Monthly Archives: October 2011

Dhana

One time I gave some money to help a person for his heart surgery. And immediately after giving, before he could say anything, I said, ‘thanks for accepting the gift’. A bit embarrassed, he said, ‘I am the one who has to thank, not you’. Then as a joke I said, ‘do you know what Kambar says in (his) Ramayana? There is no one to give dhana (alms) in Ayodhya, because there is no one to receive it. As all are content and have abundance in their lives, there never comes an opportunity for the citizens of Ayodhya to do dhana’. (“கொள்வாரிலாமைக் கொடுப்பார்களுமி ல்லை…[kolvaarilaamaik kodupparhalumillai]” Kambaramayanam, Commentary by V. M. Gopalakrishnamachariyar, Chennai, Uma Publications, vol. 1. Balakandam, Natuppadalam, song 62, line one. p. 62.). So in doing dhana, the person who gives is not much important but the person who is willing to receive it’.

There are so many views and guidance regarding giving and receiving dhana. But one important aspect in it, particularly for those who give dhana, is that she should remain more grateful to the person who is willing to receive it than expecting thanks from the receiver. Because when we buy a gift for someone else, if she refuses to accept it, then it cease to be a gift, but will remain a thing that we bought. So in dhana, the person who is willing to receive is more important than the one who gives it.

When I first time went to Kedarnath, on the way some pilgrims were distributing some money to several beggars who were sitting on the way, and also to some sannyasis. So when I was walking, a woman, who was going on a ‘Palki’ stopped on seeing me and gave some money. As I never used to accept money in that way, I refused it. Then with much humility she said, ‘Maharaj, by refusing to accept it, you are stopping me to get rid some of my sins and also earn merit. Above all it is my dharma to give and your dharma to receive’. A simple housewife taught me the good lesson. Because of western influence, as we learnt the habit of saying ‘thanks’ for every form of seva (service) done to us (even without intending to say thanks in a real sense), when someone gives something in dhana, then some kind of ‘humiliation’ on the part of the receiver and ‘feeling good’ on the part of the giver has entered in our collective conscience. Whereas our Indian tradition has some other worldview in this act of dhana-which is not mere charity. Dhana, at least inIndia, is closely linked with ‘dharma’ (duty) in which mutual respect and more gratitude on the part of the giver towards the person who is willing to receive is important. To say in other words, ‘dhana’ is not mere charity, which in one sense is giving something to the needy out of surplus. But the true mark even of charity (which is not ‘dhana’ ) is, as someone well defined, ‘throwing a bone to the dog is not charity, but sharing in the same bone when you are as hungry as the dog’ (from Readers Digest, quoted from memory). And Mahabharata portrays this through the story of the small fox whose half gold body cannot be turned completely gold, even at the Rajasuya performed by Yudhistira, as his dhana is not that much great as the poor Brahman who fed the guest even at the cost of his life, where it got its half body turned gold as the leftover flour from the cottage of that Brahmin touched its body on one side. Even Jesus appreciated the poor widow who gave in the temple all she had for her livelihood, more than the rich people who gave from their abundance.

In every way both ‘dhana’ and ‘charity’ can never be done just for the sense of ‘feeling good’ on the part of the giver alone.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, June 23, 2009.

Don’t follow but be a leader

‘Don’t be the tail but be a head; don’t be the bogey to be dragged by an

engine, but be the engine; don’t remain a follower; know you have the
potential to become a God’ are the main thrust of Sri Suki Sivam’s
talk today (November 21, 2009) in SUN TV. Of course we have to
understand and appreciate his rebuke with a real concern for those
followers who just imitate the gurus in their mannerism, attire etc.
Otherwise one can turn the table against him by saying, ‘Then why should
we be a listener of any speaker and why not we ourselves be the
speaker? Without an audience to hear there cannot be a speaker.’

Though we have to agree with Sivam about his criticism against mere
imitation of some mannerism and attire of one’s guru, yet we have to
understand the fact that all cannot be a guru or leader. In fact if
finding a true guru is difficult, it is equally more difficult to find
true followers. In most cases the truth which a guru found and shared
becomes known to the world only through his followers who
‘imitate’ his teaching in their life and not their mannerism. For
example, St. Paul says in the bible, ‘Imitate me as I imitate Christ’.
And this he says with some authentic experience with authority. Because
when he said this he ‘imitated’ his guru, he meant of his suffering for
others and sacrifice that he made. Because, according to the Bible, Paul
never saw Jesus while He was alive. And so there is no hope for him to
imitate the mannerism and attire of Jesus.

Above all, even to become a leader and guru, one should first be humble
enough to be a follower to learn. Unless we are humble enough to learn
and follow first—either a person or principle–we can never become a
guru and leader. No one is a born leader. Some might have that potential
in them by birth, but they too need some one to find and shape it. Even
those few rare exception like Buddha or Ramana Maharishi whom we claim
found the reality on their own were all shaped by the long standing
tradition and scripture which enabled them to search for it.

So, yes it is good to be a leader rather than a follower. But the process for
that should begin as a follower—not the mannerism and attire of the
guru, but their personality, teaching and principle.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, November 21, 2009.

Debated Dialogue

Before sharing the dialogue, I need to explain why I gave the title to

this as ‘Debated Dialogue.’  Dialogue is rightly called ‘samvad’ (sam
+ vad) where we come together (sam) to discuss (vad) a topic of common
interest.  In such a dialogue, each side remains humble enough to
acknowledge their own limitation and never tries to impose their own
view on others.  The main purpose of dialogue is to learn from each
other.

In a debate, however, we try to defeat the other through our skillful
talk and method of presentation.  This is also not wrong, but in both
Dialogue and Debate, what we all need is the patience to listen to
others’ point of view before we give our view.  It will never serve
any purpose if we fail to listen to others and, instead, react quickly
without giving others opportunity to share their view.  This often
happens in life, and we can see this in many political debates on T.V.
Anyhow, whatever might be life’s lesson, we learn only from such
incidents.

During my recent visit to Delhi, I got an opportunity to have a
dialogue on ‘avatara rahasya’ (the secret of avatara).  It was not
actually a dialogue meeting, but a puja arranged by one of my
shishyas. However, considering the presence of people belonging to
two faiths (Christians and Hindus), after the puja I shared a bit
about the meaning behind every avatara.  First, I shared about the
meaning behind the avataras of Rama–Krishna and then about Jesus
Christ.  Though we started well in a cordial atmosphere of dialogue,
soon it became a heated discussion, leading to debate and ending in
argument.

To come to the point of the discussion—debate—argument, I have to
mention a bit of the message that I shared, so that what we discussed,
debated and finally argued will make some sense.

To begin with, I said that giving answers is very easy but asking the
right questions is a difficult task.  For this I quoted Arjuna’s
(good) question in Gita which in one way helped us to get the answer
that we most need through Krishna.  But the most difficult part in
asking any question is that for which you already know the answer.
Most of the time in life, ‘when the questions itself becomes the
answer’ and then any kind of answer becomes unnecessary.  Out of
life’s desperate situation, we ask some questions for which no answer
is coming.  This we find in the life of Jesus Christ, when He asked
the question, ‘God why have you forsaken me?’ He didn’t get the
answer, because He already knew the answer.

‘Dushta nigraha; sreshta paripalana’ (destroying the evil one and
protecting the noble ones) is the meaning behind the avatara of Rama
and ‘For the protection of the good and the destruction of the wicked
and for the establishment of dharma, I am born from age to age,'(Gita.
4:8) is the meaning behind the avatara of Krishna.  Whereas, though
the orthodox view of Christ avatara is to ‘save the sinner and destroy the
sin,’ yet for me more than that, the avatara of Jesus portray the
self-emptying work of God to set an example for us to remove our’aham’
(ego).

As both Rama and Krishnaremained true to the purpose of their
avatara, Jesus (or in Jesus, God) remained true to His avatara.  We
often keep ourselves at the centre of our life and view others from
our point of view.  For example a person always says, ‘This is my
wife, my children, my home, my parents’ (my policy, principle and
ideology) etc.  He will never say, ‘I am her husband.’ their parents
etc.  As we view life from our point of view (keeping our interest at
the centre) others also do the same (‘my husband,’ ‘my parents,’ etc.)
and hence we cannot avoid tension and friction in relationships.  The
best way to overcome any friction in relationship is to think from the
other’s point of view, viz., ‘I am her husband,’ ‘I am their parent’
etc’.  Then when we feel that others are not accepting our view, not
showing respect to us and even abusing us, the realization that once
we belongs to them (viz. I am her husband; I am his wife etc.) when
others abuse us or go against our interest, they hurt themselves more
than us.  For example, when a husband abuses his wife, the wife begins
to realize that her husband is not abusing her, but he is abusing that
which belongs to him.  In the same way when a husband feels that his
wife is not showing or giving the respect that he deserves as a
husband (which he has to earn rather than demand), he realizes that what his wife is actually disrespecting is not him as an individual but her own
husband, which will hurt her more than him.  In this way throwing
ourselves at the disposal of others, instead of claiming or fighting
for our (legitimate) right will help us to overcome our aham and will
set others an example.

This is what we find in the avatara of Jesus.  This avatara violated
all the expectations of His nation and disciples.  They all were
expecting a ‘deliverer’ (Messiah) to give them freedom from the tyrant
Roman occupation and give back their own power and authority.  So when
He was doing miracles, healing the sick and feeding the hungry, they
all thought that the long-expected Messiah had come.  But, contrary to
their expectation and even to their shock, He refuse to fight back,
telling them very clearly that His Kingdom does not belong to this
world.  He even refused to use His power against those who wanted to
get rid of Him and silently submitted Himself to them.  Here God set
an example for us to learn.  The sovereign God emptying Himself threw
Himself at the disposal of His own creation.  He was standing before
the earthly authorities as if telling, ‘Here I am.  Do whatever you
want to do to me.  I am not going to deal with you as if you are my
creation.  But now I throw myself to you as your creator.’  And they
have done what every egoistic person would do.  Yes they crucified Him
on the Cross.  But as He emptied Himself of His Godhead, identifying
with His own creation, He could even say from the Cross, ‘God forgive
them as they don’t know what they are doing.’  Such a prayer is
possible only for a person who completely annihilated his/her ego.

Though Cross is traditionally considered as a symbol of suffering, yet
for me suffering is there in every form even before the death of
Christ on the Cross.  But what I found there is the self-emptying
process of God not only to save humanity but set an example for all of
us to get rid of our ego (aham).

So, the purpose of reading and learning about all these avataras is
for us to imitate them and not just worship them through some rituals.
For example the main purpose of reading Ramayana is that we should
strive to become like Rama.  By merely worshipping and doing puja to
please Him to fulfill our earthly needs will never help anyone to
integrate the teaching of Ramayana in personal life.  Upholding (personal) dharma is the main teaching of Ramayana, and Rama set as example for it in his relationship with everyone.  While most of the man expect their wives
to be like Sita, they themselves do not want to be like Rama.  Then
their wives too will be like Surpanaka (Ravana’s sister), not  like
Mandodhari the wife of Ravana who is the enemy of Rama.  Only a Rama
can create a Sita, and that is the purpose of Ramayana.

Bhakti comes from the root ‘bhaj’ which means standing in personal
relationship.  It is not merely a concept, ideology but relationship.
So unless we too stand in personal relationship in our bhakti with our
God by developing relationship with Him by learning the values which
He wants to impart, then our bhakti will also become blind, and our
worship will end up as mere ritual.  Unfortunately, most of the time
we expect God to dance according to our tunes through rituals.  Then
such rituals become mere superstitions and bhakti–instead of
remaining a relationship–becomes a blind faith.

There I stopped, and after waiting all this time to question,
immediately one of the participants said, ‘Even bhagavan Krishna
danced for a cup of porridge.’  Then another person, endorsing him
said, ‘God even accepts our mere rituals and fulfills all our prayer
for mundane needs. Salvation is not possible for everyone, and He
allows majority of the people to be trapped in this maya samsar: desiring, demanding and praying only for earthly needs.  But God even accepts such kinds of bhakti and rituals’.

For this I said, ‘Yes.  God will not say “no” to our daily needs.
“Give us today our daily bread,” Jesus taught His disciples.  He also
said, “Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these
things shall be given to you.”  So seeking and asking for our mundane
needs is not wrong.  But God never expects us to stop there alone.
With proper knowledge (jnana) of Him, He expects us to progress more.

As soon as I used the word ‘Jnana’ (knowledge) immediately
several–all at the same time–began to argue, ‘Jnana is not important
in bhakti. Several bhaktas attained mukti only by their bhakti and
not because of their knowledge.  Taking the name of their God is more
than enough to have all kinds of jnana’.  Agreeing with this I quoted
Tulsidas who said, ‘While Rama was alive, He could hardly save a few individuals like Sabari, Jatayu, Ahalya, Vibhishna (all are the characters in
Ramayana who attained mukti through Rama).  But when He went away, now His Name saves millions and millions.  So who is greater “Rama” or His “Nama” (name).  But merely repeating the name of God without knowing
His nature and purpose of His avatara, most of the time leads to blind faith.’

Again the first person started to say that God even accepts such blind
faith, and no jnana is important for bhakti.  For this I said, ‘When I
used the word “jnana” you took it for chanting Sanskrit slokas,
quoting from Upanishads and other Sanskrit sources.  But jnana is not
this but to know and understanding the character and nature of God.
Bhakti without such a knowledge of God will become blind faith; and
(mere bookish) knowledge without proper bhakti (personal relationship
with God) will become arrogant.  Both bhakti and jnana are the two
sides of the same coin.  One cannot exist without other.’

Then many began to talk at the same time.  And some time after one
asked the question, before I give answer another person started to
argue.  So with a smile, I listened them and then said, ‘I listened
when you talked.  Now would you please allow me to respond?’  Though
they said ‘yes,’ yet before I could complete my answer, again they
began to argue.  For example, in the context of bhakti is all
sufficient one person after quoting Sudhama (1) (Kuchelan in Tamil),
who even didn’t ask his friend Krishna for help. His wife pestered
him to go and ask, but he said he “felt shy even to ask Krishna” who
was his bosom friend. So for him bhakti alone is important, and he
did not even use his bhakti and friendship for his earthly needs.’  For this I said, ‘Every story has a central theme.  And if we began to stretch it beyond its limit, then we will lose the main teaching and end up what they call in English as “allegorization.”  In Sudhama’s story, the central theme is
that bhakti as true relationship is enough for God even to realize our
need without even asking.  Here in this story the central message is
Sudhama’s true bhakti as a relationship.  But if we began to debate on
side issues like “He felt shy,” “He didn’t ask,” etc., then we can go
on to stretch the illustration and debate over it.  Then you can prove
my points wrong, and I can prove your points wrong, and there won’t be
an end to it.  For example, we can take the side issues like whether
he asked or not, when he left his home with an intention to ask, he
already had done it in his mind.’

Before I could complete this, the same person said, ‘Sudhama came
under the pressure of his wife; that is why he even decided to go to
Dwaraka to seek Krishna’s help.’  Again, responding to him I said,
‘Now we are beginning to debate over side points. Why should a wise
person like Sudhama even come under the pressure of his wife?  If his
bhakti was that strong, he did not even need go to Dwaraka.  He could
have stayed back at his home and thought about Krishna, and the latter
also realizing the need of His bhakta could have fulfilled all his
needs.  But these are not the main points of this story.  And on every
small detail, if you want to argue, I am also ready for it.  We can
continue it for several days and there won’t be an end.’

Then another person, who had kept quiet all this time asked, ‘Swamiji,
do you accept that there are many ways for “mukti” (salvation)?’
Another person (who asked about Sudhama) quoting Gita said, ‘para
dharmo bhayavaha’ (the dharma of others is dangerous).  Thankfully he
didn’t interpret it wrongly but rightly said that doing one’s own
dharma viz. swadharma is good. I endorsed his view and quoted the
entire verse in its context.  Knowing that the dialogue had turned
into a discussion leading to a debate and ending in argument, I didn’t
want to confront them anymore, as I was not feeling well.  So I said
‘yes,’ but continued, ‘A thing which we bought to give some one will
become a “gift” only when it is accepted by him.  If he rejects it,
then it will remain merely a thing that we bought.  In the same way,
unless we too accept the mukti which God wants to give, He too cannot
do anything about it.’

This is not the first time for me to meet such people, and it won’t be
the last one, but as usual I learned the principle that by turning a
dialogue into a debate, no one will be benefited.

Dayanand Bharati. Gurukulam.

Notes

1. Sudhama and Krishnastudied together at Gurukulam.  They were very
close friends.  After their studies, Krishna went back to his kingdom
and became the king at Dwaraka and Sudhama married and got 26 children
and was suffering because of poverty.  Then his wife often told him to
go and ask his friend Krishna some help.  Though he hesitated, yet he
finally went taking a handful of puffed rice which his wife gleaned
from the harvested field.  Though he was cordially received by
Krishna, yet Sudhama didn’t ask for help.  But, realizing his need,
Krishna–after taking the puffed rice and eating it–gave all kinds of
wealth to Sudhama’s wife back at home. Without knowing this Sudhama
returned but found the blessing thatKrishna had given him.

Cricket too can teach

Some thing good can come out of Cricket

I am not very interested in sports especially cricket. Even if it were the only game left on earth, I would not watch it. However, the recent controversy over the racial abuse committed by one of the Indian players (Harbajan Singh) and the way he was released from the charge received considerable news coverage in the Australian media.

While watching NDTV news this morning, I heard that the Australian players and media accused the ICC of bowing to the pressure of the Indian Cricket board because it commands large financial strength.  My point is not to discuss the racial controversy or media manipulation of the Indian team. The point of importance is that at least the people inAustraliacan now understand the frustration of the weak and voiceless who are suppressed by other people who use their money, power and authority.  If the Australian players and media feel that an injustice was done to them, then this incident should help them to understand the injustice that has been done against people who are powerless. Unless we feel the pain and suffering of other people in the same way, most of the time we will never understand their situation.  No matter how one tries to understand the injustice done to powerless people, they will never be able to empathize with them unless they too go through the same kind of experience.  If this Cricket controversy could teach one such lesson in a small way, then something good could come out of this hopeless game.

Dayanand, January 30, 2008.

 

Cool Judgment and Impartial Enquiry

In a heated debate for and against ‘free gifts and subsidiaries’ on Vijay TV on Sunday, May 8th, 2011 (‘Neeya Naana’), when it came to providing education, those who were a part of the ‘against’ campaign pointed out that until the recent past (up to the arrival of British rule in India), education was sought rather than provided for all. It was also mentioned that until recent times (pre and post independence), even when education was “provided” it still was not in the hands of the government. Rather, a few philanthropists, with cooperation from others, started schools and colleges for the purpose of education. The “for” campaign immediately pointed to the negative side of such philanthropic work, in which the suppressed and backward class people were sometimes neglected and only (the so-called ‘high’) caste people benefited. Both sides were correct and reasonable in their points. However, neither side mentioned an important fact: that in pre-British India, education was not sought to procure some professional job to earn, but for the sake of knowledge and also as a part of a particular community need. Education was primarily considered as ‘vidya’, not to ‘get information’ as the present system of education is mostly about. Of course, there are exceptions to this even at present. For example, it is a known fact that Brahmins run their own Gurukulam to train religious specialists to carry out their vocation as priest, prohits, acharyas, etc. This is considered receiving ‘vidya’. Kings and rich people gave land and endowments (known as Brahmadeyas) for such institutions. Apart from this there were also Gurukulams to teach special skills, mostly to the so-called high caste communities. All such institutions are considered as ‘vidyalaya’ (vidya + alaya =temple). In all this, education was not ‘certificate-oriented’ in order to get a job in government or private institutions. The East India Company initiated certificate-oriented education; the British govt. continued it to get babus (clerks) from the local people to assist in governing this country. Before bashing any anarchy or hierarchy of the past, we must keep in mind certain historical facts and impartially point them out. This way, we can make just and correct critiques of a system, rather than insist on personal views with some bias. As Mahatma Gandhiji well said, “…Cool judgment and a dispassionate and impartial enquiry are essential to a right view of the whole matter.” 29. LETTER TO “THE NATAL ADVERTISER”. Pretoria, Sep. 29, 1893 in Collected works of Gandhiji. Publications Division. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Govt. of India. (1958), Third ed. Reprint. 1994. Vol. I. p. 63. Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, May 10, 2011

Conviction vs. convenience.

Pluralism is a reality of life. We are pluralistic because our view of things changes over time. Indeed pluralism can help one keep a healthy balance in life by not going to extremes. However, pluralism without personal convictions will toss a person from one extreme to another. People like this live only for their own convenience, changing their principles to accommodate everyone’s opinion. But those who live with deep convictions, struggle with the pluralism in their lives, and their convictions demand exclusivism. Those who reject or refuse to face pluralism will cut themselves off from others, becoming reclusive or judgmental—with a spirit of ‘nobody listens’. But those with clear convictions, braving all kinds of pluralism and opinion, will stand like a pillar by which others can measure their own convictions. Some one well said, ‘great people cherish convictions and small people entertain opinions’. Opinion may cost suffocation, but conviction will cost the very life. That’s why the world has produced very few GREAT people in its long history, who stood like a pillar with deep convictions. February 14, 2007

Busyness is the curse of this age

In the past, before the IT companies came, we heard that ‘instant satisfaction is the curse of this age’.  More than that, now ‘becoming too busy’ is going to be the curse of this IT age.  Today even a lazy person has no time.  With television and the Internet most people are very busy being lazy. First television deprived us personal relationship and now the Internet deprives us of personal communication.  A day may come when family members will communicate with each other through email by sitting in their own rooms, that too in their own cabins inside of their room.  When television came many lamented that sitting together and eating is its first victim.  Now with the introduction of 3 G spectrum service, as each person can watch television in their mobile and personal computer, sitting and watching together will soon become another victim of technology.  One way it is good.  Now programs and advertisements make many uneasy to sit and watch as a whole family.  Watching television with children is particularly difficult as they begin to ask the purpose of some products in front of everyone and elders feel embarrassed to answer those questions.

All become busy, not only is personal relationship and (personal) communication becoming a problem, but even carrying out our commitments.  As I have observed, this new generation wants to do many things at the same time and cannot complete one thing in right time, if not perfectly then at least to their own satisfaction.  I am not talking about any projects in their office and work place, but several personal things related to their life.  Skilled and manual laborers are more blessed than those who work in high profile jobs in offices.  These people even bring their work home with them and become very busy.  They choose to live with such busyness so no one can help or save them. However, their busyness often creates problems for others and deprives their personal freedom and choice.  For example, one cannot go to any music/dance performance, or religious/spiritual gatherings without any guarantee that they will not be disturbed by others.  Even amidst puja and (religious) rituals, phone calls received by a few always disturb everyone.  Even after repeated requests, some feel it is less to their dignity and business to keep their mobiles switched off.  By disturbing others they do not demonstrate how busy they are or how important they are, but what a nuisance they have become to every one. So the net outcome of busyness is not any valuable contribution. The outcome is becoming a nuisance to many.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam. June 21, 2010

Boycott

Sri Suki Sivam’s main message (Sun T.V. Dec. 2009) was ‘boycott Chinese goods in order to compete with them in the global economy’. However, I doubt that such an appeal, with a spirit of nationalism and commitment to our country, is possible in a country likeIndiawhere there is ‘moha’ (lust) after ‘foreign’ goods of every kind.

Once, when I was returning toIndiafromNepalI noticed some Indian youngsters who were bribing the customs official, so that they could bring in the ‘foreign’ jeans that they purchased inNepal. As they were triumphantly beaming at having managed to buy and bring ‘foreign’ jeans with them, I told them, “Why are you taking so much trouble to smuggle these ‘foreign’ jeans fromNepal? Just go to the Old Delhi Tibetian market, and you will be able to buy in wholesale jeans from any country for much less.” They were shocked to hear this. I also told them that these jeans are made and sold wholesale. They have labels such as ‘Made inGermany’, and ‘Made inFrance.’ They would sew these on to the jeans and export it wholesale toNepal. Similarly, synthetic saris are imported from Gujarat by shops inNepaland sold as ‘foreign’ saris to Indian tourists. For as long as we Indians continue to have ‘moha’ for ‘foreign’ goods, countries like China and Taiwan are going to dump their products on us, and we will continue to be cheated.

Now, is it possible to appeal to the common sense and moral commitment based on such artificial ideology? Instead of appealing to people based on such ideology, why not ask our Government directly to stop importing them? Many such products made inChinaandTaiwanare not smuggled; it is easy to dump these in the Indian market because of the new trade agreements.

Real growth in economy is possible only when we challenge our local manufactures to compete with such products, but we Indians have failed in this miserably and I do not have to elaborate on this point. There have been all kinds of malpractices, which led to a compromise in quality a number of times, and this has impacted our export potential. We Indians are used to such products and so we expect others as well to accept them. This reminds me of something I read in Salman Rushdie’s novel, Satanic Verses. When a character in the story tries unlocking a door after losing its key, another character uses a safety-pin to unlock it and comments, “Made inIndia.”

Finally, when I get good and useful products that meet my needs at affordable costs, I will buy them. For example I have a ‘rechargeable electronic mosquito swatter’. It is a Chinese product. This product was a blessing as it helped me deal with the mosquito problem.

There are many genuine ways to compete with other economies but boycotting is not the correct and effective one.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, December 7, 2009

Absolute Truth

If TRUTH is first SUBJECTIVE, can any absolute TRUTH exist in the world? When one has experienced a truth in a personal (subjective) way, then it becomes absolute truth for her/him.  Does s/he have any right to claim that that subjective truth is universal and objective?  Because in every sectarian claim—whether in religious faith, political system or any kind of ideology—a particular view or interpretation is imposed on this so called absolute truth based on one’s background, interest or even prejudice.  Forgetting this fact, if one tries to imagine that her/his particular approach to that Truth should be universal, then the very Truth itself becomes ‘subjective’ stripped of its claim to be objective and therefore is universal.  Take for example Bush’s claim that both Iraqand N. Koreaare ‘evil’. They are ‘evil’, not because they have become a threat to the entire world, but because they have become a threat to the selfish interests of American policy.

Mathigiri, February 3, 2003.
Truth is always relative.  What is Truth to one need not be the same to another person.  Above all, what is the Truth even for one person at one time need not remain the same in another time.  As in general, Truth is subjective. It is bound to change according to the need, mood and circumstance of the individual who searches for it.  So we can safely say that what one experiences is the truth for her.  But if experience becomes the criteria to decide about the nature of truth, then everybody’s experience becomes Truth itself.  Then there exists no absolute truth to test whether one’s personal experience with the Truth is correct or not.  This can be illustrated by the famous saying of Dr. Radhakrishnan, the philosopher and the late President of India in the context of what he said about religion, ‘the essence of the religion is the experience about the truth’.  For this, his friend B.D. Moses said, ‘No.  The essence of the religion is the “TRUTH” about your experience.’ So, what is tested and proved over a period of time by the experiences of people can be the measuring rod to decide any claim about Truth.

Bangalore, February 6, 2007.

Apolitically political

In various panel discussion in TV channels, there was an opinion, (not accepted by all, but by few) that this movement by Anna is stage managed behind the screen by RSS and BJP.  According to one panelist in CNN-IBN (on 27th night, I forgot her name), ‘considering the anti-politicians resentment, BJP was clever enough not to come in front but operated everything from the behind scene.’

There might be some truth in it.  And Dr. Bedi’s words that Sri Advani called her on 27th evening and assured to persuade the PM to do something only added strength to this.  But my question is that many people in Media and Civil Society think that their credential as secularist could be proved only when they say something against Sangparivar in general and Narendra Modi in particular.  For them, once accused as ‘communal’ forces by Media and others, no wing of Sang Parivar should involve or support such Movement which fights for common people, as if ‘COMMON PEOPLE’ (aam admi), became an exclusive property to the Congress and non-BJP.  But they forget the fact that BJP too is as secular as other political parties and Congress and other parties are as communal as BJP.

This does not mean that I am supporting Sang Parivar and all its agendas and oppose Congress and other political parties.  But we common people know the true color of the politicians who want to use any and every opportunity to promote their political and personal ideology and agenda.  For example, during the election campaign in Tamilnadu AIADMK again and again told and used its media to project that A. Raja actually pocketed One Lakh and Seventy lakh crorer rupees from the 2G scam.  And to communicate this message to the uneducated and rural people they showed several visual by using Computer graphic.  They even propagated how much truck is needed to carry to Raja’s house to hide secretly that money or how much area is required to store it.  But we know this is not the truth.  However after the election, now days in their news in Jaya T.V. (a channel of AIADMK) they say it was the amount the Govt. lost due to 2G scam.  They know this is true, but to win the election, they used the 2G scam for their purpose.

So politicians know how and when to use or misuse any thing for their personal and political agenda.  That is why they have to hit back, even at Parliament debate (27th), Dr. Kiran Bedi for the way she exposed the double face of politicians on the stage at Ramleela ground on 26th August.  However, as a digression I have to say that I am totally convinced the way Dr. Bedi defended her act on 28th and 29th in NDTV.  She was correct in her defense that they had to remain rigid as they cannot dilute the demands of Anna, who remain stead fast on those three basic points on which he forced the Parliament to debate, whereas both the Govt. and the Congress party had several layers of views, opinion, loyalty and control (within the party and in Govt.) to contradict all their action and statements.

However even Anna Team, which repeatedly said that they are apolitical, finally have to end their show by playing similar politics.  In order to accuse Anna’s Team, some politicians targeted them that they are anti-dalits and anti-minority.  As they demanded a strong Lokpal bill, often the word ‘Constitution’ was used in all discussion.  Finally some clever politicians spread the news that Anna Team even want to remove the Constitution that too give by Balasahab Ambedkar.  I deliberately highlighted the word ‘Babasahab’, because at the end, on 28th morning before Anna ended his fast, both Arvind Kejrival and Anna himself have to repeatedly not only use this word (Babasahab) but also to say that they are not against the Constitution particularly given by BABASAHAB Ambedkar and even are there to protect it.  And finally they cleverly arranged two girls, one from dalit and another from Muslim community to give the coconut water to Anna to end his fast.

Of course they would have never thought about it previously and some politicians who support their campaign from behind the screen could have suggested them to do it.  And to give a benefit of doubt, they might not have intended to do such politics in their movement at the end, but forced to do it by their opponents.

So inIndia, at present nothing remains APOLITICAL.  Spiritual, ritual, religion, social, economic, entertainment, you name anything under the sun, nothing can remain apolitical as the influence of politicians in all these spheres force every movement become political one.  Even if one wants to start in spirit finally have end in flesh.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, August 29, 2011