The Bhagvat: A Social text - Part-II

Radhakanta Barik

Regarding food habits, the Bhagvat is clear that it varies from a region to region. One can enjoy the food of a region without questioning. There is no such value judgment on someone's food, it is being decided in a region with its availability. "Ahare bhalmande nahin, je stane Jemante milai." The culinary is a part of culture and it depends on availability. Hindutva wants everyone to eat the same food. People should not eat beef as a campaign which is unethical and against Hinduism. In Hindu society there are sections of people eat beef today. Some eat the meat of dead cow. Some eat snakes. It is culture and community specific. Hindutva believes in a standardized food habit. In ancient India it is the Brahmin community used to eat the beef after doing puja where they used to offer meat and liquor. Today they do not eat those stuff and that is their choice why to impose their standard over others. Moreover in the Eastern India Brahmins eat non veg and enjoy and relish it. Why to change their food habit under the compulsion from the Hindutva forces.

They do not let others eat beef but they question those who eat beef which ignores the needs of human body which is the gift of nature. Theory of evolution and the Bhagvat both agree to the point that human being as a wonderful creation as the product of long process of evolution. Furthermore, Bhagvat praises human body as "durlabh manushya sarira" Rare human body combination of intelligence and imagination coupled with animal's legs and hands. Body of human being is being praised which can move and run and plan to improve the world where he or she is born. Human behavior has its specialty. By doing so much good work on the earth, humans come to the earth. This is a rare thing. After having a human body, his or her imagination gets enlarged with knowledge. They see the world full of gods. Here human being is equivalent to Lord Vishnu, the creator as he or she with knowledge expands the creative world. Humans feel addicted to the wonderful earth. The Bhagvat brings two concepts human being and society both in the same place. It is a powerful observation that man is a social animal as Aristotle says. His capacity needs to be underlined by which society can change with his or her imagination. The hindutva has no reading of such an important text that their ignorance brings cows superior to humans and cow vigilantes kill humans in the name of cows show their Stupidity. “Durlabha Manusya sarira,swabhabe anitya samsara. Deha labhina Mahistale, aneka subhakarma phale. Bhagye durlava deha pai, jahar gyana prakasai.”

The human being with his or her imagination manages his or her own affairs makes god jealous of one’s managerial capacity. This is possible because of the presence of divinity in human being according to Bhagvat.  God desires to stroll on the earth to see the divinity of human being. While walking on this earth God gets amazed at wisdom of individuals. God  wants to learn from the rare species of humans whose greatness can be felt only by walking by their sides without any ego. This is the wish of god. This desire helps God to take birth as human being. This brings birth of Ram, Krishna, Christ and Mohammed and Nanak many more  on this earth. By building the Ram temple the Hindutva wants to disrespect God who took birth on this earth by not allowing other Gods to take their births on the earth. They believe in a frozen moment whereas there is fluidity in the river of spiritualism. This is a disgrace to Hindutva who do not understand the desires of other gods according to Bhagvat to have a desire to come to the earth. "Dekhiba gyanchakhu dware, durlabh manushya sarire. Sakale sangh parihaari, anu ai rupa dhari. Sudure teji ahankaar, anande bhramai sansaar. Amante kahi abadhuta, ati gavira Gunajuta. "

 After satisfying the food in providing nourishment to human body According to the Bhagvat, human being like  other animals need sex to satisfy his or her sexuality. One struggles to satisfy his or sexual urges which is natural need not be condemned by any religion. As Hindutva believes in so called purity without respecting sexuality. Most of their leaders of RSS speaking a lot of nonsense over the issue of sexuality. Yogi government in UP has floated a Romeo squad to harass young men and women, this is not moral duty of the government but  the communal fascism which believes in restrictions imposed on sexuality. "Indriya dhare puni bale, anu bhramai maithun phale. Amrit praye yoni disha, anu bhramai kam beshak. "

They are ignorant of the spiritual text like Bhagvat. According to Bhagvat hunger is the biggest crime against humanity. Fire of hunger can trouble soul. Hunger of food and sex  is torturing anybody and everybody. Any state must try to solve the problem of hunger by providing food. It is moral duty of religious and political leaders to solve the problem of hunger. As Mrs Gandhi in her slogan in 1972 told"garibi hatao" Was the first attack on hunger related poverty got an opposition from the novelist Naipaul, the Nobel laureate that was against Hinduism. But in the Bhagvat there is clear message to religious and political leaders that solving hunger problems is both religious and political work. It is interesting to note here that Modi government has not done anything for 20 million people of India who suffer from hunger. "Khuda anale dhare peta, atma ku kare chatpata. " The present budget there's no provision for hungry people of India.

Even one has an access to food one has to earn his or her moral right to have the food. There is concept of bread labour in the Bhagvat, that everybody must have the right to have a meal if you do labour. One must entitle to have such a meal only doing day's work. There is a story of hunter who goes to the jungle for hunting. After he or she returns back from hunting, he or she eats a meal of meat which he has hunted. This is a great lesson to all of us, be teacher, researcher or farmer or worker or journalist or editor only after putting labour in the work involved, we are entitled to have a meal. This concept of bread labor got developed by many moral philosophers including Gandhiji. As my father used to do farming and reading a chapter of Bhagvat, never dreamed of eating a meal without going for work to the field. On inquiry, he used to tell me that cultivation was his work. My work is research and teaching i feel that I have to do reading and writing every day, without that I feel not to eat. This is moral philosophy of bread labour. Regarding the hunter, Bhagvat says, "se nitya pakhi mare, mansa bhakhai nei pare." "Kebal srama matra sari, na bhakhe uchit agar.” This is his work without that he does not eat the meat as the hunter says. Once the society creates a moral ethical order then the question arises with regards to having food linking with work and productivity of labour.

Everybody needs to work to utilize his or her potentiality by which the presence of divinity in his or her body gets satisfied. "Sakale ghate Narayan, Anandi Param Karan" Every soul has god and how to enrich his or her soul. This is universal truth regarding human being given by the Bhagvat which speaks of every human being has its soul and purity of a heart which needs to be respected by everybody including God. As human being is superior to any religion as he or she has a soul which emits spiritual power that power is superior to any religious belief. God is an eternal force rather than any specific body like Ram. That power recognizes every soul which is above religion. Hindutva does not have any reading of the spiritual text such as the Bhagvat which speaks of some eternal truths which are outside of religious world view. Human child is taking birth every day on earth without carrying his or her religious faith. That brings the spiritualism is a priori before religion gets birth.

 Once the child is born and he or she requires help of family members or other human beings to grow. But after some time to realize one’s potentiality one needs a distance from the family members. That makes Ram Krishna and Vivekananda to grow in their own ways without a hindrance from the family and relatives. A distance is required while leading normal life from one's kith and kin to lead a life with peace and harmony. As a researcher we keep a distance from the works we are involved as we have to be honest to the facts without detachment it is not possible. In normal worldly life one has to keep soul above the works related to daily life. As Bhagvat says "atmaku apane udhare, niskam janme ja sarire." (to keep the soul satisfied one needs to detachment from one’s self) Such a distance while doing ones work one can have a reflective judgment over a situation. Complexities of a situation needs to be understood while keeping a distance without that one cannot reach at truth. Recently Subramanium Swamy, a BJP MP and intellectual debated regarding the other religions while his daughter is married in a Muslim family and his wife from Parsi community he does not talk of harmony among all religions as he is too much involved in Hindutva politics. Some distance is required from religions which can help him to speak on harmony among religions.

Man and god are at the same level as they do realize their potentiality without any attachment and maintaining a distance from their own world.  According to the Bhagvat both Man and God take birth and they die. Death is a great leveler. Such a truth questions the higher position to God. Both are equal. A good sensitive human being who shares sufferings and love with others is being worshipped by people. He or she is being imagined as God. There is less discussion on God is better as humans must work hard to be enrich their souls on this earth. Those Hindutva forces want to reinvent Ram as a god but not a good person'utam purush ' They want that earth to be ruled by devils. "Martemandale deha nahi, devataon hoile marai. " (On this earth both god and man take birth and both die). Making god as human being is a lesson from the spiritual text specifically the Bhagvat.

The Bhagvat as a text guides everyday life which is a critical point. The world of uncertainty where death can happen to dearest ones one has to lead a normal life without such turmoil. There is a story of a pigeon whose son gets caught in a net which draws mother to the net, leaving the father alone seeing pains of separation. But maintain a distance from these personal losses, leads a normal life. In today's politics, Modi is losing power after the assembly elections to three States where the BJP was running the governments. Modi shows an element of desperation which leads him to misuse the CBI against his opponents, that he has not learned anything from the spiritual texts of Hinduism.

The Bhagvat as a medieval spiritual text teaches us that there are many gurus in everybody's life. This is a warning to the king that while on a move in this earth there are many teachers. The earth, fire or bird etc is a teacher. A boy is ready to learn from the birds. Learning is a continuous activity. It is a dialogue between the king and a boy. 'O. King I have many gurus. One needs patience to listen to others. I am moving on the earth, with patience and in keen attentive mood one listens. The earth, air, fire, the sky, cosmos all are educators for a child. ' liberal and rational education does not believe in a single educator. There are many educators. But the Hindutva believes in one educator such as the RSS and their gurus. The Bhagvat cites man as a rare species 'durlabh manushya sarira' and respect its body. In other words, body of human being as a temple which needs to be respected and recognized by all. There is no reference to temple but to", human body as temple. Temple is not internal to Hinduism. It seems that the construction of the temple brings restrictions on dalits and women which create a humiliating experience for the human being which is the highest animal in the world. His or her spiritual pursuits get restricted by imposition inflicted by the temple authority.  In the place of temple, human body needs to be worshipped. The rare body comes to earth. It's only fortunate take birth on the earth.

This body moves on earth for work. Work and body go together. It can't be separated. Working body brings joys and sorrows. It's unavoidable as human body can't have a distinct existence. Work brings drudgery and boredom which can't be avoided. "Durlabh manushya sarire, deha lavai martepure. Bhagye durlabh deha dhari, puni bhramane karma kari”. (The human being as the rarest person takes birth on the earth and lives on this troublesome earth and whereas everybody including a Brahmin needs to work) It is the duty of the government to reduce the drudgery and improve the conditions of work which can produce the leisure and happiness.

The Bhagvat as a spiritual text turns into social text which guides human society to lead life in peace and harmony. Ignorance of the Bhagvat has produced these villainous forces such as the Hindutva who have no knowledge of the classics of the Hinduism. They want to guide us in the name of religious fundamentalism. Their ignorance and stupidity has created such ‘ Asuras” in aiming at the destruction of the beautiful world and beautiful human being. Let us be careful against this devilish power over this earth. 

Prof Radhakanta Barik, retired as Professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

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Feb 24, 2019

Prof Radhakanta Barik [email protected]

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