Sunday Salvation

By Sunil Kumar

As I ventured into the “Soulful Sunday” class; taking stock of my weekly moods that vary between bouts of patriotism; Spanish soap operas, Smallville and the daily social network trawling which yields both brickbats, bouquets and gems.

Amitasana Das; our friendly neighbourhood ISKCON guruji; who is also the Akshaypatra President has been providing short snippets of Krishna consciousness for nearly one and a half year now.

So in the more than 14000 days now of my existence; I can reconnect with the “spiritual” quotient. I have no qualms in saying that I’m unabashedly patriotic; and in love with the idea of India. In an age where the country has again reneged and easily forgotten past injustices and an ancient culture; leading to another bout of self-loathing; chest thumping is not advisable but repeated reaffirmation is absolutely necessary.

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The seas of spiritual salvation are an altogether different path. Deep yearning for an alternative explanation can be something intrinsic to our core concept of an identity; or what Amitasana”ji” described as a synonym for the ego. Sublimation of the ego is a core tenet of the religious world-view; particularly Eastern(Indian); but the practicality of this is always in doubt.

Grave injustices have been done to the world due to “egoistic” individuals; but is it possible to survive an often illogical and contradictory universe without the safe raft of the “ego”? Never.

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Science has its own brand of fanaticism and adherents; some of whom do not brook any dissent and alternative world views. But to paraphrase the X-files; the truth is still out there. Questioning may lead me to some deeper understanding or the whole world may be just a simple extension of a supreme power or an infinitely complex puzzle that can never be unravelled.

The gist of my questions yesterday: Is patriotism not practically feasible given the non-evolved understanding of competing enemies including the global fascist jihadi apparatus and the equally disgusting slummy bully China.

Wasn’t this “everybody is a spirit soul” understanding detrimental in the earlier history of the subcontinent? Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms with their noble and lofty ideals; and contemporary India often held back by its “pseudo-secular” tribe of self-loathing commentators?

Secondly; why were spiritual people so distressed when their gurus passed away? Examples included Buddha‘s disciples and Ramakrishna Paramahansa‘s most famous “bhakt” Swami Vivekananda. Weren’t they on a more morally elevated platform compared to mere mortals? Although I expected the answer given; which again hinged on “Krishna Consciousness”; matters of the spirit definitely alter neurochemistry albeit for a short time. A soulful Sunday was also interspersed with tales of Enigma cracking at Bletchley park; technical prowess and America’s usual glib and slick packaging of superhero “masala” courtesy “Smallville”.

Kapil Sharma managed to keep me laughing for some time at night; and the week to come had begun with the usual cycle of ideas and opinions.

 

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