Wednesday, September 22, 2010

MAKING PEACE WITH HISTORY


What America would have done if it found out overnight that Osama Bin Laden has constructed his memorial at the erstwhile WTC site?



Part I – Formation of Nation and Civilization






I have a strong belief that there are different states of consciousness, and levels within these states. This belief keeps getting augmented as I read our scriptures. Wisdom is just an offshoot of consciousness. Humans are in certain state of consciousness. There are obviously different levels of consciousness in it. Each person according to his level of consciousness perceives things before him. Tries to answer the questions that crop before him. Tries to face the problems. At each level of consciousness, it is an endeavor of the human race to enrich the level of consciousness or mental ability. At each level of consciousness there is a limit to which he can think, collate and comprehend. He cannot go beyond that. To go beyond, he will have to go to the next level of consciousness. The moment he goes to higher level of consciousness, there is a paradigm shift in his perception. His thoughts become more inclusive and tolerant. The scope widens. He becomes more liberal in his thoughts. This change in perception and accompanying change in the outlook would not have been possible staying in the earlier level of consciousness.



Talking of consciousness here is a poem written by Jalal ud-Din ar-Rumi in thirteenth century – a Persian poet.



I died a mineral and became a plant.

I died a plant and rose an animal.

I died an animal and I was man.

Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?

Yet once more I shall die as a man, to soar

with the blessed angels; but even from angel hood

I must pass on. All except God perishes.

When I have sacrificed my angel soul,

I shall become that which no mind ever conceived.

O let me not exist! For Non-Existence proclaims,

“To HIM we shall return”



Our scriptures have always professed this idea and much beyond like the idea of “Sarve Santu Sukhinaha, Sarve Santu Niramaya, Sarve Santu Pashyanti, Ma Sarvavidh Bhavanti” or concept of “Sarva Bhutahitarth”. This concept is more comprehensive and inclusive than “Sarva Dharma Samabhav” as it not only incorporates all religions but also all life styles, all ways of leading life, atheists, agnostic people and people who don’t owe any allegiance to any school of thought and above all includes non living things also. The concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” is far older than the word “Global Village”, which is just a century old.



When human beings attain such a level of consciousness, then for him the notion of different countries and nations becomes a triviality, because now he thinks about the mankind – saints belong to this level of consciousness. They do not remain anchored to a religion, don’t remain shackled in the realism of a country or a nation. Saints identify themselves with the whole world. Whole universe belong to them. The saint’s religion becomes religion of ‘humanity’. For him, the meaning of ‘nation’ is ‘mankind’. For him then there are no neibouring countries, there are no enemy nations. This is a sign of saint hood. How many of us have achieved this level of consciousness?? These people with advanced level of consciousness are but miniscule of the population cross-section of a country at any given time. The majority of the humanity has not reached that level of consciousness and therefore they cannot comprehend the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. If humans with such average level of consciousness have to progress, it has to be gradual and commensurate to their abilities. These humans make small groups, called societies and civilizations. The concept of nationhood emerged from this need of grouping the human societies into smaller parts so that these smaller parts called nations start their destiny to evolve the consciousness of its subjects. The civilizations or nations take on the responsibility of developing their part and so contribute towards overall development of the humanity. The nations in their journey of developing superior consciousness, refine their culture, become progressive and bring clarity into their national policies. This happens because the world has got divided into different nations. So though the goal and aim is to have “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” the road towards that goal passes through individual development of nations. Some times contradictions are felt on the surface like a crust of snow on the river surface, but beneath there is a smooth flow of the river of progress towards the final goal of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.



The saints who profess to the idea of “Global Village” or “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” when preaching to the commoners or average people with limited human consciousness, then would like to preach in the language which can be comprehensible to the commoners. Even if it may be a trivial subject for these saints, they still preach about the concept of religion, rituals, Bhakti and Nationhood. We can find many examples. Ramdas Swami during 16th century exhorted Raja ShivChatrapati to establish a Hindavi Samarajya against Muslim invaders and atrocities of the then Muslim kings. Guru Govind Singh espoused Sikh religion against Muslim and foreign invaders. Our national leaders during freedom struggle actively influenced the aam janata to take up violent and non violent movements against British Raj. The concepts have different meanings and connotations to people with different consciousness. For saints it doesn’t really matter, the struggle for independence or freedom; as for them these are small trivialities. Had these saints and higher conscious people preached the same concept then we would have by now become a British colony, our identity would have permanently merged with Britishers (though not colour!) and wealth transferred to them like the immense wealth already plundered by them during British Raj days. It is like the organizers of a sports event. In a game of football, for the organizers both the sides are equal. For the organizers, rather than the result of the game, the conduct of the game is important. It matters a little to the organizer who is the ultimate winner of the game. It is not the same for the captains of the team. For them the respective team is important. Progress cannot be achieved without competition. The captains of the team must have a killer instinct to win a game. If the mental make up of the captain of the team becomes same to that of the organizers then, the game would become dull and there will not be any display of skill. The organizer and the team captains should play their role to have a perfect game. Same is the case with the saints and people with higher consciousness.

Hence the concept of nationhood is profound if we want our civilization to progress. To make a country alive, to keep people united by a thread of common beliefs, common traditions, common culture and history – religion is an important binder. Our religion or way of life – evolved over thousands of years from the basic fundamental vedic concepts of “atmanbrahma jagan mithya” and applied practically for saints and people with higher consciousness to follow this school of thought as “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “Sarva Bhute hitartha” or Dnyanmarga or Sankhyamarga. For the saints and people with higher conscience don’t see God in Idols. They are not idol worshippers. They connect with nirgun. The same vedic concepts when applied to commoners but with slightly more evolved consciousness to follow as Karmayog. These are idol worshippers. Finally to commoners who are not yet evolved there is a ritualistic religion, dictates and Bhaktimarg to follow. The basic and fundamental principle remains same. In the present age one can say that the philosophy espoused in veda’s is akin to the binary code in zeros and one in the computer. The concept of zeros and ones is surprisingly close to the concept of advait as explained in the Upanishads and Brahma sutras. Concepts of “Vasudhaiava Kutumbakam” is like assembly language of the computer and the rituals and religious dictates for commoners is like various applications as accessible to the common computer users. Such profound thinking was the basis of Hindu religion or more appropriately way of life. In fact there was never a mention that this way of life is called “Hindu” by our scriptures. We always believed in ‘this way of leading a life’. This ‘way of life’ is earlier to the concept of religion. It is no surprise then that in any of the sacred scriptures such as Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmhasutras or Gita – Hindu word has not mentioned. In fact for many years this word was not known to our people, only when invaders started calling us by this word we have started using it. That does not mean we were at fault for not naming our religion. The people had taken it as a way of life and there being no other invasions and no exposure to other religions of that time, there was no need felt to identify this ‘way of life’ by a name. At that time in history, there were no major religions developed. There were great civilizations – like Egyptians, Mangolians, Roman, Greek, Hispanic, etc there was no need to name any of these as separate religions. The concept of religion came much afterwards. Probably the great civilization living beyond Hindukush ranges or beyond Sindhu river was called as ‘Hindus’. The word Sapthasindhu has got a mention in Vedas, depicting the seven perennial rivers flowing that time including river Saraswati. In Persian language ‘Sa’ becomes ‘Ha’ and there is a thought that Sindhu therefore became as Hindu on normal linguistic corruption. Other wise our religion used to be called by names such as ‘Sanatan Dharma’, “Ishta Dharma” or “Vedic Dharma”. Now it can be argued that since this name has not been originated by us and given by others, whether it should be accepted or rejected. This can be debated till the cows come home without result. Rather than wasting time we should accept it and move forward. Like wise many would argue that rather than now harping upon Ram Janmabhomi, we must accept the Babri Masjid and move on. Yes there is merit in this thought. We should make peace with the History. By accepting the fait accompli with grace, we not only save on time and move forward but also save lot of blood letting and reduce animosity amongst two religions. For that matter this argument then should have been taken to more logical end by accepting the British rule in India and our freedom fighters should not have wasted their time in awakening the people of India against the British Raj. This was not done for two reasons. First reason is - A great nation should not suffer because of apathy or non awareness of the masses. The feeling of compromising the sovergnity of a nation is insulting. It must be understood that, no country with imperialistic intentions come to rule the other country for developing it. Britishers did not come to do social service here. East India Company was a Special Purpose Vehicle to achieve a well thought out plan. Primary reason to rule the country was to create more jobs for their people, to get loot from the country which is ruled and to make their nation more prosperous. If while doing all these, the ruled country achieves some progress, then it is a byproduct, it was just a means but never an end to the ruling country.



Part II – Curse of Ashwathama



All know the history that the great invader Mohammad Babur invaded India in the 15th century AD. It is a common knowledge to the basic student of History that there is ample evidence to show that all Muslim invaders and plunderers after the loot defaced Hindu temples and razed them to the ground. It is a basic tactic of any invader – in order to psychologically gain an upper hand on the invaded society, destroy the revered symbols so as to give the invaded society a psychological shock and leave them broken. It was always a practice of the conqueror, in order to prove its superiority the symbols of reverence were demolished and vanquished had to face this brunt. Even if our country was not united at that point of time, the various regions in this peninsula were bound by a common thread of ‘Hindu’ way of life. There were many attempts to unite the regions by various satraps at that time. The most successful being Chandragupta Maurya engineered by Chanakya. They were successful in cementing these vast regions of Bharatwarsh. The period was such that none of the great countries were united as they are now. Each country had its own period of clashes, wars and battles. Although historical boundaries were established, political boundaries of many countries were not established. India or Bharatwarsh had its historical boundaries established beyond doubt. Political boundaries were yet to get crystallized. The Bharatwarsh was manifested by the people leading similar way of life.



Even if for a while we believe that there was no temple existed at the place of Babri Masjid, the fact still remains that Babur was an invader who invaded this country in the year 15th century and to any true Indian this was a direct insult on their civilization, country and nationhood. It warrants same type of reaction from Indians as was meted out to the imperialistic Britishers leading to an end of the British rule. The ouster of Britishers was possible only because of concerted effort put in by the people of India. It was the direct result of assertion by Indian national will. In the case of invader Babur, this national will is missing. It is missing because of three reasons. First reason is that some Indians don’t know the history because of general apathy towards history – The fact that Babur was an invader, an outsider who invaded our land, our country and insulted our nationhood is just not known to many. Second reason is some of us - even though are well aware of history don’t want to consider Babur as an invader and therefore an outsider as then there will be no other option left but to give up the claim of the land as no Indian will support an invader and would want to have a tomb of the invader for the people to remember in the posterity. Therefore very conveniently they forget that Babur was from the same school of imperialistic invaders as Mohammad Ghori, Alexander (who faced a stiff resistance from Pauras and ultimately died on his way to Greece) or waves of Shak (around 100 BC), Hun (around 400 AD) and Kushans (around 50-100 AD) which came from the eastern frontiers of this land. After all Babur, is not our national heartthrobs like Ram, Krishna, Rahim or Kabir. The third reason is that the matter of faith is in the court of law. There is a dual between mythology and history. In India there are many historical facts which have become myths over a period of thousands of centuries as our ‘way of life’ is very old. There were no records of history kept in those times. History was never officially documented nor was there any necessity felt at that time. The history though which was never documented some how was kept alive from many folklores, many legends that got evolved over a period of time. The lines between the history and mythology have blurred. The epics Ramayana and Mahabharata were actually an earlier attempt in documenting the history in a different form. Ramayana and Mahabharata are the silken borders of our cultural fabric. These silk borders have made our fabric unique. The neo secularists have started cutting these silken borders and we are getting carried away. All this is being done only to be politically right. Only to be relevant politically and to get the votes.

Can anybody tell what good did Babur do for our country so that he should be remembered and revered by the way of the mosque which was any way built just to prove his imperialistic success at that time in the history over northern part of India.

What America would have done if it found out overnight that Osama Bin Laden has constructed his memorial at the erstwhile WTC site? Will it forget history and make peace with history and let it remain there? For the coming American generations to accept that Osama Bin Laden was a powerful personality who terrorized USA in 21st century or it would like to correct the insult inflicted upon by the terrorist called Osama Bin Laden? To make peace with history in such matters means to teach the coming generations to accept national insult mutely. To make them swallow their national pride. Tomorrow people would become disinterested and indifferent to the enemy incursions from our western or eastern boundaries. Where is the religion coming in here? This is something of national interest, a correction of nation for the insult inflicted upon it by some bigot. It is unfortunate that, Babur, a Bigot was a Muslim who inflicted an insult on our nation.

Making peace with history at the cost of swallowing national insult? At the cost of Teaching indifference and turning our Indians and citizens of India into mute spectators for any insult that may be heaped on us in future? We must understand that national pride is very expensive and it doesn’t come cheap. Here is the list of how this great country has already made peace with History.

- Bharatwarsh is witness to divisions from its historical boundaries in the form of Pakistan, Bangladesh, POK and Aksai Chin and various other incursions over the years because of complacency, indifferent attitude towards nationhood and political compulsions. We have made peace with History in accepting these incursions and divisions.



- Thousands of HINDU temples and worship places were destroyed and demolished during various invasions by the Muslim invaders. We the citizens of India have made peace with this fact and are keeping quiet to move forward. If Islamic bigotry could blast Bamyan Buddhas in the age of television in the 21st century, are we to believe that religiously inspired temple-destruction didn’t happen in medieval India?”

- Wakf board has 3rd largest land after Railways and Defense. We have made peace with it and accepted the fact.



- It is unfortunate that a prominent road in New Delhi is named after Aurangzeb, the most ruthless and cruel of the many ruthless and cruel Muslim rulers, oppressor and mass-murderer of Hindus. What are we as a nation doing about it? Majority citizens of this country have already made peace with history or are numb to the insults inflicted upon our nation.



Our country, India with the present political boundaries - is what is left after the divisions of Bharat. What is wrong then if we as citizens of India yearn for a national will to preserve and resurrect the historical symbols of faith and beliefs of this great country? If we don’t preserve and resurrect then nobody from outside is interested in preserving and resurrecting these symbols. What is wrong in having a strong desire to correct the illness and malaise of complacency which almost destroyed our Nationhood and ‘way of life’?



To punish ourselves for our extreme complacency, let the ‘remains’ at the disputed site remain in the shape as it is now. So that we Indians are always made to remember the cost of complacency when waves after waves of invasions and invaders after invaders like Mohammad Ghoris and Baburs were tearing our fabric, we did not give them a united fitting reply at that time and as a result we are faced with numerous problems. The manifestations of these problems are now staring at us in different forms, from Babri Masjid to large scale terrorism witnessed in every part of our country. From infiltration to Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The mind set of extreme and illogical tolerance has led to this situation. So to remind ourselves, let the site remain as it is like the unhealing wound on Ashwathama’s head due to a curse by Lord Krishna in Mahabharata – till the NATIONAL WILL awakes.















RASHTRARPAN



1 comment:

Sparrowhawk said...

wow, the research is astounding! very interesting read...