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Guru or God?

September 11, 2016 1 comment

I have been seeing some very odd things in a section of the Iyer community these days. And what I am saying here would surely stir a hornet’s nest, if not understood properly.

The Kanchi mutt has a significant following… and some families are ‘fanatic’ followers… and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The late pontiff, HH Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, the 68th head of the mutt, is revered as a Jagadguru even among non brahmins as Paramacharyal or Periyavaa. There are so many blogs, articles, books etc. on the life of Paramacharya and the list of ‘miracles’ attributed to him keeep growing.

The odd thing I mentioned is this: nowadays, there seems to be a growing (or becoming more vocal) group of people who claim to be devotees of Paramacharya, and worship him as a god. They hold namasankeertanams in his name, compose various slokas and songs on him… all that can be explained away, but now some even have begun claiming him as an incarnation and propagating the idea that he is God himself. I won’t be surprised if in a few years time, someone comes up with some pramanas from the vedic scriptures purporting their claim to be right!

Worship of Guru is pretty standard in Sanatana Dharma. There are numerous instances where importance of Guru has been indicated in our scriptures. But all those are done only with Guru in the status of the Lord’s representative.

Paramcharyal can be revered as a Guru (by those who accept him as such), as a Saint (by the masses, no need for any papal seal on this one!!)… and even as a powerful yogi endowed with mystical potency (by all the anecdotes). But to claim him to be God is completely ridiculous. In doing this, this group of ‘devotees’ are setting the stage to legitimizing the claims of people like Nithyananda, Kalki, the various babas etc.

When Sanatana dharma and it’s traditions are facing the onslaught from other forces, this type of new fangled practices will only weaken it.

Ada kadavule! Oh my Isha!

August 27, 2016 Leave a comment

Isha Foundation has been in the news for wrong reasons lately. Parents are filing complaints with the police claiming that their ‘children’ (all aged 18+) are being brainwashed and are being held against their will.

If an adult, major citizen, wants to be part of an organization and get deep in to it, I think his/her parents have no fricking business saying otherwise. They need to stop being ‘protective’… and also stop thinking about this as ‘lost money’ or ‘economic support’. I might sound harsh… but seriously, if those guys and gals want to be that way, mind your business and let them be.

Of course, all the above can be ignored IF and ONLY IF there is HARD proof that they are being physically abused, raped, or getting drugged or forced in to illegal stuff.

But, as a general advice, Dear parents, stop interfering with your childrens’ lives! You had a chance to bring them to a path that you considered ideal… now that chance is gone. So stop fretting about them. Look forward to spending rest of your life well and fruitfully.

That being said, dear children of parents, in your quest for knowledge and bliss, don’t forget that you have an blood obligation to those who have sacrificed their lives for your good. In your quest to find the truth (be it Isha, Krishna, Allah or Christ), don’t ignore your parents when you have the chance to serve them well. Once they are gone from this world, no amount of self realization will help bury the guilt.

Janma-Mrityu-Jara-Vyadhi

May 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Birth. Death. Old age. Disease. That’s what the title stands for, in Sanskrit.

It’s been a long and tough period of several months to date. With work being a bit relaxed in the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on this thing we call LIFE. Not surprisingly, LIFE also constitutes the other inevitable parts of living… disease, growing old and, finally, death.

The reason for this line of thought gaining prominence is because of my father. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer several months back. As it is, the prognosis for such a thing is not good… but still given his healthy condition, doctors thought he might pull through for some more time. But all of them, and us, were fooled. What we thought as an improving situation actually turned out to be worse with the disease no showing any signs of even slowing down.

The deterioration in my father’s health and physique was a complete shock to most of the people who knew him… and he is still on the slide, so to say. Everyday is still a struggle for him. And with everyone being informed only last month, there has been a slew of guests streaming in, with pretty much the same sentence on their lips – “Oh no, why did it have to be cancer? And that too for you?”

Now, me being myself, I had some things to say which I then decided that those are better left unsaid. But here I can. Why cancer? Pretty stupid thing to say, in my opinion. Why cancer… would it be have been fine if he had gotten AIDS, or Ebola? And the “Why you” question doesn’t make sense either. Do we have privileges to chose what can afflict us? We seem to be laboring under the delusion that we can avoid disease and death by just not thinking about it or assuming we will not be afflicted. The other big delusion we have is that we assume ourselves to be “good” people and so nothing “bad” should happen to us.

I am a strong believer of things happening for a reason. We may not know it right then and there, but reason is there. Now people might think that to be an absurd notion, but this is what I have seen, experienced and realized to be true over the last 20 years. So, we gotta roll with the punches instead of trying to slide in to a death spiral of depression, self-pity and become mentally inept.

The world around us is programmed to condition us in to forgetting that our part in this cosmic drama is extremely minuscule and our puppet strings can be cut at any time. Only those who realize this and turns the mental faculties towards understanding what and who drives this drama can attain peace at the end of the show.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8 Verse 6

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
sada tad-bhava-bhavitah

“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.”

Ancient Wisdom

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

This is something which I have been continuing to realize to be true over the past years… and it never ceases to show me new dimensions in the every day world.

Bhagavad Gita 2.62

dhyāyato viṣayān puḿsaḥ sańgas teṣūpajāyate

sańgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ kāmāt krodho ‘bhijāyate

TRANSLATION

While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.

Bhagavad Gita 2.63

krodhād bhavati sammohaḥ sammohāt smṛti-vibhramaḥ

smṛti-bhraḿśād buddhi-nāśo buddhi-nāśāt praṇaśyati

TRANSLATION

From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.

(Text and translations are from Vedabase)

Categories: Life, Philosophy

Nithy nonsense

March 30, 2010 2 comments

I wanted to put up an article on the recently, publicly disgraced Nithyananda (no Paramahamsa, no Swamiji… fair enough, I guess).

I had absolutely no interest in this guy even when he was writing articles left and right on several magazines. But I wanted to do some research in to this guy before putting up a post.

And I came across this text which was supposedly in one of the multitude of banners on the highways near Mysore…

I am not here to prove that I am God. I am here to prove that You are God.

I stopped reading after that one and decided this guy was not worth my time to write about.

But I still decided to put this post up so that I can display one of the most stupid captions I have seen in a long time.

Amusing news for me!

March 27, 2010 2 comments

I just happened to come across the news that Prof. Periyardasan, a well known ‘Periyarist’ atheist and TV personality, had embraced Islam. I was late in catching this news since I was very busy in moving back to my hometown and starting at a new job.

I personally have no sympathy towards the ideals of Periyar and his followers in the D.K (Dravidar Kazhagam). While doing my bahcelor’s degree, I had unfortunately been forced to be in the audio vicinity of these fools spewing their anti-brahmin and anti-hindu vitriol in the guise of atheism (Seriously, your ears will bleed at the words these people used. Curiously enough, nothing was said (mocked?) about Islam or Christianity! Probably because the speakers feared losing their lives?)

Now, it is amusing how a person such as Periyardasan would have had the change of heart now, steeped in so called rationalism all these years, to embrace Islam. The more amusing news is that this latest conversion comes AFTER he became and stayed a Buddhist for sometime. That’s a confused mind there, I say. A LOT of confusion.

I wonder how he will face all those people with whom he would have debated for his belief over all these years.

Descending Knowledge

September 30, 2009 23 comments

This was posted by me as a comment in the ‘Atheist or Intellectual’ post. Thought it might actually be good to have this as a blog post.

Vedic methodology acknowledges that we are limited in our knowledge gaining capabilities, through direct sense perception, logical inference or historical records. These processes have their uses, but cannot guarantee correct knowledge at all times, especially so when the object they are trying to understand is infinitely complex and our position and capabilities are infinitesimal.

This understanding is the first prerequisite for what the vedic methodology recognizes as the process of descending knowledge, called ‘Shabda’ or revealed sound, in which perfect knowledge descends from the absolute being, AKA God, who is conscious of all time and space simultaneously.

This knowledge is passed down through an unbroken line of qualified, unalloyed loving devotees who are bonafide spiritual masters. That line of teachers is commonly known as ’sampradaya’ or disciplic succession.

Now comes the question – How can we differentiate what is true Shabda?

Absolute or perfect knowledge is one that is never subject to change. Contrary to modern scientific methodology where theories are almost always being ‘improved’ upon, there absolutely no place for speculation in the process of shabda. Given that this knowledge comes from, and is basically part of, the absolute being, it is perfect and if someone attempts to change any of that information through speculation, it would inject inherent imperfections in to that knowledge too. So, any speculative changes made in transit would render the knowledge, as well as the person passing it on, as non-authoritative.

In summary, the objective of the vedic methodology is to know the absolute being. Understanding that the knowledge descends from the absolute being through the line of masters is the only way to progress in this methodology.

Of course, if a person considers the vedic literature to be imaginative creations of mortals with their inherent defects, then they hold no authoritative value for that person.

Categories: Philosophy, Science