Responses to peoples responses
DISCLAIMER: Whatever I write is straight out of the contents of my head. I don’t do any research, because that would require me to stop being lazy. ALSO – VERY VERY VERY LONG POST
Ok first off, some general statements.
The reason that the initial post prompted such a (typical) aggressive reaction from my part was because one of the main things that is holding this country back is fear and resistance to Change.
Sure, everybody is afraid of change, but we are especially afraid. Every new way of doing things in India is greeted with a “Sigh, I long for the old days” type post. A new flyover is built? There goes the scenery. A new shopping mall comes up? There go the days of Lala personally ordering a product for you from his Kirana shop.
Further, it was an attack on capitalism…which of course, is really going to get my Goat.
Ok I was going to say a lot more, but instead, I’m just going to respond to the comments:
Beg to differ, but Lakshmana wasn’t cured by a Mantra, rather by medicines. Ayurveda places the stress on the healing properties of food and herbs, not on incantations and mantras. Indeed, there is no prescribtion of mantras for diseases, instead pratical advices on diet and exercises. Where exactly did you get this idea of mantras solving diseases?
The point behind the statement of being cured by praying in Sanskrit was an attempt to refocus where I feel our priorities should lie. It was sarcasm, saying that it seems in the olden days of “Brahminical Restraint”, more emphasis was spent on chanting than medical science.
FURTHER, had you mentioned that the young people should learn Sanskrit because it helps them to decipher ancient texts on Ayurveda, which we could then combine with Medical knowledge, western or otherwise, my post would not have been half as vicious. But no. You said they learn French instead of Sanskrit for better Global prospects. What is so contemptible about that? These people are doing what they have to do survive. To spit on them is almost downright shameful.
They are being forced to conform to a global order that has been created not by their choice. You want to know why? Because their ancestors were busy learning Sanskrit to pray better instead of learning the arts of diplomacy and global warfare.
Instead of spending time getting to know thy enemy, we were busy stepping on our own people, finding new ways to keep ourselves chained, and weakened. The bottom line is this – we would not have been conquered by people, no matter how technologically superior if we had been a lot less idealistic, and a lot more practical. In an ideal world, the youth of today would know the Vedas like the back of their hand. But they don’t. Because they need to eat, make a living, prepare for the future. It is this which I object to. It is the same thing behind Socialism. In an ideal world, the babu who is going to give you permission to set up your shop should not be corrupt. But he is. The question that needs to be asked is why do you have to go to a babu to set up your little shop?
By learning French/English/”Western” Economics, we are preparing ourselves for dealing with the outside world, which we are very much a part of. Would learning Sanskrit help us in this regard – YES! But not so that we improve our rituals. It would help us in deciphering the ancient texts so that we could see what advice they give, sure. But the advice in those texts is meaningless if it does not help me in my Here and Now. Yes, the ancients envisioned all sorts of cool things, God as a form of Energy, Dhritastra was the first dude who got to listen to the Radio, flying machines, examples of what a lack-of-family-planning can do (Duryodhan, buddy, I don’t envy your family affairs. Just the sheer amount of weddings to attend must have got you nervous on the day of battle. Can you imagine having to have Mutter-Paneer at every one of those dos. I’ll stick to the Pasta Station myself. Sheesh).
But I ask you this – did you allow the youth of today to question those texts, like I’ve done above? Or did you stuff it down their throats and make it inaccessible to all? We are not allowed to question the ‘ecosystem’ that comes with believing in God. Why not? Who are you tell me what the ecosystem consists of. My ecosystem consists of me and God. And anybody who gets in the way of that will suffer the consequences.
I once had a vicious argument with a friend of mine – her family has their own personal guru. (I’m sorry R, this has to be said). To me, the fact you listen to a ‘guru’ is contemptible. I’m sorry, but I’d rather listen to the man who helps sweep the plastic bags and cow dung off the streets. Or the woman in charge of Delhi who said she wants to privatise liquor distribution because she fails to see why it should be the government’s job to sell “vice” to the people. These are my gurus – not to say they’re perfect, but they bloody well are better than some damn fool whom I have to pay have come live in my house and grace my presence.
I once visited a Hindu temple in Long Island, NY. They had their ‘Guru Ma’ in the temple. She was driven in, in her LINCOLN TOWNCAR (complete with leather seats, Brahminical Restraints were optional that day). She preached to everybody how they were more devoted than people back home in India (this is probably too. I came across more severe pockets of conservatism in America than in New Delhi). She then proceeded to auction off a good-luck ‘chaader’ (sheet, I don’t know the correct phonetic spelling) for US$10,000. My teeth are still suffering the consequences of the gnashing they suffered while I observed this happen. US$10,000 which could so easily have been spent in keeping the lights of New Delhi lit, and possibly giving some good luck to women who would not have been molested in the dark.
My question to you is this: Who decides what the aberrations are in Hinduism, and what is the truth?
If you note carefully, I do not dismiss all of our roots. But I am tired of being told to keep going back to them. And where does the either-or come in. Why can I not learn French AND Sanskrit. Why can I not see some BOOBIES in Hindi Movies and also read up on Ayurveda (and Kama Sutra )?
While I won’t argue about whether my outlook is Westernised or not (it probably is, based on my background) I want to say that whole-heartedly agree with the Shift in Attitude part. We need to be able to question – or dismiss – parts of our past, if we so choose. But we aren’t allowed to, by the self-styled guardians of our “culture”. (Kind of like self-styled Elite bloggers). Actually, would love for you post on this, and respond in the comments, there is a lot I’d like to say about what you’ve written….
Parth – again, I see nothing wrong with learning Sanskrit. What I object to is the mutual exclusion that seems to come into play.
And of course, the flippant references materialism. Aquiring a few tanks and guns is going to go a lot further than Brahminical restraint. So is aquiring a few computers and cars and mobile phones, and fibre-optic cables, and railroads. And microwave ovens. And condoms. I think the Brahmins forgot some their restraint there…
P.S. Jayesh, I’ve tried to keep my attack as impersonal as possible, and it should be taken as such, so apologies if it seems to be too personal.
P.P.S. When you were referring to the Page 3 of Blogging, were u referring to me? If so, I’m touched!
Well we’ve got ourselves a whole discussion here. This is why I love blogging!
And so does Vulturo