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Food

Finding food to eat is the responsibility of a person. Nature is abundant in edible, nutritiuos food items. Sometimes it may require efforts to cultivate and process it. A person who reasonably exerts himself can satisfy his/her needs sufficiently.

bharatiya samaj sustained on the activities of people belonging to four varna based on their natural inclination. Inherent talent towards handling, producing and processing materials was termed vyshsya varna, and people who showed inclination towards it were considered vyshya. They produced and provided food and other materials for the entire society. In turn, people inclined to act to uphold righteousness administered society justly, people inclined towards spiritual pursuit spread wisdom they realized during the course of their pursuits and people inclined towards emulating others helped the other three.

The society thus catered to the taste and ability of each individual, providing avenues for individual growth, while simultaneously also provided the supportive environment required for sustenance of the person. Like in a living body where head identifies the source of food, legs takes it to the location, hand brings the food to mouth that delivers it to stomach that digests it and gives energy to the whole body. Each constituent performed the task it was most suited to perform and contributed to balanced sustenance of society.

When this balance is disturbed, for example, if mouth starts eating solely to indulge its sense of taste, if food is taken by hand excessively and ingested, the stomach would be thrown out of gear. If that happens and stomach shuts down, the body parts will be starved of energy. Then each body part will start seeking source of energy individually. Since they do not have the capacity to process food items to produce energy, instant energy sources will be sought out.

In the case of society, when the constituent part that should discern the truth and guide society indulges in selfish aggrandizing acts, misleads society, and ventures to consume voraciously, directing the administering part to indiscriminately appropriate resources, more than necessary and more than what can be processed, the processing power of society is left in disarray. This then leads to search for instant source of energy.

This was what happened in western societies. The aggrandizing behaviour of western empires developed the taste for selfish indulgence among those people who should have been providing correct guidance to society. The society that was disturbed as a result sought sources of instant energy. Instead of taking the trouble to grow food painstakingly over a long period and then processing it, they started eating ready source of energy- meat. They started eating other living beings and justified it, stating that they have a ‘god-given-mandate’ to indulge in such behaviour. Later they extended that ‘mandate’ to justify robbing, enslaving and killing other peoples, labelling them ‘heathen’, ‘pagan’, ‘indian’, ‘kaffir’, ‘negro’, ‘barbarian’, etc.

varnashrama

The case in Bharat was different. Here the people followed varnashrama dharma correctly. The role of head, to give guidance to the body, including identifying of appropriate food sources and tasting food to ensure it is fit to eat, without overindulging in sensual pleasure, was correctly followed.
The brahmana subsisted by begging alms, living frugally, pursuing the purpose of his life for which he was naturally endowed- realization of atman. The kshatriya, under the guidance of brahmana administered society justly, preventing excessive exploitation of resources. The vyshya produced and processed food items and other materials as necessary for society and sudra helped all three in achieveing the goal of sustaining society.

varna of each individual was based on his/her inherent qualities rather than the varna of parent, as evident from the fact that veda, mahabharata and bhagavad gita were compiled by Vyasa, the son of a fisherwoman, Satyavati, and Parashara, whose mother was also sudra. Ratnakara, a jungle robber, abandoned that occupation, sought realization, became Maharshi Valmiki, and compiled Ramayana. varna is also not static, a person who primarily seeks brahma jnana, a brahmana, may occasionally show kama, the primary moivator of sudra varna, like Parashara did in company of Satyavati.

gau

Bharat attained material prosperity based on vyshya activity, producing food and other materials of use. gau, Cow, was the source of milk, which was used to make curd, butter, ghee, etc., which formed integral part of diet. Milk was also used for medicinal purpose. Cow dung came in use for various purposes, including as cooking fuel and building material. Bullocks were used for agriculture. Artifacts found in Saraswati river valley sites, dating back to 5000 years and beyond, indicate prominence of cow in society. Cows were thus integral part of vyshya household, and by extension, that of the society as well, for society sustained on what vyshya produced.

Congruent with the dharmik inspirations that underlie bharatiya samskriti, cows were not treated as ‘animals to exploit’, but were cherished, and as milk givers, were given due respect, as a mother.

Killing such a being and eating was out of question. For three reasons- one, society produced enough food stuff, through occupations suited to the natural inclination of individuals, to meet all its needs. Two, killing cow would cut off source of milk and other necessary items. Three, and most important, killing a being required sufficient cause. Satisfying palate is not sufficient cause in a society that value dharma.

Cows are also peaceful, harmless beings, lovable. purana narrate many instances where cows play important part in society. Episodes of Kamadhenu and Nandini are well known. Sri Krishna is also known as Gopala- one who takes care of cow, which was his occupation during his growing up years.

In the veda, the word gau also means illuminating rays of wisdom, and is revered and sought by brahmana.

In both its meaning therefore gau is respect worthy. Those who consume, instead of nurture, gau, eitherway, are imbeciles wreaking destruction on themselves and society.

Disruption

Bharat thus maintained the necessary balance in society and prospered, repelling attacks from foreign aggrandizers such as Alexander. However, Ashoka, who grabbed power killing siblings, had insatiable appetite for territory and self-aggrandizement. Having usurped large land area killing millions of people, he imposed upon society a socio-political version Buddhism making rock edicts that were self-promoting than spiritually uplifting, glorifying himself as “devanam piya“- “beloved of devas”. He never relinquished the throne like Sri Buddha did, had many wives, and the youngest of them, Tishyaraksha, whom he married in his old age, he later killed.

Buddhism identifies incorrect craving, kama, as cause of suffering and abandoning it as way to enlightenment. kama is the main feature of sudra varna. Buddhism that prescribes eightfold path to develop good kama and reduce bad ones had applicability in the case of sudra, but offered little to the other three, for which main factors were dharma, artha and moksha. This lack, particularly, regarding upholding of dharma, fighting for it if necessary,- the main feature of kshatriya dharma, made application of Buddhism across the board, on all society, inappropriate; in fact, as it turned out, quite harmful, since it disrupted societal balance.

The society, that had a few years back successfully repelled the rampaging Alexander’s army, in the following years saw ingress of Shaka, Huna, Kushana, Turks, Mongols and Pashtuns into those areas where ‘Buddhism’ flourished, such as present day Pakistan and northern parts of India. These people came with their own way of life, different from bharatiya samskriti, and the resultant dilution of dharmik values imbalanced the society further and paved way for islamic invaders and later european colonizers, to establish primacy over the land.

Present

A society where varnashrama dharma is violated, where people who have no inclination to realize atman engage in guiding and influencing society for selfish benefit, people who have no inclination to uphold righteousness engage in administering society for selfish gain, people who have no inclination to handle materials engage in producing materials for selfish profit, and where the rest emulate unworthy people, it becomes like a dysfunctional body, where the mouth seeks to indulge in taste alone, where hands grab more than it requires, where stomach seeks fast digesting food that instantly provide energy without need for much efforts to digest it, and leg seeks to rest indolently.

In such a situation, the head, grown insensitive to other body parts, may start biting at them. The greedy, grabbing hands may injure other body parts. The stomach may start consuming itself and prolonged indolence would incapacitate legs.

Such a being, out of its mind, with limbs out of control, stomach cancerous, and fast approaching self-destruction, is dangerous to other beings.
When that being is powerful- grown powerful on ravenous consumption of others, like western society is at present, the danger to rest of the beings and Nature is so much more.

Regaining Balance

In the purana, whenever asura quality went out of control, necessary correction was made by checking it and balance was restored, taking guidance from the dharmik wisdom transmitted by bharatiya parampara.

Sometimes it may seem that dementia and cancer afflicting a body have reached advanced stage, is pervasive, and that it is near impossible to retrieve the situation. In those times Sri Krishna’s advice is relevant- actualise karma in dharmik way, without attaching to results, unaffected by success or failure.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥

योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि संगं त्यक्त्वा धनंजय ।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ॥
भगवद् गीता 2.47-48

Decision Making in bharatiya parampara

In bharatiya parampara decision making occur at four different levels.

Level One. Follow another person or group. Do what s/he does on the assumption that s/he knows better, on the basis of life experience/knowledge level/ merely because it is easier to follow and/or because of being enamoured of the personality- kama.

Level Two. Decision on the basis of anticipated material advantage, artha.

Level Three. Decision on the basis of what is righteous- dharma. Choosing the option that sustain values in society.

Level Four. Decision on the basis of brahma-jnana. Decision taken with intuitive knowledge of brahma.

How the decision is taken reveals the varna of the person or group or the society.

Traditionally in bharatiya parampara decisions affecting society were taken by the kshetriya under the guidance of brahmana guru, criteria for decision being upholding of dharma. Such decisions encouraged dharmic values in society and fostered prosperity and peace.
Decisions on family matters took into account artha– material aspects, in addition, while on personal level, kama– personal preferences, were also considered.

Decision Making in Modern Democracy

In a modern democracy, it is the majority consent that decides matters at societal level.

Majority consent is shaped by public opinion formed on the basis of the following mediums:-

1. News Media– Television, radio, newspapers, magazines.

2. Art – Movies, TV serials, drama, songs, dance, sculpture, paintings, cartoons.

3. Academy– Educational curriculum, text books, classroom discourse, research programmes.

4. Government, including Judiciary- government sponsored schemes, information campaigns, policies, governmental institutions, offices, government servants, law and law enforcement agencies.

5. Political party/NGO activities– demonstrations, mass movements, public awareness programmes, personal interactions.

6. Commercial organisations– MNCs, private companies, advertisement campaigns

7. Religious discourse– Church, Mosque, Sunday Schools, Madrassas, Satsang.

8. Traditions and Culture.

9. Public personalities– Sports stars, movie/tv stars, Sant, Baba, ‘Intellectuals’, political/society leaders, artists, media personalities.

How each of the above mediums perform vis-a-vis the criteria of kama, artha, dharma and moksha, influences the shaping of public opinion and varna of society.

Tamas

News media that follows the lead of western media, Art forms that are shaped under western influence, Academy that looks towards the west for inspiration and direction, Government that is based on western model, Political parties and NGOs that are influenced by western discourse, Companies that function on the lines of western organisational structure and motivations, Religious discourse based on western thought, Traditions and culture of western origin and Public personalities under western influence. These help form a society that is tamasic in character, sudra in varna, that always seek to follow the lead of somebody else.
On occasions where no previous model exists to follow, such a society defers its decisions until passage of time throws up a default decision or presents an emulatable course to follow.

Tamasic Rajas

When the mediums that shape public opinion act with the motive of material gain, society acquires rajasic quality in addition to tamas. Such a society has media dominated by news of material nature, business and financial matters; Art forms exploring technical excellence, deficient in ethics; Academy oriented towards technological advancement, devoid of morals; Government actively involved in infrastructure building, economy, promoting consumerism; Political Parties, NGOs funded and sponsored by business houses. Commercial organisations dominating society; Religious discourse colored by material motivations; Traditions and Culture stressing on material accruement, and Public personalities selling products.

The discourse of such a society will be on material benefit. Decisions revolve around this criteria.

Sattvic Rajas

When the mediums shaping public opinion discourse on values, society acquire sattvic tinge along with rajas. Such a society will have news media discussing ethical ramifications while analysing current events, Art aimed at inspiring altruistic imagination in minds of the public, Academy oriented towards fostering moral living values in society, Government acting decisively to uphold righteousness in society, Law and judicial decisions reflecting dharma, Political parties, NGOs acting motivated by values, Companies producing goods for sustenance of society as well as Nature, Religious discourse directed towards righteous living in harmony with diverse viewpoints, Traditions and Culture promoting moral values in society, and self-effacing public personalities upholding dharmic values.

In short, rama rajya.

Sattva

When the public concentrates on moksha, the mediums that shape public opinion converge towards that goal. In news media, incidental nature of news lose relevance and karmic causes and ramifications are paid attention. Art forms a medium to experience and express realization. Academic pursuit, like all other, orient towards brahma-jnana. History is no more mere chronicling of incidents, instead record the eternal cycle of creations and dissolutions under karmic effect and their dharmic lessons provide inspiration and guidance towards spiritual living. Centralised government lose relevance as people govern themselves dharmically at local and individual levels. Companies shrink in size and number as materials required by society reduce. Religions disappear as people live spiritually. Traditions and Culture inspire realization and Personalities dissolve upon brahma-jnana.

Society Today

Indian society today, by and large, emulates western society and engages in material advancement at all costs to individual, family, society, nation and Nature. Thus it shows predominantly sudra varna that is transforming into vyshya.
Symbolically, India today is headed by people chosen for their sudra characteristic of followership, though trained to be vyshya – products of the british created education system designed to produce technically qualified workers for the empire.

Way Ahead

As rajas rises in society, represented by the transformation to vyshya characteristic from sudra, to check the deleterious effect on human psyche and on Nature, of unbridled rajasic indulgence in materialism, evident in human society today, and for long term sustenance, of individual, society, as well as Nature, tempering and channelization with dharmic considerations are necessary.

Increased deliberations on dharmic aspects at societal level impart kshetriya varna to society and raise sattvic characteristic.

Sustained rise of sattvic characteristic inspire brahma-jnana.

Over the millenniums, adi kavya Ramayana have been appreciated for the wealth of knowledge in it, which is in many layers, benefitting the brahmana, seeker of brahmajnana, kshatriya, in administering country upholding dharma and benefitting vyshya and sudra in living dharmically. The central characters Sri Rama and Sita are respected for their adherence to dharma. They have been role models for millions of people for millenniums.
 
 Maharshi Valmiki, a contemporary of Sri Rama, composed Ramayana. It is also called adi kavya because Valmiki was the first person to produce poetry; which came out as censure of a hunter he saw engaged in killing two love birds.

Ramayana and Sri Rama and Sita have provided inspiration to millions through millenniums in living dharmic lives.

Such being the case, when one Wendy Doniger, a self-claimed jew, without having achieved spiritual realisation or brahma-jnana nor intenting to seek it, attempts to give a widely varying ‘interpretation’, in fact one that goes entirely against Valmiki’s Ramayana, and peddles it through crass sensationalism as seen in this so-called ‘interview’ by Outlook magazine, it becomes apparent that the motivations are much less than honourable.

The introduction given by the interviewer, referring to an incident of egg-throwing six years ago in London, terming the thrower as an ‘enraged Hindu’, and the interviewee as having ‘continued to infuriate the ‘Hindutva brigade’,  is aimed at giving subtle subconscious suggestion to readers, to instigate those among them who identify themselves as ‘hindus’ to get enraged and infuriated, with the calculation that any resulting controversy will help sell more copies.

 Doniger’s pretension of being ignorant of the reasons for criticisms against her is absurd since Shri Rajiv Malhotra, Sankrant Sanu* and even her own fellow westerner Professor Michael Witzel among many others have exposed her dubious ‘scholarship’ very publicly during the past decade. Subsequent to Sankrant Sanu’s critique* of Wendy Doniger’s article on Hinduism, Microsoft Encarta removed it from their encyclopedia and replaced it with one by Professor Arvind Sharma.

 Yet the ‘interviewer’ here turns herself into a willing slave of Doniger and feeds questions calculated to produce sensation. Everything Doniger says is accepted without verification, such as the insinuation that ‘puritanism crept into Ramayana around 10th century’. The reason for this is charged on ‘bhakti Movement’. Any ordinary  aware indian would know that it is Sri Krishna, not Sri Rama who was central to this so-called bhakti movement and Sri Krishna leela are neither papered over nor bowdlerized anywhere to justify charge of ‘puritanism’. Indians have always been open about experiencing life. That is how texts such as kamasutra, many sensual dance forms and sculptures were produced in India. They realised different ways to understand oneself and to realise brahma. Some practices of tantra also includes exploring sexual act to achieve realisation. Sculpures in Khajuraho temples and elsewhere prove that indians expressed themselves creatively while pursuing spirituality.

Ramayana, the adi kavya written by Maharshi Valmiki is intact. Adaptations by others, like sant Tulasidas’ Ramcharitmanas , have been faithful to the original. If some others have produced different versions elsewhere, that is a local matter, considering the minimal popularity of such texts, if at all, they need to be given only so much importance instead of positioning them on par with Maharshi Valmiki’s. Fact being that all popular adaptations of Ramayana to local languages have preserved the spirit of Valmiki’s Ramayana.

Digressions from Valmiki’s Ramayana, if any, needs to be corrected or accepted on their merit rather than be popularised indiscriminately. As an analogy, if while adapting the biography of Wendy Doniger(supposing there is one) to Urdu language, many years after the death of its original author, if the new author says that Doniger’s parents were sex-addicts (as Doniger insinuates against Dasaratha), or that towards the end of her life senilty wrecked havoc in her mind driving her to be dependent on hallucinatory drugs which coloured her scholarship; rather than popularising it indiscriminately as another way of ‘telling the story, commensurate with the diverse traditions of india’, discerning people may prefer to verify truth first.

Here, however, effort has been made to dig up widely diverging texts from obscurity to give authenticity and popularise them. As if such material is not sufficient for the purpose envisaged, attempt has been made to misinterpret innocuous lines and fabricate unjustified extrapolations. This effort is similar to the way britishers dug up manusmriti and established it as eternal ‘hindu law’ during their brutish raj disregarding the fact that smritis are valid only for the period for which they were prepared,  not for ever.

Such actions are then given the fig-leaf justification of being as per traditions of india which ‘allowed people to have their own texts’. For the information of Doniger and such like her, indian traditions always upheld dharma. Twisting or tweaking a respected text and misinterpreting it to draw contrary meanings is adharma and that is never tolerated in indian traditions, whatever some westerners may like to fantasize or propagate. That is why such attempts are relegated to fringes of society. This effort by Doniger and her likes to dig up obscure texts and give them legitimacy is like somebody examining toilet and coming up with what they find there and calling it the main ‘contribution’ to world by the toilet-user and then going on to characterise the toilet-user as someone who has no hang ups about leaving such ‘contributions to world’ lying around, and patting him condescendingly. The statement “That’s why Hinduism is such a wonderful religion“, is such a pat.

Doniger alleges a quote by Sri Rama describing the king as ‘kama-atma’ in verse 2.47.8. However, search of the entire sarga 2 Ayodhya Kanda of Valmiki’s Ramayana failed to produce this word ‘kama-atma’. The version used by Doniger needs verification.
Also her translation of kama-atma as ‘consumed by kama’ and then equating it with ‘sex-addict’ is construction entirely different from the text and based on fanciful imagination by the author. Kama is not sex. A more appropriate meaning of kama is- ‘mental thoughts that seek to attach to objects or persons’. Moreover, there is no reason whatsoever to speculate that Dasaratha was ‘sex-addict’ . King Dasaratha asked Sri Rama to go to forest to honour the word he had given to Kaikeyi once. Yet he also advised Sri Rama to disobey his order, which Sri Rama did not, because that would be against dharma. And King Dasaratha wept to his death soon after Sri Rama left Ayodhya. If he was ‘sex-addict’ as the author insinuates, he should have been enjoying sex with many other women rather that crying to death. That he was attached to Sri Rama is more appropriate. He was childless with Kausalya for many years. Then he married Kaikeyi and then Sumitra seeking children, but was unsuccessful. Later he embarked on puja and yagna and it was then that he got children. Sri Rama being the first born after a long wait for children and being very dharmic and obedient, Dasaratha was naturally attached to him. Indeed, so were most of the people of Ayodhya as well as brothers Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrukhna. Even Kaikeyi originally had very good opinion of Sri Rama. It was Mandhara who insinuated wrong thoughts to Kaikeyi and instigated her to exile Sri Rama.
Something similar, it appears, is being attempted here. The present day Mandhara employing similar baseless insinuations to make indians exile their righteousness.

Repeatedly describing this person as ‘target of Hindu outrage’ throughout this so-called ‘interview’ seems to be an attempt to project an image, without basis and to rake up controversy, as no reason is given to justify this description. Has Outlook or the interviewer surveyed the so-called ‘hindus’ before making that statement ? Chances are, ninety percent of the so-called ‘hindu’  population in india do not even know about the existence of this person, let alone feel any outrage at her deplorable actions.

The suggestive speculation of Doniger that she may be ‘prevented from coming to India’, followed by the ‘revelation’ that she plans to visit India next year seems to be a subtle ploy to invite some ‘outraged hindu’ (if any) to create a situation that will actualize such a scenario and thereby provide free publicity and chance to portray herself as the injured party and in the process produce one more stick to beat the ‘hindus’ with.

The interviewer’s suggestion that Ramayana’s ‘evolution’ has been brought to a stop by the “internet brigade” of the Hindu Right’ is ridiculous in multiple ways. As if Valmiki’s Ramayana is an ‘evolving being’. This attempt at personification of a text, Ramayana, and objectification of people, the so-called ‘hindus’, begs the question- if westerners are accepted as having ‘evolved’ from apes, after they militarily and through deceit colonized advanced civilisations such as of India and plundered their philosophical and scientific wealth, would it be then correct to speculate that those indians who eschew their own culture and ape westerners unthinkingly are devolving into apes ?

Speculations such as- “Well, in order to have a temple you have to have a real movement. You have to have a lot of money, land, a whole system of building temples, which the Hindus did not have at first.” and  “Well, we don’t know who Valmiki was. It’s unlikely that one person wrote the whole Ramayana. Certainly unlikely that Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata“-  are malicious attempts to establish that indians did not have agency. De-personifying Maharshi Valmiki, turning him into a non-person, is part of a calculated plan to sever indians’ ties with their anscestors, to deracinate indians over time. Rootless people are easily enslaved, psychologically, as proven by the behaviour of certain intellectless indian ‘intellectuals’ .

Statements such as- “Until this (Hindutva) crowd got hold of the internet, people didn’t say you can’t tell the Ramayana that way. It wasn’t a Hindu idea“- reveal the working of cunning western mind. First pigeon-hole the people of india into so-called ‘hindus’ (and further into many ‘castes’). Then, when they do not behave the way the westerner wants them to, then tell them that they are no more behaving like a ‘hindu’. So the westerner decides how a ‘hindu’ should behave. And indians, having been labelled so, should conform to that decision.
If any impertinent indian disregards the westerner or question her, then, make another pigeon hole and call it ‘hindutva brigade’ or ‘hindu fundamentalist’ or ‘hindu right wing’ and slot such people there. Thus divide the people. Further divisions can follow to gradually destroy the integrity of society over time. This exercise has been continuing for three centuries now, uninterrupted.

British loved Hindu philosophy, so did Europeans“, “British loved the Gita“.  Doniger also doubtless ‘loves’ India and her traditions in the same way. Pity is that from the time Constantine adopted Christianity to further his imperialistic ambitions and started this ‘loving’ business, westerners have consistently misappropriated things that they ‘loved’ from their original owners. The so-called pagans of europe will testify to how their festivals were misappropriated to christianity while their culture was destroyed. Native americans will testify how their land was taken and their culture was destroyed by the invaders from europe. Africans will testify to how westerners ‘loved’ them to slavery. Yes. British loved many things about India. And they misappropriated them.
The greed that prompted such acts are driving this person and others like her; who too love India and her traditions, only to misappropriate them through deceit and avarice.

Thus, terming bhagavad gita as ‘book of war’ is calculated to make out that those who follow bhagavad gita are naturally violence-mongering, which, taken to its logical conclusion, means that people who read bhagavad gita should be locked away or killed. That justifies burning of trains in Gujarat charring people inside, killing of 84-year-old sadhus and destruction of indian culture in the name of progress. Doniger, who claims to be a jew, perhaps forgets that this was the same demonology that was used to precipitate holocaust over jews and gypsies by Nazis, the slavery over Africans and butchering of red-indians.
The path on which efforts by this author and those like her are leading up to are ominous for india.

Doniger claims to have translated ‘Rig Veda’ and ‘Laws of Manu’, texts that were translated in 18th century itself by others. Professor Michael Witzel of Harvard described her translations as ‘lacking common sense’, unreliable’, ‘idiosyncratic’ ,and “a stream of unconnected George-Bush-like anacoluths“.

Yet- ” I have publishers who will take what I write“.
Unfortunately. So do some ‘interviewers’.

There may have been a man named Rama, but Valmiki’s Ramayana is not his story. Ramayana is a story that an author made up. Whether there was a king or not, we don’t know. And if there was a king, we don’t know if he said the words that Valmiki put in the mouth of Rama. We don’t even know, …”. Should not a person who don’t know such basic things desist from writing alternative histories for other people ? And while on that, should not such a person use the more accurate term ‘I’ while describing her lack of knowledge instead of the suggestive term ‘we’ ?

Traditionally indians have realised brahma in every aspect of life. Through meditation, through physical exercises in the form of yoga, through contemplation, through action, through dance, through music, through art, through bhakti, even in the act of sex. Indeed, life was a spiritual experience for them. Such being the case, should not a person who endeavours to re-interpret their age-old texts at least qualify herself by achieving the spiritual experience of those who produced those texts ?

What of those who behave like apes in the presence of such modern day Mandharas ?
Is it time for such constantly ‘outlook’ing people to do some in-looking ?

The exchange published in the Outlook article cannot be termed an interview. What is on view is more an attempt to ‘inter’ indian culture and traditions by modern day mandharas who are willingly assisted by some indians behaving like apes, quite unlike in the Ramayana where the monkeys fought on the side of righteousness.

 

 

* Shri Sankrant Sanu’s article of September 24 2002, titled “Are Hinduism studies prejudiced? A look at Microsoft Encarta ” appears to have disappeared from its original location. The link given above is from another site that carries a copy of the article.  

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