Rebellious Rukmini

Rukmini holds a special place in Shri Krishna’s life. I have been reading and understanding why would Krishna get married to Rukmini and why Rukmini went against the will and wish of her father and brother?

Before understanding the real story of Rukmini’s abduction and then subsequently becoming queen of Dwaraka we need to understand a little bit of geography and political powers at the time of Mahabharata.

Aaryavart/ Bharat at the time of Mahabharata

Aaryavart/ Bharat at the time of Mahabharata

 

Vidarbha was one of the ancient and powerful Kingdoms during Mahabharata. The ruler of this place was Bhishmak. Bhishmak had 5 sons and 1 daughter. Eldest amoung them was Rukmi and the name of princess was Rukmini.

Shri Krishna after killing Kansa established himself as King at Mathura; however Mathura was tortured and attacked by Jarasandha 17 times, in turn he was defeated by the army of Krishna all the times.

Magadh was the kingdom of Jarasandha. And he had got his 2 daughters married to Kansa, whom Shri Krishna had killed. As revenge to his killing Jarasandh along with his allies of Hastinapur, Anga, Chedi, Pundru and others kept attacking Mathura many a times. Mathura was a huge trade centre during the time of Mahabharata. Mathura was circled with various enemies of Shri Krishna and hence he had to keep his soldiers in a circular strategy, which was called as Sudarshan Chakra Sainya (Literally meaning the circled army).

Frequent attacks by Jarasandha and his allies made Shri Krishna to think of shifting its capital to elsewhere.

Shri Krishna chose a place near sea as an important and strategic place for his trade centered people of Mathura. Soon Dwaraka became a very important trade centre in India/ Bharat.

Except few friends from top Himalayas (Jambuvant) and Dwaraka Shri Krishna had a very less support. Major support got established when he helped Pandavas (Sons of Kunti- paternal aunt of Shri Krishna) to establish mighty Indraprastha later.

Rukmi was a very powerful prince. He was blessed by the mighty Parsurama, and disciple of Sage Durvasa. Rukmi went ahead and became friend of Chedi King Shishupal. Shishupal though a relative of Krishna but a fanatic enemy of him. Later Chedi king got adopted as son by the King of Magadha- Dwanda (Jarasandha’s Linage).

Though Bhismak, Rukmi’s father wanted Raukmini to select her own choice for marriage and in turn Rukmini wanted to marry Shri Krishna. With power and influence of Rukmi, the Swayamwar (Selection of Husband) was cancelled. Rukmi wanted her to get married to Chedi King Shishupal, a strong enemy of Shri Krishna. The Strategy of Jarasandh, Shishupal and Rukmi was to encircle the new kingdom of Shri Krihna- Dwaraka and catch the trade advantages of both Mathura and Dwaraka.

Rukmini, was very determined, politically learned and she wanted a very good kingdom established across India/ Bharat and a very happy Vidarbha. This could only happen if Krishna defeats Jarasandh, Shishupal, Pundru King, Shontipura King, Sidhu King, Gandhar and Kekay King.

Politically learned Rukmini wanted Shri Krishna’s kingdom to be established and people see good days. She pleaded Rukmi about her unwillingness to marry Shishupal, strong head Rukmi denied her choice. He immediately sent the messenger to Shishupal and sent Rukmini’s marriage proposal to him.

Shishupal and Jarasndh were in Magadh during the proposal of marriage of Rukmini was received. Without any delay Shishupal and Jarasandh got ready and proceeded ahead to Vidarbha. The journey between these places was of 5 days.

Rukmini had only 5 days with her for asking Krishna’s help and defeating the mighty kings. She was determined of not getting married to Shishupal. Thru her political understanding she could see the future of India and Vidarbha under the control of these ill minded kings. She thought of sending the message and letter to Shri Kishna and to seek his help. Time was less and she had to manage her political moves within that trivial period.

That night she secretly went to her Guru Maharshi Shatanand, who was a very learned and knowledgeable teacher. Under his tutelage Rukmini had learnt Archery, Politics and allied sciences. When he saw princess with determined eyes and strong will, he was surprised. He asked about her arrival at odd time to meet him. Also asked if there is any dilemma in her mind, and he could be of any help to resolve it.

With folded hands she said “No Gurudeo, I don’t have any dilemma in my mind, I am determined. I know my path and goodwill of Vidharbha”

Guruji asked “Your way is clear, you are determined and you have strong will, then what help do you want from Guru?”

Rukmini said” I want my rights Guruji”

“What kind of rights” Guru asked

“Right of practicing my duties. You have been teaching me about the rights and duties” Rukmini said “As you are my Guru I want you to perform your duties and provide me the pleasure of getting my rights fulfilled by my Guru, I am asking my right. My duties are not getting fulfilled and are endangered”

Guru Said “Let me know what do you wish me to do, however the duties are to be fulfilled by individual, I can help you by my words, and in case needed I will hold a weapon also”

Rukmini said “Is selecting husband a right of a women?” “Yes indeed” Guru replied.

Rukmini further said” My brother is getting me married to Shishupal, I have chosen my better half in form of Shri Krishna, no one is helping me. Neither my father nor my brothers. I have come to the most knowledgeable person for help”

Guru assured “I will protect your Dharma and right duties. I will help you in any case”

Rukmini Said “Guruji, however Shri Krishna doesn’t even know that I have chosen him as my husband.”

Guruji replied “We need to inform Lord about your love. In case if Shri Krishna doesn’t accept your proposal then?”

Rukmini Says “I have let go everything to Shri Krishna, in case he is not finding my proposal valid, I will die, but I will ask him to protect my Vidarbha from the clutches of the ill minded kings”

Guru with his wet eyes said “I am speechless in front of your determination and political understanding. What do I need me to do?”

Rukmini Said “Guruji, I want you to convey my message to Shri Krishna thru this letter. I would have sent this letter with the hands of servant; however the determination of my will wouldn’t get exhibited if I do so. It would look desperation of a lustful female. You carrying this letter would give him indication of me being honest and determined. I am honest to my teacher and I have been open about my thoughts to my Guru. You giving this message would be a symbol of determination and thoughtful steps I am taking for protecting rights of a female and in turn Vidarbh kingdom. I want this message to go from your hands since I want Shri Krishna to get convinced about my moves. In case, you will also guide Shri Krishna about the political situations of Vidharbha. In this letter I have mentioned that without even seeing you I have accepted you as my husband for the goodness of humanity and protection of rights, come and save me and my Vidarbh”

Guru Shatanand secretly took this message and handed over the letter to Shri Krishna at Dwaraka.

Krishna receiving Letter from Rukmini

After receiving the letter Krishna Said “Bhishmak, though a king of Vidarbha, holds army and weapons can always stop Rukmi for his actions, but he is a coward and can’t protect rights of Rukmini his own daughter, how will he protect the rights of his people and women of the kingdom, It is must that I need to proceed ahead and protect rights of people of Vidharbh and specifically Rukmini. Just compare the determination of Rukmini and cowrd-ness of King Bhishmak”

 

Shri Krishna bowed in front of Guru Shatanand and informed that he shall protect Rukmini and her rights. He also pondered on how he would be able to help Rukmini. Along with Guruji he made a plan. He would immediately go ahead towards Vidharbha along with his elder brother- Balaram and army towards Vidharbha. Guruji will make arrangements of bringing Rukmini to the temple of goddess Durga, which is situated at the outskirts of capital of Vidarbha- Kundinpur.

Krishna and Balaram and their army rushed towards the Kundinpur.

Back at Kundinpur Rukmini was strong and thinking about the future, her brother was rushing to make arrangements for the marriage of Rukmini and Shishupal.

As per plan Guru Shatanand got Rukmini at the temple of Durga before the proceedings of marriage begins. Balaram stopped the armies of Rukmi, Jarasandh and Chedi king Shishupal.

Shri Krishna went ahead and abducted Rukmini in his chariot from the temple of Durga. Balaram and Shri Krishna defeated the armies of Rukmi, Jarasandh and Shishupal.

rukmini Abduction

In modern days at every nook and corner we see absolute absence of determination of Rukmini and the understanding and protecting nature of Shri Krishna. Every news talks about female abuse, rape and willful ill handling of women. Absence of respect and protecting the women is seen everywhere in the world.

Let all of us get that determination of Rukmini and Respectful nature of Shri Krishna. Let all of should be dutiful and if needed be rebellious like Rukmini.

 

 

The Vedic / Indian Influence on Calendar : Iran to Cambodia

In my travel to various countries across globe… this habit of visiting many places and meet local people was actually boosted up in me by my lovely friend Harish Chauhan. He introduced me to the concept of surfing and staying with local nationals, which in turn makes you observe and see their life style closely.

In this exploration, I have collected some information, more by talking to the various nationalities and understanding their culture. I am compiling some of the information here on this blog.

At times my exploration landed in finding similarities between the Indian culture and their lifestyle, festivals etc.

I am exploring the similarities between the calendars we use for our festivals, time measurement and usage. I shall compare and contrast the time charts of Iran, Thailand, and Cambodia. The central theme is Indian Lunar and Solar calendars influencing these nation’s time measurement and calendars.

In India major two sets of calendars are utilized since many centuries’ viz. Solar (Saur) and Lunar (Chandra). Depending on the influencing and powerful king the calendar is named by them, as well which type to adopt was decided by the king. This is also seen in countries like Iran, Thailand and Cambodia. I will try not to be too technical in this information piece. I shall make it simpler which can be understood by common man.

Well what amazes me is the utilization of various calendars in India and then it is expanded not only in Southeast Asia but in Middle East (primarily Iran and Afghanistan) also. This influence is predominantly seen by Hindu time calculation style.

Let us see how Indian / Sanskrit names has influenced the Day names of Thai Calendar

Thais call their calendar as Suriyakhati, which has base from Sanskrit. Surya means sun. This means the Thai calendar is based on Solar (Saur in Hindu) type for day and month calculation. They also call the week as Sapdaha or Sapda meaning Seven Days which has Sanskrit origin as Saptaha. Thais call their day as Wan which has origin in Sanskrit word War. I was amazed to see such huge influence can be seen in Thailand. I have spent so much time talking to my Thai friend Chaichana in Bangkok about their time measurement system.

English name Planet Name Sanskrit Name of the Planet Sanskrit Name Thai Name Hindu Color for Planet Thai Dedicated Color
Sunday Sun Ravi or Aditya Aditya Wasare Bhanu Wasare Ravi Wasare Wan Athit Red Red
Monday Moon Chandra Som Wasare Chandra Wasare Wan Chan White or Yellow Yellow
Tuesday Mars Mangal or Angarak Mangal Wasare Angarak Diwase Bhaum Wasare Wan Angkhan Redish or Pink Pink
Wednesday Mercury Budha Budh Wasare Wan Phut Green Green
Thursday Jupiter Bruhaspati Guru Wasare Bruhaspati Wasare Wan Phruehatsabodi Orange or Deep Yellow Orange
Friday Venus Shukra Shukra Wasare Wan Suk Blue or Super White Blue
Saturday Saturn Shani Shani Wasare Wan Sao Blue or Purple Purple

Wasare is taken as War many a times. War is non-Sanskrit linguistic forms in Indic speech prior to approximately the 3d century a.d. called as Apabhansh (Please keep this word in mind we might use this word frequently). Ba of Sanskrit becomes Pa of Thai. Thais do not use hard word in their language hence we can see

Aditya become Athit. Chadra become Chan. Angarak becomes Angkhan. Budh is called as Phut. Bruhaspati becomes Phruehatsabodi. Shukra is called as Suk, and Shani become Sao. Many more Sanskrit words in day to day life of Thai people can also be observed. However the major influence I have seen in their day to day life is the calendar they use. Their day to day calendar is not Gregorian calendar and the months they use are also not January, February (Gregorian). The basis of the months can be seen the Sun Sign (Rashi in Sanskrit). The names utilized by them are Hindu names for various Sun Signs. They call their new year as Songkaran (Apabrahnsh of Sankrant), literally means transition of Sun. In India every moth Hindus celebrates Sankranti. The biggest amoung them are Makar Sankranti and Karka Sankranti. This is dedicated to the transition of Sun into Makara rashi: Capricorn and Karka Rashi: Cancer respectively. In this way every month has sankranti. Thai people celebrate their new year on Mesh Sankranti: Transition of Sun into Aries.

Thais use 2 suffixes after each month name viz. Ayon and Akhom. The origin of the Ayon is Ayan in Sanskrit means Beginning. Akhom comes from Sanskrit word Aagam meaning entry. This is particularly differentiate the 30 and 31 day solar months e.g Makarakhom Makar- Akhom meaning beginning of Makar period (Capricorn) or Kanyayon i.e Kanya- Ayon meaning entry into Kanya (Virgo) period.

Name of February is KumbhaPhan as we have already seen “Ba” of Sanskrit becomes “Pa” of thai hence we can say it is Kumbha-Bhan. The word Bhan comes from Bandh meaning tying or binding. The day added in February leap year is called as “Athikasuratin” again Sanskrit origin. This word is made out of 2 Sanskrit words Adhika (Addition) and Sura (Move). In India Malayalam calendar also uses same names of the month as Thai people.

English name of the Month Thai Name of the Months Malayali Name of the Month Sanskrit word Zodiac sign
January Makarakhom, Mokkarakhom Makaram Makar Capricorn
February Kumphaphan Kumbham Kumbha Aquarius
March Minakhom Minam Meen Pisces
April Mesayon Medam Mesha Aries
May Phruetsaphakhom Edavam (Idavam) Vrishabh Taurus
June Mithunayon Mithunam Mithun Gemini
July Karakadakhom Karkadakam Karka Cancer
August Singhakhom Chingam Simha Leo
September Kanyayon Kanni Kanya Virgo
October Tulakhom Tulam Tula Libra
November Phruetsachikayon Vrscikam Vrishchhika Scorpio
December Thanwakhom Dhanu Dhanu Sagittarius

 

Thai people celebrate their traditional new year by spilling water on each other, sometimes they use colored water to pour on each other. This is similar to the Holi festival of India. The Holi festival is celebrated on Full Moon day of Falgun month usually comes in March or April. This is also a period of Thai New Year. If you will observe the festivals of India Holi is predominantly played in North India. Hence we see the festival similarity and while tracing the parallels between the influences on Thai calendar, I feel it is more getting pushed from North India. However it is said that Cholas from Tamil Nadu have ruled Thailand and it also coincides with Tamil New year Puthandu also called as Chiittrai Vishu.

 

It becomes more interesting hereafter. Mesha Rashi Is the 1st zodiac sign. The sun moves into Chitra Nakshatra hence it is called as Chittarai Vishu. And the name of the 1st Month of lunisolar calendar month followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kashmir and Sindhis is “Chaitra” coming from the name Chitra Nakshatra.

Nakshatra is the term for lunar mansion in Hindu Astrology. A nakshatra is one of 27 sectors along the ecliptic. The opposite point for the nakshatra is the point on the ecliptic; it is the beginning of the zodiac sign. Spica is called Chitrā in Sanskrit. Which is also known as Meshadhi (From the opposite point is the zodiac sign Mesha – Aries begins), hence the name Chaitra is given to this 1st month of the calendar.

The name of Cambodian new year is Moha Songkaran taken from Sanskrit word Maha Sankranti (the important transition of sun). This again lies in April month. This is influenced in many south east countries.

Lunar Calendar Day International date Public holiday in Notes
Full moon of Pausa January Sri Lanka
Full moon of Magha February Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand  
Full moon of Phalguna March Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka
Almost always in Chaitra, sometimes in Vaisakha April Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand Traditionally, the New Year’s Day is marked when the Sun enters Aries but the day is now fixed in most countries; Myanmar still follows the tradition
Full moon of Visakha May Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka Buddha Pournima
Full moon of Jyaistha June Sri Lanka
Full moon of Ashadha July Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka  
Full moon of Sravana August Sri Lanka
Full moon of Bhadrapada September Laos, Sri Lanka
Full moon of Asvina October Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka
Full moon of Karttika November Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand
Full moon of Margasirsa December Sri Lanka

Well April (Date differs as per solar transition or new moon) is not just the New year for India, South East Asia but in Persia (Iran) and Afghanistan also.

In all below calendars March – April is the New Year period.

Month Indian Lunar Calendar Indian Solar Calendar Indian Solar Sign Name Thai Calendar Iranian Persian Afghan Pashto
Mar- Apr Chaitra Chaitra Mesh Mesayon Farvardin Wray (Means Lamb; That’s Mesh)
Apr- May Vaishakh Vaishakh Vrishabh Phruetsaphakhom Ordibehesht Ǧwayay (Means Bull; That’s Coming from Family of Gau – Cow)
May- Jun Jyaishtha Jyaishtha Mithun Mithunayon Khordad Ǧbargolay (Means Twin; Coming from word Yugula)
Jun- Jul Āshādha Āshādha Karka Karakadakhom Tir Čungāx̌ (Means Crab)
Jul- Aug Shrāvana Shrāvana Singham Singhakhom Mordad Zmaray (Representas Lion)
Aug- Sep Bhādrapada Bhādrapada Kanya Kanyayon Shahrivar Waǵay (Virgin)
Sep- Oct Āshwin Āshwin Tula Tulakhom Mehr Təla (Meaning weighing scale)
Oct- Nov Kārtika Kārtika Vrishchika Phruetsachikayon Aban Laṛam (Scorpio)
Nov- Dec Margasirsha Margasirsha Dhanu Thanwakhom Azar Līndəi (Sagittarius)
Dec- Jan Pausha Pausha Makar Makarakhom, Mokkarakhom Dey Marǧūmay (Capricorn)
Jan- Feb Māgha Māgha Kumbha Kumphaphan Bahman Salwāǧa (Aquarius)
Feb- Mar Phālguna Phālguna Meen Minakhom Esfand Kab (Pisces)

The new year in Persian is called as Nav-Rooz having roots in Sanskrit word Nav- Varsh literally meaning New Year.

Ashta Nayika- Yearning soul to seek beloved

Nayika depicted on the walls of Hampi

In Bharatiya Kala (Indian Arts) classification and segregation is one of the important aspect. Many scriptures and Sahitya (literature) provides us detailed classification of human behavior as well as the lifestyle. For such classification there is no discrimination as good or bad. According to Indian literature nothing is good or bad. It is the combinations of देश Desh (place), काल Kaal (time), पात्र Patra (person) makes us feel good or bad, acceptable or not acceptable.

There are many classifications we can use in our life for leading us to the best living. This series of blog is to collate and document these various classifications together and make my readers aware about various beautiful, meaningful and guidable aspects of Human life.

Muni Bharat has provided a lot of classifications which are taken from the day to day life and popularly utilized in performing arts in India and south East Asia. The prominent among them, is classification of Nayikas (heroines). The Nayikas are classified in 8 categories depending upon their relationship , feelings towards their beloved and their awastha (अवस्था)- state of mind; they are called as Ashta-Nayika (अष्ट- नायिका).

Vasaksajja Nayika (वासकसज्जा)

Vasaksajja Nayika is one who is in deep love with her beloved. She is waiting for her beloved or hero who is yet to return from his journey. The separation from him for longer time, however as soon as the news reaches her about his returning; Nayika decorates herself with best of her ornaments, colorful flowers and various colors on her body. She specially decorates her bed-chamber for her Lord.

Ashtanayika though talks about the state of mind of human however it is deeply influenced by spirituality. References of Nayika are used by many poets, philosopher and saints in their literature, such as Jayadeva, Suradasa, Meerbai, St. Dnyaneshwara etc.

Bharatmuni describes her as..

She is one who decorates her bed, for the best of the union with her lord. She decorates herself with jewels and ornaments having a wide smile on her face.

This Nayika is waiting for her beloved, during the waiting period she is not letting her time spent in agony or suffering rather she decorates herself with happiness. This emotion or Bhava is used by various poets and saints in their literature.

Moulana Rumi a Trukish and Farsi poet describes Vasaksajja’s mind as

Tonight is the night. It is the creation of that land of eternity. It is not an ordinary night; It is a mixing of those who seek unity. Tonight, the seeker and seeked will speak in one tongue. Tonight, the union chamber is looking particularly bright.

 

Virohitkanthitha Nayika (विरोहित कण्ठितः नायिका)

This Nayika is in deep distress and sorrow due to her separation from her beloved. Her beloved is engaged in various activities hence he has not come to meet her. Her beloved or lord is involved in finishing his duties and not able to take out time from his duties. Virohit Kanthitha literally means one who is spending time in separation; she is overwhelmed due to that separation.

She is usually depicted as one who is in deep pain and waiting for her beloved on her bed, or waiting and standing at the door step.

Many saints or philosophers have taken this distress and pain to portray their feelings of separation from their lord. In few compositions of Sri Purandar Dasa he says “My Lord is busy in solving problems and agony of other devotees, when is he going to come and see my pain and agony?”

Moulana Rumi writes

There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you? You feel the separation from the Beloved. Invite Him to fill you up, embrace the fire.

Swadhinbhartruka (स्वाधिन् भर्त्रुका नायिका)

Swadhin Bhartruka or Swadhin Patika is Nayika who is loved by her beloved and she tries controlling him. Her lord is subjected and enthralled by her goodness and character.

In many descriptions of Surdasa, Gopikas of Brij (Lovers of Sri Krishna residing in Brij) says, Radhika is one who controls their lord with her goodness and love.

For Radha sometimes Sri Krishna disguises as Radha and Radha as Krishna. In this condition there is no difference between the lord and devotee, Nayak or Nayika. Both are in control of each other.

Just like Surdasa’s word तुम भये राधा हम भये श्याम – in love you have changed to Radha and I have taken form of Shyam (Krishna)

or in Kabir’s word, लाली मेरे लाल की, जित देखू तित लाल | लाली देखन में गयी, में भी हो गयी लाल The redness (illumination)of my beloved is everywhere, When I went to see the redness I also became illuminated

When a devotee realizes God, he sees illumination of God all over the world. He also merges into God’s love in such a way that all the differences between him and God disappears. He sees only God and nothing else.

Or he also says

हेरत हेरत हे सखी, रहा कबीर हेराय | बूँद समानी समुंदर में, सो कत हेरी जाय ||

Searching over and over, O my friend! I lost myself in Him, As the drop mixes with the ocean, where can one search for it

Kalahantarita (कलहन्तरिता नायिका)

Kalah means fights or quarrels. Kalahantarita Nayika is one who fights with her beloved due to jealousy or adamant behavior. She is separated or quarreled and in sad state of mind. This Nayika feels sad due to separation from her beloved through quarrel. She is full of guilt and is deeply sorrowful as she laments her deeds and separation.

In many literature of Sri Purandaradasa, Tulasidasa, Surdadasa; devotee fights with the lord due to ignorant behavior of their lord. However after this fight with their beloved lord, they are pained and feel remorseful.

Amir Khusro in one of his couplet says

बये गए बालम, बये गए नदिया किनार, आपय पार उतर गए, हम तो रहे एही पार

He has crossed, the beloved has crossed, Has reached the other side, on his own. With me, left here alone.

Surdasa in one of his poem describes Gopika’s mind मै अपने जिया गर्व कियो

Alas!I did fill my heart with ego !After all, he is omnipresent and thus he recognized my false pride. Now, who shall I heed to for the re-union with my beloved? For, he has become hard-hearted on seeing my egoistic behavior. The Lord of Surdas is capable of enchanting many other women, there are so many like me who love him!

Khandita Nayika (खण्डिता नायिका)

Khandita Nayika is one whose beloved has not come to her and enjoys with another woman is known as a khandita. She is distressful and angry. This heroine feels offended as her beloved enjoys the company of another girl. She is angry at his faithlessness and is full of fear and distress.

He had promised her to be with her over that night, but turns up in the morning spending time with some other girl. Khandita literally means broken, this Nayika is offended, rebuked, and angry on her love.

Jayadeva in his ashtapadi depicts Khandita Nayika beautifully. Here Shri Krishna says मामियं चलित… Radha has seen me playing with other Gopikas, and left away in anger. As I was guilty, I was afraid of preventing her. Oh my god, she lost her respect for me. She is appearing very angry. I am thinking of her face only. I see excessive anger in her curvy eye brows. It is like black bees encircling beautiful red lotus. Oh beautiful Radha, I feel that you are annoyed with my rude behavior. Otherwise you would not have left me. I beg and bow to you.

Here the Lord is also affected with the broken heart of the devotee or Lover’s broken heart.

Amir Khusrau also shows emotions of Khandita Nayika in his Farasi Poetry

Tu shabana mi numaai be barkay boodi imshab, Ke hunooz chashm-e mastat asar-e khumar daarad.

You look sleepless, in whose embrace did you pass the night; your intoxicated eye has still the signs of tipsiness.

Vipralabdha (विप्रलब्धा नायिका)

Vipralabdha is a Nayika who even after sending messages, her beloved does not show up. She feels sad and humiliated.

After a long period of separation from her beloved she sends message to her beloved and asks him to meet her, however even after informing him her longing and distress he did not turn up. Vipralabdha is disappointed at her beloved for not showing up on time despite his knowledge about her distress in his absence. She has waited for long and is anxious, fearful and sad.

She is broken because of her beloved’s attitude of not keeping the word.

Jayadeva in his Ashtapadi describes Radha’s state of mind after learning that Shri Krisna has not kept his promise and he did not turn up to Brindavan.

या मिहे क मिह शरणं, सखी जन वचन वञ्चितं

Oh dear friend, Krishna has not come to, Brundavana at the promised time. What is the use of my beauty and youth? Who is there to protect me? I am deceived by others’ utterances.

Alas, if Krishna is not here, how can I endure the agony of separation? I am alone at this rendezvous. I feel that even death is better than bearing this separation helplessly.

Amir Khusrau Writes

Tonight there came news that you, oh beloved, would come – Be my head sacrificed to the road along which you will come riding! All the gazelles of the desert have put their heads on their hands in the hope that one day you will come to hunt them…. The attraction of love won’t leave you unmoved; should you not come to my funeral? You’ll definitely come to my grave. My soul has come on my lips (e.g. I am on the point of expiring): Come so that I may remain alive – After I am no longer – for what purpose will you come?

Proshitbhartruka (प्रोषित भर्त्रुका नायिका)

One whose beloved has left to another place for an important business is known as Proshita Bhartrika. She is depicted as a lady who has abandoned her ornaments and left her hair loose. This Nayika portrays immense grief, being neglectful of her appearance and deprived of energy. She is sleepless and constantly thinks of her beloved’s arrival.

As the Gopikas mourn with pain remembering Sri Krishna, Surdas ji describes,

अखियाँ हरी दर्शन को तरसे

These eyes are thirsty for the sight of Sri Hari! They desperately want to see those lotus eyes of his, and thus they remain sorrowful day and night. My heart remembers his delightful form adorned with musk on the forehead and pearls on his chest! He promised to return but has not shown up, his separation is becoming like death itself! Thus describes Soordas the status of the gopis who have been deprived of the sight of the Lord.

Amir Khusrau describes Proshitbhatruka s

सेज वो सुनी देख के रोऊ मैं दिन रैन, पिया पिया मैं करत हूँ, पल भर सुख न चैन

Day and night, I see an empty bed, and cry calling for my beloved, I remain restless forever.

Abhisarika (अभिसारिका नायिका)

Abhisarika is overwhelmed with love, she who leaves behind her family and shame to go and meet her beloved.

Abhisarika is a heroine, who sets aside her modesty and moves out of her home to secretly meet her lover. She is depicted at the door of her people and on her way to the tryst, defying all kinds of difficulties like the storm, snakes and dangers of the forest

There are three types of Abhisarika

Tamobhisarika (तमोभिसरिका) one who has left her house on the dark night wearing black robe to meet her beloved in dark forest.

Jotsnabhisarika(ज्योत्स्नभिसरिका) One who leaves her home on full moon nigh wearing white cloths to meet her beloved secretly

Divabhisarika (दिवाभिसरिका) Wears usual robe and secretly meets her beloved during day time.

 

Maulana Rumi’s couplet says

All day I think about it, and then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.

 

Surdasji describes

चली बन बेनु सुनत जब ढहाई, मात पिता बांधव अति त्रस्त जाती कहा अकुलाई?

When she heard the sound of the flute, she rushed towards the forest. The family members showed anger and asked, where do you hurry to? She did heed to any of their words and got out of the household, breaking all other associations. It appeared as if the unstoppable rains of the rainy season are moving forth. She gave up all other relations and ran towards the Lord, like bee flies with all love towards the fully blossomed lotus. After all, she has completely surrendered herself to the Lord of Surdas!

Meera bai says

अब तो मेरा राम नाम दूसरा न कोई॥ माता छोडी पिता छोडे छोडे सगा भाई।

Now only Lord Ram is my savior and no one else, I left my mother, father and brother to seek my Lord.

Ancient Indian literature has deep connection to spirituality. Though the Ashtanayika talks about feelings of man – women relationship and emotions resulting the longing from beloved, It has deeper connection of Aatma (Soul) to Paramaatma (Ultimate or supreme Soul). Some say its relationship and longing of devotee to his/ her lord. Indian classical art forms are essentially spiritual in nature and thus provide a sacred platform for every individual. Just like, when it comes to Classical dance, the dancer is a devotee seeking the association of the supreme. Various aspects of the dance represent the yearning of the soul for the supreme soul.

In future blogs I shall describe and collate details of other classifications of Human mind and behavior based upon oriental (Indian) literature, Sahitya and Samhitas (Compilations).

Need of Hour :: Drastic changes in Indian Education System

I start my writing with a quote from Ishopanishada

हिरण्यमयेन पात्रेण सत्यस्यापिहितं मुखम्। तत्त्वं पुषन्नपावृणु सत्य धर्माय दृष्टये॥

The face of truth is covered with golden disc. Open it! So that I who love the truth may see it.

I would like to quote the purpose of writing this piece of information, since the purpose is more important than the person. And ultimately that’s what I have been learning from the ideals like Sri Adi Shankaracharya, Vishnugupta Chanakya, Swami Vivekanand and Mahatma Gandhi. I shall try to bring your focus on following aspects of India and its future as I see…

Major objective of my writing is to bring focus on following things

  • Challenges of human resources of India – current and future
  • Potential of India to face global challenges
  • Indian Human Resource Limitations to overcome the global confront and challenges
  • Urgency and requirement of shift of focus by young human resource of India
  • Unseen and not so spoken harmful aspects of current young mindset of country
  • Immediate action India can take to become hub of skillfully progressive and competitive Human resources

I shall quote the sentences of Chanakya Vishnugupta before I proceed ahead

हे तेजोमय सुर्य देवता अर्ध्य समर्पित करते समय ये याचना करता हु, इस जम्बूद्वीपमे इस जम्बूद्वीप के समाज में तुम्हारा प्रकाश फ़ैले, ये समाज महानता को पाये यही मेरी प्रार्थना है। मुझे आशीर्वाद दो।

हम जिस साधारणजन के महानता कि बाते करते है, और जो समाज साधारण मानसिकता लेकर जिता है और विश्वास लेकर जिते है उससे असाधारण और महान संस्कृती का निर्माण हो सकता है? जिसकी हम प्रशंसा करते है वो आहार, निद्रा, भय और मैथुन में डूबा है। अपने परिवार के बाहर उसका कोई संसार नही होता, और अपने समाज को जरा भी नही समझता है वो। हे सूर्यदेव आवश्यकता ही एक प्रणाली कि एक पद्धती कि, लोहेमें ढले आयामो कि, ऐसे आयाम जो लोहे के कवच पहने हो, इसीलिये ये प्रयास। मुझे आशीर्वाद दो तेजोमय सुर्य देवता|

How true he was then and how true the above quotes now for our lovely motherland’s people. Writing this information is not just to inform and make you aware the collection of my experiences and knowledge I have gained so far on the various subjects of Human Resource Management, Anthropology and social approaches but discussing the current situation and its consequences.

Our country is passing through transition, the transition which will take her to the heights of success, a powerful nation, a society which will respect the diversity and compliment the whole world. If we do not take care of the human resources of our country, this dream is not possible. If the human resources of the whole nation won’t come together to build the society we would just be called as a country living in its past glory and cannot make any difference to the welcoming future. Building the nation is one of the most important responsibilities of our youth, men, women and seniors. Have we lost it? Are we really looking forward to see our nation as “Light of Asia” or “Light of World” once again?

We would have many wishes but wishes cannot be brought into reality if we do not have right mindset of Human resources and its people. We are relatively a young country but with such glorious history and tradition. I feel proud as a dancer and performer when I present and talk about the traditionally rich and structured art forms we have originated. When I look at any art or science form coming from our own land may it be Dance, Music, Sculpture, Yoga, Architecture, mathematics or astronomy I feel really proud about the fact of methodical progression and mature stage of these original forms. Each minute thing is carefully taken care of while building and documenting these forms.

If in comparison post freedom our efforts of initiating, crafting, developing and progressing science and art is near to negligible or nil. One of the most primary reasons is our getting away from the fundamental belief of “better education is the key towards progression”. When I am talking about education I am definitely not talking about the factories we build under the name of education to produce clerks and clerical mindset resources. Extraordinary set ups of education is far most fundamental for building better skillful and far thinking society. We are blessed with the history of being best in the areas developed and nurtured for so many centuries. Post freedom our efforts of building such educational hubs have come to stand still. We have started copying the western style of educational system and we are failing miserably. We have somehow started taking western universities as bench mark, which is not bad but on other hand a question arises have we been successful to build and produce a talent usable for country and country’s progress? Few of the Institutions are now among the top educational hubs in India like IITs and IIMs. At IIT-B, the placement exercise is an extensive, year-long process, conducted for all students in their final year of engineering. Over 270 organisations visited the IIT-B campus between October 2012 and June 2013. However, of the 1,421 students who registered for the placement programme, only 1,099 (77%) got jobs. This figure is inclusive of students who opted out of the programme to pursue higher studies (Ref: Monday, 9 September 2013 -Agency: DNA Kanchan Srivastava). This indicates a well known institution facing problem of placing 23% students. I wonder what would be the status of other non premium higher education colleges and institution placement numbers.

I have been associated with educational institutes and universities. It is very much visible how the educational institutes are built and sustained. The very basic institution teaching the patriotism, non – corruptive approaches, equality and education are far away from its basic teachings.

I have seen and understood thru campus recruitment drives people not hesitate and expressing their willingness of taking overseas job or study outside India and then settling overseas. Most of these are the top cream of the talent which is been produced by India. Talent brain drain is one of the hazardous curse for India. Following is a sample of this figure.

Let’s take one more example

Indian students are rapidly escaping India. In the past decade alone, there has been a 256 per cent increase in the number of students studying abroad. The number now stands at 2,00,000 annually, and the students are going everywhere – Spain, Britain, Australia, USA, and even China.

Brain Drain

(Ref: The ‘brain drain’: How India’s education system is failing its economy, Raghu Kumar Updated On: November 23, 2013)

US INDIANS

On the other hand when we compare east and west educational system and success rate of the successful talented employees is different…

Speaking from personal experience of Raghu Kumar, having done his schooling exclusively in the West, the easiest way to differentiate the two systems of education is a skills acquiring approach (West) versus a knowledge acquiring approach (India).

The key element here is that the education system in the West fosters “out of the box thinking”. For example, it strongly encourages entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, India has established IIT’s, IIM’s, law schools and other institutions of excellence; students here now routinely score 90 per cent marks. This makes it difficult for student even with 90+ percentages to get into the colleges of their choice. But the question here is — what has really changed in the educational system?

That being said, India’s educational system has its advantages. It promotes mathematics and sciences, and it is not a coincidence that so many jobs are outsourced to India due to India’s education system. Recently, the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt announced that India’s entrepreneurs have the “ability” to build the next Google if India “plays its cards right”.

What is the reason of such brain drain? What is making talent not staying in India? Is the only talent built in engineering and business “the talent”?

Or we have other set of question of employability for the talent, which is created in our land.

Insufficient supply of quality skills is one of the main impediments to further economic growth in India. The Indian economy grew more than 8% on average over the past few years and the declined too, including the year of the unprecedented financial crisis in 2009. However, the skill shortage is still one of the major constraints in most industries in India (World Bank, 2009b). IT, infrastructure and power sectors where engineers play a critical role are particularly in difficult situations when it comes to unmet demand for skills. For instance, the exporting IT sector reported lack of skills as the most serious obstacle for growth, and salaries rose 15% annually from 2003 to 2006 mainly due to the shortages of qualified workforce (World Bank, 2009).

We have more than 700 Institutes providing higher education in India, over 35,500 colleges. Every year 2 Crore, students enroll in these colleges around 37% take Arts, 19% Science, 18% commerce and 16% engineering faculty.

Type of Institution Number E.g.
Central Universities (Public) 44 University of Delhi
State Universities (Public) 306 University of Mumbai
State Universities (Private) 154 Amity University
Deemed Universities (Private or Public) 129 Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Institution of National Importance (Public) 67 Indian Institute of Technology
Total Degree-granting Institutions 700
Affiliated Colleges (Public or Private) 35,539

Although the country has enough potential to deliver to the needs of the, global talent market, the strong employability challenge of the graduates; especially, engineering graduates became the bottleneck for India’s growth perceptive (Talent shortage survey, 2005) (Global talent risk-seven responses, 2011). Even in India, which produces 4,00,000 engineers annually, corporations are finding it increasingly difficult to find the qualified workers they require. (Replacement migration, 2009). India’s National Association of Software Services Companies estimates a potential shortfall of 5,00,000 technology professionals by 2010 (Talent shortage survey, 2005).There were several studies conducted in India to know the employability skills of the students. It is found that 75% of the Indian graduates are unemployable. (Talent shortage survey, 2005). Also the recent study conducted by World Bank (2011) points out that 64% of the employers say they are only somewhat satisfied with the performance of the engineering graduates in India (Andreas Blom, 2011). Globally about 34% of the employers (Talent shortage survey, 2005) find it difficult to fill the talent gap and in India 67% of the employers find it difficult to find right talent (from both arts and science graduates).These results points out the need for proper awareness and training among the graduates to enhance their skills.

7.32 % of the labour force, in the year 1999-2000, was unemployed. In absolute terms the number of unemployed stood at 26.58 million. Since the above estimates are on Current Daily Status basis, the number of unemployed also includes the number of those who are underemployed in terms of underutilization of the labour time. But it excludes such underemployed who are working at very low levels of income and productivity. Among the employed, the proportion of poor is as high as in the population at large, suggesting a large proportion of workers engaged in subsistence employment. Only about 8 % of the total employment is in organized sector. More than 90 % are engaged in informal sector activities, which are, largely outside the reach of any social security benefits and also suffers from many handicaps in form of limited access to institutional facilities and other support facilities. The educational and skill profile of the existing workforce is very poor.

Current youth and the educated people are facing with following challenges

  • The talented and skillful students are looking for below options as per the preferred options
    1. Get into foreign universities and gain higher education
    2. Get into premium universities and gain education
    3. Get into possibly available college and university for education
  • The talent generated by the foreign universities looks for largely with an option of seeking job in foreign country and not to return back to India

3)       The talent generated by premium and non premium universities look for job outside the country to gain better economical returns

In my experience of Human Resources specifically in recruitment I have been seeing that there are groups of employees, which I can classify as…

Skill Type Possession of Skills Employability Available opportunities in India Result
Niche Skills Possessing Employable Very Low Highly demanded  manpower by all marketsLoss of talent from the country
Not Employable Very Low Brain DrainLoss of talent from the country
Potential Employable Very Low Do not have opportunities to hone their skills. Corporation sees its time consuming to spend time on their skill development. Governments do not provide any opportunity to employ them based upon their potential.  High Risk of loosing talent.
Not Employable Very Low Environment not available to gauge the potential
Vanilla Skills
Possessing Employable Moderate Gets opportunity in related or unrelated area. Most of the time unrelated area.
Not Employable Moderate Not skillful.Direction less lot of people.
Potential Employable Moderate Compromises with job. Joins whichever is available employment.
Not Employable Moderate Gained unrelated skills and hence not employable

(Niche Skills are rare skills and Vanilla skills are readily available or easy available skills in talent market)

The highly venerable lot is the people who have studied or gained education in one skill and lands in doing not related skill job, and we do have a huge lot of such employees who are educated in one field and lands in unrelated area of work.

A study shows, India is one of the emerging markets in the world. India’s change from an agrarian economy to an industrialised economy is lagging due to the shortage of skilled labour (The skill development landscape in India and implementing quality skill training, August 2010).

Figures reveal that education and skill levels of our labour force are relatively low compared with other fast growing developing countries. The system is also excessively oriented towards general academic education with little or no vocational orientation. The preference for general education is driven primarily by the perception that an academic degree is necessary to obtain a government job, which is highly valued because job security is virtually complete and pay scales are typically much above market wages. The net result is that the education system has neglected the need to provide vocational skills and to generate awareness and demand among students for acquiring, marketable skills. In the long term, a strategy to impart vocational skills will facilitate increase in income of labour. A massive expansion of “relevant” training facilities is needed. As we shall see in later section, the occupational profile of workers will change at a rapid pace because the traditional avenues for work in agriculture are poised to alter substantially, as ability of this sector to absorb labour force will diminish at a fast pace. Greater emphasis on vocational training in relation to general education is required.

Recently India got a huge opportunity to show the manpower skill to India in ITES sector. Many call centre and BPOs started coming in India. Cheap and English speaking labour was the most attractive reason for many of the MNCs who started their transactional work pushing to India. No doubt it could generate a lot of employment for a shorter time. A graduate person in India once unemployed was getting certain opportunities where he could gain money in certain thousands per month. Sooner the Indian English Speaking skill became not so attractive to the MNCs and they shifted their focus to countries like Philippines and few South East Asian countries. Only Manila has taken 70% of India’s business of ITES. This skill for which India was cheering about for certain time is no more a specialized skill. Many employees have lost their job. Another issue with such employment for long term is not beneficial for a country like us; on large scale it is due to the employment shelf life of employees working in this sector. Career challenges, skill getting obsolete quicker and the life style of the employees have become reasons for many people to get into psychological challenges.

One more caution I would like to mention here, although many people are employed in organized sector…

Prominent Sector in Urban Area Proportion
Mfg – Non M/c and Equip 46
IT & ITES 22
Mafg- M/c and Equip 12
Banking and Finance Services and Insurance 10
Trade (Retail and Service) 7
Pharma 4

Source: Government of India Employment Data Portal

Majority of the labour class which is not high educated in urban area is employed in manufacturing sector (usually such employees are ITI or non graduates; current trend is Engineering diploma holders into labour class). And the high educated employees are in IT&ITES which is around 1 quarter of the entire employee strength of urban employed India. Majority of this class is now equipped with 1 or 2 skills required by the companies. We have seen in past in any organized sector once the skill becomes obsolete the employability becomes a challenge for the people. It is important to note that this employability is just 4% to 5% of the entire population of the country. Most of the employment is generated by unorganized sector. Caution: we have brain drain within this %4 to 5% of talent lot.

Pie Chart

Employment proportion in organized sector:: Source: Government of India Employment Data Portal

Majority of the employment is generated in real estate and construction area. This is one area where education is not valued so much over the labour class dominates this sector. The second sector is education and school teachers. However currently we all know that the quality of the teachers is declining day by day. Teaching is not considered as a noble job anymore. According to my observation most of the people getting into teaching field just as no other option is available for them for income generation (in my visits to interiors of India I have heard teachers saying they have been working as teacher not as passion but just as mere necessity as they were not able to find any other better job).

It is important to note that the employment sectors such as Research and Development, NGOs, Environment, arts and culture are not considered as organized sectors or their employment chances are in negligible proportion as compared to other organized sectors.

Fast and rapid growth of skills in globe and India’s incapability of generating education, employment, and mindset to compete with these changes is making India not grow within country. But it is also a truth that educated employees in India, once they go outside India can learn the skills faster and become tough competitor in foreign land.

Basics of Human resources have always been talking about the “Right” education to The “Right” people for the Right” job. Personally I feel that so many years we have been copy an pasting the British and western style of education system in India which is not “Right” for “Right” Indian population. We concentrate on generic aspects of life and cannot make specialized and competitive manpower. I personally feel that the education system in India generates various levels of clerks and it does not provide any avenue to have entrepreneurial mindset. I have personally observed in my HR experience people only have dream to work in companies hardly anyone wants to start up their own operation.

During my travel I have interacted with many students in USA, South East Asia and Europe. One quality I have observed in children of the developed countries is that their ability to think beyond job. Many of them would like to start up their own business and wants to give employment to others. Most of them are proud of being nationals of their own respective countries and they visualize bringing better, creative business and life style for themselves and their countrymen. Not to forget the care that they have spoken about the environment and earth while progress on the other hand.

As a summary we can highlight following challenges that we are facing in employment and education system

  • Concentration of current education system to cater generic education and not skill based education
  • Lack of relevant vocational training
  • Highly skilled employees look for better options outside India
  • Uprising of the whole education system is need of time
  • Embrace the sunrise Industrial skills faster and create talent pool
  • Gaining job related skills are left to the people and system do not provide any opportunities for it

7)       Relevant jobs are not available for educated mass (in current system)

There are many ways we can bring our Human Resources as most competitive and generating employment within homeland. The first and foremost important change we need to bring is revamping the education system in India. I have been reading literature of our own land, such as Vedas. I get amazed with the organik2zed education system we had once upon a time. Global Universities like Takshshila and Nalanda were part of Indian land. The way Uapnishada describes education system I haven’t read such beautiful organized teaching methodologies elsewhere. We can amalgamate best of oriental system and best of western skill based teaching methodology and make the education system more attractive to learn and practice in day to day life.

Just to give you an example about simple discipline of our population. In school we have a neglected subject called “Civics”, many of the students/ people and teachers do not pay attention as it does not make you gain marks. Which itself is harmful, if the base itself is so weak that we won’t be able to cater anything that will make us progressive society. This is aptly identified and proclaimed by Aacharya Chanakya, Gandhiji and Swami Vivekanand in their own time. Modiji, I feel this is the right time to tune up our society’s mindset and make it a talent hub of the whole world. This will be the right time to provide opportunities to transform our country as hub of opportunities and talent both.

With this information I sincerely think that we all should look into the above issue at the faster level. I feel that even though we have so much of potential to cater to the requirement of whole globe’s requirement, but we lack in the areas of conviction and basic educational system we have adopted currently. Until we won’t inculcate a feeling of important of advancement and the competitive spirit in all sectors thru basic educational system it is next to impossible to generate and retain the globally competitive talent in country (pardon me for the word competition; here the competition is not taken as negative word. Competition here is to keep in mind as progression). Such feeling is not only be needed to be brought in traditional sectors like manufacturing, IT but also in ignored sectors including Agriculture, Construction, Infrastructure, Tourism, Education, Health Care, Energy etc.

Unless we won’t be able to work on a constructive mode for long term sustainability it would be difficult for us to bring changes in future and it’s just next to impossible to become a talent hub and a progressive society in the globe. The Human Resource problem has to be resolved in a holistic manner. We just cannot work on advancing one sector and depriving other. Skill inventory and skill development would be one of the most important aspects in coming future for India.

अंतमे माँ भारती से यही प्रार्थना करूँगा के मुझे और मेरे भ्रत्रुजनों को प्रेरणा दे के हम उसके विश्वास को दृढ़ बनाये और उसके उन्नति का मार्ग प्रशस्त करें | इस सुदृढ़ता के लिए कुछ प्राथमिक बदलाव लाने पड़ेंगे और वो शिक्षा के माध्यम से ही संभव है | माँ भारती उस बदलाव और पुनर्विश्वास के लिए हमें आशिर्वादित करें|

माँ भारती और मेरे पितासे शिक्षा के मार्ग में मुलभुत बदलाव लाने के मेरे प्रयास को आशिर्वादित करने की प्रार्थना से प्रेरित…

Vedic and Post Vedic Symbolization and aspects of Inclusive society

Symbol is one of the important aspects in Vedic and Punranik (post Vedic) philosophy. The impact of such philosophical angle is deeper and core for human life and its existence. Struggle of human to have an inclusive life is not modern but, it seems it does exist in the ancient time also. Symbols in ancient Indian or Hindu philosophy exist in various forms. The geometrical forms, human form, gods, demigods, nature almost everything that a human being can imagine. Here, we will explore how the various symbols are taken as base of philosophy and its representation as minority or rare group in the main stream.

How one can include the rare race, off stream thinkers, different and opposite thoughts can be included in the main stream.

One of the most important symbol strikes in the mind of any eastern philosopher, yogi or common Hindu belief learner is Nataraj. When we say Dance, one can immediately link it to Nataraj. Nataraj is the god of dance. Nataraj literally means the king of dance forms, performing artists, precisely the performing angle of human society. When one says and looks as dance forms sculptured on many temple walls, one can see representation of female figures showing Bhav and Bhangimas (Emotions and formations) predominantly. Even in modern days you will find society accepts female as a dancing entity than male performers. In many advises myself, I have heard statement like “It’s not meant for you, it’s for women”, “Why do you have to dance ? its for female; that’s not meant for men”. I am sure such statements must have been heard and taunted to many male dancers.

If it is so, then the question remains, if dance is an art mainly for female then why the lord of the dance is Shiva? Why a man in form of Nataraj? I always felt like, to make a common man understand the importance of including the off stream interests of minority class in to the main stream and to give these lessons, Hindu philosophy must have made these off stream or representative minority class as deity of that interest class. Hence we see Nataraj in forefront of any temple, worship or monuments where majority of the dance steps are done by female figures.

Let’s take another example. Hindus worship power or the strength in a particular form, this form is called as Durga.

In the situation of war, usual convention goes as a soldier or a warrior as men. Society far way thinks that the strength is occupied by men. Many war situations are shown with men fighting and dominated by male figures. This representation also shows how strong men are dominating the war situations. However the presiding deity of war or war like situation is not a male figure in Hindu philosophy. It is Durga in female form. Durga is shown with many unique qualities. She rides on lion or tiger. Usual convention thinks that these animals cannot be defeated or controlled without masculine power. Durga holds and operates all sorts’ of weapons, taken from many gods and demigods and nature. Commonly female are considered as fragile, delicate and weak in stronger aspects like war or fight. They are not given preference for participating and winning the war. It is interesting to observe that majority of wars began with Durga’s worship in ancient India. Rama worshipped Durga before he started his deciding war against Ravana. Similarly Krishna suggested Pandavas to take blessings from Durga before their war against Kauravas. If it is so, then why is Durga- a female form is presiding deity of male dominated area? This representation of Durga as presiding deity of war or masculine power is just to make the world understand importance of inclusion and representing all being as per their interests and equality in all human areas.

Another example of such symbolism is Ganesha. Ganapti or Ganesha meaning Pati – leader of Ganas i.e. people. Ganapati has a head of Elephant and a very heavy body. He is obese and fat. Usually fat ones are considered not having capacities to lead people or warfare. However he is the god who is worshipped before beginning any auspicious or meaningful work. He is adhipati (leader of leaders) of 64 different arts including dancing, literature to war strategies. This is absolutely interesting representation of inclusion of people who are usually a matter of laugh and tease in the society, such as differently able or fat individuals. It is to remind people of having an inclusive life and have a better world. Usually younger generation or young people in their teen age are not commonly considered with stable mind and as good strategist; however representation of young Karthikeya is the war strategist, Senapati – leader of soldiers and a person with stable mindset. This is to make people understand the younger people do come with new thoughts and world changing plans. Do embrace these minorities and let the world welcome change as important aspect for better universe.

One of the most important symbol and goddess worshiped all over world is “Sarawati”. There are two mentions of Saraswati in Vedas and Puranas. In one form she is a holy river in its virtual form. The other mention of Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge. It is considered that if you take blessings of Saraswati one can gain best knowledge and respect in the society. In modern world where women are not treated fairly, not included in forefront of the society. The symbloilisation of Saraswati as river is unique. This comes in Rig Veda, this is the only female figure probably mentioned in Rig Veda. The river is holy and probably one gives strength knowledge and empowerment. The river Saraswati is dried in desert and no more existing, just like the respect for women in society is declining. Why would Vedas worship a dried river? This is again a symbolism or rare things happening around you, go ahead and include them in the main stream of the society. The goddess Saraswati is worshiped before beginning any learning or education. She empowers and blesses people with knowledge and education. Foolish society discriminated women from basic rights, education and bringing them in main stream for centuries. In many cultures still she is not considered equal to men. She is deprived for the basic education, freedom needed by human etc. If this was or still has the mindset of society, then why Saraswati is kept as the foremost deity to worship for education, art or liberation? Just to indicate people do not discriminate and bring them in mainstream.

When we say creativity and new ideas, usually old people are ignored by society. Society believes that the old people are now retired and can’t bring any new or creative stuff. Brahma represented as on old man is a god of creation of universe and new beginning. Brahma has the attire and looks of old man with white hair, wrinkles on his face, but in forefront of creativity. I always get amazed with such symbolization. This is a unique representation of how one can respect minority and create a wonderful society. That is why Vedic period was so progressive.

In current so called globalised world we still discriminate people based on their gender, cast, sexual orientation, color, race, financial status etc. One sage called Ashtawakra literally meaning eight bends in his body. Person with hunch back and 8 broken limbs of the body. He is a philosopher and a great thinker of human life and its goal. Once society laughed at him, discriminated him, he is now considered as a person who consolidated whole Vedic knowledge. A person who brought radical and alternative thoughts to society. Dialogue between him and King Janaka is considered as the important communication piece in spiritual knowledge. This is again an example to accept differently able person in main stream.

Maitreyee, Sulabha, Gargi are few exampkes of inclusive society and progressive social system. Alternative and off stream thoughts have contributed far more in Vedic and post Vedic period. Discrimination is not the things we have learnt from the old thoughts. Struggle by every individual is inevitable but the environment which helps them or makes them to prove their potential is important, not just to prove their potential but also to create more mature society. Our aim should be as global society believe in quote “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” Although the caste system is being spoken and informed by Lord Krishna in Sri Mad Bhagwad Geeta and in Purushsukta, but both the scriptures never ever proclaimed discrimination and advocated differentiated society. Society needs all sorts of people, all abilities, majors and minors, minorities or large believers.

Society will work and progress beautifully if we all include each one of them in main stream. Just another example from Vedic period is, the top class of the society is not due to the economical status. Brahmins, who would acquire and preserve knowledge, they would live their life on charity and alms given by the society. They would big castles or mansions, they shall stay in small huts at the time of respect in the society they are the one who would get it. In modern world big countries, corporate speak and utter words like respect, equality and inclusion, Vedic and Post Vedic philosophy can be the yardstick for how to include these values in a beautiful progressive society.

Shri Ramchandra – An ancient psychologist and a counselor

She is one of the most beautiful creations of the universe; she is

Ahalya painting by Raja Ravi Varma

Ahalya painting by Raja Ravi Varma

gifted to the most knowledgeable man on the earth by the creator. Creator has given the most beautiful, feminine and gorgeous creation of him to a saint or sage. Brahma’s creation Ahalya was unaware of her… her own beauty, potential and abilities. She was the most elegant female on the earth. Her life was devoted towards service to Saint Gautama. Gautama, the most knowledgeable, controlled and respected Sadhu (Monk) of his time was fully aware with Ahalya’s Beauty and Intelligence. To meet Gautama and seek his advice many people would come. Indra- the Lord of pleasure and demigods was also one of them. Ahalya would participate in debates and talks amoung Indra and Gautama. Ahalya and Indra would also debate on various aspects of life, life beyond life and the universal truth. Gautama and Indra both were amazed with the knowledge the beautiful lady held. Slowly she became popular and started to be called as Maitreye, as Mitra (Sun) started considering her as his daughter. Sun gave her almost whole of knowledge of the universe to this beautiful lady. Besides possessing high knowledge she was down to earth, unaware of the potential she has. Maiyteryi soon became famous for her debating skills; she would make people speechless because of her knowledgeable discourses, speeches, debates and beauty. Soon she became one whom everyone wanted to possess and own. She still considered Gautama as her master. She would do everything that’s needed by the Sage Gautama. She soon became a perfect housewife, a debater, speaker of various life aspects, and also a teacher. She is one who had everything that is needed in a perfect creation of the creator. The creator of her – Brahma would get amazed with the qualities Ahalya possessed at her young age. Indra, Chandra (Moon) and the creator himself would come to Gautma’s cottage and get gripped by the intelligence, simplicity, service attitude and beauty of Ahalya. Who wouldn’t want to posses such a gem of human being? Indra while sitting in his capitol Amaravati said to himself “If I am a leader and lord of gods and demigods, then why shouldn’t I possess Ahalya? She is most suitable for his pleasure than working at Gautama’s aashram (cottage)” Soon he called his friend Chandra and informed about how restless his nights are becoming because of one constant thought of being with Ahalya and possessing her. Chandra also agreed to friend Indra and said “Indra she is most suitable for you and your Amaravati, than in the cottage of sage who lives on the alms given by kings like you” Chandra visited Ahalya in absence of Gautama in his cottage as a messenger of Indra. He proclaimed the love agony Indra is going thru to possess Ahalya. Ahalya a sober simple but determined lady informed him that she wouldn’t like to indulge in acts which are not accepted by society. Chandra the lord of mind started adulterating her thoughts. He slowly added poison of how cruel the society and creator is to give her to an old sage and not to the lord of universe- Indra. Chandra kept on insisting about how she is ignored by the society even though she has acquired best knowledge, education, beauty and various skills. Chandra also insisted about she has all the qualities to be the supreme of the universe by accepting Indra. Soon Ahalya started thinking on the same lines, naïve Ahalya kept herself occupied in deep thought. She soon started ignoring her daily duties, would remain in deep thoughts put in her mind by Chandra. Gautama recognized this different behavior of Ahalya. He called Ahalya and said “Ahlaya I have been noticing that you are occupied in some thought lately. It’s good to think, but when its duty then do not ignore it over the selfish thoughts” He added “I have also observed that you do not teach students, do not follow the duties assigned to you and also do not give the alms to the needy people. It’s the first and foremost important duty of Human being than spending time in useless thought” Ahalya who is naive and soft in nature followed the instructions given by Sage Gautama and started doing her duty. One day Indra came at the door step of Ahalya and informed her that he wants to posses her and wants to spend time with her soul and body. Ahalya informed him to speak to Gautama as he would suggest him the path forwards. But Indra did not dare to face Gautama and ran away. The thought of seeing and being with Ahalya could not stop Indra. He made a plan of going to Ahalya’s door step as a yachak (one who comes to doorsteps and begs for needs), if he goes to her as Yachak, it would be her duty to serve him and she wouldn’t deny it. One fine dawn, Indra disguised himself as Yachak. He waited outside Gautama’s cottage so that once Sage Gautama goes outside he can ask Ahalya to serve him. As per plan Gautama went outside to take holy dip in the river, and Indra couldn’t stop himself to ask for sexual favors to Ahalya, which she wouldn’t reject. As per plan everything went on smooth for Indra, but soon Gautama returned and saw that Indra and Ahalya in an awkward situation. He cursed both Indra and Ahalya and informed how sinful the act was. Naive and soft heart Ahalya, soon realized the act as a sin. Soon suppressed all her emotions. She wouldn’t have any emotions any desires. Day by day she was sinking and literally became a stone like human, thinking that’s she has done the biggest sin on the earth. She forgot her charm, her knowledge, her beauty. Soon she gave up all desires of being as a human. Story of Ahalya became famous in the region. It also reached to Maharshi Vishwamitra. He understood the story of Ahalya as Most intelligent women of the earth has become nothing due to the psychological trauma. Everyone outcaste her from the society. Earth became a place where she was abandoned by everyone. She was cursed by society as a most sinful person on the earth. Such condition was painful and soon made her a dead emotional being. Vishwamitra recognized the skills Shri Ramchandra as a Counselor. He directed Ram to go and talk to Ahalya and counsel her. Rama was the obedient student of Rishi Vishwamitra, went ahead. He made Ahalya recognize her strengths and with his beautiful counseling skills he made her realize that none of the trauma can make her weak. He made herself to recognize the importance of such intelligent lady in the universe. Soon she weeps and falls on the feet of Rama. A stone like Human was in deep emotions now. She also understood thru Rama how important the emotional intelligence is. She soon realized her values and got into a position where she would be considered as the balanced personality reaching to the level of self realization. Rama is considered as Ahalya’s Uddharkarta (reformer or one who reclaims). His ability of embracing the down trodden people and making them realize their value in society makes him lord of everyone, and hence he is called as “Patit Pawan”. Whole society can outcast someone for their sins and wrongdoing but a rare person can recognize the abilities and values of everyone and encourages them to get the dignified life. Ramayana is full of such stories where people and society punished many people especially the people who are not considered into the main stream, where as Ram embraces all of them and make them realize their true value. He made Shabari to realize her value for her endless devotion. He made the monkey and animal like people to recognize their value in the society and got them into main stream. He thru his abilities made demonic people to realize their true self and become meaningful for the society. No doubt he is Patitpavan since he uncovered the true value of human being. In modern society where people are discriminate based on caste, creed, race, sexual orientation and nationality- lessons of Ramayana and Rama’s approach surely will make all of us to live in a open and accepting society.