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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Demons in Hindu Philosophy

The Demons that Confront Man

The demon is a popular word and there is not a man or woman who would have heard about it. In Hinduism also demons are part of the religion. Concept of Demons in Hinduism is not as in the Christain religion. In Christianity the concept of the Demon is associated with Satan. In Hinduism the concept of Demon is antithesis of God. There is no presiding deity like Lucifer or Satan and mostly the demons are a leaderless lot.
Islam also has its fair share of demons that are known as ‘Jinn’s’. These are supernatural beings with evil powers. In Islam the leader of the “jinn’s” is Iblis or Satan.
Some of the Hindu demons are discussed below.

Virabhadra

Many classify this deity as a god as well, because he has temples dedicated to him. However he is a Demon as he was created by Shiva the foremost Hindu deity to fight against Daksha. Virabhadra is a patron of occult practices and weird beliefs are associated with his name.

Andhaka

Andhaka was the third son of Shiva. Legend relates that Andhaka was created from a tear of the lord Shiva, but he angered the god as he lusted for Shiva’s consort Parvati. Shiva thus killed him

Kali

Kali is a goddess but she also represents the dark nature of life. She is in reality a form of the goddess Shakti (who was Shiva’s consort). She is an angry form of god but many do not recognize her as a demon.
Kali is a homonym (Kali: Goddess; Kali: a real demon), thus”Kali” represents the Kali Yuga the evil age that is now dawned on the world in that respect she is a Demon.

Koka and Vikoka

The Goddess Kali had twin sons named Koka and Vikola. These twins are considered demons as they represent wars and battles. They are present whenever war is fought and also instigate war and misery.

Vinayakas

Vinayakas are a group of four troublesome demons who create obstacles. The group of four Vinayakas was merged into one deity named Vinayaka whom Rudra appointed as the “Leader of the Ganas”. Ancient Puranik literature refers to these demons.

Vetala

This kind of demon resides in dead bodies. It is indestructible and he often confronts the living man

Pishacha

These Demons eat raw meats and Pishacha is a carnivorous demon. But the origin of this demon is shrouded in mystery and not much is known about it.

Bhuta

Bhuta is a kind of bad soul of a human being who dies by suicide or by execution. It is a demon who takes form after an unnatural death.

Conclusion

In the Hindu mythology, there are many demons. Again sometimes the dividing line between demon and god in Hinduism is very thin like the goddess kali. In addition Hinduism also mentions rakshasas and asuras who are also demons.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Islam Solves Man's Latent Urge for Another Woman

Islamic Solution for Adultery in Society


Man is by nature not a one-woman man and adultery is common in West and other societies. Islam has a solution, one may agree or not.

Islamic solution of adultery of man


Adultery is as old as the history of man. Over the centuries, adultery is one trait that has survived and will perhaps never go away. It is safe to say that though polygamy has become outdated in most of the world, adultery still thrives. If one has gone through everyday life in non-Muslim countries, one can see that sex dominates and as a corollary, adultery reigns supreme. This cannot be denied. The non-Muslim nations have not been able to control this trait of man, which is propelled by the inherent nature of man.

Islam has its own solution for adultery. This is the reason that adultery is severely punished in Islam. The punishment for sex outside marriage is death by stoning. Islam has however its own solution for adultery. It allows a man to have up to 4 wives. Divorce for the man is also simplified and a man can divorce a wife easily and marry again, so as to remain within the ambit of 4 wives. This arrangement sanctioned by Muslim scriptures works fine. I agree it is unfair to the woman, but then one can't get everything in life.

However, there is a catch in this, as the laws are weighted in favor of man. Perhaps it is a recognition that man by nature is polygamous. Islam has recognized this peculiar trait of a man's makeup. Many will not agree with this, but almost 30% of the world is following Islam. One may not necessarily agree with the Islamic solution, but this is a fact of life and one cannot ignore it. In Islamic nations, there is very little sex advertisement, yet most men are satisfied. It does give variety to the man and takes care of his latent urges.

Naming Ceremony of a Child in Sikhism

Naming Ceremony of a New Born among Sikhs


Sikhism is a distinct religion. it has a system of selecting a name for a newborn child and this ceremony is followed by all Sikhs all over the world

A Unique Ceremony among Sikhs

A Sikh is one who believes in Guru Nanak (1469-1539). He believes that there is one god and it has no shape or form. He is a person who follows no other god or any person who claims lineage from god. He will eschew idol worship or have the face of his women covered with a veil. He will believe that the ten gurus are apostles of God and the Guru Granth is the embodiment of the teachings of the Gurus.The naming of a child in Sikhism is an important ritual

The First Step after Birth
In a Sikh’s household, as soon as the mother after the birth of the child becomes capable of moving about and taking a bath the next step is to be executed. No time period is specified and it could anything from 10 to 40 days or longer. The important thing is that the mother and child must be fit to go to the Gurudwara for the naming ceremony. The family and the relations then should go to a Gurudwara with Karhah Parshad (sacred Pudding). Generally, people give this task of preparing the sacred pudding to the Gurudwara.

When the Karhah Parshad is being prepared the hymns “Parmeshar dita bana”(The almighty God has granted support)( sorathM5) or “Satguru sache dia bhej” ( True lord has sent a gift)( Asa M5) are recited. These stanzas express joy and love at the birth of a new member of the Sikh religion and the little child is welcomed into the world.
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The Hukam or Command
This is a very important step as the Head Granthi or priest will open the Granth Sahib at any random page and note the first alphabet that appears on the page. The holy command is then taken and the bay’s name has to begin with the first letter of the alphabet that has appeared on the page opened by the Granthi.

The Granthi will announce the letter and the parents can choose any name beginning with that alphabet. All boy's names must end with ‘Singh’ and girls' names with ‘kaur’. There is no embargo on any name, so long as it commences with the letter that has emerged from the Guru Granth. The name has to be accepted and the Granthi will announce the name of the boy or girl as the case may be.

The head priest or Granthi will now read to the congregation and all who have come to the Gurudwara the short version of 6 stanzas from the Anand Sahib and the Ardas ( thanksgiving prayer) will be recited. The Head Granthi will cross the sacred pudding with the kirpan (dagger) and as a mark of joy, the Karhah Parshad will be distributed to all present.

Last Step.
Once the name is accepted the Granthi or head priest will announce the name to the gathering. Care must be taken in this naming ceremony not to bring in any ritual from any other religion. The naming ceremony of a newborn in Sikhism is a simple ceremony. The essence is to name the girl or boy in the presence of the Granth Sahib and also associate the Granth with the name

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Legend of Gyges of Lydia and power of Sex

Plato


The Foremost master of logic in Greek history is Plato. He is credited with innumerable books and treatises. The works of Plato are read all over the world and philosophers look for hidden meanings in his writings. Plato is the author of the famous book "Republic". This tome is read and studied until the present day and is an important part of philosophy.

The Tale as related by Plato



Plato in his book recounts a lovely tale that has intrigued me to a great extent. I have interpreted it as a realization of a dream of man and sexual conquest. Nobody can deny, that men even the most puritan of them do have lascivious thoughts of women and in this context, the tale related by Glaucon, who was the brother of Plato needs to be read.

The legend as related in the book " Republic' runs something like this. There was a lesser vassal called Gyges, who paid allegiance to the King of Lydia. Gyges, however, was infatuated with the queen, the wife of the king of Lydia. He longed to possess her and wondered how he could ever achieve his aim. The more he saw the queen in court his lust for her increased.

An Act of Providence


Providence took a hand and one day while he was roaming about in the countryside an earthquake took place. This earthquake had a magical effect and a small cave opened. Gyges went inside the cave and saw a large horse made of bronze. This horse was a cover for a tomb of a man and Gyges saw the corpse was wearing a ring. He removed the ring and wore it. In a moment he was aware that he had astonishing powers and once he wore the ring he became invisible.

The Ring and its Power


Gyges probably exulted at this power and wearing it he entered the king's palace and proceeded to the chamber of the queen. As he entered, he saw the queen now nude and he seduced her. Plato does not explain how he seduced her as he was invisible. But in all probability, his invisibleness added to his charm as he made love to the queen.

After this, Gyges moved to the Kings chamber and killed him. The King probably could not see his assailant as he was invisible. After killing the king he went back to the queen and revealed himself and married her and became ruler of Lydia.

Meaning of the Tale



It’s a thrilling tale and I am always a fan of such tales from mythology. There is no factual truth in the tale though the kingdom of Lydia did exist. But I interpret it as a fulfillment of extreme desire for a woman. This can lead to anything. After all the Great Humayun killed the husband of Noor Jahan and married her. Al I can say is that desire for a woman can make a man go to any extreme.

All photos from wiki free

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Painting Nude Women

The dividing line between pornography and art is thin, yet there is a line. Painting a woman in the nude is an expression of love for god.

Introduction by my Uncle

My uncle Parduman died last year. He was 88. The sad part was that he died unsung and unheralded, though he was a painter of some standing. Sadder was the fact that he had left his family at the age of 80 and come back to Mumbai to paint. But he couldn't re-establish and died lonely. I wish I had been there to help him, but he was gone ere I came to know about him. My memory of him is of a vibrant painter who once took me to a nude painting class.
It was a wonderful experience as the nude model posed before some 14 artistes including 2 girls, as each sketched her. The nude model had her thighs crossed and I felt she was a little self-conscious. But over the years I have been wondering why painters have been painting nudes.

Nude and Naked

While in school our art master Mr. Paul once took us to an exhibition of paintings of the famous painter Roerich, a Russian. What caught my eyes were the large paintings of nude women that adorned the exhibition. Being an amateur painter myself, I did sketch one nude of a sleeping woman. Unfortunately, it is perhaps lying in a loft at my house.
The charm of painting a nude woman cannot be described. It differs from a naked woman, which somehow looks slightly distasteful. But the Greeks and our own ancient artistes all brought forward the nude woman. Most of the Goddesses of the Hindus have been sculptured nude in the temples, so I wonder what the fuss is all about Hussein's paintings.

Nude women and beauty

The fact of the matter is that a nude woman is an object of beauty. Hence a painter will try to capture that beauty. One has to see the Paintings of Goya, Picasso, and Dali to realize this. But remember nude paintings are not for the voyeur. They are basically an expression of art. Maybe at some stage love and sex may also be a part of it, but that is what the Tantra and Acharaya Rajneesh have been talking about.

Last Word


I for one respect the artiste's point of view. My friend an art teacher at the Art School commented ' Look its just an expression of one's innermost feelings.' I will leave it at that. However, I have one last observation. remember painting a nude woman is something serious and perhaps that is the reason that all nude paintings never show women smiling. Ever thought of that?
Phot I and II from wiki free
Photo III of my Sketch

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Christianity met its Waterloo( Failure) in India

Christian faith 


The British ruled India for close to 200 years. It is accepted that the Battle of Plessey (1757) under Robert Clive which the British won, marks the start of British rule. By a policy of divide and rule, the British became the paramount power in the subcontinent.

This continued till 1947 when the British had to leave India very reluctantly. The retreat from the subcontinent was brought about by Adolf Hitler who severely weakened England that it just could not hold on to its colonies. In short, the victory in the Second World War was a Pyrrhic victory.

British rule and missionaries

British Rule and Missionaries
During the almost 200 years of British rule, a lot of good took place as the British laid the framework of a modern nation. This also fuelled a nationalism which went beyond caste and religious lines. Gandhi and Bose successfully channelized this nationalism as well as instituted a sense of pride in the culture of the sub-continent which was dominated by a vast Hindu population and minority Muslim believers.
The British were the paramount power also allowed Christian missionaries to come to India. Their purpose was to civilize the people of the sub-continent and convert them to Christianity. A lot of impetus was given by the Pope who made unlimited funds available for the missionaries to facilitate the conversion of the Hindus and Muslims to Christianity.
The Role of the Missionaries
The missionaries spread out in the hinterland of India concentrating on tribal areas and poor Hindu and Muslim residents. These were given ample gifts and were told that these were sent by Jesus Christ and as such, they should convert to Christianity.

This inducement by the church marked the hallmark of the thrust under guidance from Rome to convert as many as possible to the Christian faith. I will add that the main thrust was from the Catholics from Rome and in comparison, the Protestants were not that zealous in their attempt to convert Indians to Christianity.

Failure of missionaries


Despite unlimited funds and food aid, the missionaries made little headway in the subcontinent. They did do some good also as they set up schools and hospitals, but the overall framework was to spread the gospel. They felt anything including inducements was justified. Fr the missionaries the end justified the means. But despite a vigorous thrust for 2 centuries, the missionaries could barely convert 2% of the population to the Christian faith.

The reason is not far to seek as Christianity came face to face with Muslim and Hindu religion and the missionaries just couldnot,, despite all the inducements counter the appeal of Hinduism and to a lesser extent Islam.

Reasons for failure

Reasons for Failure
One of the reasons which I think stand out now is that all the missionaries were whites and these appeared to the people as Alien. The Christian god Jesus was thus associated with white race and most people in the sub-continent were averse to being ruled by whites. Another reason was that despite the concerted attack on Hindu ideals and philosophy the people felt that Christianity as a religion lacked the deep spiritualism of the Hindu faith. This was a major reason as despite preaching the gospel along with inducements, the locals never converted to Christianity. There were cases of missionaries being attacked and many were killed. Many people felt that if the Church was sincere, why it was not advocating freedom from British rule.

This was a major flaw and like in America a where the church condoned and supported slavery, the church in India also never advocated an end of British rule. In fact with the protection of the state they penetrated deep into India but the result was an abysmal failure.

Last word

One other reason for the failure of Christianity is that the rulers were Protestants and they looked at the actions of the missionaries with askance. In fact, most Protestants were keen to revive Indian culture and many studied Hindu philosophy, but Protestants made no concerted attempt to convert the local people to Christianity.

The failure of the Church and Catholic faith to convert Hindus and Muslims to Christianity will remain a discussion point. It will not be wrong to say that Christianity the Catholic faith met its waterloo in India.
All photos from wiki free

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Undressing a woman with your eyes: Anything Wrong?

No harm
 A woman's face is her fortune but her body is Nirvana. So say the eastern scriptures. Many people have asked me what are the thoughts of a man when he meets a woman. This is not confined to any particular age.  It's just what goes through the mind of a man.

The mind is a complex phenomenon and is connected to intellect and the word desire.  This makes for a deadly concoction. The reaction of a man will depend on his orientation and if he is normal he will have fleeting thought as to how the woman being introduced to him will look if she were nude. The thought will also relate to the moment and the attire of the lady introduced. When I say "moment" it means that particular instant if the man 's mind is not preoccupied somewhere else.

A man will fantasy how the woman will look without clothes( particularly if she is attractive). This again is an amorphous word and attractiveness will vary from man to man. There could be fleeting thoughts of her undergarments and the mons. Somehow a man's thoughts whether one agrees or not centers around this aspect.
 I think women if they were to know that these are the thoughts of a man, she will not mind it. That's the law of nature. A man can fantasize anything from undergarments to her legs and the curls. There or not there and overall how she would look in case she was undraped of the sari, skirt or dress she is wearing. It's a wonderful thing and I suppose leads to no harm.
Lastly, there is no need of any "guilt complex". So live life as it comes.