Wednesday, January 11, 2012

026 Gandhiji's placebos Gita-Bible-Qoran

I reproduce what I wrote at my blog The effect of Gita on Mahatma Gandhi was covered by me there in some more posts.

Personal humble views of ybrao-a-donkey
Here is a part-quote from the speech of Mahatma Gandhi. Source: Vol. 32 of Complete Works of Mahatma Gandhi.
Date: July 1, 1925.
Place: Kolkata (Calcutta).
Context: SPEECH ON THE "SHRADDHA" DAY OF C. R. DAS (Desabandhu Chitta Ranjan Das)/
Shraddha = After burial/cremation of a dead person, an additional mourning-worship of ancestors ceremony is performed on 10th day or any other day depending on custom.

...I speak often in the Ashram, but then it is before my own people; they understand and bear with me. Moreover, as occasion arises, I quote something from the Gita, and even then the talk would not be called a religious discourse. To me religion means living in the way prescribed by religion. A discourse may be in place occasionally, but not every religious man can give one. It is true, though, that anyone who gives such discourses should himself be a man of dedicated religious life. ...

This speech shows the oratorial capabilities of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a regretable thing that Indian leaders of today, cannot give such inspiring speeches as Gandhiji gave. I cannot reproduce the full text for copy right reasons. I furnish below a link, where you can see the full text:

*Mahatma Gandhi was a great person. He is the father of our Nation. I respect his views. I, do not at the same time, agree with his views expressed in the speech. The speech was quite befitting the occasion. I have to write five or six blog posts to express my humble ideas.

*I believe that after 85 years of that speech, it may not be totally wrong for us to analyse the contents of the speech, vis-a-vis Gandhiji, Gita, Gandhiji's Ashram, Indian freedom movement.

*Gandhiji was supreme Head of his Ashram. Everybody would listen without demur or disobedience or indifference. If anybody raises any question, probably others may send him/her out and the gates of the Ashram may be closed to him/her. It was the questioner, who had to go out. Gandhiji could give any discourse at his will, just as I can write anything in this blog as long as the Government of India or the Google or my readers do not object or ask me to remove.

*Gandhiji's sentence "To me religion means living in the way prescribed by religion." is very vague. Almost all religious preachers insist on this living as per the prescription of the religion. Christian Pastors, Sunni clerics, and Hindu Swamijis. Everybody insists on LIVE AS PER RELIGION and wants to supervise the 'living of the followers of the religion'.

One important question which I am constrained to raise and which cannot be totally ignored is: Who has inserted the prescriptions into the religion?

Gandhiji wanted to follow the prescriptions contained in Gita and Mahabharata. Now, Gita 18/42-43-44 say that a Vaisya should cultivate land and do business. Did Gandhiji live like a true Vysya? Mahabharata says that Saraswati River disappeared because she hated Sudras.(For quote , please my Mahabharata blog Would Mahatma Gandhi also hate Sudras? Mahabharata said that the body of a Sudra woman was like a corpse. Would Mahatma Gandhi have considered the body of a Sudra woman as a corpse?

Living by religious prescriptions is never possible for two reasons: 1. They, themselves contain good and obnoxious things. 2. The preachers who undertake the task of interpreting them have their own good intentions, misconceptions, superstitions, and an opportunistic way of explaining things.

Example: There is a verse in Mahabharata which indicates that pork was served to the guests who attended the Rajasuya and Mayasabha of the King Yudhishthira. These guests included Brahmins and Rishis. Pork or bacon or ham (varaha mamsa) might have been a part of lunches and dinners of those days. When I brought this verse to the notice of a priest, he said: "Priests of those days were not eating pork. They were just supposed to smell it as a TOKEN. Smelling was not eating."

Gandhiji ought to have suggested for a common moral code which every Indian can follow whatever be his religion. If every person starts living by the prescriptions of his own religion and NOTHING ELSE, only CHAOS and STRIFE will result. That situation has already started in India. People are ceasing to be natural humans. They are living like religious humans.

Gandhiji wanted Gita to guide him. Krishna told Arjuna to fight because it was the duty of a Kshatriya to fight. Was it Gandhiji's duty to give religous discourses? Since, every religious man cannot give discourses, can others give discourses? Whose duty was it to give discourses?

Even in 1925, Gita was out of alignment with the times. It was a good thing that Gandhiji got his inspiration from Gita, in spite of its inadequacies. Gandhiji might have received his inspirations from Bible, Quran and other religious scriptures also, in spite of their inadequacies. Notwithstanding all that, we got our freedom.

Probably because British rulers thought that they were incurring losses by governing India. (Cost of governing India WAS more than the moneys, goods and services which they COULD transfer to England).

I do not want to belittle GANDHI'S contribution to freedom. At the sametime, we cannot belittle the contribution of millions of persons.

Millions of people fought for the freedom. It was not a one-man show. For example, my own maternal grand father lost all his property in freedom movement and left his wife as an orphan to work as a cook to feed six children.

Thousands of freedom fighters suffered as much as Gandhi and Nehru. Some have suffered far more. They were kept in solitary confinement. They were tied to Oil rotors like bullocks and made to pull THEM the whole day. Some freedom fighters were asked to break stones. They were not supplied news papers, writing desks and ink pots just as Gandhi and Nehru Incorporated were FURNISHED WITH. From whom the silent sufferers got their inspirtion? Gandhiji as an inspirer was only an external instrument or object. There was something in them, which was making them to bend their backs TO the police lathis. Not just the Gita-driven Gandhiji and Gandhiji-driven masses.

For that matter, the principal motivator, even for Gandhiji, might not have been Gita or Mahabharata. Gandhiji might not have been aware of the impulses which were hidden within himself and acting upon him. This idea of hidden impulses, I am not fabricating. Most of us have hidden impulses, of which we may not be conscious of. To illustrate this idea, take myself.

We just start believing. As an atheist and Marxist, I may be believing that Karl Marx is guiding me. But in reality, it may be some other impulse. May be an ambition to get recognition. May be an ambition to make money through Google Adsense, though expressly, I may deny or disown that impulse.

What is the gist? Our perceptions may not be in consonance with facts. Gandhiji, might have, perhaps, erroneously believed that he was getting his inspiration from Gita. But, I am not competent to say this.

Gandhiji's placebos were, I believe Gita, Bible and Quran.

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