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11.20.2012

The Life of an Honest Priest


Twilight set in, leaving behind its orange residue across the horizon and the chirping was slowly fading away. The night sounds had started to take over the quiet landscape. The temple bell could be heard in the distance and the swirling waters tossed gently along the banks of the river.

He looked out of the window of his hut, it was almost dark. He walked across to the corner of his home and threw in a few things into his bag. Tossing a dark shawl over his shoulders he collected his Rudraksha beads and hung them around his neck. He quietly stepped out of his house and waving a sign of acknowledgement to the people around he walked down the street to the steps leading to the river. The ferry man was waiting, he was his only passenger to cut across the river to the other side that evening.

As darkness set in, he stared across the river. He could here the rumbling waters under the row as it tossed repeatedly into the waters. He watched the village lights light up like lamps in the darkness. He stared on to the other side. The cremation ground was active that night. There were two burning and the reflection of the pyres shimmered in the water. In the distance he could hear the temple bell echoing through the trees. As he neared the banks, he watched the wailing relatives as they bid goodbye to their departed beloved. He collected his things, and covering himself with his shawl, he got off the boat. He handed a few coins over to the ferry man and looking up at the flight of steps leading to the temple and started to walk.

He walked through the street leading up to the temple and bought a few hibiscus garlands along the way. Smearing red powder on his forehead he marched into the temple. People moved giving him way and stared long at him as he passed by. He almost owned the temple. He stepped into the sanctum and hung his bag behind the door. He slowly took off his shawl and kept it safely behind. And like lightning hits, from the silent world he had woken out of he took the arathi lamp and lit its wicks and like a man in trance he held up the flame to the Goddess and danced showing the light to her Divine presence, to her feet, to her sickle and to the corpse head hanging from her arm, he brought the light back close to her face, envisioning her waking up in those three red eyes that stared back at him.    

Sacred syllables awakening the divine Goddess Ma Kalika resonated through the walls. Showers of fresh hibiscus adorned her shoulders. Pure water flowed down her thick black hair and a fresh red saree draped her otherwise naked self. She glistened in the light as he moved with his music, the fire getting brighter with every swirl threw shadows on the wall almost making it appear like she came to life and danced with him. The air was tense, the singing got louder, the drums resounded, the temple bell rang furiously and he danced with her shadow and almost embraced her with love. With every lamp he picked, she came back from the shadowy darkness of the room to bless the folk with this divine spectacle of terrific love, divine dance in blissful intoxication. 

He laid down the last of the lamps, took in the warmth of the flame and turned to his audience showing them the light of divine love as he slowly walked out of the door. A couple of hours passed by and he has repeated his dance of love with the Goddess for the local folk to witness. It was the end of the evening, the crowd had trickled out of the temple and he silently bowed down to the Mother and whispered a few words in her ears. Then collecting his shawl and carefully taking his bag he closed the sanctum door leaving a single lamp lit in her chamber for the night.   

The streets had gone dark, the people had retired for the night as he walked down to the river. But as he neared the flight of steps he took a dramatic turn to the right instead of heading for the ferry. In the darkness among the trees he walked sure footed into the shadows and waited near the small temple watching the last of the pyres burn. The shamshan ghat was silent, except for the crackling flames that ate into the corpses that lay lifeless covered in flames. The relatives were gone, the aimless onlookers were gone, it was just him and his garden in the night. He walked up to the pyre that had died out, dusting the ashes and looked through the remains and picked up the popped skull. He walked down to the river and washed it clean and came back carefully taking it with him. He headed straight for the Ashwattha tree that stood behind a small temple. He lit a lamp at the temple and touched the feet of the mother and taking his skull in his hand he walked to the other side. 

He slowly unpacked his back, taking out a pouch of vermilion and some water, he made a paste and smeared it on the white head of the skull. He took out his lamp and wicks and lit a small light next to it. He undressed himself and folded his cloths to a side and clearing the ground, he sat in the middle and placed the decorated skull in front of him. Eyes closed he recited the sacred mula mantra to awaken the Goddess. He offered food and prayed to the Goddess. He closed his eyes and swung into japa, forgetting his world, forgetting his surroundings. The darkness came back to rule and in the silence, he slowly became conscious to the chill in the air, to the breeze in the leaves and as he went deeper into meditation he became aware of the power in the air, of the presence of the great Mother who had promised to visit him again. He spent the night in intoxicated dance, in intense sadhana as she visited him in his consciousness. Together they roamed the earth, in a different world, in a different realm locked in divine embrace. 

In the early hours of the morning, he woke out of his trance, bowed to the Mother and got up from his seat. He walked down his silent garden to the river and took his sacred dip. Turning to the temple, he walked up and opened the Sanctum doors. He bowed to the Mother and started his routine of worship for the day as people slowly trickled back into the temple. 

11.08.2012

The disaster called Immortals of Meluha


In the writer's own words: 
"What the bloody hell, which joker wrote this bullshit!"

This book or rather the series of books is the slaughter of the cult of Shiva with utter disrespect and irresponsibility, its the death of a very deep rooted faith.

I respect Christians and Muslims for one thing, which our Hindu followers severely lack - awareness towards one's own faith. If this irresponsible writer had even tried to twist the story of their Gods or even attempted to reduce their God to a mere barbarian, they would have vehemently rejected this book. But what do our people do! They made this bullshit a freaking best seller. 

This is when I envy Christians and Muslims, we need to learn from them on how we need to first be aware of our faith and realize it, and then protect it and fight back when some ignorant writer tries to abuse it. We don't take informed decisions, we are a gullible bunch of people with little knowledge on the depth of our faith and that's when writers of this kind flourish in our society. 

What is wrong with that book! Well I wish I had the opportunity to edit that manuscript, I would have simply thrown it into the bin and asked the author to do proper research before he even started to attempt writing on Lord Shiva. He may have a decent plot, but he has no business to infuse the Shiva cult into his fictitious story and distort the core of this faith. When we write books, we don't change facts, we don't distort the truth as written in the scriptures into something else because we run the responsibility of publishing this work and the distortion of faith through such publications is completely unacceptable  I would love to know where this author did his research from and how much of the cult of Shiva he really understood leave alone realize! 

For one, we are talking about ancient faith, deep rooted tradition and we need to maintain a certain decorum before we mix it with modernity of the current times. When we get into serious research there are rules to follow like any other science and that cannot be trampled with or broken, it has to be respected. Clearly the author has shown complete lack of research in his books and the audience who made it a best seller show complete lack of awareness towards the faith when they praised the book. 

The rules of Shiva faith are strong and any follower of this cult will know how true they are. Shiva is not an inferior barbarian who is illiterate or ignorant. Shiva is a concept, one that speaks of truth, wisdom, profound knowledge, freedom and fearlessness. If the author remotely understood this, he wouldn't even start to write this book.

Mount Kailash and Mansarovar are sacred to the cult of Shiva, sacred to the faith called Shaivism. Hence twisting the story to say that he was forced out of there is a completely wrong thing to do. Just as Vaikuntam is sacred to Lord Vishnu, Kailash is sacred to Lord Shiva and no one should even attempt to change this. And readers of such books should not tolerate an author attempting to twist facts specially when he has no idea about the core of this religion and is a complete ignoramus himself. 

If the author of this book didn't know dance, here are a few tips on how he could have bettered the chapter on Sati's dance class. For one, when we explain dance, we don't talk the language of left and right hand, we use jargon like mudras. Also, the starting prayer in dance IS NOT the Nataraja pose, it is Namaskar done in a different way. I wonder if this author even knows how the Nataraja form came about in Shiva Mythology.... or whether he even knows the meaning of Nataraja pose. The meaning of Nataraja is the dance that depicts Lord Shiva expressing to the devotee, to surrender to Him, by discarding Apasmarapurusha [the small dwarf at his foot] and merge into Him, to attain enlightenment. If the author knew this, he wouldn't even attempt to call Lord Shiva a barbarian who was ignorant at the same time!!! God! 

And since when did Lord Ram make an appearance into any Shiva Mythology? And since when were Daksha and Shiva in good terms? When did Nandi start eating meat? And please, since when did Lord Ram become superior to Lord Shiva? Lord Ram is the epitome of goodness within ordered society caked with its rules of diplomacy and social decorum. Shiva is the fearlessness and the freedom of life outside of ordered society. Shaivism doesn't care a damn for social rules, it just cares for the real truth. How can we even compare the two? And of course, since when did Daksha become the keeper of Somaras, and where is Indra? 

What really makes me laugh is the fact that the author goes about writing a line that says that Shiva doesn't even know why he is called Neelkanth!  The author must be out of his mind to pen down a line like that...Anyone who is a Shiva follower knows why he is called Neelkanth, the author of this book certainly does not and has not cared to even find out. How the hell did he even go about writing this bullshit!!

What really baffles me is the level of ignorance in our readers who made this book a best seller and that no one has a problem with the way our faith has been distorted or with the pathetic way this book has been scripted? 

Yes, very clearly, I am a Shiva devotee and I am offended by the way this author has written about Shaivism. I am offended by the way he has disrespected our faith, I am offended by the way he has published this manuscript and the distortion of belief its going to cause all the young impressionable minds who read it. I am offended by the way he has abused such a deep rooted and respectable faith. 

I have just one advice to give you - If you want to know about Shaivism, this book is not the place you should look for it.