Lord Shiva

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE BLUNDER

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INDIA – THE LAND OF KARMA :

The Laws of Karma govern the lives of the People of India. It would be a grave mistake to insult Mother India by dumping Radioactive Nuclear Waste into Her lap.

India is popularly known as ‘Karma Bhumi’, or ‘Karma Kshetra’. The Laws of Karma govern the lives of the people of the Land of India. We, as Indians are destined to experience the taste of the Fruits of our own Actions either during the present stage of existence and in subsequent or future states of existence. When an action damages the Genetic Code contained in DNA, the consequences would be experienced in the lives of our children and their children. If we recklessly pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink, and contaminate the soils that support the lives of living organisms, the consequences would be experienced as long as these toxic chemicals persist in our living environment. Radioactive Chemicals are extremely hazardous to human life and to the lives of plants and animals upon whom human life depends for its own existence. Radiation damages DNA and injures the structures known as Chromosomes which carry vital hereditary information. We need to learn from the lessons of our recent past. Kindly review the Nuclear Damage caused by Nuclear Accidents at Three Mile Island during 1979, and at Chernobyl during 1986.

Nuclear Meltdown at Three Mile Island Nuclear Reactor describes the problems of equipment failure and the hazards of Nuclear Industry. In the United States, 15 Nuclear Plants were forced offline between 2000 and 2001 because of equipment failures attributed to Aging. The Costs of Maintenance and Upkeep of Equipment must be considered apart from Liability for Nuclear Damage. The Nuclear Chain Reaction damages the Nuclear Reactor Vessel.
Radiation Emissions from Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident are linked to Cancer Incidence in the Community.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster of April 23, 1986 should not be erased from Human Memory.
Trans-Boundary Effects of Nuclear Accidents could be understood from this Radiation Map following Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster.
Children are extremely vulnerable to Radiation Injuries. The Thyroid Gland selectively concentrates Iodine and exposure to Radioactive Iodine causes Thyroid Cancer.

 

Nuclear Accidents are extremely expensive as we need to take care of children affected by birth defects and deformities.

PLAN FOR NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES PRIOR TO REAPING BENEFITS FROM POSITIVE CONSEQUENCES :

The Hindu Mythological Legend known as 'Samudra Manthan' narrates the importance of taking care of Negative Consequences prior to reaping the Benefits from Positive Consequences of our intended actions. India needs a Savior and Protector like Lord Shiva who could hold the extremely Hazardous Radioactive Nuclear Waste that India wants to generate by importing Nuclear Fuel and Nuclear Technology.

Indian Traditional Wisdom directs us to take into account all the consequences that result from our actions. Indeed, we plan to take action hoping to gain the rewards of the positive consequences from that intended course of action. But, Traditional Wisdom sounds the Bells of Caution. It asks us to take into account all the negative consequences of our intended action, and then it would be very easy to taste the fruits of positive consequences. India’s Epic Poem known as Bhagavata Purana narrates the Story about churning the mythical Milk Ocean to obtain the Nectar of Immortality popularly known as ‘AMRIT’. It was a herculean task. All people forgot their differences and rivalries and had joined hands in their effort to churn the Ocean described as ‘SAMUDRA MANTHAN’. They were shocked and were surprised when deadly, noxious, toxic fumes emerged threatening the existence of all living entities. Fortunately, they could seek protection of Lord Shiva who had mercifully agreed to hold and store this poison in His throat. While speaking about Radioactive Waste, we need to face it with a sense of Reality. We have no Lord Shiva who could step forward and safely store this  extremely hazardous Nuclear Waste for thousands of years. We need to have the ability to deal with this problem of a Toxic Waste which is highly persistent. We cannot afford to bury the High Level Radioactive Waste in the ground and forget about it. The storage of Nuclear Waste is an immense problem and we have not yet resolved the problems involved in storing the Radioactive Waste and monitor it for thousands of years. We need to understand the consequences from Natural Disasters like Floods and Earthquakes which could impact the Nuclear Waste Storage Sites.

SEEK FREEDOM TO LIVE IN A NUCLEAR FREE WORLD :

I am circulating a Petition that is sponsored by Greenpeace India, an Environmental Advocacy Organization. It is simply asking Shri. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India to hold further public consultations on this important issue of Liability for Nuclear Damage. This Bill when enacted into Law would impact the lives of our future generations. We need to defend the Rights of our children, and also the Rights of their children to live in a safe, and healthy environment. We cannot feed them from this Cup of Radioactive Poison that the Nuclear Industry would create by using Nuclear Fuel for Power generation.

http://www.greenpeace.org/india/stop-the-vote2

Kindly read the article written by Brahma Chellaney which was originally published in ‘The Hindu’ in its edition dated March 13, 2010.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham.
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.

India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill – Brahma Chellaney

Brahma Chellaney | The Hindu | March 13, 2010

The government has finally released the text of its controversial nuclear-accident liability Bill. The text not only confirms the concerns expressed earlier over key elements of the proposed law, but also raises additional issues of worry. What stands out in the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill is the extent to which it goes to aid the business interests of the foreign reactor builders. In the process, the Bill seeks to financially burden the Indian taxpayer and encumber the rights of victims of any potential radioactive release from a foreign-built plant. A special Indian law limiting liability in amount and in time has been sought by Washington for its nuclear-exporting firms, with the largest two, Westinghouse and General Electric (GE), set to win multibillion-dollar contracts to build several commercial nuclear power reactors. To forestall lawsuits filed against American suppliers in US courts by victims of a nuclear catastrophe, Washington has also pressed for exclusive jurisdiction for Indian courts so that there will be no repeat of what happened after the Bhopal gas disaster. The Bill seeks to help out the US firms on these counts, going at times even beyond what American law provides.

Under the Bill, the foreign reactor builder — however culpable it is for a nuclear accident — will be completely immune from any victim-initiated civil suit or criminal proceedings in an Indian court or in a court in its home country. The Bill actually turns the legal liability of a foreign reactor supplier for an accident into mere financial compensation — that too, pegged at a pittance and routed through the Indian state operator of the plant. Foreign suppliers will have no*direct accident-related liability. The foreign builders will bask under legal immunity because the Bill channels all legal liability to the Central Government. Clause 7 states the “Central Government shall be liable for nuclear damage in respect of a nuclear incident” when such liability exceeds the Rs. 500- crore liability limit of the operator or where the accident occurs “in a nuclear installation owned by it [the Indian government].” The Union government will own all foreign-built

reactors. Indeed, the Bill creates a specious distinction between the operator and the government when both are fused in the Indian context. After all, it is the Indian state which will run all foreign-built plants through its operator, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). Yet, throughout the Bill, the pretence of a US-style separation between the operator and the government is maintained.

Under Clause 6, the maximum liability of the operator and the government combined has been set at “the rupee equivalent of 300 million special drawing rights (SDRs),” or Rs.2,087 crore ($458 million) — 23 times lower than what is provided under the equivalent US law, the controversial Price-Anderson Act (labelled “Half-Price Anderson” by critics). Of this, the total liability of the operator has been limited to Rs.500 crore ($109 million). The Central government will be liable for damages in excess of Rs.500 crore but only up to Rs.2,087 crore. In actual fact, all liability falls on the Indian taxpayer, whether it is the operator’s slice or the Central government’s portion. The state operator, the NPCIL, through a construction contract, can make the foreign builder legally responsible to pay compensation for an accident. But the amount payable by a foreign builder can only be up to the state operator’s own liability ceiling, which is a trifling Rs.500 crore ($109 million).

So, even if the accident were triggered by wilful negligence on the part of the foreign supplier and the consequences were catastrophic, all claims would have to be filed against the Indian state — with the NPCIL required to disburse the first Rs. 500 crore and the Central government the second portion up to Rs. 2,087 crore. The NPCIL could, in turn, try to recover its Rs. 500 crore from the foreign supplier. But for the Indian taxpayer, this is a lose-lose proposition.
That raises a fundamental question: What will it do to nuclear safety to grant foreign suppliers legal immunity upfront and to shift the liability to the Indian taxpayer? Another key issue relates to the rights of victims. The Bill ensures that victims of a disaster involving a foreign-built reactor will not be able to sue the builder in its home country. Worse still, the Bill blocks the victims from suing the foreign supplier even in Indian courts.

Only the “operator shall have a right of recourse,” according to Clause 17. The state operator can sue the foreign supplier where “such right is expressly provided for in a contract in writing” and “the nuclear incident has resulted from the wilful act or gross negligence on the part of the supplier of the material, equipment or services, or of his employee.” But such a right of recourse can only be to meet the operator’s own small liability of Rs. 500 crore. In fact, the Bill seriously shackles Indian courts. All nuclear-damage claims will be dealt with by a Claims Commissioner or a Nuclear Damage Claims Commission, and any award made “shall be final” and cannot be appealed in any court. “No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of any matter which the Claims Commissioner or the Commission, as the case may be, is empowered to adjudicate under this Act and no injunction shall be granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act,” according to Clause 35.

By contrast, the Price-Anderson Act permits economic (but not legal) channelling of liability, thereby allowing lawsuits and criminal proceedings against the reactor builder or any other party in US courts. That is a key reason why the US has not joined the Vienna or Paris convention — the two main international liability instruments. But the US has become party to another convention it helped draft under the auspices of the IAEA — the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC), which is still not in force. The CSC, as the name suggests, is about compensation through an international fund, to be paid “supplementary” to the liability limit. The Bill also limits liability in time, with Clause 18 stating: “The right to claim compensation for any nuclear damage caused by a nuclear incident shall extinguish if such claim is not made within a period of 10 years from the date of incident…” That provision was retained despite the Environment Ministry’s note of caution — revealed by this newspaper — that the 10-year time limit was untenable because damage to human health from a serious radioactive release “involves changes in DNAs, resulting in mutagenic and teratogenic changes, which take a long time to manifest.”

And although the Finance Ministry, in its comments on the Bill, had warned the proposed law would “expose the government to substantial liabilities for the failings of the private sector,” the Bill essentially seeks to give foreign reactor builders a free ride at the Indian taxpayer’s expense. The Indian Bill, in effect, amounts to a huge hidden subsidy by protecting foreign reactor builders from the weight of the financial consequences of accidents. If the Bill is passed, the costs of doing business in India for foreign suppliers will be low but the assured profits will be high. To cover the maximum potential compensation payable for an accident, a foreign builder will need to take insurance for a mere Rs. 500 crore. What is more, the foreign builders are being freed from the task of producing electricity at marketable rates. The NPCIL will run the foreign-built reactors, with the state subsidising the high-priced electricity generated.

India is under no international obligation to pass such a law. In fact, efforts to create common international standards on liability and compensation since the Chernobyl disaster have made exceedingly slow progress. Yet the Bill’s accompanying “Statement of Objects and Reasons” creates the deceptive impression that the proposed law aims to bring India in line internationally. If anything, the Bill seeks to set a wrong international precedent by its mollycoddling of foreign suppliers. To be sure, technological improvements in reactor-safety systems have significantly lowered the risks of a major nuclear accident. Yet nuclear technology remains intrinsically dangerous, and a single catastrophe anywhere in the world will impose colossal, long-term costs and have a chilling effect on the global appeal of nuclear power. Given the nuclear safety and security issues that have been highlighted by recent incidents in India, accident liability is a matter demanding serious consideration. The government must answer the central question: In seeking to invite US reactor builders, should a poor country rush to pass a special law that skews the business terms in their favour, gratuitously burdens the Indian taxpayer and ignores the lessons of the Bhopal gas disaster.

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WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE PURSUIT

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Bronze Chola statue depicting Shiva dancing as...
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THE PURSUIT OF PURE KNOWLEDGE  AND  PERFECT  WISDOM  : SALUTATIONS TO GODDESS SARASVATI :
 

  

  

    

 

         

  

    

 

    

Goddess Sarasvati symbolizes Indian Cultural Belief in the Pursuit of Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom.

Saraswathii tviyam drushtyaa veenaa pustaka dhaarinee         

Hamsa vaaha samaa yuktaa Vidyaa daanakarii mama.       

PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE AND PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN EXISTENCE  :        

The pursuit of knowledge is a universal phenomenon. People of all cultures and of all regions have the desire to acquire knowledge. My Indian Identity is displayed by my belief  that some icons could help me in the learning process and in finding Knowledge and to acquire Wisdom.I was encouraged to use three Cultural icons and  was introduced to the use of these icons as the first learning experience of my life. I acquire knowledge to support my human existence. However, Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom is the key, it is the hope and it is deliverance and ultimately it breaks my shackles and gives me the opportunity to conquer the fear of ‘ SAMSARA ‘, a term which explains Indian attitude and understanding about human existence.While I was very young,I  was encouraged to seek knowledge to find a way to free myself from the problems of Samsara and was instructed about the tools that I could use in this pursuit.I am directed to learn and acquire knowledge not only to make a living and support myself but also to know the nature of Reality.  Pursuit of knowledge is a global phenomenon and it is not the privilege of any particular class of people.        

LORD SHIVA :

 

The humble begining for the pursuit of Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom. Learning commences with an attitude of humility and willingness to learn with the intention of using information to apply it in thinking in areas that are covered by that learning process.

 

 

The first icon is Lord Shiva who is described as the God of Learning.The learning of alphabet(” AKSHARA ABHYASAM “)began with the writing of a mantra with my finger tip over a bed of rice grains.The five letter mantra of ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAYA‘ was followed by a solemn declaration of ” SIDDHAM NAMAH “indicating that I am ready and that I am prepared to receive my learning instructions. That is the ground rule for learning.Learning would simply be impossible if the student is unwilling and is unprepared. Shiva ensures that we are willing and obedient before we commence our schooling career.Shiva defines that the purpose of learning is to acquire the ability to think for oneself.         

THE LEARNING PROCESS - THE FIVE LETTER MANTRA - Om, Na Ma Si Va Ya.

GODDESS SARASVATI :         

Sarasvati - The Goddess of Wisdom and Perfect Knowledge, the Goddess of Speech or Vaak presides over the Broca's Area, the Speech Center of the Brain.

The second icon is Goddess Sarasvati who is described as the Goddess of Wisdom.The personality of Sarasvati could be compared to the female person identified as wisdom in chapters 1,3 and 4 ,in the Book of Proverbs( the Proverbs of King Solomon, the son of King David, the King of Israel) of Holy Bible which instructs that ” The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge.” She represents the value of acquiring pure knowledge.To optimize our learning potential,to draw upon the immense powers of a creative mind,She recommends an attitude of humility,obedience and discipline.The following verse shows that all the Gods of our Culture including Her spouse BRAHMA worship Her to avoid mental lethargy.She defines that the goal of learning is to transform our minds to make us creative individuals.         

Humility, Obedience, and Discipline are required in the Pursuit of Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom.

 

 Yaa kundendu tushara haara dhavalaa, yaa subhra vastranvitaa         

Yaa veenaa vara danda mandita karaa, yaa sveta padmaasanaa         

Yaa Brahmachyuta Sankara prabhrutibhire daiva sadaa pujitaa         

Saa maam patu Saraswathi,Bhagavati nisesha jaadyapahaa.        

 LORD GANESHA :   

 

 
 

LORD GANESHA - THE MENTOR FOR LEARNING - THE ART OF LEARNING WITH HUMILITY, PATIENCE, AND PERSEVERANCE.

 

 Lord Ganesha is the mentor of learning.This belief is so strongly ingrained into our psyche,His idol is worshiped along with the school books placed on the side to remind Him that we are seeking His assistance to learn from those books.He symbolizes the values of attentive listening,writing down words as instructed and patience.In the learning process,He works like a catalyst.He facilitates achievement by removing obstacles.He helps students to gain success with a sense of humility.All obstacles are removed and subdued if I meditate upon His face which is a picture of relaxation and total composure.The following prayer specifically guides me to overcome problems by focusing on positive energy that can be gained by reflecting upon a face that promotes tranquility.        

Shuklaam bara dharam,Vishnum.sasi varnam,chatur bhujam 
Prasanna Vadanam dhyaaye,tsarva vighnopa sante ye.
    
THE SARASVATI TRADITION :     

  

 

Sarasvati, the destroyer of Mental Inertia and Lethargy.

The worship of Sarasvati is not a mere ritual.The worship would invariably include all the books and even note books that are used in the school.Books are not considered to be just a source of information but they are viewed as objects worthy of reverential treatment and as such are deemed to be physically representative of Sarasvati.Any disrespectful manner of handling books is avoided.For example,books including note books could not be tossed or dropped on to the bare floor.The floor should be cleaned and prepared and is preferably covered with a piece of cloth or a mat and the books should be carefully laid.Books are never to be used as play objects and not allowed to be used to hit another person.As a kid, I had actually believed that improper handling of books would displease Sarasvati and I believed that learning would become extremely difficult as a consequence of disrespectful attitude towards books.Self motivation and high expectation of academic achievement are very important in the learning process.The following prayer to Sarasvati demonstrates the need to prepare the mind to expect success while learning.         

Sarasvati,namastubhyam,Varade,Kaama rupinee         

Vidyaarambham karishyaami,Siddhir bhavatu mey sadaa.         

We commence learning and we shall never desire to give up learning.         

SARASVATI CONSCIOUSNESS AND ACADEMIC LIFE :         

My academic accomplishments are not exceptional but the over all academic experience was great.I read several books on my own and derived much pleasure from reading.Through out my academic life,I had competed with my fellow students and had participated in essay writing competitions,elocution contests and debating events and won several prizes.When I was 11 years old,I won the first prize in an English essay writing competition held at the Danavaipeta Municipal High School,Rajahmundry,when the School conducted such a contest for the first time.At age 13, I had finished High School studies and by age 17,I had obtained an under graduate degree of Bachelor of Science(Botany,Zoology,Chemistry)from Osmania University,Hyderabad.I did well in both Part I and Part II of the B.Sc examination and had the satisfaction of getting the top position among students who took the same elective courses.I had completed my under graduate studies in Medicine at Kurnool Medical College in 1970 and on 26 th July 1970,I had reported for duty at ARMY MEDICAL CORPS CENTRE and OFFICERS TRAINING SCHOOL,Lucknow.The Commission to join the ranks of Indian Army was granted to me in 1969 when I was 21 years old.         

Among the several prizes that I had won during my school years,I can rightfully speak about my success in one particular event.In 1965,when I was a freshman at Kurnool Medical College,The Department of English conducted an English essay writing competition that was open to all the College students.To encourage wider participation,the topic was announced in advance of the event.It was that of ‘ Family Planning ‘.The lecture hall,the venue of the event was filled up and the centre of attention was a final year M.B.B.S student who had already won the first prize at a National level competition for his essay on ‘ Family Planning ‘.The general consensus was that he would easily win this contest too.I arrived at the venue without any prior preparation.All other participants wrote about the importance of Family Planning,the methods and their ideas about implementing the programme.My essay was the only exception which did not delve upon those issues.As I sat down and was getting ready to write my opening statement,my mind was inspired by the creative spirit and had guided me to oppose the idea of Family Planning.After that,my thoughts came down pouring and I kept writing them down until the final minute of that contest.When the results were announced,the student community was astounded for my essay which opposed the idea of Family Planning won the first place for creative writing.         

For the last 24 years I have been living in a Land where Shiva,Saraswathi and Ganesha are not relevant to most of the people in my community.However,I still cling on to my precious icons that made my human existence possible.My mind is not still.My desire for intellectual pursuit is active and alive.Knowledge is revealed to me in tiny bits of information.I learned that the human body is made up of trillions of cells.I learned that I have no ” CHOICE ” or ” AUTONOMY ” to impose my authority over my body.There is not even one single cell in my body whose functions I could directly regulate and govern according to my choice.This lack of ability to rule the cells of my body gives me a sense of fear.I exist but I am not governing my existence.The people of my Land of origin for thousands of years depended upon two letters, ” RA ” and ” MA “to complete their life’s journey.I am learning that those two letters could also help me and give me hope and a sense of direction and also keep me afloat while I cross the ocean.         

In my pursuit of Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom, I seek Creative inspiration of Lord Rama who guides my pursuit according to the Laws of Karma. I should not seek the fruits of my work, the Knowledge and Wisdom could only help to know the Reality and is not for material gain. I recognize that the two letters or syllables of "RA" and "MA" represent Pure Knowledge, and Perfect Wisdom.

 

THE SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND HUMAN EXISTENCE  :       

I am fully determined to continue my pursuit of pure and perfect knowledge and as before, I have my icons to guide me. My understanding of the term ‘consciousness’ has changed. Human consciousness includes aspects of mental awareness, and rational thoughts. I understand the term consciousness not only in the context of a mental function but also that of awareness at a cellular level. Consciousness is a biological characteristic and this trait is exhibited by all living cells and all biological entities. Each individual cell is conscious or aware of its existence and its internal and external environment. This awareness or consciousness describes living entities as created entities. In Indian tradition, all living entities are aware and conscious of the Creator. This consciousness gives the living entity a biological ability to exist by exploiting energy from its external environment. This energy dependence could only be instituted by an Energy Controller. Man’s existence in nature is subject to this energy connection with an extraterrestrial source of energy.        

A Mantra to illuminate Mind - Mind exists in a state of Ignorance or AVIDYA, a State of Darkness caused by the Power of Illusion called MAYA. Mind seeks to know the Reality using Rational Thought contributed by Acquired Knowledge. Reality can only be known by INNATE KNOWLEDGE, the Knowledge, the Awareness, the Consciousness that connects the Living Entity with Cosmic Enery/Force/Power, the Divine Entity. Because of Ignorance, the mind is not aware of the Cosmic Connection that establishes, sustains, and preserves Human Existence.

 

The symbolic expression of Ultimate Reality - Sound Energy is the physical manifestation of an Unmanifested Reality. The sound AUM or OM connects the Manifested Reality with the Unmanifest or Transcendental Reality.

 

GAYATRI MAHA MANTRA GIVES A FORMULA FOR SEEKING PURE KNOWLEDGE AND PERFECT WISDOM. SEEK ILLUMINATION FROM AN EXTERNAL REALITY TO DISPEL DARKNESS, TO BANISH IGNORANCE, TO UNCOVER HIDDEN INFORMATION. THE INTERNAL REALITY IS THE SAME AS THE UNMANIFESTED ULTIMATE REALITY. THIS IS SIMPLY KNOWN BY RECOGNIZING THE COSMIC CONNECTION BETWEEN BREATHING, AND LIVING HUMAN INDIVIDUAL AND ITS DEPENDENCE UPON COSMIC POWER/ENERGY.

 

Man acquires knowledge by sensory experience, internal reflection, and by rational thought. Such acquired knowledge is useful for man’s material existence in the world. Man has no rational ability or sensory experience to directly know the Ultimate Reality. However, man has innate knowledge whose existence is either hidden or ignored. At the time of conception, man begins his life journey by establishing an anatomical connection with a host without knowing the physical identity of that host. At the time of birth, man continues his life journey as an independent entity. He gains independence from his host but he is not truly energy independent. The newborn declares its connection with a Cosmic Source of Energy and Power by its cry. That simple act of crying announces the vital connection between man and his Energy Provider and Controller. The Journey in the external world after delivery from mother’s womb marks a big transition in the nature of Human Existence. The act of breathing begins, the breath of life assumes control of human existence and this connection is the sign of Divine Providence. The Knowledge of Internal Reality that is physically manifest in the Immanent Realm, and its identity with an External, Unmanifested Reality in Transcendental Realm could be obtained by simple awareness of the connections a Man has to make for his survival and existence in this world.       

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.        

 

LORD GANESHA - THE MENTOR FOR LEARNING - THE ART OF LEARNING WITH HUMILITY, PATIENCE, AND PERSEVERANCE.

 

 Lord Ganesha is the mentor of learning.This belief is so strongly ingrained into our psyche,His idol is worshiped along with the school books placed on the side to remind Him that we are seeking His assistance to learn from those books.He symbolizes the values of attentive listening,writing down words as instructed and patience.In the learning process,He works like a catalyst.He facilitates achievement by removing obstacles.He helps students to gain success with a sense of humility.All obstacles are removed and subdued if I meditate upon His face which is a picture of relaxation and total composure.The following prayer specifically guides me to overcome problems by focusing on positive energy that can be gained by reflecting upon a face that promotes tranquility.        

Shuklaam bara dharam,Vishnum.sasi varnam,chatur bhujam 
Prasanna Vadanam dhyaaye,tsarva vighnopa sante ye.
    
THE SARASVATI TRADITION :     

  

 

Sarasvati, the destroyer of Mental Inertia and Lethargy.

 

 The worship of Sarasvati is not a mere ritual.The worship would invariably include all the books and even note books that are used in the school.Books are not considered to be just a source of information but they are viewed as objects worthy of reverential treatment and as such are deemed to be physically representative of Sarasvati.Any disrespectful manner of handling books is avoided.For example,books including note books could not be tossed or dropped on to the bare floor.The floor should be cleaned and prepared and is preferably covered with a piece of cloth or a mat and the books should be carefully laid.Books are never to be used as play objects and not allowed to be used to hit another person.As a kid, I had actually believed that improper handling of books would displease Sarasvati and I believed that learning would become extremely difficult as a consequence of disrespectful attitude towards books.Self motivation and high expectation of academic achievement are very important in the learning process.The following prayer to Sarasvati demonstrates the need to prepare the mind to expect success while learning.         

Sarasvati,namastubhyam,Varade,Kaama rupinee         

Vidyaarambham karishyaami,Siddhir bhavatu mey sadaa.         

We commence learning and we shall never desire to give up learning.         

SARASVATI CONSCIOUSNESS AND ACADEMIC LIFE :         

My academic accomplishments are not exceptional but the over all academic experience was great.I read several books on my own and derived much pleasure from reading.Through out my academic life,I had competed with my fellow students and had participated in essay writing competitions,elocution contests and debating events and won several prizes.When I was 11 years old,I won the first prize in an English essay writing competition held at the Danavaipeta Municipal High School,Rajahmundry,when the School conducted such a contest for the first time.At age 13, I had finished High School studies and by age 17,I had obtained an under graduate degree of Bachelor of Science(Botany,Zoology,Chemistry)from Osmania University,Hyderabad.I did well in both Part I and Part II of the B.Sc examination and had the satisfaction of getting the top position among students who took the same elective courses.I had completed my under graduate studies in Medicine at Kurnool Medical College in 1970 and on 26 th July 1970,I had reported for duty at ARMY MEDICAL CORPS CENTRE and OFFICERS TRAINING SCHOOL,Lucknow.The Commission to join the ranks of Indian Army was granted to me in 1969 when I was 21 years old.         

Among the several prizes that I had won during my school years,I can rightfully speak about my success in one particular event.In 1965,when I was a freshman at Kurnool Medical College,The Department of English conducted an English essay writing competition that was open to all the College students.To encourage wider participation,the topic was announced in advance of the event.It was that of ‘ Family Planning ‘.The lecture hall,the venue of the event was filled up and the centre of attention was a final year M.B.B.S student who had already won the first prize at a National level competition for his essay on ‘ Family Planning ‘.The general consensus was that he would easily win this contest too.I arrived at the venue without any prior preparation.All other participants wrote about the importance of Family Planning,the methods and their ideas about implementing the programme.My essay was the only exception which did not delve upon those issues.As I sat down and was getting ready to write my opening statement,my mind was inspired by the creative spirit and had guided me to oppose the idea of Family Planning.After that,my thoughts came down pouring and I kept writing them down until the final minute of that contest.When the results were announced,the student community was astounded for my essay which opposed the idea of Family Planning won the first place for creative writing.         

For the last 24 years I have been living in a Land where Shiva,Saraswathi and Ganesha are not relevant to most of the people in my community.However,I still cling on to my precious icons that made my human existence possible.My mind is not still.My desire for intellectual pursuit is active and alive.Knowledge is revealed to me in tiny bits of information.I learned that the human body is made up of trillions of cells.I learned that I have no ” CHOICE ” or ” AUTONOMY ” to impose my authority over my body.There is not even one single cell in my body whose functions I could directly regulate and govern according to my choice.This lack of ability to rule the cells of my body gives me a sense of fear.I exist but I am not governing my existence.The people of my Land of origin for thousands of years depended upon two letters, ” RA ” and ” MA “to complete their life’s journey.I am learning that those two letters could also help me and give me hope and a sense of direction and also keep me afloat while I cross the ocean.         

In my pursuit of Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom, I seek Creative inspiration of Lord Rama who guides my pursuit according to the Laws of Karma. I should not seek the fruits of my work, the Knowledge and Wisdom could only help to know the Reality and is not for material gain. I recognize that the two letters or syllables of "RA" and "MA" represent Pure Knowledge, and Perfect Wisdom.

 

THE SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND HUMAN EXISTENCE  :       

I am fully determined to continue my pursuit of pure and perfect knowledge and as before I have my icons to guide me. My understanding of the term ‘consciousness’ has changed. Human consciousness includes aspects of mental awareness, and rational thoughts. I understand the term consciousness not only in the context of a mental function but also that of awareness at a cellular level. Consciousness is a biological characteristic and this trait is exhibited by all living cells and all biological entities. Each individual cell is conscious or aware of its existence and its internal and external environment. This awareness or consciousness describes living entities as created entities. In Indian tradition, all living entities are aware and conscious of the Creator. This consciousness gives the living entity a biological ability to exist by exploiting energy from its external environment. This energy dependence could only be instituted by an Energy Controller. Man’s existence in nature is subject to this energy connection with an extraterrestrial source of energy.        

A Mantra to illuminate Mind - Mind exists in a state of Ignorance or AVIDYA, a State of Darkness caused by the Power of Illusion called MAYA. Mind seeks to know the Reality using Rational Thought contributed by Acquired Knowledge. Reality can only be known by INNATE KNOWLEDGE, the Knowledge, the Awareness, the Consciousness that connects the Living Entity with Cosmic Enery/Force/Power, the Divine Entity. Because of Ignorance, the mind is not aware of the Cosmic Connection that establishes, sustains, and preserves Human Existence.

 

The symbolic expression of Ultimate Reality - Sound Energy is the physical manifestation of an Unmanifested Reality. The sound AUM or OM connects the Manifested Reality with the Unmanifest or Transcendental Reality.

 

GAYATRI MAHA MANTRA GIVES A FORMULA FOR SEEKING PURE KNOWLEDGE AND PERFECT WISDOM. SEEK ILLUMINATION FROM AN EXTERNAL REALITY TO DISPEL DARKNESS, TO BANISH IGNORANCE, TO UNCOVER HIDDEN INFORMATION. THE INTERNAL REALITY IS THE SAME AS THE UNMANIFESTED ULTIMATE REALITY. THIS IS SIMPLY KNOWN BY RECOGNIZING THE COSMIC CONNECTION BETWEEN BREATHING, AND LIVING HUMAN INDIVIDUAL AND ITS DEPENDENCE UPON COSMIC POWER/ENERGY.

 

Man acquires knowledge by sensory experience, internal reflection, and by rational thought. Such acquired knowledge is useful for man’s material existence in the world. Man has no rational ability or sensory experience to directly know the Ultimate Reality. However, man has innate knowledge whose existence is either hidden or ignored. At the time of conception, man begins his life journey by establishing an anatomical connection with a host without knowing the physical identity of that host. At the time of birth, man continues his life journey as an independent entity. He gains independence from his host but he is not truly energy independent. The newborn declares its connection with a Cosmic Source of Energy and Power by its cry. That simple act of crying announces the vital connection between man and his Energy Provider and Controller. The Journey in the external world after delivery from mother’s womb marks a big transition in the nature of Human Existence. The act of breathing begins, the breath of life assumes control of human existence and this connection is the sign of Divine Providence. The Knowledge of Internal Reality that is physically manifest in the Immanent Realm, and its identity with an External, Unmanifested Reality in Transcendental Realm could be obtained by simple awareness of the connections a Man has to make for his survival and existence in this world.       

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.        

 

 

 

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE WRITING

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Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Students started a new School Year on September 08. My children in the past had attended this School. In the past ten years, I had visited this building countless number of times particularly after the School is closed at the end of the day.
Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Students started a new School Year on September 08. My children in the past had attended this School. In the past ten years, I had visited this building countless number of times particularly after the School is closed at the end of the day.

 

EAST AND WEST – WHAT SETS US APART IN LEARNING AND CREATIVE WRITING?   

Besides food, in the East, particularly in India, we tend to use visual images and use imaginary personalities with individualistic characteristics to engage in all kinds of human effort and activity. In the field of Education, we use the images and the characteristics associated with the following personalities :   

Lord Shiva-The God of Learning: Om, NamaH Shivaya, Siddham NamaH
Lord Shiva-The God of Learning: Om, NamaH Shivaya, Siddham NamaH

 

Lord Shiva, the God of Learning insists that we should seek the ability to think for ourselves. Learning commences after the student respectfully submits to Him and states that he is ready and prepared for Learning. In Sanskrit language the student makes his submission to Lord Shiva : ” OM, NamaH Shivaya, Siddham NamaH.” An attitude of humility, and a willingness to accept personal responsibility and being mentally prepared before any Learning instruction is imparted are the first steps for Learning to begin. In my view, Lord Shiva presides over the frontal area( Prefrontal Cortex) of the human brain which is the seat of intellectual thoughts.   

Sarasvati - The Goddess of Wisdom and Perfect Knowledge, the Goddess of Speech or Vaak presides over the Broca's Area, the Speech Center of the Brain.
Sarasvati - The Goddess of Wisdom and Perfect Knowledge, the Goddess of Speech or Vaak presides over the Broca's Area, the Speech Center of the Brain.

 

Sarasvati is the Goddess of Wisdom and Perfect Knowledge. Learning is not about the mere exposure of a student to new information. Learning involves the process of assimilation of new information and an ability to analyze that information, and to formulate an opinion based upon that information. The student should be able to express that information in his speech and prove that he had imbibed the information in a critical manner. Sarasvati is also the Goddess of Speech or “Vaak” and controls the Speech Center or Area of the brain known as Broca’s Area. She banishes mental lethargy, mental laziness which impedes the ability to learn new information. She removes the mental barriers, the mental fences that we erect which disrupt ‘mental fluidity’, the fluid dynamics required for smooth flow of mental impulses between different areas of the brain involved in Learning and Speech.   

Lord Ganesha - The Mentor of Learning, the Remover of Obstacles.
Lord Ganesha - The Mentor of Learning, the Remover of Obstacles.

 

Lord Ganesha is the Mentor of Learning. Learning is a complicated process. At individual level, it needs neuro-muscular coordination and at an external level it needs the removal of all distractions that interfere with the process of Learning. Ganesha removes all obstacles that could prevent the student from his pursuit of Learning.   

Lord Rama is the source of inspiration to writers, musicians, dancers, and other artists and craftsmen.
Lord Rama is the source of inspiration to writers, musicians, dancers, and other artists and craftsmen.

 

Apart from the three personalities, the student can choose an image of his choice to specifically draw inspiration  while he travels on the path of Learning. The personality of Lord Rama alone had inspired thousands of Indians to express their devotion to Him in creative and distinctive ways.In the Indian Tradition, the ‘GURU’ or the teacher has a very unique position and is elevated to the status of the Divine Trinity represented by Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Protector), and Shiva (the Restorer).   

George Bernard Shaw - July 26, 1856 to November 2, 1950 - Author of more than 60 plays, distinguished essayist, music critic, the only person who won a Nobel Prize for Literature and also an Academy Award.
George Bernard Shaw - July 26, 1856 to November 2, 1950 - Author of more than 60 plays, distinguished essayist, music critic, the only person who won a Nobel Prize for Literature and also an Academy Award.

 

George Bernard Shaw apart from being a great playwright, was an influential music and drama critic, a superb essayist, and a penetrating analyst of virtually every important aspect of Western culture. The adjective ‘Shavian’ describes anything resembling his distinctive ideas or personality. Shaw rejected orthodoxy to become an atheist and a Darwinist, and moved through radical anarchism, Marxism to Socialism. He had finally arrived at Creative Evolution which viewed life as a whole and over an infinite time span. I could use his image to inspire myself while I indulge in expressing my thoughts, but I cannot draw any inspiration from his distinctive ideas  and use them as a basis for my writing.   

Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the Stream; Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a Dream.
Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the Stream; Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a Dream.

 

THE CREATIVE WRITING CLASS AT PIONEER HIGH SCHOOL, ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN :   

Jeff Kass is a teacher of Creative Writing at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor and he also teaches at the Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He teaches four sections of Creative Writing per day and over 110 students attend his classes to learn Creative Writing at Pioneer High School. He had included a quotation from the playwright George Bernard Shaw in the hand-out for his class and had designated the quotation as the Mission Statement for what his students will be doing throughout the semester. The quote is as follows: ” I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.” Jeff Kass has further instructed his students : “I want you to be thoroughly used up. I want you to feel like you gave this class everything you possibly could and you have nothing left.” He drew the analogy of a boating crew, the athletes who compete in boating races. These athletes at the end of the race are very physically exhausted, they manage to hobble across the dock without an ounce of energy left in their bodies. Jeff Kass has stated that his Creative Writing Class students may experience a figurative death at the end of their semester as they are thoroughly used up.   

CREATIVE WRITING AND MENTAL FLUIDITY :   

Creative Writing should not demand any kind of strenuous effort and particularly should not result in mental strain. Firstly, writing needs neuromuscular coordination but it is not viewed as a physical effort. What makes an individual ‘creative’ is his ability to think for himself. An individual may need the necessary language skills to express his thoughts; he needs information about the subject of his thoughts, and his mind actually experiences a sense of profound relief when the thoughts find an outlet in the form of written expression. It is like the sense of relief a pregnant woman experiences after delivering the baby she had conceived before. A mind, full of thoughts is often compared to the state of pregnancy. The act of delivery is the ultimate Joy and the painful contractions of delivery are instantly forgotten and the face of the mother reflects a glow of happiness. I would expect to see such glow of happiness when the students leave the Creative Writing Class. Creative Writing should not be like that of a boat rowing race and it should rather represent the act of gently rowing the boat down the stream and the act of rowing should give a sense of Joy as expressed in the following popular nursery rhyme :   

Row, row, row your boat   

Gently down the stream   

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily   

Life is but a Dream.   

A  Creative Writer never dies as he always lives through the thoughts that he had expressed in his Writing.   

INDIVIDUALISM AND CREATIVITY :   

We come into existence as individuals. We are created as persons with qualities and characteristics that set us apart from others. Our personal identity relates to the condition of being an individual or different from others. The students of the Creative Writing class should be able to describe their ‘Individuality’. For Creative Writing, the individual need to express his original, distinctive ideas, the ideas that set him apart from the ideas expressed by other individuals. The ‘Individuality’ is not related to the individual’s skin color, hair color,or the glasses the individual may wear. The ‘Individuality’ exists in the thoughts and which when expressed in words speak about the ‘Creativity’ of the individual. The students of the Creative writing class should seek to exist as individuals, capable of thinking for themselves, form their own opinions, and express their own distinctive ideas. The Class should provide tools to students to express their ‘Individualism’.   

CREATIVE WRITING : INDIVIDUALISTIC RHYTHM  vs GROUP DANCE :   

Raas Leela - Lord Krishna in Vrindavan dancing with Gopis. Lord Krishna is simultaneously ONE and also DIFFERENT. He is the manifestation of Creative Energy.This Group Dance is an example of 'Individualistic Rhythm'.
Raas Leela - Lord Krishna in Vrindavan dancing with Gopis. Lord Krishna is simultaneously ONE and also DIFFERENT. He is the manifestation of Creative Energy.This Group Dance is an example of 'Individualistic Rhythm'.

 

Jeff Kass encourages his students to perform a ‘Group Dance’ to encourage them to share their thoughts with the ‘Group’ and getting connected to them.The individual always exists in an environment. For Creative Writing, the individual need to get connected to his ‘Inner self’, set himself apart from the social group to which he may belong. His concern should not be about the ‘Group’. His concern should be to focus on his own thoughts about everything else. What he thinks about the ‘Group’ is more relevant than being part of the ‘Group’. Creative Writing is not like the ‘Group Dance’ and it describes the ‘Individualistic Rhythm’. Lord Krishna in the above illustration is seen dancing with a Group of maidens known as Gopis. He appears before each of His dancing partner as a DIFFERENT individual. He uses His Creative Energy to perform His Individualistic Rhythm. Creativity gives us the ability to express individualistic variation and define our Identity in thought and action.   

“REFLECTIONS” – CREATIVE WRITING CLASS AT PIONEER HIGH SCHOOL :   

The Creative Writing Class has started with an incomplete quote from playwright George Bernard Shaw. The quote should read as follows :”I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.” This is GBS’s view about the purpose of his human life and existence and hence the quote cannot be used to inspire students learning the Art of Creative Writing. For Creative Writing, the individual must first recognize his individuality, define his identity and purpose, and get connected to his ‘inner self’ before paying attention to the social community or “GROUP”. This flawed ‘Mission Statement’ is now getting expressed in the ‘Reflections’ of the students. Two of the students of this Class had used a homophobic word in written assignments submitted to the teacher. Sexuality describes our attitude about human sexual relationships. A Creative Writer should first learn to express his/her ideas about his/her own gender. The same applies to issues such as race, religion, or ethnicity. The Creative Writer must be given the tools to express ideas and thoughts that explain his/her gender, race, ethnicity, physical or anthropometric identity, and purpose in life before venturing to express opinions about relationships with others. The student should first recognize the difference between an ‘idea’ and an ‘opinion’. The Class should aim at expressing ‘ideas’ and not upon voicing ‘opinions’. By including the ‘opinion’ of GBS in the ‘Mission Statement’, the students are given the wrong impression that  their purpose is that of expressing ‘opinions’. If I am a male, my own personal awareness of my gender is more important than expressing that gender identity in the context of homophobia. A Creative Writer needs to express unique, and distinctive ideas and such ideas would arise only if he/she understands his/her own self.   

A TEACHABLE MOMENT TO THE TEACHERS : CREATIVE WRITING AT PIONEER HIGH SCHOOL :   

In the last three weeks, the teacher at Pioneer High School has publicly disclosed verbal or written statements of his Creative Writing Class students without giving them a prior warning. It would be appropriate to disclose to the students that their statements would be publicly disclosed and would be openly debated by the rest of the Community. A physician who may have seen or diagnosed the pregnancy of the teen in the Creative Writing Class would not have divulged that information to others. A priest who may hear confessional statements of his parishioners would not disclose them to the rest of the congregation. I wonder if there is a confidentiality clause in the teacher-pupil relationship. At a minimum, the students should be aware of the blog postings of their teacher and the public discussion. It is relevant as the teacher has not set boundaries to the freedom of speech in the context of his lesson plans. The homophobic word or expression in the written assignments rendered by two students should be evaluated for its academic merit. It appears that the students who used the words have not yet acquired narrative skills. The word ‘idea’ in the context of Creative Writing could be defined as something one thinks, a thought, mental conception, or image. Students should be encouraged to visualize their ideas and then describe their mental pictures or images. The ‘reflective’ statements with the homophobic word lack this quality; a clear description of a mental image or picture and from an academic point of view, a creative idea is not described or stated. The word ‘opinion’ is defined as a mental conviction, a belief, an evaluation, impression, estimation, or judgment of the quality or worth of a person or thing; a conclusion affected by one’s personal manner of looking at things. The homophobic word qualifies as an ‘opinion’ and if it is used as an ‘idea’, the mental concept or image is poorly narrated. Creative Writing demands that the writer should project his mental concepts in a vivid manner and a reader should be able to visualize that ‘idea’ described by the author. It is a teachable moment to the teachers as the incident reveals the pitfalls of inadequate instruction.   

RELATED BLOG POST :   

Set your Mind Free – Let Sarasvati Flow .  

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/set-your-mind-free-let-sarasvati-flow/ 

 Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,   

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,   

M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.   

  

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE FORGIVENESS

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Rudyard Kipling from John Palmer
Image via Wikipedia

Judaeo-Christian and Islamic Belief in Day of Judgement
Judaeo-Christian and Islamic Belief in Day of Judgement

 Oh !, East is East, and West is West,     

and never the twain shall meet      

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at     

God’s great Judgement Seat :     

The ideas of Rudyard Kipling, the First English writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, may have been shaped by his Judaeo-Christian beliefs. The idea of standing before God’s great Judgement Seat belongs to the West. This idea is repeatedly expressed in Holy Bible.     

Illustration of Doomsday or Day of Judgement- The Book of 2 Corinthians,Chapter 5, verse 10
Illustration of Doomsday or Day of Judgment- The Book of 2 Corinthians,Chapter 5, verse 10

 Apostle Paul in his Letters had expressed the idea of coming before Christ  for Judgment. In the Book of Romans, Chapter 14, verses 11 and 12 read : It is written : ” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.     

"For we must all appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ"-The Second Epistle of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians
"For we must all appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ"-The Second Epistle of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians

Apostle Paul reinforces the belief in the ‘Day of Judgment’ in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians. 2 Corinthians, Chapter 5, verse 10 reads as follows: “For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”     

The idea of standing before God for Judgement is not specifically expressed in the East and particularly in the Land of India the Belief in the Theory of Karma shapes the attitudes. In India, the idea of Salvation is not expressed in the context of going to Heaven or Hell as the consequence of a Reward or Punishment on the Day of Judgement. The Law of Karma asserts that  “The Fruit of one’s own making is indeed experienced in one’s life.” As per Indian belief, this inevitability of consequences for one’s own actions is not operated by the mechanism of coming before a God on a Day of Judgment. In India, the man is free to choose between good and evil and experience the fruit of his own actions during the present stage of existence or at a later time in any successive stage of existence. These ideas shape our attitude towards others as well as our relationship with God. The Day of Judgement has no particular relevance to my belief in God.     

THE IDEA OF FORGIVENESS :     

The Lord's Prayer from the Book of Matthew,Chapter 6, Verses 9-13
The Lord's Prayer from the Book of Matthew,Chapter 6, Verses 9-13

Jesus taught His disciples the manner in which they must pray to God. From the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6, Verses 9 to 13 are recited and popularly referred to as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. The idea of forgiveness is expressed in the context of a debt. To cancel or forgive a debt means an agreement to give up all future claims for repayment and hence there will be no future penalty and no punishment for an act of omission or commission. This same idea of forgiveness is also expressed in the context of sin.     

The Lord's Prayer from the Book of Luke, Chapter 11, Verses 2-4
The Lord's Prayer from the Book of Luke, Chapter 11, Verses 2-4

The Lord’s Prayer in the Book of Luke appears in Chapter 11, verses 2 to 4. Verse number 4 asks : “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us( or, Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us ).” This idea of forgiveness is not simply about our sense of our anger or resentment and a desire for retaliation and to extract penalty for an offense. This idea of forgiveness is more akin to a pardon that could only be granted by a Judge. In the Judaeo-Christian and Islamic Belief, God officiates as a Judge and could grant a pardon and then there is no further punishment or consequence for an offense. In the Land of Bharat, God refrains from the role of  being a Judge. God is viewed as a Defender, Protector, and Restorer of Dharma or Right Conduct. God would intervene if the Scales of Balance get tipped towards ‘Adharma’ or immoral conduct. Individuals do not come before God for His Judgment and they would experience the consequences for their own acts according to the Law of Karma. God refuses the role of a Judge and He is not in the business of forgiving sins or debts. Indians firmly believe in the practice of repaying their debts and unpaid debts are passed on to the next of kin or to the member of the next generation. Indians may seek assistance or help to repay their loans or render service in lieu of such repayment. They do not pray for forgiveness of their debts. For their acts of offense, misdeeds, and sinful activities, Indians only ask for patience and tolerance which is described as ‘KSHAMA’ in Sanskrit language. For any offending behavior or crime, an Indian may plead for a sense of restraint and forbearance. This tolerance of an offense, this restraint in retaliation or counteracting a misdeed is expressed in the context of a belief in ‘Prarabdha Karma’, the Karma that afflicts the body as a consequence of past actions. There is no escape from this experience of ‘Prarabdha Karma’ and God does not interfere with the operation of the Law of Karma. However, God may grant protection( Raksha ) or offer refuge( Saranu ) , or provide a sanctuary( Aasraya ) to a person who is seeking to defend his existence from acts of retaliation by his enemies. The ideas of ‘Saranu’, ‘Raksha’, ‘Aasraya’, or ‘Aasaya’ could provide defence, protection, support, and help without actually forgiving the individual from eventual consequences for his actions. The concept of forgiveness of debts and sins is not reflected in the ideas and concepts that originated in India. An individual under no circumstance should make any attempt to avoid personal responsibility and a Superior person would not personally retaliate and would not punish an offender in a fit of anger. The Indian tradition demands us to show patience while dealing with the mistakes and misdeeds of others and urges us to take action to correct a wrong instead of extracting a penalty for the offense.     

A PRAYER FOR PATIENCE, TOLERANCE, MERCY, COMPASSION, AND GRACE  KNOWN AS ‘KSHAMA’ :     

Lord Shiva( the Auspicious one), is known as 'Maha Deva'(Great God), Sambhu or Shambho(the Benignant one),an Ocean of Compassion and a Destroyer of Sensuality, a Great Ascetic, the Restorer of Peace.
Lord Shiva( the Auspicious one), is known as 'Maha Deva'(Great God), Sambhu or Shambho(the Benignant one),an Ocean of Compassion and a Destroyer of Sensuality, a Great Ascetic, the Restorer of Peace.

Kara charana krutham, Vaak kaayajam, Karmajam vaa,     

Sravana nayanajam vaa, Maanasam vaa aparaadham     

Vihitha mavihitham vaa, Sarva mey tat Kshamasva,     

Shiva ! Shiva ! Karunaabhdey, Sri Maha Deva Shambho.     

Shiva= The Auspicious One, Karunaabhdey = An Ocean of Mercy, Compassion and Grace, Shambho= The Benignant One, Kshamasva= show patience and tolerance, Sarva mey tat= all( actions/activities ) without any exceptions, Vihitha=enjoined or explicable, Avihitham= Not enjoined or inexplicable, Aparaadham= acts of offense or crimes and misdeeds, Krutham=generated or attributed, kara= hands, charana=feet, Vaak=Speech, Karmajam=predestined as a consequence of a past act, sravana=generated by an act of hearing, nayanajam=generated by an act involving the use of eyes, Maanasam = generated in mind or mental visualization of physical acts.     

This prayer specifically refrains from seeking an unconditional pardon and does not aim at obtaining forgiveness. The prayer seeks Lord’s Compassion,Mercy and Grace; and is seeking for His patience and tolerance as the individual has no real escape from the consequences of all of his acts without any exception. The individual is seeking Lord’s  patience and tolerance as he faces the inevitable consequences for his misdeeds and crimes; and Lord’s Mercy, Compassion, and Grace are needed to mitigate and to help the individual to bear the consequences for such acts and to gain redemption. Let it be a sin or a debt, I am encouraged to do my best to redeem myself and should not desire forgiveness.  

Please also visit related blog post titled ‘Defining Indian Identity – The Land of Karma’ 

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/defining-indian-identity-the-land-of-karma/    

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,     

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,     

M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE KARMA

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The Land of India or Bharat Varsha is traditionally identified as 'KARMA KSHETRA' or 'KARMA BHUMI'.Human Existence is operated by the 'Law of Karma'.
The Land of India or Bharat Varsha is traditionally identified as 'KARMA KSHETRA' or 'KARMA BHUMI'.Human Existence is operated by the 'Law of Karma'.

 

THE LAW OF KARMA AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO FATE OR DESTINY :   

The Sanskrit word ‘KARMA’ describes the totality of a person’s actions in any one of the successive states of that person’s existence. The ‘Law of Karma’ governs all action and its inevitable consequences on the doer. The ‘Law of Karma’ determines the consequences on the doer not only during the course of his current existence but also during the course of  the next successive states of future existence. In whichever manner an individual chooses to act, the action may have been predetermined by his past Karma. In this sense, Karma could be described as the rootcause of any action or event. The word FATE or DESTINY is described in Sanskrit language as ‘DAIVAM’,’BHAAGYAM’, ‘NIYATI’, and ‘VIDHI’. Fate or Destiny is the Power or Divine Agency that determines the outcome of events before they actually occur. Fate or Destiny determines what happens or has happened to a person during his past, present, or future existence. Very often, people are confused about the relationship between the concept of Karma and the concept of ‘Daivam’, or ‘Vidhi’ which is popularly described as Fate or Destiny. People very often invoke the concept of Fate or Destiny to explain only when something inexplicable and unexpected happens in one’s life. The belief in a Supreme Being and the belief in God as the ‘Prime Cause’, and the concept of God’s Will are slightly different from the concept of the Power represented by Fate or Destiny. God will not contrive the actions of an individual for His own benefit. God has the intrinsic ability to execute  His own Plans. It is the individual’s Karma ( from present and past stages of existence ) that determines his Fate or Destiny in the next and subsequent stages of existence. The Power or Agency of Fate or Destiny is not operated by the individual but by a Divine Strategy. The individual has no control on the Divine Strategy. A person can exercise control over his own actions but cannot modify the manner in which the consequences for his actions manifest. The consequences for the actions in one’s own life may manifest at an unknown time, in an unexpected manner strictly according to the Divine Strategy, the Power or Agency that administers Fate or Destiny. Karma literally writes the Fate or Destiny of an individual and yet they may not be used as synonyms. However, it would be correct to attribute any inexplicable event to the doings of Karma or Fate/Destiny. Because of this deep-rooted belief in the inevitability of consequences on the doer, the Land of Bharat or India is identified as ‘Karma Kshetra’ or ‘Karma Bhumi’ where the ‘Law of Karma’ is enforced upon all living and non-living entities. Since most living entities are dependent upon Sun for their biological existence, the Sun God or Lord Surya is also known as ‘Karma Saakshi’ which means that Sun is a Witness to all of our activities( Karma) during our physical existence. In the ‘AfterLife’, if an individual has to be punished for his actions, a divine entity known as Lord Yama or ‘KARMAKAR’ imposes punishment strictly according to Karma. The idea or concept of Karma is firmly associated with the idea or concept of ‘SAMSARA’ and the belief that a living entity has existed in the past, and would continue to exist in the future and death is viewed as a transition from one stage of existence to the next.    

THE ATTRIBUTES OF KARMA :   

Karma encompasses all actions performed by the organs of Karma known as ‘Karma Indriya’. These are identified as hands, legs, feet, speech( Vaak), ‘Paayuvu’, and ‘Upastha’. The last two describe bodily functions associated with excretion and reproduction. In the West also there are stringent laws to protect people from offensive behavior. Lewd public behavior is prohibited by law. Karma describes a variety of activities. It includes occupational duties and work, rituals and ceremonies particularly in the context of death and mourning, the rituals of sacrifice such as ‘Havan’ or ‘Yajna’, the interest paid on a loan or debt, the struggle or effort to safeguard existence ( ‘YATANA’ ), the good deeds ( ‘PUNYA’ ), and also the sinful activities ( ‘ Paapa’ ). An individual is expected to exercise control on his ‘Organs of Karma’ and this attitude of self-restraint is described as ‘Indriya Nigraha’. An individual has no foreknowledge of his own Fate/Destiny and the only manner by which he may shape the future events is by choosing appropriate Karma according to the ‘Laws of Right Conduct’ described in Sanskrit language as ‘DHARMA’.   

THE MECHANISMS OF KARMA :   

Karma operates like a Bank Account. An individual entity comes into existence with a Credit Balance of Karma known as ‘SA BEEJA KARMA’. This Credit Balance represents the Account Balance that is carried Forward from the individual’s previous existence. An individual’s physical existence may end with death, and the Karma Account would not be permanently closed and the Balance is carried Forward and represents the Beginning Balance with which an individual begins a new journey in the cycle of Life-Death-and Life. Whenever, an individual actually experiences the consequences of his past Karma, the Karma that is withdrawn from the Karma Bank Account is called as ‘PRARABDHA KARMA’. The individual actually tastes the Fruits of this Karma and hence it is also known as ‘KARMA PHAL’. The taste of the Fruit depends upon the nature of Karma that is being consumed by the individual.The experience of Prarabdha Karma has direct consequences as it afflicts the human body in its present state of existence. Individual has no choice in matters concerning this Withdrawal. Individual cannot control the Amount of Withdrawal, the Time of Withdrawal and the effects of the Withdrawal. The Authority which administers the Bank Account makes all the decisions in the manner  a Karma Account is operated. The individual during the course of his existence would be continuously replenishing his Karma Bank Account. This Credit Balance in the Karma Account is known as ‘AGAMI KARMA’. This Balance is not yet Withdrawn and is held in store until such time the individual gets a chance to experience its Fruits. Agami Karma represents an individual’s Pre Destination of which the individual has no foreknowledge. It is not exactly ordained by God. It is only operated by a Strategy which chooses its own Plan to deliver this Agami Karma to the individual from his own Credit Balance. When the Karma Bank Account’s Balance becomes ‘ZERO’, the individual is promptly released from its shackles and entanglements. Such Liberated individual Entity would gain his total independence from the Cycle of Life-Death- and Life. The Purpose of Life and Human Existence is ultimately that of eliminating the Balance in the Karma Bank Account and a Zero Balance is the Goal to be obtained. The idea of ‘Liberation'( Moksha ) or Salvation is unlike a reward or punishment and should not be confused with the concept of ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’. Liberation requires that there should be no ‘credit’ ( positive Karma ), or ‘debit’ ( negative Karma ) Balance in the Karma Bank Account.   

Adi Shankaracharya had described the True Identity of SELF.
Adi Shankaracharya had described the True Identity of SELF.

 

It may not be easy to empty the Karma Bank Account as the individual could only make deposits into his Account and the Account is withdrawn under a Plan operated by Daivam. Adi Shankaracharya had described the True Identity of SELF and Self-Knowledge is the key to obtain ‘RELEASE’ or ‘VIMOCHAN’ or ‘MUKTI’ from the entanglements of Karma. He had asserted that the Five Organs of Karma known as Vaak(organs of Speech ), Paanee( Hands ), Paada( Feet ), Upastha( organs of reproduction ), and  Paayuu( organ of excretion ) would “NOT” describe his True Identity.   

In the epic poem of Ramayana, Princess Seetha had instructed Hanuman;"The Fruit of one's own making is indeed experienced in one's life."
In the epic poem of Ramayana, Princess Seetha had instructed Hanuman;"The Fruit of one's own making is indeed experienced in one's life."

 

WHO CAN OPPOSE DESTINY ?   

Who can resist Fate ?  The epic poem of Ramayana very explicitly states that human entities are ‘WEAK’ ( ‘DURBALA’ ) and should not attempt to challenge or fight against Fate/Destiny. Since it is the work of Divine Strategy, we need to humble ourselves, exhibit an attitude of humility, and seek Divine Compassion or Mercy to deal with the doings of Fate. In the story of Ramayana all the central characters willingly submit themselves to the Power of ‘DAIVAM’, the Agency that operates Fate/Destiny. To illustrate this point of view, I shall quote from Valmiki Ramayana, Book VI, Yuddha Kanda – The Book of War, Chapter(Sarga) 113, verses 30 to 47. It describes the scene after the killing of King Ravana of Lanka who had earlier abducted Princess Seetha and held her captive in a grove known as ‘Ashoka Vana’. Prince Rama dispatches Hanuman to give Princess Seetha the message about His victory in the War. After having delivered the message, Hanuman seeks the permission of Princess Seetha to kill the notorious female-demons, the servant-maids of King Ravana who were frightening her during her prolonged captivity. In her response to Hanuman, Princess Seetha claimed that the servant-maids were only acting in obedience to the orders of their King and hence should not be targeted with anger. She had also further explained that she was only reaping the consequences of her misfortunes on an account of misdeed she may have committed in the past and stated that ” The Fruits of one’s own making is indeed experienced in one’s life.” In verse number 42, Princess Seetha asks Hanuman to refrain from talking in that manner ( about angry retaliation ) and instructed Him; ” This indeed is a great Divine Strategy. It was ordained that this type of situation( her captivity ) is to be obtained by Me, due to the application of Fate. Feeble as I am in these matters ( about counteracting the Power of Fate ), I shall grant protection from retaliation to the servant-maids of Ravana here.”   

MaivaM vada Mahaabaaho Daivii hye Shaa paraa gatiH,   

 PraaptavyaM tu dashaa yog Anmayaitaditi  nishchitam   

Daasiinaam Raavanaasya aham marShayaami iha durbalaa.   

Mahaabaaho=O’ the Great Armed( Hanuman), maa vada= do not speak, evam=like this, eshaa= this, paraa hi= it is indeed great, Daivii gatiH= Divine Strategy, Nishchitam= it was decided, iti=that, idam= this situation, praaptavyam=is to be obtained, ma yaa= by me, durbalaa= feeble, aham=(as) I am, marshayaami=giving protection from retaliation,daasiinaam= the servant-maids, Raavanaasya= of Ravana,  iha=here.   

 It is very interesting to note that Princess Seetha had specifically chosen the phrase “Mahaa baaho” to glorify the physical prowess of Hanuman. He had merely asked for Her permission to punish the female demons and it is absolutely clear that no physical effort is truly required on Her part to execute that punishment. And yet, She claimed that She would not consider punishing the servant-maids just because of Her own physical weakness. In saying so, She is actually suggesting to Hanuman that He must also consider Himself to be physically feeble and should not engage in any action with an intention to counteract the doings of Fate. Princess Seetha has delivered a clear message to all living entities and reminded all of us to realize the ineffectiveness of our physical abilities and the Superiority of the Divine Power which governs Fate/Destiny. In her concluding remarks, Princess Seetha has further instructed that it is incorrect to respond to evil with evil. No evil is to be done, even to those cruel persons of sinful deeds, who take pleasure to harm others and continue to perpetrate their sinful acts. Kindness is to be shown by a noble person either towards a sinner or to a virtuous person or even to a person who deserves death, for , there is none who never commits a wrong. Virtuous persons value good conduct as an ornament. A Superior person does not take into account the sin of those who have committed an offense or a transgression.   

The epic poem of Ramayana firmly establishes the concept of Karma and the inescapable consequences of Karma and the role played by Daivam, the Divine Power which is manifested as Fate/Destiny and supports an attitude of humility and submission to the Divine Strategy.   

THE SECULAR ASPECTS OF INDIAN IDENTITY :   

The ideas and concepts that originated in the Land of Bharat or India are secular. None of the concepts demand that the individual must worship any particular God. While embracing these ideas and concepts, Indians are free to worship a God of their own choice. Apart from a Divine Entity, Indians are free to choose a living entity or even a physical entity for an act of Worship and Devotion. The ideas or concepts of Karma, Fate/Destiny, Satya (Truth), Dharma ( Right Conduct), Samsara, Mukti, Moksha(Liberation) are not attached to any particular God. The ideas of Karma and Fate/Destiny do not demand absolute Faith in a particular God. The idea of Karma describes the activities of an individual and its consequences upon the individual. God is not involved in this idea. The idea of Fate/Destiny involves an unknown Supernatural Power or Agency and the Strategy used by this Agency. God does not contrive or conspire to cause an unfortunate event. In the epic poem of Ramayana,Prince Rama and Princess Seetha being reincarnations of Vishnu and Lakshmi, had arrived upon planet Earth for their earthly existence without any Credit Balance of Karma and the mechanisms of Karma were not responsible for  unfortunate incidents in their lives. They had behaved and acted like ordinary mortals and hence we should not be surprised by Princess Seetha’s remarks about any misdeed She may have committed in Her prior life as an explanation for the sufferings She had endured. The entire Story was set into motion by a Divine Strategy and the principal players were not directly aware of that Strategy which would unfold in their lives with direct physical consequences. Ordinary mortals would be better off by contemplating upon their misdeeds and seek redemption and obtain protection from the Energy/Power/Force of Mercy, Grace, and Compassion described as ‘KRUPA’.   

The idea of Karma helps us to accept a sense of personal responsibility for any action that we perform, shapes our attitudes,  controls our behavior, and strengthens our character.    

Please also view the related blog post titled ‘East and West – The Idea of Forgiveness’  

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/east-and-west-the-idea-of-forgiveness/  

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,   

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,   

M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.   

    

 

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE BLUE

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John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, Senior Wrangl...
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NATURE’S GENEROUS GIFT TO MAN – THE BLUE SKY 

THE FIVE PRIMORDIAL ELEMENTS OF NATURE-“PANCHA MAHA BHOOTA” 

Nature(Prakriti) supports and sustains life on this planet. Nature operates through five life giving forces or energies known as Sky, Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire. These five forces existed from the very beginning prior to the arrival of life forms on this planet. 

NATURE’S BOUNTY – BLUE SKY 

Planet Earth is a very unique and special place in the universe that we know today. Man is privileged to live under the blue sky. In popular opinion, sky is the expanse of heavens that forms an apparent arch over the Earth. The sky provides the background for the clouds, Sun, Moon, and the stars and as such they are generally viewed as a part of the sky. In spirituality, sky symbolizes the infinite universe. The story of creation in the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verses 6, 7, and 8 describe as to how God had created an expanse above the waters of the Earth and called the expanse “sky”. Sky is viewed poetically as a solid arch or vault and is known as firmament or a strengthening support. 

In reality, this apparent enclosing dome known as the sky is caused by the Earth’s atmosphere. The sky is generated by the interaction of light and the gas molecules in the atmosphere. The dome like contour is attributable to Earth’s shape and curvature. Atmosphere( Greek -atmos means vapor) is the gaseous envelope surrounding the Earth. It is 21 % oxygen, 78 % nitrogen, and 1 % other gases. Because of Earth’s gravitational force, the gaseous atmosphere rotates with the earth. The atmosphere exerts a moderating influence upon temperature. In the absence of atmosphere, Earth would experience the extremes of temperature variations and practically life becomes impossible.The air in the atmosphere is in constant motion, with both horizontal and vertical air currents. The natural movement of air, the wind flow is very important for control of climatic conditions. The earth’s atmosphere is the environment for most of its biological activity and it also exerts a considerable influence on the ocean and lake environment. The atmosphere protects Earth’s life forms from harmful radiation and cosmic debris. The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere protects Earth from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. The moment we exit from Earth’s atmosphere and enter the outer space, we would miss seeing the beautiful blue sky. Moon has very thin atmosphere and a person standing on Moon would not be able to see the blue sky. The atmospheric conditions on Venus, Mars, and Mercury are very different from Earth and hence they can not offer the blue sky. The atmospheric conditions on other celestial bodies is not yet fully studied and very little is known and the right conditions to witness a blue sky may not exist at all in rest of the universe that we know. 

WHY SKY IS BLUE IN COLOR ? 

The blue color of the clear day time sky results from the selective scattering of light rays by the gas molecules, minute particles of dust and water vapor in the atmosphere. Physicist Lord Rayleigh provided the explanation for the sky color and the phenomenon is called “Rayleigh’s Scattering”. Sun’s light when it enters Earth’s atmosphere, the light rays with longer wavelengths such as the reds and yellow pass through most readily, whereas the shorter wavelengths such as the blues are scattered and are seen by the observer on the ground causing the apparent blue sky. Humans are also capable of color vision and animals that lack this ability of color vision can not appreciate sky’s blue color. The sky appears dark at night time as the level of illumination from Moon and the stars is not adequate to scatter enough blue light. Blue sky is a natural gift to people who inhabit planet Earth. 

Astronaut Alan Shepard is pictured on Moon. The Moon surface is seen illuminated. The Sky is Dark. The Sky is also Dark in the rest of the Universe. Earth is one of its own kind original celestial object with its Blue Sky.
Astronaut Edwin Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Mission to Moon confirms the uniqueness of Planet Earth.
View of "Blue Planet"- Earth viewed from Lunar surface - Apollo 8 Mission, December 25, 1968- A Christmas Day Gift.

BLUE IS THE COLOR OF GOD 

Blue is the color of the sky and blue is also associated with sea and water. Blue is the color that symbolizes the spiritual. The Egyptian God of heaven, Amon Ra and the Greek God Zeus are associated with blue color. The Nordic God Odin’s cape is blue. Virgin Mary’s cloak is blue and she has been called the Blue Lily. In the Bible, blue signifies celestial love of truth, because blue is the color of the sky and is thought to signify truth from a celestial origin, which is truth from God. Across different cultures on this planet, blue color is related to Heaven and to God. But all of those cultural beliefs outside of India are of only of academic interest as blue color is not currently used by those people to project their present religious/spiritual beliefs. 

Indian Blue Peacock and the Blue Sky

  

Pavo cristatus - The Indian Blue Peacock is also known as "NILA KANTHA".
Lord Shiva's transformation. As per the popularly known Story from Bhagavata Purana, Lord Shiva had swallowed an extremely dangerous poison and held it in His throat which then turned Blue. He was given the name of Neela Kantha to signify the altered color of His throat.

Indians are fascinated by the blue color of the sky to a far greater extent than anyother people upon this Earth. This fondness of blue color has become a visible feature of Hindu belief. Hindu God Vishnu, the Preserver and His popular reincarnations of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna are represented in Indian visual arts as persons with blue colored skin. Traditionally, in Indian Literature and the scriptures, these Gods are described as black in color and the blackness is described in words such as “GHANA SHYAMA”(of great black color) or “MEGHA VARNA”(the color of very dark rain bearing clouds). Bammera Potana( 1450-1510), a very famous Telugu poet had described these Gods as of black skin color. Visual artists generally tend to depict persons as described in popular literature but they made an exception and had selected the sky blue color as the color of these very popularly worshipped Gods. Blue color became the chosen medium to represent the infinite nature of the Supreme God. Today, most Indians visually identify Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama, and Lord Krishna by their sky blue skin color. 

THE BLACK TO BLUE TRANSFORMATION 

This transformation of skin color from very black to sky blue may have happened because of the artists desire to produce a more visually appealing picture. It may have started with drawing pictures of Lord Shiva(The Changer of the Hindu Trinity) who is also popularly known as “NILA KANTHA” in Sanskrit and it specifically refers to the color of His throat which changed in its appearance when He swallowed an extremely poisonous substance and held it in His throat and protected mankind. The word “NILA” actually means black but the word also refers to a plant known as ‘NILA’ which provides a blue pigment. As plants are a common source of pigments and dyes, in common usage the word “NILA” is also described the blue color. Lord Shiva is believed to be grey in color for He would always fully cover His body by smearing it with ashes. Lord Shiva is an ascetic who has no materialistic desires. He had literally burnt down all of His desires and had reduced them to ashes and had used the ashes to cover His body to declare His victory over materialisic desires. An artist trying to draw a portrait of Lord Shiva would face a challenge as a black colored throat would not offer a visually pleasing contrast with rest of Shiva’s grey colored body. Hence, I would think that the artists had exercised their freedom to interpret the word “NILA” as blue color rather than as black color. Lord Shiva’s images showing Him with a blue colored throat had become extremely popular with Indian people. This might have given an opportunity to the artists to use the blue color for drawing images of Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama, and Lord Krishna whose skin color is often described in Sanskrit as that of ‘NILA MEGHA’ which means a very dark, black rain bearing cloud. Since the word ‘NILA’ has dual meanings, the artists interpreted it as blue color eventhough there are no blue colored clouds. It did not raise any controversy as in the popular opinion clouds are seen as part of the blue sky. The blue colored images and drawings of Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna became immensely popular all across India. However, some artists also portray Lord Krishna as a very dark black colored person. Blue and Black are the natural colors of the Sky and the same word could be used interchangeably to describe the color of the Sky. Black horses and Black Lotus flowers are also described as ‘Nila’ or ‘Neela’. 

Lord Krishna - The Sky is Blue - An Infinite God.

The blue sky on one hand represents nature’s life supporting energies and on the other hand it defines the Indian Identity and symbolizes their belief in an infinite God. 

Lord Rama - The Blue color symbolizes an Infinite God. I like the Blue color. There are many human beings with natural black or dark skin color. Blue skin color of Rama makes it easy to visualize His Divinity.

The Sky is Blue and this visual sensation is the direct evidence that man exists in a world that is created for him.

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.

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE OPPRESSION

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The controversial Ten Commandments display at ...
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THE TEN COMMANDMENTS :

The “Ten Commandments” are given in the Book of Exodus, The Second Book of Moses, The Old Testament of Holy Bible and are repeated in the Book of Deuteronomy,The Fifth Book of Moses. In Exodus, Chapter 20, verses 1-5 read as follows:

1.And God spoke all these words, saying:

2.”I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage”.

3.”You shall have no other gods before Me“.

4.”You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”:

5.”You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me”.

The ideas and thoughts that are expressed in the above Commandments basically oppose attitudes and personal behaviors which constitute and define Indian Identity.If I accept the Ten Commandments, even the simple practice of traditional greeting of “NAMASKAR” would be prohibited. I greet my God with ‘Namaskar’ and so also I greet my parents, my teacher, my guests, the Sun, the Light, the river, the mountain, the monkey, the cow, the plant, the tree, the rock, the idol with the same reverence and in the same way. The term ‘omnipresent’, being present everywhere at the same time describes God’s Absolute nature and Indians are culturally driven to seek divinity in all living objects and in all objects of this created world and universe. I touch and worship feet, I worship the fire, the water, the sky and the earth. I have a complete freedom of choice. I choose the object that I want to worship and do it at a time, place and manner that appeals to my free will.The Commandments intend to take away that freedom of expression and the manner in which I could worship God.

I had expressed my concerns about “The Ten Commandments” in an essay that was published in ‘The Ann Arbor News‘ in its daily edition dated Wednesday, March 1, 2000. I am reproducing the “OTHER VOICES” essay:

Indiana on verge of imposing religion on people :

 

The Ten Commandments and the imposition of Religion on people.

I am indeed distressed to read the news report from Indiana announcing that the state House as well as the Senate had overwhelmingly approved a bill that would permit the display of the Ten Commandments at public buildings, including schools.

This is not a trivial matter. That state is on the verge of imposing religion upon its people. A similar bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress during 1999. The idea of displaying the Ten Commandments is receiving widespread support from the conservative Christians. I am shocked there has been no public opposition to such bills apart from a small concern about violating the spirit of the U.S. Constitution.

Indiana state Rep. Jerry Denbo assumed that the Ten Commandments are not bad principles. Unfortunately, most Christians presume that the Ten Commandments are divine law and that they are benign and noncontroversial principles. Many proponents of these bills also believe that they can prevent juvenile crime and violence by propagating the Commandments.

What is generally not known to supporters of these bills is the fact that the First and Second Commandments have actually sown the seeds of religious intolerance, disharmony and hatred and inspired communal violence of an epic proportion.

These Commandments have curbed the religious freedom of innocent people who are totally unaware of the existence of the jealous God who delivered people from their bondage in Egypt. These Commandments have provoked and gave legitimacy to the religious persecution of helpless people who never even heard of a prophet by the name of Moses. These Commandments specifically deny an individual’s freedom to choose any god of personal choice and prohibit the right to offer worship to an image or form of one’s liking. These Commandments divide the people into two groups, the believers and the non believers.

In spite of their profound religious philosophy and the strength of spiritual knowledge, the Hindu community landed in the camp of non believers with very tragic consequences.

Unlike the Old Testament, the New Testament has no coercive language, and the ministry of Jesus has been a lot more tolerant of the non believers. Islam which emerged later, gave full recognition to Prophet Abraham and Prophet Moses. Islam only recognized Jesus as a prophet of lesser importance. Their holy book Koran, vehemently opposes the claim of Jesus to be the son of God.

However, Islam became a very strong and ruthless advocate of the first two of the Ten Commandments. Starting from early 11th century A.D., Muslim forces repeatedly invaded and attacked the people of the Indian subcontinent, for the Muslims hated the Indian people who are known for worshiping idols.

The Muslim armies carried out brutal and vicious campaigns, looting and plundering India with a belief that they were justly punishing people who are non believers. The Muslim attackers destroyed Hindu temples and ruined priceless pieces of art and architecture. The Muslim invaders not only enslaved the Indian people but also built their mosques over the sites where the Hindu temples stood before.

This religious persecution on such a vast scale continued unabated for several centuries.The memories of repression still linger in the minds of the victims and are reflected in the distrust and tension between the Hindu and the Muslim communities of the present day.

If the governor of Indiana decides in favor of displaying the Ten Commandments at public expense, he should omit the first two. He should refrain from promoting a bigoted notion that people who worship idols deserve to be punished, and he should not directly or indirectly infringe on the rights of the religious minorities of his State.    

   

  

 

  

    

  

 

 

Lord Rama whom I adore, during His life journey described in the epic poem of Ramayana worships His parents, His guru, the River Ganges, the Sun God, Lord Shiva, and others just like any other ordinary mortal being . Gods whom Indians worship participate in similar acts of worship. Lord Shiva worships Lord Rama and Lord Rama worships Lord Shiva.

The Ten Commandments pose a challenge to the survival of the seeds of ideas and thoughts that are planted in the Land of Bharat and the Indian Identity would only exist if people are willing to stand up to this challenge.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,

M.B.B.S.,  Class  of  April,  1970.