A Quote for life!


“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for Insects


Robert A Heinlein
(American science-fiction writer,1907-1988)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shubha Nabobarsho 1417!

The Bengali New Year just went by. It is 1417 Bongabdo now. Wishing all the Bengalis Shubha Nabobarsho! Hope this brings you all prosperity and health!

Today’s topic is Bengali and the Bengali language. Recently I came across a news article in http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ about Bengali being selected as the sweetest language of the world. (Find the article here) We always knew this, that after one of those European languages (may be Spanish) Bengali was the sweetest language of the world and one of the most spoken language too. I am proud to be a Bengali and this is one more reason to be so. I can read, write and speak in Bengali and that is an achievement in any human being’s life. I was blessed to have born in a Bengali family and hence, I did not have to toil that hard to learn Bengali. I wish people reading me, who cannot read Bengali would learn this someday and would be able to explore the treasure we have in our Bangla literature! Oh, such a great feeling to be able to address Bangla as my own! I was telling the other day to one of my friends in office, that there is so much in Bengali and its literature that it is not possible for someone mortal to read and learn everything that is in there. And that my wife could go on and on and on talking about Bengali, Bengali literature, Bengali people and Bengali land – we are so proud Bengalis!

That’s it!
I am a Bengali and let me be a Bengali and let me take pride in the same.

But that would not be the end of all of it. People in India speak so many different languages and everyone is proud of their own languages. Till this point everything is fine! But no! People will not just stop there. They will go much ahead of this and start comparing their language to their neighbors’. They will start comparing the languages and cross the limit and call names of the other language and the people speaking that. This is what the majority of Indians do at present. We discriminate fellow Indians on basis of their language, cast, creed, religion and color. We have seen it, felt it, talked about it and have kept quiet. I mean, we never had anything to do against or for this. We don’t take any steps ourselves. We keep mum and we condole ourselves.

I am staying away from home for last 12 years and I have seen it everywhere I went – be it Assam, Tamil Nadu or Karnataka; be it in street, shop, bus and auto or in office! Where are we heading towards? Are we a country of educated people? Well, if this is what education teaches us, we should go back to the jungles and start dwelling in caves. There is no tolerance, no brotherhood, no serenity and no forbearance in any of us! And we call ourselves educated, civilized and healthy human beings and citizens of a developing country – a republic, a democratic and a sovereign nation! Does anyone know the meaning of these words? LOL!

It’s time we rise and stand against this and pull those despotic nincompoops by their ears and teach them that this is a country of many people and all of those have the right to go anywhere they want; do anything they want; talk any language they want; practice any religion they want. And not only this, the citizens of India are free to eat at any restaurant; wear any underwear they want; sneeze as many times they would like to; watch any movie at any theatre.

If you have got a problem, just leave!
Grow up people and act as if you are civilized, even if you are not ;)

The picture is a cover of a book written on Indian Languages. I just loved the cover and wanted to post it here. Taken from here.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vedanta

Vedanta (Devanagari: वेदान्त, Vedānta) was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a sandhied form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedas".
 
Well, when I was browsing through the TV channels today, I was brought to a halt when one of the Spiritual Gurus were talking about Vedanta and in that 20 minutes of the program, he told a few things about the differences or rather the transformation of Vedas to Vedanta.
 
The most important thing that I liked was the order of facts. In Vedas, he said, the faith is imposed on. As in, “You need to do that this way and this way alone” the tone in the four Vedas were more orthodox – where the Slokas or the chants instructs one to follow whatever is written/told and not to question. This is similar in other religions, like Christians and Islam, where questioning God or the faith is prohibited in some forms. This looks autocratic on the upfront, but if one thinks deeply, one would find that coercing knowledge or faith or belief at that era, where light was only thing that could bring life to the lifeless, was inevitable and inimitable for most of the people in different parts of the world who were taught different religions and faiths with different outlooks. It was tough to make someone understand those hard languages and thoughts that otherwise sounded irrational and out of the world. Hence, coercing faith was implemented.
 
At a later stage, when Hinduism softened and was practiced by more developed and civilized people, they understood that faith cannot be imparted by force. It has to come from within – the thought of self realization – self education and self implementation. This is when they started to show people the reality as it is. Not telling them what to do or what not to do, but just showing that this is what has happened and this is what the result of that was. Opening the window towards reality! This was the time when the spiritual gurus showed the mass that if you do so, it might happen like this, as it happened previously. The orders in Veda became stories and tales in Upanishads – and people could see that more clearly. They would now know why they were asked to do a certain thing in the Veda. The mass would question now – to themselves, to their Gurus or to the environmental variables around them. They got the right to question – through Vedanta – which led to self actualization.
 
Vedanta is based on two simple propositions:
1. Human nature is divine.
2. The aim of human life is to realize that human nature is divine.
 
As in Science, people asked questions like, ‘why, what, how, why not’ etc. and discovered things that were there already and a step further, they invented things that were never there. It was this time, during the divination of Vedanta, when the mass started thinking and questioning the faith – Hinduism and its sermons – and they went a few steps further and deeper into the religion. People questioned more and more and discovered and re-discovered many more outlooks of the faith. Vedanta gave us the modern Hindutwa – the practice of Hinduism.
 
It is a very vast concept and an ocean of knowledge where I would love to dip sometimes. Hope the time comes soon. For more information on Vedanta or to explore more about the same, please visit the following weblinks:

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