All posts filed under: Thoughts

Charter Of Hindu Demands For Parity

A group of around one hundred Hindus, including spiritual leaders, academics, authors, doctors, engineers, journalists, public intellectuals and concerned citizens from all walks of life, across the country, deeply disturbed by the systemic and institutionalized discrimination against  the Hindu society, gathered in New Delhi on 22nd of September, 2018 to deliberate on various constitutional, legal and public policy issues affecting the Hindu society. During the deliberations, it was acknowledged that as the inheritor, custodian and trustee of the Indic civilization based on the ethos of Sanatana Dharma, the Indian State has bounden civilizational responsibility to protect, preserve and promote the Indic civilization. A Charter of key Hindu Demands was debated and drafted, to be presented to the Government of India and the public. The Charter demands: 1. End of legal and institutionalised discrimination against Hindus by the Indian State, which is against the spirit of the equality of citizens irrespective of religious identity. To this effect, the group demands that Dr Satyapal Singh’s Private Member’s Bill No. 226 of 2016 pending in Lok Sabha for amending Articles 26 …

Time travel in Kerala

A born-again Hindu’s experience of Guru Purnima at the Chinmaya Vishwa-Vidyapeeth The lush green woods of Kerala are indeed there on either side of the road I am driving on, though with an endless chain of shops in the foreground. And then there are the numerous churches that look like bakers’ entries in a competition for the most ornamental wedding cake. I am on my way to Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV) in Veliyanad about 50kM from Kochi airport. I am to attend the commencement ceremony on July 27, 2018, the Guru Purnima day. I am at 76, a near alien to my Hindu inheritance, now eager to rediscover what I had misplaced. For a decade now I have been nursing my loss without quite knowing how I might retrace my steps. I have taken to simply trusting my passion and longing. Thus it was that I allowed myself to be persuaded by my friend Hari Kiran Vadlamani to join him for the event. He is committed to an Indic Renaissance and has an eye for opportunities …

Hindu view of Spirituality

Hindu View of Spirituality

A ‘Hindu’, is essentially geographically bound; ‘aa setu himaalaya…’, and as some deridingly remark, a nomenclature foisted upon the unsuspecting vaidikaas by the Persians (in lieu of Sindhu). A few others will insist that there is no ‘Hinduism’ as such, that it is a definition that is post-colonial and lacking antiquity or unity. In either case, people of the Indian subcontinent who identify with the sacred geography of the land and/ or those who follow certain ideals that are a unifying factor across the various sects and panthaas, are not invested in mere naama – roopa, since the universal vision that directs the lifestyle and belief system of the Hindus, called by whatever name, remains grandiose and subtle simultaneously without having to worry about what ‘others’ call us. Such individuals are sanaatanis, and given the cosmological limitations of time-space, Hindus do not lay much importance to mere names and forms. What matters is the vision, the ideals, the principles that lead one to freedom, in the here and now, also called moksha. Moksha is the …

How The Ghost Of 1857 Haunted The British In India

The backbone of the British Empire was the army it created in India. It had one of the best cavalry and armed soldiers amongst all its colonies comprising of Indian and British soldiers. The British Army ensured that the subjects and the slaves lived in constant fear and retribution. Hence, the 1857 ‘War of Independence’ and the 1946 naval ratings  uprisings gave a jolt and rattled the empire to the core. “The British Indian Army is the only instrument in the hands of the British Government to maintain internal peace and quell external aggression.” Umer Hayat Khan (1929) On 1857, a shot rang out at the Barrackpore cantonment in what is today Bengal. It was the spark that lit a fire that had been simmering under the surface for quite some time. The East India Company (EIC) had painstakingly built its empire in India, gaining victory in various battles across the country. In the process it had also laid the foundations of the modern Indian army. Indian sepoys had been drafted into British style battalions …

Kanvar Mela – Adventure Holiday In Indian Style

All over India, an interesting phenomenon can be observed. On one hand, materialism is on the rise, and on the other hand, the popularity of rituals and religious festivals is also on the rise and very much so. Even festivals, like the Kanvar Mela (which falls between 28th July and 9th August this year), which involves great hardship, attract huge crowds, most of them young men (called Kanvarias). It shows that in spite of modern life style and western influence, the ancient bond to the spiritual dimension is strong. The majority of Indians still feel connected with the invisible power behind the visible forms and to the Gods who represent this power. Sitting only in Dehradun where I live, I could have got the impression that the Kanvar Mela is mainly about traffic jams and rowdies who want to have a good time. Several of my English educated, western oriented acquaintances talked condescendingly about the Kanvarias as a big nuisance who give a hard time to the ordinary citizen by taking over highways, though I …

10th Inter Pathshala Vedic Competition by Om Charitable Trust

वेदोऽखिलो धर्ममूलं स्मृतिशीले च तद्विदाम् । आचारश्चैव साधूनामात्मनस्तुष्टिरेव च ॥ “Veda is the root of Dharma. Next the tradition and the virtuous conduct of those who know the (Veda further), also the customs of holy men, and (finally) self-satisfaction (Atmana santushti).” A group of dharmikas from Chennai are working passionately towards establishing an ecosystem that encourages the study of Vedas and honors Vedic scholars. Vedabhyasa – Study of the Vedic body of knowledge The Vedas form the wellspring that has been nourishing and sustaining sanatana dharma from time immemorial. The divinity and strength one manifests by its study and rigor has helped the followers to sustain Dharma over 1000s of years.  As told by the great guru Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati Mahaswamy of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, it is only because of continuous flow of Vedic knowledge and ongoing Vedabhyasa, even in this kaliyuga, bharatadesha is being regularly blessed by the arrival of great sages and gurus like Sri Sankaracharya who have been uplifting the sanatana dharma and making it possible for all of us to be …

The Truth About Sardar Patel On Kashmir

A blanket statement does the round, often, that “Sardar Patel was willing to give away Kashmir”. This has no nuance, ignores all the unique complexities of a novel and difficult historical situation, and completely sidesteps the many phases of decision-making on the Kashmir problem at that time. This essay is taken from my upcoming book on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first deputy prime minister, called The Man Who Saved India. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s great dream was a united India. Even in May 1946, he was writing to K. M. Munshi: “We have successfully avoided a catastrophe which threatened our country. Since many years, for the first time, authoritative pronouncement in clear terms has been made against the possibility of Pakistan in any shape or form.” What is he referring to? He is referring to the Cabinet Mission Statement in 1946 which said, “The setting up of a separate sovereign State of Pakistan on the lines claimed by the Muslim League would not solve the communal minority problem; nor can we see any justification for including …

Peace and Power of a Yogic Mind

Prologue That moment of Epiphany had dawned upon the purest and subtlest semblance of ethereal sheaths of bodily nature of Sapiens collapsing the individuality of being, to a fathom of existence in their inner firmament, as a Bandhu. Along the planes of knowing defying the linear intellectual hierarchy, amidst the layers of reality decreeing the quotient of understanding, towards the path of solitude, a mind that conquered the clouds of thyself defines the peace of an evolved kind: that of a Yogic mind, resulting after a Sadhana, based on the ethical preparedness of the seeking individual. Like the Dance of Shiva that destroys and creates the Self for a number of times only to nullify the human ego as in Apasmāra and imbibe himself through evolved embodied media, the path of Yoga strikes the humble soul as an elixir with kindest enquiries and mildest expressions, forming a communion with the self as linguistically represented by Brahman—the fons et origo of the lumps of creation. The Journey This fundamental nature of contemplative knowing, or rather embodied …

Urban Naxals

Maoist are arguably one of the most violent internal terrorist groups operating in India, who kill security personnel and ordinary citizen’s rampantly in a bid to realize their utopian dream, inspired by the life and ideals of one of most ruthless political mass-murderes of all times, Mao Zedong. But more dangerously, these Maoists have strong sympathizers who have invaded our academic, and media spaces, who provide intellectual whitewashing to support such violent crimes against the Nation and its people. In this book, Urban Naxals, Vivek Aghnihotri film director and activist, narrates his journey of self discovery while making and marketing of his film “Buddha in a Traffic Jam”. The movie deals with the controversial subject of academic sheltering of Maoism & Naxalism. Here we present for our readers the excellent Foreword of the book penned by Makarand Paranjape. The book can be bought here. Foreword for Urban Naxal by Makarand R. Paranjape I don’t believe in Forewords. A book should stand on its own, speak for itself. But this book is an exception. A “Bloody …

On Kalidasa

The soul of an age is mirrored in this single mind. The life & personality of Kalidasa, the epoch in which he lived and wrote, the development of his poetical genius as evidenced by the order of his works, are all lost in a thick cloud of uncertainty and oblivion. It was once thought an established fact that he lived & wrote in the 6th. century at the court of Harsha Vikramaditya, the Conqueror of the Scythians. That position is now much assailed, and some would place him in the third or fourth century; others see ground to follow popular tradition in making him a contemporary of Virgil, if not of Lucretius. The exact date matters little. It is enough that we see and in Kalidasa’s poetry the richest bloom and perfect expression of the long classical afternoon of Indian civilisation. The soul of an age is mirrored in this single mind. It was an age when the Indian world after seeking God through the spirit and through action turned to seek Him through the …