Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bring good through non-violent means - a message to Hindu protectors and Western detractors

One should bring the good of creatures with non-violent means.

In the recent past, there has been a lot of uproar, first by the protectors of Indian culture and then by the protesters. Be it the attacks on women in pub, the pub culture, or the proposed Valentine Day disruptions. None of them have got it right. The protectors are as selective in their quotation and interpretation of the culture as the protesters. In all this, they both are losers because none of them are actually getting the true points of the past (the quoted culture) or the present (the changes in times, the harmony of society, the amicable solutions). Just like the environment is never in danger, but the humans and life forms are due to the changed environment, similarly, it is not the culture that is in danger, but people who lose the power of interpretation of what is right and wrong, and how to handle the wrong. Maybe the protectors have a purely political motive of garnering votes from non-urbanites with these urban issues that have no relevance to most actual voters.

[The main aim of this article is to set a balance between extreme opinions about Indian culture people and media are spreading by misquoting or misunderstanding the ancient texts. This article quotes the scriptures in context so that we can appreciate the wisdom gone by and apply only the good points in our lives. Despite the length this article tries to shed light into the liberal views our ancestors had, compared to the very narrow minded and violent nature of today's culture-custodians. Thank you for your patience]

In all this, it is surprising that Times of India went to Wendy Doniger for her expert comments and printed them in the Sunday issue of Bangalore edition (Feb 8, 2009). Wendy is well known for her skewed perspective of Indian culture and philosophy (her interpretations of Ganesh and seeing phallic symbol speaks more of her mental state than of Indian culture). There are only two types of voices being heard – one, of those who haven't lived, and do not have much compassion for, Hindu culture and religion e.g. Wendy, (after all how many times are Hindu scholars asked to comment on Christianity or Islam); and two, of those who born as Hindus have spent lives in the rituals (or maybe not) but without broadening their knowledge to the context and reasons of such practices. Surely, most of them have failed to understand what Hindu society was like prior to external influences and subsequent calcification of society when some bad practices became norm in Indian society. There are much better scholars of Indian culture, both Western and Indian, whom TOI could have approached to comment.

This silence needs to be broken with the proper quoting, understanding of our texts; because two wrongs don't make a right and we may be the ultimate losers if we lose the true message of the great minds of our past, whose study of human psyche and its dilemmas is amazing. Most of the philosophical texts need patience and clear mind to understand. Most of the social texts need the proper understanding of the context of the society as well as the statements and reapply them to modern contexts properly. To throw around prejudices and bad mouthing is quick and easy; to explain them properly takes more time.

Let me first take on Wendy's coverage of Hindu scriptures and the selective, biased quotations. While Manusmriti has been a pet stick to beat Hindus, the detractors have no idea or intention to know of the greater good in this social constitutional guide, without whose understanding no one can claim to understand the past and present of the complexities of Hindu society. Such a text didn't survive centuries because it oppressed women and certain sections of the society, but because it understood that the needs and abilities of different sections are different, and catered to all.

Wendy asserts that the problematic male attitude towards women can be traced back to Upanishads. She says, "But we also find in the Upanishads the first seeds of a renunciant movement that rejects the desire to have children, wealth, and women, warning that sexuality must be controlled, primarily by controlling women." She fails to quote anything from these esoteric philosophical discourses where the rishis have tried to put social controls on women, that too of others. Rather, we see even in ShrimadBhaagavat MahaPurana (श्रीमद्भागवद्महापुराण) , 3:14:9-28 that Diti (दिति), wife of Rishi Kashyap (कश्यप) in her amorous mood one evening asks him to satisfy her. Then Rishi Kashyap says, 'Like a person crosses an ocean on a ship, similarly the householder, while supporting all the other aashrams (brahmacharya ब्रह्मचर्य, vaanprastha वानप्रस्थ , sanyaas संन्यास ) crosses the ocean of worldly miseries. Wife is said to be the half body (ardhaangini अर्धांगिनी ) of a man desirous of the three goals (dharma धर्म , artha अर्थ , kaam काम ). Man pursues truth and life worry free when his wife takes the responsibilities of the home management. ... But still, this is the time for evening meditation, the hour of Shiva; hence please wait till I finish my duties.' Diti still insisted and Kashyap obliged her accepting it as destiny, rather than cursing her or oppressing her.

The wise have always warned the saadhak (साधक), the pursuer of truth and spirituality, of the dangers of distraction to the penance of truth. And lust being one of the strongest to overcome. Kaam is one of the six internal enemies - 'kaam काम (desire), krodh क्रोध (anger), moh मोह (attachment), lobh लोभ (greed), mada मद (delusion), matsar मत्सर(jealousy)' Hence, the saadhak has been warned to avoid any situation where they may fall victim to the temptation. Nowhere have they said, unlike many other religions and societies, that women are evil by themselves. It would also help to read Shukasaptati (शुकसप्तति), a story of a merchant son who goes out to foreign lands for business, leaving behind a young bride with his wise parrot and maiynaa. When the new bride in the company of friends is overcome by sexual desire, she tries to arrange to meet many men. The wise parrot and maiynaa, tell her stories with riddles and keep her at home on the condition of telling the answer. Nowhere do we find women forcefully kept chaste. A popular saying goes, 'Even the wife leaves the poor, indeed poverty is the source of all ills.' Even as late as Chaanakya's Chandragupta, there are provisions of women inheriting property from their parents, and rules on after a woman's death, how much should the children from her previous husbands get in inheritance.

As for the Upanishads, that source of pure pursuit of truth, they accept practical truth to be relative to time and space. In Taittireeya Upanishad, Shikshaa Valli, at the graduation, the guru gives the last sermon to the outgoing students, "satyam vada. dharmam chara. ... maatRi devo bhava. atithi devo bhava. ... atha yadi te karma-vichikitsaa vaa ..." (सत्यम् वद । धर्मं चर । ... मातृ देवो भव । अतिथि देवो भव । ... अथ यदि ते कर्म-विचिकित्सा वा ) i.e. "Speak the truth. Follow the dharma (right path). ... Be of the thought that mother is divine, father is divine, teacher is divine, unannounced guest is divine. Follow only those of our deeds that are unblemished, not others. ... Even after this (10-14 years of residential study with the guru) if you have a dilemma about the right duty or behaviour (about a situation), then whatever the braahmaNa (ब्राह्मण) (i.e. the wise thinkers) of that place - the wise who are of noble thought, able (to guide), engaged (in duty and good conduct), of unharsh nature, desirous of the right thing – whatever they do in the context of that situation, you should do, whatever they say, you should say." [Taittireeya Upanishad, Shikshaa Valli, 11 Anuvak ]. This shows that truth has to be reinterpreted with time and location, and those who are wise, good natured, engaged in work (not idle talkers) and of noble thought, only they should guide the society in situations of dilemma. And the greatest of great rishis of the Upanishads were humble and realistic enough to acknowledge their possible shortcomings and the change of applied truth with time and location.

The very title of Wendy's article 'If the wife is not radiant, she doesn't stimulate the man" is selective and distorted, even though factual and universally accepted. It connotes as if the Indian culture has sanctioned the treatment of women as property by men. Whereas, it is only those selfish men who have not read the scripture or have not even thought on their own, that treat women likewise. Here is the full context and preceding text to this first line of the shlok 3:61 from Manusmriti. After talking in chapter 2 about the roles and conduct of a student, a brahmachaari, chapter 3 deals with marriage, in-laws, guests and hospitality:-

  • The wise father (of a girl) shall not take anything by way of 'fee' from her groom. By taking a dowry out of greed (bride price), he becomes the seller of his offspring [3.51].
  • The relatives who, out of folly, live off of the woman's property like vehicle, clothes; those sinner go to worst hells [3.52] (forget about dowry given by the bride's father, it was more prevalent for the groom to give bride price, as is in many other cultures as well.
  • Many rishis have prescribed a token fee of a pair of cow and bull in 'aarsh'(आर्ष) marriage, but even that is akin to selling your daughter [3.53].
  • Where such fee is not taken (but may be given out of affection by the groom's side), that is not selling, but worshiping/respecting and showing affection to the woman [3.54].
  • If desiring more prosperity in life, father, brother, husband, husband's younger brother (older is considered as father only) they all should respect the bride and adorn her (with ornaments) [3.55].
  • The divine are extremely happy where women are respected (worshipped, figuratively), where they are not, all actions (projects) are fruitless [3.56].
  • The family in which the daughters or newlywed brides mourn, that family suffers a quick destruction; and where they don't it surely prospers [3.57].
  • Those homes that these disrespected women (daughters, daughters-in-laws) cast curse upon, they are eradicated as if destroyed by (the tantric deity of black magic) Krityaa (कृत्या) [3.58].
  • Hence, men who seek prosperity should always respect women, (and) on solemn occasions and festivals, adorn with ornaments, clothes and food [3.59].
  • The family in which the husband is content with the wife and the wife is content with the husband, is certain to have divine blessings [this doesn't mean only sexual contentment as the headline of the article connotes, but how the two perform their duties to the home, family, their conduct, etc. like how a wife manages the whole house, relations, children, finances etc. or how the husband protects, earns, has social reputation, standing and circle etc.] [3.60].
  • If the wife is not attractive (doesn't attempt to attract with makeup etc.) and/or the husband is not attracted; the husband's progeny is not possible on that account of lack of attraction [3.61].
  • When the women look beautiful (adorn jewelry, do makeup, dress up) the whole family looks good, and when they don't everything looks insipid. [3.62]"

The main headline of TOI was only the first line of 3.61. Even that in itself is a simple fact that if the wife is not attractive, the husband will not get to extend his own lineage. So this again, is a factual warning to the husband not just the wife. He should keep her happy, respectfully, and encourage beauty in family and life.

The second jibe Wendy takes at Manusmriti is, "Some Hindu texts by male authors remove from men entirely the responsibility for the conflict between sexuality and chastity and project it onto women. The dharma text of Manu even admits that what makes women so dangerous is the fact that men are so weak: 'It is the very nature of women to corrupt men here on earth; for that reason, circumspect men do not get careless and wanton among wanton women. It is not just an ignorant man, but even a learned man of the world, too, that a wanton woman can lead astray when he is in the control of lust and anger. No one should sit in a deserted place with his mother, sister, or daughter; for the strong cluster of the sensory powers drags away even a learned man.'"

This is from Chapter 2 of Manusmriti, where the duties, roles of the brahmachaari, the student, are mentioned. He is warned of the distraction of the senses coming in the way of his studies, and advised to avoid situation where any such temptation is possible. He is instructed to not even touch feet of guru's wife if she is young [2:212] The part of avoiding to be alone with a young female relative should be seen in the perspective of those times with sparse population, no electricity. A look at the reducing age of maturing among today's teen should give an idea why such situations were warned of. It simply admits the weakness in face of such strong temptations. Different people of different background would have different resisting powers. And it is not always the man who is tempted. Devayaani (देवयानी) of guru Shukraachaarya, was attracted to Kach (कच) who was her father's student. When proposed, he refused saying that she is like her sister (guru's daughter). He of course got a curse for it that he will never be able to practice his knowledge.

Wendy goes on to say - "This second, misogynist group produced texts advocating the repression of and, in some cases, violence against women. ... For the renunciant movements addressed a problem that was also of great concern to worldlier Hindus: addiction. ... A tension therefore runs between the vitality of the Hindu sensual and artistic traditions, on the one hand, and the Puritanism of many Hindu sects, on the other. ... 'Pub culture' is indeed no part of classical Indian culture, but both repression of women and respect for women are."

First, Hinduism never says one size fits all. Hence there are different practical sets of rules and guidelines for the four varnas (types of people by nature and profession), four ashrams (the four age groups) and the two genders. The eight types of marriages of women for the good and bad of the four varnas in this and next world are braahma(ब्राह्म), daiva(दैव), aarsh(आर्ष), praajaapatya(प्राजापत्य), gaandharva(गान्धर्व), aasur(आसुर), raakshas(राक्षस), paishaach(पैशाच) [MS 3:20]. Of these, first four are recommended for all, but the rest four are only permitted to certain varnas depending upon their innate nature. Nowhere have the householders been denied the pleasures of life, indeed it is the householder alone who has the moral right to enjoy the pleasures of life. The goals and paths of a householder are different than from a renunciate, and hence they are given different advices.

The whole Kaamasutra guides in the controlled, rightful enjoyment of life. But don't be fooled in thinking that Kaamasutra does not accept the need and existence of alcohol, youth parties, public festivals, social merrymaking, aphrodisiacs, prostitution or the dangers of them. In the celebration of Madanotsava (मदनोत्सव) "the king himself would watch from the palace terrace, the merry making of the urbanites, when the alcohol (only special types of alcohols were allowed in public events) made the women so intoxicated that they would throw colored water on any men, and the streets were covered with colored powder and water, the streets were so crowded all night that people's shoulders got bruised." Even Chaanakya didn't recommend banning alcohol or the drinking of it in "pubs", but rather to control the production, quality, distribution and sale of it and properly tax it. Manusmriti says that the consumption of meat and alcohol is not unnatural to happen with humans, but it has its own ill-effects.

And lastly the quotation of 'In childhood she is guarded by father, in youth by husband, and in old age by sons, women don't deserve independence' [9:3], this holds true even today, where crime against women happen at all ages, even more so in cities. But, this ethos of this statement is that women are the reputation of a family, no one thinks great of women or families with women of lose character or of bad company, even today in any society. But how does one protect the woman? Manusmriti says, "No man can protect a woman by force, so employ some of the following methods [9:10]. Ensure that they are not idle (just like idle mind is devil's workshop), and engage them in the management of money matters (investment, expenses), shopping, hygiene, religious functions, kitchen and home making [9:11]. Relatives cannot protect a woman even by locking her up, but only those women who protect themselves (by taking care and avoiding situations of illicit temptation) [9:12]."

It is important that that we try to understand our culture, past, traditions after giving proper effort and time to it. Also, important to remember is that Indian culture has never gone against women, celebrations or senses on its own. They have only prescribed a moderation in any enjoyment, without which any society or person will soon become aimless. In both extremes of current protectors and protesters, culture and the good name benevolent Lord Raama is getting dragged in mud, but the loss is only of us, living Indians. While every human should remove the weeds from their ancient wisdom, firstly attempt should be made to understand its botany to know what is weed and what is flower.

And the violent protectors of Hindu culture should also pay heed to this gentle instruction from Manusmriti to the student, who will later go out and do good for the society:

'अहिंसयैव भूतानां कार्यं श्रेयोनुशासनं । वाक्चैव मधुरा श्लक्ष्णा प्रयोज्या धर्मिच्छता ॥'

One desiring dharma should bring the good of creatures with non-violent means using sweet and gentle words.

If you liked it, write your comments

Original Times of India article

(c) 2009 Shashikant Joshi, a graduate of IIT Kharagpur and an IT professional by trade has been entertaining himself with the Indian scriptures for over 20 years. He has also written a book of poems, Hindu prayer book, made an audio CD on Hitopadesh, written a screenplay for stage show, edited and published a monthly magazine in Cleveland Ohio, USA, and has also given lectures at Cleveland State University on Indian culture and spirituality.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Welcoming Obama

Dear Barak,
Blessings! Well wishes. Maybe sycophants may say that for the president of USA some heavy-weight words should be used. But somehow we (used in the sense of King’s English) feel that if there is that much formality and distance, then what is the point of even writing a letter. You are of the age of my former students, my children and we are a teacher. And you know that a teacher never retires. Just starts lecturing anyone, anywhere, as if teaching in a class. We also know that you studied in an ordinary school where there would have been teachers like us - hard and strict from outside but inside? ... approachable, inclusive and personable. In the so-called ‘big’ school, the teachers teach less and learn more because in such schools, students come wearing their influential fathers’ shoes, not their own.

We read your book. Not because you are president but because you are a different kind of president. You have risen from the soil. We can smell the soil and sweat in you. Clinton also wrote a book and even sold a lot, but we didn’t read it, because that was written by a president and licentious man. These days it has become a fashion to cash on whatever little good or bad publicity one can garner. The so called ‘great’ personalities also get many writers on rent. What to read them! But you wrote this book not while you were a president but even before you became a presidential candidate. Hence there is a thinking youth reflected in it and not a shrewd politician.

You have seen dreams and that too of an honest man. We want to join you in those dreams. In your blood it is not just the ‘Eat, Drink, Make merry’ kind of consumerist American dreams, but your blood also has Asia and Africa whose civilizations have been ancient, simple and hard-working. It is very important to have a seasoning of these cultures in the American political dish of today because the world has seen the results of pure consumerist culture. ‘Only consumption’ ruins not just people but countries and the whole world.

America gets the credit for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki, fueling the Cold War, encouraging the Islamic fundamentalists and being the main representative of making consumption the only goal of life. The departed have left thorns for your office tenure. Your path is not easy. Your name, Barak, means ‘blessed’. May God give you the good fortune and strength after giving you the opportunity to be a blessing to this entire world. You have understanding, and now power in the form of the office. Now, all that you need is good company, because the powerful quickly get sweet-spoken sycophants who waste a lot of time. We saw that happen to our former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He had some vision. He opened doors to new technology because of which now India is a power in IT and other technical fields. The kind of absolute majority he got (more than 2/3 seats) he could have changed the constitution for the good, but the sweet-spoken ‘well-wishers’ never gave him the time for thought clarity. If he wanted he could have passed uniform civil code, uniform education, ended Section 370 and other far-reaching and revolutionary works, but what did people advise? ‘Override and slap the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case for the Muslim vote bank.’ Then they advised to open the locks of the Ayodhya Ram Temple and get Hindu votes as well. And the result? In the dilemma he got neither Ram nor maya (neither spiritual nor material gain). Rather, had to eat onions as well as get the boots. (A thief was punished with either eating 100 onions or getting beaten with 100 shoe kicks. He chose to eat onions, and couldn’t finish, so he got the kicks as well. Similarly, Rajiv lost trust of both Muslims and Hindus). Just beware of such advisors.

Your oath ceremony preparations are going on with lot of pomp and show. It is a bad time for the American economy. If we were in your place, we would not have spent even a cent. Nowadays, because of television, the whole world can see on television itself. Not sure if this was your desire or on the advice of some ‘well-wisher’. Nevertheless, it is true that for non-whites, it is a historic moment. They would be desirous to have the biggest ever such program. In such occasions, simplicity is more effective. The same money could have been given to the inner city schools with low funding and economically weaker sections of the society.

Over here, it gets over-crowded even for small functions. But these days there are lot of incidents of ‘explosive’ situations in crowded areas. In your case, just take care that there are no race riots. If all goes peaceful, we will take that as a sign of maturity of your people. This is the time to test the patience of the ‘whites’. Earlier the America who hoisted the flag of consumerism and now is suffering slowdown, we wish the same America now, under your guidance, set an example of simplicity, hard work and frugality.

You will take oath on the Lincoln Bible. Your national motto is - ‘In God we trust’. Actually, there is only one God, but somehow none of the god-men seem to agree on this basic tenet. They will proclaim there is only one God, and then fight in the name of the same God! In the name of religion, they will make armies, and either by force or by coerce they will convert. Over here, Gandhiji (and only Gandhiji) used to sing ‘Ishwar, Allah are both Your names’. But no religion gave him recognition in their religion. Is it necessary to be extreme for the sake of religion? Every new religion started with a new God and started on a Crusade to wipe out older one. For you not just race, even religion can pose a problem. Over here, our national motto is - ‘Truth alone triumphs’. The great Upanishads say that Truth is God and there is no bigger penance than the path of Truth. Truth is also more scientific, but accepting truth doesn’t allow individual shops for these religious god-men! We have another great thought of essence - ‘This is mine, that not - such thought is of the narrow minded. The benevolent consider the whole earth as their family.’

If you take inspiration from this thought then you will truly become a blessing for the whole world. In your leadership, this world becomes a better place - with these well-wishes,


Ramesh Joshi
18 January 2009

Original Post

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Translated from the original works of Ramesh Joshi from the following blogs - Jhootha Sach (True Lies) and Joshi Kavi (Poet)
Original (c): Ramesh Joshi. Translation (c): Shashikant Joshi

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

India died

Dear readers,
With a heavy heart I inform you today that India has died. Death is the ultimate outcome of life. One who is born will definitely die. But the cause of my sorrow is that where India died there was no lack of any care or facility. There was lot of love and care and still death came! Now, what can we do? Just give the condolences. A two minute silence can be observed. India had the protection of the most powerful person on earth. When time comes then even on the most powerful person, the most common person can throw a shoe and people will watch the fun!

I got the news of India's death from Fox News where, from the office of Laura Bush in White House, it was told that India died at the age of 18 years. So is India only 18 years old? Well sir, if the birth was 18 years ago how can the age be more than 18? The happy news is that Laura Bush considered India as part of her family.

Because of her being 18 years old, India was about to get voting rights. Who knows a permanent seat in the Security Council of UN as well! If America wants, what is impossible? But now what, India already died. Now you would say how is this possible that India dies and we are still alive? But this has happened time and again. Mafia killed engineer Satyendra Dubey of the Golden Quadrilateral (highway system built between the four Indian metros) and nothing happened. Manish Gupta was killed when he refused to give 'donations' on the birthday bash of a powerful politician and nothing happened. Take a fresh example, (Mumbai) terrorists were from Pakistan the whole world knew, and Pakistan stares in the eye and chuckles saying they were not from Pakistan. It will keep happening like this in future as well. You give proof and it says they are not sufficient. In future also it will keep saying like this. Even US denied the move to brand Pakistan as a terrorist state or India's 48-hour deadline. The whole world is watching the drama, if this is not dying then what else is?

But you be the World Guru, the economic powerhouse!

Now let me in you on the secret that India is none other than Laura Bush's dear cat whom the lady named India out of love. Some of you, out of excess showing off of national pride will say that the naming of a cat as India has hurt India's national pride. But what can be done of this? This happens all the time! In America Lord Shiv, Lord Ganesh, Mother Kali get printed on sandals and toilet bowls!

Otherwise, a cat is dearer to the master than a dog.

The naming of the cat is not a new story; it was done back in 2001. Then I had written two kunDaliya verses (Kundaliya compilation - 'Apni Apni Lanka' i.e. 'To each his Lanka') so I would like to present those here -

(Translation from the original)
Ramoo, Bhola, such names servants always get
With Lord Ram or Shiva, don't be upset
Don't be upset, 'ridiculed'? Why do you say?
A cat is better than a dog in every way.
Joshi, being Their dog world wags and yelps aloud
We are Their dear cat, we should be proud!

(Bhola = innocent, or Lord Shiva; Ramoo = from Lord Ram)

Just because India has become Bush's cat
Why the anger, and why are you sad?
Why are you sad, don't you know elite pet
Traveling to exotic places, in luxury they get
Say Joshi Poet, purr and enchant them, O pet
Forget mouse, chicken that too Kentucky, you get.

6 January 2009

Original Post

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Translated from the original works of Ramesh Joshi from the following blogs - Jhootha Sach (True Lies) and Joshi Kavi (Poet)
Original (c): Ramesh Joshi. Translation (c): Shashikant Joshi

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kashmir problem is British brainchild

(Context: Tony Blair's Foreign Minister Jack Straw was in India in 2002. That time he accepted that Kashmir issue was created by British policy. There are times when the truth slips out of the mouth of the shrewdest person. So it slipped out of Jack Straw's mouth as well. Now this is a different story that people like Miliband don't understand or act insane on purpose. I am sharing an article written on Jack Straw's 'confession' back in 2002)

Mr. Jack Straw Sahib,
Prostrations, Me Lord. You are Foreign Minister of the mega-empire that build our nation (India). You are worth worshiping, even though your name has 'straw' in it. Ever since you have become a shameless wagging dog of US, it seems there is only straw (fodder) in Britain. In fact, here in our country we don't even have that. Whatever little fodder was left for animals, the politicians have scandalized it (Fodder scam). For us you are a 'jack' - a support apparatus to remove a punctured tire. Even if Britain is now only a 'master of none' but for us you are still a 'jack of all'.

Actually Britain sucked India dry. From a 'Golden Sparrow' it became a wandering beggar. There was a decent enough national integrity which you dismantled by dividing among religion. On this basis the itch you started has now become decaying leprosy. In the Jalianwalla Bagh (fenced park in Amritsar) the marks of your love for justice are still intact. Your queen is a gutsy lady. She came here, saw the Jallianwala Bagh, but didn't express the slightest of guilt or sorrow over the massacre of 1919 of innocent civilian men, women and children. Macaulay spent the money for Indian education on a new education system to inbreed clerks for the British empire. Filled Indians with an inferiority complex for India itself. We have started considering not only our language, culture, food, history, traditions but also our parents as a thing of shame. Through the grace of intellectuals like Catherine Mayo (author of Mother India) India, over time, has gained the status of a very backward and uncivilized country in the world. The Dhaka cotton (malmal) that won't let Manchester rise, was systematically ruined just like the industry and labor of this region. Priceless things like our Kohinoor and many Indic manuscripts are still with you.

America apologized for dropping the N bomb on Japan. Pope apologized for the gross deeds of the priests. Japan apologized for its soldiers' atrocities on women (Nankin). Jews even today make Germany pay through the nose for the atrocities of Nazi Hitler.

You have shown signs of a big heart by acknowledging that Kashmir is the brainchild of England. But to sit on the chest of defeated history, you don't need a big heart but a big scumbag. India is grateful to England even today. If not for Britain who would have built the Presidential palace, Parliament building, Connaught Place, railways for us Indians? Who would have established rule of law in a lawless land? Without English, how could a multi-lingual country engage in conversation and how would have freedom movement started? In here, we still have people singing praises of the British Raj. And you are repenting in guilt? This doesn't grace the 'brave', the 'victor'.

We are still walking in your footsteps for India's progress. By regretting, you will weaken our self-confidence. Someday if you have time, come over, and we will show you how we have made English even more mandatory than air and water. All expression of thought has to abide by Oxford English Dictionary. We have been so meticulous in breeding herds of clerks that farmers have resorted to suicide. Earlier we used to burn bonfire (Holi) of foreign goods, now we pride by doing the last rites of Indian goods. Earlier, industrialists were respected and today we are eager to sell whatever government industry at whatever prices to whomever. Now, ghee,milk, fruits, grocery, cloths, grains everything has started coming from foreign. Even in this hot tropical country, people have left the natural buttermilk and fruit juices and are dying for carbonated cold drinks.

We drink even more than Europe. We have washed and dried Gandhi squeaky clean. Come and lets see, there is not even one Gandhi cap in the parliament. During election campaign a fake Sachin wearing Gandhi cap was a source of entertainment. The nation that you divided on the basis of religion, we are taking it to the natural conclusion of dicing and slicing it on caste and subcaste. You used to do education development with liquor tax. Whether or not we developed education, we have made sure to have opened a liquor shop in every nook and cranny. We never listened to Gandhi who said if they made him dictator for a day he would close all liquor shops. The old geezer was senile! How can you run kingdoms and empires without liquor? In the media we ourselves strip our sisters and mothers.

We look for reasons in films for national disrespect and riot but ourselves sell bidi and tobacco with the photo of Ganesh, Tulsi, Ram or Shiv. Women are not safe in home, college, market, office, road, anywhere! In the name of Mother Goddess Shakti, the malpractice of Sati is being praised. There is religious (dharma) uproar but actually evil (adharma) is on the soar! When you left there wasn't any debt. Now we have attained the goal of 200 billion US greenbacks (back in 2002). Population is three times and criminals will soon have a majority in parliament and legislative assembly.

Someday, take out some time and purify this land of India with the holy dust of thy Holy Feet. Come, see, the destruction and ruining that you could not complete what all we have done to ensure that and tell us what more we can do. How else can you guide us in this regard?

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Translated from the original works of Ramesh Joshi from the following blogs - Jhootha Sach (True Lies) and Joshi Kavi (Poet)
Original (c): Ramesh Joshi. Translation (c): Shashikant Joshi

Heart attack early in the morning

On 5th January 2009, Times of India Bangalore edition had a front page headline about heart attack in early morning hours. Doctors from Wockhart and Narayan Hridayalay hospitals said that most hart attacks happen between 4 to 6 am. In medical terminology they also explained many reasons. The article also mentioned that in Holland and Germany shops and office open at 11 am so people can get up relaxed; go to work without feeling rushed. There is a Hindi saying that when you invite the blind, an extra person, the helper, will also come. That is, an invitation to the blind is an invitation to two.

This (heart attack in the morning) is like that, it is not even a problem. It is a gift of the market and consumer focused culture. In normal office days, people are made to work so much and at times they do this willingly, that they don't even get time to breathe normally. They are overworked and under appreciated. The weekend partying with lot of drinking, food, and lack of sleep tires these pursuers of happiness. Then on Monday they have to be back on time, extra tired, the so called 'Monday morning blues'. This over working and extra tension becomes a reason of heart attack over years. If there is already any predisposition then rushing in the morning, jumping out of bed makes the possibility of a heart attack even more.

People look for all solutions only in the sheep mentality of money-earning and money-spending market driven economy, because they have lost faith on the time tested and ancient life wisdoms of Indian culture. And whatever little they have then consumerism focused media shakes them again and again. Otherwise Brahma Muhurt (1.5 hours before sunrise) is an auspicious time for nature to be fresh, active and awake!

You go to work on time, come back on time, eat timely and sleep and get up o time - then there is no problem! From Friday evening till Sunday evening don't torture your body or daily routine. On a holiday also, get up on regular time and follow the same schedule. Then you will have all then 8-10 hours that you would have worked on other days. This extra time, spend with family, take care of extra chores left over together, follow some hobby - arts, gardening, dancing, singing, anything. Or go on a family outing and return in reasonable time to not stress the evening. Without extra time, money or being separate, you will enjoy the company of the family which will strengthen the family bonds and the day goes by without rushing. Why should joy require excessive eating, drinking, and waking? Enjoyment is not something you can cramp seven days worth in a day!

Lets talk about the heart attack in the morning. If you remain normal, calm there will be no rush. There is a simple solution to this in the Indian tradition. In the morning, upon waking up, one should sit on the bed and recite these two shloks -

कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मी, कर मध्ये सरस्वती ।
कर मूले स्थिता गौरी, मंगलं कर दर्शनम् ॥

(karAgre vasate lakshmI, kara madhye sarasvatI |
kara moole sthitA gaurI, mangalaM kara darshanam ||)

i.e. At the tip of the hands (finger) resides lakshmI (the divinity of prosperity), on the palm - saraswatI (the divinity of knowledge).At the base resides gaurI (shakti, the divinity of power and energy), it is auspicious to see the hands in the morning. Which means, that all the power, knowledge of the divinities resides n your own hands, make prosperity with your own hands, as long as you have your hands, you will make the day, it will be fine! [explanation by Shashikant]

समुद्रवसने देवि, पर्वतस्तनमण्डिते ।
विष्णुपत्नि नमस्तुभ्यं, पादस्पर्शं क्षमस्व मे ॥

samudra-vasane devi, parvat-stana-maNDite |
viShNu-patni namastubhyam, pAdasparsham kshamasva me ||

i.e. O Wife of viShNu (the all pervasive divine force), with ocean as the garments and mountains as the breasts, please forgive me for I am going to step on you with my feet.
This is a humbling request to the earth, the provider, nourisher, caretaker like a mother, that without stepping on you, I can't go about my daily business, so even though you are like my mother, forgive my stepping on you. Contrast this with the arrogance of 'you have dominion on this earth and its resources'. [explanation by Shashikant]

If recited at normal pace these will take about a minute and a half, which is sufficient time for the blood pressure to get normal from a lying down position to a sitting up \position. Lying down all night brings the heart and brain at the same horizontal level and quickly rising causes a sudden pressure drop in the brain and a surge on the heart which has to now pump to a vertical body. One who practices this in the early morning hours will have no fear of heart attacks in the morning. Similarly, every major step of the day is riddled with these speed bumps - there are shloks to be recited during bath, before food, at morning, noon and evening and one before sleeping.

Pondering upon the meaning of these shloks will reveal that it will also make your determined to work hard and be humble to the 'Life Giver'. Only if the doubt goes away! We are living in a fundamentalist time when Yoga is getting religious diktats of being detrimental to the religion from Christianity and Islam religions. For such people it is aptly said - the one without any faith is destroyed.

5 January 2009

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Translated from the original works of Ramesh Joshi from the following blogs - Jhootha Sach (True Lies) and Joshi Kavi (Poet)
Original (c): Ramesh Joshi. Translation (c): Shashikant Joshi

Monday, January 26, 2009

Miliband - came, spoke, insulted!

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband graced Indian soil on the festive occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal (पोंगल). Though I couldn't see the maturity and experience on his face or in his work as is needed for this. Probably Rahul Gandhi called him for a picnic in India. No wonder, he was showing the cows in Uttar Pradesh villages.

Ever since they are not profitable as before they are not revered as before, but still Hindus don't kill or eat them. Even today on Makar Sankranti, people feed them green fodder for some punya. In Karnataka cows and oxen are decorated and worshipped like in Northern India it is done on Gopashtami (गोपाष्टमी). England won't have any decent cow left. First they were fed their own remains (powered bones) which made them 'mad' and in name of Mad Cow disease killed millions of them. Quite possible, there may not be any real cow worth seeing. Maybe they bite if you go near them!

India still has some ordinary cows. Actually, all of India has become a cow. Any one can come and beat this cow. And then they preach to India,just like a raped woman is told 'You should look worthy of raping in the first place! It is your fault.' If someone's necklace gets snatched then she is scolded 'Why do you wear gold and lure the bad elements?' Something of this sort is Mr Miliband advising India. He says 'Kashmir is the cuase of terrorism.' That is, first solve this, that is give it to the separatists, terrorists. That is what USA has wanted all along since 1948!

Why doesn't Miliband suggest such an innocent solution to terrorism to US - 'Listen brother, quit Christianity and embrace Islam and then Osama will become your religion-brother and wtop terrorism.'

Miliband doesn't know why the Kashmiri Pandits are not seen today, whom 'saints' like Azhar Masood, at the behest and protection of Pakistan, scared them out of their own motherland in the name of serving Islam. And Delhi government kept silent for vote bank politics. After all, how could a small official has the guts and audacity to suggest such a thing to India? So what was Rahul Gandhi kissing up to him for? If you put them on a pedestal, they will piss on our head!

24 January 2009

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Translated from the original works of Ramesh Joshi from the following blogs - Jhootha Sach (True Lies) and Joshi Kavi (Poet)
Original (c): Ramesh Joshi. Translation (c): Shashikant Joshi

Monday, January 5, 2009

Trodden hearts (like a banana field)

Perhaps he is very sorrowful
He is always laughing a lot

Told them my woes all life long
Still to tell there is a lot

Keep only whatever is good
Though I have said a lot

Heart is shredded like a banana field
In these alleys, wind blows a lot

Why to meet and break illusions
About whom we have heard a lot

We know our destiny even though
Their kind blessings are a lot

Original Post

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Translated from the original works of Ramesh Joshi from the following blogs - Jhootha Sach (True Lies) and Joshi Kavi (Poet)
Original (c): Ramesh Joshi. Translation (c): Shashikant Joshi


Like the moon you shine
But you are not mine

It is scary even inside the home
Ever since guard you have become

We bear the torture of high noon
You are cool as the evening moon

Who can be you support?
Have YOU been anyone's support?

Above (our) heads, the water flows
But you sit pretty on the shores

2 Feb 2001

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Original post

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Translated from the original works of Ramesh Joshi from the following blogs - Jhootha Sach (True Lies) and Joshi Kavi (Poet)
Original (c): Ramesh Joshi. Translation (c): Shashikant Joshi