URA – a thoughtful obit

Last rites of U. R. Ananthamurthy were conducted as per Sampradaya of Jaati he belonged. It is reported that his children took the decision as per their understanding of the wishes of URA. U. R. Ananthamurthy had explicitly expressed his reluctance to use electric crematorium. That means he had preference towards cremation using wood. There was one more reason for the children to take the decision. U. R. Ananthamurthy had performed the Shraddha rituals of his parents in accordance with the tradition. He had gone to Gaya for this purpose. The last rites were performed by his son Sharath Ananthamurthy. The rituals were performed in accordance with the Madhwa Brahmin sect. A team of 15 priests led by Suryanarayana Shastri led the rituals as per Vedic tradition, which lasted for almost an hour. Rituals were also conducted as per Madhwa traditions earlier in the day at his residence at Dollars Colony. Two trucks of firewood, 50 kg of sandalwood pieces, 75 kg of ghee and five kg of camphor were used for the final rites.  Christian and Muslim prayers were also held as he was known for upholding secular values.  One media report recalled an incident at a simple function at Suchitra, an organization that he supported,  he was the only one the dais who took off his shoes to light the inaugural, ceremonial lamp. Commonly he was perceived as the Hindu-basher, the iconoclast, the blasphemer. In 2013, he was part of another controversy when he made a statement that there is a reference in the Mahabharata to Brahmins consuming beef. This drew flak from Hindu religious leaders.

So, what was he criticizing? Rituals or aachaara of Brahmanas.? Brahmins? Hinduism? RSS/BJP? Was he seen as a critic of rituals based on his novels, especially samskaara? Or was he practicing Brahminism at home and opposing it outside? Was Brahmin bashing a convenient tool for URA for gaining favors in an anti Brahmin political environment? Was he a reformer? It is true that some of his followers were unhappy that a mud pot was broken as part of rituals before his cremation conducted by traditional Brahmins. Were they fooled by a Brahmin in disguise?

Or was URA a creative genius with incoherent stance on philosophy and tradition? Or was he opposing traditional discipline because of his personal experiences during his love marriage with a Christian girl? Was he constantly making attempts trying to justify his actions? Or was he sympathetic to Christians? Was he afraid of violent backlash from Muslims, Christians or Hindus? He never criticized Jihadis, conversions and changed his stance on Modi when agitators were vocal.

Whom was he engaging through his controversies? Anonymous common people on ground who are accused of celebrating his death? Or the famous and well known political leaders like Narendra Modi?

So what should his followers do? follow rituals? or abandon them? Should they follow Hinduism? or Not follow Hinduism? Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called the reported celebration of death of URA as macabre. According to him and many others it amounted to showing disrespect to a titan as URA. Health minister U. T. Khader described the mindset of people who burst crackers as having vicious mindset. The FIR has been filed under Section 143 (unlawful assembly), Section 147 (rioting) and Section 290 (public nuisance).

On a philosophical plane, Hinduism teaches that ‘enmity ends with death’. Is it a universal principle? Is it a good principle? How can one say that it is a principle to be followed? Those who are criticize URA after his death, are they non-Hindus? Those who are criticizing those who fired crackers after URA’s death, are they following Hindu principles?

Very confusing!

URA, the modern thinker,  is not available to provide clarity!!!

Hindus have a burden to uplift Mlechhas

Dharma refers to the sustaining principle of the universe.  Sanatana Dharma, that is adopted by the Indian society, refers to an unbroken tradition of Dharma from time immemorial.  Sanatana Dharma manifests as a society adhering to  Varna Dharma.   The society adhering to the Varna Dharma includes four Varnas –  Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vysya, and Shudra.  There is no fifth Varna.

Varna dharma continues mainly through family traditions and jaati associations.  Inter Varna/jaati marriages generates newer jaatis.  The continuation of jaati traditions through endogamous marriages could be in alignment with the Sanatana Dharma.

The four fold of Varna society is a highly evolved system aimed at ensuring ideal environment and path for all round development of all individuals in the society.

Those who are incapable of adhering to the established Varna System are expelled from the respective adherents of Varnas and are referred as ‘Dasyus’.  It should noted that Dasyus have a jaati and possibly a Varna identity and are either aligned or well positioned to be aligned to the ancient tradition.   Those who are not familiar with the Varna Dharma or not in a position to follow the ancient tradition are referred to as Mlecchas. Those who are not able to understand or harbor antagonistic attitude and stay unfamiliar with the Varna Vyavastha are included in this  ‘Mlecchas’.

Hindu is a term primarily used to refer to the followers of ancient tradition based on Vedas by the outsiders.  Presently, the term is used loosely with slightly different meanings.  In general, these meanings have positive connotations, especially with an intent of social harmony.  Some others use the term to include Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains.  Some would like to use the term to refer to all Indian nationals.  Those who would like to establish a harmonious society by establishing a uniform society would prefer the community who identify themselves as the custodians of the ancient tradition as Hindus. Some use the term to refer to those who have non-antagonistic  attitude towards the ancient tradition.

Thus the adherents of ancient tradition is described either in terms of Varna, or in terms of jaati or by the term Hindu.  It is interesting to note that those who identify themselves primarily through Varna  and Jaati identity also would consider themselves as Hindus.  On the other hand, some of those who would like to identify themselves primarily by Hindu identity, would not like to be identified by their Varna / Jaati identity.

Thus, it is safe to conclude that the Hindu identity is a buffer identity shielding the Sanatana Dharma from the onslaught of barbarism.  Thus, the Dharmic tradition is sustained by four Varnas supported by Jaati traditions.  Dasyus uphold the jaati traditions.  Hindus facilitate Dasyus to get integrated with the jaati traditions and simultaneously try to uplift Mlechhas towards the ancient tradition.

To clarify, Chandala is a Shudra, a fallen Brahamana may be a Dasyu. Jihadi Muslims, Proselytizing Christians, extremist Naxals, and unfriendly Jews are all Mlechhas.  Hindus are those who are claimants of ancient tradition with or without jaati/varna association.  Those who have non-antagonist attitude towards the ancient tradition may also be referred to as Hindus.

Indian S. L. Bhyrappa deserves Nobel Literature

Yaana (journey), the new novel by writer S.L. Bhyrappa, was released across the State on Tuesday, 29th July 2014. The 291-page novel deals with the transformation of human moral values when astronauts undertake a journey beyond the solar system. The writer researched the subject for two years, including discussions with professors of the Indian Institute of Science, before writing Yaana. The price of the book is Rs 190.

By Aug 1st, 10000 copies from two editions were sold according to the sources from publishing house. S. L. Bhyrappa is one of the most popular writers of Indian languages. His previous novel Kavalu saw over eight editions, and is a critique of contemporary facets of feminism. Avarana, another of his recent novels, dealing with intolerance and fundamentalism, saw over 35 editions and has been translated in Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and English.

Dr. S. L. Bhyrappa has written more than 24 novels in Kannada. Most of his novels have been translated to many of other Indian languages. Almost all of recent novels and most important ones of novels have been translated to English language. His writing is characterized by superlative story telling ability around contemporary themes, internal consistency with in the plot of the story, and perfect connection with the external world based on a realistic setting backed by factual linkages. He explores human relationships interplaying with the value systems simultaneoulsy at personal and social planes in his themes. S. L. Bhyrappa exhibits courage in dealing with sensitive but most important subjects of the contemporary society and provides justice in the light of truth and ultimate good without compromising on the beauty of novelistic art form.

He deserves to be considered for Nobel Prize for literature from India. Jnanapith award of India is due to him.