With kind Regards,
Hindutva: The Primacy of Culture
15 February 2011
Great Britain, mother of Western colonialism whose footprints still deface the world, admits it cannot cope with citizen-adherents of a sister faith unless they accept the primacy of her Anglican Christian culture, while practicing their religion in private. In other words, national identity will be determined by the 'core values' and political concepts of western liberal democracy as upheld by the Anglican majority; lateral entrants from the Islamic world will not be allowed to challenge or disturb this system.
The British Prime Minister's confession that multiculturalism has 'failed' (The Telegraph, 5 Feb 2011) vindicates the Hindu concept of Hindutva, which asserts that India's natal, primordial and still living civilization must determine her national character. India has long suffered at the hands of Islamic and British-Christian invaders, and continues to be stifled by an elite comprised of soulless atheist-Marxists, hostile minorities, and fellow travellers, all of whom advance the power of the two millenarian trans-national faiths.
Today Britain, which welcomed Diaspora groups for use against ex-colonies, and hosted virulent Islamic doctrines in UK mosques for export elsewhere, finds the kitchen too hot. Western nations like Germany, The Netherlands, France, are also feeling uneasy with their Muslim populations.
Much of the West's economic and political domination in the era between and after the two World Wars derives from occupation of the land and resources of almost the entire Muslim world (read oil/gas). To facilitate this loot, an interesting trick was to covertly encourage radical clerics to oppose west-propped dictators who, in turn, would rely even more on the West to suppress their domestic enemies. The partition of India was wrought by offering its humiliated Muslim elites a 'soft' target – Hindu non-monotheists, but Pakistan could never become a viable nation and is even today dependent on US doles. Indeed, nowhere in the last two centuries has resurgent Islam won territory or political autonomy for Islam. The Shia Revolution in Iran, which deposed a hated American stooge, is probably the sole Islamic victory against the west; everywhere else it has been dismember-and-rule (or corner-neutralize), East Timor and Sudan being the most recent examples.
Despite political successes in containing Islam, Western nations have become nervous over rising Muslim populations and their failure or refusal to accept western values. Multi-culturalism was an attempt to cope by living in mental and cultural ghettos within a western polity. It failed because Muslims used their citizenship rights to try to alter the socio-cultural and political landscape; neither the established Church nor polity could accept this. This reinforced the mutual suspicions of Islam and Christianity, and has tacitly triggered the quest for totalitarian control by one or the other.
India's sanatana dharma is a religion and living civilization, inspired by the ideal of universal welfare of all beings, human and non-human. Dharma is not fixed in time or space, and eternally renews itself in response to the Age; it is always contemporary… Dharma respects all faiths, for it is not given to any human agency to arbitrate a final truth for mankind. Hindus believe the Vedas are the 'revealed' truth 'heard' by the Vedic rishis (Sruti). Yet that is no reason to impose them on the world by human regents. Hence, despite the belief in One Supreme Being (Parabrahma), non-monotheism is the hallmark of all Indic traditions. Our polity and innate secularism flow from this understanding; Aristotle noted centuries ago that Hindus were the only people to have successfully made dharma the basis of their public life.
This generous tradition made India the perfect refuge for all – the Parsi community fleeing persecution in Persia; the Dalai Lama and his followers; the now controversial Karmapa; the Bahai community... Christians and Muslims established beachheads here centuries ago; Jews believe they came after the destruction of the Second Temple of Solomon in AD 70. Our political culture is equally accommodative - the first cabinet of independent India included Maulana Azad and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
Mother India regards her minorities as strands in a multi-strand civilization, who interact with each other at will. Traditionally, they automatically positioned themselves around the core culture based on her ancient and native traditions. They were not accorded inferior status, but they did not determine the nation's identity and ethos.
Post-independence India, however, has been forced to cope with trans-national Islam and Christianity, funded and mentored by foreign regimes and agencies to promote conversions and non-assimilation with Hindu culture, and demand political and economic sops to maintain a deliberately separate identity. The Christian community especially rages against all attempts to protect native culture and faith, particularly among vulnerable tribes, as an assault on freedom of religion. Despite explicit judgments of the Supreme Court, it repeats the canard that freedom of religion means freedom to convert others to Christianity!
A recent instance of Christian bigotry is the furore against the annual Maa Narmada Samajik Kumbh (Feb 10-12, Mandla district, MP), on grounds that it will bring converts back to Hindu dharma. Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur approached the high court, while Father Anand Muttungal asked Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan for security. Hindu sadhus serving tribals in remote areas are gunned down with sophisticated weapons, but merit no state protection; what a farce.
Now the West is cracking under the strain of living with Muslims who reject its values and force deferment of its cultural-civilizational framework. Mr David Cameron has honed in on the two issues that have long plagued Indian society and polity, viz., common citizenship based on a uniform civil code (now a concern of the Indian Supreme Court), and curtailment of the awesome powers of religious leaders.
Reflecting intelligence concerns about terrorists attacks on British soil (London never cared about attacks outside), Mr Cameron says the State will henceforth actively confront those who hold extremist views, and refuge engagement with and public funds to groups that fail to promote British values. Rejecting the idea that different communities may live according to their own values and traditions, he said immigrants will have to integrate, speak English, and all schools teach a common culture and curriculum.
Mr Cameron would realize that the pigeons raised in India have come to roost in Britain. He should move to end his country's funding of the Human Rights and Conversion industries, or watch them make Britain the next target of their rage.
The author is Editor. www.vijayvaani.com
Posted by Nipun Mehta on Jan 27, 2011
When Ishwar Patel, a long-time inspiration of our service family, passed away on Dec 26, 2010, Guri and I sat for meditation. Right after, I told Guri, "I think I should head to India." Getting online to get my tickets, I received an unexpected email from a friend who tagged me with a round-trip ticket. The timing was so uncanny, that I accepted it and soon left for India.
Well over ten thousand people attended Ishwar-kaka's funeral at the Gandhi Ashram. Government officials had to shut down the street to manage the flow of traffic. As everyone silently stood in line to pay the final respects, the magic of Ishwar-kaka was evident -- the richest men in the country stood next to human-waste scavengers next to powerful politicians next to reknowned Gandhians next to vegetable sellers next to his next-door neighbors next to kids who had merely read about him. For a vast cross section of society, Ishwar Patel was a hero.
Also to be found in the funeral procession -- the *entire* hospital staff, with whom Ishwar-kaka spent his final 12 days. Although they encounter patient deaths everyday, something about this man propelled them to pay their respects.
When Ishwar-kaka was submitted to the hospital, on the morning of Dec 14th, doctors knew it was the beginning of the end. His body had four kinds of stage-4 cancer. He couldn't lie down at all. "Imagine climbing up a steep mountain, and being out of breath. That was his state 24-hours-a-day for the last 12 days," the doctor said. And yet, no negativity. At all. Instead he was smiling, cracking jokes, and meeting hundreds of people who streamed through his room for one final interaction. Instead of losing his clarity, he became more and more lucid towards the end. When people asked him for his blessings, he frequently said a sentence or two that went straight to the heart of their spiritual journey. Outside his hospital room, as many as twenty people would hold vigil throughout the nights. Well wishers would come in and repeatedly do acts of kindness. One person gave out flowers to every patient in the hospital. Another swept the floors as a tribute. A group of youngsters, painted the walls and decorated the terrace as a thank-you to the hospital. Some sang songs. One person gave away 1500 apples, because Ishwar-kaka loved apples. "Create heaven wherever you are," Ishwar-kaka said once. And that was exactly what was happening.
At one point, the 12 punctures on his body weren't responding well to external fluids, so the doctor had to cut a slit through his neck. When asked for anesthesia, he simply said, "Oh, there's no need. Go right ahead." A rather surprised doctor did as instructed and noticed that Ishwarkaka didn't even blink an eye as he performed his operation. After repeated encounters of utter detachment from the body, one of his caretakers asked Ishwar-kaka: "Your body is in shambles. Don't you feel any pain?" He promptly responded: "In a young coconut, its shell and its inner substance are intertwined and can't be separated. In a ripe coconut, they can be easily separated. So I'm like a ripe coconut. My mind is separate from the body."
Wise men say that you die the way you have lived. Like a true Gandhian, Ishwar-kaka lived his whole life in service to others, and not in service to his senses. As a result, when it was time to depart from his senses, he had no fear. In fact, when Jayesh-bhai (his son) asked him, "Dad, are you afraid of death?", he said: "Not at all. If it has to come tomorrow, let it come today." He also didn't have much concern of his own legacy. When Jayesh-bhai reflected on his concern that he may not be able to match his father's spirit of service or the carry on the organization in the same way, Ishwar-kaka was similarly free: "Don't worry about what others say. Always do what your inner voice tells you to, even if it upends an entire tradition. You have to bloom wherever you are planted. Keep serving through small acts of love."
Ishwar-kaka carried himself with such boundless freedom precisely because his life was one giant practice in small-acts-of-love. On Dec 13th, at his living memorial, Anar-ben (his daughter-in-law) moved everyone to tears with her first-hand stories. In the early days of her marriage, Anar-ben recalled a time when she was doing the chores of her house despite having fever. While she was sweeping that day, she turned around at one point to see Ishwar-kaka silently mopping the floor behind her. Not only was it drastically counter-culture for a father-in-law to mop the floor in those days, but it was an act of subtle sensitivity. No words were exchanged, but Anar-ben silently wept that day many decades ago -- and on Dec 13th when she retold the story.
That's the kind of life Ishwar-kaka lived. Silent, effortless service. "If an act leaves residue, it is not an act of service," he told one of his hospital guests.
As a profoundly filial son, Jayesh-bhai spent practically all of the last three months in unconditional service to his Dad. He recalled: "Papa always thoughts of others first, his whole life. It was no surprise that he passed away after the kids celebrated Christmas with him on 25th. And he passed away on a Sunday, to make it most convenient for everyone to handle the final rites. Many of us sensed that he endured the last several days of extreme physical pain, just so everyone felt satisfied and full. His favorite phrase was "subbhecchha", meaning best-wishes. He would smilingly yell that phrase everytime he walked into the house. Constantly, he was giving his best wishes to everyone."
In early morning hours of Dec 26th, Ishwar-kaka's body gave in. All the machines in the hospital room showed a flat line. Immediately, Jayesh-bhai summoned close family members and friends. Perhaps about 20 folks were in the hospital room. Jayeshbhai painfully closed his father's eyes. Among those in the room, was Vasuda-kaki, the wife of Ishwar-kaka. Perhaps irrationaly, Vasuda-kaki speaks to her husband: "For the last 52 years, every time we have parted ways, we have said Jai-Jalaram (an ode to the divine). Please open your eyes to say Jai-Jalaram." His body had practically no strength, doctors had declared him dead, his eyes were closed. Yet, almost miraculously, Ishwar-kaka opened his eyes. He smiled. With deep compassion in his eyes, he looked at everyone. Then he looked at his wife, one final time, and uttered, "Jai-Jala" as he spoke his last words.
With the same gentle ease that he served, a 77 year old left his body on Dec 26th at 8:10AM.
Traditionally, the eldest son offers the cremation ashes to a holy river. "He is everyone's Dad," Sanjay-bhai (his eldest son) declared. Hence, in an absolutely unprecedented move of decentralization, a bus-load of 70 people carried his final rites to the Narmada river. Ishwar-kaka would sometimes say, "You clean the outside world as a way to clean your mind." In place of rituals, all seventy of us took our brooms to clean up the filthy river banks.
As our minds purified, our hearts swelled in gratitude for having known a noble person like Ishwar Patel.
Manjari Mishra, TNN, Feb 9, 2011, 12.43am IST
LUCKNOW: Mohammad Wahid Chisti did something few would dare. Part of a team of 15 `saffron maulanas', Chisti trudged the labyrinthian gullies of Machchali Mohal, Model Town and Baeesi Masjid -- all predominantly Muslim pockets in the city -- to introduce them to Sangh philosophy on Tuesday afternoon.
The short high-pitched sales talk ended in waving of a slim booklet cataloguing the virtues of RSS. Each of its 24 pages marked the parivar's angst at the `saffron terror canards' and misinformation campaign about Ramjanmabhoomi movement. "Please go through it," Chisti would plead "and let me know whether or not you agree with the sentiments." Incidentally, Chisti was roughed by Imam of Jama Masjid Maulana Abdul Bukhari when he suggested handing over "the RJB complex to the erstwhile king of Ayodhya" at a press conference in Lucknow some time back.
The surprise visit, a part of the RSS's ongoing Grih Sampark Abhiyan (home-to-home interaction campaign) led to varied reaction among the audience. Some like Mohammad Alam simply gaped at the gang in bewilderment. Meeraj Hussain gritted his teeth trying to control his outburst; Parveeen Abidi looked openly skeptical unlike her young neighbour Arshad Hussain, a student of Shia PG college, who declared that a friendly dialogue was welcome for whatever it was worth.
In any case, Alam grudgingly conceded, "it was the first time in the past 60 years that the lanes of Machchali Mohal had seen a khaki nickerwalla from close quarters, even though the nicker and Faiz cap don't go together".
Leading the team along with Mohammad Afzal, national convener of Muslim Rashtriya Manch Vibhag Pracharak, Lucknow, Dr Umesh Kumar also offered a cautious line now and then. "Most of the Muslim brothers are finding this an extremely stimulating experience," he declared. Donning his trademark copious khaki shorts, Kumar resolutely ignored the sniggers barbs or vibes that came his way.
It is the first time so they are a little wary, he patiently explained, even as Mohammad Arif a particularly cantankerous subject loudly chose to question the credentials of Chisti and Co, or his neighbour used choicest expletives for one of the troupe members severely demanding the man be "handed over to the police for promoting rabid anti-minority sentiments for the rest of the 364 days".
An unfazed Kumar determinately continued about the "stupendous success" of his mission instead. "Over the past two days, we have already distributed 26,000 copies of the booklets," he claimed. Most of the recipients, he said, willingly paid Rs 5 as the contribution money. Even a Muslim pocket like this has earned us Rs 150, so one can imagine the response, he gushed.
A rather strongly worded document, the booklet contains some interesting observations. Rahul Gandhi is particularly targeted for his statement quoted by Wikileaks. "One feels like laughing when Rahul Gandhi weighs Sangh and SIMI in the same balance...leave aside Sangh the boy would not know the history of Congress or his own ancestors". Digvijay Singh is described as a" textbook case to prove how low can a politician fall to further his narrow interests."
|Swami Brahmananda- 'spiritual son' of Sri Ramakrishna |
Swami Brahmananda, the 'Spiritual Son' of Sri Ramakrishna was the first President of the Ramakrishna Order. Known as Rakhal Chandra Ghosh in his premonastic days.
During his High School days at Calcutta he came into contact with Narendranath (Swami Vivekananda) which developed into an intimate life long friendship and, under his influence, joined the Brahmo Samaj.
Even from his childhood days he was given to devotional moods bordering on mysticism.He was one of the six disciples of Sri Ramakrishna whom the Master regarded as ishvarakotis. His father got him married at an early age to ward off the religious pursuits from his mind and fix him up in the world. Strange to say, this very tie of marriage brought him to Sri Ramakrishna who at once recognized in him his 'Spiritual Son' as per the vision vouchsafed to him by the Divine Mother.
Thus started a course of spiritual intimacy and intensive training under the loving care of the Guru, which resulted in several exalted mystic moods and spiritual experiences.
After the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna, Rakhal, along with Narendra and other brother-disciples, embraced monastic life under the name "Swami Brahmananda". He was a wandering monk for some time. Swami Vivekananda made over the responsibility of running the organization, to him remembering that Sri Ramakrishna had once remarked that Rakhal had the capacity to rule a kingdom.Thus when Ramakrishna Mission was formed, he was the first president.He spent most of his time at Puri and Bhubaneswar. He set up a math at Puri.
During his tenure as the Head, he also guided many earnest spiritual seekers by taking them under his protection, thus fulfilling Swami Vivekananda's prophetic remark that Swami Brahmananda was veritably a spiritual dynamo.
Question: Maharaj, I am practicing Japam and meditation, but I have not yet acquired any taste for these. Somehow or other I am struggling on. What must I do?
Swami Brahmananda: Is it possible to have that taste in the beginning? No. Struggle hard to attain it. Concentrate all your energies on its achievement,and never for a moment pay heed to other matters. Apply yourself whole-heartedly to it and to it alone. Onward, onward! Never be satisfied with your present state of mind. Try to create within yourself a burning dissatisfaction. Say to yourself What progress am I making? Not a bit. Sri Ramakrishna used to say to the Divine Mother "Mother, another day is gone and I have not seen Thee!"
Swami Brahmananda temple built on the spot where his body was cremated