Monday, August 24

What if?? Some questions

So now I am back with some questions regarding some social and political events in the world history which had dramatically changed the fate of certain religions in the later period. The impact of some of these events can be seen even in this modern times. I am presenting only a few questions right now. I feel that getting to know in detail about the circumstances that may lead to the answers of these handful of questions itself changes our perception of many things.. for e.g., I myself have seen my opinions change about politics, wars, society and religions, while reading all the stuff that I am going to discuss in the subsequent posts related to the questions. Since the discussion will be based on objective historical evidence, it is worth giving a try.

The questions I am going to present are simple and plain. Some questions have an answer while in the case of others, the answer-seeking process goes into a study of the corresponding history and the final answer might turn out to be subjective. Even though the questions sound childlike, let us all recall the fact that a better learning and understanding of things always comes from the answers of simple questions. We all have been learning everything since our birth in the same way.

Now without wasting time anymore, let us get acquainted with the questions. The questions are being presented below in chronological order

#1. What if the empire of Ashoka the Great had not expanded from Iran to Assam on one extreme and from Tajikistan to the peninsula of Tamil Nadu on another extreme before he waged the Kalinga war? (264 BC)

#2. What if Saint Constantine the Great had lost the battle of the Milvian Bridge? (312 AD)

#3. What if Salman the Persian had not converted to Islam before the battle of the Trench? (627 AD)

#4. What if the Pala Dynasty (8th-12th Century AD) had not ruled India for 4 centuries?

#5. What if India has not seen the three remarkable philosophers Adi Shankara (8th Century AD), Ramanujacharya (11th Century AD) and Madhvacharya (13th Century AD)?

From a careful look at the questions, you can understand that all the above questions are related to one another in the order of presentation and also that 3 questions are related to wars. Well, these are not just some wars off the record. They have a significance in the world history and which I shall be discussing whenever needed. Any way, war is a clash of civilizations and the one which wins / dominates would be the civilization / culture that gets established / propagated later.

Before signing off, I want to mention one thing here. The above questions discuss the early strengthening of certain religions. Their social and cultural impacts may or may not be felt in the present society. I shall come up with more questions later regarding some events that shaped the society we see now.

We shall be discussing the questions one by one and try to seek the answers in the subsequent posts.

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Saturday, August 15

What if?? Prologue

From this very Independence day onwards I want to fetch myself some answers (not like Woody Allen character in 'Hannah and her Sisters'). The answers are not religious / spiritual but regarding the social circumstances leading to the uprise / downfall of various religions. I shall be discussing some arguments in the subsequent posts leading to the answers for the questions.

These days (from the last 2 months) I am spending most of my time reading extensively about (in alphabetical order) Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and some aboriginal religions. My curiosity in Christianity has led me to read The Bible. I have also read Srimad Bhagavatam and I am reading Mahabharata and Qur'an in parallel now.

Now the questions I mentioned about previously popped into my mind. Well, going through the canonical scriptures, I found that I was drifting in a different direction in which I might not get my answers. So I started reading the historical accounts of each religion (not regarding the 'historical existence' of the founders of religions) and I think I am in the right path of finding my answers.

My questions do not seek answers regarding the philosophical consciousness / spiritual depth / historical validity or any metaphysical explanations of a religion. I think that seeking such answers would lead us to nowhere since I have an opinion that a practice of any religion needs the following

#1. The commitment towards the Myths presented in the canon
(I think 'belief' is more of a scientific term. So I used 'commitment')

#2. Accepting the Doctrine presented in the canon into our way of life

. Following the rituals presented in the canon with a commitment that certain revelations occur by following the prescribed rituals
(This is not emphasized in some religions for e.g., some divisions of Christianity in which you need to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and is not necessary to get baptized in a Church)

So I feel that the concept of commitment towards a religion is highly subjective depending on the above factors and discussing the historical validity of any religion is of no use since it leads to the primary question about the existence of God/The Creator from where the discussion becomes subjective again. And moreover it is universally accepted that the Doctrine oriented religions (e.g., Buddhism, Christianity, Islam) and Ritual oriented religions (e.g., Hinduism, Judaism) cannot be discussed on a single platform. So the questions do not deal with any metaphysical or spiritual elements.

I should say that I was rather amazed by the social circumstances and events in the history which transformed the magnitude of propagation and the governance of these religions that are being followed by millions of people in the world today. Many of these interesting events happened in India itself. The role of Individuals, Emperors, Kings and Governments in those events has got elements of intrigue and surprise actually.

Hmm.. this post has become lengthier than I expected (and still I don't think I've written completely what I wanted to express). I shall be presenting the questions in my next post. This is not any Zeitgeist kinda conspiratorial documentary stuff and is not at all controversial, I assure you.


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Sunday, August 2

23-12-2012.. the Armageddon???

Updatin my blog on Friendship day is givin me mixed feelings.. as a matter of fact, dese days i m not gettin bothered abt days of the week.. evryday has been a sunday for me for the last 3 months.. so i m welcomin August, the 4th month of complete holidays for me.. hopin dis is the last month for my vacation..
Hail Augustus Caesar (Emperor, Roman Empire) and Larry Ellison (CEO, Oracle Corporation)!!

Speakin abt calendar n frens reminds me an incident happened 2 days back.. i attended one of my school fren's b'day party along with some old frens from my colony.. discussion went on as usual abt everythin (wat not?? we all r enjoyin our looong graduation vacation).. one of my frens mentioned this 23-12-2012 doomsday.. well.. he was neutral on his belief in dis armageddon but my another old fren was supportin dis doomsday as if hez "Nostradamus reloaded" (maybe dese guys watch "Rahasyam (Secret)" in tv9.. the ultimate crappy pseudo-documentary show.. every documentary in dis show is like some RGV horror movie)

My neutral fren's allegation is dat on da above doomsday Earth is gonna collide with Sun(???).. he also said dat the Indian Vedic calendar was designed only upto year 2012 as our ancestors had knew already dat it wud be "doomsyear" (he dared to coin a new word)..

U know abt me.. i explained to him Vedic astronomical calendar- the Ahoratris, Yugas, Manvantaras, Brahma varshas in it.. n told him therz no possible doomsday threat in da near future acc to it (he got too much of info at one time n ordered more booze).. i was surprised n asked from where he came to know abt all dis "2012 doomsday" stuff.. he was puzzled by dis (with a "wat da hell r u doin sittin at home u stupid?" kinda look on his face) n told me dat dis is the hot-topic doin rounds everywhere (is this really true.. coz i m followin only the political, financial n weather news dese days.. not worryn abt trivia stuff, armageddons in particular)

Well.. he mentioned the wrong calendar (Vedic calendar).. its actually Meso-American Long Count Calendar (Mayan calendar in short) gettin refreshed on 23-12-2012.. n reg the other allegations i collected info from web.. i ll give u a summary of all the allegations for the "2012 doomsday"..

#1. Meso-American Long Count Calendar prediction
 This Mayan calendar keeps time in units of 20. Acc to it 20 days make a uinal, 18 uinals, or 360 days, make a tun, 20 tuns make a katun, and 20 katuns, or 144,000 days, make up a baktun. After 13 baktuns, the numbers reset and the count ll be moved to a higher order. On 23-12-2012, 13 baktuns ll be finished n the Mayan calendar date becomes 13-0-0-0-0. So dis calendar gets refreshed dat day n acc to Mayans, an armageddon comes n takes all the creation in the world with it.

I ll leave it to ur understading the rational validity of dis allegation.. its really a good thing dat in our Vedic calendar the life span of Brahma is 100 Brahma varshas (dat is 311 Trillion yrs.. upto now 155.52 Trillion yrs have passed acc to Vedas).. or else even our Vedic calendar might have predicted a doomsday in the near future..

#2. Galactic alignment
My fren was referrin dis as "earth goin into sun".. well.. we all know abt the "Ecliptic" (the plane of Sun n orbits of the nine planets.. all of dem share roughly da same plane). From our perspective on earth, the Zodiacal constellations move along or near the ecliptic, and over time, appear to recede counterclockwise by 1 degree every 72 years. This is due to the slight wobble or the 'precession' we know in the Earth's axis as it spins.

As a result, approximately for every 2160 years, the constellation visible on the early morning of the spring equinox changes. Every year for the last 2000 years or so, on the winter solstice, the Earth, Sun and the galactic equator come into alignment, and every year, precession pushes the Sun's position a little way further through the Milky way's band.

So its not "Earth goin into Sun" in 2012 but its actually the Sun gettin pushed slightly into the Milky way every year.. hence dis allegation is a simply a hill of rubble..

#3. Intersection of the ecliptic with the 'Black Road'
Now according to the Meso-American calendar mentioned above, the ecliptic intersects with the "Black Road" (the band of black dust clouds in the Milky way) precisely in the year 2012.. n predicted a significant spiritual change for the Earth.. one thing.. its concrete evident dat the Mayans had no idea abt precession..

We know how "Astrology" (my fav topic u know) predicts / attributes celebration of "Astronomical" conjunctions to changes in the contemporary society (for eg., in Hindu Mythology every "yugantha" i.e., a change of equinox constellation in astronomy, is characterized by an avatar of Vishnu removin 'Adharma' n restorin 'Yuga Dharma' on the Earth)..

These attributions / predictions r due to the fact dat our ancestors believed dat the heavenly bodies influence the life / behavior of people on earth (well.. the "Astronomical" calculations r very perfect n the changes in positions of stars r calculated very precisely.. but the validity of 'effect of those events on human behavior' is quite obscure)

So the rational validity of dis allegation depends on how much commitment we have towards Mayan "Astrological" predictions..

The reason i collected info on dis "Doomsday Conspiracy" is dat my other fren ("Nostradamus Reloaded" guy) told me dat one of his neighbors came to know abt the 2012 doomsday (how?? Courtesy might be some rubbish program in a crappy tv channel) n dat he started smokin n boozin like hell.. he said this neighbour fellow is even sellin his assets (dis i don't believe.. r ppl dat stupid?? may be my fren made dis up)

But one thing.. i m sure dat i ll wish dis "Nostradamus Reloaded" fren of mine on his b'day 25-12-2012.. well.. if there really comes the doomsday, i shall wish Jesus Christ a happy b'day on the same day.. Howzzatt !!

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