight To Lord Shiva :-) My Brother-in-Law Did Not Miss The Opportunity :P

Sri Nandi The Bull Also Acts As Transmitter :P Devotees Of Shiva Believe That Whatever One Speaks Into The Ears Of This Bull Reaches Straight To Lord Shiva :-) My Brother-in-Law Did Not Miss The Opportunity :P

For Me It Was Enough That I Came To Have The Company Of Nandi Maharaj :P

For Me It Was Enough That I Came To Have The Company Of Nandi Maharaj :P

On The Stairs Leading To Lord Shiva :-)

On The Stairs Leading To Lord Shiva :-)

Happy Divine Moments :-)

Happy Divine Moments :-)

Enveloped in divinity :-)

Enveloped in divinity :-)

The Simple Structure Behind Brother-in-Law Is Used By The Devotees To Engage In Chanting Mantras :-)

The Simple Structure Behind Brother-in-Law Is Used By The Devotees To Engage In Chanting Mantras :-)

Rose Garden :-)

Rose Garden :-)

Extremely Beautiful View Of Temple :-)

Extremely Beautiful View Of Temple :-)

Evening Arrives :-)

Evening Arrives :-)

It's A Two Storey Temple :-)

It’s A Two Storey Temple :-)

Glad To Notice Sri Adi Sankara's Bhaja Govindam Strotam :-)

Glad To Notice Sri Adi Sankara’s Bhaja Govindam Strotam :-)

Lord Shiva's Statue On First Floor :-) Jai Shiva :-)

Lord Shiva’s Statue On First Floor :-) Jai Shiva :-)

That's The Statue Of Lord Shiva Situated On The First Floor :-) Om Namah Shivay :-)

That’s The Statue Of Lord Shiva Situated On The First Floor :-) Om Namah Shivay :-)

Beautiful Ceiling That I Noticed On First Floor :-)

Beautiful Ceiling That I Noticed On First Floor :-)

Also Notice Sri Laxmi- Narayana Ji's Statues :-) Salutations To Both Of Them :-)

Also Noticed Sri Laxmi- Narayana Ji’s Statues :-) Salutations To Both Of Them :-)

 

Complete Srimad Bhagavad Gita Inscribed On One Single Marble Slab :-) Jai Sri Krishna :-)

Complete Srimad Bhagavad Gita Inscribed On One Single Marble Slab :-) Jai Sri Krishna :-)

Also Noticed Sri Gautam Buddha In A Shiva Temple :-)

Also Noticed Sri Gautam Buddha In A Shiva Temple :-)

One Feels Great Peace Of Mind At This Place :-)

One Feels Great Peace Of Mind At This Place :-)

Goddess Durgaji's Statue Inside The Temple :-) My Pranama To The Mother Of Cosmos :-)

Goddess Durgaji’s Statue Inside The Temple :-) My Pranama To The Mother Of Cosmos :-)

Brother-in-Law Sitting Under In Meditative Mudra Under Ashoka Tree :-) That's The Same Tree Under Which Sitaji Sat When She Was Held Captive At Lanka. It's Believed That This Tree Has The Power To Make You Rise Above All Worries :-)

Brother-in-Law Sitting  In Meditative Mudra Under Ashoka Tree :-) That’s The Same Tree Under Which Sri Sitaji Sat When She Was Held Captive At Lanka. It’s Believed That This Tree Has The Power To Make You Rise Above All Worries :-)

Kanha My Cute Cousin Really Taken Aback On Seeing Me Leaving Varanasi. He Came To Bid Me Goodbye :-) Relax! I will Come Again And Again :P :P :P

Kanha My Cute Cousin Really Taken Aback On Seeing Me Leaving Varanasi. He Came To Bid Me Goodbye :-) Relax! I will Come Again And Again :P :P :P

Hope Lord Shiva's Blessings Always Keep Me In State Of Bliss :-)

Hope Lord Shiva’s Blessings Always Keep Me In State Of Bliss :-)

Mother Ganges At Mirzapur Which I Noticed While Going To My Village From Varanasi :-)

Mother Ganges At Mirzapur Which I Noticed While Going To My Village From Varanasi :-)

 

 

P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.

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Allahabad: A City Wedded To Realism (Photo Feature Part One)

Allahabad enjoys a glorious legacy. It’s a city that has been dominated by best minds since time immemorial. Its ancient name Prayag is associated with Rishis (saints) and Devas (demigods) eager to have an opportunity to live in this city.  Sri Rama, incarnation of Lord Vishnu,  and, Sri Shankaracharya, incarnation of Lord Shiva,  both came to interact with this city in their own ways.  Needless to state about Kumbh Mela, which provides it a global appeal.  And who can forget its role in Independence movement? And in post- Independence  era, it still continues to dominate the course of this great nation by giving birth to remarkable thought patterns. Leading politicians, top bureaucrats, great literary figures and etc.  all belong to this city. This city wedded to realism is very very slow in embracing ultra-modern changes, but now it has  started accepting bizarre changes all in the name of being in tune with time!

Even Allahabad's Skyline Above A Busy Corner Of The City Speak About Saints :-)

Even Allahabad’s Skyline Above A Busy Corner Of The City Speaks About Saints :-)

This city has imbibed secular spirt so well without any adherence to so-called secularism demonstrated my modern India's so-called secular leaders. It's beauitul Central Methodist church located in Civil Lines.

This city has imbibed secular spirit so well without any adherence to so-called secularism demonstrated by modern India’s so-called secular leaders. It’s beautiful Central Methodist church located in Civil Lines.

Another beautiful church located in Allahabad called "All Saints Cathedral" ( Patthar Girja)!  Designed by William Emerson this church depicts Gothic style.

Another beautiful church located in Allahabad called “All Saints Cathedral” (Patthar Girja)! Designed by William Emerson this church depicts Gothic style.

A Busy Street In Chowk Area. It's always a great rush here!

A Busy street in Chowk Area. It’s always a great rush here!

Another corner of Chowk Area.  This area comes in old Allahabad.

Another corner of Chowk area. This area comes in old Allahabad.

Don't be confused! It's not a  gali of Benaras. It's Allahabad's Loknath Ki Gali :-) Here too, like Varanasi's gali, you would find Lord Shiva, Bull, Bhaang, Mithai, Chaat and sea of people :P :P :P

Don’t be confused! It’s not a gali of Benaras. It’s Allahabad’s Loknath Ki Gali :-) Here too, like Varanasi’s gali, you would find Lord Shiva, Bull, Bhaang, Mithai, Chaat and sea of people :P :P :P

Yum! Yum! Yum! Sweets being made in Loknath Ki Gali. It's called Imarti :P :P :P

Yum! Yum! Yum! Sweets being made in Loknath Ki Gali. It’s called Imarti :P :P :P

Parrots on sale :P

Parrots on sale :P

 

This is Baldau's famous newspaper corner at very busy crossing of Johnstonganj :-) These two brothers  started this shop in late 90s and even in era of Internet they have done well to retain the flow of customers!

This is Baldau’s famous newspaper corner at very busy crossing of Johnstonganj :-) These two brothers started this shop in late 90s and even in era of Internet they have done well to retain the flow of customers!

And here Lord is on sale..I mean their images :P :P :P

And here Lord is on sale..I mean their images :P :P :P

Hot Popcorns :P :P  Garma Garam Aur Karare :P :P

Hot Popcorns :P :P Garma Garam Aur Karare :P :P

It's the place which defines the existence of Prayag..It's the place which bears testimony to one of the largest gatherings on planet earth called as Kumbh Mela..This is Sangam area, which is confluence of three rivers, namely, Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati!

It’s the place which defines the existence of Prayag..It’s the place which bears testimony to one of the largest gatherings on planet earth called as Kumbh Mela..This is Sangam area, which is confluence of three rivers, namely, Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati!

Visitors from distant lands arrive at this divine place :-)

Visitors from distant lands arrive at this divine place :-)

These are Pandas-the people who perform religious rituals on banks of rivers...

Usually one finds  Pandas beneath such constructions-the people who perform religious rituals on banks of rivers…However, at this time, we are noticing only the devotees :P

Well, it's a great feeling to be at this place...It fills you with positive energy!!

Well, it’s a great feeling to be at this place…It fills you with positive energy!!

 

Evening Hours At Sangam :-) So Beautiful :-)

Evening Hours At Sangam :-) So Beautiful :-)

On Road To Sangam :P

On Road To Sangam :P

During Mela time It's absolutely  jam-packed !

During Mela time it’s absolutely jam-packed!

This routes are created during Mela days to allow  smooth passage of vehicles!

These routes are created during Mela days to allow smooth passage of vehicles!

Beautiful View Of The Sangam Area!

Beautiful View Of The Sangam Area!

Now That's The Place Which Millions Of Devotees Each Year :-)

Now That’s The Place Which Witnesses Millions Of Devotees Each Year :-)

I also left my footprints here :-) :-) :-)

I also left my footprints here :-) :-) :-)

 A Bird's Eye View Of The Sangam Area :P

A Bird’s Eye View Of The Sangam Area :P

Glimpse of Devotees At This Place. They come from various parts of India in a hope to have their wishes fulfilled.  But not without taking a dip in the icy waters :P :P :P

Glimpse of devotees at this place. They come from various parts of India with a hope to have their wishes fulfilled. But not without taking a dip in the icy waters :P :P :P

This Is Allahabad's Fort built  by great ruler King Ashoka! Now it's under the control of Indian Army!

This Is Allahabad’s Fort built by great ruler King Ashoka! Now it’s under the control of Indian Army!

This beautiful fort was repaired by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1583 AD !

This beautiful fort was repaired by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1583 A.D. !

This is famous Akshayavat Temple situated inside Allahabad Fort.  This temple has so many great stories associated with it from being the only place to survive during great annhilation of universe by the Lord to a place associated with visit of Lord Rama, Sita Maiyya and Lakshmana!

This is famous Akshayavat Temple situated inside Allahabad Fort. This temple has so many great stories associated with it from being the only place to survive during great annihilation of universe by the Lord to a place associated with visit of Lord Rama, Sri Sita Maiyya and Sri Lakshmana!

In Uttar Pradesh very few cities have beautiful roads :P

In Uttar Pradesh very few cities have beautiful roads :P

 

This is Bade Hanuman Ji's Temple located in Sangam Area. It's an extremely popular temple among the devotees!  Notice the huge number of devotees at this place!  Interestingly, it believes that every year Hanumanji, who is in lying position in this temple, is made to have total bath by Ganges at least once :-)

This is Bade Hanuman Ji’s Temple located in Sangam Area. It’s an extremely popular temple among the devotees! Notice the huge number of devotees at this place! Interestingly, every year Sri Hanumanji, who is in lying position in this temple, is made to have total bath by Ganges at least once :-)

Life around this temple. It's so colourful and serene :-)

Life around this temple. It’s so colourful and serene :-)

These three fellows were having great arguments among themselves..Later they became friends :P :P :P

These three fellows were having great arguments among themselves..Later they became friends :P :P :P

Modern upper class women might not be interested in buying any item from these shops but women from rural belts spend a long time on these shops to have their beauty enhanced :P

Modern upper class women might not be interested in buying any item from these shops but women from rural belts spend a long time on these shops to have their beauty enhanced :P

This is a temple dedicated to Sri Adi Shankaracharya ji.  Sri Adi Shankara ji was India's greatest philosopher who added new dimensions in Advaita Darshana. This temple is managed by Shri Kanchi Kamkoti Peeth.

This is a temple dedicated to Sri Adi Shankaracharya ji. Sri Adi Shankara ji was India’s greatest philosopher who added new dimensions in Advaita Darshana. This temple is managed by Shri Kanchi Kamkoti Peeth.

Entrance  Gate Of This Temple.

Entrance Gate Of This Temple.

Various episodes from the life of  Sri Adi Shankara have been shown via images carved on the walls of the temple. In this one, we find him having a dialogue with another great philosopher of his times Kumarila Bhatta :-)

Various episodes from the life of Sri Adi Shankara have been shown via images carved on the walls of the temple. In this one, we find him having a dialogue with another great philosopher of his times Sri Kumarila Bhatta :-)

Now who can forget Sri Adi Shankara's debate with Sri Mandana Misra- a great Hindu philosopher :-) :-) :-)

Now who can forget Sri Adi Shankara’s debate with Sri Mandana Misra- a great Hindu philosopher ?  :-) :-) :-)

Just close to this temple one would find this beautiful shop selling decorative items made of brass and other metals!

Just close to this temple one would find this beautiful shop selling decorative items made of brass and other metals!

It's a beautiful affair to have a lonely walk on these roads in Sangam Area :-)

It’s a beautiful affair to have a lonely walk on these roads in Sangam Area :-)

Close to the Sangam area lies Allahbad's  Daraganj area. Allahbadi's best remember it for Niralaji's presence, who happened to be doyen of Hindi literature. Notice his statue behind the vegetable shop!

Close to the Sangam area lies Allahbad’s Daraganj area. Allahbadis best remember it for Niralaji’s presence, who happened to be doyen of Hindi literature. Notice his statue behind the vegetable shop!

The rustic feeling which one gets on being streets leading to Daraganj is quite unique :-)

The rustic feeling which one gets on being streets leading to Daraganj is quite unique :-)

This street is bit cleaner without losing  its rustic appeal :P

This street is bit cleaner without losing its rustic appeal :P

And Daraganj area has its own railway station. Small stations have their own unique charm :P

And Daraganj area has its own railway station. Small stations have their own unique charm :P

And I also came to notice these very beautiful calves in Daraganj area :P :P :P

And I also came to notice these very beautiful calves in Daraganj area :P :P :P

Daraganj area has many well-known temples. One of them is associated with Goddess Shakti: Alopi Ma's Temple.  During Navratris there is huge flow of devotees :-)

Daraganj area has many well-known temples. One of them is associated with Goddess Shakti: Alopi Devi’s Temple. During Navratris there is huge flow of devotees :-)

Inside view of Sri Alopi Devi's Temple :-)

Inside view of Sri Alopi Devi’s Temple :-)

Now how can Lord Krishna remain far behind :P :P This temple known as  Rupa Gaudiya Math is part of Vaishnava cult. It's learnt that  Srila Prabhupada took initiation here from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati ji Maharaja!  Jai Sri Krishna :P :P

Now how can Lord Krishna remain far behind :P :P This temple known as Rupa Gaudiya Math is part of Vaishnava cult. It’s learnt that Srila Prabhupadaji  took initiation here from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati ji Maharaja! Jai Sri Krishna :P :P

And the life goes on in routine way on streets running parallel to this temple :-)

And the life goes on in routine way on streets running parallel to this temple :-)

And I also came to notice this Sanskrit College Associated With Sampoornananda University, Varanasi :-)

And I also came to notice this Sanskrit College associated with Sampoornananda University, Varanasi, in Daraganj area :-)

Have you tasted Dehati Rasgulla :P  If not, then it's time for you to taste them :P. My favourite shop lies in Bairahana area..During my college days, this was my favourite place for Rasgullas :P ...And notice the huge crowd :P

Have you tasted Dehati Rasgulla :P If not, then it’s time for you to taste them :P. My favourite shop lies in Bairahana area..During my college days, this was my favourite place for Rasgullas :P …And notice the huge crowd :P

They taste really good :P...Just have them before I come back with Part 2 of photo feature associated with Allahabad :P :P

They taste really good :P…Just have them before I come back with Part 2 of photo feature associated with Allahabad :P :P

P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.

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 References:

Allahabad: City Of True Beauty, Real Romance And Mysticism (Photo Feature Part 2)

Allahabad: A City Wherein Global Salutes The Local (Photo Feature Part 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Recent Write-Ups Which Appeared In Blogosphere As Well As In Mainstream Media!

It’s quite a strenuous affair to be sandwiched between demands of social media and mainstream media. Both the mediums in our times have attained new heights. However, it’s a great accomplishment if a writer/journalist is getting sufficient space in both the mediums at the same time. Fortunately, my writings managed to appear in mainstream publications without much canvassing on my part. I never had to heed to confrontational attitude to convince the editors from mainstream media to understand the relevance of writings which had first appeared in virtual world. 

That’s because before I moved to virtual world I had already found space as Writer/Contributor/Freelancer/Letter Columnist in all leading national and International publications which include Time, Newsweek, The Hindu, The Telegraph, The Statesman, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, India Today, Outlook, The Week, Harmony, The Sunday Indian, Hardnews, Critique, Tehelka, Northern India Patrika and Soham, to name a few. Today when I have primarily got confined to virtual space, the write-ups still appear in Northern India Patrika- a leading newspaper published from Allahabad. It’s one of the oldest newspapers published in India, being sister publication of now defunct Amrit Bazar Patrika (Kolkata) which had started in 1868.

Recent write-ups which appeared in mainstream media:

1.  Vishal Bhardwaj: A Genuine Music Composer In Times When Indian Music Directors Have Become Copycats

Appeared in Media Musings Column of Northern India Patrika On December 08, 2014.

Appeared in Media Musings Column of Northern India Patrika On December 08, 2013.

2. Unleashing Magic Of “Triple S” Of Indian Cinema: Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badayuni and Shailendra!

Appeared in Media Musings Column of Northern India Patrika On December 22, 2013

Appeared in Media Musings Column of Northern India Patrika On December 22, 2013

3. Rape Allegation That Led To Suicide of Kurshid Anwar: A Resounding Slap On The Face Of Media!

Appeared in Northern India Patrika's Editorial Column On January 07, 2014.

Appeared in Northern India Patrika’s Editorial Column On January 07, 2014.

4. Swami Vivekananda: A Spiritual Powerhouse Who Really Understood The Potential Of Youths!

Appeared in Northern India Patrika's Editorial Column On January 18, 2014.

Appeared in Northern India Patrika’s Editorial Column On January 18, 2014.

5.  News Item Related With Speech I Gave In Allahabad On January 12, 2014, At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College.

News Related With Speech I Delivered As A Guest Speaker In An Event Organized At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College To Celebrate The Birth Anniversary Of Swami Vivekananda. It's The Same Venue  Where Couple Of Days Back President Of India Pranab Mukherjee Addressed The Gathering Of Students!

News Related With Speech I Delivered As A Guest Speaker In An Event Organized At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College To Celebrate The Birth Anniversary Of Swami Vivekananda. It’s The Same Venue Where Couple Of Days Back President Of India Pranab Mukherjee Addressed The Gathering Of Students! This News Item Appeared In Northern India Patrika On January 13, 2014.

5. The Times Of India’s News Coverage

The Times Of India News Item Related With Speech I Delivered.

The Times Of India News Item Related With Speech I Delivered. This News Item Appeared On January 21,2014

6. That’s Myself Giving Speech At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College On January 12, 2014.

Giving Speech In Allahabad Is A Great Feeling. After All, It's A Place Associated With Great Thinkers, Intellectuals And Writers!  I Gave The Speech At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College On January12, 2014. That's The Same Venue Where President Of India Pranab Mukherjee Also Delivered The Speech Some Days Back.

Giving Speech In Allahabad Is A Great Feeling. After All, It’s A Place Associated With Great Thinkers, Intellectuals And Writers! I Gave The Speech At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College On January12, 2014. That’s The Same Venue Where President Of India Pranab Mukherjee Also Delivered A  Speech Some Days Back.

 

 

 

कांची के शंकराचार्य की रिहाई इस बात को दर्शाती है कि वर्तमान समय में दुष्प्रचार ज्यादा ताकतवर है बजाय सत्य के!

कांची के शंकराचार्य अंततः निर्दोष और निष्पाप होकर उभरे लेकिन इस नौ साल लम्बे ड्रामे की वजह से इस अति प्राचीन हिन्दू मठ पर जो दाग लगे उसको मिटने में कई वर्ष लगेंगे.

कांची के शंकराचार्य अंततः निर्दोष और निष्पाप होकर उभरे लेकिन इस नौ साल लम्बे ड्रामे की वजह से इस अति प्राचीन हिन्दू मठ पर जो दाग लगे उसको मिटने में कई वर्ष लगेंगे.


इस नए युग के इंडिया यानि “भारत” के अगर हाल के घटनाओ को देखे तो ये आसानी से समझ आ जाएगा कि धर्मनिरपेक्ष सरकारो ने सबसे ज्यादा जुल्म ढाया है हिन्दू संतो पर. ये धर्मनिरपेक्ष सरकारे मुग़लकाल के बाद्शाहो और ब्रिटिश काल के शासको से भी ज्यादा क्रूर रही है हिन्दू धर्मं से जुड़े प्रतीकों को ध्वस्त करने और इनसे जुड़े लोगो को अपमानित करने के मामले में. हिन्दू संतो को निराकरण ही प्रताड़ित किया जा रहा है और इन्हे यौन अपराधो से लेकर देशद्रोह जैसे जघन्य अपराधो में बेवजह घसीटा जा रहा है. बिकी हुई मीडिया इन प्रकरणो का एक पक्ष 
दिखाती  है अपने देश में और देश के बाहर विदेशी अखबारो में. ये आपको अक्सर देखने को मिलेगा कि इस प्रकार के खबरो में ज्यादातर झूठ होता है या अर्धसत्य का सहारा लेकर एक भ्रामक कहानी गाढ़ी जाती है. कोई भी मुख्यधारा का समाचार पत्र तस्वीर के दोनों पहलू दिखाने में दिलचस्पी नहीं रखता.

एक सबसे बड़ी वजह ये है कि ज्यादातर  भारतीय मीडिया समूह का कण्ट्रोल विदेशी ताकतो के हाथो में है. सबके विदेशी हित कही ना कही शामिल है तब हम किस तरह से इनसे ये आशा रखे कि ये सच बोलेंगे? ये वही मुख्यधारा के समाचार पत्र है जो साध्वी प्रज्ञा के गिरफ्तारी को तो खूब जोर शोर से दिखाते है लेकिन साध्वी के साथ जेल के अंदर हुए अमानवीय कृत्यो को जो बंदियो के अधिकारो का सरासर उल्लंघन था उसको दिखाने या बताने से साफ़ मुँह मोड़ गए. ये वही मुख्यधारा के समाचार पत्र है जिन्होंने देवयानी प्रकरण में देवयानी का साथ इस तरह से दिया जैसी कि उसने भारत के नाम विदेशो में ऊँचा किया हो, जैसे उसने कोई जुर्म ही नहीं किया हो. वो इसलिए से क्योकि इसका सरकार से सीधा सरोकार है और सिस्टम इसके पक्ष में है लेकिन हर वो आदमी जिसने भी सरकार ये सिस्टम के विपक्ष में कुछ कहा उसे इस तरह की  सरकारे या सिस्टम सुनियोजित तरीको से अपराधी घोषित कर देता है.

ये कहने में कोई संकोच नहीं कि आज के युग मे सत्य से ज्यादा असरदार किसी के खिलाफ सुनियोजित तरीके से फैलायी गयी मनगढंत बाते है. समाचार पत्रो का काम होता है सत्य को सामने लाना सही रिपोर्टिंग के जरिये लेकिन हो इसका ठीक उल्टा रहा है: मीडिया आज सबसे बड़ा हथियार बन गयी है झूठ और भ्रम को विस्तार देने हेतु. इसका केवल इतना काम रहा गया है कि हर गलत ताकतो को जो सत्ता में है उनको बचाना, उनको बल देना. एक बाजारू औरत की तरह अपनी निष्ठा को हर बार बदलते रहना मीडिया का एकमात्र धर्मं बन गया है. साधारण शब्दो में ये सत्ता पे आसीन शासको की भाषा बोलता है. कांची के पूज्य जगद्गुरु शंकराचार्य स्वामी जयेन्द्र सरस्वती जी की गिरफ्तारी के प्रकरण के रौशनी में इस प्रकरण को देखे जिन्हे २००४ में बेहद शर्मनाक तरीके से शंकर रमण के हत्या के आरोप में गिरफ्तार कर लिया था. शंकर रमण कांची के एक मंदिर में मैनेजेर थें. उस वक्त के तमिलनाडु के तत्कालीन मुख्यमंत्री जयललिता ने अपने को धर्मनिरपेक्ष साबित करने के लिए और ये जताने के लिए कि कानून से ऊपर कोई नहीं होता इनकी गिरफतारी सुनिश्चित की. कांची के शंकराचार्य के ऊपर “आपराधिक षड्यंत्र, अदालत को गुमराह करने गलत सूचना के जरिये, धन का आदान प्रदान आपराधिक गतिविधि को क्रियांवित करने के लिये” आदि आरोप लगाये गए.

इस एक हज़ार साल से भी ऊपर अति प्राचीन ब्राह्मणो के अत्यंत महत्त्वपूर्ण केंद्र के मुख्य संचालक को इस तरह अपमानजनक तरीके से एक दुर्दांत अपराधी के भांति गिरफ्तार करना और फिर मुख्यधारा के समाचार पत्रो के द्वारा अनर्गल बयानो के आधार पर उनको दोषी करार कर देना अपने आप में मीडिया की सच्चाई बयान कर देता है. ये बता देना आवश्यक रहेगा कि कांची कामकोटि पीठ हिन्दुओ का अति प्राचीन मठ है जिसको हिन्दू समुदाय में दुनिया भर में बेहद श्रद्धा के साथ देखा जाता है. कांची के पूज्य जगद्गुरु शंकराचार्य स्वामी जयेन्द्र सरस्वती जी बहुत सम्मान की दृष्टि से देखे जाते रहे है हिन्दू शास्त्रो के मर्मज्ञ होने के कारण. इन्होने  नवी शताब्दी में स्थापित कांची कामकोटि पीठ के गरिमा को नयी ऊंचाई प्रदान की, जिसकी हिन्दू समुदाय में वेटिकन चर्च सरीखी पकड़ है. जयललिता और ब्राह्मण विरोधी नेता डीएमके प्रमुख करूणानिधि के आपसी मतभेदों के चलते इस हिन्दू मठ के माथे पर कालिख लग गयी.

 ये बता देना आवश्यक रहेगा कि कांची कामकोटि पीठ हिन्दुओ का अति प्राचीन मठ है जिसको हिन्दू समुदाय में दुनिया भर में बेहद श्रद्धा के साथ देखा जाता है. कांची के पूज्य जगद्गुरु शंकराचार्य स्वामी जयेन्द्र सरस्वती जी बहुत सम्मान की दृष्टि से देखे जाते रहे है हिन्दू शास्त्रो के मर्मज्ञ होने के कारण. इन्होने  नवी शताब्दी में स्थापित कांची कामकोटि पीठ के गरिमा को नयी ऊंचाई प्रदान की, जिसकी हिन्दू समुदाय में वेटिकन चर्च सरीखी पकड़ है. जयललिता और ब्राह्मण विरोधी नेता डीएमके प्रमुख करूणानिधि के आपसी मतभेदों के चलते इस हिन्दू मठ के माथे पर कालिख लग गयी.

ये बता देना आवश्यक रहेगा कि कांची कामकोटि पीठ हिन्दुओ का अति प्राचीन मठ है जिसको हिन्दू समुदाय में दुनिया भर में बेहद श्रद्धा के साथ देखा जाता है. कांची के पूज्य जगद्गुरु शंकराचार्य स्वामी जयेन्द्र सरस्वती जी बहुत सम्मान की दृष्टि से देखे जाते रहे है हिन्दू शास्त्रो के मर्मज्ञ होने के कारण. इन्होने नवी शताब्दी में स्थापित कांची कामकोटि पीठ के गरिमा को नयी ऊंचाई प्रदान की, जिसकी हिन्दू समुदाय में वेटिकन चर्च सरीखी पकड़ है. जयललिता और ब्राह्मण विरोधी नेता डीएमके प्रमुख करूणानिधि के आपसी मतभेदों के चलते इस हिन्दू मठ के माथे पर कालिख लग गयी.

उस वक्त के प्रमुख समाचार पत्रो ने ये दर्शाया कि पुलिस इस तरह से गिरफ्तार करने का साहस बिना पुख्ता सबूतो के कर ही नहीं सकती. उस वक्त अभियोजन पक्ष के वकील इस बात से पूरी तरह आश्वस्त थे कि शंकराचार्य को दोषी साबित करने के लिए उनके पास पर्याप्त पुख्ता सबूत थें. विवेचना अधिकारी प्रेम कुमार का ये बयान प्रमुखता से छपा कि हमारे पास ठोस साक्ष्य है स्वामी जयेन्द्र सरस्वती के खिलाफ और ये कि शंकर रमण और इनके बीच करीब चार सालो से आपसी मनमुटाव था जिसको सिद्ध करने के लिए पर्याप्त सबूत इकठ्ठा किये जा रहे है.

खैर ईश्वर के यहाँ देर भले हो पर अंधेर नहीं है. सत्य की अंततः विजय हुई जब पांडिचेरी की विशेष अदालत ने सत्ताइस नवंबर २०१३ को उन सभी लोगो को जो शंकर रमण हत्याकांड में आरोपी बनाये गए थें उनको बाइज्जत बरी कर दिया. इसी के साथ नौ साल से हो रहे ड्रामे का पटाक्षेप हो गया. उन पर लगाये गए सभी आरोपो से उन्हें मुक्त कर दिया गया. जितने भी प्रमुख गवाह थें उन्होंने अभियोजन पक्ष के वर्णन को समर्थन देने से इंकार कर दिया। अभियोजन पक्ष के विरोध में करीब ८० से अधिक गवाहो ने अपने बयान दर्ज कराये।

कांची के शंकराचार्य अंततः निर्दोष और निष्पाप होकर उभरे लेकिन इस नौ साल लम्बे ड्रामे की वजह से इस अति प्राचीन हिन्दू मठ पर जो दाग लगे उसको मिटने में कई वर्ष लगेंगे. हिन्दुओ के आस्था और प्रतीक के साथ जो बेहूदा मजाक हुआ उसके निशान कई वर्षो तक संवेदनशील मनो को कटोचते रहेंगे. लेकिन हिन्दू ब्राह्मण के उदार मन को देखिये कि इतना होने के बाद भी किसी के प्रति कोई कटुता नहीं. इस परिपेक्ष्य में शंकराचार्य के वक्तव्य को देखिये जो उन्होंने बरी होने के बाद दिया: ” धर्म की विजय हुई. सत्य की जीत हुई. सब कुछ खत्म हो जाने के बाद अंत में केवल यही बात मायने रखती है. मुझे मेरे गुरु ने सब कुछ सहन करने को कहा है. इसलिए ये कहना उचित नहीं होगा कि हालात मेरे लिए असहनीय थें. हा कुछ दिक्कते जरूर आयी वो भी उस वजह सें कि हम लोग नयी तरह की परिस्थितयो का सामना कर रहे थें. हमने पूर्व में देखा है कि किस तरह आक्रमणकारियों ने हिन्दू मंदिरो पर हमले कर उनको विध्वंस किया। आज जब हम मंदिरो पर पड़े उन हमलो की निशानियाँ देखते है तो  हमे वे आक्रमणकारी और उनकी क्रूरता याद आती है. आज जो कुछ भी मठ के साथ हुआ ( मेरे पर जो  आरोप लगे) वे बहुतो की नज़र में पूर्व में किये गए आक्रमणकारियों के द्वारा किये गए विध्वंस सरीखे ही है.”

ये बहुत दुःख की बात है कि जैसे ही किसी हिन्दू संत पर कोई आरोप लगते है सारे मुख्यधारा के मीडिया समूह उस संत को बदनाम करने की कवायद में जुट जाते है पूरी ताकत से इस बात से बिल्कुल बेपरवाह होकर कि मीडिया का मुख्य काम किसी भी घटना की सही-२ रिपोर्टिंग करनी होती है ना कि न्यायिक ट्रायल करना। उससे भी बड़ी बिडम्बना ये है कि अगर संत पर लगे आरोप निराधार और झूठे पाये जाते है तो जो अखबार या फिर न्यूज़ चैनल आरोप लगने के वक्त पूरे जोर शोर से संत को दोषी ठहरा रहे थे वे ही अखबार और न्यूज़ चैनल पूरी तरह से कन्नी काट लेते है. संत को बेगुनाह साबित करने वाली खबर कब आती है और कब चली जाती है ये पता भी नहीं चलता है. यही वजह है कि कांची के शंकराचार्य की बेगुनाही और बाइज्ज़त बरी होना किसी भी शीर्ष अखबार के सुर्खियो में नहीं आया. शायद सेकुलर मीडिया ने ये सोच कर इस खबर को प्रमुखता से नहीं बताया क्योकि हिन्दुओ से जुडी कोई भली खबर सेक्युलर भावना के विपरीत होती है!

मेनस्ट्रीम मीडिया को प्रोपगेंडा ज्यादा रास आता है बजाय सत्य के. सेक्युलर ताकतो ने और इनके द्वारा संचालित मीडिया समूहो ने कांची के शंकराचार्य के गिरफ्तारी के वक्त ये बहुत जोरदार तरीके से ये दर्शाया कि कोई भी कानून से ऊपर नहीं होता. तो क्या यही सेक्युलर ताकते जो कानून की बात करती है शाही ईमाम सैय्यद अहमद बुख़ारी को गिरफ्तार करने की हिम्मत रखते है जिन पर कई धाराओ में देश के विभिन्न थानो में एफ आई आर दर्ज है? क्या यही सेक्युलर ताकते उन क्रिस्चियन मिशनरीज को बेनकाब करने की ताकत रखती है जो देश के पिछड़े और दूर दराज के इलाको में लोगो को बहला फुसला कर उनका धर्म परिवर्तन कर रही है? लेकिन ये सबको पता है कि सेक्युलर मीडिया ऐसा कभी नहीं करेगा. ऐसा इसलिए कि इन सेक्युलर लोगो की निगाह में कानून के लम्बे हाथ केवल हिन्दू संतो के गर्दन तक पहुंचती है. ये हिन्दू संतो को केवल बदनाम करने तक ही सीमित है और हिन्दू आस्था को खंडित और विकृत करने भर के लिए है. ये दुष्प्रचार के समर्थक है सत्य के नहीं.

हिन्दू संत अपनी जाने गंवाते रहे है लेकिन ये खबरे कभी भी सेक्युलर मीडिया की सुर्खिया नहीं बनी. ये स्वामी लक्ष्मणानन्द जी की तस्वीर है जिनकी हत्या क्रिस्चियन ताकतो ने कर दी थी.

हिन्दू संत अपनी जाने गंवाते रहे है लेकिन ये खबरे कभी भी सेक्युलर मीडिया की सुर्खिया नहीं बनी. ये स्वामी लक्ष्मणानन्द जी की तस्वीर है जिनकी हत्या क्रिस्चियन ताकतो ने कर दी थी.


References:

IBN Live

The Hindu

The Hindu

Wiki


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Swami Vivekananda: A Spiritual Powerhouse Who Really Understood The Potential Of Youths!

Author of this post with Swami Nihilatmanandaji, President, Ramakrishna Mission, Allahabad. Absolutely Overwhelmed That I Received His Blessings!

Author of this post with Swami Nihilatmanandaji, President, Ramakrishna Mission, Allahabad. Absolutely Overwhelmed That I Received His Blessings!


(These are excerpts from the speech delivered by Arvind K.Pandey at Jagat Taran Girls Degree College, Allahabad,  on January 12, 2014 in a programme organised by Kritisankalpa Society to celebrate birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Other notable speakers who expressed their views on this occasion included Swami Nikhilatmananda, President, Ramakrsihna Mission, Allahabad; Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand;  Justice. Palok Basu (Retd.), Allahabad High Court;  Dr. Milan Mukherjee; Devendra Tiwari and Senior Advocate Ashok Mehta.)
 

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 Today we find that youths are at the receiving end of so many challenging issues.The transition phase has introduced them to complex living patterns, which has left them high and dry. They not only remain the most exploited lot but also remain frustrated and depressed. That’s because pressure to perform is at its peak in materialistic times. They are unable to choose right means of survival. Worse, imposition of outdated patterns of living by the silver hairs has made youths a sorry figure. Against this backdrop, the values shared by Swami Vivekananda seem to be last ray of hope as they infuse within the being supreme confidence and positive feelings.

Swami Vivekananda truly recognized the potential of youths. He always believed that “strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone” can change the face of globe. “A hundred such and the world becomes revolutionized.”  However, when we look at the state of affairs prevalent in their lives, it leaves any thinking soul quite worried and sad. Very recently, police entered inside the campus of Allahabad University and students got beaten black and blue with laathis as if they were hardcore criminals and not innocent students. If you hear about the experiences of these youths, you would be in great pain to hear about their exploitation. Acharya Manu rightly states that silver hairs alone do not constitute wisdom but in Kaliyuga the white hairs have become confirmed sign of knowledge! No wonder they are always in conflict with younger generation. They are more often than not involved in quashing the innovative spirit of youths, leading to dissipation of enthusiasm from the lives of youths.

Swami Vivekananda believed that each soul is a “potentially divine soul” but misguided silver hairs with their outdated notions have turned these younger souls, bubbling with optimism, into a potentially destructive soul. Swami Vivekananda possessed a revolutionary spirit who had dared to ask uncomfortable questions from older lot. He rightly believed that “each generation should be inspired afresh” and “men should not be taught to imitate a personal ideal, however great”. One of the fatal errors committed by older generation is that it tries to impose its views all in name of sharing experience.

Some of the well-made flicks like Three Idiots, Rang De Basanti, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and Paan Singh Tomar, to name a few, capture well the conflicts generated by old minds in the lives of youths. It’s evident that optimism and energy found in youths deeply impresses any conscious thinker of Vivekananda’s stature interested in creating new order of things.” My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions.” It’s another thing that in a nation which prefers argumentative tradition-something highly praised by Amartya Sen-the youths get tamed on one pretext or another.

Swami Vivekananda's Thoughts Would Never Lose Their Lustre..

Swami Vivekananda’s Thoughts Would Never Lose Their Lustre..

 

The lives of youths seem to have got trapped in ills of modernity. Or, why else are we seeing advertisements related with prevention of AIDS on National Youth Day? Isn’t this sad reminder of the fact that there has been erosion of values among the youths? Or is this indicative of fact that things have gone out of control since what was once upon a time treated as immoral has gained some sort of acceptance in Indian society? Whatever it is, it indicates crisis of values. We also need to accept that priorities of youths have changed and their role models have also changed. Their role models are the ones which do not inspire them to be do good and be good. They are the ones which encourage them to earn name and fame within short span of time. So what’s the role of a spiritual powerhouse amid this new set of perceptions?

Even if we take into account new changes that have hit the lives of youths, there is still much space left for spirituality. That’s because materialism cannot give them real peace of mind. It cannot quench the thirst which exists  inside our soul. No wonder youths have been hit hard by giant dragon called depression. Let’s also not forget that India is land of discovering inner peace. It’s not the land to multiply external source of happiness. And so likes of Swami Vivekananda would always be influencing our lives. They are the ones who keep us above from the realm of negativism. Youths are depressed because external world has limited means of satiating one’s desires, wherein seekers are more than suppliers! On the other hand, the inner world is infinite in nature and the competition to own this inner world is less. So people in race of inner peace have greater chances to remain happy than the majority which is in the race to conquer external world.

Swami Vivekananda’s views will always remain relevant among youths since they enable the youths to rectify their approach towards life. They rejuvenate our dull spirit, by making us shift attention from the external world to inner world and in the process this great truth gets revealed: “The aim of life is to realize God…He alone is real and everything else is false…Religion is realization.”  And once you attain realization you come to feel every moment that” all power is within you, you can do anything and everything.”

Other notable speakers who expressed their views on this occasion included Swami Nikhilatmananda, President, Ramakrsihna Mission, Allahabad; Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand;  Justice. Palok Basu (Retd.), Allahabad High Court;  Dr. Milan Mukherjee; Devendra Tiwari and Senior Advocate Ashok Mehta.

Other notable speakers who expressed their views on this occasion included Swami Nikhilatmananda, President, Ramakrsihna Mission, Allahabad; Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand; Justice. Palok Basu (Retd.), Allahabad High Court; Dr. Milan Mukherjee; Devendra Tiwari and Senior Advocate Ashok Mehta.

P.S.: This post also appeared in Northern India Patrika On January 18, 2014.

Pics Credit:
 
First and last picture have been clicked by the author of this post.

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Does The World Really Appreciate Out-Of-The Box Thinking ?

Does The World Really Appreciate Out-Of-The Box Thinking ?

Does The World Really Appreciate Out-Of-The Box Thinking ?

( The article first appeared in The Speaking Tree Column, Jammu Plus, The Times Of India)

The world is not the right place for people endorsing out-of the-box thoughts. The world recognizes only stereotyped emotions. It’s not a pessimistic assertion but it’s a result of head on encounter with realism. It’s the essence which keeps natural earthly phenomenon in organized state.  It’s the way which has happened in the past. Socrates told truth, and was offered poison! Galileo’s ideas which supported heliocentric world system were considered violation of Catholic Church teachings that the Earth was the center of the universe. That ensured a house arrest for Galileo for rest part of his life. India has also seen episodes wherein the exceptional souls faced the same disastrous consequences.

Meera challenged the monarchy by loving Krishna. She was put on trial by the near and dear ones. The ever-present God’s hand came to her rescue. Prahlad refused to gave way to his father’s belief that he was Supreme, and instead placed his faith in the Vishnu’s mystical power. That brought him against the powerful administration run by his father but as we all know Lord’s Vishnu incarnation as Narasimha came to establish as to who exactly controlled the universe.

It would not be wrong to suggest that “the way of this world is, to praise dead saints, and persecute living ones.” The moment one tries to rope in better ideas, a rush of mass of negativism tries to annihilate it. There may be some fortunate souls whom lady luck allowed to have fertile ground for execution of their dreams but for a greater lot the story has been to move from one conventional norm to another. For average souls, the world is okay. For them it had been an easy task to imbibe all contradictions and evils in name of “practical adjustment” but that’s not the case with people having heightened sensitiveness. Their own ethics prevents them from picking up anything and treating as its own. The so-called practical souls since they stand for nothing other than having deep faith in loose irrational principles are often hailed as pragmatist. “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” So they emerge as successful. They are the champions of pragmatism. They are the ones who are the real heroes for people trapped in livelihood struggles.

Lord Shiva: Truly Bold Thinker. He Accepts What The World Comes To Reject!

Lord Shiva: Truly Bold Thinker. He Accepts What The World Comes To Reject!

However, life is deadly ash. That’s why Lord Shiva’s whole body is smeared with deadly ash. Once you have a real interaction, absolute deadly realization, the ability to make fraudulent dealings gets wiped out totally. Your spirit refuses to participate in worldly affairs, not imbibing everything in name of changes of time. It becomes selective in conscious way. It’s like attaining the “Sthitpragya” state – the state of absolute equanimity attained as result of identification with highest consciousness in a perfect way.  Lord Krishna has referred to it in Srimad Bhagvad Geeta:

Prajahati yada kaman sarvan partha mano-gatan
atmany evatmana tustah sthita-prajnas tadocyate

-Lord Krishna said, O Arjuna when gives up all desires  for sense gratification produced within the mind and becoming satisfied by the realization of the self in the pure state of the soul; then it is said one is properly situated in perfect knowledge.

True, once that state is attained, the person with such a state of mind refuses to sway with happenings of the world. Nothing seems to change externally but the inner being of such a person undergoes revolutionary transformation. That might make him a failure from worldly materialistic evaluation but in kingdom of souls he is the king of souls like the God principle. He refuses to endorse the worldly orientations and instead walks all alone on path built of out-of-the-box thoughts.

Like always, the worldly temptations manifest for such a soul to distract him. No wonder, Swami Vivekananda treats the path of realization akin to walking on the razor’s edge. The seeker until realization dawns upon him should need to remain highly vigilant, maintaining high level of “viveka shakti”- the sense of making wise choices. In Bhagavad Geeta, Lord Krishna warns the seekers that they should not give way to superficial attainments by worshiping lesser Gods, and thus should not pay much attention to Vedic verses aimed at appeasing him. 

Yavan artha udapane sarvatah samplutodake
tavan sarvesu vedesu brahmansya vijanatah (Chapt.2; Verse 46)

- All that is served in well of water is better served by a vast lake; similarly, all the purpose in all Vedic scriptures are realized to he who knows the ultimate truth.

So let’s learn to travel alone even as the route passes through worldly happenings, under the shadow of out-of-the-box thoughts with a conscious and alert mind.

The Bhagwad Geeta: The Ultimate Source Of Out-Of-The-Box Thinking!

The Bhagwad Geeta: The Ultimate Source Of Out-Of-The-Box Thinking!

 

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Ship Of Theseus: Moving Swiftly In The Ocean Of Perspectives (Movie Review)

Ship Of Theseus: A Nice Take On Perspectives!

Ship Of Theseus: A Nice Take On Perspectives!


I curiously awaited the screening of the movie Ship of Theseus, which had managed to elicit great remarks from leading directors of Indian cinema landscape. The film festival in Allahabad, organised by Dainik Jagran, provided me an opportunity to watch this movie. In eyes of Shekhar Kapoor, the movie marked the arrival of “a brilliant new filmmaker” while Shyam Benegal could not resist himself from stating that it’s a “rare film that engages your mind, emotions and senses in equal measure providing the viewer a cinematic experience that is both hugely entertaining and stimulating”. The movie was inspired from the dilemma whether or not the object remains  same if its components undergo total replacement. In this movie the promising young director, Anand Gandhi, has interconnected three different short stories, each dealing with a different issue, but underlying theme remains the same. The first one dealt with visually impaired photographer, who lost her intuitive ability to capture striking images after a successful cornea transplant operation. The second story depicted an ailing monk, questioning life and death via his ongoing fight for rights of animals meant for conducting experiments during preparation of medicines. The third and the final story highlighted corrupt practices prevalent in medical world, wherein a stockbroker tries to place in dock persons involved in organ trade racket.

I am not the sort of person to go entirely by the rave reviews by big names from the world of cinema. In fact, even the sentiments of well-known directors fail to impress me. “Seeing is believing” has always been the principle which defined my approach, especially while anticipating the worth of a movie. And thus, contrary to the general consensus, I found the acting of  Aida El-Kashef ( Aliya in movie as visually impaired photographer) and Farza Khan (Aliya’s live-in-boyfriend in the movie) absolutely horrible. The exhibition of emotions was synthetic and loud. Great movies do not begin that way. The agony that should have hit her, in the aftermath of loss of her intuitive abilities, never got reflected in her mannerism. The saving grace came in the form of crispy thought provoking dialogues: “Does reality exist when no one is looking?” It’s the deep concerns which the characters portray compensates the poor acting.


The movie gained substance with the arrival of crazy monk Maitreya (Neeraj Kabi). Not only humour element got elevated but even the thematic shortcomings got balanced due to superb acting skills demonstrated by Neeraj Kabi and Vinay Shukla ( Carvaka in the movie). This part of the movie successfully conveyed that contradictions rules the lives and a perfect life is healthy assimilation of contradictions. A person should not be too rigid while pursuing noble cause since it comes in the way of fulfillment of goals. It might also limit one’s ability to make better choices. The rigidity displayed by Maitreya is in the eyes of Carvaka- the lawyer who believed in learning arguments of both the sides- was not very different than fundamentalism exhibited by a suicide bomber! This lawyer, follower of  Pastafarianism, induces great deal of pragmatism when he tries to create a fitting place for the contradictions. Anyway, Maitreya does impress us all when he places reasons above crude sentimentality!

Ship of Theseus: The First Story Marred By Poor Acting!

Ship of Theseus: The First Story Marred By Poor Acting!

Well, it’s crude sentimentality which always makes its presence felt in Indian movies. It’s not always the case that movies devoid of melodramatic elements manage to evoke mass attention. The average Indian cinema lover’s connection with melodrama is so intense that a director’s take on critical issue without this element is akin to self-goal in football! Anand Gandhi, at least, need to be credited for the fact that he manages to tell the story for Indians without being in awe of sentimentality! The last scene of the story showing the monk’s decision to live the life fully proves one thing quite well that healthy compromises for an elevated cause is not a bad thing. Well, the monk didn’t talk of Krishna’s Bhagvad Geeta but I feel the realization of monk is on par with view of Lord Krishna who in Bhagvad Gita stated that “every profession is world is tainted by some flaw”. So the summum bonum is: Healthy compromise should not prick the conscience!

The stockbroker’s case in the movie is pretty interesting but I need to differ from the reviews which have appeared in mainstream media and elsewhere that humour element in this part delight us. That’s not true. The humour appears as some sort of forced entry into a well structured plot. It also baffles me that reviewers have ignored some greater aspects related with this part of the movie wherein an young stockbroker trails the missing recipient of the stolen kidney! The reviewers failed to remember the heated conversation between stockbroker and his maternal grandmother, who happens to be progressive thinker, confined to ideological orientations spread in progressive literature churned out by the leftist. The impression she generates, and which irritates this guy working for American companies, is that one can pursue a noble cause only when one is in tune with such literature. The young stockbroker hits hard at her this “fallacious notion” when he tries to ensure justice for the poor labourer. The another myth which gets shattered ( and I really found it pretty interesting) is that fight for greater cause leads to its perfect attainment. Ask a real life hero and you would realize that he/she often feels cheated. The people for whom he/she comes to fight often leave their saviour in the lurch. The stockbroker wanted justice in real terms for this unfortunate labourer whose kidney got stolen for a rich foreigner ( the recipient). The labourer retracts from his promises after his petty interests get fulfilled. The protagonist has to remain contend with limited achievement.

In real life also we find that similar dilemma occurs. For instance, the moment one tries to make the purpose of education an extension of values, one has to face stiff resistance for all quarters of society, which feels that only purpose of education is to earn huge money, no matter if it means adoption of unethical means. The film does not end with a specific message but it does symbolically shows via the passage through the cave that life is full of immense possibilities, which allows nurturing of different perspectives. Hope we come to choose the one which best serves the cause of not only humanity but also our own personal causes close to heart!

The Crazy Monk Who Added New Dimensions In The Philosophical Paradoxes!

The Crazy Monk Who Added New Dimensions In The Philosophical Paradoxes!

References: 

DNA

Ship Of Theseus IMDB

Friday Times

Firstpost 

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Swami Vivekananda: The Maker Of Lions!

A REALIZED SOUL

A REALIZED SOUL

It really fills my heart with bliss that this part of the world originally hailed as Aryavrata, now known as Bharat (India), has always produced evolved souls, having the capacity to delve deep into the world of mysticism in effortless manner- a reason why this part of the land is viewed with great wonder by people living in the other part of the hemisphere. I often meet yogis/saints, witnessing many such mysterious phenomenon related with world of Yoga, but this feeling saddens me that, back in past, when great saints and spiritually advanced yogis, roamed on this land quite frequently, I wasn’t fortunate enough to be the part of that era! It’s interesting to note that these great souls played different roles as per need of the society. Some roamed in jungles, some lived in caves, some lived as householder, and some became part of mainstream affairs, even as they retained their ascetic robes, to shape the destiny of Bharat-the land of divine principles. 

True, many fake Gurus, have turned religion into a most lucrative affair, but it remains ultimate truth that India is intrinsically wedded to yogic principles. This land, in absence of spiritual values, would not be able to survive. May be currents of time sometimes lead to clash of values, but this nation has the capacity to absorb contradictions and conflicts in easygoing way. Like myself, others too, would have not believed the glory of Indian spiritual world, had saints like Swami Vivekananda not appeared in the modern phase of civilization. His presence was certain sign of the fact that supreme consciousness was still in operation. Swami Vivekananda removed my doubt that great yogis were mainly confined to storybooks; that great tales of yogic feats were exaggerated description of imaginative minds. However, after reading life-sketch of, Sri Aurobindo, I became truly confirmed that people in league with extraordinary psychic powers, were not only part of ancient India but they were very much part of modern India as well.

However, today I wish to remain confined to world of Swami Vivekananda, since on this very day, 12 January, 1863,  this Avatara of Lord Shiva, manifested on earthly plane. He was an extraordinary person in his lifetime but one who had normal childhood. He  involved in naughty pranks like any other child of that age. However, the thing that separated him from others was that he frequently got absorbed in higher form of consciousness. As he grew up and took admission in college life, he was the one who loved to read various philosophies, roped in by great teachers in past. In other words, he remained hooked to intellectual plane alone! That was not the final destination of a great mind like him placed on route to realization. The Updesha Vakyas (Directive Statements)  found in Upanishads were yet to culminate into Anubhuti Vakyas or Anubhava Vakyas ( realized truths). 

A great truth of the world of spirituality is that a willing seeker or a qualified seeker soon comes to find a Guru (The Master). The same thing happened with Swami Vivekananda, when he met with Sri Ramakrishna. Naturally, that turned out to be life-defining moment for Swami Vivekananda. He soon emerged as a realized soul. In fact, he was always a realized soul and able Guru like Sri Ramakrishna merely ensured that ignorance inside him which made him see himself as ordinary mortal get vanished for forever. It’s interesting to note that in pre-Independence era, we had host of great spiritual souls, who ensured that India’s journey in future as independent nation takes place amid certain special values. The Western world, and we Indians too, remember him mainly because of his great speech at Parliament of the World’s Religions, delivered on 11 September 1893, in Chicago. Not many are aware of the fact that it wasn’t a smooth journey and there was lack of funds to sponsor this visit, and surprisingly, he was not allowed to participate in the conference because of lack of endorsement from a well known organisation. It was only after the intervention of Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University he got the chance to participate in this conference. Wright was so taken aback that he had to say: “To ask for your credentials is like asking the sun to state its right to shine in the heavens.”

Anyway, a soul of his stature, does not appear on earth for attainment of petty goals. He arrived to make supreme consciousness part of this land, which  appears to be heart of the universe.  If it stops functioning, the other civilizations are bound to collapse one after another. Although if one has a close look at the life of Swami Vivekananda, one would notice that he suffered life-long at the hands of mediocre minds but today when he is now no more in physical form, his own words have come true that real significance of his achievements would manifest after many years of his death. I must say that now when India is struggling hard to keep its ancient identity- the land of spirituality- intact, the words of Swami Vivekananda offer great solace, great strength. In other words, his thoughts and thoughts of other great minds are keeping at bay values antithetical to its spiritual essence. These great souls have now become active at subtle level, considering the way we have begun to realize that their thoughts alone could brighten our lives marred by ills of materialism.

It’s upon us that we either follow their way and emerge as an evolved being or ignore their wisdom to emerge as “dirty picture” of crass values. “All the powers in universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.” (Swami Vivekananda).  Isn’t it the right thing to live life in light of these great values? Is there any merit in dying like a retarded lamb when you could have always roared like a lion?  Let’s attempt for such huge transformation from this very moment.

 

Lion or Lamb? Choice is yours!

Lion or Lamb? Choice is yours!

Pics Credit:

Pic One

Pic Two

Shri Radha: Paragon Of Love And Virtue

Sri Radha: The Supreme Teacher

Sri Radha: The Supreme Teacher

(Today we are celebrating the birthday of Shri Radhaji. I am posting this article, an ode to female power, to mark the occasion. The article has been previously published in Northern India Patrika, 2001; Soham, bilingual International magazine, 2005; British edition of Indowaves)   

Radha holds a special place in the hearts of Radha-Krishna devotees. Krishna without Radha can never be meditated upon, and that explains why Janmashtmi is incomplete without Radhashtmi’s celebrations in full fervour. On this day devotees plunge into a state of euphoria in Vraja where it is celebrated with grandeur. Radharani, daughter of Brishabhanu and Kalawati, was born in Barsaane fifteen days after Krishna’s birth in Mathura. Radha being hladinishakti’ (the power of bliss) of Shri Krishna always remains in unison with him. Radhashtmi, her appearance day, is viewed by the devotees as a day that leads an aspirant on to the path of bhakti and bliss—a step closer towards absolute merging of the lover in the beloved. Radha’s grace alone provide as supreme Bhakti  (devotion)  and it is she who makes a seeker’s  union with Krishna a reality.

According to Padma Purana, Gopis (cow-herd girls) were Rishis of Dandakarnya who had expressed their desire to be in intimate service of Lord Rama. Lord Rama had then told them to wait till his next incarnation as Krishna takes place in Dvapar age. Upanishads, too, appeared in the form of Gopis to participate in Leelas (divine gestures) of Krishna. Gopis who embraced the lotus feet of Lord Krishna have been classified into several categories due to difference in attitude and service. Some are sadhna –oriented i.e. they have attained Gopi bhava because of austerities performed in their earlier births whereas some are in service of Krishna from beginning (Nitya-priya). It is said that a jeeva( worldly soul)  attains Gopi bhava through intense tapas. Radha, Chandraravali Visakha, Lalita, Shyama and Padma were prominent Gopis. Shri Radharani is of Mahabhava Swaroopa and, therefore, she stands apart from others as the Chief Gopika.

Tears In Love Are So Commonplace!

Tears In Love Are So Commonplace!

Raadhika possesses infinite qualities prominent among them being twenty five, which includes chief among Krishna-priyas, soft-spoken, clever, and adept in classical form of music, Rasaswaroopa kind-hearted, owner of pious smile and unusual depth within. Her actions are borne out of desire to serve and please Govinda.

Surdas gives a loving detail of the first meeting of Radha and Krishna. One day Shri Krishna while engaged in the Bal Leela (childhood gesture) happens to reach the bank of Yamuna. He is surprised, as well as delighted, to find there a new face which was glowing with supreme beauty. Krishna, left dumb struck by such a beauty could not resist himself from asking her name, “I have never seen you before in Brija.Who are you?” he asked. “Why should I come to ever come to Brija, I have too many friends to play with at my place. I have come to know that Nanda’s son is a big trouble­-maker who excels in the art of stealing,” she shot back. Krishna, determined to get her company said, “What do you possess that I am going to steal from you and which you fear to lose? Come let’s play together. We would form an excellent pair.” Poor Radha she didn’t realize that what she was going to lose—heart the most valuable possession of any woman.

The conjugal relationship between Radha and Krishna is pinnacle of Madhurya Bhava (the bliss oriented state). At this point it is necessary to mention that Parmatma (Supreme Self) is one-without-a-second! Therefore no leela (divine act) is possible in this state. In the madhurya bhava,  Nirguna Parabrahman is supposed to have a form with which a bhakta can establish a relationship. Gradually moving through five principle bhavas a stage comes when a bhakta cares little for worldly obligations and principles. This is the peak point popularly known as “Kanta Bhava’in Vaishnava literature. Something that separates Rasa leela from ordinary leelas is whereas the former takes place at yoga maya level, the latter is performed at Mahamaya level (highest plane of consciousness). Surdas considers total surrendering and forgetfulness of body consciousness essential for maturity of Madhurya Bhava. Bhagvan Ramakrishna said, “I have spent a few days in Radha Bhava. On those occasions I use to dress like woman. It is indeed impossible to sing the glory of Radha who is embodiment of refined virtue and supreme love.”

Gross mundane realities prevent us from having a glimpse of Rasa leela of Radha and Krishna but bhaktas like Surdas are always absorbed in their Madhurya. Explaining the reason of deep love between Radha and Krishna Surdas cites chidhod fancies. He feels a bond of friendship formed in the childhood contains in it the seeds of deep love, which under favourable circumstances get converted into life-long commitment. Gaudiya cult provides an absolutely a different explanation. Here love already exists in their hearts and its growth is not dependant on outside influences. Similarly Radha conceived by Chandidas is too sensitive whose heart aches on hearing the name of Madhava.

Perhaps differences in their outlook are the result of bhava that captivated their hearts, which is in each case unique. So Radha of Surdas has egocentric tendencies. She not only humiliates Krishna but even rebukes him on trivial issues. So what if in isolation she weeps for Krishna, her heart always aching for intimate moments. It is this duality in her behavior and paradoxical approach that keeps Krishna guessing whenever He meets her. On the other hand, Vidyapati’s Radha too has ego but it subsides when she faces Krishna. Radha perceived by Chandidas is completely devoid of ego. She neither reacts nor retaliates but remains absorbed in His thoughts.

Vaishnavaas have carved unique image of Radha, which has no parallel. It is so because Vaishnavas don’t consider Bhakti to be bhava, Bahakti is ‘Rasa’ to them. Though Radha does not figure in clearly in Bhagavat Purana, she is the prime character of Brahma Vaivarta and Padma Purana. Jaideva’s appearance on the scene in 12th century makes Radharani comes into limelight. It is believed that these two Puranas and Geeta Govinda of Jayadeva established her as paragon of love and virtue. But it was Nimbakacharya who first revealed philosophical aspects of Shri Radha’s various dimensions. Lord has two powers namely Kriyashakti (power to perform) and Gyanaskati (power to seek knowledge). Satyabhama (Bhudevi) represents the former while the Rukamani(Sridevi) stands for the latter. In Radha, these two powers get unified and she thus becomes Parashakti (supreme power) of the Lod. In this form these two powers attain a non –dual relationship with the Lord but in their individual state retain their particular relationship. Thus, exists a distinction when one fails to identify with Sri Radha. Sri Nimabakacharya provides a much elevated status to Radha. She becomes Bhakti or Brahman Vidya (Knowledge of self) which liberates jeeva from bondage of Maya. In other words, she becomes a Supreme Master.

Shri Krishna, who always remains one with her, is called “Atma Rama”. Krishna states in Padma Purana: ‘Know Radhika to be best of teachers of the Highest Knowledge—Knowledge of Brahman.’ Let us pray that she appears on the earth again and again. If Radha arrives how can  Krishna remain far behind? May we get devotion for her so that our hearts get purified to receive her grace. And, thus, we become one of the participants of ever happening grand ‘Rasa leela of Radha and Krishna ’.

**************

Some Popular Bhajans Associated With Her: 

1. Jai Radha Madhav 

2. Radha Aisi Bhai Shyam Ki Diwani

3. Vrindavan Dham Apar 

4. Hamaro Dhan Radha Shri Radha

5. Yashomati Maiyya Se Bole Nandlala

Radha And Krishna: Always In Intimate Union

Radha And Krishna: Always In Intimate Union

Reference:

Surdas 

Gopis

Jaideva’s

hladinishakti

Pics Credit:

Pic One 

 
 
 

The Bhagavad Gita: Gateway to ineffable peace and bliss

Lord Krishna: The Ultimate Goal

Lord Krishna: The Ultimate Goal

The messages of Krishna offer great solace to us in present times marred by confusion and disorder of worst types. I know it’s one of the easiest tasks to read the great words. It’s proper reflection and subsequent action plans that really matters in the long run.  However, such shortcomings on part of human beings do not make these words lose relevance. Even a casual approach on our part while dealing with these pearls of wisdom proves to be a meaningful gesture.
 

A beginning is something that really matters. It’s better to be part of the journey than remain always trapped in a statue mode. In most cases, the beginning is often in the form of casual interactions with words spoken by enlightened souls. Have you noticed that when we are journeying we often read great messages posted on walls of railway stations? You are in great hurry but even then these words manage to catch your attention. From that very moment a reflection takes place birth inside your mind which if given conscious direction on part of us could lead to miraculous transformation.

So on this occasion when the world is celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, let’s try to reconnect with Him for one more time via his messages. In lighter vein, Lord Krishna is representative of Absolute Self that’s above birth and death, and still we celebrate his birth with great fanfare. But is it that easy to keep the great charmer Krishna away from one’s life whose very name means the one who has power to attract us-the attractive one?
 

In the end, I wish to quote the words of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh to make us aware of the worth of messages spread in The Bhagavad Gita. According to Sri Aurobindo Ghosh one should always remember Krishna’s teaching because it ensures “perfection of action. It makes man great. It gives him the utter strength, the utter bliss which is the goal of life in the world.
 

*****************
yajna-dana-tapah-karma
na tyajyam karyam eva tat
yajno danam tapas caiva
pavanani manisinam  

-Bhagavad Gita 18.5 

“Acts of sacrifice, charity and penance are not to be given up; they must be performed. Indeed, sacrifice, charity and penance purify even the great souls.”

*******************

manushyanam sahasresu
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah

–  Bhagavad Gita 7.3 

“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” 

********************
gatir bharta prabhuh saksi
nivasah saranam suhrt
prabhavah pralayah sthanam
nidhanam bijam avyayam

–  Bhagavad Gita 9.18 

“I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.”

*****************
ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
tesham nityabhiyuktanam
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham

–  Bhagavad Gita 9.22 

“But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.”

***************
tvam aksharam paramam veditavyam
tvam asya vishvasya param nidhanam
tvam avyayah sasvata-dharma-gopta
sanatanas tvam purusho mato me

 -  Bhagavad Gita 11.18 

“You are the supreme primal objective. You are the ultimate resting place of this entire universe. You are inexhaustible, and You are the oldest. You are the maintainer of the eternal religion, the Personality of Godhead. This is my opinion.”

******************
yam hi na vyathayanty ete
purusham purusharsabha
sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram
so ’mrtatvaya kalpate

 -Bhagavad Gita 2.15 

“O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.”

 ***************

daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te

 -  Bhagavad Gita 7.14 

“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.”

************

tam eva saranam gaccha
sarva-bhavena bharata
tat-prasadat param shantim
sthanam prapsyasi sasvatam

 -  Bhagavad Gita 18.62 

“O scion of Bharata, surrender unto Him utterly. By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode.”

*********************************

References:

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita

Wiki

Voice Of Dharma

Pics Credit:

Pic One

 

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