The Land of Karma
KARMA IN ACTION – BEIJING WILL TASTE THE FRUITS OF HER OWN ACTIONS
As per my Theory of Karma, the Biblical prophecy of Isaiah will come true. In my analysis, Beijing’s Doom is inevitable. Beijing cannot ward off the ruin, the disaster, the calamity, the catastrophe that shall come upon her as she reaps the fruits of her own evil actions.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Tibet gets a warmer reception as the world wakes to Beijing’s methods
11 December 2018 — 12:05am
The leader of Tibet’s government-in-exile has been telling his story about Bob Carr around the world for years and always gets a laugh. Last week he recounted it during a visit to Parliament House in Canberra.
Ever since the Dalai Lama split his job into two some years ago, remaining spiritual leader of the Tibetans in exile and handing over the political leadership to be elected from among the free Tibetans, Lobsang Sangay has been their President.
Lobsang Sangay, President of the Tibetan government-in-exile, right, smiles as he listens to the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. Credit: AP
In 2013 Sangay visited Canberra and a reporter asked him whether Carr, Australia’s then foreign affairs minister, would be meeting him. It’s always a delicate matter.
A government that meets the Dalai Lama or Sangay risks the wrath of the Chinese Communist Party, which has claimed to be the sole representative of the Tibetan people ever since its army invaded Tibet in 1950.
“I said I’d love to, but I haven’t asked for a meeting”, not wanting to put Carr in a difficult position, he recalled last week. “I’m sure that, given the choice, Bob Carr would like to meet because that’s the Buddhist culture – we like to believe people are good.”
Later in his visit, the Tibetan leader was riding the lift from Parliament’s subterranean carpark into the building when the lift stopped. “The doors open and Bob Carr walks in,” the Harvard-educated legal scholar tells me. The Labor backbencher Michael Danby, Sangay’s escort for the visit, introduced the two men in the lift: “I had to decide at that moment whether to extend my hand or not. The Tibetan way is to not cause inconvenience, so I nodded and smiled. He kind of nodded – a little bit – then walked past.
“I like to say that we didn’t have a formal meeting but we had a karmic meeting. No matter how powerful the Chinese government may be, it can’t prevent the foreign minister of Australia from meeting me.”
Illustration: Dionne Gain Credit:
Perhaps, but the Chinese Communist Party has certainly managed to hold things up successfully. Paul Keating as prime minister met the Dalai Lama in 1992. John Howard as prime minister met him in 1996 and 2007.
The last time that any Australian prime minister or government minister met either leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile was when Peter Garrett, then School’s education minister in the Gillard government, met the Dalai Lama in private in his hotel room in 2011. Karmic meetings with Carr aside.
Carr is now a cheerleader for the Beijing government as head of the Australia-China Relations Institute.
Illustration: Andrew Dyson Credit:
So, for seven years Australian governments, Labor and Liberal, comprehensively shunned the Tibetans, an indicator of the rising power of the Chinese government to intimidate Australia.
Until last week. A minister in the Morrison government, Ken Wyatt, Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, met Sangay in Parliament House. Not in a lift or in secret or hidden away in a hotel room but during a public ceremony in the main committee room.
“Minister Wyatt is not just principled and brave” for meeting the President of the free Tibetans, “but also a genuinely nice human being”, Sangay tells me after the meeting. “Normally people will meet you when they’re not in government and then when they are in government they say, ‘Understand that I’m in a difficult position’.”
Partly this was a personal commitment from Wyatt to the Tibetan cause. Wyatt, the first Indigenous minister in an Australian federal government, spoke at the ceremony last week of the “parallels between indigenous Australians and the Tibetans”.
But it’s also a marker of Australian relations with the Tibetans in exile and a marker in Australian relations with Beijing. Kyinzom Dhongdue is a member of the Tibetan parliament in exile, representing Tibetans in Australasia and East Asia, and she observes: “Even in the last year or so there’s a more balanced view of China not just as a trading partner but China is being seen as a threat, so Tibetan worries and experience are feeling more relevant. This year I’ve found it easier to get meetings – people are more interested in what we have to say.”
And it wasn’t just Wyatt at the ceremony with Sangay in Parliament House. There were 23 MPs and senators in total including Labor’s Michael Danby and Lisa Singh, Liberals Warren Entsch, Kevin Andrews, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Jason Falinski, Greens leader Richard Di Natale, Nationals MP George Christensen, Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick plus Derryn Hinch, as well as former Labor foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans, now chancellor of ANU.
And how is the Tibetan experience more relevant today? The emerging stories of the shocking mass repression of another of China’s ethnic and religious minorities, the Uighur people of China’s Xinjiang Province, “means that it’s more than about one example”, says Sangay.
Uighur residents in Australia holding up photos of relatives who are missing, in internment camps or have passed away. Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
“Now we have a million people in detention in Xinjiang” in what Beijing calls re-education camps. Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer calls them “concentration camps” where Uighurs, including young children, are imprisoned without due process and held indefinitely.
And then there’s Beijing’s enormous One Belt, One Road international infrastructure program. “We lost our country because of one road,” says Sangay. “First the road came, then the trucks came, then the guns came, then the tanks came. It’s the exact blueprint” for domination now on offer to scores of countries under Belt and Road, he says.
Finally, there’s the experience of what Sangay calls “elite co-option”. “We have seen this for 60 years and now you see it around the world in one country after another”, and he has a litany of examples. Money, contracts, government access, favors are on offer in return for loyalty to Beijing and its agents.
If Tibet’s long-suffering under Chinese Communist Party repression is more relevant to the wider world, the wider world is also waking up to Beijing’s wide-ranging influence programs. The West’s gathering determination to exclude China’s telecoms gear manufacturer Huawei is an example. And Australia’s laws against foreign interference are another.
Those laws took effect on Monday. Anyone in Australia acting as an agent of a foreign power must register with the federal government. If suspected foreign agents fail to register, they can be issued a notice to show cause why they shouldn’t be considered to be working on behalf of a foreign power.
Do more karmic encounters lie ahead?
Peter Hartcher is the Herald’s international editor.
Peter Hartcher is the political editor and international editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. He is a Gold Walkley award winner, a former foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Washington, and a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.
MISSING IN ACTION – INDIAN PRISONERS OF WAR SEE LIGHT AT THE END OF TUNNEL
Special Frontier Force initiated Liberation of Bangladesh with military action in Chittagong Hill Tracts during November – December 1971. Indian Army’s victory in East Pakistan during the brief 1971 War has come with a sense of pain for India has failed to account for Service Personnel Missing In Action. Pakistan is still holding 54 Indian Prisoners of 1971 War and has not formally announced their existence in captivity. I am rejoiced to hear about efforts launched by human rights activists to bring these prisoners back home. May God Speed their efforts and bless them for standing up to defend dignity and rights of Indian Prisoners who have already endured 45 years in prisons away from their loved ones.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
The Spirits of Special Frontier Force
After 45 years in Pakistan, India’s ‘Missing 54’ POWs Could Be Coming Home
A 21 hrs ago
A Pakistani flag flies on a mast as paramilitary Frontier Corps soldiers talk while guarding at Karachi District Malir Prison, August 23, 2013.
© Akhtar Soomro/Reuters A
Pakistani flag flies on a mast as paramilitary Frontier Corps soldiers talk while guarding at Karachi’s District Malir prison, August 23, 2013.
Nila Gosh was just eight months old at the time, but her mother has recounted this story many times. There Nila’s father was—hands clutched around the bars of a prison cell, the smart cuffs of his military jacket replaced with a rough sweater, his moustache still neatly trimmed—staring out from a grainy black and white photograph in Time magazine.
The official story was that Major Arskok Gosh had been killed during fierce fighting the year before. Yet there he was, behind bars in a Pakistani prison, and alive.
Time was reporting on the messy end of a bloody 14-day conflict between Pakistan and India; a military disaster for the Pakistani state which saw Eastern Pakistan, later to become an independent Bangladesh, entirely lost.
A clutch of Indian military personnel was captured during the hostilities. The bulk was swiftly released. Yet the so-called “Missing 54,” Major Gosh among them, have never been set free. That war ended in 1971, and the 54 captured Indians—whose existence is still denied by the Pakistani authorities, whom the Indian government seems in no hurry to recover, and whose families still hope will return—are still missing.
Earlier this week, to try to break this decades-long deadlock, two British human rights lawyers, Jas Uppal and Christopher Wing, flew to Delhi to begin legal proceedings on behalf of the families at the Indian Supreme Court. They will argue that the dispute should be taken out of both Indian and Pakistani government hands and passed to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for arbitration. Both India and Pakistan recognise the jurisdiction of that Court, which is backed by the United Nations Security Council.
“The Indian authorities have prevaricated for over four decades and failed to raise the matter at an international level,” argues Uppal, a British Indian of Punjabi origin. “These families have been living in purgatory for 45 years.”
After the war, the exchange of each sides’ prisoners-of-war became a bitter and highly politicised dispute. Ninety thousand captured Pakistani troops represented a third of the country’s ground forces and paramilitary groups, and were only handed back after Pakistan was forced to sign a humiliating peace agreement.
“India was just so happy with the victory, maybe they were overlooked?” Major Gosh’s daughter Nila observes, “And if they were released now it would be a huge embarrassment for both countries.”
Though Islamabad won’t admit Pakistan holds the missing men, Pakistani state radio stations have on several occasions during and since the war alluded to their existence – broadcasting across the border into India. One such case was Wing Commander Hersern Singh Gill, a fighter pilot whose Mig-21 was shot down over Pakistani territory on 13 December 1971. That same day, the Pakistani military bragged it had captured an “ace Indian pilot”.
Some of the families have been tracked down by former inmates in Pakistani prisons, saying they had spent time with the missing men while inside. Like the photo of Major Gosh turning up in Time, a photo of another missing soldier—Captain Ravinder Kaura—made its way to India, and was published by a local paper in 1972. One family even received a note directly from their missing loved one, smuggled out by a released detainee.
More worryingly, British historian Victoria Schoffield wrote in her book Bhutto – Trial and Execution, that prisoners in a Pakistani jail had heard men being tortured, men they believed to be The Missing 54.
“Their screams and shrieks in the dead of night are something I will not forget,” reads a chilling testimonial. Still, with no formal confirmation from the Pakistani government, decades of not knowing has taken its toll on the families.
“He was so patriotic,” Captain Kaura’s sister says, handing me a framed photo of her brother, handsome and resplendent in uniform, as we sit in her home in north London. The last time she saw him was when he dropped her off at the airport for a flight to the United Kingdom, where she was to marry. “He had already done two tours,” she says, “he insisted on doing a third, he shouldn’t have gone.” Mrs Kaur doesn’t hesitate for a second when I ask if she thinks her brother is still alive—”Of course!”
Yet earlier, when we arranged to meet on the phone, she had broken down in tears. In the four and a half decades her brother has been missing, Mrs Kaur saw her father go blind, then die with his wife in 1982. Her other brother died two years later, in ethnic violence which gripped northern India. Mrs Kaur herself is wheelchair bound, after a car accident. She tells me that when, not if, her brother returns, she will buy him a house in India so he can retire. “I could bring him to the UK, but he fought for India,” she explains.
The families complain the Indian government has not done enough. Eight years after the conflict ended, authorities finally published a list of 40 missing personnel, admitting the men could be being held by the Pakistanis. A further 14 were later added to the list. While Pakistan is probably holding them to make a point or as political leverage, Delhi are not keen to rock an uneasy relationship with its counterparts in Islamabad—with frequent border skirmishes still flaring up.
A formal commission was formed to investigate the cases in 2008, but took four years to even interview the families of the missing. Since then the commission has been unenthusiastic and ineffective. Direct approaches to various senior Army and Air Force personnel by the families have been met with indifference.
“Evidence shows these men were last in the custody of Pakistan. Their government must be held to account too,” adds lawyer Uppal. A date for the final decision by the Supreme Court in Delhi has yet to be set.
SPIRITUALISM – SAFETY AND SECURITY OF WOMEN:
Honorable Justice. Verma,
I appreciate your concern for the safety and security of women and for inviting people to send suggestions to improve the criminal laws and punishment guidelines for criminal sexual misconduct. However, it may be noted that you are not given the mandate to find solutions to prevent such criminal behavior. It must be said that we live in a democratic society where all citizens enjoy the same freedoms, and Government may try but, will not succeed to protect the citizens from the actions of other citizens at all times. At a fundamental level, I recommend the need for promoting spiritual relationships among people based upon shared thoughts, and feelings. The knowledge of man’s status as a spiritual being would prevent crimes against women.
The violence against women or persons of female gender is a problem and criminal sexual conduct is a part of this larger problem. The problem is not because of inadequacy of existing Laws. We have laws to protect women and people are disobeying the law and may totally escape from the consequences of the law. We need improvements in our procedures to make it easy to report the crime, and further protect the victim from any threat of retaliation for reporting the crime. I would like to offer a few suggestions to improve the manner in which we process the crimes against women.
1.Creation of an Emergency Number to report the crime. A mobile response team, which must include a female police officer, must track the phone call and contact the victim at her location using unmarked vehicle and in plain clothes to protect the victim. The mobile response team must prepare the First Information Report and immediately take the victim for collection of forensic evidence and medical attention as needed. The victim must be provided psychological counselling, and social support such as safe housing( if the victim seeks such assistance) while the crime is under investigation. At all times, the identity of the victim must be fully protected and the police criminal investigation must be kept confidential and information is released only if the victim gives consent to sharing of such information. The revelation of a crime may do more harm to a woman’s psyche than the fact of the crime.
2. Family Friendly Court System: Women would be very reluctant to appear in Public Courts where they get unnecessary public exposure and unwanted attention to their personal, or private problems. We need special, family friendly courts which process these sexual crimes to safeguard the rights of the victim to maintain her privacy.
3. Penalties for Sexual Misconduct: The Sentencing guidelines must include financial consequences for the criminal conduct. The financial assets of the criminal/s must be fully attached by the Court of Law to provide monetary compensation to the victim, to pay towards the costs of investigation, prosecution, and punishment like the costs of imprisonment. The Criminal Records must be made available to the Public in an open registry, and it must be mandatory to disclose the fact of conviction if the offender seeks employment or any kind of public assistance. The criminal must not be allowed future access to the victim, and victim may exercise the right to exclude the offender from her immediate presence like place of residence or occupation.
Rudra N Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Personal Numbers:MS-8466/MR-03277K. Rank:Lieutenant/Captain/Major.
Branch:Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission(1969-1972); Direct Permanent Commission(1973-1984).
Unit:Establishment No.22(1971-1974)/South Column,Operation Eagle(1971-1972).
Organization: Special Frontier Force.
NOTE: I regret to read about the manner in which public protests were handled by the government/police authorities.
- Delhi victim should have meekly submitted to gang rape: Woman scientist (learningtobreathefire.wordpress.com)
- Rape, Rage and Revolution (urbansanyaasi.wordpress.com)
- Delhi Gang-Rape Victim Suffers Brain Damage, Surviving Against The Odds: Singapore Hospital (ibtimes.com)
- India’s Singh Vows Justice as Rape Victim Taken to Singapore (bloomberg.com)
- Protesters demand fast-tracking of trial in rape cases (thehindu.com)
SPIRITUALISM – THE TRUTH ABOUT HUMAN SOUL OR SPIRIT :
Truth is the quality of being in accordance with experience, and verified facts. Truth or Reality can be established by using a reasoning process called verification and validation. To verify or refute a theoretical claim, we need to clarify statements by demonstrating relation between the theoretical claim and the observational evidence. Such a reasoning process could be applied in two manners; 1. The Coherence Theory of Truth, and 2. The Correspondence Theory of Truth. According to the Coherence Theory of Truth, the standard of Truth is the logical consistency of a proposition with a large system of propositions. According to the Correspondence Theory of Truth, Truth is viewed as a relation between an idea or proposition and its object. To verify Truth or Reality, the Subject and Object of an idea or proposition must have a relationship. Truth when applied to statements or ideas is related to the validity of what we mean and hence it requires correspondence between thought and external reality. It is true that man has the biological ability and capacity called ‘imagination’, but man may not have the ability and capacity to translate the act and power of imagination into actuality, an external experience that could be observed by others. In my imagination, I can seek the existence of an all blissful entity called ‘SHIVA’ while in actuality, I exist in the physical world as a fragile, mortal being. Religion, Philosophy, and Science may represent three distinct fields of learning about Truth and Reality. Scientific knowledge not only provides the knowledge that something is true, but it also provides the reason why it is true. Religion, and Philosophy could use different methods to study Truth and Reality, but the ideas they share require verification, corroboration, and validation. In the study of man, the know-er and the known are one. Man is the observer and the observed fact is that of man’s nature. If man has to know the truth about his self, man has to understand the truth and reliability of his own cognitive powers. If the Subject called man is identified as an Object called Soul, or Spirit, the Truth or Reality of Soul, or Spirit involves a structural/functional relationship between the Subject and its Object.
ADI SHANKARA’S NIRVANA SHATAKAM OR ATMA SHATAKAM :
Adi Shankara ( c. 788 – c. 820 A.D. ), the founder of the Non-Dualist or ‘ADVAITA’ School of Indian Philosophy called ‘VEDANTA’ has shared his ideas about human Soul, or Spirit or ‘ATMA’ or ‘ATMAN’ in Indian Sanskrit language. In six short poems popularly known as ‘Nirvana Shatakam’, or ‘Atma Shatakam’, he has presented his mental concepts about human Soul, or Spirit which he called “AHAM”(Subject ‘A’) . Adi Shankara is primarily concerned about establishing the perfect Identity between this Subject ‘A’ and its Object called “CHIDANANDA SHIVAM(Object ‘C’). However, Adi Shankara makes no attempt in his propositions to establish the basis for this Identity between the Subject ‘A’ and its Object ‘C’. Adi Shankara is proposing that the Subject ‘A’ or ‘AHAM’ has no structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship with its human body or ‘B’. In his view, the human soul or spirit is not involved, and is not concerned with the existence of human body in which the soul or spirit is thought to be residing. In an effort to establish the school of thought called “ADVAITA” or Non-Dualism, he systematically separates the human body from its human soul. Adi Shankara has further extended this proposition to claim that the Subject ‘A’ is the same as the Object ‘C’ and the reason he has given is that of a lack of relationship between Subject ‘A’ and the human body ‘B’. Since, ‘A’ is not the same as ‘B’, ‘A’ is not equal to ‘B’. And, therefore, Adi Shankara claims that ‘A’ is the same as ‘C’ or ‘A’ is equal to ‘C’. He has not stated that there is or there could be a structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship between ‘A’ and ‘C’. If such relationship exists between ‘A’ and ‘C’, Adi Shankara has not presented any observational evidence in support of his claim that states ‘A’ = ‘C’. Let us briefly review the six verses. Kindly note that the verses are composed in Indian Sanskrit language and there are several minor variations in the words that are attributed to Adi Shankara. The word ‘NIRVANA’ means ‘MUKTI’ or Release( the release of the conditioned human soul ), death, Sunset, and conclusion of an event( such as the end of Life ). I must clarify that ‘death’ may not be viewed as a static, or final event. Death is a dynamic event like Life which is characterized by changes like growth and development and various stages like infancy, youth, man, and old age. Just like Sunset which is followed by Sunrise, the event called death is followed by regeneration, renewal, and rebirth. Living organisms arrive with a plan for their own dissolution and such organic decay and decomposition is influenced by the cyclical flow of Time.
MAN IS A PHYSICAL, MORTAL BEING, A CREATED BEING WITH A LIVING SOUL:
Adi Shankara excludes the four mental functions known as Ma-nah( the seat of thoughts and imagination, the chief sense organ called Mind), Buddhi(the seat of intellect and knowledge), Chitta(the seat of emotions such as compassion, affection, and devotion), and Ahankara(the seat of ego, self-pride, the sense of pride that is associated with the recognition of ‘SELF’ or ‘I’ as existing or living) as the basis of his true Identity or Essence(What you are). These four aspects of mental activities are described in Indian tradition as “ANTAH KARANAM” or ‘MANO CHATUSHTAYAM”. The human nature which is known as “CHITTA” or “HRUDAYA”, “KARUNA”, or “DAYA” and “BHAKTI” is recognized as Compassion, Kindness, and Devotion; the mental qualities that are needed for formulating Spiritual relationships both within the Individual and between Individuals. Adi Shankara gives no reason for this separation of human nature from its human Soul. Similarly, he excludes the five organs of Sense Perception( often described as “JNANA INDRIYAS”, the organs that provide sensory information and sensory experience ) such as ears, tongue, nose, eyes, and skin and the Five Primordial Elements described in Indian tradition as ‘Pancha Maha Bhutas’ such as Sky, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water. He thinks that they are not truly related to his True Identity and Essence. He is specifically excluding all known material substances, material structures and forces that operate in the natural world in the description of his True Identity. In my view, I consider that man comes into existence as a newly created object, one of its own kind, original, and distinctive who could always be identified as a specific individual. I claim that man is a created being and man has no choice other than that of existing as an Individual with Individuality. The physical form, the morphological appearance of man always makes him unique and it has to be explained and accounted for. I suggest that human Soul is the internal reality; and Soul is the basis for human Individuality and the Soul is the unchanging principle that allows man to exist with changing external forms with specific physical attributes.
MAN IS DEFINED BY HIS STRUCTURE, FUNCTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR :
In this verse Adi Shankara gives a very detailed description of various tissues of human body and describes all the vital functions and states that the Subject ‘A’ or “AHAM” has no structural or functional relationship with human anatomy and physiology. The term “PRAANA” refers to the vital life-energy and is generally used to describe the chief characteristic to make the fundamental distinction between living and non-living; the important sign of life is the act of breathing or respiration.The term “PANCH VAAYU” refers to, 1. Vyaana – the air that is spread in the entire extent of the human body; 2. Samaana – the air that is in the navel region; it could be the air that is swallowed during acts of eating and drinking and may refer to the intestinal gas; 3. Udaana – the air that is in the throat/neck region; this narrow airway is vital for the respiratory function; 4. Apaana – the air that travels downwards and outwards; it could mean the air expelled from the body as flatus or exhaled air from the lungs; and 5. Praana – the inspired air; air that is in the heart, the chief organ of Cardiovascular System that circulates Oxygen throughout human body. The term “SAPTA DHATU” refers to the seven material essences such as the skin, muscle/tendons/nerves, blood, bones, bone marrow, brain( neural tissue ), and “RASA” which describes fluids like semen and lymph. The term “PANCH KOSHA” refers to the traditional view about the structure of Soul. It is believed that the Soul has five coverings or envelopes and each layer establishes human existence and these are called as the five stages of Self-Realization; 1. Anna maya( related to Nutrition ), 2. Praana maya( related to vital functions like Respiration ), 3. Jnana maya( relates to implantation of Innate Knowledge and Consciousness ), 4. Vijnana maya( relates to the ability to make a distinction between human body or Self and Soul as the Knowing-Self ), and 5. Ananda maya( relates to the experience of Bliss, the experience of Peace, Harmony, Tranquility, and Equilibrium as a Living Experience ) ; these are the five aspects of Self-Realization and refer to complete fulfillment or development of man. I have discussed these five aspects in my blog post:
Adi Shankara also refers to the five organs of action that are described in Indian tradition as “KARMA INDRIYAS” which are the five instruments of Speech(VAAK), Hand-Grip and Manipulation(PAANI), Locomotion( PAADA), Procreation(UPASTHA) and Excretion(PAAYU). Adi Shankara has not bothered to state as to how these different organs and organ systems could function together to support the existence of the human person who lives because of those varied living functions. Life is nothing but to function and in my view, the human Soul is the central element that generates the structural and functional coordination that is required for human existence.
MAN IS A MENTAL BEING, AN EMOTIONAL BEING, AND A MORAL BEING:
Adi Shankara correctly claims that the human Soul may not contribute to human feelings, and thoughts associated with hatred, sexual passion, greed, arrogance, and envy or jealousy. At the same time, he rejects the traditional Indian view about man’s purpose in Life; the purpose of Right Action or “DHARMA”, the purpose called earning money or material wealth to support Life or “ARTHA”, the purpose of Procreation or “KAMA”, and the purpose called God-Realization, Liberation, or “MOKSHA”. In other words, Adi Shankara is suggesting that human life and human existence may have no underlying purpose. He is also not giving any coping mechanism to deal with the problems associated with human emotional experiences like passionate desires. Indian tradition consistently recommends that man can exercise self-control as the human Soul is superior to human mind, human intellect, and human sense organs. If human body has no structural or functional affiliation with its human Soul, it will not be likely that man can exercise self-restraint and self-control. In my view, man, the Mental Being can establish himself as a Moral Being using the discerning ability to make the distinction between right and wrong, and distinguish good from evil by knowing the existence of the Knowing-Self or the Soul.
MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING :
Adi Shankara is describing that he has no sense of attachment to the consequences of his actions either good(“PUNYA”) or bad(“PAAPA”). He is recommending that man need not perform temple worship, and there is no need to observe religious rituals, sacrifice, and perform acts of pilgrimage. He is rejecting the desire to seek pleasure and comfort(“SAUKHYAM”) and he may not be able to totally avoid the pain, misery, and the experience of suffering(“DUKHAM”). He specifically undermined the role of food and its five functions in support of human existence. The problem is that of the nature of human existence. In my view, man at any given age, in any given condition, under all given circumstances including good health or ill-health depends upon the Power/Energy/Force called MERCY/GRACE/COMPASSION. Man is not in control of his own existence. Man needs a guiding, and controlling force called the Divine Providence. In my opinion, the human Soul operates as the Connection between man and the Divine Providence that supports, sustains, and preserves human existence irrespective of man’s experience of pain or pleasure. Man has no choice other than that of seeking Mercy, Grace, and Compassion that is called “KRUPA” in Sanskrit language.
MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING :
Adi Shankara very boldly asserts that he is without a trace of doubt(“SHANKAA”) and further adds that the Soul that he calls “AHAM” has no Father, or Mother. Indian tradition calls Father(“PITAA”) as the originating principle, and Mother(“MAATAA) as the sustaining principle. In my view, the human Soul comes into existence(“JANMA”) because of the Supreme Will or the Supreme Soul which is the Prime Cause, the Cause of all types of things and all kinds of Existence. The human Soul is conditioned and is not totally independent and hence, the human soul still needs a Divine Mother Principle to maintain its Spiritual Condition and Spiritual Existence.
MAN IS A CONDITIONED SOUL :
In this final or sixth verse, Adi Shankara tries to eliminate the classical dualism that is called the dualism of Universal-Particular. He claims that his human Soul or “AHAM” is universal entity that is limitless, formless(“NIRAAKAARA”) and is without any attributes or attachments(“BANDHAH”). In his view, the human Soul is essentially free; it is everything, everywhere, every time and is always in a state of equilibrium. He has stated this view without a trace of doubt(“NIRVI KALPA”). I would like to suggest some caution and ask my readers to recognize the importance of separation between the human soul and the Ultimate Reality. I can understand that there is no disunity between man and his Creator. I would ask my readers to know the philosophical system of thought called ‘NOMINALISM’ that does not grant universality to mental concepts outside the mind. Universality could be applied only to words or “nomina”, mental habits, or concepts. Nominalism only maintains the objective existence of the concrete, individual thing. It denies all objectivity whether actual or potential to universals. The human soul is attached to the human being and the human being has his existence on planet Earth and hence is not an universal entity. Since the human condition demands existence only on planet Earth and not the rest of the universe, the human Soul cannot escape from its conditioned status while it exists as a human Soul. The Universal Soul as proposed by Adi Shankara is just a mental concept and it can only exist in the mind of the man and it may have no correspondence with the facts of external world and the Universe.
WHAT IS TRUTH, WHAT IS ILLUSION???
Adi Shankara is fully convinced in his belief that ‘A’ and the human body ‘B’ are not connected or related. It must be noted that, ‘A’ or “AHAM” refers to a singular person called ‘I’ and that singular person ‘I’ is in a state called ‘Being’, one who lives, or exists. If ‘A’ is stated to be existing, I would like to ask the following questions:
1. Who is Existing?
2. What is Existing?
3. When it is Existing?
4. Where it is Existing?
5. Why it is Existing?
If the Subject ‘A’, or “AHAM”( I AM ), has no size, no shape, and no form, how could we establish the fact that ‘A’ is existing? Adi Shankara has not categorically stated the place or site where ‘A’ could be existing. If ‘A’ is existing, we may like to know the purpose of this existence. If there is a purpose for the existence of ‘A’, the question would be, What is that purpose? How is the nature of ‘A’ or the nature of ‘C’ is related to its purpose? The Truth and Reality about human Soul, or Spirit can be verified, can be corroborated, and can be validated by knowing the structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship, partnership, connection, association, or bonding between ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’. Indian tradition suggests that human body has three aspects; “Tri-ani-pada”, or three-in-one; and the three aspects of human body are, 1. Causal, 2. Spiritual, and 3. Material. There is a material connection between ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’, if the human body has a ‘causal, and a ‘spiritual’ dimension. It would be very interesting to note that Adi Shankara has specifically avoided to describe the connection or relationship between the human Soul and human Consciousness. In Sanskrit language, Consciousness is called “CHETANA” and this term is not used in any of the six verses. Indian tradition believes that consciousness is the evidence for the presence of the human Soul and there is a structural and functional relationship between Soul and the Living Entity that is Conscious. We need to explain the concepts of Subject-Object, Appearance-Reality, Perceptual-Categorical, Immanent-Transcendent, Regulative-Constitutive, Conditioned-Unconditioned Dualism in respect of man’s existence and man’s status in Nature. In the context of human existence, the human Soul, or Spirit belongs to the Immanent Realm.
Rudra N . Rebbapragada, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.
Biographical Information :
1. Place of Birth: Mylapore, Madras City, Chenna Patnam, Chennai, Madras State, Tamil Nadu, India. Born Hindu( Brahmin, Niyogi, Smartha), Telugu-Speaking.
2. Date and Place of Marriage: January 29, 1973. Congregational Town Church, Cuddapah, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Please view this melodious presentation of Adi Shankaracharya’s Nirvana Shatakam or Atma Shatakam at http://www.Youtube.com site:
SPIRITUALISM – NATIONALISM – THE LAND OF INDIA :
ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE IN THE LAND OF INDIA :
Today, on August 15, 2012, people of India also known as ‘BHARAT’ are celebrating the 66th Independence Day in commemoration of 65 Years of Independence. In this context, we have to examine the relationship between Spiritualism and Nationalism. In the ancient Land of India, human beings have lived continuously for thousands of years. But, it was a Land divided into several hundreds of small and large kingdoms until Indian people joined together in a Nationalist Movement to win their Freedom from foreign rule and occupation. Indians won this Freedom on August 15, 1947 when Great Britain ceased its occupation of India.
WHAT IS NATIONALISM ?
Nationalism is the state of mind in which the individual feels that everyone owes his supreme loyalty to the Nation-State. Nationalism is a modern movement and it belongs to the modern world. Before the 18th century, people gave their loyalty to their communities, tribes, feudal lords, princes, or religious groups. The historical sense of attachment to the native soil, to social and cultural traditions, and to established territorial authorities has changed by the end of the 18th century when Nationalism began molding public and private life. Since then, Nationalism has become an important factor of modern history. The American Revolutionary Wars(1775-1783), and the French Revolution(1789) could be regarded as the first manifestations of Nationalism. It led to the formation of modern National States in Europe. The 19th century has been called the Age of Nationalism in Europe. The World War I, and World War II resulted in the spread of Nationalism in Asia and Africa and has manifested itself as a struggle against European Colonialism. Nationalism began to appear in India after World War I. Indian National Congress founded in 1885 began a new political process in the private and public lives of Indian people. It had produced leaders such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi(1869-1948) who had joined the Nationalist Movement for Indian Independence during 1915. The people of India started replacing the king as the center of the Nation. The State had become the people’s State, a National State, and a Motherland. Nationalism is not a political program or ideology; it is a perspective on such programs or ideology. Nationalism can be described as a sentiment that places the existence and well-being of the Nation highest in the scale of personal loyalties. In political terms, it signifies a person’s willingness to work for the Nation against foreign domination. It reflects a person’s willingness to resist foreign political, economic, and cultural domination. Nationalism implies a group’s consciousness of shared history, language, race, and values. Its significance lies in its role in supplying the ties that make the Nation-State a cohesive, viable entity. The terms such as nation, state, or country describe a political entity in which people are united under a particular political organization and are occupying a defined territory. However, the term ‘Nationalism’ demands more than the existence of boundaries or political institutions. Nationalism includes the feelings or thoughts of patriotism, zealous love of one’s country, advocacy of national unity or independence and it involves the creed that fidelity to one’s State or Nation is more important than fidelity to individual interests. We, the people of India and of Indian origin have to truthfully examine if ‘Nationalism’ has ever existed in the Land of India. We have to truthfully explain as to why the Land of India exists as an easy target for foreign invasion, foreign conquest, foreign occupation, and foreign political, economic, and cultural domination.
THE PROBLEM OF NATIONAL UNITY AND THE ROLE OF CULTURAL NATIONALISM IN INDIA :
There is a fundamental problem with the experience of life in the Land of India. The Nation – State was nonexistent during the greater part of Indian history. People did not give loyalty to the Nation – State but to other, different forms of feudal states. Before 20th century, political allegiance was determined by mostly local and regional factors such as that of a local princely ruler, regional language or regional culture. Indian Cultural Nationalism mainly consists of expression of some national characteristics through nonpolitical activities such as art, literature, music, dance, and other forms of culture such as the performance of Temple Worship and Pilgrimage. A vast multitude of people may come together at a particular place in celebration of an event and return to their native places. India did not exist as a large, unified territorial state with political, and economic centralization. The political, and economic centralization that existed in India was largely a product of foreign rule and foreign occupation of the Land of India. This lack of National Unity and the lack of a National identity and Individuality made India an easy target for foreign, military attacks. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, a former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University, a historian who had reviewed the records kept by Al- Utbi, the Secretary of Sultan Yaminu -d- Daula Mahmud bin Subuktigin known as Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna. The Secretary in the Persian document called the Tarikh -i- Yamini recorded the details of several episodes of bloody campaigns waged by Sultan Mahmud between 1001 A.D. and 1027 A.D. Persian historian Ferishta(“Tarikh-e- Fereshteh” work by Ferishta about Mahomedan Power in India ) also recorded the military conquests of India by Sultan Mahmud. The Sultan of Ghazna had directed his military attacks on places of spiritual pilgrimage in India. He had attacked the temple towns of Nagarkot, Thanesar(1011), Mathura(1018), Kannauj(1019), Kalinjar(1023), and Somnath(1024-25). He had also attacked the holy places of Varanasi, Ujjain, Maheswar, Jwalamukhi and Dwaraka. These attacks were witnessed by Persian writers such as Al-Biruni(Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Biruni) and Ferdowsi(Abu ol-Qasem Mansur or Firdawsi/Firdusi). All of these historical records and documents reveal the scale of loss of human life. It is estimated that about two million people had died in the Land of India during Sultan Mahmud’s repeated attacks. Asaru -l- Bilad, a Persian geographer had also described some of the foreign conquests of India. K.S. Lal, an Indian historian estimated that about sixty to eighty million people in India may have died between 1000 and 1525 CE due to foreign invasions. It clearly demonstrates that the idea of Cultural Nationalism did not play a significant role in defending Indian people and had failed to preserve human life. Apparently, Cultural Nationalism did not generate the cohesiveness or Unity that is needed to resist and to defeat foreign military campaigns.
CULTURAL NATIONALISM vs SECULAR NATIONALISM – THE CLASH AT KURNOOL MEDICAL COLLEGE, ANDHRA PRADESH :
I submitted an application to Chief Minister Office, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, India on September 02, 2012. The request made by me is registered by the Secretariat Departments of Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Application Number is shown as : SR 12014477 and it reads as follows:
“I was a student at Kurnool Medical College from November 1965 to June 1970. I had represented the State of Andhra Pradesh as a student delegate at the four-week long National Student Seminar on National Integration sponsored by Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, New Delhi during 1967 to promote the need for developing a National Identity and National Individuality for National Unity and National Integration. I had encouraged students to ignore any identity that is derived from region, religion, language, and caste as India needs Secular Nationalism and not Cultural Nationalism. This was opposed by Dr. Sripada Pinakapani, M.D., who then served as the Professor of Medicine and the Superintendent of Kurnool Government General Hospital. Since he had actively opposed the principle of Secular Nationalism, I would request you to reconsider the decision made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to name a building on Kurnool Medical College/General Hospital Campus to honour him.”
ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE IN THE LAND OF INDIA :
The ideas about human soul or spirit( Atman or Atma in Sanskrit language) find their profound expression in the oral and written literature of India. Indian thoughts about the nature of man and his existence can be traced to the ancient texts of Vedas( the Rig-Veda, the Sama-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, and the Atharva-Veda) which were compiled from c. 1500 B.C. to c. 500 B.C. The Sanskrit texts known as the Upanishads( c. 900 – 500 B.C. ) have systematized Indian philosophy. There are six classical systems of Indian philosophy that accept the authority of the Veda and the Upanishads; 1. NYAYA( 6th century B.C. ) is a school of logic and epistemology, 2. VAISHESHIKA( 3rd century B.C. ) posits a sixfold classification of Reality( Substance, Quality, Activity, Generality, Particularity, and Inherence ), 3. SAMKHYA( 6th century B.C. ) expounds two basic metaphysical principles; Purusha or Soul and Prakriti or Material Nature, 4. YOGA( 2nd century B.C. ) of Patanjali accepts Samkhya metaphysics, presents an eight-stage discipline of self-control and Meditation, 5. PURVA-MIMAMSA( 2nd century B.C. ) sets forth principles of interpretation of the Vedic texts, and 6. UTTARA-MIMAMSA or VEDANTA which includes different schools of thought based on the Brahma-Sutras of Baradayana( early century A.D. ) which summarize the Upanishadic doctrine and explain the teachings of the Upanishads. The most important schools of Vedanta are 1. the non-dualist(ADVAITA) Vedanta of Shankara( A.D. 788-820 ), 2. the qualified non-dualist Vedanta of Ramanuja( A.D. 1017-1137 ), and 3. the dualist Vedanta of Madhava( A.D. 1197-1276 ). Buddhism and Jainism are two important schools of thought that do not accept the authority of Veda and Upanishads. To a great extent, Indian traditions claim that man is an embodied soul. The mind, and body that represent the physical person is an illusion as the human body is thought to be “ASAT”, or unreal, perishable, full of ignorance, and not happy. The real or true man as represented by soul or spirit is unborn. The real person is viewed as an eternal person who is not subject to change called life and death. Indian tradition considers that the Objective Reality of man or Essence of man is soul or spirit. We must note that it is impossible to describe this mental concept called soul or spirit if it is never associated with its human body. The separation of man into body, mind, and soul is not supported by scientific study of man. Man comes into existence from a single, fertilized Egg-Cell. This man cannot be separated into distinct entities like material or physical body, thinking substance called mind, and an immaterial principle called soul. These three aspects of man have no independent existence of their own. There is no Life and there is no human Existence if body, mind, and soul are separated. Who you are describes your Essence and it is defined by What you do to establish the fact of your Existence. In other words, the Essence(Who you are) is preceded by the reality of Existence(What you do). Thus, Existence is the precondition to recognize Essence. Hence, I describe man as a living soul and not as an embodied soul. In my impression, the traditional Indian views about human soul or spirit have failed to recognize the importance of human Existence as a precondition to define the nature of human Essence. Indian people have to give due recognition to the problems of human existence and must realize that Essence has no value if its meaning is not attached to the condition called Existence. In my opinion, Spiritualism demands the existence of a Living Soul or Spirit to understand its characteristic functions that generate Peace, harmony, and Tranquility as a living human experience. If India seeks its existence as a Nation, Indians have to forget the parochial differences to develop National Individualities and the primary focus of allegiance must be the Republic of India and not that of the local language, religion, or culture.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Danavaipeta Municipal/Corporation High School, Rajahmundry, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India,
S.S.L.C. Class of March/April, 1961.
Biographical Information :
1. Place of Birth: Mylapore, Madras City, Chennai, Chenna Patnam, Madras State, Tamil Nadu, India. Born Hindu(Brahmin, Niyogi, Smartha), Telugu-Speaking.
2. Date and Place of Marriage: 29 January, 1973. Town Congregational Church, Cuddapah, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.
- Spiritualism and Identity – the Conflict at Kurnool Medical College (bhavanajagat.com)
WHAT IS SECONDHAND SMOKE? :
When you breathe in smoke that comes from the end of a lit cigarette, cigar, or pipe ( often described as ‘sidestream smoke‘ ), or when you breathe in smoke that is exhaled by a smoker(often described as ‘mainstream smoke’ ), you are exposed to the risk of secondhand smoke. You will be inhaling almost the same amount of chemicals as the smoker breathes in. Tobbaco smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemical compounds, and more than 50 of them are known to cause Cancer. Some of these known carcinogens are Hydrogen Cyanide, Benzene, Formaldehyde, and Carbon monoxide. Involuntary or passive smoking can kill. There is no amount of exposure to secondhand smoke that is considered as a safe level of exposure. The more secondhand smoke that you breathe in, the more your health risk increases. Secondhand smoke exposure causes nearly 50,000 deaths per year in adult nonsmokers in the United States. 3,000 deaths are from Lung Cancer, and 46,000 deaths are from heart disease. Nonsmokers increase their risk of developing Lung Cancer by 20% to 30%, and heart disease by 25% to 30% when they are exposed to secondhand smoke. The risks of Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer and other types of Cancer are also higher. Women who are exposed to secondhand smoke face a 69% higher risk of heart disease and a 56% higher risk of Stroke than those who are not exposed to smoke. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke because of their bodies are still growing and they breathe at a faster rate than adults. The effects of smoking can be very significant especially for those who live or work with a smoker. In reality, most of the smoke from a burning cigarette doesn’t get sucked down into smoker’s lungs- it simply escapes into the air where it can be inhaled by anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. Living under the shadow of a great person may give some benefits, protection, and a sense of security. But, life under the shadow of secondhand smoke is a prescription for death. There was such an unfortunate victim who had lived under the shadow of a great leader known as Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
MOHAMMED ALI JINNAH, QAID – E – AZAM – THE GREAT LEADER OF PAKISTAN :
Jinnah, Indian Muslim politician was the founder and first Governor General of Pakistan (1947-1948). His parents arranged for an early marriage for him before he left for England at the age of 16. While in London, Jinnah suffered the loss of his wife and mother. In 1895, at the age of 19, he was called o the Bar on completion of his formal studies to become a barrister. He had supported the election of Dadabhai Naoroji, a Parsi leader, a leading Indian nationalist who ran for the English Parliamnet. Naoroji became the first Indian to sit in the British House of Commons. In 1896, Jinnah returned to Karachi and then moved to Bombay to start his legal practice. He met Ruttenbai, the daughter of Dinshaw Petit, a Bombay Parsi millionaire. Jinnah had married this young and beautiful lady over tremendous opposition from her parents and others. The great love and the marriage withered and proved to be an unhappy union. The stress imposed by exposure to secondhand smoke was not known and was not recognized those days. Jinnah’s addiction to Tobacco and the price paid by his wife describe the other side of Jinnah which many people in Pakistan and India tend to ignore.
The Other side of Mohammed Ali Jinnah :
I would like to share the very interesting and powerful story about the life of Ruttenbai who had lived under the shadow of Mohammed Ali Jinnah . Unfortunatley, this story posted below my post fails to mention the nature of cancer that had killed this beautiful lady at such an young age. I am very sure about the nature of her illness. She died of Lung Cancer. She developed Cancer because of inhaling tobacco smoke and it is a very well recognized risk factor now. Secondhand Tobacco smoke kills people and even now the chances of survival are not good. I had personally witnessed a similar case and had narrated that story at my Home page of BhavanaJagat and the story is titled ‘Living Under the Shadow – A Prescription for Death’. A young, beautiful lady, the first wife of Chief of Army Staff (under Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi), General K S Sundarji ( who is well-known for Operation Blue Star ) died of Lung Cancer in Army Hospital, New Delhi during 1978. The connection between smoking and Lung Cancer was well understood but at that time the
risk of Lung Cancer due to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke was not properly recognized.
The Softer Side of Mr. Jinnah
More than 61 years have passed since the death of founder of Pakistan , Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. But even today, nothing about Jinnah seems ordinary —not his legal career, politics, personal life, his legacy and even the property he left behind.
The great South Asian intellectual Eqbal Ahmed once described Jinnah as an enigma of modern history. His aristocratic English lifestyle, Victorian manners, and secular outlook rendered him a most unlikely leader of India ’s Muslims. Yet, he led them to separate statehood, creating history, and in Saad R. Khairi’s apt phrase, “altering geography”.
Much has been written about Jinnah’s legal career, politics, his role as a founder of Pakistan and his vision, but even today, very little is known about Jinnah’s personal life. This was probably because Jinnah never had time to write a diary or an autobiography and whatever little he wrote was formal and matter of fact. For most of his life, he remained reserved, taciturn and secretive. He wrote his will in May, 1939, but it was only after his death that Liaquat Ali Khan, his close associate and the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, came to know that he was its trustee and executor.
His only child, Dina Wadia, has hardly ever spoken about her father in public. So furious was Jinnah with Dina that he disowned her after she married a Parsi man against his wishes, and yet he left two lacs for her in his will. Akbar Ahmed’s movie Jinnah had just ten to fifteen minutes on Jinnah’s personal life, which are nowhere near enough.
Jinnah’s first wife, fourteen year old Emibai from Paneli village, died just eight months after he left for London at age sixteen in 1892, to join Graham’s Shipping and Trading Company, which conducted business with his father in Karachi. It was a forced marriage, as Jinnah’s mother was afraid that if he went to England , he might end up marrying an English girl. He barely knew Emibai.
Jinnah’s second marriage with the most beautiful girl of Bombay – Ruttie: The Flower of Bombay – was like a fairy tale. It began in the summer of 1916 in Darjeeling or “Town of the Thunderbolt” (how appropriate considering what was to happen there).
Jinnah had established himself as a lawyer and a politician by then and had become friends with Sir Dinshaw Maneckjee Petit, the son of one of the richest and most devoutly orthodox Parsis of the 19th century.
The Petit`s chateau overlooked Mount Everest and it was there Jinnah met his only daughter Ruttenbai Petit or Ruttie as she was popularly called. Merely sixteen at that time, Ruttie was a charming young girl. Stanley Wolpert writes in Jinnah of Pakistan : “Precociously bright, gifted in every art, beautiful in every way. As she matured, all of her talents, gifts and beauty were magnified in so delightful and unaffected a manner that she seemed a fairy princess”.
A dazzling beauty and full of life, Ruttie had exquisite taste and affable manners. Quick-witted, she was easily one of the best dressed and most popular women among the elitist circles of Bombay . She was intellectually far more mature than other girls of her age, with diverse interests ranging from poetry (Oscar Wilde being her favorite, whom she often recited) to politics. Her large collection of books, which remained in Jinnah’s possession after her death, reflected her deep interest in poetry, literature, history, occultism, mysticism and sorcery. She was an excellent horse-rider. She attended all public meetings and was inspired by Annie Besant’s Home Rule League.
A fierce supporter of India for Indians, Ruttie was once asked about rumors of Jinnah’s possible knighthood and whether she would like to be Lady Jinnah. She snapped that she would rather be separated from her husband than take on an English title.
Jinnah on the other hand also had a special interest in acting and in Shakespeare’s dramas. While in London , he had acted in some Shakespearean plays and even considered seriously taking up acting as a profession. It was his dream to play Romeo at The Globe in London . Khwaja Razi Haider thinks it was probably Jinnah’s deep interest in Shakespeare that gave him insight into the intricacies of the human character, which he was to use for grasping the essentials of Indian politics. Jinnah was thirty-nine and Ruttie sixteen, but the age difference proved no obstacle in their love. Love has no logic.
He was enamored by her beauty and charm and she was awe- struck by “Jay”, as she called him. Jinnah asked Sir Dinshaw for Ruttie’s hand in marriage, who became furious and refused. Jinnah repeatedly pleaded his case but Dinshaw never gave in, as Jinnah had a different faith and he was more than twice Ruttie’s age. Their friendship ended and Dinshaw forbade Ruttie from meeting Jinnah while she lived in his house. He even got a court injunction restraining Jinnah from meeting her (a pity no biographer has yet traced the court papers).
The couple continued to meet secretly, and patiently waited for two years until February 1918 when Ruttie turned eighteen, and was free to marry. She walked out of her parental home to which she was never to return, and converted to Islam at Bombay ’s Jamia Mosque, under the Muslim Shiite doctrine, on April 18, 1918.
The very next day, Jinnah and Ruttie got married in a quiet ceremony at Jinnah’s Malabar Hill house in Bombay . Located in a most highly-priced area today, with Maharashtra’s Chief Minister as its next-door neighbor, Jinnah House remains a dispute between India , Pakistan and Dina Wadia. Jinnah owned another house at 10 Aurangzeb Road , Delhi , which he sold just before Partition for Rs 3 lacs. The Dutch Ambassador to India lives there now. The Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad, who signed as Jinnah’s witness, and a few other friends, attended the wedding. Maulana Muhammad Hasan Najafi was Ruttie’s witness. Jinnah presented the wedding ring to Ruttie, a gift from Raja Sahab, and paid Rs 125,000 as haq mehr . Nobody from Ruttie’s family attended the wedding. Interestingly, the Nikah Nama stated “Ruttenbai” as the bride’s name instead of Marium, her Islamic name. The honeymoon was first at Raja Sahab’s Nainitaal mansion, and then at the Maidens Hotel, a magnificent property just beyond the Red Fort.
Gandhi’s grandson Raj Mohan Gandhi writes about the wedding in his book Understanding the Muslim Mind: “For the first time in his life, a girl had absorbed Jinnah’s emotions. Living for sometime now in a large but somber Malabar Hill house, bowing to ladies (on occasional parties) and praising their sarees but otherwise keeping a distance from them, (he) fell in love with Ruttenbai. Joy and laughter entered Jinnah’s life. The Malabar Hill house became brighter.’ She presented him with a daughter, Dina. But, ‘Alas the happiness was not destined to last; Sarojni’s veiled prediction of trouble came true”.
Sarojni Naidu was a huge admirer of Jinnah, wrote several poems and prose pieces on him, and many historians believe she was in love with him.
She wrote this about the wedding in a letter to Sir Syed’s son, Syed Mahmud: “So Jinnah has at last plucked the Blue Flower of his desire. It was all very sudden and caused terrible agitation and anger among the Parsis; but I think the child has made far bigger sacrifices than she yet realises. Jinnah is worth it all – he loves her; the one really human and genuine emotion of his reserved and self-centred nature. And he will make her happy.”
The first few years of the marriage were a dream for Ruttie and Jinnah, the happiest time of their lives. They traveled across India , Europe and North America together. Ruttie watched with a great sense of pride the feverish political activity of her husband. She would be seen in the visitors’ gallery when Jinnah was due to speak, accompanied him to the High Court, and even attended the Nagpur session of the Congress in December 1920.
According to Wolpert: “They were a head- turning couple; he in his elegant suits, stitched in London , she with her long, flowing hair decked in flowers. There was no limit to their joy and satisfaction at that time. Their only woe was Ruttie’s complete isolation and ostracism from her family.”
Kanji Dwarkadas, a veteran leader of Congress and a close friend of the couple, who looked after Ruttie during her last days, wrote in his book Ruttie Jinnah: The story of a great friendship: “For Jinnah, who was not generous in many matters, no expense was too great to satisfy the extravagant claims of the baronet’s spoilt child. During a visit to Kashmir , she spent Rs 50,000 in refurnishing the boathouse and Jinnah gladly paid all the bills. He treated her wonderfully well, and paid without a murmur all the bills necessitated by the luxurious life she led. Ruttie’s fabulous beauty, spontaneous wit, and immense charm have been praised to the neglect of her serious interests.”
Even though Ruttie was much younger than Jinnah, she made him a very happy man. They had no separate existence and Jinnah found her a great source of inspiration.
He resigned from the Orient Club where he used to play chess and billiards. He was so deeply in love with Ruttie that he would return from the law courts on time each day and talk to her for hours on end.
Unfortunately, their happiness was short- lived and the marriage started to crack after 1922-3. What caused the ruination of the Jinnah-Ruttie marriage? Was it Jinnah’s busy political life and his inability to give enough time to Ruttie, their age difference, or their incompatibility of temperaments? He was cold, introverted and domineering. She was young, extroverted, glamorous. There is no clear answer but the fact remains that Ruttie and Jinnah still loved each other despite the rift in their marriage.
It is evident in every letter Ruttie wrote during that period, and every book written on their relationship. She moved to London with Dina in 1922 and from there too, her heart was still set on her life with Jinnah.
She wrote in a letter to Kanji in India :“And just one thing more – go and see Jinnah and tell me how he is – he has a habit of overworking himself and now that I am not there to tease and bother him, he will be worse than ever.”
After her return, the couple tried one more time to save their failing marriage and took a five-month tour to Europe and North America together. But the rift grew and by January 1928 they were virtually separated, when Ruttie became seriously ill with cancer. Shortly before her death, she wrote a letter to Jinnah from Marseilles , France where she had gone for treatment. It turned out to be her last letter to him (larger view of original hand-written letter with typed text here
S. S. Rajputana,
Marseilles 5 Oct 1928 Darling – thank you for all you have done. If ever in my bearing your once tuned senses found any irritability or unkindness – be assured that in my heart there was place only for a great tenderness and a greater pain – a pain my love without hurt. When one has been as near to the reality of Life (which after all is Death) as I have been dearest, one only remembers the beautiful and tender moments and all the rest becomes a half veiled mist of unrealities. Try and remember me beloved as the flower you plucked and not the flower you tread upon.
I have suffered much sweetheart because I have loved much. The measure of my agony has been in accord to the measure of my love. Darling I love you – I love you – and had I loved you just a little less I might have remained with you – only after one has created a very beautiful blossom one does not drag it through the mire. The higher you set your ideal the lower it falls.
I have loved you my darling as it is given to few men to be loved. I only beseech you that the tragedy which commenced in love should also end with it.
Darling Goodnight and Goodbye Ruttie
It is a pity that none of the letters that Jinnah wrote to Ruttie have ever been made public. M.C. Chagla, a former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and a diplomat at the UN, has described the last days of Ruttie and Jinnah’s marriage in his book “Roses in December”. Chagla knew the couple very well, as he assisted Jinnah at his chambers during that time. He idealized Jinnah but severed all ties when he began working on the idea of an independent state for the Muslims of India. He writes:
By 1927, Ruttie and Jinnah had virtually separated. Ruttie’s health deteriorated rapidly in the years after they returned from their final trip together. Ruttie lived at the Taj Hotel in Bombay, almost a recluse as she became more and more bed-ridden. Kanji continued to be her constant companion. By February 18, 1929 she had become so weak that all she could manage to say to him was a request to look after her cats. Two days later, Ruttie Petit Jinnah died. It was her 29th birthday.
She was buried on February 22 in Bombay according to Muslim rites. Jinnah sat like a statue throughout the funeral but when asked to throw earth on the grave, he broke down and wept. That was the only time when I found Jinnah betraying some shadow of human weakness. It’s not a well publicised fact that as a young student in England it had been one of Jinnah’s dreams to play Romeo at The Globe. It is a strange twist of fate that a love story that started like a fairy tale ended as a haunting tragedy to rival any of Shakespeare’s dramas.”
The second time Jinnah ever broke down was in August 1947 when he visited Ruttie’s grave one last time before leaving for Pakistan . The architect of Pakistan paid a high price for Partition by leaving two of his most beloved possessions on ‘the other’ side of the border, the Jinnah House on Malabar Hill where he had the happiest moments of his life, and his beloved wife Ruttie who remains buried in Bombay. Jinnah left India in August 1947, never to return again, but he left behind a piece of his heart in a little grave in a cemetery in Bombay .
Love is a powerful emotion felt for another person manifesting itself in deep affection, devotion or sexual desire. If love is viewed as fondness or affection it may include or based in part on sexual attraction which is related to libido( sexual urge or instinct ), and lust( a desire to gratify the senses or bodily appetite that seeks unrestrained gratification ). Love implies feelings that are attached to relationships or objects and assumes various forms such as sexual love, brotherly love, and love of God. The attachment may be felt for inanimate things as well as people, or ideas, or expressed as an abstraction. There are many different kinds of love; different in object, different in tendency, and different in expression. The problem of the kinds of love is further complicated by the need to differentiate and relate love and desire. The category of love known as sexual love has the tendency to desire possession of the object that is loved. The tendency of desire is acquisitive. Sexual love is a love born of desire, and the drive of desire continues until it is satisfied by possession of the loved object. Physical possession is the basis for the satisfaction of sexual desire, sexual appetite, or sexual hunger, or sexual thirst. The other forms of love do not tend to possess the object loved but seek to benefit the object that is loved. Love is selfish when it acts like hunger, thirst, or appetite which need to be satisfied for the benefit of the person expressing that love. Love is altruistic when it acts for the good or the benefit of the beloved. Conjugal love may include a combination of selfishness and altruism. The ancient languages have three distinct words for the main types of love; EROS, PHILIA, and AGAPE in Greek language; AMOR, AMICITA or DILECTIO, and CARITAS in Latin language. However, English language has no such distinct words and hence it becomes necessary to use such phrases as “sexual love”, “love of friendship”, and “love of charity” in order to indicate plainly that love is common to all three, and to distinguish the three meanings. The idea of love expressed in Biblical Scriptures makes no distinction between AMOR, DILECTIO, and CARITAS. For example, in The Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 22, verses 37, 38, and 39 speak of the Great Commandments of The Laws of Moses: Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Jesus brings unity between the idea of self-love, love of God, and the love of one another without making distinction between the three different kinds of love. Jesus does not specify if man should wish and expect to be loved in return. Jesus did not attach any purpose to this act of love, and did not describe the nature of desire, the attachment, and the gratification of his Love Commandment.
Sigmund Freud’s theory places the origin of love in the sexual instincts, and so for him the many varieties of love are simply the forms which love takes as the ‘LIBIDO‘ fixes upon various objects. He states, “The nucleus of what we mean by love naturally consists …… in sexual love with sexual union as its aim. We do not separate from this; on the one hand, self-love, and on the other, love for parents and children, friendship and love for humanity in general, and also devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas….. All these tendencies are an expression of the same instinctive activities…. They differ from sexual love only because they are diverted from its aim or prevented from reaching it, though they always preserve enough of their original nature to keep their identity recognizable.” If love is the passion of the sexual instinct, temperance is an inadequate restraint. Neither reason nor law is adequate to the task of subduing the nature of the sexual instinct. Sexual instinct is a very powerful biological instinct and it profoundly influences human behavior. Hence it becomes necessary to transform sexual love either by repressing it, or sublimating it, or mixing it with tenderness or kindness. In that context, friendship, charity or compassion, and devotion to God could be stated as transformations of sexual love. Sexual instincts are inhibited or actually repressed in the expression of brotherly love, or feelings of deep affection for children and others where the relationship should not be based upon feelings of sexual attraction.
THE COMPLEXITY OF LOVE :
Love is a very complex emotional instinct and it is complex as it may not always provide a sense of joy or happiness. There is a fact about love; love frequently turns into its opposite, HATE. Sometimes there is love and hate of the same object; sometimes love inspires hate, and love may also cause jealousy, anger, and fear. Love seems to be the primal passion, generating all the others according to the oppositions of pleasure and pain and by relation of cause and effect. The individual’s experience of love is extremely variable and it includes the operation of both positive and negative impulses. Indian tradition has carefully examined this complex instinctual behavior and has instructed people of the Land of Bharat or India to understand the three major distinctions or categories of love and to apply a sense of restraint, or that of repression has brought love under the purview of morality, the code of Right Conduct or DHARMA. Indian Culture does not provide the linguistic tools to express feelings associated with sexual passion without using temperance. There is no linguistic equivalent in classical Indian languages to profess love. The terms and words that Indians use have specific meaning attached to them.
LOVE vs PREMA :
Love is not a universal term and this idea is not expressed in Indian tradition and classical literature. The word “LOVE” appears repeatedly in the Bible, in several different editions of Bible. I am not a language expert and I believe that people who had translated Bible have exercised great care to convey the meaning of love. Many editions of Bible have further clarified the meaning of Love in their glossary section or Bible dictionary and define Love as a deep sense of affection, devotion for someone or something and they very carefully exclude sexual desire and sexual passion. In English speaking world, and in English literature, the word Love is used to describe desire, libido, lust, and passion based upon sexual attraction. So, Love is a generic term and it may not always mean brotherly love and goodwill. Indian Culture has erected subtle barriers and has not provided linguistic tools to use the word Love as we like. It separates Love into various categories and sets them apart. The feelings of affection, or fondness that are associated with sexual attraction are specifically known as ‘KAMA’ and intense sexual passion or desire is called ‘MOHA’. Any intense or passionate desire could be called KAMA and to act under its influence could be stated as MOHA. My love for God could only be expressed in terms of Bhakti or Devotion, and the desire could be called PREET. The desire called PREETI or Preet is a legitimate desire. It is also called “ISHTA”. I am allowed to seek or desire certain things in my life and that desire is subject to the rule of Good Conduct or Dharma. I can express the sentiment of Preet only when, and where such desire is allowed to be stated in a legitimate manner, and is acceptable to tradition and established conventions and social norms. If I entertain thoughts of sexual attraction about my attractive and rich neighbor, I am not allowed to express my feelings as Preet. It can not be called “ISHTA”. I can call it Kama or Moha. In the epic poem of Ramayana, when King Ravana of Lanka had wanted to marry Princess Sita and had attended her Swayamvara, the desire was legitimate and he was allowed to feel sexual attraction and it was not Kama. But, when he had abducted her while she was lawfully married to Prince Rama, that desire and sexual attraction represents an impulsive action of Moha, and Kama. King Ravana was not entitled to express his Love for Sita if it is formulated by Kama, and intense sexual passion known as lust or Moha. Similarly, a man can express his love or Preet for a woman in a respectful or legitimate manner and to seek a valid relationship. If the relationship is illegal, it can not be called Preet. A father’s love, or mother’s love, or brother’s love is described as “VASTHALYA”, a natural sense of affection and fondness which is not related to sexual attraction or desire. The word “PREMA” or “PREM” is used to describe the feelings of affection, fondness, friendship(SNEHA), kindness(DAYA, or KARUNA), compassion(KRUPA), happiness, joy(ANANDA) that have no direct relationship to the satisfaction of sexual desires and passions. The deep sense of affection between husband and wife is often called “ANURAG” which indicates an intimate friendship. I can not literally translate this word LOVE into any of the Indian languages as such expression is not allowed without stating the nature of its contents.
If Jesus gives the Commandment of Love your neighbour as thyself; I would not be able to express that thought in Indian languages. Jesus has not stated that idea in terms of friendship(SNEHA), kindness(DAYA), or giving happiness(ANANDA). Only when, and if those qualities of friendship, kindness, and giving joy or happiness are specifically included; Jesus could Command others to express PREMA to one another. However, in Indian tradition, the deep sense of affection or fondness of God is stated as Bhakti or devotion. Mirabai has expressed such deep sense of affection and I would not call it as her love of Krishna. Jayadeva in his famous description of Lord Krishna’s creative activities in Brindavan(Vrindavan) has depicted the intense erotic feelings of the young maidens as a product of their intense devotion to the Lord. I can not use the word Love to describe the sexual passions of the Gopis or the young maidens of Brindavan.
SELF-LOVE AND NARCISSISM :
My concern is not about PREMA or LOVE. My concern is about self-love, a man’s love of himself. In psychology the word ‘NARCISSISM’ is used to describe excessive self-love. In my medical practice, I have not encountered such narcissistic tendencies among people of Indian origin. Indian tradition has erected barriers and would not easily let us identify ourselves with the physical-self. Indian tradition repeatedly instructs us about our Essence and true Identity and reminds us not to get attached to the physical-self. If I have no feelings of attachment to my physical-self, I can not really love myself. If I can not truly love myself, I can not also love my neighbor in the same manner, or to a same degree of my self-love. If man is not expected to love himself, the issue of loving the neighbor is redundant.
The Times of India has published a news story about the likely reincarnation of Satya Sai Baba as “PREMA SAI BABA.”My impression about this story is, Sri Satya Sai Baba has attempted to import a foreign idea to the Land of Bharat without fully understanding the subtle cultural barriers that exist in the Land. The notion of PREMA could only be expressed in terms of Friendship( lack of animosity ), kindness and goodwill, and that of giving happiness to others. It can not be related to the idea of Love. The theory of reincarnation is not the issue. The issue is about the idea itself. He has to attach meaning to the word “PREMA” that he used and distinguish from the word “LOVE” that is used in English language.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.
“Prema Sai will be born in Doddamalur”
M B Maramkal & K R Rajendra Kumar, TNN | Times of India, Apr 28, 2011, 05.52am IST
DODDAMALUR(Mandya): Will the reincarnation be reality or not?
Whatever happens, the tiny village of Doddamalur, off the Bangalore-Mysore highway, will definitely be in the news in the coming years, with scores of stories doing the rounds here over the reincarnation of Sathya Sai Baba as Prema Sai.
What has lent credence to claims of people of the Vaishnava sect temples of Aprameya (Vishnu) and Ambegalu Krishna (toddler Krishna) is based on a book `Sri Sathya Sai — Anandasai’ authored by one Swami, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. In that, he claims that the godman, during his visit to Doddamalur, had told him that Sai Baba had three avatars in kalyug, and of them, he is the second avatar (reincarnation) of Shirdi Sai Baba. The third will be Prema Saiand he will be born in this village. He also claims that Baba, during his visit in the ’60s, showed a small house where he will be born.
However, confusion prevails among people who are making claims of Baba’s reincarnation in the village. According to Ramadas, who runs a Krishna charitable trust, Prema Sai will be born in this village after 2023, as predicted by Sathya Sai Baba. Ramadas said Baba had predicted that his personal assistant, Narayan Kasturi, who died long ago, will reincarnate himself as a woman in a village near Bhadravathi, marry a person from this village and give birth to Prema Sai. “Today you are my assistant, in the next life you will be my mother,” Sai Baba is supposed to have said.
Doddamalur, located on the banks of the river Kanva, will be called Gunaparthy after the reincarnation, said Raghav, an aged villager, disclosing that the soil and water of the village have curative powers. The village will be called Gun (cure) parthy (place) in the years to come.
WHY DID BABA CHOOSE THIS VILLAGE?
Villagers who are well-versed with its history claim that Baba was carried away by the religious history and mythological importance of this village. People say a Kanva sage did tapasya (penance) here and it was an agrahara (Brahmin settlement) in medieval history. It is said that saint Purandaradasa visited the Aprameya and Krishna temples here and presented a kirtana (discourse) on this village and temples. Baba was enamoured by the historic significance of this village.