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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Yours Weakly!..... Part 2/2

Having deep rooted interest in history, i was going through some very old Indian stories. I also have to highlight the phenomenon that the word "History" becomes "Story" with time. Asian cultures which boasts of timeless past and have documented history are generally discarded by the west as "mythological stories".

So it could be history or mythological stories of India which caught my attention that am sharing here.

The point i was making is that "Power blurs", people who feel that they are powerful tend to be less restrictive about rules and regulations that they have formed / are guarding. Lets see how the mighty heroes of ancient India stepped outside the framework they created for the larger world time and again!

  • I thought i shall start with a primer for those who are not very familiar with some characters in Indian mythology... Brahma (You can note the anagram of Abraham), Vishnu and Shiva are the divine trinity who Generate / create, Protect and Destroy. The world has always been with Angels (Devas / Gods men) and demons and Lord Vishnu takes multiple Avatars to support the devas and kill the asuras. Brahma gives birth to few sons, who are supposed to be the topnotch sages of the universe sharing the wealth knowledge and secrets with the mankind. So if you expect as i used to do that these Sages and Devas should be on the right of the law ALWAYS... then you are up for a big surprise. Lets see them.
  • Indra, is the head of Devas / Angels,  he and other Deva's actions on promiscuity and evil deeds are baffling:
    1. Enamored by the beauty of Akalika, wife of Sage Gouthama, tricked the sage and got him out of his house and made love with her. Akalika who is otherwise a model wife to the sage, got carried away by the pride in her beauty, lost control momentarily and consented for a physical relationship with Indra. Ofcourse both got cursed by the sage and suffered for some time in their life.
    2. Indra's father Kashyapar (He is the grandson of Brahma) had 2 wives - Thithi & Athithi (Indra's mother). When Thithi was conceived, both Indra and his mother connived and aborted Thithi's kid. Athithi got cursed and she became Devaki - Krishna's mother and lost 7 kids in front of her eyes before Krishna was born as the eighth kid.
    3. Chandran (Moon) according to mythology, is another grandson of Brahma, he eloped with his guru's (Brahaspathi) wife Tara. Guru's wife is equivalent to ones mother and even thinking of a relationship is an heinous crime. Despite repeated advice and requests he never agreed and in fact he got a son too - Budha (Mercury). It is interesting to think that Mercury - the nearest planet to sun and the smallest one, is a piece of moon and got into sun's orbit from this story. Leaving astronomy and origin of universe discussions aside, lets move forward with more FACTS.
    4. Budha had a casual fling (consensual one night's stand) with a lady called Ilay and she gave birth to a king called Puruvan.
    5. Puruvan lived with Urvashi - she is one of the key model and stakeholder of the " modern day Escort agency equivalent" run by king Indra in the heaven.
    6. Urvashi later got bored with Puruvan and lived with Sage Vyasar and gave birth to Sage Sukhar.
    7. Now, its interesting to know this family's lineage as this family has gifted the most important treasures for Hinduism. This family tree (Father son relationship) runs as Vishnu - - Brahma - Vashishtar - Sage Shakti - Sage Prarachar - Sage Vyasar - Sage Sukhar. This means Brahma is the son of Vishnu and father of Vashishtar. Each and every one of them is a role model, very divine, competent, wise and offered wealth of treasures in terms of knowledge & scriptures. Some key highlights are:
      • Sage Vashishtar compiled Yoga Vashishtam. (Told to Lord Rama by the sage.)
      • Sage Paracharar compiled Vishnu puranam.
      • Sage Vyasar compiled Brahma sutra, 4 Vedas in the current form we see, Mahabharata and hence Bhagavad Gita too. He was considered as a form of Vishnu as in "Vyasaya Vishnu roopaya, Vyasa roopaya Vishnave....."
      • Sage Sukhar compiled Bhagavatham.
    8. The point i was trying to make is to highlight how esteemed and sacred these sages are in the Hindu scriptures. Sage Paracharar wanted to cross Ganges and requested a boatman to ferry him through. Boatman's daughter (her birth is very interesting but not relevant here and hence am skipping) Makksanthi was ferrying the sage since her father was busy. The Sage fell for her beauty and insisted that she should consent for making love with him as they were travelling in the boat. Though she was very unwilling she finally agreed as the sage promised few interesting boons to her. This is nothing different from a modern day sex trade for "necessity is the mother of all strange bed mates."  
    9. If you are wondering what happened next, Sage Vyasa was born to that boatman's daughter. So one of the greatest sages of Hinduism is born purely out of his father's uncontrollable physical urge and a low caste woman, in the midst of the sage's business / personal trip. Sage Paracharar did not take her as wife, did not pay her any alimony but gave few boons and went his way.
    10. Makkasanthi renamed herself as Sathyavati, married a king (Santhanu), gave birth to 2 sons who died very early after marriage without any offspring to manage the kingdom.
    11. Sathyavathi requested her son Sage Vyasa to make love with both her daughter-in laws. Both of them did not like Sage Vyasa but yet went through the  act and gave birth to Pandu and Dridrurashtra - and here starts popular Mahabharatha. Sage Vyasa also gave birth to the Vithura (intelligent minister in Mahabharata) through a prostitute.

These are some points which i could remember from what i read. So, whats the point? We could agree on one or more of the following points and get on with life!

  1. Be it a king or Devas, or Sages or Brahmins or any powerful personality whoever it is there are multiple instances of cardinal sins - conceived and indulged and they are still revered. For the sins they committed, they have got cursed went through the punishments and washed their sins away. There is nothing as 100% pure in this mortal world. Lets agree that there are black spots even in the best of the person's life.
  2. In fact Thiruvalluvar went one step ahead and told "தேவர் அனைவர் கயவர்" - All god mens are mean and evil.  
  3. Another perception is according to scriptures "Why you are the way you are?" is already precoded. Its a fatalistic or Causal theory which is very deterministic about macro aspects of life. Whether we agree with it or not is a matter of choice. If you agree with this, you also need to agree that we (the common man) don't have the power to change things and has to go through life in a detached way. Thats a monkish view of life. 
  4. A man who thinks he is powerful / who is powerful always has a red line that appears blurred - with some -ves in their lives. But their +ves far outweigh their negatives. Whether we want to say that the glass is "Half full or Half empty" is again a matter of choice.
  5. Finally there is a section of people who firmly believe that they are not all powerful because either they understand their limitations or they submit themselves to an higher authority like god or parents or Church or Imams or law of the land, or they are fear ridden due to uncertainty or death - could be any reason - which form the majority of this world. They stick to the framework, play by the rules, have a value system - voluntary or forced by the society or life has not given them the opportunity or an environment to make mistakes. This set of human beings are called the weaklings but yet they are strongest link in maintaining worldly order.  
  6. Scientifically speaking this character and disposition is there in our genes - at least in many of us!. 

Above all we need to recognize the fact that this world has long back moved from a "Character centric / Value centric system" to more shallow "personality centric system". Much of our problem is solved if we recognize this movement and we taking membership in either one of the clubs and not both.

So in the near future if you hear that some one like President Obama is involved in a sex scandal or a corruption case and if it impinges on your value system, then just recognize which group you belong to.

Till then,

Yours weakly
Happy reading!

Yours Weakly!..... Part 1/2

Wishing every one a fantastic New year 2010...

Its been an eventful few months for me both personally and professionally!.... Among thousand other things i could not take Tiger (in the) woods off my head...
  1. For a non-golfer like me Tiger has made himself more relevant... is a comment that is applicable to me.
  2. A person who was adored all this while, everything going perfect for him in his life, is travelling down hill (may be for a short while), endorsements cancelled, bad press, blah blah .... fundamentally he is unable to apply his mind fully on what he is best at - playing golf.
  3. I also liked some of the comments i read Tiger is more human now....

But the question which i kept asking myself are slightly different:
  1. Is there anything quite unnatural / unacceptable in what he did, so that he is left with a feeling of shame and guilt?
  2. What makes a man do what he did, knowing fully well that it would haunt him some day in the future?
  3. Are we holding a false sense of morality across the world / humanity which increasingly we are unable to cling to?

The summary seems to be very simple yet we find it very difficult to accept it...
  1. Most of the "sociosexuality" study indicates that there is an increased willingness among majority of the youth population that casual sex is an acceptable phenomenon.
  2. In my opinion there is no need for a study at all, we just have to open our eyes to the world around us. Increased awareness of sex, increased availability of pornography and more importantly unrestricted availability of soft porn content, increased mobility, increasingly lenient social and family values, stressful life (though many times its also an excuse), Catalysts like Viagra and insurance agents like I-Pills, have certainly removing the prudish image of human race without a gender bias across the globe.
  3. I have to add that there is a section of the society in every country who hold highest regard for value system and are voluntarily disciplined and lead a honorable life. Would you agree with what i fear, the density of this variety is dwindling?
  4. There are some societies which are restrictive and some open... primarily giving thousands of hues and shades in between this range. We need to accept this is evolution.
  5. If this is not a big deal in the larger section of the society then why should some like Tiger woods or Bill Clinton or anyone for that matter, face the music and should lead a life of guilt?

I remember an old joke... A nun runs across the church with torn clothes and screams to the father of the church... "Father, when i was walking to the village for social service activities, few men pounced on me in an isolated area and they raped me repeatedly"...

Father was aghast and so were the other people present in the church.

The nun was saying the same statement repeatedly. After some time Father took her away and mumbled to her " OK, I heard you well but can you cut the smirk off your face".

But more importantly lets understand that socially there is a red line, where does it start and where does it blur?

  1. The first phenomenon is "If you are leader, inspirer, a genius in which ever field, then the society looks up to you for a idealistic model and you serve as a motivator. They expect you to uphold the highest value system that is ideal and sacrosanct".
  2. The second phenomenon is that "In an institution of marriage, loyalty and trust are the unwritten rules".

So if the above 2 points are where the red line starts then where does it blur?
  • The only answer i have for this is "Power blurs". There is a popular saying that "Might is right". History has repeatedly pointed that once people become powerful the red line not just in celibacy but also in every sphere of human life tends to blur.
  • There is an increased awareness that the rules don't apply to people with power! Lets look at a small example..."Lets assume that you are conducting an meeting / event in a venue which has an exit gate and an entry gate. While entries and exits are strictly manned for one way traffic for general public, the head of security or the event can break this rule without any notion of guilt"
All of us who are intoxicated by power in which ever form tend to be less restrictive about our thinking and actions. The rules and regulations, value systems seems to appear that they are only for the meek and weak.

Having exceeded the attention span for this article i am going to share few examples from Indian history in Part 2....

Yours weakly!
Happy reading!