Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The suicidal route taken by "The Hindu" newspaper for more than a decade

"The Hindu" Newspaper and Anti Hindu writings !!

It was the year 2001 and I was not much versed in the teachings of the great scriptures of my desam. I was just doing my bit as another father of two,   a proud son to my parents  and a loving and concerned husband to my wife.

This article shook me. It appeared in the open page of the Hindu newspaper, which was my must read every morning (like lakhs of brahmins of that time). I thought it was good on the paper's part to put contrary opinion. Nevertheless, I wrote a rejoinder to the article. The Hindu never published it. It took me some more time to understand the machinations going on in the Hindu group and how the whole new management became anti India and Anti Hindu. I severed my twenty five year connection with the newspaper suddenly. I have successfully argued with hundreds of friends to stop patronizing this newspaper.

The article is here (click on the title)

Hindutva: the religious incongruity

My friends will be infuriated even now reading the nonsense that Debashis Chakrabarti wrote in that article. Believe me, it was 2001 and BJP was in power and newspapers were not known to spit falsity and venom on religious ideas. Yet, the Hindu did it. As I predicted, they continue doing it without the least regret.

By the way my friends might be interested to see what I wrote against that article. Though, it did not see the light during that period, internet is now helping me to share it. It is in immature language and the references are poor. But, I am posting out of an impulse somewhat blinded by nostalgia. 
The article “Hindutva: The religious incongruity” in the open page of The Hindu dated 6-2-1001 by Mr Debashis Chakraborty lacks substance from the heading onwards. His equating  Hinduism with Hindutva shows how poor his understanding is. Hindutwa is the reactionary voice of a self proclaimed tribe out to protect the religion or rather its symbols. Hinduism, if it is to be defined, can be largely called a collection of theisms with a common root.

The ancient thinkers or sages, through various routes of thinking realised the futility of materialistic pursuit and self enlightenment was the purpose of human life. This further led to their understanding of other schools of thinking. Armed with the knowledge that self realisation will answer man’s all questions about him, the world around and power behind both, they were clearly able to see the quest of other religions were also the same though the route taken was different. Even atheism was accepted as part of Hindu thinking. The nobel laurate and Astro- physicist, Prof Chandrasekar called himself as a Hindu athiest.  If Mr Chakraborty calls this colossal discovery “ the truth is one, sages call it in different names” as a political statement, even a lay Hindu will smile at his ignorance. Even politics needs philosophies, and hence it has hijacked this theory. It is  this grand discovery from where one of the world’s most inclusivist culture was born.

The author quotes conveniently from many scriptures which support his incongruity theory and, that too, in part. The author’s singling out of a statement from Brighu that matter is ultimate as without first reading all the text is nothing short of a mischief. He conveniently forgot to mention that Brighu was a full blown sage who renounced marerial object( read matter) and also a devout bhaktha as the Hindu knows from other literature. From Krishna to Shri Ramana of recent times have explained that matter lies in thought form only in human consciousness and  subject to the law of change and that self realisation is possible only when man is free of all bondages (which are his thoughts). Can there be anything apart from truth that matter is ultimate ?

After terming the religion as incongruous, he takes the opinions of its   ‘scholars’  about what they think of the vedas and upanishads without, at  any time talking about the Gita for the fear that all his innocent questions had answers there. Krishna ridicules the institunalisation of religion ( read spiritual pursuit) and cautions that the saguna upasana or symbolic prayer is for the uninitiated and that prayer for prayer’s sake, gathering knowledge for knowledge’s sake in short work or Karma for its own sake will lead man to self realisation. In this process, he criticises exploiting people in the name of the vedas. But he stresses the importances of a symbol for a starter. Even the sage Thiruvalluvar says ‘ catch Him with no bondage- for there is your liberation from Bondage’. So much so for the necessity of symbols. From this only flowed the ishta devata concept which let every man choose his own symbol or God. The single most failure of the author has been a gross misunderstanding of this and which the christian missionaries labelled as paganism.

In another sweeping statement, he terms Christianity, Buddhism and islam as the three great religions of the world. Without any prejudice to those three, a religion, on whose name not a single war has been waged, the oldest in age but an ever evolving religion whose base neither the sword of the moghuls nor the tyranny of the trader-ruler-missionary network of the Christians and which integrated Buddhism into its own- deserves to be at the top

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What is 'Jaya' in the Itihasa Mahabharatam ?

I recently finished reading Amish Tripathi's Shiva Trilogy. He has been of good service to the cause of re-establishing the greatness of Bharat and its culture.

At the fag end of his third book, The Oath of the Vayuputras, he has hinted that he is going to write on the Mahabharatam. I think it will be a sort of retelling the entire story. Good intentions on his part and wish him the best. But he has thrown another hint , that the Mahabharata was originally named as 'Jaya' and that further it was changed to its present name.

We need to be assertive when such immature claims are made. I believe , Amish will not prove another of those cut and paste kind of historical and maythological fiction writers.

All my readers will be eager to know what, then, does  the word 'Jaya' mean. Read on.

Katapayadi Sankhya and the number coding in Samskrita language: 

The word 'Jaya' finds mention in the very first sloka of Mahbharata

naaraayaNam namaskrutya naram chaiva narOththamam |
deveem saraswatim vyaasam tathO jaya mudheerayet  ||

The meaning of this sloka is this " After prostrating (before) NarayaNa , the best among men, and Saraswati and Vyasa , I narrate this story of "Jaya".

This "Jaya" should not directly translated as vicory. In Mahabharata , there are no true victors. The whole epic is not alone about the great war. It is an amazing collection of numerous stories, chronicles, philosophies, life styles stitched into a befitting canvas. So, for finding the meaning of Jaya, we should look elsewhere.

All through the ages Samskritam continued to be a dominating language in Spirituality(aathmeeka) , Religion(Dharmika) , Ganitham (mathematics) Pure Sciences (vigyaanika) , technology, Medicine(Ayurvedika) , Astronomy (Jyotisha), and Music (sangeeta)  fields .

In Jyotisha and other fields , a kind of coding was developed for each akshara (letter) in Samskritam languagae. By this arrangement, each akshara was assigned a number in the 0 to 9 range. The arrangement goes thus

kaadi nava-
taadi nava
padi pancha
yadi ashta


S a

The way of calculating of a code as per the Katapayadi sankhya is also a bit peculiar. First the two starting numbers belonging to each letter of a given word should be found out and written down. Then they are reversed. The reversed number is the equivalent code.

Applying this rule to Jaya, we get  8 for Ja and 1 for ya. They constitute the number 81. Reversing, we get the number 18.

It is this number that Vyasa is stressing to have a connection with his epic. How ?

1. Mahabharatam has eighteen Kandams.
2. The great Mahabharatam war lasted 18 days
3. There were 18 akshouhini of soldiers and animals that participated in the war.
4. In the Bhagavad gita also there are eighteen chapters

This is the reason why Vyasa symbolically referred his itihasa as "Jaya". But its name is Mahabharatam only. Our writers should take note of this and write accordingly and avoid confusion among our new generation