Monday, January 31, 2011

The idea of God

What is God, who is God, where is God, do we need God etc are questions that have piqued scholars and laymen alike for ages with each one providing a logic for his own stand. Here is my stand on the idea.

Unfortunately many of those who try to disprove God only end up "demolishing" a religious thought, and those who claim God try to establish the religious thought. Most scholars who an anti-God tend to attack the misgivings of certain religions, or they attack certain ideas of God for example a Christian God, a Islamic God, a Hindu God but do not get to the core of the idea - God itself. Then the questions remain: Who is God, what is God etc are and these can be answered to one's individual satisfaction and it is hard to convince anyone else, particularly those who do not want to be convinced. It is just like tasting a cake, no one can explain the taste of it unless on experiences it. The whole idea of God is an internal experience that needs to happen within whereas most people (atheists) who dismiss God only look at the external. Even the very idea of internal and external is disturbing to them and is easily tagged as "bullshit"; one needs to decide which is the real bullshit.

In a recent conversation with a friend on this topic, I got the typical answer - "I dont see the link or reason for god", and my typical response was - "the links are all there, otherwise I or million other may not have found ... you have not found the link or reason because you have not sought to find one, thats all; may be sometimes we deliberately create those links or may be we deliberately fail to create; its all in the mind". Quite a lengthy response for an innocent comment, I know. But I strongly believe that we find or create links and reasons for those that we seek out for, for that which we believe in; just like my relationship with those i have relationships with, either they were given or i created them out of need - a crude analogy. In essence, we are all "color blind" or may be "partially blind"; some see darkness, others the light, some see white, some see red but they could all be looking at the same thing.

The other common problem is that a majority of the people associate God with religion and religion with God, and tend to use them almost interchangably. Religion does touch upon the idea of God and is mostly centered around the very idea, but God is aloof, He needs no religion. God stands independent. Religion is only a bundle of all the human attempts to comprehend the one beyond comprehension. Religion is a finite ladder to reach the infinite sky. It does take us somewhere, it does take us close to the idea of God but even then leaves us infinitely far away from the idea of God. But in many cases religion takes us further away from God. And most atheists attack this ladder and presume to have demolished God (or the idea of God); all they will have done is scratch some external ladders but there are more internal ladders than external. No religion is free from imperfections how-much-ever the religious "fanatics" want to preach otherwise, because religions are afterall human made and any attempt to deny that is only futile. But, then there is spirituality that escapes human adultration and it is best to leave this topic aside for a while. Such spiritual experiences are subjective and thus hard to articulate.

As hinted before, when people reject God they actually reject different ideas of God. For example, my friend rejects the idea that there is a super power that governs everything. So, when we reject something we reject the idea of something. Given that the idea of God itself is undefinable it is impossible to reject all the ideas of God. All one will have achieved is dismissing a finite, miniscule fraction of an infinite aspect called God. If I say God is attributeless and full of attributes, this sounds like a paradox but one needs to contemplate on this a little deeper. Anyway. If i say so then what is that you will reject? If you dismiss the atributelessness of God then the attributed nature of that God remains and vice-versa. But one may entirely dismiss the very idea of God, but again the question remain "what is that idea of God that you dismiss". The usual response is "there is no need for the idea of God at all, science explains things that replaces the need for God. When people had no answers they had a place filled called God but we are closing more holes and as we do that the relevance of God is reducing every day". I agree, but then we need to get to the very idea of what God is, is it just filling holes. This is something that I would like to address here.

First, the idea of creation. When and how did everything get created. There are many possible responses: it was never created, it always existed; God created at the beginning of creation; everything was just an accident, a result of a Big Bang; i have no idea and i am not interested; i dont think anyone can answer this; so on. Each stand point is arguable, debatable. Each viewpoint starts with some hypotheses or assumptions and most people attack those very assumptions to shake the base. If we could learn to appreciate the different viewpoints this world would be a lovely place to live. Anyway.

Most common response for "creation" from the non-creationists is : everything happened just like that, like an accident by a Big Bang; no one was behind it. Most religions reject this idea but interestingly "Hinduism" (note: there is nothing called Hinduism as such but for the sake of the article we consider the Vedic system as Hinduism for convenience; that which includes the Vedas, Vedangas, PuraNas and Ithihasas) agrees to this and provides an excellent explanation.

Second common response is from the creationists, that everything was created by God, He said "Be" and there it was. Most religions agree to this and again interestingly Hinduism agrees to this and provides an excellent explanation.

Third common response is that the world always existed, it was never created. Most religions reject this notion but again interestingly Hinduism agrees and provides an excellent explanation.

Fourth common response is: I have no idea and i dont think it is possible to know. Again, while most religions reject this Hinduism addresses this viewpoint too.

It may appear that Hinduism takes a safe path, too meek, too weak, escapist or whatever. May be Hinduism is a confusing and a confused path! For one who studies it (yes studies it is the right word) learns to appreciate the various view points and each one has some merit. But this does not mean that Hinduism does not take a stand. It provides such a beautiful view that is rooted in philosohpy and logic that it opens up multiple options, numerous outcomes and umpteen possibilities. Its seers provide responses that encapsulate all possible responses - from the Big Bag to Creationism - depending on how one views. It is like a water source, a washerman views it as a tool to wash clothes, a swimmer views it as a haven for swimming, a thristy views it as a way to quench his thirst, a farmer views it as a lie saver and son on. Its significance changed with one's conditioning. Similarly, thr Hindu Dharma leaves it to the individual to accept whatever is right from his own perspective by use of proper logic, contemplation, and consideration. One has the choice to reject that which does not appeal to one, independence that no other religion seems to provide to its followers. Sorry that the discussion seems to have taken a religious deviation. I believe that this is important at this stage.

A common, layman's logic to reject God is: I cannot see and thus I reject or I dont believe. Where is stumbles is in acknowledging that there are many things that cannot be seen, that the human senses fail to grasp. For example we are sorrounded by things that our senses fail to sense: Dogs are far better in catching sounds and smell than escape human senses. There were radio active rays always around us until recently discovered. There were bacterial and other organisms around us that escaped the human eye but invention of appropriate devices have enabled us to see them. As we see them we believe them, but this is a crude level of inference called "pratyaksha pramaaNa" unsuited for intelligent human intellect. For example, a college graduate has access to Microscope and thus view the bacteria, but for a village illiterate who does not even know of a microscope the bacteria remains "non-existent". Interestingly, in these cases we are talking about our inabilities to see or sense gross aspects what to talk of the subtle nature of God. So, those who are equipped appropriately can see things that are otherwise unseen. So, that one does not see something does not mean that the absence of an object, it is just that we are not equipped enough to see those. A similar dilemma is faced by Arjuna on the battle field, he says humbly: manyase yadi tac chakyam maya drastum iti prabho yogesvara tato me tvam darsayatmanam avyayam - If You think that I am able to behold Your cosmic form, O my Lord, O master of all mystic power, then kindly show me that universal Self. And Sri Krishna acknolwedges this: na tu mam sakyase drastum anenaiva sva-caksusa divyam dadami te caksuh pasya me yogam aisvaram. What to talk about one seeing the subtle divinity through naked eyes when one cannot even see a gross bacteria. Thus Krishna says that to see "yogam aisvaram" (divinity) one needs "divyam caksuh" (divine eyes). So, the logic that one has to see to believe is a very low level proposition.

To be Contd....

Thursday, January 27, 2011


arthavE-illade arthada hinde arthava kaaNuva aarthavEke |
iruvudan-hanchade naanu-nandhu-nanage emba svaarthavEke ||

alli-illi-yelliyu nOdali alliye aase yELeyuvudu |
jeevanadarthava ariyade badhuku kettu thaane koLeyuvudu ||

daivake bhrtyavanaagade manuja aasege sEve gaiyyuvanu |
saavu-bhadhukina chakradi taanu nityada karmavan-oyyuvanu ||

bErondu kavana ...

kaviyu kapiyu ibbaru vondhe, haaruva dharmavu ibbarali | kaviyu haaruva thannaya manadali, kapi haruvudellara maradali || -- Kaviratna Girisha Chandra :D :P ;)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

aapovaa idagam sarvam

ApovA idagam sarvam vishvA bhutAnyApaH prANA vA ApaH pashava ApO$nnamApO$mritamApas-samrADaapO virADApas-svarADApash-chandAgsyaapO jOtIgshyApo yajoogshyApas-satyamApas-sarvA-dEvatApO bhoorbhuvassuvarApa Om!

"Aap" seems to imply To obtain/attain/get, To reach/go/overtake, pervade, occupy; To become filled; To cause one to feel or perceive; Water, one of the eight Vasus; Sky etc. In the context of the above verse it appears that everything is water, but on the other look each time Aapa is used it seems to infer a different meaning to the word depending on the associated idea. For example: "Aapova idagam sarvam" can be "that everything that we see around is nothing but water or sky; or that water or sky pervades everything"! But, in the context of "prANa vA aPaH" the prANa is all pervading, and the this vishva is pervaded by sky and the "pashavah". That that all pervading thing is "satyam"; the devatas are to be obtained or reached in "sarva-dEvatApo" and so on. I am not sure because this is just a superficial look at the idea.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Conversation through poems

These were poem based conversation on life and philosophy!

nanna loka nanage sari,
ninadu ninage mari!
nanage yella Krishnamaya,
ninage idella baree maaya!
ninage naaLe-nenne bEre alla,
nanage ivakkella arthavilla!
ninage shastrakella arthavilla,
nanage shastravillade arthavilla!
ninna "aham"ge neenE hoNe,
nanna "aham"ge nammellaralliruvavanE hoNe!
ninage neene javaabdhari,
nanage yella hari-hari!
nanage kaaNodu ninage kaaNadu,
ninage kaaNodu nanage kaaNadu!
ninna loka ninage sari,
nandu nanage mari!

** Ravi's response! ** Ravi is a good poet for sure :)

nanage naanu neenu emba
bhedadalli arthavilla;
ninna hariyu nanna bariyu
eradu onde, ella sariyu;

naanu neenu eradu onde
samarasave bevu bella;

nanna neenu, ninna naanu,
manada patada chitabhaanu;
eradu antarangavomde
mareyellava Eke chinte?

neenu neene naanu naane
onde ondu padaradalli
kedaviko'luta huTTutiruva
vishwagudiya heramaneyoLu
naanu neenu ella eke
naavu endarashte saake!
naanu neenu aanu taanu

*** Giri's response ***

naanu neenu emba bhedavilla,
aadaroo naanu neenu vondhe alla!

"naanu neenu eradoo onde samsarave bevu bella!"
haagE iddare, bevu bella annodakke artha illa!

kamanabillali yELu banna,
alli irodu ondhe baNNa,
vondhe baNNadi huttva naavu,
bere bere baNNa kaNaNNa!

bere bere iddaru naavu,
vondhe baNNadi (konege) sEruvevu,
sEruva thanaka bEre baNNa,
alle irodu sogasu kaNaNNa!

naanE bEre, neenE bEre,
naanu maNNu, neenu gaare!
naanu biLipu, neenu kempu,
naanu bisiyu, neenu thampu!
kempe bEre, biLipe bEre,
bisiye bEre, thampE bEre!
voLagade inda ivella vondhe,
nammalruva aa namma thande!

thandeyu vandhe, makkaLu bEre,
makkaLu thandheya holuvar-aadare,
makkaLe bEre, thandeye bEre,
vondheyante kaaNuvaraadare!
naanE bEre neenE bEre,
nammibbara thande vobbane aadare!

haalinante iddaru mosaru,
mosarE bEre haale bEre!
baTTiyante iddaroo haalu,
vondu amrita, innondhu gOLu!

vishavu vondhe haaloo vondhe,
anta vishavana kudiyadiru thandhe!
vishave bEre haale bEre,
nOdalu vondhe yendukoNdare,
sAve kachita, sAve bEre badhukE bEre!
naanE bEre neenE bEre!
nammibbara thandha aa vobba dEvare!

Ravishankar's response:
naanu neenu onde kaNaa
neera guLLe, mugila maLeyu,
baana aavi, baavi neeru,
nadiya orate, hariva hoLeyu,
shouchOttara kesarukocche
hokkikoota kaTujalavoo
aNuvaNuvoo, tRuNatRuNavoo,
kaNakaNavoo onde kaNaa

vishwaatmaka haasuve
chaachikoNdu haaside
ellavobba appanaMtha
appana leelaaTave

ella neeru konegomme
sEruvudu saagaravane
ella namaskaaragaLu
sErvudu kEshavananE

naanu neenu bEreyeMba
satyavaMtu gottudE!
naanu neenu oMde yeMba
siddhaanthavu kaShTave!

naanu neenu naavu aage
naavu kooDa jagave aage
namma jagavadoMde aage
illa ella avaanthara
satya shaanti nirantara!

Girish's response!

yella neerina kaaraNa vondhe,
aadare, yella vondhe alla thande!

baavi neerina saviye bEre,
nadiya neerina sogese bEre,
sagardaleya neerali uppu,
yella vondhe annodu thappu!

vishavu neere, koccheyoo neere,
yeradoo vondhe annuvaryaare?
vondhe aagalu omme kudedu nodu,
arivudu ninnaya maathidu chODu! :D

yella neerige vondhe kaaraNa,
aadaroo yellavoo bEre kaNaNNa!

keshavanobbane karaNa sathya,
neenoo keshavanebudu mithya!
keshava kaaraNa, ivellavu kaarya,
kaaraNa-kaarya vondhennadir-anaarya!

thaane dEvaru endu tiLidanu kashyapu,
narasimhana kripeyali aritanaa-tappu|

"naanu neenu oMde yeMba siddhaanthavu kaShTave!"
kaShTavu yembode sathya aagabEkillla,
sulubave sathyavu aagabahudalla?

naanu neenu vonde tharaha,
vondhu lekkadi vondhe kooda!
aadaru, vondhe aagiyoo vondhe alla,
ee sulubada thathvavu yaako dhakkuvudilla!

naayiyu, goobeyu, kaageyu, kappeyu,
jiraLeyu, soLLeyu, hasuvina thoppeyu,
goNNeyu, beNNeyu, haalu, hElu,
hoosu, koosu ivella vondheye!

heege aadare, tappu sariye, sariyoo thappe !

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NaTya Shastrada : Satvika Bhava

Eight satvika bhavas are listed:

stambha svedotha rOmAncha svarabhedOtha vEpathuH |
vaivarNyamshrupralaya ityashtau satvikAh smrutAh ||

1) stambha (ascharya, surprise or shock)
2) swedha (sweating)
3) rOmanchana (excited state)
4) svarabheda (distortion of speech)
5) vEpathu (tremble)
6) vaivarNya (paleness, change in color of complexion)
7) ashru (tearsome)
8) pralaya (loss of senses)

Interestingly, through the Bhagawad Gita Arjuna demonstrates all these Bhavas.

1.28: sidanti mama gatrani (Bhava 8) mukham ca parisusyati (6) ... I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.

1.29: vepathus (tremble; 5) ca sarire me roma-harsas (excited; 3) ca jayate gandivam sramsate hastat (sweating; 2) tvak caiva paridahyate (6)

1.30 na ca saknomy avasthatum (loss of senses; 8) bhramativa ca me manah (8)

1.46 soka-samvigna-manasah ... his mind overwhelmed with grief.

2.1 asru-purnakuleksanam (7) ... Seeing Arjuna full of compassion and very sorrowful, his eyes brimming with tears

2.8 yac chokam ucchosanam indriyanam (8) ... I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses.

11.14 tatah sa vismayavisto (1) hrsta-roma dhananjayah (3) .. Then, bewildered and astonished, his hair standing on end