Tag Archives: hinduism

LITERARY CORNER VIDEO: WHY I AM A HINDU by Shashi Tharoor

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

Author & Blogger

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

LITERARY CORNER: WHY I AM A HINDU by Shashi Tharoor

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

WHY I AM A HINDU’

by Shashi Tharoor

Publisher Aleph

Year of publication: 2018

    The price of the book is Rs 699. It’s a 300 page book loaded with some palpable stuff—quite typical of Shashi Tharoor. The book has three main chapters divided into seven sub chapters.

    It starts off quite well with the author glossing over reasons as to why he decided to write this book. Where, he takes you through the essence of Hinduism, but not so much through the rituals but essentially through the religious-socio-cultural plank. He gets into meticulous detailing such as how a Sanskrit word ‘Jagannath’ came to be known as ‘Juggernaut.’ He takes you through the Bhakti movement. He talks about the Advaita Vedanta, the vedic learnings with lots of anecdotes—interesting ones. He describes in great detail the wisdom of Swami Vivekananda and Adi Shankracharya. Talks about his own childhood entangled in Hinduism. The ‘sanskars’ that he got from his parents. While Shashi loves Hinduism he admonishes Hindutva in his hot narration.

    The author, initially appears, quite as a baby faced admirer and a harmless volunteer of Hinduism till around page hundred and forty. But thereafter he changes gear and moves into the domain of political Hinduism.

    Where, he goes unsparingly after Savarkar, Golwalkar and Deen Dayal Upadhyay all stalwarts of the Sangh Parivar. And, as expected of Shashi Tharoor, he does make, a piercing commotion about the atrocities committed by the British Raj on Hinduism, but remains somewhat vague about the atrocities of the Muslim invaders, perhaps, offering them benefit of doubt. He feigns or genuinely believes Hindus are large hearted or even dodos, and will never react to the persecution that they were subjected to at the hands of the British Raj and the devious invaders, even in a millennium which is not quite clear. While he allows Deen Dayal Upadhyay to pass off as a more tolerable face of the Sangh Parivar. For Savarkar and Golwalkar, he projects unalloyed despise rising up to hate, but doesn’t really touch Hedgewar the founding Sangh Chalak even with a bargepole.  Shashi cannot imagine leave alone believing that RSS may have been an initial emotional reaction to the atrocities of the British Raj and the Islamization during Jinnah before and even after the partition. Just as Islamization could have been a reaction to American atrocities on the Muslims as believed by many and not some. And why forget the fascism of Europe that arose primarily because of Communism.

    Beyond page 140 the author shows his real face and that is his attack on Hindutva. The point that he makes is about the ancient Indian culture of hospitality where India has always been a great host to all communities. The population of India is 80% Hindus but they have always looked after the minority communities in terms of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and others. When you cruise through the book further what becomes more apparent is that Hindutva is the brain child of RSS. And till the time Congress was well in control of India the Indian society was an Utopia and now it has become a dystopia. The book is excellent in terms of narration and flow. And is action packed with all the appreciated fantasies of the Congress regime. Yet, I was left with the following gaps for which I did not find answers or were the answers held back. I really don’t know?

   The book has a good spread of Hinduism’s history but lacks in precipitating/ Hindu emotions because of obvious reasons. It churns out great details about Hinduism yet it does make you feel a depreciated Hindu. The author talks about large scale conversion of Hindus, at the hands of Muslims and even Christians but at the same time is short of saying that both Muslims and Christians are fanatics in that manner.

    Although, he goes after Hindutva with a gun yet he doesn’t give any plausible explanation as to why Hindutva flourished in the last 25-30 years. Was it a pent up emotional need of the Hindus or the failure of Congress party that ruled for so many years. All he does is to blame the Sangh and the BJP. The author having criticised the BJP and the Sangh so vehemently, should have suggested a socio-religious-cultural alternative to BJP which he hasn’t. Muslims have their mosque and Christians their Church but where do Hindus go barring their defining book Gita. And is BJP a reaction to 70 years of Congress rule is the question the author needs to answer to complete the book? BJP has come up through a democratic process. It started with just two seats in the parliament and now occupies almost a full house. If all was going so well for the Hindus in India why did Hindutva gain so much ground. For which there is no elaborate answer from the author barring the cliché of the divisive policy of the RSS and BJP.

    Book is a little too much to digest in one go for an average reader. It’s outright verbose—Shashi Tharoor style. And yes read it with a pinch of salt. The book leans towards Congress. In which he has mixed society, religion and politics. It has excellent flow and detailing. Author admits his erudite team has also helped him in this narration. A large part of the book is all about RSS and BJP bashing. Though India is projected well in the eyes of the world, which, Shashi always does. The first half and even all along, the book is all about the uniqueness of Hindu religion. It covers the Sikh riots in just about half a paragraph just because Congress was to blame for it. Whereas, he criticizes forcefully the doctrine of Hindutva. And mildly conveys about the invaders who came and plundered India from time to time. He sings the same old tune of secularism. He compares India with Pakistan. In Pakistan all non-Muslims have it written on their passports as non-Muslims, signifying they are second rate citizens.

    The book doesn’t reveal the dynamics of an evolving society. One will agree, Hindutva was not in the agenda of things when India got independence. But obviously, there have been factors that propagated the concept of Hindutva later on. Intermittently Shashi criticizes the caste system propagated by the Britishers and subsequently upheld by the Congress party.

    Author doesn’t accept Hindutva as a reaction to Muslim radicalisation. And even fails to say that if Muslim radicalisation continues there is a likelihood of Christian radicalisation too, maybe not in India but in various Christian majority states of the world.

    The book is excellent in terms of detailing and of course the content, language and the flow.

    But surprisingly, it nowhere deciphers between the temperaments of Hindus settled in south and the ones in the north who mostly took the wrath of these Muslim invaders.

    Towards the final chapters the author takes you through some iconic inventions in the realm of Hinduism and Science, especially the inventions of numerals in terms of Shunya or zero. At one point he also tries to justify the invaders and that includes the Mughals starting from Babar. He compares them with the Britishers only to say that Britishers took the loot to their own country whereas, the Muslim invaders spent it here in India. Then he goes on to talk about holy cows, changing the name of Aurangzeb road and even the independence movement.

    Overall it’s an excellent read if you don’t mind the politics that the book generates. I would give the book eight out of ten for the content, detailing, information, language flow and of course Shashi’s guts in being one-sided and the frankness.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER: DEVLOK with Devdutt Pattnaik–3

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

DEVLOK

With Devdutt Pattnaik—3

Based on the third season of the popular television show on EPIC Channel

    This book is based on the third session of the popular television show on EPIC channel. It is actually a question and answer session in which India’s favourite mythologist Devdutt Pattnaik answers questions. This book is the third episode published in 2018 by Penguin Ramdom House India.

    Generally we all feel we know a lot about our own religion. But after reading this book you’ll come to know how little you know about your own religion. For example did you know the answers to the following questions?

  • Names of Vishnu and Shiva’s father?
  • How many types of Ramayana are you aware of?
  • Where did the name of Radha come from?
  • Was Radha older than Krishna?
  • When did Christianity come to India?
  • What are Abrahamic traditions?
  • Did Jesus come to Kashmir?
  • Meaning of ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachhami?’

    The author not only covers Hinduism in this book. He also talks about, or rather takes questions on Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism. There is no storyline in this book. But yes it does have many short stories and tales explaining various aspects of each religion.

    It is a collection of easy going conversations about Indian mythology based on eponymous television show. There is however the caveat that what is discussed here is not meant to be factually correct—you may therefore refer to your Guru for clarity or even the author.

    It is not an academic work and does not claim to be authoritative. Contained here are simplified versions of mythological tales, taken from various versions found in different scriptures and in folklore. The attempt is to retain the essence embedded in the tales, and to provoke readers to dig deeper into the philosophy.

    The book takes you through a great mix of Hindu rituals, relationship, parent and child relationship. It describes Lord Krishna and Radha in great detail. It tells us how Christianity came to India and about Buddhism and Jainism.

    A chapter explains about Dwarka, types of Ramayana, various types of marriages, Dravid civilization. It also describes Ravana , Khajuraho temples and yoga and also about Prophet, Jainism and Kingship.

    It also talks about rites of passage, defines Indian riti riwaz, talks about Indian tradition,  gives a good and scientific definition of certain old words of mythology. And in simple ways he has explained the customs of Hinduism … in a way connected the dots.

    The book also deals with Hindu customs, details various Ramayanas in various languages. One gets to feel, the book is a brief history of various religions. It has many lok-kathas. Connects North and South of India where it gives a wonderful comparision between Asurs and Rakshas.

    The book does make an impact on you by increasing your knowledge base. It is around a hundred and fifty pages, written in easy read format. The price is rupees two hundred and fifty.

    I would give the book seven out of ten.

***

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

U.P. THE LAND OF SUPERNORMAL ROLE MODELS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    In the complex understructure of India, UP sits like her invisible heart and spiritual voice. One can also address her as a headstrong folklore and tradition champion. Indeed the most populated state that celebrates its lineage in its diversity. It has an irrefutable matrix of society that hails, from two major communities, the Hindus and the Muslims—both passionate lovers of their native.

    Even though, the expanse of Hinduism resonates much beyond India and goes right up to the global frontiers. UP has always been its formidable pillar in the ever lengthening axis. Rather, it has been the primordial hub of religiosity since time immemorial. If we deconstruct her, she expands to a vast region much before it was converted into administrative hedges like states and districts. Which, Gods loved and nature adored. So, one can say she has been the showcase, the playground and even the reliable archives of Hinduism since grand old times.

    She doesn’t require administrate boundaries to conjoin. As, she, connects, consolidates and even identifies herself in many other ways. To begin with she is the mix of Pancha Bhoota—where the elements of Prithvi (Earth), Jal (Water), Agni (fire), Vayu (air) and Akash (ether or the sky) combine for her cosmic creation.

    If we translate this into ground realities we find. Starting from the texture of the soil, to the pitch of the lingo it is one. It has no less than Gods and super humans, as its role models. To say, some of its role models are even better known than the land they belong to won’t be a misnomer. And they all performed their incredible leelas in this very soil. We will come to that a little later.

    UP has that enduring fix of festivals, along with bucolic handholding and even similarity in cereal crops to live and breathe in congruence. There is no life without water they say and water forms the lifeline of any society. To that effect there are vaguely a series of some six or seven imposing rivers, leaving aside many small ones that almost run parallel but certainly from the western side of the state to the eastern corner. And finally,   they all merge as tributaries with Ma Ganga. The main stem of Ganga, begins with the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in the town of Devprayag in Uttara Khand. As per mythology she was brought to earth by king Bhagiratha, where, eventually she grew up to the status of Ma Janani in the vast expanse of the state. She is indeed the queen mother of all the water bodies as she carries along with her almost all the rivers. Therefore, for certain she can be called the icon of motherhood the provider—an unbeatable role model again. So blessed is the state that there is hardly a district or a town that is not within the easy catch of a river. Where, inhabitants even identify themselves with the rivers, such as ‘Sarjupari’—person living across river Sarju. There are many annual melas that connect the rural fraternity and its vendors across the sub-regions like Ballia and Nauchandi, to name a few.

    Hinduism has four ashrams when it comes to completing a lifetime—Brahamcharya, (Balkal … Birth to student like), Grihasta (householder), Vanaprastha (retired) and Sannyasa (renunciation). The holy land of UP connects you to some quintessential examples of how some incarnations or avatars of Maha Vishnu have spent their time in these defined ashrams. Hinduism doesn’t come through, without UP. And all lessons of life are available here.

    It teaches us, nothing is easy and everything needs to be fought for, whether you’re an incarnation of God or just a human form. Even, when, Lord Krishna was the 8th incarnation of Maha Vishnu. Mathura was under turmoil at least the night little Krishna was born in Dwaparyuga (the 3rd Yuga). He demonstrated the victory of good over evil when he killed his maternal uncle Kans. And by lifting the Goverdhan Parvat he proclaimed nothing is impossible if you are hell bent upon doing it. On bhakti (devotion) no one can beat Radha as a role model and it all happened in the Braj Bhoomi that is now divided into many districts. But Krishna leela has no boundaries.

    In the same land Bhagwan Sri Ram was born in Ayodhya as the 7th incarnation of Maha Vishnu in Treta Yuga (2nd yuga). Although, he was born before Krishna I’m describing him after Krishna because he had a steady childhood, whereas, Krishna had a fighting one. But Sri Ram exemplified himself as Maryada Purshottam—the quintessential example of respecting contemporary times and fairness accentuating into super goodness. He had many mid life crises which he fought through valiantly all by himself and his devoted team. Prime was 14 years of Banvas (exile into forest) and the abduction of his wife by Ravana. Where, on the one hand he did show grief but on the other hand as a true karmyogi he found his bearings and organized himself to fight the great battle of Lanka to get his wife back. But while doing so he ensured he didn’t overstep the laid down tenets of science and its concomitants, even, when, he was an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Today, Sri Ram is a household name and a role model that is not confined to any district or a religion and where his queen Sita is an epitome of devotion. His entire leela happened along the plains of river Saryu and the famous kingdom of Ayodhya where he ruled. Important to say—role models can be followed by any person from any religion or sect.

    Further, the great war of Mahabharat too, had its roots in Hastinapur near Meerut, again in UP. A well known mythological story of intensely disagreeing, blood thirsty royal cousins, that eventually escalated into a holy war. It is said, what is not seen and read in Mahabharat doesn’t exist in the world. It has again given many role models to the world while it was fought in Dwaparyug. It had many stalwarts. Some important names that one can immediately reflect upon are Krishna, Yudhistir, Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Kunti, Karan, Yudhistir, Bhimsen, Arjun, Nakul, Sahdev, Draupadi, Veer Abhimanyu to name a few.

    Krishna derives his umbilical and founding legacy from Braj Bhoomi. From where he goes on to recite those ultimate verses of Gita, that is destined to happen, only once-in-a-planet-time, to a tranced Arjun, challenging him to pick up arms and fight for righteousness. The heft of Krishna thus becomes so very onerous for any one human form to carry as a role model. Resultantly, he spends his life in the little fragments of his teachings to promote his cause.

    Post the battles of Lanka and Mahabharat you had those iconic—blazing writers and poets like Valmiki, Tulsidas and Ved Vyas capturing the vivid description of the proceedings that led to the deadly wars. Together with awesome description of the scenes of war that remain unparalleled even today.

    And going forward when it comes to Vanaprastha and Sanyas we have Varanasi to teach us how to approach retirement and death as a role model. People come to Varanasi to see live Hinduism and even to die. The pyre is ever lit in Manikarnika Ghat and they say if a person is cremated there he or she goes to heaven directly.

    It is one of the oldest ghats of Varanasi. It is revered in Hindu mythology that when Mata Sati, Lord Shiva’s wife sacrificed her life and set her body ablaze after Raja Daksh Prajapati, her father and one of the sons of Lord Brahma tried to humiliate her husband Shiva in the Yagya. Lord Shiva took her burning body to Himalaya. On seeing the unending sorrow of Lord Shiva, Vishnu sent his divine Sudershan Chakra to cut the body into 51 parts which fell on earth. Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth wherever Sati’s body had fallen. At Manikarnika ghat Mata Sati’s ornament had fallen. The lesson therefore is loaded with the despicable arrogance of king Daksh and the pristine relationship of Sati and Shiva—that can’t be emulated as a role model.

    In the treasured mythological scriptures such as Purans and Upanishads, battles between the Devatas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) have often been described in great detail and on many occasions. Asuras, have always troubled Devatas for some reason or the other. In fact, they were mostly stronger than the Devatas in strength, and therefore Devatas were always scared of them. Even Devraj Indra who was extremely powerful and laced with a lot of divine offence could not harm them in any manner.  Many such wars were even fought, in an around, the present day UP.   Samudra Mathan (Churning of ocean) resulting into Kumbh, has also seen the bitter war between the Devatas and the Asuras for Amrit (Divine Nectar). Where, Lord Vishnu had to intervene. Because, had Asuras drank Amrit they would have become immortal, and that would have meant destruction of the goodness in the world.

    There are innumerable stories and one can go on and on. But the moot point is, whether, the present day generation of the state is living up to the values created by these role models.

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

                                                      https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

 

DOCTRINE OF KARMA AND REINCARNATION

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    Why do Hindus believe in these two doctrines? One being karma and the other being reincarnation. Because these doctrines not only explain the unusual occurrences logically. They also shed light on day-to-day events of life. Hindus do not consider life and death to be mutually exclusive. But intertwined and inseparable. Like the two sides of the same coin. If there are disparities between two individuals at the time of birth, and if these disparities can be seen. Then the cause for these disparities must have preceded their births.

  • Karma: The word karma means “action.” In accordance with the cosmic laws of karma. Each individual reaps the fruits of his actions, performed in this lifetime or in former lives. This logically explains the disparities in creation, between various individuals, environments and situations. No deed, small or great, good or bad, can be without an effect—this essentially is the law of karma, the law of casualty. In fact one begins to feel as if it is Newton’s 3rd law of motion—‘to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ was drawn out of the doctrine of karma.
  • Karma is no fate. Fate implies helplessness in a human being, to determine his own destiny. The law of karma states that the individual is the creator of his own destiny, because his conscious choices in life determines his actions and the fruits thereof.
  • Reincarnation: Hindus believe that the jiva, or the individual being, travels from life to life. Acquiring bodies and environments best suited to exhaust his vasanas (vices) or innate tendencies that are expressed as desires, emotions, and actions. The exhaustion of vasanas allows the jiva to reach his ultimate goal: complete freedom from the cycle of birth and death through the realization of his true nature as the Self, or Brahman.

—synopsis from a book on Hinduism—by Chinmaya Mission Trust—

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

STORY: THE CORRELATION BETWEEN KARMA AND TAPASYA

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

   

THE CORRELATION BETWEEN KARMA AND TAPASYA

   

    It is widely believed that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life, where one could continue to remain a Hindu even without really practicing it. But when you run through the religious texts it doesn’t say so, that simplistically. In fact, it won’t be a misnomer to say Hinduism is all about good and bad Karma—and ‘Karma’ alone is the essence of Hinduism. While Karma emanates from your mindset, tapasya (prolonged, intense and rigorous form of meditation) is the versatile vehicle of karma that takes you to your goal, and in case of any misdeeds it also acts as the penance, to pull you through tough times. Hence, one could say a ‘Tapasya’ in many ways is only a planned and focused karma.

    If you go through the Hindu texts dispassionately you would find, there were no free lunches, not even for Gods. Everyone had to fight for each specific issue where opponents could not be taken for granted just because someone commanded a superior position, breed, hierarchy or a better brand. And, competitor intelligence then, was a prevalent strategy vital for survival. While one could continue in life, being an average and inactive person. But for a Herculean milestone and phenomenal achievements one had to go in for long and arduous tapasyas where even avatars and Gods were not spared from the drill.

    When Pandavas were exiled from their kingdom, Lord God Krishna advised Arjun to obtain Divyastras (divine weapons of various Gods) as that would have helped Pandavas in the future, while combating the Kauravas. But Divyastras were not available off the shelf, even when Arjun was a very close sakha (friend) of Lord God Krishna. And, for Divyastras, the only way out was to perform rigorous tapasya to please respective Gods to bless him with their weapon, which Arjun did successfully. Specific Devatas (God) had specific powers but, no, one, Devata had all the powers vested in her or him. Devatas on many occasions were even found weaker than asuras and danavs since power and might were never a constant factor, as mentioned in the famous and historic episode of Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean). So Devatas often had to perform long tapasyas to win over asuras. And asuras too were not behind in this, as they often performed mind boggling tapasyas to obtain vardans (blessings) which they used for destructive purposes.

    Ravan the king of Lanka had done a lifetime of tapasya and was well entrenched, as a tall pundit but his tapasya was not followed by good karma and so all his knowledge went for a waste. So in Hinduism, can not one say both karma and tapasya work in tandem? Good karma with intense tapasya will yield good results, while good karma with intense tapasya followed by bad karma will only dilute the effects of tapasya. And as long as the arch of good karma continues time shall be kind to you.

    Let me also tell you another story. That will give you a flavour of how even Gods had to go in for intense tapasyas for specific events. As, no one had unlimited powers, and how at times they had to be interdependent  on each other to attain self goals by keeping aside their personal egos. And that is why it is said, it is extremely difficult to shoo the ego in us. Every person has his ups and downs in life where karma gives us the flexibility of adjusting to these ups and downs through the prowess of tapasya.

    Once when Lord Brahma (the creator of universe) was narrating a story to Rishi Narad he said,

    Dear Narad! Once when Prajapati Daksh left for Mandirachal Parwat (mountain). I too decided to perform a difficult vrat (a religious practice to carry out certain obligations with a view to achieve divine blessings for fulfillment of certain desires) and started praying to Devi Jagbamba. Wherein, I repeatedly told her in my prayers what I wanted. When Jagdamba was pleased with my vrat she gave me darshan (divine audience). I bowed in respect and said ‘pranam Devi,’ she asked. ‘Tell me Brahman! Why have you been praying so passionately, and tell me soon.’

   On hearing this, I folded my hands and politely said—‘Mother! A God named Rudra who happens to be an avatar (incarnation) of God Sadashiv has insulted me. So, I desire you take the form of Sati (Shiva’s first wife) and destroy his arrogance. Kindly take birth as Prajapati Daksh’s daughter to attract God Sadashiv towards you. Bhagwati! Barring you, there is no one else in this universe with the power to attract him erotically. And in anticipation that you’ll accede to our request, and so very excited to receive you as his daughter, Prajapati Daksh is already underway his intense tapasya in Mandirachal Parwat.

    On my saying so Bhagwati was shocked and surprised beyond words and she even looked worried. When she said—‘what is this, that you are saying Brahma ji? You want me to attract Lord God Sadashiv, and for this malicious job you’re seeking my help. Therefore, in reality whatever you’re doing is only Lord God Sadashiv’s criticism. This is a big mistake. Everyone knows I cannot do anything against God Sadashiv. Tell me, what will I gain by attracting the nirvikalp (that does not have an alternative) God Sadashiv, as I am only like his menial maid. And for the salvation of his devotees only he has taken the avatar of Rudra. Lord God Sadashiv is the undisputed emperor of all the three Lokas. He is also yours, as well as Lord Vishnu’s swami. Even in yoga, he is ahead of both of you. I am indeed astounded to hear this foolish thought coming from you, where Lord Brahma wants to captivate Lord God Sadashiv who happens to be the king of Maya (the supernatural power wielded by Gods and demons) and I am truly dumbfounded at this.’ And after saying this Devi Jagdamba went back to meditation, when she received a message from Lord God Sadashiv that without my blessings nothing happens. With my consent only Sri Brahma and Prajapati Daksh are in intense vrat and meditation. So give them the vardan and take birth in Prajapati Daksh’s family and I’ll accept you. Important: Even Lord God Sadashiv had to seek interpersonal help in a polite manner by requesting Devi Jagdamba.

   After receiving instructions from Lord God Sadashiv, Devi Bhagwati said, ‘Brahma ji—‘its fine. I will try my best, so that Lord God Shiva falls for me, and marries me as his second wife. As such there is no one in the world who can break Lord God Shiva’s concentration and attract him sensually, and even I don’t have this power and capacity. Nevertheless, I will endeavour to attract him after obtaining an avatar to fulfil your desire.’ And after this she disappeared.

    Meanwhile Prajapati Daksh was into deep and rigorous tapasya in Mandirchal Parvat. He kept meditating for three thousand years. In summers he used to meditate in the middle of fire and in severe winters he used to immerse himself in cold water, and in between tapasyas he also obtained proficiency in pranayam.  At last when Bhagwati was happy with his tapasya she gave him darshan.

    Bhagwati Shiva knew everything and so she said to Prajapati Daksh—I’m extremely happy with your tapasya and therefore you can ask for a vardan (blessings). Daksh with folded hands said—Devi! If you are happy with me then you please take birth in my family as my daughter, since Lord God Sadashiv has taken a new avatar in the name of Rudra as Brahma’s son, and there is no one to match him and therefore you need to take an avatar to marry him. Because, in this entire universe there is no other person who can do this. Brahma ji for this very important work has sent me here to Mandirachal Parvat for a long-long tapasya. Now with your attractive maya (illusions) try and attract Lord God Sadashiv and oblige the world. Jagdamba said—‘Tathastu–it will happen in this manner only. From your wife’s womb I shall take birth as your daughter, and to endear Lord God Sadashiv I will do intense tapasya.’ And after saying all this Bhagwati Shiva disappeared as she had a long to-do-list to be completed.

    Karma is the opportunity to do important things in life while tapasya the intense preperation and that alone differentiates between the Devata and the man.

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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SHORT STORY: FTII- WHY DID KALCHAKRA HAVE TO PUNISH GAJENDRA SINGH CHAUHAN

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

goi gajendra chauhan kalchakra

Long time back I had read a story about a small sparrow; that goes as follows:

THE STORY OF THE SPARROW


On a beautiful winter day in Siberia, encouraged by the warm rays of the sun in a clear blue sky, a little sparrow left the security of his nest to fly and frolic in the air, but the 40o below zero temperature quickly overcame the imprudent bird who fell on the ground, frozen, and found himself buried in the snow where he would certainly have died in an instant. But by chance a cow trotted by at that moment, and at the very spot where the sparrow was struggling for his last breath, she dropped a large soft cow-dung on top of the bird. The warmth of this dung-bath resuscitated the moribund sparrow. He was so happy, he raised his head out of the cow-shit and started to twitter joyfully, which drew the attention of a wandering homeless cat who delicately pulled the sparrow out of the shit and devoured him.

The moral of this story: Your enemy is not necessarily the one who shits on your head. Your friend, however, is not necessarily the one who pulls you out of the shit. And besides, one should never twitter when one is buried in shit.

The recent controversy in FTII in which actor Gajendra Singh Chauhan got caught up reminded me of the above story, where for no fault of his, Gajendra is in the cross fire. Can we call it the wrath of Kalchakra?

For Gajendra too like the little sparrow was perched in his warm nest, quite away from the limelight doing small roles in movies and television serials, is when the GOI approached him as the warm rays of Siberia and Gajendra then dared to fly out of his nest, quite unaware of the Siberian winters—in this case being the sting of FTII- students.

The new job like the cow-dung covered Gajendra for a while when the wandering cats of Bollywood, Social Media, TV-channels and some Political Parties and so also the students union of FTII, who thought he did not have the tall stature, and moreover, he had committed the grevious crime of acting as Yudhistir in Mahabharat, thereby promoting Hinduism was definitely not suitable for the post. Because, in current day India even talking about Hinduism is considered non-secular by some.

While the wandering cats have so far not devoured the so called sparrow—Gajendra, but the Kalchakra has definitely crushed his film career. For Gajendra Singh Chauhan will now be known more for his poor stalk in Bollywood than the hard-work he has put in to make a career in Bollywood. And quite unknowingly and unintentionally he has antagonised and estranged many bigwigs of Bollywood and the social media; and has emerged as a full-fledged victim of Kalchakra.

    But what was his fault in all of this; that the electronic media almost stripped him naked as far as his career credentials went, that people who didn’t know about his average career also know about it now.

Kalchakra is not in the business of compensating losses and therefore won’t compensate Gajendra Singh Chauhan, for having torn apart his career and making him a laughing stock. I don’t know about GOI how they will view it. But the reality is,

    In life you often don’t get into problems because of your own doings, but it could also be the doing of others and in this case it was clearly the Kalchakra disguised as GOI.

For in life you really don’t know what will come and hit you, or who is friend and how distant is your enemy. But mind you Kalchakra spares no one, not even the wandering cats.

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