Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Forgive us!

Jai Guru Deva

My deepest condolences to the affected families in possibly the worst attack on humanity. People witnessed 9/11 and moved on, People suffered 26/11 and moved on; But this is something very very difficult to move on. For a long long time to come this will remain as the haunting memory to the collective conscience of humanity. I cant help but beg for the forgiveness of the children who had to face such a wrath of fate for no fault of theirs.

Sarvejana Sukhinobhavantu,
-Karthik

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Learnings from Mahabharath - 6 : Ethics & Morals

Jai Guru Deva,

I am completely cognizant of the fact that we are living in an era where ethics and morals are just mere literature and they dont have any significance in the practical world. Nonetheless, I keep harping about them because I value any person only based on their ethical base. I dont care anything else. Real character is not about money or hard work or intelligence its the commitment to ethics in trying situations, its the capacity of self restraint in vulnerable situations. I know day by day all these things becoming meager in the society and I have my own experience someone blamed me that I have expectations in the name of trust. I spectacularly failed to understand that logic. 



Coming back to Mahabharath, there are several instances where different characters stood for highest level of ethical behavior which stands as an inspiration for me. In this post I am trying to recall as many of such cases as I remember:

1. Grandsire Bhishma: nobody more than Grandsire deserves a first mention when there is a discussion about ethics. All his life he had faced so much of trouble only because he was binding to the highest level of ethics. Finally his death is also a result of what he had believed in and he chose death instead of being unethical. Grandsire! you are inspirational!

2. Karna: Next I want to mention about Karna because for no fault of his he got punished. Being the rightful owner of throne of Hastinapur he never craved for it. He had always maintained that he is indebted to Duryodhan and he will stand by Durodhan irrespective of what he had done. Ofcourse though his commitment to Duryodhan is not a correct trait of a friend but the way kept himself away from the throne of Hastinapur is something worth  a praise.

3. Kunti: Generally I hear a lot of criticism about Kunti regarding the issue of Karna but i will not comment as its against my principles to talk about woman. However, when the Pandavas are in Ekachakra nagari and their Brahmin host thinks about sacrificing one of their family members for Bakasura Kunti offers to send one of her son to Bakasur and chooses Bhim for that task. When Yudhishtir asks her why she had not selected him for going to Bakasura Kunti replies that Yudhisthir is the crown prince of Hastinapur and Hastinapur has more right over Yudhishtir. That shows how much she is committed to her role as the queen of Hastinapur.

4. Yudhishtir: He is a man who stood for very high level of ethics. Despite being the eldest brother of perhaps the greatest warrior of this country in the last 5000 years he did not crave for war. He told Krishna that he will be happy if Duryodhan gives him five villages. What else do we need to talk about this man! His warrior brothers would have won all of planet earth and he had no necessity to ask the permission of Grandsire to start the war.

Sarvejana Sukhinobhavantu,
-Karthik

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My condolences..

Jai Guru Deva,

Today is the anniversary of the great tragedy of 26/11. My deep condolences of all those who are killed. On the fatal day, I had slept early and did not know till I saw The Hindu next morning. It was one of the most shocking moment of my life. In 2008 I was already half dead with several of my personal problems but this was beyond my imagination. I knew Islamic terrorism has done for several centuries. From Nalanda library to Bamiyan statues but 26/11 was something that I am witnessing and I am connected to. Atleast four people who I know have escaped the massacre very narrowly. My deepest condolences to all the people who lost their lives in such a ghastly attack.


Sarvejana Sukhinobhavantu,
-Karthik

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Learnings from Mahabharath - 5 : Yudhishtir

Jai Guru Deva,

Dharmaraj Yudhirshtir, the name needs no introduction. For the last 2000+ years, anybody in this country living a pure and principled life is compared with him, such is the glory of that man. Being the eldest son of Pandu raj he has every right to be the king of Hastinapur but Dhritrastra was not going to yield. A visionary like Vidur had anticipated that only Yudhishtir can give a stable and harmonious rule to the people of Hastinapur. However, Duryodhan's greed for power ensured a great war for the crown of Hastinapur.  There will be no famine in the land where he lives and in the land which tastes his blood there will not be so rains for so many years as his drops of blood. I just wonder how principled should he be to alter seasons and dictate nature. Take a bow!


But the biggest mistake of Yudhishtir is the dice game he had participated. I take that as a biggest learning from his life. For some reason I am not addicted to any kind of gambling for the simple reason that I dont enjoy it. I for one dont believe there is anything called "luck" on this planet. I want somebody to own responsibility for every happening; success or failure. In gambling you have to just rely on your luck but not on your ability to achieve any result. Thats the bad part of it and I detest it. Coming back to Yudhishtir, he had spoiled not only his life but also the lives of his whole family. As the head of a family it does not suit him to treat the remaining others as "objects" not humans. It is not befitting to see the great Dharmaraj gambling his brothers and wife at stake. After all, destiny is far powerful any mortal human and everyone has to go through what was written for him and Yudhistir is no exception for that. There is a saying in sanskrit which goes like "Manushyanam buddhi karmanusaarini" meaning the human behaviour is as per their karma. Irrespective of caste, creed, religion, language and gender everybody is answerable to their own karma. Practically there is no way any human can get away with karma by himself. Generally spiritual practices which are very tough by nature are treated as a method to reduce the impact of negative karma upon a human. Finally, an ultimate surrender to the divine is the only way to ensure that all the bad karma is taken care of. When I met the ghastly accident last year, the first thought that came to my mind was not regret or remorse. Really felt glad that a lot of bad karma had been taken away and I surrendered my injuries to the Almighty. Yes, I did underwent a lot of physical pain but I was detached from any sort of mental and emotional pain. 

I particularly want to highlight one conversation where Yudhishtir asks Bhim not to tell anybody that he was poisoned and thrown into the river. He says any happening in a family should remain within the family and Duryodhan is one among them. He always counted 105 brothers not 5 brothers. This ethical superiority is what ensured pandavas win the epic battle with Kauravas. Perhaps, the main purpose of the great story is that ehics and moral are the only way for glory and there is no shortcut. I as an employee of HP takes pride with the expectation of ethics maintained in HP. I had heard more than two instances when people were punished for compromising on their ethical expectations. In this age when indiscipline is romantic not many have higher standards of ethics on professional and personal fronts. I have no right to comment about others as its purely their choice but I always pray God to give me enough strength so that I stick to the morals that I believe in.

As far as the serial is concerned, I am not sure about who is the person who played the role of Yudhishtir but he did really well.

Sarvejana Sukhinobhavantu,
-Karthik



Monday, November 24, 2014

Learnings from Mahabharath - 4 : Dronacharya

Jai Guru Deva,

Let me write about the great teacher of Hastinapur: Dronacharya.

Guru Dronacharya was born in a brahmin family Bharadwaja clan and was a disciple and student of Sage Parasurama. Parasurama was himself an embodiment of Narayana. As a student of Parasurama his prowess with weapons is beyond the reach of any ordinary man. Arjuna who is the greatest warrior of this country mentions that "only Grandsire Bhishma, Guru Dronacharya, God Indra and God Mahadev can break his bow" which means Guru Dronacharya's archery skills are nothing short of God Indra and Lord Mahadeva. What can be a bigger praise for a mortal life? Apart from his skills of archery he also knew the Divine weapons which are invincible but also he is a master strategist. Whatever victories Kauravas had won in the war are majorly because of him. He is the architect of chakravyuh which killed Abhimanyu.



On the other side of the great warrior there stays a poor Brahmin who has to face several hardships to feed his family. His son was fooled and fed with water mixed floor as milk. He was wronged by his friend who had promised to share the kingdom with him. The same friend insulted him saying "friendship happens between equals" and a cow will be given to Drona as a part of biksha but not as a friend. Agitated Drona makes a promise to teach a lesson to his friend. Finally he kills his friend Drupad in the Kurukshetra. Main criticism on Drona is that he is partial towards Arjuna and he had spoiled the life of Ekalavya. Arjuna always took pride in being a student of Drona and that makes him a pet student of his beloved teacher. As far as Ekalavya is concerned, he had not learnt the archery but he had stolen it which befits a punishment.

For me, main learning from Guru Dronacharya is his affection towards his disciples. When Bhim claims that he had killed "Ashwathama", Drona did not avenge Bhim. He says a student is also like a son and I shall not kill him. Also, when Dushtadyum son of Drupad comes and asks for a blessing he readily gives the blessing even it means killing is ownself. He was a perfect Brahmin and stood by all the principles of being one. He played every role of his to perfection. This is a feature of all the great personalities. They play the role they take to perfection. Giving 100% to what we do is most critical for a successful human life and Guru Dronacharya stands as the epitome of that principle.

In the serial, Surendra Pal played role of Guru Dronacharya to perfection. His clear and unquestionable diction was something phenomenal. I particularly liked his conversation with Lord Brahma in the middle of the war about his life as a brahmin and as the commander of the kaurav army. 

Sarvejana Sukhinobhavantu,
-Karthik




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Learnings from Mahabharath - 3 : Karna

Jai Guru Deva,

Today I am going to write about another great warrior of this spectacular epic:Karna. Being the eldest son of kunti he has every right to feel that he had been wronged but that is no reason for his hatred towards Arjuna. Because of this, hatred becomes the soul of Karna's character and probably because of that reason he always faces troubles and became synonymous with trouble. He identifies himself as the slave of Duryodhan and repeatedly argues that he is indebted to Duryodhan. However, he is not indebted to Duryodhan but to the throne of Hastinapur. Grandsire Bhishma and Guru Drona realized this but Karna could not realize this and in a false sense of indebted supported Duryodhan in all the conspiracies hatched against the pandavas.


At the starting of the war when Krishna asks Karna to fight from Pandava's side as Grandsire Bhishma didnt approve him into his army, Karna blatantly rejects the proposal saying he cannot do anything against the interests of Duryodhan. This blind commitment is what caused Karna to miss the glory which perhaps he deserved. Not only this, at every stage of his life Karna exhibits human qualities that are virtues of a weaker personality. He lies to Guru Parasurama about this caste and birth, he declares that his only ambition of life is to kill Arjuna and to top everything, he calls Draupadi as a "whore". Because of all these things he loses the eligibility to be on the winning side of the great battle. 

The biggest lesson i would learn from Karna is the importance of getting rid of hatred. There is no bigger weapon to destroy a person than the seed of hatred in his heart. Irrespective of the recipient of hatred it only brings to destruction to the self and sometimes to many people surrounding. This is precisely the reason why I give so much importance to my spiritual practices. I appreciate the fact that nobody on this good earth guaranteed me a fair treatment but by virtue of being a human I am also prone to instincts like hatred and anger. So my spiritual practices are the only way to cleanse all these negative emotions. I am not a hypocrite and I understand the genesis of a particular thought process in my mind. More often than not, it helps to understand whether I am thinking constructively or not. One of the things I always pray the Almighty is to ensure that I am always in a constructive thought process.

As far as the serial is concerned, Pankaj Dheer did the role of Karna and he played it to perfection. He is one of the most fascinating characters in this story and when talks about the life of a warrior he is a treat to watch. More importantly the conversations between Karna and Shakuni depicts the difference between the politics and the warrior class. 

Sarvejana Sukhinobhavantu,
-Karthik

Monday, November 17, 2014

Learnings from Mahabharath - 2 : Arjuna

Jai Guru Deva,

Today I am writing about Arjuna, who is one of the greatest warriors of this country. Being the member of Kuru clan he had inherited a great legacy but he always referred himself as "Student of Drona". I for one, who is earning my livelihood only because of some great teachers who had blessed me with what I am today. I vividly remember some of the things my mentor VIMP sir told me and those conversations stand as guiding principles of my life. So it is only obvious that Arjuna's devotion towards Guru Drona appeals me more than any other feature of him. 

His passion towards archery and his determination to be the best archer of this planet is something not visible in any other characters of the great saga. The only other person comes to my mind with so much of passion towards a particular profession/art is Sachin Tendulkar. Thats why even after thousands of years of after mahabharath people still use Arjuna as an epitome of unwavering concentration. No wonder the Indian government named the annual sports awards as Arjuna awards. Like all great people of this planet, Arjuna also went through a lot of emotional pain. He ended up fighting with his own grand-sire whom he loves so much and he has to silently watch when his brother-in-law killed his beloved teacher. These two incidents talks volumes about the raja dharma and how tough it is to be a king. Arjuna's life tells a lesson that Raja Dharma is not about power and luxury but more about responsibility and sacrifice.


Two criticisms about Arjuna is that he was selfish and he made guru Drona to ask Ekalavya's right thumb and also he was jealous about Karna. Regarding Ekalavya's saga its primarily a decision of Drona and not Arjuna. Arjuna impressed Drona so much that he promised to make Arjuna the greatest archer. whats Arjuna's fault in this? It is only for the sake of variety stories that some of the telugu movies portrayed Arjuna as a villain and Ekalavya as a hero. In my opinion Ekalavya might be a hero but Arjuna is definitely not a villain. Similarly, Karna called Draupadi as a whore in the Kuru Raj Sabha and after that Arjuna have every right to hate Karna. 

Coming to the serial I am referring to, I dont know the name of the person who played the role of Arjuna. However, I liked his composed way to talking and his diction. I particularly liked his expressions during the conversation with Utara Kumar about slaves and what it takes to be a slave. Not just this conversation but he had displayed all emotions in a perfect manner.

Sarvejana Sukhinobhavantu,
-Karthik