Archive for November, 2020

Pearls and the pebbles

It is too often that we tend to mistake the chaff for the grain and end up making false assumptions and wrong inferences. In our haste to make conclusions and pass judgements, we deny ourselves the precious insights that a more analytical and discerning observation would have afforded us with.  Opinions thus formed blur the vision and colour the thoughts as we become prisoners to our own prejudices and preconceptions.  Tainted arguments marshalled, facts twisted and plain truths ignored, all aimed only to support a predetermined idea that foreclose any new evidence that might suggest a conclusion that is in divergence to the one already formed.

The shores of the ocean are littered only with pebbles while it’s mostly the messy weeds that float on its surface.  And, based on such a spurious observation, to declare that the vast ocean has only pebbles and weeds to offer would be a gross travesty of the truth. To find precious pearls one need to dive deep into the depths of the ocean and scan many a cave, cavern and coral for they are never found drifting  on the surface or tossed up by the waves. The prized possessions are always only for the diligent and for the one willing to go beyond the superfluous and who is receptive to new dimensions that open up on his life’s voyage.

The sweetest, the precious and the priceless are always encased inside a tough, hard and bitter exterior. While the cool and soft kernel of the coconut is hidden deep inside its rock-like fibre, it’s the bitter rind of the orange fruit that preserves the sweet juice within.  Diamonds are concealed in the rocky veins and the dark and bitter honeycombs are a glorious deception to the nectar that they hold. Just as it would be foolish to pass the uncut diamond as a piece of rock, as absurd as to ignore the honeycomb as a tasteless waste, it is equally insane to vilify thoughts and visionaries only because they do not subscribe to our preconceived notions or directly challenge our existing state of understanding.

While the truth could be very obvious to a few of those who have the needed insight, it would require calmer and deeper enquiry for many others to perceive the same. Though the sculptor already envisions the image of the figure that he is chiselling out of the hard rock, it becomes increasingly obvious to the onlookers only when rough edges give way to the smooth contours of a definite sculpture.  But at the end, everyone sees the same image in all its beauty, irrespective of how they looked at it before. So too the pristine truth stands majestic, unadulterated by the biases and prejudices of many of its critics, for it is its own authority and witness.

This has been the same fate even with the Avataric personalities down the ages. Many of his contemporaries mistake him as just another incidence of a human birth and run him down with calumny, falsehood and a concerted smear campaign. For, they are too timid to make a little effort to know the truth that would have opened up a new awakening and thus a more purposeful existence.  They could only be pitied and sympathised for they know not what they are indulging in. If only they let go their little egos and practice a little sadhana through the three-fold path of Service, Adoration and Illumination, the truth of SAI would become obvious.

 

Yours in SAI

Narayanan

November 20, 2020 at 7:13 am 4 comments

Thank you, America!

Human history is punctuated with periodic events that stand out as defining moments, moments that seek to shackle off the debilitating prejudices of the times, breakaway decisively from the constrictive past and promise to usher in a just order. These could be as symbolic as Gandhiji’s lifting of a fistful of fresh salt proclaiming the defiance of the British hegemony over the Indian subcontinent or as dramatic as the pulling down of the Berlin wall to herald the end of the cold war era.  But the shifts these events bring in to both the course of history and to human enterprise are indeed tectonic and to this category belong the just concluded US elections, for the stakes on the table were the very values of democracy and they are truly defining. 

America is often looked upon as the epitome of free democracy with liberty, equality and justice as its bedrock that guarantees individual freedom and equality of opportunity to all its people. It is the uncompromising adherence to these cardinal principles promising its citizens the freedom to pursue the American dream of striving for individual excellence that drove millions to its shores and achieve success through hard work.  The monumental contributions of Americans in every conceivable pursuit of human endeavour, from science and technology, to fine arts to business can directly be traced to the individual liberties that is endowed upon all as unalienable rights. And it is those very rights that are being challenged, compromised and, at times, even withheld during the current Presidency and make the continence of Donald Trump for yet another term fought with the prospect of causing irreparable damage to the cherished American values. And thus the recent US election is indeed a watershed moment in its otherwise glorious history.

The death of George Floyd on account of the police brutality and the subsequent suppression of the“ Black Lives Matter” demonstrations across the country were a grim reminder of the downward spilling of the civil rights movement in the country and the negation of the civil liberties guaranteed. While the complaisance of the administration in quelling the protests go against the grin of the very fabric of the American ethos, the efforts to forcefully stop the supposedly illegal migrants by erecting a physical wall at astronomical costs betrays a new protectionist tendency that is totally in variance to the idea of America as the ‘land of the immigrants’ and of ‘ infinite opportunities’. And to walk out of the Paris Climate Accord was a comical display of the abjuration of responsibility of a global power in protecting the environment and the unwillingness to be part of the collaborative effort to prevent climate change through affirmative actions.  

And the appalling manner in which the Trump administration handled the Covid outbreak to the utter disregard to human lives are a case study on how not to respond to a pandemic. The meddling with research inputs that mandated strict enforcement of the Covid protocols and public ridiculing of the scientific community for telling the truth, all pointed to a dispensation that are severely at odds with its people. With a quarter of a million deaths due to the pandemic and still counting, the character of the nation that prides itself for its scientific and rationale approach towards solving human problems lay in siege. Under Trump, America seemed to be drifting away from its moral compass and needed to get back its moorings, and with the change in regime, it accomplished just that!

The electoral victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris thus was a historical necessity for the American people as is the message it conveys to the world at large. By defeating a President who is avowedly believed in the supremacy of one class of people over the other minorities, America just took a step back and possibly a U-turn from the path of ultra nationalism and get back to the older ways of accepting a pluralist society and diligently pursue the progress of all sessions of the society. And the rejection of a partisan agenda by the American people will have a sobering effect on all those countries across the continents where toxic majoritarian nationalism seems to rear its ugly head and herein lies the monumental significance of this election! 

God bless America!

Yours

Narayanan

November 7, 2020 at 8:55 pm 12 comments


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