Holi (festival of colour)

On the full moon of the last month of the Indian year (Phalgun – Feb/Mar), a special festival is celebrated.

I first experienced Holi in Panjab, after we had left Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising, and it was eye-opening.

I already knew the three main stories associated with the event. Inter-connected, they stemmed from the Arya tradition, morphed into Vedic tradition, aspects of which were then debunked in Sikh tradition, until they came to be made synonymous with Hindu tradition. The version of the story which one celebrates at Holi is usually chosen after a quick period of introspection as to which story resonates the most.

Story #1

An arrogant and obnoxious king of Multan, Panjab, considered himself the perfect human being – a god whom his subjects ought to worship. This king’s son, Hiranyakashipu (Hira, for short – which in its diminutive means ‘gem’), however, worshipped not his father but Lord Vishnu. When debate, dictates and threats proved useless in swaying the child to do his father’s bidding, the king employed a nursemaid to smear her breasts with poison before suckling the child. The nursemaid died from poisoning; Hira lived. Exasperated, the king then ordered his son to sit in his aunt’s lap – she who, following a prolonged period of penance had been granted the ability to withstand fire – and she would then sit on a pyre with the child in her lap. The son acceded to his father’s demand – his aunt was burned alive; Hira emerged unscathed.

Seldom making its way into this version of the Holi story is that Hira, Lord Vishnu’s worshipper, covered himself in an array of earth elements of various colours, and thus protected himself from the fire. The inclusion of such a critical aspect of the story would have been deeply problematic to a an Arya culture grown increasingly impotent in terms of its capacity for analytical understanding and instead pinning all its hopes on divine intervention. If Hira saved himself, whither the miracle of God’s intervention and grace!

Sikhs have taken up the baton of analytical understanding and insight discarded and lost by the Arya. Indeed, according to their dharma (i.e., Sikhism) there is no divine intervention. Psyche and divinity are logical aspects of creation, albeit at a rarified super-conscious level; though of course, they must get their hands dirty, so to speak.

Accordingly, Holi is celebrated as the victory of good over evil in the form of Hira smearing himself with the colours of the earth. No divine intervention in sight!

Story #2

As a child, Krishna’s skin pigment was deep purple. In fact, he was so deeply and darkly purple as to resemble people from Africa. You can conclude, therefore, what his origins were; I have an open mind about such things, but Hindu India is certainly not ready for such facts. Anyway, Krishna was besotted with Radha. She was fair. He was dark, very very dark, purplish-black indeed, on top of which he had all the usual boyish complexes. Following his mother’s advice, Krishna the child smeared Radha – who up until then had dismissed his approaches – with earth colours. Their differences thus muted, the children played together happily and went on to become the great lovers of Vedic Indian lore.

Story #3

Lord Shiva, a very boring guy should you happen to meet him since he is always meditating, is portrayed as moody, unapproachable and intolerant of mischief and petty conversation. You can decide for yourselves whether that makes him a social outcast or a god, though for my part I respect this configuration of his personality. Anyway, one day an upwardly mobile, divinely-steeped person decided to test Lord Shiva’s meditative focus. Assuming the form of an irresistible damsel, the changeling began dancing in front of Lord Shiva. Where others would have been fooled, Lord Shiva was not. The changeling was burned to ash with one look from Lord Shiva’s third eye, who then gave him back life. Thus, during Holi, ash is smeared on the forehead by the devout to represent the death and the revival of the changeling. Over time, earth colours were introduced too – suggesting some symbiosis of the various Holi stories.

Sikh analysis

Now let’s imbue proceedings with some Sikh analytical thought and insight. For this, I need to revisit my childhood.

As I said earlier, my first Holi celebration took place in Panjab after we had moved there from Kenya. In the days leading up to the event, all the local kids raced around borrowing each other’s possessions as if it were their right to do so (we would now call this thieving). We gathered together things we had thus ‘borrowed’, including from our own mothers’ kitchens, after school and raced to the local playground – basically, a large area of dry and barren earth, around which housing was erected, and which we used for playing gulli-danda, kick-about and, above all, cricket.

Escaping the clutches of mothers and sisters, as we ran we held close our booty of turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum, powdered red sandalwood, dried flowers, radishes, pomegranates, mehndi, gram flour, vibrant and deep coloured fruits and vegetables such as berries, grapes and beetroot, dried tea leaves and charcoal… and of course most important of all, water.

No single household had all these items, so we each gathered what we could find, and brought them to the playground where the older boys organised for us to take turns grinding everything into a paste using a pestle and mortar – basically a larger flat stone and a smaller more rounded stone. We would then leave the paste out to dry in the sun.

Each group of lads would end up with a fair amount of dry powder at the end of this activity. Three days before the last full moon of the year, younger kids like me were assigned to collect firewood from around the local area. As darkness fell and the full moon appeared on the horizon, we lit a fire to commemorate the symbolic burning of the young boy Hira.

The next day, the fun began. We dispersed our dry powder in large metal buckets filled three quarters of the way up with water. We filled our bicycle pumps, appropriately sealed to prevent leakage, with the colourful solution… and then it was a case of let them have it! No one was spared, as we sprayed all around us with colour, and everyone was a happy smiling target – old and young. Those of us who didn’t have bicycles yet, filled up glass Coca-Cola and Fanta bottles and shook them around. It was playful war.

Misunderstanding the rules, I would often forget the playful aspect in favour of the war aspect, thinking it was my mission to remain as dry as possible while soaking as many other people with colour as possible. One lad too umbrage at this misunderstanding of mine and came after me, glass bottle against glass bottle. The inevitable happened, the necks of the glass bottles broke, and I was slashed deep at the wrist just above the bone, while he was similarly if also less deeply cut. A gaping bloody wound opened up just centimetres from a huge vein that snakes its way around the wrist bone, and was duly wrapped in cloth. Instinctively, I submerged my hand and wrist into one of the buckets of colourful water, and then an elder yanked it out of the water and smeared it with some of the powder we had ground days earlier. I got an earful that day, and I still bear the scar to this day – but damn it was fun!

Looking back at the event now, I can apply some rational thinking to what went on.

The season is turning; bio-systems are undergoing a physical cleanse to release them from the rigours of winter; and the cold virus abounds. Cures and cleanses are sought in homeopathic medicines whose ingredients are earthbound. The beginning of springtime is thus the moment in which we boost our immune systems.

All of this activity is of course stepped in rite and ritual – but its effects are tangible and embodied.

In communities that celebrate Holi using traditional earth ingredients, none of the eye, skin, or inflation problems suffered by city dwellers are experienced; and rates of influenza are lower, as is their severity. In urban areas, by contrast, the use of industrial synthetic colours entails eye irritations requiring hospital intervention, severe skin problems requiring manufactured medicine, and seriously debilitating bouts of flu.

If I were you, I’d make my way to India – off the beaten track there are places where Holi celebrations last a month. Tell them Avtar sent you!

As for the story of Holi that resonates with me? Well, I prefer to conceptualise the event as a turning point away from old grudges, feuds and animosities; and towards the renewal of friendships and reinforcement of existing ties.

The new organic year has kicked off and has brought with it spring and new life.

Happy Holi!

Now, go bury the hatchet…

Spring festivals, Sacrifice, Cannibalism & Sikhism’s New Year

Part I

End of one organic cycle: beginning of another.

This year’s vernal equinox falls on 20th March in the northern hemisphere. Amongst some cultures, this passage of time is celebrated according to tenets opposed to modernism and to modern perspectives. Isolationism couples itself with celebration of glories past. Subjective theorizing, loose philosophy, and a particular cultural moral compass on sexuality, combine to give us brain-drained commonsense, which clings to the cleverness of days long gone, unremarkable now but for the romanticised folkloric memories passed down the generations.

Spring:

Pagans celebrate Ostara, performing rites and rituals in honour of fertility and regeneration, symbolised by the goddess Eostre (a Germanic word meaning east), who represents young women, fresh light, and the budding of trees and flowers.

Fertility and regeneration are celebrated by the gifting of brightly painted eggs, themselves embodiments of fertility and renewal, as are hares (which have symbolic connection to the moon).

Easter:

Historians and liberal theologians believe death and resurrection was initially, in Caucasian consciousness, associated with Attis – a Phrygian (an area now in Turkey) and god of vegetation. In his self-mutilation, death, and resurrection Attis represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter and rise again in spring. His cult began around 1250BC. The incidents attributed to him were grafted onto stories of Jesus’ life to make Christian theology more acceptable regionally. Elsewhere, other theologians indicate that Jesus’ life events as they appear in the gospels are lifted straight from the life of Krishna.

Easter celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. It occurs at the end of Lenten (‘lengthening of days’), which lasts 46 days from Ash Wednesday (falling on 10th February this year) until Easter Sunday (27th March this year). Tradition counts this as 40 days, and excludes for various reasons Saturdays and Sundays.

The Thursday before Easter is Holy Thursday and commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper. The Friday before Easter is Good Friday, and it commemorates the anniversary of Jesus’ crucifixion. The Saturday before Easter is Holy Saturday, a remembrance of Jesus’ entombment.

The Easter period represents two opposing worlds co-existing – darkness, sin and death on the one hand and resurrection, restoration of light, and spring on the other. The evening vigil between Good Friday and Easter day symbolizes the end of the first and the beginning of the second.

Currently, Easter Sunday* is one of the Christian calendar’s two holiest days. This is the result of public pressure forcing the western church to institutionalize the observance of Easter, despite early Christians not having observed it at all.

*(Sunday is named after the Scandinavian sun goddess Sunna. Sunna, interestingly, is a Sanskrit word used by Buddhaji as well as by Vedic and eastern philosophy. It refers to a state above stillness, quietness and nothingness.)

Around 325AD, Emperor Constantine ordered Easter to be celebrated on the first full moon of Spring, which occurs between 21st March and 25th April. It is noteworthy that the current biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion took formal root in the western church as a result of Emperor Constantine’s collusion.

The eastern church, by contrast, echoes Jesus’ own observance of the earlier tradition of Passover. It ought to be noted that at no time did Jesus renounce his Jewish religion. Nor did he insist on a new religion. He simply reintroduced clarity, and de-cluttered confusion. This year, Passover begins on Friday 22nd April and ends on Saturday 30th April.

Part II

Cannibalism

Numerous stories in Greek mythology involve cannibalism, but only between close family members. It was practiced to maintain purity and specialness and mirrored the Egyptian Pharaohic practice of incest, which aimed to retain the purity to the royal lineage bestowed by the gods.

Not too dissimilar to the Islamic practice of marrying within the family pool, cannibalism and Egyptian royal incest associated purity with, and emerged from, as well as being bounded, by kinship.

Privilege, prestige and oneness were the core precepts of cannibal practice originally, before it became widespread globally.

In Gough’s Cave, England, there is evidence of communal cannibalism practiced around 15000 years ago. In fact, evidence exists that cannibalism was actually still practiced around 2000 years ago in Great Britain, and across Europe during various periods, until recent times.

In World War II, there was reported cannibalism at the siege of Leningrad, among Soviet POWs dying in Nazi camps due to extreme starvation, and also among German troops when they were besieged in Stalingrad as well as when they were later transferred to prison camps in Siberia.

In India, the Aghoris (Indian ascetics), consume human flesh that’s been cooked on the funeral pyre, after the family of the deceased has left. They believe the flesh provides spiritual benefits, and they claim that it tastes like chicken.

In the USA, in 1931, New York reporter William Buehler Seabrook secured a chunk of human meat from the body of a healthy person killed in an accident, from a hospital intern, and he cooked and ate it. He reported, “It was like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was so nearly good, fully developed veal, that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal, and cannot be mistaken for goat, high game, or pork.”

In his book The Gulag Archipelago, Alexandra Solzhenitsyn describes cannibalism in 20th century USSR, where children, dead by famine, were eaten by their parents.

When the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the Andes on 13th October 1972, the survivors resorted to eating the deceased during their 72 days in the mountains.

In England, on 23rd July 1988, Rick Gibson ate human flesh in public, in Walthamstow, London. The country does not have a specific law against cannibalism. He did so again on 15th April 1989, in Lewisham High Street, London. When Gibson attempted to eat human meat in Vancouver on 14th July 1989 the Canadian police confiscated his meal. However charges were dropped, and he went on to eat another piece of human flesh on the steps of the Vancouver court house on 22nd September 1989.

Part III

Cannibalism, Spring Festivals and Sikh New Year

Paganism has an unbelievable amount of words, rites and rituals that overlap with Vedic Brahmanism, as indeed do many of the Voodoo rites and rituals practiced globally. Brahmanism, briefly, denotes living in harmony with nature and venerating the organic template. It believes the egg has a special symbolic meaning, hence an old Pagan ritual of ‘sacrificing’ an egg by placing it under the foundations of new buildings for protection, well-being, and progression.

Nowadays, during Pagan and Christian spring festivals eggs are coloured brightly, the brightness communicating renewal, freshness, fertility, and the propagation of spices (which also represent fertility).

The Latin proverb “Omne vivum ex ovo”, meaning “All life comes from an egg” coincides perfectly with pure knowledge, the Vadantic scriptures, and the most modern de-mystified writing that exists today referred to and addressed as Sikhism’s living Guru. These all acknowledge that the whole universe was created from an egg. Creation, in Sikhism, is in fact repeatedly called an egg.

The egg thus continues to circulate today as a meaningful emblem of life and as an allegory for rebirth.

Sacrifice, nowadays, takes the form of a nominal food offering, a monetary donation to a religious or dharmic organisation, or to a charity, or else seva (selfless service for the benefit of another).

The sacrificial practice continues to be led by the elder male of a family group. The sanctity of the occasion is duly observed with reverent introspection, and a silent expression of gratitude that one is capable of offering the gift or service in the first place. It is interesting how without any external prompt humbleness automatically surfaces during the sacrifice.

We now live in a cycle of negative Shiva, as opposed to a cycle of positive Shiva. This represents transmutation, negative technology, self-interest presiding over charity, and the search for self-realisation. Thus, the charity of this cycle is the sacrifice of money, and/or giving away articles and items of wealth.

Charity was also practiced during the negative cycle of Brahma. That period witnessed the beginning of the hallowed activity of sacred sacrifice of a living Being. Initially, the living Being was ordinary grain. Then it was fruit and eggs. Later, the sacrifice was elevated to one’s personal possessions, a sacrifice of personal wealth; hence the beginning of animal sacrifice. It began with small domesticated farm animals including the hare, until people’s grandiose egos pushed them to sacrifice ever larger animals. Then the (now) unacceptable happened. For numerous emotional and/or seasonal reasons, the sacrifice became human, moving from infants to adult females and adult males. However, the most potent sacrifice was deemed to be the sacrifice of young females.

Sacrifice, right from the beginning, involved conscious acknowledgement that the gift became sanctified through the act of sacrifice, that it was blessed and imbued with grace. Once sanctified, the offering was shared among attendees, so that they might be blessed by consuming the sanctified object – first grains, then eggs, then animals, and eventually humans. But human flesh consumption was limited in the Brahma period to the royals and the high priests.

This practice changed, as the governing thought-energy changed. Four of the five thought-energy states are:

  1. Maiea
  2. Brahma
  3. Vishnu
  4. Shiva

These each have three expressions of which two are applicable to ordinarywallas (being the positive and negative cycles). It has to be remembered that all four states are interwoven and interlinked. They exist in both their positive and negative templates as an everyday occurrence, and they flip between various expressions moment to moment.

Ordinarywallas are familiar with the trinity state concept of Hinduism, namely, Brahma – the coagulator, Vishnu – the stabilizer, and Shiva – the transmutator. Enveloping and preceding them is state one, the Maiea symmetry.

State one: Sacrifice of the inner self. Doubt is sacrificed, and clarity sought in the process.

State two: Grain and seasonal food become the sacrificial norm. Ego gains importance.

State three: Animal offering, followed by human offering, becomes the status quo.

State four: A proxy sacrifice is established in place of personal sacrifice, such that material objects become the sacrificial lamb.

Whichever way we look at it, the practice of making an offering during the period of regeneration, i.e. Spring, is driven by the norms of one’s customs.

To begin with, nature make a sacrifice of crops, and humans harvest and consume that sacrifice (death) once the crop or fruit is ripe. Thus, the concept of consuming death is itself nature-driven. We as humans eat death. Many, like myself, who are life-long lacto-vegetarian, pompously register our distain for eating death in the form of flesh. Yet we consume the dead. The dead in our instance are dead vegetables.

Pomposity in us compels us to declare we are superior to flesh-eaters. But are we, outside of our own high-falutin’ sense of authority, really superior at all to, and more internally advanced than, those we think of as emotionally-retarded, spiritually bereft, dead-flesh eating savages? No, we are exactly the same.

What is a vegetarian (Indian)? Let’s clear up the gobbledegook western terminology:

Selective Vegetarian (SV)       white meat eater, will consume eggs and fish

Vegetarian (V)                           will not consume eggs or fish – however, is not a vegan

Restricted Vegetarian (RV)     will not consume root or commercial vegetables

Vegan                                           will not consume dairy, eats commercial vegetables

Inaccurately, in the west, those who do eat eggs, fish and commercial vegetables, but not dairy, call themselves vegan. To date, however, I have yet to meet one who fulfills the criteria of the ultra strict vegetarian diet of Jainism.

Side Note: Dairy, natural yogurt and ghee are quintessential staples of the diet of Jain ascetics The above sentence is part of an old argument people would try to hammer me on regarding fats and cholesterol, when I maintained that fats and cholesterol are a quintessential components needed for a flexible healthy body, while manufactured foods are the evil that we need to reject totally. Thus, honey is fine as well as all nuts, but white sugar and processed food will prove to be the foundations of virulent disease, as opposed to dysfunctional bio-sphere disease. God, I was even hammered mercilessly when I maintained that healthy four-times-a-week sex was vital to retain youthfulness.

Smug?

Well yes, it is nice to be proven right, however if one is treading the inner awakening path, tutored by a descending Being, then sexual activity goes out of the window totally lest it be under strict conditions, in tandem with strict adherence to diet, coupled with several other observations that are mandatory…and the chances of meeting, and then being taken under the wing of a descending Being are between remote to never.

Leaving aside the pompous grandstanding of the vegetarians or those who follow the Jain diet, I put forward the concept that animals who eat a living Being, be that a leaf still attached to it stalk and branch, or an animal consumed alive, are better dieticians and far more honest Beings than the hypocrite vegetarian looking down on the meat-eating human.

And to the meat-eaters I ask: Simply because the animal you eat is not configured as a human does this make you any less a cannibal?

The majority of animals consumed share more than 50% DNA with humans. So how is it that eating an animal, which shares any percentage of DNA with a human, is not cannibalism?

Serious points to ponder.

An interesting side note: Fertilizer, earth and water, and the transformation of the three energy systems via a seedling into an edible vegetable is Shiva configuration in action. This is a very good example of transmutation. In simple terms, death of one entity giving life to a more progressive life form.

Reverting…

The concept of a sacrifice, in honour of nature’s regeneration in the northern hemisphere, is built into the human psyche. The Sikhs, annually, make the same sacrifice.

This year, Sikhs will celebrate their New Year on 13th March 2016. This date is lunar-based and changes annually.

Globally, the sacrifice the Sikhs will make on this date is several hours of repetitive prayer that invokes dissolution of

  • disease
  • mental problems
  • emotional ill-will

…and that seeks to replace it with peaceful resolution amongst all living beings, be they human or non-human.

But at the same time, Sikhs love a party, and the arrival of Spring will be no exception.

This year, from 25th – 27th March, the spiritual activity of defensive war games, hand-to-hand armed combat and other such disciplines will be practiced and celebrated in Panjab, and by Sikhs globally. The food offered and consumed will be lacto-vegetarian, and not a single desire for commercial partying will be exercised.

Please, join me as I invite you to share a miniscule moment of your time by either visiting a place of worship to say a prayer, or expressing a thought for global peace amongst all humans.

Alternatively, light a jôt or candle*, but like me do it on the quiet, and buy someone less fortunate than yourself a meal.

*(Candle and Jôt: Represents light. The wick is humanity’s ego, the beeswax or ghee is sinless purity. The flame is the divine nature. Five types of incense are used, representing five positive classifications of awakening. The five negative classifications are Kama-Lust, Krodh-anger-rage-wrath, Lobha-greed, Moha-attachment-delusion, Ahankar-ego-arrogance-nescience; or as I prefer, the five positives are non-violence, truth, non-stealing, controlled-chastity, non-attachment.)

My prayers are with you all, and I request that you accept my wish for your health and emotional well-being…and smile. No matter what, just smile.

The Crucifixion Tie

From a young age I had a natural flair for perception that entailed an intimate understanding of phenomena beyond self-consciousness. Artistic simplifications, such as marrying multiple and totally unrelated colours, made complete sense to me though others found it confusing. Even now, when I paint, if my paintbrush touches a colour I never baulk at using it regardless of its relationship to adjacent colours. Eventually the colour palette looks satisfactory; and albeit that it may seem strange, it appeals.

Similarly, quantum consciousness is an omnivorously transcendent yet simplistic entity. However, to the ordinarywallahs it is like a swaggering revolution, laced with panoramic blandness.

In the England of my childhood – a hard, unforgiving, intolerant, rude, obnoxious society – I chose to wear unshorn hair proudly. Then, upon entering the secondary school system, aged eleven or so, I chose to wear a full adult turban. The turban made me stand out, ofcourse. However, no one ever made a demeaning or derogatory remark that I ever heard regarding my turban, in school or outside of it.

At a personal level, growing up, I greeted some people with humour, and kept others at a distance, since by now my ESP gave me insight into their nasty minds, and so I kept them at arm’s length. Humour and mischief were my natural traits. The combination would get me into trouble, and just as often get me out of many a tight situation.

When I took the first steps in a career that I chose rather than the one chosen for me, I found it irritating to have to wear a suit, boot and tie. The regimented dress felt like being back at school. But what my chosen career environment allowed me to do was to use my intuitive ability against the tax regime, and to suggest appropriate legal vehicles for lowering or mitigating death duty, now called inheritance tax. I was good. I read endlessly, especially the older tax regulations, and I always found an overlooked or forgotten law or rule to resuscitate that would help lower tax liabilities. The joy was not the income I derived from such work, but the intellectual sharpness I engaged to manoeuvre the tax regime in my favour. In fact, I found the taxman (they were all men at that time) very friendly and accommodating, and not in the least overbearing or threatening. They were there to complete a remit given by the government of the day. And they did that very well. I was there to see a way around the government’s latest methods to raid more of one’s income, saving or inheritance.

An accountant’s job is to tell you how much tax you have to pay. A tax planner’s duty is to locate a legal framework to lower the same. They are two very different disciplines. The most telling aspect of my personality was my strict adherence to the fact that tax had to be paid, and that foul means would not be entertained in order to circumvent this. Coupled with this was my ability to see an investment opportunity in the financial or property market. I worked mostly on a limited part-time basis, and only to assist the select few, and increasingly I refused to accept any monetary payment in return. My job satisfaction was derived from being able to find a method to lower tax liability which others from the same discipline were unable to find or hadn’t even considered. Money never motivated me. A sense of accomplishment enthused and sustained me then, as it does to this day.

One day, when I was visiting a colleague to advise his team of financial advisors, his boss invited me for a chat in his office. He offered me a job with a very handsome remuneration package. I asked if he was a practicing Christian and also a stickler for office discipline. His answer to both was affirmative. In response, I suggested that he appoint somebody else since I would have to decline his generous offer. He was dumbfounded and sought an explanation. As a Sikh, I told him, I refuse to wear the insignia confirming my adherence to Christianity and which underscores Jesus Christ of Nazareth as my god-conduit. The man was taken aback, but he composed himself and offered to exempt me from having to wear a tie. I thanked him, before pointing out that office discipline was vital for productivity, and that others would follow my lead and request various laxities and relaxations around the office, which would in turn affect the functioning of the office.

About twenty-five years after this incident, and while I was at a Gujarati curry-café (what the hell is a curry house?) someone called out my name; the face looked familiar. We greeted each other warmly and the man insisted that I meet his family, who were dining at the same place. Gathering his large extended family together, he pointed to me and said, “You know I am always telling you about a very proud Sardarji [Sardarji is the title for a turban-wearing Sikh], with very strong principles, who would not sell out his faith for any amount of money? Well, this is that gentleman.” Duly impressed, the family returned to their seats, and I turned to ask what on earth was he on about. The man reminded me about the job offer that had been made me all those years ago, recounted to me my reasons for turning it down, and relayed to me how impressed the company’s entire staff – of whom he was one – had been with my integrity for not selling out my strong beliefs in return for a very handsome financial package. “As a matter of interest, how much does that position pay now?” I enquired. “With someone of your ability, well over a six figure sum plus bonuses”. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “I turned it down, I must have been mad.” Yet, the reality is that even today I would refuse to accept that offer if it meant I had to wear a tie.

All my shirts are collarless. And I have always worn an amended version of the traditional Indian jacket/coat over the shirt. And, yes, I look very handsome in that outfit.

Since my early adulthood, I have been sharing why non-Christians need not wear a tie, as it signifies being a Christian. The tie stands for both the cross, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. However, the fear of not getting a job, or even of losing one, exerts enormous blackmail-style pressure on individuals to wear a tie. It is a very sad and indeed narrow mindset that makes the European world insist that everyone dress like them, or else you will not get a job, or land the much-needed business deal. What do the Europeans fear?

Is the race-European any less moronic than the Islamist who insists women wear the face veil and be covered from head to toe?

It seems you can paint your house any colour, as long as it is bland.

Someone is suffering from a lack of self-esteem, and in doing so they are the mirror image of the “fanatical Islamist”.

To the Sikhs who appear on England-based television stations I appeal: please have the dignity to not wear the Christian tie under your long beards. You are not Christians, nor are you emotional cowards. Your confused dress gives out an equally confusing subliminal message to the viewers. It says: be a Sikh, but put a higher value on yourself by dressing like a Christian.

How sad.

I do not want Christians, Jews or Muslims to dress like me, a Sikh.

You call only your mother “mother”, and I call only my mother, “mother”. Why do you insist that I have to call your mother and not my own, “mother”?

Please, grow up, and enjoy cultural diversity.

We in England are very lucky to have a fantastic and fascinating global community, culture, diet, and integration. Yes, we are integrated. And no, we do not want or need to mimic the European cultural-ethnic style to indicate integration, for that is insulting to both the host migrants and the new migrants. We need to value diversity, and not crucify it into blandness like the indigenous migrants demand.

And always remember that the people now called Indians were the ones who vacated the land that came subsequently to be occupied by Caucasians, and that now is called Europe.

Humans have always been and will always remain migrants.

Another truth humans cannot escape is that we are guardian-tenants of a land, we are never its owners.

Something to reflect on.

On revising scripts and calendars: An open letter to Maharani Preneet Kaur of Patiala

Improvements, revisions, and modifications are deemed a necessity lest an academic is pigeon-holed as a non-entity. Applause of a newer schism is acceptable, but to be ignored or deemed unremarkable is the ego-death nail to an academic.

The above paragraph is borrowed from my essay ‘Changes to Alphabet’. In that essay I discuss how English letters evolved, being in some cases joined together, eventually either to be dropped or replaced. The essay took shape after a Sikh academic from North America descended on this little island and delivered a polished, well-rehearsed gobbledygook word-speak. A mooncalf let loose simply because he could deliver a polished talk. As for the content – I was left waiting for content, but it never arrived. What I heard instead was nonsense packaged with the panache of a campus novelette.

The problem with revisionists and academics is that in their desire to ‘be someone’ they attain Idiocy. Many who read my work are aware of the definition that we, from our background, use to identify ‘stupid’ – an individual who has read five books on a given subject and thinks that makes for expertise. An idiot takes that belief to a whole new level and begins expounding the ‘idealism’ therein.

Sikhs make for a great anthropological study. A recent history. An evolving culture. An old cultural heritage whose source is lost in antiquity. Sikhs are consciously and constantly redefining themselves. However, their psyche repeatedly pulls them towards their inner source – into events and time that current conscious memory has forgotten …my kind of a big deal, really.

Yes, I am privileged to be born a Sikh (each birth in a given faith and culture has a reason – the subject for different essay), and I love studying Sikhs. Doing so is primarily for my own benefit in that I explore, examine, explain, and understand myself; and this then allows me to better understand how established cultures, languages, and scripts evolved.

Take the example of the Sikh calendar.

Sikhs have been in haste to separate themselves from ‘Hinduism’, which to this moment they consider a curse on their identity. Yet, as I have openly and vociferously explained, Sikhism precedes Hinduism by 150 years or so. In such an environment limited knowledge can be a dangerous thing. The so-called educated elite, those who scraped through to the Ivy League institutions in the United States, were unable to explain why the birth of Guru Gobind Singhji, the tenth Sikh Guru, sometimes has two birthdays in a calendar year, sometimes one, and sometimes none. They decided the fault lay with the Hindu calendar and Hindu mischief, and they wallowed in their complete ignorance of the facts behind such things.

This educated elite were/are so dumb that they could not explain that the phenomenon of Guruji’s birthday happening once, twice or not at all in a year was due to the fact that the Gregorian calendar starts almost two-thirds of the way into the Vedic (Sikh) calendar. Thus in the Sikh calendar, Guruji’s birthday indeed happens only once a year. Nor could they explain that all Sikh, Vedic, Hindu and Buddhist dates are aligned with and in keeping with the organic function of planet Earth, and are based on the cycle of the moon. In this cycle, dates change annually: the organic conveying a procession that is neither mechanical nor machine-precise. Being organic, it requires grey matter to comprehend its function, the very grey matter that is fast becoming extinct due to the lazy reliance on, and utilization of, computers.

Hell, even I have become a victim of computers, for I have forgotten how to spell basic words, relying totally on spell-check. On top of that, I am fast losing my in-built sense of direction, which I have always used to sense the position of the sun or where the cardinal points of the earth lie. I have become utterly dependent on GPS systems to get around.

To revert, the USA-educated elite who graduated in one type of ‘ology’ or another, rather than use their commonsense or become masters of astrology or astronomy, bleated endlessly and ran down the Sikh hierarchy and authority at Amritsar. They called them illiterate and rural and accused them of not moving with the times or being modern enough. The global rolling stone pressure exerted by the rest of the expatriate ‘educated’ Sikhs forced the Amritsar authority to sanction a study.

Sod’s law, where idiots reign more idiots mushroom to champion the new idiotic thought.

A Sikh lecturer in Canada took hold of the reins, aware that if he could muster enough money for a seat at his university he would become a professor. He duly raised funds on the back of the emotional outcry over the Sikh calendar, and in his spare time he ‘studied’ astrology and astronomy.

Idiot can only lead idiots. The idiot led. Idiots followed. The authorities in Amritsar voiced their objections to the ideas taking root, only to be called rural (an insult in India denoting backwardness).

The idiotic professor, having secured his chair, became a chameleon, changing colour to suit his surroundings. He touched a raw nerve and exploited the belief that Sikhs were being misled by Hindus. The Hindus, he exhorted, have been manipulating the calendar since the beginning of time, and they caused the demise of Buddhism in India. He further claimed that the Hindus have every intention of overpowering Sikhism and turning it into a branch of Hinduism just as they did with Buddhism. He conveniently leaves aside the fact that Buddhism ebbed out of India and flourished in Greater India, Myanmar and beyond, simply because this suited its emotional requirements.

The Sikhs bought into the myth he spouted. The masses loved his delivery. After all, he was a professor at a Canadian university. One does not become a professor at a western university without deep powerful knowledge.

Wow. Deep powerful knowledge. Professorship! What next? Sun, shine, backside – and hey presto, a professorship!

The professor went on to detail how in 13,000 years January would become June, and June would become January, if Sikhs followed the Hindu calendar. All of this was down to the cunning Hindus and their calendar, insidiously mocking and subverting time.

All however was not lost. He had an answer to the problem. A knight in a shining armour he was for the Sikhs.

His solution?

That the Sikhs ditch the Hindu calendar. For, Sikhs are not slaves of Hindus. Instead, Sikhs should take up a solar-based calendar, the Gregorian calendar in effect.

Err, excuse me, is that not swapping one slave master for another? Never mind me, I’m just splitting hairs. Did you get that pun? Splitting hairs…and me, a Sikh!

The educated Sikhs clamoured for the company of the saviour professor. An alien Guru had descended on Sikhism from a university in Canada.

I recall how I stood alone and apart from the braying crowd on the issue. Nobody wanted to listen to facts when they could instead organise Sikhism’s separation from Hinduism, finally freeing themselves from those they believed were their progenitors. Nobody at the time wanted to hear or accept that Hinduism was invented 150 years after Sikhism. A minor detail, irrelevant, they told me.

So, the Sikhs recreated their calendar, throwing it in the faces of the very Gurus who had accepted the tradition of the Vedic calendar. The very same Gurus whose written word in Guru Granth Sahib Ji they themselves deem sacrosanct, were dismissed out of hand as a mirage, along with the calendar dates cited within the Sri Guru Granth Sahibji, because it suited the ‘educated’ Sikhs to do so.

The wonderment of the new Sikh calendar flew in the face of commonsense and reason. It gave Sikhdom a single shared date on which to celebrate the enthronement of one Guruji and the cremation of the preceding Guruji.

Educated idiots at their excellent idiotic best.

But, hey, at least the calendar separated Sikhs from Hindus. Never mind that the dates of events were now totally out of sync with reality, and were not in keeping with the monthly, lunar-cycle based prayers set forth in Sri Guru Granth Sahibji. You see, for all their denial about astrology, Sikhs in fact conduct prayers at the new moon as well as at the full moon, as set in the Sri Guru Granth Sahibji. But since the Vedic traditional cycle month, as accepted in the Sikh scriptures, starts one third of the way into the Gregorian calendar – or to put it accurately, the Gregorian calendar starts two thirds of the way into the Vedic calendar – the advent of the new Sikh calendar overthrew many a traditional event.

The basic fact which the Sikhs would not accept from me was that the alien Guru Professor from the Canadian university had misled. He did not share the information that the 13,000 year astrological process is in fact only half a cycle, and that when the full cycle takes place, after 26,000 years, June would again fall in June. But, hey, that’s a minor omission, as long as the Sikhs are able to cut their ties to Hindus. That the Hindus evolved after the Sikhs was another truth unacceptable to the Sikhs at the time of this debate.

When are we taking about? 1998.

Almost 20 years on, I am pleased to share with you that Sikhs are getting around to ditching the new calendar. In time, it will be totally ignored.

But, if you think a lesson has been learned by the Sikhs as a result of this debacle, hell no!

For now we have Maharani Preneet Kaur of Patiala, an MP there until 2014, who has funded, via a ‘Local Area Development’ scheme, the ‘Advance Centre for Technical Development of Punjabi language, Literature & Culture’, at the Punjabi University of Patiala.

Her Royal Highness Maharani Preneet Kaur is an excellent example of an apologist ignorant of real facts, who supports an idea as long as it sounds good and gives her credit in some way, shape or form.

The first point to note is that after more than half a century of independence, people like Her Royal Highness do not have the presence of dignity, mind, or credibility to use the correct spelling of Panjab or Panjabi, insisting instead on using the ignorant Anglo-Saxon spelling of Punjabi or Punjab.

So, what should I expect from her involvement other than ignorance masquerading as fact, and the advancement of false knowledge?

The study group has under the patronage of the Maharani announced on its website that a new set of letters has been added to Punjabi/Panjabi.

Excuse me, since when did Panjabi (Punjabi) become a separate script from Gurmukhi, (its original name) which was formulated by the Sikh Gurus, and completed particularly by the second Guruji, Guru Angaddevji, under instruction from Guru Nanakdevji, thereby making it sacrosanct? Panjabi is not a separate script from Gurmukhi. They are one and the same. Yet, Her Royal Highness, out of sheer ignorance, or desire for importance like the educated idiots, has allowed her name and prestige to be connected to a mess very much like that of the 1998 Sikh calendar change.

The argument she and her acolytes make is that as Sikhs interact on the global stage, so they adopt new foreign words, which in turn requires that Panjabi (Punjabi) create new alphabet letters to deal with them. Ok, let us examine their argument.

I have yet to come across a similar example in any of the European languages, where foreign words beget new letters in the alphabet. Even in Magyar, the language of Hungary, a language entirely separate from its neighbours and which is spoken by only 10-12 million people, new words find a resonance and are integrated within the existing vocal context and written spectrum. There is no inferiority complex requiring that the word be pronounced exactly as it is in its original language, or that new alphabet letters be arbitrarily created to pay such unnecessary homage.

The Anglo-Saxon spelling and pronunciation of the majority of Indian towns, cities and landmarks did not require race-Europeans to re-examine their own script to accommodate these Indian names and terms. To this day, I do not know what Punjab is or what it means. I know what Panjab is. But Punjab? No idea, other than a deliberate desire to insult the Sikhs by mispronouncing the name of their country.

Jaggernaath is a Vedic term limited to indicating a large rolling-wheeled mechanism that carries a particular Vedic, now Hindu, object of reverence and worship. Indian maturity and sensibility would never consider or allow the term to be used in any setting other than that. Anglo-Saxons abused the word and its connotation and designation. They changed its spelling to fit into English alphabetic constraints, whereupon it was spelled ‘juggernaut’, and came to mean a large-wheeled lorry carrying any kind of cargo including meat, whereas its function and name had originally referred to a conveyance limited to religious and faith-based use only.

Bombay. A word which people of my father’s generation and those before him found insulting, but which they were forced to use by the British. How on earth could the (arrogant) British not pronounce Mumbai? Instead, they overcame their own inferior self-worth through intimidation, bullying, and threats of exclusion from mainstream affairs, and forced Indians to adopt the new spelling and pronunciation of Mumbai. Hence, Bombay.

Avtar. The actual English spelling is meant to be Av-v-tar. Above the first ‘A’ is a diacritical mark that requires that the following character be pronounced twice. Yet the Anglo-Saxons initially insisted on pronouncing it as Avta. The ‘r’ would remain silent. Then the pronunciation in western America changed it to Av-a-taar. How on earth does Avataar spell Avtar?

Yoga/Joga. Yoga is very much older than Sanskrit, but is used in pure Sanskrit. Regardless, in all north Indian languages it has always been pronounced as Jog or Joga. The word Joga is used in Sri Guru Granth Sahibji by the Sikh Gurus. So, now, will Her Royal Highness champion the removal of the word Jog/Joga from north Indian speech because the Europeans are not familiar with the word and refuse to consider its usage? Europeans were initially introduced to the word Jog/Joga in the nineteenth century and it is found in the literature of that era. But imperial self-consciousness and lack of self-worth meant that the word had to be changed to Yoga, which the Europeans found to their consternation existed in pure Sanskrit.

In Panjabi we have a very soft ‘t’, a medium ‘t’, and a hard ‘t’. The English lexicon to date refuses to accommodate the need for the real three dimensational Panjabi letter ‘t’.

So, why, oh why, do the Panjabi and the Indian ruling elite think they have to construct new letters to accommodate words from around the world, in order to speak them as the natives do, lest they be accused of lacking ‘modernity’, when nobody else does?

If the Panjabi educated ruling elites’ sense of self-worth is measured by their servile need to create new Gurmukhi characters, then I invite them to huddle together and create a totally new alphabet for social, commercial and enterprise usage and to leave Gurmukhi alone as a language and a script solely for Sikh religious use.

If she is to be engaged in anything, let Maharani Preneet Kaur of Patiala sponsor and support that kind of activity. Her current course of action focused on denigrating Gurmuki/Panjabi script – and seemingly reinforced by the common person in Patiala who lionises her (but who those of her ilk cannot see as anything other than beggers and spongers) – is akin to the Nazi destruction of German literature in 1933.

Leave the gift of Gurmukhi alone.

Your Royal Highness Maharani Preneet Kaur of Patiala, please stop interfering in an excellent language originated by the Sikh Gurus, unless you feel you are better equipped and ought to supersede them. Your Royal Highness, you are making a colossal mistake. A mistake so gross in its ramifications, that it will be a harbinger of the demise of Sikhism as it stands.

Your Royal Highness, consider yourself advised…or reprimanded.

Your choice.

You choose.

Sikh and Meditation

Throughout this life’s tenure, I have witnessed the goodwill intentions in all living species. Such intentions turn out, however, to be unbelievably short-lived, especially when confronted with the self-preservation that comprises the core element of most species’ existence. That said, outright hatred seems to be a trait specific to no species except humans.

As I have developed, I have come to recognise that the disparity between humans and other species, the leap from self-preservation to hatred, has myriad causal factors. I also am aware that neutralizing the ethereal cloud would enable the human bio-system to express and exercise balanced caring behaviour – goodwill, in other words. I also know, however, that it is unfortunately impossible to effect the neutralization necessary to make this happen.

Yet, people do want to escape the iron-ore prison cage of this planet; they do long for escape routes out of the straitened conditions and structures that poison their goodwill with hatred. Meditation is the means by which to achieve this goal. And Sikh meditation, in particular.

So, what’s the problem?

The problem is this: meditation is the proto-theorists’ unpolished sculpture; a figurine poem personified as a satirical memory of holier preservation, misunderstood by all except itself.

The point missed by all is this: mediation is a living entity. It is a life-form. It has its own boundaries, its own likes and dislikes. Let me give it a gender, and then it will make sense.

Meditation is female. She is demure, seldom raises her eyes, communicates subtly, suffers willingly, and never complains. Meditation is always accommodating, never demanding. She cannot be enjoyed through brute force; nor seduced by any means. She decides upon whom she will shower affection, if at all. But if you are not standing in line, along a path that she may pass, then you have zero chance of experiencing her.

Let’s face it, if meditation was yours to have as and when you choose, then you would all be the Buddhas and the Guru Nanakdevjis of this planet.

In what follows, I endeavour to explain the whys and wherefores of meditation; and in the process, I introduce you to the higher echelons of Sikh meditation. I do so through a combination of facts and analogy, having long realised that tangible explanations that people can readily relate to drive the point home better than any regurgitation of throw-away scriptural lines ever could.

The human species is divided into three groups. The topmost group comprises the sexually unmoved. The other two groups are the gays and the straights, the latter comprising the ‘straight darwinists’ and ‘straight deists’ (SaD).

SaD males know where Antarctica is, but none wants to go there. As in life, so in love-making: men have zero interest in acquainting themselves with or understanding the clitoris. They know it exists, but it does so as an abstract, an ephemeral thing even. As with the clitoris, so with meditation. And women, mimicking men, miss the point too; they also fall foul in their endeavours to even recognise where the essence of meditation hovers about them in order to establish contact, engage in communication, and eventually become its resident.

To enter meditation you need to experience death. In fact, you need to die. Death followed by cremation is the dissolution of all internal emotional, physical, and psychological connections. The psyche has to die, or if you prefer, be ‘liberated’. Individuality has to die, (or merge) into the greater individuality. ‘You’ must not exist. It is not enough not to fear non-existence. You must become non-existent.

At their apex, the Advanced Beings (now a distant memory) developed several methods to try and achieve self-understanding. When Guru Nanakdevji assumed the responsibility that others before him had failed to comprehend, many of these Advanced Beings took birth during his life period in order to try and move beyond their own attained statuses, into a more refined arena. To be part of his entourage they had to accept Guru Nanakdevji’s test of social integration coupled with social detachment.

The initial Sikhs were extremely advanced beings. They all belonged to one particular set or type of meditation: dangerous, frightening, and capable of leading to your demise. The first time practicing such meditation is very scary indeed. A group of Sikhs forced me in my younger days to show them this form of meditation and to put them through the process. When I reached the end stage of the first level, the idea facing them made some of them scream, while others were deeply frightened, and the rest visibly shaken. Never again have I allowed an unqualified group to experience the same.

Here I am going to introduce you to the lowest rung, the initial base, of the old Sikh meditation regime. It is not in fact different from most meditation techniques. Of course, I am not going to share how to recognise the meditation cloud about you. That would be irresponsible and dangerous. People allocate some of the most absurd attributes to meditation. You have no idea how fatal meditation can be. It is not peace, love and lentils, where hippies wear open-toed sandals and make love to their own long beards, and where women skip in the summer breeze in flowery full-length flowing skirts and cheesecloth blouses sans bras and their hair in braids. No. Meditation is a loaded gun. And one does not leave a loaded gun lying around.

The rungs of advancement in meditation are diet-based, thought-based, and emotion-based, in this order. Eventually one enters the humility and servile base. I have called it ‘rungs of advancement in meditation’ but none of this is meditation. It is preparation, the digging of the foundation. Meditation hasn’t even started yet. In fact, you are pre-programmed to fail if you attempt meditation since none of this preparatory work has been done, and which would itself take several decades to complete. So, although you can see the rainbow …that is all it is and will remain: a rainbow, a pathway, a map marked with a big ‘X’, but with no clue as to which spot on the planet the ‘X’ refers.

Now do you appreciate why meditation always fails?

People assume meditation is about finding peace or calmness: ‘I am balancing myself’, or ‘I have centered myself’, or best of all, ‘I enter the light’.

What?

What ruddy light are you talking about? When I am in a mischievous mood, I ask people who say these things whether they have ever met a blind person and have ventured to ask them if they have seen the ‘light’. The question is, how would a blind person recognise light? This is one of the misnomers of my environment. A sure-fire way we differentiate between the wannabes and the rare genuine article. The light we refer to is not light per se. You either experience it or not. Those who experience it communicate with each other through the medium of light. So those at my level know who is connected to the light and who is not. But, hey, why undermine the wannabes? At least they are not enthusing each other to kill for the sake of self-importance just because the ‘other’ is different.

Another End of a Beginning

A new club is formed. It makes a set of rules, followed by regulations. With these new conditions in place, the club becomes a humanitarian society, its ethos is to care for everything. It is eventually relabelled a sect. The sect then takes on the mantle of religion. Eventually, the ordinary, thoughtful activity embedded in humanitarianism becomes a fully fledged rites-and-ritual society. Once evolution has taken its toll, the rites-and-ritual evolves into Dharma: A lifestyle, unquestionable loyalty, an emotional bedrock sustaining well-being of the mortal coil to the unseen. At this juncture, modernity can take a running jump unless the forefathers had the insight to ensure that their new club had a place in modernity, and its ongoing manifestations, for better or worse. Non-European and non-Semitic belief systems fall into the Dharma bracket. European Christianity remains at the religion junction. Interestingly, Christianity practiced by non-Europeans automatically and immediately roots itself in the Dharma arena, due to their subjectivities and their racial traits.

A European Christian’s vehicle for control and conformity of the masses occurs via an organised church retaining a classical ethos – a society founded on Hebrew, Latin, and Greek literature and history. The church: A venerable organisation once held in high esteem, now arcane, and a relic at odds with its comical repackaging, where the dog collar and ‘father and mother’ or ‘brother and sister’ habit-wearer shelter as a new sound-image-bite of casual clothing and first names, in the vain hope of retaining a semblance of its past mystic authority and glory.

Dharma (pronounced ‘the-r-ma’): the non-European belief system is a lifestyle encompassing the realities of several astral lifestyles enjoyed in any given moment, and it is accepted as being as real as you are to yourself. By problematic comparison, religion limits itself to the here-and-now, with unsustainable concepts of the afterlife.

The term religion has become so obscure to all but its practitioners, as to curtail broader public acceptance, such that we now have people searching for its meaning, and being guided to the classics for this.

Europeans, toes curled as if enduring extreme pain, eventually admit when asked to being religious. It’s as if membership is an obligation rather than an honour. Christianity is throwing money at marketing itself and reinventing its core image, in the vain hope of curing its decay. Endowments are provided to re-image its doorways and its gatekeepers. An earnest attempt is made to re-package the word religion itself. Meanwhile, in order to retain a semblance of similarity to its origins, its erstwhile leaders hang on to its classic roots as if to some fundamental design template, and its connection to the antiquities.

Consequently, it emerges as Janus-faced and foists this emblem of confusedly facing both ways upon its members. They in turn look confusedly for an identity, a shelter, an image that might make them equal with Dharma.

Of all the Greek writers, the comic playwright Aristophanes would have the biggest field day with all this confusion.

Religion is literature. Dharma is soul. Europeans are desperately seeking soul, but their loyalty to the literature of ‘Christianity’ complicates their stance. Losing face, and internally admiring of Dharma, they feel themselves traitors for embracing this logical ‘other’ in their midst.

Religion has never been a healer. Religion is an earnest corrector of textural errors. Beyond that it flounders. Through religion one can become a great word-gamer. But word games do not feed the soul. They do not heal the psyche within. Mythologies, Biblical and impressive, are a scholar’s nightmare. Where on one hand they decree love for all, in the next sentence they give unequal authority over everything in creation: God created you, but gave you free will outside God’s domain and control. What next, the statement that woman was created from a man’s rib?!

Dharma has one theme. It is simple. You are created by an unseen, unfathomable source. You are answerable to that source, full stop. You have no authority other than to protect and care for all creation. It’s a simple code that does not sit well with the Jews, Muslims or Christians.

As an outsider, and when as a child I observed the conundrum of Judaism, I concluded that a Muslim is a Jew who will not tolerate anything outside scriptural lore. A Christian also follows the Jewish faith, but colours it with its psychopathic meanderings; a killer who enjoys killing for the sake of enjoyment.

If we look at pre-Socratics societies, we learn that Hellenistic scholars argued and developed glossaries and ideas, giving phonetic notes in order to arrive at a conclusion. Roman scholars took this as a base and ran with ideas that underpinned monastic norms. The modernity of the time we now dismissively call the medieval age stole a march on all this, in a way that is still confusing today. Not so medieval after all. The term medieval was coined by religious scholars around the 17th century, and was the result of about three hundred years of classical resurgence.

During the Reformation period, the monasteries reappraised the Jewish texts, and their offspring the Biblical texts. However, unpalatable truths reared their ugly heads. The enlightened thus engaged Jews of Hebrew descent from the Holy land. These Honest Johns spoke truths and facts, and maintained that the phoneticization of their language by earlier European scholars was a false construct. Hence, they maintained that official Biblical texts contained serious errors. Religion took a hit. It haemorrhaged. So, a compromise was arrived at that sullied, diluted and removed the formal boundaries. A mishmash was contrived.

The contrived mishmash now accepted as gospel won’t allow for detailed study of Christianity. The true facts are shrouded and left for scholars to debate over. Erudite academics, and outsider scholars, have created arenas challenging the Christian scholars, creating an invisible apartheid, where each side is frightened of the eventual outcome, so they gloss over the facts hoping for piece-meal acceptance of the minor revelation as and when revealed, where barbaric rites-and-rituals are watered, and the unacceptable behaviour of the Greeks and the Romans quietly hidden under carpets, eventually becoming material for anthropologists to unravel.

Christianity’s glue began decaying around the mid to late 19th century. Lip service seeped into the adulations and attachment of Europeans to the religion. Venturing physically outwards and en masse, into worlds thus far known only through folklore, Christians realised just how weak and petty their religion actually was. The automatic, natural, and evolutionary revolution that should have taken place in Christianity, but which was suppressed by the rulers and their monastic aides, prevented any opportunity that European religion might have in developing into Dharma. Authority, ignorance and fear triumphed over natural progression and selection.

The Bible has now become the intellectual’s ‘Harry Potter’ books. However, the detrimental effect of the loss of a formal reference and its subjective avenues has left the European race functioning as a human-born paraplegic. The mind wants to participate, but the formal, natural, physical limitations are an obstacle in experiencing the inner reward of participation in Dharma. Cyber limbs allow participation, but there is always a ‘what if’ or ‘if only’ in such minds. European Christianity as it stands today cannot and does not heal the soul. Due to this stunted growth, the mid 20th century witnessed a formal attack on Christianity’s irrelevance. Leninist learning replaced Greek and Latin literature, and well-founded arguments were made as to whether Rome was the creation of a tyrannical uprising turned imperialistic power.

Today, I see European Christianity trying to find its footing as a basic humanitarian sect, willing at times to embrace global literature in an attempt at self-study rather than remaining isolated. However, when I visit Christian seminaries unannounced, I experience the same age-old isolationist impulse that subdues the internal intellect and instead wants outside influence to rearrange core Christian scripture, while also lacking the humility to seek that input and without addressing the perceived inadequacies and inherent lies that underpin the Bible. Personal study of the original texts in ancient Hebrew is dismissed, and opaque translations from the internet are used as an authority.

However, I see in the Christian leaders’ eyes despair and recognition that they cannot genuinely debate immortality, samskar and the hereafter.

So, what hope for the ordinarywala in the street, fed a diet of psycho nonsense that we are about to be attacked by ISIS – who in all honesty cannot organise an orthodox Islamic wedding without getting into a long-term feud over appropriate rites-and-rituals?

The new religion of Europeans is an endless stream of ‘knowledge’ of the antiquities from Hollywood. Powered by such anti-knowledge and its nouveau Christian complexion, the ordinarywala is manipulated into yet another war against an enemy who is foaming at its mouth against followers of its own faith.

The white elephant in the room questions: ‘Had Christianity evolved centuries ago, would it still want to bomb, for no other reason than that ISIS is from another racial group, albeit a side involved in a primarily internal Islamic fight?’

Let’s imagine that during both the 1914 and 1939 European wars China had the means to autocratically bomb the hell out of each and every part of Europe in order to ‘stop’ an attack on itself based on an irate Christian announcing that European lack of self-worth was due to the modernity and achievements of China. How would the rank-and-file Europeans feel towards the Chinese?

The rank-and-file European would feel anger and hatred about the Chinese ability to arbitrarily kill one section of a European community after another.

Had Christianity evolved in its normal manner into Dharma, then the current ongoing Europeans lack of self-esteem and mass inferiority complex that requires killing of others from a different racial group and engaging in race-hate wars, would not take place.

The Mumbai carnage response was Dharmic, compared with the response to the twin towers attack.

I maintain that if someone cuts off your arm, pray that no one cuts off his hand. This is Dharma in action. Guys, life happens. It is an inescapable template. Each and every insult and attack does not always require an equally or more forceful answer. Life is for living with an open loving mind, and loving thoughts.

After all, cancer is a disease. So why do the Europeans not bomb it?

Islam, a faith I personally have great difficulty with, is undergoing evolution. It is going through birth pains. Leave it alone. The sooner it relaxes into its evolution, the sooner that area of our very small globe will find peace.

I, as an old fashioned Sikh, can only indicate. The rest is up to the motley crew who are confused with what exactly is their role in the world. Europeans without a religion which, by all rights, ought to have evolved into Dharma, are confused and at a loss. As a result, they feel the need to lead.

But a toddler cannot lead nor give advice to its adults.

Europeans, you need to grow up. How you come to terms with your inferiority complex is for you to work out.

But, please, work on it. Global peace depends on it.

Sikhism & Chakras: Kundalini & Yogi Harbhajan Singh

In my book ‘Mischievous Mystic’ (considered too contentious for publication), I indicate how many a chakra is ignored in favour of a normativised acceptance of, and reference to, only seven of them.

NOTE: Mischievous Mystic is an account of my life.  I detail how, born with ESP I soon learned to button my lip lest I received an open-palm smack across the face; and how ESP was developed, and of a future where ‘human hybrids’ will devastate humanity as we know it. The book is hard hitting, however, about the current European Empire and its psychopathic nature…not nice reading if you happen to be  race European, thus it is considered unpublishable.

To begin with, please remember, as I am constantly at pains to remind everyone, that Awareness is Complex, Confusing, and Contradictory. This triumvirate reality is assimilated from birth as a result of ongoing awakening from previous births. It can’t be spoon-fed.

Okay, so let’s get some of the ambivalent, Machiavellian, pseudo-philosophical adjunct debate cooked in an oven of over-imagination where fertile masterpieces are baked in wishful brothels built on out-of-the-way piety fantasy, totally out of the way.

Chakras are not a ganglion, nor are they a junction point, nor an area where several of the physical pathways and routes congregate or coexist.

Let me explain. Ask an amputee, even years after the amputation, as to how often they get an itch at some point along the length of the nonexistent limb. They will tell you that it happens, and happens quite often, in some individuals. While nothing physical exists, however, they still feel an itch, and at times they actually itch the point where they feel the sensation.

Now let’s bring this around to ancient Arya Vedic knowledge, which details the following:

Each bio-system has multitude of bio-signature-frames…inaccurately termed ‘subtle bodies’ (more about that another day) overlapping and interwoven into and onto the actual physical bio-frame. Each of these bodies is a separate independent bio-signature with its own mind, in which resides its thoughts. These thoughts are separate from the thoughts of the physical frame. For example, after a heart transplant, the thoughts of the recipient also change, because now he has two currents of thoughts co-existing. And in the same manner where brain transplants have also become a normal procedure – although all that will need realigning in that case is to put names to pictures of relatives and close associates for the bio-system to have points of reference – two currents of thoughts will co-exist.

In that situation (brain transplant) the sum total of thoughts will change somewhat, and will seem more profound than the change of thoughts after a heart transplant. People assume that a brain transplant will radically alter all thoughts. No, that will not happen because thoughts are the sum total of a relationship of all the other organs of any given bio-frame working in cooperation. Thus, a new brain will have only a small spectrum within which to operate out of sync, as the very spectrum it has to operate in is controlled automatically by the unifying energy of all the organs of a given bio-frame.

The same principle governs the function and interplay of chakra ‘energy’ to its physical relative.

Chakras are an independent entity and thought system; not an energy per se. This system, where it intersects the bio-frame causes a flux. The points where the sensation is felt is at the bio-intersection of nerves, blood vessels, and glands. If one surgically removed the gland and the nerves at this point a sensation would still register, due to the impact this interaction has on the local cells and blood vessels. The resultant wave of this contact is felt by the nerves along the blood vessels and the blood, right into the heart, the brain and the rest of the body. And don’t forget each cell has at least seventy thousand working parts to it; and each cell and its parts have their own consciousnesses.

The point that is misunderstood and needs correcting is that the chakra interaction is not an output of an impulse by the glands’ interaction with the nerves and blood vessels of the gland itself. Furthermore, what is not openly understood is that the chakras exist outside, surrounding, the body. Thus, simultaneously, the chakras exist internally and externally to a given bio-system; they exist in the frontal aspect of a body, as well as in the back, legs and arms, and of course (as well documented) along the pathways of the spine.

The much published and gleefully consumed information about the seven chakras housed along the spine in ascending order is the stuff that most people assume to be the sum total of the chakras. Thus, we have the base chakra at the base of the spine. The second chakra is located on the spine opposite the navel. The third is opposite the point, below the diaphragm, where the front of the rib cage terminates. The fourth is behind the point where the heart is located. The fifth is at the bottom of the neck, behind the base of the throat. The sixth is towards the middle of the head at the level corresponding to the point between eyebrows and ears. The seventh is the dip, the indentation, at the top of the head.

And then comes the Marie Antoinette of the chakras: the irresistible and misunderstood Kundalini chakra. Often spoken of in hushed terms, and usually by the holier-than-thou chakra hijackers possessing little knowledge and over-inflated glossy-magazine cover sense of their ‘are you out there’ astral ability, is the eighth chakra. It is located at the lowest point of the trunk of the body – difficult for men to find, but much easier to ascertain in the female anatomy. Two centimeters above, internally, the area between the anus and vagina is this cashmere jewel-bedecked cipher of misinformation, pathological reverence for which sways between God-like status and that of the Devil’s playful mistress.

The kundalini chakra and its energy impulse has a unique pathway totally independent of the spinal dual-carriageway. Yes, it does interplay with the spinal motorway, but it has its own path. This energy has a direct influence and affects the heart, as well as the seventh chakra based midway in the head/brain area. Screw this chakra and you’ve well and truly screwed the emotional tide as well as the rhythm of the heart. This is one chakra you do not touch nor interfere with under any circumstances, at all. It has its own governance and operates best if left alone.

The kundalini chakra is the counter-balance mechanism to the main physically-based chakra expressions. You can mess with the other chakras to a point, because they will be brought under reasonable control by this mechanism without your knowledge. But start messing with the masterpiece that is the kundalini chakra… and you’ve had it. We from our level do not touch this mechanism. If held in respect, this chakra has the capacity to control the severity of a heart attack (though a genetically unbalanced kundalini chakra is, it must be pointed out, incapable of doing so).

The kundalini chakra is a little beauty, and must be left to her own devices.

A Buddhism/Hinduism chakra interlude:

The Buddhist chakra system had to succumb to the prevailing Vedic formulation several centuries after Buddhaji had initially cleared the air about chakras (some six centuries before the attributed time of birth of Jesus). About a century and a half after the formation of Sikhism, Hinduism was formally established. Hinduism was a creation made to encompass varieties of Vedantic rite, ritual and knowledge practiced in the countries and princely states of the old Aryadesh and comprising India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, in order to bring a coherence that might be easily grasped by the nonplussed British colonialists.

Each of these Aryadesh countries and states also had their own language; so a common language was established too in an approximate amalgamation of the variety of words and idioms strewn across northern India. The language, Hindi, was that of everyday commerce and interaction, the slang of its time. It was not the language of a religion, taken nowadays to be Hinduism, but an aspect of what Hindiusm really was and is: a culturally-respectful vehicle of commonality, a paean to the fact and reality of pluralism. And yet, in the very process of its rising collective presence, bringing several hundred million of people together, Hinduism gained supremacy; and overpowered much of what it originally sought to respectfully amalgamate.

Such too had been the experience of Buddhism a long time ago: piqued by its desire to bring together disparate and valuable kingdoms of thought across Aryadesh, and consequently led to subsume the same, until they and it were diluted into a one-size-fits-all symmetry. Thus was Buddhaji’s clarity about the chakras lost, leaving varieties of Buddhism across the globe each as different as the taste of the water from these regions.

Nothing remains pure for long.

Sikhism and chakras:

In Hinduism, the root chakra at the base of the spine is the initial power that has to be ‘energised’. Then the same process is repeated as one moves higher up the spine. At the point of the heart chakra, one has attained the level of an advanced Sant and Svami. Then at the ‘mastery’ of the throat chakra one has advanced in to uber-refined awareness, although the journey carries on.

Purity and unconditional detachment, as well as being able to see the oneness of the Creator’s presence throughout the physical world, are the minimum abilities one has to have mastered, in the absolute, in order to deal with the material world; and this is usually only accessible to the very advanced. And in fact, once the throat chakra has been mastered, (actually, it is not mastered but assimilated with), one seldom interacts with the material world of people.

However, a title conferred by a very ancient language for one who permanently resides and functions from the throat chakra while simultaneously interacting with the secular world is that of ‘Sikh’. So, Sikh is a person who has successfully assimilated the throat chakra and does not dilutes its principles in dealing with the secular world.

Guru Nanakdevji, who rejuvenated and refreshed an ancient truth dove-tailing it into the prevailing modernity, set this high standard as the minimum entry point for any who wished to follow and expound his teaching; with utmost humbleness the prerequisite to even being considered entry, for one is still learning, one is a student of the art; but it is a complete misnomer to regard a Sikh as a naïve learner placed on the bottom rung of the ladder.

Having said that, it is equally wrong to assume that having been born to parents who practice and attain the status of Sikhi one is de facto also a Sikh. As a secular everyday person, even a religious one, a person cannot in an absolute sense be born into Sikhism. You attain Sikhism through advancement of awareness. Only Guru Nanakdevji was born as a Sikh, others had to be ordained into it.

How Sikhism differs with respect to the chakras is in its enunciation, in the common everyday prayers detailed by Guru Nanakdevji, of twenty five chakras – of which the throat chakra (whose attainment usually signals the topmost achievement by some, and is accompanied by their retreat from the material world) is merely the first. To become Sikh one must traverse through, and assimilate with, all twenty five before attaining the right to trip the light fantastic permanently.

To add further complexity to this – where we’ve gone from identifying seven chakras, to adding the kundalini chakra, before pointing to the existence of twenty-five actual chakras – is a little-known fact (or at least one not shared with the masses): each chakra comprises its own multilayered existence. Some have four, others have eight or nine, while others have eighteen. You will fall down the scale of any given chakra if you fail to operate within the very detailed layers comprising each chakra. Each chakra has its own regulatory thought and administration centre. Each chakra has the authority to fail your progress and thus downgrade your access to refined Awareness. I will share more of the detail of this environment in a subsequent post.

Guys, this stuff is not easy as it first sounded when work began at the base chakra.

For ordinarywallahas, the Hindu chakra system is a must that they have to master. For a Sikh the journey of self-discovery only truly begins from the throat chakra. Having said which, one cannot just begin a journey of self discovery from any but the lowest most chakra that your given bio-signature is designed for…and mess up the chakra system, and Dame Kundalini will mess you up good and proper in turn.

Thus, the Sikh chakra system doesn’t in fact differ from the original system clarified by Buddhaji. Though in current times there is a sense of the Sikh chakra system as a tentacle of Hinduism, as diluted by the latter’s own simplicity.

Sikhism & Kundalini:

Yogi Harbhajan Singh found fame in California teaching kundalini to those who had self importance embedded in them as a racial trait. They in turn now teach kundalini yoga with all the misplaced pomp of buying a must-have classic parfum over the counter of a Parisian boutique counter situated in the middle of the Gobi desert. It is both sad and utterly wrong. These people may be, and in fact are, fellow practicing Sikhs, but they are wrong; no matter how much I must respect their defence and claims to being right.

The point they have missed is that humbleness is a prerequisite to assimilating even the base chakra with one’s bio-frame, let alone the other chakras. You can’t assume that you’ve been chosen to teach the world, and then speak of kundalini awakening in the same breath! No way guys, no way.

Now let me make sense of this drama.

A negative into a positive:

Yogi Harbhajan Singhji had a role to play in the scheme of things. Consciously he did not know he had this role nor what it was: he simply went about teaching about kundalini chakra so that others in turn, non-Asian Sikhs, would go forth and spread that teaching. But his role, and a crucial one at that, was to initiate arrogance into self analysis. Why? Because only arrogance can challenge arrogance.

Now, I have steadfastly maintained that North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania have to be freed from the European Empire. The Europeans have to hand these lands back to their original inhabitants. The arguments and the policy needed to revert to rightful ownership cannot be achieved by the Asian or African race thought paradigms.

It can only be achieved by the Sikhs who follow Yogi Harbhajan Singhji’s teaching. An Asian following his teaching will fail. It requires a mentality steeped in visual Sikhism, as are his followers, who have the mental dexterity to argue points with the European Empire’s masters from a race-thought paradigm consonant with their own.

This is why I am forever at pains to remind my listeners that advancing and advanced Awareness isn’t a simple matter but is in fact shrouded and grounded in the Trinity of Contradiction, Confusion and Complication.

Kundalini is wrong yoga. However, to free the occupied lands from the European Empire requires the raising of the kundalini. A prime example of Trinity C in operation.

Finally, a note to Asian Sikhs:

To all my fellow Asian Sikhs the world over, I share the following. In the early 1980s you belittled me when I contacted you about teaching yoga from Gurdwaras. Nowadays you are falling head over heels teaching not just yoga but the dangerous kundalini yoga at that.

Today, I invite you to consider the following statement; “You have to earn the right to practice Sikhism, and then after that earn the privilege of becoming a Khalsa. Simply born into a practicing Sikh family does not make you a Sikh. You have to live the code of Sikhism daily, moment by moment. Can you? Sikhism’s yoga starts from the throat chakra. Did you even know that? My fellow Sikhs, please, do not dilute the privilege of Sikhism by repackaging it into the lesser frameworks of secular rules and rites. Please don’t do that. I can only ask, and I have asked. The rest is up to you.”

One of the responsibilities required to be a Sikh is to acquire detailed education about each and every religious scripture, preferably in their mother tongue. Then comes the responsibility to correct aberrations practiced by the faithful of those religions, without demeaning them. The authority of this responsibility has to be exercised with due cultural care and respect. All this is just one of several ‘duties’ you have to have mastered.

Being a Sikh is not only about standing out in the crowd wearing the 5 Ks.

It is a damn sight more than that.