Sunday, August 31, 2014

Indian History: An Alternate Angle

A rope can be mistaken as a snake. A snake is superimposed upon a rope due to our own inabilities to perceive the Truth.  When the veil of ignorance is removed, the snake disappears and we come to know it was just a rope. But what has happened? Has the object itself changed? No, only our perspectives are changed. Object is still the same. This is called, an alternate angle(not the mathematical one).

Same is applicable to our history. Same personalities and same events..... but an alternate vision to look at those things and events. 

"Once upon a time, there was a king" is an usual phrase all stories begin with in a normal course of storytelling.  Just like there is a hero in bollywood movies whom the entire script revolves around. Action lover audience sees the performance of the hero and art lovers peep in to the mind of the director, as they are more interested in what the directory is willing to convey.

So, there was a king called Indra, called Rama, called Dhritrashtra, called Chandragupta, called Prithviraj Chauhan, called Akbar and called Shahjahan. Heroes and villains. Good vs bad. Devas vs Asuras, Rama vs Ravana, Pandavas vs Kauravas and finally Sikhs vs Mughals. 

Wars, battles, violence, bloodshed, deceit, hatred, disloyalty, treachery .... this is what our history is composed of. It seems human race has never learned to live with peace. History is full of  grand expeditions by war mongers, hate mongers, power hungry, money hungry, violent and ruthless kings. So what we see in today's world is just the same exercise which human race has been indulged in since time immemorial.

So expecting a global peace is an utopia, if we could not maintain peace in our 5000(or more) old civilization, we will never be able to do so.

But the theory of alternate angle says it might be possible, that snake has been superimposed on a rope. It might be possible that our history is entirely different from what it has been projected by our historians. 

May be we need to change our perspectives to perceive the Truth. There IS a possibility that all these wars have a totally different meaning. 
As krishna said:

jitātmanaḥ praśāntasya
śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkheṣu
tathā mānāpamānayoḥ
For one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul is already reached, for he has attained tranquillity. To such a man happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same.

So we can say that same trend can be seen throughout the human history, the battles of similar nature, the good vs bad, Devas vs AsurasRam vs Ravan, Kaurava vs Pandavas and Sikhs vs Mughals...

We have also seen the history of Partha and Siddhartha... the Truth Seekers. 

Krishna, Lord Vishnu's incarnation persuaded Arjuna to fight for justice and imparted the knowledge of  "Oneness of Brahma" and after few centuries Vishnugupt raised Chandragupta for the same purpose but the idea was little different, which was Oneness of Rashtra(Akhanda Bharata). "Rasthra hi Brahma hai" is a slogan still used in RSS shakhas... 


For most of us, Ramayana and Mahabharata are just mythological stories and they never took place in reality. But they fail to draw the line of distinction between mythology and history. This "just a story" factor doesn't seem to work for them when it comes to Sikh-Mughal wars. it must be real history!!!  Because there are no flying monkeys, no one is there to lift a mountain on his finger, no miracles are there and it is quite recent, there are so many monuments as concrete evidences as well. 

Well, my position is, not only Deva-Asur SangraamRamayana and Mahbharata are mythologies, but Sikhs and Moghuls are also the "mythological" stories. 

Coming back to Rope-Snake analogy....

Vedanta says we mistake rope as a snake out of our ignorance. Means we consider this material world which we know through our 5 senses as the ultimate reality but it is mithya. It is also called "Avidya". All these things and events are manifestation of same reality called Brahma. One who yearns to known that Brahma is called Mumukshu. 

These are Sanskrit/Hindi terms, we are well versed with. But the language of North India(Indian Punjab/Pakistani Punjab) is heavily influenced by Persian and Urdu words. 

The ignorance or state of illusion is called "Mugalta" and it is a very commonly used word in local language of this region. 

 Shaheed Ansari says:

तुझको होगा ये मुग़ालता कि तू है कोई ,
मै देख पाया वजूद अपना, पर कहीं भी नहीं।

All theories which connect Mangolians with Mughals are absurd and ridiculous. 

So ignorance is mugalta and one who is in state of ignorance is called a Mugal(ignorant). All Mugal emperors are depicted on elephant which symbolises ego. 

How to conquer this ego? By gyaanam/education/shiksha ! Sikh means student of spiritual knowledge. As we say Jo seekhe wo sikh. One who conquers his ego is Sikh. All warriors who fought against Mughals are depicted on horse, like Shiva ji, Maharana Pratap and Sachhe Paatshah Guru Gobind SIngh ji. Arjuna was also on a chariot. 




Ravana had a luxurious lifestyle, so had Mugals. It symbolises the material pleasures we obtain from this illusory world. 

All these stories are symbolic and spiritual in nature, they teach us how to live our lives, how this material world delude us and how a Sikh(mumukshu) must counter that Mughal(ego/ignorance) which resides within all of us.

The first Sikh ever was Arjuna. 

Myth of Mughal Architecture 
 
Britishers were able to twist the history because Indians failed to respect and retain their spiritual heritage. Most of the devout religious Hindus do not have a basic understanding of religious philosophy. 
 
All our scriptures tell us that we are trapped in this material world and hence remain ignorant of the "Reality" of this world. 
 
And in order to explain this concept, they give example of Seeta who is deluded by a Golden Deer and ends up being captivated by a king of Golden City called Ravana. But we try to find Lanka on world map. Geographical Lanka is never going to help us understand what this story has actually conveyed. Even in Mahabharata this "trap" has been mentioned in the seven-door Chakravyuh created by Dronacharya.... so all of us are ignorant, or you can say, captivated in this relative world of never ending material desires and liberation is our motto...
 
The point is Shahjahan is also captivated/imprisoned by his own son, Aurangjeb. He is in deep grief because he has lost his lover and he is seeing the Taj Mahal through the reflection of Kohinoor which is mounted on the wall of Red-Fort of Agra. 
 
Both Shahjahan and Seeta are going through the similar pain as both are captivated and lost their lovers. 
 
Poems convey the message, they are not meant for telling us the history. 
 
Ancients used the naturally existing things like mountains, rivers, forests and bridges to establish these concepts so that they could be established in our memories for a long period of time, but as the economy grew these philosophical concepts were established in  the shape of monuments. As we know the infrastructure development is a best way to boost the economy. 
 
But conveying spiritual messages is not the only purpose of monuments. Architecture works on two cosmic principles, beauty and utility. And this art of architecture was known as "sthapatya kala" or art of establishment.... 
 


Contd.... 

3 comments:

  1. Food for thought, Vikas :) A bold take on Mythology and History! I do agree with your ideas on 'perspective', 'alternate vision' and 'conquering the mind'. And, again, a lot to ponder over further. Keep writing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Maulshree. :)

      Sorry for late reply.

      Delete
  2. A compeling analogy. i do wonder in my mind many a times. we have history/myth to tell us of great devices people had in those times for destruction. the tech. the developemeny.. etc etc. but now. now we only have texts claiming them not the real tangible stuff.
    maybe the tech in the stories try to teach us the inner innovation we all carry within us.

    good read.

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