Saturday, August 16, 2008
Messages from Old Boys 33
Viraj Thacker with wife and sons Nikhil and Shawn
Msg from Pat Peirce
Welcome back ! '
Okay - here's 2 more - ' Missed you! '
Best wishes from Abbotsford - Pat.
PS Have been visiting my old pal, Chick Lee ( GMS 1956 ) in Burnaby Gen'l. Hospital.
Poor chap is pretty low after his Gall Bladder operation.
I too missed you all.
You seem to be travelling quite a lot.
Why don't you post us a travelogue from the places you visit with pictures.
My best wishes to Chick Lee.
Please tell him to start doing paranyam and yoga.
These are the best medicines in the world for all ailments.
You too could start. Never too late.
Msg from Viraj Thacker
Dear Mr. Sharma,
I hope this note finds you well and in good cheer after your spiritual retreat. It’s been a while since I last wrote to you; the exchanges on the “blog” have been fiery and well justified! I commend all who have taken a shot at political expression – reality is hard to digest and as a social scientist, I am thrilled to see the level of involvement and frankness that our boys from India have sought to express.
Your analysis of the outsider’s ignorance about the primacy of politics and public action in India is crucial. One cannot downplay the centrality of “bad politics” as an inhibitor of true progress and freedom in India. For those of us in the West, it is perhaps too easy to presume political superiority in the comfort of material excess; but to do so, is a display of sheer ignorance. As world citizens (and having spent our (key) formative years in India), we have an obligation to engage and empathize – after all, what we received in India is priceless. Western societies have their own share of political troubles and I am always impressed by how knowledgeable people in the sub-continent are about world politics – unfortunately, the Western polity chooses to remain ignorant.
I was a little troubled by the implications of frivolousness, emptiness and the general unimportance attributed to the nature of political exchange recently entered on the blog. I certainly beg to differ – our boys have shown courage and a sense of fair play in putting forth their thoughts. Fantastic imaginings and expectations are far from the order of the day – the realities of global politics is that India is still viewed as a third world entity and the nature of Indian politics today assures India that status for years to come.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for the pictures.
You really have a very beautiful family. I can understand yor broadminded views have been inculcated in your family life too.
I know the western countries will not understand our pangs.
Except for the USA who had to fight for independence, all the other countries were independent and their people were born free citizens. I am not counting the aberration caused by the former Soviet Union whose pangs are being felt even today in Georgia and other soviet bloc countries.
Selfish and narrow mindedness of Indian rulers resulted in subjugation by foreign powers for about 400 years. First the Muslim, then Portuguese, French and then British. Fortunately, the USA used the Atom Bomb, otherwise we may have had to deal with the Japanese or Germans as our new masters.
After 1947, people hoped that now that we would be ruling ourselves, things would improve. How mistaken we were?
A new class of rulers have risen who are even more oppressive than the former foreigners. They have kept the masses uneducated and divided on caste and religion basis so that they could rule unhindered.
It is for us, whom God has blessed with proper education to awaken the people against these new batch of corrupt rulers.
Msg from Saibal Basu
Dear Mr. Radheshyam & Mr. Chaturvedi
I would like to inform you that since my last e-mail I have been able to recover my initial
30 % down payment and a full year's interest from the promoter after many months of delay. The sales contract has been cancelled and boy am I relieved!!
I sincerely appreciate your time and helpful suggestions in this regard.
ICSE - 1982
From Sir. Mr. Lobo
Here's something to mull over.With the invective that is being circulated, we need to go on Starvation Diet to reassess ourselves as to which wolf we have been fattening.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, 'My son, the battle is between 'two wolves' inside us all.
'One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.'
'The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence,
empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.'
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, 'Which wolf wins?'
The old Cherokee simply replied, 'The one you feed.'
Msg from Willy Wu
Thanks for bringing us to date the turmoil that is
blanketing India. Things are really deteriorating,
and you wonder when the time for improvement,
justice and progress will come.
In Canada, we don't hear much about the internal
affairs in India. After reading all the articles posted
on your blog site, it is shameful to conclude that the
politicians are the root cause to all evils in India now.
My congratulation to you and your wife in becoming
When is the get-together of old Goethalites in Kolkata?
Please send my regards to my 1971 class-mates.
Correspondence with one of our boys. I am not divulging the name.
Dear Mr Sharma,
Thank you for your reply and sorry for the delay in my response. Though I was a little disappointed since you have chosen to ignore one specific and exemplary point I had raised. Hence it is not possible for me to even attempt a change of heart regarding you guru.
Even if we have disagreed on a few things, it does not mean that we should snap our relation. I never used the word unpleasant, to the best of my knowledge.
I hope you shall continue to light candles rather than curse the darkness, and also shed some light on me.
I shall be expecting your mails as before.
I had intially chosen to ignore your barbs but since you wanted me to specifically answer one point in your letter, I am explaining my views.
I presume the point you allude to is :
YOUR SANT TO WHOM YOU ARE SO ENDEARED COMES ACROSS TO ME AS A HINDU FUNDAMENTALIST OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. HIS DISCOURSES ARE EITHER POKING FUN OR SIMPLY INSULTING OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND COMMUNITIES. IN MY OPINION HE COMES ACROSS AS BEING SEMI LITERATE TOO.
I HAPPENED TO HEAR HIM SPEAK ON SONY TELEVISION ONE FINE MORNING AND HE WAS TELLING HIS MILLIONS OF DEVOTEES THAT MODERN MEDICAL SCIENCE IS A FARCE. THE DOCTORS AND SCIENTISTS ARE FRAUDS. HE GAVE THE EXAMPLE OF POLIO. HE SAID WHAT WILL THE POLIO IMMUNIZATION DO TO ERADICATE POLIO? POLIO STRIKES CHILDREN WHO ARE CONCEIVED ON A MOONLESS NIGHT. SUCH CHILDREN, HE SAID, WILL ALWAYS BE VULNERABLE. AVOID SEX ON MOONLESS NIGHTS, HE TOLD HIS AUDIENCE. I HOPE YOU WILL AGREE THAT THIS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS MIS-INFORMATION A PERSON HAVING SWAY OVER MILLIONS OF PEOPLE’S VIEWS CAN AIR ON TRANS NATIONAL SATELLITE TELEVISION."
I can only say that you have made yourself an expert on my Guruji by listening to one of his 20 minute discourses on Sony.
His discourses are aired daily by Astha, Sanskar, Sadhna, Sraddha and Sony channels.
Sony being a purely commercial channel has stopped airing the discourses after this problem started. The others continue to beam, sometimes even live telecasts.
None of these would have aired his discourses if there were no viewers who believed in him.
I have been his disciple for the last 10 years and I am a graduate mechancial engineer.
If you care to know, the professionals who are his disciples include lawyers, doctors, IT professionals, IAS and IPS officers, government employees from all grades.You name the profession, his disciples are there.
I have not mentioned politicians for they are there in droves from all parties. But these imbeciles from all parties are there to pay respect to whomsoever can help them win elections.
Yes, very few communist leaders are there as they do not believe in religion,at least publicly.In private many of our Bengal communists are involved with the Durga Pujas.
So you see, it is not only the illiterate who are is disciples. By commenting on him by just listening to one of his discourses is like the person who wrote an essay on the Niagra Falls by just watching water overflow a glass tumbler and by casting aspersions on him you are actually casting aspersions on the educational qualifications of all those professionals who are is disciples.By calling him semi-literate you seem to put a premium of normal school education. You forget, many of the great men in the world had not received what you call education
If you have the good fortune to listen in depth to Asharamji, not just one discourse, you will know that he or most other gurus who are so popular on the religious channels do not criticise any of the other religions.What they object is the conversions which these religious orders allow.
Ours, Hinduism, is not a religion, it is a philosophy, a way of life.
All other religions have been started by an individuals.
I give below, the founders of the major religions in the world, in chronological order.
Judaism by Abraham,Budhism by Gautam Buddha. Jainism by Mahavir, Christianity by Jesus Christ. Muslimism by Mohammed and Sikhism by Guru Nanak, Communism by Marx & Lenin.
You will note I have included communism. Well, not believing in any religion is also a religion.
You will note I have not included Hinduism although it is probably the oldest philosophy.. That is because it has not been started by any one person. It is the thoughts and beliefs of our ancient Rishis written in Vedas. This is a very dynamic philosophy which satisfies the requirement of everybody.
Level 1Our religion believes in the Supreme Power, Par Brahma or Om, whatever you call Him. He is One in All and All in One. He is there in the lifeless to the lowest forms of life and all mankind.Thus four of the awtars of Vishnu take the animal form.Matsyavatara (fish), Koorma (tortoise), Varaaha (boar), Narasimha (the man lion).
Below Om, we have the Trinity consisting of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They are the Creator, the Provider and the Destroyer. Thus all life goes on. It is born, it lives and then it dies. Everything comes in this cycle.
Below the Trinity, we have of different devis and devatas who have given given different powers to provide for all aspects of human life.We allow idols of these so that people can concentrate their thoughts on the idols.
Depending upon your own mental development and capability, you can chose your level by which you would want to communicate with the Power Who has given you life.
We believe all religions lead to the same Om, or God, or Allah or Christ or Wahe Guru, whatever you call Him.
So, what is the need for conversions?
This is what all our gurus object.
You will find people of all religions as disciples of Asharamji, Ravishankarji, Murari Bapuji and others.
Asharamji has visited Pakistan and Ravishankarji has recently visited Iraq.
Do you think if our gurus were against other religions they would be allowed to visit these Muslim countries.
If you get a chance you should see a CD of Asharamji titled "Bapu Ka Diwana"
I am sorry but your views have been coloured by views of the western and muslim cultures who would like the whole world to be either Christians or Muslims.
Is there no poverty in the Christian countries?
Why don't they help those poor people?
Why do they have to come to the India?
It is because the people there are already Christians and there is no scope for conversions. But in India they can convert people to Christianity and St. Peter would keep the gates of Heaven open for them.
I am not against our Christian Brothers as their interest was only in promoting education without trying to convert us. Except for one Bro. Callaghan during my stay in Goethals who tried to convince anybody who would listen to him to convert to christianity.
He did not succeed with anybody.
Now, your point regarding sex during Purnima.
Our gurus preach us to control all our senses.
We are human beings and not animals.
Even animals have a season for mating, once or twice a year. It is only the human race which allows a free hand on all 365 days a year
Sex has been considered the cause of all major wars.
Helen of Troy, Ramayana, Mahabharata.Half the crimes you read in the papers are the result of not attempting to harness this force.
What our Gurus are asking you to do is to control this force so that it does not go out of hand. They suggest abstinence on certain days which are considered auspicious by us.
Purnima, Amawasya, Ekadasi, Ram Navami, Janam Asthami, Vijay Dashami and birthdays of whatever devatas you believe in.Also the days when your parents died are no-no.
So too are the 15 days pitripkash which end in Mahalaya.
They also say that having sex during the periods of your spouse would result in having mentally retarded babies or what you said regarding Purnima.
Now, we all know that it is not possible to impregnate a woman during her periods.
Then why does he say this?
So that people abstain from fear during these days as it is unhealthy.
So what in effect these Gurus are saying is abstain for about 90 days a year. You still have 275 days to do what you want.
Even the father of our nation , Gandhiji, practised abstinence.
There is a whole chapter on this point in his book, "My Experiments with Truth"
So, you should go into the reason of why a person who has millions of followers has said what he did.
As far as modern medical science is concerned, it would be beneficial if you listen to Swami Ramdeo's programme. He also advocates minimal use of modern medicines as they cure one ailment and cause another.It is good for emegencies and certain illnesses. It has eradicated certains diseases which earlier killed millions of people.
But it has become big business where there is a unholy and commercial tie-up between doctors, medical stores, testing laboratories and hospitals to loot patients.
Will anybody deny this tie-up?
Our gurus are advising people to go back to Ayurveda, the ancient science of medicine, using herbs which can be found in all homes. These cause no harmful after effects.
Use modern medical science only for emergencies and critical cases.
I hope, I have been able to explain, why Asharamji and other Gurus have millions of followers.
They give us mental peace and have a more balanced view of our lives instead of just rushing through it like animals.
All the wealth in the world is useless to me if I have no peace of mind.