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Revival of Sanskrit – Roadblocks and Strategy

Revival of Sanskrit

An acute need for promoting Sanskrit back into academics

The year 2016 saw my fourth book The Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred, Oppressive or Liberating, Dead or Alive? or TBFS in short, finally being published and released. This book kindled interest, respect, and curiosity among the masses, as it dealt with reclaiming Sanskrit and Sanskriti from the clutches of the faulty theorization by western academia. However, it is only the beginning and there is a long way to go in terms of reclaiming the discourse. When I was writing The Battle for Sanskrit, Shri Chamu Krishna Sastry helped me by providing information, insights, and references to counter Sheldon Pollock, the western scholar whose theories I attempt to refute in the book. We also had extensive discussions on the problems that plague Sanskrit and its study in India. I will elaborate on the nature of the issues in this piece.

Sanskrit Bharati has approximately 5000 centres in India and branches in about 15 other countries. About 10000 volunteers are working selflessly to popularise Sanskrit

Brief Introduction: Shri. Chamu Krishna Sastry and Samskrita Bharati 

Shri. Sastry is the creator of Samskrita Bharati, an organization which was established to revive Sanskrit as a language of the common man. It has approximately 5000 centres in India and branches in about 15 other countries. About 10000 volunteers are working selflessly to popularise Sanskrit. This organization has taught spoken Sanskrit to about 10 million people and has trained around one lakh teachers since its inception 35 years ago. It has also published more than 500 books and CDs.

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Gandhi's Dharma and the West

Gandhis Dharma and the West

Mahatma Gandhi articulated his sva-dharma ("my dharma") using a few key Sanskrit words that do not have an exact English equivalent. One of these issatya, his practice of truth. Unlike truth in the Western sense, satya is not an intellectual proposition but a way of life which has to be actualized and embodied directly by each person. There is no place for the reification or codification of satya, because truth is not held in some book or set of laws; it lives in oneself, and cannot be separated from oneself. This philosophical distinction is at the heart of Gandhi's dharma.

He insisted that satya-graha, or "truth-struggle," is a civil disobedience method that has to be individually lived, as opposed to being theorized or institutionalized. Later, this method inspired the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s civil rights movement in the U.S. as well as revolutions in South Africa, Poland and elsewhere. He not only advocated a sustainable society, he lived sustainably. The Gandhi library in Delhi contains the sum total of all of his personal belongings: his glasses, a pair of sandals, a pen and a few dhotis.

Another fundamental component of his dharma is captured in the term ahimsa, which is translated too simply as "nonviolence" but is not the same as the common idea of "pacifism." It is much larger.Himsa means harming, and ahimsa means non-harming. Harming the environment is himsa, as per the very deep dharmic idea that all nature is sacred. Harming animals is also himsa, and so vegetarianism is an important quality of ahimsa. Gandhi argued that vegetarianism has a lower impact on the environment than a meat diet, and hence a vegetarian society is more eco-sustainable than a carnivorous one. The modern eco-feminism movement was galvanized by Gandhi's ideals brought to America in the 1960s.

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Cow Is A Sacred Asset Of The Nation

Cow is a Sacred Asset of the Nation

“A single individual by simply not consuming meat prevents the equivalent of 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions in a year. This is more than the one ton of CO2 emissions prevented by switching from a large sedan to a small car. …  There is no justification whatsoever for one to continue to be a non-vegetarian knowing the devastating consequences of meat-eating.” – Dr Subramanian Swamy 

When India fought the First War of Independence in 1857, and Bahadur Shah ‘Zafar’ was installed as emperor by the Hindus in Delhi for a brief period, his Hindu Prime Minister, on the emperor’s proclamation, made the killing of cow a capital offence. Earlier in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom, the only crime that had capital punishment was cow slaughter.

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How To Wipe Out Islamic Terror

How To Wipe Out Islamic TerrorThe terrorist blast in Mumbai on July 13, 2011 requires a decisive soul searching by Hindus of India. Hindus cannot accept to be killed in this Halal fashion, continuously bleeding every day, till the nation finally collapses. Terrorism, I define here as the illegal use of force to overawe the civilian population to make it do or not do an act against their will and well-being.

 There are about 40 reported and unreported terrorist attacks per month in the country. That is why the recent US National Counter-Terrorism Centre publication A Chronology of International Terrorism states: ‘India suffered more terrorist acts than any other country’.

While the PM thinks that Maoists’ threat is most serious, I think Islamic terrorism is an even more serious existential threat. If we did not have today the present Union Home Minister, PM, and UPA chairperson, then Maoists can be eliminated in a month, much as I did with the LTTE in Tamil Nadu, as a senior minister in 1991, or MGR did with the Naxalites in the early 1980s. Islamic threat to the nation is different.

Why is Islamic terrorism our number one problem of national security? About this there will be no doubt in anyone's mind after 2012. By that year, I expect a Taliban takeover in Pakistan and the Americans to flee Afghanistan. Then, Islam will confront Hinduism to ‘complete unfinished business’. Already the successor to Osama Bin Laden as the Al Qaeda leader has declared that India is the priority target for that terrorist organisation and not the USA.

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Interfaith Ahimsa: A New Toolbox for Responsible Engagement

Interfaith Ahimsa A New Toolbox for Responsible Engagement

The interfaith movement is an attempt to create dialogue and harmony among various religions. It is especially active and well-funded in Western countries. Though its intentions are noble, my contention is that this movement really sits on quicksand because it is based on political correctness and over-simplifications. Its narrative is fictional, highlighting humanity’s shared political and economic interests and emphasizing religious similarities. It ignores the deep rooted differences that cause interfaith conflict in the first place, making the movement a comfort zone where the regulars can feel good. A well-known cast of characters dominate many conferences and this coterie of prophets of ‘world peace’ frames the conversation to perpetuate their roles.

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The importance of protecting our gurus

The importance of protecting

One of Hinduism’s most important and distinctive qualities is the widespread appearance of living masters throughout its long history. It is they who have kept the tradition alive and constantly refreshed with new insights and interpretations for each time and context. My book, Being Different, explains how the Vedic metaphysics of sat-chit-ananda helps to bring about such a powerful flow of gurus in diverse circumstances. Gurus have exerted very powerful influences in preserving and enhancing the tradition through time.

An institutionalized “religion of the book” is vulnerable because it can be wiped off by eliminating its physical infrastructure and burning/banning its books. But in the case of Hindu dharma, every such attempt at its destruction was followed by a renewal brought about by living gurus. Given the public’s faith in our sadhus, mahatmas and acharyas, it is clear that as long as we have dynamic gurus, we will thrive.

This is the reason why the gurus have frequently become the targets of vicious attacks by Hinduphobic forces seeking to undermine the tradition.

In recent decades, we saw vicious attacks against Osho in USA charging him with serious crimes, including murder. Then Swami Muktananda, over a decade after his death, was accused of sexual misconduct – ironically, by women who were his ardent devotees during his lifetime. After Swami Prabhupada died, ISKCON in USA was prosecuted for allegations of sexual harassment. Yogi Amrit Desai, one of the most prolific teachers of yoga for white Americans since the 1970s, was suddenly removed from his own institution, Kripalu Center, on similar charges. Attempts were also made to bring down Maharishi Mahesh Yogi when he was in his prime of success.

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If Corruption Is India's Disease Then Hindutva Is The Cure

 If Corruption Is Indias Disease Then Hindutva Is

Corruption in India is now a major concern for all patriotic citizens because of scams galore such as Satyam, IPL, CWG, and 2G Spectrum etc., etc..By all objective criteria, India today has by far one of the most corrupt governance.It is fueled by greed and single-minded adherence to materialism.

Corruption generally is any inducement, or bribe, to do or not to do anything that the bribe giver wants from the bribe taker who otherwise will not do or will do. By this broad definition even dowry payments is corruption. We are however concerned here with misuse of public office for private gain either for oneself, family or friend. This represents a governance failure and hence of primary national concern.

Corruption is therefore inherently bad for the efficient functioning of any economic system. It blurs the incentive to perform and discourages relying on merit as a means to success.

It is prosecutable in India under the Prevention of Corruption Act which was re-cast in 1988, or Money Laundering(Prevention) Act, which any citizen can set into motion subject to some safeguards such as Sanction. A more drastic law sought by the civil society at large, to be known Lok Pal Act obviates the requirement of Sanction, and institutes an independent prosecutor who can order a CBI inquiry without government permission..

Corruption under the case laws of the Supreme Court is also sue-able such as under the Doctrine of Public Trust, for malfeasance in office.Hence, attach or confiscate the properties public officials once they are convicted of the crime.

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