Friday, June 27, 2008

What is dharma? What is mukti?

What is dharma? Dharma is that which makes us seek for happiness in this world or the next. Dharma is established on karma, and it impels us day and night to run after and work for happiness.

What is mukti? That which teaches that even the happiness in this life is slavery, and the same is the happiness of the life to come, because neither this world nor the next is beyond the laws of nature... Again, happiness, wherever it may be, being within the laws of nature, is subject to death and will not last ad infinitum. So we must aspire to become mukta. We must go beyond the bondage of the body. Slavery will not do.

From "The East and the West," originally written in Bengali
by Swami Vivekananda. Complete Works, 5:446.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Communities and Clans

About roots of indians (South Asians) traceable to many places in the world
- By V. Ramachandra Rao

Part 1--Some info on connections/roots of Indians (south asians) to Africans, Southeast Asians, Malaysians Indonesians, Polynesians, Papuans, China, Jewish, Palestine, Arab, Turkic, Greek, etc. Ethnic Strands in India - Part 1

Part 2--Some info on connections/roots of Indians (south asians) to Celts, Scythian, Goth, Greek, Hunnish, etc Ethnic Strands in India - Part 2

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I have a Dream...

''Patriotism is not instilled by fear but is inspired by hope. Hands that were once raised against one another will join to run the economic engine of the country, if the vision of a common destination inspires confidence and commitment. The answer lies in promoting economic opportunities for assured employment and equitable living conditions, so that 'others' are not perceived as job stealers or rapacious profiteers. Sharing the fruits of economic growth brings about a sense of the common 'us', whereas the feeling of alienation that springs from economic marginalisation splinters society into several resentful sets of 'us' battling inimical groups of 'them'. Growth with equity will ease the hearts and clear the minds, preparing people for unified action.

Even as these efforts must be undertaken with urgency, the dignity of a human being and the sanctity of human life must become the essence of human rights that have to be respected by all. The State, and civil society, must ceaselessly strive to protect and promote those rights, till their observance is seen to be obligatory for all citizens. Those who foment sectarian hatred or violate human rights have to be punished by the law of the land and by social censure. If the custodians of peoples' welfare, the guardians of law or the conscience-keepers of society (especially the media) act in a cowardly or complicit manner when human rights are threatened or trampled upon, there will be no defence against prejudice and persecution, other than rebellion and retaliation.

In the public sphere, open dialogue and discourse must continue to engage people's minds on these issues, without the fear of being shouted at or shut down by sectarian groups. Myths need to be broken, stereotypes need to be challenged and unpleasant realities must be acknowledged. This requires conviction, courage and candour in all who wish to contribute to social harmony. Young people must be engaged in these efforts, so that they are not weighed down by past prejudices but can uplift their minds to seek a society where diversity results in confluence rather than conflict."

.... read the rest of the article on HardNews Magazine (Google News Alert for: Indian Express, Hyderabad)