Our Obsolete ‘Fairy Model’

The “Fairy Model”, is embedded as a class effort. Islam has humane cause and healthy tenets, however, the clerics and the religious guardians have become too strong, authoritarian and harsh to let any intellectual individual let it evolve. Islam is not an exception, followers of any faith, not just Islam but Hindus, Christian and Jews etc., all have to reconcile to the concept of change and get rid of the obsolete ideas and evolve. Today, we need religious change more than any technology. The chasm is widening everyday. Evolving religious ideologies to match the changing world alone will solve the problem created by this chasm.

“You would be in Jannat (heaven)” with those multiple fairies. Those are the promises made to several of the Jihadist on multiple occasions, umpteen number of time.

Utter nonsense for four obvious reasons –

  1. This presumes carnal life extends to Jannat. In true spiritual sense, if Jannat has to exist, will it be with those material trapping? Great food, sex, pleasure? Utter nonsense taught to gullible and innocents who cannot think through.
  2. That Jannat is also the place where Lord enjoys carnal moments. Wow! So those who prophesies also awaits the moments to indulge in material pleasure? Surprising that the spiritual leaders are ever bonded and never rise and evolve (those interested may read Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).
  3. The perpetrators forget that the victim, after their death, too enjoys similar benefits in Jannat.
  4. Islam has no place for ladies in Jannat, except serve these youngster, who have just achieved martyrdom. Well, that is against ‘equal opportunities’? A review of history shows countless women having led countries, religion and ideologies. It is a great insult to womanhood when their participation is not extolled.

My request to those prophesying terrorism, please change or update your model, it truly sounds dumb because everyone gets the same treatment – The Lord, The Victim and the Perpetrator. It is little old fashioned and outdated. Unlike old fashioned communism, during these times, everyone would like to be treated differently, not the same.

The concern is not about dedicating for religion or its ideologies, it is about having sane ideas and devoting for those. Finally, every religion has artifacts, and I consider this as one of those artifacts. However, truly speaking, enticing young gullible youngsters with a ‘Fairy Model’, sounds really outdated and obsolete.

Every religion is bound with emotions and artifacts but deep inside, there is a rationale and a message for humanity, often in the context when those tenets were laid. However, over a period, those who are expected to safeguard those tenets, either ends up evolving it or denigrating and exploiting it. Evolution generally is forwarded by singular efforts, whereas devolution or exploitation is generally a class effort. An outside-in view will always provide a rationale and reasoning and remove those emotional epithets.

In this case, the “Fairy Model”, is embedded as a class effort. Islam has a humane cause and healthy tenets, however, the clerics and the religious guardians have become too authoritarian and harsh to let any individual let its ideology evolve. Followers of any faith, not just Islam, but Hindus, Christian and Jews etc., all have to reconcile to the concept of change and get rid of the obsolete ideas.

Assimilating change is challenging, especially within the realms of religion. Change is challenging because it is difficult to understand the change since we are moribund to the status quo, and then to assimilate and drive that change within the context of the religion and finally, to contextualize it to make it relevant. Changing the Fairy Model is not just important but an existential reality for not just one religion but pretty much all religion or ideologies.

Kashmir attack: Tracing the path that led to Pulwama

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-47302467

Why am I blogging on health and diet?

For most healthy living is having a balance between eating and exercise. Well, it goes beyond that one will eventually comprehend the importance of spirituality and expand the dimension of health. Suffice it to say that, the most elementary blocks of health starts with Diet and Exercise and this blog is focused on diet and exercise.

Because it is core and critical to our efforts and initiatives in life.

Generalizing from decades of observations, understanding the molecular mechanism that cascades the physiologic pathways, and adding an angle of spiritual journey to our living, I too believe that the source is within us. We pamper ourselves with indulgence and defend it with reason. That in itself is a root cause for systemic illnesses such as overweight/obesity, insomnia, hypertension and diabetes (well in exceptional cases, we do have hereditary, genetic and developmental factors that contribute).

However, once these systemic maladies sets in, it takes long time to revert to the original baseline. Here again, we try indulging in radical results with resultant generalized impact. Liposuction, extreme diets, such as keto diets etc. cause untoward effect on the body. Dependence on drugs such as antidiabetic or antihypertensives keep increasing, partly because of tolerance and mostly because the root cause is not addressed.

Restoring health is a discipline, not a snapshot event in time. It needs comprehensive multidimensional change. I know if I haven’t slept adequately how that affects my work. Some maladies have evident outcome, others have long lasting impact. Let’s have that balanced perspective to dart towards achievements.

I am often reluctant towards opting for radical options such surgery (with exception), so also I am against drugs/medicines.

Every life journey is unique, complicated by a confluence of conscious and subconscious flows, that we alone can decipher and discern. Those moments of reflections should ideally help in putting up a roadmap towards restoration of health. While that is the permanent way, we can and should rely on drugs or other means, while transiting towards that phase.

However, jumping directly to radical options is ill founded and deficient. A gradual incremental reversal, though difficult, can be achieved through consistent behavior with discipline. Well, it is easy to say but difficult to implement. However, that’s the test of your grit and determination, that we all are born with.

Celibate Life for Serving the Lord?

Celibacy and renounciation is not a prerequisite to service of Lord or to mankind. Yes, it is a distraction from devotion but it is not absolutely required. Many religions consider it is a must, possibly because life and normal living itself is a beyond distraction from the path of spiritual service. How best can we confluence these divergent tracks?

Not that atrocities towards at places of believes are uncommon amongst Hindu and Muslim temples and Madrassas. The key question is –

Do we have to renounce normal living and be celibate for the service of our Lord to run the religious institutions. Celibacy is bot an absolute criteria but a matter of choice, and inter decision and personal philosophy. This ensures, less abuse – fair gender and others within their ecosystem.

Some religious practices have institutional stipulations that enforce celibacy and human nature (naturally) fights back. We see such abuses that later get institutionalized. Only if Pope opens the door for the clergy to be married and stat normal life, that we will see a true decrease in such incidences.

Changing topic to Hinduism and its evolutionary traits and practices. Reflecting upon how Hinduism has evolved after adopting such practices, itself provides a credence that this is a philosophy in evolution and has a longer life than predicted by most western historians.

The day we freeze evolution, we stop growing though and the only way to keep vibrant and dynamic is to keep listening, debating and evolving with a sense of accommodation and assimilation.

Sometimes back, during medieval period, that happened. We froze varna and subdued our women. We wiped out meritocracy by institutionalizing nepotism and feudalism. We created a majority subservient to those who captured the institutions – religious, social, family, political etc. thus weakening our institutions.

It takes time to dismantle but the time we unfreeze and evolve, we will see spurt in our spiritual and ideological growth. To those who says Hinduism is under attack, I agree. But it is bot external but our own internal shackles.

Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47134033

Sabarimal Temple is about Choice

sabarimala

It is unworthy to dive and wade through a controversy which is already ravaging religious and political divide. Despite, it is never too late to share a perspective.

Since medieval times until recently, guardians of religion, especially those influencing the religious pulpit and dictating at the sanctum sanctorum, have treated women with lesser regards, often times humiliatingly. Though male chauvinism has perpetuated over the years, often I feel, women too contribute to their malady. I was talking with an IIT graduated with strong liberal views and I was surprised to hear her recantation of the age old dogmas. This IIT alumnus is not an isolated example, and not all highly educated women submit to the old dogmas. However, submission to these dogmas makes me think that women too contribute to this state.

However, times have changed and Women have become more aware of their rights. They have realized that it is time to stop this second class maltreatment. Women entering Shani Shingnapur’s inner sanctum after 400-year, broke the tradition. I am a strong proponent of equality between gender and women rights. I believe, though late, the global #Me Too, Women taking the wheels in Saudi Arabia are all signs of that awareness and assertiveness.

However, the story at Sabarimal Temple is different. It is in fact a desecration of the choice of Lord Ayappa. Lord Ayappa had chosen celibacy as his way of life and he wanted to stay away from the carnal world. Even if we are not to believe in his existence, it is about a choice and Sabarimal Temple represents that choice. Are we not to respect that, especially when we respect and accept prochoice (for abortions), or gender identity and preference (Guys and Lesbian)?

Sabarimal Temple represents a different ideology and we have to respect the views of that deity if we consider this as live and valid, if we consider it as a folklore, the reason to pay respect itself annuls.

It is interesting to read Suhrith Parthsarthy’s article on Sabarimala Singularity (Link provided in reference) as the authors wades through multiple facets of faith, equality and choice.

Also, criticism from other religious groups are most welcome, however, they should also abide and be receptive to receive reciprocal outsider perspective. This last statement is in reference to a IUML rally in support of the court verdict (reference below).

sabarimala-1

References:

Sabarimala: India’s Kerala paralysed amid protests over temple entry

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-46744142

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/shani-shingnapur-temple-trust-finally-accepts-hc-order-lets-women-in/

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-sabarimala-singularity/article24514458.ece

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/sabarimala-temple-row-not-only-hindu-outfits-iuml-too-supports-devotees/videoshow/66150798.cms?from=mdr

Islamic Veil

Placeholder – radicals are not true believers, they can desecrate the very values for which they stand for primarily because they submit to the outcome and not the means. Whereas, religion is about means and not about end.

It is not true to construe that they haven’t understood their religious tenets. Religious tenets are sublime and are simple for a common man to understand. They have decidedly made a choice to override those tenets.

Islam is not the only religion dispersed with radical profanity. Hinduism is showing a significant rise in radical dominance and polarization.

Radicalization is not just related to religion. Even political ideology is getting fenestrated and infested with radical and aggressive thoughts gradually establishing as mainstream philosophy.

Can these man respect the sacred religious belief of their own religion?

At least three men disguised in burkas arrived in a rickshaw and entered the Peshawar Agriculture Training Institute on Friday morning.

Pakistan attack: Gunmen storm Peshawar training college
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-42191487

Should We Question Our Guru?

Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who has provided that eternal milieu for growth and realization.

Prologue

All religions are deeply embedded with humane perspective, ethical values and principles. We follow religion what is told to us and as followers, we come up with questions. Often, religious practices or preachers forbid us from asking questions. In fact, in the interest of your faith, you should question your tenets or those who impart those principles of religion and at times, we should oppose something that does not appeal to our morals or sense of judgment. Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who provides us that eternal milieu for growth and realization. More on the importance of asking questions to understand your faith.

The Importance of Guru

Guru or a teacher is a must in every aspect of life and living. When we are born, the one who holds us, our Parents, are our Guru. When we learn to walk and run, and play in the field, we need a Guru or alternately, we are continuously guided by someone in the form of Guru. As we graduate through different levels of learning, we realize, several learned folks have contributed in making us what we are at that snapshot of time. At no point in our individual journey of life can we claim that we are on our own. We develop as an amalgamation of outside forces, the learning and our own ability to comprehend internally what emerges from within the milieu we exist. Be it science, arts, technology, business, politics or spiritual. Selected few are beneficiaries of dedicated didactics whereas, most are imbibing the radiance emanated from these folks, through books, discourse, artifacts analysis, on the ground lessons, hands-on learning etc. and as time progresses, we transition into Guru. In fact, we should consider that as one of our most noble social responsibility while build that continuity. There is no invitations, you simply offer yourself to the devotion of dissipating and spreading that wisdom, knowledge being one aspect of it. Do we need Guru to interpret religion? Obviously yes, this journey would not be a journey without a Guru and life would have no meaning without the presence of Guru.

Should Guru Charge for the knowledge?

Some do it selflessly, while others do it with collateral. However, irrespective of an exchange is occurring or not, it is pertinent that the transfer of wisdom should transition from generation to generation as does the genomic material. As is clear from the foregoing, the day you destroy that genomic transcription, the world will cease to exist and time will come to standstill.

What are the essential traits of Guru?

I strongly believe, we need Guru to interpret religion. We need a Guru to interpret religion. Please correct me if I am wrong but I presume, Guru is at a level sufficiently evolved that the disciple, second Guru is above material attachments and third, Guru is above biases. If all of these qualify, I presume, we still have occasionally people born with precocious intelligence and they interpret life beyond the box, those are the same folks who expand that envelop, that’s how Buddha came into being and I presume, the entire edifice of Sanatan dharma was built upon.

Should we be restricted within the confines of Guru?

No one helped Einstein with his quantum physics or theory of relativity. History of science is adorned with several such examples. In fact, when a disciple takes it beyond the confines of imparted knowledge, the disciple honors his Guru and the stature of their Guru too rises beyond an act of deliverance of knowledge to the one of evolving the tenets, a supreme contribution to the cause of mankind.

Do we question Guru?

Definitely Yes! You may notice that ‘definite’, and if we don’t, we will initiate the degradation and degeneration.

Why Spiritual Guru’s should be above material attachment? Knowledge is so pristine and supremely inspiring and awakening, that it often lures the acquirer into installing the beholder onto higher pedestals. During such times, it makes sense to not be attached or be minimalist in his/her attachment to the material world. If the Guru’s are not, disciples land up encountering Guru Ram Rahim. Power corrupts and religious power corrupts absolutely. That is how we got Guru Rajneesh.

Only if Lord Shiva would have registered an IP or Patented Yog

Our Age Old Yog (So called Yoga) is a case in point. Yog are taught, not in the comfort of conditioned environment but in the temple precincts and after paying due obeisance to Lord Shiva. Western world has corrupted it to Yoga, followed with a liturgy of similar distortions from Rama, Krishna, Arjuna. Our original words is Yog, Ram, Krishna etc.

Let me come to the point – Yog originated from Lord Shiva as a primeval knowledge and mechanism for the uplifting of human living and existence. Lord Shiva initially transferred the understanding to Lord Parvati and upon her insistence to the Seven Sages, after they went through severe penance, devotion and commitment. Yog was thus born not as a religious preaching or kinesthetic principles but as a spiritual science. Yog does not adhere to any particular religion, belief or community but as a mechanism for inner wellbeing.

What’s wrong with today’s Guru’s?

We see the likes of Ramdev, SadhGuru and others, who through their Siddhi bestowed on them, are prophesying Yog but indulging in material gain. If only Lord Shiva patented Yog. They specially fall out since they are acclaimed Siddha Purush (enlightened). Other lesser mortals can definitely do business but I don’t consider them enlightened.

Guru Shishya Vyavastha in Prachin Bharat Varsha

It is important to understand the origin of Guru, Disciple and Gurukul tradition. In ancient India Guru held their own learning institutes called Gurukul. Disciples stayed with their Guru and imbibed the learning as it was imparted. These Gurukul were supported by Bhiksha and the ruling kings. It is wrong to say Gurus were Brahmins. Disciples often served the Gurukul with day to day activities. Gurus were the learned class and a Brahmin was considered learned class devoid of any material attachments as they were supported by alms and the state. Guru Dakshina was part of the tradition and it never meant material repayment to the teacher. It meant a respect that may have included some material form, irrespective of the value.

Guru GuruKul

If you notice, the entire edifice of Guru and his learning ecosystem are based on the percept of selfless dedication, irrespective of the players – Teacher, Disciple, Institute or the Community that benefitted from the posterity.

Science, Arts or Spirituality would cease to grow if we don’t oppose our Guru. That opposition has an element of obeisance and regards of highest kind, since the Guru is the one who has provided that eternal milieu for growth and realization.

You may also like Who Am I? – Swami Sarvapriyananda from Mandukya Upanishad

Citations:

Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development

 

Sanatan Dharma – a journey through time

Sanatan Dharma

Sanatan Dharma is an evolution and a confluence of several spiritual streams and the process itself has gone through significant innovation and evolution, by a steady stream of religious reformers or social scientist (we call them Rushi Muni Tapasvi). Those were not gifted folks but they had thorough understanding of the existing tenets and the different facets of life, evolving the ideology of religion to the form it existed or that we know about Sanatan Dharma.

Of course, such deep realization cannot be understood by common man and it required state support plus ritualization through artifact generation.  As with every religion, these were relevant to the life scenario of those times and a system was formed that achieved homeostasis.  It’s pretty much akin to blockchain technology or to simply say, one brick over the other to build a beautiful castle.

Sanatan Dharma and Offshoots

It was in this milieu that Buddhism, Jainism and other deviation of practices emerged. It was this character of Sanatan dharma that provided the ripe environment for other offshoots. If I am not wrong, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc. had very few or occasional opposition in erstwhile Bharat, the prime reason being Sahishnuta and acceptance of difference of ideology. It’s not a timid concept, its way up in ladder of evolution. It is a reflection of deep respect and freedom and the practice of individual practices and ideology. Such is the deep seated respect for individualism in Sanatan Dharma.

Amidst the cauldron of these evolutionary changes within the religious ideology, (barring few examples), we notice that state craft, despite its support, interfered very little to influence ideology and religious ideology interfered little with state craft. That fine balance was maintained, possibly because those ethos’s were absorbed as a character of the milieu. Over a period of time, we forgot those principles and clung to those artifacts and as we see today, we have become artifact worshipers. That’s not with us alone. Many religions show similar transformation.

Distortion and Exploitation of Justice

Sometimes, I strongly realize, except our genomic and ethnic composition, ideologically we are not the true legacy of our Sanatan Dharma. Those who call themselves the true followers are in fact far off from the true concept propounded by religion. It’s an irony that those deviating from this truth are in fact guardian of the religion. State craft is synonymous with faith and ideology. That’s the degradation and degeneration we witness today, that edifice is crumbling, every day, since the times we froze the ideology and started worshiping the artifacts, the time we fossilized ‘Varna Paddhat’ and exploited masses, the time we eschewed patriarchal society and diluted the importance of women. Unless we correct our fundamental fallacies, we cannot rise as a nation and if at all we see few metric or KPIs (like GDP) improving, those are but material reflection and not our true state of spiritual mental evolution.

Of all the atrocities, ‘Varna Paddhati’ and nebular organization into ‘Patriachial System’ are the ones which have inflicted the most deep seated grave insult to our society. This is despite the individual freedom respect for individualism. These two aspects limit the respect for individuality and individualism. (Please read my blog on Varnapadhati…)

Our Idols in Sanctum Sanctorum

In our daily lives, we often see a dichotomous hierarchy wherein women are often second in command, be it home, offices, social or polity. However, followers of Sanatan Dharma will notice that is a deviation from the original preaching. We never see Lord Sita outside the Sanctum Sanctorum, whereas Lord Ram is inside. Lord Shiva takes it several steps above this. He considers himself incomplete without Lord Parvati. Lord Parvati being the other half of Lord Shiva, a devotion so sublime that it transcends science, philosophy and imagination and a preaching that lays the foundation for humanity for eons.

Women, that feminine aspect of continuity is a completely different creature. Rudimentary cultures often see her as a fertile ground for sowing seeds, as a homemaker and one who rears the siblings. However, in true philosophical sense, she is the Janani and the bearer of this Mother Earth, the continuity of time and the essence of life. Emancipating and enabling women is our prime responsibility as is our responsibility to rear the next generation.

Lesser offsprings of Sanatan Dharma

One of the most lurid exploits of times – I find the imagination, creation and subsequent fossilization of the lesser classes created by guardians Sanatan Dharma as one of the most gory acts of tribulation. It is repugnant to see how in the best of the senses can mankind create such a deed? How in the best of senses and justice could this find continuity across ages and how the system froze it to the best of individual advantage? That is so repulsive, heinous so barbaric and so inhumane. That we let this act to continue despite the system of social justice, is truly a unique blemish on our evolved system. The injustice is so deeply rooted, that all other Varnas should be tried similar to the Nazis for War Crime. I find it repulsive when we oppose ‘Equal Opportunities’ or ‘Reservation’ as those are labeled depending upon the country of origin. However, time has come to overthrow and dismantle that system and usher into a new era of justice for all. We all will have to make sacrifices and offering our rightful meritorious place and finding an alternative spot should be part of our struggle, if we truly believe in this heinous crime committed over eons.

Excerpts from ‘Varna Vyavastha: Class System Of Vedic Society’

“In the beginning, there was only one varna in the ancient Indian society. “We were all brahmins or all sudras,” says Brhadaranyaka Upanisad (1.4, 11-5, 1.31) and also Mahabharata (12.188). A smrti text says that one is born a sudra, and through purification he becomes a brahmin. According to Bhagavada Gita, varna is conferred on the basis of the intrinsic nature of an individual, which is a combination of three gunas (qualities): sattva, rajas, and tamas. In the Mahabharata SantiParva, Yudhisthira defines a brahmin as one who is truthful, forgiving, and kind. He clearly points out that a brahmin is not a brahmin just because he is born in a brahmin family, nor is a sudra a sudra because his parents are sudras. The same concept is mentioned in Manu Smrti. Another scripture Apastamba Dharmasutra states that by birth every human being is a sudra. It is by education and upbringing that one becomes `twice born’, that is, a dvija. Link here.

Lord Krishna, in Bhagvad Gita Chapter 4, Verse 13, said:-

“Chatur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah,
Tasya kartaram api mam viddhy akartaram avyayam”

Lord Krishna said, the four categories of occupations were created by me according to people’s three qualities and activities (guna and karma). Although I am the creator of this system, know me to be the non-doer and eternal.This verse from Gita clearly states that caste is assigned to people not on the basis of their birth but on the three attributes and profession carried by them. No child is automatically bound to the same caste as his parent. The purpose of allotting caste is to enable the person to do his specific karma and reach towards ‘Moksha’ i.e. Liberation. Arjun asked Lord Krishna if mixiing of the caste creates a progeny that does not help with salvation of the pitrus. To this Lord Krishna said,

“klaibyam ma sma gamaḥ partha naitat tvayyupapadyate
kṣhudram hṛidaya-daurbalyam tyaktvottiṣhṭha parantapa”

To translate, it meant, “O Parth, it does not befit you to yield to this unmanliness. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O vanquisher of enemies.” Lord Krishna clearly denounced caste system, the way mankind has interpreted and frozen it to their benefit. Lord Krishna has not alone denounced it but also, supported intercaste marriages as it does not support his view of establishing varna padathi.

Is Sanatan Dharma under threat?

Religions grow and prosper under uncertainty. In the Western World, the numbers of atheist have grown due to existential stability with high economic, political, education and access to technology.

However, Sanatan Dharma (the one that never ends), as the name indicates, got even deep rooted with prosperity and stabilization of erst while society in Bharat Varsha as it revealed greater meaning of life and living. If we revisit Maslow’s Self Actualization pyramid, we realize, as human being rises through those hierarchies, the needs change too. Sanatan Dharma offers that foundation for change through various phases and elevations of life.

An argument often made by politicians and religious hegemonist, that our religion is under threat. That is an easy ploy to garner the undecided votes (an indirect booth capturing mechanism). We may lose few folks due to proselytization but Dharma will never lose. Dharma may lose, due to its intrinsic weaknesses, not due to an external threat or attack as long as we are strong nation.

With deep reverence and adoration, I respect those who hold the cause of Sanatan Dharma. However, I humbly urge that they understand the nature of this Dharma and protect its ethos (atma). To be a true believer, let us go beyond artifacts; let us drive towards the principles. Until then, it is all muddled with politics and selfish gains. I truly believe, protection of one’s faith is with the believer.

(The blog below reflect my thoughts as I discussed those with my college batchmates).

If you liked this, you may also like The Hijacking of Faith

Specific Citations:

Sanatan Dharma – The Eternal Way of Being

Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development

Humanity – A Universal Religion

General Citations on religion:

Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not By Robert McCauley

 “Nones” on the Rise Pew Research Foundation

Will religion ever disappear? BBC, an interesting read