alochana

yes Gods are crazy

Archive for May 2006

Samskriti?

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It was a casual conversation between daku and myself (gunti), ‘gen fart’ in the iitm lingo. As is the characteristic of such ‘sessions’, we started with ‘nothing raa’ and went on to crib about corporate (his) and grad (mine) lives and settled on a common crib (not iitm). We realized that there were a lot of descriptions of our culture, and we couldn’t agree with any of those oft-quoted descriptions. And so we questioned each other: What is our culture? And if it is what it is as claimed by most on newspapers to television serials, is it worth hanging to?Laziness made us start with the ‘vociferous’ opinions about our culture that everyone wants us to believe:

1) if the person is obsessed with sex, or if he/she makes a living from sleaze, “ours is the land of Kamasutra”. Almost every single person thinks he knows what Kamasutra is about, without even knowing what the word means… forget the meaning, very few know what the language or age of that work is
2) if the person is lazy, “everything in this world is an illusion”. In this class of people, the fraction of those know about Sankaracharya and Advaita is even less than those in the earlier class who knew what language Kamasutra was written in
3) additionally, if the person wants to assert his/her superiority complex over religious people, “our culture/religion is about one’s own salvation… rituals, deities etc. are not needed”. Almost none of these would’ve ever read about any work which proves this belief beyond doubt

While “our culture teaches tolerance” is the favorite line of many personalities when it comes to events far from their lives, it is never applied to one’s self with respect to opinions and beliefs. Tolerance is our fundamental right, and others’ fundamental duty.

There are a few sober tones too… but often they are too weak to be heard. Like daku’s attempt, when faced with blatant superiority complex of people from certain parts of our country, at reminding his colleagues that respecting and learning from others are very important aspects of our culture too! Such tones usually are not vociferous, and almost never get to claim as much air-space as others.

Almost all of us are too lazy to follow our rituals, and that is not an unpardonable offense. What is unpardonable is our supporting our (in)actions by misquoting our scriptures without ever reading them. Not surprisingly, the attitude of our generation towards our scriptures is demonstrated by the fact that for most of us Brahmaastra is an exaggeration, but Agnipareeksha is not. For us, culture is not the exemplary life that some of our ancestors led, culture is our excuse.

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Written by kowsik

May 13, 2006 at 04:03

Posted in civilization, culture