Be immortal, M Rama Jois, Vijnaneshwara Research and Training Centre in Polity, Pp 148, Rs 100.00
Subodh Kumar Sharma
Today, the bookstores and shelves are flooded with ‘Self-Help’ and ‘Personality development’ books that speak about surmounting all odds to chase ones’ dreams and achieve the seemingly impossible goals. Irrespective of nationality, religion, caste, creed and field of work; everyone desires to be successful. In other words, a craving to overcome the limitations of this mundane world, body and be remembered forever and forever or to be immortal.
Readers, I can very well imagine the countless calculations and guesses that your mind is making in its attempts to identify this ‘great soul’. It is human nature to always look and seek beyond the endless horizons to find something that was and is always actually right nearby. He was none other than—The seer, philosopher, intellectual colossus, orator, spiritual giant, nationalist, inspiration personified, social worker, harbinger of selfless service, humanist, world class preacher, who revolutionised and changed the world’s perception of India; ‘the Hindu monk’ as called by the West—SWAMI VIVEKANANDA.
Former Justice Shri M Rama Jois, a renowned scholar par excellence, a writer of great repute and one who is known for his thought provoking works, has once again delivered a gem of a book in the form of Be Immortal.’
The preface of this book must be read to understand its very heart. Against the backdrop of the dismal conditions that prevailed in the country, the mindset of its rich and powerful and the general sense of despondency that had become an integral part of nearly every Indian’s life at the time, Shri Rama Jois clearly brings out the tremendous and indeed, unparalleled psychological, attitudinal, mental, perceptional and spiritual change effected by Swami Vivekananda. After Swami Vivekananda’s visit to America and other European countries, there was an 1800 shift in the world’s view about India. For the first time in modern history, India was seen, not merely as a conquered nation, to be mercilessly plundered, but as the land of sublime wisdom that offered universal principles of a peaceful and accomplished co-existence. He restored the self-esteem and self-confidence of every Bharateeya. The two qualities that had been buried so deep by centuries of subjugation that it was well nigh impossible, to even locate the vestiges of the same.
In order to understand the man, one has to understand his philosophy, his thoughts properly; the very ‘tools’ that shaped his extra-ordinary, glorious, all-inspiring life.
The source of Swami Vivekananda’s astounding knowledge, his all-embracing view of global- family can be found in the scriptures of Sanatana Dharma followed for ages in India. The Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Dharma Shastras, the two wonderful epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, Chankya’s ‘Arthashastra, and innumerous books of Indian origin, that propounded the philosophy of Sanatana Dharma along with his tour throughout India and his interactions with enlightened souls enriched his Chracter and thought-process.
The Sarsanghchalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat in his foreword says – “The fact that vast achievements in the field of material and information have not been accompanied by the expected corresponding increase in the human wisdom, sensitivities and sensibilities is now being openly acknowledged by thinkers of all hues the world-over. On the contrary, one is compelled to witness helplessly, without any clue to the remedies thereof; the sharp rise in various human miseries in direct correlation with material progress.”
Further commenting on Bharat’s role, he states – “The world has generally started inclining itself toward the thought that they have to seek necessary solutions from the holistic, integral and Sanatana world-view of the East, particularly Bharat.” The author leaves no opportunity to point out the relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s teachings. Swami Vivekananda had warned the nation about a century ago about the disastrous consequences which would ensue If Dharma and Samskriti were to die. Now, let us think about the above warning in the context of the recent developments in India on the ‘Hindu’ discourse. This book has come out at the right time not only because we are celebrating the 150th year of the `Intrepid Monk’ but, also because its relevance to the present world scenario.
(Vijnaneshwara Research and Training Centre in Polity, Martur, Gullbarga)
The infidelity of the Christians
Bhanwar mein Dalit Issai (Hindi), R.L. Francis, Jaykay Enterprises, Pp 167, Rs 150.00
The author, founder-director of the Poor Christian Liberation Movement, has been engaged in restoring the rights of the deprived and underprivileged Christian Dalits, who have been voicing their grievances as one composite group under his leadership. He says that in the 19th century, Christian missionaries claimed superiority of their religion over Hindutva and Islam as it subscribed to equality among one and all, but when the Dalits converted in large numbers to Christianity, they were dealt a severe blow by the Church authorities who gave the new converts next to nothing despite making many promises to entice them into the Christian fold.
Christianity set its foot on the Indian soil through Christian missionaries when the foreign invaders were busy establishing their foothold here. From the 16th to the 19th century, this religion got every opportunity to spread its wings, not only through the support of the foreign masters but also through the Christian missionaries who began to play the role of proselytising, especially in the interiors of the country inhabited by villagers and Vanvasis. The author says that it was the upper castes/classes among the Hindus who benefited largely from the proselytising of the low castes and the easy targets were the gullible Madigas in Andhra Pradesh, the Pulayas in Kerala, Mahar and Mang in Maharashtra, Bhils in Madhya Pradesh, Lalbagis in Punjab and the Chamar community in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Despite 300 years after such conversions, the plight of the converts is no better than what it originally was because the Church authorities have made no special effort to alleviate their economic and social conditions. It was the Church who named the Hindu converts as Christian Dalits because they wanted to show their magnanimity and superiority over Hindutva by propagating that unlike the Hindus, they believed in equality and opposed caste discrimination. This evidently meant that Christianity “is beyond caste and class distinctions where all human beings are equal, with none being small or big.” Despite all this, the Church authorities have struck a fatal blow to Dalit sentiments. Not only have the Dalits been uprooted from their soil, but also left them with nothing but false promises. The author laments that Christians and Christian writers tend to club the Christian Dalits with Hindu Dalits by cleverly referring to their similar roots so that they could be listed in the Scheduled Caste category. The author criticises the Church authorities in no uncertain terms as he considers them solely interested in expansionism by establishing more and more schools and colleges and other organisations that foster their interests, which are entirely commercial and capitalist in nature.
The author asks that since Christianity considers service to mankind as being equivalent to service to God, then why doesn’t the Church try to improve its system of service to God?
(Jaykay Enterprises, WB-27 G/F Shakarpur, Delhi:110 092; [email protected])
1000 Horoscopes and Bio-Data of Eminent Persons of India and World by Dandapani Panda, M.A., Jyotirbidya Bachaspati, Published by the Author: 95, Madhusudan Nagar, Bhubaneswar-751 001, Odisha, Pp 1030, Price 450.00,
India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition by Suresh Soni, Published by Ocean Books, 4/19 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi-110002, Pp 248, Rs. 300.00
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