Friday, March 11, 2016

Gomutra, Gurus and Godmen - That's the art of living

In many societies people who walk dogs, carry plastic bags to pick up the dog’s poop.  In the same societies, hunters who are out in the middle of the woods and have to relieve themselves, carry a small shovel, so that they can dig a hole, put their deposit in it and cover it up.  In the same societies, there is a great deal of awareness that the air and water should be clean. Litter drives are held and trash is picked up.  If a whole group of people plan a get together or a festival, they go to a place where they do not cause any disruption to others.  And when they leave, there is nothing left behind that even suggests that there was someone there before.  Every piece of trash is picked up and the land is left in its original pristine condition.  Thousands of people gather in the Black Rock desert of Nevada every year to hold the festival of “Burning  Man”.  Derived from an ancient Aryan tradition, this festival attracts common folks and people of high celebrity alike.  If you visited the location after the festival ended, you’d never know that thousands of people had congregated in tents at that location just the week prior.

If cleanliness is next to godliness, these societies are far more spiritual than other societies like the mahan Bharat desh where Godmen and guru sell, yoga, meditation, and gomutra and claim an inheritance of spirituality. Yes, I am pointing my finger – not one, but all of them, at SS Ravi Shankar who has, by his denial to pay a fine for holding a “Cultural (sic) Extravaganza” on the banks of Yamuna, earned an F grade on his record.  He can stick that grade in front of the name of his organization – Art of living.

If there is the most basic art of living, it is living clean and keeping our environment clean.

Here are some references if you are curious to learn more:

“Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's mega cultural fest in Delhi, the opposition launched a scathing attack in Parliament demanding to know why the spiritual guru's Art of Living had not deposited a 5-crore fine imposed by the country's top green court.

“Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles, including "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, gifting and decommodification, and leaving no trace.”

Very well said about such events (as AOL gathering) on the ecologically vulnerable banks of Yamuna.  Such gatherings , one should not forget, are common in most religions. When Pope travels or during the Haj hundreds of thousands gather. But the litter is cleaned up very well during and after the event. During the Ramadan hundreds of Desis are employed for the clean up  in Saudi Arabia . But the very same guys don't stoop over to pick up and collect their refuse when they are in India.  What can Modi do- pray ' Sadbuddhi De he Bhagwan.'?
 - S. Anand MISHRA 

This was not a religious festival.  It was supposed to be a "cultural" festival.  When it was very obvious that this was an illegal event for which the government was going to have to fine the Ravi Shankar fellow, then Mr. Modi should have refrained from attending.  I was disappointed that he sent a wrong message by attending.
- Rakesh Chaubey

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