Posted tagged ‘rudran’

Pondering and rambling..

August 15, 2013

Writing is laborious at times, especially when one decides to strew words together to form a meaningful and purposeful piece. The artist is more blessed than the writer in this labour of love.  He can dab colours at will and fancy, let them form meanings of their own and allow the viewer to discern and dissect what had never ever occurred to him while creating. The writer is not so fortunate. He cannot let words fall in disarray. Words are more precious than colours. They can’t be sprayed carelessly or with carefree abandon. They need to fall in place, and that place has to be determined in advance not left to destiny’s design.

In the beginning, they all declare, was the word. That may have been the only word that dropped out of nowhere to become something not really planned; this surmise could be wrong too since in a primordial pondering,  they all also say that word was the beginning. Just daring to go a little further, a thought comes to mind that in the beginning there was the thought, and thought became the beginning and in the beginning was the word. Word, the form of thought is perhaps the first idol of the formless thought that god is made of.  

What indeed is God and why God? The inevitable and obvious answer to this puzzle is that god is the need for mankind to express and explore existence. In this exploration is contained the negation of the hypothesis of god, in this need for expression is contained the human urge to express and leave an imprint. Having witnessed the disappearance of fellow species, fearing similar extinction, ancients might have felt the urge to leave traces of themselves in eternity and not vanish into void, knowing that sowing their seeds alone would not guarantee a permanent place on earth. Thus would have, in the beginning, born a word.

Word is thought, uttered or written; and word has been declared as the beginning and as god. Thought therefore is god and the mind therefore is god’s natural abode as the mind too is formless and open to multiple interpretations like god.

As is the common vanity of humans who could afford to experiment various forms with words, some would have  experimented with expressions of thought in art forms. In the beginning perhaps an artist gave form to his shapeless yet sharp thought and created an idol. In a modest moment he may have ignored the urge to replicate himself in art and created some form that was not exactly his self but an expansion of it. He called it god, and IT was declared god. The form created by imagination, the manipulative quality of thought, gave scope for words to be imagined. Words eulogized the form and claimed that, ‘that’ form inspired words. Words and forms, created their own structural formulae to withstand the decay and death the definitive threat of time.

Therefore and thus, THOUGHT, the formless void, became, by itself, words and forms, to live on and on in the mindscape for eternity. ‘Thought’,  the force, became the idol in the special space that was named as mind. They became inseparable and the temple became god and god became the temple, to be worshipped so that the proximity that can puzzle was distanced with respect- respectful in a self-preserving safe defense. Once the preliminary structure was formed, rules and rituals were determined and put in place. Grammar was formulated as were rituals and rites. The formless was framed in form.

Once in a while, the free spirit of the original formless thought would break through the rigid walls that humans had built around it, to try and become formless again. Whenever that happened, the fearful humanity would capture that formless leak of the designed form, and make a new form, a new grammar and a new order. Negations were thus negated. And words continue to fall into structured patterns. New forms were declared as new designs, and designs were newly formulated. The walls of the prison were and are, extended to encompass whatever escaped or tries to. The prison became designated as a shrine, and worship was a way of ensuring and checking that the imprisoned formless thought remained the acceptable word and form.

Thinking about thought, words keep propping about words too. Thought indeed is the primal word. in the beginning it was the word, and the beginning was THOUGHT, uncluttered, unstructured, untainted by imagination, unpolluted with rules, unformed but containing all including itself, the original self, the God. To that god I dedicate these ramblings, bits and pieces of itself.

divine discovery!

October 6, 2008

Now the herb has been discovered claims a swami/guru/?-god!! When I did a quick google on sanjeevini I came across a tea that claims to have this herb as its ingredient. When I googled on ramdev I came across a spice manufacturer/seller. Perhaps my god spoke through google. Well, god is not supposed to speak in everyday language, and since I cannot understand Sanskrit, maybe the compassionate divinity decided to give me a clue. It is always up to humans to interpret, for just as how it is human to err, it is common too for interpretations to be erratic. Therefore did I, in my human zeal to catch glimpses of the divine design, interpret this as an ominous(?) sing from the gods. I had to reach two conclusions- first being that sanjeevini has been there all along and found in enough quantities to become an ingredient in bulk produced tea; and the second inference was that ramdev manufactures and sells things that are spicy. My ultimate inference ofcourse is that godmen produce and market spicy stuff!

Ramdev is one of the many guru-godmen that abound and aggregate mass and money in India. He has made many claims. There have been many allegations against him. Neither has been proven because no one cares. Now he claims he has discovered sanjeevini, the herb that was used to resuscitate (or bring back the `dead?’ ) god-hero ram! Now, ram being not just a calendar god but a socio-political symbol this would have far reaching implications. If our godman can have the leaves and roots of a powerful plant that was needed even by the god, then he becomes a monumental personality. If only he becomes compassionate enough to sell this to poor souls, he can become capable of bailing out a nation from an economic crisis. ! If I were to say that the ram of the average hindu in this country is ravivarma-designed, it will be blasphemy, but if some intelligent guru claims he knows exactly what hanuman discovered in a date unspecified, it will be a re-assertion of faith in god!poor hanuman did not know which was the right herb so he had to take the whole mountain, but the shrewd ramdev spots the herb with more precision!!

Why do gurus and godmen do these things? They have to. These games cannot stop with one show. They bring gold and flowers and ash and objects from air, not just to bless the praying eyes and begging hands before them, but to make a presentation for the journalists, lensmen and influential public who are a witness to this rather amazing act of magic. They have to make claims. They have to repeatedly reinforce their closeness to the divine. They have to teach yoga and meditation to the masses when all the original texts they claim to quote have emphasized on a one-to-one teaching method. They have to keep pulling tricks out of the spiritual bag for their show to go on. The show is not for converting the atheists and the skeptics. The show is for reinforcing a behavioral gullibility on the solution seekers.

Why do people fall for these tricks? There are basically two types of people who fall for all this. The sick- physical and mental, who feel they have no solution in sight for their self-imposed misery are the easier victims. In their desperation of insecurity and darkness of intellect, they cling to any weak twig that appears as their saving support. These people have no will to fight an adverse situation or face a defeat with grace. These are the people who would blame fate for conspiring against them when the fact would be that they had never put in the required effort to overcome an obstacle. The other type of people who fall for this are those who swear by the fads flouted as the latest fancy. They just have to be `in’. if they find dancing in a gutter finding popular acceptance they would block their nostrils and jump in. these are the ones who would easily influence others. These are the ones who would chat about it, blog about it and even boast about it.

Why do people need to be `in’ the `in-thing’? This is elementary sociology. Human society needs to gather around a focal point. Whatever is considered acceptable soon would become favorable. Whatever becomes favorable will be sold and bough in bulk. This need to belong, the fear of being left-out is an insecurity that has evolved over millions of years of existence. The intelligent cash in on this principle. The gullible get sucked into the sale promotion.

In this age of instant information, anything new and promising will easily reach the minds of the masses. So it is for the news-givers to responsibly filter the facts and the fiction. And, why do the journalists promote if not fall for these games? They need stories. They need to score a point over their competitors. They have to be the first to break the news, not necessarily be the first to report the facts. After all if their `news’ falls flat in a day, and they are caught falling for a trap, they can always `apologize’. The errata and the empty apology need not even appear in the front page or the headline! These flaws mostly resulting from an ambitious and zealous drive to be the first among equals is understandable though not commendable. What is actually sickening and dangerous is the fact that some of these journalists believe in these miracles, mystic powers and magical tales.  Valmiki believed ram was god, therefore for generations the audience agreed! A reporter’s bias is dangerous. A reporter’s sell-out is even more dangerous.

Real truth is an oxymoron couched in an obscure and forgotten language. I can only pray for divine intervention to understand further.

psychology of blogging

September 28, 2008

*** this was written in 2008, posting again with cyber-accusations and criminal actions becoming more frequent.***

 

Whether Kancha Ilaiah is a fraud or whether saibaba is a god, whether there is brahmanical fanaticism or fanatic anti-brahmanism, there are enough blogs to argue both sides. All these bloggers can argue rather forcefully even if not sensibly. Why is blogging picking up?

Basically the operative element is an anonymous proximity. Even if my photo is seen you  cannot claim to become my friend and try to spend time with me. This safe “use and throw” relationship-of-convenience is the primary attraction of blogs. I can say what I want, and if you decide to register your protest I still have the right and the choice to allow the protest on my page. Those who see my page will be seeing my views and my counters (whenever, and if ever I can logically produce one) and no one will know where and when I am at a loss to explain.

I can still feel I am in a crowd that is talking about things which matter to me. I can protest with dignity or cheapness, be an angel or a devil, talk when I want to and be silent if that is fine for me. I cannot be forced into discussions; ofcourse, I cannot force you into a discussion, except when I dare to spit valueless venom through a personal pathology. These are the conveniences I have noticed and even used in blogs.

The second operative element in blogging is its pseudo-personal space wherein one can become disinhibited. Though your true skin will be seen by others when your blog is posted, you need not hesitate to say whatever you feel like unlike in the real world where you have to observe elementary decency to those who deserve it. Yet, it is only a disinhibited and not an uninhibited behaviour, because deep down you are conscious that your words are going to be seen by someone somewhere.

Masked identity is another courage-boosting element of blogging. You need not talk in your real name.  I know of some people who chose to mask their identity for real and valid reasons, but most of the persons who write in pseudonyms ( and sometimes in anonymity) do so out of fear. Though their words may appear courageous they still have not mustered enough conviction and courage to come out in the open and stand by what they have said.

Why mask identity? Some are like a compassionate medusa, for if their face is seen their critics would turn into stone, stupefied with fear. Some are like clowns who need to have a different identity to make an apparent fool of themselves so that others can have a good laugh. Some are like a silly child hiding behind a table thinking no one can see who and where they are. Whether one decides to disclose her/his identity or not is certainly a private decision that has to be respected and even if not accepted, not discussed.

The problem of wearing a mask is different in a socio-psychological perspective. There are intellectuals who use their intelligence to call themselves idiots, and so too are there idiots who stupidly call themselves intellectuals. Depending on why the mask is worn, and depending on the insightful intellect of the individual, a mask becomes a potent weapon or a poor joke.

It is understandable if masks are worn and identities deliberately disguised in the mushrooming social networking sites. Though these sites can be a forum for healthy and honourable matters, mostly they are used to find a `friend` to flirt. An elderly uncle who tries to wear shorts and T-shirts, ugly dyeing of hair and a false accent in which lies are expressed as values, will never be able to date a young girl with average intelligence. But in the virtual world, the same uncle just has to assume a name, age, occupation and marital status that would bring scraps to his page! But, blogs are not meant for picking up a date. Whether your profile declares you as young or old, spiritual or religious, left or right, no one `falls` for you. Only your views matter. And therefore your identity is never masked or invisible. However sublime your language, however innocent your discussion, your colours will show through the veil.

Blogging has its psychological benefits. Just as how your mind operates in a dramatic performance there are certain mechanisms operating here too. Initially there is identification, then there is the possibility of learning a conflict resolution and finally there is a catharsis. You identify with the character or the cause or the chronicle, you feel you have experienced a similar situation. Then you see the situational conflict resolved in the performance and if you choose to, you may try to use it to answer your personal question. Even if you cannot find a solution to your problem in the performance-narrative it would still be a cathartic relief. You can download feelings from your emotive memory and get the same relief of being happy, sad, angry or disgusted. But are blogs used for this?

Though blogs can be of immense personal psychological comfort, I see some bloggers using it to throw mud (if not spit venom) on ideas that are not consistent with their own values. Blogs are becoming pamphlets thrown on the disinterested by stander. If perchance someone reads and accepts their ideas it is fine, otherwise just some space on space is wasted! However impassionate and objective you may describe yourself, you will tend to lean towards one ideology versus another. If you have not formed your own opinions on matters, these moments would tilt you towards a particular idea if not ideology. The intelligent wearing the mask of an idiot would appeal to your conscience by their pseudo-innocence. You will fall for the game plan. Some vague emotional itch that you have been bearing all along would be scratched and you will not only become comfortable with that anonymous hand, you would start yearning for it.

If we can just be  a little more aware when we imagine that we are awake, we can escape from the dragnet. We would be able to retain our power to choose. We can choose only when we think. And, when we start thinking we cannot be silent. We would start protesting.

This is what had happened to me, and I consequently started  commenting on issues that I felt were concerning me, and the response I got from one blogger was that I have “become jobless”!! Blogging is not a jobless individual’s way of spending time, it is a social obligation to respond to the milieu.

india loves bush

September 27, 2008

india loves bush! it is official. the prime minister says so!!

i was one of those who believed that our MMS was a very clever man. perhaps he is. but the very intelligent do not look at the wider perspective. they are experts in their own little corner. they know almost everything about a certain something but almost nothing about the other things around.  economics, globalisation, re-colonisation…these are certainly high on MMS’ agenda. people? who cares? after all these silly masses that never even voted for him are not worht wasting time. so when MMS talks of india, he talks of the india that he discovered.

MMS too like his very early predecessor, discovered india. he has learnt that he need not answer the people. he has found out that there are lots of guys and lots of money  to get things done, and therefore the common man’s opinion can be junked. he knows his new indian maths- 123. he has discovered that india needs more nuke than food. he has discovered that india is actually the elite. he has discovered that india is  made up of the rich and those who just want to become rich. he has discovered that india wants to be america! with so many discoveries to his credit, should not the scientist (albeit economic)  be pardoned for the one mistaken discovery? after all when he said india loves Bush, perhaps he meant he loves Bush, and the corollary is he is india!

i know many indians who ape americana. they eat pizza and drink coke, with enormous discomfort stuff burgers, support pseudo causes…. all because americans are supposed to be doing these things. they constitute MMS’ india. they are his concern. his kinship and identification with them is blatant. his policies and programs are for their upliftment. but now alas, the mighty MMS is going to be criticised by these fellows, `his’ indians, for making a simple statement.

if america aping indians are `the’ indians that MMS thinks about, well things are going to be tricky. aping america cannot mean loving Bush. B is not a lovable thing in the `great’ USA. it is very un-american to love B. so what happens? are the `neo’ indians going to feel uncomfortbale if not angry that MMS is alienating them from americans? no way! they will not talk about it. they know what they want. they will go about getting what they want.  they care not about modi and nanavati, they have not even bothered to glance at tehelka. they have their own agenda, just as how their `beloved’ MMS has his own! each one to his own in this dog-eating-dog days of modernisation.

whether india loves B is not a matter fo concern to these `indians’. they love themselves. they are the indians of this prime minister. perhaps they love B! after all they have no concern and therefore little knowledge about political,social and national problems that plague this country. this is just their address- temporarily till they start fingering the papers that say ‘in god we trust’, even if they dont love that god.may be they love B. it is possible, for they would know very little about the american mind except their silly concept that americans live well.

so… india loves what MMS loves. all silly, shameless souls like me can take recourse to impotently whine on blogs, while the game continues.

jealousy

September 25, 2008

“I wish I were jealous- of myself,” remarked a poet, apparently aghast at his felt incompetence. He may have been depressed at the time, feeling that his vocabulary bank was drying up or he may have been simply suffering from an inferiority complex comparing and thereafter feeling incompetent to rub shoulders with Homer or Goethe. He could just have begun his trip on jealousy.

Jealousy is not the exclusive domain of poets and artists. All of us have experienced jealousy. Though it is not principally categorized as an emotion, jealousy is a feeling that evokes strong emotions. Every human being has been jealous. Winged birds and their flights beyond visual boundaries evoked jealousy, and the zealous human invented the air-plane. The jealous do sometimes channelize their energy into creativity; but, more often than not, the jealous get crushed under the weight of their own desires.

Jealousy snarls at the mind only when there is a comparison; a comparison that is clouded by a wish; a wish that reminds one of one’s own inadequacy or another’s supremacy. There have been innumerable words written on the difference between jealousy and envy. Though being envious is considered a destructive mind set, jealousy has its word origin in a positive feeling – zeal and the desire to emulate. In the Shakespearean tragedy was Othello jealous and was Iago envious? Who was destructive? Is destruction only external? If envy is the fire that is lit to burn down another’s palace, jealousy is a flame that can gut down one’s own hut.

Though, from time immemorial, moralistic ethical teachings have advised humans to avoid jealousy, it has survived and even thrived. In modern times, jealousy is actually promoted. Every advertisement sells an idea that makes you zealous to ‘earn’ that commodity. Earnings- whether economical, social or emotional, always stir feelings of jealousy. You generally want something because you `know’ that someone else can afford that. The zealous are just the masked jealous. To emulate is a yearning, not for self-fulfillment, but for a social sanction. Jealousy is usually not about having, but about not having. To have or not to have is, not a need based decision. It is the product of desire. To kill desires and live in peace is the simplistic teaching of every messiah known and unknown  in this world. If happiness is the basic pursuit of humanity, then the peaceful smile and the graceful simplicity of the portrayed Buddha and Jesus should have evoked tremendous jealousy. Jealousy always spurs one to imitate the object of jealousy and achieve whatever is considered as the other’s achievement. Yet no one has jealously or zealously tried to emulate  Buddha or Jesus, except perhaps for some self-proclaimed God-men or Godly-men who of course have a different agenda to follow.

It is obvious that we all are jealous only of those whom we can easily emulate. A CEO of a MNC can only become jealous of the CEO of another MNC. He normally would not be jealous of the President of India or the USA. Jealousy is therefore based on assessment of opportunities. A columnist would become jealous of a Nobel laureate in literature only if he believes that he has the same potential to create similar works. An author generally is never jealous about an artist. A dancer does not feel jealous about a musician.  There are however, some people who just cannot take it when others win – deservingly or otherwise. These people cannot bear when some one else is in the centre of the spotlight. This is a different game altogether. This is envy- most frequently misused as a synonym for jealousy. Envy is actually an irrelevant, inappropriate and non-productive feeling. In envy I would even hate the plume of a peacock.

Just as how envy is about hatred, jealousy is actually about love! It is love of and for oneself. In a psychosocial perspective, our self is a broad enough term to include our primary family. It is in this societal context that this form of jealousy makes a loving parent become jealous of another’s child and other parents who have won more. When the coveted object is not a social applause but a personal psychosexual gratification, one feels jealousy when the object of love is actually in love with someone else. The primary concept of the mind in these cases is that one deserves much more than one gets, and one deserves so much because of the intense and immaculate self-love. This self-love is not narcissism which by its self consummated nature creates a monument of pride in one’s own mindscape. Narcissism and pride are inseparable while jealousy is essentially about one’s inability to achieve. Narcissism is about having in abundance while jealousy is always about insufficiency. Narcissistic self-love would look down on others while the jealous self-love would keep looking up at others.

Yearning and itching to reach the pedestal that another has reached creates various forms of unrest in the mind. There is sadness that one has not reached the line, and then comes a paranoia that there is a cosmic conspiracy preventing one’s deserved success. The blame game begins. Gods and stars are blamed for not formulating the right design called luck, society and family are blamed for not giving the right breaks. The whole world is blamed for not being capable of understanding and accepting true greatness. The mind sulks. The sulking mind falters. Everything is perceived with disbelief. There is lack of faith in others leading to doubts about self-worth. There is anger. There is bitterness. Simpler things become harder to do. Failures begin. Infinite circles of pain, paranoia, anger and sadness begin. Then and thus, jealousy becomes envy.

Emotions are the mind’s reactions to external events. Emotions though intense are not permanent. We all become angry or sad at times, but the same intensity of the feeling does not last for days and months. In the case of envy and jealousy it is different. Though envy and jealousy are also emotive responses to external events, they cast a deeper impression in the mind. They cloud the mind and colour the perspectives. Everything is viewed through the green-eyed glass of jealousy. Nothing is the same anymore. The affectionate competitor becomes the nasty winner and relationships become superficial societal obligatory chores. Once jealousy sets in, the mind begins to doubt. Even the sneer hides a fear. Contempt becomes a camouflage for failure’s self-inflicted wound. This state of mind can alter the route of life and lead to a downhill blind alley. It is in the best interest of oneself that one needs to encounter and handle feelings of jealousy and envy.

A  psycho-philosophical understanding of emotions declares that there are just three types of feelings – the pleasant, the unpleasant and the neutral ones. Jealousy of course is unpleasant- not only during its acute experience but also in its tragic aftermath. There is only one way to deal with these unpleasant emotions. One has to identify, understand and accept the pangs, causes and confusions of jealousy. The technique is simple. Just start watching the advertisements on the media. It is actually the moral right of every advertiser to entice more than educate, therefore just watch non-judgementally. Products are offered. Advantages are described. Even social reputations are challenged. But just watch. A product is offered for sale. To buy or not should be based on whether one needs it or not. Now examine the need to buy or have. Is it to enhance one’s own pleasurable moments of life or just to display in a corner without even noticing the dust gathered on it? But there are times when we can fall in love with an artifact and empty our purse to possess it. Even this will not create future unpleasantness, except perhaps when the credit card statement does not tally with your bank balance. Uneasiness and unpleasantness begin only when you want to buy or have something simply (and only) because someone else has it. It becomes more unpleasant when you realize that you cannot afford it. So the best way to overcome jealousy would be to become capable enough to afford whatever you want. Capability enhancement is the key. When you are immersed in a full-time activity like enhancing your skills, economy or relationships, there will be not be any time to be jealous.

Just learn to begin to be jealous of yourself.

written 2006

guru series, pogontrophy apart

September 24, 2008

there are just too many of them, and they keep coming. they are no more in remote corners of tricky jungles or dingy caves in steep mountains. they are all over the media. they come to you, even if you don’t want to go to them. the spiritual market was never better.

in the new globalized commercial illusion of India, these savvy ‘gurus’, have a niche market. they create the demand and supply you with ready stock. marketing costs and manufacturing costs of a ‘guru’ are ofcourse naturally added on to the buyer’s bill. yet there they are, flourishing in a business that has no internal or external audit. their customer/client base keeps increasing.

as a once-upon-a-time consumer of the spiritual salad, and as an envious-but-shy entrepreneur who contemplated the spiritual market, i had studied the game rather keenly, and i presume thoroughly. it was just my nature that did not allow me to take the risk and enter this spiritual business. the nature that is clear about self-respect and the risk of looking at my mirror and feeling ashamed, just did not make this venture begin. maybe i am writing this out of jealousy.

i have as much hair on my face as all the best in the business to pass off as a guru. but then, becoming and continuing to be a guru is not just a matter of pogontrophy!  (this is one of the tricks i had learnt in those early days- use a term preferably in an obscure language, when you are talking of mundane every day things. that is why i call it pogontrophy when i should simply say it is a matter of hair!)

since i had seriously contemplated on this business, i had even classified the types of gurus who sell.  they can be  primarily divided into talkers and non-talkers. hair is incidental. if it grows fine, if not you can always go totally clean shaven, head included. after all you are voluntarily shaving your own head., unlike the tamil phrase which implies you shave others’ heads.

the talkers are more difficult to copy. though they have a sufficient supply of material from Rajneesh, they still have to keep studying atleast the names of some religious not-so-well-known texts, in order to keep giving their words of wisdom. this is a tricky game, and to excel in this, one needs language and oratory skills apart from hair!

the non-talkers too need some special skills. though materialization is not that difficult a task to master, it does become difficult when one has to source gold ornaments from somewhere. keeping this a confidential deal is a long term business arrangement which needs  lots of organizational and bargaining skills. after all, when VIP customers come, simple ash will not suffice.sometimes, as it happened in the house of a rationalist-allegedly-self-proclaimed-atheist-VIP, you may run out of supply and after giving three rings you may suddenly encounter another VIP asking for the fourth ring!

if you happen to be a non-talker type of guru, and have not mastered the art of producing gifts,you can hug,kiss,spit,kick and roll over with the awe struck disciples. anything goes in this game.

all gurus are spiritual conduits! so there should be a promise! even if you talk about Zen, you may have to essentially hint at the previous and future births. all gurus have a pseudo-god halo. so until the time comes when you can anoint yourself as the God hitherto-sublime-but-hereafter-manifest, you have to be content with just being a guru. but the wait is never futile. depending on your marketing and networking skills it should happen in a couple of years.

though this is a business that sells to idiots, one just cannot be an idle by-stander. after all, it is not just a matter of hair.

there is so much more to be written. i shall try to devote a daily quota of time for this divine contemplation, and in the meanwhile i need your feedback to continue.