Posted tagged ‘ruthran’

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.

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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.