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Mouni Baba ( 3rd March came the news of the death of Mouni Baba, three days after the mahasamadhi of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati on the last day of February. Jayendra Saraswati, born in 1935, was 82 years when he took samadhi. In the case of Mouni Baba we never knew his age as no one knew it and it was guessed that he was ninety three years old when he took samadhi though some newspapers said that he was 108 years old then.


As the Lok Sabha elections are drawing closer, corridors of power are replete with political discourses. Against this backdrop, astrologers too are busy making predictions, according to their own calculations. Whatever the political pundits might calculate about the formation of the next government, all the astrologers have one common prediction that Narendra Modi’s stars are shining and still the strongest, and according to planetary position, Narendra Modi can once again become the Prime Minister of the country.

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Why the Gita has inspired so many people, so may intellectuals and even scientists of the west is because it answers many of their questions.

If Carl Sagan found Hindu cosmology
most scientific it is because of the calculation of the day of Lord Brahma.That is the age of the world now accepted by astronomers---a calculation given in the Vishnu Purana and also Manu Smriti etc. Then the reference to God as Anantkoti Bramhanda Nayaka or lord
of millions of worlds or galaxies and these galaxies forming, dissolving, appearing and disappearing dazzles the westen astronomer who wonders how Hindus could reach this great scientific conclusion.

And how the Gita inspired Roman
Rollaind, scientist Oppenheimer  etc. need not be recounted. But each one, be he a reader, commentator or scholar approaches the Gita in his own way.

When I am asked my answer is very

The Gita--my understanding
In the first chapter, Arjuna puts his question with his anguished mind. Lord Krishna proceeds to answer in the most startling way because he first explains to Arjuna what death is. Understand death first to understand life and then the life of that transcendental man the Brahma-bhootah.

In the eighteenth
chapter it is explained that Brahma-bhootah is always blissful, he regrets not, he craves not. The message is clear---face and understand the inevitable reality called death and then understand life and perform your duty.
Here you are only a puppet.

In the eleventh
chapter, Lord Krishna opens his mouth and shows the procession of the dead warriors even when the war of Mahabharata has not begun ! Who then is Arjuna? An instrument chosen by destiny to perform his duty only. Did Arjun kill them or was it already pre-ordained ?

remember, my Jyotish Guru always used to say, in the procession of the dead Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna is not shown. What is revealed and what is hidden--that is His will. When God does not want us to know certain things, we cannot know however excellent you may be as an astrologer. As an astrologer when you are giving consultation, you will miss or fail to see and warn your client. How many times it happens is to be experienced by an astrologer.

Analyse life through horoscope and you
find the meaning of destiny, instrumentality through which divinity works and the futility of so many stupid hopes to be prosperous, famous, powerful etc. Where else in the world will you find such sublime messages which are the climax of millions of years of spiritual quest of ancient Indians unlike other nations which were rapacious, conquering enslaving and converting people to their religious beliefs to ensure the stability of their empires? There lies the difference between true civilization and barbarisms
mistaken for civilizations.

Mundaka Upanishad

Read the Mundaka Upanishad first, a simple and plain translation and not tomes of
commentaries. Then read the Gita where the Lord asks Arjuna to become transcendental. That is the essence of gyanakanda not karmakanda.

The physical scientist, the western intellectual
rooted in the material and material only and enslaved mentally by technology cannot even imagine that there is anything transcendental, beyond senses, to which all his investigation and knowledge is confined.

The tragedy
of the age we live in is that these successful men dominate and influence human thinking and writing. Adam Smith, Marx and Freud, among hundreds in the west, caused a high tide of spiritual barrenness. There were no saints to show the other side, the transcendental side and give to some some of them those spiritual experiences which opens out a new dimension in life and strengthens belief in the spiritual. This is the worst tragedy of the west.

greater tragedy is that it dominates the world, materially, intellectually and influences the thinking of people.

Spiritual barrenness in the west has
dangerous consequences. Following religion as a dogma, as a superstition, as a tradition is not spirituality. It is what you see in the west in whatever vestiges of religion are left there.

In India, the damage is done by the
karmakandi who is interested in the perpetuation of karmakanda because he earns out of this. But why should he claim that it changes fate? The equivalent to the karmakandis in the
west is ofcourse men of the church, particularly the Roman Catholic church.

When jyotisha gets tied to karmakanda,
the irrational kaal sarpa yoga etc., what we are doing is damaging the eternal sublime tradition of India. The great vidya called jyotisha, brought from the sacred ashrams of rishis has been thrown in the garbage dumps of markets.

Yet, the spiritual tradition is eternal,
alway alive and getting renewed with mahatmas born all over India. It is why we call it not Hinduism but Sanatana Dharma---a dharma which has an innate capacity to renew itself.

Ravaged northern India got de-
Sanskritized, not despiritualised, because came Tulsidas with his great Ram Charit Manas and Hanuman Chalisa and flowed a mighty spiritual current which inspires, nurtures and sustains faith in spirituality. The lyricism of Krishna Bhakti was glorified by Soordas and Mirabai. The saint poets of the age of Bhakti gave us back in the local regional languages what otherwise would have been lost.

many times in Indian history such miracles have taken place----the history of ritualism, dogma and superstition with distorted Karmakanda of the greedy and the sublimity of the spiritual made available by mahatmas. You have to live in different parts of India as I have not merely visiting,(I have lived in all
states except Kerala, Kashmir, Goa and Karnataka,) to see it, watch it, know it, appreciate it, scratch the surface and see the underground currents of spirituality always renewing itself.

Shankar Deb of Assam brought
Vaishanism there before the world heard of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You have to live in Assam to know the great influence of Shankar Deb and Madhab Deb.

Dakshinachar Tantric
practices have regarded woman as the finest creation of God, not the male. But we know, and it is an ugly reality, woman being tortured for dowry and humiliated. The Goddess inspires the Dakshinachar Tantric and the worshippers who go to Vaishnav Devi I see in Delhi and around get a female child killed in the womb of a pregnant woman!

India always was, and is , a complex land
of complex conflicts and hypocrisies but
through it all, her eternal spirit survives and resurfaces.

( 2 December 2007)

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