Thursday, August 13, 2009

Social Revolution and Shree Krishna

Happy Janamashtami to All.

Shree Krishna, the Avatar/Re-incarnation is a subject I am incapable of touching upon. I will just take some instances of his life to show what a great Social Reformer, Brilliant Politician, and a Teacher of Spirituality he was. [His life and its meaning are things I have learnt and am still learning].

There was a time when every body's motto was Eat, Drink and Be Merry. The Brahmins were not independent and were patrons of the ruling elite. The subjects taught did not include Life Lessons...did not explain ways to truly develop one's life. The Ruling Class was egoistic and running after sensual pleasures and material wealth. The same behaviour was mirrored by the society at large. Though the people were materially wealthy they lacked in character, integrity and were floundering through life. Clueless as to why professional and material success and fame did not bring peace.

During such a time was born Shree Krishna to show us the power of Social Cohesion and stress upon the act that power and money are not what are needed for a Sangathan/Collective Strength and Social Revolution. He came to protect the Righteous (Saadhu) and punish the wrong doers. To set things right.

He stopped the Indra Puja which was a way to worship Vaibhav/Material wealth. He advocated and started Govardhan Puja....Go meaning Upanishad and those who protected and spread the ideas of Upanishads...a spread of Naitik Mulya/ Moral Values.

He endeared the women and stirred up a women's movement by spending time with the Gopis and making them into Brahmins...a people who spread the thoughts of God and Godly behaviour. The famous Raas Lila is just that ...Lila...a romanticized version of a 7 year old Krishna's interaction with much, much older women. He knew that a woman is instrumental in bringing about change in her home, extended family and society.
"Grihe Grihe Gopvadhukadamba"...the revolutionary ideas were taken from door to door by these Gopis as they sold milk.

He accepted the title of "MaakhanChor" to bring about a change...starting from the children of Gokul. There was no dearth of milk and butter in Gokul but all of it was sold to Mathura. The children of Gokul were deprived of essential nutrients. Krishna who was not lacking in any way stole milk and butter and distributed it amongst his friends. Another perspective is that Maakhan symbolized Sad Vichaar or good thoughts. He took the good from each family in Gokul and passed it on to the children. He sent the message that both a healthy body and mind are needed to make these children able citizens of tomorrow. These very Gopal's along with Krishna changed the society.

And finally ShreemadBhagvad Geeta...not a religious text but Shree Krishna's gift to Humanity. It answers all possible questions one can have about life. All doubts will be cleared and dilemmas settled. But secular education does not allow for a study of spiritual texts. Shreemad Bhagvat Geeta: God's song which enables me to learn the true purpose of my life. How do I find my inner peace which stands so shallow today. We are a generation which is stumbling through a fog. Happiness does not last. We are full of angst and so full of ourselves. We are living in a false truth.
I fear for my child who will surely learn how to make a living but will grapple with the fundamental issues which will determine his course and his happiness.

The cycle of good and bad is eternal. The society 5000 years back was no different from the society of today. The Land where Krishna was born is dipping down to new depths. And the behaviour is being cloaked behind the Right and need to earn money and fame, the Right to practice proudly the Philosophy of I, Me, Myself....the new mantra of emancipation for all. The Right to Cowardly hide behind...'Kaliyug hai...kya kiya ja sakta hai'.
It is necessary to excel in University (definitely not a Center of 'Higher Learning' but a Center of 'Higher Earning') but not imperative to be a man/woman of character.

The greed to hoard is overwhelming. Enough is never enough. Hence the collapsing buildings, train derailments, loot, rape and murder. Live Life King size means 'Upbhog'(consumption) of the highest order. Retail therapy is fast replacing Spiritual therapy. Upgrade whenever boredom sets in. And how easily bored we are today.

A spineless government and a spineless and an even weaker society.

In such times the lessons given by Krishna hold good. Time has not stolen his lustre.
Knowledge and Devotion must be combined with Action. There are too many Bakasurs(Bak meaning False Pride), Aghasurs (Agh meaning Sin). Asurs are not the ugly monstrous,fictional, Indianized versions of Vampires but real immoral,corrupt,bloodsucking Rakshassucking away at the society and the Right Way of Life/Dharm.
He showed us the Middle Path between Consumption and Renunciation. He asked us to keep our personal obligations/promises and loyalties aside for the greater good.
He showed us that we can fill our lives with laughter and play and yet tackle the evil within and outside.

Janamashtami is not just about fasting and feasting but renewing our pledge to carry forward Shree Krishna's work and blaze the trail for a Social Revolution. Rise and Shine!

Yada Tada Yatha Tatha Tathaiv Krishnsatkatha...
Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum!!!


Renu said...

Beautiful post! you are doing a great job and a service to all those Indians who are ignorant.

manju said...

A lovely post, Chrysalis!

You have explained the concept and importance of Shri Krishna so beautifully.

"Knowledge and Devotion must be combined with Action."

and "the Middle Path between Consumption and Renunciation."

I think these are concepts which we particularly need to keep in mind today.

Anonymous said...

Shubh Janmashtmi to you too:)

Kislay said...

Jai Shree Krishna !

A friend asked to listen to the Bhagvad . I read a couple of shlokas . :)

And I forgot to add , WOW !

You know what irritates a lot , of all the things there are . The depraved Entertainment industry . Reality Tv , Movies , Music and News channels . They just drive me crazy . So spineless .

Anonymous said...

Lovely post! I did not know quite a few things that you have mentioned here.. Was very very enlightening.

BK Chowla said...

Very well written post.Happy Janamashtami to you all

Chrysalis said...

Renu Ji : I am sure of only one thing ..I have been touched by what I have been leraning and it has changed the way I think today. I hope this magic is infectious. :)

Manju Ji: Thanks Manju ji..I know a world driven crazy by extremes and self absorption, sanity must visit soon..

Indyeahforever: Hey Shubh Janamashtami to u too...I see you here after a long time..Howz everything?

Kislay: Jai Shree Krishna! You of all people must read more. You have tremendous potential to translate it into action. And yes TV today just sap one's intellectual and moral energy. If one has some sense left it only makes them angrier and frustrated. I say "TV Visarjan" would make for an apt and important festival for today :)

Smitha: Thanks and I did not know so many things myself till last week :) I read some and for the first time in 30 years am keeping a fast today because I realize what Krishn did and how. I am blown away to quote Kislay :)
I know I will celebrate today more than just visiting a temple and eating sweets. I plan on having discussions on Krishna's life. I am just thinking of ways to make it fun for my 2 year old and 4 year old :)

divya said...

wow! great in New York sometimes i think how the world has evolved ..a mother and daughter were travelling together on the subway ...both had their own i pods i wondered how they did not care about communicating with each other anymore!

AnjuGandhi said...

lovely, informative and spell binding post which forces you to finish it word by word.
I totally agree there can never be a politican better than Krishna.
the practical teachings of Geeta are not something which goes over head but we can imbibe them in our day to day life. he was a great teacher who didnt believe in only idealistic philosphy but the one who beleived that things, situations can be moulded and twisted to provide justice

Amit said...

शुभ जनमाष्ठ्मी !

Chrysalis said...

Chowla Ji: Thank you Sir and Janamashtami ki shubhkamayein aapko bhi :)

Divya: The scene you described of the NY subway...will be all the more commonplace even in India...we do not have time for our children...entrust them to paid professionals...Summer vacations enroll them in summer camps...after school activities carm their lives....when do they spend time with their parents and how much?
A mother would teach valuable lessons during the entire day without us even knowing we were learning something and she probably did not kknow that she was helping us develop in more ways than one. Anyways Sigh! This is endless. We shortchange ourselves as mothers and hence remain dissatisfied with just being that :)

Chrysalis said...

Anju Ji : Thank you so much. A compliment from you is special :)
Yes i agree there is so much to learn from Krishna's life and so much to take and apply from what he has said in Geeta.
We should have the fun Janamashtami but also take out time to reflect on all of the above.

Amit: Shubh Janamashtami to u too. :)
That picture of the Chimp is very distracting :) I have begun associating it with you. I see a Chimp and I think of you :)

annamus said...

Manu, interesting post- a new take on what Krishna stood for coz hes fast becoming the poster boy 'coolness and sexuality , liberation' for a large segment of poeple today, which is a very limited take on his entire persona.
Im glad you have chosen this thread for your blog- its unique- demystifying and analyzing Indian culture and traditions which are either oft forgotten or conveniently manipulated and misinterpreted..

Chrysalis said...

Thanks Sumana..And welcome here.
I am discoverng myself and am amazed at the misinformation all around. The karmakaand or ritualism are bothersome and so is the mindless bashing. What is also mindblowing is that all 'these' have answers to everything. If only we knew...'Posterboy'LOL Brilliant and how true!
Waise I have written on different topics...but things of 'this'nature are becoming vital to my being. And ya it should me my destination...though the travelling and the hard work involved will have to be done by me :)

Connector said...

I usually dont comment on posts but this was tempting for 2 reasons both where i agree and where i dont
a) On Krishan - Very well actually makes u feel how you see life's everyday things in the lives and tales of the lords and their stores. Well I read another post on Krishan today and it did talk about how krishan was actually a normal human being - be it friendship with draupadi, mutual love and respect for rukmani and pious love for radha that despite social norms, we worship radha and krishna together. Krishan - the politician in Mahabharata, the guide and mentior in geeta to arjun

b)The second where i disagree is the take on motherhood.
"Full-time Mothering a child one brought into this world is asking for a great Balidaan/Sacrifice which we might not be prepared for."
I think all mothers try to be good mothers.This does not mean that women who choose to work " Wanted a Nanny ..." will not be good mother. I for example work neither for finanical help nor for intellectual stimualtion..I work because I like to ...This does not mean that the 8-9 hours i spend outside of home makes me less or more of a mother...I guess everyone has a way and a right to raise her child and all mothers will do whats good of for the child ...whether its via professional paid help or via themselves. We should respect a Mothers decision that in all circuamstances, she will strive to make her children as good as any other human being. Even the mother - daughther duo with 2 do we know that they dont talk while at home...for all, they might be enjoying the ride in their own way. I hardly sit around with my mom yapping because thats my nature but that does not mean she and me are not close...So I would recommend we stop being judgemental - both for mothers who work and mothers who dont...they both have " chosen" a life what they think is best for her and her family...why shld we be bothered with that !

Chrysalis said...

Connector : Welcome here and thanks for commenting. I am gald we agree on Krishna.

On the second issue we can choose to disagree. I will not comment on the ipod incident because I do not know all the details.
Yes a 3-4 month old baby left behind with a paid help is not something I support. I am not judging the mother but the situation.
I had earlier done a post on working and non working mothers where I had said that a mother is never a bad mother. And she does what she thiks is best for the baby for a variety of reasons and in different ways.
HAving said that I still do not support and think it is healthy for a young child to be left alone for so long with hired help. And in the case I mentioned the baby will be left completely alone with hired help...a complete stranger who works for money.
If you think the paid/hired person can work with similar emotions as a mother does you are doing yourself a gross injustice.

Chrysalis said...

Connector: And yes as far as being judgemental about mothers I will never dare to do that.
Judging a situation is vital when it has an all encompassing social effect. The effects are way down in the future but they are undeniable. We are a by-product of our environment. We are not an island in ourselves.

Pranab said...

Sorry for replying so late.
As I finished reading this post, an incident from the past memory came alive. It hapenned some 15 yrs ago in the class 5 of a school in a hilly district of the province of Jammu. It was the last class of the last school day before the onset of Puja holidays and I remember all the kids were eagerly waiting for the last bell to ring and run out of the school gates. But that anxiousness was kind of disturbed when the Hindi teacher taking that class said that before we leave she wants us to answer as to what is the relevance behind celebrating Diwali. In came the ans one after another (on the similar lines though) but to much of amazement of kids the teacher wasn't satisfied with all the possible answers the students could think of (after mugging books for many years by then) until one of them answered 'Mam, Ham Diwali is liye manate hain ki hamein yaad rahe ki is din burayi par achai ki jiit hue thi'.

Religious festivities and enjoyments are important to give the individual and the community a lively feeling. The recent past has seen an exponential rise in spending on religious occasions but on the other hand the time and effort spent on teaching amd learning the values,ideals, principles and thoughts of our religious heroes is getting woefully inadequate and more so with every year. This is a dangerous imbalance as I believe the latter are like the sustainable life blood of a religion and society. We now use religion more as a means of establishing one identity and source of festivities whereas the drive to teach, learn, dissemeinate and seek knowledge about the exemplary action and character of great individuals has taken a back seat. Doing the opposite of what has happend would make this world a lot better and a safer place.

Chryalis, I must congratulate you, that this post and the intended motive point to the right direction, the one we should be following. Ignoring Krishna's teachings would lead this society to the path of intellectuall and spiritual bankruptcy which is the least that should happen to a society that already fits the criterion for being called spineless. Refusal to acknowledge the positivity the teaching of Bhagwad Gita can bring into the life of an individual and society at large is like parching nearby the banks of river Ganga. I believe combining religious teaching at schools per se with modern education is a GREAT idea but its practically impractical as well in current atmosphere. I hope this atmopshere can be changed but till its not, its the parents and the teachers who should remember that denying the kids that religious and moral awakeing, in hindsight is a disgrace not only to the claims that kids of the present are being better educated than their predecessors but also to claims of a progressive society.

Pardon me if you think I took too much space in the comments section again.

Chrysalis said...

Pranab: First of all stop are not hogging space but making a valuable contribution to the discussion.
Agree with you all on counts.
And yes there are no Tapovans and Gurukuls of the yeateryears...we have to reacreate that atmosphere at home. Tough task indeed.

Amit said...


Could you please email me at lotusnova at gmail dot com? I would like to contact you regarding something. And please delete this comment.

Anonymous said...

Generally I disagree a lot in other blogs. Try to give a neutral comment, neither saying yes nor saying no. But this is one blog, I don't have any problems saying - I agree! :-)

I too feel that when the kid is very young (0-4/5years), the mother could take a break from the job to take care of them. I think it is required, and the mother can do a very good job of taking care of the children at that age. There is one of my relatives who has left her kid with her parents and husband and gone to US for one year!

I think you hit the nail when you say that religious subjects need to be taught at schools. I am proud that we in Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) group of educational institutions were taught Vedas from 6th Standard onwards. Actually we recited a lot of them during saturdays. I didn't realize it back then, but now I know that if I want to reconnect with them, it is going to be easier than not knowing anything about the Vedas.

BTW you have been tagged on the topic 'Fast Furious and Danceable songs' and awarded.

Destination Infinity

Chrysalis said...

Amit: Sorry for replying so late. I will get in touch soon.

DI: Thanks DI for agreeing.I have come upon this stay-at-home-mom thing by experience. DAV ..good for you. My brother went to DAV while I attended Moral Values classes in my as Convent as it gets Convent school:)