Saturday, August 04, 2007

Not Far From Khandwa

Today, August 4, is Kishore Kumar's birthday. Am sitting in Bhopal, not very far from Khandwa, where the singer was born 78 years ago. In other words, Kishoreda, had he been alive, would have turned 78 today. He would have been an old man, shrivelled and without many of his teeth, and yet hummed some of his old songs for TV channels whose determined reporters would not have left this recluse alone.

But TV channels celebrate only the dead. An old man, long out of spotlight, is no news. Maybe that is why Kishore Kumar chose to die young, at 58, so that he would be celebrated forever. It is impossible to imagine an old, doddering Kishore Kumar -- even his name means someone who is doubly young.

Presenting a song that is my all-time favourite. It is from the flop film, Anand Aur Anand, which Dev Anand had made in the mid-eighties to launch his son Suneil. In this song, Kishore Kumar lends his voice to both Dev Anand and his son; and if you listen carefully, you will notice that in the second half, Kishoreda modulates his voice to suit that of an older man, that is Dev Anand. The music has been composed by R.D. Burman.

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Anonymous said...

I knew you wouldn't miss this day!!
Visited your blog today in the hope of finding something on today's special occassion, and needless to say, I was not disappointed...

Happy listening...forever...


Anonymous said...

A response to your article Sex and Spiritualism.

“Hinduism is not a religion, it is a way of life”……………….Dr. Radhakrishnan

Religion, according to Hinduism, is not separate from our day to day life. It cannot be separated from us, like the air we breathe, food we eat and for that matter, any action that we do mentally, orally and physically. It is only to liberate men from evil and elevate a good person to a better person.

“Every man is potentially divine. Religion is to manifest the divinity in him.”……Swami Vivekananda

Combination of sex and God is not blasphemy. Sex for necessity, i. e. for procreation, is approved.
“…..I am the sexual desire for procreation………..” [Gita – ch. 10 st. 28]

What is referred to spirituality as the one through drinks, drugs & sex is only hallucination. The happiness as achieved through these is only temporary. Happiness of eating a sweet lasts only as long as the sweetness lasts in the tongue. Then you cannot recall how it was, albeit you may say, “It was a good experience.”

There was a time, when the so called Vaishnavites and Saivaites used to quarrel as to which cult was superior (now they accept each other with reservations and have agreed to disagree!), leave alone the quarrel between people belonging to different religions. It was the right time for an Avatara, an embodiment of both Siva and Vishnu. Lord Dharma Sastha was “born”. [Sastha means one who trains / teaches / guides. Now you can understand the real meaning of Dharma Sastha, popularly known as Ayyappa.]

But why these stories about Mohini?

First of all, let us accept certain basic facts.

People are of different IQ and EQ.

Even though the teacher teaches the same subject, each student takes his own time to learn it; some take more time, some grasp it quickly, some others never understand anything!

Our great Rishis knew it very well, so they have advocated different paths for different grades of people. Take the case of music. Can all the people sing? Some are born genius. Some take years and years of practice under a Guru to learn it.

I asked a four year old child, who went to school for the first time, what he was taught in the school. He said, “the teacher taught me 1 + 1 = 2.” To tease him, I told him, 1 + 1 is not 2, but 3! He got confused and angry, retorting, “No, you don’t know. My teacher must be correct!”

At his level, he believes his teacher. As years go by, his belief turns into knowledge, as he reaches II, III, IV standards and I can no more tease him, as I did earlier. As he goes to college, he elevates himself from knowledge to conviction, when he will be able to teach others what he has gained. At this level, he has no doubt about his knowledge. There is one more level, that of realization.

All the “Puranic” stories were narrated to make people first believe that if they commit evil they will be punished and rewarded, if they behave well. Syllabus is changed, when they reach higher levels.
That is when, we come to realize that there is something above Siva, Vishnu, Durga, Muruga, Ayyappa and so on and once we attain It, there is nothing else to attain. Is it so easy?

It is generally told that, Brahma is the God for creation, Vishnu for protection and Siva for destruction. It is actually, Creation of good thoughts, words and actions, Protecting them from evil thoughts, words and actions and Destruction of all types of evils. Ayyappa came into being symbolizing both the Vaishnavite and Saivite priniciples. He even achieved religious integration.

To make people at low level of intelligence get interested and believe in these principles, poetic imagination was liberally used to symbolize Vishnu as the female form and Siva as the male form. Why not otherwise? Siva is already personified as Ardhanareeswara (Siva & Sakthi) and Vishnu had already incarnated as Mohini during the Amrutha episode.

Reg. rituals and religious practices, they are essential part of any religion. If you go for a deep study of these practices, you will understand there is some inner meaning in these. For eg., during the Pooja, one has to wear neat clothes, use washed utensils and whatever one eats, one has to first offer to God. When one does it, with utmost sincerity, one feels that some mental peace is achieved. It is repeatedly emphasized in our sciptures that the first ritual one has to observe is “Sowcham” (Cleanliness).

Once, Narada asked Sri Krishna, “Of all the rituals, connected with time, family or country (society) (Kaalachaara, Kulaachaara or Desaachaara) which is the best?”

Sri Krishna replied, “Whatever be the ritual, it is meant for the general development of mind, intellect and the soul. Realize that all others are chaotic.”
Hence, if the ritual, one observes, brings about a positive change to the him/her, accept it. Or, turn a blind eye to it. It is futile to argue with them.

As far as the “bribe” to God is concerned, it never finds approval in our scriptures. It is again and again proclaimed in all our scriptures and at so many places in Gita, that whatever is offered to God, it should be done with sincerity and honesty and without expectation of anything in return. If one does one’s duty with dedication, discipline and determination, whether it is one’s own work or service to the needy and society, then there is no need for one to go to any temple or do any Pooja.

So let us now assess ourselves. Are we in the LKG level, where we only believe and happy to remain there itself, or do we want to promote ourselves to graduation level gradually?

“When you say, you believe in God, there is an element of disbelief in it. It is a question of whether you want God or not”……………………………………………………………... Swami Vivekananda

That summarizes your confusion. Do not be bothered about all petty things. If you find happiness and peace in meditation, do it. But remember one thing, simple meditation without any action will be futile.

A coolie, carrying a head load or a wood cutter, cutting woods uses only his physique to do the work. He does not apply his mind or intelligence. A driver, driving a car has to apply his mind to do his work. But there is no emotion involved in the above. A mother, caring her child has to intellectually and emotionally involve herself in doing her work.
Hence, any work, whether it is our day to day work or religious rituals or meditation, is done in three levels, viz. physical, mental (emotional) and intellectual (i. e. KARMA, BHAKTHI & JNANA YOGAS). Of these, utmost importance is given to physical work , i. e. Karma Yoga.

Of the many stories, two stories can be quoted, for the emphasis given to Karma Yoga.

(1) Once Narada, proud of being a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, asked Him, “Who according to You is Your greatest devotee?” Vishnu said, a farmer, working on the fields. Narada was surprised and wanted to know the reason. He went and observed him. The farmer daily, after getting up in the morning, chanted once “Narayana!” and went to the fields to do his work. At night, before going to sleep, he once again , chanted “Narayana!” Vishnu explained that the farmer was doing his duty, that was given to him by God with sincerity and devotion. Narada said he was also doing his duty of spreading Bhakthi among people, as ordained by God.

To make him realize the importance of Karma Yoga, Vishnu gave him a bowl of oil and asked him to carry it around the world without dropping a single drop of oil. Narada perfectly performed this and then Vishnu asked him, how many times, he chanted His name or even remembered him. Narada said, “Why should I, I was only carrying out your instructions with concentration?” Vishnu replied that the former, even while carrying out his duty could remember Him twice!

(2) There was a young Brahmin boy, who wanted to go to the forest and meditate, without taking care of his old parents and his other duties. He went to the forest, sat below a tree and started meditating. After a long time, he came out of the Thapas and felt something fall on his head. He saw a bird, sitting on the branch above and looked at it angrily. To his surprise, the bird was immediately burnt off. He happily thought he had achieved great spiritual powers and feeling hungry, went to a nearby village. Standing before a house, he asked for alms. A lady came out and requested him to wait for a while, as she was then attending to her husband’s needs. Feeling infuriated, he started looking at her. She said, “Do you think I am like the bird that was burnt off by your looks?” Taken aback, he asked her how she came to know about it. She replied that he could get the answer from a butcher, staying in the next street. Reluctantly he went there. The butcher welcomed him saying, “Oh, you’re the Brahmin directed to me by that lady! Please wait, I shall finish my duties and answer your queries.”

The butcher, after completing his chores, said, “We are doing our duties perfectly. That lady is attending to hers without grumbling and with great devotion and she has naturally acquired those powers. I may be a butcher by profession, but I don’t kill animals more than what is required to meet my minimum needs. I take care of my aged parents and my family and serve others in whatever way within my capacity. But you wanted to bypass your Karma and hence, you have not achieved anything. So, go back and do your Karma properly.”

If any one does not like the ambience of a temple, he is at liberty to avoid going there. Instead, he can choose any place, where he gets peace of mind, so long as it does not disturb others. But, the best place is the one, where you are, wherever you are.
“One who can feel silence in the midst of sound, loneliness in the midst of crowd and light in the midst of darkness can achieve calmness in the midst of calamities”...……..…Swami Ranganathananda


Anonymous said...

Hey Bishy, stop writing about general stuff dear. Waiting to read more about your take on sex, women and more such related topics. Also, you seemed to be taking a long break to update your blog, how long to wait!!!!

Anonymous said...

your male gaze post on Sunday Express was too good bisu.