Purnaat purnam udachyate
Purnasya purnam adaaya
Purnam eva vasishyate
Om shanti shanti shantih"
Which translates into:
"That is the whole, this is the Whole; from the Whole, the Whole arises; taking away the Whole from the Whole, the Whole remains"
(I had a fair idea of what it meant but the exact translations is goggled)
As i spend the night arranging and enhancing my pictures from "my wilderness trip" i suddenly look at the time and see it approaching 4:00 AM and only thing that pops in my head is "raga Ahir Bhairav". I search it on you tube and find this gem sung by Pt. Jasraj (Internet is the best blessing anybody could have ever asked for). This reminds of the fact that when i tell people i like Classical (both Indian and Western) music as well as most of the other contemporary forms like Rock,Jazz,Blues (I just hate POP, there must be some good in it i just fail to see it)its they kind of make a face that suggests i am getting old or have Orthodox thinking. Which is such a stereotypical thinking as music defines the mood and the inner feelings and every kind of music has it's own niche. Actually if there is any form of music which is whole by itself its the classical form. Its just the tendency of people to neglect anything classical or old as not hip enough.
In Indian Classical music there is a time frame for each raga, and anybody who has experienced the celestial feeling of listening to one of them in the time frame allocated can easily understand the reason. As i look back on the last few hours i can trace my mind going from "Raga Malkosh" the midnight raga to "Raga Ahir Bhairav" the dawn raga (4 AM-6 AM). Its amazing that we have lost track of our ingenious and rational mind frame over the last couple of thousand of years. The Sutra i have mentioned above describes the wholeness or infiniteness of things(nothing is absolute, which is the central nerve of Christianity, Islam and the current form of Hinduism), which is amazing as this has been written long before any kind of so called western thought of "infinity" was discovered. I know people think of Hindu(VEDIC, surprisingly very few people know that there's nothing called Hindu in our scriptures or writings before 16th-17th century, and its very much a foreign word...ironic..isn't it!!! i will continue to use "Hindu" throughout as its easier) religion as a fixed set of pagan rituals, which is true in the current situations as people are following all these rituals oblivious to the actual logic and reason behind them.
In 1995, Chief Justice P. B. Gajendragadkar was quoted in an Indian Supreme Court ruling(source Wikipedia):
I am not saying that i know all (which probably is what it sounds like, but believe me i am not, though i agree i do get bouts of a pompous know it all) but when i see people getting prejudiced by what society as a whole have been doing,all the so called "Hindu things" i feel saddened. Somebody told me that "not eating beef is the only Hindu thing that she is doing". I can't express by remorse when i heard this as it is beyond the capability of my vocabulary. What they don't understand that being Hindu is not about what diet we have or what clothes we wear it's what we do and how we behave that defines us. The rational behind the rituals have been twisted to fit peoples own political or financial benefits so much that there's a only a bleak chance that we can get back.
"When we think of the Hindu religion, unlike other religions in the world, the Hindu religion does not claim any one prophet; it does not worship any one god; it does not subscribe to any one dogma; it does not believe in any one philosophic concept; it does not follow any one set of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not appear to satisfy the narrow traditional features of any religion of creed. It may broadly be described as a way of life and nothing more."
We are constantly being blamed by the western world to have bias based on caste whether knowingly or unknowingly, which is absolutely true (i am no going to agree to something just to keep up a false image ). Surprising even the Brahmins don't know what it actually means to be a Brahman (it has nothing to do with what your parents are or have been doing). If there is a god ,i don't think he/she(i don't want to mix up gender bias :D) well hold "eating beef" against us :D. On the other end of the spectrum i find all these fanatics (not terrorist type but just the highly religious people) absolutely funny. If the so called GOD or celestial being created us and considers human being to be the best of his creation, would he ask us to suffer to be eternally happy. Which parents want their kids to suffer?? If GOD becomes happy because i am depriving myself of enjoying the pleasures of the world that he himself created then i can only say that he/she is "sadistic".
I recall my dad telling me once "when its about your loved ones, you don't want to tempt faith and think that just doing something without understanding is no big deal when you consider the bigger picture". I totally understand the point view , and that's what made all the rational behind the rituals vanish. For sure when /if i have kids definitely my pride doesn't come in before their well being and i will be following all the rituals that has to be followed and probably will follow them more vigorously . But what i am insisting is that people pass on the fact to their kids that whatever is being followed is not rigid and there is no harm if we deviate from some of the rituals but what is most critical is to have an open mind so that they can think of everything rationally.
I also recall another saying my dad uses but himself doesn't follow all the time is :D"tume adhom hole, ami uttam hobo na kano" (my Bengali spelling might be wrong :D) which translates into "if you are bad, doesn't mean that i can't be good". This i think is one of the most important things to always remember in this vastly materialistic times as it constantly reminds me that i should live my life according to my needs and requirements not what my neighbors and friends are having. If everybody things in these direction probably there will be no fights over petty things. I know its hard as being human means that we are prone to all these feelings (otherwise we will be celestial beings) but as long we don't let everything in our life being dictated by it we are OK. Its so surprising to find that people (specially Indian's..surprisingly i find it lesser in white folks) calculate other peoples worth by what kind of materialistic things they have. I am not saying that its not good to follow a materialistic approach to life, because if that's what makes them happy then follow the rainbow, but don't judge other people for the lack of it. Before coming to US i had a notion that education makes people more rational and less materialistic but surprisingly its not true as in India these days certain branches of education is followed vigorously because of the materialistic benefits attached to it not because of an actual quest of knowledge. We also have totally lost the fact that our religion (which is actually general guidelines for lifestyle not rigid rules) asks us to do what we are good at,and not what makes us more money. People(sadly mostly Indian's , white folks beat us here again) i meet day in and day out are all doing things without having their heart in it. People say that i don't work much, which i totally agree , but i can proudly say that whenever i work i put my heart and soul into it.
This brings another saying that my mom uses a lot "jekhane na jaye ravi sekahne jaye kobi"(again my Bengali spelling can be screwed up) it translates into "the place where even sun can't go a writer(imagination) goes". This is a very beautiful line as it tells us that we are only limited by our thoughts/imagination. People have invented stuff and found things because they have allowed themselves to dream and not to be bogged down by the rigid rules and regulations of the society and religion. These days all religion does is limit or cloud our thinking for political or financial gains of some. Of course i am not suggesting that we let go of all the rules and let anarchy take over, as we do need a set of rules and guidelines as most of the people are not capable of handling pure freedom ,as i think freedom is freedom's worst enemy(don't know if somebody has used it before, if so the credit goes to him/her). But these guidelines should be to open our minds and let us think rationally so that we can derive our own conclusions.
As the clock tick's towards 6AM and i feel totally drained i understand that i am dreaming of Utopia but then again we can't reach there if we don't dream of it first.I actually was supposed to write about Day1 of my "wilderness trip" but got so swept with this sudden feeling that i had to write it down, which i haven't done for getting peoples comments about "how profound it is but both "very profound" or "piece of shit" comments are equally welcome and will make me feel euphoric of having touched somebody enough to ponder over it (direction doesn't matter).
Copyright@ 2008 Rahuljit Pal
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