Warrier's Collage October 19, 2020 : Excerpts

Welcome to Warrier's Daily COLLAGE October 19, 2020 Monday Your daily dose of inspiration, writings - by you, for you : Curated by MG Warrier Prayer : Sri Shyamala Dandakam https://youtu.be/fL862pvdZbo In this Issue : A Interaction AA Current Affairs : Students' issues B Vyadha Gita C Different Folks : Swati M G WARRIER A Interaction 1) Navaratri* Real Fasting of Navaratri in the intellectual level means purification of the soul in the following ways : Prathama - I will leave all my Anger Dwitiya- I will stop Judging People. Tritiya- I will leave all my Grudges. Chaturthi - I will forgive myself & everyone Panchami- I will Accept myself & every one AS they are Shashti- I will love myself & everyone unconditionally Saptami- I will leave all my feelings of Jealousy & Guilt Ashtami (durgaashtami)- I will leave all my Fears Navami (Mahanavami)- I will offer Gratitude for all the things I have and all which I will get. Dashami (Vijayadashami)- There is abundance in the universe for all and I will always tap the same and create what I want through unconditional love, Sadhana, nishkama seva and faith. Wishing all a blessed Navaratri ... Unto Him Our Best *Contributed by Komal Khatri, Mumbai 2) The righteous path https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/warriersviews/the-righteous-path-27258/ (Collage has already shared the pre-publication version of this tribute to Mahakavi Akkitham) AA Current Affairs Can you help me out by signing this petition? http://chng.it/MNnVNfQ7 The uncertainty is haunting the student community in India B One more Gita* Vyadha Gita After reading excellent mails on 'Uddhav Gita' and 'Ashtavakra Gita', I am tempted to share a story of 'Vyadha Gita'. (The Vyadha Gita is a part of the epic Mahabharata and consists of the teachings imparted by a Vyadha (butcher) to a brahmin sannyasi . It occurs in the Vana Parva section of Mahabharata and is told to Yudhishtira by sage Markendeya. The Bhagwat purana mentions the Vyadha as an example of someone who attained perfection through satsang.) The story: A young brahmin sannyasi goes to a forest where he meditates and practices spiritual austerities for a long time. After years of practice one day while sitting under a tree, a female crane happened at that time to befoul the brahmana's body. He became angry and as he cast his angry glances upon the crane, it fell down and died. The brahmana was much moved by pity and the regenerate one began to lament for the dead crane saying , 'Alas, I have done a bad deed urged by anger and malice'. He repeated these words several times and proceeded further to a house, begging for food. Here the housewife who was nursing her sick husband requests the sannyasi to wait. To this the sannyasi says "You wretched woman, how dare you make me wait. You do not know my power yet', to which the housewife says that she is not a crane. The sannyasi is amazed and asks her how she came to know about the bird. The housewife replies she did not practice any austerity and by doing her duty with cheerfulness and wholeheartedness, she became illuminated and thus could read his thoughts. She redirects him to Dharma Vyadha (being the righteous butcher) in the town Mithila and says that Dharma Vyadha would answer all his questions on dharma. The sannyasi goes to see the Vyadha and overcoming his initial hesitation, listens to his teachings which is referred to as Vyadha Gita - and even puts them into practice. Teachings: The surprised sannyasi asks the Vyadha as to how he could become illumined by doing a "filthy, ugly work". The Vyadha says that he is working as per the principle of karma which placed him in a circumstances into which he is born. The Vyadha further advises, no duty is ugly, no duty is impure and it is only the way in which the work is done determines its worth. The Vyadha advises that all work must be done by 'dedicating to God' and by sincere and unattached performance of the allotted duty one can become illuminated. The Vyadha advises the sannyasi that ahimsa and satya are two main pillars of dharma the highest good of all can be achieved. He says that a decision on what is true under difficult circumstances should be made by sticking to that course of action which leads to the highest good of beings. The Vyadha teaches that not birth but dharma and virtuous conduct makes one a brahmin. The story describes the importance of performance of swadharma (prescribed duty or duty in life). According to the story, a Vyadha considered low by birth, but engaged in dharma and doing good to others is capable of teaching a brahmin, considered higher by birth, but practices austerities for his own good. The attainment of freedom by the performance of swadharma, is also one of the central teachings of the Bhagwat Gita. Philosopher Swami Vivekanand describes the Vyadha Gita in one of his lectures on Karma Yoga and says that it contains one of the 'highest flights of the Vedanta'. * Contributed by V N Kelkar (Here's a link to the same story: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/drishtikone/2009/04/vyadha-butcher-gita-how-butcher-helped-enlighten-brahmin/ -Collage) C Different Folks** Me, My Life By Swati Thiagarajan* So I am a beef-eating Hindu Brahmin, married to a South African of no religious affiliation. I am a trained Bharata Natyam dancer and I also love hip-hop, belly-dancing and jazz ballet. I studied Sanskrit and Tamil as second languages along with Hindi which I still struggle to speak with correct grammar and pronounciation, making English my first language. Tamil is my mother tongue. I love Yoga, I love chanting Sanskrit shlokas but over and above all of that, I am a woman and an Indian. My culture - and I mean mine personally - is one of lovely contradictions. No one can tell me I am not Hindu. No text can tell me how exactly to be one. No, the Ramayana is a story, not the "Word" like the Bible or the Quran. In fact, I prefer the Mahabharata any day. My mother is a pure vegetarian, my father is not. He taught me that the sunrise, a little bird song, a tall tree are all God. He taught me that the observer, me and the observed, the universe are intimately entwined. He taught me if we do not see ourselves in others, then there is no beauty to being human. So when dangerous nitwits try and circumscribe me into narrow boxes with their filtered jingoistic take on Hinduism, it makes me wonder what kind of people they are, and do they even see India the way I do? Let me say that I am not going to romanticize my view of India. I see the poverty, the helplessness, the garbage, the corruption, the violence. I wake up to stories of an old Muslim man killed by a mob on the suspicion he was eating beef. His younger son was also beaten badly. His older son is an engineer in the IAF. I wake up to news that a khap panchayat, that lovely bastion of patriarchal kangaroo court justice, ordered the rape of two sisters because their brother married outside his caste. Caste. Paint it whichever way you like, it's a sick degrading practice, as much an apartheid as the old system in South Africa, the country in which I now live. I have seen more racism in India than I have here in South Africa. I was called a "madrasi" casually by people who would be shocked if you told them they were parochial idiots. I have alternately been asked how I am not dark as all madrasis are and also been told by an acquaintance that her summer holidays made her as dark as me. On work for a shoot at the Taj Mahal, the ticket window guy argued that my camera person had to pay the foreigner rate because he was Korean. My camera person was from Manipur. I was flatly told we were lying as Indians did not look like him. It's not just North India but also South India that has all these issues. So, no, I have no romantic view of India. But I have also seen another India, travelled in it, lived in it, been told stories about it. In that India, I have been fed without having to ask, been welcomed without questions, seen unbelievable dignity in the face of all odds. I remembered a story of how the great Bismillah Khan was once on a train and when it stopped at a station, he heard a most haunting melody, a raga he could not identify. It was a young boy walking through the train playing the flute. He stopped near the ustad, and the ustad was mesmerized by the tune. And just as suddenly as the boy came, he left. The ustad was convinced he had been in the presence of divinity. He swore the young boy who played for him was none other than Lord Krishna. Ustad was on his way to the kumbh mela to perform, in a profoundly Hindu festival. When he did perform, he played the raga he heard the boy play and that raga was called Kanhaira by him. My Hinduism is simple. It is "aham brahmasmi" or "the core of my being is the ultimate reality, the root and ground of the universe, the source of all that exists." There is only one supreme being and it is the super consciousness, from which we all sprang and into which we will all be absorbed. Just as a seed carries the secret of a mighty tree within, we carry the supreme conciousness. When that is the central philosophy of Hinduism, where the microcosm and the macrocosm are linked in an infinite beautiful cycle, how can I ever accept what the extreme right wing would like to see as Hinduism? When Hinduism, a way of life, a philosophy that roots itself in a bedrock of tolerance, is twisted into narrow rules and regulations trapped by bars of hate, I cannot and will not accept it. When my Hinduism, asks me to believe in Athithi devo bavah, or "the guest is God", when it asks me to find God in myself because tatvamasi is the heart of the matter and therefore makes me find the divine in others, how can the rule makers separate us into individuals instead of humanity? My Hinduism is stories I danced to. When Bhakt Jayadeva wrote the Geeta Govindam while writing of the love between Radha and Krishna, he spontaneously composed a line, "dehi pada pallava mudharam" or "Krishna asked Radha to place her lotus-like feet on his head." Appalled by this thought that had come to his head, Jayadeva left the house to go bathe and clear his thoughts. A few minutes later, much to his wife's surprise, he came back and sat down and wrote and left again. A few minutes later he came back again. He sat down and then with great anger asked his wife how she could have written the words that were such an insult to God, his wife, most puzzled, said that he himself had just come back and written them and that's when Jayadeva knew it was Krishna himself who had done so. God was saying that in the presence of love, even God is the lesser. Yet, today, we hate, hate so much. That is not my Hinduism. In our culture we will ignore that Charvaka is an ancient Hindu philosophy that embraces philosophical skepticism and rejects the Vedas, Vedic ritualism and supernaturalism. It encourages questions and arguments. Established by Brihaspati, one of our most venerated sages. Yet we will murder professors and social workers who subscribe to it. Our Gayatri mantra, asks for the benevolent light of the sun, the life giver, to inspire our intelligence, to inspire our understanding and to banish ignorance and bathe us in enlightenment. Where is any of that now? In our culture, we will ignore that all meat was consumed by Hindus in the Vedic times and erase that part of history. Indeed that over 60% of India eats meat is rejected. I reject that Hinduism. That narrow confined box. You can call me a pseudo sickular liberal presstitute. I will just bow and say namaste, which means "I greet the divine in you". * Swati is MS Subalakshmi's grand daughter. She and her husband are in the forefront of international enviornment and the wild film making. They've won many international awards. **Forward received from Dr T V Surendran, Mananthavady (I've not included this here, inspired by the fast English this girl is able to dish out or the contradictions in the life and lifestyle of this lady called Swati. Swati could be a case study. Not she alone. Me too! Some of the readers of this piece may also get agitated. After deep inhalation and exhalation, let's think of the variety of concepts about God, our ancient Mythology provides. The one who performed Rasa Leela can incarnate as "Nara-Simha" from thin air, if the situation demands. Now roaming around as "C-Thing". Narayaneeyam explained it all very well (The author was asked to start with "fish" -meaning Dasaavatara story- for curing his ailment) Moreover, my religion allows Swati and me to continue to use the brand name without using us for violation of "patent" regulations even after eating beaf. We were not initiated to any religion in the first place, is another matter! Swati has reasons to be angry and maverick. Having reached close to the ultimate knowledge (see her observations about "Aham Brahmasmi") I wish Swati could have spoken instead of shouting in our ears damaging the ear-drums. Best Wishes to her from Collage-Warrier) End Note : Trollers are wonderful people. Quite possible, they would have used some excerpts from Swati's notes somewhere and "beafed" it up!-Collage View

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