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

The Hijacking of Faith

You don’t have to be a doctor to know that there are no different blood groups for Christian, Hindus, Muslims or Jews. Organ transplant matching never needs religion type; there is none Jew type kidney or a Hindu type Liver transplant.

Power, Politics and Greed are obligately dependent on our core emotion, ‘Faith’. Let us call power, politics and greed as the mercenary traits that subjugate us and exert their influence. These mercenaries capture our sacrosanct ideology, our nimble faith, our devotion towards religion and together dismantle our ethos and erode our values. We never realize when we are enslaved by these mercenary. Our struggle to liberate ourselves from this slavery is thus miserably bound and unfortunately influenced by these mercenaries. How do we transcend to liberate ourselves from this powerful grip of power, politics and greed?

As I pick up the headlines, I see a high pitch religious shrill becoming a common place and gradually getting main stream. Not being a Muslim and despite being a devout follower of my faith, I hate to hear those rants against Muslims. These days, those rants are picking up at an even faster pace.

Shackled

When it comes to saving life

You don’t have to be a physician to know that there are no different blood groups for Christian, Hindus, Muslims or Jews. Organ transplant matching never needs religion type; there is none Jew type kidney or a Hindu type Liver transplants. Only HLA and relevant information is factored in while making those transplant decision. Religion, Caste Creed, regions, color, and ethnicity never take precedence in those decisions. The water I drink, I never know if it rains from a Hindu, Muslim or a Jew cloud. All clouds are same and drinking that sip when thirsty, are always exhilarating. The air we breathe, irrespective of the country, never knows bound. That’s life! It’s so strongly embedded and so uniform.

Politics has its own intentions

Politics is different, here we exist as Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhist, and Sikhs etc. etc. We can be further divided on the basis of color, caste and creed. As if these divisions are not enough, we can add more recipes and be divided further on the basis of region, language and … The division does not stop there, we can keep dividing until we get the finite smallest benefit out of human vulnerability.

Religious Artifacts replacing Ethos and Values

This may seem counterintuitive to many simply because they presume; these values are embossed within their religion. Well, most religions have it, in different forms, including Islam. The practitioner, the believer within us has disappeared. We see a revivalism of artifacts with most religions. We practice artifactual religion, not religion of ethos.

Our Relationship with God

Religion is a private practice, not something for display. It is our pure, pious and personal relationship with God, the almighty and the creator. On a daily basis, we do so many tasks that are personal and private in nature, do we discuss those in public or even within family? We safeguard and treasure some of those moments and respect the nature of those interactions.

Is religion on display? Do we think, we can accrue more mileage by publicly displaying our faith, our very solemn relationship with God? Do you think we will be more rewarded for displaying that faith?

I often see such transactions happening is daily life, ‘If I get this, I will visit your temple, or I will do this’. Somewhere, we have forgotten his real nature and our small human existence have come to reconcile that we can do transactions with him too.

Ground Realities are Different

Obviously, this is a 30,000 foot view. Ground realities are different. Individual practices, preferences and ideologies differ, somewhere significantly. Somewhere, we all try to push our own agenda. However, I would say, it is not difficult to tolerate and leave individual practices to themselves. Why should we all be same? Within a family too, we have differences, we don’t look the same and we can’t enforce views. If that is not possible in a nuclear family, why do we want to insist within our society? Can we not leave citizen to practice their ideology, faith, preferences for them to choose?

The Hijacking of Faith

One unique and singular domain that power, politics and human greed (of ‘me’ over ‘us’) are obligately dependent upon is faith. Let us call this trio as mercenary traits. These mercenary traits exploit our vulnerability and subjugate us to exert their influence. These mercenaries have taken over our faith, our ideology, our religion and our ethos. We never realize, we are enslaved by these mercenary traits. This is an ubiquitous phenomenon that spread across the globe and has existed for centuries.

Human struggle is irretrievably and may I add, miserably bound and unfortunately influenced by these mercenaries. We need to liberate ourselves from this dreaded slavery. This is the history of mankind, the torment, the pain and the pathos, all rolled into slavery by these gruesome traits. I can’t say if this is apocalypse in making, but understanding the law of nature, the next wave will dismantle this chaos and bring further order. Future will unravel the mysteries of past and present. Let us see how things unfurl but until then…

Faith is supreme, beyond our independence and personal freedom. Let us NOT abandon the path of true trust and faith, let us understand that faith is beyond transactions and  don’t let those mercenaries and power brokers indulge with your faith, that core element within you that defines you so uniquely. 

1 Disorder and Order

How do we liberate ourselves?

  1. Respect the privacy of your faith, don’t display and don’t heed to display
  2. Don’t let faith influence your decisions – interpersonal, social and political
  3. Artifacts of religious practices are required but not essential, artifacts cannot be above faith, don’t let artifacts dominate faith
  4. Don’t transact with God, faith in pure sublime form is enough

It’s Not a Cliché – Humanity is true religion

It may sound cliché but you don’t have to go in search of humanity.  I met a college boy who witnessed an injustice while traveling. It was hard for him to protest but he made a choice. He just opposed and supported the victim. He did not leave college. This young kid set up an example that we can emulate without abandoning our duties.

Humanity that needs you, is around you. You don’t have to contribute humongously. You don’t have to abandon your job or family while being humane. Caring for people around you should be sufficient as a first step. Let us rise to serve humanity. It is so much around us, just see who needs what and stand up to that occasion without an expectation.

Our duties towards ‘Humanity’ are endless and if you wish to accept more responsibilities than read this link (http://wp.me/p7XEWW-UW). Humanity is our true religion. Those who contribute towards it can feel the serene tranquility from practicing it. Let us keep service towards humanity as the face of our religion.

Interesting read:

Sanatan Dharma – a journey through time

Enjoy every moment, those won’t come again

Beautiful things are happening in your life, don’t get blind sighted with daily struggle, enjoy each moment to the fullest! While a video/audio cassettes can be reversed, you cannot reverse the time in your life. If you miss those moments shrouded with negativity, you have lost those forever. Everyone has a responsibility, you do your part, Ignore bad time, we have the ability to do that.

‘If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinion’ – Rajneesh

Focus on Present 2

My Lord and my Guru are my inspiration and my motivation. I am just the medium for espousing their wisdom. I propagate what they wish to say. As a humble seeker, I feel blessed since they consider offering that opportunity through me.

Every moment, beautiful things are happening in your life. Don’t get blind sighted with daily struggle, enjoy each moment to the fullest! While a video/audio cassettes can be reversed, you cannot reverse ‘time’ in your life. Time is fleeting and you waste those moments with negatives in life, you will never realize those good moments. If you miss those moments shrouded with negativity, you have lost good moments forever.

It is upon you to get drowned with the murkiness of daily struggle or enjoy life realizing the nectar of wisdom and enjoying each and every moment from that nectar. We can change fate with efforts and being truly humble positive soul, we can make efforts with less reach towards those goals.

Deer Looking in Water

Let us realize the difference between plain efforts and let us realize efforts along with intellectual-spiritual percepts and imbibe the nectar from the wisdom. Your environment will glow with your Lord’s positivity.

Everyone has a responsibility, you do your part, leave others to leave their part. Ignore bad time, we have the ability to do that. Physical akhada is only for youngsters, intellectual-spiritual akhada has no age bar.

Lord Shiva

Listen to the video below –

 

While he is so right about the ignominy of our worries, the fluidity of our state of mind and the irony of losing present (current) time yearning a selected state of blissful pleasure, a worthless state of mind, I say, we enjoy every moment. Enjoying doesn’t mean being happy. As mentioned earlier, happiness is a selected state of mind, does not represent all the vivid and vibrant spectrum of colors.

Enjoyment means acknowledging, realizing, feeling, perceiving those multitudes of shades. Enjoying means feeling that every moment of sense and sensibility, of pain, of ardor, of fortitude of realization, of upheavals, of downbeats, of ecstacy, of sublime bliss, of pleasure. Those are the colors of life. We are not born in black dark work where only one color pervades and neither are we born in a black and white world or shades of gray. Our world is colorful and full of vibrancy and admixed with uniqueness and each color combination with its own identity. We need to enjoy, ie perceive and feel these colors. Whereas, happiness is a limited state of some blissful colors, enjoying, ie realizing, feeling and perceiving the ephemeral state of these colors is a snapshot and it is only those limited moments that we can do so and that’s the state of enjoyment.

Real life is filled with these unique color combinations and worrying about retaining or yearning for that state of mind called happiness is worthless. Let us deal enjoy those moments.

Karma and Kartavya

Karma is what you toil here in this material world for achieving your day to day living while Kartayya are your extended responsibilities while you ingress and egress this material world. To many, both these may be synonyms but in our spiritual journey, I realize, these are two different duties.

While Karma has an end to its cycle as you retire with advancing age or limitation of capabilities, kartayya has no end until your last breath. Only the nature of your responsibilities changes as you age. Please visit my blog to read further http://wp.me/p7XEWW-UW. Sharing this with selected few since only few make an effort to understand their cosmic and spiritual journey and handful have the inclination towards self-actualization.

Kartavya is endless and has several concentric circles in which you are the epicenter and those rings are woven in your ascendancy towards self-actualization. Kartavya is your engagement with your surrounding beyond your regular expected work.  While you are doing your Kartavya, you have those running parallel and not in series or sequence. At times, you are fulfilling several of those simultaneously and concurrently. Let us elaborate some with examples. As a parent or child, you have immediate responsibilities towards your family, kids, spouse and parents. Going beyond that, you have responsibility towards your extended family, friends, and community where you live. However, it does not end there. For those who are Karmavir, they ask for bigger responsibilities, towards the society, country and the world including nature, around and beyond you.

Toil & Cultivate Thoughts

Kartavya is boundless. No one can be limited within any (concentric) layers. No one can be pushed towards any layer, if they wish not to be. However, it is a journey of this soul as it is passing (transgressing) through this world, a voyage towards eternity. I don’t wish to attach kartavya with ultimate evaluation of our deeds while in this world. However, I do feel that, when bestowed with that ability to influence, if you ignore that, it is definitely willful negligence. Aspiring to gain more responsibilities and working arduously towards executing those is truly blissful, if not pious. I would refrain from calling pious since all acts have another positive and negative dimension and labeling an act as pious is a snapshot analysis, not a full spectrum analysis in continuum.

Let us visit karma. Karma is what you work in this world for a material living. For a teacher, it is delivering course. A doctor is expected to take care of her/his students. Military personnel are to take care of their military responsibilities. A whole gamut of professions is fulfilling their immediate responsibilities. However, the most challenging one, I see, are the politician’s responsibilities.

The most beautiful thing about Karma is that, it is easily guided by conscious and easily trapped and distracted by our material trappings. The more you are involved with the ‘Me’ within, the more you get buried with the material trappings that become an inhibitory force towards self-actualization. It is easy to get lost with one’s position with Karma but a constant penance and prayer would help to most, while those truly on the path to realization, may not need those prayers on a regular basis. Prayers do help in your struggle with keeping you detached from yourself and being more upwardly mobile in achieving your ultimate karmic objectives.

Path to Happiness

While Karma has an end to its cycle as you retire with advancing age or limitation of capabilities, kartavya has no end until your last breath. Only the nature of your responsibilities changes as you age.

Who Am I? – Swami Sarvapriyananda from Mandukya Upanishad

Knowing and identifying oneself amongst the ocean of humanity and understanding the journey of our soul through this material universe is always a hard struggle. We often get drowned into the deluge from our own (ego) involvement. While we are living this material life, we understand the importance of self and how best to maintain the balance between self and this eternal journey through this transient world. Swami Sarvapriyananda explains this in the accompanying youtube video. A must for all professionals who are on the rising path.

Swami Sarvapriyananda at IITK – “Who Am I?” according to Mandukya Upanishad-Part 1

Swami Sarvapriyananda-“Secret of Concentration” at IIT Kanpur

Swami Sarvapriyananda-“BHAGVAD GITA FOR STUDENTS” at IIT Kanpur

Taking Charge of Prana

Sadhguru 2017 – Repair your body from inside!

Sadhguru – 3 Things we MUST do every morning

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev shuts up Barkha Dutt

How can we erase bad memories?

Human experiences are a collation of good and bad incidences, events and experiences. Our experiences uniquely define us. It is absolutely understandable when we lose those blemishes and get that onslaught from those trepidations of life. Often, we our adverse experiences influence our current perception and create an unwanted filter that muddles our normal interaction.  Often, it leaves us in agony and that agony consumes a lot of our energies. How do we do that? Understanding, appreciating and respecting our individual experiences.

Understanding the blemishes

I often equate it with a utensil that comes out of a factory. When it is manufactured, just out in the open market, it is shining, glistening and unblemished. As this moves forward in life, it starts losing it glitter, often getting into skirmishes and sometimes indentations, small and big. Some of those completely deface the utensil but most often, we see lost glitter, some small indentations. That state defines the identity of the utensil. It is hard to bring the original shine or remove those indentations. Why?

Comparing is our two edged sword

Because we compare this state with that original just manufactured state. Comparing is our worst enemy, comparing with our original state, comparing with our peers, comparing with our siblings and comparing with our competitors. Somewhere, while comparing degrades ourselves. Ideally, comparison offers a benchmark that should provide an insight, however, we compare quantitatively and qualitatively with utter disregards to that insight.

Accepting the glory of our experiences

Let me give another example. What is so good about a soldier who never sustained any injuries? We feel proud about the injuries a soldier sustains while in the battle field. On the contrary, if a soldier protects himself from such injuries to maintain his cosmetic semblance to original handsome state, one would hardly be impressed with that.

Life’s journey is similar; we should feel proud about those moments and cherish those as our unique experiences. Those onslaughts are truly unique moments that define our life, our wisdom and our new self.

Recognizing and honoring the wisdom within

Let us imagine a life of a student graduating from college. He labored hard for the required period of time to gain that knowledge and wisdom. Those experiences have changed her/his perception and deeply defined his views. What if he comes to use his old repository of knowledge and think in the same old fashioned way? This is certainly not acceptable to anyone. Real life is similarly a school where we learn and accumulate our own set of experiences and gain knowledge that reflects, eventually as wisdom. We have to feel proud about our own experiences.

Coming back to the journey of soul through this material world, we can change our own perception of human experiences, we can stop comparing and if we try enjoying the new battle hardened state, understand that this is the true existence and appreciate the beauty, assimilate those strains of life, and cherish that as part of our cycle of karma, we should lessen or possibly remove and delete the pain from those estranged and tangled memories.

Yes, we change the perception of our battle hardened Karma.

That Tribal ‘Forward’ Instinct

Facebook, WhatsApp and other News Media have only consolidated our beleaguered self. We want to spread the news before anyone. Any sensational news, irrespective of its impact on the common man, or the society in general, are circulated without due diligence.

I have two interesting stories to share – first, a hoax that is spreading on cancer and the second one, a notion that our religion or faith is under threat or fire.

For those without any technical understanding on cancer, it is a disease that is a consequence of loss of control by the body mechanism over it’s ability to stop incessant multiplication and subsequent spread beyond the organ of origin. This spread correlates with the stages of cancer, which most of my non medical readers are aware. Transformation of a normal cell to cancer is one of the most complex mechanisms, and every organ has multiple pathways of deregulations and within each organ, subtle differences exists that make certain cancers more dreaded than others. However, suffice it to say that current scientific literature is devoid of any evidence that links Vitamin B17 (Amygdalin or Laetrile). It is DEFINITELY NOT DUE TO DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN B17.

Amygdaline

You may visit one of the latest landmark work in this field by Bode and Dong, ‘Toxic phytochemicals and their potential risks for human cancer’ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289646/).

———————————–

Cancer is not a disease but a deficiency and manufactured by the drug industry

The hoax:

Cancer is not a disease but a deficiency of Vitamin B: It was a Sunday morning and as usual, a friend forwarded that. Of course his understanding on cancer is miniscule. However, worst, the same story was received from a retired professor from a medical school.

Sometimes, I fail to understand the logic. Some semi-experts who work on the fringe or periphery of the field, having some semblance of understanding about cancer, put up facts and fiction and circulate these stories. It is mainstream fashion to add little science and mix with much fiction (not tested hypothesis) and make a juicy story that will catch the imagination of the common man. I also fail to understand how these people think that all the researchers, all the medical practitioners and the entire paraprofessionals working in the field lack ethics and values. They ultimately try to prove that are the demystifier of the falsehood and the ultimate revealers of truth. By falsely claiming so, they not only malign and tarnish the ethos, values and hard work of all the people working in the field but end up widening the existing sense of trust deficit within the system.

The truth:

If you carefully see the picture below or review this with a doctor who has had fundamental learning (didactics) in pathology, I bet by consensus, you will find them disagreeing on the picture of cancer below. Anyone having seen cancer cells under a microscope will agree that the picture below has no resemblance to cancer cell. However, it has a closer resemblance, possibly to an imaginary octopus.

The link to that hoax – cancer is not a disease; it is a business. Cancer consists of only a deficiency of vitamin B17.

In our quest for knowledge, we are striving to understand, diagnose and manage the menace of cancer afflicting mankind. Much can be said about the progress that has achieved with cancer. However, we are humans and we are learning, every time we cross a barrier, we dismantle our earlier understanding and expand the horizons of our learning. Consequently, we see changing guidelines, part of the reason why we see differences in the practice from a decade and now.

Several links to the truth are innumerable, an important one here –

http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v10/n8/full/nm1087.html

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Our religion is under attack:

Though I cited an example of Muslim faith, Islam is not the only religion in the world that feels so. Recently, Hindus, Christians and other faith leaders are gradually immersing their ideology and believers to this proposition. So, let us understand these as phenomenon rather than a criticism for a particular religion.

It has become an in-thing to believe that one’s religion or ideology is under threat. If you presume, I am talking about Muslims, you need course correction. Believers, irrespective of religions feel their faith and ideology is under threat, or at least their so called guardians or believers want everyone, including those practicing, to believe so. The killing of a young woman in Virginia is a case in point.

Of course, this is another forward from a Muslim friend (but Muslims are not an exception) who shared news on how a Muslim girl, while leaving a Mosque after offering prayers, was killed as a consequence of a hate crime. Obviously, he wanted me to believe this happening. Being outside his religion, I could clearly see the bias and I pointed out that we should wait for the crime detection agencies to validate the cause. It can be any roadside ragamuffin who might have mugged/ attacked and it may not be a premeditated hate crime. The question was simple – a person bent on retribution will do a newsworthy act, not a roadside attack on a single person. To me, that was clearly an act of robbery rather than hate crime.

We have that tribal instinct deeply embedded within us that makes us spread rumors without validating those. It is that rudimentary instinct that does not think about responsible civic behavior. It has that uncanny childish attitude of keeping itself as the center of attraction. All these are at the cost of society, civil norms and years of systematic learning. While doing all these, we tend to forget the toll it takes on the society, the time consumed in discussing unrequired rumors, the trust deficit and the polarization that ensues.

The Hoax – The initial link from a news channel on the isolated hate crime

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/fairfax-loudoun-police-searching-for-missing-17-year-old-reported-to-have-been-assaulted/2017/06/18/02e379ac-5466-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html

My obvious argument was to wait for the law agencies complete their investigation and prove the motive, then make an impression. Of course, such logical arguments are not liked or appreciated. As usual, this friend labeled me as ‘non-sympathetic’ towards his religion. In next 18 hours, the same newspaper published another news on the same incidence.

The truth – The story posted by same news channel 18 hours after the incidence

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/killing-of-muslim-teenager-not-being-investigated-as-a-hate-crime-police-say/2017/06/19/e7670f0a-54f0-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?utm_term=.ac8cd960e97a

Let us think or validate before forwarding

We all have a responsibility to filter the information and think through the consequences of forwarding newsworthy items. Spreading sensational, unvalidated news without understanding the impact amounts to irresponsible civic behavior that may cast doubt on our character. It is closer to our tribal instincts and drowns all the civilized efforts and education we so much fashion ourselves with.

The above post was written on June 25, 2017. Adding another link on Feb 2, 2019. below.