Category Archives: Indian Philosophy

Lawyers and Spiritualism: Sounds Incredible Yet It’s Possible in Allahabad! ( Photo Feature )

radhas

( Lord Hari said to Narada in Padma Purana: “Naham Vasami Vaikunthe Yoginam Hridaya Na Cha, Madbhakta Yatra Gayanti Tatra Tishthami Narada”, “I am not in Vaikunthe and not in the heart of Yogis, but I am there where people worship me and sing my name, O Narada”. )
 

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ( Albert Einstein ) It’s not often the case that you find lawyers gathering at some place to discuss about issues pertaining to spiritualism. However, in a city like Prayag, which has been seat of intellectual discourse since time immemorial, the unconventional route is not a rarity. Lawyers may or may not emerge as spiritual giants yet they are potentially more divine than others. Let me explain how. Is there any other section of society other than lawyers which witnesses most tragic ironies from such close angles? It’s entirely impossible to beat lawyers in being face-to-face with chosen paradoxes of life. They witness darkest chapters of life almost daily from shattering of human bonds to heinous episodes involving treachery and killings! They see all. That makes their soul crave for peace more and more.

The commonplace observation about lawyers and doctors is that they are extremely materialistic, greedy and manipulative. There is, indeed, an element of truth in such misplaced notions. Yet the greater truth is that they are the most logical, methodical and damn accurate about happenings of life. It’s an easy task for lawyers to change the course of destiny only if they really desire so! Mahtama Gandhi did it for us in beginning of 20th century, and so did Muhammad Ali Jinnah, trained as a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn, when he played an instrumental role in creation of Pakistan.

The Indian Independence movement involved selfless gestures of so many lawyers having diverse political orientations. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Lala Lajpat Rai, Pandit Govind  Ballabh Pant, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, P.V. Narsimha Rao, Purushottam Das Tandon, Tej Bahadur Sapru and Pandit Madan Malaviya, to name a few, provided excellent leadership at different levels to make “India’s tryst with destiny” a significant affair in the history of world. Interestingly, Clement Attlee, Britain’s Prime Minister at time of India’s Independence, was also a trained lawyer! One thing more. Some of the these lawyers had close connection with Allahabad.
 

In modern India, nowadays, false notions about lawyers dominate psyche of average mass of people. In fact, a large section of Indian people still believes that studying law is last option for hopeless creatures rejected in other professions! It’s only now that tough entrance, introduction of standard professional approach, and creation of state-of-the-art institutions offering law degrees have virtually sealed the scope for mediocre minds to enter in this profession. However, even now there are lots of loopholes which have ensured that “black gown” is held hostage to lesser minds. If that’s not enough the irresponsible approach of Bar Councils have ensured that life for hardworking lawyers remains like walking on the razor’s edge! And how can we ignore the fact that block-headed, shrewd and arrogant judges are killing the scope of emergence of young lawyers as successful lawyers!!

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( Kudos to all the souls involved in spreading the words of Lord Krishna )

Against the backdrop of this sorts of dismal scenario, the emergence of group of lawyers at Allahabad High Court for uplifting the cause of spiritualism under different banners comes as whiff of fresh air. Kudos to Mr S C Upadhyaya for spreading the message of Lord Krishna under aegis of “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being”.  One also can’t ignore role of Adv. Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Ex Vice-President of High Court’s Bar Association, and Adv. Sanjay Mishra, to name a few, for ably steering the course of spiritual wave at Allahabad High Court. This should not sound as exaggeration that Devendra ji with his academic bent of mind is setting good precedents in an era wherein lawyers are being perceived as opportunist and shallow creatures. I have been lucky enough in having long conversations with both Mr Tiwari and Sanjay Mishra and realized immediately that both of them excel at carving excellent strategies. No wonder that augurs well for expanding cause of spiritualism in distant lands. Very recently “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being” organized a spiritual discourse on very first day of 2016 at Brahma Vidya Kendra situated inside historic Company Garden located in heart of Allahabad!

Overall, the year began on great note for lawyers-cum-spiritual enthusiasts! The pictures bear testimony to this assertion. It would be a fatal blunder on my part if I omit the name of few sincere activists promoting the message of Krishna with total application of mind and heart. I notice them in almost every event organised under different banners. Adv. Shashikant Kuswaha, Adv. Ramendra Giri, Adv. Adarsh Upadhyaya, Adv. Shashank Singh, Adv. Naveen Pandey and Adv. Pankaj Upadhyaya are some of the faces which are often involved in their tasks in fast and furious way. However, I need to appreciate Shashikant who happens to be my friend since college days. He deserves appreciation not because he happens to be my close friend. He deserves praises because he has evolved as good human being, performing with sincerity whatever tasks fell his way! His down-to-earth approach is infectious!! As concluding remarks I need to mention words of SMA Kazmi, former Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh, whom I served as junior in early days of my legal career, that it’s talent alone which ensures bright future provided lady luck at the same time remains kind towards you! So hope and wish that lady luck smiles on all my colleagues serving both humans and Lord at the same time!!

krsiush
( Neither the position of Brahma nor that of Indra, neither suzerainty nor the rulership of the nether regions, neither power that comes through Yoga nor liberation- the man who has surrendered his mind unto Me desires nothing else but Me- Words of Lord Krishna for Great Yogi Uddhava in Uddhava Gita )

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* Pics Related With Events On January 01 And January 02, 2016 *

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( As I headed towards Brahma Vidya Kendra situated inside beautiful Company Garden, the rustic charm prevalent there took my breath away )

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( I love walking on such muddy routes than being placed on metalled roads )

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( Although I was getting late for the event. these bright flowers stopped me for a while )

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( That’s the Brahma Vidya Kendra inside Company Garden )

Swaminis
( Both these lady saints manage the affair at this Kendra. They were truly in league with divine wisdom. That was so evident in humility exhibited by them. )

notable

( That’s the team which orgainsed this event at Brahma Vidya Kendra on very first day of 2016. Some of the prominent ones are Adv. S C Upadhaya, Adv. Sanjay Mishra, Adv. Dr. Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Adv. Ramendra Giri and Adv. Pankaj Upadhyaya besides , of course, lady saint. )

perect

( Adv. S C Upadhayaya and Adv. Devendra Kumar Tiwari garlanded Adv. Ramendra Giri for  ensuring excellent arrangement of Prasada distribution among the devotees. He prepared the prasada not from the hands but through the heart immersed in devotion towards Lord! )

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( From Left To Right: Adv. Devendra Tiwari, Lady Saint, Adv. and Writer, Arvind K. Pandey ( i.e. myself 😛 ) and Adv. S C Upadhyaya.  )

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( Senior Advocate Mr. S C Upadhyaya, President, Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being, throwing light on the role of mission while addressing the media-persons present on this occasion. )

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( Some of the other advocates- the spiritual stars 😛 – who made this event a memorable affair 🙂 From Left to Right:  Adv. Ramendra Giri,  Adv. Nawal Kishore Pandey,  Adv. Shashikant Kuswaha,  Myself ( author of this post 😛 ) and  Adv. Shashank Singh )

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( Green Bananas waiting to turn into yellow 😛 😛 😛 . The Kendra has lots of fruit trees, small and big ones which  makes this place a spectacle of greenery. )

onwaal

( Anwala Tree 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

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( Peepal Tree is loved by Lord Krishna!! It’s considered very sacred. Probably that’s why some devotee thought it to be a perfect gesture to hang image of Gooddess Durga ji 🙂 )

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( Well, first day of New Year gave others a nice chance to play Cricket in Company Garden. I noticed that at every corner of the park  people of all ages were deeply involved in playing cricket!! )

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( Advocates involved in a spiritual discussion at a different place on a different day in Allahabad! A pleasant sight since lawyers are usually involved in heated discussions 😛 )

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( Advocates who visited my home ( and that’s my room 😛 )  and we had exchange of views on interesting issues. From Left to Right: Adv. Shashikant Kuswaha, Adv. Dr. Devendra Tiwari,  Adv. Nawal Kishore Pandey and my father Mr. Ram Murat Pandey, who as a Review Officer at UPPSC dealt with legal issues pertaining to engineers and others )

newes

( Advocate Sanjay Mishra also paid visit to my home. He is , indeed, a very capable lawyer, dominating both in legal and spiritual world with his distinct aura! His rich insights made me re-think over some of the life’s burning issues. I wish to meet him often. Hope that’s  Will of Lord too 😛 In this short visit, he discussed about genesis of religion and effect of women empowerment in modern times!  )

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( On the second day of New Year we all advocates gathered at residence of Adv. Shashikant Kuswaha wherein party of “litti-chokha” was organised! Notice Shashikant that whatever be the role, he gets involved in it with total dedication! )

 

My friend Adv. Shashikant Involved in preparation of Chokha with help of his brother!! ( My friend Adv. Shashikant Involved in preparation of Chokha with help of his brother!! )
Tomatoes being baked with help of Upali fire! Upalis are prepared from cow's dung! ! ( Tomatoes being baked with help of Upali fire! Upalis are prepared from cow’s dung! ! )


Advocate Ramendra Giri here also ensured that food prepared is of excellent quality. And it did turn out to be quite delicious! In the meantime, he also entertained lawyers there with his short skits based on episode of Ramayana!
( Adv. Ramendra Giri here too ensured that people gathered here do come to relish on tasty food 🙂 Indeed, we all enjoyed his preparations )

 

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( Guavas were tempting the child in us to steal them even as they were too close to us 😛 😛  At Shashikant’s place one notices lots of greenery comprised of fruit trees and flower plants of various types. )

uyiyty

( Felt glad on noticing Sri Tulsi ji! She is so dear to Lord. )

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(
Advocates getting a chance to relish on Litti Chokha 🙂 Once upon a time it was darling of poor people. Now I notice it party of elites 😛 😛 :P )

cpusis

( Being inherently a village soul, enjoying  background of farmer’s family, the Liiti-Chokha always manged to be part of my diet! In fact, it appears that Litti-Chokha manages to find me always 😛 😛 )

lightsre

( Blessings of saints work wonders 🙂 )

misshir
( Feel glad to be in company of such good souls. Myself with Advocate Ramendra Giri ( Extreme Left ) and Advocate Sanjay Mishra ( Extreme Right ) )

ediue

( Let’s hope we all stay together helping each other in best possible ways. It’s need of the hour that good souls remain together. That’s the only way to rule over negative powers, weaken negative forces. Jai Radha Govinda 🙂 )

Srimad Bhagavad Gita: It’s More Than A Scripture! It’s Realization Simplified!!

Srimad Bhagavad-Gita: It's Realization Simplified!

Srimad Bhagavad-Gita: It’s Realization Simplified!

You rarely get a chance to listen about glories of Lord in Kaliyuga. It’s manifestation of grace, sign of good fortune, and blessings of great souls that you come to hear about tales of Lord from people dealing in supreme knowledge found In Indian scriptures. That’s how I felt while attending a seminar held at Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad, which dealt with discussion pertaining to Srimad Bhagvad Gita in light of human values, spiritual values and equality among all religions.

Many distinguished speakers expressed their views which included  Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi, Honourable Governor of West Bengal; Vibhav Bhushan Tripathi, former Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh; Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand; Justice Sakharam  (retd); Dr Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Advocate, Allahabad High Court, Allahabad, and Shri Rishikant Pandey, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Allahabad. The event was held under aegis of “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being” which is being run by Shri Satish Chandra Upadhyay, Advocate, Allahabad High Court. The event was also attended by Shri Janak Pandey, former Vice Chancellor, Bihar Central University and Shri R K Ojha, President, Allahabad High Court Bar Association, Allahabad. However, it was pretty unfortunate that constraints of time did not allow Janak Pandey to express his views. Mr. R S Verma ( retd IAS ) presented the vote of thanks on this occasion in a heartfelt way.

Pandit Keshari Nath Tripathi: A profound and influential speaker on matters pertaining to Indian scriptures!

Pandit Keshari Nath Tripathi: A profound and influential speaker on matters pertaining to Indian scriptures!

I had never heard Mr Keshari Nath Tripathi before but I have been quiet aware of his oratory skills. He is a profound and influential speaker on matters pertaining to Indian scriptures besides, of course, being legal expert of great stature. His keynote address did not disappoint us. It was an engrossing talk related with significance of Bhagavad Gita in modern times. He hailed it as scripture that in essence dealt with significance of knowledge from various level of thoughts. He referred to fact that knowledge of cosmic affairs is better than earthly knowledge pertaining to life sciences. In other words, he was referring to supremacy of metaphysics over physics! That’s not surprising since ancient Hindu scriptures like Upanishads have talked about distinction between Para Vidya ( Higher Knowledge ) and Apara Vidya ( Lower Knowledge). It’s not inappropriate if one excels in earthly knowledge but it’s better that if having attained human life one devotes it to study of higher knowledge.

In regard to supremacy of this higher knowledge one needs to recollect words of Swami Vivekanand: ” Western Scholars are now striving to understand this ideal which is enshrined in our Sanskrit literature and philosophy, and which has been the characteristic of India all through the ages.”  I must say this term “knowledge”, especially “Higher Knowledge” is not interchangeable with term “education”. Education nowadays is a medium to generate money than imparting refined knowledge which draws you towards your “real self”

Mr Keshari Nath emphasized upon the fact that had life ended on what we treat as “death” the terms like “Moksha” ( liberation ) would have sounded defunct. However, that’s not the case. There is life after death and if that’s the case one is bound to find meaning in Srimad Bhagvad Gita. In his eyes, it’s quite striking about Srimad Bhagavad Gita that it does not try to disown antithetical views. It tries to assimilate views contradictory to the views expressed by Lord Krishna. That’s the supreme beauty of Srimad Bhagvad Gita which with Upanishads and Brahma Sutras constitute Prasthanatrayi Texts in Hindu Philosophy. He gave example of Mahabharata Age that each day at the end of war fought at Kurukshetra, the army heads belonging to Pandvas and Kuaravas visited camps of each other. Mr Keshari Nath sounds well that relevance of this scripture is not limited to mere troubled times but it’s also a scripture meant to improve the affairs of life in stable period. He ended his speech on this thought-provoking idea that one needs to ascertain what really Parabrhman is all about whenever Lord  highlight his supremacy by hailing himself or his “I” as Parabhrahman?

Assistant Professor Rishikant Pandey: He finds its amazing that Srimad Bhagvad Gita got portrayed as ultimate treatise of different branches of Indian philosophy!

Assistant Professor Rishikant Pandey: He finds its amazing that Srimad Bhagvad Gita got portrayed as ultimate treatise of different branches of Indian philosophy!

Professor Rishikant Pandey referred to the philosophical dimensions present in Srimad Bhagvad Gita. He finds its amazing that same scripture got portrayed as ultimate treatise of different branches of Indian philosophy! Sri Adi Sankara treated it as epitome of Advaita ( Non-dualism ). Sri Ramanujacharya perceived it to be the ideal scripture for followers of Bhakti Marga ( path of devotion ). In modern times, thinkers like Bal Gangdhar Tilak and Swami Vivekananda popularized it as scripture hinting at supremacy of Karma ( action ). Quoting an episode from the life of Swami Vivekananda he said it was a scripture which is associated with deeper realization than mere academic interception. Swami Vivekananda once met a person whom he noticed was reading Gita holding it upside down. When he inquired about it, the man gave a wonderful answer: “It’s a scripture not meant for casual reading! It’s only about intense realization.”  Professor Pandey referring to religious tolerance said that all religions need to seen as various routes to reach the same destination. He appreciated the insights of Lord Krishna by stating that Krishna never asks anybody to discard his/her style of worshiping, but, on the contrary, He strengthens faith of devotees in whatever path they select!!  However, it’s better if the seekers learn to appreciate the “Will of Lord” instead of acting on par with their whims and fancies.

Vibhav Mani Tripathi, constitutional expert and former advocate general, said that whether one chooses Bhakti Marga or Nishkama Karma Marga ( Selfless Action ) the final resting point gets revealed with dawn of Higher knowledge.

Vibhav Mani Tripathi, constitutional expert and former advocate general, said that whether one chooses Bhakti Marga or Nishkama Karma Marga ( Selfless Action ) the final resting point gets revealed with dawn of Higher knowledge.

Vibhav Mani Tripathi, constitutional expert and former advocate general, reiterated precepts shared by Professor Pandey in a finer way. He said that whether one chooses Bhakti Marga or Nishkama Karma Marga ( Selfless Action ) the final resting point gets revealed with dawn of Higher knowledge. In other words, there is no liberation or realization without one embracing Higher knowledge. No wonder in eyes of Lord Krishna a “Gyani Bhakta” ( a knowledge-oriented devotee )  is most dear to Him!  “Nahi Jnanena sadrusham pavitram iha vidyate-certainly, there is no purifier in this world like Knowledge” ( Bhagvad Gita 4.38 )

Justice Rajesh Tandon talked about the relevance of this scripture in light of his experiences. He said that increasing cases of violation of human rights could be curbed if one gets in tune with human values highlighted in Srimad Bhagvad Gita! We need better human values since their absence has ensured that poor people reel under unspeakable issues!! Justice Sakharam also referred to increasing relevance of this scripture by drawing parallel to verses found in Mundaka Upanishad! Dr Devendra Kumar Tiwari while speaking about objectives and mission of  “Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being” informed that real inspiration came from Swami Harihar Ji Maharaj. He informed us that besides creating awareness about this Holy Text at worldwide level, the Gita Mission was also involved in public welfare schemes like planting saplings!

Sawmi Hari Har Maharaj Ji: Spreading the message of Lord Krishna is the ultimate goal of life! He is known for establishing Geeta Centres across the globe!

Sawmi Hari Har Maharaj Ji: Spreading the message of Lord Krishna is the ultimate goal of life! He is known for establishing Geeta Centers across the globe!

I can’t end this write-up without sharing with readers interesting insights shared by Satish Chandra Upadhyay, President, Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being. He informed that during one of his conversations with  Swami Harihar Ji Maharaj he was surprised to know that Srimad Bhagvad Gita had something to offer about state of mind of judge! That sounds interesting since right now Supreme Court is very seriously involved in improving its collegium system. Srimad Bhagavd Gita states that a person interested in emerging as perfect justice should be owner of detached mind, ferociously concerned with nothing else other than cause of justice. We all know that Srimad Bhagvad Gita has laid great emphasis on equanimity! Gautam Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.” That’s what we need in an ideal judge!!

Mr Upadhyay said that Srimad Bhagvad Gita has given birth to psychological theories prevailing in our times. It provided inspiration to great souls like Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo. In fact, one can’t achieve the “supramental consciousness” mentioned by Sri Aurobindo if one has no clue about ideas expressed in Srimad Bhagvad Gita! Mr Upahdyay rightly stated that ultimate meaning of “Adhyatma” or spirituality is to get situated in one’s “Great Self” lying in our inner being. That would make us “Sthitpragya” ( attainment of equanimity when one gets in tune with Higher Self ). Let’s hope all seekers attain this state as early as possible to make journey of life a fruitful affair!

Writer of this post, Advocate Arvind K.Pandey, with Advocate Satish Chandra Upadhyay, President, Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being.

Writer of this post, Advocate Arvind K. Pandey, with Advocate Satish Chandra Upadhyay, President, Gita Mission For Cosmic Well-Being.

Reference:

Prasthanatrayi Texts

Pics Credit:

Pic One
Pic Two

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More pics related with the event:

The event was organized at Mehta Auditorium , Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad.

The event was organized at Mehta Auditorium , Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad.

Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand, delivering his lecture.

Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand, delivering his lecture.

Justice Sakharam addressing the audience.

Justice Sakharam addressing the audience.

Dr Devendra Kumar Tiwari with Advocate Satish Chandra Upadhyay, President, Gita Mission For Cosmic Well- Being!

Dr Devendra Kumar Tiwari with Advocate Satish Chandra Upadhyay, President, Gita Mission For Cosmic Well- Being!

Writer of this post with his long time friend Advocate Shashikant Kushwaha. He is known for spreading Hindi at Allahabad High Court. I must say he is a selfless worker- a genuine follower of Nishkama Karma Yoga. This time too I found his name was missing from the card of the programme even as he was one of the key persons involved with this event. And I noticed that he did not create ruckus about it!!

Writer of this post with his long time friend Advocate Shashikant Kushwaha. He is known for spreading Hindi at Allahabad High Court. I must say he is a selfless worker- a genuine follower of Nishkama Karma Yoga. This time too I found his name was missing from the card of the programme even as he was one of the key persons involved with this event. And I noticed that he did not create ruckus about it!!

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